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Multicrore Scam
Action to be taken against booked MC officials: Kalia
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
The local bodies department would take departmental action against senior officials who were booked in connection with a multicrore scam involving the declaration of a private colony owned by a BJP councillor’s husband without taking development charges.

Local Bodies Minister Manoranjan Kalia stated this today while talking to The Tribune on the phone. The department would take action as and when the case proceeded. “I do not know how will the proceedings unfold. But we will definitely take action within the ambit of rules. However, it is too early to say anything,” he said.

The Vigilance Bureau had booked an IAS officer and the Local Bodies Director, SK Sharma, Senior Town Planner BS Brar, Assistant Town Planner Kamaljit Kaur and director of Veer Colonisers in this regard. No arrest has been made yet. It had questioned Brar and director of Veer Colonisers and husband of BJP councillor Tarun Jain for some hours two days ago. Later, a case was registered.

Meanwhile, BJP councillors are undertaking damage control. After the registration of the case yesterday, several councillors met Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal at Chandigarh.

They said Sukhbir Badal had assured them to look into the matter during his visit to the city on March 13.

BJP state president Rajinder Bhandari feigned ignorance about the matter. He said he did not know that a BJP councillor’s husband had been booked and no action was being contemplated.

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Vigilance phobia grips officials
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
Municipal officials are apprehensive with 19 MC officers being chargesheeted by the vigilance department in the first week of March. Employees are looking for ways to be away from the office. While some are planning to go on leave, some others are cursing the stay orders on transfers in the wake of the Lok Sabha elections.

Talking to The Tribune on condition of anonymity, an SDO said: “It seems a holiday or long leave is the best option. It’s not always that juniors are corrupt, but sometimes we are forced to follow the directions of our bosses and when it comes to trouble, most of the time, we are made the scapegoat.”

Similarly, a superintendent said: “Even transfers cancelled by local bodies director SK Sharma, even though some of us had joined our new posting, could also land us in trouble if the Election Commission finds any irregularities with regard to the complaint by Congress leaders.”

He said the decisions were generally taken by seniors and those working at the lower levels, were in a fix whether to obey as they had to work with the officers. 

The vigilance phobia that has gripped officials would affect the functioning of the civic body as several MC officials are planning to go on leave.

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PAU staff oppose move to hire architect
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
The PAU’s move to advertise the post of architect has drawn criticism from the non-teaching union. Resentment prevails among employees who feel that instead of assigning additional duties of architect to one of the employees already working in the PAU for several years, the authorities were adamant on “wasting” money at a time when the university was going through a financial crisis.

In a letter to the VC, Dr MS Kang, union leaders said the PAU could save funds if the duties of architect were assigned to an employee already working with the university.

They said Karamjit Singh, a draftsman, had completed the diploma of architecture from the Associate Member of Indian Institute of Architect which was approved by the Ministry of Human Resources Development.

The senior vice-president of the employees union, Lakhviner Singh Sandhu, told The Tribune that the draftsman had designed approximately 65 buildings, including Krishi Vigyan Kendras and a hostel, with a budget of approximately Rs 40 crore.

He said the PAU had hired the services of three architects from outside for designing an auditorium, a technology sale centre and an international centre and approximately Rs 36 lakh were spent on hiring them.

“When the draftsman is ready to work and the PAU is already paying him the salary, there is no need to waste money on hiring architects from outside. It will further burden the PAU,” said DP Maur, former president of the non-teaching employees union of the university.

The PAU authorities, however, have been maintaining since these were mega projects, well-qualified architects were needed to accomplish the task.

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119 Doraha shops get demolition notice
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, March 8
A demolition notice has been served by the municipal council of Doraha (on the directions of PWD and B&R) on 119 shops constructed along the NH-1 here. According to Ranjit Singh Grewal, executive officer of the MC: “After the measurement carried out by the PWD and the B&R department for the purpose of converting the four-lane highway into six lanes by the NHAI, 106 shops were served notices in November 2007 and the rest were given notice last year.

As per the orders of the High Court, the NHAI has been entrusted with the project of making a six-lane road from Panipat to Jalandhar within two and a half years, after which it would be penalised.

A-class cities are supposed to leave 5 metres from the road edge while B-class towns are supposed to leave 10 metres on either side of the national highway. Doraha falls in B class.

As per the orders of the Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana, all shops that have made illegal constructions after 1995, are to be demolished.

Meanwhile, a fresh notice was served by the council today to shopkeepers that after the implementation of the PUDA Act of 1995, no construction could be done within 10 metres on either side of the national highway.

“Shopkeepers have to give proof of construction for shops made before 1995. These have temporarily been excluded from immediate action. These would be demolished only after systematic evaluation and proper compensation is given to the owners,” the authorities said.

All major hospitals, hotels, garages, filling stations, complexes and even BSNL exchange come under the scanner. “We have decided to seek help from higher officials and ministers.

We shall meet Maheshinder Singh Grewal, an Akali activist of the Payal constituency, after which we would approach the DC of Ludhiana and later the Chief Minister,” said Sarabjit Singh Mangat, president of the All Traders Association.

The MCPI (U) has criticised the move of the government as it would also hit small shopkeepers.

Hargobind Singh, naib tehsildar, Payal, said a meeting had been called for tomorrow to assess the situation and take action.

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Poll Khol — V
Five years not enough for them
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

A typical garbage-dotted street of Ludhiana.
A typical garbage-dotted street of Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, March 8
Did you ever see your elected MP holding a cleanliness drive in the city or directing municipal officials to remove garbage in your street? If no, then do give it a thought how serious your elected representatives have been since 1951. Shunning responsibility is what MPs have generally been doing.

Be it a main road or an inner street, garbage heaps dotting the city are a common sight. Terming it as the responsibility of MC officials or area councillors, the MPs have been trying to pass the buck.

In a city that produces around 850 metric tonnes of waste, no initiative has been taken for the disposal of waste. Only two dumping grounds have come into existence on the Tajpur and Haibowal roads.

Though the civic body has enough work force for removing garbage, the equipment is not enough if those working with the department of garbage disposal are to be believed. They say that the machinery available with them includes 25 tippers, 25 dumper placers and 10 tractor trailers for transporting garbage.

For narrow streets in old city areas, they still have to depend on transport systems like rehris.

At a time when various cities in India are adopting techniques like grading of garbage for disposal, no such proposal has neither been mooted by leaders of the city nor have they taken it up with the Centre.

For the past more than a decade, the solid waste treatment plant at Bhattiyan has been in the pipeline and every year, the municipal corporation keeps a separate amount for the project. But no politicians has tried to ensure that the project is completed. As a result, the land remains vacant and the plant is only on paper.

Your MPs don’t even know what conditions you live in. They may say that the area of their constituency is big, but in five years, they could have at least tried to do something in the areas closest to them.

While neighbouring states like Himachal have banned the use of polythene, nothing has happened here due to lack of coordination because of political rivalry.

Do think about the development (or lack of it) your MPs have brought about in the city even as both the Congress and the SAD have been given equal opportunities. Before deciding your candidate for the Lok Sabha, go through the achievements and failures of your candidate.

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Coaching
EDUSAT society cheaper option
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
Education has become a strenuous exercise for students. Now, Class XII examinations are in progress and after finishing with the board examinations, students will have to sit for various entrance tests.

Private coaching centres are growing and the fee that they charge are on the higher side.

The centres charge hefty fee for a crash course for 45-50 days. Enquiries revealed that coaching institutes charged between Rs 14,340 and Rs 18,000 for AIEEE/CET/PMT.

A coaching centre located at Sarabha Nagar charges Rs 2,200 as registration fee. There are 45 students in a batch and the classes are held for five hours every day for 45-50 days.

On the other hand, the Punjab EDUSAT society, an NGO set up by the Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyaan, Punjab, under the Director-General of Schools Education, is providing free coaching to Class XII students studying in government schools. They have to pay a nominal fee of Rs 1,000 for AIEEE/CET/PMT/IIT.

The Punjab EDUSAT society launched the programme last year and as many as 350 students have been selected to various engineering and medical colleges since.

Centres imparting training in CAT/GMAT/GRE/MBA/MCA/IELTS/TOEFL charge between Rs 5,000 and Rs 18,000.

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388 students get degrees
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 8
"Job-oriented education is must for the good future of students. The ability to achieve goal through hard work must be developed among the them," said Dr RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, Chandigarh. He was the chief guest at Guru Gobind Singh Educational Institutions at Kamalpura village.

As many as 388 students of GGS Khalsa College for Women and GGS Khalsa College of Education for Women were conferred on degrees by the Vice-Chancellor. Dr Daljit Singh, director, Jalandhar Doordarshan, was guest of honour. The convocation address was presented by Sidhu Damdami, Editor, Punjabi Tribune. 

Principals of the colleges, Dr Barinder Kaur and Dr Geeta Sharma, read the annual reports of their respective colleges. Also 243 meritorious students were given prizes. Sobti released the annual magazine of the college "Preetam Prerna".

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Degrees conferred on students
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
Sri Aurobindo College organised its first convocation today, in which degrees were conferred on 110 BCom students. Dr MS Kang, Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, was the chief guest.

The convocation was also attended by DL Sharma, managing director of the Vardhman Textiles and Col PS Choudhary, GM of the Vardhman Group.

After the recital of Saraswati Vandana and the lighting of the lamp, the convocation was declared opened by the chief guest. This was followed by reading of the annual report by the college principal, Dr Prem Kumar.

Preetika Goel was awarded the Roll of Honour for academic achievement. Special merit certificates and prizes were awarded to four students--Preetika Goyal, Shafali Singla, Mehak Katyal and Nitin Goel.

From the 2004-2007 batch, 11 students were conferred honours degrees and 37 students were conferred general degrees.

From the 2005-08 batch, 19 students were conferred honours degrees and 43 students were conferred general degrees.

Dr Kang congratulated the young graduates and motivated them to face the challenge of constant change with a positive attitude. He encouraged them to initiate change, build an entrepreneurial culture and make them things happen around them rather than being passive spectators.

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From Schools
Silver Spot distributes prizes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
Silver Spot Convent School organised a cultural bonanza and annual prize distribution function at Nehru Sidhant Kender here. The Deputy Speaker of Punjab Assembly, Satpal Gosain, and former director of CMCH, Dr John Parmod, were the chief guests. Students of Class IV presented choreography on several Hindi and Punjabi songs.

Gosain said the children are the future of the country and play a significant role in the development of the country.

The students who got awards were: Manisha Jain, Amrit Ahuja, Ramit Kalyan and Pavneet Kaur of Class V; Simardeep and Ramandeep of Class VI; and Smile Khurana, Anchal Arora and Gurden Singh of Class VII. Sevi Saggu got the best student award.

Essay-writing

An essay-writing competition was organised on the occasion of Women's Day on the premises of GMT Public School. Students of classes from VIII to XII participated in it. The topic was the women of the 21st century. Amarjeet Dhaliwal, principal, told the students to respect the women.

Plantation

Adarsh Public School, a unit of the Humanity Trust, has ventured into plantation of herbal saplings on the school campus. Today, the chief guest Dhanda planted the first sapling. A total of 210 saplings were planted.

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Khalsa college honours students
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
Khalsa College for Women honoured its students in its convocation, which was presided over by Dr SS Gill, Vice-Chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot.

The programme started with the tunes of "Deh shiva var mohe ehe". Principal read out the annual report, and highlighted the achievements of students in academics, sports and cultural activities for the session 2008-09.

A total of 908 students, 749 graduates and 159 postgraduates from various streams, were awarded degrees.

Role of honour, college colours and merit certificates in academics, co-curricular activities and sports were awarded. Members of the students' council were also awarded.

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Students plant 100 saplings 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
The students of Shree Atam Vallabh Jain College (SAVJC) celebrated International Women’s Day with a difference when they carried a tree plantation drive on 1-km stretch near the GT Road. They planted more than 100 saplings of various types.

More than 100 students made a human chain to convey the message of protecting environment. They were carrying banners saying “save girls, save trees” and “women are the real architects of society” etc. 

Chief guest Avitash Jain appreciated the efforts of the students to convey the message of integrating the dignity of womanhood with the cool shadows of a tree.

A slide show and posters of successful women from various walks of life and different trees were also displayed to endorse the message. Rajanpreet, a student of the college, read a citation commemorating the Women’s Day. The profiles of successful women from industry, art, science & technology and sports were presented by the students.

The families of various industrialists of the city and residents of Hussainpura village joined the students to participate in the tree plantation drive. Dr Anuradha, principal of the college, congratulated the students for their unique endeavour and presented a vote of thanks.

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Flying Squad Duty
Seniority ignored, allege teachers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
Resentment prevails among the teachers regarding the duties of the observer and the flying squad. The Government School Teachers’ Union has alleged that the Punjab School Education Board has appointed junior teachers as members of the flying squads for surprise checking of the examination centres, ignoring the seniority of the teachers.

Senior teachers feel humiliated when the junior staff come to check them in the examination centres.

Sudagar Singh Sarabha, president, and Praveen Kumar Sharma, general secretary of the union, alleged that the board had done injustice with senior teachers. 

They further said the private institutions always try to help the students by using unfair means and recently an observer was manhandled and his mobile was snatched at the examination centre at Raikot by the school management.

Amarjit Kaur, District Education Officer (Secondary), said all appointments of the flying squad were made by the board authorities.

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Women’s Day
Fighting odds to make her dream come true
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
She is a woman in a man’s world. All of 27, Sandeep Riat has had to fight her way up to be where she is today. The young articulate woman is not only the chairperson of Akal Springs, making leaf springs for trucks, and Akal Impex, an export house, but also an inspiration to all those who have the will to fight all odds and make their dreams come true.

Taking a walk down the memory lane, Sandeep shared her success story with Ludhiana Tribune.

“I was 21 when, after completing my degree in business administration from Amity Business School, Noida, I joined my father’s auto parts business only to help him come out of the financial crisis the family was facing at that time,” said the confident young woman whose dream was to be a perfect housewife once her father’s business was back on track.

But destiny had other plans for Sandeep. Her father Manjeet Singh’s untimely demise three years back and a strong urge to save his business house from collapsing made Sandeep come to the forefront and take control of the situation, along with her elder sister.

“It was one long struggle for us from thereon. Right from fighting the family which had suddenly turned hostile after our father’s demise to fighting the society to penetrating the men-dominated auto parts business, we have done it all,” said the self-confessed workaholic.

Being a woman, Sandeep had to prove herself doubly over to the world. “Since my sister’s marriage, I have been handling the business alone and my distracters have been a real help. 

Had they not tried their best to pull me down, the will to bounce back would not have taken birth. But the credit for my success goes to my mother who has supported me all through,” says Riat.

The young entrepreneur, who has managed to make a name for herself in the auto industry single handedly and is all set to join hands with industry giants such as Tata and Mahindra, has a message for the women of today - “Follow your dreams and make them come true”. 

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It’s business as usual for them
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 8
“Hamen nahin pata Mahila Diwas kya hota hai aur kab hota hai. Hamen to logon ke kure se apni aur apne bachon ki roti dhundhni hai. (We don’t know what the Women’s Day is, and when is it observed. We are to hunt bread for us and for our children from the garbage of others).” Reshman and Bubby represent a horde of those members of the fair sex, who are forced to live in abysmal conditions of life.

Accepting survival to be their best achievement, they consider all social evils, including female foeticide and bride burning a “fashion” of the prosperous and elite class.

"A boy or a girl makes no difference in our society. Majority of the “kuri marrs” (killers of girls) are from the elite class, which feels pride in honouring women once in a year and then harassing and exploiting them for 364 days," said Reshman, when asked about the gender bias in society. She said one of her sons had died and she had to look after his children also.

Reshman and Bubby used to weave chhajj (winnowing tray) to earn their livelihood. Mechanisation of agricultural chores and subsequent abandoning of practice of winnowing rendered them jobless, like many other weavers. 

Now, a majority of women and children of their community rummage garbage to retrieve recyclable materials and earn their livelihood by selling them to scrap dealers.

They said the successive government had failed to rehabilitate them. Falsifying tall claims made by the administration, they claimed they had received no financial aid from any of the government or non-government organisation. Their children had never been to school.

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Women’s day celebrated
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, March 8
Desh Bhagat Institute of Management and Computer Sciences celebrated International Women’s Day yesterday. Dr Zora Singh, chairman, Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes, presided over the function.

He said women constituted a major part of the population and no society could hope to progress until its women were provided equal opportunities for development and growth.

Prof Shalini Gupta, director general of Desh Bhagat Group, recited a beautiful poem recounting the role played by women in perpetuating family and social life.

Gida, choreography, solo songs, skits, western dance and modelling were presented by the students of the institute.The programme ended with the prize 
distribution.

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Water Bills 
Residents owe Rs 11 lakh to electricity board
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 8
Residents of Kilaraipur village in Ludhiana district, the title habitation of an Assembly constituency, will be remembered for defaulting in payment over Rs 11 lakh as bill for water used by them during the past several years.

Water taps in the village will go dry in case its civic body failed to deposit over Rs 9.50 lakh to the Punjab State Electricity Board.

Though the power board has disconnected the supply, some of the tube wells are still running for limited hours in a day.

Credibility of the residents of the legendry village, known worldwide for Mini Olympics, turned fragile when its present sarpanch declined to take charge of the water works department.

Former Congress sarpanch, during whose tenure charge of the water supply system was handed over to the civic body is making futile attempt to persuade the residents to pay their bills which ran in thousands for each family.

Investigations revealed that only a few, out of at least 450 authorised consumers had paid their bills during the past several years.

Besides, a large number of villagers had installed unauthorised connections in connivance with board officials. Politicians owing allegiance to both Congress and the SAD and social activists owe lakhs of rupees to the board. Even sports promoters and government officials are among the list of top defaulters.

Paramjit Kaur, sarpanch of the village, said she had not taken charge of the department as bills worth lakhs were pending at the time of her election to the office a few months ago.

Former sarpanch Gurcharan Singh regretted that a majority of the consumers were not willing to pay their dues. “Despite my best efforts I could collect only Rs 40,000 out of pending bills worth over Rs 11 lakh. Somehow we have been managing to undertake routine repairs of the tube well motor and pay salary to two employees who operate the pump,” said Gurcharan Singh admitting that it was shameful that the villagers who claimed to have donated lakhs for annual sports fair did not pay for water consumed by their families.

A cross section of villagers on the other hand claimed that they had been paying the bills regularly.

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Foreign cycle brands a hit with city residents 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
If car manufacturers are flooding the market with luxury brands, why should the poor cousin, the bicycle lag behind? After catering to the needs of the common man for years, bicycle companies are now focusing their attention on the urban Indian market, especially youth and children, and are looking to expand its base in the professional and adventure categories.

The total bicycle market in India is of 12 million units, out of which 5 to 7 per cent is for niche bicycles. Looking at this, numerous foreign companies have launched their products in India and have also tied up with bicycle firms for selling their products in the market.

Leading US brand- Trek and Firefox- had launched their models in India over the past couple of years. These high-end bikes cost much more than the regular Indian models and priced somewhere between Rs 5,000 to even a few lakhs. Another Thailand-based company LA had tied up with city-based Sovereign to come out with hi-end sports bikes.

Before introducing such high-end bicycles to the Indian markets, these foreign companies experiment with such cycles in other countries like Trek did in China and based on the response from the people there, planned the strategy.

"We opened a store in the city last year and have received tremendous response from the residents. Besides, sports enthusiasts it’s the youth who are interested in these hi-end bikes even though it costs anything between Rs 3,000 and Rs 30,000," said Pramod Singh of the Sovereign group.

Looking at the response from city residents, the company had decided to launch new models with added features. These bikes, of course, would be more expensive. "The highest model will cost Rs 80,000 with dual-suspension bike with carbon frame," he added.

What makes these bicycles popular are features like alloy frame which makes them light weight, gears, stainless steel, rust proof wheel spokes and the sleek sporty look.

"These bikes will help evolve sports like mountain biking in a country where very few are interested in such sports," says sports enthusiast Sukhbir Singh.

These bikes target the urban youth and kids. This is a sizable population, which follows western trends. And even though adventure sports is not popular among city residents, still the youth like experiment with the latest technology, which testifies for their rising demand in the city, said Kuldeep Singh, showroom manager of a leading hi-end bike importer firm of the town.

These bikes were a hit among the kids, adults and sports lovers. 

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Now, domestic clients block hosiery industry’s payment 
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana,March 8
After overseas buyers,it now seems to be the turn of the domestic ones to harass hosiery manufacturers who are already reeling under the ongoing global economic crisis. Numerous cases of domestic clients blocking the payments of the local hosiery producers have come to light over the past few days.

‘Yes, the industry is facing an acute crisis as clients have blocked payments, including that of big business houses," said Vinod Thapar, a well-known hosiery manufacturer of the city and president of the Knitware Club.

If sources in the industry are to be believed, even the retail chains have blocked the payment they owed o the hosiery industry.

"Majority of our payments have been blocked by big retail houses which procured massive stocks from the local producers during peak season. However, now, they are harassing us by withholding the payments even as they have exhausted the stock. As we are going through financial crisis, we don’t know whom to approach so as to get our payments cleared," rued the owner of a major hosiery brand, requesting anonymity.

Another hosiery producer of the city added that the industry's payments worth lakhs of rupees were pending. "In many cases, the amount is in lakhs. We intend to approach the government to help us in this regard" he added.

The hosiery industry has already been facing problem due to the delay in payments by overseas importers and buyers, who had been demanding massive concessions from Indian manufacturers in the wake of recession-like situation hitting the world economy. 

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Still life brings alive these pictures 
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
He makes the ordinary look extraordinary. Daily used items like vegetables, crockery, bottles and colours are Rakesh Syal’s subjects. When everybody wants to focus on portraits and nature, Syal chooses still photography.

“There was a vacuum in photography which I tried to fill with my still life,” says Syal. Adding he said that still life, as appears, is not an easy subject. One has to keep in mind the colour combinations, background and setting of the objects.

Syal has a special room where he carries his photographic expeditions. He makes it a point not to use artificial or flash light. “I always use daylight which gives the best results. Sometimes I have to wait for hours to get the perfect tinge of light,” he adds.

Explaining the still life photography he adds, “Life is not measured by number of breaths we take, but by the moments that takes our breath away. That’s what I try to do while clicking any picture,” he quips.

“As I look at Syal’s creative work, time indeed seems to come to a halt with that mesmerising beauty gathered in each and every picture of his,” added one of the visitors at the exhibition.

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Lok Sabha Poll
Aggarwals extend support to SAD-BJP combine 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 8
The Punjab Pradesh Aggarwal Sammelan has decided to support SAD-BJP candidates on all 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab and ensure a clean sweep for the ruling coalition in the coming elections.

Presiding over a meeting of the state executive and office-bearers of district units of the body here today, Amrit Lal Aggarwal, president, said Chief Minister Parkash Singh had assured that all commitments made to the community would be fulfilled and members be given due representation in the political set up.

Minister for Jails, Tourism and Cultural Affairs Hira Singh Gabria, who was present on the occasion, placed on record the positive role played by the community in the last Assembly elections when the SAD-BJP combine was given a massive mandate while expressing confidence that the alliance would score a similar victory in the forthcoming Lok Sabha poll.

However, the meeting, after detailed discussions on the offer by the government for its nominees on the advisory committees of excise,taxation and revenue departments, decided not to forward any nomination for inclusion in these committees for the time being.

Besides Surinder Kumar Gupta, general secretary, Ved Parkash Gupta, patron, and Kamlesh Gupta, president of women wing, Manjeet Kansal, ID Aggarwal, Harish Goyal and Ashok Mittal were also prsent on the occasion.

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Youth Cong takes out scooter rally
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
District Youth Congress, Ludhiana, today took out a scooter rally that was flagged off by AICC general secretary Manish Tiwari here today. The rally passed through Jalandhar bypass and Salem Tabri, Peru Banda Colony, Netaji Nagar and Bhagat Singh Nagar before culminating at Ghanta Ghar chowk.

Addressing the rally, Tiwari criticised the SAD for choosing deserted Congress candidate Gurcharan Singh Galib from Ludhiana. DCC president Jagmohan Sharma, former MLA Malkiat Singh Dakha and many other leaders were present on the occasion.

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BYM activists attend voters’ conference 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh,March 8
Activists of saffron parties from the town and surrounding villages marched to Sangrur for taking part in the district-level “Nav Matdata Sammellans” (new voters conferences), being organised by the Bhartiya Yuva Morcha (BYM) at Sangrur today.

Surjit Gogna, state executive member of the morcha, Ashok Verma, president of the local division, Sandeep Puri, district vice-president, Vijay Goyal, president of the local unit of the BJP, and Ramesh Ghaie, BJP district office-bearer, led activists from various wards of their respective areas.

While addressing a rally at the Bhagat Singh Chowk, the leaders claimed that the voters aged between 18 and 25 were willing to bring the NDA to power.

Later about 200 new voters, irrespective of their party affiliation were presented certificates by Jatinder Kalra, district president of the BJP.

Chiranji Lal Puri, former president, Bhag Singh Bhagga, councillor, Purshotam Goyal and Jagtar Singh, office-bearers of various wings, were present on the occasion.

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Deaths due to cancer, waterlogging
Worried CM meets Kang, PAU don
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 8
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal expressed concern over the problem of water logging and deaths due to the cancer in the Malwa belt. He also met Punjab Agricultural University Vice-Chancellor Manjit Singh Kang and soil scientist and former Additional Director (Research), PAU, GS Hira, and sought their views in tackling this situation.

Water logging in Muktsar district in particular is very acute and Mansa district of the Malwa belt is afflicted with cancer deaths. GS Hira said yesterday that the Chief Minister instead of spending money on the drainage system should give subsidy to the farmers of Muktsar district for digging skimming or what is known as shallow tube wells which would help in solving the problem of water logging.

Hira said the water logging problem was prevalent in all four blocks of Muktsar, Malout, Lambi and Gidderbaha. The cost of digging skimming tube wells was quite high and the farmer could not afford to spend huge amount on it. He also advised that the skimming tube wells should not be run indiscriminately and water be drawn as per the need only.

Hira said the digging of deep tube wells would not solve the problem rather this would complicate the thing. According to him, water logging problem had cropped up after the digging of canals from Bhakra in the North-South districts of the state. But the same had been tackled and the Muktsar district was the worst hit now. 

Mansa district has been hit by cancer deaths and the farmers apprehend the cancer has spread due to the excessive use of pesticides. However, PAU scientists differ on this issue and maintain that use of pesticide can be one of the reasons. 

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No arrest of docs on frivolous charges:SSP
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana,March 8
Police will, henceforth, not arrest any doctor on frivolous charges and any action against the medical fraternity will only be taken after seeking opinion of an expert committee as ruled by the Supreme Court of India.

This assurance was given by Sukhchain Singh Gill, SSP, while addressing a function of the Ludhiana branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to mark the International Women’s Day at the IMA House here today. 

He further said the legislative protection granted to medical institutions under the Punjab Protection of Medicare Service Persons and the Medicare Service Institutions (prevention of violence and damage) Bill 2008 would be implemented in letter and spirit.

As a part of celebrations, the IMA organised awareness lectures for women on social issues, immunisation, child care and common diseases, especially cervical and breast cancer. According to IMA president Manoj Sobti, a medical check-up camp was organised on the occasion in which at least 400 women were examined. 

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Speaking Out
Long way to go

What does the International Women's Day really mean? Is it a day when by some unspoken signal, women are given their rightful place in society? Wish there was some way in which we could check how many less dowry deaths were there, how many men decided not to hit their wives, or how many more girls were encouraged to get education. Are all mothers given the day off from their parenting duties? Do their husbands and children pause a moment to think about what their wives and mothers do for them on a daily basis? Is this the appointed day for them to show their appreciation? On the day, Manav Ghuman brings forth some women from different fields:

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Steno robbed inside court room
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 8
Now the place, which provides justice to thousands of litigants, is not safe as thieves and pickpockets can strike anywhere at will. In a latest incident that took place yesterday, a pickpocket stole the purse of a stenographer just outside the jam-packed court room.

Tajinder Nath Kapoor, a stenographer appointed in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate in the District Court Complex, could have never dreamt that 
his purse would be stolen and that just outside the court room.

The incident took place when he left his seat during the lunch break and went outside the court room to freshen himself up.

He said “When I returned on my seat and checked my pocket I found my purse missing.” As the court complex was crowded with litigants he jostled his way out of the court complex. He said some pickpocket got an opportunity and stolen his purse.

The purse contained Rs 1,200 cash, three ATM cards, driving license, identity card and two cheques.

“I immediately informed the banks and got my transaction freezed,” he said and added that he is least worried about the cash stolen by the pickpocket, his main concern is the loss of his identity card and license.

It’s not for the first time that someone’s purse has been stolen from the court complex.

Such incidents have become a routine as the court complex is full of pickpockets and thieves waiting to hunt the venerable litigants, who came from far off places in hope of justice.

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