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CCTV cameras soon in revenue offices
Sub-Registrar office to have police post
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6
Following the incident of stripping and assault on Sub-Registrar (Central), the district administration has decided to shift the Merado police post on the Sub-Registrar office premises. The police post will be shifted shortly to ensure that no untoward incident takes place.

Talking to The Tribune, Deputy Commissioner Vikas Garg said the district and police administration had decided that shifting of the post was the only solution to make sure that there was no security threat to the revenue official.

He said the office, located on Gill Road, was being considered as sensitive office after the incident of assault and stripping of Major Benipal.

"We will not take any chances. That office needs security. We have provided private security to Major Benipal and to be doubly sure, we are setting up the police post. I have already taken up the matter with the SSP. Soon it would be done, " said the DC.

Besides, the administration will also install close circuit TV cameras in all three revenue offices of the city. The main monitor will be installed in the mini secretariat complex, so that every activity in the office is under watch.

He said the monitoring of offices would also put on rest several controversies that kept on cropping in the offices. These offices always remain controversial and marred by allegations of corruption.

The Sub-Registrar offices, including East and West, were shifted out of the mini secretariat complex two years ago. Earlier, these were housed in the basement and residents were always demanding better offices.

There were complaints that the revenue officials were facing problems on account of misbehaviour by several persons. They had even demanded security from the administration.

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A mockery of democracy
Mayor adjourns house in 8th minute of proceedings
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Congress councillors block staircase for MLA Harish Rai Dhanda and Satpal Gosain during their way to MC house in Ludhiana on Monday.
Congress councillors block staircase for MLA Harish Rai Dhanda and Satpal Gosain during their way to MC house in Ludhiana on Monday. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, July 6
Making a mockery of democracy and presenting an example of hypocrisy, Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura adjourned the house in just the eighth minute of its proceedings without allowing any discussion or debate on topics concerning the city.

The Mayor didn't even bother to listen to the agenda being read by house secretary Vinod Sharda and said "agenda and supplementary agenda - passed" amid utter chaos and left the meeting hall, without caring for the dignity of the house.

Even resentment of Congress councillors against the house proceedings by torn agenda proved to be futile, as the Mayor simply ignored them. He even didn't bother to listen to what Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal had to say. Later, when the Mayor left the premises, Bansal was witnessed giving contradictory statement that supplementary agenda was not passed.

While the mayor was taking everything for "granted", SAD and BJP municipal councillors, along with MLA Harish Bedi, were sitting as mute spectators without raising their voices against the injustice to the public in the form of lack of basic amenities. It was a "shame" for these municipal councillors, who didn't even manage to gather guts to stand against the Mayor and ask him why the House meeting was called if the decisions of the Core Committee meeting are passed.

Interestingly, the whole exercise of organising the house meeting turned out to be an eye-wash, as the Mayor easily managed to save his skin and even rescued MC officials who were to be questioned on issues like civic amenities, tender tampering and embezzlement of funds in crores.

Proceedings of the 75-member house started at 9 am with the presence of 60 councillors who were just united to observe one-minute silence to pay tributes to SAD councillor HS Dang's mother who expired last month.

It was followed by Mayor's statement that BJP councillor Gurdeep Singh Neetu has to catch a flight at 11 am and Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal also has some important work so agenda should be passed quickly, followed by a zero hour for discussion. However, Congress councillors differed in opinion and wanted vice-versa.

When Sharda started reading the agenda, Congress councillors Amrit Varsha Rampal and Sanjay Talwar, along with others, reached the stage and took away mike, asking the Mayor to first hold debate.

Within seconds, pandemonium was witnessed and the Mayor walked out from the house, stating agenda passed without paying any regard to what other elected representatives were speaking.

By the time MLAs Harish Raid Dhanda and Satpal Gosain, who were 10 minutes late, reached the MC house, the show was over.

It was the third consecutive house meeting in 2009 which was finished within 20 minutes. It seems that the municipal councillors, who have already forgotten their promise, have also erased list of their duties from their memory.

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IELTS Examination
One more nabbed for impersonation
Mohit Khanna/Rajneesh Lakhanpal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6
One more girl has been nabbed in connection with the IELTS impersonation case. However, a senior official refused to divulge her identit. Police sources said the girl was Gurvarinder Kaur from Amritsar.

The duty magistrate Karan Garg has extended the police remand of Harpreet Kaur, Sukhbir Kaur and Lovedeep Trikha for one more day.

The trio was caught on Saturday evening while they were taking the IELTS examination at Hotel Gulmohar.

The trio was nabbed on the charges of impersonation and forging of passport.

Meanwhile, the girls, who were caught on the charges of fraud, seemed 
remorseless.

While being taken from court, they hurled abuses at public and section of media.

While the lawyers of the respective girls were trying to prove them innocent, the alleged vulgar gestures made by the girls towards journalist told a different story.

The police sources said that the accused were very much part of the gang which used to take IELTS examination by impersonating original students.

The police claimed that these youths used to receive huge booty in return.

Family members of the accused were subjected to all kinds of embarrassment.

Relatives were seen requesting the cameramen of electronic channels for not shooting the video of the alleged accused while they were being taken on police remand.

“They are still to get married and your footage will spoil their future. They were lured by people with vested interestS who offered them huge money in return for taking the IELTS test,” pleaded a relative of Harpreet Kaur. 

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Student dies in mysterious circumstances
Complained of chest pain during exam; found unconscious near hostel room
Tribune News Service

Rajender Kumar
Rajender Kumar

Ludhiana, July 6
Panic gripped Advance Training Institute (ATI) on the Gill road after a student died under mysterious circumstances during an exam here today.

The deceased has been identified as Rajender Kumar (24), a resident of Kaithal in Haryana. He was doing his one-year mechanical motor vehicle diploma.

Institute director Dinesh Nijhawan said Rajender was appearing for the 'Principles of teaching' examination along with 26 students of the institute.

During the examination, Rajender complained of chest pain and asked the invigilator to allow him to take medicines from his hostel room.

According to Dinesh Nijhawan, Rajinder was allowed to take the medicines from the hostel room. But when he did not return to the examination hall, a peon was sent to his room who found him lying unconscious in front of his room.

Dinesh said the doctor of the institute was rushed to the spot to give him first-aid.

Rajender was rushed to Grewal Hospital where he was declared brought dead. However, the cause of the death is still unknown.

Meanwhile, Dinesh Nijhwan said, "We have informed his parents about the incident. The post-mortem will be decided by them.”

A section of students alleged that instead of taking the student to hospital, the institute authorities were busy in their meeting.

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Budget upsets lawyers
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6
The Budget of the UPA government, presented by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Parliament, today failed to evoke desired response by people here. Terming it to be a "cleverly placed" Budget, people feel that there is not much concrete for the benefit of common man.

The Budget has upset lawyers the most. The Finance Minister has proposed service tax to the legal consultants in the Budget, which has definitely not gone well with the lawyers here. They feel when they are paying income tax, there is no need to impose service tax.

Parupkar Singh Ghuman, president, District Bar Association, told The Tribune that service tax was unjustified and illegal. He said they were the "officers" of the apex court and were not providing any services to the customers.

"The Service Tax Act of 1994 does not include the lawyers. We come directly under the apex court. Against this move, we are passing a resolution and copies of the same will be sent to the Finance Minister, standing committee of the Finance Ministry and the Chief Minister by tomorrow", said Ghuman.

Dr Arun Mitra, former president, Indian Medical Association (IMA), and assistant secretary of the district unit of the CPI, said the government had proposed service tax on health, which would add to the cost of treatment.

"It is a cleverly placed Budget, not much relief has been provided to the common man. Though NREGA has been given a boost, then the cost of living of worker will also be increased. Big corporates have been taken care of, but the government has not thought of the unorganised sector", said Dr Mitra.

Tina Nalwa, a homemaker, feels that the Budget had brought disappointment for women. "It was difficult to purchase gold because of its skyrocketing prices earlier but now gold and silver jewellery will be more expensive, which is unwelcome step. Though, branded jewellery will be cheaper, not every woman buys branded jewellery", said Nalwa. 

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No-smoking Act goes up in smoke
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6
The warning "Sale of cigarettes or other tobacco products to a person below 18 is strictly prohibited" has failed to deter minors from using these due to their ubiquitous availability.

Also, vendors are guilty of "indirectly" encouraging the adolescents as they have failed to put up the warning notice as necessitated by the act.

The district administration and the department of health and family welfare have failed miserably as far as implementation of the Anti Tobacco Act (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) is concerned.

Even the drives to check smoking in public places seems to be a mere eyewash. A senior health official revealed that the teams mobilised to challan people smoking in public places came with just 12 challans per day.

A resident of Kitchlu Nagar while commenting on the recent raids on hookah joints said, "The departments should continue with the raids across the city which are not only guilty of selling tobacco products to underage students but have also employed small boys as salesmen."

City-based NGOs, including Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle(GGSSC) and Universal Human Rights Organisation, are striving hard to effectively implement the Anti Tobacco Act, but getting little support from the administration.

However, District Health Officer (DHO) Dr SS Dhir said all the major hotels and restaurants have been issued letters to ban smoking on their premises.

The health teams are also identifying and remove vends selling tobacco products near educational institutes soon.

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Jobs on Compassionate Grounds
53 get appointment letters
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Serivce

Ludhiana, July 6
Minister of Jails Hira Singh Gabria handed over 53 appointment letters to children of personnel on compensatory grounds, who died during the service period.

He said the SAD had fulfilled the long pending demand of these families. Speaking on the occasion, the minister informed that the Punjab government would soon replace the existing Prison Act, 1894, for mending, reforming and rehabilitating prisoners in jails of the state and this new Act would be approved in the Vidhan Sabha Session.Gabria said draft of this Act had been prepared and a 11-member committee had been constituted under the supervision of Advocate General HS Mattewar and Ex-IG Bikrmjit Singh Sandhu, who suggested their own experience for this Act.

He said the new Punjab Prison and Correctional Services Act had been preparing to bring about major reforms in the jails so that after completing their sentences, the inmates came out as better citizens.

He said the present jail act was prepared 114 years ago during the British regime. The new act had been framed keeping in view the present circumstances and it would be implemented shortly.

Gabria said two new modern jails at Kapurthala and Fridkot would be constructed and both jails would be completed in one year.

He further informed that the modern jails would have a capacity to house more than 2,500 inmates and each project would have a 50-bed hospital, administrative block, training centre-cum-canteen, library block, central watch tower, dispensary, flour mill and workshops.

The jail would also have educational facilities, firefighting system, solar water heater system, rainwater harvesting, sewage treatment plant, dual water supply system and a large green central court with every ward.

He said Punjab jail had a total capacity of about 12,000 convicts but about 16,000 prisoners were there in different jails of Punjab. He said video- conferencing facility would be started in the jails of the state.

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Power supply restored in many areas
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 6
The field staff of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) worked in challenging conditions to repair the electric poles, transmission lines and transformers damaged by the rain and high-velocity winds, which lashed the region on June 28.

Power supply to a majority of the affected feeders was restored on July 3, while work for the resumption of supply to areas where transformers had sustained damaged was completed today.

PS Gill, Deputy Chief Engineer of suburban circle, PSEB, said while, the first monsoon showers brought the much-needed relief to farmers and other sections of people in the region, the storm which accompanied the rain on June 28 wreaked havoc on the transmission and distribution network in suburban circle.

He said, “Nearly 600 electric poles were damaged in four subdivisions, namely Adda Dakha, Raikot, Lalton Kalan and Jagraon, disrupting supply on 52 feeders out of the total 230 in the circle and over 60 transformers had fallen, which further worsened the situation.”

Arrangements were made through six trucks to transport new poles wherever these were to be replaced. It took a great effort on part of employees to erect new poles in waterlogged fields, repair damaged power cables and restore supply to affected areas, he added.

Gill further informed that after supply on disrupted feeders was restored, the work was taken for putting the damaged transformers back to service, which took another three days.

As of now, the whole transmission and distribution network in the suburban circle was operational without any major disruption.

He asked the farmers to desist from using any unauthorised tubewell motors or use of higher capacity motors than those sanctioned, as such practice caused overload on transformers and also adversely affected the consumers. “The farmers found stealing power or using unauthorised load will be sternly dealt with,” he added.

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Unsafe Water: Residents raise slogans against MC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6
The failure of the Municipal Corporation to provide potable water and solve sewerage problem of the ward 22 forced residents of the area to hold a dharna in front of the Zonal Commissioner’s officer here today.

The residents, led by BJP leader Harbans Lal Phanta, whose wife Sunita Phanta is also a councillor from the ward, raised slogans against the Zonal Commissioner whining that their voice were blatantly ignored.

Darshan Kaur said, “It has been more than one month that we had been complaining of unsafe water. It stinks and one cannot even think of bathing with it, what to talk about drinking.” She complained that more than 70 people had fallen ill in their area and despite it, neither officials nor politicians were paying any heed to what they were saying.

Raising slogans against Zonal Commissioner Mahinder Pal Gupta, they said, “We need immediate solution to the problem. The sewage is choked and if the officers are asked to sit and live in that area, we are sure they won’t even think about it.”

Similarly, Dr Surinder, another resident said, “The unhygienic conditions prevailing in the ward is an open invitation to the epidemic and its unfortunate that no action has come till date.”

The agitators later gatecrashed the officer’s room and were pacified by the officer that the work on solving their problem was already on.

The sewerage in the area is under the JNNURM and tenders for it had been already invited by the Sewerage Board. The councillor is aware of it and it will take some time.

Meanwhile, another dharna was held by residents of the Kirti Nagar of ward 15 in front of the Zonal Commissioner, B-zone, here today.

The residents complained that tubewell motors in their area were non-functional and they met officers and politicians several times, but to no avail.

“For the past one month, we are being supplied water through MC tankers which is unfit to drink. Even a girl of the area died due to diarrhoea after consuming this water," alleged residents, stating that except assurance they hadn't received anything.

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Renovation of IMA for Rs 4 lakh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6
Two hundred members attended the general body meeting of the IMA here. Harish Rai Dhanda, chief parliamentary secretary, was the chief guest on the occasion. He announced a grant of Rs 4 lakh for the renovation of the IMA house.

Dr Manoj Sobti, district president, IMA, spoke about the payment of all arrears (Rs 2,17,366) towards the improvement trust.

He said, “Now that the outstanding amount has been cleared, the IMA is planning to build an auditorium and some rooms for which a layout has been prepared by an architect.”

Dhanda released the directory of the IMA members and honoured 45 senior doctors of the city for their contribution towards humanity.

I-cards for the IMA members were also released, which will enable them to get discount in various major hospitals, hotels and car companies.

Dr DP Singh Arora, secretary, IMA, Dr Satish Nauhria, Dr Arun Mitra , Dr Narotam Dewan, Dr Hardeep, Dr Karamvir Goyal, Dr Kulwant Singh, Dr Anakhvir Gill, Dr Narjit Kaur and Dr Shavinder Pal Singh actively participated in various activities.

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Youth loses life in truck-tempo collision
Tribune News Service

Machhiwara, July 6
In yet another accident on the Khanna-Nawanshehar road, a 24-year-old youth from Nawanshehar was killed today. A five-year-old girl, who was going towards Delhi with her family members, was killed yesterday and five other family members received serious injuries on this road.

The vehicles involved in today’s accident got damaged beyond recognition. The impact of the accident was such that the vehicle got completely damaged.

The accident took place near Jharoudi village wherein a tempo and truck collided head-on at around 4.30 am today. The driver of tempo was killed on the spot while another received serious injuries.

The deceased has been identified as Sandeep Kumar and the injured was Vijay Kumar. Police officials from the Machhiwara police station reached the spot and rushed the injured to nearby hospital where one of the injured was declared dead. The driver of the truck fled the spot immediately after the accident. A case under Sections 279,337,38, 427, 304-A of the IPC has been registered against the accused.

Five persons lost their lives and many got injured during the past 10 days on the 20 km stretch between Khanna-Nawanshehar road and the Samrala-Satluj river bridge. The reason behind these accidents is said to be the increase of traffic on this particular stretch and also the lackadaisical attitude of the police and administration.

The commuters using the road everyday demanded that rules must be implemented on this road. “There is hardly any cop deployed here to challan vehicles which flout the rules”, said Harmeet Singh, a resident of Jalandhar.

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Vana Mahotsav celebrations hold no importance
Trees being axed in the name of development
Our Correspondent

Doraha, July 6
Does Vana Mahotsav celebrations hold any good when lakhs of trees are being ruthlessly axed at alter of the strategic developmental planning being undertaken by the rulers of the day?

“The entire notion of celebrating Vana Mahotsav seems ridiculous, as when on one hand the governments are giving a clarion call to all departments, educational institutes and voluntary organisations to join hands to save the mother earth from further depletion by planting more and more saplings, thousands of trees are being mercilessly uprooted in the name of making the National Highway 1 six lane,” said a commuter.

“The government’s plans are seldom planned. The project of extending the NH-1 from four to six-lane was not an overnight thought. It might have been in the minds of the planners from the past many years. If this was so, then how injudicious it was to choose this particular spot for planting a good number of saplings, as had been done in the past three to four years and then uprooting them mercilessly and disturbing the ecological balance already in doldrums,” questioned another commuter.

“I am astonished, as to how in the face of ecological crisis the government can resort to such harsh measures. In these critical times, when even the planting of a single sapling matters and in order to generate environmental awareness, “bootas” are being distributed in the form of “parshad” and uprooting of nearly one lakh trees does not make any difference to the so-called planners,” rued another commuter.

Satirising the government decisions and plans, an environmentalist commented, “A minister is especially invited by the department or an educational institute to plant a single sapling in a pit being collectively dug by the organisers and this “noble” act is videotaped as well as clicked to be highlighted through the electronic as well as print media in order to spread the tree-plantation awareness among the general public too.

Does it not appear to be a mere farce when at the same time in the name of initiating the six-lane project from Jalandhar to Panipat, the trees are being mercilessly axed on either side of the NH-1. Does the environment sensitivity of the government suddenly wither away when it resorts to such fatal acts? The idea of environment preservation is thrown to winds in the process.”

“Amends can, however, be made even now if the government in the wake of serious environmental depletion, apart from making personal efforts, motivates farmers to plant at least a double line of saplings which on growing cause least harm to their produce and maximum benefit to the environment and commuters who will at least be able to smoothen their eyes and seek shelter if need be.”

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Sirhind Railway Station
Residents demand basic facilities
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, July 6
Residents of Sirhind and adjoining areas in a meeting yesterday demanded the basic necessities at Sirhind Railway Station. A meeting in this connection was called by the Sirhind Citizen Social Welfare Association under the presidentship of Devi Dayal Bhalla.

The members of the association expressed their anguish over changing the routes of various trains, which were earlier going through Sirhind but have now been diverted through Patiala.

Bhalla, while talking to media, said the railway department had announced to put Sirhind Railway Station under A-Grade in 2006, but even after three years the department had not initiated any work in this connection.

Due to the shortage of length of platform numbers 1 and 2, many passengers fail to exit or enter the bogies of trains. Elderly and the children face many problems, especially during the night hours. There is no facility of sheds on the railway station due to which passengers have to stand in the open during the summers and rainy season.

The only Shatabdi Express which halts at this station, too, bears the brunt of officials concerned who, after every three months, announce to discontinue the services of this train.

The members of the association claimed that the department was earning Rs 1 crore every month with the sale of passenger trains.

The association has also written a letter to the Railway Minister wherein they have demanded to restart the discontinued trains.

He also pointed out that in view of the religious importance of this district, trains like Malwa Express, Super Fast Express, Shan-é-Punjab, Jan Shatabdi, Swaraj Express and Garib Rath should also be stopped at this railway station for the ease of people.

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Pro-agriculture: VC
Allocates Rs 39,000 crore for rural job scheme
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6
Punjab Agriculture University Vice-Chancellor Manjit Singh Kang has hailed the Central Budget and described it as pro-agriculture.

He told the Union Budget had given a due focus to the rural development. It allocates Rs 39,000 crore for the rural job scheme, which is a welcome step. This allocation for the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) will help provide jobs to unemployed rural people at a wage of Rs 100 a day.

The announcement regarding a draft food security (guarantee) bill is a step toward addressing the problem of national food insecurity. It is also a welcome step.

Dr Kang said the Budget envisaged speeding up infrastructure development and sticking to the theme of inclusive growth. The announcement by the Finance Minister while presenting the Budget for fiscal 2009-10 for setting up a task force to examine the issue of farmers debts in some regions of the country from private money lenders who were not earlier covered by the loan-waiver scheme of last year is a welcome step.

The time given to small farmers having more than 2 hectare of land to pay 75 per cent of their overdue under the debt waiver and debt relief scheme has been extended from June 30 to December 31 is a welcome announcement.

The target for agriculture credit flow has been set at Rs 3,25,000 crore as against Rs 2,87,000 crore in 2008-09. It will provide relief to the farmers.

The Vice-Chancellor said earmarking of funds for rural electrification plan was also a step in the right direction. The targeted agricultural growth rate at 4 per cent seems reasonable to provide momentum to food production and related programmes.

Mohinder Singh Grewal, a progressive farmer of Kanganwal village in Ludhiana district, said today that the Centre had not done justice with Punjab so far as the loan waiver of the farmers was concerned.

Commenting on the Central Budget proposals, Grewal said Punjab farmers had made the biggest contribution in wiping out the food deficit of the country and at present farmers were in distress due to huge debt.

They needed more liberal waiver to enable them to make maximum contribution to the national food pool.

Grewal who has served as a member of the Agricultural Prices and Costs’ Commission of India and a representative of the farming community, said to have good agriculture growth rate, the state agricultural universities must be extended financial support.

At present the research and extension activities of these institutes had come to a standstill.

Grewal suggested that the states should have their own separate Agricultural Prices and Costs Commissions and they should represent the national commission on agricultural prices.

At present the Agricultural Prices and Costs Commission was not getting proper feedback to fix the prices.

Grewal opposed the hike in diesel prices and said this should be withdrawn immediately. He was also critical of the Punjab State Electricity Board, which was not supplying eight hours power to the farmers.

Grewal strongly pleaded for adopting organic agriculture, as this would increase the soil fertility and also save the people from ill effects of the use of pesticides and insecticides.

Rahul Singh, another progressive farmer of Muktsar, said instead of giving subsidy to the oil companies, the government should pay direct subsidy to the farmers to enable them to reduce to the cost of cultivation.

He criticised the hike in diesel prices. Both Grewal and Rahul Singh said minimum support prices of various crops were not implemented judiciously and the government must ensure their implementation. This would help the farmers in bettering their economic position.

Rahul Singh also pleaded for subsidy on agricultural implements, which had become costly.

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Ashok Juneja takes over as Chairman of Improvement Trust
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 6
Noted taxation lawyer and senior functionary of the BJP with an RSS background, Ashok Juneja, today assumed the office of the chairman of Ludhiana Improvement Trust with great fanfare.

Cabinet minister of Punjab for commerce, industry and local bodies Manoranjan Kalia, state president of BJP Rajinder Bhandari, deputy speaker of Punjab Assembly Sat Pal Gosain, party legislator Harish Bedi, SAD-B legislator and chief parliamentary secretary Harish Rai Dhanda along with several senior leaders of the BJP and SAD-B were present at the function.

Speaking on the occasion, Kalia sought to dispel the general impression that the urban local bodies were being forced to transfer their properties to the PUDA against funds provided to them for development works at the sangat darshan programmes by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

“The funds released to the local bodies are grants and not loans which are to be repaid or properties handed over to the PUDA or Punjab Infrastructure Development Board from whom the funds for development grants were obtained by the state government.”

He said if there were any problems on this account, the BJP leadership would suitably take up the matter with its coalition partner and settled the same.

Kalia further said the state government had already taken a policy decision for conveyance of title deeds for plots and properties of improvement trusts or PUDA on allotment rate as against market rate, which was the practice earlier.

The facility is available to original allottees for a limited period, which is September 2009 as of now.

State chief of BJP, Rajinder Bhandari, expressed confidence that Juneja would handle the affairs of the LIT in a smooth, effective and transparent manner and perform the much-needed "clean up" operation to restore the confidence of the public in the institution.

"The senior leadership of the party, both at state and national level, stands behind Juneja and we will make sure that nothing comes in the way of putting the institution back on rails.”

Juneja assured that his first priority would be to clear the backlog and pending works which were held up due to the proverbial red tape.

“With cooperation of the staff we will endeavour to clear all pending files as soon as possible. Efforts will be made to fix time frame for all new applications for different works and any unnecessary delay will be viewed seriously.”

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Admn neglecting special people:Doc
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6
Though, the Persons with Disability Act 1995, National Trust Act, RCI Act and the National Human Rights Act have been enacted for safeguarding the rights of the physically and mentally challenged people, they are still unable to live a respectable life. This was stated by Dr BS Chavan, psychiatrist, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh.

He was in the city to deliver a lecture on “Psychiatry disability and law” in a faculty development programme organised by the Department of Psychiatry, DMCH.

Dr Chavan, however, agreed that the district administration and the department of health were not interested in working in favour of such special people.

Pointing towards the practical problems faced by the mentally retarded cases when it comes to issuing of certificates, Dr Chavan said: “The issue of certification of mental retardation among children and adults is a matter of concern in the absence of clinical psychologists who can better judge the IQ of such people. The certificates define the future line of treatment followed by other benefits and pensions given to mentally challenged.”

The expert also pointed out that was a need to make people aware of the job security as no office can force the individual out of job if the person develops a psychiatric disorder. An individual can move the court under the Persons with Disabilities Act 1995.

He cited an example of a person working with the Sports Authority of India in Chandigarh, who developed psychiatric disorder and had to resign under the “departmental dissension”. However, the National Trust approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court wherein the case was decided in his favour after eight years of his resignation.

Speaking on the National Human Rights Act, the expert spoke about the guidelines with which the mental hospitals in the country have to abide. A person can only be sent to mental hospital after the certification of two psychiatrists (one from government department) stating that the psychiatric disorder is “unmanageable” followed by the orders of the district magistrate.

The programme was organised under the guidance of Dr Ranjiv Mahajan, professor and head, Department of Psychiatry, DMCH.

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Dhanda, Gosain give patient hearing to Cong councillors
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6
While the Congress councillors were crying foul during the MC house meeting as the Mayor didn't give them chance to air their grievances, it was SAD MLA Harish Rai Dhanda and BJP MLA Satpal Gosain who gave a patient hearing to the former.

When the duo was walking towards the meeting hall, they were stopped at stairs by the Congress councillors, raising slogans "Dhakka Shahi nahi chalegi" against the SAD and mayor. They pacified the agitators and extended them their support, stating that even they were in favour of discussion.

Talking to mediapersons, the duo said, "It's really unfortunate that the democracy is being brutally murdered in the MC house of the city, which is already crying for basic amenities like water, sewerage and roads."

The agenda passed in today's meeting has various anomalies which require to be discussed before initiating work on them, said Dhanda, adding that a representation has been submitted to both Mayor and Local Bodies Minister Manoranjan Kalia.

He gave various examples from agenda that had something fishy and said, "The proper procedure is discussion over each topic of agenda and then giving it a clearance. But the way the house here is run, it really projects a bad image."

Meanwhile, Congress councillors who failed to open Pandora's Box in the house, opened it in front of media. Congress councillors Amrit Varsha Rampal and Gurpreet Gogi said, "The cheques for Rs 30 lakh and Rs 50 lakh issued by the Municipal Corporation to the contractors in their wards had bounced. There is no money when it comes to work in our wards, when it’s SAD-BJP wards, the MC opens its treasury."

Congress councillor Sanjay Talwar said, "Works worth Rs 20 crore have been passed in Deputy Mayor Sunita Aggarwal's ward only, while even if you total all the works in Congress wards, the amount would not be even half."

Later, MLAs Dhanda, Gosain and Harish Bedi submitted a memo to Local Bodies Minister Manoranjan Kalia, who was in the city today, urging him to intervene in the matter. Kalia said, "It's unfortunate that no hearing is given to public issues. As soon as I get the report, I would personally look into the matter."

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Planning board meeting soon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana , July 6
Newly appointed Chairman of the District Development Planning Board Bhag Singh Malha said he would convene a meeting of the District Development Planning Board shortly and prepare different development project for cities and villages of the district with the cooperation of officers and members of the board. Malha was addressing a function after assuming his office as Chairman of the District Development Planning Board, Ludhiana, at Bachat Bhawan, here today.

Malha said different development projects would be prepared in view of the demands of the public. He said preference would be given to the priority works. He also said the Central and Punjab government-sponsored scheme would be implemented at village level so that every beneficiary could avail from these schemes.

Hira Singh Gabria, Jail, Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister, Punjab, said the Punjab government was committed the overall development of the state. He said the District Development Planning Board played an important role to implement Central and Punjab-sponsored schemes at the grassroot level.

He also said he and his colleagues minister and MLAs would get maximum funds from the Union and the state government for the various development of Ludhiana. 

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PAU Notes
Efforts to strengthen production of nursery plants of kinnow
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 6
Kinnow occupies the major place in the citrus industry of Punjab with an area of around 32,000 hectares and producing about six lakh tonnes of fruit in the state. “It is mostly consumed fresh for table purpose and is even exported from Punjab to different states of India as well as to countries like Sri Lanka, Gulf and middle-east countries,” said Dr JS Bal, head, department of horticulture.

He said since the time for planting new orchards of kinnow was approaching, efforts had been made to strengthen the production of nursery plants of kinnow.

Dr HS Dhaliwal, senior horticulturist, PAU, and in charge of disease-free quality nursery of kinnow, said facilities such as screen houses, shade-net-houses, glass-houses, poly-houses and soil sterilisation floors had been created in the nursery area.

He said this year the target for production of quality nursery plants of kinnow had been fixed at 30,000 plants.

He also informed that the PAU supplied these plants to growers, nursery men from government departments and private agencies.

He further added that the cost per plant was Rs 50 and the growers and others interested to procure the plants may write to the head, department of horticulture, for the reservation of plants. He informed that no advance payment was required along with the reservation application.

Dr Dhaliwal said the kinnow plants produced at the PAU for distribution were uniform, true-to-type and free from viral diseases, as these were multiplied from mother plants, which were kept under screen houses, examined for their freedom from disease and regularly got indexed. He said the planting time for Kinnow was from August 15 to September 30 and the interested growers or nursery men should submit their requests much before the planting time. 

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Play against use of drugs staged
Our Correspondent

Samrala, July 6
An organisation committed to continue struggle against drugs, “Aks Rang Manch”, organised a play against the use of drugs at Police Colony of the Samrala police station. SSP Sukhminder Singh Mann, Khanna, was the chief guest.

The play, "Dukhdi hai rag Punjab di", written and presented by Rajwinder Samrala is based on a story, "Jot bujh gai", written by story writer Ram Das Bangar.

The play reveals as how parents look after their children and fix their wishes on their children but the children come under the influence of drugs and spoil themselves as well as the wishes of their parents.

The parents only can curse their destiny and are enable to do anything.

The artistes send a message that this war against drugs could be won only with the help of people from all walks of life.

The character of mother played by Kamaljeet Kaur to keep out their children from drugs brought tears in the eyes of spectators. Other artistes Narinder Happy, Daljeet Ladi, Arwinder Raju, Vinod Sharma, Niraj Tiwari, Navneet and Tanveer presented their skills during the play.

The SSP in his address said the police could win this battle against drugs with the active support of people and the artistes could play big role to stop the menace.

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New Rotary team takes charge 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 6
Office-bearers and activists of the local unit of the Rotary Club have vowed to serve society in the coming year. The newly elected team of the club, headed by Dr Ravinder Sharma, president, and Mahesh Sharma, secretary, took charge during an oath taking ceremony at MGMN Senior Secondary School here.

Sharma said the objective of providing better services to members of the lower strata of society could not be achieved without active participation of all members of the association.

He said the schedule for social service projects to be undertaken during the year would be drafted after consulting all constituents of the association.

Acknowledging the contribution made by the unit in making his tenure successful, outgoing president Avtar Krishan Sharma thanked them for the services rendered during the past year.

All past presidents, including Dr Bhupinder Singh Bedi, Kedar Nath Kapila, Vijay Singla and Krishan Kumar assured cooperation to the newly inducted team. 

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3 held for firing at police party
Tribune News Service

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 6
The Fatehgarh Sahib police arrested three persons for firing gunshots at a police party late last night. According to the police reports, a naka was laid near Mugalmajra village on a tip off.

The naka was laid under the supervision of sub- inspector Kulwant Singh and barricading was done on the road to check every passing through the road.

The police officials signaled a Scorpio to stop and the vehicle first slow down and suddenly picked up the speed and the accused fled towards Samrala.

The police party on the naka tried to chase the vehicle and caught it after few kilometers away from the naka.

The cops when ordered its occupants to come out, they fired gunshots. While the alert cops managed to escape and with the help of some passersby and others arrested three of the accused, who fired the gunshots.

The accused were identified as Devinder Singh, Harjinder Singh and Baljeet Singh. One of the accused, Jagdish Singh, managed to escape from the spot.

The police officials later recovered two live cartridges from their vehicle and a homemade pistol. The police has booked all four accused and efforts are being made to nab the fourth accused.

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Man hurt in car-bus collision
Tribune News Service

Khanna, July 6
A resident of Mubarakpur village was seriously injured in an accident this morning when the car in which he was travelling collided with a bus near Saloudi village in Khanna.

The injured has been identified as Surinder Singh, who was rushed to the hospital with the help of passersby and the police.

Doctors at the Khanna Civil Hospital referred him to the PGI, Chandigarh, after giving him the first-aid. The doctors said the injured received fractures on both of his legs.

Police officials said a case in this connection would be registered by them against the bus driver.

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Hearing on bail plea adjourned 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 6
Judicial Magistrate Amit Thind today adjourned the hearing on the bail plea of Akali councillor Kamaljit Singh Karwal till July 8 in an alleged case of hurting religious sentiments following the dispute of possession over a property.

He was booked under Sections 295-A, 427, 447 and 511 of the IPC at the Shimlapuri police station in January, 2009, on the complaint of Amrik Khan of Lohara village.

He was arrested in this case by the police when he had surrendered in an alleged case of beating a tehsildar.

The complainant had charged him for making an attempt to forcibly take over the possession of the property and hurting religious beliefs.

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