L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Unpaid Bills
PSEB cracks whip against defaulters
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 9
The operations wing of the central zone of the PSEB here has intensified efforts to realise unpaid bills and reduce arrears which stood at a staggering Rs 16.49 crore at the end of last year.

Senior officials of the PSEB have issued instructions to divisional and subdivisional officers not to show leniency and go ahead with the disconnection of power supply to those who fail to pay their bills on time or clear arrears.

Power supply of hundreds of consumers in the domestic category, as well as other sectors like non-residential supply (commercial), industry and agriculture has been cut and a sizeable amount as dues has been recovered.

Sources in the PSEB said hundreds of disconnection orders had been issued against defaulters in various subdivisions of the city and in several cases, energy meters had been removed, where payments of current bills or arrears were not forthcoming.

If the figures of outstanding bills at the end of September 2008 were any indication, efforts of the PSEB made towards the recovery in the first half of the financial year was not much as the total arrears were lower by just about Rs 10 lakh.

In the wake of the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the PSEB had mounted pressure on both state and central government departments for the recovery of unpaid bills. According to BS Bath, engineer-in-chief, central zone of the board, notices had been issued to defaulting departments to clear arrears by March 31, failing which the power supply would be disconnected.

Among the departments who owe the PSEB huge sums of money are the Punjab Police (Rs 62.87 lakh), health department (Rs 30.96 lakh), public health (Rs 23.42 lakh), municipal bodies (Rs 18.18 lakh), central government offices (Rs 13.94 lakh), district courts (Rs 3.58 lakh) and deputy commissioner’s office (Rs 1.61 lakh).

Consumers in the domestic supply category are the biggest defaulters with arrears of more than Rs 11 crore whereas the commercial consumers have unpaid bills of Rs 3.63 crore against them. Consumers in the industrial and agriculture category have arrears of less than Rs 1 crore each against them.

Officials attribute the high arrears in the domestic category to departmental or litigation over theft cases, disappearance of those penalised for kundi connections, arrears standing against rented or disputed properties, etc.


Mass Copying
3 booked for beating up invigilator 
Rakesh Gupta

Raikot, March 9
The police has booked three persons who had beaten up an invigilator who had objected to mass copying at a school examination centre on March 5. Amandeep Singh, a lecturer at Government Senior Secondary School, Bhaini Baringa, was invigilating at SGG Senior Secondary School, Gondwal village, in the evening when he was assaulted by five employees of the school for not allowing mass copying.

The police booked three of them identified as Hardev Singh, DPE of the school, Balwinder Singh and Sonu under Sections 356, 353, 186, 506 and 34 of the IPC.

The lecturer had complained to Varinder Sharma, in charge of the flying squad. The accused snatched his mobile phone so that he would not be able to inform anybody.

Later, Amandeep Singh lodged a formal complaint against the school staff with the police, the Jagraon SSP, and Ludhiana DIG, besides the DEO (Ludhiana) and the Punjab School Education Board authorities.

However, the flying squad and the DEO (Secondary), Amarjit Kaur, were siding with the school authorities. Varinder Sharma said he was unaware of the incident and since it never happened, there was no question of action against the school.

Amarjit Kaur claimed that the incident never took place on the school premises. She said Amandeep Singh had a minor scuffle outside the school, but she could not answer what was he doing outside the school premises during the examination.

After the registration of a case against the accused, Amarjit Kaur said she had got a letter from the Punjab School Education Board, Mohali, to inquire into the matter.

She said the police had been deputed at the school and she would recommend to the board that the centre be cancelled and the school blacklisted.



Man, brother held for killing wife
Tribune News Service

Mandi Gobindgarh, March 9
The Fatehgarh Sahib police today arrested two brothers for killing a woman on the intervening night of February 26 and 27. The victim, Sandhya Devi, was found murdered in her rented one-room house at Mandi Gobindgarh. Her husband Raju and brother-in-law Raja Kumar were reported missing from the house.

Neighbours told the police that Raju was short-tempered and allegedly used to beat up his newly wed wife over trivial issues. The police suspect that her husband, in alleged connivance with his brother, might have strangled her. 

After committing the crime, they fled thinking that since nobody knew about their permanent address, the police might not be able to nab them.

However, after detailed investigations, the police managed to trace the permanent address of the brothers.

A team was sent to Champaran village in Bihar and Padauna village in Uttar Pradesh, from where the accused were arrested.

They were produced before the magistrate in Bihar and were brought on a transit remand. Police officials said the parents of the woman, staying in Uttar Pradesh, had been informed.

The accused have been sent to police remand.



Know your currency
Market flooded with fake notes
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
The circulation of fake currency has been rising and the market is flooded with fake notes. “Fake notes are in circulation. We come across numerous cases everyday,” a senior bank officer of ICICI Bank, requesting anonymity, said.

The Reserve Bank of India has been issuing directives and advisories to various banks regarding the detection of these notes.

Most banks have put posters containing information about original notes and at ATM sites, but the public is still clueless.

Following are the guidelines issued by the RBI to identify original banknotes:

Obverse side

The floral design printed on the front (hollow) and back (filled) in the middle of the vertical band next to the watermark window bears the denomination numeral of the currency. Half the numeral is printed on the obverse and half on the reverse. Both printed portions have an accurate back-to-back registration so that the numeral appears as one when viewed against light.

Identification mark: An original Rs 100 note bears a triangle with improved intaglio print that can be felt by touch and helps visually-challenged to identify the denomination. Similarly, a Rs 500 note bears a circle while a Rs 1,000 note bears a diamond.

Watermark: The portrait of Mahatma Gandhi, multi-directional lines and an electrolyte mark showing the denominational numeral appears in this section and these can be viewed better when the note is held against light.

Latent image: The vertical band contains latent image showing the numeral when the note is held horizontally at eye level.

Microlettering: The letters “RBI” and the numeral can be viewed with the help of a magnifying glass in the zone between Gandhi’s portrait and the vertical band.

Security thread: A 2mm-wide security thread with inscriptions “Bharat” in Hindi and “RBI” and colour shifts from green to blue when viewed from different angles. It will fluoresce in yellow on the reverse and the text will fluoresce on the obverse under ultraviolet light. The thread is visible as a continuous line from behind when held up against light.

Reverse side

The year of printing appears on the reverse of the note.

The note is printed on a special watermarked paper with substrate cotton and cotton tag. This gives the banknote a unique “feel” and “crackling sound”. The new series of notes of all denomination have paper with increased grammage and caliper thickness.



Security up for Holi
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
This Holi, before splashing colour on someone’s face, think twice. If your “target” refuses to share your spirit, chances are that you might end up behind bars. In order to keep miscreants at bay, elaborate security arrangements have been undertaken by the police. 

The city has been divided into nine sectors for effective policing. While all nine sectors would be headed by a DSP, an SP-level officer would be deputed in two sectors.

SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill said: “Security has been beefed up and police personnel will be deputed in large numbers. We will conduct raids on illegal liquor dens and special nakas will be set up to nab motorists who violate traffic rules.”

He said there would be strict vigilance so that people did not go overboard and end up harassing people on Holi.

In the wake of increasing snatching incidents, a PCR officer would patrol the city. An officer said snatching incidents were common on Holi as snatchers coloured their faces to conceal their identity.

This time, slum areas would also be under the scanner.

A senior officer said action could be taken if a person misbehaved in an inebriated state or if someone splashed colour on a person against the latter’s wish.



Poll Khol — VI
City grows, not infrastructure
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

The traffic situation has worsened in Ludhiana, but political leaders have failed to find a solution.
The traffic situation has worsened in Ludhiana, but political leaders have failed to find a solution. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, March 9
Every two months, 10,000 vehicles are added to city roads but the infrastructure like parking and roads remains the same. The result is frequent traffic jams and heated arguments.

Had your MP been active enough, he could have brought up proposals like flyovers or under bridges to give you respite. But they don’t have to suffer traffic jams as their red-beaconed vehicles and security personnel ensure that their ride is smooth.

For an industrial city with a population of 40 lakh, no public transport is available, thanks to leaders who didn’t have time to think that public transport was an answer to the commuting woes of residents.

Also, the announcements of the much-hyped city bus service and the metro project seem to be a distant dream and if experts are to be believed, the feasibility of the projects has not been studied.

They said before announcing a project, leaders should study various aspects of it so that they didn’t make fools of themselves. The flyover joining the Jagraon bridge with the old subzi mandi is the biggest example. While the traffic below the bridge is a mess, the overbridge road does not even witness movement of one-fourth of city vehicles.

There are encroachments along main roads like Ferozepur road, Pakhowal road, Gill road and the GT Road, affecting the flow of traffic.

There are other problems like the menace of stray dogs and cattle, power cuts and increasing corruption that the city has been battling with and an MP could have played some role at least in solving them. However, when they don’t get time to visit government departments in their constituency, how can one expect them to visit our neighbourhood?

Poll Khol is a Tribune initiative to remind you of the condition of civic amenities like water, garbage, roads and traffic jams. Remember, an MP is answerable to you because you have elected him. So, when you go to a booth this time to caste your vote, do consider if the candidate you are voting cares for you. Every vote is precious, don’t waste it.



Poll registration officers appointed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
To conduct smooth and fair elections in the district, electoral registration officers (ERO) and assistant electoral registration officers (AERO) have been appointed in 14 Assembly constituencies.

Stating this here today, the DC-cum-chief election officer, Ludhiana, Vikas Garg, said helplines had also been set up for the public, through which it could learn about their voter serial number and location of polling station. The search facility was available on http://ceopunjab.nic.in.

Ashwani Kumar, SDM Khanna, has been appointed ERO and Pardeep Bains (tehsildar) AERO for 57-Khanna Assembly constituency; Sukhdev Singh Mahal (SDM Samrala) ERO and Balraj Kaur Grewal (tehsildar) AERO for 58-Samrala; Manpreet Singh (SDM Ludhiana) ERO and Kanwar Narinder Singh (tehsildar) AERO for 59-Sahnewal; Mohinder Pal (Joint Commissioner) ERO and HS Khosa (XEN) AERO for 60-Ludhiana East; HPS Ghotra (AETC-1) ERO for 61-Ludhiana South; Davinder Singh (ADC-D) ERO and Manjit Singh (XEN) AERO for 62-Atam Nagar; Indu Malhothra (ACA PUDA) ERO and Jeet Ram (EO, PUDA) AERO for 63-Ludhiana Central; Ashok Kumar Sikka (DDLG) ERO for 64-Ludhiana West; Chandar Gaind (DTO) ERO and Harbans Lal Bansal (AETC-III) AERO for 65-Ludhiana North; Mahinder Singh Grewal (DDPO) ERO and Navneet Joshi (BDPO)

AERO for 66-Gill; Neeru Katyal Gupta (SDM) ERO and Mandeep Dhillon (tehsildar) AERO for 67-Payal; Prem Chand (SDM) ERO and Kamaljit Randhawa (tehsildar) AERO for 68-Dakha; Jaspal Singh Jassi (SDM) ERO and Rajinder Oberoi (tehsildar) AERO for 69-Raikot; and Mukand Singh Sandhu (SDM) ERO and Mohan Lal (tehsildar) for 70-Jagraon.

Election tehsildar Labh Singh could be contacted for district-level problems. The helpline number is 0161-2431430.



Sikhism fascinates foreigners
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, March 9
Though the Indian Sikhs seem to be adopting western outlook by trimming their hair and beard, more number of foreigners are getting fascinated to Sikhism. A large number of foreigners and the NRIs visit the Golden Temple, Amritsar, every year.

This has been proved by Kevin Lamoureux, liberal MLA from Inkster province, Manitoba, Canada. He was inspired by Kuljit Singh Bhatthal, an NRI Winnipeg, Canada. 

He came to India on a four-day visit to acquire the knowledge of Sikh philosophy and visit Shri Harmandir Sahib.

Besides, Shri Harminder Sahib, he also visited Wagha Border and other religious places in Punjab. He was honoured by the Panchayat of Bhanohar village.

Addressing the gathering, Kevin Lamoureux said the Canadian natives had great respects for the Sikhs.



PAUTA elections on March 25
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Punjab Agricultural University Teachers' Union (PAUTA), which was dissolved after a noisy annual general body meeting on March 5, has decided to hold fresh elections on March 25. The elected team will continue to work for about six months, as routine elections of PAUTA will be held in October. 

Dr R.S. Dhillon has been made the Returning Officer. A notice has been pasted outside various departments on the campus.

The decision to hold PAUTA elections twice in a period of about six months has, however, not gone well with majority of the association members who feel that this was nothing but a mockery of the system. In ego-clashes, certain members had forgotten the interests of PAUTA.

Meanwhile, the group led by Dr G.S. Saroa made it clear that their group will boycott the elections. He said he was disturbed by the general body meeting, which brought disrepute to teachers. “I want to lead the teachers. We will fight the October elections and prove the majority,” he said.

A.P. Singh, a faculty member from the department of communications, PAU, said there was no need to hold elections in March, if this exercise was to be repeated in October. "Members could have decided any leader unanimously during the recent AGM, who could work for PAUTA till next annual elections. 

And if new team is elected, the general house should allow it to continue the whole term. PAUTA's constitution is, however, silent in case of mid-term dissolution of the executive for any reason", said A.P. Singh.

Meanwhile, the rival group (Joshi) of PAUTA held their meeting on the campus to discuss the strategies to be adopted during the elections. Another round of meeting will be held tomorrow.



Degrees conferred on 528 students
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 9
“Empowered with the degrees in your hand, go and produce good citizens who will lead the country in a better way from the present generation”, said Dr RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab University, Chandigarh at annual convocation ceremony at Sidhwan Khurd Educational institutions.

He praised the role the trust in educating the rural women folk of the area in a healthy way. As many as 528 students of the Khalsa College for Women and GHG Harparkash College of Education for women were conferred their degrees.

Among those present on the occasion were Dr Nayak, principal, GHG Institute of Law, Dr Paramjit Kaur, principal, Khalsa College for women and Dr Baljit Kaur, principal, GHG Harparkash College of Education for women. Principals of both the colleges introduced the chief guest with the activities of the trust and read the annual reports of their respective college.

Three sports women were honoured for their achievement in the national games, about 27 students were presented with the college color for bringing laurels to the college in cultural sphere and 16 students were honoured in academic sphere. Pinki Brahm and Charanjit Kaur were awarded for being the best NCC Cadet and most meritorious student of the college respectively.

GNN convocation

Doraha: Degrees will be conferred on about 291 students in Dr Ishwar Singh Memorial Hall of the Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, during its annual convocation and prize distribution function on March 12.

Principal of the college Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu, said Prof RC Sobti, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, Chandigarh, would confer degrees on the graduates and would give away the prizes to the winners.



Imparting managerial skills to students
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 9
In order to boost the managerial capabilities and accord research-based knowledge to the students, a series of extension lectures were organised at Doraha Institute of Management and Technology today.

Japvir Singh, chief coordinator and Supreet Kaur, coordinator, Doraha Institute of Management and Technology, were present along with faculty members, including Nishi Bala, Kamalpreet Kaur and Ruby Grover.

Dr Gurdip Singh Batra, Prof of Business Management Punjabi University, Patiala, delivered an extension lecture on ‘Corporate social responsibility’. The vastness of social responsibility was discussed at length. To make the concept clearer, the relation between business and society was elaborated upon. 

“The objectives of corporate sector are closely related to the responsibilities which form a part of the entire social set up,” explained the resource person. In order to bring home the point more closely for the students, case studies of various large entities were discussed.

Ashwani Bhalla, S.C.D Government College for Boys, spoke on ‘Quality of work life’. He said it was important to improve quality of work life in an organisation in order to promote good relationship between management and trade unions apart from ensuring its overall growth. “It covers a person’s feelings about job security, working conditions, economic incentives, organisational and interpersonal relationship and scope for better career opportunities,” he said.

He said environmental conditions such as temperature, movement of air, humidity, noise and rest pauses had an important role to play in improving the quality of work life.

Dr R.K. Lekhi, director, Doraha Institute of Management and Technology, deliberated upon ‘Research Process’. He told that research is a journey from the known to the unknown and vice-versa. It is an academic activity, which helps in preparing a research project.

According to Dr Lekhi, “Research refers to the systematic method of enunciating the problem, formulating a hypothesis, collecting the facts, analysing the facts and reaching at a conclusion.”

He said the main objective of research process was to gain familiarity with a phenomenon or to achieve new insight into it. He told that descriptive research includes surveys and fact-finding enquiries of different kinds.



220 attend seminar on education
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Appointed service-providers from various government schools of the district are attending a 15-day seminar at Government In-Service Training Centre (GITC) here.

“Teachers are being trained to develop power point presentations and to utilise latest technology in schools so as to make their respective subjects and topics more absorbing for their students,” said Gurdeep Kaur, principal of the GITC.

Four batches of 220 service-providers are being monitored by lecturers Savita Chadha, Jasbir Kaur, Shivani and Prem Lal Sharma during the training program. Harminder Singh Manocha and Prem Lal Sharma are also providing yoga education to the participants. Dr Shashi Trchan discussed various modules, with emphasis on technological methods during her lectures.

Subject experts also delivered lectures on the role of assessment to a child, continuous assessment of the students, computer education, qualities of a good teacher, role of family environment in the education of the child, meaning and aims of education, role of school environment in the education and the role of education in the development of personality of a child. 

Dr Arvinder Kaur, Balbir Kaur and Randeep Singh also delivered lectures. Davinder Singh Chhina explained the modern concept of education to the students, quoting edusat programmes, education-peace and development project, environmental education, human rights education and competitive exams etc.

The teachers are engaged in preparing teaching learning material (TLM) related to their subjects and special exhibition on TLM would be organised on the concluding day.



Birth anniversary of Sahir Ludhianavi celebrated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Commemorating the birth anniversary of poet Sahir Ludhianavi, DMCH under the aegis of Dhvani (Association of promotion of music) organised an Inter-college singing competition for the students of medical, dental and nursing colleges of Ludhiana today at Dumra Auditorium.

Students from CMCH, DMCH, Baba Jaswant Singh Dental College, Oswal Nursing College and Guru Teg Bahadur Nursing College participated in the programme.

Dr Daljit Singh, principal DMCH inaugurated the competition with a melodious song ‘Yeh Mehlon,Yeh Takhton,Yeh taazo ki Duniya’ thereby accelerating the mood of the contest.

Each participant was given three to five minutes to sing filmy and non- filmy songs during the competition. Prem Kumar Gupta, secretary and medixcal superintendent, Dr Sandeep Puri, said holding such programme would help in the overall development of students.

Abhineet Singh (College of Nursing, CMC) bagged the first prize followed by Naresh Paul (College of Nursing, CMC) on second position. Parul (CMCH) and Aman Puneet (College of Nursing, CMC) shared the third prize and consolation prize went to Sunil Garg (DMCH).



Multipurpose rural camp concludes
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 9
A 40-day multipurpose camp organised by PAU, Ludhiana, ended today marking Women’s Day at Chowkiman village. The programme was a joint effort of PAU Ludhiana, Nestle India IFFICO, Gram Panchayat, Tarlochan Singh and Youth Services Club of the Chowkiman village.

A large number of activities were conducted during this period in the village, including training camps, health camps, nutrition camps, stitching classes, seminars, workshops, usage of waste materials in normal life etc.

The Lohri of daughters were also celebrated during this period and the women folk of the village and surrounding areas were made aware of women empowerment and their role in the society. A rally was also carried out in the village to aware the importance of water.

An exhibition was organised to exhibit the things made by the rural women during their training. The seminar was presided over by Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor PAU, Ludhiana. Preetam Singh Sandhu, Tarlochan Singh, Marten Nestle, Dr B.S. Bhullar and Dr Satish Bansal also accompanied the chief guest and addressed the gathering.

Nestle India honoured the brilliant students of the area.



Sant Kartar Singh remembered
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 9
Doraha College of Education celebrated its founder’s day in the memory of Sant Kartar Singh ji Kamaliawale today. Bhai Ravinder Singh, Hazoori raagi Golden Temple, Amritsar, recited shabads on the occasion. 

The college students and music teacher Harjinder Kaur also recited shabads from gurbani. Paramjit Kaur threw light on the life of Saint Kartar Singh. College principal, Dr J Kiran Gera, read out the annual report of the college. 

Dr Inderpal Singh, former Pro-Vice Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, who was the chief guest, gave away prizes to the winners. He emphasised the role of spiritual values in the shaping of the personality of those who aspire to be teachers.



Free power costs board Rs 24 billion annually 
KS Chawla

Ludhiana, March 9
Free power being supplied to the farmers of Punjab is the major factor behind the Punjab State Electricity Board’s indebtedness. The board has been supplying electricity at subsidised rates to the tube well owners. It’s costing Rs 24 billion ($ 480 million) to the state exchequer annually. The board is supplying power worth Rs 14.4 billion ($ 288 million) free of cost to the rice cultivators alone.

This has been found out in a study conducted by GS Hira, former Additional Director (Research), Punjab Agricultural University. He warns that if the present rate of fall in water table’s depth in the central part of Punjab continues till 2023, the cost of pumping water from a depth of 42.5m would increase by 93 per cent compared with that of 2006. During 2007, the board supplied 7,500 million units of electricity (28 per cent of total Punjab consumption) to tube wells. Accordingly by 2023, it will have to supply 14.5 billion units of power annually for pumping groundwater for irrigation.

The study reveals that the board is already under debt and is incurring an annual loss of Rs 20 billion. In 2007-2008, the cumulative loss of the board had reached Rs 115 billion ($ 2.3 billion). “If the present situation is allowed to continue, the cumulative loss would be Rs 415 billion ($ 8.3 billion), warns Hira.

“In fact, subsidised power to tube wells is doing more harm than good to the poor peasantry. Subsidised power is basically ‘a sweet poison’ which is a concept that is vital for the Punjab farmers to under stand”, he maintains.



SAD-BJP harming Punjab, says Tewari 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
National spokesperson of the All-India Congress Committee, Manish Tewari, said today that the SAD-BJP alliance was destroying the state in the name of development. Addressing two meetings organised by the District Congress Committee and the District Youth Congress, Tewari alleged that the state government had just been juggling the figures for deceiving the people.

Two years of the Akali rule has only seen the corruption all around. Tewari asked the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister to explain where from they would get money for implementing the projects they had been claiming to have launched.

And what happened to all these projects, Tewari asked, while pointing out, “During the past two years we have seen almost everyday newspaper pages carrying advertisements that such and such project was launched but nothing exists on the ground”. 

He observed, either the SAD-BJP government is launching these projects on the files or have been robbing the state exchequer in the name of development.



Women thrash ex-BJP councillor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
Former BJP councillor Rajiv Katna, who had gone to solve a marriage dispute in the women’s cell, was allegedly thrashed by a group of women here today. According to information, Katna was representing one of the parties and those present from the other side were all women. The interaction soon took an ugly turn when the former councillor was allegedly thrashed by the women. No case was registered till the filing of the report as inquiry was still going on into the matter.



Poll Impact
Three councillors threaten fast over road work
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
The entrance road to Haibowal that was once no one’s baby has suddenly been adopted by three municipal councillors, courtesy the forthcoming elections. For, they have decided to go on fast if work on recarpeting of the road is not started by March 16.

Addressing mediapersons here today, councillors Hem Raj Aggarwal, Mukhtiar Kaur and Rupamdeep Kaur Mallhi from ward Nos. 27, 28 and 31 said if the municipal corporation and the contractor failed to initiate work on the road till March 16 they would be forced to go on fast till work was started.

“Besides, we will not disturb shopkeepers by asking them to be part of our struggle,” they said.

“After a protest by shopkeepers on March 2, the municipal corporation had promised that they would ask the contractor to begin work by March 9. However, no work has been started as yet.”

Seeing the plight of shopkeepers and daily commuters, it has been decided to jointly fight for the construction of the road, which is near Phuriwala Gurdwara.

During the protest by shopkeepers, they had alleged that neither the Municipal Commissioner nor the area councillors had listened to them in spite of the fact that they had been going through a lot of problems.

They claimed that the last time they complained about the road, the Commissioner visited them and promised to get the road constructed within 15 days, but to no avail.



Respect the power of vote

The power of adult franchise that has been given to every individual by the Constitution is something one should respect. But it's sad to see that importance of voting is not known to many as they just caste their votes on the basis of parties and not on the achievements of an individual. If the history is to be seen, it has been either a Congress or a SAD leader who has been chosen as MP in Ludhiana and the residents know how much developmental work has been carried out. It’s pity to see that why people don't think before voting when they know how it is going to affect them.

Recessionary affect

Global economic meltdown has cast its shadow far and wide and seems to be the talk of the town. Recently, a college student was heard arguing with a junk jewellery storeowner about the price of a piece that had caught her fancy. "There is so much recession in the market and you are quoting such high prices for your wares. In such times, who has so much money to spend? Cut the prices if you want to survive in these tough times," said the young girl to the shopkeeper. Wonder if the girl actually understood the affects of recession or was she just trying to intimidate the hapless shopkeeper to get discounts on her shopping!

Moment of pride

The honour achieved by Harleep Chopra has given a new dimension to the city’s image. Harleen, who became the first woman cadet to commandeer the passing out parade in the history of the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune, has not only done her parents but also all Ludhianvis proud. It’s because she spent the initial years of school education in the city. She was a bright student of Sacred Heart Convent School and was eventually the topper in the Class X board examinations in the school. Her name features prominently in the board-listing students with roll of honour at the school. Interestingly, the first name in the list is that of Sonia Mangat, the topper of the first batch had also eventually gone on to become a doctor too. It’s sufficient enough for Sister Chantal, principal, and her teachers Kusum Sharma and OS Nagi to remember her stay in the school.

Round glasses

By bringing the Mahatma Gandhi’s personal belongings to India from an auction in New York, Vijay Mallya has reminded people of the old days when the round glasses used to in vogue. These days, young and old are mostly buying the brands like Cartier, Gucci, Armani and Police, Prada and Tommy, be they from small towns or big metros. With the auction of The Gandhi’s personal belongings, on one hand a few saw patriotism of Mallya inspiring, others like owners of leading optical store at Sarabha Nagar market have gained as the long-stored round frames have suddenly started finding takers. Cheers!

Save elephants

“People for Animals”, the organisation which aims to save endangered species, including birds and animals here have, during the recent visit of the Chairman of the Animal Welfare Board of India, requested the authorities to stop organising events like elephant festival in Jaipur (March 10) as it was cruelty against animals. The elephants were forced to participate in events like elephants race, elephant polo-matches, tug of war between animal and men etc. PFA Ludhiana also appealed to have an elephant park in Tiger Safari here so that inhumane treatment was not meted out to endangered species.

CD versus politics

The success of Slumdog Millionaire at the Oscars suddenly gave a fillip to the sale of DVDs and CDs of this film’s songs. Though, over the past few days the sale of the CDs and DVDs has been on decline. Market observers say it’s because the Congress has bought the rights for the song ‘Jai Ho’. “People are waiting for election season to gain momentum when they would be distributing the CDs as a part of the poll campaign,” they add.

Be Optimistic!

According to the study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh, optimistic women tend to live longer than pessimistic ones. Taking a cue from this study one of my friends has started seeing the things from a different angle. She got so impressed with the study that mentioned that optimistic women could cope better with stress and heart diseases that she has developed a carefree approach towards the life. Earlier, she used to think that the glass is half empty but now she views the glass as half full. Kudos to the study by the university, which impressed my friend to such an extent that she, changed her attitude towards life and is a better human being today.

Kids love for cricket

The mania of the cricket match has caught up with the kids as they team up with the dads to stick to the television screens even at odd hours. Surprising though but even the girls living in the 'Barbie world' have switched their loyalties for 11 players in each one of the IPL teams. Getting the glimpses of Priety Zinta cheering Punjab Kings XI and Shilpa Shetty's presence for Rajasthan Royals has given the kids a reason for watching as well understanding the game as well. What is more inspiring is the motivation that these tiny tots get from the star aura attached to the game as a five-year- old said, “I will not become a pilot but play cricket and then Akshay will come and watch my game."

Policing woes

With ever increasing population and number of vehicles in the city, there seems to be no end to traffic chaos and persistent traffic jams on almost all busy roads and intersections. To add to the woes of the road users, the city police has adopted a ridiculous practice of putting barricades right in the middle of roads on a regular basis, allowing movement of vehicles in a single lane to conduct random check of the motor vehicles. This ill-planned exercise disrupts the flow of traffic and compounds the already pitiable condition on the roads. Most of the times, when the cops stop a vehicle and ask the driver to come out with the documents, all other commuters pass through harrowing time. The harried people who are not signaled to stop keep on honking but have no other choice but to wait for the cops to do their job and let them move ahead. No doubt that the traffic cops are to do their job but people will appreciate if they go on with this task in such a way so as not to affect the normal flow of traffic.

Contributed by Jyotika Sood, Charu Chhibber, Rajesh Bhambi, Shivani Bhakoo, Manav Ghuman, Anshu Seth and Kuldip Bhatia 



BSNL cuts tariff for fixed, WLL subscribers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
To increase its subscriber base, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has gone a step further and reduced local/STD call charges to BSNL’s own and other network (landline/WLL) by reducing intra-circle calls as well as inter-circle calls for own (fixed/WLL) and other network (fixed/WLL) by 50 per cent.

Now, BSNL wireline customers will be able to call anywhere in India through fixed telephone at 40 paise to 60 paise per minute. All BSNL wireline customers will be given STD facility without any additional security deposit.

In June, the BSNL had reduced call rates for intra-circle calls to its fixed line network by 50 per cent and accordingly all intra-circle calls to BSNL fixed/WLL could be made for duration of 120 second per pulse, i.e. two minutes per call.

SC Ahluwalia, general manager, marketing, said rural customers who were paying 80 paise per metered call unit can now call anywhere in India at 40 paise per minute (effective rate).

Accordingly, customers who are paying Rs 1.20 per metered call unit will can call anywhere in India at 60 paise per minute (effective rate).



Bar in car a growing menace
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
It seems bar in car has become synonymous with the city. Drinking whisky in swanky cars has become a common practice for the youth of the city. With the police closing its eyes on such people, the culture is flourishing here.

It is commonplace to see groups of both young to old drinking in their cars outside liquor vends or near food joints.

The newly opened coffee joints in some of popular parks of the city have also become a favourite hangout for such boozers.

This culture is turning out be a bane for city resident as they often fall victim to their rowdyism or road rage.

They have also been posing problem for girls as they continue to target lonely girls walking down the street.

“I prefer to avoid places where people consume liquor inside cars as they pass cheap comments as we walk past them,” said Tania Sharma, a local resident.

The residents are unhappy with the police for failing to curb the practice.

A resident said the police needed to take tough action against those who violated the law. A resident who lives near Rakh Bagh said: “It is getting difficult to walk in the park with family after dinner as drunk youth hurl abuses at each other and play loud music.”

He added that the lackadaisical attitude of the police had also encouraged the menace.



Death continues to lurk on roads
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Khanna, March 9
As deaths continue to lurk on Khanna roads, cops remain busy with VIP duties. A number of accidents have taken place during the past several months but these have failed to move the government and the police authorities. They haven’t done anything to reduce the number of accidents.

“Our office and field staff was busy providing security cover to Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who visited Khanna and Mandi Gobindgarh areas,” said traffic police in charge Mukesh Kumar.

He expressed helplessness when he was asked to provide details of the accidents that had taken place during the past few months.

A cross-section of traffic police officials blamed the old infrastructure and lack of police personnel for the increase in the number of accidents.

“The traffic lights are not functioning, the police is not equipped with basic facilities to curb menace on roads, there is no check on over speeding vehicles on highways and one fails to find a cop in the evening,”, said a senior police functionary.

Besides, he said every month, senior political leaders, including the Deputy Chief Minister, Chief Minister and other Punjab ministers visit this district or adjoining areas, they have to provide security to them.

A large number of accidents were reported during the past few days wherein numerous people lost their lives and others sustained injuries. At least 43 schoolchildren got injured in two incidents when their school bus overturned due to high speed.

Seven persons, including six boys, lost their lives on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road when their Scorpio rammed into a truck which was parked on the roadside without tail lights on.

In another accident, four boys lost their lives when their speeding Ford Icon car smashed into a truck parked on a roadside without reflectors at night on the Samrala road.

Residents said neither the police was equipped to combat a situation when an accident occurs nor they have an expertise to reduce accidents.

“Truck drivers and other commuters outnumbered cops to retrieve the screaming people caught in Scorpio that collided with a truck on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road,” said Harmeet, a victim’s relative.

Seven out of eight persons were killed and many others could have died while being retrieved by untrained people.

Worker of a Chandigarh-based NGO Harman Sidhu said the rate of deaths per 100 cases of road accidents was the highest in Nagaland (79.2) followed by Punjab (75.4) compared to 25.2 in India. Efforts should be made not only by the government but also people to reduce such accidents, he added. 



People’s Commission for Farmers formed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 9
A People’s Commission for Farmers was announced during a day-long dialogue on “Future of organic farming in Punjab: Its importance in Punjab”, organised by Kheti Virasat Mission-KVM, at Wheat Auditorium, Punjab Agriculture University, last evening.

The dialogue was the second round of discussion with Punjabi farmers and their friends in response to the report by Punjab State Farmers’ Commission put out in December that had underlined that organic farming in Punjab would jeopardise the national food security.

However, participants felt that organic farming could in fact feed the country and Punjab needed a sustainable agriculture revolution and not technologies or agricultural models that could push farmers into a deeper crisis.

Announcing the formation of “People’s Commission for Farmers”, Umendra Dutt, executive director, KVM, said the commission signified people’s aspirations and a pro-nature, pro-farmer, and pro-people view of analysing ecological crises like contamination of natural resources and environmental health and thus evolving sustainable and environmentally just solutions.

The commission will shortly bring out its report on prevailing agro-ecological crises of Punjab, role of chemical farming in devastating rural economy and ecology of the state, and the need for a shift towards natural/organic farming.

It will also counter the motivated reports brought by some institutions apparently at the behest of agro-chemical corporations, including pesticide companies and companies promoting GM crops.

Dr AK Yadav, National Centre for Organic Farming (NCOF), said: “There are records to show that Indian farming with its organic practices before the advent of industrial agriculture models indeed had very high productivity levels in different parts of the country. 

There is also scientific data available now that modern day organic farming, which emphasises the revival of life in our soils, also yields on par a with or more than conventional chemical farms.”

The meeting concluded with a demand of withdrawal of report by the Punjab State Farmers’ Commission and start thinking about initiating a sustainable agriculture revolution in Punjab.



Hit-and-run case 
Stray dogs devour injured labourer
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 9
Hit and run tendency of drivers, left an injured youth of Noorpura village on nature’s mercy on Saturday evening. Stray dogs dragged the youth who became unconscious after the accident to a non-mettled road where they devoured major part of his body. Later on, the badly mutilated body of the youth was found lying on the road yesterday.

The Raikot police has booked owner and driver of an unknown vehicle under Section 304 A of the IPC and launched manhunt for the accused.

Balwinder Singh Binder of Noorpura village was reportedly killed by stray dogs after being hit by the vehicle while he was returning from his friend's house on Saturday evening.

According to Lakha Singh, a resident of labour colony near a premix plant, the complainant, Binder had left his house at about 8 pm and was suspected to have been run over by a tractor trolley.

Villagers spotted his badly mutilated body near a drain on the road yesterday. As the body could not be recognized, the police took the help of residents in doing so. The victim’s kin identified the body on basis of clothes he was wearing.

The SHO said the victim was probably hit by the vehicle somewhere on the road leading to the premix plant. Stray dogs of the locality were suspected to have dragged the unconscious victim to the roadside, as there were foot impressions near the body.

The canines devoured major portions of the right leg and arm and there were marks of bite marks on other parts of the body, including abdomen and thoracic region.

Residents of the locality told the police that reckless driving had been menace in their area since long.

They alleged that most of the times drivers prefer to escape after hitting instead of stopping to provide medical assistance to the victim. "Had the suspect bothered to take Binder to a hospital or inform us, he could have survived,” residents lamented.



Two killed in mishaps
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 9
A youth died after his motorcycle slipped near Dholan village on the Raikot Road. He has been identified as Satpal Singh (23) of Dholan village. He was returning home from Jagraon in the evening when his motorcycle (PB 25 C 9856) slipped while trying to save an elderly. 

He sustained serious injuries and was rushed to a private hospital, from there he was referred to the Medicity, Ludhiana. He succumbed to his injuries in the evening. The Jagraon police initiated proceedings under Section 174 of the Cr.PC on the statement of Uttam Singh, Satpal’s cousin.

Meanwhile, another youth got electrocuted at Kamalpura village yesterday evening when he was repairing a electrical Gadget. Gurdeep Singh (31) a resident of Bassuwal village was an electrical mechanic and had his shop at Kamalpura village. He died on the spot. A case has been registered



City Centre Scam
Court reserves order on bail cancellation
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 9
The court of Sessions Judge GK Rai today reserved orders on the application seeking cancellation of bail of 18 accused in the alleged multicrore City Centre scam for tommorrow.

Arguments continued throughout the day in the court.

The orders were likely to be pronounced tomorrow.

The application was moved by architect Sunil Kumar Day, a witness of Vigilance Bureau against IPE MD Ashwajit Singh, Today Home company manging director GK Gambhir, his wife Sunita Gambhir, Vikram Gambhir, Yeshu Gambhir.

He had also appealed against vice-president Vinay Subhiki, GM Today Homes Sunil Kumar Sharma, marketing manager, SAH Naqvi, Sourav Gupta, Sanjeev Kumar Gupta, Baljit Singh, Ashok Chopra, Jagtar Singh, Arun Nayyar, Davinder Kumar.

The applicant had alleged in its application that he was being harassed, tortured and pressured by these persons.

The defence lawyers pled with the court that it did not have jursidiction to decide this application, as majority of the accused were granted bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The court also adjourned the hearing on the application moved by former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh against Vigilance Bureau officials and an application moved by VB officials against the Captain for allegdly producing false medical certificate was also adjourned for tomorrow.



Jatinder Pal grabs javelin title
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 9
The two-day 12th annual athletics meet began at Sat Guru Ram Singh Government Polytechnic College for Girls, Rishi Nagar, here today. Jaswinder Singh Bhandari, district sports officer, Ludhiana, inaugurated the meet in which a large number of students are taking part.

Principal MP Singh welcomed the chief guest and informed him about the achievements of the students in the field of sports.

Results: Javelin throw: Jatinder Pal Kaur 1, Sarabjeet Kaur 2 and Ravinder Kaur 3; discus throw: Kamal 1, Ravinder Kaur 2, Ravinder Pal Kaur and Gagandeep Kaur 3; 400m race: Harpreet Kaur 1, Simmi 2 and Sonia 3; long jump: Shikha 1, Simmi 2 and Manpreet Kaur 3.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |