L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Woman poisons child, self to death
Was allegedly being forced to give her only child to her Canada-based sister-in-law
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, May 1
In a shocking incident, a woman committed suicide along with her one-and-a-half-year-old son by consuming some poisonous substance at Kaunke Kalan village near Jagraon last evening. She was allegedly being forced to give her son to her childless sister-in-law based in Canada.

The deceased has been identified as 23-year-old Gagandeep Kaur and her son Amarvir. They were rushed to the Civil Hospital from where doctors referred them to the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) in Ludhiana due to their critical condition. They were declared brought dead at the DMCH.

Gagandeep Kaur had got married to Jaswinder Singh about four years ago. According to Bharpoor Singh, father of the woman, Gagandeep was forced to take this extreme step as she was being pressurised by her in-laws to give away her son to one of her sisters-in-law who lives in Canada.

“But when she refused to do so, her in-laws and her husband started harassing her,” he alleged.

According to village residents, late last evening there was another fight in their house. “At about 7 pm, we came to know that Jaswinder’s wife and son had consumed some poisonous substance and were in a critical condition,” said a person on the condition of anonymity.

The victim’s family members and some village residents took them to hospital. “We were shocked to learn about the deaths this morning,” added another villager.

A case has been registered against four persons for abetting the suicide. Investigating officer Nishan Singh said the police had booked her husband Jaswinder Singh, her mother-in-law Balvir Kaur and sisters-in-law Sawaran Kaur and Meeta on the statement of Gagandeep’s father.

Though no one has been arrested, the police has been conducting raids to nab the accused.


Paper leak leaves students in the lurch
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
The three-hour delay in holding the All India Engineering Entrance Examination-2011 (AIEEE) examination, after question papers were reportedly leaked in Lucknow on Sunday, at all the exam centres in Punjab - Chandigarh, Jalandhar and Bathinda - caused much inconvenience to students and their parents.

Students who had come to these centres from other districts in the state including Patiala, Ludhiana and Amritsar were made to wait in the scorching heat for the test to be held. They were not only physically tired due to the seemingly endless wait but mentally too as they were put off by leakage of papers.

Naresh Puri, a city resident, who accompanied his daughter to Chandigarh, told The Tribune that at one of the centres the students sat down in the examination hall and question paper was distributed to them. When the news of the leakage spread the question papers were taken back and the students were asked to come again at 12 pm for the test.

"The students were already exhausted with a lot of stress due to the exam. At the last moment they were told to come again after three-hours. They were disgusted. Though I tried to calm-down my daughter’s nerves she was severely anxious", said Puri.

Ankur Aggarwal, another aspirant, however feels that due to the "callous" attitude of the authorities the paper got leaked and thousands of students had to bear unnecessary harassment. "We had come fresh to take the exam in the morning in Jalandhar but then we were told it would begin at noon. We had nowhere to go as none of our relatives or friends reside in Jalandhar. My father wanted me to have my breakfast at some restaurant but I didn’t feel like having anything due to stress", he said.

The AIEEE is held in two parts. While the first paper is for the BE (bachelor of engineering) course, the second is for students wanting to enroll in the BArch (bachelor of architecture) course. The Central Board of Secondary Education postponed the first part of the test to begin at noon from the scheduled time of 9:30 am. The second part of the exam will be held from 4 pm to 7 pm.

"Students who were also appearing for the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) examination, which was also being held on Sunday, have been allowed to appear for the AIEEE test on May 8. The May 8 exam will be held at same examination centres and the same admit cards will be valid", said Gaurav Malhotra, whose son has to appear in the AFMC test.

‘AIEEE paper sold for up to Rs 6 lakh’

The AIEEE is conducted every year by the CBSE and about 1.2 million students from all over the country sit for this test held nationwide. According to reports, the leaked question paper was recovered by Special Task Force officials in Lucknow and they were being sold for up to Rs 6 lakh in the market.



Polythene ban goes for a toss on Day I itself
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Polythene ban goes for a toss on Day I itself

Residents of Ludhiana continue to use polythene bags on Sunday despite a ban on their usage that was supposed to come into effect from May 1
Residents of Ludhiana continue to use polythene bags on Sunday despite a ban on their usage that was supposed to come into effect from May 1. Tribune photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, May 1
Day one of the High Court’s ban on the use of polythene bags went for a toss as plastic bags could be seen all over the city from stores to fruit and vegetable stalls to the hands of residents.

While a large number of users, including traders, retailers and consumers, expressed ignorance about the ban, there were others who said they were not aware of the kind of plastic bags banned by the court.

A random survey conducted by The Tribune team today revealed that the ban was flouted with impunity across city markets, including Chaura Bazar, Akalgarh Market, Gur Mandi, Bhadaur House, Ghumar Mandi and Sarabha Nagar.

Amid the hullabaloo surrounding the ban, the district administration did nothing to enforce the ban. Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari said he had issued a public notice regarding the ban. “We will take action if a complaint is received and ask the Punjab Pollution Control Board to conduct the ‘measuring’ of the bags found in circulation,” he said.

If the bags turn out to be in the banned category, challan would be issued to the person responsible for their circulation in the market, he added.

The court and the state government had imposed a ban on the use of polythene bags below the thickness of 30 microns from May 1.


There is widespread confusion among the trading community, especially retailers, who know about the ban but are unaware of the distinction between the banned and the permissable plastic bags. They say there are no clear guidelines. “Most plastic bags seem to be the same. Though it is easy to say that a very thin, cheap quality bag is a banned product, there are many that are close to permissible ones. How is a layman supposed to know which is which?” asked a retailer, demanding proper guidelines.



Yet another blow to industry
Furnace oil prices go up to Rs 43 a litre
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
The prices of furnace oil have jumped to around Rs 43 per litre. The hike has been four-fold in a span of about two years, making it infeasible for the industry. A large segment of Punjab’s industry depends on furnace oil as fuel.

More than 25,000 metric tonnes of furnace oil is used by the industry of the state every month. Re-rolling mills, forging industry, cycle industry and other light engineering units heavily depend on furnace oil. Other industries use some of this oil for minor processes.

“There are many factors behind the hike in price and the government is responsible for this unfortunate situation. The north western region of the country uses 70 per cent of furnace oil. Government refineries have stopped producing furnace oil and are producing pet coke from heavy distillate. Reliance and Essar are producing the oil to meet the demand of the northern region,” said PD Sharma, president of the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The rates of the oil are decided in Singapore. These rates are traded just like other trading commodity exchanges. The industry in developed countries use gas and furnace oil is mainly used in Asia. China and Japan have shifted to gas.

The Panipat refinery has expanded from 6 metric tonnes to 15 metric tonnes, but furnace oil will still not be manufactured. It will only manufacture pet coke. The Bathinda refinery has no provision to make furnace oil. It will also manufacture pet coke.

“It is a pity that the state government, which approved the Bathinda refinery, overlooked the genuine need of the industry. If the Bathinda refinery could produce furnace oil, the industry can be saved,” said Gurpargat Singh Kahlon, president of the Auto Parts Manufacturers Association.

“The Central Government is urged to cap the rate of furnace oil at Rs 20 per litre. It is ironical that Rs 16 per litre subsidy on diesel is given to run luxury cars, but small and medium units, which provide livelihood to millions, are being killed.

“Some medium units have installed gasification plants to convert coal into gas. Such plants are imported from China at a cost of around Rs 1 crore. A few units that can afford such high costs can manage for some time, but the majority of MSME units will be wiped out,” Sharma said.



Tense days for family of youth on death row
UAE court adjourns murder case appeal till May 19
Jaswant Shetra

Baldev Singh and Surinder Kaur, parents of Kulwinder Singh, one of the 17 Punjabi youths on a death row in Sharjah, hold his picture at their residence
Baldev Singh and Surinder Kaur, parents of Kulwinder Singh, one of the 17 Punjabi youths on a death row in Sharjah, hold his picture at their residence. A Tribune photo

Jagraon, May 1
The distraught family members of the one of the 17 Indian youths sentence to death in Sharjah for allegedly murdering a Pakistani national in January 2009 have been facing anxious moments after news broke out that a court in the United Arab Emirates hearing an appeal on Thursday filed by the convicted men adjourned the case till May 19. The court asked the defendants and the victim’s relatives to reach a settlement on “blood money” by that date.

One of these youths is 26-year-old Kulwinder Singh of Bangsipura village near Jagraon. Known as “Bittu” among his friends, he went to the UAE in August 2007 to earn a decent livelihood to help his family.

Gloom verging on hopelessness loomed large among his family members, who have spent sleepless nights since Kulwinder was arrested by the Sharjah police.

Though his old parents have not given up hope for his safe return they are not very much sure of this as the “blood money” deal has not been reached till now. “We don’t know what to do to save our son from this misfortune. We can do nothing except pray for his return”, said Kulwinder’s depressed father, Baldev Singh.

One of two sons in this lower middle class family, which survives only on the crop cultivated on less than an acre of farm land and the meager wages of the elder son, Jaswinder Singh, who is a ‘granthi’ in a local gurduwara, Kulwinder was the only ray of hope for the members. But that hope too disappeared when he was thrown behind bars along with other 16 Punjabis charged in the murder case about three years ago.

The family’s financial condition is so bad that it could not afford to send Kulwinder abroad. It was his maternal uncle, Tarsem Singh, who sold one acre of his agricultural land to send him to the UAE through a travel agent who had also promised him to provide him work as a driver there. But when Kulwinder, who had dropped out of college to go abroad, arrived there he could not get a driver’s license and was forced to work as a labourer.

“He had worked for less than a year and had not sent a single penny to his family back home before he was apprehended by the police on charges of murdering a Pakistani youth”, said Kulwinder’s elder brother, Jaswinder.

Another heartrending aspect of the tragedy took place with this family is that Tarsem Singh, maternal uncle of Kulwinder, who had managed to sent him abroad, died only one week after a Sharjah Court of First Instance pronounced the death sentence on 17 Punjabi youths including Kulwinder on March 28 last year for killing a Pakistani man.

“In fact my brother had no child of his own and he treated my children as his own. He had great emotional attachment with them, particularly with Kulwinder, and looked after him for many years. He even sold his land to send him abroad. But when he heard about Kulwinder’s death sentence he was devastated and died after a week”, said Kulwinder’s mother, Surinder Kaur, wiping her tears.

However, Kulwinder’s family members were all praise for SP Singh Oberoi, a founder member of the Indian Punjabi Society who has been making efforts to negotiate a settlement with the victim’s family to save the Punjabi youths. Oberoi had also helped resolved similar cases in the past by paying “blood money” on behalf of Indians facing the death sentence in Dubai.



Farmers forced to dump produce at odd places
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh/
Mullanpur Dakha, May 1
Glut of wheat in the local grain market and purchase centres in Sangrur and Ludhiana district kept officials of various procurement agencies on toes.

Even as the administration claimed to have made some extra arrangements in anticipation of the glut, farmers in several mandis of the district are dejected, as they have been waiting for the past several days for their produce to be lifted.

Having waited for the past several days for space in grain markets, farmers have started dumping their produce on the roads and streets adjoining yards.

Public places and commercial premises are no exception to serve as temporary yards.

The stacks of filled bags give an impression as if the grain markets were converted into yards of procurement agencies.

Investigation by The Tribune revealed that non-lifting of wheat procured by various state agencies and the central food agency had emerged as a major impediment in the smooth procurement of wheat crop, which has glutted grain markets in the region.

Agitated farmers, who had been waiting for a suitable place for their produce for several days, were forced to dump their crop at odd places, including fields, roads, streets, parking places etc.

The problem is worse at Kup, Pakhowal and Mullanpur Mandi where farmers have been waiting for over a week for procurement. Though the market yards are known for attracting farmers from maximum number of localities, their interiors have almost become inaccessible for four-wheelers.

Investigations revealed that over 10 lakh sacks out of the total procured wheat (25 lakh bags) were yet to be lifted from the centres falling under the market committee, Mullanpur Mandi, Raekot, Kilaraipur and Ahmedgarh till Friday.

Earlier, SDMs at various sub-divisions had directed officials of various procurement agencies to ensure that every suitable heap of wheat should be purchased immediately and the procured produce should be lifted within two days.

The officials who succeeded in keeping things normal for first two weeks, found it difficult to maintain the desired status of the mandis.

Glut of wheat

Over 10 lakh sacks out of the total procured wheat (25 lakh bags) were yet to be lifted from collection centres falling under Mullanpur Mandi, Raikot, Kilaraipur and Ahmedgarh market committees



For happening Ludhianvis, city remains mundane
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
The “Manchester of India” and its cycle, textile and sewing machine industries have made an impact worldwide, but unfortunately the city of affluent persons has nothing to offer when it comes to entertainment. All you get is shopping malls and eating joints.

The city’s oldest parks, Rose Garden and Rakh Bagh were once bustling with activity, but today nobody visits these places except for morning and evening walkers. Once Rose Garden was favourite hangout for picnickers. The mini zoo, swings and Nehru Planetarium were added attraction to it. In Rakh Bagh, it was the toy train, which fascinated the kids. Today, both these parks are neglected. Nobody, except schools, arrange visit to the city’s two museums - Rural Life Museum and War Museum.

The city has no nightlife. With no discos and pubs around, youngsters are left with no option but to zoom to Chandigarh on weekends to one of the discos or tread uphill to Kasauli.

Don’t get shocked if you come across people drinking in their cars by the roadside in the absence of pubs. The city got its first mall, Ansal Plaza, in 2005. It took six years, from the time the first mall in the country came up in Mumbai, for one to come up in Ludhiana. In the beginning malls brought in the taste of a different world to residents of the industrial town. But, gradually their affair with the skyscrapers faded, as did the entertainment element attached to them. In 2007, residents watched a film in a multiplex for the first time.

“For the younger generation, Ludhiana has nothing much to offer. Except for a few malls there is nothing entertaining about this city. Whenever my relatives from metros come to visit us we have no place to visit for fun and entertainment,” said Sawti Aggarwal, a student of fashion designing.

Rose Garden
Non-functional fountains are surely not a welcome site for visitors
Oozing neglect: Non-functional fountains are surely not a welcome site for visitors

Leisure Valley
This walkers’ paradise is one of the few places that can boast of bringing some respite to residents
Green Zone: This walkers’ paradise is one of the few places that can boast of bringing some respite to residents

Hardy’s World Amusement and Water Park is located on the Ludhiana-Jalandhar highway, with over 20 rides and attractions and numerous food outlets. There’s something for everyone at Hardy’s World. From the jaw dropping, eye-ball popping super thrill rides like the pendulum, roller coaster, dream girl to the exhilarating rides like the motorcycle, sun-n-moon, caterpillar and aeroplane one can have a gala time here. Since it is located on the outskirts of the city, people visit it only during summer vacations. Lone amusement park 

Hardy’s World Amusement and Water Park is located on the Ludhiana-Jalandhar highway, with over 20 rides and attractions and numerous food outlets. There’s something for everyone at Hardy’s World. From the jaw dropping, eye-ball popping super thrill rides like the pendulum, roller coaster, dream girl to the exhilarating rides like the motorcycle, sun-n-moon, caterpillar and aeroplane one can have a gala time here. Since it is located on the outskirts of the city, people visit it only during summer vacations.
Do(o)med! There are hardly any visitors to this educational site as it remains a picture of neglect.

Nehru Planetarium

Do(o)med! There are hardly any visitors to this educational site as it remains a picture of neglect. Photos: Inderjeet Verma



May Day
Trade union activists pay tributes to martyrs
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 1
Thousands of workers belonging to Northern Railway Mens Union, Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, Lal Jhanda Hosiery Textile Mazdoor Union, Punjab Nirman Mazdoor Union and Dehati Mazdoor Sabha today paid glowing tributes to martyrs of May Day in a function organised at the railway station here to observe International May Day.

Trade union activists, while addressing the rally, criticised the economic and industrial policies of the government which had led to rise in prices, unemployment and rampant corruption. Focusing on the policy of privatisation, speakers alleged that overt and covert efforts were on to sell out the Indian Railways to the corporate houses, which if took place, would have disastrous consequences.

Reiterating the demands, which include filling of 2.5 lakh vacant posts in railways, removal of anomalies of recommendations of the 6th Pay Commission and scrapping the policy of outsourcing, the speakers said railway employees would hold rallies all over the country. They added that they would hold a dharna at Parliament and as a last resort go for “chakka jam” of the railways.

The Dayanand Medical College and Hospital Employees Union, along with activists of Joint Council of Trade Unions, held a rally at DMC Hospital to observe May Day and pay homage to those who had laid down their lives for the cause of working classes.

Speakers at the rally pointed out that for the past few years, the introduction of neo liberal economic policies at the diktats of World Trade Organisation, the gains of immense work done by the public sector ever since the independence of the country, were sought to be reversed in order to benefit the multinational corporations and the super rich.

“The situation has caused misery to the toiling masses and workers by way of changes in labour laws, lack of job security, rising prices, retrenchment, recruitment on contract basis and privatisation.”

The Punjab Medical Representatives Association (PMRA), while observing May Day here, demanded implementation of 8-hour working norms in Punjab, which was already implemented in few other states in India.

The Government School Teachers Union organised a seminar to observe the International Labour Day.

Major issues discussed at the seminar were “black law” with respect to government services making it mandatory for each employee to serve on adhoc basis for three years, which came under severe criticism, complete implementation of the Pay Commission, immediate release of report of the anomalies committee.

The speakers demanded promotions for all categories, withdrawal of the decision on clubbing of schools, reversion of schools given to local bodies to the education department, scrapping of the policy on contractual recruitment and deployment of unemployed persons on vacant posts.

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Paying tributes to the Chicago martyrs, leaders of various trade unions and labour welfare organisations alleged that workers were being exploited and deprived of their rights.

Accusing successive governments of supporting upper classes, the leaders called upon the workers to join hands against such forces.

Speakers, including Karam Singh Deol, Jatinder Bhola, former president of the Municipal Council, Sikandar Singh Jartoli, secretary, Punjab Kissan Sabha, Hari Datt, president of the PSEB Employees Federation, and Sukhcharanjit Singh highlighted problems faced by residents of local town and surrounding localities besides condemning the administration for its alleged unconcern towards long pending issues of the labourers.

The activists organised a protest march through Railway Road, Chaura Bazar, Mahavir Road, Galla Mandi and Gandhi Chowk before converging at Bhagat Singh Chowk for the main function.



Two injured as train rams into tractor-trailer
Jaswant Shetra

An injured youth undergoes treatment at the Civil Hospital in Jagraon on Sunday
An injured youth undergoes treatment at the Civil Hospital in Jagraon on Sunday. Tribune photographs

Jagraon, May 1
A major tragedy was averted when two youths in their 20s had a miraculous escape when a train rammed into their tractor-trailer on an unmanned level crossing on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur track near Chooharchak village, about 12 km away from here, this afternoon.

Both youths received serious injuries and were rushed to the Civil Hospital at Jagraon.

They are out of danger, doctors said. The injured have been identified as Harpal Singh and Navjeet Singh of Badhani village in Moga district. They were bringing wheat crop to Jagraon when they met with the accident. The impact of the accident was such that many parts of the tractor-trailer were thrown several feet away from the crossing. An eyewitness said: “The tractor driver did not notice the train coming from Ludhiana and as soon as the tractor reached the middle of the level crossing, the train rammed into it. The tractor was thrown into the air and fell many feet away from the track.”

The train halted a long distance away after the accident. The Railway Protection Force (RPF) from Jagraon reached the spot and started investigation. No case has been registered so far.



HDFC Bank organises ‘coin mela'
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
HDFC Bank today organised ‘Coin Mela’ at Miller Ganj branch. The mela was inaugurated by RK Sood, GM, RBI. The initiative was in conjunction with RBI’s clean note policy and to provide fresh notes in exchange for soiled ones.

HDFC Bank organised 20 successful ‘Coin Melas’ in 15 cities in a single day, across the country. Apart from the four metros -- Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Kolkata -- the mela also took place in Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Patna, Jaipur, Vadodara, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Indore and Gurgaon.

People from all walks of life took advantage of the coin mela to exchange their soiled notes and old and disfigured coins. The bank exchanged over Rs 57.5 lakh worth of soiled notes during this exercise. A total of over Rs 1,290 lakh soiled notes were exchanged across 20 locations.

Speaking on the occasion, Rajpal Singh, state head of the Wholesale Banking Operations, said: “With the support of the RBI the coin mela was organised at Miller Ganj branch. The mela was a big success and well appreciated. We intend to have many more such melas in future.”



Syndicate okays anthem for PU
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
The Syndicate of Panjab University at its meeting held in Chandigarh yesterday approved the anthem for PU.

Written by Dr Irshad Qamil from Malerkotla, the anthem will come into force from May 20. The anthem will be sung at every function or important event of Panjab University.

Besides, two local colleges — DD Jain College of Education for Women and Gujranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Gujarkhan — that had opened the question papers of other subjects by mistake in advance and due to which PU had to change the entire set of papers, will have to bear the cost of re-printing of new question papers.

In another major decision, the re-evaluation of undergraduate or postgraduate classes can now be conducted upto three months instead of 21 days, as is being done at PU.

Dr RPS Josh, a Syndicate member, said earlier many students used to miss the opportunity of re-evaluating their answersheets, but now they would have three months to get it done.

“A condition has been put by PU for re-evalution cases. In case a student asks for re-evaluation within 21 days, charges will be normal. If request has been made by a student within two months, the charges will be increased. If a student asks for re-evaluation upto three months, charges will be increased further. The fee for re-evaluation has to be decided by authorities,” said Josh.

Another Syndicate member, Dr GK Chatrath said PhD students, who failed to submit thesis to the university, can now submit it to the authorities concerned by December 31.

Meanwhile, summer vacations were decided and approved by the members yesterday. The affiliated colleges of PU and campus would be closed for summer vacations from May 21-July 6. The Syndicate also decided to constitute a committee to check “mass copying” at colleges.

Highlights of the meeting

  • The anthem will come into force from May 20
  • Students will have three months for re-evaluation
  • Panel to be constituted to check mass copying
  • PhD thesis can be submitted to authorities concerned by December 31



CIPHET licenses groundnut milk technology
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
The Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) licensed the technology of groundnut milk to Sangrur and Tarn Taran-based entrepreneurs yesterday.

The institute has standardised the groundnut-based products technology with deodorising technique and negligible nutty flavour. Handing over the copies of MoUs to entrepreneurs, Dr SK Nanda, project coordinator (PHT) said groundnut milk had a high potential in the market for milk products. He said it could emerge as a healthy alternative to meet the shortage of animal milk. Baldev Raj, an entrepreneur from Tarn Taran, said: “Animal milk is inadequate to meet the demand of current population. The groundnut milk has high nutritious value,” he said, expecting that people would respond to this product. Another entrepreneur S Garg, who got the technology, said consumers were now getting more conscious about health. Groundnut contains 25 per cent good quality protein, 40 per cent oil rich in essential fatty acids, 3 per cent fibre and 2.5 per cent minerals.



Stored grain pests make life hard for residents
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khamano, May 1
Infestation of weevils, herbivorous beetles that inflict damage to stored grain, have brought misery for residents of this town and several nearby villages due to the rotting stocks of paddy and wheat stored in the ‘tehsil’ complex here. While various procurement agencies have not lifted the produce that is now ridden by pests, the weevils can be seen all around in the complex as well several other areas.

Things have come to such a pass that thousands of pests swarm the ‘tehsil’ complex all day long but their number increases after 2 pm after which it becomes very difficult to breathe with weevils entering the nostrils.

The employees working in the tehsil complex - typists, deed writers and advocates - have to cover their faces with masks but now due to hot weather it is very difficult to cover their faces. A tea vendor has seen his “business” badly hit as whenever people begin to drink tea a large number of pests fall in their cups.

Besides the employees, people who visit the ‘tehsil’ complex for their work as well as hundreds of students of nearby schools have been severely affected. Even the burly cops are finding it difficult to struggle with the little pests who enter their nostrils, ears and hair. ‘‘The weevils rule the roost here. They are virtually everywhere - in our food, on our beds, in our books and what not. Our life has become miserable but nobody is listening,’’ said Harkishan Singh, a resident.

The pests have considerably increased in number and can be seen flying almost everywhere in the town and in surrounding villages, including Bilaspur.

Huge stocks of rotting wheat and paddy have lying here for the past three years. They belong to the four leading procurement agencies of the state - Warehouse, Markfed, Punsup and Pungrain.

At present about 219,400 bags of paddy and 85,400 bags of wheat are lying in the open in the ‘tehsil’ premises. About 70,000 bags of paddy of Markfed, 86,000 bags of wheat of Punjab Agro and 180,219 bags of paddy of warehouse purchasing agency is lying at the premises site. Apart from it about 123,100 bags of paddy of Punsup, 184,000 bags of paddy of Punjab Agro and 83,200 bags of paddy of Warehouse is lying in the Ranwan focal point since the past many years and is causing problems for residents of Ranwan village. It is also a matter of concern that though process of formal approval for the ‘tehsil’ complex is said to have been almost completed construction work cannot begin till the stocks of grain are lifted. When asked about the matter, Fatehgarh deputy commissioner Yashvir Mahajan said: “I’ve instructed officials of the grain procurement agencies to spray the stocks regularly. I’ll take up the matter with senior officials to resolve the problem as soon as possible”.



Five village roads inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, May 1
Punjab Agro Industries Corporation chairman and SAD in-charge, Sahnewal Assembly constituency, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, along with Punjab Mandi Board chairman Ajmer Singh Lakhowal inaugurated five newly constructed roads here today.

These roads were sanctioned under the discretionary quota of Dhillon. In all, Rs 16 lakh had been spent on the construction of two roads at Jandiali village.

Similarly, two other roads had been constructed at Kohara village at an estimated cost of Rs 12 lakh. In Kohara, there was no direct metalled link to the houses on the outskirts of the village.

The fifth road from Barwala to Panglian had been constructed at the cost of Rs 10 lakh.

Dhillon said work on sewerage and water supply was being carried out in the urban areas of the constituency, especially in Sahnewal town, Mundian, Dhandari and Bhamian Kalan, and would be finished in the coming months.

Similarly, two overbridges at Mattewara and Sahnewal had been approved and the work was likely to begin soon. The roads of the constituency were being constructed and widened on a war footing, he added.

He said urinals for needy people would be constructed in every village of the constituency in the coming days.

Lakhowal appreciated Dhillon for constructing a large number of roads in the constituency from his discretionary quota.

He assured people of getting important roads in the constituency converted into metalled ones this year.

Those present included Punjab SS Board chairman Santa Singh Umedpuri, Sahnewal Market Committee chairman Baba Jagroop Singh, zila parishad members Bhag Singh Mangarh and Sharanjit Singh Garcha, SAD general secretary Shiromani Harinder Singh Lakhowal, Block Samiti members Moola Singh Barwala and Ajmer Singh Lalli, DCU chairman Dharamjit Singh Gill, and Ludhiana BKU president Avtar Singh Mehlon.



From Schools
Labour Day observed

LUDHIANA: Students of GN International Senior Secondary Public School, Model Town, observed Labour Day here on Saturday. The aim was to remind students about the importance of labour community, which is often given a miss in the busy world. The celebrations started since morning and went on till afternoon. It was presented in two batches. Manveen Kaur, a student of Class XI, made students aware about day and explained them about its importance.

A fancy dress competition was presented by these students, highlighting various services provided by the labour class to make our lives more comfortable, be it an electrician, plumber, carpenter, gardener, peon, cobbler, construction labourer, porter, domestic maid or driver.


A special function was organised at Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, to celebrate Labour Day. The function was presided over by school principal Navita Puri. Sonia Verma, in charge, middle section, Annu Sehra, in charge, primary section and Ranjana Dhanda, in charge, KG section, were all present.

The aim was to highlight the importance of hard work in our lives. Students of primary wing presented a song “Saathi haath badhana” and a skit depicting the importance of working together. Puri appreciated the work done by everyone at school and emphasised upon the need to respect labour and sincere efforts of everyone.


Labour Day was celebrated at BCM School, Dugri, with enthusiasm in order to express gratitude towards workers. Various activities were organised for all classes. There was a fancy dress competition for students of primary section. Sweets were distributed to the labour class. Students performed the duties of labour and wrote poems in their honour.

Gifts were also given to hard working Class IV employees of the school to boost their morale and encourage them to work harder.

The best cleaner, most active, most dutiful, most punctual, most regular and best caretaker were honoured by school principal Dr Vandana Shahi, who said it was essential to recognise the dignity of labour and salute the workers, who slog throughout the year for us.

Green Grove

Green Grove Public School organised a function to mark Labour Day and to show their gratitude to its Class IV employees, who helped the institution grow with their dedication and hard work. School chairperson Satinder Jolly presided over the function. Harpreet of Class IX thanked the workers for their help in Punjabi. To make the day memorable, a cultural programme was put up by the students of the school.

A PowerPoint presentation by Class IX paid tributes to the labour force. After this dazzling and glittering presentation by students, gifts were presented to Class IV employees of the school by chairperson Satinderjeet Kaur Jolly and trustee Jatinder Singh Mohni.

Principal S George conveyed her message of gratitude to all labourers of the school. This was followed by vote of thanks by Akanksha of Class IX. The celebrations ended with a treat for all Class IV employees.


Labour Day was celebrated on the campus of GMT Public School, Jalandhar. A special assembly was conducted on the occasion. The students of junior classes came dressed as labour class - watchman, maids, vegetable-vendors, fruit sellers, farmers, carpenters, nurses etc. The students also offered gifts and sweets to all helping hands. A thanksgiving speech was given to express gratitude towards the labour class. Principal Amarjit Kaur Dhaliwal also thanked the Class IV employees.

Bal Bharati

Students of Bal Bharati Public School paid tributes to labourers and work force of the country by putting up a cultural programme on the eve of Labour Day here on Saturday. The programme began with poems from Shlok of Class V and Riya Gupta of Class IV depicting the aspiration and promises of these helpers of society.

Primary wing students of the school presented a song “Yehi zindgi sabh ko hansati hai.” The Class IV employees of the school also participated in the function. Their eyes were filled with tears of happiness when they were introduced to the students individually wherein their qualities were highlighted and praised. Principal Punam Dogra appreciated their performance and advised the students to be respectful towards workers, as they contribute a lot in keeping the school environment clean and hygienic.


An exhibition on “best out of waste” was organised at MGM Public School. The students of all houses participated with enthusiasm. Various items, including different spheres of life, including folk instruments, games, wall-hanging, rings and rock star concept were displayed. Parents appreciated the efforts of students. Principal Poonam Sharma congratulated the students for their efforts. — TNS



Jaggery making day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 1
The PAU department of agronomy organised a jaggery-making day to educate students about the procedure of making jaggery. A demonstration on various operations ranging from collecting canes, crushing and heating to making jaggery were explained to them. Dr DS Cheema, Dean, College of Agriculture, said traditional ways of cooking and processing should not be given up, as each has its own worth.

He added that students would be involved in hands-on experience regarding processing of farm commodities in order to provide them with practical insight.

Dr GS Butter, head of the department, highlighted about the ongoing research and technology transfer programmes of sugarcane agronomy. Additional director of communication Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman discussed the cultural and nutritional significance of jaggery.



Tagore school clinch kho-kho title
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 1
Tagore School for the Deaf, Ludhiana, pipped Vatika High School, Chandigarh, to win the title in the third All-Punjab Kho-Kho Championship for Boys held at Guru Nanak Sports Complex here yesterday.

Six teams from all over Punjab and one from the Union Territory, Chandigarh, competed in this one-day event.

In the final match, Ludhiana lads came out triumphant with ease (22-6) to lay their hands on the winners’ trophy.

In the match to decide the third place, Punjab Bhidhur Vidyalay, Ropar, overpowered Parkash Memorial School also from Ropar by 13-12.



Rakesh, Ritu emerge champs
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 1
Rakesh Kumar Dubey and Ritu Abaan, both from Divisional office outperformed their respective opponents to emerge champions in the men’s and women’s sections, respectively in the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India Chess Tournament held here on Friday.

Participants from various branches of LIC of India took part in the one-day event.

In men’s section, Rakesh Kumar Dubey proved too good for the defending champion Krishan Kumar Malhotra to clinch the title and in women’s category, Ritu got better of Nishi Bala to romp home. Sunil Kumar defeated Manpreet Pal Singh and Ashma Saxena beat Namarata Thakur to finish third in the men and women sections.

The marketing manager, LIC of India, Ludhiana, NP Nidaria gave away prizes to position holders.

On the basis of their performance in this tournament, Rakesh Kumar and Ritu have been selected to take part in the LIC Zonal Chess Championship to be held at Udaipur in Rajasthan from May 18 to 20.



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