L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Kabaddi World Cup Final
City traffic goes haywire
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
The traffic regulations imposed on the route leading to Guru Nanak Stadium for the finals of the Kabaddi World Cup led to major traffic jams on all major roads in the city.

Serpentine queues of vehicles were witnessed at one of the main intersections of the city, Bharat Nagar Chowk, and even areas such as Chaura Bazaar.

The condition was so bad that the commuters were seen parking their vehicles on the roadside and walking towards their destination.

A huge traffic jam was witnessed near Domoria underpass and Chaura Bazar. “We had to walk, as our vehicle remained stranded for nearly an hour,” said Tarun Kaushik, a city resident visiting Chaura Bazaar.

The main shopping destination of the city, Mall Road, was almost closed to commuters. Only one side of the road was opened to vehicular traffic, while the other side was reserved for VIP traffic. Even the roads leading to adjoining areas were closed to vehicular traffic.

The kabaddi fans were the worst hit as the traffic police was imposing regulations and did not let them enter the venue easily. They were ruing that the administration had not made any traffic arrangement for them.

“I was stopped and not allowed to take the vehicle towards the venue of the Kabaddi World Cup. I parked the car in the house of my friend and decided to walk to the stadium, but here, too, confusion prevailed as cops were reluctant to give directions to the spectators,” said Gaurav Bhatia, a resident of BRS Nagar.


Over 200 pvt buses engaged for crowd, not a penny paid
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
The Kabaddi World Cup seems to have burnt a hole in the pocket of private bus operators, as the District Transport Office was given the task of arranging 200 buses to ferry spectators to Guru Nanak Stadium.

The private bus operators had been reportedly told to agree to the orders of the administration.

A total of 200 buses were pressed into service for transporting spectators to the stadium and not even a single penny had been paid to the operators yet. The bus operators have complained that they had to pay from their own pocket.

Expressing their helplessness, Jaswinder Singh and Capt Jarnail Singh (retd), president and general secretary, respectively, of the Ludhiana Mini Bus Owners Association, said, “Yes, we are bearing the expenses from our pocket. How can we refuse the administration from using our vehicles?”

While the bus operators from the Alamgir and Rara Sahib routes were hired, they complained that due to the kabaddi cup, the bus services to holy places remained suspended.

The hiring of the buses by the sports department also did not go down well with the routine commuters, as they were seen jostling with each other in the absence of bus service.

“Sunday is the only day we could visit these places but today no bus was available as the buses were busy ferrying villagers to the stadium,” said Dashan Singh.

When asked about the expense of ferrying the spectators to the stadium, Ashwani Kumar, District Transport Office (DTO), said, “Right now I am busy in the arrangement of Kabaddi World Cup. All private buses have been deployed to ferry the commuters to the stadium. I do not have the details of the expenses yet.”

It is learnt that 100 private buses, 50 school buses and 50 mini buses belonging to the Punjab Roadways were deployed for the free service for the spectators.

The bus drivers were directed to take the kabaddi fans from villages, falling in the vicinity of Ludhiana. Moreover, private buses were sent to Samrala, Khanna, Jagraon, Mullahpur, Raikot and Kila Rai Pur also.

Sukhwinder Singh of Dehlo village, who was commuting in a private bus to watch the Kabaddi World Cup, said, “I am delighted. I did not have to pay a single penny to watch my favourite sport.”

It is learnt that the District Transport Office had estimated that Rs 4 lakh would cost to transport the spectators to the stadium. But the administration has sanctioned only given Rs 1.5 lakh.

Sources said the kabaddi cup organisers issued 25 to 30 VVIP passes to leaders for briging 150 spectators to the stadium.



Rakh Bag wall demolished for VIP parking
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
Rakh Bag, one of the main picnic destinations of the city residents, had to pay the price of Kabaddi World Cup. Organisers of the cup demolished the wall of the park in order to create space for the VIP parking at Guru Nanak Stadium.

The parking of nearly 200 VIP vehicles damaged a section of Rakh Bag as well. The move was taken following the orders of senior police and civic officials. The officials on condition of anonymity said the wall was demolished as the organisers were facing paucity of space to accommodate the parking for VIP vehicles.

Vehicles also damaged the grass cover of Rakh Bag and caused damage to the sapling also.

“It all depends on the whims and fancies of the administration. They can go to any extent to please their political bosses. It just goes to show how much they care about the common man. Now the bagh would remain in neglect and no one would make any effort to restore it,” said a resident.

Despite repeated attempts, none of the officials commented on the issue. A traffic policeman on condition of anonymity said, “They could have made alternative arrangement for the parking in Government College for Women and provide a bus facility to ferry the VIPs but they found damaging the ground more convenient.”

No stopping her

A leading city woman socialite was seen zooming towards the stadium in a Skoda car with a red beacon. The woman, who is famous for her socialising in high-profile circles of the city, was not stopped by any policeman present near the stadium. Meanwhile, a mentally challenged boy was able to make his way to the VIP gallery. When some mediapersons pointed this to senior government officials, the boy was taken away.



MC officials default on RTI info, fined Rs 20,000
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
The delay of seven months in providing information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to a city resident has cost dear to the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and two of its officials. The State Information Commission has imposed a penalty of Rs 20,000 on an executive engineer and assistant public information officer of the MC and has directed the civic body to pay a compensation of Rs 5,000 to the complainant, Balbir Aggarwal.

A fine of Rs 15,000 has been imposed on the executive engineer-cum-public information officer, HS Khosa, while a fine of Rs 5,000 has been slapped on assistant public information officer Harish Bhagat. In addition to it, the commission has awarded a compensation of Rs 5,000 to Aggarwal, which would be payable by the MC within a month. On October 11, 2010, Aggarwal had sought information related to the number of “safai karamcharis” deployed in ward numbers 62 and 63, along with their names, addresses and duty timings, besides other details.

“I received the information on May 5, after a delay of seven months. Also, I was asked to deposit Rs 50 as fee. For every page, they can charge me Rs 2, but the information I received was only of nine pages and instead of taking Rs 18, they overcharged me,” he said.

The State Information Commissioner said in his order: “The ratio of penalty has been arrived at on the basis of the respective role/contribution of the officials that resulted in such a long delay.” The penalty is directed to be recovered from the salaries of Khosa and Bhagat and will be deposited with the state treasury under the relevant head within 30 days.



Robbers loot jewellery worth Rs 2 lakh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
Jewellery worth about Rs 2 lakh was looted from a shop in the Giaspura area today. The incident took place at around 1.30 pm at Shri Ram Jewellers, 33 feet road, Giaspura.

Kanwarjit Singh, the SHO concerned, said at around 1.30 pm, four unidentified persons came to the jeweller's shop. Two of them stood outside the shop, while two went inside. The two who went inside asked the owner Dharam Pal to show rings for males. Dharampal was with his salesman Vinod Kumar at the time. When the rings were shown by the shopkeeper, one of them took the tray in which the rings were kept. While Dharampal tried to stop them, one of them took out a pistol. The owner kept quiet and the two fled from the shop after taking away the jewellery.

Meanwhile, no case had been registered so far. The police is looking into the matter.



City's Clearing House in a shambles
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
The Clearing House in the industrial capital of the state is in a shambles.

On an average, clearing of about Rs 1000 crore is conducted in the house everyday and nothing seems to be safe here. In an utter violation of the guidelines issued by the bank unions and the Reserve Bank of India, everything in the Clearing House is accessible to outsourcing agents. Though it has been clearly mentioned that no water boy, outsource agencies, persons on a contractual basis will be allowed in the house, the reality is that the clearing is sorted out in the evening by the outsourcing agents only. Thanks to the staff on duty, who leave for home early, leaving everything behind to the outsourcing agents.

An employee in Clearing House, on condition of anonymity, said that though CCTV cameras had been installed inside Clearing House, these were not always working. "The persons on duty get these switched off so that images of outsourcing persons are not recorded, who sort out the cheques, demand drafts after 9 pm. The racks (where cheques/DD are kept) are not properly covered. The cheques of various banks can get mixed up easily. In that case, it takes too much time to sort out cheques accordingly," rued the employee.

Ludhiana Tribune has got a video CD in its posession, which shows the miserable condition of Clearing House. The cheques/demand drafts are easily accessible to rats, who can damage everything within seconds. As if this was not enough, on one side of the racks, a generator has been kept, while on the other, diesel is kept, which can prove dangerous.

"There is nothing systematic here. Officials are not bothered to do a reality check and they refuse to learn from the past. On March 10, 2010, an FIR (number 107) was registered against one Pavittar Singh for stealing an LCD from the clearing house at the bus stand police station. Prior to this, computers from Clearing House were stolen, still the outsourcing agents move freely in the evening," said the employee.

Sandeep, an employee with ICICI bank here, whose "boys" do the needful, when asked about it, said he was not aware of any such practice. "Our persons go there to collect their own cheques. I am not aware about any such work being done by our employees. At times, the bank staff may seek some help from them, but it is certainly not a routine. At least I am not aware of it," he said. 



Industry upbeat as rupee slides
Exporters see level playing field with Dragon
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
The fall in rupee as compared to American dollar has proved to be a shot in the arm of the manufacturing industry of the city struggling to stage a comeback. The exporters are of the view that the down trend in rupee, that has touched its lowest mark of the last 32 months, would enable the local industry to fight with the China in the international market.

The experts believe the falling of Indian currency would immensely help the Indian cycle, engineering and cloth industry that were closing their shops due to low cost Chinese products.

Manjit Singh Khalsa, director Punjab State Industrial Development Corporation and chairman United Cycle Parts Association said, “Not only export but the cycle manufacturing sector which was fighting a losing battle with China, would benefit from the falling rupee. We are currently trading with China in Dollars. Certainly if the dollar has gone up than the price of Chinese material would also be jacked up. In such a case, the cycle industry instead of buying cycle parts and other material from China would prefer the Indian manufacturer as the local material would be available at competitive rate.”

Voicing a similar view, Upakar Singh Ahuja, joint secretary chamber of industrial and commercial undertaking, said not only the US export but also with that of European nations would flourish. “Earlier we were receiving orders but failed to crack a deal as the dollar was going down. But now we hope we would receive bulk orders from the European countries. Though the price of plastic, tyres and nickel would go up but we would tackle the situation.”

Experts said the situation is suitable for the industry as Ludhiana contributes exports worth over Rs 800 crore to the total export from the state to USA.

Vinod Thapar, president Ludhiana Knitwear Club, said, “This is a good time for exporters, but the manufacturers’ need to be cautious. It has been witnessed in the past that the dollar once goes up, falls back soon. If the dollar moves higher and falls during the actual delivery of the orders, it will be really damaging for the industry. So the exporters need to be wary of the fact.”



Reporters Diary
Yatras or kabaddi — Residents at receiving end

There are no limits to the whims and fancies of political leaders — irrespective of their party affiliations. Politicians both from the ruling alliance and the opposition seem to to be game for rallies and yatras, and if these are not enough, the farce of “Kabaddi World Cup” comes in handy for them to hog the limelight. Without exception, the political leaders, or the “VVIPs”, who hold these “tamashas” on the main roads in the city, choose to close their eyes to the harassment and inconvenience that these functions cause to the common man. For at least five times in the past two weeks, all major roads linking the old city and the new localities through Jagraon Bridge and Domoria Bridge virtually remained under siege due to one function or the other. And, the city residents had to bear the brunt by having to take detours, diversions or remain stuck in traffic jams. Whether or not the yatras or the kabaddi meet achieved anything for the organisers is not known, but the people remained at the receiving end — that’s for sure.

Kabaddi splurge

The Kabaddi World Cup has created a hype in the city, at least its closing ceremony, with leading Bollywood stars, including Akshay Kumar, John Abraham, Deepika Padukone and Chitrangdha Singh, cheering the crowds. The grand event has kept officials on their toes. Be it the normal cop or the top officer, nobody seems to have been spared. Heard an administrative official saying: “Look at the way the government is spending money on the closing ceremony. The stars must have been paid handsomely for their appearance. It is estimated that around Rs 20 crores have been spent on this grand event. The huge amount should have been utilised to promote sports as a whole. They could promote at least 20 games by spending Rs 1 crore each on different games.” How true!

Dengue pangs

A few days ago when patients suffering from dengue were being taken to different hospitals, the health department deployed its employees to make people aware about the disease. They were also asked to carry out fogging and collect blood samples of suspected dengue patients from different hospitals. The control room created by the district health department used to attend calls of people in need. The TNS rang up the control room seeking the contact number of an officer concerned for information. The attendant at the other end said: “Sahib dengue machhran wali duty te gaye ne,” before correcting himself and saying: “Sahib dengue di meeting the gaye ne!”

Twin calves

A few days ago, the Tribune office got a call from a city-based ashram regarding the birth of twin calves. The man who informed the office said: “One of our cows has delivered twin calves and the interesting thing is that one is totally black and the other one is as white as a rabbit.” He went on to add: “Both calves are hail and hearty and taking rest.”

— Contributed by Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo, Anupam Bhagria, Charanjeet Singh Teja



Riot victims wait for allotment
‘568 govt flats under unlawful possession’
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 20
Even as the Punjab Government, the district administration and the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) have been drawing a lot of flak for their failure to provide the promised residential flats to a majority of victims of the anti-Sikh riots of 1984 for the past 27 years, a survey conducted by the Punjab Public Works Department (PWD) has revealed that as many as 568 residential flats in CRPF Colony at Dugri locality are under unlawful possession of Sikh migrants or others.

The survey report, submitted by the executive engineer of the provincial division of the PWD (B&R) to the Deputy Commissioner says, as per the information gathered by the field staff after a door-to-door visit in the colony, it was found that only 236 of the total 804 residential flats, were properly allotted to the government employees.” The rest of the 568 flats were either under unlawful occupation by Sikh migrants and other persons.”

The report further mentions that the Sikh migrants, occupying 350 flats in the colony, did not produce proper records or documents of allotment during the survey, and the information was collected by making inquiries from residents in the colony. The officials of the PWD, in the report, have suggested that claims of the Sikh migrants occupying the flats, needed to be verified on the basis of official documents to determine the status of the flats under their possession.

Citing the inquiry report as yet another proof of the malafide intention of the authorities (the district administration and the GLADA), chairman of the Ludhiana Sikh Migrants Welfare Board Kartar Singh Patna alleged that certain officials were hand in glove with the unscrupulous elements, who were forcibly occupying vacant government flats, and then passing on the "unlawful" possession to others for a "consideration". Kartar further asserted that the racket was thriving under the patronage of certain political leaders and active involvement of a few self styled leaders of Sikh migrants.

He said the fact remained that the government and the nodal agency (GLADA in this case) were deliberately denying justice to the riot-affected families which was evident from the plight of 245 eligible applicants who were not given possession of residential flats even after the allotment in a draw of lots taken out a year ago, and another 1021 riot victims who were waiting for more than 11 years now for their applications for the allotment of flats.

The board called upon the authorities to order a high-level probe into the unlawful possession of government flats while also initiating immediate action for allotment of residential flats to eligible applicants.



Villagers gherao police team over inaction
Body found in well 4 days after victim went missing
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, November 20
Residents of Rajgomal village, near here, held a demonstration and gheraoed a police team over its failure to locate a boy even four days after his disappearance. Five-year-old Raman Deep’s body was found from a well, 200 metres from his house, last evening.

Deceased’s father Nirmal Chand said his son had gone out to play after meal, but failed to return home on November 15. He said he informed the Goraya police but it failed to take steps to locate the boy even four days after his disappearance.

Some villagers located the child’s body in a well and later pulled it out. It was suspected that the body was thrown in the well after strangulation.

The police has registered a case of murder in this regard.

Though the police has rounded up three persons, no formal arrest has been made so for.

The body has been sent to the local civil hospital for a post-mortem examination.

Meanwhile, a pall of gloom descended on the village after the body was found. The child was later cremated at the village in the presence of hundreds of villagers.



Domestic LPG cylinders being used commercially
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, November 20
With the winter season setting in, the people have started facing the heat of shortage of cooking gas cylinders in the town. One can easily see the long queues of consumers waiting for their turn to procure the LPG cylinders at the godowns of different LPG companies here.

It is not for the first time that the consumers have been facing difficulties to procure the cooking gas. The problem has been persisting since past many years and the people are forced to face such kind of difficulties every winter.

The main reason behind the problem is the fact that the demand of LPG increases manifolds during the winter season while on the other side the gas production also starts decreasing marginally. The gap in the demand and the production leads to shortage of the gas in the market.

Despite the shortage of gas, a large number of shopkeepers and roadside vendors selling eatables openly use the domestic gas cylinders in blatant violations of the norms. The misuse of domestic gas cylinders for the commercial purposes is worsening the situation further but the authorities concerned do not bother to take any action against the people who are using domestic gas cylinders at commercial places.

During the winter, shortage of cooking gas is witnessed in the market every year with both the major cooking gas companies, including HP and Indane running short of gas during the winters.

When contacted, Jagraon SDM Isha Kalia said that she had already asked the officials of the food supply department to keep a strict vigil on the misuse of domestic cylinders for commercial purpose. She further said action would be taken if any one was found using domestic cylinders at commercial places. 



350 patients examined
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, November 20
A free medical check-up camp for the patients suffering from ENT (ear, nose, throat) was organised at Mother Teresa Institute of Nursing and Technology and Sharma Hospital in Jagraon today. More than 350 patients suffering from different ailments were examined.

A panel of expert doctors including Dr. Ashok Sharma of Sharma

Hospital Jagraon, Dr Vineet Gulati of Gulati ENT Hospital Ludhiana,

Dr Harendra Kumar, Dr Savita and Dr Ravi audiologist and speech therapists.

The patients were provided with free medicines. Besides, hearing aids were also provided to as many as 50 patients during the camp.

Earlier this morning, civil surgeon, Jalandhar, Dr Hari KrishanSingla visited inaugurated the camp.



Judicious use of CT scan, MRI stressed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
Whenever a person experiences acute abdominal pain, doctors usually advise a CT scan or an MRI. However, the doctors should first evaluate a person clinically and on the basis of this, recommend any of these two tests, said Dr Navin Kalia, additional professor of radio-diagnosis, Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, here today.

He was here to attend a CME on abdominal imaging and symposium on the PNDT Act organised by the department of radio-diagnosis under the aegis of the Indian Radiological and Imaging Association (Punjab and Chandigarh branch) at Dayanand Medical College.

He said: “On evaluating a patient clinically, one gets enough idea whether he needs a CT scan or an MRI. Computer tomography is done through radiations and the MRI is magnetic resonance imagining which is very costly.”

During a CT scan, the doctors should adopt “ALARA” (as low as reasonably achievable) to ensure that the patient is exposed to radiations only where these are required.

Dr Kavita Saggar, organising chairperson and president of IRIA, Punjab and Chandigarh branch, said the field of radiology and imaging was advancing rapidly with a vast choice of modalities and ever-changing techniques of imaging.

She stressed that the declining sex ratio in the state was a matter of great concern.

Experts from Amritsar, Ludhiana, Patiala and Chandigarh participated in the programme.

The CME included a series of scientific lectures on topics of current academic interest delivered by guest speakers from PGIMER, Chandigarh, GMCs Patiala and Chandigarh, SGRD, Amritsar, and CMC, Ludhiana.

At least 300 radiologists, gynaecologists and medical practitioners from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir attended the CME, which concluded with a symposium on the PNDT Act.

It aimed at discussing various measures that could be adopted to achieve effective results in improving the sex ratio.

Earlier, the CME was inaugurated by state health minister Sat Pal Gosain. Those present included principal Dr Daljit Singh, vice-principal Dr Jagdeep Whig, dean (academics) Dr Rajoo Singh Chhina, medical superintendents Dr Sandeep Puri, Dr BS Shah and Dr Ashwani Chaudhary and Dr GS Grewal, member, Punjab Medical Council.



Patient gets new lease of life
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
An innovative invention along with timely and skilled vascular surgery helped saving the life of Tejinder Kumar, a vegetable seller in Fazilka.

Tejinder Kumar sustained a fracture in his collar bone due in an accident. The bone bent inwards and damaged the subclavian artery (which supplies the hand) producing a swelling due to an aneurysm,a weakness of the artery. The swelling started to compress his wind pipe leading to difficulty in breathing.

Dr HS Bedi head of cardio vascular endovascular & thoracic surgery at the Christian Medical College & Hospital said, "On examination and investigation we found the aneurysm was very risky and could burst any time with fatal consequences. Tejinder underwent a vascular surgery. On opening the swelling there was a massive leakage of blood with high pressure. The blood was taken into a special sterile machine. About 2.5 litres of blood which would have been wasted was transfused back into the patient. The aneurysm was repaired and Tejinder is well now.”



Expert dwells on gender equality
Our Correspondent

Doraha,November 20
“We have not succeeded in bringing about a complete social change by eradicating the stereotypical image of men and women. This is mainly so because Indians seem to be more concerned with the problem and less with its solution,” said Prof Sherry Sabbarwal from Department of Sociology, Panjab University, Chandigarh, here yesterday.

She was delivering an extension lecture on “Gender — Socialisation and Stereotypes” organised by the sociology department of Guru Nanak National College.

“We use the two concepts i.e. sex and gender interchangeably, but there is a basic difference between the two. Sex is a biological term and gender is a sociological term used to explain the difference between men and women. Whenever a male child is born in the family, the attitude of the society is entirely different from that of the birth of a girl child,” the expert said.

“The problem arises when we assign certain status or rank to them like high or low, superior or inferior, dominate or subordinate. It is at this point that the stereotypical image of males being superior to females emerges. These images have been broken to a considerable extent but not completely,” she added.

Dr Gurjeet Virk Sidhu, head of the Post-Graduate Department of Sociology, welcomed the expert while Prof Nidhi Saroop extended the vote of thanks.



Girls Exempted from monthly fee, to pay for examinations
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana November 20
Punjab government might have provided some relief from education expenses by exempting monthly fee for the girl students in government schools. But the biggest economic burden of examination fee Rs 1000 (approximately) is still looming over the under-privileged girl. In a notification issued by the education department, the government has exempted the fee of admission, re-admission amalgamated, ICTC, practical subject PTA and sports fund of classes 9th to 12th for the girl students from the academic session year 2011-12.

The students of classes 9th to 12th had to deposit Rs 65 to Rs 85 in the form of monthly fee including all the given funds and fee. The total sum of the all the fee and funds was near about Rs 1000 annually. Now the under privileged girl students do not have to deposit Rs 200 as examination fee every semester. Moreover, the department also gets Rs 500 fee for compartment papers.

But the students have not been exempted from the examination fee which is around Rs 500.

A government school teacher on condition of anonymity said, “Despite the government distributed bicycles to all the senior secondary school girls to get down the drop out rate but at the time of collecting fee, we feel it is very hard to deposit Rs 500 hundred in one installment for poor parents of the girls.”

“The state government publishes in advertisements that the girls are studying free in the government schools but the reality is different from. The department exempted only the monthly fee which was a small in amount. But the main examination fee is still mandatory. So the government is misleading the public,” said another teacher requesting anonymity.

Dalbir Singh Dhillon, chairman PSEB stated, “We can not exempt the examination fee because it is the only source for revenue of the board. Through out India there is not a single state who exempts the admission fee. If the government ready to give expenses of board, then it is possible.



Training programmes at vet varsity
Tribune News Services

Ludhiana, November 20
The department of livestock products technology, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences is organising two training programmes on value-added products.

The first one is on “Awareness on production of safe meat and value-added meat products” on November 22 and 23 for the benefit of farmers and small entrepreneurs.

Dr J Sahoo, head of the department, said participants would be given a hands-on-training in preparing different cut-up-parts of poultry, pigs and goat carcasses. “Marketing tips will also be given to them for their economic benefits.

In addition, they would also be provided with brochures and booklets,” Dr Sahoo added. The department is also organising a training programme on value-added milk products with special emphasis on mozzarella cheese on December 1 and 2. Farmers will be given information on hygienic production of milk and milk products.

They will be given a hands-on-training in developing various milk products such as flavoured milk, different types of lassi, khoya and paneer. Now a days mozzarella cheese, commonly known as pizza cheese, is gaining popularity among masses.

The best quality mozzarella cheese can be prepared from buffalo milk and Punjab is a hub of it. Participants will be given training in developing different varieties of mozzarella cheese and its packaging.



Thalassaemic kids have a ball
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 19
A local hotel celebrated its second anniversary by inviting 81 children suffering from thalassaemia over lunch yesterday.

The kids enjoyed the day by dancing to the music played by the DJ in the presence of cartoon character Mickey Mouse.

The kids got tattoos made from a tattoo designer. The hotel later organised a lunch for the kids and their parents.

The function was organised with the support of the Salaam Zindagi Foundation.

The NGO also adopted 11 more children suffering from the disease.

Meanwhile, the hotel today organised a lunch for students at the Deaf Dumb School at Tagore Nagar.

It will host a dinner for senior citizens at the Vivekananda Varidh Ashram at Model Town on November 21.



From schools
Founder's day celebrated

Ludhiana: Guru Nanak Public School and Dr Mohan Kaur Memorial Nursing Institute, Mullanpur, celebrated Founder's day on Saturday, on the school campus. The students presented ‘shabad kirtan’. Baljit Kaur. Pincipal of Guru Nanak Public School and that of Mohan Kaur Memorial Nursing Institute read the annual reports of their institutes. The celebrations concluded with prize distribution.

Annual athletics meet concludes

35th inter-house athletics meet at Guru Nanak Public School concluded. Dr Suresh Tandon, vice-chairman, Punjab State Education Board, Mohali, was the chief guest at the closing ceremony.

Results: Above 14 years Boys’ (800m): First Jaspinder Singh of class XI, second Anurag of class X and third Karan Singh of class IX. Above 14 years Girls’ (400m): First Ameek Kaur of class IX, second Manisha Purohit of class VIII and third Simranjot Kaur of class X. Above 14 years Boys’ discus throw: First Bhawneat Singh of class XI, second Prabhdeep Singh of class X and third Prabhjot Singh of class XI.

Above 14 years Boys’ (4 X 100m): First, Saheed Bhagat Singh (Suneetpal Singh, Ikjot Singh, Noorinder Singh, Sahibjot Singh), Second Bhai Veer Singh (Sehajpreet Singh, Shivamjeet Singh, Arshpreet Singh, Amritpal Singh) and third, Maharaja Ranjit Singh (Zorawar Singh, Ishupal Singh, Paramvir Singh, Tejveer Singh)

Above 14 years Girls’ (4 X 100m): First Bhai Veer Singh (Nikita Ryait, Hasrat Brar, Ameek Kaur, Onamjot Kaur), second Shaheed Bhagat Singh (Shamadeep Kaur, Mankamal Kaur, Jasmine Lotey, Pragti Ahuja) and third Maharaja Ranjit Singh House (Harshpreet Kaur, Ishmeet Sodhi, Tarunpriya, Simranjot Kaur).

Under-14 years Boys’ high jump: First Jasjot Singh of class IX, second Karandeep Singh of class VII and third Jaikirat Singh of class VIII. Under-14 years Girls’ high jump: First Rashmeet Kaur of class VIII, second Loveleen Kaur of class VII, and third Jaskiran Kaur of class VII.

Under-14 years Boys’ (4X100m): First professor Mohan Singh’s House (Harmandeep Grewal, Harry Deogan, Jaskaran Singh, Satwinder Singh), second Shaheed Bhagat Singh House (Attar Singh, Jagatbir Singh, Subhkaran Singh, Ripudaman Singh)and third Bhai Veer Singh House (Davinder Singh, Ushpreet Singh, Ajit Singh, Guriqbal Singh).

Under-14 years Girls’ (100m): First, Rasanmeet Kaur of class IX, second Jasneet Kaur of class VII and third Mannat of class VII. Under-14 years Girls’ (600m): First Gurpreet Kaur of class VIII, second Arshpreet Kaur of class VIII and third Sehajpreet Kaur of class VIII.

Under-14 years Girls’ (4X100m): First Professor Mohan Singh’s House (Gurpreet Kaur, Arshdeep Kaur, Arshpreet Kaur, Jasleen Kaur), second Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s House (Harmehak Kaur, Mandeep Kaur, Jasneet Kaur, Mannat) and third Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s House (Prabhpreet Kaur, Divyanoor, Amanpreet Kaur, Ramanpreet Kaur)

Annual function

An annual function was celebrated at Sacred Heart School. Jasbir Singh Khangura, MLA Kila Raipur, was the chief guest on the occasion. The prizes were given to the students who excelled in academics, sports and co-curricular activities. The function concluded with bhangra.



Ex-player, bed-ridden for 2 yrs, seeks govt help
Draws fans’ attention towards his plight; gains access to venue after drama
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
Kuldeep Singh Keepa, a kabaddi player who is bed-ridden for the past two years following a back injury suffered during a kabaddi match, caused a major embarrassment to the state government when he turned up at Guru Nanak Stadium here and requested kabaddi fans not to watch the game.

Holding a placard that read, “Kabaddi players da haal vekho” (look at the plight of kabaddi players), he along with the his father, wife and two daughters requested cops to allow him to enter from the main gate so that he could meet the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister and narrate his plight to them.

But his request was turned down by the cops. Later, he was allowed to sit in front of gate number 5, hoping that he would grab the attention of Sukhbir Badal.

Keepa said it was his last chance. If the CM would provide some help, he would be saved and mange to earn enough so that he could marry off his two daughters.

”If they provide me some aid, it’s fine, otherwise I am not going to live long enough to wait for another five years to have a similar opportunity. The kabaddi fans should have a reality check. They should know how shabbily the injured players are being treated. I cannot move my limbs. You can well imagine the mental trauma I passed through when my father gives me bath and puts a urine bag. Look at me, I am 32- year-old and still I am at the mercy of others, even while eating food,” said Keepa.

Keepa said he went to watch the match at Dhudike Stadium in Moga on November 4 to draw fans’ attention. He was once known for his grappling skills.

“I thought on seeing my plight, a few philanthropists might offer help, but cops did not allow me to enter the premises,” lamented Keepa.

Keepa, who was last seen seeking donations at a football tournament at Mehma Singh Wala and Kila Raipur earlier this year, regrets the day he got hooked to kabaddi.

A brilliant stopper, he slipped while stopping a raider from the opposite team and ruptured his spinal cord during a local kabaddi tournament held on February 2008. It was not possible for the family to arrange Rs 6 lakh required for the surgery.

Hailing from Dhatta village near Mullapur, Keepa’s family is looking for financial help to bail him out of the crisis.

“I am thankful to my wife Baljit Kaur and father Amar Singh, who are looking after me like a child,” added Keepa.



Kabaddi fails to keep youth off drugs
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
While promotion of kabaddi - by organising the World Kabaddi Cup - was seen as an antidote to the rampant abuse of drugs in the state, the hype associated with the sport in the city, which today hosted the closing ceremony of the cup for the second time, has failed to bring down the number of youths admitted annually to the local drug de-addiction centres.

Last year, the Deputy Chief Minister had claimed that the sport would change the path of thousands of misguided youths in Punjab and drive them away from drugs.

However, statistics gathered from various sources, including de-addiction centres as well as treatment and rehabilitation centres, suggest that there has been no change in the number of patients arriving at rehab centres in the past one year.

As per the information given by Aas Kiran Drug De-addiction Centre in Model Town in its half-yearly progress report to the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, 197 drugs addicts were treated at the facility in 2009-10. Whereas, around 200 patients had received treatement at the centre till November (2010-11).

In a survey carried out at liquor vends in various parts of the city, it was found that there had been no reduction in the sale of liquor, especially among the youth.

The records of de-addiction centres suggest that a majority of patients, comprising mostly youths, suffered from addiction to alcohol.

Dr Meharvant Singh, project coordinator, Aas Kiran Drug De-addiction Centre, said: “Kabaddi alone cannot curb drug addiction because the network is spread across Punjab. While life-saving drugs are not available in government dispensaries, habit forming capsules and injections are readily available even at villages of the state.”



Tubewell scheme a drain on farmers’ pocket
To bear cost of equipment, installation for connection
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 20
The extension of the Own Your Tubewell (OYT) Scheme to farmers, awaiting a tubewell connection for over two decades, is proving to be a big drain on the applicants’ pocket.

As the prospective consumers have to bear the cost of installation, including poles, cable and transformers to provide electricty to their fields, the project is no less than installing a “powerhouse” in their fields.

This is further hampering government’s initiative to promote water preserving devices, including fountain sprinkles, which are being offered on subsidised rates.

Maintaining that the scheme was extended to applicants with regular connections to increase the number of beneficiaries, Gurjant Singh, assistant superintending engineer, said the officials concerned had been directed to ensure that financial burden on the connection-seekers was minimised.

Farmers who had applied for a connection before December 31, 2000 could seek a conversion to the Own Your Tubewell Scheme up to November 30, he said.

Investigation revealed that farmers who had applied for a regular tubewell connection after 1990 had been allowed to opt for connection under the Own Your Tubewell Scheme by paying an extra amount of Rs 500.

Though a large number of farmers of the area had shown their inclination to availing the facility, a majority of them changed their mind after they learnt that they would be required to spend thousands of rupees on installation and equipment required for starting the connection.

Farmers like Sikandar Singh Jartoli and Baldev Singh Latala, who had opted for a conversion of their connection under the Own Your Tubewell Scheme, had been asked to bear the full expenses for the equipment and installation required for starting the connection.

In case of deceased applicants, a long and complicated procedure is being adopted to change the prospective consumer’s name.

“It is a shame that after waiting for over two decades, I have been asked to shell out around Rs 1 lakh to get my connection started,” said Jartoli, maintaining that the cost of equipment and installation varied between Rs 70,000 and Rs 1 lakh, depending upon the power of the motor and distance from the main line.

He further alleged that farmers of the region suffered discrimination when it came to allotment of connection at state level too.

Only a little over 3,600 farmers of the region falling under the central zone received connections during last year, whereas almost all applicants from villages falling under constituencies represented by members of the Badal clan received connections without any hassle, they further alleged. 



Gurbani to again be recited on ‘tanti saaz’
Old musical instruments witnessing revival in city schools
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
"It feels great to be reciting Gurbani the way the gurus used to recite," said Ishmeet Kaur studying in class XI. Although these musical instruments are fading into the oblivion with the passage of time, in some of the city schools one is witnessing their revival.

The enchanting ragas with the charm of old traditional musical instruments is sung at some of the city schools like Guru Nanak International School and Guru Gobind Singh School.

"Tanti saaz" means musical instrument with strings. Guitar or violin is the more ubiquitous of this kind of instruments. "But there is a rich heritage of varied musical instruments that produce sounds to enthuse the soul and have been increasingly been relegated with the emergence of music that is vapid," says one of the teachers. "The sounds of swarmandal seems to reach directly to the soul," said a student playing the instrument.

Confluence of sounds emanating from the strings of these different musical instruments creates rapturous music with harmony and melody. Some of the instruments being used at Guru Nanak International School include tanpura, swarmandal, rabab, sarod, dilruba and sitar.

"Rabab is one of the earliest instruments contributing to the Sikh heritage and thereby is very close to the Sikh sentiment," said Gobinder Singh, teaching music at the school. it's only been six months, since we have taught saarang raag on these instruments. Our students will start playing other raags also. "Gurbani music is a part of our culture and we need to take care of our heritage," said Arshmeet Kaur.



Tewari for giving control to central pollution board
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 20
After The Tribune highlighted the failure of the state government to implement the much-hyped bio-remediation project to clean the Budha Nullah, in spite of the fact that it was launched seven months ago amid much fanfare, the local Member of Parliament, Manish Tewari, has urged the union environment ministry to appoint the Central Pollution Control Board as the executing agency for the project “since the state government has proved to be quite non-cooperative”.

While refuting allegations of being non-cooperative, Punjab Pollution Control Board chairman Kahan Singh Pannu said the project was delayed because the company allocated the work had failed to deposit the bank guarantee.

“The work is to be carried out by a private company. How are we non-cooperative? Moreover, we have raised this issue several times with the Centre and can even provide copies of our communiqué to Tewari. If Tewari wants the CPCB to be the executing agency, we don’t have any problem because our main aim is to get the nullah cleaned,” said Pannu.

The project was launched by the then union minister for environment and forests, Jairam Ramesh, on April 23, and to date it remains only on paper.

The company allocated the Rs 16-crore project has not been able to start the work, as it has failed to submit a bank guarantee to the Central government.

Tewari claimed to have raised the issue during a meeting with the union minister for environment and forests Jayanthi Natarajan at New Delhi recently.

In a press release issued today, Tewari claimed that he told her that the bio-remediation project, which had been launched on April 23 as a pilot project and had to be fully funded by the Government of India, was not allowed to be executed by the state government for the apparent reason to deny the credit to the Central government.

The MP said the state government had systematically tried to subvert the project from day one by not only being non-cooperative but raising deliberate objections to delay the project.

“The project which should have been at its peak right now is yet to take off thanks to the deliberately non-cooperative attitude of the state government,” he said.



SAIL edge out Scindia Academy to bag title
Our Sports Reporter

Doraha (Ludhiana), November 20
The Steel Authority of India Limited, Orissa, quelled a strong challenge before overcoming Scindia Academy, Bhopal, 2-1 to lift the title in the 9th All-India Gold Cup Hockey Tournament (boys’ u-21) organised by Doraha Hawks Club at the Mehta Gurukul Public Senior Secondary School, Doraha, today.

The title clash match began on a brisk pace with players of both sides making forays into rival’s territory time and again.

After wasting scoring chances in quick succession, the Steel Authority of India Limited boys found the target in the seventh minute when A Toppo scored an excellent field goal.

Two minutes before the half time, they increased the lead through Deepak Kulu, who converted a penalty corner to make it 2-0.

Scindia Academy players went all out to reduce the margin but their efforts were well thwarted by an agile Orissa custodian. However, they continued to exert pressure and ultimately Orissa defence wilted and conceded a goal in the 57th minute, when Rana Pratap was on the target.

Earlier, Steel Authority of India Limited, Orissa, and Scindia Academy, Bhopal, wrapped up their respective semifinal encounters to settle for the title clash.

In the first semifinal, SAIL survived some anxious moments before romping home 2-1 against Mehta Gurukul Academy, Doraha.

After some initial hiccups, Steel Authority of India Limited lads earned lead in the 15th minute through a field goal by Rajan Kandulna. He weaved a good move from the half line and dodged past a couple of defenders to send a sizzler into the net.

They enhanced the lead just one minute before the lemon break as Deepak Kulu received a parallel pass at the half line and managed to sneak into the danger zone.

He found the rival goalee on the wrong foot and sounded the board to read the score-sheet 2-0.

However, their joy was shortlived as Mehta Gurukul Academy’s Bikramjeet Singh reduced the margin immediately into the second session (1-2).

The losing side pressed hard for the equaliser but success eluded them as the forward line muffed chances that came their way and SAIL boys managed to hang onto the slender lead till the long whistle.

The second semifinal played between Scindia Academy, Bhopal, and Sports Authority of India (SAI), Patiala, too witnessed a fierce battle in which the former eventually came out victors with a narrow 1-0 margin.

Both sides fought for supremacy and initiated many good moves but their repeated attacks failed to yield the desired result.

After the first barren half, Scindia Academy players exhibited fine coordination and stickwork that ultimately bore fruits.

The all-important goal was scored in the 67th minute by PC Meenakant sealing SAI’s fate.

The chairman, MANREGA monitoring committee, Sant Singh distributed the prizes.

Anil Prabhat Mehta, chief organiser of the tournament committee, thanked the chief guest and congratulated the winners.



Rich haul of medals by Khalsa college eves
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 20
The students of Khalsa College for Women, Civil Lines, reaped a rich haul of medals and emerged runners-up in the Panjab University Inter-College Athletics Championship held on the university campus, Chandigarh, recently.

Girl athletes from the local college bagged 14 medals, including four gold, which helped them finish in the second place.

Gurpreet Kaur, a student of BA-I proved too good for her opponents in 10,000m and 5,000m races to fetch gold medals.

Another student from the college, Gagroop Kaur, claimed gold medal in the 400m hurdles. Besides, she clinched silver medals in the 4x100m relay race, heptathlon events and a bronze medal in the 4x400m relay race.

Sukanya Thakur added a gold medal to her college’s kitty, as she won top honours in the triple jump. She also won a silver medal in the 4x100m and and a bronze medal in 4x400m relay race.

Jasbir Kaur and Amandeep Kaur, too, finished among position-holders to help their college squad secure the runners-up trophy.

Both won silver medal in 4x100m relay race and bronze medal in 4x400m relay race.

Dr Varinder Kaur Thind, principal, appreciated the girls and congratulated their coach, Gurmeet Singh and Amarjit Kaur, head of the college physical department, on the success.



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