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Nothing right about these voter cards
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Two voters cards with the same picture.
Two voters cards with the same picture. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, March 12
Numerous discrepancies in electronic voters identity cards (EVICs) have surfaced. A number of voters are complaining about errors in the cards they received from the election department.

A large number of cards have wrong names, gender, age and addresses. In some cases, even the photographs are wrong.

Voters are confused and wonder if they would be allowed to cast their vote on the basis of these cards.

Residents of Rishi Nagar, who received their EVICs last year, have complained that they were made residents of another block. The error is in all the fresh cards.

Sudhir Mahajan, a resident, received the EVICs of his son and nephew, but both cards bore the same picture and the names of the bearer, fathers’ names and dates of birth were wrong. “It seems like the card belongs to the same person,” he said, adding that he had gone to the local election office to submit a complaint. Officials wanted the original ID card. “I do not know if the card would be returned to me before the elections,” he said.

A voter of Rishi Nagar, Vinod Gupta, is named Vinid Gupta in English and “F” in Punjabi. Moreover, he has been referred to as a woman. “What do they mean by “F”? This is the seriousness that goes in the making of these cards. 

Had they entrusted the job to a private organisation, these errors would not have occurred,” he said, adding that his address was also wrongly mentioned.

Sunil Datt and his wife also received a card with wrong address. While they stay in F-block, the cards state E-block.

A senior official in the election department said since they had to deal with lakhs of cards at one go, such errors crept in. “We are there to rectify the mistakes. Residents just need to come to us,” he said.

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Poll: Nomination process from April 17
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 12
The DC-cum-district election officer, Vikas Garg, today said that candidates for the Ludhiana parliamentary seat could file the nomination papers between April 17 and April 24. The papers would be scrutinised on April 25 at the DC’s office and the last date for the withdrawal of the nomination was April 27.

Nomination forms could be obtained from the election cell at the DC’s office. Polling would be held on May 13 between 8 am and 5 pm and the counting would be held on May 16.

At the time of the filing of the papers, only three persons and three vehicles would be allowed to enter the premises of the DC’s office.

Nine Assembly constituencies were a part of the Ludhiana parliamentary constituency. These were Ludhiana East, Ludhiana South, Atam Nagar, Ludhiana Central, Ludhiana West, Ludhiana North, Gill, Dakha and Jagraon.

The remaining five constituencies were a part of the Fatehgarh Sahib parliamentary constituency. These were Khanna, Samrala, Sahnewal, Payal and Raikot.

Garg said the district had over 20 lakh voters, 2,988 service voters and 2,094 polling stations.

At the time of nomination, a candidate would have to make a security deposit of Rs 10,000. A candidate belonging to the Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe would deposit Rs 5,000.

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Ishmeet music academy caught in red tape
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 12
After the singing sensation and Voice of India star, Ishmeet Singh, died in the Maldives in 2008 in a freak accident, a number of political leaders like Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal had made tall promises to raise memorials after the singer, including a music academy, in the name of the singer.

The state government was to allot land for the academy, which was to be run by the cultural affairs department. However, the land remains elusive, thanks to bureaucratic red tape and lack of coordination among various departments.

Recently, the office of the Chief Minister sent a reminder to the Deputy Commissioner to take up the matter regarding the allotment of 2.25 acre land owned by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) at Rajguru Nagar locality here.

The DC’s office told the LIT to provide site plan, jamabandi and khasra numbers of the land proposed for the academy so that it could be transferred to the cultural affairs department.

Senior officials of the trust, however, told The Tribune that as per the directions of the government, a list of all vacant pockets of land owned by the LIT, valued at approximately Rs 300 crore, had been sent to the Chief Town Planner as the government wanted to pledge the entire land with the PUDA and the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) to raise funds for major development projects in the state.

When the LIT adopted a resolution in October 2008 and sent it to the local government department for approval, the department reverted it, saying that two separate resolutions should be adopted by the trust for pledging the land to the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) and HUDCO. The LIT then adopted two resolutions and sought the cancellation of the earlier resolution.

While the cancellation of the first resolution was approved, the other resolutions are still to be ratified by the department.

The trust cannot take any action with regard to the transfer of land to the cultural affairs department for Ishmeet academy, a senior LIT official stated. Also, the trust was yet to adopt a resolution for effecting transfer of land for the academy, which was a statutory requirement under the Punjab Town Improvement Act.

With top functionaries of the ruling coalition being busy with the Lok Sabha elections, the allotment of land would be a distant reality.

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Goods worth crores destroyed in fire 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 12
Machinery, building and unfinished yarn worth crores of rupees was reduced to ashes when a blanket manufacturing unit at Bajra village caught fire in the wee hours of today. A watchman of the factory saw thick smoke billowing out of the unit. Soon, a team from the fire department rushed to the spot. 

It took seven hours and three fire engines to control the fire. The factory’s fire fighting unit that stores gallons of water was also put to use.

Fire fighters said the fire broke out due to a short circuit. Iron rolls in the building melted in the fire and the ground floor was badly damaged.

According to the MD of the factory, Sanjeev Kumar, 10 blanket manufacturing machines worth crores had been badly damaged. Material worth lakhs stored in the factory was also reduced to ashes.

Nobody was injured in the fire. Since it was a holiday on account of Holi yesterday, workers were away.

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Where are the ambulances?
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 12
The poor condition of ambulances in civil hospitals, primary health centres (PHCs) and community health centres (CHCs) in the district reflects the indifferent attitude of the department of health and family welfare.

Ambulances in civil hospitals and health centres are mere “compartment” on four tyres. Also, mini PHCs, including the one at Hambran and the CHC at Manupur, do not have a single ambulance for emergency purposes.

Contrary to the claims of the department, these ambulances are in a bad shape and the interiors leave much to be desired. The seat covers are torn and have blood stains. Moreover, there is no provision for oxygen cylinders, water or fan. A majority of these ambulances do not even have a first aid kit which is mandatory for every vehicle plying on the road.

Patients referred to private hospitals and cases operated under family planning have to pay for ambulance services.

A senior doctor stated: “Patients are charged Rs 3.50/km and it was increased to over Rs 5 after the rise in petrol and diesel prices. But the department made no move to roll it back even after the reduction in fuel prices.”

He said a majority of patients coming to government hospitals and health centres could not even afford “parchi”fee and paying for the ambulance, only added to their misery.

Besides, the paid ambulance services was in contradiction to the health programmes initiated by the union and state governments, including that of promoting free institutional deliveries.

There are several ambulances in hospitals and health centres that have been off-road for years as these have neither been repaired nor discarded. At the same time, some ambulances are being misused. Staff and officials often use the ambulances for official tours and meetings.

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Man gets life term for double murder
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 12
The court of the Sessions Judge has sentenced Ravi Kumar (26) of Mata Bhag Kaur Colony, Gobindgarh village, to undergo rigorous life imprisonment in a double murder case. He was facing charges of killing his elder brother Ram Sarup and his wife Kiran Bala with spade and hammer.

Declining the plea of leniency raised by the accused, the judge held that he had made his nephews orphan without any fault of theirs.

He was booked under Section 302 of the IPC in 2006 following the complaint of Jagtar Singh, sarpanch.

There was a property dispute between the accused and his brother. He was demanding a share in the property, but the matter was not resolved. He later killed his brother and sister-in-law.

The complainant had stated that a few days before the crime, Ram Sarup had told him about it. The sarpanch assured him that he would come to his house and resolve the issue.

On August 4, 2006, he, along with another villager, was going to the house of the victim. When they reached the house, they heard shrieks. They saw the accused hitting the couple. 

They raised the alarm and the accused fled. The children of the victims opened the door. When they went inside, the badly injured couple named the accused.

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Woman’s body found in trunk
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 12
The body of a woman was found from an iron chest in the Kitchlu Nagar area yesterday, creating panic and sending the police in a tizzy. When the chest was spotted near Jain Temple, residents informed the police. 

The box had been secured with two padlocks and the police pressed the anti-bomb squad to open the box.

When it was opened, the body of a 40-year-old migrant woman was found in it. She had injury marks on her head and was yet to be identified.

The recovery of the body sent panic wave and residents shot off a letter to the SSP, asking him to ensure proper patrolling in the area.

Led by Virinder Bhakoo, president of Dr Kitchlu Nagar residents association, the residents stated that criminal activities had become the norm at Kitchlu Nagar. Citing a snatching worth Rs 5 lakh from a trader a week ago, the residents said their area was becoming a den of criminals.

Bhakoo said several chain snatching and eve-teasing incidents were taking place regularly in the area. Though there was a police post in the main market, it was inadequately staffed.

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297 Doraha students get degrees
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 12
As many as 297 students were given degrees at the annual convocation and prize distribution function of Guru Nanak National College at Dr Ishwar Singh Memorial Hall here today. Dr KS Aulakh, former Vice-Chancellor, Panjab Agricultural University, was the chief guest.

Students who excelled in sports and extracurricular activities were also felicitated.

Megha Sharma received the award for best student of the college while Satnam Singh and Gurbhej Singh were awarded roll of honour in hockey, Sandeep Singh in kabbadi, Navaldeep in power lifting, Davinder Singh, Harvinder Singh, Harjeet Singh, Karam Singh, Baghel Singh ,Manjeet Singh , Jagdeep Singh, Gian Singh and Jagjot Singh in shabad and Indian orchestra, Sukhjinder Singh in folk instrument and Sachin Sood, Tejveer Singh and Parmeet Singh in folk dance.

Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu, principal, distributed the degrees and read out the annual report of the college.

College magazine ‘UDAR’ was released by the chief guest.

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PU panel for senate poll reforms
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 12
Yet another 13-member committee has been constituted by the Panjab University, Chandigarh, to make reforms in the senate elections of the graduate constituency. Such committees have been formed in the past also, following complaints lodged by people from various walks of life, but without any outcome. 

Those concerned feel that proper procedure had to be followed if reforms were to be brought in the next elections, otherwise the committees stood nowhere.

The first meeting of the committee will be held at Chandigarh on March 18, in which other than graduate constituency, reservation policy regarding SC/ST candidates will be discussed, following a writ petition filed by certain candidates.

During the senate elections after every four years, thousands of new voters are made. But varsity has perhaps kept no record of the previous voters, especially ones who have either died or have shifted abroad or in other states of the country. 

Fake votes are cast in their absence as the authorities fail to maintain the previous records. There has been no screening of previous records in all these years.

The convener of the Education Forum, Punjab, Tarsem Bahia, told The Tribune that constituting committees was an old practice as this would be the sixth or seventh committee constituted for bringing reforms. "But all end up without any results. Reforms can be brought if there is seriousness. 

During every elections, the same problems persist. Everyone knows about the problems, but no solutions have come out of the committees. Proper check has to be maintained to streamline the process," said Bahia.

Mukesh Arora, a senator, who has been appointed as one of the members of the committee agreed that such committees were formed after every elections. 

"But we will try to bring the necessary changes. It is hoped that problems like invalid votes will also be discussed at first meeting," he said, further adding that suggestive measures will be taken to streamline the process.

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From Schools
Mother's Touch organises annual day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 12
Annual function was organised at Mother's Touch Kindergarten. S Alhawat, director, RCJ Innovative Public School, was the chief guest. The theme of the night was “circle of life”. The students presented many cultural items. 

"Main objective of the function is to create stage-confidence among the students and at the same time give a boost to the parents to put in their best efforts towards their wards even at kindergarten level," said principal Gagandeep Kaur.

Old students’ assn

A meeting of the old students was held in the GGN Public School. Karnail Singh, principal, threw light on the objectives and role of old students’ association. As many as 62 students attended the meeting. 

Gundeep Singh was elected as president, Puneet Kaur as vice-president, Gurpreet Singh as secretary and Parampreet Singh Grewal as treasurer of the association.

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Class V Exams
Exam centres allowed in affiliated schools
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 12
The education department, Punjab, has relaxed the norms and permitted the District Education Officers (DEOs) to set up centres to conduct Class V examinations to be 
begin on March 16 in schools affiliated with the Punjab School Education Board.

Earlier, the department had decided not to use the premises of affiliated schools as examination centres. Krishan Kumar, Director General school education, Punjab, told The Tribune today relaxation in setting up examination centres at the affiliated schools had been made for the convenience of the students.

He said the number of students at certain places, including Ludhiana and Jalandhar, was very high and they would be using the buildings of these schools to conduct the examinations.

The examination centres would be supervised by teachers of the government schools only and they would supply the question papers to the students. The DEOs had been authorised to set up the centres according to the requirements, he said.

The result of the Class V examination would be declared on March 31. Meanwhile, arrangements for the examinations were reviewed at a meeting of the DEOs in Chandigarh on Tuesday.

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World Glaucoma Day observed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 12
Punarjot Eye Bank observed the World Glaucoma Day as specialists conducted a free eye check-up for early detection and counselling of glaucoma. Dr SPS Sohal, director, health and family welfare, Punjab, accompanied by Dr Satpal Sharma, civil surgeon, Ludhiana, promised to extend all help to the society in their mission to eradicate blindness from Punjab. 

Dr Sohal appreciated the work done by the society in the field of free corneal transplantation.

Dr Ramesh said if left untreated, most types of glaucoma gradually worsens visual damage and may lead to blindness. Once incurred, visual damage is mostly irreversible, and this has led to glaucoma, being described as the "silent blinding disease" or the "sneak thief of sight”.

Meanwhile, Dr GS Bajwa, professor and head of ophthalmology, DMCH, said the disease is of two types, one which is more common is slowly progressive without much discomfort to the patient and hence they seek medical consultation late. 

Sometimes, it is too late that irreparable damage has been done to the eyesight without patient being aware of it, the doctor said.

Other type of glaucoma, though uncommon, is a painful one, in which the patient comes for consultation in emergency but both types of glaucoma can be taken care of well nowadays, the doctor went on to add.

Speaking on the treatment modalities, Dr Bajwa said medicines are available in the form of eye drops, lasers and surgery.

The most important aspect of anti-glaucoma medication is that these medicines need to be put life-long and that too without missing a single dose. Every attempt should be made by the patient to adhere to the treatment regimes as prescribed by the doctor and not to omit any dose. 

Patient can afford to miss one meal in a day but not a drop of medicine, observed the doctor.

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People shun hostility, Holi celebrated with fervour
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 12
Members of all communities in this part of the Malwa celebrated the Holi with fervour yesterday. Enthusiastic youths equipped with modern gadgetry for playing Holi made everybody, they came in contact with, applied colours on one and all. They didn’t even spare the police personnel.

Members of the Muslims and Sikh communities, who used to turn hostile on being applied colours earlier, seemed to be too eager for taking part in the festival. The gusto and the bonhomie with which it was celebrated were worth seeing.

People mingled, exchanged sweets and greeted each other. According to councillor Bimal Sharma Billu, Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims enthusiastically took part in the festival. Recollecting bitter incidents from his life, Billu said Sikh and Muslim radicals used to turn hostile if Hindus used to apply colours on them.

"Social leaders used to remain busy in solving disputes generated on eve on the Holi earlier. Members of other communities used to turn hostile even if a drop of colour used to fall on their clothes incidentally. But now, things have changed”, Billu added.

Sanjay Sood, leader of the ruling combine in the municipal council claimed that a large number of his supporters, including councillors, had greeted his and other members of the Hindu community on the eve of the Holi.

Dilshad Khan, another councillor, claimed political motives and business links had brought members of various communities closer. Festivals like the Holi, Diwali, gurparb and the Id would be celebrated jointly now, he asserted. 

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Sandhu’s arrest, torture
Lawyers to suspend court work tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 12
More than 100 members of the local District Bar Association have sought a meeting for discussing the case of Harpreet Singh Sandhu, a local lawyer and former Additional Advocate General of Punjab. 

Harpreet Singh Sandhu was arrested on February 23, 2007, but his name was mentioned when an FIR No.5 was registered. Sandhu was the Additional Advocate General during former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s tenure.

They alleged that Sandhu had been falsely implicated in a case and was allegedly tortured during his police remand. He also remained in the jail for 72 days.

They have further sought suspension of the courts’ work on March 14 and urged the authorities to condemn the wrongful and illegal act committed by the local Vigilance Bureau.

The International Bar Associations’ Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), United Kingdom, has also taken up the issue of Sandhu’s arrest and torture with the Prime Minister and forwarded a letter in this regard. In it they alleged that Sandhu had been made a victim of rivalry between the present and former Chief Ministers.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has referred the case to the Punjab government for comments.

Sandhu has also moved the Supreme Court Bar Association and the Bar Council of India and forwarded details of the torture inflicted on him and implication in a false case. The Supreme Court’s association has placed his complaint on the agenda of executive committee, according to the association president. 

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Tewari lashes out at SAD-BJP govt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 12
National spokesperson for the All-India Congress Committee Manish Tewari yesterday lambasted the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state for ignoring development and focussing on political vendetta against their opponents.

Addressing a public meeting in ward No. 45 along with senior Congress leader and former minister Harnam Dass Johar, Tewari said the state government had not fulfilled even a single promise it had made to the masses before coming to power.

Instead, the alliance had focussed on identifying and intimidating political rivals by slapping false cases on them, he added.

Tewari said the days of the alliance were numbered as people were disillusioned and alienated. He pointed out that the government had not been able to ensure regular power supply let alone other promises.

He said the industry had suffered huge losses due to frequent and unjustified power cuts.

Questioning the validity of the “aata-daal” scheme, he said in the beginning they had promised people to provide them with aata and daal for Rs 4 and Rs 20 per kg unconditionally. However, when it came to the delivery of promises, the alliance started laying conditions.

The AIIC spokesperson said in spite of the central government being liberal in providing grants to the state government, the SAD-BJP alliance had failed to utilise funds and grants.

These had either been siphoned off or remained unutilised. He said the SAD-BJP alliance had not been sincere towards the sentiments of Punjab and had only exploited these.

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SP activists burn Mayawati’s effigy
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 12
Activists of the Samajwadi Party (SP), led by Mohammed Naseem Ansari, chairman of the minorities cell of the party, burnt the effigy of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati and sought the dismissal of her government here today.

They were protesting against the repression let loose on religious processions taken out by Muslims in Bareilly and Lucknow on Wednesday.

Mohammed Noor Alam Khan, SP’s ward president, alleged that the police had resorted to lathi-charge, firing of teargas shells on those taking out the procession.

Ansari charged the Bahujan Samaj Party government in the state with targeting minorities as part of political vendetta.

“The muslims are feeling insecure under the present BSP government.”

Taking a vow to teach the BSP a lesson in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, the protesters also asked the President of India to dismiss the BSP government and put the state under President’s rule to inculcate a sense of security among the minorities and establish the rule of law in the state.

Among others present were Rayees Ahmed, Babu Bux, Seraj Ahmed, Naseem Ahmed Siddiqui, Safeeq Ansari, Hasan Mohammed, Mohammed Sameen Ansari, Ram Kumar Yadav, Manoj Kumar Srivastav, Moti Rehman, Durvinder Singh Ahluwalia, Surjit Bunty and Jameel Ansari.

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Mr Singh India
City lad finishes first runner-up
Tribune News Service

Paramdeep Singh
Paramdeep Singh 

Ludhiana, March 12
City lad Paramdeep Singh made the city proud by finishing first runner-up in Mr Singh India 2009 held at Mumbai recently. Paramdeep, an alumnus of BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, said he was proud to be a Sikh and had preserved the sanctity of hair.

“If Sikh boys can fight on borders then why cannot they walk the ramp,” he said.

He said true Sikh was one who never disrespected his hair by cutting them.

He added that he decided to apply for the contest only to imbibe respect for one’s hair especially among those Sikhs boys who trimmed or cut their hair.

Accentuating this, he said before Independence, British army never recruited those Sikh boys in the regiment who had trimmed beard because they were of the opinion that those who were not loyal to their religion could never be loyal to their country.

On his future plans, he said he would love to work in a movie but would never compromise on his looks.

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Book on life of IAF pilot released
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, March 12
“Yaadan Fighter Net Dian” (The memories of Net Fighter), a book documenting 
the valour of an Indian Air Force pilot, written by Nachhater Singh Brar was released here.

The ceremony was jointly organised by Chetna Publications and Press Club, Mullanpur Dakha. It was presided over by Punjabi lyricist Dev Thereke. Punjabi poet Gurbhajan Singh Gill was the chief guest.

The presidential committee included Sukhminder Singh Sekhon, brother of Param Veer Chakra awardee Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon, lyricist Dev Thereke, poets Satish Gulati and Gurbhajan Gill, Kulwant Singh, Parvana Purain, Manjit Singh and Nacchater Gill.

The book pertains to the daring story of Param Veer Chakra awardee Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon who while flying his Net plane confronted a fleet of six advanced 
American jet fighters of the enemy in the 1971 war with Pakistan and inflicted them great harm by destroying two of them.

The pilot had to eject from his plane but the parachute failed to open and the 
pilot died.

Litterateur Ravinder Bhatthal said Sekhon was the first Param Veer Chakra winner from Air Force.

Gurbhajan termed the book an historical document benefiting both the young generation and researchers.

Nachhater Singh Brar said the contents of the book, including its characters, were taken from real life.

Columnist Harbir Bhanwar, Amrik Singh Talwandi, lyricist Tarlochan Lochi, Dr Guriqbal Singh were also present.

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Slowdown
Federation comes up with 10-point programme
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 12
The Federation of Associations of Small Industries of India, Punjab chapter, has sent a 10-point programme to the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister Punjab to tackle the ongoing economic slowdown in the country.

Listing some of the points, federation chairman Badish K Jindal said savings needed to be demoralised during the financial year 2009-10, for which the interest rate on savings needed to be brought down to near zero.

“This saved amount needs to be invested in the market in any form to help bring down the slowness. Some direct tax benefits should be given on spending during this financial year,” he said.

He added that the state government must bring down stamp duty to around 50 per cent of the current duty level. This would help resolve the slowdown in the real estate sector.

The association members said instead of giving other stimulus or decreasing excise duties, the government must bring down housing loans to 0 per cent as inflation was not a problem for the industry. 

Its main problem was slowdown due to less buying and cut in housing loans could help solve the problem.

They added that as the agriculture sector was doing good during the recession, rich farmers should be brought under the direct tax net for 2009-10.

They were also of the opinion that import duties on finished products needed to be increased or some anti-dumping duties needed to be put on finished products to help domestic industry.

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Company to foray into organic fertilisers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 12
Seeing growing demand for organic food, fertiliser company Crystal Phosphates Limited will soon venture into organic fertilisers made from cow dung and other vegetation.

Also, keeping in mind scope of herbicides in the present times, the company is in the process of registering many new quality molecules, which is expected to bear fruits in the future.

Talking to The Tribune, company chairman NK Aggarwal said: “Good yield is only possible if chemicals are used. Organic fertilisers are a combination of cow dung and other vegetation and chemicals to yield good results.”

He said the company regularly organised workshops for farmers to help them get good yield.

“We have adopted 200 areas in Punjab where we give front line demonstrations (FLD) every season. Farmers are given proper knowledge about the sowing and reaping processes. 

We do not take help from government or any agricultural university. We have our own technical staff that imparts knowledge to the farmers,” added Aggarwal.

He said they had developed a pesticide, “Sure”, to tackle the yellow rust on wheat. “Yellow rust has come from hilly areas and the pesticide helps tackle the same,” he adds.

On future strategy of the company, he said they were gearing up for venturing into agri-equipment. “We are set to start manufacturing different types of molecules. 

The country is largely dependent on imports for these molecules. Since molecules will be manufactured here, there will be a substantial cost reduction for the final product,” adds Aggarwal.

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Programme on micro-irrigation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 12
A two-day training programme on Micro irrigation conducted by the department of soil and water engineering, Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), under the aegis of the National Committee on Plasticulture Application in Horticulture (NCPAH), concluded here today.

Officials from the department of soil and water conservation and the department of horticulture, Punjab, participated in the training.

Dr PS Minhas, director of research, PAU, was the chief guest. He said the major problem for Punjab agriculture was the inefficient management of water resources on a sustainable basis. 

He emphasised on the need to economise water in agriculture, which could be achieved only by the introduction of advanced irrigation methods like drip and sprinkler irrigation.

Dr MP Kaushal, head of the department, soil and water engineering, said as drip irrigation was highly technical, the installation and maintenance of the system was the most important component of the training programme. 

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Tips on nutritious diet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 12
Under the national nutrition month, the dietary department at DMCH released some important tips on nutritious diet.

Ritu Sudhakar, chief dietician at the hospital, while emphasising upon nutrition education, said the awareness on sound eating and physical activity is the need of the hour.

This year’s slogan for national nutrition week is “Eat right, stay bright”, as it can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, like cancer, diabetes, obesity and hypertension.

Ritu Sudhakar further said the eating right means eating a variety of healthy foods in the right amount that needed to maintain good health and mark properly.

The list of foods that provide various kinds of nutrients:

l Proteins (lean meat, eggs, beans, nuts, milk and their products) help build muscles and a strong immune system

l Carbohydrates (starches, sugar and whole grains that also provide fibre) give energy

l Fats (oils, butter and cream) provide essential fatty acids and extra energy

l Vitamins and minerals (commonly available in fruits, vegetables and whole grains) regulate body process, enhance cell function and growth and help build a strong immune function

l Water gives the cells their shape and acts as a medium, where body processes can occur

Most processed foods tend to lose many of their vitamins during the manufacturing process and often have other less healthy ingredients. Replacing processed foods in the diet with more fresh foods, like fruits, vegetables and plain water help promote a healthy diet. 

Most of vegetables are lower in calories and higher in fibre than other foods. As part of a healthy diet, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, instead of high fat foods, may also make it easier to control weight.

The dietician advised on getting some energy meal everyday, which can be achieved by filling half plate with fruits and vegetables in each meal. Serving up salad, stir fry or other fruits and vegetable at snack time will be an additional bonus.

Explore and choose something new, including a bowl of low fat free yogurt topped with sliced apples or frozen berries. Munch on raw vegetables during hunger pangs, followed by grapes and banana slices on wooden skewers frozen as “fruits on a stick” can be the best substitutes for desserts.

Replace potatoes with broccoli, peas and corn. As variety is the key to healthy diet, try some new recipes, where vegetables take a centre stage, such as “Tunisian carrot salad”, steamed veggies with brown bread, spicy broccoli with red pepper etc. Ask for more vegetables topping and less cheese on your pizza, added the specialist.

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City Concerns
Allocate site for taking out processions

Thousands of commuters continue to remain stranded on the roads in event of religious processions, which have become an inseparable part of the city culture. Besides general public and office goers, the severely hit are those travelling with their near and dear ones for getting themselves examined at hospitals. This is what a cross section of the people has to say on the issue.

One hard fact that people, very often, face on the city roads is that these remain congested by processions, majority of which are religious in nature. Undeniably, even political processions wreak havoc on the normal traffic flow. The undesirable procrastination and the exhaustion, which the commuters have to bear, are unexplainable. 

Moreover, people have to wait for long hours for no guilt of theirs. The deafening music is far more unbearable. No doubt, religion has its importance, but which religion compels you to annoy people only to demonstrate your love for a particular God. Moreover, the biggest religion is humanity. It doesn’t mean, that I am against such religious processions. 

The religious people have their own sentiments, but they should select some site for holding processions. The local administration should also permit them to organize such processions, keeping the public inconvenience in mind. If this is done, we can easily thwart the mental and physical exploitation of the people.

—HS Dimple, Jagraon

Collective celebration

There is no doubt that religious processions along with ear-splitting music at regular interval disrupt normal proceedings of people on the city roads, quite often. But, if we keep aside this factor for a while, there are a number of other factors, which aggravate congestion. 

Further, city residents as well as daily commuters from the surrounding towns and villages also face harrowing time during their journey as trend to take out separate procession at a particular social event or at a religious occasion and that too at different places in each area have continued since many years as most religious organizations are being separated into smaller groups. 

So, keeping in mind the ongoing scenario of vehicular traffic, I want to suggest that the administration should spread the message of integrity among its residents. Moreover, religious followers, instead of being divided into various factions, should collectively celebrate the occasion at a designated place.

—Ravi Chander Garg, Ludhiana

Ban processions

Now a days, city roads are so congested that nobody can walk easily on these during the day time and even late evenings. The religious, political or wedding processions have made the life of people a hell. The accompanying DJ music system and rush of public often yelling slogans, dancing or playing on the road only complicates the matter. 

Due to this people get late for work, children for school and patients fell harassed. So by banning procession we will not only save time, money, and energy but would be able to manage the traffic. The litter they throw proves to be a headache for the public as well as the service providers. By taking out processions, every community wants to show its supremacy. Common man has nothing to do with it. On one hand, when we say that we want to ban any processions, it’s not possible, because our politicians don’t want it. 

However, in a democratic set up the processions are the main sources of enjoyment or a powerful mean of showing dissent or agreement on any subject. Rather it should be restricted to a particular place so that it neither puts public to inconvenience nor are they deprived of their right to protest or enjoy.

—Maj Kuljit Singh Sidhu, Ludhiana

Cops, admn helpless

Traffic chaos has made the life of those living in the city a hell, as people have to face situation out of compulsion. One thing, which disturbs the people, is the religious functions being organised in the city. Such processions are taken out on regular basis. This not only blocks the people’s movement and traffic, which unnecessarily put commuters to lots of inconvenience. 

Such types of religious activities should be banned and people persuaded to hold such functions within the premises of religious places. But the administration and police department find themselves helpless to intervene. They are left with no other option but to provide the shelter and protection for its peaceful conclusion. 

Another thing, which gives much pain to Ludhiana people, is the continuous visits of the high dignitaries like the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister. During their visits the smooth flow of the traffic gets disturbed. 

Worst thing is that the administration and the police department have to divert their full attention towards them. Nobody is bothered about the commuters’ safety. Often under such circumstances, anti-social elements become active and the crime rate increases in the city.

— Kuldip Singh Kreer, Dugri

Surging population

During Partition, the city was a small town with less than one lakh population. With the industrial development the requirement for the work force multiplied and it ultimately became one of the most populated district of the North. Nowadays, its population is about 35 lakhs, including that of the migrants. 

However, the space in the old city has not changed, during the intervening period, thus leading to congestion in every nook and cranny of the city. Diesel auto rickshaws, which were earlier playing in Delhi moved to this part of, the country on account of ban imposed by the Delhi administration. 

This became another cause of congestion. Religious processions can’t be banned as it might hurt the sentiments of people, resulting in agitation. When we look into the past only a few religious processions used to be taken out during a year. But now, it’s being taken out for on petty issues. 

Chaura Bazaar is the most important place through which the processions are taken out irrespective of the fact that these effect the movement of the traffic. The only way out is to regulate and rationalize the procession routes, which depend on the administration to exercise its authority. 

Clock tower to the division No.3 route that remains congested should not be allowed to be used.

— KL Chitkara, Ludhiana

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4 robbers arrested
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 12
The local police busted a gang of robbers with the arrest of four of its members yesterday. However, one of the gang members managed to escape. 

The DSP said a police team on being tipped off that a gang of robbers was camping near the Gurusar Kaunke Bridge and was planning a big robbery had laid a naka near Nanaksar. 

The team immediately raided the place and nabbed four accused identified as Kulwant Singh, alias Kanta, Pritpal Singh, Jagshir Singh, all of Lopon village, and Rachhpal Singh of Hans Kalan.

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Vet varsity students bag athletics trophy
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 12
Students of the Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) gave stupendous performance to clinch the overall athletics championship in the 10th All-India Inter-Agricultural University sports and games meet held at Jawahar Lal Nehru Krishi Vishav Vidalya, Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, recently.

Around 12,00 players drawn from 35 agricultural universities competed in this meet and athletes from GADVASU gave excellent performance to stamp their superiority.

Baltej Singh of this university annexed a gold in 200m race and a silver in 100m sprint, while Gurinder Singh Chahal won a gold in 800m 
race and a silver in 1500m race.

Rajandeep Singh secured a silver in 400m race, while Priyanka Rana and Sukhmani Bhullar won bronze in 200m and shot put events, respectively.

The team comprising Baltej Singh, Gurinder Singh Chahal, Rajandeep Singh, Harshdeep Joshi, Gursharn Singh and Chetan Kumar won a gold in 400m 
relay race.

Similarly, in the women's section, the badminton team comprising Kanu Sharma, Karandeep Kaur Mann, Jasmine Kaur and Neha Sharma bagged a silver medal.

Dr VK Taneja and Dr KS Sandhu, Vice-Chancellor and director, students welfare, GADVASU, congratulated the students and faculty on this achievement. 

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Amartej adjudged best athlete
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 12
Athletics meet of Ludhiana College of Engineering and Technology (LCET), Katani Kalan, was organised here today. Director of the LCET, Dr JS Sohal declared the meet open. 

His address was followed by a marchpast of the participating athletes. Best athlete from previous meet took oath on behalf of the participating students.

Various events organised on the occasion were: 100 m (girls) race, 100 m (boys) obstacle race, discus throw (girls), shotput (boys), discus throw (boys), shotput (girls), 400 m (girls) race, 400 m (boys) race, slow cycling (girls), javelin throw (girls), javelin throw (boys), 200 m (girls) race, 200 m (boys) race, slow cycling (boys), long jump (girls), long jump (boys), high jump (boys), tug of war (boys).

A three-legged race for the non-teaching staff was also organised.

A musical chair was played by female faculty of the institute, followed by a tug-of-war by the male faculty.

Amartej Singh of final year (mechanical branch) was adjudged best athlete in men’s category and Kulvinder Kaur of semester IV (CSE branch) among women category.

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