L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


139 ineligible teachers hired in 2006-07
n Zila parishad under lens again n Officials alleged to have taken bribes
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
The ‘zila parishad’ & ‘panchayat’ department, which has been embroiled in one scam after another, has yet again courted controversy for making out-of-turn appointments of nearly 139 diploma holders of the elementary teacher training (ETT) course in 2006 and 2007.

This startling fact came to light following details procured by a city resident under the Right to Information Act (RTI), which indicated ‘zila parishad’ officials had flouted procedural guidelines in selecting ETT candidates. RTI activists even went on to allege the officials concerned had received huge bribes for making “backdoor” appointments to "undeserving" and ineligible candidates.

Of the about 8,920 BEd and ETT teachers who had applied for 1,000 positions in Ludhiana district about 990 were appointed following a five-part interview. Ten seats remained vacant due to lack eligible candidates.

From accepting the objection forms well after the deadline, the selection committee also accepted character certificates of candidates issued by the latter’s family members. Not only this, officials who were nongazetted or retired had also attested the certificates in contravention of service regulations.

According to sources, nearly 40 candidates managed to get certificates verifying eligibility for the sports category, which were mostly procured from nongazetted class III employees of the state sports department. The irregularities in the selection process could be gauged from the fact that a candidate who had just attended it was shown as medal winner to ensure a job in the sports category quota.

An investigation by The Tribune showed no records pertaining to the issue of certificates were available with the sports department.

The anomalies did not end there - the candidates had even submitted academic degrees from the unrecognized universities in order to get a government job. In many cases they had not appeared for the class 10 Punjabi language examination, mandatory for the job.

The district administration, particularly the ‘zila parishad’ & ‘panchayat’ department, was reportedly fully aware about the matter and even conducted an independent probe headed by Moga additional deputy commissioner MS Kainth to ascertain the truth following complaints of irregularities in the recruitment of teachers.

In his inquiry report submitted to the department head office in Chandigarh Kainth named nearly 139 teachers who had secured government jobs by submitting false documents. The report, a copy of which is with The Tribune, states 20 candidates got jobs in the “reserved” category by submitted bogus documents while 50 had not submitted their degrees and diplomas with the department concerned.

Commenting on the matter, deputy commissioner Rahul Tiwari said: “We know about the report and subsequently sought an explanation from the teachers who were named in the list. Defiantly, the department would take action if teachers were found guilty of using unfair means to secure a government job.” He did not rule out the active involvement of a ‘zila parishad’ employee in the affair.

Sources close to ‘zila parishad’ department said a clerk played an important role in ensuring “backdoor entry” of these teachers and even received huge bribes to get the work done.


Anxiety marks Class X result
CBSE declares result in the evening
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
It was a day of anxiety for students of the CBSE Class X, the result of which was declared this evening. Since morning, students were eagerly awaiting the result, but a glitch in the official site of the CBSE only prolonged the wait. The site could be accessed only after 4.30 pm.

Rohan Sood, a student sai: “I could feel butterflies in my stomach and was feeling low. But when I saw my result, I was relieved.”

Manik Sethi, another student, said: “The result should have been declared in the morning. Throughout the day we were on the tenterhooks.”

Not only students, but also teachers and school principals were worried. Preeti, a schoolteacher, said: “It is ridiculous that the CBSE failed to announce the result on time. Since May 16, students and teachers have been waiting for the result. Today when it was declared, it took so long to download it.”

Some other students said: “We spent the whole day watching a film and had langar at a gurdwara just to kill our anxiety. To announce the result in the evening was not the right decision.”

Another student Sharan Singh said he was so anxious that he was constantly over the phone since morning. ‘‘I just did not want to think about the result. I wanted to talk my fear over,” he said.



A perfect 10 for many
Courtesy co-scholastic evaluation
Anupam Bhagria

Ludhiana, June 1
This year, many students scored 10 CGPA (cumulative grade point assessment) in the Class X result. It means these students scored an overall A1 grade. Some school heads say it is due to in-house evaluation while the others say it is the overall assessment of a student, which included formative assignments and co-curricular activities like co-scholastic evaluation.

Talking to The Tribune, Mona Singh, principal of Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, which has 50 students with 10 CGPA, said, “The system of CGPA is good. Although the evaluation was done by our schoolteachers, it was as per norms and conditions of the CBSE. The evaluation done by schools was moderated by the CBSE and it proved very good for us. The marks which we allotted to our students were increased by the board. Had we declared the result on our own, it could not have been that good.”

RS Patial of DAV Public School, BRS Nagar, which has 88 students with 10 CGPA, said, “I think the burden on students is less as the CBSE introduced the semester system. The syllabus has also been divided into two parts.”

Paramjeet Kaur, principal of BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, said, “It is formative assignments and co-curricular activities which have also been graded in this result. It is good and, of course, an inspirational effort of the CBSE.”

Vadana Shahi, principal of BCM, Dugri, said, “The in-house evalaution is not the main factor. Students have also been given grades in co-scholastic areas like life-skill education, health and physical education and work experience. The grades of students who excelled in co-scholastic areas have been converted to higher grades. Another reason is that children were not under stress due to board exams. It was like a normal examination for them.”

The same was the feeling of parents. Kiran, mother of a student, said, “My son is good in co-curricular activities and games. He proved his worth in the result. I am very happy that the CBSE has, at last, introduced the CGPA system in the right way.”



11-year-old boy flunks in class, ends life
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
Flunking the class IV examination proved too much to handle for an 11-year-old boy as he allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself off a hook on the ceiling of his house at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here today.

According to the police, the boy, identified as Rohit, son of a class IV employee of PAU, who studied at the government school on the PAU campus, committed suicide here this morning when he was alone at home.

He used his mother’s ‘dupatta’ to hang himself. He was spotted hanging by his mother, who raised an alarm. Neighbours reached the spot and informed the police.

The police said the boy was subjected to social embarrassment after he failed to clear the examination. He was reportedly thrashed by his parents for the poor show.

Rajinder Singh, victim’s father, said he had no clue that his son would end his life. He admitted that his son was depressed after he failed in the examination a month ago.



MC to begin razing illegal colonies today
Five colonies identified in zone A; 7 in zone B; and 3 each in zones C and D
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

389 illegal buildings detected

In a survey completed on Tuesday, the MC had detected 389 unauthorized buildings and 18 illegal residential colonies in all four municipal zones of the city, all of which have come up in the last 13 months.

Ludhiana, June 1
Starting Thursday the municipal corporation plans to commence demolition of 18 unauthorized colonies that had sprung up in various areas of the city after April 1, 2010. Five such colonies were detected in zone A, seven in zone B, and three each in zone C and D. A few days ago the civic body had razed four illegal colonies near Kakowal Road.

Municipal town planner Hemant Batra said: “Now that the survey (of unauthorized structures in the city) has been completed all illegal residential colonies are on our radar. Just like we demolished four such colonies near Kakowal Road three more would be razed in zone C on Thursday. We won’t spare any one flouting regulations and will take strict action according to the law”.

In a survey completed on Tuesday, the MC had detected 389 unauthorized buildings and 18 illegal residential colonies in all four municipal zones of the city, all of which had come up during the last 13 months. They were either built without obtaining prior MC permission or did not conform to the building plans submitted to and cleared by the civic body.

The unauthorized colonies, each situated on around 7 to 8 acres of land in zone A, have reportedly come up in Jassian, Kailash Nagar and the Kakowal Road areas.

In zone C all of the illegal colonies, also situated on 6-7 acres of land, are located near Pippalwala Chowk and nearby streets. They are in area. In Zone D, two of the three colonies are situated on Jassian Road, while the third one in Haibowal. The colonies on Jassian Road are of 8.5 acres and three acres respectively, while the one in Haibowal is of 2.5 acres.

These details, compiled on Wednesday after a week-long survey conducted by assistant town planners of all four zones, have been submitted to the civic body. The survey was conducted in the wake of the Punjab & Haryana High Court order in 2008 directing the MC to undertake "a comprehensive survey of the entire municipal area of Ludhiana to identify unauthorized encroachments/constructions on government lands and municipal lands as also constructions made in violation of the sanctioned plan or without obtaining the sanctioned plan."

On March 9 an “activist” had sought details of the survey report under the Right to Information Act. However, in its reply to the state information commission the MC denied any such exercise had been conducted.



Power complaint system to be revamped
100 groups of two electricians each with motorbikes to be deployed
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 1
Two elderly persons pedalling it out, and at times carrying a wooden stepladder between them to rectify the fault in power supply, that too after hours of booking the complaint, is a passe. In the high tech world, 100 qualified groups of two electricians each, will be riding on a motorcycle to attend to complaints of the consumers during the peak summer season. They are going to be deployed for the next four months in the mega city.

The blueprint of the new complaint handling mechanism, aimed at cutting down time taken in rectification of fault in power supply was outlined by new chief engineer (central zone) of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited KL Sharma here today. He was addressing a news conference immediately after taking over charge of the office after incumbent PS Gill retired yesterday.

Giving details of the project, Sharma saidthat the PSPCL management had accorded formal approval to the scheme which was to be out-sourced with the sole intention of improving the quality of service during summer season when the disruptions in power supply due to overload and line faults tended to go up manifold.

"At the same time, the number of operators and telephone lines at the centralised customer care centre are also being increased. And further, more complaint-handling staff is also being assigned to divisional offices which will function as nodal complaint -handling centres during the peak summer season," the chief engineer said.

According to Sharma, the number of mobile gangs to be deployed at different divisional offices in the city will be decided on the basis of volume of complaints and these will be adjusted or shifted accordingly so as to make the system of redressal of complaints efficient and responsive to the needs of the customers.

He said that the distribution network in the city had already been strengthened to a great extent to take the extra load during the summer season with several new substations having been set up, existing ones upgraded, a large number of transformers down-loaded and faulty LT and PVC cables having been replaced. "Our aim is to provide uninterrupted power supply to the consumers to the possible extent, and in case of break downs, restore the supply in the shortest possible time."

Deputy chief engineers Rachpal Singh and SK Gupta were also present at the occasion.



CBSE introduces online revaluation
Result will take only five days from now on, used to take 21 days earlier
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
From this year, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has started online revaluation for students of Classes X and XII. Earlier, the revaluation result would take 21 days.

With the online revaluation facility, one can get to know his/her result within five days by paying Rs 300 per subject. And if a student is not in a rush, he/she can also opt for revaluation, regular or online, by paying Rs 200 per subject.

Harmeet Kaur Waraich, principal of Nankana Sahib Public School and general secretary of Sahodaya School Complex, Ludhiana, said: “This is a very good facility and without wasting much time, one can get the result revaluated. But the rules of the board are strict. In Class X there was an option for students to appear in the exam through the board or school. But revaluation rules are the same for all students (whether they appeared through board or school). Any query for the revaluation will be routed to schools through the CBSE and no school will be allowed to show the answersheet to the student.” She said there would be a provision for only totalling again and not rechecking. Paramjit Kaur, principal of BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, said: “The online revaluation system is a good step. Students are never satisfied with the marks they obtain.”

Rupinder Singh, a Class X student who was eagerly waiting the result, said: “I am happy that by paying just Rs 100 more for a subject, one can get online revaluation within five days.”

Maninder Singh, a student who applied for online revaluation for business studies, said: “Although my marks increased by only five, I am happy that I did not waste a lot of time.”

In Class X there was an option for students to appear in the exam through the board or school. But revaluation rules are the same for all students (whether they appeared through board or school). Any query for the revaluation will be routed to schools through the CBSE and no school will be allowed to show the answersheet to the student



Two city boys among BCom toppers
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
Two boys from Ludhiana- Amanjot Singh and Amandeep Singh have made “hat-trick” by securing top two positions- first and second position, respectively, in BCom, conducted by Panjab University, Chandigarh.

The two students from Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management here have secured top positions for three consecutive years. Both the students belong to middle-class families and both were “committed” to score the best.

Talking to The Tribune, topper Amanjot Singh, who scored 1,561 marks out of 1,800 marks (86.72 per cent), said regular and serious studies were required to achieve success. He said: “When I scored highest marks for two consecutive years, I thought to give my best for another year and I was able to fulfil my dream. My parents have always been a pillar of strength.”

Son of a senior scale stenographer at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and mother a clerk at Punjab National Bank, Amanjot said he wanted to be a teacher. “I used to study about 10 hours a day. College hours are included in these 10 hours,” he said.

While Amandeep Singh, who scored 1,553 marks, said he never thought of making a hat-trick, but he gave his best in all the three years.

Son of a head clerk at Commissioner Police office, Amandeep Singh said since results had brought smiles to his parents and sister, he, too was happy. “Whatever I am today, is due to the efforts of my parents, who provided the best to me in limited resources. They want me to be a CA, so I need to fulfil their dream. I have already started my CA classes,” said an elated Amandeep.

All the top four positions in BCom (III) conducted by Panjab University, Chandigarh, were bagged by the city students. Out of these four top positions, three students of Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management here bagged first, second and fourth positions, respectively.

The third position was clinched by a student of Government College for Women here.

Kanu Kalsi of Government College for Women scored 1,539 marks (85.5 per cent) and stood third in the university, while Dilraj Kaur of Sri Aurobindo College stood fourth in PU by securing 1,533 marks (85.16 per cent).

Confusion among students

Though result was posted around 11:20 am on PU website and colleges, too, downloaded the result, the withdrawal of BCom result due to “technical snag” created panic among students and college managements. Toppers were confused, as they were not sure of their positions.



Pleasant weather brings respite for residents
n Maximum temperature down to 28.6 degree Celsius
n This May was cooler compared to last year
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
The intermittent rain and cool winds in the past 24 hours were enough to bring smiles on faces of local residents, who desperately needed a break from the scorching heat.

The maximum temperature came down to 28.6 degree Celsius. Data with weather experts showed that the month of May was cooler as compared to the corresponding period the previous year.

In May 2010, the average temperature was 43.5 degree Celsius. This May, the average maximum temperature did not cross the 37 degree Celsius mark.

Weathermen predicted rain and thundershowers in many areas in the next 48 hours. As this rain had no harmful effect on crops, transplantation of paddy would become easier if similar weather conditions persisted.

Dr KK Gill, an agrometeorological expert at the Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), said the temperature had come down due to the rain following western disturbances.

“In the last week of May, 9.4 mm of rain was recorded in Ludhiana. In the entire month, a total of 34 mm of rain was recorded. Intermittent rain was recorded from May 21 to 31, which brought the temperature down,” she said.

She added that the change of weather was due to western disturbances and these were not pre-monsoon showers. “We expect pre-monsoon rain by June 15,” she said.

“Though there are no power cuts this time, the mid-May heatwave, when the temperature was touching the 43 degree Celsius mark, was unbearable.

“The unexpected rain in the past few days brought much respite.

“Extreme temperatures, in summer and winter, are never comfortable, but the prevailing weather conditions are ideal,” said Rakesh Kumar, a bank employee.



Social networking websites all the way
Web space abuzz with congratulatory messages; students share SMSes with friends, inform elders about their achievement
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
While the CBSE authorities toiled hard for bringing out a win-win class X result, which was declared today, social networking websites like Facebook and Orkut made the most of the result.

Web space was abuzz with congratulatory messages after the result was declared. Students were sharing SMSes with friends and breaking news to elders.

Shreya and her 16 friends, while chatting on a social networking website, were planning their future and talking about their days in school.

“I am feeling on top of the world today. My happiness knows no bounds as I have scored a good grade in the class X examination. I first broke the news to my father and then told my mother about it. Anxious days are over and I can concentrate on further education,” she said.

Prabhjeet Singh of Spring Dale School, who scored 10 CGPA, was jumping with joy. “My hard work has borne fruit. I burnt the midnight oil for this. My goal is to be a doctor and I will keep striving for it,” she said, sharing her success with a schoolteacher.

Awareness up

From schools to faculty, all were hot points of discussion among successful students, who were looking forward to opt for different streams to pursue their dreams.

Deepak, whose son scored nine CGPA, said, “These days, children are very focused and aware of what kind of a career will be the best for them. Career councillors in schools are helping them about different streams.”

Test of patience

It was a test of patience, not only for students, but parents as well. Anxious parents were seen glued to computers since the morning and were waiting for the result to be uploaded on the official website of the CBSE.

Parents were seen jumping off their seats after seeing the result. It was an emotional moment as some parents were seen breaking down with sheer happiness.

Helping hand

Class X students were seeking the help of various websites offering to convert CGPA into percentage. A majority of students were rushing to school to know the actual percentage and grades obtained in the examination.

Rat race no more

It was a moment of relief for residents wanted reform in the current education system as students were not in a rat race anymore and there was no cut-throat competition for the number one position.

There was close competition among schools, which bragged about number of students getting the most in terms of CGPA.



Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry writes to PM, seeks help for MSME sector
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
Although the MSME sector plays a major role in manufacturing, it has failed to catch the attention of the government during policy formulation and implementation. With the government due to finalise the manufacturing policy during its meeting tomorrow, the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry has written to the Prime Minister, highlighting some changes which can boost the sagging sector.

There are indications that the government may carve out national manufacturing and investment zones on the pattern of SEZs.

The government is thinking of softening labour laws in these zones. Labour-intensive industries are facing acute shortage of labour across the country.

“The attitude of labour has undergone a sea change. The main reason for this is the NREGA scheme. The government should ensure that the working population engaged in industry is not affected by this scheme,” chamber president PD Sharma has said. The transaction cost for the industry is high and only 23 of the 44 issues identified have been addressed, he has added.

The interest rates of banks are high, which are unable to tame inflation. Banks are raising their fee-based income by increasing processing charges.

Banks are charging between 7 and 8 per cent above the base rate as interest to the MSME sector, which should be between 2 and 3 per cent more than the base rate.



Single-screen cinemas losing sheen
Many cinemas being razed to make way for malls, multiplexes
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Raikhy cinema
Raikhy cinema just a handful

Preet palace
Preet palace what a palace

Kailash cinema
Kailash cinema needs repairs

Ludhiana, June 1
The city’s cinema theatres, which were at one time the most popular hangouts for young people as well as the elderly, are fast losing their attraction with audiences dwindling due to the twin onslaughts of mushrooming multiplexes and rampant video piracy. While some of the 22 theatres have closed down others are incurring mounting losses.

"Our income is now down to only 25 per cent of what it was earlier. People prefer to watch movies in multiplexes or at their homes on DVDs or large screen TVs. These days even movies that have been released a month earlier are aired on different television channels. That is why people have gradually stopped coming to cinema halls now," rued Gurcharan Singh, owner of Shingar Cinema.

Once brimming with hustle and bustle, most of the cinemas in this teeming industrial hub now sport a deserted look. With a sizable migrant population from states such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, most cinema hall owners are banking on Bhojpuri films or even those that are adult rated that draw in migrant workers and their families.

Old timers say things were not always like this. Before the multiplexes came to city the cinema theatres remained full to capacity during their boom days. The city’s oldest theatre, Minerva, which existed from pre-independence times, was the first to be demolished and to make way for a shopping complex. The second oldest, Reikhi, dates back to 1933. Demolition work on the third oldest theatre, Naulakha, built way back in 1938, has already begun to make way for a shopping complex.

The city boasts of having hosted the premieres of noteworthy Hindi films attended by prominent Bollywood actors and actresses including Raj Kapoor and Mala Sinha. Now cinema theatres appear to be primarily catering to the migrant population with Bhojpuri film actors coming to the city for premieres and promotion of their movies.

After the bomb blast at the Shingar cinema in 2007 Bhojpuri actor Manoj Tiwari visited the theatre to attend the screening of his movie. “These days a movie runs for only two-three weeks - a far cry from the days of silver and diamond jubilee films," remarked Gurcharan with nostalgia.



Movie theatres struggle to keep afloat
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
Movie theatres remained the only source of entertainment for city residents for a long time but as the times changed and new entertainment avenues opened most cinemas are going through testing times.

Such was the popularity of the theatres that some streets and intersections in the city were also named after them - Naulakha Road, Malhar Road, Kailash Chowk and Aarti Chowk. Though these were renamed and do not figure in municipal corporation records most Ludhianvis invoke the old names only.

If these movie theatres have become loss making propositions why not demolish them and sell off the land or build a shopping mall or multiplex on the site instead?

Says Gurcharan Singh, owner of Shingar Cinema: “Like Malhar Cinema was razed to make way for PVR multiplex, similarly, the land on which a cinema is located can only be used for either building a new theatre, mall or a multiplex. The land can’t be used for any other purpose. Many firms have contacted me for purchasing the land on which my cinema is located but I don't want to sell it to some company or construct one myself because even multiplexes are not profit making businesses these days. I have seen many multiplexes in the city that seldom see houseful shows”.

The Society cinema hall, one of the city’s oldest, boasts of screening the maximum number of silver jubilee films. Shingar Cinema and Arora Palace, each having three movie theatres under one roof, could be called “old time multiplexes”. "Yes, you could say my theatre was a multiplex”, remarked Gurcharan.

At the premiere of the Hindi film ‘Bobby’ veteran Bollywood actor Raj Kapoor had visited Society Cinema and hundreds of city residents had thronged the function. However, these days multiplexes are the preferred choice for film premieres.



cinema goers SPEAKs OUT
‘Old halls should be preserved’

Aarti cinema
Aarti cinema no brisk business

With the city losing one of its oldest landmarks, the Naulakha Cinema, along with many other old cinema halls which are running in losses due to various factors, old timers in the city recall with nostalgia the times they spent watching their favourite movies in these old iconic theatres.

I would visit the cinema hall along with my family to watch movies. I have seen several movies in most of the cinemas here. Those were the days when we would wait for months for a good movie to release. But things have changed now. Every Friday, we witness more than one film release giving more choice to people.

— Prem Singh Bajaj, an octogenarian city resident

I can recall the screening of several blockbuster movies in cinema halls here. People would queue up for getting tickets then. Now you have advance booking. The charm of going to a cinema hall has also decreased over the years

— Jagdev Singh Jassowal , EX-MLA associated with art and culture

With the passage of time, people need change and maybe that is why people prefer to go to a multiplex than a cinema hall. But like in foreign countries, people preserve their history and important landmarks. Old cinema halls which were famous in the city should be given a makeover and preserved.

— Dr Atamjit Singh, playwright

Though I am not very fond of watching movies, many people have a lot of good memories associated with cinema halls as they watched their favourite movies there. If possible, such places should be preserved.

—Dr Surjit Patar, noted Punjabi poet

People want a change and maybe that is why people frequent multiplexes these days.

— Amrinder Gill, Punjabi singer and actor



Farmers go on three-day strike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
Seventeen farmer and field worker organisations joined hands to press the government to waive their electricity bills. The farmers and workers will observe a day and night protest for three-days against the "anti-policies" of the government.

The three-day protest started today at the Mini Secretariat. The field workers demanded that all their pending bills be waived by the government without any condition.

Hardev Singh, a farmer leader, said that they had also arranged for their meals for three-days. "It is a call given by 17 organisations at all district headquarters. Hundreds of field workers will be gathering from all over the state to press-on the government to meet their genuine demands", he said.

The leaders said the field workers always suffered at the hands of big landlords and they were not in a position to pay the electricity and other related bills. Many farmers and field workers, who were under debts, had committed suicide. The state government did not come to the rescue of their families.

"The kin of the deceased must be given job on compassionate grounds. Secondly, the families of farmers who had committed suicide must be provided Rs 5.5 lakh as compensation. The fake cases on farmers must be withdrawn", said Lakhwinder Singh, another farmer.

The leading organisations that are taking part in protest include Kirti Kisan Union, Pendu Mazdoor Union, Pendu Mazdoor Union Mashal, Bharti Kisan Union (Dakonda) and BKU (Ugrala).



Industry gives memo to DETC
Seeks withdrawal of certain notifications by sales tax dept
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
The All-Industries and Trade Forum submitted a memorandum to Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner (DETC) Parampal Singh yesterday in connection with some recent orders and notifications issued by the sales tax department.

In the memorandum, Narinder Bamra, convener of the forum, said industry in Punjab, already passing through the worst-ever recession, had been facing a tough time due to some orders and notifications issued by the sales tax department.

If this continued, industries would have to be closed or shifted to other states, he added. Elaborating on some notifications, forum co-convener Badish Jindal said excise inspectors had been given powers equivalent to ETOs, which was unacceptable. The target of Rs 10 lakh given to ETOs, which showed that the sales tax department had no faith in taxpayers despite a 30 per cent increase in revenue per annum, was uncalled for, he added.

Another member of the forum, Vinod Thapar, alleged that the number of cases selected for scrutiny were on the higher side and thousands of assessees were being harassed and forced to pay bribe through advocates for the settlement of cases.

He added that the department had made a routine practice of conducting raids on industries, which was creating fear among trade and industry.

Such raids must be stopped immediately, failing which there might be a confrontation between industry and department, he stated.



Battery rickshaws to hit city roads soon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
Finally, battery-operated and solar rickshaws will be seen on the city roads.

The HBL Power System will be launching the battery and solar-operated rickshaws in the city. While the battery operated rickshaws are already plying in Delhi and UP. While the solar rickshaws are required to be kept in the sun for a specific period, the battery operated bikes will be run by four batteries. No peddling will be required in the battery -operated rickshaws.

The price range of these rickshaws be between Rs 15,000-45,000. Virender Singh, area manager of HBL Power System, said these rickshaws were already operating in Delhi and UP and we hope that they would be well-recieved in the city as well.



Auditions of singing competition put off
Organisers don’t turn up; around 150 participants left high and dry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
Nearly 150 youngsters today felt dejected after the Josh TV team did not turn up for auditions for its upcoming singing competition.

Aspiring youngsters from the entire state reached the Punjabi Bhavan here for auditions, but nobody knew that the auditions had been postponed.

“The scheduled time for the auditions of ‘Josh Punjab Da’ was 9 am. I reached there well in time. We kept waiting till 4 pm, but nobody turned up. I have learnt that the auditions were postponed, but nobody from the channel informed us,” rued Aman.

Another participant, Gaurav, added that participants had come from far-flung areas and wasted the whole day, but people from the channel did not bother to intimate them about the postponement of the auditions.

Harpreet Singh, who had come from Amritsar, said his whole day was wasted. “I reached the venue at 8 am and waited till 3 pm. I will not come for audition again. The channel should understand that it is its responsibility to inform the participants if there is any change in the date or venue,” he said.



Ludhiana scan
Computerisation of revenue records

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari today directed all revenue officials to speed up the work for computerisation of the land record of remaining sub-divisions in the district. The revenue record of Khanna, Samrala, Malaud, Machhiwara, Payal, Dehlon and Koom Kalan sub-divisions/naib tehsils have already been computerised.

At monthly meeting with SDMs, tehsildars and naib tehsildars here, Tiwari told them that any delay or lethargy in execution of the work for compuetrisation of land record would not be tolerated, as the state government was committed towards this objective.

Residents want naib tehsildar

Led by chief Parliamentary secretary Harish Rai Dhanda, representatives of several villages on Rahon road today met Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari to press the demand for deployment of a naib tehsildar at a suitable place near Jalandhar bypass.

Making a plea on their behalf, Dhanda told the Deputy Commissioner that residents of nearly 100 villages and more than 500 colonies from Rahon road to Nurpur Bet had to go to Transport Nagar for execution of sale deeds and purchase of property, wasting a lot of time and energy in the process.

Tiwari asked village representatives to get resolutions adopted by their respective panchayats so that a proposal could be sent to the state government.

Protest against petrol hike

Led by Mahila Adhikar Welfare Society president Dolly Gosain, a large number of women activists today held a demonstration at the residence of Congress MP Munish Tewari to protest against hike in petrol prices.

They also called upon the Congress-led UPA government not to increase the prices of diesel and cooking gas.

A memorandum, addressed to the Union government, was also submitted.

‘Drink fluids to keep kidney stones at bay’

Considering the increasing incidents of kidney stones Dr Anand Sehgal, chief urologist, RG Stone Urological and Super Specialty Hospital, apart from other reasons, kidney stones are also caused due to dehydration that increases due to rise in temperature. This happens when people lose more water through perspiration, but fail to consume enough water to make up for the lost volume, he said.

The water loss will lead to higher urine concentrations, which in turn increases the risk of kidney stone formation, he added.

He further said: “Rising temperature increases dehydration and it is a factor causing an increase in the cases of kidney stones. Specifically, five to seven degree temperature rise due to climate change could yield more than 30 per cent increase in kidney stone problems.

On an average, an increase of 37 per cent cases of kidney stone is witnessed in summers, as compared to winters. Kidney stones are already more common in the warmer southern states than in the North,” he added.


Ace Healthways, a comprehensive diagnostic centre, organised a seminar on latest technology of “Dexa scan” and mammography for the members of Rotary Midtown- Inner wheel Club, Ludhiana.

The seminar commenced with Dr Sandeep Kaur’s presentation on mammogram and later Dr SS Bakshi, executive director and clinical head of Ace Healthways briefed about the technique.

The benefits of early detection and early cure were discussed on both the scans. This was followed by a question-answer round among doctors and members of the club. — OC



From schools
Poster-painting contest at GN Model Senior Secondary School

DORAHA: A poster-painting contest was held at Guru Nanak Model Senior Secondary School here today.

The theme of the contest was corruption. Students from classes IXth to XIIth participated. Priyanka Shekhawat (Class XII, commerce) was first, Navdeep Kaur (Class X) secured second position and Poonam Brar secured third position.

Declamation contest

Guru Nanak Model Senior Secondary School, Doraha, organised a declamation and a writing contest in Punjabi on corruption. Students of classes IX to XII participated. In declamation contest, Ranjodh Dhami of (Class XI) was adjudged first, Amandeep Kaur Mundi of (Class X) was second and Jotkamal Kaur of (Class X) stood third. In writing contest, Rajdeep Kaur of (Class XI) got first position, Ramanjot Kaur of (Class XI) was second and Sujata Yadav of (Class XI) stood third.

After the declaration of result, principal DP Thakur applauded the winners and enlightened the need of such type of competitions for developing a comprehensive personality of students.

Environment Day

Green Grove Public School, Khanna, celebrated Environment Day with fervour.

In order to spread the message “A green country a clean country,” school president JPS Jolly, along with eco club members and Class VII students planted saplings on the school campus.

In order to throw light on the fact that biosphere or ecosystem was equilibrium of various environment elements and it should be maintained, the choir group of the school came forward to start the programme with their welcome song followed by an English speech by Millanveer and Savreen of Class VII. Their speech stirred the emotions of every one present and made them conscious of how each individual was responsible for environmental degradation. Karanveer of Class VII delivered a Punjabi speech on environment.

To show how cutting of trees affects environment, students of Class V performed a skit. Sukhsehaj of Class VII recited a poem, which was applauded by all. This was followed by a slide show by Class VII boys, highlighting the various types of pollution and hazards of polythene bags. It also gave the audience a message on how to dispose waste material. To throw light on how to save environment Class VII boys presented a group song “Heal the world.” This was followed by a group dance.

The programme came to an end with principal S George praising the students and suggesting the audience to adhere to the message given by the students. — OC



pau notes
MSKRJ varsity gets new Vice-Chancellor

LUDHIANA: Dr Milkha Singh Aulakh, former dean, College of Agriculture at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), has been appointed as the first Vice-Chancellor of Manyavar Shri Kanshiram Ji (MSKRJ) University of Agriculture and Technology at Banda, near Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh, by the UP Governor.

Dr Aulakh has served PAU in various capacities in areas of agricultural education, research and administration for over 36 years.

A soil scientist by profession, Dr Aulakh has contributed significantly towards developing technologies for judicious use of mineral fertilisers, integrated nutrient management, etc that have found application in fields. He is known for his scientific efforts for better understanding of how to manage soil nutrients for achieving economically the most viable crop yields of high quality, while minimising the environmental p ollution.

He has successfully developed and implemented educational programmes to enhance the intake of rural students in agriculture.

PAU Vice-Chancellor Navreet Singh Kang congratulated Dr Aulakh for his achievement. This is a great honour for PAU said Kang, adding that PAU had a credit of producing 34 vice-chancellors, who were serving in different parts of the country. The registrar, deans, directors and other university officials congratulated Dr Aulakh.


The department of extension education, PAU, in association with the Punjab Biodiversity Board (PBB), Chandigarh, organised a seminar-cum-exhibition on “Importance of Biodiversity in Agriculture,” here today.

Held under the auspices of National Biodiversity Authority, Government of India, the event saw the participation of farmers from across the region and scientists, students and heads of the various departments of the university.

Chief guest Dr SS Gosal, director of research, PAU, delved on genetic resources for biodiversity and highlighted that with the industriousness of farm scientists, Punjab was contributing 60 per cent wheat, 40 per cent rice, 30 per cent honey and 50 per cent mushroom to the nation’s pool.

Divulging that PAU had the distinction of having as well as maintaining 27 wild species of wheat and 21 species of rice, Dr Gosal termed “biodiversity” as the variety of life on earth and dwelt on diversity existing in plants, animals, insects and microbes.

Dr Gosal expressed his concern that a new raise UG 99 of black rust pathogen that had been a cause of concern in the world was not able to attack a wheat crop in Punjab.

Already, yellow rust and brown rust were eating into vitals of the wheat crop, he said adding that the university scientists kept updating the farmers about the timely management of the crop diseases. “PAU is working hard to set up a germ plasm bank so that the efforts put in by the scientists during the past 50 years are preserved for the benefit of the state and the country,” said Dr Gosal. — TNS



Annual day at BCM College

Ludhiana, June 1
Annual day was celebrated at BCM College of Education. Nandita Shukla (head, department of education, Panjab University, Chandigarh) was the chief guest.

Satyanandji Munjal presided over the function. Other prominent guests included RB Khanna, SK Mehta, MR Mehta and DP Guleria.

The function started with the recitation of bhajan, performed by college students. Dr Khushvinder Kumar presented the highlights of the annual report. — TNS



Collecting garbage from the doorstep soon
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
The sight of garbage littered on road side will soon become a thing of the past. If the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation officials are to be believed, by October, the civic body would start door-to-door collection of solid waste.

A meeting in this regard was held yesterday, in which three companies that qualified for the technical bid gave their presentations.

“If everything goes as per plan, we will issue the letter of intent to one of these three companies by June 15. We will open the financial bid in the coming days and the company will be selected soon,” said Parveen Bansal, Senior Deputy Mayor.

Today, three companies- Jindal Urban Infrastructure, A2Z Infrastructure and Ramkey Invero Engineers gave their presentations. One of the final companies would also construct solid waste treatment plant in either Jainpur or Jamalpur villages. The city generates 900 metric tonnes of garbage daily, which is the highest in Punjab. MC Commissioner AK Sinha said their aim was to ensure proper disposal of solid waste as well as ensuring a safer environment.

“The company will also manage the quantity and type of waste generated in the domestic and commercial establishments and they will also segregate biodegradable and non-biodegradable garbage,” Sinha said.

According to sources, for operating the solid waste treatment plant, MC will just provide land, while the plant will be set up the companies themselves. The company will also clear the mound of waste at Jamalpur dump.

Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal said they had decided on garbage collection charges and the company that bids the least may get the contract. 

How will this system work?

n Collection of solid waste from door steps
n The company will transport garbage to a site allocated by the MC
n Segregation of the collected waste by the company
n Power generation or production of residue derived fuel from garbage by the company

Collection charges

Rs 10 upto 150 sq yard
Rs 20 between 150 and 250 sq yard
Rs 30 more than 250 sq yard



12-year-old raped

Ludhiana, June 1
In a shocking incident, a 12-year-old girl was first abducted, raped and then dumped near a level crossing at Alamgir village in the wee hours here today.

The incident came to light when the girl was rushed to a civil hospital for treatment. The victim, who belonged to a nomadic family, was sleeping out, along with her parents, near Manakwal village.

The parents came to know about the disappearance of the girl when they woke up in the midnight due to bad weather. Shocked to find her daughter missing, victim’s mother raised an alarm. Soon, other members of the tribe started searching for the girl and informed the police.

It was in the morning that residents of the village spotted the girl and informed the tribal people. The girl sustained injuries and was terrified to speak anything. The victim told her mother that a clean shaven youth gagged her and took her near a level crossing where he raped her and then managed to flee.

The girl is safe, but it will take a month for her to recover. — TNS



Summer camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
Summer camp is underway at DRV DAV Public School. Magic day, cartoon day, rainbow day etc. will be celebrated during the camp. Students from nursery to LKG participated. On the first day, flower day was celebrated. Students learnt yoga, dance, drawing and craft activities. Children were given tips on personality development.

A movie was also shown to the students. Children were given refreshment.

Ram Lal Bhasin Public School organised a summer camp that included Camlin workshop in fabric painting for senior classes. Students showed their creativity by making designer name plates, painting T-shirts, handkerchief. Various other activities such as, calligraphy, dance, cooking was also there.



Woman strangled, in-laws booked
Ashok Kaura

Phillaur, June 1
A newly married young pregnant woman Vandana Sharma was allegedly strangled by her husband, Gaurav Sharma, brother-in-law Bobby, sister-in-law Rajni, and mother-in-law Phoolan Rani near Apra village in Phillaur Subdivision.

New Zealand-based NRI Pran Nath Sharma in his complaint lodged before the Apra Police alleged that his daughter was married to Gaurav Sharma one-and-half year back, but she was being tortured mentally and physically by her in-laws for dowry.

He said he got the information in New Zealand that his daughter was strangled by her-in-laws and he rushed to India immediately. He claimed that the post-mortem report of his daughter’s body had confirmed that she had been strangulated.

Phillaur DSP Raj Balwinder Singh said that the police had registered a case against all four alleged accused.



Lid off supply of illegal weapons
n One arrested n Gang procured arms from UP
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 1
With the arrest of an arms ‘peddler’ and the recovery of a mauser, the police has busted the illegal arms supply reportedly thriving in the city.

The arrest of Vinod Kumar, an illegal arms supplier of Daba Colony in Shimlapuri, has led to the nabbing of Sukhwinder Singh Murli, a businessman who allegedly purchased a weapon from the accused.

The police has recovered a .32 pistol, 10 bullets and a fake arms licence from the possession of the accused.

The CIA in charge Dharampal said Vinod Kumar was apprehended from the Jalandhar bypass after a tip-off.

During interrogation, he reportedly confessed that he was here to sell an illegal weapon and licence for Rs 55,000. He said he prepares the fake licence by using documents of a resident of Ferozepore. The seized weapon bore a fake “Made in USA” stamp.

The arrest of Vinod Kumar is just the tip of the iceberg, the police said. A gang is involved and several illegal arms dealers are expected to be nabbed during the course of the investigation.

Kingpin’s agent

n Vinod Kumar is a close aide of Arvinder Singh Pappu, allegedly the kingpin of the gang involved in the illegal supply of arms and fake licences. Pappu, a resident of Krishna Nagar, was earlier nabbed by the police in connection with the smuggling of illegal arms from UP and selling them through Mansa-based Indian Gun House. Vinod Kumar was working as an agent for Pappu.

Accused worked in arms unit

Vinod Kumar used to work in an arms factory in Jalalabad and knew how to manufacture and repair weapons. He left the job a few years ago and settled in the city. He confessed that he had sold three weapons, one in connivance with a Home Guard Charanjit Singh. Charanjit Singh has been dismissed from service.

Modus operandi

n The gang would procure country-made weapons from UP-based manufacturers and put a stamp of an international weapon maker on them. They would sell these at throwaway prices and even make fake licences for customers.



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