L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


GLADA gets green light to axe 900 trees
Manvinder Singh/TNS

Ludhiana, March 6
With approval of the forest department coming through, decks have been cleared for the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) to axe over 900 trees for the widening of the busy Ferozepur Road.

The foundation stone for the eight-laning of the road was laid by Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal last year. At that time, the project, estimated to cost Rs 40 crore, was expected to start in September, 2010 and finish by March, 2011.

However, the work was delayed after the forest department and the union environment ministry raised objections to the felling of around 900 trees for the proposed widening of the road.

Subsequently, the ministry stipulated that the project would not go ahead until land was provided to them to compensate for the felling of trees by carrying out plantation on it.

As a consequence, the project failed to kick off. However, due to pressure of the state government, GLADA purchased 32 acres in Gurdaspur for afforestation after spending Rs 1.92 crore, thus clearing the way for starting the project.

GLADA has now invited tenders for the axing of trees. These will be be opened on March 14.

Similarly, tenders for the road widening work will be opened on March 27. The work on the ambitious project is expected to kick off within a month of the allocation of work. RK Sharma, Superintendent Engineer, GLADA, said they had got the consent of the forest department and the environment ministry to carry out the work on the project.

He said after cutting down the 900 trees, they would start the work on road widening. The road has strategic importance as it joins the city with a major part of the Malwa region, including Moga, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Faridkot and Muktsar districts. Similarly, the road also leads to the Indo-Pak border at Hussainwala and even to Rajasthan. However, owing to heavy flow of traffic in the city, congestion has been witnessed on the road.

The roadblock

The widening work on the Ferozepur Road, which was to begin in September, 2010, was delayed after the forest department and the Union Environment Ministry raised objections to the felling of around 900 trees


Only two among 31,000 homeless!
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 6
Officials entrusted with the counting of heads during the census seem to have ignored a large number of homeless wandering in the streets of the town every day. This is perhaps the reason why they have come across just two homeless persons in the entire town of 31,000 people.

The town’s population has risen by over 10 per cent, besides the literacy rate.

The enumerators, on the other hand, maintain that they have tried to contact heads of all family units residing in areas falling under their jurisdiction.

Investigations reveal that only two out of many homeless persons have been contacted by enumerators deputed for the 2011 head count in the town, that ended yesterday. This, despite the fact that a large number of beggars and nomad stay at deserted places and public places here.

The enumerators have apparently overlooked dharamsalas, gurdwaras and the railway station, where the homeless can often be seen, during their drive.

Raghu, a youth who along with his family stays near the railway station, says none of the enumerators have contacted him for recording information about his family.

Observations further reveal that the town has recorded a population growth of over 10 per cent despite the shrinking of the area under the municipal limits.

While the population was over 28,000 during the last census, the figure rose to over 31,000 this time. Had Hargobindpur (Mini Chhappar) village not been separated from the town, the population growth could have been higher by 20 per cent.

Despite having a handsome Muslims and migrant population, the town has recorded a literacy rate of over 75 per cent.

The number of graduates and postgraduates has multiplied manifold during the past years, observe the enumerators. However, men lag behind their counterparts in education.

Areas overlooked?

Enumerators have apparently overlooked dharamsalas, gurdwaras and the railway station, where the homeless often stay, during the drive



City Bus Service
Staff recruitment drive under way
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 6
Setting their wheels in motion for the start of the much-awaited City Bus Service, Ludhiana City Bus Service Limited (LCBSL) has initiated the process of recruiting staff to run the service, which is expected to kick off from April 1.

According to sources, the LCBSL is expected to run around 200 buses on 23 routes shortlisted by it. For the purpose, the LCBSL is expected to employ a staff of around 1,000 persons, including bus conductors and drivers, apart from others.

The sources add that in the first phase, the LCBSL will run 40 low-floor AC buses on three important routes in the city. For this, it has started a drive to recruit around 120 drivers and conductors. Applications have already been invited by the authorities.

As the initial response to the applications sought for drivers and conductors was lukewarm, the LCBSL officials have now extended the date of receipt of applications, the sources say.

They add that as 40 low-flour buses are expected to come to the civic body authorities by March 30, they are planning to complete the recruitment drive before it so that the services of the staff can be utilised to run the buses in two shifts.

With pressure from political leaders building on the civic body to start a bus service to fulfil their promise of giving better public transportation system to the city residents, the MC officials are on their toes to start the service, add the sources. MC Additional Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of LCBSL Mahinder Pal Gupta confirmed that they had invited applications for running the buses from April 1.

In the first phase, the service will be started on three routes — bus station to Chandigarh Road; bus station to Jalandhar Bypass; and bus station to Delhi Road.

However, on extending the date of receipt of applications, he said it had been done on the demand of general public and to ensure fair competition amongst candidates.

Three routes in first phase

In the first phase, Ludhiana City Bus Service Limited will run 40 low-floor AC buses on three important routes in the city. For this, it has started a drive to recruit around 120 drivers and conductors. Applications have already been invited by the authorities



80-yr-old woman moves rights panel
Govt’s claims on redressal of complaints on the doorstep fall flat
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, March 6
Notwithstanding the state government’s claims of providing police assistance to woman complainants at their doorsteps, an elderly widow of Pabbian village near Jagraon is forced to make rounds of the police stations to get justice.

Disappointed over inaction on part of the police, the 80-year-old widow, Gurmail Kaur has now sought help of the Human Rights Commission and women cell to get justice.

In her complaint to the Human Rights Commission, Gurmail has alleged that family members of her daughter-in-law, Yadwinder Kaur have been threatening her, but the police has taken no action so far in spite of repeated requests.

According to Gurmail, on August 20, 2010, Yadwinder, along with her parents and some unidentified persons came to her house in a truck and a car and forcibly took away a number of utensils. When she objected, the accused beaten her up and snatched her gold earrings.

Following this, Gurmail lodged a report against Yadwinder and her family members at the Chaunkiman police post. But the police has not yet registered a case. All requests of Gurmail seem to falling on deaf ears.

When contacted, Chaunkiman police post in charge SI Mohammad Jamil said he was not aware of any such complaint. SSP Ludhiana (rural) Gursharan Singh has said he would look into the matter and take action according to the law. He also said strict action would be taken against police official concerned if he was found guilty of neglecting his duty.



Gang of snatchers busted, 5 held
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 6
With the arrest five-school dropout drug addicts, the city police has claimed to have busted a gang of snatchers who were behind 50 incidents of snatching, robberies, thefts that took place in the past one year.

The accused identified as Kulwinder Singh, a resident of Chack Sarvan Nath, Daljit Singh alias Sunny of Bhamia Kalan, Kulwant Singh of Ropar, Suraj Sharma of Machiwara and Baljit Singh.The five accused were nabbed by the Kochar market police last night when they were planning to break the ATM machine of ICICI bank located at Feroze Gandhi Market.Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP- III) JS Sidhu said the police received a tip-off and laid a trap to nab the accused. Besides two pistols, the police has recovered 30 mobile phones, three motorcycles and two motor engines from the possession of the accused. Sidhu said the accused had created panic in posh localities with their repeated strikes.

All the accused are chronic drug addicts and committed crime at night. They used to lay a trap in a deserted street and attack the victim traveling alone. While one accused put a pistol on the neck of accused the other accomplices used to rob the victim. After committing the crime they used to flee in different directions.

The accused have been booked under Sections 399, 402, 425, 454 and 559 of the IPC for snatching and planning of robbery. They were produced before the court and further remanded in police custody.



Govt nod to flyover, vehicle underpasses in Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 6
Keeping in view mind the increasing cases of road accidents involving vehicles crossing the National Highway- I (NH-I), diagonally, to enter Khanna town, the state government finally gave nod to one flyover, three vehicular underpasses and a passenger under pass in Khanna.

This was a long-pending demand of the residents, who complained that the city was divided into two parts due to the construction of expressway at NH-I from Panipat to Jalandhar. The residents complained that no elevated road or passenger underpass had been approved for Khanna, which had led to increase in accidents.

Sensing the hazard, a delegation led by Dr Kamaljeet Soi of Punjab State Road Safety Council, held a meeting with the Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, and pressed upon the government to approve the construction of bridges over the expressway.

These vehicular underpasses will be constructed at Malerkotla Chowk, Grain Market and Civil Hospital, Khanna . The width will be 11.9 ms and height will be 5.5 m. Soi said the demand was the construction of an elevated road through Khanna to facilitate traffic and A strong lobby of traders of Khanna grain market had also launched a massive agitation against the government for not constructing any elevated road to connect both sides of the city.



MC fails miserably to save city’s green cover
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 6
At a time when the city is fast turning into a concrete jungle due to haphazard growth, the municipal corporation’s plans to organize a flower show may provide a temporary soothing effect to the eyes of long suffering residents. However, taken in the wider context the exercise appears to be an eyewash as civic officials have hardly done anything to maintain the green lungs of the state’s industrial hub.

Shabby parks, dried up plants, potholed streets, massive construction projects where building bylaws are openly flouted, billboards in green spaces and illegal liquor stores sprouting all over the city are ample proof of the poor functioning of the civic body.

The apathy of MC officials in maintaining the city’s green cover, that acts as its lungs apart from providing other benefits to residents, can be well judged from the fact that except for some of the bigger ones almost all the parks are in a shambles. Of the 783 civic parks about 324 are supposedly being maintained by park management committees that were set up by a former MC commissioner, SS Sandhu, during his tenure about a decade ago. However, his successor has been largely indifferent to the initiative as a result of which the park committees have been rendered virtually ineffective.

These days the committees are struggling hard to get judicious help from the civic body to maintain green covers in park due to which drive for green city had suffered a lot. Not only had civic officials been insensitive towards the park committees but on their part also they have never bothered to keep a check on proper utilization of funds meant for ensuring green belts due to which allegations of its misuse have often been leveled.

Over the past three years the city has never seen any sort of plantation drive being carried out in city by the MC for encouraging city residents to plant trees. The most unfortunate thing is that despite of their all tall claims the civic officials have not been able to keep any effective check over the illegal axing trees in the city, which is further depleting its green cover.

Even the drying up of plants on main roads of city clearly reflects that civic body authorities are merely bothered about getting their photographs clicked by posing around such flower shows rather then chalking out some concrete strategy for ensuring green cover in city. The result is that the city is turning into a vast concrete jungle with its green cover dwindling by the day.

However, residents cannot shrug off responsibility and blame the civic authorities for the mess as they have contributed little to maintain the city’s green cover. The planned flower show appears to be only another effort by civic officials to gloss over the harsh reality, which is that they have failed to deliver.



Residents for steps to maintain greenery

While the municipal corporation’s move to organize a flower show in the city has evoked a good response from residents, the latter feel civic officials have paid scant regard to maintain the city’s green cover and should take immediate steps to rejuvenate parks and other open spaces. Manvinder Singh speaks to participants and visitors at the show.

The city’s public parks of city are in a pathetic condition and the MC hasn’t bothered much to maintain them. In such a scenario holding a flower shows appears to be only a formal exercise though for us it's a great occasion.

— Sonali Jindal, participant

Though such shows help us in bringing us close to nature besides being a source of entertainment, the overall picture regarding greenery in the city is dismal. The civic authorities need to pay some attention on maintaining the green spaces so that city residents are benefited.

— Mahesh Kumar, visitor

The apathetic attitude of civic officials on maintaining greenery in towns and cities is prevalent in the entire country and Ludhiana is no exception. However, this flower show is a good beginning in that direction and needs to be sustained.

— Isha Gupta, visitor

The civic authorities have failed miserably in maintaining green belts in the city. But then such shows can help in instilling greater awareness among residents to come forward and contribute in ensuring the green cover.

— Asha Chouhan, participant

Holding the flower show certainly has some benefits but there is also a flip side of the same coin - flowers on display have often been crushed by visitors, which isn’t good. Civic officials must make more tangible efforts to save the city’s fast depleting green cover.”

— Divya Saggar, participant

‘First step towards greener city’
This is the first step towards ensuring the city’s green cover remains intact. It will make people aware and interested in maintaining parks and other green spaces, which is the need of the hour.

— Mahinder Pal Gupta, MC Addl Commissioner



Colourful start to flower show
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 6
The flower show organised by the MC got a massive response as in the two-day show the civic body received around 980 entries from various participants. But the baby show proved to be a damp squib as only 60 entries came for it.

In the flower show, there were three different sections, which included amateur section, school and colleges section and that of public institutions. In each section, prizes for eight categories were given by the MC and in total 208 prizes were distributed by the MC officials to various participants. The major public institutions that bagged major prizes were Milkfed, Ludhiana, War Museum, Ludhiana, Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) and Municipal Corporation, Jalandhar. Being the chief organiser of the show, the MC, Ludhiana, did not participate in the function.

The show also got a big boost from general public as a large number of residents turned up to see the show organised by the MC for the first time after the year 1999. Meanwhile, Hira Singh Gabria, Cabinet Minister of Punjab, along with MC Commissioner AK Sinha distributed the prizes to the winners. The MC had kept a budget of Rs 3 lakh to be spent on the show.



Police Recruitment Drive
Damage to College Ground
Principal refutes allegation

Ludhiana, March 6
The physical fitness test for recruitment in the Punjab Police went off peacefully at SCD Government College here, conducted by the Punjab Police Commissionerate, Ludhiana. A large number of candidates, who aspire to be in the Punjab Police, participated in the test for which elaborate arrangements were made by the police administration.

College principal Jasbir Kaur Makkar told the police administration maintained strict discipline during the physical fitness test and cooperated with the college administration to maintain the sanctity of the institution.

“There was no complaint by students regarding any untoward incident. We are happy that many passouts also participated in the test. Police team led by DCP Yurender Singh and ADCP Harsh Bansal were also present during the fitness test,” Makkar said.

Refuting allegations levelled by a TV channel about “destroying” the grounds during tests, Makkar said the college and its grounds belonged to the Punjab government and its use by the police administration was within the purposes for which these grounds were meant. — TNS



Modifications to medical curriculum proposed
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 6
A new Board of Governors (BOG) constituted under the Medical Council of India has proposed modifications to the existing undergraduate medical curriculum (MBBS) under “Vision-2015”, suggesting reduction in the duration of MBBS course from existing five-and-a-half years to five years. Also, some of the existing medical subjects like ENT, ophthalmology, orthopaedics, dermatology, forensic medicine and toxicology are proposed to be made optional.

The document prepared under “Vision-2015” declares that forensic medicine can be effectively taught during gynaecology and obstetrics (rape, assault), surgery (injuries) and pharmacology (toxicology). It says legal experts could be called for medico-legal issues. And further, forensic medicine skills can be acquired during internship such as documentation of medico-legal cases of alcoholism, suicide, homicide, rape, assault and injury case.

Teaching faculty of medical colleges has expressed their concern about the proposed change in medical teaching.

According to Dr Gautam Biswas, professor and head, department of forensic medicine and toxicology at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Indian doctors are doing well in the country and abroad because of the time-tested and excellent medical education in the country. “If subjects of ENT, ophthalmology, forensic medicine and the likes are made optional, medical practice will get severely compromised and will lead to poorly trained qualified doctors.”

He apprehended that if forensic medicine was disintegrated in the manner suggested in the curriculum, there would be a deluge of cases like Arushi case, Jessica Lall case or Nirupama Pathak case, which had suffered because of the lack of proper forensic training and facilities in the country. Moreover, if there was no awareness of the forensic subject during MBBS, the number of postgraduation admissions in forensic medicine will be reduced, which will ultimately result in even lesser number of forensic medicine experts in India to handle medico-legal cases with the required expertise and knowledge.

Dr Biswas recalled that in 2007, an expert panel headed by former Chief Justice of India Hon’ble Justice Venkatachalaiah had prepared a draft on “revision of undergraduate medico-legal curriculum”, which had emphasised the need for giving more importance to forensic medicine in the training of a medical graduate. “How can BOG, which intends to bring in reforms lose sight of recommendations of an expert committee,” he wondered.

He concluded that in the current scenario of consumer awareness and medical negligence litigations, Vision-2015 document was a retrogressive step.

A general practitioner ought to be properly trained during the MBBS course to enable him to discharge basic medico-legal duties.

“A limited group of experts cannot decide the fate of medical education. An issue of such a magnitude should have a national debate and a consensus of the majority of the medical fraternity before any change is recommended or carried out,” he added.



Deficiency diseases more in villages: Docs
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 6
Deficiency diseases are more in villages than in cities, observed a team of doctors at a camp organised jointly by the Rotary Club and Victoria Public High School at Lehra village near here.

Dr Bhupinder Singh Bedi inaugurated the camp and SP Sofat presided over the concluding function.

Dr Narinder Dhawan, chairman, community services, said ignorance and illiteracy was the root cause of deficiency diseases, including anaemia. Referring to information gathered from about 300 persons examined at the camp, Dhawan claimed that rural people were not aware of various nutritional components of food.

“Their stress on quantity resulted in malnutrition leading to various deficiency diseases in special groups, including expectant and lactating mothers and growing children,” maintained Dhawan.

While haemoglobin content of a majority of the students fluctuated around 10 mg, none showed ideal haemogram.

The organisers provided free medicines to the patients, besides arranging diagnostic tests.



Conducting cheating-free exams
Right move: PSEB-affiliated schools’ body
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 6
A deputation of the Association of Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) Affiliated Schools met education minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan under the presidentship of Rajinder Sharma, along with association chief patron NK Bangia and appreciated the step of the government to conduct cheating-free examination.

The deputation discussed the issue of shifting controller of the examination in affiliated schools from government schools and vice-versa.

Rajinder Sharma said the association agreed with the government’s decision to conduct cheating-free examination by deputing the controllers of the examinations in the affiliated schools from the government schools and vice-versa.

Sekhwan said he was satisfied with the working of affiliated schools, which were sharing the burden of government by providing quality education to lakhs of students. But some government/affiliated schools’ controllers, along with staff deputed in their examination centre are involved in copying by collecting a huge amount of money from the students.

He further said the Punjab government had imposed duty on the DEO of every district to depute the controllers in their district, according to the policy of the government without any political pressure. If there is any sort of cheating in any district, the DEO of the district concerned will be held responsible.

The question papers will be in the custody of both controller of the examination and head of the institution.

All members assured the minister to conduct the cheating-free examination. They said they would join hands with the government and Punjab board to eradicate the stigma of cheating in the examinations.



Amendments to service tax discussed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 6
A seminar on the Union Budget 2011 was organised by the Ludhiana Branch of NIRC of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India here today. Eminent Scholar and Chartered Accountant Dr. Girish Ahuja from New Delhi who is a well-known tax consultant and has also authored a large number of books on taxation was the keynote speaker for Income Tax and Ashok Batra from New Delhi who is an eminent CA and author of various books was the guest speaker for service tax.

Batra delivered a talk on the topic of recent amendments in service tax. He shared with audience that how the revenue-wise service tax was regularly increasing since its introduction in 1994.

He said that after 1998, the provisions for Prosecution had been re-introduced so strict compliance with service tax laws had become more important.

He enlightened the following points in detail.

He further said that up to now service tax was payable on a receipt basis and now it was being made payable on the basis of issue of invoice and provision of service though payment of service may not have been received by the service provider. Moreover, maximum penalty for late filing of service tax return has been increased to Rs 20,000. Credit of service tax rules has also been rationalised.

The session was very interactive and various queries of the audience was responded by Batra.

In the second session, Dr. Ahuja discussed at length the important implications of Union Budget 2011 with reference to direct taxes. He took clause-wise analysis of proposed changes in the Income Tax Act, 1961.

Sharing his analysis and providing his perspectives on the Budget, he explained its implications for individuals, the salaried class and for the business community.

He also discussed the relevant aspects of direct tax code also and answered the queries of audience.



To India, with love from Pakistan

About 37 artistes from Pakistan have come to the city to take part in the Indo-Pak Drama Festival. This correspondent went to meet the artistes coming from across the border yesterday. A young woman, with shoulder-length hair cut, clad in long printed shirt with pyjama shalwar warmly welcomed me with “aadab”. As I started with my conversation in English, the woman held my hand and made a request, "do you mind if I continue with my conversation in Punjabi? See, I am from Lahore and I can not speak fluent English but I can express myself, my feelings about India in Punjabi pretty well". And then there was non-stop chatting between the two of us. Her simplicity and loving attitude was enough to impress any Indian!

Flouting the ban

In the wake of virtual flood of objectionable advertisements both in the print and electronic media, the district administration and the Police Commissioner had slapped a ban on advertisements of magic cure, tantriks and guaranteed treatment of sex-related problems under Section 144 of CrPC. Carrying of such ads is even otherwise unlawful and attracts penal proceedings under the provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics (Objectionable Advertisements) Act. However, at least one local cable network, known for its proximity to senior functionaries of SAD-B seems to be defying the prohibitory orders with impunity. If the TV viewers are to be believed, nine out of 10 ads beamed by the cable network on its news and entertainment channels propagate one or the other "tantrik baba" promising guaranteed solution to all problems, or else proving sure-shot treatment to sex-related issues. Will the district authorities or the police dare to initiate action against the "mighty" cable network ?

Making heavy packs weightless!

A couple has a gala time during the annual couple night organised by Gitanjali Ladies Club in Ludhiana.
A couple has a gala time during the annual couple night organised by Gitanjali Ladies Club in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana is the city known for its flamboyance, which is visible in its socio-economic culture. Clubs are an inseparable part of the lives of the residents and are frequented by the people from both the genders. Ladies clubs are competing amongst themselves so as to present something innovative in every fortnightly or monthly get-together. The local Gitanjali Ladies Club recently organised a couple night that focused on a dance wherein the husbands carried their wives and not to miss the “big smiles” as an assurance that it was the love that made even the heavy packs “weightless”.

Shoe-shopping spree

Little girls as they say are born with the desire to step into the shoes of “Cinderella”. To stand in front of mirrors, use mother’s best cosmetics and wear the best pair of shoes is something that comes naturally to every little girl. The obsession with attractive pairs of footwear sometimes becomes a bit too much to handle for parents. A four-year-old unable to resist her temptation for high heels was uncontrollable whenever, she came across her mother, aunts or granny wearing a nice pair. She would not rest till the time she had the shoes/sandals in her feet. But the Cinderella actually landed her mother in trouble one day. As the mother was busy buying a dress for the little girl, she just slipped out of the shop and was nowhere to be seen. Having frantically looked for her daughter, it just occurred to the mother to look for her in the shoe shop and after searching for good 10 minutes, the little lady was found in a big shoe showroom five shops away and had tucked two pairs of shoes under her arms and was struggling with the third one. But what was best was the bemused salesman from adjoining shoe shop who was waiting to get the pair of shoes that the girl had picked from his shop during her shoe -shopping spree.

Vote bank politics!

Issue of regularisation of sanitary workers had given a tough time to the MC staff as though they had tried to manage the unions affiliated to the SAD-BJP alliance but the real testing time for MC officials is when they have to manage those who are with the Congress. That is a why a separate meeting was convened to manage them after which the triumphant MC officers claimed that “All is well”. But on the other hand the shortage of funds with the MC and limited sources of the civic body certainly raises question that for how long the truce will prevail. Especially at a time when every political party is eyeing their vote bank and will want to take mileage out of sanitary workers.

Contributed by: Shivani Bhakoo, Kuldip Bhatia, Anshu Seth and Manvinder Singh



Two migrant groups clash over money dispute, two hurt
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, March 6
Two groups of migrant labourers clashed with each other for the sake of money at Kaunke Kalan village near Jagraon yesterday afternoon.

One person from each group was injured during the clash. One of the injured has been admitted at Civil Hospital, Jagraon, while the other one, who was admitted to a private hospital at Hathoor was discharged from the hospital after treatment.

In his complaint to the police, Pooran Singh, son of Rupinder Yadav of Kaunke village, has alleged that Rajinder Parsad alias Raju accompanied by seven unidentified persons attacked him when he was coming back from Jhoraran village after collecting money. On his way back to Kaunke Kalan, where he presently lives, Raju and his accomplices attacked him and beat him. They also snatched Rs 35,000 from him, which he had collected after completing construction in a farm house, he alleged.

On the other hand, Rajinder Parsad has registered a complaint at Kaunke Kalan police post alleging that Pooran Singh and his accomplices beaten him and also snatched his motor cycle.

Confirming the development, Jagraon Sadar Police Station SHO Rachpal Singh Dhindsa said that the police had been investigating the matter. According to Dhindsa, during the primary investigation a dispute for money was the reason behind the clash. He further said that appropriate action would be taken against the guilty after verifying all the facts.



Living a larger life through small screen
Tribune News Service

Sara Khan
Sara Khan

Ludhiana, March 6
Sara Khan who recently became the talk of the town after she tied the nuptial knot with her boyfriend Ali Merchant on the sets of reality show “Big Boss” brightened the Sunday evening of the Ludhianvis. She was here to receive an award on Women’s Day organised by an NGO, Aadhar.

Sharing her experiences of “Big Boss”, she says staying inside the lavish house for some time has not only been enjoyable but also a great experience.

Refusing to comment on her much-talked-about marriage on the sets of the show, she says: “It is my personal matter and I not want to discuss it in public.”

On the difference between small and big screen, she says artistes on the small screen have a larger life than those on the big screen. “Television artistes are closer to people as they watch them everyday,” she quips.

Talking about her character in serial “Ram Milaayi Jodi”, which made her popular on the small screen, she says the serial follows the journey of a typical, care-free Punjabi girl who falls in love and marries a shy, reticent Gujarati boy Anukalp Gandhi. Post-marriage, she must then adjust to the tunes of a somewhat conservative and rather “propah” Gujarati household.

“The show is an ode to our country’s secular mindset where there is unity despite diversity and people of different faiths and religions co-exist peacefully. My character Mona displays a willingness to adapt to the ways of another community for the sake of love and embodies the secular message of the show,” she adds.



A security guard who wields a paintbrush
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 6
Though city residents may view him as just another security guard stationed at the office of a firm located on Mall Road, little do they notice that instead of a baton or gun he holds a paintbrush. If you thought this modestly dressed youth was only giving vent to his creative impulses, you would be in for a surprise. For this artist-cum-security guard earns more than a B-school graduate by selling his paintings, which most of the buyers residing abroad.

Meet Jasjit Singh of Raikot, who picks up his brush almost every night and continues to paint till the break of dawn. “Give me a picture and I can paint it for you,” says the 28-year-old, who is a bachelor by choice.

Jasjit, who has so far drawn close to 700 sketches of different people, including singers like Babbu Mann, earns nearly Rs 40,000 from the sale of his works abroad.

“I opted to be a security guard in order to stay awake the entire night. Fortunately I landed a job with a cellular service provider as a guard at the cash depository machine in its office. The cubicle is a suitable place for to paint. I spend the whole summer there as an airconditioner is installed in it.”

Jasjit decided to work as a security guard as the power supply in his area is frequently disrupted at night and invertors and generators do not last for over four hours. “Here (office) there’s no problem of power cuts. I complete my art work till midnight and at the same time I discharge my duty,” he says.

It was Jasjit’s younger brother, Inderjit Singh, who saw the artistic talent in him. The latter, who is settled in Melbourne, Australia, looks out for people who want their images painted on a canvas. He send their photographs to Jasjit, who paints their pictures on a canvas and then couriers them to Australia.



Dhami for Best Citizens of India Award
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 6
Recognising his exceptional caliber in the field of teaching of mathematics and administration, the Best Citizens of India Publications, New Delhi, has chosen Dr Balbir Singh Dhami for the Best Citizens of India Award.

Dhami, a former principal of Shanti Tara College, Akbarpur Chhanna, and GHG Khalsa College, Gurusar Sadhar was earlier presented the Eminent Educationist Award by the National and International Compendium, New Delhi, and the Shiksha Rattan Puraskar by the India International Friendship Society, New Delhi.

Presently director of the Aryabhata Group of Institutes at Barnala, Dhami was selected for the award in recognition of his contribution towards teaching mathematics, education and business administration.

Acknowledging the achievement as an increase in the quantum of responsibility, Dhami said welfare, progress and prosperity of students would remain his priorities.



400 examined at medical camp
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 6
More than 400 patients were examined and provided free medicines at a medical check-up camp organised by the Urban Estate Ramlila Dasehra Committee and Lal Bahadur Shastri Social Forum jointly in collaboration with Apollo Munich Health Insurance Company at MGM Public School here today.

A team of doctors comprising Dr Ajay Shahi, dental surgeon, Dr Ashish Wadhwa and Dr Seema Popli, gynaecologist, examined the patients and rendered follow up advice to them.

In addition, the doctors advised those attending the camp to maintain a healthy lifestyle and adopt good eating habits to keep diseases at bay.

The camp was inaugurated by school director Gajjan Singh, while its principal Poonam Sharma extended a warm welcome to the doctors, patients and other guests.

Others present at the occasion were Shiv Kumar Gupta, Sushil Malhotra, Ashok Setia, Jasvir Singh Jassal, Parmeshwar Singh, Vinod Bathla and Vineet Sachdeva.



PAU Notes
Baby-corn cultivation

LUDHIANA: In a programme to provide useful tips to farmers on baby-corn cultivation, PAU scientists of department of plant breeding and genetics are recommending baby-corn hybrid variety “Parkash” and composite variety “Kesari”.

Dr Sukhchain said baby-corn crop takes about 60-65 days to yield the cobs and added that the remaining plant could be used as fodder for cattle.

Referring to the PAU recommended variety, the expert said the yield of “Parkash” was about 7q/acre, while “Kesari” yields about 5.7q/acre. Hybrid “Parkash” was more suitable than “Kesari” because of the higher yield of uniform and good quality baby-corn ears, he added.

Educating farmers about baby-corn cultivation, Dr SPS Brar said the crop can be sown any time between April and August. Dr Brar stressed that plant spacing between the lines and within the line should be kept one foot and eight inches, respectively.

Advising to use 16 kg seed for an acre, he told farmers to apply 24 kg nitrogen in two equal splits, first split at sowing and the second split when the crop is knee high.

He emphasised to take only two or three picks per plant for it is important to remove the tassel before complete emergence in order to prevent pollination and deterioration of quality.

PAU experts told growers to follow other recommendations such as field preparation, weed control and fertiliser use as in the case of the grain crop.


A crop produce competition will be held at Punjab Agricultural University Kisan Mela on March 17 and 18, said Dr MS Gill, director of extension education, PAU.

Dr Gill said besides the competition of the recommended varieties of vegetables including, potato, onion, green onion, green garlic, carrot, brinjal, radish, turnip, tomatoes, peas, chappan kaddu, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, cucumber, green chillies, sweet pepper, and other seasonal vegetables, the competition will also be held of other crops such as sugarcane (recommended), shakker, gur, turmeric etc.

He added that the contest will also be organised in fruits and floriculture comprising, lemon, guava, kinnow, papaya and other seasonal fruits.

Vegetable seed kit

Considering the importance of vegetables in human diet, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has produced a vegetable seed kit, which can be unique, useful and an ideal gift for dear-ones. Being sold at a marginal price of Rs 60 per kit, these kits are of two types- summer season kit and winter season kit, explained Dr SS Bal, director of seeds, PAU, while stating that this will benefit the people.

He said the kit will be available for summer season.

PAU scientist Dr Hira Singh added that summer season vegetable kit included seeds of cucurbits (cucumber, bottle gourd, bitter gourd, tinda), okra, cowpea, radish etc. Winter vegetable kit, however, contains leafy vegetables (methi, menthe, coriander, palak), root vegetables (turnip, radish, carrot), peas etc.

Another scientist from PAU directorate of seeds Dr Rajinder Singh said interested persons can contact seed shop at the PAU Farmers’ Service Centre to purchase vegetable kits.

He added that sweets and fruits were common when one chooses the gift, but vegetable kit had its own uniqueness and kits were available during farmers’ fair at various centres, including Ballowal Saunkhri (near Balachaur), Rauni (Patiala), Gurdaspur, Bathinda and Ludhiana.

The summer season vegetable kits are provided during farmers’ fair in March while winter vegetable kits are available during September, he said.


Non-resident Indians (NRIs) and alumni of PAU and scientists from across the globe congratulated Dr Manjit Singh Kang, PAU Vice-Chancellor, for being awarded as the “Best Agricultural University of 2011”. Dr Amarjit Singh Basra, a scientist of Monsanto Company at the American city, St Lews and a recipient of Rafi Ahmed Kidwai prize of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, while congratulating him said PAU had taken a new initiative in agricultural research, education and technology. — TNS



Four proclaimed offenders arrested
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, March 6
The Ludhiana rural police has arrested four proclaimed offenders from different places. Those arrested were declared proclaimed offenders by a local court in separate cases.

Following a tip off, a team of the CIA Staff arrested Gurbax Singh, alias Tanni, and Shinder Singh of Abupura village, near Sidhwan Bet, from Kishanpura Road yesterday.

They were wanted in a criminal case registered against them five years ago. A local court had declared them proclaimed offenders in February, 2010. Both accused are brothers, it is learnt.

In another incident, the police arrested Baldev Singh, alias Debu, of Khurshaidpura village from his residence yesterday. According to CIA Staff in-charge Tehal Singh, Baldev was wanted in a criminal case registered against him in January, 2007.

He was declared a proclaimed offender by a local court in December, 2010. Tehal Singh added that Baldev Singh had moved to Uttar Pradesh after he was booked.

He had come to meet his family members two days ago. He was arrested when he was preparing to leave for Uttar Pradesh.

Another proclaimed offender, identified as Jaswant Singh of Purain village, near Mullanpur, was arrested by the police from his house this morning.

He was wanted in a case registered against him under the NDPS Act at the Humbran police station in 2002.

He was declared a proclaimed offender by a local court last year.



Shaheed-é-Azam Punjab Games
Anti-dope team collects 17 samples
Results to be announced after one week
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 6
Following The Tribune report highlighting the use of performance-enhancing drugs by players during the ongoing Shaheed-é-Azam Punjab Games, a team of the National Anti-Doping Authority (NADA) officials visited Guru Nanak Stadium and conducted 20 dope tests late last night.

The team, led by NADA drug control officer Birinder Singh, visited the stadium last night and took the samples of eight kabaddi players, seven athletes, including four men and three women, and two basketball players.

As the news of NADA team visiting the games venue spread, the coaches of the sports department swooped into action and informed all medal winning athletes to arrive at the stadium by evening.

The NADA team arrived the stadium at 10.30 pm yesterday and conducted the test on random bases till midnight.

Confirming the development, Pargat Singh, director of sports, Punjab, said: “So far we have conducted 17 dope tests on random bases. If need be we would conduct more tests. Our motive is to keep the games clean and there should be no use of drugs.”

He added that strict action would be taken against those found guilty of using performance enhancive drugs. Sources said the winner of the event would be stripped off his/her medal if found positive in the dope test.

Gurmail Pehalwan, senior vice-president of the Punjab Kabaddi Association, hailed the development and said NADA should conduct such test on frequent bases to discourage the use of drugs in games.

Fear was written large on the faces of some athletes as they were seen drinking water frequently, while coaches were telling the players to relax. The results of the tests would be announced after a week.

Process of random test

NADA officials write the name of every player on slips and put it in different jars according to their games. Then they shake the jar and ask the sports department authorities to pick a slip and announce the name of the player. OP Jaisha, a national-level athlete, who demanded dope tests of all the players participating in the games, also appeared for the test



Shapinder, Barinder adjudged best athletes
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 6
Shapinder Kaur and Barinder Singh were adjudged the best athletes among girls and boys, respectively, in the 5th annual athletics meet of the Nankana Sahib College of Education, Kot Gangu Rai, Ludhiana district.

Shapinder Kaur annexed three titles, including 400m, 800m races, long jump, while Barinder Singh bagged top honours in the 400m race and also declared the fastest runner winning 100m sprint.

Earlier, Kesar Singh Kooner, former president of Nankana Sahib Senior Secondary Public School, Kot Gabgu Rai, inaugurated the meet, in which a large number of students took part in various sports disciplines.

Gurcharan Singh, Gill, director Nankana Sahib Education Trust, gave away prizes to the position holders.



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