L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Swine flu is back
One tests positive, two more suspected
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
Although winter has ended, cases of swine flu have been resurfacing. A young patient at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) here was recently confirmed to be swine-flu-positive while two were suspected cases.

Confirming this, Dr Deepak Bhatia, state nodal officer for the integrated disease surveillance programme, said, “Vijay Kumar, who hails from Nangal and works here, is under treatment at the DMCH for swine flu.”

He added, “His sample has been found positive and treatment has started. Two more patients at the DMCH are suspected to have swine flu, but the reports of their samples are awaited.”

He further disclosed that earlier, a staff nurse at the PGI, who lived at Navan Gaon, was also found to be swine-flu-positive. He said this was the first case of swine flu from Punjab this season.

Dr Anil Verma, district epidemologist for Ludhiana district, said, “We have issued instructions to all major hospitals in the city, including the CMCH, the DMCH, the Oswal Hospital, the SPS Apollo Hospital and the Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital for creating isolation wards in case any suspected or confirmed patient of swine flu comes there for treatment.”


AIDS victim hangs himself
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, April 15
A 30-year-old AIDS victim hanged himself from a tree at the chowk here early this morning. Gurwant Singh of Delhi reached here last night. He committed suicide the moment soon after getting off the bus.

Doraha police station SHO Harinder Singh said it was revealed from the documents recovered that the man was HIV-positive. “Relatives of the deceased were not aware of the ailment and thought that he had been taking drugs. He was depressed due to his ailment.”

The deceased’s aunt, residing at Bhaini Sahib, told this correspondent, “Gurwant was upset for the past several months. He had left his family in Delhi and started staying with me. During his stay here, he used to remain aloof and seldom mixed with other members of the family.”

She added, “We started presuming that he had started taking drugs. We tried to probe facts, but he refused to comment. As he refused to reveal the truth and continued his medicines without telling us about the ailment, his wife, presuming him to be a drug addict, began to avoid him.”

She further said, “It was today, when the police told us that he was HIV-positive, the true picture became clear to us. He used to take medicines, but we misunderstood him. Life had become a burden on him as he refused to socialise. We could never read the reason of his aloofness.” She stated, “Had he told us about his ailment, we would have arranged medicines for him. We would never had allowed him to end his life in such a cruel manner. This end was predestined.”

The SHO said, “Other family members have been called from Delhi. They are on their way. The body has been sent to the Civil Hospital.”



Not well off, family can’t pay divers
Two friends drowned on April 13, one body fished out
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
The mother of 18-year-old Sunny, who drowned in the Sutlej three days ago, complained that divers were demanding a huge amount to fish out the body.
Surrounded by women of the locality at her Jawahar Nagar residence, Swarna Devi (55) was looking at a photograph of her son Sunny.

He and his friend Anil Bhagat drowned on April 13. Anil’s body was recovered by divers yesterday and handed over to the victim’s parents.

“The family of Anil had some dispute with divers yesterday. The divers are now reluctant to enter the water. I do not know if my child would be found or not,” rued Swarna Devi.

The divers reportedly took Rs 16,000 from to pull out Anil’ body.

A widow who had three daughters and one son, Swarna Devi said that she did not have the money to pay the divers.

Sunny had taken up a job after appearing in his class-X examination. Residents said the family was not well off. Sunny and his elder brother were working to eke out a living.

Swarna Devi said Sunny and Anil went to the Sutlej to pay obeisance on the occasion of Baisakhi. When they did not return home till the evening, the family rushed to the river.

On reaching the spot, they found the clothes and belongings of the victims. Soon word spread that they had drowned.



GLADA rapped for irregular ex-gratia, wage payments
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 15
The audit department has taken serious note of irregular ex-gratia payment to the extent of Rs 23.71 lakh and wages on muster rolls amounting to Rs 79.82 lakh by the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) in violation of instructions of the Punjab government.

The internal and external audit report of GLADA for 2010-11 revealed that the irregular payment of Rs 9.41 lakh on account of ex-gratia were made by GLADA during 2007-08, Rs 4.90 lakh in 2008-09, Rs 5.11 lakh in 2009-10 and Rs 4.28 lakh in 2010-11.

Quoting the instruction of the state government in this regard, auditors pointed out that the Chief Secretary had, in a letter, conveyed to the Principal Secretary, department of finance, that pay, allowances and perquisites of employees of public-sector undertakings and quasi-public institutions shall not be higher than those of their counterparts in state government service.

In order to bring about economy, it was directed that higher allowances and perquisites not admissible to government employees, but being enjoyed by public-sector undertaking employees, be withdrawn prospectively.

Auditors also came down heavily on the GLADA authorities for irregular payment of wages worth Rs 79.82 lakh during the period from 2007-08 to 2010-11 to employees on muster rolls in violation of government directions from the department of finance).

According to the directions, labour should not be employed on muster rolls for construction or maintenance works and in case of emergency, prior permission of the administrative secretary concerned should be obtained.

Raising an objection to the irregular payments, the audit report mentioned that the directions of the state government were also reiterated by the PUDA headquarters through an official letter.

Terming the explanation provided by the GLADA authorities not tenable, auditors maintained that payment on muster rolls and on account of ex-gratia were made in contravention of instructions of the government.

Copies of the internal and external audit report had been obtained under the Right to Information Act by the Council of RTI Activists.



Helpline on towed-away vehicles launched
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
If you find your haphazardly parked car missing from outside a shopping mall or a busy market, do not panic. Call 1073 or 0161-2770012 to ask whether your car has been towed away. The move has been taken following complaints that the towing away of vehicles leaves residents worried.

Giving details, traffic inspector Manjinder Singh said, “Though we mark a stand where the vehicle is towed away from, we still receive complaints that residents are left perplexed on seeing their cars missing. To avoid confusion, residents can get the status of their vehicles checked.”

Traffic expert Kamaljit Soi said the police should give a 15-day warning before initiating the drive to tow away vehicles so that commercial establishments could make alternative arrangements.

He added that the police should coordinate with the municipal corporation authorities to mount pressure on commercial establishment to provide parking space.

“While tall building are mushrooming across the city, virtually no provision has been made for the parking vehicles. If there is parking space, business establishments are charging a huge amount for it,” said Soi.

Residents used panic as there was no one to tell them that their vehicle had been towed away. It was only when residents approached the police to file a complaint that they got to know that their vehicle was towed away, he further said.



Farewell parties reduced to just modelling and dancing
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
Gone are the day when a farewell used to be a simple but sentimental affair involving no expenses. While one of the junior students read the farewell address, any student passing out used to thank them in a graceful way.

It was followed by a simple snacks and tea party, along with a group photograph. Students used to come in simple dresses and the whole event used to take no more than an hour as students could hardly get an hour off during their pre-examination days.

In contrast, a farewell nowadays has been reduced to a fashion show, modelling and dancing on latest Bollywood numbers. Students come to the college in costly attires with bright make-up, which is heavy on the pockets of their parents.

Commenting on the reason behind this sea change, Government College for Women principal Gurvinder Kaur said, “I think it is the exposure to television and cinema which is changing the mindset of students. But exceptions are always there. Parents should curb this habit of copying of their children. We feel shy on the attires of students, but their parents do not forbid them from following blindly. Before farewell functions, we keep requesting students to come to the college in simple dresses.”

English department head KBS Sodhi said, “These cheap shows have become a part and parcel of farewell parties. Most of those turn out to be a fashion show and not an academic get-together. Students try to wear costly costumes. Neither parents, nor teachers try to channelise the energy of students in other good events.”

Such parties result in hefty incomes to cloth merchants and those running boutiques and beauty parlours. Local beautician Meenu said, “I charge between Rs 800 and Rs 1,000 per head for hairstyle, make-up and saree for a farewell party. Between February and April, I earn a lot through college students.”

Students whose parents could not afford to provide these things to their wards felt that their children had a complex. School clerk Rama Kant said, “My daughter did not attend her BSc-III farewell as we cold not buy her a dress worth Rs 3,000. Being the sole earning family member, I tried to convince her. She replied that would look odd in a simple suit.”



Industrialists and traders worried
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
Traders and industrialists have been left in the lurch as the excise and taxation department has not extended the last date for filing C-forms for the year 2010-11. The last date for filing C-forms was November 20 last.

All traders who had VAT registration numbers and had done purchasing outside the state were required to file C-forms, which were to be filled along with annual VAT returns.

There were nearly 1.90 lakh taxpayers in the state with VAT registration numbers. From 2005, the VAT inception year, the last date for filing C-forms is extended every year to March 31.

The government had failed to do this year, due to which traders and industrialists were finding it tough. Now these forms would be received only after payment of interest on tax.

Sources in the department revealed that the last date for filing C-forms had not been extended yet and the decision would be conveyed to taxpayers as soon as it was taken.

“It is mandatory to file C-forms for the assessment of VAT. Some traders have not received C-forms yet while others have received those from their clients in March,” said Jatinder Khurana, president of the Taxation Young Lawyers Association.

Davinder Kumar, a trader, said he was worried as the department had not extended the last date for filing C-forms this year and he had not been able to submit the form yet.

“Due to the shortage of C-forms, I was not able to submit it. Now I have asked one of my friends to get me C-forms from a neighbouring state. If the date is not extended, I will have to pay fine as well,” he added.



144-yr-old solar watch a shambles
Lovleen Bains

A view of the solar watch in Doraha. Photos by writer
A view of the solar watch in Doraha. Photos by writer

Doraha, April 15
A 144-year-old solar watch, erected by RG Kennedy in 1878, placed at the Canal Rest House of Rampur village, is a shambles.
Initially, located at Bharthala in Samrala, the clock was shifted to Doraha in 1928. For want of upkeep and proper maintenance, the unique treasure has not only lost its original glory, but also lies abandoned, amidst overgrown grass.

With the help of sunlight, this solar watch that consists of a needle focuses on a particular point on the dial, thereby displaying time. One is supposed to first view the shadow on the dial and add 26 minutes to it to know the correct time.

There are different digits mentioned against the months on the plate from January to December. If one wants to have an idea of the exact time, one is supposed to add the digits mentioned against the months from January to July and subtract the digits mentioned against the months from August to December in the time already calculated by adding 26 minutes. The specified calculation gives fully accurate time to a viewer.

“Seldom has any effort been made to publicise or preserve it. Astonishingly, even the villagers of Rampur, where the canal rest house is situated, are not aware of the watch. The manner in which the watch is lying unattended speaks about the concern of the government towards these historical assets.

“A treasure which should otherwise embellish our rich cultural museums is a shambles. It is really a sorry state of affairs. This despite the fact that the media has been highlighting its plight from time to time,” said Jaswant Singh Gill.

“The solar watch is a unique treasure. It should be placed at a place where it gets adequate attention. Moreover, schoolchildren and college students can learn a lot about the history and culture through the watch,” said Surinder Rampuri, president, Punjabi Writers Association, Rampur.

Superintending engineer Sohan Singh Grewal said, “I will propose its shifting to Bassian Kothi, a monument of Sikh heritage, now being developed into a memorial in remembrance of Late Maharaja Dalip Singh.”



Teachers divided over formation of new directorates
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana April 15
Various teachers’ organisations stand divided over the formation of new directorates. Some of the unions are favouring the move while others opposing it. Meanwhile, the government has started allotting schools under new directorates.

The education department is going to constitute four new directorates, including Kandi Bet (primary), Kandi Bet (secondary), Border Area (primary) and Border Area (secondary).

The reason behind the constitution of these directorates is to concentrate on those areas where education standard was not appropriate due to poor infrastructure. The government has posted new teachers in border and Kandi areas but due to less facilities available there, teachers take transfers.

Ramanjit Singh Sandhu, district president, Democratic Employees Front, said, “The department has already been divided into three parts-primary, secondary and zila parishads. The government wants to weaken the department.”

Meanwhile, Sukhdarshan Singh, president of the Anti Copying Teachers Front, welcomed the move of the government. Sukhdarshan said, “It will benefit students of Kandi and border areas. Moreover, teachers will also get more opportunities. The education standards will improve as permanent teachers will be deputed in these areas.” 



Work going on at snail’s pace
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 15
Keeping in view the slow pace of construction work going on to set up a sewerage treatment plant at Jagraon, the chances of completing the project within one year as per the directions issued by the Punjab and Haryana High Court seem bleak.

The work on the sewerage treatment plant has been on for the past few months.

Even the authorities of the local municipal council are not sure of meeting the deadline set by the High Court.

“It will take one to two years to complete the work of the sewerage treatment plant. It will be almost impossible to complete the work within one year seeing the current pace of the work,” said a senior official of the municipal council, Jagraon.

Moreover, local MLA Shiv Ram Kaler accompanied by a team of drainage department officials from Chandigarh inspected the sewerage treatment plant a few days ago.

He stated that the project would be completed within two years.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had set a year deadline for the completion of the work.

The court had directed the Punjab government and Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority to ensure the completion of the project within one year.

A division bench of the High Court had issued these directions on April 10 while hearing a petition filed by a Jagraon-based NGO, Citizen Welfare Council, against the state of Punjab and other respondents.

Through the petition, the petitioner had sought an end to the discharge of sewage and filthy water of Jagraon town into the Malak drain.

During an earlier hearing, the counsel for the municipal council had submitted, “The ultimate solution to the problem lies in setting up the sewerage treatment plant, the construction of which has already commenced.”

Following which the court directed the state government and GLADA to ensure the completion of the sewage treatment plant within a year to bring an end to the problems highlighted in the writ petition without any delay.

However, the completion of the sewerage treatment plant within one year is going to prove a tough challenge for the authorities concerned.

During a visit to the sewerage treatment plant construction site, it was found that the contractor had accomplished only the base of the plant so far. 



Reporters’ Diary
Traffic police’s efforts to ease congestion fructify 

After tinkering with the mammoth problem of traffic congestion on the Old GT Road from Jagraon bridge to old sabzi mandi, especially around the Clock Tower Chowk in the old city, the traffic police has at last succeeded in bringing some sort of order in the traffic movement. The imposition of ban on the plying of three-wheelers beyond the railway station has brought relief to commuters, and movement of vehicles on the stretch has now become comparatively hassle-free. But this is just the beginning, and much more has to be done to address the problems of traffic jams and congestion on city roads. Several traffic-related issues like jumping the red light, haphazard parking of vehicles and not following the proper lanes at intersections are yet to be tackled in an effective manner which seems easier.

Fond of idiot box

During one of my visits to my relatives, I was astonished at the fact that even children watch television to such an extent that they are well versed with all characters and film stars. My cousin’s daughter, who is in LKG, knew all television stars and told me the storyline of a few serials as well. Then she sang some songs for us. We were having tea along with “jalebis” and the little girl came and picked nearly five to six jalebis for herself. Her mother told her to take only one or two to which she quickly replied, “Naam, Jalebi Bai”. She meant she is “Jalebi Bai” so she can eat as many jalebis as she wants. I was taken aback that these children also draw connotation from film songs but since her reply was so sweet even her mother allowed her to have as many as jalebis she wanted to have. “She has a sweet tooth,” said her mother. And I can still hear the little girl singing “Naam, Jalebi Bai”.

Smart teacher

Overburdened children are getting smarter day by day. In one of the city schools, a computer class was going on. Due to some work, the computer teacher had to leave the classroom for five to 10 minutes. But when the teachers came back he was taken by surprise that all children were busy downloading games from the Internet. As the teacher entered the classroom, they started making their assignment. But the smart teacher asked all children to open their Internet browser to know who downloaded which game. One of the students who did not download anything said, “Thank God I did not download, otherwise I, too, would have got a thrashing from the teacher like my class mates.” While others who were caught downloading games said, “But it was a thrilling experience for us.”

Tattoos the latest fad

Youngsters are getting attracted to the macabre and weird world, including devils and skeletons in graffiti, tattoos and rock bands. The rock fanatic generations of youngsters seem fascinated with the skulls and gory stuff- in the weird tattoos, rock bands and T-shirts. Even some stores focus on youngsters and offer such stuff. “It is funny that such stuff is coming from the West, the culture that is supposed to be developed,” said a resident.

Contributed by Kuldip Bhatia, Manav Mander, Anupam Bhagria and Gurvinder Singh



Dengue fear gives residents sleepless nights
Jaswant Shetra

Sewage accumulated on a road at Shastri Nagar in Jagraon.
Sewage accumulated on a road at Shastri Nagar in Jagraon. Photo by writer

Jagraon, April 15
With the summer setting in, the fear of dengue and malaria has once again gripped the residents of various localities situated along the local Disposal Road. Unhygienic surroundings and streets flooded with dirty water due to choked sewerage are giving sleepless nights to residents of these localities.

Overflowing sewers, heaps of garbage, dirt and filth are a common sight in the localities like New Shastri Nagar, Shastri Nagar, New Gaushala Road, Grewal Colony, Lehndi Bhaini Basti and some others. Nobody seems to be concerned about what kind of conditions the residents are living in and what type of ailments they are being exposed to because of unhygienic surroundings.

The presence of a dirty drain in which the sewerage of the town is discharged has been the major problem for residents of these localities. This drain which passes through most of these localities has not been cleaned for the past many years. Every year, a large number of residents suffer from various diseases due to the dirty drain.

However, there is little relief in sight for the residents of these localities as new MLA Shiv Ram Kaler has initiated a project to clean this drain. Though the work for cleaning the drain is going to begin in a few days, yet it is not clear how long the cleaning process will take. It is believed that it will take three to four months for completing the project of cleaning the drain which means the residents have to face the similar problem during the summer.

The residents of these localities had witnessed a large number of cases of malaria and dengue during the past couple of years. Last year, more than 10 deaths were reported due to dengue and other ailments caused due to unhygienic conditions from these localities.

But the authorities of the local municipal council seem to have learnt no lesson from the past as no efforts have been made to keep the area clean.

“The municipal council seems to have forgotten the area as not even a single sweeper or sanitary official has bothered to visit the area for long. The dirty water not only floods the streets, but also enters houses due to the chocked sewerage system,” said Mukesh Kumar, a resident of New Shastri Nagar.

The sorry state of affairs can be gauged from the fact that huge heaps of garbage can be seen lying on all streets. “Nobody ever bothers to lift filth from the streets which emits foul smell. Though we have complained the local municipal council about this a number of times, but all our requests seem to have fallen on deaf ears,” rued Inderpal Singh, another resident.

MC president Baldev Krishan Dhir said the MC had deployed eight sweepers for the cleaning purpose in these localities. “We are laying a special emphasis on this area to prevent spread of diseases. Besides, we will keep monitoring the cleanliness time to time to see if the employees are working on a regular basis,” he added. 



Beating the heat in style
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
With the summer setting in, youngsters are all agog to flaunt new fashion and style.
Dhoti suits of girls, cool tees of boys are all set to make the hot summer sultry through all new styles. Fashion brands in the city have also launched the new summer collection underscoring the overall trends for the season while also emphasising their own brand identities through clothes.

Sangita, a student, said, “Hair bands and hats this season are going to be in thing.” A brand recently unveiled its jeans and men and women's apparel. Crystal aquas, deep sea and palm green, orange colours make the collection vibrant. For women, compression tanks, skinny cropped pants have been presented for the new season. Another youth-oriented brand brought in new tees and jeans collection.

“For this season, jeans is less rugged, with simpler washes,” a representative at a brand outlet stated. Another brand unveiled its checks for the new season. “Last year, it was stripes, but this year around, it is going to be checks that will be in vogue,” a representative said.

In the Indian wear, suits have all turned into trendy shapes. “Dhoti-Salwar” has already become the trend for this summer. “Fashion is changing and spreading like wild fire with the change of season these days,” said Anjali. “Popular trends used to touch climax only after a few seasons previously, but now a days, fashion trends are on a high right from the beginning and become pervasive all around very quickly,” she added. Trends are governed by the fashion industry,” said a resident. 



Open air theatre lying unused for years
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
Open air theatre at SCD Government College evokes nostalgia of the plays staged there and the applause that these used to receive. The place now remains silent and the quaint seating rows are only used by some students to lounge around and relax.

Daljit Singh, an MA student, said the open theatre at the college looked attractive for its curved, staggered rows for seating, but he had not seen any play for the past five years when he joined the college as a student.

Prof Jagtar Singh at the college said plays at the open theatre used to be staged 15 to 20 years ago. “Students these days are too busy with modern day mobiles, Internet and media and do not have interest in staging plays,” he stated.

However, Dr Chandip Kaur from the department of English said the tradition of staging plays at the open air theatre should be revived as these brought to the fore real form of theatre. Dr Reetinder Joshi also concurred saying that in Delhi university colleges, the trend of nukkad nataks and extempore plays amongst students was much more, but it was missing here.

Some faculty members said plays were staged in the college auditorium, and not at the open theatre. Now, the open air theatre is used occasionally for organising functions. Lohri function was celebrated in the theatre this year.

Principal Jasbir Kaur Makkar said organising plays at the open air theatre would require arrangements of lighting and sound, which would increase the cost of staging the plays.

Many students, however, agreed that efforts for bringing back the stage and the plays culture should be made. “I think work needs to be done at student as well as the college level,” said Lovepreet, a student. 



PSEB changes syllabi, but fails to provide books
Charannjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
Though the new academic session in schools affiliated to the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) started about two weeks ago, the board has, so far, failed to provide new books to students.

Recently, the PSEB had changed the syllabi of 27 subjects, including maths, social studies and Punjabi of Class X, maths of classes I, II and VIII, computer science of Class VIII and social studies and maths of Class IX.

Ironically, these books are not available in the market. Now, students of these schools are in a fix.

The board provides books to government schools, but students of private schools affiliated to the PSEB face more problems as they are dependent on the book stores.

“The semester examination of PSEB students starts from September but students are yet to get the books. How will they prepare for their examination, if they don’t have the books,” said a teacher of private school.

Rajiv Thapar from the Punjab Private School Association said students would have to suffer due to negligence on the part of the PSEB officials.

“We have spoken to some private publishers regarding the new books. They also expressed helplessness in providing the same,” said a principal of a private school.

Anil Sharma, in charge, District Book Depot, PSEB, said, “I am not aware of any such thing and don’t know whether the books are available at the depot. I will have to check,” he added.



Veggies become dearer
Make dent in the pocket of common man
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
A sudden rise in prices of vegetables has started burning a hole in the pocket of common man. One has to shell out extra money to buy vegetables and the magnitude of the skyrocketing prices is such that even vegetable vendors have begun looking at other sources of livelihood.

The prices of vegetables, including tomato, potato and onion, have risen significantly despite good produce. However, relatively lower production of green vegetables in the state has increased the transportation costs as wholesalers are procuring them from differnt states.

Road transporters explained that longer distance, toll taxes, increased labour costs have virtually increased the transportation costs and prices of vegetables.

Surinder Sharma, a vegetable wholesaler, said, “The transportation cost include diesel cost, toll tax amount, labour cost, truck maintenance cost etc. Also with more distance, the risk of vegetable getting perished increases. Earlier, we use to bring vegetables mostly from Malerkotla, but due to low production we now transport them from the neighbouring states, which involves more transportation cost”.

Another transporter said recently, the number of trips for procuring vegetables from far-off states had increased. Aslam Mian, a vegetable vendor, said, “The reason for price hike is increased cost of transportation due to low produce of certain vegetables in Punjab and other nearby states. Besides, increase in prices of essential vegetables, like beans, lady finger, cauliflower, spinach, lemon and carrot have gone up compared to their prices just a week ago”.

The price of tomato has escalated the most. It has almost doubled from Rs25 per kg to Rs45 per kg. The price of cauliflower has increased from Rs20 per kg last week to Rs30-35 this week. The price of potato has also increased from Rs12 per kg last week to Rs20 per kg this week. The onion prices have also escalated from Rs15 last week to Rs25 this week.

“There is no shortage of stock, supply or production. The price of tomato has increased but there is no reason to worry. We were procuring it from Haryana and Rajasthan but due to low production in these states, we are now getting it from far off states like Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. The tomatoes from Gujarat are of better quality thus there is slight increase in its price.”

Sarabhjeet Singh, a vegetable wholesaler, blamed vegetable vendors for increasing the price of vegetables by keeping undue margin for themselves.



Give appointment letters to those selected, demands clerks’ body
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
A meeting of the Subordinates Services Selection Board Clerk Requirement Origination led by Munish Kumar was held here today.
At the meeting, Munish Kumar stated that the Punjab government had publicised an advertisement for requirement of 850 vacancies of clerk in July 2011.

According to the instructions given in the advertisement, only a written test was required. Unemployed youths took expensive coaching to make make it to the merit list. But the government had not yet given them the appointment letter.

He said that now, the Punjab government had set a new condition, -to pass a punjabi typing test-which was unjustified. At the meeting it was demanded that the government give them appointment letters soon. 



SAI team visits astroTurf stadium
Fully satisfied; camp for London Olympics to be held in May
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, April 15
Here is a good news for sports lovers, particularly the hockey fans of Ludhiana and its nearby areas, as the synthetic track at the Olympian Prithipal Singh Memorial AstroTurf Stadium of the Punjab Agricultural University here is re-laid and the venue is ready to play host to the hockey tournaments of the national and international levels.

The astroTurf was laid at the stadium more than a decade ago and it had outlived, worn out at certain places, posing a threat to the players. The stadium was closed about a year ago and the Sports Department, Punjab, started renovation work to update the stadia. While the new blue and pink astroTurf was laid to replace the green track with the help of a foreign concern, the up-gradation work at the stadium which include, increasing of seating capacity, construction of changing rooms and bathrooms besides installation of fooldlights was assigned to the Punjab Mandi Board.

Now, the entire work except for the repairs of water sprinkle guns and construction of some stands for the spectators has been accomplished.

"The remaining work will also be completed within a week’s time. The stadium is being spruced up as per international standards. The stadium will be the venue for the preparation camp of the national men's hockey team in the run-up for the London Olympics," said Surjit Singh Sandhu, district sports officer, Ludhiana. Talking to The Tribune, Sandhu said that a four-member expert team from the Sports Authority of India (SAI), New Delhi, visited the stadium yerterday to take stock of the work being done there to prepare the stadium before the camp started in the first week of May.

"The SAI team was fully satisfied with the work undertaken so far and appreciated the sports department as well as the Punjab Mandi Board for updating the facilities at the stadium," added Sandhu.



Punjabi Sahit Akademi holds elections
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
The elections of the Punjabi Sahit Akademi were held at Punjabi Bhawan today. Members of the akademi cast their votes for the honorary posts.

Dr Surjit Singh Gill, the Election Commissioner, informed that Prof Gurbhajan Singh Gill, Dr Sukhdev Singh, Dr Anoop Singh, Dr Joginder Singh Nirala had won the honorary posts of the president, general secretary, senior vice president, and vice president (for one post from outside Punjab and Chandigarh), respectively. Some of the candidates who had proposed their names during the nominations had withdrawn their names for the above posts on April 5.

Earlier during the day, 774 members of the academy cast their votes till 2 pm. Counting was done after the voting, and results were declared late in the evening. The elections were conducted peacefully. 



Five-year-old donates eyes
Tribune News Service

Prabhleen Kaur
Prabhleen Kaur

Ludhiana, April 15
Five-year-old Prabhleen Kaur Makkar, daughter of Dalbeer Singh Makkar, died due to heart attack on March 31.

Prabhleen belonged to the family of president of Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee Avtar Singh Makkar. Prabhleen's father Dalbeer Singh Makkar and grandfather Gurdeep Singh Makkar donated her eyes to Punarjot Eye Bank, an NGO. Avtar Singh makkar has been associated with the Punarjot Eye Bank and has inspired many people to donate eyes for the noble cause.

The NGO has appealed to the public in general to come forward for the cause of eye donation.



Four radical Sikh leaders released
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
Four radical Sikh leaders, including Gurdeep Singh Gosha, Jaswinder Singh Baliewal, Jasdeep Singh Kaunke and Shiromani Akali Dal Panch Pardhani chief and pro-Khalistan activist Daljit Singh Bittu, who were arrested on March 28 for making provocative speech, were released today.

They had claimed that they had become the victim of political vendetta. The son of state president of the SAD (Delhi) Jaswinder Singh Baliewal had sparked a controversy when he openly opposed the release of president of the Sikh Welfare Council Baljinder Singh Jindu on "medical grounds".

Pritpal Singh, Baliewal’s son, had condemned Jindu’s release. He had alleged that Jindu, was released as he enjoyed a proximity with former Jail Minister Hira Singh Gabria.

The radical leaders had raised objection as their hearing of the case was being conducted through video conferencing.

Gosha, Baliewal, Kaunke and Bittu were booked on March 28 under Sections 107 and 151 of the CrPC for planning to breach peace and harmony.

There were complaints that that they had delivered provocative speeches during the state-wide bandh against the proposed execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana, who had been convicted for former Chief Minister Beant Singh’s assassination.



Victim’s kin allege police inaction

Ludhiana, April 15
Relatives of a 14-year-old boy Kallu , who was run over by a construction vehicle and died yesterday, created a scene at the civil hospital here today, when the police brought the body of the victim for postmortem examination. The relatives even manhandled police officials for not taking action against the driver of the construction vehicle, who was reportedly drunk. — TNS



ludhiana scan
NCC cadet felicitated

Rajya Sabha MP Avinash Rai Khanna felicitated Nayeea Vinayak, an NCC cadet, on Saturday. A student of the local Anand Isher Senior Secondary School, she was among the three junior wing cadets who participated in the parade from the state.

‘Jagran’ organised

A ‘jagran’ was organised by Shri Bala Ji Trust at MGMN Senior Secondary School at Mandi Ahmedgarh last night. Devotees paid obeisance and listened to devotional songs during the jagran.

Meeting by PWD employees

A meeting of the Punjab PWD Supervisory Staff Association was held at the PWD complex rest house at Civil Lines today. The participants said that the supervisory staff was being given step-motherly by the state government and demanded that their grade-pay and conveyance allowance should be increased.

Baisakhi celebrated

Virasat-e-Khalsa complex at Anandpur Sahib would be an inspiration to the coming generations according to Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha. He was speaking during a programme to commemorate Baisakhi yesterday.

Harit Kranti Diwas

Harit Kranti Diwas was organised at Chahelan village in Ludhiana by Shri Mukteshwar Mahadev Shiv Mandir Committee. Musician Dr Shiv Mahesh performed during a sangeet darbar was organised on the occasion.

Pensioners protest

Pensioners' Association has demanded the government of Punjab to increase the dearness allowance from 58 percent to 65 percent on the lines of central government. BR Kaushal, a representative of the association, said that the allowance has been increased in the states of Haryana and Maharashtra and should be increased in Punjab as well.

Protest against Canadian govt

Protests were held in the city by Backloggers 2008 Association against the proposal of Canadian Government to return about 3 lakh immigration applications filed before February 27, 2008, without processing. The applications were filed under the federal skilled worker category.


Health Minister Madan Mohan Mittal inaugurated an advanced machine used for treating cancer at the Ace Healthways hospital in the city yesterday. He said that such machines would be installed in other cities as well. He also said that support of people in controlling drug peddlers is important and steps would be taken for the improvement of government hospitals.

Website launched

Namdhari website Beant Parkash was launched at Bhaini Saheb on the life of Satguru Jagjit Singh.

Ghazal album released

Shamshad Ali Khan released his album "Sarghi Da Tara" at the GGN Institute of Management and Technology a couple of days back. This was the first album of the 
ghazal singer. — Tribune Reporters



Girl alleges rape
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 15
A girl hailing from Bhundri village met Ludhiana SSP (rural) Amar Singh Chahal alleging that two youths of Salempura village near Sidhwan Bet had raped her on April 9. The victim, who works at a Ludhiana-based beauty parlour, informed the SSP that on April 9 she was waiting for a bus at the bus stand when two youths hailing from Salempura village arrived there in a car and offered her a lift.

She said as she knew one of the youths, who owns a health club at Ludhiana, she sat in the car. Following which both the youths forcibly took her to a room situated in the fields near Ludhiana and raped her. 



Three booked on theft charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 15
Three tipsy contractual employees of the Municipal Corporation (MC) were booked for committing a theft in the house a migrant in the Guru Nanakpura area.

The accused identified as Rinku, Ramesh and Subash, all contractual employees of the MC, had committed a theft in the house of Yadav Lal and stolen utensils and other valuable from his house. The complainant reported the matter to the police following which a team led by SHO Vinod Kumar nabbed the trio.

In police custody, the trio said they had committed theft as they did not have money to buy liquor. 



Cricket academy inaugurated
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, April 15
The Punjab Cricket Association's (PCA) move to groom young players (13 to 15 years) for the national and international level competitions has been translated into action with the inauguration of the non-residential cricket academy at Arya College ground here today.

Rahul Tiwari, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, who is also the ex-officio chairman of the Ludhiana District Cricket Association formally, inaugurated the academy. The selected boys, 20 in number, will be trained at the academy. The inter-academy matches will also be organised on weekends to give them match practice.

Trials were organised by the LDCA last month to select the talented boys during which received an overwhelming response as more than 130 boys attended these trials. The selection panel comprising former international player and umpire Jasbir Singh from Chandigarh, Rani players, Rakesh Raini of Patiala and Ankur Kakkar from Ludhiana conducted the trials while, Desh Prem Azad, director, PCA Academies, and Daronacharya awardee visited the city to give useful tips to the budding cricketers.

The selectors shortlisted 20 players, which include nine batsmen, one wicketkeeper, five fast bowlers and five spinners. Besides, five standbye players were also selected, which include two fast bowlers, two wicketkeepers and one batsman.

The list of selected players was sent to the PCA for its approval and the names of these boys was announced along with the players who were selected from Jalandhar, Amritsar, Patiala, Mohali and Chandigarh.

The names of the players are: Gurjot Singh, Jaskaran Singh, Harnoor Singh, Sumer Singh Virk, Saurabh Khurana, Varinder Pal Singh, Jaish Jain and Deepin Chitkara (all batsmen), Shivang Puri, Rahul Khanna, Gurtej Singh, Simar Singh, Akash Agnihotri and Kunwar Makkar (all medium pacer), Rohit (wicketkeeper), Shubhendu Goel and Manjot Singh (both off spinners), Raghav Sharma (left-arm spinner), Manan Jain and Manuj Saharan (both right-arm leg spinners)

The LDCA also felicitated five cricketers of Ludhiana, who have brought fame to the city in recent years. Ankur Kakkar, Karan Goel, Luv Abhlish, Gitansh Khera and Rahul Singla were given mementos. Office-bearers of the LDCA along with parents were also present on the occasion.



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