L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Elderly widow robbed, strangled
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
In a gruesome daylight murder, a 70-year-old woman was robbed and choked to death by unidentified suspects in near Jassian Road in the city’s Laxmi Nagar on Monday. The victim, identified as Shanti Devi, was a widow who lived with her elder daughter, Naresh.

The incident came to light in the afternoon Shanti’s grandson, Varun Kumar, returned home for lunch and found his maternal grandmother lying dead in the backyard of the house. He immediately raised an alarm and informed relatives. In the meantime neighbours also arrived at the scene.

Jagatpuri police station head Bitten Kumar said: “Prima facie it appears to be a case of a robbery and murder as the suspect or suspects ransacked the house and took the woman’s gold earrings and bangles before fleeing. The victim might have resisted and in the process been strangled to death.”

However, he did not rule out the personal enmity angle behind the killing. “The suspect or suspects could be insiders who in order to mislead the police might have removed the gold earrings and ransacked the house. We’re investigating the case from all angles. Further we are taking the statement of the neighbours whether they had spotted any outsider roaming in the area,” Kumar added.

What has left the police baffled is how the suspects sneaked into the house and quietly left the scene.

A pall of gloom descended on Shanti’s house. Naresh and younger sister, Loval, were inconsolable. Varun was in a state of shock and not talking to anyone.


Boy concocts abduction story
Takes police for a ride
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
A child cooked up an abduction story, sending the police in a tizzy here today. The 11-year-old boy identified as Abdullah, a resident of Mayapuri, was found by the police with his hands tied with a rope near Shinghar Cinema this morning.

The boy told the police that he hailed from Saharanpur and managed to free himself from his abductors. He said two persons had abducted him while he was playing in a street in Sarahanpur two days ago.

The accused kept him in a dingy room and gave him very little food. The police swooped into action and the SHO of Division No. 3 sounded an alert. He asked the child to tell them the location from where he was abducted.

“We suspected foul play when the boy started fumbling when asked to show the place where he was kept. But we could not afford to take the matter lightly and visited a few places near Tibba road,” said SHO Raj Kumar.

After being taken for a ride, the police returned to the police station, only to find the boy’s anxious parents filing a missing person’s report.

On seeing his father Naseem, Abdullah hid behind a cop. His father told the police that Abdullah was a very mischievous child and was reluctant to go to madrasa. “Exasperated with his constant playful activities, we decided to tie him with the bed. But as soon as we went out of the house, he freed himself and fled,” he said.

His parents took away the boy after submitting an undertaking.

The police even contacted the Sarahanpur police, but was informed that no child had been abducted recently. The boy later said he thought of Saharanpur as his relatives lived there.



Special goods train for hosiery traders mooted
Manav Mander/TNS

Ludhiana, May 9
A proposal has been sent for starting a special goods train for ferrying hosiery goods here. Last year the goods remained piled up at the station and traders had to send the stock through road transportation.

RK Sharma, station superintendent of the station, said they had sent a proposal to start the goods train once a week in June from Ludhiana to Kolkata.

“We have sent a proposal to Chief Manager MS Chaliya who visited the railway station a few days ago. We are hopeful of the nod. They will check feasibility before giving the final decision,” he said.

“Last year we had to face many hardships. Our goods were stranded for several weeks at the railway station and we had to opt for road transportation. I had to pay more money. If the train is started, it will help us a lot,” said Harish Jain, a hosiery manufacturer.

Another hosiery trader Girish Moudgill said: “We have been urging the railway authorities to make additional wagons available during peak season. We will be saved from harassment,” he said.



Irregularities in animal nutrition dept
Authorities fail to take action against erring officials
Shivani Bhakoo/Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
“Misutilisation of mineral mixture in research projects”, “attempts to cover-up printing of pamphlets”, “shortage of important ingredients in mineral mixture”, the complaints of such senior nature seem to have no importance at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) here, as the authorities have failed to take any action against erring officials.

In the department of animal nutrition at GADVASU, many “irregularities” have been found. According to sources, Simrat Sagar Singh, dean College of Veterinary Sciences, was given the additional charge of head, animal nutrition department, after Dr MPS Bakshi retired from the post on January 31, 2011.

The sources added that cases of “misappropriation” of funds, absence of important ingredients in mineral mixture (to cover deficiency in animals) were found and brought to the notice of the authorities at GADVASU by the present head of the department, but the authorities adopted a dilly-dallying attitude in taking action against defaulters.

According to available information, in the first case in March 2010, about 9,000 pamphlets were to be printed by the department, which were to be circulated among farmers during kisan melas in September 2010 and March 2011. Though payment of Rs 49,000 was made to Swami Printers, the pamphlets were neither printed nor distributed among the farmers. An inquiry was also marked in this case, but nothing has come out so far.

While, a letter written to the authorities by present head suggested that proper procedure was not followed while printing the pamphlets. Payment for printing pamphlets was made in March 2010, but these were not printed, distributed to farmers and two other senior faculty members were also a part of the irregularity. Despite the complaint lodged by the head, no action was taken against the defaulters.

In yet another complaint, the authorities were warned that mineral mixture prepared by the animal nutrition department, which is sold to the farmers to cover deficiency in animals for Rs 55 per kg, sans important ingredients like lime-stone powder, magnesium sulphate, copper sulphate, ferrous sulphate and potassium iodate, etc.

Still the authorities did not bother to keep a check on the practice. “Not just that, several quintals of mineral mixture, which was shown and issued for the university’s animals, never reached them,” said a senior faculty member on the condition of anonymity.

About a dozen letters highlighting the “irregularities” committed by the previous head of the animal nutrition department have been written to the authorities, but no action has been taken so far.

Registrar, Dr PD Jual when contacted said, “The authorities are well aware about their duties. Simply writing complaints against anyone does not carry any meaning. The process of inquiry is on, officials concerned are getting all details before reaching to any conclusion. Such inquiries take some time. In case anyone is found guilty, strict action will be taken against the defaulter. Certain people with vested interests are unnecessarily trying to tarnish the image of the university.”



City’s medical facilities drawing foreign patients
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Having already become a popular destination for medical treatment for patients from the West, Indian hospitals and doctors have now become the choice of thousands in the underdeveloped countries as was demonstrated by an Afghan national who underwent coronary angioplasty at the City’s Hero DMC Heart Institute.

Ziauddin, an Afghan national, poses with Dr GS Wander (right), chief cardiologist at the HDHI. Photo: Inderjeet Verma
Ziauddin, an Afghan national, poses with Dr GS Wander (right), chief cardiologist at the HDHI. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

While affirming the faith of his countrymen in Indian healthcare facilities, Ziauddin, 40, who is a businessman, said Monday: "All the 170 passengers on the Ariana Afghan Airlines plane that landed at the Delhi international airport on May 3 had come to India for medical treatment. While the others preferred to go to hospitals in the capital, I along with my cousin Laalpur chose to come to the Hero DMC Heart Institute here. Having successfully undergone angioplasty I’m being discharged today”.

The institute’s cardiology consultant, Dr Naved Aslam, performed the procedure on May 6.

Ziauddin stated India not only offers better medical facilities than Afghanistan but the treatment is cost effective as well. “The reason being that while advanced medical facilities in India have percolated to even the smaller towns, in Afghanistan these are few and far reached. Years of civil war and disturbances have taken a heavy toll on the country's healthcare facilities with tertiary medical care hardly available. If transportation and communications between the two South Asian nation improve Afghan patients would come to even smaller Indian cities for their medical treatment", he averred.

Dr GS Wander, chief cardiologist and coordinator at the institute, said if the situation in Afghanistan stabilized it would lead to a radical improvement in that country’s health facilities. "South Asians ethnic groups are more prone to cardiac ailments than people of other ethnicities. Therefore, as far as medicine is concerned, doctors from both sides of the border face similar type of challenges and our cooperation will go a long way in markedly improving our health scene."

Wander also assured the Afghan visitors of all possible assistance on the part of the institute to facilitate a hassle-free visa process for patients who wished to come to India for advanced medical treatment. "Two Pakistani children suffering from congenital heart disease will soon come to the institute for treatment," he added.

Children’s hospital in Kabul

India helped Afghanistan build and operate a major hospital for children in Kabul. In February 2010, many Indian physicians working there died in a terrorist attack, purportedly committed by the Taliban. However, notwithstanding the grave security threat, they still manage the all the important services at the hospital.



Turning wayward child beggars into model students
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
From soliciting alms on the city’s roads to studying in a classroom - a local NGO, the Noble Foundation Trust, has made this dream of many street kids come true by enrolling 50 child beggars in the city by setting up a makeshift school in the bicycle stand at a temple near Jagraon Bridge.

Although not a regular school facilities like textbooks, notebooks and blackboards have been provided for the kids who sit on mats in the shade of a banyan tree. Least bothered by the sound of heavy vehicular traffic on the nearby Ferozepur Road, these children appear to be immersed in studies. Even though the school opens at 8 am and closes at 1 pm, they want to stay longer up to 5 pm as they say their parents are busy in their labourers’ jobs.

Reciting morning prayers in unison, the children draw attention from passersby. Says Kanchan, a 12-year-old student: ''I feel very comfortable as if I’m leading a luxurious life where there is no work other than studies. And the moment I return home I feel burdened with household chores that I no longer want to do.”

Nikhil, another student, said: "If anyone now offers me something to eat I don’t accept it”. And the polythene bags that these children earlier carried contained sundry articles and eatables they received as alms, have now been replaced with schoolbags filled with textbooks and notebooks. Their filthy dresses have also changed to washed clothes.

Said Rajinder Sharma, the NGO’s founder: “Last October a few cops along with officials of the Shri Durga Mata Mandir trust and the district administration initiated a joint effort to school child beggars in the temple premises. For about two months the kids were taught in the temple premises but then the temple trust refused to allow this school to continue running in its premises. After that the school was shifted outside the temple premises, near the division no 5 police station. And I was amazed to see the response and enthusiasm of these kids who said ‘uncle, hum sadak ke kinare hi padh lenge’ (uncle, we’ll study while sitting on the sidewalk). It was then that I along with assistant commissioner of police Raj Kumar Salgotra decided to shift this school to the temple’s bicycle stand."

“It’s a noble cause and I love to serve these kids”, Salgotra remarked.

Since then the school has been running in the bicycle stand over there at temple’s bicycle stand. “We intend to erect a permanent structure there for the school to protect the kids from sun and rain, and will work out the legal aspects with the municipal corporation”.

The Noble Foundation Trust runs 12 schools in Punjab for slum children, of which nine are in the city and the others in Abohar, Guruharsai and Jalalabad. About 2000 students are taught by 43 voluntary teachers in these schools.

''Our NGO was registered in 2009. We’ll open more such schools but face a lot of difficulty in getting space as well as trained voluntary teachers. This school (near Jagraon Bridge) is the first where all the children were earlier beggars”, said Sharma.

Most students are girls

Almost three-fourths of the students in the makeshift school near Jagraon Bridge are girls. Sapna and Neeru, who aspire to become teachers, said: ''We don’t feel like staying at home even on Sundays. The school should remain open on holidays as well”. The children are taught languages, mathematics and moral studies by a teacher, Seema Sharma, who comes from far flung locality in the city “I lost my husband sometime ago and was feeling very sad. I thought of doing some good work and joined this NGO voluntarily, she said. Another teacher, Veena Sachdeva, who is associated with the NGO, said: ''I come from the Fieldganj area and love to teach these needy children. Presently about 25 of these kids have gone home to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar along with their parents and will be back by June 1.”



Two snatching incidents in 48 hours 
Railway employees accuse police of inaction 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Nearly 200 railway mechanics working at a diesel shed located near Jagraon Bridge held a protest against the police for its alleged failure to nab snatchers who had targeted their two colleagues in the past couple of days.
Emanuel, who was stabbed near Jagraon Bridge.
Emanuel, who was stabbed near Jagraon Bridge. 

The members of the Northern Railway Men Union (NRMU) flayed the cops for lack of patrolling in the area, which led to the sudden spurt in the snatching incidents. The protest continued till 1 pm due which the work of diesel train engines remained suspended.

Rajesh Kumar, an NRMU leader, said today’s protest was meant to alert the police about the increasing incident of snatchings in the area. Quoting two incidents of snatching that took place in less than the 48 hours, Daljit Singh, president of the union said: “Last night, Emanuel, an assistant technician, sustained stab injuries after some armed assailants intercepted him near the Jagraon Bridge area. Besides snatching cash, the snatchers stabbed on the hand of the victim. The other incident took place on the intervening night of May 7-8 when a senior technician was attacked by some armed robbers near the Railway Colony No 6.”
Baldev Singh, who was attacked and robbed by snatchers.
Baldev Singh, who was attacked and robbed by snatchers. 

In both the cases, the victims were attacked at midnight when the employees were returning home after finishing their shifts. The two back-to-back incidents have spread panic and employees are reluctant to working during the night shift, he said.

A Government Railway Police (GRP) official said: “The recent incidents are the handiwork of one gang who hide behind the wild vegetation and attack employees.”




Industry opposes hike in power tariff
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
The decision of the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) to increase the power tariff by approximately 37 paisa per unit for all categories of industry has come in for criticism.

Avtar Singh, general secretary, and Upkar Singh, joint secretary of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, said instead of hiking the tariff, the PSPCL should have reduced the transit loss of coal, T and D losses and also curb the menace of energy theft.

The Powercom has been hiking tariff every year, but does not follow directions issued by the PSERC. “Even though the Powercom has not been able to provide uninterrupted power supply to the industry in the last 10 years, the government first increased the electricity duty from 10 per cent to 13 per cent, then imposed entry tax of 12.5 per cent on diesel generator sets, and imposed 5 per cent electricity duty from captive consumption from any source. And now notices have been issued to industrial consumers to deposit additional security equivalent to one-and-a-half month’s average bill, besides the increase in tariff,” said Upkar Singh.

It would be tough for the industry in Punjab to survive and compete in the national and international market. Policies framed by the government were anti-industry, said Avtar Singh.

No control over expenses

The increase in power tariff will spell doom for the industry. There is no effective control on the wayward expenses of the PSPCL. Only recently, they have planned to recruit linemen and engineers on contractual basis when the regulatory commission had banned recruitment. The PSEB and later the PSPCL had engaged Price Water House Corporation to study the requirement of manpower even without studying the proposal of the consultant."

— PD Sharma, president, Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry



Plastic Bag Ban
Civic bodies yet to get copies of the Act; DC calls meeting of officials today 
Confusion prevails over implementation
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 9
While heads of all local bodies, including municipal councils, panchayats and nagar panchayats, having been directed to ensure the implementation of the Punjab Plastic Bag Ban (Manufacture, Usage and Disposal) Act strictly in areas falling under their jurisdiction, a majority of officials of these organisations and people governed by these bodies are not aware of the implications of the Act and consequences of violations thereof.

What to talk of spreading awareness among masses, officials of the civic bodies of the region have not yet received copies of the Act. With intent to expedite process for sensitisation of residents towards the implications of the Act, Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari has called a meeting of officials concerned on Tuesday. Stress will be laid on spreading awareness about various sections of the Act and responsibilities of owners and managers of private and institutional buildings, claimed sources in the office of the Deputy Commissioner.

Investigations by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that a majority of office-bearers and officials of the civic bodies falling under the jurisdiction of Sangrur and Ludhiana districts were yet to update of their knowledge about various sections of the Punjab Plastic Bag Ban Act. The civic bodies are yet to designate officials for dealing with complaints received in connection with the violation of the Act.

"How can we guide residents of our localities when we do not know our duties and rights concerning with the implementation of the Act, copy of which is yet to be received by our office," argued Jagdeep Singh Bittu, member of a local body at Dehlon village.

Maintaining that members of the municipal council were yet to be briefed about the Act, Usha Sood, president of the civic body, said a special meeting would be convened to seek cooperation of all concerned in the successful implementation of the Act in the area.

Perusal of copy of the act revealed that no person was allowed to throw any non-biodegradable garbage or plastic or any biodegradable garbage in a non-biodegradable bag in any drain, ventilation shaft, pipe and fittings connected with the private or public drainage works or at any public place or in any place open to public view.

This is must to stop injuring the proper functioning of the drainage and sewerage system and interference with the free flow or affect the treatment and disposal of drain and sewer contents, besides preventing danger or nuisance to public health.

Check is also required to prevent likely ingestion of non-biodegradable materials by stray animals leading to serious health hazards. If any person throws any biodegradable or non-biodegradable garbage at any public place or in any place open to public view, any person aggrieved of any such nuisance, may complain to the local authority.

The Act states that it is the duty of the owners and occupiers of all lands and buildings to collect or cause to be collected from their respective land and buildings the non-biodegradable garbage and to deposit, or cause to be deposited, in public receptacles, deposits or places provided for temporary deposit or collection of the non-biodegradable garbage by the local authority in the area. 



Vet varsity board meeting today
Members clueless about agenda
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) has reportedly called an emergency meeting of Board of Management (BoM) tomorrow in Chandigarh.

In the absence of distribution of any agenda, BoM members are finding it difficult to attend the meeting in such a short notice.

The members from non-official category, however, feel that they were being used as “rubber stamps” by authorities during such emergency meetings.

At the same time, senior faculty members of GADVASU feel that expert committees were constituted to make selections for these posts. The selected candidates are much experienced and qualified persons and many of them remained teachers of BoM members.

“The BoM must not politicise the selection process. Since university authorities have to get services from deans and directors, let it be university’s prerogative to select candidates,” said a senior faculty member at GADVASU.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, a member of BoM from Moga Ravinder Dhaliwal said he received a call about tomorrow’s meeting in Chandigarh from GADVASU office around 2:30 pm today.

“But we don’t know the agenda. The interviews for important posts were held today and there was no need to conduct an emergency meeting. Deans and directors are the persons who will run the university for the next five years. Authorities should have discussed it with us in detail before appointing them. Tomorrow, we will be asked for their approval,” said Dhaliwal.

KS Sidhu, another member, said since he was on his way to Kolkotta to attend a meeting, he will not be able to attend the board meeting tomorrow. “I had asked them to postpone the meeting, but they have expressed helplessness. I feel meetings should be held when majority of the members (non-official) are present. I wanted to discuss something important, now I will have to wait till next meeting,” said Sidhu.

Some of the important posts for which interviews were held include dean, College of Veterinary Sciences, director Extension Education and director, research, which were lying vacant since long.



Discussion on concept of patient safety
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Patient safety is one of the most important factors in the modern day hospital and the recent crisis with infections spreading through wards has put doctors, nurses and surgeons on a high alert, observed Dr Sanjeev Uppal, organising secretary of the two-day workshop on the patient safety, which got underway today at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH).

In his address, workshop chairperson, Dr BS Shah emphasised that the objective of organising the conference was to develop the concept of patient safety among healthcare professionals and identify and implement the issues related to this important concept. During the conference, a CD on proper hand-washing technique was also released by dignitaries present on the occasion.

The scientific sessions commenced with a lecture by Dr Akhil Sangal from the World Health Organisation (WHO), followed by lectures on various aspects of patient safety by Dr Baljit Singh and Dr Poonam Rajput from the Indian Confederation for Healthcare Accreditation (ICFHA).

During the conference, audience was informed that WHO works in partnership with the global health community and others to ensure that sustained hand hygiene improvement remains on the national and international health agenda. The aim is to ensure that infection control is acknowledged universally as an essential basis for the patient safety, contributing to a significant and measurable reduction in the burden of disease attributable to the healthcare-associated infections.



Six-yr-old cancer patient needs help
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Six-year-old Twinkle is suffering from Hodgkins Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. Having a large swelling on her neck, she was admitted to Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) a week ago.

Doctors say the cancer is curable with ABVD chemotherapy. The girl's father is a daily-wage earner who has to look after four children with a meagre income of around Rs 2,500 per month. The estimated expenditure of the treatment is Rs 1 lakh for six months.

The hospital authorities have urged philanthropists to come forward to help the girl. People interested in extending financial aid can contact Clinical Haematology, Haemato-Oncology & Bone Marrow (Stem Cell) Transplant Unit, CMC, Ludhiana. The hospital number is C7313514 and the phone number is: 0161-5037957. for further information email: cmcbmt@gmail.com. 



CIPHET scientist awarded
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Dr Anil Kumar Dixit, senior scientist at Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), has been conferred with Young Scientist Award by the Indian Society of Hill Agriculture (ISHA), Hill Campus, Ranichauri.

The award was conferred on him recently during the national symposium on “Technological Interventions for Sustainable Agriculture” held at GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Hill Campus, Ranichauri, Uttrakhand, for his meritorious academic, research and career record in the category of social sciences.

The society has awarded scientists in six areas, including plant improvement, plant protection, plant production and management, animal sciences, agricultural engineering and social sciences. The award included citation and a memento.

Dr Anil Dixit has doctorate in agricultural economics from CCSHAU, Hisar. He has more than 40 publications and 15 research papers to his credit. CIPHET director Dr RT Patil congratulated Dr Dixit for his achievement.



Speed up sewerage, water supply projects: Mayor
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 9
With many councillors complaining against the slow pace of execution of water supply and sewerage projects in different localities of the city, Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura today called senior officials of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board and in the presence of councillors directed them to speed up all the ongoing works for laying new sewer lines, extension of existing network and other projects of boring new tubewells for augmentation of drinking water supply.

Giaspura told the board’s superintending engineer RP Gupta and other officials accompanying him that even though the Municipal Corporation had been providing required funds well in advance for new water supply and sewerage projects, the execution by the Board was tardy and left much to be desired. The board was provided with instances where projects ought o have come operational long back but were still in different stage of completion.

The Mayor and councillors told officials of the board that the slow pace of work in respect of expansion of sewerage network, especially in outer and under-developed wards of the city and augmentation of water supply was showing the civic body as also the state government in poor light.

"The matter has also been brought to the notice of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Punjab Minister for Local Bodies Manoranjan Kalia who had promised to intervene and take up the matter with the top brass of the board," Giaspura told the officials.

Giaspura said the MC had already deposited funds to the tune of Rs 20 crore with the board, which is the executing agency for all water supply and sewerage projects for the civic body for the ongoing works. "We will release more funds, if required, for the ongoing projects on the express condition that all works are executed as per schedule and completed within the stipulated period," he told officials of the board.

The Mayor later said the MC would review the progress of the ongoing projects and monitor the pace of the execution. If the board was found wanting in any respect, the matter will once again be taken up with the state government and the top management of the board for remedial action, he added.

Will release more funds

We will release more funds, if required, for the ongoing projects on a condition that all works are executed as per schedule and completed within the stipulated period.

— Hakam Singh Giaspura, Mayor 



Miss India World title an answer to my detractors: Kanishtha
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Small-town girls from middle-class families are no less than their urbane well-to-do counterparts. Only thing that distinguishes them is the people’s perception of them, which needs to be changed, says Miss India World 2011 Kanishtha Dhankar.

Miss India World Kanishtha Dhankar poses for shutterbugs in Ludhiana.
Miss India World Kanishtha Dhankar poses for shutterbugs in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan 

Kanishtha, who comes from a small town of Jhajjar in Haryana says her background has never been a hindrance in her professional progress, but at times, it did reflect in people’s attitude towards her. “The Miss India title is as an apt answer to not only my detractors, but also to all small-town girls of the nation,” she opines.

A famous face in modelling circle, Kanishtha, to her credit, has five covetous titles at the Miss India pageant, including Miss Body Beautiful, Miss Nomarks, Miss Ramp Model, Miss Beautiful Legs and Miss Water Baby at the pageant.

She has also walked the ramp in many fashion weeks for top Indian designers like Manish Malhotra, Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Tarun Tahiliania, Anamika Khanna and others.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune at an annual function of International Institute of Fashion Design, Kanishtha says: “The modern woman is as good or bad as a man, but unfortunately, in India, a woman has to prove herself time and again to gain acceptance.”

With dreams in her eyes of making it big in Bollywood Kanishtha wants to act opposite superstars Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan.

Idolising Kareena Kapoor since her early days as a model, Kanishtha feels her celebrity status has brought along a big responsibility on her shoulders.

The lissom lass concedes being strong mentally and psychologically. “Contrary to the popular belief that a great body is enough to win a beauty title, I will say that more than brawn, it is the perfect mental balance that is required to win a beauty pageant like Miss India,” says Kanishtha.

Currently preparing for the coveted Miss World Pageant 2011 to be held in September at Ukraine, Kanishtha’s goal is to make her motherland proud by clinching the crown and joining the league of Bollywood beauties Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra. “Wish me luck and pray for me,” she says before signing off.

INIFD campus launched

On the occasion of the annual function “Essence 2011” of International Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD), Ludhiana, Miss India World 2011 Kanishtha Dhankar and Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana Rahul Tiwari launched the mega hi-tech campus of INIFD at Oasis Education Mall, Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan, in the presence of regional director, INIFD Punjab, Arvind Gupta.

Kanishtha also launched the INIFD Design Pad - a perfect combo of design and technology. She interacted with the students and encouraged the young designers to dream big.

The mega hi-tech campus will provide state-of-the-art facilities, activities and myriad opportunities to INIFD students under the leadership of Arvind Gupta. Arvind said: “The aim is to generate creativity and give birth to fresh young talent, we prepare our students for professional excellence in design, management, fashion and business by providing the premier educational experience that fosters creativity, career focus and carves our students into designers.”



Renovation of Bassi Canal Rest House
Team inspects kothi, to submit report in two months
Mahesh Sharma

Bassian, May 9
The state government has decided to preserve and renovate the Bassi canal rest house, popularly known as kothi, 20 months after the world showed interest in the auction of Rani Zindan’s necklace. It was here that Britishers had detained the queen and her last Sikh ruler son, Maharaja Dalip Singh.

A team of officials led by RC Aggarwal, director, archeology department, Prithvi Raj Luthra, chief architect of Punjab, and Kamaljit Singh Cheema, chief political secretary, inspected the kothi and will submit their report to the Chief Minister within two months. Renovation of the monument would start as soon as the Chief Minister approves it, the officials claimed.

Residents are upset over the poor upkeep of this historical building. What to talk of preserving its originality, the authorities have failed to even get 7 acres, worth a few crores allegedly grabbed by a few farmers of Bassi town, freed, residents said.

A few police and civil officials have allegedly removed goods worth crores, including economically and medicinally useful trees. The thick canopy of green vegetation that once used to prevent the sun’s rays from reaching the ground is nowhere to be seen, they alleged.

The residents of the area had urged the state government to dedicate the place in memory of Maharaja Dalip Singh and Maharani Zindan and open an educational institute or a multi-specialty hospital in the building.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that the building of the Bassi canal rest house in Ludhiana district, which once used to bustle with British officials, is now crying for attention. Main hall, living rooms, sentry posts, servant quarters and separate kitchens are all deserted now. Only family members of Dewan Chand, a chowkidar, posted here for the past 15 years, inhabit a portion of its annexes.

According to Dewan Chand, a few residents and president of the Raikot senior citizens’ council Prem Nath Dubey, Maharaja Dalip Singh and Maharani Zindan were detained here before being taken to Delhi for an exile. They were taken in a bullock cart and it took 18 days for the convoy to reach Delhi.

Five Namdharis, who participated in the famous Kuka Movement against Britishers, were imprisoned here before being hanged to death in 1850.Water of a few wells of this place was so sweet that it was sent to Lahore for senior British officials’ use.

Besides being used as an official resident of senior officials, the premise was used as recruitment centre for the police and the British army. Easy availability of water from Daudhar and Sudhar canals facilitated cultivation here.

The Tribune had published a number of stories highlighting demand raised by the residents. This was followed by first ever memorial programme “Vishal Utsav”. It was organised by the Maharaja Dalip Singh Memorial Foundation being patronised by former MLA Jagdev Singh Jassowal.

Taking cognisance of reports published in these columns Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had recently visited the venue and assured the residents that work on preservation of the historical building would start soon. 



Room of contention
Bains scores a brownie point
Holds sangat darshan in Zone C, Mayor ‘eats humble pie’
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 9
At least the first round of the ongoing tussle between Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura and firebrand councillor from his own party (SAD-B) Simarjit Singh Bains has apparently gone in favour of the latter as Bains conducted his weekly sangat darshan today in the room earlier allotted to him in the Zone C office of the Municipal Corporation on Gill Road here.

After waging an all-out war against Bains following the arrest of Zone C Zonal Commissioner Amarjit Singh Sekhon by the Vigilance Bureau in a corruption case last month, Giaspura had to eat a humble pie in the process.

The councillor's room in the Zone C building, which was practically being used by Bains on a regular basis to conduct sangat darshan every Monday, was sealed immediately after the arrest of Sekhon, which the Mayor and some other SAD-B councillors as well as MC employees alleged was the handiwork of Bains. Not only this, Giaspura led a delegation of party councillors to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal seeking his intervention to restrain the party councillor, who was given the charge of the youth wing of the party.

In the meantime, the room purportedly allotted to Bains was opened and a nameplate of MC Commissioner AK Sinha was put outside the room so as to dissuade Bains from making use of the same for meeting people.

However, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal's visit to Bains's residence a few days back pulled the rug from under the feet of the Mayor and other detractors of the SAD-B councillor who remains in the news most of the times for wrong reasons.

Taking a cue from junior Badal's visit to Bains' house, the nameplate of the Commissioner was removed from outside the room. Bains, who had missed his weekly sangat darshan for the last three weeks, today met people from areas falling under Zone C and listened to their grievances.

"I was at the zonal office from more than six hours and met a large number of area residents who had pending works with the MC relating to TS-I (certificate of ownership of property), arrears of house tax, water and sewerage charges, building plans, change of land use, NOCs, etc.

All such cases were discussed with concerned officials with the directions that pending cases be settled at the earliest," the Bains said.



‘Proper diet can help slow artery clogging’ 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
“For a person suffering form heart ailments, it is essential to follow a proper nutrition chart in addition to the management of symptoms to avoid further complications,” observed chief dietician from Hero DMC Heart Institute Krishma Virk while delivering a lecture on cardiovascular diseases and the right diet at Punjab Agricultural University.

“Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) has emerged as the most common cause of death globally accounting for nearly 12 million deaths annually. Not only can proper diet help slow the artery-clogging process, but when combined with careful lifestyle modification, it may even stop or reverse the narrowing of arteries,” the dietician stated.

The lecture organised by the College of Home Science was attended by faculty and students of the college.

Krishma Virk said people with hypertension should abide by Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, wherein eating plan lowered blood pressure as had been established in the studies sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.

“In addition to being a low salt (or low sodium) plan, the diet provides additional benefits to reduce blood pressure. It is based on an eating plan rich in fruits and vegetables, and low-fat or non-fat dairy, with whole grains. It is a high fibre, low to moderate fat diet, and is rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium,” said the dietician. Speaking on the beneficial effects of antioxidants, Krishma Virk pointed towards the effect of oxidation on an apple that turned brown when exposed to air adding, “However, if we put lemon juice on the apple it stays white. The lemon juice acts as an antioxidant, preventing the damage to the flesh. The process is similar in our body. Oxygen damages cells, which can lead to mutations causing diseases. The antioxidants in our diet work like lemon juice on the flesh of an apple, protecting cells from damage,” the ditiecian accentuated.

Sources of antioxidants

Sources of antioxidants are brightly coloured fruits and vegetables, particularly oranges, black grapes, raisins, spinach, prunes, and berries. Soyabean is one nutrition source that is associated with a variety of beneficial health effects, including protection from cancer and osteoporosis. In addition, it reduces triglyceride and LDL (bad cholesterol) and increases HDL (good cholesterol). 



Fire on for 48 days
6,000-tonne paddy under threat

Khamano, May 9
About 6,000 tonne of paddy that is lying in the Focal Point, Ranwan, from the past several years is under constant threat of fire and a portion of it has been destroyed due to fire, continuing from March 21. Though some officials of the concerned purchasing agency Punjab Agro visited the site, no steps were taken to control the fire that is still continuing even after 48 days.

Although fire-fighting vehicles were called in the beginning, the fire still continued. Some officials of purchasing agencies said higher officials failed to take any firm decision to lift paddy and the fire was spreading under the heaps due to scorching heat.

This stock of the paddy was purchased by the Punjab Agro purchasing agency in 2007-2008 and from then this huge stock is laying in the open and village folks had a tough time.

According to Bahadar Singh Ranwan, leader of a farmers’ union, said village folks had took this matter with the officials concerned, but nothing had been done in this regard. He regretted that though their requests failed to bring any fruitful solution, the department remained unmoved despite a big portion of the stock was gutting.

The fire could not be witnessed, as it is spreading under the heaps but the smoke can be seen at some places.

A foul smell is erupting from the stock and some village folks have even complained of allergy. SDM Khamano Roopanjali said tenders were floated in this regard by the purchasing agency and they had started lifting the destroyed paddy and the stock would be cleared in the next 25 days. — OC



Mohit, Pushkar bring laurels
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Eight students of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Udham Singh Nagar, participated in the Open State Kick Boxing Championship held at Hoshiarpur from May 6-8. The championship was organised by the Punjab Kick Boxing Association.

School principal Bandana Sethi congratulated the winners and encouraged the students for maximum participation in the sports events.

Results: Mohit Kumar of Class XI won a silver medal in team aero kick boxing; Pushkar Rawat of Class IX won a bronze medal; Ramandeep Singh of Class XI won a bronze medal and Vidhu of Class XI also won a bronze medal in under-48 kg category. 



Slow progress of industrial clusters discussed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
A delegation of the industrial associations of Punjab met Uday Kumar Verma, secretary MSME. The delegation raised the issue of slow progress of industrial clusters in Punjab. They informed that presently there are around 34 clusters in the process in Punjab and three special innovative clusters are sanctioned to Punjab by the Prime Minister.

The Federation of Punjab Small Industries Associations raised the issue of import of bicycles and its parts from China, need to form mixed clusters, impact of incentives to Himachal Pradesh on Punjab and credit problems faced by MSME from the lending institutions.

“Anti-dumping laws under WTO are hard and its difficult for MSME sectors to apply for anti-dumping on imports from China because a lot of data and surveys are required for each and every item of a bicycle,” said Badish K Jindal, president FOPSIA.

FOPSIA requested that the process should be initiated by the ministry of MSME, instead of micro and small units.

The banks must be asked to write on the notice boards about the applications received without collateral schemes, so as to ensure their accountability.

FOPSIA demanded that as the MSME units are attached to each other, so there is a need to form the multi-type clusters instead of single cluster under the MSME schemes, so instead of sectioning single industry clusters, the multi-clusters should be formed.

Knitwear Club president Vinod Thapar demanded that there are 12,000 units of knitwear in India, but the innovative cluster was not sanctioned to this sector, he strongly demanded that knitwear industry requires this cluster keenly. He further told a vocational training sector is in the process by the knitwear club. The purpose of the centre will be to train female force for this industry and to provide the trained labour to the knitwear industry. He demanded that this product must be covered under the special innovative cluster scheme.

Yash Pal Mahajan of the Federation of Small-Scale Industries of Chandigarh demanded that the industrial growth is stagnant in Chandigarh due to refusal of new industrial projects by the UT Administration, he demanded that the ministry should ensure that the UT Administration should not restrict this growth.



Online Billing
Protest rally on May 12
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
A meeting of the All-Industries and Trade Forum was held under convener Narinder Bhamra and co-convener Badish Jindal.

All major associations of Punjab condemned the latest public notice issued by the Punjab excise department for online billing above Rs 20,000 from June 1. “This is one of the worst decision taken by the Punjab VAT department and seems to be a last nail in the coffin of the already dying industry,” said Jindal. It was decided to take out a protest rally at Vishwakarma Chowk on May 12 to condemn the illegal notices and raids of the VAT department and increase in power tariffs.

“Despite of revenue increase, such notifications prove the sick mentality of the department, which is to harass industrialists. The fact is that 85 per cent of VAT assesses don’t have computers and 95 per cent of assesses don’t have full time accountants, 98 per cent of assesses don’t have the Internet,” said Bhamra.

The industrial associations unanimously decided that they will not obey this notification and are ready to close down their industries. It is demanded that the Finance Taxation Commissioner and Commissioner Excise must be immediately transferred. 



From Schools
Poster-making contest

LUDHIANA: To enrich the humanitarian spirit among students, the Health Club of BCM Senior Secondary School, Sector 32 A, engrossed students of the primary wing with an inter-section poster-making competition on the eve of the Red Cross Day on Monday. The competition focused on the motto and objective of the Red Cross Society - service to humanity. It was a meaningful and creative way to inculcate the spirit of volunteer among students. Students exhibited their altruistic outlook on the issues of blood donation, charity, first aid and serving humanity during disasters and health. Principal DP Guleria commended the efforts of the students and ensured to carry forward the legacy of preparing committed volunteers for the cause of serving humanity. Aviraj of Class II-G, Simanjot of Class III-I, Gurden Singh of Class IV-K and Gargi of Class V-E were adjudged first.

Medical camp

A free medical camp was organised by SDP Senior Secondary School, Benjamin Road, by SDP Dispensary. SDP Sabha president Balraj Kumar Bhasin inaugurated the camp. Dr Anju Verma, gynaecology specialist, and child specialist Dr Rajeev Verma examined the patients and distributed medicines free of cost. As many as 120 patients were examined during the camp. Sabha vice-president HK Chugh, Lekh Raj Arora, Vijay Inder Gupta, Anil Maini, Inderjeet Kohli and Jasveer Singh Chauhan were also present.

Tributes paid

Drishti Dr RC Jain Innovative Public School, Pakhowal road, Narangwal, paid tributes to Gurudev Ravinder Nath Tagore, first Asian to win the Nobel Prize on his birth anniversary and remembered Shiv Kumar Batalvi, Birhaa poet on his death anniversary.

“Ravinder Sangeet” echoed in the assembly hall of the school when everyone heard the inspiring song “Akela Chalo Re.” The sensitivity and life journey of Tagore was highlighted with the help of a PowerPoint presentation by students of Class IX.

Gurudev’s vision of freedom touched every heart, especially when students sang on their self-composed music beautiful poem: “Where the mind is without fear…” on drums, guitar and Casio - all played by students themselves.

Stories “Kabuliwallah” and “Home Coming” got a special mention. It was a treat to hear the National Anthem being sung in Tagore’s own voice. Shiv Kumar Batalvi, great poet of Punjab, was also remembered. Students paid homage to the genius by singing the beautiful poem “Kujh rukh mainu maa lagde.” It moved the hearts of everyone present.

Investiture ceremony

An investiture ceremony was held at Green Grove Public School to inculcate the qualities of leadership, discipline and service among students. President JPS Jolly presided over the function and gave badges to the members of the council.

The oath was administered by former head boy of the school Jaspreet Singh Nagi. School head boy, head girl, president, vice-president, secretary, joint secretary, treasurer and sport captain, along with house captains and vice-captains took an oath to be honest, dedicated and unbiased in carrying out their duties.

A group song related to team spirit was sung by the choir group of the school. Suresh Thakur was selected as senior activity in charge and Neha Chum was selected as the junior activity in charge. Rajinder Singh Rana was appointed in charge of prefect council. Captain Amritveer of Nehru House, Navkiran of Tagore House, Ashishwin of Tilak House and Navera Jolly of Gandhi House spoke on the importance of leadership and teamwork.

Varun Dhall, a Class XII student, was elected head boy and Aastha Mehta, a Class XII student, was elected head girl. Jaspreet Kaur was selected in charge of Gandhi House with Navera Jolly of Class XI as its captain. Tarika was selected in charge of Nehru House with Amritveer of Class X as captain. Tagore house was placed under the leadership of Meera with Navkiran of Class XI as its captain.

Ravneet Chawla was handed over the responsibility of Tilak House with Ashishwin of Class XI as captain. Avreen of Class XII was selected as school president.

Jaskiran of Class XII was selected as vice-president. Rashimi of Class XII was selected secretary and Nitin of Class XII was selected joint secretary. Amit of Class XII was selected treasurer of the school. Moninder of Class XII and Isha of Class XI were selected sports captain and sports vice-captain, respectively.

Gurjot Singh of Class IX was elected student in charge of the prefect council. Head girl Aastha, when introduced, expressed that she was worthy and dedicated to the school.

President JPS Jolly urged the students to be enterprising, optimistic and enthusiastic as well as to be role models for juniors. He also blessed the students after dispending over sashes and badges, flags of the four houses were handed over to the respective captains. The prestigious school flag was handed over to the head boy and head girl.

Principal S George, vice-principal Ronald de Rozario congratulated the selected students and motivated them to scale new heights. The ceremony came to an end with the National Anthem.

Prize distribution

An annual prize distribution function was organised at Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines. Ravi Kathpalia, IAS (retired), controller general of accounts, Government of India, was the chief guest. A plantation drive was also observed. The chief guest was presented with a guard of honour by the Iron Eagle Club of the school. To seek the blessings of the Almighty, a Ganesh Vandana was performed. Students sang a welcome song. Principal Navita Puri welcomed the chief guest, members of the managing committee and trust, parents and students.

Principal congratulated to all the achievers for having a winning attitude. Sonia Verma, in charge, middle section, introduced the chief guest, who distributed prizes. Savleen Takkar of Class XII-B from higher section, Sakshay Bhatia of Class VIII-D from the middle section and Chahat Bhandari of Class V-A from the primary section were the all-round best students.

From KVM, city campus, Tanya Garg of Class V-B and Nishant Bansal of Class VIII-A were the all-round best. Three students - Lakshmi, Firoz and Aashish, toppers of classes VI-VII-VIII of Hindu Putri Pathshala, a school adopted by Kundan Vidya Mandir, were also honoured for their excellence.

There was a cultural feast for the audience in the form of dance and choreography.

Kathpalia addressed the gathering. He congratulated the winners. He said there was a spark of creativity and excellence in each child, which must be explored. The chief guest was presented with a memento. Ashwani Kumar, school manager, proposed vote of thanks. National Anthem marked the closing of the programme.

Tagore Jayanti

Tagore Public School observed Tagore Jayanti to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Asia’s first Nobel Laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore. The celebrations began with fervour and speeches by students on the life of Tagore. On the occasion, students pledged to render their services to their alma mater, society and the nation and strive hard to become good citizens.

The function was presided over school principal, who led the students by paying floral tributes to Tagore. The students thanked the principal and school manager Amrit Lal Aggarwal for organising such a function. The celebrations ended with the National Anthem.

Blood donated

Fifteen volunteers donated blood in the blood donation camp organised today by the Red Cross Society at their office in Ludhiana.

The camp was organised to mark May 9 as the World Red Cross Day.

Additional Commissioner and secretary of the Indian Red Cross Society, Ludhiana, JK Jain while inaugurating the blood donation camp called upon people to volunteer for the good cause of blood donation.

He also said the society had organised 46 blood donation camps in 2010, wherein 5,926 units of blood were collected.

He also stated that the society had already organised 23 blood donation camps this year, wherein 1,178 volunteers had donated blood. — TNS



Gang of vehicle thieves busted, 3 cars recovered
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 9
The Ludhiana (rural) police claimed to have busted a gang of car thieves. The police have arrested one member of the gang and recovered three cars from his possession.

The accused has been identified as Manpreet Singh, alias Mani, of Barahpur village near Raikot. The other two members of the gang have been identified as Gurmit Singh of Barundi village and Gurmeet Singh of Shahpur. Both of them are absconding and the police was conducting raids to nab them.

Addressing a press conference here, Jagraon CIA staff in charge Tehal Singh said a team from CIA staff arrested the accused from near Binjaj village on the Jagraon-Raikot Road at a police check post following a tip-off. The accused was arrested when he was coming from Raikot side on a Maruti Zen car.

The police had received a tip-off that a member of the car thieves’ gang was coming to Jagraon to sell a stolen car. Following the information, the police set up a check post near Binjal village from where the accused was arrested.

“The police party stopped a car and asked the driver to show the documents of the vehicle which he failed to do following which the police got suspicious and arrested him. During investigation, the accused revealed that the Maruti Zen car he was driving was stolen from Ludhiana and he was going to sell it in Jagraon,” said Tehal Singh.

The police also recovered two Honda City cars following the information provided by the accused. According to Tehal Singh, the gang was active in Ludhiana city and had executed a number of car theft incidents in past several months. The gang members were involved in a number of car theft incidents in Ludhiana.

The police has registered a case in this regard and started investigations. Later in the evening, the police produced the accused in a Jagraon court, which remanded him in police custody till May 10. During the investigations, the police found that all the three cars were stolen from Ludhiana.



Recidivist held with 2 bikes, scooter
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Recidivists (habitual offenders) have become a constant headache for the police in the city. In the latest incident, the police has nabbed notorious thief Rajan Kumar from Jassian Road last night.

The cops have recovered three stolen vehicles, including two motorcycles and a scooter from his possession.

Kumar, a chronic drug addict and a resident of Partap Singh Wala, was earlier nabbed in February this year.

The police had then recovered a Maruti Gypsy and two other vehicles from his possession. It is learnt that after being released on bail last month, Rajan again started lifting vehicles.

His preferred hunting ground was the parking lot in front of Friend Regency Hotel. He told the police that he had lifted a scooter and a motorcycle from the parking located near the hotel.

Jagatpuri police post in charge Bitten Kumar said, “The accused does not recollect from where he lifted the third vehicle as he was under the influence of drugs. He confirmed that Rajan was previously caught for committing a similar offence.”



Clerk convicted in cheque bounce case

Ludhiana, May 9
Karam Pal Singh, a clerk of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), has been convicted in a cheque bounce case.

The court held that the guilt of the accused stood proved. He was sentenced to undergo imprisonment for a year. He was also directed to pay a fine of Rs 5,000. The orders came on a complaint moved by Pardeep Kumar of Chhawni Mohalla in Ludhiana. The complainant said the accused took a friendly loan of Rs 90,000 from him. The accused issued a cheque in February 2005. But the cheque was dishonoured by the bank. — OC



Six-a-side hockey fest from May 20
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 9
The first edition of the Olympian Prithipal Singh Six-a-Side Hockey Tournament will be organised from May 20 to 29 by the Ludhiana Sports Welfare Association (LSWA) with the help of Jarkhar Hockey Academy at the Mata Sahib Kaur Stadium in Jarkhar village near here.

Dr Ajay Pal Singh Mangat, president of the organising association, said eight teams in the U-17 group, while four teams each in the U-19 category and above 40 years would take part in the festival.

Matches will be played under floodlights and all the matches will be telecast live by Punjabi channel FASTWAY.

Amrik Singh Minhas and Sukhwinder Singh, chairman and general secretary, respectively, of LSWA said Harpreet Singh Sidhu, Inspector General of Police (IGP), Punjab, would inaugurate the festival on May 20.

Charanjit Kaur, widow of Olympian and hockey legend, Prithipal Singh, president of the Basketball Federation of India and former DGP, Punjab, Rajdeep Singh Gill will be guest of honour.



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