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MC to frame policy on gates 
To be discussed in MC House meet 
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation authorities have decided to frame a policy for installation of gates on streets.

The draft of the policy will be taken up for discussion at the General House meeting of the MC. According to information, Municipal Commissioner G.S. Ghuman has asked Senior Town Planner B.S. Brar to frame a draft of the policy for gates on streets.

The sources revealed that the decision had been taken keeping in view the political intervention at the local and higher level in the Ludhiana MC. Be it the local councillors or the MLAs, all have difference of opinion in the matter, they added.

With this decision, the matter has again been put on the backburner as the House meeting cannot be held till May 13 following the Lok Sabha polls.

When asked, the MC officials said no new gates would be allowed till the final was taken in this regard.

However, the decision regarding old gates will come up only after the policy is put before the MC House.

While the issue of gates in F-block of the Kitchlu Nagar is yet to be resolved, another case in Kidwai Nagar has come to light.

A delegation of residents from Kidwai Nagar met the Municipal Commissioner today urging him to remove the gate put up by on a 30 feet wide road. The residents, mostly women, rued that the gate was kept closed throughout the day causing inconvenience to them.

"School buses and autos cannot enter the colony as the gate is closed," said a woman resident, complaining that due to the gate, thieves have direct access to her house and she has been victim of this twice.

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Maze of wires poses threat in colony
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 15
The residents of Sant Vihar colony on the Chuharpur road in the Haibowal area here are living under constant threat due to low-hanging power cables for the past several months.

Repeated attempts by the residents to draw the attention of the officials concerned of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) have drawn a blank till now.

The plight of the residents is no different from lakhs of others in various parts of the city who are exposed to grave threats of electrocution or sustaining burn injuries from dangling power cables. There has been a number of serious accidents, and some precious human lives as well as cattle heads have been lost without evoking much response from the PSEB officials responsible for the maintenance of power transmission and distribution network in the city.

Residents of the city localities, where power supply network is in a state of utter neglect and poor upkeep, complain that the industrial capital of the state is fast turning into a complex jungle of power cables, which tend to cause serious mishaps, beside posing danger to human and cattle lives. This is not only in old localities of the city that one comes across big bunches of these cables but the situation is almost the same even in posh and upmarket residential and commercial areas in the city.

As the population of the city keeps proliferating and number of consumers going up with each passing day, the load on the existing distribution system also increases with the result that naked and loose joints of the electrical cables catch fire or give out sparks frequently, posing a serious threat to those passing from under the cables or nearby buildings.

"Lack of periodic maintenance of the distribution system and proper repair of faulty cables, coupled with the overloaded transformers, have led many to accidents in thickly populated areas without evoking any reaction from the authorities of the PSEB, who wash their hands off under the excuse of lack of funds or manpower for this purpose," said KN Sharma, a resident of Sant Vihar colony.

Admitting that there was a scope for improvement in the maintenance of distribution system and complex bunches of PVC cables, the officials attributed the prevailing mess to lack of adequate staff and poor allocation of funds.

"Moreover, the expanding cable TV networks in the city have wreaked havoc on the electric poles and PVC power cables as rather than creating their own infrastructure for cable TV wires, the staff of the cable TV operators is making use of our poles and cables to support their distribution network," said the PSEB officials.

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Ticket Row
Free-for-all at SP meet 
Party functionaries exchange words, blows 
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 15
Choice of candidate by the Mulayam Singh-led Samajwadi Party (SP) for the Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat has become a bone of contention between the ticket aspirants to such an extent that party functionaries had heated arguments and exchanged blows at a meeting of the office-bearers here last evening.

At a meeting convened by T.R. Mishra, who claims to be the party candidate, to discuss the poll strategy in coordination with the office-bearers of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), president of the youth wing of state unit of the SP Krishan Lal Sharma arrived at the venue and charged Mishra with misguiding the party workers and the state leadership of the party.

When some of the party office-bearers intervened, there was a minor scuffle between the two groups and a verbal dual ensued. Sharma claimed that the party high command had earlier nominated him to contest the Lok Sabha polls from the city but Mishra had manipulated to get himself replaced as the party nominee.

He maintained that till now, the party had not declared any one as the party candidate officially and the issue was still open. Sharma alleged that the state party president Teja Singh Tiwana had also been misinformed by Mishra in a bid to secure party ticket but a final decision from the party high command was still to come.

Sharma and his supporters further claimed that the matter had been brought to the notice of senior party leaders along with the fact that Mishra had no base in the party, he was not a member of the party and also that till a few days ago, he was trying to seek ticket from the RJD.

While Mishra could not be contacted for comments as his mobile phone was switched off, Prem Pandey, president of All India Poorvanchal Sangharsh Morcha said the ongoing scramble for securing party ticket from SP, RJD or LJP among the leaders of migrant groups was not indicative of their keenness to contest election but to capitalise the situation for personal gains. 

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Posters stir hornet’s nest
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
In perhaps first of its kind in the city, walls in Ward no. 1 of the Municipal Corporation are dotted with posters and boards fixing money to be paid to performers like eunuchs, “marasis” and “baazigars”.

The information is put up on various buildings in different areas and streets of the ward, including those near the gurdwara.

The information on one of the boards has allegedly been issued by the municipal councillor and the area residents fixing Rs 510 to be paid to eunuchs, Rs 201 to “bhands and Rs 101 to “bazigars”.

Similarly, another poster reads: "Important Information: Eunuchs fee Rs 150, marasis fee Rs 100 and bazigaars fee Rs 50”. The information is issued by the Mohalla Sudhar Sabha, Aman Nagar, Aakash Nagar, New Akash Nagar, Manjit Vihar.

The matter came to light today when some “bazigars” filed a complaint with the Salem Tabri police station. Talking to The Tribune, the complainant, Paramjit Kumar, president of the Jai Maa Kali Naujawan Sabha, said, "These posters are coming up since Monday evening and have hurt are sentiments. We don't go and beg at people's residence, they pay us with their choice."

Paramjit, accompanied by Bodh Singh, Bholla Ram and Balbir Singh, alleged the posters were coming up in connivance with the area municipal councillor. "We have come to know that the municipal councillor's husband, too, is involved in this and have complained to police demanding an action against the culprits who have tried to defame us," they alleged, adding that if the posters were not removed, they would be forced to launch an agitation.

Area councillor Rattanjit Kaur was not available for comments. However, her husband denied his and his wife’s involvement and said: "We came to know about the posters last night only. We don’t know who has put up these posters. We are inquiring into the matter."

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Narrow escape for school kids 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
A major tragedy was averted when a moving school bus, ferrying around 50-55 students of Saratwati Model School, Hambra Road, got stuck as a portion of the Waddi Haibowal Road caved in here today.

The incident has again laid bare the quality of material used for laying roads by the Municipal Corporation. Five student sustained minor injuries due to the sudden jolt. Bus driver Balbir Singh was quick to respond and brought the matter to the notice of the school authorities, who sent another bus for the schoolchildren.

The incident took place when the school bus was crossing Dr Jagdish Road to drop students. According to a resident, just when the bus was turning, the road caved in and the rear wheel on the bus stuck inside the road. Due to the sudden impact, the bus tilted.

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NRI kidnapped over land dispute 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
A 50-year-old NRI was allegedly kidnapped by his relative over a land dispute at Dadd village here today.

The victim is identified as Harbhajan Singh, an NRI from Canada.

According to the police, the NRI was here to settle the land dispute, which was given on lease by his US-based elder brother Jagseer to his distant relative Lakhwinder Singh.

The incident took place this morning when Harbhajan Singh was walking in the field and spotted Lakhwinder, along with his men.

According to residents, Harbhajan Singh told Lakhwinder Singh and his men to leave the field immediately.

Lakhwinder Singh responded angrily and said he had taken the agricultural land on lease from his elder brother and he had to cut the standing crop.

The heated argument between the two soon turned violent. In the meantime, Lakhwinder Singh took out a weapon and allegedly kidnapped the NRI in a car and fled the spot.

The relatives of the NRI narrated the incident to the police.

According to SHO Sadar Mandeep Singh, the police is trying to trace the accused. Singh further added that no ransom call has been made by the accused so far.

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Authorities accused of wrong criteria
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 15
Accusing authorities of adopting arbitrary criteria while fixing compensation for land acquired for widening of Ludhiana-Malerkotla road under the World Bank project, land owners of Nanaksar Jagera village in Ludhiana district have demanded value for their land equal to that paid for adjoining Pohir village.

While certain owners of agricultural land at Pohir have been paid prices over four-times higher than that recommended by the committee constituted for the purpose, owners of commercial properties at Nanaksar Jagera are being paid very lower prices, alleged the villagers.

In separate communiqués addressed to higher authorities, including the Country Director of the World Bank (WB) and Chief Secretary of Punjab, owners of land, led by Sushil Singla, a petrol pump owner, have alleged that the PWD and the civil authorities were forcing them to transfer their prime commercial property at a rate of Rs 1,300 per square yard (Rs 65 lakh per acre), while owners of agricultural land situated at adjoining Pohir village were paid Rs 7,200 per square yard.

Accusing certain officials of being hand and glove with beneficiary claimants, the complainants have stated that the committee constituted by the WB had earlier recommended about Rs 1,500 per sq yard for land situated at and around Pohir village. But perusal of records shows that majority of the owners had been paid compensation at the rate of Rs 7,200 per sq yard. This is also many times higher that the price prescribed by the government in basic value master for the locality.

Supporting their claim with documentary proofs, Sushil Singla, Chuhar Singh and others asserted the state government had initiated process for acquiring commercial land situated along the Ludhiana- Malerkotla road a few months ago. While Singla is among those who are yet to sign the sale deed, many, like Chuhar, have been allegedly forced to make the deed by accepting cheques.

Claimants included owners of petrol pumps, marriage palaces, factories and shops. Some of them have also sought information under the RTI Act regarding details of payments made for acquisition at Pohir and Jagera villages.

Interestingly, minimum price for commercial land at Jagera has been prescribed as Rs 9,000 in basic value master.

Apprehending nexus among land owners receiving higher than recommended value and officials, residents have urged the higher authorities to remove the disparity and compensate them according to the criteria adopted for owners of land at Pohir. "We want nothing more statutory benefits available under Sections 23 (1) (a), 23 (2) and (B) of the Land Acquisition Act for the property being acquired. Compensation for superstructures and the amount invested in converting the agricultural land should also be paid," said claimants demanding probe into the alleged scandalous disparity of payment for lands situated in proximity to each other.

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200 baptised at Roomi village
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 15
In a religious programme to mark the establishment of Khalsa Panth, nearly 200 persons were baptised.

On the concluding day of the three-day programme at Gurdwara Sri Guru Granth Sahib at Roomi village, men, women and children were baptised in the presence of Panj Piaras, came especially here from gurdwara Tahialiana Sahib, Raikot. The programme was attended by Sant Ranjit Singh Bathwale and Mohan Singh of Patiala, who presented the history of Sikhism and inspired the gathering to follow its teaching. Chairman Manpreet Singh Ayali, chairman Kamaljit Singh Malla, Akhtiar Singh Roomi, Baldev Singh Beer, Tersem Sigh Chachrari, Gurcharan Singh Grewal, Malkait Singh Roomi, Har Samunder Singh Gill, Chand Singh Dalla, Sukhdev Singh were among those present on the occasion.

About 30 meritorious students were also honoured.

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Pay panel: Govt staff to launch stir
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 15
The Punjab State Karamachari Dal has served an ultimatum on the state government to implement the demands of government employees and pensioners failing which it will launch a state wide agitation starting with a massive rally from Nawanshahar on 
April 16.

State president Hari Singh Tohra said there was widespread resentment among the employees and the pensioners over the indifferent attitude of the government towards their pending demands.

The government has been dilly-dallying in accepting the report of the pay commission and now the model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha elections was being cited as an obstacle in the way of implementing the recommendations.

Tohra claimed that several neighbouring states, including Haryana and Chhattisgarh, had already implemented the pay commission report on the central pattern while the Punjab government was still delaying the issue.

The demands of the employees include, regularisation of ad hoc workers, work charges of daily wage employees, cash payment of 64 per cent dearness allowance and scrapping policies of privatisation of key government departments.

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Workers sit on dharna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
Tension prevailed at Giaspura and the Focal Point area as around 400 workers of Gobind Rubber Industries sat on a dharna against the factory authorities here today.

The worker were demanding a hike in their salaries. The police was deployed as it received a tip-off that the protesting workers would turn violent.

Till the filing of this report, the negotiation proceedings were still in process.

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‘Cancel FIR against patwaris’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
The Revenue Patwar Union, Ludhiana, under the leadership of Virinder Rikhi and the Union president Roopinder Singh Grewal held a dharna for four hours at the Mini Secretariat demanding cancellation of the FIR against two patwaris posted at Sahnewal.

Grewal said, “Patwaris Ajit Singh and Ranjit Singh are victims of the Punjab Police apathy. They are being implicated in false cases. On March 27 we had demanded cancellation of the FIR against them and had given a notice till April 14, failing which we had warned the authorities that we would be forced to resort to agitation.”

Grewal added the Union had decided to hold dharna regularly till their demands were fulfilled.

He said neither any inquiry was marked against these officials nor were they given a chance to justify themselves.

He alleged a sub-inspector posted in Sahnewal searched patwari Ajit Singh’s house despite the fact that he had a stay from the court. The Union had also demanded suspension of the said police official.

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City Concerns
Politicians forget promises after polls

It has been observed that after every five years, when the elections are announced, the political parties come in the race for the campaign with big promises. Attractive bulk of election manifestoes and speeches hold grounds during election process. These are hardly fulfilled after the completion of the election process.

So far as my memory goes to recollect, the politicians had announced mega projects to transform the shape of the city, including construction of ring roads, bypasses around periphery of the city under the GLADA plans, a local bus service with completion of specially identified city centres, pucca streets and roads, clean and clear waters for drinking as well as the flowing rivulet and canal, pollution-free atmosphere, speedy control of traffic and other related burning issues.

Maintenance of traffic lights and street lights and other infrastructure, all these big promises have proved completely failure. It was also promised that corruption at all levels in government offices would be eliminated and clear out transparencies and efficient work culture would be maintained. The ground reality remains the same. After winning the election, politicians rarely visit their home segments. They prefer to stay either at New Delhi or Chandigarh.

To quote an instance, when PAU retiree were on hunger strike last year, they invited sitting MP Sharanjit Dhillon and Chief Parliamentary Secretary Harish Dhanda to address the rallies and exercise their influence to redress their grievances by taking up the matter with the Chief Minister.

To our great disappointment, the political leaders only expressed their helplessness. The PAU retiree also raised the point that when the Chief Minister was busy in granting Rs 400 crore in a “sangat darshan” programme. I personally feel that this time voters should show the doors to the candidates as an eye-opener for coming years.

RR Katyal, PAU retiree

II

The bugle for Parliament elections has been blown. Time has come when all of us have to determine the fate of the country and its people. A majority of political parties have already released their manifestoes with big and tall promises. Others will release their manifestoes soon and a majority of the promises will never be kept.

The promises have been unkempt right from the times the elections began and yet every time we are lured by the dreamworld shown by one political party or the other. The past experiences have only frustrated the voters.

In this time of need, the politicians will stop so low that they will be ready even to be the dust of voters’ feet and they will be prepared to accept your servility.

In the past All the MPs of Ludhiana have done nothing to honour their commitments, which they had once been made to public. No major project they have ever been projected for the development of the city.

The current candidates for Ludhiana would come before us with the same tall and false promises before us and again we will be befooled by them and given the verdict in favour of them and again they would become invisible for full five years because there are some MPs who have even never visited their area after winning the seat.

People should not believe the promises they put before you. One must consider their background before going to them. All such people should be accountable. The accountability should be made a little formal. Those who do not fulfill their commitments made to the public in their manifestoes should strictly be banned to contest in future for at least two terms. Even the members of their family should also be restricted to contest.

Gurdip Singh Kreer, Ludhiana

III

A majority of the promises remain unfulfilled after the elections. No Member of Parliament, from any political party, has been true to our industrial town.

The Parliament is a Central government’s body that can concentrate lesser on the local issues. One can turn around and also see the abysmally poor performance of the MLAs. We have even two Cabinet ministers and yet the city has got nothing. The basic infrastructure is going from bad to worse and who else to blame, except the political leaders who are supposed to carry people's voice to the government and have the concerned officers work.

We should ask them and ensure after elections that the city gets its development plan for future. Unless a system of questioning them and making them accountable even when a leader was in the Parliament was developed and executed these elections might turn up one among the earlier rest. Public can teach these politicians a lesson but only if they want to.

Yash Paul, Dubai

IV

After witnessing so many election terms in my life, I have reached the conclusion that political parties announced their election manifestoes with much fanfare during election period of time. One wanted to change the whole country, another to save it.

Furthermore, when these manifestoes are announced, every person has only one question in his mind: Will a particular party deserve to deliver on their promises if elected? We do not know the exact answer, but we know that if people want them to deliver whatever our politicians promise, they have to hold them accountable. For this, we strongly need a system for monitoring the implementation of the promised actions and evaluating the impact of these.

Ministers often get away with broken promises because their commitments are expressed in vague and rhetorical terms. Accountability thus requires a system for converting vague and general promises to precise indicators that can be monitored. What are the specific actions that will need to be taken, and in what sequence? A good monitoring system helps to unbundle the general objectives into specific monitoring actions. Moreover, monitoring indicators could be used for more than just checking on government promises. These could be used more generally to evaluate progress in implementing government programmes and projects and their development impact.

Ravi Chander Garg, Ludhiana

V

Before every election, deceptive promises are dished out to people by the wily contestants irrespective of their hues or party affiliations. Politicians, these days, are hell-bent upon achieving success by foul means. Political parties are offering positions in exact proportion to the status of the crimes committed by the prospective candidates.

As the state is being run by the coalition, election manifesto by any one of the parties is immaterial. The city is facing numerous problems, some of which are the killer Buddha Nallah, unkept roads, unregulated and clandestinely patronised menace of three-wheelers, lack of greenery, pathetic hygiene, pollution let-loose etc. None has cared to tackle these problems in the past and none will do anything in future.

The problems will continue to grow in size and number until the people become conscious of their duties and come forward.

Nobody should be allowed to contest any election if he or she has not fulfilled the promises made in their previous manifestoes. I do not know exactly how penalties should be inflicted on erring political parties for playing with the sentiments of people who grant them power to rule. I am afraid things are not going to change unless accountability is religiously imposed at all levels from top to bottom.

DN Sharma, Ludhiana

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Poll brings cheer to Gurreh village
To be linked with Jagraon road
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
Gurreh villagers wish elections are held every year so that they can get a development project for their village. Their wishes are based on the fact that they are getting a pucca road connecting their village to the Ludhiana-Jagraon main road in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections.

The village, well-known in the region for a good quality ber (jujube) and guavas, had been ignored all these years.

But with the project that was inaugurated before the code of conduct came into enforcement, happiness has been descended on the village.

The work on the road started a week ago. The villagers are feeling that the elections have brought the development for them since it coincides with the elections.

Their fruits finally bore fruit when their area MLA brought the project for their village. The road is now being constructed at the cost of Rs 14 lakh by the Punjab Mandi Board.

The work started a few days ago only when the crushed stone was being spread.

The villagers said though the village was not even in the interiors, the road to their village had been in a bad shape for decades. “We knocked at every door. Nobody listened to us. Finally, we have been heard. May be it is due to the elections. We really wish elections are held every year”, said a villager.

Sarpanch of Gurreh Gurmeet Singh said the project had brought cheers to every villager, who had been nurturing a dream treading on pucca road. “Due to shortage of labour in view of harvesting season, the work is getting delayed but we will soon complete it,” he said.

“Since the ber fruits and guavas produced by this village are of a good quality and taste very good, many students and people used to visit our orchards. We used to feel embarrassed due to bad road. Now, we are really happy,” he said

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Tewari for progress report as MP
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
The Congress candidate from Ludhiana Parliamentary constituency, Manish Tewari, today declared that he would be coming out with regular progress reports every six months.

The progress report would be based on the feedback of the people from the constituency. Spelling out his plan of action, Tewari said it would be open to the public to assess and audit his performance.

Interacting with people during his pad yatra in Khud mohalla here today, Tewari said he would employ the modern methods of communication and development. He said, “It will not be a one-sided affair, but an interactive management where the people of the constituency will be involved in planning and development.”

He pointed out it was important that the local people suggest the way and methods for the local problems, which may be difficult for others to visualise.

He was accompanying former Parliamentary Secretary Surinder Dawer and local councillor Sanjay Talwar.

Soba Ram, an elderly man, told Tewari that he found him sincere in his commitments as he was trying to be rational and practical. He was candid enough not to promise something which he could not do or which was not within his jurisdiction as an MP, he added.

Dawer and Talwar said although the area had always supported the Congress, but this time they expected a record margin of victory for Tewari. They said the residents were of the opinion that for the first time they had found a confident, qualified and young representative who seemed to be well-equipped to represent them in the highest legislature of the country.

Tewari also visited Chhajewal, Sujapur, Jassowal, Boparai Kalan and Raqba villages in Dakha Assembly segment along with former minister Malkiat Singh Dakha.

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BJP leader Khepar joins Congress
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
BJP leader Ram Singh Khepar today joined the Congress after serving the BJP for three decades.

He was welcomed by District Congress Committee chief Jagmohan Sharma and Congress candidate from Ludhiana Manish Tewari.

Khepar, who is also president of the Focal Point Shopkeepers’ Association, said he, impressed with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, joined the Congress.

He added the Congress was a secular party and had contributed a lot to the development of the country. So he had decided to quit the BJP despite giving his prime to that party.

Those prominent among present during the function included District Youth Congress president Dimple Rana, Narinder Chowdhry, Gaurav Jangral and Kulwinder Kala.

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Rehearsal dates clash with varsity exams: Teachers
Our Correspondent

Doraha, April 15
The rehearsal duties of teachers for the coming Lok Sabha elections are expected to affect university examinations, especially in Panjab University, which are being carried out at present.

The teachers who received the letters mentioning the dates for the rehearsal duties today said that the rehearsal dates, especially April 22, on which the first election rehearsal is to be conducted, clashes with an exam.

“Conducting examination in a normal manner shall be next to impossible, as a majority of the staff of the colleges is being deployed on election duty,” said a staff member.

Either the Election Commission should have kept in mind the ongoing examinations or the university should postpone the examination clashing with the rehearsal date.

A local superintendent said all other dates for the rehearsal of elections i.e. on May 7, May 9 and May 12, fell on non-examination days. “Other universities have already done the needful,” he said.

The teachers who are deployed at the various evaluation centres are also upset, as the election rehearsals will hamper the evaluation process, which is currently at its peak. “The delay in evaluations means delay in results. It would have been better if the teachers, at this juncture, were exempted from all poll duties,” said a professor of a local college.

“ This is a violation of the Supreme Court orders which have clearly directed the commission that any issue related to the students and their careers should not suffer during the elections,” said Jaipal Singh, president, Government College Teachers Union. He further said that teachers had serious grudges against the Election Commission as time and again the seniority, status and pay scale was being overlooked by the latter while engaging the staff for election duty.

“In the panchayat elections it was revealed through the information received by filing an application through the RTI, a junior engineer was appointed above a college lecturer, who was much senior in status to the former,” added Singh.

The teachers feel belittled and take it as a serious insult to be demoted in this way. “If the same thing is repeated, we will not sit back as mute spectators any more,” Singh added.

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Providing perfect landing site to parties’ choppers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
The mela grounds on the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) seem to have become a hub of political activities, with choppers of leaders belonging to various political parties landing here on a regular basis these days.

Earlier, choppers used to land on the grounds of the Government College for Women, but with the passage of time, the mela grounds have become more convenient for landing.

The fever for the 15th Lok Sabha elections has gripped the political leaders and their supporters, who have prepared a long list of schedules/programmes of public rallies and meetings.

Sources at the PAU said a number of activities would be taking place on the mela grounds due to the elections.

“Yesterday, a chopper sent by the All India Congress Committee (AICC) took Ludhiana candidate Manish Tiwari to Bathinda from mela grounds. On April 20, Captain Amarinder Singh is expected to land on the grounds. The Bahujan Samaj Party has today taken permission for Mayawati's chopper to land on April 28 on the grounds. We have also been informed that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh might pay a visit to the city in May. Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal’s chopper often lands here,” said an official.

Ramanjit Singh Lalli, general secretary, Bahujan Samaj Party, Punjab, said they had deposited landing fee of Rs 2,000. “We are waiting for a written permission, as we have to go back to the headquarters and report about the schedule of the programmes,” he added. 

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4-year-old schoolboy rescued by chemist 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
A four-year-old boy was rescued by a chemist and returned to his parents at Kochar market here today.

The boy was identified as Harkrishan Singh, a student of Malwa Khalsa School, who, due to the negligence of the school staff, managed to slip out of the school and started walking on the road.

The boy reached Kochar market and was spotted by the chemist, Aman Kumar.

“I saw him walking in the middle of the road as he was about to be hit by a speeding scooter, but the scooter rider applied brakes on time and tragedy was averted,” said Aman.

He took the boy in the shop and informed the SP (D) SK Kalia about the 
matter.

The police reacted quickly and PCR officer Jasvir Singh reached the spot.

Meanwhile, teachers of the school also came searching for the boy and told the chemist that the boy belonged to the school.

The child was then returned to his parents. His father Mohinder Singh, a resident of Jawahar Nagar, said: “When the school authorities informed me about the incident, I thought my son would never return.”

He thanked the chemist and the cop for rescuing the boy.

Meantime, the school authorities were trying to suppress the matter and refused to divulge anything.

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Steel chamber donates ambulance
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, April 15
The Gobindgarh Steel Chamber of Commerce and Industry donated an ambulance to Swami Vivekanand Sewa Samiti at a function organised at the Civil Hospital here today.

Chamber president Bharat Bhushan Toni inaugurated the function and handed over the keys of the vehicle to samiti chief Jagmel Singh Matharoo.

Speaking about the activities of the society, Matharoo said it was formed in 1997 to provide medicines, food, ambulance services and milk to poor patients admitted in the hospital.

The samiti has now extended its services with the installation of two water-coolers at the bus-stand to provide bottled water to the children travelling in buses and organisation of free medical camps. 

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Web accessing cases via mobile hacking emerge
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
Don't get surprised if the bill statement of your mobile phone shows a long list of web accessing while actually you do not even know the procedure to access the web from your mobile. It can be a case of mobile hacking. After the cases of making international calls by hacking other's mobile, now the cases of web accessing have also surfaced.

Most of the mobiles today are GPRS-enabled and the Internet can easily be accessed from them. A phone number can be accessed by cell phone hacking, which allows the hackers to make calls and enjoy other value-added services charged to your account.

Besides, all information in your account like telephone numbers, addresses can also be obtained through hacking. With the easy accessibility of various softwares and chips, mobile hacking is on the rise.

Sukhjeet Kaur, a subscriber of a private cellular company, said she was shocked to receive her mobile bill this month. While last month her bill was only Rs 155, this month it was Rs 1500. She was charged for web accessing, which she had never done. In addition, she had been subscribed for other services as well, which she had never asked for.

She said, “On contacting the customer care executive for the same, the reply that I got was my mobile number was added on a certain site and that was the reason why I was receiving the messages for value-added services.” Despite her repeated attempts to disconnect the services, it had not been done.

Another subscriber Hardeep Singh added that last month it were international calls which were done and now web was accessed from his number, for which he had been charged Rs 3000.

“I have been left with no other option but to get my number disconnected, as the company officials are not ready to hear anything. They say I am responsible for whatever comes in my bill statement,” he added.

Officialspeak

When contacted, a spokesperson of Idea Cellular said they had heard reports of phones being hacked. However, there were no reports of this in their network.

Commenting if this could be prevented, he said the GSM system had high level of encryption built into the authentication of each subscriber’s SIM card. This advanced encryption prevents the hacking of GSM services. There had been cases where handsets without IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) were used. These handsets are a security risk. The Department of Telecom is expected to issue instructions to bar calls from such type of handsets. 

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SOI leader’s son assaults minor
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, April 15
Son of an influential local SOI leader and also a kerosene distributor assaulted a minor, Yadwinder Singh (14), April 10, when the victim, along with his younger brother, was going to get a photostat copy of his birth certificate.

The accused was leaving from his plot, situated in Avtar Nagar at Jagraon Road, along with his two friends and a prostitute in an Alto.

According to residents, the accused had been using the plot for immoral activities, regarding which they had informed the police several times but no action was ever taken.

The accused thought that the children were making fun of him, as a result, he held the victim from the neck and thrashed him. On hearing his cries, the area residents gathered on the spot. But the accused managed to flee with his accomplices.

However, the residents caught hold of the servant of the accused, who used to open and lock the gate of the plot, and handed him over to the police. The police released the servant without taking any action. Later, the servant was admitted to a hospital in a badly injured state.

The victim, along with his parents and residents, approached the media and narrated the whole story. The residents said the activities of the accused were affecting their children. But the police was making all efforts to convince the victim to enter into an agreement with the accused.

SI Chaman Parkash, inquiry officer of the case, refused to comment. While SHO Yogi Raj assured the victim, his parents and the area residents that he would inquire the matter.

SOI district president Manpreet Singh condemned the incident and said actions would be initiated against the involved SOI activist.

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Workshop to hone skills of pharmacists
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
Gujranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa College of Pharmacy organised an interactive workshop "Impetus 2009" for its students here today. The workshop was organised to enhance awareness levels and professional skills of the budding pharmacists.

Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor, president, Gujrawala Khalsa Educational Council, the governing body of the college and former pro-Vice Chancellor, GNDU, Amritsar, extended a warm welcome to the distinguished guests and appreciated the efforts of the institution , faculty and students for organising the workshop.

R K Bhardwaj, general secretary, Ludhiana Drug Manufacturers' Association, made the students aware about the problems faced by the small manufacturers due to globalisation and the WHO. He motivated the students to pursue a career in marketing and sensitised them about the importance of communication skills and personality development in the pharma-marketing sectors.

Dr Surinder Bir Singh, former principal, GNDEC, and general manager, STEP, motivated the students to work hard for their overall development. He advised them to increase their awareness and knowledge, develop their skills and work with a positive attitude to be professionally successful without compromising their ethical values. 

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Canada beckons students
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
Over 500 students from 50 different colleges and schools participated in the Canada Beckons- "Ed Mission’09" hosted at Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College (GNDEC) today. Delegates from Canadian colleges and universities visited the campus for recruiting students in various doctoral courses.

K.S. Mann, Dean, Training & Placement Cell, GNDEC, said the motto behind holding this event was to sign n MoU with these colleges so that student and faculty exchange programmes could be encouraged.

Various colleges that visited the campus were Fanshawe College, SAIT Polytechnic College, Sheridan College, Naigara College, Seneca College and George Brown College.

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Shop construction stalled

Ludhiana, April 15
The town planning wing of the MC has stalled construction of some shops coming up at Transport Nagar here today.

The shops were demolished 7-8 months ago under the surveillance of the CVO. The site owner today started to construct the building, but was withheld from doing so.

Sources in the MC revealed that the construction was coming at the behest of a BJP councillor and some proceedings with the revenue department too were to be completed. — TNS

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Turban-tying contest winners
Our Correspondent

Amloh, April 15
Young Farmers Public High School, Bhadson village, organised a turban-tying competition in which Sukhdeep Singh of Aravalli House won the first position and Varinderveer Singh of Himalaya House bagged the second position.

“Gidda Muqabla” was also held on the occasion. The winners were Mehak Bither, Ramandeep Bawa, Harpreet Kaur and Jaspreet Kaur of Neelgiri House. Principal Chanderdeep Grewal distributed prizes and congratulated the winners.

He encouraged the students to learn more and put in efforts to achieve their goals. 

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4 held with 37 litre liquor
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 15
The Sidhwan Bet police has seized around 37 litre of illicit liquor in a single day.

Jasvir Singh of Bilga (Jalandhar), Baz Singh of Kulgehna (Sidhwan Bet) were arrested with 18 litre and 6.6 litre of illicit liquor, respectively, from Bhundri village yesterday. In another case, Jaswinder Singh and Raju Singh of Salempura (Sidhwan Bet) were arrested from Sidhwan Bet with 8.4 litre and 3.8 litre of liquor, respectively.

More than 5 kg of opium was seized and numerous cases of poppy husk came to light in past few days. Jagraon SSP Gurpreet Singh Bhullar refuted the claim of seizure of 1 quinttals of opium and 40 quinttals of poppy husk but said the rise in the number of persons involved in the drug peddling was alarming.

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16-yr-old held for molestation bid 
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 15
The police has arrested a 16-year-old boy for allegedly trying to molest a 19-year-old deaf and dumb girl at Chakar village on April 11.

The victim was alone at her house when the accused, Jaswinder Singh (name changed), of the same village entered the house by scaling the wall and allegedly tried to molest her.

Hearing her cries, the neighbours entered the house. Meanwhile, the accused fled by scaling the wall.

The police arrested the accused and produced him before a local court which remanded him to judicial custody at juvenile home, Ludhiana, till April 28.

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Graft: LIT officials denied bail
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 15
Additional Sessions Judge GS Saran today dismissed the anticipatory bail application moved by LIT EO Avtar Singh Azad and superintendent Paramjit Singh.

The bail applications were taken up by the court as both were booked under Section 13(1)(2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act at the Civil Lines police station on April 4, 2009, on the written complaint of the Deputy Director of the Local Bodies Department.

The lawyer representing the officials had stressed for granting interim relief for protection from arrest during the pendency of the bail plea. They were facing accusations of favouring a defaulter allottee by allowing him to deposit the instalments against rules and regulations of LIT.

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Rural sports festival held
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 15
About 147 teams from all over Punjab participated in the rural sports fest held here. In the kabbadi tourney organised by the Puppy Sports club of Gidderwindi village, 24 teams participated. The team from Chanjli village defeated the team from Jheneri village and bagged first position. Famous kabbadi player Pinda, commentator Gursewak Singh and Babbu Tihara were also present.

A match was held between the teams of Moga and Ludhiana, in which the team from Ludhiana won.

Gurcharan Singh Galib, Manpreet Singh Ayali, Bhag Singh Malla, Gurdeep Singh Gidderwindi, Kamaljit Singh Malla, Kewal Singh Badal, Sukhdev Singh and many other personalities visited the sports stadium to encourage the players. 

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