L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rights panel route for redress of civic grievances
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
Frustrated over the failure of government officials to redress their grievances, city residents are now turning to the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) for getting their problems resolved as well as for holding the officials accountable for lapses.

On one hand the huge backlog of complaints by residents against public officials is indicative of the failure of the administrative system but on the other it also goes to show how the system has failed to deliver justice to the people. However, the PSHRC has now emerged as a ray of hope for those whose grievances are never taken seriously by local officials.

The growing frustration of city residents with the administrative bureaucracy can be well judged from the fact that in 2005 about 2,300 complaints were registered with the commission. though their number slightly decreased the next year.

In order to get justice from administrative officials people are approaching the commission with various grievances. Whether it is a compliant regarding erratic supply of water, menace of dogs, display of illegal advertisements, choked sewage lines or deaths due to open manholes, dilapidated streets or even violation of anti-smoking laws - residents are now banking on the commission to get justice that has been denied them for long.

What the residents appreciate is that the PSHRC has been adequately responding to the complaints by issuing notices to the authorities, which helps in resolving the problems. In last five days three residents who had approached commission with their different complaints had got the reply from the commission regarding the notices issued to authorities on their complaints.

On a complaint filed by Rohit Sabharwal the commission asked the local bodies department director to file a report on open sewage manholes in the city, one of which had recently resulted in the death of a child. The PSHRC again issued a notice to the director after a city resident, Pawan Sood, filed a complaint on garbage piling up in front of his home.

In the latest incident the commission sought a report from the police department and the municipal corporation commissioner regarding a complaint by another city resident, Arvind Sharma. The latter had alleged ashes of his mother had gone missing after cremation at cremation ground opposite the military camp in the Dholewal locality. Acting on his complaint PSHRC members KK Bhatnagar and LR Roojam issued a notice to both the police and the MC commissioner to look into the matter and submit a report to the commission by May 30 this year.

Important notices issued by PSHRC in city

  • Sept 23, 2008: Notice to deputy commissioner (DC) & Municipal Commissioner (MC) on presence of flammable material in the congested Kucha Sukhram & Karimpura localities
  • Sept 29, 2008: Notice to DC & MC over poor construction of Gill Road
  • June 23, 2009: Notice to DC and MC over poor quality of water supply in city
  • May14, 2009: Notice to DC for violation of anti-smoking regulations at Lodhi Club
  • Sept 15, 2009: Notice to DC & MC over poor quality of water supply in Tilak Nagar locality
  • Oct 2009: Notice to DC over poor fire safety services in city
  • Oct 2009: Notice on presence of stray animals
  • Dec 17, 2009: Notice to senior superintendent of police over beating of a man in Sarabha Nagar market
  • Dec 2009: Notice to MC over presence of illegal unipoles creating problem for pedestrians
  • Jan 2010: Notice to DC over overcharging for LPG cylinders
  • April 2010: Notice to health department for its failure in properly disposing biomedical waste produced at Civil Hospital

‘MC doing its best’

“We are trying our best to deliver services to city residents. But they are free to lodge complaints with any forum if they face problems.

— AK Sinha, MC Commissioner


Two-wheeler riders worst traffic offenders
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
Going by the ‘challan’ (fine) records available with the city’s traffic police department, it appears motorcycle and scooter riders flout traffic regulations more frequently than those driving cars and other vehicles. In 2010 traffic cops fined 56,497 motorbike/scooter riders while the figure for those driving cars, jeeps, etc, was almost two-thirds less at 19,107.

According to per traffic personnel, motorcycle and scooter riders were the most reckless drivers who cared a "damn" about observing traffic signals and complying with rules. On the other side, youngsters driving scooters and motobikes complained they were more vulnerable to being “harassed” by traffic cops. They claimed car drivers, many of them whom were well connected, were often "spared" by the cops.

The department’s ‘challan’ records for last calendar year show fines imposed on scooter riders were three times higher that those slapped on car-drivers. Continuing this trend, in the two months - January and February - of this year the traffic police fined 6,988 scooter riders in the city while the number of fines issued to car drivers was 3,818.

Deepak Kumar, a student of the city’s SCD Government College, accused cops of targeting students the most. "Those riding scooters and motobikes, like me, are fined for not wearing helmets. Though we don't jump red lights or park vehicles in a wrong manner, still traffic cops stop us at every check-post. We do agree wearing a helmet is for our own safety, but traffic rules should be mandatory for every commuter. Most car-drivers drive vehicles without wearing seat belts but they are rarely fined. Unless they jump traffic lights or use cellphones while driving, they’re never stopped by cops. Generally traffic cops leave the youngsters with a warning after taking Rs 50 or Rs 100 as a bribe. If we refuse to entertain the cops, issuing a ‘challan’ is their ultimate weapon", said Kumar.

A traffic cop at Bhai Bala Chowk admitted on condition of anonymity that the number of fines issued for motorcycle and scooter riders was more than those for drivers of cars and other vehicles. "It’s easy to nab two-wheeler riders than car drivers. We can catch hold of youngsters on scooters but car drivers just whisk away when we try to stop them. Those driving swanky cars and SUVs often belong to influential families, if we stop them, within minutes they make us talk to our seniors and we feel helpless", said the cop.

ADCP (traffic) Sajjan Singh Cheema asserted the police always tried to maintain smooth flow of traffic. “It’s wrong to say two-wheeler riders are intentionally targeted. Apart from that, the number of motorbikes and scooters in the city is much more than that of cars and other vehicles. Most youngsters ride motorbikes and they hardly follow traffic rules and we act strictly with them", said Cheema.



ASI arrested for graft
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
Vigilance sleuths arrested an ASI, Sulakhan Singh, red-handed while taking a bribe of Rs 10,000 from a resident of Daba Road here today. A case under Sections 7 and 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, has been registered against Sulakhan Singh.

DSP (vigilance) Gurcharan Singh said the ASI was arrested on the basis of a statement recorded by Baljit Singh, a complainant, of Daba Road.

The enforcement wing of the PSPCL (Punjab State Power Corporation Limited) had conducted a raid on Baljit Singh’s house and found the power connection illegal.

A penalty of Rs 1.2 lakh was slapped on Baljit Singh and a case was registered against him at the PSPCL police station, Ferozepur Road.

The DSP said ASI Sulakhan Singh was the investigation officer in the case. “The ASI contacted Baljit Singh and asked him to meet near Gurdwara Nanaksar if he (Baljit Singh) wanted the case against him dropped.

The ASI asked for Rs 20,000 in gratification but the deal was struck for Rs 10,000. The amount was to be paid near the Verka milk plant today,” he said.

Baljit Singh, however, approached the vigilance department in the morning and recorded his statement. Following which, a trap was laid to arrest the ASI, added Gurcharan Singh. A raid was conducted under the supervision of DSP Gurcharan Singh with Nirmal Singh and Jagdev Singh acting as shadow witnesses.

“We are looking into the involvement of any other policeman or a PSPCL official in the case,” the DSP added.



Cash crunch no deterrent
700 development items on MC agenda?
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
Acting under political pressure, the cash-strapped Municipal Corporation (MC) is set to shower a largesse on residents by approving more than 700 development works at the meeting of the finance and contract committee (F&CC), simply to woo residents ahead of the Assembly elections.

The meeting of the F&CC is likely to take place in a few days for which a huge agenda is being prepared by the MC authorities.

Leaders of the SAD and the BJP are “pressuring” the MC to pass all items related to the works in their wards. The MC is now preparing an agenda of over 700 development works. This despite the fact that the local bodies department had debarred the MC from sending an agenda of more than 100 items a few years ago.

Sources revealed that most of the works were related to the building and roads (B&R) and operation and maintenance (O&M) branches. However, the paucity of funds can be a hurdle as the MC is finding it difficult to even make payments for ongoing works.

But the sources said as political leaders were “adamant”, the MC will have to go with it. They also revealed that in an informal meeting held on the sidelines, the solid waste management and F&CC members had approved over 250 items of the B&R branch and asked the MC to go ahead with it.

Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal confirmed that the meeting of the F&CC would take place in a few days, but the agenda was still to be prepared. He said there was no dearth of funds for carrying out the work. He, however, refused to comment on the number of items on the agenda. “It will be set according to the needs of the city,” he added.



Helping students cheat
Case against exam centre supdt
Anil Kumar

Action soon: DEO

“I have been informed about the incident. The flying squad can take a decision. The centre superintendent has not approached me to clarify his side. Nor have the school authorities spoken to me. The flying squad has filed a case and we will take action soon.

— Harbhajan Ram, District Education Officer

Ludhiana, March 23
Jasvir Kaur, a flying squad in charge, recovered a bunch of chits from an examination hall at Government Senior Secondary School for Boys at Jagraon. She has lodged a complaint against the centre superintendent with the District Education Officer (DEO) and the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB).

Jasvir Kaur alleged that the centre superintendent was helping students copy through chits during the class X science paper yesterday. “After getting a tip-off, we raided the centre. I was asked to show my identity card and in the meantime, the centre superintendent hid the chits behind a window in the hall. I recovered the chits,” she stated.

She said she had apprised the DEO about the incident, but he left the final decision on the flying squad. “As the DEO left it to me, I filed a case against the superintendent,” she said.

Vinod Kumar, general secretary of the anti-cheating teachers’ association, has demanded the cancellation of the centre. “As the superintendent was caught helping students, the board should cancel the centre and shift the staff,” he said.



Khatkar Kalan Rally
Show of strength, not respect
Cong leaders vie with one another to make presence felt
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 23
Political rallies by the Congress and the ruling coalition at Khatkar Kalan to observe the martyrdom day of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru today turned out to be a show of strength. Also with an eye on the coming Assembly elections, city-based Congress activists, all of them contenders for ticket, were seen vying with one another to make their presence felt by mobilising large numbers of supporters and vehicles for the rally.

All through last week, leaders of various groups of the Congress were busy holding meetings with their supporters and associates, party councillors, and block and ward presidents to ensure that their “kafila” for the rally, both in terms of workers and vehicles, was the biggest so that their claim to the ticket could be strengthened.

District Congress Committee (DCC) president Jagmohan Sharma, who left for the rally amid a lot of fanfare, claimed that more than 200 cars and seven buses ferried about 1,500 party workers to the venue. Not to be left behind, former DCC chief Krishan Kumar Bawa and former parliamentary secretary Surinder Dawar made still bigger claims. The two are laying claim to Atam Nagar and Ludhiana East Assembly segments.

Bawa claimed to have mobilised 2,000 workers. Between them, the two leaders claimed to have arranged 500 vehicles to carry workers to Khatkar Kalan.

PPCC secretary Pawan Dewan, District Youth Congress president Dimple Rana, district mahila Congress chief Leena Taparia and PPCC secretary Satish Sharma also mobilised party cadres and supporters to mark their presence.

Congress leaders were fuming over the “overt and covert” attempts by the district authorities to requisition private buses and mini buses and issue verbal instructions to operators not to provide buses for transporting Congress workers.

“District officials are pleasing their political bosses. Transport operators are scared of giving us buses even though we are prepared to pay them as per the market rate,” alleged Bawa.



DBA Poll
22 in fray: None willing to withdraw candidature
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 23
Eyeing the coveted posts of the District Bar Association (DBA), not even a single lawyer out of 22 has withdrawn his name from the candidature. Election scenario seems to heating up in the district courts complex as each candidate is wooing voters. The annual election of the District Bar Association (DBA) is scheduled for April 1. At least 2,158 voters will decide the fate of these candidates.

Right from putting up hoardings to sending short messages and distributing table calendars has dominated the election scenario in the court complex.

Now there is direct contest between Parupkar Singh Ghumman, former president of the District Bar Association, and Ashok Mittal, its
former secretary, for the prestigious post of president.

The contest between them is likely to be tough. Both contestants were trying hard to convince the voters for casting their precious vote in their favour.

There is a direct contest between Gurkirpal Singh Gill and Ankur Ghai for the post of the secretary. Triangular contest is between Gurmohan Singh Shera, Pankaj Makkar and Deepak Khullar for the post of joint secretary.

Four contenders are in the race for the vice-president’s post.

They are JS Miglani, Surinder Moudgill, Vijay Sharma and SP Sharma. There is a triangular contest between Sandeep Sharma, Suresh Kapoor and Sanjeev Sharma for the post of the finance secretary.

Eight lawyers are in the fray for six posts of executive members. They are Vishally Monia Sharma, Rupinder Pal Singh, Amandeep Pal Singh, Vyom Bansal, Karun Jindal, Sanjeev Sharma, Achint Sood and Amandeep Singh.



Floral tributes paid to martyrs
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 23
Martyrs are asset for any nation and it is a bounden duty of people to work for social and economic development of the country so as to realise their vision and dreams. Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari said this after offering floral tributes at the statues of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru on their martyrdom day at the Jagraon bridge here today.

Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh, Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha, Additional Deputy Commissioner SR Kler and Deputy Commissioner of Police Yurinder Singh Hayer were also present on the occasion.

“Countrymen ought to remember sacrifices made by the martyrs and the cause for which the great sons of the soil laid down their lives,” he added. People should follow in footsteps of freedom fighters and martyrs in a bid to make the country prosperous and rid society of evils like drugs, intoxicants, corruption, dowry and female foeticide. This would be a befitting tribute to the martyrs, Tiwari added.

Activists of the district unit of the Communist Party of India (CPI) paid homage to the martyrs by garlanding their statues at the Jagraon bridge.

The activists of the party pledged to build a nation based on justice and equality. They said the martyrs had dreamt of a nation with equal rights for all citizens. But even after 63 years of Independence, majority of the people was living under abject poverty and were devoid of basic infrastructure to sustain life, including nutrition, quality education and healthcare. This situation had worsened after the economic policies of neo-liberalism and globalisation. The CPI leaders said the communalist and casteist forces were out to destablise the harmony in society.



Field day for political activists
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 23
It was a field day for activists of almost all parties, including the SAD and the Congress. With regional leaders of these parties trying to prove their worth by taking maximum number of activists to a conference at Khatkar Kalan, they (activists) remained in great demand in the morning. Aspirants for party ticket for the forthcoming Assembly elections included those leading various groups to the rallies.

A few activists, who otherwise wanted to go, avoided joining any of these groups for the fear of displeasing leaders leading the other groups. Leaders of various parties, including the SAD and the Congress, had started calling their supporters early in the morning. While a few activists were committed to their political masters, others felt sandwiched between office-bearers of various units of their own party.

Not affording to displease any of the leaders these activists preferred to leave the town on some excuse. “Though I wanted to visit Khatkar Kalan to pay tributes to Shaheed Bhagat Singh and other martyrs, I did not want to be levelled as supporter of a particular political leader. So, I left the town on the pretext of attending a social function at my relative’s place,” said a social worker of the Dehliz road area.

There were others who chose to go with leaders offering better hospitality. Activists from urban localities almost refused to travel by tempos and trucks. Admitting the tendency the president of the city unit of the Congress and Jaswinder Singh Sond, district chairman of the Backward Classes Wing of the Congress, said arrangements were made for enthusiasts irrespective of their political allegiance.



Political rallies overshadow patriotism
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 23
Political tinge and magnetism of singers performing at the Khatkar Kalan rallies on occasion of the martyrdom day of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev overshadowed patriotism today. While a large number of activists, enthusiastic to pay tributes to the martyrs were in the name only, majority of those accompanying jathas leading to Khatkar Kalan intended to show solidarity with their political masters. There were others who only wanted to listen music of their choice.

Only a few activists accompanying groups of supporters of various politicians owing allegiance to the SAD and the Congress were enthusiastic to pay tributes to three martyrs.

While a few of them wanted to hear state leaders like Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, Leader of Opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhathal and Capt Amarinder Singh; other were curious to listen to Central leaders like Rajnath Singh and Shanta Kumar.

Left Front leaders like Prakash Karat and AB Bardhan, who are expected to attend the SAD official rally, and Sonia Gandhi were also sited as star attraction.

Leaders were also alluring activists in the name of star Punjabi singers. They were told that Satinder Sartaj would perform in SAD rally and Gurdass Mann in the one organised by the Congress. “We don’t mind attending rally of any political party as will get an opportunity to listen to songs sung by both of them,” said a group of youths accompanying a leader from Malerkotla constituency.



Division of Land
‘Differences’ between GADVASU, PAU come to fore
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
The "differences" between Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) and Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) again came to the fore recently after the state government constituted a five-member committee to work on "proper" division of land to both universities, which were "intermingled".

According to available information, the high-level committee includes chief secretary as its chairman, both the VCs- Dr MS Kang (VC PAU) and Dr VK Taneja (VC-GADVASU), financial commissioner (development) and financial commissioner (animal husbandry) as its members. The committee has been asked to bifurcate the land as per both universities' requirements. The idea was suggested by Chief Parliamentary Secretary Harish Rai Dhanda for the welfare of both universities.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune Dhanda said, "Both the universities are intermingled, which is creating administrative problems for both. Both have to construct new buildings for further expansion in future and in a haphazard manner, development is not be possible. I floated the idea to the Chief Minister to let all concerned to sit together and divide it in a contiguous manner. Ultimately, it is for the betterment of both institutes".

But neither the Punjab Agriculture University Teachers' Association (PAUTA) nor the the Employees' Union of PAU have liked the idea of "further" bifurcation. The faculty and the non-teaching staff of PAU maintained since "division" of land had already taken place in 2005 when GADVASU was started, there was no need to provide "contiguous" land to GADVASU. The PAU employees said that GADVASU authorities had already put boundary-wall on their premises, which meant that the land was divided.

Those attached with GADVASU however feel that their colleges and departments were all scattered, which created problems for scientists as well asstudents. One of the senior faculty member of GADVASU said, "While going towards PAU from Veterinary Sciences' College, a gate has been put by the PAU authorities. They open/close the gate at their own convenience but we feel harassed when the gate is locked in the late hours. We should be given a chunk of the land at one place, the scattered buildings create inconvenience".

Meanwhile the PAU Employees' Union said that they would not let an inch of PAU go to GADVASU. "Division has already been done, there is no need to create more differences on this issue", said Lakhwinder Singh Sandhu, senior vice-president of the PAU Employees' Union.



TB Awareness Week at DMCH
‘In India, 1,000 die of TB every day’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 23
To mark the World Health Organisation (WHO) sponsored World Tuberculosis (TB) Day tomorrow, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) here is observing "TB Awareness Week" from March 21 to 26. It will focus on the theme for this year’s World TB Day - "On the move against Tuberculosis: Innovate to accelerate action”.

As a part of the week-long TB Awareness Week, intra-departmental postgraduate sessions are being conducted on topics related to tuberculosis and its prevention.

A guest lecture on ‘DOTS (Directly Observed Short-Course Treatment) Plus for multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB’ was delivered by Dr Ashish Chawla, district programme officer (RNTCP). In his address, Dr Chawla highlighted various aspects of DOTS Plus programme. He also deliberated on various guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of MDR TB patients. A quiz for the final-year MBBS students was also organised, which was coordinated by Dr HS Dhooria and Dr Anil Kashyap.

The vice-principal and chairman of the state task force, Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP), Dr Jagdeep Whig, said tuberculosis continued to be a major health hazard in India and about 1,000 patients died of TB everyday. Over 1.9 million people developed TB every year in India which translated into more than 5,000 people developing TB everyday, he added.

"WHO has sponsored RNTCP, which is running successfully in India. DOTS therapy under RNTCP is the only way to cure TB effectively. Presently, over 230 medical colleges are participating in the programme and providing DOTS services to TB patients," Whig said.

Principal Dr Daljit Singh, chairman of the DOTS core committee, said the institute (DMCH) was committed for the successful implementation of RNTCP/DOTS and every endeavour was being made for the success of this programme.

On March 24, a poster competition on tuberculosis will be held for the MBBS final-year students, which will be coordinated by associate professor of community medicine and secretary of the state task force Dr Sarit Sharma.

In addition, postgraduate sensitisation lecture on TB and RNTCP by Dr GS Dhooria from the department of pediatrics is also scheduled to be held on the same day.



Millers seek probe into allotment of space by FCI
Mahesh Sharma

Mullanpur Dakha/Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 23
Irked over the alleged apathetic attitude of officials of the Food Corporation of India (FCI) towards their problems, rice sheller owners of this area have demanded a probe into functioning of local FCI offices.

Indifferent attitude of officials during allotment of the space to sheller owners has not only frustrated the government’s programme on energy conservation but also harassed traders.

A few millers of this area were asked to deliver their produce at depots located near Pathankot. Political and administrative pressures were cited as reasons behind anomalous allotment and non-execution of amended orders.

Refuting charges levelled by the millers, officials at the local FCI offices maintained that the space was allotted as per the availability and practicality of loading special goods trains.

Accusing agency officials of allegedly acting under pressure of activists of the Rice Shellers’ Association led by Ram Saroop Singh Mohi, they have urged authorities, including the Union Minister for Food to probe into functioning of the local FCI offices.

Millers were asked to deliver the paddy at places situated far away from their rice shellers. “Two of our millers have been allotted space at depots situated under the jurisdiction of Pathankot district. Even if we ignore financial aspect, who will compensate for the wastage of time and risks involved during shifting,” Mohi asked. Faulty planning had added to inconvenience of general public, he added.

This has affected normal functioning of the Railways too. Millers said only 6,000 metric tons out of 16, 000 metric tons had been delivered by now. They are supposed to complete the job by March 31.

Indecisiveness on the part of officials has also led to factionalism among owners and staff of rice shellers of the area. Heated arguments and scuffles over allotment of space are common among millers owing allegiance to various unions.



Industry unhappy with revised excise duty
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
Industry has expressed its dissatisfaction over the proposed revised norms of excise duty on readymade garments. They have decided to continue with their protest and bandh from time to time as per the decision of the nation-level association.

A meeting of the office-bearers of Knitwear Club and an allied hosiery association was held under the chairmanship of Vinod K Thapar, president. The meeting discussed the further development about the excise duty on branded garments and made-up textile.

“Under the revised norms, 10 per cent excise duty will be levied on 45 per cent of the tariff value of retail price on branded readymade garments as against 60 per cent proposed in the original budget. The Finance Minister has provided some relief but it is a mere eyewash by raising the abatement of 40 per cent to 55 per cent on the retail sale price,” he said.

The office-bearers criticised the revised norms of excise duty on readymade garments.

“The industry is already reeling under high cost of raw material and yarn. It is a big setback as we are already facing challenges in pricing because of increased input cost. This excise duty will lead to harassment and unnecessary burden on the manufacture,” they said.



Govt to safeguard industry’s interest: Badal

Ludhiana, March 23
“Safeguarding the interest of the industry in the state is the top priority of the state government and I will do my best to give relief to the entrepreneurs,” said Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here today.

He was in the city to mourn the death of senior BJP leader Satpal Gosain’s grandson.

SAD leader Hira Singh Gabria, Punjab Planning Board deputy chairman Prof Rajinder Bhandari, former Member of Parliament Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Improvement Trust chairman MM Vyas were also present. — TNS



Queenie Dhody showcases her jewellery collection
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Your most treasured jewellery piece?

2.5 inch-wide handcuff bracelet in beaten yellow gold with a vertical clasp of sand grain diamonds.

First piece designed by you?

A pendant made of rose cut diamonds with open settings.

Your first love?

Jewellery designing.

Your expensive piece?

A big emerald.

Free time spent on?

Writing weekly columns for news dallies.

Ludhiana, March 23
Queenie Dhody, one of the stylist ladies in society, has a passion for designing jewellery that she would love to flaunt herself! For her jewellery are expressions of one’s individuality and depict the true nature of one’s personality. She was in the city to showcase her exclusive range of jewellery at Satya Paul.

Queenie’s creations are unique, one of kind pieces that exemplify the creator’s own bold and glamorous fashion statements. This super model, clad in a short brown dress teamed with a bracelet and chandelier neckpiece, said, “My jewellery pieces are a bold style statement. They depict the personality of the wearer and capture the essence of luxury and sophistication, simultaneously satisfying the desire for contemporary style.”

Dhody has embarked on a journey from being a super model to a jewellery designer. She started her career as a model and rose to fame after being crowned Miss India. Thereafter she ruled the modeling world for about a decade. Soon she took to designing exquisite jewellery pieces, her first love.

“I don’t believe in clutter,” she said. The three trends in jewellery to stay forever are timelessness, bling and style. However, rubies, diamonds and emeralds will be in vogue forever. “Stones inspire me a lot and one will find them in all my creations,” she adds. She has been influenced by antique Mughal jewellery and European art deco in her collection. “I have used uncut stones in bigger settings like the traditional Mughal designs and smaller stones for western art deco pieces,” she added.

Dhody a prominent socialite is also a fashion writer. “I spend my free time in writing a weekly column for national dallies. This keeps me busy,” she adds. When asked to comment on Sonam Kapoor, all she said was, “She is very young and still a kid in the beauty world.” Sonam Kapoor had on a talk show “Koffee with Karan” named Queenie Dhody as “desperate housewife.”



Eight writers honoured
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 23
The Lok Likhari Sabha, Jagraon, honoured eight writers during a “kavi darbar” at Punjabi Bhawan today. Jaswant Singh Kanwal, Dr Kulwant Mann and Prof Gurbhajan Singh Gill presided over the programme.

Writer and critic Dr Joginder Singh Nirala was honoured with the Safdar Hashmi Award, while poet and Marxist critic Dr Surjit Brar was honoured with the Late Rupinder Mann Memorial Critics Award.

While the Dr Jaswant Gill Award was given to Dr Swaranjit Kaur, the “Harbhajan Halwarvi journalism award” was given to Prem Gorkhi.

Sadhu Singh received the Sant Ram Udasi Award and Gurmel Singh was honoured with the Padamnath Shastri Shiromani Sahit Award.

The award included a citation and cash prize.



IT chief bags award for promoting Hindi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Ludhiana, GS Randhawa, who is also chairman of the Town Official Language Committee, was awarded first prize for promoting the official language in Central government offices, nationalised banks and public undertakings in Ludhiana.

The award was bestowed on him by Urmila Singh, Governor, Himachal Pradesh. The ceremony was organised by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Commissioner of Income Tax (Central), Ludhiana, Raman Goyal, was awarded second prize for using and promoting the official language in his office. Parmod Kumar Sharma, Assistant Director, Official Language, was awarded certificates of merit for promoting the official language in the Income Tax Department as well as other offices in the city.



312 students get degrees at Doraha college
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 23
“Private institutions have turned into profit-making concerns as they are wholly engaged in the business endeavour of minting money at the cost of quality, morals and integrity”.

These words were expressed by Prof Pirthipal Singh Kapur, former Pro Vice-Chancellor GNDU, Amritsar, in his convocation address during the annual convocation and prize distribution function of Guru Nanak National College Doraha, organised in Dr Ishwar Singh Memorial Hall recently.

A total of 312 students who were awarded degrees, 20 were of M.A .Punjabi, 7 of M.Com, 15 of M.A. political science, 24 of B.A. Hons, 20 of PGDCA, 19 of BCA,8 of BBA, 51 of commerce and 148 of humanities. Apart from this, the students who have won laurels for the institute in academics, sports and co curricular were especially felicitated.

College colours were given to for their commendable achievements in various fields. Jagveer Kaur received the award of “All-Round Best Student “of the college. The students who secured first three positions in annual and house examinations were also honoured. Merit certificates were awarded to the deserving students. The meritorious students were given special prizes by the Bank of India.



GNDEC top college in placements
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College (GNDEC) here emerged as the number one placement institute of PTU. GNDEC director Dr MS Saini in a press note issued here today said that the maximum placements in PTU were bagged by GNDEC this year. Although the placement drive for the academic year 2010-11 proved to be a success for PTU as a whole but GNDEC bagged the crown of the ultimate "placement king".

With the efforts of both the director and the dean of the training and placement cell Prof. KS Mann, various companies came to the college campus and recruited 272 engineers at various placement drives organised at the institute. The next four places in the top five list were seized by DAVIET, Jalandhar (230 students); SUSCET, Tangori (183); LLRIET, Moga(133), ACET Amritsar (124).

Various leading names of the corporate sector like Godrej and Boyce offered a huge package of Rs 5.5 lakh to students. Other high-profile companies like Mahindra and Mahindra offered a minimum package of Rs 4.32 lakh to 9 budding engineers. As many as six students were offered Rs 4.25 lakh by the Punj Llyod.



From Colleges

Rendezvous 2011

Ludhiana: Gujranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa College of Pharmacy organised a cultural extravaganza "Rendezvous 2011" yesterday. Director Kuldip Singh inaugurated the programme. A vibrant western dance, bhangra and giddha were performed by the budding pharmacists. A medley of songs was also presented which filled the students with the memories of their college days. To exhibit their social sensitivity, the students enacted two skits- "Bond Blast", a comic satire highlighting the apathy of those in power towards the agony of “aam aadmi” while "Drug Abuse-A social Evil" featured the growing menace of drug addiction and its impact on society.

Girls shine in exams

Students of MBA IT-Ist semester of the Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women, Ludhiana, brought laurels to the college by showing excellent performance in the final examination held in December 2010 conducted by Panjab University, Chandigarh. The overall result was 100 per cent out of which around 93 per cent students got first division. Sarika Sood stood first in the university by securing 75 per cent marks. While Pallavi and Sonia secured 71.8 per cent and 71.7 per cent marks respectively. Principal Dr Parveen Kaur Chawla congratulated the students and the staff for excellent performance and wished them luck for future. — TNS



From schools

Adventure camp

Ludhiana: Fun and frolic marked the ongoing adventure camp organised at Ryan International School from March 21 to 25. The students participated in various adventure activities under the supervision of experts and professionals. It was a thrilling experience for the students of class I to V. They enjoyed rock climbing, river crossing, burma bridge, zorbing ball, net crowling, tent pitching, body balancing, commando net and many other daring activities.

Tributes paid

Tributes were paid to the great martyrs, Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru and Sukhdev, who sacrificed their lives for the sake of the country. Addressing the staff and students at Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, the chairman-cum-director of the school, Rajesh Rudhra, said teachers must imbibe in their students the spirit of patriotism, so that they stand for the unity and integrity of the country. Rudhra said one should make India great and strong as our freedom fighters and valiant leaders like Bhagat Singh, Raj Guru and Sukhdev dreamt it to be. — TNS



ATM inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 23
Oriental Bank of Commerce opened its 36th ATM in the Ludhiana region at Haibowal here today. The ATM was inaugurated by former chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust Ashok Kumar in the presence of deputy general manager of the bank NK Chauhan.

Chauhan said the bank had 1,620 branches, 1,185 ATMs and 24 extension counters across the country doing a total business of over Rs 2,23,000 crore.

Its total business was over Rs 5,760 crore in Ludhiana and Moga districts alone.



2 held for duping residents, Rs 27 lakh recovered
Our Correspondent

Amloh, March 23
The police has arrested two persons for allegedly duping innocent persons of lakhs of rupees by luring them into sending them abroad. The police has booked four others under Sections 420 and 406 of the IPC in this regard.

Sukhwinder Singh, a resident of Khanna, and Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Kaulgarh village, were arrested and produced in a local court, which remanded them in judicial custody. They have been sent to the Nabha jail.

SHO Parshotam Singh today said the other accused — Malkeet Singh, a resident of Kartar Nagar, Khanna; Raj Singh, a resident of Sabzi Mandi, Khanna; Sanjay Kumar and Lucky — would be arrested soon.

In his complaint to the police, Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Kaulgarh village, had alleged that the accused had taken Rs 18 lakh from each of the victims — Baljinder Singh, Hardeep Singh and Gurbinder Singh — on the pretext of sending them to Canada.

Instead of sending them to Canada, the victims were taken to Kathmandu, where they were kept under illegal confinement in a house and tortured, he alleged.

The victims were then forced to inform their parents that they had reached Canada, he further alleged.

Thereafter, the accused took the remainder of the amount i.e. Rs 54 lakh from the victims’ parents.

The victims stated that after remaining in captivity for several days, they managed to give their captors the slip and crossed over to Bihar.

They narrated their ordeal to the local residents, who arranged money for their journey back to Punjab.

On their arrival here, the victims received medical treatment at the local Civil Hospital.

Investigating officer Harnek Singh said the police had recovered Rs 27 lakh from the accused.



Honour Killing
Protection centre set up for ‘runaway couples’
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Lawyer at their disposal

The District Legal Services Authority has deputed a lawyer to visit the protection centre and provide legal assistance to the couples coming there. It will be the duty of the lawyer to ensure that a room is reserved for any couple seeking shelter at the protection home

Ludhiana, March 23
The Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh, directions to provide protection to “runaway couples” has come as a relief to those who get married against the wishes of their parents.

In order to provide a safe shelter to married couples whose lives are in danger, the district administration has made a protection centre inside the District Sainik Welfare Rest House, near Clock Tower, here.

Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari, in his capacity as the District Magistrate, said: “I have asked the district public relations officer (DPRO) to ensure that the issue is advertised to facilitate the couples who seek protection. The tehsildar Ludhiana (east)-cum-marriage registrar will visit the protection centre at least once a week.”

The High Court had issued the orders to curb the menace of “honour killing” wherein families either killed the couple or targeted one of them in the name of family honour.

The court of the Sessions Judge here has already provided protection to over 40 couples who had come with the fear of being eliminated by their respective families.

A senior administrative official said: “The protection from the administration and the police has emboldened young couples, as more and more couples are getting married in shrines and coming to the police for shelter after hearing from their friends about the protection provided to them,” said the official.



Top players for pool meet
Our Sports Reporter

Star power

Nine-time world billiards champion Geet Sethi, two-time Asian snooker champion Yasin Merchant, Asian billiards champion Devendra Joshi and national 8-ball pool champion Manan Chandra are among the key players taking part in the meet

Ludhiana, March 23
Over 350 participants, including 12 in the women’s section, are expected to take part in the National 8-Ball/9-Ball Pool Championship that begins at Sutlej Club here tomorrow.

Alok Kumar, general secretary, Punjab Billiards and Snooker Association (PBSA), today said: “India’s top-ranked players, including nine-time world billiards champion Geet Sethi along with two-time Asian snooker champion Yasin Merchant, Asian billiards champion Devendra Joshi, national 8-ball pool champion Manan Chandra, international players Sumit Talwar and Dharminder Lilly, will be seen in action during the championship that will continue till March 31,” he said.

Around 90 matches will be conducted daily, which will be organised under the aegis of the Billiards and Snooker Federation of India, on the “double elimination” format set by the international governing body of the game.

“Matches will be played simultaneously on six tables and Rs 3.5 lakh will be at stake as prize money for this event,” added Alok Kumar who became the first Indian to grab a medal (bronze) in the Asian Games in China, last year.

Navneet Malhotra, Sandeep Jalota, joint secretary and treasurer, respectively, of the PBSA, along with other office-bearers of the association were present.



Sports Meet
400 visually challenged to participate

Ludhiana, March 23
Over 400 visually challenged players from different parts of the country will take part in the seventh National Sports Meet scheduled to be held here at Guru Nanak Stadium from April 14 to 16.

According to the chief organiser of these games, Gurpreet Singh Machhiwara, the competition in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m races, besides long jump, shot put, javelin throw and discus throw will be conducted during this three-day event.

Before the formal inauguration of the meet, the participants will present a cultural programme and perform popular items of their respective states.

"A 21-member committee under the chairmanship of Sara Johnson, director, Rehabilitation and Vocation Training Centre, Ludhiana, has been constituted to make the arrangements of this meet,” said Machhiwara. — OC



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