L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MD gives clean chit to ‘guilty’ employees
Additional Registrar, Cooperative Societies, had put 4 bank workers under suspension 
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 28
Defying the orders of the Additional Registrar, Cooperative Societies, the Managing Director (MD), Punjab State Cooperative Bank, has given a clean chit to four employees of the bank.

In an inquiry conducted by the Divisional Manager, Jalandhar, following orders of the Additional Registrar (loans), four employees of the Khanna branch of the bank were found guilty of irregularities in sanctioning 16 housing loans worth Rs 2 crore.

While the registrar had ordered suspension, the MD, GS Mangat, who was asked to comply with the orders, said there was no scam in the bank.

Talking to the Tribune over phone, Mangat said the employees were not suspended as no rules were bent to sanction loans. He, however, said action would be taken against the guilty, though he refused to name the guilty.

In his inquiry report of September 9, the divisional manager had stated that due to connivance of these employees, loan worth Rs 2.3 crore was not repaid. Following the inquiry, the registrar ordered suspension of four employees with immediate effect. However, despite the orders, the employees still continue to work in the bank.

It was alleged that 16 loans (between April 2008 and October 2008) were sanctioned by bending rules and regulations. The probe said members of the same family were given loans. Moreover, the beneficiaries, who should be from the same area of operation of the bank, were from Chandigarh and Mohali and not from Khanna.

The report said that 50 per cent of the loan was given for purchasing plot and 25 per cent for construction on the same day in violation of rules.

All the persons who were given loans proved to be defaulters and the bank suffered huge losses.


UGC's missive to teachers
Perform and get points for promotion
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 28
Hardships faced by colleges and universities in conducting exams due to shortage of invigilation staff or examiners will end soon as the new academic performance indicators by the University Grants Commission (UGC) will compel teachers to perform and earn points for promotion.

The UGC has recently announced performance-based appraisal system for career advancement scheme (CAS) promotions of university and college teachers.

The three-pronged strategy has been adopted by the UGC to develop work culture in educational institutions. The first strategy is to promote teaching, learning and evaluation for which maximum score of 150 has been prescribed out of which a teacher has to score at least 60 points in a year to be eligible for promotion (from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor or from Associate Professor to Professor).

These include points for lectures taken as percentage of lectures allocated, seminar tutorials, extra teaching duties, setting of question papers and evaluation of answer scripts of the students, international/continuous assessment work, additional examination work, innovative teaching learning methodologies, participation in skill oriented programmes etc.

The second strategy is to develop co-curricular/extension and profession related activities for which maximum score of 75 points has been allocated. Out of this, a teacher has to score at least 20 points. The parameters for this strategy include contribution to corporate life, industry-implant training and placement activity, participation in NSS/NCC/NSO and other non-governmental channels, professional ethics and campus development activities etc.

The third strategy is to promote research and academic contribution. This segment has given wider spectrum to score points and a teacher has to score at least 10 points each year to the next pay band and the next scale.

Prof Ashwani Bhalla, executive vice-president, Punjab Commerce and Management Association, told The Tribune that the beauty of these academic performance indicators was its wider spectrum for performance and performance-based self-appraisal system. Every college and university teacher will be required to fill a performa of self appraisal and compute his self appraisal score which will be verified by a screening committee consisting of chairman of the governing council of the colleges (DPI in case of government colleges and vice-chancellor in case of universities), principal of the college, head of the department concerned of the university/college and vice-chancellor nominee who will be subject expert. The record of thee academic performance indicators will be maintained by the internal quality assurance cell (IQAC) of each college/university.

He said the indicators would compel the teachers to perform for beast teaching-learning, academic growth and research in higher education.

These regulations came into force from September 23, 2009 (the date of notification) from prospective effects.



Trouble comes calling on wheels for Cong leader
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 28
Congress leader Amarjeet Singh Tikka has landed in trouble after buying a second hand car allegedly from car thieves.

When a police team came to recover the car yesterday, the Congress leader sent them back after making a phone call and asking the team to talk to someone on his cell phone. He also refused to return the stolen vehicle.

The revelation of Tikka having a stolen car came following the arrest of two car thieves in Balogi. They were nabbed in Kharar and are presently on police remand.

The accused have been identified as Mandeep Singh and Pradeep Nanda, both residents of Kurali.

At the time of arrest, the police seized a car from the duo and during investigations, they spilled the beans stating that they had stolen another Indica Car from Chandigarh and had sold it off to a Congress leader in Ludhiana.

Mandeep had stated that they had sold off the car for Rs 1 lakh to Tikka, while its market cost was around Rs 4 to 5 lakh.

When contacted, Tikka said: “I have filed a complaint in this regard with the CIA staff.” 



Sale of spurious edible oil goes unchecked
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 28
The recent seizure of 68,350 litres of spurious edible oil from an unlicensed godown in Ludhiana being bottled under different brand names has put a question mark on the genuineness of many lesser-known brands available in the market.

A majority of stores selling lesser-known brands of mustard oil, refined oil, soybean oil and olive oil go unchecked in the absence of complaints from consumers.

Mustard oil, which consumed by migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, is sold in lose packs at a large number of small grocery outlets in city slums. There have been reports of the oil being adulterated with argemone oil, popularly known as katkar oil, which is non-edible. Consumption of adulterated mustard oil causes dropsy, a disease leading to swelling in body.

However, the departments concerned have failed to take samples or know about the suppliers of lose mustard oil in the city.

The health authorities, however, said that random checking of grocery stores was difficult and it was unethical to handpick a few stores. Raids are carried out on the outlets following information from sources pertaining to adulteration, stated health officials.

Coming down heavily on the lax and corrupt regulation in the state that has given a free hand to the mafia indulging in sale and purchase of edible oils, Satnam Singh, president of the International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO), said the matter would be taken up with the Punjab Health Minister Laxmikanta Chawla. “The people supplying spurious fooditems should be taken to the task and the offence should be non-bailable,” he said.

A senior official working with the Punjab Mandi Board said there were some local oil traders who were manufacturing substandard olive oil which is priced much higher than the other edible oils. “The duplicity is not just restricted to the Indian brands of olive oil, but they are also repacking olive oil in bottles and cans of well-known international brands,” he said.



Paddy procurement: Traders still in dark
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 28
Barely a day before the official commencement of procurement of paddy, the administration is yet to announce allocation of procurement agencies to rice shellers and traders.

Market committee officials, presuming that arrival would be delayed for a couple of weeks, have started arrangements in a phased manner.

In the absence of a spacious grain market yard, commission agents of the local town and surrounding localities have started looking for agricultural plots.

Uncertainty about mode of payment for procured produce has also discouraged commission agents to undertake preparations on war footing.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that the administration had to announce allocation of procurement agencies to purchase centres and traders a day before the official commencement of procurement on Tuesday.

According to Naresh Kumar Bhutta, executive member of the state body of the Aartia Union, and Surinder Kumar, president of the local unit, owners of rice shellers and license holder traders were yet to be informed about procurement agencies stocking paddy for milling at their units.

Apprehending huge losses due to delayed repayment of advances paid to farmers during the past six months, commission agents regretted that they would have to spend thousands of rupees on preparation of temporary platforms for dumping paddy.

“As the permanent yard is not spacious enough to accommodate heaps of paddy during peak season, we will have to hire agricultural plots on the Jagera Road where paddy is growing at present. Though we had requested the district administration to allow us construct grain market on our own land, we have not been allowed to do the same,” said Surinder Kumar.

Jasbir Kaur, secretary, market committee, claimed that she had deputed contractors to complete arrangements at all purchase centres falling under its jurisdiction. But nothing could be done on temporary platforms until these are finalised by the commission agents.

She said two more centres had been established at Begowal and Dhaler villages this year.

Referring to information collected from survey of the area, Jasbir Kaur maintained that only a few farmers had grown early sown varieties of the paddy. 



Shellers not to accept paddy from agencies 
Rakesh Gupta

Mullanpur Dakha, September 28
Owing to conflict between rice shellers and FCI, Punjab government, paddy farmers are going to have a tough time.

The shellers have announced that they will neither lift nor accept the paddy purchased by the procuring agencies of Punjab during this paddy season. On one hand the state government is inclined to have a guarantee from the rice shellers for the pending un-milled paddy stacked at their shellers, on the other hand it has already declared more than 700 shellers as defaulters and will not be allotted paddy during the current paddy season.

The FCI is not accepting the damaged and discoloured rice beyond the permitted relaxation of 3.5 per cent and 3 per cent, respectively. The shellers, however, demand the relaxation should be raised to 5 per cent. Further they demand 10-12 per cent relaxation for damaged and discoloured rice for the 201 variety.

The shellers say they had already intimated the state government that the 201 variety was not viable for them at the present norms laid by the government. However, instead of considering their woes the government recommended sowing of 201 variety.

The executive committee of the rice millers says that the procuring agencies belong to the state government and under political pressure to avoid harassment to the farmers they purchase paddy with up to 25 per cent moisture against the permitted 17 per cent and get it stacked in godowns of shellers. They said on an average the paddy stocked with them is of 20 per cent moisture causing financial and quality loss to them.

Besides, though they are milling paddy at the rate of Rs 15 per quintal, which was fixed about 12 years ago, the labour, electricity and maintenances charges have raised manifolds. Moreover, the government has abolished the transport charges for delivery beyond 8 km.

The rice shellers resent that once rice is stored at the FCI godowns after performing quality check, it should not be rechecked. In the latter case the onus of responsibility should be on the custodians of the specific godowns instead of the rice shellers.

They further said the non-milling of paddy was because the FCI had no stores for storing rice. They also pointed that the erratic supply of electricity this year was also a reason for hampered rice milling.

In a unanimous decision, the rice millers of the area said they were made scapegoats and now they would not stack the paddy procured by the state procuring agencies till their demands were considered by the state as well as the Centre government. 



Vijay Dashmi celebrated with fall of Ravana 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 28
Vijay Dashmi was celebrated with full religious fervour in the city today. Depicting the triumph over the evil, the effigy of Ravana, Meghnath and Kumbhkaran were consigned to flames in various parts of the city.

The main Dasehra mela of the city was held at Daresi Ground. The effigy of Ravana at Daresi Ground stood tallest in the city at 80 feet. Artists from different states had come to the city to prepare the effigies.

These artists had been coming to the city since generations. Ishaq Ahmed, who had prepared the effigy at Daresi and is also the leader of the group, said his father and forefathers had been coming to the city to prepare the effigy and now his son had also started accompanying him.

Though Dasehra is a Hindu festival, the fire to the effigies at Daresi Ground was lit by the Muslim artists who had specially flown in from Muzzafarnagar to prepare the same.

Mangu’s group had come from Dhuri to prepare a revolving Ravana at Dugri. The revolving Ravana was a main attraction, especially for kids. “Dusshera is the festival I wait for. I love watching the fall of Ravana in the evening. The other thing I love the most about this festival is savouring sweets to celebrate the victory of good over evil. Jalebis is the dish for the evening,” said Supreet, a 9-year-old girl from the city.

The last episode of Ramlila was held minutes before burning the effigy. The artists were seen performing the scene where Lord Rama kills Ravana. After the scene, ‘aatishbaazi’ was held and fire balloons were blown in the sky.

Apart from Daresi, effigies of Ravana were burnt at Urban Estate, Jamalpur, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Sarabha Nagar, Aggar Nagar, Model Town etc.



Dasehra celebrated with fervour
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 28
The town and surrounding villages today boomed with the sound of exploding crackers marking the conquest of good over evil.

Effigies were burnt at MGMN Senior Secondary School here and at Dehlon, Payal, Raikot, Malaudh, Kup and Barundi villages.

People from all walks of life waded their way to these venues in the afternoon. The roads leading to the venues were lined with vendors selling bows and arrows and other items.

The function organised by the Ramlila Committee at MGMN Senior Secondary School was presided over by councillor Ravinder Puri. Jagwant Jaggie, former vice-president of municipal council, was the chief guest.

The Ramlila and Dasehra Committee and Punjab Mahavir Dal organised a wrestling competition on the occasion.

Various episodes of the Ramayana were enacted at these places during the past ten days. The organisers also arranged processions and ‘parbhat pheris’ in the town.



City bids farewell to Goddess Durga
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 28
After nine days of worshipping, the idol of Goddess Durga was today immersed in the water. After Dakshmi Puja, married women of the community applied “sindoor” on the forehead of Goddess Durga's idol and afterwards applied sindoor on each other’s forehead also.

“The custom reminds me of Holi. As on Holi, people apply colour on each other's face, in this custom we apply sindoor on each other’s forehead and interestingly only women are a part of this custom,” added Garima Phulka, a city resident, who was a part of the festivities since 10 days.

After the sindoor ceremony, parsad of dahi and khoye was distributed among all present. In the afternoon, the idols of Goddesses Durga, Laxmi and Saraswati, Lord Ganesha and Kartike were immersed in the water of a canal at Doraha.

Darpan visarjan was also held before taking the idols for the final ceremony. After covering a distance of 22 km, the idols were finally immersed in the water at Doraha.



Devotees don’t give two hoots to pollution 
Despite HC orders, immerse idols into canal
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 28
Oblivious to the pollution caused by the immersion of undesirable components into water bodies, thousands of devotees from the town and surrounding localities converged on the banks of Bathinda, Abohar and Sidhwan branches of the Sirhind Canal to immerse Sanjhi that had been worshiped for the past 10 days at their respective houses.

Immersion of non-biodegradable Sanjhi components compounds the problem of water pollution. Even as Mumbai High Court recently banned immersing of plaster of Paris idols into water bodies, considering the pollution caused by the non-biodegradable substance, the devotees from both agrarian and urban societies started converging on the Jandali, Jagera, Sudhar, Kaind and Kalyan bridges over the canal, near here, around 4 am today.

Some enthusiastic groups reached the destination dancing to the beats of the drum. While people from less prosperous families carried the material to be immersed on their heads, others came on two and four-wheelers.

Interestingly, a majority of the devotees were unaware of the relevance of immersing Sanjhi into water bodies.

Even doctors, advocates and teachers were seen performing the ritual of lighting diyas and immersing them along with cow-dung and clay models into the canal.

Justifying the ceremony, many of them said the pollution caused by religious ceremonies was nothing in comparison to what industrial units caused.

“What is wrong with the immersion of a handful of clay once a year? After all, we have been keeping the tradition alive to promote art and preserve cultural heritage,” argued Tarsem Lal, a devotee.

Another devotee, Rajesh Gupta, said increase in population and deviation from joint family norm had aggravated the problem. “Earlier, residents of a locality used to gather at a common place and worship Sanjhi. Preparation of different components promoted art of clay modelling also. But now people buy readymade Sanjhi from the market and install it at their own houses,” explained Gupta.

The occasion was transformed into a fair. Farmers and vendors made frisk business by selling sugarcane and toys.



Rare open-heart surgery at CMCH
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 28
Ankit (10) was suffering from a rare cardiac defect called Gerbode Shunt. He was admitted to Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH). Dr HS Bedi, head cardiac surgery, along with his team successfully performed the rare open-heart surgery and bring normalcy in the boy's life.

This rare congenital abnormality leads to shunting of pure red blood from the high pressure pumping chamber of the heart (the left ventricle) to the lowest pressure right chamber (the right atrium). Blood, which should be going to the body fruitlessly, re-circulate inside the heart causing damage to the lungs, stated Dr Bedi.

Dr Bedi has undergone advanced training in the management of small children with heart defects at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children in Australia.

Ankit’s heart was placed on a heart lung machine and the large hole was repaired with an imported bio-compatible piece of Gore Tex patch.

Dr Bedi declared the boy fit adding that he should now have a normal life and should be able to follow any profession he desired. This defect is a rare one and can be fatal if untreated.

The other members of the team are Dr Allen, Dr A Gupta, Dr Melchi, Dr Roshan, Dr Anupam, Dr Jotish and Dr Vandana.



All for Bollywood beauties’ hug 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 28
Katrina Kaif, Kareena Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan stole the show at the Dasehra mela at Daresi ground here today.

Visitors were seen jostling their way to get close to Bollywood sirens all for a hug and a picture with arms around their shoulders or waist.

Though the Bollywood heartthrobs were not present at the mela site, their life size cutouts made youngsters, especially migrant labourers, go wild.

“At the time when extravagant people are spending lavishly and flying to England to get a photograph with the wax statue of celebrities, there is something available for commoners like us also,” said Parveen Kumar, who is running a photo studio at Daresi ground during Dasehra for the last five years.

The photo studio is an instant hit among the visitors. While the traditional marry-go-round and magicians are struggling to attract visitors, these mini photo studios have so far not faced any dearth of customers.

Rajesh Kumar, who is running a photo studio at the Dasehra mela for last 10 years, said: “Though the heroines have changed, the craze for getting a picture clicked with their favourite actress is still the same.”

Sunil Kumar, a hosiery worker, said while combing his hair before getting the all-important photograph of his life: “This is the day. I will get a photograph with all of them.” Though excited, he was realistic about what he was doing. “I know I can never get a chance to pose with these actresses. But these cutouts look so real,” he added.



Stray cattle get shelter
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 28
Stray cattle in the city are finally getting a home as the Sant Shree Asaramji Gaushala Trust, Khanpur, has come to their rescue.

The trust yesterday launched a two-day drive and collected around 50 cows and oxen from various parts of the city.

Talking to The Tribune, trust secretary Surinder Kaushal said, "We are stressing on indigenous varieties of cows as their urine and dung could be used for ayurvedic medicines.” He added that Bal Gopal Gaushala on Jalandhar Road is also helping them in this initiative.

Kaushal said the trust had received a grant of Rs 22.5 lakh from the Animal Welfare Board of India for the campaign. Besides, special teams of cattle catchers have come from Patiala to help the city team to catch cows. There is a team of veterinary doctors too to provide first aid and vaccination to the cows.

Trust president Mohal Lal said Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, former MP Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and member of the Animal Welfare Board of India Dr Sandeep Kumar Jain flagged off the trucks and ambulances for the mission at Dana Mandi.

The stray cattle menace in the city had been increasing in the last few years and initiative is likely to give a respite to these speechless creatures that are left by owners when they are of no use.



Gurdwara panel, panchayat lock horns
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Garhi Tarkhana (Machhiwara), September 28
A tussle over a piece of land in Garhi Tarkhana village — situated adjoining Sirhind Canal — erupted between village panchayat and a gurdwara committee.

The situation got tense when the land of the village pond came in contact with that of gurdwara land.

As per village panchayat members, the panchayat department began construction work in the pond to stop draining of dirty water into Sirhind Canal under the NREGA scheme. The work is on for nearly three months which is allegedly disturbing the construction work in the adjoining gurdwara.

As per the village sarpanch, Charanjit Kaur, and panchayat members, the pond is supposed to be deepened and also a wall will be constructed around it so that water of the village could be cleaned and drained into the canal.

They alleged that members of the gurdwara committee were trying to stop the construction work and encroaching upon some portion of the pond. They have also installed a ‘Nishan Sahib’ adjoining the pond.

Villagers said construction work in the pond would be completed after spending nearly Rs 10 lakh and it must be completed for their betterment who would get rid of dirty water from their village.

On the other hand, Manjit Singh, one of the members of the gurdwara management committee claimed that a portion of pond is in possession of the gurdwara. “We are ready to donate another piece of land in lieu of the common land.

But we will definitely use a portion of land of the pond for the betterment of the gurdwara,” said the members of the committee.

The administration, however, is trying to patch up over the issue and a tehsildar and the SDM have reached the village to discuss the matter with both parties, but to no avail.



SAD-BJP, Cong failed on welfare front: Left
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 28
Accusing successive governments of failing to provide basic amenities to residents of the border state, Leftists have announced to launch a coordinated struggle for protecting rights of members of all sections of society.

Terming radicalism to be a curse for humanity, the leaders called upon residents of the state to adopt patriotic and nationalist approach as their lifestyle.

State leaders of the CPI and the CPM alleged that successive governments led by the Congress and the SAD-BJP had done nothing for the welfare of people of Punjab.

While talking to The Tribune, Leftist activists Charan Singh Birdi, state secretary, CPI (M), and Dr Joginder Dyal, national council member, CPI, alleged that the state government had failed to provide adequate facilities to the residents.

“Instead of undertaking developmental projects for the welfare of people, politicians have been exploiting their mindset to harness meagre political gains. We have decided to launch a coordinated movement after which people will not fall prey to misleading slogans of politicians,” said Birdi maintaining that the third front was the only key to people’s grievances.

Showing concern over losses caused due to natural calamities, including recent drought and flood-like situation in different parts of the state, Birdi regretted that no compensation was paid to the victims. The grant worth Rs 1,644 crore that was sent by the Union Government under the national calamity fund last year was not accounted for.

Terming agriculture to be the foundation of economy of the state, Dr Dyal regretted that even inputs, including fertilisers, were not available to the peasants.



Mandir committees to be felicitated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 28
Pandit Shardha Ram Phillauri Memorial Welfare Society has chalked out an elaborate programme to celebrate the birthday of Pandit Shardha Ram Phillauri, author of famous Hindu prayer, “Om Jai Jagdeesh Hare”, here on October 4.

Presiding over a meeting of the society here last evening, Krishan Kumar Bawa said office-bearers of 11 mandir committees from the city would be felicitated at the function by Congress MP from Ludhiana Manish Tewari.

Head of Hindi department at Guru Nanak Dev University Harmohinder Singh Bedi will be the guest of honour.

A bhajan and aarti recitation competition for schoolchildren will also be organised.

Among others present at the meeting Ashok Makkar, Dr Manoj Sobti, Rachna Sharma, Madan Gopal, Tony Mahajan, Satwinder Nath Aggarwal, Avinash Gupta, Suresh Gupta, Kishan Chand Gupta, Ram Kishan Gupta, Savita Jain and Nirmal Kaira.



A few remembered Bhagat Singh
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 28
Bhagat Singh, who gave the slogan “Inquilab Zindabad”, was remembered today on his birth anniversary. But the freedom fighter was remembered by a few, while others forgot to pay homage to him.

The great freedom fighter, who should have been the source of inspiration for youth, is today hardly remembered by the youngsters, giving a clear picture of total ignorance.

The day has been restricted to a few organisations and political parties, who observe the day but the real spirit goes missing. It is only on this day that the statue standing tall at the Jagraon Bridge attracts attention.

Being an exception, a group of youngsters from the city gathered together wearing orange T-shirts. Holding candles in their hands they pledge to walk on the path laid by revolutionary freedom fighter Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh.

He sacrificed his life for the country but the sad part was that today he was hardly remembered while the country should have been proud of him. “It becomes the duty of the young brigade to carry forward his principles and ideals,” added a youngster from the group.

“The Indians glorified him as martyrs and were inspired by his reckless bravery. Even today, the heroic spirit of Bhagat Singh is an outstanding source of inspiration for all. His courage, spirit of adventure and patriotism is unmatchable. But our heroes have been lost in the oblivion. Paying floral tributes on their martyrdom day is all the government is doing,” added Rachna, a postgraduate student.



Tewari asks Badal to quit on moral grounds
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 28
Congress MP from Ludhiana and national spokesperson of the All-India Congress Committee Manish Tewari today asked Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to quit on moral grounds for his failure to fulfill any promise made by his party in the election manifesto.

Addressing a function organised at the residence of Gurmail Pahalwan, general secretary of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Tewari asked Badal to draw a balance sheet of his performance during the last two-and-a-half year and spell out what the government had done for the people of the state.

He pointed out the SAD-BJP government had made big promises about making the state self sufficient in power within three years. “Now they are saying it will take years without specifying any time period. Punjab has never suffered so much on the power front as it is suffering today,” the MP pointed out, while adding that the government did not have the will or competence to make the arrangements for adequate power supply.

He said it was because of the wrong policies of the government that the industry was shifting out of Punjab and moving to other states and power was one of 
the main problems.

Power, he said, was just one example but the fact remained that the government had failed on every front.

Tewari asked Badal to tell the people of Punjab what he had done during the last two-and-a-half year except for implicating his political opponents. “Let the government list one single achievement which it can really claim genuinely,” he challenged, while maintaining that they have none.

He was accompanied by former minister Malkiat Singh Dakha, former city Mayor Nahar Singh Gill, senior party leader Pawan Dewan and others.



Railway station to have more porters from October
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 28
There is good news for railway passengers, as they will no longer have to carry their heavy luggage while boarding or disembarking from trains as they were made to do for the last almost a year due to shortage of licensed porters at the railway station here.

Indicating that the process for recruitment of new porters at several major railway stations in Ferozepur division, including the mega city, had been completed and the new recruits will assume duty by end of next month, divisional railway manager (DRM) Satish Chandra stated that 342 new porters had been recruited out of some 1,600 applicants, and out of these 60 porters will be deployed at Ludhiana railway station.

After the railway ministry had offered secure job of railway gang men to the licensed porters last year, a large number of them had joined as gang men. Since then the railway station had just about 25 porters as against the effective strength of around 150 earlier, which were far too inadequate in proportion to number of trains passing through the city and huge number of rail passengers.

The DRM was on a routine inspection visit to Ludhiana and during his stay here, he went to construction sites of running rooms for drivers and guards, ticket booking counters, platforms and the main reception area.

He said work had been taken in hand for the proposed modern food plaza on platform number 1 at the railway station, which was expected to become operational by November. The food plaza would offer most hygienically prepared and packed food and snacks to the rail travellers on affordable prices.

According to Chandra, the railways had sent a proposal to the Northern Railway headquarters at Delhi to run trains on Amritsar-New Delhi section at a faster speed. “On getting the nod from the railway authorities, speed of certain trains running on this section will be increased to around 100 km per hour, which will cut down the journey time.”

He further said design for a 20-feet-wide railway foot bridge to replace the existing 8-feet-wide bridge on Civil Lines side had been approved and work for its fabrication had commenced in the railway workshop at Jalandhar.



Sadbhavna college students excel 
Our Correspondent

Raikot, September 28
Students of Sadbhavna College of Education for Women here excelled in the examinations held recently by Panjab University.

The result of the college was 100 per cent pass, while Deepa Jain bagged first position by securing 83.7 per cent marks, while Madhurpreet Kaur and Jaspinder Kaur bagged second and third positions, respectively. Director of the institute, Dr AK Banergee said they were committed towards the empowerment of rural women in achieving their goal of life through education and other allied activities. Principal Rupinder Kaur congratulated the students and the staff for their hard work in achieving this glorious results.



Deaf cricket team leaves for Singapore
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, September 28
A 15-member Punjab deaf cricket squad left for a 10-day tour of Singapore and Malaysia. The hearing and speech-impaired cricketers, drawn from different parts of the state, would play four matches against the Lankan Lions Cricket Club, two each in Singapore and Malaysia. The tour is being organised by the Deaf Cricketers’ Federation of Punjab.

MLA Jassi Khangura hosted a farewell function for the team today. Speaking on the occasion, he said it was the moral responsibility of everyone to encourage such people, particularly with special talent. He praised the federation for providing training and logistic support to special players and wished the players good luck.

Federation chairman Rajesh Gupta and president Sanjeev Kumar expressed gratitude to Jassi Khangura for extending financial help that enabled them to undertake the foreign tour.

The team include Japreet Singh, Rakesh Kumar, Karandeep Singh, Gurdeep Singh, Munish, Abhinav Gupta, Deepak Kumar, Gurdeep, Jatinder Kalsi, Ish Jain, Vicky, Rajesh Chauhan, Manpreet Singh, Arvind Jain and Kulbir Saini.



Ludhiana teams announced
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, September 28
Ludhiana teams were announced today to take part in the second edition of the T-10 Gully Cricket, which will begin tomorrow at Satish Chander Dhawan Government College.

Four teams will battle it out in the 10 overs each side matches to be played tomorrow. The winners will participate in the inter-city competition followed by the grand finale, as a day/night bonanza at Kanpur.

These players have been selected after the two-day trials conducted at Bachan Singh Cricket Academy ground at Balloke village on the Humbran road.

Besides Ludhiana, the teams are being selected from Amritsar, Nasik, Latur, Surat, Daman, Allahabad, Kanpur, Gwalior, Lucknow, Jalandhar, Panchukla, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Ballia and Patna. The total prize money of Rs 25 lakh will be distributed among various teams in the tournament.

The names of the players who would represent four teams are:

Team 'A'- Varun Verma (c), Vineet Sehgal, Jagarpreet Singh, Piyush Likhi, Sunny Kumar, Deepinder Singh, Amar Toor, Arun Sharma, Ravi Kumar, Sarabjot Singh, Prince Goraya, Sukhwinder Singh, Joga Singh and Chinton Sehgal.

Standby: Narinder Singh, Rohan Kumar and Kuldeep Sharma.

Team 'B'- Arjun Puri (c), Dilman, Pankaj, Vivian Oscar, Lalit Walia, Sukhraj Singh, Manik Verma, Gurjeet Walia, Nirmal Sharma, Gurvinder Goldy, Jatin Joshi, Sanjay Kumar Paul, Karan and Harjinder. Standby: 
Ranjit Kumar, Dalbir Singh and Pankaj Kakkar.

Team 'C'- Karan Puri (c), Shakun Verma, Sanjay Kumar, Kuldeep Kumar, Arjun, Sunny Kumar, Luv Kush, Sunny John, Abhi Sharma, Rahil Nanda, Naveen Kumar, Sunny Thakur, Parminder Gill and Amandeep Singh. Standby: Prabhjot Singh, Manan Beri anmd Gurpinder Singh.

Team 'D'- Atul Kohli (c), Amandeep Singh, Charanpreet, Navjeet Singh, Amandeep Singh, Amarjit Singh, Naveen Verma, Pushpinder Singh, Joginder Singh, Hardeep Singh, Mandeep Mandal, Ravi Kumar, Sukhjeet Singh and Umesh Handa. Standby: Shivam, Rahul Kumar and Inderjit Singh.



Sportsmen welfare body office-bearers elected
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, September 28
The Ludhiana Sportsmen Welfare Association, which has been working for the last one decade to promote the game of hockey in this part of the state, has been reorganised.

Office-bearers of the association were unanimously elected at its meeting held here yesterday.

Prominent sports promoters Prithipal Singh Batala and Inderjit Singh Phullanwal were unanimously elected president and organising chairman, respectively. Thakur Uday Singh Namdhari was appointed chief patron, while Dhronacharya awardee and former national hockey coach Baldev Singh along with Punjabi writer Harbhajan Gill were elected as patrons.

Other office-bearers include Harminder Pal Singh- organising secretary, Ustad Harinder Singh, Amrik Singh Minhas- chairmen, Gurnam Singh- vice-chairman, Olympians Hardeep Singh and Ramandeep Singh Grewal, Harinderjit Singh, Jarnail Singh Malhi, Paramjit Singh Bir, Sukhwinder Singh, Paramjit Singh Dhillon of Delta City, Jagroop Singh Jarkhar, Gurcharan Singh Namdhari, Gagandeep Singh, Iqbal Singh, Ajaipal Singh Punia- senior vice-presidents, Tara Singh Sandhu, Harmail Singh Kala, Lakhwinder Singh- vice-presidents, Parveen Kumar and Sukhwinder Singh- cashiers, Amardeep Singh Sodhi and Amit Kumar Kala- joint secretaries.

After the meeting, Prithipal Singh Batala informed that the annual All-India Guru Gobind Singh Gold Cup Hockey Tournament would be held in December. 



Athletics meet on Oct 1, 2
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, September 28
The District Athletics Association, Ludhiana (DAAL), will organise the Ludhiana District Athletics Championship for boys and girls as well as men and women here at Guru Nanak Stadium on October 1 and 2, according to DAAL general secretary SS Pannu.

During the two-day meet, the competition in the under-14, U-16, U-18 and U-20 categories will be conducted, besides senior men and women. The participants have been advised to bring their birth certificates and report to athletics coaches, Mohinder Singh and Sita Kapila, on October 1 at 7. 30 am.

The performance during the championship will be taken into consideration while finalising the Ludhiana district athletics junior teams (boys and girls’ under-16 and U-18 categories) for the forthcoming Junior Punjab State Athletics Championship slated to be held from October 9 to 11 at Mahilpur in Hoshiarpur district.



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