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At 28 schools, water unfit for drinking
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
As many as 28 government schools in the district have water unfit for consumption. The water drawn with the help of handpump and submersible pumps in these schools was found unfit by the health department, which tested the samples drawn from these schools falling in Sudhar, Jagraon, Payal, Manupur, Macchiwara, Malaud, Sahnewal, Hathoor, Bhaini Sahib and Kum Kalan areas. The samples failed.

The health department then wrote to the District Education Officer and DC Gurkirat Kirpal Singh that it could cause serious health problems and efforts should be made to help students.

Sources in the district administration said after receiving the report, the DC marked it to the District Development and Panchayat Officer, Mahinder Singh Grewal. He wrote to the DC that reverse osmosis (RO) system should be installed in schools.

The schools with contaminated water include Government Primary School, Sudhar; Government Basic Primary School and Government Senior Secondary Girls School, Jagraon; National Public School, Payal; Government Primary School, Ram Guru; Government Middle School, Ramgarh; Government Primary School, Malikpur; Government Primary School, Phallewal; Government Primary School, Aitiana; Government Primary School, Irak; Malwa Primary School, Tapara; Baba Sucha Singh Memorial School, Ram Garh; Government Primary School, Sekha; Government Primary School, Barkara; Government Elementary School, Ucchi Daud; Guru Nanak Public School, Meehan Daud; Government Senior Secondary School for Boys, Sahnewal; and Government Primary School, Malla.

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Contaminated Water
Joshi Nagar residents take to streets
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
Irked over the nonchalant attitude of the district administration for having failed to ensure the supply of potable water, residents of Joshi Nagar at Haibowal today staged a dharna and blocked traffic on the main road for almost three hours. The dharna was lifted at 12 pm.

More than 100 houses in the locality are facing the problem of scarcity of potable water, which the residents said was a regular problem at this time of the year. What is disturbing is that even the scarce supply of water is not fit for consumption. The water, which is murky and foul smelling, is not fit to be consumed even after boiling.

Women protested against the municipal corporation in large numbers, saying that children were falling sick following the consumption of contaminated water.

Though a large number of people are buying mineral water for cooking and drinking, but many can’t afford to buy water and are constantly living under the fear of water-borne diseases.

Sunita Panda, a resident, said: “Kids have not been going to school for the past 15 days as they are suffering from acute diarrhoea and stomach pain. We are hoping it doesn’t turn out to be hepatitis A.”

Sushma Mittal, another resident, rued that her son had missed school for a fortnight and also failed to take his examinations due to stomach infection and high fever.

A senior citizen complained: “I have to walk a long distance to get drinking water from the nearby gurdwara everyday as the authorities, despite repeated reminders, have failed to make arrangements for potable water in the area.”

The residents said no team from the department of health had visited the locality so far and nothing had been done for the chlorination of water.

District health officer SS Dhir said a meeting of officials from the department of health, MC and other departments was held with the Deputy Commissioner today. “I will send a team to collect water samples at Joshi Nagar tomorrow,” he added.

Area XEN Manjit Singh said: “We don’t have any complaint of contaminated water. We got a complaint only today at 10 am, after which I went to the spot. People got dirty water because the water supply of tubewell was switched on and there was no supply from the MC pipeline.

As a result, the residue in pipes was released. The tubewell at Naveen Nagar was being made operational for four more hours so that the problem could be solved.”

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Vikas Garg back as DC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
With the elections over, the state government today sent back Vikas Garg as the Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana.

Garg was shifted by the Election Commission a month ago following a complaint. He was asked to swap places with the then Nawanshahr DC, Gurkirat Kirpal Singh.

With the government's orders, Gurkirat would go back to his original place of posting.

Garg was sent to Nawanshahr following a complaint by Congress candidate Manish Tewari when he was contesting the elections. He had complained that the DC allowed SAD candidate Gurcharan Singh Galib to take more than five persons along with him while filing nomination papers.

Tehsildar, Elections, Labh Singh, had also complained to the Election Commission about Garg’s working style.

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Three killed as vehicle overturns
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 21
Timely action by the police and passersby saved the lives of six members of a party who were seriously injured when the vehicle carrying them overturned near Bajidke Khurad on the Raikot-Barnala road, near here, yesterday. However, three persons died in the accident.

The police has registered a case under Sections 279, 304 A, 337, and 338 of the IPC in this regard.

Raman Kumar, Ashok Kumar and Harbhagwan of Sirsa were killed when their vehicle overturned after being hit by a vehicle coming from the opposite direction near Bajike Khurad village. While Ashok Kumar and Raman Kumar died on the spot, Harbhagwan was declared brought dead at a hospital in Patiala yesterday.

Vijay Kumar, driver of the vehicle, Sonu, Jagir Chand, Amir Chand, Surjit Singh, Sonu (second) and Suresh Kumar were seriously injured in the incident. After receiving information about the mishap, a police team reached the scene and rescued the injured with the help of passersby.

The profusely bleeding injured were shifted to hospitals at Barnala and Patiala. Investigations revealed that the vehicle had overturned several times after being hit by an unknown vehicle coming from the opposite side. Eyewitnesses told the police that the occupants had fallen out of the rolling vehicle.

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Many killer tracks in Ludhiana
Accidents happen, but nothing changes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
The tragic death of eight schoolchildren in a van-train collision at Ghumtala village, near Bilga yesterday, has once again brought to the fore the issue of unmanned level crossings that have become killer tracks.

With vehicular traffic rising, more accidents are being reported at various unmanned crossings, but the district administration and the railway authorities are looking the other way.

Despite so many lives having been lost, the district still has a number of unmanned crossings. Some of these are at Threekay village, two near Gill railway station on Dhuri line, one at Sunet village and another at BRS Nagar.

The Ludhiana-Dhuri and Ludhiana-Jagraon tracks are the most accident-prone areas. Jagraon has three unmanned crossings within a radius of 4 km while the Dhuri line has over six such crossings.

Around three years ago, residents of Himmat Singh Nagar had protested following two accidents involving a school van and a car at the same crossing within a few days. The administration had taken up the case with the railway authorities, which sanctioned a manned crossing for the area.

The rest are still unmanned despite assurances by the authorities. Several school vans cross the tracks everyday. Whenever an accident takes place, parents start getting apprehensive. After the accident is forgotten, things are back to square one.

The gruesome death of four schoolchildren at Ludhiana in May 2005; death of three persons of Baddowal village in 2007; and the death of six persons at Jagraon in May 2008 are among the major mishaps.

Poor visibility due to tall, dense trees and inaudibility at certain places increase the chances of accidents.

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RTI: DTO fined for defying orders
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
The Information Commission of Punjab has imposed a penalty of Rs 10,000 on District Transport Officer Chander Gaind for defying the orders of the commission and delaying information under the RTI Act about autorickshaws to a local resident.

State Information Commissioner Rupan Deol Bajaj has directed Gaind to pay Rs 10,000 from his salary within a month.

At the same time Bajaj has also held complainant Rohit Sabharwal responsible for pressurising the commission and referred the case to the Central Information Commission to get a legal opinion.

Besides, Bajaj has directed the commissioner to ensure that Gaind makes the said payment within one month of the receipt of the order and if he fails to do so, the amount will be deducted from his next salary.

Holding Sabharwal guilty of pressurising the commission, Bajaj said he had lodged a complaint against her with the Central Information Commission on March 14, while she had already reserved a judgement in this case on February 11.

Bajaj said, “He transgressed all propriety and tried to pressurise the commission in the reserved judgement. He has tried to damage the reputation of the Bench of Punjab Information Commission. He has hampered the code of conduct by filing the complaint with the President of India and sending copies of the complaint to the Prime Minister of India, Chief Justice of India, Supreme Court, Minister of Law and Justice, Government of India, Law Commission of India and Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court.”

She added that Sabharwal had even got some phone calls made to her by mediapersons asking about the status of the case.

The information was sought on May 22, 2008.

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Encroachers have valid power meters
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
They may be encroachers in the eyes of the municipal corporation, but they are legal residents as far as the PSEB is concerned. The fact came to the fore when the MC staff went for a demolition drive at Pavitar Nagar in Haibowal here today. The demolition squad, along with a JCB machine and DSP Amandeep Kaur, that went to remove illegal structures on MC land was surprised to see power connections with newly installed meters.

When residents were enquired about it, they revealed that they had paid money for the installation of meters. The communication gap between various departments of the Punjab government was another reason why encroachers are having a field day. The failure of the PSEB to check credentials before issuing meters to residents points towards the deficiency in service by the department.

While MC officials demolished encroachments in street number nine, another structure was partially razed as a woman there had given birth to a child just two-three days ago.

The MC officials spared the encroachment on humanitarian grounds, but gave warning to encroachers. This particular encroachment, which is a temple with few rooms, has been removed more than three times by the MC, but it reappears again.

Officials on duty said: “We have removed this temple several times and it reappears every time. There are many encroachments in the area and due to political pressure, we have to leave them sometimes.”

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Residents want CM to take note of poor roads
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 21
Irrespective of the political allegiance, residents here want the Chief Minister to send some emissaries to the town by road to take an account of the deplorable condition of the roads that are connecting the town with Ludhiana, Malerkotla and other surrounding villages.

Since roads here are full of potholes, people opt for zigzag driving to avoid potholes, which causes several accidents in the area.

All six roads -Jandali road, Pohir road, Dhulkote road, Chhapar road, Delhi road and Jagera road - are in bad condition. Parts of some of these roads had been reconstructed but they are not safe for driving.

Condition of some of the roads is so bad that commuters prefer to take longer routes than putting their lives to risk by using these potholed spans, Chhappar road is one such example.

The roads along the bank of Bathinda branch of the Sirhind canal and from Mulanpur, Sandaur and Raikot are also in a bad shape. The situation worsens during rainy season.

Despite the fact that rainy season is fast approaching, authorities concerned have failed to repair the roads.

Though senior leaders of all political parties had visited the area to woo voters during the election time, none seemed to be bothered about the condition of the roads, residents rued.

Jagjit Singh Jajjie, a social activist, said though the local bodies department, PWD and a few market committees were responsible for the upkeep of these roads nothing had been done so far. This confusion has worsened the condition of the roads further, he added.

Tarsem Lal Garg, president of the CB Welfare Association, is concerned over the falling business in the town. People from surrounding villages have started moving to the other nearby towns to purchase various commodities due to the bad condition of roads.

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Councillors block road
Accuse police of registering false cases
Tribune News Service

Khanna, May 21
A large number of councillors and the MC president today blocked the GT Road in protest against the alleged police high-handedness. They claimed that the SHO and the additional SHO had wrongly registered cases under Sections 307 and 452 of the IPC.

MC president Iqbal Singh alleged that city SHO Ashwini Kumar and additional SHO Kuldip Singh had registered several false cases against some residents of Khanna. “Around 100 area residents approached me last night and expressed their resentment against the cops. We informed the SSP about the false cases, but no action was initiated,” he said.

The residents then sat on a dharna and “misbehaviour” by cops at the city police station. The Akali and BJP councillors from various wards first staged a dharna in front of the city police station and later blocked the road for nearly two hours.

A large number of commuters were stranded and the traffic was resumed only after senior police officials assured them that action would be taken. The SHO and additional SHO were sent to the Police Lines and one of the two cases registered were cancelled. The police assured the residents to look into the second case as well.

The councillors alleged that the police booked some youths under Section 307 of the IPC despite the fact that none of them were seriously injured while quarrelling with one another last night. Besides, the police also booked a boxing coach under Section 452 of the IPC falsely. The case was later cancelled.

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LIT pays Rs 4.91 cr for flyover
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 21
The local bodies department has given its nod to the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) to make an initial payment of Rs 4.91 crore to the Municipal Corporation towards its 50 per cent share for the construction of proposed motorable bridge in place of now dismantled ‘Lakkar Pul’ (foot overbridge) connecting the old city with Civil Lines here.

In accordance with the decision taken at the meeting of the then Principal Secretary, local government, BR Bajaj, with the heads of the LIT and the MC in July 2006, the Trust had sent a proposal to the state government seeking financial approval for sharing 50 per cent cost of the Rs 62-crore project without specifically mentioning the amount involved.

According to LIT officials, the MC had intimated that it had already paid nearly Rs 10 crore to the railways as cost of land and part construction of the bridge over the railway tracks while emphasising immediate release of funds towards the share of Trust.

The project, hanging fire for last many years for one reason or the other, has assumed urgency in the wake of directions of Punjab and Haryana High Court on a public interest litigation that work on the motorable bridge should commence in two months even though the cost of construction has escalated threefold in the meantime.

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Mayor holds meeting to discuss water woes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura today held a meeting with SE Kulwinder Singh of the operations and maintenance cell and other officials, including XENs, SDOs and JEs and directed them to make all necessary arrangements to ensure uninterrupted supply of water to the city.

Officials attending the meeting said Mayor had directed Municipal Commissioner GS Ghuman to keep three extra motors in every zones of the city to overcome water shortage. They said: “Mayor has decided to make arrangements so that complaints regarding water supply could be addressed easily. Besides, Mayor also directed the audit and accounts department officials to be quick at work.”

The Mayor has also asked the officials to make arrangements for extra motors at tubewells and emphasised on thorough checking of chlorination of water. The meeting, which was also attended by district health officer SS Dhir and both health and the civic body officials, revealed about their working problems and a special helpline number (0161-2444193) was also issued for public assistance. Sources revealed that XENs had requested the Mayor to discharge them from double charges, as they were not able to concentrate on their work. “Shortage of manpower in our department is causing a lot of problem and that is why we are forced to ask Mayor for arrangements,” an XEN said.

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Power Theft
Ice factory slapped with Rs 20.89 lakh fine
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 21
Following a raid by the enforcement wing, in which an ice factory owner in Joshi Nagar locality in Haibowal area was found stealing power, the operations wing of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has slapped a penalty of Rs 20.89 lakh on the consumer.

On a complaint lodged by the officials of Haibowal sub-division, a case of power theft has been registered against Rajesh Kumar Jain at the anti-power theft police station at Central zone here.

According to information provided by the PSEB officials, a team of enforcement staff led by their director SS Kohli had raided the factory and found that the energy meter was non-functional and power was being stolen by way of a kundi connection.

Based on the report, the officials of Aggar Nagar division of PSEB had got a case of power theft registered with the anti-power theft police station and a demand notice of Rs 20.89 lakh was also served upon the consumer for stealing power.

Inquiries made with the anti-power theft police station revealed that the factory owner was absconding and the police raids to arrest him had yielded no result.

Meanwhile, staff of operations wing had inspected nearly 100 energy meters of domestic consumers in Azad Nagar locality here yesterday and nine cases of power theft were detected. A penalty of Rs 2 lakh had been imposed on the defaulting consumers.

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Train Tragedy
Docs go out of the way to help victims
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
The doctors and nursing staff at the DMCH, Ludhiana, suspended all work to provide best treatment and nursing care to the 18 children injured in an accident at an unmanned crossing at Bilga near Nurmahal, yesterday.

Three more children Jaskaran (14), Japleen (5), Harleen (3) were admitted to the hospital today thereby taking the number of injured to 21.

The doctors from almost all the departments closed their OPDs to treat the children. Compassion was the only feeling that ruled in every ward where the small children between 4-14 years were taken for the treatment.

Even the senior doctors were seen taking care of the nursing jobs like fixing the drips, taking the children for CT Scans and monitoring their pulse on the bedside.

The mother of a four-year said: "It is due to the kindness of the doctors that we are able to deal with the shock.

They have restored our faith in the nobility of the profession.”

Dr Amarjit Kaur, blood transfusion officer at the DMCH, said 45 units of blood were given to the children out of which 32 were donated by the members of Dera Sacha Sauda, a city-based NGO.

"We have not charged anything and even the separate blood components have been given free of cost," she added.

The State Government has come forward to bear the cost of the entire treatment.

Rs12 lakh has already been sanctioned.

Also, Rs1 lakh was given by the Punjab Pradesh Congress though its president Sardar Lal Singh to Prem Gupta for the treatment of the children.

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Janjua’s tribute to Lord Shiva
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
Bollywood singer Labh Janjua is recording devotional songs in the praise of Lord Shiva free of cost.

"It was my dream to be a big name in the Bollywood industry. I have struggled for many years but now God has finally fulfilled my wish and has given me much more than I could have ever dreamt of," he says.

I will always be thankful to God for the position I hold in the industry today.

The cassette titled "Saacha Tera Naam" will consist of 11 devotional songs. The recording of the same has been started.

The music of the cassette is given by Labh and Guribal and it will be released by Dh 1.

He shot into fame with the song "Mundeya toh bach ke rahin" and recently "Jee karda" from “Singh is King”, which was a chartbuster.

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2-minute silence to mark anti-terrorism day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
Officials and staff of the district administration today observed two minutes silence to mark anti-terrorism day and took an oath to fight against evil and to work for maintaining peace in the country.

Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, Deputy Commissioner, presided over the function and administered the oath to the participants.

While addressing at the function, the DC said the day was observed to generate awareness among all sections of people about the danger of terrorism, violence and its dangerous effect on people and society.

Paying tributes to the martyrs, he said they had sacrificed their lives for the unity and integrity of the country. He called upon the people to draw inspiration from their sacrifices and dedicate themselves towards a harmonious society, where every citizen irrespective of caste, creed and religion had equal opportunities to grow.

He appealed to the people to be vigilant against the forces of disruption. Others who were present on the occasion included ADC Kuldeep Singh, Assistant Commissioner JK Jain, SDM Manpreet Singh Chhatwal, Ludhiana (East) and DDPO Mohinder Pal Singh Grewal.

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PM’s wax statue sculpted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
To celebrate the second innings of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Chander Shekhar Prabhakar, a local resident, has prepared a wax statue of the PM and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

The statues would be kept at the Wax Museum at Hardy's World here.

Prabhakar said his joy knew no bounds when he learnt that Dr Manmohan would be the PM for yet another term. He wanted to celebrate his happiness and as the chance would have it, his statue just required a few finishing touches.

He completed both statues and celebrated his victory at his residence. Prabhakar has a number of wax statues to his credit. He took an inspiration from the wax museum in London.

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Car catches fire
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
A Santro car caught fire last night on the Jagraon bridge following a short circuit in the AC wire.

The fire department pressed a fire engine into service to douse the flames but by the time it reached the spot the vehicle was completely engulfed with flames. It took around half-an-hour for the fire fighters to douse the flames. Car owner Naresh Kumar said he was on his way to Bharat Nagar Chowk when suddenly his car caught fire. He had a narrow escape.

The accident caused a traffic jam on the bridge for about an hour.

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New courses at PAU
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
Punjab Agricultural University is introducing a number of new courses from the new academic session- July 2009.

These are mostly self-finance courses in order to boost the finances of the university since PAU has been facing financial crisis.

The university introduced about 12 self-finance courses last year, which had become popular with students.

This year a new four-year BTech course in food technology is being introduced in the College of Agriculture.

The students who have passed class XII are eligible for the course. PAU has a well-equipped food science technology department under which the course will be run, said Dr MS Aulakh, Dean, College of Agriculture.

According to Dr Aulakh, another two-year certificate course in agriculture is being introduced from this year as an off campus course. The course will be taught at the regional research institute and the students will be admitted after passing matriculation examination.

Dr Aulakh today said a year’s course in BSc agriculture (Hons) was introduced last year with matric as the basic qualification for its eligibility. As many as 70 students were admitted and this year the number of seats had been raised to 80.

Dr Aulakh explained that BTech food technology course had a big scope as food processing and agriculture processing industries were coming up in the state and the country. The PAU course is the first course, which is based on agriculture.

The students who will pass the two-year certificate course at Gurdaspur, 50 per cent of them will be eligible to get admission in third class of the BSc (agriculture) course at the Ludhiana campus.

Similarly, new courses are being introduced in the College of Home Science at Ludhiana from this year. The college is starting another new degree course at an undergraduate level i.e. BSc nutrition and dietetics.

The eligibility for this degree course is class XII with medical and non-medical stream, said Dr Neelam Grewal, Dean, College of Home Science. The college has also started two new certificate courses, “Souvenirs and handicrafts” and “Child care” for class X passout girls. Both courses are of three months duration.

This year a one-year postgraduate diploma in nutrition and dietetics has been added for the candidates having a BSc (home science) degree, said Dr Grewal. This has been done with a view to prepare well-qualified dieticians for hospitals, health clubs and lifestyle consultancies.

Dr Grewal points out that in view of the increasing demand for fashion designers, the college has already started another undergraduate programme i.e. BSc (Hons) in fashion designing for class XII passouts in any stream.

Apart from teaching the relevant subject matter in these programmes, care is being taken to develop computer related skills and good communication skills among the students so that they can compete better in job market.

Since the courses are skill-oriented with expanding practical experience, the candidates can also opt for self employment, added Dr Grewal.

According to Dr SK Mann, Dean, postgraduate courses, the degree courses in masters in journalism and mass communication and diploma in agricultural and mass communication has also been made self financed from this year. This has been done to attract the students with high merit and aptitude.

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Swimming pool inaugurated at school
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 21
Stayan Splash, swimming pool at Sat Paul Mittal School, Dugri, was inaugurated here recently. Industrialists, Kapil Jain and Lata Jain who were instrumental in the construction of overhead cover of the pool were the guests of honour.

Lt Col Dr DB Sharma, chairman of the Parent School Association and Rakesh Bharti Mittal, chairman, governing council of the school, expressed gratitude to Jains for their contribution. Sports in charge of the school OS Nagi briefed the gathering about the swimming pool.

The atmosphere reverberated with thrill and excitement as the budding swimmers of the school displayed their skill in the inter-house swimming relay competition, organised to mark the inauguration. A cultural programme was also conducted.

Principal Dr Rajiv Chauhan, along with other faculty members, was present. The general secretary of the Parent School Association Barkha Thapar proposed a vote of thanks.

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Teachers’ assn meets minister
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
A delegation of the Punjab Agricultural University Teachers’ Association (PAUTA) led by president Dr KN Sharma, vice-president Dr Harmeet Singh Kingra, secretary Dr KS Sangha, Dr PS Brar, Dr TS Dhillon, Dr PS Sandhu and Dr JS Virk met agriculture minister Sucha Singh Langah, Punjab, here today.

The delegation discussed pay scales for the PAU teachers. The PAUTA strongly urged the agriculture minister to direct the secretary agriculture to obtain necessary concurrence of the financial order from the finance department for preparing the cabinet note to be placed in the forthcoming cabinet meeting so that the revised pay scales for the PAU teachers may be implemented at the earliest.

The minister assured the delegation that the needful will be done at the earliest possible.

The scales have already been implemented in the ICAR and the state government has already received letters from the ICAR and the Ministry of Human Resource Development for the implementation of scales in the universities.

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Bank guard’s gun goes off; one hurt
Tribune News Service

Khanna, May 21
The gun of a security guard at HDFC Bank went off accidentally and its splinters hit a juice maker near the bank here this morning.

The bullet first hit the ground and pierced through the door and hit the juice maker in the thigh.

The victim has been identified as Jaswant Singh. He was taken to the Civil Hospital from where he was referred to the DMCH at Ludhiana. His condition is stated to be stable.

Police officials said a case would be registered after recording the statements of the victim and the accused.

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Conference on mgmt today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
The Punjab College of Technical Education (PCTE) will organise its 6th international conference on management in changing global scenario (ICMCGS 09) and 5th international conference on downtrend challenges in IT (DCIT 09) here tomorrow.

Mahesh Munjal, managing director, Hero Majestic, will be the chief guest on the occasion.

Prof Rajesh Pilania, a professor of Strategic Management and Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, and visiting faculty Harvard Business School, will be a keynote speaker for the conferences.

More than 100 research papers were received from different parts of the country and abroad for both IT and management conferences out of which 37 research papers have been selected for presentation in the management conference and 34 have been selected for the IT conference, informed Dr KNS Kang, director-general PCTE institutes.

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At The Crossroads
Welcoming the golden age

Human beings have always coveted golden ages. Arts flourish, along with the progress of scientific knowledge. It is not the time to slumber but to be up and doing.

Looking back to the junction of BC and AD, particularly the period from 27 BC to AD 14, when Emperor Augustus ruled over the Roman Empire, it transpires that tranquility followed after the turbulent period of the reign of Julius Caesar. Virgil gave his best in his pastoral poems, “The Eclogues”, and the epic, “The Aeneid”. This Latin poet reflected in his work the period of glory when the human mind was at its creative best.

Likewise, Kalidas (4th century) during the reign of Chandragupta Vikrmaditya enriched Sanskrit literature with his great poems like “Meghdoot” and plays like “Shakuntla”. Material gains of that golden age could not be an end unless these could give an impetus to creativity in the field of literature and art. When other things fade away during the succeeding centuries, artistic creations continue to sparkle with renewed brilliance.

Elizabethan age was undoubtedly a golden period, especially after the defeat of the Spanish Armada. In that age of peace and prosperity, William Shakespeare could dominate over the theatre “globe” with his tragic, comic and historical plays. His countrymen responded heartily to the poetic grandeur and dramatic excellence of the great Bard. His predecessors like Christopher Marlowe, one of the university wits, had set the stage for the advent of Shakespeare. In turn Shakespeare paved the path for his successors like Ben Jonson to enrich English drama.

Another golden age that comes to the mind is the one that the French Revolution had promised at the time of the nobility's utter disregard to the condition of the working class. William Wordsworth was fully involved in this great event and was so inspired that he exclaimed- "Bliss was it in that age to be alive, But to be young was very heaven!" He spent one year in Paris and saw the ups and downs of the revolutionary process. Indeed the hopes were belied but, at the same time, this adventure left indelible marks on the minds of the thinking people.

Such a thing had also occurred in India when the slogan of “Gharibi Hatao” caught the imagination of the common people. New era was ushered in and great expectations occupied the minds of the masses. But the course of events took such a turn as could not ensure bright future for the country. Time is never static and the movement of the clock points to other destinations. Humanity is ever in search of new avenues for the redressal of their grievances. Protests have their value but the ultimate solution lies in a dialogue and logical conclusion. Haphazard approach ultimately proves disastrous.

Now again India is perched on the edge of its golden-winged flight. The period of uncertainly seems to be over and there are expectations of discovering new horizons, which are at present engulfed in simmering mist. The sense of security must prevail before peace and prosperity can have smooth sailing in this land. There should be equilibrium in the relations of capital and labour. Equal opportunities need to be provided to all the sections of the society. Above all, health and education are expected to interweave the warp and weft of a sound mind in a sound body.

The test of a golden era is the growth of industry and commerce, besides the prosperity of the farming community. Still the litmus test is the creation of admirable works of art and literature. In case the thinkers are not provided sufficient space for the flight of their imagination, no era can be termed as golden era. Great artistic creations and literary masterpieces must occupy the walls, niches and shelves of the homes of the common people. The cultural fabric should also be made strong as well as resilient. Only then the golden age can be ushered in. — NS Tasneem

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Ludhiana City Concerns
Milk Adulteration
Impose strict punishment on offenders

IN the absence of a comprehensive check by district health authorities to curb the menace of milk adulteration, local populace continues to face a glut of health problems, including chronic stomach disorders, ulcers and cancer. Despite a denial by certain milk plant authorities, it is an established fact that mixing of germ-infested water, urea mixed with water and oil in the milk to increase its volume are a few common adulterations. This is what a cross-section of city residents have to say on the issue.

I

Milk adulteration is widely prevalent and there is no pure milk available in the market. Everyone in the business is involved in this practice. Dirty water, urea and powder, etc. used to increase the volume and thickness of the milk have ill effects on ones health. In addition to this, antibiotics and injections used to cure a disease and to get better milk production have a severe impact on kid’s health. Kid are 10 to 20 times more likely to show toxic effects of carried over or added toxins than an adult due to variations in their body weights and milk intake.

This is evident and supported by a rise in allergic diseases in the kids and teenagers. There are no simple tests to check the purity of milk and its complex nature makes it difficult to know its purity by simple means. Unless there is an organisation like Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there is no way one can check or stop milk adulteration.

Dr MS Gill, Jagraon

II

Come summers and milk adulteration and milk products, which is carried out in a well organised and concerted manner, gets impetus. It is only after when people make all sorts of protests and coffers of unscrupulous elements are filled to the brim that health officials make their saucy appearance pretending to be the saviours of people. Being an established practice, it is known to everyone that a catastrophe alone can compel the administration to act. Almost all milk vendors and sweet shops without any fear of being caught are selling adulterated milk and milk products openly. No check is being exercised over the sale of unpacked milk, which may be contaminated and injurious to health. Buying contaminated milk at exorbitant rates has become inevitable for the people. Health of the people is of little importance to the government.

DN Sharma, Ludhiana

III

Haibowal dairy complex having more than 70,000 animals in Ludhiana sells synthetic milk openly. Most of dairy farmers in summers add synthetic milk in pure milk. Owners of a vehicle carrying Verka milk packets add fuel to the oil by adding urea and caustic soda in the milk after collecting the milk to increase thickness of the milk. Synthetic milk is harmful for children and women.

This is really an issue of concern for city residents and action should be taken as early as possible to curb the menace.

Bhupinder Singh, Ludhaina

IV

There are basically two types of adulterations, non-poisonous and poisonous adulteration. Generally, sugar is mixed in milk to increase solid and not fat content of the milk i.e. to increase lactometer reading of the milk with water. An addition of starch also increases the lactometer content. Apart from starch, wheat flour, arrowroot, rice flour are also added, which can be noticed after boiling, cooling and removal of the milk from utensils. The addition of salt in the milk is mainly resorted to with the aim of increasing the corrected lactometer reading.

In the poisonous ones, urea is added in the preparation of synthetic milk to raise the milk value. In milk neutralisers like hydrated lime, sodium hydroxide, sodium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate are added which are prohibited, even to the extent of adding soap.

To verify its pureness, keep a lactometer in the house and keep a regular check on it. Otherwise go to a laboratory at Verka Milk Plant and get the poisonous one checked. A formal complaint then could be registered at the health department for further action.

Major Kuljit Singh Sidhu, Ludhiana

V

I think the government is required to interfere directly into the act of milk adulteration being resorted to freely by vendors. Instead of long drawn legal procedures and insignificant punishment, the health authorities will have to take a serious note of milk vendors playing with the health of hapless consumers.

It needs to set examples of strict punishments for the offenders. The name of those found guilty should be adequately made public through media and public notices.

The area welfare bodies need to be made responsible for tackling the problem and regular checks should also be kept on the suppliers.

Neeraj Vats, Ludhiana

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Hotel manager’s purse snatched

Ludhiana, May 21
Two unidentified motorists snatched the purse of a five star hotel manager. The incident took place last evening when Farha Taranumm, manager of the Park Plaza Hotel, was returning home on a rickshaw. The police has registered a case. — TNS

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City Centre case: Amarinder seeks exemption
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 21
Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, one of the accused in the alleged multicrore City Centre scam, has moved an application seeking exemption from personal appearance in the court on May 23, the date of hearing of the case.

In his application, Amarinder Singh has said that he had to attend various meetings in New Delhi in connection with the formation of the new government.

Taking cognisance of the application, the Sessions Judge, GK Rai, has deferred the matter for hearing till tomorrow.

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