L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rain forecast worries farmers
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
The sudden change in weather conditions has caused a lot of worries for the farmers, who have started harvesting their wheat crop. Though there has not been an alarming situation as of now, farmers are worried, as the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that on April 28 and 29, moderate to heavy rainfall was expected in the region.

The president of the Punjab Agriculture University Kisan Club PS Pangli said presently, farmers were getting excellent yield. "Farmers are getting 24-25 quintals of yield per acre and the quality of grain, too, is very bold. But today's rain has caused worries among the farmers, who had to cover the heaps of produce lying in the open fields. The IMD has predicted that on April 28, 29 moderate to heavy rainfall is expected and farmers have every reason to panic. Even if we start with the harvesting without taking any rest (for 24 hours), we will not be able to accomplish the task," said Pangli.

A farmer near Mandi Ahmedgarh, Rajbir Singh, said farmers were expecting a bumper wheat crop. But due to the rains, threshers and harvestors were tough to run. "We are too much worried because of bad weather conditions and we can just pray to God. If rains continue to lash the region, the quality of grain will be damaged. It is yellow grain now, but due to moisture and rains, it will turn blackish," said a worried farmer.

District Mandi Officer Rajpal Singh Dhaliwal said he had visited certain villages in the district. "In areas like Khanna, Jagraon, Samrala and Macchiwara, farmers were seen covering the grain with tarpaulins. As of now, there is no need to panic. At the same time, days have to be bright and sunny for better yield," said the official.



Weather lands farmers in difficult situation
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 22
Harvesting period is proving thorny for farmers of the area. Those who chose to harvest unripe wheat crop in panic due to intermittently inclement weather during past fortnight, have to beg before the officials of various procurement agencies in the grain markets. Others, who preferred to wait for grains to ripe, apprehend losses due to delayed harvesting.

The commission agents also feel sandwiched between producers and officials of procurement agencies. While the farmers bully them to ‘manage’ immediate procurement and lifting, officials threaten to initiate action against them (commission agents) in case producers are allowed to dump moisture laden heaps in the yards.

Acknowledging the gravity of the situation, MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali said he had advised the authorities in various procurement agencies to realise problems of the peasants and get needful done for drying the produce if brought in markets with reasonably higher content of moisture.

“At the same time, we have asked the office bearers of our party to sensitise farmers against harvesting unripe crops,” said Ayali maintaining that team of volunteers had already taken a round of the villages for the purpose.

Referring to the information collected from various villages falling under Ludhiana and Sangrur districts, Baldev Singh Latala and Sikandar Singh Jartauli, general secretary and vice-president of Punjab Kissan Sabha, regretted that the officials of market committees had failed to impress upon the commission agents to make necessary arrangements for protecting heaps of wheat from adversaries of weather. Situation is worse in those markets and purchase centers where the produce has been dumped on katcha ground in open.

Latala and Jartauli demanded that the commission agents should be asked to arrange sufficient number of good quality PVC sheets to cover heaps in case of showers.



Clocks of city landmark out of order
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
Even as the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has planned to install a floral clock near Sherpur Chowk, besides beautifying all entry points to the city, the existing prominent landmark of the city, Clock Tower, is in a shambles.

The four clocks installed on this prominent landmark, also known as the Ghanta Ghar, are out of order for the past several days, and the MC seems least bothered about it.

In February last year, the MC had spent around Rs 7 lakh on the beautification and maintenance of Clock Tower. At that time, the MC got the interiors and exteriors of the Clock Tower whitewashed. Similarly, the building and roads (B&R) branch installed fancy grills to give it an aesthetic look. Again in June last year, the tourism and cultural affairs ministry of the state government had spent around Rs 12 lakh for the restoration and beautification work of Clock Tower.

After around Rs 19 lakh were “spent” on this landmark, the arms of one of the four clocks installed on Clock Tower went missing in September last year. Ironically, the MC officials, who are responsible for the upkeep of this landmark, had no knowledge about it and when The Tribune reported this matter, the clock arms were fixed.

But now, the clock has stopped working and, once again, the MC is having no knowledge about it.

The tourism ministry, which at that time (June last year) was headed by Hira Singh Gabria, a city resident, had planned to open a helpdesk inside the monument for travellers visiting the city. “We would depute staff there, who would also make sure that the Clock Tower remains well managed and give a much cleaner look 24X7,” Gabria had said in June last year.

It’s not only Clock Tower which is facing the MC apathy. Several other landmarks as well as places of entertainment have “vanished” over the years. The city once had a boating facility in Nehru Rose Garden in the Civil Lines area, which disappeared over the years and a zoo is on the verge of disappearance. The state government is also planning to restore these facilities and polish it into a major attraction for city residents.

MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi stated that he was not aware of the matter. “I will get it checked and if there is any problem in the clocks of Clock Tower, we would get them fixed immediately,” claimed Jaggi.

A century-old legacy

Ludhiana city’s best icon Clock Tower, popularly known as Ghanta Ghar, is over a century old. It was on October 18, 1906 that the Victoria Memorial Clock Tower, Ludhiana, was inaugurated by the then Lt-Governor of Punjab and its dependencies, Sir Charles Montgomery, along with Dewan Tek Chand, the then Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana. The site tower was chosen keeping in mind the proximity of the business centre and the railway station. In those times, the common people depended on Ghanta Ghar to keep a track of the time. Old timers recall very vividly the time when city residents used to synchronise their watches with the Ghanta Ghar.



Mystery surrounds boy’s disappearance, recovery
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
Mystery surrounds the lost-and-found case of seven-year-old boy Jashan who went missing while he was playing outside his house in the Gandhi Nagar area last night and was found near Green Land School near Jalandhar Bypass at midnight.

Though the police maintained that the boy lost his way while playing with his friends on the street and reached near Green Land School, sources tell a different story. According to the sources, two men travelling in a white Tata Indica car allegedly abducted the boy. They then headed towards Jalandhar Bypass.

Suddenly the car of the abductors broke down near Green Land School. It is learnt that the abductors administered two injections to the boy, following which the victim fell unconscious. The suspects then threw the boy in a vacant plot and fled from the scene.

A lot of engine oil was splattered on the street, from where the child was recovered, also indicateD that something went wrong.

It was during midnight that a bakery owner spotted the child sobbing behind the bushes and informed the police. The cops who were conducting a frantic search reached the spot and reuniteD the boy with HIS family. The boy was in a state of panic, but his condition was reported to out of danger.

The family was, meanwhile, tight-lipped about the entire incident and refused to share any information. Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP- North) Swapan Sharma rubbished the story of abduction and claimed that the boy lost his way and went missing. He was spotted standing by some Good Samaritans, who further informed the police.

He further said to double check he would visit the house and meet the boy. On the other hand, SHO Salem Tabri Bittan Kumar said the police was investigating the matter.

Abduction denied

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP- North) Swapan Sharma rubbished the story of abduction and claimed that the boy lost his way and went missing. He was spotted standing by some Good Samaritans, who further informed the police.



70-yr-old foils burglary attempt
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
In an exemplary display of bravery, a 70-year-old man foiled a burglary attempt in his house in Jhande village and nabbed the three assailants who trespassed into his house.

The incident took place this evening when the trio entered the house of the septuagenarian and told him to hand over cash and valuables. Before the trio could react, the man pulled out a gun from under the bed-sheet and detained the suspects on gunpoint.

He then raised an alarm and informed the police about it. Soon after receiving the information, police reached the spot and arrested the trio. SHO Sadar Harinder Singh said he was unable to provide details.

Sources said the trio were part of a highway robbery gang.



Stolen bikes recovered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
With the arrest of three persons, the city police has claimed to have busted a gang of vehicle-lifters, who were stealing vehicles from different parts of the city.

The accused, identified as Suresh, Sonu and Chintu, were arrested from the Division No 4 area. Two stolen motorcycles were recovered from the accused. The police got a tip-off that the accused were planning to commit yet another theft in the area. It laid a trap and nabbed the accused. One of their accomplices Vikram managed to flee from the scene.



District Cong ex-chief puts police in the dock
Alleges nexus with scrap dealers
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
The former District Congress Committee president Jagmohan Sharma has put the city police in the dock by alleging that a nexus of scrap dealers and the police is operating in Focal Point area and is causing losses to the industry.

He said these scrap dealers were being patronised by police officers. The development took place after an employee of Jagmohan’s factory unit was caught selling a stolen iron rod to a scrap dealer.

“The name of the accused is Rajesh Kumar. His accomplice Phool Chand managed to escape. Both were working in my factory unit for the past seven months. For the last few months, we were receiving complaints from customers that the weight of iron rods is less. Suspecting foul play, we started following the iron-laden truck and caught Rajesh Kumar red-handed while he was selling iron rod to the scrap dealer,” said Sharma.

He said nearly 12 such scrap dealers were operating in the Focal Point area and were causing a huge loss to the industry.

He said the stolen iron material was further taken to Gobindgarh Mandi, where it was melted. He further maintained that the police was aware of the activities of these scrap dealers, who were being promoted by a Sahnewal-based industrialist, but no action was ever taken.

He claimed the scrap dealers have been conniving with an employee of the factory unit and the employee receives a huge cut after the stolen material is further sold.

He said he has got hold of the diary in which phone numbers of the employees working for the scrap dealers were written.



Rickety bridge posing danger
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 22
The near collapsing bridge at a drain near Kothe Khajura village at the road connecting Raikot Road with Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway, also known as Raikot-Ludhiana bypass, has been posing high risk to the lives of the commuters. The residents fear that the bridge may collapse anytime if not repaired, immediately.

A large number of vehicles including the heavy vehicles pass over this bridge everyday and the risk of bridge collapsing always looms large over the drivers and commuters traveling in these vehicles. But the authorities concerned have not paid any attention towards this serious issue so far.

According to the residents of this village, the Panchayat members of this village constructed the bridge on this drain more than 15 years ago following repeated requests. But since then the bridge has not been repaired for even a single time, rue the villagers.

“The road on which this bridge is situated offers a traffic free passage to the people commuting to Ludhiana side from Raikot road. Besides, the heavy vehicles have to pass from this bridge when their entry is banned during the busy hours in the traffic congested roads of the town,” says Navdeep Singh, a resident of Kothe Khajura village.

“But due to utterly bad condition of the bridge, many people have started avoiding using this road. But still a large number of vehicles pass over this bridge and the lives of commuters always remain on risk”, he adds.

During a visit to this bridge today, it was found that the bridge was in utterly bad condition. Moreover, the railing on the both sides of the bridge had also collapsed with the passage of time therefore, the risk of vehicles falling in the drain also looms constantly.

The risk increases manifolds during the night as the bridge is situated on a sharp curve on the road and many a times the drivers fail to see the sides of the bridge due to which the commuters always remain under constant fear of meeting an accident.

According to villagers, some accidents have also taken place on this bridge in the past due to the absence of railing on bridge. The residents of the area have demanded from the government to at least repair the bridge and install the railing on both the sides to avoid accidents.

Punjab Mandi Board secretary Gurmel Singh said, "A proposal for the approval of a grant for the repair of the bridge has already been sent to the government and hopefully it will be approved very soon. As soon as we receive the funds from the government, the work of repairing the bridge would be started."



It’s the middlemen who call the shots at Sub-Registrar offices
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
Though District Administration has asked the PCS and IAS officers to visit the tehsils to make sure that the common man was not unnecessarily "harassed" by the tehsildars or the attending staff, "under the table" amounts continue to exchange hands due to large number of "middlemen" involved in the process of registration of land sale deeds.

While the administration is putting in efforts to control the corruption prevailing in tehsils, section of the society feels the state government must legalise everything so that there is a set fees to be given to the middlemen (they should unemployed, educated youth) and the common man is not exploited either by the tehsildars or by the middlemen.

According to available information, a majority of the agents involved in getting the registrations done in a smooth manner ask the buyer or seller to cough up astronomical amounts.

Their "fees" range from Rs 5,000 to Rs 1 lakh or even more (commercial establishments) and the common man continues to suffer at their hands. And these agents are none other than relatives of political leaders and staff at tehsildar offices, lawyers who ask for a "fees" to save from "inconvenience" being caused to the general public.

Congress Councillor Parminder Mehta however feels if the system is legalised by the state government, the public could be saved from inconvenience.

“The agents are near and dear ones of influential people, who fill their own pockets in connivance with the officials involved in land deal sale process. If government employs five or six unemployed, educated youth, who are given lumpsum for getting the work done for common man, there will be less chances of corruption and harassment. Secondly, youth will then get an opportunity to get a job. And the common man will not be asked to pay unnecessarily to the officials, agents or middlemen. There will be no fraud or blackmail if government employs its own persons on merit, who take fixed amount for getting land deals registered,” said Mehta.

Sources at tehsildar office disclosed that for registry of agricultural land, less amount was asked for while for posh residential and commercial establishments, the public was asked to pay up to Rs 2 lakh “under the table”. For getting a General Power of Attorney, visitors are asked to shell out extra bucks (up to Rs 10,000) for getting the document.

Inderpreet Singh, a private practicing lawyer at Civil Courts here, said lawyers/advocates had every right to draft the document and present it before the Registrar for registration.

"We take the fees from the clients (visitors), check all the documents and ask the officials to do the registry. In most cases, the official staff at Sub-Registrar office puts one objection or another on the documents and unnecessarily harasses the public. And for getting the land deal registered, they ask for money. To avoid unnecessary botheration at the hands of staff at Sub-Registrar office, public prefers to bear extra burden and hire the services of lawyers or agents,” said the advocate.

Sources at the Sub-registrar office said land deals between 100 and 150 (on an average) were registered every day at the main Sub Registrar offices- East, West and South, and on each registry, common man was asked to pay "extra" for getting the work done. To make the system clean and transparent, DC Rahul Tiwari had recently issued instructions that it will be mandatory for PCS officers in the district to sit in Sub-Registrar offices for at least two hours every day, which has not gone down well with the staff at the Sub-registrar office.


Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari said the PCS/IAS officers have been asked to visit tehsils to listen to the grievances of public so that immediate strict action was taken against the erring officials or the staff involved. “If corrupt practices are going on in the tehsils or people are being harassed, people have to tell the officials sitting there for two hours about it. We need cooperation of public to curb unethical practices,” said Tiwari.



Sewage issue not solved
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, April 22
As the world is celebrating Earth Day today, the Municipal council, Doraha, seems to look the other way. The reasons being the continuous open discharge of sewerage water in and around those places that are either centers of learning or have been chosen to be.

A particular road, on which the sewer water was being discharged as a matter of routine, leads to four major schools of Doraha viz Shakti Public School, Saraswati Public School, Guru Teg Bahadur School and Shri Guru Harkrishan Public School. Principal Shri Guru Harkrishan Public School Manjushah Vinayak said: “We are literally fed up by the ways of the council. The constant discharge of sewerage water in the school building carries every risk of the foundation getting weak to the extent of collapsing one fine day. Apart from foul smell, unhygienic surroundings created by the stagnant water, garbage, which the townsters dump every now and then, has literally converted the place into a virtual hell.”

“We have a complete file of complaints made to the Municipal Council. Every time we make a complaint they change the course of the sewer discharge. But again after some days the same situation persists. Now we have decided to approach the SDM Payal in this matter. After all it is now assuming dangerous proportions and we cannot allow this at the cost of the security of our children,” she rued.

On the other hand, several acres of land, specifically, allocated for setting up of an Advanced Training Institute, has been transformed into a dumping ground. In the wake of telling weather conditions, an epidemic outbreak is not far to seek.

“The indifference of Pollution Control Board and that of the Municipal Council of Doraha shall surely cost us dear. It seems that the council has not been able to find any better option and space for disposal of the garbage of towns and sewerage water, for which the land allocated for establishing an advanced training institute, has been made the dumping ground,” said Harpratap Brar, general secretary of GNN College, Doraha.

“The Municipal Council may be in a tight spot due to the lack of drainage space but at the same time does it think that it is the duty of the residents to find a permanent solution? It has been hundreds of times that the townsters of various wards, who are facing tough time due to sewerage accumulation in their streets and at times even inside their houses, have asked the council to act sharply over the issue but every time the matter is dissuaded either by temporary evacuation or by false assurances, ” said Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill.

“The paucity of space for the dumping of sewer water and waste is the gravest problem being faced by the residents at present. Its open dumping has multiplied the sanitary problems of the residents. The Municipal Committee of Doraha has failed to find any concrete solution to the alarming drainage problem faced by the residents for years together,” said Jandeep kaushal, a resident of the area.

“We are already aware of the seriousness of the issue but we are helpless as the space for drainage is less. But we are already in for setting up a water treatment plant for which a total of four sites have been finalised, out of which, two i.e. at Doraha village and Satnam Nagar have been approved, while the other two on Jaipura road and Arraichan road, await approval still,” informed the Council Chief Inderjit Singh Kala.



Offers’ rain on Akshay Tritiya
Jewellers, banks and India Post pitch in with bargains for customers
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
With Akshay Tritiya falling on April 24, it’s raining offers for customers. Be it jewellers, banks, online gold retailers or India post, there’s a special offer from every quarter.

Anticipating a dip in gold sales in terms of volume, exciting precious metal and jewellery special offers are here to attract customers for Akshay Tritiya, the most auspicious day to invest in the world’s safest avenue as a hedge against inflation.

Average gold sales during the last three years were between 40 and 42 tonne. But this year, sales are likely to decline marginally due to a dramatic price spurt and a weakening consumer sentiment. However, the decline in volume will be nullified by the price appreciation, and it is expected that overall sales will rise by 10 per cent.

“Gold prices have increased by 32.07 per cent since last Akshay Tritiya on May 6, 2011. Hence, consumers consider gold a safe investment avenue for higher and secured returns against all other asset classes,” said Sangat Ram, a jeweller from Sarafan Bazar.

This year is expected to be no different and volumes in both physical and non-physical formats are expected to top last year, according to a report by Religare Securities.

Orra is offering up to 25 per cent discounts on the entire value of diamond jewellery and up to 50 per cent on charges for 22 carat BIS-hallmarked gold jewellery.

A gems outlet is offering around half the volume of silver coin on the purchase of every gold coin.

This year, online gold retailers are also offering discounts. A spot exchange firm has waived transaction and conversion charges pertaining to e-gold, e-silver and e-platinum to boost sales.

Banks are also offering lucrative schemes to woo customers on this festival. A bank is offering gold coins in denominations of 2 gram, 5 gram, 8 gram and 10 gram in tamper-proof certicard packing. Discounts ranging from 2% to 6% based on quantity of gold coins purchased are also being offered.

Another bank is offering discount on the basis of number of coins one purchases from the bank. Coins are available in the denomination of 5 and 10 gram.

India Post is all set to create avenues for investment in gold coins. And to make the option really attractive for customers, a six per cent discount is being offered on purchases. India Post is offering a special discount on gold coins of any denomination purchased through post offices during the period from April 1 to June 30.

Holy Day

Akshaya Tritiya, also known as "Akha Teej", is traditionally the birthday of Lord Parasurama, the sixth incarnation of Lord Vishnu. People conduct special Pujas, bathe in holy rivers, make a charity, offer barley in a sacred fire and worship Lord Ganesha and Devi Lakshmi on this day.

The Golden Link

The word "Akshaya" means imperishable or eternal - that which never diminishes. Initiations made or valuables bought on this day are considered to bring success or good fortune. Buying gold is a popular activity on Akshay Tritiya, as it is the ultimate symbol of wealth and prosperity. Gold and gold jewellery bought and worn on this day signify never diminishing good fortune. Indians hold weddings, start new business ventures and plan long journeys on this day.



For generations, stamps have been their passion
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Gunpreet Singh with father HP Singh from Amritsar
Gunpreet Singh with father HP Singh from Amritsar. Tribune photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, April 22
Though the use of postage stamps in everyday life is dwindling, in philately, these are still much sought after. The older and rarer these are, the more is the value attached to them. These families understand this well. And why not? After all, for them, philately has been a passion for generations.

For them, this hobby is a profession too. They were in the city for an event for promotion of philately organised by Ludhiana Philatelic Club at Lions Club.

For the Puris from Sangrur, the passion goes back to 1914, when the district used to be part of the erstwhile Jind state. SD Puri used to work with the government of the day. His son VP Puri recalls the time when the administration was looking for avenues to increase revenue. His father suggested launching of stamps of Rs 5, 10, 15 and 25 in the days when stamps used to cost a mere half anna.

These became popular among the elite of the time, helping the administration garner substantial revenue.

“I inherited it from my father as a profession in the early 60s, and benefited immensely as my father had a lot of contacts with clients and collectors, which helped my business flourish. We had correspondence abroad, which helped us earn foreign exchange as well. My son Pankaj and grandsons Nitish and Sachin are also into the profession, carrying on the legacy,” he says.

Although as a hobby, it might be on the decline, it is still good enough for a businessman who loves stamps, understands the tricks of the trade and keeps oneself updated on philately. He has been an active member of various philatelic clubs and societies. “I was part of philatelic societies of England and US, but now, the membership fee has risen steeply, and I have opted for retirement now,” he says.

For the family of HP Singh from Amritsar, the affair with postage stamps began in 1935. His father got interested in postage following interaction with his brother-in-law, a philately enthusiast.

“Earlier, there used to be a lot of craze for stamps among schoolchildren. So the business began with selling such packets of stamps to them,” he says. Watching his father, HP Singh got hooked to the hobby right from his childhood, and it took off from there. He has even designed two special covers on Maharaja Ranjit Singh to commemorate 200 years of his kingdom. These were released by Pakistan government in 2001, he says.

His son Gunpreet is pursuing BBA, is an avid stamp collector and started collecting stamps in 2007. He agrees it is a good profession although the business in Delhi and metros is much more. He has a good collection of stamps relating to the pre-independence era, he says.

“With the decreasing use of postage stamps, used stamps are going to become rare, and their value would increase in the coming times,” he adds.

HP Singh specialises in stamps on coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and also the Sikh theme. He says Sikhism as a theme became popular only during the last decade, in the exhibitions.



Stamp designing competition held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
A competition to design the stamps was organised on an event to promotion philately by Ludhiana Philatelic Club at Lion's Club here today. As many as eight schools participated in the event including BCM Arya Model School, Spring Dale Public School, International Public School, Sat Paul Mittal School, Bhartiya Vidta Mandir School.

The themes of the event were save earth, road safety and eye care. The top prizes were won by BCM Arya Model School and Sat Paul Mittal School, said Yashpal Bangia, president of the club.

He said that those who participated were given kits containing stamps, first day cover and information brochures about philately.

Auction of stamps was also organised during the event. It was the first ever auction of stamps organised in the city, siad Mukesh Malhotra, public relations officer of the club.

About 80 items were opened for bidding, and about half were sold. Around 20 collectors participated in the auction. A collector’s pack from the year 91 to 95 opened at the base price of Rs 11,000 was sold at Rs 22,000. Old stamps like an 1852 stamp of Sind Dawk, white were opened for bidding.



Ludhiana Diary
Who is responsible?
A person on cart putting lives in danger by taking iron bars without any safety
A person on cart putting lives in danger by taking iron bars without any safety. photo: Inderjeet Verma

There are several major development projects that are being dragged in an incomplete condition for the past several years. As a result, not only the city population is being denied the intended benefit of the improved infrastructure but also the cost of construction is also escalating over the years putting a big drain on the exchequer. For example, the six-laning of NH 1 (GT Road), passing through the city, motorable overbridge in place of erstwhile Lakkar Pul, widening of Ferozepur Road (another national highway) and express highway along the Sidhwan Canal have long gone beyond the schedule period of completion. It is not only the extra financial burden on the public funds but also in terms of the inconvenience being suffered by lakhs of people over past several years that makes it a case of criminal negligence. The government ought to fix responsibility of the guilty officials and hold them personally responsible for dereliction of duty.

Oops sorry!

Recently, I had an appointment with a dentist. I had to wait for about half an hour, as there was rush at the clinic. A woman in her late 30s was sitting next to me. She was reading a magazine that was lying on the table in the waiting room. By that time, I was getting calls from my "sources" regarding news etc. The woman was reading an article "The credibility of Journalists". While reading, she just said "hello". I reciprocated and then she said, "The article is very true. Journalists/ mediapersons need to be factual and correct but for getting news, they easily malign the reputation of celebrities, public figures etc". Then she asked, "You seem to be a working woman. What are you?" I smilingly said, "Journalist". And the woman held my hand and said, "No, very few of them are like that. Otherwise, I also wanted to be a journalist during my childhood days!"

Passion for stamps

Stamp exhibition is being held in the city and the students from different schools also paid a visit to the exhibition. The main aim behind hosting an exhibition was to attract the students towards philately. Every visitor that came to visit the exhibition came across an unusual vehicle. Although it was a normal scooter but the stamp lover had made it unusual by covering it with stamps.

The entire scooter was covered with stamps from different periods of history. The scooter instantly attracted everyone who came to the exhibition. Even the youngsters were heard saying "this is the height of passion" when they came to came that the scooter belonged to a senior citizen and he had worked day and night for converting it into a messenger of philately lovers.

Publish on my convenience!

When it comes to hogging limelight, some residents move an extra step. One such "social worker" came to The Tribune office few days ago. He handed over a copy of some official documents so that a news in this regard could be published in the newspaper. The same person, who otherwise makes it a point that his news be published on "priority" basis, had a different tone this time. "You can study this news for some days as I am going out of station and please publish it when I return," he was heard telling a colleague. He repeated the same thing again, "Please note down the date when I will be returning back and publish the news only then."

— By Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo, Manav Mander and Puneet Pal Singh Gill



Equitable and just society must for sustainable development: CPI
Tribune News Service

CPI meeting in progress at Ludhiana on Sunday
CPI meeting in progress at Ludhiana on Sunday. Photo: Inderjit Verma

Ludhiana, April 22
"A society based on equity and justice is the only way for sustainable development to the benefit of whole mankind. The present day imperial powers led by the USA are imposing neoliberal economic policies on the developing countries in connivance with the elite in these countries. This has led to unprecedented inequality in the society, job freeze, cut on the rights of working people and essential services like health and education have gone out of reach of common people. This trend has to be changed through mass movements," said Anil Rajimwale, a philosopher and Marxist thinker, while addressing a seminar organised by the Communist Party of India (CPI) here today on “India's Path of Development Based on Justice and Equality.

The occasion coincided with the birthday of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, the founder of socialism in Soviet Union, and also with the World Earth Day.

Rajimwale said that taking clue from his work, Karl Marx had applied the theses on human society and searched about the problems in our society. "Marx had concluded that vast majority of problems lay in inequalities created as a result of exploitation of man by man. These anomalies can be removed by man’s own efforts. Marx had also explained the industrial revolution and its impact on society, based on the studies of various new subjects from natural sciences and social sciences."

The Marxist thinker emphasised that Marxist theory is revolutionary because according to it nothing in the world and society is stationary and everything changes. Therefore, Marx drew logical conclusion that the capitalist society also must one day leave the stage of world history to be replaced by socialism and communism. "Lenin applied this theory in Soviet Union and was successful in achieving a society based on justice to a large extent."



Four professors join as new HoDs
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 22
Four professors of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) joined as new heads of different departments.

Dr PD Juyal, Registrar of the university, said Dr Iqbal Singh Bajwa, senior poultry geneticist has been appointed head of the department (HoD) of animal genetics and breeding. A veterinary graduate from GB Pant University, Pantnagar, he did his PhD in animal genetics and breeding from PAU, Ludhiana, before joining the department in 1985.

Initially as an extension specialist, he motivated poor women of rural areas into acquiring training and setting up poultry and dairy units, which improved their socio-economic condition. With specialisation in poultry breeding, he devoted his career to the development and genetic improvement of poultry stocks at the poultry farm of the university. He had been instrumental in developing and the release of a commercial broiler stock (IBL-80) at the national level, quail stock (Punjab White Quail) at the state level and a tinted egg laying rural bird (Punjab Red).

Dr Baljinder Kumar Bansal has been appointed as the HoD, veterinary medicine. He has more than 22 years of experience in teaching, research and extension activities of the university. He primarily worked on udder health and milk quality in dairy animals. He has handled seven research projects as principal/co-principal investigator, and guided five MVSc and one PhD students.

Bansal has to his credit 67 research papers, 22 invited papers, 20 extension articles and 75 conference presentations. He has attended 29 national and 14 international conferences in Germany, Holland, Denmark, Netherlands, Hungary and New Zealand. He is also a Fellow of National Academy of Veterinary Sciences of India and has been awarded the prestigious German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Scholarship for doctoral studies.

Prof Parkash Singh Brar has been appointed as the HoD of the department of veterinary gynaecology and obstetrics. His major research interests are nutrition-reproduction interactions and oestrus synchronisation in dairy animals. He has worked as principal investigator in six research projects, including two from FAO/IAEA joint division Vienna, Austria. He has visited more than 10 Asian and European countries under various programmes.

Apart from 70 research, 31 extension and 42 invited papers. He imparted training to fellows from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Tanzania, Myanmar and Mongolia under the International Atomic Energy Agency fellowship programme and received an appreciation certification from IAEA for such activities. Brar has been awarded the Young Scientist award by the ISSAR thrice for best scientific presentations in national symposia. He is a member of several national scientific societies.

Dr Amarjit Singh, professor of veterinary pathology has joined as the in charge, Animal Disease Research Centre (ADRC). He has been working as a veterinary pathologist since 1991. He has guided 6 MVSc students and published 60 original research papers in national and international journals. Recently, Singh has been admitted as Diplomate, ICVP, by the Indian College of Veterinary Pathologists, a new body instituted to conduct the Certification Examination for Veterinary Pathologists in India on the lines of American College of Veterinary Pathologists. The Indian Association of Veterinary Pathologists (IAVP) has conferred the most prestigious fellowship award of the association on him. He has completed several research projects on avian diseases in India and abroad. He did his PhD research at the Institute of Poultry Diseases, Free University, Berlin, Germany.



Meeting of ration depot holders

Ludhiana, April 22
Punjab depot holders held a meeting recently and discussed about the Central Government's decision to slash the kerosene quota of Punjab by 63 per cent.

Speaking on the occasion, Gurjinder Singh Sidhu, member of the action committee said that they would take the matter to the CM and ask him to intervene into it. "The quota has been slashed and this will directly affect those families who cannot even afford gas cylinders.

"Instead of providing facilities to the poor, the Central Government has slashed the kerosene quota. We will present our memorandum to the CM shortly and will request him to intervene into the matter," he said. He added the state govt had said that it had always been supporting the poor by giving wheat and pulses at the affordable prices but this policy of the Central Govt will prove a burden on the poor.— TNS



140 units of blood collected
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
In a novel initiative, the Dehlon Police Station and Salaam Zindagi Foundation organised a blood donation camp at Gurudwara Manji Sahib, Alamgir, near here today.

A total of 140 units of blood were collected for thalassaemia patients during the camp. The blood bank teams of the Civil Hospital and Deep Hospital collected the blood.



ludhiana scan
Award for city prof

Ludhiana: Sangeet Natak Akademi is going to honour prof Kartar Singh with Tagore Ratan award in Kolkata. The octogenarian has won many awards during his lifetime, and is the exponent of pure form of Kirtan.

Rally organised

Ludhiana wing of SSA/RMSA Teachers Union, Panjab, organised a rally from Chatar Singh Park to the residence of deputy commissioner, Rahul Tewari. The union representatives said that the state government had promised to give grade pay and make them regular before the elections, but now the government is backtracking.


Ravi Jassal was honoured by Asian Club here on Sunday. The ceremony was organised at Mehboob studio. He said that that he was working for the promotion of Punjabi community in Canada through a channel Jhanjar TV in the country.

Hira Singh Gabria, former minister of jails honoured Akali leaders who were victorious in the Assembly Elections, during a function organised in the city.

Annual function

Uttranchal Kamau Vikas Parishad organised 9th annual function and lucky draw at Bank Colony Road, Chandigarh Road, here on Sunday. Kumauni, Garhwali cultural programme was also organised on the occasion.

Office-bearers elected

Dr Deepak Manmohan Singh was nominated for the senate elections during a meeting of General Category Welfare Federation of Ludhiana, Barnala, and Ferozepur.

Dr Ambedkar Bhalai Manch

Dr Ambedkar Bhalai Manch celebrated "Adhikar Diwas" at Shri Radha Vallabh Dharamshala here on Sunday. Many school children, securing good marks in the exams, were honoured at the function.

Auditions organised

Auditions were organised for male and female models for an international fashion week scheduled in Delhi. Models from Ludhiana, Chandigarh and Delhi would participate in the event. Noted fashion designer, Aslam Khan, was in jury panel to select the best model for the International Fashion Week, who has designed for famous bollywood celebrities including Shilpa Shetty.

Meeting held

Meeting of Flagship Programme Monitoring Committee was held in the city here on Sunday. During the meeting, it was alleged that grant received from the centre have not been used appropriately by the state government.



Fire destroys wheat on 46 acres

Phillaur, April 22
Over 46 acres of wheat crop was reduced to ashes after a fire broke out in the fields in nearby villages Mauli, Pandhwa, Randhirgarh, Phillaur, Goraya, Nakodar.

The loss is estimated to be worth Rs 8 to Rs 10 lakh. Though the exact cause of the fire could not be known yet the sparking in power lines at most of the places was said to be the cause of the fire. — OC



Industry meets MSME minister
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
Joginder Kumar, President, Federation of Tiny and Small Industries of India, and Chander Parkash Sabharwal, Secretary, The Ludhiana Electroplaters Association, met Virbhadra Singh, Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), at New Delhi and submitted a detailed memorandum of issues confronting the micro sector.

Joginder Kumar apprised the minister as to how the interests of the micro sector, which plays a pivotal role in the national economy, are being sacrificed under the garb of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) post MSMED Act, 2006. He said the micro sector, which contributes 45 per cent to manufacturing activities and 40 per cent to exports (direct), provides employment to 20 to 25 crore people.

He also apprised the minister of the fact that the issue of hefty import of bicycle and its parts from China was raised in the pre-Budget meeting, as a result of which, customs duty on bicycles was raised to 30 per cent and on parts, from 10 to 20 per cent, which was a welcome step.



Setting up of CETP
‘Impose water cess on dyes, chemicals’
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
Unable to gather the funds for setting up of a Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP), Punjab Dyers Association has suggested the Punjab government to introduce and levy 5 per cent water tax (cess) on the lines of entry tax on dyes and chemicals in Punjab. It has also written to the Principal Secretary, Science and Technology environment, in this regard. Dyers have suggested levying a tax on them so that the government can contribute to setting up of CETP.

Bobby Jindal, general secretary of Punjab Dyers Association, said the amount required for setting up of a CETP is Rs 400 crore. "Although the state government has already given us 32 acre of land and we are paying Rs 12 lakh per month as rent for this land, we are unable to gather money for setting up of CETP," he said.

Towards the total cost of the CETP, the association will be contributing 25 per cent; another 25 per cent will be contributed by the state government and the Centre will give subsidy on the remaining amount.

"Since the state government is unable to fund 25 per cent of the total cost of the CETP, we have suggested levying of water cess on us so that the government is able to fund us for this project," he added.

Jindal further said every month, dyes and chemicals worth Rs 70-80 crore enter Punjab. "Entry tax at the rate of 5 per cent is levied on us and if water cess at 5 per cent is also levied on us, it will help the state government in increasing their revenue and can thus contribute to setting up of CETP," he said.



25-year-old stabbed

Ludhiana, April 22
There seem to no stopping of the snatching cases with the latest incident a 25-year-old migrant was stabbed and robbed of cash and a mobile phone near Dana Mandi area. The incident occurred when the victim was returning to his quarter after finishing work in a factory unit.

The victim has been identified as Bhushan Kumar. He was rushed to Rajindra Medical Hospital, Patiala, after his condition worsened.

His brother, Raj Kishore, said that two motorcycle borne youths intercepted the Bhushan near Dana Mandi. The snatchers, stabbed him in the abdomen and fled from the scene. — TNS



crime brief

Phillaur: One motorcyclist borne youth was killed while his pillion rider friend Gaurav Kumar sustained serious injuries, after their motorcycle rammed into a truck loaded with iron rods that was parked truck near Goraya last night.

The deceased has been identified as Haniket of Ludhiana. The police has registered a case.


An office of Tanda Telecom was reportedly burgled in nearby Kot-Badal Khan village last night. The burglars allegedly took away four mobile phones and Rs 1,000 from the shop. The police has registered a case. — OC



Defamation Case
2 BSNL officials summoned
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
The court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate BK Sharma has summoned two Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited officials in a defamation case.

The court has ordered the officials, namely RK Aggarwal, AGM (legal) and SP Garg, SDE (legal) of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, Bharat Nagar Chowk, Ludhiana, to appear before the court on April 27. The orders were pronounced in a complaint filed by RD Chhabra, a city-based advocate.

The complainant had submitted before the court that the accused persons defamed him in the eyes of general public by using derogatory language in two letters.

It was submitted that he was counsel for Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) since 2003. He conducted thousands of cases favourably for the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited and sent a number of bills towards his professional fee. Numerous bills were not cleared. In this connection, he used to approach accused persons for the clearance of his bills. But they kept on delaying the matter on one pretext or another.

“When I insisted on payment, the accused wrote two letters, calling me totally unprofessional,” added the complainant.

The said letters were sent to him not by registered post but through ordinary post. Letters were opened and read by the staff of complainant before placing of the same before him. Some other persons sitting there also read the same, resulting in his defamation. Those people spread this news to others, which lowered his reputation, the complainant further stated.



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