L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Biggest state-level sports extravaganza starts today
n More than 4,600 sportspersons from the state to participate
n Total cash prize of Rs 2.31 crore to be won in 11 disciplines
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, February 27
The stage is set for the biggest state-level sports extravaganza with the inaugural edition of the Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh Punjab Games, which is scheduled to be held at Guru Nanak Stadium here tomorrow.

More than 4,600 sportspersons drawn from all the districts of the state, along with around 600 officials, will descend in the city to take part in the inaugural ceremony. Competition in 11 disciplines will be conducted on knock-out basis during this week-long event to be held at Ludhiana, Patiala, Jalandhar and Mohali.

A cash prize of ` 2.31 crore will be at stake for the position holders with ` 21 lakh for each discipline. The first three teams in each discipline will take home cash prize of ` 9 lakh, ` 7 lakh and ` 5 lakh, respectively. The opening ceremony is slated for Ludhiana tomorrow while the closing function will be held at Jalandhar on March 6.

Rahul Tiwari, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, and Ishwar Singh, Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana, said at a press meet here today that the police has made elaborate arrangements for the smooth flow of traffic during the opening ceremony which is to start at 7 pm.

The arrangements for the conduct of the opening ceremony, accommodation and transportation of players and technical officials were completed, they added.

Artistes of North Zone Cultural Centre, Patiala, would perform at the opening ceremony. More than 900 artistes would take part in the inaugural function, he said.

These artistes, including Prof Bansi Kaul, troupe members of Bollywood star Akshay Kumar and a contingent of martial arts performers under the supervision of Major Singh, took part in the rehearsal at Guru Nanak Stadium this afternoon.

The director of sports (Punjab) and Padmashree awardee, Pargat Singh, who had been camping in the city for the last couple of days to oversee and coordinate with the organising staff, was also present at the press conference.

“The broken chairs in the VVIP enclosure, besides those in its adjoining blocks, had been replaced. A new games’ torch burner at a cost of Rs 1.10 lakh was installed in the stadium and a huge platform had been prepared for Bollywood star Akshay Kumar, playback singer Sukhwinder Singh and Punjabi singer Harbhajan Mann,” said Pargat Singh.

Teams from the Municipal Corporation and the Punjab Mandi Board have been assisting Punjab Sports Department officials in updating the available sports infrastructure for the event.

Meanwhile, seven sportspersons have been shortlisted who will take the games’ torch around the stadium. These sportspersons include star athletes Manjit Kaur, Mandeep Kaur and Harwant Kaur, international hockey players Raj Pal Singh and Gurbaj, international boxers Amandeep Singh and Navjot Kaur.

International basketball player Talwinder Singh Pipli from Ludhiana has been selected to read out the oath on behalf of the participants to play in the true spirit of games.

Ludhiana will be hosting basketball, athletics, football and kabaddi matches while Mohali would host rifle shooting. Boxing, wrestling and weightlifting matches will be held at Patiala, while Jalandhar will host hockey matches.


n Performance by film star Akshay Kumar, Hindi playback singer Sukhwinder Singh and a laser show will be the main attractions of the opening ceremony

n To discourage the use of drugs and performance enhancing substance among players, samples of around 100 participants will be taken at random during the course of this week-long event

n  Giant screens will be installed at some prominent places across the city for the convenience of viewers who are unable to visit the stadium to watch the proceedings live. These include Kipps Market at Sarabha Nagar, Durga Mata Mandir Chowk, Aarti Cinema, Model Town Market, Ghumar Mandi Chowk, Samrala Bypass Chowk, Dugri Market, Waves Mall, Inter-State Bus Terminal, Fountain Chowk, Dholewal Chowk, Kailash Chowk and Daresi Ground besides two screens at the main stadium

n More than 20 Olympians (current and former), including Padmashree and Arjuna awardees, will be present at the inaugural function

n As many as 1,000 police personnel, including 12 SP rank officials, 18 DSP rank officials, 125 female staff and 200 traffic personnel will be on duty during the opening ceremony


Akshay to make grand entry on white stallion
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
‘Stunt star’ Akshay Kumar is all set to make an emphatic entry in the stadium during the Shaheed-E-Azam Punjab Games tomorrow.

A white stallion of the Arabian descent has been arranged for the power-packed entry of “Khatron Ka Khiladi”.

But the plan of using a horse has not gone down well with players, who complain that horse mitt would damage the Astroturf.

The development seems have taken place at the last minute after the Bollywood star expressed his intention of using a horse for his entry to stadium.

Akshay would enter through the main gate riding on a horse straight up to the stage. The star’s proposal of using a horse has put the event organisers in a quandary. Though they did not lodge a formal protest, they expressed their concern over the last-minute development.

The trainer of the horse said: “I have brought the stallion here in order to see if it adapts to the loud music being played in the stadium. If the house gets scared, we will have to change it.”

He said that Akshay Kumar expressed his intention to use a pure white horse. “As he is a trained rider, I hope he will not have any problem in riding the horse,” he said.

English tadka

Four girls from England will also shake their leg with Akshay Kumar. Nicola, leader of the troupe, said they have performed with Akshay in a concert in Bangkok and this would be their second outing with the superstar.



Ban on entry of heavy vehicles
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, February 27
In view of opening ceremony of the Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh Punjab State Games slated for tomorrow at Guru Nanak Stadium, when a number of VVIPs, including Punjab Depty Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, will be in the city, the local police has announced some changes in traffic routes.

According to a communique by the office of the Police Commissioner, Ludhiana, on Monday from 3 pm till the inaugural function continues, heavy vehicles will not be allowed to enter the city.

Besides, vehicles coming from Delhi through Sahnewal Chowk and heading for Ferozepur would take route of Dehlon, Pakhowal, Raikot and Jagroan, while those going to Jalandhar would go via Sherpur Chowk, Samrala Chowk and Jalandhar bypass chowk.

Vehicles from Dehlon and going towards Delhi have been advised to take Sahnewal route. Similarly, commuters going from Ferozepur to Jalandhar are required to take Mullanpur chowk, Hambran and Ladhowal route.

Likewise, vehicles from Ferozepur, heading towards Delhi have been asked to go through Mullanpur, Jodhan, Dehlon and Sahnewal.

Vehicles from Vishwakarma Chowk, going towards Model Town have been advised to take route of Gill Chowk, Dana Mandi, Railway Crossing near the canal to reach its destinations.



Star performance courts controversy 
Industrialists told to arrange funds, allege Cong leaders
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
The performance of Akshay Kumar during the Shaheed-E-Azam Punjab Games to be held at Guru Nanak Stadium on Monday has snowballed into a major controversy as a local Congress leaders has alleged that city-based industrialists have been told to arrange funds for the star performance.

While the sports department maintained that the superstar was performing for free, the Congress has fired a salvo at the ruling SAD and claimed that local industrialists have been told to arrange money for the show.

The Congress leaders alleged that it was hard to digest that the superstar, who charges crores, would perform for free during the games. With a total budget of Rs 3.76 crore, the state is spending nearly Rs 2.3 crore on the prize money in the games, while the rest on stay and food of the players. The budget for the games does not mention how much money was being spent on the star-studded evening, consisting five singers including Jai Ho-fame Sukhwinder.

Taking a potshot at Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal, Bhupinder Singh Sidhu, a local Congress leader said, "Why the industrialists of the city bear the cost of the star's performance during the opening ceremony on February 28. This shows how the industrialists are being exploited by the present regime." It is learnt that all arrangements have been made for the stay of Akshay Kumar at a local hotel and nearly 26 rooms have been booked in advance for the mega event.

A senior police official has been assigned with the task ensure that everything goes as plan. Even the authorities of the sports department are tight-lipped over the issue. SL Lotey, deputy director sports headquarters Chandigarh said, "I can not comment on the issue. Only director of sport Pargat Singh could reply on matter. He is available on phone and answering every query."

However, director of sports Pargat Singh told The Tribune after the press conference that Akshay Kumar was not charging anything from the department for his performance.

Meanwhile, Bhupinder Singh Sandhu blamed the ruling SAD for opting double standard. He alleged that during his previous term as Chief Minister in 1997, Parkash Singh Badal had formulated a clause in Vidhan Sabha banning performance the film stars in sports stadiums. But the clause is being blatantly violated by Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, he alleged.



Domestic LPG to light up games torch!
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
Even as city residents continue to face an acute shortage of domestic cooking gas, nearly 30 domestic LPG cylinders have been “requisitioned” to keep the flames of the ceremonial torch burning during the opening ceremony of the Punjab State Games at the city’s Guru Nanak stadium on Monday.

While Punjab sports department officials were tightlipped about the use of cylinders meant for the kitchen, an employee of its local office revealed the cylinders would be used to keep the ceremonial torch burning continuously throughout the event till March 6.

The presence of LPG cylinders kept in the open near the games torch caught the attention of visitors to the stadium on Sunday.

While criticizing the event’s organizers for “misusing the common man's fuel”, Gurpreet Singh, a spectator who had come to the stadium in the afternoon to watch the rehearsal, said: "If the authorities are spending over Rs 3 crore for organizing the games, why don’t they shell out a few extra bucks on purchasing cylinders that are not meant for domestic use. If only government officials and politicians had to stand in a line for hours to get an LPG canister only then they’d realize its importance”.

A local LPG distributor was reportedly “forced” to provide these cooking gas cylinders to the games organizers.

Another visitor, Ramanjit Singh, too was shocked to see these cylinders beside the games torch. Expressing his disgust, he remarked: "Earlier people use to misuse these cylinders to run their vehicles, but now government officials have gone a step further”.



Enumerators skipping questions
Anshu Seth/TNS

Ludhiana, February 27
Making mockery of the 2011 census slogan, “Our Census, Our Future”, several enumerators have reportedly even gone to the extent of getting signatures of city residents on blank forms and then filling out the details on their own. Throwing discipline to the wind they often spend less than three minutes in one household, thereby omitting vital data that is to be noted down in the census form’s 29 columns.

Dr Gurminder Kaur of the Christian Medical College & Hospital, who lives in Urban Estate, Dugri, said a census enumerator convinced her father-in-law to sign on a blank form after telling him he (enumerator) would fill out the details he had jotted down in his rough notebook.

“The enumerator asked my father-in-law about the number of family members, their names and occupations and left out the other columns in the census forms,” Gurminder complained. While registering a protest against the conduct of enumerators in general, she said her hospital’s paramedical and nursing staff residing in Model Town, Kitchlu Nagar, Haibowal, Mullanpur and Civil Lines told her none of the enumerators visiting their areas had filled out the column on “disabilities”.

Criticizing the conduct of the officials looking into the execution of the census operations at the district level, Sandeep, a resident of the old city, said: “So much so even the column on ‘castes’ has been ignored by the people performing census duties, which had been incorporated after a lot of deliberations at various levels”.

The cooked up information on “castes”, economic activity, literacy and education, language, religion, migration and disabilities will be against the public interest.

Interestingly, the Indian government’s website has specifically said people do not need to furnish any documentary evidence to support the information they provide to enumerators, though underlining respondents should ensure all details are authentic.

The website also warns providing false information can lead to severe penalties under the Census and Citizenship Acts. However, the question remains as to who should be held accountable for providing “misinformation”.



Credit card fraudster duo nabbed in Delhi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
The “Bubbly- Bunty” duo of the city, who were nabbed by the Delhi Police for a credit card fraud, has leaved the city shocked.

Mukul Garg, son of an iron trader from Dugri, who was caught along with his fiancée, Alisha Sharma, used to dupe people.

But the city police is yet to received any complaint against the duo.

The houses of both the suspects wore a deserted look today. Residents of Durgi said that after completing his MBA in England, Mukul used to live in Delhi.

It is learnt that the duo were operating in connivance with notorious Nigerian gang of credit card fraudsters.

Alisha is a daughter of a noted weightlifter, who is currently employed with the Railways. The girl's father is a three-time Commonwealth gold medallist.



From China, to rule
Foreign buttons, laces are the in-thing
Manav Mander/TNS

Ludhiana, February 27
Making further inroads into the Indian market, Chinese buttons and laces are here to stay. These fancy and colourful buttons, made of fibre, steel and brass, have flooded the market.

True to their Chinese nature, these buttons and laces are available in many varieties, and that too, at a nominal price. Be it electronics goods, eatables or clothes, the Chinese are ruling the market.

“Now tiny things like buttons are also coming from the ‘Land of the Dragon’. As usual, the Chinese are giving a wide variety at low prices. This is the reason people take easily to made-in-China products,” says Vicky, dealing in embellishments used by boutiques and designer studios.

Fancy multi-coloured buttons with various prints are available. For children, there are specially designed buttons with cartoon characters like Poo, Bob and Tom and Jerry. While Indian buttons start from Rs 6, the Chinese ones are available from Rs 1.25.

“Buttons from China are fancy and less-priced. Even laces are available at prices lower than those made locally,” says another shopkeeper dealing in garment accessories. 



Snag keeps MC officials from opening bids
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
A technical snag in the server has led to a delay in the process of opening of e-tenders, thereby hitting the start of development projects in the city. This, despite tall claims by the municipal corporation authorities of simplification of the procedure through e-tendering.

Development works in the city continue to suffer due to the technical snag as authorities have failed to open the bids for works worth over Rs 65 crore.

On February 21, the civic body had invited tenders for carrying out development works in the city. The tenders were to be opened on February 22.

However, even after the passage of over three days, the tenders are yet to be opened by the civic authorities.

Sources in the civic body say the company undertaking the work of e-tendering has not been able to open the tenders submitted by various contractors.

They add that the delay has been caused by a technical snag in the server, keeping the authorities from accessing the tenders till Friday.

However, the sources reveal, the top brass of the civic body is pressuring the officials of the building and roads (B&R) branch and representatives of the company to facilitate the opening of tenders at the earliest, so that development work can be initiated.

Superintendent engineer DPS Wadhwa, who is looking into the matter, says the tenders will be opened by Friday evening. He, however, attributes the delay to administrative reasons.

The e-tendering process has been in the news for all wrong reasons. The contractors had initially boycotted the procedure over the charging of processing fee by the company undertaking the process.

After a delay of over a month, the MC officials managed to resolve the matter and made the contractors agree to participate in the process.

The civic body invited the tenders on February 14, which were to be opened on February 15. However, a technical snag forced its deferment till February 21.

The hiccups

The civic body had invited the tenders on February 14, which were to be opened on February 15. However, a technical snag forced its deferment till February 21. The tenders were re-invited on February 21 but the authorities have failed to open these so far



NH-1 widening work clogs sewers in many localities
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
The ongoing project on widening the GT Road (National Highway 1) has played havoc with the city’s sewerage system with sewer lines choked by broken manhole covers, mud and construction rubble further hassling area residents. The work is being undertaken from Basti Jodhewal Chowk to Samrala Chowk by a privately run construction firm.

The worst affected are residents of Daulat colony, Gulabi Bagh, Karamsar colony and Mayapuri.

On Friday, officials of the municipal corporation’s operations & maintenance branch received complaints of clogged sewer lines from residential localities around Basti Jodhewal Chowk. As the sewers in the area are connected with the city’s main sewerage line the officials rushed to the site to look into the problem. However, after arriving there they noticed the mess has been created due to broken manhole covers as well as mud being thrown into the sewer line.

After inspecting the site the civic officials observed about a dozen broken manhole covers on a stretch of the road had been thrown into the 3-foot deep sewerage line. Even at a point complete manhole cover had been thrown into the sewer pipe, which was obstructing the smooth flow of sewage. As the sewer line is quite deep and the manhole covers very heavy, the MC staff had to dig up a part of the road after which it called in a crane to bring the manhole covers out with the help of the crane workers. Similarly at many points sewerage line filled with mud due to which it was choked.

Likewise the MC staff faced a tough time in de-silting the whole line to make it operational. On the other hand sewerage line from Samrala Chowk to Basti Jodhewal was also damaged due to which localities on its ides also faced problem of choking of sewerage. Meanwhile along with carrying out repair work MC officials once again called up the representatives of private company carrying out widening work and asked them to take care of the sewer lines.

Commenting on the matter, Kamlesh Bansal, executive engineer in the operations & maintenance branch, confirmed over a dozen broken manhole covers had been thrown into the sewer line by the construction firm’s employees during the work to widen the road. “We’ll clear up the choked sewer pipes and normalcy would be restored soon”, he added. The civic staff has accused the construction firm of damaging the sewer line and officials of the b operations & maintenance branch have informed the MC top brass of the matter.



City residents for lower taxes, stable prices
Budget for fiscal 2011-12 will be presented by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Parliament on Monday. City residents have big expectations and are hoping that prices of essential commodities will be brought down. Ludhiana Tribune talk to people representing a cross-section of society on their wishlist



‘Good riddance traffic jams’
With Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee giving a go-ahead to the construction of the Sahnewal overbridge in this year’s Railway Budget, local residents have heaved a sigh of relief. Tribune correspondent Lovleen Bains talked to a cross-section of people and this is what they had to say:



Economic exploitation in society brought to fore
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
Traders (businessmen) in mandis (market) were the one who walk away with the cake, while hardworking labour and women were at the receiving end. Conveying the message of economic exploitation in society through a play “Chog Kasumbe Di”, artistes from Pakistan held audience spellbound with their mesmerising performance at GGNIMT here last evening.

The play was based on Bulle Shah’s “Kafi-ni main kusubra chun chun hari”, in which seven female characters played the role of hardworking farm-women, picking up flowers from fields but the gains went into the pocket of businessmen, who dominated the poor and needy.

The play, based on poetry, was directed by leading theatre director and an artiste from Pakistan, Dr Huma Safdar. Written by Najam Hussain Syed, the play depicted the plight of labour class in society.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Dr Huma Safdar said her troupe belonged to the Sangat group in Pakistan, which depicted social evils prevalent in society with the help of plays. Besides, these plays conveyed an important message to society, she said, adding that the second play, “Sammi di var”, which will be staged this evening, will present a picture of Gadri movement. “The play is based on a ‘faqir’ (saint) and a poor girl ‘Munni’, belonging to 1920s,” said Safdar.

A group of about 37 persons, including artistes, directors, writers and poets attached to the theatre have come here to take part in the Indo-Pak Drama Festival on an invitation extended by the Punjabi Naat Academy.

Prior to the play, the artistes took part in a seminar promoting Punjabi, its culture and traditions in both Indo-Pak society. Leading personalities, Dr Atamjit and Santokh Singh Sukhana, expressed and exchanged their views on natak (theatre) with their Pakistani counterparts. Nirmal Jaura, secretary Punjabi Rang Manch, focused on the simplicity and affection of culture and stressed on the need to promote it on international platform.



15 couples tie knot
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 27
An NRI family of Dhulkot village solemnised marriages of 15 underprivileged girls at a function organised here yesterday. Malkit Singh Grewal, former sarpanch, presided over the function and SS Boparai, former Vice-Chancellor of the Punjabi University, was the chief guest.

The organisers presented jewellery, refrigerators, televisions and other articles of daily use to the couples. A ‘langar’ was also served for friends and relatives of the brides and the grooms.

Zabar Singh Grewal, a businessman from the USA and a patron of the clan, said the family had also been helping Punjabis settled in America. The group rescued many youths who were stranded in states after being duped by some travel agents.

“Now, when we have established our identity among NRIs settled in the USA, we have decided to help people of our native villages. We will extend financial help for education of poor students and treatment of ailing people, besides performing marriages of poor girls regularly,” said Zabar Singh Grewal.



Epilepsy no hindrance in studies: Expert
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
A large number of students suffering from juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME) are discouraged by their peers and teachers to pursue courses in medical and non-medical streams that acts as a deterrent in their personal and professional development, observed neurologists attending the 12th joint annual conference on epilepsy.

The three-day conference that commenced on February 25 is being organised by the department of neurology, DMCH. Dr IMS Sawhney, a neurologist of Indian origin, presently working in Swansea in UK, said these students could go in medical and non-medical colleges. "People grow out of some epilepsies, including rolandic and childhood absences, thus they should not be deprived of career opportunities. However, students in medical stream should avoid going in for surgical specialisations and the non-medical students should not go for flying," said Dr Sawhney.

Talking about the teenage girls suffering from epilepsy, Dr Sawhney said they should refrain from taking contraceptive pills as they react with the epilepsy drugs making contraception ineffective. "The complication arises when failed contraception results in unwanted pregnancies that further lead to abnormalities in the newborns. The abnormalities vary from cleft lips to serious mental disabilities," said Dr.

Referring to the increased probability of an epileptic meeting with an accident, experts said the patient could get a seizure while driving, thus it was mandatory for the authorities concerned in every country to formulate regulations before issuance driving licences to epileptics.

Wrong and late diagnosis in epilepsy according to the neurologists is disastrous as patients with syncope, migraine, movement disorders and non-epileptic attacks are treated with anti epilepsy drugs (AED), which cause more harm. "It is must to take the detailed history of the patient so as to assess whether or not the patient is suffering from epilepsy which should be seconded by the available tests," Dr Sawhney added.

What is juvenile myoclonic epilepsy?

Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME), also known as janz syndrome, is a form of epilepsy which usually has an onset in adolescence, with the typical age of onset being between 12 and 18, although children as young as six and adults as old as 36 can develop juvenile myoclonic epilepsy. JME is characterised by myoclonic seizures in which the shoulders and arms jerk for several minutes. This condition can usually be managed with anticonvulsant drugs, which reduce the incidence and severity of seizures.



Assembly Poll
‘Seat sharing between SAD-BJP no issue’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 27
Putting all reports on squabble over seat sharing between the ruling coalition partners in the coming assembly elections to rest, Shanta Kumar, former Union Minister and in charge of BJP affairs in Punjab, along with Punjab Local Bodies, Industry and Commerce Minister Manoranjan Kalia, today asserted that this was no issue at all.

Addressing a news conference at the conclusion of a two-day state executive meeting of the party here, the BJP leaders said the coalition government was performing well and the matter of seat sharing would be discussed at the appropriate time taking into account the winning potential. “Our ultimate object will be to see the ruling coalition gain majority and form the next government.”

On a question about resentment among the party cadre about not being given due recognition in organisational and the government bodies, Shanta Kumar and Kalia said it was not possible to satisfy each and every person.

“There could be some shortcomings in the working. But we shall take proper steps to set things right soon,” he added.

Having launched a tirade against the Congress-led UPA government over the issue of corruption in the state executive meeting, the former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh faced a tough moment when his attention was drawn to several scams being reported in the Municipal Corporation and Improvement Trust here, which were under the ministry of Local Bodies, a portfolio held by Kalia. But gaining composure in a flash, Shanta Kumar said his party (and the Punjab government) believed in zero tolerance on corruption.

Intervening, Kalia added that stern action had been taken against those involved in fraudulent deals and all guilty persons had been placed under suspension. Steps are underway to take further action, as per the law of the land, to penalise the corrupt employees and officials, he added.

Terming the complaint of the trade and industry on slow speed of disposal of VAT refunds as false and unfounded, Kalia claimed that during the last four years total refunds of Rs 1,200 crore had been made and pending refunds were of just about Rs 210 crore. “There were 3,400 applications and some of the refunds were based on fabricated and fudged records which had to be inspected minutely.”

The resolution on political and economic situation in the country, put forth at the concluding session of the state executive meeting, could not be adopted as the discussion on amendments remained inconclusive till the end of the meeting. Party leaders said the final resolution would be released on a later date.



Training on skills of motor racing
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, February 27
Don’t think that you are perfect in driving a car, there is much more to learn about your car. “Speeding” the car is not “racing”, one need to know more about skills, which are essential to make one a perfect car driver as well as a good rally racer.

The Motor Sports Association has been facilitating the city youth in learning these tactics. The instructor is Sanjeev Sankhla of the Motor Sports Adventures Association, Jaipur, who have trained numerous national-level car and motorcycle champions. A training camp has been organised near Baddowal.

Around 10 participants, who appeared for the training camp, learnt the skills of motor racing and applied their talent on the muddy tracks.

While talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, Sankhla informed that he has been imparting training since 27 years and has produced numerous national-level car and motorcycle champions.

“We provide the training of the international level. I am here in Ludhiana to teach some basic skills of driving and controlling speedy cars. The skills include breaking, gear breaking, drifting, turning and sweeping,” Sankhla said.



Tewari questions BJP’s stand on corruption
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 27
Ludhiana MP Manish Tewari has questioned double standard adopted by the BJP on various issues, particularly corruption and terror. He said this during the thanksgiving motion on the President’s address in the Parliament recently.

The Congress MP, amidst interruption from the Opposition benches, strongly defended the party’s stand on corruption while pointing out, it took no time in seeking the resignation of the Maharashtra Chief Minister on the Adarsh Society issue and also from Suresh Kalmadi following the reports about some wrongdoings during the Commonwealth Games.

Compared to that, Tewari asked the BJP what steps had it taken in Karnataka where its Chief Minister was facing serious corruption charges. Similarly, in Chhattisgarh a company was granted lease of a mineral mine the same day it was founded in New Delhi. He also questioned granting land worth Rs 65 crore on lease to Khushabau Thakre Trust in Madhya Pradesh for just Rs 1.

Referring to the 2G Spectrum issue, he said the issue needed to be viewed in proper perspective. “Credit goes to the UPA government for ensuring that the mobile phones have reached every nook and cranny of the country,” he added.

Tewari also referred to the incidents of terror in which some organisations claiming themselves to be nationalistic were allegedly involved. He asked them to introspect and think what will happen to India if terror was encouraged and supported like that.

Speaking on food inflation, he said, it was with the efforts of the UPA government that the food inflation had come down from 20 per cent to 8 per cent. However, he said, the issue needed to be looked in the broader context as during the past 20 years the population of the country had increased by 34 crore while the resources had not increased in equal proportion.

Tewari strongly called for increasing the GDP while maintaining that it was being said that 21st century was supposed to be the Asian century.



Good news for taxpayers
Aaykar Seva Kendra opened
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
An Aaykar Seva Kendra was inaugurated at the Income Tax Office on Friday. It is a computerised shop for taxpayers to obtain services promised by the Income Tax Department in its citizen charter 2010. The kendra has a front office with certain amenities for taxpayers. It will be manned by friendly personnel and backed by re-engineered business processes to provide quality services.

“Our ultimate aim is to improve voluntary compliance through better taxpayer services,” said GS Randhawa, Chief Commissioner, Income Tax.

Single-window system

  • The Aaykar Seva Kendra represents a single window system for registration of all applications.
  • Taxpayers will be able to file applications in person as well as through a drop box facility.
  • A unique acknowledgement number will be issued to applicants on the spot.
  • Information regarding resolution of requested services will be available at the front office.



Allotment of chambers to lawyers postponed
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 27
District Bar Association president Naval Kishore Chhibber recently postponed the allotment of 40 chambers to lawyers following a standoff between the chamber applicants.

Around 600 lawyers were staking claim for 40 chambers in the Lawyers Chamber Complex Part-II. The controversy started when the present executive of the DBA decided to give preference to 30 lawyers, who were stated to have applied way back in 2006 by depositing Rs 5,000.

Lawyers who had applied were insisting on the allotment. When it was announced that a lucky draw for 10 chambers would be held but after allotting chambers to lawyers, who had applied five years back, other lawyers who had applied recently opposed the move with the plea that the lucky draw for all 40 chambers should be conducted without preference to any one.

The meeting held for allotting the chambers witnessed use of abusive language by leaders of two rival groups having considerable clout in the politics of legal fraternity. Allegations and counter allegations were exchanged by members of ruling group.



From Schools
Cultural bonanza

Ludhiana: The pre-nursery students of Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School presented a cultural bonanza of shabad, group songs, choreography and modelling. Chief guest Avinash Kaur Walia, founder-principal and director; Nirmal Singh Walia, chairman; Sandeep Raikhi, principal, and Kamalpreet Kaur Walia, headmistress, were given a warm welcome. Slide shows were presented by Amrita Gakhar, academic advisor, to highlight the activities of the kindergarten section and its achievements. “Bum Bum bole, masti mein dole” group dance left audience spellbound.

Annual day

Mother’s Pride celebrated its annual day at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan. The programme showcased acts and dance performances by students. CS Talwar, special secretary (finance), and director treasure and accounts, Punjab, was the chief guest. The programme started with the theatrical presentation of Bal Ganesha and was followed by folk dances of different states of India. A tribute was paid to the mothers through a heart-melting performance “Celebrate Motherhood”.

The event was dedicated to Sparsh, an NGO, which works towards the 
welfare of the underprivileged children.

Investiture ceremony

The investiture ceremony of the first students' council of the primary wing for the session 2011-12 was held at Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, on Saturday. The function was presided over by principal Mona Singh. The ceremony started with a shabad recitation to seek the blessings of the Almighty. A welcome song performed by the students of Class I followed it.The school principal invested Rann Vijay Singh and Arshleen Kaur as junior head boy and junior head girl of the school respectively. Junior vice-head boy Naunidh Singh and junior vice-head girl Diljot Kaur were also invested with badges by the principal.

Utkarsh Singh and Armaandeep Kaur were invested as junior sports captain by vice-principal Manjit Kaur. Dr Harjit Kaur Dua, headmistress of GNPS, Model Town Extension, invested Gurleen Kaur, Shavonpal Singh, Sanveer Singh and Chanpreet Kaur respectively, as junior house captains. Kirandeep Kaur, Asahna Bindra, Jaskirat Singh and Rajvansh Singh, respectively, were invested as discipline in charges by Dua.

Sunita Mann, supervisor of GNPS, Model Town Extension, invested Kirandeep Kaur, Harshleen Kaur, Deeksha Sohal and Harnoor Kaur respectively, as activity in charges.

The selected students' council took the pledge to uphold the school motto 'Courage Drive Integrity' in high esteem and discharge their duties to the best of their capabilities. Mona Singh emphasised that student leadership helped promote cohesiveness and created an environment conducive to better learning and strengthened school spirit. The function concluded with the National Anthem.

Blessing Day

The management, staff and students of Guru Nanak Model Senior Secondary School, Doraha, celebrated Blessing Day on Saturday. President Roop Brar, vice-president Prof. BS Pangli, director Jaswant Singh Gill, secretary Tarlok Singh Jaggi and other members of the management graced the occasion. Pangli gave his blessings to all students for their forthcoming exams.

Orientation programme

Guru Nanak International Senior Secondary Public School, Model Town, organised an orientation programme for parents of the new entrants of Classes Nursery and LKG on Saturday. Principal Gurmant Kaur Gill sought support and suggestions from parents so that the children could be provided with the best of everything for their overall development.

School counsellor and co-ordinator of pre-primary classes Abhineet Kaur Sarna gave valuable tips on good parenting and encouraged parents to play a proactive role in their child's education. Headmistress C. Paul enlightened the parents about the rules and regulations of the institution and the co-curricular activities that are conducted in the school. She laid stress on bridging the gap between teachers and parents. She also encouraged the parents to give suggestions. The orientation day received an overwhelming response from the parents who were happy to attend the programme, which helped them in getting acquainted with the functions and operations of the institution.

Mangal Kamna Diwas

Sanatan Vidya Senior Secondary School, Deep Nagar, Civil Lines, celebrated Mangal Kamna Diwas on Saturday for Classes X and XII to seek the blessings of the Almighty for their forthcoming exams and to boost their moral. The school auditorium was beautifully decorated with flowers and looked like a temple.The function started with prayers and pranayam followed by meditation with breathing exercises. Students chanted "Ram and Krishna mantra" to seek the blessings of God. The entire campus resonated with the holy chants. On this occasion, school managing committee president Rajesh Kashyap, manager Harish Sachdeva and principal Sadhana Sharma were also present.

A mind management workshop was also organised on the topic "How to train mind and intellect to secure more in exams". The principal highlighted the need of meditation in the present scenario to improve concentration for better learning. She explained to the students, some yogic breathing techniques to relax in the stressful examination time. She also advised the students to have a positive attitude towards life.

On this occasion, the students of Class XII planted trees on the school campus and gave the message "save environment and make the city green". The dignitaries present also honoured meritorious students and sports winners with mementoes on the occasion. Best students of the year award went to Manmeet Singh of Class XII. —TNS

Flower show

Students of BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, showcased their talents and caught everyone's attention by winning maximum number of prizes in various competitions held during Dr MS Randhawa Annual Flower Show at the PAU. The school won 43 prizes, including nine for flower arrangements, two for cut flower, four for flower ornaments, 22 for flower grown in pots and six for cacti and succulents.



From Colleges
‘Akhand path’

Ludhiana: Akhand Path of Sri Guru Granth Sahib was organised at Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, Ludhiana. The campus was decorated with flowers.

Sri Akhand Path Sahib marks the beginning and end of the new academic session. The celebrations started with “Bhog” of Sri Akhand Path Sahib followed by “Gurbani Kirtan” by students and teachers of the music department. Principal Dr Charanjit Mahal prayed for the success of students in the annual examination. She advised students to burn midnight oil for achieving good results.

Annual day

Baba Jaswant Singh Dental College, Hospital and Research Institute, Ludhiana, held its annual day. A prize distribution ceremony was also organised. Winners of Sardar Jawala Singh Memorial Annual Sports Meet 2011 were felicitated.

College chairman Baba Jaswant Singh in his inaugural speech applauded the commitment and hard work of management, faculty and students for bringing laurels to the institution in the field of health care and education. He exhorted them to work diligently towards the attainment of excellence. The chairman honoured students who cracked the All-India Post Graduation Medical Entrance Test 2011 and Punjab Post Graduation Entrance Test 2011.

Cultural performances were a potpourri of all time favourite bhangra/giddha, fusion dance, a heart touching play on humanity and brotherhood and a thought-provoking choreography depicting the significance of peace over war.

The chairman presented certificates of merit to college toppers and distinction holders. “Sardar Jawala Singh Memorial Overall Champions Trophy” was bagged by students of BDS, while the runners-up trophy was clinched by interns. Medals and certificates were awarded to winners of various sports events.

‘Avant Garde’

The Sportking Institute of Fashion Technology (SIFT) held its annual function “Avant Garde” at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan here. The function started with Saraswati Vandana. The chief guest on the occasion was Anil Sarin, member Punjab Public Service Commission. Students presented a fashion show. The students put up an impressive show with items like Tollywood dance, fusion dance, solo dances, song sequences, comedy skit, bhangra, etc. The students were given away the prizes for excellence in the field of academics and other outstanding achievements. — TNS 



PAU Notes


Ludhiana: A course on “Integrated pest management (IPM) in vegetable crops under net-house conditions” was organised at Sandhuan village.

PAU entomologists Dr Sandeep Kaur and Dr Sukhjit Kaur spoke on entomological aspects and educated them about the control of nematodes and diseases in net-houses.

Dr Tarsem Lal, site coordinator, SRTT, welcomed farmers, whereas Dr PS Brar, senior vegetable breeder-cum-head, dwelt on the IPM net-house technology. Farmers’ queries were taken up by experts.


An Indo-US workshop on “Precision agricultural techniques and technologies (PATT) 2011” will be organised at Punjab Agricultural University from February 28 to March 3.

The PAU in collaboration with Colorado State University, Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) and India Science and Technology Partnership (INSTP) is organising the four-day workshop. PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang said it was the art and science of using advanced, innovative, cutting-edge, site-specific techniques and technologies to manage spatial and temporal variability in farm fields to enhance productivity, efficiency and profitability of agricultural production systems. Dr Kang said the workshop aimed at understanding India’s agricultural production opportunities. Dr PPS Lubana, chairman, Local Organising Committee, said Holly Higgins, Minister Counsellor, Agricultural Affairs, the US Embassy, New Delhi, would be the chief guest, while Dr Newell Kitchen, scientist, USDA-ARS, Columbia, and president American Society of Agronomy, the USA, would be the guest of honour. Dr Kang will preside over the function. Twelve international experts from various universities and 15 experts from various parts of India will attend the workshop. — TNS



expectations from Budget 2011
Cycle industry hopes for stability in steel prices
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 27
The cycle industry in Ludhiana, which is losing business to China, has pinned high hopes on the Union Budget to be announced on Monday.

Known for its cycles worldwide, the industry here is witnessing a downward trend due to tough competition from China. The cycle industry’s long-pending demand to appoint a steel price regulatory commission is yet to be fulfilled. “We hope our wish is fulfilled in this Budget. Changing steel prices is proving fatal for the cycle industry. The prices of steel are revised overnight and it becomes difficult for us to complete our pending orders," said Charanjit Singh, chairman of Federation of MSME.

Steel is being sold on cartelised basis. The prices of steel are fixed arbitrarily and not commercially. Steel prices in India are fixed on the import parity basis. This means some global reference is taken and costs to bring steel to Indian border is added. This simply means that the Indian steel using industry has to pay more price than the global consumers. This difference is about Rs 5,000 a tonne.

Another long-pending demand of the cycle industry is to impose anti-dumping duty on cycle and cycle parts. Huge imports of parts of bicycle have affected the domestic manufacturers. "Exports of bicycle and its parts have gone down considerably whereas the imports have increased manifold," said Kushal Kumar, a cycle manufacturer. The principles of anti-dumping duty is to prevent dumping and ensure fair trading practices and to create a level playing field for domestic producers vis-à-vis foreign producers and exporters resorting to dumping.



Move to hike NREGA wages vexes industry
Manav Mander/TNS

Ludhiana, February 27
The city’s labour intensive industrial units are worried over the government's plans to increase wages of workers hired under the NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) scheme in the coming budget for fiscal 2011-12. The scheme has already taken a very heavy toll on small and medium industries not only in Punjab but all over the country.

"The government intends to substantially hike wages under the NREGA scheme. This will further hit the industry hard. When industrial units are ready hire labour there’s no justification for the government to spend taxpayers' money on such schemes," said PD Sharma, president of the Apex Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

The country’s industrial production has been declining, one factor being shortage of labour. The index of industrial production (IIP) fell to an alarming low of 1.6 percent last December.

“The government loses substantial revenues in taxes from industry. On the other hand it is paying wages from its exchequer under the NREGA scheme. This double loss to government revenues is totally uncalled for. We urge the finance minister not to raise wages rates under NREGA and this scheme should be squeezed rather than expended in the interest of industrial production. The much needed exports are also suffering due to shortage of labour caused by the NREGA scheme”, Sharma added.

Ashok Aggarwal, a local industrialist in the hosiery sector, expressed his fear about wages under the NREGA scheme being increased. "Industry is already paying heavy due to this scheme of the government as labour has started shifting base to their hometowns and labour intensive industry is running short of manpower," he said.

“The acute labour shortage has substantially increased labour costs of the city’s small and medium industrial units to the extent of make it uncompetitive. To beat the shortage factories are forced to automate but the capital costs are exorbitant. Banks hesitate to lend to this sector and if they do the interest rates are very high, in additional to heavy processing charges”, said another city industralist.

The government intends to substantially hike wages under the NREGA scheme. This will further hit the industry hard. When industrial units are ready to hire labour, there’s no justification for the government to spend the taxpayers' money on such schemes.

— PD Sharma, president, Apex Chamber of Commerce & Industry



Railway Budget
Sahnewal overbridge: Only one in state to get sanction
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, February 27
Among the 17 new bridges that have been sanctioned all over India, the Sahnewal railway overbridge is the only one in Punjab to find a mention in this year’s railway budget.

The Punjab government had already approved the bridge and the final nod from the Centre was awaited to initiate the process of construction.

All approach sections of the bridge will be constructed by the public works department (building & roads), while the span over the tracks will be built by the railways.

The Punjab Infrastructure Development Board had given its approval to the project in May. The state government then hired an agency, RITES, for survey and design of the bridge after which a case for approval from the railways was sent through its division office, Ferozepur.

The level crossing of Sahnewal has remained a headache not only for motorists but also for residents, shopkeepers and pedestrians, who have to suffer frequent snarl-ups on the main market road.

Motorists have to wait at least half an hour for each of the nearly 15 times the level crossing is closed every day.

The state leadership had earlier met with railway minister Mamata Benerjee for an early approval of the bridge. They had submitted a letter written by the Chief Minister to which the railway minister had given a positive nod but the approval was officially awaited.

PWD (B&R) chief engineer GR Bains said the department would invite tenders shortly.

PWD, Ludhiana, assistant engineer Sehajpreet Singh Mangat said: “A case for the shifting of electricity poles and transformers has already been moved by the PWD. The department has initiated the case for the cutting of trees with the forest department.”

Addressing mediapersons here today, SAD leader Sharanjit Singh Dhillon said the process of construction of the bridge would begin by April.

He thanked the state leadership for their support in getting the bridge sanctioned. He also thanked the people of the Sahnewal constituency for their patience.



Maunki village lift kabaddi title
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, February 27
To curve the growing menace of drug addiction among youth, the Punjab government under the directions of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has launched a massive campaign of sports competitions to divert the attention of the youth. The mother game, kabaddi, which was forgotten in the state, is now not only given its forgotten glory, but has also begun to gather interest among Punjabis all over the world, said finance minister Bibi Upinderjit Kaur, while addressing the three-day kabaddi tournament, which concluded late last night.

The tournament was organised in memory of late Capt Kanwaljit Singh by Baba Marru Dass Memorial Youth Sports and Cultural Club of Salana village.

The minister said the government had awarded prizes worth ` 7,54 crore to the world kabaddi teams and players were given gazetted jobs. She announced a grant of ` 5 lakh for the stadium and ` 2 lakh for the club.

The minister criticised the Central government for stepmotherly treatment meted out to Punjab in the matter of development schemes. Club chief, MD Cooperative Bank, Surinder Singh thanked the guests.

Among the dignitaries, Sirhind MLA Didar Singh Bhatti, Banur MLA Jasjit Singh Banni, deputy director Roshan Sood, market committee chairman Randhir Singh Bhambri, SAD district chief Jagdeep Singh Cheema, Zila Parishad chairperson Rajinder Kaur, State Karamchari Dal chief Karamjit Singh Bhagrana, SAD district general secretary Manjit Singh Salana, Capt Kanwaljit Singh’s daughter Manpreet Kaur Dauli were also present.

More than 100 teams participated in the tournament. Gopi of Maunki team was declared the best player and Gurmeet Singh from Moondian team was adjudged the best raider in the tournament and both were awarded gold rings. Maunki village team lifted the trophy with a cash prize of ` 41,000 by defeating Moondian village team with a margin of one-and-half points, who got ` 31,000.



Harpreet, Reena adjudged best athletes
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 27
Harpreet Singh and Reena finished ahead of others in 100m sprints and were declared the fastest runners among boys and girls, respectively, in the 6th Annual Athletics Meet of the GMT College of Education, Jalandhar bypass, here today.

Harpreet also bagged top honours in the 200m race, discus throw and javelin throw events to stamp his authority, while Reena came out triumphant in the 200m race and sack race and were declared the best athletes.

Guriqbal Singh Thind, general secretary of the college management committee, and Shalini, coordinator, chain of GMT Public Schools, were the guests of honours at the opening function. Principal Shikha Soni gave away prizes to the winners.


Boys: 100m race: 1 Harpreet Singh, 2 Balvinder Singh and 3 Yogesh.

200m race: 1 Harpreet Singh, 2 Balvinder Singh and 3 Yogesh.

Discus throw: 1 Harpreet Singh, 2 Yogesh and 3 Balwinder Singh.

Javelin throw: 1 Harpreet Singh, 2 Yogesh and 3 Lakhvir Singh.

Long jump: 1 Balwinder Singh, 2 Harpreet Singh and 3 Ashok.

Girls: 100m race: 1 Reena, 2 Reena and 3 Sumapreet Kaur.

200m race: 1 Reena, 2 Ramanjeet Kaur and 3 Sumanpreet Kaur.

Long jump: 1 Baljeet Kaur, 2 Poonam and 3 Sunaina.

Sack race: 1 Reena, 2 Manju and 3 Shivani, Sumanpreet Kaur.

Spoon-lemon race: 1 Richa, 2 Jasmeet and 3 Shikha.



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