L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Ganda Nullah
Original file missing since 2006: SE
Dhanda, Gosain seek report
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
Municipal corporation SE Dharam Singh today confessed that the original file related to Ganda Nullah has been missing since he took over the reigns in June, 2006.

The file is stated to have important documents related to payments made to a private contractor worth Rs 1.33 crore.

“When I joined the office, the file was not present and the documents handed over to me were just a photocopy of the original file, which is currently with Municipal Commissioner GS Ghuman,” said SE Dharam Singh.

The officer confessed this during a meeting convened by local bodies minister and chief parliamentary secretary Harish Rai Dhanda and Punjab Vidhan Speaker Satpal Gosain here today.

The work on covering Ganda Nullah was allotted to Deepak Builders and the work was stopped by the vigilance department of the local bodies due to various irregularities.

Besides, six officials, including SE Dharam Singh and SE Ashok Kumar, who has since retired, along with four more officials, were charge-sheeted.

Dharam Singh was clueless to Gosain’s query on keeping him in the dark all through the eight meetings convened by the latter in the past one year.

Besides, he didn’t have an answer to Dhanda’s question on why the matter was not reported to the higher authorities when he had taken the charge.

Interestingly, all questioned related to the Ganda Nullah file were posed to the SE, while zonal commissioner BK Gupta, who is also in-charge, was not grilled by the politicians.

They directed SE Dharam Singh to bring the document that was in procession of the Municipal Commissioner in the next meeting scheduled for June 25.

Also, the officer had been asked to submit a report about the written communication made between him and the higher authorities regarding the file, including what action should be taken against the erring officer in whose tenure the file disappeared.

Even the consultant hired for Rs 8 lakh for designing the cover of the nullah came under the scanner.

Terming the design “trash” and Rs 4 lakh paid to the consultant “waste”, Dhanda directed SE Bhattal of the Punjab water and sewerage department to go through the report and submit another brief description about his opinion.

MC staff put to task

While the municipal corporation will spend Rs 14 lakh to cleanup Budda Nullah by outsourcing the work, MLA Harish Rai Dhanda has directed zonal commissioner BK Gupta to clean up the Ganda Nullah using MC workforce. Dhanda directed XEN (O&M cell) and Gupta to take sanitary staff of the corporation and start the cleanup work of the nullah, which would be inspected by the Dhanda and Gosain on June 25. “You should take 50 sanitation mohalla employees from each zone or ward in turns and ask them to cleanup the nullah,” said Dhanda to the officials. He set a 15-day deadline for the same.


Swine Flu
Health officials mobilised
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
In a bid to combat swine flue, Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura held meetings with the civic body and health department officials here today.

Instructing the health officers to take all preventive measures, the Mayor said: “All piggery owners should be disseminated information regarding swine flu so that they can be extra cautious. Though there was no threat of swine flue and its contagion in the city, all precautions are to be taken keeping in view the situation.”

MC health officer Dr Charanjit Uppal said: “The meeting was also attended by civil surgeon and suggested the corporation to follow a set of guidelines. Besides, they also told the officials that swine flu did not spread through pork, although virus passed from pigs to humans.”

He said all sanitary inspectors had been provided with the set of guidelines for piggery owners and had been directed to implement them strictly.

“If any owners evinces slightest of disinterest and does not follow the instructions, inspectors have been asked to penalise the offenders,” added Dr Uppal.

He said the civil surgeon had stated that though there was no threat of swine flu in the city yet, the paramedical staff had already been imparted training for it and isolation wards had been created in the different hospitals of the city.



Fire at hospital drug store
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
A fire broke out in a drug store on the premises of Suman Hospital, Model Town, this morning, reducing medicines worth thousands to ashes. However, no loss of life was reported in the fire.

According to eyewitnesses, they saw smoke emanate from the shutter of the store around 7.30 am and called the fire station. Soon, two fire tenders reached the scene.

It took around half-an-hour for them to douse the flames and bring the situation under control, they added.

The fire officials suspected that the fire could have been caused by a short circuit. It was noticed by some residents once the smoke started coming out of the shutter, they added.

“All medicines stored inside the store had been destroyed by the time fire engines reached the scene,” added a fire official.

The official said the chemist shop owner had failed to provide any details about the loss till the filing of the report. The shop owner declined the presence of any electrical appliance inside the shop that could have possibly caused the fire.

However, fire officials claimed that the fire must have started due to a short circuit, adding that some electrical appliance was necessary to preserve medicines and maintain room temperature.

Assistant district fire officer Kartar Singh said: “The chemist shop was not insured and the landlord and chemist shop owner had been at loggerheads due to ownership rights for quite some time.”



Sub-registrar office shifted
Grey areas still remain
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
To provide relief to those visiting the sub-registrar (west) office, the district administration today shifted the office from the Ferozepur road to Sukhmani centre in municipal corporation zone D office in Sarabha Nagar here.

The move, however, backfired when people had to queue up in the sun as the office proved to be too small to accommodate the rush.

Moreover, employees of the office said they required a separate room for keeping the computer’s server. This facility was not available in the office.

The action came following High Court’s directions to the district administration to provide amenities to people, who had to wait for long hours to get their revenue documents registered. Water supply, sanitation and shelter were lacking for visitors there.

Consequently, the office was shifted today to provide amenities to the visitors. Deputy Commissioner Vikas Garg said the office was air-conditioned and had other facilities to bring relief to visitors.

The computers were shifted to the new office today after which the registration work also began.

However, residents complained that the parking space was inadequate for the large number of people who visited the office today.

Moreover, they had to stand out in the open for hours together. Things came to such a pass that the queue stretched up to the road.

“Nothing much has changed for us here. We used to queue up in the sun there and we are doing the same here. Though the office here is better as far as upkeep is concerned, it is comparatively smaller than the earlier office,” rued a resident.

Sources said the authorities and MC employees, too, were unhappy with the shifting of the office.

Moreover, MC officials were not taken into confidence before the shifting.

Earlier, the MC Commissioner had written to the district administration to vacate the building that housed suvidha centre for providing facilities like bill payment and other services.

The Deputy Commissioner said the building was in possession of the district administration and would pay the bill and bear all expenses of the building.

Residents said the footfall at sub-registrar’s office was much higher as compared to MC office everyday. “The office has turned out to be much smaller and it will be difficult to accommodate so many people at one time. It needs a bigger building,” said a resident.

This is the second time that the office has been shifted. Earlier, it was housed in mini secretariat. At that time, it was shifted as part of election promise by Harish Rai Dhanda.



Woman’s Abduction
5 held, stolen vehicle recovered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
With the arrest of a gang of four persons, along with another individual, the CIA-I police claimed to have solved the case of car theft in which the accused first abducted a woman from VLCC in broad daylight and then pushed her out of the moving vehicle near West End Mall on the Ferozepur road on May 30.

Addressing a press conference, SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill said the police had received a tip-off that the accused were planning another strike near Sunet village last night.

The police laid a trap near Sunet bridge and arrested the four accused. It also recovered the stolen Maruti Swift Dezire car.

The accused have been identified as Gurjant Singh, Ram Singh and Jasmail Singh, all residents of Wadda village of Moga, and Harmesh Singh of Khanna.

The police recovered a stolen rifle from the accused and arrested another person, Binder Singh, who also hails from Moga, in this connection.

During the interrogation, the accused confessed to the crime.

The SSP said the accused had followed Vinita Gulhati’s car from Jagraon bridge to VLCC, Sarabha Nagar. When she returned from the VLCC around 6.30 pm, Ram Singh, caught hold of the victim, while Gurjant Singh snatched her car keys and drove away in the car taking her along.

After driving for half an hour, the abductors pushed her out of the moving vehicle near West End Mall and sped away in her car.

The SSP said the gang was planning to strike at a PSEB billing counter in Kahnna and some other places in Rajpura. Sarabjit Singh, husband of Vinita Gulhati and resident of Manohar Nagar, expressed happiness at the arrest of the accused and recovery of his car. “I had lost all hope of getting my car back,” he added.



Women in Men’s World — III
Dishing out career in hotel industry
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
She flips the pan with ease, juggles the spices with élan and concocts a perfect dish for you. Nowadays, woman’s touch is not out of place in professional kitchens.

Even though women do most of the cooking at home, it’s still a man’s world when it comes to professional restaurant kitchens, with the dudes in aprons hogging the lion’s share of the attention.

In the professional kitchen, it is typical for men to be sole chefs. But now, women are carving a niche for themselves in the kitchens of hotels and restaurants.

“Lack of women in professional kitchens is the fallout of stigma attached with it in people’s minds about women. However, anything that men can do, women can do just as well,” quips Asleem Akhtar, the only women chef of Ludhiana working at Hotel Park Plaza.

The lack of women in hotel industry, says the chef, is not due to lack of ambition. Anyone with the motivation, a love for cooking and the right opportunity can excel — whether in the home kitchen or the hotel kitchen, she adds.

Hailing from Moga, Asleem always wanted to choose a profession different from the usual ones. But no wonder her family was apprehensive about her becoming a chef. However, she followed her heart.

But this may be the lament of any career women in any profession in India. However, working in the all-male kitchen is different. “I am very professional and know how to handle things smoothly,” she adds.

The image of chefs in general has changed. From the mere “bavarchis” of yesterday to the glamorous page-three regulars today, chefs now command both respect and attention, she quips.

“I love to cook and this is the sole reason why it is my profession. Though at home also, the kitchen is dominated by me,” she says.

Does women’s cooking style differ from those of men? “I cook with my emotions. I go inside myself and put that on the plate. I think I am more sensitive in my approach. Men think about technique first, then emotion. While I cook with love and emotions,” explains Asleem.

She is passing on the same passion to nearly 20 girls who are undertaking training as chefs in the hotel.



24x7 medicine store at civil hospital
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
Following an initiative taken by the Punjab Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers, Government of India, 24X7 drug store with generic medicines “jan aushadhi” was inaugurated on the premises of Civil Hospital here today.

Prof Laxmikanta Chawla, Punjab Minister for Health and Family Welfare, inaugurated the store, which is the fourth of its kind in the state.

“The PCMS doctors will prescribe the medicines available at the medicine store, which are reasonable in comparison to the actual market price. The step has been taken to ensure availability of the medicines to economically weaker sections,” the minister said.

When asked about unavailability of the medicines in government hospitals, the minister said, "the generic medicine stores are not ‘alternatives’ for the provision of free medicines in civil hospitals but the step has been taken in order to provide quality medicine at affordable prices for all.”

The medicines are available at 10-70 per cent less prices at the generic medicine store.

The medicine store will be run by Indico Hitech Agro Rural DWWS, which will have around 350 medicines, including vital/emergency drugs, out of which 110 have been stocked in the store. The remaining medicines will be available within a few months.

Glaring difference in prices is evident from the strip of capsules of Cephalexin (500 mg), which is available at the generic store for Rs 28.35 as compared to the MRP of Rs 125 to Rs 110.

Similarly, antiemetic medicine Domperidone (most commonly used medicine to control nausea) has been priced for Rs 2.08 (10mg) per strip, which, when brought under the brand names, is sold at price as high as Rs 25 per strip.



‘CM must act on menacing quacks’
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
The problem of quacks practising medicine illegally in Punjab needs to be addressed by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Minister for Medical Education, Punjab, at the earliest, Prof Laxmikanta Chawla, Punjab Minister for Health, said here today.

When asked about the missing action on quacks by the department of health and family welfare, she said, “The Chief Minister and Minister for Medical Education should give clear orders on derecognition of all degrees, except MBBS, BAMS and DHMS in order to enable the Health Ministry to take action against those practising medicine under the garb of fake degrees.”

Laxmikanta Chawla was here to inaugurate “Jan Aushadhi”, a store for generic medicines at Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, which is the fourth of its kind in the state.

Further speaking on the issue of non-availability of doctors at the Central Jail in Ludhiana, the state health minister said the Minister for Jails and the jail superintendent concerned should send a request seeking doctors and they would be appointed accordingly.

The issue of swine flu is being dealt with ‘utmost precaution’ as we do not want to create panic amongst the public, she added. However, co-passengers travelling with the Jalandhar school students, who were tested positive, had been tracked down and tests had been conducted while the rest would be tracked soon, Laxmikanta added. She categorically asked the Punjabis to ask their relatives abroad to get themselves tested before coming India.

Referring to the dengue outbreak in 2008, the Punjab Health Minister announced the provision of “cell separators” at the civil hospital by July, 2009, adding that people seeking platelets will not have to depend on private hospitals.



Central Water Project
Officials mull inviting fresh tenders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
With the Punjab Water and Sewerage Board failing to find any bidders for Rs 25-crore JNNURM project, Municipal Commissioner GS Ghuman held a meeting with SE JS Bhattal of the department here today.

During the meeting, the officers discussed provisions of splitting the amount of Rs 25 crore and inviting tenders again but of small amount either in crores or lakhs so that they could find contractors ready to take over the work.

According to sources, the councillors present at the meeting expressed dissatisfaction over the working on JNNURM projects and expressed fear of losing funds if the works were not initiated on time.

The other matters discussed included wastage of water and means to curb it, money to be deposited with the water and sewerage board to continue with already started projects.

The officers revealed that board officer Bhattal expressed that the corporation was not releasing funds of some of the works on time due to which delay was being caused.

Among those present were councillors Simarjit Singh Bains, Parminder Mehta, Avtar Singh Tari, Pal Singh Grewal and Pritpal Singh Ghayal.



Reviving Green Revolution
Emphasis on crop diversification
Our Correspondent

Samrala, June 17
Krishi Vigyan Kender (KVK), Samrala, organised a field day on moong at Taparian village on the farm of Gurpreet Singh under the scheme “Popularisation of summer moong and gram for crop diversification” for reviving green revolution funded by Sir Rattan Tata Trust.

Chief guest Dr HS Bajwa, senior extension specialist at PAU, Ludhiana, addressed the farmers and farm women in detail about the scheme and advised them to be self-employed by adopting crop diversification.

Dr TS Bains guided the farmers to adopt the recommended varieties of pulses. Dr Naveen Agarwal apprised the farmers regarding cultivation practices of moong and Dr Ravinder Singh suggested the farmers about proper spraying techniques and use of insecticides.

Dr Harsimrat Kaur, in-charge of the scheme, guided the farmers about the importance of pulses in our diet and emphasised on crop diversification. Charanjit Kaur imparted knowledge to women about various home science training courses.

Dr Jugraj Singh, deputy director KVK Samrala, and Jaspal Singh, president, thanked all for participating in the function.



Death of unborn child
Hathoor, Jagraon doctors trade charges
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 17
The death of an unborn child during delivery has caused resentment among residents of Hathoor village here.

Sukhdev Singh of the village complained that his wife Binder Kaur, who was expecting a baby, was admitted to the Hathoor civil Hospital, near here, on Sunday.

After treating her for two days, the doctors there yesterday referred her to the Jagraon civil hospital claiming that the case was in critical state and they didn’t have adequate facilities to treat her.

The authorities further refused hospital ambulance to ferry the patient, claiming that there was no fuel in it.

The family of the patient had to hire a private ambulance to take her to the Jagraon hospital, where she delivered a stillborn baby.

Jagraon SMO Dr Hari Krishan Singla said the woman came to the hospital in a critical state and the child had already died in the womb.

On the other hand, Raikot SMO Dr Ugar Singh Sooch, in-charge of the Hathoor hospital, said when their doctors referred the patient to the Jagraon hospital, both the mother and the child were alive.

The post-mortem of the child was later conducted.

However, the family accused the doctors and staff of the Hathoor hospital of causing child’s death.

They along with villagers staged a dharna at the Hathoor hospital and accused nurses Harpreet Kaur, Sukhwant Singh and Harwinder Kaur of negligence and causing death of the child.



Verka plant out to woo bacchus-loving youth
Charu Chhibber/Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
With mercury soaring, milk is once again facing tough competition from liquor. A beeline of vehicles at liquor vends situated opposite Verka Milk Plant provides testimony to the fact.

As the day starts getting hotter with the passing of each hour, tipplers can be easily spotted having beer near the two major liquor vends situated on Ferozepur road, opposite the milk plant.

This has the milk plant staff complaining. They say in order to evade suspicion, tipplers park their vehicles in the parking lot of the milk booth.

They believe that in order to beat the heat, city youth prefer to have a can of beer than milk. This bias of the youngsters towards beer has forced the Verka authorities to flash bold advertisements outside the premises depicting the benefits of milk and its products.

"We are trying our best to attract the youth towards milk but they are more inclined towards beer instead. Visit the booth during evening hours and one can easily spot people having liquor at the vends just across the road," said an employee of the milk plant.

Interestingly, the youth have own reasons to shun milk. A group of youngsters who were spotted outside the milk plant having beer, said: "Beer is a good stress buster and after a tough day's work it helps us relax and de-stress." A 20-year-old college student quipped: "Milk is a kiddies' drink while grown-ups have beer."



ASI assaulted by accused, police awaits complaint
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 17
An ASI posted at Raikot police station has been assaulted by the accused of the case he was investigating.

ASI Teja Singh today visited Mai Jeena Street here to inquire a complaint lodged at Raikot police station against the accused, Gogan and her son. Gurmail Singh of Talwandi Rai village has lodged a complaint that Gogan had collected more than Rs 1 lakh from the villagers to get them money under the shagun scheme that was a fraud.

He added that the police was aware of her activities but did not book her, as she had good relations with a senior Akali leader of Jagraon and use to sell poppy husk for him.

Teja Singh said when he visited Gogan’s house, they attacked him with bricks and got seriously injured. He, then reported the matter to the Jagraon DSP, Mukhtiar Singh, who said officiating Jagraon SHO Kanwarpal Singh was enquiring the matter and action would be taken accordingly. However, Kanwarpal Singh, when contacted, said he had not received any complaint yet.



Lack of Sanitation
Residents to move rights panel against LIT
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 17
Irked over persistent failure of the officials of Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) to improve sanitation level in certain pockets of the 475-acre Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar Colony here, residents have sought the intervention of Punjab State Human Rights Commission to save them from serious health hazard and impending danger of outbreak of diseases.

In a petition filed before the PSHRC, several residents of D, E and G blocks of the colony have stated that virtually no sanitation staff has been deployed in the colony for reasons best known to the LIT officials for the past couple of months.

As a result, heaps of garbage and waste is littered all around on the roads, streets, in front of the houses and in parks of the colony.

The situation particularly bad near Housefed super deluxe flats, a charitable hospital run by an NGO, a number of vacant plots in E and G blocks, which have become a safe haven for stray dogs and other animals who scatter the waste material, especially leftovers, all around the housing area and elsewhere, creating a nuisance and further adding to the insanitary conditions.

With the rainy season round the corner, the threat of a variety of air-borne and water-borne diseases looms large over those living in the area, the residents pointed out.

The petitioners, including RK Sharma, Arvind Sharma, Surinder Singh Grewal and Gurdev Singh, all residents of D and E blocks, lamented that the area surrounding their houses emanated stench making the life of people miserable.

Also, several residents of the colony have complained of having been afflicted with respiratory diseases, allergies and other infectious diseases.

Inquiries made by The Tribune from LIT officials revealed that the contract for sanitation work in the colony, given to a private agency, had expired on March 31, 2009, and the process for renewal of the contract was already in the pipeline, which was expected to be completed in the next few days.

“The trust has had many changes of administrators during the past three months in addition to a period when it was headless, leading to the delay in renewal of the contract for sanitation work. A resolution for allocation of funds for this purpose, sent to the state government for approval, is still pending and funds cannot be drawn on ad hoc basis in the absence of the administrator. We are taking up the matter at the highest level and regular cleaning and removal of garbage is expected to commence soon,” an LIT official said, requesting not to be quoted.



Improvement Trusts
BJP in a hurry to nominate chairmen
Madan Mohan Vyas, Ashok Juneja main contenders
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 17
After pushing to the back burner the matter of nominating the chairmen of the Improvement Trusts from out of its allocated share of 13 posts in various towns and cities of the state for more than two year now, the BJP, SAD coalition partner, seems to be in a hurry to install its party functionaries as heads of various trusts as soon as possible.

Indication to this effect was given by president of the state unit of the party Rajinder Bhandari at a function organised to celebrate the alliance victory in Nurmahal Assembly by-election on Monday evening. Under a sharing formula over the nominations to the posts of chairmen of 27 improvement trusts in the state, the two alliance partners had agreed on 14:13 more than a year ago. While the SAD had appointed chairmen from among its party leaders, the BJP has not been able to do so for one reason or the other.

Sources in the BJP revealed that the leaders had noted with concern the erosion of its urban vote bank which had come to fore during the recent Lok Sabha elections. “The party had found to its utter shock that majority of the Assembly segments, presently being represented by the BJP, have been lost. The Congress candidates have polled more votes than the alliance nominees from these constituencies.”

The main reason for urban voters to drift away from the BJP, the party leaders felt, was the absence of party functionaries at key posts in towns and the city, who could interact with the people and send a message that the party was committed to the welfare of the urban masses.

The parties having agreed that major cities having mayor of one party will have chairman of the improvement trust from the other parties, the post of chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust has to go to the BJP.

With this in mind, a few prominent party activists were said to be in the running for the nomination to the coveted post. The names doing the rounds in party circles, sources revealed, were those of a former chairman of LIT Madan Mohan Vyas and senior advocate Ashok Juneja, both of whom have RSS background.

While Vyas has an impeccable track record as the chairman of the trust during the previous SAD-BJP regime, Juneja has also served the BJP well as the finance secretary of the state unit and is known to be close to several senior state and national party leaders. That RSS connection of both contenders will also stand them in good stead as past experience has shown that some of the crucial decisions of the BJP leadership are invariably influenced by the RSS.

Commenting on inordinate delay in arriving at a final decision about chairmen of the improvement trust in the city, and elsewhere in Punjab, a senior party functionary said it was rather unfortunate that the BJP leadership had not been able to take a final decision till now. “A sense of uncertainty prevails among the party cadres over the issue and the leadership will do well to come out with its final choice without any further delay so that an atmosphere of adhocism, prevailing in the working of the trusts could end.”



Water Supply Projects
Experts from World Bank visit city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
A team of experts from the World Bank today visited the city and Malsia Bhaike village to take a stock of the World Bank projects related to providing water supply to various villages in the district.

The experts, including Soma Ghosh Moulik and Kiran Negi, listened to the problems that were coming in the way of execution of the project. They listened to farmers, panchayats and contractors who were facing hiccups in the execution.

Manpreet Singh Ayali, zila parishad chairman, said as many as 175 villages in the district would be provided with potable water. Around 89 village panchayats had contributed Rs 106 lakh for the project.

He said the project was being implemented in the community participation mode and gram panchayat water supply committees had been formed to implement the scheme.

Ayali said soon they would also start sanitation projects in villages. He said they would take the issue of pond cleaning and sewerage projects with the World Bank soon.



Milk Production
Vet varsity gets Rs 25-lakh aid
Earlier, cost of production was decided by Milkfed, to which farmers had objected
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
The Punjab Dairy Development Board has released a grant of Rs 25 lakh to Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) for determining the cost and procurement price of milk and determining the cost of milk production.

Earlier, the cost of production was decided by the Milkfed, to which the farmers had objected.

Dr OS Parmar, dean, College of Dairy Science and Technology, and director extension education, GADVASU, said that no such mechanism had been developed for determining the cost and procurement price of milk and determining the cost of milk production, till date.

GADVASU had submitted a project on "Economics of milk production and its regular monitoring in Punjab" to the Punjab Dairy Development Board, which released the amount to the university, clearing way for undertaking the project.

He said: "The rice-wheat farming system in Punjab has not only attained its plateau but has also led to the depletion of soil and water reserves of the state. Punjab is witnessing a gradual shift in the rural farming system with several farmers adopting livestock farming, particularly dairy farming, to create family employment and improve the farming returns. But increasing the trend in this shift and its sustainability will greatly depend on the profitability of dairy farming which is governed by the price offered to the farmers by the milk procurement agencies."

At present, the procurement price of milk is determined arbitrarily without considering the realistic estimates of cost of milk production, which according to majority of the dairy farmers are not conducive to the growth of dairy sector. A lot of survey work is conducted by the Central government with the help of state governments and agricultural universities on the cost of producing major crops before fixing the procurement price.

Dr Parmar said: “The realistic cost estimates of milk production will require a comprehensive survey of a large sample of dairy farms representing various categories of land holdings and herd size, over different seasons and agro-climatic zones of the state. Under the project, information on inventory of sample dairy units, including investment on livestock, buildings, equipment, land holdings, area under farmable crops, education of farmers, occupation, type of dairy i.e. landless or mixed with agriculture or commercial dairy, feeding, treatment and other management practices.”

Profitability of dairy enterprises would be worked out for per animal and per unit of milk on daily, monthly and yearly basis. The region-wise and season-wise cost of milk production estimates would also be pooled for the state as a whole and would be communicated to the Punjab Dairy Development Board, he added.



Jeewan Jot Nursing Institute
2 trustees sacked for fund misuse
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 17
The trustees of Baba Nand Singh Ji Memorial Trust here today dismissed two of their “erring” trustees for misappropriation of funds.

Trust chairman and spokesperson Parminder Singh today said the two — Dr Baldev Singh and his wife Davinder Kaur — were included in the trust in May, 2007 for the betterment of Jeewan Jot Nursing Institute, situated on the Sidhwan Bet road, run by the trust.

They were to spend Rs 32 lakh on it as committed by the chairman. However, the two allegedly spent only Rs 5 lakh on the institute and started exploiting its resources.

They accused both trustees of purchasing the land meant for hostel in their own name and misappropriating funds.

Nine trustees out of the total 13 today voted against Dr Baldev Singh and Davinder Kaur. It was also resolved to constitute a new article of association to prevent such misuse in the future.

Two sub-committees were formed to inquire into the embezzlement of funds and probe the involvement of other trustees, if any.

A new governing body of the trust and the institute was also announced for 2009-10.

The new governing council alleged that Dr Baldev Singh was in illegal possession of accounts, documents and properties of the institute, including college bus, computers and other goods.

On the other hand, Dr Baldev Singh claimed that he had purchased the trust and its institute for Rs 5 lakh from the trust chairman and the latter had no right to interfere in their job. He instead charged Parminder Singh with trying to extort money from them by raising such issues.



75-year-old not allowed to enter house
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
A 75-year-old NRI levelled charges against his son for not allowing him to enter his house.

Addressing a press conference, Pritam Singh Deol, who was the president of the NRI council for five years, alleged that his son Raja Singh Deol, along with his accomplice, are not allowing him to enter the house and even threatening him of dire consequences.

The septuagenarian alleged that even the police was working hand in glove with his son. Pritam has appealed to the Chief Minister for necessary action against his son and the police.



BEd forms available
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
The joint entrance test admission forms for BEd are available here from the past four days. The joint entrance test for BEd admission this year will be conducted by Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, for all three universities. The test will be held on July 12.

The admission form is priced at Rs 900 for the general category students and Rs 600 for the reserved categories.

There are two centres at Ludhiana- GGN Khalsa for boys Civil Lines, and Malwa Central College of Education for Women. Around 500 forms have been sold at GGN Khalsa College while at Malwa Central College of Education for Women more than 1,000 forms have been sold so far.

Meanwhile, there have been reports of alleged sale of forms in the black-market at Rs 950 to Rs 1,000 for general category and Rs 650 for reserved category. A bookseller said: “We purchase form at Rs 950 and we are entitled to have a profit of Rs 50”.

The officials of Guru Nanak Dev University have also arrived in Ludhiana, and they have started issuing the roll numbers to the students.



PAU develops water-testing kit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
The department of microbiology at Punjab Agricultural University has developed a method to test the purity of water at home.

According to Dr Parampal Kaur Sahota, a new kit has been developed for testing the purity of water. To test the purity, the water sample is filled into the bottle up to the marked level.Thereafter, the bottle is closed with the cap and kept for 48 hours. After 48 hours, the colour of water indicates the purity of water. If the colour turns yellow, it is non-potable but if it remains violet, it indicates that the water is pure and fit for drinking.

According to Dr Sahota, the kit can be obtained from the department of microbiology at a nominal cost of Rs 30 per kit.

Training in horticulture

Punjab Agricultural University is promoting horticulture by organising programmes like field days, crop seminars and training courses.

These courses start in July. The minimum qualification for Supervisor Training Class is Class XII or equivalent and Class X for Gardener’s Training Class.Dr Dhillon said the applications for these programmes could be obtained from head, department of horticulture, Regional Research Station, Gurdaspur, KVK, Bathinda.

The application forms must reach the head of the horticulture department, PAU, by June 23, 2009. Interview for selection of the candidates will be held on July 3, 2009, at 9 am at the office of the head of the horticulture department. He added that the candidates selected for the Supervisor Training Class would be given a scholarship of Rs 800 per month.



Auto spares makers decry shortage
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
Auto parts manufacturing section in Punjab, especially in Ludhiana, is facing much hardships these days due to acute shortage of labourers.

This year, the shortage is more than the previous years.

Entrepreneurs are trying to call workers with attractive packages with good salaries but the labourers are demanding much more than what is being offered to them.

Gurpargat Singh Kahlon, president, and Surinder Singh, general secretary, of the association said similar situation arose every year but this time, it had become more serious.

Migrants from UP and Bihar were returning to their home states in large numbers due to better employment schemes being offered to them, he added.

Kahlon said the workers had started negotiating with the employers in the city. But a small unit could not afford to pay such lucrative salaries to labourers.

He said the government must intervene to tackle the problem.

"The industry can not survive with present labourer crunch,” he added.



Summer camp at BCM schools ends
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
BCM Senior Secondary School, Sector 32 A, organised a function to mark the closing of the summer camp, which started on June 4.

The summer camp highlighted the importance of computers, extra-curricular participation, community living and social awareness.

Various cultural items were presented, including classical and Punjabi dance, fashion fiesta, western dance, judo and yoga. The chief guest, Suresh Munjal, who is a philanthropist, said children should be given opportunities to flourish and grow harmoniously.

Principal DP Guleria said the students should think beyond the classroom culture and participate in the activities, which promote social living, service, celebration and dedication. Parents also enthusiastically participated in the function.

Meanwhile, a fifteen-day-long summer camp concluded in BCM senior Secondary School, Dugri, today.

The students participated in instrumental music, english skits on personality development, yoga and table tennis and drew applause. An art and craft exhibition was also organised for the children. The guests appreciated the efforts of the students and distributed prizes to the winners. School principal Dr Vandna Shahi also congratulated the participants.



‘The beginning’ released
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
The city today witnessed the release of music album ‘The beginning’ rendered by the “Ik tere karke tan akh pawaan surma” fame singer, Resham Singh Anmol.

The debut album of the promising singer, Resham Singh Anmol, has been released under the banner of T-series.

The UK-based popular music director, Honey Singh, has given music for the album. Lyrics have been penned by Bev Thrikewala, Swaran Sivia, Raj Kakra, Jeet Kaddon Wale, Baljeet Bhoorkotia and Resham Singh Anmol. Sharing his experiences, Anmol said” I wanted to sing ever since my childhood but my father passed away when I was only two years old. But, I never let my hopes die.”

Anmol spent more than five years with Prof Rehmal Bas Raheja and Ustad Bhim Sam Sehgal for learning finer details of music.

Anmol was one of the finalists on the third season of Punjabi talent hunt “Awaaz Punjab bi” While his debut album is in Punjabi, Anmol also sings Haryanvi and Hindi songs as well.



Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, June 17
Prof Shalini Gupta, director general of Desh Bhagat group of Institutes, was felicitated with "Rashtriya Vidya Saraswati Puraskar" at an award ceremony held at hotel Connaught, New Delhi, by International Institute of Education and Management.

The award is presented to the eminent personalities from the field of education for their unrelenting effort to spread knowledge to every nook and corner of the country.

Besides, Prof Shalini also received a certificate of merit. She has been associated with Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes since its inception in 1997.

The guests voiced their concern of imparting professional skills to students and applauded the efforts of the recipients of the awards for their contribution in the field of education.



Petrol pumps run dry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
Several Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPC) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPC) petrol pumps ran dry today due to shortage of supply from Jalandhar terminal.

The petrol pump owners said since consumption of diesel and petrol had increased these days, the supply by retail depots was not sufficient as per the demand.

Ashok Sachdeva, president of the Petrol Pump Dealers' Association, said there was a shortage of petrol and diesel in the city but it was not alarming, as Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) petrol pumps were facing no such problem.

"We hope that the supply will be streamlined within a week,” Sachdeva added.



City Concerns
Eve-teasers must be punished

Eve-teasing seems to have become a part of daily life. The police cannot be present everywhere and children, even from good families, are getting involved in anti-social activities. Menacing eve-teasers are troubling girls, but most cases go unreported because girls are not forthcoming in approaching the police due to various reasons. Here is what a cross section of Ludhiana residents have said on the issue

Eve-teasing, generally, violates a woman’s basic right to live with dignity and freedom. I would like to ask the city administrators whether women would remain victims of eve- teasing forever.

Women are often criticised for ‘inviting’ eve-teasers by dressing up seductively but this theory collapses in the face of rustic, illiterate and poor village women.

Who decides what ‘seductive’ dressing is? Another myth states that girls ought to turn back home before it is too dark. It is implied that the girls will be blamed for the menace courtesy this mentality is rooted in patriarchy.

Thus, since childhood, parents bring up sons and daughters with two different sets of rules of censorship on their movements outside the house, geographically and in terms of time. After wedding also, a girl is expected to adjust as per the husband and in-laws.

Violence thrives in the victim’s acceptance of the victimiser’s moral right, social superiority and physical power. They always feel hesitant to approach the police and complain about the offenders. The myths could have been exploded through effective protests, but these have been fractional. Despite number of protests against such acts, they fall prey to men. Covert or overt, visible or invisible, structural or social, women have always been both targets and victims of violence across the world.

Fortunately, a law has been framed to eradicate eve-teasing, which recognises it as sexual harassment. The problem can be handled provided the law must be implemented accordingly that says that eve-teasing is an attitude, a mindset, a set of behaviours, that is construed as an insult and an act of humiliation of the female sex. In the Indian Penal Code, Section 298 (A) and (B) of the Indian Penal Code sentences a man found guilty of making a woman the target of obscene gestures, remarks, songs or recitation for a maximum tenure of three months. The Section 292 of the IPC clearly spells out that showing pornographic or obscene pictures, books or slips to a woman or girl draws a fine of Rs 2,000 with two years of rigorous imprisonment for first offenders. In case of repeated offence, the offender will be slapped Rs 5,000 fine with five years imprisonment. Under the Section 509 of the IPC, obscene gestures, indecent body language and acidic comments directed at any woman or girl carries a penalty of rigorous imprisonment for one year or a fine or both.

Bhawna Garg, Ludhiana.

Special task force key

While eve-teasing has become a hobby for the youth in the city, it is a hindrance for young girls and women to move carefree on their own.

A permissive attitude of the administration towards eve teasing has made it more difficult, as offenders are frequently dismissed as harmless and they do not feel any fear of punishment.

It is high time that the local administration should constitute a special task force in the city to check the rising cases of molestation and eve teasing, particularly outside educational institutions, girls hostels, shopping malls and other public places.

Basically, presence of cops is not the only solution rather they need to be instructed to start the process of constituting a separate task force at the earliest. The task force should comprise policemen with their own vehicles and should be deployed outside schools, colleges and public places that are often frequented by women.

Cases related to harassment of female students and working women in day light by hoodlums and anti-social elements in public places have been reported recently. Aggressive stance of girls or women can also ward off the eve-teasers. Stringent laws under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code are required to be implemented to curb the menace.

Harpreet Sandhu, Ludhiana

Eve-teasing  a scourge

Swami Vivekananda said: “It is impossible to think about the welfare of the world unless the condition of women is improved.”

The issue of women empowerment arises because of the stark reality that they are still marginalised and sidelined from the mainstream. Despite the fact that India has a strong Constitution, proclaiming laws for equality and welfare of women, barbaric practices still continue to haunt the women. One such social scourge that lurks behind the Indian society is eve teasing.

What women need to do is to raise their voice against the perpetrators of the crime so that the culprit will not be able to go scot-free. Those who torture women, physically or mentally, should be subjected to rigorous imprisonment.

Various laws have been formulated for the protection of women but have not been implemented properly by the government. The women should establish their identity and respect their individuality by believing in their capabilities by being bold and determined.

Cherry Gogia, Macchiwara

Admn needs to be proactive

Spurt in cases of eve-teasing are being reported in the city, especially during the evening hours that is a matter of concern for conscientious citizens.

The district administration and the police cannot wash their hands off from the responsibility and a stricter vigil is expected. At the same time, victims, too, are equally responsible for they let the evil go unabated.

The craze among women for wearing provocative dresses is the main cause of the menacing eve-teasers in the city. Simple living and high thinking has become an obsolete adage for women and modesty is considered archaic and outdated.

Such vicious trends not only leads to eve-teasing but also to graver crimes like sexual harassment, molestation, rape, abduction and assault.

Prescription and imposition of dress code on women by parents, clergy, society and heads of educational institutions can definitely help to eradicate the menace. Emphasis on simplicity by the teachers and parents is the need of the hour.

Prof KBS Sodhi, Ludhiana.

Laws must be enforced

Eve teasing is a socio-cultural problem, which is virtually absent in western countries. Indian men indulge in all forms of it, including ogling, which most women find awkward and offensive.

I find it most disturbing when I come across eve teasers in places like hospitals, temples etc.

The environment in which one is brought up and the society shape the overall personality of a person. Things could have been better if the menace was recognised as one of the major social problems earlier. Also, the government should have apprised the public of the problem and encouraged girls to approach the police. The enforcement agencies should implement the laws sincerely.

Verbal teasing should be considered as an assault and should impose a hefty fine on offenders. Any physical form of teasing should become a non-bailable offence. The government must encourage people to come forward and curb the menace.

Dr MS Gill, Jagraon



7 booked for assault
Tribune News Service

Khanna, June 17
The police yesterday booked seven persons for assaulting a villager and inflicting serious injuries on him.

In a complaint to the police, Kulwinder Singh of Kartar Nagar alleged that he was returning home on Monday night when some unidentified men attacked him.

He received fractures and head injuries and was admitted to the local civil hospital. His condition was stated to be stable.

The police officials said the victim had failed to identify the accused. The police has registered a case in this connection.



Youth arrested for abduction
Our Correspondent

Raikot, June 17
A youth was arrested here yesterday for abducting a minor girl of Raikot.

Rakesh Kumar of Bhandarian mohalla here had accused that Amit Kumar, residing near a post office here, had abducted his 17-year-old daughter Mamta (name changed) on May 23. Investigation by The Tribune, however, revealed that both the youths were in love and had left the house on their own.

Amit was arrested from the Labour chowk here and was booked under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC.



Six booked for assault
Tribune News Service

Khanna, June 17
The police today booked three men and their wives for beating up a resident of Rattenheri village.

In his compliant to the police, Avtar Singh said Najar Singh, Satnam Singh and Narinder Singh along with their wives thrashed him yesterday afternoon near their village.

He said the accused held an old grudge against him over some trivial issue.

The injured was taken to the civil hospital with minor injuries.

A case has been registered in this connection.



Man held with smack
Tribune News Service

Khanna, June 17
The police today arrested one person with 5-gm smack at a roadblock near Chawa village. The accused has been identified as Manjit Singh, a resident of Samrala.

He was arrested while he was going towards Chawa village on a motorcycle.

A case has been registered by the police in this regard.



‘Encroachment’ by hospital
Status quo on construction work
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 17
Acting on a petition filed by residents of Shastri Nagar, the district courts has granted a status quo on the ongoing construction work on four-storey building at Guru Teg Bahadur Charitable Hospital, Shastri Nagar.

The petitioners — Bobby Jindal, Vijay Gupta and others — had alleged that the hospital trust was encroaching upon the public road.

“The Guru Teg Bahadur Charitable Trust has not taken permission from the municipal corporation for the construction. Under the norms, 30 per cent space in the front and 20 per cent space on the rear has to be left empty.

However, they have been flouting the norms,” said Jindal.

The hospital has been trying to encroach upon the road and it would not be allowed, said the petitioners, adding that the next hearing was scheduled for tomorrow.



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