L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Penal interest on house tax waived till March 31
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
Punjab Local Bodies Minister Manoranjan Kalia Manoranjan Kalia said today the government would waive interest penalty on industrial units that deposit their house tax arrears with the municipal corporation by March 31, 2010. The announcement, made he kicked off the road recarpeting project at Focal Point, has brought much needed relief to the city’s business community.

Claiming the government was “keen” to improve civic amenities in the city, the minister stated several projects costing Rs 250 crore were already under execution. “In order to provide better facilities to the common man an additional sum of Rs 150 crore is also being generated”, he added.

Admitting cities in the state were unplanned, Kalia said, “The government is making efforts to streamline everything and the master plans of various districts are an initiative in that direction. The Gill Chowk overbridge will be completed by April this year. Strict action would be taken against contractors for delaying projects."

When asked about the pathetic condition of power generation and supply in the state, the minister said, “The entire country is facing a power-shortage of about 55,000 megawatts. Blaming the Punjab government alone is not justified. We expect in the upcoming central budget bigger focus would be given to power generation in the country. As far as Punjab is concerned, on March 2 the chief minister will lay the foundation stone of the 1920 MW Rajpura thermal power plant, which will definitely improve the power situation in the state."

Meanwhile, work on recarpeting roads in the city’s Focal Point area got off today. Keeping in mind the heavy traffic load, the Guru Nanak Engineering College has also provided the MC with a design of flexible pavements along the roads. The contractor has also been given a five-year annual maintenance contract.

Other than the ongoing recarpeting work, the municipal corporation will initiate other road strengthening projects costing Rs 4.98 crore during the next two to three months. 


Industry must take over upkeep of parks: Kalia
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
In a proposal for upkeep of parks in the Focal Point area, minister for local government, industry and commerce Manoranjan Kalia has asked industrial units to maintain parks once the government developed these in the area.

Kalia was here to interact with members of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings.

“The industrial units looking after parks can advertise about themselves there,” he said.

Best results could be achieved only when the government and public started working together, he added.

The minister promised to call a joint meeting of the excise and taxation department and the industry to discuss the October-’09 notification issued by the department that the industry feared could work against their interest.

He added that Rs 31 crore would be spend on developing 11 focal points in the state.

“The single-window industrial board is also proving helpful to the industry. In addition, the 24-hour helpline No. 18001802469 is always at the service of trade and industry. Anybody requiring information related to any trade can call at the number for assistance,” he said.

The CICU submitted a memorandum to Kalia and apprised him of the problems being faced by the industry.

CICU president Inderjit Singh Pardhan said the industries department in Punjab was working like a regulatory authority, whereas the need of the hour was for it to work as facilitator to the industry.

“The department should be upgraded to work for the development and growth of the industry, especially for soft skills like cluster development, training of intellectual property rights, technology upgrade and support in compliance of government acts and regulation.”

He said the industry was facing problems due to no-availability of land in an organised manner.

The industry has to buy land from agriculturalists and convert it for industrial use, which leads to delay in getting power connection, other government clearances and further delay of complete project.

“Necessary steps should be taken to develop industrial focal points and another industrial focal point near Ludhiana should be established on priority basis,” added Pardhan.



2 sisters ‘abducted’ by godman
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
In a sensational case, two sisters and students of a local college have allegedly been kidnapped by a religious leader who they had been following for the past two years.

Police sources said following the complaint of Rupinder Singh, father of the girls, a police team raided the house of their guru in Gurgaon’s Palam Vihar area today.

The baba, who reportedly has a large following in Ludhiana, is alleged to have kidnapped the girls, the Gurgaon police said.

But the Model Town police has categorically rejected the involvement of the baba behind the abduction of Manpreet Kaur (21) and Kiranpreet Kaur (19).

The SHO of Model Town, Nirmal Singh, stated: “Rupinder, father of the victims has not suspected the involvement of any baba behind the abduction. We have registered a complaint only against two unidentified persons.”

The sources said the baba had raised funds for the education of the girls. It was due to his help that they got admission to the college. Both were students of BCom. They had come in contact with the “godman” two years ago when they went to attend his congregation.

They were impressed and decided to join his dera in Gurgaon, but were sent back since they were minors.

The girls have been missing from the city for the past two days.

“We raided his Palam Vihar house and detained two of his followers. They said the baba is in Dubai and there is no trace of the girls as of now,” the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Gurgaon, Pat Ram said.

SHO Nirmal Singh, however, said the baba was in the US.

“He sent my daughters to Guru Nanak Khalsa College in Ludhiana and I got a call from the hostel yesterday that my daughters were missing,” Rupinder said.

A team of the Model Town police had gone along with Rupinder to Gurgaon.

The sources said for nearly five hours, the two members, who were later apprehended by the police, did not open the door. Only after the Gurgaon police came, did they break open the door,” Rupinder said.

The two accused have been identified as Gurpreet Singh and Manjeet Singh, who are at present being interrogated.



Cong to pick leader in MC house on Sunday
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
With the Congress party will choose its leader in the municipal corporation at a meeting here of party councillors and local leaders scheduled on Sunday. The meet will be chaired by senior party leader and Gurdaspur MP Partap Singh Bajwa.

According to party insiders there are three main contenders for the position that fell vacant after Prem Mittal was expelled from the party. Mittal was the party’s leader in the house at the time he sided with former MP Gurcharan Singh Galib when the latter joined the SAD(B) party during the last parliamentary elections.

The three contenders include Hemraj Aggarwal, Shyam Sunder Malhotra and Amrit Varsha Rampal, all of who have been in the civic body for multiple terms. Although there are other senior councillors like Bharat Bhushan Ashu and Parminder Mehta, the party’s choice may ultimately fall on one of the three contenders as both Ashu and Mehta are learnt to have not evinced much interest in the position.

Bajwa has been assigned by the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Mohinder Singh Kaypee to preside over the meeting of councillors and local leaders. In all likelihood, sources close to the party said, the MC leader’s appointment is going to be “consensual”.

A senior councilor said on the condition of anonymity, “Everyone wants to be the leader but one needs to be willing to shoulder responsibility to perform the duties well. We have suffered much in absence of a good leader in all these months. We hope to have a strong and responsible leader in the MC in the near future”.

For over nine months since Mittal was expelled from the party the Congress has virtually remained leaderless in the all-important MC house. Since all important decisions relating to development work in the city are taken in the civic body, the Congress has not been able to put forth its cause effectively as it ideally should, being the principal opposition party.



Go herbal this Holi
Manav Mander 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
Holi is around the corner, but many people confine themselves to their homes, fearing synthetic colours.

This time around, however, herbal colours are the in thing. Eco-friendly, these colours and pastes are natural extracts from flowers, vegetables and minerals.

The colours can be made from the petals of rose, marigold, hibiscus and bougainvillea, sandalwood, henna, tesu, turmeric, multani mitti, spinach and indigo.

“Chemicals are out and flowers are in. This year, I have taken the initiative and would be preparing colours at home. I would advocate to everybody to bid farewell to synthetic, unhygienic colours and play Holi with renewed zest with herbal colours. At least, I would not be worried while my children play outside,” Ravneet, a housewife, said.

Brij and Pushp Holi at Govind Gau Dham would be a special attraction for residents.

Dr Jastinder K Gill of SPS Apollo Hospitals said synthetic colours were very harmful for the skin and hair as these contained heavy metals, acids, alkalis, powdered glass, asbestos, chalk pastes, lead oxide, green copper sulphate, and red mercury sulphite, in addition to mica and powdered glass that gives shine to the colours.

“These chemicals create havoc on the skin and hair in the form of irritation and dryness and also as dermatitis burning, itching and allergic dermatitis. The hair damage can be in the form of redness, dryness and scalp infections followed by delayed affects like loss of hair and coarse, thin and lustreless hair texture,” she said. 

Safety Tips

l Apply moisturiser, sunscreen and lacto calamine on face, lips, ears and neck

l Apply coconut oil or olive oil on body and hair

l Wear cotton clothes that cover all exposed areas such as arms
and legs 

Making eco-friendly colours

l Soak 25 marigold flowers in 1 litre water. Boil it until it exudes fragrance. Leave it overnight. It will yield a rich yellow colour

l Dry leaves of gulmohar, spinach, coriander and mint

l Later ground these in a mixer to get a fine powder. Add to water for colour


l Clean face, body and hair with lots of water, soap and shampoo

l Moisturise face and body 



Rolling his way to Vaishno Devi
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
Faith has instilled a sense of adventure in Brajesh Kumar (38), a resident of Gulabi Bag in Delhi. He has covered a distance of 300 km while rolling on the road and he wants to cover another 320 km to Vaishno Devi Mata shrine.

Brajesh, who began his journey on December 21, was seen rolling on the dusty GT Road here yesterday.

He was accompanied by his companion, Vajinder (33), a scooter mechanic who follows him on a bicycle.

Wearing polythene clothes, Brajesh rolls 6-7 km every day before taking a break.

He caught the attention of bystanders and at some places, people even touched his feet and called him “lotan baba”.

Vajinder and Brajesh, who are not married, had been planning to visit the shrine for the past several years.

“We decided to start out journey on December 15. On December 22, we began our journey from Vaishno Devi Mandir in Delhi with Rs 5,000 each. Relatives thought it was a unique effort, but they supported us,” Vajinder said.

Brajesh said people supported them and provided them with food and water. He said the idea struck him when he saw a man called “Lotan Baba”, who used to visit religious places by rolling on the road.

He said he had to halt after rolling for 6 km as due to the continuous rolling, his head had started spinning. Both hope to complete their journey in two months.

Brajesh said traffic and stray dogs posed a lot of problem for them, but nothing untoward had happened so far, though he was bruised due to the rolling.



1984 riot victim may move court against demolition
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, February 25
A 1984 riot victim is up in arms against the local municipal council for being served a notice for the demolition of his shop.

Sarabjit Singh, a chemist shop owner, stated that he got his drawing plan approved from the committee in 1997-98 and constructed his medical store in 2003.

According to highway bylaws, his shop came in the way of the completion of the six-laning of the National Highway 1 by the National Highway Authority of India.

Frustrated over the notices, Sarbjit rued, “After being destabilised in 1984, I tried hard to bring life back on track. I got the greatest shock of my life when I was served a notice by the committee that my shop could be demolished any time now.”

As per orders of the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner, all shops that had put up illegal construction after 1995 were to be demolished.

The PUDA Act stated that construction could not be done within 10 metres on either side of the highway.

Shopkeepers had to give proof of construction of shops before 1995 so that some compensation could be made to them.

Sarabjit asked how construction for which the drawing plan had been approved by the council be termed illegal.

“I met PUDA officials, but they showed their helplessness in this regard, saying it had to be settled with the council. I am thinking of moving court now,” Sarabjit added.

Ranjit Singh Grewal, executive officer, said they had asked shopkeepers to submit their objections to the council so that action could be initiated after giving due consideration to individual cases.



32 constables promoted
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 25
SSP (Ludhiana rural) Harinder Singh Chahal yesterday promoted 32 constables to the rank of havildar, besides including 22 SPOs in regular police services on the rank of constables.

SP (D) Raj Pal Singh Sandhu, SP (H) Gurpreet Singh Toor, DSP (Raikot) Prithipal Singh put the decorations on the shoulders of the promoted constables.

Addressing mediapersons, Chahal said the constables who had completed 16 years of services had been promoted and they would go for mandatory two-month training at PAP, Phillaur.

He said, the SPOs had been included in regular Punjab police force under the orders of the DGP and soon they would leave for training. Those present included BJP leader Rajinder Sharma, Raj Verma, Apaar Singh, freedom fighter Daya Chand Jain, Raninder Singh Sandhu and Capt Naresh Verma.



Cong MLA terms state govt a failure
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 25
Harmohinder Singh Pardhan, Congress legislator from Raikot, today launched a scathing attack on the SAD-BJP government, saying it had failed on all fronts and people from different sections of society were feeling let down.

Addressing a meeting of the Youth Organisation of India (YOI) here, he said the law and order situation was getting worse with each passing day and corruption, especially at high places, had crossed all limits.

“Scores of ruling party functionaries have been charged with patronising criminal elements and perpetrating crimes against Dalits, the oppressed and weaker sections, with the government not taking any action,” he claimed.

The Congress legislator remarked that recent acts of violence at Batala and other parts of Punjab and protests by members of the Christian community were a sad reflection on the SAD-BJP government.

“Whenever the Shiromani Akali Dal is in power in Punjab, separatist and communal elements start raising their head, and due to political compulsions, the government decides to look the other way,” he alleged.

Referring to persecution of religious minorities, including Sikhs, in Pakistan, Pardhan said the minorities had been living under fear and uncertainty in Pakistan and the Centre should take up the matter of their safety with Pakistan.



Cops to return seized property to owners
Rakesh Gupta

Jagraon, February 25
The Ludhiana (rural) police has decided to return all property confiscated in cases that have been settled in court to their owners. “In this regard we’ve already obtained the permission of the courts concerned. Property worth crores of rupees is turning into junk in the open courtyard of police stations, occupying precious space”, said SSP Harinder Singh Chahal.

Police station house officers of Humbran, Dakha, Sidhwan Bet, Dehlon. Sudhar, Raikot, Jagraon Sadar and Jagraon city has been instructed to summon the owners of such property and hand them over to them. It has also been decided to destroy unclaimed property seized in 483 cases.

Confiscated property being returned to their owners includes gold, mobile phones, trucks, cars, motorcycles and scooters, tractors and electrical motors.

Investigations by the Ludhiana Tribune revealed owners of such property were reluctant to go through the tedious legal procedure to take back possession of the items. In the absence of any suitable storage space at police stations, seized goods (other than precious metals and currency notes) gradually become junk in the open courtyards, ravaged by the weather. Moreover there have been reports precious parts, especially of vehicles, go missing soon after they are impounded.

Those lucky enough to have found their items in good condition were visibly happy to get back their property without going through the costly and lengthy court procedure. The cops are also glad, as open spaces at police stations that looked more like junkyards have now been vacated.



Fazilka-Abohar rail link sought
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 25
The Rajasthan Sadhu Samaj has urged the Railway Minister to make provisions for laying a double-rail track on the Jakhal-Ferozepur section and providing rail connectivity from Fazilka to Abohar.

In a memorandum submitted to the minister, copies of which have been sent to the Northern Railway headquarters and divisional officials, Swami Varindranand Giri, state president of the body, has pointed out that the Railways has already approved laying a double track from Delhi to Bathinda and a double line till Jakhal is operational.

He has added that no attention has been paid to laying a double track from Jakhal to Ferozepur till now.

“In the absence of a double track, passengers travelling on this section have to face numerous difficulties. Express and super-fast trains are held up and delayed considerably due to the running of passenger and goods trains and shunting of engines on the existing single track,” he said.

He emphasised upon the railways to speed up the work for laying a railway track from Fazilka to Abohar, which had been going on at a slow pace.



Book on Gurbani released
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
Gurbani has something special to give to the world. Taking Guru Nanak's teachings, imbibed in the Gurbani, to every home through children is the aim of the book series.

These views were expressed by Dr Varinderpal Singh, author of the book "Jeeviye Gurbani Naal" during the book release function at Gujranwala Guru Nanak Public School, here yesterday.

The author said: “The book is aimed at giving an insight into the Gurbani to children from classes II to IX."

He added that unfortunately the society was drifting away from religion and its teachings. "I have endeavoured to put together the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev in a format so easy that even a child can understand. Pictures, graphics and letters are the various genres I have used in the books to cater to children of various age groups," said Dr Singh, who is a scientist in the department of soil at Punjab Agricultural University.

He added that Gurbani was not just to be read, but is meant to be lived with.

The author added that the idea behind the book was conceived in close collaboration with child psychologists, so as to achieve optimum results.

The book has been included in the library of the Punjab School Education Board, said Pavitarpal Kaur, director (academics), PSEB, who was also present. She said after a careful study of the contents if the book is found eligible, it would be incorporated in the PSEB syllabus.



DC meets officials to chalk out plan
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
Deputy Commissioner Vikas Garg addressed a meeting of block development and panchayat officers (BDPOs), nagar council and nagar committee officials to chalk out a plan for the issuance of the smart cards to people living below poverty line here today.

The Deputy Commissioner stated that the cards would enable poor families to get free treatment up to Rs 30,000 at private hospitals, nursing homes and government hospitals. The work for the same would be initiated by February 26 by 14 teams.

He further stated that the smart cards would be made in Ludhiana between March 20 and April 3 followed by issuance of cards in Khanna on March 5 and Samrala between March 16 and 18.

In Jagraon nagar council, the smart cards would be issued on March 15, followed by Machchiwara between April 2 and 5 and Mullanpur on March 6. Similarly, the Sahnewal committee will issue smart cards from March 6 to 9 and Doraha committee between March 9 and 13.

In Malaud nagar panchayat, the smart cards would be issued on March 20, while in Payal committee, these would be issued on March 19. The smart cards would be made between 9 am to 6 pm. The Deputy Commissioner urged people to contact project coordinators Gursewak Singh (93570-25200) and Kabir Sethi (93570-25444).

Schedule for preparation of smart cards for BPL families

Block Period

Doraha Feb 26 to Mar 13

Samrala March 3 to 13

Ludhiana-2 Feb 26 to Mar 16

Ludhiana -1 Feb 26 to Mar 1

Jagraon Feb 26 to Mar 13

Dehlon Mar 2 to 15

Khanna Feb 26 to Mar 11

Machchiwara Mar 4 to Apr 1

Pakhowal Mar 4 to 17

Sidhwan Bet Mar 1 to 13



Put nation above self, says Rotarian
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 25
Showing concern over growing number of predicaments in the country, Ashok Mahajan, a philanthropist and representative of Rotary International President John Kenny, called upon office-bearers and activists of the social and religious organisations to launch a coordinated move to tackle nation’s gravest crisis of character deterioration.

Mahajan was talking to The Tribune after interacting with the office- bearers of a few social organisations, including the Rotary Club.

“Though apparently other problems seem to be more alarming, the character corrosion has emerged as gravest and widely spread predicament which proved to be breeding bowl for a host of social problems,” added Mahajan.

Stressing on the need of character building among the youth, Mahajan regretted that majority of people treated self above the nation. “Instead of following ‘nation above self’ ideology people have been ignoring national interests for the sake of meager personal gains,” stated Mahajan stressing a true Rotarian should not tolerate anybody speaking against his or her country.

Former Director of International Polio Plus Committee and Trustee of the Rotary Foundation (2009-13) Mahajan called upon Rotarians to adopt smile, service, sacrifice and satisfaction as four Ss in their lifestyle. 



Delegates from UK visit Punjab
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
To promote and explore business opportunities in Punjab and UK, a delegation led by Paul Grey, first secretary, UKTI, British High Commission of the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), today visited Ludhiana.

The delegation was received by Gunbir Singh, chairman of CII Punjab State Council.

Paul Grey briefed the media about the role of UKTI. He said the aim was to provide professional assistance covering all aspects of locating a business in the UK or expanding existing facilities.

"The aim is to assist companies to use their UK base as launch pad into other markets. The purpose of the visit is to appraise the industry of Punjab of strengths and opportunities that Britain offers them as an investment destination," he said.

Also, the delegation would like to explore the scope of cooperation between Punjab and the UK in agriculture and food processing, textiles, engineering, education, waste management and IT services.

Earlier, Gunbir Singh, chairman, CII Punjab State Council, said Indo-UK relations have several positive features by virtue of shared democratic values, historical and philosophical links, people-to-people contacts, and long-standing co-operation in the economic, commercial and agricultural fields.

"Such business visits infuse a sense of confidence among industry. With more liberal markets today we have a chance to not only combat the current crisis effectively, but also build sustainable business ties that will go a long way," he added.



Free dental check-up camp

Ludhiana, February 25
Baba Jaswant Singh Dental College and Hospital organised a free dental check-up and awareness camp at Gurdwara Shri Guru Nanak Dev, Maya Nagar, Civil Lines, Ludhiana.

Dr Kalsi stressed on the problem of early loss of teeth due to decay and gum diseases. He emphasised on preventive measures that the grandparents could teach and adopt for their grand children. The most important preventive measures emphasised were brushing teeth twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste, flossing, eating a balanced and fibrous diet and avoiding between-meal snacks. Dr Ashish Kumar, Dr Preetinder Singh Mokha and a team of doctors and paramedical staff provided comprehensive diagnosis with the aid of mobile dental van equipped with latest diagnostic and therapeutic facilities. — TNS



ITI staff demand regularisation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
Over 550 contractual employees of ITI, Punjab, today held state-wide protests in various zones demanding regularisation and equal pay for equal work.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Devinder Singh, president of Navniyukt ITI Instructor Union, Punjab, said, “About 350 contractual employees of the ITI have been drawing a salary of Rs 7,500 for the past three years, whereas regular employees are earning anything between Rs 35,000 and Rs 40,000. We want this disparity of pay to be removed.”

Sources said around 700 posts of instructors were advertised three years back for which 350 candidates were recruited.

“Rest of the posts were lying vacant due to meagre salary package and contractual nature of the job,” claimed Devinder.

He added that 200 contractual instructors were appointed recently in Punjab and were getting the same salary package. “We have been demanding regularisation after a fixed period of time as introduced in the state’s education department,” he said.

However, failure of all efforts and numerous representations to senior officials forced the contractual staff to protest.

Today, over 550 contractual ITI instructors went on mass casual leave and held gate rallies on the premises of respective institutions to press for their demands. “In case our demands are not fulfilled, we will gherao Minister for Technical Education of Punjab Chaudhary Swarn Ram’s house in Phagwara on February 28,” said Devinder.



Grading system causing confusion
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
The grading system introduced by the CBSE has created a lot of confusion among educationists, students and parents.

While some are happy, others say the system is unfair. Under this system, students will not get to know their percentage. Marksheets will bear grades and not marks.

One school of thought is that the system will ease the burden on students while the other is that it will blur the line separating toppers from the rest, creating frustration and lack of will to perform among students.

Educationists feel that though the system seems confusing at this point of time, it will, in the long run, be beneficial for students.

Says Suresh Kumar, career counsellor and academician, “When five students in a class get a percentage of above 91, with points separating the topper from the student placed fifth, it creates a ‘first among equals’ situation. It can leave the four students with slightly less marks dejected. The grading system is aimed at curing this malady.”

He adds, “Now a student scoring 91 per cent, with the topper having scored 94 per cent, will be given the same grade. This exercise of grouping together similar scorers will allow the students to breathe a bit easier and relieve them of stress.”

A random survey by Ludhiana Tribune has revealed that the grading system has come as a major relief to the city’s mediocre students and their parents, but has given a lot of heartburn to toppers and their families.

“The system has been adopted under pressure from a few who succumb to pressure and commit suicide for scoring less. The CBSE is punishing students by introducing the grading system. How can a student scoring 95 per cent be given the same importance as a student scoring 91 per cent,” asks Ritesh Jain, a Class IX student.

“The grading system will kill the spirit of competition,” says Ritu Ghosh, a Class IX student, who has been a topper.

“The system should give percentage along with grades to enable us to compare our performance with others. Since students scoring 90 per cent and 94.5 per cent will be in the same grade, we will not able to know who has performed better,” says Rishabh Shukla, another student.

Sakshi of Class IX says, “It will save a lot of us from the pain of peer and parental pressure and lead to a pressure-free environment.” The grading system is giving sleepless nights to parents.

“The structure of large classes should have been revamped before the introduction of the new system. The system will take time to stabilise and students who go through it during the transition phase may end up as losers,” remarks Sunil Arora, a parent.

Nine-point grading system

A1 95 and above

A2 90 to 94

A3 85 to 89

B1 80 to 84

B2 70 to 79

C1 60 to 69

C2 50 to 59

C3 33 to 49

D Less than 33



Pink petunias, red salvias on display
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
Gardeners of various city schools participated in the potted plant competition. Bleaming with pleasure, they were confident to win the contest for the seventh consecutive year, as they displayed their flowers on the opening day of the Flower Show today at the PAU.

Matching the vibrancy of their bright pink petunias, red salvias, yellow marigold and flamboyant nemesias in more than six colours, gardeners took pride in showcasing their months of hard work.

Jagdish, who works as a gardener at BCM Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, for the last 12 years said, “I have been a winner for the past six years in the Flower Show organised by the PAU and each time the acknowledgement motivates me to improve the quality of my flowers.”

Similarly, for Sriram, who is a gardener in Guru Nanak Public School (GNPS), looking after indoor plants is his passion since childhood. “Winning at the Flower Show has become very important to me and I am hopeful of my win this year too,” added Sriram. He also stated that

salvia and petunia were his favourite flowers, which he would grow and develop in his own nursery that he dreamt of having one day. But imparting information to tiny tots on various flowers is what I enjoy more than anything else,” added Sriram.

The flower arrangement competition had entries from schools, colleges, nurseries and also amateurs. Magnificent arrangement of flowers, including dry flowers, fresh flowers in different shapes and sizes, was an attraction for visitors at the Flower Show.

Participants had picked up interesting themes and slogans to describe the arrangements, the most interesting being , “Cuckoo's villa”, “heights above heights”, “wild bliss” , “land of rising sun”. Some students chose current sports events like the World Cup Hockey and commonwealth games to display their flowers.

Dr Ramesh Kumar, head, department of floriculture and landscaping, dedicated the Flower Show to great visionary Dr MS Randhawa, who he said had a passion for flowers and plants.

The two-day show organised by the department of floriculture and landscaping in collaboration with the Estate Organisation and Family Resource and Management, College of Home Science, PAU, will conclude tomorrow. 



Poetry, skits mark annual function
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
Cherry Lane Play School organised its annual function here today. Theme of the function was “Walking through the jungle”.

Tiny tots were dressed as animals. They mesmerised audience with their performances and also conveyed a message “Save animals and trees” .

Songs, dances, poetry and skits marked the function.

They made posters on various themes like “Save Tigers... only 1,141 are left”, “Save Trees” and “Stop Hunting”.

Dressed as alphabets from A to Z, kids ensnared all.

Walking the stage with confidence and grace, children recited poems.

Students staged a play on Hollywood movie “Home Alone”.

Principal of the school Charul Chaudhary said the event aimed at making children aware of the serious threats the earth was facing.”

The performances left audience, mostly parents, spellbound. “Role of man in the rapid depletion of natural resources” was discussed.

“The whole concept of having a theme-based function is indeed quite impressive. We are glad that our kids got to learn about the importance of nature and its conservation through the medium of this show,” said a parent.

Another parent added, “If tiny tots can pass on an important message to people through their performances, why can’t we? All schools should follow suit and create mass awareness about such grave issues.”



Prize distribution at Sidhwan College
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 25
The annual prize distribution function of Khalsa College for Women, Sidhwan Khurd, was held here recently.

Amarjit Singh, former dean, college improvement council of Guru Nanak Dev University, presided over and conferred prizes, medals and merit certificates to the meritorious students in academics, sports and co-curricular activities.

Senator Harpreet Singh Dua was the guest of honour. Principal Dr Paramjit Kaur read out the annual report.

The guests, along with the principal and management committee of the college, gave prizes to 268 students for their academics results.

Prof Gagandeep and Prof Maninder Kaur were awarded for their maximum attendances in the college. The chief guest laid stress on being more confident in life.

A brief cultural programme was also organised.



Placement drive at RIMT

Mandi Gobindgarh, February 25
A2Z Maintenance and Engineering Services, a Gurgaon-based electrical business group visited RIMT polytechnic institute for recruiting final year electrical students of diploma course here today.

The recruitment procedure included technical and aptitude test followed by personal interview.

Finally five students Dheeraj Kumar, Amritpal Singh, Bhupinder Singh, Sarpreet Singh and Jagatjit Singh were selected. — OC



Sarpanch nabbed for drug peddling
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
The narcotics cell of the police nabbed a sarpanch and his helper for peddling 4 kg of opium on the GT Road near Sahnewal here today.

The accused have been identified as Dalvinder Singh (55), sarpanch of Mallipur village, near Doraha, and Raj Kumar. The cops laid a trap near Sahnewal and nabbed the duo. The accused had hidden the contraband in a sack containing clothes.

The contraband was meant for Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and was to be supplied in the city.

The police is trying to zero in on people who were planning to buy the contraband. Sources alleged that Dalvinder and his Raj Kumar were into this trade for the past several years and were even arrested under similar charges earlier also. The accused were produced before the court, which sent them in remand.



Gang of snatchers busted, two held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
With the arrest of two youths, the Division No. 4 police claimed to have busted a gang of snatchers who used to rob persons in the wee hours near the new Sabzi Mandi area.

The two accused, Santosh Kumar, alias Quadir Khan, and Sikander Kumar, migrants from Bihar, were nabbed.

Their accomplices Ram Chander, alias Topi, and Bajli Pehalwan fled. Santosh was presently residing at the Chhawni Mohalla and Sikander at the Qila Mohalla.

The accused had recently stabbed Raj Kumar of Mohalla Fathegarh, who was on his way to the Sabzi Mandi to buy vegetables.

According to the victim, four youths surrounded him and snatched his purse containing Rs 6,840. When he resisted, the accused stabbed him in the abdomen and fled.

Following, the incident, the police launched a massive manhunt and conducted raids at key locations where the accused were suspected to be hiding.

Police sources said snatching incidents had spread panic among residents of the Sabzi Mandi and surrounding areas. Morning walks before daybreak were being avoided.

During preliminary interrogation, the accused confessed to the crime. The police recovered a voter ID card and Rs 900 belonging to Raj Kumar, besides two ‘khukris’.

The accused admitted that they were behind several snatching incidents in the Sabzi Mandi and surrounding areas in the past one year.

The sources confirmed that many snatching incidents went unreported. Their main target were vendors who visited the market in the wee hours to purchase vegetables.

They were easy targets as a majority of them used to visit the Sabzi Mandi on handcarts or cycle carts. The accused used to waylay and rob the victims of money.



Five held with weapons
Our Correspondent

Raikot, February 25
The police got a major breakthrough when it arrested five youths for their alleged involvement in numerous criminal acts here yesterday. Weapons were also seized from the accused.

Those arrested have been identified as Yaqub, alias Jagroop; Gurjit Singh, alias Geeta, alias Geeti, both of Nathowal village; Charanjit Singh, alias Channi, of Phillaur town; Lakhvir Singh, alias Bittu, of Salempur village, near Sidhwan Bet; and Kamaljit Singh, alias Kamal, of Tihara Mand village, near Sidhwan Bet.

The five were arrested from different places and cases under various sections of the IPC were registered against them at the Raikot police station.

While Charanjit Singh, Gurjeet Singh and Kamaljit Singh were arrested with a knife, Yaqub was arrested with a .32 revolver and three live cartridges, and Lakhvir Singh with a .315 bore country made pistol and two live cartridges.

All arrests were made by the teams of the Jalaldiwal police post under the Raikot police station.

SSP Harinder Singh Chahal said the accused had confessed to their involvement in over 10 crimes, including snatching, robbery and theft worth over Rs 25 lakh. The gang had recently robbed an old couple of cash and gold ornaments in Ludhiana and also an NRI couple of Nawanshahr of gold, cash and foreign currency worth Rs 18 lakh. The case had gone unreported as the couple had left India the next day.

Interestingly, the gang used to operate in collusion with gangs of other states. The gang had been active for the past over a year.

A local court has remanded the gang members in police custody till February 26.



Rachhpal first in long jump
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 25
Rachhpal Singh and Ramita were adjudged the best athletes (boys and girls) in the 63rd Athletics Meet of Arya College, Civil Lines, which concluded here today.

Hira Singh Gabria, Punjab Cabinet Minister, was the chief guest at the concluding function and gave away prizes to position holders.

Gurpreet Singh, Kulbir Singh, Narinder Kaur, Harminder Singh, Kuldeep Singh, Parminder Singh, Lovpreet Singh, Gurjeet Singh and Karan Puri were honoured for performing well in various tournaments.

In the tug-of-war match organised between teachers and students, the former proved too good to come out triumphant.


Boys- Long jump: Rachhpal Singh 1, Gurdeep Singh 2 and Chandan 3; sack race: Uday Bhatia 1, Nikhil Kumar 2 and Gurpreet Singh 3; discus throw: Gurdeep Singh 1, Sandeep Thind 2 and Rachhpal Singh 3; three-legged race: Rajat Nayyar and Viraj Singh 1, Neeraj Bagga and Kailash Singh 2, Keshav Sharma and Varshav Sharma 3.

Girls- 400m race: Ramita 1, Sanyogita 2 and Arashpreet Kaur 3; long jump: Ramita 1, Aarti 2 and Sarika 3; chatti race: Narinder Kaur 1,

Vandana 2 and Shikha 3; 200m race: Ramita 1, Tanima Bector 2 and Sanyogita 3; obstacle race: Ramita 1 and Madhu Sharma 2.



Gurjot, Gauradeep adjudged best athletes
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 25
Gurjot Kaur Walia and Gauradeep Singh were declared the best athletes (girls and boys) in the Golden Jubilee Athletics Meet of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana, here today.

Students from various streams like civil, computer, mechanical, electrical, electronics, production, IT, MBA and MCA took part in the two-day meet.

Gurjot bagged titles in shot put, triple jump and 100m sprint to be named the best athlete, while Gauravdeep cornered glory in 400m and 800m races and emerged the best athlete.

Gurmail Singh Sangowal distributed prizes, while Harsurinder Singh Gill, senior vice-president, Nankana Sahib Education Trust, Ludhiana, presided over the closing ceremony.


Girls: 100m hurdles: Harjot Kaur Gill 1, Sukhpreet Kaur 2 and Rinki Verma 3; shot put: Gurjot Kaur Walia 1, Sumandeep Kaur 2 and Manjeet Kaur 3; triple jump: Gurjot Kaur Walia 1, Sukhpreet Kaur 2 and Rinki Verma 3; 200m race: Shikha Sugandhi 1, Harjot Kaur Gill 2 and Sumandeep Kaur 3; 800m race: Harjot Kaur Gill 1, Sukhpreet Kaur 2 and Shikha Sugandhi 3; 100m race: Gurjot Kaur Walia 1, Shikha Sugandhi 2 and Rinki Verma 3.

Boys: 10,000m race: Amit Kumar 1, Harsimranjeet Singh 2 and Harpreet Singh 3; 110m hurdles: Gundeep Singh 1, Gauravdeep Singh 2 and Jaskaran Singh 3; shot put: Navandeep Singh 1, Harpal Singh 2 and Chanbir Singh 3; 800m race: Gauravdeep Singh 1, Anurag 2 and Sahil Sharma 3; 100m race: Jasdip Singh 1, Gundeep Singh 2 and Anmol Singh 3; 200m race: Gundeep Singh 1, Nitin 2 and Sukhminder Singh 3; hammer throw: Sandeep Singh 1, Jalour Singh 2 and Navandeep Singh 3; 400m race: Gauravdeep Singh 1, Jaskarn Singh 2 and Harmeet Singh 3; 4x400m relay race: Civil branch 1, IT branch 2 and CSE branch 3.



Promoting sports among youth
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, February 25
The sports club of Dakha constituencies yesterday gathered to promote sports among youth.

On the initiative of Manpreet Singh Ayali, chairman of zila parishad, more than 50 clubs wowed to get united.

In the recent past it was seen that due to groupism, villages were having two or more sports clubs and used to organise sports festivals and spent lakh.

The sports, instead of developing sportsmanship, was raising factionalism in the village.

Recently, the non-handing of the Bhagwant Memorial Hockey Cup to winner team of Kila Raipur mini Olympics had shaken everyone, as it happened for the first time during the past 46 years after the establishment of the cup in 1964. Prahlad Singh, father of hockey player Bhagwant Singh, donated 1 kg gold for casting of the cup in the memory of his son. This all had happened as the three organisers had different opinions regarding the invitation of guests and two of them refused to allow withdrawal of Gold Cup from the bank locker.

Ayali while addressing more than 1,500 youths had gathered responding to the call given by him that the need of the hour is to tame the youth power to reconstitute the modern India.

He said his initiative would pave way for the villagers to unite and work for developing the village instead of factionalism within village.

A fully equipped gym would be given to the youth in each village and sports events like hockey, football, volleyball and athletics would also be promoted.

SSP Jagraon Harinder Singh Chahal motivated the youth to wow not to consume drugs. Baljinder Singh, principal of Ludhiana, ITI, asked the youth to join job oriented courses offered by the Punjab government through ITI through which they could get better opportunities. He said the training in skill development was appreciable

Dr MS Gill from extension education department of PAU, Ludhiana, promoted the youth to adopt various business opportunity in farming after getting training free of cost from PAU.

Video comedy CD of Comedy artist Jai Parkash of Mullanpur Dakha, “Thah Sota” was also released. This was the third video CD of the artist while “Pangebaj Bania” and “Bania ne Jat Kutia” had been released recently.

Another video comedy CD “Aaj Da Dara” is in making. A number of local social and political leaders were also present.



Sandeep, Kuldeep emerge fastest runners

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 25
Sandeep Singh and Kuldeep Kaur of Government College, Karamsar, emerged the fastest runners during the 39th annual athletics meet, which concluded on the college premises here yesterday.

Vishav Deep Ball and Mandeep Kaur were declared the best athletes among boys and girls, respectively.

Amrit Versha Sharma, principal of the college, presided over the concluding session, while Baba Teja Singh was the chief guest.

Sharma and Parkash Singh, organising secretary, motivated students to take part in extra-curricular activities. The principal said the college students had won numerous prizes during the inter-college and inter-university contests.

At least 250 students took part in various events during the meet. Flag hoisting ceremony was followed by a march past.


100m race (women): Kuldeep Kaur (BA-I) 1 and Mandeep Kaur 2; 400m race (women): Sandeep Kaur (BA-II ) 1, Mandeep Kaur (BA-II) 2, Deepinder Kaur (BA-II) 3; 200m race (women): Mandeep Kaur (BA-II) 1, Kuldeep Kaur (BA-I) 2, Sandeep Kaur (BA-II) 3; high jump (women): Mandeep Kaur 1, Harpreet Kaur (BA-II) 2 and Kuldeep Kaur (BA-I) 3; long jump (women): Mandeep Kaur 1, Harpreet Kaur (BA-II) 2 and Kuldeep Kaur (BA-I) 3; discuss throw (women): Dalveer Kaur (BA-II) 1, Mandeep Kaur (BA-II) 2 and Amandeep Kaur (BCom-II) 3; shot put (women): Lovjeet Kaur (BA-I) 1, Sandeep Kaur (BA-I) 2 and Mandeep Kaur (BA-II) 3; 5,000m (men): Jaswinder Singh (BA-I) 1, Vishavdeep Ball (BA-II) 2, Santosh Kumar (BCom-III) 3;

3,000m (men): Vishavdeep Ball (BA-II) 1, Jaswinder Singh (BA-I) 2 and Gagandeep Singh (BA-I) 3; 800m (men): Subegh Singh (BA-I) 1, Vishavdeep Ball (BA-II) 2 and Jugraj Singh (BA-II) 3; 400m (men): Jaswinder Singh (BA-I) 1, Vishavdeep Ball (BA-II) 2 and Jugraj Singh (BA-II) 3;

200m (men): Jaswinder Singh (BA-I) 1, Vishavdeep Ball (BA-II) 2 and Jugraj Singh (BA-II) 3; discuss throw (men): Jaswinder Singh (BA-I) 1, Varun Kumar (BA-III) 2 and Gursewak Singh (BA-II) 3; shot put (men): Baldeep Singh (BA-II) 1, Varun Kumar (BA-III) 2 and Prabhjot Singh (BA-II) 3; long jump (men): Vishavdeep Ball 1, Lakhvir Singh (BA-I) 2 and Sandeep Singh (BA-I) 3; high jump (men): Vishavdeep Ball 1, David Kang (BA-II) 2, Tejinder Singh (BCom-I) 3; javelin throw (men): Prabhjot Singh (BA-II) 1, Varun Kumar (BA-III) 2 and Amandeep Singh. — OC



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