L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

MC defers project proposals due to limited funds
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
The municipal corporation’s finance and contracts committee (F&CC) today postponed proposals for various development projects including road construction and installation of tubewells to be undertaken in various part of the city.

Committee members revealed the decision was taken keeping the civic body’s financial resources in mind. They were of the opinion that development works in various wards should be decided on priority basis so that funds could be managed.

Talking to The Tribune, SAD councillor Pal Singh Grewal, who is also an F&CC member, said, "We have approved re-inviting of tenders for undertaking construction of roads in Focal Point. Since, the companies that had applied for the work didn't qualify in the technical bids as the terms and conditions were quite strict, we’ve decided tenders should be floated again after easing the prescribed norms”.

Other proposals that got a nod from the committee included reimbursement of medical bills of some employees, purchase of machinery, materials and some trolleys for the civic body’s O&M cell and renting vehicles for garbage collection.

A request of paying Rs 5 lakh on behalf of an MC clerk also came up for discussion and was eventually approved. The request was made stating the court, which had found the clerk guilty of misappropriating funds, had directed if the amount of Rs 5 lakh is not refunded in six months then it would also carry interest. Therefore, it is in the fitness of things that the amount is refunded to the decree holder by the MC and should be recovered from the clerk later. The request was sent stating that the clerk had retired and it would take around six months to recover the money from him.

According to information, only a few of the 165 development works included in the agenda circulated among the F&CC members were approved.

Some of the interesting issues that were taken up at the meeting, but could not be decided, were allotment of Rs 50 lakh for upgradation of an ‘ayurvedic’ hospital set up in a public park in the city’s Model Gram locality.


Challan drive suspended
Dec 31 deadline for completing papers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
The challan drive against auto-rickshaws has been suspended with drivers warned to follow the traffic guidelines properly and complete the necessary documents by December 31. Heaving a sigh of relief, the auto drivers have assured the authorities to cooperate with it in curbing hundreds of illegal auto-rickshaws on city roads.

Roopinder Singh, SP (Traffic), said the drivers had been warned to complete their documents by December 31. Besides, they have been asked to wear uniforms with their nameplates on it. It will also be made sure that there was no overloading in the auto-rickshaws and no commuter will sit next to the driver’s seat. “Many a drivers are flouting the traffic rules with impunity. All these measures have been taken for the safety of commuters”, added the SP.

Meanwhile, the daily commuters continued to suffer today in the absence auto-rickshaws in the city. Raj Kumar, a worker in a factory on the Chandigarh road, said a few of his colleagues had to suffer for two days as auto-rickshaws refused to take them to their destinations. I reached my workplace after two hours”, he complained.

Auto-rickshaw drivers, on the other hand, maintained that they were being penalised by the department because of wrongdoings of a handful of drivers. They said instead of initiating challan drive against all auto-rickshaw drivers, action should have taken against the defaulters. Gurmukh Singh, an auto-rickshaw driver, said he could able to make about Rs 250 daily but in the past two days, he was not able to earn even a single penny.

“I avoided plying auto-rickshaw for two days, lest I could land myself in trouble. Though I have all documents but you never know, when they cut a challan”, he rued.

As per available information, more than 55,000 auto-rickshaws run on the city roads each day, providing cheaper services to lakhs of commuters. But complaints against them of rash driving, rude behaviour, over-loading, incomplete documents, no identification, disobeying traffic rules etc keep on pouring in with the traffic department. “Because of several complaints, strict action was taken against them recently”, said a traffic cop stationed at the Bhai Bala Chowk.



Officials yet to act on schoolgirl molestation case
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
Even though it has been nearly 20 days since an eighth class girl student of Government High School in Lakho Gaddowal, near Kohara, accused her computer teacher of molesting her, education department officials are still dragging their feet on initiating an inquiry into the incident.

Disillusioned by the officials’ attitude the girl’s parents as well as residents of the village now plan to file a formal police complaint against the teacher for allegedly molesting the student.

Parminder Singh Mehlo, a village resident, accused the school authorities of sheltering the teacher. “The incident took place on December 5 when the computer teacher molested the girl. She narrated the entire episode two days later following which the village panchayat wrote a letter to the education department and demanded a probe into the matter”, said Parminder.

It is learnt a team of education department officials was set up to look into the matter.

The villagers complained even 20 days after the incident neither did the team visit the school even once nor did they file a report in the case.

Malkit Singh, the girl’s maternal grandfather, said the teacher was still employed in the school and had “boasted about his political connections”. He added even the school authorities had not taken any disciplinary action against him.

“She -the victim- has stopped going to school following the gory incident. Her studies are suffering. She fears the teacher would again do the same thing to her,” said Malkit.

On the other hand the school authorities have claimed the girl deliberately made allegations of molestation against the computer teacher as she was not doing well in her studies and also in order to avoid studies.

Meanwhile, education department officials refused to comment on the matter.



Hospital staff missing, kin suspect foul play
Our Correspondent

Doraha, December 24
Jagtar Singh (38), an employee of Sidhu Hospital, Doraha, for the past 22 years, is missing under mysterious circumstances since Monday.He last rang up his family on Monday at around 7.30pm when he was about to start from Bhutta village for his native village Jarkhar. When he did not reach home his family tried to know about his whereabouts from every possible source but to no avail.

Jagtar’s scooter was, however, recovered the next day from the canal side. Tejinder Singh, one of his relatives, said: “Even the purse and one of the jewellery items was lying intact in the scooter”. But the family is not ready to accept it as a case of suicide for according to them Jagtar was leading a peaceful family life apart from being social and generous by nature.

Jagtar Singh is married and has two children. They detect a foul play in the entire matter. They suspect that the manner in which the scooter has been placed near the canal side indicates that somebody had tried to give a twist to the entire story while the reality seems to be otherwise.

According to Navreet Singh, SHO Sadar: “As the relatives have lodged a complaint of missing, efforts are on trace the whereabouts of the man. But since the report of missing alone has been lodged by the family, the police cannot work on any other theory and if the family suspects any foul play they would first have to report otherwise so that investigations could be initiated in that direction.” 



Headmistress humiliates students for not doing well
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh,December 24
The headmistress of a government high school yesterday allegedly ‘blackened’ the faces of some students who had failed to come up to her expectations in an English test taken recently and told them to “show their faces to their parents”.

However, she later regretted her mistake when village residents led by the panchayat protested against her “inhuman behaviour” and urged the higher authorities to take strict action against her.

The villagers, led by Swaranjit Singh Bittu, a social activist and Avtar Singh, sarpanch of the panchayat in Ghudani Khurad, alleged Harpreet Kaur, headmistress of the village high school, had humiliated about ten students of class IX, including boys and girls, in a most “inhumane” manner. The victims were first forced to stand with their arms raised above their heads and then their faces were blackened with ash gathered from the school’s kitchen before they were allowed to go home.

"We’ve never said our wards shouldn’t be asked to perform better, but this isn’t the way to treat students in a school," said Swaranjit and Avtar. “Even other teachers of the school had tried to stop the headmistress from treating the students in such a manner”, they added.

In separate complaints to the higher authorities, including the Ludhiana deputy commissioner, Payal SDM, DPI (schools), Ludhiana DEO and Payal SHO, the villagers demanded action against the erring teacher.

Saying she had no personal enmity against any of the students, Harpreet regretted her action that she said was taken in a hurry. "I was so upset at their poor performance that I couldn’t realise what I was going to do," she stated when confronted by parents in the presence of the media.

Meanwhile, the Payal police has initiated a probe into the sequence of events leading to the unsavoury incident. 



City ranked 16th largest e-commerce hub
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
eBay India, India’s most popular online auction and shopping mall, said yesterday that Ludhiana is the 16th largest e-commerce hub in the country according to its India Census 2009. The key findings and trends in online buying and selling across the country were unveiled in the website’s census guide that revealed the maximum purchases made by the residents were of Hindi comics, USB drives, women’s wallets and laptops.

The largest number of products sold by the city entrepreneurs included memory cards, pen drives, Indian stamps, mobile signal boosters and headphones. Besides, Punjab’s leading industrial city exported a big range of items, including books, horse saddles, Indian currency bills, Pashmina scarves and baseball bats.

According to the Census, India’s top five e-commerce hubs are Delhi closely followed by Mumbai, Chennai, Jaipur and Bangalore.

The website’s India Census is an annual eBay property designed to throw light on online buying and selling behaviour in the country as well as trends from global e-buyers purchasing from Indian entrepreneurs. The eBay Census puts online Indian shoppers under a lens and analysed online shopping behaviour in 28 states, seven union territories and the top cities.

The eBay India Census 2009 listed over 2,471 e-commerce hubs in the country. With the Laccadives making its debut this year, all 28 states and seven union territories witnessed e-commerce transactions. The IT hubs of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra and Gujarat were the most wired states in India, with the most cities where e-commerce originates.



Vigilance records statement of 2 JEs

Ludhiana, December 24
A team of Vigilance cell of the local bodies today recorded the statement of a retired and a serving junior engineers of the municipal corporation, who handled the controversial measurement book on the basis of which fake bills were prepared in the alleged fake bill scam.

The team led by two senior Vigilance officials, including Ajay Kanwar and Mukesh Rai and another Vigilance official Rajinder Rai, recorded the statement of former JE Suresh Kumar and serving JE Harjeet Singh and asked them about the measurement book No. 2423. Sources said both JEs gave contradictory statements to the probe team leaving them confused. — TNS



Unidentified body found

Ludhiana, December 24
Panic gripped the civil hospital and its surrounding areas after an unidentified body was found lying in a drain here this morning. According to the police, the victim has been identified as a middle- aged man and was spotted this morning by the bystanders.

Later, the body was sent it for a post-mortem examination. The victim has not been identified as yet. — TNS



McGill University keen to tie up
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
The McGill University, Montreal, Canada is keen to have a collaborative tie-up with Punjab Agricultural University in the area of natural resource management, socio-economic research, awareness programmes about bio-resource conservation, etc. This was expressed by Prof. Jaswinder Singh of McGill University, Department of Plant Science who visited Punjab Agricultural University, today.

He had an interaction with the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Manjit Singh Kang wherein the Dean, College of Basic Sciences and Humanities, Dr. Rajinder Singh Sidhu and Additional Director of Communication, Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman participated.

Dr. Kang shared that PAU had already entered into agreements with a number of international organizations in different areas of research, teaching and transfer of technology. He said that the University was strengthening its international linkages through organizing visits, international conferences and distance learning programmes.

He shared that the international symposium on "Climate Change In Agriculture" was being planned shortly wherein stalwarts from different parts of the world will participate. He appreciated McGill University for its desire to develop collaboration with PAU. Prof. Singh said that PAU was always considered in high esteem by researchers all over the world due to its significant role in ushering in green revolution. He said that PAU alumni were settled in different regions of the world and were keen to project the University. 



Young farmers to be trained
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
The directorate of extension education, PAU, will be organising a three-month training course in agriculture for matriculate young farmers in the age group of 20-40 years from different districts of Punjab except districts of Gurdaspur and Amritsar.

The course starting on January 6 will continue up to April 2. The participants will be imparted knowledge and practical know-how about different aspects of agriculture and subsidiary occupations.

The interested young farmers can obtain the prescribed application form for this course from the directorate of extension education or Kairon Kisan Ghar on the PAU campus, Ludhiana.

The last date for applying is December 31, while the interview will be held at 10 am on January 4 in the Kairon Kisan Ghar.

The in charge of the young farmers training, Dr TS Riar, has said the farmers attending the interview should bring along matriculate pass certificate and evidence of their age.

The selected candidates will have to deposit a security of Rs 500, which will be returnable after the completion of the course.



Decline in reading habits causes concern

Ludhiana, December 24
The Offset Printers’ Association (OPA) has expressed concern over the decrease in reading habits among youngsters and children.

At the general body meeting of the association, Parveen Aggarwal, association president, said with the new generation more inclined towards the electronic media, the future of printing was of concern. “We are at the crossroads in terms of new printing technology, changes in customer marketing and challenge to print. We need to band together to develop new markets, new print products and new ideas and convince the world that print is still an important and viable form of communication,” said Aggarwal.

“The industry is in an unprecedented period of change exacerbated by the deep recession. Cash conservation is a short-term tactic, not a strategy to build a successful business. We need to debate on the issue, these debates provide an opportunity for industry players to put their heads above the parapet and think about how their businesses and careers might progress satisfactorily under the new conditions,” he said. — TNS



Citizens panel seeks justice for migrants
Kuldip Bhatia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 24
A deputation of the Citizens Forum for Justice met Deputy Commissioner Vikas Garg here today, along with the victims of recent violence against migrants in Dhanadari in the city, and made a fervent plea for providing justice to them.

In a memorandum submitted to the district administration on this occasion, the forum demanded immediate release of innocent persons, arrested from their houses while sleeping on December 3 night, withdrawal of false cases framed against them, a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the family of Amir Hassan, who died in the police firing and compensation package to those migrant families whose property had been destroyed.

The forum, in an appeal to the people, has asked them to stand in solidarity with the helpless poor labourers, who were made victims of the unfortunate events. The forum had already demanded a judicial inquiry into the whole incident.

The deputation included Dr Arun Mitra, general secretary, Indian Doctors for Peace and development, Jagmohan, general secretary, AK Malery, office secretary, Association for Democratic Rights Punjab, Gurcharan Kochhar, president, Punjab Istri Sabha, DP Maur, general secretary, Joint Council of Trade Unions and Ramesh Rattan, chairman, Small -Scale Industries and Traders Association Ludhiana. 



From Schools
Students celebrate Christmas with fervour
Kuldip Bhatia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana/ Khanna December 24
Fun, frolic and gaiety marked the Christmas celebration at Kids Zone Playway School here today. Children came to the school dressed up as Santa Claus and fairies. They danced to the tunes of the carols such as "Jingle Bells" and other Christmas songs. The whole school was decorated with Christmas trees, charts, balloons and colourful buntings. A Santa was also called to the school, who danced to the tunes of carols with the children and distributed gifts to the young ones. Principal Poonam told the children to follow the path of truth and love for fellow human beings as shown by Jesus Christ.

GD Goenka public

GD Goenka Public school organised a Christmas function in which students from Nursery to II, along with the teachers, sang “Jingle bells” and other Christmas carols. The children were dressed as fairies. The ‘silent night’ dance drew grand applause.

Ram Lal Bhasin public

Students of Ram Lal Bhasin Public School organised a colorful programme to celebrate Christmas. It reflected upon the teachings of Jesus Christ and his life. The angels of Montessori wing presented their dance item Rock the dance floor. The students also sang carols such as "Go tell it to the mountain" and delighted everyone. The students attired as Santa Claus attracted the attention of the audience. The children while enjoying the wintry chill, were in festive mood while singing “Jingle Bells” and dancing on numbers like “We wish you a Merry Christmas”, "Christmas Polka". Akriti, Shubham, Rupali, Shine, Mehak, Shivam, Piyush Aggarwal, Yashna, Navkirat, Aaaira, Raksheeta, Ravkirat Singh performed well on the stage. Festivity was in the air and the children were dressed up in bright colorful clothes. The headmistress of the school, Tarannum Fatma, appreciated the students for their wonderful performance and distributed sweets. Director SVerma wished the students a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Everest public

The Christmas eve was celebrated by the Playway wing of Everest Public Senior Secondary School on the school premises. Students from pre-nursery to KG enthusiastically took part in it. It was fascinating sight to see the tinytots dressed as Santa Clause and Mother Mary. Singing songs and carols, the students enjoyed the dance party. Games like card making, mask making and Santa clause making were special attraction of the function. Shashi Sharma, in-charge, cultural activities explained the significance of the festival of Christmas to the participants.

Small wonders

Christmas was celebrated with fun and frolic at Small Wonders Nursery School here today. Children dressed up as Santa Claus and fairies mesmerised every one by their performance. The school was decorated tastefully with Christmas trees, bells, balloons and buntings. Special cakes were made to mark the occasion. Toffees and gifts were distributed among them and the kids were taught to share and care.

DCM presidency

Ajit Narayan, a professional cartoonist, taught cartooning to students of DCM Presidency School here yesterday. Narayan is also an author and has books like, “Cartooning with Ajit Narayan” and “How to draw cartoon animals”, to his credit. The students were taught to draw various faces and expressions using basic geometrical shapes. They were made aware about how animal faces could be used to depict various expressions and characteristics of human beings. The students of Classes I to VIII participated with zeal in the workshop.

Chanda Mama

Students of Chanda Mama and Lovely Lotus School, who had birthdays in December, had a date with Jesus Christ when they celebrated their birthday with Christ here yesterday as a part of Christmas celebrations. There was a Christmas tree decorated with stars, bells, balls, fairies, etc. and the children danced around it singing, “Jingle bells, Jingle bells”. The children listened to the story of Christ's birth with great interest. They had cakes and chocolates to mark the celebrations.

GNI public

A series of activities like “Chote ustaad” quiz was organised to mark Christmas celebrations. Besides best out of waste, one minute show and New Year card making were conducted in the pre-primary wing of GNI Public School here yesterday. The kids also came out with innovative ideas in the best out of waste activity, as they made different and beautiful items from waste material.

Jain public

Jain Public Senior Secondary School, Benjamin road, celebrated Christmas with zeal and enthusiasm. Children from pre-nursery to Class I participated enthusiastically in the celebrations. Little Santas stole the show. A Christmas cake was also cut on the occasion. Later, principal Veena Sehgal explained the importance of the day to the schoolchildren.

Love Dale

Love Dale was in a festive mood. Children got into the festivities by singing carols and “Jingle bells” and dancing to tunes like “We wish you a merry Christmas”. A feast was also organised, wherein a cake was cut and offered to all. The children and staff exchanged greetings, learning about the significance of Christmas.

GMT public

Christmas was also celebrated at the kindergarten block of GMT Public School, Jalandhar bypass, with pomp and show. Tiny tots attired as Santa Claus presented a gala show, highlighting the importance of Christmas. A scene depicting the birth of Jesus Christ, which was the centre of attraction, mesmerised all. Bulletin boards were decorated with gifts, toffees and Christmas trees, which caught the interest of kids. Christmas carols were sung to create a festive spirit. The whole atmosphere was festive and presented a snowy look. Santa Claus was riding a sleigh distributing sweets and gifts. The children enjoyed the show of merry making and dancing and were given goodies as prizes in the best Santa competition organised in the KG block. Principal Amarjit Dhaliwal, along with other teachers, blessed the children and wished them merry Christmas.

Rising Star

Rising Star, the playway school, was decorated with bells, stars, balloons and bunting to celebrate Christmas here yesterday. Christmas tree was decorated by teachers and students. The story and importance of Christmas was told to the students. The children also recited poems and sang carols. A cake was also cut by principal Sonia Sharma.

GMT Public School
GMT Public School. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Rising Star School.
Rising Star School. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Green Land Convent

Christmas was celebrated with fervour and gaiety at Green Land Convent School here. The school, decorated with balloons and stars, presented a festive look. Children came dressed up as Santa Claus, Mother Mary and fairies. Children song carols and danced to the music as the entire school resounded with "Jingle Bells." The chairman-cum-director of the school Rajesh Rudhra encouraged and blessed the students. Radha Vatika school Christmas was celebrated with great fervour in the campus of Radha Vatika Senior Secondary School , Khanna. All rooms were well decorated. Tinytots came dressed as Santa Claus. Christmas tree was decorated with bells, stars and balloons. Students from different classes presented a number of cultural items depicting the life of Lord Jesus. Students delivered speeches on the occasion. The function began with famous Christmas carrols. Sweets were distributed among students. Everyone was in a jubilant mood. Mr RP Sharma, Pr RV College, Khanna, was the chief guest. Members of the management were also present there to grace the occasion. At the end, Principal A. Sakarsudha wished merry Christmas and a happy new year to one and all and also advised them to protect themselves from severe cold. 



PAU Notes
US scientists discuss biotech crops
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
"Crop Biotechnology has made significant advances with the development and commercialisation of GM crops, the world over", this was stated by Dr Kanwarpal Singh Dhugga, a senior scientist from Dupont Agricultural Biotechnology, Johnston, USA, in a seminar on “Agricultural Biotechnology: Perspective of a Scientist from Industry", at PAU here today.

The lecture was delivered in the Department Of Plant Breeding And Genetics. Dhugga stated that genetically modified (GM) crops were 100 per cent acceptable in the USA where more than 90 per cent of soybean was GM. Likewise, about 50 per cent of US corn was also GM. The total area under GM crops such as soybean, maize, cotton, canola, squash, papaya, alfalfa, sugar beet in the USA was more than 60 million hectares, said Dr Dhugga.

He gave the examples of GM crops resistant to herbicide, glyphosate (round up ready) and GM crops carrying cry genes, resistant to insects etc. He made a mention about the development of GM crops possessing better nutritional quality such as high oleic acid soybean, high vitamin A rice (golden rice), high vitamin E canola and late ripening tomatoes. Dhugga further stated that US had also developed drought tolerant maize and work was in progress to develop biotech crops with greater nitrogen use efficiency.

In his remarks, the Additional Director of Research, (Agri.), Dr SS Gosal said the cultivation of Bt. Cotton in Punjab had brightened the prospects of cotton besides lessening the pesticide use by about 70 per cent. He said that there was no scientific evidence against any ill effect of GM crops and that the clothes that were worn were mostly from GM cotton. He thanked Dhugga for enlightening the audience about the role of agricultural biotechnology and GM crops for sustaining agriculture.

NSS service camp

The NSS unit at PAU has been actively participating in different activities aimed at creating awareness about social causes, cleaning and greening of campus and other such activities. Dr Damanjeet Kaur, Coordinator of NSS at PAU, said that the unit comprising NSS volunteers from all the constituent colleges of the university will begin the New Year-2010 with a 10-day service camp, wherein, pro-humanity activities such as beautification of the campus through tree plantation, undertaking clean and green campus drive, inculcating physical fitness through yoga camps, creating awareness about social vices such as drug menace, female foeticide, etc., through poster campaigns, organising painting contests and debates to encourage creative talent among students. She said that the major focus of NSS activities remains on overall welfare of humanity as per its motto "Not Me But You".



Generator catches fire
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
A generator of Neelam Cycles caught fire here today. However, no loss to life has been reported. The officials of the Fire Department said it was a minor fire and the flames were doused within half hour.

Fire officer Amarjit Sharma said, "There was nothing to panic. The generator had caught fire and the machinery lying near it got a little affected. Otherwise, the situation was comfortable."



Town still cries for basic amenities
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 24
Regretting that the town lacks basic amenities even after 150 years of its establishment, a section of residents led by social activists, Abhay Jain and Tarsem Garg, have threatened to launch an agitation in case the administration did not revert anti-people decisions taken in the past.

What to talk of shifting the BDO office to the town, establishing a degree college and improvement of civic amenities, the administration has even shifted the birth and death registration office to Malerkotla.

In a communiqué addressed to office-bearers of various political parties, including the SAD, BJP and Congress, the residents have accused successive legislators and parliamentarians of ignoring their demands.

The town, which is situated about 60 km from the district headquarters, has been crying for basic amenities for decades.

Due to the absence of an amusement park or a stadium, youngsters and children cannot engage in any sports activities.

The local authorities have failed to develop proper drainage system in the town. As a result, sewage overflows during the rainy season.

None of the elected representatives have bothered to get the public utilities function properly. The basic amenities are lacking at a majority of public places, including bus stand and railway station.

All roads connecting the town to surrounding villages and towns are in a bad shape. This, besides causing inconvenience to commuters discourages bus drivers from entering the town.

Moreover, due to the absence of a degree college, the students have to go to the cities to get higher education. The demand for the degree college in the town is yet to be fulfilled.

The residents demanded improvement of the basic amenities after upgrading the town to a sub-division, as promised during the election campaigns.



Dress rehearsal for national basketball meet held
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 24
As the stage is set for the 60th edition of the Senior National Basketball Championship scheduled to be conducted at Guru Nanak Stadium from December 27 to January 3, next, the full dress rehearsal show was held here today.

Rajdeep Singh Gill, DGP cum director, Maha Raja Ranjit Singh Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, who is also the president of the Punjab Basketball Academy (PBA), along with other office-bearers of the association watched the rehearsal.

Recruits of the police academy, Phillaur, gave a scintilating performance during the show. They exhibited different exercises, including acrobatics and made human pyramids. A contingent of trained dogs of the academy too gave some rare seen performances.

A Punjab police band was also in attendance there to entertain a handful spectators, present at the main Guru Nanak Stadium. Students of different schools who would present a cultural programme on the opening day of the national basketball meet were also seen busy for preparing themselves for the mega event.

Meanwhile, Teja Singh Dhaliwal, honorary general secretary of the PBA informed that the participating teams would start arriving here tomorrow or on Saturday morning. "The PBA president has personally sent invitation to all 17 Arjuna awardees (basketball) to attend the inaugural ceremony.

Besides, two Dharnoachrya awardees, Ram Kumar and Aparna Ghosh have also been invited to be in the city during the course of this sports extravagnza," added Dhaliwal.

They will be honoured by the PBA for their outstanding contribution they have made to basketball, during the championship, Dhaliwal said.



‘Better healthcare will top my priority in new year’
Tribune News Service

Dr Maninderjit Singh
Dr Maninderjit Singh

Ludhiana, December 24
In an informal chat with Anshu Seth, Ludhiana Civil Surgeon Dr Maninderjit Singh shares his experiences and insights gathered during this year.

Q - Has 2009 been memorable or forgettable?

A - This year was indeed a memorable one for me as my posting in Ludhiana, which was accompanied by challenges like gastroenteritis and dengue fever that had claimed several lives in 2008. However, with the well-coordinated team efforts we were able to check these diseases. This was followed by our successful raids on sweetmeat shop selling spurious ‘khoya’ and sweets during the festival season. However the end of the year has come with the biggest challenge in the form of swine flu which I along with my colleagues are tackling fairly well.

Q - Was the year disappointing or inspiring?

A - 2009 was full of inspiration, as all the problems that I encountered professionally have motivated me to work harder and come out a winner. Though I did have my moments of apprehensions my never say die’ attitude helped me to emerge victorious against all odds.

Q - Did anyone impress you during this year?

A - Philanthropic deeds have always impressed me more than anything else in life and the good work done by the NGO Samvedna has touched my soul. The ambulance service and the mortuary van services the NGO provides for assisting accident victims and the care it takes of unclaimed bodies till their last rites is a real service to humanity.

Q - What has been your experiences in public dealing in the city?

A - Apart from my duties as a doctor and civil surgeon of Ludhiana district, I’ve become wiser in terms of dealing with people. The city has a peculiar culture that instills people with a confidence that they carry with them even when they are on the other side of the law. It was a challenge to work in the city, as a majority of its residents believes in using their ‘connections’ to safeguard their interests.

Q - Any place you visited for the first time in 2009?

A - I visited the Andaman & Nicobar Islands for the first time in my life. The light and sound programme held there, which depicted ‘suffering and sacrifice’, was a soul stirring experience for me. The holiday, which was taken for leisure, reinforced my patriotic zeal.

Q - What are your plans for 2010?

A - Better healthcare facilities for the residents of Ludhiana city and district will be my top priority in the new year. We at the department will ensure no outbreak of seasonal diseases like dengue and gastroenteritis are reported. The swine flu menace too poses a big challenge and we’ll have to remain on our toes to check its spread. 



I’ll focus on more housing,better amenities: LIT chief
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 24-
Having completed six months as chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), Ashok Juneja, who is also a senior BJP leader and a noted taxation advisor, is upset over the communal and regional turmoil witnessed in different parts of the country, in particular the recent violence in Punjab’s industrial and commercial hub. However, he has got his priorities right and looks forward to introduce more housing schemes and provide improved amenities in the existing LIT colonies.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q: Was 2009 memorable or forgettable?

A: It was like any other year except for the communal disturbances in many regions of the country - most recently in the city. These divisive tendencies need to be checked and forces responsible for disturbing peace and harmony should be exposed. My nomination by the SAD-BJP government as LIT chairman is a challenging assignment and I’m trying to carry out my responsibilities to best of my ability.

Q: Was the year disappointing or inspiring?

A: It was a mixed bag. As far as the hue and cry about rising prices is concerned, the government did falter in curbing inflation. However, the phenomenon of prices rising and falling is linked to various factors, most important being demand and supply, purchasing power and disposable income. The process of economic reforms is still incomplete and the government will do well to lift all regulatory controls and completely open up the market.

Q: Did anyone make you happy or did you meet anyone who impressed you this year?

A: I met many dignitaries and eminent people from different walks of life. However, the person who stands out is Subodhanand, head of the Chinmaya mission based in Tapovan, Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. Meeting him during his visit to the city for a discourse was a most satisfying experience of my life. His advice to make the teachings of the ‘vedas’ a way of life has come to my rescue many a times whenever I am in two minds or caught in a dilemma. His advice - "Problems are a part of life, face them with courage and conviction" - also help me in facing up to the challenges in my daily life.

Q: Any ‘firsts’ during the year?

A: Though I’ve travelled widely my first visit to Hong Kong during the year was a new experience. I thoroughly studied the system of commerce, taxation and governance in this former British colony and now a part of mainland China. What impressed me the most was the sense of nationalism among the people, as well as the discipline and cleanliness all around.

Q: What do you look ahead to in 2010?

A: Housing is one of the basic but vital needs of city residents. I intend to focus on carving out new colonies, provide better amenities in existing colonies and make the institution I head financially strong. Two major projects to be undertaken during the first quarter of next year are construction of LIG and EWS apartments on 8.8 acres of land in Karnail Singh Nagar and handing over possession of 1,100 built-up flats to the allottees.



Dharmendra attends ceremony at friend’s place
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
Noted Bollywood actor Dharmendra would like to do a good role in a movie if offered one otherwise he want to remain glued to his production only.

The adored hero of yore, Dharmendra was in the city to attend the house warming ceremony of one of his friends who lives in the South city.

Talking to mediapersons, Dharmendra said he was looking for the role of a very unique character and would lap it up if offered. Praising the architecture of the house being constructed in the city, Dharmendra said he was quiet impressed with the massive bungalows.

‘‘I was amazed to see the new houses coming up across the Sidhwan canal. People have a very good taste here. But at the same time they should think about the farmers’ land also. Otherwise, where would our agriculturalists go?’’ he added. The actor said they were working hard for their forthcoming production,” Cheers”. Though he remained in the city for two days he did not visit his native village Dango. The natives of the village felt disappointed.



Aanganwari workers gherao Gabria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
A large number of Aanganwari workers gheraoed Jail and Tourism Minister Hira Singh Gabria in his house against the lackadaisical attitude of the Badal government in implementing their long pending demands here today. The protesters raised slogans against the government and threatened to intensify their agitation, if the ruling party failed to give them a patient hearing.

The finance secretary of Aanganwari Mulazim Union, CITU, Punjab, Subhash Rani, said the government was not paying any attention towards their long-pending demands.

She said recruitment of supervisors should be done from amongst the workers only and it should be on seniority basis. Secondly, as per the Haryana government, the state should provide them with enhanced pay scales and annual increments.

The workers working under the Integrated Child Development Scheme should be given the grades as per the government employees. A welfare fund should be created for Aanganwari workers in which worker should be given Rs 1,000.



3 booked in dowry case
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 24
The Sidhwan Bet police has booked three members of a family for seeking more dowry and assaulting a woman. Sukhdev Singh of Amargarh Kaler village in his complaint lodged with the SSP Ludhiana (Rural) on November 4 had stated that he got his daughter Sarabjit Kaur married to Kamaljit Singh, an Army man from Malshian Bhai Ke, about six years ago.

They had gone beyond their capacity in spending on their daughter’s marriage. Soon after the marriage her in-laws, including her husband, his grandparents Bhajan Singh and Jangir Kaur, started harassing her for bringing inadequate dowry. She was even beaten up frequently. They used to pressurize her for bringing more dowry from her parents and frequently used to turn her out of the house. He said his daughter had a five -year-daughter and the accused were not mending their ways and now they were demanding Rs 2 lakh as part payment of the pending dowry. They also lodged a complaint with the women cell, which conducted an inquiry and found allegations levelled by Sarabjit Singh to be correct. The three accused were booked under Sections 406 and 498A of the IPC yesterday. 



Drugs seized

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 24
In the course of its ongoing crackdown to curb the menace of drug addiction, a team of Health Department, led by district drug inspector Kamal Kamboj, conducted raids on a number of chemist shops and godowns in the area.

During the raids, a huge haul of intoxicating tablets was seized as their owners failed to produce the sale and purchase documents and other records of the drugs. The drugs are estimated to be of around Rs 10.50 lakh.

Dr Chandan Jit Kondal, Civil Surgeon, Sangrur, said the health authorities had seized a large haul of habit-forming pharmaceutical preparation from shops and unauthorised godowns in the region. Besides other seizures 19,7,000 tablets, 62,000 capsules, 12,480 cough syrup bottles and a large number of injections were confiscated from unlicensed godown owned by Hitesh Kumar of Cheema Mandi today. The confiscated stock included Rexcof, Recodex, Lomotil and Pravinspas. — OC



Two held for oil pilferage
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 24
The CIA- II police seized a tanker containing 8,200 liters of adulterated kerosene following a raid conducted in Amedpur near Sahnewal here today.

The police has also arrested two person in this connection while the third and the prime accused managed escape.

Harpal Singh, in charge, CIA-II, said the accused used to mix chemicals in kerosene and sell it in the market by claiming it to be a patrol.

Ajit Kumar, a labourer, and tanker driver Amarjit Singh were arrested from the spot and their vehicle impounded.

While Sudershan Kumar the owner of the tanker and the king pin of the oil adulteration racket managed to escape. Both accused have been booked under the 7 EC Act for oil pilfering.



Hockey: Mehta Gurkul Academy script victory
Our Sports Reporter

Doraha (Ludhiana), December 24
Mehta Gurkul Academy, Doraha, drubbed DAV Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh 7-2 on the second day of the 7th All-India Doraha Gold Cup Hockey Tournament being organised by the Friends Club at Mehta Gurkul Public School Senior Secondary School grounds, here today.

Gurkul Academy lads drew the first blood in the 8th minute when Gurpartap Singh found the target. They increased the lead in the 12th minute through Dipanshu and Virenderpal Singh made it 3-nil in the 16th minute.

DAV School, Chandigarh, players managed to pierce through Doraha outfit's defense in the 25th minute when Balwinder Singh sounded the board.

In the very next minute, Nitin of Doraha scored a field goal to read the score sheet 4-1 and with few seconds before the breather, they consolidated the lead through Gurpartap Singh (5-1).

With seven minutes into the second half, Chandigarh boys again reduced the margin (2-5) when Rohit was on the target.

Dipanshu and Amlok Singh added two more goals in the 49th and 60th minute, respectively to help Gurkul Academy to romp home victors quite comfortably (7-2).

The second match was played between joint winners, Punjab and Sind Bank Academy (junior), Jalandhar, and Nagan Baba Sahib Das Hockey Academy, Sangrur, ended in a 2-2 draw.

Sangrur outfit shot into the lead in the 8th minute through a goal scored by Ramanveer Singh and Ravinder Singh made it 2-0 in the 19th minute.

However, they squandered away the advantage as Karandeep Singh of PSB Academy scored in the 32nd minute and seven minutes later, Gurpreet Singh levelled the score 2-2.

In the third match of the day, SAI hostel, Kurukshetra, beat Grewal Sports Academy, Kila Pur, 4-2.

For the winners, Narinder Singh (17th minute), Pardeep Singh (50th minute) and Naveen (52nd and 57th minute) were the scorers while navjot Singh (10th and 43rd minutes) was the lone scorer for Kila Raipur.

In another match, hosts, Sports School, Jalandhar, outperformed Mehta Gurukul Public Senior Secondary School, Doraha, 4-1.

Sports School, Jalandhar, went into an early lead when Yadwinder Singh struck in the 4th minute and five minutes later, Ranjeet Singh enhanced the lead (2-0).

Rajandeep Singh made it 3-0 in the 16th minute while Ranjeet Singh found the target in the 40th minute to make 4-0.

Doraha lads found the consolation in the 41st minute when Simrandeep Singh sounded the board (4-1).

The last match of the day was played between Mata Sahib Kaur Academy, Jarkhar, and SAI, Patiala, in which the former, though a bunch of beginners, gave many anxious moments to their experienced rivals and managed to hold them to a 2-2 draw.

Gagandeep Singh and Jatinder Singh scored for Patiala while Gurdeep Singh and Karanveer Singh chipped in for Jarkhar academy.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |