L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Driving under the influence kills
2 die as truck hits moped; Car rams into 2 vehicles; 10 persons injured
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

A bag containing poppy husk found from a truck after an accident in Transport Nagar, Ludhiana, on Saturday night
A bag containing poppy husk found from a truck after an accident in Transport Nagar, Ludhiana, on Saturday night. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

The broken divider after the accident on the Ferozepur road in Ludhiana
The broken divider after the accident on the Ferozepur road in Ludhiana. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Toyota Innova driver Neeraj Vij tries to cover his face from the camera after the accident
Toyota Innova driver Neeraj Vij tries to cover his face from the camera after the accident.

Ludhiana, December 18
Consumption of liquor and drugs led to a man and his son’s death besides causing injuries to 10 person in two incidents in different parts of the city last night. Sandeep Jindal (35) and his son Hari Om Jindal (12) of Jain Colony, Gyaspura, were crushed to death by a speeding truck at the Transport Nagar last night.

The incident took place around 9 pm when Sandeep, along with his son, was returning home after visiting his sister’s house located near Samrala Chowk. The two were riding a moped.

According to an eyewitness, as the two reached the Transport Nagar chowk, a speeding truck coming from behind ran over Sandeep and Hari Om.

Residents said instead of applying the brakes, the panic-stricken driver accelerated the vehicle and dragged the victim’s bodies to a distance.

The commuters intercepted the truck and pelted it with stones. Five commuters sustained minor injuries in the process.

Amidst the melee, the driver of truck, identified as Karnail Singh, fled the scene. The injured sustained minor injuries and were not hospitalised.

During the investigation, the police found that the driver was under the influence of poppy husk and had apparently lost control of the truck due to this. The police has seized a pack of poppy husk from the truck.

Investigating officer Tersem Singh said the driver had been booked under Section 304- A of the IPC for causing death due to rash and negligent driving. The police was in the process of booking the accused under relevant sections of the NDPS Act for driving under the influence.

In the second incident, a speeding Toyota Innova (PB 10 CC 6996) went on a destruction spree, hitting two vehicles near Nanaksar Gurdwara on the Ferozepur Road. The accident left five persons injured. The vehicle, coming from the Jagraon side, hit an auto-rickshaw, broke the median fencing and finally rammed into a Tata Indigo car. The Toyota Innova was driven by Neeraj Vij, an IELTS and personality development trainer.

Neeraj was travelling with his wife and mother when the incident took place.

Neeraj was reportedly drunk and lost control of the vehicle after hitting the auto-rickshaw.

The injured have been identified as Rajni, Vikas, Harinder, Ravdeep and Amit.

While Ravdeep and Amit sustained minor injuries, the condition of Rajni, Vikas and Harinder was stated to be serious. The three were taken to the Civil Hospital where they were undergoing treatment. Narrating the incident, Ravdeep Singh of Maharaj Nagar said: “I was returning home in my car when I saw an Innova hit an auto-rickshaw in the other lane. In no time, the vehicle broke through the divider and hit my car. I feel fortunate to be alive. I suffered bruises but did not sustain any major injuries.” A bottle of liquor was found from Neeraj’s car, suggesting that he was consuming liquor while driving.

Investigating officer Paramjit Singh of the PAU police station said: “Neeraj not only put the commuters’ lives in danger but also risked the lives of family members travelling with him.” Neeraj has been booked under Sections 279, 427, and 338 of the IPC for reckless driving.

“We are waiting for the medical report and if Neeraj is found to have consumed alcohol, he will be booked under relevant sections,” said Paramjit Singh.


drunk driving
Only 85 challans in 11 months!
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
While tipplers continue to wreak havoc on city roads, the police has turned a blind eye to the growing menace. Challaning of just 85 persons for drunk driving in the past 11 months exemplifies the callous attitude of the police in tackling the problem.

Even the death of five persons in the past 10 days due to the menace has failed to shake the authorities from their slumber.

According to traffic expert Kamaljit Soi, the danger of drunk driving assumes serious proportions on weekends when a majority of tipplers indulge in speeding, often resulting in road rage.

The residents complain that while the police is busy challaning vehicles, they are least bothered about cracking a whip on drunk driving.

“Not a single policeman carries an alcoholmeter to check drunk driving during nights. Instead of unnecessarily challaning vehicles and harassing commuters, the police should keep tabs on the growing menace caused by tipplers,” said Malkit Singh Malhi, a resident of Haibowal.

Records suggest that a majority of victims are either pedestrians or two-wheeler riders, who fall prey to tipplers driving four-wheelers.

On December 11, a drunk car driver crushed three migrant labourers to death near Chabewal village on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana Road.

The car, after hitting the pedestrians, rammed into a tree. Similarly, Gyaspura resident Sandeep Jindal and his son Hari Om Jindal were crushed to death after a speeding truck ran over them at Transport Nagar chowk last night.

During investigations, it was found that the truck driver, Karnail Singh, was under the influence of poppy husk.

Also, Neeraj Vij, a city-based IELTS and personally development trainer, injured five persons after he lost control of his vehicle near Nanaksar Gurdwara on the Ferozepur road. Liquor bottles were found in Neeraj’s vehicle last night.

‘Weekend drives soon’

‘The police will soon launch special drives on weekends to check drunk individuals from creating a ruckus on the road

— Sajjan Singh Cheema, Adcp (Traffic)



Tragedy revisits family
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
All hell broke loose for Indu Rani (35), who lost her husband Sandeep and son Hari Om in a road accident last night. Tragic scenes were witnessed at the victims’ house in Jain Colony of Gyaspura here today, as their bodies were brought home after autopsy. Indu and her daughter were inconsolable and cursed the driver for the tragedy.

This is not the first time that Indu has encountered tragedy. Her father had died in a road accident last year and her brother was killed in a bomb blast.

Indu, while wailing over the death of her husband, said: “I called up Sandeep last night and asked him to come home soon so that the family could have the dinner together. But the destiny had some other plans and the killer truck driver ruined my life forever.”

“The driver will go scot free after furnishing a bail bond. What about me? I am ruined for the rest of my life,” lamented Indu.



sad rally
Gridlock on city-Moga highway
Students taking NET examination worst hit
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, December 18
It was chaos all over the roads, particularly on the Ludhiana-Moga highway, during an SAD’s massive rally organised at Killi Chahlan village, near Ajitwal, today. The traffic was badly affected on the Ludhiana-Moga highway during the rally, as candidates aspiring for the party ticket for the forthcoming Assembly elections as well as senior party leaders from all over the state thronged the venue along with thousands of supporters.

Though the administration had made elaborate arrangements for the smooth flow of traffic and the traffic was diverted to various alternative routes, it was tough time for thousands of commuters who remained stuck in traffic jams for hours at various points between Ludhiana and Moga.

The worst hit were students hailing from areas like Moga, Jagraon, Ferozepur, Talwandi, Faridkot, Mudki, Baghapurana, Muktsar, Kotkapoora, etc. who had to take the National Eligibility Test (NET) organised by the University Grant Commission (UGC) in science stream at various examination centers in different colleges of Chandigarh. They had to face a lot of difficulty reaching their destinations on time.

As a majority of private buses were hired by SAD leaders to ferry their supporters to the venue, the students had to rely on buses of Punjab Roadways and PRTC to reach their destinations. As a result, buses ran full on the route.

Many students complained of reaching late at the examination centres due to traffic jams at various places.

“It was perhaps the worst day of my life. I was supposed to reach Government College of Home Sciences in Chandigarh before 2 pm to appear in the NET examination, but I reached there 20 minutes late. Several other students arrived late at our centre,” said Parminder Kaur, a guest teacher at a Jagraon college.



Bus service makes residents smile
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
The city bus service project, which was launched in the city yesterday, is proving to be a boon for residents, who see it as a convenient mode of travel in chilly weather. A large number of people availed of the facility on the first day of the start of the service.

Huge rush was witnessed in the 10 low-floor non-AC buses and during the day people even travelled while standing in the bus.

Residents said buses were a better option than auto-rickshaws. “It’s safe as well as comfortable to travel in low-floor buses. Moreover, we can protect ourselves from the biting cold, which we cannot do in an auto-rickshaw,” said Satnam Singh, a resident of Salem Tabri, who boarded a bus from the bus station. “I reached my destination comfortably in Rs 10,” he said with a smile.

Auto-rickshaw owners have already started feeling the pinch. “The number of passengers has gone down already and if more such buses are launched in the coming days, we will be out of business soon,” said an auto-rickshaw owner.

If one has to travel in an auto-rickshaw, one has to pay a minimum fare of Rs 10. However, for travelling a distance of 5 km in a low-floor bus, passengers have to pay only Rs 5. For instance, those hiring an auto-rickshaw from Bharat Nagar for railway station have to pay Rs 10. However, they can pay just Rs 5 for the same trip in a low-floor bus. Buses are more convenient and provide cheaper travel, said a city resident.

MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi said the civic body was looking to generate a revenue of around Rs 3,000 per bus every day. “Revenue generation is not an issue for us because even if we run into losses, we will continue with the service, as its will benefit city residents. When more buses arrive, we will ply them on other routes as well.”

In October, the then MC Commissioner, AK Sinha, stated that the trial run of these buses was conducted in August. At that time, the MC had taken two low-floor buses from Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) on rent and plied them on city roads.

To assess the financial viability of these buses, the passengers were even charged and the MC was able to generate over Rs 3,000 from one bus alone in one day.

Fact File

  • Residents will be issued tickets through electronic ticketing machines. The ticket will carry the time table and route map
  • Each bus will run after an interval of eight minutes
  • The buses will ply from 6 am to 10 pm

Ticket rates

Distance Price

0-5 km Rs 5

5-10 km Rs 10

Over 10 km Rs 15



international migrants day
For them, it’s labour lost in city
Shivani Bhakoo/TNS

Ludhiana, December 18
Even as the world celebrates International Migrants Day today, the migrant population in Ludhiana, considered the backbone of the industrial hub of Punjab, continue to reel under appalling living conditions.

As per official figures, there are about 5 lakh migrant workers in the city but as per different trade unions’ estimates, their number has already crossed 10 lakh. Of the total migrant population in the city, around 1 per cent have made a life in the city by starting business ventures. And, they are pretty well aware about their rights as well.

Another five per cent of the population is into small professions, toiling hard for decades and constructing homes in the city. The remaining population, around 94 per cent, still lives in pitiable conditions. “They are the skilled and unskilled labour, who came to the city for greener pastures. And the cash-rich society provided them with an environment that was even worse than animals living in a shed. In spite of raising concerns over their plight, conditions have not changed a little bit for them.

“The labour department here has failed to safeguard the interest of the labour, which has played a vital role in propelling the economy of the state,” says Ramesh Rattan, chairman, Small-Scale Industrial and Traders’ Association.

These migrants have come from states like Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal and Bihar and have proved to be a pillar for the local industry over the years.

The industry, be it cycle, knitwear, auto-parts, leather, furnace, forging or hosiery, depends entirely on the labour from other states.

SC Ralhan, chairman (northern region), Engineering Export and Promotion Council, says industrialists depend on the migrant labour for growth and production.

“Without them, we cannot survive as there is no skilled local labour available here. We have to watch their interests if we have to flourish further,” says Ralhan.

Dr Arun Mitra, an ENT specialist, who visits the “vehras” in which these migrants live, says: “It is unfortunate to see their living conditions. On land measuring 150-200 sq yd, 15-20 rooms are constructed and each room is occupied by around 10 migrants. They cook food in the same room, in which their is no ventilation, light or fresh air. This is the reason that each time there is a disease outbreak, it is the migrant population that suffers the most.”

‘Vehras’ in pitiable state

“Vehras” in Sherpur, Gyaspura, Kanganwal, Gobindgarh village, Industrial Area, Hargobindnagar and Moti Nagar, where the migrant population in concentrated, are a shambles. They cook the meals in the same room with over 50 migrants sharing just two washrooms

Fair share in crime

Crime both by and against the migrant population has seen an upswing due to their rising population in the city. “Vehras” are seen unsafe for women and kids, as a majority of crimes take place there. Besides, migrants indulge in petty crimes too

Exodus from city

After the Dhandari incident, which took place in the city around two years ago, in which migrants were targeted, a lot of them have returned to their native villages. Also, their state governments have been making lucrative offers to ensure a steady livelihood back home



Youth dies of ‘drug overdose’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
A 24-year-old youth from Barnala died of suspected drug overdose at a local hotel near the railway station last night. The incident came to light when Gurbaz Singh Sekhon failed to wake up in the morning. Gurbaz was taken to the DMC, where he was declared brought dead.

According to hotel staff, Gurbaz had checked in with a friend. Both allegedly consumed drugs and went to sleep after having food. Gurbaz died in sleep. The police has initiated an inquest proceedings under Section 174, IPC.



tartan track
Athletes risking injuries running barefoot
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
While the Punjab government has spent crores of rupees on laying Tartan tracks in stadia, players in the state don’t have enough money to buy spike shoes to run on these tracks. Consequently, most athletes ran on the track barefoot in the Punjab School Games.

Even, the sports kits, bearing the pictures of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, provided to the athletes did not have shoes. According to the norms, athletes cannot run barefoot on the Tartan track. Running without shoes on this track affects the performance and can also cause injuries. Organisers are aware of the rules and ill-effects of running barefoot, but they seem helpless.

District Sports Officer Surjit Singh expresses displeasure at the inability of the sports authorities or organisers to provide adequate gear to the athletes. “It is quite dangerous for athletes to run barefoot on the track. Most rural sportspersons can’t afford spikes. Running without spikes can cause sprain in the calf muscles,” he says.

“Organisers should provide shoes to all players because running without these can cause serious injuries,” he says.

“No one ever asked me to wear the shoes before race. I have taken part in state-level competitions last year too. But this is the first time that I ran on the Tartan track. I am not aware of the ill-effects of running without spike shoes on this track, but I did not perform well on this track,” said an athlete from Mansa.

Another athlete from Ferozepur district said: “I don’t have spikes because I cannot afford them. Our teacher told us that the government would provide us with the shoes but we never received any shoes. Now, I am planning to buy my own pair of shoes.”

Assistant Education Officer Rupinder Singh Ravi says: “Spikes are expensive so every student cannot afford these. Running barefoot on the track affects the performance. The government should provide spike shoes to those athletes who don’t possess them.”

Bare facts

As per the norms, athletes cannot run barefoot on the Tartan track. Running without shoes on this track affects the performance and can also cause injuries



Crime against women up
289 cases registered since January
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
“Equal rights to women”, “women empowerment”, “no gender bias” - these slogans seem to have no relevance as far as incidents of crime against women in the city are concerned. Though as per the police records, a total of 289 such cases (crime against women) have been registered since January 2011, many go unreported due to social stigma.

As the population of the industrial city is increasing, so are the incidents against women.

From January 1, 2011 till date, a total of 289 cases have been registered for crime against women under various sections. Forty-eight cases under Section 376 of the IPC (rape) have been registered at various police stations this year. A police official on the condition of anonymity disclosed that the number of registered cases was too low, as a majority of victims preferred to keep mum due to social stigma attached to the crime. “They feel reluctant to come to the police and answer their queries. In a population of about 16 lakh people, crime against women will be too high in comparison with the reported cases,” said the official.

Apart from 48 rape cases, 10 women committed suicide under Section 306 of the IPC (abetment to commit suicide). In-laws, husband and other family members have been booked by the police in these cases. Under Section 354, 24 cases have been registered for outraging modesty of women in the city. Under the obscene act (Section 294 of the IPC) against women, 11 cases have been registered in the last about one year.

Despite awareness about social evil dowry, the city police has registered 91 cases under Section 498-A (dowry harassment). While 12 women have lost their lives in dowry deaths. A total of 71 cases have been registered against various persons for kidnapping and abducting women (Sections 363, 366) in the city, while under the Immoral Trafficking Act, 22 cases have been registered so far.

An Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) here said crime against women had seen an increase as compared to the last year. “As the population of the city is increasing, crime against women is also increasing. And a majority of the victims are migrants,” said the ACP.



powercom recruitment
INTUC challenges eligibility criteria
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 18
The Workers’ Federation INTUC of the Punjab State Electricity Board (now converted into two corporations - Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) and Punjab State Transmission Corporation Limited (PSTCL) has challenged the eligibility criteria for recruitment to the posts of junior engineers (JEs), sub-divisional officers (SDOs), sub-station officers (SSOs) and upper division clerks (UDCs) terming it not only against the norms for the recruitment to other government departments but also gross injustice with the unemployed youth.

Presiding over a meeting of the body here today, Swarn Singh charged the government with playing into the hands of whimsical managements of two power utility corporations. Seeking immediate intervention of the government for scrapping the arbitrary condition of minimum 60 per cent marks in the qualifying examination for different posts in PSPCL and PSTCL, he said all candidates, eligible for applying to the posts of JEs, SSAs, SDOs and SSOs, be permitted to apply and sit in the qualifying test.

He also lambasted the managements of power corporations for pursuing the policies of privatisation and outsourcing various departmental works. “The departmental works are either being awarded to contractors or being outsourced, while vacant posts at different levels are not being filled up.”

The INTUC functionary also criticised the managements of power corporations for their failure to give effect to promotions at lower levels such as from LDC to UDC, ALM to lineman, lineman to foreman and JE to AE with the result that these cadres were stagnating for years together without any promotion. Similarly, the promise of regularisation of adhoc employees also remained unfulfilled.



Road named after Major Kokri
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
The road leading from the Ferozepur Road octroi post to Barewal (Awana) was named after Maj Jagir Singh Kokri here yesterday. It will not be called Major Jagir Singh Vir Chakra Road. Major Kokri was a third-generation Army officer. His grandfather and father, besides brother, had served the Army. His son and one of his sons-in-law have also served the armed forces.

His son Amarjit Singh said the naming of the road after Major Kokri was aimed at motivating the youngsters of Punjab to join the Army.

“We are worried about the present state of Punjab. People are selling their lands to go abroad. Well-educated youth are drawn to the corporate culture. Who will carry the legacy left by brave soldiers of the state. We wish to raise awareness among the youth about the brave soldiers who fought for the nation,” he added.

Major Kokri was born on July 23, 1915 at Kokri Kalan village in an Army family. After initial education at Khalsa school, he joined the British Army in 1935 as a soldier in Sikh Regiment and served in the North-West Frontier Province.

In 1942, he was selected as a commissioned officer and posted with Punjab Regiment. He fought the Japanese army at Kohima-Imphal Axis in 1945.

At the time of partition, his unit was moved to Bannu, where he was tasked with evacuation of refugees.

After the partition, he was posted back to Sikh Regiment and within days, his company along with the first battalion was air-lifted to Jammu and Kashmir to quell the tribal onslaught.

On April 25, 1948 he was awarded with Vir Chakra for leading his company in capturing Tragan, the gateway to Titihwal in J&K, which was occupied by Pakistani troops and tribesmen.

He was later Mentioned in Dispatches for a similar act of bravery. He also took part in 1962 and 1965 operations.



Illegal cigarette trade harming Punjab
14 million sticks sold every month, exchequer suffers Rs 24.5-cr loss annually
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 18
Punjab has emerged as a hotbed of the illegal cigarette trade in India. These locally manufactured, tax-evading cigarettes have a 9 per cent share in the cigarette market. With some of India’s largest manufacturers of illegal cigarettes based in the state, over 14 million illegal sticks are sold every month. Consequently, the state government suffers an annual loss of about Rs 24.5 crore.

Sources in the cigarette trade assert that the harsh taxation on cigarettes in India is one of the major reasons for the huge and growing market for illegal cigarettes. Despite accounting for a meager 15 per cent share of total tobacco consumption, the cigarettes generate over 75 per cent of the tax revenue from tobacco. Although, the category of illicit cigarettes also includes smuggled international brands, it consists principally of duty-evaded cigarettes manufactured domestically by small, unscrupulous units. These units don’t pay the high excise and VAT levied on cigarettes, and conduct flourishing clandestine business.

In Punjab, the VAT on cigarettes is currently 22 per cent, but there is an added local tax in certain cities like Jalandhar and Ferozepur. It takes the tax up to 25 per cent, which is higher than the highest slab of 22 per cent. It was introduced across the states in 2007.

The sources further stated that the manufacture of illegal cigarettes gained tremendous momentum after the Union Budgets of 2008-09 and 2010-11, when Central excise duty rates were increased by an unprecedented 42 per cent. “The legitimate cigarette manufacturers were forced to vacate the hitherto affordable price points of Rs 1 and Rs 1.50 per stick, and the vacuum was rapidly filled by illegal regular size filter cigarettes that began to be sold to consumers at Re 1 per stick (or Rs 10/- per packet of 10 cigarettes).

The loss of revenue to the Punjab government because of the illegal cigarettes trade is staggering. But the cost to the health of smokers of illegal cigarettes is incalculable. Illegal cigarettes pose high health hazards to smokers because of the inferior manufacturing processes used, the low quality of tobacco and high levels of nicotine.

Apprehending their concern over rapid growth of the trade in illegal cigarettes in Punjab, the cigarette trade circles maintained that the prevailing trends had clearly shown that the discriminatory tax policy against cigarettes had not led to any decrease in overall tobacco consumption, and neither had it resulted in higher collection of taxes. On the contrary, it had simply catalyzed the growth of the illegal cigarettes trade, and forced the people to switch to cheaper illegal cigarettes, which were far more harmful than legally manufactured cigarettes.

‘Harsh taxation main reason’

Sources in the cigarette trade assert that harsh taxation on cigarettes in India is one of the major reasons for the huge and growing market for illegal cigarettes. Despite accounting for a meager 15 per cent share of total tobacco consumption, the cigarettes generate over 75 per cent of the tax revenue from tobacco. Although, the category of illicit cigarettes also includes smuggled international brands, it consists principally of duty-evaded cigarettes manufactured domestically by small, unscrupulous units.



Reporters’ Diary
Scramble for party ticket

Even though the assembly elections in the state are still a couple of months away and the exact dates are yet to be announced, there is a virtual scramble for seeking ticket among all major political parties, be it the ruling combination of the SAD-B and BJP or the Congress. Everyone seems to have thrown his or her hat in.

Political equations are fast changing, friends have turned into foes and vice-versa, “jugadbandi” is being resorted to in order to approach senior party leaders and some of the more enthusiastic contenders have even gone to the extent of putting up posters in some of the assembly segments declaring themselves as candidate of one or the other party. In the melee, the real issues, problems of masses and mess that the mega city is in, seems to have completely forgotten.

Bureaucrats on toes!

During VVIPs visit to the city, political leaders, officials from several departments and bureaucrats are on their toes. As Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal visited the city yesterday, the “bureaucrat paraphernalia” was on their toes for his reception at PAU grounds. One of the top officials said, “I feel we will not be free till late night due to Badal’s visit. Being Saturday, I had promised my family to take them out to dinner, but I don’t think that I will be able to fulfill my promise. It has been happening for the past several days and they all are simply disappointed. It is not just me, who’s on the VVIP duty, but all officials feel the same.”

Smart kids

To save themselves from corporal punishment, children have also evolved their own ways. In one of the city schools, a teacher started beating children of her class for not doing homework. To save themselves from the punishment, two kids asked for the permission for bringing their books from the other class and left the class. By the time they reached back, the period got over and they heaved a sigh of relief as the teacher changed with the change of period.

Chance to exercise

During a weekday traffic lights went out due to a power cut and a pot-bellied traffic police cop scurried to the middle of the square. Like a typical traffic cop, he kept on waving his hand continually rather than making full movements a traffic warden is supposed to. One of the tourists on the road asked why do these traffic cops here keep on waving hands continually. “These cops hardly do any exercise, so they make the most of it whenever they get a chance,” a resident laughed.

Feedback from sportsmen!

Recently Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal pasted their photographs on sports kits. Sportsmen were unhappy with this move of the ruling party who are facing problems due to poor sports infrastructure. When a reporter asked a sportsman, he chuckled, “I think the CM should put his photograph on footballs they give to sportspersons and they can easily get the feedback from them.”

Contributed by Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo, Anupam Bhagria, Gurvinder Singh, Charanjit Singh Teja



‘Art not confined to colour, canvass’
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
Old discarded petrol tanks of Enfield, electric generator hose, a steering wheel and discarded cycle parts come together to form a metal ostrich. Inutile brass utensils combine to represent love of a mother and a child. A wooden piece carved in feminine shape with a rope flowing through the top forms a needle, symbolising a woman is like a needle that sews the social fabric.

The art to Harminder Singh Boparai is not confined to colour or canvass. “Art is in no way dependent on expenses,” he says as he can create a piece of art from sand, metal scrap, stone, fibre glass, wood and even a m-seal.

He participated in a group art exhibition organised in the city today. Hailing from Ghudani Kala village, he has created more than 150 sculptures. His ingenious art has won him appreciation award from the Punjab Lalit Kala Academy.

Art to him is for his satisfaction and not to earn livelihood. The art, he has created is not for sale, as he wants to keep the unique pieces of art with him. He wants to carve out a name through his sculpture. His calling for the immediate future is giving form and voice to metal scrap.

Other artists from the city who participated in the exhibition were Amita Gupta and Sandeep Sharma. Amita paintings depict relationships and how a woman responds to relationships. Sandeep Sharma is a poet and his photographs inspired from nature explore deeper meanings of life from nature.



‘New ideas must to get desired results’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
“A food and agri processors conclave-linking clusters to market” was held at Punjab Agricultural University on Saturday. It was organised by the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India in association with the Ministry of Food Processing Industry and Punjab Agricultural University.

Senior director of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India Dr Om S Tyagi stated that the promotion of food processing and agro-based industry in Punjab was beneficial for growers. He said farm universities like PAU, Government Extension Agencies, NABARD, Punjab National Bank and other banks as well as the corporate sector needed to collaborate closely for developing agriculture sector related entrepreneurship in the state.

It was observed at the conclave that there was a vast potential for the promotion of food processing industry in the state. Experts laid emphasis on the establishment of cold stores and effective utilisation of post-harvest technologies. “Agriculture, horticulture, and other allied sectors, if developed on scientific line, have vast scope for promoting growth in the state,” they added.



Singing contest to break monotony of studies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
As semester system keeps students on their toes, schools are finding ways to relax them by organising various contests and cultural programmes. Government Model School at PAU organised an inter-house singing competition for students yesterday.

The competition came as a respite for many students who have been feeling tense and admitted that continuous studies and frequent examinations because of the semester system have been taking a toll on their mental health and were burdensome to an extent.

“It came as a relief for me. Even though the first semester examinations are over, I am feeling the monotonous mood of the academics,” said Gurpreet, a student. A change in the atmosphere was relaxing, many of the students agreed.

“These competitions not only encourage the students to come to fore and exhibit their talent but also serve as a source of entertainment for them,” said Ramnik Sidhu, a school teacher.



300 farmers attend training camp on wheat crop

Ludhiana: A training camp on "Herbicide Application Techniques in Wheat" was organised by the Directorate of Extension Education of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) for the farmers at Tibbar village, Gurdaspur. The programme, supported and facilitated by M/s Syngenta India Ltd, involved the participation of about 300 farmers.

Chief guest Dr MS Gill, director of Extension Education, PAU, remarked that the university had well-knit system to acquaint the farmers with the innovative scientific techniques and technologies i.e. through Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), the Farm Advisory Service Scheme (FASS) and Kisan Melas. He asked the farmers to utilise the expertise of the scientists from time to time and keep themselves updated with the advancements being made in the field of agriculture. Gill exhorted the farmers to opt for value addition activities. He launched a new PAU recommended herbicide for the control of “phalaris minor” with new nozzle. Dr Surjeet Singh, senior extension specialist, PAU, brushed up the knowledge of the farmers on spraying techniques and the use of herbicides. He emphasised the use of flood fan and flood-jet nozzles for herbicide application and impressed upon the farmers to spray wheat crop properly. Singh gave live demonstrations with various types of booms like multi-boom nozzles and laid stress on the use of herbicides in rotation every year.

Awareness camp

The Department of Agricultural Meteorology of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) organised a "Climate Change Awareness Camp" for the farmers at Badoshi Kalan village and at Bauranga Zer village in Fatehgarh Sahib district. The camp took place under the aegis of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) sponsored "National Initiative for Climate Resilient Agriculture - All India Coordinated Research Programme on Agricultural Meteorology (NICRA-AICRPAM)" project. — TNS



Sports Festival
Jarkhar Academy, Haryana eves pocket hockey titles
Our Sports Reporter

Jarkhar (Ludhiana), December 18
Jarkhar Academy and Shahbad Markanda Academy, Haryana, romped home in the six-a side hockey for boys and girls (U-17) categories, respectively, in the 26th Coca-Cola Annual Sports Festival organised by the Mata Sahib Kaur Sports Club at Jarkhar village on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road that concluded today.

In the girls’ final, Shahbad Markanda Academy survived some anxious moments before overcoming their spirited opponents from Kairon wing whom they overpowered with narrow margin 2-0.

Similarly, in the boys’ section, Jarkhar Academy quelled a strong challenge from Sudhar Academy before emerging victorious 6-4.

In the senior men’s section, EME, Jalandhar, proved too good for BSF, Jalandhar, and won the verdict easily 4-1.

The Ludhiana Basketball Academy and Ludhiana district clinched the titles in the boys and girls’ section, respectively.

Ludhiana Basketball Academy players faced a little resistance from Patiala boys, as the former came out triumphant 70-40. Ludhiana district beat Sangrur district to secure the third position.

In the girls’ section, Ludhiana district outplayed Sangrur district to bag top honours, while Patiala district beat Khalsa College, Ludhiana, to content with the third spot. Punjab Police, Jalandhar, outnumbered Khalsa College, Amritsar, 19-14 to bag top honours in kabaddi (national style) and in kabaddi (one village), Gujjarwal scripted a hard-fought (14-10) victory against Dhode to lift the winner’s trophy.

In handball (boys), Ludhiana district stamped its class over Patiala district (29-16) to win the title, while 
Fardikot district overpowered Mohali 21-19 to finish at the third place.

In volleyball (men’s final), Punjab Police, Jalandhar, toiled hard to beat KU as the match was extended to five sets. The winning side wrapped up first two sets 25-20 and 25-20 to take the lead. However, KU fought back to level the score clinching the third and fourth sets 25-23, 29-27. The fifth and deciding set turned out to be one-side as Punjab Police won it convincingly 25-11, which also fetched them the title.

The main attraction was the kabaddi competition and spectators remained stuck to their seats till the final played between SGPC Academy and Tony Alankar Club, Kube, in which the former emerged victorious 40-27.

The organisers also felicitated Padmashree awardee, director sports Punjab, Pargat Singh, popular Punjabi singer Manmohan Waris and Punjabi comedian Gurpreet Singh Guggi for their outstanding contribution in the field of sports, art and culture.

They were awarded with shawls and citations.

MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik was the chief guest. The four-day sports extravaganza concluded with performance by Manmohan Waris and his troupe.

Rally plays spoilsport

  • Political rally organised by the Akali Dal at a village near Moga played a spoilsport as except for MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik, no other political leader of eminence was present on the last day of the sports festival.
  • Even senior police officials, bureaucrats who generally used to make their presence on such occasions in the past were absent, obviously due to the rally.



punjab school games
Manpreet breaks record in high jump
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
A 13-year-old boy and a student of class VII, Manpreet Singh, breaks a record in high jump (1.65 metres) at the Punjab School Games. The earlier record was of 1.60 metres in high jump.

“I am happy with my performance. I practice two to three hours daily. Now I want to clinch a gold medal in the National Games,” he said. “My sports teacher, Ved Parkash, has motivated me a lot. He told me the tactics to be a good performer,” he added further giving credit of his success to his teacher.

Talking about his performance, he said, “When I was in class V, I used to watch my seniors performing in high jump. I started playing last year and my family is happy with my achievement,” he said.

Charanjit Singh, a coach on duty, said, “I appreciate the performance of Manpreet. I have seen the strength and passion in him to be successful. I hope he will be selected for the National Games.”



‘Sports performance going down’
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News service

Ludhiana, December 18
Sports staff and aficionados are worried about the deteriorating performance by the players in Punjab School Games. A number of players representing their districts in the state level games were declared disqualified. Meanwhile, a few officials are blaming the semester system and others blame the cultural change as youth seem to be attracted to fast food, mobiles, internet and social freedom.

A number of girls representing the district in Javelin-throw were disqualified. The staff of games seemed disappointed from the performance. A physical trainer instructor said that, "We are observing a great downfall in the performance of the Punjab youth in the games. Earlier, when the department deployed us on games duty, we used to enjoy the competitions. Our youth was passionate about sports but nowadays they are doing just a formality. They are more passionate for mobiles and internet than sports. Now we feel bored while watching competitions."

When talked to a coordinator of huddle race, he admitted that the scenario is not as good as earlier. He blamed the semester system implemented by Punjab School Education Board. "It is hard for a school student to devote much time for sports due to the busy schedule of studies. Earlier annual system was good for the players as they had at least three to four months in a year to concentrate on sports. But semester system did not leave enough space for practice," he said.

Assistant Education Officer, Rupinder Singh Ravi, said, "I don't agree that performance is going down. The record timing is improving in every sport. Semester system affects to an extent because students can't devote time for the sports".



Football trials on December 20
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 18
The District Football Association, Ludhiana, will conduct trials to select the district boys U-19 team at Guru Nanak Stadium here on December 20 at 10 am. The selected boys will represent Ludhiana in the 33rd Punjab State Junior Football Championship to be held at Polo Ground, Patiala, from December 25 to 31, according to Shivtar Singh Bajwa, president of the association.

Players born on or after January 1, 1993, are eligible for the trials. They should bring along their age-proof certificates and report to the football coach, Jaspal Singh, at the venue.



City girl bags judo title
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News service

Ludhiana December 18
Manisha Sharma has won bronze medal in the All-India Inter University Judo Competition held recently in Pune. Manisha (21) is a student of Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town.

“I participated in a national competition for the first time. I am satisfied with the bronze medal. Judo is the best martial art for self-defence, especially for girls. I preferred to play the game due to this,” said Manisha.

She is, now, focusing on other national judo competitions so as to win more medals. “I tried hard to win a gold medal in the competition, but lost in the semifinals,” she added.

“I used to practice for five hours in the multi-purpose indoor hall of Guru Nanak Dev Stadium. Rakesh Singh used to coach me. I want to participate in an international Judo tournament. It is my dream and I am practising hard to fulfill it,” she added.

“I am satisfied with her performance in the national competition. I hope that her dream of competing in an international event will come true one day,” said Ramesh Sharma, her father.



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