L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bloody brawl leaves 16 hurt
Alla Rakha Vehra, Sherpur Khurd residents throw stones at each other over bursting of crackers l Police resorts to lathicharge
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
Tension gripped the Sherpur Khurd area this morning when two groups threw stones at each other following late last night clashes which left more than 16 persons injured.

The police had to resort to a mild lathicharge to disperse the mob that seemed to go out of control. A riot control vehicle and around 100 personnel of the reserve police were also pressed into service to tackle the situation.

The incident took place when two neighbours started a fight over the burning of crackers.

Gurvinder Singh (22), son of a martyr soldier, who was alone at home during the time of the incident, alleged that around 50 men from Arrariya, Bihar, who are currently residing in Alla Rakha vehra, led by Mohd Akhtar and Gurvinder's neighbour Shiv Parsad, entered his house and thrashed him.

It is learnt that Gurvinder was bursting crackers to which his neighbour Jatinder, son of Shiv Parsad, objected.

Jatinder alleged that Gurvinder was targeting crackers at the residences Alla Rakha vehra and when the former objected, Gurvinder started throwing crackers in his house.

Things took an ugly turn when the neighbours, who tried to resolve the matter, were also thrashed by residents of Alla Rakha colony.

Harjit Singh, his wife Renu Bala and their son Harvinder Singh, along with a neighbour Subash, received multiple injuries and were rushed to hospital.

The thrashing incident infuriated residents of Sherpur Khurd, a majority them Punjabi, who further entered the house of Shiv Prasad and allegedly injured him with sharp-edged weapons.

After thrashing Shiv Prasad, the residents of Sherpur Khurd, led by a local goon, entered Alla Rakh vehra and pelted women and children with stones. None of them received injury.

The residents then beat up the men, who were involved in the assault on Gurvinder and his neighbours. They also damaged the one-room quarters of migrants.

Md Farid, a residents of Arrariya Bihar, who is residing in Alla Rakha vehra, alleged that the mob, led by one Grewal, tried to set the vehra on fire. "Whatever we did was for self-protection as we cannot see people thrashing our wives and children," said Md Farid.

Both communities clashed twice during the night. The first clash took place at 10:30pm, while an hour later, the mob again pelted stones at each other.

The situation again turned grim in the morning when some politicians tried to flare up the tempers.

As per information, a group led by a local leader again entered the vehra and threw stones at residents. In retaliation, the resident reacted strongly and damaged the house of a Sherpur Khurd resident.

Sensing trouble, SHO Focal Point, requested the authorities for more force. A riot control vehicle and more than 100 cops were deployed to control the crowd.

It was after the police conducted mild canecharge to disperse the crowd that the situation came under control.

Meanwhile, both groups had approached the police to register the case.

The SHO, Focal Point, said 14 persons of Alla Rakha vehra were booked for barging into the house and assaulting Gurvinder and his neighbours.

The SHO said further investigations were still on. The police was trying to identify the people behind the ruckus.

Cases would be registered against both groups for assault and damage to property, said the SHO.

DSP Focal Point Joginder Singh said the force would remain on guard till things turned normal.


Bank staffer stabbed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
Panic spread in Phoolanwal after the body of a bank employee, who was stabbed to death, was spotted lying in a park here this morning.

The deceased has been identified as Pran Ranjan Sinha (30), a resident Jharkhand, who was working in Union Bank of India, Feroze Gandhi Market.

The incident came to light this morning when the few residents of Phoolanwal saw the body and informed the police about the incident.

According to the police, there were 25 stab wounds on the body of Sinha. The identity of the deceased was established from the railway e-ticket lying close to the body. A blood-stained rope, used to start an autorickshaw, was also found from the spot.

It is learnt that the deceased was a relative of a higher rank offcer in Delhi.

As the police is trying to crack the murder, several theories are being floated by investigating officials.

One of the theories include that the man may have been killed for money. It is learnt that Pran returned to the city last night after visiting his brother in Udhay Ranjan Sinha in Delhi.

Police officials said that Pran might have hired an autorickshaw from the railway station.

Police sources said the autorickshaw, belonging to a robber, took Pran to a secluded place where the auto rickahaw driver, along with his accomplice, stabbed and strangulated him to death after he refused to hand over the money.

No purse and mobile have been found from the deceased. The marks on a finger shows that the robbers had tried to remove the ring from the finger of the deceased but failed to do so.

The police has informed the brother of the deceased about the incident. The SHO Sadar said the police had booked a case of murder against unidentified accused and started the investigation. 



68 shops to give way to flyover
All 68 affected shopkeepers will be provided with sites under the flyover
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 19
Officials of the engineering branch of the Municipal Corporation (MC) today identified the sites from where 68 shops would be demolished to clear the way for construction of the proposed railway overbridge (ROB) in place of now dismantled Lakkar Pul.

Association of shopkeepers, while making a voluntary offer to demolish shops and provide clear site for commencement of construction work at a meeting with Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, had asked the civic body to provide it with site plan of the up and down ramp so that they could remove the shops coming in the way of proposed alignment of the overbridge towards Society Cinema.

HS Khosa, project engineer of the MC, along with officials of the PWD, the executing agency for the project, and other civic staff visited the overbridge site and held detailed discussions with the affected shopkeepers.

"The shopkeepers, who are to be dislocated, wanted demarcation of the area required for the construction of ramps so that they could carry out the demolition of shops at their own level to minimise the collateral damage to furniture, fittings, fixture and merchandise. The MC has readily agreed to the offer made by the shopkeepers and the demarcation has been provided to them," Khosa said, while talking to The Tribune.

He said the MC was taking all possible steps to remove all obstruction in the way of the proposed alignment of the overbridge so that the construction work could be taken up by the PWD soon as directed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. After the approaches for up and down ramps were constructed, all 68 affected shopkeepers would be accommodated by providing them with alternate sites below the flyover. Khosa said two ramps, each 25 feet wide for up and down traffic, were proposed to be constructed on the Clock Tower side of the flyover. The traffic going towards Old Session Court Chowk will take the ramp from railway goods shed side while the traffic coming from Session Chowk will go towards the Society Cinema side. Both approach roads will be one-way.



PAU VC toured US
More focus on student exchange plan
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
The three-week tour to the USA by Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, was claimed to be productive with more focus on collaborative programme with various US universities.

Dr Kang, who returned from the official tour of the US last Tuesday, told The Tribune today that US scientists were keen on visiting Punjab Agricultural University for a short period for teaching and collaboration on research.

Dr Kang disclosed that during his visit to Ohio University, he was accompanied by four scientists of PAU and they participated in a workshop on “Soil and Water Management in India”. This was a programme between India and the USA under the “US-India Knowledge Initiative on Agricultural Education, Research, Service and Commercial linkages”.

This agreement was signed by then US President G. Bush and Dr Manmohan Singh. But this programme was now coming to an end and there would be a new agreement between the Obama administration and Government of India. A new Bill, known as “Lugar-Casey Global Food Security Act”, was pending with Congress, he said.

During the workshop, Dr Kang gave a talk on “Challenges-opportunities and meeting food security”. PAU had also set up a food industry centre in collaboration with Ohio State University.

PAU had collaboration with Colarado University and one scientist of this university was already working in precision agricultural engineering at Colarado University. The possibility of students exchange was discussed with the university, he said.

At the University of Wisconsin, one scientist from vegetable crops was getting training for one year on hybrid onion. The PAU had signed an MoU with Wisconsin University for exchange of faculty and students.

At Kansas University, the PAU had lots of collaboration on wheat research, particularly sequencing of wheat under Dr Bikram Gill, a renowned wheat scientist. This was a major project in the international field. US farmers visited the PAU under the agreement and now a group of students would be visiting the campus shortly. They would have been training in food processing for two weeks.



Luring tipplers with misleading ads
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
Liquor manufacturers and vendors are displaying misleading advertisements of different brands in contravention of excise rules to woo consumers.

Alluring people towards their so-called "Diet Scotch" through huge billboards dotting the major city roads, these liquor companies are little aware that doing so can land these in soup. For, displaying such eye-catching and misleading advertisements is illegal.

The advertisements, which display liquor as being "real diet", are not only illegal but also misleading as they portray alcohol as being "healthy". The company's catch phrase "Piyo diet, raho lite", only adds to the "appeal". Scotch with the "rare blend of aloe vera and garcinia" is no doubt attracting the attention of tipplers and giving them yet another reason for drinking as it is stated as being 
"Real Diet".

Parampal Singh, deputy excise and taxation commissioner, commenting upon this, said it was strictly against the law. "One cannot put advertisement boards which present liquor as an attractive drink. It is necessary to put up a statutory warning, mentioning that consuming liquor is injurious to health while such ads directly promote liquor consumption," he said.

"Advertisements should not allure people. In fact, it is necessary to mention a statutory warning on every bottle. Those putting up such attractive advertisements will have to feel the heat as they can be booked under the Punjab Excise Act 1914. I was not aware of the matter but now I will definitely look into it," said Singh.

On the other hand, Dr Raju Singh Chhina, medical superintendent of the DMCH, giving his medical viewpoint, said no alcohol can be devoid of calories and it is true that it is a bad food. "It contains toxins and destroys the liver. It can never be termed as 'real diet' and these advertisements are misleading the masses,"  he added.



Toll road on NH-1 taxing for commuters
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, October 19
“The stretch is mostly roadworthy beyond Panipat and Jalandhar, but in no case within the toll precincts (between Jalandhar and Panipat) as major portion of this stretch contains deep potholes, is rough and even temporarily patched up” is a common observation made by the commuters who take to the National Highway No. 1 by chance or choice.
Ali Raj, who got injured in a clash.
Ali Raj, who got injured in a clash. A Tribune photograph 

“Even though the National Highway Authority of India has taken over the project of six-laning of the National Highway No. 1 on a war footing, it has miserably failed to maintain the existing four-lane which is temporarily patched up from majority of the places, thus giving an unpleasantly bumpy ride to its commuters”, lashed out an infuriated traveller.

“Inspite of charging such an exorbitant toll from the commuters for the past more than six years, the National Highway has not been recarpeted even once, leaving aside the partial repair here and there.

Even the patches have been so unevenly applied that the situation has worsened further and the road especially from Doraha towards Ludhiana is full of bumps,” another commuter added.

“Situation of the road is no better than the time when no toll was charged. Now, we are paying enormously but the condition remains the same”, a traveller complained.

“What is the use of spending crores of rupees on a project which is going to suffer for want of maintenance and upkeep?” another questioned.

“The potholed toll road, particularly between Sahnewal and Doraha or for that matter even beyond, itself speaks of the negligible facilities being accorded by the National Highway Authority of India to the commuters in lieu of the exorbitant toll fee”, one such commuter expressed. “Is it not a shame for them to patch the road every time when they are grabbing money in lakhs from the commuters?” questioned still another.



Waterlogged streets a hell for residents
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 19
Sounds incredible but it is true that thousands of residents and shopkeepers in Bhagwan Nagar and Parbhat Nagar localities near Dholewal Chowk, alongside GT Road (National Highway 1) in the mega city have to traverse flooded roads and streets for weeks together at a stretch and couple of months put altogether during the year even if the weather remains dry all along. Their plight during the rainy season when almost the entire city goes under water is for any body to imagine.

A chance visitor to the affected localities will find it a strange sight as the shopkeepers, their customers or residents keep wading through knee-deep water accumulated all over while moving on the entire network of roads and streets even if there has been no rains for quite some time. But for the affected people, this is a normal routine.

If Kuldeep Singh, a shopkeeper in Bhagwan Nagar market is to be believed, the people is these localities have been going through this hell-like experience for last more than two decades.

“Not even a month passes when our market or the residential areas remain dry. The localities being low-lying area even a bit of overflow from choked sewers or open drains in adjoining Daba Road, floods the roads and streets. The residents of affected areas, as also the shopkeepers, have not only to bear the suffering of intense water logging for days together till the water is drained out, but are also exposed to grave health hazard from water-borne and mosquito-borne diseases all through the year,” lamented Kuldeep Singh.

Many other residents of Parbhat Nagar, including women attributed the pathetic condition of roads and streets, and persistent water logging to complete apathy of the civic administration and political leadership. “At election time, politicians make tall promises and assure us that remedial measures for proper drainage of water will be taken soon. But once the elections are over, all promises are forgotten and the people are left to fend for themselves,” complained the residents.

The suffering population of these localities was equally bitter over the total inaction on the part of MC authorities. Repeated representations and personal meetings with officials and staff of the civic body had failed to evoke even a sympathetic response, what to speak of any remedial action to rid the people of their water woes, the shopkeepers and residents added.

The area councillor Swarndeep Singh Chahal was not available for comments and repeated attempts to contact him on his mobile phone remained unproductive. 



Muslims want encroachment removed
Tribune News Service

Samrala, October 19
A large number of Muslims residing at Jaspalon village have demanded the nearly 18 kanals encroached upon by a few villagers since long be immediately be vacated.

The controversy erupted after Shivratti (80), a resident of Jaspalon village, died. Muslims went to bury Shivratti at the burial ground, but the encroachers refused to allow the burial to take place. Community members claimed that the land belonged to the Muslims as per revenue records.

A large number of police personnel as well as the ADC, tehsildar, sub- tehsildar and other senior functionaries of administration rushed to the spot but to no avail. The matter was resolved after much persuasion and the body was buried in their presence.

ASI Jaswinder Singh said the land belonged to the Muslims but a few Gujjars had been living in the area for the past 30 years. They have refused to budge despite being pressurised by the senior police and administrative functionaries, he added.

Already both communities are fighting cases pertaining to the ownership of the land in a court. “The officials managed to vacate 8 kanal from the Gujjar’s possession but the Muslims refused on the pretext that they wanted entire land to be vacated,” he added.

However, after much persuasion Shivratti’s body was brought from the civil hospital for the burial, said police official. They added the Muslims had been using the panchayat land and a portion of the encroached land for the burial.

A case has been registered against unidentified persons under Sections 109, 307, 353, 186, 148 and 149 of the IPC and 25 of the Arms Act.



Priyanka, Kashish win science quiz 
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 19
The tehsil-level science exhibition was organised at Sanmati Vimal Jain Senior Secondary School here recently.

The exhibition on “Science and the society” saw participation of 164 students from 45 schools who displayed 92 models. The exhibition was inaugurated by district science supervisor Pardeep Kapoor.

A science quiz was also organised in which the team of Priyanka and Kashish Jain of the host school won the first prize, while the team of Mehak Gupta and Sonia of Swami Roop Chand Jain School won the second prize. Avneet Kaur and Kiranjeet Kaur of Government Senior Secondary School, Dhollan, bagged the third prize.

In teaching aid competition, Chandan Goyal of Swami Roop Chand Jain School, Jaspreet Kaur of Government Senior Secondary School, Hathoor, bagged first and second prizes, respectively, while Pawan Kumar of Leela Megh Singh, Sapna Goyal of Government School, Kothe Pona, and Gurpreet Kaur of the host school collectively shared the third prize.

Government High School, Rasulpur, Government School, Purain, and Government Girls School, Jagraon, bagged first, second and third positions, respectively, in science drama event.

Beant Kaur of Government School, Malak, Rajdeep Singh of Government School, Amargarh, and Gurpreet Kaur of host school bagged first, second and third positions, respectively, in spot speech competition of teachers.

Ravinder Kaur of Spring Dew School, Jagraon, got the consolation prize.

Monika of the host school, Tersem Singh of Leelan School, and Balbir Kaur of Police Public School, Bharowal Kalan, won the first, second and third prizes, respectively, in poster-making competition.

In elementary competitions, Aditi of Sacred Heart Convent School, Simranjit Kaur of Government School, Kothe Rahlan, and Navdeep Kaur of the host school bagged first, second and third positions, respectively.

In the sub-theme contest in communications, Gagandeep Singh of Sidhwan Khurd, Parl Gupta of host school, and Bikramjit Singh-Rashmi Sharma of host school of Spring Dew School bagged first, second and third positions, respectively.

Similarly, Sangeeta Rani of Swami Roop Chand Jain School, Amandeep Suterdhar of the host school and Gurpreet of Sidhwan Khurd Public school bagged first, second and third positions, respectively, in “effects of climate changes” section.

Diksha Garg of Sarvhitkari School, Manpreet Kaur of Sidhwan Kalan and Sonika Gupta of the host school bagged first, second and third positions, respectively, ion “Green energy” (secondary) section, while Parmod Kumar of Sidhwan Kalan, Kaushaldeep Kaur of Swami Roop Chand School and Chetna Sood of the host school bagged top three positions in “green energy” (senior secondary) section.

In “Biology in human welfare”, section, Komal Pande of Government Girls School, Chand Gupta of Roop Chand Jain School and Harmandeep Kaur of the host school bagged the top three positions.

In “Information and Communication technology (Secondary)” section, Meenu Garg of the host school, Gagandeep Singh of Hathoor and Prabhjot Kaur of Swami Roop Chand School bagged first, second and third positions, respectively.



200 examined at health camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
At least 200 patients were examined at a free medical camp organised at Gurdwara Guru Singh Sabha, Sarabha Nagar, here yesterday.

Free tests for hepatitis B and C were carried out at the camp.

The camp was jointly organised by the DMCH and Gurdwara Guru Singh, Sarabha Nagar.

Doctors who participated in the camp included medical superintendent Dr Rajoo Singh Chhina (professor and head of gastroenterology), Dr Jasdeep, Dr Sulabh Puri, Dr Gagan, Dr Aditya, Dr Deepinder and Dr Rajdeep Singh Chhina.

According to Dr Rajoo Singh Chhina, hepatitis B and C were one of the most common causes of liver disease in North India and hepatitis B vaccination should be done for people of all age groups.

A large number of patients who attended the camp suffered from diabetes and it was advised that strict sugar control was necessary for prevention of complications.

Diabetes was a lifestyle disease and proper diet and exercise remained the cornerstone of management, said Dr Rajdeep Singh Chhina.

Hepatitis C was a common cause of liver disease in Indian and could cause serious chronic liver disease. However, treatment in the form of antiviral drugs like Interferon and Ribavirin were now available for patients. Liver transplant remained the therapy of choice in the end-stage liver disease, stated Dr Rajoo Singh Chhina.



Thousands perform Govardhan Puja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
Thousands of residents performed Govardhan Puja and took part in Annakoot celebrations at Sri Jagannath Temple here today.

A replica of Govardhan hill was created and was circumambulated by devotees, thus remembering the Govardhan pastime of Lord Krishna.

A feast of 108 items was offered to Lord Krishna and a grand aarti was performed.

Rajsurya Das, temple president, delivered a lecture on the Govardhan Leela.

The temple was tastefully bedecked for the occasion.



Harinder, Annie Mr and Mrs Fresher
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 19
Harinder Singh and Annie were declared Mr Fresher and Miss Fresher during annual function of the Bhutta Group of Educational Institutes that concluded at Bhutta College of Engineering and Technology at Bhutta village near here.

Dr V K Sharma, principal, presided over the concluding session and Jagdish Singh Garcha, former Technical Minister, was the chief guest.

According to Mandeep Kaur Bhullar, coordinator of the event, about 200 students of Bhutta College of Engineering, Bhutta College of Education and Baba Khajan Das College of Technology were felicitated for their outstanding performance in academic and extra curricular activities.

Giddha, bhangra, skits, Rajasthani folk dance, ghazals and malwai giddha were appreciated by all present.

Balraj Singh and Samar Immam were declared runners-up and Mohammed Sameer and Ekta were adjudged second runners-up. Mohammed Shahnawaz and Khushboo were declared Mr and Miss Attitude. Ninderjit Kaur, Inderjit Kaur, Payal Sood, Ashish Kaushal, Rekha and Kavita were felicitated for distinction in academic field and Ankit Goel and Joydeep Singh were honoured for excellence in sports and cultural activities. Parinita, Priyanka, Gurpartap Singh and Joydeep Singh were anchors for various events.



Pay panel: Ex-servicemen seek removal of anomalies
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 19
The Punjab and Chandigarh units of the Indian Ex-services League has called upon the Centre to take immediate steps for the removal of anomalies in the recommendations of 6th pay commission and scrupulous implementation of one rank-one pension scheme, which has already been accepted in principle.

Addressing the annual general body meeting of the league at Jagraon last evening, its state president Bhag Singh termed the acceptance of the demand for one rank - one pension as a victory for the sustained struggle that the body had continued over the period. He, however, added that if the accepted demands were not implemented in letter and spirit, and anomalies in the pay scales of different ranks not rectified forth with, the ex-servicemen were fully prepared to resume the agitation.

He also told the delegates that the league functionaries have had a series of meetings with Union Minister of State for Defence, the President of India and Chiefs of the Army Staff and Indian Air Force in September in which pending demands of ex-servicemen were discussed. 



Pensioners give ultimatum to PSEB
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 19
Irked over the apathetic attitude of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) authorities towards their genuine demands, the PSEB pensioners have served an ultimatum to stage a state-level dharna in Patiala on November 11 if their demands were not accepted within 15 days.

SK Kapoor, general secretary, joint action committee of the All Pensioners Associations, said today that the PSEB pensioners were being given a step-motherly treatment. "The PSEB has accepted the demands of regular employees and given them a Diwali gift, whereas the pensioners have been left in a lurch with no indication of their pending demands being considered."

He said by turning a blind eye to the plight of PSEB pensioners, the board management had pushed them towards the path of agitation.



Secretariat still eludes Khamano residents
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Khamano, October 19
In spite of having been given the status of a sub-division in 1992, Khamano still lacks its own civil secretariat where all government offices can be consolidated.

Officers of administrative officials are scattered all over the town, making even simple tasks difficult for the common man.

The office of the SDM is located at the office of market committee, while working of the tehsil is controlled from the patwarkhana premises. And, registrar of cooperative department operates from an ayurvedic dispensary.

Agriculture department officials don’t have any other option but to work from a rented accommodation. Even the office of child development programme officer operates from a rented accommodation here.

Interestingly, even the SDM does not have a permanent residence and has been putting up at a rest house, which doubles up as his camp office during emergency.

The foundation stone for the administrative complex was to be laid in December, 2006 but it could never materialise.

A sum of over Rs 6 cr was to be spent on the project and just four walls were constructed to begin with.

With most parts of these walls in a dilapidated state now, a procurement agency utilises the boundary walls to store paddy.

Area residents had been demanding the complex so that they did not have to run from one place to another to get their works done.

Manjit Kaur, block chairperson of Human Rights Manch, a local NGO, said the government should wake up from its slumber to the needs of the local people.

“Parties just make false claims. Since 1992, both the Congress and the SAD-BJP alliance have been in power but none had done anything in this regard,” she rued.



Diwali lights up lives of 4 youths
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
As a perfect Diwali gift, families of two persons, Deepak Chawla and Beant Singh, who had died recently donated their eyes to four blind youths. The recipients included Shah Jahan (16), Amarinder Singh (25), Mandeep Singh (22) and Harminder Singh (22). Corneal transplants were performed at an eye and laser centre.

Deepak had suffered a heart attack following which his paternal uncle advised his father to donate his eyes to the Punarjot Eye Bank Society, working for the cause of free corneal transplants in the region.

The idea was a welcome one as it gave the family a chance to volunteer for a noble deed, said Darshan Lal.

“It was a poignant moment for me to see Shah Jahan and Amarinder smile and see the world through the eyes of my son,” shared the donor’s father.

Also, friend of Beant Singh (35) from Rampura Phul, who died after a cardiac arrest, convinced his brothers to donate his eyes.

Makhan Lal approached Beant’s brothers and father Gurjant Singh who agreed to the idea of eye donation.

“There were no bounds to my happiness when I saw the glitter in the eyes of Mandeep and Harminder who were able to see through my friend’s eyes,” said Makhan Lal.

Dr Ramesh, director, Punarjot Eye Bank Society, thanked the families of the donors and congratulated them for showing the courage for the same.

“More and more people should come forward to pledge eye donation to enable us fight blindness,” stated Dr Ramesh. 



Upswing in car sales this year
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
Defying economic slowdown, the sales of cars saw a positive growth in the city during the festival season this year.

The sales of cars, including those of Maruti, Honda, Tata Motors, Hyundai, etc. were up by around 40-50 per cent as compared to the last year’s.

Car dealers maintained that the response was lukewarm initially but the demand for cars of various segments picked up during Navratras.

Talking to The Tribune, Rishi Dada of Dada Motors said as compared to last year, the sales of Tata Motors went up by 50-60 per cent. Two-wheelers also got a good response this season.

“Both Indica and Indigo (petrol and diesel) sold like hot cakes this year. Starting from Navratras till now, the sales of cars have been up,” he said.

The demand for certain Maruti cars was so high throughout the country that dealers had to face shortage of certain models.

Harkirat Singh from Gulzar Motors said there was handsome growth of sales this year. “September and October were quite dull last year, but this time we were surprised to see the sales. We had to face shortage of certain Maruti models owing to huge demand for the brand. There has been 20 per cent growth in sales of cars during the festival season alone,” he added.

Nitin Dada, who runs dealerships for Honda cars and Bajaj two-wheelers, said it was good that economy was back on track this year.

Two-wheelers saw a growth of around 60 per cent and due to increased demand for Honda cars, there was a long waiting list, he added.

“During festivals, the sale of all models of Honda saw a huge growth,” said Nitin Dada.

According to most dealers, mid-segment diesel cars saw biggest rise in sales during the past one month.

A dealer said “recession” or “global meltdown” had little impact on city residents this year.

“They do not compromise with their standard of living. An industrialist family here has purchased three cars from our showroom in the past one month,” he said.



PAU initiative to disseminate farm literature
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
The university has been bringing out a variety of farm publications for the benefit of thousands of farmers and farm-women. To further strengthen the dissemination of farm literature in different parts of the state, Punjab Agricultural University authorities are approaching administrations of different districts of Punjab to enhance the outreach of farm literature, particularly monthly magazines “Changi Kheti” and “Progressive Farming” and “Package of Practices” for different crops, by involving village panchayats.

As part of the initiative, Editor (Punjabi) Gurbhajan Gill held a meeting with Dr Karamjit Singh Sran, Deputy Commissioner, Gurdaspur, to discuss this plan.

Dr Sran said PAU literature on different crops and agricultural ventures played a significant role in providing farm literacy to the masses.

Appreciating the move, he said he would support it through the zila parishad, co-operatives and other developmental agencies in his district to popularise PAU farm literature. He added that he would depute the secretary of zila parishad in the district for this purpose.

Meanwhile, member of PAU Board of Management and zila parishad, Gurdaspur, Dr BS Boparai said 2010 would be the centenary year for agricultural research as the first research station in eastern Punjab was established at Gurdaspur. He said various agencies connected with agriculture needed to connect farmers with need-based farm literature brought out by the university.



Liquor seized
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
The police nabbed a person for liquor peddling and seized 150 boxes of liquor here today. The accused has been identified as Gurjit Singh Rubby, a resident of Dhoka Mohalla.

The police laid a trap and nabbed the accused. The police seized 50 boxes of liquor from the tempo.

On probing, the accused revealed that he was concealing another cache of liquor boxes at his home. Following which the police raided his residence and seized 100 boxes of liquor.



Woman thrashed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
A mother of five children was assaulted for raising voice against miscreants.

The victim has been identified as Indu, a resident of Gurpal Nagar, street no. 13, Daba road, was allegedly thrashed by Munna, Trivani and their accomplice as the former complained against them in the police.

Mogal, husband of the victim, who works as a daily wage earner, said the miscreants were infuriated after she raised her voice against their atrocities. It is learnt that the duo allegedly extracted money from migrants.



Encroachment Ex-sarpanch, 4 others booked
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 19
The Sidhwan Bet police has booked a former Sarpanch and four of his associates for encroaching upon and ploughing the panchayat’s land. Mohinder Singh, sarpanch of Gorsian Kadarbaksh village, near Bhundri, has in a complaint lodged with the Sidhwan Bet police alleged that the panchayat after passing a resolution has moved an application for constructing a diary complex on the Shamlat of the village. The panchayat had given a piece of land on February 13 and the revenue department had already demarked it for the proposed diary complex and fixed poles on the land.

Rest of the shamlat land was auctioned for a year to the villagers for cultivation. He accused that former sarpanch Jagdev Singh along with four of his accomplices identified as Paramjit Singh, Ranjit Singh Gurmail Singh of Gorsian village and Malkait Singh of Talwara village had forcefully encroached upon the panchayat land after defying its orders and had even ploughed it on the intervening night of September 6 and 7.

SHO Sidhwan Bet, Balbir Singh, said an inquiry was ordered and cases registered against the accused under Sections 447 and 427 of the IPC.



8 held for gambling, granted bail
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 19
The Ludhiana (Rural) police has arrested eight persons for gambling. But, the accused were released on bail after registering cases under Sections 13(3), 67 of the Gambling Act.

The Dakha police yesterday evening arrested four persons identified as Rajesh Kumar, Sanjay Paswan, Mangi and Raju from the link Road of Mullanpur Dakha city. This area happens to be hot favourite among the gamblers. Two sets of playing cards along with bet money worth Rs 1, 230 was seized from their possession.

In another case, the Jagraon police arrested four persons on the charges of gambling from Dalla village. Those arrested have been identified as Jagdeep Singh, Jagroop Singh, Sandeep Singh and Nirmal Singh. A set of playing cards and the bet money worth Rs 1650 was seized from their possession. 



HC orders on minimum salary
Pvt schools take to window dressing 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 19
Authorities of private schools affiliated with the Punjab School Education Board running in this part of Malwa are in a fix after being asked to submit affidavits regarding payment of salaries to their staff.

Finding financial viability of their ventures on stake after committing minimum salaries according to the High Court directions, a majority of them have started searching methods of window dressing.

Unable to persuade teachers to “accommodate” by giving receipts for amounts higher than those being paid, some have decided to show “hostile” staff as part-time employees.

The teachers, on the other hand, are happy as they would now be in a position to make better bargain, at least.

Investigations by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that authorities schools affiliated with the education board, majority of them private business houses, were finding it difficult to implement the direction of the High Court in connection with quantum and mode of payment of salaries to their staff.

Though PSEB chairman had directed principals of all such schools to submit affidavits regarding compliance of the court orders, majority of them were yet to get these documents written and attested by appropriate authorities.

Investigations further revealed that only a few teachers were receiving salary higher than Rs 5,400, fixed as minimum by the court.

Depending on fee structure of the school and qualification of the teacher, starting salary was reported to be between Rs 1,000 and Rs 3,000.

Unemployed youths and retired teachers were ready to serve on such low remuneration as working in private school enabled them to earn much higher by running tutorial classes.

Though Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had assured of doing something to ensure viability of private schools, no constitutional procedure was initiated to find a solution.

Around 3,500 private schools were running in the state. These had been directed to file an affidavit giving details of teachers employed and the salary paid to them.

They have also been asked to give information regarding the mode of paying the minimum basic salary fixed by the state government.

The issue had remerged three years after 2006 when the states were directed to ensure payment of minimum salary to teachers working in private schools.



BSF, Jalandhar, Rest of Punjab bag tourney
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 19
The 19th Senior Basketball league matches, conducted in the memory of Arjuna Awardee and former captain of Indian basketball team Gurdial Singh Malli, were concluded yesterday.

The four-day league was played in the newly developed basketball court with the help of a grant of Rs 5 lakh released by Manpreet Singh Ayali, chairman of zila parishad, Ludhiana, at Gureh village near here. This village now has a basketball court of international standards.

Six teams of men and women each had participated in the matches that were played day and night here. Among the teams (men) of the Punjab Police, BSF, Jalandhar, Railway Coach Factory, Kapurthala, PSEB, Patiala, Baba Lodhiana Basketball Academy and the Rest of Punjab the team of BSF, Jalandhar, bagged the championship by defeating the Punjab Police by 70:58. The team of the Rest of Punjab bagged the third position. Talwinderjit Singh of the Rest of Punjab bagged the prize of best played in the league.

Among girls’ teams Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Gurdaspur, Kapurthala, Amritsar and the Rest of Punjab took the challenge. The Rest of Punjab team bagged the first position by defeating the team of Amritsar by 54:35.

Ayali, on this occasion, again announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh for the development of the village. Ayali, addressing an impressive gathering, said the only motive of the Punjab government was to uplift the living standard of the village by developing them and encourage the youth to participate in sports. He said sports had always attributed to the all round development of the personality of the youth.

Interestingly, 80 per cent of the viewers on the concluding day were women, youth and children, which was certainly a positive sign of rousing the interest of youth in sports.



Revised schedule leaves athletes high & dry
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 19
Alleged mismanagement on part of organisers of a district-level sports tournament resulted in inconvenience and disappointment to hundreds of prospective participants of athletics meet and management committees of schools as they were turned away from the Guru Nanak Stadium, Ludhiana, today.

Maintaining that the event had to be rescheduled due to clash of dates with the state sports event, convener Ravinder Singh Ravi, AEO, held that the district sports authorities had informed respective schools immediately after receiving fresh schedule about the athletics meet.

He said the meet would now be held from October 31 to November 1.

Investigations revealed that a large number of athletes from around 50 schools situated in Ludhiana district were affected as they had to return from Guru Nanak Stadium without participating in the scheduled district-level athletics meet.

Contrary to their expectations, instead of receiving a warm welcome they were turned away to their respective schools and told to come on new dates.

“It is not just the question of harassment caused to athletes and coaches. The whole system gets upset due to lack of coordination. After all we have to keep a balance between practice of sportspersons and their performance in academic field,” rued a teacher who was busy with arrangements for taking students back to 
her school.

According to Kartar Singh, principal, Anand Isher Senior Secondary School, Chhappar, transport in-charge of his institute had to manage extra vehicles to fetch students from their villages as some vehicles were occupied for taking participants of U-17 athletics events today.

“Had the authorities informed us earlier, unnecessary harassment caused to students and their teachers could have been avoided,” he said maintaining that the school was yet to receive new schedule for the event.



21 aspirants attend T-20 trials
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 19
The Ludhiana District Twenty20 Cricket Association conducted trials to select Ludhiana squad near the indoor multipurpose hall of Guru Nanak Stadium here today. Twenty-one aspirants attended the trials.

According to Des Raj, district cricket coach and honorary general secretary of the Ludhiana District Twenty20 Cricket Association, the selected cricketers would represent Ludhiana in the forthcoming Shaheed Bhagat Singh Memorial Punjab State Inter-District Twenty20 Cricket Tournament (senior men) slated to be held between October 21 and 28 at Jaito.



Roller skating meet
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 19
The 12th edition of the Ludhiana District Roller Skating Championship will be held at the Leisure Valley Skating Rink, Sarabha Nagar, on October 31 and November 1, according to JS Dhaliwal, secretary, Ludhiana District Roller Skating Association.

Competition in the sub-junior, junior as well as senior boys and girls will be held during the two-day meet. Entries close with Dhaliwal at the venue on October 28.



5 LBA trainees for national camps
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 19
Five trainees from the Ludhiana Basketball Academy have been selected to attend national coaching camps to be oraganised by the Basketball Federation of India to prepare the national teams for the FIBA Asian Basketball Championships under-16 boys and girls to be held at Malaysia and Balewadi in Pune district, respectively.

They are: Manpreet Singh, Baljit Singh, Gauravdeep Singh, Satnam Singh in the boys’ section and Nagma Mirza in girls’ section.

The camp for boys will be held at the SAI Centre, Bangalore, from October 21 to November 16 in preparation for the forthcoming championship slated to be conducted at Johor Bahu City, Malaysia, from November 18 to 26.

The girls’ camp will be held at the SAI Centre, Bholpur, West Bengal, from October 21 to November 26 prior to the selection of the national team for the 1st FIBA ASIA Championship U-16 for junior women to be held at Shivaji Chhattarapati Sports Complex, Balewadi, Pune, from November 30 to December 6.

Players were given a warm send-off by the Punjab Basketball Association (PBA) officials here at Guru Nanak Stadium today.



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