L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


  City scores as high five in CBSE PMT
Prashant leads with 37th rank
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
Five students have made the city proud by achieving high rank in the CBSE PMT this year.

Hard work has brought success to Prashant Verma, Devanshu Kwatra, Bandhul Hans, Adhiraj Satija and Prekshi Bansal.

With an all-India rank of 37, Prashant has topped in the city, followed by Devanshu at 92, Bandhul at 335, Adhiraj at 597 and Prekshi at 791.

“Hard work, luck and coaching have brought success to me,” remarked Prashant, adding that he always wanted to be a doctor and follow in the footsteps of his parents, both doctors.

“My ultimate aim is getting a seat at the AIIMS. I am hopeful of a good rank in its entrance test, scheduled for June 1,” he added.

A complete bookworm in his own words, Prashant loved reading. “From study books to story books, novels and comics, I can read anything,” he said.

His parents, Dr Indu Verma and Dr Ashwini Verma, were proud of his achievement and were hoping to see him score well at AIIMS.

For 17-year-old Devanshu, his rank was a great achievement, but not the end of the road, as he aimed for AIIMS.

“I am happy and proud of my achievement. My aim is AIIMS, like every medical student,” he said, glad to be able to follow in his father’s footsteps.

“Hard work is the only key to success. Luck helps, but without dedication, success is difficult,” he asserted.

Passionate about bikes and a keen painter, he also loved to play basketball. “Reading is my all-time favourite,” he said.

“I did not always want to be a doctor. Auto-engineering had fascinated me for a long time, till I completed Class X. A meeting with my father’s teacher was the turning point in my life,” he said.

“My school principal, Rajeev Nagalia, has been a constant support and inspiration for me,” he added. The principal credited his success to his hard work.

Bandhul wanted to be a doctor, like his parents. He hoped to perform better in forthcoming medical entrance tests, including AIIMS and Punjab PMT.

He was a national-level skater and Olympiad topper. “Reading is my favourite hobby and I love fiction and novels. Dan Brown is my all-time favourite writer,” he said.

He wanted to the join the Air Force as doctor. Attending school regularly was the key to success for him.

“Though I have not decided on the college yet, my dream is to join the AFMC at Pune, and serve the Air Force,”  he said. Adhiraj was not too happy on his achievement. He was busy preparing for the AIIMS entrance test.

“He was expecting a higher rank, but was not disheartened. He will work hard and make sure that he scores higher at other entrance tests,” said his mother Vinni Satija.

A music lover and fitness freak, he grew up with doctors all around. “Ours is a family of doctors. My grandfather, uncles and cousins are doctors,” he said.

“As of now, medical colleges at Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru, besides the AFMC at Pune, are possibilities,” he said.

Prekshi was aiming at a better score in the Punjab PMT, scheduled for June 6. “She has had a brilliant academic record,” said her mother Rubina Bansal.

“She is a hard-working and studious girl, who only leaves her books when she is eating. In her free time, she loves to watch television,” remarked her father Rakesh Kumar Bansal, a banker.

Success Mantra

Devanshu (92)Bandhul (335)Adhiraj (597)Prekshi (791)

Prashant: Determination. Nothing is impossible if one is determined. Hard work and coaching are other essentials as the latter prepares one for competitive exams in a focused manner. Concentrated study of between 14 and 15 hours everyday helps.

Devanshu: Hard work, hard work and hard work. There is no substitute to it. Luck also plays a role as does the Almighty by giving one the strength to reach one’s goal. Regular study of between six and seven hours a day throughout the year is beneficial.

Bandhul: Attendance. Concentrate completely on class study and teachers’ advice. Coaching helps a lot. Besides, belief in God and family support are very important.

Adhiraj: Consistency in studies and self-belief coupled with a regular 12-hour a day study schedule.

Prekshi: Study hard and nothing is impossible. Concentrated and focused studies for long hours help


‘Brute force should be the last resort’
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
Broken bottles, black eyes, busted noses, flying chairs and shattered windows. And a tall, stout, thuggish brute yelling and shooing off people from a party venue. These are the images that conjure up before our eyes when we think of bouncers.
Bouncers flaunt their bulging biceps and broad chests at a function in Ludhiana.
Bouncers flaunt their bulging biceps and broad chests at a function in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

However, being a bouncer is not about using physical force to troubleshoot.

“It is about being a modern-day ninja of sorts -- work in stealth and silence,” revealed a bouncer trio of Ravi, Sunny Thakur and Hitesh, while talking to The Tribune.

“It’s more about mental abilities than physical strength. As they say: The best bouncers don’t “bounce” anyone... they talk to people and remind them of the venue rules,” says 22-year-old Ravi, who has been working as a bouncer for the past six years and is loving it too.

Sunny Thakur, another youngster who is into the profession for the past three years, adds: “Striking everyone in punching range is not the answer to rowdyism. But if confrontation is inevitable, then grappling with the offender becomes necessary. But that, too, with a lot of thought and care. We are there to solve difficult situations, not to hurt anyone.”

Only the worst of situations evoke the use of force and that too quite restrained. “Otherwise, emphasis is on the talks,” remarks 23-year-old peace-loving bouncer Hitesh, who hates to shoo away trouble makers with force, just like his other colleagues.

The trio’s goal of being a bouncer is not to fight, but to make sure all patrons are safe and enjoy themselves, an emotion they share with the rest of the fraternity members.

Hailing from Chandigarh, the trio has been frequently visiting the city on official purposes along with its colleagues. And like any other bouncer, Ravi, Hitesh and Sunny, too, are proud of being what they are. For, their mere presence gets them special attention from all quarters along with a feeling of awe.

The three young men have quite a lot of things in common, which they also happen to share with bouncers around the world. All three are tall (above 6 feet), have great physiques marked by bulging biceps and broad chests, and steady personalities. They all follow regular fitness regimes with daily workouts at gymnasiums and rich diets.

Also, the young men have another common trait, that is, abundant patience and tact required to deal with troublesome souls. All three of them love to solve problematic situations, but hate to use muscle power.

They are all strongly influenced by perceptions of honour and shame, a typical characteristic of bouncers “as we are constantly in the public eye,” says Hitesh.

“The general prestige and respect that is accorded to bouncers, sometimes bordering on hero worship excites me. Free entertainment, food and drinks are the added advantages,” chuckles Ravi.

“The ability to work ‘in the moment’ and outside of the drudgery of typical jobs is the icing on the cake,” smiled a shy Sunny.

Quite astonishingly, contrary to the popular belief that bouncers are not “much educated”, the three men happen to be graduates, with aspirations to study further.

While Ravi and Sunny expressed the will to continue in their “well paying” jobs, Hitesh conceded that he wanted to take up a “9 to 5 job”, “because I want to study further, which would not be possible with this profession,” he said.

Pulls Of The Profession

n Good salary package

n Free-of-cost entertainment at the best places in town, great food and drinks

n All-expenses-paid trips across the region

n Number of job options

Flip Side

n Can face violence, physical harm

n Loss of income in case of violence at venue or harm to life or property

n Social stigma, in many cases

n Familial opposition and non-acceptance

You Know He Is A Bouncer When You Spot

n Ear studs and other pieces of jewellery like rings, pendants, chains

n Fashion accessories like belts, bracelets, watches

n Trendy hued hair in stylish cuts

n Unique beard styles, usually a thin line of hair, lining the jaw or chin

n Prominent tattoos, especially in patterns of tigers, lions, dragons engraved on biceps, chest, shoulder, forearm and/or neck

n Stylish clothing

n Figure hugging tees revealing bulging biceps and broad chests

n Sleek footwear

n Chic and latest gadgets

n Hard, smug look on face, yet flamboyant persona

n No-nonsense attitude



CCTV project at rly station fails to click
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
A year ago the excise and taxation department had installed two CCTV cameras at the city’s train station on a trial basis to keep tabs on the ‘peti mafia’ operating there. However, today there is no sign of any of these cameras. The initiative appears to have fizzled with members of the gang reportedly destroying the cameras to serve their own interests.

The cameras were put up at the station’s entrance in order to keep a check on the activities of the mafia that is engaged in evading sales tax or VAT while booking hosiery and other goods at the station’s parcel booking office. More CCTV cameras were planned to be installed in and around the parcel godowns.

Punjab director of investigations & operations KBS Sidhu said the CCTV cameras had been put up at the station a year back but the plan did not work. "We had proposed to install more cameras but they proved to be of no use and the two cameras installed were probably destroyed by the ‘peti’ mafia," he added. Sidhu blamed railway officials of not cooperate with his department. "We had planned to install CCTV cameras near the parcel godowns as well. It’s not possible to curb this practice unless railway officials also play an active role. Had these CCTV cameras been a success they would proved to be a big help to the department in catching offenders”, he stated.

Last March the department had confiscated goods worth Rs 50 lakh without proper invoices at the station. This month 22 ‘rehras’ carrying consignments without bills were impounded by the excise and taxation department’s mobile wing.

Sources close to the railway department said the latter was not responsible for taking care of the CCTV cameras installed at the station as they belong to another department. "We’re only responsible for transporting goods. It’s not our duty to check if taxes on them have been paid or not," a railway official said.



Rs 6.5 lakh looted at gunpoint, 2 hurt
Tribune News Service

Khanna, May 24
Unidentified miscreants looted nearly Rs 6.5 lakh from a local businessman at gunpoint in the wee hours today.

The looters arrived in a jeep at the office of Batra Motors on the GT Road near Samrala chowk, adjoining AS Senior Secondary School, and demanded money.

When the employees refused to part with the money, the robbers thrashed them with pistol butts and fled with the money kept at the office.

Police officials rushed to the spot. A dog squad and forensic experts were also pressed into service. The police could not find a clue till the evening.

As per the complainants, the robbers were three in number. They could not be identified till the evening.

The police said that the robbers targeted the office around 5:30 am and attacked those present with pistol butts and sharp-edged weapons.

Owner Madan Lal and his employee Raj Kumar received multiple injuries in the attack and were rushed to the local civil hospital.

While Madan Lal received 11 stitches on his head, Raj Kumar received one stitch below his left eye.

The police said the accused left one pistol behind. A case was registered and further investigations were on.



City Concerns

The Ferozepore Road passing through the city has become a road of protests for agitators. Despite being a busy road, the protesters often lay a siege on it, thereby throwing smooth traffic out of gear. Commuters have to suffer as they are stranded during protests.

Things have come to such a pass that the road is blocked quite often. There are some days when the protests go on throughout the day. The simplest solution to this problem seems to be the shifting of protest venue. The administration can identify a park and ask the agitators to go there.

What else can be done to address the problem? The Ludhiana Tribune wants to know your opinion on the issue. Readers can send in their views and the possible solutions.

Responses, in not more than 200 words, can be e-mailed to ludhianaconcerns@tribunemail.com or sent to our city office at Bhadaur House, Ludhiana.



Slum dwellers go without potable water for years
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
With the mercury hovering around 47 degrees Celsius the sweltering heat has made the lives of most city residents miserable. Adding to its woes a sizable section of the population consisting of those who live in shanties in slum areas has not had access to clean drinking water for the past two years.

Due to the extremely hot weather the water in a canal running through the city, on which these slum dwellers were largely dependent, has also dried up. Many have been forced to go from door to door to get their bottles filled with water.

According to municipal corporation officials, about 5,000 residents of Jamuna colony near Pakhowal Road had illegally built shanties by encroaching-upon two acres of land belonging to the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT).

"There are no provisions to supply water or electricity to encroachers. How can we arrange water for these people? Moreover, the land on which they have built their shanties is the property of the trust", said a civic body official.

Today these ‘jhuggi’ (shanty) dwellers held a protest at the MC’s zone D office without realizing that the land where they had built their shanties actually belonged to LIT.

Jamuna Bai, who heads a tribal group, said she has been living in the city for past three decades. "Young girls belonging to our community have to walk for at least two kilometers to get water in buckets/bottles. We had adjusted ourselves without water supply by concerned authorities as canal water was enough to quench our thirst. But due to extreme hot weather water in the canal has dried up. Now where should we go? One of my relatives, a 16-year-old boy died due to the extremely hot weather. However, our repeated pleas to the authorities have gone unheard", Jamuna complained.

RS Parmar, president of the All India Vimukat Jati Sewak Sang, said these ‘jhuggi’ dwellers belonged to various tribes who had come from Rajasthan and most of them were potters. "If not much else, we can at least provide them drinking water", he added.



No hitchhike from women

IT is not just women who are afraid to get a hitchhike from men, but the fear of sitting next the strange woman is evident in men as well. A man standing near a main intersection was trying hard to get a lift from every car driven by a male on a scorching day of May. But none of the vehicles stopped to give the poor man a lift.

A woman going to her office was stuck in a traffic jam and was moved by the plight of the man. She stopped her car by his side, offering him a lift in her car. Instead of thanking the woman, the man jumped and promptly refused her offer saying, “No thank you madam, I will prefer walking two kilometres rather than taking a lift from a stranger woman and landing in prison.”

The woman, unable to understand his reaction, threw her hands in the air and exclaimed, “What?” To which the ruffled man said, “Of course, no woman offers help without any motive.”

‘Bridging’  political gap

Although the Congress councillors in the mega city did not succeed in throwing open to public the Gill Road flyover, which has been completed and awaits formal inauguration by a VVIP, they did score a brownie point in the process to amply show the lapse on the part of civic administration and the ruling party.

It is a known fact that almost without exception such mega projects for infrastructure development are delayed beyond the scheduled time for completion. The delay, for whatsoever reason, not only denies a facility to the public who have to suffer longer, but also translates in escalation of the cost substantially.

For this simple reason alone, there is no justification for further delaying the use of a flyover, which has been constructed at the cost of several crores of public money. If a VVIP (read Sukhbir Badal, who was to inaugurate the flyover on May 18, but failed to keep the date) for this purpose is unavailable, the civic administration ought to have opened the flyover for public use as soon as it was ready, and the formal inauguration could have been done at a later date.

Overworked cops

A senior police official attends hundreds of calls on his mobile everyday. As the always ringing mobile phone hardly left any time for his personal calls, he recently purchased another phone thinking it would make things a bit easier for him.

Travelling back to the city, along with his wife in a car, the super cop kept his ears glued to both his cell phones, which were ringing constantly. In the process, he apparently forgot that his wife was also in the same car.

As one of the phones sounded a ring, the policeman picked it up without bothering to see the calling number. Used to hearing raucous male voices at the other hand, he was pleasantly surprised to hear a sweet voice of a woman. Even as he was trying to control his emotions, he got a friendly pat on his back and his wife muttered, “Don’t get any ideas. It is me travelling with you in the car for the past two hours. Your phones have kept you so busy that I thought I will also give you a ring and maybe get to talk to you for a while.”

Bland melons!

At times, it is interesting to watch people buying vegetables/fruits from rehri markets. The way they bargain with the vendors has to be seen to be believed. The other day while buying melons, I came across an interesting female from a well off family who left the vendors fuming.

As vendors were claiming that melons were sweet and buyers could get these tasted before buying, the female buyer went to a vendor and asked him to cut a melon. “See, the taste is bland,” she said. Then the second melon was cut and then the third. She said, “No, these are not good.” Then she went to another vendor, even here “melons were not sweet”.

Watching the activity, a vendor said, “Madam, I think you have taken some bitter medicine. We have cut at least seven melons, which you did not approve. You better wait for the next season. May be then you will get sweet ones!”

‘Blind’ followers

City women are quick in following the film stars. Be it clothes, hairstyle or fashion statement, they follow it all. Recently, when actress Shilpa Shetty Kundra was in the news for wearing mangalsutra on her wrist, city’s rich, fashion conscious women started following the Bollywood babe and in no time their mangalsutra went down to their wrist from their neck.

“She is always spotted wearing her mangalsutra when she steps out, but this time the diva took her style quotient to a new height. She was seen wearing a stylish peach short dress in a reality show and since it wasn’t an Indian design, Shilpa Shetty wore her mangalsutra around her wrist,” said Alisha, a fashion conscious woman from the city.

Alisha liked her idea to the core and now onwards whenever she is wearing a Western outfit, she prefers to have her mangalsutra around her wrist than on her neck. Alisha’s friend is also all praise for Shilpa’s improvisation. “It’s a cool way to wear the mangalsutra. As long as she’s committed to her man, it doesn’t matter if she wears it on her wrist or her head. It is equally important that it should gel with the outfit and not look like an artefact around the neck,” she added. Talk of ingenuity!

Beat the heat in vest!

Scorching summer has everyone panting. While most city residents are finding it hard to bear the hot weather, especially while outdoors, there are some enterprising men who have found a novel way to beat the summer heat.

Their mantra is quite simple. All they do is pull out a sparkling white vest from their wardrobe and don it while stepping out of their homes, sans a shirt atop. Be it in their swank cars or on powerful motorbikes, numerous men, of all ages, are seen sporting vests on city streets with a light cotton shirt tucked away in a handy poly bag.

The shirt saves them embarrassment in times of need and the vest saves the wearer from sweating. Smart way to beat the heat, for sure!

Contributed by: Anshu Seth, Kuldip Bhatia, Mohit Khanna, Shivani Bhakoo, Manav Mander, Charu Chhibber



Demand for power on the rise
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 24
The alarming rate at which the groundwater is depleting in most parts of the state with the paddy-wheat rotation of crops dominating the scenario, the demand for electricity from the agricultural sector has shot up manifold.

Even as farmers in Punjab have been raising a lot of hue and cry over what they term as inadequate electricity supply, causing huge loss of farm production, as many as 4,34,969 applications for new tubewell connections were pending with the Punjab State Power Corporation (Powercom) by the end of the last year.

In terms of load, the connected load of agricultural power (AP) in the state stood at 7,062 mw, while the pending connections would require another 1,593 mw of electricity, putting the power-starved state under greater stress.

Sources in the planning organisation of Powercom revealed that the lowering of the water table in nearly 100 of the 141 blocks being at critical level, the demand for extension of load from existing AP consumers, as also for new connections, has been increasing every year. "As against around 17,400 new tubewell connections released in 2005-06, the number has shot up to 59,682 in 2009. Similarly, the additional load of new AP connections, which was just 68 mw in 2005-06, had gone up to 350 mw during the last year."

The apprehension of the farmers that some 29 lakh hectares of cultivable land in Punjab with sole dependence on tubewells for irrigation is under grave threat, with the power situation continuing to be crisis-ridden to say the least, is not without basis. "Even if adequate power is available to provide assured supply to the farmers, the transmission and distribution network in the rural and suburban areas is so much overloaded that frequent tripping and breakdowns cannot be avoided," said officials of the distribution wing of Powercom.

Information made available suggests that in the central zone alone, out of a total number of 5,730 transformers in predominantly rural areas, as many as 3,558 were overloaded by 90 per cent or above, whereas 2,172 were having 90 per cent or less load.

"Contrary to common perception, it is the farm sector that takes away the lion’s share of the available power in the state, and still makes a lot of fuss," said a senior Powercom official, summing up the situation with his tongue-in-cheek remarks.



Green belts cry for maintenance
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
Ludhiana has only two-three parks for leisure of residents and that too are in a state of utter neglect. These poorly maintained parks are reportedly being managed by two councillors in which the benches and lights are broken, potable water is lacking and there is absolutely no provision for amusement for kids. The condition of these green belts is in a shambles, but authorities are yet to wake up.

As per information gathered by The Tribune, two of the three parks — Leisure Valley and Rakh Bagh — have been given on contract for maintenance purpose. The contracts will end next year. Both the contractors have been provided with a cafeteria at both the parks from where they earn a handsome amount of money. They are just to maintain these green belts, which are at the heart of city, but they fail to do so.

An elderly couple, which used to go to Rakh Bagh for morning walk said there were poor seating arrangements in the park. “We are old and get tired soon. We need to sit for five minutes to take rest, but there are not sufficient benches here. The other day a senior citizen felt uneasy, but he had to walk for a few metres to get respite (bench),” said the couple.

“Only two-three places are left in the city where there is still greenery and people prefer to spend some time here. But seeing the pathetic condition, we have started going to the PAU for morning stroll,” said Bhupinder Kumar, a senior citizen, further complaining that the wild grass in parks was not being trimmed regularly.

The issue was brought into the General House about a year back by Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Kumar Bansal, but nothing has been done till date. One of these contractors had to start amusement train (toy-train) for kids, but that too did not work.

Mahinder Pal, Additional Commissioner and in charge, horticulture wing of the LMC, said the issue was discussed in F and CC meeting recently and the contractors had been warned.

“The contracts will end next year. We have warned them (contractors) and hope that they will bring improvements. As far as Rose Garden is concerned, we are hiring an agency for the landscaping and tenders will be floated soon,” he said.



Box-making unit gutted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
A wooden box-making factory at New Azad Nagar, Bahadurke Road, caught fire in the wee hours today. Residents of the area rued that due to the "callous" approach of the Fire Department, the fire spread in the area and it took six hours to control it.

Eyewitnesses complained that despite making calls to the Fire Department, fire-fighting vans were sent after about an hour, but by then, the wooden factory was turned into ashes.

Prem Chand, the owner of the factory, said he was sleeping at his residence, which was near the factory. "When neighbours raised an alarm, only then we came to know about the fire. We called up the fire station, but nobody picked up the phone. By then, the fire had already spread. Had they reached early, much loss could have been prevented," said Prem Chand, adding that 20 fire-fighting vans came to douse the fire.

Meanwhile, residents have asked the administration to file a case against the owner of the factory.

Subhash Garg, a resident of the area, complained that since the factory was being run in residential area, it had posed a great threat to the neighbours. "The owner has stocked huge piles of wood in the vacant plots, if such an incident happens again, there can be loss of lives as well. The factory must be shifted from residential area," demanded Garg.

In another incident at Focal Point, phase XI, hosiery goods were gutted. Three fire-fighting vans were sent to control the fire. No life loss was reported. 



Crematorium caretakers dispose ash near rly tracks
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
In gross violation of the religious sentiments of the people, ash of “unidentified” bodies brought to the crematorium near the Sherpur Chowk is being disposed off near the railway tracks.

Neither the local bodies nor the district administration has taken notice of the heaps of ash lying near the rear gate of this crematorium.

Rohit Sabharwal, president, anti-corruption and crime investigation cell, a city-based NGO, brought the matter to the notice of The Tribune. Thereafter, The Tribune reporter visited the site along with the cameraman who captured the “grotesque picture”.

This mound of ash is spread almost over 50 metres. The old ash mixed with dust has hardened whereas the breeze takes the fresh ones away.

A large number of earthen pots, sacred threads, pieces of burnt cloths used during the funeral too can be seen scattered at these mounds of ash.

The residents living nearby said the heap of ash is constantly increasing, as it is convenient for the crematoriums’ caretakers to discard the remains after the funeral from the back gate that opens on the railway tracks.

So much so that the heaps of ash have taken the form of mounds, which have hundreds of bones, buried underneath.

“The very thought of passing from the stretch sends shivers down my spine, especially when I think of the youths who die in accidents are unceremoniously cremated due to the lack of identity,” said Padma Lamba, a resident of the area.

Taking note of this issue, the anti-corruption and crime investigation cell has decided to register a case against the crematorium authorities. The above act is a punishable offense under Sections 268 (creating nuisance in public), 295-A (for hurting the religious sentiments of the people) under the IPC.

On top of that every unidentified body cremated here belongs to the person who follows one particular religion, thus it is the responsibility of the crematorium authorities to perform the “religious rites”.

Shyam Narayan, a temple priest, said: “According to Hindus, the reasons for preferring to destroy the corpse by fire, over burying it into ground, is to induce a feeling of detachment into the freshly disembodied spirit, which will help in encouraging it to pass to “the other world”, the ultimate destination of the dead.”



Avoid Soft Drinks
Street vendors dishing out unsafe drinks
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
With the mercury soaring to 46 degrees Celsius city residents of all ages are finding it tough to engage in routine physical activities in the unusually hot weather for May. To quench their thirst and also to ward off dehydration many people consume various blended drinks sold by roadside vendors, often falling ill as contaminated water is invariably used in preparing them.

Though setting up ‘chabeels’ (which serve cold water), all over the city may be a commendable exercise, they are one of the major sources of stomach infections and waterborne ailments.

Reports from PAU’s meteorology department point towards a rise of 2 to 3.8 degrees C in maximum and minimum temperatures during the last two weeks of May as compared to temperatures during the same month in previous years.

Dr KK Gill, head of the meteorology department at PAU, said this year during the last three months i.e. March, April and May, only 4.4 mm of rainfall was recorded on 20th April otherwise whole the period was totally dry against the normal rainfall of 66 mm of this period.

Referring to the observations made by the Indian meteorological department, Gill said the severe heat wave conditions would continue during the next two days.

Doctors have urged city residents to avoid going out in the sun and consume only drinks that are prepared at home. They advise 10 to 12 glasses of water should be drunk in a day to keep dehydration at bay in extremely hot weather.

Dr Chanchal Gera of Christian Medical College & Hospital said incidents of typhoid, diarrhoea and hepatitis A increase in summer due to contaminated water.

“The administration should formulate a strict law against serving water at roadside ‘chabeels’ without proper checks by the health and family welfare department. The water is kept in unclean containers and is chilled with unhygienic ice”, said Gera.



Black day for some, much-awaited for many
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
The completion of the much-awaited Gill Chowk flyover, due to be thrown open to traffic tomorrow, is expected to leave many young people jobless. The latter used to make money by helping motorcyclists and scooterists in crossing the rail tracks below the flyover.

Rajesh, a resident of Dashmesh, one among many such youths who till now were earning an average of Rs 400 to Rs 500 every month, is now trying to figure out future job options.

The anguish of being rendered jobless is evident on their faces as till now they used to take home a sizable amount of money. From now on these youths, mostly illiterate, will have to look for some menial job to afford two square meals a day.

“Many youngsters residing in our colony are hooked on drugs but we never wanted to ruin our lives like them. We decided to earn our livelihood by putting in hard work. When construction of the Gill Chowk flyover began we found an opportunity to make money legally”, said Rajesh.

For nearly a year he helped motorcyclists to cross the rail tracks. “Every day we used to take motorcycles and scooters to the other side of the rail track, charging Rs 5 from every owner. Every one of us made nearly Rs 15,000 in a month, which was quite a big amount considering our lack of education,” said Rajesh.

However, he is not disheartened. “It’s not the end of the world. I strongly believe in hard work and feel if you persevere you can overcome all difficulties. If we have just lost a means to earn our livelihood here we will find another job somewhere else - that is life, isn’t it?” he asked.

Flyover opens today

The Rs 22.5 crore bridge will be inaugurated on Wednesday by Punjab Deputy Chief Minster Sukhbir Singh Badal. The project, which created numerous problems for commuters after construction began 18 months ago, will ease traffic on the Jagraon Bridge and other busy locations in the city.



Designs bang on target
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
Manufacturers participating in the Knits and Wear 2010, a buyer-seller meet under way here, are happy at the response, with orders pouring in. Even in the sweltering heat, people have been booking orders for woollens for this winter.

Traders are happy as they are getting several orders now, which gives them enough time for manufacturing their products.

Vishal Miglani from Kinsfolk, dealing in men’s winter wear, and Sanjay Jain from Indra Hosiery say they have got a good response from buyers.

“We have got 120 orders and still two days are left. This meet has proved to be a good platform for both buyers and sellers,” says the former.

“We are getting orders for winter. Getting orders at this time will give us enough time for manufacturing finished products,” says the latter.

Sudershan Jain, another manufacturer, says knitwear manufacturers have focused more on latest fashion trends, attractive colours and designs this year.

“The best part is that new entrepreneurs are showcasing their products. The expo will not only help us cater to domestic markets, but also be a step towards entering markets worldwide,” he says.

Going European

Italian and English designs, besides other European ones, are ruling Knits and Wear 2010. Trade pundits predict that the European-style princess dress will be a hit this winter. Princess-style knitted frock in net and wool for children has appealed to many buyers. Several orders have been placed for Italian-style jersey with embroidery for men and ‘kurtas’ with Kashmiri embroidery, net, wool, organza and ‘anzora’.



Residents’ plea to SAD for overbridge
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 24
Residents of this town and surrounding villages have sought the intervention of SAD leaders for getting their long-pending demand for a railway overbridge accepted.

Cabinet minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa and Dhuri MLA Iqbal Singh Jhoondan have assured them that they will impress upon the Chief Minister to take up the issue.

The residents have urged the railway authorities to direct local station officials to have a schedule for the closure of the level crossings on both sides of the railway station.

Frequent closure of level crossings at the Pohir and Jagera roads has been causing inconvenience to motorists and pedestrians, residents and shopkeepers alike.

Jagwant Singh Jaggie, senior vice-president of the district unit of the SAD, has alleged that officials do not care for rules governing level crossings.

“These crossings sometimes remain closed for a long duration for multiple passage and shuttling, testing our patience,” he rues.

The residents allege that there have been frequent scuffles with railway employees manning the crossings over closure for a longer duration.

Owners of shops and workshops on both sides of the roads have regretted that the administration has done nothing to save their business.

Impatience of commuters usually leads to bottlenecks, followed by scuffles. At times, it takes hours to clear the traffic jams and resolve disputes.



Protesters demand staff regularisation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
The Bhartiya Balmiki Sewa Dal (Bhawadas) organised a dharna here today to protest against the Mayor and senior officials of the municipal corporation for not regularising employees of mohalla sanitation committees.

Vir Surinder Kalyan, president of the body, said their long-pending demand for regularisation of employees was not being met for a long time.

“They are testing our patience. We have been requesting and appealing to the authorities to regularise the employees, but to no avail. We have been forced to adopt the path of agitation,” he said.



Medical camp marks Sarabha’s birth anniversary
Our Correspondent

Raikot, May 24
A free medical camp was organised at the SKSS Group of Medical Institutes at Sarabha village to mark the birth anniversary celebrations of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha today.

The great martyr had laid down his life at the tender age of 19 for the cause of freedom of India.

Like previous years, we dedicated the day to this great soul with Guru Granth Sahib Paath in early morning, said Avtar Singh Grewal, chairman of the SKSS Trust.

Specialists in medicine, surgery, gynae, paediatrics, orthopaedics, ophthalmology, dentistry, skin and ENT provided free services at the camp, organised at Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Multi-specialty Hospital. Medicines were dispensed free of cost to the patients. Consultation on HIV & Hepatitis-C infections was provided free by the experts. Spirometry, a lung test costing about Rs 1,200 was done free of cost. Besides langar, about 400 patients were examined and given free medicines.



PAU Notes 
Mainstreaming conservation agriculture to benefit farmers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 24
Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, today deliberated on the new developments in conservation agriculture (CA) during an interactive meeting with Dr Patrick Wall, director of the Global Conservation Agriculture Programme (GCAP) of International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), Mexico.

Dr Kang discussed about the ways in which the CA can be mainstreamed in the technology transfer programme of the state for the benefit of the farmers.

Dr Wall mentioned that keeping in view the decelerating productivity growth and deteriorating natural resources due to faulty management practices, the food security in the future was under threat. “The challenges before us are to produce more with less land and water resources, changing climatic patterns and higher costs, indicating agriculture becoming unsustainable and unattractive,” he said.

In this respect, CA, which is based on the principles of the reduction in tillage, crop residue mulching and efficient crop rotations, holds promise in addressing the issues of natural resource health and profitable farming under the shifting natural resource scenario.

Foundation stone

Dr Manjit Singh Kang today laid the foundation stone of the Akal College for Women at his native village, Khamano, in Fatehgarh Sahib. The college is being run by Sri Kalgidhar Trust, Baru Sahib, Himachal Pradesh. The PAU VC’s father Gurdit Singh Kang had donated 10 acres and Rs 18 lakh for the establishment of the college.

GS Kang said if a woman is educated, the entire family is educated. He has promoted the cause of value-based living through his writings. He has published 10 books during 2009-10.



From Schools & Colleges
Interactive session

Ludhiana: Ram Lal Bhasin Public School organised an interaction session with Balraj Bhasin, president of the school, who is an entrepreneur and an educationist.

On the request of the RBeez, Bhasin visited the school for this interactive session. The interaction started with a warm welcome by students and staff members. The president answered the queries of the students, who asked questions from all spheres of life.

Bhasin gave candid answers and satisfied their inquisitiveness. He motivated the students to work hard in order to excel in life.


To celebrate Guru Amar Dass’ birth anniversary, a shabad gayan competition was held at Guru Amar Dass Public School, Jalandhar. The competition witnessed participation of 30 schools from all over Punjab with their teams singing in their melodious voices. The shabads were sung in raagas from Gurbani of Guru Granth Sahib. The teams gave tough competition to each other.

Students of GN International Senior Secondary Public School, Model Town, sang the shabad ‘Kahan Bhuleo Re Jhuthe Lobh Laag’ and won the competition.

NSS Camp

Today, on the fifth day of the seven-day special NSS camp organised by Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, the NSS volunteers carried out door-to-door campaigning at Gill village with the objective of spreading awareness about the environment.

The NSS volunteers also cautioned people with the dangerous effect of plastic and polythene bags. They urged people to use eco-friendly bags made of cloth, jute and paper.

Another objective of this campaign was to spread awareness about various alternatives for conventional fuels like petrol, diesel and the LPG. The NSS volunteers also made an effort for the cleanliness of the religious monuments by inspiring the masses to save their heritage.

The rally was followed by planting of various trees like neem, peepal, tahli and dharek in the village.


Ivanna Institute of Fashion Technology and Hotel Management completed its eight years today, which was celebrated by the students and staff of the institute. The institute has been instrumental in providing a successful career to many of it pass outs. — TNS



Youth killed, 4 hurt in accident

Samrala, May 24
One person was killed and four others injured when a Tata Tempo, loaded with liquor pouches, overturned near Kubbe village on the Neelon-Doraha road this morning. According to information, the tempo was coming from Doraha side. When it reached near Kubbe village one of its rear tyres busted and it overturned in the middle of the road.

While Sham Lal (22), a resident of Nepal, who was sitting on the liquor pouches, died on the spot, Shemsher, Rajinder, Teju and Shinda were seriously injured. They were rushed to the civil hospital, Samrala.

The highway patrolling party, with the help of villagers, cleared the road for traffic that remained blocked for about half an hour. The liquor pouches belonged to a wine contractor of Ludhiana and were taken to a wine shop at Neelon. No case was registered in this regard. — OC



Two boxers win medals
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 24
Sandeep Singh of the Sher-e-Punjab sports academy at Chakar village has won a gold medal during the 43rd Punjab Youth Men’s Boxing Championship. He bagged gold in the 52-kg category during the meet, organised by the Kapurthala Boxing Association at Phagwara from May 20 to 22.

The village sarpanch gave him a cash prize of Rs 5,100 on his return. Harpreet Singh of the same academy won a bronze medal during the meet.



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