L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Monday Special
Schools ripping off parents with arbitrary fee hikes
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
The commencement of the new academic session sees worry writ large on the faces of parents of school students who are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with the constantly spiralling cost of educating their children.

A survey of schools in the city revealed all privately run institutions are charging fees somewhat arbitrarily. Most parents accept the fact that education at a private school comes at a heavy price and reluctantly fork out the exorbitant fees and other sundry charges.

As it is, the fee structure of all private schools is quite usurious. However, it is the "extra" charges included in the fee card on account of computer science fees, annual charges, contributions to development and building funds and miscellaneous expenses that put parents under financial pressure. For, along with the school fees, these “charges" are also hiked every year.

To add to it, schools increase transport costs every few months giving "rising fuel prices" as the ostensible reason.

Besides, many schools have introduced digitalised teaching methods in the form of ‘smart classes’. Like every state-of-the-art facility that the schools provide, expenses for ‘smart classes’, too, are borne by students’ parents in the form of monthly charges of Rs 125 to Rs 200. This is over and above the high computer fees, which amount to Rs 150 to Rs 300 per month.

Uniforms, footwear, books, stationery items, art, craft and science projects, items required for functions and events and picnic expenses only add up to the soaring cost of a school education.

The ever expanding ’requirement lists’ of schools include yet another item that directly hits parents' pockets. These are the costly "extra" books recommended by various schools, that too to be purchased from a "particular store". This is a way adopted by the school officials to garner commission from the storeowner. Worse is the fact that most of these books are not even required by the students.

Most parents, whatever their monthly income may be, are distressed due to the growing demands that a school education for their kids put on their pockets. For, over the academic session, they end up paying much more than the apparent initial costs.

Many parents the Ludhiana Tribune talked to conceded that with the spiralling costs educating one's children is fast becoming a big burden on the family budget. Many admitted the idea of sending their kids to a big city school initially appeared quite attractive. However, the exorbitant fees and other charges demanded by such institutions often made them think of switching schools, which again is not easy because of the high admission costs.

Despite all these odds parents are seen lining up at the biggest and most prestigious schools in the city with their wards at admission time. This is because, in the rat race in which success and ‘status’ are the definitive yardsticks, they do not want their children to lag behind others even if it means cutting out on the cost of essentials.

While parents rue the crass commercialisation of education, school administrations, on the other hand, argue they are “forced” to increase admission fees due to inflation and to pay the rising salaries of teachers and other staff. Besides, they assert they provide state-of-the-art facilities to their students, which "do not come cheap". 

Fee hiked by 30-40%

Schools in the city have increased their quarterly fees by 30 to 40 per cent, amounting to about Rs 1,000 to Rs 8,000 more than the earlier fees. The amount varies depending upon the category the schools fall in. A few ‘elite’ schools twice hiked their monthly fees for primary classes while those for senior classes the fees were raised by 30 to 40 per cent since last year. All schools have also increased their annual charges by 30 to 40 per cent. Besides, there have been similar hikes in computer and science fees, ‘smart class’ charges, miscellaneous expenses, development fund contributions, etc. Transport charges, too, have been raised from Rs 500 to Rs 600 per month to Rs 800 to Rs1,000 a month.

School uniforms

Most city schools are following the latest trend of providing sets of uniforms within the school at the beginning of the new session. Those who do not have stores on the premises recommend one outside. While in the first case parents of students are rarely overcharged as schools pocket the entire profit, in the second they get commission from the storeowner, which explains the overpriced items of clothing. Interestingly, uniforms of such schools are not available anywhere else in the city, which forces parents to shell out extra money.

Prices of 2 sets of uniforms provided by school

l Rs 800-1,200 (‘salwar kameez’)

l Rs 1,000-1,200 (2 shirts, 2 trousers, 2 belts)

l Rs 800-1,000 for set (2 shirts, 2 skirts, 2 pairs of socks, belts)

l Rs 400-500 for pair of shoes

Prices of a set of uniform in recommended stores

l Rs 1,000-1,400 (‘salwar kameez’)

l Rs 1,000-1,200 (1 shirt, 1 trouser/skirt, 1 belt)

l Rs 500-600 for pair of shoes

Stationery items and prices

Like uniforms, most schools either provide a set of books and stationery items at the onset of the new session or recommend a store outside. In both cases parents of students are overcharged for books as well as stationery.

l Rs 1,800-5,000 (including atlas, maps, scrap book for senior classes; crayons, pencil colours, water colours and school bag for primary classes)

l Market price: Rs 1,400 to Rs 1,800

School functions

School functions, be it annual day celebrations, fests, fetes, fairs or parties, are a major burden on the pockets of parents of students. Worse is the fact that virtually all students are forced by school officials to participate actively in such events, passing the buck of arranging for "essentials for the function" on to the parents. Right from making arrangements for the costumes and footwear that the child is to wear at the function to preparing or buying articles, models, items, food to be put on display during exhibitions, fairs and fetes, the parents have to bear the expenses for quite a lot of items. And all this happens not once but a number of times during an academic session, with most schools celebrating numerous "days" like annual, sports, children's, reading, flower, teachers’ parents’ and mothers’ day, among others, besides celebrating various festivals, fairs and exhibitions. 

Education gets costlier

In an ‘elite’ school the total expenses for students of classes 6 through 10 come to roughly Rs 80,000 per academic year while those for primary students the amount is estimated at Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000. Expenditure on education of students studying in schools placed at the ‘no 2 slot’, including convent schools, is anywhere around Rs 50,000 to Rs 40,000 each year while the cost in ‘medium budget’ schools is about Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000 per annum.


Mother, daughters set woman afire
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
In a shocking incident, a woman and her daughters allegedly set afire their neighbour at Basti Jodhewal here yesterday over noise emanating from a machinery installed in her house.

Kerosene was thrown on Kanta Rani (55) and she was set on fire by her neighbour Usha Rani (45) and her daughters Tipsy (18) and Bawa (22) yesterday when the victim had gone to their place.

Kanta Rani’s husband runs a small-scale unit at their house and has installed a nut-bolt manufacturing machinery on the premises.

Bal Kishan, who lives two-three houses away from Kanta Rani’s house, had been objecting to the unit, which he said was source of disturbance to neighbours.

The matter had become the bone of contention between the two families for the past six years, with Bal Kishan complaining to the district administration and the small-scale unit association a number of times to get the unit shut.

Yesterday again, Kanta Rani’s husband received a letter from the administration, directing him to shut the unit. “The letter bore the names of the firm and the family members. On reading the letter, my mother went to Ram Kishan’s house to request him to keep the women out of the matter as we already have bought a commercial site elsewhere and were planning to move the unit there,” said Harpal Kumar, Kanta Rani’s son.

He alleged that while Ram Kishan was away on some work, his wife Usha and her daughters poured kerosene on his mother and set her on fire.

“I was upstairs and my father and brother were working on the machines when the incident occurred. As soon as we heard my mother’s shrieks, we rushed to help her. While mother was completely seared, my brother Satpal Kumar burnt both his hands trying to save her,” revealed Harpal.

Kanta was rushed to hospital with 99 per cent burns.

A case under Sections 307 and 34 of the IPC has been registered against the accused, who are absconding, ASI Pargat Singh said.



Asthma on rise in Ludhiana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
Asthma is on the rise and causative factors include genetic, environmental, seasonal, occupational and infections of upper respiratory tract that lead to its exacerbation, said Dr Pradeep Kapoor, senior chest consultant, Mohan Dai Oswal Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation.

Dr Kapoor said asthma was all time high in Ludhiana because of air pollution caused by the industries and auto-rickshaws. He said World Asthma Day was observed on first Tuesday of May every year and each one should campaign against this disease. It’s is a chronic disease affecting several age groups, but is more common among children and adults between 25 and 35 years.

Asthma was more common in females as compared to males. The disease affects 300 million people worldwide; in India there are about 15 to 20 million cases of asthma. In children the prevalence is about 12 per cent, said 
Dr Kapoor.

The changes that occur in asthma are narrowing of air pipe, swelling of air pipe lining and increased mucus formation and its symptoms are cough, breathlessness, tightening of chest and disturbed sleep due to night cough.

Factors like change in weather, especially harvesting season and smoke of crackers during Diwali, dust, smoke, sudden exposure to cold, animal’s allergen, pollen, fungi, active and passive smoking can trigger asthma attacks.

The expert further said relievers and preventers were two types of medicines used for asthmatic patients.

The relievers were required during acute attacks, while preventers could be used on long-term basis to control the symptoms.

The medicines are most effective and without side effects when they are used in inhaler forms. Asthma drugs are also safe in pregnancy, so one must not stop drugs during this period, the doctor added.



Terror Threats
Security at public places lax, still
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
Despite terror threats rocking the national capital yesterday following which security was tightened across cities, the situation here has remained the same.

A similar threat had rocked the city only last week, leading to a red alert.

The April 25 incident was not isolated. It was the second terror threat in the past two months. Despite this, no special security arrangements have been made in the city by the police or the administration.

At all the three major malls, visitors were being frisked as per routine with no special emphasis on thorough checking of vehicles or individuals.

The situation was the same at the railway station, bus stand, Chaura Bazar, Clock Tower chowk and other market places across the city.

Besides this, no special security arrangements or deployment of security personnel was found at any restaurant, hotel, public park or roads.

On April 25, following a hoax call of bombs planted at five busy places in the city, the police sounded a red alert and stepped up the security.

The hoax call was made from a BSNL mobile phone to the police control room at around 8.30 pm on Sunday. The caller claimed that within minutes, the bombs would explode at the railway station, bus stand, Chaura Bazar, Clock Tower chowk and a mall.

A red alert was sounded and frisking was ordered at all these places. Police parties were rushed to all five spots to carry out search operations. However, nothing was found.



Weekend revellers vulnerable
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
Following repeated terror threats across the nation, residents from peripheral areas, who were regular visitors, especially on weekends, are increasingly keeping away from the city.

The footfall of weekend revellers, shoppers and movie goers to the city from the neighbouring areas of Jagraon, Raikot, Mullanpur, Samrala, Khanna, Mandi Gobindgarh, Mandi Ahmadgrah, Moga, Ferozepur and Sahnewal has declined sharply ever since the bomb threats have been received by the city police not once but twice within two months.

The incident of April 25, wherein following a hoax call about bombs being planted at five public places across the city, including a mall, has added to the fear psychosis of the people coming to the city.

“We used to come to the city after every 15 days for shopping, watch a movie and enjoy with family and friends but ever since these two hoax incidents of terror attacks have been reported, we haven’t come here,” said Moga resident Prithpal Singh.

Sukhwinder Kaur from Jagraon added that the increasing crime graph has made the people stay away from the city.

“Terror threats and the rising number of incident involving the arrest of anti-social elements from the city have scared people. I used to be a frequent visitor to Ludhiana, especially on Sundays but now I prefer going to Moga or Ferozepur,” Sukhwinder added.



Barkat Sidhu regales audience
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
Barkat Sidhu known for his redemption of Bulle Shah and Shah Hussain Farid's poetry enthralled the audiences in the city last evening.An exponent of Patiala Gharana, Sidhu is loved for his passionate singing and the simple style, which was evident in every movement he made during the performance at Punjabi Bhawan on the International Labour Day.

The programme was organised by the Punjabi Sabhiacharak Manch, wherein, a play reflecting the life and struggle of Sadhu Singh Takhtpura was also staged.

Written and directed by Harkesh Chaudhary, the play revolved round the protest registered by the farmer leader Sadhu Singh against the government followed by his murder.

Other plays written by Santokh Singh Dheer, Ajmer Aulakh and Gurcharan Singh were also staged on the occasion. Each play was well received by the rural as well as urban audiences.

Rajinder Singh, an art connoisseur from Raikot, said, "This is like good old days when Punjabi Bhawan used to buzz with activity even in the wee hours. Looking at the plays today, I feel and am hopeful to see the renaissance of Punjabi theatre ," Singh went on to add.



‘Winners of reality shows are decided before hand’
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
"Winners of the reality shows are decided before hand," opines model-cum-actress Anupama Verma. Such shows are "twisted reality". They are not actually scripted and the person depicted in these shows portrays the actual traits of a person," she added.

Anupama was in the city to attend the women's week celebrations at Ansal Plaza. Top 20 women shoppers from the mall had a chance to have lunch with the gorgeous model.

After participating in Big Boss, Anupama has said big "No" to the reality shows. "I may think of participating in the reality show based on sports. I thought of participating in "Fear Factor" and the team came to my place for demo but I was not comfortable eating all those snakes and snails so I cancelled the idea," she added,

The statement, which shocked everyone was, "Rakhi Sawant is a person who is good at heart". Giving her take on modeling she said, "Modeling has always been my first love. Infact today modelling and films have merged together and a lot of models are successful in films today. Films are actually a way of progression from modelling," she quips.

Originally belonging to Punjab, Anupama loves coming here again and again. "This is my third visit to Punjab and I love coming here. Missi roti and kaali daal are my favourite and I have really relished them to my heart's content today during lunch," she beamed.

Disclosing her fitness mantra she said, "Eat well and work out well. I do not believe in dieting as it shows on your skin. I think films and modelling world has really motivated the general public to remain fit and today everybody is conscious the way one looks," she added.



Free diabetes camp for parents, children
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
To help students and their parents in getting themselves thoroughly checked for diabetes and thyroid, Tagore Public School organised a free-medical camp here today from 9.30 am to 2 pm. The camp was inaugurated by Ranjit Singh Dhaliwal, assistant registrar, co-operative societies, Ludhiana (west). Dhaliwal was accorded a warm welcome by manager Amrit Lal Aggarwal, president of the society Baldev Kumar Aggarwal, vice-president and honorary secretary of the school Jaspal Singh, directors Sukhjiwan Rai, Sunil Goel, educationist Kuldeep Kumar Singla, parent members Pawan Garg, Bhushan Kumar Gupta and principal Suman Arora.

The camp was conducted by Dr Mani Kant Singla (MD), a renowned doctor from endocrinology department of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital. Various facilities were made available to visitors during the camp, including diet chart diabetes, education for patients, checking of blood sugar, urine for proteinura, Hb A1C test and neuropathy testing with latest machines, free medicines and thyroid tests. The check up was free of cost for the students and their parents. Over 250 people were examined during the camp.

Education Camp

An education awareness camp was organised by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), regional centre, Khanna, in collaboration with the Indian NGO Association and Guru Nanak Health and Education Society at SMS Memorial Public School, Jarg village, near here yesterday. The camp was held to commemorate the silver jubilee year of IGNOU.

A large number of people from surrounding villages attended the camp. Functionaries of the IGNOU regional centre and study centres of Ludhiana and Khanna made the people aware about the role of IGNOU in providing education to all segments of the society irrespective of age, sex, caste and religion.

Labour Day

To mark the importance of labourers in a society, Labour Day was celebrated at Jesus' Sacred Heart School, DX-1, South City, yesterday. Games like musical chairs, races, one-minute game, slow cycling race were organised. Prizes were also given to the winners. To appreciate their hard work through the year, gifts were presented to all class IV employees along with a small lunch party. School principal Anju Banga made the students aware about the importance of helpers in life.

Painting Contest

Don Bosco Global School observed International Labour Day here yesterday to express gratitude and pay respect to workers who make life so much easier for everyone and who are the true pillars on which the society stands. Yashpal Bansal, member of the school managing committee, presided over the function. The plight of workers was highlighted in a skit presented by students. Tribute was also paid to the workers of the school by the students through speeches and songs.

An inter-school painting competition was organised in which students from different schools of Ludhiana participated with enthusiasm and spread magic with their brushes. Topics given to the students under different categories were - Child Labour, Scenes Of Harvesting And Celebrations. Principal Maria John addressed the students and requested them to spare a thought for the poor and downtrodden and strive for their upliftment. Bansal distributed gifts to the employees of the school.

Pool Party

Students of Guru Gobind Singh Public School enjoyed a pool party and observed the Earth Day yesterday. Students from Nursery to class V enjoyed rides, bouncies, and water pool. Students from class VI onwards celebrated the Earth Day with a group song, an English play and a karate show. A prize distribution function was also held in which students were honoured for excellence in academics and co-curricular activities. National -level chess players were also honoured. Principal Manjit Kaur spoke on the importance of the Earth Day and congratulated the prize winners.


Students of the Mater Tara Singh Memorial College for Women brought laurels to the college by achieving 100 per cent result in the examination conducted by Panjab University, Chandigarh. Ritu Maurya secured the first position by securing 74 per cent marks. Deepika bagged the second position and Tanu Nagpal got the third rank with 73 and 72 per cent marks respectively. Principal Dr Parveen Kaur Chawla applauded the students and congratulated them.



City Concerns
Rights panel dictates make MC helpless 

A few days ago we had complained to the municipal corporation about avoidable deaths on account of menace of stray animals in the city, though the corporation had approved sterilisation of stray dog in the city, but nothing is visible as the civic employees are afraid of animal’s rights activists. The city is replete with herds of such stray bulls at important locations like the Humbran road, Dandi Swami Chowk, Arya School road, Purani Sabzi Mandi and Mata Rani Chowks, Daresi Road and opposite new sabzi mandi etc the corporation has large chunks of unutilized land in his possession and it would be appropriate to build proper sheds in such lands situated near the city and arrange shifting such animals there and they be properly looked after by employing adequate staff. The citizens have great expectations from the municipal commissioner, who is actively engaged in the overall development of the city and this also needs his immediate attention to save the valuable lives.

Virinder Bhakoo,Dr Kitchlu Nagar

NGOs’ support must

Any political party and the ministry of animal husbandry have practically never taken up the issue of stray animals. This has resulted in unprecedented increase in their numbers. The killing of the boy in a fight between stray bulls is an unfortunate incident. To bring out, the corporation alone will not be able to address this perennial issue without the support of NGOs, health department, local administration and release of funds by the ministry of animal husbandry for their rehabilitation. The ministry should earmark requisite money every year during the Budget for the civic body for constructing required number of cowsheds in the block as well as the district level. Besides, stray animals like dogs, bitches and bullocks must be sterilised on weekly basis to decrease their numbers as they are proving to a threat for society. The government must protect all stray animals from being killed for meat as well as the skin.

Jaigopal Kusla,Ludhiana

Fix responsibility

The boy’s death has sent a shock wave among the citizens. The menace of the stray animals is very much rampant in the city. Besides bull and cows, the stray dogs pose threat to the pedestrians. With no one attending to the problem the pedestrians remain a harried lot. If they manage to reach their destinations safe and sound, it is because of the providential grace and not because the safety steps taken by the administration. Realising the gravity of situation the municipal corporation must rise to the occasion and fix the responsibility. The councillors should frequently visit their wards to identify such menaces and take steps to tackle those. Citizens should be provided with helpline numbers. The authorities have failed to curb this menace. As such citizens themselves must start ‘save pedestrians’ drive to wake up authorities from the slumber and create an awareness in society.

KBS Sodhi,Ludhiana

Wake up authorities

This is not the first time that a stray bull has killed a human in the city. Numerous lives have been lost in Several times in the past many lives have been lost and shaken the authorities out of slumber. After making announcements for two days, the authorities go silent again. The presence of strays is not a big problem but it is the lack of will to address it. I am sure if there is just one civil servant, who has been equipped to handle this problem, has the will to handle it, can do wonder. What does it require to keep the strays away? They have many gaushalas willing to shelter the cows. The MC has to just make them reach there. But who cares? I am sure these announcements too are going to just meaningless as before.

Parminder Singh

Discourage owners

For the past one week, I have been reading in newspapers that the municipal corporation will check the menace of stray cattle in the city. Every morning I set out hoping I would not find them on roads. But that day had not arrived as yet. As the days are passing, I am loosing all hope. In my opinion, to check the menace of strays, the municipal corporation needs to first discourage the owners of these cattle to disown them. The only way is to microchip them and register their codes with the authorities. This way no cattle owner would be able to leave them on roads. The strays in my opinion are a menace created by the humans and not them. We should realise that if we took their services, we have the duty to look after them once they are of no use.

Sandeep K Jain,Ludhiana



Construction of flyovers
Pedestrians get a raw deal
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, May 2
Even as the National Highway Authority of India, during its ongoing process of widening of the National Highway No. 1, is planning to construct flyovers almost in all towns and villages, the construction of subways for pedestrians, too, should not have been overlooked at any cost, feel the road users.

The subways should have been given prior thought and due consideration, for once the express highway becomes operational the apprehensions of the pedestrians of being caught up between the devil and the deep sea may not prove to be entirely baseless.

The pedestrian subways should especially be constructed in the towns where the public has to cross the road every now and then for undertaking one errand or the other in a day.

Down the bridge, the chaotic mobility of the traffic slows down the free movement of the pedestrians. The worst sufferers are the elderly and the children who fail to compete with the fast moving vehicles.

“Providing a safe and hurdle-free passage to the pedestrian should be treated as the primary task, which the government should fulfil by all means. As far as the provision of road infrastructure facilities is concerned, the pedestrians always get a raw deal. Their movement and safety should form an important component of any road construction design,” opined a social worker of the area.

“It is the duty of the National Highway Authority of India to make movement safer and convenient for pedestrians in general and the ones with physical disabilities, or for that matter visually-challenged persons, in particular. In order to meet the ever increasing demand of the motorised vehicles, the pedestrians are always sidelined and the question of their safety and security is considered to be a secondary issue,” the social worker added.

“Once the express highway becomes operational, the pedestrians shall not be able to use even the National Highway No. 1 for the purpose of crossing. They would rather have to make a detour of at least 1km, both back and forth, each day to reach on the opposite side in the midst of the heavy traffic of the town. For the elderly it would be a Herculean task to reach the bus stand on foot,” rues a resident.

At Sahnewal also, once the over bridge is erected and the local traffic uses the subway, it would become no less chaotic either. The vehicles shall ply on the subway in order to continue their journey. In that case the pedestrians shall be caught up in a fix and there would be literally no inch of space left exclusively for them.

“The government should make provisions of subways at all costs lest the life of the pedestrians should be endangered. With the increase in vehicular traffic each day and at the same time the encroachments eating up most of the space, the pedestrian is practically left with no walking space for which major or minor incidents are reported every now and then,” a resident added.



Sachin’s wax statue unveiled
Tribune News Service

Chander Shekhar Prabhakar celebrates Sachin’s birthday in front of his statue.
Chander Shekhar Prabhakar celebrates Sachin’s birthday in front of his statue. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, May 2
Chander Shekhar Prabhakar celebrated master blaster Sachin Tendulkar birthday by unveiling his wax statue today.

This is Shekhar’s 43rd wax statue. All his statues are displayed at Hardy’s World. He has made the statues of Mother Teresa, Mona Singh and Sonia Gandhi to name a few.

The statue was unveiled at his home today morning. Later on, it was shifted to Hardy’s World. Shekhar cut the cake to celebrate Sachin’s birthday.

“Sachin should be given Bharat Ratna. He is a player par excellence. He is a self made person and has seen great heights of career in his life. Youngsters should take inspiration from him and make him his idol,” he added. 



City lads make it to IIMs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
Two boys have made the city proud by not only clearing the CAT but also making it to IIMs, the most prestigious B-schools of the country. Both boys are students 
of T.I.M.E.

Nishant Jha has secured a seat in the prestigious IIM at Ahmedabad while Varun Chabbra has been admitted to IIM at Lucknow. He is still waiting for results of other IIMs.

Namrata Walia, director, T.I.M.E., Ludhiana,these boys have done us proud with stupendous performance in CAT 2009. 



Groom’s kin says no to wedding over caste
Rakesh Gupta

Jagraon, May 2
The family of a groom has refused marriage to his bride, alleging that she belongs to a low-caste family.The marriage was scheduled for today. The bride’s family met Jagraon SSP Harinder Singh Chahal and asked him to intervene in the matter. Saying cards had been distributed and preparations made, they maintained that both families belonged to the same caste.

The SSP ordered an inquiry into the matter. The bride, Gurmeet Kaur, belonged to Chakar village, near here.

Her father, Makhan Singh, had fixed her marriage to Amrinderpal Singh of Bode village, near Moga. They were engaged on April 30. 



Veterinary varsity comptroller retires

Ludhiana, May 2
Bahadur Singh Randhawa, comptroller, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), retired yesterday. He was given a warm farewell by the staff of the comptroller and registrar offices of the university.

Randhawa was holding the additional charge of the registrar since December 1, 2009. Dr AS Nanda, director of research, presided over the function and appreciated Randhawa's pro-active attitude towards solving financial matters. — TNS



Land sharks occupy Rifle Club’s land
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
Tension gripped BRS Nagar yesterday when a few persons allegedly tried to encroach upon 5,500 square yards worth crores given to the District Rifle Club by the municipal corporation three days ago.

The encroachers allegedly demolished a wall that was constructed by the office-bearers of the club while taking over the possession of the land. Col JS Brar (retd), an office-bearer, said the land behind Orient Cinema was attracting many sharks.

He said he had informed the police, but the party was yet to arrive till the filing of this report.



Coalition splits, kisan sabha disassociates itself from stir
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 2
The All-India Kissan Sabha today disassociated its from the agitations initiated by a coalition of 22 labour and farmers’ union. Early this month, 22 unions had joined hands during the Lalkar Rally on January 15. The coalition had last month planned a grand rally in front of the DIG Amritsar Range office in Amritsar, but it was thwarted by the government machinery.

Today, the coalition group met in which Lehmber Singh Taggar (general secretary) along with Roop Basant Braich (state vice-president), Gurparamjit Kaur (state general secretary) and Raghubir Singh Benipal (state secretary) demanded that a resolution be passed against the killing of their workers in West Bengal, Orrisa, Bihar and Jharkand by the so-called Maoist groups.

Taggar said their demand was rejected at the meeting.

He accused the pro-Maoist groups within the coalition, responsible for the decision, and hence in they walked out in protest from the meeting and decided to part ways with them.

He, however, maintained that they would continue their struggle for the cause of common man, farmers and labours on their own. He added that their organisation had lost 300 of their members and yet their partner were a bit shy to condemn the killings.

Addressing the press conference at Mullanpur Dakha, Taggar maintained that numerous other organisations have withdrawn their support due to the monopolistic attitude of a few of its leaders.

He said the Punjab Kissan Sabha (Bhupinder Singh), Punjab Khet Majdoor Sabha and the All-India Khet Majdoor Union could be named as a few who had silently distanced themselves from the coalition.



After power, residents crave for water
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
The suffering of city residents seems to have multiplied with the outset of summer. With power pangs already making the lives of people miserable, its now the scarcity of water that has further aggravated their problems.

However, the authorities concerned seem to have no solution at hand to the ongoing problem in the city.

Neither are they interested in asking the Powercom not to impose power cuts during the supply of water, nor do they have any arrangement for backup generators to provide basic water supply during emergency to the general public.

Mohamad Naseem Ansari, working president of the All-India Rajiv Gandhi Brigade, complained that city residents had been suffering badly on account of poor water supply.

He said in ward No. 31, the situation of water was pathetic. “When there is electricity, there is no water, and when the MC supplies water during early morning or evening hours, there are power cuts.”

Both the municipal corporation and Powercom seem to be little interested in finding a solution to the problem.

“We have started with appeals to the authorities concerned and leaders. If they fail to come up with a solution, we will start an agitation. For how long can we continue to suffer like this?” said Ansari.

Residents of ward No. 31 held a meeting to discuss the problem of water shortage here last evening.

The city has been facing the problem for the past three months. Due to water scarcity, residents of one ward or another hold protests/demonstrations against the authorities.

Kamaljeet Singh Pappu, a resident of New Hargobind Nagar, said solutions were available but there was a need to put in sincere efforts.

He said the Ludhiana municipal corporation could talk to the power authorities not to impose power cuts at the time of water supply.

“From 5 am to 9 am, we get water-supply of the MC. During these hours, electricity cuts can be avoided so that residents can stock water in tanks or buckets. However, this is not being done. The common man is the ultimate sufferer as the rich have generators at their homes meet their needs,” said Pappu.

The municipal corporation has already expressed its inability to provide power backup to all tubewells in the city.

Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal said there were over 550 tubewells in the city and these could not be run on generators due to high cost of running.

“The problem of water shortage occurs only during the summer. Wastage needs to be curtailed to avoid water scarcity in the city,” added Bansal.



Private Colonies
Specify parks in records, DC to patwaris
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 2
Coming to the rescue of public parks being gobbled up by land mafia in the city, the Deputy Commissioner has asked patwaris to record these spaces in revenue records to ensure that these are not sold by private developers to make money.

In his orders issued here today, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari asked patwaris to ensure that all these green spaces were included in revenue records by May 10.

The Deputy Commissioner said he had received several complaints in the past that private developers were selling the space left by them for parks as plots.

However, they could not take any legal action as the revenue records showed developers as owners of the parks.

He said the developers lured residents into buying plots in their colonies having parks and once the locality was fully developed, they sold these parks as plots to make more money.

“We have now decided that no developer will be able to take advantage of ambiguity in revenue records. We are putting everything straight,” he said.

He directed SDM Prem Chand to ensure that the parks were included in the revenue records as green areas well in time.

He would check the records to see whether the changes had been done or not, he added.



May Day rallies, functions by workers
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 2
The May Day was observed at various places here yesterday. CPM state secretary Charan Singh Virdi inaugurated a party office at Jodhan Mansooran.

Expressing concern over the poor economic condition of farmers, Virdi said the reduction in subsidies was going to put an extra burden on the common man.

District secretary Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon also addressed the gathering.

Also, the Punjab Field and Workshop Workers’ Union observed the day at the sub-division office of the water supply and sanitation department. The function was attended by union leaders and workers.

Sugar mill workers observed the day under the leadership of Tejinder Singh Nanni. Various trade unions of the area organised a rally at the local bus stand.

The speakers highlighted the-anti employee and anti-people policies of both the state as well as central government.

They said the government was acting as an agent of industrialists and exploiting the working class.

They opposed the privatisation policy of the government.

Representatives from the Punjab Roadways, Powercom, the CPI, the Trade Union Council, the FCI, teachers’ union addressed the gathering.

The CPI (New Democracy) and the Inqualabi Kender, Punjab, jointly organised a function at the municipal council office.

At Mullanpur Dakha, the All-India Rajiv Gandhi Panchayati Raj Sangathan organised a function to mark the day.

At the Powercom office, Mullanpur, AITUC workers observed the day with speakers highlighting the plight of workers.

The Shaheed Bhagat Singh Cultural Centre, Ludhiana, observed the day at Government High School here and was attended by leaders of the Democratic Teachers Front among others.

At the nagar panchayat office, the Class IV Union observed the day to pay their respect to Chicago martyrs.



Youth electrocuted
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 2
A youth of Nanakpur Jagra village near Mandi Ahmedgarh was electrocuted yesterday while repairing his inverter.The deceased identified as Balbir Singh alias Bira (30), was installing inverter at his home when he accidentally came in contact with some live wire. He got a shock from the electric wire. He was taken to a hospital of Mandi Ahmedgarh in a critical state but he succumbed to the electric shock he had received.

The deceased is an electrician by profession and had a electric gadgets shop at the bus stand in the village. 



Man ends life
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 2
A youth committed suicide by jumping before a train here yesterday.The deceased identified as Roop Singh of Jhorran village near Raikot had jumped before the Ludhiana-Ferozepur passenger train 4LF near the railway crossing no 40 towards Moga last evening.

The deceased died on the spot. Roop Singh, a married man with three children was in the business of real estate.

For some time, he had incurred huge losses and was stated to be indebted with huge loans from private parties and was not in the condition to repay.

In order to save his family from harassment at their hands, he took this extreme step.



Two held for peddling poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 2
The Dehlon police yesterday nabbed two youths in two separate cases and recovered poppy husk from their possession.

In the first case, the police party led by SHO Dehlon Satinderpal Singh intercepted a Innova car (PB 08 W 0015) driven by Gurpreet Singh alias Gopi of Dharam Singh Wala village near Moga, when he tried to escape the police attention by driving his vehicle away from the police party. On search, the police recovered 35 kg poppy husk from his possession hidden under the rear seat of the vehicle.

In yet another case, the police last evening nabbed another youth from Canal Bridge of Kila Raipur along with his Innova car (PB 10 B 4045) driven by Paramjit Singh alias Kaka of Mohie village, and now residing at Baba Banda Singh Nagar, Ferozepur Road near Ladhowal. On searching his vehicle, the police recovered 32 kg poppy husk from his possession.

The police booked both of them under Sections 15,61 and 85 of the NDPS Act and impounded their cars. Both nabbed youths have many such cases pending against them. The police was questioning them for their involvement in other cases also. 



Mechanic booked
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 2
A mechanic and his accomplice have been booked for selling off their client’s car by fabricating its documents.

Darshan Singh of Sherpur Khurd village in a complaint lodged with the police alleged that he had given his Sumo car to Avtar Singh, alias Tari, a car mechanic by profession, for repairing. But, he conspired with Charanjit Singh and sold the vehicle.

A case has been registered and both accused booked in this regard. 



Gang of mobile thieves busted, 4 held
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 2
The local police arrested four members of a gang of mobile thieves here yesterday. The accused — identified as Jeewan Singh, alias Jeeva; Vipan Singh of Bhona Chowk, Moga; Khanna Kumar of Doshanjh Road, Moga; and Gulshan Kumar of Gill Road, Moga — were arrested from the busy market of Kamal Chowk at Agwar Gujjaran here while they were trying to sell stolen mobiles to unsuspecting mobile shop owners.

The local CIA got a tip-off regarding their suspicious activities and arrested them along with the mobile phones after laying a trap.

The police recovered 14 brand new mobile phones sealed in their original packing, worth around Rs 50,000, from the accused.

The accused confessed to having stolen the mobile phones by breaking into mobile shops during night in the past few days.

The police has booked the accused under Section 411, IPC, in this regard.



Three booked for forging property documents
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 2
The police has booked three persons, including a women, for fabricating documents to usurp the property of complainant’s relative.

ASI Raminderjeet Singh, in-charge of the Galib Kalan police post and inquiry officer of the case, stated that Avtar Singh of Amargarh Kaler village had lodged a complaint with the police that the accused had tried to take forcible possession of the property belonging to his brother Sukhdev Singh.

The accused — Gurmeet Kaur of Amargerh Kaler, Varinder Singh and Rana Gurnaib Singh of Atam Nagar, Jagraon — allegedly presented an agreement to sell the property in question signed by Sukhdev Singh.

Avtar Singh claimed that the documents had been forged, as the signatures were not of his brother’s, and sought an examination of the documents.

He said the accused had forged the documents and after the death his brother had applied in the court to get the sale deed performed by the heirs of Sukhdev Singh.

In his report, a handwriting expert declared the signatures fake.

On the basis of the report, a case of forgery has been registered under Sections 420 and 120B, IPC, against the accused at the Jagraon police station. No arrest has been made so far.



Attack on property dealer
Unidentified assailants booked
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, May 2
The Dakha police yesterday registered a case against unidentified assailants who had attacked a property dealer at his office on the Kailpur Road here.

On April 29, two men had gone to the office of property dealer Bhupinder Singh and asked the maid servant working there about the owner.

The maid then called up her employer, taking them to be his clients.

On the pretext of buying some property, the two sought information about some plots. Selecting one, they said they wanted their partners to know about the property, as they were the ones who were to invest the money to set up an eating joint there, and left.

On return, they were accompanied by two more persons, all equipped with sharp-edge and blunt weapons.

On seeing the armed men, Bhupinder Singh jokingly asked if they wanted to buy the plot or take its forcible possession.

At this, they locked the door and attacked him. Seriously injured, he somehow ran out of the office to save his life.

The assailants escaped in a white colour vehicle bearing no registration number.

The police has booked the unidentified attackers under Sections 452, 323, 341 and 34 of the IPC.

The police, however, maintained that the case seemed to that be of professional rivalry or some strained relationship, as the assailants were apparently hired to eliminate the victim. Bhupinder Singh claimed that he had never seen the suspects before and their behaviour indicated that they too did not know him.



Softball Tourney
Ramgarhia lads corner glory
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 2
Ramgarhia Senior Secondary School, Miller Ganj, scored an emphatic 5-1 win over RS Model High School to emerge champions in the boys’ section of the 30th Ludhiana District Softball Championship for junior boys and girls at Ramgarhia Educational Complex, Miller Ganj, here today.

In the match to decide third and fourth positions, Guru Nanak International Public School, Model Town, survived a scare before emerging winners with a wafer-thin margin of one point (14-13) against Teja Singh Swatantar Memorial School.

Earlier, in the semifinal, Ramgarhia Senior Secondary School, Miller Ganj, drubbed Guru Nanak International Public School, Model Town, 10-0, while RS Model High School faced a stiff challenge from their spirited opponents Teja Singh Swatantar Memorial School, whom they pipped 4-2.

In the league encounters, Ramgarhia Senior Secondary School blanked BCM Senior Secondary School, Focal Point, 7-0, while Teja Singh Swatantar Memorial School scored a facile 10-0 victory over Guru Nanak International Public School, Model Town.



Katoch Shield
Chandigarh pile up 379 runs
Our Sports Reporter

A batsman plays a shot during a match between Ludhiana and Chandigarh at the PAU, Ludhiana, on Sunday.
A batsman plays a shot during a match between Ludhiana and Chandigarh at the PAU, Ludhiana, on Sunday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, May 2
Chandigarh scored 379 runs in their first innings against hosts Ludhiana on the first day of the two-day match of the Punjab State Inter-District Senior Cricket Championship for Katoch Shield at Punjab Agricultural University here today.

Ludhiana skipper Ankur Kakkar won the toss and decided to field. Chandigarh batsmen took full advantage of placid pitch and went on to hoist an impressive 379 runs in 78.4 overs.

Karanveer top-scored with 73 runs, followed by Sarul Kanwar who made 71. Gurkirat Singh and Vipul Sharma contributed 64 and 59 runs, respectively, while Gaurav Gupta scored 36 and Gaurav Gambhir made 27, which helped Chandigarh reach a respectable total.

For Ludhiana, Luv Abhlish was the pick of the bowlers scalping four wickets for 51 runs.

Ankur Kakkar grabbed two wickets for 23 runs and Rahul Singla captured two wickets for 61 runs. Amrit Pal Singh too secured two wickets for 100 runs.

Ludhiana began their reply on a dismal note, losing star batsman Karan Goel cheaply. Karan got run out for 13 runs when Geetansh Khera did not respond to the call and the former found himself stranded in the middle of the wicket.

At the draw of stumps, Ludhiana were 21 for 1 after 14 overs. Geetansh and Deepak Bansal were at the crease with three runs each against their names.



SAI to hold hockey, badminton trials today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 2
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) will conduct hockey and badminton trials under its sports promotion scheme (non-residential) to enroll talented players (boys) under-14 and 18 years of age at Namdhari Sant Khalsa Virasat Sports Complex, Bhaini Sahib, near here, on May 3 and 4.

According to SAI in-charge and coordinator, Punjab, Harbans Singh, a panel of selectors, constituted to hold the trials, will monitor motor abilities and conduct specific game tests on aspirants before finalising the players.

The selected boys will be provided with facilities under the norms of the Sports Authority of India like stipend, sports kit, insurance cover, sports equipment in addition to training.

The interested players have been asked to report to the registration committee at the selection venue at 9 am on May 3 with the sports kit along with two passport-size photographs, original and photo copies of age proof besides attested copies of their sports achievement certificates.

The players attending the selection trials will have to arrange for their own stay during the trials and no TA/DA will be provided to the players, added Harbans Singh.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |