L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


BPL Scam
Key suspect gives himself up
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
The prime suspect in a fraud in which Rs 82 lakh were reportedly embezzled from the Indira Awas Yojna scheme, Lakshman Singh, surrendered to the police today. He disclosed important details about the involvement of senior officials in the scam. The funds were meant for below poverty line (BPL) families.

A former district accountant and field officer of the National Child Labour Project, he was named by the administration as the principal conspirator in the fraud.

Amolak Singh, the ‘sarpanch’ of Dholkote, Lakshman’s native village, was instrumental in getting the latter to give himself up. Confirming his surrender, additional deputy police commissioner JS Sidhu, said investigations were on and the police was trying to get to the bottom of the scam.

Sources close to the police said Lakshman had made “startling revelations” about the fraud and hinted at the involvement of some senior officials. The police however said it was too early to say anything about his claims.

The suspect was booked for forgery and siphoning off public funds under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including 465, 467, 468, 471, 409, 166 and 167. Additional deputy commissioner (development) Davinder Singh had filed a written complaint against Lakshman for forging his signature and siphoning off money from his account.

Meanwhile, the Punjab government yesterday transferred Davinder from the city following the unearthing of the scam. He has been replaced by Pradeep Kumar Aggarwal who will take over as additional deputy commissioner, Ludhiana.

The fraud came to light a few days ago and the administration had initially found an amount of Rs 50 lakh withdrawn from Davinder’s current bank account. Later another amount of Rs 32 lakh was found to have been withdrawn. Davinder later claimed Lakshman had forged his signature to withdraw the funds from the former’s account.

Special audit ordered

The Punjab government has ordered a special audit of the accounts of the additional deputy commissioner (development)’s office after deputy commissioner Rahul Tewari demanded it. Talking to The Tribune over the phone from Chandigarh, chief secretary SC Aggarwal said he had ordered the audit.


  • Scam detected on Sept 7
  • Rs 49.52 lakh fraudulently withdrawn from bank account
  • Rs 19.77 lakh deposited back in account on Sept 10
  • Another Rs 32.24 lakh found to be withdrawn from account on Sept 13


Police fails to act in gang rape of 23-yr-old
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
She had reposed complete trust in her lover, coming to know only later that he was married with two children, who eventually betrayed her, ruining her life. The man not only raped the 23-year-old girl from Baddowal village but also allowed his friends to violate her.

The victim has no idea how many times she was raped and by how many men. She is not able to talk coherently, her eyes are swollen, she fears her jaw is broken and the injuries on the back recount the gory tale of "settling a score".

The girl was rushed to the Civil Hospital on September 13 night due to excessive bleeding in her genitals, but since then no one has come to enquire about her condition. Her mother appears to be the only hope left for her.

Adding insult to injury the cops at both the Dakha and Sadar police stations are passing the buck and refusing to file a case. The victim has alleged a policeman named Hakam Singh, who she said was deputed at the Dakha police station, even misbehaved with her.

Narrating the incident, the girl said she slapped her paramour in full public view at a ‘panchayat’ meeting when she came to know the man with whom she was in love was married. She admitted to having fallen in love with Ranjit Singh, a resident of Thrike village and eloping with him.

"Before eloping Ranjit told me he was divorced and would soon solemnize a marriage with me. My dreams came crashing down when I came to know he was not divorced and had two children. My parents had to face a lot of embarrassment. But later the ‘panchayats’ of both villages intervened and scolded Ranjit for duping me. It was then that I slapped him," she said.

The victim's mother said she had sensed trouble when Ranjit’s father, Sucha Singh, threatened the victim with “dire consequences” for slapping his son.

"On August 31, Ranjit called me up to say he was standing in front of my house and would consume poison if I would not come out," the victim stated. She said opened the door and was “picked up” by Ranjit and his accomplices.

The victim said she was kept at an undisclosed location. "I was given food laced with sedatives. I either used to remain unconscious or whenever I woke up I used to vomit. I don't know what happened after a span of almost ten days. I was thrashed and raped by Ranjit and his accomplices. Later, Ranjit’s wife along with her driver took me in a vehicle and threw me outside Dakha police station," claimed the victim.

The further added that the she was rushed to civil hospital on the night of September 13, but no cop visited the hospital to register the complaint.

Talking to The Tribune, the Dakha police station SHO said the crime took place under the jurisdiction of the Ludhiana police. “The Dakha police couldn’t interfere in the matter. Further, the girl was giving varied statements”, he added.

Similarly, Sadar police station SHO Paramjit Singh washed his hands of the matter by stating the incident did not take place under his jurisdiction.

In the meantime, the suspects who allegedly abducted, raped and beat up the victim are roaming freely.

Unanswered questions

  • Victim could not tell where she was kept
  • Why did she open the door when Ranjit called her up and stated he was standing outside her house and consuming poison?
  • Why would Ranjit wife take the victim and leave her in front of the Dakha police station, not in some field or any other area



Creation of exam centres on ground floor
Affiliated schools protest PSEB decision
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
The Punjab State Education Board (PSEB) has once again drawn flak from schools affiliated to it. This time, with its decision to create examination centres on the ground floor of all schools across the state.

The decision has not only evoked sharp criticism from schools, managements, educationists, parents and students, but has also threatened to snowball into a major controversy, with schools hinting at agitation in case the Board fails to revoke its "unjustified" decision.

Talking about widespread resentment among affiliated schools with regard to the decision, president of the Association of Punjab School Education Board Affiliated Schools, Punjab, Rajinder Sharma, said, "All examination centres were approved by the Board authorities at the time of inspection. The centres were created by the committees of the Board, of which district education officers were members."

Sharma said now suddenly when the semester exams were in progress, the Board has decided to create examination centres on the ground floor. "The decision is unjustified and uncalled for. School buildings were constructed keeping in view the examination centres. Now it is impossible to demolish the school buildings," he rued.

Sharma added that big halls were required for the creation of examination centres. "In most of the schools, adequate space was not available on the ground floor, so big halls were created on the upper floors for examination centres. It is not possible to create examination centres in smaller rooms as per the Board's whims and fancies. Moreover, it would be sheer foolishness to make examination centres in smaller rooms when big halls were available within the schools."

Another member of the association and a local school head NK Bangia said the cities were thickly populated and there was a lot of disturbance due to traffic, pollution and other things. "The students will not be able to concentrate on their exam if the centres are shifted to the ground floor. The Board's decision is not wise."

Sharma and Bangia said if the PSEB did not reconsider its decision, the association members would form a committee to protest against it. "This committee will be authorised to protest against the decision of the PSEB regarding the creation of examination centres on the ground floor. The members of PTA and all parents have assured full cooperation to us in this regard," they remarked.

Meanwhile, a general meeting of the members of the Association of Punjab School Education Board Affiliated Schools, Punjab, was held in the city today to discuss the matter.

The meeting was headed by Rajinder Sharma along with vice-president IM Dutta, NK Bangia and others representatives from various districts of the state.

All members of the association condemned the decision of the Board.

The members of the association have requested the chairman, PSEB, to cancel the decision and implement the previous policy of the centre creation.

It was also unanimously decided to meet the Punjab Chief Minister and Education Minister to seek a solution to the matter. Prominent members present on the occasion were RS Bains, SS Bedi, BS Kaler, Joginder Singh Aulakh, Balbir Singh and Chander Mohan Handa.



Perfecting the art of baseless rumours
Cops hunt for suspect behind Quran rumours
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
The Malerkotla police claimed it was close on the heels of nabbing a city resident who was behind the spread of rumours about the Quran being burnt in the US, which led to the reported torching a church in Malerkotla being reportedly on September 12 night.

The incident led to angry protests in the city by members of Christians as well as the Muslim community. Fortunately the quick response of the police prevented the situation from taking an ugly turn.

The Malerkotla police later arrested three people, identified as Mohammad Sabar, Babbu Mohammad and Mohammad Harun, said to be the prime suspects behind the burning of the church. However the man who reportedly spread the rumours through cellular messages that led the tragic incident is still evading arrest.

According to sources close to the police, a special investigation team from Malerkotla visited the city to nab the suspect. However the alleged rumour monger got wind of the police search and fled. The sources added the instigative phone messages were doing the rounds in the city since the beginning of the month.

Insiders said the messages were circulated mostly on the Islamic festival of Eid ul-Fitr but failed to create any tension among the community. However, they had the desired effect the next day.

Meanwhile, ADCP Harsh Bansal said he had no knowledge about the search for the rumour suspect by the Malerkotla police.



Man dies on day of judgement
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, September 15
Dinesh Kumar, an accused in a corruption case, died today when a local court was to pronounce judgement in his case.

He collapsed in the mini-secretariat near Bachat Bhawan due to cardiac arrest. He was going to attend his case in the District Courts this morning.

Working as a peon in the office of naib tehsildar, Machhiwara, he was booked in a corruption case in the year 1999 by the Vigilance Bureau along with naib tehsildar of Machhiwara.

He was accused of accepting a bribe of Rs 15,000. According to the prosecution, he was to get Rs 500 out of this amount and the rest of the money was allegedly to be handed over to the naib tehsildar.

The state government had not given sanction to prosecute the naib tehsildar. The Vigilance Bureau had filed a chargesheet against him. He alone was facing the case.



Farmers honoured for diversification
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
Becoming the role models for the younger generation of agriculturists, 22 members of the Naujwan Kisan Club at Aliana village in the Ferozepur district were honoured for having “effectively promoted” diversification at the PAU Kisan Mela.

Steered by Karnail Singh, president, Naujwan Kisan Club, its members aged between 22 and 35 years have already organised three Kisan melas in their native village to benefit the farmers in terms of quality seeds, farm technology and expert advise.

Shares Karnail Singh said: “I made a move to rope in the young wards of the farmers who wanted to continue farming but did not have enough motivation. Getting them to attend the PAU Kisan Mela made the difference, as they wanted to be on the stage to get an award for some achievement. Thereafter, the boys did not looked back and have carried on with the good work.”

Diversification does not just happen as we had to compulsively work in that direction, making it mandatory for the club members to grow vegetables in ½ to 2 acres as per the landholding, said Davinder Dhillon, a young member of the club.

In addition to cotton, keenu and basmati, these young farmers are cultivating ladyfinger, gourd, bitter gourd, beans in summers followed by tomatoes, cauliflower, pea seed (pb 89).

The knowledge about the common crop diseases, judicious use of fertilisers, knowledge about varieties from the experts at the Krishi Vigyan Kendra followed by field visits by the PAU experts has been elemental in the success of these young progressive farmers.

Ravi Kant, senior adviser, Naujwan Kisan Club, who is also working as a veterinary inspector feels that “guidance” and “motivation” from the government are the two factors that can change the fate of the agriculture in Punjab.

“It may be surprising but it is true that we have enabled a large number of farmers in the district to diversify from paddy to moong and vegetables permanently and they are happy as they are getting good dividends,” said Ravi Kant.

None of these young farmers unlike the “Doaba” youth is interested in leaving their motherland to settle abroad. Karnail Singh said: “We have the capability to give the best to the world but we don’t need to leave the country to do so, as we will take the products grown in the Punjabi soil to the world in the coming years.”



GADVASU Pashu Palan Mela a success
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
The Pashu Palan Mela of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) concluded on a note to meet again with new researches and latest information.

The mela was inaugurated yesterday by Dr VK Taneja, Vice-Chancellor, GADVASU. The mela attracted a huge gathering. Farmers from neighbouring states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and from the surrounding areas converged upon the mela in large numbers.

"The mela, like previous years, evoked an overwhelming response from farmers who descended upon the venue in large numbers. The best part is that they went back satisfied and more knowledgeable and learnt a lot from experts at the mela," remarked GADVASU spokesman Harpreet Singh, adding that this year's mela has been a grand success.

Dr KS Sandhu, director of extension education, too, confirmed that the mela had been an out-an-out success. In the mela, all departments and component colleges of GADVASU participated actively and contributed their bit, Singh added. Sandhu revealed that a large number of farmers visited the stalls and showed keen interest in the measures to be adopted for the control of parasitic diseases of livestock.

The department of animal nutrition had developed a number of nutritional technologies for the dairy animals of the state, which were displayed at the mela. The dairy animals producing more than 15 kg milk required by-pass proteins and by-pass fat. Good quality mineral mixture and uromin lick prepared in GADVASU were also sold at economical price.

The department of clinical veterinary medicine addressed the commonly prevalent disease conditions of the dairy animals of Punjab, which were mastitis, mineral disorders, foot lameness and fore-stomach disorders. The college of fisheries displayed different varieties of fish like carp fish, catfish and prawn fish and ornamental fishes. The College of Dairy Science and Technology displayed value-added milk products with better technology.

The livestock products technology department exclusively demonstrated the development of value-added turkey meat products, as turkey meat was rich in protein and high priced, so department had standardised various low-priced formulations of turkey meat. Farmers were keen to be trained for the development of milk and meat products and the department had ensured to provide them literature and training on their requirement.

University publications entitled Dairy Farming, Package of Practices, University Diary, Calendar and monthly magazine Vigyanak Pashu Palan also got a great response.

The judgment committee of the university adjudged the stalls and declared Lumin Pharma Private Limited first, Punjab Dairy Development Department second and Nestle India Limited at the third position.

The mela was an enriching experience for the farmers, many of whom have been participating in the biannual event for years now. "the Pashu Palan Mela is a great platform to meet experts of different animal husbandry departments of state, scientists of university, technical experts of different companies and financial institutions collectively and enhance our knowledge," remarked Kishan Singh and Karnail Singh, dairy farmers from Mukstar.

Poultry farmer from Moga Sahib Singh added that the mela should be held more frequently. "The university should hold the mela quarterly so as to give the farmers more opportunities to interact with the experts and enhance their knowledge. This way, there will be a mela each for each one of the four seasons and help the farmers to address their weather-related problems with the experts more effectively," he suggested.

The mela concluded with a new hope to develop livestock farming with scientific measures.



Farmers awarded at Kisan Mela
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
The chief parliamentary secretary (Agriculture), Punjab Sohan Singh Thandal today gave away the prizes to the winners of various competitions organised at Kisan Mela in PAU .

As many as 26 first prize and the same number of second prize were given away to the farmers.

Besides, three farmers were given special prizes for their produce.

The winners of the first prize in different crop categories were Ajmer Singh of Langrian (Sangrur) for banana, Amarjit Singh of Birdwal (Patiala) for bael, Bhagwan Singh of Gatta Badshan (Ferozepur) for arvi, Chandi Bee Farm of Boolpur (Kapurthala) for halva kaddu and honey, Dalbir Singh of Gagadpur (Sangrur) for radish and cowpea, Eknoor Singh of Khanpur Thiara (Hoshiarpur) for zerbra, Gurbir Singh of Bhaugri Rajputan (Raiya, Amritsar) for ghia kaddu, Gurdev Singh of Cheema Kalan (Jalandhar) for maize cobs, Gurpreet Singh of Bhoolpur (Kapurthala) for Ram tori and baingni, Guru Amardas Farm of Goindwal Sahib (Tarntaran) for lime and lemon, Iqbal Singh of Gumti Kalan (Bathinda) for long brinjal, Jagjit Singh of Agol (Patiala) for papaya, Jaswant Singh of Rode Zailewala (Ferozepur) for marigold, Karanvir Singh of Nagra (Sangrur) for capsicum, Kulwant Singh of Nagra (Sangrur) for bitter gourd, Lakhwinder Singh of Maneili (Ludhiana) for tuberose, Manjit Singh Ghuman of Nagra (Sangrur) for french beans, Parmjit Singh of Jalberi Kehlan (Fatehgarh Sahib) for bhindi, Ravinder Singh of Lohgarh (Ludhiana) for malta, Satnam Singh of Aulakh (Faridkot) for guava, Suba Singh of Talwandi Chaudrian (Kapurthala) for round brinjal, Sukhpreet Singh of Galab Khurd (Ludhiana) for onion and Tirath Singh Kehal of Sandaur (Sangrur) for green chillies.

In addition, Kulwant Singh of Raikot (Ludhiana), Ravinder Singh of Lohgarh (Ludhiana) and Satnam Singh of Aulakh were given special prizes for grape fruit, marigold and turmeric powder, respectively.

Harjeet Kaur from Rorgarh (Patiala) was adjudged the best entrepreneur women, while Sudarshan Devi of Kukruhi (Gurdaspur) was given the second prize.

For various competitions organised by College of Home Science for Women, Karnail Kaur of Sherpur Kalan (Ludhiana) was winner in tape making (nala bunana). Similarly, Gurpreet Kaur of Sherpur Kalan (Ludhiana), Simranpreet Kaur of Rangian (Sangrur) and Charanjeet Kaur of Mehna (Moga) were declared winners in 'diya decoration', ' essay writing' and 'pinni-making' competitions.

In the agro-industrial exhibition several firms were awarded for their displays/exhibits.

In the machinery group the winners were; M/s. John Deere India Pvt. Ltd, Pune for tractors while M/s. Preet Agro Industries Pvt. Limited., Nabha for combines and threshers. Similarly M/s. Dashmesh was awarded for Mechanical Works Amargarh for farm implements followed by M/s. Kalsi Metal Works Pvt. Ltd., Jalandhar for electric motors, engines and pump sets.

The award for lwn movers and garden tools went to Ms/ J.S.Passi , Ludhiana and M/s. Jain Irrigation, Jalgaon bagged the prize for water-saving tools/machines and M/s. Tata Auto Comp. GY Batteries Ltd., Ludhiana for tyres and batteries.

In the input groups, the winning firms were; M/s IFFCO, Ludhiana for fertilizers; M/s. Coromandal Agricultural Company Private Limited, Ludhiana, for pesticides; M/s. Shiv Shakti Enterprises, Ludhiana, for home appliances; Markfed, Ludhiana, for agro-processed products and Mehram Publications, Nabha, for literature.



Farmers go for PAU seeds to reap profits
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
Fruit and vegetable seeds developed by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) were in great demand as long queues of farmers were seen at the seed sale point of the varsity on the concluding day of the Kisan Mela.

Director (seeds) at PAU Dr SS Bal said there was a great demand for seeds of vegetables, fruits and wheat varieties PBW 343, BL 10 and BL 42 of ‘barseem’. Farmers purchased seeds of cauliflower and vegetable kits for their gardens, said Dr Bal.

Farm literature stalls also attracted a large number of farmers. Centre for Communication and International Linkages sold farm literature worth Rs 5 lakh and more than 500 new subscribers were enrolled for the PAU farm magazines - Progressive Farming & Changi Kheti. Nearly 3,500 farmers and farmwomen visited the museum of rural history of Punjab.

Addressing the farmers, Sohan Singh Thandal, chief parliamentary secretary (agriculture), said Punjab produces enough foodgrains to feed the nation. From a mere 1.5 per cent of the geographical area of the country, Punjab today is contributing nearly 60 per cent wheat and 40 per cent rice in the national kitty. "With their sheer hard work, Punjab farmers have made farming a respectable profession,” he said.

Showing concern over the decreasing profits from farming, Thandal urged PAU scientists to popularise technologies having low cultivation costs. He also urged farmers to cultivate PAU recommended varieties and follow university recommendations to get better income from farming. He emphasised that farmers should keep an eye on the quality of their produce.

PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang advised farmers to adopt technologies that do not harm the environment. He said continuous cultivation of paddy and wheat in Punjab over the years had deprived the soil of nutrients and the water table has also depleted. T

here is an urgent need to shift to other crops, he said, adding that vegetable cultivation offers a great scope. He also advised the farmers against burning of their paddy straw residue in fields.



Pensioners ‘fear’ eviction from CRPF colony
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 15
Uncertainty and panic is writ large on the faces of a large number of state government pensioners and their family members residing in CRPF colony in the Dugri locality here after 35 flats were vacated by the district administration last week after a verdict from the court of SDM under the Public Premises Act.

Since most of the present occupants of the flats, which were in the possession of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) till 1994, do not possess valid allotment letters for the simple reason that either the allottees have retired from government service or have passed away leaving the government flats with their dependents, the residents apprehend a similar fate as that of the 35 flats from where the occupants and their belongings were thrown out under the court orders. To add to the misery of the occupants of the flats, a group of riot victims led by president Surjit Singh has taken upon himself to intimidate and threaten the families of former government employees and to force them to vacate the flats, which they claim, the government proposes to allot to the riot victims.

Bakhshish Singh, a retired government employee, claims that the occupants of the flats were there with the orders of the district authorities but refuses to be specific whether majority of the occupants did have the valid allotment letters in their respective names. Similarly, Bimla Dua, another resident, claims that her husband (now dead) had the flat allotted in his name, and the then Chief Minister Beant Singh had permitted the family to retain the flat. The occupants of the flats are more upset over the threats and highhandedness of the riot victims than the fear of being evicted from their homes. "Surjit Singh and his cronies roam around in the colony and issue threats to the residents to clear out or face the consequences," allege several residents of the colony.

Rajinder Oberoi, Tehsildar, who had led the team of officials and police for getting 35 flats vacated, said the action was initiated against unlawful occupants after a verdict in favour of the district administration in the court of SDM. "Some more cases are pending under the Public Premises Act, and we will act in accordance with the directions of the court as and when orders are passed, he added."

A senior district official said the issue of allotment of residential flats in the CRPF colony to riot victims could not be linked with unlawful occupation by retired government employees or their families. "The government houses have to be vacated by the employees as per laid down norms and any claim to retain the house, whatsoever, can not be entertained, he added."

In a memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister through the district authorities, the residents have pleaded that the said flats be allotted to them at the reserve price and the riot victims be rehabilitated elsewhere if the government desired to provide residential flats to them.



Tributes to Visvesvaraya
Mahesh Sharma

Ludhiana/ Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 15
Recognising his contribution in sophistication of traditional technologies and reinforcement of strategic infrastructural installations, including hydraulic dams, engineers of the area paid tributes to Bharat Ratna Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya on occasion of National Engineers Day today.

Condemning successive governments for their alleged unconcern towards genuine demands of engineers serving in various government departments, the technologists urged higher authorities, including Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to restore lost glory of this class of professional, which has been instrumental in fetching unmatchable development in the region during past decades.

Acknowledging the importance of all sections of professionals in development of the region and restructuring of society, the engineers regretted that the successive governments had failed to understand their (engineers’) importance in real terms.

“Had the policy makers realised ascendancy of technical know how over construction materials, they could have differentiated engineers from non-technical ministerial staff,” argued engineers lamenting that so-called politicians had been degrading them for no fault of theirs.

Bhupinder Singh Gill, convener and former chairman, council of diploma engineers, North India, regretted that the engineers had to wear black badges to lodge their protest for not getting their genuine demanded accepted last year.

Protesting against the “step-motherly” treatment meted out to them in the Fifth Pay Commission, junior engineers of all departments had to stage protest demonstrations last year. But the Chief Minister and his colleagues accepted none of their demands despite assurances.

Gill hoped that Badal would implement decisions taken while accepting demands on occasion of the Engineers Day Celebrations today.

Sanjiv Sharma, a junior engineer, accepted that disappointment and resentment among engineers had been affecting the excellence of the projects undertaken by various departments they worked for.

Complicated clerical works, supposed to be done by the technical officials, not only hindered speedy implementation of the projects, it gave rise to their dependence on non-technical staff for the preparation of reports and proposals. And if at all reports are tempered, onus is on the engineers.

September 15, the birth anniversary of Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya, the towering personality in the history of Indian engineering, is observed as Engineers’ Day every year. Visvesvaraya was conferred country’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1955.



State Bank of Patiala penalised
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 15
Deciding a complaint within four months, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has ordered the State Bank of Patiala to credit an amount of Rs 20,000 to the account of an aggrieved consumer, which was wrongly withdrawn by the bank from his savings account.

Pronouncing the order, president of the forum TN Vaidya, its members Rajesh Kumar and Priti Malhotra also directed the State Bank of Patiala to pay Rs 1,000 as compensation and litigation costs.

The orders came on a complaint moved by Umesh Khare of Railway Colony No.9, Near Jagraon Bridge, Ludhiana.

The complainant had submitted before the forum that he was having one savings account with the State Bank of Patiala. He had availed the facility of ATM card from them. On February 10, 2010, he had used ATM card to withdraw Rs 1,500 at Bharat Nagar Chowk ATM of bank.

After withdrawing Rs 1,500, he never again used the ATM card for withdrawal of any other amount. But he was shocked to know that the bank had debited, in addition to Rs 1,500, a sum of Rs 20,000 from his account on the grounds that he had withdrawn both amounts on the same day from the same ATM machine.

Consequently, he contacted bank officials and gave written complaint as well as a notice to look into the matter and refund Rs 20,000 debited from his account. Though, bank officials admitted fault of debiting excessive amount, but failed to rectify the mistake, claimed the complainant.

He alleged that in this way, bank officials acted with negligence by not providing appropriate service to him. Such act on their part caused loss, pain, agony and harassment to him.

Following notice of the forum, an assistant manager appeared on behalf of bank. But, subsequently he failed either to appear or file a written reply. Hence, they were proceeded ex-parte.



Vidhan Sabha panel inspects water supply in city areas
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
The Vidhan Sabha Committee on Local Bodies and Panchayati Raj Units today inspected water supply in several city parts and also the Budda Nullah.

The committee led by its chairperson, Surjeet Singh Jayani, MLA of Fazilka, visited several areas and directed the local civic administration to ensure clean water supply to residents of Subhash Nagar.

He directed the Executive Engineer of the MC to get the water tank supplying water to the area cleaned properly, repaired and chlorinated and then supply twice a day.

He has issued these directions after talking to the residents of the area, who complained of poor water supply. He asked the MC official to get samples of the water being supplied to the area.

Later the team went to Budda Nullah and observed how the water body was being polluted. The committee members later went to Sherpur Kalan and inspected the water tank supplying water. Ishar Singh Meharban, an MLA, questioned the MC officials about the main road leading to Focal Point, which was in 
bad shape.

The officials said the road was being recarpeted at the cost of Rs 6.50 crore and would be completed within two months time. They said after completion of the project, a detailed report would be sent to the Vidhan Sabha Committee.

The team went along the Gill canal and observed that the slum dwellers living alongside the water body were polluting the canal by throwing garbage and polythene bags.

MC Commissioner AK Sinha, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari and several other officials were also present along with the team.



From Schools
Democracy Day

The World Democracy Day was celebrated on Wednesday on the campus of GMT Public School. The morning assembly started with the recitation of the Gayatari Mantra. A speech was also given to highlight the importance of the day and an essay-writing contest on the topic World Democracy Day was held. School principal Amarjit Dhaliwal made the students aware about the emergence of democracy in brief.

Plantation drive

Students of MGM Public School planted a number of saplings on the occasion of the Tree Plantation Day on Wednesday. Three hundred students participated in the drive and came forward to highlight the importance of tree plantation. They also displayed placards having message to conserve environment. The day also was celebrated at BCM School, Basant Avenue, Dugri, in collaboration with the Amar Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Welfare Society. It was a venture for ‘greenovating’ the planet that was undertaken by three generations. Students were accompanied by their grandparents and teachers. The entire team planted saplings.

Hindi Diwas

Students of Jesus Sacred Heart School, DX-1, South City, celebrated the Hindi Diwas and brought a wonderful close to weeklong activities based on Hindi language. Principal Anju Banga addressed the students and encouraged them to give due respect to the national language. Winners were given certificates. Chitvan of Class III, Joy and Anmol of Class IV, Chetan, Bhavreet of Class VII and Harleen of Class VI were awarded for Hindi poem recitation. Dilprit, Prateek and Aayush were winners in Hindi story-telling competition. In Hindi declamation, Aditya and Ritika of Class IV and Aashima of Class IX won prizes.

Dental camp

A dental check-up camp was organised at Fastrackids section of Jesus Sacred Heart School, DX-1, South City. Dr Bhajandeep Singh checked the students of kindergarten and gave them suggestions on dental care. Children were shown CDs on oral health and hygiene so that they learn and inculcate healthy habits of cleaning their teeth and gums. Children with healthiest teeth and cutest smile were given certificates.

Hindi sahitya prakashan saptah

In an attempt to develop the interest of the children towards Hindi, Hindi Sahitya Prakashan Saptah was celebrated by primary and middle wing of Bal Bharati Public School. During the week, various activities were organised in which students participated with great zeal. On the first day, the students of Classes I to III participated in poem recitation competition on various topics. On the second day, a declamation contest was organised for Classes IV-VI. Students spoke effectively on the burning issues of modern society like pollution, importance of self-confidence, importance of games, importance of hard work, female foeticide, students and discipline.



From colleges
Engineers' Day

Students of the Ludhiana Group of Colleges, Chaukimann, Ferozepur Road, celebrated Engineers' Day today. Faculty and students made presentation on various themes. The students from various streams namely mechanical, electrical, electronics, civil and computer science attended the function along with the management students.

Dr MP Kaushal, principal, described the importance of celebrating Engineers' Day in India. The theme of the celebration was 'Paradigm Change in Engineering Sciences and Future Challenges'. He said that young engineers should draw inspiration from successful engineering projects of Indian engineer Mokashgundam Visvesvarya in whose memory the Engineers' Day is celebrated. Young Indian engineers can help India become a superpower in the 21st century through their hard work and innovations by meeting challenges of the future, asserted the principal.

The teachers gave presentations highlighting the success stories of Indian engineering especially in the fields of industrial, space, agricultural and medical science and technology.

The students deliberated upon their career growth in the engineering profession. They stressed upon the need to produce high quality young engineers so as to make Indian industry globally competitive.

Swapandeep Kaur, head of the engineering department, presented a paper on the role of engineering energy conservation. She said that India's energy requirements could be met through production as well as conservation of energy. Amritpal Singh, a computer engineer, shared the recent technological applications in India. He said that every minute of life was meaningful because of research and development in the engineering field. He taught various applications of technologies in various fields, including education, health, agriculture and communication.

Harpreet Singh, head of the management section, said an engineering student should have objectively planned vision in his life and Indians have contributed in the development of western nations. One should have ideals for ensuring professional success. He advised young technocrats to take a pledge to work for the development of India too.

Rajeev Gulati, general secretary, Ludhiana Group of Colleges, said the engineering students must contribute to the progress of this nation through innovations. He stressed upon the fact that anybody could not become an engineer by reading books alone, rather one should learn to recreate engineering processes. India's future depended upon the research and development in the engineering field, he said. Vikram Grover, an entrepreneur and member, management committee of LGC, was also present on the occasion.

Extension lecture

An extension lecture on "Current Practices of HR in Industry" was organised by Gobindgarh Public College, Alour (Khanna). Dr. Sanjay Kaushik, associate professor, UBS, Panjab University, Chandigarh, was the expert speaker. The session started with a welcome note by Rishi Kesh. Principal Dr.Neena Seth Pajni highlighted the importance of extension lectures, seminars, conferences, workshops and research activities in higher education and industry. In the lecture Kaushik talked about the changing scenario of HR in industry. He stressed that the old approach of treating employees with iron and rod theory had changed, now they were treated as resources and HR managers had to manage their attitude, values, work culture, emotions etc. to get the best out of them. He also discussed various issues like recruitment, selection, training, development, performance, and appraisal in the current scenario. More than 100 students of B.Com and BBA attended the lecture and interacted with the expert. The session ended with a vote of thanks by Varinder Kumar. Other faculty members of the college Kamal Kishore, Manoj Arora, Rajesh Kumar, Jagmohan Goyal and Manisha were also present on the occasion.

Guest lecture

The Ludhiana College of Engineering and Technology organised a guest lecture on human resource management (HRM) for MBA students. Abhishek Bhandari, deputy manager, HR; Govind Rubber Limited, was the key speaker. He emphasised that the HR job was not just to sit in office and recruit candidates but also to be very innovative all the time.



Farmers stage dharna outside DC’s office
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
Activists of 17 farmer organisations staged a dharna outside the deputy commissioner’s office here today. The leaders of farmer organisations’ like the Kirti Kisan Union, Jamhoori Kisan Union, Bhati Kisan Union (Ekta), Kirti Kisan Sabha, Pendu Mazdoor Union and the Dehati Khet Mazdoor Sabha were protesting against the state government’s move to levy power bills on tube wells, water charges and domestic consumption.

All-India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha national president Hardev Singh Sandhu said the organisation would intensify their struggle against the government as the above bills were against the larger interests of the agricultural community.

The leaders pointed towards the uncalled for “harassment” meted out to the farmers at the hands of a few Powercom officials. They said the farmers would not refrain from raising their voice at the respective officers of the Powercom.

Employment, plots for rural field labour, fodder for cattle and cancellation of cases registered against farmers and field labour, increase in NREGA budget were some of the demands mentioned in their memorandum.

Agriculture and Kisan Vikas Front activist Saminder Singh stated that the route of the proposed gas pipeline should be changed keeping in mind the interests of the farmers of Punjab.



Printart exhibition from Oct 23
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
Taking in consideration the constant demand of the printers of the region, "Printart-2010" exhibition on printing machines and material is being organised by the Offset Printers Association (OPA) on 23, 24 and 25 October at Kumra Palace.

The main aim behind this exhibition is to provide knowledge about technical innovations and advancements in this field and to pursue the printers of the region to be equipped with the latest so as to cope with the international competition on quality and production. Besides, the exhibition, a competition, ‘Excellence in Printing,’ is also being organised to give away the "Best of North" awards for excellence in printing.

It will be very convenient platform for the printers of the region because they can learn the latest advancement in the trade in their own language near to their place of work. Parveen Aggarwal, president, OPA, said that "Printart-2010" will offer printers a forum where they can practically see demonstrations of machines and equipment from the top manufacturers, not only indigenous but from the wider world of print. There will be a free technical sessions focusing on industry hot topics combined with practical demo workshops.

Big names from the printing and converting industries are showcasing the latest machines, material and systems. Many of these will be showing their latest technologies for the first time in India. There will be more than 60 stalls, covering more than 60,000 sq ft area, where the companies will display their machines, material and systems and will cover more that 60,000 sq ft area.



Nepalese rule
Head over heels in love with circus
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Jyoti from Nepal performs at a circus in Ludhiana. A Tribune photo
: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, September 15
Circus is life and life is a circus for 17-year-old Jyoti from Nepal. She always wanted to see herself dancing on a 70 mm screen, but instead opted for a ring. Head over heels in love with Bollywood, she loves to dance on peppy numbers and performs ring dance in the circus show. Applause by the audience brings a broad smile on her face and her day is made.

"My brother and sister-in-law were in circus. Once I went to see a circus show and was captivated by it. Then I decided to jump on the bandwagon. Though my parents were against my decision, I had already made up my mind and here I am," quips Jyoti, who joined circus some seven years back.

A performer exhibits her balancing skills at a circus show in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Initially, she found it bit difficult to adjust to the food habits of here, but today she relishes Indian food like anything. "I have even learnt to cook Chinese food myself. I prepare noodles and pasta," she adds.

Jyoti and her friend Hema, who is from Darjeeling, joined circus some three years back. "Whenever we have free time we love to enact small scenes from Bollywood movies," said the duo. While Jyoti's favorite is John Abraham, Hema adores Shahid Kapoor.

Before the circus shifts to another place, they have seven days to enjoy in the city. “We are planning to go for shopping and watech movies in the city. The circus will be moving to Chandigarh and the girls are really excited to visit Shimla. I love going to the hills and hope to have a good time there," said Jyoti.



Veggie prices upset household budget
Incessant rain, flood major factors
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
Vegetable prices are skyrocketing with each passing day and have upset the budget of every household. Incessant rain followed by flood in the region is the major factors behind the steep hike in its prices. With the road and rail services remaining disrupted in some parts of the region, there is less availability of vegetables in the state, leading to rise in the prices.

Onions and potatoes, which are generally priced at Rs 5 to Rs 10 per kg, respectively, are now priced between Rs 30 and Rs 25 per kg; while tomatoes are witnessing an all time high of Rs 40 per kg since the vegetables in the tomato-growing belt of Haryana have been destroyed due to flood.

“Price of tomatoes will remain high till the produce from Himachal and Uttarakhand arrives in Punjab,” said Manoj Kumar, a vegetable vendor at the Ferozepur road.

“Tomatoes are becoming out of the reach of the common man. I have never seen tomatoes being sold at such a high price. Using tomato puree instead is a better option these days,” said Preet Kamal, a resident of Gurdev Nagar.

Similarly, French beans are priced at Rs 70 per kg, capsicum at Rs 80 per kg and ladyfingers at Rs 40 per kg. As a consequence, city residents have cut down their vegetable consumption. “I have cut down our vegetable consumption and instead opted for pulses and non-vegetarian food. Non-vegetarian nowadays prepared at the same cost,” said Shweta, a homemaker from Professor Colony.

Worst affected is the poor and labour class. “Today we cannot even afford to buy potatoes and onions. Pulses and rice is all we are eating everyday,” said Meena, a domestic helper.



Meritorious students felicitated

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 15
Students of Government High School, Jartoli, who had secured top positions in the board examination, were felicitated recently by the Lambardar Sampuran Singh Memorial Trust at a function chaired by Amar Kaur Dhillon, a social activist.

Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon, secretary, CPI (M), was the chief guest on the occasion. Addressing the gathering, speakers, including former president of the Government Teachers’ Union Baldev Singh Latala, president of the Punjab School Teachers’ Union Sikandar Singh Jartoli, Kartar Singh Buani, secretary CPI, and Dhillon appreciated the role of organisers in promoting education in the village.

Students presented a cultural programme on the occasion. Cash prizes of Rs 3,000, Rs 2,000, Rs 1,500 and Rs 1,000 were given to students who secured the first four positions in their respective board classes. Jaswinder Singh, Amandeep Kumar and Lovpreet Kaur were honoured for securing first position, Paramjot Kaur, Satnam Kaur and Prabhjot Kaur secured the second position, Navneet Kaur, Rajveer Singh and Baljinder Singh secured the third position in their respective classes, students standing fourth were given the Vaid Sadhu Singh Memorial Award. — OC



Tewari on foundation stone laying spree
Rs 1.80 crore to be spent on different localities
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 15
Ludhiana MP and national spokesperson of the All-India Congress Committee Manish Tewari while addressing a series of public meetings in Field Ganj, Sunder Nagar, Moti Nagar, Ward Nos. 21, 4 and 5 in the city, said today that during the three-and-a- half-year rule of the SAD-BJP coalition government development works had been pushed to the back burner.

The development work in the state would be put on the tracks once the Congress government comes to power, he added. He urged the city residents to vote in favour of the Congress in the coming Assemble elections so that the development works could be put on the track.

He said even though the state of Punjab was considered among the richest states, but it was still lagging behind many other states as far as development was concerned.

Targeting the civic administration for poor basic amenities, Tewari said due to wrong policies of the state government and the municipal corporation, more than 50 per cent wards on the periphery of the mega city were devoid of sewerage and drinking water facilities.

He also laid foundation stones for the development works worth Rs 1.80 crore to be taken up in different localities.



Polio drive in slum areas from Sept19
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
With an aim to eradicate polio, the Department Of Health And Family Welfare will administer polio drops to the children of migrants living in the slum areas of Ludhiana.

The areas falling under Ludhiana urban, primary health centres (PHC) Kumkalan and Sahnewal will be covered under the five-day polio drive, which will start on September 19 and will conclude on September 23.

The polio drops will also be administered at others civil hospitals and health centres in the district from September 19 to 21.

Ludhiana civil surgeon Dr Satwant Bhalla today stated that a total of 3, 70, 000 children would be administered polio drops in the campaign.

1,456 teams with 260 supervisors have been deployed to carry out the campaign effectively.



Punjab & Sind Bank celebrates Hindi Week
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
The Punjab and Sind Bank zonal office organised a function to mark Hindi week. Iqbal Singh Bhatia, zonal manager, inaugurated it. Parmod Kumar Sharma, member secretary, town official language implementation committee, was the chief guest. He highlighted the importance of Hindi and urged the staff to do maximum work in Hindi.

A Hindi essay competition at the zonal level was also organised on the occasion. Paramjit Singh won the first prize; second prize went to Sarabhjit Singh while Paramjit Lal won the third prize. Two consolation prizes were given to Kanta Sagger and Neelam Devi. The nominated Hindi officer also read out the message of P. Chidambaram, home minister, and a poem in Hindi.



Labourer drowns
Our Correspondent

Samrala, September 15
A Nepali labourer died after he fell into a pond at Balala village near here.

The deceased has been identified as Sher Bahadur. According to information, the incident occurred when labourers were cleaning the pond on Monday evening. Eyewitness said while cleaning the pond, Sher Bahadur slipped and was caught in the mud. However, by the time villagers managed to take him out, it was too late.

No case has been registered. His body was handed over to his companions after post mortem.



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