L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Hambran village killings
Heart-rending scenes witnessed
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

A policeman inspects the scene of the crime
A policeman inspects the scene of the crime. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, February 1
Heart-rending scenes were witnessed at the house of Teja Singh Gill in Hambran village following the killing of Navdeep Kaur and her lover Harpreet Singh, alias Happy.

The father of the girl was ruing the moment when he left the house along with his wife Shinderpal Kaur to ask for the health his mother-in-law in Kishanpura village. "Had I not visited the house, my daughter would have been alive," said Shinderpal Kaur.

Maninder Singh, elder brother of Harpreet Singh, broke into tears on seeing the blood-soaked body of his brother. He squatted on the floor and wept like a child for hours.

"Why he killed my brother. He had done no harm to anyone. It was the girl who invited her to the house. I can show you the call details. How the girl used to harass my brother," said Maninderjit Singh.

Bhupinder Singh, father of the victim, was helplessly trying to console Maninderjit Singh.

"God would settle score with them. They have ruined not only our family, their family too has been ruined. Their son would spend his entire life in jail," said Bhupinder Singh, wiping the tears of his son.

Meanwhile eerie silence prevailed in Thrike village. The residents refused to take on the issue of killing and feigned ignorance about knowing the boy's family.

The mother of Happy was inconsolable to see the body of Happy. "Had the girl not invited her to my house, she would have been alive. Why they had to kill my child? I need my child back," said the wailing mother.


‘TV serials also to blame’
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
When it comes to honour, natives of Hambran and surrounding areas do not think twice before sacrificing their daughters.

Hundreds of residents who gathered outside the house of Teja Singh sympathised with Barjinder Singh, brother of the girl, who killed his sister and her lover.

They said the incident would instil fear among young boys and girls of the area. Harjinder Singh of Gaons Garh village said, "Even I could have done the same. The boy and the girl could have kept restraint. It was expected of a brother to get upset on seeing the boy and girl together in the dead of the night."

A majority blamed television programmes for the growing menace. They said TV serials are full of such stories where a boy trespasses into the house of a girl. This prompts young boys and girls to do the same in real life.

"The incident would generate fear among boys and girls of the surrounding villages who do not pay heed to their parents. They are making fun and putting the family honour at stake," said Jagtar Singh of Salempur village.

Another youth said what was the need of killing the girl. It was the mistake of the boy to enter the house.



Bad company proved to be the undoing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
Bhupinder Singh blamed Ballu, a close aide of Harpreet, for the killing. He said Ballu encouraged Happy to meet the girl. Last evening, Harpreet took the car from the house on the pretext of visiting the gym. But Harpreet did not visit the gym and stayed with Ballu till late night. He then took Ballu’s car and visited Navdeep’s house in Hambran village. The police found the vehicle of Happy from Lalton village.

It is learnt that Ballu and his accomplices were waiting outside the house and fled on hearing the bullet shots. Ballu did not answer the phone in the morning when the police contacted Ballu from Happy’s mobile phone.



Marriageable youngsters on teeth-whitening spree
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
No matter how much pain one has to bear and how much cost one has to pay but everyone wants to look beautiful or handsome on wedding day. The city has been witnessing an increased trend that marriageable boys and girls now visit dental surgeons before they visit the beauty parlours for the complete make over.

Talking to the Tribune, Dr Kapil Dua Professor of Conservative dentistry and Endodontics of Christian Dental College said,"Facial and bleeching at beauty parlour have taken a back seat now. Marriageable youngsters come first for teeth whitening. Sometimes it is done in one sitting of say about 15 minutes only and sometimes it take one to two sittings."

Talking to the Tribune Dr Vivek Saggar a private dental surgeon said,"Looks matter a lot these days. These are more important than anything else for the ones who are to get married. The trend of "teeth whitening" started a few years ago, but now picking up the pace." Not only girls but boys are also in same race. Confirming to this Dr Vikas Jindal another city based dental surgeon said,"Many youngsters come to us before marriage for teeth whitening. Although it is temporary as it stays for 1-2 years but still there is rat race among people to get the teeth whitened." Dr Sameer Kaura Professor at Baba Jaswant Dental College said,"Both marriageable girls as well as boys are coming in equal number for getting their teeth cleaned"

Teeth whitening costs rupees 5000 to rupees 7000 per person and more than 20% youngsters go for this.

Requesting anonymity a 22 years old young girl who is getting married on February 15 said,"My friend got it done and did not face any problem. I saw her wedding photographs and she looks too beautiful with white teeth."



Fire in mall creates panic
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
A fire at a shoe shop located in MBD Mall created panic here this evening.

The incident took place around the 4:30 pm when the mall staff spotted smoke coming out from the shaft of a shoe shop. In no time the smoke engulfed the entire mall.

During the time of the incident, nearly 300 persons, including the mall staff, was present.

The news of the fire created panic and people were seen rushing towards the exit door. Taking proactive measures, the mall staff evacuated everyone safely.

According to the mall authorities, the incident took place due to a short circuit. Rakesh Rawat, general manager of the Mall, said, "We have yet to ascertain the exact cause behind the incident. It could perhaps be a short-circuit. The fire fighter and 35 employees of the mall were pressed into service to stop the fire. It was only smoke and fire was nowhere to be seen."

He said that the incident was not a handiwork of any miscreant. Assistant district fire officer Kartar Singh said it was a small incident and the firefighters took control of the situation.



Passengers fume at rly catering services
Kuldip Bhatia

The refreshment room at the railway station lying closed, as the contractor has expressed his inability to run the same at the prevailing rates
The refreshment room at the railway station lying closed, as the contractor has expressed his inability to run the same at the prevailing rates. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, February 1
Far from bringing the claimed improvements in passenger services and amenities at the railway stations under the Ferozepur division of the Northern Railway, the railways authorities have not been able to run even the existing catering facilities at one of the busiest and highest revenue-earning stations like Ludhiana.

Much to the inconvenience of railway passengers, the main refreshment room on platform number 1 is lying closed since January 20, 2012, while a fast-food joint, constructed at the main gate of the railway station, also awaits opening for the past several months.

The most unfortunate part of the story is that the contractor of the refreshment room had been expressing his inability to run the refreshment room at the prevailing rates, and incurred heavy losses in the process for the past several months, but the railway authorities did not pay any heed to his repeated ultimatums and no steps were taken to make alternative arrangements to run the refreshment room, which used to serve snacks and meals to a large number of railway passengers at competitive rates.

Similarly, a modern fast-food joint is also stuck up in the procedural wrangles with the Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and the franchisee - Vimpy's, raising one or the other objections, which stand in the way of the food joint becoming operational.

With the refreshment room having been closed and the food plaza yet to open its doors to the public, the railway passengers and other visitors to the railway stations have no other choice but to turn towards the railway vendors who, according to some reports, are making the most of the situation. Complaints of overcharging and selling poor-quality eatables by the venders are rampant.

"Even as some of the food items and snacks are available with the vendors at the railway platforms, the absence of refreshment room which used to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as other snacks and beverages at moderate prices is badly felt by the passengers, especially commuters," said Rakesh Sharma, a bank employee who commutes to Phagwara everyday.

Senior Divisional Commercial Manager of Northern Railway MM Singh told The Tribune that the matter for the reopening of the refreshment room had been referred to the headquarters (at Delhi) and tenders would be issued very soon for finding a replacement of the contractor. "The revision of rates of the food items, snacks and beverages will also be taken into account to make the facility financially viable for the contractor," he added.

According to RK Sond, Chief Area Manager, IRCTC, certain formalities are yet to be completed by the franchisee, and they are also required to provide the list and selling price of the eatables to be sold at the joint. The moment these formalities are completed, they will be permitted to commence operations. "It might take a few days, or a couple of weeks at the most for the food plaza to become functional," he said.

Sans refreshment counters

The main refreshment room on platform number 1 is lying closed since January 20, 2012, while a fast-food joint, constructed at the main gate of the railway station, also awaits opening for the past several months.



Exams round the corner, syllabus still not completed
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
Examinations of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) are around the corner, but the syllabus is yet to be completed in government schools. According to directions of the education department, syllabus of all classes should be completed till end of January so that revision should be done in February. Teachers claim that due to non-academic duties and late examinations of first semester, the syllabus could not be completed.

The examinations of second semester would start in March and still more than 25 per cent of the syllabus is pending in most of the government schools. According to the teachers, even February is not enough to complete the syllabus.

According to the instructions of the board, 40 per cent of the syllabus should be covered in the first semester and 60 per cent syllabus should be covered in the second semester.

“In the ongoing session, students got one month extra in the first semester, as the examinations ended in October. But now in the second semester, time is less to complete the syllabus. On the other hand, the election duty has also played a major role in wasting the time,” said Gurbeer Singh, a teacher of mathematics.

Sukhdarshan Singh, president of Anti-Copying Teacher Front, said, “Teachers have no time to complete the syllabus. Teachers were busy in election duty. So how they can complete the syllabus? Now the seminars are going to start. The government should avoid deploying the teachers on non-academic duties.”



Traffic chaos back to city roads
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, February 1
Soon after the conclusion of Assembly elections and end of the Election Commission’s (EC) rule, the problem of traffic jams has returned to haunt residents of Jagraon.

“There was no haphazard parking of vehicles and no traffic jams when the command was in the hands of the Election Commission. But as the rule of the EC has ended now, things have come to square one,” said Pritam Singh, stuck in a long traffic jam on the College Road.

Improved performance of policemen and civil administration under the command of the EC has made residents of the town think that there is nothing impossible if the authorities concerned perform their duties carefully.

“The EC rule has been much better than the successive governments,” said Deepak Kumar, a shopkeeper on the College Road where traffic problem is more complex. “It is surprising to see that police officials, who failed to tackle the traffic problem during normal days, handled the situation during the EC rule efficiently, as a result of which there was no traffic jams,” he added.

“With the strictness by the police under the EC rule, the residents resorted to driving carefully and obeying traffic rules. There was also decrease in the sale of drugs as well as incidents of crime. This has proved that if politicians let officials do their duty freely, the situation will improve considerably,” says Sarabjit Singh, a school teacher.

“Now it is proved that if the politicians stay away from interfering in the duty of government officials, they can work efficiently, as was seen when the control was in the hands of the EC,” feels Madan Gupta, a septuagenarian.



Renovation work underway at Nehru Planetarium
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
Schoolchildren and public in general would have to wait for about 10 days to be able to gaze at planets, galaxies, solar systems, comets and the world of astronomy.

There have been no shows for the last 10 days at the Nehru Planetarium at Civil Lines, as the renovation work was underway inside the planetarium.

Usually, two shows were organised in the morning on weekdays and three shows are played on Sundays, starting late afternoon. Although the renovation work at the planetarium was on for about a year, according to employees, the shows continued to be played because the work was being carried outside the planetarium hall, but now as the renovation work has started inside, no shows have been organised.

The lenses of simulator have been covered to prevent them from dust. “It is a costly equipment and parts of it, including lenses, are imported from Germany,” said Dr Narinderjit Singh, educator-cum-programmer. “So protecting the equipment is important because of which these have been covered and thus no shows are being organised during the renovation work.”

Sprocket sheets are being installed for better acoustics inside the planetarium. Roof of the dome is getting painted in addition to woodwork that is being done outside. The panels are also being done.

However, residents though appreciate the renovation work, many feel that much need to be done to improve the facilities. Some say there is a need for improvement of basic projector and content. “There is a need for bringing in better and digital projectors. I have visited the Science City in Patiala, which has a better projector,” said Satish Verma, a resident of Sant Nagar.

Another resident said strong telescopes should be installed at the planetarium, so that whenever there is some interesting cosmic activity like an eclipse, people can visit, which will increase the interest of the people.



Newborn gets pacemaker at CMCH
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
A baby boy, born to Monica and Amit Singh of Jammu, at a nursing home here, having a complete heart block, was referred to the Christian Medical College & Hospital here.

In this condition, the electrical system of the heart is underdeveloped - so that the baby’s heart was beating at 40 beats per minute instead of the normal of 130/min.

According to a press release issued by the CMCH, "Detailed examination by the head of paediatrics department, rof Gurmeet Kaur, confirmed the diagnosis and therapy was immediately instituted. An immediate permanent pacemaker was inserted in the baby via a minimally invasive approach."

Dr Harinder Singh Bedi, head of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, CMCH, explained that pacemakers are routinely put in adult patients by the venous route, but in a newborn the veins are too small and so a direct approach to the heart is made by a small incision and the pacemaker is attached to the delicate heart by a screw-in mechanism. The pacemaker was kept below the skin in a pouch specially created in the abdominal wall. The baby immediately improved. The other members of the surgical and anesthesia team were Dr A Joseph, Dr Paul, Dr S Garg, Dr Melchi, Dr Udeyana, Dr Marina and Dr Vaishu.

However due to the initial low heart rate the rest of the body was still damaged and took time to recover. The baby was kept in a special ICU called a paediatrics ICU, where under the guidance of Dr Gurmeet Kaur highly trained ICU nurses and doctors slowly healed the baby and got her over the crisis. Dr Gurmeet Kaur said such newborns need a very specialised environment and trained personnel. The other members of the paediatrics team are G Dhar, Dr A Mathew, Dr K Abraham, Dr K Sharma, Dr Tejmeet , and Dr Jaskaran.

The baby is now well and is a bouncy joy to the parents and doctors. Dr Bedi said the pacemaker is a special one which would respond to the metabolic needs of the baby as he grows. A long length of the wire has been left so that it does not pull out with growth. The battery should last 10 - 12 years. The company has a lifelong free battery replacement warranty. Dr Bedi also said that the battery can be easily changed without disturbing the heart. Dr Gurmeet Kaur explained that the baby could develop to normal potential in life and need not be limited in any profession he chooses to follow.



Change in lifestyle can reduce cancer risk
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
The World Cancer Day-2012 has been themed as “Together it is possible” because it is only possible by the collective efforts of a person, an organisation, government and NGO that the world will be able to reduce premature deaths from cancer by 25 per cent by 2025.

Dr Amit Dhiman, cancer and bone marrow transplant specialist, department of medical oncology at SPS Apollo Hospital, said, “New independent evidence confirms that increasing global trend of unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle is responsible for putting millions at an unnecessarily high risk of cancer.”

Dr Dhiman says further the new estimates released by the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) global network suggested that across a range of countries, making lifestyle changes, including maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and taking regular physical activity, can reduce the risk of cancer.

“Physical activity is recommended for people of all ages as a means to reduce risks for certain types of cancers and other non-communicable diseases. In order to improve health and prevent several diseases, adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity throughout the week. This can be achieved by simply walking 30 minutes five times per week.”

There is also consistent evidence that other healthy living initiatives are vital in reducing the risk of cancer, including stopping tobacco use, avoiding exposure to passive smoke, avoiding excessive sun exposure and protecting against cancer causing infections, opines Dr Dhiman.



Vow to create awareness about cancer
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 1
As a part of their programme to create awareness among masses about causes and consequences of dreaded diseases, office-bearers of various units of the Rotary District 3090 resolved to contribute their share in curbing cancer in their respective areas.

The decision was taken in response to a call given by the office-bearers of the Cancer Council of India led by Dr Davinder Singh Sandhu, executive chairman of the organisation.

Amjad Ali, district governor, said the office-bearers of various units of the Rotary District 3090, including assistant governors, district committee chairmen and presidents of various clubs, had vowed to organise seminars and camps to educate masses about the causes and consequences of cancer on the occasion of the World Cancer Awareness Day to be observed on February 4.

A coordinated movement will be kicked off during a district-level function scheduled to be held at Ludhiana on February 4.

Earlier, Dr Devinder Singh Sandhu interacting with the office-bearers of various organisations stated that cancer is preventable and treatable to variable extents. Cure rate varied according to the stage and type of cancer.



Corporal Punishment
Spare the rod, spoil the child, say teachers
Charanjeet Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
After the implementation of the RTE Act in the state, corporal punishment in schools has been banned, but this clause of the Act has become a matter of depression among the teaching community. As per the clause, a teacher would not give any kind of physical punishment to its students. As a result, students are enjoying to the fullest, but at the same time, teachers are in a pitiable condition, as they are not being able to control the nuisance created by the students in the absence of corporal punishment. Not only this, a number of teachers are becoming patients of depression.

In a recent incident, one of the teachers in a private school, suffered from depression, as she could not handle her class creating indiscipline.

A teacher in a local government school, Gurbir Singh, said, “Teachers are feeling physiologically petrified. Because the department is strict about these things, it’s difficult to control the students without mild corporal punishment.”

He further said they were against the cruel punishment but for the maintenance of discipline and welfare of the students they have to be a bit strict. “Not only discipline but study also suffers due to this clause of the RTE Act,” said Sandeep Singh, another teacher.

Sandeep said the teaching community felt that the students were not yet ready for the ban on corporal punishment, as a few teachers used to teach their students by applying various techniques and mild punishment were also a part of those tactics.

He said they used all these perspectives for the better prospects of the students and not for creating any fear in their mind. Dr Rajiv Gupta, a senior psychiatrist, said, “Discipline has been decreasing in our homes. It is hard to control children at homes without being strict. Now the government has banned the corporal punishment. As a result of this, indiscipline is increasing among the young generation. Ironically, there is no solution to this.”



Songs, skits mark ‘Aagaaz-12’
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, February 1
Students of RIMT Management College organised a freshers’ party “Aagaaz-12”, a cultural extravaganza.

The function commenced with the lighting of lamp by chief guest, Dr Hukam Chand Bansal, chairman RIMT Group of Institutes. Guest of honour Vijayant Bansal, vice-chairman RIMT, deliberated upon the need of such cultural events and motivated students to become professionals and inculcate entrepreneurial qualities.

The students also presented a cultural programme on the occasion. The event was followed by action-packed songs, western solo dances, semi-classical dance numbers, skits, choreography and bhangra, representing the rich cultural heritage of Punjab. The event exhibited various colours of Indian culture with lavani of Maharashtra, Gujarati dandia, Kashmiri dance and fusion from the west. A mime on eve teasing portrayed different situations, exposing the vulnerability of girls, both inside and outside her home.

The choreography was performed to cater to various political and social issues, distressing Indian society.

A modelling competition to choose Mr Fresher and Ms Fresher was also organised.



Candidates’ manifestoes miss education
No candidate comes out with idea of bringing revolution in present system
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
The Assembly elections have passed peacefully in the state with candidates belonging to various political parties promising voters to bring development, progress and providing basic civic amenities. But none of the candidates in the district came out with the idea of bringing revolution in the present education system, which was need of the hour, lamented academicians.

They feel that the progress of any nation or state was possible if masses were made aware of their surroundings.

But the present education, being given in government primary schools, had failed to satisfy the masses due to which about 40 per cent of the total population in the state preferred to send their wards to private schools instead of government schools due to “weak educational standards”.

Tarsem Bahia, chairman of Punjab Educationists’ Forum, said in fact human capital developmental was possible only through providing quality education and health facilities, but not much stress was laid on these core issues by political parties or candidates during their campaigning.

“Today, the higher education is totally commercialised or privatised. Instead of preferring government schools, people prefer to send their wards to reputed public schools, which means that something is lacking in our education system, which needs to be revamped. The future of the country depends on the future generation and we need to provide them strong foundation, which is missing in Punjab. A majority of the rural population stopped education of the wards due to high cost factor. No candidate promised to bring education to greater heights during campaigning for the Assembly elections, which is strange,” said Bahia.

Dr KBS Sodhi, an academician, said all political parties asked youngsters to vote for them but none of them provided any assurance to provide quality education to youngsters. “It is unfortunate. It seems that education is not in the priority list of the policy makers in Punjab due to which the education system was in a miserable state. We can progress only when our future generation is educated and qualified. We wish that after coming to power, the ruling party will focus on bringing educational reforms in the state,” said Dr Sodhi.



Protest by income tax officials
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
All members of the Income Tax Gazetted Officers’ Association protested against the delay in promotions to ACIT grade and unjust reduction of 207 posts in the grade of DCIT/ACIT in cadre restructuring proposals and large-scale grievance relating to all-India transfers of JCIT from today.

Rajesh Menon, secretary general, Income Tax Gazetted Officers’ Association, and Rajiv Puri, general secretary, Ludhiana, vice-president all-India ITGOA, told members not to participate in any survey action.



Man feared drowned

Ludhiana, February 1
It has been over 24 hours but there has been no clue of Bittu (42), who was feared drown in Budha Nullah.

Search parities were pressed into the service to locate Bittu, who fell into the Nullah last evening. Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal supervised the search work. The search operation continued till evening but they could not find the victim, who by all probabilities drowned. — TNS



105 donate blood

Mandi Gobindgarh, February 1
NSS volunteers of the Desh Bhagat Institute of Management and Computer Sciences organised a blood donation camp yesterday.

A total of 105 students donated blood. — OC



Training course on beekeeping begins
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
A training course on beekeeping, organised by the department of entomology of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) for farmers and farm women of Punjab, began here today. The course has been organised under the aegis of National Horticulture Mission funded project on “Human resource development in beekeeping.” The training programme will culminate on February 9.

Addressing participants, Dr Balwinder Singh, head, department of entomology, highlighted, “PAU is a pioneer institute in the country in introduction, establishment, multiplication and dissemination of Italian honey bees. This brought about commercialisation of beekeeping in India in general and Punjab in particular, thereby enabling the country to export good quality of honey to the developed western countries.”

The research and extension achievements of PAU in the field of beekeeping have been well recognised throughout the country, he said adding that the university is instrumental in dissemination of scientific technologies in beekeeping to various stakeholders. With the efforts of PAU experts, Punjab at present was leading in apiary honey production and was a hub of beekeeping, he said.

Dr PK Chhuneja, principal investigator of the project-cum-technical coordinator of the course, said trainees were imparted training on various aspects of beekeeping, including species of honey bees, their castes and division of labour, life cycle of Italian honey bees, various considerations for starting beekeeping, design and application of various apicultural equipment and machinery and seasonal bee management practices. The experts will also educate the trainees about management of bee enemies and diseases, including the recent problem of Varroa and wax moths.

Dr Jaspal Singh, course coordinator, said the thrust would also be laid on swarming, robbing and queenlessness problems in honey bee colonies and their remedies, queen bee rearing techniques, honey extraction, processing, packing, quality and collection of other honey products viz bee wax, royal jelly, pollen and propolis. The course will also dwell upon loan facilities to beekeepers from banks and subsidy schemes of the government agencies.



Rare species of injured owl rescued
Tribune News service

Ludhiana, February 1
An injured owl belonging to a rare species was found by the Pakshi Sewa Samiti near Rakh Bag here yesterday.

The incident was again caused by a Chinese thread used in kite-flying. When the Pakshi Sewa Samiti received information about the owl, it reached the spot and saved its life.

Two activists of the samiti climbed a 50-ft tree to catch the injured bird. Now the owl is fit and under medical observation.

"Someone informed us from the Rakh Bagh that an injured owl was found in a pitiable condition. Our team reached there to find the owl on the top of the tree.”

Vice-president Vijay Guar and executive president VP Prince climbed the tree and caught the owl, said Vipan Bhatia, president of the Samiti.

"After strenuous efforts, we caught the owl. Then we found that it was not an ordinary owl. We asked from a bird specialist and he told us that it was a rare species known as "golden owl". Then we informed the District Forest Officer Naresh Mahajan. They appreciated the efforts of Vijay and Prince," he added.



Experts stress to plant ornamentals in Feb
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
“February is the most suitable period for planting saplings of ornamental plants, lawns and for potting and repotting of pot plants,” said floriculturists of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here today.

The experts have suggested plantation of bulbous plants like amaryllis, football lily (naemanthus), tuber-rose, zephyranthes, etc, in this month.

The bulbous plants prefer sandy loam soil enrich with well-decomposed farmyard manure (FYM). Seed sowing of summer annuals like kochia and zinnia can be undertaken in the last week of February, stressed the experts.

Providing tips to farmers and general public for management of ornamentals, Dr Kushal Singh, head, department of floriculture and landscaping, PAU, said the deciduous ornamental plants such as lagerstoemia indica, weeping willow, campsis grandiflora, etc, could be transplanted without earth ball just before their buds start sprouting. Pruning and training of established deciduous plants can also be done.

Weeding of winter season flowers (if required) should also be done. The expert advised that off type and diseased plants should be removed if the seed of that particular annual was to be collected. Dr Singh also stressed watering of plants at proper time.

PAU floriculturist Parminder Singh said if some area was to be landscaped, then soil should be prepared well for the ornamental plantation at the end of February or in March.

He said, “Whenever trees, shrubs or creepers are to be planted, tree pits should be dug of proper size i.e. 3’x3’x3’ size. For shrubs and creepers, smaller pits of 1’x2’ size can be prepared.” Dr Singh suggested that suckers of chrysanthemum can be separated after uprooting and be planted in pots for further growth.



Auto parts industry sees green pastures in Rajasthan
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
Auto parts’ makers from the city are shifting to Rajasthan due to the opportunities and tax benefits enjoyed by the state. Grim power situation and loaded with heavy taxes, the auto parts makers here are seeing greener pastures in the state known for its Thar Desert.

Rajasthan’s origin as an auto manufacturing hub dates back to 1982 when Ashok Leyland’s truck chassis assembly plant was set up in Alwar. Today, Rajasthan is rapidly developing into a key automotive hub with Bhiwadi, Neemrana and Pathredi in Alwar district, being host to over 100 automotive and auto parts manufacturing companies.

“Tax exemption package for 10 years has been announced for the industry in Rajasthan and that is the prime reason why industry from Ludhiana is expanding and shifting to Rajasthan,” said Upkar Singh, joint secretary of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking.

“The state also has a comparative advantage on labour cost compared to its peer state. The labour here is 20-30 per cent cheaper than its neighbouring states. Rajasthan has become a prominent base for auto manufacturing with the establishment of a growing auto cluster in Alwar district and Honda’s facility at Bhiwadi,” added Harsh Khanna, who recently shifted his auto parts unit to Rajasthan.



Maur thanks supporters
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
Dharam Pal Maur, CPI candidate of Sajha Morcha from the Ludhiana West constituency, thanked all supporters and voters of the constituency for maintaining peace and harmony while participating in the democratic process.

He has assured that if elected he would do his best for the betterment of the constituency. He will continue the crusade for rule of law, end to VIP culture, allocation of 5 per cent of budget for education and health each, development of industry in consultation with the industrial council of industrialists, regular employment to all, development of agriculture, proper remuneration to workers, social security, unemployment allowance of Rs 2,000, working women hostel in all major cities and security for women at workplace.



High base rate of the banks worries industry
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
High base rate of banks is ruining the already ailing industry in Ludhiana. Increase in the rate of their borrowings from the banks has cut down their profit margins to a large extend. High rate of lending has increased their cost of borrowings from banks and thus resulted in decreased profit margins.

Badish Jindal, president, the Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association said in 2009 the repot rate was 6.5 per cent and in 2011 it was 8.5 per cent, whereas in 2009 the bank lending rate was 10 per cent while in 2011 it was 14.5 to 15 per cent.

“One of the biggest constraints for the economic growth is high interest rates, and the RBI should take measures to control supply-side bottlenecks rather than hiking the rates. The corporate world fears that high interest rates are impacting the GDP growth rate and the consumption-based sectors. The RBI needs to focus on easing supply-side constraints rather than rate hikes,” said Jindal.

“High lending rate has virtually paralysed the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which are already reeling under the financial burden. “Since most of these units work on small capital, they have become economically weak and no other option has been left with them but to put their shutters down,” said he.

Gurmeet Singh Kular, president of the United Cycle Parts and Manufacturers Association said industry is already suffering and on top the high base rate of the banks is proving fatal for them. “High base rate is affecting the exports in a big way as the cost of production has increased manifolds. We are losing the business in the international market.

The worst affected are the small scale industries, he said.

“We are already facing labour crunch and I was planning to go for automation in my unit but I have also withheld it due to the high interest rate. Industry in Punjab is already passing through bad phase and instead of giving relief, the high base rate of the banks is giving jitters to the industry,” said another industrialist Jeevan Rai.

High lending rate is affecting the economic growth. It is the smaller units which are adversely hit by the rising interest rates while the bigger units will remain largely unaffected as they can resort to external commercial borrowings, added Kular.



Teaching aids facilitate learning process
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
Technology that revolutionised the world has arrived but the profession of teaching is not untouched. Although teaching aids like LED and audio-visual screens, videos and animated content are already being used in schools, but now more and more aids for teaching are being introduced to improve the education and teaching.

Now, with technologies like educomp online, teachers and students can easily access to learning material, assignments and tests.

"Since the time I have received this, I have been making full use of the technology, as it has eased in providing information, assignments and tests," says Bhupinder Singh, a teacher at the BCM Arya Model School. "Through the "my school" (feature) I can send messages to the registered students and to the parents on their mobile phones at one click," he says.

A unique password is assigned to all the students. Through another feature called My Wiki; information, notes, etc can be uploaded and can be shared with students also, he informs. "The best part is that I can see who all have seen the information and who have not," he says.

Another feature that has eased assessing the performance and giving tests. "Objective tests can be uploaded. The students can see for themselves their score after the tests," he says.

Messages can be sent to other teachers and also there is an option of sending information to all the registered users of the school. "The technology has eased teaching, as for many subjects, there are ready-made assignments available," he said.

"The new system saves plenty of time. I can see information anytime and can ask any doubts if required online," said a student.

Police denies lathicharge

A unique password is assigned to all the students. Through another feature called My Wiki; information, notes, etc can be uploaded and can be shared with the students



Ludhiana scan
Demand for memorial

Ludhiana: Baba Banda Singh Bahadur International Foundation called upon the Union Government to erect a suitable memorial for Baba Banda Singh Bahadur at Lohgarh (near Yamuna Nagar in Haryana) where the saint soldier laid the foundation of the first Sikh empire.

The demand was made by patron of the body, Jagdev Singh Jassowal and president Krishan Kumar Bawa, while addressing a function at Baba Banda Bahadur Bhawan in village Rakba in the district. They said a function would be organised at Lohgarh on February 18 in which intellectuals, writers, kavishars and dhadi jathas will pay homage to Banda Bahadur and dwell upon his achievements. — OC



Health dept collects food samples
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
The team of health department collected food samples from Sarabha Nagar and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, here today.

Food safety officer health department Ludhiana, Manoj Khosla, said, "Today, we took one sample of veggie delight from sub-way restaurant and four samples of milk products from a departmental store on the Pakhowal road. We took one sample of ‘desi ghee’, two samples of curd, one of milk and one sample of cheese from diamond store."

The marriage season is going on and the department is yet to swing into action for collecting samples of the eatables from the wedding parties. Last year, more than 20 people had fallen sick after attending a wedding party in July.



From schools

Sports Day
(Above) Students perform cultural programme during the prize distribution function at Gujranwala Guru Nanak Public School in Ludhiana; (below) a students receives a prize at the prize distribution ceremony
(Above) Students perform cultural programme during the prize distribution function at Gujranwala Guru Nanak Public School in Ludhiana; (below) a students receives a prize at the prize distribution ceremony. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana: Sports day was celebrated at Lovely Lotus School. Games like animal race, kangaroo race, frog race, jumping jokers’ race, race, crawling baby race, problem solving skills race, 50 mt race and musical chair race were arranged for the children. The winners were given with prizes.

Annual prize distribution function

An annual prize distribution function was organised at Sacred Heart School. The function was held for the primary section. Principal felicitated the achievers with certificates and mementoes in the fields like academics, sports and cultural activities. The primary school cabinet was given the award of honour for their sincerity and dedication towards their duty throughout the year.


A farewell party was organised for the students of class XII students at Ryan International School. Awards like excellence in academics, star performer award for sports, histrionics skill award for dramatics were given to the students.

MS paint competition

To assess the ability to create and edit graphics, the MS paint competition was organised at the GNPS, Model Town Extension, for the students of class IV. The students were given various topics like landscapes, festivals and solar system. As many as 34 students participated in the competition. Praneet Kaur, Gagandeep Kaur and Karman won the prizes in the competition.

Annual prize distribution function

An annual prize distribution function was organised at Gujranwala Guru Nanak Public School. The school principal read the annual report. Various programmes like Giddha, Bhangra and skits in English, Punjabi and Hindi were organised. As many as 230 prizes were given to the students for their achievements in academic and various co-curricular activities.

Cleanliness campaign

Cleanliness week was celebrated by Sai Public School with various activities. Slogan writing, chart making, poster making and extempore were organised.

Story telling competition

An English story-telling competition was held at Kundan Vidya Mandir. Tanvi, Arshiya, Ridhima won the first, second and the third prize from the LKG, respectively, whereas Aishna, Yogya Jain, Ayan and Hitaishi won from class UKG. — TNS



From colleges
Workshop on teaching-aid
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
BCM College of Education organised a one-day workshop for preparing on the spot teaching aid for the BEd students. The workshop was organised in collaboration with Punjab State Council of Science and Technology. The students prepared teaching aids in various subjects like language, economics, social studies, science, mathematics, commerce, home science and physical education. The teaching aids were prepared on the current topics like female foeticide, rain water harvesting, conservation of resources, drip irrigation and water cycle. The workshop was based on ‘eco-friendly’ theme. The teaching aids were later displayed by the students in the form of exhibition. Prizes were given for best teaching aid preparation.

Seminar on ‘Journey towards self-culture’

A UGC sponsored national seminar on “Journey towards Self-Culture” is being organised by Malwa Central College of Education for Women, here today. Delegates from different states will present their views on various sub-themes.

Placement drive

Over 20 students participated in the interview at a placement drive organised by PTU Regional Centre Quest Infosys. As many as 17 students were shortlisted for the final interview round.



Lecture on leprosy held

Ludhiana, February 1
A lecture on leprosy was organised at the slum area dispensary, Salem Tabri and at RC Sabji Mandi on the eve of National Leprosy Fortnight. District leprosy officer, Dr Sangeeta Singh informed about its prevention and treatment to anganwadi workers, the staff of both the dispensaries and the residents of area.

Dr Singh told that leprosy is curable and deformities can be prevented if the proper diagnosis and treatment is taken of at an early stage.



12-year-old raped
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 1
A 24-year-old boy was booked for raping a 12-year- old girl in the karabara area here today.

The incident came to light when the victim, on returning home, fell unconscious.

She was bleeding profusely and was rushed to hospital. Following treatment, the girl narrated the entire incident to her parents. The parents further brought the matter to the notice of the police.

They alleged that the a 24-year-old boy, identified as Gurpreet Singh from Karabara, took the girl on the pretext of buying her a mobile phone. On reaching the room, he raped the girl. The police officials are investigating into the matter.



Athletics Meet
Kamandeep, Jaspreet hog limelight
Tribune News Service

Girls participate in various races at the annual athletics meet of Guru Nanak Girls’ College in Ludhiana on Wednesday
Girls participate in various races at the annual athletics meet of Guru Nanak Girls’ College in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Tribune photographs

Ludhiana, February 1
Students of Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, presented a colourful start on the occasion of the annual athletics meet. Surjit Singh Sandhu, district sports official, inaugurated the two-day meet, in which students of all streams participated with enthusiasm and great zeal. Gurbir Singh, president, Guru Nanak Education Trust, and principal, Dr Charanjit Mahal, welcomed the chief guest. Surjit Singh Sandhu said educated women could play an important role in the development of the country. He exhorted the girls to carve a niche for themselves. Ramandeep Kaur of MA-II (sociology), the best athlete of the college, took oath on behalf of all participants.

The chief guest hoisted the college flag and declared the meet open. Several events, including 400m, 800m, javelin throw, 1,500m, shot put, high jump, 200m, skipping race, discus throw, long jump, three-legged race, clerical staff race and Class IV employees race were organise on the first day.


800m: 1st Kamandeep Kaur-MA-II; 2nd Rajni Bala-MA-I; 3rd Kritika Sharma.

Javelin throw: 1st Jaspreet Kaur-BA-I; 2nd Amandeep Kaur-BA-I; 3rd Gaganpreet Kaur-MA-II.

1,500m: 1st Prabhdeep Kaur-BA-III; 2nd Kiranjeet Kaur-BA-I; 3rd Anjali-BA-I.

Shot put: 1st Suman-BA-III; 2nd Manpreet Kaur-BA-I;3rd Amandeep Kaur-BA-I.

High jump: 1st Varsha-MA-I sociology; 2nd Seema and Aman; 3rd Kiran-BA-I.

200m: 1st Ramandeep Kaur-MA-II; 2nd Shivdeep Kaur; 3rd Varsha-MA-I.

Discus throw: 1st Jaspreet Kaur-BA-I; 2nd Manpreet Kaur-BA-I; 3rd Navneet Kaur (FD).

Long jump: 1st Bhumika Thakur; 2nd Ramandeep-MA-II political science; 3rd Shivdeep.

Three-legged race: 1st Ravneet-BCA-I and Abnit BCA-III; 2nd Harjeet-MSc-I physics and Sapna-MSc-I physics; 3rd Preet and Gagan.

400m: 1st Ramandeep Kaur-MA-II; 2nd Shivdeep Kaur; 3rd Rajni Bala-MA-I.

Skipping race: 1st Manbir Kaur-BSc-I; 2nd Karanjeet Dhillon-MA-II; 3rd Reetika-BSc-II.

Musical chairs: 1st Vijay Partap Singh; 2nd Ravi; 3rd Gurcharan Singh.

4x400 relay race: 1st Ramandeep Kaur, Rajni, Ramandeep, Versha; 2nd Mahi Bala, Amandeep Kaur, Anjali, Kiran; 3rd Samriti, Shivdeep, Bhumika, Kritikas.



FC Mittal Trophy
Mohali humble Ludhiana
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 1
Fine batting display by Gurkirat Maan and an equally valuable contribution with the ball by Manpreet Gony helped Mohali to defeat hosts Ludhiana by five wickets in the inaugural match of the Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Championship for the FC Mittal Trophy being organised by the Punjab Cricket Association at Guru Teg Bahadur National College ground, Dakha, on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur road near here today.

Ludhiana skipper Karan Goel won the toss and opted to bat first.

However, they could not survive their full quota of 50 overs, as their innings folded at 227 runs after 48.4 overs.

The contributors were Nitin Goel (53), Geetansh Khera (44), Chinton Sehgal (38), Karan Goel (33) and Ankur (23).

For the visitors, IPL star bowler Manpreet Gony and Varun Khanna went through Ludhiana’s batting line up. Manpreet grabbed four wickets for 38 runs, while Varun chipped in with three wickets for 43 runs. Arashdeep Brar claimed two wickets for 40 runs.

Mohali achieved the target in just 38 overs after losing five wickets. Their innings revolved around Gurkirat Maan who single handedly steered his side to romp home victorious. He made a quick fire 83 with the help of six hits over the ropes.

Other notable scorers were Sachin Sohal (41), Harpreet Mander (40) and Harpreet Sunny (39 not out).

For the losing side, Chinton Sehgal took two wickets for 44 runs, Deepak Bansal secured one for 30 and Sandeep Singh captured one for 37 runs.

Dr Assa Singh Ghuman, principal of GTB National College, inaugurated the match, while Prof Guriqbal Singh was the guest of honour.

In the second match slated for February 3 at Burlton Park, Jalandhar, Ludhiana will take on Jalandhar.



SAI trials to begin today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 1
A team from the Sports Authority of India (SAI) training centre, Ludhiana, attended a meeting held at its local office here this evening to chalk out schedule for the trials to be conducted at the ground opposite multi-purpose indoor hall of Guru Nanak Sports Complex.

These trials are being held from February 2 to 4 to shortlist the talented and upcoming players and induct them into SAI training centre being run here for the session 2012-13.

Harbans Singh, in charge of SAI training centre, chaired the meeting during which the schedule for three-day trials was finalised.

After the meeting, Harbans Singh informed that a panel of experts formed by the SAI authorities would supervise aspirants in the age group of 14 to 18 years in the disciplines of athletics, basketball, judo, handball, volleyball, handball, football and weightlifting before making their recommendations to select players to enroll them for residential and non-residential schemes.

“The players who have secured the first three positions in the state or national-level tournaments are eligible to take part in these trials and those selected in the residential scheme will be provided with free of cost facilities such as boarding, lodging, sports kit, competition exposure, medical allowance, education allowance in addition to insurance coverage and training by expert coaches,” said Harbans Singh.

While those chosen under the non-residential scheme shall be given facilities as per the norms of SAI like stipends, sports kit, insurance coverage, sports equipment and training by the expert coaches, he added.

The aspirants have been advised to register their names by 10 am at the venue with coaches of the respective games. They will undergo field tests on the opening day.

Meanwhile, the coordinators’ panel consisting of SAI coaches has been constituted to conduct the trials that include Gurmesh Singh (volleyball) from Chandigarh, Rajinder Kumar (basketball) from Jammu, Inderjit Singh (handball) from PAU, Ludhiana, Sat Pal Rana (judo), DK Sharma (weightlifting) from Ropar, Kamal Singh (football) from Jalandhar and SS Pannu (athletics) from Ludhiana.



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