L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Hospital doctors accused of switching babies
Woman’s family refuses to accept girl child
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
The family members of a woman admitted to a city hospital for delivery staged a protest on Monday after she gave birth to a girl despite being told by a ward boy it was a boy. However, the matter was resolved later after the hospital’s doctors agreed to refund the fees for the operation.

Bharat Bhushan, father of the baby, protests against the hospital administration; and (right) Neelam Rani, grandmother of the child, argues with the police in Ludhiana on Monday.
Bharat Bhushan, father of the baby, protests against the hospital administration; and (right) Neelam Rani, grandmother of the child, argues with the police in Ludhiana on Monday. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

High drama was witnessed at the Saubhagya hospital in the Haibowal locality when Bharat Bhushan, the baby’s father, along with his relatives demanded the police file a case of “child swapping” against the female doctor who conducted the delivery. The family claimed a baby girl was handed over to them though the ward boy had said the woman had given birth to a boy.

On the other hand hospital officials alleged the family was trying to “wriggle out” of the situation as they had to pay a huge bill for the operation.

Giving another twist to the controversy, the family refused to get a DNA test of the baby and her mother conducted. "Who knows, the doctors might have managed to manipulate the report as they have succeeded in "swapping" a child. We want a boy, no matter from where the doctors arrange him, but we won’t accept a daughter," said Neelam Rani, mother of Shilpa, 31, who gave birth to the child.

Shilpa was admitted to the hospital in a critical condition when she was 32 weeks pregnant. The doctor conducted a cesarean. "And the child was immediately rushed to hospital as it was a pre-term baby. The infant's lungs were not fully developed and she was rushed to the Dayanand Medical College & Hospital by the child’s father. We have all relevant documents to prove it was a female child. The family concocted the story in order to avoid paying the hospital expenses as a cesarean operation was conducted. The false allegations over ‘child swapping’ may have ruined my career”, said Dr Rinku Kaura, a gynecologist at the hospital.

Sources said the family has not yet paid ` 50,000 for the operation and medical expenses. Shilpa, who gave birth to the child, is still undergoing treatment in the hospital. The couple already has two sons, both through a cesarean operation.

Later during the day the police worked out a compromise and the issue was resolved, according to SHO Randhir Singh. The compromise was affected when the area residents came in support of the doctor and countered the family for casting aspersion on profession of the gynecologist. The sources confirmed the hospital doctors refunded the entire fees for the operation and even promised the family to continue treatment for free.

Male heir fetish

The parents of two-day-old baby girl gave scant regard to the fact that their own child was struggling for life at the Dayanand Medical College & Hospital. The baby’s father, Bharat Bhushan, refused to admit her as his daughter. Neelam Rani, the child’s grandmother, refused to accept the baby girl. "My daughter can’t give birth to a girl child. We need a male child," she said while arguing with a cop. "It’s a curse to be a girl child. Parents like Bharat Bhushan and Shilpa and grandmothers like Neelam Rani has proved it again that a female child is still not acceptable in the society," said Chetan Mehta, who witnessed the family members’ protest at the hospital.


LIT sits over refund for more than a decade
Pays penalty; responsibility yet to be fixed
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 21
In a classic example of gross financial mismanagement and zero accountability, the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) here kept sitting over a refund of a little over ` 10 lakh, due to the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), for more than 10 years.

The amount was ultimately paid with 12 per cent interest per annum, along with a penalty of ` 50,000 and legal charges of ` 10,000, following the Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission’s order.

The annual audit report of the LIT for 2009-10, raising serious objection to this avoidable financial loss of ` 15,28,103, desired that a committee be set up to fix responsibility for this serious lapse and the amount of interest and penalty be recovered from the guilty.

A copy of the audit report, obtained under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by Rohit Sabharwal and Arvind Sharma, president and secretary, respectively, of the Council of RTI Activists, an NGO, has reveals that the BSNL deposited ` 51.20 lakh with the LIT for the purchase of 4266.66 square yards for a telephone exchange on July 29, 1994, and the LIT made an allotment of 3364.64 square yards in November, 1996.

Thereafter, BSNL officials made repeated attempts for the refund of the excess amount, calculated to be ` 10,82,672, through registered letters sent in July, 1997, July, 1999, March, 2000, June, 2000, and July, 2001. Having failed to move the LIT into action for the refund the BSNL sent a legal notice for recovery in November, 2001, with the same result.

Left with no other recourse, the BSNL authorities filed a complaint with the commission in April, 2002. The commission, in its order dated June 13, 2005, directed the LIT to pay the excess amount of ` 10,82,672, along with 12 per cent interest per annum from August 1, 1994, to November 18, 2005, a penalty of ` 50,000 and legal charges of ` 10,000. The commission further ruled that in case the refund was not paid by the stipulated date, the LIT would have to pay penal interest of 15 per cent thereafter.

Though successive audit reports from 2005-06 onward had been pointing out this financial irregularity, the LIT was yet to carry out the directions given at the time of pre-audit of payment of refund in November, 2005. No sub-committee had been set up to fix responsibility for the failure to pay the refund on time and to initiate recovery proceedings against those guilty of causing the loss, said LIT officials.


The BSNL deposited ` 51.20 lakh with the LIT for the purchase of 4266.66 square yards for a telephone exchange on July 29, 1994, and the LIT made an allotment of 3364.64 square yards in November, 1996. Thereafter, BSNL officials made repeated attempts for the refund of the excess amount.



City development projects not going anywhere
Manvinder Singh/TNS

Ludhiana, February 21
It’s a familiar tale of taxpayers’ money going down the drain, major civic projects conceived to improve the lives of city residents have either not been completed or been inordinately delayed. A few have not even got off the ground despite foundation stones having been laid by politicians and bureaucrats who had pledged specific timeframes.

The fact is that of 12-odd projects that did take off over the past few years only one has managed to see the light of day whereas work on several others has run into various bottlenecks. Just a few examples are the incomplete construction of the Pakhowal indoor stadium, Lakkar Pul rail overbridge, Gill chowk flyover, express highway along Sidhwan canal and apartments for the urban poor as well the delay in covering the drain from the Dukh Niwaran gurdwara to Shingaar Cinema.

There are several instances of lack of planning also. Work on covering the Dukh Niwaran-Shingaar drain, eight-laning of the Ferozepur road, pedestrian underpass in Aggar Nagar, construction of bridges over Buddha Nullah and “beautification” of entry points at Ferozepur Road never kicked off in the first place. This is largely due to the fact that necessary “technical” approvals were not obtained before starting work.

The prime factor behind this mess is that the municipal corporation top brass has never bothered to take any action against errant contractors and officials guilty of embezzling public funds.

This is clear from the fact that a contractor who was allegedly siphoned off ` 16 crore in project of incomplete indoor stadium and then ` 1.5 crore in the project to cover the open drain had managed to get work of construction of the Gill Chowk flyover, which ironically was also delayed. However, instead of taking any action against him the authorities have handed over work of some more important projects to him.

The result of faulty planning is that city residents have to face growing traffic problems with hope of respite in the near future.



Banks seek police help to recover bad loans
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
After being forced to stop hiring musclemen to recover unpaid loans, officials of banks and other financial institutions urged the city’s police top brass to settle financial disputes during the ‘Sangat Darshan’ complaint redressal programme held at Sarabha Nagar Monday. Not only bankers but even newly-wed couples and their relatives at loggerheads over property issues lined up at the event.

Speaking on the occasion, deputy police commissioner Yurinder Singh said: "Our aim is to redress all complaints that have been pending at police stations due to various reasons on the spot."

Additional deputy police commissioner JS Sidhu said: "Bank officials who were at odds with those defaulting on loans approached us. We also received complaints where property that was already pledged to a bank was further sold to a resident by forging documents. We’ve initiated action soon after receiving the complaints”.

He added nearly 70 complaints filed at the Sarabha Nagar police station and about 23 at the PAU station would be redressed on Monday itself.

Requesting anonymity bank officials said after the Supreme Court issued strict guidelines prohibiting use of force against people defaulting on loans, banks and other financial institutions were left with no option but to go to the police.

“We received an encouraging response during the complaint redressal programme conducted by additional deputy police commissioner-I Harsh Bansal, earlier last month. We now plan to make it a regular feature and trying to ensure the programme is held once a month," said Yurinder.

“We believe such a programme would immensely help the police in reducing pending cases involving financial disputes,” said assistant police commissioner Raj Kumar.

Police station house officers including Dharmapal of Sarabha Nagar and Beant Juneja of PAU were seen counselling the two contentious groups. “It’s been observed that whenever both groups were summoned at the police station one of them did not turn up at the police station, which resulted in our time and energy being wasted. Our aim was to bring both factions on a common platform. The matter was addressed peacefully and issues were resolved on the spot,” said Juneja.

However, contrary to the cops’ claims, nearly 20 cases could not be resolved simply because both groups ignored the police’s summons.

Caught in the middle

It was a tough day for two trainee IPS officers, Swapan Sharma and Naveen Singla, who were surrounded by complainants at the complaint redressal programme held at Sarabha Nagar Monday. “Most of the complainants are involved in legal wrangles pending in courts. However, in order to speed up the proceedings they make allegations of assault against each other and bring the matter to the police station”, said Singla.



First-ever honey fest kicks off at PAU today
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
About 2,000 beekeepers and agricultural scientists from across the country are expected to take part in the three-day Honey Festival that begins Tuesday on the Punjab Agricultural University campus. The fair, the first of its kind in the country, is being organized by the varsity’s entomology department under the aegis of the National Horticulture Mission.

Department head Dr Ashok Kumar Dhawan told the Ludhiana Tribune: “When it comes to development of beekeeping the "sweet revolution’ has arrived in Punjab. With over 25,000 beekeepers maintaining about 250,000 colonies here, over 10,000 tonnes of apiary honey is produced annually - more than 25 per cent of the country's output”.

The total market for honey in the state is estimated at over Rs 40 crore. The beekeeping techniques developed at PAU has contributed significantly to the huge amount of apiary honey produced in India. "Beekeepers all over India purchase machinery including honey processing units, extraction kits and cages in Ludhiana, which is a big centre for beekeeping machinery. Now scientists are focusing on providing good nutrition and flora to bees as well as diagnosis of diseases affecting bees, keeping in mind the commercial aspect of beekeeping", said Dhawan.

He said Punjab under the guidance of PAU had been instrumental in the supply of nucleus colonies of A mellifera bees to other states. “This large scale of bee colonies has emerged as an important and highly profitable enterprise. The country's largest honey traders, exporters and entrepreneurs (honey) have been trained and guided by PAU”, said Dhawan.

Further, the recent concept of honeybees as an “input” for raising crop yields through crosspollination has created a demand for hiring the services of beekeepers for supply of honeybee colonies during the blooming of crops, especially oilseeds, horticultural crops and vegetable/hybrid seed production”, he added.

PAU scientists believe currently most beekeepers in India domesticate bees only to produce honey and some beeswax. However, apart from honey and beeswax, bees also provide pollen, propolis, royal jelly, bee venom, queen and package bees and brood which can be commercially exploited, the scientists stress.


l Honey festival cum beekeepers' workshop (Feb 22)

l “Progressive” farmers to be honoured

l Display of hive products, other value added items

l National “experience exchange” workshop for beekeepers (Feb 23-24)



MC seals guesthouse again
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
Finally bowing to public pressure, the building branch of the Municipal Corporation (MC) again sealed the guesthouse at the Krishna Nagar locality. Its owner had broken the seal a few days ago.

This morning, residents of the locality led by councillor Gurpreet Singh Gogi met MC Commissioner AK Sinha to complain about the seal being broken. They alleged that MC officials were hand in glove with the owner of the guesthouse as they had not taken any action against him despite complaints. The residents claimed that after breaking the seal, he had allegedly misused the premises by letting it out for parties.

The MC Commissioner asked Assistant Town Planner (ATP) SS Bindra to ensure that the building was sealed again so that no inconvenience was caused to the public. Sinha also said any laxity in the matter would not be tolerated. A team of the building branch was then sent to the area and the building was sealed again.

The guesthouse had been sealed by the MC on Thursday following a complaint of the residents, but a day later the seal was broken. But MC officials had claimed that the owner had broken the seal only after getting their permission.



1984 riots
Sikhs’ body to visit Haryana village
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 21
Taking serious note of a village in Rewari district of Haryana lying in ruins after about 35 Sikh families were massacred in November, 1984, the Danga Peerit Welfare Society today announced that a 31-member delegation of riot-affected families would visit the spot on February 23 to meet the survivors.

Addressing a press conference here, Surjit Singh, president of the society, said a strategy to expose the culprits and to mount pressure to bring them to book would be chalked out after the visit and announced at Hondh Chillar village.

He said the killing of Sikhs and the torching of the gurdwara were inhuman acts. “It is condemnable that the guilty have not been identified and punished even after 27 years,” he said.



House Tax Arrears
Textile company showroom sealed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
Taking a tough stand on the collection of house tax dues, the Municipal Corporation (MC) authorities sealed a showroom of a textile company for the non-payment of tax worth Rs 14 lakh.

According to information, an MC team led by the superintendent of D-zone went to the showroom of a leading textile company located at Bharat Nagar Chowk to recover the arrears. But when the staff of the company allegedly resisted the move and declined to make the payment, the MC team sealed the showroom.



Solid waste management
MC to hire agency by May 31
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
It is surprising, but true, that the city produces about 10 times more garbage than areas under the 12 municipal committees around it. After a delay of more than three years, the municipal corporation (MC) will hire an agency by May 31 to find a solution to the solid waste produced in the city.

This was revealed by MC officials during a meeting held for finding some solution for solid waste management in the city and areas under 12 municipal committees, including Khanna, Samrala, Macchiwara, Raikot, Mullanpur and Jagraon, here today.

MC officials, politicians and representatives of the ILFS, which was providing consultancy to the MC, were present. A detailed discussion regarding a solution for the huge amount of garbage produced took place.

After a discussion on a detailed project report prepared by the consultancy firm, it was decided that four solid waste management plants would be set at Jamalpur and two at Jainpur later.

These plants would cater to 1,075 tonnes of garbage, of which 975 tonnes was from the city alone. It was stated that Rs 94 crore would be spent on treating solid waste of the city and Rs 6 crore in areas under the 12 municipal committees.

MC officials sent a proposal to the Centre for setting up a plant under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. The consultancy firm had invited tenders and eight companies were qualified for the work.

The MC would allot the house-to-house garbage collection to the company which would submit the lowest per ton dipping fees. The company would set a treatment plant at the sites allotted and make arrangements to carry garbage.

Talking to The Tribune, VP Singh, MC’s superintendent engineer, said they would finalise the agency undertaking the work by May 31, after which the process of solid waste management would be started.



100 examined at camp
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 21
The department of psychiatry, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), organised a psychiatric and de-addiction camp in Mullanpur. The camp was inaugurated by Manpreet Singh Ayali, chairman, Zila Parishad.

More than 100 patients were examined during the camp Consultants from DMCH, including Dr Ranjive Mahajan, professor and head of psychiatry, Dr Pankaj Kumar, Dr Dharmendra and Dr Amandeep Goyal examined patients and provided counselling to drug addicts.

According to Dr Mahajan, the camp aimed at spreading awareness about psychiatric disorders. A detailed medical and psychiatric evaluation of all patients was performed. Those found to be suffering from diabetes, hypertension and other co-morbid psychiatric illnesses, were subsequently referred for further treatment.

Those suffering from drug abuse were advised to make a commitment to quit. 



MC proposes, govt strikes down
Reason: Failure of civic body to achieve revenue targets
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
In an apt example of how the Municipal Corporation (MC) proposes and the government disposes, the MC authorities pass a whopping budget every year, but as they are not able to generate the corresponding revenue, the state government usually cuts a major portion of it to avoid over-expenditure.

Data procured from the MC records show that every year the government has been imposing a sizeable cut on the budget passed by the MC authorities. But in its hope of getting more funds, the MC has been increasing the budget every year. In the last three years, the MC budget has increased by Rs 350 crore.

Sources in the civic body say poor performance of the MC authorities in collecting targeted revenue results in the cutting of the budget expenditure. Also, sometimes, MC officials add “irrelevant” expenditures to the budget like superfluous estimates of development works, which are then scrapped by the government.

In 2010-2011, the MC had passed a budget of Rs 791 crore and sent it to the government for approval. But giving a jolt to the civic body, the government passed only Rs 633 crore.

Similarly, against the budgets passed by the MC of Rs 652 crore and Rs 467 crore in 2009-2010 and 2008-2009, respectively, the government approved only Rs 633 crore and Rs 425 crore. Talking to The Tribune on the condition of anonymity, a senior MC official admitted that as the MC had limited sources for revenue generation, it added some superfluous proposals in the budget to meet its expenditure.

Senior deputy mayor Praveen Bansal also admitted that cuts were imposed by the government. 



Rotarians for uprooting polio
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 21
Satisfied with the performance of activists and office-bearers of the Punjab Rotary Polio Task Force which was constituted last year, Shubh Karan Gupta, chairman of the force and member of the National Committee on Polio Plus, urged all Rotarians to gear up for the testing times ahead.

Gupta said the lone case that surfaced recently in Howrah district, West Bengal, had set the alarm bells ringing once again.

“Though the situation has improved a lot, we have to be overcautious to check infiltration of the virus. As the Type I polio virus (Brunhilde strain) is surrounded by high risk areas, it can go on the rampage any time,” said Gupta while interacting with office-bearers of the local unit of Rotary Club today.

Terming fading enthusiasm in the fight against the dreaded diseases and lack of parents’ concern as major impediments in eradicating the maladies, including polio, Gupta said the task force had been constituted to launch a coordinated movement for uprooting the menace.

He said an 18-year-old girl who was found to be infected with the virus had not received any dose of the oral polio virus (OPV) and was paralysed. Gupta called upon Rotarians to ensure that no child in the 0 to 5 age group was left without being administered the vaccine.

Acknowledging institutionalised back-up from officials of the health and welfare department of the state, Gupta asserted that a comprehensive and coordinated effort was required to keep the disease at bay.

According to Gupta, no case was reported in the region under the jurisdiction of Rotary districts 3070, 3080 and 3090 this year.

A special team of six Rotarians, nominated by the department of health and family welfare, Chandigarh, was constituted to observe the progress of immunisation camps under the polio plus programme being undertaken in the region.

The directorate of the department of health and family welfare had advised officials in the department to extend support to nominated observers of the Rotary International, major partner in the polio plus programme.

The observers and members of the task force have been facilitating the health officials and volunteers associated with the immunisation programme since long.



State of Affairs
It’s raining chaos in Ghumar Mandi
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 21
Chaotic is the word that aptly describes the state of affairs in Ghumar Mandi, one of the busiest commercial hubs of the city. Corrupt builders and municipal corporation (MC) officials have turned the city into a virtual jungle.

While entering the market, one has to hunt for a parking space. The fear of being stuck in a traffic jam is always there. Over the years, building bylaws have been violated by shopkeepers in connivance with the MC officials.

More than 90 per cent illegal buildings in the area bear testimony to the fact.

Most of the prestigious shop owners have not adhered to the site plans approved by the MC and have been using parking space for commercial purposes. As a result, there is no parking space left in the market. One can see vehicles parked haphazardly on roads.

It’s strange that out of 65ft road, only about 20ft is used for vehicular movement. Though the traffic police remains deployed for managing traffic in the area, rules are mostly flouted by VVIPs against whom even the police fears to take action.

A number of vehicles with a red beacon atop can be seen violating traffic rules. Though the area has been declared one way, this, too, has failed to solve the problem. Apart from it, illegal rehris and encroachments add to the problem.

But the MC’s tehbazaari branch has never bothered to take any action against the erring shopkeepers. Vehicular movement is also obstructed by a large number of trees and poles. Shopkeepers said the authorities had assured them that these would be uprooted.

They added that a power transformer was installed at a low height due to which they had to face a lot of problems. They said they had sent a number of complaints to PowerCom officials, but their pleas were never heeded.

Shopkeepers said the area that had more than 650 shops lacked a public toilet. They said though a urinal had been constructed by the MC a few years ago, it was locked after it was not cleaned and started stinking.

They said they had asked the MC officials to construct more urinals, but to no avail. “Streetlights in the area are lying non-functional and there is no water supply to the area,” shopkeepers added.



Exquisiteness laid bare
SD Sharma

Chandigarh, February 21
An anthology of ghazals titled “Mohabbatein”, authored by Malerkotla-based poet Ashutosh Vinayak, was released at a ceremony held under the aegis of the Samvaad Sahitya and Patarkarita Manch at the Chandigarh Press Club yesterday.

Chief guest Manoranjan Kalia opined that ‘ghazal’ was the ultimate lyrical expression and the poet had emerged as a prolific writer with his exquisite and delicate verses.

Citing excerpts from the book, CS Talwar observed that the literary content of the poetry bore the impression of the wisdom of Swami Vivekananda and the poetic potential and style of Sahir Ludhianvi.

Vinayak had translated his life experiences in his poetry, which projected the psyche of the common man reacting to the social and political environment all around, stated Sabar Ali Dhillon, chairman, Improvement Trust, Malerkotla.



Hardik first in declamation
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 21
The Youth Club and NSS unit of Guru Nanak National College in collaboration with the Youth Forum organised an inter- school declamation contest at Dr Ishwar Singh Memorial Hall today.

Satinder Jawanda, president, Women Cell, Human Rights Commission, Punjab, Prof MS Bhandari, former head of the department of Hindi, GNN College, Prof Harwinder Kaur, former head of the postgraduate department of Punjabi, were the judges. Students of Guru Nanak Model Senior Secondary School, Doraha, won the team trophy, while Hardik Kaushal was declared first in the declamation contest.

Harmandeep Singh of Nanakana Sahib Public School, Rampur, and Narinder Singh of Saraswati Model Senior Secondary School secured the second and third positions, respectively. 



Business Clips
Foundation Day

Ludhiana: Oriental Bank of Commerce celebrated its 69th Foundation Day by reaching out to all its existing as well as prospective customers. Bank officials apprised them of various products and services of the bank. Resource mobilisation camps were also held in various residential and commercial areas as part of the celebrations.


National Spot Exchange (NSEL), the pan-India electronic spot market for commodities, has launched e-Lead under its e-series products with effect from February 18, 2011. The underlying asset in this case is Lead which can be traded in 1kg denomination. This will provide a product to retail investors to invest their savings into Lead.


Google and Bharti Foundation-the philanthropic arm of Bharti Enterprises, on Sunday jointly announced an initiative to support the Satya Bharti schools run by the Bharti Foundation. As part of the agreement, Google will provide financial support of USD 5 million to upgrade and support 50 elementary schools run by the Bharti Foundation in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. These schools will be named as Satya Elementary schools. Bharti Foundation provides education to underprivileged children in rural areas. Its flagship initiative, the Satya Bharti School Programme, reaches out to over 30,000 children, with particular focus on the girl child, from socially and economically challenged backgrounds. The foundation offers them access to free education through 236 village primary schools and one senior secondary school. Going forward additional 15 primary and four senior secondary schools are scheduled to be opened next year.

New product

JK Tyres on Sunday launched ‘New Jet Xtra’, a truck tyre for rear wheel fitment. The premium tyre is uniquely designed for extra load and mileage. The New Jet Xtra is a superior, premium and technologically advanced product in the medium to heavy load segment that offers trouble free service, unmatched mileage and load carrying capacity. These features will facilitate higher savings for truck operators. AS Mehta, marketing director, JK Tyre and Industries Ltd, said, “The commercial vehicle segment in India has been strongly growing for the past few years and will continue to witness double digit growth. JK Tyre has always been at the forefront of innovation and the New Jet Xtra is yet another innovative product that has been launched to cater to the needs of discerning truck bias customers.” — TNS




Ludhiana: The Innovative Fish Farmers’ Association (IFFA) of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) held a meeting at the fish farm of progressive farmers Ranjodh Singh Grewal and Jogi Singh Grewal at Nanokey village, Nabha, recently.

Dr SK Kansal, coordinator, IFFA, department of veterinary and animal husbandry, extension education, GADVASU, Dr Meera D Ansal, scientist (fisheries), and Dr Abhishek Srivastava, assistant professor (fisheries), College of Fisheries, GADVASU, took up the queries of farmers.

Technical knowledge about construction and preparation of new production pond and integrated fish farming with livestock farming like pig farming, poultry farming and duck farming was also provided to farmers.

Farmers brought water samples of their ponds for routine water-quality testing, which was done free of cost by College of Fisheries, GADVASU, to help them manage their ponds more scientifically for higher-fish productivity.

Dead fish samples brought by farmers from Muktsar were checked and diagnosed. Required measures for the control of the disease were provided to farmers.


College of Fisheries, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), organised a five-day training programme on “Fish farming” for farmers of Una, Himachal Pradesh, under the leadership of Dr KS Sandhu, director, extension education, GADVASU, here recently. A group of 12 farmers led by Ashok Kumar Verma, assistant director, fisheries, Fish Farmer’s Development Agency, Una, attended the training programme.

Dr Asha Dhawan, Dean, College of Fisheries, spoke on the present status and scope of fisheries development in inland states with a special reference to adoption of eco-friendly sustainable technologies for aquaculture productivity enhancement. The participants were told about different aquaculture practices like carp fish farming, quality carp seed production with a special reference to brood stock management, breeding techniques and nursery pond management, water quality and health management for higher productivity and fish feed formulation.

Participants also visited fish farms of some progressive farmers at Nanokey village near Nabha and Payal, Ludhiana. Dr Meera D Ansal, technical coordinator of the training programme, said all participants showed great zeal and interest to share their experiences with the local fish farmers.

They were delighted to meet local progressive fish farmer Ranjodh Singh Grewal, recipient of the Best Fish Farmer Award, conferred on him by GADVASU (in 2010). — TNS 



From Schools & Colleges
Farewell party

Ludhiana: A farewell party for Class XII students was held at USPC Jain Public School. Students of Class XI presented a cultural programme. Gurnam Kaur was declared Miss USPC, while Abhishek Rana was named Mr USPC.


Tagore Public School held its annual function today. The function started with lighting of the traditional lamp followed by Ganesh vandana. A mesmerising cultural show sparked off joy and gaiety all round. Highlights of the kaleidoscopic bonanza was a blend of Indian and western culture.

Students presented a scintillating choreography on the theme "child labour" giving a message of taking pride in educating the children.


Eco Club of the HVM Convent School today held a rally on "Save Environment". Students shouted slogans like “Grow more trees, save trees, save nature and save environment”. The purpose of holding this rally was to grow more trees and save environment.
Visitors take a look at paintings during an exhibition at Guru Nanak Khalsa College in Ludhiana.
Visitors take a look at paintings during an exhibition at Guru Nanak Khalsa College in Ludhiana. A Tribune photograph

Book fair

A two-day book fair and a painting exhibition were organised by Gujranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa College at Guru Nanak Hall today.

The events were inaugurated by Sohinderjeet Singh, president, Gujranwala Khalsa Educational Trust.

Sohinderjeet Singh expressed gratitude to organisers for providing him an opportunity to be with books after a long period. He advocated for an open shelf library system to inspire students to have a glimpse and knowledge. Principal Manjit Singh Chhabra welcomed guests and emphasised on the necessity of reading books.

Paramjit Singh Sachdeva, member of the management, visited various stalls of the participating booksellers and publishers. Other members of the management, including Harmohinder Singh, Gurcharan Singh Narula, Kuljit Singh and Paramjit Singh Sachdeva were also present on the occasion. More than 10 renowned booksellers and publishers from various parts of Punjab displayed books on literature, art, religion and ethics.

The paintings of Sikh religion invited much participation by staff members and students. Amanpreet Kaur, a librarian, said, “ Not only this exhibition will strengthen the library collection, but will also stimulate reading interest among students.”


A book exhibition was inaugurated by college principal Gurminder Kaur at Government College for Women today.

The principal said books were one’s best friend and played an important part in life. She said, “We should try to create interest in younger generation to use the services of library. The total number of books in our library is 65,000.”

Student Week

Punjab Technical University will organise an International Student Week from February 21 to 25. Basketball and football matches and a cultural function will be organised on the campus. Dr KNS Kang, director-general, PCTE Group of Institutes, said Dr Rajneesh Arora, Vice-Chancellor, PTU, and Suresh Kumar, principal secretary, Technical Education, Government of Punjab, would grace the concluding function on February 25. “Sixty international students from Mozambique, Cameroon, Afghanistan, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Rwanda are studying in the institute. The matches will be played between Indian students and international students of the PCTE,” Dr Arora added. — TNS


SDP College for Women celebrated International Mother Language Day today.

A quiz was organised. Sixteen students participated. The questions were based on Punjabi language and culture. Principal Dr Paramjit Kaur gave away prizes to winners. She congratulated participants and organisers.

She said one should always remember his or her mother tongue. — TNS



Organic farming a hit with this farmer
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Ghulal (Samrala), February 21
Jasbir Singh, a farmer, at Ghulal village has emerged as a ray of hope for hundreds of farmers who want to go in for organic farming. Jasbir Singh started organic farming in 2004. He became a member of the Punjab Organic Council in 2005 and got him registered with SGS IN 2007 with the help of Dr VP Paul.

Jasbir owns a 7-acre land and uses organic sprays, organic vermiwash, organic fertilisers and organic jeevanrit. He sought help from Punjab Agricultural University experts.

Jasbir took to farming after he lost his wife in 2004.

He underwent training in vegetable production for pure and protected organic cultivation.

He visited some farms to enhance knowledge about organic farming and started his own cultivation. In 2007, he set up a vermi compost bed.

Presently, he is growing organic wheat, grains, vegetables, fruits and herbal plants. He is also using the drip irrigation system in his fields and is earning a good amount.

He has imparted training to around 300 farmers so far.

He has also met Prince Charles. Experts from various countries keep visiting his farm.

Jasbir rued that the government never supported him. He demanded that the government and PAU should set up a different cell to promote organic farming and marketing.

He said if he received an approval for organic farming, he would be able to export his produce.

He appealed to other farmers to adopt organic farming for good income and better health.



Sarpanch convicted of land grab
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, February 21
A local court has convicted the sarpanch of Cheema village, owing allegiance to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), of trying to take illegal possession of a piece of agricultural land belonging to some other person.

The court of judicial magistrate Ravi Inder Singh awarded three months of rigorous imprisonment to Parminder Singh and imposed a fine of Rs 500 on him.

In case the convict failed to pay the fine, he would have to further undergo seven more days of imprisonment, the court ordered. He was convicted in a case lodged against him by Sucha Singh of the same village in January, 2002.

According to the complainant, Parminder tried to take illegal possession of some part of his land and caused damage to his crop on the night of January 24, 2002.

The police booked Parminder under Sections 447, 427 and 434 of the IPC. During trial, the court ruled that the charges were proved.

When contacted, Parminder said he had been implicated due to party factionalism, adding that he would challenge his conviction in the high court.



Gurpreet, Meena lift to glory
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 21
Gurpreet Singh, a trainee of the Ludhiana Club, and Meena Kumari of Jagraon were declared best lifters in the men’s and women’s sections, respectively, in the Ludhiana District Weightlifting Championship here yesterday.

The annual meet was organised by the Ludhiana Weightlifting and Powerlifting Association at the Ludhiana Weightlifting and Bodybuilding Club, Rakh Bagh.

Gurpreet lifted a total of 272 kg to emerge victorious in the 62-kg category. Meena won gold in the 53-kg section with an aggregate of 173 kg.

Inspector-General of Police Surinder Singh Sodhi inaugurated the championship. Chief Parliamentary Secretary Harish Rai Dhanda gave away the prizes.


Men- 56 kg- Kuldip Singh of Khanna I, Sidharth of Guru Nanak Stadium Centre II, Sheru Singh of Khanna III; 62 kg- Gurpreet Singh of Ludhiana Club I, Prince of Guru Nanak Stadium Centre II, Rohit Bajaj of Guru Nanak Stadium Centre III; 69 kg- Kamaljit Singh of Ludhiana Club I, Parminder Singh of Khanna II, Randhir Singh of Ludhiana Club III; 77 kg- Pardeep Sharma of Ludhiana Club I, Ajay Kumar of Ludhiana Club II, Davinder Singh of Khanna III; 85 kg- Vikas Thakur of Ludhiana Club I, Jagjeet Singh of Khanna II, Davinder Singh of Khanna III; 94 kg- Rashpal Singh of Ludhiana Club I, Gurinder Singh of Khanna II, Karanveer Singh of Guru Nanak Stadium Centre III; 105 kg- Gurjit Singh of Khanna I, Karanvir Singh of Ludhiana Club II, Harinder Singh of Khanna III; 105 kg+- SS Dara of Ludhiana Club I, Ajay of Ludhiana Club II, Vipan Kumar of Ludhiana Club III; women: 48 kg- Parveen Kaur of Khanna I, Manpreet Kaur of Khanna II, Kamaljeet Kaur of Master Tara Singh Memorial College III; 53 kg- Meena Kumari of Jagraon I, Manpreet Kaur of Khanna II, Davinder Kaur of Khanna III; 58 kg- Khushveer Kaur of Khanna I, Manpreet Kaur of Khanna II, Hardeep Kaur of Khanna III; 63 kg- Baljinder Kaur of Jagraon I, Manjot Kaur of Guru Nanak Girls College II, Rajwant Kaur of Khanna III; 69 kg- Rajni of Government College for Women, Ludhiana I, Mamta Rana of Government College for Women, Ludhiana II, Mandeep Kaur of Khanna III; 75 kg- Harpreet Kaur of Government College for Women, Ludhiana I, Sumandeep Kaur of Khanna II, Anu Bala of Master Tara Singh Memorial College III; 75 kg+- Narinderjit Kaur of Khanna I, Gaganpreet Kaur of Guru Nanak Girls College II, Inderpreet Kaur of Jagraon III.



Mr Punjab bodybuilding contest on Feb 27
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 21
The 38th edition of Senior Mr Punjab Bodybuilding Competition to be organised by the Punjab Amateur Bodybuilding Association (PABBA) will be held at Aroosa Resorts, Khanna road, Malerkotla, Sangrur district, on February 27.

Dr Randhir Hastir, secretary general of the association, said the competition would be held in 55kg, 60kg, 65kg, 70kg, 75kg, 80kg, 90kg and plus 90kg categories.

Prizes will be given to position holders, while participation certificates will be distributed among all competitors.

On the basis of their performance in the meet, the Punjab squad will be finalised for the Senior Mr India Championship to be held from April 8 to 10 in Bangalore.



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