L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bureaucrats give Police Day function a miss
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
The absence of district administration officials from the Police Commemoration Day observed today morning at the Central Police Lines left families of the cops who had been martyred fuming.

According to SP (headquarters) Harish Kumar, it is mandatory for all department heads to attend the function. Despite invitations sent out to them the bureaucrats did not show the courtesy to attend the ceremony.

It is learnt though deputy commissioner Vikas Garg had to leave for Chandigarh to attend an emergency meeting, in his absence none of his subordinate felt the need to listen to the grievances of family members of the policemen who had laid down their lives to safeguard the state from terrorists.

Not only relatives of the cops but family members of people killed during the dark days of militancy also had to return home disappointed.

Police officials at the ‘pandal’ expressed their helplessness to do anything for Reeta Rani, wife of Lt Harish Kumar, who died fighting against the terrorists in 1991. She has been seeking for a job for her daughter in the police department for the past four years.

"I was told to narrate my story to DC ‘sahib’. I thought after attending the ceremony he would, in view of my husband’s sacrifice, at least assure me a job for my daughter. However, neither the DC nor any other official turned up at the function," said Reeta.

Miffed at the absence of bureaucrats from the commemoration day, a senior police official said the bureaucrats should have shown responsibility by attending the function”.

“Some problems are related to the specific departments and the official concerned could handle the matter in a better way. The police has no role to play in it. People are coming to us with a complaint pertaining to their electricity bills - now what we can do here," said a senior officer with disappointment writ large on his face.

A lower rung officer said, "Our collogues laid down their lives to save them and they don’t have the humility to attend the ceremony. It is unfortunate."


Martyrs’ families try to rebuild shattered lives
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
With the deep scars of terrorism yet to heal, families of police martyrs struggling to gather bits and pieces of their shattered lives after their men were killed in different encounters showed up at the Police Commemoration Day here today with their long pending demands that are still to be fulfilled.

While many of them said their relatives were yet to get jobs as compensation for the sacrifice of their menfolk, who had died while serving the police, several of them came up with strange demands leaving senior police officials at their wits' end.

Parwinder Kaur, an elderly resident of local Jamalpur police colony, wanted the SSP, Sukhchain Singh Gill, to pay up her electricity bill worth Rs 5,500 as a reward for her two sons' sacrifice. Her sons, constable Sukhdev Singh and constable Bachittar Singh, were killed during different encounters in Amritsar within a gap of one month in 1992.

‘‘I couldn’t pay up the hefty bill amount run up during six months as I had to spend Rs 45,000 on my kidney problem, ’’ she told the SSP urging him to pay the bill. The latter could not understand what to do. He could only reply that as per the rules he could not do anything.

The elderly woman came back abusing the police of being of no help despite her young sons laying down their lives.

Basant Kaur, another resident of Jamalpur police colony who was allotted her apartment by the government, wanted the police to help another son of hers who was employed with the police on compassionate grounds after her young son, constable Baljit Singh, died in an encounter in Baddowal 22 years ago.

Her other son, constable Manjeet Singh, could not continue with his job as he was alleged to be a drug addict and irregular on duty. ‘‘A senior official showed me the door when I went there to seek his help. This is how the police behaves, ’’ she said while crying bitterly at the function.

Kanchan Rani, another widow whose husband, constable Sham Sunder died in a similar encounter, wants a job for her daughter Madhuri, 17 years after the encounter. “My daughter is in class 12 and she wants to join the force, but it looks like a distant dream,” she said, adding she met a woman named Reeta Rani, whose husband was also killed by the terrorists in 1991.

“Reeta told me that her daughter Jyoti, who was seeking employment in the police department for the last seven years, was denied a job by department. If her daughter was not given a job how can my daughter get one? I know all these police officers are making false promises,” said Kanchan.



No memorial yet to remember fallen heroes
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
They laid down their lives fighting terrorists to restore normalcy in Punjab during the trouble torn days of militancy. As many as 117 cops of the Ludhiana police, who had put duty before self, are yet to be paid a befitting tribute in the form of a memorial.

While the police department has put pictures of 81 of these forgotten heroes in a gallery in the mini secretariat complex’s single window office, this fails to serve the purpose considering their supreme sacrifice for fighting forces trying to destabilise the country.

The pictures were put up a few years ago in a specially made show window with the cops’ names inscribed below them. Though the window was lit up with focus lights the photos are not supported by any details on the heroes.

‘‘We often see these heroes with great fascination. They are a source of inspiration. However, we always feel something is amiss. We don’t get to relate to the martyrs because there is no description about them, ’’ said a police official requesting not to be quoted.

He said these pictures too were shifted here only on the initiative of a former SSP, in whose office they earlier been crammed. ‘‘They can still do something more. We’ll take it up with our senior officials,’’ he added.

On the occasion of police martyrs’ day today, Madhuri, daughter of one of the fallen cops, visited the spot and looked for her father's picture.

‘‘I was only eight months old when my father, constable Sham Sunder, died in a bomb blast in 1992 in front of the residence of former education minister Harnam Das Johar. However, the pictures do not mention anything, ’’ she said.

She was helped by her mother Kanchan to spot her father in the photo gallery of martyrs. ‘‘Had they got his description it would have been better,’’ she quipped.



Dugri roads an example of apathy
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 21
Residents of Urban Estate, Phase I and II, Dugri, are a harassed lot due to poor maintenance of roads and streets in the locality due to the negligence and indifference on part of elected representatives, including councillors and legislators, and the authorities.

Decrying the pathetic condition of roads in the locality, a meeting of area residents held here today charged both Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA), which had developed the colony, and the Municipal Corporation, which had been entrusted with the maintenance, with giving a blind eye to the plight of the residents.

According to HS Lamba, a social activist and general secretary of the Urban Estate Welfare Society, main roads and streets in the locality had huge potholes and big patches of loose stone metal, which pose a grave threat to road users, especially two-wheeler drivers.

During night, driving on these roads become more dangerous due to inadequate lighting. "Either the streetlights are not there on many roads and streets, or if installed, most of them are non-functional."

In the wake of brewing unrest among the residents, the society urged the PUDA authorities and the civic administration to immediately pay heed to the poor condition of roads and initiate remedial measures, failing which the suffering people would be left with no other choice but to come out on roads and resort to agitation.



Rakh Bagh presents a picture of utter neglect
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
When decades ago Rakh Bagh came into being it emerged as one of the most spectacular picnic spots ever provided by the Ludhiana municipal corporation. With a toy train to entertain kids and a swimming pool, the place became one of the hot favourites for city residents.

However today the beautiful park is crying for it to be maintained as the clean and green place has lost its sheen due to the MC’s apathetic attitude. Handing over responsibility for the park’s upkeep to a private contractor, the civic body has literally given a ‘stepmotherly’ treatment to the place.

According to information, the contractor had to spend Rs 42 lakh on the park’s maintenance and was supposed to construct toilets and a rain shelter, provide guide maps and recruit tree guards and 35 gardeners. However, the contractor failed to comply with these directions. While MC officials have turned a blind eye to the park’s maintenance, even the contractor seems to be taking his work for granted which is noticeable during a visit to the park.

Fully grown grass and broken tree has covered the toy train track and even the plants that used to bloom are in a poor condition. When the ‘safai sewaks’ working in the park were asked about the deplorable state of affairs, they said they were working from 9 am to 6 pm.

Vidya and Mahandri, who are working in the park for the past year, said they were being paid only Rs 2,000 per month along with Rs 90 as tea expenses. That's not all, the broken tunnel of toy train, which used to be the main attraction for children, portrays a picture of MC apathy and utter neglect.

While former municipal commissioner GS Ghuman had already directed the MC officials in March this year to end the contract, the F&CC has failed to do so till date bringing to fore red tape.

Talking to The Tribune, Sulekha a regular visitor, said, "It’s better if the MC takes charge of the park in its own hands before it gets late. The condition is deteriorating and MC officials shouldn’t take more time on their documental work."



Partially recarpeted roads coming apart
MC gets set for new projects, nevertheless

Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
It appears the Ludhiana municipal corporation is not bothered about accountability as it is once again getting ready to undertake recarpeting of various roads worth crores of rupees while those for which funds had been allotted earlier have been left uncompleted midway.

Many streets in the city like Malhar Road and Mintgumri Chowk Road, yet to be fully recarpeted by contractors, have already begun breaking up raising questions about the quality of material and credibility of the officials under whose supervision the work was started and then stalled.

While the civic body’s B&R department has drawn up various estimates of road recarpeting in many wards and have forwarded them for being sanctioned by the MC’s finance & contracts committee, the partially recarpeted streets have been left as they are.

For example, B&R department officials has sought the nod for road metalling in Gurdev Nagar, estimated to cost Rs 15.27 lakh, but they have forgotten Malhar Road which is near this street and is partially recarpeted.

Once the six-member finance & contracts committee approves various items in the agenda, MC officials would once again get busy in inviting tenders for road recarpeting, leaving uncompleted projects as they are.

While the deplorable condition of streets in the city has been attributed by many to the official-contractor nexus, residents wonder who would eventually take on the responsibility for this state of affairs and when officials would be penalised for dereliction of duty.

Though issuing charge sheets have become a daily routine for municipal corporation officials as far as road construction is concerned, even the local bodies department has come under the scanner as it has failed to take action in most of the cases.

A few months ago the civic body floated tenders for road recarpeting during the tenure of former municipal commissioner GS Ghuman, but they were later called off due to paucity of funds.



Submit details of safai sewaks: Sinha
15-day time for medical officer

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
In an effort to bring transparency in Mohalla Sanitation Committees, municipal commissioner A.K. Sinha has directed the civic body’s medical officer to submit him a report revealing names of every Mohalla Sanitation Committee (MSC) employees with photograph.

The commissioner has given a 15-day deadline to the medical officer, Dr Charanjit Uppal, to collect all information and submit him the necessary documents.

Sinha said, “My aim is just to have an official record of the people employed with the MSCs and the data will be available for the public as well as politicians for reference.”

On question of probe against municipal councillor Baby Singh Thakur, who has allegedly accused of embezzlement of funds under the garb of salaries to 30 safai sewaks, the commissioner said, “Dr Uppal still has time and he is investigating the matter.”

Interestingly, the Mohalla Sanitation Committees have been accused of various irregularities by municipal councillors as well as employees. While the local bodies department of Punjab has already directed Municipal Corporations to dismantle these MSCs last year and regularise safai sewaks, the civic body in the city has failed to do so due to fund-crunch.

According to information, regularisation would add more burden on the Municipal Corporation and the Punjab government is not lending helping hand to the civic body to meet these extra expenses.

The Tribune in its columns on October 14 highlighted through an item,“Pocketing salaries of safai sewaks, MC style”, revealing how political-official nexus was causing losses to the state exchequer and fleecing safai karamcharis.

Besides, the number of safai sewaks working in different wards too varied discriminately with some having more than 80 employees, while other working with less than 10. The fact was justified with the data revealed by Dr Charanjit Uppal, health branch officer. He had added that there were 2,949 safai karamcharis and ward number 35 had no safai sewak.



Sealing of three units
Small scale industrialists threaten stir
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
The Small Scale Industrial and Traders’ Association have condemned the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) for their “dictatorial” attitude. They said sealing of three units at New Janta Nagar and Shimlapuri was not justified as several thousands other units were still being run in the area for the past many decades.

By declaring the area residential, the recent Master Plan had ruined the lives of small scale industrialists and traders, said the association members.

Talking to The Tribune, the general secretary of association, Gunwant Singh, said the association members today had a meeting to chalk out their future plan of action. “We will meet the DC, the MC Commissioner, the SSP or the CM and urge them that the area may be declared for mix land use. If this is not acceptable to them then they should provide other alternative to approximately 7,000 units being run in the area,” he said.

He also added that by sealing the units, the PPCB had not solved any problem. The units were sealed by the PPCB on the pretext that they were creating noise pollution. Though the noise was similar about decades back when the units were started, the area residents never raised any objections then.

“When the government asked industrialists their point of view or to raise the objections, if any, we registered our protest. But our pleas were never heeded by the officials concerned at Chandigarh. Rather a verdict against all industrialists was announced,” said Gunwant Singh.

The members also said they would be forced to adopt the path of agitation if the units were not allowed to resume work. They demanded that the state government must intervene at the earliest to save the industrialists from huge losses.



Make city better place to live, says LMA
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
The Ludhiana Management Association has invited senior government functionaries of the city, including Vikas Garg, DC, SS Chauhan, DIG-Ludhiana Range, Dr S.S.Gill, SSP-Ludhiana, A.K.Sinha, Commissioner Municipal Corporation-Ludhiana, to discuss the city's development issues with members of the association.

The topic of the interaction is “City Development - Issues & Challenges”. The session will take place tomorrow. Dr K.N.S.Kang, general secretary, LMA, will welcome all guest speakers and members during the event, while V.K.Goyal, president, will extend his presidential remarks on the occasion.

Explaining the topic, Dr Kang said there was manifold increase in the population and the area of the city in the past few decades. It had resulted into tremendous pressure on the civic services of the city. Ludhiana was struggling with problem of huge traffic on roads, water, noise and air pollution, sewerage and surface drainage, law and order problem to some extent and slum growth etc.

Goyal saidthe main objective of this interactive session was to contribute in the effort of making Ludhiana livable, likeable and well-managed city through promoting joint efforts of public of Ludhiana and the administration.

The administration alone could not manage these growing problems unless the public came forward with its support. He said through such effort, the LMA was attempting to create awareness among Ludhiana citizens towards these critical issue of development and encouraging them to join hands with the district administration for making Ludhiana better city to live.



Paddy pile-up make farmers jittery
Our Correspondent

Doraha, October 21
Farmers remain a harried lot with the process of procurement as well as lifting of the paddy going on at a snails pace at the local grain market.

A farmer of Araichan village, who has been waiting for his produce to be finally cleared complained, “It has now been a week since I brought my produce to the market but there has been literally no procurement and lifting at all. Moreover, there is no proper place for staying, water to drink or food to eat. No one has come to purchase my crop”.

The stock has pilled up in the market thus creating hurdles not only for the framers but for the residents who are passing tough time due to delayed lifting. Though the procurement is going on at a snail’s pace the paddy that has been purchased is yet to be lifted.

Sarabjit Singh, vice-chairman, Doraha Market Committee, however, denied that the situation was so grim. He rather asserted that efforts were being made so that every farmer gets his due and that nobody was forced to suffer due to any delay on the part of the committee.

The farmers seem to be at their wits end with the situation taking a grimmer turn day by day. Murat Singh (name changed) of Rampur village alleged that he had been camping in the market for the past four days but the officials had not purchased his crop. Another farmer of Landa village had the same grudge to share against the authorities

Another frustrated framer went to the extent of saying that it was being assured that the paddy would be purchased on the same day and the payments would made within 24 hours. “Farmers doubt whether their produce would finally be cleared within 24 days or not”, he added.

“Most of the produce is being discarded on the pretext that it is not suitable for purchasing. As the paddy is getting stacked day after day, the moisture content is bound to increase rather than decreasing,” another farmer rued.

Meanwhile, Lakhwinder Singh Buani, general secretary, Kul Hind Kirti Kissan Union, Punjab, has demanded that the government agencies should ensure timely pricing, procurement and lifting so that the needy farmers are not harassed any longer.



Suicide cases rise during festive season
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 21
There has been a spurt in suicide cases among members of lower and middle classes of society after conclusion of festival season with Diwali.

Melancholy and stress generated due to exorbitant expenses in celebrating chain of festivals was stated to be the reason behind the tendency.

Losses in speculative business and gambling might be a swaying factor among members of the higher strata of society.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that exceptionally higher number of persons, mainly breadwinners of lower and middle class families, had committed suicide on or after Diwali. Many such cases went unreported due to obvious reason of evading police action against members of families of the deceased.

Iqbal Singh of Barsal village, Gurtej Singh of Kurganwali village, Billu Singh of Jassi Pon Wali, Satish Kumar, a native of Dehradoon living in Ludhiana, Ranjan Malhotra and Deepak Sharma of Ludhiana, Babbu of Harnama colony of Amargarh, and Jaspal Singh of Kanyan in Amloh subdivision are reported among those who are suspected to have committed suicide on Diwali.

Though nobody was booked for abetting these victims to end their lives, observations revealed that they chose to surrender as they could not afford to please their near and dear ones. Some of the deceased owed heavy amounts to their friends or relatives, who had now started pressurising for repayment. Exorbitant festival celebrations demoralised and prompted them to take the harsh step to end their lives.

Perusal of records and reports on unnatural deaths suggested that spurt in suicide cases was noticed after every Diwali during the past decade.

Referring to studies conducted by some social and medical organisations, Dr Punit Hind argued that changed lifestyle due to impact of urbanisation had resulted in a situation wherein members of middle class society had failed to maintain balance between their income and expenses.



Commemoration Day: Cops pay tributes to martyrs
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, October 21
The Police Commemoration Day was observed with a solemn parade held at the Central Police lines here this morning.

Their fellow officers remembered at least 52 personnel, who laid down their lives during the days of militancy.

Contingents of the Punjab police paid salute to the martyrs. A police band also performed on the occasion. SSP SS Gill, who was the chief guest, read out the names of officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. He praised all those who sacrificed their lives for protecting the security and integrity of the country. Later, the SSP and all officers and police personnel paid tributes to the martyrs.

The city police had also invited 77 families of the martyrs and organised a get together with them.

SSP, SS Gill, SP (Headquarters) Harish Kumar, SP (City II) Sanehdeep Sharma and SP (City III) Harjinder Singh, later listened to the complaints of the families and assured early solution of their problems.

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Cops from various police stations in the town and its surrounding areas falling under the jurisdictions of Sangrur, Jagraon, Ludhiana (Rural), Khanna and the Barnala police districts paid tributes to all those who died fighting terrorists for the unity and integrity of the nation.

A large number of cops from Dehlon, Jodhan, Sihar, Sudhar, Latala, Kup Kalan, Raikot, Mehal Kalan and the Payal police stations took part in the annual special commemorative parades organised at their respective headquarters today morning.

Addressing the gatherings, SSPs Naunihal Singh, Harinder Singh Chahal, SS Maan and Harcharan Singh Bhullar recollected sacrifices of the cops and CRPF personnel, who laid down their lives on the Indo-China Border in Ladakh on October 21, 1959.

More than 200 families of the martyrs were felicitated on the occasion. Floral tributes were paid and wreaths laid on the memorials at the police lines at various district headquarters by all police and civil officers.

The officers of the rank of SPs read out the names of more than 1,500 martyrs. Grievances of the families of martyrs were heard and redressed by the circle officers.

Jagraon: Harinder Singh Chahal, SSP, Ludhiana (Rural) said the Punjab police had lost two DIGs, three SSPs, four SPs, 12 DSPs, 32 inspectors, 61 SIs, 111 assistant SIs, 268 head constables, 294 Home Guards and 817 SPOs during the days of militancy.

Khanna: SSP Sukhminder Singh Mann remembered the police officials who lost their lives while fighting the Chinese Army at Spring in Ladakh.

Senior police officials were also apprised of grievances of martyrs’ family on the occasion.

Local leaders, municipal councillors, members of various social organisations and others were also present on the occasion.



80 per cent cut-off in Class XII
‘Consult boards before framing policy’
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
The recent proposal by Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal that Class XII students should have 80 per cent cut-off marks in CBSE board examination for taking admission in IITs has evoked mixed response from educationists.

Dr Upinderjit Kaur, Punjab Education Minister, told The Tribune that before making any announcement regarding the national education policy, all states and education boards should have be consulted. There must be some consensus on major issues. She said examination was a chance and sometimes the performance could be good and sometimes it may not be up to the mark.

She was in favour of having basic eligibility criteria for admission to higher education examinations and this should also be discussed at length before taking any final decision.

Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor, former Pro-Vice Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, felt that 80 per cent cut off was too high. Already the first division was the basic qualifying condition.

He emphasised that the need was to check the working of coaching institutions. Senior secondary and schools education must become relevant than coaching institutes, he added.

He also suggested that the CBSE, NCERT and the state education boards should be consulted before finalising the policy.

Dr KNS Kang, Dean, Punjab Technical University and director general, Punjab College of Technical Education, supported the proposal and said at present coaching institutes were only minting money. The fundamentals of education were not being taught.

He regretted that there was poor attendance in schools these days and students were missing classes to attend coaching institutes. There was a dire need to check this trend, he added.



CFC school principal suspended for 2 weeks
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
The management of CFC Public Senior Secondary School has suspended the school principal Mary Koruth, following an incident pertaining to mehandi celebration by some students.

The suspension is for two weeks according to a letter issued on October 10.

The principal had allegedly turned out some girl students from the school on the occasion of Karva Chauth when some students applied mehandi on their hands. This was resented by the Hindu-Sikh Jagriti Sena and also by parents of the students studying in CBSE affiliated schools.

In a letter to the principal, the management stated that: “In view of the present situation due to the action taken against those students who had applied mehandi, the management of the school is compelled to take necessary action by suspending the principal from the duty from October 13 for two weeks.”

According to sources, a four-member committee would be constituted to inquire the matter and submit the report within two weeks.

The management has asked principal to be available to the committee for inquiry and has further asked her to “keep the communication line open for the vice-principal and the administrative staff for the smooth running of the school during the suspension period.”

The principal, however, has tendered an apology for the harsh punishment meted out to some girl students of the school. “I did not intend to hurt anyone’s religious or cultural sentiments. It was just a disciplinary measure.”

Meanwhile, Parveen Dang, president, Hindu Sikh Jagriti Sena, has welcomed the step taken by the management.



Students forced to double as waitresses
Rakesh Gupta

Kamalpura (Jagraon), October 21
The grand youth festival was not a cheerful event for girls, as many of them were forced to perform menial jobs in the youth festivals like that of waitresses.

They were made to offer water, tea, and refreshments to guests and visitors.

Not even a single peon of the college was engaged for this job.

Sarabjit Kaur and Jaspreet Kaur of BA (III), however, resented over the duty assigned to them. They were the unlucky ones who were forced to serve, but unlike others, they dared to speak against college authorities. They questioned when all college girls were equal then why they were made to do such menial job?

However, they said no one in the college could speak against the authorities even if their decision was unjustified.

One of the guests even walked out of the function resenting over the treatment meted out to the students. On the condition of anonymity, she said the management and college principal had not done justice with these girls, as for such jobs several waiters were available in market these days. Forcing the girl students to work as waitresses and that too for four days is shameful.

Dr Barinder Kaur, principal of the host college, GGS Khalsa College for women, Kamalpura, however, said by making girl tudents serve guests and visitors was not wrong. She said: “We at the college live like a family under one roof and it’s the duty of the host to serve the guests.”



Youth fest begins at Kamalpura
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 21
The Zonal Youth and Heritage Festival of Moga-Ferozepur B Zone of degree colleges affiliated to Panjab University was today inaugurated at GGS Khalsa College for Women, Kamalpura village, near here.

Dr SM Kant, director Youth Welfare, Panjab University, Chandigarh, was the chief guest. Baba Gurcharan Singh and Baba Sewa Singh were guests of honour along with principal Ram Singh, director of Akal Academy.

During the four-day festival, students of 10 colleges will display their expertise in the fields of singing, dancing, instrumental performances, debates, dramas, skits, recitation, painting, etc.

Today students performed in shabad gayan followed by vocal classical music, gazals, folk songs and group singing (Indian).



Chinese team visits vet varsity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
Buffalo breeding has broad prospects for development and can prove to be an effective option for enhancing the food security of a country. A developed buffalo meat and dairy industry can offset the inadequacy of grain supply on one hand, and enrich the quantity and quality of meat and dairy products on the other.

These views were expressed by a 12-member delegation of Guangxi Buffalo Research Institute, China, which was on one-day visit to Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana.

Huang Jiaxiang, deputy director of the institute, who led the delegation, said China’s rising consumption of meat and milk had contributed to decline in per capita annual grain consumption from 160 kg in the past to 85 kg. “China’s buffalo population still has a room to grow. An overwhelming majority of the world’s buffalo are raised in Asia and about 13 per cent in China alone,” he added.

Jiaxiang further said they were visiting India to discuss different developments, issues and concerns with their counterparts in different institutes of India. “It is a week-long visit and the main objective is to discuss some major concerns of buffalo breeding, genomics, reproduction problems, feeding and nutritional issues, health management, milk processing and value addition,” he added.

Dr OS Parmar, director of extension education and dean, College of Dairy Science, informed the delegation that the programme for improving milk productivity of Murrah breed of buffaloes of the state was initiated at the university in 1971 and was funded by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi.

The major objectives of the project were to progeny test Murrah bulls and to supply semen and bulls of high genetic merit to farmers of the state for the improvement of their buffaloes. Dr AK Jain, professor, showed the elite herd of the university dairy farm to the delegates. He elaborated upon the efforts of GADAVSU to produce high yield animals.

The delegation was later shown machine milking of buffaloes. They also expressed interest in purchasing semen of Murrah bulls from GADVASU.



Survey ranks PCTE top B-school in region
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
The All India Management Association (AIMA) has rated PCTE best business school of Punjab, HP and J & K in B-school survey 2009.

The survey categorised business schools in various categories, including Super League containing 10 B-schools, AI category with nine business schools, A2 category with 28 business schools in which PCTE is the only institute that made it.

Shabad contest

Baba Gurmukh Singh Memorial inter-school shabad gayan competition was held at Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar. Schools from Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar and other parts of the state took part.

First prize was won by Guru Nanak International Public School, second prize by Ramgarhia Girls Senior Secondary School, third prize by Ramgarhia Boys Senior Secondary School.

Meanwhile, in Vidyak Muquable organised by Punjab School Education Board at district-level, students of Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, Doraha, gave a wonderful performance.

Principal Manjushaw Vinayak informed that during the competitions held at Dyal Public School, Ludhiana, senior team Dhanuka Priya, Samiksha Bhatia , Arshjot Kaur, Nobelpreet Kaur, Ravleen Kaur bagged first position.

Freshers’ party

Guru Nanak Institute of Design & Technology, Model Town, organised a Freshers’ party here today.

Preeti was awarded Miss fresher, Sandeep Kaur as first runner up and Bhavneet Kaur second runner up.


STEPS will organise a workshop and NTSE aptitude test for students studying in Class VII in various schools of Ludhiana. The test and seminar will be held on November 1. Students can contact their respective schools or STEPS centres to get admit cards.



350 to take part in conference
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
Department of veterinary pathology, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana, will organise 26th annual conference of Indian Association of Veterinary Pathologists with core theme on “Diagnostic Pathology” and an international symposium on “Philosophy of disease diagnosis through morphological to bimolecular approaches” and a satellite seminar on “Advanced descriptive techniques - ultra structure, cytology and immuno-histochemistry” from October 28-30 in Ludhiana.

Brig NS Kanwar, veterinary pathologist in remount veterinary corps, will be the chief guest. Inaugural function of the seminar will be presided over by Dr VK Taneja, VC of GADVASU.

On the first day, a day-long satellite seminar will be delivered by Dr Bruce Williams, pathologist and president of CL DAVIS DVM Foundation, US, as well as distinguished faculty members of Armed Force Institute of Pathology, US.

As many as 350 delegates from all across India and about 20 delegates from the US, Canada, UK, Italy, Sudan, Iran and Bhutan, including experts in the field are likely to participate.



City Concerns
Rope in big industrialists for maintaining parks

Children in Ludhiana can’t play outdoor games due to the lack of grounds. They are forced to remain indoors. They are left with no opinion other than watching TVs or playing videos. This is turning them into couch potatoes. The only Guru Nanak Stadium does not allow every child to enter the premises for spending an hour or two in leisure. The colleges and schools, too, allow their students only. Even the parks are out of bounds for children as the management committees feel they would spoil them. The result is a dearth of playing space. To help children enjoy their childhood, the residents have come up with various ideas.

There are two to three parks in each colony and we often read that they are not being properly maintained due to the shortage of funds. I suggest that at least one park in each colony should be earmarked for kids of that colony for playing. The park can be handed over to sports- loving association. Big industrialists may also be roped in if they are allowed to advertise their products. The government can earn income by giving these on lease and the association in turn can charge membership fee from all those who wish to play any game. This way all will remain happy.

HS Pahwa

Pool in for playground

Today’s children are tomorrow’s citizens. Everyone is worried about the drug-addiction and other vices of youth whereas we are the culprits for their lopsided development. We toil day and night in the name of our progeny. Material things are useless if they are not healthy. Playing ensures all-round development of a child. Whenever children come out in the streets they are shooed by their own people. Noisy scenes and fights in the streets are a common. Let us pool our wasteful expenses, which end in smoke and provide a playground in each mohalla for our loved ones. Mohalla committees, councillors and NGO’s can accomplish this noble task and earn their support. People should take up the issue of common land (shamlaat) of each village merged into Ludhiana with the government for using these as playgrounds immediately.

DN Sharma

Think of future

Concrete jungle has forced us to remain indoors. Yet, time spent exploring outdoors, caring for animals, pretending or solving problems with healthy development, spiritual attunement, and emotional survival are also required. Players invent alternative methods for conversation, visualisation, movement, and interactions with real objects. They find release and involvement, stimulation and peace. Although one can play anywhere, even in a concrete cell, children are beckoned by the nature for enjoying the sensations of being alive. Therefore, I request the parents, the politicians, the planners and the encroachers, that a playground will change their families, if they think about their neighborhoods and also the future generations.

Maj KS Sidhu

Safe play equipments must

Though it is necessary to have playgrounds in every locality, one question that strikes the parents is about their wards safety. Sometimes playgrounds prove to be hazardous for children even if they happen to be daredevils. They do most things regardless of the consequences that follow, even if that means getting themselves into trouble. A playground or any outdoor play equipment must be installed with the protective surface as any fall could prove to be fatal for them. To prevent or minimise the damage, every outdoor playground equipment or play structure must be floored with 12 inches of resilient and protective surface like rubber or sponge-like materials. A camera can also be useful for the safety and security of the kids as parents and guardians cannot keep a watch over their children throughout the day.

Bhawna Garg
Shivala Road

Construct more parks

Though a few private sectors that are being developed by the Area Development Authorities have made provisions for a playground but that isn’t serving the purpose. So, it’s necessary to veto a bill that will embarrass the city administration. Further, it’s surprising that among all works being undertaken by the administration for the benefit of citizens, nothing has been done for opening a playground for the common man, especially in Ludhiana where lots of the area is being covered by magnificent apartments, hotels and business establishments. Those who are suffering the most are the little ones. Moreover, in a city like Ludhiana it’s necessary for the administration to have more playgrounds as majority of the children live in crowded tenement houses. More small parks should be opened. Wherever a vacant plot is available it should be used for the children.

RC Garg

Open stadium for students

Rapid urbanisation, industrial growth, increasing population and utilisation of every inch of land for residential and commercial purposes are creating a scarcity of playgrounds for children. The luxury of open space for the kids has become a distant dream. There are lots of public parks for adults to take a stroll but fewer playgrounds for little ones. The children remain glued to TVs, computers and video games. Lack of exercise is making them obese and exposing them to risk of heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. Residential colonies must have provision for separate playgrounds for children. It should be made mandatory for builders and colonisers to spare a piece of land for this purpose while planning and developing new colonies. At least a quarter of every public park should be reserved for kids to play and breathe in fresh air. Schools must have game sessions in their playgrounds in the evening and taking part in sports must be made compulsory for all students. The sports stadium should be open to all school and college students, of course, under the supervision of their sports teachers.

JS Chugh



Synthetic ‘Khoya’
Sweetmeat assn cries hoarse
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
Despite having been accused of going soft on leading sweetmeat sellers of the city, the “Halwai” association is crying hoarse over the “harassment” meted out to them by the department of health and family welfare during the festive season.

Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) along with a large number of city residents had issued the warning to the district health department and sought the results of the samples taken from the 11 big sweetmeat shops in the city. Director of the food-processing department, Government of India, Amarjit Singh Tikka alleged that the health officials had “concealed” the names of the big “halwais” who were the main buyers of the synthetic “khoya” that was seized from the cold stores.

The association today organised a meeting under its president Charanjit Singh wherein they alleged that the health officials were mentally harassing during the festival season. They said that they suffered heavy loss in terms reputation and finances during the recent drive by the health officials. A further meeting of the Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh “Halwai” Associations has been called October 28 at Nagpal Resorts, Pakhowal Road, Ludhiana.



Bank officers demand better packages
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
The All-India State Bank Officers' Association has condemned the Central Government for the "step-motherly" treatment being meted out to it. Members said despite sincere efforts, they were being provided meagre salary packages whereas their other counterparts were getting better salary. They said be it business, profitability or productivity, the SBI had always performed exceedingly well but without any motivation.

G.P.S.Bakshi, deputy general secretary, State Bank Officers' Federation, said prior to 1979, bank officers' salary was better than that of class A officers. Class 1 officers' salary was Rs 450 a month whereas bank officers were getting Rs 500 a month. But the 5th pay commission widened the gap between bank officers and class A officers' scale by Rs 900 a month.

But with the present offer of 17.5 per cent wage increase for bank staff, the bank officers' scale will be at Rs 14,000 per month as against pay scale of Class 1 officers at Rs 21,000, widening the gap to Rs 7,000 per month in basic pay.

Bakshi added that the bank officers were expected to match the performance with professionals in the private sector and they did but were paid below municipal employees. In a letter sent to the finance secretary, Government of India, the bank officers said a general manager of the bank withdrew emoluments less than a section officer of the government. A probationary officer was getting less than a clerk with any government department. "We should get pay scales on a par with Group A officers in the government job and HRA at 30 per cent", said Bakshi.



Power hike: Traders demand rollback
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 21
Charging the state government with misleading the public as well as members of trade and industry over giving effect to increase in power tariff, the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal has threatened to launch an agitation if the hike was not immediately put on hold and bills sent to consumers on revised rates were not withdrawn.

A core committee of the mandal, which met here today under the presidentship of state chief Amrit Lal Jain, observed that the government had taken an about turn on its announcement that the increase in power tariff would not be implemented till a committee made for this purpose took a final decision.

“The consumers have been issued bills on revised rates with retrospective effect from April 2009, which is a cruel joke with the people and reflects very poorly on the image of the SAD-BJP government,” the meeting observed.

According to Mohinder Aggarwal, general secretary of the mandal, the speakers at the meeting were sore over massive power cuts, ranging from 7 to 10 hours, being imposed in the state for the past more than four months, which had broken the backbone of trade and industry in addition to causing lot of inconvenience to general public. “The government should have rather provided some relief to the trade and industry by withdrawing hike in power tariff.” Activists of beopar mandal asked the government to immediately review the decision and rollback the hike in power tariff failing which the traders would launch a mass agitation in the state.



Taxation dept draws flak over VAT returns
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
The Punjab Tax Bar Association has criticised the working of the Punjab Excise and Taxation Department for having insufficient infrastructure.

B.R.Kaushal, general secretary of the association, in a press note today said if the department was not fully equipped with the infrastructure, then what was the fun in making e-filing VAT returns compulsory for all traders and industrialists, who dealt outside Punjab.

Kaushal said it took at least 40-45 minutes for one return to be uploaded. "The department network goes out of order many times in a day while the website was taking lots of time in opening and uploading the returns. As if it was not enough, the department changes the format every quarter. On September 15, the department again changed the format of VAT 18-19-23-24", said Kaushal.

Members of the Tax Bar Association also questioned department officials on changing format so quickly. "First, the department must correct itself and educate the industrialists and traders", he said.



Depot holder held for selling kerosene in black
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 21
A ration depot holder has been arrested for selling kerosene meant for distribution under the public distribution system in the black market. The police was on a lookout for persons who had supplied Kerosene to the absconding owners of ‘Satti Halwai’ Firm engaged in manufacturing sweets for selling them in the wholesale market. The cops had along with 225 quintals of sugar had recovered 3,600 liters of kerosene kept in 18 drums from his godowns.

Suresh Kumar of Galib Ran Singh village was arrested and booked under Sections 420, 272 and 273 of the IPC, 16 of the FPA and 7 of the Essential Commodities Act. DSP Bhupinder Singh today maintained that the depot holders in fact supplied the recovered 3,600 liters of kerosene only. He said a witness reportedly informed the police that he had seen Suresh Kumar loading the oil at the godown of the accused sweetmeat seller. He also added that the remaining depot holders who had supplied the oil to him would soon be nabbed. There are at least 10 big shops of sweetmeat in the town. Almost all of these sweetmeat dealers use kerosene for manufacturing sweets.



Woman booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
The Division No. 5 police booked a woman for allegedly submitting a fabricated document in a court. The accused has been identified as Kamaljit Kaur, a resident of Model Gram.

MC officials lodged a complaint to the police 10 years ago that the woman was conducting illegal construction on a piece of land. The matter later reached the court where the woman allegedly submitted forged master plan of the house and got stay over it.

The accused, after getting stay orders on behalf of the document, resumed the construction work. The document was, however, found to be forged following a probe. The accused is absconding.



3 miscreants nabbed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 21
Drama was witnessed at the Jagraon Bridge this afternoon when a traffic cop inadvertently spotted three youths riding pillion and stopped them. They turned out to be miscreants. A large number of sharp-edged weapons were also seized from their possession.

The traffic cop indicated the youth to stop, but instead of stopping they tried to speed away on their vehicle.

The youth even took out weapons from a bag and attacked the cops, but the latter managed to overpower them.

They were handed over to the Division No. 2 police. The identity of the accused have no been disclosed as yet. Sources said the miscreants were notorious criminals and the police was on the lookout for nabbing these miscreants.



Two killed in accidents
Tribune News Service

Khanna, October 21
Two persons lost their lives in separate accidents here. In his complaint to the police, Balwinder Singh of Rasulra village said his brother Hans Raj was hit by a truck near Khanna Grain Market when he was walking towards his house. He was declared dead by doctors at the local Civil Hospital. A case against the unidentified truck driver has been registered.

In another accident that took place near Doraha, a resident of Khanna was crushed to death by a truck. The deceased, Tarsem Lal, was crossing a road when the truck crushed him and its driver fled from the spot with the vehicle. A case has been registered.



Money stolen from gurdwara
Tribune News Service

Machhiwara, October 21
Thieves took away money from the donation box (gollak) of historical Gurdwara Jhar Sahib, around 10 kilometres away from Machhiwara.

The theft came into light in the wee hours today. According to the head granthi, Jagtar Singh, thieves entered the gurdwara by breaking a window and broke all four locks of the gollak and took away the entire money.

The granthi, who came this morning, saw broken locks of the donation box and raised an alarm. Gurdwara officials searched the thieves but to no avail. The police has been informed about the incident and a case has been registered. Efforts were on to nab the thieves, said police officials.



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