L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC in clean-up mode
Gadkari brings neat look to some areas
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The municipal corporation (MC) went into a cleanliness overdrive since past evening in connection with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national president Nitin Gadkari’s visit to the city this afternoon.

All roads through which he was scheduled to pass were cleaned. Statues of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru at the Jagraon bridge and Kartar Singh Sarabha at the Feroze Gandhi market were washed using a fire tender.

An MC official said senior MC officials had given orders to wash these statues to give those a cleaner look as Gadkari was to pay a visit there.

“It is rare that such special treatment is given to the statues. As Gadkari was to pay a visit, the MC went overboard and got the statues cleaned. It should maintain the place regularly,” said a senior government official.

The Ferozepur road was cleaned and BJP flags put up on road dividers. Since early in the morning, a large number of MC employees were seen cleaning the Ferozepur road and other routes Gadkari was to take,” said the official.

“There were clear instructions that there should be no litter or garbage on the road. That is why we have been working since the previous evening,” said the official.

The city had two BJP MLAs. The Senior Deputy Mayor and the Deputy Mayor were from the BJP. The the civic body had 13 BJP councillors.


Party cadre plays patience, courtesy Gadkari
BJP activists await party chief for four hours
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
BJP president Nitin Gadkari kept party workers and local leaders waiting for over four hours today before landing in a chartered flight at Sahnewal airport, near here. Scheduled to arrive at 11 am, he reached here around 3 pm.

BJP district president Rajiv Katna said the delay was because of a change in the programme. “Earlier it was decided that Gadkari would reach Delhi past night and fly from there to Sahnewal today. But today, he came directly from Goa, where he had gone for a meeting,” he said.

Some party leader said there was some problem in Gadkari’s chartered flight in Goa, which led to the delay. “The flight could not take off on time. That is why he reached Ludhiana four hours late,” said a local leader.

Since early in morning, BJP leaders were waiting for Gadkari. A large number of workers gathered at the Jagraon bridge, where he was to pay tributes to Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru.

Other leaders kept waiting for Gadkari at the Rotary Bhavan since the morning, with the meeting of the state executive committee starting at 11:45 am.



Now, schools are brand conscious!
Gurvinder Singh

Ludhiana, November 5
Brands rule the minds of the youth and children, thanks to brand promotion and advertising. But nowadays, even schools do not lag behind when it comes to the promotion of brands.

Some ‘elite’ schools in the city are implicitly promoting brand culture. A school has prescribed a certain model of Lotto shoes while students of another have to wear Reebok shoes as part of uniform.

Schools have their own prescribed uniforms, but parents have to bear the cost. Uniforms are exclusively available with certain dealers, who usually charge more than the market price.

Says bank employee Jatin, whose son studies in a private school, “We have been trying to wean children away from splurging on expensive brands. But if schools prescribe uniforms comprising brands, it leads to brand consciousness among children.”

Says Neetu Bindra, a housewife, “Brand culture and the status associated with branded products are instilled in children if they are supposed to wear such products, even in schools.” Says Nitin Sood, a businessman, “Earlier my daughter used to be happy with any kind of clothes I I would buy for her. But ever since the school prescribed branded products in uniform, her thinking changed.”



Punjab can’t implement RTE yet, says minister
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The Punjab Government is unable to implement the Right to Education Act (RTE) in the state till 2013, state education minister Seva Singh Sekhwan has stated. The education department has sent a communique to the Centre, expressing its helplessness in this regard.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act came into force from April 1, 2010, even as government schools are struggling for requisite infrastructure and facing a shortage of teachers.

On the other hand, private schools are interviewing children in the name of interaction, charging them extra fee and not reserving the 25 per cent (EWS) seats for the weaker section in violation of the Act.

Sekhwan said: “It will take time to implement various norms and standards laid out in the Act. We have written to the Central government for relaxation in the Act till 2013.

“We are working on education reforms. We have employed 60,000 teachers, renovated and reconstructed new government school buildings and got huge amounts of grants released from the Centre, besides implementing various schemes to improve the education system.”

Dr SP Singh, former Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, stated: “The Centre gave the target of 2012 to state governments to implement the Act.

But the Punjab Assembly has not passed the Act yet. It is affecting society, but it seems the bureaucracy doesn’t have any social commitment.”

Without the implementation of the Act, students belonging to the economically weaker sections can’t get their due.

As per the norms under the RTE, all private schools shall be required to enroll children from weaker sections under the 25 per cent quota by way of random selection.



Both Congress, SAD hog credit for Shatabdi launch 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The successful launch of the new Shatabdi has triggered a “credit war” between the Congress and the SAD-BJP combine as both parties are taking credit for the launch.

The SAD and BJP ministers have taken the credit for the launch of the new Shatabdi Express and it has not gone down well with local Congress workers.

The matter snowballed into a controversy today after the Congress workers objected to the pictures of BJP Cabinet ministers Hira Singh Gabria and Satpal Gosain in an advertisement issued by the northern railway.

Miffed at the development, District Congress Committee (Urban) president Pawan Dewan brought the matter to the notice of Punjab Pardesh Congress Committee chief Amarinder Singh.

Pawan said the BJP ministers were trying to hijack the successful launch of the Shatabdi, which was made possible due to the persistent efforts of the MP, Manish Tiwari. He said he would take up the matter with the railways authorities in this regard.

Congress workers were rattled as the pictures of Manish Tiwari and Vijay Inder Singla were not carried in the advertisement, while the photographs of state health minister Satpal Gosain and jail and tourism minister Hira Singh Gabria were carried in the newspapers along with the pictures of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and railway minister Dinesh Trivedi.

“If the ministers take pride in getting their pictures carried on a union government’s project, they should also publish the pictures of Sonia Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh during the distribution of funds sponsored by the Centre,” said Pawan Dewan.

Retaliating strongly, Gosain said: “The SAD/BJP does not believe in hijacking any function or public rally. Instead of launching a blame-game, the Congress should focus on tackling the rising prices of food and petrol.”

Gabria was also equally vocal in criticising the Congress. “Time and again we have raised the issue of the new Shatabdi express. We do not believe in cheap publicity. In nearly five years of power, we have done a lot for the development of the state. We do not need a certificate from the Congress.”



VAT registration facility goes online
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
Traders have been provided with the facility of online registration of VAT numbers. The excise and taxation department has provided this facility to taxpayers to save time. After getting themselves registered online, taxpayers will be allotted a temporary number and after submitting all the documents with the department manually, a permanent 11-digit VAT number will be provided to them.

According to information, online registration is mandatory for service tax and central excise registration while the state taxation department has provided both the facilities to the taxpayers. They can get themselves registered online or by submitting the prescribed form and documents to the department.

A Venuprasad, Commissioner Excise and Taxation, said this facility would benefit VAT taxpayers. “The department is closed during public holidays or on Saturdays and Sundays. Hence, it will help people register themselves online even on holidays,” he said.

The facility has been provided recently and traders, industrialists and taxation lawyers have welcomed the move. Online registration can be done on www.pextax.com. A trader will have to provide certain information and after confirming the password, a temporary registration number will be allotted to the applicant.

“Other documents, including photographs and surety form will be submitted to the department itself. Department officials will then visit the units/premises to verify the credentials and within 15-20 days, a permanent VAT number will be provided to the trader/taxpayer,” said Jatinder Khurana, a taxation lawyer.

For making corrections and completing the dealer data in the master dealer file (MDF), the department is giving an opportunity to the dealers to update their information themselves online.



Paddy production dips by 10 pc
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
Though keeping its tradition alive by putting in maximum share of paddy in the state’s pool, Ludhiana comes at number one in the overall production of paddy. The district has seen a dip of up to 10 per cent this year. The reason cited for this is less yield and an increase in the area under Basmati cultivation.

As per information, against 15.55 lakh metric tonnes of paddy arrival last year, the district has received 13.19 lakh metric tonnes so far at all procurement centres in the district. About 13.15 lakh metric tonnes has already been sold to government agencies and private millers and about 4,000 lakh metric tonnes of produce remains unsold. Out of the total produce received so far, 10.90 lakh metric tonnes of paddy has already been lifted from the centres.

District mandi official Rajpal Singh Dhaliwal said about 5 to 6 per cent more paddy was expected to arrive in the next few days. “As compared to last year, there is a dip of about 10 per cent in paddy production in the district. Still, Ludhiana comes at number one in paddy production in Punjab. Last year also, maximum paddy was procured from Ludhiana district itself. There is an overall dip in the paddy production in the state. Dhaliwal said the area under Basmati cultivation, too, had increased in the district. 



Stem cell trials for heart treatment exciting
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
Trials are going on to determine if stem cells can cure a diseased heart. It is not standard care, as of now. This was stated by Dr HS Bedi, head of cardio vascular and thoracic surgery at the CMCH.

He said: “To use stem cells for the treatment of heart for various diseases is one of the most exciting concepts. Stem cells are basic precursor cells. Initially they were harvested from embryos, but now with better technology and understanding, we can harvest them from the patients’ own bone marrow. These are then processed, purified and injected into ventricles, where vascularity is less. They are useful both in the heart and in the leg vessels to prevent gangrene.”

He said the CMCH was chosen for the interaction in view of the excellent track record it enjoys in the cardio vascular field. The surgeons of the CMC were credited with innovating and scientifically presenting the world’s first-ever series of multivessel beating heart surgery and of minimally invasive cardiac surgery and endovascular management of disorders which would otherwise need complicated open surgeries. The national CME is a condensed educative programme for all young cardio vascular and thoracic surgeons.



Youth fest: Creative writing dominates Day 1
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
Over 180 colleges are participating in Panjab University Inter-zonal Youth and Heritage Festival being held at Ramgarhia Girls College, Miller Ganj.

Around 45 events will be held in the four-day festival.

The event was inaugurated by Hira Singh Gabria, Minister for Tourism and Culture.

Dr AS Ahluwalia, director, department of youth welfare, lit the ceremonial lamp, along with Hira Singh Gabria, Ranjodh Singh, Jagtar Singh, general secretary, Ramgarhia Educational Council, and principal Dr Narinder Sandhu.

Principal Dr Narinder Sandhu extended a floral welcome to guests. Events like shabad/bhajan, group song, ghazal/geet, classical vocal, folk song and Indian orchestra were held. In creative writing, students explored their creative potential in story, poem and essay writing. Students whole-heartedly took part in art and craft competitions like phulkari/bagh, dasuti, knitting, crochet work, pakhi making and mehandi designing. Prof Jaspaul Kaur was the host.

While addressing a gathering, Hira Singh Gabria said the festival provided a platform to budding artists. Jagtar Singh proposed the vote of thanks.



Educationists’ policy report discussed
Speakers favour grant-in aid scheme, want recruitment ban to go
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The Forum for Promotion of Higher Education in Punjab organised a seminar on the policy report submitted to the Punjab government by a committee of educationists.

The event held at GN Khalsa College for Women, Model Town, was attended by Dr SS Johal, former Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala.

Among others present on the occasion included Dr Jagwant Singh, president, PCCTU, Dr SS Chatha, director, Lyallpur Khalsa Institutions, Jalandhar.

Dr TC Goyal, senior consultant with Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration, Punjab, Prof Gunwant Singh Dua, former president of PCCTU, Dr Kuldeep Singh, Panjab University fellow, and Jaswant Singh Gill, secretary of the Non-Government Colleges Management Federation (Punjab and Chandigarh).

Speakers demanded that the ban on fresh recruitments should be lifted and they be brought under grant-in aid scheme without any discrimination.

Dr SS Johal while appreciating efforts of the committee headed by Dr SP Singh said expenditure on higher education should be taken as investment for future generations. 



All roads will be re-laid soon: PWD Minister
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 5
PWD Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa laid a foundation stone for the construction of Jagera road and inaugurated new Tehsil Complex here today.

Admitting that roads linking the town with surrounding cities and villages needed to be repaired, Dhindsa announced that all roads leading to the town would be re-laid soon.

While addressing activists of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and office-bearers here today, Dhindsa regretted that the delay in release of accrued Central Road Fund grant worth Rs 113 crore had resulted in staggering of construction and repair of link roads in the region.

Dhindsa claimed that it was after persistent efforts by the Punjab Chief Minister that the Union government had agreed to release pending grants a few months ago. Admitting that nominal taxes were being charged on the state government roads, Dhindsa said there was no new contract regarding the imposition of toll tax during the tenure of the SAD government.

SAD activists informed Dhindsa that a majority of the roads leading to the town and surrounding villages were in a dilapidated condition.

A majority of the roads had huge pits, larger than the size of truck tyres, making it difficult for drivers to manoeuvre their vehicles.

The problem had been aggravated due to the flow of heavy vehicles from neighbouring states to Punjab and drivers’ preference of rough terrain over toll tax payment.



Green chilly, puree powders are here
CIPHET transfers technology to four entrepreneurs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
In an indication of the rising demand for green chilly and green puree powder technology, the Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) transferred this technology to four entrepreneurs from across the country yesterday.

With the intervention of CIPHET, chilly powder would be available in green. The institute had standardised the process for green chilly and puree. Consumers and the farming community would benefit from it.

“The maturation of chilly into green is a month earlier than into red,” said senior scientists Dilip Jain, Ramesh Kumar and Mirdula Devi, who had standardised the process.

“As production of powder and puree from green chilly is possible, farmers will not be required to keep fields busy a month more. Green chilly powder and puree will provide more fresh and natural taste than red chilly,” they stated.

Transferring technology to entrepreneurs and farmers, Patil said technology developed by CIPHET would provide better products and farmers and entrepreneurs would get good returns,” he added.

T Santosh Kumar of Hyderabad, working as sales executive, said he found a lot of potential in green chilly powder technology as no such product was available in the market.



Surgeons behaving like ‘rehriwalas’, claims ex-VC
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Dr JS Gujral Ludhiana, November 5
“Most surgeons these days are not committed to the profession. They go to other cities, operate a patient and return to their hometown, leaving the patient to the mercy of God. They are behaving like ‘rehariwalas’ who go from door-to-door and return home,” claimed Dr JS Gujral, former head of the department of CTVS, PGI and former Vice-Chancellor of Baba Farid University.

He said this on the inaugural day of a national cardiac CME of the Indian Association of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons at the Christian Medical College and Hospital here today.

Dr Gujral, who has taught many cardiac surgeons of India, said: “The responsibility of a surgeon does not end with surgery, but with the rehabilitation of the patient. The surgeon these days go to other cities to operate and come back.”

Academician-cum-cardiac specialist, Dr Gujral further said: “A patient may not urgently require surgery and a surgeon should be patient and not money oriented.”

Dr GS Grewal, member of the Punjab Medical Council, addressing the gathering of surgeons, said: “The Punjab Medical Registration Act was registered in 1916 and it was amended from time to time. Last year in November, only 16,000 members got their membership renewed. As many as 24,000 old members, however, did not do so. As per the Act, the registration of all those who are now registered members will have to be renewed every five years and one of the conditions for renewal is that they must have 50 credit hours to their account in five years.”

Talking about the unethical practices in the medical profession, Dr Grewal referred to the notification of the Medical Council of India, 2002, highlighting the code of conduct on unethical practices. He claimed: “The unethical practices are rampant and spreading like cancer. In Ludhiana district alone, Rs 80 crore is distributed as commission among doctors and this commission is given to them for referring patients to diagnostic laboratories, pharmaceutical firms, medical industry preparing stents and other medical equipment.”

Similar views were echoed by Dr Sewa Singh Legha from the USA and Dr JS Gujral.



Donating for loved ones
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
Gift of Life-Organ Donation Awareness Society (GLODAS) organised a function at Guru Nanak Public School to mark World Day for Organ Donation and Transplantation.

Fifty-year-old Charanjit Kaur from Manooke village donated her kidney to her son Pardeep Singh five months ago. Pardeep’s kidney has started shrinking. Now both are fit and happy. Gurbir Kaur (45), a resident of Model Town extension, was happy as her husband had donated a kidney to her.

Sukhwant Kaur (50), a resident of Kup Kalan (Sangrur), donated a kidney to her 28-year-old daughter Harpreet Kaur.

Students of 50 schools and 20 nursing colleges participated in various competitions, including poster making, dance, song and quiz.



Game to hog limelight on
Gadkari’s route has BJP written all over
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
With Assembly elections round the corner, every local leader wants to come in the limelight, particularly when their national leaders are in the city. This holds true for the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) as well.

Its leaders got hoardings, party flags and billboards put up in almost every nook and corner of the Ferozepur road as well as other roads through which BJP president Nitin Gadkari was to pass.

They did not spare direction boards on the Ferozepur road and got posters put up on those. These posters bore pictures of Gadkari, LK Advani and other senior BJP leaders, along with local leaders.

Overhead signboards had been put up to provide direction to commuters on major roads. As per rules, nobody was allowed to put up any other material on those.

This was not the first time that political advertisements were put up on overhead boards. Many posters with pictures of political and religious leaders had been put up on those boards earlier.

In some cases, unipoles along roads, already having advertisements of private companies, were covered with posters of the BJP.

A senior official of the municipal corporation said orders had been issued that no poster or hoarding of the BJP be removed till Gadkari was in town.



SHO, SI, sarpanch booked for hatching conspiracy
Projected murder as road mishap
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, November 5
The crime branch has registered a case against an SHO, an Assistant Sub Inspector, a head constable, a sarpanch of Halwara village and 14 others for allegedly projecting a murder as a road accident.

The incident came to the fore when a team of police officials led by crime branch SSP Kanwar Vijay Partap Singh conducted a raid in at the village and arrested SAD sarpanch Chamkaur Singh, along with four other persons.

The four other accused have been identified as Harbans Singh, Bhupinder Singh, Harjit Singh and Dhanwant Singh.

The accused were taken to Mohali by the police.

A complaint was filed by one Nirmal Singh, a resident of Halwara, that Chamkaur Singh and some of his accomplices had murdered his grandson Amanpreet Singh on July 4, 2010. After killing Amanpreet Singh, Chamkaur Singh in connivance with certain police officials hatched a conspiracy and projected the murder as a road mishap.

Following the complaint by Nirmal Singh, a special team was formed under the leadership of crime branch SSP Kanwar Vijay Partap Singh to investigate the matter. Following which a case was registered against 18 persons, including SAD sarpanch Chamkaur Singh, former SHO of the Sudhar police station Gagandeep Singh, ASI Pardeep Kumar and head constable Rupinder Singh.

Amanpreet Singh had died while another youth Jagdish Singh was injured when the bike they were riding on had reportedly hit a truck on July 4, 2010. The Sudhar police had registered a case of accident. But the family members of the deceased had alleged that Amanpreet was murdered by Chamkaur Singh.

Following which two inquiries were conducted by the senior police officials and the cops involved in the case were given a clean chit. Amanpreets’ family then filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court demanding a high-level inquiry into the matter following which the court had instructed the crime branch to investigate the matter.

Meanwhile, former SHO of the Sudhar police station Gagandeep Singh, who is currently posted at the litigation cell in Ludhiana, denied refuted all allegations and maintained that the police had taken the action as per law. “We had registered the case on the basis of the statement given by Jagdish Singh and other evidences available at the time of the incident,” he added. 



Three held for faking snatching incident
Accomplices ‘thrashed’ stamp vendor’s helper
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
The snatching of Rs 60,000 that took place on Dr Sham Singh Road on November 3 was stage-managed by a youth to make quick bucks.

The police today arrested Amit Kumar, alias Shanky, and his two accomplices, Sonu and Kulbir Singh, for faking the snatching incident.

The police has also recovered the cash from the possession of the accused. According to police sources, the mobile phone record of the accused did them in. Before the incident took place, Shanky made numerous calls to Kulbir and Sonu.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Raj Kumar said the police nabbed the trio last night when they were dividing the booty.

Amit Kumar, a helper with a stamp vendor at the courts complex, told the police that he told his accomplices to snatch the money when he reached near the SBI treasury branch. He told them to thrash him and make it look real.

The accused have been booked under Section 382 of the IPC.



Jail guard finds drug in shampoo bottle 

Ludhiana, November 5
An alert Borstal Jail security guard reportedly seized 50 gm of brown sugar, costing Rs 5 lakh in the international market, that was being hidden in a shampoo bottle and was being sneaked inside the jail premises.

The incident came to light this afternoon when a visitor handed over a bottle of shampoo to Mahinder Singh, who is undergoing a jail term in a case of murder.

Confirming the incident, the Borstal Jail Superintendent, Amrik Singh, said: “We have informed the police and sent the contraband for a chemical analysis at a laboratory.” — TNS



RS Model school record win
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 5
On the second day of seventh Senior District Baseball Championship being held at Khalsa College for Women, RS Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, beat BCM Senior Secondary School, Sector 32, 13-2.

Dr Varinder Kaur Thind, principal, Khalsa College for Women, Sukhdev Singh secretary, Ludhiana District Baseball Association, Harbir Singh Gill, coach, Punjab team, Sukhpal Kaur, head of the physical education department, Khalsa College, Jaswinder Ahluwalia from Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women were present.


KCW beat Ramgarhia Girls College 11-0 and Guru Nanak Khalsa College beat RS Model Senior secondary School 9-3.

The final match will be played between KCW and GNW tomorrow.



Malwa College hockey champs
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Samrala, November 5
The hockey team of Malwa College, Bondli, Samrala, won the Panjab University hockey championship by defeating Shahi Sports College, Samrala, 4-0.

The event concluded at Hockey Stadium, Sector 42, Chandigarh, yesterday. Earlier, in the semifinal, Malwa College Guru Nanak College, Narangwal, 3-0.

The team showed spirited skill in the final yesterday. Captain Balwinder Singh Bhinder scored three goals and Satnam Singh one.

No team could score a goal against Malwa College in any of its matches. A total of eighteen hockey teams participated in the championship.

Coach Mukhtiar Singh and the college principal congratulated the team for the achievement. They said members of the team would participate in the inter-university championship.



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