L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Railway employee’s death triggers protest in hospital
Relatives were asked by a sweeper to tell the union to which the patient belonged before his admission to railway hospital
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
The death of a railway employee here triggered a protest against the sweeper employed at the Railway Station Hospital, who had asked the kin to specify the railway union the patient supported, before admitting the latter to the hospital.

The incident took place here this morning when the railway employee, identified as Paramjit Singh of Shimlapuri, died due to cardiac arrest. The railway employees demanded action against the sweeper, who allegedly refused to admit the patient till the time the relatives did not specify the union.

The relatives also alleged that Paramjit died due to the callous attitude of the attending doctor.

Narrating the incident, Amandeep Singh, deceased’s son, said: "Last night my father complained of chest pain. Since my father was a railway employee and railway bore the medical expenses of his treatment, we rushed him to hospital located near the railway station. On reaching the hospital, we were shocked when the sweepers instead of alerting the attending doctor about the condition of my father, asked about the railway union my father belonged to," alleged Amandeep and adding that his father died due to medical negligence.

Later in the morning, other railways employees got the information of the incident and gathered at the hospital. Sensing trouble, the sweeper Satish Kumar fled from the hospital.

Deepak Kumar, a colleague of Paramjit Singh, strongly condemning the incident, demand the sacking of the sweeper.

"Now the patient would be treated after they would specify their affiliation with the union. This is not done. We strongly condemn the incident and demanded the sacking of the employees responible for the death of Paramjit Kaur," said Deepak Kumar.

Amandeep also demanded a probe against the attending doctor who was allegedly missing from the spot.

Despite repeated attempts, the hospital authorities refused to comment on the incident. 


Punters in overdrive as poll draws near
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
With just 10 days to go for the elections, it is not just the candidates who are having sleepless nights, but bookies too, as they have put bets worth several crores of rupees on their favourite candidates and political parties.

As the campaigning by the candidates is going in top gear in Ludhiana district, professional as well as ordinary punters have started indulging in betting. The only difference is that while punters play it professionally, ordinary people put the stakes only on their favourite candidates, irrespective of their prospects in the party.

While there cannot be an exact estimate as to what extent the betting business is going on, people involved in the practice claim that it has been running into hundreds of crores. Mostly, the activity takes place at clubs, farmhouses, hotels, etc. "But much of the betting is done through telephones only, as rates of political parties and candidates keep on changing after every two-three hours," said a professional punter.

"We are not bothered about which party will form the government in Punjab, the money matters a lot to us. And those who win, will make enough money, even more than they could earn from their regular businesses," said the punter.

Meanwhile, there are several betting centres in Punjab where it is done in an organised manner. These include Ludhiana, Bathinda, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Patiala and Ferozepore.

A number of people in the know of betting rings in different parts of the state told Ludhiana Tribune that for them, it was business as usual. Moreover, this time, it is ordinary people who have started taking chances in the betting business. But there is a difference between professional punters, for whom betting is a full-time profession and others who indulge in the illegal activity just for fun. Punters have no personal favourites or preferences. They always go with the party, which carries maximum chances of winning an election. 

How do betting rings operate

Since betting is not allowed in India and is a punishable offence under the Gambling Act, people do it clandestinely. And with the availability of mobile phones and the Internet, betting has become easier. Asked if someone refused to pay the money, a professional punter said, "No, no one can backtrack once he has gambled money on someone. Hundreds of people are involved in this business and honesty is there," said a punter. 



Chinese kite strings banned
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashish Chaudhary has ordered a ban on the sale of Chinese kite strings in the city.

The strings are layered with glass-powder and are strong enough to cause accidents. The ban has been imposed under Section 144 of the CrPC and will remain in force till March 31. 



Too many liquor shops overtake highway
Sukhbir escort vehicle mishap
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
The last night's incident where the tipplers riding a motorcycle collided with the escort vehicle of Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal' convoy near Sidhwan Kalan has again brought to fore the menace of drunken driving on highway.

Road safety experts blamed the mushrooming of liquor vends alongside the Ludhiana-Jagraon highway on the Ferozepur road to be the reason behind the increasing road accidents.

"The tipplers are not only putting their life at risk but also endangering the life of others. Fortunately, the trio who was riding the bike fell on a corner of the road after colliding with the escort vehicle of Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal's convoy. Otherwise, the incident could have been tragic," said the investigating officer.

According to the available data from 2010 to March 2011, nearly 210 accidents took place on the killer stretch. Out of 210 accidents 153 persons died in the road accidents, while 60 were left crippled and 135 were injured.

Sources in the police department said well over 100 persons lost their lives in 2011 on this killer stretch.

SSP Jagraon AS Chahal said, "Yes we agree that the mushrooming of liquor vends alongside the Ludhiana-Jagraon has led to the accident as tipplers after consuming liquor drive recklessly on the highway, which has often led to accidents. We are conducting regular check on the highway to prevent drunk driving. I fail to understand why despite our best efforts, people are not afraid and put their life and the lives of others at risk." On the other hand, Ishwarjot Cheema, a former youth Congress spokesperson, while taking a potshot at the incident, said, "I believe that the incident took place a little late. It should have taken place a few months ago when the Badal regime was taking control of the state. Now perhaps Badal junior would realise his mistakes. During the tenure of the SAD-BJP regime, the liquor vends mushroomed alongside the highway and led to several accidents. The matter was brought to the notice of the government, but no one paid heed to the menace."

‘Liquor vends to blame’

Road safety experts blamed the mushrooming of liquor vends alongside the Ludhiana-Jagraon highway on the Ferozepur road as the reason behind the increasing road accidents


The Jagraon police booked the tipplers for negligent driving under Motor Vehicle Act on Thursday. The investigating officer said the tipplers were daily wagers and were returning home after finishing the day's work. The trio stopped at a roadside liquor vend near Sidhwan Kalan and consumed liquor. After consuming liquor, the trio was heading home on a motorcycle when it hit the escort vehicle of Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal's convoy.



Cold wave catches Kerala players unawares
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
The reason for visiting the city can perhaps be different, but policemen and players from the South are facing similar problems. A strong contingent of 300 South Indian students, who are participating in the 57 National School Athletics meet, are battling with cold wave for they brought with them light woollens thinking it wouldn’t be very cold in Punjab.
Athletes from Kerala brave the chill at the National School Games at Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana.
Athletes from Kerala brave the chill at the National School Games at Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

In the absence of proper warmers, the participants were seen cuddling on the second day of the games.

Even the officials have expressed concern over cold conditions and said the weather could actually hamper the players’ performance.

"There is a difference of more than 25 degress Celsius in the temperatures in Punjab and Kerala. We brought light warmers but on reaching here we realised the woollens that we had brought from there are not enough to protect ourselves from cold. We visited a market in the city and bought some warmers," said Chacko Joseph, manager of the Kerala contingent.

The oil-rich Punjabi food has further added to their woes. Of the South Indian dishes, the city has only dosa to offer and that too cooked in desi ghee.

Meanwhile, nearly 100 police personnel who came from Kerala for election duty also have a similar story to tell.

Vishnu, a constable in the armed battalion of the Kerala police, is one of the handful of cops from the southern state who could understand the topsy- turvy Hindi of Punjab policemen.

"I am the interpreter of my colleagues. They can barely understand Punjabi and Hindi, and except for senior police officials none of police personnel could communicate in English. And you know well the kind of English the lower-rung police personnel speak here," said Vishnu, while introducing his colleagues Brbhu, Arun and Deebu.

It is learnt that after the local police faced problem in communicating with their Kerala counterparts, the Hindi-speaking cops among the Kerala police were segregated in different groups.

Ajmer Singh, ASI, who was heading a group of 10 policemen from the Kerala police, said: "Earlier we were facing problems in giving them directions. But, now they have acclimatise themselves to the conditions. They are far more dedicated and efficient workers. And you would not find a single one having pot belly."



PSPCL ‘shock’ treatment for consumer
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 19
Had it not been a demand for an energy bill, which was already paid, Badish K Jindal, president, Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association, who is also a member of the National Industries Board, would not have gone through a traumatic experience of "babudom" and general tendency of the subordinate staff of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) to harass consumers.

The senior officials of the PSPCL, whom he approached for redress of his grievance, were indifferent, evasive, and even arrogant if Jindal is to be believed.

According to a complaint lodged with the chairman and managing director of the PSPCL KD Choudhry, an energy bill for Rs 15,830 was received by Jindal (account number W31UH040753L) on January 9, 2012, in which an amount of Rs 9,894 was added as sundry charges on account of the non-payment of the previous bill dated November 7, 2011. The complainant maintained that payment of the bill was made by him on November 9, 2011, at the Janta Nagar division of the PSPCL against a valid receipt.

Jindal said he approached the staff concerned at the Model Town division of the PSPCL for rectification of the bill, and that is where his nightmare began. "First of all, I was told to settle the matter through some touts, which I flatly refused. Then I was asked to produce a copy of the bank statement, which showed that the cheque had been paid. Thereafter, the dealing staff demanded the FTL receipt signed by the collection centre where the bill was paid which was also submitted."

But that was not the end of the problem, Jindal adds in his complaint. "The clerical staff insisted that the TO number and details of the cheque be procured from the Janta Nagar division, which the said office refused to provide, saying the cheque had been sent to the Model Town division, and had since been paid."

Sensing that he was being unnecessarily harassed, he approached the executive engineer of the Model Town division Sanjeev Prabahakar and apprised him of his problem. "Rather than addressing my grievance, the official curtly told me to give a written representation and also indicated that I would have to visit the office again to resolve the issue," he alleged.

PSPCL executive engineer Sanjeev Prabhakar, however, refuted these allegations. He said Jindal approached me to solve his energy bill problem and he was assured that it would be rectified following the laid-down procedure. "On the contrary, it was Jindal who behaved in a rude manner while dropping names of several senior PSPCL functionaries," Prabhakar maintained.

Allegations refuted

PSPCL executive engineer Sanjeev Prabhakar, however, refuted these allegations. He said Jindal approached me to solve his energy bill problem and he was assured that it would be rectified following the laid-down procedure. "On the contrary, it was Jindal who behaved in a rude manner while dropping names of several senior PSPCL functionaries," Prabhakar maintained.



staying fit
‘Pinnies’ are candidates’ preferred choice
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
From home-made pinnies made of alsi to ayurvedic medicines, the candidates contesting the elections are in their(grannies’) lap to remain fit.

As the elections are drawing closer, the candidates are using the famous granny’s formula to check sore throats. The candidates, who have to deliver speeches in at least 15-20 meetings daily, say that instead of taking allopathic pills or cough syrups, they are using ayurvedic medicines, jaggery, malathi and even granny’s recipes to remain fit.

As we have to deliver lots of speeches, we take extra care of our throats. If we are not able to share our views with the constituency residents, we might lag behind in campaigning, a number of leaders echoed.

Rebel Akali and now Independent candidate Simarjit Singh Bains says that he consumes enough warm water before and after his speeches. “Not only this, but I even keep ayurvedic pills in my pocket, that keep my throat clear and I am able to deliver speeches without any problem. I have to attend at least 15-20 meetings daily and every speech is for around 20 minutes. That is why, I have to take special care of my throat,” he says.

Some candidates are even depending on home-made recipes like Banaksha, Malathi and others.

“My wife makes sure that I drink a lot of warm water throughout the day. I don’t even consume oily and fried food as I might get a sore throat. I also have my lunch packed with me. I even keep pinnies of alsi (linseeds) in my car that keep me safe from cold,” said a local Akali candidate, who did not wish to be identified.



Business excellence award presented
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
Parikarma Events has been awarded with the prestigious Big Brands Business Excellence Award. The award was handed over by former Cabinet minister Shashi Tharoor at Gurgaon.

Heman Arora, manager of Parikarma Events, said that they had organised more than 2000 events in a short span of time and had covered the major cities of north India, catering to different business sectors.

“With sheer dedication, best services and teamwork, Parikarma Events has been able to achieve this milestone, and in the coming years, we are planning for a pan-India network of services," he added.



Hospital organises stroke awareness camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
SPS Apollo Institute of Neurosciences conducted a stroke awareness meeting today. Over 70 patients participated in an interactive session with Dr RS Bhatia and Dr Siddhartha Garg, from the department of neurology.

According to Dr Bhatia, the forum laid special emphasis on awareness, timely treatment and the need for immediately rushing the patient to hospital in case of a stroke. The hospital also distributed information booklets and education material to the patients.

Stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, a part of the brain cannot get the blood and oxygen it needs, and stops functioning. The extent and location of the brain cell damage determines the severity of the stroke, which can range from being minimal to fatal. Because different areas of the brain control different functions, the specific effects of a particular stroke depend on the area of the brain which gets affected during the stroke, informed Dr. RS Bhatia.

The warning signs of stroke include sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; trouble speaking or understanding; los of vision in one or both eyes; trouble in walking; dizziness; loss of balance or coordination; and sudden, severe headache with no known cause. As awareness about stroke is not much, giving people information about the problem remains the key, added Dr Siddhatha Garg.

Dr Bhatia said that stroke was a medical emergency and as soon as one notices any warning signs, efforts should be made to rush the patient to a hospital. He further added that timely intervention can prevent damage caused to the body. Dr Garg said that the problem is curable if detected quickly and treated at an early stage.



Provide free legal aid to the poor: Experts
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, January 19
District Legal Services Authority, Ludhiana, organised a seminar on free legal services at GTB National College Mullanpur, Dakha, today. Speaking during the occasion, SP Bangar, District and Session Judge, and chairman of District Legal Services Authority, Ludhiana, stated that students should always focus on acquiring knowledge for better future and obtaining success in their lives.

Stating that the future of the country is in the hands of the students, he urged them to come forward and help the poor by giving them legal assistance.

He further said that each person in the society has the right to get legal help. “The people from SC/ST categories, those with physical and mental disabilities, people with annual income below 1 lakh, etc can get free legal help,” he asserted.

Bangar also told that they have set up ‘Legal Literacy Clinics’ at the village-level and formed ‘Students Legal Literacy Clubs’ in educational institutes to provide free legal help to villagers as well as students. Bangar also inaugurated a Students Legal Literacy Club at the host college.

During the occasion, District Attorney (Legal Services) Ritu Jain and Advocate Chaman Lal Vashishth informed the students about the free legal services being offered by the authority.

Thanking the authority, college principal Assa Singh Ghuman said that the seminar would play a great role in providing information about legal issues among the students.



Constituency Watch: Jagraon
Lack of development, drug abuse major issues
Jaswant Shetra

Fact file
Total electorate: 1,59,414
Polling stations: 170 


Jagraon, January 19
The Jagraon Assembly segment, which has become a reserved constituency post-delimitation, has been facing a plethora of problems. The area has been neglected as far as infrastructural development is concerned. Be it cleanliness, construction of roads, condition of the rural schools, link roads connecting various villages to the town, a lot more is required to be done in this constituency.

Talking about the town, there are many problems which need immediate action. The utterly bad condition of the Old Grain Market, lack of cleanliness, improper drainage system, overflowing sewers, stray animals, frequent traffic jams due to a lack of proper parking lots and indifferent attitude of the authorities concerned are the few among a number of problems confronting the residents of different localities.

Besides, Ganda Nullah in which the sewage of the whole city is discharged, is another major problem for the residents of many localities through which this nullah passes. The people are forced to live under highly unhygienic and dirty surroundings. Even though a large number of people suffer from diseases like malaria and dengue, the administration has failed to cover this nullah.

One of the major causes of concern is the utterly bad condition of rural link roads. The link roads to villages of Sherpur, which is the birth place of Baba Nand Singh, the founder of the Nanaksar sect, Sawadi, Galib, Mallha, Gurusar, Kaunke, Manuke, Deharka and many others are in shambles. Some of these link roads have not been recarpeted for about 10 years.

The four-laning of the Ludhiana-Moga highway is another major demand of the voters. Though a large number of people have lost their lives in the accidents on this road in the past some years, the government, despite making repeated announcements, has failed to start work on the four-laning project.

Isher Singh Meharban of the Congress and former ADC Shiv Ram Kaler of the SAD-BJP alliance are pitted against each other in this constituency. Six other candidates include Major Singh Lakha of the People's Party of Punjab and Congress rebel Rajeshinder Sidhu.

Candidates speak 
Major issues

Shiv Ram Kaler
Shiv Ram Kaler

Isher Singh Meharban
Isher Singh Meharban

Kaler: Educational infrastructure, inadequate and choked sewers and bad link roads.

Meharban: Drug abuse among youngsters, lack of cleanliness and poor urban infrastructure.

Poll Plank

Kaler: Employment, development of educational and sport infrastructure.

Meharban: Fighting corruption and provision of basic amenities like roads, sewerage, drainage and power supply in the entire constituency.
A view of a road after rain in Jagraon. Most of the roads in the constituency are in poor shape.
A view of a road after rain in Jagraon. Most of the roads in the constituency are in poor shape. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Poll Promises

Kaler: Improvement in civic amenities, construction of stadiums in villages.

Meharban: Construction of rural link roads, improving civic amenities and power supply.

What makes you a better candidate?

Kaler: I was born and brought up in the area. I have also served the area as Tehsildar due to which I am well aware of the people’s problems. My administrative experience will help in giving my best to improve the overall infrastructure in the constituency.

Meharban: I have more than 30 years of political experience. I have served as a minister, therefore I am better placed to understand and address the people’s problems.

Chances of winning

Kaler: One hundred per cent as people are with us for the development carried out by the SAD government in the state.

Meharban: Hundred and one per cent as no other candidate in the fray has such a long political experience. The voters here are tired of corruption among the leaders of the ruling party. 



youth  speak 
Leaders not serious about people’s woes

Most youngsters in the Jagraon Assembly constituency feel a majority of politicians are not serious about the people’s problems and demands. Though some of these youngsters are on voter lists, a majority of them are not interested in casting their votes. They feel no political party has ever paid attention towards their demands and problems.

“Why should we waste our time and energy in thinking about political parties when they have done nothing to solve the serious issues such as substandard education, unemployment, drug abuse and poor sports infrastructure which really matter to us,” said students of the BIS Institute of Information and Technology running under Punjab Technical University (PTU) distance education programme.

These youngsters say they have no trust in politicians as they only make false promises during the elections and forget about them once the elections are over. “The politicians only want to enjoy the power and they are not at all concerned about people’s problems. At the time of elections the leaders of various political parties make rounds of common people’s houses but after winning the elections and some becoming ministers, they become VVIPs and the common man find it hard to even meet them,” say these youngsters.

According to the youngsters, it is high time that our leaders show concern about rising drug abuse, deteriorating law and order situation and unemployment and do something concrete to get rid of such evils.

A group of youngsters said they were fed up with the false promises of politicians and enmity among parties owing to which the youth of the present era is suffering. “During the elections we often see the leaders showing their muscle power and disturbing peace and harmony of society. Had these leaders shown such kind of muscle power in tackling the issues like drug abuse, unemployment, crime and improving sports and education infrastructure of the state, the youth would have not looked at foreign countries for greener pastures,” asserted Preet Kanwal Kaur from Jagraon.

A majority of youngsters seek construction of stadiums, gymnasiums and quality educational institutes in the rural areas for their better future.



poll buzz
Maur gets support

The Working Women Forum Ludhiana and Punjab Istri Sabha in a meeting on Thursday announced to support D P Maur, CPI candidate of the Sanjha Morcha ( PPP, CPI, CPI(M) and Akali Dal (Longowal), who is contesting from Ludhiana West. Gurcharan Kochhar and Jit Kumari said that they organised a cdampaign of the women in his support.

While K B S Sodhi Spokesman for the Core Committee of the Punjab Educationists Forum Said," we have also decided to support Maur because our pension scheme regarding which an Act was passed in 1996 never saw the light of the day. ItT has been decided recently in the meeting of the core committee held under the chairmanship of Tarsem Bahia."

By Anupam Bhagria



Code violations
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 19
General Observer-1 SP Singh during his visit to the Atam Nagar constituency took notice of the violation of the model code of conduct in the constituency and ordered the designated teams to remove the posters of candidates.

He issued instructions to the Returning Officer to serve notices on the violators. He advised the candidates to abide by the instructions issued by the Election Commission regarding the model of the conduct. 



Vote for change: Manpreet
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Mullanpur Dakha, January 19
Vote for change, was the refrain of the PPP president and Sanjha Morcha chairman, Manpreet Singh Badal, during the rally he addressed at the Grain Market in Mullanpur Dakha today.

"The monopoly of the Congress and the SAD must end," he said, frequently invoking history and Mohammad Iqbal's poetry to buttress his arguments.

Urging the voters to have an informed choice about their vote, he said, "There are many leaders in Punjab, but it's bereft of leadership."

Accusing the SAD-BJP of splurging money on the World Kabaddi Cup, he alleged that Punjab was on a slippery ground as far as development was concerned because of the "wrong policies of the successive governments".

It's unfortunate that youngsters, after mortgaging their lands, have to slog it out in countries like Dubai, he said. "If Punjab had followed pro-poor policies, the youngsters could have earned their bread and butter here."

Lambasting the major political parties for having, what he termed was, a cavalier attitude towards the poll manifesto, he said, "The parties are actually bereft of any agenda for the welfare of the masses."

Taking a high moral ground, he urged the voters to rise above petty personal interests, and exercise their right to vote in the larger interests of the community and the nation.

Earlier, he had visited Jagraon, where he conducted a door-to-door campaigning urging the voters to vote for Major Singh Lakha, the Sanjha Morcha (PPP) candidate from Jagraon.

No food for audience

The Sanjha Morcha (PPP) candidate from Dakha, Daljit Singh Sadarpur, while apologising to the gathering at the rally, said he was unable to make any arrangements for food for the gathering because of the expenditure limit of Rs 16 lakh imposed by the Election Commission.


"I have been an MLA four times… I know the working…the loopholes…the ambiguities…"

"No one understands Urdu…I will stop speaking Urdu…. Well, till the poll I'll speak Urdu…" — Manpreet Singh Badal 



Ganda Nullah Menace
Residents threaten to boycott poll
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, January 19
Annoyed over the bad condition of basic civic amenities in the area and hollow promises made by the leaders of various political parties during the past elections, a large number of residents of many densely populated localities of the constituency have threatened to boycott the Assembly elections.

A majority of residents of the Disposal Road, Shastri Nagar, Agwar Khuwaja Baju and New Shastri Nagar localities are highly disappointed over the constant neglect of their areas, and have made their mind to boycott the elections.

One of the long-pending demands of the residents of these localities is that Ganda Nullah passing through these localities be covered. The nullah, in which the sewage generated in the entire town is discharged, has been the cause of major concern for the residents, who term it as the source of many problems. The residents are forced to live under highly unhygienic surroundings. According to them, they have no more trust in politicians’ promises. No leader of any political party has paid any attention towards this important demand of theirs, forcing them to decide to boycott the elections.

The residents complain that neither the SAD-BJP nor the Congress government has taken up the matter seriously. "Though the leaders of the main parties, the Congress and SAD-BJP alliance, had made tall promises to us regarding finding a solution to this problem at the earliest during the previous elections, the matter was never taken up seriously. Now, we are feeling neglected and cheated", said Surjit Singh, a resident of Agwar Khuwaja Baju.

It is pertinent to mention here that this nullah has been the cause of many diseases in the past years and hundreds of people of these localities suffer from diseases like malaria and dengue every year. Moreover many people have lost their lives to these diseases.

"Every year during the rainy season a large number of people suffer from many diseases due to dirty surroundings. The nullah has even polluted the potable water and we are forced to drink it. As many as seven people, including two children, died of dengue last year," said Balwinder Kumar Arora, who lives in a house situated alongside the nullah.

"It is only now that the candidates of different parties are knocking at our doors and assuring us of finding a permanent solution to this problem. But once the elections are over, no one will come to take account of our problems. We have decided to not cast our vote this time because we have realised that no party is serious about our problems", stated Inder Dev, an elderly resident of the New Shastri Nagar locality.



College convocation

Ludhiana: The convocation and prize distribution function of the College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology (COAE&T), Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), will be held on January 27 in the Pal Auditorium of the university.

Dr BC Gupta, secretary, department of food and public distribution, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India, will be the chief guest, while Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, will preside over the function.

Giving details, Dr PPS Lubana, dean, COAE&T, said that a total of 248 degrees in B.Tech (Agricultural Engineering), three gold medals, 72 merit certificates and 99 college merit colours will be awarded to the students. Besides, 11 Tractors and Farm Equipment (TAFE) Sivasailam awards and 
13 running trophies will also be given during the convocation.

Informing that degrees would be awarded to the students who graduated during the years 2005-10, he told that the rehearsal of the convocation will take place on January 26 at 11:00 am in the Pal Auditorium.

Training course for farmers

A two-day training course on ‘Scope of Aromatic and Medicinal Plants’ will be organised by the Directorate of Extension Education of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) at Kairon Kisan Ghar on January 24-25.

Giving an overview of the programme, Dr MS Gill, director of extension education, PAU, said that the resource persons will dwell upon the cultivation and importance of medicinal, aromatic and spice crops in the present scenario of agriculture; cultivation of mentha and turmeric; weed control of aromatic and spice crops and processing of medicinal, aromatic and turmeric.

Experts of different disciplines, such as agronomy, family resource management, chemistry, business management, entomology, processing and food engineering and biotechnology will deliberate on issues like agri-business model for aromatic and medicinal plants; diseases affecting medicinal, aromatic and spice crops, etc, he said.

Dr Gill added that the focus will be on genetic resources and seed chain management of these crops. The trainees will also visit herbal garden to gain practical experience.

He informed that Dr BS Gill will be the technical coordinator, while Dr JS Bhalla and Dr Rupinder Kaur will be the course coordinators. The registration for the course will take place at 9:00 am at the slated venue.

Lecture on communication

An extension lecture on “Learning to Communicate” was organised on the premises of Kamla Lohtia SD College, Ludhiana, by the PG department of commerce in collaboration with counselling and placement cell of the college on here today. It was held under the stewardship of Prof Rajesh Marwaha, Head, PG department of commerce, and Prof Sandeep Chanana, Convener, Counselling and Placement Cell.

Dr RS Arora, Professor, Department of Commerce, Punjabi University, Patiala, was the resource person. Dr Arora stressed that distortions in communication can cause problems. Since listening forms are an integral aspect of communication, it helps in removing many problems which seemingly appear to be so real. In totality the lecture highlighted the role of communication skills in the career orientation required for placements. The Principal, Dr Shiv Mohan Sharma, appreciated the scholarly presentation of Dr RS Arora. Sunil Aggarwal, president of the College Managing Committee, and BD Budhiraja, Director of the college, honoured Dr Arora by presenting him a memento. — TNS



Ludhiana Calling
Big or small, everyone wants to contest polls

As soon as the Election Commission announces dates for Assembly or Lok Sabha elections, candidates start planning ways and means to get a party ticket for contesting the polls. It is understandable if the senior leaders, sitting or former MLA/MPs join the race and lay claim to party tickets. What is beyond comprehension is the fact that even mohalla-level leaders, also lobby very hard to get party tickets. Once the allocation of party tickets is over, those who are left out invariably raise a banner of revolt and level allegations against the leadership, saying that deserving persons were ignored or money power had played a role in the allotment of tickets. However, the voices of protest also slowly die down and the so-called rebels come down to supporting the official candidate finally.

Happy Lohri to all!

As the Assembly elections are round the corner, candidates are leaving no stone unturned to ‘woo’ the voters. Some are even sending mobile message (SMS) which reads: “Wish u and ur family a very Happy Lohri. May your life be as colourful and joyful as the festival of Lohri." A surprised resident, who got the message, said, “The ‘joys and colours’ are all only till January 30; after that everyone will vanish."

Kissa kursi ka

Election fever has gripped one and all. Even the kids are not aloof from it. Yesterday my nieces were playing in the lawn and suddenly their screams reached my ears. I went out to see what the issue was and was astonished to see them fighting over a chair. When I asked them the reason one of them said, “Dad was talking to uncle and said, “Dekhde aa iss baar kursi kaun laike javega” (Let's see who was takes the chair this time). I want to take the chair from my cousins. The little one did not even know that his father was talking about the seat of Chief Minister. Finally he took chair from her cousins and went inside the house to tell his father that he had the chair. His father could only smile on his innocence.

TV show or sloganeering match?

Its election time and campaigning is going on at a fast pace in the city. The candidates are using all kind of platforms for their show of strength. A recent debate organised by a national TV channel at Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women turned out to be more a show of strength, than a platform for discussing policies. The moment the debate, which was aired live on the TV channel, ended supporters of the Congress and Bharatiya Janta Party started raising slogans against each other. The audience which had come to witness the representatives of political parties sharing their views on issues were a saddened lot. Instead of getting to know the views of the representatives, they ended up hearing sloganeering.

Contributions by Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo, Manav Mander, and Puneet Pal Singh Gill



NRI robbed
Ashok Kaura

Phillaur, January 19
Two unidentified armed robbers, riding a scooter, looted an NRI, Harinder Singh, on the Bilga-Phillaur road last evening, escaping with Rs 15 lakh. 

The victim reported that he, along with his brother Ravinder Singh, was on his way to Ludhiana from Bilga village in a hired taxi (Tata Indigo, registration number DL 4C 2107), when the robbers forced their vehicle to stop near Mau Sahib canal bridge and snatched his bag containing Rs 15 lakh, threatening them with sharp-edged weapons. Phillaur police has registered a case and started investigation.



Police cracks Rs 18.5-lakh theft in two days
Our Correspondent

Khanna, January 19
The district police claims to have seized Rs 18.5 lakh which was stolen from a beauty salon at Khanna. The police claims that the recovered amount was un-accounted and it has approached the Income Tax officials to find its source.

Talking to media persons, Mandeep Singh Sidhu, SSP, Khanna, said the police got a complaint from Madan Lal of the Lalheri road area that he gave his barbar shop to one of his relatives on lease and he was into the real estate business. He also revealed that all the dealings were finalised in his shop which was situated on the Lalheri road.

Madan Lal stated the amount pertained to a property deal struck on January 12, 2012, and was placed in a locker of the shop. He found the amount missing when he opened the locker on January 17.

The SSP said they formed a special team under SPD Shamsher Singh Boparai to look into the matte. The team became suspicious when they found no signs of entry of a suspect at the shop. They started keeping a watch on the workers of the shop and found the activities of Balwinder Kumar, a resident of Jind, suspicious. When they police got harsh with him, he confessed that he had stolen the amount by opening the locker and the shop with duplicate keys.

The police recovered the stolen amount from his house. He had plans to flee to Haryana with the stolen amount. He has been booked under sections 457 and 380 of the IPC and was produced before a court which sent him to police remand for two days.



National School  games
New record set in shot put
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 18
On the second day of the 57th edition of the National School Athletics Championship Monu made a new record with 17.75mtr in shot put. He broke the record of Naresh from Hrayana which was 17.42 mtr. Navjeet Kaur Dhillon from Punjab won gold medal in Shot Put under 19 girls with 12.77 mtr. Sareemth Mohan under 17 boys from Kerala missed making the record by one point. He bagged gold medal with 2.04 mtr. The previous record was 2.05mtr.

Results: In U17 Boys Shot Put event Monu from Haryana bagged gold with 17.75mtr. Shakti Salanki from Delhi got silver with 16.15mtr while Soubandhu Mishra from UP won bronze with 15.90mtr.
An athlete attempts triple jump.
An athlete attempts triple jump. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

U 17 girls Long Jump event

Athira Surendran from Kerala stood first with 5.85mtr. Rochelle Maria Macfarlane from Tamilnaidu got second position with 5.45mtr while Priya from Kerala stood third with 5.55mtr.

U 17 girls Discus Throw

Joyti from Haryana won gold with 40.10mtr, Anushia Desai from Maharashtra bagged 2nd with 33.94mtr and Priynka JS from Karnataka was third with 33.08mtr.

U 14 girls High Jump

Rajesh Vands from West Bengal stood first with 1.48mtr, Anju Babu from Kerala bagged second position with 1.48 mtr, Sarika Baolla from Maharashtra stood third with 1.43mtr.

U14 boys Discus Throw

Parveh Kumar from Delhi won gold with 50.90 mtr, Sanjay Kumar from UP got the silver with 50.25mtr and Parveen from Haryana won bronze with 49.50 mtr.

U 19 Boys 5000 mtr Walk

Kamaldeep from Delhi stood first with 21.41.4, Neeraj from Delhi by stood second by 21.52.3 and Bhupendra Kumar from Chhattisgarh stood third by 22.12.7

U 17 boys High Jump

Sareemth Mohan from Kerala won gold by 2.04 mtr, Ajay Kumar from Delhi bagged silver by 1.96 mtr and Rahul from Haryana got bonze with 1.96 mtr

14 boys Long Jump

Ashajul Mondal from West Bangal stood first with 6.76 mtr, Jitandra Kumar Yadev from UP stood second with 6.73 mtr and Suhail PV from Kerala bagged the third position with 6.60 mtr

19 girls Long Jump

Shipu from West Bengal stood first with 5.87 mtr, Nayana James from Kerala stood second with 5.67 mtr and Bhumika Thakur from Punjab stood third with 5.60 mtr.

19 girls Shot Put

Navjeet Kaur Dhillon from Punjab won gold with 12.77 mtr, Ramanpreet from Punjab stood second with 11.52 mtr and Rakhi from Haryana bagged third position with 11.34 mtr.



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