L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Fire Fighting Arrangements — II
For MC, fire no threat
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
It is ironic that the government department responsible for fighting fire is not equipped with proper fire-fighting equipment? As a result, fire threat is real in all municipal corporation offices, except the one in Zone-D.

Though the fire department runs under the civic body, officials are hardly bothered to check fire security arrangements in their own offices, what to talk of the city.

During a visit to offices, fire extinguishers could be seen on the floor rather than on the wall. While some were covered with paint, others were lying deserted.

These were not up to the mark as either their nozzles were rusted or missing. Sand buckets, too, were missing or empty.

The story was the same at the multipurpose parking at the Mata Rani Chowk owned by the civic body. Fire extinguishers at the parking were not working, people working at the site said.

The MC had wasted a lot of money on hydrants that were installed in 1990. But these are now dry as they were never made operational.

While most of them are in old city areas, the less congested areas were never considered for this facility.

The Sub-Registrar’s offices, which are visited by hundreds of people, follow suit.

These offices don’t have any security measures to fight fire, and the officials hardly seemed bothered.

However, the mini secretariat, under the control of the district administration, has been cautious as foolproof fire-fighting measures are in place.


MC panel in hurry to keep CM’s word
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
The finance and contracts committee consisting of SAD and BJP councillors seems to be working hard to keep the promises made during sangat darshan by the Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, so much so that for the past few meetings, only works of sangat darshan are being taken up by the committee.

Even today, out of the 163 issues discussed at the meeting, 128 issues pertained to works approved during sangat darshan and 127 were passed unopposed.

Most of these works were about brick-laning of streets in unauthorised colonies that should have ideally been demolished.

But to woo the vote bank on the name of development, the Punjab government seems to be “overlooking” what is right.

Besides, out of hundreds of colonies, only 216 have been chosen and these are mainly in the wards of SAD and BJP councillors.

According to sources, the brick-laning in these streets before laying sewerage is wastage of funds.

“It would be pulled out when sewers are laid,” the sources said, doubting the credibility of the estimates that were being sanctioned.

They said due to the upcoming poll, works were being sanctioned hurriedly so that the projects could be initiated before the code of conduct came into existence.

They added that the funds were being spent without proper planning.

Also, it was decided at the meeting that advertising rights of the city would be given to Greenline, which agreed to increase the amount of the project from Rs 8.05 crore to Rs 8.25 crore.

The agency had earlier agreed to pay Rs 5 crore for the rights, but after the matter went to court and MC officials were accused of favouring it, the price was eventually increased.

Apart from it, the other proposals that were discussed included paying Rs 59 lakh to RITES for conducting a survey for the six-laning of the road from the Jagraon bridge to the MC octroi post.

While the six-member committee discussed around 163 issues today, some of those which are pending include interlocking of tiles at Jawahar Nagar, green belt near Manju Cinema and construction of a park at Rs 64 lakh, for which the committee has directed officials to examine the estimate.



Punjabi weddings big ‘n’ fat, still
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Even in the face of economic meltdown, Punjabi weddings continue to held on a large-scale and opulence is the key word.

Lavish marriage parties and massive amounts of money is being used for the celebrations. Be it flowers, decorations, food, clothes or jewellery, people want everything to be top-end.

Sweet boxes these days cost between Rs 500 and Rs 1,000. Kesar lends an exotic touch and is being distributed in silver boxes along with traditional sweets prior to the wedding.

“It is auspicious to give kesar in a silver box as it brings good luck to the couple. People make all efforts to make a wedding in their family the talk of the town,” says Rajesh Arora, an astrologer.

The menu is also different and includes dishes from around the world. “Recently, I attended the wedding of the daughter of a high-profile businessman. Dishes from around the globe were on the menu and chefs had been flown in from Rajasthan to make authentic Rajasthani dishes. A special corner for Elizabethan pastries was a crowd-puller. The effect of recession was nowhere to be seen. They may have laid off labour in their factories, but the wedding of their daughter was an affair to remember,” a resident, Amarjeet Kaur, stated.

Apart from flowers, much attention is paid to additional things like seashells, religious motifs, vases, bamboos, designer carpets and raw silk.

“I have asked my décor stylist to play less with flowers so that it can make way for more accessorisation and give the ambience a chic and contemporary feel. Money is not a problem and my parents have asked me not to worry about the finances,” quipped Mehar who is getting married soon.

People are opting for different themes for various functions. Be it cocktail party, engagement party, reception or sangeet ceremony, they want to give a different look to each function.

“Arabian themes, Buddha bar and lounge theme with wine cellars are in vogue. People are spending extravagantly,” a wedding planner said.



Clerk at DC’s office nabbed for graft
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Allegations of riot victims about greasing the palms of clerks at the Deputy Commissioner’s office proved true today when the Vigilance Bureau nabbed a relief and resettlement assistant while accepting a bribe of Rs 2,000 from a riot victim for preparing a red card.

Clerk Balvir Singh had demanded Rs 3,000 from Jaspal Singh who wanted a red card for his father.

The deal was settled at Rs 2,000. Before paying him the money, Jaspal Singh informed DSP Vigilance Gurcharan Singh, who laid a trap and caught him.

A case under Section 7/13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered against the accused.

The complainant told Vigilance that his father, Inder Singh, was earlier a resident of Jalandhar and had a red card issued from the Deputy Commissioner there.

When his father shifted to Ludhiana, his red card was cancelled due to change in address. He was asked to get another card from Ludhiana.

He kept visiting this clerk, but to no avail. Finally, when Jaspal Singh went to meet him on February 19, he demanded Rs 3,000.



Compulsive need to steal
Anshu Seth and Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Kleptomania, a psychiatric disorder that drives people to steal, has led to cases of shoplifting in the recent past.

Psychiatrists in the city have revealed that a majority of shoplifters are women and retail chain stores are bearing the brunt as vigilance is less in case of women.

Dr Rajiv Gupta, a psychiatrist, discussed a case of a UK NRI who had come to
Ludhiana for treatment in this regard. She hailed from a millionaire’s family, but
was a kleptomaniac.

“She could not control the urge to steal once inside a store and used to throw the stolen articles in the bin after coming out. She did it because of the internal pressure which was released after the act,” he added.

When caught, male shoplifters are handed over to the police, but in case of women, they have to pay six times the price of the product. Shopping marts are also suffering at the hands of such shoplifters.

Things are unaffordable for some impelling young boys and girls to steal. This may make them habitual offenders.

Worst-hit are salesmen as the cost of the product is deducted from their salaries. Despite innovative measures, shopping marts have failed to check shoplifting.

A salesman said: “The mart authorities cut my salary as a product was stolen from my counter and the offender was from an affluent family and a regular customer who loved these tricks.”



Alarming rise in diabetes
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
The home sample collection facility by pathology laboratories here has thrown up the startling fact that there has been a manifold increase in lifestyle diseases.

Out of every 10 samples, nearly eight are tested positive for diabetes and deranged lipid profile. Doctors relate it to excessive partying and drinking by Ludhianvis.

These laboratories send their men to houses for the collection of samples. There is facility of online reports within a stipulated time. The labs do not charge anything extra for home sample collections.

Dr Sachin at SRL Religare said the total cholesterol, which should be below 200, was found to be between 300 and 400 in a large number of cases.

Similarly, the normal count of triglycerides and LDL was 150 and 100, respectively, which exceeded up to 600 and 200 plus in a large number of cases, thereby adding to the chances of heart attack. The above counts were measured in mg/dl.

Dr Mona Goyal, pathologist, said the city’s culture of parties was responsible. Samples taken a day later revealed very low lipid counts. Also, the serum when segregated from blood was oily and thick like ghee.

The laboratories have tied up with business houses for organising special camps in order to cater to the people who can’t afford to pay for the tests.

Dr Sanjiv Chaudhary, CEO of SRL Religare, stated that the company was facilitating health insurance for economically weaker sections through charitable organisations.



Employees protest at DC office
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 24
To press their demands, a batch of 21 activists of the Punjab State Ministerial Services’ Union, led by district president Vijay Marjara, observed a fast from 10 am to 4 pm at Deputy Commissioner's office in the Mini Secretariat here today.

The call for protest was given by state unit of the union against the failure of the government to adopt the recommendations of 5th Pay Commission and implement other accepted demands.

Hundreds of government employees raised slogans and held a demonstration during the lunch break to express solidarity with the agitating functionaries of the union.

Marjara said as per representation given by the union to the Pay Commission, a minimum master scale of Rs 10,000 should be given to the government employees.

Other speakers, including Sushil Kumar, acting general secretary, and Iqbal Singh, press secretary, called upon the state government to give effect to the recommendations of the Pay Commission and grant due benefits to the employees with effect from January 2006.

The activists of the union further demanded exemption from typing test for those recruited on compassionate grounds, recruitment of regular clerical staff, creation of clerical cadre as per norms in new districts, implementation of norms for stenographers and grant of financial powers and departmental promotion committees to the district heads of respective departments.



Lawyers strike, litigants face the heat
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 24
Lawyers observed complete strike on a call given by Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association.

The call was given following a controversy of lawyers with a High Court Judge.

The strike affected the working of courts adversely. Litigants were a harassed lot as their cases were adjourned without any fruitful hearing in absence of their lawyers.

It was a day of embarrassment for number of witnesses, as they would have to come again for recording their statements.

The stand of lawyers was that they were exercising their right to fight for rights.



Congress pokes fun at Galib
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Senior Congress leaders from Ludhiana today ridiculed former MP Gurcharan Singh Galib for betraying the party for his petty and personal interests.

In a joint statement, senior party leaders recalled Galib’s past which is full of deceit and treachery.

They pointed out the way the Akali leaders revealed his character of always being in league with them even while remaining in the Congress showed his opportunistic character devoid of any moral principles.

The Congress leaders also took a dig at the Shiromani Akali Dal for its opportunism and importing candidates from the Congress.

They said the SAD was so much demoralised that it was finding it difficult to find a candidate and was now poaching into other parties for the same.

“The party was in such disarray that the sitting MPs like Sharanjit Singh Dhillon were running away from the contest,” they pointed out.

They said Galib had never worked for the party or the constituency.

They revealed it must be a record of sorts that Galib did not open his mouth, literally, in the parliament during his two terms.

Not to speak of raising questions of public importance or those related to his constituency, he did not even participate in debates and discussions.

Ludhiana Congress leaders said leadership did not mean always being rewarded.

“Sometimes you have to sacrifice for the party and stand by its decisions, but Galib always betrayed the party for individual and personal grievances,” they pointed out.

Accusing Galib of sheer opportunism, they pointed out he left the Congress after emergency and returned again when the party came to power.

“It would be a matter of time when Galib would again knock the doors of the Congress, begging, once it returns to power,” they said.

The party leaders asserted that Galib’s exit would hardly make any difference to the party prospects in Ludhiana.

His strength and standing was exposed in 2007 assembly elections itself when despite his opposition to Gurdeep Singh Bhaini from Jagraon assembly segment the latter won by a handsome margin, they added.

“In fact now it would be better for us as he would no longer get the chance to sabotage the party from within, which he has been doing so far,” the Congress leaders said, while adding, “Any enemy outside is less dangerous than the enemy within, which Galib had proved to be so far.”

The signatories to the statement included former minister Harnam Dass Johar, Rakesh Pandey, Surinder Dawer, Milkiat Dakha, Harmohinder Singh (MLA), Gurdeep Bhaini (MLA Jagron).



Exit of Galib a loss for Cong
KS Chawla

Ludhiana, February 24
The detractors of Gurcharan Singh Galib, a former member parliament and a senior leader of the Punjab Pradesh Congress, may be feeling happy over his exit from the Congress, but they do not realise the damage the party will receive in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.

Galib has been a veteran Congress leader with more than 40 years standing in the party and participated in all major struggles launched by the party in Punjab after the freedom of the country.

Throughout his political career, Galib remained non-controversial and has been acknowledged as a “gentleman”. No doubt he was unhappy with the treatment meted out to him by the party leadership.

First he was ignored by the party high command when in 2004 he was denied the ticket for the Lok Sabha elections.

During the five years tenure of Amarinder Singh as Chief Minister, he was in oblivion although he had his loyalty with the former Chief Minister.

Now as the present term of the Lok Sabha is coming to an end, Galib was expecting that the Congress leadership would treat him well.

But before the high command could announce the nomination for the Ludhiana seat, supporters of Manish Tewari, who lost to the Akali Dal in 2004 Lok Sabha election, started a campaign of vilification against him. They described him as “deadwood”.

This was too much for the supporters of Galib and they also raised their voice against Tewari, who is the party spokesperson of the AICC and demanded Congress ticket for Galib.

They were within their right to ask for the Congress ticket for Galib as the high command had not announced the nomination of Tewari so far for the Ludhiana seat.

Taking advantage of the position of Tewari, his supporters went a step further and held a protest against Galib and also burnt his effigy.

They demanded the expulsion of Galib from the party for violating party discipline.

The moot question is what indiscipline Galib had committed when the party high command had not made any official nomination for the Ludhiana seat so far.

Being an old leader of the district, credit of returning to the Lok Sabha twice and a member of the Vidhan Sabha once, Galib had a better claim for his nomination for Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat.

Galib had been a sincere worker of the party and even courted arrest along with late Devinder Singh Garcha, who was elected to Lok Sabha four times when Congress launched “Jail Bharo” in 1977, to protest against the arrest of Indira Gandhi.

The nomination of Galib as Akali candidate from Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat will give difficult time to the Congress nominee as this seat will witness a tough fight now.



Expressway a tribute to Ludhianvis: Sukhbir
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal laid the foundation stone of a 26-km long expressway to be constructed along the Sidhwan Canal at the cost of Rs 400 crore.

Talking to the reporters at the site, Sukhbir said that this ambitious project was a tribute from the Punjab Government to the entrepreneurial Ludhianvis who have brought this city on the international industrial map.

He said it also fulfilled the commitment of the SAD-BJP government to upgrade the infrastructure of Ludhiana city to international standard to meet its increasing demand of growing industry and fast increasing population.

He said this expressway would be completed by October, 2010. Besides decreasing the load on traffic in Ludhiana, it would enable the public to cover 26 km distance in just 15 minutes instead of one and half hour taken presently.

He said on this expressway, flyovers would be constructed on Malerlkotla, Dugri road, Pakhowal, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar and Sarabha Nagar junctions.

He added that ROBs would be constructed on Dhuri-Delhi and Moga-Ferozepur rail lines besides underway on Ferozepur junction.

Sukhbir said Ludhiana was set to become fifth Metro of India as the Punjab Government had put the development of this city on fast lane.

He said during the last two years alone Rs 484 crore had already been spent on the infrastructure of Ludhiana.

He said the development witnessed by Ludhiana during the last two years was much more than the Congress in 50 years.

He said that Chief Minister had sanctioned Rs 250 crore yesterday for sewage and water supply infrastructure, especially in outer colonies of Ludhiana city.

He said that Rs 40 crore had already been spent on relaying the roads and lanes of Ludhiana slums.



Rajasthan comes calling
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
The colour of Rajasthani people also reflects on its textile and is visible from the multi hued tie and dye scarf and excellent block printings.

Once in Rajasthan, you cannot ignore the charm of colourful prints, which have been stealing the heart of millions for centuries and now grabbing the attention of the Ludhianvis during the exhibition at Nehru Sidhant Kender.

“Rajasthan is the home of an astounding variety of traditional crafts. Century old skills continue to produce some of the most artistic and exciting wares in Rajasthan which are admired and collected not only by connoisseurs in India, but are popular all over the world,” adds a craftsman from Rajasthan during the exhibition.

Stunning, unusual combinations of scarlet shocking pink, purple and orange, turquoise and parrot green, saffron and crimson, shot with gold and silver are stealing the limelight in the exhibition.

“The combination of the contrast colours appeals the eyes. The colours are fast but one can never find these combinations except in the Rajasthani material. I am a regular visitor to the exhibition every year and end up buying home furnishing material in abundance,” adds Smriti, a visitor at the exhibition.

Telling about the process another artist added that the process of hand block printing includes artisans to soak carved wooden blocks in different colours and then paste them on the fabric thus creating some magical wonder on the piece of cloth.

“Exquisite floral prints and designs made in vegetable colour is the specialty of Rajasthan block printing. The art of Khari or overprinting in gold is also popular which makes the traditional form of block printing even more charming and contemporary,” said the artist.

Rajasthani textiles come in a fascinating range of dyed and block-printed fabric which are further embellished with embroidery.

The women of Rajasthan have mastered the art of embroidering fabrics. Different pieces of cloth are patched together to make a multi-coloured mosaic.

The exotic colours, shapes and pattern combinations against contrasting backgrounds catch the eye.

Inspired from the neighbouring state Gujarat, the mirror work from Rajasthan is also famous and now has become the specialty of this desert state.



Roshni Mela begins
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 24
The famous three-day fair of Jagraon, Roshni Mela, began with much hustle and bustle here today.

The fair, important for children as they enjoy all kinds of swings and other items, is also popular for religious reasons.

A group of eunuchs, led by Meena Mahant of the town, today performed at the fair and offered prayers.

Though the fair is of so much importance, the apathy of various local departments was resented by the people here.

There was no check of eating material be sold in unhygienic conditions. Children were seen eating things from stalled set above the badly stinking nullah.

The tattoo makers were using their instruments from one person to another without sterilising their needles.

No precaution was seen taken against health hazards by any department.

Dr Hari Krishan, SMO, Jagraon, said he had issued the instructions to the organisers and would look into the matter tomorrow.

Mukhtiar Singh, DSP, Jagraon, said they had set 13 barricades in the city to provide adequate security for the fare commuters.

He said more security would be provided if needed. The executive officer of the municipal committee said they were taking all care of sanitation at the fair ground and they would visit the site personally to see the lapses.



Exams arrive, so does stress
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
February and March are the cruelest months for the school students, first it is the preparation for the board examinations and then sitting in the examinations.

A Class X student says board exams keep on echoing in the ears all the time as the talk is centred around the examinations everywhere. Even teachers have made examinations a terror for the students.

She has watched the nine-minute stress-buster movie made by the CBSE, “Smile your way through exams” on the Internet, has not found it all that special.

The movie tells the students to start listening to music or humming a tune or meditate to de-stress when they are tired during study hours.

Gurpreet, the mother of a Class X student, says the schools concentrate either on exceptionally brilliant students or hold special classes for weak students.

Average students are ignored totally and they are forced to run for tuitions.

Parents and students are passing through the phase of exam-related stress as ambitious parents have unrealistic expectations from their wards, who are under heavy pressure to do well in the exams.

Many times over expectations lead to disappointments also. Parents do not realise that every child is not a born-genius to secure 90 per cent or above marks.

The comparison of one child with other is inappropriate. Each child is an individual and cannot be expected to be at the top of the ladder.

Dr Rajeev Gupta, a leading psychiatrist at the city, says these days, students are under great stress because of the annual examinations of the Punjab School Education Board and the CBSE.

He explains that there are various types of stress put by expectations of the parents, school stress and tuition stress.

He says students with high intelligence can cope with stress but average students become victims of stress because they are unable to meet with expectations.

According to him, the students develop various symptoms of stress and they become aggressive and start causing damage to the gadgets in their homes.

He further says the stress has increased due to the tough competition among the students and competition for getting good jobs for bright future.

He daily treats three to four students suffering from the examination stress.



Moscow delegates visit PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
A six-member delegation from Moscow State University of Environmental Engineering (MSUEE), Moscow, Russia comprising of Dr Rozhkov Andrey, Dr Olga Mamay, Konovalov Andrey, Karpov Viachesiav, Bezrukova Olga and Kozlovskaya Daria are on a visit to the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), till March 8.

The delegation members today met Dr Manjit Singh Kang, vice-chancellor, along with Dean and other officials of the university.

PAU and MSUEE have already signed a MoU for the exchange of students of College of Agricultural Engineering.

The PAU Students have already visited Moscow and the MSUEE students are visiting PAU under the programme.

Dr Rozhkov Andrey said the relationship between PAU and MSUEE was proving mutually beneficial and wished to see it grow deeper with focus on new programmes.

He added the similarity of mandated programmes for the two institutes made the exchange programmes meaningful.

Dr Olga Mamay offered to teach a course in Russian language for the interested students and teachers, during her stay in the university.

The visiting students said they held PAU in high esteem and had a desire to see Taj Mahal and relish Punjabi food.

Dr BS Ghuman, dean, College of Agricultural Engineering said the visiting students would attend a training programme at PAU wherein they would be shown various departments, library, museum of social history of Punjab, plant clinic, center for communication and international linkages, as well as Punjab Horticulture Post Harvest Technology Centre and CIPHET.



Dr Randhawa’s birth centenary
PAU to open art gallery on February 26
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
As part of the activities planned in connection with the birth centenary celebrations of Dr MS Randhawa, a press release today mentioned the special programmes slated for the day at PAU.

An art gallery will be inaugurated after the name of Dr Randhawa by Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, on February 26.

Iqbal Kaur Randhawa, wife of Dr Randhawa, along with her family members, will participate on the occasion.

The gallery that has been established atop the Wheat Auditorium will house
various paintings and art material available at PAU. Paintings of eminent artists
will be put on display.

Another event scheduled for the same day is the release of a special commemorative book, entitled ‘Mohinder Singh Randhawa, Maker of Modern Punjab’.

The book written in English and Punjabi carries articles by those who remained associated with Dr Randhawa at one time or the other.

A section on Dr MS Randhawa in the PAU Central Library will display manuscripts, microscope and other such instruments, clippings of news and other belongings related to him.

Meanwhile, PAU’s department of floriculture and landscaping, in collaboration with the PAU estate organisation and department of family resource management, will hold a flower show and competition that will be inaugurated on February 25.



Lecture on communication skills
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
An extension lecture was organised at the Government College for Women here today. Revathi, an academician from the Regional Institute of English, Chandigarh, was the resource person.

Addressing students, she stressed upon the relevance of good verbal communication skills and the importance of voice modulation by giving various illustrations.

A one-act play, "Miss Civilisation", authored by Richard Harding Davis, was also enacted by the students.

A workshop on phonetics was arranged especially for functional-English students.

Revathi apprised the students about the prominent syllable, weak prefixes and shift in stress according to grammatical function, sentence stress, intonation and the function of intonation.



Orientation programme for parents
Our Correspondent

Amloh, February 24
An orientation programme for the parents was organised in Sacred Heart School, Jalalpur, Mandi Gobindgarh today.

The highlight of the programme was the demonstration of the smart class, which is going to be introduced in the school in the next academic year.

Principal, Saji Jacob, said smart class was designed to empower teachers with technology right inside classrooms, turning them into lively and vibrant learning platform for the students.

The chairman of the school, Jose Kottaram, said it was a dream come true for him, as chalk and talk together in the classrooms.

The parents learned about teaching and learning in the classrooms.



From PAU
Agronomy department honours alumni
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
The organised a felicitation ceremony to honour two scientists and alumni of the department, Dr JS Kolar and Dr BS Boparai, for being appointed members of the board of management of PAU by the Punjab government.

Both the alumni have contributed in Green Revolution. Dr Kolar worked on various posts, including head of the department of agronomy and director of extension education for two terms. He got several awards from the Punjab government.

Dr Boparai served the PAU at various positions and retired as director, Regional Research Station, Faridkot. He was recently awarded for his excellent work for the development and release of Basmati-386.


A meeting of the PAU Employees' Forum, PAU Employees' Federation and Employees' Sewa Dal was held at the university here today. DP Maur, former president of the PAU Employees' Union presided over the meeting.

Maur demanded seven per cent rate of annual increment for PAU employees and said the pay should be fixed in the revised scale after merging interim relief with effect from January 1, 2006.

He also demanded that vacant posts should be filled on regular basis and employees working on daily basis and contract should be regularised.

Among other demands were that departments given to the zila parishad should be given back, prior pension scheme instead of contributory pension scheme should be implemented, sufficient pension fund should be allotted to PAU to meet the requirements of pension to the employees.

Maur further demanded from the state government to grant minimum pay scale of R 13,000 to class IV employees. He also appealed to the employees to join the rally to be held at Bathinda on February 26.



GADVASU wins music trophy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
GADVASU won the music and fine arts trophy in the national-level competition during the All-India Inter-Agricultural Universities’ Youth Festival at Bangalore recently.

Gurleen Kaur and her team won music trophy and also gold medal. Taranjot Kaur and Arashdeep Kaur won the fine arts’ trophy by winning the gold medal in collage- making and rangoli, respectively. The bhangra team enthralled the Bangalore crowd.

The team of Ravi Singla, Ankush Goyal, Ajaypal Singh, Jaspreet Kaur and Parvinder Sidhu won silver medal in mime.



Industrial manufacturers meet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Shimlapuri Industrial Manufacturers’ Association held a meeting yesterday to discuss the policies of the state government, which was not declaring Shimlapuri and New Janta Nagar as mixed-use land areas.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Baldev Singh Lakhanpal.

Association president, Sanjeev Dhiman condemned the government's apathetic attitude towards the industries in Shimlapuri and New Janta Nagar areas.

They alleged the SAD government had made huge claims of fulfilling the demands of the industry but till date, nothing has been done in this regard.

He added even a meeting with chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, MP Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Minister of Jail Hira Singh Gabria regarding the issue of declaring the areas, as mixed-use land had proved futile.

The members of the association urged the government to fulfil their demands
at the earliest.

They demanded that areas should be provided with new power connections.



Diagnostic tests for breast cancer
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Nikhil Singal Nobel Trust and Soin Diagnostic Centre have joined hands to ameliorate the scourge of breast cancer by offering diagnostic tests, X-ray mammography and 3D-4D soft tissue ultrasound tests.

The tests are being conducted free of cost for the needy and poor patients.

Dr KS Soin, MD, director of Soin Diagnostic Centre, stressed on the early diagnosis of breast cancer.

The doctor said breast cancer has risk factors that are directly proportional to the breast tissues being exposed to estrogens [hormones] and this can be due to early menarche [early periods], delayed menopause, late first pregnancy, reduced breast-feeding and a family history of a relative afflicted by the disease.

An obese profile and sedentary lifestyle increase the chances of the disease.

Early diagnosis by X-ray mammography and sonomammography by 3D and 4D ultra-sonography in expert hands coupled with breast self-examination especially in the event of pain in the breast, any nodule in the breast, discharge from the nipple, retraction of the nipple can be achieved and a disease-free life can be managed with expected longevity.



590 examined at eye camp
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 24
An eye checkup camp was organised by the Lions Club, Jagraon, at Gurudwara Panjuana Sahib, Lamme village on Sunday.

The camp was organised in collaboration with Karamjit Kaur, Kulwant Singh and Rajinder Kaur in the memory of Gurmail Singh Dhillon of the UK.

The camp was inaugurated by Charanjit Singh Atwal, deputy speaker, Lok Sabha and SAD aspirant from Lok Sabha seat of Fatehgarh Sahib.

Gurcharan Singh Khaira, president, Youth Akali Dal unit of the UK, Gurcharan Singh Mintu, Ranjit Singh Talwandi, Chand Singh Dalla, Sant Balvir Singh, civic body head Moga, Barjinder Singh Makhan, Yogesh Goyal, Baldev Singh Dhaliwal were among others present on this occasion.

As many as 590 patients were examined by Dr Ramesh of Mansooran and his team. Atleast 83 were recommended surgery.

Speaking on this occasion, Atwal appreciated the initiative of the family of Dhillon for their contribution towards the society.

He said the NRIs of Punjab should adopt the government schools of the rural area so that the poor children could also have access to higher education.

Speaking on female foeticide in Punjab he said it had become the biggest curse
of the day.

He advocated more stringent laws for it and effective implementation of the existing provisions against the violators.



Woman arrested for snatching
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
A woman has been nabbed for stealing the purse of a Greek woman, Topouzy Dimitra (48). The woman, identified as Jagjit Kaur of New Upkar Nagar, was arrested by the Division No 5 police late last evening.

She was produced in court, and sent on remand. According to the police, a neighbour, requesting anonymity, identified the woman and informed her location.

After receiving the information, the police raided the house and recovered the purse containing Rs 14,000. The accused is in her mid-50s.

Sandeep Wadhera, SHO, Division No 5, said the accused had been cracked soon during questioning and confessed of committing the crime.

On Saturday, the Greek national visited a watch showroom in Ghumar Mandi.

Meanwhile, the accused entered the shop and asked a salesman to show her some watches. She stole the purse of the foreigner when the latter was buying a watch.

The matter came to light when Dimitra complained to the shopkeeper. The culprit was spotted through CCTV camera.

Family shocked

The arrest of Jagjeet Kaur, who was caught on the CCTV while stealing a purse of a Greek national, has sent shock for family members of accused.

For her son, it was a moment of utter embarrassment as he was trying to get to term with what actually transpired overnight.

"I cannot express in words, how humiliated I am feeling. I don't know how to deal with this shock as I could not expect it to happen. I still could not believe she committed the theft, what was the need of doing it," said her son, virtually ashamed as he was hiding his face while talking.

Accused Jageet Kaur hails from a well-off family of jewellers. She was accompanied by her son-in-law and husband to court.

Even she could not believe that she was caught on camera while committing the theft. Her daughter said her mother had regrets of what she had done.

"I fear that she might lose her mental balance," said her daughter.



4.4 quintal of poppy husk seized, one arrested
Our Correspondent

Raikot, February 24
The Raikot police busted an inter-state gang of drug peddlers by arresting one of the accused yesterday.

SHO, Raikot, Gurdial Singh said last evening he had laid a naka at Barnala crossing with his party around 7.30 on a tip off that a truck (RJ 31 G 2188) loaded with goods had poppy husk hidden in it and was parked at a dhaba near Binjal village on the Jagraon road.

He also received the information that this poppy husk was bound for sale at the villages between Raikot and Jagraon.

He said he immediately proceeded towards the said location and nabbed Gurinder Singh alias Bari of Sahnewal village.

Bari was the cleaner of the truck and the driver, Major Singh of Sattowal village, and the owner of the truck, Daljit Singh of Ramuwal Kalan village near Moga, had gone to meet somebody and asked him to wait for them.

The SHO said he immediately informed DSP Dehlon, Paramjit Singh Goraya and searched the truck and found 11 bags of poppy husk weighting 40 kg each equalling 4.4 quintal hidden under the boxes of fans and other electrical goods.

When inquired, the accused said this was his third trip to the state with the other accused and they used to load goods from other states.

He said while coming to Punjab they used to buy poppy husk and other banned substances and hide them under the goods loaded in the truck.

In Punjab they used to sell these banned substances in villages through their contacts at much higher rates.

He also informed that this time they loaded their truck from Gujarat which was to be delivered at Ludhiana Sales Agency in Ludhiana.

The Raikot police registered a case against the accused under Sections 15, 61 and 85 after impounding the truck and the material loaded into it and was raiding the possible hideouts of the accused.

DSP Goraya said they would proceed to attach properties of the accused.



One booked for hitting cyclist
Tribune News Service

Khanna, February 24
Driver of a canter was booked by the local police today for hitting a bicyclist near Gurudwara Kalgidhar Niwas.

The accident took place on Sunday evening and a case in this connection was registered today after recording the statements of the complainant and the eye witnesses, the police said.

In his compliant to the police, Mohammad Yaqub alleged that the canter driver did not bother to apply brakes or slow down his fast moving vehicle on the main road. Mohammad was on his way to his house on the Peerkhana road on his bicycle.

He received serious injuries and was rushed to local civil hospital where he was treated upon by the doctors.

No arrests have been made in this regard. The police is investigating the matter.



Industrialist convicted in cheque bounce case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 24
The Court of Judicial Magistrate Kawaljit Singh has convicted an industrialist, Jasbir Singh, owner of M/s Bhullar Industry, Baba Deep Singh Nagar, Transport Nagar, Ludhiana, in a cheque bounce case.

He has been ordered to undergo imprisonment for one year. Pronouncing the verdict, the judge held that the charges levelled against the accused were proved beyond any shadow of doubt.

Declining leniency plea, the judge imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 upon the convict.

The orders came on a compliant moved by Kashmiri Lal of Baba Deep Singh Nagar, Ludhiana. The complainant had submitted that the accused had taken a loan of Rs 50,000 on July 23, 2000, for a period of one year.

Thereafter, he issued a post-dated cheque for the same amount in his favour, with the assurance that the same would be encashed on its presentation. But when the cheque was presented it bounced.

The banker of the accused returned the cheque with the remarks “insufficient funds”, meaning thereby that he was not having sufficient funds in his account to honour the cheque.

Then a legal notice was sent calling upon him to make the payment, but he failed. However, the accused claimed that he was falsely implicated.

Though he admitted to have taken the loan, he stated that he had given the blank cheque as security.

He further stated that actually he had repaid the loan amount. But later on the complainant misused the cheque.

He produced certain witnesses, but they gave contradictory statements resulting into his conviction.



Inter-varsity cycling tourney from today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 24
The three-day All-India Inter-Varsity Cycling Championship will be organised by the Panjab University, Chandigarh here at the Punjab Agricultural University velodrome from February 25 to 27.

This was stated by Dr Inderjit Singh, principal of GGN Khalsa College, Ludhiana, and chairman, press committee of the championship.

Prof Rajinder Singh, GGN Khalsa College, Civil Lines, Ludhiana said that it was after a gap of 10 years that the thrill of cycling events -- man and machine combination -- will be witnessed during this meet.

Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU will inaugurate the championship tomorrow at 10 am.



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