L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Mineral water sample fails
Was collected at a wedding recently after 22 guests fell ill
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
One of the seven samples of mineral water collected by the district health department at a wedding party at Malhotra Palace on July 7 has failed. Manoj Khosla, Food Safety Officer, Ludhiana, said: “We had collected seven samples of mineral water from the wedding party where 22 persons fell ill after eating snacks and food.

Out of these samples, one sample of mineral water failed. It had suspended matter in it. The mineral water was carrying the batches of Aqua Zone of Mohan Bottling company at Jalandhar. We will book the owner of the company along with the caterer, Kala Catering Service, under the Food Safety and Standard Act.”

Asked if the guests at the wedding party had fallen ill after drinking contaminated mineral water, Khosla said: “We cannot say that because out of seven samples only one failed. We think that they fell sick after eating the food served there. We could not collect the samples of the food as by the time our team reached there, everything was finished except ice-cream and soda. The samples of ice-cream and soda were as per the required standards.”

On July 28, a milk vendor was caught by some residents at Haibowal while he was adding rainwater to milk. A sample was taken by the health department, and it also failed.

He said they would file a case in the court against the defaulters.

Oil factories raided

The health department conducted raids on mustard oil factories in the city today. Three factories were raided at Bute Shah Mandi near Kesar Ganj and spurious oil brands and under-weight oil tins were seized. The factories were selling oil under the brand of Arjun, Natraj and Kailash. At Lakkar bazaar, palm oil (inferior refined oil) which is generally used by sweet makers was seized. At Jawahar Nagar Camp, we seized Gaazi brand oil. The samples will be sent for testing.

Manoj Khosla, food safety officer


MC carries out road patchwork at Jagraon Bridge in rain!
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
tribune news service

Ludhiana, August 24
Though Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) officials often go on foreign junkets to learn about various development projects and their execution, they fail to take any measures when it comes to following laid down rules for certain projects. An MC team was seen carrying out patchwork on the Jagraon Bridge road in the city even as it had been drizzling since morning.

But senior MC officials claim that the extent of rainfall was not much to affect the quality of the patchwork. They said the material used in patchwork had already been prepared at a hot-mix plant and instead of wasting it, they decided to go ahead with it.

Malwinder Singh Jaggi, officiating MC Commissioner, clarified: “The city did not witness heavy rain. Moreover, if the material used for patchwork is prepared at a hot-mix plant, we cannot store it as it has to be used within a certain time, else it gets wasted. That is why we decided to go ahead with the patchwork.”

Kuldeep Singh Khaira, an RTI activist, said the life of a road decreased if it was re-carpeted in rain, or even a drizzle. “Patchwork should not be carried out in rain as it reduces the life of a road. It is strange that the MC is indulging in such things, and that too, when city roads have been damaged due to the 400 mm of rainfall on August 12 and August 13,” he said.

‘Duty official responsible’

Even if senior MC officials had issued orders for carrying out the patchwork on Jagraon Bridge, it is the duty of the official present on the spot to decide whether he wants to go ahead with the work or delay it. We will not let anyone carry out any development work which is not as per norms.

Parveen Bansal, Senior Deputy Mayor



Now, food test results to come in a fortnight
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
With repeal of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, reports of laboratory tests of food samples can now be received within 14 days. Announcing this, Manoj Khosla, the health department’s food safety officer, said: “This Act has been repealed and the Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006 has taken effect from August 5, 2011. With this change the health department will now have to provide lab testing results of food samples within 14 days. Earlier the period used to be 40 days."

"Last week we collected eight samples of food items from three prisons in the city including the Borstal jail and the women’s jail. We also took food samples from the Nagpal Regency hotel. The lab testing results will be provided within a fortnight in accordance with the provisions of the Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006”, Khosla added.

Meanwhile, district health officer Dr Kulwinder Singh stated: “On Tuesday we also collected five food samples, including those of ‘dal’ (a preparation of pulses), mixed vegetables and ‘raita’ (a condiment made with yoghurt) from the city’s Lodhi club”.

Faster results of lab testing on food samples is expected to help in curbing the menace of serving contaminated food, sweetmeats and other eatables, particularly during festivals and at wedding parties. Up until last year the health department used to collect samples of sweets from sweetmeat makers before Diwali and release the lab testing reports well after the festival was over, giving ample time to sweet makers to sell their products irrespective of their purity.



6-yr-old deaf-mute girl gets second chance at life
May soon speak again after city’s first cochlear implant surgery
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
Like a newborn child, six-year-old Kashni blinked one moment while in the other she looked confused, putting her hand in her mouth. She looked scared as she tried to smile and got busy with eating snacks, perhaps to avoid the sounds in her surroundings, which she heard after a span of two years ever since she became deaf and dumb after being afflicted with meningitis.

On July 18 Kashni was successfully underwent surgery for cochlear implants at the city’s Deep Hospital by Dr Rajiv Kapila, an ear, nose and throat specialist, under the guidance of Dr Isha Tyagi, a noted physician from Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow. “This procedure was conducted for the first time at a private medical facility in Ludhiana”, claimed Kapila.

And, on Wednesday, more than a month after being operated upon, Kashni’s cochlear implant was made functional through a microphone, an external device that converts sounds in electrical signals in the ear. It was an emotional moment for her parents who saw their daughter responding to some sounds in the vicinity. Her mother, Mamta, and father, Satish Kumar, said: "We’re grateful to Bharat Bhushan, our area ward councilor, who paid Rs 3 lakh for this implant. Now we’ll commence her speech therapy thrice a week so that she can start speaking again soon."

Kapila, who was equally happy, said: "She may begin speaking within a year or even sooner as earlier she used to speak before falling sick. At present she’s like an hour-old newborn child who behaves in a confused way after coming to this the world. With rigorous speech therapy she’ll improve further.”

As someone dropped a bunch of keys Kashni looked towards that direction and brought smiles to one and all present there.

Hellen Keller springs to mind

Kashni’s story reminds many of that of Helen Keller, the illustrious American author, political activist and lecturer was the first deafblind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Keller>. Helen was not born blind and deaf; it was not until she was 19 months old that she contracted an illness described by doctors as "an acute congestion of the stomach and the brain", which might have been scarlet fever or meningitis. The illness did not last for a particularly long time, but it left her deaf and blind. The unflinching support of her parents and teachers helped her in earning worldwide fame.



7,700 units told to shift base
Area declared residential in Master Plan; owners cry foul
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
As many as 7,700 micro and small-scale units, a majority of them manufacturing engineering goods, particularly in the Shimlapuri and New Janta Nagar areas, are worried about their future as the area has been designated as residential in the Master Plan and owners have been asked to shift the units within 10 years.

There is a provision in the Master Plan to change its status if the local bodies government so wants. A delegation of micro and small-scale entrepreneurs met local bodies minister Tikshan Sood recently and were given an assurance that something would be worked out within a week. However, nothing has been done so far.

Ramesh Rattan, chairman of the small-scale industrialists and traders association, said more than one lakh workers were employed in these units, which were running from about 75 “mohallas”. He said in September 2008, Shimlapuri and New Janta Nagar areas came under the residential purview and the government asked the unit owners to shift their base to some other place.

“There are about 7,700 micro and small units which are dealing in engineering goods like welding, nut-bolts and cycle parts, and about one lakh persons are making their living by working in these units. Some units like hammer and processing units have been generating noise and air pollution and these can be shifted to other places. But why should hundreds of other units be asked to move? We want the government to declare the area for mixed land use. Our demand is justified,” said Rattan.

Gurwant Singh, general secretary of the association, said the government had not provided any land to these unit owners. “They have been into the business for the past four-five decades. If the government wants to shift the industry to rural areas, sufficient facilities/subsidies should be provided to the affected businessmen. As per rough estimates, about 35,000 units in areas like Shimlapuri, Janta Nagar, Partap Nagar, Jammu Colony, Basti Jodhewal and Sunder Nagar are being run from “mohallas”. Is it possible to shift the base to peripheries when the government is not willing to provide any facility to industrialists?” he asked.



rail link lost in transit
Duronto express skips city
New Shatabdi also remains elusive
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 24
With the new ‘Duronto’ train between Amritsar and Chandigarh flagged off on Wednesday, city residents are feeling cheated as the promised new Ludhiana-New Delhi Shatabdi Express seems nowhere in sight. To make matters worse speculation is rife that the proposed train may be scrapped altogether or run from Jalandhar instead.

Frequent travellers to the state capital from it industrial hub were disappointed to know that the five days a week Duronto Express, which commenced its run from Amritsar on Wednesday morning, will not stop at Ludhiana. "But then the city’s expectations to have a fast train for Chandigarh were misplaced," say Northern Railway officials, adding “the very concept of Duronto expresses is that these are nonstop trains running point to point”.

The inordinate delay by Indian Railways in introducing the new Ludhiana-New Delhi Shatabdi, which was announced by the railway minister in the budget for this year, is also proving irksome to city residents. While the timetable of the proposed train, to run via Sangrur and Rohtak, was announced in the half-yearly Northern Railway timetable in July the timeframe for introducing it was held back.

Of late there were reports that the railway ministry was under increasing pressure to operate the train from Jalandhar in place of Ludhiana. The arguments being forwarded to press the claim were absence of facilities for washing line and base kitchen at Ludhiana station, which were required at the originating and terminating point.

However, railway officials in the city maintained the Ludhiana-New Delhi Shatabdi will soon materialize while calling reports of the proposal being scrapped or rerouting the train to Jalandhar as "mere speculation". Officials at Northern Railway’s divisional headquarters at Ferozepur as also station superintendent RK Sharma told The Tribune the introduction of a new Shatabdi express was “just a matter of time”.

"As for the requirement of facilities for washing line and base kitchen, the train’s maintenance has been entrusted to New Delhi. The catering will be outsourced as and when the new train begins operation," the officials added. Ludhiana MP and spokesman for the Congress party Manish Tewari, who was instrumental in getting the “prestigious” train sanctioned by the railway ministry, could not be contacted.



131 killed on Ludhiana-Mohali road in 8 months
With 350 accidents, the 90-km stretch has become a death trap
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
With 131 deaths out of 350 accidents reported on the 90-km Ludhiana-Mohali stretch in the past eight months, the road is fast turning into a death trap for commuters. The situation will worsen in the coming months as the flow of traffic has been constantly increasing on the road.

The stretch crisscrosses through seven towns and five police districts of Ludhiana, Khanna, Nawanshahr, Fatehgarh Sahib and Mohali. The police often passes the buck and refuses to register accident cases on the pretext of jurisdiction, leaving the perplexed victims to move from pillar to post for the registration of a case.

A 20-km stretch from Ludhiana city to Neelo has “black spots” at Katani Mor, Ram Garh, Munidian Kalan, Jamalpur area and Samrala Chowk.

Records obtained from the traffic police, Ludhiana, reveals that in 2010, 350 road accidents were reported from Ludhiana, in which 226 persons died. Out of these, 25 persons died on the stretch from Ludhiana to Neelo.

“Lack of traffic sense and increasing number of SUVs is adding to the problem. Drivers of heavy vehicles run at breakneck speed which have resulted in fatal accidents,” says Dr Kamaljit Soi, a traffic expert.

“Most of the times, traffic is streamlined only when a VIP commutes on the road. Traffic police officials are told to rush at a particular stretch from where these VIPs have to pass through. But when an accident victim needs help, hardly any police personnel or ambulance service is available,” he says.

Most of these deaths occur due to engineering faults in roads and human errors. “The prime example of engineering disaster is the road curve on the outskirts of Kharar. It is a blind spot and causes many fatal accidents,” he adds.

Kamal Kumar, another traffic expert from Sangrur, says drunk driving and traffic rule violations are also adding to accident deaths.

“Enforcement agencies do not have speed radars to check speed as well as breath analysers in case of drunk driving. People are flouting rules,” he says.

Keeping vigil: minister

We are keeping a close tab on the condition of this stretch. Recently we held a meeting to find out ways to reduce the accidents occurring on this road.

Surjit Kumar Jayani, state transport minister


  • 30,000 vehicles commute on this road daily. Thousands of students travel on this stretch to go to 20 colleges and over 100 government and private schools located virtually on the edge of the road.
  • Drunk drivers, speeding vehicles and reckless driving by bus and truck drivers adding to the menace.
  • No deployment of traffic police

Vested interests

Sources say that vested interest of politicians is posing an impediment to the train project. If Ludhiana and Chandigarh are connected through train, it will lessen the traffic flow. But politicians are not in favour of it. With a majority of politicians making money by plying private buses on this busy stretch, no leader stresses on connecting Ludhiana and Chandigarh through a rail route.

Heavy vehicles also plying

The hike in rates by the toll plaza authorities at the Sutlej has worsened the traffic condition on this stretch. Heavy vehicles coming from Amritsar, Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur also ply on this stretch to avoid toll.



SMEs can flourish, if corruption is curbed, feel traders
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
The move against corruption has been highly appreciated by the business community, especially the Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs). Terming it to be “the need of the hour”, the sector feels that the move will trigger a series of reforms essential for its survival. “Due to the nexus between government and big corporate houses in the country, SMEs are not given a chance to prove mettle,” feel businessmen.

The business community in the city maintained, “The sector is the back-bone of Indian economy. Its contribution towards the production and exports in the country is above 40 per cent. It is one of the main sources of employment in the country,” said PD Sharma, president, Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Sharma added that it was unfortunate that the prices of raw material were controlled by the private sector.

Avtar Singh from the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking (CICU) said the government procured various types of goods from industry. India was signatory to the Bologna Charter on the SME policies adopted in 2000. The Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises Development Act 2006 was meant to facilitate the sector.

“Section 11 of the Act allows notification of purchase preference policies in ministries and departments for goods and services produced and provided by small businesses. For decades the Government of India and state government have been giving price preference of 15 per cent for purchases from small industry. It is well known that goods produced by large units are less costlier due to various factors in their favour. So mere preference in procurement without price preference of 15 per cent is meaningless. Of all states, only Tamil Nadu is giving 15 per cent price preference to smaller units. This denial of price preference is due to the influence of large corporate sector on the government,” said Avtar Singh.

He said the sector would flourish if the corruption was curbed.



City to get 40 low-floor buses
Remaining 160 to be added to fleet
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
The city is all set to get the much-hyped bus service next month as the Ludhiana municipal corporation (MC) officials have completed the survey of buses, which will ply on the city roads in Lucknow. The officials stated that as part of the first phase, the city would get 40 low-floor non-AC buses, while the remaining 160 buses would be added to the fleet accordingly.

A team led by MC Joint Commissioner Mohinder Pal Gupta, who is also the CEO of Ludhiana City Bus Service Limited, and Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC), visited Lucknow to see the fleet of buses readied by Tata company.

Gupta was accompanied by technical experts. “They have already been asked to prepare a detailed report, which would then be submitted with the board of directors of Ludhiana City Bus Service Limited. They are expected to submit this report in a couple of days,” said Gupta.

It will be after the submission of the report by technical experts that the MC officials will announce the date from which 40 low-floor non-AC buses will be launched in the city. Sources in the MC said the service could start anytime next month as the state government wanted it as soon as possible as the Assembly elections were nearing.

Ever since the project was announced in 2002 and later in 2008, it had remained in doldrums. The MC officials had first announced that this project would start from August, 2010, then December, 2010, and later March 31. But the city bus service remained a distant dream.

For purchasing a fleet of 200 buses (40 air conditioned low-floor and 160 non-AC), the MC is to spend Rs 65 crore under the Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. Of the total amount, the officials have received Rs 16.30 crore from the Centre, Rs 6.62 crore from the state government, besides a loan of Rs 19.56 crore, which the civic body had taken by mortgaging the buses that are yet to be purchased.



NRHM staff beg to mark protest
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
To show their anger against the state government for not fulfilling their demands, National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) employees today adopted a noble way of protest by begging from public in general.

It was at 1.30 pm when the agitated employees started begging from passersby from the Civil Surgeon office and reached general bus terminus, stating that their circumstances have forced them to beg as the state government pays them less salary and, moreover, they are serving on contract.

Earlier, union district president Dinesh Gulati and general secretary Prithpal Singh said, “Our union had held many meetings with the Chief Minister and health and family welfare minister, Punjab, but they had provided us with no solution. Our demands are still pending. The state government says that the Centre appointed the NRHM employees, so they cannot help them. But we ask that why did the state government appoint employees from the state?”



Power staff stage protest
State-level dharna in Patiala on September 23
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 24
In order to press for the acceptance of their pending demands, the employees of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) today staged a dharna at the headquarters of the central zone here today. The joint forum of the PSEB employees and the PSEB employees federation organised separate dharnas.

Adopting a tough stance against the indifferent attitude of the PSPCL management, the activists of the joint forum issued an ultimatum to hold a state-level dharna in Patiala on September 23, which will be followed by black flag demonstrations against the directors of the PSPCL from September 24 to October 3. This will be followed by a strike on October 4.

Lambasting the management for pursuing privatisation and outsourcing, union leaders said issues like the revision of pay scales, recruitment on compassionate ground, regularisation of contractual employees and filling of vacant posts were hanging fire even after the demands were accepted in principle in meetings held between the representatives of the employees and the management.



Shops being used as godowns
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, August 24
In a huge violation of norms, some of the shops at the recently constructed market by the municipal council at the Old Grain Market here are being illegally used as godowns by some of the shopkeepers and traders of the local Old Grain Market in connivance with the MC officials. No official from the local municipal council seems to have taken a notice of the illegal use of the shops owned by the civic body.

“The shops in the market owned by the MC are being used as godowns by some of the shopkeepers. But

the MC officials despite being well aware of the violation have turned a blind eye towards the issue due to reasons known to them,” claimed sources.

Moreover, some of the shopkeepers have locked shops.

However, the illegal use of shops owned by the MC is not only resulting in heavy financial losses to the MC, but it has also been violating the norms of the local bodies department.

The local municipal council had constructed the market about two years ago.

Though the MC also tried to auction these shops twice but both the times the auction was cancelled due to different reasons. The MC was forced to cancel the first auction due to the death of father of MC president Baldev Krishan Dhir just a couple of days before the auction. The second auction was cancelled after the MC received a poor response from interested buyers who refused to take part in the action as the price of the shops was too high.

When contacted, MC president Baldev Krishan Dhir expressed ignorance about the issue.



Mastitis causes huge loss to dairy industry
Charanjit Singh Teja

Ludhiana, August 24
Mastitis, inflammation of udder, results in Rs 7,165 crore annual loss to the dairy industry in India and Rs 503 crore in Punjab. The disease occurs in two forms: sub-clinical and clinical. The clinical mastitis results in visible alterations in composition of milk.

In sub-clinical form, although no visible abnormality is seen, it alters the biochemical composition of milk and results in 10 to 25 per cent production loss. Studies conducted at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University revealed that on an average sub-clinical mastitis affected 50 per cent of cows and 30 per cent of buffaloes in state. A majority of mastitis cases occur during the hot and humid climate of July to September.

Dr BK Bansal, senior scientist at GADVASU, said mastitis resulted in an increase in the somatic cell count (SCC) and bacterial load of milk. “Mastitis causing organisms such as staphylococci and streptococci may cause sore throat, and the coliforms enteric infection in consumer. An animal with mastitis may shed in excess of 10 million bacteria per ml. High SCC in milk has lipolytic effect on fat and results in rancidity of dairy products. In mastitis, desirable milk components like lactose, milk proteins, fat, calcium and phosphorus decrease, while others such as lipase, whey proteins, sodium and chloride increase.”

Dr SNS Randhawa, director, research, GADVASU, said drug residues in milk might affect drug resistance not only in animals, but in humans also. The development of drug resistance among mastitis organisms to many antibiotics over the period is clearly visible from the data available with the university.

Dr Bansal and Dr Gupta, scientists working on mastitis, said immediate treatment of mastitis preferably based on culture sensitivity (CST) was necessary. “Also, the adoption of mastitis management practices such as keeping the animal and surroundings dry, milking healthy animals first, washing hands in-between milking, proper use and care of milking machine, post-milking feeding of animals, taking prompt therapy of mastitis based on the CST, sticking to milk withdrawal period following mastitis therapy, use of post-milking teat dipping and dry therapy is certainly beneficial in controlling the disease and producing quality milk,” they added.



GNIMT students awarded gold medals
Charanjit Singh Teja

Ludhiana, August 24
Three students of Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology, Model Town, were awarded gold medals during the ninth convocation held at Dr BR Ambedkar National Institute of Technology (NIT), Jalandhar. PTU, Jalandhar, had organised its ninth convocation to honour its gold medallists in various courses and streams.

Gurleen Kaur, an MBA student, has bagged a gold medal in the university examination conducted by Punjab Technical University. Jasleen Singh, a BBA student, has also bagged a gold medal.

On her success, Gurleen Kaur said, “Work hard is the principle, which I have adopted in my life. I didn't expect to top the university exams, but I was sure that I would top the college. The support of my parents and teachers made my goals achievable and I thank them for their guidance".

BBA gold medalist Jasleen Singh said, "Don't cram any thing, understand the thing and present it in your own words. I wanted to achieve the gold medal for my inner satisfaction. Now, I want to join my family business.

Congratulating the students, Director Dr HS Singha said, "In the past too GNIMT has scored a hat trick by bagging gold medals in MBA for 2008, 2009 and 2010”.

He further added, "PTU has about 167 affiliated colleges for MBA course. This is an excellent performance of students, which has become possible not only by the hard work put in by the students but also the teachers."

Another student from GNIMT, Divya Jain, was also awarded a gold medal at the convocation, who stood first in MBA during the academic session 2009-10.



Sleep deprivation among children worries parents
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, August 24
A majority of parents, teachers and doctors share the same opinion that children, these days, are chronically sleep deprived. They view that it is high time that schools should ponder over the seriousness of the issue and think over pushing back school timings.

“I fail to understand that when the schools these days are sensitive to the development of a child’s overall personality, how can these institutions overlook such an important thing as sleep. What is the point of starting the schools as early as 7.15 or 7.30 in the morning?” asked a worried mother of a school-going child.

“It is a matter of routine that my child feels giddy in the morning. I feel upset as he is never in a cheerful mood due to the uneasiness he feels on account of getting lesser sleep. As opposed to this, he is never the same on holidays for the simple reason that he gets up late on these days,” expressed Pal Rani, a government schoolteacher.

“My child is not in his spirits throughout the day. As he is not been able to get enough sleep, he does not feel like playing, enjoying with his friends or even studying,” said Ranjit Kaur, a college lecturer.

“The doctor has strictly advised at least 8 hours of sleep for my child, failing which it would adversely affect her health,” said Anupam, mother of a 12-year-old daughter, who studies in Class VII.

“Getting enough sleep should be made a priority at all levels. The extent to which it is being overlooked by the schools and the way the parents are passive over the issue, it can lead to dangerous consequences in the near or distant future,” opined Dr Gursaran Sidhu, director and chief of department of medicine, Sidhu Hospital, Doraha.

“The agony the parents have to undergo each day from the time of waking up of a child and finally sending him or her to the school is unbearable,” expressed a concerned father.

“I know that sleep deprivation is leading to serious consequences, as my child remains in that disturbed mood throughout the day. I can’t understand that if these are the growing years of my child, this is the way these schools are ensuring his overall growth and development. They are, in fact, endangering and obstructing physical and mental health of the child,” opined Nidhi, a college lecturer.

“The academic performance, social behaviour and overall health of a child is going to receive a sure setback if the school boards continue to have their way. The schools must be encouraged to push back their starting times to at least 8:30 am. Many children don’t even meet the minimum hours of sleep i.e. 10 to 12 hours up to 12 years of age. In the beginning, it may not seem to be a bigger issue, but as the sleep begins to accumulate, the child starts showing signs of moodiness, lesser attention span, susceptibility to illness and disinterestedness. Disturbed sleep patterns may lead to results, which may be devastating,” said Dr Jagmohan Singh.

While, Dr Sarabjot Singh, MD paediatrics, finds nothing wrong with the school timings. “The parents need to change their habits and lifestyle if they have to give their children adequate sleeping hours,” he said.

Principal Suzi George, Green Grove Public School Mohanpur, too, opined, “Starting early is better as the children have ample time to work and sleep in the later part of the day.”



Vet varsity handbook challenges Gregorian calendar
Charanjit Singh Teja

Ludhiana, August 24
It may sound strange, but according to Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADAVSU) Hand Book-2011, today is Saturday. August 15 was not Monday but Tuesday as per the vet varsity calendar.

The weekdays in the diary are a day advance. Diary is challenging the Gregorian calendar introduced in 1588 and still in use. On December 31, it will be Saturday in other calendars, but according to the varsity diary, the last day of year will be Sunday.

“It is hard to understand how GADVASU officials manage their meetings, appointments and programmes by using this diary. Moreover, what about the people who have purchased it for Rs 100,” said a student, requesting anonymity.

The handbook diary was published by the Directorate of Extension Education and released in January 2011. The varsity formed an editorial committee of three members. Dr Harish Kumar Verma was appointed as the chairman of the committee, Harpreet Singh was the convener and Jaswinder Singh was the member of the committee.

The chairman of the editorial committee, Dr Harish Kumar Verma, admitted errors in the diary. He said: “It was a printing mistake and we are aware of it. But after publishing it, we were helpless to change it. We are facing staff shortage and these things happen due to excessive workload,”

“It’s a publishing error. It's very common thing in the press. Newspapers also do the same. We will be careful in future,” said Harpreet Singh, convener of the committee.



New Zealand High Commissioner visits PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
Jan Henderson, High Commissioner of New Zealand, David Henderson and Melanie Chapman, education councillor in New Zealand High Commission, New Delhi, visited Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today and held a discussion with PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon on various agricultural subjects.

Dr Dhillon highlighted the role played by PAU in heralding an era of green revolution in India and its specific programmes to address the agrarian issues that had cropped up in the post green revolution era. He said food processing and sustainability of agricultural development were the prime areas of concern. “There is an enormous potential for considering processing and value addition of perishable horticultural produce. We welcome any sort of collaboration in identified areas that are mutually beneficial,” said Dr Dhillon.

Henderson said New Zealand was a country with around four million people.

Among others present included Dr Neelam Grewal, Dean, College of Home Science, Dr Jaswinder Kaur Sangha, coordinator, research (home science), and additional director, research (Agri), Dr TS Thind.

Issues such as dual degree educational programmes, international internship for students, post-harvest studies in horticulture, foods and nutrition, functional foods and de-bittering of kinnow for processing were discussed. The team also visited the Food Laboratories of College of Home Science.

Orientation programme

The Home Science Association of the College of Home Science, PAU, organised an orientation programme on Wednesday. The occasion saw the participation of students admitted in the college during the session 2011-12 and the parents of new entrants. Dr Neelam Grewal, Dean, College of Home Science, laid emphasis on the curricular and academic activities of students for holistic development of the personality. Speaking on the issues concerning the academicians, discipline, security and welfare of the students, she emphasised on the importance and uniqueness of the advisory and evaluation system under the system of the education.

PAU home scientist Dr Paramjit Chawla apprised parents as well as new entrants of the advisory system, academic rules, semester system, academic calendar and examination system. Another home scientist Dr Kanwaljit Brar dwelt upon the new corners of the curricular and co-curricular activities at the PAU.

An interactive session took place wherein parents lauded the efforts of the college faculty in making students aware of the system, thereby helping them in their academic growth.


During his visit to the Centre for Communication and International Linkages at the PAU to discuss the tri-monthly schedule for television interviews, Manohar Singh Bharaj, senior programme producer, Parsar Bharti (Doordarshan), Jalandhar, said Punjab farmers had reposed faith in Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and Doordarshan. He added that the available feedback was that farmers were keen on learning from the PAU experts through Doordarshan programmes. “The programmes are need-based and the live agricultural programmes telecast by Doordarshan get numerous phone calls,” he said.



sgpc poll
Danga Peerat’s support a trump card for SAD
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
The Danga Peerat’s support for the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) for the upcoming Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections might turn out to be a trump card for the party. This is so because around 10,000 Danga Peerat’s (victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots) reside in Dugri area, which falls in SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar’s Ludhiana (west) constituency.

Surjit Singh, president of Danga Peerat Welfare Society, Punjab, had announced yesterday that the society, which boasts of having support of 50,000 odd Danga Peerat’s of the city, would be supporting the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal).

Surinder Singh, prime witness against Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, who had filed his papers against SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar for the upcoming SGPC elections, had announced yesterday that he would not contest the elections and would support Makkar.

Surjit Singh stated that around 50,000 Danga Peerats reside in Ludhiana city. “Almost half of them are voters of the SGPC and now that we are supporting the Akali Dal, the party would surely be benefited from it,” claimed Surjit Singh.

Backed by Danga Peerat Welfare Society, Surinder Singh had filed his nomination papers against Makkar on August 11 and at that time, he had stated that he is not against Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, but is against the presidential candidate (Makkar).

“He (Makkar) had misbehaved with me when we had organised a protest against the government in October last year and had directed the management of a gurdwara in Sector 11 in Chandigarh to not allow us to have even water,” Surinder Singh had said after filing his nomination papers on August 11.

Surinder Singh had also charged Makkar of not doing anything for the riot victims. He had alleged that Makkar played gimmicks with the riot victims and that the riot victims want to “teach him a lesson”.



Teenage aggression proving fatal for families
Three young lives lost over petty issues
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 24
Short temper and aggression among children and teenagers has emerged as major factor behind devastation of families. What to talk of causing harm to their belongings, they do not hesitate to attempt suicide or kill their target without any provocation.

The tendency has resulted in a situation wherein a majority of teachers and parents have stopped trying to mend the attitude of problem children.

In recent incidents, three youths lost their precious lives due to aggression. A peasant family of Rangoowal lost their only son, Manjot Singh, who allegedly committed suicide after consuming some insecticide a few days ago. Dr RP Singal, managing director of Kundan Lal Hospital, said the level of poison was so high in Manjot’s blood that he could not be saved.

Investigations revealed that Manjot had consumed a tablet celphos as his mother could not give him Rs 10 on his demand. The unfortunate mother is cursing herself why she refused Rs 10 to her son.

In a separate case, the Dehlon police had filed a report under Section 174 of the CrPC following the unnatural death of Sunny of Pohir village. The victim, a student of a public senior secondary school, had allegedly committed suicide after returning from school a few days ago. The exact reason behind the incident remained a mystery, as the deceased’s parents did not want action against anyone. Injury marks on the neck of the child suggested that he had hanged himself with a hook in his house.

In another case, the Malaudh police booked Hardeep Singh, a teenager of Kuhli village, for allegedly causing death of his friend Manpreet Singh, who had died after the motorcycle he was riding collided with a horse-cart on August 4.

The incident could have remained unnoticed had Ashok Sharma, SHO of the Malaudh police station not suspected the version of the deceased’s parents that he had lost control after suffering a heart attack.

Investigations revealed that Manpreet and Hardeep had quarrelled over a petty issue on the fateful day. Unable to control his temper, Hardeep decided to teach Manpreet a lesson. Though he did not want to kill Manpreet, his action proved fatal for him when he lost control over the moving motorcycle and collided with a horse-cart. Regrettably, both Hardeep and owner of the cart left Manpreet to die on the spot when he fell unconscious.



at the crossroads
The concept of romantic revolution

Human beings have always been enamoured with revolution. A time comes when the old order makes life of the common people miserable. Change becomes the crying need of the moment. Nothing seems too costly for the attainment of the objective in view. All hurdles in the way are disdainfully eliminated. To come out of the closet and to breathe in the fresh air seems to be the life-saving device. Even the classical Persian poet Omar Khayyam craves for the world of his own making:

Ah, Love ! could thou and I, with Fate conspire

To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,

Would not we shatter it to bits - and then

Re-mould it nearer to the Heart’s Desire !

The French Revolution was hailed by the thinkers of the world as a new comet on the horizon. It seemed as if such a revolution was needed in every country. The same old story of the oppressors and the oppressed as well as the haves and have-nots. The beginnings have always been inspiring the youth to take up the gauntlet. The romantic poets such as Byron and Shelley left their homeland for pastures new. No sacrifice was considered too demanding and the personal grief was merged into the universal sorrow. William Wordsworth resided for a year in Paris to be in touch with the changing course of the revolution that had infused him with a new spirit:

Bliss was it in that age to be alive,

But to be young was very heaven !

The youngsters like me craved for a revolution in 1940’s when the foreign rule had sapped the inner reserves of the people facing political, economic and cultural constraints. The college-goers came under the spell of the progressive movement in literature. The poets were foremost in instilling in the minds of the youth the concept of revolution. Majaz, Faiz and Makhdoom were foremost in blowing the bugle of uprising. To our young minds revolution seemed to be at the bend of the road. We were thrilled immensely when Faiz predicted the fall of the imperial order. He proclaimed:

Aai khak nasheeno uthh baithho

Woh wakt kareeb aa pohncha hai

Jab takht giraye jayenge

Jab taaj uchhale jayenge

(O’ the lowly of the lowliest, get up as the time is now ripe when the thrones will be overturned and the crowns will be thrown up.)

Now at this time of the day to look back to the past six decades or so appears to be a romantic exercise. All of us wanted something drastic to change the miserable life-pattern that was nothing short of a curse. Agitations at times that brought about the desired results. But mostly the poets and the storytellers were armchair philosophers. They could raise their voice to a higher pitch but its impact was short-lived. There is no denying the fact that these writings had a cathartic effect on us. We were indeed relieved of the tension though temporarily.

Again there is a gathering storm at the horizon after 65 years of Independence. Earlier too, there had been such a situation after the imposition of the Emergency. Hopes have been belied not once but many times. The approach is sometimes flawed, resulting in disillusionment. When the expectations soar high, the end result fizzles out. Still the concept of romantic revolution cannot be brushed aside since it is a part of human nature

by NS Tasneem



Cleaning up of Budha Nullah
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 24
Regretting the slow pace of work on Budha Nullah, Ludhiana MP and national spokesperson of the Indian National Congress Manish Tewari today urged the Punjab government to expedite process.

He said despite the allocation and availability of funds, the government had not been able to keep pace with the deadlines. Tewari said even the Planning Commission of India had observed that the progress on the project was slow.

He said, “We have got the project after a lot of efforts and now it is the state government which has to do the needful.” The Congress MP expressed hope that the process would be expedited and taken to the logical conclusion at the earliest.



Saloni first in declamation contest
Gurvinder Singh

Ludhiana, August 24
A majority of the girls at Government College for Women said “Yes” to westernisation at the end of declamation contest titled “Don’t go West, Indian Woman” held at the college auditorium.

Ajooni Sidhu, who spoke against westernisation, emphasised that the term was considered synonymous with modernisation.

Saloni Sharma, who won the contest, said, “Our Indian culture is rich, and there is no need for copying the western culture, as westerners are now adopting our culture.”

Surbhi Joshi, who stood second, said it was through westernisation that women had started becoming self-dependent and gained self-respect after following the west.



Residents cry foul
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 24
Commencement of commercial run of the Amritsar-Chandigarh Duronto Express train from today has further fuelled the brewing resentment over the delay in introduction of new Shatabdi Express from the city for New Delhi promised in the Union Railway Budget.

This is what some city residents have to say on the issue:

Dr Arun Mitra, ENT specialistIt is unjust on the part of the Railways to delay the introduction of Shatabdi from here. The train should not only be started without any further delay, but its proposed route via Sangrur and Rohtak be reviewed so as to cut down the journey time, and the timing be revised to leave a reasonable gap between the arrival and departure time of the existing morning and evening Shatabdi trains which pass through Ludhiana.

Dr Arun Mitra, ENT specialist

Badish K Jindal, president, Federation of Punjab Small Industries AssociationsThe Railways has been neglecting the industrial capital of the state despite the fact that it is one of the highest revenue earners both in respect of passenger traffic and freight. If the Amritsar-Chandigarh Duronto cannot be given a commercial stoppage here, then the city must be given a new Duronto train and the railway station here a much-needed facelift.

Badish K Jindal, president, Federation of Punjab Small Industries Associations

Ajit Lakra, president, Chamber of Knitwear and Textile AssociationsThe industry and business fraternity in the mega city needs a Shatabdi train for New Delhi, which should ideally leave for the national capital between 9 am and 10 am and commence its return journey late in the evening. The railway authorities must fulfil their promise with suitable revision in the proposed timetable.

Ajit Lakra, president, Chamber of Knitwear and Textile Associations

Praveen Prasad, studentWhy the new Shatabdi from Ludhiana has not been introduced despite the announcement having been made in the Union Railway Budget is beyond comprehension. The Railways ought to commence the train at an early date with suitable amendment in the timetable, which should not clash with the existing Shatabdi trains.

Praveen Prasad, student



Five held for stealing Rs 25,000 from temple
Were planning to strike at another temple
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
With more cash and less security, the temple proved to be the right place for committing theft. In police custody, the five suspects, who stole around Rs 25,000 from two donation boxes on August 10, said they were planning to strike at another temple.

The accused, identified as Dharminder, Jatinder, Vivek, Pintu Pandit and Pintu Kumar were arrested by police following a tip-off from Moti Nagar area late last night.

The thieves struck at Vishvanath temple located in Moti Nagar area on August 10. “Temples are like ATM machines for us. With less security we just have to break or take away the donation boxes,” said Dharminder, one of the suspects.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Nilambari Jagdale said Dhaminder and Jatinder were facing several snatching and theft charges and had been in and out of jail. It is learnt that the duo had recently formed a new gang and struck at a temple and fled with the donation boxes. The suspects have no regrets and were planning to commit yet another theft at a temple, but timely action by the police foiled their plan.

Suicide bid

A day after a man set himself on fire following a quarrel with his wife, the Focal Point police has booked him in an attempt to suicide case.

Mohd Shamim sustained nearly 80 per cent of burns after he set himself afire. Shamim told the police that he had a quarrel with his wife before leaving his house. When he reached the factory unit he received a phone call from his wife who hurled abuses at him. In a fit of rage Shamim poured kerosene on himself and rushed to a vacant plot where he set himself afire.

His colleagues doused the fire and rushed him to a hospital where his condition was stated to be critical.



Addict stabbed woman to death after tiff
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
What started as a quarrel ended in the brutal murder of a 32-year-old woman, Saira Bano, who was stabbed to death by a drug addicted youth at her home on Tibba Road on Tuesday.

The suspect, Gaurav, who was arrested while trying to flee the city, confessed to the police he had nursed a grudge against Bano ever since she “rebuked him in public” for drinking a few days ago. “Due to her I became a laughing stock among residents of my locality. Everyone used to tease me for being a drug addict”, he added.

Assistant police commissioner Nilambari Jagdale said Gaurav had been looking for an opportunity to “avenge his humiliation”.

On Tuesday when Gaurav entered Bano’s home when she was alone and stabbed her to death with a knife in front of her three-year-daughter. Area residents said he was a chronic alcoholic and used create a ruckus very often.

On Wednesday the suspect was produced before a local court that sent him to police remand. Meanwhile, the victim’s husband, Zafar Alam, and their children have returned to their village for Bano’s funeral.



Drug addict sets afire two mobikes for fun
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 24
A drug addict created panic in the Field Gunj area after he set two motorcycles on fire that were parked outside a gurdwara last night. The accused, identified as 25-year-old Vinay Sharma of New Moti Nagar, was nabbed by the police here this morning.

Surinder Mohan, Station House Officer of Division No. 2, said the parents of the accused had recently broken their ties with Vinay due to his bad habits.

Eyewitness said Vinay was smoking a cigarette in the middle of a roundabout when he suddenly walked towards the parked vehicles and set the motorcycles on fire.

After setting the motorcycles ablaze, he fled. The accused told the police that he had done so for fun.



Murder Case
Three get life term
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 24
The court of Additional Sessions Judge Mandeep Pannu sentenced life imprisonment to Sunil Kumar, alias Soni, of Harcharan Nagar, Shahzaad Khan of Gulabi Bagh, Tibba Road, and Gurdit Singh, alias Baljita, of Hawas village, Basti Jodhewal, Ludhiana, in a blind murder case.

The accused killed four members of a family by setting them ablaze following money dispute. Pronouncing the verdict, the court held that the guilt of the accused was proved beyond any doubt. The judge dismissed the accused’s plea of leniency. Those killed include Sukhdev Singh, wife Kuldeep Kaur, children Devinder Singh (14) and Jatin (5), all residents of Aman Nagar, Ludhiana.



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