L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Private gaushalas to accommodate stray cattle
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Keeping in view the ever-increasing menace of stray cattle on the city roads, AK Sinha, Municipal Commissioner, said private gaushalas had been roped in to accommodate stray cattle.

The Commissioner today met owners of private gaushalas in this regard.

Talking to The Tribune, Sinha said the problem was of accommodating bulls. He said, “Owners of private gaushalas were ready to accommodate cows, but they were not willing to provide shelter to bulls, as they occupy more space and are aggressive in nature. But we have assured them of all possible help. Within two to three days, about 50 to 70 bulls, along with stray cattle, would be sent to gaushalas.”

At the same time, owners of privately-managed gaushalas said the civic body had not provided them with any facility. Whenever, senior functionaries tried to streamline the process, area councillors intervened.

“It is not that there is a dearth of gaushalas in the city, but most of these privately-managed gaushalas feel that the MC authorities should also help them. If we seek the MC’s help in ferrying cows, they simply refuse. Besides, there is no facility of electricity and sewerage system at most of these gaushalas. We are managing everything on our own,” said Dev Vrat Shukla from Dandi Swami Gaushala.

Another caretaker of a gaushala on the Hambran road, Brij Mohan Sharma said strict action should be taken against dairy owners, as they were the real culprits. “For getting more milk, they inject drugs into cows. After one or two years, cows stop giving milk and then these owners feel burdened to feed them.”


Green lungs to be axed for multiplex
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Once known as green lungs of the city, the Old Sessions Court would be changed within a few days, as a private company has started constructing a multiplex over the land.

The work has started and the project would come up soon disappointing residents of the area, who were hoping for a green park to be developed in the area.

With the multiplex, the historic sessions court would be wiped off the minds of residents.

The courts complex had 1,700 heritage, fruit and medicinal trees that were felled for the construction, as PUDA had auctioned the land to a private company.

The company was allotted 11,974 sq yards of the session’s court complex.

Though environmentalists had tried to save the trees, but to no avail. Several of the trees were more than 100 years old.

Though everyone knew once the land was auctioned, trees would be felled and a building would come up, the residents were unhappy with the decision.

SS Chana, who has been spearheading a green campaign, for the past several years, said he had written a letter to the chief secretary explaining him about the importance of trees that were 100 year old. ‘‘It was a height of insensitivity that no one cared. The trees were between 50 to 100 years old. We don’t have such old trees in any other part of the city. These should not have been felled,’’ said Chana adding that there was no point regretting when everything was lost.



Bomb hoax sends cops in a tizzy
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Following a hoax call of bombs planted at five busy places in city, the Ludhiana police sounded a red alert here last night and stepped up the security.

A hoax call made from a BSNL mobile phone at the police control room around 8.30 last night sent the police in a tizzy when the caller said bombs were placed at five places. He said the bombs would explode within a few minutes at railway station, bus stand, Chaura Bazar, Clock Tower chowk and a mall.

The police sounded a red alert and ordered search at all these places. Police parties rushed to all five spots and carried out comprehensive search operations. Police parties, along with bomb disposal squads, also conducted checks at the railway station. However, nothing was found from any spot.

The police, however, ordered closure of all markets and public places. Shutters of all liquor vends were immediately downed following directions by the police. The cops even asked the residents to return home and remain inside. Check posts were also set up at various points across the city and vehicles were searched.

Sources said the phone from which the call was received was switched off immediately after the call.

Talking to The Tribune, ADCP Harsh Bansal said, “It was a hoax and there is nothing to panic. We will soon catch the mischief monger.” He, however, refused to comment on the security situation in the city following the last night’s incident.



Thai Mangoor fish worth Rs 1 lakh seized
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
A team of the fisheries department, Ludhiana, seized banned Thai Mangoor fish worth Rs 1 lakh from a fish farm near Samrala on Friday.

A team comprising Vidya Sagar, assistant director, fisheries department, Ludhiana, and Sunil Kumar Gupta, chief executive officer, raided the premises of the fish farm and recovered the cache of 18,000 Mangoor fish seeds. The seized cache was destroyed by the officials of the raiding team.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, officials of the fisheries department revealed that when questioned, the farm owner said the stock did not belong to him. He added that a man claiming to be a fish farmer had requested him to stock his fish at his farm after his vehicle had allegedly broken down near the farm.

The farm owner told the officials that he did not know that it was banned Mangoor fish.

Meanwhile, officials of the fisheries stated that a hunt was on for the man to whom the recovered Mangoor fish belonged.



‘Teachers overburdened’
Teacher assigned double census duties
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
In yet another typical goof-up by the district administration in deputing government employees for census work, a government schoolteacher in Lohara village has been assigned double duties. When contacted, the tehsildar concerned refused her request to look into the matter saying she had to perform the duties as per the orders.

After receiving the orders from office of the tehsildar (west), Sangeet Sood, a senior science teacher at Government School, Lohara, joined as a supervisor in Gill village on April 20. However, she again received a correspondence on April 24 wherein she had been asked to sign up as an enumerator in Shehzaad village.

"I was in a fix and went to my school principal, Kuldeep Kaur, who wrote a letter to tehsildar (west) Rajinder Oberoi asking him to look into the matter. I was in for a shock when the tehsildar straightaway declined to entertain my request and instead asked me to go ahead with the dual duty," rued Sangeet.

“It’s is impossible for one person to perform census duty in two different villages in one go. I have to oversee the census work in my capacity as a supervisor in Gill village. How can I possible justify my work in Gill if I’m away in Shehzaad village?” she questioned.

When contacted Oberoi said: "There was some confusion initially which has now been taken care of. It’s obvious one person cannot perform census duty in two different villages at the same time. Hence, her (Sangeet’s) name has been withdrawn from Shehzaad and now she will just perform her duty as a supervisor in Gill village”.



Food Without Thought
Restaurants fail to provide hygienic food
Oil, grease on kitchen shelves; garbage bins near cooking area; dishes washed in dirty water
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
In stark violation of the Essential Commodities Act and the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, a large number of hotels and restaurants in the city are overlooking the quality standards and cleanliness in terms of preparation and serving food.

Right from the kitchen to the dining areas, even the most reputed eating joints in the city is giving two hoots to hygiene thus posing a threat to people’s life.

Tall claims of the health and family welfare department for having carried out regular checks sound hollow after one takes a look at the kitchens of the restaurants in the old city of Ludhiana. The kitchen shelves have coats of oil and grease, garbage bins are placed near to the cooking area and the dishes are washed in the dirty water stored in big drums.

Even the most reputed cafes, snacks bars and restaurants violate the basic hygiene norms as their toilets are dirty, kitchens are dingy and the staff serves food without wearing gloves.

Non-functional exhaust fans, non-potable water, preparation of snacks and food in an open area are a few other violations that the health authorities have failed to take notice of, as is evident from the repeated clearance given to these outlets. Pest control measures are the last thing on the minds of owners of hotel/restaurant owners.

Every establishment preparing and selling food needs a certificate from the department of health and family welfare which can only be given to the eating joints maintaining cleanliness standards followed by serving healthy and hygienic food.

A resident of Civil Lines while narrating a horrific incident said she was shocked to find the cooks of a restaurant removing the grease from a dish with a brush used to sweep floor. When asked, the kitchen staff said they would clean and disinfect the dishes properly afterwards.



Admission process starts at vet varsity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University has started the admission process for the under graduate and post graduate programmes. The prospectuses for the courses are available for both programmes.

The last date for the receipt of application for under graduate programmes is May 14 without late fee and June 30 for the post graduate courses.

BS Randhawa, the registrar of GADVASU, said the varsity was offering Bachelor of Vet Sc & Animal Husbandry and Bachelor of Fishery Sc Courses for medical students after 10+2 while BTech Dairy Sc & Technology will be available for students from non-medical stream.

The registrar further stated that the applicants after the scrutiny of their applications will be called for a Common Entrance Test.

The prospectuses are available at the office of dean, College of Veterinary Science, GADVASU. All details concerned will be available in the prospectus. Any clarification regarding admission can be obtained on telephone from the office of registrar on 2553394 or website www.gadvasu.in.



‘India faces growing food security challenge’
Prestigious US journal cover story features PAU VC
KS Chawla

Ludhiana, April 26
It is a matter of considerable pride for Punjab Agricultural University that CSA News, the 100-year-old journal of the American Society of Agronomy, has carried a cover page story ‘On the frontline of food security in India’ by the varsity’s vice chancellor, Manjit Singh Kang, in its May issue. The story also carries photos of the PAU ‘kisan mela’ (farmers’ fair).

According to Kang, the society celebrated its centenary in June 2007 and Norman Borlaug, American agronomist, humanitarian and Nobel laureate who has been deemed the father of the Green Revolution, was the chief guest at the function to market the event. “This was Borlaug’s last public appearance”, he recalls.

In his interview with CSA News, Kang has dealt with food security in India and has observed: “Indian agriculture has come a long way in the last 50 years. In the 1960s the country faced the spectre of widespread starvation. However, with the introduction of new high yielding seed varieties and increased use of fertilizers and irrigation technologies, India achieved miracle harvests of wheat and rice and attained self-sufficiency in foodgrains for its people, in what was dubbed as the ‘Green Revolution’”.

Kang has further stated: “India had a tremendous achievement and Punjab Agricultural University was instrumental in developing and disseminating new agronomics during and since the Green Revolution. India achieved self-sufficiency in wheat in 1972 and in rice in 1974 and was transformed from a food importer to a food exporter”. Forty years later, India is at an agricultural crossroads.

Kang maintains: “On the verge of becoming a global economic powerhouse, India still confronts the old question of food security, but with the new twists its booming population must now also cope with dwindling natural resources, stagnating crop yields and declining national investment in agricultural research”.

Sounding a note of caution he says: “With a population set to surpass China by 2050, India must double its food production over the next forty years to maintain food security. And, to maintain harvests and environmental quality, its farmers must produce more efficiently and without further depletion of the country’s soil and water resources, both of which suffered in the wake of the first Green Revolution”.

In other words, India urgently needs an even greener revolution, Kang emphasizes. “Indian farmers will need to employ a multipronged strategy to boost their production and income in sustainable ways as well as ensure access to agronomic technologies and techniques”.

To meet this emerging demand for high quality agronomics information, the American Society of Agronomy is launching a Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) programme in India in collaboration with the Central System Initiative for South Asia (CSISA) and a range of other organizations. CCAs consult with growers on agronomic practices and provide high-quality product recommendations. This programme is under way in two states - Punjab and Haryana - which have large agricultural sectors. The CCA programme plans to eventually expand to all of South Asia.

Luther Smith, director of the certification programme, says, “Trained CCAs will help farmers profit by getting the right information at the right time while expanding food production to meet the growing demand. The programme will be managed by the India CCA board, which is made up of Indian experts and representatives from academia, government, industry and farmers groups”.

According to Kang, 300 certified crop advisers would be trained in India in the first year. He and the vice chancellor of Haryana Agricultural University are on the board of directors of the Indian Society of Agribusiness Professionals (ISAP) set up for this purpose.



Trade unions take up workers’ problems
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
A meeting of the Joint Council of Trade Unions (JCTU) Ludhiana was held here today near the BSNL building, Bharat Nagar Chowk, in which various unions representing transport, electricity board, hospitals, educational institutes, municipal corporation and teachers participated. The issue regarding the ongoing agitation of the casual and contract 
workers of the BSNL was discussed at length.

Members present at the meeting felt that the workers were being exploited by contractors by not paying them minimum wages and providing them other facilities as per the contract labour act.

DP Maur, general secretary, JCTU, said when workers demanded their due rights as per the labour act, they were retrenched. Leaders of various trade unions felt that the management of the BSNL had failed to resolve the issue and protect the rights of the workers as per the contract labour act.

He said a massive rally wOULD be held on April 29 in support of agitating BSNL workers if the issue was not resolved before that. He further said that to intensify the struggle another meeting would be called in which other sections of citizens, including women, peasant, agriculture workers, industrial workers, small-scale industrialists, lawyers and people from all walks of life, would be involved. It was also decided at the meeting to celebrate May Day at the site of the agitating workers near the BSNL office, Bharat Nagar.



Govt urged to punish misuse of national emblem
Ashok Kaura

Phagwara, April 26
Former Congress minister Chaudhary Santokh Singh has taken a serious note of the “misuse” of the national emblem on wheat bags used by government agencies, describing it as an “insult to the emblems and the nation”.

Talking to reporters after visiting grain markets in Phillaur, Goraya, Pasla, Rurka Kalan, Partapura, Mao Sahib and Bandhala, Santokh urged Governor Shivraj Patil to “act accordingly to book those involved in the act of insulting the national emblems. He said the latter could be easily seen on wheat bags in several grain markets, a few of which lay near garbage dumps.

“National emblem shouldn’t be misused at any cost and those found guilty should be punished soon. The Emblems & Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950, clearly prohibits the improper use of certain emblems and names for trade purposes”, Santokh stated.

He alleged hundreds of thousands of tons of wheat had not been lifted from various ‘mandis’ in the state. “Labourers, too, are eagerly waiting for the procured wheat to be lifted. Officials are not monitoring the procurement process to ensure timely lifting of the wheat. Also, farmers are not receiving payments for their sold stocks in time”, Santokh alleged.



Lecture on prevention of burn injuries
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
The department of burns and plastic surgery, DMCH, today organised a seminar on “Burns Update” so as to spread awareness and enhance the knowledge of nursing staff of the hospital.

The seminar was attended by nurses, ward boys and dressers.

Professor-cum-head, plastic surgery and burns, Dr Sanjeev K Uppal delivered a lecture on “Primary Care in Burns”, who strongly recommended that the history for diagnosing burn injuries should aim at evaluating time of burn and several other crucial factors.

Physical examination and evaluation of burn wounds should include degree, depth and calculation of surface area of burns. There is a need to educate masses to prevent burn injuries,” said Dr Uppal.

“The first eight hours after sustaining burn injuries are considered “Golden Period” when the patients must be given immediate treatment in forms of IV fluids, antibiotics, painkillers and other medicines,” emphasised the expert.

Dr Ramneesh Garg highlighted the significance of “Fluid Resuscitation and Monitoring” followed by comprehensive lectures on “Early Signs of Septicaemia in Burns” by Dr Rajinder Mittal.

Dr Navdeep Khaira spoke on “Acute Renal Failure and its Management”.

The doctors stated that developing countries like India had high incidences of burn injuries due to factors, including high population density, illiteracy and poverty. The incidence of burn injuries were more common in people belonging to poor strata of society due to overcrowding, open stove cooking, floor-level cooking and poor house planning. Burn injury could be classified as a chronic disease, as it required long-term management, supervised rehabilitation and psychosocial support, observed the doctors.

The post-lunch session of the seminar included lectures on “Pain Management in Burns” by Dr Suneet Kathuria, “Selection of Antibiotics” by Dr Raj Kumar, “Paediatric Burns” by Dr Puneet Aulakh Pooni and “Nutrition in Burns” by Sister Amanpreet Kaur. 



‘Biotech can improve agriculture’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
“India has 35 per cent of the world’s total illiterate population,” said Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, while speaking at a seminar on “Education reforms: Opportunities and road map ahead” at the PHD Chamber in Chandigarh.

“In 2009, India’s unemployment rate was 9.5 per cent and the dropout rate was pegged at 40 per cent in Class V, 60 per cent in Class VII and just 11 per cent of students enrolled themselves in colleges,” stated Dr Kang.

Out of 200 million children in the age group of 6-14 years, 30 per cent did not attend school in India, he added.

Dr Kang said the education system in rural areas was good about four decades ago, but the situation has changed now. Posts of teachers/principals in rural schools have been lying vacant since long. Citing example of the PAU, where about 95 per cent of urban students enrolled themselves in colleges after Class XII. He said programmes like BSc (agriculture honours) and BSc (home science honours) for rural matriculates had helped improve the situation.

Dr SS Gosal, director of the School of Agricultural Biotechnology, PAU, while speaking on biotechnology education in the university said biotechnology had great potential to benefit society in several ways as it emphasised on improving agriculture, livestock, manufacture of cheaper, safer and effective drugs and improving the overall quality of life.

Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has established School of Agricultural Biotechnology (SAB) on the campus. The school has invigorated programmes on plant biotechnology research as well as education. It has started BSc (biotechnology honours 4years), MSc biotechnology (2 years) and PhD biotechnology programmes.

Dr Gosal said for admission to BSc (biotechnology honours), 50 seats and MSc biotechnology, 10 seats would be based on entrance test to be conducted by the PAU on June 18 and June 24, respectively.

“The last date for receipt of application is May 12 (without late fee) and May 19 with late fee,” he said. 



From Schools and Colleges
Sacred Heart honours new cabinet

Ludhiana: Investiture ceremony was held in Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, BRS Nagar, here today with great zeal. The activity coordinator introduced the newly elected cabinet members and outgoing cabinet members handed over the responsibility to the new members. School principal Sister Christo put badges on the newly elected cabinet members and congratulated them. Director of the school Father John, in his message, urged them to shoulder their responsibility with utmost dedication and commitment.

Charge taken

Ludhiana: Neelam Sharma took over as officiating principal (DDO) of Government College for Women here today. Earlier, Sharma was the vice-principal of the college and head of the postgraduate department of music. Sharma has a long and illustrious teaching career. She has been a lecturer in music at Government College for Women and also a member of the board of studies in music and dance of Panjab University, Chandigarh, from 1998-2007. — TNS



Embarrassing situation

Romantic State

Punjab is getting brickbats from its residents for the dismal power scenario prevailing these days. The power crunch, though a perennial feature now, is the most commonly discussed issue. The state is even compared with Bihar off late and people say it was not worth living anymore. Everybody seems to love to crib about it. But the other day a youth left many people in a party surprised when he said Punjab was known as the most romantic state now. He asked people to guess why. Every mind started wandering towards the hormones, beautiful girls and what not. He kept on tickling the minds till he came out with the reason and left everybody giggling when he said-‘‘Because, here we have a candle light dinner every night.’’

The domestic helper of mine has been working with us for the past eight years. But during this period, I have miserably failed to teach him to be “smart and clever”. Whenever I visit my friends, their helpers serve everything in such a tasteful manner that after returning home, I started giving him more lessons. One of my friends called me to say that she will be dropping in for 15 minutes as her kids had gone to get something from Sarabha Nagar market. As usual, I went to kitchen, put a nice napkin on tray and two glasses for serving the ice tea. Tea was also made and I cut small slices of fresh lemon. I also cut fresh papaya and asked servant to put it in small bowls once the guest arrived. He “understood” everything. When my friend arrived, domestic helper was asked to bring tea. He brought the chilled ice tea with straws putting in nice glasses. The lemon slices, which were to be put in the glasses, were kept “decoratively” on cut papaya slices. But my friend was curious, after sipping tea; she just asked whether I always ate papaya with lemon? To save myself from embarrassing situation, I said, “You also try, I have been told by a beautician to eat papaya with lemon slices to get glowing skin”. Poor friend had to eat the sweet fruit like that!

Getting married to go abroad

It is very difficult for small kids to be away from their parents especially “mother”. A small girl whose mother is soon going abroad for 15 days on an official trip is devising ways to go along with her. Seeing her aunts getting married and moving abroad she also thought of getting married for going offshore. The kindergarten-going kid told her mother that she wants to get married. When her mother asked her the reason she replied, “I, too, want to get married and go to California,” she smiled. When the mother of this sweet little girl asked her with whom she wants to get married she instantly replied, “I will marry you mom and then go to California with you,” said an innocent kid. Actually the mother of this kid is going on an official trip to California and this little girl is looking for ways to go along with her mother so that both of them can be together.

Fearing darkness

Darkness has its way of affecting people in the most strange ways but it is rather hilarious when people get paranoid of the surroundings and start imagining the worst even about the most familiar things. It happened recently with a friend. While waiting for her husband, who was out with his colleagues at night, she could not sleep due to the power cut. In order to get some fresh air she just came out in the patio and looked outside. She trembled on seeing a black car standing outside with some reflections inside. She suddenly called her husband on telephone and said, “Dear there is a black car standing outside our house and somebody is sitting inside, I am scared to death to which her husband said “come on dear wife, be calm as that black car is ours and I am sitting inside it and sorting out some papers.”

Innocent love

Someone has rightly said, “Love knows no bounds!” and age, definitely is not a deterrent for Cupid to strike two hearts. Recently, a Class II student of a city school was issued a “bad conduct” note by his class teacher. The child went home and showed the note to his mother. Shocked to see her “well-behaved boy” get a bad-conduct note, the mother frantically started questioning him on what he had been up to in the class. The boy’s innocent reply made the mother burst out in laughter. “There is a new entrant in my class and I really like her. She likes me too. And since I did not know how to convey my liking to her, I was making a “be my friend” card to give her,” the child replied with a happy blush, so typical-a-trait of new lovers, on his cherubic face.

Canine love

In the city where menace of stray dogs has assumed an alarming proportion, and there are growing incidents of the city residents, especially elderly people and children, falling victims to dog bites, there is another section of people which goes to any extent to exhibit its love, care and compassion for the dogs. The other day, a middle- aged person brought a frail looking dog, which had been hit by a speeding vehicle and grievously injured, to the veterinary hospital. Making a plea with the vets to see if they can do something to save the dog, he also offered a packet of milk that he had brought along. As bystanders were wondering whether the dog injured in the accident was a pet, which appeared unlikely from the appearance of the dog, the dog lover that he was, the man said it was a stray dog which kept wandering around his house. “My family offers milk or bread to the dog from time to time even though some other residents of locality object to it. As the animal was injured and in a bad condition, I could not resist but brought it to the hospital with the hope that it could be saved with timely medical assistance. The tale, however, did not have a happy ending as the dog succumbed to injuries within minutes of being brought to the hospital.

Contributed by Shivani Bhakoo, Manav Mander, Anshu Seth, Charu Chhibber and Kuldip Bhatia



Youth Cong protests against ‘corrupt’ MC officials
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
The local unit of the District Youth Congress (Urban) held a demonstration against the “corrupt practices” prevalent in the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation. The protest was organised at the main Municipal Corporation’s office at the Mata Rani Chowk here today. At least 200 protesters alleged that the civic authorities were doing nothing for the development of city; rather all grants/money was being “misused” by government and senior municipal functionaries for vested interests.

Harish Dua of the District Youth Congress alleged that recently, so many scams had rocked the civic body. Fancy light scam, road scam, advertisement scam and fake bill scam etc had not seen the logical conclusion till date. “Despite making inquiry committees, nothing comes out in real sense. We have lost the faith in the corporation,” added Dua.

President Dimple Rana said after hard-earned efforts, Congress MP Manish Tewari was able to get a huge grant of Rs 50 crore from the Central government for cleaning the Buddha Nullah, but due to its callous attitude, the grant had lost in doldrums. “They have not been able to utilize the grants properly, due to which many lapsed”, said Rana.

Another protest against Mayor Hakam Singh Gyaspura was held by the Ludhiana District Congress (I) Committee. Sarabjit Singh Banti, general secretary, alleged that fake bills were being released by the MC, Buddha Nulah had seen no cleaning at all after so many grants were released by respective governments. “There has been no development in the city. Diseases like dengue, cholera, gastroenteritis always create panic in this season but the corporation has made no arrangements to tackle all these issues”, said Banti.



Poll of housing society stayed

Ludhiana, April 26
The polls scheduled to be held on April 25 to elect new directors of Sutlej House Building Cooperative Society, which had developed Friends Colony, a residential complex, on the Chandigarh road here, were stayed at the last minute by the joint registrar of Cooperative Societies, Patiala Division, Patiala.

On a petition filed by one Saroj Kumar Parashar, a member of the housing society, the elections were stayed on the ground that 15 days clear notice had not been served to the members for the elections.

Notices have now been served to the parties concerned, which will come up for hearing on May 10. — OC



Farmers go ahead with stubble burning
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 26
It is horrifying but a fact that a large number of farmers have burnt stubble to get the field cleared for sowing new crop. Most of them care two hoots for their fellowmen who are yet to yet to harvest their crops. The facts are not isolated.

The reporter had visited a large number of villages like Raikot, Jagraon, Mullanpur, Humbran, Sidhwan Bet, Hathoor and Pakhowal during the last three years. It has been observed that most of the fire incidents were calculated ones.

These days the farmers in order to get additional fodders harvest their crops early and sow new crop so as to reap it before the paddy cultivation starts. The farmers use the combine harvesters for harvesting their crop but are helpless when it comes to clearing the fields of the stubble. Even the straw reaper doesn’t clear the fields.

There are only two ways to clear these. One is to harvest the crop manually and the other is to burn the stubble that has been banned by the administration and can invoke IPC if rules are flouted. Thus, the farmers are left with only one choice, to burn the stubble and term it as an accidental fire or due to short circuit.



Infant Mortality: Rotarians seek NGOs’ help
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 26
Prem Kumar Aggarwal, district governor, Rotary International (District 3090), has called upon all NGOs to launch a coordinated move to save infants and children who were dying due to inadequate health facilities, water-borne diseases, starvation and illiteracy.

He also highlighted the need for the water management and environment preservation for the future generations.

Aggarwal said this while addressing a gathering of representatives of various organisations on the occasion of the annual function of the local unit of the Rotary Club at MGMN Senior Secondary School.

Showing concern over the increasing frequency of child and infant mortality, Aggarwal claimed that joint steps by all social organisations, supplemented by the government, would reduce the mortality rate.

Quoting data released by the World Health Organisation recently, Rathore regretted that over 30,000 children below five years die daily in the world. Over 90 per cent of these deaths were reported from the Asian countries.

Aggarwal hoped that providing better facilities as suggested by the WHO could reduce the death rate.

“In case a co-coordinated move to educate fertile couples, besides, providing better health facilities, drinking water and nutrition is launched, thousands of children can be saved,” added Aggarwal claiming that even the government-sponsored projects could not be successful without the help of social organisations. Aggarwal said the Rotary International was the oldest social organisation, serving people in 200 countries through over 32,000 clubs.

District Governor (elect) Amjad Ali, Dr Ravinder Sharma, president, Avtar Krishan Sharma, former president, Dr BS Bedi, former president, Pardeep Sharda, master of ceremony, and Dr Narinder Dhawan, former president, also spoke on the occasion.



Tribune Impact
Schools dump canteens’ junk food
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Following reports in Ludhiana Tribune on junk food addiction among city’s schoolchildren and various school authorities’ role in promoting this bad habbit, a number of schools have started campaigns to educate the students against the menace.

Workshops, seminars, lectures and exhibitions on the harmful effects of eating junk food are being conducted in various schools. Besides this, many schools, which were earlier not following it, have also introduced specific menu for students’ mid-day meals that they bring from home.

Sacred Heart Convent, Green Land School, GRD Academy, Bal Bharati Public School, Maple Bear Canadian Playway and Nursery School, all have held some event or the other recently on health issues, with special emphasis on “saying no to junk food”. A few schools have even issued directions to the canteen owners to remove junk food items from the menu and introduce milk products like lassi and cheese, and juices in the eatables’ list.

“Keeping in view the deteriorating eating habits of children and their increasingly lethargic lifestyle, we decided to hold a small ‘health day’ celebration on the school campus. Through the event, we endeavour to educate the kids and their parents about the importance of a healthy diet and hygiene. Children were given presentations and tips on healthy eating habits and inculcate the habit of having lots of water, fruits, juices, vegetables, eggs, milk and its products in meals and say no to junk food,” said a school principal.

A school held a yogurt day on the campus to enlighten the children about the benefits of eating health foods like yogurt and the other held a “green veggies day”.

Talking to The Tribune, another principal remarked, “Making the kids aware with the help of celebrations wherein they participate actively is much easier and has a long-lasting impact on the young minds. Thus, a whole lot of “days”, including “vegetable day”, “fruits day”, “juices day” besides medical and dental check-up camps are being held in various schools.”



Fire breaks out at steel unit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
A fire broke out at Mahaveer Steel India, Jalandhar bypass, this afternoon. One fire tender was sent to the spot to douse the fire.

Samir, owner of the factory, said the fire incident occurred due to short-circuit. “We have still not estimated the losses. It was horrifying, but fortunately lives were saved,” he said. The fire broke out at 2 pm and it took about an hour to control the situation.



Seminar on hair care
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
A hair show will be organised tomorrow by a hair and beauty institute from 10 am to 5 pm. Addressing the press conference, Abhay from the institute said beauticians from all over Punjab and surrounding were coming to attend this one-day educational seminar.

“We are conducting such seminars for those who cannot go out of the country to learn latest international trends and techniques. By attending these seminars beauticians can deliver the latest trends to their clients,” he said.



Congress camp jubilant over SC verdict in Captain’s favour
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 26
Sweets were distributed and Congress workers danced to the beats of drums in different parts of the city as the news about verdict of the apex court going in favour of former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh spread here today.

The Congress leader was removed from the 13th state assembly in September 2008 for breach of privilege over an alleged multi-crore land scam. His appeal against the decision of the state legislature filed before the Punjab and Haryana High Court was transferred to the Supreme Court of India on his request.

Hundreds of workers of the District Youth Congress, led by their president Dimple Rana, distributed sweets and performed bhangra over what they termed as “triumph of the judicial system over a dictatorial decision of a power-drunk ruling coalition”.

Speaking at the occasion, Rana said the trust of the Congress leader in the judiciary had been vindicated and the truth was there before everybody to see. “A line has been drawn around the powers of the state legislature and it has been made clear that the legislative cannot usurp the powers which have been vested in the judiciary.”

In another function organised by former president of the District Congress Committee Krishan Kumar Bawa at the Gill Road in Atam Nagar assembly segment, sweets were distributed and party workers raised slogans hailing the SC decision in favour of Captain Amarinder Singh.

The party functionaries castigated the ruling SAD-BJP coalition for its vindictive policies and witch hunting of political opponents. “The decision of the Supreme Court has strengthened the democratic set up in the country through its historic judgement,” Bawa remarked.

The former city Mayor Nahar Singh, DCC vice-president Harchand Singh Dhir and Congress Sewa Dal president Nirmal Singh Kaira were also present at the function.

Congress functionaries -- Gurdev Singh Lapran, former president of DCC, and Amarjit Singh Tikka, along with a large number of party workers, distributed “laddoos” in Gian Singh Rarewala Market over exoneration of their leader and restoration of his membership of the state assembly by the apex court.

In separate statements, Chander Shekhar Sahota, secretary, PPCC, Mohammed Naseem Ansari, working president, All-India Rajiv Gandhi Brigade and Santokh Singh Rangian, district president of Punjab Kashyap Rajput Sabha hailed the court’s decision in favour of the former Chief Minister.



Dugri residents divided over development of park
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 26
At times, even an initiative to take up such works that benefit the community, or at least a particular locality, also lead to sharp divisions and mud slinging campaign. This was realised by a section of residents of Dugri, Phase II, here when they took up development of a public park at their own level.

However, another group of residents of the locality not only cast doubts over their “noble” intentions, but also levelled charges of encroachment on a 300 sq yd piece of land in the prime locality.

It all started when some residents of the locality, peeved over the indifferent attitude of the Punjab Urban Development and Planning Authority (PUDA), which had developed the colony, and the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (LMC), to whom it was later transferred for maintenance, took it upon themselves to develop the vacant plot into a park with the funds that were also collected by them from the area residents.

Once the work for construction of a boundary wall around the park commenced yesterday, another group of residents of the colony made frantic calls to PUDA and MC officials, charging those after the development of park with evil intentions of encroaching upon the piece of land for their own benefit.

Some other residents objected to the development of the park and construction of a boundary wall around the piece of land saying it would block a common passage through the vacant plot and cause inconvenience to them.

Estate officer of PUDA Gurbaksh Singh confirmed that the piece of land was indeed a public park shown as park number 175 D in the site plan of Dugri, Phase II. “The area has been earmarked for a park, but it could not be developed till the time the colony was handed over to the LMC for maintenance. We have asked the engineering branch to look into the matter and take whatever necessary action is required in this regard.”

HS Salaria, executive engineer of the LMC, when contacted categorically said that development of the park by residents at their own level cannot be permitted as a matter of routine. “It is the responsibility of PUDA, which owns the property, or else the LMC, which has been entrusted with the job of maintenance and providing civic amenities.”

He said landscape officer had visited the site today and a status report of the said piece of land had been requisitioned from PUDA so as to take further action. Salaria asserted that, “If the construction work is still going on despite the residents concerned having been directed to stop the same forthwith, they will have to face the consequences.”



When might proved to be right
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Might is right. The old adage holds true at least for this migrant couple. Despite fighting for the possession of a plot bought by them after spending their liftetime’s savings, they had to effect a compromise with the opposite party, an influential coloniser, staking his claim to the piece of land.

Rajnath Singh and Sumitra Devi, a migrant couple from Bihar, accepted Rs 20 lakh from the opposite party, staking a claim to the plot as the police and administration had failed to get them justice.

The couple had bought the plot in Sat Kartar Nagar here in 2006. Despite having the registry of the plot, they failed to get their due, as an influential coloniser had also staked his claim to the land. And finally the couple left the plot to him by accepting half the price of the plot.

Despite having numerous police inquiries, including one by the ADGP(crime branch) and another by an SP-rank official, upholding their claim on the plot, they were not able to build their dream nest on it.

They lost all hope when the coloniser recently offered them Rs 15 lakh while the market price of the plot was Rs 35 lakh. ‘‘He told us we he would never part with the land. We were forced to think that no law of land exists here. We were not able to do anything despite numerous inquiries being in our favour,’’ said Rajnath.

After going through several inquiries, former SSP AS Rai had ordered police protection for them to start construction but to their bad luck, Rai was transferred out of the city. After that more probes were ordered but nothing has been done for them.

Even a recent probe by former SP (City-I) in December 2009 had established that the plot in question, measuring 320 square yards, belonged to him. ‘‘That too has no effect. We have been ruined. That means a migrant cannot even dream of owning a house in this city,’’ he rued.

‘‘We tried everything. Starting from sitting on a dharna to shaking the administration, nothing came up for our help,’’ said Sumitra Devi.

Incidentally, the Basti Jodhewal police had booked two accused on the basis of an inquiry conducted by the ADGP (internal vigilance) in the case. One of them was arrested.

As per the inquiry reports, the plot was a part of huge chunk of land at Kulliewal village belonging to two brothers. They had a dispute over certain areas. Unfortunately, one of the disputed piece of land was bought by the couple.

The plot was even registered in their name. The inquiry established their credentials. Even their neighbhours reported that the plot was theirs. The revenue records also supported their claim.



Pedestrian killed
Tribune News Service

Khanna, April 26
A pedestrian died in an accident after being hit by a speeding vehicle. The deceased has been identified as Jaswant Singh of Ikolaha village.

He was on his way to his village near the Malerkotla road when an unidentified vehicle hit him late last night.

A case has been registered against the driver of unidentified vehicle and efforts were on to identify the vehicle.

Gambler held

The local police today arrested a gambler from near Machhiwara Bus Stand.

The accused has been identified as Raj Kumar, a resident of Hedon village. He was caught gambling near bus stand along with some others who fled from the spot on seeing the cops.

Police officials said that earlier also some gamblers were arrested from near the bus stand area and now vigil has been intensified to curb the menace.

They said RS 1160 was also recovered from his possession.

Thief arrested

The local police today arrested a thief along with a stolen scooter.

The accused has been identified as Shehzad, a resident of Barmalipur village near Khanna.

The scooter was stolen from Khanna a few days days ago.

The thief was arrested from near Doraha along with the stolen scooter.

A case has been registered in this connection.



One booked for abducting minor
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 26
The police has booked a youth for abducting a minor girl. Victim’s father Mohammad Sadiq, hailing from Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir, had settled for a long time at Jagraon in the business of rearing and dealing buffaloes on commission.

He had stated that he used to take his herds of buffaloes for grazing and had employed Harjit Singh, alias Kalu, who lived at Lande railway crossing here. Sadiq removed Harjit from services some time back. However, Harjit maintained contact with his employer’s 15-year-old daughter Saripa, alias Soffi.

Sadiq said his daughter went missing since past midnight of April 10. He tried to search her on his own, but could not succeed. In the meantime, he stated that he had found out that Harjit Singh had also gone missing from that very moment.

Yesterday he complained the matter to the Jagraon police, expressing apprehensions that Harjit Singh, in connivance with his relatives, had kidnapped his daughter.

The police booked Harjit Singh under Sections 263, 366-A and 120-B of the IPC. The whereabouts of the girl and the accused were not known till date.

Sources revealed that during his employment with Sadiq, Harjit Singh developed an affair with Soffi. For this very reason he was ousted from the job, but managed to maintain his relationship with her.



Woman held with 1-quintal poppy husk

Khanna: The police today arrested a woman and recovered 1 quintal of poppy husk from her possession. The accused has been identified as Jaswant Kaur, a resident of Dhudhal village. Police officials said they received a tip-off that the woman had been smuggling poppy husk and selling it to drug addicts for the past few months. A case has been registered against the accused. She was produced before the magistrate today. — TNS

Yoga camp

LUDHIANA: The Patanjali Yog Samiti, Ludhiana, organised a “Yog Vigyan Camp” at Urban Estate, Phase I, Dugri, here yesterday. Pramodh Sharma, district president of the samiti, presided over the camp. Around 200 yoga practitioners from various parts of the city attended the camp. Sukhvinder Singh, vice-president of the samiti, said inner purification kiryas helped cure various ailments like respiratory problems, hard hearing, headache and food poisoning. He said these exercises helped in enhancing eye sight, hearing power, memory and alertness of mind. — TNS



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