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Power, Water Crises
Anger spills on to roads
Gabria gets bouquet in protest
Tribune News Service

Residents line up to fill their buckets in Ludhiana
Residents line up to fill their
buckets in Ludhiana on Friday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, June 26
Jails and Tourism Minister Hira Singh Gabria was taken aback today when several local industrialists presented him with a bouquet of flowers at Circuit House for providing them "holidays" in the form of orders by the PSEB to shut their units for seven days.

They asked the minister to raise the issue in the Cabinet so that the industry was not targeted by the state government to save electricity.

Narinder Bhamra, convener, All-Industries and Trade Forum, Punjab, said they had lodged their protest in Gandhigiri style. "We know that the state government is running short of power. There has been an imbalance of 22 per cent in supply and demand of power in Punjab. The demand is of 1,950 lakh units whereas the supply is 1,525 lakh units. But the industry alone should not be burdened to save electricity", said Bhamra.

The industrialists, who held an emergency meeting on power crisis today, felt that the industry was generating revenue to the state.

Sore over the stepmotherly treatment being meted out to the industry, about 16 associations of industries have decided to go on a fast from July 3. "If there is shortage of power, then why the chairman, PSEB, was sanctioning 15 new connections from his discretionary quota every day? There should be some streamlining. Big industrialists can afford to shut their establishments for seven days but small entrepreneurs are the worst sufferers", said Bhamra.

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Effigy of state govt burnt by traders
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 26
With scheduled power cuts of more than eight hours and unscheduled cuts during odd hours, city residents are forced to reel under sweltering conditions. Moreover, the erratic power supply has also affected the water supply in the city.

Irked over the government apathy, shopkeepers and traders staged a protest demonstration at Chaura Bazaar today and also burnt an effigy of the state government.

Industry representatives also vent their ire against the government and the PSEB authorities at a meeting where cabinet minister Hira Singh Gabria was presented and a bouquet was presented to him for sending the industry on a “forced holiday”.

Even as the PSEB officials claim that a maximum of eight-hour power cut was being imposed on urban feeders, which have been divided into three different groups, the city residents maintain that daily power cut ranged anything between 10 and 12 hours.

Information received from several parts of the city revealed that in addition to the eight-hour scheduled power cut in certain localities, unscheduled power cuts of one hour each were imposed at 9.30 pm and again at 3 am.

The immediate fall out of the outage for long duration during the day is non-availability of water supply as tubewells and submersible pumps put into service by the municipal corporation are completely dependent on power.

A meeting convened by Cabinet Minister Hira Singh Gabria here last evening between the PSEB officials and civic authorities so as to bringing about change in the schedule of power cut or stipulated hours of water supply to avoid clash in timing, failed to achieve the desired results.

“The trade and industry have virtually been ruined due to power crisis, while the government functionaries and PSEB top management is simply paying lip service rather than mitigate the sufferings of the people,” alleged traders.

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Mayor believes in meetings, not action
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
While the city is reeling under severe water crisis, the seriousness of politicians can be witnessed from the fact that except organising meeting, they have done nothing till date for residents.

Continuing with his series of meetings, Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura held a meeting with the O&M cell and once again repeated his orders of buying new motors and other machinery. It was his fourth meeting during the month and he repeated the same orders. When the officers told him that it is not possible to buy the equipment unless the Finance and Contracts Committee sanctions the budget, the Mayor came upon with an idea and told them to directly buy motors from distributors.

Interestingly, the Mayor has the power of calling the F&CC meeting, but instead of making effort to convene a meeting, he instructed the O&M cell officials to start direct buying. Many works of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation have been pending as the committee has not met, but the politicians seemed to be least bothered about it.

Talking to The Tribune, the officials, who attended the meeting, said, "Every time, the Mayor asks us the same and when we tell him that funds are required, he says never mind, I'll see to it. But when it comes to taking initiative, the municipal councillor hardly takes any interest. When the civic body has no funds, how could we speed up the process?”

They added that the power supply has already been playing spoilsport and when tubewells don't have electricity, how could these be run. The officers suggested that the Municipal Corporation could have asked the contractors to install generators and ensure at least 4 or 5 hours of water supply in a day. Even municipal councillors could play an important role by keeping a check on tubewell operators of their area, they added.

The officers confessed that private contractors were not running tubewells according to the power supply schedule.

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Infant’s mother dies in hospital
Tribune News Service

Husband, parents booked

Beant Juneja, SHO, Model Town, said, "A case of dowry death has been registered against Vineet Arora, his brother Puneet Arora and their parents Ramesh and Rajrani Arora. The cause of death will be ascertained after the viscera report is received. The hospital authorities could not be contacted for comments. Sources in the hospital said the deceased sustained an injury on her head.

Ludhiana, June 26
Tension prevailed at Deep Hospital when the mother of a new-born child died under mysterious circumstances here today.

However, in-laws were claiming that their daughter-in-law died due to excessive bleeding after she slipped in the bathroom this morning.

The parents of the deceased alleged that their daughter was killed as she gave birth to a girl child. The parents further alleged that the husband and the in-laws were torturing their daughter and demanding dowry from her.

The deceased is identified as Neha (27), who underwent a caesarian delivery and gave birth to a girl child three days ago.

The deceased was the granddaughter to veteran BJP leader Veer Abhimanyu. The incident took place when the in-laws informed Ramesh Kumar, father of Neha, that the condition of his daughter was critical.

Husband Vineet Arora said Neha slipped in the bathroom due to which the stitches got damaged. Later, she succumbed to excessive bleeding.

The parents alleged that Neha was thrashed by her in-laws due to which she died. In the meantime, the husband Vneet Arora and his parents managed to flee the hospital.

Later, the parents and relatives of the deceased staged a dharna at the in-laws’ residence at Sham Nagar and demanded immediate arrest of the accused.

The model town police has started the investigation and sent the body for postmortem.

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3 revenue tehsils back to work
50 papers registered on Day 1

Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
With the protesting revenue officials divided over the issue of withdrawal of agitation, three revenue tehsils in the district became functional today with tehsildars reporting to work.

The Ludhiana Central, West and East offices were open today. Three revenue officials, including tehsildar K.S. Tiwana, naib tehsildars J.S. Tiwana and Jagsir Singh, who split from the Joint Action Committee, were present in their respective offices today, much to the relief of residents.

Randhawa registered 36 documents and Jagsir 14. The offices, however, remained deserted for most part of the day as there were not many visitors.

Though Tiwana went to the office, but the Joint Action Committee activists called him back for the general house. He left the office before 12 noon.

The committee criticised Randhawa for “bowing” under pressure from senior officials and the Revenue Minister.

Randhawa, however, said the office would remain open on Monday. He added that not many people reached his office today as they were not aware of it.

Meanwhile, tehsildar Major G.S. Benipal said he had appealed to his colleagues to withdraw the agitation.

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BJP leader assaulted, robbed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
A BJP leader from Jamalpur was waylaid and thrashed by highway robbers late last evening. The victim has been identified as Pradeep Sharma, a resident of Jamalpur. Sharma is a real estate agent.

He was returning home in his car when some unidentified miscreants stopped him. As he alighted from his vehicle, the miscreants pounced on him and beat him up. His gold chain, rings and watch were snatched. His Verna car was also taken away by the assailants. He was rushed to Apollo Hospital. The hospital authorities stated that his condition was serious.

The police has registered a case of robbery and assault against unidentified miscreants.

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Termites damaging trees on PAU campus
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
While scientists of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here are helping farmers all over the state to fight various diseases of plants, they seem to be in no position to control termites that have virtually infested trees on the campus.

The termites are devouring numerous trees on the varsity campus. While scientists rule out the idea that the termite can actually kill a full-grown tree, Ludhiana Tribune found out a number of trees being consumed by termites. Many green trees are infested by them, while the PAU is perhaps sleeping over the issue.

While scientists are of the opinion that some trees are being killed due to termites, some say these cannot kill a tree, as these only feed on the dead bark of a tree.

Scientists also said the cause was suspected to be some fungus, which was feeding on the roots and killing the trees.

Dr J.S. Bal, head of horticulture department, PAU, said it was the responsibility of the forestry department of the PAU to look after these trees, which were being killed by the termites. "We have only the fruit trees under us and though some of these are also infested with termite, the problem is not as acute as with other trees."

Estate officer-cum-chief engineer of PAU Dr Gurkirpal Singh denied the presence of termite-infested tress on the varsity campus, while head of the forestry department could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

Dr Bal said the university authorities had been trying to control this damaging insect. He said the procedure required digging of a small pit before the plantation of the saplings and application of chemicals. Thereafter, regular application of doses of strong chemicals into the roots of full-grown trees prove helpful in controlling termite attack, he added.

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Demolition drive at Sham Nagar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation today held demolition drive at Sham Nagar.

The demolished structures included three constructions where the front portion was not in accordance with the site plans approved by owners. "It was a non-compoundable offence and the building owners were continuing with the work without any fear," said officials, adding that a part of another under-construction building was demolished due to encroachment.

"We had planned to demolish three constructions, but on the site we found another under-construction building owned by Rakesh Gupta, flouting building by-laws and continuing with the constructions," said ATP-D Ramesh Chabbra.

Later in the day, officials of the tehbazari wing also removed encroachments on roads like tables, crates and rehris that used to hinder flow of traffic on the roads.

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Tips for protecting crops from heat
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
Persistent hot and dry weather for the past couple of weeks has not only been troubling the humans, but also the crops. Except for paddy, kharif crops like sugarcane, cotton, moong, mash, vegetable and fruit crops were badly affected by the scorching heat.

According to cotton experts of the PAU, excessive heat had hit cotton plants. A yellow ring developed around the stem was susceptible to bacteria and other disease pathogens, which attacked the plant.

The hot temperature of June was unbearable for fruit crops also, especially for newly planted fruit trees, which required adequate protection.

According to horticulture experts of the university, the tree trunks directly exposed to intensive sunrays from southwestern side often caused sunburn bush injuries to fruit plant.

Since the evaporation losses were high due to dry weather, the moisture is lost from the tree trunks. The fruit trees of mango, litchi, citrus, guava and papaya were comparatively more prone to damage from hot weather.

The PAU scientists have advised the farmers to take suitable precautions to save fruit plant from heat. They were advised to paint the lower tree trunks with white wash solution. The white wash could be prepared by dissolving 25 kg slaked lime, 500 gm copper sulphate and 500 gm of gum suresh in 100 litres of water.

Frequent irrigation at regular intervals could also be helpful in checking the heat. Young fruit plants, which were tender, should be protected from heat by erecting thaches or kullies made of sarkanda, parali or date palm leaves.

Vegetables like chilly, okra and cucurbits were also affected by heat. The fruit setting ability in these vegetables was being affected in this temperature. This was happening due to the abnormal temperature, which interfered with the pollination process. The farmers were advised to provide light but frequent irrigations to create the cool climate to some extent.

Some sunburn injuries have been observed in bittergourd crop, especially, which has been grown on trellis or trained structures. This was not a disease, but a high temperature injury.

The farmers, who were doing net-house cultivation, were advised to use this high temperature for killing the soil-borne disease organisms and nematodes by cultivating the soil in the net house. This could also be covered with polythene sheets to further increase the soil temperature.

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Malls heaven during cuts
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
As power crisis is worsening in the city, residents are finding innovative ways to beat the heat.

A majority of them, especially youths from the peripheral areas, are spending their afternoon in shopping malls to protect themselves from the sweltering heat.

The shopping mall at Ferozepur Road near BRS Nagar is seen thronged with visitors searching for a breezy space to sit.

Residents from Rajguru Nagar, Sunet village, Baddowal and Mullanpur Dakha rush to the mall during the time of scheduled power cut for some relief.

“The mall has a good seating arrangement for the visitors. We sit here for hours and then head towards our home. As there is no other place to go during the scheduled power cut, we spend our time in the mall,” said Succha Singh (40) of Baddowal village.

On the other hand, youngsters are seen passing their time having cold drinks to beat the unbearable heat.

“It is the best way to have a cool experience, especially when there is no electricity at home. It costs me around Rs 20 per visit as I just take a glass of cold drink and spend the time here,” said Chaten Arora, a resident of Rajguru Nagar.

Similar scenes are witnessed in Calibre Plaza in Bhadaur House, where the rickshaw pullers and other labourers are seen taking a nap in the afternoon.

“As there is no sign of rain, it is difficult to work during afternoon. So we prefer to stay in the mall to avoid this burning heat,” said Shivram, a rickshaw puller.

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Spurs sale of inverters
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Khanna, June 26
As the power crisis deepens and people complain of living in an ancient age, demand for inverters, diesel and batteries have shot up by 25 per cent during the past two months.

“The sale has increased due to the uninterrupted power supply in the rural and urban areas. Though the overall demand of the gadgets is less as compared to the previous year,” said Balwant, owner of a battery house.

Owner of the gas stations said the sale of diesel had increased about 250 litres a day in view of the power cuts.

A visit to the generator manufacturing units and distributors of inverters revealed that people in large number were enquiring about the appliances.

Upset over the power and water crisis in various parts of Fatehgarh Sahib, Rajpura and Banur areas, people, while talking to The Tribune said the electricity being provided to them had been reducing day by day.

“Now, we get electricity only for ten to twelve hours a day and that too is irritating,” said Mukhtiar Singh of Banur.

He said the situation worsened during afternoon and night hours, when there was no electricity and water in their houses.

In Banur, there are ten tube-wells supplying water to thousands of households for the past many years. Despite the rise in the demand, the number of tube-wells has not increased. While one of the ten tube-wells is not functioning since its inception, another is too defunct for the past few days.

Though the Municipal Council officials claimed to solve the problem when residents from Ward No 9 threatened to launch an agitation in this connection yesterday.

In Rajpura, the industry and the urban and rural people were cursing the SAD-BJP government, which failed to provide electricity.

The industrialists said they were forced to close their units for three days a week and the production had reduced more than 50 per cent during the past few months.

Hardiyal Singh, a resident of Bassi Pathana in Fatehgarh Sahib said their town had only three tube-wells that functioned between 9 am to 5 pm. To release water, the MC officials stick to their timings and when there was time to release water, they complained of power cuts. Ultimately, people remained away from potable water and had to depend upon impure ground water.

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Power Crisis
Industrialists threaten shutdown
Tribune News Service

Mandi Gobindgarh, June 26
Perturbed over the prolonged power cuts, industrialists in Mandi Gobindgarh have threatened to close down their units if the situation does not improve.

They were protesting against the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) orders of imposing three weekly offs on the industry.

Members of the industrial associations of Mandi Gobindgarh also met the PSEB Chairman today to apprise him of the situation.

Owners of re-rolling units and furnace industry demanded power supply as per the schedule. “We are not against power cut, but it should be rational,” said entrepreneurs.

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‘One in 100 kids born with heart problems’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 26
"One in every 100 children is born with heart problems. In India, there are more than 1 lakh kids being born with congenital defects every year. It remains the commonest cause of death in first year of life," said Dr Pankaj Mankad, senior paediatric cardiac surgeon from Edinburgh, Scotland, while interacting with mediapersons here yesterday.

Dr Mankad will now be available at Grecian Hospital, Mohali, to serve children with heart defects once in two months.

He added that in 99 per cent cases, there was no cause known for this condition. While many children exhibited symptoms of heart trouble after the time of birth, others took couple of years to be detected as “heart patients”. Parents could act in a big way by identifying the symptoms of ailment in their child and help in early intervention. Some prominent symptoms include baby not feeding well, getting tired or sweating while feeding because of the extra work needed to eat, having repeated chest infections, unexplained fever, not putting on enough weight or not growing properly.

"Those children with mixing of blood appear dark or blue depending on skin pigmentation. This gives blue or purple hue to the skin. In some children, a buzzing sound is felt when hand is placed on the chest. In 90 per cent of kids, a paediatrician is able to hear a murmur (abnormal heart sound) while examining the child with a stethoscope. An echocardiogram or ECG is done to help diagnose the defect older children with congestive heart failure are beyond time of rapid growth and, therefore, do not have major growth problems like infants. Their symptoms are usually related to their inability to tolerate exercise. They become short of breath more quickly compared to their peers and need to rest more often."

Dr Mankad mentioned that some children would retain fluid and actually gain weight with heart failure and appear puffy. As it was harder to determine parameters for heart failure in older children, it was important to look for change in exercise capabilities or progression of symptoms with time.

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Seminar on drug de-addiction
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, June 26
To create awareness among the people about the disastrous affects of intoxicants among the youth, a seminar on drug de-addiction was organised at Desh Bhagat Institute of Management and Computer Sciences in coordination with the Punjab Police, health department and Desh Bhagat group of institutes.

Kaustubh Sharma, SSP, Fatehgarh Sahib, was the chief guest on the occasion.

SP (D) Shamsher Singh Boparai, DSP Maninder Singh and other senior police officials were also present on the occasion.

Among the prominent speakers were Senior Medical Officer Dr Jagdish Kaur, Medical Officer Dr Gulzar Singh, DSP Raminder Singh, SHO Kamaljit Singh and Rajesh Bhatia.

SSP Sharma said the parents, teachers and the society could play a major role in guiding the young generation to stay away from drugs.

Gulzar Singh spoke about various kinds of intoxicants and their affects on various parts of the body.

Beat officer Balbir Singh said the police in co-operation with medical institutes had organised 13 de-addiction camps and 6,500 patients were given treatment.

Prof Shalini Gupta, director-general, Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes, said the institutions and teachers played an important role in shaping the future of students and they should work together to weed out this menace from the society.

Principal Virender Singh said these seminars should be organised at regular intervals, so that the intensity of the message increased.

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People cautioned against drugs
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 26
Health officials and field staff of mass media wing today cautioned the people against drugs, tobacco and other intoxicating substances while focusing on their adverse effects on the human body and the society at large.

Addressing a function organised by the department at Ranjit International School on Jassian Road here to observe International Day on Drug Abuse and Illegal Trafficking, Dr SS Dhir, district health officer, spoke on detrimental effects of liquor and other intoxicating substances.

He commented that consumption of liquor was behind the majority of road accidents, which claimed large number of precious human lives every year.

Dr GP Mangla, district epidemiologist, said that psychotropic substances, like opium, poppy, tobacco, liquor and other addictive drugs, virtually destroyed the health and wealth beside leading to social and family problems.

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Make efforts to check drug abuse: PAU V-C
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
On the occasion of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Vice-Chancellor Dr M.S. Kang called upon students, teachers, social organisations and policy makers to make concerted efforts to check drug abuse.

The year, incidentally, marks the centenary of drug control - 100 years since the Opium Commission met in Shanghai to stop an opium epidemic. The theme this year is “Do drugs control your life? Your life. Your community. No place for drugs”.

Commenting on the World Drug Report-2009 released recently by the United Nations in Washington DC, the V-C expressed satisfaction that global markets for cocaine, opiates and cannabis are steadily declining. But, he expressed his serious concern over the reports that the production and use of synthetic drugs is increasing in the developing world. Dr Kang emphasised that drug abuse could be prevented, treated and controlled, if serious attempts are made.

He said leading a healthy lifestyle requires making choices that are respectful of body and mind. To make these choices, young people need guidance from role models. “All illicit drugs have immediate physical effects, but they can also hinder psychological and emotional development, especially among young people,” he warned.

As teenagers and young adults are vulnerable to using illicit drugs, Dr Satvinder Kaur Mann, Dean, Postgraduate Studies, PAU, called upon teachers to start a classroom discussion to educate students on the health risks associated with illicit drug use.

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Fusion wear latest style mantra
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
Be it music, clothes or jewellery, fusion rules the hearts of the youngsters with mix-n-match being their new style mantra.

Wearing an Indian outfit is just out of question for the fashion conscious youth. So to look cool and chic, boys and girls prefer wearing a western outfit with a pinch of Indian influence. Wearing a skirt or jeans and carrying a ‘duppata’ along is preferred by girls these days. Wearing traditional jewellery with western outfits also looks cool.

It is the ‘fusion look’ that is here to stay as the youngsters are close to their traditions and at the same time, they also add the western touch to their look.

Coming to attire fusion wear is the new trend gripping the city youth these days. From traditional to modern, and now the mixture of the both is ruling their hearts. Wearing western clothes with a touch of traditional art is the new style mantra.

Skirts, tops, belts, trousers with ethnic working using ‘sitaras’, mirrors and traditional Kashmiri and Jaipuri work are hit among the youngsters. The whole range is available from Rs 300 onwards. With the skirt are available matching traditional belts, jewellery, footwear and bags.

One can have a large variety of this fusion wear garments at Ghumar Mandi, Mall Road and all the leading malls in the city. Every garment available here is modern with the touch of traditional. Tops are embellished with beads and ‘sitaras’ so are the skirts decorated with the conventional mirrors.

While the traditional ornaments like anklets, ‘bajuband’, toe-rings which were initially worn with the traditional outfits like suits and sarees have also caught the fancy of the young brigade. Today these ornaments go well with the western outfits also. One can easily spot a girl wearing these ornaments with western outfits like skirts and capries.

Shipra, a student of Khalsa College, said wearing anklets and toe-rings with capries and skirts look stylish. “I wear anklet in one leg and sometimes it is just a black thread with coloured beads or sometimes it is in silver. These really add a touch of style to my personality. Even the nose pins today go well with the western outfits which initially were restricted with traditional dresses only,” she said.

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Fashion institute launches regional office
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
International Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD) today launched its regional office of Punjab here.

The INIFD is the only design institute offering international certification to its students in collaboration with the international giant "Istituto di Moda Burgo".

After revolutionising fashion education in 20 countries, most respected fashion education institute from fashion capital Milan (Italy). The IMB has revolutionised fashion education with the INIFD in India. The IMB is proud to be associated with top brands GUCCI, Armani, Krizia, Gianfranco Ferre, Dolce and Gabbana beside others.

The ministry of technology from Egypt has selected Istituto di Moda Burgo among 200 fashion schools all over the world as its collaborator to give directions to the fashion schools in Egypt.

Ritu Kochhar, founder director of INIFD Corporate, said the INIFD was setting up the design council with the leading designers of the country to give fashion and design inputs to students and also provide hands on experience. The design council will comprise of top leading fashion designers of the country, who have showcased their creations in various fashion weeks, like Lakme India, Wills India Fashion and many more.

Fashion Weekends will also be organised at various places across the country, where 14 top designers, who are members of the design council, will showcase their designer collections to motivate and promote INIFD budding designers at National and International Design forums.

The INIFD Fashion Rath (Chariot)- Fashion on Wheels was launched with the motive to take fashion to the masses. This chariot will display the designer work of the students.

Ashok Kaushik, director, INIFD Corporate, announced the appointment of Arvind Gupta as the regional director (Punjab) to promote INIFD in the state of Punjab with the mission of imparting quality education to the students of the region right at their doorstep.

Speaking on the occasion, INIFD founder director Ritu Kochhar said the INIFD was also providing a platform to the talented people, who were scared of joining Fashion Institute because of the fear of English language.

The students can now join INIFD one-year vernacular programme in fashion, interior and textile design, especially Punjabi in Punjab so that the students can learn and explore their creativity in their own language. With this effort of the INIFD, the design industry will get the trained professionals and the common man will get a decent source of earning using one’s talent.

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PAU Notes
Panel to advise farmers on climatic changes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
Punjab Agricultural University constituted a team of scientists to advise farmers about the climatic conditions.

Farmers can get the information regarding various crops from this helpline facility.

They can contact for weather advice from Dr Gurmeet Singh Bains (94636-64102), whereas information regarding the cultural practices can be availed from Dr Ujagar Singh Walia (98141-39940) head, department of agronomy.

Information regarding vegetables can be availed from head, department of vegetables, Dr Dawinder Singh Cheema (98151-77119), whereas information regarding the horticulture crops can be availed from Dr Jagtar Singh Bal (94171-46657).

Farm Literature

Farm literature plays an important role in disseminating the technology generated by Punjab Agricultural University up to the farmers. Efforts will be made to disseminate farm literature, specifically Punjabi monthly magazine “Changi Kheti” to the farmers of cotton belt under insecticide resistance management project. This was said by the state coordinator of project Dr Ashok Kumar Dhawan of PAU’s department of entomology.

He further said in this mission, 500 trained scouts posted in the cotton belt would work as catalysts. In the magazine, about 18 to 20 articles after indepth research, published in vernacular language every month. Dr Dhawan said for precision, farming literature published by the PAU had to play a vital role in future.

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Premature leaf ageing in Bt cotton crop
PAU scientists recommend foliar spray of potassium

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
With the introduction of Bt cotton varieties in Punjab, cotton production in the state has been revived.

However, an unusual problem of premature leaf senescence at the time of peak boll load have recently been noticed in the field surveys done by the scientists of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).

According to soil scientists C.B. Singh, N.K. Sekhon and A.S. Sidhu, leaves of the cotton plant near the top of the canopy turn bronze/red during boll development, which then fall off. The symptoms move down the canopy, defoliating the crop and reducing lint yield.

These leaves, on analysis, were found to have lower concentration of potassium than normal leaves, indicating deficiency of potassium. The scientists have said although cotton is grown on soils with medium to high levels of available potassium and is also supplied with basal K, but the capacity of soil to supply potassium or ability of plant to take up potassium is not enough to meet the large potassium demand caused by heavy boll load of Bt cotton crops.

They have recommended foliar spray of potassium at this stage to check this problem.

Basal application of 20 kg and 40 kg muriate of potash per acre along with foliar application of 2 per cent potassium nitrate has been recommended. Soil application of 20 kg muriate of potash per acre on soils testing medium in available potassium has been found effective.

The scientists have recommended that Bt cotton hybrids should be supplied with 20 kg muriate of potash per acre as basal application on soils testing medium in available potassium. Four sprays of two per cent potassium nitrate at weekly interval starting at flower initiation are necessary to prevent premature yellowing and burning of leaves even if the soil is supplied with potassium or high in available potassium.

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I leave no chance to learn bhangra: Salsa champion
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
World salsa champion Alex D'Iaz, who is in city these days for Latin American dance workshops, feels that his is a unique style of dancing that includes a blend of traditional salsa/mambo with flamenco, jazz and modern.

His interpretation of the music is uncanny and one will often find singing along while dancing. Alex is organising a dance workshop during the international dance festival in Punjab at Sangita Studio of Performing Arts.

Extremely touched by the warm and overwhelming response of the Ludhiana dance freaks, Alex finds it amazing to see that Latin American dances catching the fancy of the people around the world. "While I am teaching salsa and bachata, on the other hand, I am leaving no chance to learn bhangra, which is full of vigorous movement, energy and vitality," he says.

Within few days, Alex has grown crazy about Punjabi food. "I love savouring aloo parantha, lassi, amritsari kulcha, naan and butter chicken. I am ticking my taste buds at every Punjabi food," he says.

Alex is a first generation Cuban-American, native of New Jersey, where Latin music and culture were a part of his childhood. However, it was during the college years that his passion for dancing was kindled, while salsa dancing in New York.

His style of teaching focuses on proper technique, body movement and musical timing. "My main goal now is to share my passion for Latin dance and, in particular, salsa," he says.

Dr Sangita B Khushwaha, founder-director of the dance studio, adding in, said be it kathak or salsa, foot movements and spins are the integral part of the dance. "While kathak is linked with spirituality, salsa is also their traditional dance. Every dance form is unwinding and relaxing," she signs off.

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Jackson’s death shocks music world

Ludhiana, June 26
Pop and dance lovers of the city paid tributes to pop icon Michael Jackson, praising his contributions to the world of music as they shocked from the news of his sudden death.

Michael Jackson was the world’s greatest entertainer and perhaps the most enigmatic figure who was about to attempt one of the greatest comebacks of all time. But the 50-year-old superstar died on Thursday as he was preparing a series of 50 concerts.

Alex, world salsa champion, who is in the city these days, said Michael Jackson, was the king of pop music. “I have always admired him. The world has lost one of the biggest star, but his music will live forever,” he said.

Another dance lover said, “Jackson was known for both his singing and dancing abilities and the world had lost a genius and a true ambassador of not only pop music, but of all music. He has been an inspiration to multiple generations. He was what we all strive to be.” — TNS

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INTUC members call on Johar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 26
Newly elected office-bearers of the local unit of the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) held a meeting with former minister Harnam Dass Johar at his residence here today.

Swaran Singh, president of the district council, INTUC, said that members would work for the welfare of workers under the guidance of Johar. He said INTUC will make sure that workers were not exploited anywhere.

“The vacancies in Punjab State Electricity Board should be filled at the earliest by state government. Besides, factory workers should be given minimum wages of Rs 6,000 per month,” demanded Swaran Singh.

Flaying the state government, Johar said: “The government is not paying attention for the welfare of the workers. Their retirement age has not been increased and the pay commission report not implemented so far.”

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Sahnewal ward without sweeper
Loveleen Bains

Sahnewal, June 26
The narrow streets of Ward No. 11 of Sahnewal, filled to the brim with foul smelling sewerage water, it seems, are endlessly waiting for some sweeper to turn up one fine day, while the residents have already given up all hopes of the nagar panchayat coming to their rescue and pulling them out of the deteriorating position.

The conditions, under which the residents of the ward are forced to survive are pitiable. Months pass, but no single worker or for that matter, employee of the panchayat ever bothers to improve the sanitary conditions of the place. Litter, garbage and filth are the “assets” that determine this part of the town. A momentary visit to the ward is enough to judge the hellish state of affairs, which these residents are forced to put up with.

When this correspondent visited the ward, a lady resident was found cleaning the sewer filled nullah from near the gurdwara as she rued that since it was a religious place, it ought to be cleaned, adding that it had been months now, when any council employee last visited the ward. “Left with no more hopes from either the panchayat or the government that has promised several times that the sewerage system will surely be installed in the nearest possible future, we have to do the needful on our own,” the residents complain.

In the wake of deplorable conditions, which the residents are forced to endure due to the absence of sewerage system and more so due to the apathy of the nagar panchayat, an epidemic breakdown is not far to seek.

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Parked car burnt

Ludhiana, June 26
A parked Alto car was burnt at Pakhowal Road here today. According to information, the car was belonged to Gurvinder Singh. He, along with his other family members, went to a shop to buy some articles. At the time of fire, there was no one inside the vehicle.

Gurvinder Singh said, "I, along with my family members, were inside a shop when we suddenly saw the car on fire. We immediately called up the fire station and one fire tender was pressed into service to douse the flames." Within an hour, the fire was controlled, however, the vehicle was burnt completely, he added. — TNS

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Youth held for abducting grandpa for property
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 26
A youth of Bhawanigarh town allegedly abducted his octogenarian grandfather from Kaddon village and made him put his thumb impression on documents to transfer his property in his name.

The Payal police has booked the youth and his accomplices under Sections 365, 420, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC.

According to the police, Satbir Singh of Bhawanigarh was booked for allegedly abducting his grandfather Sadhu Singh with an intention to demand ransom in shape of extra share in property. As a transfer deed is ideally to be signed in the presence of the registrar, the accused had got a promissory note worth Rs 3 lakh signed in favour of his accomplice Manpreet Singh of Sangrur. Harjinder Singh of Bhawanigarh, another accomplice, had acted as fake witness in the case.

According to Payal DSP Anil Kumar Joshi, Sadhu Singh had transferred a major part of his property in name of his four sons a few years back. However, to ensure safety of his future, he kept one share in his name.

After the death of one of his son Hari Singh, Satbit Singh (son of Hari Singh) started demanding more land from Sadhu Singh. A few months back, Satbir and his accomplice took Sadhu Singh to an unknown place and forced him put a thumb impression of a promissory note, purportedly made in favour of Manpreet Singh on December 12, 2006. Sadhu Singh and other members of his family came to know about the document when they received a court notice.

The investigations revealed that Sadhu Singh had about Rs 5 lakh in his bank account on the date when the document was purportedly prepared. Moreover, Manpreet, who had presented himself as a moneylender, had raised a loan from a nationalised bank. During interrogation, the accused admitted to the crime.

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Accused in four murder cases held
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 26
The police yesterday arrested a person, an accused of four murders with his two accomplices.

With the arrest, the police has solved four cases of missing persons. The police was trying to solve the disappearance of two youths of Kaunke Kalan village.

On March 9, Ranjit Singh (25) of Kaunke Kalan village near here, on his Bullet motorcycle (PB 28 A 13 87), along with his friend of the same village Gurtej Singh (20), has left for Sri Anandpur Sahib for Hola Mohalla. When the duo did not returned, their parents lodged a complaint of missing at Jagraon Sadar police station on May 6 and expressed their apprehension that both of them might have been killed.

Ranjit was married, but Gurtej was to get married on March 21, just 12 days before going missing.

During the investigation, the police zeroed in on Karam Singh, alias Pamma of Rasulpur village near here, who was a friend of Ranjit and owed him Rs 20,000 he borrowed from him on a pronote. Karam’s wife and sister-in-law had also gone missing and he had been to jail in some case.

Ranjit had once insulted Karam for not repaying the debt. The police arrested the accused along with his two accomplices, Shingara Singh of Dolon Kalan and Yahid Mohammad of Kila Rehmatgarh village in Malerkotla.

The motorcycle of Ranjit became a crucial point in arresting the accused as Karam could not desist from keeping the motorcycle for his own use and continued on using the motorcycle on the same registration number in over confidence that his crime could not be traced.

Karam confessed to have killed both of the youth as he wanted to avenge his insult inflicted by Ranjit. He said Gurtej was killed to wipe out any evidence. They had called them to Malerkotla, while on the way to Sri Anandpur Sahib. He said the youths were first given sedatives and then made to consume liquor sitting beside the canal of Kotla branch near Mahorana Bridge on Nabha Road. When both of them lost conscious, they strangulated them and threw them in to the canal after removing their clothes from their body to remove the identification marks. He also confessed to have killed his wife, Charanjit Kaur, at Ludhiana around three years back and throwing the nude body in the Ludhiana Canal.

He also confessed to have killed Ruby, his sister-in-law about 18 months ago at Malerkotla and throwing her nude body in the canal. After killing his wife, he kept his sister-in-law with him as he was said to have been in love with her long back.

Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP, Ludhiana rural, said they had recovered mobile phones of the victims along with another motorcycle used in the crime.

DSP Mukhtiar Singh said they had obtained five-day police remand of the accused and it seemed that this psychic serial killer might have been indulged in more killings.

DSP (D) Satnam Singh said efforts were being made to locate the bodies of the victims somehow by checking the police records of police stations, besides the canal about the unidentified body recovered during the past time.

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Habit-forming drugs seized
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 26
A team of health department, led by district drug inspector Rajesh Suri, conducted a raid on a chemist shop at Khanna last evening and seized large quantity of habit-forming drugs.

Civil surgeon Dr Sat Pal Sharma said the team, along with the Khanna police, raided New Simran Medical Hall near the octroi check post number 7 on the GT Road. The owner of the shop was not present and medicines were being sold in the absence of a qualified person as prescribed under the provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

In the course of inspection, 6,700 tablets and 561 capsules of habit-forming drugs and 40 bottles of cough syrup were found for which the employee present at the shop could not produce documents of purchase. The record for sale of medicines was also not maintained.

A case under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act has been registered against the owner of the shop.

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Woman killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Khanna, June 26
A woman hailing from Uttar Pradesh was killed in an accident last night, when she was hit by a speeding motorcycle while walking with her husband near Machhiwara.

The deceased has been identified as Rajpati, wife of Babu Lal. She was going towards her home in Machhiwara on foot with her husband.

When the couple tried to cross the road the, woman was hit by a motorcycle. She was rushed to the Samrala civil hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries. A case in this connection has been registered by the police against the motorcyclist, Jaspal Singh, a resident of Ghuman Kalan village.

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One booked for cheating

Khanna, June 26
The police today booked a resident of Gurdaspur for cheating a villager in Lalheri over the pretext of providing him a job.

In his complaint to the police, Khushdalbir of Lalheri village alleged that the accused Shyam Kumar of Chahal Kalan village in Gurdaspur took away Rs 2 lakh from him over the pretext of providing him a job. Neither did he provided him a job nor returned the money, but kept on harassing him over the pretext of returning him the money. — TNS

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Soft Tennis
Chandigarh beat Delhi
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 26
Chandigarh got the better of Delhi in the opening match in the boys' section of the 5th Junior National Soft Tennis Championship for boys and girls, which commenced on Punjab Agricultural University campus here today. Chandigarh lads romped home victorious 2-1.

Earlier, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former Chief Minister, Punjab, inaugurated the five-day championship, in which 17 teams in the girls’ section while 18 teams in the boys' section are taking part.

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