L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC poll nearing
Stone-laying gathers pace
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
With the Municipal Corporation elections nearing, the politics of laying foundation stones and holding sangat darshans has started. This could be known from the fact that some councillors have started requesting their political bosses for time so that functions could be organised and they could stake claim over the development projects.

In some parts of the city, slugfest between leaders of different parties for staking credit for development projects has also started. A similar incident took place when supporters of former cabinet minister Hira Singh Gabria and independent MLA Simarjit Singh Bains entered into a heated argument when the foundation stone of a project was to be laid in the Model Town Extension area.

When the work of re-carpeting roads in Model Town Extension area was to be started yesterday, supporters of both leaders started reaching the spot. Supporters of both leaders were claiming that this work was the result of efforts of their leaders, which led to a heated argument between both of them. It was after some time that some elders intervened in the matter and Bains supporters left the spot.

After sometime, Hira Singh Gabria reached the spot and laid the foundation stone for the Rs 61-lakh project of re-carpeting roads in Blocks B and C of the Model Town Extension area. Later Bains claimed that the work on roads had started due to the efforts made by him.

Not only this, several councillors, who had never organised sangat darshans for the past five years, have started organising these now. These sangat darshans are organised on a large scale, with hefty sums of money spent on them. A few days ago, a councillor from the ruling combine had organised a sangat darshan.

While taking a dig at the councillor’s sangat darshan programme, another councillor said, “The same councillor never organised a sangat darshan programme, but now that the MC elections are nearing, he is busy organising them. He has even planned more such programmes in coming days,” claimed the councillor.

Congress councillor Parminder Mehta, Akali councillors Tanvir Singh Dhaliwal and Roopamdeep Kaur Malhi, besides many others have planned a series of foundation stone laying sprees for the next week.

Mehta said, “I see no harm in organising such functions as I have worked hard for getting the project conceptualised from the very first stage. So now that the project is ready to take off, I should get credit for it," claimed Mehta. It is also learnt that the councillors want to lay foundation stones of all projects in their wards before the imposition of the model code of conduct.


Major tragedy averted as school van catches fire
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 9
A major tragedy was averted when a school van carrying around eight children caught fire near Kamal Chowk on Raikot Road here this afternoon.

The schoolchildren, however, escaped unhurt as they were pulled out of the van by shopkeepers of the nearby market quickly after the van caught fire.

The van belonging to Shivalik Public School Jagraon was returning from school to drop the schoolchildren at their respective homes. When it reached near the local Kamal Chowk, the fuel in the van got finished and it stopped. Following this, the driver left the children in the vehicle and went to bring some fuel from the nearby petrol pump.

In the meantime, the van suddenly caught fire. The shopkeepers of the market acted swiftly and pulled all children out of van and then doused the flames by pouring sand and water in the van.

According to an eyewitness, if the shopkeepers had not acted so quickly, it could have turned into a major tragedy. Moreover, there was also a gas cylinder fixed inside the van to run it on gas. However, at the time of the incident, the van was being operated on petrol.

The shopkeepers said the incident could have turned more dangerous if the fire had reached the gas cylinder. It was not known whether the gas cylinder installed in the van was legally authorised.

Soon after this, the van driver also returned to the spot. He arranged another vehicle and dropped the children at their houses. Meanwhile, someone informed the police about the incident and a police team arrived on the spot. A huge gathering of people had also assembled there by that time.

When the car driver came to know about the police arriving at the scene, he did not return. SHO Jagraon city police station Surinder Singh said the police had impounded the vehicle and started investigation. “The reason of the fire is not known so far. The driver of the van has been absconding. We have contacted the school management and an inquiry is on in this regard,” he added.

When asked whether the gas kit installed in the van was legally authorised, he said the police had not assessed the documents of the vehicle so far and this could be ascertained only after seeing the documents of the van.

The school authorities were not available for the comments as the school had already closed at the time of the incident. 



GADVASU hit by cash crunch
Several key vacant posts not filled for want of funds
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
To save important natural resources such as ware and soil, which are degrading fast in the region, the state government has stressed diversification into livestock, poultry and fish farming. Experts have claimed if the sector (livestock) was promoted by adopting the latest technology and proper marketing was assured, then it can definitely give better returns than agriculture.

At the same time the only animal university in the region, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), which also guides farmers on promoting the livestock industry, has been suffering from staff crunch for the past many months. Though the authorities maintain that work at the university was not suffering as additional charge was given to senior-most scientists, sources said owing to financial crunch, these key posts were not being filled by the varsity.

A professor at GADVASU disclosed that several key posts in the varsity have remained vacant for the past several months. These posts were of Dean (Post Graduate), Dean (Dairy Technology), Dean (Fisheries) and Director (Extension Education). At present, the senior faculty members have been given additional charge of all these posts.

"Besides, about 40 posts of Professor, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor are vacant in the varsity. All due to the financial crunch. The state government is not giving enough funds to uplift the only animal varsity in the region. The government wants to promote the livestock industry but without finances. How can this be possible," rued the Professor, adding that if the permanent staff was appointed to the key posts and other posts remain vacant, GADVASU could achieve greater heights and disseminate more information to the farmers, who are keen on diversification.

Dr PD Juyal, Registrar, GADVASU, said as and when there will be requirement, varsity will fill the posts. "Otherwise, we have hired services of contractual staff too. For certain areas, including dairy, fisheries, clinics, etc, we need more staff. Besides, the emerging areas also need proper staff, so finances are always needed. If we get more funds from the government, we will definitely do much better," said the Registrar.



Truck driver was murdered
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 9
A truck driver, hailing from Sherpura village near Jagraon, who had died under mysterious circumstances at Bijnaur town of Uttar Pradesh on September 28, 2011, was in fact murdered. This has become clear after the medical examination report of the truck driver, which was accessed by the Jagraon Sadar police only yesterday.

According to the report, the truck driver Balwant Singh was killed by giving him some poisonous substance. The report has made it clear that there was a lot of poison in the body of Balwant Singh, which led to his death.

Balwant Singh had been hired by the truck owner Avtar Singh, hailing from the same village, for driving the truck. Both of them loaded cloth from Ludhiana and left for Uttar Pradesh in September last year. Only three days later, Avtar Singh brought the body of Balwant Singh in the truck and informed his family members that he had died because of illness.

Though the victim’s family members had suspected foul play at that time too, the police had registered a case under 174 of CrPC due to lack of evidence at that time. The police had conducted the post-mortem of Balwant and sent it for complete laboratory examination.

After the medical report of the victim, the police has now registered a case under Section 302 of the IPC against the truck owner Avtar Singh. The accused truck owner has been absconding and the police was conducting raids to nab him. The police has booked Avtar Singh on the charges of murdering Balwant Singh.

Balwant Singh was married only one and half years ago. He is survived by his wife and a six-month-old child.



Undertrial nabbed
5,000 habit-forming drugs seized
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
Alert jail staff nabbed an undertrial and recovered nearly 5,000 habit-forming capsules from his possession during a checking here today.

Giving details about the seizure, the central jail authorities said the undertrial, identified as Rajpal of Phagwara who is facing attempt to murder charges, was caught with the habit-forming drugs during a special checking.

The jail authorities received a tip-off that the accomplices of Rajpal, who were sitting outside, had thrown a pack of habit forming drugs inside the jail.

Following the information, the jail guards conducted a search and nabbed the undertrial.

It is not the first incident when habit-forming drugs have been seized by the jail authorities. Inmates make full use of the mobile phone and tell their accomplices sitting outside to arrange for these drugs.

Inmates tells the location and the drugs are further thrown inside the jail. 



‘GLADA provided wrong info under RTI Act’
Bid to cover up Rs 23 lakh revenue loss suffered by installing mobile phone towers
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 9
Officials of the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) have been charged with providing misleading or incomplete information to applicants under the Right to Information Act in a bid to cover up Rs 23 lakh revenue loss suffered by installing mobile phone towers in residential and commercial properties without obtaining mandatory permission or payment of stipulated fee.

The loss of revenue caused to GLADA was pointed out in the internal and external audit report for 2010-11 copies of which were obtained under the RTI Act by Arvind Sharma, secretary, Council of RTI Activists.

Appearing before the first Appellate Authority-cum-Additional Chief Administrator of GLADA against the incomplete information provided by the Public Information Officer (Estate Officer in this case), Sharma submitted that as demanded under the RTI Act, the PIO had not provided the names of SDOs and junior engineers of the localities in which mobile towers were installed without obtaining permission.

He asserted that if the specific information sought by him was available on the records of the GLADA then it has to be provided as per provisions of Section 2(f) read with Section 2(j) of the RTI Act 2005 and the same can not be denied to the applicant.

Sharma further submitted that information on action taken by the GLADA authorities against the unlawful installation of mobile towers was vague and no details had been provided as has been mandated under the RTI Act.

On the loss of revenue suffered by the GLADA (Rs 1 lakh for each of the 23 tower erected in residential and commercial properties in different colonies developed by the GLADA), Sharma pointed out that the information provided by the PIO virtually challenged the audit report.

Quoting from the information provided by the PIO, the applicant maintained that the said official appeared to be confused over the issue, and rather than providing information which was available on the records, the PIO had tried to give his own views. This violates the provisions of the RTI Act.

Through his appeal, the applicant has asked the appellate authority to direct the said PIO to provide complete information available on the records of the GLADA, and further to direct the PIO to restrict himself to the provisions of the RTI Act while dealing with the applications under this Act. “The PIO should not provide his own opinion or reasoning,” he asserted.



‘Credit war’ grounds Mayor, official
High drama at function held to give appointment letters to safai sewaks
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
High drama was witnessed during a function organised to hand over appointment letters to safai sewaks who have been regularised by the state government at the Zone A office of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation here today. Two groups, who were claiming credit over this issue, wanted to share the dais with Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura and MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi, but were not able to do so.

As per the scheduled programme, the Mayor and the Commissioner were to sit on the dais where the letters were to be handed over to 60 safai sewaks. Before start of the function, some leaders impressed upon the Mayor as well as the MC officials that they, too, wanted their chairs to be placed on the dais. But as the dais could accommodate only two chairs, the MC officials found it difficult to handle the situation.

It was later decided that instead of the dais, the Mayor and Commissioner would have their chairs placed on the ground so that the situation could be handled smartly.

When Zonal Commissioner of the corporation AS Sekhon started the proceedings of the function, he urged the Mayor to address the gathering. But a leader of the safai Sewaks immediately intervened and told Sekhon that let all other “leaders” first address the gathering and the Mayor would speak later on.

The microphone was then handed over to Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal, who claimed that the SAD-BJP government had fulfilled its promise of regularising 1,450 safai sewaks. He also announced that another list of safai sewaks to be regularised would also be issued soon.

As a “cold war” was already going on between leaders of the safai sewaks, some of whom are chairmen and vice-chairmen of different government boards, the Mayor held the microphone and started addressing the gathering, leaving many leaders “heartbroken” as they, too, wanted to address the gathering.

It was then that the 60 safai sewaks were handed over appointment letters. The remaining safai sewaks will be sent these letters through registered post and they will get these in the next two days.

It is pertinent to mention that ever since the MC finalised the list of 1,450 contractual safai sewaks, who have been regularised, a credit war among various leaders has started. Different “leaders” were trying hard to take credit for the development.

Interestingly, two groups are holding two different functions on April 14, one at Ropar while the other at Ludhiana. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is to attend the Ludhiana function so the other faction thought that they would miss out on their share of “credit” as they would be in Ropar that day. It was with the intervention of the Chief Minister that today’s function was organised. 



Admn convenes meeting
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
A state-level function to mark the 121st birth anniversary of Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar will be held at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan on April 14 under the leadership of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. Rahul Tiwari, Deputy Commissioner, held a meeting with the officials and the representatives from various departments to take stock of the necessary arrangements being made by the administration for the function.

Tiwari said Dr Ambedkar's birth anniversary would be celebrated by paying rich tributes to the leader. Dignitaries, including Dr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Bhagat Chunni Lal, Sarwan Singh Phillaur, Bikram Singh Majithia, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, will be present on the occasion.

Tiwari asked the officials to make all the arrangements wholeheartedly as Dr Ambedkar had given the country its Constitution. 



Govt, DTO office claim fall flat
Barring a few, no college took the proposal seriously
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
Tall claims of the state government and the District Transport Department (DTO) in issuing licence to college students in the district has fallen flat due to the callous attitude adopted by both authorities of various colleges and the DTO department. Barring a few, none of the college took the proposal seriously as there was no “positive feedback” given by the DTO office on the issue.

Dr HS Sangha, Director, Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology (GNIMT), said despite depositing Rs 10,000 as security amount with the department and maintaining registers, the DTO remained unresponsive. “Students, too, are asking numerous queries from us and we are unable give convincing reply as we ourselves are not sure of anything. We are yet to get authority letter for issuing licence from the DTO office, till that time our security amount is blocked,” added Dr Sangha.

Not a single student of SCD Government College was able to get the licence through the college. Dr Deepak, in charge of the project, said that the software, provided by the DTO office did not work and college authorities had brought it to the notice of the office. “Then there were elections and now students are having exams. So there is no question for taking up the matter again with the office before the exams. But once students are through with their examinations, we will start the process,” Dr Deepak added.

While Varinderjit Kaur, who has been entrusted the job of issuing licence to students at the Government College for Women said the college had issued about 100 challans so far, but the task was tedious as college authorities were finding it hard to arrange doctors for medically examining students.

“There were too many initial hiccups as the software was not working properly. We were not aware as in which account the licence fees was to be deposited. But we managed. Major problem is to arrange for a qualified doctor. The office should make some arrangement so that students can give their medical test outside the college premises. Being an educational institution, it is very difficult to make all such minute arrangements for making licence for students,” said Varinderjit Kaur.



Silver shinning once again
Jewellers expect demand to rise on Akshay Tritiya
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Jewellers are expecting huge rush for branded silver jewellery on Akshay Tritiya, which falls on April 24.
Jewellers are expecting huge rush for branded silver jewellery on Akshay Tritiya, which falls on April 24. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, April 9
With gold becoming more expensive after the Union Budget, all eyes are now set on the silver. Often regarded as poor man’s metal, silver is shinning all the way now. Jewellers are expecting rise in the sale of silver on Akshay Tritiya (April 24).

Customs duty on standard gold has been hiked to 4 per cent from 2 per cent and on non-standard gold was also hiked to 10 per cent from 5 per cent while branded silver jewellery has been exempted from the excise duty. The measures are likely to lower people’s appetite for gold, while improving the demand for silver.

“People will buy silver on Akshay Tritiya. It is expected that the demand for silver (especially silver bars and coins) will double as compared to the last year. This is because silver has been giving good returns and gold becoming out of the reach of the people specially after the Budget,” said Ashok Jain, jeweller from Sarafa Bazaar.

“With the prices of gold rising further, we are expecting huge demand for silver this year. We are expecting people to buy branded silver jewellery since it has been exempted from the excise duty. Now, branded silver jewellery will become more popular,” added another jeweller from Ghumar Mandi.

Suman, a city resident, said, “Gold is now out of the reach of common man. I used to buy gold on Akshay Tritiya till a few years ago. Now, it is a distant dream. Since branded silver jewellery has been exempted from the duty, I am planning to buy it during this year’s festival. It will be within my Budget and will be an object to preserve from this year’s festival,” she said.



Come Baisakhi, milk prices to rise by Rs 2
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
If dairy farmers are to be believed then the prices of milk are going to be increased by Rs 2 per liter from Baisakhi in the region. Due to hike in the prices of mustard cake (a kind of animal feed) and maize, the farmers were “bound” to increase its prices. Besides, they maintain that in summers, the production of milk decreases whereas the demand rises manifolds.

Talking to The Tribune, Rajpal Singh, Joint Secretary, Dairy Farmers’ Association, Punjab, said the cooperative companies could announce the hike anytime. “Prices of milk are increased every year from Baisakhi onwards. It has increased due to the recent hike in the rates of fodder and animal feed. Consumers will have to bear the burden,” he added.

This decision will definitely put another financial burden on the common man, who is already reeling under rising prices of essential commodities. Deepshikha Aggarwal, a homemaker, said cost of living had risen due to inflation. “For service class people, it has become difficult to run the homes as the salaries have not been proportionately increased as against the prices. Milk is a basic requirement in each household; we will bear the price hike with tight lips with no other choice. We cannot desist growing children from consuming milk. So, we are waiting for yet another dent in our pocket,” Aggarwal added.

Besides, there is already much fluctuation in the milk prices in the city. Except for companies selling milk, private milkmen were selling milk at different rates in various parts of the city. Many residents were getting milk between Rs 36 and Rs 38 per liter while in certain areas; they were shelling out Rs 41 for it. To make the situation worse, there is virtually no check on such a malpractice.

Balraj Singh, another dairy farmer, said a few private dairy owners seek higher prices for selling “pure” milk. Milkmen are selling “fat-free” milk at comparatively cheaper rates. “We can not ask them to fix prices, they take decision on their own,” he added. 



Rise in prices pinching common man
Many essential commodities being withdrawn from dining table
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
Steep rise in the prices of essential commodities has started affecting household budget. Not only the prices of household goods have spiraled, but other commodities like white goods, travelling, eating out has also become costly. Many commodities have been withdrawn from the dining table due it.

Inflation saw a downward trend only in January and February after the prices of a few pulses was reduced. But post-Budget, prices of essential commodities have suddenly risen.

Prices of commodities used in kitchen like pulses, vegetables, cooking and refined oils too have risen. Rising prices of cooking oil is hurting the household budget of the consumers. Cooking oil prices have surged up to 62 per cent in the past one year while it has increased by 20 per cent in the past one month.

In a span of one month, the prices of almost all cooking oils like sunflower, groundnut, soybeans, rice bran and olive oil have risen between Rs 20 and Rs 25. Even mustard oil has increased between Rs 5 and Rs 10 a liter over the past few days. While olive oil, which is within the reach of only a few, is now priced at Rs 400 per liter.

Swati, a homemaker, said initially olive oil was the cooking medium at her home but with the increase in prices, she has shifted towards sunflower oil. “Olive oil which is priced at Rs 450 per liter has become out of my reach,” she added.

Though the increase in the prices of petrol and LPG has been warded off as of now. It is expected that the companies are planning a hike in their next meeting due at the end of the month.

Eating out and hotel stays have also become expensive with taxes now accounting for over 30 per cent of the bill you settle at restaurants because of the hike in service tax from 10 per cent to 12 per cent.

Not only this, almost all white goods have become expensive after the Budget. Luxury cars, TVs, fridges, ACs have become expensive too.

After budget eating out and hotel stays have now become more expensive with taxes now accounting for over 30 percent of the bill you settle at restaurants because of the hike in service tax from 10 percent to 12 percent. Poor man’s cycle has also become costly. After budget the price of cycle is set to go up by 3-4 percent after an increase in excise duty and import duty on parts. 



BPL families suffer as depot holders go on strike
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 9
At least 100 depot holders from Jagraon and its surrounding villages kept their depots closed today in protest against registration of cheating cases against a few by the Vigilance Department. In fact, the depot holders have decided to keep their stores closed for indefinite period starting today. A decision in this regard was taken during a meeting of the Depot Holders’ Association, which was attended by at least 100 of them.

An 11-member committee of depot holders was also formed for discussing the issue with higher authorities during the meeting. Terming the cheating case registered against 12 depot holders as false, they sought cancellation of the cases registered against them. The association members said the depots would remain closed till the vigilance department takes back the cases registered against them.

The association has also decided to meet officials of the Food Supply Department, Punjab, in this regard.

Hundreds of BPL families would suffer if depot holders refuse to open their stores within a few days. 



Nandpur village on verge of collapse
Drainage system remains choked due to narrow streets 
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, April 9
Nandpur village is literally on the verge of collapse. Overflowing sewers, dirt and filth are a common sight in the village. In what conditions are the villagers surviving and what type of ailments they are being exposed to, seems to be nobody’s concern.

“The nagar panchayat seems to have forbidden the village as people complain that not a single sweeper or sanitary official has bothered to visit the village so far. The sewer water not only floods the streets, but also enters the houses of the residents. The drainage system gets choked as the streets are already narrow and can absorb only limited volume of water.

The streetlights remain out of order for months together but nobody bothers to rectify them despite reminders. The sorry state of affairs can be gauged from the fact that huge heaps of garbage can be seen lying at the main entrance of the village. The council has till date not been able to find any suitable place for disposing it of, Pal Singh, a villager, said.

“What is more ridiculing is that the garbage is being allowed to be collected a few meters away from the nagar council’s office. The tenure of the present council expired in September last year and there is no active council at present. The nagar panchayats, which were supposed to held six months ago, had not been held till date,” he added.

Baljit Singh, President, Ravidas Social Welfare Committee, Nandpur, said the situation was worse in villages. “The sweepers of the council pay special attention in those areas where houses of bigwigs are located. Moreover, even if the drains are cleaned, filth is allowed to collect in the streets. From the time the work of sewerage started in the village, the problems have aggravated further. The streets have been dug up and the work has been going on at a snail’s pace. At present the council has no space to drain the sewer water once the sewerage system starts operating.”

“No fogging operation has been initiated due to the callous attitude of the council,” he added. On the other, Jasvir Singh, Sanitary Inspector, refuted the charges levelled against the council. Sweepers regularly visit the villages to ensure cleanliness, he added. 



House burgled
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
Thieves struck at a house in Gill’s Garden near Guru Nanak Engineering College and decamped with cash, computer and home appliances by breaking the locks of the house.

The incident came to light here this morning when Vishal Dhawan (39), owner of the house, returned home along with his family after visiting his parents in Mandi Ahmedgarh.

He was shocked to find the house ransacked and informed the police about the theft. According to Vishal, the thieves laid their hands on almost everything lying in the house.

“I came to know that the thieves came in a pick-up truck and laid their hands on almost everything lying in the house. They took away the computer, two cameras, inverter, two cooking gas cylinders, expensive clothes and washing machine,” said Vishal Dhawan, an insurance surveyor.

Vishal has not ruled out the possibility of an insider behind the theft incident. “The theft has been committed with ease as if someone might be aware of my visit to Ahmedgarh,” said Vishal.

In the meantime, the Sadar police has registered a case and started the investigation. Fingerprint experts also visited the spot to collect evidence.



Workers heave sigh of relief as jewellers end strike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
The nationwide strike by jewellers, which was called off on Friday, has brought the much-needed relief to workers. With all jewellery shops remaining closed since March 16 due to the nationwide strike called by the All-India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF), the goldsmiths have suffered huge losses.

Chaman Lal, one of the workers, who works in a shop at Sarafa Bazaar, said, “I heaved a sigh of relief after all jewellery shops re-opened.

Our owners told us that the government has imposed heavy taxes on the trade due to which they were on strike. During the first few days of the strike, I somehow managed to survive on my meager savings. But after a few days, it was becoming difficult to make our both ends meet,” he added.

Janta Parsad, another worker, said the strike was finally over and they were back to work. “Things have worsened for us during the past few days. I along with my family used to eat langars served in gurdwara as we were left with no grocery and eatables in our kitchen,” he shared.

Mushaq Ali, another worker, said most of the people were from West Bengal.

Their families depended entirely on their income for their living.

“Although my employer gave me a few bucks as I had to send the money home, I was finding it difficult to manage a square meal everyday. I used to pray for the strike to end and thank God the dilemma is over and we are back to work. Now it will take some days for our lives to run smoothly and manage our finances,” he said.



Global concerns for elderly highlighted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
The annual conference of the Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine (IAPSM), Punjab Chapter, was organised by the department of community medicine at Dumra Auditorium of DMCH here yesterday.

More than 200 doctors across Punjab and adjoining states participated in the conference.

The conference was inaugurated by Amrit Nagpal, vice-president, managing society, DMCH.

Dr Daljit Singh, principal DMCH, highlighted on the theme “Ageing and health”.

Dr Kulwant Singh, member Punjab Medical Council, and Dr SS Deepti, secretary general IAPSM, Punjab Chapter, also shared their views with audience.

The keynote address on the international concern for the elderly was given by Dr Sunder Lal, professor and head, department of community medicine, Adesh Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (AIMSR), Bathinda, in which he highlighted international and national concerns for the elderly.

Dr JS Thakur, national professional officer, non-communicable diseases and social determinants of health at WHO country office, New Delhi, talked about demographic transition and unfolded the World Health Day theme.

Dr Paramjeet Kaur, professor and head, department of community medicine, GMC, Patiala, spoke on “Feminisation of greying in India”. The social security and health insurance policies are important during later years of life. This point was discussed by Dr GPI Singh, principal, AIMSR.

Dr Tejbir Singh, professor and head, department of community medicine, GMC, Amritsar, made the audience realise about ‘Elderly abuse and legal provisions for the same”.

The common medical problems in the elderly were elaborated by Dr Sandeep Puri, professor and head, department of medicine, DMCH. 



421 pass out from police academy
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, April 9
The annual passing-out parade of the Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, was held today in which Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) (HRD, law and order and CP) SK Sharma took the salute.

Ishwar Chandar, IPS, working director, Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, presented the annual report of the academy. He also congratulated the pass outs on the successful completion of their training.

A total number of 421 trainees passed out in this parade, which included one DSP, 12 ASIs, 296 women recruits and 114 trainees of the basic drill instructor course.

DSP Alam Vijay Singh commanded the parade. ADGP Sharma honoured 11 policemen and gave away prizes to them. A colourful cultural programme, which included a motorcycle show, tent pegging, dog show, malkhamb and bhangra was also organised on the occasion. A badha khana (community dinner) was also organised.

Academy deputy director (general) MS Teji, deputy director (indoor) Gurpreet Singh Toor, deputy director (outdoor) Rupinder Singh, besides Ludhiana Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh, former DGP Mahal Singh Bhullar and chief director vigilance, Punjab, Suresh Arora and other officials of the academy were also present on the occassion.



Need to have flying squad for each subject
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
It seems that subjects like social studies, Hindi, Punjabi and other vocational examinations are least on the priority list of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB), as the board failed to send any flying squads in the examination centres on the respective day of the examinations. As a result, the students indulged in mass copying in a fearless environment during the examinations.

While the flying squadsfrom the PSEB have already registered more than 60 unfair means' cases in subjects like mathematics, science and English. But subjects like social studies, Hindi and Punjabi remained virtually “neglected” by the board.

According to sources from the education department, the higher board authorities did not consider these subjects important, as no flying squad team was constituted by the board. The board had constituted flying teams only for seven subjects. The squads came for four examinations, including mathematics, chemistry, physics, history and English for class XII and during the examination of science, English and mathematics for class X.

Sukhdarshn Singh, president of Nakal Virodhi Adhyanpak Front, said, “All papers have same importance for the students and teachers. If the board fails to constitute the flying squads, it encourages the students towards copying.”

Surinder Singh Garewal, in charge of flying squad team said, “The tendency of copying is reported more in the papers, which are considered ‘unimportant’ by the PSEB. The board should constitute the flying teams to check every paper. Otherwise, this practice will come as ‘bonus’ for the teachers of Hindi, Punjabi, social studies, etc, as their results come out well as compared to ‘tough’ subjects like mathematics, science and English and they can easily get the assured career progress (ACP).”



CBSE introduces yoga as optional subject
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
Yoga for many youngsters of the city hold a different meaning now, as they get to learn it not as a mere activity, but also get a chance to understand its mechanics, concept and practice.

Though yoga has been performed as an activity in most of the city schools, it is now being introduced as a vocational and optional subject at the secondary level. The name of the subject with the CBSE is yoga, physiology and anatomy.

“We have introduced it as an optional subject for class XI because the prospects of yoga are only going to become better with time. With the increasing stress and hectic schedules in the modern-day living, qualified yoga practitioners and teachers are going to be in demand in the future,” says Mona Singh, principal, Guru Nanak Public School.

“Although as an activity, it has been continuing in many schools, to gain an expert understanding, the subject needs to be studied with conceptual and practical clarity.” Yoga as an activity is performed in most of the schools in the city, including BCM Arya Model, Sacred Heart Convent School.

According to Kiran, a yoga teacher at one of the schools, the subject would have two parts - practical of 60 marks and theory of 40 marks. As it is a practical subject, the students are showing interest in choosing the subject. Most of the asanas would be covered in the syllabus. Anatomy would be taught for understanding of human body and the impact of yoga, she said.

According to Suman Arora, a resident of Jawahar Nagar, it is good that children would not only have a good understanding of the subject but it would also give them a choice of a profession.

Harminder Pal Singh, a student, said he had chosen the subject because it offered him the dual advantage of studies and also keeps him fit and he expected it to be a scoring subject as well.



Pau notes
Athletics meet

LUDHIANA: The sports and youth activities council of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) will organise the 46th annual athletics meet on April 11. Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, will inaugurate the meet at 10 am and chairman of Punjab Mandi Board, Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, will be chief guest on the closing ceremony, which will take place at 4.30 pm.

Field visit

The pulses section of the department of plant breeding and genetics, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), organised a field day on “chickpea” on Monday at the farms of Chamkaur Singh of Khandoor village. Chamkaur Singh has sown chickpea variety GPF 2 on about 10 acres. Speaking on this occasion, chief guest, Dr JS Sandhu, ADG (seed), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi, laid emphasis on the timely availability of sufficient quantity of certified seed and said same was vital for increasing area under the crop.

Training programme

A five-day training on the post harvest technology for value addition sponsored by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) started at the Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) here on Monday. Around 10 farmers from Ludhiana district are taking part in the training programme. On the inaugural session, director of Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), Dr US Shivhare, said, “There is a need to focus on the development of low cost post-harvest machinery, so that small and medium size farmers could adopt the post harvest technologies.” - TNS 



Hiccups in online filing of PU forms
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
City students who want to take admission to various courses of Panjab University through OCET are finding themselves in a difficult situation. The online filing of forms in order to apply for test has been introduced for the first time for OCET.

This test is conducted every year by Panjab University for admissions to various courses at the masters level. It is the first time the filing of forms and giving of roll numbers is being done online.

"Filling the forms for the OCET online is not turning out to be a good experience. My brother had taken the test last year but there was no online filling of forms then," said Anuj Sharma, a student who wants to take admission to an engineering course at the university. "Proper information should have been posted on the website," he said.

Earlier, students used to purchase a prospectus with the details of syllabus, said a teacher. But now, because the test is being conducted online, relating information is hard to get on the website of the university. 



Punjab countryside beauty to the fore
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 9
An exhibition, ‘Colours of Punjab’, brings to the fore the beauty that is not far from us and that we so often overlook. Organised at MS Randhawa Art Gallery at Punjab Agricultural University, ‘Colours of Punjab’ captures the rustic beauty of the soothing and beauteous countryside of the state.

The silhouettes of nature against the reds and oranges of the dusky sky, the green leafy pathways formed through the sylvan woods, the languid afternoons of the men taking their goats for grazing in the photographs capture the facets and colours that are poignant and appealing to the mind.

The eye behind the camera is 27-year-old Harpreet Singh, better known as ‘Harp Farmer’. Hailing from Nadalon village in Hoshiarpur district, he says every aspect of the soil of Punjab is fascinating to him. The simplicity of life and the guileless people in the villages are endearing. The truth in their eyes can be seen in these frames, he says. The pictures have mostly been shot in the villages of Moga, Barnala, Hoshiarpur.

Gursimran Singh, who is pursuing engineering at the PAU, with his pictures of bugs and insects, has depicted that beauty is scattered all around in nature.

"The Sutlej painted red with the rising waves near Harike Pattan looks breathtaking in the frames," said a visitor looking at a photograph. The poetic captions of the photographs accentuate their moods.

The exhibition was inaugurated this afternoon and would be on till Baisakhi on April 14. "This kind of exhibition couldn't have come in better time," said a visitor. "Our Punjab is very beautiful. We need to preserve the serene and tranquil beauty that's disappearing because of urban influences in villages," said another visitor. 



Body seeks due representation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 9
The Aggar Shakti, a representative body of the Aggarwal community in the state, has urged the SAD leadership as well as Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to give due representation to the community in the coming municipal elections.

Addressing a news conference after a state-level meeting here, Amrit Lal Aggarwal, president of the organisation, said an enrolment drive had been launched to take in new members from all parts of the state and it would be on till May 15. "The Aggar Shakti will stake claim to SAD tickets for its members in the civic elections so that the party could consolidate its position in the municipal corporation, municipal committees and nagar councils," he said.

According to Aggarwal, the body will also carry out community welfare projects under which calipers and prosthetics will be provided to the physically challenged, financial support will be extended to poor but meritorious students for studies and daily the items of daily use would be distributed among the poor and widows. 



Ludhiana scan
Effigies burnt

Workers of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) led by Balbir Singh Rajgarh burnt effigies of Narinder Kashyap, in charge of party affairs in Punjab, and Avtar Singh Karimpuri, former state chief of the party, to protest against their refusal to recognise the reorganised state unit of the BSP. Charging the ousted state leadership with selling the interests of the BSP to the SAD-B leadership, the protesting workers resolved to stand united to save the mission of Kanshi Ram, the founding father of the party.

‘Committed to development’

The secretary of BJP Kisan Morcha and chairman of Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation Sukhminder Pal Singh Grewal said the SAD-BJP government led by Parkash Singh Badal was committed to complete the development projects in the state, while also strengthening the state economy. Addressing a workers’ meeting at Jamalpur here, he said the coalition had been given yet another mandate by the people and the ruling alliance will repeat the performance of Assembly elections.


The VLCC organised a free laser hair reduction workshop at its centre in the city. The centre is offering a free laser patch test and first sitting of any body part absolutely free on booking.


Nutrivet company’s MD Vijay Goyal and other officials along with GLADA Sports Complex CEO Amit Kapoor honoured PWD minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon for the work done by him in the last five years.

MCPI meet

The state committee of the MCPI met under the presidentship of Pawan Kumar Kaushal of the Doraha Committee and members from various districts and decided to observe a week from April 23 against price rise, unemployment and corruption.

Issue raised

Maha Sabha Ludhiana brought to the notice of senior town planner the illegal encroachments on the government land in BRS Nagar and Sunet. — Tribune Reporters



Two held in murder case
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 9
The Dehlon police has arrested two brothers who had been booked under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC for allegedly killing the lover of their sister, while he had entered their house to meet her on Friday night.

The accused were identified on the basis of the name of their sister tattooed on the arm of the deceased, identified as Gurjit Singh of Sihar village, whose body was found dumped in a water tank at a tubewell in the fields situated on the outskirts of Dehlon village on Saturday.

Gurjeet Singh (27) was found murdered in the fields of Gurdev Singh, which are situated on the link road leading to Gopalpur village, yesterday. The deceased was identified on the basis of a voter identity card found in his pockets.

The murder could have gone untraced had the investigating team not worked on the hypothesis of “honour killing” after noticing a girl’s name tattooed on one arm of the deceased.

The police conducted a virtual “door-to-door” survey to rule out love affairs of all girls with names resembling the tattooed name and living in localities situated on the western part of the village.

Investigations revealed that the deceased had developed relations with the sister of Gurmail Singh and Nirmal Singh, living on the Dehlon-Majri road. Having come to know about the relations, the duo tried to convince their sister to dissociate from the youth. They also threatened Gurjeet Singh of dire consequences in case he did not stop meeting their sister.

It was on the fateful day that Gurmail Singh and Nirmal Singh overheard the telephonic conversation between their sister and Gurjeet Singh. Gurjeet had asked her to allow him enter her room during night.

Gurmail and Nirmal allegedly conspired to teach Gurjeet a lesson when he visits their house. Though they kept awake the whole night, they pretended to be sleeping and attacked Gurjeet Singh when he entered their sister’s room.

He was thrashed with heavy wooden logs kept for the purpose. Though the exact cause of death will be ascertained after the receipt of chemical report of the viscera of the deceased, it is suspected that he died of head injuries.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Gurpreet Singh Sikand said a team of policemen led by Amandeep Singh Brar had arrested the suspects from different places when they were trying to leave the area.

Fatal weapons used in the crime have been recovered on identification of the suspects.

Tattoo helps to nail accused

The accused were identified on the basis of the name of their sister tattooed on the arm of the deceased, identified as Gurjit Singh of Sihar village, whose body was found dumped in a water tank at a tubewell in the fields situated on the outskirts of Dehlon village on Saturday. Gurjeet Singh (27) was found murdered in the fields of Gurdev Singh, which are situated on the link road leading to Gopalpur village, yesterday. The deceased was identified on the basis of a voter identity card found in his pockets.



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