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Gagan Ajit’s mother-in-law killed in accident
19 injured as speeding bus overturns
Tribune News Service

One of the passengers who was injured in a bus accident recuperates at CMCH in Ludhiana
One of the passengers who was injured in a bus accident recuperates at CMCH in Ludhiana on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, February 25
Hockey player Gagan Ajit’s mother-in-law was killed and 19 were injured, two of them seriously, when the speeding bus they were travelling in overturned at Cheema Chowk here early morning.

Dr Brij Bala, a resident of Ferozepur and mother-in-law of Gagan Ajit, died on the spot and Harpreet Singh and Vijay Kumar received serious injuries.

Seventeen other passengers also sustained injuries. They were rushed to the Civil Hospital, where they were discharged after first aid.

The incident took place at around 6 am when the driver of the Chandigarh-bound bus tried to overtake another bus on the Cheema Chowk flyover. The driver lost control and banged the bus into the roundabout, causing it to overturn.

Harpreet Singh’s (38) fingers were badly crushed and doctors said since he was diabetic, these would have to be amputated.

Eyewitnesses said had the driver tried to overtake after slowing down, the accident would not have occurred.

Kul Bahadur, a passenger, said the driver was driving rashly from the start of the journey.

The police has arrested the driver, Sukhdev Singh. A case has been registered under Section 304 of the IPC and the bus has been impounded.

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Fire Fighting Arrangements — III
Civil Surgeon’s office at God’s mercy
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
Fire safety norms are not being followed at the Civil Surgeon’s office, civil hospitals and dispensaries in the district.

Missing fire extinguishers, same doors for entrance/exit and no emergency exit, besides haphazard network of wires in old wooden meter boxes, are a constant threat to those working at the Civil Surgeon’s office.

Also, the head office of the health department that deals with patients with burns itself is not equipped with fire-safety equipment.

The public works department had declared the buildings in the Civil Surgeon’s office complex unsafe about eight years ago, but nothing has been done to improve the situation.

Most of the blocks in the building are in a dilapidated condition and fissures in walls have widened over the years.

“A single spark in any corner of the office could destroy the building, not to speak of vital health records of the entire district,” a senior official rued.

There is only one fire extinguisher in the whole office and that too is expired. There is not a single bucket of sand in any of the blocks.

Officials, including the district health official, district family welfare officer and district epidemiologist, besides the NRHM unit have offices in long and closed corridors with the same entrance and exit.

Despite the recent installation of fire extinguishers at civil hospitals in Ludhiana and other cities in the district following a major fire at Government Medical College and Hospital, Patiala, the hospitals are ill-equipped to deal with fire incidents.

Firstly, there are not enough fire extinguishers to deal with massive fire. Secondly, a majority of old blocks in these buildings do not have a provision for emergency exits.

Senior physicians working in hospitals across the district feel that every building operating under the public health sector needed to be renovated to safeguard life and property.

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Major reshuffle to hit MC projects
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
With the local bodies department transferring more than 56 officials of the municipal corporation following directions of the Election Commission, development projects in the city would come to a standstill.

The transfer lists, issued on Tuesday and Wednesday evening, include officials like assistant commissioner Vinod Sharda, senior town planner BS Brar, superintending engineer (civil) Dharam Singh, assistant town planner SS Bindra and several SDOs and XENs from the building and O&M branch. The officials have been transferred to other MCs in the state.

Carrying on with the transfers, the local bodies department today issued the transfer orders of ATP Harpreet Singh Ghai and 22 superintendents.

Those at the helm of affairs in the civic body fear that this would hit development work. Since new officials would take some time to settle down, they would find it difficult to hasten the pace of development works approved at sangat darshan.

According to sources, by the time, the new team gets into the groove of things, the election code would come into existence and new work would not be undertaken.

Councillors said: “Due to shortage of funds, basic projects like sewerage, roads and streetlights were being delayed. After Rs 40 crore was handed over during sangat darshan, there was some hope.”

Apart from it, the recent promotions of Joint Commissioner Davinder Singh and Joint Commissioner Kuldeep Singh as ADC development and general had already created vacancy.

Davinder Singh was appointed chairman of a committee to scrutinise objection certificates submitted by residents as answers for eviction notices on the Ferozepur road and Jalandhar bypass.

Kuldeep Singh was asked to look into the advertising scam by the MC Commissioner after the BJP investor cell’s chief had submitted a report to the Chief Minister during his sangat darshan last year.

Now, both the inquiries would suffer.

MC Commissioner GS Ghuman said: “It would take only a few days for newly appointed officials to settle down and no development work will suffer.”

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4-laning of bypass to ease traffic flow
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 25
The Rs 425-crore four-laning project of the southern bypass along Sidhwan Canal from the GT Road at Doraha to the Ferozepur road in the city will improve traffic management.

The upgradation of the 26.9-km partially access-controlled expressway, to be funded by the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) and GLADA, will provide easier access to city-bound traffic coming from the Delhi side, as also from the Moga-Ferozepur road, with flyovers, railway overbridges and underpasses.

Talking to The Tribune here today, Rakesh Garg, engineer-in-charge of the project, said the existing 6.7-metre road of the bypass had already reached its capacity. The road along the bank of the canal would be widened to two lanes of 7.2 metre each with a central verge.

While most of the stretch of the existing road of the bypass and embankment had enough vacant land for the desired width, but a provision had been made to reclaim part of the canal by erecting pillars and laying slabs wherever required during the lining of the canal from the Manpur Headworks (Doraha) to Ferozepur road (Ludhiana).

The upgraded bypass would also take a lot of load off the Chandigarh-Ludhiana road as Moga and Ferozepur-bound traffic could take the expressway from Neelon, he said.

The expressway will have a new bridge over Sirhind Canal, connecting Sidhwan canal side at Manpur Headworks. Railway overbridges will be constructed at Dhuri, Delhi and Ferozepur lines.

A two-lane service road along the right bank of canal will also be provided from the Sahnewal road up to the junction with the Malerkotla road. At the Ferozepur road intersection, the terminating point of the expressway, an underpass will be provided so that vehicles do not enter the NH and disturb the flow of traffic.

Garg said the Punjab public works department had already launched the tendering process for the project which is to be completed within two years from the date of the commencement of work.

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Poll scene like never before
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
The city is witnessing a massive public display of pre-electoral verbal jugglery to woo voters, besides public rallies, party meetings and press conferences, even before the elections have been announced.

A press conference and a press note by the Congress today was preceded by a press conference of the party yesterday and a rally of the SAD the day before yesterday.

Several election-related events are scheduled for the weekend.

The Congress set the ball rolling with its rally at Mullanpur on February 5, followed by Gurcharan Singh Galib, a two-time MP (on Congress ticket) announcing his decision to quit the Congress on February 23 and join the SAD. Sukhbir Badal has named him the party candidate.

Jassi Khangura, Kila Raipur MLA, today called Galib a “willing scapegoat” of the SAD.

A separate press note on behalf of Munish Tewari, the likely Congress candidate, stated that the SAD had thrown the state into near-bankruptcy by “imposing a financial emergency”.

Tewari said: “It is no less than a financial emergency as the state has no funds even to pay salaries.” He said no government cheques were being honoured, which was unheard of earlier. He also asked if blueprints were available for the massive projects being announced by the state government.

The Akalis, meanwhile, have termed the spurt in press conferences a panic reaction of the Congress. “If the party is not bothered about Galib joining the SAD, why is it having so many press conferences? We are getting free publicity,” a senior SAD leader said.

Khangura said Galib had one of the poorest records among parliamentarians in contribution to parliamentary debates and committees. He said Galib had absolutely no say in the urban vote bank, as was clear in the past, and the urban vote bank, this time, would play a decisive role in the forthcoming elections.

The Akalis are harping on the point that Punjab had remained “ignored” by the Centre.

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City Concerns

Regular religious processions, mainly shobha yatras, on city roads continue to inconvenience travellers. Traffic on Jagraon Bridge, Ferozepur road, Ghumar Mandi and a majority of old city roads continues to be bad and there seems no respite in sight.

As if the enormous traffic on city roads was not enough to cause jams, shobha yatras, with deafening music and a sea of humanity, break the regular flow of traffic. Residents are peeved and feel there is no forum to address their woes.

Do you have a workable advice for the city administration to help hundreds of commuters from unwanted delay? Responses, in not more than 200 words, can be emailed to ludhianaconcerns@tribunemail.com or sent to our city office at Bhadaur House, Ludhiana.

— City Editor

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Sixth Pay Commission
Teachers to go on strike tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
The staff of three universities, government and private colleges in the state will go on a strike on February 27 in support of their demands regarding the pay revision.

The staff members will hold dharnas on their respective campuses from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm on February 27.

They are demanding that the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission be implemented with an immediate effect and their salaries be revised.

They said Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had given them repeated assurances about the same but nothing has been done hitherto.

The teachers said they would hold region-level rallies at six places, including Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Patiala, Amritsar, Bathinda and Jalandhar on March 2 followed by a 72-hour education bandh on March 3.

“If the government does not fulfill our demands, we will be forced to go on an indefinite strike,” Prof Jaipal Singh of Government College for Boys, Ludhiana, said.

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Entrance Exams
Free coaching for govt school students
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
The Punjab EDUSAT society has decided to launch coaching/training programme for students aspiring to appear in the AIEEE/CET/PMT/IIT entrance examinations for the year 2009. The society will allow students from private institutions as well as those who have passed Class XII exams from government schools at a nominal fee of Rs 1, 000. Class XII students studying in government institutions will be given free coaching.

The Punjab EDUSAT society had launched a pilot training project for the students for entrance exams in April 2008. The programme was appreciated through out the state.

More than 350 students were selected by different engineering and medical institutions.

A spokesperson of the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan told The Tribune today that the society has issued instructions to all the heads of institutions having EDUSAT network to enroll the students for the programme and also guide them.

The coaching classes through EDUSAT will start from March 12 for four hours daily from 10.30 am to 2.25pm.

The programme will be available at the government senior secondary schools having EDUSAT facility.

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1,200 entries for PAU flower show
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
The much awaited flower show at PAU got a roaring response from the flower lovers in the city as they were seen making a beeline at the venue since morning.

Dr MS Kang, PAU Vice-Chancellor, inaugurated the show. The two-day flower show organised by the department of floriculture and landscaping, PAU, is a tribute to Dr MS Randhwa, former Vice-Chancellor of PAU. The show will conclude on February 26.

Whopping 1,200 entries for the various competitions in different classes and sections pointed towards the incredible enthusiasm amongst the seasoned flower growers and the amateurs.

Students from BCM, DAV Public School, Pakhowal road, and BRS Nagar, GNPS, participating in both- under 15 and above 15 categories made some interesting arrangements depicting patriotism, steps to success and harmony.

Embedded in the arrangement of white flowers the portrayal of Indo-Pak friendship bearing their respective flags was an eye-catching theme. Mumbai terror attacks — a criticism, message of peace, 'Ghalughara' portraying emotional turmoil were other compelling themes at the flower arrangement competition.

Open to individuals, amateurs, government, semi-government and private institutions and nurseries, there was an array of asters, flaming carnations, streaked calendulas, bright dahlias, charming gerberas, elegant gladiolus, speckled marigolds and poised roses that spoke volumes.

An opportunity for homemakers, the show had experienced women gardeners competing in ornamental flower category. The participants exhibited diligence in arranging buttonhole varieties to make bouquets, garlands, bracelets, ear rings and sehras, said Dr Ramesh Kumar, head of the department, floriculture and landscaping, PAU.

The nurseries had some beautiful arrangements in the competition 'plants as gifts' wherein the beautified glass and earthen containers caught the fancy of onlookers.

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Fusion snacks a hit with foodies
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
In the present days of fusion, an American choupsey dosa or a chocolate samosa may no longer sound weird and may titillate your taste buds too. Unlike traditional South Indian dosas and samosas, their western-doctored versions are using noodles, sauces, capsicum, chicken, fish, chocolate, pasta and dry fruits.

Pizzas and burgers are relished worldwide but when it comes to samosas everybody treats it like any other snack. "I researched for nearly two years and then thought of opening this outlet serving samosas in a new avatar," says Ranbir, CEO of a samosa joint.

This outlet has unveiled the mystery around this humble snack and has instantly become a hit among the food lovers around the city. Within a span of one year, the city has four outlets, which prove that samosas with a zing have caught the fancy of the foodies.

One can relish nearly 22 varieties of samosas, including chocolate, sprouts, dry fruits, mutton, chicken, nugget, pasta, steamed fish and baked samosa. "The traditional samosa has don a new avtar and the different varieties, including the non-vegetarian ones are awesome," chips in Sunaina, relishing samosas at the joint.

From Punjabi chilly chicken, idli manchurian to Mexican style dosas, restaurants are experimenting with the taciturn dosa to give it a new and trendy look. "Fusion dosas are especially created keeping in mind the taste of youth," adds master chef at a restaurant.

The different varieties of dosas are more popular down south, while few restaurants in the city have started following their footsteps. Beginning with a small restaurant in Mumbai, Dosa Plaza, is now present in nine states serving as many as 104 varieties of dosas across 35 outlets in the country.

"Choupsy dosa is my favourite variety among the westernised versions of dosas. Gone are the days of masala dosa and rava dosa as chefs have something more exotic to offer on the platter these days," added Rajvir, a student at GNE.

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Nagpur artists' work at display
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
Art is the expression of life for these three youngsters. Nature fascinates Praful Dekate while for Vrushali it is the creative painting that captivates her mind and Manish Bobade likes to paint mythological episodes with his brush. The Nagpur-based artist group ‘Ashta Bhuja’ have put up the exhibition of their works at Artmosphere Gallery.

The forehead of each figure in the paintings of Manish wears a different colour. Citing the reason, the painter said, "We may be present at one place but our mind is somewhere else. We are always thinking of something else, so I always distinguish the brain in different colour". He has depicted the scenes from Ramayana and Mahabharta in his paintings.

Vrushali is inspired from the creative paintings of Vincent Van Gaugh. "My paintings are straight from my heart," she quips. In one of the paintings displayed during the exhibition she has portrayed the picture of her house from the eyes of a small child. She is against the opinion that expressionists can paint anything weather it makes sense or not. “Creative painting is like giving expressions to your thoughts in a simple manner. Brain understands it while heart paints it,” she adds.

Nature is the inspiration behind every painting of Praful. In some of his paintings he has his own portrait in the forefront and nature in the backdrop explaining his admiration for nature. "Night is the best time to paint when everything around me is quite. Night gives me the required peace and solace to paint my mind on canvas," he adds. The exhibition will be on till March 5.

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Tribune Impact
Now, mgmt panels to look after parks
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
Finally giving a thought to public parks here, the municipal corporation has decided to hand over all parks to the Park Management Committees (PMCs) to ensure greenery and their maintenance.

The decision was taken during the finance and contracts committee meeting here yesterday.

Talking to The Tribune, municipal commissioner GS Ghuman said: “Out of all public parks in the city, Rose Garden, Mini Rose Garden, Rakh Bagh and Leisure Valley would be maintained by the civic body.

And rest of them would be transferred to the committees at the earliest.”

He further said 36 parks, which were situated at the focal point, could not be transferred as they were in a bad shape and their boundary walls were broken.

On February 20, 2009, The Tribune had highlighted the deplorable condition of public parks under the municipal corporation in the article “Loss of green takes its toll on health”.

It had also highlighted that parks under the PMC were in a better state as compared to those under the municipal corporation.

Giving details about the agenda passed, senior deputy mayor Praveen Bansal said, “The decision has been taken to ensure that green belt is maintained in the city.”

He revealed the residents needed to make a committee unanimously and approach the corporation.

He also said the finance and contracts committee had sanctioned the amount that needed to be paid to the park management committees for the development of parks in various wards.

Retd IFS official SS Channa, who has been battling for the maintenance of public parks in all cities, said: “The decision is quite good but would hold importance only if it is implemented in prescribed time.”

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City Concerns - II
Start inter-city rail network

Hundreds of daily commuters face the hardship of travelling to and from the local railway station every day because of the rush of travellers from different parts of the country. The migrant labour forms the biggest component of the rush. Also put to extreme discomfort are the daily commuters on the road, outside the station. Railway authorities are also considering the possibility of shifting the station to Dhandari Kalan. This is what a cross section of city residents have to say on the issue

Congestion of traffic, especially at railway station and adjoining roads, has become a routine as number of commuters to different destinations is increasing at a rapid rate. One has to remain packed for many hours in traffic jams that not only makes one to reach his destination late, but disrupts his work proceedings also.

Not only city residents, but even daily commuters from surrounding towns and villages are totally fed up with the routine traffic congestion. It’s a matter of shame for the authorities concerned for finding a concrete solution to the problem. Furthermore, I want to suggest that just like metro cities Ludhiana also requires to start inter-city rail network. As soon as this service starts, most of the traffic problem will automatically be solved. On a test check basis, railway authorities can start a local train at Dhandari rail line, which covers most of the area of the city.

Pawan Kumar Jain
Ahmedgarh

Vacate surrounding areas

I feel that the displacement of the railway station is paramount, as it is constructed near the Chaura Bazar as well as CCT i.e. the City Clock Tower, both of which are infamous for being amongst the most congested areas. Most of the traffic remains blocked there, which hampers the smooth flow of the rail-passengers.

No doubt this population menace is the order of the day, but it is more serious around this area. However, if the city administration takes some serious steps, the railway station may remain where it is. The administration will have to vacate most of the area surrounding the railway station, ruining lives of those small businessmen who make their both ends meet by selling off their merchandise to the migrant labourers who frequently enter and exit the railway station. Much else is needed to be done, but first of all the administration needs a firm will to change, as there is no use building castles in the air.

Prof HS Dimple
Anarkali Bazar
, Jagraon

Take alternate station

There is no denying that surrounding roads of Ludhiana railway station are congested because of migrant labours and other citizens who board and de-board various trains coming in and going out of Ludhiana. Especially autorickshaws and rickshaws crowd the roads. To avoid the rush of passengers either Ludhiana railway station should be extended towards new sabzi mandi or an alternate station as suggested by the railways, i.e. Dhandari Kalan, can be upgraded so that crowd gets distributed. Ludhiana railway station should also be extended towards Phillaur side.

It is also suggested to get the shops vacated that are located around the railway station so that roads can be widened to accommodate the rush of autorickshaws and other vehicles. The station may also have another entrance towards Guru Nanak stadium. This will reduce the rush to great extent.

Flying Officer SS Talwar (Retd)
Urban Estate, Jamalpur

Ineffective overbridge

City residents near railway station are totally fed up with the traffic congestion at the adjoining roads as long lines of various vehicles, especially autorickshaws, road rage, haphazard as well as ill-mannered parking of vehicles etc, has become a routine course. Due to that residents and businesspersons have to encounter many problems during the day as most of their precious time is usually wasted in traffic jams extending many hours.

Overbridge, popularly called elevated road, which was constructed sometimes back with a view to ease traffic at the area, further proved to be a waste of resources as the same has not been constructed with proper planning.

Besides, the same has already become a death prone area because of unconventional standards used in the construction of the bridge.

Bhawna Garg
Ludhiana

Admn must take concrete steps

The great rush at the Ludhiana railway station due to the presence of migrants from North Indian states coming to the city for green pastures or going from here after completing their jobs is a cause of concern. Due to the elevated road from Jagraon bridge to the new sabzi mandi area, the old NH-I has shrunk to a great extent and rush of mostly unauthorised autorickshaw, who park their vehicles at will, also adds problems to the smooth traffic flow. In the past, railway authorities and the district administration mooted the point of controlling the rush on the Ludhiana railway station platform and on NH-I. However, no concrete efforts are being made to solve this problem.

The suggestions made by your esteemed newspaper that Dhandari Kalan railway station may be developed and the major trains coming from North India, carrying migrants, be stopped at Dhandari Kalan or Sahnewal are appreciable. We can only hope the railway and the district administration will look into the matter. It will also save the ignorant migrants from being overcharged by unauthorised autorickshaws.

Manjit Singh
Ludhiana

Ban unlicensed autorickshaws

For the last 20-25 years there has been a tremendous increase in the population of Ludhiana city. Influx of labour from eastern UP, Bihar and Orissa has further added to the congestion of the city. This problem of congestion has further aggravated the problem of unlicensed three wheelers plying in the city, making it impossible for the general public to move even on foot on the stretch between Jagraon bridge and Chand Cinema. Ludhiana station is just located in between this stretch. To ease the congestion near the railway station one of the options can be terminating of the eastern side trains either at Dhandarikalan or Phillaur.

One of the most important options is to restrict the movement of three wheelers between Jagraon bridge and Chand Cinema. Only a limited number should be allowed to enter this stretch to facilitate commuters to reach station or Clock Tower. Non-construction of the approach bridge against lakkar bridge linking the civil lines area with city is another bottleneck. Suggestions come and go. But who cares?

Krishan Chitkara
Ludhiana

Appoint women announcers

The railway station of Ludhiana is situated in the most congested area of the city. Thousands of people travel in several trains daily from this station. This adds to congestion on the roads, particularly outside the railway station, as thousands of autorickshaws take up space for other vehicles and commuters.

It is good for the city if railway authorities are considering Dhandari Kalan as the best possible alternative venue. But whether the station is at Dhandari or at its present place, it should be made neat and clean like those at Shanghai.

In China girls are doing jobs in every sphere. Here, too, girl announcers can be appointed to announce live information of schedule of trains.

Presently, recorded clips are joined together to make new announcements, which are neither clear nor complete. From such poor announcements one cannot listen properly whether train is approaching on platform number one or on platform number two. Two girls should be appointed for morning shifts and a male for the night shift for live announcements.

Dr SB Pandhi
Ludhiana

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Speaking Out
Tax cut poll gimmick

The Centre yesterday announced a slew of sops for the ailing auto and cement sectors, reducing both excise duty and service tax by two per cent each to stimulate the economy in the wake of the prevalent global economic crisis. Will the cut have any significant impact on the masses’ pockets or are more such sops needed to help the economy in the ongoing financial downturn? A cross section of the society shares its views with The Tribune staffer Charu Chhibber.

"The relief package announced by the Centre in the form of cut in the excise duty and service tax is a welcome step, but the government can do much more in order to provide direct and more effective relief to the common man i.e. the consumers. This being the election year, more sops are expected from the government in the coming days.

— ASHOK GUPTA, TRADER

The slash in excise duty and service tax has no doubt come as a relief in tough times. And now is the time for the state government to step in and join hands with the Centre in providing effective relief packages for the economy. The state government should also introduce similar sops and cut in various taxes, which are a burden on the pockets of the citizens, only then will the sops prove effective.

— AP SINGH, PROFESSOR, PAU

Just a day after the Centre announced a cut in the excise duty and service tax, electronic goods dealers in the city have started witnessing growth in business with a prominent rise in customer inflow. The ongoing off-season sales coupled with the cut have proved beneficial for both, the consumers as well as the traders.

— SANJAY DHAMIJA, ELECTRONIC GOODS WHOLESALE DISTRIBUTOR

Though any cut in taxes is welcome, the need of the hour is a further cut in the prices of petrol and diesel which form the lifeline of any economic activity. The economy of the state will get the much-needed boost only when there is an overall cut in prices of fuel and essential commodities.

— NITIN, ASSISTANT MANAGER WITH AN MNC

Slash in the rate of excise duty and service tax will have no direct impact on us. The student community will benefit only if a similar cut is introduced in the fee structure as well. We hope the government, in the coming days, introduces certain sops for the students as well, who are already facing uncertainty about their futures in the wake of the ongoing economic crisis.

— SHILPA, STUDENT

With inputs from Rajesh Bhambi "

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Chemists refrained from selling ‘H’ drugs
To go on strike on March 18

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
As a mark of protest against the decision of the State Drug Advisory Committee that has refrained the chemists from selling the habit forming (‘H’) drugs without affidavits, the Ludhiana retail and chemists associations will observe a strike on March 18.

The associations decided to extend support to the Punjab Chemists Association against the autocratic approach of the drug authorities, which have ignored the interests of the chemists who are struggling for their survival.

Association president Amandeep Ahuja said: “The doctors who sell medicines in unlicensed stores inside their nursing homes go scot-free as the district health authorities fail to initiate any action against them.”

The doctors in various areas, including Sarabha Nagar, Model Gram, BRS Nagar, Dugri, are operating drug stores inside their nursing homes without pharmacy licenses and do not have a proper storage facility also.

The president of the District Wholesale Chemists Association, Tikka Dalip Singh, said the associations would continue with their protests even after discontinuing the sale of scheduled ‘H’ drugs at their stores.

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Ambulance donated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
The Amway Opportunity Foundation (AOF) and Amway distributors donated an ambulance to the Krishna Charitable Hospital, here today. Punjab deputy speaker S Satpal Gosain and vice-president, North Amway India, Bhuvav Kapur flagged-off the ambulance in a ceremony held at their office.

“The foundation is proud to dedicate this ambulance to address any emergency situations by providing timely medicalcare to the economically deprived patients.

This has been made possible with the unconditional support of distributors who have always displayed their unstinted help for any such cause,” expressed Bhuvan. The ambulance will be located at the Krishna Charitable Hospital to provide free services to the needy and poor. The services can be availed by calling 5052553 or 5052 550.

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Traders seek special fund

Ludhiana, February 25
The beopar cell of the state unit of the BJP today demanded that the government should create a special fund to meet the need of traders during calamities or other exigencies.

Addressing a press conference, Mohan Lal Sethi, state convenor, said the government should simplify the procedure for VAT refund because a large number of traders were facing unnecessary delay in procedural wrangling.

He said the state needed to immediately address the power crises in the state. The problem might have carried over from the previous Congress regime, however, the current government, too, had not added any new power generation facilities, he added. — TNS

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Employees’ forum to hold rally today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
The Punjab Subordinate Services Federation and the UT Employees Joint Action Committee is organising a rally at Bathinda on February 26 demanding the release of the Fifth Pay Commission report, a press release of the PAU Employees' Forum said here today.

A meeting of the PAU Employees Forum was held here today near the Student Home under the presidentship of DP Maur. He underlined the demand of seven per cent rate of annual increment in the salaries.

It’s being sought that pay be fixed in the revised scale after merging interim relief with effect from January 2006, onwards. Vacant posts should be filled by regular employees and those employed on contract need to be regularised. It has also been sought that departments under the control of Zila Parishad should be taken back.

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Talk on education scenario
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
A discussion will be organised on “Current situation of the education, problem and solution” on March 1 by Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle.

Present and former vice-chancellors from various universities will participate in the discussion. Dr Khem Singh Gill, Dr Sardara Singh Johal, Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Dr Harbhajan Singh Soch, Dr SS Gill, Dr Kirpal Singh Aulahk, Dr Amarjeet Singh Khaira, Dr Prithipal Singh and Dr SP Singh will also participate.

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Evils of pollution discussed
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 25
A seminar on environmental awareness was conducted and a procession was also taken out by students of DAV College, Jagraon. The seminar was organised by Prof Anuj Kumar and Vice-Principal Shashi Parbhakar.

Dr Shailja Verma discussed the impact of pollution of air, water and land with students. Dr Chawla inaugurated the cleanliness drive on the college ground and a series of saplings around the playgrounds.

Prof Parminder Singh Mittha, Sukhdev Singh Brar and BK Ghai addressed the students and guests about the importance of clean environment.

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Sadbhavan students 2nd in fashion show
Our Correspondent

Raikot, February 25
The students of Sadbhavan College of Education for Women celebrated after grabbing the second prize in the fashion show in CRESCENDO-2009, which was organised at GGNIMT, Ludhiana.

About 17 teams from Punjab participated in the event and 18 students from Sadbhavna College participated in the fashion show, skit and dance. Academics coordinator Rupinderjit congratulated the staff and students for their achievement.

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254 examined at dental camp
Our Correspondent

Raikot, February 25
A free dental camp was organised by the Giani Nihal Singh Gadri Baba Dalip Singh memorial trust at Jalaldiwal village.

The team of Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, including Dr Vanita, Dr Pumesh and Dr Parminder Singh Sidhu examined around 254 patients in the camp. NRI Gurinder Preet Singh Poonia sponsored the medicines and dentures.

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Wood worth lakhs destroyed in fire
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
A fire broke out on the third floor of a building of Prince Timber near the bus stand here this afternoon.

The fire department pressed two fire engines into service and it took around an hour for the fire squad to control the fire.

According to eyewitnesses, the fire broke out on the third floor where a generator had been kept.

They said due to plywood and other wooden material stored in the building, it took minutes for the fire to spread. Wood worth lakhs of rupees was reduced to ashes.

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Two held with 31.5 kg poppy husk
Tribune News Service

Khanna, February 25
The Khanna police today arrested two persons with 31.5 kg poppy husk near Samrala. The accused have been identified as Jang Singh of Bhanglan village in Khanna and Balram Kumar of Heera Nagar in Ludhiana.

They were carrying the poppy husk in a Zen car from Ludhiana and were intercepted by police officials during a special naka near Manki village.

During the checking it was found that the accused had hidden the poppy husk in a bag under the car seats.

The car they were driving has been confiscated and a case has been registered against them under the NDPA Act.

They would be produced before the magistrate, said the police officials.

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Woman sets herself afire
Our Correspondent

Raikot, February 25
A woman set herself on fire after a minor altercation with her husband yesterday.

Jasvir Kaur and Lakhvir Singh were married for more than seven years. Yesterday, they had an argument following which she doused herself with kerosene and set herself afire.

Her husband and some labourers were present at home at the time of the incident as some construction work was going on in the house.

Her husband tried to extinguish the fire and also suffered burns. The labourers poured water and sand on her. She was rushed to hospital, from where she was referred to the DMCH, Ludhiana.

The SHO of Raikot, Gurdial Singh, said the woman was in a critical condition with over 70 per cent burns.

She had given a statement that she accidentally caught fire. No case has been registered so far.

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Missing man fished out of canal
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 25
A missing man was fished out from the canal yesterday evening. Gurdeep Singh (30) of Dalla village went missing two days ago after he went to his shop at Jagraon on his scooter.

He left home for his shop and that was the last time he was spotted by anybody. The family was looking out for him and recovered his scooter from near the canal bridge of Jagraon. Suspecting unfortunate, the family started looking out for him in the canal.

Yesterday his body was spotted near the bridge on canal at Dalla village. The Jagraon police proceeded under Section 174 CrPC on the statement of Saudagar Singh, deceased’s father and handed over the body after autopsy.

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Student commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
Upset over her performance in accounts exam, an 18-year-old girl committed suicide by setting herself ablaze here today.

The girl, identified as Sonia, was a Class XII student at Bal Mukand Lal School and her boards exams were going on.

According to SI Davinder Singh, “Sonia had her accounts board paper yesterday and was depressed when she returned from school. Today she sprinkled kerosene oil on herself and set ablaze. In the meantime, house tenant Pinky saw Sonia in flames and rushed to save her. She put a blanket and bedsheets around her and rushed her to hospital.” However, the girl succumbed to her injuries. A case has been registered at Shimla Puri police station.

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Youth consumes insecticide, dies

Jagraon, February 25
Nirbhai Singh (25) of Kaunke village died after consuming insecticide accidentally at his residence here today.

He was rushed to a private local hospital in a critical state, where he died. A case has been registered under the Section 174 of the CrPC on the statement of the father of the deceased Baldev Singh. The body was later handed over to the family after a postmortem. — OC

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Khalsa College eves lift kabaddi title
Our Correspondent

Raikot, February 25
The girls of Khalsa College for Women, Sidhwan Khurd, bagged the champions trophy in All-Girls Kabbadi Tournament held at Swami Ganga Giri College here today. About 12 teams of various colleges affiliated to Punjab University participated in the 7th Dheeraj Kaura Memorial Cup. The tournament was presided over by Raikot municipal committee president Amandeep Singh Gill and principal Dr Savita Uppal.

The Swami Ganga Giri College bagged the second prize while Narangwal College stood third.

The family members of Kaura family and the college management were also present during the tournament.

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Cycling Meet
PU riders dominate on day one
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 25
Riders from the host Panjab University, Chandigarh, dominated the track events- clinching two titles on the opening day of the three-day All India Inter-Varsity Cycling Championship that began at the Punjab Agricultural University velodrome here today.

In the 100m-time trial for men, Gurbhaj Singh of Panjab University clocked 1.11:863 to secure first position. Jagdeep from Panjab University contented with second spot while Kiraninder Singh from Punjabi University, Patiala, took 1.13:796 to finish at third place.

In 1500m-team time trial (women), Panjab University, team clocked 2.07:097 to bag top honours while the second position was grabbed by Kerala University with 2.13:074. Punjabi University, Patiala, eves took 3.13:259 to finish at third spot.

In the men's section (1500m-team time trial) Punjabi University, Patiala, took 1.47:700 to finish ahead of others. Panjab University, Chandigarh, (1.48:737) and Mahatma Gandhi Memorial University, Bikaner (1.55:862) secured second and third position, respectively.

In the 500m-time trial (women), Mahitha Mohan of Kerala University took 41.319 to romp home victorious. Rajvinder Kaur of Punjabi University, Patiala, (41.765) and Amritpal Kaur of Panjab University, Chandigarh, (42.628) finished securing second and third position, respectively.

Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, inaugurated the championship in which teams from about 21 universities are taking part. Dr Dulcha Singh Brar was the guest of the honour.

Charanjit Singh Grewal, director, sports, Panjab University, Chandigarh; Dr Inderjit Singh, principal of GGN Khalsa College, Ludhiana; and Prof Rajinder Singh, GGN Khalsa College, civil lines, Ludhiana were also present.

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ONGC League
JCT take on Churchill Bros today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 25
A keen tussle is on the cards when JCT FC, the premier soccer outfit of north India, takes on Churchill Brothers of Goa in the 17th round match of the ongoing ONGC I Football League scheduled to be played at the Guru Nanak Stadium here tomorrow.

After 16 rounds, JCT with four wins and five draws has secured 17 points, is struggling at the tenth place at points table while visitors with eight victories and six draws (30 points) are placed at the third place.

JCT coach Sukhwinder Singh and his counterpart Zoran Djordjevic expressed confidence that the boys would perform well during the tournament, which will start at 3:00 pm.

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Athletics meet today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 25
The 3rd annual athletics meet of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana will be held tomorrow.

Dr VK Taneja, vice- chancellor, GADVASU will inaugurate the meet on Punjab Agricultural University campus. Dr Daljit Singh, principal, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana will be the chief guest at the prize distribution function.

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