L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


300 trees along NH-I simply vanish
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 2
In a startling development, as many as 300 trees, spread across 2 km along the NH-1 at Doraha, have “disappeared”. The matter came to light when The Tribune got hold of a letter in which a contractor, who got the contract to cut the trees for Rs 13.75 lakh, brought the issue of the missing trees to the notice of the forest department.

As soon as the “anomaly” surfaced, department officials went into a huddle. According to sources, the department compensated the contractor and he was offered an alternative site at the NH-1.

The sources said it had been over two months since the Punjab State Forest Development Corporation MD, Kuldeep Singh, ordered a probe into the matter, but nothing has come of it.

Sources in the forest department said some bigwigs in the department were trying to suppress the matter as it would expose the nexus between corrupt officers and wood traders.

According to a letter dated March 22, the copy of which is with The Tribune, the department issued the contract of the site to the contractor on January 7 for Rs 13.75 lakh. The timber company submitted nearly Rs 9 lakh to the department. On February 15, the timber trader complained to the forest department that there were no trees on the site allotted to him.

Senior officials then swooped into action and asked the forest officer concerned to file a detailed report on when the trees were cut and the money paid to the department.

Kuldeep Singh said he could not comment on the matter offhand. “Let me go through the details. Only then would I be able to speak on the matter,” he said.


Soft drinks up diabetes risk among kids
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 2
Excessive consumption of soft drinks has led to a perceptible rise in the incidence of type 2 diabetes among children aged two to 14 years. Kids having one or more soft drinks in a day are risk prone as these beverages have high sugar content, which also leads to obesity.

Dr Ramanbeer Singh, a physician at the city’s SPS Apollo Hospital, said,“ I have come across at least 100 children who suffered from type 2 diabetes in the past two years.However, ensuring that these kids exercise regularly and regulating their dietary pattern does help in managing their diabetes to a large extent. However, in type 1 diabetes the children have to be put on insulin for the rest of their lives.”

Doctors are of the view that soft drinks should not be made available in homes as well as educational institutions so as to discourage their consumption by children. It was found some diabetic children even took three to four soft drinks in a day.

Referring to recent cases of type 2 diabetes among children aged below 18, Dr Chanchal Gera of Christian Medical College and Hospital said,“ Soft drinks that are high in calories are major contributors to

obesity. As a result pancreatic functioning gets impaired, thereby resulting in insulin resistance.”

Blaming the rise in diabetes among kids on their parents who often encourage a sedentary lifestyle, Dr Naveen Mittal, an endocrinologist at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, advised parents to keep their children from playing on computers and watching TV. "Instead children should play outdoor games for at least two hours a day," he said.

Weary of having to deal with her diabetes, Sannat, 11, decided to forego junk food and soft drinks and exercise for at least two hours a day. "I just don't want to end up being a diabetic for the rest of my life. Hence I practice yoga for almost an hour day and play badminton followed by cycling in the evening every day," she said.

Metabolic syndrome risk

Drinking more than one soft drink or soda, whether diet or regular, in a day can increase the risk of metabolic syndrome, according to researchers in Boston, Massachusetts who studied data from the Framingham Heart Study involving nearly 9,000 personal observations. Metabolic syndrome is a “cluster of risk factors” that can lead to both heart disease and diabetes

Calcium loss in bones

Carbonation in all soft drinks causes loss of calcium in bones through a three-stage process. The carbonation irritates the stomach, which “cures” the irritation the only way it knows how. It adds the only antacid at its disposal: calcium. It gets this from the blood. The blood, now low on calcium, replenishes its supply from the bones. Failure to do this could lead muscular and brain function being severely impaired



CBSE Helpline
Mothers more prone to post-result blues
Sumedha Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 2
Going by the calls being received by the post-result helpline of the CBSE, it’s not Class X students, but their mothers who are suffering from post-result blues. Out of 14,000 calls received over the last 10 days, over 5,600 are from anxious mothers who want help to put at ease their apprehensions about admissions, streams and performance of their wards.

“Ever since the Class X result was declared, the phone hasn’t stopped ringing. Not only students, but also parents, especially mothers, have been calling. The 37-odd counsellors are taking 40 calls each daily. While students call us to seek career guidance, the choice of streams and even colleges, their mothers seem to be more anxious and are facing bouts of depression and are seeking psychological counselling,” CBSE spokesperson Rama Sharma stated.

“I think it’s the introduction of the CGPA that has made the helpline more relevant. Rampant confusion is making people call us to seek guidance, specially

regarding admissions. The encouraging fact this time is that the number of students suffering from post-result blues has decreased drastically while parents seem to have gotten more anxious,” a counsellor from Delhi stated.

The counselling was introduced a few years ago by the board to help students cope with stress and also answer career-related queries. Toll-free numbers were provided and about 40 principals and counsellors were appointed from 38 cities, including Chandigarh, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Faridabad, Bhubaneswar, Vishakhapatnam, Jamnagar, Mumbai and Bhilai.



A few govt schools stand out
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 2
This year’s performance of students of various government-run schools in this district in the Punjab State Education Board Class XII examinations has come as a big surprise. While some of the schools have fared exceptionally well, there are others which have done very poorly. There is yet another category of schools which have left a lot to be desired.

This year's results have been an eye-opener as in previous years government schools have churned out numerous toppers besides dominating the merit lists.

Students of only two government schools in the city have bagged prominent places in the merit list - Government Senior Secondary Model School, PAU, with five merits and Government Senior Secondary School for Boys, Jawahar Nagar Camp, with four merits. A few others have had to be content with one topper each in the merit roll while the majority of schools have none.

Commenting on government schools' performance in the examinations, Ludhiana district education officer Bacchitar Singh said: "Though government schools have lagged behind this year in achieving merits, there are many who have scored a perfect 100 when it comes to the number of pass candidates”.

He added the pass percentage of government school students has been better than the previous years.

"One can’t compare government schools with those that are privately run. There is a world of difference in the facilities available in private schools."

About the schools that have disappointed with dismal results, Bachhitar said, "I’ll get the results of each school in the district and carefully examine them. Those found wanting, will be asked for explanation and suitable action will be initiated accordingly."

He revealed no school in the district was now without basic facilities and infrastructure. "Thus I see no reason for poor performance on that account," he averred, brushing aside the possibility of schools seeking exemption from being penalized for poor performance on that plea.



3 class XII toppers shown as ‘failed’
Bhushan Sood

Amloh, June 2
Though four students of the Government Senior Secondary School (Boys), Amloh, made it to the merit list of the Punjab School Education Board class XII examinations, three of them were earlier shown in the results as having failed.

In the results the names of only one of the four toppers, Gurpreet Singh, who scored 392 out of 450 marks, figured in the merit list. The other three - Jashandeep Kaur, Parneet Kaur and Ramanjit Singh - were shown in the failed category.

The worried parents of these students accompanied by schoolteachers went to the Punjab School Education Board office in Mohali on Tuesday and the mistake was detected. In the revised results the three students were shown as having secured 399, 386 and 385 out of 450 marks, respectively.

Every one of the 200 students who appeared in all streams passed the exams. Five students of the school scored 100 per cent marks in mathematics. Meanwhile, the principal of the Government Senior Secondary School, Shamashpur, Ashwani Kumar, said in a press release issued today that all students of the school had passed the PSEB class XII examinations.



Topper proves disability no hurdle
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 2
Nineteen-year-old Rahul Duggal's disability has not been a deterrent to achieving academic excellence. The gutsy student of SCD Government College for Boys, who has to depend on a writer to write his examination papers, has proved this once again by topping in the BCA (2nd year) exam among boys in this district with 80 per cent marks.

Rahul, who is no stranger to success, has been an achiever throughout. The teenager was the district’s topper in the Class X and XII examinations held by the Punjab State Education Board. In the BCA (1st year) exam too, he ranked first in the district with 78 per cent marks.

Rahul's struggle began when he was barely nine years old and was studying in Class V. Afflicted with mylites post viral at a tender age, he lost the ability to walk and talk.

"We took him all over the country to get him treated. All doctors had given up hope for his recovery but with his sheer determination and grit he managed to recuperate and regain his ability to talk within six months”, Rahul's mother, Jaya, said.

However, still confined to bed, Rahul had a long struggle ahead of him. Though keen to study he was denied admission by the city's educational institutions. This is where his mother took over the responsibility to fulfill her child's dream. Giving up a flourishing career in teaching Jaya pledged to fight for her son.

"When I said I wanted to study, mummy vowed to make that possible. Together she and I studied till late in the night as she held the book in front of me and solved questions, which I then memorised," reflected Rahul, recalling his days of struggle.

Bedridden, he appeared as a private candidate in the PSEB Class VIII exam and scored a first division. Thereafter, though his condition improved and he could walk with the help of an assistant, he still had to utilize the service of a writer. Yet, he went onto to top the district in the Class X and XII board exams. His winning streak continued in college too.

Rahul has been honoured with 29 awards, including payment of all college fees, by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and an award presented by local MP Manish Tewari, among others. He also has to his credit an appreciation letter by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for his extraordinary achievements.

Aspiring to be a software engineer, Rahul credits his success to his mother who, as a single parent, faced tremendous difficulties in bringing up her children.

"My mother and my younger sister Neha are the women behind my success," smiled a shy Rahul, whose best friends are motivational books.



Neha Jindal 3rd in PU in BBA III
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 2
Neha Jindal of BBA III, student of Kamla Lohtia SD College, has bagged the third position in Panjab University, Chandigarh. The overall result of BBA III of the college is 100 per cent. Neha Jindal secured 79.9 per cent marks while Binny and Aditi Goyal secured 75.7 and 75.2 percent marks respectively.

In BBA II, the result is 95 per cent. In BBA II, Manish is first in the college with 71.10 per cent marks, while Prabhjeet and Promil have secured 69.44 and 69.17 per cent respectively.

In BCA I, Ishan is first in the college with 77.87 per cent marks while Amit Chopra and Satwinder Kaur have secured 69.62 and 69.37 per cent respectively.

Principal Dr RL Behl congratulated Prof Rajesh Marwaha, head of the department, and other staff members of the Commerce And Management Department. The principal stressed that this was only possible through the teamwork and consistent efforts of the staff members.

President Naveen Mittal and members of the managing committee congratulated the principal, staff members and students on this great achievement.



The Crossroads
Engineer with flair for writing

It is seldom that an engineer or a doctor takes a pen in his hand for some poetic composition or fictional writing, but whenever it has happened, the results have been admirable.
Karamjit Singh Aujla
Karamjit Singh Aujla

Karamjit Singh Aujla is a chemical engineer and his creativity in literary field has been applauded. He is a novelist, short-story writer, dramatist, poet, biographer and an essayist. That’s not all he likes drawing, painting and clay-modelling. All this is a result of his conscious attempt.

He was born on 21 December, 1941, at Bhalojala village, near Beas. After his schooling at different places, including Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa High School, Baba Bakala, he went to Benaras Hindu University for BTech. He worked as a technical manager with a multinational firm in Ludhiana in 1977. After his retirement in 2001, he was re-employed by the firm on a special duty. His wife Maninderjeet Kaur is a voracious reader and a social activist.

Aujla joined Flying Club at Hissar during 1961-1962, where he received training at the aircraft Rohini. Later, he could go on solo flights. The person who wanted to fly high in the sky was grounded after 20 years. On September 4, 1983, he even lost his eyesight. As a production superintended he had an accidental exposure to inhalation of cyanide gas. He was operated upon after four months at Shankra Netralya in Chennai. On December 21, 1983, his partial eyesight was restored, but the second operation in May 1984 failed to bear results, rendering the other eye totally blind. Despite all odds, he has been doing a wonderful service to life, literature, Sikhism and Punjabi culture ever since.

Notably, he has contributed seven novels, four short stories books, four prose books, two biographies, one play and several other writings on sundry topics. He is also editing a monthly journal “Seva Lehar”, devoted to Sikhism. In literary circles, he is prominent as a novelist as he is fully conversant with the art and craft of fiction. He wrote his first novel “Aav na Jeevia Jaaye” as well as his first play “Samay Samay de Rung” in 1988. The play was adjudged as best play of the year by languages department, Punjab. His novel “Loha te Agg” needs special mention as it was rated first by the Royal Society of Librarians, UK, on the basis of its readership abroad.

His novels “Koor Phire Pardhan”, “Aapanian de Udeek”, “Uch Neech” and “Chhewan te Satvaan Darya” depict the crosscurrents of social, political and religious issues in Punjab.

A couplet by Isralul Haq Majaz Luckhnavi best defines persons like Aujla who do a lot for others, but refrain from expecting anything for themselves —

“Sub ka to madava kar dala

Apna hi madava kar na sake

Sub ka to girebaan see dale

Apna hi girebaan bhul gye.” (I took care of others, neglecting my own needs. I mended the torn front-garments of others, but forgot to mend my own). — NS Tasneem



Board position holders felicitated
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 2
Rajni, student of Swami Roop Chand Jain Senior Secondary School, here, has not only bought honour to the school but the entire city by securing the first position in Jagraon and overall seventh position in the state in PSEB class XII exams in the arts stream. She has acquired 413 marks out of 450.

Principal Surinder Kaur Sidhu and the management committee congratulated Rajni for her achievement but Rajni attributed the success to her parents, principal and the staff.

On the other hand, Kanika Arora, student of Sanmati Vimal Jain Senior Secondary School brought laurels for the school by securing 21st position in the Punjab merit list of PSEB class XII exams in the science stream.

In Ludhiana district she is adjudged third while she stands first in Jagraon Tehsil. Shashi Jain, principal of the school, and Rajesh Jain, president of the management committee, while congratulating her for the success also thanked the staff of the school for the hard work put in by them. A software engineer aspirant Kanika said she was not satisfied with her result as she was eying for the first position.



1 lakh saplings to be planted
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 2
The NGO, Anti Corruption Crime Prevention and Community Oriented Policing Society (ACCP COPS), will plant about one-lakh saplings in collaboration with the Forest Department in the next quarter. The decision was announced at a meeting by Rajesh Jain, state president of the society that was presided over by Varinder Singh Sant, the national president of the society yesterday.

Sant said their drive of planting saplings would be dedicated to Environment Conservation Day. He said they had forwarded a request in this regard to the district forest officer Vishal Chauhan during the meeting and he was stated to have assured the NGO that all possible measures would be taken to meet their demand on priority. Sant also appealed all the NGOs of the area and like-minded persons to come forward for the cause of safeguarding the environment and join hands with them.

Jain said the saplings would be planted village wise through out the Ludhiana Rural area by forming committees in the villages thatwill not only be responsible for the plantation drive but also for taking care of their growth. Davinder Singh, the state secretary, speaking on the occasion said the global warming was actual the result of deforestation. He said only by planting more trees the human race could survive in future.



‘All Izzz Well’ summer camp from June 6
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 2
The Sutlej Club is organising the "All Izzz Well" Summer Camp, from June 6, 2010, to June 20. The club has been holding summer camps during the vacations for school/college-going children of the club members.

Sanjeev Dhanda, general secretary of the club, while informing about the camp said some spectacular events would be part of the summer camp this time.

Tarla Dalal, who streamlined the eating habits in India and pioneer in the field of cookery, will be at the summer camp from Mumbai.

"Her books are best sellers even today and she has authored highest number of books during last three decades. Chefs from Taj group of hotels, Ista group of hotels, Nestles, Bector's Cremica are also participating in the events," he said.

President awardee Anees Siddiquie will take workshop on calligraphy on how to improve handwriting, different styles of writing, artistic pen craft and designing on handmade cards.

Dhanda further stated that the club was holding seminars and invited VLCC, Lakme, Shahnaz Hussain and Venus Blossom to give tips on make-up, facials etc.



‘Vacation time best to learn bhangra’
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, June 2
A 15-day long workshop on 'Bhangra and other folk dances of Punjab' commenced at Saraswati Model Senior Secondary School, Doraha, today.

Principal DS Gosain said the workshop was meant for one and all .He also said that all participants were showing great interest in the workshop as it was their vacation time and they could easily devote time to such activities, which were essential for their all round personality development.

“This workshop is organised every year to teach the kids as well as the grown ups the importance of Punjabi folk dances and at the same time discourage the increasing attraction of students for the western dances, under the influence of which the Punjabi children are adopting artificial living standards and moving away from their roots”, Gosain expressed.

Anish Bhanot, the bhangra coach said many such workshops were organised during vacations, as this was the time that the kids could put in their best .He also said that such workshops were simultaneously being conducted in various schools and colleges so that the students could learn folk dances apart from spending their vacations fruitfully. Apart from developing self-confidence, these budding youngsters get a platform to exhibit their talent and shun their hesitation in front of their learning counterparts”, the coach added.



Tips on oral hygiene
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 2
Ignoring medical advice about oral hygiene and dental care, majority of the schoolchildren rush while they brush their teeth.

This was observed during a dental check-up and oral hygiene awareness camp organised by Aryan Dental Care Center at Shree Guru Teg Bahadur Public School, Kanganwal near here. Isher Singh inaugurated the camp and Bhupinder Singh Moranwali presided over it.

According to Dr Vikas and Dr Meera Raj majority of the schoolchildren were not taught about ideal method of brushing their teeth. “Instead of cleaning teeth properly by moving brush in ideal manner they usually rush while they brush. This instead of protecting teeth harms them at times,” said Dr Meera regretting even elders were not conscious about significance of oral hygiene.

Dr Shiraj demonstrated ideal mode of brushing teeth. Students were provided free tooth brushes and pastes.



‘Inspirational leadership, innovation, key to success’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 2
Inspirational leadership, sustainable customer value, excellence in results, inspiring high performance, continuous improvement and innovation are key factors for excellence in business, said Anil Kumar, executive director, Shreyans Group of Industries, in a lecture to the members of the Ludhiana Management Association.

Dr KNS Kang, general secretary, Ludhiana Management Association, VK Goyal, president, LMA, and Sachit Jain, vice-president, Ludhiana Management Association, along with businessmen and members of the association were also present on the occasion.

Kang said, “There is no end to excellence in this highly dynamic and competitive environment. The quality standards set by the organisation 10 years back are no more relevant in the present times. To be competitive, organisations have to continuously redraft and realign their targets and excellence parameters to remain challenging and competitive.”

Kumar, while addressing the members, said that reaching excellence meant aiming high, enjoying our work and doing what we believed in and believe in what we did. He explained that passion is fire; thirst and obsession that linked with action help you to achieve top position in life. He highlighted that we need excellence because customers have become demanding, expect performance, Innovation in products, features, design, delivery, maintainability and customer service, quality and price.

While highlighting the characteristics of excellent companies, he said that excellent organisations were those who were successful in choosing markets against any competition regardless size and money spent. Such companies have control over their competitors and they struggle to emulate their success. 



Steel Prices: Traders seek regulatory authority
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 2
Steel industry that is reeling under scarcity and ever increasing prices will heave a sigh of relief as it is expected that the production of steel will almost double by 2012.

Virbhadra Singh, Minister for Steel, said by 2012 the production of steel in India would go up from 59 million tons to 115 million tons which will help in decreasing its prices. The minister also informed that the regional office of the Steel Authority of India would be opened at Chandigarh.

A delegation of the Punjab Chapter of Federation of Associations of Small Industries of India met Steel minister in Chandigarh.

“The ever-increasing prices of steel have become a cause of concern for the industry. Steel users in Punjab and elsewhere are up in arms due to irrational prices and the steel producers are operating in a cartelized manner,” said Badish K Jindal, chairman of the association.

The delegation told the minister that the industry was suffering due to the fluctuating steel prices and the industry was also facing the scarcity of the flat steel products in Punjab.

Members of the association said, as the steel prices were cheap in China as compared to India, so a steel price regulatory authority should be constituted in India.

“The large steel consumers are getting the material at lower cost as compared to small steel consumers, which is giving a tough time to the small steel consuming sector,” said Jindal.

They also urged him to restart freight equalisation policy. The minister assured them that a quarterly price policy would soon be formed. This would help in controlling the fluctuating steel prices.



Kalia moots pvt varsities by religious bodies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 2
Punjab’s Minister for Industries and Local Bodies Manoranjan Kalia has urged the religious organisations to come forward and establish state- level private universities where youths be taught to put-in their efforts to build stronger nation. Kalia expressed these views while inaugurating newly built charitable hospital by the Durga Mata Mandir Trust, near Jagraon Bridge here today.

Kalia said the social organisations and NGOs were doing great job by helping poor and needy in society. "There is no other work, which can provide so much satisfaction. Others should get an inspiration from such organisations and come forward to serve for the noble cause".

The minister said there was erosion of moral values in society. Appreciating trust for doing efforts to serve needy, Kalia said there was a need to inculcate social values into the young generation. From his discretionary quota, Kalia announced an amount of Rs 3 lakh for the trust.



DC raids revenue offices, warns 4 patwaris
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, June 2
Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari raided the registrar’s as well as the patwarkhana’s office here today. The Deputy Commissioner checked the DDR (daily diary report) of four patwaris and found them incomplete.

Though he let them go by issuing warning only, sources revealed that the Deputy Commissioner was tipped off about the serious irregularities in the registrar office and the patwarkhana. He is stated to have received numerous complaints regarding the rampant corruption in these offices and the habit of officials of remaining absent.

The sources also revealed that a strict warning had been issued to the naib tehsildar Bhupinder Singh for not keeping his records updated. The Deputy Commissioner, however, refuted having received any such complaints and termed his visit as a routine. But he agreed that a warning has been issued to a few revenue officials.



Non-payment of power bills
BKU(L) dares govt to snap connections
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 2
The BKU Lakhowal (BKU-L) today threatened that if the government dared to snap their power and water connections due to the non-payment of bills then they would have face the music. Puran Singh Shahkot, BKU-L general secretary, stated this.

“Instead of providing free power to the farmers, the government is all set to add to their burden with power bills and that too for disrupted power supply of three hours,” Shahkot said.

The union members demanded eight hours regular supply from June 10 onwards adding that the plan of action will depend upon the government’s response to their demands. “Last year’s paddy crop failure has done enough loss to the farmers and we don’t want farmers to suffer on account of power blues,” warned Ajmer Singh Gill, senior BKU-L leader.

Pointing at ever-increasing number of suicides by farmers and farm labour, Shahkot called upon the state government for immediate release of Rs 800 crore given by the Centre to the state government as the compensation of “drought relief” for the paddy crop failure in 2009. “Each farmer should be given Rs 5,000 per acre without any further delay so that they can carry on with their sowing of the next crop,” demanded the BKU general secretary.

Similarly, the government is not even ready to take the responsibility or mark an enquiry into the “poor quality” cottonseed that was sold to the farmers. Shamsher Singh Gharuan and Gurjant Singh Abohar pointed that a large number of farmers in the Malwa belt had lost their cotton crop but there has not been a single word for the compensation.

The whole situation is adding to the problems of the farmers which is a major factor for the constant suicides in the agricultural sector,” Shahkot added.



Heat is sweet for them
Muskmelon growers hope for prolonged summer
Rakesh Gupta

Jagraon, June 2
While people at large look for some respite from the intense heat wave conditions prevailing in the region, there is a section that feels it should continue for a little while longer.

It is the latter’s profession that makes them desire for a longer spell of summer. They are the cultivators of muskmelon and watermelon crops.

Mohie, a dusky village located a little off the state highway joining the Ludhiana-Bathinda state highway, boasts of cultivating around 400 acre of muskmelon crop.

The sweetness of muskmelons is directly proportional to heat. However, the arrival of rains will spell double loss for them.

On the one hand, the crop will get damaged, on the other consumption of muskmelon will dip with the apprehension of outbreak of gastroenteritis.

The muskmelon of Mohie village is quite popular within Punjab and even outside, but improper marketing means the farmers fail to reap optimum profit.

Most cultivators don’t own land and raise the crop on leased land.

The farmers simultaneously grow potato crop on the land. Darshan Singh, who has grown the crop on 10 acre, says melons aren’t so sweet for them. Inadequate power supply has hit the irrigation of fields and also the production. Moreover, early summer this year has affected the growth of this fruit crop, leading to its production.

He adds that the crop usually matures in early May and lasts till monsoon. The gains from the crop rest on sheer luck and this year they don’t expect it will cover the cost incurred.

Jasminder Singh, a farmer, says the unregulated market is hampering their business, as they have to sell their produce locally. The quantity lifted by local sellers is also not much.

The other option is the Ludhiana mandi, but there they have to sell their produces at the mercy of the middlemen.

Najar Ram, another farmer, says with the cultivation of the crop, many households get employment as they need the services of at least 10 persons per five acre to collect the ripe fruit and manage it.

Besides, cart owners earn enough by selling the crop in villages to feed their families the whole year.



Penny wise MC!
Digs 200-foot to level 20-foot lane
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 2
Residents of Prem Nagar, Brindaban road, have alleged that the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation instead of spending a few thousand rupees on recarpeting of about 20-foot lane, where the water gets accumulated in just 10 to 15 minutes during the rainy season, has dug up more than 200-foot for “levelling” the area.

People, thus, are passing through a lot of inconvenience not only because of the huge amount of money being spent on it but also due to the on-going digging work.

A few residents felt that the level of the road was being altered (3-foot lower than the existing one) to benefit one of close relatives of an area councillor residing in Prem Nagar.

Rajesh Sharma, a resident of the area, said, “We have been commuting on this uneven road for the past 20 years, but never faced any problem. There is just 20-foot wide stretch where the water gets accumulated that too for just 15 to 20 minutes. Things can be solved if the drainpipes are properly fitted and potholes filled. The reason for digging the entire 200-foot lane is unjustified. The money could have been utilised for some other purpose.”

Residents are being put to a lot of inconvenience just to benefit a close relative of the councillor. Executive Engineer (Zone D- B and R) Brij Pal Singh, who visited the area, said yesterday that the road was uneven and “we were levelling it”.

Meanwhile, Raju Thapar, area councillor, told The Tribune that that the residents were demanding this since long. “We are lowering the road level to fill the potholes so that the water never gets accumulated here. These are mere allegations that one of my close relatives was getting the benefit. Moreover, the residents have appreciated the move,” he said.

Extravagant MC

The civic body has dug up more than 200-foot for levelling just 20-foot lane in Prem Nagar where water gets accumulated for not more than 10 to 15 minutes. Residents alleged that it was being done to benefit one of the close relatives of the area councillor



Register migrants by June 30: Cops

Ludhiana, June 2
The city police has restarted the migrant verification programme. The residents have been asked to register their domestic helpers and tenants with the police.

The cops will also issue a smart card to the migrants. A communiqué issued from the office of the Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh stated that the residents, who had hired domestic helpers and migrant workers at their factory units should get their employees verified by the police before June 30, following which the police would take legal action against the employers. For further assistance the residence one can contact on the helpline -98766-22797 or they can logon to www.ismic.org.



Changes in summer timings at PAU evokes mixed response
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 2
The changed summer timings at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has evoked a mixed response from the faculty and the non-teaching staff. A large section has welcomed the decision while others have given a representation to the university to roll back its decision and carry on with previous timings.

The regular working hours at the PAU are from 9 am to 5 pm, which now have been changed to 7.15 am to 2.15 pm till July 31.

The employees at the PAU feel that 7.15am is too early to start work at the university adding that it is a problem for people coming from nearby villages to reach on time.

"The class IV employees have to report an hour early i.e. at 6.15 am and for people coming from outside Ludhiana, the day starts at 5 am thereby leaving no time for their breakfast. But what is worst is the missing lunch break which gives them no time to have a full meal till they leave the university at 2.15 pm," pointed a senior non-teaching employee working at the PAU.

Expressing resentment, another employee said that he had to perform double duty as the university did not have enough staff to deploy for security purposes to fill the gap from 2.15 pm to 5 pm. “I am dead tired as after finishing off with my work as I have to guard the blocks of the building till the watchman reports in the evening," stated a messenger at the PAU.

The Beldaars are in a tight spot, as they have to work from 8 am to 5 pm with the hired field labour. "There is no time for refreshment which leaves us drained out," rued a Beldaar.

At the same time the PAU faculty is elated with the changed timings as they feel it is best to start early and wind up early in summers. "Coming early when the sun is not hot saves a lot of energy and we are able to perform better. Moreover, we are free after 2.15 pm which gives us a lot of time to rest and spend time with our children," said a senior teacher at the PAU.



Submersible pumps alarm environmentalists
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 2
Water table is depleting at an alarming speed and since the municipal corporation (MC) has not been able to cater to the water needs of residents, the latter have started installing submersible pumps. Raising concern, environmentalists feel that due to this, the water table will go further down. They urged farmers to adopt new technologies and change the crop pattern so that less water is used.

“This will further deteriorate the situation. Farmers in the region need to change the crop pattern or adopt the latest technology through which less water is consumed. People have been installing water pumps as the government has failed to cater to their basic needs,” Prof SS Johl, former VC of the PAU, said.5

As per a survey by The Tribune, a majority of residents in almost all localities, including BRS Nagar, Sarabha Nagar, Aggar Nagar, Rani Jhansi road and Gurdev Nagar, have installed submersible pumps at their houses. As the residents are not being asked by the MC to pay for disposal charges, people do not mind spending a few thousand rupees to make their lives comfortable during summer.

“We are left with no option. There is no electricity and no water. We cannot lead miserable lives. Nobody can object to it. Had the MC or the government provided us with facilities, there would have been no need for it,” Baljinder Singh,a resident of BRS Nagar, stated.

An official of the O and M cell of the MC said disposal charges were levied on commercial users. Dyeing units and other commercial establishments paid disposal charges as they used huge quantity of water. “Residents use water for daily needs and in limited quantity. There is no rule on the installation of submersible pumps by the residents,” the official said.



This was once a 4-D park, now in a shambles
A perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes, flies
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 2
The 4-D park near Choti Puli, Haibowal Kalan is in shambles. Thanks to the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (LMC), which did not bother to maintain the well-developed park, which slowly turned into a garbage dump and perfect breeding place for mosquitoes and flies. Seeing the dilapidated state of the park, area residents feel that on the onset of rainy-season, the "dump" will create health hazards.

GS Narula, resident of New Patel Nagar, told The Tribune that 5-6 years back, the park was full of greenery with decorative plants and shrubs planted by the LMC itself. A gardener was also kept to maintain the clean and green environs. "But it is in total neglect today. Nobody is paying any attention towards its maintenance. Stray animals, including pigs, cattle and dogs roam here freely. People throw their domestic waste/debris in the park, making lives of the area residents miserable", rued Narula. He further said that in the rainy-season, it could pose various health hazards.

The residents have complained to authorities concerned on its maintenance but to no avail. "Malaria, dengue, cholera etc spread due to unhygienic conditions. We urge the authorities to act swiftly, before the onset of rains. Otherwise, there will be too many problems", said Gulshan Kumar, another resident of Haibowal Kalan.

The residents feel that a boundary wall should be constructed around park and a gate should be erected so that any and everyone could not go inside. Plants, shrubs should be planted as it was done earlier. "If we get positive response by the authorities concerned, the residents can also put in their efforts to turn it into a green belt", said Narula. 



Abetting Suicide
Husband gets four-year jail
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 2
Court of Additional Sessions Judge Karmajit Sigh Kang has convicted Charanjit Singh, alias Jita (35) of Wallian village, Ludhiana, on the charges of abetting his wife Kamaljit Kaur for committing suicide. He was sentenced to undergo four-year rigorous imprisonment.

The body of Kamaljit Kaur was found floating in the canal near Gurthli village. Her one-and-half-year-old son Jugraj Singh was also lying tied to her waist. He also could not survive.

Delivering the verdict, the court held that the prosecution had successfully proved the guilt of the accused beyond any doubt. Fine of Rs 5,000 was also imposed on the accused.

The accused was facing accusation of taking intoxicants, beating and neglecting his wife and not providing maintenance for her livilihood.

The court declined the plea of leniency raised by the accused with the observation that due to his act and conduct, two precious lives have been lost. The duo were married for about three years.

Before committing suicide, she had left a suicide note mentioning that she was going to commit suicide being fed up from her husband and no one was concerned with this.

A case under Section 306 of the IPC was registered against the accused on July 2, 2007, at the Samrala police station following the complaint of Gurmeet Kaur, mother of the victim.

She had told the police that her daughter was not happy after the marriage. Her husband used to take intoxicants and ill-treat her. He did not pay her any maintenance. Before her delivery, her husband left her at parental home and never took her back.

It was also alleged that he had harassed her on several times, as and when she went outside her parental home. On one occasion, he even beat her up when she was going to a temple. A complaint in this regard was lodged with the police.



Now, Ludhiana Premier League on cards
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 2
Cricket fever may be over for the country after the Indian Premier League (IPL), but the frenzy around the gentlemen’s game is catching up fast yet again with a handful of city youths bringing Ludhiana Premier League (LPL) to the city. Two businessmen Shivam Mahendru (27) and Daman Dhillon (26) joined hands together, chalked out a plan and developed Ludhiana's own premier league with nine teams vying for the trophy as the matches start from June 4 onwards.

A farm house in South city is being readied to host the league, a pitch has already been prepared and stands are being erected for spectators. An air-conditioned VIP lounge has also been set up. “After the IPL, we thought of starting a night cricket tournament in the city. It was just an idea that struck me and I shared it with Daman. The next moment he was at it. We called up our friends and everybody was ready to sponsor the city’s own league,” said Shivam while talking to The Tribune here today.

No stone would be left unturned to make the league a hit, said the businessmen.

‘‘City’s businessmen selected the teams and are sponsoring these as well. We have roped in cheerleaders from Spain and an anchor from ESPN, Joe Batth,” added Shivam.

About 300 guests from all over the city are expected to view the event, being looked forward to by the residents. ‘‘We are conservative as far as guests are concerned. It is strictly on the basis of invitations. We have received confirmations from 300 spectators for the VIP lounge and ordinary stands,’’ said Shivam.

The winning team would walk away with a trophy and a cash prize of Rs 51,000. The runner-up and man of the league would get Rs 25,000 each.

The League

The LPL would go off to a spectacular start with an opening ceremony on June 4 at 6 pm. The first match would start at 6.30 pm onwards and the tournament would finish by late evening on June 6 followed by a closing ceremony.



State U-22 Cricket Tourney Final
Patiala scores 346 in first innings
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 2
Patiala, after struggling at 121 for 5, made a fine comeback to score 346 for 8 in the first innings on the first day of the final of the Punjab State Inter-District U-22 Cricket Tournament being organised by the Punjab Cricket Association at the PCA Stadium, Mohali, today.

Patiala's decision to bat first after winning the toss, appeared to be a miscalculation one as they found themselves on the backfoot with five batsmen back into the pavillion with only 121 runs on the board.

However, Preet Kamal and Robin Dhillon batted sensibly to help Patiala to advance towards a defendable total. Preet Kamal was unbeaten on 119 runs while Robin contributed 45 runs. Other useful contributions came from Amrinder (25), Vikram Ditt (25) and Kunal (14).

For Ludhiana, Baltej Singh and Deepak Bansal claimed two wickets each after conceding 77 and 88 runs, respectively while Bharat Malhotra captured one wicket for 26 runs, Rahul Singla grabbed one wicket for 51 runs, Jashan Sidhu consumed one wicket for 60 runs and Gagandeep chipped in with one wicket for 41 runs.



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