L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


District population 34,87,882 and rising
* 2.15 lakh added to city in last decade * Gender ratio rises to 869 * Literacy rate up 2 pc 
Kanchan Vasdev/TNS

Ludhiana, April 1
With the sex ratio in its population rising from 824 to 869 during the past decade, the city has provided a silver lining in the dark clouds of gender imbalance hovering over Punjab, which has earned the notoriety of being a ‘kudi maar’ (girl child killer) state in the 2011 census

Compared to the sex ratio of 846 recorded in the state, Ludhiana district, termed “gender critical” during the past decade, has done the state proud by recording a sex ratio of 869 this time.

The district has seen a rise in the number of girls during the decade. This will come as a fresh breather for sociologists and women activists who have been crusading against the menace of female feticide. As many as 45 more girls were born for every 1000 children this time.

The credit for the encouraging trend goes more to the city’s peripheral areas as, within the municipal corporation limits, 844 girls were born for every 100 boys compared to the district average of 869.

In yet another feather in its cap, the state’s richest district has posted a decadal increase of two per cent in literacy rate from 71 per cent to 73 per cent. Out of a population of 3,487,000 2,577,000 are literate.

The district is home to 3,487,882 residents with the number of males at 1,866,014 outnumbering women at 1,621,679. There has been a 15 per cent decadal growth in the population compared to the last census.

The population according to the last census was 3,032,831. The growth rate is 2.64 per cent less than the national average of 17.64 per cent. Population density has witnessed a rise from 805 during the last census to 925 this time.

The district is also a home to 189 eunuchs who have been counted for the first time. 

Ludhiana: As many as 59 persons are added to the city's population everyday as 2.14 lakh more heads have been counted during the past one decade of the city.

Witnessing a growth rate of 15 per cent, the city has recorded 16,13,878 people in the headcount this time compared to 13,98,467 during the last Census.

According to the Census data recorded by the Municipal Corporation within its limits, the decadal growth registered in the city is less than the national average of 17.64.

This despite the fact that the city is home to lakhs of migrants, who have becomes residents after immigrating from other states. The influx of migrants is being witnessed for the past many decades.

Males outnumber females by 1.3 lakh in the city, with their number turning out to be 87,47,26 compared to 73,91,05 females.

Men also outnumber females in literacy rate as 1.5 lakh more males than females are educated. Compared to 5.3 lakh women, 6.9 lakh men are educated in town.

While the district has fared better this time by witnessing a rise in the sex ratio compared to the state, the financial capital of the state has lagged behind by registering 844 girls compared to 1000 boys with the state average being 846, which is the second lowest in the country.

The city has recorded only 47 enunuchs with 26 of them educated. 


Vigilance Bureau to count trees
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 1
After a census count of India’s population, the trees on the National Highway No. 1 would also go for population count, to be conducted by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau.

Taking note of the complaint of whistleblower Harish Kumar, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal has asked the Special Secretary to probe the illegal poaching of trees on the national highway and in Jalandhar division.

According to the letter number 11/19/10-Vigilance/ 5586, dated March 25, 2011, the special secretary has further marked the inquiry to the ADGP-cum-chief director vigilance bureau of the state for probing the matter.

Along with the count, the VB would also probe into the matter of illegal felling on (lot No. 90) in Jalandhar City where nearly 32 trees were illegally axed by poachers.

The investigating agency would also check the numeration registers from 1995 to 2010 to collect the record of trees.

Harish Kumar had even filed a public interest litigation No. 10477 in the Punjab and Haryana High Court demanding a CBI probe into the illegal felling on the pretext of widening of the highway.

After going through the details, the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed Harish Kumar to approach the VB, but since then the file pertaining to the direction of the court was eating rust.

Finally, Harish Kumar brought up the matter to the notice of the Deputy CM, who further directed the officials to probe the matter.

Harish claimed, “If probed properly, it would be the biggest scam unearthed by the VB so far. Many skeletons will tumble out of the closet if the bureau probes into the matter of how much grant the forest department has received for the protection and plantation of trees and how much they have spent on it so far.”

Harish, a former employee of the forest department, said the bureau did not need to conduct a physical checking of trees.

“The agency just need to check the numeration registers as the figures don’t match with each other,” claimed Harish.



Residents get through a day of hoaxes
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 1
Known for their sense of humour, city residents played pranks and practical jokes on their family members and friends throughout the day to celebrate All Fool’s Day today. However, in the name of “amusement” many people had to undergo mental stress as well.

As soon as Reeta Kapoor’s brother in Delhi called her up early in the morning to say he was coming to the city with his family by lunchtime, she began preparing for a grand meal. Since she was expecting the guests at around 2 pm she prepared several vegetarian as well as nonveg dishes. Besides, she ordered for a pudding to a leading bakery shop in Sarabha Nagar.

"When I called up my brother at about 2:30 pm to know where exactly he had reached, he couldn’t stop laughing and said he had made a fool of me. It was exasperating - he drove me crazy. Had he been here I’d have punched him", said Reeta.

Many reporters were on their toes after an unknown caller rang up and claimed Poonam Pandey, a model who had announced if India won the cricket World Cup she would go around the stadium in the buff, was in the Haibowal locality. Believing the caller the reporters began phoning their near and dear ones to know the model’s whereabouts. One of them even went around on his motorbike to hunt for the girl. At 5 pm the caller rang up again, saying,” Thanks for being a sport - happy Fools’ Day!” leaving the reporters flabbergasted.

Another housewife, Gagan Singh, whose husband’s birthday falls on April 1, said nobody in friends’ circles took them seriously. “Whenever I make plans to throw a party for my husband, none of our friends take the invitation seriously. They just say they remembered April 1. Now I throw the party later”, said Gagan.

Sarabjeet Singh, a septuagenarian, said the day can be fun if pranks are played in a lighter vein. “People mustn’t crack jokes about accidents or other tragedies as they can create panic and tension. This is just another day that we can enjoy it in a relaxed manner”, he added.



City police in top gear
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 1
After the midnight madness by city residents following the Indian victory over Pakistan in the cricket World Cup semifinal, the police has claimed to have made a foolproof plan to keep a check on rowdy elements before the important final.

The city police has constituted special teams, which would man the key locations of the city to prevent any untoward situation. The Sarabha Nagar market, city’s celebration destination, would be turned into a fortress.

Nearly 10 PCRs, along with mounted police and over 70 cops, would be deployed to control the frenzied crowd at the Sarabha Nagar market as the Indian cricket team is expected to lift the World Cup trophy.

“The cops have been told to stay put and if need be more cops would be deployed to control the crowd,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Yurinder Singh.

Traffic barricades would also be installed at key location. Strict direction has been given to cops not to use force against city residents. “We do not want to be a spoilsport and ruin the celebration of the residents, but we also request them not to take law in their hand,” said the DCP.



Rs 10 lakh crackers sold on Final eve
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 1
Ludhianvis are storing crackers for celebrating the ICC World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka.

According to sources, crackers worth Rs 10 lakh have been sold in the city so far.

Cracker dealers said the sale would soar further according to the performance of the Indian team.

“So far, crackers worth Rs 10 lakh have been sold and it is expected to increase further,” said Shelly, a cracker dealer of the city.

While another cracker dealer claimed that paucity of crackers had led to black marketing.

Ashok Thapar, a cracker trader, said, “There is acute shortage of crackers, which led to black marketing. The crackers supply from Channai has been less due to which the sale of local-made crackers have soared.”

Anticipating the win of the Indian team in the final of the world cup, the cracker traders have started hoarding crackers.

Though, the crackers are selling like hot cakes, the sale could not match with the trade that was witnessed during the encounter against Pakistan.

“We have never recorded so much sale of crackers in March. For nearly an hour, the firecrackers exploded and reminded me of Diwali celebrations,” said Ashok Thapar. 



Broiler sales spurt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 1
Sales of broiler chickens in the city has suddenly gone up a day before the all important World Cup cricket final between India and Sri Lanka in Bombay on April 2. Taking a cue from Wednesday, when the Indian team’s victory against archrival Pakistan in the semifinal match led to a shortage of broilers, local shopkeepers began stocking an extra number of chicks.

‘Patiala pegs’ (large shots of liquor) and ‘tandoori’ chicken proved to be the favourite snacks of city residents. The owner of a ‘chicken corner’ claimed the victory against Pakistan in Mohali broke all previous records in sales, including those on New Year’s Eve. Most of the chicken shops ran out of stock last Wednesday due to the sudden spurt in sales.

Gurjinder Singh, owner of Aman Chicken, said: "Sales were double than what we saw during New Year’s Eve and we ran out of stock at around 10 pm. Instead of eating out at our shop’s premises customers packed the food and took it home. Keeping in mind the final match we’re making extra arrangements to avoid a similar situation."

Divjot, owner of Chawla Chicken, said: "We’ve been in the business for quite a long time and, sensing a jump in chicken sales, we’re making extra preparations. It’s obvious people preferred to take the food home rather than eating out so we’ve speeded up the packing process."

A food and beverages manager of a prominent city club said sales of chicken soared on the day the semifinal was held and swelled further after the match got over. “Residents binged on chicken while raising a toast to celebrate the Indian team’s victory”, he added. Jasvir Singh Issru, a member of the local poultry association, said, "We normally sell 125,000 broilers every day and on Saturday we’re expecting sales to touch 150,000.Most people are e3xopected to stay at home to watch the match."



Narrowing of Malerkotla-Ludhiana road
Residents apprehend traffic bottlenecks 
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 1
Apprehending that the narrowing of the Malerkotla-Ludhiana road even on small stretches will prove a traffic bottleneck, residents of the area have urged the government to review the plan and keep the width of the road uniform.

The residents argued when bypasses could be constructed at Gill and Pohir village, why not a similar proposal be implemented for a span of the road passing through Dehlon. The span of road could be widened by acquiring extra land on both sides of the existing road.

Sarinh, Pohir diversion, Kaind Bridge and Jagera Bridge are other places where bottlenecks are apprehended.

Officials supervising the four-laning of the highway maintained that the construction was going on according to the approved plan and decision to constrict the passage was taken to avoid desertion of owners of commercial establishments situated on both sides of the road.

Protesting against the decision to narrow down the width of the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road passing through Dehlon, residents led by Jasbir Singh and Paramdeep Singh have alleged that instead of acquiring land for widening the existing road, the Punjab Roads and Bridges Development Board (PRBDB) had decided to disrupt the flow of traffic.

They claimed that if the board succeeded in compromising basic motive of the project and constructed narrower road instead of the normal 66 feet, both commuters and owners of establishments in this region would face the brunt of the menace of regular traffic bottlenecks on both sides of the locality.

While commuters will be stranded for hours, entry to various establishments will be blocked during traffic snarls, apprehended residents. The police station, civil hospital, offices of block, primary education offices and two religious places are among those establishment entries of which would be blocked due to apprehended traffic blockades.

In a communication addressed to the higher authorities, including Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and the Union Minister for Surface Transport, the residents have threatened to launch an agitation in case the decision was not reviewed.

They said successive governments had chalked out different plans for widening of the road, but the board authorities were selecting the least feasible proposal.

"It is very strange that the board is not considering widening of the road and was bent on retarding flow of traffic by creating an unwanted bottleneck," area residents said.

‘Implement proposal’

The residents argued when bypasses could be constructed at Gill and Pohir village, why not a similar proposal be implemented for a span of the road passing through Dehlon



Powercom Demand
Industry’s no to making advance deposit
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 1
The demand for advance consumption deposit (ACD) raised by Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) as per provisions of the Electricity Act, 2003 has once again brought the industry and the state government at loggerheads even as the issue of central excise imposed on a section of industry is yet to be sorted out.

Saying a firm no to the ACD, the industry, especially power intensive units like induction furnaces and steel rolling mills, categorised under the large supply (LS), have made it clear that they will not pay the ACD even if it comes to disconnection of power supply to their units and closure of their factories.

“The industry, already reeling under severe crisis caused by liquidity crunch, taxation and excise burden, is simply not in a position to meet any more financial liability,” said KK Garg, president, All-India Induction Furnace Association, while addressing mediapersons here.

Representatives of the Fastener Manufacturers Association, the Textile Association, the Dyeing Factories Association, the Rolling Mills Association and the Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association were also present.

According to Garg, the LS consumers, including induction furnaces and rolling mills, have been asked to shell out around Rs 40 to 60 lakh as ACD, calculated on the basis of power consumption of a one-and-half month period during previous year.

“At the end of the financial year, the crisis-ridden industrial units can, in no way, raise this much money when many other financial liabilities have to be met.”

Coming down heavily on the state government for its apathy towards the industry, Garg said even as the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission has given its nod for demand of the ACD, not only from the industry but each and every consumer all over the state, the government can still intervene and invoke Section 108 of the Electricity Act, 2003 to review the decision and defer it for some time till the financial health of the industry improved.

“Even otherwise, the Punjab government has been paying just lip service to the industry, while crucial issues and problems of the industrial units are not being addressed. As if power shortage, burden of multiple taxation, excise duty and delayed VAT refunds is not enough, the PSPCL has dealt yet another deathly blow by way of demand for ACD,” he added.

Garg and other representatives of industry said no industrial unit would make payment against demand raised for the ACD. “We will submit memoranda, hold demonstrations, gherao the government functionaries and even go to the extent of closing down our units if the government did not relent and demand for ACD is not withdrawn altogether,” they maintained.

‘Ready to face closure’

The industry, especially power intensive units like induction furnaces and steel rolling mills, have made it clear that they will not pay the advance consumption deposit even if it comes to disconnection of power supply to their units and closure of their factories



Powercom’s advance deposit scheme discomfits BJP
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 1
Even as the threat of a power tariff hike (presently under consideration of the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission) looms large over the state, especially its industrial sector, the demand raised by Punjab State Power Corp Ltd (PSPCL) for advance consumption deposit (ACD) by industry has come as yet another embarrassment to the Bharatiya Janata Party, the junior partner in the ruling coalition, with assembly elections in the state being just a few months away.

Sensing the mood of industry, especially power intensive units like induction furnaces and rolling mills, which has virtually raised a banner of revolt against PSPCL as also against the state government after demand notices for ACD were issued to them, BJP leaders close to industrialists were said to have initiated frantic attempts for damage control.

A couple of party activists had taken a delegation of the worst affected sections of industry to BJP state president Ashwani Sharma, state industry & commerce minister Manoranjan Kalia and Punjab Planning Board deputy chairman and former state president Rajinder Bhandari with fervent pleas to prevail upon Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for immediate personal intervention and save the crisis-ridden industry from an avoidable financial burden.

Sources feel slapping the ACD demand, running between Rs 35 lakh and Rs 60 lakh each for certain categories of industrial units, most of them located in the city and Mandi Gobindgarh town, will alienate members of industry and strengthen the common perception that the BJP was unable to safeguard the interests of its urban vote bank.

"On the one hand the government has formulated plans to provide sizeable funds to urban local bodies for development projects so as to consolidate the BJP vote bank in towns and major cities, while on the other such steps - proposed hike in power tariff and demand for ACD, are being taken that will vastly erode the BJP base among the urban population," said a senior BJP leader, requesting not to be named.

Members of industry are also fuming and fretting at what they call the highhandedness of PSPCL officials and the state government’s apathy towards their plight. Waving a demand note for Rs 60 lakh issued to his unit for ACD, being the average power consumption for one and a half months, the owner of a local induction furnace unit asked: "From where are we supposed to arrange such kind of funds when we’re already facing a liquidity crisis due to various factors?"

A majority of the industrial sectors affected were of the firm view that even if the demand for ACD had been raised with the approval of the regulatory body under the Electricity Act 2003, the state government did have powers to intervene under section 108 of the act. "Why doesn’t the government intervene? If we (industry) are meted out such treatment and the government leaves us to fend for ourselves, the ruling combine will have to pay a very heavy price in the coming elections," members of industry warned.



Project to identify 20 best textile units in city
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 1
With an objective to know the reasons for the success of technology-based textile industry operating in the mega city, the department of science and technology, Government of India, has assigned a project entitled “Technology-based advancement of Ludhiana-based textile industries and their role in Indian economy: A case study of their success stories” to the Ludhiana Citizens’ Health Council.

The overall aim of the study is to identify the best 20 technology-based textile industries operating at small scale, medium scale and large scale, engaged in the process of spinning, knitting, weaving, dyeing and finishing.

According to Renu Bhasin, project co-investigator, during the course of the study, the study team will have a deep insight in different areas of progress such as use of latest textile machinery, infrastructure development, manpower development and other success measuring factors such as production, consumption, manpower development and earning of foreign exchange during the span of last 15 years. The said the study would also bring on surface the effect of government policies on the overall growth of the textile industries located here.

As per the directions of the government, a local project advisory committee has been constituted for providing timely technical support and to access the day-to-day progress of the project.

The advisory committee comprises Anil Kumar Jain, chairperson; Dr SC Gupta, secretary general, who will also be principal investigator and member secretary; Renu Bhasin, project coordinator and co-investigator; Satish Bansal, Dr Namita Gupta, Sham Bansal, Rajat Sood, Vijay Mehtani, all executive members.

Bhasin further informed that in accordance with the guidelines of the government, the research team has prepared a questionnaire, carrying a set of structured questions to have a further intensive study of some 100 industrial units which have been shortlisted from among 1,500 city-based textile industries so as to arrive at the all-round best 20 textile industries operating at small, medium and large scale.

The local project advisory committee has already had a meeting in which the progress made by various textile units in the areas pointed out earlier was evaluated and after grading their achievements, the best 100 industrial units were shortlisted for further in-depth study and finally select 20 outstanding units.



Now, ride in AC buses for just ` 5
Services to start from first week of April
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 1
Now, city residents will have facility to ride in Air Conditioned (AC) buses by just paying Rs 5. These buses will be launched under the City Bus Service Scheme and will be pressed into service this coming summer season.

With the Municipal Corporation (MC) and the Ludhiana City Bus Service Limited (LCBSL) authorities already on their toes for starting the bus service in the first week of April, the long wait of the residents will be over. Low rates fixed for travelling has come as a relief to commuters. Currently, 40,000 auto-rickshaws are the only means of public transport available in the city, the auto-rickshaw owners charge Rs 8-10 per 5 km.

The state government has fixed Rs 5 as fare upto 5 km for travelling in these AC buses.

Similarly, Rs 15 has been fixed as fare of travelling between 5 to 10 km, Rs 20 for 10-15 km and Rs 1 per km if any one has to travel for more than 15 km.

Sources revealed that though the LCBSL had recommended Rs 10 for travelling in AC bus upto 5 km but overruling them the state government has fixed it at Rs 5 for public convenience. For travelling about 5 to 10 km, a passenger will have to pay only Rs 10. In the same manner for travelling 10-15 km, the commuters will have to pay Rs 15 kilometers whereas the charges of travelling more then 15 km will be 75 paise only.

Confirming it, MC Additional Commissioner and CEO of the LCBSL Mahinder Pal Gupta said that the rates had been kept low by the government to ensure that residents gets maximum benefit of the transport system. He said that they had already placed the orders for buses and the bus service was expected to kick off in the city from first week of April. 



Farmers’ bodies, trade unions slam govt for ‘black laws’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 1
Activists and cadres of some three dozen organisations of farmers and workers, including trade unions, will hold a massive protest rally at the Grain Market here on April 4 to mobilse the public and raise a voice of dissent against “black laws” being enacted by the Punjab government to suppress the people in general, and the working classes in particular.

Addressing a news conference here today, Hardev Singh Sandhu, president of the Kirti Kisan Union, cautioned the government against going ahead with proposed legislations — Punjab Public and Private Property Damage (Prevention) Bill 2010 and the Punjab Special Safety Group Bill 2010 — or else be prepared to face the consequences.

He said the farmers’ bodies and trade unions would make a strong case at the rally here on April 4 to get these legislative proposals scrapped, and the mass agitation would continue till the government saw reason and relented.

Sandhu and activists of other bodies said the said these “black laws” were a threat not only to the democratic right of the people to agitate and raise a voice of protest, but the very existence of trade unions and bodies representing farmers and other sections.

“Governments in states, and also the Union Government, are pursuing policies of privatisation, liberalisation and gloabalisation under the influence of imperialism. As a result, subsidies of farmers and unemployed workers are being abolished; healthcare is being denied and education has gone out of the reach of the common man,” said Sandhu.

In such a dismal scenario, Sandhu added that the government had brought out such repressive legislations that would be used to suppress the voice and the 
agitation by the affected sections.

Having a dig at the SAD-BJP government, he remarked that the coalition government did not let any opportunity go to criticise the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre for anti-people policies. “But in the wake of such black laws, the Punjab government stands thoroughly exposed before the people for not practicing what it preaches,” he added.



Illegal structure pulled down
Our Correspodent

Ludhiana, April 1
A team of officials and staff of the building branch of the Municipal Corporation today pulled down a structure raised on the roof of an eatery (dhaba) on Cinema Road here which had been constructed in an unauthorised manner without getting any building plans approved for the same.

MC assistant town planner (ATP) of zone A Kamaljit Kaur, who led the demolition operations, said a contempt petition, Vikas Raikhy v/s MC Commissioner and others, was pending before the Supreme Court. Till the disposal of the petition, a blanket ban had been imposed by the MC at all booths located along the Raikhy Cinema.

One of the booth owners, running an eatery in the name of Delhi Dhaba, had recently constructed an L-shaped structure on the rooftop in an area of 2.5x3 feet, which was being used as a washroom.

"A spot check was conducted, and the structure, having been raised in violation of the MC directions, was demolished and strict instructions were issued to the dhaba owner to desist from carrying out any construction till further orders," she said.



Surgeon denies allegations of negligence
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 1
The orthopaedician at ESIC Model Hospital whose services were terminated by the hospital authorities on March 25 following the protest staged by the family of Mangu Ram, Dr Gautam Arora, denied the allegations of negligence, adding that the inquiry report of the expert committee had yet to come.

"There was no negligence on my part as the operation was performed rightfully, but the problem occurred with the implant as it loosened inside the leg, which resulted in its malpositioning as was shown in the X-Ray," said Dr Arora.

The orthopaedic surgeon also said that the patient was medically unfit and his bones were very weak. Despite that the team of doctors decided to go ahead with the surgery to give respite to the family and the patient.

"Moreover, we had offered to re-operate the patient, but the patient's son Sandeep wanted us to refer his father to a medical institution.

The delay of six days was on part of the patient's family, as it was unable to make up its mind whether to take the patient to Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) or to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH)," Dr Arora went on to add.

However, he refused to say anything about the termination of his services from the hospital without the submission of the expert committee report, adding, "My contract was scheduled to end on May 31 and I had no intention to continue with the ESIC Model Hospital." 



Manpreet urges residents to support his party
Our Correspodent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 1
Accusing leaders of various political parties of exploiting innocence of common people, Manpreet Singh Badal called upon residents of the area to join the newly constituted People’s Party of Punjab and save collapsing economy of the border state. Manpreet spoke to The Tribune after addressing a gathering here today. “This is high time when we should understand that nothing is impossible in democracy. Fate of the people should be decided by masses and not the representatives of selected clans,” argued Manpreet.

Reiterating his earlier commitment to bring about a ‘Basanti’ revolution in the state as well as in the country, the former Finance Minister stated that the awareness movement would fetch far-reaching and sweeping change in administrative and political system.

Earlier, Manpreet acknowledged support and cooperation extended by office bearers of certain social organisations of the region.

He also welcomed leaders of various political parties who announced to join his party today. Jagjit Singh Ghungrana, an SAD leader and former chairman of the Punjab Agro Corporation, former SAD sarpanch Rajinder Singh Nangal and former executive member of the BJP Hira Lal Goyal were among others who announced to extend support to Manpreet Badal today.



DBA poll: Ashok Mittal elected president
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 1
Ashok Mittal won the post of the president of the District Bar Association (DBA), in the annual elections held here today. He won the election by defeating his opponent Parupkar Singh Ghumman by a margin of 207 votes.

Mittal secured 1,013 votes, while Ghumman secured 806 votes.

Mittal's candidature was backed by members of the Bar Council of Punjab & Haryana B K Goel, Harpreet Singh Garcha, ex-DBA presidents K R Sikri, Hemant Kalia, Keshav Rai Dhanda, N D Chopra, Kapil Katyal, Suresh Shounik, Rajneesh Gupta, Rajesh Rai, Vikas Gupta, ex-additional advocate general Harpreet Sandhu.

Out of 2,101 votes, 1,820 were polled. One vote was declared invalid.

J S Miglani was declared elected as vice-president. He defeated his nearest contestant S P Sharma by a margin of 333 votes. Miglani got 823 votes, S P Sharma secured 490, another contestants Vijay Sharma got 240 votes & Surinder Pal Moudgill secured 235.

Eminent political personalities, who were members of the DBA, including former cabinet minister Harnam Dass Johar & Chief Parliamentary Secretary Harish Rai Dhanda, cast their votes.

Former Deputy Speaker of Lok-Sabha Charanjit Singh Atwal, ex-cabinet minister Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, Punjab Agro Chairman Sharanjit Singh Dhillon(ex-MP) did not cast their votes. 



New session begins
Students, teachers in a tizzy as books not available 
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, April 1
Students of senior classes are a harried lot today.

The reason being that they have to begin their studies sans books.

The students of Classes VIII, IX and X, studying in schools following the CBSE pattern, are in a tight spot, the reason being that the books of Classes VIII and IX are in short supply, whereas the books of Class X will be out only after necessary changes have been made in them.

Doraha Public School principal Gupta expressed in a concerned tone, “Since the books of Classes VIII and IX are not available and neither there is any intimation of their availability in the coming days, we are caught up as to how the students will manage without books when we keep on stressing that every single moment is precious for them at the senior level.”

“As for Class X, we have no idea of what sort of changes have been made in the syllabus. To start with, we can somehow manage without books, but as the time passes, complication awaits teachers as well as students. This is no minor class, which we can afford to overlook and moreover when the teachers as well as students are burdened with the forthcoming formative exams, full and correct information of books, methods to be deployed in teaching and mode through which the best can be given in the stipulated time period, become the utmost essential,” she added.

The principal said, “The CBSE has asked us to follow the books of the NCERT, but the books are far from being available. We have visited all book shops, including the CBSE’s Panchkula office, but every time the response is that the books are being edited and yet under print. For instance, in the case of Class X, English book is under revision and hence bound to change, but since we have no idea of the changes and are not hopeful to get so in the near future, it is going to be a Herculean task for the schools affiliated to CBSE. We have to act sharp in case of senior classes and when the impression at present is that it may take time for the books to actually arrive, the teachers and students are under pressure.”

“At this stage, it has become difficult for the teachers to pacify the students as far as the ‘changed’ syllabus is concerned. Now that the classes in a majority of the schools have already started from today or shall be starting in a day or two, the teachers shall have practically nothing authentic in hand to do and discuss in the class. The first term shall start in September and if the working days are lost one by one, how will the students be able to cope up with the bulk of the syllabus in the reduced time period,” expressed Suzi George, principal, Green Grove Public School, Mohanpur.

“Even on the Internet, the same old syllabus has been put up and new notification just mentions the changed syllabus but fails to divulge in details, thus making the things complex,” was another view of a local school principal.

Patial, principal, Mehta Gurukul Public School, said, “Not only for these classes, rather for almost all classes beginning from Class III onwards, since the guidelines of the CBSE are being formulated and the general syllabus is now being categorized, nothing is crystal clear as every school tries to perceive and interpret the changes being made in the assessment, evaluation, etc, of its own and a commonality is seldom arrived at.”

Whereas, at the CBSE office in Panchkula, the number remained too busy to be contacted.



SSA gives free books to students
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, April 1
The Sarva Siksha Abhiyan’s (SSA) initiative for providing free books to students of Classes I to VIII is being appreciated by students and parents.

The students at Government Senior Secondary Model School at Punjab Agricultural University celebrated their first day of the session today.

Around 1,000 students from Classes I to VIII received three books, including science, mathematics and English from the SSA.

Ranjeet Singh, a student of Class VI, while showing his new books said, “I am thankful to the school authorities for providing free books.” “I like receiving gifts and new things. On the very first day, I received new books. I hope the school would also provide other books of Class VIII,” said Aman, another student.

School principal Sanjeev Thapar said the school had taken the initiative to make a book bank of the donated books from the passing out students and distribute among students belonging to economically weaker sections.

“Teachers motivate passing out students to donate their books to the poor students instead of selling them to a scrap dealer for a few pennies. Now we have sufficient books to facilitate the poor students,” said Thapar.



Colleges ‘not prepared’ to implement semester system
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 1
The implementation of semester system in the commerce stream of Panjab University has been a long pending demand for which continuous meetings have been conducted by authorities.

The course programmes have been chalked out, faculty and board of studies has already completed their task of preparing syllabus and regulations, finances have been spent but colleges are “not prepared” to implement it, reasons best known to them.

During the recent Senate meeting held on March 30, when the issue was raised, certain Senate members objected and said the colleges were not prepared to implement the semester system for the time being.

Reacting to such reports, the Punjab Commerce and Management Association (PCMA), on the other hand, has demanded immediate implementation of the semester system in commerce stream.

During a meeting of faculty of business management and commerce, which was held on March 26, the members had unanimously authorised the dean faculty of business management and commerce to expedite the process of implementation of semester system in BCom (general), BCom (honours) and BBA courses.

A lot of pains had been taken by members of the undergraduate board of studies for which the Vice-Chancellor constituted a special task force.

The task force held a number of meetings for intensive discussion and preparing the model syllabus, which got the nod of the board of studies and faculty later.

Halting the process of implementation of the semester system in the commerce stream as suggested by the Senate members will make the exercise of the task 
force futile.

Dr Ashwani Bhalla, secretary of the faculty of business management and commerce, said the Senate members should support the innovative exercise of the task force and contribute progressively for the development of higher education.

Dr Bhalla told new curriculum will not only develop innovative skills among students but will also fulfill the requirements of the industry for employment.

Besides, the new syllabus was going to bring interdisciplinary approach in the commerce stream, which will create job opportunities for eligible teachers who were waiting for employment.

He said, “As per the resolution passed at the meeting of the faculty of business management and commerce, Panjab University, Chandigarh, a letter to implement the semester system in commerce stream will be sent shortly to the Vice-Chancellor.”



Vet varsity approves budget of ` 140.17 cr
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 1
The board of management, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, at its meeting had approved the budget estimates of Rs 140.17 crore for 2011-12.

KR Rohella, comptroller GADVASU, intimated that out of the total budget of Rs 140.17 crore, 88 per cent was to be funded by the state government and the rest 12 per cent from ICAR and other agencies.

Vice-Chancellor Dr VK Taneja explained that against the requirement of Rs 140.17 crore, total resources would be Rs 86.87 crore during 2011-12 and there was deficit of Rs 53.30 crore as per the approved budget.

The state government will be requested to bridge the gap, said Dr Taneja.

He further said livestock professions were expanding in positive manner so more funds were required by the university because GADVASU was the flag bearer in the region to provide health, education, research and extension services in the field of veterinary and animal husbandry.

He said the farm varsity needed to develop and grow dairy farming, pig/goat farming.

For this, more funds were needed to bring appropriate cost effective technologies for holistic growth.



Ad fads, skits mark concluding day
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 1
The enthusiasm of students and participants reached its crest on the concluding day of Ectopia-2011 being held at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) here.

The day opened with events like ad fads, skits and rangoli. The highlight of the events was ad fads segment, in which the students conceptualised and enacted an advertisement based on a humorous concept of product/services. The excellent performance and humorous ideas left audience in splits. The first position in this competition was bagged by batch 2008, while second and third was bagged by batch 2006.



Malawi delegates visit PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 1
A delegation from Malawi led by Prof George Kanyama Phiri, coordinator Green Revolution Programme, Government of Malawi, visited Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) yesterday. 

Other members of the delegation included KSA Moyo, deputy high commissioner, Malawi High Commission, Bartholomew W Ngauma, deputy director of crop development, department of crop development, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, NK Manshani, Raghav Nevatia and Lovemore Ndege, investment promotion executive.



Industrialists worried over transporters strike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 1
The announcement of Transporters Sangharsh Committee to go on strike tomorrow has created tension among industrialists. The transporters are taking this step in protest of implementing the rule of speed governance, which was not possible at any stage.

Auto Parts Manufacturers’ Association secretary Ranjodh Singh said if this decision was implemented, it would create a lot of problem for both transporters and industrialists.

“We condemn the step and it will be an injustice on the part of the government to implement such step, as industry was already passing through a rough phase due to several reasons, including dictatorial attitude of Punjab State Power Corporation by demanding additional security and steep hike in steel prices, which had hit auto parts,” said Ranjodh Singh. 



Ban on new construction in restricted zone
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 1
Additional District Magistrate SR Kaler has imposed a ban on any addition, alterations or carrying out any fresh construction in the restricted zone - within 1,000 yards from the outer parapet of the ammunition depot at Baddowal.

The orders issued under Section 144 of the CrPC, 1973, will remain in force from April 1 to May 30.

The orders stated that there have been cases regarding raising of unauthorised constructions near the Baddowal Army Ammunition Depot, thereby posing danger to human life and disturbance of public tranquility.

“There is sufficient ground for proceeding under Section 144 of the CrPC as immediate prevention and speedy remedy is desirable in the interest of the defence of the country and public in general,” the orders said.



1 held with intoxicants
Our Correspondent

Machiwara, April 1
The Machiwara police has arrested a person and recovered a large quantity of intoxicants from his possession. Stating this in a press conference, SHO, Machiwara, Pawanjeet Singh stated that Kamlesh Kumar, a resident of Rajgarh village, was searched by a police party during a naka, near Adhiana village, who was carrying a plastic bag on his shoulder.

He tried to escape when he noticed the police party, but was overpowered by the policemen. During the search of his bag the police recovered 6,500 tablets of Momotil, 73 bottles of Recodex and 810 capsules of different type that are used as intoxicants. He was booked under the NDPS Act and was presented in a court at Samrala.



Gang of thieves busted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 1
With the arrest of five persons, the city police claims to have busted a gang of thieves, who had committed over 30 thefts in jewellery and grocery shops in different parts of the city over the past few months.

After their arrest, the cops have recovered around 1.2 kg of silver ornaments, six wrist watches, five digital cameras, two DVD players, four mobile phones and some other goods from their possession.

The arrested persons have been identified as Prince, who hailed from Sham Chaurasi area of Hoshiarpur and was now residing in Jawaddi Kalan area, Ramesh Kumar, who hailed from Bihar and was now residing in Dholewal Chowk, Kulwant Singh and Karan Singh, who hailed from Sham Chaurasi area and were now residing in Daba area of the city.



Reversing SUV claims 2-yr-old’s life
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 1
A two-year-old boy was crushed to death by a sports utility vehicle in the Bhora colony area in Salem Tabri here today.

The incident took place at 8.30 am, when the victim, identified as Anmol, was playing in the street.

According to on eyewitness, Sukha, the driver of the vehicle, was reversing the SUV when the incident took place.

Sukha claimed that he could not spot the child on road.

The residents raised on alarm and stopped the vehicle.

The driver was also thrashed black and blue before being handed over to the police.

Gurdev Singh said the driver was arrested and a case was registered against him.



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