L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Swine flu rears its ugly head again; 4 more die
Number of deaths in city this year rises to 8
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
With four more people succumbing to swine influenza at the Dayanand Medical College & Hospital (DMCH), the total number of deaths since January in the city due to the highly contagious respiratory disease in the city has gone up to eight. This year's mortality rate among those inflicted is 70 per cent with patients testing positive for H1N1 in city hospitals numbering ten.

The dead have been identified as Aarti, 20, from Haibowal, Ludhiana, Krishan Kumar, 54, from Jalandhar, Jaspreet, 22, from Moga and Deepti Jain, 28, from Macchiwara, Ludhiana, all of whom tested positive for H1N1 influenza A infection while undergoing treatment at DMCH. Two other two patients - Baljinder from Jalandhar and Neeru from Haibowal - who also tested positive have been kept in the hospital’s isolation ward.

District epidemiologist Dr GP Mangla said two more blood samples of patents, one each from Ludhiana and Jalandhar, have been sent for testing to the National Centre for Disease Control, earlier known as the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, in New Delhi.

Interestingly, the surveillance report on the patients and their families points towards the cases being "indigenous". "Both Neeru and Baljinder denied having travelled outside their towns or coming in contact with any sick person during the last 15 days. Strangely enough, even their family members are completely free of swine flu symptoms”, Mangla went on to add.

DMCH expands isolation wards

Dayanand Medical College & Hospital (DMCH) medical superintendent Dr Ashwani Chaudhary said all the five patients who had tested positive for swine flu had been kept in complete isolation. "Keeping in view an increase in the number of cases, the number of beds in the isolation wards has been increased to 16. We are also starting special lectures in the outpatient departments to educate people about the symptoms and preventive steps against H1N1 infection," he added.

Blood samples will now be sent to Delhi

The Punjab health & family welfare department is collecting blood samples of suspected swine flu patients from various hospitals across the state and will send them to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in New Delhi. Earlier, such samples were being sent to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGI) in Chandigarh. However, due to some problems at institute’s laboratory, the samples will now have to be sent to NCDC, which not only involves a cumbersome process but also results in additional expenses that the department has to bear. With most swine flu cases coming to the Dayanand Medical College & Hospital in Ludhiana, a department official is tasked with taking the blood swab samples to New Delhi as and when collected from the hospital.


MC staff gets serious only when bosses show up
Manvinder Singh/TNS

Ludhiana, March 10
That civic employees ordinarily get down to business only when their top bosses make an appearance was again in evidence on Thursday when temporary encroachments that had come up in the Bhadaur House area were shifted elsewhere ahead of a visit by MC Commissioner AK Sinha. The staff members went all out to ensure he did not have a first hand look at their failures.

Most of these temporary encroachments in the form of ‘rehris’ (push carts) and goods displayed by shopkeepers outside their stores are in the market’s corridors, making it difficult for people to move about.

Even though the market is only a few feet away from the the MC's A zone head office, where the ‘tehbazaari’ staff tasked with keeping a check on such encroachments sits, hardly any action has been taken against the illegal structures. This despite of fact that serious allegations of corruption and nepotism have been leveled against the 'tehbazaari' staff.

However, on Thursday due to Sinha’s visit to the area everything appeared to be normal. As he was to go to the AC market after passing in front of a corridor in the market, so overzealous civic staff ensured no encroachments were there during the visit.

However, what reflected poor working of civic body was that the encroachments were not seen till Sinha was around market however as soon as he left back for his office the 'rehris' and other encroachments once again came to fore. The MC staff not only shortchanges the city residents but also try to fool their bosses by intimating the ‘rehri’ owners in advance of visits by the MC top brass.

It was business as usual shortly after Sinha left the area and the market’s corridors once again presented a chaotic picture.



Excise Duty
Garment industry to go on indefinite strike from Mon
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
The local readymade and knitwear industry has decided to go on an indefinite strike from Monday against the proposal of 10 per cent central excise duty imposed on the industry. The call for the strike has been given by the Federation of Readymade Hosiery and Made-ups Association and the Federation of Hosiery Manufacturers Association of India.

The branded garment industry is worried about tough days after the finance minister proposed to convert the optional excise duty regime for readymade garments into a mandatory route at a unified 10 per cent rate for branded garments and made-ups.

Vinod Thapar, president of the Knitwear Club, said they would be going on a strike. “The proposal of the government will prove fatal for the industry,” he said.

Ajit Lakra, president of the Chamber of Knitwear and Textile Association of India, said the imposition of the excise duty on branded garments would force manufacturers to increase the price of garments and made-up textiles which would have a devastating effect on the economic viability of the industry.

“The excise duty will throw Indian manufacturers out of competition as they will not be able to withstand the pressure triggered by imported garments from China, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka,” he said.

Sudarshan Jain, president of the Knitwear Apparel Manufacturers Association of India, said if the excise duty was not rolled back, they would go on an indefinite strike. “From Monday there will be a complete shutdown of manufacturing units,” he said.

“The soaring prices of yarn has already made the industry uncompetitive and we are under pressure for survival. The input costs have doubled and in such circumstances, the industry cannot bear the burden of excise duty,” Tarun Jain, president of the Bahaduk-ke Textiles and Knitwear Association, stated.



Golden chance for old PU students
Never too late to get a degree
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
The decision of giving a golden chance to students for completing their graduation and postgraduation from September 2011 has been welcomed by educationists and students. The decision was taken during a Syndicate meeting of Panjab University, Chandigarh, recently. RP Josh, a syndic, said people could sit for a particular examination (compartment case or for an exam that could not be taken due to any reason) after September 2011.

“It means students, who graduated or postgraduated from the PU even 20 years ago but could not take or clear an exam, can now sit for the test. The syllabus, however, will be as per the new curricula. The students can also improve their performance,” he said.

A senior lecturer at SCD Government College, Prof Ashwani Bhalla, said: “The other condition in which a student is declared fail if his/her compartment comes in more than one subject, should also be relaxed. If a student has performed well in other subjects, but has compartment in two subjects, he/she must be given a chance to reappear in those two subjects only. He should not be declared fail.”

Navneet Sharma, a businessman, said this was a good step. “I could not get my graduate’s degree as I did not take the exam of one subject due to personal problems in 2001. But this chance will give me an opportunity to clear the subject and get the degree,” he said.



Eatery owners told to install CCTV cameras
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 10
With the police having started a hunt for the miscreants involved in snatching of vehicles by serving spiked eatables to drivers of trucks parked at roadside dhabas, the civil administration has directed all dhaba and restaurant owners to install the CCTV on their premises.

They have been asked to maintain records of those visiting their establishments.

Investigations suggested that some vehicles, including loaded and empty trucks, parked at roadside dhabas and restaurants had been snatched by certain gangs of unidentified miscreants in the past weeks. While the miscreants had abandoned the trucks at some deserted place after removing costly parts, including tyres and accessories, other vehicles were yet to be traced by the police.

In a majority of cases, the miscreants had served spiked eatables to the occupants before snatching the vehicles. The gangsters targeted those vehicles whose drivers were not accompanied by a co-driver or a cleaner.

Though the miscreants were reported to have spent some time with their victims at dhabas, none of the owners or managers of the eateries concerned could provide information about them to the police.

Kuldeep Singh of local Amarpura Mohalla had informed the Dehlon police that three unknown miscreants had taken away his truck (PB 10 BC 0819) after drugging his driver Kulwinder Singh a few days ago.

Though Kulwinder was found in an unconscious state near Baddowal village, on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur road, the next morning, the truck was found abandoned along a link road in the Doaba region. The miscreants had taken away the tyres of the truck.

In a similar incident, the miscreants had taken away tyres of a truck by serving spiked drinks to the driver of the truck parked at a dhaba near Sahnewal earlier.

A trader dealing in old tyres had purchased the tyres at throwaway prices.

Taking cognizance of the alleged unconcern of owners of dhabas and restaurants towards the safety of their customers, the administration has directed them to take preventive measure to check such incidents. They have been directed to install CCTV cameras at crucial points in their establishments and maintain records of all visitors.

Showing concern over a spurt in incidents of vehicle snatching, SR Kaler, additional district magistrate, stated that trucks parked at hotels and dhabas situated on highways had been targeted by miscreants.

Criminals usually stayed at such eateries during nights. He has directed the dhaba and restaurant owners to take preventive measures without delay.

“Owners of dhabas and hotel have been directed to install CCTVs at their establishments and maintain a record of those visiting their eateries. This will help in the arrest of suspects in such incidents,” reads an order promulgated by Kaler.



Traffic cops go into overdrive
Three-fold increase in challans
Shivani Bhakoo/Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Cracking the whip on reckless drivers in the city, the police has intensified its challan drive. Data available with the department shows that the number of challans had increased three times in the last two months compared to January-February last year.

The drive has been initiated not only to tighten the noose around traffic violators, but also to generate more income for the department.

The data reveals that in January and February 2010, 4,683 and 4,675 challans, respectively, were issued, but in January and February of the current year, the number went up to 10,733 and 14,549, respectively.

The revenue generated by the department reached Rs 58,50600 in just two months compared to Rs 30,35550 in the corresponding period last year.

The challans have been issued for various offences, including driving without helmet and seat belts, triple riding, and using mobile phones. The number of pending challans with the department up to February 2011 is 24,085.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Police (ADCP, Traffic), Sajjan Singh Cheema said the traffic police had tightened its grip over traffic violators. “We have noticed that residents have started obeying rules to a large extent. Our aim is to motivate people to obey rules and be strict with defaulters,” he said.

Asked if traffic regulation in the city was suffering due to the deputation of a large number of traffic personnel on challan duty, Cheema said challan vehicles were parked at places where there was no congestion and the flow of traffic was normal. A traffic policeman, however, said residents hardly cared to follow rules.

Year                    Challan                        Revenue Earned

2010                1,08,303                    Rs 2,06,24,850
2011 (Jan/Feb)     25,282                    Rs   58,50,600



Bollywood stars descend on city
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Bollywood actresses Raveena Tandon and Neeru Bajwa visited the city on Thursday to promote sundry products and services. Dressed in a red ‘salwar kameez’ Raveena looked as ravishing as ever, while Neeru in a blue outfit and large sunglasses captivated every one present.

Comedy films are what Raveena loves to watch and be a part of. "These days everybody is surrounded by tensions and it’s only a comedy film that relieves the audience from all its worries and helps it in forgetting them for a while. I love to act in a comedy movie," she smiled.

Commenting on TV reality shows she said the role of judges in such programmes was very minimal. "The role of judges and the public should be equal, but the present pattern of reality shows gives more freedom to the public while judges are there only to give their expert opinion”, said Raveena, who has herself been a judge in four reality shows.

After a brief gap Raveena will be once again seen in Hindi movies. "I’ve signed three films - one is with Amitabh Bachchan as the male lead and the second with Paresh Rawal," she said. Sharing her fitness mantra she said avoiding oily food and eating lots of fruits is what kept her fit and healthy.

Neeru, who has acted in both Punjabi and Hindi movies as well as videos, appeared to have fallen head over heels in love with Punjabi culture. "I was always attracted to Bollywood and this was the prime reason I returned from Canada and made India my permanent home," she said.

Commenting on Punjabi films that she said do "great business" abroad, Neeru remarked: “They’re a craze among Punjabis residing overseas. It's their link with Punjabi culture. One film in a year isn’t enough for them", saying a big "no" to TV reality shows.

“I’ve seen best of both worlds - the east and the west. I believe Indians should explore the west but shouldnt forget one's own roots”, she signed off.



Govt college teachers protest for arrears
Stage dharna to impress upon their long-pending demand
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
The Punjab Government College Teachers Association staged a protest dharna at SCD Government College under the aegis of Punjab Federation of University and College Teachers Association (PFUCTO) to impress upon their long-pending demands and expressed their anguish against the SAD-BJP alliance government in the state.

A large number of teachers participated in the dharna from 11 am to 1pm. Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Jaipal Singh, president of Punjab Government College teachers Association, said that even after one-and-half year, the government had not released any installment of their pay arrears and the bureaucrats and directorate of the colleges had not responded even after repeated representations to the government.

He said that higher education was not an important agenda for the government and the political leadership was also not very serious about it. He demanded that retirement age of the government college teachers should be in parity with their counterparts in private colleges and universities. The president further added that the directorate of higher education was working in slow pace and they had even not demanded for grants from the UGC, which ultimately had to be released to the teachers.

"Initiatives regarding promotion of professors in colleges is still to take off even after the notification of the pay scales was made in September 2009. We urge the Minister for Education, Sewa Singh Sekhwan, to intervene and look into the demands of the college and university teachers", said Prof Jaipal adding that on March 18, rallies will be organised at the regional level and if no action was taken then teachers will boycott the examination for a day in the coming examinations. 



German scientists visit PAU
Discuss arsenic and selenium toxicity in soils, water
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
A three-member delegation from Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany, is on a visit to Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) for exploring the possibility of collaborative research project in the field of arsenic and selenium toxicity in soils, water, plants, human and animals. The delegation, comprising Professor Dr Thomas Neumann, Dr Elisabeth Eiche and Dr Mini Bajaj, held a meeting with PAU Vice- Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang today.

Apprising the visiting scientists about the PAU collaborative programmes with various international universities, Kang assured them of all possible help in formulating the proposal. He appreciated the soil scientists for making efforts for the future collaboration between KIT and PAU in dealing with the problem of selenium and arsenic contamination in the ground water of the state.

Highlighting the key contributions of PAU, Kang said that the university had played a pivotal role in ushering in an era of green revolution, thereby making the country food-surplus. He acquainted the delegation with the research, extension and transfer of technology programmes of the university, which are underway at PAU.

Evincing keen interest in having collaboration with PAU, Dr Eiche and Dr. Neumann dwelt upon the contamination of ground water by arsenic and selenium and presented the research activities of the Institute of Mineralogy and Geochemistry.

Dr Yadvinder Singh, Head, Department of Soil Sciences, said that the selenium toxicity was a serious problem in some pockets of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, whereas arsenic toxicity was widely observed in the southwest part of the state. A detailed interaction took place between PAU scientists and German delegation in this regard. 



World Kidney Day
‘Diabetes patients more vulnerable to kidney failure’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
On the occasion of “World Kidney Day” ,Deep Kidney Care Centre, today launched an education CD for the patients to help them under stand functions of kidney, importance of early detection of kidney disease, dietary precautions , and various treatment modalities available to patients. 

The CDs were issued in public interest free of charge and could be collected from the hospital reception. Dr Rajan Isaacs, the senior consultant (nephrologist) at Deep Kidney Care Centre said that having shown manifold increase in diabetes patients, India has emerged as the diabetic capital of the world, which is the commonest cause of kidney failure.



City bus service launch
MC to upgrade workshop
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Gearing up to update its infrastructure and manpower for the launch of the city bus service on April 1, the top brass of the municipal corporation (MC) has decided to upgrade its workshop for maintaining the fleet of buses.

A decision in this regard was taken during a high-level meeting under MC Commissioner AK Sinha here today. Additional Commissioner Mahinder Pal Gupta, also chief executive officer (CEO) of the Ludhiana City Bus Service Limited, was present.

There was a detailed discussion regarding the start of the ambitious project, which was likely to give a lot of relief to residents from traffic congestion, apart from giving them a better option of transport.

It was decided that in order to update infrastructure at the workshop of the MC, near the Tajpur jail, the machinery required would be set up so that the maintenance of buses was done in a proper manner.

It was decided that the civic body would call for quotations from private individuals to provide machinery so that the work was done with efficiency and transparency.

There was also a discussion regarding the ongoing recruitment drive. The general arrangements for starting the much-awaited bus service were reviewed.

When contacted, Gupta said the meeting was routine, but added that they reviewed all arrangements for starting the service. He said a fleet of 40 buses would be plied on three major routes in the first phase.



Patient’s death sparks outrage
Our Correspondent

Khamano, March 10
Alleging negligence on the part of a doctor at a private hospital, leading to the death of a woman patient, several residents of Bathan Kalan village and employees of PowerCom blocked traffic here today, demanding the registration of a criminal case against the doctor.

Due to the traffic blockade, commuters had to face difficulty in reaching their destinations. The protesters alleged that Hardish Kaur of Bathan Kalan village, who had been admitted and operated upon for removal of tumour, developed infection, but doctors paid her no attention.

Her condition deteriorated this morning and doctors referred her to the PGI in Chandigarh in a critical condition, but she died on way to hospital. The angry protesters put her body in a car and parked the car in the middle of the road.

The traffic blockade was lifted only after the DSP and the naib tehsildar reached the spot and assured the protesters of strict action. The husband of the deceased is an employee with the PowerCom here.



Absenteeism at MC office to be history
Biometric attendance for staff
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
In order to check the persistent absence of municipal corporation (MC) staff, the civic body authorities have now decided to start the system of biometric attendance at its offices, work on which is likely to commence next week.

The MC top brass has been repeatedly getting complaints regarding the absence of MC staff from offices during public dealings, due to which residents coming for their work have to face a lot of problems.

In order to overcome the problem and to ensure that the MC staff works well, civic body officials have now decided to start biometric attendance.

Representatives of a private company undertaking the work had given a presentation to MC Commissioner AK Sinha and Additional Commissioner Kanwalpreet Kaur Brar at their office in the D zone.

After the presentation, both officials had approved the setting up of the biometric system of attendance.

Though 6,000 employees had been working with the civic body in four zones, biometric attendance would be started in D zone first.

In the first phase, the system would be introduced for 400 employees and it would be made operational by next week, sources said.

The sources added that the system would be set up at a cost of Rs 12,000 and all officials and staff members would have to compulsorily mark their attendance both in the morning and the evening everyday.

Knowing that the MC staff could damage the machine, it would be monitored by a CCTV camera, currently in the office of MC Commissioner, the sources asserted.

Asked to comment on matter Additional Commissioner Kanwalpreet Kaur Brar confirmed that they had approved the installation of a biometric attendance system in thr D zone, which would be operational next week. “All officers and staff of the civic body will have to mark their attendance through this system,” she added.



Teachers’ anti-cheating mantra
‘All exam centres on ground floor’
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, March 10
A group of teachers has asked Punjab Education Minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan to have all examination centres on the ground floor to keep a check on cheating. The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) will conduct the second-semester examinations for classes X and XII from tomorrow.

Sukhdarshan Singh, president of a teachers’ front, said coded methods were being used at centres on upper floors to warn those involved about the arrival of flying squads.

District Education Officer (DEO) Harbhajan Ram also stated that every possible step had been taken to curb the menace of cheating.

He said district-, board- and state-level flying squads would raid select schools to identify cheating cases.

“I have deputed teachers having my confidence at notorious centres. If there is any case of cheating at any of centres under the seven tehsils, we will not take it casually,” he said.

Harbhajan added that principals of private schools had been deputed as observers at government schools while principals of government schools would serving at private schools’ examination centres.

He said, “The principal of a school used to be the controller of examination at a particular centre earlier. This time, according to PSEB guidelines, we have deputed controllers-cum-observers at the centres.” 



SAD-BJP will have to pay: Congress
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 10
Reacting strongly to the ‘repressive’ measures of the SAD-BJP government in the state to hide its ‘acts of omission and commission’, the Congress today said the coalition would have to pay dearly for poor governance in the Assembly elections.

Addressing a meeting of party workers at Dugri, in the Atam Nagar Assembly segment, here last evening, former District Congress Committee (DCC) president Krishan Kumar Bawa said the ruling coalition had come to power by making tall claims and false promises to voters, which were never meant to be carried out.

“People from all walks of life are bearing the brunt of poor governance even as coffers are empty, employees are not getting salaries and lawlessness is increasing with each passing day. Now that Assembly elections are near, the government is once again trying to give a lollipop to the masses in the name of development and sops which, in fact, is a camouflage,” he said.

Bawa and other speakers targeted the BJP in particular for launching an attack against Dr Manmohan Singh by dragging his name into issues with which he had nothing to do. “Before making derogatory observations against the Prime Minister and other UPA functionaries, the BJP ought to look at its own conduct,” the Congress leaders said.

Congress councillor Gurdip Kaur, representing Dugri, claimed that a series of development projects had been launched in the area, which were in different stages of execution. She lauded various initiatives taken by the UPA government at the Centre for the empowerment of women.

Congress Sewa Dal chief Nirmal Kaira, DCC vice-president Harchand Singh Dhir, Shashi Sood, Harbans Singh Panesar, Manjit Kataria, Paramjit Walia, Akshay Bhanot, Sukhwinder Sohal, TT Sharma, Pawan Garg, Inderjit Sharma, Rana KP, Satnam Singh, Rachpal Kaind, Kulwinder Kalsi, Kuldip Sharma, Jinder Kaur, Kulwinder Singh, Malkiat Sigh, Dr Lalit Lal, Resham Saggu, Pawandeep Kalsi, Sandeep and Vivek Bhatia were also present.



Malkit for ridding Punjabi music of vulgarity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Endorsing the view of doing away with obscenity, addiction and violence in music videos, UK-based Punjabi singer Malkit Singh today said he and his group would work towards upholding the tradition of Punjabi music.

Prof Gurbhajan Gill, president of Punjabi Sahit Akademi, during a meeting held with Malkit Singh, promoter of Punjabi language in Canada, Iqbal Mahal and singer Jeet Jagjeeti, today said the diffusion of obscenity, addiction and violence in Punjabi folk singing was a cause for concern. He added that public should deplore such vices and stop accepting singing that did not portray the true picture of the Punjabi culture and its value system.

Gill said a mass movement was the need of the hour, adding that the Punjabi Sahit Akademy would go to the extent of knocking at the doors of the court for the cause of neat and clean singing.

The writers and singers needed to air their views against vulgarity, double-meaning messages and painting women in bad taste, observed Gill. “Punjabi way of life is to offer respect to the womenfolk,” Gill went on to add.



Strike by municipal council employees
Town fast turning into garbage dump
Jaswant Shetraa

Jagraon, March 10
With the ongoing indefinite strike of the Municipal Employees Action Committee in support of their various pending demands entering the fourth day, the town is turning into a garbage dump.

Since a majority of cleaners and sweepers of the municipal council are on strike, there is no lifting of household garbage, as a result of which garbage lies scattered on streets and roadsides, with huge heaps lying at various places.

Garbage heaps can be seen outside various residential localities and entry points, which not only present a filthy look, but also emit foul smell.

“It is the fourth day that sweepers have not lifted garbage from outside homes. Garbage remains scattered on roads and streets, causing the whole town to stink,” says Madan Lal of Shastri Nagar, a retired teacher.

A huge heap of garbage can also be seen near the Sanmati Vimal Jain Senior Secondary School, which is a stone’s throw from the office of the local municipal council.

The situation is no different at the Raikot road, the Sadan market, the Subhash gate, the disposal road and the college road.

“There are heaps of garbage in every nook and corner of the town. As sweepers are not lifting garbage, the heaps and residents’ problems are increasing with each passing day,” rues Deepak Jain, a shopkeeper.

Residents have urged the authorities to sort out the issue with employees of the civic body as soon as possible so that they start lifting garbage.

Municipal council president Telu Ram, when contacted, said he had appealed to workers to call off the strike and resume work, but to no avail.

On the other hand, Municipal Employees Action Committee block president Sham Lal said the strike would continue and they would not resume work unless their demands were met. 



Sukhdev Market
Shopkeepers irked over non-allotment of booths
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Irked over the non-allotment of booths despite repeated assurances by the Municipal Corporation (MC) authorities for the past three decades, the shopkeepers of Sukhdev Market have again asked the authorities to pay attention towards their demand.

In a letter written to the MC Commissioner and other top brass of district administration the office-bearers of the Shopkeepers Association, including Kartar Singh, Rakesh Bahgotra, Ashwani Sood and others have rued that since 1983 they have been running their business in these booths, without any basic civic amenities.

The shopkeepers asserted that initially there were 130 such booths in the market but now out of them only 25 are on rent with shopkeepers whereas owing to pitiable condition the others have preferred to leave these booths. They rued that in 1983 the MC had purposed to develop a multi-storey market in a vacant space in the market for which the remaining booths were demolished adding that at that time shopkeepers were assured that they would be given shops in the new market.

They said that though the work had kicked off on the project but like other ambitious works of the MC that project too was ultimately disbanded after wasting crores of rupees from the public exchequer. The shopkeepers said that after it the land was allotted to a petrol pump owners for setting up of a pump in the residential locality, which they alleged was not permissible by law. The shopkeepers rued that after 2001, the MC had proposed to allot shops to them by taking 50 per cent of the Deputy Commissioner (DC) rate of land, a decision, which was never implemented.

Similarly, they rued that after it even the MC had fixed a lump sum rate of Rs 90,000 for each shop but even that was still pending. The shopkeepers rued that neither they were being given the shops nor the MC was paying any attention towards the basic civic amenities in the area.

They said that owing to the non-lifting of garbage from a big dump near Kalaish Cinema, a foul smell produced from it made it difficult for the shopkeepers to sit. Similarly, they rued that a large number stray animals like cows, pigs and dogs in the area also made their life miserable.

The shopkeepers said that as the MC should allot the shops in the market to them and ensure proper civic amenities in the area.



C and H Forms
Submission date extended

Ludhiana, March 10
The notification for extending the date for the submission of C and H forms for the financial year 2009-2010 has been issued by the department. Though the announcement was made in November last year but the notification was not issued by the department.

The last date for submitting C and H forms for the financial year 2009-2010 by the industry has been extended from November 20, 2010 to March 31, 2011, as the industry is not getting these forms from other states as well.

The delegation of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association met Excise and taxation Commissioner Venu Parsad and requested the Punjab government for extension of the last date of submission of form C and H for the financial year 2009-2010. "We have been making requests to extend the date and finally the notification has been issued in this regard," said an office-bearer of the United Cycle Parts and Manufacturers Association.

"The notification was long due. Since the forms are not available even in the neighbouring states it has become difficult for the trade and industry of Punjab to submit the forms. It is a welcome step for the industry," said Jatinder Khurana, president of the Taxation and Young Lawyers Association. — TNS



Sixth Pay Commission
Ex-servicemen seek removal of anomalies
And grant of parity in pension by April 30
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 10
A rally of ex-servicemen and veterans organised by Indian Ex-services League (IEL), Punjab and Chandigarh today served an ultimatum to the Union Government for removal of anomalies of the sixth Pay Commission and grant of parity in pension by April 30 or else face a nationwide agitation.

Addressing the rally, IEL state president Col Bhag Singh and national chief Brig RKS Gulia lamented that the demand for one-rank-one pension was hanging fire for the past three decades. Parity in pension is available to almost all other retired judges, bureaucrats and former members of the legislative bodies. Even top ranking army officers get this financial benefit but the officers and other ranks of the army were being given a raw deal. Other speakers, including Maj Gen GG Dwiwedi, Brig Inder Mohan Singh, Brig GS Sidhu, Col SS Ghuman, Col TS Grewal, Comdt KS Dhillon, Cdr AS Gill, Capt AS Grewal, Capt Jagat Singh Bhullar and Capt Gulzar Singh and Maj JS Rikhi made a fervent plea with the government to grant improved pension to war widows, widows of ex-servicemen and reservists who were left out of the ambit of improved pension with effect from July 2009.

Similarly, the disparity in improved pension to honorary lieutenants and captains, commissioned by viceroy and the President of India needed to be corrected, rank pay for officers from 1986 ought to be granted, they pointed out. The rally also called for exemption to the armed forces personnel from income tax and toll tax. The IEL functionaries also submitted a memorandum to the President of India and the Punjab Chief Minister through deputy commissioner Rahul Tiwari who also attended the rally. 



Temporary Sanitary Staff
MC begins regularisation process
Manvinder Singh/TNS

Ludhiana, March 10
Finally bowing to the pressure of various sanitary unions, the municipal corporation authorities have started the process of regularising temporary sanitary workers by giving appointment letters to over 400 of them.

To ensure cleanliness in the city, over 3,000 temporary sanitary workers are working in the civic body, most of whom were employed in the Mohalla Sanitation Committees (MSC).

As sanitary workers had been demanding that these committees be disbanded and regular employment be given to them, the local bodies department had around three years ago announced that the corporation would regularise sanitary workers according to its available resources.

However, owing to its limited resources, the MC staff had been delaying this matter for long owing to which resentment was seen among sanitary workers. However, as the agitation of workers intensified, the MC officials managed to strike a comprise with them by asserting that they would regularise sanitary workers phase-wise, according to the available posts. The MC officials prepared a detailed seniority list of sanitary workers so that promotion could be given to them according to their seniority.

Acting accordingly, the MC is regularising 426 sanitary workers, which will put an extra burden of around Rs 190 crore annually on the civic body exchequer. Sources revealed that the MC officials had already prepared the appointment letters for regular posting of these sanitary workers and these would be distributed to them in the coming days.

MC Additional Commissioner Kanwalpreet Kaur Brar confirmed that they were in the process of issuing letters for regularisation of sanitary workers shortly.



In pursuit of promoting classical music
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
Love and passion for Indian classical music combined with methodical training under noted classical vocalist Padma Vibhushan Girija Devi earned Kapil Sharma a President’s award this January. However, it was his resolve to give the Indian vocal music a new direction that gave this 24-year-old artist the honour to become the visiting professor of Indian classical music at the University of SOAS in London, the UK.

Having started his musical journey at the age of 12 years at Dandi Swami Mandir, Ludhiana, with “bhajans”, Kapil, despite opting for medical stream, was keen on making a career in classical singing.

“But my parents advised otherwise and I gave up my desire till the time I went to see live performance by Girija Devi in Patiala in 2002. It was an instantaneous decision that I could not live without music and I approached Girija Devi to take me as her disciple,” recounted Kapil.

But she refused and instead sent Kapil to her disciple Sugandha Sharma in 2003 where he trained for two years.

Thereafter, Kapil again went to Girija Devi and insisted her on taking him as her disciple.

Looking at his resolve, the vocal maestro for the first time in her life altered her rules and took a male as her disciple under the “Guru-Shishya parampara”.

The national scholarship of Rs 5,000 per month from the ministry of culture, Government of India, enabled Kapil to complete his formal education in music from Ravindra Bharat University, Kolkata.

An ardent exponent of Indian classical music, Kapil wants to devote his life to the cause of taking Indian classical music to the masses in India and abroad. “It pains me to see the Patiala Gharana, which has produced stalwarts in the music world, has gone into oblivion and I, being the son of Punjab, will do my best to revive it in the coming years,” says 
the artist.

"Ministry not doing enough 

There are so many facilities for sportspersons in Punjab but there is nothing to motivate the youth to take up classical music. Unlike other Indian states, the Punjab government has failed to give even a ‘music academy’ to the students who are keen on learning various forms of Indian classical music" — Kapil Sharma



Mega lok adalat on March 26
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 10
The District Legal Services Authority today held a meeting of officials of insurance companies and lawyers to mobilise them for settling maximum motor accident claim cases in the coming mega lok adalat scheduled to be held at the district courts complex on March 26.

District Legal Services Authority Chairman-cum-Sessions Judge SP Bangarh appealed to the representatives of insurance companies to make efforts to settle cases amicably through the lok adalat.

He asked them to file applications for advancing cases which were fit for settlement. 



Prosthetics camp on March 13
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
The Bharat Vikas Parishad Charitable Trust, Punjab, will organise a free artificial limbs distribution camp on March 13 at the Viklang Sahayata Kender at Rishi Nagar here.

RP Gupta, secretary of the trust, said physically challenged persons would be provided prosthetics, including calipers, tricycles, wheelchairs and hearing aids, free of cost.



160 students felicitated

Ludhiana, March 10
More than 160 students got academic prizes during the annual prize distribution function of Ramgarhia Girls’ College here recently. 

Students were given appreciation awards for their performance in the inter-zonal youth festival held at Doraha, in which the quiz and music instrumental teams won the first prize by defeating 12 zones. The central students’ association of the college, worked in unison throughout the session for the smooth functioning of the college. — TNS



From Colleges
Priya adjudged Miss Farewell

Ludhiana: Having enjoyed the college life for three years, the final year students of Commerce at Ramgharia Girls College, Miller Ganj, were given a farewell party on Thursday.

Students of B.com II year presented a cultural programme, including dances and songs. Ranjodh Singh, resident, Ramgarhia Educational Council and Rajinder Kaur, GS Radiators presided over the function as chief guests. The students of third year participated in a modeling show dressed in graceful attires and were given various titles. The final year students also gave compliments to their teachers by singing various songs. Principal Dr. Narinder Sandhu said that it was a special moment for all of us as these students were leaving the college and stepping into the competitive world. She encouraged them to become good human beings and dilate their aromatic fragrance all over the world. Priya was adjudged Miss Farewell whereas Navpreet Kaur was crowned first runners up and Jyoti was second runners up.

Seniors given farewell

The commerce department. of Goverment College for Women organised a farewell party for its final year students here on Thursday. College principal Gurminder Kaur was the chief guest on this occasion. Gurpreet Kaur, Head of the department, gave a warm welcome to the principal. In her address, the principal gave her best wishes to the outgoing students and exhorted them to lead a life of high morals and ethics. She further advised them to work hard and shine in both their personal and professional lives and fulfill their responsibilities towards their parents and society. She further said that the commerce department was working hard. Aanchal was crowned Miss Farewell and Sukriti and Tavleen were adjudged first and second runners up respectively. Shaina was crowned Miss Beautiful smile, Prachi was crowned Miss Cat Walk, Mansavi was crowned Miss Best Dressed, Guneet was crowned Miss Crowning Glory, Prabhleen was crowned Miss Personality and Tavleen was adjudged Miss Congeniality.


MANDI GOBINDGARH: Three MCA students, namely Hina Bansal, Pushpinder Kaur and Gagandeep Kaur of the Regional Institute of Management and Technology, Mandi Gobindgarh, got over 90 per cent marks in the fifth semester examination conducted by Punjab Technical University. While out of 700, the former got 642, whereas in MCA III and I semester, nine students obtained 85 per cent marks, Nameeta Gupta got 601 marks and Bhawna Bansal got 618 marks in the third semester. — Tribune Reporters



From Schools
Play performed at Bal Bharati school

Ludhiana: Bal Bharati Public School added one more flower to garland of learning when students were made to express their feelings through one-act play. The students displayed various emotions through their act and experienced the world of fantasies. It was a foundation stone for the little masters who possessed great potential and love for art of expression. Students presented life on stage through spoken words and physical movements depicting various shades and feelings. They acted on magical, whimsical, moral and inspirational stories. Students of Mont- I showcased their talent by presenting skits like 'The Birthday Present', 'Together we grow', 'The Little Red Hen', 'The Ant and the Grasshopper', 'Being careful', 'The Fairy and The Woodcutter' and 'Neatness'. They enjoyed watching and associating themselves with vivid characters. The pre-primary wing prepared different act in a simple and effective way. Principal Punam Dogra encouraged and appreciated the little Bal Bharatians for presenting a great show. She motivated the students to pickup these values in their lives.

Teachers’ training concludes

A Three-day training of newly recruited English teachers under the guidance of D.G.S.E Office Punjab concluded yesterday at Jawahar Nagar Boys School. The aim of this training was to impart knowledge on the latest teaching techniques and methods of English Language. The teachers were told about the ‘English Project’ already going on in the all the government schools of Punjab. They learnt the methods of using English manual, flash cards , word pitara ,charts and pictionary . The resource persons at the training were English subject expert Amandeep Singh, Balwinder Kalia, Ramneek Bala and Balraj Singh. All different topics of English language like prose , grammar, poetry and pictionary were taught in detail . The seminarians expressed their happiness over such a knowledgeable and interactive seminar. School principal expressed her good wishes to the new teachers.



Proclaimed offender arrested

Jagraon, March 10
The Ludhiana rural police has arrested one proclaimed offender wanted in a theft case registered against him in 2001. The accused has been identified as Des Raj alias Teetu of Noorpura village near Raikot.

CIA Staff Jagraon in charge Tehal Singh said Des Raj was wanted in a criminal case registered against him under Sections 411 and 379 of the IPC on November 13, 2001 at the Raikot Police Station. He was absconding since a local court declared him a proclaimed offender in December 2009.

A police party from CIA staff, Jagraon, arrested the accused from his house in Noorpura village. — OC



Sports meet at Firsteps

Ludhiana, March 10
The fifth annual sports meet of Firsteps pre-schooling system was held here today at the Glitz Green Farms. The theme of the Sports Day was "Save Earth".

Principal Poonam Mahajan declared the sports meet open by releasing a bunch of balloons. The show began with march past led by the Commonwealth mascot Shera followed by yoga by the youngest playgroup. Parents also participated in the races and awards were also given to the achievers. — TNS



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