L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


double-murder fallout
Property prices take a hit in the area 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
The brutal killing of Moga DSP Balraj Singh Gill and Monica Kapila has spelt a doom for property prices in Golf Link and surrounding areas.

Ever since the killing of the duo took place, property prices at Hambran Road and Golf Link areas have taken a beating. Those who were planning to build their houses in these areas have reportedly postponed their plans for the time being.

Ankit Jain, a property dealer in Gold Link, said, "As the colony was well planned, it did not take much time for property prices to hit the roof. But the double-murder has come as a bolt from the blue for property dealers. Those who had planned to buy property have cancelled their deals and started looking elsewhere for investment."

Property dealers are also thronged with queries pertaining to security arrangementS in the area. Ankit further added, "Though the colony is very safe compared to any other locality in the city, ever since the double murder took place, the security has become a major issue." Following the incident, residents of the area shared their experiences with the police and told them how the area was full of drug addicts.

Parminder Kumar, another property dealer said, "Though the property prices have not witnessed a downtrend, the prices have become static for the time being."

Late-night parties at farmhouses have also decreased. Since the incident took place, no late-night party has taken place in the farmhouse located in the area.

"We are scared of visiting the area at night. You could barely see anyone moving on the road late at night in the area. People living in farmhouses are not safe, leave alone roaming in the area in the dark," said Satinder Singh, a resident of Hambran.

No late-night parties

Late-night parties at farmhouses have also decreased. Since the incident took place, no late-night party has taken place in the farmhouse located in the area


Manufacturers of cycle parts in a spot
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
Cycle parts manufacturers from the city are facing double whammy. Earlier, China-made cycle parts were giving them a tough time and to combat the same, the manufacturers had themselves started importing cycle parts and selling these to the buyers. But sadly, now buyers are directly going to China for buying and have put local industry out of work.

Dragon has gulped local cycle parts industry, and as a result, more than 250 units have shut down their operations. Cycle parts like hub cones, spoke, chain, baskets, chain wheel and cranks, steel balls, plastic handle lever, saddle parts, pedals, pumps, pedal axle, caliper brake parts were earlier imported from China, but now buyers are getting these directly from there.

A local cycle parts manufacturer, Devinder Pal, said his unit was set up in 1950 and since then they were engaged in the making of cones and spokes, but for the past few years they had stopped the manufacturing process in their unit and were importing the parts from China. Of late, the demand for cycle parts in the local market has gone down considerably as buyers are directly going to China to buy the same.

"I was left with no option but to start a new venture. Now I am dealing in the sale and purchase of property. I am not a single example. Many small-scale units have shut down in the city due to the intrusion of the Chinese goods," he added.

More than 10 big industrial houses, Hero Group, Eastman, Safari Cycles, Sadem Cycles and many more have even opened their offices in China to source cheap 
bicycle components for export to markets in developing countries.

Yogesh, manufacturer of cycle pumps, said makers of bicycle parts had been adversely affected and had to close down their units, causing massive un-employment and huge losses. "The government should take some steps to save the domestic industry from total collapse," he said.

Buyers China-bound

The demand for cycle parts in the local market has gone down considerably as buyers are directly going to China to buy the same 



MC puts its staff in driving seat, literally 
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
From sewermen to safai sewaks to chowkidars to beldars, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has deputed them for driving its vehicles. Out of a total of 263 vehicles in the civic body, 152 are driven by those employees who have not been appointed “drivers”.

These facts have come into light after a local resident Varinder Singh gathered information under the Right to Information Act.

As per the RTI information, out of the 61 tippers of the MC, 11 are driven by beldars, 10 by safai sewaks, four by cleaners, three by sewermen and two by chowkidars. The remaining vehicles are being driven by drivers.

Similarly, 22 JCB machines are driven by six beldars, two sewermen, two safai sewaks and a cleaner. Out of the eight JCB loaders, three are driven by safai sewaks and one by a beldar. Out of two chain dozers, one of it is driven by a safai sewak.

Out of the six small tippers, three are driven by beldars, while the remaining by drivers. Out of the 16 dumper placers in the civic body, six are driven by safai sewaks, while one by a cleaner.

Interestingly, out of the total 14 road rollers with the MC, 13 are driven by beldars, while only one driver has been deputed on driving duty.

The two three-wheelers are driven by beldars, while the 11 mini doors are driven by four beldars, one each by a cleaner, a chowkidar, a safai sewak and a helper.

All three Tata Ace vehicles are driven by two sewermen and a beldar. The two Piaggio Jham are driven by sewermen. The lone road sweeper is driven by a safai sewak.

The 12 Tata 407 tempo’s are driven by five beldars, three sewermen, a cleaner and a chowkidar. Out of two Sky Lifts, one is driven by a beldar, while the other by a driver. 

Out of five Leyland  Jetting vehicles, one is driven by a beldar and one by a sewerman.

The 55 tractors are driven by 27 beldars, 15 safai sewaks, 10 sewermen and one by a fitter.



Pulse polio drive from Feb 19
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
A pulse polio drive will be started in Ludhiana district from February 19 to 23. It is estimated that nearly 5.80 lakh children will be administered polio drops during this drive. Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari today held a meeting with the district task force in this regard.

Addressing the meeting, Tiwari said 2,426 teams had been constituted to administer drops to children from rural as well as urban background. He also asked officials from different departments present during the meeting to cooperate with the health department to make this drive a success.

In Ludhiana, 62 mobile and 100 transit teams have been formed in addition to 452 supervisors. Adding further, the DC said from February 19 to 23, the pulse polio teams would cover Ludhiana city and urban areas of its adjacent towns like Koom Kalan and Sanhewal block. The teams will go door-to-door to administer polio drops. While on February 19, polio booths will be set up at CHC Payal, Manupur, Maachiwara, Malout, Sudhar, Pakhowal, Hatur and Sidhwan Bet, on January 20-21, workers will administer polio drops going door-to-door.



MC shuts eyes to open manhole
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, February 13
An open manhole in one of the busiest areas of Jagraon has been posing a serious threat to commuters’ lives. Situated exactly in the middle of Old Grain Market Chowk, this manhole has been laying open for the past three days. The cemented manhole cover had got damaged.

The nearby residents lamented though they had informed the local Municipal Council

authorities about the open manhole several times since the manhole cover got damaged, nothing had been done to cover the manhole so far.

According to the residents, the manhole cover had damaged on Friday afternoon when a loaded truck passed over it. “We informed the local municipal council officials about the damaged manhole immediately, but thy have not paif any attention towards this problem so far,” complained Lal Chand, a shopkeeper.

The residents fear that the open manhole may lead to an accident as it is situated exactly in the middle of the chowk. There is always huge vehicular traffic in this area. Besides, a large number of schoolchildren use this road everyday while going to their schools.

It is not the first time that a manhole cover has been damaged. The residents alleged that the contractor who was awarded the work of putting cemented covers on the manholes had used substandard material while making these. It is due to the poor quality material that the manhole covers have been damaging constantly, they added.

The lethargic attitude of the MC officials in covering this manhole has irked the local residents. “We even took up the matter with local MC president Baldev Krishan Dhir. Though he assured us of getting the manhole covered with immediate effect, nothing has been done to cover the manhole so far. This clearly indicates that the MC authorities are not serious about such kind of problems,” said Makhan Singh, another shopkeeper.

“It seems the authorities are waiting for a tragedy to happen,” he added.

It is pertinent to mention here that several people had lost their lives after falling into sewer manholes in different parts of the state in the past years.

Meanwhile, Baldev Krishan Dhir claimed that he was not aware of the matter. “I had been out of the town for past two days. I came to know about this only this afternoon. I have already instructed the MC employees to cover the manhole immediately,” said Dhir.



Municipal Council fails to rid Jagraon of stray animals
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, February 13
Stray animals have been posing a serious threat to the lives of commuters.

The animals can be seen wandering on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway, Jagraon-Sidhwan Bet Road and Jagraon-Raikot Road.

The administration has failed to check the menace in the town.

Sources said people in large numbers turned up at ‘Pashu Mandi’, an animal fair, which is held every month in the town. They left behind a large number of animals which turned the situation from bad to worse.

The most drastic situation is on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway, where these animals keep wandering. Despite a number of mishaps occurring on the highway, the administration has done nothing so far.

Though the menace is not new to the people of Jagraon, who have been facing the problem for long, the rising number of these animals has been aggravating their woes.

Recently, the police in association with an NGO had tied reflectors around the necks of these animals in order to avoid mishaps at night. Though the idea worked, with the passage of time the reflectors were either removed by miscreants or they broke.

Repeated requests of residents fell on deaf ears. Even though there are two gaushalas in the town, still a large number of stray animals can be seen roaming on roads. Representatives of the gaushalas said the places were packed to capacity and more animals could not be accommodated there.

MC president Baldev Krishan Dhir said efforts were being made to check the menace. “Talks are on with the gaushala representatives,” added Dhir. 



Police remand for ex-serviceman
Firing incident at Virk village
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, February 13
An ex-serviceman, who has been accused of killing his mother-in-law, was today produced before a local court, which sent him to one-day police remand.

During the preliminary investigation in the case, the accused, Hakam Singh has confessed to his crime. He told the police that he attacked his in-laws because his wife had cheated him and flown to Singapore without informing him.

According to investigating officer SI Gurpreet Singh, Hakam has confessed before the police that he had shot dead his mother-in-law in a fit of rage.

In fact, Hakam had been angry with his in-laws since his wife had deserted him some time ago. After deserting Hakam, his wife Harpreet Kaur flew to Singapore reportedly without informing him. An enraged Hakam purchased a gun from Ludhiana and attacked all the members of his wife’s family at Virk village, near Sidhwan Bet, on Friday night.

While his mother-in-law Surjit Kaur succumbed to bullet injuries, four other members of the family, including Hakam’s father-in-law Najjar Singh, sister-in-law Sarabjit Kaur and her two minor children also received bullet injuries. All the injured have been undergoing treatment at the DMCH, Ludhiana, and they are out of danger.

Hakam Singh also told the police that the gun used by him in the crime was purchased by him from Ludhiana only one day before the incident. After purchasing the gun he straightaway went to his in-laws’ house at Virk village and indiscriminately fired at the members.

After perpetrating the crime, Hakam fled from the scene. He was arrested by a police team from a farm house situated in his village Bassian Bet the next day of the incident. The police has also recovered the weapon used by Hakam in the crime.



Postmen still prefer the old way
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
Automobiles, mobile phones and Internet have changed everything across the sectors and transformed life. But with everything evolving around, the picture of a postman seems frozen in time. The good old postman still goes around distributing letters and parcels to households on the bicycle in the same old fashion.

The emerging technology with e-mail, Internet and mobile phones have relegated the importance of a postman in the daily life and emergence of private couriers has also subverted his monopoly as a harbinger of joy, relief and grief.

Though the government had introduced motorcycles for postmen a few years back, most of them did not take the offer. Kicking motorcycles on and turning them off frequently while delivering letters in adjoining and nearby areas and getting them into crowded places was a hassle, said those who used them. Others say holding the accelerator with one hand and managing clutch or gears with the other also impedes work while delivering letters. Even those who opted for motorcycles gave it up after sometime. “I used the motorcycle for sometime, but after a few months, I handed the keys back to the authorities,” says a postman.

However, sticking with the tradition of bicycles with changes all around has been making life difficult for them. “For us, the city has not only grown bigger with time, but it went higher too,” says Surinder Kumar, circle secretary of the state from the postal employees’ union, pointing towards the multi-storied buildings that the postmen have to reach.

Things also become difficult to manage when parcels are large. “We find it difficult to maintain balance at times when parcels are large in size,” said a postman. “We go to deliver letters and parcels in offices in multi-storied buildings. When we have to leave the rest of the parcels on the bicycle, there is always a concern at the back of our minds of these parcels being stolen until we are back,” he says.

“I think pizza delivery boys are doing better than us in terms of conveyance. At least, they have scooters fixed with secure pizza boxes,” said another postman.

“I think there is a need for a customised transport system. Some vehicle like an e-bike should be developed to ease out our work,” says another postman.



Additional powers of excise inspectors extended 
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
The excise and taxation department had given more powers to its excise inspectors last year till December 31 and the same have been extended now, as no written notification has been issued so far.

More powers were given to the inspectors from May last year till December 31, 2011. But now the inspectors will retain their increased powers in addition to their regular duties.

Industry representatives have condemned the extension of powers and fear “inspector raaj” in the state. Last year, higher officials from the department had verbally committed that the extended powers of the inspectors will be taken back from them after the year ended.

“No notification was issued regarding the same and though 2011 has come to an end, the inspectors are still going on with their extra powers, as nothing in written has been issued so far,” said Badish Jindal, president of Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association.

The department is giving a plea that more powers have been given to the inspectors as they are under-staffed. “Instead of appointing more staff, they are giving powers of ETOs to the inspectors, added Jindal.

Another industrialist, Jeevan Rai, said though the manifesto of the government was to abolish “inspector raaj”, now more powers were being given to the inspectors. “We hope the coming government is against the inspector raaj and the extended powers are taken away from them,” he said.

A higher official from the department said the main powers of registration and checking at ICC had remained with the ETOs only.

The key control will be with excise and taxation officials, as they will have powers relating to registration, amendment in registration certificate, cancellation of registration certificate and checking at info collection centre.



Despite ban, sale goes unabated
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna, February 13
Despite a ban on Chinese kite strings, sale of these strings continues unabated in Khanna. It is posing a threat to those who are flying kites using these strings.

Babloo, a 10-year-old boy of the town, who was flying kite with a Chinese string, had to get stitches after he got a deep cut on his hand. This is not an isolated case. There have been many such reports of injuries due to the Chinese kite strings.

Environmentalists also say these strings are proving fatal for birds, too. Unlike the traditional strings, these are glass-coated synthetic strings.

Khanna Sub-Divisional Magistrate Inderjit Kaur Kang when contacted said a stern action would be initiated against those shopkeepers who were selling these Chinese strings. When contacted, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Khanna, Paramjit Singh Virk claimed that a few days ago, they confiscated a huge quantity of Chinese strings from shopkeepers during a raid, which was a routine.



Auto-rickshaw drivers submit memo to DC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
Drivers of auto-rickshaws run by LPG submitted a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner (DC) Rahul Tewari here today.

LPG Auto-rickshaw Union president Jaspal Singh in the submitted memorandum said snatching incidents had been increased wherein the auto-rickshaw drivers became the vulnerable targets of anti-social elements. Secondly, their documents were checked “unnecessarily” in an attempt to harass them.

“We are already facing many problems. As there is just one gas filling station in the city, the drivers cannot get gas in sufficient quantity. More gas stations should be opened, so that we do not face any problem. If the administration wants to curb the level of pollution, then LPG-run auto-rickshaws must be encouraged,” said the union president.



Excise officials take out march
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
The All-India Association of Central Excise Gazetted Executive Officers (Superintendents) today took out a candle march against their long-pending demands.

Their unmet demands include immediate release of the cadre restructuring posts without any cut, parity with other counterparts either in the cadre restructuring or independent of it, the date of the grant of this grade pay/equivalent pay scale to the other analogous posts and at least a grade pay of Rs 6,600 and Rs 7,600 under MACPS after 20 and 30 years of service, respectively.



Science meet on wheat breeding
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
A two-day science meet of “Indo- Australian programme on marker assisted wheat breeding (IAP-MAWB),” was recently organised by the wheat section of the department of plant breeding and genetics (PBG), PAU, in collaboration with the directorate of wheat research (DWR), Karnal. The meet saw participation of Australian scientists and a review team of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), who visited PAU in connection with ACIAR research projects on wheat being carried across the country.

Two projects entitled “Molecular marker technologies for faster wheat breeding in India” and “IAP-MAWB project on wheat grain quality” are underway in the wheat section of PAU under the aegis of Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, said the key issues of climate change and waterlogging in agri-scenario demanded attention of experts.



City turns ‘red with love’
Gurvidner Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
The city seems to have turned "red with love" as the gift galleries had turned "hearty" with stuffed hearts. The gift shops in the city witnessed a huge rush today with youngsters choosing to express their love and friendship with gifts.

"I hardly give greeting cards on other occasions any longer, because SMSes, social media and emails are enough. But, Valentine's Day is incomplete without a greeting card," says Amit. "I think a greeting card is the most intimate and personal way of expressing love," he said.

Stuffed heart with the velvet surface in the rose pattern were also popular among youngsters, said the owner of a store. Greeting cards, stuffed hearts, teddy bears with hearts, chocolates and flowers were selling the most in the city, he added.

Deepak spent hours plumping for the best card which described his best feelings for his Valentine. Sumit, a businessman bought a teddy bear and a showpiece with message of love for his fiancée. Rahul, who is planning to propose his girlfriend for marriage, said he had been waiting for the day for a long time. He had come to choose for the perfect gift for the day. "She likes roses a lot. I have chosen the perfect bouquet for tomorrow and a big chocolate as well," he beamed.

"The markets look amazing. Although I was not that keen on celebrating the day but seeing the markets all resplendent with the gifts got me into the Valentine mood," said Ravi, from Model Town. "The entrance of the gift shop was made in the shape of a heart and decked out in flowers. It looked great," he says.

Ashima bought a small mug with hearts and also a greeting. "I know I will get a gift from someone I know, tomorrow. So I will also express my feelings to my friend," she says. "We have been friends for a long time, but gradually it turned into love," she said.



Valentine’s Day not their cup of tea
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
There are people who may be for or against Valentine’s Day. But there is a section of people which is neither for nor against Valentine’s Day, but still don’t fell nice about it.

The youth of the city is very much excited to celebrate Valentine’s Day and some fanatic religious organisations also have their plans to spoil the day of lovers. However, there are youngsters who just want to stay away from the whole festival because they consider it offensive to make exhibition of their feelings about opposite sex on a particular day.

Pawan Kumar, a worker at a car workshop, said: “More important for me is earning a livelihood. Festivals like Valentine’s Days are created by market and it has made the love a commodity. Now, love has become costly and you can express it only if economically you are in a capacity to do so”.

“For me it is not a festival of lovers but of inequality. It is just another face of difference between India and Bharat. One one hand we are facing problems like low sex ratio and dowry. On the other we are making it more difficult for those girls who want to study but their parents just do not allow them to do so because they perceive colleges as institutions of love and sex,” said Gurpreet Singh, a poet.

“Debate on such a festival is only relevant when our society is ready for it. We are enough immature to kill a girl in womb or in a blast of stow. Every Valentine’s Day makes it more difficult for girls to get out of their homes for studies as their parents think the outer world is not safe for their daughters,” said Amrit Kaur Bath, a student.

“I heard about Saint Valentine but I am not in favour of celebrating these types of days. I think there is no crime if you like someone but such relations only taste sweet when in veil. We have hundreds of love stories in our culture that we like to listen to and sing. I don’t know which thing in my inner mind disagrees to celebrate Valentine’s Day,” said an employee of a private organisation.



Delhi-Ludhiana flight service normal
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
The Ludhiana (Sahnewal) Airport has been getting regular Delhi and-Ludhiana flights since February 8. Despite foggy weather in the city today, the flight landed at the Ludhiana Airport after a gap of 10 days. But thankfully, the flights landed at the airport on February 10 (Friday) and today.

The flights from the Ludhiana Airport had started operating in April 2010, but due to some technical glitches, the flights were cancelled most of the days. That is why, perturbed over the frequent cancellation of flights, the Air-India changed the timings of the flights operating from the Ludhiana Airport from November 23. Earlier, the flights operated from the Ludhiana Airport in the evening, but now they operate in the afternoon.

Even the airport authorities have told the government that till the time the DVOR device, which helps in better visibility during landing, is installed, the flights would keep getting cancelled.

Amrik Singh, manager of Air-India, told The Tribune that due to better visibility, the flights had been operating from the airport since February 8. “Now, the number of passengers have also gone up,” he claimed.



Entrepreneurship awareness camp for students
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
The Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE), New Delhi, sponsored entrepreneurship awareness camp for students for three days at Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College here. The camp was inaugurated by Dr Surinderbir Singh, former principal, GNDEC. He stressed upon the need for budding engineers to become entrepreneurs. Dr MS Saini, director of the institute, while welcoming the chief guest said the institute was making all efforts to promote the spirit of entrepreneurship among students. The sister concern of the institute, STEP (Science & Technology Entrepreneurs’ Park), has been conducting courses to promote this cause. Dr YS Brar, dean (S&W), exhorted the students to increase their creative thinking. Over 60 students from the college and neighbouring institutes are attending this camp in which experts from various fields, entrepreneurs shall be providing inputs. An industrial visit will also be a part of this programme. Arvind Dhingra, faculty advisor, ISTE, and Rupinderjit Singh, co-faculty advisor, ISTE, thanked the ISTE, students and guests for their contribution.

Extension lecture

The department of computer science of the SDP College for Women organised an extension lecture on “Intro to ethical hacking” here on Monday. The lecture was arranged by Kundan Kamboj, head of the department of computer science. Jaspal Singla, project lead information security, was the chief resource person. Singla, after introduction to ethical hacking, touched various methods of hacking and spoke on how passwords could be secured from hackers. He also threw light on various professional courses like database analysis system testers, network engineering, software developing, etc, and exhorted the students to make career in anyone of them, as there courses will be of great significance in the coming times. Dr Paramjit Kaur Ghuman, officiating principal of the college, earlier welcomed the key resource person. She also addressed the students and told them to actively participate in academic and co-academic activities, which help them to enrich their knowledge and enhance their personality.

Book fair

A two-day book fair was inaugurated at the Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Gujharkhan campus, on Monday. Navtej Bharti, a renowned poet from Canada, inaugurated the exhibition. Gurbir Singh Sarna, general secretary of the college governing body, Gurvinder Singh Sarna, joint secretary, and Amarjit Singh Grewal, an eminent thinker, graced the occasion. College principal Kawaljit Kaur Sehgal gave a welcome to the chief guest. Various publishers from Ludhiana, Samana and Delhi exhibited books on various subjects. Fair organiser Balbir Kaur Pandher said this endeavour was taken in order to inculcate reading habits and love for books among the students.

Talent hunt

A talent hunt was organised at the Satguru Ram Singh Government Polytechnic College for Girls on Monday. The main events of the hunt were solo dance, choreography, folk song, fancy dress and giddha. Winners will participate in the Inter-Polytechnic Youth Festival (girls) to be held at Jalandhar in March. The function was inaugurated by college principal Mohinderpal Singh.


The PCTE will be conferred with the best B-school communication plan for placement by Indy’s. The award will be given at a ceremony organised on February 15 at Mumbai. Indy’s recognises excellence in mass communication, marketing communication, advertising, branding and public relations. Dr KNS Kang, director general, PCTE Group of Institutes, commented that this time, the placement scenario at PCTE had been good and till date, 30 companies had already visited the campus and recruited students.


The Swami Vivekanand Youth Federation organised a youth talent award programme at the Punjabi Bhawan on Sunday. Rajesh Ahuja and Rajinder Bhandari were chief guests on the occasion. They talked about achievements of Swami Vivekanand. Youth were honoured from various fields.

Birth anniversary celebrated

Mandi Gobindgarh: The RIMT College of Education celebrated the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda on the college premises on Monday. A cultural programme was organised to mark the celebrations under the guidance of principal, Dr Rajwant Kaur. Competitions like poem recitation, declamation, slogan writing and paper reading were held. The principal distributed prizes among various position holders.



Students win laurels

Ludhiana: Two students of DAV School, Pakhowal road, brought laurels to the school. Anchal of class IX and Smriti Sharma of class VI bagged second positions at their respective levels in the national-level English language championship-2012 organised by the University of Cambridge. They received Micromax android phones and gift vouchers from Jeff Ross, Director Assessment Tomorrow, UK, during a function in Delhi on February 10. Principal JK Sidhu congratulated and appreciated them for their outstanding performance.

Need to save environment

Members of the Eco Club of KVM continued their endeavour to care for wildlife. DFO Naresh Mahajan was invited to the school. School principal Navita Puri welcomed him and handed over a cheque of Rs 95,150 for the maintenance of wild animals, including a tiger. She encouraged and appreciated the students for their concern for wildlife. Mahajan appreciated their efforts and asked for their suggestions for the improvement in the zoo. Nikhil, a student, suggested that bigger vans should be provided to accommodate more persons, who have come to see the tiger safari. He highlighted the importance of wildlife and need to save environment. — TNS



‘Parents can play supportive role for children’
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
As examinations are round the corner, so is the stress related to it. Schoolchildren are busy with their revisions. Due to the stress, they feel confused at times, while sometimes they feel comfortable with the studies and their preparations.

To tackle the stress related to examinations, city experts feel that parents can play a supportive role for their wards. Instead of blaming them for not studying hard, the parents should understand their psyche and behave accordingly.

Dr Sudha Vasdev, MD psychiatry and serving as a medical officer at Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, said, “Behaviour of parents can play a significant role in draining out stressed children. They should not use sentences like ‘You cannot do anything’ or ‘Learn if you want to learn, it is not my headache’. The worst thing, which the parents do is that they keep comparing their child with other kids and in this process, they highlight the positive qualities of other kids and negative of their own kids. They forget that their child is also an individual and each individual is unique.”

Dr Kiran Saini, career counsellor at BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, said, “Emotional support of the parents can be of great help to children suffering from examination stress. They should maintain a schedule for their wards and should take care of their diet and health. During examinations, children want individual attention. So it is the duty of the parents to take care of them properly.”

However, Dr Amarjeet Singh, a specialist in child psychology, said, “The parents are producers of stress among children. They cause so much of stress by comparing the child with others and give a limit to them to attain good marks. Adolescents suffer from stress and strain. With modernisation, stress is increasing day by day. They should communicate with their children.”



Mixed reaction to new directorate 
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
On the issue of formation of a new directorate in the Education Department for border areas, there is divided opinion among teachers in the district. While some of them are in favour of the new initiative, many are unhappy with the development. In the district, Kandi and Bet areas would come under the directorate. The notification was issued on November 17 but came to be widely known some days ago. According to this notification, “the Punjab State Educational Boarder Area School Cadre has been constituted for teachers, headmasters, lecturers and principals working in government schools of these areas.

The department claims that the decision on the separate directorate has been aimed at uplifting of the education standards in these areas and stopping unnecessary transfers of teachers. According to the information, the terms and conditions for the service of teachers would be different under this directorate. Moreover, the service conditions on the time of recruitment would also be poles apart from the current system.

According to this notification, teachers have to make a statement in writing whether they want to stay in these areas or not. The cadre which will be recruited for the border, Kandi and Bet areas would not be able to transfer in any other areas.

Now, the School Teacher Union and other teachers’ organisations have alleged that the decision is against teachers’ interests and they are demanding a rollback of the notification.

Ramandeep Singh Sidhu, district president of the Democratic Employees Front, said, there was no need of a special cadre for the border and kandi areas. Otherwise, the teacher community will suffer much due to th edecision as they would not be able to get transfers. Moreover, the government is not giving any benefit to those teachers who will serve in these areas. 



‘Expedite loan cases’

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 13
Deputy general manager of the State Bank of India, GP Ray has directed managers to expedite the process for appraisal of loan cases received at the bank’s stall at Grewal Sports Stadium, Kilaraipur, as also disbursement of the sanctioned amounts after completing the formalities as soon as possible.

Maintaining that catering to the needs of the members of the agrarian society on a priority was need of the hour. Ray advised assistant general manager Anuradha Naraynan to monitor the processing of over 75 cases. — OC



Prize distribution function

Ludhiana, February 13
Convocation and prize distribution function of the College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, PAU, was held recently. Dr BC Gupta, secretary, department of good and public distribution, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, was the chief guest, while Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, presided over. 

Dr Dhillon awarded 248 degrees in BTech (agricultural engineering), three gold medals, 72 merit certificates and 99 college merit colours, including college colour to the students, who passed out during 2005-10. — TNS



BSP candidate’s brother dies of asphyxiation
Our Correspondent

Khanna, February 13
Gas geyser proved to be fatal for Manmeet Singh(29), the younger brother of Navjot Singh Jarg who contested from the Khanna Assembly seat on the BSP ticket. Manmeet Singh died when gas leaked from the gas geyser while he was taking a bath at his home last night.

According to the information, Manmeet went into the bathroom in the evening. As soon as he opened the tap the gas started to leak from the geyser. Within minutes the bathroom was filled with gas and he become unconscious and fell down.

When Manmeet did not come out of the bathroom after a long time, members of his family knocked at the door. Getting no response from inside, they broke the door and found Manmeet lying unconscious. They immediately rushed him to to a private nursing home at Doraha, where the doctor declared him brought dead.

Police officials said no case had been registered. 



40 donate blood
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 13
Around 40 students of Government College, Karamsar, Rara Sahib, donated blood at a camp organised jointly by the Lions Club, Ludhiana, Smile and Red Cross, Ludhiana, on the college campus held yesterday.

Payal DSP Amarjit Singh Ghuman inaugurated the camp and principal Nirmal Singh chaired the concluding session.



Maid, lover held for woman’s murder
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 13
The Dehlon police has claimed to have solved the blind murder of a septuagenarian woman, Kartar Kaur, of Dharaur village who was found murdered at her residence three days ago.

The suspect, who has been identified as Harbant Kaur Banto, Kartar Kaur’s maid, and her lover Satbir Singh were nabbed at a police naka on Canal Bridge on the Dehlon-Sahnewal road today.

Assistant Commissioner of Police at Gill Gurpreet Singh Sikand said the suspects were arrested by a team led by DS Virk, SHO, Dehlon, when they (suspects) were trying to fled from the area today.

Investigations revealed that the duo had connived to rob the victim when she was alone at her residence on Friday.

The maid, who knew that payment of the electricity bill of the house was pending for a long time, had told Satbir to visit the house posing as an employee of the Power Board. When Kartar Kaur went inside the room to get the old bill, the accused attacked and overpowered her. Satbir had allegedly hit the victim on the head with a wooden log that he had brought with him. The victim fell unconscious and the suspects decamped with her jewellery, including three gold bangles and one mobile phone. However they did not take away Rs 20,000 that had been withdrawn by Kartar Kaur from a bank at Kohara.

It was after three days’ investigation conducted by Sikand while camping at the police station, Dehlon, that the suspects were identified on the basis of the information given by eyewitnesses.

Kartar Kaur had gone to a bank situated at Kohara village to withdraw Rs 20,000 from her savings account after her son and daughter-in-law left for work in the morning on the fateful day.

The police has recovered the loot and the motorcycle used in the crime.



Welfare Officer alleges forgery
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
The District Sainik Welfare Officer (DSWO), Lt-Col Manmohan Singh (retd), has written to the SHO, Kotwali, to register a case against a city resident, who, by forging his signature, got issued a chequebook from a bank and later tried to withdraw Rs 4,30,000 by presenting a cheque to the bank.

The DSWO, wide letter no. DSW/FD1/02/2012/288 dated February 9, 2012, has written to the SHO that on January 21, 2012, a person posing as Devinder Kumar went to Allahabad Bank, Clock Tower, and got issued a chequebook (10 cheques) by forging his signature.

The same person, then posing as Deepak, tried to encash a cheque for Rs 4,30,000 at the bank, but the bank manager got suspicious. He contacted the DSWO who immediately faxed a letter to the bank to block all the transactions, as it was a case forgery.

Meanwhile, the CCTV cameras installed at the bank have got the footage of the person, who tried to commit the fraud. The DSWO further alleges that investigations into the matter by the office reveal that two employees of the DSWO office were the "masterminds" behind the fraud and suitable action must be taken against them according to the law.

Swapan Sharma, ACP, North, said though the SHO, Kotwali, had not received the letter yet, as soon as department received the complaint, suitable action would be taken against the person who committed the fraud.



Thieves strike at mobile shop
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
Thieves struck at a mobile shop located at the Hambran road and decamped with cash and mobile phones worth Rs 1 lakh.

The incident came to light when owner of the mobile shop came in the morning and found the locks broken.

He immediately informed the police about the incident. He further told the police that the thieves entered the shop by cutting the locks and fled with mobile phones, cash and recharge coupons worth Rs 1 lakh. The police has registered the case and started investigation.



Man gets life term for burning girl to death
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 13
Additional Sessions Judge Karamjit Singh Kang has convicted Sukhvir Kumar, alias Sonu, of Anand Nagar near Civil City, Ludhiana, in a rape and murder case.

He was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for life along with a fine of Rs 20,000.

He was accused of burning a girl by setting her ablaze when she refused to marry him.

A case under Sections 376 and 302 of the IPC was registered against him on March 8, 2006, at the Haibowal police station following the statement of Saroj Rani of Jassian village.

A badly burnt Saroj had stated to the police at the DMC hospital that the accused had developed illicit relations with her and was was several times subjected to intercourse against her wishes. The accused used to pressurise her for marriage, but when she refused, he sprinkled petrol on her and set her on fire. 



HC rejects dairy farmers' petition
Shivani Bhakoo & Rajneesh Lakhanpal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has rejected the writ petition filed by the Haibowal Dairy Association here in which the latter had sought ban on the use of wheat straw as fuel or its use for any other purpose except as fodder for cattle.

In a writ petition filed by the Haibowal Dairy Association, the petitioner had said that wheat straw was the basic food for the cattle and it was being "misused" or "misutilised" as a fuel by the industries and factories. The petitioner also said that some amount of pollution was being caused by the use of wheat straw as a fuel, so its use should be banned by the industry.

The court, in its orders, said that wheat straw was a byproduct of the wheat crop which was sold in the open market by farmers. Whether the ultimate consumer was a dairy owner or an owner of a factory or the industry was a fact that would not be of any concern to the farmer, who was selling the wheat straw.

The court said the price of wheat straw,thus, was determined by the market forces. In a situation where market forces determine the price of commodity, it was difficult for the court to curtail the use of any paticular product for a particular purpose.

The orders by the court said that dairy owners must compete in the market for their requirements and if necessary, store their requirement well in advance and therefore utilise the same as and when needed. The court said that it would not be appropriate to issue any orders prohibiting the use of wheat straw for any other purpose except cattle fodder.



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