L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Shed collapse
Death toll rises to 8, probe ordered
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
The death toll in Friday’s accident in which a lintel in a shed being constructed at a spinning mill near Jodha collapsed went up to eight today. While the six labourers including a woman, identified as Geeta, 28, who died yesterday were from Madhya Pradesh, the two labourers succumbed to their injuries later were from Bihar. Scores of other workers were injured, many of them seriously.

The deceased, identified as Param Lal, 48, his son Santosh, 28, Kotma, 30, Kondi Lal, 30, and Khaji, 35, Vikas Yadav, 21, and Pawan, 31, were cremated today at the Model Town crematorium. However, no administration official attended the funeral.

ADC (general) SR Kler was reportedly not even aware of the funeral. According to him the labourers’ bodies were to be taken to their respective states.

A magisterial probe has been ordered into the incident and will be headed by subdivisional magistrate (east) Prem Chand. The executive engineer, public works department, building and roads and deputy director, factories will assist him in the investigation. The team has been told to submit its report within a stipulated timeframe.

Meanwhile, the police filed a case under section 304(A) against the construction company, Skylane, which was building the shed. The firm has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for family members of every labourer who died in the mishap.

SK Aggarwal, vice president (industrial relations) of Rishabh Spinning Mills, at whose factory the accident occurred, said his company would bear all expenses incurred on treating those injured in the incident.

Heart-rending scenes were witnessed outside the mortuary at the city’s Civil Hospital. Relatives and co- workers of the deceased had been camping at the mortuary since yesterday night.

"We’re receiving frantic calls from the victims’ relatives asking us to confirm the tragedy. Their wives are inconsolable," said a labourer at the site, Shakti Lal from Madhya Pradesh.

The tragedy became more poignant when labourers said many of the victims were living away from their families for the past few years. "It’s a great pity that the deceased’s family members didn’t get a chance to even cremate them. Some of them have lost their sole breadwinner”, rued another labourer, Shanker Yadav from Bihar.

Cops take no chances

It appears the police has learnt a lesson from its experiences in similar incidents in the past. Sensing the death of so many labourers might trigger violent protests like the one on December 3 last year, SHO division no 2 Surinder Mohan camped at the hospital mortuary and ensured the worked up labourers did not take the law into their hands by trying to pacify their leaders.


Juvenile gang busted, 1 arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
With the arrest of a child, an alert cop has busted a gang of juvenile thieves, which used to steal valuables items kept inside the vehicles by breaking their windshields.

The gang had spread panic across the city, especially in areas like the Fountain Chowk and Ghumar Mandi, with their repeated strikes.

The incident took place this morning, when head constable Sukhbir Singh was travelling towards the Fountain Chowk and saw a child breaking the windshield of a vehicle.

He stopped at a distance and kept an on boy’s activity. Another boy, who was carrying a sack, joined him. The boy was nabbed while he was trying to pick a bag kept inside he vehicle. However, two of his accomplices managed to escape. The boy in order to free himself pretended that he had an epileptic attack and fell on the floor.

He even smashed his head against the car, but could not evade arrest.

Though, the area falls in Division No 8, no cop arrived at the spot for at least half- an- hour.

Later Division No 5 SHO Dharampal arrived at the spot and took the boy into custody. Police sources said there were five members in the gang. All were aged between 10 and 15 years.

The police said the juvenile thieves used to pose as rag pickers and kept an eye on the vehicles in which laptop or other business bags were kept.

While one member of the gang used to break the windshield and makes a quick exit, another used to arrive and escape with the bag. Three of their accomplices used to keep a watch on cops and raise alarm on seeing them.

Careless Citizens

As the incidents of bags containing cash being stolen from vehicle were being reported on routine bases, the residents seemed to have learnt not lesson from it. Even today, the occupant of the vehicle left the bag inside the vehicle, which led to incident. Though the cops nabbed the boy but the occupant of the car (PB- 10- CT- 1849) was untraceable.



Proliferation of Illegal Colonies
MC, GLADA cold to shortage of staff, equipment
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 2
Lack of will, indifferent attitude, shortage of manpower and equipment and above all field staff which is more keen on making fortunes than carrying out the task of regulating the colonies’ development and law enforcement, have made the two regulatory bodies- the Municipal Corporation and the Greater Ludhiana Development Authority (GLADA)- virtually redundant if proliferation of illegal colonies in the mega city is any indication.

At last count, (that is in 2007), a survey carried out by GLADA field staff had recorded 350 illegal colonies that were carved out without obtaining any license or payment of development charges in the mega city. At the rate that the population in the industrial capital of the state is growing, a similar number, if not more, must have come up during the past three years.

Ironically, even those illegal colonies, which were duly identified by the MC and GLADA regulatory staff within their respective jurisdictions, had practically got away unscathed except for the registration of a few cases under the provisions of the Punjab Apartment and property Regulation Act, or a couple

of demolitions here or there which did not deter them from continuing their business as usual.

“Carving out an illegal residential colony is a big business,” says a mid-level player in the real estate business. “Huge money is involved and almost without exception, those behind developing illegal colonies, enjoy proximity to politicians, legislators and councillors. At times, even senior bureaucrats or top-ranking police officials choose to invest in this shady business which promises handsome profits in the wake of ever rising demand for affordable houses in the city.”

Echoing similar views, a former councillor said as against development of an approved colonies where license fee and development charges add to the cost of residential plots, opting to be on the wrong side of the law is profitable for all concerned.

“The coloniser developing illegal colony saves lot of money by way of license fee and external development charges, cutting corners in laying infrastructure, sells plots at comparatively cheaper rates, and earns huge profit before disappearing, leaving the plot holders to fend for themselves,” he adds.

Vicious Circle

“The developer (of unlawful colonies) make crores of rupees and it is in their own interest to keep the field staff of regulatory bodies in good humour. Not only supervisory staff but several middle-rung MC and GLADA officials are also a part of the unholy nexus between regulatory bodies and developers.”



Doctors hire PR firms to get around ad ban
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
Barred from putting out advertisements, deemed an unethical practice by the Punjab Medical Council (PMC), many private medical practitioners in the city have begun hiring the services of public relations agencies to “endorse” their work.

Those doctors found guilty of flouting the PMC regulations pertaining to ads are first issued a “show cause” notice. Thereafter, the council initiates action including suspension and/or cancellation of the errant practitioner's licence.

However, the scenario has undergone a change in the past two years as the medical fraternity, realising the benefits of hiring PR agencies, has adopted what they consider to be a safe way to gain publicity.

Calling press conferences for even a routine case has become a routine for doctors, the reason ostensibly being such gatherings are the “safest” and simplest way to get mileage for their money besides ensuring the target "clientele" from the elite class is not missed.

A large number of specialists working in the city’s leading medical institutions and hospitals are caught in a frantic race to get their names published against the work done in their specific fields.

Be it an ENT specialist or a general or orthopaedic surgeon, a cardiac expert or a gynaecologist, the craze to read one’s name in print or to see a clipping on a TV channel is irresistible for the younger doctors.

Interestingly, owing to the role played by the PR agencies, complaints against doctors over resorting to the unethical practice of putting out an advertisement have been curtailed to a large extent.

Said a senior doctor: "Medical practitioners working in the city’s leading hospitals are already getting handsome salaries. However, to promote their private practices, they’ve begun hiring PR agencies that release press statements on behalf of the doctors”.

Agencies paid hefty sums

Private medical practitioners in the city are paying large amounts to PR agencies with amounts varying from ` 25,000 to ` 2 lakh. These agencies also act as “commission agents” for the doctors, especially surgeons, as they get clients for them from the city’s periphery, thereby taking the commission amount up to 40 per cent.



Commission agents refuse to give paddy to FCI
Threaten stir if dues not paid
Our Correspondent

Khamano, October 2
Even though the government purchase has started in the grain markets, commission agents of Khamano grain market and its adjoining areas have refused to give their paddy to the Food Corporation of India (FCI).

At a meeting of the commission agents it was decided that they would not give their produce to the FCI unless they were given payment through cheques.

They also submitted a complaint to the FCI officials. According to sources, commission agents are not ready to give their paddy to Markfed, PUNSUP and warehouse. They alleged more than Rs 1 crore was pending with these agencies and warned that they would not give their produce unless their dues are cleared.

They had demanded that their paddy should not be handed over to any local mill. They said they would boycott any agency that would give the paddy from Khamano and other grain markets falling under Khamano to local millers.

They also said that they had apprised the Deputy Commissioner and other officials concerned.

Commission agents also warned that they will intensify their stir if their demands were not met.

Meanwhile, SDM Khamano Roopanjali (IAS) said she had taken the matter to the officials concerned and any decision would be taken after the directions of higher authorities.

The meeting was chaired by president of the association Gurdev Singh and several other commission agents took part.



Shed collapse: Samples sent to labs
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 2
Three-member committee constituted to probe into the under-construction shed collapse of Rishabh Spinning Mill, which claimed lives of at least seven persons and injuries to many, initiated magisterial inquiry today.

Samples of material used for the construction of the shed were sealed.

Officials led by Prem Chand SDM (West), Kashmira Singh, deputy director, Factories Department, and Charanjit Singh, executive engineer (provincial government), spent at least four hours at the industrial complex.

Though no formal announcement about the progress of the inquiry was made, sources revealed that the team had sealed samples of concrete and steel bars used in construction of the factory shed that has come crashing on 28 labourers working underneath it yesterday afternoon.

The samples will be sent to different laboratories to verify the strength and standard of the material used. Though responsibility of the accident will be fixed only after receipt of the chemical report verifying strength and concentration of the construction material, statements of all concerned will be recorded and analyzed in continuance of today’s procedure.

Though the management committee of the mill had argued that preventive measures were supposed to be taken by the contractor, the administration was reported to have persuaded them come to help of the victim families.

Besides undertaking to treatment of the injured, the management has announced to give Rs 5 lakh each to families of all deceased. Pension equal to wages of the deceased, will be paid to the families.



Rs 1.20 crore scam in DC Office
Centre blames govt of ‘siphoning off’ grants
KS Chawla

Ludhiana, October 2
Two scams worth Rs 1.20 crore in the office of the Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) have shaken the district administration. The money was received from the Central government under the Indira Awas Yojna and the Total Literacy Mission.

Manish Tiwari, MP, had taken up this issue with Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats CP Joshi. The Central minister met district vigilance and monitoring committee members and expressed his ‘displeasure’ over the misappropriation of the funds. He regretted the state government’s attitude in not taking the implementation and use of the Central funds seriously.

But, who actually is responsible for such scams? Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal happens to be the minister in charge of the Ludhiana district and is supposed to preside over the district grievances redressal committee and district planning board meetings. But, ever since the formation of the SAD-BJP government in the state, he has not held even a single meeting so far.

This is also a fact that the Chief Minister visited the city more than 100 times during the past three-and-a- half year to participate in various functions. He has even stayed overnight numerous occasions. But he had no time to convene even a single district grievances committee and the district planning board meetings. The Chief Minister held a 15 days long sangat darshan immediately after the formation of his government. He has also doled out Rs 250 crore for various development schemes for the town. But not a single penny has been received for any development work to be carried out.

Not only the Chief Minister, but also deputy commissioners, who have served in this district during the past three years did not bother to hold the monthly meetings. It is only Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari, who was posted in Ludhiana in March, has taken the initiative of holding three grievances committee meetings so far. Tiwari has tried to streamline the district administration. The scams in the office of the Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) were also busted by him. It was on this basis that the police arrested two employees of that office. Further on his recommendations, the chief secretary has ordered special auditing of the accounts of the Additional Deputy Commissioner’s (Development) office.

Similarly, fake bill scam worth Rs 79 lakh, in which the grandson of a senior BJP leader was also involved, was unearthed in the municipal corporation. No action has been taken in this case so far.

There is a feeling that if the Chief Minister had held some meetings of the district grievances committee, things would not have been so bad. At least review of the progress of the Central funds would have saved the money allegedly siphoned off.

The Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister have been talking of punishing corrupt government officials, but nothing has come to the surface. The vigilance bureau, Punjab, registered a case under the Presentation of Corruption Act against a former commissioner of the municipal corporation, officials and a councillor. But the case was dropped later on.

Similarly the vigilance bureau has registered a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act against a former deputy commissioner of Ludhiana. The vigilance bureau has submitted an affidavit in the Punjab and Haryana High court admitting that the deputy commissioner and some other officers had been indulging in corruption. The case was registered after the arrest of a sub- registrar.



PSEB holds English workshop for teachers
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
In a unique endeavour to hone English language skills of primary students studying in Punjab State Education Board (PSEB) affiliated schools, the board has come up with a novel plan.

The PSEB is holding a special workshop for primary schoolteachers, wherein they will be trained in English language teaching.

This is the PSEB’s multi-dimensional effort towards upliftment of education in the state, revealed district education officer (DEO) (elementary) Harbhajan Ram.

“With the workshop, the board intends to ensure good results in English subject, which was earlier made compulsory for primary students,” the DEO remarked.

The PSEB also endevours to bring English language skills of government schoolchildren on par with that of their counterparts studying in private schools through specialised training for teachers during this workshop, added DEO Harbhajan Ram.

The workshop, which is to be held under the Padho Punjab programme, is scheduled from October 13 to November 3. It will start from block level and will also cover teachers teaching in the Zila Parishad schools in its last leg i.e. from October 28 to November 3.


As part of the workshop, master trainers from every district have already been trained in Chandigarh from September 20-25. From October 4-6, these master trainers will train cluster master trainers and block master trainers (CMTs and BMTs), who will in turn train primary schoolteachers during the workshop.

Success mantra

Interestingly, DGSE has passed special instructions in order to ensure active and consistent participation from all teachers in the workshop and to make it a success. According to the DGSE’s directive, at least three teachers from each government primary school will have to participate in this workshop. Not only this, all participant teachers will have to be present during all days of the workshop, including Sundays. They will not be given any off during the entire workshop.



Prabhat pheris, prayer meetings mark Gandhi Jayanti
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 2
Prabhat pheris were taken out and prayer meetings were organised in memory of Father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi and former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri on their birthday.
Tributes being paid to Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri in Ludhiana on Saturday
Tributes being paid to Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri in Ludhiana on Saturday

Activists of the District Youth Congress (DYC) led by district president Dimple Rana prayed for eternal peace of the departed leaders at the Congress Bhawan.

Later, at a function to observe Gandhi Jayanti, the YC activists distributed fruits, sweets and snacks among orphans and mentally challenged kids at Mother Teresa Home near the Jalandhar bypass chowk.

Rana exhorted the youth to follow the footsteps of great leaders and channelise their energies for constructive and nation-building activities. He announced that in keeping with the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi, the YC ranks would undertake a “padyatra” across the state from October 20 to expose the mismanagement by the SAD-BJP government and set the process in motion to get rid of the people from this corrupt and inefficient government.

A prabhat pheri was also taken out by the District Congress Sewa Dal to commemorate Gandhi Jayanti.

Congress workers led by PPCC secretary and councillor Parminder Mehta also took out a prabhat pheri from the Roopa Mistry street, which concluded at the MC headquarters.

Rising Youth Association, an NGO, also organised a prayer meeting at Rakh Bagh to observe Gandhi Jayanti and birthday of Lal Bahadur Shastri.



85 needy families to get ration for free
Our Correspondent

Amloh, October 2
Manav Bhilai Manch (MBM), Amloh, celebrated its foundation day here today. The programme began with shabad recitation. Chief parliamentary secretary Bikramjit Singh Khalsa was the chief guest. He presented a cheque for Rs 50,000 to the manch.

Welcoming the guests, manch chairman Som Nath Lotawa said the manch had adopted 85 needy families and would supply monthly ration to them free of cost on the first Sunday of every month.

Chetan Kala Manch, Mullanpur Mandi, Ludhiana, presented choreography “Dhi di Vangar” and staged a play “Mitti Rudan Karey”, which enthralled audience 
on the occasion.



From Schools & Colleges
Gandhi Jayanti celebrated

Lord’s Divine Public School, Grewal Colony, Noorwala road, held a function to mark birthday celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri. The function started with the lightening of the ceremonial lamp by school director Madhu Sudan Jain. It was presided over by headmistress Ritu Soni.

An inter-house paper-reading contest on Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri was held, in which 16 students participated. Several episodes of their life were highlighted to inspire the students to work for the integrity of the country.

SKN Model school

Gandhi Jayanti was celebrated under the supervision of principal KD Arora at SKN Model High School with great pomp and show. Students recited poems and sang songs in memory of Mahatma Gandhi. The highlight of the event was melodious compositions “De Di Tune Azadi”, “Raghupati Raghav” and “Hum Honge Kamayab” presented by the students. Headmistress Dulari and teachers, Chandni, Rajni, Kamal and Malika enlightened the students on the life of Mahatma Gandhi and first Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. Principal Arora advised the students to follow the path of righteousness as shown by the two great leaders. School toppers were also honoured on the occasion.

SDP college

The NSS camp organised under the supervision of Balraj Bhasin, president, SDP College for Women, entered its second day today and celebrated Gandhi Jayanti. To mark the occasion, Surbhi, Jeevan Jyoti and Malika sung melodious songs. A quiz contest was also organised on Gandhi’s life and students participated with great enthusiasm. Principal, Dr Meenu Sharma appreciated the students for their efforts in making the event a grand success. She blessed the students and wished them a bright future.

Placement drive

Belwo Inc, a leading USA-based software outsourcing company operating from Chandigarh, visited the RIMT Group of Institutions here today to recruit MCA students for six-month industrial training-cum-placement opportunity. RIMT Group of Institutions chairman, Dr Hukam Chand Bansal welcomed HR team members. Rasneet Kaur, chief coordinating official, along with Poonam, HR manager, and technical team members from Belwo briefed the students on the company’s software projects and available career opportunity.

Rasneet said Belwo was mainly into website application development, document composition, document management and deployment of enterprise systems in content management‚ e-commerce‚ collaborative tools and financial services.

Director-general, Dr BS Bhatia said students would be given stipend during training and would be trained on technologies. Director, placements, Prof HS Taluja said 142 MCA students from RIMT Group appeared for the written test and 18 were shortlisted, out which six got selected for internship with stipend and placement offer on completion of training.— TNS



Accessing Moisture Content
‘Board must provide electronic meters’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
Pavitar Pal Singh Pangli, president of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Kisan club, has said that in order to save farmers from excessive moisture content during the forthcoming procurement season the Punjab Mandi Board must train them in using the moisture test meters.

Pangli added: "The manual meters are outdated, the board must make provisions for assessing the moisture content through the electronic meters and farmers should be trained in small groups."

Pangli also called upon the government to redress the grivences of rice millers.

TS Sandhu, a farmer and owner of a rice mill in Sahnewal, while highlighting the plights of the rice millers said: "It’s a sorry state of affairs. Farmers are suffering as agencies have refused to lift even the good quality grain. The millers are being asked to give the quality grain at the rate of the damaged grain, which has been turned down by the majority of millers.

Millers are bearing heavy losses, as their previous produce has been dumped for no fault," Sandhu added.

Meanwhile, chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board, Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, while addressing a gathering of farmers at PAU emphasised upon diversification to vegetable crops from regular cropping pattern of wheat and rice.



GLADA razes two more illegal colonies
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 2
Continuing with their crackdown on illegal colonies on the periphery of the mega city, regulatory staff of the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) today demolished manholes, partly-constructed roads and streets in two colonies at Chuharpur village on the Balloke Road in Haibowal.

According to GLADA officials, one colony was reportedly being carved out in 8 acres by an owner of a car bazaar in the city while another was spread over 2 acres and was being developed.

GLADA additional chief administrator Indu Malhotra, under whose directions the entire operation was carried out, said the crackdown on unregulated and unlawful development of residential and commercial colonies would continue relentlessly. "Let every body clearly understand that illegal colonies will not be allowed to be carved out, and whosoever chooses to violate the law, will be sternly dealt with."



Kilaraipur MLA felicitated
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 2
Recognising outstanding role of Kilaraipur MLA Jasbir Singh Khangura in narrowing gap between excellence of students hailing from villages and their counterparts in urban regions, families of beneficiaries of various promotional and educational projects sponsored by him felicitated him today at Latala village near here today.

The felicitation function was presided over by Steven Vincent, a British industrial psychologist, who had coached students in communication and language skills.

Students completing training for IELTS (International English Language Testing System) presented a cultural programme on the occasion.

Maintaining that beneficiaries for free training in various job-oriented professional courses were chosen without discrimination of any kind, Jasbir said his family had tried to prepare rural youth for competition with their counterparts from urban areas.

Besides training 230 youths as chefs, at least 41 girls from villages falling under the Kilaraipur and Dakha constituencies were pursuing ophthalmic assistant course in Coimbatore. A batch of boys and girls was prepared for taking IELTS examination.

Terming lack of confidence and communication skills as major impediment in success of local students at national and international level, Jasbir said, “Unfortunately students from the rural areas, who are in no way inferior to their urban counterparts, have since been ignored by their teachers too. Our focus is not only on making them eligible to go abroad, but we want to strengthen and develop overall confidence in them.”

Outstanding performers, including Beant Kaur, Gurcharan Singh, Gurpreet Kaur, Kulwant Singh, Daljit, Baljit, Mandeep Kaur, Jasvir Kaur, Manpreet Kaur, Avtar Singh and Lakhvir Singh were also felicitated.



Stress on advances in treatment of hernia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 2
More than 300 physicians from different parts of Punjab attended CME on “Recent advances in treatment of hernia” organised by the department of general and laparoscopic surgery here last evening.

Inaugurating the meet, Dr GL Avasthi, director medical services, said about 25 per cent of males and two per cent of females developed inguinal hernia (which is considered the most common hernia) and management of hernias had always been an area of interest for surgeons.

“The condition is a defect in the abdominal wall, in which inside layers of the abdominal muscle weaken, resulting in a bulge or tear.”

Dr Prafull Arya, senior consultant general surgeon, in his talk on “Laparoscopic repair of hernia” said the popularity of laparoscopy had given hernia management a thrust.

The advantages of laparoscopic hernia repair are that it requires only three tiny cuts instead of the traditional 10-15 cm incision. As a result, patients experience less pain after the operation, are able to perform their activities sooner and are able to return to work sooner than in the traditional open surgical procedure.

Dr HS Khetarpal, consultant general surgeon, spoke on “groin hernia”.

He said laparoscopic repair (keyhole) of hernia was carried out through a 1-cm cut at the belly button and two 5mm cuts, one on either side at the level of the belly button.

The hernia is pulled back through the gap in the muscles into its proper place inside the abdomen by a special instrument.

A mesh is inserted over the gap in order to reinforce the wall of the abdomen.

The mesh is simply placed over the hole or weakness. The mesh is left in the body and acts as a permanent barrier to prevent the hernia from recurring.

He emphasised on early diagnosis and treatment of hernia in order to prevent complications, while asserting that the laparoscopic surgery allows patients to recuperate fast and they can start their active life sooner.



Strategies to boost sugarcane research discussed

Ludhiana, October 2
A review team of sugarcane research recently held a meeting at Punjab Agricultural University to take a stock of research from 2004-09 in the sub-tropical areas of the North.

Dr NN Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Birsa Agricultural University, Ranchi, who chaired the meeting, underlined the need to improve the productivity and sustainability of sugarcane. He said soil improvement through carbon sequestration and conservation of natural resources, especially water was needed.

He suggested that three times more investment would be required to sustain the already achieved productivity in different crops.

The scientists from different research stations presented the progress of research made by them in their projects highlighting constraints as well as future thrusts.

After discussion, new strategies for boosting sugarcane research in the country were suggested.

Earlier, Dr SS Gosal, director of research highlighted the role played by PAU in sugarcane improvement and production technology at national level.

The Asian Vegetable Research and Development Centre (AVRDC) through its Hyderabad-based regional centre for South Asia, has collaborated with PAU department of vegetable crops and Sir Ratan Tata Trust.

A training workshop was organised on home gardening at PAU wherein 23 trainees from different regions participated. Various issues concerning nutritional security through vegetable consumption were discussed.

Dr GS Chahal, executive director of the Reviving Green Revolution (RGR) of SRTT, appreciated the efforts being made to promote home gardening. Dr ML Chadha, director, RCSA, Hyderabad, discussed the experience of AVRDC in developing and promoting home gardens in the developing countries to enhance productivity and quality of life.

Dr DS Cheema, head, department of vegetable crops presented an overview of various activities of the department and the ongoing home garden project. — TNS



Brawls erupt outside hotel, 2 seriously hurt
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
A newly constructed hotel near the city’s Nawa Mohalla locality was the scene of two brawls that broke out in the space of the past 24 hours, leaving two people seriously injured. The miscreants involved in the fights brandished sharp-edged weapons and also fired gunshots into the air.

The injured have been identified as Ravi and Pawan, both of who were rushed to the Christian Medical College & Hospital in a critical condition.

According to the police, members of two groups clashed over what was said to be a minor issue, attacking each other with sharp-edged weapons. Angry area residents later pelted stones at the hotel, accusing hotel officials of encouraging “antisocial elements”.

Though the police later claimed the situation was under control, a second brawl at the same scene during the night pointed otherwise. Hotel officials and area residents exchanged blows and a bullet was also fired during the fight.

The residents had been complaining the hotel had encroached upon land along a nearby street. However, no hotel official was available for comments.



33 units of blood collected
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, October 2
To mark Blood Donation day, Desh Bhagat Ayurvedic College and Hospital organised a blood donation camp in collaboration with Government Medical College, Sector 32, Chandigarh.

A total of 33 units of blood were collected.

College principal Dr Loveleen Kaur Ahuja said bone marrow of the donor was stimulated to produce new red-cells, which would make blood forming organs to function more effectively.

Ayurvedic texts also describe the importance of “Raktmoshana”, blood letting in preventing and curing “Rakt” and “Pit’ related disorders.

During an awareness meeting, doctors put light on various myths related to blood donation and called upon people to donate blood to save lives.



It's time to mix ‘n’ match
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
“If life was pigmented in basic blacks and whites, how boring would it be?” Colours reflect the spirit of life and play an important role, as they define the person.

Colours make an outfit simple or sporty, chic or ethnic, embellished or pure and elegant. And above all, make heads turn.

With sultry summers gone and chilly winters yet to settle, this is the best time of the year to play around with colours.

Nothing can beat distinct style created by mixing and matching clothes.

Besides giving one a wonderful and personal look, smart choice of colours can be a nice change to break the routine, say experts.

For example, someone who is wearing a bright coloured shrug and matching shoes over an otherwise understated simple black dress is sure to get noticed.

Experts also believe that the trick to catch eyeballs is to make clever choices with the use of rainbow hues. This is the best time to mix and match and thus cast a spell. Fashion design student, Harpriya Singh, says: "Gone are the days when you matched your clips with your dresses and shoes. It's the era of mix and match. I love to experiment - like pairing up with a vibrant red clips, a yellow dress and, maybe, a bright green pair of ankle boots. When your outfit can make you feel fresh and good, then why stick to the basic blues, blacks or whites?"

Priyanka Sharma, a fashion designer from Delhi, says: "Bright shades are in. From lipstick red to burnt orange and from fresh navys to sunflower yellows, pick a colour and you will get some accessory in it."

Priyanka adds: "Match your heels with your clutch, and make sure your dress is a contrast or wear a chunky beaded necklace in a bright hue over a simple solid coloured dress and you are ready to “kill”. Bright and hip, colourful accessories lift a regular outfit and make it fun."

Interestingly, experimenting with colours is no longer a “girlie” thing. Boys seem to like colours more than girls. Fashion designer Sonu Gandhi says: "It's the age of the metro-sexual guys. So, colours like pink, yellow, green and purple have wriggled into the male wardrobe. Yellow is at the top and neons have whitened. The brights are on fire, and the entire spectrum of reds from purple to salmon pink is doing the rounds.”

Be your own stylist

The mix and match phenomenon can transform you into your own personal fashion stylist. Take a look at your closet and organise your wardrobe according to colours, patterns and styles. Then plan your shopping list according for accessories.

Most important ones that you can never go wrong with are - a brightly coloured pair of shoes preferably in red, deep cherry, green, purple; a clutch in yellow, red, green, blue, pink or purple; a shrug in red or deep purple or sunshine yellow; a patterned or solid printed scarf; some chunky pieces of costume jewellery in myriad hues; a big dial watch in white or red; sun glasses in any colour; bright coloured nail paints and matching lip shades.

Tips to remember

n Never match a patterned accessory with a printed, checked or multi-coloured outfit

n Always be careful to mix and match printed outfits with accessories in solid colours, preferably in a single shade

n Opt for flamboyant accessories in shocking hues with a plain dress



Six die in freak accidents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
Six persons, including a 15- year- old girl, have died in freak mishaps that took place in various parts of the city in the past 24 hours.

The death of a labourer and a daily wage sweeper with the municipal corporation led to large-scale protest at the Tajpur road.

The protestors blocked the road for nearly an hour and demanded compensation for the victims.

The victims have been identified as Bablu and Chohal Lal. Bablu, who was working at a Balaji dyeing unit located at the Tajpur road, was crushed to death by an over speeding tempo near the Central jail.

He was reportedly carrying the material of the dyeing unit. The victim died on the spot. Chohal Lal was also hit by an over speeding vehicle and he, too, died on the spot.

The administration has announced Rs 2 lakh for the next of the family members of the victims.

Meanwhile, a cop identified as Harjit Singh (36), who met with an accident a few days ago, succumbed to his injuries at a multi- speciality hospital here today.

Jagdish Singh (53), a government employee, was also hit by an over speeding car. The victim succumbed to his injuries here this morning.

A 15- year- old girl Amarjit Kaur, who sustained burn injuries, while cooking food died today. However, the cops have taken the body in their custody. It was sent to the civil hospital for a post-mortem examination.

An unidentified man was electrocuted, when he went near Budha Nallah at Chand Cinema. He caught overhead high-tension wires and died on the spot. However, the victim could not be identified.



5 yrs on, credit card co. continues to harass man
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
Gulzar Singh Brar, who retired as the ETO, regrets the day when his son Arvinderjit Singh purchased a few things through his credit card during his US visit in 2005.

He paid the entire amount through a cheque after returning from the USA. The cheque got credited within a stipulated period.

But little did he knew that he would have to pay the price for the goof up made by the credit card company.

The credit card division of HSBC Bank was subsequently made to pay penalty worth Rs 5, 000 by the State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission, Punjab, for causing mental harassment to Arvinderjit Singh by wrongly debiting the amount from the complainant’s account and secondly for committing the same error time and again. However, the bank apologised for having committed such an error.

Just when Brar was thinking that the justice has been done, his son received yet another bank statement stating that he will have to outstanding due of Rs 31,634.87 by October 4.

“For the past five years I am running pillar to post for justice and even after case went in the favour of my son, the bank paid scant regards to the commission’s order is still sending the statement of the outstanding amount of over Rs 30,000,” lamented Gulzar Singh.

It was first in 2007 that he received a statement, in which the bank’s credit card division had shown an outstanding amount of Rs 25,000.

Subsequently, Arvinderjit approached the forum and produced the relevant documents stating that Rs 25,000 was deposited with the bank within stipulated period.

The HSBC authorities admitted their fault, revised the entry and apologized for unnecessarily harassing the complainant.

“Little did I know that the apology would be the prelude of more harassment? In 2008, I again received the statement of Rs 25,000 outstanding dues in my favour. I approached the bank’s branch located in Feroze Gandhi Market, from where I was told to lodge a complaint with its headquarters in Chennai,” said Arvinderjit.

He further approached the bank’s ombudsman. According to the document available with The Tribune, Leena Khatri, senior officer, customer care department, had apologised for the glitch and assured that such mistake would never occur in future.

But the credit car company was at it again. In 2009 they again issued a statement with an outstanding of Rs 25000. Arvinder approached, the forum, which decided in his favour in August 6, 2010. A penalty of Rs 5, 000 was imposed on the credit card company.

But despite being penalized the company is still issuing statements to Arvinderjit Singh.

The bank has even unilaterally stopped the services provided to me, claimed Arvinderjit.

Miffed over the callous attitude of HSBC authorities, the complainant is planning to approach Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh.

Gulzar said: “It is criminal to harass someone like this. Despite receiving orders, the company is still sending us the statements, which tantamount to contempt of the court.”

“My father used to say that the credit is curse and the credit card company has given credence to my father’s words,” added Gulzar.



Docs gear up for IMA poll
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 2
City doctors have geared up for election of the district body of Indian Medical Association (IMA) for 2011.

In a letter to the election commission, district IMA president, Dr Narotam Dewan, secretary, Dr Hardeep Singh requested the election commission to hold election as per the planned schedule. The election has been scheduled for December.

Dr Narotam Dewan expressed his commitment to implement total democratisation in the IMA. We want to hold the whole process in a well-informed way and transparent manner, he said.

Dr Dewan called upon young doctors to come forward to take up the responsibility in the managing of IMA affairs, adding that the IMA members should rise above petty politics and groupism to work as a team for the betterment of medical fraternity and patients.

Dr Hardeep Singh told unlike previous executives of IMA, who were reluctant to initiate the election process in time, the present executive has taken the initiative to give a call for election.

Dr Iqbal Singh Ahuja, chairman election commission, IMA Ludhiana, will start the process of election for 2011 and will make all arrangements to hold election with other members of the commission.

The nominations will be invited for the following posts of president, senior vice-president, secretary, finance secretary and joint secretary.

A demand draft in favour of the IMA, Ludhiana, followed by dues clearance certificate from the finance secretary, IMA Ludhiana, and good conduct certificate from the secretary should be submitted to Dr Iqbal Ahuja. There should be no pending inquiry against the candidate for any misdeed and/or there should be no adverse stricture by the disciplinary committee against the candidate.

These forms will be available from October 7 and the forms should be submitted along with necessary documents up to October 30.

The scrutiny of the applications will be done by the election commission up to November 7 followed by rejection and acceptance of the nomination.

The candidates will be given confirmation by November 15 by registered post/by hand/by speed post.

The candidates will be required to submit their clarification to the election commission by November 22 and the final decision for the same will be given by the election commission by November 29.

The election commission has also stated that the candidates can withdraw his/her nomination by December 15 but the application money of Rs 2,000 will not be refunded.

The secret ballot will be held at the IMA House on December 26 from 10 am to 4 pm followed by the closure of the gates of the IMA House at 4 pm.

The result will be declared on the same day before 8 pm after counting of ballots by members of the election commission in the presence of doctors nominated by the contesting candidates, stated Dr Iqbal Ahuja.



Construction of rly over bridge
Top cops, MC officials discuss traffic mgmt plan
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 2
Senior police officials and civic officials today took a round of traffic-affected areas, including Domoria Bridge road, Deepak Cinema road, Mata Rani chowk, Bhadaur House and parts of Old GT road to chalk out an effective traffic management plan.

Due to ongoing work of railway over bridge in place of Lakkar Pul, the traffic in these areas has taken an ugly shape.

Commissioner of Municipal Corporation, AK Sinha, Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh, along with other police and civic officials, assessed the volume of traffic, bottlenecks and other obstructions in these areas and discussed remedial measures.

The officials also visited Mata Rani road where almost three-fourth of the road is blocked due to construction of pillars for the down ramp of under-construction over bridge and frequent traffic jams all through out the day have become a regular feature in this busy commercial hub of Bhadaur House.

Sinha later said the traffic police had been asked to suggest ways to ensure smooth flow of vehicular traffic on this stretch. "We are looking towards short-term measures because once the construction of over bridge is complete, the traffic scene in these areas will change."

The corrective steps will include making some sections of these roads one-way, closure of certain sections where vehicular movement is not possible and regulating movement of three-wheelers which cause most of the congestion on these roads, he added.



Vet varsity told to pay for harassing ex-employee
Rajneesh Lakhanpal
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 2
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has ordered Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana, to pay a compensation of Rs 3,000 for causing harassment to a retired employee by withholding the interest on his GPF amount of Rs 7,73,789.

Pronouncing the verdict, forum president TN Vaidya and its members, Rajesh Kumar, Priti Malhotra, said non-payment of the interest as payable to the complainant was certainly deficiency in service on account of negligence by official of the university.

GADVASU was ordered to pay interest on the GPF amount of Rs 7,73,789 of the complainant, Roop Lal Sharma, retired junior engineer of Galyana village, Bilaspur, for the delayed period of 63 days.

The complainant had submitted that he took voluntary retirement on November 26, 2008. As per the university rules, he was entitled for interest on his GPF amount for one year from the date of retirement.

Prior to expiry of period of one year, he wrote an application on October 23, 2009 to the comptroller of university for releasing final payment of his GPF account immediately.

After two reminders, they issued a cheque of Rs 7,73,789 on January 29, 2010 without mentioning his account number. Finally, he was paid GPF amount on Feburary 2, 2010.

His final payment was retained illegally from November 25, 2009 till payment. So, he was entitled to get interest on this amount, he added.

While the officials of the university denied the allegations. They submitted that delay was on account of collecting data and official report.

But after appreciating the evidence on record, the forum held that the delay took place on account of their failure to maintain its record in proper way. If the passbook of the complainant qua GPF account was not maintained since five years, as pleaded, the complainant cannot be blamed for such lapses committed by the officials.

On account of apathy by the university officials, we cannot permit the valuable rights of the complainant to be infringed. Period of one month in our view was more than sufficient to enable them to settle and pay GPF amount of the complainant. Had they done their duty diligently and efficiently, the complainant would have not been deprived of his valuable rights to have interest on the amount of GPF till withdrawal, further observed the forum.



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