L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC to outsource survey for property details
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 15
The MC has invited expression of interest for the survey of properties with a view to introducing error-free property assessments in the city.

The survey would not only help the house tax branch, but also the building branch of the civic body to keep a tab on the mushrooming illegal structures and constructions.

In an advertisement published in various newspapers today, the civic body has asked competent IT-based agencies and firms with an experience of surveying at least 1 lakh properties with an average minimum turnover of Rs 2 crore to send the proposal.

According to sources, the main objective behind the idea is to end public complaints of bias and reduce chances of human errors which creep in while computing house tax.

“Often MC employees are accused of pick and choose policy, but when everything is computerised, there would be no chance of such discrepancies and it would also reduce the intervention of politicians,” an official, requesting anonymity, said.

He said once the survey was completed and the scheme executed, the civic body would only be a click away for residents who wanted to know about their house tax arrears, etc. without having to visit the MC office. It would also reduce paper work.

Terming it as urban reform, the official added: “It’s a new concept for the city and us so we don’t have a broader idea about how things go on. The expression of interest would help us analyse how the system works.”

When building branch officials were asked about the survey, they said: “If such a survey is conducted and computerised images and details of building are formed by the agency, it would be of great help.

With limited staff and a wide network of constructions in the city, it’s not manually possible to keep a track of buildings. If satellite images are created through this project, it would help.”


In Doraha, development charges vary
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 15
In a major scam, the Doraha municipal council has incurred a loss of Rs 2.4 crore in two years by charging development fee from residents as per its wishes.

From April 2006 to June 2008, the council collected only Rs 24.66 lakh as revenue in the form of development fee, covering an area of 1,41,042 sq yards, while the figure should have been Rs 2.7 crore for the period if the residents were charged at the rate of Rs 192 per sq yard.

This was revealed in information obtained under the RTI by a resident, Tarlochan Singh Sethi. The council claims to have charged Rs 192 per sq yard as development fee from the residents from April 1, 2006, to June 30, 2009. Besides, there is no authorised colony in the area. However, the details revealed that the residents were charged development fee according to “whim and fancy” of council officials.

The disparity in development fee charged by the residents is so varied that it would astonish residents and also the local bodies department under which the municipal council works.

It has charged development fee from residents at the rate of Rs 2, Rs 3, Rs 4 and Rs 10 per sq yard in a majority of cases, causing a huge loss to the state exchequer. In some cases, development fee collected on the same day also varied.

This approach of the council has not only brought the civic body under scanner, but also the local bodies department which has failed to keep a check on it.

Talking to The Tribune, Sethi said: “The Doraha municipal council was not ready to divulge the details. I had sought information about development fee charged from various residents from April 1, 2006, to June 2009, but officials have failed to provide me with details of one year. The documents that I have received till date is also due to the intervention of the Punjab State Information Commission. The commission has asked the council to pay Rs 1,000 as penalty.”

He said more skeletons were expected to tumble out of the closet once he got information about the development fee from June 2008 to June 2009.



1 crore apply for 11,000 SBI clerical posts
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 15
About 1 crore unemployed youths have applied for 11,000 clerical posts of the State Bank of India (SBI) nationwide. The second test in the series was held today in which lakhs of candidates appeared. The last test would be held on November 22. The SBI had set up hundreds of centres across the country to accommodate the huge rush of candidates.

Talking to The Tribune, Tarun Sood, assistant general manager, SBI Region I, said it would be beneficial for the bank as the best would be picked up for such a large number of posts. As so many youths had applied this time, the bank had to conduct tests on three consecutive Sundays, starting from November 8.

“What is more surprising is that the trend has changed recently. Girls are dominating the scene today. I noticed that at certain centres only girl candidates were taking the examination. Working in banks has become easier, convenient and respectable,” he said.

A majority of candidates feel that if banks like the SBI provide a platform, it would be easier to get good offers from other banks/organisations. Also, clerks could be promoted after four years as per the policy of the bank. Last year too, the SBI had recruited about 12,000 youths for clerical posts. Prior to that, the recruitment had been made about a decade ago.



JE assaulted at Sahnewal; dies
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 15
In a shocking incident, a junior engineer (JE) with the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), who went to restore electricity at Dhanansu village, was thrashed by a man on entering the village last night. The JE, identified as Bhag Singh (46), succumbed to his injuries at the DMC Hospital here this morning.

According to the Sahnewal police, personal enmity is learnt to be the reason behind the killing. Inderjit Singh, SHO, said Bhag Singh, who recently built a house at Sahnewal, used to visit Balwinder Singh’s house at Dhanansu village.

Gurpreet Singh, who was a neighbour of Balwinder Singh, however, objected to his visits. The reason behind the objection was not yet clear, the SHO said.

It is learnt that Balwinder Singh and Gurpreet Singh were at loggerheads on the issue of frequent visits of Bhag Singh.

Sadhu Singh, brother-in-law of the victim and an eyewitness in the case, said Bhag Singh received a call from the Lakhowal grid last night, stating that a technical snag had occurred at Dhanansu village due to which the electricity supply to the village had been snapped.

The JE, along with Sadhu Singh, headed towards Dhanansu village. As the JE was busy fixing the snag, Gurpreet spotted him and attacked him with a stick on his head.

The sudden assault resulted in serious injury and Bhag Singh started bleeding profusely. In the meantime, Gurpreet Singh fled the scene.

Sadhu Singh, who was accompanying the victim, raised the alarm, following which villagers gathered at the spot and rushed him to hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries this morning.

The police has booked the accused for murder and has launched a hunt for him.



Punjab to be education hub, says Badal
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 15
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said that education was among the top priorities of the government and the objective was to provide high quality education to students.

“Punjab would be developed as an education hub and for this purpose, the government had set up two more universities,” he said.

He was talking at the annual function of Tagore Public School at Aggar Nagar here.

He said a world-class university was being set up at Amritsar and the ground work had been completed. A Central Government team had given the clearance and land had been identified.

Badal said a Central university had already been started at Bathinda and the Vice-Chancellor had been appointed. The university would offer courses in bio-sciences, environmental sciences and technology and comparative literature.

“Among other steps to provide quality and diverse education to enable the youth face emerging challenges, classes have been started at the IIT Ropar and action has been initiated for setting up an Indian institute of information technology (IIIT) in the state very soon for, which the Centre has given approval,” he said.

A knowledge city was being set up at Mohali district to impart education in nano technology and business administration. He said 13 degree colleges would be set up in backward districts of the state during the current year.

“In a bid to provide equal opportunities to children from the weaker sections, the government would set up Adarsh schools in each block of the state which would offer free education to poor, but brilliant students. Around 350 senior secondary school have been upgraded with provision for the required infrastructure and science laboratories.

Badal asked the managements of all private schools to provide 10 per cent reservation for poor and brilliant students so that they could have access to public schools and good education. He felicitated brilliant students and announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh for the school.



Rural sewage treatment plant inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Raikot, November 15
A Ludhiana village has got the first-ever rural sewage treatment plant working. Zila parishad chairman Manpreet Singh Ayali inaugurated the plant at Sarabha village yesterday.

The plant, a pilot project to see the viability of sewage treatment plants in the rural areas, has been developed at the cost of Rs 12 lakh. The amount has been funded by the zila parishad.

Ranjan Kumar, proprietor of the company behind the development of the project, said sewage would be treated in the plant biologically.

First, oily contents of the sewage will be separated and then the sewage will be transferred to tube settlers.

Once there, bacteria will be developed by creating aeration and it will consume the dirty part of the sewage and clean the water.

Through secondary cleaning, sludge bacteria will be recalled by supplying water and the clean water, after being passed through filter media and carbon media, will be released for irrigating fields.

Ayali said a water harvesting plant was also being developed there and a dried up portion of the village pond would be developed into a park for villagers.

He was accompanied by Ranjit Singh Talwandi, Raikot DSP Prithipal Singh, Dr Amarjit Singh, village sarpanch Paramjit Singh, Lakhvir Singh and Amandeep Singh Gill. Ayali later visited a five-day rural sports tournament being organised to mark the martyrdom of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha at the village and handed over a cheque for Rs 3.5 lakh for village development and an additional Rs 2 lakh for the face-lifting the first floor of the house of Kartar Singh Sarabha, which is in a shambles.



Govt must rethink forming exchanges for MSMEs: Chamber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 15
The Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry has asked the Prime Minister to implement the recommendations to take care of MSMEs at the earliest. However, on creating stock exchanges for SME sector in this regard, the chamber has urged the government to go through all its pros and cons as exchanges set-up earlier had been a disaster.

PD Sharma, president of the chamber, in a press statement today said the contribution of small businesses had been recognised the world over.

The sector was getting more symbolism than substance. Prime Minister had set up committees to suggest ways of resolving problems in the areas of credit, infrastructure, labour and marketing.

Sharma added that the chamber had sent proposals to the Prime Minister’s office in this regard. He pointed out that the Counter Exchange of India (OTCEI) was set up in 1989 but it flopped.

Similarly INDO-NEXT platform of the BSE was launched in 2005, which also tanked. Therefore, the issue of credit should not be drowned in dreamy proposals.

The RBI had finalised a scheme of trading in the mandatory lending obligations of banks. Priority Sector Lending Certificates (PSLCs) shall be issued under the scheme.

The chamber has written to the PMO that the scheme should not be accepted because banks will take the easy route by buying the PSLCs. It has also been recommended to the PMO that all public sector banks shall charge same rate of interest from their borrowers.

The panel on credit had recommended interest subsidy scheme for MSMEs. This was also not workable.

On the other hand, banks should be asked to charge interest from the MSMEs on the basis of new base rate recommended by committee to the RBI. Simultaneously, the interests for the MSMEs should not carry the burden of heavy risk weightage as borrowers of this sector offer collateral securities.

“Banks are forcing the small borrowers to have their rating done from rating agencies. This is making the process cumbersome with heavy burden by way of expenses incurred for getting the rating done,” said Sharma.

The committee on infrastructure has recommended that industrial plots should be reserved for the MSMEs.

To facilitate marketing, government departments should implement the price preference scheme for small industries. The policy vouches for 15 per cent of price preference to be given for small industries for any government purchase.

“This scheme is almost dying and needs Prime Minister’s support to revive it. Government departments give stress on maximum turnover conditions in their tenders. This should be waived off. Some percentage should be fixed for government purchase from the MSME sector,” stressed Sharma.



Rotary Club initiative to fight diarrhoea
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 15
Though the health and family welfare department of the Punjab government is yet to launch an organised movement to tackle diarrhoea, a major hindrance to the eradication of polio, members of Rotary Club (district 3090) comprising this region of the state, besides some parts of Haryana and Rajasthan, have started working on oral re-hydration therapy to rein in the menace. The parent organisation has agreed to supply zinc supplement along with the ORS.

According to Shubh Karan Gupta, past district governor, office-bearers of all units of the Rotary Club (district 3090) have been asked to coordinate with other government and non-government organisations to create awareness about taking zinc tablets along with ORT to boost the immunity of children and thereby reducing infant mortality.

He stressed that zinc was well tolerated by children with diarrhoea and had no side effects.

Thousands of children die every year due to diarrhoea in India. Punjab alone accounts for over 10,000 deaths every year due to diarrhoea.

Observing that diarrhoea was a major hindrance to eradicating the polio virus, Rotary members had decided to work closely with the government at the Centre and all states in spreading the awareness about zinc supplement.

Poor hygiene and lack of proper sanitation facilities were cited as other factors in spreading diarrhoea.

While the union government and some state governments, including Tamil Nadu, had chalked out plans to launch a crusade against the disease, health centres in the area were yet to receive directions about the project.

Residents of the area have urged the higher authorities, including chief minister and health minister, to coordinate with the NGO to enable beneficiaries receive free zinc tablets and the ORS.

Dr Ravinder Ravi, president of local unit of the club, said separate teams of doctors had been constituted, which would visit schools and slum area to spread awareness about the subject.



Over 2 lakh kids given polio drops
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 15
More than two lakh children were administered polio drops by a team of health officials and workers on the first day of the pulse polio campaign in Ludhiana district today.

The drive is part of the national polio eradication programme and would be carried out on November 16 and 17 also.

As many as 525 children were administered pulse polio drops at a camp organised at the clinic of the secretary of the National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA) under the community service project of the body.

Pens were given to children as a gift and parents were educated about health awareness and immunisation, besides patriotism.

At a camp held at Ambedkar Nagar, more than 1,200 children were given polio drops. Harish Rai Dhanda, chief parliamentary secretary, and Harbhajan Singh Dang, councillor, also joined the team of social activists led by Dr Surjit Singh and health superviser Jaspal Kaur in this regard.



Food Processing
Stress on developing technology for villages
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 15
The two-day national seminar in Hindi on the role of food processing in rural empowerment concluded at Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), PAU, here yesterday. Delegates from across the country participated in the seminar.

Five sessions on technologies on processing food/meat, packaging, storage, transfer of technology to masses were deliberated.

These were followed by question-answer sessions. The emphasis was laid on the fact that technologies should be developed to help people in the rural areas.

In his concluding remarks, CIPHET director RT Patil said difference in the rural areas could only be made when scientists made equal efforts to develop industry in villages by transferring technologies.

He said more entrepreneurship development programmes (EDP) should be developed in the rural areas.

“The department of agriculture of state governments should be empowered to transfer technologies related to agro industries rather than by department of industries as is the case in many states,” he suggested.

Dr Patil said they were also providing various facilities to farmers for processing of their crops at their institution.

Bachittar Singh, farmer from Deh Kalan village in Sangrur district, shared his experience of successfully establishing a soybean plant for producing various products.

He advised entrepreneurs to maintain the quality of their products.

Dr AK Singh, managing director (engineering), National Seeds Cooperation (NSC), suggested that coordination bodies should be formed at the ground level to help farmers.

CIPHET project coordinator (PHT) and seminar convener Dr SK Nanda presented the vote of thanks.



Tips for managing mealy bug
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 15
Mealy bug has emerged as a serious pest on cotton in recent years. During 2006, it appeared on cotton at the end of season in Punjab, while in 2007 it spread in the entire belt of cotton and caused heavy losses, this was stated by Dr AK Dhawan, head, department of entomology, adding that PAU has given a strategy for the management of the pest.

Dr Dhawan informed that for effective field implementation of the strategy, campaigns were intensified during the crop season.

The pest was managed and there was negligible damage to cotton crop during 2008, he said. He elaborated that the carryover of the pest from one season to another or during the season is mainly through weeds, particularly congress grass found along roads, wastelands and irrigation channels, etc.

He said during 2009, cotton crop was almost free from the pest till mid-September. Recent surveys have indicated that the mealy bug shifted from weeds to cotton crop, especially in Ferozepur, Muktsar, Mansa and Bathinda districts. He suggested the farmers to take all necessary steps to prevent carryover of the pest.

Dr Dhawan mentioned that if proper management steps were not taken in the off-season, mealy bug has the potential to damage in the following season, as the infested weeds and cotton sticks carryover the pest.

Emphasis should be to prevent the spread of mealy bugs from these sources, he said. He also laid stress on regular monitoring of the affected areas during off-season particularly on the weeds, cotton sticks and other host plants.

Farmers were provided with need-based technical information for the management of the pest at their doorstep in the adopted villages under IPM, highlighted Dr Dhawan.

He said the focus was to reduce the carryover of the pest by removing various hibernating sources.

Spraying the infested plants of cotton after last picking and dislodging the mealy bugs by shredding the infested sticks against ground and destroying the mealy bugs by burying in the soil are the options.

Farmers should not allow the movement of farm animals in infested fields. The cotton sticks are source of spread of the pest, therefore, prevent the movement of sticks from the infested areas to the new areas and stack the infested sticks separately and use these sticks on priority for fuel up to end of February.

Dr Dhawan said proper surveillance was important for timely management of the pest. He emphasised that for the successful implementation of IPM at village level, awareness among farmers and cooperation from village panchyats could play a crucial role for managing the pest problem efficiently.



Play on substance abuse at village
Rakesh Gupta

Jagraon, November 15
Under the anti-drug campaign, “Jago”, initiated by the SSP Ludhiana Rural, Harinder Singh Chahal, a seminar was organised at Sherpur Kalan village, near here, in collaboration with the district social security and the child development department of Punjab.

Baldev Singh Moga attended the seminar as the chief guest along with SP (H) Gurpreet Singh Toor. Artistes of Punjabi University, Patiala, staged a play “Mitti Rudan Kare” written by Baldev Singh Moga for the anti-drug campaign of the police.

The play depicted how a family is wrecked due to substance abuse by a family member. The play dwelt on the reasons and sought to explain a way out from the menace.

The presentation of the play was powerful and left an impact on the audience.

Students of Sherpur Kalan presented a skit “Nashian ton door raho” effectively and won the first prize.

A declamation contest on drug menace, female foeticide, dowry and other social evils was also held, in which more than a dozen schools of the area took part.

The speech of Bhupinder Singh of Government Senior Secondary School won the second prize. A poem recited by Manjit Kaur of Government School Sherpur Kalan got the third prize.

SP Toor said Punjab used to be on the top list of states in all fields, but now it wasn’t so, mainly due to the consumption of drugs by the youth.

Punjab used to have 80 per cent share in the Chandigarh police and Haryana had to settle only for 20 per cent, but now it was the opposite. “Our youth cannot match Haryana even in a 400-m race,” he added.

He sought the support of the public to cut the supply line to addicts and nab drug peddlers.



Four new police stations on the anvil
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khamano October 15
To curb crime more effectively and decrease burden on other police station, four new police stations are on the cards in Fatehgarh Sahib district.

According to police sources, the district police has identified four new police stations — Shamshpur, Badali Ala Singh, Chunni Kalan and City Mandi Gobindgarh.

A survey in this regard is being conducted in the district on the orders of senior police officials.

The move is aimed at decreasing the workload on older police stations and bringing villages of the district demarcated according to the new constituencies into their fold.

Already, seven police stations — Khamano, Bassi Pathana, Fatehgarh Sahib, Sirhind, Amloh, Mandi Gobindgarh and Mulepur — and eight police chowkis are in operation.

With four new police stations, the number of police stations in the district will go up to 11.

Also, the Punjab government is planning to bring one constituency under one DSP and bring police stations of the constituency under this office.

If this formula is put into practice, the post of Khamano sub-division DSP may be abolished because according to the new constituency system, Khamano has been attached with Bassi Pathana and there is already a DSP office at Bassi Pathana.

If the post of Khamano DSP is abolished then people of 72 villages of the Khamano sub-division will have to face inconvenience while getting their official works done.

Bassi Pathana is around 20 km from Khamano and people have to travel a long distance to get their official works done.

With the induction of four new police stations, four SHOs may be adjusted. However, the district is already facing shortage of staff.

Fatehgarh Sahib SSP Dr Kaustubh Sharma confirmed that the district police was conducting a survey for the creation of new police stations but their place would be decided once the survey was over and report was sent to the government and the police department.



Lecturer’s Appointment
Khalsa college gets notice
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 15
BJP state investor cell chief Sukhminderpal Singh Grewal has served legal notices on the principal of the Khalsa College for Women, management members and the Panjab University selection committee for violating UGC and Panjab University norms in the selection of a business management lecturer.

The notices were served under Sections 465, 467, 468, 471, 120-B, 166 and 167 of the IPC.

The members of the Panjab University selection committee who have been issued the notices are Emanual (nominee VC) and AK Sehajpal and Dr Karamjeet Singh (subject experts).

Grewal, in a written complaint to The Tribune today, stated that Pooja who was working as an ad hoc lecturer at the college was given preference over more qualified candidates who appeared for the interview.

The post was advertised on March 15 and applications were invited from eligible candidates as per qualifications/conditions prescribed by the UGC, state government and Panjab University. However, only a few candidates were called for the interview and the college principal recommended Pooja’s name to the selection committee, thereby “manipulating” the appointment, he alleged.

Grewal had submitted an application under the RTI Act, requesting the college authorities to provide the list of candidates called for the interview, remarks of the panelists and the selection criteria. The request was forwarded to the college by the Dean, College Developmental Council, Panjab University, but the college did not do anything about it.

However, Dr Varinder Kaur Thind, principal of the Khalsa College for Women, denied the charges, stating that the college had nothing to do with the selection. “The selection was made by the selection committee of the university, with the Vice-Chancellor’s nominee and two subject experts on the panel,” he said. Also, the college had given all the relevant information sought under the RTI, he maintained.



Children’s Day
Jail authorities spring a surprise for kids
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 15
Children living in the women jail along with their mothers, undergoing jail term for various offences, were in for a surprise when the jail authorities made special arrangement and decked up a barrack to celebrate Children’s Day yesterday.

Currently, 18 children, all aged between two and eight, are lodged in the women jail and are under the custody of their mothers.

Woman jail superintendent DS Bhatti said: “We celebrate the day every year but this time we decided to make it a memorable affair. The children lodged in the jail along with their mothers have restricted means of recreation, so we decided to contribute for such children who are forced to undergo jail term along with their mother.” The children were seen zealous as they savoured patties and pastries on the occasion.

The joy of Khushi, one such child, knew no bounds as she ran around the cell with a flute in her mouth.

Hema, the mother of Khushi, said: “I thank the jail authorities for celebrating the day. I have seen some pleasant moment after a long time.”

Interestingly, no one knew the real spirit behind the observance of the day.

Suraj (7) said: “Who cares whose birthday fall on this day, but I am enjoying a lot with my friends.”

After the party, they were educated about the spirit behind celebrating Children’s Day.



From Schools
‘Edu Fiesta 2009’ at Sacred Heart
‘Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 15
Creativity and talent was at its zenith at Sacred Heart Convent School as it bustled with activity during their annual exhibition today.

The educational fair is marked by in-house projects, awareness campaigns, counselling sessions, win-win corner and gourmet.

Students of the primary wing exhibited their talent through a “World of fantasia” depicting dolls of different nations and their childhood playmates.

In another display, visitors and parents were encouraged to conserve water and follow the traffic rules with students giving out messages to save the planet.

The language department had their novel way of exhibiting their talent through literary lane (English), “sahitya parnaali” (Hindi) and “sadda virsa” (Punjabi).

Each department staged their literary works through enactment and performance.

The “decimal point” (mathematics) was an eye opener to parents. Around 20 activities were conducted to show how mathematics formed the basis of life.

“Science of living”, “miracle called nature”, “dance canvas”, “items of waste” were the other highlights of the day.

Dental camp

A medical, dental and routine check-up camp of kids was organised at Kiddies’ Paradise School, Kochar Market.

Dr Ashima and Dr Harleen Kaur examined the kids and gave them tips for strong and healthy teeth.

The camp was organised to create awareness among children to avoid junk food, sweets and chocolates as they decayed teeth.

Dr Harleen also highlighted the right way to brush and take care of teeth.

Chairperson Parvjit Singh Bal highlighted the importance of dental and routine check-up in which height and weight of the child were also recorded.

Tooth brushes and pastes were also given to the children to encourage them to keep their teeth healthy and clean.

School director Randhir Singh thanked Dr Ashima and Dr Harleen.



NGO runs campaign to adopt slum children
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 15
Giving the slogan of “Ek bacha apnao desh khushhaal banao” (adopt one child and make the country a better place), Nobel Foundation, an NGO, launched an education project for slum children at Bihari Colony here yesterday.

Out of 196 children adopted during the function, 100 were adopted by DAV Public School, 80 by Eastman Industries followed by eight each by MLA Jassi Khangura and builder Chamal Lal Chatley.

Principal DAV School RS Patial said he would plan a visit for DAV students to slum schools.

As many as 210 children are studying in five primary schools set up by the NGO in various slums with 20 teachers. The slogan is a call for philanthropists to come forward with the annual sponsorship of Rs 1,500 for the education of one child. The NGO has called upon people to celebrate their birthdays and anniversaries by sponsoring a child’s education. Abiding by the motto of eradicating illiteracy, the NGO planned to set up 25 schools in the state in the next two years with a view to dispensing education to 5,000 slum children.

Medical facilities free of cost to these children would be the next step, he added.



Awareness rally on social evils
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 15
To aware residents about deleterious affects of social evils, including illiteracy, dowry and drug addiction, students of Government Senior Secondary School, Kothala, led by their principal and teachers organised an awareness rally at the village and in the surrounding areas yesterday.

The rally, organised under the Adult Education Programme (AEP), was supervised by principal S Singh and school’s Red Ribbon Club convener Satinder Kaur Bedi.

Addressing the participants on conclusion of the rally, they urged residents to associate themselves with the crusade against social evils and diseases like AIDS.

Instead of considering the issue a taboo, parents should impart basic knowledge to their children and encourage them to learn more from their teachers.

“Studies have proved that ignorance about the subject had resulted in proliferation of the evil. Had we taken preventive measure boldly, the situation could have saved from being explosive,” said Singh and Bedi.

Earlier, members of the club marched through Kothala and surrounding villages to raise awareness on the hazardous effects of AIDS.

Besides carrying banners, they raised slogans. Students prepared charts, highlighting various aspects of adult education.



Anand gets award for Hindi play
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 15
Noted Hindi writer and prominent city-based educationist ML Anand has been selected for the Mohan Rakesh Puraskar by the language department, Punjab, for his Hindi play “Asmanjas”, which has been adjudged the best Hindi play of 2008.

Anand had earlier received the same award for his play “Kangaal” in 2000, “Pashan” in 2002 and again for “Kaal Chakra” in 2006.

A writer of compassion and revolt, Anand has many other acclaimed books, including “Daerey and Tarangini” (poetry), “Padmini” (full length play), “Asmita” (one-act play) and “Battle of Grades” (a heroic struggle of the college teachers of Punjab and Haryana for UGC grades).

A crusader, Anand had successfully led the “Battle of Grades” of the college teachers of Punjab and Haryana in 1967 which was considered historic in the annals of college teachers’ movements in the country.

An educationist and literary figure of repute, he has a long association with Panjab University as a member of senate, the syndicate, the academic council, dean languages and dean colleges, besides member of the board of studies in Hindi for over 30 years.

He has also served as a member of the syndicate and academic council of Gurukul Kangri University, Haridwar, the Punjab State University Text Book Board and president of the Bhartiya Sahitya Parishad.

His latest creation — Asmanjas — has six one-act plays portraying in them agony, misery and injustice being meted out to women in India posing a big question if it was a crime to be a daughter.



Placement drive for engg students
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 15
RIMT-Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET), Mandi Gobindgarh, hosted a campus placement drive by New Delhi-based Oriental Structural Engineers (OSE) for BTech civil engineering students passing out in 2010.

Chairman of RIMT Group, Hukam Chand Bansal, welcomed Rajesh Yadav, vice-president, and Parijat Kumar Mondal, general manager technical.

Number of IT and core engineering companies are visiting RIMT to hire good talent from the region.

Dr Harsh Sadawarti, principal of the college, said civil engineering students would be hired as graduate engineer trainee. Students from Desh Bhagat Engineering College and Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College also participated in the drive.

Recruitment process comprised of company presentation, group discussion and personal interview, result of which will be declared in next two weeks, said the company official.



Healthy baby contest

Ludhiana, November 15
The Indian Academy of Paediatrics, Ludhiana district branch, organised a healthy baby contest at Rotary Bhawan here today. The tiny tots were dressed colourfully for the occasion. More than 300 children participated in the contest.

The competition was organised in five groups ranging between the age group of 0 and 5 years. The selection of the healthy baby was based on physical and mental growth, vaccination, general appearance of the child, cleanliness and hygiene and the parents’ knowledge about childcare. — TNS



Meeting to chalk out proposed dharna
Our Correspondent

Amloh, November 15
A meeting of the Government Teachers Union of Fatehgarh Sahib district, chaired by its state vice-president Balbir Singh Ghuman, was held here today.

Duties were assigned to activists to take part in a state-level dharna on November 18 at the office of the Director General School Education (DGSE) in Sector 34, Chandigarh.

It was alleged that teachers had been made to maintain account of mid-day meal, make purchases, supervise meal preparation, count and maintain utensils, collect post, maintain stock and store of eatables and accounts and registers.

They alleged that medical bills had been lying pending for long periods. Teachers had been forced to approach courts to get justice, they added.

The union demanded the appointment of educationists as directors of different wings of the department as per seniority.

The union also demanded high-level inquiry into the death of a computer teacher at the DGSE office.



PSHRC notice to MC on debris
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 15
With the MC failing to keep the city free of debris, residents have started complaining to the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) in this regard.

Irked over the poor response of the civic body to cleanliness, Prof RL Joshi, a senior citizen, has complained to the PSHRC that neither the district administration nor the MC has acted against the offenders.

In his complaint, he stated that it was very difficult to live amid heaps of debris. Even in posh areas like Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, BRS Nagar, Sarabha Nagar, Model Town and Jawahar Nagar Camp, the condition was the same. Stray animals often wandered around these heaps, resulting in the spread of diseases.

The PSHRC has sought an answer from the Ludhiana MC in this connection and a hearing is scheduled for December 16. Prof Joshi said if things were not corrected now, it would take an ugly turn.



Filing of VAT returns
Hosiery units for extension of deadline
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 15
The Knitwear Club has pleaded with the Punjab government to extend the last date for submission of forms “C” and “H” with annual VAT returns for the financial year 2008-09 from November 20, 2009 to June 30, 2010.

In a letter to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, club president Vinod K Thapar said form “C” was not available in sufficient numbers in many states and those manufacturing or trading units making inter-state deals were finding it difficult to procure these forms that had to be submitted along with the annual VAT return by November 20, the last date fixed for the purpose.

Thapar further pointed out in the communication that non-availability of form “C” in adequate quantity was also standing in the way of filing quarterly claims for VAT refunds.

“Due to the form ‘C’ not being available, registered dealers are unable to file claims for VAT refunds in time with the result that the disposal of these claims is further delayed.”

He urged the state government to make provisions for filing of VAT refunds without forms “C” and “H”, which was mandatory as of now.



Decision on service tax hailed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 15
The Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India (FOTSII) has welcomed the withdrawal of service tax on electroplating, zinc plating and heat treatment, etc.

In a press statement yesterday, FOTSII president Joginder Kumar said the government had acceded to their request by issuing a notification on November 12, 2009 that specified industry, including electroplating, zinc plating, anodising, heat treatment, power coating, painting, etc. not to pay service tax (up to Rs 1.5 cr). “After five years, they have accepted the demand. Till March 31, 2009, units with turnover of upto Rs 63 lakh will not be required to pay the tax,” said Joginder Kumar. Members of the Ludhiana Focal Point Association, Phase IV A, have also welcomed the decision.



Youth killed by father, brother
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, November 15
A youth was allegedly killed by his own father and brother over the former’s refusal to give money to the two to buy liquor on Friday morning.

The incident occurred in the Moti Bagh area here around 1 am when the accused, Chotte Lal, and his elder son, Ashok Kumar, demanded money from Chotte Lal’s younger son, Santu, to buy more liquor.

Santu (24) was unmarried and used to live with the two. The family hailed from Rupa Tola village in Chiar district of Bihar.

The accused were alcoholics and used to spend their earnings on liquor.

The two had an altercation over the issue with Santu and under the influence of liquor stabbed the latter twice in the chest, killing him on the spot. The accused, taking the advantage of the cover of darkness, fled the scene. Jagraon DSP Bhupinder Singh and SHO Pawanjit along with Balwant Singh reached the scene.

The police has registered a case of homicide under Sections 302 and 34, IPC. The police today arrested Ashok Kumar when he was planning to flee from the area.



Sukhbir to distribute sports kits today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 15
In a major impetus to attract the young generation towards sports, the state government has increased the number of sports wing seats in the educational institutions.

It has admitted at least 3,925 players in schools and colleges during 2009-10. This number was just 350 in 2005-06.

Stating this at a press conference at Guru Nanak Stadium here today, Padma Shree awardee and sports director, Punjab, Pargat Singh said the department would distribute sports equipment amounting Rs one crore to promising and budding sportspersons who had been given admission to sports wings being run across the state.

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal will distribute the equipment at a function to be organised at Punjab Agricultural University on Monday.

“Players of different disciplines, including athletics, basketball, boxing, badminton, equestrian, football, gymnastics, hockey, handball, judo, kabaddi, swimming, table tennis, volleyball, weightlifting and wrestling would be benefited.

“Each player would be provided with a track suit, a pair of shoes, playing kit and a kit bag, besides sports equipment of his or her game,” he added.

He further disclosed that the diet money of residential players had been doubled from Rs 60 to Rs 120 and the facility for the non-residential players had been increased from Rs 30 to Rs 60 from the current session.

Pargat Singh said the sports department had also made concerted efforts to revive hockey and to broad-base the game, a Punjab hockey league was introduced for boys as well as girls from 2007-08 in various age groups. Around 2500 players represented around 250 hockey teams in it.

“This year’s edition of hockey league would be inaugurated by Sukhbir Badal tomorrow. Matches in the under-14, 17 and 19 categories in the boy’s section and under-15 and above-15 categories in the girl’s section would be organised during the league,” said Pargat Singh.

The participants in the league would be reimbursed travel expenses in addition to diet charges, besides being given sports kit and other equipment.

Assistant director, sports, Punjab SL Lotey along with deputy director, sports (Jalandhar zone), Hazari Lal Sharma, Punjab Basketball Association general secretary Teja Singh Dhaliwal, district sports officer, Ludhiana, Jagir Nahar, Punjab Swimming Association general secretary Balraj Sharma, senior football coach Jaspal Singh, former NIS director Dr S Subramanian and coaches of the sports department were present.



New astroturf for PAU
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 15
The long wait by hockey players for an astroturf at Pirthipal Singh Stadium at the PAU would soon be over. According to sources, Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal would announce a new synthetic track for the stadium during a function to be organised to distribute sports kits among players.

It is learnt that the sports department had chosen the hockey stadium for the distribution of sports equipment to acquaint Sukhbir with the plight of the stadium. Efforts were made to restore the mat, but those failed to meet the desired result.

All the formalities in this regard have been completed and the worn out mat would be replaced and the synthetic mat would be laid at two villages where hockey was popular.

“A new astroturf is needed and has been the long-pending demand of hockey players. We have only one hockey stadium in the city and most of the matches of national repute are played here. The hockey players have been complaining that due to the worn out condition of the mat, the track has become slippery, which could cause injuries to the players,” Hardeep Singh, a hockey Olympian, stated.

The sources in the sports department said the state was soon going to host a four-nation women hockey tournament. It is learnt that the city has been shortlisted as one of the venues for the tournament. The new astroturf is mandatory to host such a tournament.



Table Tennis
Double delight for Yashi
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 15
Yashi, an eight-year-old student of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Udham Singh Nagar, stole the limelight clinching two titles in the Ludhiana District Table Tennis Championship which concluded at Shastri Hall here today. She bagged the top honours in the cadet girl’s singles and sub-junior girl’s sections to stamp her superiority.

In the cadet girl’s final, she faced a little resistance from her rival, Tania Munjal, whom she outperformed in straight sets 11-8, 11-5 and 11-4 and in the sub-junior girl’s category, Yashi overpowered her elder sister, Dhriti, to win her second title.

Yashi wrapped up the first two sets at 11-8 and 11-9 but went down 7-11 and 8-11 to squander away the lead. However, in the fifth set, Yashi managed to keep her composure at crucial junctures which helped her win 11-7 and also fetched the title.

In the cadet boy’s final, Jashandeep Singh, defeated Harnoor Singh 11-9, 11-8, 7-11 and 11-5 to lay his hands on to the winner’s trophy.

Shung Ming of Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, fought it tooth and nail to outplay Raghav Jindal 11-8, 11-5, 12-14, 9-11 and 11-8 to emerge as champion in the sub-junior boy’s section.

In the junior section (girls), Kirti Aggarwal beat Shipika 11-8, 11-7 and 11-4 while in the boy’s section, Ankush prevailed over Shung Ming 11-4, 9-11, 11-8 and 11-5 to romp home as champions.

In the youth girl’s section, Nirdosh beat Kirti Aggarwal 11-7, 11-9 and 11-5 to emerge as victor and in the boy’s final, Manpreet squeezed past Dharminder 11-9, 7-11, 11-8 and 13-11.

In the women’s final, Nirdosh outwitted Kirti Aggarwal 11-7, 11-5 and 11-8 while Bhavuk of Alpine International School got the better of Dharminder 11-8, 7-11, 9-11, 11-6 and 11-8 to emerge as champion in the men’s section.

SS Mand, SSP, Vigilance, Ludhiana, gave away the prizes to the winners.



Dhudike college emerge hockey champs
Hathoor lads claim kabaddi title

Our Correspondent

Sarabha (Raikot), November 15
A five-day rural sports festival to mark the martyrdom of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha is being organised by the Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Sports Club at Sarabha village.

The tournament, which will conclude tomorrow, is witnessing teams of kabaddi, hockey, football from the state in action besides bullock cart races and dogs races.

In hockey, North West College of Engineering, Dhudike, emerged champion by defeating EME Jalandhar 4-3 in a tie-breaker.

Earlier, the Dhudike team had defeated Hargobind Club Sudhar 2-0 in the semifinal.

Similarly, EME Jalandhar had had entered the final by defeating Signal Corps, Jalandhar, 3-1.

In football, Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Sports Club entered the final by defeating Sikh National College, Banga, 2-1. It will clash for the title with GHG Khalsa College, Sudhar, who made it to the final by defeating Singh Sabha Sports Club, Kot Fathuhi, 2-1.

In kabaddi, Hathoor village team emerged champions by defeating Jadhan village team.

Hathoor had entered final by defeating Sarabha village while Jodhan village had entered the final defeating Jalaldiwal village.

A galaxy of politicians, including Parkash Singh Badal, Manpreet Singh Ayali, Santa Singh Umaidpuri, Jagdish Singh Garcha, Ranjit Singh Talwandi, Maan Singh Garcha and others attended the tournament to encourage players.



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