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Ferozepur Road
Zero tolerance against random parking
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
The police has declared the entire stretch of the Ferozepur road from the Jagraon Bridge to the Ayali Chowk “No Tolerance Zone”. This decision was taken following complaints of frequent traffic jams due to the erratic parking of vehicles on the road. Assistant Commissioner of the Police (ACP) Swapan Sharma said, “We will deal sternly with those parking their vehicles erratically in the middle of the road.”

This could spell a doom for hotels and shopping malls located on the Ferozepur road. Tow-away drive has drastically declined the business of these shopping malls.

“The shopping mall authorities cannot blame us for taking strict action. They are at fault. They are charging anything between Rs 30 and Rs 100 for parking vehicle, which is not justified. The residents, in order to save money, park the car on the roadside and being police officers we do our duty by towing away these vehicles,” said a police officer of tow away wing.

Now, speeding away with vehicle in order to escape challan could prove costly. Under the new system, the traffic police has been provided with walky-talkies. With these, the police would be able to send the message quickly.

Traffic inspector Manjinder Singh said seven jam busters traffic motorcycle would also help in regulating traffic across the city.

Police to maintain log

The city police will collect data of the calls received at the traffic helpline numbers 1073 and 0161-2770012. Then, it will analyze the call details and from where these were made. The police department will accordingly deploy more personnel in these areas to ease traffic jams.


Another face saver by MC
Pedestrian underpass to be completed in a few weeks
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
Residents will have to wait for a few more weeks for the pedestrian underpass (PUP) opposite the Mini-Secretariat, which is already running behind the schedule, to complete. Officials of the municipal corporation were expecting to complete it by November 30, 2011. But the work remained stalled for a few weeks due to incessant rain in August last year.

The municipal corporation faced financial crisis when almost 90 per cent work was completed. The contractor was not paid Rs 50 lakh on time due to this. The project got delayed after the contractor stopped working.

Dubbed as one of the pet projects of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, he had tried to inaugurate it on December 17, few days before the model code of conduct for the Vidhan Sabha elections came into force. But the inauguration got postponed due to delay in completion of the project.

The state government had directed the municipal corporation to complete the project by December 17. Sukhbir Badal was on inauguration spree on this day in the city. At that time, the then Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha (who is now the Director of Local Bodies Department) had claimed that it would take another week for completing the project.

“Almost 90 per cent of the work has been completed and shops whitewashed. Stairs are being constructed. We will complete the project by next week,” Sinha had said while speaking to The Tribune on November 11.

But it has not been completed after four months.



Industry feels labour pangs
With migrants away; hosiery, auto, cycle parts suffer the most
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
The industrial city is once again facing labour shortage. According to industrialists, there is 35 per cent labour shortage in hosiery, auto and cycle parts, dyeing and electroplating units.

A few migrants have informed their masters about their whish to help their families in harvesting of wheat crop and attend weddings back home in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Reason could be any, but industrial town is suffering due to the shortage of workers.

Talking to The Tribune, president of Ludhiana Hand Tool Association, SC Ralhan, said local industries face this problem in April and May every year. “In fact, we prepare ourselves for the labour shortage during these two months. A few leave the city on the pretext of attending marriages of near and dear ones, others for harvesting crop back home. But for our permanent workers, we have to give money in advance too,” added Ralhan.

While Neeraj Kumar, a hosiery manufacturer at Sunder Nagar, said, “ The disturbing fact is that labourers are quite secretive about their travel plans. We cannot refuse them from leaving the city. But they never tell us the truth. If we ask them about their return journey, they assure us to return within a fortnight. Once they leave, they return only after two months. We try to engage temporary labourers so that our work does not suffer much.”

While Gopal, a migrant labourer from Uttar Pradesh. Who works at a hosiery unit in the Industrial Area Extension, said, “ Maximum weddings takes place at our native villages during this time? After this, no marriage could take place after these months due to inauspicious days. My elder brother has gone to attend two marriages. I will go for harvesting wheat crop once he returns. We have been working as regular employees for decade. Thus, employers don’t hesitate to give us money in advance.”



Maids, too, go on vacation
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
The city, too, is facing shortage of maids most of whom hail from Uttar Pardesh and Bihar. A few, who have preferred to stay back, are taking undue advantage of the situation by asking for more than double salary for doing household chores.

Meenu Kumar, a college teacher, said, “My maid left for her native place to attend her niece’s wedding. She will return in the second week of April. I am trying hard to engage another one, but have failed so far. A few, who work in our locality, are also planning to go on leave.” These maids have become smart over the years. Shakun Chopra, a home maker, said, “ I have been working on my own as my maid left for her village on April 8. I feel so tired. Yesterday, I asked two to three others, but they said, “We will charge Rs 750 per month just for sweeping 150-square yard floor.”

Shakun added: “I cannot afford to spend Rs 750 on cleaning. So I am again looking for a maid.” Jaggi Shergil said: “I am also without maid these days. But none is ready to work on the same amount. They want more salary, which is practically not feasible for me.”

Sushma, a maid who works at four houses, said, “We ask for more money because we know they need us. Wait for a month and all will return. Then no one will offer us work.”



Storm ravages wheat crop
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 14
Light to moderate rain accompanied by fast blowing winds in the region during past couple of days have caused heavy damage to wheat crop standing in the fields around Jagraon. The rain and high velocity wind left the farmers of the area worried.

During a visit to various villages of the area after the rain, today, it was found that hundred acres of wheat crop, which was almost ready for harvesting, were badly damaged by the rain and high velocity winds. The crop in the areas located at Raikot and Moga were worst affected as these areas witnessed much more rain as compared to others.

The rain not only damaged the crop but also delayed the harvesting of the crop in the area further, which has already been late due to prolonged winter season.

Showers accompanied by heavy-velocity winds left the farmers of the area worried. The farmers said that the harvesting would be delayed by four five days due to this spell of rain. The farmers said the rain had flattened their crop. Most of the farmers said that it was the high velocity winds which caused most damage to the crop that the rain.

Meanwhile, Kirti Kissan Union general secretary Iqbal Singh Rasoolpur, demanded compensation for the farmers whose crop has been damaged due to rough weather from the state government.



Wheat arrival yet to pick up at Jagraon grain market
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 14
A week after the official start of the procurement season in the state, wheat arrival is yet to pick up at Jagraon Grain Market, which is the second largest grain market in Asia. Even though one week has passed since the beginning of procurement, the wheat arrival is yet to gain momentum in the Jagraon grain market.

Similar is the situation at majority of the grain markets in rural areas around Jagraon.

A visit to the grain market, Jagraon, revealed that the wheat arrival was too slow as compared to the same period of time during the last year.

The authorities at Jagraon Grain market said they are all set for the procurement of the crop and more than one hundred purchase centers have been set in the Jagraon grain market. But the wheat arrival has not picked up so far.

According to officials of the market committee, Jagraon, the arrival of wheat was too late that time. There was only a little wheat that had arrived at the local grain market so far. During the first week of procurement, not even 10 per cent of wheat as compared to the wheat arrival during the past years has arrived in Jagraon Grain Market.

“Usually the wheat arrival starts first week of April and thereafter, it gets a little slow. Though a bumper harvest is expected duo to good weather during the season, the arrival of the crop has been very poor this year,” said Nachatar Singh, secretary at Market Committee Jagraon.

However, the authorities are hoping that the arrival of wheat will pick up in the coming some days.

But the authorities are also worried as the wheat arrival is expected to pick up, suddenly, during coming some days, which will make the lifting of procured wheat from grain market difficult.

The authorities fear a shortage of labour due to sudden influx of the crop during the coming week.

“The next week is going to be a hectic for us as arrival would suddenly jump. This would surely spell problems for us in terms of clearing the procured wheat and arranging more labour to store the wheat,” said a market committee official.

Besides this, the procurement agencies would have to store the procured crop in the open due to sudden influx of wheat. With the rains expected in coming some days in the area, the crop will be on God’s mercy. The authorities say that if it rains during procurement, things would be really tough for them to handle. The farmers in the area are expecting a bumper harvest this year due to prolonged winter season and rise in temperature just at the right time.



cross subsidy
Industry paid Rs 981 crore to PSPCL

Ludhiana, April 14
As indicted in the annual revenue report (ARR) of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) for 2011-12, the local industry was given power at much higher rate than the actual tariff. The industry had to shell out Rs 981 crore extra due to cross subsidy and disparity in prices. Thus, it has urged the state government to release power at actual cost price.

“The industry had to pay Rs 981 crore extra to the PSPCL due to wrong policies of the state government. Commercial consumption was 2728 MW in 2011-12, small units consumed 899 MW, medium units 1918 MW and 7920 MW was consumed by large units,” said Badish K. Jindal, President, Federation of Punjab Small Industries’ Associations.

Trade and industry paid Rs 6,861 crore for 13,394 MW with an average of 512 paisa, agriculture sector paid Rs 4,012 crore on 10992 MW with an average of 365 paisa per unit. “As per the Indian Electricity Act 2003, the cross subsidy should be abolished by 2013 in a phased manner. But PSPCL has not reduced it till date. The industry feels discriminated against due to this,” Jindal added.

The government is supplying power to the domestic sector at 389 paisa per unit, which is much below the average of total consumption at 439 paisa. The industry is the lifeline of a state. But, it is suffering due to the step motherly treatment of the state government, another industrialist said. — TNS



Consumers feel heat as prices of ACs go up
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
Customers will feel the heat this summer as most home appliances’ companies are going to increase the prices of refrigerators and air-conditioners following the hike in the excise duty announced in the Union Budget 2012. One has to shell out extra bucks to feel the cool breeze and drink cold water this summer.

"Some companies have already hiked the prices of various products, including frost-free refrigerators, washing machines and air-conditioners by 2 per cent broadly due to the rise in excise duty from 10 to 12 per cent," said Ashwin, a sales manager at a home appliances’ showroom on the Pakhowal road.

“The excise hike is very difficult to absorb so companies have no other option but to pass the burden onto consumers. Some of the companies have already increased the prices of their products by 4 per cent from this month,” said a salesman at an showroom of LG. On an average, prices for split air-conditioner will go up by Rs 1,000 or Rs 1,500, washing machine Rs 600 or Rs 1,000 and refrigerator Rs 1,000 or Rs 1,200 depending on the model.

However, companies say there will be some impact on the demand but only for the short term. “I don't think there will be any big impact. However, some impact will be there for some time. These things have become our necessity and are no longer considered luxury, so demand will not go zero,” added a spokesperson for one of the home appliances companies.

Sujata, a teacher, said her family had been planning to buy an air-conditioner since last year as summers were becoming unbearable in the city. We saved whole year to buy an air-conditioner but in vain as the prices of air-conditioners had increased. “Since we belong to the middle class, it would not be possible for us to put in the extra money for buying an AC. The prices of consumer durable goods, which every person needs, should not have been increased by the government,” she added.

The excise duty hike effect

Some companies have already hiked the prices of various products, including frost-free refrigerators, washing machines and air-conditioners by 2 per cent broadly due to the rise in excise duty from 10 to 12 per cent.

— A sales manager



Tributes paid to Baba Saheb
50 cabinet-rank ministers, ex-ministers attend function
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, April 14
While paying rich tributes to Dr BR Ambedkar on his 121st birth anniversary at a state-level function held at Guru Nanak Bhawan here today, the Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Charanjit Singh Atwal, said the state government had handed over a piece of land on the Ludhiana bypass worth Rs 10 crore to the authorities concerned where Dr Ambedkar Bhawan would be constructed. A sum of Rs 1 crore will be spent on the construction of the bhawan, he added.

The state-level function, which was jointly organised by the Bharatiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj (BVDS) and the district administration, witnessed the presence of Cabinet ministers, including Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Bhagat Chunni Lal, Sarwan Singh Phillaur, besides former ministers, including Satpal Gossain, Hira Singh Gabria, and leaders Harish Rai Dhanda, Manpreet Singh Ayali, Gurcharan Ghalib, Parveen Bansal, Prof Rajinder Bhandari and others.

While addressing the gathering, Charanjit Singh Atwal said people must follow the preachings of Dr BR Ambedkar, who framed the Constitution of India. Sharing his experiences with the gathering, Atwal said during Dr BR Ambedkar’s time, people were divided by caste system. The backward class was not allowed to sit with the people of upper caste, share books with them, etc. But it was due to Dr Ambedkar’s hard efforts that the "reserved" got a respectable status in society.

Bhagat Chunni Lalstressed education must be provided to people from backward classes if the country had to progress.

Vijay Danav, president of the BVDS, said Babasahib was a great scholar, who after going through the best constitutions of the world submitted the draft constitution of free India.

Meanwhile, Punjab National Bank celebrated the 121st birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar. Mohammed Latif Mir, AGM, RC Maurya, AGM, CK Sopori, along with senior officers and other staff members, gathered at the circle office and paid rich tributes to the Bharat Ratna, Dr Ambedkar.

Meanwhile, district Congress president (urban) Pawan Dhiwan and rural Congress president Malkeet Singh Dakha orgnised a function at the Congress Bhawan. Leaders of the Congress were present.

A motorcycle procession was organised by the Bhartiya Valmiki Youth Federation which was led by Congress leader Gurmail Singh Pehlwan and president of the federation Veer Dhara.

The Municipal Corporation Employees Union and the Bharatiya Valmiki Adi Dharm Smaj celebrated the birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar at the Municipal Corporation office. The function was presided over by Dr DP Khosla.

Activists of the local unit of the Punjab Budhist Society paid tributes to Dr Ambedkar at his statue situated on the Jalandhar bypass. The members of the Bahujan Samaj Morcha also showered flowers on the statue.

Senior Congress leader Krishan Kumar Bhawa demanded that a law college be constructed after Dr Ambedkar.

The Dharmik Ekta Welfare Society also celebrated the birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar at Chura Bazar where a function was organised.

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Rich tributes were paid to Dr BR Ambedkar on his birth anniversary here today. Several functions were organised by various political and social organisations here and in adjoining villages.

The main function was organised on the Jagera road under the aegis of the Ambedkar Welfare Society and the municipal council.

Jiwan Singh and Bhag Singh, councillors, called upon the Dalits to rise above politics and get united to safeguard the interests of their brethren.

The speakers said the greatest tribute to Dr Ambedkar would be to defeat the designs of the communal forces that were bent upon creating division between members of different communities.



1,000 students conferred degrees
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
The annual convocation of SCD Government College was held at the Sahir Auditorium of the college today. Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal was the chief guest and Jaswinder Singh Brar (DPI, Colleges) was the guest of honour. In his convocation address, the chief guest congratulated all the winners and wished them good luck and success in their lives.

At the same time, he reminded the students that apart from academic achievements, they should also remember their role in nation building and social growth.

The title of the Best Student was given to Gaurav Sikka while Rohit Kapoor was adjudged the Best Speaker of the college. Roll of Honour was also awarded to students wherein 20 students in cultural, 17 in sports and 5 in academic activities bagged the honour.

Sahir Order of Merit was conferred upon Jagsir Singh, Satveer Singh, Lakhvir Singh, Manjinderpal Singh and Sumit Singh. Ankush Jain of BCom was awarded the Abhay Oswal Gold Medal while Babneet Kaur and Inderdeep Kaur received the Prof Vishrut Sharma Memorial Gold Medal for their outstanding performances in their respective fields.

During the function, degrees were conferred on 520 students of BA, BSc, BCom and BCA and 480 students of postgraduate courses in English, Hindi, Punjabi, economics, geography, mathematics and MCom.



PTI teachers protest govt’s move
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana April 14
Reacting on the education department’s move to terminate the PTI teachers, the PTI teachers’ Union held a state-level meeting, here today. In the year 2006, government filled the 849 posts of the PTI teachers. All the applicants had to have the certificate of physical education (CPEd) for these posts.

But Bachelor of Physical Education (BPEd) and Masters in Physical Education (MPEd) degree holders filed cases against certificate holder PTI teachers that the government recruited less qualified applicants, as the degree holders were un-employed. Now court gave a verdict to revise the recruitment list.

Hence, hundreds of certificate holder the PTI teachers would be terminated.



CME on challenges in psychiatry today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
Ludhiana is hosting the annual midterm CME of the Indian Psychiatric Society, North Zone, tomorrow. This was informed by Dr Rajeev Gupta, a senior practicing psychiatrist of the city and organising chairman for the conference. He further informed that the theme for the conference is “New challenges in psychiatry”.

The conference will include psychiatrists and mental health professionals from all over North India, including Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. The psychiatrists from the region will discuss latest advances in the treatment as well as other burning issues.

Dr Sandeep Goyal, associate professor of psychiatry at Christian Medical College and organising secretary for the conference, informed that it will focus on new technology in the treatment of psychiatric illness, new challenges to a practitioner in society and increasing violence among youngsters.



Novel released
Our Correspondent

Doraha, April 14
A novel, "Madhvi", authored by prominent Punjabi writer Ranjit Rahi, was released at a meeting of Punjabi Likhari Sabha Rampur (PLSR) today. The meeting was presided over by Surinder Rampuri, President of the PLSR. Ninder Gill was the chief guest at the meeting.

A paper about the novel was presented by Dr Gulzar Pandher. In his paper, Pandher has mentioned the novel presents the deepening tragedy of a woman in the light of mythological paradox.



Leela joins as DEO
Tribune News Service

Leela RaniLudhiana April 14
Leela Rani, principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Jagraon Bridge, joined as the District Education Officer (Secondary), Ludhiana, today. The earlier District Education Officer (Secondary), Sudesh Bajaj, has been transferred to Sidwan Bet School as the school principal.

Meanwhile, Gurjot Singh from Government Senior Secondary School, Issewal, has joined as Deputy District Education Officer (Secondary).



DSP's murder
Trio sent to joint interrogation centre
In police custody till April 16
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
The trio of Umesh (23), Harwinder (23) and Pritpal (21), prime accused in gruesome double murder case of Moga DSP Balraj Singh Gill and Monica Kapila, were sent to a joint interrogation centre (JIC), Amritsar, today. Their accomplices Hassanjit, Ravinder and Davinder have also been taken to the centre for investigation in the double murder case.

DSP Balraj Singh Gill and Monica Kapila were brutally murdered on February 1 at a farmhouse located in Golf Link on the Hambra Road.

The trio along with their accomplices were produced before the court on April 11 and further remanded in the police custody till April 16.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashish Choudhary said: “The six accused have been sent to Amritsar for further investigation in the case.”

Police sources said they were taken to Chint Purni and Naina Devi shrines to locate sim card of the DSP and Monica and other crucial evidences.

Meanwhile, the police has fished out bags containing clothes from the Budha Nullah, but no one belongs to the victim.

Police sources said Umesh, one of the accused, had created a scene outside the CIA staff in March. The police had picked Umesh’s brother for questioning in the double murder case. Umesh got his brother released on the pretext of his brother appearing in exam. He had even dared to take up the matter with senior police officials if his brother wasn’t released.



44 shortlisted for basketball camp
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 14
The following boys and girls have been selected as Punjab probables to attend the preparatory camp for the forthcoming Sub-Junior National Basketball Championship scheduled to be held in Goa from May 6 to 12. The selected cagers were picked up during the trials conducted by the Punjab Basketball Association (PBA) at Guru Nanak Stadium here on yesterday.

The players will attend the camp to begin in Ludhiana from tomorrow, according to the general secretary, PBA, Teja Singh Dhaliwal.

On conclusion of the camp the Punjab squad will be finalised for the upcoming national championship.

The names of the probables are (boys)-Jaskaran, Amandeep Singh, Harjinder Singh, Kanwar Gurbaz Singh, Chetan Sharma, Ram Ashish, Ankush Rishi, Sonu Puri, Nirmit Jain, Ayush Puri, Anmol Ablish, Jagjit Singh, Deep Darsh, Mangu Ram, Chandan Kalia, Abhi Kumar, Gurpreet Singh, Nishandeep Singh, Gurwinder Singh, Sukhbir Singh, Gurajan Singh, Subhmit Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Arjun, Ajay and Pratik.

Girls-Shaifaly Garg, Prabhjot Kaur, Dilraj Kaur, Muninder Kaur, Neha, Ritika, Jyoti Bala, Gagandeep Kaur, Harleen Jaura, Shreya Monga, Japneet Kaur, Neha Bansal, Diptish, Komal, Sandeep Kaur, Amandeep Kaur, Satveer Kaur, Sakshi and Lovpreet Kaur.



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