L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Get LPG refill at Rs. 1,000!
With winter setting in, sale of cylinders on black market rises
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
Come winter and the domestic LPG consumers are a harassed lot. Apart from month-long wait for getting refills, the black market has become active as the domestic LPG cylinder is being sold for Rs 1,000 against the stipulated price of Rs 365.

People living in Fieldganj, Chandigarh Road, Daresi, Urban Estate Dugri, Vikas Nagar, Haibowal, Sherpur and various other areas are facing the shortage of domestic LPG.

Rues Shantanu from Fieldganj area, "I have been waiting for more than 25 days for my refill, but people at the gas agency have told me to wait for another five days, adding that there is shortage of supply from the plant."

On the contrary, the rehriwallas of the gas agency when paid Rs 1,000 readily gave the cylinder, the consumer complained.

Gas geysers have emerged as a major source of LPG backlog in winters, as a large number of private companies manufacturing/marketing geysers have flooded the markets with LPG-run geysers. Despite the fact that the use of these geysers is illegal, a large number of residential and commercial establishments are using them.

There is a delay in the delivery of gas cylinders of all oil/gas companies, including Indane and Bharat Gas and HPC Gas. The stipulated booking period of the domestic LPG cylinder is after 21 days, but owing to the misuse of domestic LPG at commercial establishments, the gap between the demand and supply has increased to 40 days and more. The department of food and civil supplies (the department responsible to regulate the use of LPG) is not authorised to check their sale and use.

A senior official from the department stated that these policies were framed in connivance with multinationals and big industries to facilitate them to augment their sales without legal hindrances.


‘Demand for ` 4.69 cr genuine’

Senior Deputy Mayor, Parveen Bansal, said the MC's demand of ` 4.69 crore from LIT was genuine. ‘‘If the LIT owes money to MC, it should pay it. And if the MC owes money to LIT, then the civic body should do so. These are two different bodies of the government and the money these owe each other should be paid because these are under different heads and projects. This is strange on their part to say that they would not pay this amount as MC owes them money. The heads should sit together and finish the matter, ’’ he said. 


Recovery of Funds
Expenditure on police wing
MC, improvement trust on collision course
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 23
The demand for Rs 4.69 crore raised by the Municipal Corporation against the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), being one third of the total expenditure incurred by the civic body on its police wing during the period 1996-97 to 2008-09, has opened Pandora’s Box.

Saying that no formal demand has been raised till date by the civic administration, LIT chairman MM Vyas claimed that the MC owes the Trust many times more money and repeated pleas made with them to finalise the accounts and pay the many due to LIT have evoked no response.

The Local Government Department had given a nod to municipal corporations in the state to set up their own police wings way back in 1995 and a notification issued in this regard also said that one third of the expenditure incurred on this account by the civic bodies will be contributed by improvement trusts of the cities concerned.

However, the MC, having spent some Rs 13.93 crore on its police wing till the end of financial year 2008-09, had not raised any demand for the recovery of the one third share from LIT, with the result that every annual audit of the accounts of the MC over the period had raised objections on this point.

The newly appointed chairman of LIT MM Vyas has an altogether different story to tell. Talking to The Tribune here today, he said the MC, and many other departments for that matter, had been using LIT funds for the past over three decades without any accountability, utilisation certificate or paying back money due to the Trust.

"As per the LIT books of account, a total amount of Rs 11.91 crore stand paid to the MC, which includes Rs 5.91 crore for ROB Lakkar Pul, Rs 4 crore for the transfer of MC land and Rs 2 crore for laying sewerage and water supply in colonies developed by LIT. In addition, several chunks of premium land worth Rs 150 crore have also been transferred to the civic body for commercial exploitation," Vyas informed.

Against these payments and transfer of land, the MC has not paid a penny to the LIT, nor has any utlisation certificate been provided against funds released for ROB as well as water supply and sewerage projects. "The fact remains that the said amount, along with the cost of land transferred is still outstanding towards the MC even as most of the Trust land transferred to civic body already stands disposed of."



Drug Addiction
Schedule-H drugs being sold openly at Pindi Street
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
The unlicensed wholesale counters operating in the Pindi Street are openly selling schedule-H drugs to their retail counterparts, who in turn supply them to college students, unemployed youth and addicts from other sections of the society.

Pindi Street, which was once known for being the business hub of "medicines" is now associated with the drug mafia supplying habit-forming drugs across the state.

Narcotic substances worth crores of rupees are sold without proper sale or purchase records from Pindi Street, the local wholesale market for medicines. The state health and family welfare department's laxity in curbing illegal and questionable business practices employed by the 'wholesale chemists and distributors' thriving in this market has encouraged them to openly infringe almost every provision of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

So much so that the black sheep involved in the illegal sale of habit-forming drugs who were operating in the satellite towns of Ludhiana too have opened up their outlets in Pindi Street.

A large number of ayurvedic medicines with high opium content too are in circulation. Thanks to the department of ayurveda, which has given free access to the retail/wholesale outlets to sell these medicines without restriction.

Momolit, Phenotil, Kamini are some of the ayurvedic medicines which are formulations of synthetic opium are being sold as over the counter (OTC) product whereas it is clearly mentioned on the sachets that the medicines should be sold on the prescription of a medical practitioner.

A leading psychiatrist from the city said, " I have young boys who consume 200-400 tablets of these ayurvedic medicines every day and are in a bad physical and mental state.” 


About the drugs

The drugs schduled under the category of " habit forming" are called schedule H drug. They cannot be sold on wholesale or retail drug counters without the precription of the medical practitioner. Illegal sale of scheduled H drugs is a violation of Drugs and Cosmetics Act and the drug control authorities can cancel the licenses of the chemists guilty of violating the act. This is a violation to the NDPS Act.

Sold at higher rates

Parvon Spas with MRP of Rs 240 is being sold at Rs 310 at the wholesale outlets. Similarly, Fortwin injection with the price tag of Rs 55 is being sold at Rs 80. Morphine injection too is sold indiscriminately for the intravenous-drug abusers.

Wholesalers’ view

Dalip Singh Tikka, the district president of Ludhiana Chemists and Druggist Association, said that the association was against the unlicensed people operating in medicine business. "We help the drug-control authorities in taking action against the black sheep. The problem has grown manifold as even the dhabba wallas and tea-stall vendors have started selling habit-forming drugs but the licensed chemists are very fair in their working," said Tikka.



End of road for marriage processions
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
The Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh has issued strict guidelines, prohibiting the use of roads for taking out marriage processions.

The action was taken following complaints that marriage processions lead to choking of major roads in the city, resulting in traffic jams. Further, the commissioner of police has issued a strict ban of the bursting of crackers by marriage parties.

He said the persons using weapons for firing celebratory shots in the air would also be booked. He even conducted a meeting with the marriage palace owners and told them to abide follow guidelines.

The orders have been issued following the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court of India. Sources in the police said action was taken after the ruling of the Supreme Court banning the use of loudspeakers, vehicular horns and bursting of crackers between 10 pm and 6 am near residential areas being flouted with impunity.

As a number of marriages are being solemnised in the city almost everyday, crackers are burst and music is played at high pitch well past midnight. Only last night, when a number of such ceremonies were organised, firecrackers and loud music was heard in even those localities where there was no marriage palace in the neighbourhood, complained a senior police official. A flurry of complaints has been registered by the helpline 100, where the residents have lodged complaint of inconvenience being posed by loudspeakers.

A survey by a Ludhiana Tribune team revealed that usually the marriage processions were taken out in the evening, especially after 10 pm. Members of these parties burst crackers and play music.

Interestingly, many officials of the district administration and the police also attend many weddings in the city and the apex court’s ban is thrown to the wind in their presence and residents are left to spend their nights amidst maddening noise.

Time slot on Pakhowal road 

In a major respite for residents living alongside Pakhowal road, the Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh restricted the timing of plying of vehicles on the Pakhowal road. According to the orders, no heavy vehicle would ply on the Pakhowal road from 7 am to 2 pm. The action was taken keeping in mind the school timings.



Forex Scam
Key accused held
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana November 23
In a major brakthrough, Amritpal Singh, the key conspirator of the multi- crore Forex scam, was nabbed by Salem Tabri police here today.

Other accused including Inderjit Singh, his brother-in-law Satnam Singh, and his partner Jagdeep Singh, who also operated Max Forex company in Punjab, allegedly swindled thousands of people in Bathinda, Panipat and Ganganagar.

Neelam Wadhera, one of who had been defrauded, calimed that customers in the city alone may have lost over Rs 50 crore

According to the police they were running a bogus foreign exchange company, Max Forex, and had usurped crores of rupees from many city residents.

The foreign exchange company operating in the country claimed to provide “forex trading services” and offer a one per cent return per day on an “investment” of $20 to $99 for 200 working days. The way it works is the higher the “investment”, the more the returns (for example, 3.5% per day for a plan of $2,000 to $10,000 for 60 working days). In addition, the firms also offer “rewards” (mobile phones and even cars) on “transactions” of $5,000 and above. However, they fail to explain how they manage to offer such high “returns”



Deepa Malik Nayyar murder case
40 couples to be probed
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
After failing to find a clue about Anuj Nayyar, the prime accused in the Deepa Malik Nayyar murder case, the Agra police is planning to question nearly 40 couples, members of a round table club, to find out the whereabouts of the accused.

Besides probing about the hideouts of the accused, the police would also try to gather information from the club members to establish the sequence of events that led to the killing of Deepa Malik.

The development is the fallout of the continued pressure being mounted by the victim’s family. A close relative of Deepa had been vehemently alleging police inaction and criticising the club members for concealing the truth, as Deepa and Anuj were staying in the Agra hotel along with members of the club, who had organised a function there.

“My sister was killed and members of the club paid scant regard to the tragedy. No one came forward to speak the truth. I have learnt that the members of the club even organised a party on that very night, when my sister was killed,” rued Neelu Malik, elder sister of Deepa Malik.

Talking to The Tribune over phone, VK Tiwari, SHO, Pal Gunj police station in Agra, said, “We conducted raids at the residence and factory premises of the accused. Twice, we had received tip-offs that Anuj Nayyar would surrender before the court. We laid a trap on both occasions but he did not appear. We have filed an application in the court, seeking to investigate people, who accompanied the accused on a trip to Agra.”

While more skeletons are tumbling out of the closet in the Deepa Malik murder case, sources close to Anuj’s family told The Tribune that the couple entered into an argument during the party organised by the club organisers. Deepa reportedly went to her room. After some time Anuj also entered the room and couple had a heated argument. The sources further added that that problem occurred when Deepa allegedly walked in the party wearing a night gown. Anuj objected to this and the couple had a heated argument.



Bus shelters or home to beggars?
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Soothsayers have made another bus shelter their home in Ludhiana.
Soothsayers have made another bus shelter their home in Ludhiana. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, November 23
Even as the city bus service is slated to start by the year-end, the authorities concerned are yet to maintain bus shelters as a majority of these are encroached upon by beggars and anti-social elements.

With broken benches and roofs welcoming passengers, most of the bus shelters are in a pitiable condition. Moreover, these have become a den of anti-social elements and drug addicts. Some of the bus shelters have been encroached upon by vendors even as the as authorities concerned prefer to look the other way.

The bus shelters near Durga Mata Temple, Jagraon Bridge, Ferozepur Road, old DMC and Dandi Swami temple are a perfect example of the lackadaisical attitude of authorities as these are conveniently been encroached upon by beggars. One of priests at Dandi Swami temple said that no one dares to say anything to beggars as they have the a full-fledged union.

“These beggars, most of them drug addicts, are so violent that they can physically assault you anytime. These shelters are being misused by anti-social elements, but the authorities are yet wake from slumber,” rued the priest.

Congress councillor Parminder Mehta said the bus service still looked like a distant dream. "If the service is to be started next month, the maintenance of shelters must have been started by now. Many shelters in the outer part of the city have become a safe haven for drug addicts and anti-social elements. Strict measures need to be taken for removing the encroachments,” said Mehta.



‘Family businesses rarely last beyond three generations’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
Deliberating upon various issues and challenges faced by business families, Sunil Kant Munjal, former president, CII, and chairman, Hero Corporate Services Limited, said, “Only 5 to 6 per cent family businesses last beyond third generation.”

“This happens because of communication gap, business values, and lack of exposure. If we need to change scenario, we need to guide our successors, family value which gets transmitted somewhere in business and also blend experience of older generation with exposure of new generation,” said Munjal during a session on family business organised by CII Punjab State Council.

Munjal urged youngsters to think like managers of a company. He said one should look in for family business models as even professionally run companies took lessons from same model, since it enabled one to take quick decisions.

Prof K Ramachandran, from Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, said all over the world, 60 to 70 per cent of all businesses were run by families. However, in India this number was 90 to 95 per cent.

First generation sets up business, but attitudes and thinking become different by the time third generation comes into business.

“As most of the businesses are family owned and promoters drive a large part of their wealth from business, it is critical to focus on business continuity and succession to ensure a sustainable wealth creation process,” said Satya Bansal, chief executive, Barclays Wealth India.

Adrish Ghosh, head, Wealth Advisory, India, Barcklays Wealth India, spoke on the aspects that dealt with family legacy and added that continuity was increasingly finding relevance with families in business and challenges in dealing with them would increase over generations.

RM Khanna, chairman, CII , Northern Region, dwelt on the role of CII at large.

Earlier, Akshay Bector, chairman, CII Punjab State Council, and managing director, Mrs Bector Foods Specialities Ltd, said Ludhiana was a business hub, with most businesses in the city owned by families.



Special kids cast a spell
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
Ashirwad, the state nodal agency centre of the National Trust for Punjab, organised a cultural programme at Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana, as part of “Badhte Kadam”.

Badhte Kadam is an initiative of the National Trust, a statutory body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, set up under the National Trust for the welfare of persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities Act, 1999.

The main objectives of the National Trust are to ensure community participation and inclusion of persons with disabilities. Children with disabilities from NGOs, including School for the Deaf Children, VRTC for the Blind, Ek Prayas, Muskaan, Bharat Vikas Parishad, Viklang Sahayta Kendra, Nirdosh, Balaji Prem Ashram, Darpan, Ashirwad and from government schools under Sarv Sikhiya Abhiyan, presented dances from various states of the country.

Audience of teachers and BTech students of the college encouraged and appreciated the abilities of performers creating a glimpse of a future inclusive of all.

Dr Neelam Sodhi, member of the National Trust from Punjab said, "It is very important to sensitise the society towards the needs and wants of the disabled and that can only be achieved once each one of us realises that every individual is differently abled and should be given due encouragement for his/her endeavours."

India does not have an official estimate of the number of disabled people. According to NGO estimates, there are roughly 60 million disabled people in India. According to a survey, almost 95 per cent of the country's disabled population has no access to education, employment and healthcare.



PAU Notes
Training course on agriculture sustainability
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
There has been spectacular progress in agriculture in different parts of the world in recent years. There is, however, a question mark about the sustainability of agricultural production systems, in view of a variety of constraints such as increasing population, decreasing land and natural resources, impact of climate change, depleting water table, deteriorating soil health, etc.

This was stated by Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, while inaugurating the "Regional training course on conservation agriculture: nurturing sustainable production systems in south Asia" at PAU, today. Dr. Kang said that carbon based sustainability index in Punjab had declined. He added that conservation agriculture and natural resource management were important in contemporary agriculture. He mentioned that globally natural resource management, climate change, water and food related issues were being discussed through scientific deliberations.

He said that PAU had developed several technologies aimed at resource conservation. The acreage under conservation agriculture was increasing, being 7 per cent of the world arable land area. Kang said that the conservation agriculture practices offered a variety of economic, ecologic and agrarian benefits. Kang suggested that the conservation of agriculture must be taught at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels through specially designed course curriculum. Efforts must be made to enhance sustainability through conservation agriculture so that food security was less vulnerable, said Kang.

The workshop jointly organized by Central Systems Initiative for South Asia (CSISA), International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has 24 participants from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Uzbekistan and Pakistan. The scientists from Krishi Vigyan Kendras are also participating.

PAU signs MoU

An eight-member delegation of the Hebei Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences (HAAFS), led by Dr Wang Huijun, the president, visited Punjab Agricultural University today. They held an interactive meeting with Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, on various facets of agriculture and signed a memorandum of understanding for collaboration in diverse fields, including crop biotechnology, genetics and molecular breeding, efficient utilization of water resources, efficient crop cultivation, ecological agriculture, environment and food safety, plant pathology and disease control and rural economics and development.

The fields of interest, plan of operation, conditions for scientific exchange, intellectual property right, publications, etc. were discussed between the two organisations. The accord valid for five years was signed by Dr Wang Huijun on behalf of HAAFS and Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, on behalf of PAU in the presence of Dr Lizhi-Hong, Professor and Vice-Director, Institute of Agricultural Information and Economic, HAAFS and Dr RK Mahey, Registrar, PAU.



Reason behind the opposition
Move to place schools under Zila Parishad
Setting up of new directorate opposed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
Government teachers of the state have objected to the setting up of a new directorate of zila parishad schools under the panchayat department.

The teachers have been demanding that the schools under the zila parishad be brought under the state education department without any conditions.

Sudagar Singh Saraba, president, Government Teachers' Union, Punjab, said, “There are already two separate directorates for primary and secondary schools.”

He added that with the setting up of a new directorate, more schools would be gradually brought under the zila parishad.

“As of now, only primary schools fall under the parishad,” said Saraba. He added that teachers were apprehensive that the new directorate would eventually pull even the middle schools under the panchayati raj.

“All government schools should be brought under the Punjab education department for smooth operation. Instead of setting up a new directorate, the government should make improvements in the present two,” the teachers’ union president opined.

“Every school in the state should be made a model school and all disparities among teachers be removed. Only then, the state of education in Punjab will improve,” Saraba remarked.

He said the decision to oppose the new directorate was taken at a meeting of the union in Ludhiana today.

Saraba added that the union had also taken strong view of the inspection by DGSE’s teams on July 15 this year.

“The teams had marked many teachers absent from duty which is against the rules. Many teachers were admitted to hospitals and could not send applications but had informed their respective heads,” said the union president.

He added that some other teachers, who were out on school work, too, were marked absent by the DGSE’s teams.

“One increment each of those teachers who are regular, have been stopped as punishment and Rs 500 per month is being deducted from the salaries of those who are on contract,” Saraba revealed.

The union demanded during the meeting that the punishments given to these teachers be immediately revoked.

Also present during the meeting were press secretary Sanjiv Sharma, Munish Kumar, Balvir, Jamail Pabhowal and Yash Bhai.

Reason behind the opposition

Teachers are opposed to setting up a new directorate under the Panchayati Raj because they reason that the Panchayat Department has no relation with education and is not suitable to handle its affairs.

Moreover, they say the Panchyat Department has no promotion policy. Those teachers who have been working in Zila Parishad schools have not been promoted since 2005 when the schools were brought under the jurisdiction of the Zila Parishad from the state education department.

"Teachers with qualification of Elementary Teachers' Training are appointed in Zila Parishad schools. Thus, these schools lack specialised teachers, as a result of which students suffer," remarked Saraba, adding that the schools where lecturers are required are the worst hit."The ZP teachers are neither qualified enough to be promoted to the post of lecturers nor is there any promotion policy in place for this," he said.

The worst part, however, the teachers say is that the ZP schools do not have any heads. "What can the state of education be in the absence of a proper school head," questions Saraba. He said in case the new directorate absorbs the middle schools as well, education in the state would suffer a major set back.

DEO rubbishes fears

District Education Officer (secondary) Harbhajan Ram, however, rubbished the teachers' fears as unfounded, saying “They are insecure for no reason. The new directorate will help smoothen out the operations," he remarked. 



Professor awarded
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
The Horticulture Society of India awarded Dr Kirti Singh Gold Medal for 2010 to Dr DS Cheema, Head, department of vegetable crops, for his outstanding contribution in vegetable science. The award was presented to Dr DS Cheema by Dr MS Swaminathan, the renowned agricultural scientist at the 4th Indian Horticulture Congress 2010 held recently at New Delhi.

The outstanding contributions of Cheema include the development of high-yielding varieties-F1 hybrids of different vegetables and productions technologies for off-season production of vegetables. Cheema has earlier been recipient of Shri Hans Raj Pahwa Award, Shrimati Harpal Kaur Memorial Award and Dr Gurdev Singh Khush Distinguished Professor Award. The Punjab government conferred the Parman Patra in August 2010 on Cheema for his outstanding contributions in vegetable science.



Pak singers spread message of love
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
Music is the soul of this world and musicians are messengers of love and peace. The saying came true at Punjab Agriculture University here today when Sufi maestro Ustad Khadim Hussain Warsi performed along with his disciple Husnain Akbar and flutist Amjad Ali to a packed house of Sufi music lovers.

"We are here (India) to spread the message of peace and love and tell the people of both the nations that political difference notwithstanding, we are one - our love for each other is heart warming, our talents are equally sublime," said renowned Pakistani singer Warsi. Known for soulful recital of "Heer Waris" in an inimitable style in Pakistan and India, Warsi believes that music can build nations and mend hearts.

"Visa for artistes and musicians of both the nations should be free so as to enable the art lovers of India and Pakistan to enjoy the great talent, affection and endearing love of their brotherly neighbours openly and freely," Warsi opined.

The singer remarked that he wanted people back home to experience the immense love that he as a Pakistani artiste had received in India.

"I urge both the governments to consider my request," said the down-to-earth musician.

Akbar chips in, "People of both Punjabs - that in India and Pakistan, are even more special as they share a unique bond of common mother tongue Punjabi." The Sufi singer exhorted the Punjabis to keep their mother tongue alive. "Punjabi is such a beautiful language. Unfortunately, our younger generations are moving away from it," he remarked.

"Study hard, become successful but do not forget your mother tongue. That is my message to my younger brothers in Indian Punjab with whom I share a special bond of brotherhood," urged Akbar. Happy beyond words to be in India, both the Sufi singers said they love coming here.

"The love that our Indian brothers give us and the overwhelming hospitality of Punjabis keep bringing us back," said Warsi.

He added that performance was an excuse to meet old pals in India who "have been so loving and so caring that I am overwhelmed every time I meet them," Warsi added. Both the musicians conceded that they would keep coming back to India and also, invite Indian artistes to come to Pakistan. "Music will do what governments have been unable to do," they said in unison.

Great fans of Indian singing legends Lata Mangeshker and Mohammad Rafi; Warsi and Akbar appreciate Hans Raj Hans and Gurdas Mann's extraordinary contribution to Punjabi music. "May the nation of such great talent and immense love prosper," said the singer duo before signing off.


Invite to Pakistan

With a view to promote cultural exchange between India and Pakistan, Sufi maestro Ustad Khamid Hussain Warsi invited artistes and musicians from India to come to Pakistan. "We want more artistes from India to come and share their experiences and showcase their talent to their Pakistani counterparts and vice versa. For this purpose, we have set up the Sayeed Waris Shah Foundation in Pakistan, which will promote Indian talent. We are looking forward to a great response to our small endeavour,” Warsi remarked. 



Insurance firm told to pay Rs. 16 lakh
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 23
Terming denial of a death claim wrong, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed the Met Life Insurance Company to settle the claim of Rs. 16 lakh within 45 days.

In her complaint, Ranjit Kaur of Dewatwal village, Ludhiana, said her husband Harpal Singh had died on February 15, 2010, after a brief illness. At that time, the life insurance policy worth Rs. 16 lakh that he had taken on September 12, 2007, was valid. He had paid a premium of Rs. 2,49,606 during this period.

In its order, the forum observed that rejection of the claim was on wrong interpretation of fact and law.

It also remarked that denial of claim only relying upon the observation made in the discharge summary issued by the hospital was not sufficient in the absence of any corroborative evidence.

The insurance company had rejected the claim on ground that Harpal Singh was addicted to alcohol and this fact was concealed by him at the time of taking the insurance policy. 



Maheep Kapoor at her best
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
Statement Pieces' is the apt expression to describe Maheep Kapoor's jewellery pieces. Scintillating and sophisticated her designs manage to catch every eye even in a crowd. Her creations ooze style, class and flamboyance. She is in the city for two days to showcase her jewellery collection at Hotel Majestic Park Plaza.

Married into the fêted Kapoor family, she is the wife of actor Sanjay Kapoor, a jewellery designer by profession and mother to two kids. Born and raised in London, she is one of the biggest style diva on the Mumbai's social circuit.

The popular saying "diamonds are girls' best friend goes well with Maheep as she loves to create with diamonds and also uses other stones like emeralds and sapphire to add an extra dash of colour to the design.

“While designing I keep in mind as to whom I am catering to. Biggest challenge is designing for a film. The jewellery in "Om Shanti Om" is more studded while in "Kabhie Alvida Na Kehna" was delicate. I lay emphasis on the quality of the material and kept these minor details in mind while designing for films," she quips.

"Today's women do not look for heavy sets but prefer one piece that looks elegant and completes the look. They love to flaunt their one exclusive piece," she chuckles. 


Rapid fire round

n Which star you would like to design for?

n I would love to design for Angelina Jolie.

n Who according to you is the most fashionable woman in India?

n Gauri Khan is super-stylish.

n You are a designer, a wife and a mother. Which role is close to your heart?

n I love being a mom.

n Your favourite city in the world?

n London because I was born and brought up there. 



B-School award for PCTE
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
The PCTE group of institutes has been selected for the Business School award and the School Leadership Award.

These awards will be presented at the 18th Dewang Mehta Business School Awards' function in Mumbai. The PCTE is getting these awards with the top B Schools of India. The PCTE was also awarded best B-school award that encourages leadership as a part of curriculum along with IIM, Bangalore, XIM, Bhubaneswar, and FMS, Delhi, in the 17th edition of the Dewang Mehta Awards. This is the second year that the PCTE has been recognised at the national level.



Cricket match on a 40-yard outfield
Boundaries shrinked to make game interesting
Mohit Khanna/TNS

Ludhiana, November 23
With teams scoring 291 runs in just 20 overs, the Punjab Premier League (PPL), currently in progress at Guru Nanak Stadium is producing an unusual spectacle.

But these huge totals cannot be attributed to palyers’ power, actually the width of the playgrounds has been reduced in such a way that even a 10-year-old boy can easily hit the ball for a six.

The reduction in length of the ground has left the connoisseurs of the game miffed. They alleged that the PPL was making a mockery of the game in the name of entertainment and providing a platform to players.

Instead of organising the event in a standard outfield of 75 to 80 yards, the PPL authorities are conducting the matches in a 40-yard outfield, which is a little more than the inner-circle of the modern day cricket stadium.

“What is the use of organising a match by shrinking boundaries. I was compelled by friends to watch the encounter of the home team, but on reaching the stadium, I was stunned to see the cricket ground. Calling it a cricket ground would be an insult. It should rather be called a mini-cricket field. The lofty drives, which are otherwise easy catches in a standard cricket grounds, go over the boundary,” said Amit Behal, a former cricketer.

Teja Singh Dhaliwal, general secretary of the Punjab Basketball Association, while mocking at the shrinking field, said, “First it was a dull and boring five-day cricket test match. Then it was reduced to 50 overs match. Now it has been further reduced to 20 overs. Even the playing fields are shrinking. The day is not far when matches will be decided at the toss of a coin, if things will remain like this.”


Footballers stand divided

The football fraternity stood divided over the issue. General secretary of the Punjab Football Association said as the stadium was the property of the sports department, he could not stop cricket matches from being played at the stadium.

On the other hand, JCT coach Parminder Singh was unhappy with cricket matches being played at the Guru Nanak Stadium. “It is officially a football stadium. How can one organise a cricket match here? I will take up the issue with the sports department.”



Punjab Premier League
Ludhiana Lions corner glory
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 23
Ludhiana Lions, along with Bathinda Malwai Kings and Amritsar Brave Hearts, won their respective matches to join Deepak Builders NRI NRI Hunters, Ludhiana, in the last stage during the ongoing inaugural edition of the Punjab Premier League being held at Guru Nanak Stadium and Satish Chander Dhawan Government College here today.

In the match played last night under flood lights at Guru Nanak Stadium, Bathinda Malwai Kings outclassed Jalandhar Spartans by four wickets to reach the semifinal.

Jalandhar Spartans made 222 runs in 19.4 overs. Kunal Razdan top scored with 46 runs, while Gurjit made 29 runs. For Bathinda Malwai Kings, Gurpreet took three wickets for 43 runs.

Bathinda Malwai Kings achieved the target in 18.2 overs after losing six wickets. The main contributors were Naman (72) and Gurpreet (52). For the losers, Saurabh claimed two wickets for 32 runs.

In another match, Ludhiana Lions defeated Maharaja of Patiala by 40 runs. Ludhiana Lions scored 235 runs in 18.3 overs. Jagarpreet and Talwinder contributed 65 and 52 runs, respectively, while Shagun took three wickets for Patiala outfit.

In reply, Maharaja of Patiala XI’s scored 195, in which Rahul’s innings of 78 runs went in vain. For the winners, Harpal and Kuldeep grabbed two wickets each after conceding 32 and 15 runs, respectively.

In the match played at SCD Government College today, Amritsar Brave Hearts beat Mohali Sharks by 32 runs.

Amritsar Brave Hearts scored 129 runs and restricted Mohali Sharks to 97 runs to wrap up the issue easily.



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