L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Mad scramble for tickets for ‘mother of all battles’
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
From doling out huge amounts of money to exploiting their political contacts, city residents are willing to pay any price to grab a ticket for the India-Pakistani World Cup cricket semifinal scheduled on March 30 in Mohali.

Fearing the paucity of tickets could lead to sale of fake tickets, deputy commissioner of police Yuinder Singh issued an advisory and appealed to residents not to fall into the trap of conmen who were selling counterfeit tickets of the semifinal match.

A senior factionary of the Ludhiana District Cricket Association, who had to switch off his cellphone after he received hundreds of calls asking him to “arrange” tickets, said: "The Mohali stadium has a capacity of 28,000 but it seems the whole country wants to witness the match. There’s no ticket available and people are after my life. From where shall I arrange the tickets?"

A local spare parts manufacturer managed to buy ten tickets by spending nearly Rs 2.5 lakh. "I was fortunate to get hold of the tickets, each of which cost me Rs 25,000. I was offered nearly Rs 1 lakh for a ticket but I declined. This is a lifetime opportunity, perhaps this may be Sachin Tendulkar's last outing against Pakistan in the World Cup. I want to enjoy the match with my friends," said the industrialist, who had recently organized a cricket tournament on the lines of the Indian Primer League.

A government official said the vigilance department was also keeping a close watch on employees who are shelling out large sums of money for match tickets.

"They’re making a list of employees who have spent Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 to get hold of a ticket. Later these employees would be put under the scanner," said the ‘zila parishad’ official.

Many fans taking no chances

Some cricket enthusiasts are averse to the idea of going to Mohali. "I’m sure there will be a stampede like situation at the stadium and the police would have to use force. So I’ve decided to watch the match on TV at home with my family and friends rather than hunting for tickets. I don’t want to pay for being thrashed by cops," said Varun Garg, an industrialist.


Land records fudged to benefit liquor vend owner
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service
A liquor vend in L block of BRS Nagar
A liquor vend in L block of BRS Nagar. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, March 27
In an example how civic officials often distorts facts just to appease affluent people, the municipal corporation has furnished wrong revenue records to prove a piece of land that was acquired by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) for setting up a park did not belong to the latter.

Serious question marks have been raised once again on the functioning of MC officials, but this time not of any particular individual but of the LIT. The trust has declared that land on which it was not demolishing a liquor vend by claiming it was not acquired by the latter is in reality a park acquired by LIT.

Earlier, some residents of the L block of the Randhir Singh locality had asked civic officials to remove a liquor vend that had cropped up on land meant for a park. However, in order to avoid action MC officials allegedly put the wrong details pertaining to revenue records of the park and sent it to the LIT for verifying whether the land was acquired by it or not.

Along with their letter the officials of the MC’s building branch also attached a copy of the layout plan of the locality in which the site of the disputed land was also marked.

However, much to the embarrassment of civic officials, in a letter written to them on March 9 an LIT engineer cleared the mist over the case. In his letter addressed to the assistant town planner the engineer asserted the property number put by the ATP in his letter was not acquired by them. But the engineer said that the site earmarked by the assistant town planner in his letter, on which liquor vend is constructed, is the same regarding which the LIT had in their letter no 4065 issued on May 11, 2000 told the MC the land had been acquired by the them and is a park in L block.

Col Jagdish Singh Brar, a resident of BRS Nagar and a member of the MC’s illegal encroachment monitoring committee, accused the civic body of distorting facts so as to “benefit the affluent liquor vend owner”. "Not only this, MC officials have also been misleading their bosses about the matter and have provided them wrong information on the case”, he added.

On the other hand MC officials were tightlipped about the matter.



Three killed, 4 hurt in freak accidents
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
Three city residents were killed and four others, including two children, injured in three separate accidents on Saturday night.

The first incident took place on Hambra Road when an overspeeding Tempo Trax multiutility vehicle collided with a motorcycle resulting in the death two people. The victims were identified as Jasvir Singh, 35, and Rashpal Singh, 50, both residents of Hambra Road, who were returning home from work.

The collision was so strong that the motorcycle got badly damaged and both men died on the spot. According to an eye witness, the victims could have been saved had the driver of the MUV applied the breaks on time. The eyewitness added instead of using the breaks the driver sped away from the scene and dragged the motorcycle for nearly 20 meters, which resulted in the death of Rashpal and Jasvir.

It is learnt several people were traveling in the MUV and all fled following the collision. In the meantime the police arrived at the accident scene and filed a case against the unidentified driver of the MUV. The victims’ relatives also arrived at the scene and identified the victims.

Rashpal worked for a private firm while Jasvir was running a ‘dhaba’ (makeshift eating joint). Both were living in the same locality and used to commute together.

In the second incident, a 30-year-old man was crushed to death by a bus in Ramgarh village on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana road. The accident occurred at around 9 pm when Pardeep Kumar, a native of Uttar Pradesh, was going to the city for some personal work.

According to an eyewitness, the bus driver suddenly applied the breaks when it arrived near Ramgarh. Pardeep, who was standing near the door and waiting for the bus to stop, fell on the road due to the sudden jolt. Before he could manage to get back on his feet the bus ran over the victim, crushing him to death.

The bus passengers then raised an alarm and got the driver to stop the vehicle. Sensing trouble the bus driver and conductor fled the scene. The deceased worked for a private firm in Mohali.

In the third accident four members of a family, including two children and a woman, were injured after their Maruti 800 car collided with another vehicle in Karnail Singh Nagar near the Dugri Road late on Saturday night. The injured were rushed to a private hospital for treatment.

Stretch a death trap

The latest accident to occur near the Golf Link apartments on the Hambra Road has yet again highlighted the plight of commuters who are increasingly falling victim in deadly road accidents. With no indicators or streetlights, the stretch has become a virtual deathtrap. Several accidents have taken place on this stretch. But the authorities appear to be waiting for some more tragedies to occur before they will hopefully get their act together.



Youth shot near Sahnewal
Another battling for life
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
A 24-year-old youth was shot dead while another man is struggling for life following sword injuries he sustained during an attack on them at Dana Mandi in the Sahnewal area last night.

The incident took place at around 10.30 pm when the victims, who have been identified as Vijay Kumar and his friend Raju (23), were returning home after attending a “jagran” at Dana Mandi.

Joban Singh and his accomplices Vinod, Karamjit and Jagroop allegedly intercepted the victims and before they could react, Joban allegedly pulled out a pistol and shot at Vijay Kumar.

The bullet pierced Vijay’s shoulder before rupturing his heart.

His friend Raju tried to save him, but the assailants attacked him also with a sword. The accused fled after they saw some people approaching the spot.

While Vijay Kumar bled to death, Raju was rushed to hospital in a serious condition.

Station House Officer (SHO) Gurtej Singh said Vijay and Jagroop, both belonging to Sahnewal, were at loggerhead with each other and wanted to settle scores.

Joban learnt that Vijay was going to a “jagran” at Dana Mandi and he laid a trap for him.

The police has booked the accused under Section 302 of the IPC and launched a massive manhunt to nab them.



At 6, Ranvir youngest pool player
Anshu Seth/TNS

Ludhiana, March 27
Often referred to as the game with glamour, pool has become a passion for six-year-old Ranvir Duggal from Chandigarh, the country’s youngest pool player.

Ranvir mesmerised sports enthusiasts with his precise movements during the ongoing National Pool Championship being held in Ludhiana.

Son of Sandeep Duggal, manufacturer of pool tables from Chandigarh, who has been a 20-time pool champion of Chandigarh, Ranvir’s talent for the game of billiards can be termed as inborn.

A student of Class I at St Stephen’s School, Chandigarh, Ranvir plays pool for three to four hours a day.

“When children his age are watching Tom and Jerry on television or playing Ninja Turtle video games, Ranvir is busy learning intricacies of the game,” said his father Sandeep.

With age being no bar for the contestants, Ranvir Duggal played against 15-year-old Vandit Kumar and managed to win one round. “My dream is to play with Geet Sethi, as I worship the way he takes every single stride around the pool table,” disclosed Ranvir.

“Watching television is not Ranivir’s cup of tea, as he loves to spend three to four hours a day playing pool,” revealed the boy’s father.

Sandeep said, “The game is in his blood. I did not prompt him to take up the stick and ball.”



Exam flying squads fail to curb cheating
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, March 27
“Very few of the estimated 20 examination flying squads in Ludhiana and Jagraon have been undertaking their tasks effectively", said teachers who want an end to the menace of cheating. Even those teachers who are themselves part of such squads agree some of the squads just go through the formalities and ignore illegal practices inside the exam centres.

According to district education officer Harbhajan Ram, only about 15 cases of cheating have been identified in his jurisdiction since the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) second semester examinations began.

Pardeep, a flying squad member who has been deputed to keep a check on schools in the city and Jagraon, told the Ludhiana Tribune: "I’ve served as deputy science supervisor for many years and am very much against copying and other forms of cheating in exams. I’m surprised very few cases of cheating surfaced during my stint”.

Recalling the time when he was a member of the flying squad, he said: "Our job is to check bags, question paper envelops, sitting arrangements of students, mobiles, etc, at an examination centre. We randomly check students but without troubling them or teachers at the exam centres. Though I visited numerous schools in the city and Jagraon I didn’t find even a single instance of any mischievous activity there”.

"The PSEB highlights specific subjects to conduct raids and we can’t go beyond its guidelines. Cheating is most likely to happen during the science, English and mathematics papers, but I personally feel the board should also ask the flying squads to keep tabs on schools during the Punjabi paper because if a student fails in it he has to repeat the class," Pardeep concluded.

"I personally feel visits by the flying squads at exam centres helps in keeping a check on cheating as both teachers and students remain wary”, said Shashi Trehan, a district science supervisor. She stated she had filed two cases of cheating in the Jandiali and Raikot areas during the physics (class 12) and science (class 10) exams. "I filed complaints of unfair means being used for cheating during these papers. The students were using chits for copying”, she added.

Trehan feels the menace of cheating has decreased in compare to the previous years. "But still it's not impossible that the students or the teachers are not trying to help. Occasionally privately run schools try to influence the exam centre supervisors or controllers to help their students. Only members of the flying squads remain honest”, she averred.

Another flying squad in charge, Jasbir Kaur, a school principal, who succeeded in uncovering a couple of cases of cheating in Jagraon schools, said: "It's impossible that the students do not try to copy in exams. They use various methods to fulfill their purpose. If the flying squads do their job and check out all possibilities of cheating they won't come unsuccessful," Jasbir said.

Accusing many flying squads of being hand in glove with teachers at exam centres, Jasbir said: "Some flying squads have been observing the formalities just to make money through travel and dearness allowance by visiting schools.”

Meanwhile, DEO Harbhajan Ram said: "Flying squads are deputed by the Punjab School Education Board. They are doing good work but can work more effectively. The cheating cases have been identified mostly from exam centres at privately run institutions. We’ve replaced the centre superintendents and controllers.”



Depleting green cover
MC to blame
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
Who is responsible for depleting the green cover in the city? The answer would be the faulty planning of the Municipal Corporation (MC) authorities, which is choking the green cover along road dividers.

The civic body is installing concrete tiles on dividers where saplings had been planted by its horticulture branch earlier. Due to the beautification work, most plants have wilted as they are not getting enough space to grow.

Sources said while contractors were benefiting, it was damaging the water table as rainwater harvesting was not taking place.

Ved Prakash Takyaar, a retired Superintendent Engineer from the department of rural development, said every berm, road and divider of the road was being paved wrongly due to which the green belt was being affected. He said in areas where the dividers had not been paved, the growth of plants was good.

SS Chana, chairman of the confederation of park management committees, said the dividers were meant for maintaining green belts, but the MC was lavishly spending money on making them concrete.

MC Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal, however, said along with beautification and development, they were ensuring that the green cover was maintained.



Planning Commission nominates VC
To head working group on animal husbandry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
Dr VK Taneja, Vice-Chancellor of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana, will play a pivotal role in framing the Animal Husbandry and Dairying Policy of India for the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17).

The Planning Commission of India has nominated Dr Taneja as chairman of the working group on animal husbandry and dairying, which would frame the policies, programmes etc for promotion of dairy and animal husbandry.

Dr Taneja will head a team of 22 noted veterinarians comprising Dr KML Pathak, DDG (ICAR), Dr KM Bujarbaruah, VC, Assam Agriculture University, Dr AK Srivastava, director, NDRI, Karnal along with other promising professionals.

Dr Taneja said a collective effort would be initiated to draw up the new policies. "We would try to review the efficacy of the ongoing delivery mechanism in dissemination of technology and in providing relevant information to the farmer, taking into cognisance the presence of organisations like ICAR, State Agricultural Universities and Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA). We would also recommend an improved model of extension by taking into consideration new methods like ‘Mahotsav’ and use of IT. It would help in evolving a policy that would not only increase production, but also benefit the farmer." He said the Planning Commission wanted to rationalise the number of ongoing schemes and also modify those to increase the production of milk, egg and meat in the country.



Bike Expo rocks in city
Trade, industry throng trade fair on opening day
Kuldip Bhatia

A father helps his sons select a bicycle at Bike Expo in Ludhiana on Sunday
A father helps his sons select a bicycle at Bike Expo in Ludhiana on Sunday.
Industrialists from China take a look at Indian products
Industrialists from China take a look at Indian products.
A rickshaw puller checks out gears and shockers of a rickshaw
A rickshaw puller checks out gears and shockers of a rickshaw. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, March 27
The three-day trade fair and bicycle conference - Bike Expo, showcasing the latest technological advances that go in the making of bicycles across the world, opened in the sizeable presence of bicycle and parts manufacturers, traders and also members of the general public at GLADA grounds on the Chandigarh Road here today.

The Punjab Minister for Industry, Commerce and Local Bodies, Manoranjan Kalia, formally inaugurated the event, which was also attended by leaders of the bicycle industry in the city, including OP Munjal, managing director of Hero Cycles and Onkar Singh Pahwa of Avon Cycles.

Claiming that the state government was providing all possible assistance and incentives to the industry, Kalia said the atmosphere in the state was conducive for industrial growth and the members of industry ought to strive to reach further heights by upgradation of technology and taking all necessary steps to make their finished products competitive, both in domestic and the global markets.

Focusing on challenges ahead of the bicycle industry, mostly located in the mega city, DS Chawla, president of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, the largest representative body of the bicycle industry and trade, said that India was the second largest manufacturer of bicycles and parts after China, with some 5,000 large, medium and small- scale units which provided direct and indirect employment to more than five lakh persons.

The bicycle industry, he added, faced with stiff competition from China, Taiwan and other developed countries in the global market, was in need of a total overhaul of manufacturing techniques. Even though the industry would still have to be dependent on other far off places for procurement of raw material for iron and steel components, plastic, rubber parts and other fitments that went into the making of a complete bicycle, the local industry could give its competition a run for their money only if it underwent a complete transformation and adopted latest technologies.

According to Chawla, the trade fair-cum-bicycle conference, the first of its kind to be organised here, will provide a forum to the cycle and parts manufacture to be exposed to latest machinery and equipment that is needed to manufacture high-quality bicycles. "The overwhelming response to the event from the all sections of bicycle industry are ample proof that this sector is well aware of the urgent need to upgrade and make themselves comparable with the best in the world."

Nearly 60 exhibitors, including bicycle and parts manufacturers, machinery and equipment manufacturers and agents of overseas companies in the bicycle segment, have put up their stalls at the mega event.

‘Time to rediscover bikes’
Bike Expo is a great platform for the bicycle industry, but the noticeable thing is the enthusiasm among the youth and children, who seem to prefer bicycles over motor bikes to do their bit for the environment. Tribune correspondent Anil Kumar spoke to some people who wanted to give up “kicking” and take to pedalling again.



German stunt man steals the show
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, March 27
A German stunt man stole the show with his daring acts at the bikes expo organised in Ludhiana today. Dressed like a professional biker, he was easily recognised.

The special bicycle of 24-year-old Daniel Rall was without a seat. Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Deniel said: "I need a lightweight bike to perform stunts. It helps in jumping easily. I have competed with the world’s best bike stuntmen in Spain, Greece and China. I have learnt a lot from them. Besides, I have been to such expos to promote bikes of different manufacturers.”

Deniel claims he started performing stunts when he was just nine-year-old. He said: "I learnt the stunts from my mother in 1993 and a year later, I participated in a competition."

Talking about the techniques of stunts, Deniel said: "Firstly, the riders have to get ready for injuries. The diving and braking techniques are must. You need to decide what kind of stunt you wish to perform like I used to perform a stunt like jumping across lying people, climbing up the stairs and drums etc. Balance on the bike is another important thing."



City police stations to have Suvidha Centres
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
In a major step aimed towards facilitating the residents for lodging their complaints, the city police will soon set up Suvidha Centres in all 27 police stations under the Commissionerate, Ludhiana.

This was revealed by Police commissioner Ishwar Singh while addressing a general body meeting of the Rajguru Nagar Senior Citizens Welfare Association.

In his address, Singh said that after setting up of these centres, the residents would not have to go to the munshi of police stations to lodge their complaints.

Rather he said that they would straight away go the Suvidha Centres and register their complaints. The police commissioner also claimed that the crime rate of the city was going down.

He also added that more then 300 policemen had been recruited and they would be inducted in the force after regular training. Similarly, he said that plans were also being made to tackle the problem of traffic in city. ADCP RK Bakshi and ACP Raj Kumar also attend the meeting.



Using martyrs as per their convenience

The word martyr does strike a patriotic chord with the school students who are introduced to the tales of valour by Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, Shiv Ram Rajguru, Sukhdev Thapar, Chander Shekhar Azad, Lokmanya Tilak, Subash Chandra Bose and various others who fought for the Independence.

But patriotism indeed has lost its meaning where the politicians, bureaucrats and social activists are concerned. The word martyr becomes dormant for 363 days but becomes active in every sense of the word on the respective birth anniversaries and martyrdom days of freedom fighters.

Using the martyrs as per their convenience has become the way of the modern India. It is rather astonishing to see political parties trying to build their vote bank without doing anything practical to promote their ideologies. A recent note from the office of the district public relation officer stating "Officials paying tributes to the statues" sums up the shallowness of sentiment for the martyrs.

Sorry, wrong number

Sorry wrong number is the answer people mostly get when they dial the number of more then half-a-dozen MC officials and councillors. Reason: The numbers are wrongly printed in the new diary issued by the civic body. Though MC had put in a lot of effort to give a new look to its executive diary, it seems it has not bothered to verify the facts pertaining to numbers of officials.

The MC had issued numbers to its staff about three years back and since then the numbers are the same. Despite this, the MC authorities have erred in putting them in diary.

Traffic cops clueless

Traffic cops in the city, it seems, have become a bit too overzealous in enforcing rules and brining the offenders to the book in the wake of ever-increasing madness on roads.

Even as more and more traffic challans are issued at most of the intersections and main roads, the top brass of the police responsible for regulation and enforcement seems clueless to come to terms with the situation, which remains chaotic. Of late, the police has put up no parking signboards on several major roads and busy markets, especially at points where the traffic enters or exits the main intersection. But at most of such places, yellow parking lines are already painted, which leave the motorists in a quandary. City residents face a dilemma whether to park their vehicles within the yellow line or to follow the "no parking" orders.

Kid’s innocence

A friend of mine has a cute daughter, who is six years of age. Recently, one of her milk tooth broke. The kid picked-up the tooth, washed it properly and kept it in a small vessel full of water. Her mother asked her to throw it, but she said that "tooth-fairy" would come at night, take it away and give her a gift. For two days, she eagerly waited for the fairy, but nothing happened.

The mother also did not pay much attention towards the feelings of the kid. The third day, when the child woke-up, she started crying. When her mother asked her the reason, she replied: "The fairy is angry with me, she did not give me anything. While my friend got nice colours and a drawing book.” The mother consoled her and assured that the fairy would come to her, too. The mother immediately went to market and got at least six small gifts for her daughter. "Now, the milk teeth are to be replaced at this age, I have got plenty of gifts to be given to her by the fairy. Such small sentiments of kids must be honoured,” said the friend.

What's the gift?

A five-member delegation of Municipal Corporation officials and elected representatives led by Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura that has recently returned from a tour to Leicester city is facing a general query from their colleagues - What is the gift that they have brought for them.

Well, aware of the fact that city would gain hardly anything from the much-hyped trip, the elected councillors and officials who have not got a chance to go to visit, are making queries for what each member of the delegation has brought for them.

But then the members of the delegation are expert in lip service so simple answer to the query is “all good things for the city”.

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



Glaucoma, the second major cause of blindness: Expert
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 27
Glaucoma, the second major cause of blindness all over the world, had claimed the eyesight of some 4.5 million people till now, and the figure is likely to reach 11.2 million by 2020.

Dr Tanuj Dada, head of the glaucoma department at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, said this while speaking at an awareness programme on glaucoma, organised by Punarjot Eye Bank Society, here today.

Speaking on the prevention, latest methods of treatment and advanced surgical procedures for the condition, he lauded the work being done by the society under the leadership of Dr Ramesh, especially the facility of free diagnostic tests for glaucoma. He assured all possible assistance and cooperation on behalf of AIIMS to the local society for prevention of blindness caused by this condition.

Extending a warm welcome to the chief guest, director of the society Dr Ramesh said a "glaucoma awareness" week was observed from March 6 to 13. During this period, nearly 1,050 glaucoma patients were examined free of cost. Out of them, 78 were further tested for OCT, another 30 for parametry while 20 patients were treated with laser and another 15 were operated upon for corrective surgery.



Cong raps LIT move to allot prime land for BJP office
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
The Ludhiana Improvement Trust’s (LIT) decision to allot a prime chunk of land in the city to the ruling BJP for setting up the latter’s office has evoked a sharp reaction from the Congress that has criticised the civic body’s move.

At a meeting of trust officials chaired by LIT chief MM Vyaas, the Municipal Corporation approved a plan to allot about 1,000 square yards of land in the Model Town Extension (part 2) locality to the BJP. The decision was taken after the latter had requested civic officials to allot land to them for constructing the party office.

Likewise the LIT, which has a sizable number of representatives from the BJP as its office bearers, generously decided to offer its prime land at a reserve price to the party. This despite the fact that the land that was originally earmarked for the electricity board building could have fetched a handsome amount of money to the cash strapped civic body if it had gone in for an open auction. However LIT officials have now claimed as the electricity board had not demanded the land it could be given to the BJP. The latter had sought land for shifting its office from the Clock Tower Chowk area. The trust officials have now sent the proposal to the Punjab government for its clearance after which the land would be handed over to the BJP.

However the proposal has evoked severe criticism from the Congress party that has decided to oppose it. Party leaders have termed the decision as “illegal”, asserting there was “no provision” for allotting such a prime piece of land to any political party. Moreover, they asserted if the land was allotted to the BJP because it was a national party then the Congress should also be allotted land because it was also a national party and even older than the BJP.

Sources close to Congress revealed the party is seeking legal opinion on the matter so as to challenge the civic body’s move in the courts.

Arguments for and against

This is totally illegal. How can they allot this prime land belonging to the civic body to the BJP? We’ll protest against the LIT’s move and will never allow them to implement it.

— Jagmohan Sharma, District Congress Committee president

Leaders of the ruling SAD-BJP alliance who are at helm at LIT are setting up a wrong precedent by allotting the land to a partner. This can never be tolerated and we’ll take necessary action against the move.

Sanjay Talwar, Congress councillor & former LIT trustee

The LIT has no right to give a prime piece of public land to the BJP, that too at reserve price. If the BJP is in dire need of land then the trust must give it to them at market prices rather than at the reserve price.

— Kala Navkaar Jain, ex-LIT trustee & former Congress councillor

After the Punjab government recently decided to give land to all national parties at the reserve price, we approved the proposal (to allot land to the BJP) at our meeting. If the Congress party requires land it can also approach us.

— Sarabjeet Singh Kaka, BJP councillor & LIT trustee

The land is being given to the BJP according to rules and there’s no question of any illegality. We’ve just approved the proposal and now it’s up to the state government to clear it.

— Naresh Dhingaan, SAD leader and LIT trustee



PAU Notes

Trainer skills course

Teaching can be considered as a combination of knowledge and interpersonal skills, Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), said while addressing the concluding session of the Direct Trainer Skills Course at the Department of Soils on Friday. The programme was organised by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, India Meteorological Department (IMD), New Delhi in collaboration with the Department of Agricultural Meteorology. Dr LK Dhaliwal, associate professor of agrometeorology, said that the course for this programme was developed by the Training Division of DPT, British Council faculty and Thames Valley University, UK. The major focus of the course was on systematic approach to training, role of trainer, planning training, coaching practice, review of the process, preparation by the trainer, importance of discussion, group exercise practice, etc.

Beekeeping course ends

A five-day 'Basic Beekeeping Training Course' organised by the Department of Entomology, PAU, for the scheduled caste (SC) and scheduled tribe (ST) farmers and farmwomen of Punjab, concluded here today.

Another batch of the training for SC and ST candidates will be organised from March 27-31, said a scientist. Dr Ashok Kumar Dhawan, head, department of entomology, said that PAU had been pioneer in successful introduction, establishment, multiplication and dissemination of Italian honeybee throughout the country.

PAU experts also educated the farmers and farm women about the management of bee diseases

Tributes paid to martyrs

To commemorate the martyrdom of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and his associates Rajguru and Sukhdev, the Young Writers Association organised a function at the campus under the aegis of Directorate of Students' Welfare, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). Paying tributes to the three martyrs, the chief guest Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said that they sacrificed their lives not only for the freedom of the country but for common man's political, cultural, financial and social freedom.



Gupta elected Bar president
Our Correspondent

Samrala, March 27
Anil Kumar Gupta was elected unopposed as president of the Bar Association, Samrala, during an election held for the post here recently.

Three lawyers had filed their nomination papers for the post but two of them withdrew their papers later.

Outgoing president Jaspreet Singh and former president Daljit Singh Shahi withdrew from the contest, paving the way for Gupta’s election to the seat unopposed.

The election was held under returning officer MG Prasher at the bar room.

Earlier, candidates to other posts were also elected unopposed. They are: vice-president — Shiv Kalyan; joint secretary —Roma Sofat; secretary — Gourav Chopra; and treasurer — Bini Baweja; members — NK Sharma and RK Kaushal.

Gupta has served as president of the association thrice in the past.



Job avenues for CAs highlighted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
Around 200 chartered accountancy students from Ludhiana, Khanna, Gobindgarh, Moga and surrounding areas attended an introductory seminar for CPT students (for CA entrance) organised by the Ludhiana Branch of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India at ICAI Bhawan, Pakhowal Road, here yesterday.

CA Charanjot Singh Nanda, Central Council member, ICAI New Delhi, educated the students about the curriculum and the coaching facilities available at the ICAI Bhawans.

He deliberated on the opportunities for CAs in jobs and practice and their role in the economy. He also shared some tips on preparing for CA examination to ensure success.

The participants also received answers to their queries.



From Colleges


LUDHIANA: Pratap College of Education at Hambran came alive with celebrations as the college honoured the graduating (BEd) and post-graduating (MEd) students during the annual convocation held here on Saturday. Dr Manjit Singh, registrar, Punjabi University, Patiala, was the chief guest on the occasion.

Principal Dr Balwant Singh presented the annual report. He highlighted the achievements of the college in academic, cultural, sports and extra-curricular activities. He also awarded medals and bestowed honour upon the deserving scholars of the college for their illustrative contributions towards scholastic pursuits and achievements.

Manjula Grover and Ranjana of MEd were honoured as they got 2nd and 3rd positions, respectively, in Panjab University. Mani Bhatt of BEd was awarded with the roll of honour as she stood first in the college. More than 200 students dressed in robes were felicitated with degrees.

International conferences

Punjab College of Technical Education organised two international conferences in the field of business management and information technology at the PCTE campus-II. The conferences were organised recently on the theme “Materialism and Consumerism: a Bliss or Bane” and “Emerging trends in Information Technology”.

DL Sharma, managing director, Vardhman Yarn and Threads Limited, was the chief guest and keynote speaker on the occasion.

In the conferences, more than 60 research papers in information technology and about 50 in business management were contributed by various research scholars and faculty members from different parts of the country.

About 40 researchers and faculty members from leading management and IT institutes from Pakistan, Canada and from various parts of India like New Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Noida, Andhra Pradesh, and Aurangabad presented their researches in the conferences. — TNS



Management development programme

Mandi Gobindgarh, March 27
MSME-DI (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Institute), Ludhiana, and the RIMT Institute of Engineering and Technology, Mandi Gobindgarh, has organised a one-week management development programme in the field of marketing and financial management for students of business administration.

Vice-chairman Vijayan Bansal said planning and achieving higher level of quality was fundamental to the successful operation of the enterprises, which necessitates understanding and managing various dynamics in an organisation to set goals and judiciously deploy resources.

Coordinator of the event and MBA department head, Dr Bimal Anjum, laid emphasis on the importance of marketing activities to run a business. He threw light on various aspects to run a business smoothly such as leadership, employee participation, process approach, women empowerment etc.

MSME-DI assistant director BK Choudhary discussed the importance of quality systems in small and medium business units and gave an overview of various quality techniques. He also laid emphasis on the importance of self employment in today’s scenario.

Sachin Sharma, Navinderjit Singh, Kavita Sharma, Harpominde Kaur, Manbir Kaur, Amarjit Singh shared their views in their respective area of specialisation. — OC



GADVASU microbiologists felicitated

Ludhiana, March 27
Dr Hari Mohan Saxena, professor-cum-head of veterinary microbiology department, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University delivered an keynote address at the recently concluded World Biotechnology Congress organised by the USA-based Omics Publishing Group at Hyderabad.

The group publishes 100 international journals on various subjects and the congress was a global event aimed at promoting biotechnology business and academic collaborations worldwide. The congress was attended by nearly 2,000 delegates from around the world, including scientists from diverse academic backgrounds, entrepreneurs and world leaders in biomedical sciences and biotechnology research.

Saxena presented his novel findings related to virus and host cell interaction in infectious bursal disease, an immunodeficiency disease of young chickens. Two other microbiologists from GADVASU, Dr Deepti Narang, Scientist, and Dr Mudit Chandra, assistant microbiologist, from the same department, presented oral papers in the congress on isolation and characterisation of bacteriophages, the viruses which kill bacteria, reactive to Brucella and Salmonella, respectively. — TNS



Yellow Rust Attack
District to face wheat yield losses over Rs 200 cr
Sidhwan Bet, Machhiwara, Jagraon belts are the worst affected
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
Farmers in the region have crossed their fingers as the much-awaited harvesting season is around the corner. Though they have high hopes to get good returns, still the agricultural experts have warned that since yellow rust had attacked the wheat crop in many parts of distict, there would be yield losses of about 15 per cent, which means farmers will have to bear losses worth Rs 200 crore.

At the same time, the experts have held the farming community responsible to an extent for the losses. The major reason being given that the farmers largely "depended" on migrant population to "look-after" the crop in the fields. Secondly, despite being given "warnings" by the agricultural experts, the farmers continued to sow PBW 343 variety in larger areas and this variety was worst affected due to "less-resistant" nature.

On the other hand, the farmers maintain that the figures given by the District Agriculture Office were not "correct" as the real picture was expected to come after 10-15 days.

The situation was not that alarming as claimed by the district agricultural officials, feel the farmers.

Giving details about the present situation in the district, RS Pandher, Chief Agricultural Officer, Ludhiana, told Ludhiana Tribune that last year the area under cultivation in district was 2,59,000 hectare and 46.32 quintal per hectare yield was recorded. Seeing the favourable weather conditions, it was expected to get 48 quintal per hectare yield this time.

"But this season, we will not get more than 40.80 quintal per hecatre yield due to yellow rust attack on standing wheat crop. This is a serious matter, as the area under cultivation remains the same like previous year. We will get 7 quintal less yield in one hectare due to the disease attack. Sidhwan Bet, Machhiwara, Jagraon belts are the worst affected. We are preparing the detailed report and it will be sent to authorities", said Pandher.

He further held that "lackadaisical" attitude of the farmers was responsible for such losses. Pandher added despite generating awareness among farmers, latter were adamant on their stand to sow that variety of wheat.We had suggested that PBW 343, being less resistant must not be sown. Several other varieties are there which bring good results.

Still the farmers in large chunk of fields continued to sow this variety. And PBW 343 has been worst affected, said the Chief Agriculture Officer.

Farmers depend largely on migrant population for their crop management. In our surveys in various blocks, we found that yellow rust was damaging the crop. We had to bring out the farmers from their homes to take a look at their fields. Unfortunately, many of them were unaware about the condition of their crop. For spraying, irrigation etc the farmers depend on migrant population, which is wrong.

Gurnam Singh, Agriculture Development Officer

I did not find the figures given by the Agriculture Department correct. The situation is not that alarming. We have been informed about the yellow rust but the farmers are not much worried. There may be losses to the tune of Rs 50 crore but not more than that. The farmers have sown several other varieties, which have high resisting qualities. It is too early to provide the exact figures as the real picture will come in the next 15 days.

PS Pangli, president, Kisan Club, PAU



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