L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Manhole victim gets Rs 8.5 lakh compensation
MC finally pays up following court order
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
A lone man’s fight against the municipal corporation for its neglect to mark and cover open manholes in the city has borne fruit with the civic body awarding compensation of Rs 8.5 lakh to a man who accidentally fell into one of the manholes on the directions of the district and sessions court.

For the past 12 years the victim, Rakesh Talwar, 56, was fighting a battle against the civic body ever since he slipped into an open manhole in 1998. A screen printer by profession, his career ended the day he fell into the open manhole on a flooded street in the Dhobi Ghat area on the Rajpura Road after the scooter he was riding got stuck in it.

The cover of the manhole hit his head and the right side of his body got paralyzed. He suffered 50 per cent disability and remained in coma for six months at the city’s Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

An elated Talwar said he was handed over a cheque for Rs 849,632 on Monday. “I think my 12-year fight against the municipal corporation has borne fruit and could set an example for other such victims who are also fighting cases in different courts of law,” he added.

All these years the municipal corporation failed to compensate him despite various court orders. In August 2009 the court of civil judge (junior division) Jagdeep Sood held the civic body responsible for the tragedy and directed it to pay Rs 6.58 lakh to Talwar with an annual interest of 6 per cent from the date the case was filed.

The judge held that full and fair compensation was the complainant’s right. Since the victim could not be compensated with money for his sufferings, monetary compensation was the only way, he felt. Despite the court having ordered a relief, the municipal corporation preferred to appeal against the judgment of the lower court. However, the court of additional district judge Mohammad Gulzar dismissed the appeal after lowering the amount of compensation.

Even then civic officials refused to compensate the victim. Earlier, the municipal corporation’s bank account was attached to the tune of Rs 10.4 lakh following the court orders.


Ray of hope for Ahluwalia family
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Anand Sagar Ahluwalia, who lost his wife Sarita Ahluwalia on April 18, 1999.
Agony: Anand Sagar Ahluwalia, who lost his wife Sarita Ahluwalia on April 18, 1999. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, June 8
Compensation to Rakesh Talwar has brought ray of hope to the Ahluwalia family, whose beloved Sarita Ahluwalia lost her life in a similar incident on the fateful night of April 18, 1999.

Nearly 12 years after the incident, which devastated the Ahluwalia family, 69-year-old Anand Sagar Ahluwalia, husband of Sarita Ahluwalia, is fighting the case in a court.

Reacting to award of compensation to Rakesh Talwar, Anand Sagar Ahluwalia said: “Though award of compensation to Talwar is a good beginning, money cannot bring back those we lost. But the real justice would come only when the court fixes the responsibility of municipal officials responsible for such incidents,” said Ahluwalia.

He added that it was sad that such cases kept taking place at regular intervals. “This clearly reflects the poor functioning on part of the municipal corporation,” said Ahluwalia.

The elderly man said he was angry with municipal authorities. “I don’t want compensation for my wife’s death. I want that those responsible for this incident should be brought to book so that municipal officials learn a lesson for their utter negligence. What was her fault?” he questioned.

Sarita Ahluwalia was the vice-principal of New Senior Secondary School. On the fateful day of April 18, 1999, the couple, along with their son, Atul Ahluwalia, went to meet a prospective bride for their son. When they were returning home, and reached near the Punjab Agricultural University gate number 1, her son stopped his car by the roadside. When she stepped out of the car, she could not anticipate an open manhole and fell into it. She was carried by water current and was found from the 52nd sewer hole in Haibowal after three days.



NRHM, sanitary staff hold city to ransom
Commuters suffer as traffic blocked for four-and-half hour
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
At least 20 employees of the National Rural Health Mission climbed atop a water tank and blocked the traffic for four-and-a-half hour causing a lot of inconvenience to commuters on the busy Gill Road near Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College here today afternoon.

Raising slogans against the state government and the health department of Punjab, a large number of employees also sat on the stair case of the water tank and blocked the way to the water tank so that no one can stop their colleagues from protesting from atop the water tank. It was around 5 pm that the employees lifted dharna and allowed traffic to pass.

While a heavy posse of police was posted on the spot to control any untoward incident, they could not do anything to stop the agitators from holding the public to ransom. The agitators continued to lay a siege on the road for long. The traffic police tried to divert the traffic but not too much avail. The traffic on the Ludhiana -Malerkotla Road was badly hit.

Earlier the employees were to stage dharna on the National Highway near Laddowal. As the strength of employees was less they decided against blocking the highway. So they decided to go towards the college for staging a dharna. On finding a water tank, they climbed it to hold protest.



Door-to-door garbage Collection
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
Commuters were forced to wait in sizzling summer noon when a large number of activists of the Valmiki Samaj Bachao Andolan formed a human chain and blocked traffic at the busy Bharat Nagar traffic intersection here today to protest against the state government’s door-to-door garbage lifting proposal.

Commuters remained stranded on all roads leading to the Bharat Nagar Chowk for hours together. The members of the Valmiki Samaj Bachao Andolan, led by its chairman Surinder Kalyan, were protesting against the privatisation of the door-to-door garbage collection, which would soon be introduced in the city. The protestors even burnt an effigy of Local Bodies minister Tikshan Sud.

Being one of the busiest intersections of the city, with the bus stand in its vicinity, long queues of vehicles were seen on the road.

Surinder Kalyan said the municipal corporation would soon be introducing door-to-door garbage collection, which would leave thousands of people from the Valmiki community, which is mostly involved in jobs related to garbage collection, unemployed.

“We have handed over a memorandum to the Municipal Commissioner requesting him to meet authorities of the company getting contract so that they should be clear about the terms and conditions. All we want to know that what salary would the company give to people and how many of us would be recruited by them. But no such meeting was held and that is why, we were forced to hold our protest today,” said Kalyan.

Senior municipal officials have clarified that no existing employee, whether on contract or getting DC rates, would be removed from his job. The Municipal Corporation had even issued a statement on Sunday, stating that no existing employees would be rendered jobless. “All existing employees would remain employed with the Municipal Corporation even if a private company takes over. The new company would need at least 3,000 to 4,000 employees for works such as garbage collection and all of them would be recruited from the city itself. So this would help in generating more jobs,” the statement issued by the Municipal Corporation read.



Health dept still dependent on DDT
Mosquitoes are becoming resistant to spray: Doc
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
While the health department is still depending on decades old mosquito killer DDT, mosquitoes become resistant to the deadly chemical known to cause cancer among humans.

The health department started using DDT to kill mosquitoes effectively in 1950s and scientists proved that mosquitoes became resistant to this chemical the former is still using the same pesticide to control malaria.

The department had been fuming and fretting at the fact that the villagers were resisting the spraying of DDT and hence throwing a spanner in the checking of spread of malaria, scientists reveal that the DDT does not help matters. The department should come up with a different pesticide to control malaria.

Dr Jagbir Singh, professor of Zoology at Punjabi University, Patiala, and entomologist, who was the first one to identify mosquito spreading dengue in Punjab and has done a lot of research on mosquitoes said, “Mosquitoes have gone resistant to DDT. We have proved it long ago.”

He added, “Some species of mosquitoes which are commonly found in Punjab have become DDT resistant. For instance anopheles Stephensi , which is a common species of Punjab and causes malaria is DDT resistant. Interestingly, due to injudicious use of insecticides and pesticides, the state has also been witnessing ecological succession. Under this I have observed that mosquitoes, which used to be in village wells earlier were found in water tanks in cities a few years ago. But now the same species have started moving towards semi urban areas. "

Dr GP Mangla, district epidemologist said the Government of India provided the health department with the DDT for malaria control. ‘‘They are providing us with it and we are spraying it,’’ he said.

Common Species

Some species of mosquitoes which are commonly found in Punjab have become DDT resistant. For instance, anopheles Stephensi, which is a common species of Punjab and causes malaria, is DDT resistant. Due to injudicious use of insecticides and pesticides, the state has also been witnessing ecological succession in semi urban areas. "

Dr Jagbir Singh, professor of Zoology at Punjabi University



‘I had to wait here for more than an hour due to the protest’
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Protesters atop a water tank.
Protesters atop a water tank.

Ludhiana, June 8
Earlier, when agitating employees blocked traffic at Malerkotla Road, the commuters had a tough time. Talking to the Tribune, Tony,a resident of Patiala, said,`I had come for a check up at one of the Ludhiana hospitals as my leg has just been operated upon recently. I was on my way back to Patiala after the check up but felt harassed as I had to wait here for more than an hour due to the protest."

While Davinder Singh, who was going to Malerkota along with his family in a four -wheeler, was also caught up in traffic jam. He said, “We wasted our whole day here and now we will have to reach Malerkotla via a longer route."

Yunous who was going from Goraya to Malerkotla said, “I never knew about thetraffic jam, otherwise I would not have planned my trip to Maerkotla today."

It was Parkash who was coming from Chandigarh and was to reach Nabha by evening also rued the inconvenience due to the protest by NRHM employees. He said, “Such protests have become a big hurdle in the progress of the state. I was stranded in the traffic jam for two hours and was now going back to Chandigarh."

‘Officers will hold talks with protesting employees’

I have asked all officers of the district administration as well as that of the health department to hold talks with these protesting employees and convince them as I am away to Chandigarh to attend some important meetings and will return to Ludhiana late in the evening. I think by morning things will be normal. I have asked my officers to look into their matter seriously. Sometimes norms are such that I alone cannot take a decision.

— Satpal Gosain, Health and Family Welfare Minister, Punjab

Employees demand increase in pay, facilities

The state governments of Bihar and Rajsthan have increased facilities and salaries of its employees. However, the government of Punjab pays less-salaries and sends the money back to the Government of India by imposing unnecessary deductions on the salary of employees. The other two states have almost doubled the salaries of its NRHM employees. Many times Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Satish Chandra, the state principal secretary,(Health), have discussed our demands only to end up giving us false assurances.

— Sarabjeet Singh Kalak, president, National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) Employees Union

Funds are sent by Govt of India

In states like Rajasthan, Punjab and Bihar, funds for NRHM employees are sent by the Government of India. There are 5,048 NRHM employees in the state. Now we have decied that we will not lift the dharna untill the health and Family welfare minsiter himself holds a meeting with us.

Other demands

n Implementation of service rules, medical leave, earned leave,
n Medical facilities, ex-gratia grant, DA (dearness allowance)
n Maternity leave of six month along with pay to female employees.



Protest by Valmiki Samaj Bachao Andolan has residents fuming
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
Protest by the members of the Valmiki Samaj Bachao Andolan have left the city residents fuming.

They stated that such persons should take a cue from social activist Anna Hazare and should hold protest in such a way that people don’t get harassed and instead should come forward to support their cause. The members of the Valmiki Samaj Bachao Andolan had blocked the Bharat Nagar Chowk in protest of allotment of garbage collection work to a private company. Deepinder Singh Gill, a lawyer having his office in district courts complex, rued that he was to go pick a relative from the bus stand. “But the moment I got out of the Mini-Secretariat and went towards Bharat Nagar Chowk, I got stuck in a traffic jam. I was in the traffic jam for more than 45 minutes and that, too, for no fault of mine. The police should take strict action against such persons so that people don’t get stranded on the road,” Gill rued. Paramjit Singh, a businessman and a resident of Sekhewal village, was another sufferer of this protest. “I was to go to a relative’s place in Model Town and due to blockade of Ferozepur road, I got late by an hour. The protesters burnt an effigy and fled. People like us had no other option but to wait for the road to get cleared. Social activist Anna Hazare also held a protest in Delhi, but no one was harassed. Infact people came out to support his cause,” said Paramjit.

45 minutes in traffic jam

The moment I got out of the Mini-Secretariat and went towards Bharat Nagar Chowk, I got stuck in a traffic jam. I was in the traffic jam for more than 45 minutes and that, too, for no fault of mine. The police should take strict action against such persons so that people don’t get stranded on the road

Deepinder Singh Gill, Advoacte

Was delayed

I was to go to a relative’s place in Model Town and due to blockade of Ferozepur road, I got late by an hour. The protesters burnt an effigy and fled. People like us had no other option but to wait for the road to get cleared. Social activist Anna Hazare also held a protest in Delhi, but no one was harassed. Infact people came out to support his cause

Paramjit Singh, a resident of Sekhewal village



Mosquitoes are resistant to DDT and cause cancer among humans
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
As the health department sprays DDT to control malaria, it plays with the health of people as the pesticide is a well-known cancer-causing chemical.

The DDT may not be able to check mosquito population but it can cause cancer among human beings. Dr Kunal Jain, oncologist at Christian Medical College and Hospital said, “The injudicious usage of DDT affects health, as it is carcinogenic in nature. Moreover the mosquitoes are DDT resistent now, so the use of DDT for killing mosquitoes should be stopped."

USA banned DDT in 1970s due to its ill-effects on the health but we are still using it. The chemicals like BHC, DDT, Aldrin should be banned because these all are cacinogenic in nature (means leading) to cancer.

Dr Devinder Singh Sandhu, a renowned oncologist said, “Although DDT and chlorodane are mild pesticides but these are "possible human carsenogens". We use DDT for killing mosquitoes but some of the mosquitoes are also DDT resistent. Malaria can be cured easily but one can well imagine the fate of a person if he or she suffers from cancer due to DDT.

Department gets spray material from Central govt:

According to Dr GP Mangala, district epidemologist, “ The DDT is supplied to all the states by the Central Government under ``the National Malaria Eradication programme'', which is a part of the National Vector Born Disease Control Programme. It is supplied for spraying in malaria-affected areas. It helps in controlling population of `` plasmodium vivax'' and ``plasmodium feleifem'' (two species of mosquito which spread malaria in Punjab). We use it only if the annual parasite index is two. And the DDT spray is of 1 per cent concentration. It is prepared by adding 3 pounds of DDT powder in 13.5 liters of water and sprayed through pressure pumps. We have recently sprayed in four villages of the district where malaria cases were reported last week.

Supply of DDT

The Anti Malaria Wing of the health department, Ludhiana, received 100 kg of DDT powder in the first phase this year. It is supplied in two phases, i.e. for June 1to July 31 and for August September 30 on the basis of malaria cases. In 2007 it was 4,500 kg, in 2005 it was 1,150 kg and in 2008 it was 2,000 kg.



Police caught in crossfire of allegations
While one group wants case dropped, other presses for arrests
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 8
The Jodhan police is caught between two groups of activists who have been fighting to prove their mettle at Hargobind Pura village in Ludhiana district, near here.

Accusing the police of siding with the opposite side, both groups have levelled allegations and counter-allegations against each other.

Claiming to be genuinely interested in the development of the rural habitation, office-bearers and activists of the Naujwan Bharat Sabha have demanded cancellation of an FIR registered against them under various Sections of the Prevention of Property Defacement Act 1997.

The complainant, claiming allegiance to the SAD, has on the other hand urged the higher authorities to arrest the accused.

Ashwani Kumar Dubey, a SAD activist and office-bearer of the civic body, had alleged that a few activists of the Naujwan Bharat Sabha had allegedly defaced his property by pasting posters on its walls.

The Jodhan police led by SHO Jangjit Singh booked Kanshi, Binder, Pardeep Kumar, Geetu, Amedh Kumar, Ashok Kumar and Pardeep Kumar under the Prevention of Defacement of Public Property Act on May 18 and started a hunt for the accused.

Accusing the police of acting under pressure of SAD leaders, sabha activists led by Mukesh Kumar and Pardeep Kumar urged the higher authorities, including the Ludhiana (rural) SSP, to cancel the case.

The organisation also threatened to launch an organised struggle to get the case cancelled.

Disappointed over the alleged cold response received from senior functionaries in the department, the sabha activists threatened to stage a protest in front of the SSP’s office at Jagraon on June 9.



Police to crack whip on drunk drivers
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
Drunk drivers beware! To crack its whip on drunk drivers, the city police is going to start a drive from midnight under which drivers driving vehicles under the influence of liquor will be strictly punished. The drive has been initiated following an increase in the incidents of fatal accidents in the city.

Talking to The Tribune, ADCP (Traffic) Sajjan Singh Cheema said noose would be tightened around defaulters.

“A majority of accidents take place when drivers are under the influence of alcohol. These are basically heavy vehicle drivers, who drive trucks, buses recklessly, without caring much about others’ lives. But we will also crack the whip on drunk car/jeep drivers.”

In January, three members of a family lost their lives in an accident. Driver of the tanker with which the car had collided was reportedly under the influence of alcohol. Cheema further added that drivers would be checked through alcometers (the machines through which the police would come to know whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol or not). “The city police has around 10 such machines,” he added.



Overtime, staff shortage plague fire department
Municipal Corporation to recruit 40 more firemen, says Mayor
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
The Municipal Corporation seems to be in no mood to upgrade its fire department though numerous incidents of fire have been reported from different parts of the city.

This could be gauged from the fact that for a city with a population of 16,13,878 there are just 65 employees with the fire department, including drivers. There is resentment among the employees due to the shortage of staff. Most of them rue that they are being forced to work overtime, which is affecting their personal life.

Whereas municipal authorities say that they are in a process of recruiting new employees for the department.

Thirty-three fire tenders with the department are old and worn out. The civic body gets them repaired on regular basis to ensure there is no shortage of vehicles. According to experts, the life of a fire engine is only 10 years and the fire department is still working with 1980s models. Only 10 new models have been inducted into the fleet since 2002.

Not only drivers of fire tenders, there is an acute shortage of fire fighters in the department. At least 40 are needed immediately in the department. Presently, the department is working with just three leading firemen and 42 firemen.

A fire fighter said every firefighter is on 12-hour duty without any holiday, due to which the staff remain constantly under pressure. “At other places, every fire fighter has to do eight hours of duty everyday. But in Ludhiana, we are working for more than 12 hours, which is affecting our personal life.”

Another fire fighter rued that they are not even given masks or any other safety equipment, which is required while dousing the flames. “That is why, sometimes we feel that we are working in very inhuman conditions,” he rued.

Staff Shortage

n Population of the city: 16,13,878. Only 48 fire fighters against a sanctioned strength of 86.
n Only 11 drivers for 33 fire tenders.
n Department manages with just three leading fire fighters.
n No 54-metre ladders to control fire in a multi-storied building
n At least 40 more fire fighters needed immediately.
n No hydraulic ladder

Congested Areas

y With most of the fire incidents being reported in the interior parts of the city, fire tenders face difficulty in passing through congested roads. This was observed when a fire broke out in Shivpuri, Sekhewal, Madhopuri and other areas where hosiery units and other factories are situated.

Fresh Appointments

n Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura said the municipal corporation was in the process of recruiting 40 firefighters. The recruitment process is on and it would be completed tomorrow. The new fire fighters will be appointed within a month, he said.



No end to health woes of railway pensioners
Inadequate facilities at the sub divisional hospital for basic tests
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 8
Even after upgradation of the railway health unit of the Northern Railway here to sub-divisional hospital (SDH), the available facilities leave much to be desired with the result that the intended beneficiaries - both the serving employees and pensioners of the Railways keep crying for better healthcare.

Focusing on the problems of railway pensioners, the Northern Railway Pensioners’ Welfare Association has shot off communications to the in charge of the SDH with copies to chief medical superintendent as well as railway authorities at New Delhi, demanding immediate revival of one post of laboratory assistant at the hospital, at least once a week visit of cardiologist and other specialist doctors and thorough medical check-up of elderly pensioners to ensure timely detection of ailments and their treatment.

Sher Singh, chairman of the association, said the facility of a large number of diagnostic tests was not available at the SDH, and the aged pensioners were made to go to divisional hospital at Ferozepur or else Central hospital at New Delhi, incurring a lot of time and expenses in the process.

“The laboratory test facility at the SDH for basic tests like blood sugar level and other blood and urine tests is inadequate, as the samples by the private laboratory hired for the task are taken only for one hour in the morning. Those coming to the hospital after 10 am have no choice, but to go to the laboratory, which is about 2 km away. The posting of a permanent laboratory attendant is the only solution,” he suggested.

The association, further stressed, that a cardiologist and other specialist doctors must visit the SDH periodically to render consultation and follow up advice to railway pensioners and serving employees, while arrangements be made for medical check-up of the beneficiaries at regular intervals.



Decline in metal content in Budah Nullah
Finally, PPCB campaign shows results
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
Heavy metal content in Budah Nullah has shown a steep decline after strict measures taken by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) to check the discharge of effluents by various industrial units.

According to an official spokesperson, the recent study has shown that heavy metals like cadmium, lead and copper content in Budah Nullah was just negligible.

It may be added that the Buda Nullah was getting polluted as electroplating units were discharging harmful contents, including nickel, copper, lead, iron and cadmium in it. Resultantly, Budah Nullah was getting polluted beyond safe limits.

The Punjab Pollution Control Board conducted this study at Walipur village, Ludhiana, where Budah Nullah merges with the Sutlej.

The recent campaign has stopped the discharge of effluents of eight big units in the Budah Nullah and now these units, instead of discharging effluents, were recycling the water.

For 270 SSI dying units effluent treatment plant has been set up that was discharging the effluents into the Budah Nullah after cleaning it.

n The recent study has shown that heavy metals like cadmium, lead and copper content in Budah Nullah was just negligible



Health team destroys substandard eatables
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 8
A team of health officials conducted a raid on various sweet shops, bakeries, juice bars, meat and vegetables shops here yesterday.

The raid was conducted following instructions from Ludhiana Civil Surgeon Dr Satpal Bhalla.

The team led by Dr Harinder Sharma and comprising health inspectors Gurdev Singh and Hari Singh visited various establishments and examined eatables.

The team destroyed a large quantity of substandard eatables and expired products recovered from various shops on the Tehsil Road, Old Grain Market, Raikot Road, College Road and Railway Road during the raid.

The team did not initiate action against any of the shopkeeper and let them off with a warning. The health officials asked the shopkeepers to maintain quality of products to avoid action.

The team also warned the shopkeepers against action for selling substandard eatables in the future.

The team instructed the shopkeepers, especially sweet shop owners, to maintain cleanliness while preparing and storing eatables.

A team from the Jagraon municipal council, including executive officer Pardeep Kumar and sanitary inspector Bhag Singh, accompanied the health officials during the raid.

According to Jagraon Civil Hospital SMO Dr Amrit Kaur, the aim was to protect people from serious diseases that spread during summer due to the use of substandard eatables.

She added that the department would take action against those found selling substandard eatables. She also appealed to people to examine eatables before purchasing them and inform the health department in case they found inconsistency in the quality of products.



CIPHET transfers soya processing technology
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) yesterday signed an MoU with an entrepreneur from Samrala for licensing the technology of soyabean processing into milk and tofu. The technology has been commercialised at nominal cost for promoting small-scale entrepreneurs.

While animal milk is becoming costlier, entrepreneurs are eyeing on alternative and hygienic milk. Soyabean milk is getting popular with added health benefits for the diabetic and patients of cardio-vascular diseases. The entrepreneur, Karamjit Singh, who left his job to become soya entrepreneur, said he saw a lot of potential and scope in the market.

“I established my plant at Bardala village in Samrala a month ago and got training at CIPHET for production of quality products,” he said, adding that he would produce both milk and tofu.

CIPHET director Dr RT Patil said farmers could increase their income through diversification and modern technologies. “Looking at the high potential the industry has. People from varied fields are entering into the food processing sector,” he said.

He also added that soyabean milk was the best alternative for people suffering from lactose intolerance.

Dr Devinder Dhingra, senior scientist, who has standardised the process at CIPHET, said a number of products could be developed from soyabean.

He added that various research studies indicated that intake of soya food reduced the risk of some types of cancer.

Dr Deepak Raj Rai, head, transfer of technology division, said CIPHET had developed a number of technologies and farmers/entrepreneurs could contact them.

Technology at nominal cost

The technology has been commercialised at nominal cost for promoting small-scale entrepreneurs. CIPHET director Dr RT Patil said farmers could increase their income through diversification and modern technologies.



Rate of bricks fixed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
The Deputy Commissioner has fixed the prices of bricks for the upcoming developmental projects in the city.

The price of the bricks has been fixed at Rs 3,700 per thousand bricks without taxes.

The rate of the bricks was fixed during the meeting held yesterday on the directions given by the secretary, rural development and panchayat department.



Defying all odds, Khalsa Girls Senior Secondary School bring laurels
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
Fighting against all odds, girls from Khalsa Girls Senior Secondary School, Civil Lines, emerged victorious in their Class XII Punjab State Education Board (PSEB) examinations.

Sukhjeevan Kaur, Saakshi and Amritveer Kaur came out with flying colours despite facing various difficulties in their lives.

Amrtiveer Kaur topped her school in the Science stream by securing 87.3 per cent. Hailing from a rural background and then studying in an English medium was undoubtedly difficult for this girl. But she surpassed all difficulties and came out as a winner, said Inderjeet Kaur, school principal.

After securing a good percentage in Class XII, she now plans to do engineering in electronics. Besides her parents, the entire village (Gaddi Jattan) is proud of her. “The credit goes to my teacher Bhupinder Brar for guiding me through thick and thin,” she added.

Sukhjeevan Kaur, another girl from a village near Moga secured 84 per cent marks in arts stream. Sukhjeevan had to get her feet operated due to some infection and had to go on a long medical leave, but she used to come to the school on weekends to take notes from her classmates.

“It was a bit difficult since I didn’t attend classes, but I was determined to get good marks. I used to study 20 hours a day. I will be leaving for Canada to pursue my graduation in business studies,” she said.

Saakshi, another student from the same school, has been excelling in studies since her primary class. In Class X she was in the merit list and had got 85 per cent marks. In Class XII Sakshi secured 80 per cent marks in arts stream.

Saakshi’s father is a vegetable vendor and her mother works as a domestic help. Saakshi wants to do BSc (IT), but till the new session begins, she is doing a job to help her family’s living. “Within a week after the results were declared, I started working so that I can also share the cost of expenses for running my family. I am thankful to my principal and teacher Bhupinder Kaur for guiding me all throughout,” she said.



Girls at the top in Panjab University BCA (I) results
Two students jointly secured third position
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
Deepika Jain of Devki Devi Jain Memorial College for Women has secured second position in Panjab University BCA (I) results by scoring 82.5 per cent marks. The results were declared today.

Besides, two students from Khalsa College for Women (KCW)- Arshdeep Kaur and Reema jointly secured third position in the university by scoring 82.38 per cent marks.

Ruby Mishra from Devki Devi Jain Memorial College and Bhavneet from KCW College bagged sixth and ninth positions, by scoring 81.9 per cent and 81.5 per cent, respectively.

Kanu Jain, another student from Devki Devi Jain College, has got eighth position in Ludhiana district by scoring 79.9 per cent marks.

All the meritorious students owe their success to hard work and their teachers. Arshdeep Kaur said: “Our principal and teachers were always there to clear our doubts. I used to pay attention in class and revise my lessons daily. Though I had worked hard, I was expecting to be among top five.”

Both Arshdeep and Reema want to fulfil their dream for becoming software developers and make their college proud.

Congratulating the students, members of the management of Devki Devi Jain College, including Hira Lal Jain, Kedar Nath Jain said such a result was possible because of the hard work and determination of both teachers and students.

The Principal of KCW, Dr Varinder Kaur Thind applauded the students for maintaining the tradition of the college of securing top university positions and also wished them luck.



From Schools
Students ‘run to have fun’

LUDHIANA: Spring Dale Senior Secondary School organised a workshop “Run to have fun” from June 2-8 for classes VI to IX.

The children got a platform to exhibit and explore their talents in the form of various activities like spoken English and personality development, dramatics, western dance, folk dance, computers, art and craft, music (vocal/instrumental), cooking without fire, martial arts and sports.

The closing ceremony was held on June 8, wherein all students displayed their talents in the form of various items. Certificates were presented to all the students. The director and founder principal Avinash Kaur Walia, principal Sandeep Raikhi and headmistress Kamalpreet Kaur appreciated the efforts of the students and motivated them to excel in their lives. — TNS



Ludhiana scan
Repression against Baba Ramdev condemned

The Lok Morcha has come down heavily upon the Congress-led UPA government for use of brute force and repression against Baba Ramdev and his followers, who were agitating against corruption and black money at the Ramlila ground in Delhi. Kasturi Lal, president, and Himmat Singh, secretary of the morcha, said the action was inhuman and against all democratic norms and traditions. “Raising voice and holding peaceful agitation over social, economic, political and cultural issues is a constitutional right of every citizen, which can’t be denied,” they added. — OC

Urs Mubarak

Urs Mubarak of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti will be celebrated on the sixth day of Islamic month of Rajab here tomorrow. The day will be commemorated with a candle march from Ajmer Sharif followed by prayers and qawwali singing. — OC

Award announced

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari today announced an award of Rs 10,000 for any branch in the office that will be adjudged clean and decorated aesthetically in an inspection on July 4. Tewari, along with Additional Deputy Commissioner SR Kaler, would be visiting all the offices that day. The award has been sponsored by Avon Cycles, stated a communique issued by the DC. —OC

Help offered

Ajay Kumar, a poor student, who topped the district in Class XII, commerce stream, will be able to pursue his dream to become a Chartered Accountant, as a local ex-serviceman has offered to sponsor his education. Major Sher Singh Aulakh (retd) today offered help to Ajay, who is a son of a factory worker. ‘‘I am proud of Ajay, who fought against all odds to excel. I will sponsor his studies,’’ said Major Aulakh. — TNS


Allahabad Bank has been conferred upon first prize by Reserve Bank of India for official language implementation in region ‘A’ among all public sector banks and financial institutions in the Reserve Bank of India Rajbhasha Shield competition. The bank has also been conferred upon third prize in both ‘B’ and ‘C’ regions in the above competition. The bank has also been conferred upon third prize in the Bi-lingual House Magazine competition. The awards were received by MR Nayak, executive director of Allahabad Bank from Dr D Subbarao, Governor, Reseve Bank of India. — TNS



Participants get tips to hone cooking skills
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
Chef Jayanandan today gave tips on culinary skills to the participants of “Fun in the Sun”, a summer camp going at Sutlej Club.

Chef Jayanandan was the first runners-up of the reality show Master Chef India.

Since he had a bend towards cooking, Jayanandan started his fast food joint at Lucknow, but had to shutdown due to some circumstances.

After the closure of his restaurant Master Chef India happened and his life changed. Presently, he is working as chef-de-partie at The Leela Kampinski Gurgaon. Jayanandan is in the city for two days and will be giving tips on cooking to the participants.

While executive chef of Park Plaza Sudhanshu took cooking classes at Lodhi Club, he taught some exotic dishes to the participants.



At the crossroads
Good books are seldom discarded

It’s a fact universally acknowledged, with apology to Jane Austen, that those who love books care less for other things. Books engross the mind so much that there is no time to think about the amenities in life. I was made aware of this aspect of my life when I was asked to shift to a newly-built room at the top floor of our old house. All this happened in the process of renovating the old structure so as to be on par with the changing patterns of house building.

Shifting was not a problem, but to adjust the heaps of books ensconced at the shelves, on the tables and in the drawers was a daunting task. More challenging was the process of going through three or four hefty files containing copies of my articles, some letters and a few photographs.

At that time, I was reminded of an Urdu couplet, generally attributed to Mirza Ghalib: “Chand haseenon ke khatut baad marne ke mere ghar se, yeh saaman nikla.” (Some photographs of the darlings and some letters of the pretty damsels were all that was found in my home after my death.)

The point is how to shed the old burden, so as to accept the new one. To go on piling up books in every nook and cranny of the house is not a healthy practice. It is true that the old books have an aroma of their own, but not all of them, only the classic ones. So, the periodic review of books worthy to be retained has to be done while discarding the others in a ruthless manner.

I took up courage in both hands and sent four bundles of books to Punjabi Bhawan, three bundles of them to scrap dealer and kept 50 books with me for future use. Even for these books I had to devise ways to set them in order so as to keep them within my ken. When I need a book urgently and it’s not found in a small collection in my newly-acquired room, I feel dismayed. But soon I am reminded of Bulhe Shah’s verse- “Bhala hoya mere charkha tutta, Meri jaan azabon chhutti,” (As good luck would have it, my spinning wheel is broken. In a way I feel relieved of the tiresome routine.)

A gifted book is seldom well-received outside the close circle of friends. As such, the gifted books to all and sundry are soon relegated to the remote corners of the shelves or tucked away into an old almirah. This sorry state of affairs is due to the mediocre creative literature published at the author’s expenses. Since there is no sieve through which the matter has to pass, no holds are barred in getting it published.

Earlier, the publisher was the sole arbiter of the quality of books. So, he was choosy as well as assertive. Instead of demanding any amount from the author, royalty was paid to him. The reverse trend started when the writers were in a hurry to get their works published at any cost. The following episode will make my point clear.

Once Hind Pocket Books started publishing Punjabi books in paperbacks. The publishing house paid royalty to the author, but the selection of books was based on the recommendation of trusted advisers. Long time ago, a Punjabi novelist from UK approached Parkash Pandit for getting his novel published. He told the author to leave the script for scrutiny, as only the books adjudged print-worthy were published by the firm.

The novelist retorted- “This is my novel and I want to get it published at my own expenses, so what is the need for scrutiny?”

“We publish good books, but of our own choice and pay royalty to the author. I wonder why you would spend money on my novel. Take money from me and publish the novel.”

Needless to say that Parkash Pandit returned the script to the NRI without batting an eyelid. But now, Indians are following the example of the NRIs without any compunction. Hence, the reason for books galore in the book-releasing functions. Here you can’t say: “The more the merrier.”

— By NS Tasneem



Neighbours envy, owner’s pride
Dog lovers spend lakhs for rare-breeds!
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
Ludhianvis have always been known for their lavish lifestyle. Thus, dog-lovers in the city don’t mind spending even a few lakhs for keeping dogs of rare breeds as their pride possession. And these “no-ordinary” dogs have brought accolades to their masters by winning “prestigious” titles by defeating several dogs available in the United Kingdom and the USA for anything between Rs 8 and Rs 10 lakhs.

One of the proud owners Dr Ajaypal Mangat, who has got about 30 rare dogs, told The Tribune that he too had imported rare breeds from the United Kingdom and the USA. “These dogs are the most docile, understanding and affectionate animals. Not just dog lovers from Ludhiana, but from Delhi, Kanpur, Luknow, Mumbai and Kolkota pay good price to get rare pups. All these dogs have emerged as winners in several kennel competitions,” said Dr Mangat.

Barney, the golden retriever, is one of the best for Dr Mangat. “Its pups are much in demand by the dog-lovers throughout India. It is certainly not easy to keep these rare breed dogs. They need attention just like your kids. They want to play with you, get angry on you, want their own space, the best food and good trainers. The kennel house in which they are kept is air-conditioned. In summers, they swim in the pool and play with balls and swimming tubes in water. These pups are sold for Rs 40,000 each,” said Dr Mangat.

For another dog-lover Sulbha Jindal, the passion for dogs made her become a veterinarian so that she could do something for the stray dog. Besides, she herself has got 18 such expensive dogs. They are of Pug, Beagle, Boxer, Labrador, Bulldog and Welsh-corgi breeds. “They are the real stress-busters. They are just like your kids who need your attention. Swimming and running on treadmill is the part of their regular exercise regime. All of my pups are the babies of champion dogs. They are really pampered not because they are expensive but they are too understanding,” said Sulbha.

These dogs have got their registered names with the Kennel Club of India. Their names are Prirose Tetimony, Champion Ballyridge, Headstart, Bohmere Sensation, Chalksville and dream-maker.



Police initiates action against PAU employee in fake robbery case
Mahesh Sharma

Mullanpur Dakha, June 8
The police has initiated action against a resident of Mohi village, Ludhiana, an employee of the Punjab Agricultural University, for allegedly lodging a false complaint regarding a robbery that never occurred.

The suspect has been identified as Ranjit Singh, who is presently working as a watchman, in the paddy section of the university.

Ranjit Singh had informed the police that three motorcycle miscreants had robbed him of Rs 1.5 lakh after waylaying him near Baddowal village on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur road yesterday.

According to complainant, the robbers had followed him after he withdrew the amount from a bank at Mullanpur. The amount was to be paid to complainant’s father Gurdev Singh, as a contribution for purchasing land.

Though a police party led by SHO Prem Singh had swung into action immediately after receiving information about the incident, the investigating team became suspicious when the complainant kept on changing his statement about sequence of events.

Investigation at the bank revealed that the complainant had only Rs 77 in his account.

Failing to answer police questions, the complainant pleaded for withdrawal of his complaint. He even tried to influence the cops for not disclosing the result of investigation to his friends and relatives.

However, the police initiated action against him after registering a case under Section 182 of the CrPC.



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