L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Cop’s son killed by speeding truck
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
A policeman helplessly watched his 11-year-old-son crushed to death by a speeding truck in front of the local police station in Ladhowal near here on Wednesday. The mishap occurred at about 8 am when the victim, identified as Parkash Singh, along with his father, Naranjan Singh, were walking towards a tea stall located near the police station.

Narrating the incident, Naranjan said he was stationed at the police station during the night shift. “As I had to attend a wedding in the morning I took my son along with me to the police station on Tuesday night. Soon after dawn I woke up my son and both of us went outside the police station to have tea”.

As soon as they reached the GT Road the driver of a speeding truck carrying animal fodder, which was coming from the opposite direction, lost control of the wheel and ran over Parkash, killing him on the spot. Naranjan was also knock down by the truck but escaped with minor injuries.

In the meantime passerby rushed to the police station and informed them about the fatal accident. Cops including station house officer Jatinder Singh swung into action and gave the truck a chase, nabbing the driver. The latter, later identified as Gurmail Singh, has been booked under section 304B of the Indian Penal Code for causing death by reckless driving.

Heartrending scenes were witnessed in front of the police station. "Why didn’t the killer truck run over me instead? Why did I take my child along with me when I went to do my shift at the police station?" asked an inconsolable Naranjan, breaking into tears.


Helpline number to keep tab on school bus drivers
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
Following the death of 11-year-old Mandesh, who was run over by an over speeding school bus at the Jassian road yesterday, the city police has taken stringent steps to ensure smooth ride for schoolchildren.

For this purpose, the city police is going to float a helpline number, which will be pasted on the back of the school bus or an auto rickshaw ferrying schoolchildren.

Residents can register their complaints on this helpline number if they spot a school bus driver driving recklessly.

“We are going to float a helpline number. If some finds a school van, a bus or an auto rickshaw ferrying children over the permissible speed limit, he or she can dial the helpline number and lodge their complaint,” said the Commissioner.

Sources said a police party would visit a school once in a month to check the credentials and norms followed by the school bus driver.

The Commissioner said the school should also follow the similar practice and paste a complaint number on the back of the bus. It will generate a sense of fear and accountability in the mind of a driver.

It may be mentioned here that whenever the police has launched a challan drive against the school bus drivers, the school bus operators go on mass strike, resulting in chaos and mismanagement.

The parents have to pay the price and they also blame the authorities for unnecessary harassment.

“It is unfortunate; whenever the police has started the challan drive, they did not receive support from the parents. After all, it is for the safety of their children that the police opts to challan a vehicle,” said a senior officer.

Expert view

It is a common to see students stuffed in an auto rickshaw or a school van. Parents, who otherwise show great care for their children, are least bothered how safe their child’s ride to the school is.

— Kamaljit Soi, a city-based road safety expert

Not the first incident

It was not the first incident whenstudents fell victim of reckless driving of auto-rickshaw drivers. In November last year, Harpreet Singh, a class VII student of Shifali Public School, sustained multiple fractures after an over speeding auto-rickshaw hit him. The driver was booked after five months of the incident.



City girl ranks 16th in Civil Services exam
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
The joys of city girl Shruti Sharma knew no bounds when she realised that finally the dream of her life had been fulfilled.

Shruti has bagged 16th rank in the All India Civil Services examination, the results of which were declared this afternoon.

Unable to express her feelings, Shruti simply chose to thank God and her family for their wholehearted blessings and support.

Talking to The Tribune, Shruti said, "At last hard work has paid me back. I cannot express my feelings. This was my ultimate dream, which has been fulfilled. God has been kind to me for providing the courage to realise my dream."

Among toppers in BCM School, Shruti has done B.Tech in computer science from Guru Nanak Engineering College here. Her father, Dr KN Sharma ,retired as professor from the Soil department of Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) last year. Her mother is a teacher at Government School in PAU.

Said a proud Dr Sharma, "She has sacrificed a lot to achieve this. For about eight months, she stayed in Delhi to get coaching classes. Though there was all the support from family, she managed everything on her own. She was thoroughly committed and dedicated towards her goal. We feel happy and proud over her achievement."

Shruti had chosen history and public administration as her main subjects. "She is always eager to learn more and more. She watches Discovery Channel and history remains her favourite subject. Shruti used to study for about 15 hours a day to achieve her target and it was her first attempt. The entire family, including her elder brother, an assistant professor, a doctor sister and sister-in-law are feel on top of the world over Shruti's success. The telephone has been ringing continuously to congratulate the family ", said an elated father.

Shruti feels hard work, dedication and commitment are the tools for success. Young generation must work hard to achieve the goals.

Last year, Prabhjot Singh, Amanpreet Kaur and Jasmeet Singh Dhandra, three students from Ludhiana, had cleared the IAS examination.



8 youths held for abduction after car chase
Mohit Khanna/TNS

Ludhiana, May 11
“Teaching a lesson” to their brother-in-law by reportedly abducting him in a vehicle proved costly for eight young men who were arrested by the police after a 40-minute long movie-style car chase late on Tuesday night. The incident occurred when additional deputy commissioner of police (traffic) Sajjan Singh Cheema, along with his gunman and driver was on duty near the Westend Mall on Ferozepur Road at around 11 pm.

“I saw a Toyota Qualis MUV heading into the city on Ferozepore Road. The vehicle did not have any registration number plates. When we indicated to the driver to halt for a check, instead of stopping the he sped away. The youths sitting in the vehicle appeared suspicious as one of them was shouting for help and the others beating him,” said Cheema.

He said he got into his official jeep with his gunman and told his driver to give chase to the Qualis, which soon turned off Ferozepore Road towards Sarabha Nagar.

Somehow, when the kidnappers reached near Guru Nanak Public School, Cheema and his team intercepted the kidnappers. “By that time, I had informed the cops at PCR, who had sent some cops at the spot,” Cheema said.

The moment the Qualis stopped, a man identifying himself as Avtar Singh, a resident of Lal Singh Road in Moga, ran towards the cops. “He urged us to save him from the young men who he said had kidnapped him from his home in Moga on Tuesday evening,” Cheema said. The eight youths were taken to police station. Avtar, 28, said he was married to a woman from the city’s Janta Nagar locality. “I had some differences with my wife, and her brothers and relatives came to Moga and kidnapped me to ‘teach me a lesson”, he said.



Woman caught smuggling drug into jail
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
The jail authorities nabbed a woman who was trying to sneak in habit-forming tablets inside the jail by hiding them in powder milk at the Central Jail, here today.

The woman, identified as Manjit Kaur, a resident of Behlolpur village near Macchiwara, was trying to sneak in drugs for her husband Jasbir Singh, who is undergoing imprisonment in a fraud case.

While giving information, Jail Superintendent SP Khanna said Jasbir Singh was sentenced to three years imprisonment in connection with a fraud case on March 3.

Today, Manjit Kaur had come to meet Jasbir Singh at the Central Jail, here. “She handed over a box of powder milk to him. When Jasbir Singh was going inside, the jail officials suspected foul play. When one of the cops opened the box containing powder milk and tasted some of it, the whole story was clear,” Khanna said.

Manjit Kaur had crushed habit-forming drugs and mixed them into powder milk. After this incident, a case has been registered against Manjit Kaur at Division Number 7 Police Station, here.



Ailing son of renowned Punjabi singer
Kuldeep Manak rues no help from state govt
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
Artistes are being treated shabbily by the state government, as it does not bother about them when they are critically sick. This is what renowned Punjabi singer Kuldeep Manak rued while talking about his son Yudhveer Manak (also a famous Punjabi singer), who is under treatment at Dayanand Medical College and Hopsital (DMCH) after suffering brain haemorrhage.

Talking to The Tribune, Kuldeep Manak, who was unable to control his emotions, said, ''My son suffered from brain haemorrhage on March 30. He was rushed to the DMCH emergency, where he was treated for about 18 days as he slipped into coma. And after a span of 18 days, he was shifted to the intensive care unit (ICU). Only a week ago when he started recognising us, he was shifted to a private room. Throughout this period none from the Punjab Government came forward with financial support. Politicians, including Harish Rai Dhanda, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal leaders of the opposition in Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Tota Singh, KK Bawa, Balwant Singh Ramoowalia of Lok Bhalai Party etc supported us morally. But none came forward with financial help. We had to spend Rs 5000 to 10,000 per day."

Manak said,''I have only one son and I am thankful to artistes like Jazzy B, Gurdass Maan, Nacchttar Gill, Shakti Khokhewalia, Dinesh, Gurmez Mehri, Jelly, Sonu, Satti, Deep Dhillon etc who helped us finacially. Moreover, it is the blessings and good wishes of people, friends and relatives that my son is now on way to recovery."

Yudhveer's sister Shakti Manak and wife Jasmin Manak saaid,"We are happy that Yudhveer is recovering now. Sometimes he recognises us and sometimes skips. But we are quite hopeful that he would recover soon."

An amount of Rs 15-16 lakh has been spent on Yudhveer's treatment, out of which the family could afford only 5-6 lakh, while the remaining expenses were paid by the artistes."

Yudhveer learnt the art of singing from his father and was determined to become a successful singer. His first album `Billo Mera Dil Lai Gai' was released in 2000, which announced his entry on the bhangra music scene.

He has also sung many songs of his father like "Maa hundi ei maa o duniya waleyo" etc. His mother Sarabjeet Manak said,''I am thankful to all the artistes who helped us in this crisis."



Today is International Nurses Day
Living up to Florence Nightingale’s ideals
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
Reliving the spirit of the celebrated pioneer in nursing, Florence Nightingale, on her birthday - May 12 - that is celebrated as International Nurses Day, one can still find that there are dedicated nurses not much unlike “The Lady with the Lamp” who worked tirelessly in the Crimean War to help the sick and the needy. Following the ‘Nightingale pledge’ with their heart and mind, many nurses serve their patients with total dedication.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, 35-year-old Anupam Rachna Singh, who is ward sister at the emergency and trauma centre of the Christian Medical College & Hospital and in charge of the hospital’s ambulance mobile and rescue services, said: ''I was only 17 years old when my mother, who also worked at CMCH, was afflicted with cancer and remained under treatment for about two years. I used to observe nurses very minutely when they treated my mother and though very nice of them. At that time I was enrolled in the BSc (nursing) course at the CMCH Nursing College. Perhaps my mother’s deadly disease evoked feelings of compassion in me to join this rewarding profession. And after getting my degree in nursing I joined CMCH in 2002 as a staff nurse”.

Tending to various types of patients in the dialysis and neuro wards and the burns unit, Anupam was appointed as ward sister in the hospital’s emergency and trauma centre about a year ago. She starts her day with a prayer especially for her patients. Throughout the day she remains busy with her work in attending patients in the emergency ward and never gets irritated if she gets a call from the hospital at odd hours.

Anupam, who has two children, stays with her father as her husband works at Punjab University, Chandigarh. “Due to his job my husband is able to join us mostly on weekends. So whenever I get a call from the hospital at night, I leave my kids with my father and rush to the ward where I’m required. At those times I just think about my patients who need my help”, she said.

Anupam says she never feels annoyed even if she is summoned to the hospital in the middle of the night. ''Whenever any patient comes into the trauma centre with broken limbs or in unconscious condition, I feel his or her family members have pinned all their hopes on doctors and nurses to save their relative’s life. The very thought makes me more humble and polite and I render my service to them with the utmost loyalty."

Asked whether she has occasionally to face the wrath of some patients, she replies, "Yes, sometimes some people shout at me in frustration and even become violent, but I believe in forget and forgive."

Holding this profession a truly noble one, Zeenat Sehgal a staff nurse at Shri Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, Shastri Nagar, who is on the verge of retirement, said: ''I’ve served in the nursing profession for over 30 years and feel tremendously satisfied”.

After completing a general nursing and midwifery course at the Philadelphia Missionary Hospital in Ambala in 1976 Zeenat began her career with a Haryana government job and later switched to her present job. Having lost her 23 year-old son a few years ago, she is now a grandmother. ''My husband, V Sehgal, always cooperated with me when I took up my job. My daughter who is married now also supported me a lot and helped out with household chores."

Zeenat, who always remains on her toes to serve her patients, feels times have changed when it comes to the nursing profession. “The very spirit of selfless service is missing among most nurses, though some are doing very good work.”

Younger lot opt for greener pastures

The feeling of dedication and devotion to selfless service among those in the nursing profession is lacking nowadays. Most of those belonging to the younger generation prefer to settle in a foreign country and I think the principal reason for this is more money. The feeling of compassion also appears to be disappearing. Perhaps this is due to technological advancement - now there is less manual work and more use of sophisticated medical equipment is in treatment.

— Dr Jasbeer Kaur, principal, DMCH (Dayanand Medical College & Hospital) College of Nursing

Although I had to quit my job due to some personal reasons, yet I love this profession. In our times it was a noble profession but now it has become just a money making business to cater to the healthcare needs of people.

— Poonam Kalra, Staff nurse at Christian Medical College & Hospital



Now, Sutlej Club within RTI ambit
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
The prestigious Sutlej Club has come within the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act after the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s recent judgement that the land belonged to the government.

SS Chana, a former IFS officer, told The Tribune that at least 3,000 members would, now, get the right to seek any information about this elite club. Chana said: “In September 2009, I sought an information about the club’s functioning from its previous executive. I was denied that information on the pretext that the club did not come under the RTI purview. I filed a case with the state information commission. A full bench, consisting of three commissioners, on July 8, 2010, declared that it was a public property and thus covered under the RTI Act.”

Executive of the Sutlej Club refused to accept this decision and filed a writ with the Punjab and Haryana High Court on September 17, 2010. After six hearings of the case, the High Court in its final hearing on April 26, 2011, declared that the club would come under the RTI Act.

Chana said: “ We are members of the club for past several years and have right to get any information since we are paying all charges. The members got perturbed after they were denied information by the club. Thus, we moved the state information commission. The club must be covered under the RTI Act because the land worth about Rs 200 crore belongs to the state government.” SS Chana, TS Bakshi and SM Bhalla pursued the case.

General secretary of the club Sanjeev Dhanda, however, said the club was not against giving any kind of information to its members. “But at the same time, it must not be covered under the RTI since it is a social club and not any government organisation. We have already been providing information to the club members as and when required without charging anything. As far as recent decision of the High Court is concerned, we have decided to contest against it further,” said Dhanda.



18-yr-old love spells doom for two families
Three held for killing cop
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 11
Extramarital relationship has ruined at least two families of Ramgarh Sardaran village near here, with three men cooling their heels behind bars for allegedly killing a cop.

Rajpal Singh, a farm labourer, his son Davinder Singh and nephew Harman Singh Maani of Abbuwal, have been arrested for allegedly killing Gurdeep Singh Sidhu, a cop posted at Batlana Chowki, Zirakpur, about 15 days ago.

The accused had caught Sidhu and Rajpal’s wife Gurmeet Kaur in compromising position on the fateful night, a few hours after he (Gurdeep Singh Sidhu) had left his house at Amarpura Mohalla on the pretext of attending special duty at Batlana.

While Gurmeet Kaur, who sustained injuries while trying to save Gurdeep Singh from the accused, considers herself responsible for their 18-year-old love story’s tragic end, the accused have no regrets for what they did. “What else we could have done with the man who had been ignoring our warnings for the past 18 years,” argued Rajpal Singh in police custody.

Investigations by a police team led by Bikramjit Singh, SHO, Sadar, revealed that Gurdeep Singh and Gurmeet Kaur had developed illicit relationship 18 years ago. Friends and relatives of both families had refused to accept their relationship and asked Sidhu to shift to some other place. But, both kept on meeting each other in the absence of other members of their families.

On the fateful night when Rajpal Singh had gone to work in fields of his master and Davinder Singh was on night duty, Gurdeep Singh came to meet Gurmeet Kaur. On seeing them in compromising position, the accused lost their cool and bludgeoned Gurdeep to death.

They first decided to throw the body on the railway track, but threw it into a pond after someone saw them carrying it on their motorcycle near Matoie village.

Gurpreet Singh Sikand, DSP, Amargarh, said the accused were arrested from various places and weapons and the motorcycle used in the crime had also been seized.

The body of the deceased was found floating in a pond at Matoie village near here 10 days ago. The Sangrur police has constituted a special team to probe into the circumstances leading to the death.



LIT to curb commercial activity in residential colonies
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 11
Acting on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court issued in the course of disposal of a writ petition against commercial activity in residential colonies, the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) has initiated steps to curb commercial activity in the 8.4 acre Sant Isher Singh Nagar residential scheme in the city.

Following a survey in the colony, it was revealed that a majority of residents of HIG flats were blatantly flouting land-use norms and violating terms of agreement of allotment of flats which explicitly stated that the properties would not be used for any other purpose other than residential dwellings, the LIT had issued some 190 show-cause notices to allottees who had set up commercial establishments in the colony. As a follow up measure, the LIT also issued a public notice in the newspapers asking the flat owners as to why their allotment should not be cancelled for violation of provisions governing allotment of flats.

LIT chairman MM Vyas told The Tribune that all affected allottees were given an opportunity of personal hearing, and keeping their practical difficulties in view, the Trust had acceded to their demand and had given them some time so that they could make alternative arrangements for their commercial establishments, or take necessary steps to save their investment in the event of closure.

"After discussing the issue with the petitioners in this specific case, we have given 20 days time to those running commercial establishments in the HIG flats after which the matter will be reviewed for necessary action. Even though we do not intend to be harsh on the residents, but at the same time we are bound to carry out the directions of the hon'ble high court," the LIT chairman said.

When asked about the increasing use of residential properties for commercial use in the almost all other colonies as well, Vyas said that a beginning had been made in Sant Isher Singh Nagar. "We will take up the Trust colonies one by one and given the staff shortage it will take some time. But change of land use will not be permitted and all such cases will be taken to their logical conclusion in accordance with the law," he added.

Sant Isher Singh Nagar

Following a survey in the colony, it was revealed that a majority of residents of HIG flats were blatantly flouting land-use norms and violating terms of agreement of allotment of flats which explicitly stated that the properties would not be used for any other purpose other than residential dwellings, the LIT had issued 190 show-cause notices to those allottees who had set up commercial establishments in the colony.



Forgery of tender documents continues in MC
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 11
Forging and fabricating tender documents, fiddling with bids after submission and lodging inflated bills for development works by the contractors enlisted with the Municipal Corporation (MC) in connivance with both the supervisory officials and subordinate staff seems to be a routine rather than an exception in the civic body here.

The infamous Fake Bill Scam that surfaced in November 2009 is a classic example as to how the culprits - the guilty contractors and conniving officials - can evade any penal action and go scot-free even after committing a fraud worth some Rs 70 lakh. Even after the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO) of the local government department had explicitly recommended to the government to lodge an FIR against the guilty contractors and the officials involved in the scam, till date no action has been initiated by the government or the MC in this regard.

Information available with The Tribune indicates that most of the financial irregularities committed by the contractors and the officials are normally hushed up, and even after the matter is reported to the state government or the CVO, strings are pulled and deals are made at the higher level with the result that files keep gathering dust either in the directorate (of the local government) or the office of the CVO.

It was in May 2009, a few months before the Fake Bill Scam was unearthed, that two instances of forgery committed by a contractor Varinder Kumar in connivance with the then superintending engineer, Dharam Singh, executive engineers Brij Pal Singh, HC Salaria, SDOs Rahul Gagneja, Sunil Sharma, junior engineers Harjit Singh, Sanjeev Kumar and deputy controller local audit Vijay Khanna, were reported to the state government.

In both the cases, the said contractor, incidentally the same who was later named in the Fake Bill Scam, had offered bids for two road projects at 40 and 37 per cent less than the common schedule of rates (CSR), which were also mentioned in the resolutions approved by the Finance and Contracts Committee. However, the conniving officials signed agreements at a saving of 14.40 and 14.37 for the two road projects by adding words "14 and a decimal" before figures of 40 and 37 in the tender document. The payments of these works were also approved accordingly causing loss of several lakhs to the MC.

After the fraud committed by the contractor was detected, the MC commissioner wrote to the directorate of the local government for lodging criminal cases against the officials involved in the forging and fabrication of documents, and also handing over the case to the state vigilance bureau for further investigation, which as usual never took place.

A senior MC official told The Tribune that the MC on its own could not proceed against the state cadre officials and any penal or disciplinary action had to be initiated by the state government. "Whenever any financial or other irregularity comes to the notice of the civic administration, the case is reported to the local government department which is competent to initiate action against the guilty officials," the officials pointed out.



Hands that craft and create
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
A few years from now, Preetam Kaur, a widow in her late 40s from Atiyana village, was struggling to make both ends meet. With two young daughters to support, her financial resources were almost negligible. But today, this villager is not only running her household comfortably but also leading a group of other rural woman, coordinating with their self-help activities and acting as a mentor for them.

Preetam is not the sole example of unusual success story of rural women empowerment. There are scores of others like her who have been working with Ludhiana-based NGO, a voluntary organisation named Aagaz Charitable Foundation for the past seven years and are part of the NGO’s intensive campaign for empowerment of woman into the ambit of self employment and upliftment of children.

These 40-odd women from three adopted villages of Aagaz-Atiyana, Sudhar and Hera- have been working on various embroidery projects, both for the NGO as well as for several big hosiery industries of Ludhiana, earning their living and setting an example for others in their situation. Their hand-made products are even sold across countries like Singapore, Dubai, the UK, the USA and Australia to name a few. Their hand-made products include designer cushions, bedcovers, linen, mobile covers, trendy crochet bags, trousseau bags, and much more. These products are in demand for their contemporary yet traditional look.

“It feels really good to be independent. All this has been possible due to the didi’s efforts,” says Preetam, speaking fondly of Manmeet Grewal and Preeti Kansal, who run the NGO.

Preetam adds: “Today, I can proudly say that I am self-reliant, financially independent and empowered which seemed like a distant dream a few years ago. Both my daughters are settled, thanks to Aagaz, which educated and secured comfortable jobs for them. I feel extremely proud to be a part of Aagaz.”

Two gutsy women, Preeti Kansal and Manmeet Grewal, are spearheading the NGO. Their desire is to open new avenues and opportunities for rural women. Besides, Aagaz has several prominent city residents, including educationists, on its board.

Kansal, founder and general secretary, and Grewal, founder and president of Aagaz, have been intensively campaigning since 2004 to motivate rural women and girls to stand up for themselves and earn a living.

“The basic aim of this NGO is to work towards creating a humane and congenial society where our future generations can live in peace and harmony, radiating happiness all around. Hence the motto-We Care For Our Future Generations,” remarks Kansal.

Grewal adds: “This organisation shares a firm belief that the role of women, their mental make up and social-economic status is the basis for shaping our future society. Thus, there is a dire need for the social and economic upliftment of women.”

Kansal and Grewal inform that besides embroidery projects, the NGO has, over the years, undertaken various other projects like children’s education, child and woman abuse, career counselling, non-formal education, training and self employment, building self confidence, self-help group activities, creation of recreational facilities, marital and pre-marital counselling, guidance for adolescent girls, projects on safe environment, welfare projects and social activities, consumer problems, road safety and drug de-addiction. The NGO has also held several medical and dental check-up camps across villages in and around Ludhiana.

Aagaz has also won several awards and commendations, including the 17th Godfrey Phillips Bravery Award for its courageous activities. Besides this, Kansal and Grewal have also won several awards for their individual efforts towards upliftment of rural women.

“Our aim is to inculcate, in these women, a sense of independence and financial security,” they add. Aagaz is also planning to adopt more villages and to intensify awareness movement,” says Kansal.

Revival of dying art form

Aagaz is collaborating with the College of Home Science, Punjab Agricultural University, to revive the dying art form of Punjab — Phulkari. At least 70 students took part in a competition organised on the college campus today.

Participants are designing various motifs. Out of these, best entries will be chosen and honoured at a glittering award ceremony. The aim of the project is to introduce freshness and innovation in phulkari designs and help in its revival. Designs made by college students will be used in the Aagaz’s project and handed over to rural women working with the NGO. Kansal and Grewal say the project is the brainchild of Dr Neelam Grewal, dean, College of Home Science, PAU. Aagaz intends to take the traditional art form across the globe. “We will introduce the beautiful art form in wedding and home decor, and men’s wear to begin with and we are sure of its success,” says Kansal.



Residents decry installation of mobile tower
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 11
Residents of the New Prem Nagar locality today held a protest against the installation of a mobile tower atop a roof of a commercial building, which had been constructed in gross violation of building bylaws.

Area councillor Gurpreet Gogi, who led the protest, said that even though the municipal corporation had given an NOC to the owner of the building, and the Punjab and Haryana High Court had also ruled in favour of installation of the mobile tower, the fact remained that the MC had failed to act against violation of building bylaws which prohibited raising of commercial building in residential areas.

The protesters alleged that staff of the building branch of the MC was hand in glove with the violators, with the result that commercial buildings were being constructed in residential areas with impunity.

Demanding demolition of the commercial building, the residents also called for action against officials and field staff of the MC building branch who had failed to carry out the assigned task of regulation and enforcement of building bylaws.



Online details of intra-state trade
Traders speculate, call off bandh on May 12
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
The government's verbal promise to withdraw the recent notification regarding the online furnishing of details of intra-state trade has resulted in speculation in trade and industry.

Since nothing in written has been issued, traders are confused about the final verdict. The bandh call on May 12 given by the industry has been called off.

Traders are baffled whether to buy the infrastructure, which they will need in case the notification is implemented. "I was planning to buy a computer and other infrastructure required for filing the online details of the intra- state trade. Despite the promise made by the government that it will withdraw the notification, I still have to buy the infrastructure and get the user name and password from the department but now I am giving it a second thought," said Jaswinder Singh, a small-time trader.

Adding further he said in case the notification was not withdrawn then he would have to manage all the things at the last minute.

Unaware of the announcement of the government, the Federation of Auto Parts Manufacturers (FAPMA) held a meeting in which chairman Subash Bajaj condemned the move of the Punjab government for issuing notification for online information regarding supply of their goods. "Such a notification will put an extra burden on the industry, which is already facing multiple problems on various fronts," he said.

Jagtar Singh Bhambra, general secretary said the notification was anti -industry and if passed would create lots of difficulties in the smooth running of business. He said the apathetic attitude of the state government had caused immense loss as the industry had moved to other states. Instead of providing relief, the government was creating hurdle in the way of industry, which was not a good sign.

PD Sharma, president of Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Auto Parts Manufacturers Association, said the government had given them assurance that it would re-think before implementing the notification. "We have been assured that the final decision will be taken after a meeting with the representatives of the industry. We have called off the protest and bandh call given on May 12," he said.

What does the notification say

All dealers making intra-state transactions are now required to upload the information about goods on the department's website, www.pextax.com before the vehicle leaves from the premises of a dealer. The compulsory declaration will be applicable for all transactions whose value is in excess of ` 2,00,000 for one single bill, except for the six commodities which includes iron and steel, cotton bales and yarn, edible oils, timber, marble and tiles of all kinds. The compulsory declaration for the above-mentioned six commodities will be applicable for the transactions whose value is in excess of ` 20,000 for one single bill



Taxation bar body meet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
An annual general meeting of the District Taxation Bar Association (Sales Tax) was held here today in which secretary Sunil Sharma presented his annual report for the year 2010-2011.

The achievements and goals of the executive committee of the Sales Tax Bar include the furnishing of the bar room, regular study circle meetings, general house meetings, annual games, financial grants of Rs 3 lakhs from the Punjab government. It was decided to publish the directory of the association. Arun Kanwal, president, Mohinder Grover vice -president, Ashish Thaman, press secretary were also present on the occasion.



PSPCL to pay Rs 5,000 for deficiency in services
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 11
Taking strict note of inordinate delay in enhancing the electricity load of a consumer, the Permanent Lok Adalat has ordered Punjab State Power Corporation (PSPCL) to pay Rs 5,000 as compensation for deficiency in services.

The chairman of Permanent Lok Adalat, Lakhbir Singh and its members, RS Khokhar and Nand Lal, pronounced the order while deciding the complaint moved by Simi Jain, a resident of near Tutian Wala Mandir, Daresi road, Ludhiana.

The complainant had submitted that she had applied for enhancing the sanctioned electricity load. A sum of Rs 4,800 was deposited on December 21, 2009. Thereafter, she pursued the matter with officials, but all in vain. Despite repeated requests, her load was not enhanced. All this caused her a lot of mental tension and harassment on account of deficiency in services.

On the other hand, PSPCL officials had refuted the allegations. It has been stated that since October 1, 2009, Suvidha Centre had come into existence. The entire procedure of applying for new connections and extension of load was changed by them. Consumer should have applied there, but she did not apply there. They denied of having delay in enhancing the load.

But after appreciating the evidence on record, the Permanent Lok Adalat observed that the sanctioned load was enhanced after about 10 months from depositing the amount with PSPCL. It further observed that they cannot deprive the consumer under the garb of establishing Suvidha Centre.



New heart surgery technique
CMC doc slams claim by Apollo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
Slamming the claims made by doctors of SPS Apollo Hositals that “Apollo Hospitals introduces MICS”, Dr Harinder Singh Bedi, head, department of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, Christian Medical College and Hospital, said MICS had been used by him for the first time in 1997 and then routinely .

In a press release issued by him, he said, “In fact we have gone a step further and have used a cath lab in OT (Hybrid OT) to make the cut really small - this figures as a Limca Book of World Records 2008 entry.”

He further said, “I have presented this technique since then in various cardiac scientific national conferences and CMEs - in fact a number of my presentations have been attended by Apollo doctors.

They have also been widely publicised in newspapers since 1997 and is now used routinely.”

Dr Bedi said the implied claim by the Apollo doctors that the technique had been introduced by them now was grossly false, unethical, misleading, with malafide intentions and was inappropriate. Almost all bypasses done now were by MICS technique - I have done about 3,000 so far in Punjab.”

However, Dr KC Mukherjee, senior consultant and coordinator, department of cardiac surgery, SPS Apollo Hospitals, said, “Multivessel bypass surgery facility by MICS is available in few

centres of the country and SPS Apollo Hospitals have also joined that group. Now this facility is available for all patients undergoing bypass surgery at Apollo hospitals.

These operations are being occasionally performed by surgeons all over the world for the past 30 years.



NRHM staff walk out of meeting with health secy
Anupam Bhagria

Ludhiana, May 11
Protesting against the non-fulfilment of their long pending demands, the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) Employees’ Association walked out of the meeting with principal secretary health, Satish Chandra held at Chandigarh yesterday. The union has now decided to gherao Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at his sangat darshan programmes, along with rallies and protest all over the state.

The deputation led by Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, general secretary of the association, included Sajjan Singh, chairman of Punjab Subordinate Services Federation; Commandant (retd) Kashmir Singh, chairman of NRHM Employees’ Federation, Punjab. Bhullar said, “We went to meet the principal secretary, health, but he categorically refused to accept our demands and behaved rudely. Following which, we decided to walk out and not to hold any communication with the principal secretary in future.”

The agitated union leaders demand salaries at par with employees of UP, Bihar and Rajasthan. They alleged that the Punjab government sent the money back to the Government of India by imposing un-necessary deductions on the salary of employees. However, other two states have increased the salaries of its NRHM employees almost double. While Rajinder Singh, media in charge of the association, said, “We also told Satish Chandra that computer teachers and employees working under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan have also been regularised. But he asked us not to compare ourselves with them. It was disheartening to hold a meeting with him.”

Their demands include implementation of service rules for NRHM employees, medical leave, earned leave, medical facilities, ex-gratia grant, DA (dearness allowance) and maternity leave of six month, along with pay to female employees.



Stress to develop high-yielding varieties of pulses
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
A three-day annual group meet of the all-India coordinated research project on MULLaRP (mungbean, urdbean, lentil, lathyrus and rajmah project), jointly organised by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and the Indian Institute of Pulses Research (IIPR), Kanpur, kicked off here today.

Scientists from different state agricultural universities, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) institutes and private seed companies participated in the meet.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr RK Mahey, Registrar, PAU, divulged that globally about 60 million (m) tonnes of pulses were produced annually and India was the largest producer and consumer of pulses in the world. In India, pulses occupied an area of 23.35 million hectare and production was around 14.6 million tonnes with average yield of 625 kg/ha. Dr Mahey further revealed that Punjab required five lakh tonnes of pulses per annum, but the total production was around 70,000 tonnes.

Emphasising that private industry and processing units should be encouraged for manufacturing machines for pulse cultivation and processing of the crops, he said insurance policy would encourage farmers for their cultivation as pulse cultivation involved risks.

Rightly called as “unique jewels of crop husbandry,” he highlighted that the landmark variety of mungbean “SML 668”, developed by PAU, had become popular among the farmers and added that a kharif season urdbean variety “Mash 479” was released for cultivation in 2010.

Dr N Nadarajan, director, IIPR, Kanpur added that there were more expectations from PAU regarding pulse varieties and technology. Mungbean and urdbean being the important pulse crops were cultivated over a wide range of agro-climatic zones of the country.

He disclosed, “Due to the efforts of ICAR, pulse researchers and farmers, pulse production in India has touched the record of 17.2 million tonnes.” Dr Nadarajan stressed on the need to focus on researchable issues such as broadening of genetic base in mungbean and urdbean, development of high yielding varieties with high yield and multiple resistance to diseases, refinement of production technologies for different cropping seasons and development of integrated pest management (IPM) modules against key insect pests.

Presenting an overview of “pulses seed production status in India”, Dr JS Sandhu, assistant director general (seed), ICAR expressed concern over the inadequate seed multiplication and seed replacement rate.



Pawan Diwan is new DCC president

Ludhiana, May 11
Pawan Diwan, secretary of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, and a close aide of Congress MP from Ludhiana Manish Tewari, has been nominated as new president of the District Congress Committee (DCC) (Urban).

He will replace Jagmohan Sharma, who headed the party in the district for almost a decade.

Diwan said he would take all party cadres along to strengthen the organisation in the industrial hub of the state so as to throw out the SAD-BJP coalition government in the forthcoming assembly elections.

He expressed gratitude to Indian National Congress president Sonia Gandhi, its secretary Rahul Gandhi, in charge of party affairs of Punjab Gulchain Singh Charak, PPCC president Captain Amarinder Singh and Congress MP Manish Tewari.

Cong meeting put off

In the wake of reconstitution of the state and district units of the Congress, the scheduled meeting of PPCC chief and former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh with party cadres from four assembly segments here tomorrow (May 12) has been postponed. While the local party leaders did not give out any reason for the meeting being put off, it was believed that the top leadership of the Congress wanted to give some time to other contenders to reconcile and come to terms with the new set up. — OC



From Schools
National Technology Day

LUDHIANA: The National Technology Day was observed with enthusiasm at Green Land Senior Secondary Public School on Wednesday to commemorate technological breakthroughs and advancement. A house-wise paper reading contest was held wherein students highlighted the importance of this day. Students stressed on the point that scientific temperament is a must among citizens of India. The vision to become a super power and a developed nation is possible only when we promote science and technology. Through the contest, the students expressed gratitude to all Indian scientists, nuclear engineers and technologists who have been working hard to make India stand up to the world. Speaking on the occasion, chairman, chain of Green Land Schools, Rajesh Rudra said the development in science and technology had made India receive global acknowledgement. Observing this day provides inspiration to the young generation, which plays a major role in shaping the country’s future, he said. School principal Baldeep Pandher encouraged and applauded the efforts of the students. A house-wise poster making competition was also held for the students of Classes IX-XII. Rudhra and Pandher gave away prizes to the winners.

Traffic awareness

Students of Jesus Scared Heart School had a fun-filled educative day at the Traffic Park on Wednesday. The aim of the visit was to educate the students in a refreshing way. The importance of traffic rules was told and students were given live demonstrations. Vice-principal Kirti Sharma said, “By taking our students to such excursions, we want to bring home the fact children can only learn through a play-way method and the nation can only be disciplined and enlightened when its future leaders are enlightened and disciplined.” The students learnt the usage of traffic symbols and the importance of driving safely. Head constable Jagmail Singh demonstrated and illustrated upon the importance of traffic signs and signals.

Kavi darbar

Students of Sanatan Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School perform a dance during a function in Ludhiana
Students of Sanatan Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School perform a dance during a function in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Sanatan Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Deep Nagar, Civil Lines, organised a “Kavi Darbar” for senior classes on the school premises. Chief guest Dalip Piplani, judges Karan Lamba and Parveen Modgill were given a floral welcome by president Rajesh Kashyap, manager Harish Sachdeva and principal Sadhana Sharma. The function started with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp by the chief guest and judges. About 30 students from Classes VI-XII participated in the competition. The participants showcased their talent by reciting patriotic poems based on current issues like save water and environment, eradication of social evils like malpractice of female foeticide, demand of dowry, corruption, etc. Addressing the students, Lamba appreciated the efforts of all participants to convey the message through their poems. He advised the students to take part in such competitions in the future also so that they should maintain confidence and the spirit of leadership. — TNS



Youth’s foreign dream turns sour
Accused had demanded Rs 6 lakh for getting their Canada-based daughter married to him
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 11
A family of Rode village in Moga district allegedly duped a youth of Rs 6 lakh on the pretext of sending him abroad. The victim has been identified as Balvir Singh, a resident of Gurusar Kaunke village near Jagraon. Family members of the accused, including father Gurcharan Singh and mother Harjinder Kaur, had promised to get their “Canada-based” daughter Gurwinder Kaur married to him on the pretext of sending him abroad.

“For this, they had demanded Rs 6 lakh from us. We handed over the amount after selling one-and-a-half acre of our agricultural land. But when we approached them for finalizing the date of marriage they started making excuses. This made us suspicious,” Balvir Singh told the police.

“The matter was investigated and we were shocked to learn that Gurwinder Kaur, whom her parents claimed was settled in Canada, had in fact never visited it. We decided to approach the police to get the matter investigated,” he added.

Balvir Singh, in a complaint lodged with the police, stated that he had first met the accused after a marriage ceremony last year. He told them about his foreign dream. Following this, Gurcharan Singh and Harjinder Kaur promised to get their “Canada-based” daughter married to him. “They even showed a picture of their daughter and added that they are looking for a groom for her. They demanded Rs 6 lakh on the pretext that they cannot afford the expenditure of their daughter’s marriage. I handed over the money to them after some time.”

But, I was neither sent abroad nor returned my money, the victim alleged in his complaint. Meanwhile, a case under Sections 420 and 406 of the IPC has been registered against the accused.



One held with 500 gm of opium
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 11
The Ludhiana (rural) police has arrested one person and recovered 500 grams of opium from his possession. The accused has been identified asJatinder Singh of Jandi village near Sidhwan Bet.

As per the information, a police team from anti narcotics cell led by ASI Satpal Singh arrested the accused from near Ramghar Bhullar village last evening. The police had set up a check post near Ramghar Bhullar village following secret information. The police team stopped a person riding on a scooter and when searched 500 grams of opium was recovered from his possession.The police has registered a case against Jatinder Singh under the NDPS Act at the Jagraon Sadar police station and the investigation is on.



Execute existing bylaws: HC tells MC
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 11
Making it amply clear that officials of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation “are publicly duty bound to implement the law,” the Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked them to ensure execution of “all existing municipal bylaws.”

Justice Rajiv Bhalla said this during the hearing of a contempt petition hovering around the issue of implementation of the new bylaws, including the rules for the sale of meat products in the city.

After the High Court expressed dissatisfaction with 1971 and 1979 bylaws, the corporation came out with new ones. The Bench, on the previous date of hearing, was informed that the corporation was awaiting nod from the competent authority for the implementation of the bylaws.

Justice Bhalla asserted: “The secretary concerned is directed to forthwith ensure implementation of all existing municipal bylaws. If any officer is found guilty of negligence or connivance, the secretary may take appropriate action against him.”

Directions were also issued for the constitution of a special team to check the sale of unhygienic non-vegetarian products in the city.

Justice Bhalla also asked the municipal corporation to “file an affidavit setting out in detail the mode and manner, apart from challans, in which the bylaws are going to be implemented so as to ensure that the food products are sold in hygienic conditions.”

The assertion is significant, as Justice Bhalla has all along been laying emphasis on the need to generate awareness and educate people on the necessity of going in for sale-purchase of hygienic food products.

As advocate RS Bajaj appeared on behalf of the commissioner, municipal corporation, Justice Bhalla said: “Dr Jagpal Singh Passi, district health officer, civil surgeon’s office, Ludhiana, who is present in the court, is directed to forthwith form a team of medical officers headed by him to verify the claims being made by the municipal corporation that chicken are being slaughtered and sold in hygienic manner.”

Justice Bhalla also directed Dr Passi to file his report within 15 days before fixing the case for May 30 for further hearing.



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