L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rs 7 cr for Focal Point development
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
After a struggle of seven years, the focal point of the city would finally be developed as Punjab local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia today gave a draft for Rs 7 crore for the purpose.

The minister was here to inaugurate the building of the Centre Fire Station. Handing over the cheque to the Mayor, Hakam Singh Giaspura, and the Municipal Commissioner, GS Ghuman, the minister said: “Development is a continuous process and demands keep on arising. Civic bodies across the state are committed to provide better infrastructure to the public and funds would be provided for the same.”

Giving good news to the fire department, the minister announced Rs 6 crore for the upgradation of its services and said the process for buying a hydraulic staircase exclusively for the city had been initiated.

With regard to the shortage of staff, Kalia directed the Municipal Commissioner to look into it.

“A sum of Rs 550 crore has been already distributed among civic bodies across the state and another Rs 400 crore has been allocated for water and supply sewerage,” he said.

Besides, a loan of Rs 500 crore had been sanctioned from HUDCO that would help in the development of the civic bodies.

Asked about the pledging of properties for the loan by the civic body, he said there were certain rules which were to be followed. He was silent when told that till date, the municipal corporations had not been able to pay back the loan and get back their properties.

The minister preferred to be mum on the issue of 20 shops at Transport Nagar, regarding which assistant town planner Kamaljeet Kaur had given the names of politicians who were compelling her to continue with the construction.


Swine Flu
Residents turn to alternative medicines
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
Unable to curb the fear over the growing number of swine flu cases in the country, a large number of residents here are making a beeline for clinics of homoeopaths and ayurvedacharyas to get “preventive” medicines.

Allopathic medicine is being dispensed by the district health authorities to suspects who have come in contact with people who tested positive or those who have the disease.

Symptomatic treatment at private hospitals is quite expensive.

Dr Robin Brar of BRS Nagar claimed that homoeopathic medicine was effective in prevention and cure. “Influenzium, oxinum sanctum, eupatorium ayapan and alstonia are some of the medicines which, when consumed, create artificial symptoms similar to that of swine flu and enable the body to oust the virus from the system,” he said.

Dr Mukhtinder, another homoeopath, said homoeopathy worked in accordance with genus epidemica, wherein samples were collected and common symptoms were studied to make medicine for people suffering from an epidemic disease.

Ayurvedacharya Ravinder Vatsyayan, on the other hand, urged people to turn to their kitchen shelf for preventive measures against swine flu. A brew of tulsi, fennel, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger raises immunity.

About the curative part, he said a combination of “tribhuvan kirti ras”, “giloisatva”, “godanti bhasm”, “phatkari” and “sudarshan ghanvati” with honey as the best remedy against swine flu. “I have successfully administered the symptomatic treatment to several people as the above blend is anti-viral, anti-pyretic and analgesic, which does not have any side effects, as has been proved in ancient as well as modern texts of ayurveda,” he stated.

“However, these medicines are effective only in the initial stages of flu and it is advisable to go for tests and allopathic treatment once vital organs are involved,” he warned.



Store owner submits proof
But police won’t lodge FIR
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
After the police was reluctant to register a complaint of theft that took place at a store here yesterday on the suspicion of “foul” play by the owner, the latter today produced lists of international mobile equipment identity (IMEI) numbers of the stolen mobile phones to help the police track down the mobiles.

The store owner showed the receipts of cash payments made to purchase the mobile phones and Ipods. Even traders who had supplied the mobile phones and Ipods to him came to his support.

The suppliers gave it in writing that the stolen mobile phones and Ipods had been purchased on cash payment.

But in spite of all the evidence, the owner, Anoop, who reportedly suffered a loss of over Rs 1 lakh, was facing a tough time to get his complaint registered even today.

“We have suffered a double shock. First, thieves stole mobile phones and Ipods worth Rs 1 lakh and later the police expressed its reluctance to register the matter, saying that the incident was cooked up,” Anoop said.

“The theft and the subsequent development has left a serious dent on our reputation. Our family is among the most reputed families of the city. We do not believe in any foul play or cooking up stories for petty motives. I urge the police to register a case,” he added.

It is learnt that the goods which were stolen were not insured. A family member claimed: “The police is reluctant to register a case as it took place right under its nose as the shop is a stone’s throw away from the Police Lines.”



Singer, wife held for theft of vehicles
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
The CIA-I police has claimed to have busted an interstate gang of car thieves with the arrest of Nishan Gill, a Punjabi singer and Bahujan Samaj Party (Ambedkar) youth wing president from Amritsar. His wife Balwinder Kaur and two other accomplices were nabbed from Ladhowal today.

The police has recovered seven stolen vehicles, including two trucks and four cars from the accused.

The other two accused have been identified as Gurmeet Singh and Sarwan Singh.

Addressing a press conference, the SSP said the police got a tip-off that the accused were entering the city after committing a theft at Jalandhar. The CIA-I police laid a trap at Ladhowal and nabbed Balwinder Kaur and Gurmeet Singh, but Nishan and Sarwan Singh managed to flee.

The police said the accused were planning to sell the vehicles at a lesser price. Nishan was a hardened criminal and there were 15 criminal cases pending against him in various parts of the state, the SSP said.

The police has also recovered sharp-edged weapons from the accused.

Around a year ago, the accused had reportedly tied two truck drivers near the Salem Tabri area and fled with the trucks carrying 60 lakh tonnes of aluminium. The trucks were intercepted by the police at Samrala Chowk.

The accused had been declared proclaimed offender in the case.



Heavy fine for motorists using mobile
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
Using a mobile phone while driving could land you behind bars or you could face a penalty of Rs 1,000.

Since the traffic police has failed to keep a check on the use of mobiles by motorists, it has proposed to implement the clause of the Motor Vehicles Act in this regard.

Now instead of using Section 177 of the Act, according to which an offender was let off after furnishing a challan of Rs 100, the police would use Section 184 of the Act, under which the offender would either have to face imprisonment up to six months or could be challaned for Rs 1,000.

Sham Sunder Juneja, a road safety activist who proposed the idea, said the clause was potent and would discourage the use of mobile phones while driving.

Anil Kumar, in charge of the city traffic control room, said they had sent the proposal to seniors officials.

Meanwhile, the traffic police today launched an awareness camp which would continue till August 31.

From September 1, traffic violators would be dealt with strictly.

According to Article 21 of the Act, there was a provision to cancel the license of chronic traffic violators, he said.

The district transport officer had the power to cancel the license if an offender was caught violating any of the 25 traffic rules.



Woman held with illicit liquor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
Claiming it to be the biggest recovery of this financial year, the excise and taxation department today seized 75,180 ml of illicit liquor from the possession of a woman.

Following a tip-off, the raiding party headed by HPS Ghotra, assistant excise and taxation commissioner, raided the house of the main accused at Kanninan village in Jagraon.

The team seized liquor and “lahan” from the possession of Surjeet Kaur, who has been arrested. “This is one of the biggest recoveries of this financial year,” Ghotra said.

In another case, 2,000 litres of “lahan” was seized from Tarzian Biharipur village, but no one was arrested as the accused managed to flee from the scene. The “lahan” was destroyed by the department.



Govt schools reel under power cuts
A number of government schools have diesel generator sets but school authorities don’t have the requisite funds to fuel them
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
With rain gods showing no signs of relenting, government schools here have been forced to go without power for the past few weeks.

Consequently, students have been forced to study in trying conditions in the absence of electricity.

Enquiries made by The Tribune have revealed that a number of government schools have diesel generator sets but school authorities don’t have the requisite funds to fuel them.

Some schools with EDUSAT facility have the facility of generator sets to run their IT programme, but even these are not working properly.

Enquiries further revealed that the government had not earmarked specific funds to run generator sets in case of power cuts.

However, under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan, schools with EDUSAT facility are provided with Rs 5,000 at the beginning of the financial year.

The amount is insufficient to cope with the EDUSAT teaching facility, let alone meet emergency situations like power cuts.

The school heads, requesting anonymity, said they could use the PTA funds for such emergencies as they could collect more funds from parents to facilitate the normal functioning of school.

However, the Director General Schools Education had prohibited collection of extra funds and they could only collect from parent the prescribed amount i.e. Rs 80 to Rs 100 per month for senior classes.

Since, they did not have extra funds, they were unable to run the generators.

A school head said some teachers were willingly making small contributions to keep generators running during power cuts.

On provision of necessary funds for generators during power cuts, Harsharanjeet Kaur Brar, DPI (schools), Punjab, said: “Funds are provided by the Director General Schools Education under the SSA. I cannot make any comment on this subject.”



Dental camp for blind students
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
A dental awareness-cum-check-up camp was orgainsed at District Blind School, Jamalpur, here today.

Dr Rajan Bir Singh Thind of Thind Dental Clinic examined students at the camp organised under the Mission Smile programme.

He found out that most of them were suffering from gum diseases. He gave raised awareness about dental diseases and factors causing them.

He said gum disease was also known as periodontal disease that was an infection of the tissues and bone that supported the teeth and was usually caused by a build up plaque.

The symptoms of gum diseases were inflammation with painless swelling, redness, change of normal contours, bleeding, periodontal pocket (gum detachment from teeth).

He also explained about various stages of gum diseases adding that there were various ways through which dentists could treat dental problems.

Periodontitis could be prevented by brushing twice a day, using toothbrush with soft, polished bristles, eating a healthy diet, four to six monthly cleans and check-ups, he added.



From Schools & Colleges
Workshop on swine flu 
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, August 12
GD Goenka Public School organised a workshop on ways to create awareness on swine flu here today.

The workshop was conducted by Dr Balvinder Kaur of Ludhiana Mediciti Hospital.

Doctors stressed the need for washing hands with alcohol-based sanitisers. They added that crowded places should be avoided. They also advocated the use of masks for protection.

Janamashtami celebrated

Students of Ram Lal Bhasin Public School, Phase I, Dugri, celebrated Janamashtami with enthusiasm today.

The school was decorated with flowers, bells, buntings, balloons and rangoli.

Students sang devotional songs and performed Garba Raas on the song “Woh Kisna Hai”.

School headmistress Tarannum Fatma extended her greetings to students.


The All-India Human Rights Association, Ludhiana, conducted a seminar to spread awareness among students on issues concerning environment and road safety at SCD Government College for Boys.

In her address, college principal Jasbir Makkar underlined the need for keeping a vigil to maintain ecological balance.

Vishal Khullar from AIHRA said road safety was closely connected with problems of encroachment and traffic.

Poor road manners and people not obeying traffic rules added to the problem, he said.


Khanna: NCC cadets, NSS volunteers, youth club services and alumni association of AS College observed vanamahotsava here today.

AGM of Punjab National Bank, Ludhiana circle, CL Mahajan was the chief guest.

Saplings were planted on the college campus.



Vet varsity don appointed editor of journal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
Dr Hari Mohan Saxena, professor of immunology and head of department of veterinary microbiology, College of Veterinary Science, GADVASU, has been appointed editor of the Journal of Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology Research published by the Academic Journals, New York, USA.

Dr Saxena was recently appointed member of the editorial board of the Indian Journal of Veterinary Research published by the Indian Association for Advancement of Veterinary Research.

A book, “Immunological and Molecular Techniques for Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases” edited by Dr Saxena was recently been published by an international publisher - Verlag DM, Germany.

Dr Saxena was a fellow of the World Innovation Foundation (WIF), UK, and the National Academy of Veterinary Sciences, India. Fellows of the WIF include 100 Nobel laureates.

Dr Saxena is also a member of the steering committee of the Science Advisory Board, USA, which has over 44,000 doctors and life scientists from around the world as members.



International Youth Day
Students join crusade against tobacco
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 12
More than 1,200 students of MGMN Senior Secondary School vowed to abstain from the consumption of tobacco and tobacco products and joined a crusade against the menace.

The oath was taken in response to a call made by the Sangrur district police and the Rotary Club Ahmedgarh on the occasion of International Youth Day today.

A seminar was held on the occasion. Kedar Kapila, manager of the Ahmedgarh Vidya Parcharak Sabha, presided while Dr Ravinder Sharma, president of the Rotary Club, was the chief guest.

Harinder Singh, SHO, urged officer-bearers of various social and educational organisations to join hands with the authorities in minimising the hazardous effects of tobacco. “Though the administration has tried to create awareness about the ill-effects of tobacco, a majority of consumers and prospective target groups have failed to realise the consequence of it,” he said.

Speakers illustrated that more than 400 chemicals, including nicotine, polycyclic hydrocarbons and benzo tar, could result in fatal diseases like cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Smoking related ailments killed more than accidents.

Principal Pardeep Sharda and Avtar Pal Sharma, former president of the club, claimed that tobacco consumption in general and smoking in particular had been known as the main cause of chest diseases, including tuberculosis and lung cancer.

Passive smoking was far more harmful. “Though an active smoker can willingly reduce consumption, a passive smoker is helpless in doing so. We must first curb this practice and decide not to be silent on the issue,” said Sharda, adding that one could stop people from smoking at public places.

Organisers urged students to identify their role in maintaining a healthy society.

Earlier, the police booked at least 12 persons for smoking at public places, including bus stand and government offices. Similar cases were registered at Bhawanigarh. 



Declamation winners honoured
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 12
Sukhpreet Kaur and Karan Mehtab Singh, students of Class X of Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, Doraha, who came first in a science declamation on “Chanderyan-1: Its promises and concerns” recently, were honoured by the school.

Karamvir Singh and Jaspreet Kaur were given a cash prize of Rs 1,100 each.

Speaking on the occasion, the directors of the school appreciated the hardwork of the students and teachers.



City Concerns
Road Construction: MC should follow foreign pattern 

In the absence of adequate storm-water drainage, residents of the city every year feel harassed, while commuting on the city roads, whenever it rains. This is what a cross-section of the city residents has to say on the issue.

We enjoy a love-hate relationship with the rains. After May and June, we eagerly wait for the rains but that lasts only until the first spell of downpour, chaos reigns everywhere. The widespread monsoons open Pandora’s box of problems for residents as over-flooded drains, potholed roads with mosquitoes breeding on them, outbreak of water-borne diseases and numerous other problems, accompany these. But it’s not that we can’t find a solution to such problems. These are well within realms of possibility. The city is in dire need of proper drainage system. The authorities should be well prepared for the monsoons. The roads should be constructed using standard material. Also, these shouldn’t be constructed just before the rainy season. Our engineers need to follow their counterpart in foreign engineers and study their pattern of road construction. In short, our roads need a complete makeover. Besides this, the people should build their homes and shops at a level higher than the road. It is residents’ responsibility to cooperate with municipal authorities. Instead of grumbling over its activities, the residents should take initiatives like the rainwater harvesting (roof top water harvesting) that can prevent water logging and simultaneously save water. Thus, both parties can solve the problem collectively.

Birkamal Kaur

Dig bore wells

City is facing rainwater-related problems every year but no step has been taken to solve this problem so far. It appears that the authorities are not serious about solving the problem permanently. It could be due to the lack of funds or will power. The rainwater harvesting policy of the state is a non-starter since it will not cover even 10 per cent of the area in the next 50 years. We have to take immediate steps even if it is not perfect. The solution given below can solve the problem before the next rainy season if the administration has the will to do it. Identify the areas where water stagnates. Dig adequate number of big bore-wells in the areas and cover them well so that they can withstand the weight of loaded trucks like people do it by digging bore wells in the street in those areas where sewage system is not available. Design the entry of water into these wells. Any engineer can design the entire system. This will solve most of the problems of rainwater harvesting, traffic problem and disease. This is the cheapest system since storm drainage is unlikely to be successful since the city has come up in a unplanned way and also the funds required will be immense, hence, impracticable. Any clarifications can be addressed to the writer.

Sukhbir S Jwandha.

Improve civic amenities

As Ludhiana is always projected as the Manchester of India with colossal industrial - export units manufacturing steel, textile, wool, cycle-auto parts and wide ranging commercial establishments and overall jumbo size population, but, it’s a matter of shame that the civic conditions within the city are heading from bad to worst. The life came to a halt in the city with a spell of rain last week. The basic civic amenities like water logging around the roads due to the unplanned sewerage, the pot-holed roads are now a small puddle. Scenes around the government offices such as the district courts complex, civil hospitals, and secretariat are pathetic; it is a great risk to walk on road flooded with water with scare of pitch and open manholes. While passing through the roads, it is a common sight to see garbage lying around; this infact leads to insanitary conditions during the rainy season. Today it is needed for local bodies like the municipal corporation to take urgent steps to improve the civic conditions in the city, ensuring the safety of life of locals during the monsoons. The required rain hit sites should be properly barricaded and the silt should be removed on a regular basis. It’s need of hour to prevent accumulation of water on the city roads, which can be of some relief to the citizen’s form facing hardships during the monsoons.

Harpreet Sandhu

Quality depends on location

Due to improper road structure for drainage and because of the low quality of material being used by the local corporation and its contractors for making city roads, even a little downpour deteriorates the path. Road constructers fail to understand that good quality of raw material reduce erosion, sediment, and dust pollution. Road materials, which normally sorted by its type, size, shape as well as gradation, help in strengthening a road. While constructing roads factor like hardness, soundness, pH and plasticity (cohesiveness/stickiness) to adequately protect both road and the environment must be the first priority. Quality may vary depending on the location as some regions don’t have good quality aggregate sources whereas common available material are, granite, quartzite, limestone, sandstone, shale, glacial deposits of stone, sand, silt and clay or river- run gravel. The administration and the corporation must remember one thing that using the best material available will always prolong the road’s life, decrease required maintenance work, and further protect an area’s natural environment well.

Shivanshu Garg.
Chandigarh Road

Effective MC

Needless to mention, the issue of roads, streets and cleanliness of the highest income tax payee city always remains under hue and cries because the recarpeted roads wither out easily. Cracked roads are having scores of potholes. Balo ke Road, Haibowal Kalan is one of them. Rainwater also collects in other areas as highlighted by the print and electronic media from time to time. Can we expect the administration and civic body to take steps in this direction?

Jai Gopal Kusla



Industrial Units
Plots allotted in Focal Point lying vacant
Tribune News Service

Khamano, August 12
The plots allotted by the state government for industrial units at villages adjoining Khamano are either lying vacant or are being used for residential purposes.

During its 2001 regime, the SAD government allotted a large number of plots in the focal point area and land was leased out to the allottees. Those who were allotted plots were told to comply with set of rules before initiating any construction for industrial purposes.

About 52 plots were allotted on 11 acres in Sanghol and similar plots were given to villages for setting up of small industry at Ranwan village as well. The allottees were told to deposit Rs 860 per canal on yearly basis and land was given on lease for 30 years. After the expiry of the lease period, it could be got extended for another 10 years as per requirement.

As per the rules, construction work for the industrial units should have begun after one- year of sale of these plots and the industry should start functioning before three years. But even after eight years nothing has been done in this regard.

A visit to the Focal Point revealed that none of the allottees had begun construction work except for erecting boundary walls. A few of them have constructed some rooms for residential purposes against the norms.

Those who got plots have accused the government of not providing all basic facilities at these plots like 24-hour power supply, roads, water supply and other things.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Manch chairman Manjit Kaur said the government agencies should intervene in this regard and efforts must be made to establish the focal point, which could turn into industrial and commercial hub. She also pointed out that the allegations of unlawful sale of these plots by the allottees should also be looked into. 



Ultrasound machines sealed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
A team of health officials yesterday sealed ultrasound machines in Dr Satpal Aggarwal Hospital, Tagore Nagar, Ashirwaad Hospital, Model Town Extension, and Karanvir Hospital, Haibowal.

These centres had failed to get their registrations renewed, which is in gross violation of the Pre Natal Diagnostic Test (PNDT) Act.

District Family Welfare Officer Dr Reena Sandhu and Navneet Singh checked the centres before sealing them.

Dr Maninderjit Singh, civil surgeon, Ludhiana, said a strict action would be taken against those found guilty of violating the PNDT Act.



Property Transfer
LIT chief adamant as property dealers put pressure
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 12
As the last date for the registration of conveyance deeds of properties allotted by government agencies like PUDA, GLADA and the Improvement Trusts at reserve price draws near, the Ludhiana Improvement Trust is witnessing a flood of allottees as well as property dealers who want to transfer their properties and seek approval for the registration of title deeds for availing the one time facility till September 2.

A large number of the local property dealers have been mounting pressure on the newly-nominated chairman of the Trust Ashok Juneja to clear all such files and accord clearance for the registration of conveyance deeds despite the fact that many of the files either are full of irregularities or the required documents have not been produced by the allottees.

As a desperate measure, functionaries of the Ludhiana Property Dealers and Colonisers Association have charged the chairman and other officials of the Trust with deliberately withholding files pertaining to the transfer of ownership rights, thereby delaying the clearance for the registration of conveyance deeds on reserve price of the property.

However, LIT Chairman Ashok Juneja refuted these allegations on grounds that these were motivated statement issued by property dealers, who wanted the government’s instructions on this issue to be circumvented, which was not possible.Talking to The Tribune here today, Juneja said since he took over the reins of the LIT in first week of July, he had disposed off more than 500 cases of different nature which were lying pending for the past several years. “As far as pending files for transfer of ownership are concerned, around 100 cases have been cleared and almost as much more will be approved in the next few days so that the allottees or subsequent buyers, as the case may be, can get the conveyance deeds registered on the payment of stamp duty on the basis of reserve price of the property.”

According to Juneja, transfer of ownership rights of Trust properties on the basis of the general power of attorney (GPA) was a contentious matter, which was governed by a policy decision of the state government.

As per directive of the local government department, Punjab in this connection in force since 1999, it has been laid down that before allowing transfer of property in the name of GPA, the executive officer of the improvement trust concerned will ensure that the person executing the GPA is alive and present at the time of transfer. In case of the original allottee being unable to be present in person, he or she will be required to furnish an affidavit duly attested by a magistrate (Ist class) in favour of the power of attorney. Similarly, explicit conditions have been laid down in respect of those allottees who were living abroad at the time of their GPAs seeking transfer of property.



Power Crisis
No solution in sight, says Gabria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
The government is helpless in finding any permanent solution to the power-crises in Punjab. The condition was going to remain so till there was surplus power by 2012. These views were expressed by Minister for Jails and Tourism Hira Singh Gabria while interacting with members of the United Cycle Parts Manufacturers’ Association here today.

Gabria was the chief guest for the annual general body meeting of the association. He also blamed poor policies of the Central government for the acute power shortage.

Association’s general secretary Varinder Kapoor said during the meeting, yearly balance sheet was presented and new auditor appointed. 



223 patients examined
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, August 12
Homoeopathic medical check-up camp was organised at a charitable dispensary in Guru Nanak Colony here recently. The camp is organised annually in memory of Ramesh Bansal, a social worker. Santosh Bansal, wife of the late social worker, inaugurated the camp.

At least 223 patients were examined and medicines were given free of cost.



Units in Sukhram Nagar Residents threaten to move court
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 12
Residents of the Sukhram Nagar locality, adjoining the Jagraon Bridge in the old city, are a harassed lot with large number of commercial and tiny industrial units having been set up in the narrow lanes in gross violation of the law.

Shops, godowns or a few knitting units operating in the area have also obtained commercial power connections and continue to operate with impunity, creating noise and air pollution.

These units also pose a threat to the residents’ health through storage of various types of inflammable material.

Taking up the matter on behalf of the affected residents of the colony, “Save Our Shelters and Surroundings”, a body set up to combat congestion and unplanned commercial activities in the city, has asked the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) to order a probe into reasons behind these units obtaining commercial power connections in a residential area.

In a representation made to the chairman of the PSEB, copies of which have also been sent to the chief engineer, Central Zone, and other senior officials of the board, the functionaries of this unit have alleged that commercial power connections were granted to a large number of commercial establishments in this particular locality in connivance of a few PSEB officials could not be ruled out.

This unit has made it clear through the memorandum that if immediate steps were not taken to disconnect power supply to all commercial and industrial units in this locality forthwith, it and other residents of the area will be forced to move the court.

When contacted, HS Randhawa, deputy chief engineer, City East Circle, told The Tribune that the matter was being probed. “A report has been sought from the executive engineer of the city central division in this regard and if any commercial power connections have been given without obtaining no-objection certificate from the corporation, which is a statutory requirement, the power supply will be disconnected and action taken against the guilty.”



Villagers protest power cuts
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 12
Farmers of six villages of the area protested against unscheduled power cuts here today.

The farmers of Pabbian, Sohian, Kothe Pone, Kothe Hans, Chowkiman and Gagra villagers rued insufficient power supply for irrigation purpose and unscheduled power cuts.

Bakhtawar Singh, a farmer, said electricity usually tripped for just five minutes, which resulted in breakdown in motor switch and sometimes the motor itself. He said farmers were suffering a lot on account of this.

On seeing farmers, who had gathered at the power grid here, XEN Gurmeet Singh and other officials locked themselves in their offices and refused to talk to the protesters.

Upset at their attitude, the farmers decided to disrupt traffic on the the Jagraon-Sidhwan Bet road.

As the farmers laid dharna on the road and blocked it, the Jagraon police led by DSP Mukhtiar Singh, traffic in-charge Kanwarpal Singh, SHOs, Sidhwan Bet police reached the scene.

SHO Navinpal Singh asked some villagers to accompany him and discuss their problem with the XEN.

Deadlock continued as villagers refused to go inside the office and XEN refused to come out.

It took over two hours for the police to persuade XEN Gurmeet Singh to come out of his office and talk with the villagers.

The dharna was lifted after the XEN bowed down to the villagers and assured them of resolving the issue within two days.

The farmers, however, warned the XEN of intensifying the protest if no action was taken.



Central excise inspectors to intensify agitation
Tribune News Service

Demands and grouses

The non-rectification of anomaly in pay scale consequent to merger of three pay scales

Denial of notional fixation with effect from January, 1996 in the pre-revised scale of Rs 6,500-10,500. The scale was granted on April 21, 2004 in order to restore parity of pay scales with inspectors of the CBI and the IB

To review the clarification issued by the DOE to the CBEC denying the non-functional grade pay

Lack of initiatives to remove acute stagnation of the cadre of inspector of central excise and for non-inclusion of inspector cadre organisation in the restructuring committee

Non-inclusion of inspector cadre organisation in the anomaly committee

Ludhiana, August 12
Central excise inspectors have threatened to intensify their struggle and go on indefinite strike if their demands are not fulfilled by August 15.

They are aggrieved at the indiffernce of the ministry of finance in resolving their demands.

On a call given by the All-India Central Excise Inspectors Association, inspectors throughout the country held a lunch-hour demonstration in support of their long pending demands today.

The inspectors here held a dharna in front of the office of the central excise commissionerate.

Their major demands include removal of stagnation, parity of scale with inspectors of the CBI and the IB, inclusion of inspectors in the restructuring committee and pay anomaly removal committee constituted by the Central Board of Excise and Customs.

Gurwinder Singh, branch secretary, Ludhiana, said the inspector cadre in the central excise was facing acute stagnation and most of them were awaiting first promotion even after 18 to 20 years of service, while their counterparts in the income tax department were due to get their second promotion as assistant commissioners.

“In the meantime, senior officers in the other department get time-bound promotion and become commissioner after 20 years,” he said.

He added that their national body had served a notice on the chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs, New Delhi, regarding their demands and agitation.

“Today’s dharna was held in context to the nationwide lunch-hour demonstration, which started on July 15 and will continue till August 15 every Wednesday. We will be forced to intensify our struggle if our demands are not fulfilled,” he added.

Superintendents of Chandigarh zone, on a call given by their zonal president AK Sharma, have also extended their support to the inspectors to show their solidarity with the inspectors for pressing their justifiable and genuine demands. Superintendents also participated in today’s agitation.



PAU comes out with 3 vegetable varieties
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
Punjab Agricultural University has developed three new varieties of vegetable crops — two of tomato (Punjab Varkha Bahar-1, Punjab Varkha Bahar-2) and one of arvi (Punjab Arvi-1).

The State Variety Approval Committee for fruits, vegetables and flowers considered, discussed and approved these varieties for general cultivation in the state at its recently held meeting under the chairmanship of Dr Baldev Singh, director, horticulture, Punjab.

Punjab Varkha Bahar-1 has determinate plants with dense cover of dark foliage. It produces round, dark red and firm fruits.

The variety takes 90 days from the date of transplanting to maturity. It is resistant to tomato leaf curl virus and produces a yield of 538 quintal per hectare.

Punjab Varkha Bahar-2 of tomato has semi-determinate plants with dense light green foliage cover. It produces round dark red fruits of medium firmness. It takes 100 days from the date of transplanting for attaining maturity.

This tomato leaf curl virus resistant variety yields on an average 541 quintal per hectare. These two varieties of tomato have been developed by Dr DS Cheema and Dr MS Dhaliwal of department of vegetable crops.

Punjab Arvi-1 of arvi (Colocasia) is the first variety of this crop developed by the PAU. Its plants are tall, leaves are dark green, large and obliquely erect.

Petiole is long and sheathering at the base. The corms are brown, long of medium thickness with creamy inner flesh. The variety takes 176 days for maturity. Its average yield is 225 quintal per hectare. The variety is recommended for cultivation all over the state except Bathinda district.

It has been developed by Dr DS Cheema, Dr AS Dhatt and Dr AS Sidhu.

Director of research Dr PS Minhas said: “PAU has developed 112 varieties of different vegetables so far, including these three. The PAU lays focus on developing varieties that besides being high yielding are tolerant to biotic and abiotic stresses.”

He said tomato varieties were suitable for growing in the rainy season.

PAU officiating director of extension education Dr Daljit Singh Dhillon said farmers would find these varieties better as unlike seeds of hybrid vegetables, which are very costly, they could keep their own seed of these varieties for growing.

Head, department of vegetable crops, Dr Devinder Singh Cheema said these varieties had been developed after rigorous testing at the research farms as well as on growers’ fields. He added that the response had been encouraging. He said the tomato crop was generally affected by viral diseases during rainy season.



Expert dwells on male infertility
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 12
A CME on “Male Infertility” was organised for surgeons, physicians, gynaecologists and urologists from the region here recently.

Dr Baldev Singh Aulakh, professor, urology and transplant surgery, and head, transplant unit, was invited to deliver a lecture on “Etiopathogenies of male infertility”.

He said male infertility was as much a problem as female infertility. When treating a case of infertility, both partners should be examined.

He also talked about recent developments in the field of infertility like role of free radicals, environment and latest techniques to treat infertility.

Dr Aulakh said until recently, society placed the burden of infertility or “barrenness” on women but today it was no secret that around 40 per cent of infertility cases were due to male factor, 40 per cent due to female factor, and 20 per cent due to combination of both factors.

Infertility happens when a couple fails to achieve pregnancy after at least one year of unprotected regular intercourse with same partner.

Factors that caused or contributed to male infertility included structural abnormalities, sperm production disorder, ejaculatory disorder and various disorders like undescended testis, absent vas, congenital blockage of vas, varicocele (tortous dilatation of testicular veins) and hypogonadism.

Dr Aulakh stressed the need for thorough clinical examination supported by diagnostic test to identify the cause of male infertility.

He also talked about various treatment options like orchidopexy (fixation of testis into scrotum to be done before one year of age), vasovasostomy, epididymovasostomy (anastomosis between epididymis and vas in cases of congenital blockage).

Various sperm retrieval techniques such as microsurgical epididymal sperm aspiration, testicular sperm extraction and testicular fine needle aspiration could be applied to treat such patients.

He stressed the role of urologist both in diagnostic and therapeutic options.



Housefed to build more housing complexes
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 12
Punjab Housefed has decided to undertakeconstruction of more housing complexes at Mohali, Banur and Kapurthala, while also speeding up the work for completion of ongoing projects in Ludhiana and Amritsar.

This was stated by Housefed managing director Mukhtiar Singh while presenting the annual report at the general body meeting held at Aggar Nagar Community Centre here today.

The meeting was attended by members of the board of directors and over 400 representatives of the member housing cooperative societies.

According to Mukhtiar Singh, Housefed would construct 912 residential flats at Banur, 632 at Mohali and another 240 at Kapurthala.

Two housing complexes comprising 90 flats in Ludhiana and 168 in Amritsar were nearing completion.

“Housefed had disbursed housing loans worth Rs 22.8 crore during financial year 2008-09 as against Rs 46.23 crore in the preceding year,” he added.

Housefed chairman Krishan Kumar Bawa, who presided over the meeting, said it had been decided in principle to henceforth reserve 9 per cent residential flats in Housefed complexes for retired government employees.

He said the housing loan facilities would be extensively extended to rural population as well so to enable them construct good houses or purchase built residential accommodation.

Dr Bhagat Singh was presented the “best cooperator” award of Housefed by Bawa during the general body meeting.



Utensils stolen from school
Our Correspondent

Raikot, August 12
Thieves took away untensils meant for midday school scheme from a government school at Shahjahanpur village, near here, last night.

The thieves entered the school building after midnight by breaking open its locks and decamped with the utensils. The thieves tried to destroy the school record before leaving.

Villagers saw the school lights on in the morning and informed Master Charanjit Singh and Jaspreet Singh about the matter. Village sarpanch Paramjit Singh later called up the police.

SHO Raikot Gurdial Singh said though the police was still looking for clues, attempt by the miscreants to destroy school records suggested that they had come with some other motive.

No case had been registered till the filing of the report.



Youth booked for rape
Our Correspondent

Raikot, August 12
A local youth has been booked for raping a girl around five days ago.

Surinder Kaur, a widow of Kishangarh Channa village, near here, claimed that the parental uncles of Randir Singh, alias Dheera (23), of Dhaian village were living in her village.

On Friday, he came to her house around 10 pm and forcibly took her daughter Jasvir Kaur (21) (name changed) along. He took her to an undisclosed place and allegedly raped her.

He dropped her outside her home in the wee hours the next day.

The victim did not report the matter to anyone out of fear and shame. However, she later decided to bring the matter to the notice of the police.

Investigation by The Tribune revealed that Randhir Singh used to visit his maternal uncles and during these visits both Randhir Singh and Jasvir Kaur had developed intimacy.

The relatives of Randhir Singh had reportedly tried to mediate for their marriage but it failed to materialise.

He used to visit the house of Surinder Kaur to meet Jasvir Kaur against the wishes of the family.

The police has registered a case against the accused. No arrest has been made so far.



Cop’s conviction upheld in fake certificate case
The constable was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for one year along with a fine of Rs 500 by a lower court
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 12
Additional Sessions Judge Mohd. Gulzar has upheld the conviction of a constable, Dilbagh Singh of Dhaliwal Kaler village, Amritsar, in a case of procuring job by producing fake matriculation certificate.

Dismissing the appeal moved by the accused, the court held that there was no infirmity in the conviction order passed by Judicial Magistrate Vijay Kumar on September 6, 2006.

He was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for one year along with a fine of Rs 500 by the lower court.

The court held that it was proved in the trial court that the matriculation certificate produced by the accused at the time of joining service on January 1, 1994 was never issued to the accused by the Punjab School Education Board, Mohali.

An inquiry in this regard was conducted and the services of the constable were terminated on December 22, 1997.

Moreover, Vijay Madan, official of the PSEB, had produced record showing that the matriculation certificate was not in consonance with the record of the board.

The accused was booked under Section 465, 468 and 471 of the IPC at division No. 6 police station on March 27, 1998 following the complaint of Commandant of 5th Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB).



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