L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Sprawling VIP houses no more
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 18
If a housing scheme for senior police officers, formulated by GLADA at the instance of the Punjab government, is any indication, sprawling houses -- reminiscent of colonial times -- occupied by the SSP and the SPs here would be a thing of the past.

Faced with a resource crunch and desperate to raise funds through the sale of government land and properties for development projects and other purposes, the government has decided that the SSP and SPs would be shifted to duplex apartments, proposed to be constructed at the site of the present SSP’s residence which is spread over 4.5 acres in a prime commercial and residential area.

Officials in the engineering wing of GLADA said one acre from the premises of the SSP’s residence had already been transferred to the optimum use of vacant government land scheme (OUVGLS) which would later be utilised for commercial purposes.

In the remaining area, one residence for the SSP and eight duplex apartments would be constructed for SPs at a cost of around Rs 3.23 crore.

“GLADA has already floated tenders for the project, which would be received from eligible agencies until November 26 and opened the next day. The work is stipulated to be completed within 10 months, which means that the apartments would be ready for occupation during the last quarter of next year,” GLADA officials stated.

On the proposed commercial utilisation of the land transferred to the OUVGLS, they said a decision would be taken in due course to the mode of disposal of the land and whether the land was to be sold as a single unit or in small blocks.

The price of the land would depend on the revival of the real estate market, but going by conservative estimates, it would enrich the exchequer by more than Rs 50 crore.


Rail overbridge thrown open despite major flaws
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
Ignoring serious technical shortcomings in the Rs 60-crore Lakkar Bridge, mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura inaugurated the railway overbridge here today with Ludhiana Improvement Trust chairman Ashok Juneja present on the occasion.

The project’s biggest drawback - not integrating the overbridge with the elevated road - has been simply overlooked by municipal corporation officials on the advice of the public works department despite the fact that the consultant firm, RITES, had earlier said it was possible.

Documents available with The Tribune reveal that in a letter (no 1361/SE (A), dated March 17, 2005) the project officer at the time had clearly stated: “It is recommended that RITES may be allowed to execute the project design.” However, the present MC officials in connivance with the PWD gave their nod to an old rail overbridge design that is expected to worsen traffic congestion, thus wasting the Rs 60 crore being invested.

Talking to The Tribune, Hitender Jain of Resurgence India, on whose petition the high court had directed the civic body to begin the project, said: “The construction of the railway overbridge with all its technical flaws, clearly visible even to a layman, speaks volumes about the myopic vision of the authorities. It will not only mean a sheer wastage of public funds but is also bound to result in myriad miseries for city residents.”

“We have already moved the high court for integrating the proposed overbridge with the elevated road and for construction of a rotary for two-way traffic”, Jain added.

Meanwhile, various social activists in the city also criticised the MC’s move and urged city residents to raise their voices against the project that they said would prove to be just a futile exercise.

Said Surinder Pal, a lawyer: “The MC officials are playing with the lives of people by constructing this bridge. The rail overbridge, which will make things worse near Bhadaur House, has again brought to the fore the civic body’s technical failures.”

Similarly, SS Channa, a retired IFS officer, termed the project as a “bane” for residents. “The MC officials blatantly overlooked such an important aspect as connecting the elevated road with the Lakkar bridge and as such the project will be of no use. Responsibility for this lapse should be fixed - no one has the right to waste taxpayers’ hard earned money on such flawed projects”.

RTI activist Kuldeep Khaira and social activist Atul Soni questioned the civic body’s wisdom in approving the present design for the project. “Wasting such a huge amount of money on a futile exercise like the present rail overbridge shows how serious MC officials and politicians are in speeding up the city’s development.” He added people should raise their voices against the project.

Another city activist, Varinder Bhakoo of Citizen for Public Cause, said, “Our NGO had filed two PILs on the matter but they were disposed of without being heard. It was only after the Punjab & Haryana High Court directed the civic body to get started on the project that the latter sprang into action. However the officials here are not ready to change - they undertook the project without bothering about its feasibility.”



Media bashing does it 
Operation Demolition moves on
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
Irked over media bashing for suspending the demolition drive for two days, the MC today restarted the campaign and did not even spare politicians.

The demolition squad, along with a police party, removed shelters, staircases, footpaths, boards, etc. erected by shopkeepers from Janakpuri to Sufian Chowk in B-zone. Around 250 encroachments were removed today. The MC officials were determined and demolished an encroachment by BJP MLA Harish Bedi. The drive was carried out under the guidance of MTP Hemant Batra who was firm with encroachers.

Though a minor protest was witnessed by the MC officials in the beginning of the drive this morning, with shopkeepers pleading for more time and stating that encroachments should be removed from other areas first, the squad tackled it with the help of the police.

The tehbazari wing of the civic body also removed temporary encroachments. According to sources, Zonal Commissioner MS Jaggi had given a free hand to the town planning wing to continue with its work without any interference that led to success. The MC officials termed today’s drive as a befitting answer to political pressure.

A senior official said: “Things are moving in the right direction as several encroachers have started demolishing their illegal structures on their own. It’s a victory for the MC that the public has started extending its support and Ludhiana would surely develop if some time is given. We are committed to bringing about a change and residents would soon feel it.”

At the end of the six-hour drive, the road appeared wider. A resident, Subhash Sharma, remarked: “It used to take me around 20 to 30 minutes to cross the road stretch during lunch time, but the road appears wider today.”



Central pollution board officials in city
To take samples from Budda Nullah, treatment plants
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
A team of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), along with Punjab Pollution Control Board officials, today took samples from various stretches of Budda Nullah. Led by a senior officer from the CPCB, AK Sinha, the team is expected to take samples from sewerage treatment plants (STPs) and 17 dyeing industrial units, which were accused of polluting the nullah.

A dyeing industry owner, on condition of anonymity, said the team had visited several units to collect the samples. “Some officials had come to my premises and collected water discharge sample. We hope they will submit the report in a fair manner. All 17 dyeing units, against whom the PPCB had issued instructions of closure a few months ago, had requested the CM to let the samples be collected by officials from the CPCB. We are ready to adhere to the norms set by the CPCB,” he said.

The dyeing units had been accused of not following the guidelines of the PPCB. As a result, the board had ordered the power supply to the units to be disconnected and the dyeing industry went on a strike in August against the order.

The strike was called off only after the intervention of the CM and a period of three months (up to November 25) was given to the units to follow the directions.

An official with the PPCB said even they were not aware of the purpose of today’s visit. “We tried to get the details, but nobody is ready to disclose anything at the moment,” he added.



Mickey Mouse turns 70
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
Mickey Mouse was everywhere today … walls, cake, tattoos, bouncy or candies ... and why not, it has been the all-time favourite cartoon character of children the world over and it was his 70th birthday today.

Disneyland seems to have descended on Mother’s Pride at New Lajpat Nagar as little Spider Man, Pooh, Tom and Jerry, and scores of other cartoon characters danced with glee with teachers who also dressed up as Disney characters to celebrate the day.

With a huge Mickey Mouse bouncy welcoming the children at the school entrance and teachers greeting the little ones with Mickey ears, everyone was in a gay mood as they cut a Mickey cake.

School director Shibhan Soi said celebrating Mickey Mouse’s birthday was an endeavour undertaken at the national level by Mother’s Pride chain of schools and the day was being celebrated simultaneously in all 33 branches of the schools.

“The idea was conceived by our chairperson Sudha Gupta with a view to giving kids a feel of Mickey Mouse, who has been ruling the hearts of millions of kids across the globe since the past 70 years,” said Soi, who was an active participant in the celebrations.

The day ended on a happy note, with kids returning home with Mickey goodies.



IT department cautions against bogus websites 
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
Some unscrupulous elements are soliciting details related to credit and ATM cards on the Internet in the name of crediting the pending income tax refund.

The income tax department has cautioned the public against some private websites which are seeking the details of credit cards, CVV and PIN of ATMs and other personal details of tax payers in the name of crediting the income tax refund.

Tejinder Singh, an income tax payer, said a few days ago he came across a website which claimed to get the pending tax refund within 15 days and sought details of the credit cards and also PIN of the ATM.

“When I contacted my lawyer he asked me not to give any details as it was a fraudulent website. One should never disclose such confidential details on the net,” he said.

Prajna Paramita, Assistant Commissioner (IT) said the department did not seek such details online. “The details of the tax payers or deductors are obtained by the income tax department either electronically or in paper form as per the prescribed procedures and by the prescribed authorities at the time of the filing of the return,” he said.

“The department never asks for such details on the Internet. Any website asking for such details and giving assurance for crediting the income tax return in a stipulated time are fake,” Ranjeet Singh, a lawyer, stated.



Waterlogged street a bane of residents
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, November 18
The Doraha municipal committee has virtually abandoned the idea of dealing with a waterlogged street adjoining Mangat Dental Clinic here.

The area residents, who have submitted memorandum to the committee several times during the past four years, complain that sanitary employees are least bothered about the removal of water from the street, let alone finding a permanent solution to the problem.

They rue that the stagnant water has been a source of nuisance to them as it has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other flies, posing a real threat of epidemic in the area.

The stagnant water has not only made the life of commuters and residents miserable but also posed a serious health hazard, exposing residents to numerous water-borne diseases.

In spite of the threat of dengue looming large, the authorities failed to clear the water during the monsoon even as foul smell enveloped the area. With winter round the corner, things seem to stay that way.

A resident said the authority had failed to come to their rescue for the past over three years.

“And all this, in spite of the street serving as the only passage of entry or exit for residents. Residents cannot move in or out of the area without a vehicle due to waterlogging. Moreover, there is a risk of sewage mixing with drinking water as the sewerage system and water pipes run under the street,” they rue.

Dr Sukhpal Singh Mangat of Mangat Dental Clinic, who is the worst hit by the choked street, says he has highlighted the problem to the committee several times but to no avail.

He says the water not only emits foul smell but also acts as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

“A majority of residents, whose houses have lower plinth level, have objected to the raising of plinth level of new houses as their houses will face permanent waterlogging,” adds Dr Mangat.

“Also, the drain that runs along the street is seldom cleaned and water gathers in no time during rain,” said another resident.



At The Crossroads
Recollection of days past 

What happens when a person refuses to reconcile himself with his old age? Not that he has yet to realise his dreams of earlier times. It is, in reality, something that had been abandoned long ago.

Now he is eager to walk abreast with the times, changing constantly. He knows that he is a replica of old age but he does not want to lose himself in the mist of recollections of the days past. For him the sun never sets without making the promise of an early rise. Then the things start moving, particularly when the sparrows sing the songs of eternity. It is the renewal of faith in the march of time that never halts. In view of this endless continuity of life after death, Ali Sardar Jafri said:

But I shall come back here again

I shall speak the language of children

And I shall sing the songs of sparrows.

Life is, in fact, a relay race between teams of runners where each member of the team in turn covers part of the total distance. The victory is not individual but collective. In earlier times, and to some extent even now, the eldest poet recited his ghazal last of all in a mushaira. Sometimes it became difficult for the compére to decide who deserved the honour of reciting his ghazal last of all. Personally I used to be in a dilemma when Josh Malsiani and Mela Ram Wafa were present on the stage. At long last, Josh used to be the last as Wafa had no ego problem.

The modern poets, however, have tried to discard this tradition. Once Firaq Gorakhpuri recited his ghazal last of all in a mushaira but the function did not end there, as was customary. The compére asked Firaq Sahib, of course hesitatingly, if a budding poet Zubair Rizvi could recite his poem after him. As was his habit, Firaq gave his permission jokingly -- "If he can take birth after me, why can't he come on the stage after me."

Some persons try to be informal with the casual acquaintances, which is mostly resented. The tendency is to disarm others and establish some sort of supremacy over them. Likewise, the method of patronising the younger generation does more harm than good in the long run. During my teaching career in the colleges, I observed that some colleagues of mine addressed their students with the appellation of beta or beti. This method is popular in schools where the students are of tender age. But the undergraduates, and especially the postgraduates, are quite grown up and to treat them as one's kith and kin is not appreciable. This attitude takes away the elegance of relationship that exists between the teacher and the taught.

I am reminded of my own students who scaled such heights as I could never imagine in my own case. Still, inwardly I felt as if I had achieved those laurels. The principal of a mahavidyalya in Jalandhar, who was my student in the years 1963 and 1967, congratulated me on my receiving Sahitya Akademi Award with the words - "I am proud of you." In return I said, "I am doubly honoured as your excellence in the field of education is also a reward for me."

Another such case is also fresh in my mind. The Principal of a local girls college who happened to be in my class in Phagwara in the year 1962 always paid me due regards whenever I was invited to that college during the course of 24 years. On my part I always addressed her as "Principal Sahiba". A bell used to ring enchantingly in my mind whenever I spoke those words.

As a rule, I eliminate the difference of years when I meet the younger persons. I try to be on the same pedestal so as to feel active and buoyant. Even garlanding a younger talented person uplifts my spirits. I have no reservations in this regard about my own status, if any.

There was a time when my son introduced himself to others as the son of so and so to identify himself. But now, in this mega city, I introduce myself at times as the father of so and so and feel elated. The main reason, of course, is that a doctor is better known than a mere scribbler who had been a college lecturer.

— NS Tasneem



City Concerns 
Lake along Sutlej river better option

The Sidhwan canal does not appear to be suitable for recreational activities like boating. The bridges are too low for boats to go under them and the canal is not flowing with water throughout the year.

On the other hand, why not create a water body akin to a lake along the Sutlej river? By constructing proper embankments and barrages water can be stored in part of the river by excavating sand from the river bed, which can be sold to fund the creation of an artificial lake. This would leave enough space for the river to flow also. Activities like boating, fishing and even rowing could be held there. The lake would also be a sanctuary for migratory birds in winter. I’m sure it could turn out to be best possible tourist spot not only for the residents but also tourists. 


Allow pvt promoters to cover canal area

If the government is really interested in tapping the vast possibilities for putting the Sidhwa canal to constructive use, then a lot needs to be done. First of all the local administration should strictly apply the high court’s order to keep the canal clean. Stern action should be taken against those who violate the order, including heavy fines and even imprisonment, to keep the canal water clean. As a four-lane expressway is planned to come up along the canal it becomes more important to beautify the stretch. In my view the government should introduce a canal development scheme under which adjoining areas of every canal bridge from Issewal to Doraha should have a special attraction for tourists as well as city residents. The project can be a public-private sector partnership.

The government should allow private promoters to cover the canal area, which can then be allotted to them on the condition that they would have to beautify the canal side. They should then develop facilities like picnic spots, restaurants and sports clubs in the area allotted to them. 

Parminder Singh

Organised recreational activity needed

Use of canal or river banks in the city for recreation during weekends can be an organised activity as is the case in Japan. There ‘hanami’ or flower culture is very popular during spring and has, over the centuries, become synonymous with viewing the famous ‘sakura’ or cherry blossom, the unofficial national flower, in bloom. Boat rides can be taken to enjoy the sakura by the sides of the Sumida and Meguro rivers, with these areas illuminated after dusk.

In a similar fashion the state government as well as the city administration should convert areas along the Sidhwan canal or the Sutlej river into picnic spots in order to draw residents and tourists alike.

Bhawna Garg

Create permanent water body

It is clear even to a casual onlooker how we are littering the Sidhwan canal with plastic bags and other refuse, which has already choked its bed. Add to this the fact that colonies are mushrooming on its banks. If we do not mend our ways the canal will soon go the Buddha Nullah way. The only way to keep the canal clean is to have stricter laws against polluters.

Since water is released into the canal only occasionally, a permanent water body can be created only at three sites - the Neelon bridge, the junction of the canal on the Doraha-Ludhiana road, 6 km from the national highway, and near the tiger safari, where the inflow of water could be from the Sutlej. The authorities must take immediate action before colonisers grab the land required for the proposed water body. Besides drawing tourists the project will be a source of permanent revenues for the local government body and also lessen pollution.

Maj Kuljit Singh Sidhu

Develop green belt along canal

Presently the Sidhwan canal that passes through the city serves only one purpose - supplying water to the farmers during the sowing season. It remains dry during most part of the year. In the absence of uninterrupted supply of clean water throughout the year it is not feasible to explore options like water-related sports or other activities. As every drop of water is precious, the authorities should allocate space to the business community on annual lease through open auction to develop both sides of the canal as a green belt for residents to enjoy nature. Instead, the administration may revive ponds in the villages falling on the periphery of the city for providing water-related sports to the residents. Presently, these ponds and the adjoining land are being used to dump garbage.

Business houses will gladly invest in the project, which would provide places for outings to the residents, promote water harvesting, create greenery, provide breathing places to children and create employment opportunities besides generating enough income for other developmental works.

DN Sharma



Gurpurb celebrated at college
Our Correspondent

Doraha, November 18
The Parkash Utsav of Guru Nanak Dev was celebrated with fervour and enthusiasm in Dr Ishwar Singh memorial hall by the principal, managing committee, staff and students of Guru Nanak National College.

After the bhog of Sehaj Path, the students recited the Gurbani in the form of kirtan. They lent serenity to the atmosphere by singing hymns.

Jaswant Singh Mann, president of the International Sikh Forum, was the resource person and chief guest.

He threw light on the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev and the importance they had at the time when moral values and truth were being given a backseat.

He stressed upon the need to follow the directions given by Guru Nanak Dev in order to lead a pure and straightforward life.

Prof Balwant Singh Pangli, secretary of the managing committee, welcomed the chief guest and said the day had great importance for the staff and students of the college.

Rajinder Singh secured the first position in the turban tying competition. Kawaljeet Singh was second while Gurpreet Singh and Jaswinder Singh stood joint third.

In the essay writing competition, Ranjodh Singh won the first prize. Gursewak Singh and Gurcharanjeet Singh were placed second and third, respectively.

The winners were given ‘dastars’ by the chief guest. A ‘shuddh’ Gurbani ‘uchcharan’ competition was also held.

Pawanpreet Kaur bagged the first prize while Amandeep Kaur bagged the second prize. The third prize was shared by Baljeet Kaur and Jaspreet Kaur.

Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu, principal, thanked the resource person. ‘Guru ka langar’ was prepared by the students and served at the end of the programme.



Farmers given tips on vinegar making 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
The directorate of extension education in collaboration with the department of microbiology organised a two-day training programme on preparing vinegar from sugarcane and other fruit juices for farmers and farmwomen of the state.

The technique for preparing natural vinegar was explained during the course.

Course coordinator Dr JS Bhalla said the participating farmwomen showed keen interest to learn the technique of vinegar making.

Dr RP Phutela discussed the economics and advantages of vinegar and said the activity could be taken up both at the domestic as well as commercial level. Dr GS Kochhar discussed about the qualitative aspects of vinegar.

The technical coordinator of the course was Dr KL Kalra. Dr Bhalla, in his vote of thanks, appreciated the cooperation received from Dr Kalra and his team. He earlier highlighted that vinegar preparation was a useful activity in which farmers and farmwomen were keenly interested. This is due to the multi-utility of vinegar, he said. 



People discover the power within 
Participants walk on fire, break concrete tiles 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
Over 50 persons participated in ‘Discover the power within’, a one-day management development programme organised by the Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) here yesterday.

“It has been a thrilling experience to beat the fear of fire. I could have never imagined to break concrete tiles and walk on fire like I have done in this programme,” said one of the participants.

The programme was conducted by PS Rathore, renowned consultant, motivator and director, Rathore Management Corporation, New Delhi.

Welcoming the guests, Dr KNS Kang, general secretary, LMA, said: “85-90 per cent of the activities in a day are done in a sub-conscious state as many of us remain worried about those things which are either uncontrollable or had not taken place. The solution to the problem does not lie outside. It is the power of self which can actually make you feel fearless, satisfied and successful in the life,” he said.

Rathore stressed on the techniques of discovering the hidden potential within. He said: “It is the fear that does not let us come out from certain challenges of life. We should overcome fear and it is all about creating breakthrough using the same fear as power and eliminating unwanted beliefs.”

Rathore conducted several exercises during the day and kept the participants energised. The participants also broke concrete tiles as an exercise to feel their power within. All the participating delegates walked on the fire during the programme to feel that fear could be beaten with strong determination and will power.



Bank, teaching jobs preferred over govt service
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 18
Bank service and teaching have emerged as most desired occupations among the educated youth, mainly girls.

While a large number of permanent employees of Central and state government departments are trying to get jobs in banks, others have already joined these departments after leaving their earlier departments.

Expectation of a brighter future, besides better and dignified work culture in banks and educational institutes, is the main reason behind the trend. The feeling of insecurity and apprehension of implication in fraud being committed by other colleagues is another factor prompting honest employees to leave their jobs. Investigations by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that a significantly high number of permanent employees of Central and state governments had either joined nationalised banks or some educational institutes or were trying to get jobs in those.

Ranjit Singh, working as clerk with the industrial department at Sangrur, and Kalpana, a local body department employee, were among the 34 lakh aspirants who had applied for job of assistant in the State Bank of India recently. At least 11,000 of those appearing on the three days of the examination would be finally selected for appointment as assistant.

Referring to information received from other candidates appearing in examination centres at Ludhiana and Chandigarh, they maintained that a large number of candidates were already working in some government department or the other.

“Though we know that we will get much lower salary than what we are receiving today, we want to join the bank as future is brighter there,” contended Ranjit and Kalpana, when told that starting salaries are lower in nationalised banks than many government departments. Rama Sharma and Simar, former employees of the post and telegraph department, who had joined a nationalised bank a few months ago, claimed that there was more job satisfaction in their present position.

“Though things cannot be generalised so casually, we feel that individual and group efficacy is more frequently evaluated in financial institutes,” they maintained.

Terming corruption an inseparable part of certain government departments, Rajesh Kumar Gupta justified his joining as school teacher, arguing that there was no need to take bribe in educational institutes.



Cycle industry seeks upgradation of technology
Says capable of beating China in production 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
The cycle industry in this part of the region has claimed that it was capable of beating China in bicycle production if provided the latest infrastructure and technology.

The cycle industry needs help from the Central government and special package for upgrading old machines and technology.

As per the figures with the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers' Association, in 2001, India produced 1.31 crore bicycles whereas the production in China was around 5.5 crores bicycles. Many new models with latest technology were introduced by China. Today, China was able to make 9 crore bicycles every year, but India could not manufacture more than 1.4 crore.

“China has reached every developed nation whereas India has been able to capture South Africa, certain parts of the UK and the US. Due to less interest taken by the government, the cycle industry is not able to grow at a good pace. Technology upgradation is must for the progress of this particular industry,” said DS Chawla, president, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers’ Association (UCPMA). He said the government should create a technology upgradation fund.

He said the date of submitting Form C and H should be extended up to March 31, 2010. The forms were to be submitted by purchasing dealers outside Punjab but the state government was short of these forms. "Even the old process on VAT refund should be continued to avoid botheration to the industrialists,” said Chawla.

Chairman of association Manjeet Singh Khalsa said the Punjab government should declare the areas where the industry was running from the last few decades as industrial area. He said 70 per cent of city's industry was being run on mixed land use. He said the permission given for peak load exemptions was a welcome step but the permission given up to May 31, 2010, should be made permanent. 



Drug peddler held with 2 kg opium
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, November 18
The police today a drug peddler and seized 2 kg opium from his possession.

Following a tip-off, Tehal Singh, in charge of Jagraon CIA, along with a police party laid a naka at the bridge on a drain near Kothe Khajooran on the outskirts of the town.

They intercepted a Maruti Swift and the driver tried to flee. The police, however, managed to nab him and he identified himself as Gurnam Singh of Akkawali village near Boha town of Mansa district.

When they tried to search his car, he asked them to call a gazette officer first. Satnam Singh, DSP (D), was called at the spot in this regard. The police recovered 2.5 kg opium from a bag hanging around his neck. A licensed .32 bore revolver and eight cartridges were also seized.

The police arrested the accused under Sections 18, 25, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act. 



Delhi Trade Fair
Power generating cycle a big draw
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
An exercising cycle that can produce power has become an huge attraction at the ongoing International Trade Fair in Delhi these days.

The cycle, developed by a city-based small scale industrialist, has received over 100 enquires. The mechanical energy produced during a workout on the cycle is converted into electrical energy through magnetic coils. The product has been approved by the state government for the trade fair.

Gurwant Singh, general secretary Small Scale Industrialists and Traders’ Association, who has developed the cycle, told Ludhiana Tribune that it took him two years to develop the cycle.

“The cycle can charge the battery of an inverter as one works out on it. We can build our own powerhouse by using the cycle. Also, a 12 V pedestal fan and four CFL tubes can be run for eight hours if one exercises on it for around 80 minutes,” claimed Gurwant Singh.

He added that neither the government nor any NGO had provided any aid for the development of the cycle.

“The production cost of the cycle is around Rs 18,000,” he said.

Gurwant Singh was inspired to develop the cycle after he visited remote areas of Sunam district two years ago and realised that people were in bad shape due to poor power supply.

“Due to financial constraints, I am looking for a partner who can help me in its mass production. I am ready to transfer the technology if someone shows interest. I am glad to have received tremendous response for the cycle at the trade fair, where people from all walks of life visit,” he added.



Tips given on skincare 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
Winters have approached and taking care of skin has become a difficult task. Skin expert from Italy Kasia Janecko today gave useful tips and suggestions on skincare during the ‘Skin Care Fest’ organised by the Grace Beauty Clinic here today.

Indra Ahluwalia, director of Grace Beauty Clinic, said: "Now as the season is changing, our skin also requires some special care. During this seasonal change, the chances of free radical attack is higher and usually our skin becomes dull due to lack of moisture, which causes premature ageing and other skin-related problems."

Speaking on the occasion, Kasia said the therapies would not only help reducing the risks of free radicals, it will also make skin glowing. “All the therapies are rich in moisture, hence skin becomes glowing with natural moisture in it. For those who has acne will find visible effect with puractive therapy, from the very first treatment,” she said.



Declare cancer notifiable disease: NGO
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
Having carried out a mass movement on cancer awareness following the increasing incidence of cancer in Punjab, the Cancer Council of India (CCI), an NGO, has approached the department of health and family welfare to declare cancer a “notifiable disease” in the state.

Secretary Health (Punjab) Satish Chandra said he had asked the programme official to give the details about notifiable diseases.

“We have to look at the implications of bringing cancer under the list of notifiable diseases followed by the benefits to the people of Punjab by doing so,” he said.

Meanwhile, Karanbir, secretary-general of the CCI, in a letter to the union health minister and MPs, urged them to deliberate on cancer in Parliament.

He said cancer notification would help in reporting, detection, diagnosis, confirmation, early therapeutic intervention and arranging for remedial measures for cancer patients.

The NGO also emphasised on the steps to promote comprehensive cancer detection tests annually followed by a provision for cost-effective treatment for the masses at the Government Hospitals.

Early detection and treatment apparatus to do away with the waiting list for cancer treatments at all major hospitals and improvement in standards of oncological research, with special regard to work on dissertation and thesis, are among the other issues taken up by the NGO in its communication with the ministry.



CPI, CPM seek public support against price rise
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 18
A joint jatha of the Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) marched through several towns and villages, including Humbran, Bhoonder, Sidhwan Bet, Jagraon, Samrala, Machhiwara, Sidhupur, Harian, Koom Kalan, Kohara and Sahnewal, today to mobilise people against price rise.

The party activists, addressing rallies and corner meetings at different places, pointed out that skyrocketing prices of items of daily use had compounded the miseries of the people. Referring to the report by the Arjun Sen Gupta Committee, which had concluded that 77 per cent of the population lived on less than Rs 20 a day in the country, the leaders of the Left parties said no wonder a majority of the people in India were under-nourished.

“Going by the prevailing prices of essential commodities, minimum cost of three meals a day, barely sufficient to sustain life, is around Rs 50, which only covers basic fooditems like flour, daal, vegetables, tea, rice, ghee and masalas. It is high time the government looks after the interests of the low income groups and initiates necessary steps to deal with hoarding and curb prices so as to enable the common people get a balanced meal and a quality life," the party activists remarked.



'Spectrum-09' ends on a high note
Bhushan Sood

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 18
The three-day annual prize distribution function of Gobindgarh Public School, ‘Spectrum-2009’, concluded on Monday evening in the school hall with the senior students presenting a dazzling performance of classical and popular dances and orchestral music. They also enacted an English play, ‘Sodhi's Are Going Abroad’ as well as a Punjabi play, ‘Ethnic vs Western,’ in which models contrasted Indian and western styles of dress.

The school’s annual report was read out by Prabhleen Kaur, the head girl, who highlighted its achievements in the past year. The school has not only seen a big increase in the number of students but has also set up better facilities. Gobindgarh Education Social Welfare Trust Secretary (GESWT) NK Khanna released the school magazine, “Beacon’.

On the second day GESWT chief Piara Singh Kalsi was the chief guest at the middle school function. The students presented English and Punjabi plays, western dance and a panel discussion among other items that captivated the audience.

Earlier, the chief guest of the day, school management committee chairman Swarjit Singh Bagli, was given a ceremonial guard of honour. Parents as well as members of the committee were present on the occasion at which outstanding students were honoured. The vote of thanks was proposed by Chaman Lal Garg.



Teachers’ Training Course
J&K board cancels exams again 
Students, parents left in lurch 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 18
Cancellation of two exams for the elementary teachers’ training course being conducted by the J&K Board of School Education, which were taken after four months of the schedule, have once again upset the parents of thousands of students from this part of Malwa.

Uncertainty over the examination has forced the worried parents to bring their wards back home. Students will be sent there only after confirmation of the examination dates, they said.

Munir Mohammad, a resident of the Chhanna road area, said his daughter was among the 17,000 students who had already spent two years at various colleges in Jammu and Kashmir but were yet to be relieved of the examination process for the first session of the course. The authorities kept on postponing the examinations and also cancelled English and Punjabi papers.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that agents having “franchise” of recognised colleges had exploited students hailing from different parts of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan on the pretext of getting them “quick degree” without doing much labour.

Most of the students said they were getting a raw deal at the hands of the college administration. They could not complete their annual examination even two years after their admission. A majority of students got enrolled in the college through some agent in September 2007.

“If everything remains normal, this will amount to three years in securing a degree, which otherwise is a two-year course,” said some students.

They alleged that whenever they went for classes at their respective colleges, they were asked to put up in the hostel where the authorities concerned charged money.

They said the agents charged between Rs 35,000 and Rs 50,000 as annual fee, while the actual fee structure set for the one-year course was Rs 13,000.

Sources at board said the exam was cancelled following a court order on the plea of two Kathua colleges. However, the authorities failed to inform the students about rescheduled examination dates.

There are 107 elementary teacher-training institutes in the Jammu region and 60 in the Kashmir region. More than 17,000 trainees are admitted annually to undergo a diploma in elementary teacher training. 95 per cent of trainees are from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan.



Teachers’ training
Our Correspondent

Doraha, November 18
Students and teachers of the Doraha College of Education recently underwent a week’s training teaching skills at about 14 schools of the area.

At Government Senior Secondary School, PAU, the National Education Day was celebrated under the supervision of Manjula Kumari. Students were made aware of the value of reading books, newspapers and enlightened about the importance of celebrating the day.



Skits, dance mark annual day
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 18
Manas Public School, Parbhatpuri Nagar, Mandi Gobindgarh, celebrated its annual day today.

Industrialist Jai Dev Goyal lighted a lamp and students sang “lab pe aati hai dua ban ke”. Urmala and party displayed action song “chak de India”. Group dance by Chandan and party was appreciated. Students also presented skits, Punjabi geet, solo dance, bhangra and giddha.

Founder school president Prem Kumar Bansal read out the annual report. Chief guest Jai Dev Goyal distributed prizes to the winners and staff members.

School principal PN Bhardwaj said: “The school was established in 2002 up to class IV, which now has been upgraded up to class X.”



Gang of vehicle thieves busted; two held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 18
With the arrest of two persons, identified as Raman Kumar and Arvinder Singh, both residents of Ludhiana, the police claims to have busted a gang of vehicles thieves.

In a press conference held here today, the police officials revealed that following a tip-off, a naka was laid at Ishar Nagar and the accused were arrested while travelling in a white Maruti Zen car. However, their accomplice, identified as Narinder Pal Singh, a resident of Janta Nagar, managed to flee.

The police said that during the preliminary investigation, the accused confessed to have stolen 17 vehicles from various areas of the town. The police also recovered two Zen, two Alto, one Indica, nine motorcycles and three Honda Activa, which the accused had stolen from various parts of the city.

The investigation official said: "The third accused, Narinder Pal Singh, used to prepare duplicate registration certificates of motorcycles.”



Man dies on same day as father, brother 
Tribune News Service

Khanna, November 18
In a tragic incident, a family of Khanna has lost three male family members within a span of three years.

Today, Subhash Batta (35), a resident of Nai Abadi, was on his way to Mandi Gobindgarh on a scooter when a truck hit him from behind. He died on the spot.

His family members said his father and brother had also died in road accidents around two-and-a-half-years ago on the same day. While his father Dharam Pal died near Lalru, his brother died in an accident on the Samrala road in Khanna.

Subhash is survived by a brother and mother. The police has registered a case and the truck driver has been arrested. The body was handed over to the family after a postmortem.

Youth run over by train

The body of a 22-year-old unidentified youth was found on the track  near the railway station here today.

Government railway police officials said the victim got crushed under a train this morning. The body has been kept in the mortuary of the Civil Hospital for identification. Inquest proceedings have been initiated and the police is trying to identify the youth.



Drug peddler held with 2 kg opium
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, November 18
The police today a drug peddler and seized 2 kg opium from his possession.

Following a tip-off, Tehal Singh, in charge of Jagraon CIA, along with a police party laid a naka at the bridge on a drain near Kothe Khajooran on the outskirts of the town.

They intercepted a Maruti Swift and the driver tried to flee. The police, however, managed to nab him and he identified himself as Gurnam Singh of Akkawali village near Boha town of Mansa district.

When they tried to search his car, he asked them to call a gazette officer first. Satnam Singh, DSP (D), was called at the spot in this regard. The police recovered 2.5 kg opium from a bag hanging around his neck. A licensed .32 bore revolver and eight cartridges were also seized.

The police arrested the accused under Sections 18, 25, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act. 



Ultrasound centre sealed

Ludhiana, November 18
The health authorities today sealed the ultrasound scan centre of Suman Hospital, Model Town, here today.

District family welfare officer Dr Reena Sandhu along with a team of officials visited the hospital and found discrepancies in the record of the ultrasound scan centre. The ultrasound machine of the centre was sealed and the registration of the centre was also suspended. Meanwhile, two other scan centres were given a show-cause notice for discrepancies. Civil surgeon Dr Maninderjeet Singh said strict action would be initiated against hospitals and nursing homes found guilty of violating the PNDT Act. — TNS



1,200 to take part in Women Games

Ludhiana, November 18
As many as 1,200 sportswomen will be participating in Women Games being organised by the sports department, Punjab, from November 23 to 26 here.

Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal would inaugurate the games at Guru Nanak Stadium.

Devinder Singh, ADC (Development), said women would participate from all over Punjab and 12 events, namely hockey, volleyball, table tennis, handball, kabaddi, kho-kho, badminton, lawn tennis, athletics, basket ball, swimming and gymnastics.

He said hockey, volleyball, table tennis and handball would be held at the PAU; lawn tennis at Sutlej Club and swimming at Rakh Bagh. The rest of the events would be organised at Guru Nanak Stadium/multipurpose hall. He asked officials concerned to make elaborate arrangements for the success of the games. — OC



200 students felicitated
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 18
More than 200 students were felicitated at the annual prize distribution function organised at Guru Nanak Kanya Mahavidyalya here on Tuesday.

Dhuri MLA Iqbal Singh Jhoondan was the chief guest and Harbhajan Singh, chief of the management committee, presided over the function.

Various speakers, including Bhupinder Kaur, state award winner teacher and principal Hardev Singh and Gurmel Singh, patron of the institute, exhorted teachers to inculcate patriotic and nationalistic traits in their students.

Students presented a cultural programme that started with a shabad, seeking welfare of all communities. Folk dances gidha, bhangra and malwai gidha were appreciated by all.

While the chief guest presented prizes to students achieving frontier positions in academics, extracurricular activities and sports, the organisers presented mementos to guests of honour including Simla Aggarwal state awardee. 



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