L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


City on toes, Tension in surrounding areas
Bandh call in view of Beant assassin Balwant Singh Rajoana’s hanging issue
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
An uneasy calm prevailed in the city following the bandh call given by Sikh hardliners against the court's order on the hanging of Balwant Singh Rajoana.

The assassin of former Chief Minister Beant Singh is languishing in Central Jail Patiala and is facing the gallows. While the situation in the city was normal, city’s surrounding villages presented a different picture.

A majority of the houses located in the village were dotted with flags supporting Rajoana. The roads leading to these villages also remained deserted.

However, the situation remained under control, but the latent tension was apparent on the face of residents.

Everyone was worried about the band call and was trying to know the next move of the government.

Residents were concerned over the fact that if Rajoana was hanged, what would happen in the state.

Hundreds of residents, who were shopping in Chaura Bazar, were looking at the paramilitary forces carrying out flag march in Chaura Bazar and the Clock Tower area.

"The situation is getting tense. Today, there were paramilitary forces all over the city. On the other hand, youths were hitting the streets in support of Rajoana. No one has a clue what would happen next, but surely like everyone else, I am also worried," said Puneet Kapoor, a student who was visiting Chaura Bazar here today.

Residents feel that the flag march by the police and rallies by supporters of the Rajoana area were adding to the fear psychosis among residents.

"It is a worrying sign and the anti-social elements are trying to cash in on the situation by brainwashing the children and inciting them. Ask the youths who are taking out motorcycle rallies how many of them know the past of Balwant Singh Rajoana? It is after a great struggle and sacrifices that the people of the state managed to forge peace and prosperity, but the anti-social elements are making efforts to push the state back into the dark days of militancy. Efforts should be made to stop it from happening," said a Prof requesting anonymity.

Holiday announced

Educational institutions across the city have announced a holiday on Wednesday keeping in view the prevailing situation

Section 144 pulled back

The city police first issued a communique to impose Section 144 of the Cr PC, but later during the evening, the Commissioner of Police revoked the orders. The last-minute cancellation might prove to be a wise decision as the supporters of Rajoana are planning to take out a march in the city. The imposing of Section 144 Cr PC could have further led to clash between Rajoana supporters and security forces.


Bus operators not to ply vehicles
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
Thousands of commuters will suffer tomorrow as both the Ludhiana Mini Bus Operators Association and District Bus Operators Union have decided not to ply their vehicles due to the bandh call given by Sikh organisations against the death sentence to Balwant Singh Rajoana. At the same time, the operators maintain that they will incur losses to the tune of several thousands.

President of the Ludhiana Mini Bus Owners Association JS Grewal said that on an average, 300-400 mini buses plied on several routes in the district. Due to the bandh call tomorrow, Mini bus operators and district bus operators have decided not to ply the vehicles on any of the route.

Capt Jarnail Singh, general secretary of the association, said thousands of commuters were bound to suffer due to the bandh call. "Since it is a sensitive issue, we have decided not to take any risk", said Jarnail Singh.

Meanwhile, the operators also maintain that there will be approximately 30 per cent fall in passengers, as many of them preferred to go to their respective destinations today itself. Grewal said, "Taking no chance, those who had to reach to their respective detinations, travelled today itself. Regular buses witnessed huge rush of passengers".

Routes likely to be hit

The local routes where buses will not move tomorrow include Ludhiana Rara Sahib, Ludhiana- Jodhan-Sarabha-Pakhowal, Ludhiana-Dhandran-Jassowal-Kila Raipur, Ludhiana-Dhandari-Sahnewal, Kohara, Ludhiana-Phillaur, Ludhiana Hambran-Dehlon etc.



railway station
Security wanting
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 27
Even as some radical Sikh bodies and the Sikh high priests have given a call for Punjab bandh against the death sentence to Balwant Singh Rajoana, and the state government has sounded a high alert to maintain law and order, security arrangements at the railway station remain a completely neglected area.

For quite some time now, all three metal detector gates installed at the gate numbers one and two as well as on the gate on the Civil Lines side remain non-functional. Not only this, the close circuit television cameras (CCTVs) installed at various points on the railway station are not in a working condition.

That the security arrangements for the travelling public and the railway property are among the least on the priority list of the Northern Railway authorities is evident from the fact that the room where the monitors for the CCTV cameras are installed, has also been closed after the CCTVs went out of order.

The lax security and the criminal neglect of the railway authorities towards this crucial area assumes all the more alarming proportions in the wake of several hoax bomb calls made to blow up the railway station in the recent past.

While the elaborate plans of the railways to instal more CCTV cameras at strategic points at the railway platforms, booking offices and the reservation complex, and provide high-tech security equipment at the railway have yet to see the light of the day, no one seems to be bothered about making the existing security equipment, including the metal detector gates and CCTVs operational.

Inquiries made with the local officials of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the Government Railway Police about the non-functional metal detector gates and the CCTVs were met with evasive replies, or else the officials tried to pass the buck.

Repeated phone calls made to the Senior Commandant of the RPF posted at the divisional headquarters at Ferozepur, who is overall in charge of the railway security, failed to evoke any response.



3 members of auto-rickshaw gang nabbed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
In a major breakthrough, the city police has nabbed three members of the notorious auto-rickshaw gang who used rob innocent commuters on the pretext of giving them a ride.

The accused, including kingpin of the gang Rajesh Kumar, alias Vicky Hathori, who was evading arrest for past six months, Mandeep Singh and Manjit, were arrested by a team of the Salem Tabri police station, including SHO Bittan Kumar here today.

Vicky Hathori today created a furore in the police station today when he claimed that a local leader of the Salem Tabri area took Rs 22,000 from them assuring them that the police would not arrest him. After the startling revelation by Vicky, the police today detained the leader for questioning his alleged role in the criminal, politician and police nexus.

The police has recovered a country-made weapon and two live cartridges from the accused.

According to Assistant Commission of Police (ACP) Swapan Sharma, Vicky Hathori was wanted in two cases of criminal assault and two theft cases.

Police officials claimed that Vicky along with his mentor Hem Raj, who died a few months ago, had robbed several commuters.

Recently he formed a new gang along with Mandeep and Manjit. Vicky used to pose as an auto-rickshaw driver and looked for innocent passengers, preferably women and old persons.

The accused used to take the victims to a secluded place, where Vicky along with his accomplices used to rob the victims.

Several such cases have, meanwhile, gone unreported. SHO Bittan Kumar claimed crime incidents would witness a dip in the Salem Tabri area following the arrest of the accused persons.



High-tension wire tragedy again
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
Three persons sustained burn injuries, one serious ones, after coming in contact with overhead high- tension wires in the Dhadari Phase VII area here today. The injured have been identified as Paramjit Singh, Karanjit Singh and Valli, all employees of a private water-tank manufacturing company.

While Valli and Karanjit have been admitted in Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMC&H), Paramjit Singh, whose condition is stated to be serious, has been referred to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMC&H) for treatment.

The incident took place here this evening when a truck ferrying iron bars touched the overhead high-tension wires. The trio, including Paramjit Singh driver, Karanjit Singh conductor and Valli, worker received electrical shock.



Poly-house technique finds favour with farmers
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Samrala (Ludhiana), March 27
At time when mounting debts are leading to suicides among farmers, 'protected cultivation' has made agriculture a remunerative vocation for some of the progressive farmers.

Eager to break away from the wheat-paddy cropping pattern, Patiala-based Meharban Singh and Ludhiana-based Davinder Singh decided to experiment with vegetable cultivation. Unlike most farmers who follow the herd mentality that often leads to a glut in the market, they first studied the possible pitfalls and the ways to overcome them. “We had a clear idea that our venture should be economically viable,” says Davinder.

Both, Meharban and Davinder conducted a preliminary research before contacting the experts at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). To get the required know-how and learn about the latest techniques in vegetable cultivation, they visited countries like Spain and Italy.

In 2002, Meharban and Davinder started their ventures at their fields in Saholi (Patiala district) and Mushkabad (Ludhiana district), respectively.

At every stage, it was their willingness to take a calculated risk that helped.

They found that drip irrigation increased the profitability by more than 30 per cent. In 2008, they decided to adopt the poly-house technique. Instead of going for that technique in a big way, they adopted it on an experimental basis on small patches of land. “Only when the experiment proved successful did I opt for the poly-house technique on five acres of my land,” says Meharban, who has successfully cultivated tomato, coloured capsicum, and bitter gourd through this technique.

The protected cultivation technique entails a one-time investment of Rs 37 lakh per acre. The investment excludes the recurring labour and seed costs. Both the farmers have received about 50 per cent financial assistance through a scheme of the National Horticulture Mission.

The annual income from one acre of land under protected cultivation was around Rs 6-7 lakh, says Meharban.

Director, horticulture department, Punjab, Dr LS Brar, said protected farming was the best technique to increase per unit yield as well as the income from the land.

“In protected cultivation, there was a better control of light, temperature and humidity, and consequently, a better growth of crops. There was also a restricted use of pesticides. Besides, the window period of the crops is increased,” adds director, research, PAU, Dr SS Gosal. However, the protected cultivation requires intensive crop care that can only be provided by skilled labour under expert guidance.



PAU student dies in road accident
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
A 23-year-old promising student of Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), who was also a table-tennis player, was crushed to death by an overspeeding bus near Aarti Chowk here yesterday.

The incident took place last evening when the victim, identified as Avneet Kaur, aka Aman (23) ,a student of MSC microbiology, was heading home after practice.

According to the police, when she reached near Aarti Chowk, an overspeeding college bus came from behind and hit the rear of her scooter.

She lost control over the vehicle and fell on the road. Before she could react, the speeding bus run over her.

Aman was rushed to hospital in a serious condition, where she died. The police has registered a case against the bus driver under Section 304-A of the IPC.



Excise and taxation dept collects Rs 47 cr
Applications received for allotment of liquor vends
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
The Excise and Taxation Department has collected a record revenue of Rs 47 crore from the applications received for the allotment of liquor vends for the financial year 2012-13.

Last year, the amount collected was Rs 16 crore, while this year it has risen to Rs 47 crore. Within the corporation limits, the revenue collected is Rs 27 crore, while the amount collected from the fees outside the corporation limit is Rs 20 crore.

The draw for the allotment of liquor vend will be held at 9 am at Harsheela Resorts on March 28. A total of 68 draws will be taken out. The department has received a total of 12,022 applications this year.

"The revenue collected from the fees for the allotment of liquor vend is a record collection. Last year, the collection was Rs 13 crore, while this year, it as gone up to Rs 47 crore," said DETC, Gurtej Singh.

A person was allowed to submit 10 applications per licencing unit/group/zone in corporation areas. The number of liquor vends have not been increased this year. There will be 25 zones and each zone will be having 12-15 vends, added the DETC.

He said department officials had been working even on holidays to receive applications and make all preparations. "Although a bandh call has been given tomorrow, the department will carry forward the procedure of draw of lots as usual. We have made amendments and the procedure for draw of lots will be carried out as scheduled earlier throughout the state," he said.



Bridge sans railing
Pose high risk to commuters
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, March 27
The absence of railing on the both sides of the bridge located over the drain at Jagraon-Gagra link road has been posing a serious threat to the lives of commuters traveling on this link road as well as to the residents of nearby villages.

The bridge on the link road connects thousands of residents of more than nine villages including Gagra, Sohian, Pabbian, Chaunkimaan, Sujapur, Aaitiana, Jassowal, Kular, Gurusar Sudhar and some others with Jagraon. Everyday several vehicles ferry hundreds of people from these villages through this link road everyday to visit Jagraon and other places.

The bridge does not have railings installed on any of the sides. Besides, the width of the bridge has also been very less due to which the commuters always remain under constant fear of meeting an accident.

The bridge has been considered as highly accident-prone area as it is situated on a sharp turn and the drivers of the vehicles coming from both side fail to see the vehicle coming from other side. The situation becomes more dangerous during the night as it becomes quite difficult for the drivers to negotiate the bridge.

The residents of these villages have been demanding for the reinstallation of the railing on the said bridge since a long time but their requests seem to be falling on deaf ears as nothing has been done in this regard so far.

It is pertinent to mention here that a number of accidents have taken place on the said bridge during the recent past. Only a few days ago, one person got injured when the car he was driving fell into the drain. Earlier, about 10 persons were injured after a three-wheeler fell into the drain while crossing over the bridge.

Villagers said that more than 12 accidents have taken place during past two months in which more than 25 people have received injures because of the absence of the railing on the bridge. “We have been requesting the administration since a long time to fix the railing on the bridge. We have also met different leaders of the ruling party a number of times and requested them to get released the funds for installing the railing on bridge but all our requests seem to be falling on deaf ears as the railing has not been install so far,” said Gurwinder Singh Neeta, a resident of Gagra village.

Another villager Tara Singh lamented, “It is a serious problem. The accidents are taking place on the bridge on a regular basis but the administration has paid no attention towards this. It seems that the administration has been waiting for a tragedy to took place for installing the railing on the bridge.”

Punjab Mandi Board secretary Gurmel Singh said a proposal for fixing railing has been sent to the department and the railing would be installed very soon.



Admn postpones measuring of Baddowal land till March 31
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
The district Administration has decided to postpone the measurement and assessment of residential and commercial buildings falling under 1000-yard radius of the 17 Field Ammunition Depot at Baddowal till March 31. The move has come due to the high alert by the State Government in the death sentence case to Balwant Singh Rajoana. The measurement drive by administration had started on March 24 but due to the opposition by certain residents in Ayali village, the drive was stalled and the administration had to resume it today.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Additional Deputy Commissioner (General), Rupanjli Kartik, said since it was a sensitive issue and many residents had already opposed administration's move of measurement earlier, no chance could be taken.

"Police protection was needed for the officials of district administration, who were to make the measurements. Since the entire police force is put-on high alert due to the bandh call in Rajoana case tomorrow, we got written communication by the police department that they were unable to spare the force in such circumstances. So, we have decided to postpone the drive till March 31," said Kartik.

Adhering to the High Court's orders, district administration, in 2010 had also started a drive to evacuate the establishments falling within a radius of 1000 yards near Ammunition Depot at Baddowal. But the affected parties filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court against the move. The villagers are of the view that until the decision was pending with the Supreme Court, the administration could not continue with any of their drive.

On the other hand, the administration maintains that the measurement had nothing to do with demolition or evacuation villagers must not oppose it. On March 24, when district administration officials had gone for measuring lands, the villagers had opposed it by locking their houses. The ADC had to call a meeting with the villagers to make them understand that it was just a measurement drive. The villagers had agreed to extend their support, finally.



MC president in dock over charges of corruption
Massive irregularities detected in allotment of tenders
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, March 27
The Jagraon Municipal Council which always remain in news for massive corruption courted a new controversy when massive irregularities were detected in the allotment of tenders for carrying out various development works in the town.

The council allegedly awarded these tenders to a contractor, considered close to the MC president, by throwing all the norms and conditions into air.

First of all, the Municipal Council allotted the tenders of as many as 12 development works to a single contractor though there were many other contractors in the fray. Though some of the bidders had reportedly offered to carry out these works on lesser rates, still the tenders were awarded to a contractor who had proposed much higher rates for the same works.

Interestingly, the contractor to whom these tenders worth Rs 1.85 crore had been awarded does not have the authorisation to get the tenders exceeding Rs 5 lakh. Moreover, there is not even a single tender which has the cost lesser than Rs 5 lakh. In all these 12 development works, the work with the minimum amount costs more than Rs 10 lakh. Now the question arises how the council awarded the tenders worth Rs 1.85 crore to such a contractor, who was not eligible to get the tenders.

Former president of the local municipal council, Raj Kumar Malhotra, said that the Municipal Council did not give any intimation for the tenders in any publication. The tenders for these works were flouted before assembly elections through E-tendering on November 29, 2011. But only a few hours later the tenders were too swapped, he added.

Three days later, on December 2, the council issued a corrigendum with the lone signatures of the council president Baldev Krishan Dhir. But as per the norms, the president alone cannot issue the corrigendum. This needs the signatures of the EO and SO, which were not on the corrigendum. Jagraon municipal council’s EO at that time, Pradeep Kumar, too admitted that the corrigendum could not be issued without the signatures of EO and SO of municipal council.

Moreover, the corrigendum was displayed on the website on December 4. As it was Sunday on that day, no other contractor could submit the security, as all the banks remain closed on Sunday.

Malhotra alleged that this was done to felicitate the allotment of tenders to contractor close to the president who had already prepared the DD to be submitted as security. He also demanded the through inquiry of the matter by an independent authority.

Jagraon MC president, Baldev Krishan Dhir, claimed that no irregularity was done during the allotment of tenders and that the allegations were aimed to defame him. But when asked how the tenders of Rs 1.85 crore were issued to the contractor, who had no authority to take the tender more than Rs 5 lakh, he refused to comment and disconnect his mobile phone. He could not be reached again despite repeated attempts.



Over 900 patients examined
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 27
Guru Nanak Charitable Trust held its annual free eye check-up camp at Gurmit Bhawan Mullanpur Dakha here on Monday. A team of doctors examined more than 900 patients during the camp. This was the 72nd annual eye check-up camp organised by the trust in association with Guru Nanak Charitable Trust, Glasgow.

The organisers also declared to carry out eye surgeries of as many as 215 patients and bear whole of the expenditure of these operations. Besides, 215 patients were given the eyeglasses after examining their eyesight.



Hearing aids provided
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
As many as 20 patients were fitted with the hearing-aids checking their hearing levels. The ENT surgeon examined over 188 patients.

Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha Haibowal branch in collaboration with Indian Medical Association, Ludhiana, and Voice of Youth Foundation held a free medical check-up camp dedicated to the memory of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Public School, Haqiqat Nagar, Haibowal Kalan. Addressing the gathering, Dr Arun Mitra gave health education about prevention of diseases related to ear, nose and throat.



425 students awarded at Arya College
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
As many as 425 meritorious students from various were given prizes for excelling in academics and cultural activities at Arya College, Ludhiana. Ishwar Chandar Sharma Inspector General of Police, Director, Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, presided over the occasion.

Principal Dr TL Joshi highlighted the achievements of the students of the college in various fields. Kumar Sharma, a brilliant student of BA III was awarded the Roll of Honour for academics as well for contribution in classical dance and singing. He has won laurels in the national scene for his numerous performances on television and on the stage. Over 23 students bagged the College Colour while 60 students were awarded prizes for their excellent performances in cultural and extra co-curricular activities.

The chief guest donated a sum of Rs 1 lakh for the development of the college.

In his address to the students, the Commissioner of police who presided over the function laid emphasis on the importance of determination, focus discipline and single minded to achieve success in life.

Rajesh Sharma, president, Arya College Managing Committee also encouraged the students and appreciated the commendable efforts of the Principal and the entire staff of the college.



Chickenpox cases surge in hospitals, clinics
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 26
People from different age groups, suffering from chickenpox, are pouring in city clinics and hospitals. A majority of these are the people who did not get themselves vaccinated against chickenpox.

Dr Baldeep Singh, a paediatrician of the city, said,"We are receiving children infected with this disease from the age of 12 years onwards. I have also come across many patients who are 30 to 40 years of age. And a majority of these are those who did not get themselves vaccinated against chickenpox virus. I personally feel that economic disparity is the main reason behind this, as the vaccine is not afforable for a middle-class and below middle-class person."

Dr Rajinder Gulati, a paediatrician at Civil Hospital Raikot, said after vaccination also one can suffer from chickenpox, but the infection remains in milder form.

Symptoms and precautions

Chickenpox is a contagious disease. To start with, one gets skin rashes mainly on the body and head and it becomes itchy. It is a disease which spreads easily through coughing or sneezing of a sick person or through direct contact with secretions from rashes. Symptoms, including itching, nausea, fever, headache, sore throat etc are also witnessed by the patients. The suffering person should be kept in isolation. The patients should be given a nutritious diet along with anti-viral tablets under a physician’s guidance.



No TA, DA for squads
Staff spends from pocket
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana March 27
The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) is not paying travel and any other allowance to Flying Squads, constituted to curb the copy menace during the examinations. Flying Squad teams have been spending from their pockets. Even some of the flying squads staff is not visiting any examination because they have not been given the expenses of daily visit.

The PSEB had decided in the last semester that it would not give any allowance to flying squads as the board was facing financial crises.

Moreover, the private school organisation offered their service to deploy their staff in flying squad teams without any charges. After the assurance of the private schools, the board stopped paying allowances to government schoolteachers. Now the government schoolteachers are unhappy with the decision of the PSEB.

The flying squad team said the Board wrote on their appointment letters that No TA and DA would be given.

The squad team has to spend Rs 500 to 800 everyday from its pockets on the flying duty. Now, some of the flying squad teams go only in the nearby examination centers. Moreover, some of them avoid going anywhere to save the expense.

Sukhdarshan Singh, Anti-copying teacher front said, "The Board has deployed the private schoolteachers in the teams. These private school staffs have failed to catch even a single case. Moreover, corruption has been increasing with the decision of the Board."



Jewellers take out candle march in protest of excise duty
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, March 27
A large number of local jewellers carried out a candle march under the banner of the Swarankar Sangh, Jagraon, today evening. The members of Swarnkar Sangh, Jagraon, were protesting against the excise duty imposed on non-branded gold by the center government during the current budget.

The members also announced to keep their business establishments closed till March 31 in support of their demand of withdrawing the excise duty on the non-branded gold.

The march led by president Karamjit Verma started from local Swarnkar Sangh Dharamshala and marched through various roads of the town before concluding at Rani Jhansi Chowk.

During the protest, the members of Swarnkar Sangh raised slogans against union Finance Minister Pranab Mukharjee and the Center Government.

Earlier during the day, all the jewelers of the town kept their shops closed for the whole day in protest of the government’s decision.

The protesters were also carrying black flags in their hands to lodge their protest against the government’s decision. Urging the Center Government to take back the excise duty on non-branded gold, the protesting jewelers threatened to intensify their protest if their demand was not met.

While addressing the protestors, Sawarnkar Sangh Jagraon president Karamjit Verma and vice-president, Pritam Chand Verma, stated: "We have also to shell out huge money in shape of sales tax. Now, the government has imposed excise duty on non-branded gold which is not acceptable."

"Our business has been getting affected due to the imposition of excise duty of 2 per cent on non branded gold," said Ravinder Singh, convener of the Swarnkar Sangh Jagraon.

It is reminded here that a similar protest was also held in the town some days ago when a delegation of the protesting jewelers handed-over a memorandum to the Jagraon SDM, Isha Kalia.



Jewellers’ stir continues; unbranded, silver jewellers also extend support
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
Strike by jewellers, today, entered into the 11th day causing a revenue loss of Rs 20 crore from the city. Supporting the agitating jewellers branded shops and silver shops also remained shut. Back from Delhi, jewellers are firm on their stand of indefinite strike till the proposed excise duty is rolled back.

The protesting jewellers at Clock tower burnt the effigy of the Central Government. Anand Sikri, president of Ludhiana Jewellers Association said they would continue with the strike till the duties imposed on them are rolled back. "Couple of Member of Parliament has promised to voice our issue in the Parliament. We are hopeful and looking forward towards their promises," he said.

State has lost revenue at the tune of Rs 55 crore while from the city the amount is Rs 20 crore. Burning the effigy of the Central Government at Clock Tower, the jewellers raised slogans against the government and finance minister and said that they will be firm and goes on indefinite strike till the new imposed duties are rolled back.

Backing the agitating jewellers, branded jewellery shops and jewellers dealing in silver had also put their shutter down today.

A spokesperson of one of the branded jewellery shops at the College Road said that the jewellers have shut their shops in favour of the jewellers protesting against the proposed excise duty in the recently announced budget.

"We are from the same fraternity and need to support each other in the need of the hour. If the unbranded jewellers are facing some problem today, tomorrow we might be in another problem. We need to support each other in the need of hour," he said.

Adding further Tirlok Sadana, a jeweller, at Sarafan Bazar said, levying excise duty of one per cent on 30 per cent of the transaction value would prove death knell for the jewellers. "It should be rolled back and we are supporting the jewellers dealing in unbranded gold jewellery in their stir," he said.



DGSE: Organise school tours to Khalsa Heritage Complex
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana March 27
The Director General of School Education (DGSE) orders all the schools to organise educational tours to Khalsa Heritage Complex Anandpur Sahib on priority.

In a circular issued by the DGSE, the tour is mandatory for all the private and aided schools of the state. According to the directions, the tours would be organised to aware the students about rich culture and glorious history.

It was mentioned that if the government schools get any grant for tour from the state sponsored schemes, then schools must organise the tour to Khalsa Heritage Complex.

"These educational tours play vital role in students' life. But every private school cannot afford the expenses of the tour. The government schools have a large amount of funds for tours and other activities. So government should sponsor these tours," said a Principal of a private school.

The Khalsa heritage complex is known as a dream project of the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. The construction of the Heritage Complex was started in 1999 during Badal led government and complex was open for the public in last tenure of SAD, before election.



removal of wires
Admn, PSPCL, NHAI officials survey corridor site
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
For the shifting of high-tension and low tension wires from the 32 kms NHAI corridor stretching from Sahnewal to Ladhowal, which were creating hurdles in the widening of highway, the officials from the district administration, project engineers from the NHAI and Executive Engineers from Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) surveyed the entire stretch to get a viable solution.

Additional Deputy Commissioner (General), Rupanjli Kartik, who led the team told Ludhiana Tribune that for the convenience of the general public, service lanes had to be given along the stretch. For this, engineers had proposed two entry and two exit points.

"But on these four points, there are high-tension and low-tension wires which are to be displaced. Since these are not going from above government's land, the consent from 3-4 private parties has to be taken before taking any step. Secondly, we have to check the provisions of law before going for further action. Today, we visited and surveyed the entire stretch. We are preparing a detailed report which will be submitted to the Deputy Commissioner for further action," said Kartik.

It may be mentioned here that the project of widening of the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) was facing hurdles in the 32-kilometer corridor due to these wires and encroachments at about 14 different points on the 32 kms stretch.



Liquor prices come down, Bacchus lovers cheer
Vends’ contracts expiring on March 31
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 27
Tipplers are making hay as liquor prices have been slashed in the wake of the contract for liquor vends expiring on March 31. Boards announcing "sale" outside the liquor vends is a common site and a huge rush can be witnessed outside the vends due to cut in prices.

With only four days left for the expiry of the contracts, the prices have been slashed by 10-15 per cent. According to the excise policy, they cannot carry forward their stocks into the new fiscal. In an attempt to lure the customers, huge boards mentioning the slashed rates have been displayed outside the taverns.

"The prices have been slashed and two days before March 31, the prices will dip further. I am waiting for March 31, as it will be the perfect time to buy liquor on slashed rates. Buyers make the maximum out of the situation. Since parties are a regular feature at my place, I will be buying two-three cases of a premium brand," said Harbans Bhullar, a businessman.

A person at one of liquor vends said they were expecting a heavy flow on the last days of the financial year. "With prices going down, we will witness a huge rush, as people like to stock liquor and it is available at the slashed rates," he added.

Even migrant population can be seen flocking outside these vends during late evening. "Be it the high-end class or lower class, everybody is buying liquor at slashed rates. Everybody wants to make the best out of the situation and liquor at slashed rates is selling like hot cakes," said a tavern owner at Pakhowal Road.



DBA polls: 23 contestants in fray
Rajneesh Lakhanpal
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 27
Not even a single aspiring contestant, who had filed nomination papers for the different posts of the District Bar Association (DBA) withdrew his nomination papers, in the coming annual elections, scheduled for April 4. There were four candidates in the race for the coveted post of the president of the DBA including former DBA president, Jagmohan Singh Waraich, ex-vice president ND Chopra, five times vice-president of the DBA Vijay B Verma and ex-secretary of the DBA, Ravinder Singh Grewal alias Ravi Grewal. For the post of vice-president, there was a triangular contest between Ashok Sharma, Rajesh Kumar Battish and Yashbir Choudhary.

There was straight fight between Parminder Pal Singh Ladi and Gurvinder Singh Sodhi for the prestigious post of secretary. Same was the position for the post of joint secretary between Aman Sharma and Davinder Pal Singh. For the post of finance secretary, there was direct fight between Sukhwinder Singh Bhatia and Gurjinder Singh Sahni.

For six posts of the executive members, there were 11 aspirants including Amardeep Singh, Amrik Singh, Alka Rani, Daisy Singla, Deepak Kumar, Kulwinder Kumar Banga, Naveen Gupta, Prabhjeet Singh, Rajesh K Kapoor and Vaneet Nijhawan.



colleges notes
Lecture held

Ludhiana: A lecture was organised on "Placement opportunities in army as education officer" at Malwa Central College of Education for Women, Ludhiana. Major Suyog Dave awarded the students about National Defence Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Military Academy. He further said that the Indian Army was on of the greatest career option for the youth. He said that it provided the service to the nation. It is one of the most responsible and an honourable job. It was very good platform for the youngster to become an officer and also provides better facilities for family, house accommodation, armies schools for the children.

A docor examines a patient at a free eye check-up camp at Mullanpur Dakha.
A docor examines a patient at a free eye check-up camp at Mullanpur Dakha. a Tribune photograph

Farewell held

The MBA second semester and MCA fourth semester students of the GGN Institute of Management and Technology (GGNIMT) organised a farewell party to bid adieu to their seniors. Professor Gunwant Singh co-ordinator, the GGNIMT, wished the students good luck for their bright future. The students of the MBA and that of the MCA presented a gala show for their seniors. The event came to end with the feeling of nostalgia all around. Director Kuldip Singh and principal Dr PS Khatra were present on the occasion.

Students bring laurels

The students of Khalsa College For Women, Civil Lines, have achieved outstanding results in MSc (Information Technology) first semester examinations, results of which were declared by Panjab University, Chandigarh. As many as seven students of the college have placed their names in top ten university positions. Ranika Garg has bagged first position by scoring 88.67 per cent marks and her twin sister Manika Garg stood third in the university by scoring 86.17 per cent marks. Ranika Garg who has topped the university, said that hard work of her faculty members coupled with blessings provided by her parents played an important role in her success.

Farewell held

The postgraduate department of fine arts, Government College for Women bid a warm farewell to the students of final year. College principal, Gurminder Kaur, presided over the function. The students of MA I presented a cultural programme. The principal encouraged all the students to work hard and to accomplish their goals.

Students excel

The Students of Devki Devi Jain Memorial College for Women got 100 per cent results in MSc (IT) first semester. Neha Narula secured second position in Panjab University by securing 86.16 per cent marks, Ankita got second position in college by securing 82.16 per cent marks, Rimple got third position in the college by securing 82 per cent marks. Congratulating the students, chairman Hira Lal Jain, president, Kedar Nath Jain and others congratulated the students and teachers.

While the students of MSc (Mathematics) first semester of Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, Ludhiana, have excelled by scoring good positions. Harpreet Kaur stood first in the college. Kamaljit Kaur stood second with 68.5 per cent marks and Neetu Bala bagged third position in the college by securing 65 per cent. The stupendous results are a result of untiring efforts made by the students and their mentors.

In MA political science first semester, Rupinder Kaur stood first in the college and by securing 78.25 per dent. Harsharna Kaur bagged second position in the college by securing 77.75 per cent. Kiranpreet Kaur stood third in college by securing 75.5 per cent. In MA (Punjabi) first semester Mandeep Kaur stood first in the college by securing 66 per cent. Sandeep Kaur bagged second position by securing 65.5 per cent. Mandeep Kaur stood third. In MSc IT Kimmi Kalra stood first in college by securing 79.8 per cent. Shivali bagged second position with 76.5 per cent marks and Radhika Sharma stood third by securing 76.3 per cent marks.



‘Sachin should have retired’
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 27
Sachin Tendulkar should have retired, immediately, after the World Cup, last year, as he has achieved milestones, which are not only difficult to repeat but impossible, observed Dronacharya Awardee, Desh Prem Azad, here today.

Desh Prem was in the city to interact with the budding cricketers who had been selected under the Punjab Cricket Association's programme to groom the young 13 to 15 years players to prepare them for the future competitions.

Talking to The Tribune, the mentor of the Cricketer of Millennium, Kapil Dev, Azad said that the icon cricketer, Sachin, was the most prolific run-maker of all times. He has scaled the height, which no other batsman can achieve.

Sachin should have announced retirement last year and pave the way for the youngsters who are in the line to hone the national colours, said Azad.

In reply to a question whether master blaster, Tendulkar should be bestowed upon the Bharat Ratna, Azad said that before conferring this highest civilian award to Sachin, hockey wizard, Dhyan should have been given this prestigious award.

The late hockey star, Dhyan Chand, had excelled at a time when there was facility available in the country. He mesmerised the game lovers with his stick work whereas Sachin established records in an era of advanced technology, added Azad.

On the question, why the Ludhiana district had failed to produce a star cricketer since long (Yash Pal hogged limelight three decades ago) he said that there was no dearth in the city but lack of proper infrastructure (ground) is the main reason for the same.

Asked to comment on the reported controversy between MS Dhoni and Virender Sehwag, which was understood to be the reason of dismal show lately by the Team India, Azad refused to say anything.



Overwhelming response to cricket trials
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 27
The Punjab Cricket Association’s (PCA) move, to groom young players for the national and international level competition, received an overwhelming response in the city as 136 aspirants (13 to 15 years) attended the two-day trials organised by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association (LDCA) at Arya College Ground.

The selection panel, comprising of former international player and umpire, Jasbir Singh from Chandigarh, Rani players, Rakesh Raini of Patiala and Ankur Kakkar from Ludhiana conducted the trials while Director, the PCA Academies and Daronacharya awardee, Desh Prem Azad visited the city today to interact with the budding cricketers.

The selectors shortlisted around 20 players which included nine batsmen, one wicket keeper, five fat bowlers and five spinners. Besides, five players as stand bye were also selected which include two fast bowlers, two wicket keepers and one batsman.

The list of the selected players has been sent to the PCA for its approval and the names of these boys will be announced later on along with the players who are selected in other cities namely Jalandhar, Amritsar, Patiala, Mohali and Chandigarh, informed Vinod Chitkara, honorary general secretary, the LDCA.

"The selected boys will be trained by the PCA coaches at cricket academies. The PCA will also organise Inter-Academy Tournaments to give them match exposure, added Chitkara.



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