L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Protesting sanitation workers choke traffic
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
The city’s sanitation workers today blocked traffic on Bharat Nagar Chowk to protest against the municipal corporation’s failure to meet their long standing demand for regularizing their jobs. The resultant chaos on the one of the busiest intersections led to interminable traffic snarlups, causing a lot of inconvenience to commuters.

Sanitary workers take out a broom rally in Ludhiana on Monday; and (right) a view of the traffic jam at Bharat Nagar Chowk. Photos: Inderjeet Verma.

Workers of the Mohalla Sanitation Sangarsh Committee led by its president Surinder Kalyan raised slogans against MC mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, accusing him and his small “coterie” of councilors of creating hindrances in regularizing the workers’ jobs despite the Punjab government’s directions. The workers blocked traffic from all sides due to which long queues of vehicles were seen on Ferozepur Road, Kochhar Market, Mall Road and other streets leading to Bharat Nagar.

Though a heavy police contingent led by additional police commissioner Raj Kumar Jaghotra arrived at the scene, their efforts to persuade the protesters to lift their blockade proved futile. The latter insisted they would call of their protest only after MC commissioner AK Sinha or Giaspura came there to take a memorandum from them.

Even when joint commissioner BK Gupta arrived at the scene to take the memo from the protesting workers they refused to hand it to him, saying they would only give it to the commissioner or mayor. However, more than two hours after the protest began, the sanitation workers agreed to meet Sinha in his office and lifted the blockade.

Meanwhile, two other sanitation workers’ unions - Punjab State Municipal Karamchari Dal and Municipal Karamchari Dal - led by their leaders, Vijay Danav and Lachmann Dravid, respectively, also met both the mayor and the commissioner to press their demands. While the Danav led faction urged Giaspura to regularize the workers’ jobs that led by Dravid called for recruitment of workers on daily wages.

Students returning home from schools and colleges faced a harrowing time during the protest. An attempt by the police’s to ensure normalcy on the roads by diverting some of the traffic proved futile in easing the disruption.

Civic officials, cops fail to deliver again
Manvinder Singh/TNS

Ludhiana, November 29
The protest by sanitation workers at Bharat Nagar Chowk once again reflected the district administration’s poor crisis management. Even while the city was virtually being held to ransom key officials did not bother to venture out to address the workers’ grievances.

Traffic was paralyzed for over two hours after the protesters blocked the busy Bharat Nagar Chowk, but it took more than an hour for senior cops to arrive at the scene. However, none of the top police brass except assistant police commissioner RK Jaghotra was seen there. After an hour another senior official, Harsh Bansal, arrived to give directions to his staff.

Ironically, none of the top MC officials against whom the workers were protesting bothered to go to the scene, despite the fact that police officers had informed the MC top brass about the matter. Further none of the officer of the district administration which is having its head quarters a few feet away from the Bharat Nagar Chowk reached at the spot. Though officially the reason given by the officers was that after the formation of commissionerate system in the city the law and order situation was under the preview of police commissioner. It was after more then an hour that the MC joint commissioner BK Gupta reached at the spot and tried to pacify the agitators but it also took more then another half an hour.


Relief for baby’s death — Rs 25,000!
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
Making a mockery of the death of a seven-month-old baby from Sekhewal village who lost her life due to the ongoing detonation of bombs in Mattewara forest, the district administration today handed over a compensation of Rs 25,000 to her parents.

The child was suffering from high fever and was advised to stay indoors by the treating doctor but her parents had no option but to take her out in the chill due to the detonation exercise.

As a result, the baby was exposed to cold weather conditions, which she could not bear and breathed her last on the evening of November 19.

Rajwinder Kaur, mother of the baby, was inconsolable. She blamed the administration for the death of her child. She accused the administration of callousness as it had not made adequate arrangements.

"Compensating a life with Rs 25,000 is like rubbing salt on the wounds of the parents and the government should reconsider its decisions on such issues," said a village elder. He also said that the authorities had failed to learn any lessons, adding that compassion was altogether missing in the gestures of administrative officials.

SDM East Kanwar Narinder Singh took a tour of Sekhewal and Kalewal villages. He distributed 200 blankets and 75 tarpaulin sheets among residents of both the villages. 



‘Stampede-like’ situation at school’s annual day
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
The annual day of Bal Bharti Public School, Dugri, Phase II, turned out to be a nightmarish experience for hundreds of parents here last evening.Accusing the school authorities of mismanagement, parents alleged that they had to face stampede-like situation at the venue. Many of them said they even suffered minor injuries as the situation got out of control outside the green room where they had gone to pick their wards after the function finished.

“The function was one big mess. It was horrifying and we had to suffer a lot of inconvenience,” alleged a mother.

Another parent added, “There was no management. The function was marked by utter chaos, especially outside the green room.”

Recalling the experience, another parent added, “There was a lot of pushing-shoving going around outside the green room, where all parents had gathered to pick their children after the function concluded. We were badly pushed around, and a number of parents even sustained minor injuries in the deal.”

She alleged that there was a stampede-like situation and many parents even tripped in the chaos.

“As some parents fell down and faced the threat of being stepped over by hundreds of others around them, some brave parents took the charge. Security personnel as well as the school staff stood as mute spectators,” alleged a parent, who suffered bruises on his elbow.

He alleged that a handful of parents out of the crowd took control of the situation and requested everybody to cooperate.

“Only then the situation was brought under control. But the school authorities did not do anything to help us,” rued another parent.

The horrified parents also said by letting the things go out of hand; the school authorities had shown their utter disregard for parents’ sentiments and security.

“What if someone got stepped over? What if some life was lost? Who would have been responsible?” questioned angry parents.

Meanwhile, denying all allegations by parents, school principal Punam Dogra said there was no stampede-like situation.

“There was a little problem which was immediately sorted out,” Dogra remarked.

She said she was standing outside the green room throughout and helped sort out the “little problem” due to the thoughtlessness.

“We had given cards to parents depicting the entire schedule of the programme, wherein it was clearly mentioned that they would not be allowed to pick their wards immediately after the kids’ performance. They will have to wait till the function got over,” she said.

However, she went on to add, “Parents did not wait and started crowding the green room in large numbers which caused some problem.”

She said the problem was taken care of by the security personnel. “There are about notorious 15 to 20 parents who are always creating trouble,” Dogra alleged.



Mentally challenged man booked for liquor peddling
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
The family of a mentally challenged man has levelled allegations against the Machiwara police for falsely booking him in a liquor peddling case.The youth identified as Charanjit Singh (27), a resident of Jamalpur, went missing on the night of November 22.

According to Charanjit’s mother Swarnjit Kaur, they looked for him everywhere, but could not find him. “On November 24, I received information from the Machiwara police station that my son had been arrested for peddling illicit liquor. My son was arrested and sent to jail on false charges,” she claimed.

She said residents of Sehojay Majra village told her that on November 23, Charanjit was spotted walking barefoot on the outskirts of the village. He entered a house later in
the evening.

They asked Charanjit about his whereabouts, but he did not give any information, following which they informed the police. The police detained him.

“It is shocking that instead of locating the parents of the mentally challenged man, he was booked in a false case of liquor trafficking,” his mother stated. 

The FIR reads that Charanjit was nabbed when he was peddling 12 bottles of illicit liquor near Machiwara. His parents have requested the human rights commission to intervene.

The SSP Khanna, Dinesh Pratap Singh, has initiated a probe into the matter. He said strict action would be taken if it was found that the youth was falsely booked in the case.



Anuj Nayyar surrenders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
Anuj Nayyar, who was in hiding after allegedly killing his wife Deepa Malik by throwing her out of a hotel room in Agra, has surrendered before the Agra police.The surrender of the accused came after the Allahabad High Court rejected his anticipatory bail application. He reportedly surrendered before the police on November 25, but the matter was kept secret.

Anuj, son of Brij Bhushan Nayyar, owner of Ludhiana Glass House, had reportedly surrendered at the Pal Gunj police station and sent to jail.

VK Tiwari, SHO of the Pal Gunj police station, confirmed the development and stated that the accused was arrested and sent to jail.

Deepa Malik (36) died after falling from the third floor of a five star hotel in Agra on the night of September 10. The murder case has seen many twists.

Sources said the accused was reportedly in an inebriated condition at the time of the incident. He sustained a wound in his hand following an altercation with his wife. However, the investigating officer, Inderjit Singh, did not get the medical examination of the accused done and let him off.

A probe was launched in the case following the allegations of the victim's family that the Agra police was shielding the accused.

Investigating officer Inderjit Singh was suspended for dereliction of duty and Anuj was booked for killing his wife.

The police has also conducted raids to arrest the parents and brother of the accused. 



Jat Sikhs disappoint Army authorities
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
Jat Sikhs, the formidable clan of Punjab, known the world-over for their valour and gallantry, have turned out to be a major disappointment to the nations' defence forces.

Not able to meet the strict physical and medical criteria of the Indian Army, Jat Sikhs from the region have, over the years, disappointed the Army recruitment officers repeatedly.

"They (Jats) are not the same old Jats now. Over the years, their physical condition has undergone a sea change," says Col Sharad Dhindaw, director, Army Recruitment Office, Ludhiana.

Col Dhindaw went on to add, "A lot of Jat Sikh youths attend the Army recruitment rallies but very few are able to meet the Army’s standards, which is highly disappointing and not expected of them. We expect much more from Punjab's Jats."

Col Dhindaw expressed his desire to see the youth of Punjab, especially, Jats, improve their physical health and come out in large numbers to join the forces.

Otherwise, observed the Colonel, the Punjabi youth remain "over-willing" to join the Army.

"Job security is a major pull for them. Besides, no other organisation in the country offers such a life as the forces do and the youth is aware about this fact," he says.

Meanwhile, at a press conference, Col Dhindaw announced that Army recruitment rally would be held from December 6-11 in the city. The rally will cover Ludhiana, Moga, Mohali and Ropar.

It is being conducted by Col Sharad Dhindaw, director, Army Recruiting Office, Ludhiana, under the aegis of Headquarters, Recruiting Zone (Punjab and J&K). The conducting teams for the rally will arrive from Jammu and Kashmir.

“We are expecting a turn out of 20,000-25,000 youths this time. The response should be good like earlier years but it remains to be seen on ground whether or not we get good material," Col Dhindaw remarked.



Raid on two drug stores
Tribune New Service

Ludhiana, November 29
Acting on a series of reports carried in Ludhiana Tribune against “drug addiction”, the local health authorities today sprung into action by conducting raids on two wholesale drugstores involved in the illegal sale of habit-forming drugs in Pindi Street.

Drug inspector Balram Luthra seized 95,000 tablets, 5,615 capsules and 180 syrups during the raids conducted on Samiksha Medical Hall and Pooja Medical Hall.

Luthra said both drugstores had been sealed after the seizure of habit-forming drugs.

“The store owners did not have any sale/purchase record of the medicines and were selling habit-forming drugs without prescription of medical practitioners, which is a punishable offence under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act,” he said.

However, some wholesale drugstore owners in Pindi Street termed the raid an “eyewash”, adding that the authorities had failed to lay their hands on actual players in the business of illegal drug trade.

Sharad Kumar (name changed), a drugstore owner, said: “A group of five wholesale chemists are running the show of illegal sale of schedule ‘H’ drugs in the city and it is an open secret. Despite being aware of the fact, the drug control authorities have failed to launch a campaign against them. These chemists are working under the patronage of politicians.”

The drugstore owner also complained that erring wholesalers of Pindi Street opened their stores in the wee hours and were through with their sales before the market opened for the day.

Questioning the seizure of habit-forming drugs, another drugstore owner said: “How can the drug control authorities justify their pocket-sized seizure when habit-forming drugs worth lakhs of rupees are purchased and sold every day in Pindi Street.”

The drug inspector said: “We act on complaints. The final action is initiated by the office of the state drug controller. We will take action against erring chemists irrespective of their social /political linkage,” he added.



Cooperative Society Poll
134 on list, but 144 cast vote!
Mahesh Sharma

Payal, November 29
Can 144 of 134 electorate of a constitutional body cast votes in the presence of senior government officials, including presiding officer and supervisors?Polling percentage could have been still higher, had less enthusiast members of the Payal Cooperative Society who had gone out of town, stayed back to exercise their right during the the society elections held on Friday.

At least 14 “fake” votes were cast. With two factions supported by the Congress and SAD blaming each other for the anomaly, final decision would be taken by the deputy registrar, cooperative societies, said sources in the civil administration.

It was learnt that nomination papers of nine candidates were cleared for electing six members from this zone. Six candidates were launched by two factions of the SAD, while the Congress leaders supported three candidates.

Though no complaints of any malpractice were received during the polling, which was conducted under the supervision of Vinod Kumar Bansal, presiding officer, leaders of the ruling party and those of the opposition started blaming the authorities for facilitating fake voting.

The allegations were substantiated by the outcome of the counting process which pointed out that at least 14 persons had cast fake votes. While four genuine voters out of total electorate of 134 were reportedly out of town, the number of votes came out to be 144.

The sources revealed that three candidates supported by the Congress would be declared victorious if the election was not cancelled. One of the candidates supported by the SAD failed to get even one vote.

Interestingly, the department did not get the ballet papers printed from some organised agency. These were reportedly procured from open market and signed and sealed by officials.

It is suspected that some of the candidates got fake ballets prepared by forging signatures and succeeded in casting these in their favour. 



Anti-Tobacco Act
11 violators challaned
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
A team of health officials today challaned 11 outlets selling tobacco and tobacco products in complete violation of the Anti-Tobacco Act.Big and small outlets near Domoria Bridge, Old Sabzi Mandi and Daresi Ground had displayed advertisements of tobacco products.

Violators were fined Rs 200. District health officer (DHO) Dr Jagpal Singh was accompanied by food inspector Rakhi Vinayak and district mass media officer Jagatram during the raids.



PAU Notes
Chrysanthemum show on Dec 2

Ludhiana: The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) will organise a two-day Bhai Veer Singh chrysanthemum show on December 2 near Flag Post of the university. Head of the department of floriculture and landscaping (DFL) Dr Kushal Singh said the show was being organised jointly by the DFL and Estate Organisation of the university.

Dr Singh said more than 250 varieties of chrysanthemum having varied colours, shapes and sizes will be put on display. Dr Kushal Singh added that the PAU had strengthened research on chrysanthemum varieties, including hybrids and had raised 17 varieties for general cultivation in the state.

The technical experts of the PAU would be available to address the queries of the visitors regarding cultivation of flowers and ornamental plants, he added.

Training programme

A training programme on “Management of anaemia through consuming green vegetables” is being organised by the Directorate of Extension Education for farm women/farmers on December 7 and 8. Director of Extension Education Dr MS Gill said participants would be apprised about the symptoms, causes and management of anaemia. The registration will be held at 9 am in Kairon Kisan Ghar. Course coordinator will be Rupinder Kaur, while technical coordinator will be Dr Kiran Grover.


The Centre of Advanced Faculty Training in Genetics and Plant Breeding, PAU, organised a three-week advanced training programme on “Recent Advances in Plant Breeding Methodology” which concluded today at the department of plant breeding and genetics. This was the 26th training course in a row organised by the centre. Dr Gursharan Singh Sambhi, Dean, postgraduate studies, was the chief guest. He urged participants to develop projects in collaboration with the faculty of the department. Dr MS Gill, head, department of plant breeding and genetics-cum-director of the centre, dwelt on various issues. The course was attended by 16 assistant professors and associate professors from five states of India (Gujarat, Karnataka, UP, Rajasthan and Punjab). All participants showed keen interest in the latest techniques of plant breeding in combating yield barrier, biotic and abiotic stresses in crop plants. They learnt about basic cell biology, fertility regulation, male sterility and incapability, methods of plant breeding, experimental designs, including GGE biplot, micropropogation, markers and marker assisted selection, development of special type of crops, plant breeder's rights and Plant Variety Protection and Farmer's Right Act.

Training programme

A training programme on "Value addition of agricultural produce" was organised jointly by PAU College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology and the Indian Institute of Crop Processing Technology, Ministry of Food Processing Industries (IICPT), New Delhi, for progressive farmers.

A total of 25 farmers participated in the training.

The dean of college Dr PPS Lubana said processing and value addition were important in view of post-harvest losses of perishable commodities. Farmers profitability could improve through undertaking proper post-harvest handling and value addition of the produce, he said.

The course co-ordinators, Dr Venkatachalapathy Natrajan of IICPT, and Dr Satish Kumar Gupta, PAU, said participants were given tips on value addition of fruits and vegetables, processing of turmeric and herbal plants at cottage-level. — TNS



‘Media can play vital role in saving environment’
Our Correspondent

Doraha, November 29
Dr NS Johal, from Punjabi University Patiala, resource person for the course on environmental studies, conducted at Academic Staff College, said: “Media can play a vital role in working towards the preservation of environment and in turn saving the humanity from global warming and climate change.”

He said media could help in moulding public opinion and work towards positive upkeep of human resources and thus form public opinion regarding the severe critical crisis from which the human kind was passing through.

Dr Johal accused the media of running away from its primary responsibilities. He stated: “Media may fail to tell people what to think, but never fails to tell what to think about. The prior agenda setting by the media has become its main concern. There are a number of issues, which according to the readers, are the major issues that should be given principal space by both print and electronic media, but unfortunately things of lesser concern are highlighted in a big way while the issues demanding serious attention are relegated to the background,” he said.

He stressed that the coverage given to the issue was not more than two per cent, as the affinities of the media were less with the things of social concern and more with the multinational companies and the bigwigs.

This lapse on the part of the media, he, in turn, attributed to the common man who, he said: “Has least concern for environmental issues and is more fascinated by issues that are most of the times hardly any issues.”

Dr Johal further said the media should be most impartial while highlighting the issues that are of concern to one and all rather than catering to the needs and likes of a few who have directly or indirectly managed to have an upper hold.



Steps to improve farmers’ lives discussed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
A delegation led by managing director of the National Horticulture Board (NHB) Bijay Kumar today visited Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) to explore possibilities of collaboration and get first hand information regarding research activities initiated by the institute.

CIPHET director Dr RT Patil and Bijay Kumar held detailed discussions on common areas of interest and steps to improve lives of farmers through post-harvest management, handling, better storage and value addition.

He laid emphasis on the promotion and mass production of equipment.

It was discussed that NHB may release funds for equipment developed by CIPHET, which included pomegranate aril extractor, fruits harvester and ber destoner.

“CIPHET may be involved in contract/consultancy research of railway containers for transportation and handling of fresh fruits and vegetables. Storage and handling facility at international borders for export of quality horticultural produce and selection of appropriate packaging and cushioning material,” Dr Patil added.



From Schools & Colleges
Mughal era brought alive

Ludhiana: Bal Bharati Public School, an institution of the Child Education Society, Delhi, celebrated its fourth annual day in a spectacular manner here last evening. The function, based on the theme of Mughal Era (saga of Mughals), giving a critical appraisal of the Mughal Dynasty (1526 AD to 1857 AD) highlighted the important historical facts in an unbiased and fair manner. The event was attended by a gathering of 3,000 spectators. The main motive of the programme was to make students aware of the reasons and impact of the historical events.

SK Sandhu, IAS, secretary, Public Works (B&R), Government of Punjab, Chandigarh, was the chief guest. Many distinguished educationists of the city also graced the event.

The budding blossoms of Bal Bharati, dressed in typical Mughal attires, welcomed guests. After the formal welcome, the traditional ceremony of lighting the sacred lamp for paying obeisance to invoke the blessings of Goddess Saraswati was performed.

Then began the glitzy and glamorous “Saga of Mughals” which was beautifully dramatised, inter-woven with descriptive narration, melodious contemporary music and perfectly choreographed typical Indian, Persian, Irani dances and qawwalis. A play on the rein of Ibrahim Lodhi was enacted by students of various classes. Persian dance by Class I girls impressed the audience with their perfectly synchronised movements. Thereafter, a devotional enactment “Kafila” was presented by the boys of Mont I in praise of strength and kindness of God Almighty. A colourful Rajasthani welcome dance by Mont II (C and G) and traditional Rajasthani number by Mont (A and B) mesmerised all. Choreography of Irani dance presented by girls of Classes IV, V and VI ensnared all. Stories on Humayun, Akbar, Birbal, Sher Shah Suri, Jahagir, Shahjahan, Noorjahan, Mumtaz, Noorjahan, Aurangzeb, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Maratha Raja Shivaji and British rule were also narrated through the plays. A traditional Holi dance was presented by students of Mont-II (D, E, F, and H) to show the freedom that was allowed to celebrate festivals at that time. A traditional Indian Kathak piece was presented by the girls of classes VI, VII and VIII. A Ghoomar dance presented by Mont I girls and devotional enactment by Mont-I (C, D, E, F and H) left everyone spellbound.

Principal Punam Dogra enlisted achievements of the school. The chief guest appreciated the efforts of principal, staff and students.

According to him, role play has always been a strong tool in the hands of teachers to educate students. The programme ended with a vote of thanks.

Prize distribution

The annual function-cum-prize distribution was held at Government Senior Secondary School, Alamgir, Ludhiana. Darshan Singh Shivalik, MLA, Manpreet Singh Ayali, chairman, zila parishad, were the chief guests. Members of the PSVK Committee, RMSA Committee, sarpanch of gram panchayat and other members of the management committee and parents were also present on the occasion.

Song, music and dance were a perfect amalgam, which formed the theme of the day. The function started with a welcome song by students which won the hearts of the audience. The script, costumes, choreography were also praiseworthy. Colourful items like Gujarati dance, Malwaee giddha, jaago were also presented by students.

Gurbeer Singh read out the annual report of the school. Prizes in academic as well as sports were distributed among students.

The chief guest addressed the audience and commended the exalted standard of the institution and appreciated the students’ performance.

Shivalik announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh, while Ayali announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh to the school. School principal Dr Surinderpal Kaur thanked guests.


Ludhiana Sahodaya inter-school PowerPoint presentation-cum-paper reading contest was held at BCM, Dugri. It was a great event, in which around 13 city schools participated. The event was graced by dignitaries like Suresh Munjal, MD, Hero Cycles, who was the guest of honour, Vijay Anand, senior vice-president, Malwa Spinning Mills, SK Mehta and RB Khanna. Students gave presentations on current topics like “Nanotechnology-Boon or Bane”, “Food Is a Weapon-Don’t Waste It”, “Food Adulteration”, “Bulky Waste-How to Manage It”.

The event was indeed an eye-opener for students. The first position was bagged by Rehneet and Shuchika from BCM, Shastri Nagar, whereas the second and third positions were secured by Kanika Chawla and Hanish Bajaj of Greenland School and Shriya and Soumya of DAV, Pakhowal road, respectively. Consolation prize was given to Manmeet and Mohak of MGM School. Principal Dr Vandna Shahi said with the advent of modernisation and mechanisation, computers were gaining a lot of popularity as knowledge dens. This paradigm shift from conventional learning to e-learning had facilitated students to draw optimum benefits in all respects, Vandna added.

Paper reading

MGM School participated in the LSSC PowerPoint presentation and paper reading contest held at BCM School. Many CBSE schools participated in the competition. MGM Public School students Mohak Arora and Manmeet Singh of Class X won prizes and brought laurels to the school. Poonam Sharma, principal of the school, congratulated the winners and applauded their efforts.


Under the guidance of Balraj Bhasin, president SDP Sabha, SDP College for Women organised 46th AD Shroff, memorial education competition.

The competition was organised by the commerce department of the college. About 11 students from BCom I, II and III took part. They spoke on topics, including "The telecom revolution in India", "Emergence of India as a hub for global automobile industry", "Industrial disasters-lesson from the Bhopal Tragedy", "Imperatives of reforms of public distribution system in India".

Dr Prakash Verma, Dr Asha Aneja and Ranjana Sood acted as judges. The winners of the contest included first prize: Reema (BCom II), second prize Seema (BCom II) and third prize was won by Nisha (BCom III).

They also recommended the names of the best five speakers who were awarded certificates.


National seminar on “Journey towards Self-Culture” enters day two. On the second and concluding day of the national seminar on “Journey towards Self-Culture” several experts presented their papers at Malwa Central College of Education for Women.

The seminar was held under the aegis of University Grants Commission. Dr Kuldeep Jaidka, retired professor, DAV College, Chandigarh, threw light on sub-theme “Economic Turmoil - Way out towards self-improvement” and said economic crises existed everywhere. Politicians should be replaced by eminent entrepreneurs like Tata, Birla for decision-making in economic organisations like WTO.

He further said economic turmoil could never be solved if nations fight individually.

Researchers from different colleges presented their papers on sub-theme “Media Culture - its role in self empowerment” in the afternoon session.

Pharmacy Week

The PCTE Institute of Pharmacy near Baddowal Cantonment (Ludhiana) celebrated National Pharmacy Week (NPW) with an aim to promote awareness about the role of pharmacist among society.

The theme was “Safety first with medicine, Ask your Pharmacist”.

Dr VK Dumka from Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana, delivered a guest lecture on “Pharmacovigilance: an approach to drug safety”. This was followed by paper-reading competition.

International conference

Dr Hari Mohan Saxena, professor of immunology and head of veterinary microbiology, department of GADVASU, presented research papers on immunological mechanisms of vaccination at Seattle, USA, recently.

His papers were on immune response to vaccination against Haemorrhagic Septicaemia, a bacterial disease, in buffaloes. — TNS



Grant enhanced for park upkeep
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
Years after neglecting the maintenance of green belts in the city, the Municipal Corporation (MC) finally accepted the demands of the park management committees (PMCs) to enhance the rates for maintaining parks.

In the past, 787 parks were not managed properly and when SS Sandhu took over as MC Commissioner in 1998, he introduced the PMCs to maintain the parks with the co-operation of the public.

It was proposed that the MC would give a grant of ` 1.5 per sq meter to the PMC for maintaining the park. As many as 428 PMCs were formed. However, after the change of guard in the civic body in 2002, the maintenance of green belts received a setback.

Pressured by the PMCs, the MC restarted the grants, but only at Re 0.50 per sq ft. The result was a disaster as the PMCs started taking less interest in the maintenance of parks.

Subsequently, the finance and contract committee (F&CC) passed a resolution that for parks up to 1,500 sq ft, the MC would give a lump sum grant of ` 1,500.

For parks measuring between 1,500 sq ft and 4,000 sq ft, the PMCs would get a grant of Rs 1.5 per sq ft whereas for parks with a measurement of over 4,000 sq ft, the PMCs would get a grant of ` 1 per sq ft.

MC Commissioner AK Sinha said they had got the orders of the state government regarding the approval of the resolution of the F&CC.

SS Chana, president of the federation of pollution and park management committees, said it would help in improving the condition of parks. However, he said as the maximum limit of 5,000 sq ft had been set by the MC for maintaining of a park, the rate should be uniform for all parks above 4,000 sq ft.



Tehbazaari team beats a retreat
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
The tehbazari staff of the municipal corporation (MC) was forced to leave its anti-encroachment drive midway here today.It met with stiff resistance from migrant labourers after an unidentified person was injured when a shed fell during the drive.

According to information available, the tehbazari staff, led by superintendent Navin Malhotra, was conducting the drive against temporary encroachments along the 100-foot road at a Sherpur locality.

During the drive, an unidentified person got injured while the drive was unsder way.

Enraged migrant labourers started pelting stones on the MC staff and they left the drive to save themselves.



Powercom’s Rs 1.4-lakh demand quashed
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, November 29
The Permanent Lok Adalat has quashed the demand of Rs 1,40,228 raised by Powercom on account of recording of low electricity consumption.

Adalat members RS Khokhar and Nand Lal held that the overhauling of the account of the complainant had been done wrongly and was against Powercom rules. The orders came on a complaint moved by Sukhwant Kaur of Prem Nagar here.

Powercom had submitted that a perusal of records showed that the meter was recording 34.11 per cent less consumption when checked by officials, after which the account was overhauled and the demand raised.

After appreciating the evidence of both sides, the adalat held that the consumption recorded by the old and new meters was almost the same from April 2009 to September 2009 and from April 2010 to September 2010.

The consumption was seen to be on the lower side only in October and November 2009. The account of the complainant could be overhauled afresh only for this period, observed the adalat.



Medical camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
To mark the martyrdom day of the Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib (C) Hospital held a Nagar Kirtan.About 90 jathas, school parties, Institute of Nursing Education of Guru Tegh Bahadur Sahib (C) Hospital and staff jathas participated in prayers.

The hospital is named and run after the Sikh Guru. The procession was followed by a Kirtan Durbar and a free medical camp which was inaugurated by Manish Tewari, MP, secretary, All India Congress Committee.

Medicines were distributed free of cost and free medical tests were also conducted.

Chief guest apprised every one of the sacrifices made by the great Sikh Guru. He appreciated the endeavour of the hospital management committee and the service being rendered by hospital staff.



Chatting, phone calls caused trouble
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
It was the alleged chat on social networking website and frequent telephonic conversations with a woman from Trinidad that caused trouble between Anuj and Deepa.The accused used to talk to a woman from Trinidad.

Anuj had reportedly told her that he was a bachelor. The duo started exchanging frequent massages on social networking website facebook.

It is learnt that the duo first saw each other on facebook and started chatting.

According to family members Anuj used to call her on frequent bases. But she soon came to know that Anuj was married. She shared notes with his wife Deepa Malik and told her that Anuj talks to her everyday.

Anuj was reportedly baffled after she told Deepa about his activities. Assaulting his wife was not new for Anuj. It is learnt that Anuj and Deepa quarreled over the issue and in a fit of rage he slapped his wife and the victim sustained a hairline fracture on her jaw.



State govt dragging feet over airport upgrade: Tewari
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 29
Ludhiana MP and spokesperson for the Indian National Congress Manish Tewari today sought to expose false claims of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal about the Ludhiana airport.

He said the state government was deliberately delaying the installation of the DVOR (doppler VHF omnidirectional rays) equipment by not cooperating with the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

Tewari said while Sukhbir was trying to take false credit for getting the flights resumed from the city airport, the reality was that his government was sitting over the plans of expansion and upgrade of the airport as well as improvement of facilities of visibility there.

Substantiating his charges of indifference of the Punjab government towards facilitating the improvement of services, Tewari quoted a letter from the union civil aviation ministry to the state government for the transfer of 150 kanal land to the AAI for the upgrade of the aerodrome, besides removal of various obstructions and provision for approach road.

Tewari said in spite of the union ministry’s request that the matter might be taken on priority given the approaching foggy season, the state government did nothing.

The union civil aviation ministry had worked expeditiously to get installed the DVOR equipment, required for improved visibility. But the state government had not done its part so far, he added.

Although the ministry had sent the letter a month ago, seeking the state government’s response to operationalise DVOR before the onset of the next fog season, the government was yet to respond.

Tewari said Badal should practise what he preached. “If he is really serious about success of the Ludhiana airport, he should ask his government to contribute its little bit so that the DVOR equipment is installed without any further delay so that frequent cancellation of flights could be effectively dealt with,” the MP said.

Missed Flights

Air India operates a daily flight between New Delhi and Ludhiana with the Delhi-Ludhiana flight extended to Pathankot every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. During November (till today), the flight has landed here on just nine days while the rest of have either been cancelled or diverted to Chandigarh due to poor manual visibility and absence of DVOR at the Ludhiana airport, the airport authorities say.



Emphasis on conservation of resources
Our Correspondent

Doraha, November 29
Prof Avinash Kaur Nagpal, department of botanical and environmental Sciences, GNDU, Amritsar, shared her views on “Conservation of Natural resources” with participants of the 13th refresher course on environmental studies, Academic Staff College, Punjabi University, Patiala.

“Nature provides us with many resources like forests and their products, animals, birds and their products, fish and other marine organisms. Even the renewable resources may become non-renewable if used in excess. Thus it’s important for us to use natural resources judiciously,” Dr Avinash said.

“Over-consumption, unequal distribution of resources, overpopulation, agricultural practices, industrialisation, soil erosion, irrigation, mining for oil and minerals, aquifier depletion, forestry and pollution or contamination of resources is a matter of concern,” she added.

Dr further Avinash said: “Water pollution has become a major problem in the global context. Water pollution has affected the human health, animals, fish, and birds. People can help minimize water pollution by simple housekeeping and management practices. Water conservation is the need of the hour and at domestic level it can be achieved by using less water and rainwater harvesting. Other domestic methods can be used to save water. Turning the tap off while soaping up, closing the tap properly after use, turning the tap on slowly, using water with a slow flow, using water conserving appliances etc. Also, watering plants before 8 am and after 5 pm and using sprinkler method of irrigation must be used for watering lawns.”



Tata team to visit city on Thursday
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
In order to look into the feasibility of starting Mono Rail in the city, a team of Tata Consultancy firm will visit the city on Thursday to conduct a preliminary study. Another team from Japan will follow them next Monday.

The decision to start a Mono Rail project in the city, on routes that had been excluded from the Metro project, was taken at a meeting of municipal corporation officials with representatives of Tata Consultancy a few days ago in New Delhi.

Mono Rail has been proposed to be started on a 25 km-stretch. The route for the purpose has to be identified by MC and Tata Consultancy officials.

Tata will conduct a preliminary study to look into the feasibility of starting Mono Rail on the identified route.

Sources said MC Commissioner AK Sinha had a telephonic conversation with representatives of Tata Consultancy who had told him that they would conduct two separate studies to see the viability of the project.

A technical study would initially be conducted and it would be followed by a financial study.

For technical study, a team of Tata Consultancy will arrive in the city on Thursday. Similarly, another team along with representatives of a Japanese firm will visit the city on Monday for financial study.

Both teams in co-ordination with municipal corporation officials will conduct the study to see the viability of the project, added the sources.

The MC Commissioner confirmed that the team would visit the city for a preliminary study on Thursday.

“We have got the communication from Tata regarding the visit and work is expected to kick off soon,” he added.



B&R team inspects work on flyovers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
A team of the building and roads (B&R) branch of the civic body inspected the ongoing construction work on flyovers at Gill Chowk and Pratap Chowk.

An MC team led by Superintendent Engineer (SE) Dharam Singh inspected the work this morning to get the work on both projects expedited.

The team first inspected the construction work on Pratap Chowk flyover and later assessed the work on ramp at Gill Chowk towards Malerkotla.

The officer asked the contractor to speed up the work so that both projects could be completed within the stipulated time period.

He also gave directions to the contractor regarding the construction work.

Both projects are of importance as after completion, they would facilitate the movement of traffic from Pratap Chowk towards the bus station.

As the work on ramp is yet to be completed, traffic coming from Malerkotla side goes via Pratap Chowk, leading to heavy rush at the chowk.

Once completed, the flyover would facilitate the movement of traffic from Malerkotla to Gill Chowk and further to the bus station.



3G Spectrum Charges
BSNL staff cry foul over payment to govt
To observe three-day strike from tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 29
The Bharat Sanchar Nigam Employees Union (BSNLEU) has blasted the management of the public sector undertaking for making unwarranted payment of Rs 18,500 crore to the government of India towards 3G and BWA spectrum charges.

Addressing BSNL employees, who were holding a protest during lunch hour in front of the office of general manager, telecom, here today, BSNLEU district secretary Balwinder Singh observed that the BSNL management had no reason to pay such a huge amount to the government as it had not participated in the 3G spectrum auction.

“The money collected from the BSNL ought to be refunded immediately,” he demanded.

Focussing on other pending demands, the trade union leader said another major issue causing widespread resentment among employees was failure of absorption of ITS officers even after 10 years of formation of the BSNL, despite several
assurances given by the union minister for communications.

“This crucial issue is adversely affecting the day-to-day working and expansion plans of the BSNL, and has forced the joint action committee to observe a three-day strike from December 1.”

Among other demands raised included merger of 78.2 per cent interim DA for wage revision from January, 2007, speedy procurement of mobile equipment, strict “no” to disinvestment, unbundling and VRS in the PSU.

Among other speakers were Budh Singh, Paramjit Singh, Hari Narain, Sudesh Joshi, Amarjit Chander, Jaswant Singh, Amrik Singh, Darshan Singh, Jogesh Kumar, Shingara Singh, Gurcharan Singh and Surjit Singh.



3 villages get Rs 60-lakh grant

Mullanpur Dakha,November 29
Zila parishad chairman Manpreet Singh Ayali has presented cheques worth Rs 60 lakh to office-bearers of civic bodies at Dakha, Gureh and Chaminda villages.Assuring to continue release of grants for development of various localities in the constituency, Ayali said the segment would emerge as the model legislative constituency in the state.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune after interacting with office-bearers of various civic bodies here on Saturday, Ayali said he had directed officials in the department to expedite construction and repair work started during the recent weeks.

He advised the officials that suggestions by sarpanches and panches should be considered on merit irrespective of their political allegiance.

Grants worth Rs 30, 20 and 10 lakh were released for development of Dakha, Gureh and Chaminda villages, respectively.

These will be spent on construction of new streets, drains and other public utility structures.

Preference will be given to provide drinking water and hygienic disposal of solid and liquid waste of villages. — TNS



Magical notes mesmerise listeners
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
The melodious rendition of the Nat Bhairav raaga by Pt Ritesh Mishra and Pt Rajneesh Mishra was a perfect start to the day as it brought alive the atmosphere at Delhi Public School, venue of commencement of the winter session of the Ludhiana chapter of the Society for Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture among Youth (SPICMACAY).

SPICMACAY had invited the noted classical vocalists of the Benaras gharana to perform at the school and the Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women at Model Town. Clad in bottle-green kurtas with white churidaars, the brothers were the sixth generation in the 350-year lineage of vocalists of the Benaras gharana.

They mesmerised the students with their persuasive performance. The compositions ‘Tero hi naam jagat ka aadhaar’ and ‘Pathikwa ja re, ja re, ja re’ in the Tori raaga were a perfect amalgamation of their high and low pitch.

It was a treat for music aficionados, who could not resist tapping their feet with the notations of the tabla and the harmonium. Tabla maestro Durge Daumik and harmonium maestro Sumit Mishra accompanied the vocalists in the performance.

Sons of legendary vocalist Pt Rajan Mishra, Pt Ritesh Mishra and Pt Rajneesh Mishra had given their first stage performance at the age of nine and seven, respectively.

Sharing their success story with students of the college, they emphasised on the importance of thorough knowledge of culture. They added, “Music is the most important part of every culture and knowing one’s culture gives an insight into the depth of expression. Classical music is not to be understood, but to be felt,” they added.

Speaking to the Ludhiana Tribune, Pt Ritesh Mishra referred to the present period as a renaissance of Indian classical music and dance. He added, “New platforms are being created for the younger generation, which will give them ample exposure to refurbish the essence of classical music and dance.”

Asked about the popularity of Indian classical music worldwide, Pt Ritesh Mishra recounted the incident of a performance in Germany, where not a single clap was heard after their performance in a jam-packed hall, which disappointed them. “My disappointment was replaced with warmth when I was told that the audience was so touched by the performance that it did not want to break the continuity of melody with their claps,” he recalled.



Painting away her pain
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
Adversity brought out the best in her. Panchkula-based artist Meera Ahuja has not let her illness afflict her spirit. Rather, she has used it to bring forth her latent talent.“I was diagnosed with coelic disease many years ago. It made me very weak and I had to quit my job,” she recalls.

However, refusing to let her illness kill her spirit, she vowed to fight it. “Starting my life all over again was not easy, especially in the wake of my medical condition. But I was not the one to give up,” she says.

She took a pencil and paper and started sketching. “My pencil became my sword and my fight to survive began,” she narrates. Meera found herself being drawn to painting. “It was on a day when I went to drop my daughter at her painting class. I thought if my little girl can paint so well, why can’t I?”

Meera enrolled herself in the drawing class and found her hidden talent find expression on canvas.

“I knew I had found my calling and my way to a new life,” she says with pride.

Since then, there has been no looking back for “Meera the painter”, she chuckles.

She has been painting on a wide variety of subjects from nature, including flowers, landscapes, animals and birds, to life. She says she paints whatever appeals to her, though birds are what have won her rave reviews.

“I paint in oil, water, besides sketching with pen. Painting is now my life, my vocation, my passion and my reason to live,” she says, adding that she has felt a remarkable improvement in her medical condition since she started painting seven years ago.

Meera has a word of advice for others like her. “Never give up. Have faith in yourself and see your life change. If I can do it, so can you,” she says.

On her inspiration, Meera says she loves reading about other artists and their works. She likes visiting art exhibitions. “Other artists are my inspiration,” she avers.

Meera is showcasing her creations at Dr MS Randhawa Art Gallery in Punjab Agriculture University.

“I am an alumna of the university and thank the Vice-Chancellor for giving me a chance to display my paintings. I could not have asked for more,” she says.

The exhibition is a tribute to the legendary artist Sobha Singh on his 110th birth anniversary and is aptly named “Celebrating Life”. 



Ad hoc college lecturersremain an exploited lot
Shivani Bhakoo/TNS

Ludhiana, November 29
Privately run colleges in the state appear to be blatantly flouting Panjab University’s regulations that stipulate the colleges should appoint only those lecturers who are approved by the varsity.

With none of the colleges fully adhering to the UGC and PU norms, and in the absence of legal or union support, ad hoc lecturers are suffering at the hands of private managements. Many faculty members now feel the Punjab & Chandigarh College Teachers' Union (PCCTU) should come to the help of ad hoc teachers to stop their "exploitation".

Ad hoc lecturers reportedly account for about 40 per cent of the total strength of teaching staff in private colleges. Apart from the meagre salaries paid to them, these teachers are forced to be docile to college officials. They dare not disagree with administration decisions or else they may lose their jobs.

Shailja Khanna (name changed), an ad hoc lecturer in a privately run college, said: “Had there been any other option I’d have quit by now. As my department head happens to be a close relative of the president of the college management I can’t afford to displease her. At times I’ve to even laugh at her silly jokes. My tenure is from August to March and, if I fail to keep her in good spirits, my term may not be extended”.

Tarsem Bahia, convener of the Punjab Education Forum, said: “College managements haven’t increased their salaries for the past several years because they know they have plenty of choices (lecturers). Though fees for various courses have been hiked manifold, to take inflation into account, the pay of lecturers is still the same. There is utter chaos and exploitation of not only the teachers but students as well. Before getting the affiliation, the college managements give affidavit that they will fulfill all university conditions. But there is total violation of all conditions. The ad hoc lecturers are treated as inferiors by senior faculty members and managements".

KBS Sodhi, former PCCTU president and life member of the All-India Federation of University & College Teachers' Organisation, said PCCTU must intervene to stop the “exploitation” of ad hoc lecturers. "40 per cent of college teachers in Punjab and Chandigarh have been appointed on ad hoc basis. Their interests must be safeguarded. A contract must be signed between a lecturer and college management so that the former doesn’t have to worry about being arbitrarily fired", he said.



Dasmesh club lift kabaddi cup
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh,  November 29
Dasmesh Kabaddi Club, Kalakh, and Harjit Friends Kabaddi Club, Patto Heeran, emerged winners in the Sant Baba Nasket Ji Kabaddi Cup 2010 which concluded at SBNJ Football Stadium, Mehma Singh Wala village, near here, on Sunday. Ranuan Kalakh and Goldy Koom Kalan were declared best raider and best stopper, respectively.

Jaswant Singh Grewal, convener of the event, said 100 international kabaddi players from eight academies had participated. Winners were given cash prizes worth ` 1.01 lakh and ` 75,000, respectively.



Medal haul by Nirdosh kids
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 29
Not letting their disability come in the way of success, students of Nirdosh — An Institute for the Mentally Challenged, Ludhiana, fought their way to victory and won 26 medals at the recently held Special Olympics.

The students brought laurels to their school with three gold, 11 silver, and 12 bronze medals at the Special Olympics Punjab Chapter for the Mentally Challenged that was held at Hoshiarpur on the premises of Rayat-Bahra Education City in association with Asha Kiran Institute.

As many as 23 students from the school, including those with mental and physical disabilities participated in the event.

“One of our hearing impaired students also participated in the Special Olympics and we are really proud of the child,” said a beaming principal Surat Singh.

The school also bagged two trophies — that of first runners-up in basketball and bocce. Tavinder, Gurvinder and Kartik won gold in 50 m and 25 m races, respectively.

“We are happy with our victory and want to participate in more such events,” said the “golden” trio of the school, while the other participants beamed with joy over their newfound successful status.

Expressing joy over the students’ achievement, the principal added: “It was wonderful to see a large number of children participate in the sporting event.”

“The organisers looked after every body so well that the children really felt special,” affirmed Surat Singh.

He added that more such events should be held for special children to enable them display their abilities and prove to the world that they are indeed special.

“Such sporting events are very important for the development of these children as is clearly visible. Many children who could not even think of standing, managed to run in the games,” said the proud principal.



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