L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


LPG dealer dictating terms
Consumers wait for hours to get refills
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
Frustration was writ large on the faces of hundreds of consumers queued up near Sua road in Giaspura as they waited for hours to take refills of the domestic LPG cylinders.

A large number of consumers of the Bharat Gas had to wait for more than six hours to get their refills today even as supply was late by two weeks.

Accusing the authorised dealer, Kailey Gas Agency, of dictating terms, the consumers, who had come from far-flung areas, including Sarpanch Nagar, Lohara village, Ajit Singh Colony and Gurmail Nagar, said that despite having paid for home delivery, they were forced to take their refills personally.

One of the consumers Ramkirpal Singh rued: “I am standing here since 5 am and the supply has arrived after 11 am.”

Accusing the dealer of unethical practices, another consumer said,“The dealer is not ready to deliver the cylinder at home but is more than willing to give it in black for Rs 500 even out of turn from the godown. Moreover, we are forced to buy a ‘namkeen’ packet worth Rs 30 from the agency along with the refills.”

Giaspura has a large occupancy of factory workers who are working on daily wages in nearby factories and in order to take the LPG refill they end up losing a day’s wage as their companies don’t allow them inside after 11 am.

Rued Ashok Kumar and Somnath: “We both have lost Rs 200 each as today’s wage to get the LPG refill.”

The proprietor of Kailey Gas Agency KPS Kailey denied the allegations and said it was with their consent that the refill supply was given on Sua road. “The inconvenience was caused due to shortage of Bharat Gas as this particular load is late by five days. Also, we are short of six loads in 45 days which has caused a backlog and problem to the consumers.”

On selling ‘namkeen’ packets to consumers, he said it was a company policy. 


Draw of lots for liquor vends
Excise dept looks to raise Rs 2,000 cr
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
The Excise and Taxation Department is looking to raise Rs 2,000 crore from the draw of lots of liquor vends in the state, slated to be held on March 20. Last year, the department had raised Rs 1,728 crore from the draw. Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner Parampal Singh said this while talking to Ludhiana Tribune here today.

The draw of lots of liquor vends will be held at a local resort on March 20. Of the total vends for which the draw is to be held, 906 are in Ludhiana district alone.

The number of applications received this year is around 1 lakh as compared to 57,000 last year, while for Ludhiana district the number has almost doubled from 8,607 last year to 16,588 this year.

The last date for submission of applications was March 16.

“The department is expected to raise Rs 284 crore this year from the draw of lots in Ludhiana district alone, while the figure for last year was Rs 254 crore,” said Parampal Singh.

He added that the state had earned revenue worth Rs 100 crore through renewing liquor contracts alone this year as compared to Rs 38.25 crore last year.

This year, the applicants were required to deposit Rs 1 lakh per unit in the urban areas and Rs 50,000 per unit in the rural areas, he said adding that the number of applications received this year was highest so far. The department has amended the condition under which a bidder could only submit one application earlier. This year, the bidders can submit more than one applications for the draw.

The official said apart from liquor barons of the city, hoteliers, restaurant and club owners and property dealers, applications had also been received from contractors from the neighbouring states of Rajasthan and Haryana.

Liquor goes cheap

Bringing cheer to liquor lovers, contractors across the state have slashed the prices of liquor, including that of premium brands, as with March 31 just round the corner, old liquor contracts will come to an end. There has been a massive cut in prices, especially of premium brands, and the cut ranges from Rs 50-350. However, there has been no cut in the prices of beer and wine.



Bid to rape NRI girl
Marriage palace employee booked
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 17
The police has booked an employee of a marriage palace at Payal town for attempting to rape an NRI minor girl here yesterday. The accused has been booked under Sections 376 and 511 of the IPC. No arrest has been made so far.

The accused has been identified as Gurpreet Singh of Ghudani Khurad village.

Eleven-year-old Raman Deep Kaur (name changed), daughter of a farmer of Payal town and a USA resident, was allegedly molested by Gurpreet Singh on the intervening night of March 15 and 16.

According to the FIR registered on the statement of Ranjit Singh of Maksudra village, Gurpreet took the victim to the lavatory located in a remote corner of Mubarak Palace - where she, along with her parents, was attending a family function - around 12.30 am.

Due to high pitch music, her shrieks went unnoticed. The accused allegedly attempted to outrage the modesty of the girl by detaining her in the bathroom. He bolted the room from the inside when the victim tried to free herself.

She was rescued after a relative of the victim went to the lavatory. He raised the alarm after hearing shrieks of the girl from the inside. The accused, however, fled under the cover of darkness.

The body of the victim bore scratches and bruises received during the struggle.

Police teams under the supervision of SHO Varinder Jit Singh raided hideouts of the accused to arrest him.



Visually impaired in dark
Authorities concerned find it hard to prepare list of blind in district
Jyotika Sood/Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
Even as the Election Commission is trying to give a fair chance to the visually impaired to cast their vote in the ensuing Lok Sabha poll, the authorities concerned are finding it hard to accomplish it.

According to sources, the officials in the department of social security are finding it difficult to prepare lists of the blind from the 12,96,911 electorates in the city.

Talking to The Tribune, officers in the department revealed that it was not possible to hold a survey and get the exact number of blind in Ludhiana district as it was a time consuming process. Though they claim that they have exact figures of handicapped persons due to pensions being given to them, but no records for the blind has been ever prepared. Besides, they added that the registered lists of blinds which they have are of only those who are studying or working with institutes directly or indirectly affiliated to the social security department.

District social security officer Inderjeet Kaur said: "The list that has been sent to the EC from the district consists 32 blind studying in a private school while 11 and 62 are with government-aided blind institutions." However, she failed to reveal the exact position of the survey being conducted for the number of blind.

Giving details about the EC's direction, election tehsildar Labh Singh said, "The EC has directed all the districts in the state to submit a list of the blinds so that special arrangements could be made for them. Besides, we have been also asked to send a list of people those who are well versed with Braille." He said the directions say that special stickers in Braille would be placed on electronic voting machines (EVMs) so that the blinds do not depend on others.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner-cum-Returning Officer, Ludhiana, Vikas Garg, said, "There is no deadline to prepare the lists of blind and assured that the department would be able to prepare booth-wise lists of blind." 



Industrialists want their voice heard
In spite of repeated promises on the political platform, the state has failed to bring out any industrial policy
Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
Political parties are working overtime to garner cash reserves for poll activity from industrialists who have been a peeved lot due to years of neglect leading to a virtually collapsed infrastructure and abysmally poor power supply in the “Manchester of India”.

Certain industrial groups are boycotting election meetings saying “no one has ever done anything for the industrial sector, which is collapsing”.

Industrialists nearly finalised their own candidate for the Lok Sabha polls, recently. The entrepreneurs have been voicing their anger over the devastated infrastructure, particularly in the Focal Point area for industry and abysmally poor power supply, which has severely affected the working capacity of industrial units.

Employment has been directly hit and a large number of workers have already left the city.

Following a series of meetings, industrialists moved to finalise the name of SC Ralhan from the Engineering Export Promotion Council, a move that fizzled out at the last stage.

The industrial town, contributing several hundred crores to the national exchequer and providing jobs to thousands, has not had a single industrialist representing them in Parliament. Despite repeated promises on the political platform, the state has failed to bring out any industrial policy.

Avtar Bhogal, a leading industrialist, said: “Despite contributing crores of rupees to the national spending account, we don’t have a single political party that can ensure a distinct place for the city in the state budget. The mirage of power projects in the state now does not impress us.”

Charanjit Singh from Vishwa Karma Industries said: “We are sure the power crisis will be back after the polls. Where can it come from? The state has also not ensured a functional machinery to address VAT refunds.”

Venod Thapar, president of the knitwear industry, said: “I find it very amusing when the Chief Minister and his son make repeated announcements for an international airport in the city. Can’t they first see 2-3 feet deep potholes all over the Focal Point.”

Thapar added that “majority of the industrial units in the city are working only 40 per cent of their capacity because of power crises. Lesser power means lesser employment, which has led to massive labour shortage due to fleeting labour”.

Bhogal said: “We are often embarrassed when we have visitors from abroad visiting our industrial units. A large number of them are dissuaded from making a repeat visit.”

Charan Lohara, president of the All India Motor Congress, said: “The government has been constantly failing to address Ludhiana as an area needing special treatment. The industry has lakhs of lives and scores of support business attached to it. The collapsing city infrastructure is not in interest of future of the city. The government has also failed to dole out any special package for road transporters despite a massive economic meltdown whereas other sector have been helped.”



Two held for snatching bag
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
The Model Town police arrested two youths for snatching a bag of a businessman here today. According to the police, the two had created panic in the area with their snatching activities during the past few months. The accused have been identified as Amandeep Singh and Jaspreet Singh of Humayunpur village.

The police also recovered a motor cycle used in the crime.

Acting on information of snatching of bag of Rajinder Kapoor in the Dugri area, the police set up a check point near Dugri and arrested the accused.

The police also recovered the bag from the accused.



75 lakh books published for free distribution
To be given to class I-VIII students of govt schools
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
The Punjab Education Department has got as many as 75 lakh books published for free distribution among the students of Class I to VIII in the government schools of the state. The distribution of books will start from April 1, at the onset of the new academic session starts. The books have been published by the Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyaan (SSA) under the supervision of director general schools education Punjab with the cost of more than Rs 17 crore.

Earlier these books were published by the PSEB, and often there was delay in the delivery of the books at the schools. This year Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan has taken the initiative of getting the books published at its own level to check the delay.

The SSA authorities have already started dispatching the books to the district education officers and have asked the DEOs to ensure their timely distribution. There are five subjects for Class I to V- math, English, Punjabi, Hindi and environmental science. For class VI, VII and VIII the subjects are math, English, Punjabi, Hindi, social studies, science, physical education and computer education.. Amarjit Kaur, DEO (secondary) said, all the routes had been finalised for the quick delivery of books.

Harpal Kaur, DEO (primary) said that they were in the process of receiving the books and the block education officers have been assigned the duty of distributing the books in rural areas. 



Railways indifferent to city
Drags its feet over development projects
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 17
Thanks to failure of the successive elected representatives of industrial hub to raise their voice in the Lok Sabha, the Railways has been indifferent to the city, both in granting new projects and executing those taken in hand till now.

Be it the decade-old Ludhiana-Chandigarh rail link, the dedicated freight corridor from Howrah to Ludhiana, construction of railway overbridges or under-passes, the track record of the Railways is dismal to say the least, and the role of members of the Lok Sabha elected in the past, irrespective of party affiliation, is far from satisfactory.

Tall promises of the MPs at the time of seeking votes after every five years notwithstanding, the project of a motorable rail overbridge in place of old lakkar pul (now dismantled) was conceived nearly eight years back and after partial construction of approach road from Civil Lines side, it was abandoned without showing any signs of resumption of the work. As a result, the cost of the project has gone up from initial estimate of Rs 12 crore to Rs 22 crore.

Another major project of the Railways - an underbridge at Shastri Nagar railway crossing - is also caught in the official red tape with the civic body dragging its feet on the advance deposit asked for by the Railways to take the work in hand on Rs 12 crore underbridge.

Yet another underbridge on the Ferozepur railway line in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, proposed to be constructed at a cost of Rs 20 crore, still awaits final nod from the Railways ministry even after the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority, entrusted with funding and execution of the project, has set the process in motion for construction of the approaches.

Despite the fact that these projects are partly or fully funded by the state government agencies like the MC, PUDA or GLADA, the Railways have been indifferent towards the city in the projects related to construction of overbridges or under-passes to provide some relief to the burgeoning population and number of vehicles. Not only this, the pace at which execution of other major projects is being undertaken is also tardy.

The Rs 556-crore Ludhiana-Chandigarh rail link, launched in 2000, is still incomplete. While the section from Chandigarh to Morinda became functional in 2006, the stretch from Morinda to Sahnewal will take another year, or even more, and the link would become operational by then only if a rail track proposed to be laid from Sahnewal to Ludhiana - parallel to the existing trunk line (Delhi-Ludhiana) - is in place by that time.

In the wake of poor track record of the Railways in this regard, the Eastern dedicated freight corridor from Howrah to Ludhiana seems to be a distant dream. The mega project, with a length of 1,279 kilometres, and an estimated cost of Rs 11,589 crore is scheduled to be completed in five years which seems to be a tough task if the performance of the Railways is any indication.

City residents solely blame the discrimination by the Railways to the incompetence and indifference of elected members of the Lok Sabha who failed to have raised issues pertaining to infrastructure development in their constituency with the Union government, or to be precise, the Union Railway Minister.



DC takes stock of poll preparations
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
Deputy Commissioner-cum-Returning Officer Vikas Garg today held a meeting with the Assistant Returning Officers and government officials to discuss the poll preparations in the city.

Garg took the stock of various works assigned to the officers and collected reports, including the communication plans of the nearest landlines available around the polling stations. He also directed officials to take special care as far as defacement of property is concerned.

The DC asked the officials to be careful while discharging their duties and warned them against any irregularity.



BSP candidate likely to upset many an applecart
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
While the SAD-BJP and the Congress candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha poll are busy gathering support, the announcement of Kehar Singh Ramgarhia as the party candidate from the BSP for the Ludhiana constituency is likely to upset their applecart.

Ramgarhia, who joined the BSP in 2006 after leaving the Congress, plans to take basic amenities in the city and reservations for the SC and the OBC as part of his election manifesto. The announcement of Ramgarhia as BSP candidate was made last week.

Talking to The Tribune, he said neither the Congress nor the SAD-BJP alliance had been able to put up a good development show.

“Industry and almost every sector, including farming in Punjab, has been badly disturbed since the reigns have been with these two parties. So, we will take unkept promises as poll plank and if voted to power will bring an era of development that people had been demanding from long.”

He added that the poor show of these political parties could be assessed from the fact that big industry from the state had been gradually disappearing. Besides, the BSP also claims to have the support of Dalit vote-bank, which is around 1.8 lakh in the city.

Notably, a faction of Dalits led by Laxman Dravid had recently announced that they would not support SAD-BJP candidate Gurcharan Singh Galib in the upcoming poll, which is already going to play a spoilsport for Galib’s vote-bank.

However, the final decision on which candidate would be supported by Dravid’s faction would be taken during a state-level meeting on April 14.

While the Congress is yet to announce its candidate from Ludhiana, the other two candidates i.e. Gurcharan Singh Galib and BSP candidate Kehar Singh Ramgarhia had once been a part of the Congress.

Both of them had worked on various important posts in the Congress, thus making the LS poll a “Congress show” where former Congress leaders would fight against present Congress candidate.



INTUC rally against poor health of PSUs
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 17
Activists of Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) today held a rally in front of the city central division of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) here to focus on poor financial health of public sector undertakings (PSUs) and policies of privatisation being pursued by the state government.

Addressing the rally, INTUC president Swarn Singh lambasted the government for attempted unbundling of the PSEB and total inaction to pull the debt-ridden board out of the red.

He said the cumulative debts on the PSEB were Rs 12,614 crore and the losses had touched over Rs 7,300 crore. Even after taking into account the subsidy of Rs 2,280 crore released by the government, there would be no funds with the board after two months to pay salaries and pensions.

The INTUC chief maintained that the condition of other PSUs like Punjab Roadways and Pepsu Road Transport Corporations was no different. Bowing to the pressure of powerful lobby of private transporters, the government had not shifted the 300 strong fleet of PUNBUS to Punjab Roadways and the promised addition of more buses had also not materialised.

The government, he added, under its agenda of privatisation of government departments, boards and corporations, was targeting strategic departments like PUDA, PWD, public health, PSEB, Punjab Roadways and PRTC, while at the same time, industrial workers and employees in private sector were being given a raw deal.

“Labour laws are being flouted with impunity, minimum wages, bonus as well as other facilities like ESI and healthcare facilities are being denied.”

Those present at the rally also demanded appropriate raise in minimum wages of skilled and unskilled workers in view of hike in cost of living and prices of essential commodities.



Sewerage a distant dream for Amloh
Our Correspondent

Amloh, March 17
There is no end to the suffering of residents of the town as sewage continues to block streets and enter houses, making their lives a virtual nightmare.

To top it all, some families have raised the plinth of their houses from the street level and their entrance ramps have blocked the flow of sewage. The sewage forces into the low-lying houses, leaving the occupants with no alternative but to flush it out.

Moreover, the stagnant sewage also pollutes the potable water supply to houses.

To cope with the menace, Finance Minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh had laid the stone for sewerage system on June 20, 1998. The work started on the Nabha road with the available funds.

However, no further installment was released. In the meantime, Congress government came into power in the state.

Finally, funds were provided in the fifth year of the Congress government’s tenure. The amount was, however, withdrawn by the current SAD-BJP government, claimed Congress MLA Sadhu Singh Dharamsot.

During a sangat darshan programme on January 8, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal announced Rs 1 crore for the development of the town and the municipal council got a cheque on January 28. Another Rs 1 crore was added to the amount on February 17.

The council unanimously passed a resolution to lay sewerage through the Water Supply and Sewerage Board.

The board head office released the tenders in February, but the work could not be started.

On being contacted, board SDO SK Ranga today suggested the correspondent to contact Executive Engineer, Patiala.

With official dilly-dally still on, the stagnant sewage continues to undermine the foundation of buildings and potable water.

The sewage of some localities also reportedly enters the Haripur minor of Bhakra canal passing near the grain market.



Organic cotton wear latest rage
Charu Chhibber

Ludhiana, March 17
Cotton is the world's most popular fabric. Soft and comfortable, it's used for almost every type of clothing right from socks, shirts, sweaters, dresses, jackets to sleepwear, sportswear and more.

Traditional cotton farming, however, is hard on the environment as cotton is the most pesticide-dependent crop in the world, accounting for 25 per cent of all pesticides used.

These chemicals are taking a toll on our environment and human health as a whole. According to a survey, every T-shirt made of conventional cotton requires 1/4 pound of harmful chemicals.

Thus, organically raised cotton is gradually breaking new ground both on the farm and in the marketplace. Organic cotton is produced without the use of harsh chemical bleaches or dyes, and is allergy free. Natural fertilisers, compost and soil amendments are used in its production. Hence, organic cotton clothing, unheard of a few years ago, is now fast catching the fancy of the health conscious.

The trend is soon catching on in this not-so-environment-friendly city.

Says Anil Jain, group chairman, Venus Garments India Limited: "Our endeavour is to provide the customer the best of the products at reasonable prices making use of our infrastructure and experience."

He asserts: "All our garments are up to global organic textile standards (GOTS) and organic exchange standards. The certification has been done by the Control Union from the Netherlands."

He says organic cotton clothing is of tremendous benefit to the customer in terms of safety and comfort. The use of organic cotton clothing helps society as a whole by giving us a cleaner and better environment.

Perneet Gill, a schoolteacher, said: "Organic cotton wear is healthy not only for the wearer but also for the environment. It is any day better than synthetic clothing which is made from harsh chemicals and often causes allergies. I prefer wearing organic cotton clothes as they are skin-friendly and safe."

Agrees Poonam Shaida, a housewife: "I recently came across organic cotton clothing. I think it is a boon for those who care for their well being as well as for the environment. And the best part is that a wide variety of products made from organically grown cotton is now available from shirts and pants, socks, underwear to skirts and blouses, sheets and pillowcases, towels and bathrobes." 



Singing contest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
“Voice of PCTE”, a singing competition, was organised at the PCTE Institute of Hotel Management. As many as 70 students participated in the event.

Dr KNS Kang, director, PCTE, said the event served as a platform to explore students’ talent. He appreciated the efforts put in by BBA students for organising the event.

Manraj Singh, a student of MCA, bagged the title of the "Voice of PCTE".

Pawandeep Singh of pharmacy discipline and Jagdeep Singh of airlines, tourism and hospitality stream, won the second and third prizes, respectively.

Jatin Rajput, director of the Fame Music Academy, adjudged the students on the basis of their voice flexibility, variable pitches and sound quality.



Workshop on cervical cancer
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
The department of obstetrics and gynaecology, DMCH, and the Indian Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology (ISCP), jointly organised a CME-cum-workshop on colposcopy at Dumra auditorium.

Professor and head of gynaecology Dr BK Gill, DMCH, said colposcopy was a vital precancerous lesions of the cervix and an early detection of cervical malignancy, which was the commonest genital cancer in India.

The CME had two scientific sessions. The morning session of the workshop was on “Pap smear technique and interpretation” by Dr Sunita Goyal, “VIA : As a screening tool in resource poor settings” by Dr Sindu Jacob, “Role of HPV in early detection of cervical cancer” by Dr Monika Saluja and “Vaccination for prevention of cervical cancer” by Dr Pooja Tandon.

Guest speakers during the workshop were Dr Vijay Zutshi, professor of obstetrics and gynae, Maulana Azad Medical College and GB Pant Hospital, Delhi, and Dr Sumita Mehta, consultant in UCMS and GTB Hospital, Delhi.

Dr Vijay Zutshi spoke on the topic “Management of Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasms (CIN)” and said practitioners should apply a method with which they were familiar, because the results were same with all methods.

Dr Sumita Mehta spoke on the “Basics of colposcopy and interpretation of colposcopy findings”.

She said colposcopy and directed biopsies could form the set standards for early diagnosis of CIN.



‘Science vital for women empowerment’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
An interactive meeting was organised at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today by the PAU Directorate of Extension Education in collaboration with the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology to mobilise projects aimed at women empowerment for which the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has a programme to support innovative projects.

Dr Vinita Sharma, Adviser, DST, delivered the keynote address, highlighting the priority areas identified by DST as well as successful projects for women empowerment implemented with the support of the Government of India. She informed that the DST provided fellowships to give an opportunity to women scientists to re-enter active research after a career break.

This fellowship was available for carrying out innovative R&D, having societal impact. There was ample scope for the promotion of research, development and technology transfer to improve the quality of life, working conditions and provide newer opportunities for gainful employment of women, especially in rural areas, she said.



Free health camp for farmers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
The health problems of farmers will be addressed free of cost for the first time during the two-day Kisan Mela, to be organised at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on March 19-20.

Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) along with PAU authorities has taken this initiative for the farming community realising that due to lack of awareness in the rural areas, many health problems of farmers were not being addressed properly and there was a need to provide them with latest health facilities.

Also, staff and employees will be able to avail of the facilities at the camp organised by the department of surgery, DMCH.

Dr Kuldeep Singh, head of the surgery department, said farmers and their families would be examined free of cost and all tests would be conducted on the spot with latest equipment.

“Ultrasound scan for gall stones, kidney stones, liver, prostate, hernia, piles, breast tumours, detection of cancer, abdominal tumours, etc. will be conducted for farmers besides several other routine tests,” said Dr Kuldeep Singh.

PAU authorities have provided appropriate space to doctors for the camp as thousands of farmers from different districts of Punjab and other states are expected to attend the camp.

Under the supervision of head of the surgery department, six consultants, resident staff and para-medical staff will be at the service of farmers.

Appreciating the gesture, Bharti Kisan Union president Balbir Singh Rajewal said it was a goodwill gesture on part of an organisation to serve for farming community.

“It is perhaps for the first time that such a camp is being organised specifically for farmers, who spend their entire lives filling stomachs of millions of people. Neither are they aware nor do they get time to visit clinics or hospitals for ailments. Tests are too expensive to be afforded by them. We expect that a large number of farmers will benefit from the camp,” he said.



PAU kisan mela from tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
A two-day kisan mela will be organised on the PAU campus on March 19-20. Dr S.S. Johl, the former chairman, Agricultural Costs and Prices, will be the chief guest and Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, will be the guest of honour.

Director of extension education Dr Daljit Singh Dhillon said the theme of the kisan mela would be “Save environment, save Punjab”.

He added that different departments of the PAU would showcase technologies on the theme and the College of Home Science would offer many activities of interest to women visiting the kisan mela.

In the first session, the PAU will honour four progressive farmers from Patiala, Sangrur, Muktsar and Ludhiana districts.

Johl will release the PAU crop calendar-2009 on the occasion. 



Visually impaired to hold protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
Members of the National Federation of Blind will be holding a march from Ludhiana to Chandigarh in the second week of April. This was stated by Professor Rajesh Mohan, general secretary, National Federation of Blind (Punjab branch) today.

Mohan was in the city for the merger of the Punjab Sports Association for Blind with the National Federation of Blind.

Representatives from both organisations said the blind, especially those in Punjab had always been victims of government apathy.

They revealed that even the Central government had failed to follow the orders of the court directing them to have 1 per cent institutional-based reservations for the blind. They also urged the state governments to take care of the employment needs of blind. 



Different hues of leaves
Tribune News Service

PAU Vice-Chancellor MS Kang looks at a photograph during an exhibition by AP Singh in Ludhiana.
PAU Vice-Chancellor MS Kang looks at a photograph during an exhibition by AP Singh in Ludhiana. Photo:Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, March 17
AP Singh from Centre for Communication and International Linkages, exhibited his pictures at the Art Gallery, PAU, yesterday.

PAU Vice-Chancellor M.S. Kang inaugurated the exhibition. Through his pictures, he portrayed various hues of the leaves of the same plant-"Canna". "All the pictures are shot under natural light. Whenever light passes through a subject it diffuses into different colours. That is why different hues of blue, purple and orange are visible in the pictures," said AP Singh.

Fascinated by trees and leaves, the photographer claims this to be his best collection. It took him almost one and a half year to complete the series which includes sixty pictures.



16 brick-kiln labourers detained

Mullanpur Dakha, March 17
The Dakha police yesterday detained 16 labourers of a brick kiln and later released them on bail. The police had booked them on the complaint of Sukhwinder Singh, who alleged that Nirmal Singh of Bhanohar and Jaipal Singh of Pamali along with 20 others had forcibly picked him up in a Tata 407 truck. 

He claimed that he had refused to stop work in the kiln after workers demanded higher wages. Harpreet Singh, owner of brick kiln of Raqba village in which they were working, got the complainant released from captivity while the latter was being taken to an undisclosed destination. — OC



Society official held on graft charge
Tribune News Service

Khanna, March 17
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau today arrested a secretary of the Machhiwara Cooperative Society while allegedly taking bribe from a resident of Machhiwara.

The accused has been identified as Balvir Singh, deployed as secretary in the society. He was reportedly demanding a bribe of Rs 5,000 from Harjinder Singh.

A team of vigilance sleuths reached the office of the society this afternoon at around 2 pm and arrested the accused along with money.

Sources in the office said the complainant himself was involved in a case of fraud in the society. He had been demanding some documents pertaining to his case.

The vigilance bureau has registered a case in this connection and taken the accused away for investigations.



Youth held for killing taxi driver
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 17
The Payal police has arrested a youth of Dhamot village in Ludhiana district for allegedly killing a taxi driver of Rabon Neechi village by throwing him in the Patiala branch of Sirhind canal last week.

The decomposed body of the victim was fished out of the canal two days back.

Mandeep Singh Deepa of Dhamot village was arrested by a police team led by SHO Varinder Jit Singh when he was trying to leave the area at Doom bridge last evening.

The accused confessed to have killed Gurvinder Singh alias Bania (24) of Rabon Neechi village a week back.

Investigations revealed that Bania, whose taxi was hired by Mandeep last Wednesday, had gone missing on the same day. His body was fished out from Sirhind Canal near Jandali Bhodewal on Sunday evening.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Deepa had called Bania on March 11 to hire his taxi for going to Ludhiana. Parents of the victim became suspicious when he did not return till late night and lodged a missing report at the Malaudh police post the next day.

It was on the basis of analysis of telephone calls made on the mobile phone of the deceased that his parents and police became suspicious of role of Deepa in the case.

Investigations further revealed that Deepa and Bania entered into a scuffle over some issue during their visit to Ludhiana. Bania was allegedly thrown into the canal after drugging him in a cold drink.

The police said the accused planned to sell the taxi and had left the vehicle at a workshop at Simla Puri in Ludhiana.

The accused had tied his limbs with ropes and pieces of clothes before throwing him into the canal.



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