L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Improvement Trust allotments under lens
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 2
A team of officials from the local government department’s vigilance wing, led by chief vigilance officer AK Prabhakar, today inspected documents and records pertaining to questionable plot allotments by Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) under its various residential schemes that are under investigation.

The vigilance officials took into their possession certain files and related documents. LIT officials were also told to produce those documents that were not readily available within a stipulated period to facilitate the probe’s completion and submission of a report to the government for further action, if warranted.

Prabhakar told The Tribune the vigilance wing was conducting enquiries into allotment of plots in several LIT schemes that was allegedly done in violation or circumvention of the relevant laws.

"There have been complaints of questionable allotments to locally displaced persons in some cases. Certain allotments made to housing cooperative societies are being probed while some others made on the basis of false or fabricated records to bogus claimants are also being investgated," he added.

According to Prabhakar, the vigilance probes in plot allotments was an ongoing process as new complaints continued to pour in.

"We on our part strive to complete the inquiry in an expeditious manner and forward our findings to the state government for initiating action against those found guilty. Some of our probes have been held up for want of relevant records. We have told LIT officials in no uncertain terms to provide all relevant documents and record to enable us to complete investigation of the pending cases."



Rs 30,000, gold ring, mobile stolen from shop
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
Unidentified miscreants broke into a provisions store in the city’s Basti Abdullahpur locality and decamped with Rs 30,000, a gold ring and a mobile phone.

Parveen Kumar Chabbra, owner of the Parveen Karyana Store, told The Tribune: "We noticed the theft only this morning. The shop is housed on the ground floor of a double storied building. The thieves entered through the broken door of a room on the first floor, climbed down the stairs and took away the valuables. I have reported the matter to the police”.

However, a case was yet to be registered till the filing of this report.

Meanwhile, another burglary was reported at the Jassa Mobile Repair shop in Kundanpuri. The complainant stated the thieves took away four or five mobile phones worth around Rs 20,000. An FIR in this case too is yet to be filed.



Vigilance report on fake bill scam likely in fortnight
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
Officials of the Punjab local bodies department’s vigilance wing investigating the ‘fake bill’ scam that was unearthed in the municipal corporation are expected to submit their report within a fortnight.

According to sources, the officials, who had taken up the probe on priority basis, have now begun crossexamining MC staff. "Chief vigilance officer AK Prabhakar was in the city today to look into the missing links of the case," they added.

The sources said the vigilance team was trying to get its hands on the ‘measurement book no 2423’, the key document in the embezzlement case. Since every bill contains a reference of this book, the vigilance officials are trying to find out the last person possessing the book.

“Local bodies principal secretary C Reoul himself is taking keen interest in the case and was present when the statements of indicted contractors were recorded in Chandigarh last month, the sources added.

Prabhakar told The Tribune: "I was in Ludhiana to record some statements and look into some MC records pertaining to the case. I’m satisfied with the pace of the investigation and will do my best to submit a report as soon as possible." He added the vigilance team also sought documents pertaining to an “illegal colony” in the city.

Interestingly, it has been over 45 days since the last development in the scam on December 30, 2009, when the local bodies minister suspended 13 civic body officials on the basis of the preliminary report submitted by additional commissioner KP Brar.

The scam revolves around three contractors and several MC officials. The contractors were given 13 projects involving laying cemented and premix roads in the city’s ‘A’ and ‘B’ zones. Of these ten projects were assigned to Varinder with Kulbir and Sunny getting one and two, respectively. The MC issued work orders for constructing these roads in 2008 and the contractors commenced work on the projects. After completing them the contractors were paid off. However, in connivance with MC officials, they got forged bills prepared for the 13 projects and submitted them to the civic body, seeking more payments.

The total forged bills submitted by the three contractors amounted to above Rs 1.5 crore. However, the civic body issued payments of about Rs 74 lakh to the contractors against the forged bills. The fact that the contractors got money for work for they had been already paid came to the fore during a probe conducted by additional commissioner KP Brar.



100 illegal mobile towers in city
MC yet to swing into action
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

One of the illegal mobile towers in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, February 2
While the municipal corporations in New Delhi and Noida have started cracking a whip against illegal mobile towers by sealing these, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is yet to wake up from its deep slumber.

According to sources, around 100 illegal mobile towers have been erected throughout the city and the civic body is clueless about them.

They said, “As no surveys were conducted on these illegal mobile towers, officials could not keep a tab on them.”

They said through these towers, mobile companies were evading installation amount, which caused monetary loss to the state ex-chequer.

An official from the Department of Town planning said, “The action taken by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is cancellation of the No-Objection Certificate. The question arises why the towers were not sealed. It’s primarily because these towers generally come through “approach”.

Rulebook says that before the installation of mobile towers, a structure safety certificate has to be obtained by the site architect.

Following this, Rs 15,000 has to be submitted to the Municipal Corporation, along with structure design and ownership documents.

But the mobile companies generally flout these laws and rules. Sources said the municipal corporations in New Delhi and Noida take stern action against violators, but in Ludhiana, political hindrance is the major drawback.

Talking to The Tribune, Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal said, “Since the matter has been brought to my notice, defaulters will be dealt with strictly.”


'Late marriages to blame for breast, ovarian cancer'
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
Late marriages followed by late conception and child bearing are resulting in increasing incidents of ovarian and breast cancer in urban women, observed Dr Veena Jain, head of the Gynae Oncology at the Mohan Dai Oswal Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation.

The oncologists from the research foundation have started a campaign against cancer, which is on the rise in Punjab and India at large. Dr Satish Jain, the head of the surgery, oncology, at the foundation, said more than 10 lakh patients are diagnosed with cancer in India every year, out of which four-five lakh succumb to the disease.

Similarly, every year 4, 70,000 new cases of cervix cancer are reported globally out of which 1, 30, 000 cases surface in India. Dr Veena Jain spoke on the "prevention and cure" of gynae and breast cancer. When asked about the efficacy of the HPV vaccine, she said it was effective against two strains in 70 per cent of the cases. She also said that it should be administered to the girls before sexual intercourse, as the ideal age for vaccination is between nine-16 years.

Another oncologist while emphasising upon the need to create awareness amongst people, said the word cancer should not be dreaded but should be fought against. Citing the examples of Lance Edward Armstrong, eight times world cycling champion, an oncologist said, "The champion, having learnt about his testicular tumour, was not able to partake in eighth championship but his determination helped him fight against the disease. Not only was he successfully treated but he went on to win the eighth champion's title after getting cured," the doctor went on to add.

Pointing towards the early detection, Dr P Kapoor said it was best curable at paediatric age, thus the children can be saved by studying the symptoms and going for the recommended tests at an early stage.


  • Non-healing ulcers
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Persistent cough even after medication
  • Variation in voice
  • Unusual loss of weight


  • Say no to tobacco
  • Refrain from excessive intake of alcohol
  • Exercise regularly
  • Say no to fatty diet
  • Use sunscreen lotion against UV rays



Revised Pay Scales
Varsity refutes teachers’ allegations
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
Refuting allegations of the Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University Teachers' Association regarding non-implementation of revised pay scales, the university comptroller has said the allegations are "incorrect and baseless".

BS Randhawa, comptroller, GADVASU, has alleged that the university had paid salaries to the non-teaching employees as per the laid down procedure. "No other official has been paid in the new scales as alleged by the GADVASU Teachers' Association leaders," remarked Randhawa.

"In the case of teachers, 80 per cent share of the increased salaries is to be received from the ICAR and there is no rule under which the GADVASU can pay the salaries in the revised scale without the receipt of grants from the ICAR," said Randhawa.

He further added, "It is known to the representatives of GADVASU Teachers' Association that the payment of the new scales cannot be made to them at present as per the rules. No other agricultural university, including PAU, has paid the same."

"Vice-chancellor Dr VK Taneja has asked me to pursue the matter vigorously with the ICAR and the state government for the release of funds so that teachers do not have to face any financial hardship," he added. The VC has also written a demi-official letter last week to the deputy director-general concerned in ICAR and has planned to visit the institute himself during this week in this regard, Randhawa said.

Meanwhile, GADVASUTA members were firm on their stand. They alleged that the non-teaching employees and some officials of GADVASU were drawing new salaries since August 2009, but the teachers were being denied their right.



‘94 Grammy winner honoured
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
While the whole country is rejoicing after AR Rehman won the Grammy Award, it seems no one remembers Sukhvinder Singh, who is also the recipient of the Grammy Award in 1994 for his music album “A Meeting by River”.

Settled in the UK, Sukhvinder was in the city and was honoured by the Ramgarhia Khoj and Sewa Society.

Born in Ludhiana, he has been brought up at Bhaini Sahib.

“Though there are lovers of classical music in India, still efforts need to be put in to make classical music popular,” he added.

Going down the memory lane, Sukhvinder remembered when he was six years old, Satguru realised his potential and destiny.

“He taught me Indian classical music and made me a disciple of Late Ustad Nihaal Singh,” he said.

After receiving a sound foundation in pakhawaj, Sukhvinder left his home to study the traditional gurushishya parampara under none other than the world renowned tabla samrat, Pandit Kishan Maharaj of Varanasi (Banaras), a living legend in tabla playing.

Sukhvinder has performed across the globe with eminent sarod virtuoso Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. He also toured extensively across the USA and India with Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (classical guitar player-Mohan Veena). Sukhvinder Singh has also performed with India’s legendary Sitarist Pt Ravi Shanker.

The UK performances have included the BBC, Philharmonic Orchestra in London, House of Commons, The Proms in 1994 at the Royal Albert Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan. Sukhvinder Singh Namdhari has more than 40 CD’s in the market worldwide.

Meanwhile, Avtar Singh Channa, winner of Gallantry Award, was also honoured by the Ramgarhia society. Presently working with the Punjab Financial Corporation, Channa is today busy promoting bhangra at the international level. He has also been given the best bhangra judge award by the South Asian Alliance.

“I am regularly conducting bhangra workshops abroad and giving tips to youngsters there,” he said.



From Schools
BCM School celebrates annual day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
The primary wing of BCM School, Dugri, celebrated their annual day with great enthusiasm. The theme of the function was ‘Masti ki Pathshala’. The function began with ceremonial lamp lighting by the chief guest and a prayer to invoke God. Dr Vandna Shahi, principal of the school, welcomed the guests Dr Monika Bharti and Sudarshan Khanna.

Students clad in beautiful attires showcased their talents and skills. Various dances depicted unity in diversity of India. A Rajasthani dance mesmerised the audience. The students danced to the tunes of "Hath se Hath Mil", "Ye Desh Hai Veer Jawano Ka", "Kadi te has-Bol le", "aerobics" etc. Students gave the message of peace and brotherhood and also raised voice against female foeticide with their heart touching performance on "Kudiye kismat kudiye." Students also presented an item emphasising the importance of games and physical activities. Bharti congratulated the students and encouraged them to participate in such activities. Khanna urged parents to spend quality time with their children. SK Mehta, school manager, RB Khanna, education adviser, Amarjyoti Chawla, principal of BCM Basant City, were also present on the occasion.

World Wetland Day

Students of RS Model Senior Secondary School celebrated World Wetland Day under the guidance and supervision of Principal ML Kalra and vice-principal Maninderjit Kaur. Pardeep Kapoor, district science superviser, graced the occasion as the chief guest, programme coordinator Ajay Sharma informed students what wetland was and what was the specific significance of these wetlands. The principal and vice-principal gave away prizes to the winners. Five teams, each consisting of four students, participated in a quiz contest.

Rangoli competition

As many as 48 students of Class V of Guru Nanak Public School participated with enthusiasm in a rangoli competition. The students used coloured chalks, glass, mirror, diyas, pulses, saw dust and petals to make beautiful designs in their rangolis. They made floral, geometrical and traditional designs to exhibit their skills.

Results: 1. Purneet Kaur Grewal of Class V-A; 2. Anureet Kaur of Class V-B; 3. Pavneet Kaur of Class V-D; consolation prize Sarman Kaur Grewal of Class V-A and Gurleen Kalsi of Class V-F.

Students participate in a rangoli-making competition at Guru Nanak Public School in Ludhiana on Tuesday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Basant Utsav Carnival

Bla Bharati Public School, Dugri, celebrated Basant Utsav Carnival to mark the advent of spring season by letting numerous multi-coloured balloons in the sky during the annual school fete. Students presented a cultural programme on the occasion. A Healthy Baby Show, Healthy Recipe contest, Antakshri-2010 and kite-flying competition were also organised. Principal Punam Dogra appreciated the efforts of the students and staff members.



Demolition of 119 Shops
MC to present videographic report to HC
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, February 2
Responding to directions issued by the high court to the government stating the position of the demolition drive, the Municipal Council of Doraha has made a videographic coverage of the verbal warnings being issued to shopkeepers, whose shops have been illegally constructed and are hence becoming an obstruction in the completion of the six -lane project already initiated by the National Highway Authority of India on NH-1.

Ranjit Singh Grewal, executive officer, said, “This is being done since the government has to respond to the query of the high court along with proofs.

The demolition notices had already been served long time back by the municipal council of Doraha (on the directions of PWD and B&R) on 119 shops constructed along the NH-1 here. As per the orders of the high court, the NHAI has been entrusted with the project of making a six-lane road from Panipat to Jalandhar within two and a half years failing which it would be penalised”.

“A-class cities are supposed to leave 5 metres from the road edge, while B-class towns are supposed to leave 10 metres on either side of the national highway. Doraha falls in B class. As per the orders of the Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana, all shops that have made illegal constructions after 1995 are to be demolished”.

The PUDA Act of 1995 states that no construction could be done within 10 metres on either side of the national highway. So shopkeepers have to give proof of construction for shops made before 1995 so that some sort of compensation may be paid to these shopkeepers in return, which shall however be decided by the govt.

All major hospitals, hotels, garages, filling stations, complexes and even BSNL exchange come under the scanner. The shopkeepers are once again perturbed by today’s development as they had literally abandoned the notice served to them nearly a year before.

“We had thought that the NHAI could find some alternate way of tackling the matter but the recent move has given us a fresh chill in our spines. Still we sill not sit silent and seek help from higher officials and ministers”, said one shopkeeper.



Road safety awareness programme at school
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
Road rules and responsible users, when in tune, can reduce the number of accidents and save the loss of precious human lives.

With this conviction, the Traffic Police Department sensitised BCM Aryans regarding the necessity of observing road safety norms here today. SP (traffic) Rupinder Singh, SHO Anil Bhanot and other eminent dignitaries of the school management were present on the occasion to help students of BCM Arya Senior Secondary School understand the importance of following traffic rules.

The programme was conducted not only to inform students about traffic rules but also to help them become better and responsible drivers in future, Singh said.

The SP (traffic) deliberated upon driving habits and the rising chaos on roads. He motivated the students to stop the use of mobile phones while driving. Bhanot appealed to the students to follow traffic rules, avoid haphazard parking, overspreading, rash and drunken driving, red-signal violation and take care of others' rights on the road.

He urged them to help traffic police in maintaining safe road environment in the city and make Ludhiana "an accident-free city".

A video presentation on 'drug addiction' titled 'Search for life - A hope' was also shown to students to enlighten them about the dangers of drugs. It was also aimed at educating the children to prevent their involvement in drug addiction.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, school principal Paramjit Kaur said such workshops were a regular feature in the school. "I have made it a point to hold awareness programmes for students every now and then and the ones on traffic awareness are held twice every session so as to educate the children on road safety."

"The workshop held today helped students understand many traffic-related rules in detail which they were unaware of. I am sure the things learnt today will go a long way for not only the children but also for their parents, who are the indirect beneficiaries of such programmes as the kids tend to share what they learn, with their parents," remarked Paramjit Kaur.

Earlier, the principal expressed her gratitude to the Traffic Police Department for their efforts to create awareness among the students about traffic rules. The event concluded with the release of stickers on traffic awareness with the slogan "Life is precious, obey traffic rules". The stickers were also distributed among the students.



Publish scientific journals in Punjabi, says Kang
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang released the newly published collection of short stories by Dr Amarjit Singh Hayer, former head of the department of agricultural journalism, languages and culture, PAU.

He said the short stories were based on Dr Hayer’s experiences. Dr Kang said the PAU used a simple language to apprise farmers of the latest technologies.

He said not even a single scientific journal was published in Punjabi, therefore, it was the responsibility of language experts to publish their scientific findings in Punjabi.

He congratulated Dr Hayer. He presented the first copy of the book to Dr Surjit Patar, president, Punjabi Sahit Akademy.

Dr Patar said Dr Hayer had used a simple technique to describe the historical events that occurred during the Partition. Dr SN Sewak, a famous playwright, said Dr Hayer had joined the crew of famous writers like IC Nanda, Balwant Gargi, Sant Singh Sekhon and Dr Amrik Singh.

Dr RK Mahey, Dean, postgraduate studies, Dr SK Mann, Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, Dr PK Gupta, estate officer-cum-chief engineer, Dr Gurkirpal Singh, former registrar, SP Karkara, Dr JS Bains, Dr LS Brar, Amrita Sewak, Pritpal Singh and Dr Jagdev Singh were present on the occasion. 



Scientists get recognition from farm body
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) director Dr RT Patil and two scientists from the institute have got special recognition from the Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers (ISAE) for outstanding contributions in the field of Agricultural Structures and Process Engineering during the 44th Annual Convention and Symposium of Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers.

The convention was organised in its golden jubilee year from January 28 to 30 at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi. Around 400 agricultural engineers from all over India participated in this convention and symposium.

Taking into view the vital role of agricultural engineers in production and post-harvest management of farm produce, this time theme for the national symposium was on engineering interventions for food security.

On the occasion, the ISAE awarded several medals and certificates to recognise the outstanding achievements of its members. From CIPHET, Ludhiana, eight scientists participated in this jubilee convention and national symposium to present their research work.

Director Dr Patil and project coordinator (PHT) Dr SK Nanda from CIPHET were conferred with ISAE fellowship for their significant contributions during the past two decades in the field of agricultural engineering. Principal scientist from CIPHET Dr SN Jha also received commendation medal for his outstanding contribution in the field of agricultural structures and process engineering.



‘SAD-BJP alliance failed to keep promises’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 2
The SAD-BJP coalition government in Punjab failed to deliver on its promises and did nothing for the development and welfare of people, said Harminder Singh Pradhan, Congress legislator, while addressing members of various youth organisations at a meeting here today.

The senior functionaries of the government, including the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister have been playing with the sentiments of people for their selfish political interests.

“Most of the welfare schemes launched by the government with much fanfare like atta-dal at subsidised rates for poor, shagun scheme for scheduled caste families as well as monthly pension schemes for the elderly lot failed to take off.”

Pradhan said the government, which had failed to provide adequate power supply even during winter, had no moral or constitutional right to continue.

“People have had enough of scheduled and unscheduled power cuts, businessmen and industrialists are already bearing the brunt of power shortage. By increasing bus fares, VAT and imposing entry tax on items of daily use, the government has added to the woes of people.”

Amarjit Tikka, Maninder Guliani, Karan Nagpal, Simran Pal Soni, Kanwaljit Singh, Jaswinder Singh, Jaspreet Bakshi, Jaspal Khurana, Amandeep Dang, Amarpal Singh, Rahul Gujral and Ramesh Sood were present on the occasion.



Making style statement with tattoos
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
When it comes to looking chic the city’s youngsters don’t appear to mind the pain involved in getting a tattoo on some part of their bodies. Following the current fashion they try to ape Bollywood stars by flaunting their tattoos. Even those are unwilling to bear the pain go in for a temporary one.

Spoilt for choices, teens today seem to know what they want and what looks good on them. When it comes to wearing a tattoo, they are experimenting with wild colours and patterns to look as ‘funky’, ‘cool’ and ‘trendy’ as possible. They love to get a tattoo on their arms, back, shoulders or any other part of the body so long as it looks stylish.

However, most kids do not know that body art such as tattooing and body piercing, which has now become a rage in the city, were originally the preserve of tribal groups.

Youngsters from nearby cities like Jalandhar, Patiala, and Chandigarh come all the way to Ludhiana to get a specific tattoo. While girls prefer hearts and butterflies boys opt for a cross, a ‘khanda’ (Sikh symbol) or a lion. Tribal themes are also in style these days.

Nick, from Taurus Tattoo Studio, said the city's youth is quick in experimenting with new fashion trends. "Daily I make one tattoo and, if it is of medium size, I even end up making two," he smiles.

Gogi, who recently got a tattoo made, said: "I got a tattoo - a black and white ‘khanda’ - on my arm catches everybody's attention. Seeing it one of my friends also got a tattoo on his back, though a temporary one didn’t want to put up with the pain. It will last for at least two or three months”.



Tender Opening
MC officials in verbal spat
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
The municipal corporation's tender-inviting cell virtually turned into a battleground here this evening after a verbal spat between SE AK Singla and Executive Engineer (Lights) SP Singh.

According to eyewitnesses, both officials hurled abuses at each other over the breaking of seal of a tender box that was allegedly done by SP Singh.

They said the municipal corporation had invited tenders worth Rs 25 lakh today, where contractors were asked to install streetlights in various areas.

The deadline for submitting tenders was 3 pm and AK Singla, who is the head of tender-inviting cell (TIC), sealed the tender box and left his office, as he was called by Mayor. When around 4.15 pm he came back, he saw the seal of the tender box, sealed by him, broken.

On enquiring, he came to know that the seal was broken by XEN SP Singh, said an eyewitness.

When the official questioned XEN SP Singh who had given him the authority to break the seal, the latter was found to be stating that no contractor was ready to work. Later some contractors agreed to work, so he allowed them to submit tenders, he added.

Sources in the municipal corporation revealed that AK Singla had shot off a letter to the Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha and Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura apprising them of the whole episode.

The incident has left everybody in the civic body surprised, apart from revealing the alleged MC official-contractor nexus, where the latter is being facilitated by the former by using public funds.



Machine makers’ body seeks VAT refund

Ludhiana, February 2
Members of the Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association, Ludhiana, yesterday held a meeting under the chairmanship of its president Kirpal Singh Sagar.

Sagar said the government had increased the VAT from 4 to 5 per cent and the units were not getting the VAT refund on time. With the increased tax, the quantum of refund will also be increased and a large amount of working capital will be blocked. “We urge the government to immediately roll back the decision and make sure that the refund is made within the stipulated time period,” said Sagar.

At present, dealers with Rs 1 crore or more sale were required to file the monthly VAT return. The exemption limit of central excise was Rs 1.5 cr. The cost of material and other inputs had increased manifold. The exemption limit for filing monthly return should also be increased to Rs 2 cr. — TNS



Cultural programme at DMCH
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
The three-day annual cultural programme “Ectopia-2010” commenced today at the Dumra Auditorium, DMCH. Undergraduate medical students will take part in various talent hunt competitions.

Medical superintendent and chairperson of the DMCH cultural committee Dr Sandeep Puri lauded the efforts of students.

The function was attended by Gian Chand Dhawan and Amrit Nagpal, vice-presidents of the DMCH managing society, secretary Prem Gupta, principal Dr Daljit Singh, vice-principal Dr Jagdeeep Whig, Dean, academics, Dr Rajoo Singh Chinna and Dr BS Shah. The cultural events included “have a break” (advertisements fads), “bol baby bol” (Hindi/Punjabi debate), “bheja fry” (quiz) and “FIFA 2010 X-Box Challenge”.



PAU mime team leaves for youth fest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
Eight-member mime team from Punjab Agricultural University yesterday left for Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, where the Inter-University National Youth Festival is scheduled to be held from February 2 to 6.

The team includes six students Amit Kumar Ray, Rohit Dixit, Sahil Saklany, Pardeep Kumar, Jatin Pabby and Piyush Behl. Dr PPS Lubana, director, Students’ Welfare, mentioned that the PAU mime team won the North Zone Inter-University Youth Festival held at Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra, in November, 2009, where around 30 universities from the region had participated.



Kisan Mela dates

Ludhiana, February 2
Punjab Agriculture University has declared dates of its Kisan Mela. The information was given by PAU Director of Extension Education Dr MS Gill. He said the first Kisan Mela would be held at the Regional Station, Gurdaspur, on March 9, followed by another one at Ballowal Saunkhri (near Balachaur) on March 11. Another Kisan Mela would be held at KVK Rauni (Patiala) on March 15, while the one at PAU, Ludhiana, would be held on March 18-19 and at Regional Station, Bathinda on March 22. — TNS



5 held with liquor, smack
Tribune News Service

Khanna, February 2
Five persons were held with pistol, knife, smack and illicit liquor here yesterday. As per the police reports, police station Sadar in charge Arvinder Singh said acting on a secret information, the police intercepted accused Harpreet Singh and confiscated .315 bore rifle and two live cartridges. The police also arrested Gurjant Singh from the Boothgarh area and confiscated a knife from him.

In another incidence, the police arrested Navtej Singh from Faizgarh village and confiscated 10 gm of smack from him. In yet another incidence, Lakhvir Singh from Saisowal village was arrested and 10 bottles of illicit liquor were recovered from him.



Poppy husk recovered
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 2
The Ludhiana rural police on Sunday raided various places and recovered country made illicit liquor, along with poppy husk.

The accused, Diwan Singh, a resident of Kul Gehna village, was nabbed by the police near Sidhwan Bet, whereas the other accused Sitar Ram Bai of the same village managed to flee.

The police has booked the accused under the Excise Act and NDPS Act.



Two cars stolen

Ludhiana, February 2
Car of a Sarabha Nagar resident was stolen from outside his house recently.

In his complaint to the police, Jagjit Singh, a resident of B block of the area, said he had parked his white Bolero jeep (No -PB-10 CF 0515) outside his house. After waiting for some days, Jagjit Singh complained to the police today and a case of theft was registered. In yet another incident, a Maruti car of a local resident, Deepak Mittal, was also stolen from outside Westend Mall near PNB Bank on the same day. He had gone inside the mall in the evening and when he came back, his car was not there. — TNS



Woman commits suicide

Machhiwara, February 2
A woman allegedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance at Milkowal village here today. The deceased, Sheela Rani, got married to Surinder Singh a few years ago and had two sons out of the wedlock. Shakti Ram, brother of the deceased, in a complaint to the police alleged that Surinder used to beat her up, as she had objected to his illicit relationship with some other girl. — TNS



Court orders on encroachment
Councillors keep mobiles off to avoid annoying voters
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 2
With the municipal corporation going ahead with its anti-encroachment drive without buckling under any political pressure following the High Court orders, the politicians are left with no choice but to keep their mobile phones off when the drive is on.

Not to annoy their voters, who start calling up councillors and MLAs frantically when a demolition squad visits their building, the politicians’ latest mantra is to get inaccessible than to say no to a person seeking help in an encroahment-related matter.

‘‘It is very easy to seek forgiveness later saying I had to switch off the phone to attend a cremation or meet a serious patient in a hospital than to say sorry when the drive is continuing. People are very demanding these days. They would never vote for us if we will not help them,’’ said a councillor while requesting anonymity.

According to MC sources, area councillors and MLAs receive prior information about the demolition drive and subsequently switch off their cell phones so that people cannot call them to confront the MC officials.

In the past, area councillors used to be at the forefront in order to lock horns with the MC officials against the anti-encroachment drive. They used to lie in front of JCB machines to hamper the operation. So much so that some of the councillors were considered as ‘‘anti-demolition squad’’.

One does not get to see anybody doing so as following the High Court's orders, it is a safer bet as the councillors have distanced themselves from the ongoing demolition drive.

An MC official said had it not been the High Court's orders, the councillor brigade would have again created problems for them. Sonu, a resident of Jawahar Nagar, said on earlier occasions whenever a team of the MC used to arrive to demolish structures, the area councillor managed to send the team back. This time when the MC team arrived, Sonu called the area councillor, but his phone was not accessible.

Even some of the councillors are of the view that the encroachments dotting various parts of the city should be removed as the these have become a bane for the city.

But for councillors it has become a tight rope walk, as they want the encroachments to be removed but at the same time they do not want to annoy the residents, as these encroachers constitute a major share of their vote bank.

"We do not want to annoy the encroachers as some of them have played a pivotal role in our win during the MC elections. We also want that the encroachment should be removed. So when an anti-encroachment drive takes place, we keep our cell phone switched off," said a councillor.



Mahajan is president of bar assn

Ludhiana, February 2
BM Mahajan has been elected president of the District Taxation Bar Association (direct taxes).

The election for the post of president was held after 10 years. Mahajan secured 230 votes and other candidate Raman Goyal secured 156 votes. Other elected office-bearers are: Vice-president: Vinay Shrivastav; secretary: Rajeev Kaushal; joint secretary: Rajesh Bansal; executive members: Vikas Sharma, Vikas Goyal and Hemant Bhardwaj. — TNS



Cricket fraternity jubilant over Karan’s selection as captain
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, February 2
The cricket fraternity is jubilant over Karan Goel s selection as captain of the Punjab cricket team for the forthcoming North Zone One-Day Tournament for the Vijay Hazare Trophy slated to be held in Haryana from February 10 to 18.

Karan, out of action for almost a year due to back injury and dismal form has bounced back with a bang to be named as skipper of the Punjab squad.

A stylish left-arm batsman and right arm off-spinner, Karan hogged the limelight in the year 1997 when he led Ludhiana in the Inter-District Cricket Tournament (U-14). He also led the district in the U-16 and U-19 years groups and made his presence felt by giving a good performance.

Karan is the fifth cricketer from the city who has been selected as captain of the state team. Besides, Karan other players from the city who were led Punjab include Chaman Lal Malhotra, Vinod Sharam, Yash Pal Sharma and Ankur Kakkar.

Karan was the centre of attraction when he gave an excellent performance in the National T-20 Cricket Tournament, where he topped the batting average and he was named as one of the probables for the inaugural edition of the T-20 World Cup held in South Africa in 2007.

He continued with fine performance which fetched him a three year contract with the Punjab King s XI.

Talking to The Tribune, Karan said he had recovered from back injury fully and was rearing to lead the state team in the upcoming torunament. “I owe this to my coach, Charanjit Singh and my father, Keshav Goel, who is my role model,” added Karan.

Meanwhile, Rajinder Nath Mahajan, president of the Ludhiana District Cricket Association (LDCA) congratulated Karan on his selection as captain of the state cricket team. Karan Goel had brought fame to the association as well as the city, he said. Chaman Lal Malhotra, chairman of the selection committee, Punjab, and senior vice-president of the LDCA, along with Vinod Chitkara also hailed Karan s appointment.



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