L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Land acquisition for pipeline
GAIL letter fuels discontent among farmers
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, November 23
A letter of GAIL (India) Limited has forced farmers to spend sleepless nights as they fear losing their land to the government for nothing.

Under the Petroleum and Mineral Pipeline Act 1962, Section 3(1) and other conditions, the letter specifies that a gas pipeline will pass through the farmland of local farmers, for which land had already been earmarked. They have been directed not to use that earmarked land for growing tree, creating ponds or installing tube wells.

The letter specifies that although the owner shall continue to own the land, its usage shall no longer be with the owner. Moreover, the land owner cannot carry out any construction work on that part of the land.

Furthermore, Gail India has invited objections in this regard, if any, from farmers within 21 days of the issuance of the notification.

The date for depositing the objections for villages covered under Payal tehsil was November 13 and those under Samrala November 18.

Farmers have expressed their resentment at both places by submitting written objections in this regard and staging dharnas to protest the “unjust attitude” of the authorities.

Saudagar Singh Ghudani of the BKU (Ugraha) said: “Small farmers will literally be plundered of their small store of wealth and assets as they are already living in penury and such curbing shall amount to starvation.”

Lakhwinder Singh Buani, secretary, Kirti Kisan Sabha, said: “This is sheer injustice. If we are not free to do anything on our own lands, what is the use of even having such a land in our possession. It has become the property of the state. Instead, we will like that the government should buy the land from us at the prevailing market rate.”

Farmers of Landa, Buani, Chankoian, etc. in a written statement have expressed concern over the way “authoritative accusation” of their land is being carried out.

“These policies of the government will prove disastrous for farmers who have no other source of livelihood. The government should rethink its decision”, said Pawan Kumar Kaushal, a farmer activist.


Car bazaar eating up parking space 
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
While car dealers are eating up the parking spaces in the city for carrying out the repair work, the residents are irked over such activities being carried out on the main roads of the city, especially on Sundays.

The sale of vehicles in markets like Gyan Singh Rarewala Market, Feroze Gandhi Market and the Gill Road, have peeved both residents and commuters in the area who feel that the neither the district administration nor the municipal corporation is caring about them at large. The residents had on numerous occasions complained about the traffic chaos, spats with car dealers and manhandling whenever they resisted parking of vehicles in front of their gates or shops.

Talking to The Tribune, businessman Aman Seth said: “The area of Gyan Singh Rarewal Market is one of the main roads and one enters Model Town through this route. But on Sunday this route is just hell. With vehicles for sale parked on roads haphazardly, one really fails to understand when would things change in Ludhiana.” He questioned that when the municipal corporation was carrying on its anti-encroachment drive, why these markets were not targeted?

Similarly, a resident of Model Town living next to the car market, who didn’t wanted to be named, said, “We have complained about it to the police, the corporation and the deputy commissioner, but to no avail. These car dealers don’t even mind parking their vehicles in front of our gates and when we protest, they threaten us. In fact, I and my family are planning to sell this residence as these car dealers have made our lives hell.”

Even shopkeepers of the Feroze Gandhi Market complained that the car dealers were resorting to alleged “goondaraj”. “They have taken illegal water connections, are using footpaths for parking vehicles for sale, the footpaths have become repair workshops. In fact you must have noticed a few days ago when the corporation had come to install iron grills, they were send back by the car dealers,” said a shopkeeper.

Pritpal Kaur, a resident of the Gill Road, said: “Due to construction of the flyover on the Gill Road, the road has already become a hell for the commuters and adding to the woes is scooter market, where the shopkeepers have encroached upon the road. My daughters often witness eve-teasing in that area, but there is no other alternative.” She added that she had directed her daughters to opt for a longer way, rather than coming from the scooter market area.



Plan afoot to extend municipal limits
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
While the local municipal corporation is unable to take care of its city limits spreading over 310 sq km, the civic body is being readied to be overburdened by the additional 10 sq km area.

According to sources, on the request of MLA Darshan Singh Shiwalik a resolution has been added in the agenda circulated among the councillors requesting extension of the municipal limits. The resolution would be put before the municipal councilors during the MC house meeting scheduled for November 27.

Sources revealed that over 50 villages would be included if the resolution was passed by the house. “The extension of the municipal limits would be done on all roads like the Pakhowal Road, Ferozepur Road, Gill Road, Hambran Road and the Rajpura Road, etc.”

In the last municipal house meeting the resolution was dropped out from the agenda by the civic body due to which MLA Darshan Singh Shiwalik had made a lot of hue and cry. He even had a spat with the mayor over the issue during the last house meeting in September.

When senior deputy mayor Praveen Bansal was asked about it, he said, “All BJP councillors are against the move and we would not support it. When we are not ready to beautify and develop present infrastructure, how could you expect investment of crores on area which is not even our duty?”

He added that his party would oppose the move in the house meet. “There are many undeclared areas within the MC limits which are more priority than new areas. First we would work on them and than think on widening the MC limits,” he said.

Similarly, municipal councillor Parminder Mehta said: “MLAs have no right to burden the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation for their vote bank. If they want their areas to be included in the civic body limits, they should bring money from the Punjab government, rather than eyeing on the MC exchequer.” 



3.6 kg heroin seized
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
Following the seizure of 3.6 kg heroin from a crate of pomegranates, the fruit dealers, who import these fruits from Kandhar are under scanner of the police and Intelligence Bureau.

The police is in the process of identifying fruit sellers, who import pomegranates from Kandhar to crack the chain of heroin smuggling from Afghanistan to India.

Top police sources told The Tribune that it seemed that the consignment was meant for some other fruit seller in the city but it reached Manjeet Fruit House, who was shocked to get it.

Sources also said they had tightened the noose around the trucks that entered the country from Wagah border. They said there was all probability that the trade was going on.

Rajinder, owner of Manjeet Fruit House in Kailash Chowk had received a consignment of pomegranates of November 17 from New Delhi in wooden crates. When he emptied a carton on November 19, he found it to be very heavy even after that. He was shocked to find two packets of heroin underneath.

He immediately called up the police. According to SSP Dr Sukhchain Singh Gill they sent the seized contraband to the Narcotics Bureau and the report confirmed it to be heroin.

DSP Varinder Brar confirmed that following the direction of the SSP they have written to the Intelligence Bureau to keep a watch on the entry of trucks, fruit sellers and dealers so that the illegal trade of narcotics, if going on, could be checked.

He said the police was preparing a database of fruit sellers now to find out as to whom all imported Kandhar pomegranates. “We are working on the theory that the pomegranates was addressed for some other person and not Manjeet Fruit House. In all probability, these fruits landed with him wrongly, “ he said.

The DSP said further investigations were on and the police was working in tandem with intelligence agencies and whosoever was found involved in the trade would not be spared.



Panic spreads among fruit sellers
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
With the police investigating a case where heroin was found in a pomegranates’ crate, panic has gripped the fruit sellers, who are scared of asking for more fruit from Kandhar.

Though the pomegranates from Kandhar in Afghanistan will only be imported for just 15 more days, the fruit sellers and dealers are are scared of the fact that they may not be the next recipient of the contraband, which was accidentally delivered to a fruit seller in the city.

Requesting anonymity, several fruit sellers said that after the incident, they checked even the empty crates several times fearing more such packets may not be there. ‘‘Obviously, we do not want to be labeled as drug peddlers. You never know what happens, ’’ he said.

Another fruit dealer, who gets consignments of pomegranates from New Delhi, after the dealers there import these from Afghanistan, said they were in this trade for the past many years. Never had they come across such an incident in the past.

The dealers said they had asked the peddlers, agents and even the customers to scan the crates thoroughly. ‘‘The police has asked us to be careful. We are passing on the instructions to agents and customers. Till date nothing incriminating has been found, ’’ he said.

Several sellers are so panicky that they are not even displaying these in the open now.

Since the fruit has quite a long shelf life, they can wait to sell these till the issue dies down. ‘‘In any case, the Afghani pomegranate season only lasts for a month. Within a fortnight, a seller got the heroin from a crate. Though the police is handling the case very fairly, we are still keeping our fingers crossed, ’’ said an office-bearer of the Fruit Sellers Association.



Women Sports Festival Begins
Players brave chill, made to sleep on floor
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
Players hailing from various districts across the state, who are participating in the three-day Women Sport Festival, were made to brave the cold by sleeping on the floor in the absence proper bedding arrangements.

The eves, who reached the grounds in the morning to participate in their respective events, voiced their complaint to the tournament organisers.

They were complaining that due to the freezing floor, they could not sleep properly.

They said quilts were not provided to them as promised by the authorities. Though, mats were given to them but those were not enough to beat the cold.

These players are currently staying at the Government College for women, Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Sports Wings and gurdwaras.

A group of hockey players who were waiting for their bus in the PAU, while sharing their experience said,” We are participating in these games for the past three years but there has been no improvement in terms of infrastructure. How could they expect from us to play as throughout the night we were battling with cold.”

The players who arranged their own bedding arrangements were considering themselves fortunate.

“My parents told me to prepare for any eventuality and gave me the blankets.

Throughout my journey my friends were teasing me for being extra protective. But while my friends were trembling of cold, I provided them quilts,” said a player.

Moreover to add to their woes the girls staying in Khalsa College were not provided warm water in the morning. The girls living in the hostel provided warm water to them so that they could wash their hands.

While the players staying in the Government College for Women complained that they were given soiled water for drinking.

According to the Dr Shahnaz senior physiotherapist said sleeping on a hard surface in cold atmosphere could result in backache and strain their back which could affect their performance.”



Students denied food as Dy CM arrives late
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
Thousands of students hailing from various schools of the city and in its vicinity had to suffer hunger pangs due to the late arrival of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal on the opening day of the Women Sports Festival.

Many players who were participating in the sports fest were complaining that portable water was not provided to them.

Students, who came from a school in Phillaur, said they were promised fruits by the school authorities by when they reached the venue, the schoolteachers denied them fruits.

The hunger pangs were further intensified due to the late arrival of the Deputy Chief Minister.

"The teachers are not allowing us to leave the venue till the time of the arrival of Deputy Chief Minister. We were stuck up inside the stadium till 4 pm and only after the Chief Minister left we were allowed to leave the venue," said Rahul Arora.



Now, honeymoon brides fleecing youths
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
The state, which has been acutely suffering from honeymoon grooms is now facing the wrath of honeymoon brides, as many cases are coming up where these women are utilising the legal lacuna to their advantage and extracting money from their “husbands.”

On one hand these women file a case in the foreign court and demand maintenance, while in India they implicate all groom’s family members in a dowry case in order to extract money from them.

According to the police, such cases are frequent among couples who arrange contract or sham marriages.

In a similar case, two families are up in arms against each other as despite assurances their sons could not make it to Canada.

According to the police sources, the feud actually resulted in ruining four young lives.

The two brothers Jagjit Singh and Harjit Singh (name and town changed) are repenting on the moment when they agreed for sham marriage and tied a nuptial with two Samrala-based sisters Rajinder Kaur and Parminder Kuar (name and town changed).

Jagjit and Rajinder, who are already settled in Canada, met each other a few years ago.

According to Jagjit Singh, a deal was struck at Rs 30 lakh and it was decided that Rajinder would marry Jagjit’s bother Harjit, while Jagjit would marry Rajinder’s sister Parminder Kaur.

Following the marriage bother Harjit and Parminder applied for visa, but the immigration authorities came to know about the sham marriage and both Harjit and Parminder could not reach Canada.

Following which, both groups are levelling serious allegation of fraud and breach of trust against each other.

Meanwhile, Rajinder flied a case in the Canadian court demanding maintenance amount from her India-based husband.

The court has also passed judgement ordered in favour of her and directed the husband to pay up the money to his wife.

While Jagjit, is also in trouble, as Parminer has filed a cheating and a dowry case against the former and asked the police to register a case against Jagjit’s brother and parents.

On the other hand, the family of the groom duo said they have paid over Rs 30 lakh to the girls’ family for sending their son abroad.

They have complained to the authorities that the girls have been divorced many times before and are running the illegal trade of sham marriages. Similar, allegations have been levelled by the girls’ family.

Now all four wants divorce from each other and want criminal cases to registered. The contract marriages have left the police chewing their nails as what to do in the case.

The police is coordinating with the Canadian authorities about the legalities in the case.



Councillor’s role under scanner
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
After municipal councillor Baby Singh Thakur was accused of embezzlement of funds under the garb of disbursing salaries to Mohalla Sanitation Committee employees, its now councillor of ward No. 61 Bibi Gurdeep Kaur who has come under scanner.

The employees of Mohalla Sanitation Committee working in ward number 61 alleged today that municipal councillor Gurdeep was drawing salary of 57 mohalla sanitation employees, while only 23 were working in reality.

They also held protest under the banner of the Bhartiya Valmiki Dal against the atrocities of the councillor.

Association president Veer Surinder Kalyan alleged that “The councillor was exploiting 23 employees working under her and they would soon be taking up the matter with the Punjab State Human Right Commission.”

The protesters alleged that councillor’s husband Gurmeet Singh misbehaves with the safai karamcharis and often resort to spat whenever they raise their voice against the injustice.

They added that they were soon going to take up the matter with the SSP, Ludhiana.



Tribune Impact
Illegal liquor vend removed
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, November 23
The local authorities have got an illegal liquor vend, located on the national highway, removed.

On Friday, Ludhiana Tribune had published a report highlighting the way a liquor vend owned by Pardeep Kumar had been in operation for the past two years.

It was stated that liquor shops along the national highway had been causing problems for commuters, as boozers swarmed these vends during evening hours and parked their vehicles on the highway.



Its your duty, says caller

Journalists are not just in the firing line of the people whom they write against but are also taken to task by the people who get benefited from their write ups. As it happened, a father of a doctor daughter called up a journo asking her about the department's reaction to a specific report carried in the newspaper concerning the appointment of doctors. Not satisfied with the reply, the father reprimanded the reporter asking her to call up the department officials to know about their further plan of action adding, "It is your duty to help us even if you are not doing your story. You have to call the department officials on our behalf and ask them about their plan in this matter. I being a regular reader of your stories have every right to ask for this small favour. " The gentleman didn't stop at this, as he even went to the extent of ordering the journo to do a "follow up" of the story.

Caught ‘red-handed’

A colleague, who was late by an hour to come to office on yesterday called up the in charge to say that he was “stuck” at Punjab Agricultural University due to unavoidable circumstances and would reach the office as soon as he would be free. Since the in charge was on the way to the office and was very close to the place where the colleague resided, she decided to drop in at his place. As soon as she blew the car horn, the colleague came out dressed in a tracksuit. He was so astonished to see the boss at his doorstep, he could not utter a word but gave a sheepish smile. He could just say, "Actually I was not feeling well. You start, I will reach before you".

Bitter journos

Journalists are often disliked for their sharp writing. They get to hear comments about their news reports, which are often not taken in the right spirit. The other day a canteen owner left all colleagues shocked when he passed a similar comment to one of them. A colleague, who ordered tea after a morning meeting and asked the canteen owner to ensure a strong tea with lots of tea leaves and less of sugar and milk. Pat came his response as he ordered his servant, “Chotu, make a bitter tea for these ‘Akhbaarwalas’. These people drink bitter and then write bitter.’’

Once bitten...

A well-known city intellectual, on being bitten by his pet dog, called up his doctor in the middle of the night. Rushing to his patient's distress call, the doctor asked for the canine's vaccination records as soon as he entered the scholar's home. After looking through the files for about five minutes, the doctor looked up at his anxious patient and remarked, "Do not worry sir, your dog is safe." The patient retorted, "But doctor, I am the patient," to which the amused doctor replied with a sheepish grin, "Oops... you are safe too," leaving the patient disgusted and shocked beyond words.

Chaos on city roads

As the traffic jams and chaos on city roads goes from bad to worse with each passing day, and the enforcement authorities (read traffic police) being oblivious to the pitiable plight of city residents, it appears that saner elements no longer move out on the roads and every one, right from pedestrians, shopkeepers, two-wheeler drivers, autorickshaw drivers and motorists, further compound the traffic problem. On busy roads, including state and national highways, it is virtually free for all. No body appears to be following even the basic traffic rules, the manner in which vehicles are parked on both sides of the roads without showing even the slightest consideration to other road users has to be seen to be believed. Admittedly, there are no adequate parking spaces available in most parts of the city, but the least people, especially those driving vehicles on busy roads can do, is develop little bit of traffic sense and make genuine attempt not to cause inconvenience to fellow drivers. Any takers?

Equally able

The other day a differently abled child arrived at a function on his wheelchair organised for similar children. He reached the venue with a placard that read, "Hum bhi kissi se kam nahi" (we are not less than anybody). The boy, who had cerebral palsy left many surprised with his knowledge of current world affairs. Many well-educated people are not so much aware as him. He was no less than anybody, as he depicted rightly.

Contributed by -Anshu Seth, Shivani Bhakoo, Mohit Khanna, Charu Chhibber, Kuldip Bhatia and Kanchan Vasdev. 



City’s richie rich believe in showing off
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
The industry in the city always raises hue and cry over the “unnecessary burdens” being put on it in the form of various taxes by the state as well as the Central government. Passing through a long recessionary trend, the industrialists repeatedly ask the government for exemption from the taxes. But the same industrialists don’t mind spending several lakhs or perhaps crore of rupees on marriage parties of their wards, lavish get together and purchasing imported and trendy cars etc.

A few industrialists believe that presently, the margin of profits was much less than earlier times. Still the business community had to maintain their status and standards to be in the competition. And to remain in the limelight among the circles, majority of the industrialists believe in showing-off their “riches”.

Joginder Kumar of JK Cycles here agreed that there was no stopping of the show-off and one upmanship culture in the city. He said an average marriage card costs about Rs 1,000 to the host. A few people spent more than Rs 2,000 on an invitation card and sweet boxes. “Those having no dearth of money can spend lavish on parties. But there are others, who have taken huge amount of loans from the banks, who join the rat race just to prove their worth, which is unfortunate. They divert their money on unproductive things, bear huge losses in return and become bank defaulters. The show-off culture needs to be stopped”, he added.

The business community also agreed that 70 per cent of those believing in “show-off” culture have made their bank limits worth several crore of rupees. President of the Ludhiana Dyeing Association Ashok Makkar said the maximum imported cars, plying on city roads by businessmen were on loans. He said many of the industrialists fail to release the payments on time, which could malign their reputation, but they spend lakhs and crores on marriages of their wards.

“The business establishments/houses of numerous industrialists are today mortgaged still they try that their real side does not come out. Once the reputation is maligned, you will be labeled as a loser in society. People don’t mind spending out of budget in order to maintain the status. But apart from Ludhiana, no such trend can be seen anywhere else. We have got buyers/friends from South and western India, who are stinking rich but as far as their marriages/parties are concerned, they organise it the most simple manner”, said Makkar further adding that perhaps this was one of the reasons that many leading industrial groups could not survive in the market.



Exhibition depicting different faces of women
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
Every face tells a different story. In a bid to depict different faces of women, Neeta Mohindra has organised an exhibition “Chehre” at Gallery Artmosphere.

"Face of a woman, hidden behind a traditional "burqa" or a "ghunghat", protected from the intrusive stare of a man is enigmatic and suggestive. But even without the traditional trapping of veil, we all conceal our real faces,” said Mohindra.

“Aren't we so vulnerable that we are unable to face the harsh light of reality and tend to mask our faces with suntan creams or glares ostensibly to shield ourselves from the nature?” feels Neeta.

As a painter, she has been exhibiting since 1984. In the present series, she has painted faces-covered, sometimes to save dust or germs. Metaphysically as well as we put up a different face for different occasion, there is a different face for boss and a wife.

“The only culture of Punjab is agriculture and this saying has became so popular that we Punjabis actually started living up to the saying. But nothing can be far from the truth than this statement. Art and culture is a part and parcel of our lives. So much so that the biggest buyers are from Amritsar," she added.

The exhibition is on at Gallery Artmosphere till November 30. 



Lawyers chamber complex inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 23
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today inaugurated Shree Guru Angad Dev Lawyers Chamber Complex part-II. It has 232 chambers and is constructed at a cost of Rs 6.30 crore.

District and Sessions Judge SP Bangarh, Jail And Tourism Minister Hira Singh Gabria, Chief Parliament Secretary Harish Rai Dhanda, District Bar Association president Parupkar Ghumman were especially present on this occasion.

Speaking on this occasion, HS Mattewal, Advocate-General, Punjab, said that during the past two and half years, the SAD-BJP government had constructed a number of ultra -modern court complexes which were fully computerized to make it easy both for the judiciary, the bar and as well as litigants.

He said that certain jails were also being linked with judicial complexes with video conferencing to hold the trial of criminals. He said with new innovations, the process of justice delivery would be expedited for providing relief to poor litigants.

Later talking to mediapersons, Badal said with the acceptance of bid of L&T for Rajpura Thermal plant, the work on this plant would start within three months. He said with the commissioning of thermal plants at Goindwal, Talwandi Sabo and Rajpura, Punjab, would be the first state in the country to be power surplus. He said Punjab was also producing 400 MW power from 28 biogas-based power plants, which would be commissioned by the end of 2010. 



Meeting convened on proposal to replace house tax
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
Working on the proposal of replacing house-tax with property tax, a meeting was convened by BR Gupta, a representative from the local bodies department, with the house-tax superintendents of the Municipal Corporation.

According to information, Gupta had discussions with the employees on how house-tax assessments are prepared by them. An officer attending the meeting revealed, "The main difference between property tax and house-tax is that the former is based on DC rates. It means that property tax is calculated by keeping in mind both the cost of property and cost of construction, whereas house-tax is accessed by keeping in mind number of rooms, etc."

He added that the local bodies department was preparing a blue print on how house-tax could be replaced by property tax. The initiative is done to ensure grants under JNNURM that are being denied due to failure of the Punjab government and Municipal Corporation to undertake urban reforms like waiving off freebies.



Endovascular procedure saves woman’s life
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 23
Paramjit Kaur, a 65-year-old woman from Nawansaher, suffered from a large suprarenal aortic aneurysm (a ballooning out of the artery), which was threatening to rupture as the patient, was suffering a shooting pain. A CT angiogram confirmed that the aneurysm was located just below the diaphragm (muscle separating the chest from the abdomen) and it was full of clots.

She was referred to Dr Harinder Singh Bedi, head of cardio-vascular surgery at the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) here.

According to Bedi, such aneurysms are very rare but fatal if untreated, as these tend to rupture with torrential exsanguinating bleeding. "The standard treatment is surgical repair which involves a major cut, opening up the chest and abdomen. It was feared that the patient would not tolerate such a major procedure. So a new minimally invasive endovascular-stent procedure was planned. In this procedure, a spring-like cloth covered scaffold is inserted from the femoral artery in the groin, into the aorta so as to exclude the aneurysm."

Bedi, added that this procedure needs very precise skills and special equipment. The procedure was successfully carried out by Bedi and his team with help from Dr R Sheth. Paramjit is now totally cured and is a happy woman. 



Body of 80-yr-old donated to CMC
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 23
Motivated with the scientific knowledge of awareness created by activists of Tarksheel Society among the masses about myths of reincarnation, family members of Gurdial Singh (80), a resident of Kosa Randhir village in Moga district, who died a natural death, was today donated to the anatomy department of Christian Medical College (CMC) here for the purpose of medical education and research.

Head of the anatomy department of CMC Deepa Theodre, who accepted the body on behalf of the institution, lauded the noble step taken by close family members of the deceased for furthering the cause of medical education as per the desire of the deceased person.

She said people were slowly but gradually realising that donation of the body to a medical institution for the cause of education was far better and fruitful than cremation of the body, which rendered into a handful of ash.



From Schools
Karan first in declamation contest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
Preliminary round of Eloquent Minds-2009, a trilingual declamation contest, was organised at DAV Public School, BRS Nagar, Ludhiana, here today. The mega final will be held on November 27 at BCM Arya Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar.


DAV Public School, BRS Nagar:

English: Karan 1, Anishka 2 and Divleen 3;

Hindi/ Punjabi: Divyanshu 1, Akansha 2 and Rajat 3.

Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar:

English: Kanupriya 1, Mehak Bansal 2, Jasmine Sekhon 3;

Hindi/ Punjabi: Shreya Behal 1.

RS Model High School, Shastri Nagar:

English: Harmanpreet Kaur 1, Palak 2 and Love Arora 3;

Hindi/ Punjabi: Jaspreet Singh 1, Divya Puri 2 and Kirti 3.

‘Cultural Laurels’

Shivalikwala Doon School organised an event “Cultural Laurels” here today. KR Lakhanpal, Chief Secretary, Punjab, was the chief guest and VB Handa, former district and sessions judge, presided over the function. Students displayed their creative talent upholding the theme of the event “Mahan Bharat Ka Uday”, wherein students presented dances, skit, western music show, orchestra and story enactment.

Mother’s Day

The Mother’s Day was celebrated at BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School here today. A lot of activities were organised for around 350 tiny tots of the school and their mothers. Various cultural items were also held, including group dance, songs, drama, medley and skit.

Placement drive

The Indian Society for Technical Education student's chapter in collaboration with training and placement cell of Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology (GNIMT) organised  a seminar-cum-campus placement drive by HCL Career Development Centre for its MCA 2007-10 batch with respect to their industrial training. A warm welcome was accorded to Sumeet Kalra and Jagdeep Singh from HCL by head of the training and placement cell Wng Cdr SS Arora (retd).

Sumeet apprised students about latest trends in IT fields, employment opportunities and required skills by IT industry.

The selection procedure involved a technical test in which more than 30 students participated. The students clearing the test will be selected for industrial training with HCL CDC and performers will be absorbed in the company. Dr (Col) HS Singha, director, thanked the resource persons for conducting the drive.


An inter-house English declamation contest was held at Kundan Vidya Mandir here today.

Students from classes III to V participated in the contest. The function was presided over by school principal Rajiv Nagalia and various topics were discussed.



PAU Notes
Youth fest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
Students of Punjab Agricultural University participated in the North Zone Inter-Varsity Youth Festival held at Kurukshetra University from November 16 to 20.

Mime team of PAU has made it to the All-India Inter-Varsity Youth Festival which is scheduled to be held at Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, in January.

Teams from 29 universities took part in the youth festival.


Dr TK Gill, associate professor of extension education at PAU, participated in an international agricultural education for sustainable development symposium under the aegis of Japanese National Commission for UNESCO from November 9 to 12 at University of Tsukuba, Japan.

She was invited to present a paper on “Re-orientation of Higher Agricultural Education and Research and Extension Systems for 21st Century". Dr SS Gill, former director of extension education, was co-author of the paper. 



St Mahapragya's School holds declamation contest

Jagraon, November 23
A function was organised in St Mahapragya's School, Jagraon, to surface the hidden talent of the children. Declamation, Singing and Dancing Competitions were held, Students of class sixth to eighth took part in Declamation contest. In this category students talked about importance of Mother, Science of Living, Time, The way of Living etc. In this category First, Second and Third positions were bagged by Megha Jain, Rishika Arora and Mehardeep Kaur respectively. Karanpreet Singh stood first in Solo Singing, Harjot Singh in Solo Dance and Std. - 8th girls stood first in group dance.

On this occasion vice principal of the school Gurpreet Singh said that these type of competitions help in increasing knowledge and confidence building of students. He awarded all the winners. Director Vishal Jain felicitated the principal for his efforts and he also motivated the staff members and students for their participation. Aruna Jain, Parveen Sharma and Preeti Kakkar did their job as judges impartially. — OC



BSNL draws flak for poor services
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 23
It seems that for residents of Rishi Nagar, including F Block, getting a new telephone connection or shifting an existing one to this area from PSU Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has become a distant dream, as the area has been declared technically non-feasible for new telephone connections.

Even as demands for new connections are on the rise, the BSNL management has failed to initiate necessary steps to lay a new underground cable or repair a few faulty spare pairs available in the area to make them functional and clear some of the backlog for new connections.

Satish Thaman, chairman of the Rishi Nagar (F Block) Welfare Association, said the body criticised the apathetic attitude of the BSNL authorities in a recently held meeting.

Thaman said the body had urged the BSNL general manager to initiate plans for expansion of the telecom network and make available new telephone connections on demand as was being done by private service providers.

“The BSNL can at least repair some of the spare faulty cables and make them functional. The conversion of now non-functional WLL connections to landline numbers is also lying pending,” Thaman added.

Thaman said the BSNL should chalk out expansion plans so as to cater to the needs of existing customers.

He sought timely intervention of the union communication ministry to streamline working of the BSNL lest the PSU should lag far behind its other competitors in the 
private sector.



BJP urges govt to accept employees’ demands
Kuldip Bhatia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 23
The Employees Wing of Bhartiya Janata Party has appealed to the state government to accept long-pending demands of government employees and pensioners.

A deputation of the BJP front organisation, led by its president Pritpal Singh met state chief of the party Rajinder Bhandari and Deputy Speaker of Punjab Assembly Sat Pal Gosain at their residences, where several demands, including implementation of the revised pay scales as per recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, were discussed at length.

Both the BJP leaders assured the employees wing that all related issues would be appropriately taken up with the government for speedy disposal and soon a meeting of the employees wing would be convened with senior government officials and ministers concerned in this regard.

Releasing copies of memorandum submitted to senior officials, Pritpal Singh urged the government to issue remaining notification for grant of revised pay scales and pension as per recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission with retrospective effect from January 2006, enhance medical allowance to Rs 1,000, ensure 
date-bound payment of medical bills and reimburse medical bills as per market rates.

The employees wing also pleaded with the government to provide representation to pensioners in district and state-level advisory committees, start separate courts for settlement of pension disputes, make provisions for construction of pensioners halls and grant other facilities like exemption from payment of local taxes, free bus travel, LTC to pensioners of the state government as well as semi-government and autonomous departments.



Simarjit Kaur sprints to victory 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

District contingent during a march past in Ludhiana
District contingent during a march past in Ludhiana on Monday. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, November 23
Simarjit Kaur of Jalandhar sprinted towards the victory and bagged gold in 100m by clocking the time 12.42 second during the opening day of the Punjab State Games for Women, which got off to a flying start at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

Sukhbir Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister, Punjab, inaugurated the games. At least 1,700 participants in colourful dresses took part in the marchpast and saluted to the chief guest.

Badal said the Punjab government is going to introduce a new sports policy for the upliftment of sports in the state as well as at the national level.

He also stressed on the 'Catch them Young' scheme by which the sportspersons at a very young stage will be start giving training of sports on the bases of the USA and China. He also inspired the youth to participate in sports and keep themselves away from the drugs.

PS Aujla, IAS, Secretary (Sports), Punjab, welcomed the chief guest and other distinguished guests present on the occasion.

The other dignitaries present on the occasion were Harish Rai Dhanda, Parliamentary Secretary, Mayor Hakam Singh. Padam Shree Pargat Singh, Director Sports, Punjab thanked the chief guest and distinguished guest.

Simarjit Kaur of Jalandhar proved the fastest runner of the state when she bagged gold in 100 meters in 12.42 second, Harpreet Kaur of Sangrur won the Silver in 12.67 second where as Amandeep Kaur of Mukatsr got the bronze medal clocking 12.89 second.

Harpreet Kaur of Ludhiana bagged gold in 400m hurdles clocking 1:01.37min, Anju Rani of Jalandhar won silver medal in 1:02.37min. Where as Satwant Kaur of Hoshiarpur got bronze in 1:03.36 min.

In High Jump Neha Gaikwad of Amritsar jumped the bar 1.45 mtrs and clinched gold, Harpreet Kaur of Fatehgarh Sahib won silver with 1.37 mtrs and Virdeep Kaur of Firozepur got Bronze who jumped 1.35 mtrs. Manpreet Kaur of Jalandhar clinched gold in 800 mtr, clocking 2:14.32 min, Sapinder Kaur of Fatehgarh Sahib won silver in 2:23.65 and Rajvir Kaur of Ludhiana got bronze in 2:26.04.

Basketball (1st round)

Mansa Bt Bathinda 56-38

Faridkot Bt Ferozepur 55-06

Amritsar Bt Gurdaspur 66-39

Roop Nagar Bt Muktsar 58-40

Patiala Bt Hoshiarpur 55-42

Kapurthala Bt Mohali 80-67

Badminton (1st round)

Jalandhar Bt Ferozepur 2-0

S.B.S Nagar Bt S.A.S Nagar 2-0

Hoshiarpur Bt Muktsar 2-0


Roop Nagar Bt Kapurthala 19-3

Faridkot Bt Gurdaspur 10-1

Patiala Bt Muktsar 10-2

Hoshiarpur Bt S.A.S Nagar 17-10

Tarn Taran Bt Ferozepur 9-1

Ludhiana Bt S.B.S Nagar 18-6



MC tests swimmers’ endurance 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
As many as 30 girls tested their endurance by taking part in the swimming competition held at MC swimming pool on the opening day of the Women Sports Festival here today.

Though, the department was claiming that well over 50 girls would participate in the swimming competition, but so far, only 30 girls have reported. Out of the 30 participants majority of the swimmers belong to the city.

While, the girls who came from other districts, to compete in the swimming events, were shocked to witness the arrangements.

"What, are we going to swim here, in open, in such a cold weather? I think the sports department is preparing us for a war mission as sports events are organised in conducive condition not in adverse circumstances," said, a swimmer from Sangrur.

However, the tournament organizers are tight-lipped and refused to comment on the issue.

A sport official on the condition of anonymity said, "You better ask Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal about the issue. We are just obeying the order and he is the ultimate authority. Being a sport minister, he would decide the if organising swimming

events are advisable in the prevailing infrastructure."

A swimming coach said the number of swimmers is likely to swell tomorrow, as the day would witness many other events, which were abandoned due to the opening ceremony.

The coaches fear, the swimmer might not be able to give their 100 per cent in the competition and the event would end up as a mere formality.

"We are planning to mentally prepare the girl before the event as majority of them who have yet not participated in the swimming competition, do not know that they are going to swim in the open," said a coach with a worried look on his face.



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