L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Foul play alleged in death
There was a conspiracy behind my father’s death, says youth
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
The death of a former employee of the district administration, who was crushed by a speeding truck in the Focal Point area here last evening, took a serious turn when the victim's son cried foul and claimed that his father was killed following a conspiracy.

Harish Kumar, son of Varinder Kumar, shocked everyone during the cremation of his father when he said that his father was eliminated, as the latter knew many secrets about the multi- crore Indra Aawas Yojna Scam took place in the district administration in 2010.

Varinder Kumar, who was posted as an accountant in the ADC office, was retired on February 28.

"Besides names of senior employees of the district administration, my father's name also figured in the multi-crore scam of the district administration. I am convinced that my father has been killed following a plan," said Harish Kumar.

Vinod Kumar, brother of the victim, said that Varinder used to tell him that there was a danger to his life.

"He has been killed and the incident has been shown as an accident death. I have come to know from the eyewitnesses that on seeing the oncoming truck Varinder had stopped the scooter, but the driver accelerated the speed of the vehicle and crushed my brother to death," said Vinod Kumar, brother of Varinder Kumar.

The Indra Aawas Yojna scam had rocked the administration in September 2010. The multi-crore scam had led to the transfer of the then additional deputy commissioner (development) Davinder Singh, while clerk Laxman Singh, the main culprit was arrested.

The role of Varinder Kumar had also come under scanner and the police had recovered a laptop and Rs 9,000 from him. It was further learnt that he had invested the money and purchased several properties.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Rahul Tiwari said, "He would ask the police officials concerned to thoroughly investigate the matter."

The Focal Point police has registered a case under Section 304-A for reckless driving, resulting in death against an unidentified truck driver.

SHO Focal Point Kavarjit Singh said, "Harish has not reported any such complaint stating his after was killed following a conspiracy and the incident was shown as road accident. Had Harsih lodged this complaint, we would have started investigating the matter from the conspiracy angle as well."


Similar death reported earlier

Varinder Kumar is not alone. Jaswinderpal Singh (26), a clerk in the excise and taxation department, who was instrumental in unearthing the multi-crore rupee 'bogus firm' scam, also died in a similar manner in August 2010.

Jaswinderpal was hit by a speeding tractor-trailer coming from behind in Sudhar on August 26, 2010. He sustained severe injuries on the head and was rushed to the hospital in a critical condition. His wife, whom he had married three years ago, had reportedly accompanied him for a morning walk when the incident occurred.

Value-added tax registrations of 350 companies were cancelled and over 100 other firms in the city came under the excise & taxation department's scanner after the scam had come to light.

Jaswinderpal was given the job in the department on "compassionate grounds" after his father, Balkar Singh, was killed by militants during the 1980s insurgency in Punjab.

It has been nearly two years since the incident, but the accused are at large.



One arrested, 3 others missing
Attack on Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd employee’s son
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, March 15
The local police has finally arrested the youth accused of attacking the son of a BSNL employee. The accused has been identified as Jagdish Singh, a resident of Ajit Nagar Jagraon. The police has registered a case of attempt to murder and robbery against Jagdish Singh. Three youths, who were accompanying him during the attack, are absconding.

Jagdeep Singh, son of BSNL employee Harpal Singh, was attacked by four unidentified persons last night when he had gone to bring some eatables for the family after having the dinner. Jagdeep, who had received serious injuries during the attack, is currently undergoing treatment at Medicity Hospital Ludhiana.

With the arrest of Jagdish Singh, the police also claimed to having solved the mystery surrounding the threat calls being issued to BSNL employee Harpal Singh for the past nine months. It is not known yet why the accused used to make threat calls to Harpal Singh.

Harpal Singh, who is an employees at Jagraon Telephone Exchange, had been receiving threat calls on his mobile phone for the past nine months. The caller used to threat him of killing his son Jagdeep. Due to this, Harpal Singh had even stopped his son Jagdeep, a student of a polytechnic college at Moga, from going to the college.

Harpal Singh even reported the matter to the police and lodged a complaint regarding the threats being issued to him with the local police, but the police failed to trace the caller despite the fact that Harpal even provided call details of the caller to the police. About 20 days back, Harpal Singh had even met SSP Ludhiana (rural) Amar Singh Chahal and requested him to step up the investigation and arrest the person responsible for making threat calls to him. But that too did not serve his case and the caller continued to issue threat calls.

According to SHO Jagraon city police station Surinder Singh, Jagdish Singh has confessed to making threat calls to Harpal Singh. It is not known yet why he used to make threat calls to Harpal. “The police has been investigating the case from various angles. We are trying to ascertain why Jagdish used to make threat calls to Harpal. Everything will become clear within a couple of days,” said the SHO.



pseb exam
12 class XII students caught copying
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
While the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) and schools authorities are taking strict measures to curb cheating during the examination, cheaters are coming up with innovative ideas of copying.

In a latest incident, 12 students were caught cheating in the English examination of class XII today. Amongst the students, the flying squad of the board nabbed a student who was cracking questions by hiding a mobile phone in his turban.

The Board authorities registered unfair means cases (UMC) against these students.

According to the officials, four cases were registered in Kindergarten Public School Samrala by the flying squad team led by Surinder Singh Grewal. Meanwhile, another team led by Harjit Singh Balari caught four students copying at Shakti Public School Machhiwara. One case was registered in Chopra Public School Machhiwara, one in Government Senior Secondary School Boys Samrala. A student was caught in Himalaya Public School Khanna also.

The flying squad team restricted the entry of the principal of Shakti Public School, Machhiwara, in an examination centre. The Board authorities took back the charges from two faulty invigilators in Machhiwara.



Word causes ‘confusion’ in question paper

Ludhiana, March 15
A single word in a question paper of the second semester of the class XII examination of the CBSE created “confusion” among students here. In the accountancy paper of class XII, same question of no. 6 of set 1, question no. 7 of set 2 and questions no 8 of set 3 were “written wrong”.

The word "due" changes the meaning of a question and it caused a dilemma for students when they were unable to understand the question properly.

The given statement was "From the following information, calculation the amount of subscription "due" to be shown in the income and Expenditure account for year ended 31.3.2011 if there are 1000 members and each paying Rs 300 pa as subscription."

Dinesh Sood , a commerce lecturer, said, "Actually subscription due is not shown in the income and expenditure account. Students got confused to give the correct answer to this. It is a request to the CBSE to give some grace marks to the students for this mistake". — TNS



Sutlej Club poll made a ‘hurry-up’ affair
Admn bid to curb mud-slinging, brawls
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
Not to give ample time to the contestants for indulging in mud-slinging and brawls during the Sutlej Club elections, which otherwise are a routine affair in every elections, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari today made it clear that after the annual general body meeting of the club on March 20, just seven-10 days' time would be given to the contestants for the club elections.

"I have been getting many representations and complaints from senior members that during elections, certain members bring disrepute to the prestigious club by indulging in petty politics. During the late-night parties, they indulge in arguements and brawls, which is disgusting. On March 20, we will announce the date for the elections and contestants will be given seven-10 days' time for preparations," said the DC.

Acting tough with those creating indiscipline at the club during the elections, Tewari said strict action would be taken against the contestants found guilty. "They can be debarred from contesting the elections," said the president of the club, adding that after the AGM, till holding the elections, the club would be closed strictly at 10:30 pm daily.

Prem Chand, a class I officer, has already been deputed by the president to prepare the schedule - starting from nomination, scrutiny, withdrawal, polling, counting to the declaration of results. "Within a day or two, I will get the schedule and the second class I officer, as per club laws, will be appointed on March 20 during the AGM," said Tewari.

Appreciating the decision taken by the president, a member said, "Every sensible member will be happy with this decision. Otherwise, contestants spend lakhs of rupees on holding lavish parties and level allegations against each other. They create ruckus and the families avoid coming to the club during the election days. They will be given less time, there will be less fights."



Missing woman’s body found from canal

Ludhiana, March 15
The body of Daljit Kaur (55), a resident of New Janta Nagar, who had been missing for the past three days, was found floating on the Sidhwan canal here today. The body was spotted by commuters, who informed the police about it.

The police took the body in its possession and called the family members of Daljit Kaur to identify her.

The family identified the body and took the deceased for cremation. Later in the evening when the body was being cremated, it was found that Daljit was suffering from a serious ailment due to which she was upset. The police suspected that she might have committed suicide by jumping into the canal. — TNS



Woman booked for killing husband
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
The death of a man under mysterious circumstances at a factory unit on the Noorwala road has turned out to be killing. The city police has booked the woman for gagging her husband to death.

According to Jagdamba Prasad, victim Chandan Yadav’s cousin, the man was killed by his wife Aarti. He further said that after killing her husband, she fled from the scene.

The parents of victim said Chandan Yadav and Aarti had eloped from Uttar Pradesh and come to the city. Chandan got a job in a hosiery unit and the couple started living on the Noorwala road.

Chandan used to send money to his parents in UP, which Aarti used to oppose, said Jagdamba Prasad, further adding that the couple used to frequently fight on this issue.

It has been learnt that Aarti was provoked to kill her husband, as the latter used to thrash her after consuming liquor. The police has registered a case.



ISBT GM, ex-conductor come to blows
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
High drama was witnessed at Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar inter-state bus terminus here today when a sacked conductor and the general manager (GM) of the terminus allegedly slapped each other over a petty issue.

The incident took place here this evening when the sacked conductor, identified as Goldy, entered the service station of the local bus stand.

A security guard objected to it and informed the GM Satish Sharma about it.

The GM reached the spot and told Goldy to leave the service centre. This led to a heated argument, following which Goldy slapped the GM.

On the other hand, members of bus driver and conductor union said it was the GM who slapped Goldy and called the police.

The police detained Goldy, which led to a protest outside the bus stand police post. It was around 8 pm that the matter was resolved after Goldy apologised for his behaviour.

GM Satish Sharma refused to comment on the issue. Dharminder, in charge, bus stand police post, said the matter was resolved amicably.



Khanna bus stand in shambles
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna, March 15
Although the Punjab Government is working on the agenda of development, the authorities concerned have turned a blind eye to the miserable condition of the local bus stand. Hundreds of passengers daily visit the bus stand and at least 700 buses start from here to various destinations but they had to face difficulties due to a lack of basic amenities.

The condition of the bus stand is so worse that there are big holes in the ceiling while broken floor and foul smell of urinals greet passengers. In the absence of any proper sitting arrangement for passengers, they have to keep standing waiting for buses.

A visit to the bus stand tells the miserable story of the bus stand. Potholes, dumps of garbage and stray animals greet passengers. While passing the urinals, passengers are compelled to cover their noses to save themselves from during stink.

Kuldip Singh, a daily commuter, said in the last rainy season he had a narrow escape when a small part of concrete from the ceiling fell down and he somehow managed to escape. But he is astonished that after more than six months since the incident happened, the condition of the ceiling remains the same. It seems the civil authorities are waiting for some accident to happen.

Gurpreet, another passenger, who had come to this bus stand for the first time, said his woes did not seem to end while he ran from here and there just to find the bus for his destination. He found all the counters were closed and the stands built for buses were convert into parking lots for private buses. After nearly about half an hour, he found the place from a bus will departure for his destination.

Vijay Sharma, municipal councillor, alleged that nobody among the councillors and civic society had come with suggestions for the betterment of the bus stand. And it looks the bus-stand is the victim of the apathetic attitude of the municipal committee as well the civil administration. Vijay revealed that the municipal committee earn annually about Rs 22 lakh just on account of entry fee, more than Rs 6 lakh from dhabas, Rs 10 lakh from fruit sellers and more than Rs 8 lakh annually from cycle stand at the bus stand.

Iqbal Singh, president of the municipal committee, Khanna, claimed that they passed a budget of Rs 40 lakh for the renovation and modernisation of the bus stand. Owing to the implementation of the election model code of conduct in Punjab the work got delayed. But, now as the election process has been completed and the new government formed, they will start the renovation and repairs at the bus stand. It will be equipped with all the required facilities, he added.



Approved Colonies
Residents sore over denial of basic amenities
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 15
Taking residents for a ride and giving two hoots to the regulatory mechanism of the competent authority, builders and developers of even approved colonies in the mega city are found wanting as far as providing basic amenities and promised facilities in the licenced colonies are concerned.

Residents of GSB Apartments, an approved colony on the Manakwal Road, in a meeting with officials of the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) complained today that in the wake of poor enforcement and failure to take timely action by the regulatory body against glaring violations of the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulations Act (PAPRA), and licencing rules made there under, the developer was turning a blind eye to the genuine civic problems of the residents, while also denying them the promised amenities and facilities.

Citing an inquiry report submitted by the Superintending Engineer of the GLADA more than an year ago, the residents maintained that the promoters were to construct six blocks of residential apartments, out of which only two blocks were fully constructed while the third one was still incomplete even after seven years of grant of licence.

“Not only this, the front and one side of the boundary wall has been razed, 15-foot-wide green belt in front of shops in the A-block is earmarked for parking, the area shown as balconies in the approved plan of flats has been merged with the residential portion, open area meant to be left in front of the shops has been covered and even the common passage adjoining staircases, has also been merged into the flats,” the residents said while quoting the report, a copy of which had been obtained by them under the Right to Information Act.

They further complained that disposal of water from sewerage treatment plant was not proper and the supply of potable water to the residents was inadequate. The promoter has also been charged with partial development of colony and carving out an unauthorised colony in the rest of the area by way of selling plots instead of constructed flats as per the provisions of licence.

Additional Chief Administrator of GLADA Jaswant Singh said a meeting of the residents of the colony and the developer was convened to sort out the issues related to denial of civic amenities and violation of the provisions of licence granted under the PAPRA.

“A committee of three executive engineers-Civil, Public Health and Electrical-has been formed to conduct an inquiry and submit its report within next 15 days. We shall take necessary action on the basis of the inquiry report,” the Additional Chief Administrator added.

Blind Eye

Residents of GSB Apartments, an approved colony on the Manakwal Road, met GLADA officials on Tuesday to lodge a complaint against a developer. They told officials that in the wake of poor enforcement and failure to take action against the glaring violations of the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulations Act and licencing rules, the developer was turning a blind eye to the genuine civic problems faced by the residents.



‘Horticultural challenges can be met through power of science’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
A three-day national seminar on "New frontiers and future challenges in horticultural crops," organised by the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), began here today. The programme is being supported and facilitated by the National Horticulture Mission (NHM). About 40 students from Navsari Agricultural University, Navsari, Gujarat, and the delegates from across the country are participating in the seminar.

Speaking on this occasion, the chief guest Dr HP Singh, Deputy Director General (horticulture), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), said that horticulture is vital in terms of livelihood, health care and improving the nutritional needs of the country. He divulged, "One billion people are suffering from malnutrition across the globe. Three-hundred million people are malnourished in India. As the population was rising by 1.8 per cent and dietary habits are changing by 1.3 per cent, India needs to enhance the production of horticulture from 10 million tons to 15 million tons to meet the requirements of the people." The need of hour is not the low-cost technology, but the cost-effective technology, he stressed. Stating that the horticulture sector has emerged as the best option for diversification, he emphasised that the emerging challenges of shrinking land holdings, declining water and abrupt climate change can be met through the power of science and the commitment of scientists and growers.

In his presidential remarks, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, PAU Vice-Chancellor, said that in view of the contemporary agricultural scenario and changing eating habits, horticulture can play a major role in food and nutritional security of the country, diversification of agriculture, conservation of natural resources and development of agro-based industry.

The guest of honour, Dr LS Brar, director of horticulture, Punjab, said that horticulture, being a high-value segment of agriculture, is contributing 8.45 per cent to the state's agricultural GDP from only 3.4 per cent of the total cropped area.

Punjab is a pioneer state in the country in terms of kinnow mandarin, seed potato and mushroom production. He remarked that the horticultural crops draw the attention of policy makers, planners, researchers, farmers and even consumers, due to high economic returns, nutritional values and potential to diversify area from cereal-based cropping system.



Incidents of snatching heading North
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, March 15
The fear reign supreme among the residents especially has been increasing, especially, in the women at Jagraon due to rising incidents of snatching in the area. There has been a considerable rise in the incidents of looting, theft and snatching in the area during past some time. The situation has become so bad that at least one incident of snatching is being reported every second day in the town and in the peripheral areas.

For the past some days, several incidents of snatching have occurred. Such is the situation that the people afraid of going out of their houses even during the daytime.

In the latest incident of snatching on Wednesday, a woman identified as Lakhvir Kaur was robbed of her earrings by two unidentified youths near sugar mill situated on the Ludhiana-Moga highway in a broad day light. Lakhvir Kaur, who was going with her husband Udham Singh towards Galib Kalan village on a scooter, was also injured when she fell from the scooter.

The police officials say that such the incidents of snatchings were being performed by the drug-addict youths, many of who belong to well to do families.

The DSP Jagraon, Harpal Singh, admitted that there had been a considerable rise in the incidents of snatching in the area in the past. He said that the police has been doing its best to prevent such incidents. “The police is grappling with shortage of employees. Besides, it is difficult to trace the youths involved in snatching incidents as they have no past criminal history. Moreover, the political pressure has also been hampering the police action,” he said.



Budget 2012-13
Pensioners expect relief
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
The Union Budget for 2012-13 will be announced by the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Delhi tomorrow. People from different walks of life hope to get a "people-friendly" budget. Especially, senior citizens and pensioners expect that the budget will provide more relief to the citizens who are at the dusk of their lives.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, BR Kaushal, chairman, Pensioners Information Centre Management Committee, said pensioners were getting a fixed income but inflation had gone up tremendously. "The category system among the pensioners should be removed. All pensioners, be it 60 or 80 years of age, should be treated equal. Their facilities should be the same. Secondly, the pensioners should not be asked to pay taxes. The Centre should follow the policies adopted by the Lankan government for their senior citizens," said Kaushal.

Another pensioner, who suffers from multiple ailments, said: "We are at the end of our life but the amount of pension is peanuts. Though I have two sons, they hardly care for me. With a meagre amount of pension, it becomes difficult for me to cope with everything. I have to take my BP and diabetes medicines regularly. As I am unable to move on my own, I have hired a boy at a salary of Rs 1,500. The government needs to revise the pension for senior citizens so that they get relief," said the pensioner.

While Col HS Kahlon, another senior citizen, said whatever the government will decide, will be acceptable to him. "We have enjoyed our life now it is the turn of younger generation to fulfil responsibilities and enjoy the life. Much relief should be provided to younger generation as they have to bear many burdens in life. The policy makers are the best judges and they should announce the budget keeping in view rising inflation in the country," said Col Kahlon.



‘Need to strengthen agri marketing’
Charanjit Singh Teja

Ludhiana, March 15
On the eve of the presentation of Union Budget 2012-13, farmers looked forward to the fulfilment of their demands. Agriculture is a major occupation in the country. Mohan Singh Dhandal, a farmer, said: “We do not expect anything more from the government and we just need appropriate allowances for our efforts.

Here water is selling at a price of Rs 16 and the cost of milk in the state is Rs 20 per kg. In order to sell the yield in the market we have to hold protests and there is a need to develop the marketing system for agriculture produce”.

Balwant Singh, another farmer, said: “The Union Government always announces major proportionate for the agrarian society in their budget but when it comes to reality they feel there is nothing for them. There is a lack of buyer of the agricultural yield in the market and commission agents did not pay us properly”.

“The Union Budget should be in the favour of farmers’ social security. Farmers are debt-ridden in the state and the government should make farmer friendly policies for the welfare of agrarian society. Fertilisers and seed should be given at cheap rates,” said Shivinder Pal Singh, another farmer.

Prof AS Bhullar from Punjab Agricultural University said: “There is a need for the conservation of natural resources and we are expecting financial aid from the Union Government for carrying out research and adopting technologies to save water. He said to meet the requirements of the food security Bill, the Central Government should give 50 per cent share to the state government. Moreover, storage capacity should be improved”.

Mann Singh Toor, Professor of Economics, Punjab Agricultural University said infrastructure for agriculture should be developed and improved. The level of surface water is going down and the Union Government should issue Punjab-specific funds for the cause. He said there was a need for the restructuring of canals.

Professor Toor said India was a land of diversity and in such conditions the Union Government should release area-specific funds and promote diversification of crops.



industry wish list
‘Duty on fibres and raw materials should be cut down to 4%’
Tribune staff correspondent Manav Mander gets a glimpse of what industry wishes for in the Budget


  • Duty on fibres along with their raw materials be brought down to 4 per cent as before.
  • Fibre neutral duty structure should be introduced and all the competing fibres natural and manmade should be treated at par.
  • A uniform cascading structure for all fibres/yarn value chains.
  • Give interest subsidy of 5 per cent of all capital investments made in man made fibre (MMF) sector to achieve Textile Vision 2020.
  • Extend the existing Technology Upgradation Fund (TUF) scheme to Polymerisation and spinning in the manufacture of technical textiles fibres/yarns.

Auto parts

  • The creation Technology Upgrade and Development Scheme (TUDS) for auto component industry - As over 70 per cent of auto component companies are SMEs, government support towards R and D is critical.
  • Eliminate customs duty on alloy steel and secondary aluminium alloy.
  • Allow input credit on diesel procured for internal power generation and industrial use by manufacturing unit.
  • Increase depreciation rate on capital goods from current 15 to 25 per cent to encourage investments. It has also recommended charging a higher depreciation rate for domestically manufactured capital goods.
  • Provide 100 per cent Cenvat Credit on capital goods in year of purchase. Currently 50 percent Cenvat Credit is allowed on capital goods in year of purchase, balance 50 percent to be availed in subsequent years.

Pharmaceutical industry

  • Tax/fiscal incentives for taxpayers which are purely focused on R&D activities.
  • Public private partnership model for establishing health care infrastructure in rural areas
  • Equipment meant for R&D activity or diagnostic purposes and consumables thereof should be exempted from levy of customs/excise duty.
  • Setting up a mechanism for advance pricing agreements, providing formal guidance for application of the comparable uncontrolled price method and framing a policy to provide for benchmarking of advertisement, marketing and promotion expenses which are routine in nature.
  • Exemption for different medical devices should be consolidated and rationalised to bring more clarity from a classification aspect.

Micro small, medium enterprises

  • Ensure facilities like conducive tax regulations, infrastructure, and easy finance to foster its growth.
  • Simplify and unify taxation for MSMEs.
  • Implementation of the GST the delay of which is a big concern for MSMEs.
  • Industrial zones with reasonable land prices must be announced while continuous power supply must be made available to factories.
  • Income tax rate for manufacturing enterprises in the MSME sector to be reduced to 20 per cent from 30 per cent at present.

Telecom sector

  • Telecom sector should be formally recognised as an infrastructure sector.
  • Lowering of taxes on telecom related products.
  • Introduction of negative list in service tax.
  • Customs duty of 5 per cent on digital set top boxes need to be brought down.
  • Allowing the use of infrastructure of Direct to Home (DTH) companies for catering to neighbouring countries should be deemed as exports of service which in current scenario is not.


  • Enhance tax deduction for housing loans
  • Increase health care allocation to 2.5bpercent of GDP
  • Cable sectors need to be provided with infrastructure.
  • Exclude from GST, withdraw taxes on cycle industry
  • Focus on farm sector productivity, not subsidy.



Hero's welcome to minister
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, March 15
Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, the victorious candidate of the Akail-BJP combine from the Sahnewal constituency, is a cabinet minister now. He was given a hero’s welcome at his native village Bhagpur as he returned from Chandigarh after the declaration of Punjab Cabinet members late last evening. The beats of the drum welcomed Dhillon as he entered his village.

It seemed to be a second Diwali at the village as the villagers had decorated the entire village with lights and they exploded crackers to their hearts content. So joyous seemed to be the people of Dhillon’s village that they were found literally fumbling for words when asked to express their feelings on the occasion.

“Ultimately, our leader has been rewarded for the labour he has put in for so many years. We have seen ministers winning offices due to their political links or political backing but it goes to Dhillon’s credit that he has become a cabinet minister by the dint of his hard work and social service,” was the spontaneous reply of a villager.

“He has earned votes not through power but by his humble giving nature. The personal ties he has maintained even with the weak have enabled him to rise to this position. We are happy as we know that even as a minister he will always be ready to help all in the hour of need,” was another villager’s expression.

Sharanjit and his family, being religious to the core, are thanking the Almighty for his achievement. Sharanjit, along with his family, paid obeisance at Gurdwara Katan Sahib before reaching his native village.

His brother Ajmer Singh Bhagpur, son Simranjit Singh, sister-in-laws Nirmaljit and Balwinder, close relative Raman Pangali, too, seemed to be at the top of the world. They were too happy to convey their feelings.

Expressing his gratitude towards the high command for assigning him the ministerial office and the people of his constituency for reposing faith in him, Sharanjit said: “I have no words to express my gratitude towards the Badal family. They have thought me capable of such crucial responsibility. Further, I am thankful to my people who have voted for progress and development. This has been made possible due to the efforts put in by the Akali-BJP combine in these five years. I shall try to discharge my responsibilities to the best of my capacity with the due support of my people”.

Prominent among those who congratulated Dhillon were Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, Santa Singh Umedpuri, Baba Jagroop Singh, Bhag Singh Mangarh, Sharanjit Singh Garcha, Harinder Singh Lakhowal, Moola Singh Barwala, Ajmer Singh Lalli, Dharamjit Singh Gill, Avtar Singh Mehlon, Roorh Singh and sarpanches and panches of the surrounding villages.



The woman behind delicious pastries
Vibha Pahwa, chef from Ludhiana, has carved a niche for herself in bakery market
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
Her childhood was weaved around cooking and she was always surrounded by the ladies of the house, her mother, sisters and aunts whipping, blending, cooking and baking in the family kitchen. Vibha Pahwa, pastry chef from Ludhiana, is the woman behind delicious bakes for gourmands across North India. Vibha today held a baking class at Kangaroo Kids School.

She baked her first cake at the age of nine which turned out to be a disaster but also started the quest to get the art of baking the cake perfectly. Trained at London's prestigious Le Cordon Bleu, she has now started 'vAnila', a baking company named after her mother in Delhi.

The company sells artfully created, delicious bakes, French-style stuff and novelty cakes in the region.

"For me, baking is like meditation. Baking is de-stressing and my USP is sugar frosting and chocolate cakes. I love chocolate and there's nothing chocolate can't fix," says the pastry chef. "Without my parents' support I would not have developed authentic French-style patisseries for food aficionados in Punjab and Delhi," she chips in.

The idea of classes came to her long back when she was desperate and was hunting for some baking lessons. The books of international levels left her frustrated because ingredients and techniques all were not easy to figure.

"I travelled to Mumbai and a lady called Juhi, a home baker, taught me the basic and most important techniques about baking for our Indian market. Next step was Le Cordon Bleu, which was a dream come true and turned me into a branded chef. I promised myself to give classes to those who are passionate to learn and bake without having the hassle to hunt or do set classes. My classes are a blend of what our grandmothers and mothers baked, fused with new flavours, international technique and styling in baking," she adds.

During the workshops she turns cupcakes in exotic flavours into mini-cakes.

She has been successfully running her company since 2008. "My journey was no cakewalk. Starting out in a highly competitive market like Delhi was exciting but also difficult. It was a tough journey but now, people know me in the market and my clients keep coming back for more," she signs off.



pension grade
Retd teachers’ cases pending
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, March 15
The cases of a number of teachers, especially the retired headmasters, who had applied for a change in pay grade option years ago, are still pending with the education department.

The retired headmaster, Pawan Kumar Kaushal, president, Government Pensioners Association, Doraha, said: “The Punjab Government had revised the grades of its employees in January 1986 with an option time for about three years.

When a number of teachers, who had applied for change in the grade option, failed to get these implemented, they approached the High Court for the right to change of option to opt the new grades revised in January 1986. While disposing off the civil writ petition of Harsurinder Kaur, a retired headmistress and others Versus Punjab State (No 9765 of 2010) the Punjab and Haryana High Court gave its judgment in favour of the petitioners.”

In view of this judgment, the department of education, Punjab Government in its letter memo No 1/263/10-3is3/366, dated, Chandigarh February 7, 2011 addressed to the DPI (S) Punjab, stated that in the cases of similar nature, the required permission for the change of option be given.

“Thus, many retired headmasters, including me, gave in writing to the DEO(S) all-over the state including The District Education Officer(S), Ludhiana, for the change of their option in respect of the grade revision done in January 1986. But the DEO(S), Ludhiana, seemingly, adopting the pick and choose method, cleared some of the cases while many of them are still waiting their option of grade pay to be considered on fine day.

Due to the age factor, the headmasters feel handicapped to the extent that they cannot make rounds of the office of the DEO as a matter of routine to get their cases cleared. Moreover, they, now have lost all hopes and have accepted that they, too, are ‘powerless’ to get their cases cleared,” alleged Kaushal.

“I sought an information under the RTI regarding the status of clearing the cases of the retired headmasters who applied for the change of options from the assistant information officer with the requisite fee through registered post on December 19, 2011 but the authorities did not bother to give me the required information within the stipulated time. As per the rules, I had applied to the First Appellate Authority, the District Education Officer (S), Ludhiana, again through a registered post on January 23, 2012 to provide the required information, it, too, failed to provide the said information,” he said.

“Again on February 24, 2012 I applied to the State Information Commission, Punjab, seeking help from the latter regarding the same and I am yet to get a reply. The Commission, too, seems to be siding with the government officials. This dilly-dallying policy adopted by officials at both levels, is the source of harassment to the headmasters, who in the dusk of their life, are being forced to run from pillar to post to get their genuine demands fulfilled,” added Kaushal.

When contacted, the DEO, Sudesh Bajaj, she was not in a position to comment to about it.

The State Information Commissioner, expressing ignorance about the issue, said that she would be able to respond only after checking it from the net.



City colleges bid adieu to outgoing students
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
Many colleges organised farewell functions here. The BCA II of Government College for Women organised the farewell party for the BCA III. The college principal, Gurminder Kaur, was the chief guest on this occasion. Professor Baldev Singh, head of department computer science was also present there.

He said that without the computer education nothing possible in society. Every young and old must learn the computer for the all-round development of the personality.

However, the students of BA II Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Gujarkhan Campus, Model Town, organised farewell party for BA final year students. The beauty pageant was the highlight of the show. The principal of the college, Kawaljit Kaur, crowned the winners.

Guru Nanak Girls College

Hostel students of Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, Ludhiana, hosted a gala function to bid adieu to their seniors, a gala function was organised by science faculty, Arya College, Ludhiana, to bid farewell to third year BSc students. Farewell party of department of computer science and applications, Ramgarhia Girls College, Miller Ganj, Ludhiana, witnessed a mixed atmosphere here today. Special games were organised for the seniors to energise the whole atmosphere. Besides group dances, there were solo performances as well. Ranjodh Singh, president Ramgarhia Educational Council and his wife were the chief guests.

SDP College for Women

The students of BCom II of the SDP College for Women, Ludhiana, bid adieu to the outgoing eves of BCom III, here today in the seminar hall of the college. A gala audio visual feast was presented by students of BCom II.

Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce

At Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management, fun and frolic marked the farewell party 'XENIA-2012' organised by the students from BCom and the BBA.Guru Nanak National College

The postgraduate department of commerce and business administration of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, organised a paper presentation contest today. As many as 25 students of the MCom, BCom and that of the BBA participated in the contest. 18 papers were presented by the students on various topics related to marketing, finance, investment, service sector, the RTI Act and consumerism in India. Navjot Kaur presented paper on Right to Information Act, 2005 and secured the first position while the second position was collectively bagged by Anu Puri (MCom II) and Kirti Kaushal (MCom I) for their papers on "ATM Penetration in Rural India" and "Salesmanship", respectively. Parminder Kaur and Gurpreet Kaur (BBA III) for their presentation on "Impact of globalisation on service sector" and Navneet Bhaskar (MCom I) for her paper on "Devaluation of rupee", collectively, bagged the third position. The toppers of MCom, BCom and the BBA classes were also honoured on the occasion.


The department of business innovations, SCD Government College, Ludhiana, will organise two days workshop on "Business Research Methods" for the benefit of MCom Business Innovations Students on March 16. Eminent Educationists and the principal, BCM College of Education, Dr Khushwinder Kumar, will deliver the key note address and will speak on business hypothesis and research issues in management. Dr SK Singla, director, of the GNA-IMT, Phagwara, and former professor of department of business management, Panjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, will speak on “Undertaking Summer training Projects in Industry- Methodology”.

Education award

Management Education Leadership Award-2012 for Desh Bhagat College Desh Bhagat Institute of Management and Computer Sciences has been awarded with 'Management Education Leadership Award-2012' at the IIT Delhi.



CICU condemns rail budget
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
The railway budget for the year 2012-13 announced by the railway minister Dinesh Triwedi has been condemned by the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking (CICU) due to the unexpected hike in the rail fares across all the classes of railway.

Avtar Singh, general secretary of the CICU, said that the industry in general is dependent on the migrant labour from the adjoining states, which travel to and fro from Ludhiana.

Hike in the fares will add to the problems of both labour and the industry of Punjab.

"The modernisation of prominent railway stations is praise worthy step but the non inclusion of Ludhiana railway station brings disappointment to the local industry.

Several safety measures proposed to be taken by the railway authorities in the budget and the modernisation of the Indian railways appear to be the positive attempt," said Upkar Singh, joint secretary.



Child literature author awarded
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
North-Zone Culture Centre, Patiala, and Punjabi Sahit Akademi, Ludhiana, awarded the child literature Author Atma Singh Chiti with the "Mata Jaswant Kaur Best Child Book award", here today.

The speakers threw light on the importance of child literature. Dr Nirmal Singh Lambra from Punjabi Satth was also honoured.

Gurbhajan Singh Gill, president Punjabi Sahit Akademi, said, "Child literature plays a vital role in the formation of character of a person. We should encourage the writers who write for our children. Because they are working for our next generations."



Smart cards for all above 5 years
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
Joint Director, Directorate Census, Punjab, KS Bhatnagar said today that each citizen would be given a smart card on the basis of information registered in the National Population Register. And it will be mandatory for every citizen to get himself/herself registered with the local Registrar.

The information was provided by Bhatnagar during a meeting held at Zila Parishad here. He special camps would be organised at the village and city levels to register citizens above five years of age. The information about the camps will be provided to all well in advance, said the official. Bhatnagar also made it clear that persons already having the Aadhar cards, should also get these smart cards as this would be mandatory.



Madpur truck union chief
Our Correspondent

Samrala, March 15
A meeting of truck operators of the Samrala Union was held where Pawandeep Singh Madpur was elected its president. Later, he said the other office-bearers of the truck union will be elected unanimously.

He assured the truckers that he would work for their welfare and solve their problems with their assistance. Several truck operators and Pawandeep’s supporters were present on the occasion.



Legal literacy camp organised
Rajneesh Lakhnapal
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 15
The District Legal Services Authority, today, organised a legal literacy camp at Partap Singh Wala village. The camp was conducted in order to create awareness among the people about their legal rights.

Presiding over the seminar, the assitant district attorney, Ritu Jain apprised the people about the various schemes run by the authority. She also informed that the needy persons can avail free legal-aid from the authority.

The villagers were also informed about the Lok-adalats, permanent Lok-adalat, legal-aid clinic and the legal literacy camps operating in different colleges.



Farewell party at Pallav
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, March 15
A farewell party called "Pallav" was organised by the outgoing students of kindergarten, Om Parkash Bansal Modern School, Mandi Gobindgarh. The students were excited in their attractive multi-colored dresses.

Anshul and Harseerat were chosen as Mr and Ms Pallav, respectively. School principal gave away prizes to the winners.



7 hurt in clash over choked sewer
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
Seven persons, including four women and a girl, were assaulted by armed assailants following a fight over a choked sewer line in the Meharban area here today. The injured have been identified as 70-year-old Saad Kaur, Mahinder Singh, Pritam Singh, Baljit Kaur, Balwinder Kaur, Rani and Gurmeet Kaur.

All the injured have been admitted to the civil hospital. According to Saad Kaur, the incident took place this afternoon when she complained to her neighbours about the blocked sewer, which was resulting in overflow of sewage in the area providing a breeding place for mosquitoes. But the neighbours snubbed her, she claimed.

This led to a heated argument. In the meantime nearly 10 armed assailants reached her house and thrashed the members of her family.

The police is investigating the matter.



3 held with weapons, stolen tractor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
The Ghumar Mandi police has nabbed three persons and recovered three country-made weapons and a stolen tractor from their possession. The incident took place here this afternoon when the police stopped three youngsters who were travelling on a tractor at Ghumar Mandi. On being frisked, the police found three country-made pistols from them.

It was found that the tractor on which they were travelling was also stolen. The police, however, refused to provide other details about the incident. Sources, however, said the police was carrying out raids at the suspects’hideouts to nab their accomplices.



Dist Bar poll
Returning officer appointed
Our Legal Correspondent
Rajneesh Lakhnapal

Ludhiana, March 15
The District Bar Association today appointed Parveen Talwar as returning officer for conducting its annual elections. The elections of the association, which has 2,205 members, have been scheduled for April 4.

The decision was taken unanimously at a meeting of the general house held at the district courts complex here today. The general house also appointed three Assistant Returning Officers namely Ravinder Singh Pandher, Mandeep Sidhu and PS Batra for conducting free and fair elections.



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