L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


PSEB strike near total, power supply unaffected
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 15
Power supply in the city remained normal on the first day of the two-day strike by technical and nontechnical employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board to protest against unbundling of the board. The Joint Forum of PSEB Unions, which opposes the government’s move to carve out separate entities for generation, transmission and distribution in PSEB’s place, had given a call for a strike on April 15 and 16.

A consumer visits the PSEB complaint centre at Aggar Nagar in Ludhiana, where only one person was available; and (right) employees take out a protest march at Dakha on Thursday.

A consumer visits the PSEB complaint centre at Aggar Nagar in Ludhiana, where only one person was available; and (right) employees take out a protest march at Dakha on Thursday. Photos: Himanshu Mahajan and Rakesh Gupta

Almost all PSEB divisional and subdivisional offices, complaint and cash collection centres as well as administrative offices in the state wore a deserted look. Though it was officially stated that over 81 percent of employees did not report for work, trade union leaders claimed more than 84 percent of them had joined the strike.

Some of the board’s cash counters and complaint centres in various city areas, including those in Civil Lines and Old Sabzi Mandi, remained functional, albeit with skeletal staff or contractual workers. Energy bills of the consumers were received and some of the booked complaints were attended to by the staff present on duty in some of the PSEB offices.

Heavy police deployment and strict vigil by supervisory board officials served as a deterrent against sabotage or mischief. Normal power supply was maintained in the state’s entire central zone, including Ludhiana.

Parkash Singh Mann, member of the Joint Forum of PSEB Unions, claimed employees of all PSEB divisions responded to the call for strike and cash counters remained closed. The striking employees, he said, held a protest rally outside PSEB’s Aggar Nagar division office to impress upon the Punjab government to review its decision on unbundling the board.

In scathing attacks on the government, speakers at the rally alleged unbundling would “pose a threat” to over 65,000 serving and retired PSEB employees. Besides, farmers and weaker sections would no longer get free power and even other consumers might have to pay more for electricity, they said.

Asserting the strike, which will continue tomorrow, would be completely peaceful, leaders of the forum said the next course of action by PSEB employees would be decided at a meeting convened at Chandigarh later this evening. "The government has given its verdict (to disband the board) and employees have no other option but to fight to seek justice by whatever means," said a senior functionary of the PSEB Employees Federation.

Meanwhile, expressing solidarity with the agitating PSEB employees, the Northern Railwaymen's Union also organised a rally at the city’s train station to protest against privatisation of the state electricity board.

Jagraon: Various unions of the PSEB employees on Thursday conducted protests at their respective power grids and PSEB offices. They went on a two-day strike after midnight in protest against the unbundling of the PSEB and its subsequent privatisation. The protests, however, remained peaceful.

Security agencies had stepped up vigilance in all areas to avoid any untoward incident. To restore the confidence of the general public, the local police, along with specially deployed paramilitary forces, including women forces, conducted a flagmarch through the busy areas of the town yesterday. Special stress was given in the places where the grids of the PSEB are installed.

There are 14 grids and two hydel projects under the Ludhiana Rural police. Flag march was conducted at Jagraon, Raikot, Mullanpur, Jodhan, Sudhar, Budhail, Sowaddi, Sidhwan Bet, Roomi, Heran, Lakha and Pakhowal.

At Jagraon, SSP Harinder Singh Chahal supervised the flagmarch, while in other subdivisions, DSP Raikot Prithipal Singh participated along with his SHOs Wariam Singh of Raikot police station and Jasbinder Singh of Sudhar Police station.

DSP Dakha Jasdev Singh participated in the flagmarch along with SHO Dakha Jangjit Singh and SHO Jodhan Inderjit Singh. DSP Jagraon assisted his SHOs of Sidhwan Bet Balbir Singh, SHO Jagraon Sadar Rajbinder Singh and SHO Jagraon city Pawanjit. All police post in charges had also participated in the flagmarch in their areas. Two companies of the IRB had been deployed for the security of the area for assisting Ludhiana (rural police).

The district administration has also instructed all civil hospitals to keep medical teams ready to meet any eventuality, besides asking the PSEB top brass to keep standby teams to maintain grids if some problem arises.

Samrala: A complete strike was observed in all sub-divisions of Samrala mandal by employees of the PSEB against theunbundling of the power board.

Cash counters and complaint offices of the board at Samrala urban, Samral Rural, Behlolpur, Katani Kalan, Kohara and Khamano remained closed due the strike and people had to face difficulties to pay their bills and lodge complaints.

Employees sat on a dharna on the Khanna Road in indoor complaint office. Later, they held a march in the town to express their anger against the unbundling. Circle president Sikander Singh warned that they would widen their struggle if the government and police tried to stop their voice by force.


Bride’s Death
When songs turned into wails
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
Wedding songs turned into wails at the Durgapuri residence of Payal Sharma, who was killed in an accident near Chelhan village, not far from Samrala, last evening.

Tragic scenes were witnessed at the crematorium near Arya College, where the body was cremated amid a huge gathering of relatives and friends this afternoon.

Priya’s mother Pushpa, a teacher at Kundan Vidya Mandir (KVM), was inconsolable. She was lamenting swapping seats with her daughter.

“Priya was sitting in the rear. She told her mother that she was not comfortable and wished to come to the front. Soon after they changed seats near Nehlon bridge, the car met with the accident,” said a relative, consoling Pushpa.

While Pushpa sustained minor injuries and was discharged from hospital, the condition of Priya’s brother Rajan (22) was stated to be serious, but out of danger.

Her aunt Nirmala (44) of Sangrur and neighbour Harwinder were recuperating at the DMCH with multiple injuries.

Devastated bridegroom Nitin Suri (25) rushed to Ludhiana late last night and attended the cremation today.

“The girl would have come to her parents’ house today as per Hindu rituals. My heart pains for the groom, whose marriage plan turned into a disaster,” rued his relative.

A visitor from the bridegroom’s family said soon after they were told about the incident, they rushed to the marriage palace and informed visitors about the tragedy.

The celebrations at Nitin’s house turned into cries after he broke the news about the accident and Priya’s death.

Having completed her MBA, she had cleared her IELTS examination a few months ago and was preparing to fly to Australia.

According to members of the family, the ill-fated car belonged to a neighbour. A month ago, a soldier was injured when the car met with an accident near Halwara.

Relatives revealed that Rajan had recently learnt to drive a car. Before they were leaving, a relative suggested to arrange a driver, but Rajan insisted on driving the car.

The police booked Anil Talwar of Dugri under Sections 304-A, 279, 323, 337 and 338 of the IPC for negligent driving, causing death. The police ruled out the possibility of drunken driving by Talwar.

His condition was also stated to be serious. The police said Rajan was in possession of a driving licence.



Residents: It’s a deadly curve
Gurdeep Singh Mann and Gurminder Grewal
Tribune News Service

Samrala, April 15
Fatal accidents have been reported on the same stretch near Chelhan village earlier. A visit to the spot has revealed that the curve on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road begins all of a sudden and those driving at high speed fail to negotiate it.

“It is a slightly zig-zag curve and only an expert driver or a daily commuter can judge it,” said Harnek, a resident of Samrala.

He said a national-level kabaddi player lost his life and his brother received injuries in an accident three months ago.

Two months ago, an NRI family met with an accident here and sustained injuries. Many vehicles overturned due to the sharp turn, said residents of the area.

To make up for the time lost in traffic at Samrala, drivers sped up near Chelhan village, with SUVs running at between 100 km and 120 km per hour, unaware of the dangerous curve ahead, residents said.

“As soon as they reach this curve, vehicles collide head on with vehicles coming from the opposite direction,” said Karam Singh of a nearby village.

After yesterday’s accident, another mishap took place near Hedon village, 8 km from the spot, in which the 12-year-old son of a brick kiln labourer was killed.



Speeding truck kills man, brother dies of shock
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
It was a tragic day for the city with a man being run over by an overspeeding truck while his elder brother who was recuperating in Dayanand Medical College & Hospital died of shock on hearing the news, leaving two cousins widows. The two have been identified as Hemraj, 45, and Tilakraj, 61.

The accident occurred last night at about 11:45 pm when Hemraj, a resident Ghumar Mandi, went out to take medicine for his brother, Tilakraj, who had a cardiac arrest two days ago and was admitted to DMC Hospital.

According to Anil, Tilakraj’s son, when his uncle arrived near Aarti cinema he was crushed under the wheels of an overspeeding truck, which fled the scene. Hemraj died on the spot and his body was later taken to the Civil Hospital for a postmortem.

The news of his death was broken to a relative attending on Tilakraj in the hospital, who then told the latter about the tragedy. Anil said Tilakraj died of shock soon after being told about his younger brother’s death.

Both men were married to two cousins and ironically they were widowed on the same day.

Among others who attended the two men’s cremation was area councillor Gurpreet Singh Gogi. He said even he had a narrow escape today after a drunken car driver hit his vehicle on the Chandigarh road, adding he sustained a hairline fracture on his rib.



For our faculty only!
Eligibility criteria for post changed, rider added
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
In violation of the university calendar, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) authorities have changed eligibility criteria for appointment of professor in fishery sciences at its college of fisheries here.

The requisite qualification for the post is PhD in fishery sciences, but not getting eligible persons as the subject is new in the country, the university authorities have changed it to PhD in zoology, with fishery sciences as a subject.

In order to retain staff from within GADVASU, the authorities have added a rider to the appointment, that only faculty members here can apply for the post.

The decision has not even been brought up at the university board meeting. No efforts have been made by the authorities to advertise the post.

As a result, the post has been given to a faculty member who is a PhD in zoology, with fishery sciences as a subject.

Registering his protest, a senior faculty member said, “This is not about adjusting GADVASU faculty on the post, but about providing quality education, which only a person with appropriate qualifications can do.”

The college of fisheries could be an asset to the state as it would help farmers deal with problems pertaining to fish farming, the best answer to diversification, he added.

When contacted, Dr Kamaldeep Kaur, dean of the college of fisheries, said the matter did not concern her as it was purely a policy matter.

The board of management dealt with it, she said, adding that the Vice-Chancellor was the best person to comment on the issue. Despite repeated attempts, the Vice-Chancellor, Dr VK Taneja, was not available for comment.

Kamaljit Sidhu, a member of the board of management, said academic council members had decided to put this item in the agenda for the last board meeting, but sensing resistance, they withheld it.



Gang war leaves one injured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
A man was attacked with swords in the New Kundan Puri area here today. The injured has been identified as Ashok Kumar. He was rushed to hospital in a serious condition by his friend Guddu.

The incident took place this afternoon when Ashok was visiting his friend’s house in the New Kundan Puri area along with Guddu.

It is learnt that Gorkha and Nanna of a rival group came to know about their visit and rushed to the spot along with their men.

Police sources said Gorkha and Nanna laid a trap and attacked Ashok with sharp-edged weapons.

Meanwhile, the police has registered an attempt to murder case and started the manhunt to nab the accused.



Illegal shop pulled down
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
An illegal shop of readymade garments opposite Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Model Town Extension, was demolished by the Ludhiana municipal corporation here today.

The area residents had objected to the commercial activity which had been going on for the past one year.

SS Bindra, Assistant Town Planner, Zone D, said a case in this connection was going on in a local court and owner of the shop had sought a stay. But about a week back, the court had vacated the stay orders. “The complainant had met the Commissioner recently and the latter had ordered demolition of the shop,” said Bindra, adding that the shop belonged to Kamaljeet Kaur.



Labour shortage hits lifting of wheat
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Khanna, April 15
The process of lifting wheat from the local grain market is getting delayed due to the labour shortage.

The wheat arrival in the Asia’s biggest grain market here so far is 2.90 lakh quintals. However, the wheat lifted from the market has just been 1,300 quintals.

Officials of the grain market said the problem was due to the lack of skilled labourers. “The number of labourers who have arrived in the grain market compared to the last year is very low. We have to hire local labourers, who fail to complete work as quickly as the migrants,” said an official of the market committee.

Admitting the problem, market secretary, Kuldip Singh said similar problem was witnessed last year as well, but it was not so acute. The situation will improve in the coming days, he hoped. He added that the inflow of wheat from villages increased all of a sudden due to the ripening of wheat and the Baisakhi festival. He claimed that so far there was no problem in storing the wheat crop in the grain market.

The farmers are dependent on local labourers for harvesting. Villagers do not use harvester combine, as the prices of wheat husk increased many folds. The price of wheat husk has increased from Rs 300 per quintal to Rs 700 per quintal this year.

The use of combine machines requires less labourers and wheat in many acres could be harvested in just a few hours, but it fails to yield wheat husk. To get wheat husk, farmers have to adopt manual harvesting process to separate wheat husk and wheat using harvesters.

Arhtiyas at the grain market said the situation would improve after April 25 when the process of lifting would increase.

Next four to five days would witness maximum arrival and nearly 10 lakh quintals is expected to arrive in the grain market this season.



PSEB curtails supply to industry
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 15
With the power scenario in the state getting grimmer each day, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) imposed further restrictions on power supply to the industrial sector from today.

According to a circular issued by Chief Engineer, Systems Operations and Control, peak load hour restrictions (PLR) on large-supply continuous-process industries, fed from category IV feeders, was increased from three hours to 12 hours with immediate effect.

The time for PLR would be from 7 pm to 7 am. All such units would be allowed to use 75 per cent peak load exemption during this period.

Industrial units fed from category II and III feeders, including arc induction furnaces and rolling mills, would henceforth observe weekly off for 58 hours, against 48 hours earlier, till further orders.

The schedule of power supply to the farm sector and power cuts in major towns remained unchanged. Tubewell feeders would now get two-hour supply in day and night shifts.

Mixed feeders in towns and cities would have a daily power cut of four hours, divided into in two parts. The gap between demand and availability was widening with mercury soaring.

According to sources, the PSEB was facing a shortfall of around 230 lakh units daily.

The water level at most hydel projects was lower than the level expected.



Census duty refusal may prove costly for school
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
The alleged refusal by BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, located in Shastri Nagar here, to depute staff for census duty may cost it dear with the municipal corporation set to file an FIR against school officials. The civic body was reportedly forced to act tough after the school authorities turned down the request to provide staff for the 2011 census, the first phase of which gets underway on May 1.

The school officials, on the other hand, maintained it was “virtually impossible” for them to depute their staff for census duty for the reason that studies in the school would suffer badly if that was done.

MC joint commissioner MS Jaggi, who has been appointed to head census operations in the city, said that due to a staff crunch the civic body had asked BCM School officials to provide their staff and workers for conducting enumeration.

"Everything is being done for the betterment of society. We all have to make joint efforts to make the 2011 census a success. We’re facing a staff crunch as Ludhiana, being huge city, needs a large number of enumerators. We had asked BCM School authorities to provide us their staff but they refused to cooperate. We’ll now have to take necessary action against them. All other schools including private ones have extended their cooperation to the MC", Jaggi stated.

BCM School principal Paramjit Kaur, however, said the civic body had demanded 60 to 70 teachers from their school but it was “not possible” to send most of the teachers for census duty.

"We accommodated them by sending 10-12 male staff members. However, as far as female teachers are concerned, their family members are not allowing them to go out for door-to-door surveys. They are all from respectable families and come in cars. How can they conduct such a survey?" the principal asked.

“The civic body can get more enumerators through outsourcing. So many educated people as well as students are unemployed in the country, and the MC can hire their services. Moreover, ours is not a government school and the government is not paying us. Being a self-sustaining institution we cannot be pressurised", Kaur said.



A day before house meeting, files cleared
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
With the municipal corporation’s general house meeting slated to be held tomorrow, it seems that the senior MC functionaries are leaving no stone unturned to keep unnecessary arguments and objections during the meeting at bay.

In their bid to pacify councillors of the opposition parties, the MC officials today held a meeting with the BJP/Akali and Congress councillors.

A Congress councillor on condition of anonymity said first the Commissioner and then the Mayor held meetings with local party councillors today.

“The whole agenda was discussed during the meetings. The officials asked their sub-ordinates to clear all pending files/ works, so that the meeting passes off peacefully. I do agree that many councillors bow to such pressure tactics, but there are several others, who are adamant on raising their voice against several irregularities/discrepancies in the functioning of the MC,” said an agitated councillor.

According to sources, the issue pertaining to providing jobs to 19 persons on compassionate grounds tops the agenda this time. An issue regarding remission of house tax of a widow is also on the agenda. Discussions will be held to streamline the house-tax procedure.

One of the councillors of the BJP said, “The authorities may announce a grant to lepers. Decision on licence fee of rickshaw-pullers will also be taken at the meeting.”

“Another important issue on the agenda will be allotment of common land (shaamlat) in Gyaspura at the rate of Rs 3,200 and Rs 2,500 per sq yard. Councillors in the opposition, however, feel that it is impossible to get land in the city at such a cheap price,” said another councillor.



Zila parishad annual budget passed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
The Ludhiana zila parishad passed the annual budget for the year 2010-11 at a special meeting held in Panchayat Bhawan here today.

Zila parishad chairman Manpreet Singh Ayali presided over the meeting, which was attended by chairman, Planning Committee, Bhag Singh Malla, MLA Jagraon Gurdip Singh Bhaini, Additional Deputy Commissioner (D) Davinder Singh, secretary Zila Parishad AS Gujaral and other members of various departments.

The estimated income to be generated by Zila Parishad Ludhiana will be Rs 3,22,36,822, whereas the estimated expenses for the current financial year will be Rs 3,21,82,455, which will amount to an additional earning of Rs 66,30,908.

The chairman, while giving details of the budgets of panchayat samitis for year 2010-11, stated that Ludhiana 1 will get Rs 83,52,000, while the budget for Samrala is Rs 82,37,000, followed by Rs 1,15,60,240 and Rs 1,56,32,840 for Machchiwara and Doraha, respectively.

Khanna will get Rs 78,70,000, followed by Raikot and Jagraon with an amount of Rs 94,79,000 and Rs 86,74,500, respectively. Sidhwan Bet, Sudhar, Ludhiana 2, Dehlon and Pakhowal have been allocated Rs 94,30,000, Rs 64,31,200, Rs 1,03,54,600, Rs 2,68,68,600 and Rs 95,02,000, respectively.



‘Sirhind Fateh Diwas’ from May 12
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 15
Baba Banda Singh Bahadur International Foundation held a meeting under the presidentship of Krishan Kumar Bawa to review the arrangements for the forthcoming third centenary of “Sirhind Fateh Diwas” which would be observed at Chaparchiri near Kharar on May 12.

Bawa said activists of the foundation, including Sant Gurmel Singh, JS Dhaliwal and Baldev Bawa would hold meetings in Malwa to ensure active participation of people in the centenary celebrations, while he himself, along with Jagdev Singh Jassowal, Ram Singh Kular, Dr SN Sewak would hold meetings in Doaba and Majha.

Giving details of the four-day centenary function, he said an akhand path would be held at Chaparchiri gurdwara on May 9, bhog would be performed on May 11 after devotees would march to the venue of the function in traditional “khalsai” manner. The main celebrations will comprise discourses, religious plays, dhadi and kirtan darbar to pay tributes to the saint soldier.

Bawa, who had gone to the USA and Canada for inviting the NRIs, said followers of Banda Bahadur settled abroad would participate in the function in large numbers. Gurmit Singh Gill and Harbant Singh Deol, presidents of overseas wings of the foundation in the USA and Canada, respectively, will lead delegations from their respective countries to take part in the function.

Former legislator Ramesh Singla was nominated patron of the foundation for his contribution in social and religious fields.

Among others present were Jagdev Singh Jassowal, Sant Gurmel Singh, Dr JS Dhaliwal, Baldev Bawa, Malkiat Singh Dakha and Nirmal Jaura.



Banks to switch to base rates for lending
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
According to Reserve Bank of India guidelines issued last week to banks, base rates will be the new reference benchmark to fix interest rates from July 1, 2010, replacing the existing system of prime lending rates.

The new system will not only increase transparency in the banking system but also enable better assessment of transmission of monetary policy. It will also benefit borrowers, particularly those who have taken home loans, who have borrowed at variable interest rates.

The benchmark prime lending rate (BPLR), introduced in 2003, fell short of its original objective of bringing transparency to lending rates. This was mainly because under the system banks could lend below BPLR. For the same reason, it was also difficult to assess the transmission of policy rates of the RBI to lending rates of banks.

Base rates would be applicable for all new loans and for those old loans that come up for renewal. Existing loans based on the BPLR system may run till their maturity. In case existing borrowers want to switch over to the new system, before expiry of the existing contracts, an option may be given to them, on mutually agreed terms.

The RBI, has, however, asked banks not to charge any fee for such switchovers.

According to the RBI guidelines, base rates will replace the BPLR system with effect from July 1. A base rate will include all those elements of the lending rates that are common across all categories of borrowers. Banks may choose any benchmark to arrive at the base rate for a specific tenure that may be disclosed transparently.

Banks may determine their actual lending rates on loans and advances with reference to the base rate and by including such other customer specific charges as considered appropriate.

In order to give banks some time to stabilise the system of base rate calculation, banks are permitted to change the benchmark and methodology any time during the initial six month period, i.e., end-December 2010.

The RBI guidelines further mention that all categories of loans should henceforth be priced only with reference to the base rate. However, the following categories of loans could be priced without reference to the base rate: DRI advances, loans to banks' own employees and loans to banks' depositors against their own deposits.

Since the base rate will be the minimum rate for all loans, banks are not permitted to resort to any lending below the base rate.



Wheat arrival assessed
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, April 15
Ludhiana (east) SDM Prem Chand visited the grain market to take stock of the situation.

There is a paucity of labour at the market and trucks of the union are overcharging farmers for transporting their produce from procuring centres to the grain market.

Labour contractors wanted to pay 40 paisa per bag to commission agents.

The SDM instructed the truck union to provide at least 25 trucks to each procuring agency. He instructed labour contractors to arrange additional labour.

He also ordered procuring inspectors to lift the procured wheat in a balanced way.

Till date, out of 2.30 lakh bags, less than 1 lakh bags have been lifted and the remaining bags are still lying in the grain market.

DFC Rakes Bhaskar, district mandi officer Rajpal Singh Dhaliwal, NK Sharma, GM, Punjab (agro), Bhupinder Singh, executive officer, Dakha, Jaswinder Singh, secretary, Market Committee, Maghar Singh Braich, chairman, Dakha Market Committee, and AFSO Surjit Singh were present at the grain market.



Vets discuss milk hygiene
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
A free anti-rabies, deworming and deticking camp for dogs and cats marked the World Veterinary Day here yesterday.

The camp was organised by Vets Club. Punjab Animal Husbandry and Dairy Development Minister Gulzar Singh Ranike was the chief guest. He launched the official website of the club, www.vetsclubldh.tk. He stressed on good-quality milk for human consumption.

Technical sessions were held for vets on quality control and milk hygiene, with reference to residues of pesticides, veterinary drugs and heavy metals.

A painting competition on the topics ‘My pet and me’, ‘Cruelty to animals’ and ‘Ecological balance’ was also organised.



Potholed road poses threat
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
A potholed road near Kapoor Hospital, GT Road, continues to pose a threat to commuters, especially pedestrians.

The depth of the pothole is about 10-12 feet.

One of the commuters, Varinder Bhakoo, said the road needed re-carpeting.

“Commuters have stopped venturing out at night, as anyone can fall into the rut. I fail to understand why the MC authorities pay no heed to such problems,” complained Bhakoo.



Itti Pathak tops BAMS exam
Our Correspondent

Raikot, April 15
Itti Shree Pathak, a final year student of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Ayurvedic Medical College, Sarabha, topped the BAMS examination with 81.21 percentile.

She has secured 1543 marks out of 900 marks.

Another student of the college Rupansi Soni bagged the fourth position. Avtar Singh Grewal, chairman of the SKSS Charitable Trust, Sarabha, congratulated students. Students will be given cash prizes Rs 25,000 and Rs 10,000.



Wheat gutted
Our Correspondent

Samrala, April 15
Wheat spread over six acres was gutted in fire at Kotala village. People from nearby villages tried to douse the flames. Fire tenders were pressed into service.

A short-circuit in the electricity wires passing through the fields is said to be the reason behind the fire.

Leaders of the Kisan Union have appealed to the government to compensate the farmers, whose wheat was destroyed in the fire.



Tributes paid to Ambedkar
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, April 15
The Jalandhar district (rural) Youth Congress organised a seminar at Guru Nanak Dev Library here to commemorate the 119th birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar.

Satnam Singh Channa, KC Mohindru and Santokh Singh Chaudhary spoke on Ambedkar’s ideals and ideology, paying rich tributes to him.

They said Ambedkar as a great revolutionary, scholar and social reformer whose farsightedness was instrumental in preparing the Constitution. They said Ambedkar’s mission and vision were the basis of all policies whenever the Congress came into power in Punjab.



MC general house meets today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
The general house of the municipal corporation (MC) will meet tomorrow. A list of 12 points has been prepared for discussion in the general house.

According to sources, decisions taken by F&CC will be confirmed. Jobs to be given to 19 persons on compassionate grounds will be discussed.

Remission of house tax of a widow is on the agenda. The streamlining of the house tax procedure will also be taken up.

A BJP councillor has said grants to lepers is expected to be cleared. A decision is likely on decreasing the licence fee of rickshaw-pullers.

Another point is the allottment of four plots on common (shamlat) land at Gyaspura. A Congress councillor has pointed out that nobody can get land in the city at low rates.



Centre agrees to release accrued CRF worth 113 crore
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 15
PWD Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa has announced that all approach roads to the town will be relaid soon. He was talking to the Ludhiana Tribune after interacting with Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) activists and office-bearers here yesterday.

He stated that the Union Transport Minister had given an assurance on the release of accrued Central Road Fund grants worth Rs 113 crore.

“Besides compensating for curtailed annual grants for roads and bridges, the minister agreed to the Chief Minister’s proposal to release pending grants. We have been asked to finalise things after a week,” said Dhindsa.

He claimed that there was no new contract regarding the imposition of toll tax during the tenure of the SAD government.

He admitted that nominal taxes were being charged on state-governed roads, which were necessary to keep those motorable.

SAD activists informed Dhindsa that a majority of the roads leading to the town and surrounding villages were in a dilapidated condition.

With work on four-laning of the Ludhiana-Malerkotla stretch on in full swing, half of the road had been almost shut to vehicular traffic.

A majority of the roads had huge pits, larger than the size of truck tyres, making it difficult for drivers to manoeuvre their vehicles.

The problem had been aggravated due to the flow of heavy vehicles from neighbouring states to Punjab and drivers’ preference of rough terrain over toll tax payment.



Advantages of yoga discussed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
The Bharat Swabhiman and Patanjali Yoga Samiti celebrated Baisakhi and 119th birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar with a yoga ‘vigyan’ camp, wherein people were briefed about the advantages of yoga.

Krishan Lal Gupta, state president of the ‘samiti’, presided over the function. Jagmohan Singh Namdhari inaugurated the camp by lighting the lamp.

Gupta paid tributes to Ambedkar. He exhorted participants to spread yoga among the masses. He said Ramdev had launched a crusade to spread yoga.

He called upon participants to ensure the 100 per cent use of indigenous products of daily use and shift to the ayurvedic system of medicine in case of illness.



From Schools and Colleges
Research project approved
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
Sunil Aggarwal, assistant professor in the department of political science at Kamla Lohtia SD College, Ludhiana, has got his second minor research project sanctioned by the University Grants Commission (UGC).

The commission has sanctioned an amount of Rs 1,40,000 for a period of eighteen months to complete the project. The topic of the project is “Structural Realism and Currency: A study in inter-linkages”.

It is an inter-disciplinary area focused on an emerging sub-discipline “Politics of Money” within the broader range of political science and international relations. It looks into the political nature of currencies and the fundamental forces operational behind them.

The project is a manifestation of the belief that academicians need to communicate as well as create new forms of knowledge.

Principal Dr RL Behl congratulated Sunil Aggarwal and assured assistance and motivation.


Baisakhi was celebrated with fervour at Shifaly International School. More than 70 students participated in various events. Students presented musical events. They staged a play on “Jallian Wala Bagh” massacre.

Giddha and bhangra were also performed by students. Principal Rosy Jain and director education Vishal jain congratulated staff and students on Baisakhi, adding that youngsters should not follow the western culture.


Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, Dugri, organised a function to mark its silver jubilee celebrations.

The school was decorated with colourful flowers. Students participated in various cultural activities.

President of the school management Amarjit Singh, secretary Amarjit Singh and vice-president Assa Singh appreciated the efforts of students.



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