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LS Polls
Development issues to the fore
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Hot Topics

n Traffic congestion
n Unfinished projects
n Clean and green city
n Power cuts
n Unabated influx of migrants

Ludhiana, March 15
Candidates for the Ludhiana seat this time need to be geared up to answer local residents in announcing their work priorities. Party offices of the two main parties, the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD), are working overtime in charting out action plan which "makes better logic" to the voter minds.

"The mood of questioning is evident when we go for campaigning. We are doing regular interaction with our voters to chalk out an agenda which sounds more meaningful to voters", said a senior Congress worker.

SAD candidate Gurcharan Singh Galib, who recently quit the Congress, maintained that he had done a lot for the constituency and was looking forward to taking his earlier projects to the logical conclusion. These included sanctioning of Rs 100 crore development project for the Ludhiana city during his stint as the Congress MP between 1999 to 2004.

On the other hand, the Congress probable Manish Tewari, who is also the national spokesperson of the All-India Congress Committee, asserts although the development primarily remained in the domain of the state government, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre had always been generous in granting development projects to the state, Ludhiana in particular. 

He claimed the credit for getting Ludhiana included among the few select cities across the country which were selected for the Jawahar Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).

The pollution in the Budda nullah remains one of the serious issues the city is facing. Pollution causes a lot of problems. None of the candidates seems to have any idea as how to tackle the issue.

Galib blamed it on the encroachments, claiming that due to the political influence the encroachers got away with everything. He hoped to address the problem in the best possible manner. "Besides the nullah, several other problems like traffic chaos, unfinished projects, repair of roads, etc also need to be addressed in the best possible manner", said Galib.

To this, Manish Tewari maintained that the Congress had clear agenda on green development. On the Budda nullah issue, he said the balance had to be maintained.“Budda nullah is indeed a serious problem, but we have to take an overall view of the ground realities as on one hand we have pollution while on the other hand, we have huge industry around. We need to maintain a balance between green and developed Ludhiana", he added.

Galib held since he was the part of the ruling alliance, the road map had already been devised by the state government for Ludhiana’s development. “Wherever my intervention, assistance or suggestions are required, I will do that, besides trying to get maximum number of centrally sponsored schemes for the area”, he said, while promising to change the face of the city.

Tewari on the other hand pointed out the central government had not the direct stake in the local development and the centrally sponsored schemes are also executed by the state agencies only. “More than half of the ongoing projects like the Prime Minister’s Sadak Yojna, employment guarantee, mid-day meals, etc in the city are centrally sponsored but are executed by the state government agencies and it is wrong for the ruling party to claim credit for that”, he alleged while announcing that once elected to the parliament Ludhiana will speak for itself in terms of development.

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Demolition Drive
MC serves notices on 400 residents 
Rakesh Gupta

Raikot, March 15
The municipal council has served notices on at least 400 residents for getting their buildings demolished. The executive officer of the council has given a week’s time to those residing on the Malerkotla Road starting from Hari Singh Naluwa Chowk to do so. 

However, in none of the notices, the officer concerned has mentioned the area in which the demolition drive would be carried out. It simply reads that these buildings violate the PUDA Act and if these are not demolished within stipulated time, municipal employees will do so at the owners’ cost. 

The notices are being served on the directions of the Ludhiana deputy commissioner. If one goes by the polices, more than 500 residents owning plots and land on the Malerkotla road will have to face the heat especially about 100 of those who have constructed the buildings on unapproved land on or after 2004.

However, those residing in the area said their buildings were duly approved and site plans sanctioned by the town planners and executive officers of the council.

When contacted, Amardeep Singh Gill, President, Raikot Municipal Council, said the PUDA Act was enforced in Raikot in 2004. About 18 months ago the owners of these buildings were served notices for submitting the proof of the approval given to them or old constructions. 

But, nobody came forward to do so. He further said during this period a number of notices were served on the owners for razing their buildings. Now, the deputy commissioner has asked for immediate survey and removal of encroachments or constructions within the 33-foot area beyond the state highway. He asserted that this was the last opportunity for the residents to do so.

He said the state government as per rules would compensate owners of all demolished structures but the unauthorised ones would have to suffer losses.

Malkait Singh, executive officer of the council, said the notices had been served for constructions on both sides of the roads of the city. In reply to the writ filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, it was stated that the deputy commissioners of Punjab and Haryana were responsible for removing the encroachments on both sides of the scheduled roads. 

A survey was conducted about a fortnight ago on the orders of the Ludhiana deputy commissioner. The aim was to identify the encroachments and they are just complying with the orders, he added. He said anyone who comes with the proof that the building was constructed prior to 2004 he or she would be compensated.

However, the residents and shopkeepers of the Malerkotla Road have formed 'anti-devastation action committee' to counter the demolition drive. Jagdev Singh Kalsi has been appointed committee’s chairman. 

He said the council had served notices on owners who constructed buildings much before the PUDA Act came into force in Raikot. He also said a deputation would meet the Chief Minister for requesting him to get a ring road constructed around Raikot for enabling the smooth flow of traffic instead of demolishing the buildings. 

The Chief Minister had given an assent for constructing the ring road during his recent visit to the town. But, nothing has been done so far. 

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Extortionists’ arrest exposes bank culture
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
The arrest of three extortionists, who were nabbed on the charges of threatening an industrialist, has unveiled the dark side of the banking industry. Out of the three accused, two accused were bank recovery agents, while the third accused also had a stint as recovery agent.

Rakesh Singh, son of head constable Paras Singh and son-in-law of ASI Balwinder Saini, was working as recovery agent with a multinational bank, along with his friend Deepak, a resident of Gopal Nagar, Haibowal.

Third accomplice Mohd Anzar Khan, a resident of Dhandari Kalan, was doing makeshift business after he left the job of recovery agents for banks.

According to police sources, Rakesh Singh was an Army dropout before taking up the job of a recovery agent. He enjoyed a considerable backing from his family and thought he could get away with anything due to his links with the police.

The police sources said during the interrogation, these youths admitted that they were trained to threaten people while they were working for a bank as recovery agents.

According to an accused, they used to threaten bank defaulters over phone and used to indulge in fight on a routine basis. He said the work as recovery musclemen emboldened their confidence.

The commission earned from recovery made wonders for Rakesh and his friends. Quick money, lavish lifestyle, the agents were enjoying the luxuries that one could imagine. But the recession hit their plans badly. They need something to maintain their lifestyle. So they hatched an abduction plan.

According to SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill, they planned to abduct four children of a leading businessman.

Fail to make any headway, they decided to do what they were good at. They called up the Focal Point resident and auto parts exporter Sheetal Gupta and threatening him for ransom. 

Vinod Kumar, who is still absconding, posed himself to be a Mumbai-based sharpshooter and demanded ransom of Rs 2 crore from Sheetal Gupta.The accused also spoke in a typical Mumbai accent in order to give authority to his threats. 

The plan was so organised that one of the accused even went to Mumbai to make a call and fired bullet at a car of an industrialist to make a psychological impact on the industrialist. 

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Man, granddaughter killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
In a tragic incident, a bus ran over a motorcycle, killing two and leaving two injured at Jassian Chowk near the GT Road here today. The deceased have been identified as Ashok (60) and Baani (3), while the injured Monica and Nancy were rushed to a hospital in serious condition.

Ashok Kumar, a resident of Haibowal, was riding the bike to drop his daughter Monica and her two children at Jalandhar bypass.

The daughter Monica was going to Nawanshehar after spending a week with her parents.

According to a witness, as the motorcycle approached the GT Road, an overspeeding private bus of Sutlej Transport rammed into the motorcycle and crushed the maternal granddaughter Baani and Ashok Kumar died on the spot. While Monica and her elder daughter Nancy were rushed to the hospital.

The driver of the bus was nabbed by the police.

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Women smash kiosk selling obscene CDs
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 15
A group of women smashed a kiosk from where objectionable material, including obscene films and songs, was allegedly being sold.

The incident took place at the kiosk owned by Pappu, who was allegedly selling the material at Mohalla Chowkidara in old town.

The women folk along with a few men equipped with iron bars and logs attacked the shop and ransacked it.

The women had been complaining against the activities of the shopkeeper for some time and had told Pappu to mend his ways.

They had approached the officials concerned in Ludhiana besides complaining to the Jagraon police and the administration. After the authorities failed to act, they decided to take the matter in their own hands.

The women alleged that youths visiting the shop used to indulge in eve teasing.

The added that the shopkeeper used to play vulgar music causing inconvenience to the residents.

Pappu, however, claimed that he had been running this kiosk for the past 25 years and no one had ever complained against him.

He refuted the charges of selling porn CDs and objectionable audio-video material from his shop.

However, the material  lying in the shop corroborated the allegations of the women.

Jagraon SHO Navinpal Singh Lehal later told the women to lodge a formal complaint if they had any problem with the shopkeeper. He said the matter would be resolved under the provisions of the law.

However, area residents alleged that the municipal committee had helped Pappu in setting up the kiosk illegally.

Jagraon EO Shakti Kumar Kaushal said though the kiosk was on encroached land, it was very old and an electricity meter was also installed there.

He said they would remove the kiosk from the site under the provisions of the law soon.

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Patients with viral infections flood hospitals
Anshu Seth/
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
OPDs of government and private hospitals in the city and its periphery are flooded with cases of viral infections, which physicians say have multiplied this year as compared to the previous years.

Hundreds of patients suffering from viral fever are queueing up in the corridors of ESI Model Hospital, DMCH, CMCH, Ayurvedic and homeopathic clinics and dispensaries.

Even lobbies of private nursing homes and hospitals catering to the higher income group are witnessing an increased footfall of people suffering from influenza. It’s the most common viral infection that affects mainly nose, throat, bronchi, and occasionally the lungs.

Dr Sandeep Puri, medical superintendent, DMCH, said usually such viral infection lasted for a week and was characterised by aching muscles, headache, malaise, non-productive cough and low-grade fever.

“The treatment is completely symptomatic and patients are advised to take adequate nutrition and rest. If the fever prolongs for more than 10 days then the patients should get themselves examined as there could be a risk of some serious secondary infection,” the doctor added.

However, in primary and community health centres, people have a choice between allopathic, Ayurvedic and homeopathic medicine.

With the appointment of Ayurvedic officers and homeopathic officers under the National Rural Health Mission, a large number of villagers are opting for Ayurvedic and homeopathic medicine even in viral infections.

“It is rather surprising to see that village folk having unshakable faith in ayurveda. They are even ready to buy herbal medicines from outside as most of these are not available with us,” stated an Ayurvedic officer working at a primary health centre in the district.

On the premature invasion of the specific virus, Dr Muktinder, a city homeopath practising pediatrics, said viral infections were generally witnessed in April. “It is the variation in weather followed by exposure to extreme temperatures that has added to the problem.

Patients are being treated according to their change in thirst, thermal activity, eating habits and mood swings,” the doctor added.

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Three awarded college colours
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, March 15
Annual prize-giving function of Guru Tegh Bahadur National College, Dakha, was held in the college auditorium yesterday. The function was presided over by Dr Upinderjit Kaur, Minister of Education, Punjab. 

The function began with a shabad by the college students. Principal Dr Dharmjit Singh read the college report.

Dr Upinderjit said the present world is full of challenges and students should work hard to achieve their goals. She motivated the students to follow the path of love, compassion, sacrifice and brotherhood shown by the great gurus.

About 150 students were given prizes in academics and sports. The toppers of last year’s annual exams were also awarded with cash prizes. College colours were awarded to Chanchal Singh (quiz), Harjit Singh (powerlifting) and Harwinder Singh (boxing).

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Call to tackle pneumonia in kids
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 15
Indian and international experts in the child health have called for immediate steps to prevent pneumonia morbidity and morality, which they said is the leading cause of death among children under-five years of age in India and other developing countries.

“India leads in the world in under-five mortality, with 20 lakh children dying every year, of these, four lakh deaths are due to pneumonia. It’s the forgotten killer of children. 

It kills more children than any other illness - more than AIDS, malaria and measles combined - according to UNICEF data,” said Dr AJ Chitkara while speaking at "Pneumococcal Disease Conference", organised jointly by the Asian Strategic Alliance for Pneumococcal disease prevention -India chapter (ASAP-India) and the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP). At least 125 pediatricians from the city and surrounding areas attended the meet.

Dr Rohit Aggarwal, secretary general, IAP, and co-convener, ASAP-India, commented that the bacterium "Streptococcus pneumonia or pneumococcus" is the leading cause of pneumonia (inflammation of the lungs) right from infancy to adulthood. 

Streptococcus pneumonia could also cause other serious infections such as bacteremia (blood infection), meningitis (infection of the coverings of brain and spinal cord), sinusitis (infection of the sinuses) and otitis media (middle ear infection).

“Half of all severe cases of pneumonia and pneumonia deaths are caused by pneumococcus and almost 40 percent of these deaths (nearly 1 lakh) under-five deaths are potentially preventable by use of Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in the National Immunization Program. 

The government will need steps to bring down the cost so that wide use of the vaccine is possible,” observed Dr Daljit Singh, a prominent pediatrician and principal of Dayanand Medical College. Dr Shyam Kukreja, convener, ASAP-India, stressed that there is urgent need to increase awareness about Pneumococcal disease both in the minds of doctors and parents.

The speakers and participants were unanimous about the pivotal role of Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) in preventing Pneumococcal disease in infants and children younger than 24 months. It also helps to protect older children up to 9 years. 

Successful childhood national immunization program with PCV has shown significant benefits passed on to even non-vaccinated people of all ages due to the herd immunity against IPD and pneumonia.

The conference noted that the WHO has identified the inclusion of PCV in national immunization programs as a priority, particularly in countries where the mortality rate of children under five years old is more than 50 per 1,000 live births, or where more than 50,000 children die annually.

India is an ideal candidate for inclusion of PCV in the national immunization program, as with under-five mortality of 75 and annual death burden of more than 200,000 under the age of five years, it meets with both the above criteria.

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Make institutes at par with foreign varsities: V-C
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 15
Admitting that a lot was required to be done for promotion of medical science in the state, Vice-Chancellor of the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot, Dr SS Gill called upon management committees of private medical and research institutes of the region to focus their attention on improvement of learning environment.

Dr Gill was talking to The Tribune after awarding degrees to first batch of BAMS students of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Ayurvedic Medical College at Sarabha, near here, yesterday.

The Vice-Chancellor said the management committees of private colleges should ensure that passout students of their institutes were recognised by the foreign universities and medical institutes also. "Now, when we have ploughed in our profits to update required infrastructure at our institutes, there is a need to focus our attention on updating knowledge of educators," said Dr Gill.

Earlier, Dr Gill awarded degrees to students of the first batch of the medical college. Outstanding students, including toppers of the university, were felicitated on the occasion. 

Charu Lata Gupta and Shivani Sharma were felicitated for standing first and the third in the university, respectively. Rakhi Chawla (4), Neha Sharma (5), Yogesh Bansal (8), Sonia Thakur (9) and Robina (10) were felicitated for securing positions among the first ten students of the university.

The students presented a cultural programme also. 

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Govt staff to launch stir in phases
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 15
The Punjab Mulazam Sangharsh Committee, comprising six federations and over a dozen unions of government employees, today chalked out a three-phase action programme in which it charged the SAD-BJP government, led by Parkash Singh Badal, with betraying lakhs of employees and pensioners in the state.

A meeting held here under the presidenthsip of Hari Singh Tohra decided that on March 21, activists of the sangharsh committee would hold district-level meetings to mobilise support for the proposed agitation.

In the second phase, employees would hold protest demonstrations and dharnas at district headquarters, while in the concluding phase that protesting employees and pensioners would organise "poll khol" marches from Bathinda on April 8 and Nawanshahr on April 16 in which “black deeds” of the government would be exposed before the public.

Addressing the meeting, trade union leaders reiterated their pending demands while calling upon the state government to take necessary steps without any further delay to avoid a direct confrontation with the employees and pensioners. The main demands include implementation of the pay commission report along with regularisation of ad hoc and work charge employees.

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‘Privatisation of education unwelcome’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
Privatisation of the education will be disastrous for the system and the state government should rethink its policy on education. These were the views expressed by former Higher Education Secretary Manmohan Singh while addressing the prize winners at the SCD Government College, Ludhiana, yesterday.

He said the health and education sectors should be on the government’s priority list while allocating funds. But, it’s unfortunate that the state governments are shying away from their responsibility. 

There is no fun in opening new central universities unless present educational institutions are provided with funds, he added.

It’s unfortunate that most of the posts of college lecturers are lying vacant and about 12 government colleges are working without principals.

 Higher eduction in the state like Punjab is in a bad shape, he added. He called upon students, parents and teachers to think about it and raise their voice.

The eduction secretary also distributed prizes among 400 students who excelled in various fields. At least 70 students were given college colours and merit certificates and 300 awarded prizes for scoring high in various subjects.

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Students interact with industrialists
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
At a time of global economic recession and when Indian economy is also facing the impact of the economic slowdown, the business schools of the country, including IIMs, are facing a problem of placements of their students. In such a scenario, it becomes necessary that the students upgrade their employability skills and be ready to travel to any part of the country.

Vijay Puniani, vice-president, Vardhman Group of Industries, shared it during an interactive session with MBA and BBA students of Shree Atam Vallabh Jain College (SAVJC), Ludhiana here yesterday.

An event-“Track ‘09”-focussed on products, branding, distribution and marketing strategies etc, which was organised for MBA students in which presentations on different marketing concepts and case studies were presented. AB Singh, vice-president, Milkfood, guided the students about market driven production and segmentation decisions.

The industry professionals, during their interaction, taught the students regarding various marketing concepts and their applications under different situations.

About 12 MBA students of the college were selected at MS group of industries, Chennai dealing in petrochemicals and processed food products for two months training. They will be working on different projects related to international business, marketing, human resource management and finance. 

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Management training programme
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
Excellence is not an end, it is a continuous journey. This was stated by Suneel Keeswani, trainer and consultant from New Delhi, at the one-day management development programme held here yesterday.

He was addressing the members of the Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) at the programme titled ‘Flight from performance to potential’.

Keeswani said: "Everyone is required to put in constant efforts to improve their performance and achieve excellence. The only key to achieve excellence is your willingness to learn and use of your potential in the best possible manner."

Dr Prem Kumar of the LMA said the value of training was beyond any measurement. "We are using 3 per cent of our total potential and training programmes are one of the methods which help us in identifying and increasing our potential to perform," he said.

Keeswani said: “None other than you can help yourself in improving your performance. One has to work on identifying its potential and use it for performing par excellence."

The programme covered topics such as self-motivation and guidance, art of communication, team-building, strategic thinking and management in global world through management games, role plays and other exercises.

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160 get  B.Ed degrees
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
Convocation of GMT College of Education was held on the campus here today. As many as 160 students of sessions 2005-08 were awarded degrees by the chief guest, Dr SS Bari, registrar, Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Dr HS Sidhu read the annual report of the college and highlighted the achievements of the students. The topper in state, Ritu Sharma, was given roll of honour. Dr Bari said higher education played a prominent role in life of learners. 

Kashmir Singh Thind, chairman of the college, asked them to imbibe qualities of hard work, perseverance and sincerity. The old students shared their after-college experiences. A cultural function was also organised.

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468 cadets pass out of police academy 
Tribune News Service

Philaur, March 15
At least 468 trainees of various basic and promotional courses passed out at the annual Passing Out Parade of the Punjab Police Academy here today. Different batches of trainees included cadets from Bhutan and states like Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Chandigarh.

Ramesh Inder Singh, Chief Secretary, took the salute. KK Attri, DGP, Punjab, presided over the ceremony. Speaking on the occasion, Ramesh Inder Singh said policing in the modern world was undergoing drastic changes in its functioning as well as handling of crimes. 

Due to the increasing crime rate in society, the police has to equip itself with the latest information and professional knowledge.

RS Gill, DGP-cum- Director Punjab Police Academy, presented the annual report of the academy. P/DSP (Lt.) Jamyang Dorji was declared all rounder in the category of officers. P/ DSP (Lt) Karma Tshewang was first in indoors and P/ DSP (Lt) Jamyang Dorji was first in outdoor activities. All officers were from Bhutan.

In the category of SI and ASIs Sandeep Kumar was declared all rounder and Sunny Khanna stood second. Sandeep Kumar stood first in indoor and Sunny Khanna first in outdoor activities. 

In Upper School Course ASI Balraj Singh was declared all rounder and ASI Harbhajan Lal stood second. Balraj Singh stood first in indoor activities and ASI Didar Singh in outdoor activities.

In the intermediate school course HC Jawinder Singh was adjudged all rounder and HC Kamaljit Singh second. Balwinder Kaur won the prize for indoor activity while Jawinder Singh for outdoor activities. 

Davinder Kumar was the best shooter in the rifle shooting. Singye Dorji won the prize for the best shooter in the rifle and pistol categories.

Lieut Jamyang Dorji of the Royal Bhutan Police commanded the parade. The investiture ceremony for the distinguished and meritorious service medal winners was performed after the POP

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Chemists withdraw strike call
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
Following an agreement with the department of health and family welfare, the Punjab Chemists’ Association has withdrawn the strike call for March 18.

The withdrawal of the strike has come as a relief for the medical fraternity, who were worried over the availability of medicines in wake of the statewide strike, which was supported by almost all the district associations of the chemists in the state.

Principal secretary, health, AR Talwar, state Drug Controller Bhag Singh and other senior officials from the health department, after convening a meeting with the association president Surjit Mehta and state affiars’ committee president Tikka Dalip Singh, rolled back the orders of mandatory affidavits for chemists to sell scheduled “H” drugs.

The department officials have exempted the old chemists from the condition of procuring an affidavit, but the chemists taking a license after March 31, 2009, will be required to abide by the affidavit condition.

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Workers get electric shock
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
Two workers sustained serious burn injuries due to the electrical shock from a power cable while they were putting up a hoarding at a building near Rajpura Chowk at Hambra Road here today.

The injured were rushed to DMC Hospital where the condition of one of the workers is stated to be critical.

The incident took place this afternoon when the four workers, Arun, Sikander, Vivek and Harjinder, were putting up a hoarding of Hero Mindmines at a building.

According to a witness, worker Vivek lost control of the board and the board fell on the power cables due to which Arun sustained electric shocks and suffered burn injuries. Sikander also sustained power shocks as he fell on the power cables.

While Vivek and Harjinder sustained minor injuries and are reported to be fine.

Meanwhile, the Kitchlu Nagar police reach the spot and started the investigation.

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Non-acceptance of demands
Valmikis against supporting SAD 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 15
Frustrated over the dilly-dallying attitude of the SAD over the non-acceptance of its long- pending demands and the BJP’s failure to give due representation to this community in the political set up, the Bhartiya Valmiki Dharm Samaj has served an ultimatum for reviewing its decision of extending support to the alliance in the coming elections.

Addressing a convention here yesterday evening, Lakshman Dravid, national convener of the samaj, Ashwani Sahota, general secretary, Choudhry Yash Pal, state convener and other speakers lamented that even though the body had been actively supporting the alliance since 1985, most of its demands, even though accepted in principle by the state government, had not been implemented.

Dravid said a protest letter was dispatched to the SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal on March 13 stating that their demands like the abolition of Mohalla safai committee, replacement of contractual safai workers with regular ones, handing over the Valmiki Tirath in Amritsar to the community members and due representation in the state and the district- level committees still remain unresolved.

A few leaders said they would review their decision of supporting the combine at a meeting to be held here on April 14 in the light of the SAD’s response. 

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Allottee praise govt’s move on conveyance deeds
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 15
The allottees of plots and flats from government agencies like PUDA and improvement trusts have hailed the decision of the state government to allow conveyance deeds of such properties at allotment rates as against the collector's rates, which are many times higher than the reserve price being charged for this purpose till now.

The decision, taken by the state cabinet at its meeting on March 2, was notified just before the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections and the model code of conduct coming into force.

The MIG Welfare Society here has said that the registration of conveyance deeds on allotment rates will benefit thousands of people from low and middle income groups who had invested their hard-earned money in the purchase of plots or flats from PUDA or other government agencies all over the state.

Kuldeep Singh Kreer, general secretary of the society, however, added that the condition of registration of conveyance deeds of properties allotted by government agencies within three months of making full and final payment, either in lump sum or instalments, was a matter of frustration for the residents of MIG colony. 

In case of delay of more than three months, the properties will be registered at prevailing market price as fixed by the Deputy Commissioner for different localities.

He said a majority of the residents of MIG colony in urban estate, Dugri, here had cleared their dues against plots or flats long ago, but many of them had not so far got the conveyance deeds registered. 

With the condition of conveyance deeds having to be registered within three months of making the payment to avail the benefit, the owners of MIG flats in Dugri here will not be able to take advantage of the scheme.

The society made a fervent plea to the state government to withdraw the condition of three months for the registration of conveyance deeds at allotment rates, or at least come out with a one-time facility to enable the owners of plots or flats in PUDA or improvement trust colonies in the state after the elections are over.

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Tewari favours one-rank-one-pension
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
National spokesperson of the All-India Congress Committee, Manish Tewari, today advocated the one-rank-one-pension scheme for the ex-servicemen across the country.

Tewari said he and his party were working out a comprehensive package for the ex-servicemen with the scheme as the main focus. Although the scheme had been implemented till 1986, it was being extended to include all the ex-servicemen, he added.

Referring to the reports claiming that he was not in favour of one-rank-one-pension, he clarified that these were absolutely false and baseless. He asserted, “The issue of my opposition to the scheme does not arise as I and my party have always held the view that all the ex-servicemen should be governed by the policy.”

He promised that once the Congress government is formed at the Centre after the general elections, implementation of the scheme would be his top priority as he believed that this was quite a justified demand.

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Natural resource mgmt vital for agriculture
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
“The intensive Punjab agriculture has exerted tremendous pressure on natural resource base, particularly on water and soil health. Therefore, natural resource management has become vital for the sustainability of Punjab agriculture,” Dr B.S. Hansra, an eminent agricultural extension scientist and director, School of Agriculture, Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, stated.

He said it was a healthy sign that agriculture scientists in India had initiated programmes on resource conservation technologies such as efficient use of water and other inputs.

He appreciated the PAU for laying focus on technologies like laser leveler, tensiometer, bed planting, integrated pest management and bio-intensive disease control in crops. He also interacted with the faculty members of the Centre for Communication and International Linkages at the university.

Dr Hansra said eco-friendly approaches in agriculture had acquired a lot of importance in agriculture.

He also visited Dr MS Randhawa Art Gallery and congratulated the faculty members for establishing a landmark facility dedicated to great Dr Randhawa. 

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Businessman robbed  at gunpoint 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
It seems that criminals have no fear of cops. In a typical case of lawlessness, four heavily armed youths, robbed a businessman of his car and mobile phone at a gunpoint in Rishi Nagar on Friday night.

Narrating the incident, Arun Chandna, who runs a computer business at Hambra road, said he and his bother, Dinkar Chandna, were chatting inside a car outside his residence when four heavily armed youth approached and trained a pistol on his head. They were told to come out the car.

As soon as the duo came out, the assailants pushed them down and snatched their mobile phones and fled away in their Ford Fiesta (PB-10-CH-6690). Arun said the robbers came in Indigo car, which they had parked at the end of the street.

As soon as the robbers left, he called the neighbours, who further informed the police. Police has started the investigation but the car remains untraced.

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Two held in robbery bid
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 15
A gang of six looters made an unsuccessful bid to loot the house of a money exchanger. The bid failed as the money exchanger and his father returned home a bit earlier.

The incident is of Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar at Agwar Gujjaran, where the gang equipped with sharp-edge weapons, iron rods and pistols, entered the house of Varun Goyal and tied all the females present at home, including Dev Rani, the mother of Varun, niece Gunjan, sister-in-law Anju and cousin Neetu. 

They were searching the house, when Vijay Goyal, the father of Varun, returned home, and soon, he also entered his house. Seeing the women tied, they raised alarm. Before the neighbours could come there, four of the six looters escaped.

However, two of them were nabbed by the neighbours, who were handed over to the police after giving them a thrashing. Both the nabbed accused confessed the crime and said they reached there along with a youth, called Deepa, on his Verna car.

He said they were informed by a local resident that Varun would be having Rs 3 lakh cash at home this evening. They have been identified as Amanpreet Singh, alias Raju, and Kewal Chand of Ludhiana. On getting the information, SHO Navinpal Singh and DSP Mukhtiar Singh reached the spot and took the custody of nabbed looters, along with sword and iron rod.

The arrested accused have identified the other looters as Rinku alias Deepa, Balraj Singh, both of Ludhiana, Billa Sunyara of Jagraon and an unknown person of Ludhiana.

The SHO said a case under Sections 395 and 458 of the IPC and 25/54/59 of the Arms Act has been registered. The police is conducting raids to arrest the other accused.

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Bid to rape child, 55-yr-old arrested
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 15
A 55-year-old baba has reportedly tried to rape a five-year-old girl. He failed in his motive as the mother of the child returned home.

In her complaint, Baljinder Kaur of Hans Kalan village near here has accused that baba Makhan Das, who resides in the village crematorium had tried to rape her daughter. She said her husband Kuldeep Singh had gone for daily work. 

She went to a nearby house where she works as a domestic help leaving his daughter, beside 3-year-old son and a seven-month-old daughter.

Seeing the children alone at home, the accused entered her house and sent her son out and tried to rape the girl. When she returned home, she saw the accused and her daughter partly undressed and her daughter in the lap of the accused. 

She raised cries on seeing this and the accused escaped from the spot. She then along with her relatives complained the matter to the Jagraon police, who nabbed the accused after registering a case under Sections 376 and 511 against the accused.

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Sports carnival  at school
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
The 4th Annual Athletics Meet of Sat Paul Mittal School was held here today. Vijendra Kumar, Olympic bronze medalist, was the chief guest for the day. The chief guest unfurled the school flag. The Satyans impressed spectators with their excellence.

Lt-Col D B Sharma introduced the chief guest to everyone and delivered the welcome address.

A wonderfully coordinated and well-sequenced performance was given by Class I through their P T drill. The Satyans of classes II to IX grabbed everyone's attention with their dumbells, lazium, rings display and mass P T exercises. 

The shining sports stars of Sat Paul Mittal School, who had brought laurels to the school by winning various district and state-level competitions, were also awarded by the chief guest.

Grandparents and parents races stole the show. In U/14 category, Abhiraj Singh Grewal and Penaz Dhillon were declared the best athletes. In U/16 category, Sahil Mehendroo and Niyamat Chadha were declared the best athletes. 

Ravi House was declared the best House. Dr Rajeev Chauhan, principal, Sat Paul Mittal School, proposed the vote of thanks.

Rakesh Bharti Mittal, chairman, Sat Paul Mittal School, thanked Vijender Singh for accepting his request to be the sports team captain of Sat Paul Mittal School, Ludhiana.

Vijender visits Easyday

Vijender Singh visited Easyday market, the compact hypermarket of Bharti Retail in Ludhiana.

During his visit, Vijender spent some time with shoppers and signed autographs for onlookers who were excited to have the boxing champ among them.

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