L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Vet varsity students' strike
Process of annulling semester initiated, warnings issued
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
Not in a mood to bow to the "unjust demands" of students, the Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) authorities have initiated the process of annulling the ongoing semester (December-June).

In the third step towards this direction, the varsity authorities today issued warnings to 13 students. Earlier, a warning was issued to all protesting students to call off the strike. When that failed to bring about the desired results, classes of all undergraduate courses were suspended.

Giving details, Dr Simrat Sagar Singh, dean, College of Veterinary Science, said, "We have a procedure to be followed in case the semester is to be annulled."

He further said, "If even after this warning, the students carry on with their strike, we will take the next step which would be rustication of notorious protesters from the university."

Meanwhile, levelling serious allegations against Dr Simrat Sagar, the students alleged that the dean made derogatory remarks against girls publicly and "commented on their personal lives".

However, refuting the charge, the dean said, "This is their (students) way to keep the controversy alive. Actually, the protest is slowly fizzling out, as many students, especially girls, have returned home after a warning was issued to their parents. They know they will have to call off the strike in a day or two due to lack of support."

He added that most of the active leaders had backed out of the stir, the remaining are mainly those who have shortage of attendance or pending supplementary exams."

In the counter attack, the students say they still have two months to go in this semester to make up for the attendance shortage and the dean's allegations are "baseless".

Meanwhile, the protesters carried out a rally on the university campus, raising slogans against the government and GADVASU. However, the attendance of protesters was thin compared to previous days, especially of girl students.

Why the protest

Students are protesting against the large-scale privatisation of veterinary education in the region, establishment of a new polytechnic in Bathinda district and the introduction of new diploma courses. They say the move would lead to large-scale unemployment among veterinarians. Interestingly, NRI students of GADVASU are not participating in the strike. There are about 30 NRI students studying in various courses at the university and none of them is striking. "The strike is about veterinary education in India, but our final destination is overseas. So, we don't have a stake in the issue, thus the distance," revealed a student


Meanwhile, teachers end protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University Teachers Association has called off its 10-day-old protest against contractual appointment of a former professor of Animal Breeding and Genetics on the same post with additional charge of university librarian.

The GADVASU faculty was protesting against the said appointment on the plea that the post of the university librarian is an administrative one with financial power and any person re-employed after superannuation cannot hold such a post.

Accepting the demand of the teachers, the GADVASU administration, on March 15, withdrew the administrative and financial powers from the professor and delegated the same to the Dean College of Veterinary Science.

The executive committee of the teachers' body later held a meeting with Vice-Chancellor VK Taneja and discussed the issue of re-employment after retirement and other problems of the varsity teachers. After the meeting of Dr HS Sandhu and Dr SS Randhawa, president and secretary of GADVASU Teachers Association, said they were satisfied with the outcome of the meeting.

They thanked the VC for his positive approach towards their problems. They also thanked the VC for implementing and releasing the new pay scales of the university teachers.



Surprise visit by DGP
Five ACPs shifted
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
With an aim to make the police administration more effective, director general of police PS Gill today ordered the immediate transfer of five assistant commissioners of police. The changes followed a surprise visit by the DGP to the city today to take stock of the newly introduced police commissionerate system.

Gill ordered the reshuffle at a meeting of cops. According to sources the changes were effected to pave the way for appointing a joint commissioner of police.

Following the transfer of the senior policemen, changes in the posting of station house officers (SHOs) were also in the offing, they added.

ACP Parampal Singh, earlier ACP (east), will take charge of ACP (detective). He replaces ACP Varinder Brar. ACP (vigilance) Bhupinder Singh will take charge as ACP (east) and ACP Joginder Singh has been attached with SSP (rural) HS Chahal.

ACP (north) Naginder Rana has been transferred to IRB, while Paramjit Singh Pannu, who was earlier holding charge as ACP (headquarters), would take charge as ACP (north).

However, no decision has been taken yet on the new posting of ACP Varinder Brar, who is awaiting his transfer orders.

Gill arrived in the city at around 11:30am in the morning and visited Police Lines. Nobody appeared to know about his visit. He also checked on the work in progress on setting up a new control room. Later he conducted a special meeting with police officers.



Maiden Run
Duronto arrives 3 hours late
Kuldip Bhatia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 17
Teething problems marred the maiden run of the weekly Duronto super-fast train between Howrah and Amritsar, which arrived here more than three hours behind schedule.

The 2277/78 Duronto, announced by Union Railway Minister Mamta Banerjee with much fanfare with a number of other trains on different routes in the country, was not only late by more than three hours during its first outing, but was also having an unscheduled run from its originating station (Howrah).

Railways officials here informed that as per the schedule received by them, it was bi-weekly train, which would depart from Kolkata on Thursday and Saturday and reach Amritsar on Friday and Sunday. However, the schedule of the train shown on the railway timetable on the Internet, says it will run once a week - on Mondays from Howrah with 11 operational stoppages enroute.

"Another special feature of the train will be no entry or booking of passengers at intermediate stations, and only through passengers - travelling between originating and terminating stations, will be allowed on board. On the train running on an unscheduled day, the officials said it happens at times because the inaugural runs of new trains are often a political affair and reservation is normally offered on such trains only after a successful dry run.

The undesirable delay in the arrival of the train at the railway station here was a dampener of sorts to the waiting passengers who wondered as to what was the point of running a super-fast train on a trunk route with minimal halts if it gets delayed and the actual travelling time remains the same as other express and mail trains on this section.



Blank affidavits on sale at dhabas, barber shops
70 fake ones seized
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 17
Contrary to the practice of getting statements attested by an oath commissioner after getting the deponent identified from a person of established identity, pre-attested affidavits are available even at dhabhas and barber shops of the area.

The price for the ‘commodity’ varies from person to person and revenue district of the deponent.

Registration of a criminal case against four persons at Mehal Kalan in Barnala district has further increased rates of blank attested affidavits and the ‘customer’ has to bring a person known to the ‘supplier’ for availing the facility.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that blank stamp papers purportedly issued for preparing affidavits were available at various outlets situated in the region. Roadside dhabas and barbershops, besides Photostat and computer centers included the service providers.

Normally the deponent is supposed to sign the statement and put his or her signatures in a register maintained by the oath commissioner and then he (commissioner) attests the affidavit under his seal. Depending upon his satisfaction, the deponent has to bring an introducer too. The commissioner is paid a nominal fee for the purpose.

Gradually people got started their statements prepared from typists and deed writers and sign the same in the presence of an introducer, normally a councillor or former councillor. To maintain their social relations these introducers used to put signature in the register later on. The beneficiary deponents did not mind shelling out Rs 100 or Rs 200 for getting the affidavits prepared and attested easily.

Situation became worse when blank stamp papers, bearing seal of some oath commissioner started selling at outlets situated in villages. These were available in wholesale at a shop at nearby Mehal Kalan town in Barnala district.

Though there is no rule restricting attestation of the affidavit by a commissioner of the same district, the suppliers reportedly demanded extra money for affidavits attested by oath commissioners from Ludhiana district.

As villages, surrounding this town fell under Sangrur, Ludhiana and Barnala districts, the suppliers arranged affidavits from the commissioner registered at these district.

A team of CIA Barnala lead by Sanjiv Goel seized at least 70 pre-attested blank affidavits from a shop situated at Mehal Kalan town near here. It is suspected that vendors were procuring these documents from this outlet.

Accused booked under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120 B, were identified as Boota Singh, alias Pal of Hamidi village, Harpal Singh of Mehal Kalan, Gurmel Singh of Maur and Gazu of Bhaddalwad village. The police is yet to verify whether the seals and signatures on the seized documents were genuine or fake.



No flight from Sahnewal by month-end
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
The much-awaited New Delhi-Ludhiana flight from the Sahnewal airport here would not start this month-end, as the airline that announced it had not included it in the summer schedule to the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

Kingfisher Airlines had announced a New Delhi-Ludhiana and back flight from March 28, but due to some last-minute changes, the plane would not fly from here.

Confirming this here today, AGM (Aero), VP Jain said the summer schedule mentioning all flights all over the country does not have any mention of the Ludhiana airport. That means the flight is not scheduled from here.

Jain added that though the flight can be introduced anytime even after the schedule, it seemed at this juncture that there was no flight from Ludhiana this month-end.

The disclosure has left Ludhianvis disappointed, as they were waiting for the flight to start soon. Announcements have been made in the past also, but till date the airport could not function as far as domestic flights were concerned.

The residents who have to fly to New Delhi have to go to Chandigarh first and then catch it from there. ‘‘It then becomes easier for us to go by road or by Shatabdi. It takes two hours to reach Chandigarh by road. What is the fun then? We start from here only,’’ said Manjeev Bhogal, an industrialist.

He said this was not the first time that they were disappointed. Earlier also on several occasions, the authorities, including Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal, had announced the airport would start functioning soon, but to no avail.

Meanwhile, the state government is in the process of acquiring 7 acres of Khakat and Pawa villages for setting up navigational equipment.

The authorities said the airport could only fly day time flights for the time being, as it did not have the DOVR equipment that helped in landing and flying at night. So till the time it is installed, they have to make do with day-time flights only.



2-yr-old crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
A two-year-old girl was crushed to death, while her parents sustained injuries after a speeding tempo fell on them on the Dhollewal road here this evening.

The victim, identified as Kashish, was sitting on the lap of her mother Kulwinder Kaur, who was riding pillion, while her husband Amrik Singh, was riding a motorcycle.

According to an eyewitness, Amrik was entering a street in Prabhat Nagar when the tempo struck the motorbike.

The driver of the tempo could not control the vehicle and it overturned and fell on Kashisk and Amrik Singh.

Kashish died on the spot, while Amrik was rescued by passersby. He was rushed to the CMC with a fractured leg. Kulwinder Kaur also sustained minor injuries. Rajesh Kumar, driver of the tempo, fleed the spot. The driver of the tempo has been booked under Section 304-A of the IPC.



Illegal banners, poles a hassle for residents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
Even though a number of unauthorized banners, hoardings and “welcome gates” for a religious function have been put up right in the middle of major streets in the city, causing inconvenience to residents, municipal officials appear to be hardly bothered. Beginning from Daresi grounds gates have been erected on Kailash Chowk, Sabzi Mandi, Cemetery Road, Prince Road and other places.

VM Sharma, a city resident complained certain gates put up on congested streets were creating hurdles for commuters to pass-through.

"While I was crossing Domoria bridge heated arguments were witnessed between drivers of two autorickshaws after they were unable to pass through the road. One of the agitated drivers even tore up the banner", he said, adding the gates had been erected by digging up the roads.

Another commuter, Tejinder Pal, said the authorities must not allow any one to cause inconvenience to the public. "We must respect each others' beliefs but causing unnecessary harassment to people is totally unjustified. Accidents can take place if one fails to see the poles that have been erected during night", he added.

Additional commissioner, Kamalpreet Brar, however said all illegal hoardings or poles put up in the city, which were inconveniencing pedestrians and other people, have been removed.

"We can’t remove all these hoardings as the municipal corporation is earning revenues amounting to several crores of rupees every year because of the advertisements. If we remove the hoardings from the pavements they might be then put up on either houses or on main roads”, she added.



Kisan mela starts at PAU today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
The stage is set for the two-day kisan mela at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), starting tomorrow.

Different departments of the PAU and various private firms were today busy giving last minute touches to the stalls.

PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang will inaugurate the mela. Director of extension education Mukhtar Singh Gill said three innovative and progressive farmers from Punjab would be honoured with the “Chief Minister's Award” during inaugural the function.

Major Manmohan Singh from Verka (Amritsar) will be awarded for excellence in the cultivation of fruits while Gurcharan Singh Mann of Tungwali (Bathinda) and Prabhpal Singh Dhillon of Kasel (Tarn Taran) will be jointly awarded in recognition of their excellence in growing field crops.

Giving details of the events scheduled on the first day, Dr Gill said the mela would be broadcast live in the Dehati programme on All India Radio, Jalandhar. On the evening of March 18, eminent folk singers will entertain the audience.

The department of horticulture will showcase methods for planting fruit saplings, digging and filling of pits, systems of layout of orchards, said Dr Gill. New techniques of drip irrigation in orchards will also be demonstrated to the visiting farmers, he added.

Virus-free citrus propagation, propagation of ber, citrus and guava in polybags will be the other highlights of the horticulture department.

A demonstration of improved methods of irrigation and information regarding the newly released varieties will also be given. Shrink packaging of fruits will also be demonstrated.

The department of vegetable crops will have a photographic display of new varieties, hybrids of vegetables and fruits.

The department of floriculture and landscaping will exhibit fresh and dry flowers, ornamental plants and seasonal flowers. Beekeeping as subsidiary occupation and mass production of bio-control agents will be highlighted by the department of entomology. Besides, the integrated management of insect-pests of crops and safe use of pesticides will be at the disposal of the farmers.

Department of agronomy will give knowledge of new varieties of aromatic and medicinal plants and information about new methods of cultivation of crops with economically viable and stable cropping systems will be on display.

In the field of food science and technology, preparation of cereals, fruits, vegetables, milk and meat products will be demonstrated. The department of plant breeding will show field trials of wheat, gram, oilseeds, raya and linseed.

Information regarding production/protection technology with emphasis on appropriate choice of varieties of different crops will also be available. Dr Gill said there would be a farm-produce competition for vegetables, fruits, flowers and field crops.

Farmers who wish to participate in these competitions should submit their entries on March 18 till 12 noon at the stall opposite Thapar Hall. Giving details of the competition, convener of the event Dr Surjit Singh said that half kg of produce will be accepted as entry for tomato, peas, ghia, kaddu and turmeric. For chilli and capsicum, only 250 gm produce is enough. For potato, onion, garlic, carrot, 10 pieces are required while in case of brinjal, radish and turnip, five pieces are needed. For cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli, three pieces are required.

In the category of fruits, half kg of ber, guava, kinnow are required while three pieces of fruit are required for submitting entries of papaya. In the category of flowers, six stems of gladiolus, rose and marigold are required while half kg of flowers of zerbera, carnation and other seasonal flowers are required as entries.

Pashu palan mela

Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) will organise the two-day pashu palan mela from March 18. GADVASU Vice-Chancellor Dr VK Taneja will inaugurate the show at 11 am on March 18 at the exhibition pandal of the varsity.



Dark Dugri remains unsafe for women
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
Residents of the Urban Estate of Dugri avoid going out late in the night. Reason- the streetlights in Dugri, Phases-I and II, have not been functioning since long. As per available information under the RTI Act, the Municipal Corporation has been paying regularly to the contractor for maintenance of these light points but the area still remains under darkness.

Majority of light points on roads and in streets are out of order for the past several years. Despite lodging complaints with authorities concerned, nothing favourable has been done for the residents so far. Due to this, there has also been an increase in incidents of thefts, chain snatching, eve teasing and accidents in the area.

Kuldeep Singh Kreer, general secretary, MIG Welfare Society, Phase II, Urban Estate, Dugri, told The Tribune that he had put an application under RTI to know how much amount or penalty was imposed on the contractor for all non-functional light points during the contract period by the corporation. “The civic body concealed the point and nothing was disclosed to us”, he rued.

As per information gathered under RTI, in both Phase I and II areas of Urban Estate, there are 970 light points (518 points of sodium -70 Watts, 413 points of sodium 150 Watts and 257 points of mercury 125 Watts). The corporation had paid Rs 19.90, Rs 32.80 and Rs 45 per point, respectively, for their maintenance during 2006-08. In case of the non-functional light points, a penalty of Rs 50 per point was supposed to be imposed on contractor, too.

On all footpaths in the areas, especially in front of MIG, HIG and 500 square yards block in Phase II, no light point is in working condition for the past several years. Rajinder Singh, another resident, complained that because of unsafe environment, senior citizens and women avoid going out for the evening or morning walks. “Despite repeated complaints to contractor and the municipal authorities no improvement has been made till date. Accidents take place on the main road from the Dugri Canal Bridge to Phase II due to darkness”, he added.

Demanding strict action against erring officials and contractor, residents said an inquiry should also be ordered.



Municipal Corporation remains negligent
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
Giving a classic example of negligence, the municipal corporation has failed to adhere to orders passed by the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) for removing unipoles/hoardings from footpaths. The rights panel had even warned the authorities if orders were not obeyed till March 19, strict action would be taken by the commission but to no avail.

Arvind Sharma, a social worker, had filed a complaint at Chandigarh that footpaths were being used by advertising agencies to promote their products, which caused a lot of nuisance to the pedestrians. And everything was being happened in connivance with municipal officials, alleged Arvind Sharma.

On basis of complaint, the rights panel summoned a superintendent of the advertising wing on February 22 and orders were issued for removal of illegal unipoles/hoardings by March 19. But the wing has expressed its “inability” to remove these hoardings erected on footpaths at the Jagraon Bridge, Durga Mata Temple road, Fountain Chowk, Bhai Bala Chowk, Near Sacred Hear Convent School Sarabha Nagar, Model Town, Feroz Gandhi market and Sarabha Nagar market.

Arvind Sharma said in utter violation of the rights panel’s orders, the unipoles/hoardings persisted, as they were earlier. “The representatives of advertising wing of the corporation were giving misleading and false statements to the commission that these illegal hoardings had been removed. For safeguarding the interests of pedestrians and footpath users, strict action should be taken against the erring officials”, added Sharma.

Superintendent, advertising wing of the corporation, Hartej Singh, said a sub-committee with at least nine members was recently constituted on illegal hoardings/advertisements. “This committee will look into the matter after which action will be taken accordingly”, said Hartej Singh.



Barhampur, a self-sustained village
Our Correspondent

Raikot, March 17
One often comes across people blaming the Indian and Punjab governments for doing nothing for them. But none of those are willing to do something for their own villages. These days a few NRIs, emotionally connected to their native villages, are proving to be an exception. They are taking initiatives to make the life of their fellow villagers worth living. The Barhampur village is one of such rare village and the Kalsian village is next on the list to be upgraded by the NRI brethren on their own or from contributions from the like-minded persons.

This village is situated just 2 kms away from historical Lohatbaddi village on the Malerkotla road. On going towards Mandi Ahmedgarh one suddenly sees the boundary wall of the entire village painted in the vibrant colours like red, green, blue, orange, violet and many more.

Ram Narian, alias Bhola, a cousin of Anant Pal, said the colour scheme had been adopted at par with city of Chile in South America. He said the villagers demanded the houses on a street to be painted in one color for uniformity. One feels happy living in the colourful houses.

The small village with a population of at least 1,000 can boast of all amenities. The has its own water treatment plant, boundary wall, state of-the-art facilities at schools, potable water supply system, well- maintained sewage system, street lights, mettled roads and fortified streets, upgraded crematorium with biomass gas operated Crematorium. The village has a government school equipped with latest computers.

The Indo-Canadian Friendship Society of British Columbia, an NGO, has undertaken projects like sanitation, public health and upgraded education facility.

The society has spent Rs 7.5 lakh for upgrading and de-silting of the village pond. The pond water is then pumped into a re constructed flood drain with the help of a pump set.

The drain is about a kilometer away from the village and underground pipeline has also been laid to achieve the purpose effectively.



Evening courts a success in B’desh: Chief Justice
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 17
Bangladesh is also finding difficulty in clearing cases pending in its courts like in India. This was stated Justice Shamshudin, judge in the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, while interacting with the media here. Evening courts are successful in our country.

These were started in order to reduce the pending cases and we are hopeful of providing speedy justice to our countrymen. Indians are good hosts and I am impressed by their hospitality, added Justice Shamshudin.

Gauri Dhaka, a judge, Supreme Court of Nepal, said, “Poor people and middle class have faith in judiciary. The need is to speed up the process of dispensing justice in India.” Earlier, former chairman of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana BK Goel welcomed these judges.

These judges had recently attended two-day International Conference of Jurists for Judicial Reforms in Chandigarh. Among those present on the occasion were Bishwa Manali, senior advocate, Supreme Court of Nepal, Subhana Chaudhary, advisor, Bangladesh Government, Adish C Aggarwal, senior additional advocate general of Punjab, KK Seth, Trilok Singh Sood and KR Sikri, all industrialists. 



1 dies in cold store collapse, 20 escape unhurt
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Amloh, March 17
Family members of a 46-year-old man, who died after a cold storage at the Khanna-Amloh road collapsed partially, demanded compensation from the government today.

Farmers whose potatoes got damaged and a storeowner, too, have demanded compensation.

While a police official said the cold store-Kundar Cold Store- collapsed after an earthquake. Detailed reports are awaited, he added.

The Amloh DSP said the incident took place at around 2 pm when 20 persons working in the cold store left after having their lunch. However, Surjit Singh, a cook, who resides at Mangarh village near here, got buried under a wall that suddenly collapsed.

Surjit had been working in the store for the past two years and his body was taken out from the debris after two hours with the help of villagers and cranes. The DSP said the store was functioning since 1998 and seems to be in good condition. According to eyewitnesses and cold-store owner, walls developed cracks after the earthquake that struck this part of Punjab on Sunday.

The eyewitnesses said nearly half sunflower crop sown in half-an-acre got damaged after ammonia gas leaked from the cold store.

The labourers said the cook was a contractual employee and was about to leave after serving the food to the labourers. Amloh tehsildar was informed about the incident. He would soon submit a detailed report to the government.

The owner of cold store, family members of deceased labourer and farmers whose potatoes got damaged said they would meet the senior government officials soon. They have estimated the loss to be around Rs 1 crore. Meanwhile, there is a report of a minor fire at the Markfed office.



125 students honoured
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, March 17
A total of 125 students were honoured at the annual prize distribution function in Guru Teg Bahadur National College, Dakha.

Principal Ranjit Kaur Grewal read out the annual report, highlighting the achievements of the college. The function was presided over by Devinder Singh, ADC (development), Ludhiana.

Addressing students, Devinder Singh exhorted them to follow the path shown by the gurus. He advised the youth to shun drugs. College colour was conferred on four students, including Bandana Rani (boxing), Jaspreet Kaur (boxing), Harjit Singh (powerlifting) and Himani Bhumbla (giddha).

The merit certificate was bestowed on Amandeep Singh for being the best NCC cadet. Harmeet Singh and Hardeep Kaur were honoured for being the best athletes among boys and girls, respectively.



Punjabi book ‘Lok man manthan’ out
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
GADVASU Vice-Chancellor Dr VK Taneja today released a book "Lok man manthan", authored by Dalvir Singh Ludhianvi.

Speaking on the occasion, the VC said he was feeling proud that one of his staff members had authored a valuable book by adding scientific thinking to enrich the treasure of Punjabi literature during his service. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. O.S. Parmarsaid, "Good literature can only build a good society. Dalvir has well presented corruption, bribery and other vices present in ongoing system in this book.”

Ludhianvi was honoured by the Punjabi Novel Academy, Ludhiana, with a memento and a 'dushala'. A kavi darbar was also organised on the occasion.



40 donate blood
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 17
Around 40 students donated blood at a camp organised by the Alumni Association of the Bhutta College of Education on college campus yesterday.

Dakha MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik inaugurated the camp and principal Mandeep Bhullar presided over the inaugural function.

Stressing the need for voluntary blood donation, the speakers urged students and office-bearers of a few organisations of the area to join hands in creating awareness about the significance of blood donation.



Seminar on bank audit

Ludhiana, March 17
The Ludhiana branch of the Northern India Regional Council of The Institute of Chartered Accounts of India held a seminar on bank audit.

Charted accountant Ajay Jain discussed prudential norms, NPA provisioning and reporting structure and related issues with regard to the bank branch audit. — TNS



From Schools and Colleges
Warm send-off to tiny tots
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
Tiny tots of Lovely Lotus were bid a warm and colourful send off on their last day at the school today. Kids dressed up as butterflies added colour to the scenery, while those playing honeybees lend a sweet buzzing sound to the atmosphere. Nature was celebrated with aplomb on the premises. School principal blessed the children who will now start a new chapter of their lives by joining other schools.

PCTE students bring laurels

The Punjab College of Technical Education (PCTE) won 13 prizes at “Tarang-2010”, a three-day cultural and literary festival organised by IIT Roorkee.

In the festival, over 1,000 students from 79 institutes participated.

In the fashion show, PCTE students won the first prize and the host team, IIT Roorkee, stood second. Bobby, a student of BBA first year, won the best model award and contract of Rs 2.5 lakh by the NID.

PCTE team of Sachinandan, MBA final year, and Gurdev Singh of BBA final year won the first prize in debate while Sumesh and Geetanjali of MBA final year won the third prize.

In all 27 teams participated in the debate and out of four teams that reached the semis, three were from the PCTE and one from Patiala. Geetanjali, a student of MBA final year, was adjudged the best speaker of the Debate. Students from PCTE won the second prize in a group dance bhangra and Gurdev Singh, a student of BBA final year, won video shoot contract worth Rs 75,000.

In nukkad natak, team of students won the third prize with Praveen Shakya and Tanvi Sharma won best actor and best actress award, respectively. Abhishek William, BBA final year student, won the first prize in the western solo song, while Abhishek and Avtar of BBA final year won the 2nd prize in duet singing.

In treasure hunt, Geetanjali, Sumesh and Sachin of MBA final won the third prize.

The PCTE students won the first prize in click competition and Abhishek was adjudged “Mr Tarang”.

Seminar on Bhagat Singh

A seminar on Shaheed Bhagat Singh was held at the Government College for Boys today.

Students were told about the great sacrifice of the martyr and were exhorted to follow the path of righteousness.

They were also encouraged to follow in the martyr's steps and to be honest, truthful, patriotic and courageous.



Industrialists protest IT surveys
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
Industrialists gathered outside the Income Tax office to protest against the indifferent attitude of the department while carrying out surveys. The situation was brought under control after the police intervened and allowed them to interact with IT officials.

Industrialists alleged that the officials conducting the survey were indifferent towards their plea of allowing them to attend telephones.

They alleged that the officials during surveys were in habit of threatening them of converting the surveys into seizures.



Electricity Conservation
Consumers asked to maintain power factor
Told to install shunt capacitors
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 17
The Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has brought all the bulk supply, domestic supply and non-residential supply power consumers with load exceeding 100 KW within the ambit of compulsory maintenance of power factor from April 1.

Along with a levy of surcharge or grant of incentive as the case may be, the power board has issued instructions to all the consumers likely to be affected by the directions to install shunt capacitors to achieve the desired level of power factor.

The PSEB has already set in motion the process for installation of compatible meters and metering equipment on the premises of consumers by March 31.

A commercial circular issued by the chief engineer, commercial organisation, PSEB, says that earlier, the power factor surcharge/incentive was applicable to large and medium supply consumers, but now it will be mandatory for bulk supply, domestic supply, non-residential supply and small power categories as well.

“The consumers under these categories will be required to maintain a monthly average power factor of 0.90. Those who fail to do so will have to pay power factor surcharge at the rate of 1 per cent of the bill amount for each 0.01 fall in power factor below 0.90 whereas the amount of surcharge will become double (2 per cent) if power factor falls below 0.80. At the same time, consumers with a monthly average power factor exceeding 0.90 will be allowed a rebate of 0.25 per cent on the bill amount for each 0.01 point rise in power factor above 0.90,” says the circular.

As far as consumers in the small power category are concerned, they have been given an option either to continue under the existing provisions specified in the schedule or opt for installation of meters and metering equipment to measure the monthly average power factor.

It has, however, been made clear that all the new consumers under the small power schedule will be provided with meter/metering equipment for measurement of power factor and would be covered under the rebate/surcharge schedule.

Talking to The Tribune, senior executive engineer, city west division, PSEB, Pradeep Gupta said the measure was part of the ongoing demand management programme of the PSEB aimed at conservation of electricity.

“With all the bulk supply consumers being made to maintain power factor to a desired level, the instances of overload on the transmission and distribution system will be cut down significantly, which will have a direct impact on the quality of power supply to consumers at large in the mega city,” he added.



Industry calls for steel price control
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
Following the 2 per cent hike in excise duty on iron and steel products announced in the 2010-11 central budget, prices of almost all steel products including CR and HR coils, strips and sheets and rods have shown an uptrend from Rs 500 to 900 a metric tonne.

Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) increased prices of steel items on March 1 by Rs 1,250 per metric tonne, and then following it up by another hike of Rs 1,000 per mt on March 15.

Chamber of Industrial & Commercial Undertakings general secretary Avtar Singh said with the unprecedented price hike effected by SAIL and other major manufacturers an “artificial” scarcity of steel had been created.

"Auto components, bicycle and parts, machine and hand tools and sewing machines are purchasing steel at comparative higher prices of 4,500 per mt to Rs 5,000 per mt," said Avtar Singh.

CICU joint secretary Upkar Singh said the central government should immediately appoint a regulatory authority to control steel pricing. “Also, trading of steel in the country’s stock exchanges should be stopped to check arbitrary hikes price hikes. Steel manufacturers should fix prices for at least a quarter of the financial year”, he added.

In a release issued here the Auto Parts Manufacturers Association said the rising trend in steel prices had adversely affected Punjab’s engineering industry, especially units making auto parts.

Association president Gurpargat Singh Kahlon said in a release the central government had in its budget raised central excise duty by 2 per cent following which prices had begun rising steadily.

"After the excise hike prices should not have risen by over Rs 650 a tonne. Surprisingly, the main producers have gone back to playing their dirty games by increasing prices frequently. The inflation in steel prices will have an adverse impact on auto parts units in Punjab, which have already become uncompetitive due to several reasons. If the situation continues to remain the same the factories will have to either shut down or shift outside the state," he added.



TB awareness week from today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 17
Every year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) observes March 24 as the World Tuberculosis Day to remember Robert Koch, who discovered the TB bacteria on this particular day.

To mark the occasion, the DMCH is observing a TB awareness week from March 18 to 24. The theme for this year’s World TB Day is “On the move against Tuberculosis: Innovate to accelerate action”.

DMCH vice-principal Dr Jagdeep Whig, who is also professor and head of pulmonary medicine, said as a part of the weeklong TB awareness week, activities including central grand rounds in the departments of chest and TB and orthopaedics would be conducted on March 17 and 18.

Poster competition for undergraduate MBBS students in the department of community medicine will be held on March 19.

Dr Whig said tuberculosis was a major public health problem and to tackle it, the WHO had sponsored the Revised National TB Control Programme, which was running successfully in India. DOTS therapy under the RNTCP is the only way to cure TB effectively. Presently, over 220 medical colleges are participating in the programme and providing DOTS services to their TB patients including DMCH, he said.



Sewerage system in pitiable state
Our Correspondent

Amloh, March 17
The condition of the sewerage system in this historical town has gone from bad to worse. Drainage water is seen standing in streets, which enters low-lying houses.

The foundation stone of the new sewerage system was laid by former Cooperation Minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh on June 20, 1998, but could not be completed by the SAD-BJP government within its tenure. The Congress government also failed to fulfil its promise to provide relief to residents of the town.

The SAD-BJP government has again decided to complete this project, but how long it will take remains to be seen.

Residents had no alternative except to live in the foul smell of drainage water, which could cause many diseases, said state Congress secretary Pargat Singh Anian.



Alert woman foils robbery bid
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, March 17
The timely arrival of a woman foiled the robbery bid at a well guarded Pink flats situated at Rajguru Nagar here today.

The incident took place this afternoon when Karandeep Kaur, who lives in Pink Flats, returned home after purchasing grocery and spotted thieves cutting the lock of the main door.

Witnessing the owner of the house standing besides them, the thieves made a quick exit. Due to the sheer scare of being nabbed the thieves even dropped a bag in which stolen articles were kept.

Narrating the incident Karandeep said she had gone to the market after locking the door though her daughter was inside the house. When she returned home she found three persons standing in front of the main door.

While one was cutting lock two other thieves were keeping a watch on the residents. She said the thieves were caught unaware after she screamed and raised an alarm.

This made the thieves flee. She added that the thieves got so scared that they even left heir bag at the spot.

Karandeep said she found few articles in the bag and returned it to the police. A DSP and a senior Army officer also live close to Karandeep’s residence.

22 mobiles stolen

Thieves struck at a mobile shop at the Sakhewal road and decamped with 22 mobile phones worth Rs 70,000 in the wee hours here today. The incident came to light at around 4 am when Sukhvir Kumar, owner of the mobile shop, received a call from owner of the market Dyal Singh, who told him about the theft.

He immediately rushed to the shop. “Thieves have uprooted the shutter,” said Sukhvir Kumar. He said 20 mobile phones and two demonstration mobiles worth Rs 70,000 had been stolen from the shop.

Woman robbed

Khanna: Three unidentified women have been booked for robbing a resident of Mohali. In her complaint to the police Bhupinder Kaur alleged that three women caught hold of her at the Daheru Chowk and stole jewellery worth thousands from her. Bhupinder said she was on her way to Daheru village to meet her nephew when these women offered her lift in a car and robbed her. A case has been registered against the three women in this regard.

Body found

Jagraon: The Sidhwan Bet police today morning recovered the body of a youth, who seemed to have died due to head injury. The body of the youth about 27 to 28 years old was spotted in the fields of Amandeep Singh on the outskirts of Leelan Megh Singh village near Sidhwan Bet.

A few passers by informed the police about the incident. A team of fingerprint experts and dog squad was pressed into action but it failed to locate any clue. SHO Sidhwan Bet said the body seemed to have been thrown here but the murder might have taken place elsewhere. The assailants even tried to burn the face of the youth to hide its identity. The body of the strong built, wheatish complexioned and 5’-11” youth was just in the undergarments when it was recovered. Balvir Singh, however, maintained that the real cause of the death could not be ascertained as the post-mortem would be conducted tomorrow. A case has been registered in this regard.

One booked for cheating

Khanna: A person was booked for cheating a resident of Saharnmajra. In his complaint to the police, Reekam Singh alleged that Gurjeet Singh of Tibberwala village pocketed Rs 2.5 lakh in lieu of sending him abroad.

Reekam alleged that neither the accused sent him abroad nor returned the money.



1 booked for rape bid

Ludhiana, March 17
The police has booked a man for allegedly trying to rape a nine-year-old girl at Bhagat Singh Nagar in Moti Nagar.

The matter came to light this morning after the Moti Nagar police booked the accused Mahinder Singh of Street No. 3 Bhagat Singh Nagar for attempting to commit rape.

Narrating the incident, the victim's mother Radhika Devi said last evening, her daughter was playing in the street along with other children of the locality when Mohinder Singh lured her daughter to his room by offering her chocolates and sweets and bolted the door from inside.

Radhika said she came to know about the incident when she could not spot her daughter in the street and asked other children about her. The kids further told the mother that Mohinder Singh took her daughter in his room. Radhika, who on earlier occasions had complained about Mohinder's paedophile tendencies, rushed towards his room.

"I saw from the window that Mohinder made my daughter sit on his lap. I raised an alarm and called the residents," said Radhika.

In the meantime, Modhinder Singh, a driver by profession, managed to flee from the scene.

Later, the residents went to the Moti Nagar police station and filed a complaint against Mohinder Singh. — TNS



TT Tourney
City veteran returns with 3 bronze
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 17
Sanjeev Sood of Ludhiana bagged three bronze medals in the National Veterans Table Tennis Championship held in Jammu recently.

Sanjeev, currently employed with the State Bank of Patiala, Miller Ganj branch, Ludhiana, hogged the limelight in the 70s (1972-79) when he won the title in the Punjab State Table Tennis Tournament for eight consecutive years and was ranked third in the national junior circuit.

In the team championship, the Punjab squad - Sanjeev Sood, Jawahar Bhandari and Nilesh - finished third. They beat Andhra Pradesh 3-0; blanked Karnataka 3-0 and pipped Meghalya in similar fashion to secure berth in the last eight.

In the quarter final, Punjab overpowered West Bengal 3-1to enter the semis. However, Punjab went down fighting in the semis against Maharashtra 1-3.

In the men's section, Sanjeev paired with Jawahar Bhandari to clinch the bronze medal. In the semifinal, the duo lost to the top-seed pair of KK Rai and PG Kelkar from Maharashtra 0-3.

Sanjeev added another medal in his kitty when he along with Rajeshwari from Mumbai annexed a bronze in the mixed doubles section. They marched to the last four where the pair failed to cope up with the top ranked KK Rai and Mangla Saraf, both of Maharashtra.

On the basis of performance at Jammu, Sanjeev has been selected by the All India Veterans' Table Tennis Association to represent the country in the World Veterans' Table Tennis Championship, slated to be held in May in China.



Cricket trials on March 21
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 17
Trials to select the players (U-16) for the regional coaching centre being run by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association will be held at MGM Public School, Phase I, Dugri, on March 21 at 9 am.



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