L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Road recarpeting at Focal Point begins today
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Appeals to the city’s civic body by industrialists at Focal Point here appear to have been heard at last. Work on the municipal corporation’s Rs 20 crore project for recarpeting roads in the area will commence tomorrow. Industry has welcomed the move and hopes the condition of roads there will improve in the coming months.

Giving details about the project, Punjab minister for jails & tourism Hira Singh Gabria told The Tribune this had been long pending demand of hundreds of industrialists. “The condition of all major roads in the area was bad. After the dry port came up there trolleys carrying lads of up to 60 tons began plying on them. Work on the project will kick off tomorrow. The MC has also undertaken a commitment from the contractor that latter will oversee maintenance of the roads for the next five years. It’ll take some time but many of the problems that industrialists were facing will be resolved in the near future”.

The project will be inaugurated by Local Bodies Minister Manoranjan Kalia.

Upkar Singh of the Chamber of Commerce & Industrial Undertakings (CICU) said, “Roads including that from Jeewan Nagar to Phase 7, Phase 8 to Chandigarh road, Aarti Steel unit to the container freight station and the dry port road will be recarpeted”.

"Hundreds of industrial plants are located at Focal Point. We used to feel embarrassed when our overseas importers had to endure bumpy rides on these dilapidated roads. We’d been pleading for the past two years for the roads to be maintained just like the city’s main streets. The business community here hopes the project would be completed in 4 to 6 months’ time", Upkar added.


Cleaning of Budda Nullah tops MC list
5 tippers worth Rs 78 lakh bought for lifting garbage
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Cleaning of Budda Nullah seems to be topping the priority list of the local municipal corporation. To clean huge dumps of garbage on both sides of the nullah, authorities have purchased five new tippers and a JCB loader, which will lift more than 50,000 cubic foot of garbage near the nullah in coming days.

Giving details about the working of machines, Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal told The Tribune that the corporation was committed to clean the nullah. But for this, the cooperation of all segments of society was required.

In an effort to do the best on their part, the corporation had specially purchased the machines worth Rs 78 lakh to lift the garbage. Besides, machines worth Rs 2.22 crore were being purchased for the entire city before March 31.

“The corporation has always been in short of such machinery. Be it health, Tehbazari wing or B and R, work always suffered due to the non-availability of these machines. With more machines being added, the working will be streamlined in all these departments”, said Bansal. He added that the garbage of nullah would be dumped into the Jainpur dump, which was 10 km away on the Hambran Road.

Hem Raj Aggarwal, councillor, Haibowal area, from where the machines became operational said each tipper would make four to five to lift garbage along the Budda nullah on daily basis. “We hope that in coming days, much garbage will be lifted and shifted to the Jainpur dump. With more machines to come within a month, residents will definitely heave a sigh of relief”, added Aggarwal.



A-Star recall sparks panic among customers
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
The revelation by Maruti Suzuki that some of the cars of it flagship A-Star export model have a faulty fuel pump in the car has created apprehension among city residents who bought the popular hatchback. Panic stricken customers kept calling the company’s dealerships to know about the fault and some even visited showrooms to get their cars checked.

Maruti on Tuesday said it would recall around 100,000 A-star cars manufactured between November 2008, when the vehicle was launched, and August 2009 to change fuel pump gaskets.

At one of the city dealerships, Stan Autos, the fuel pump gaskets of nearly 90 cars were replaced. "People are worried a lot and just to relieve them from the tension we even replaced the gaskets of those cars where it was not required. We kept receiving queries from customers all throughout the day”, said a representative of the dealership.

Jit Singh, works manager at Swani Motors, another Maruti Suzuki dealership in the city, said there was no for A-Star owners to get panicky. "It’s a very minor fault and it takes only ten minutes to get the fuel pump replaced. We’ve received a lot of queries at our office since morning. However, there was no case in which fuel pumps were required to be replaced”, he said.

Komalpreet Sandhu, who recently bought an A-Star, said, “I got really worried after I came to know the car can even catch fire due to a faulty fuel pump. I called up the dealership to enquire if a replacement was required, but I think company officials should have themselves contacted those customers whose cars required a replacement of fuel pumps”.

Another city dealership said it had replaced the fuel pump of nearly 30 cars. "We are replacing the part even if the car was not bought from us or even if the customer is from another city”, a representative said.

This was the biggest recall by Maruti Suzuki since it was established in 1983. The company had earlier recalled 76,000 units of its Omni model in 2001 followed by 500 units of the Zen model in 2006.



Nothing in rail budget to cheer about: Residents
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 24
Though the railway budget presented by Railway Minister Mamta Banerji in Parliament today has not put any additional burden on people by way of a hike in passenger fares or rail freight rates, it has not brought much cheer. No new trains have been proposed nor has much been said about more and better facilities for travellers and improvement in safety measures.

These observations by a crosssection of city residents whom The Tribune spoke to aptly sum up the rather lacklustre budget. Certain measures like a ‘no’ to privatisation, railway examinations in regional languages, mobile e-ticketing centres and a higher contribution to central staff benefits have, however, been well received by the intended beneficiaries.

Several trade union leaders hailed the announcement that railways would not be privatised as well as the proposed enhancement in contribution to the central staff benefit fund. "The policies of privatisation were posing a grave threat to the job security of existing employees as well as to avenues of fresh employment for prospective candidates. The minister has done well to reassure the railways would remain with the government," they added.

Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association president VP Chopra and Badish K Jindal, president of the Punjab chapter of the Federation of Small Industries of India have said no hike in train fares and rail freight tariffs was a step in the right direction since any increase in freight rates at this stage when inflation was at an all time high could have had a cascading effect on prices of all essential commodities. “Similarly, people reeling under the adverse impact of the price rise would not have been able to absorb any hike in fares as well”, they added.

Leaders of industry viewed the announcements on introduction of double decker trains, commencement of work on the Rae Bareilly Coach Factory and the Wagon Repair Shop near Amravati in Maharashtra and expansion of the Integral Coach Factory in Chennai positively with high hopes that these factories would provide more business opportunities to small and medium sized industrial units.

R Chawla, an educationist, said the rail budget had not touched the crucial issue of making train journeys more comfortable for passengers and not much had been said about improved amenities at train stations.

"Almost without exception the country’s train stations present a pathetic look. Coaches are poorly maintained, eatables both on board the trains and on station platforms are expensive and lack in quality and passenger reservation, ticketing, enquiry and other services badly need to be spruced up. However, these vital aspects of the railways remain neglected," he remarked, adding “there was nothing special about the railway budget this time”.



Traffic Bottlenecks
Commissioners take round of city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Sensing the gravity of the growing traffic problem in the city, Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh, Deputy Commissioner Vikas Garg and MC Commissioner AK Sinha conducted a three-hour drive to get first-hand information about traffic bottlenecks.

The objective was to find a solution to ease traffic chaos. Ishwar Singh said the MC authorities were told to repair the faulty traffic lights. New traffic intersections had also been identified where lights would be installed.

He said they had also planned to reduce the radius of some chowks to ease the traffic flow and slip roads would be created along main roads.

“We have discussed ways to solve the traffic problem. We should manage to tackle the problem,” Ishwar Singh said. They visited Bharat Nagar Chowk, Jagraon Bridge, Gill Chowk, Dugri road, bus stand and college road.

AK Sinha said the long-pending Gill Chowk flyover project would be completed within a few months. Once complete, it would reduce the traffic situation significantly.



Jail inmate caught leaking info
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
An inmate was caught for leaking secret information outside the jail. The accused identified as Jatinder Kumar, a resident of Dhandra who is undergoing a 20-year term in Central Jail for abducting and killing a child.

Jatinder was booked under the Information and Technology Act for leaking out secret information pertaining to the jail to his accomplices outside the jail by way of broad band.

He was nabbed by jail officials late last evening along with a broad band plug, web camera, CDs and other computer devices.

He had been providing computer services to the jail officials for data management operations for the past five years.

It is learnt that a few days ago also similar devices were seized from him, but he refused to divulge any details.

The officials suspect that his accomplices might have handed over the gadgets to him during their visits to the prison to meet him.

Relatives of the accused alleged that the equipment might have been planted on him as he used to embarrass cops who were not well versed with computers. The accused is learnt to be computer savvy and used to mock prison personnel about their lack of computer literacy.

“How can someone working for the jail officials for the past five years suddenly turn informer? There is more to the story,” an official said on the condition of anonymity.

In the meantime, SHO Division No. 7 Balwinder Singh said the case was at its preliminary stages and he could comment only after investigating the matter.



Teachers seek new pay scales
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 24
A full day stay-in strike was observed by the unit of NTEU of the LR DAV College here. The protest was carried out on the call given by the PCNTEU Punjab and Chandigarh as a part of the on going agitation for the fulfillment of demands of implementation of new pay scales as per the Fifth Pay Commission, release of installment of 50 per cent merger of ADA, lifting of ban on new/vacant posts, implementation of pension and gratuity etc.

Rakesh Sharma, president, and Jagdeep Singh, secretary, said they were protesting since August and a state-level rally was held on February 15 at HMV College, Jalandhar, under the leadership of Kulwant Singh, president, and ML Khullar, secretary (state-level).

A memorandum was also given to Jalandhar DC, but so far the government had not taken any action, he added.

They further said it was a matter of sorrow that on one side the government was stressing on quality education, but on the other hand it was ignoring the employees who were doing their best for the education.

All non-teaching members were present, including Prem Sharma, Sarbjit Singh, SK Beri, Sushma Kumari, Rajni Sharma, Kanta Devi, Madhu Bala, Rakesh Panday, Inder Bahadur and Vijay Beri.



3-week winter school concludes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
A three-week winter school on "Architectural Engineering of Vegetable Crops and their Management" concluded at PAU here recently. Regional director of Hyderabad-based Centre of the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Centre (AVRDC) Dr Madan Lal Chadha presided over.

The function was organised in the department of vegetable crops of PAU. Dr SK Mann, dean, postgraduate studies, was the chief guest, Dr Milkha Singh Aulakh, dean, College of Agriculture, and additional director of communication Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman were guests of honour.

The winter school had 24 participants from various parts of the country.

PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang released a souvenir of the programme as well as a CD of lectures delivered to participants during the course.

Dr Kang said participation in national-level training programmes provided opportunity to interact with scientists and identify common areas of activity.

Dr Mann said the participants should use the knowledge acquired in the course to plan programmes for their own areas. She said in view of the fast developing communication technologies, networking played an important role.

She said the data-base of knowledge in explicit form could play a useful role in knowledge sharing.

Dr Chadha said out of 1,800 species that could be eaten as vegetables, only five per cent were cultivated. He said vegetables, being a rich source of vitamin A, protein, iron and iodine, were protective foods.

Dr Chadha said: "We must eat safe food as 50 per cent stomach diseases are due to consuming wrong foods."

Dr Aulakh said vegetables could help a great deal in agricultural diversification and also to enhance per unit profitability of farmers.

Dr JS Dhiman told the participants about various publications of the university that were available in the Communication Centre at PAU.



Retired PAU staff honoured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
The recently retired employees of Punjab Agricultural University were honoured here yesterday by the PAU Employees' Forum in collaboration with its associated groups, including PAU Employees' Federation, PAU Employees' Sewa Dal and PAU Employees' Democratic Front.

Manjit Singh Mehram, JC Budhiraja, Ajmer Singh, Gurnam Singh Gogi, Surinder Singh Grewal, Sewa Singh, Gurmukh Singh, Surinder Mohan and Sunil Kumar were honoured.

Harish Rai Dhanda, chief parliamentary secretary, Punjab, was the chief guest.

Former president of PAU Employees' Union DP Maur congratulated the retirees.

On behalf of the honoured retirees, Manjit Singh Mehram, former administrative officer, PAU, thanked the Employees' Forum and its associate groups for honouring the retirees.



From Schools & Colleges
Teachers trained to handle special children
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
A seminar on academic disorder among schoolchildren was organised on the premises of GMT Public School for teachers. Dr Deepika Vig, associate professor, department of human development, was the resource person.

Teachers of primary section were trained how to deal with special children. The aim was to enable teachers to identify children with academic skills disorder.

The teachers were trained to develop strategies for such children, as they face numerous physical and psychological problems.


The department of psychology at Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Gujarkhan Campus, Model Town, organised a workshop on "Building Effective Relationships" under the guidance of Navkeerat Khurana, lecturer in psychology.

Simerjit Singh, neuro-linguistic practitioner, was the resource person. Dr Karmjit Kaur Virdi highlighted the role of inter-personal skills.

The aim was to spread awareness among students about the role of emotional intelligence and communication in building a healthy relationship.


Deepak Ranjan, a student of Bhutta College of Engineering and Technology has bagged a gold medal in Punjab Technical University examination.

Maths function

The mathematics department of Government College for Women organised a Maths Society Function, which was presided over by principal RK Aulakh.

All mathematics students participated in cultural activities like dance.

A quiz was also conducted, participants of which were selected on the basis of a preliminary test taken by the mathematics faculty.

Five teams participated in the quiz competition. The principal explained the importance of mathematics. Prizes were also given to the winners and executive members.

Talent hunt

A talent hunt programme was organised here today by the MCA department of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College in association with G Tech Softwares and Education, which is one of the leaders in IT education in Punjab.

The test was conducted on GNDEC campus where over 100 students from various colleges of Punjab participated. Winners of the event were Tejpal Singh from Apeejay College, Ankita Kapoor from GNDEC and Ranjit Singh from GGNIMT.

A cash prize of Rs 2,100, Rs 1,100 and Rs 750 was awarded to the first, second and third position holders by Dr MS Saini, director, GNDEC. Prof JS Saini, HoD, MCA, and Gian Singh Kalra, MD, G Tech Softwares and Education, were present.


Synetic Business School organsied a quiz contest in Government College, Karamsar, Rarra Sahib; Arya College for Girls, Ludhiana; SCD Government College for Boys, Ludhiana and Guru Teg Bahadur College, Dakha.

As many as 300 students participated.



Biography-reading contest at Green Grove school

Doraha, February 24
A biography-reading competition was held at Green Grove Public School here yesterday. The contest was presided over by school principal S George. Dressed up as leaders, students of both junior and senior classes read out the life history of great Indian and foreign leaders with pride. Students represented Sonia Gandhi, Dr Manmohan Singh, Rani Laxmi Bai, Bhagat Singh, Mother Terersa, Sania Mirza, Kiran Bedi, Princess Diana, Emily Dickenson, Rahul Gandhi and Indira Gandhi.

Result: Juniors (classes V and VI)

Group- I: Karanvir and Millanveer (V)-1, Savreen (V) and Navreet (VI)- 2, Narpinder (V) and Ankita (VI)-3, Arshnoor (V)- consolation Group- II: Bhavika (V)-1, Radhika (VI)-2, Akshdeep (VI) and Ridhima (V)- 3, Rukhman (V)- consolation. — OC



CIPHET scientist awarded
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Dr Dattatreya M Kadam, senior scientist at Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), Ludhiana, has received "Young Scientist Award" during the 12th Indian Agricultural Scientists' and Farmers' Congress from Boived Research Society held at Allahabad.

He was awarded for his contribution in agricultural structures and processing on February 20 and 21.

He is also a recipient of "The Young Engineer Award-2008" from The Institution of Engineers (India), Kolkata.



BKU leader’s killing 
Farmers stage dharna, seek culprits’ arrest
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 24
A large number of farmers, workers and activists of various trade unions today staged a dharna outside the local mini secretariat against gruesome killing of Sadhu Singh Takhtpura, BKU (E) organising secretary, failure of the authorities to bring the culprits to book. Addressing the protesters, Darshan Singh Kohli, district president of the BKU, and other speakers alleged that the BKU leader had died at the hands of the police, political and land mafia. They added that a few ruling party functionaries were building pressure to save the culprits.

"The unholy nexus between the police, political leaders and land mafia is out to scuttle the ongoing farmers’ struggle to achieve their rights. The mafia has evil designs to make the farmers’ movement leaderless so as to be able to usurp the prime lands of the farming community. But, their attempts will not be allowed to succeed," the trade union leaders asserted.

Baldev Singh Ghudani, general secretary of the BKU, announced that the agitation by farmers, workers and other democratic organisations would continue till killers of the BKU leader were arrested and punished for the crime. Pointing an accusing finger towards the state government, he said the conduct of investigation team set up to look into the murder had raised several questions, and any attempt to shield the culprits will have serious repercussions.



57 health department employees shifted
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
The state government has repatriated at least 57 employees of the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, who were working in ESIC Model Hospital, Ludhiana, thereby rendering the hospital without any specialists.

The letter from the Directorate of Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, has cited “shortage of staff” in ESI dispensaries across the state as the reason behind repatriation of the medical officers, paramedical and clerical staff, dental mechanics, cooks and Class IV employees to their parent department.

The ESIC Model Hospital is the only hospital in the state, which was taken over by the Employees State Insurance Corporation, New Delhi; in November 2002 to ensure proper secondary care facilities for the beneficiaries.

The model hospital was to provide all modern infrastructure facilities, staff and equipment as per the ESI norms and acted as a referral hospital for the entire state for providing state-of-art secondary care services but the discord between the respective departments under the state and the Central governments had jeopardized its working.

It will add to the problems in smooth functioning of the departments in the absence of the experienced specialists and nursing/paramedical staff of the Punjab cadre as the hospital authorities is yet to acquire ample staff to cater to lakhs of employees insured under the ESI norms.

Presently, there is no full-time postgraduate in medicine department for the past one year as the hospital authorities are carrying on with the part-time doctors.

The insured persons and their dependents who are refereed to the hospital for expert opinion from a postgraduate/specialist are at times examined by the MBBS doctors.

Similarly, the orthopedic and eye departments are working in the absence of a full-time specialist. Now, to add to the problems, all postgraduate and experienced doctors of the Punjab cadre who were working in the ESIC Model Hospital have been ordered to pack their bags.

The nursing department has been worst hit as the experienced nursing sisters and staff nurses from the Punjab Cadre have been replaced with probationers.

Dr Deepak Saxena, medical superintendent, ESIC Model Hospital, Ludhiana, said, “This is the decision of the Punjab government following their agreement with the Central government. However, we will not let the patients suffer as we are already short listing the names of the specialists who will be appointed in a short span,” added Dr Saxena. He also said the hospital functioning was smooth as there were 2,500 people taking care of different departments.



Baba Harnek Singh follower’s death
Villagers resist cremation by cops
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 24
The Sihar Thath issued that had remained cooled down for many years resurfaced once again with the sudden death of Baba Manjit Singh Rikhi, a follower of Baba Harnek Singh and subsequent resistance by supporters of faction lead by Baba Mann Singh ( son of founder of the sect late Baba Mihan Singh).

Though the police has managed to get the body cremated at a land belonging to the Trust running affairs of the Thath, friends and relatives have resented the administration's restrictions imposed on entry of followers in the area yesterday.

The Ludhiana (Rural) police remained on toes after followers of Baba Maan Singh tried to stop supporters of Baba Harnek Singh from cremating the body of one of his followers who had died at Sihar Thath near here yesterday.

The deceased Baba Manjit Singh Rikhi of Kurar Chhappa village had been performing seva at the religious place for about three decades.

Timely action by the police and intervention by the social and political leaders saved the situation from turning unsavory.

Investigation by The Tribune revealed that the supporters of Baba Maan Singh had tried to stop followers of Baba Harnek Singh from cremating the body of Baba Manjit Singh Rikhi, who had breathed his last after a brief illness at the Sihar Thath on Monday.

A large number of followers, dominantly residents of the Sihar village, has reportedly started gathering at the house of Baba Mann Singh shortly after followers of Baba Harnek Singh declared that the body would be cremated at the land belonging the Trust running affairs of the Thath.

Receiving information about the apprehended unsavory situation, DSP Dakha Jasdev Singh Sidhu deputed SHO Dehlon Rachhpal Singh Dhindsa to keep a watch over the situation. A large number of cops were deployed at the Thath and place where cremation was to be done.

Acknowledging the role of the police in maintaining peace at the cremation place, supporters of Baba Harnek Singh regretted that the police had restricted the entry of followers from other villages without any provocation. Friends and relatives of the deceased who were in no way concerned about the control of the religious places had to return without attending the funeral procession and the last rites.

The police was apprehensive of fresh tension over issue of the possession of the mother temple of about 24 religious places spread across the world, having property worth millions.

At least 50 persons belonging to factions led by Baba Mann Singh, son of the Baba Mihan Singh sect's founder, on one hand and Baba Harnek Singh on the other; were facing trial in connection with two criminal cases registered under Sections 302, 307, 382, 379, 323, 427 and 48 of the IPC and 307, 353, 186 and 379 of the IPC about seven years ago.

The number of followers of the sect is in lakhs, including foreigners and VVIPs. The Thath was running affairs normally till September 11, 2003, when the Trust management allegedly got the rooms vacated which were till then occupied by Mann Singh, Sewa Singh and Harchand Singh (sons of late Baba Meehan Singh). The incident made villagers angry. Situation remained tense till October 10, 2003, when violence took place leaving a large number of people injured, one of whom (Jit Singh) died later.

The Payal police had registered a case of attempt to murder against 43 persons. All of these were residents of Sihar village and supporters of the three sons of the late sant, who founded the Thath and later joined the Nanaksar sect.

The villagers were demanding dera to be handed over to Baba Mann Singh. The other group headed by Baba Harnek Singh refused this, as according to the late Sant Meehan Singh had given his "gaddi" to him and not to his sons about twelve years ago.



Govt sanctions Rs 3 crore for rural development
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, February 24
Manpreet Singh Ayali, Chairman, Zila Parishad, Ludhiana, yesterday handed over grants worth Rs 3 crore to the sarpanches of various blocks of the Ludhiana district for improving the overall infrastructure and provide basic amenities in rural areas. These grants are to be used for the constructions of permanent structures of houses to those having temporary sheds, of sewage lines, sanitations and water supply lines.

Out of Rs 3 crore, Rs. 30,68,538 is for Ludhiana block 1, Rs 33,62,260 for Ludhiana block 2, Rs 22,80,508 for Pakhowal block, Rs 25,50,975 for the Delhon block, Rs 19,35,674 for Doraha block, Rs 28,43,005 for the Jagraon block, Rs 24,47,817 for the Sidhwan Bet block, Rs 14,57,749 the Sudhar block, Rs 16,75,588 for the Samrala block, Rs 18,39,261 for the Machhiwara block and Rs 22,31,780 for the Khanna block.



AYUSH launches certification scheme
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
The Department of AYUSH, government of India, in association with the Quality Council of India today launched the AYUSH certification scheme for pharmaceutical companies manufacturing ayurvedic medicines.

Praveen Gangahar, adviser, Quality Council of India, in her address during the launch of the scheme in the city said the scheme was launched to enhance consumer confidence in Ayurvedic products and to ensure that the pharmaceutical companies manufacturing Ayurvedic products are complying with the law.

The certification scheme by the department is a step forward in reviving the old systems of medicines in India so as to preserve their authenticity by administering a check on the quality of products.

Praveen Gangahar further stated that AYUSH standard mark and AYUSH premium mark would be the two categories for getting the products certified which would decided their promotion in the national and international market.

The National Accreditation Board will approve the certification for Certification Bodies. Surveillance visits by the AYUSH followed by random collection of samples of the products of pharmaceutical companies having certification from the retail counters will be done on regular basis.

The members of the ayurvedic drug manufacturer association appreciated the move terming it as a stepping-stone towards the promotion of “quality medicines”.



Nirankari mandal cleans streets
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, February 24
Local people heaved a sigh of relief when followers of Sant Nirankari Mandal organised a cleanliness drive in the city. The drive was organised on the call from Baba Hardev Singh to his followers all over India.

At least eight groups of at least 20 persons each equipped brooms and baskets for lifting the garbage took part in the drive. They were accompanied with at least 12 sanitary employees of the nagar panchayat lead by sanitation in charge Satish Arora along with the tractor trolley to help them remove the garbage.

Lehmber Ram, chief sewadars, Mullanpur unit of Sant Nirankari Mandal, said it was 56th birthday of their chief Baba Hardev Singh today thus he decided to celebrate it by suggesting his followers to clean the city they dwell.

He said nearly local 150 peoples and from the nearby villages gathered at Nirankari Bhawan in this regard.



Malls told to abide by parking rules
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
The MC has asked owners of malls at Mall Road to obey parking rules. Officials made it clear that the parking space should be used only for parking and not for any other commercial activity. Kamalpreet Kaur Brar, additional commissioner of the MC, said today’s meeting was the follow-up of a meeting of all three commissioners (police, district administration and MC) held here yesterday.

“We had called the owners of the malls today and it was made clear to them that the parking space should be used only for parking. We have even asked them to remove the generators from the parking. Action would be taken against them if they fail to obey the rules,” she said.

To enforce the parking rules, the meeting was attended by the SP (Traffic).



Writers honoured at Punjabi Mela
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
The conglomeration of Punjabi writers, belonging to the both the young and older genres, at the Punjabi Mela saw them exchanging ideas on the importance of "renaissance" of the Punjabi language in contemporary Punjab. The function, held at Punjabi Bhawan, was organized by the Punjabi Sahit Akademy.

As many a dozen octogenarian Punjabi writers including Ajaib Chitrakar, SS Johl, NS Tasneem, Sardul Singh, Hazara Singh, Dan Singh Komal, Ajit Singh Sikka, Kartar Singh, Teg Bahadur Singh Teg, Dalip Singh Sidhu, Avtar Singh Gill and Hardial Singh Gill were honoured for their outstanding work in the Punjabi language on the occasion.

Punjabi Sahit Akademy general secretary Sukhdev Singh, while underlining the need to promote regional languages, said: "The languages play an important role in the sustainable development of the country’s states and regions at large. Keeping this in mind we’ll be organising multilingual seminars at which young as well as experienced writers and poets would be invited."

Jaswant Kaur was presented the ‘Sarv Sresht Bal Pustak Puraskar’ award for 2007 while Sulakhan Meet was honoured for her book ‘Jalwa Ruttan Da’.

Prem Singh Bajaj, the caretaker of the Punjabi Bhawan library, was acknowledged for his “exceptional services towards preservation of rare literary works, documents, letters and photographs of Punjabi laureates.'

The Akademy conferred the ‘lifetime achievement award’ on Bajaj.

Schools and college students participated in the declamation and poetic recitation contests in Punjabi and were given certificates, souvenirs and cash prizes by the Akademy.

Punjabi Sahit Akademy president Dalip Kaur Tiwana along with noted Punjabi writer Tara Singh Anjaan from Delhi, Sufi Anadjit and Jagjit Singh Grewal from Canada were among the special guests present on the occasion.



Grid engineers bat for PSEB chairman
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 24
HS Brar, chairman of the PSEB, has also found support from the grid substation engineers who, at a meeting convened here last evening, said the board had performed well under the chairman and the stand of the engineers’ body was misplaced in this particular case.

The meeting, was attended by deputy chief engineer grid construction circle, additional superintending engineers, senior executive engineers and assistant executive engineers, was of the view that the hasty step of the association in coming to the rescue of the engineers suspended for complicity in power theft should be reviewed.

They said a record 37 new grid substations were commissioned last year in the state and 38 more would become operational during this year. They lauded the efforts made by the PSEB chairman in bringing about improvement in power supply to consumers, especially the agriculture sector.

They were of the view that theft of electricity was a menace and needed to be curbed firmly. They urged the central committee of the PSEB engineers’ association not to involve themselves in frivolous controversies, but take up crucial issues concerning all engineers like revision of pay scales and promotions.



3 selected for beauty pageant
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Navjot Kaur, Jugneet Kaur and Rubina Pannu have been selected as the finalists of the ‘Fem de Sohney Sohney Mukhde Of Punjab’ beauty pageant. The winner will get an opportunity to share her beauty secrets on the TV. Nearly 100 girls from the city came together for the finale after three intense rounds. Panel of judges shortlisted three promising faces to represent the city in the grand finale to be held in Chandigarh on March 6.

The city’s finale will be followed by three finales - Jalandhar on February 24, Patiala on February 27 and Chandigarh on March 3. The winner of the contest will be crowned ‘Fem de Sohne Sohne Mukhde of Punjab’ and get a chance to appear on the mainstream television.

The finale was organised at the Nehru Sidhant Kendra. At least 100 contestants went through various intense rounds. The finalists from each city will undergo a two-day rigorous grooming session with beauty experts before they vie for the coveted title.



Theft in four shops
Tribune News Service

Khanna, February 24
Thefts are on the rise in Khanna. Thefts have been reported in four shops during the past 24 hours. Material and cash worth rupees thousands of rupees was stolen from three shops and a theft was also reported at a garment shop last night.

Shopkeepers of various markets are panicky after the thefts. Vinod Kumar, owner of the garment shop at the main market of Khanna, said he had shut his shop like all other days and locked it, but found the locks broken this morning.

Around 40 trousers and shirts were missing and the entire shop had been ransacked, he stated. Clothes worth thousands had been stolen from his shop, he claimed.

Police officials reached the spot and the recorded statements of the shopkeepers and others. Efforts were on to nab the culprits, police said.



Thief nabbed by alert neighbours
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
A thief was nabbed while decamping with cash and gold jewellery worth lakhs of rupees after committing a theft near the bus stand here today. According to the police, the thief struck at the house of Manjeet Kaur in the wee hours of here today and was trying to decamp with Rs 85,000 and gold jewellery worth Rs 6 lakh when alert neighbours nabbed him.

He was beaten up before being handed over to the police.



One held for killing security guard
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, February 24
The Sahnewal police claims to have cracked the case wherein a security guard was killed on August 24, 2009, near Nandpur with the arrest of a main accused. The accused has been identified as Saddam Hussain, a resident of Mehlo Kalan. He was arrested from near the security checkpoint on the Sahnewal road.

The cops have also seized 114 mobile tower batteries worth Rs 7 lakh from his possession. The accused was on the run after killing Kuldeep Singh, the security guard, who was posted at the mobile tower near Nandpur.

The accused had stabbed the security guard to death when the latter tried to stop the thieves from stealing the batteries.

Monetary dispute: 1 hurt

A resident of the J-Block of Sarabha Nagar sustained multiple injuries following a monetary dispute. He has been identified as Rakesh Kumar and is recuperating at a private hospital.

According to Pramod, victim’s brother, the dispute turned bloody after the accused Sanjay Kumar, hit the victim with an iron rod. Pramod said the fight took place after Rakesh refused to pay the installment.

Snatcher held

The city police has arrested a man who was behind numerous snatching incidents that had taken place at Dhollewal and its surrounding areas. The accused has been identified as Raju, a resident of New Sabzi Mandi area. He was arrested from the Dhollewal chowk while one of his accomplices, Rinku, managed to escape.

Rs 8 lakh snatched

A motorist snatched jewellery and cash worth Rs 8 lakh from an NRI woman in Gurdev Nagar. This incident took place when Ramandeep Kaur, a Canadian citizen, who was presently residing in Preet Nagar in the Shimlapuri area, was heading towards Deep hospital to enquire about her cousin’s health.

She hired a rickshaw after purchasing goods. The rickshaw puller instead of taking from the busy Pakhowal road opted for a road in Gurdev Nagar.

Ramandeep Kaur said the two motorists who appeared to be in mid- 20s came close to the rickshaw and before she could react the man-riding pillion snatched her purse and fled away. She claimed that the purse contained $ 10,000 (Canadian) and jewellery worth Rs 4 lakh.

Body found from canal

Amloh: The body of Vikas Kaplish, who has been missing for the past six days, was found from the Bhakhra Canal near the Khanori Bridge.

The body was brought to the local civil hospital for a post-mortem examination. It was handed over to the family members later on.

Vikas, son of Ashok Kaplish and his mother, former municipal councillor Kamal Kaplish, has been living in New Shashtri Nagar, Mandi Gobindgarh, for the past several years. On February 16, Vikas went out on his uncle’s scooter that was found near the floating restaurant on the Bhakhra Canal. A suicide note has also been found from the scooter



Boxer Vijender Singh honoured at Chakar
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 24
Olympian boxer Vijender Singh was honoured at Chakar village yesterday. He was here to attend the two-day rural sport fest of the village organised by Sher-e-Punjab Sports Academy and the panchayat. The academy trains the rural youth in boxing and football and boasts of many national prizes, including six gold medals in the national under various categories.

The girls of the academy are doing specially well. Varinder Singh along with a galaxy of boxers like including Olympian Akhil Kumar, Jatinder Kumar, Dinesh Kumar, Asian Champion and one of the top eight boxers in the world, Soranjoy Singh, visited the village to encourage aspiring boxers of the area.

A match was also held between the boxers of Chakar village and those of Patiala. Vijender Singh and the other boxers were honoured by the organisers.

The team of Halwara village emerged champion and bagged the winners trophy along with a cash reward of Rs 51,000 by defeating the team of Patiala. However, the award of best team was won by the team of Patiala and the best player of the series was bagged by Harlal Singh from Patiala.

In football, the team of Andlu village bagged the winners trophy by defeating the team of Manuke village. In athletics, Jassuraj of Ludhiana emerged the overall winner.

Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Hospital of Sarabha village organised a medical check-up camp at the venue in which more than 250 patients were examined and given medicines free of cost. A team of Gurmat Bhawan, Ludhiana, also held a camp to spread awareness regarding the adverse impact of consuming drugs and other intoxicants.



Fans laud Sachin's feat
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 24
Celebrations broke out here this evening after Sachin Tendulkar created history by becoming the first cricketer to score a double ton in the one-day international cricket match. Master blaster, Sachin remained unconquered on 200 runs against the visitors, South Africa in the second match played at Gwalior as the men in blue went on to score a mammoth total of 401 runs for the loss of just three wickets. The game lovers were seen glued to the television sets across the city to watch this batsman. And Sachin did not disappoint his fans as he hit double century to add another feather in his cap.

Phones kept on ringing throughout the evening to get update about Sachin's individual score. Ludhianvis celebrated Sachin's world record by distributing sweets and dancing to the tunes of the dhol.

They broke into revelry as soon as he hit the double century. His fans started bursting fire crackers in all parts of the city.

Hailing Sachin's feat, Rakesh Kapoor, an ardent follower of the game, said only legend like Sachin Tendulkar could have done it. "Sachin proved that he had an appetite for the game. Despite ageing, Sachin would achieve more milestones in the years to come," he opined.

Mandeep Verma, another cricket fan, said Sir Don Bradman's words that Sachin was greater than him came true today when he hit a double century. ‘‘He has done it and we are proud of him,’’ he added.



Athletics meet begins at Arya College
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 24
Ramita finished ahead of others in the 100m sprint to emerge as the fastest runner in the girl's section, while Chandan and Ropali annexed two titles each on the opening day of the two-day 63rd Athletics Meet of Arya College, Civil Lines, here today. Chandan came out triumphant in high jump and javelin throw events and Ropali romped home victor in shot put and discus throw.

In the 5,000m cycling, Gurpreet Singh outpaced his opponents to fetch the title. Earlier, Harish Rai Dhanda, chief parliamentary secretary, Punjab inaugurated the meet. Principal Dr TL Joshi highlighted the achievements of college students in the various tournaments.


Boys- 200m race: 1st Rachhpal Singh, 2nd Chandan and 3rd Simrandeep Singh; 800m race: 1st Rachhpal Singh and 2nd Manpreet Singh; triple jump: 1st Gurpreet Singh, 2nd Gurdeep Singh and 3rd Rachhpal Singh; high jump: 1st Chandan, 2nd Gurdeep Singh and 3rd Pankaj; javelin throw: 1st Chandan, 2nd Jarnail Singh and 3rd Pankaj; 5,000m cycling: 1st Gurpreet Singh, 2nd Uday Bhatia and 3rd Dhanya.

Girls- 100m race: 1st Ramita, 2nd Sanyogta and 3rd Anchal; 800m race: 1st Sanyogta, 2nd Narinder Kaur and 3rd Sonam; shot put: 1st Ropali, 2nd Ramita and 3rd Shikha; discus throw: 1st Ropali, 2nd Narinder Kaur and 3rd Sanyogta; spoon and potato race: 1st Sonam, 2nd Ramita and 3rd Neha; skipping race: 1st Ramita, 2nd Sanyogta and 3rd Sonam.

Non-teaching staff (discus throw): 1st Balwant Singh and 2nd Karam Singh.



Sukhdeep, Hardeep best athletes
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, February 24
Sukhdeep Singh and Hardeep Singh were jointly declared best athletes among boys, while Sharanpreet Kaur was adjudged best athlete among girls during the 59th Annual Athletics Meet of GHG Khalsa College, Gurusar Sadhar, near here.

Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Vikas Garg inaugurated the meet. March past was held by NSS volunteers, NCC cadets and students of College of Pharmacy.

Principal Dr Swaranjeet Singh Deol welcomed the chief guest. Vikas Garg urged the youth to stay away from drugs and take part sports.

Principal Dr VK Kapoor, principal Dr HS Brar, principal Dr Varinder Kaur and Hardial Singh Gill were present.



Discuss throw: 1st Sharanpreet Kaur; 2nd Amandeep Kaur and 3rd Jasveer Kaur

Javelin throw: 1st Sharanpreet Kaur; 2nd Amandeep Kaur and 3rd Gurmeet Kaur

Shot put: 1st Sharanpreet Kaur; 2nd Amandeep Kaur and 3rd Manpreet Kaur

Long jump: 1st Sharanpreet Kaur; 2nd Jasveer Kaur and 3rd Gurmeet Kaur

Race 100 m: 1st Amandeep Kaur; 2nd Sharanpreet Kaur and 3rd Bhupinder Kaur

Race 200 m: 1st Bhupinder Kaur and 2nd Sharanpreet Kaur

Race 800 m: 1st Sharanpreet Kaur; 2nd Gurmeet Kaur and 3rd Manpreet Kaur


Discuss throw: 1st Dharminder Singh; 2nd Sukhdeep Singh and 3rd Hardeep Singh

Javelin throw: 1st Sukhdeep Singh; 2nd Mandeep Singh and 3rd Amarjot Singh

Shot put: 1st Mandeep Singh; 2nd Sukhdeep Singh and 3rd Hardeep Singh

Hop step and Jump: 1st Hardeep Singh; 2nd Sukhdeep Singh and 3rd Amarjot Singh

Broad Jump: 1st Hardeep Singh; 2nd Amarjot Singh and 3rd Dalwinder Singh

Race 100 m: 1st Mandeep Singh; 2nd Amarjot Singh and 3rd Kulwinder Singh

Race 200 m: 1st Mandeep Singh; 2nd Kulwinder Singh and 3rd Amarjot Singh

Race 400 m: 1st Jagdev Singh; 2nd Pirtpal Singh and 3rd Amarjot Singh

Race 800 m: 1st Jarnail Singh; 2nd Mandeep Singh and 3rd Kuldeep Singh

Race 1500 m: 1st Ravinder Singh; 2nd Pirtpal Singh and 3rd Mandeep Singh



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