L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Deluge, protest halt city
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 12
A sudden very heavy rainfall during the small hours throw the city’s normal life out of gear today as almost all roads were inundated thereby exposing the preparedness of the Municipal Corporation to tackle the flood-like situation.

As the entire storm water sewerage system proved to be too inadequate for the draining the rainwater, residents had a tough time wading through knee-deep water on the roads. Those residing in the low-lying areas spent the entire early morning manually draining the water that entered their houses and shops.

The city experienced 86.2 mm of rain that started at 3 A.M. and continued till 8 A.M. The roads remained waterlogged for several hours after the rain. Traffic went haywire as the commuters found it difficult to pass through the inundated roads. The vehicles that broke down in the middle of the roads turned virtually into pools of water.

All major roads like the Domoria bridge, Talaab Bazaar, Chaura Bazaar, Mata Rani Chowk, Shiv Puri, Samrala Chowk, GT Road, Vishkarma Chowk, Manju Cinema road, Dholewal, Jaimal Singh road, Gill road, Haibowal, Humbran road, Model Town, BRS Nagar, Transport Nagar, Shimla Puri and many other areas were flooded.

In several parts, people were seen putting sand bags at the entrance of their houses and shops to prevent water from entering. But at places, these bags failed to check the inflow of the water. ‘‘We worked for two hours so that the water did not enter our house but failed. Whenever a vehicles passed through the road, our house was flooded as the road outside was flooded, ’’ said Jai Singh, a resident of Shimla Puri.

He added it was strange that the Municipal Corporation had spent crores on the storm water sewers but it had failed to help the city.

Jasvinder Kaur, a resident of South Model Gram, said the sewerage system in her area got choked and water started flowing back in the houses. ‘‘I spent anxious moments from 3 A.M. today and had a restless night. But nobody cares,’’ she said.

Man Electrocuted

Thirty-year-old resident of Kot Mangal Singh was electrocuted when he came in contact with an electricity pole here this morning. Kala, a migrant, who was working in a general store, was paddling through a waterlogged road in his area when this accident took place. He lost balance, got electrocuted and fell on the waterlogged street. Nobody went near him as residents felt they could also get electrocuted. His body was removed from the place only when the supply to the pole was cut off.

Roof Collapses

A family of five, including three children, had a miraculous escape in the Jawahar Nagar camp here today, when the roof of their one-room apartment collapsed. Ashok Kumar, a migrant working in a chemical factory and his family had woken up due to power supply failure at 4 A.M. today when it was raining heavily. They heard a voice of a wood log in his roof giving in. He and his wife Seema woke up their children Krish (4), Radhika (5) and Smriddhi (1.5) and stood in the corner of the room. Soon, the roof came crashing down and damaged his household items. The major chunk of the roof fell on their bed, where they all were sleeping. ‘‘Had we got late by a few minutes, we would all have been buried under the debris, ’’ said Ashok adding it was sheer providence that saved them. The family, however, had to spend at least four hours in the heavy rains, as they had nowhere to go.


Commuters bear the brunt
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 12
After wading through flooded roads due to the heavy rains today, hundreds of commuters faced a harrowing time at the Bharat Nagar Chowk after they got stranded in the traffic jam for more than an hour following a dharna being staged by members of the Valmiki Youth Federation, Punjab, here today.

The manner in which they were staging the protest and putting pressure on the administration invited lots of criticism from the commuters. The protest began at around 1P.M., when the Bharat Nagar Chowk receives maximum traffic flow.

They sat on the floor in the middle of the chowk and blocked all four lanes of the roundabout, which led to the chaos.

Heavy police posse was present to tackle an eventuality, but the cops failed to regulate the traffic. They were seen perusing the protesters to lift the dharna, but the members of the federation were adamant and refused to walk till their demands were met.

Expressing disgust over the whole issue, a motorcyclist who was sweating profusely rued, “What is the use of harassing the public. If they have any grudge against the administration then they should stage dharna outside the office of the official concerned to meet their demands.”

Serpentine queues of the vehicles, clouds of black smoke emitting from auto-rickshaws and buses, coughing children and sweating people were witnessed at the jam site. 



Criminals turn minor to escape jail
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 12
A large number of clever criminals escaped rigorous jail terms in the Central and Borstal jails on the pretext of being minor although they were more than 18-year-old.

These overage criminals enjoy the “aristocratic facilities” in the observation home run by the Department Social Securities for juvenile criminals in Shimlapuri.

Majority of them take advantage of the legal lacuna and project that they were minors when they had committed the crime.

The glaring fact came to the fore yesterday when out of eight criminals, who escaped from the police custody, two were found to be over 18 years.

Even during the time of their arrest they were more than 18- year -old. According to Rita Gupta, superintendent, juvenile home, both Irvanpreet Singh and Sandeep Kumar, were well over 18 years at the time of their arrest.

She said she had intimated and even written a letter to the authorities concerned for shifting the accused to Borstal Jail, as they were overage.

Vipan Kumar, who fled from the juvenile home, was also 19-year- old at the time of his arrest. A senior jail official said, “Nearly 15 criminals, who are presently lodged in the juvenile home, are more than 18 years of age.”

He added that they were enjoying the facilities of the juvenile home, as the department did not get their real age assessed through a medical examination conducted during at the time of their arrest. The reason best known to the social securities department.

Besides launching a manhunt to nab Irvinpreet, Sandeep and other fugitives, the police is probing if these criminals had deliberately concealed their age to escape the rigorous jail term.

The police is also probing the involvement of jail officials who might have helped the inmates in fleeing from the juvenile home. Irvinpreet, Sandeep and Vipan Kumar were a headache for the juvenile home authorities as they used to thrash their fellow inmates by taking up fights on petty issues. 


A day after the escape of eight inmates from the juvenile home in Shimlapuri, its superintendent Rita Gupta has been as suspended for dereliction of duty. The action was taken following the visit of deputy director social securities Rajneesh Kumar Jassra.

Life in observation home

The inmates are imparted education and made self-reliant by teaching them how to make handicraft or other skilled works. Several other norms and rules for the inmates are relaxed in comparison to the life inside Central and Borstal jails.

What the law says

The senior police officials said these criminals were taking the advantage of the Juvenile Justice Act. As per the Act, if a criminal was below 18 years when the crime was committed, he would stay in the juvenile home till the time the completion of his punishment.

Name, address of fugitives

Irvanpreet Singh, alias Pinky of Dashmesh Colony, Zirakhpur; Sandeep Kumar, alias Sony from Mehatpur village in Nakodar, now residing in Sector- 70, Mohali; Jeevan from Moga; Sanjiv Kumar of Bhittya village in Khanna; Vipan Kumar from Uttar Pradesh presently residing in New Model Colony, Jageerpur Road, Ludhiana; Narinder Singh of Patiala and Rajwinder Singh of Ahmedgarh.

One of the fugitives Vipan Singh (16) of Moga was nabbed by the police today. Vipan’s father Bill Singh informed the police about his whereabouts

The escape of Sandeep, Irvinpreet Singh and Vipan Kumar has sent he alarm bells ringing for the Mohali and Zirakpur police.

According to Yogiraj, SHO, Zirakpur, the duo were taken to a court in Mohali on Saturday in connection with a murder case. He suspects that the duo has formed a gang with the help of Vipan Kumar.

While 17 criminal cases are pending against Irvanpreet Singh, Sandeep is wanted in four criminals cases. Vipan was convicted in murder case. The police is suspecting that if the trio would form a gang they might target areas near Zirakhpur and Mohali and they accused know a lot about the topography and the escape route in these areas.



Flaunting T-shirts the Punjabi way!
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 12
Punjabis love to flaunt their identity and they keep finding novel ways to do so! Latest fad to have caught the fancy of youngsters is to wear their “identity” on sleeves, literally! Yes, wearing message T-shirts with slogans in Punjabi is the in thing these days. Be it on college campus, in parks, at eating joints or in clubs, youths wearing T-shirts with Punjabi slogans are a common sight here.

“I love wearing my ‘Gabru’ T-shirt,” smiles Jaskaran Singh, a BSc (Ist year) student, adding that he has at least seven such T-shirts in his wardrobe. “I am proud of my roots and see no harm in flaunting,” he adds.

“Punjabis love to flaunt their identity, be it through names like ‘Sher-e-Punjab’ or wearing T-shirts that proclaim their Punjabi roots, our boys and girls surely know how to do it,” says fashion-designing student Nitya.

“Singh is King”, “Jatt Boy” are perhaps some of the favourite slogans among boys, while girls prefer to be known as “Kudi Punjaban”, “Mutiyaar”, “Soni Kudi” etc.

Baldeep Singh, a law graduate says: “I have a whole collection of tees with Punjabi slogans. When I feel religious, I don my “Babbe di Full Kirpa” tee or the one with a “Khanda” printed on it. For happy days, I pull out “Sab Changa Hi Changa” (everything is good) T-shirt from my wardrobe.”

Baldeep adds that when in a no-nonsense mood, he doesn’t mind flaunting his bad mood through “Panga Na Layin Jatt De Naal” T-shirt.

Confirming the popularity of T-shirts with Punjabi slogans, Roopinder Singh, a garment store owner in Ghumar Mandi, says: “Most popular are T-shirts with messages written in Punjabi while those printed in English about being a Punjabi, too, have their own place in the wardrobes.”

The fad has caught up so well among Punjabis that numerous NRIs, on their trip home, make it a point to get hold of some of them for their friends abroad.

Harminder Singh, who runs a shop at Chaura Bazaar, adds that the trend started with the Bollywood film “Singh is King.” “Earlier, people liked wearing slogans depicting their Punjabi character in English, but the ones in Punjabi caught up like never before this season,” he said.

Besides, people from other regions and communities, too, don’t mind wearing T-shirts with Punjabi slogans.

“Though a Bengali, I still love wearing a “Putt Punjab Da” T-shirt I brought from Chandigarh a few days ago. I have bought a set of four such T-shirts with such slogans which will keep the memories of Punjab fresh,” says Delhi resident Dev Bhattacharya, who is in town for internship with a local textile unit.



Grabbing of graveyards has minorities worried
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 12
Minorities in the region, especially of a particular community, are perturbed over the alleged grabbing of graveyards by land-grabbers all over the state.

During the visit of Punjab Minority Commission Chairman Munnawar Masih to the city, a majority of the minority population expressed concern over the issue.

Chairing a meeting of minorities in the city, he said the state government was committed to finding a solution to the problems of minorities and their safety was to be safeguarded at any cost.

He said, “We will make sure that their life and finances are secure in the state and they get justice.”

Masih added that anyone from the state could register a complaint with the commission at Room Number 4, 4th Floor, Secretariat, Chandigarh, and the commission would respond immediately.

He said the commission had initiated a programme through which complaints would be listened to at all district headquarters.

“We had a meeting at Amritsar recently and today, we listened to grievances here. This will be an ongoing process and we will cover all major districts,” he said.

Till now, the commission had received about 200 complaints, of which 50 had been sorted out and the remaining forwarded to the departments concerned for early redress (within a month).

Twenty complaints were registered today, of which 10 were state-level complaints.

Ten local complaints were sent to the district administration and police for early redress.



From Schools and Colleges
Drama enacted

LUDHIANA: Tiny tots of Lovely Lotus School enacted the story of Rainbow Princess wherein all days are rainbow days and everybody is happy in the kingdom. “Happy days are here again, rainbow days are here again”, was the song on everybody’s lips. Rainbow Princess was dressed in the beautiful seven colours of the rainbow. Kids acted as clouds, thunder, lightening and sun that form a part of the natural scenery when it rains.

The ‘sun’ peeping from behind the ‘clouds’ and ‘frogs’ croaking near ‘mushrooms’ seemed very interesting to the audience. The show was full of colours and enthusiasm as children enjoyed every bit of the drama.

Monsoon welcomed

Tiny tots of Maple Bear Canadian Play Way and Nursery School, Udham Singh Nagar, welcomed the monsoon with colourful raincoats and umbrellas. They were all very enthusiastic as they took part in the natural rain dance. The school is celebrating monsoon week in which plenty of activities are being performed. Today, they had a gala time with black clouds hovering and rainwater sprinkling all over throughout the day. Principal of the school Veena Aggarwal narrated the usefulness of monsoons in India to the tiny tots.


Ram Lal Bhasin Public School organised ‘Creations’, a competition in which students had to perform on the spot. The exercise drew the creative genius of the children, which was the exact purpose of the competition.

The students took part in this activity with keen interest. They indulged in different innovative things like preparing food without fire, wood painting, craftwork and drawing. Mouth-watering dishes, colourful salads and sandwiches, along with the art and craft works, gave the judges a tough time choosing the winners.

Students were given different material such as ribbons, stones, pot, mural, wood, bangles, boxes, cardboards and thermocol for various activities.

Aastha of Class V amazed everyone with a magazine holder. Gurvir made a beautiful card of thermocol balls. Anjali made a fruit basket of clay and Pushpdeep made a beautiful wall hanging. Rupali made an attractive pot while Yashna and Akriti made delicious sandwiches. Shubham Bhardwaj displayed his creativity through a mural painting. Headmistress of the school Tarannum Fatma appreciated the students and encouraged them to take part in such activities.

RESULTS: Classes I - III: Gurvir, Anjali and Raksheeta

Classes IV - VI: Pushpdeep, Yashna, Aastha and Mehak

Class VII-VIII Rupali, Shubham, Saurav and Akriti.

NCC camp

Ludhiana: NCC cadets of 3PB Battalion NCC participated in many events organised during the camp underway at Guru Nanak Engineering College. Inter-Battalion individual proficiency test is in progress in which 165 cadets from six units of Ludhiana NCC group are participating.

During the competition, the cadets are being tested in firing, drill, declamation and cultural proficiency. The cadets also participated in a presentation on traffic control, which was conducted by ASI Sukhdev Singh of Ludhiana Traffic Police Education Cell. He briefed the cadets in a very simple, yet effective manner on traffic management.

Cadets from the host college -- Nancy, Rajwinder Kaur and Jatinder Kaur -- gave a presentation on women empowerment and shared their experience of the All-India Women Trekking Expedition at Baijnath in Himachal Pradesh. In spite of the hectic schedule, the Battalion also took time to inoculate the rag pickers with assistance from civil medical authorities during which 300 rag pickers were vaccinated against tetanus.

Lt Col Inder Pal Singh Dhaliwal, Officiating Officer Commanding 3Punjab Battalion (boys), thanked the participants and presented an appreciation letter to ASI Sukhdev Singh and the cadets who gave presentations. He also thanked the civil medical authorities for conducting the inoculation drive.


New Explorations in Studies and Training (NEST) organised a presentation in their institute on Monday. Different topics were given to the NESTians. The topics were judged on behalf of their inter-personnel and communication skills, lexical resourcing skills (vocab) and analytical skills.

Students presented PPT slides on topics like ‘Virtue is knowledge’, ‘Man is the maker of his destiny’, ‘To err is human’, ‘Rome can be build in one day’, ‘Sorrows of man on this Earth’. Students showed their creative skills in the presentation show. Winners were honoured with attractive prizes. First prize was won by Dayadeep; second prize went to Gagan and third prize was claimed by Jaspreet. The results of the grid therapy competition were also announced and prizes were distributed to the winners.

NEST director Jyoti Birla submitted a vote of thanks to managing members Tarwinder Singh and Ravneet Kaur (managing director) and to all the faculty members for their wholesome support to this show. —TNS



Marriage solemnised

MANDI GOBINDGARH: The Nishkam Kirtan Sewa Society organised the marriage of the 130th girl from low-income families here on Sunday. The marriage of Dalbir Kaur and Manjit Singh was solemnised. 

DSP(D) DS Rana was the chief guest. Society chief Karamjit Singh said they had been running sewing training centres, holding medical camps and distributing rations among the needy. — OC



Too fearful to offer lift to needy

IN times when the rising crime rate has rendered motorists scared of giving a lift to those standing by the roadside and signalling for a hitch-hike, a cyclist proved that caution practised with a little thoughtfulness invites no harm, but in fact, goes a long way in helping someone in time of need.

An old man in his 80s, tired of walking down the city roads in the scorching heat, stopped by the roadside, under the shade of a tree, to take some rest. After a few moments, when he got up to resume his journey, he found himself too weak and drained to walk further.

The helpless man signalled a number of vehicles passing by for a lift, but none of the vehicles stopped to help the tired man. Just then, a cyclist, seemingly a labourer, stopped and offered him a lift.

Onlookers could not help but remark on how those with fancy cars could not give the octogenarian some space in their ostentatious vehicles whereas a poor cyclist offered to carry him home on his bicycle.

“Money brings along with it the fear of losing and makes one so blind that he or she cannot distinguish between a probable robber and a genuinely miserable person,” said an onlooker, scoffing at the overcautious motorists.

Driving passion

The passion to join the Army made youths run on the hard track for clearing the physical fitness test during the recent recruitment rally. Many who could not afford to buy shoes ran barefoot and developed blisters. Several of them were seen sprinting with their socks on, which were getting worn. (see photo)

“We have to run just 1,600 metres on this track. What if we get injured? After all, we are chasing our passion. We want to serve the motherland while being in the Army,” said a youth.

‘Garam’ Dharam

Dharmendra was on a recent visit to the city. Talking about his weakness, he said his major weakness was his temper.

“I have always been a temperamental person. Everything about me is projected in a big way. I am very demonstrative. I show my affection in a big way. I get angry in a big way as well,” he stated.

“Like drinking, I have tried to get rid of my anger, but it is too much a part of me now. I have realised that anger causes nothing but destruction. In a fit of anger, I often act rashly and do things which I regret later,” he admitted.

Once he got so angry that he picked up a journalist and hit him on the head. “I was filled with remorse immediately and regretted that incident ever since,” he added.


The prices of vegetables and fruits have increased manifold, especially in the rainy season. Vendors say they are helpless as there has been less supply of commodities.

The BRS mandi here was abuzz with activity recently.

This correspondent saw a migrant woman in her late 20s giving a Re-5 note to a vendor and asking for a tomato, an onion and a potato. He rudely replied, “Tomatoes are priced at Rs 60 a kg. You expect me to give you all this for Rs 5?” As she was about to leave, this correspondent handed over Rs 20 to her and told her to buy the needful.

She refused and said, “You are a stranger. How can I take money from you? Even if I want to, I cannot repay you because I do not know where you stay.” It was only after the vendor’s intervention that she agreed to take the money. Self-esteem still exists in this materialistic world!

Damn the ban

Surrogate advertising is a common phenomenon, extensively used by manufacturers of tobacco products and liquor. Manufacturers throw all ethics and decency to the winds, without realising the damage that such propaganda does to unsuspecting young minds.

The other day, a child accompanying his mother was seen asking the meaning of a huge hoarding that manufacturers of a brand of whisky had put up at the old courts chowk. Perhaps she did not know the exact message the advertisement conveyed and so, she told him that officers ought to be honest.

Advertisers must realise that hoardings put up to publicise a particular brand of liquor is meaningless to those who do not recognise it while there is no need to remind those who do. The government should come down heavily on such circumvention of the laws of the land.

Contributed by Charu Chhibber, Mohit Khanna, Manav Mander, Shivani Bhakoo and Kuldip Bhatia



Accessory Shortage
Farmers bring private transformers on rent
Rakesh Gupta

Mullanpur Dakha, July 12
Farmers of the area have been resorting to the installation of private transformers, thanks to Powercom, which has been facing acute shortage of accessories to meet the needs of farmers despite payments by them.

Even as farming is not that profitable as the prices of agricultural inputs are high as compared to its yield, hiring transformers are proving an additional burden on them.

Though farmers are being forced to bear this unwarranted burden, they are not in a position to speak out against Powercom employees for their negligence.

A survey by the Ludhiana Tribune has revealed that at least a dozen transformers are given on rent by traders at Jagraon and at least double that by traders in Ludhiana.

Traders have been giving transformers on rent, starting from Rs 6,000 a month, with Rs 50,000 as security per transformer. Depending on capacity, the rent can be up to Rs 10,000 per month.

Hardeep Singh and Harjeet Singh of Changan village, near Humbran, admit to have brought a transformer on rent to irrigate their fields.

“We had no other option. Without a transformer, we are not able to irrigate our fields. We can depend on diesel for a generator, but that is more expensive,” says Harjeet.

They have deposited the security for new transformers after the enhancement of load of their tubewell motor sets.

Powercom officials have been delaying the installation of a 32-KV transformer since the burning of the 25-KV one six month ago. They have brought a 63-KV transformer.

Humbran SDO Avtar Singh, when contacted, first flatly denied installation of rented transformers in the area.

But later, he admitted that there were such cases and explained that there was shortage of GO switches and channels at stores, due to which they were unable to instal new transformers.



Fruit prices down, but takers just a few
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 12
Fruits seem to have become sweeter. With the monsoon, prices of fruits have come down. Fruits are coming to the market in bulk, but the sale is minimum. There are just a few buyers.The sale of fruits has come down considerably. “Only 30 per cent of the fruits brought to the market were sold today. In the coming days, the sale of fruits will decline further,” said Santosh Kumar, a wholesaler.

Mohd. Hussain, a fruit-seller at the Ghumar Mandi, said prices of fruits went down during the rainy season.

“There are fewer buyers during the rains and fruits remain unsold. There is imbalance between demand and supply, due to which prices are coming down,” he said.

Citing another reason for the lowering of prices, a fruit-seller at the Sabzi Mandi, near the Daresi Ground, said since fruits were perishable and they could not keep those for long, they had to lower prices to clear stocks.

“Fruits during the rainy season are not of good quality. I prefer not to buy those even if those are available in the market at low prices,” said Divya, a housewife.

Davinder Kaur said since fruits rot quickly during the rainy season she avoided buying those during this season.

“Mangoes, plums, bananas and grapes rot quickly. I stay away from those during the rainy season,” she added.



250 examined at free camp
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 12
The Sri Bhuriwala gurdwara at Haibowal Kalan organised a free check-up camp here yesterday. At least 250 patients with thyroid problems, diabetes, obesity, infertility and hormonal problems were examined by Dr Mani Kant Singla, assistant professor in the department of endocrinology at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

During the camp, medicines were given free of cost and thyroid diagnostic tests were conducted at subsidised cost. Dr Singla stated that hypothyroidism (decreased function of thyroid) was a common problem, which might remain undiagnosed.

He stated that if someone had symptoms like fatigue, vague aches and pains, unexplained weight gain, dry skin and hair, depression, persistent cold, constipation, puffy face, heavy menstrual periods or infertility, one should get thyroid tests conducted. He emphasised the importance of regular exercise and walking for diabetics.



Hindu Undivided Family
e-filing of IT returns now mandatory
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 12
As per the new notification issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes, e-filing of the Income Tax returns has been made mandatory for the individual and the Hindu undivided family who are covered under the tax audit.

Earlier only companies and partnership firms, who are covered under tax audit, were required to e-file their return. But now, individuals and the Hindu undivided family will be required to file the e-return from 2009-10 onwards.

A senior official from the Income Tax department said those companies whose annual turnover is above Rs 40 lakh are covered under the income tax audit. “e-filing will save the time and the work can be done while sitting at home only,” he added.

Jatinder Khurana, a lawyer, said earlier it was not mandatory and was person’s discretion to file the return electronically. “With the e-filing made mandatory the data will be doubly checked and the refunds will also be cleared speedily,” he added.

Satish Sharma, who comes under the Hindu undivided family, said it would be convenient for them as well. “Everything will be done while sitting at home. e-filing is the best way as very less time is consumed and one can file the return in his or her study room,” he said.



50 lakh enrolled as Bharat Swabhimaan members
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 12
Bharat Swabhiman, a political outfit headed by yoga guru Baba Ramdev, would enrol five crore members in the country. Stating this, Rajiv Dixit, national secretary of the Bharat Swabhiman, asserted that during its membership drive 50 lakh persons had already filled their membership forms in two months.

Dixit said, “Swami Ramdev had taken up the task of bringing real independence as dreamt by the martyrs and freedom fighters to liberate our country from the clutches of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats.”

During a press conference at Krishna Mandir, Model Town, here last night he said: “In 1947 only the rulers were changed and not the governing system introduced by the British. The corrupt leadership continues to amass wealth in foreign banks.”

He claimed that Baba Ramdev had launched Bharat Swabhiman Andolan to revamp the governance system in the country under which around 34,000 laws enacted by the then British Government would be scrapped.

He asserted that the Bharat Swabhiman would take shape of a mass movement in the coming years and pave way to bring back a sum of Rs 328 lakh crores from foreign banks.



Kalia: We have surpassed last govt on development
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 12
It was a show of strength as 63 of the 78 councillors from all five municipal corporations in Punjab met to discuss various issues concerning the party here today.

The meeting was chaired by Punjab BJP president Ashwani Sharma and Minister for Local Bodies Manoranjan Kalia.

The councillors discussed in detail development works going on in their respective districts. The leaders showed that by and large, they were satisfied with the alliance.

The councillors from Ludhiana, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Bathinda and Patiala discussed various issues with the senior party leaders. The BJP leaders asked the councillors to be more focused as development was a long and unending process.

“If we compare ourselves with the Congress government, we have surpassed them in three years and-a-half. An amount of Rs 100 crore each has been given to all MCs in Punjab for various development projects. As far as development of unauthorised colonies is concerned, we are seriously thinking of providing them all basic facilities. We are going to discuss the issue with the Chief Minister soon,” said Kalia.

He informed the councillors that e-tendering would start from September 1. “For every development work exceeding Rs 10 lakh, there will be e-tendering, which will be fully transparent,” he said.

The first phase of e-governance at all MCs would start from January next, which would provide relief to the general public. “The availability of birth and death certificates will become easy. Payment will be deposited fast and all information on tax collection of MCs will be available,” said Kalia.

The BJP leaders decided to meet every six months to review the work. The councillors were asked to spend the money cautiously on development works.



Rain brings cheer for Sacred Heart students
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 12
While heavy rain in the wee hours today brought misery to a large number of residents, it gave hundreds of students of Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, a reason to cheer as the school declared a holiday after the campus was inundated.

Parents did not welcome the undeclared holiday. They rued that they got their wards ready this morning and waited for school transport, which did not turn up.

They complained that in the absence of information from the school authorities, they faced a lot of

Many rued that one earlier occasions, the school authorities had
been informing them about such developments through SMS before the school timings.

“They could have done that today and spared us a lot of harassment. Many parents rushed to drop their kids to school,” said Radhika, mother of two schoolchildren.

Children could not contain the glee at the sudden and unannounced holiday. “Any holiday is welcome, but an unannounced one brings more happiness. I plan to spend the day watching my favourite cartoon on television and relishing hotpakoras,” chuckled Gul Malhotra, a student.

Though reports of closure did not come in from other schools, a lot of children missed school today as various city roads were flooded, making vehicular movement difficult.

While many parents avoided sending their wards to school, fearing a flood-like situation and traffic snarls in the city, others could not get children ready in time due to the disruption in power and water supply since last night.



Computer teachers put off protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 12
The protesting computer teachers of the state today put off their stir for a few days after minister Hira Singh Gabria assured them of support and a solution at the earliest.

A delegation of the Computer Teachers Union (Contractual), Punjab, met the minister with a memorandum, pressing for their long-pending demand of regularisation.

Gabria told the delegation that he would meet Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on July 20 and put forth their demand to seek a resolution at the earliest.

Following the assurance from the minister, the union leaders decided to put off their protest rally, scheduled for July 25 at Lambi, till a decision was taken on the issue.

They decided that in case their demand was not mte till July 20, they would hold a state-level meeting here on July 25 to decide the future course of action.

District union president Gurvinder Singh said the union would resort to a protest in case its demand was not met within the stipulated time.



High-velocity winds wreak havoc, disrupt power supply
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 12
High velocity winds that preceded the downpour in the city wreaked havoc on the power distribution network as several trees and electric poles were uprooted and a number of localities in different parts of the city went without power supply for about five to eight hours. The power supply to some of the posh residential areas fed from 220 KV Humbran sub-station, including South City and Haibowal was still to be restored till the filing of this report.

As if the disruption caused by the storm was not enough, the heavy rain that continued till early morning further compounded the problem with power supply cut off in more areas.

Senior officials of the Punjab State Power Corporation (Powercom) said the power supply to several colonies like Sarabha Nagar, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, parts of Haibowal, Chander Nagar and Model Town was restored by afternoon while some other localities along the Ferozepur Road, Chandigarh Road, Gill Road, Sector 32 and 32A and parts of the old city still remained without power.

“Work is in progress where electric poles or tress have been uprooted and power supply will be restored by evening,” Powercom officials said.

Residents of Haibowal, New Professor Colony, BRS Nagar, Shamsher Nagar and many other colonies along the Ferozepur Road complained that the power supply was playing truants, and to make the matters worse, the complaint registration mechanism of the Powercom was utterly inefficient, to say the least.

Several residents of BRS Nagar and Shamsher Nagar, who had gone to the Powercom complaint centre at Sarabha Nagar late in the night on Sunday after waiting for the restoration of the power supply for many hours, found to their shock that the office was unmanned. A lower level (perhaps Class IV) employee present there, did not know anything about the registration of complaints and no register was available, claimed the residents. Not only this, the telephone line was also snapped.

That the call centre set up by the Powercom for centralised booking of complaints (at phone number 5055510) is worthless, is the common complaint of the city residents. “Either one doesn’t get connected, or else the complaints if booked, are not forwarded to technical staff concerned on time. In case of disruption in the power supply to a particular locality, the call centre attendants have a stock reply,” says Harsimran Dhillon, a resident of BRS Nagar.

The Powercom officials concede that the complaint redressal mechanism needs to be toned up, but at the same time they attribute the delay in rectification of faults to shortage of field staff. It was officially stated that the Powercom top brass has given a nod in principle to hire line staff on contract (on need basis) to expedite disposal of individual and other complaints. “More lines are being added to call centre to improve accessibility and disposal of complaints about power supply is being outsourced soon when things will improve tremendously,” said an official.



PAU Notes
Kisan mela dates announced

LUDHIANA: Punjab Agricultural University will organise a series of five kisan melas in September. Giving details, director of extension education Dr MS Gill announced that the first mela in the series would be held at Ballowal Saunkhri (near Balachaur) on September 7 followed by one at Rauni (Patiala) on September 10, at PAU, Ludhiana, on September 14 and 15, at Gurdaspur on September 21 and at Bathinda on September 24.

He said the theme for the kisan mela would be ‘Conserve Natural Resources for the Prosperity of All’. A meeting was held in the Farmers’ Service Centre of the PAU to finalise the programmes for the kisan melas and to discuss about various arrangements such as agro-industrial exhibition, crop produce competition, formulation of different committees, etc.

Various university officials, heads of the departments concerned with extension education, directors of regional stations, deputy directors of Krishi Vigyan Kendras and other related officials participated in the meeting.

Dr Gill said the feedback received from various quarters based on the Kisan Melas held previously was considered and steps were being taken to make the necessary improvements. He said different participating quarters would be involved in projecting the technologies and messages related to the theme of the mela so that the message is made to effectively disseminate to the farmers and farm women.

Last date extended

According to Dr MS Gill, director of extension education, PAU would award farmers and farm women on the occasion of its kisan mela to be held on September 14-15. There would be five awards namely, Sardar Dalip Singh Dhaliwal Memorial Award, Parvasi Bharti Award, Sardar Ujagar Singh Dhaliwal Memorial Award, Sardar Surjit Singh Dhillon Award and Sardarni Jagbir Kaur Memorial innovative women farmer award.

Earlier, the last date for the receipt of applications for these awards was July 15. Now, the date has been extended to July 25.

Farmers and farm women desirous of competing for these awards should apply by July 25, on the application performa available from the deputy director (T) of the Krishi Vigyan Kendras near to them, director, regional stations, district extension specialists (SM), chief agricultural officers, deputy director of horticulture of different districts of Punjab and directorate of extension education, PAU, Ludhiana. For each award separate application would be accepted, said Dr Gill.

Awards to be given are: Sardar Dalip Singh Dhaliwal Memorial Award carrying a cash prize of Rs 5,000 along with a plaque and citation to self-cultivating farmer of field crops in Punjab; Parvasi Bharti Award carrying a cash prize of Rs 8,000 along with a plaque and citation would be awarded to self-cultivating farmer engaged in diversified farming system; Sardar Ujagar Singh Dhaliwal Memorial Award carrying a cash prize of Rs 3,100 along with a plaque and citation would be awarded to self-cultivating vegetable grower who puts at least 60 per cent area of operational holding under vegetable crops in winter as well as summer season; Sardar Surjit Singh Dhillon Award carrying a cash prize of Rs 5,000 along with a plaque and citation would be awarded to self-cultivating small farmer with a holding of up to five acres and Sardarni Jagbir Kaur Memorial Innovative Women Farmer Award carrying a cash prize of Rs 3,100 along with a plaque and citation would be awarded to farm woman involved in agriculture and allied agriculture enterprises in Punjab.


One-year horticultural supervisor training course (HSTC) of Punjab Agricultural University drew a huge rush. According to head, department of horticulture, Dr PS Aulakh, as many as 230 applications were received as against 25 seats for the course. The interview was held today.

Director of extension education Dr MS Gill said there was a great attraction for the course as the theoretical as well as practical training given in the HSTC enabled the trainees to start their own nursery production and orchard management venture besides finding jobs in government, semi-government, private organisations, etc. Dr Aulakh said the interviews for Gardeners Training Class (GTC) were held at Bathinda on July 9 and Gurdaspur on July 7 for 25 seats at each place. — TNS



120 attend alumni meet
Our Correspondent

Doraha, July 12
The ex-students of Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, Doraha, gathered at in their first alumni meet ‘Nostalgia’. Nearly 120 passouts of the school attended the meet.The students formed the alumni association and elected Rajbir Singh as their president while Satinder Kaur and Chitvan Vinayak were elected the vice-president and secretary, respectively. Gurcharan Singh was elected as treasurer.

The core members of the association include Gurpreet Singh, Manik Mohindra, Anshu Makol, Jaspreet Singh, Ankur Vinayak, Guramritpal Singh, Gurpreet Singh, Manpreet Kaur Sekhon and Harsheen Shah.

The ex-students presented a small cultural programme consisting of songs, choreography, mimicry, solo dance and bhangra. Sukhpal Singh, chairman of the Doraha Group of Institutes was also present at occasion. The ex-students decided to hold the alumni meet every year and keep in touch with their school and friends. 



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