L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Trade unions’ stir hits office work
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
Workers and employees working in various government and semi-government organisations and trade unions today extended their full support to the strike call given by the All Central Trade Unions and several national federations of employees for a nationwide strike against the “anti-people”, “anti-worker” and “anti-employee” policies of the Central and state governments.

Workers and employees from various industries, khet mazdoor unions, construction workers, banks, LIC, transport and workers working in other government and semi-government sectors today went on strike.

After halting work in their respective organisations, workers marched with flags and banners and raised slogans of their demands and gathered outside the office of Deputy Commissioner at Mini-Secretariat.

Addressing a massive rally, Inderjit Singh Grewal, president, Central Trade Union, said there had been an unprecedented rise in prices of essential commodities. This has been made worse by rising unemployment. There is total denial of even present stipulated minimum wages not only by the private but also by the public sector units.

Work in banks was paralysed and people who were caught unawares had to return without holding their transactions. Industry which carries transactions worth crores everyday had no other option left but to take the help of money transaction companies.

"First the work was halted in the banks due to elections and now this strike has further added to our woes," said Jatin Aggarwal, an industrialist. According to sources, transactions worth Rs 600 crores were affected due to the strike and it would take a couple of days for the employees to clear their backlog. Punjab Bank Employees Federation today held a big rally in front of Canara Bank, Bharat Nagar Chowk.

Employees of class III and IV under the banner of the Northern Zone Insurance Employees Association also observed a one-day strike today. They voiced their demand against the increase in the FDI in the insurance sector and for the protection of the public sector insurance industry along with the other demands of the people. A massive protest rally was held today in front of the LIC divisional office Dugri.

Addressing the gathering, Amarjit Singh, Divisional Secretary, said there should be a stop to the neo-liberal policies of the government in order to secure jobs and the rights to the workers and demanded a change in the economic policies to eradicate and prevent corruption and to bring back the black money.

Power utility, telecom sectors suffer

Work in the offices of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) came to a complete halt, with employees of both the public sector corporations observing a day-long strike in response to a call given by 11 central trade unions here today.

While power supply and telephone service were maintained with the help of supervisory officials and some of the non-striking employees who manned key installations, cash counters and customer care centres of the PSPCL and the BSNL across the city remained closed. With most of the divisional and sub-divisional offices of the PSPCL being closed, members of the public visiting the offices for different works had to return disappointed. Similarly, consumers who wanted to deposit their electricity bills were turned back or told to go to the private bill collection centres. According to the PSPCL Chief Engineer of Central Zone KL Sharma, nearly 65 per cent of the employees remained on strike, and power supply as well as other essential services were maintained with the help of senior officials and skeletal staff. 

Main demands of striking employees

n Concrete measures to contain price rise

n Concrete measures for linkage of employment protection with the concession/incentive package offered to entrepreneurs

n Strict enforcement of all basic labour laws

n Universal security cover for the unorganised sector workers without any restriction

n Stoppage of disinvestment in Central and State Public Sector undertakings

n Amendment of minimum Wages Act to ensure universal coverage irrespective of the schedules and fixation of statutory minimum wage at not less than Rs 10,000 per month with indexation

n Removal of all ceilings on payment and eligibility of bonus, provident fund, increase in the quantum of gratuity

n Assured pension for all

n Compulsory registration of trade unions within a period of 45 days and immediate ratification of ILO Conventions No. 87 and 98


Transportation services affected 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
Transportation services were affected partly due to the one-day strike on the nationwide call given by various trade unions. Transportation of goods was affected, as some transport unions also observed strike, while buses plied as usual. Some observed strike only between 12-2 pm.

Baachitar Singh, secretary, PRTC, Motor Mazdoor Union (CITU), said the bus services were not affected in a big way as the public transportation was halted only between 12-2 pm. "The buses were plying as usual and we observed strike only for two hours. The bus services ran as usual for the rest of the day," he said.

A passenger at the bus stand said, "I had to go to Chandigarh and got late by one hour. But I really thank God that the transportation service was not stopped for the entire day. Otherwise it would have been very difficult," he said.

Santokhpal Singh, another exporter, rued that he failed to receive a consignment from Jaipur which was supposed to be sent further to Dubai. "Now I will be able to send my consignment tomorrow. Now I have to bear the losses due to the late dispatch of the order," he added.

Meanwhile, Harish Jain, an industrialist, said he was shocked to receive the news from his client that his order had not been received by them. "I had sent the consignment from my office located at Delhi and since the transporters had observed strike there, my consignment got late. Now I have to pay the penalty for late delivery," he added.

Charan Singh Lohara, a transporter and leader of the transport union, said they did not participate in the strike. "Our work was carried out as normal and we were out of the strike," he added. 



Work in banks, Powercom offices paralysed
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh/Raikot/Payal, February 28
In response to a nationwide call given by the Central Trade Unions, a large number of trade union activists from various branches of nationalised banks and other government undertakings struck work and staged protests at various places.

While activists of the Technical Services Union, Employee Federation (AITUC) and the Ministerial Staff Union staged protest in front of Powercom offices, activists of bank unions staged protest near the grain market branch of the State Bank of Patiala at local town, Hari Singh Nalwa Chowk at Raikot and near bus stand at Payal today.

These protests were staged under the banner of the All-India Bank Employees Association.

A large number of activists of unions from branches of the Punjab National Bank, Central Bank of India, Punjab and Sind Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, State Bank of India and the State Bank of Patiala gathered in front of their branches in the morning and raised slogan against the Union government and management committees of their respective banks.

Accusing the successive governments of ignoring the demands of employees of financial organisations, speakers alleged that the authorities had shown scant respect to labour laws. They said instead of exploring chances of promoting human resources in their respective institutes, top officials had been focusing their attention on mechanisation of banking.



MC stops parking under elevated road in city
Checking traffic congestion
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
To check the problem of traffic congestion under the elevated road in the city, the MC did not auction the space used for parking there today. Earlier, area shopkeepers used to park their vehicles under the elevated road and a contractor used to charge them for that. But from now on, no person would be allowed to park their vehicles under the road.

The auction of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation’s multi-level parking and New Sabzi Mandi parking was held today.

Interestingly, the contract of one of the busiest MC parkings, the multi-level parking near Mata Rani Chowk, was bagged by a company by paying lesser amount than what the previous company paid last time.

“This is so because we did not auction the parking space under the elevated road. This space used to be auctioned along with our multi-level parking and this time, as we did not auction space under the elevated road, the contract went for less amount,” informed MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi.

The multi-level parking, which is situated right next to the MC Zone A office has always remained in news for wrong reasons. Area shopkeepers have always accused them of overcharging. Instead of Rs 10, the contractor charges Rs 20. Ironically all this is happening right under the nose of MC officials, who have turned a blind eye towards it.

Last time, the company which bagged this contract had paid an amount of Rs 27.80 lakh, but this time, the contract was bagged by paying Rs 25.87 lakh. This contract was bagged by Bhola and Company.

The contract of parking in New Sabzi Mandi was also bagged by Bhola and Company by paying Rs 1.11 crore. Last time, this contract had gone on Rs 1,10,30,000.



Bullet planted inside driver’s body, argues police
Rajinder Nagarkoti
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, February 28
The controversial case of Nelson, Dr Sumit Sofat’s driver, being shot at in 2009, took an interesting turn today, with the Panchkula police moving the district court, arguing that the bullet was planted inside the body and he never received any gunshot.

The police pointed out that the bullet was planted in the body of the driver by specialists. The shootout was said to be staged to prove that the driver had been shot at by a Ludhiana-based businessman, Ramesh Pashan, with whom Dr Sofat had a property dispute.

In the application moved under Section 319 of the CrPC, public prosecutor Narinder Bhuria mentioned that the injury was superficial and the bullet was planted. The prosecution demanded that Nelson be summoned as accused. The application was moved after a PGI doctor recorded his statement last week.

In the statement, recorded by public prosecutor Dharampal, Dr Rahul Singh had stated that as per the medico-legal case summary of the patient, treated by Dr Rajat Kalra, who had left the PGI, the nature of injury had been shown to be simple as the injury was superficial and not deep. “The injury has been described to be a simple one. There is an entry hole, but no exit hole. The injury is superficial. In a firearm injury, the bullet penetrates deep, which is not the case herein. If a bullet is fired from a distance, it travels with speed and cannot automatically be stopped within the body unless it hits a bony part. With that hit, there is every possibility that a fracture is be observed on that bone. In the present case, there is not a single fracture. A bullet cannot stop on its own due to resistance of skin and tissue,” the statement read.

On September 17, 2010, the Panchkula police arrested Sofat from Sector 22 in Chandigarh. Dr Sofat was booked following investigations into his complaint regarding a robbery and shootout at the Morni hills on July 19, 2009. The complaint was found to be an attempt to framing Pashan and his sons Vinayak and Abhinav in a criminal case.

Made news in Dehradun

Dr Sofat had landed himself in trouble in Dehradun as well, where he had got a false case of gangrape registered against the Pashan family. After finding that the complaint was fraudulent, the Dehradun police had registered a case of rape under Section 376 of the IPC against Sofat in August, 2009.



No grudge against attackers: Pak nationals
Overwhelmed by love, they want to come again
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
The Pakistani nationals, who had come to the city in connection with an Indo-Pak exhibition and one of whom was attacked on February 25 while they were returning to their hotel, have expressed their gratitude towards city residents for showering their love and affection on them.

Talking to The Tribune here today, Faizal Azim (32), a trader, said he was regularly getting calls from the Pakistan High Commission regarding the incident. “But we have no grudge against anyone. Not all people are alike anywhere. The persons attacked my father, snatched our belongings. But the attackers, along with their family members and the police, turned up and asked us to forgive them. We have forgotten everything. The incident was destined to take place. Otherwise, we have received tremendous warmth, love and affection from the locals. They kept on standing at the local Civil Hospital, where my father Mohammad Azim was admitted,” Azim added.

The father and son, after submitting an affidavit in a court, said given a chance, they would love to return to India, especially Ludhiana.

“The attackers did not know that we were Pakistanis. We dress up and speak like any other Indian. We would love to come here with our families. We are grateful to the people of Ludhiana,” said Mohammad Azim. The father and son are leaving for Lahore tomorrow.



No support from MC, says pollution board
Cleaning Budda Nullah filth
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
Tall claims by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) that the pollution levels of Budda Nullah have gone down seem only on paper, with the PPCB officials claiming that they are not getting any support from the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation.

As government officials have been busy in election-related duties, residents have once again started dumping garbage and other solid waste into the nullah that was recently “cleaned” by the MC. The situation is such that at some places, the nullah has almost choked and is hampering the flow of water.

Budda Nullah, which once was a clear water body, flows 14-km within the municipal limits, starting from near Central Jail till Balloke village and has 25 “pullis” (small bridges) on it.

PPCB officials say that they have sent several reminders to the MC regarding the discharge and disposal of solid waste into the nullah. “But all our reminders seem to have fallen on deaf ears, with the MC failing to even close all outlets of sewerage water, which falls into Budha Nullah,” said a senior PPCB official of the city.

The PPCB has given a deadline of March 31 to the MC for closing all sewerage water outlets into the nullah. “Even till date, outlets near Tibba Road, Shingar Cinema, Gau Ghat and other adjoining areas have not been closed for reasons best known to the MC,” said the official.

A visit along the Budda Nullah explains everything. With literally no check of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, people keep throwing garbage into the water body. Even the garbage bins have been kept along the banks and when they overflow, the garbage falls into the nullah.

Even though the MC has installed warning boards at some places and has even fined some people for throwing garbage into the nullah, this step doesn’t seem to give any fruit. Maybe the MC is expecting that people would themselves stop polluting the nullah by reading the warning boards.

The much-awaited Budda Nullah ecological economical restoration project was inaugurated by the then Union minister for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh on April 23 last year. This Rs 16-crore project, named “In-Situ Sewage Treatment with Bio-remediation,” was inaugurated by releasing four pots of microbial culture into the nullah waters. But till date, this project has not started functioning.

But the PPCB officials say that till the time discharge of untreated water, sewerage, solid waste and other such things into the nullah is stopped, even the bio-remediation project would not be helpful. “This project would work only if the nullah does not get polluted any further. But if all these effluents and sewerage water keeps falling into the nullah, the project would be a big failure,” claimed the PPCB official.

MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi says that the solid waste management project has already started functioning in the city. “In the next few months, we would have solution to the problem of garbage disposal into the nullah. Besides, we are also working to educate people living along the banks not to pollute the water body,” claimed Jaggi.

Was once a clean water body

From a clean water channel just four decades ago, along whose banks the city flourished in the late 19th century, it has today turned into a slow-moving stream carrying black and foul-smelling toxic elements from the city to Sutlej river. The nullah has a golden past. There is substantial evidence that the nullah was a sub-channel of erstwhile Sutlej river. The Lodhi Fort, according to historians and Ludhiana Gazetteer, was constructed in the 17th century on its banks.

Originating from several streams coming from a hillock near Ropar, the nullah, which was earlier known as Budda Dariya, takes proper shape near Macchiwara. It then passes through the city and then joins the Sutlej in the Bet area. Though the Sutlej changed its path, the streams continued to feed the Budda Dariya. After the 1960s, the clean Budda Dariya began changing form, as a number of industries, especially dyeing, electroplating and acidic, began depositing effluents into it. 

Residents to blame also

As government officials have been busy in election-related duties, residents have once again started dumping garbage and other solid waste into the nullah that was recently “cleaned” by the MC. The situation is such that at some places, the nullah has almost choked and is hampering the flow of water.



MC to organise flower show on March 3
Despite 754 parks, 350 PMCs, 300 gardeners, corporation has failed to maintain green belts 
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
Even though the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation would be organising a flower show on March 3 and March 4, it has failed to maintain parks and green belts in the city.

There are 754 parks and about 350 park management committees in the city. The Municipal Corporation pays a consolidated amount of Rs 1,500 per month to the park management committees for maintaining parks up to 1,500 sq yards, Rs 1.5 per sq yards for those between 1,500 and 4,000 sq yards, a consolidated amount of Rs 6,000 to parks measuring 4,000 to 6,000 sq yards and Rs 1 per sq yard for those above 6,000 sq yards

The Municipal Corporation would be organising a flower and a baby show in Nehru Rose Garden in Civil Lines on March 3 and 4. The corporation has sought entries for pot plants, cut flowers and flower arrangements, garden competition, garlands and bouquets.

There are 300 gardeners with the corporation and most of them are “posted” in houses of senior government officials.

President, Federation of Pollution and Park Management Committees, SS Chana, said: “A large number of parks and green belts are in shambles. The Municipal Corporation, instead of organising such functions, should maintain them. Leave aside organising flower shows, Municipal Corporation has not been able to find how trees “vanished” from parks in Sarabha Nagar. If it really wants to do something good for the city, it should maintain the parks and green belts and punish those who cut trees from parks.”

Municipal Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi said all parks were being maintained. “Moreover, the flower show that we are organising is for the city residents. All we want is to create awareness amongst residents, so that we can have a greener Ludhiana,” he added. 



Roundabouts turn death traps 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 28
Commuters on the Ludhiana - Malerkotla road continue to suffer due to the alleged unconcern of the administration towards prevention of mishaps at and near vulnerable areas, which were identified long ago.

Instead of changing the infrastructure, officials have advised the commuters to drive slowly.

Though the rate of accidents has decreased at the Pohir Chowk after a roundabout was demolished, similar roundabout at Gill village and abrupt diversions near Jagera Bridge has turned into death traps.

Taking cognizance of frequent mishaps near vulnerable areas, Malaudh SHO Ashok Sharma has advised officials of a company undertaking construction of roads and bridges to do the needful to prevent further loss of property and human life.

“We had apprised our seniors about the situation. Besides sending written communication, we have advised officials of the construction company to take measures to prevent mishaps near vulnerable areas,” said Ashok Sharma adding that the company had deployed more personnel to alert commuters near such points besides expediting the work.

Investigations revealed that large roundabouts constructed on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road near Pohir and Gill villages, a number of broken dividers and narrow bridges had turned into death traps. Though the roundabout at Pohir was demolished, authorities had put up caution marks near vulnerable points.

Records revealed that a number of persons had died due to faulty construction of the road between Ludhiana and Malerkotla.

A large number of accidents are taking place at the Pohir roundabout after passages were created by breaking the central verge.

Sources revealed that a team of engineers had surveyed the road, after a sequence of stories was published in The Tribune on the issue.

Following this, officials marked the areas as vulnerable. Instead of making necessary changes, officials preferred to evade responsibility by putting up caution boards.

In gross violation of rules, the authorities have constructed rumple strip without any warning near the Pohir roundabout.

Residents of the area have urged the higher authorities, including the Chief Minister, to impress upon the officials concerned to take preventive measure to avoid accidents.



Hike in subsidy mooted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
Much to the relief of the textile industry, the proposal of increasing the subsidy given to it to 30 per cent from 20 per cent has been sent to the ministry and it is awaited in the next budget, said Dhruv Aggarwal, a member of the All-India Powerloom Board, Ministry of Textiles. He was in the city today.

"We have also discussed about the span of this subsidy, which will also increase for a period, to be disclosed in the upcoming budget. It has also been decided that even the semi-automatic sector will gain from this subsidy. Ludhiana being an important manufacturing centre and a hub of this industry will be benefitted from the extension of the period of the scheme or the rate of the subsidy," he added.

The Technological Upgradation Fund (TUF) scheme, which was introduced by the Ministry of Textiles in 1999, is losing its validity this year. The Central Government, through this subsidy, has been providing for the technological upgrade of this sector through capital subsidy, coverage of exchange rate erosion, interest subsidy, margin money subsidy and various other ways. This scheme has been very helpful to the textile industry.

"After a meeting with the ministry, which was held to discuss the important issues and problems faced by this sector, a few important decisions were made. The most vital agenda of the meeting was TUF and enhancement of Margin Money Subsidy provided to the power-loom sector, added Aggarwal.

While discussing about his nomination to the Board of Ministry of Textiles and plans to bring improvement in this sector for the city, Aggarwal added, "The industry is not satisfied with the facilities provided at NITRA Lab for yarn and fabric testing. I have proposed to the government to set up a new lab which can be built in public-private partnership." Aggarwal said a multi-crore mega project for the power-loom sector had also been proposed which is under active consideration of the ministry and could be set up in the city. 



Thirty poor girls tie the knot
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, February 28
The England-based Guru Nanak Charitable Trust (Glasgow), in collaboration with the NRIs of the region, solemnised the marriages of as many as 30 girls from underprivileged families at a function organised at Cheemna village, near here, today. The trust also distributed shagun money and a large number of necessary home utensils to these girls.

DSP (D) Surinder Kumar was the chief guest at the ceremony. He lauded the efforts of the trust in the field of social service. He also appealed to the other NGOs to come forward and help the needy people from the poor section of society.

Gurmel Singh Dhillon, chairman of the Guru Nanak Charitable Trust, said the trust had been organising mass marriage for Dalit girls since 2005. “We have performed marriages of more than 100 girls during these years. The trust has been receiving very good support from the NRIs who have been providing all kind of assistance to us for uplifting the people of the underprivileged sections of society,” said Dhillon while expressing thanks to the NRIs for their support in this social cause.

According to Dhillon, he has taken up the cause seeing the poor condition of the parents who can not afford marriages of their daughters. “It is too difficult for poor parents in the present era of inflation to marry off their daughters. Therefore we have taken up the task of marrying poor girls to share the burden of their families. I also appeal to the other social organisations to come forward and offer all assistance to such poor families,” said Dhillon. 



Rights commission seeks report
Overgrown grass at govt schools
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
Taking up a complaint regarding negligence of some government schools in allowing grass to overgrow at some of the government schools in the city, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission has sought a report from the District Education Officer before the next date of hearing on March 9, 2012.

Varinder Singh, a city-based RTI activist, had sent a complaint to the PSHRC highlighting negligence on the part of some of the government schools in mowing the overgrown grass on their premises. The complainant has said students have to face inconvenience due to the overgrown grass. Because of this overgrown grass at the government schools, including Government Girls School, Bharat Nagar, there was always a constant danger of snakes lurking around. Young students had to pass through this grass to reach the schools. He complained that a map laid on the ground for teaching geography at Government Senior Secondary School, Gobind Nagar, was also infested with grass. But despite several complaints, no action was taken to address the problem.

In his orders, the PSHRC has said: "On consideration of the allegations contained in the complaint, the commission takes cognisance of the matter and calls for the report from the District Education Officer (Schools), Ludhiana, u/s 17(1) of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993." 



Girl suffers 60 pc burns 
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 28
A teenaged girl of Gandhi Mohalla here suffered serious burn injuries when she accidentally caught fire while working in the kitchen of her house this afternoon. The girl, identified as Ramandeep Kaur (16), was alone at house at the time of the incident.

According to ASI Joga Singh, in charge of the Jagraon bus stand police post, the incident took place this afternoon when the victim was preparing meals. The initial investigation has revealed that the girl was alone at her house at the time of the incident as the other members of her family had gone to a nearby village to meet their relatives.

According to the doctors at the hospital, about 60 per cent of the girl’s body was burnt. However, the girl is stated to be stable.

No case was registered till the filing of this report,



PAU Notes

Expert for reducing area under turmeric 

Ludhiana, February 28
India is the largest producer, consumer and exporter of turmeric in the world. The country accounts for about 80 per cent of world turmeric production and 60 per cent of export. Dr JS Sidhu, in charge, Agricultural Market Intelligence Centre (AMIC), Punjab Agricultural University, said this today.

Discussing about the Punjab scenario, Dr Sidhu highlighted that the farmers in Punjab were also tempted to start growing turmeric due to its high returns. The area under turmeric in the state increased to about 3,200 hectares, with an estimated production of about 16,000 tonnes.

He added: "The AMIC of the PAU is of the view that at the present level of production, the turmeric is not a viable enterprise and the growers should take into consideration the demand of turmeric in the country and reduce the area under turmeric at least by half in the coming year to get remunerative prices."

Convocation on March 1

The convocation and prize-distribution function of the College of Agriculture, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), will be held on March 1 at the Pal Auditorium of the university.

Secretary to the Government of India, Ministry of Agriculture, New Delhi, PK Basu will be the chief guest while Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, will preside over the function.

Dr DS Cheema, dean, College of Agriculture, PAU, said a total of 266 degrees in BSc Agriculture (Hons), 13 BEd, 41 merit certificates, seven gold medals/medals and 27 prizes (for academic excellence) will be awarded to the students on the occasion. He added a rehearsal will be held on February 29 at the Pal Auditorium.

Farmer-scientist interface

Innovations are vital for the upgrade of agriculture and allied economy of Punjab. Without this, no success can be achieved, stated SC Agrawal, Chief Secretary, Punjab, while chairing the technical session on "Innovative Technologies for Sustainable Agriculture" at the two-day "farmer-scientist interface", which began at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on Tuesday.

The programme has been organized by the PAU in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU).

Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor of the PAU, Dr VK Taneja, Vice-Chancellor of GADVASU, Dr Mangal S Sandhu, Director of Agriculture, Punjab, Dr LS Brar, Director of Horticulture, Punjab, Dr HS Sandha, Director of Animal Husbandry, Punjab, and progressive farmers from across the state participated in the interface.

Agrawal said diversification and the new crop varieties are the need of the hour for agricultural development in the state. He inaugurated the exhibition, which was put up by farmers and various departments of the PAU and GADVASU, highlighting the net-house cultivation of vegetables, management of diseases and insect-pests of various crops and various PAU technologies.

The co-chairman of the technical session NS Kang, Financial Commissioner (Development), Punjab, lauded the contribution of the PAU to the food buffer of the nation.

GS Sandhu, Financial Commissioner, Animal Husbandry Dairy and Fisheries (AHD&F), while co-chairing the session, said the experts should lay special thrust on developing the nutritious varieties of fodder as it would be of immense benefit to dairy farmers. For agricultural growth, the focus should be on its "allied sectors" and "diversification", be it in terms of livestock, floriculture, fruits or vegetables, he added.

Dr AM Narula, zonal project director, ICAR, observed, "This year, 250 million tonnes of food grain production is expected in the country. India is an emerging economy, but the agricultural growth, in the last 10 years, has been only 3 per cent. In view of the ever-increasing population and the rising costs of labour, fertilisers and inputs, the research and development should lay special emphasis on doubling the food grain production, reducing the cost of production and increasing farmers’ income, he said.

Dr Sanjeev Saxena from the intellectual property and technology management unit, ICAR, spoke on "options for protection of innovations."

Dr Mahesh Patil from the National Innovation Foundation (NIF), Ahmedabad, shared his views on "Experiences in promotion of grass-roots innovations by Honey Bee Network."

On the occasion, progressive farmers Prabpal S. Dhillon, Kasel, Taran Taran and Surinder Singh Dhindsa, Phillaur, shared their experiences of agricultural activities and dairy farming.

Two publications were also released on the occasion. 



College notes

Scholarship project

LUDHIANA: The Yog Aur Sewa Parivaar (YSP), Ludhiana , today completed its scholarship project worth Rs 99,000 by presenting a cheque for Rs 33,000 to 11 needy students of the Government College for Women here.

According to a press note issued here, it was the last and third instalment (yearly) released under the project. Principal Gurminder Kaur, who received the cheque for Rs 33,000, thanked the YSP for its noble gesture. GR Vig, president of the YSP, told the gathering that earlier too 10 girls of this college had been given scholarships.


The Department of Fine Arts of Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Gujharkhan Campus, organised a seminar on the use of animation in art. Himmat and Taanjeet, artists in the field of animation from Picasso Animation College, Delhi, were present on the occasion. While addressing the students, Taanjeet highlighted the importance of art and guided the students regarding various career options under fine arts. Himmat delivered a lecture on the importance of animation in various fields. Kawaljeet Kaur, Principal of the college, Harpreet Kaur, Head of Fine Arts Department, were also present.

Annual function

The annual prize-distribution function of Ramgarhia Girls College was held at the college auditorium. As many as 300 students from different streams were awarded prizes for their excellent performances in academics, sports and extra-curricular activities. Ranjodh Singh, president, Ramgarhia Educational Council, extended a welcome to the chief guest, Ashok Arora, former secretary, Supreme Court Bar Association (of the Jessica Lal case fame). Arora gave tips to the students on how to improve focus and confidence in one's life. The Principal, Dr Narinder Sandhu, highlighted academic, cultural and sports achievements of the college.

National seminar

A two-day UGC-sponsored national seminar is being organised at Kamla Lohtia SD College here by the PG Department of Commerce. As many as 60 delegates from all over the country participated in the seminar on the first day on Tuesday. The proceedings of the seminar started with bouquet presentation to the dignitaries, including chief guest, Prof RK Sharma, Dept of Public Administration, Panjab University, Chandigarh. BD Budhiraja, director, welcomed the guests and delegates from various institutions and highlighted the achievements of the college in academics, sports and co-curricular activities.

He stated that the objective of the seminar was to dwell upon various challenges put forth before the Indian banking by the IT-dominated globalised economic environment. Prof AK Vashisht, in his keynote address, highlighted the various banking practices of pre-reform and post-reform periods.

Dr NK Ohja, guest of honour, stressed the use of the IT had made banking in the modern days quite convenient. Prof CL Chandan, from HP University Business School, HP University, Shimla, was the resource person for the first technical session. Prof Sanjay Kaushik from University Business School, Panjab University, Chandigarh, was the second resource person for the technical session. The first technical session was summed up by the chairperson, Dr Anil Mittal, Associate Professor, University School of Management, Kurukshetra University. The second technical session was chaired by Dr Chiranjeev Singh.

Prize-distribution function

The annual prize-distribution function of GGN Khalsa College was held on Tuesday. The winners were awarded roll of honour, college colours, certificates of merit for their achievements in academics, sports, cultural and extra-curricular activities. The chief guest, Kuldeep Singh, Commissioner, Income Tax, gave away the prizes to the winners. He exhorted the winners to excel in their respective fields in this highly competitive world.

Earlier, Prof Sohinderjit Singh, president, Gujranwala Khalsa Education Council, welcomed the chief guest. — TNS



42 appear for talent-search exam
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 28
The Khalsa College for Women Sidhwan Khurd, near Jagraon, held a national commerce talent-search examination on the premises of the college today. This was the fourth edition of the annual talent-search examination.

As many as 42 students of the Department of Commerce of the college appeared for the examination conducted by the Commerce Talent Search Examination Foundation. The aim of organising this examination was to enhance students’ extra-curricular knowledge and bringing out their talent.

According to the Principal of the college, Dr Paramjit Kaur, the examination was organised to give some exposure to the students of the college in the field of commerce so that they can excel in their careers after completing their education.

While addressing the participating students after the examination, the Principal said this examination would also prove to be beneficial to the students who were preparing for competitive examinations.

The examination was held under the able guidance of Head of the Department of Commerce, Khalsa College for Women, Prof Rajni and Assistant Prof Kirandeep Kaur.



From Schools

Students of class X of Spring Dale School at a science fair organised by the Gulzar Group of Institutes.
Students of class X of Spring Dale School at a science fair organised by the Gulzar Group of Institutes.

Annual day

Ludhiana: Annual day was celebrated at Lovely Lotus School. Students participated in various events, including a fancy-dress show, rhymes and song and dance. The parents of the children were also present on the occasion.

Farewell party

A farewell party for class XII was organised at SAN Jain Model School. The party started with “navkar mantra”. A cultural programme was presented by the students and Mr and Miss Farewell were selected.

First Steps

The annual day function of the First Steps School was organised at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan. A show titled “The Power of Teamwork” was also organised as part of the event. Principal Poonam Mahajan emphasised the importance of teamwork.

Namokar mantra path

The namokar mantra path and amritvani were organised at Jain Public Senior Secondary School in the city for better performance and results of the students in the upcoming exams. — TNS



Ludhiana Scan


Adeeb International (Sahir Cultural Academy), in collaboration with the Nehru Sidhant Kender Trust, Ludhiana, would organise the 40th Annual Jashn-e-Sahir 2012 on March 3 at Nehru Sidhant Kender, Feroze Gandhi Market, Dr Kewal Dheer, Chairman of Adeeb International said at a press conference.


On the directions of Chief Administrator, GLADA, KS Pannu and Additional Chief Administrator, GLADA, Jaswant Singh, action was taken against an unauthorised colony in Ayali Khurd village adjoining South City. Roads, streetlight poles, manholes were dismantled in the colony with the help of police force. — TNS



Youth killed
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 28
A youth in his twenties died when a bus near Chajjawal village on the Jagraon-Raikot road mowed him down today morning. The deceased has been identified as Gurdeep Singh (25) of Chajjawal village, about 8 kilometer from Jagraon. He was working as a bus conductor with a private transport company.

As per the information, the accident took place at a bus stop of Chajjawal village at around 8 am today morning while Gurdeep was trying to board a bus to visit Jagraon.

According to an eyewitness, Gurdeep Singh signaled the bus driver to stop the bus at the bus stop. The bus driver, instead of stopping the bus, slowed it down.

Gurdeep could not maintain the balance while boarding the bus and fell on the ground. He was mowed down under the rear tyres of the bus. He was immediately rushed to the local Civil Hospital. He was declared brought dead by the doctors.

A police team from the Jagraon Sadar police station reached the spot and started the investigation. According to SHO of the Sadar police station, Rachpal Singh, a case of negligent driving has been registered against an unidentified bus driver and the investigation is on.

The bus driver is absconding. A manhunt has been launched to nab him. The body of Gurdeep was handed over to his family members after conducting a post-mortem examination. 



Man commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
Paramjit Singh Happy (45), a resident of Kirpal Nagar, committed suicide by hanging himself with a ceiling fan today. Happy used to ply an auto-rickshaw. The incident came to light when his 10-year-old son returned from the school. He saw his father hanging with the ceiling fan and raised an alarm. Neighbours immediately informed the police about the incident.

A police team from the Basti Jodhewal police station took the body into its custody. Investigating officer Naresh Kumar said Happy’s wife had gone to her parent’s home following a fight with her husband about 15 days ago. Paramjit sent his daughter to Chandigarh and son to his school today morning. He went to work on his auto-rickshaw, but returned him in afternoon. The police has not found any suicide note from the spot. Meanwhile, statements of his wife and children have been recorded.

Foetus found

A foetus was found from a garbage dump in Gurmel Park in Basti Jodhewal today. President of the area Jaswant Singh informed Tibba Police post about the foetus. Chowki in charge Dalbir Singh has started investigating the matter. 



MC sewer man found dead in park
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
The body of Shailender Kumar (44), working as a sewer man in the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, was found under mysterious circumstances from Focal Point today. Though the police maintains that Shailender died a natural death, his family members suspect foul play. The body of Shailender was handed over to the family after a post-mortem examination. The viscera have been sent to Patiala for further investigation.

Additional SHO of Focal Point Mukesh Kumar said preliminary investigations revealed that Shailender used to remain on duty from 8 am to 5 pm in Focal Point. “A tube well attendant said Shailender did not talk with others yesterday.

He seemed depressed and stayed at the tube well till 10 pm. His family members were informed about it. But no one turned up to take him home. His body was found in a nearby park today morning,” the Additional SHO added. 



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