L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Octroi on fuel abolished
Petrol cheaper by 73 paise, diesel by 82 paise per liter
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
As the prices of essential commodities are skyrocketing, slashing of petrol and diesel prices has been welcomed by the people. Petrol will be cheaper by 73 paise, while diesel prices will be slashed by 82 paise per liter within the municipal limits.

With the Punjab government giving its nod to abolish Octroi on fuel, Petrol and diesel will be cheaper in Punjab. A decision to this effect was taken in a Cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

According to sources, Punjab levies 1 per cent and 2 per cent Octroi on total value of petrol and diesel, respectively, within cities and total collection is nearly Rs 50 crore per annum.

“The long pending demand has finally been approved today. The abolition of Octroi will make petrol and diesel cheaper by 0.73 paise and 0.82 paise a liter, respectively,” said Ashok Sachdeva, vice- president, Punjab Petroleum Dealers’ Association.

On December 24, 2011, the Punjab government had announced to abolish Octroi on fuel only a few hours before the schedule for the Assembly poll was announced. The Election Commission rejected it on December 27 saying, “The government straightaway passed an order without following due procedure and necessary amendments in law.”


Want promotion, opt for languages
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
It is a common trend in government schools that masters and mistresses of maths and science streams opt for postgraduation in language subjects in case they are willing to get promoted.

However, teachers with BSc or MSc qualification have to wait for years for getting promotion in the education department as vacancies for maths and science teachers are less than Punjabi and English teachers.

The number of government schools offering medical and non-medical streams is less than the schools that offer arts subjects.

Therefore, maths and science teachers are adopting “shortcuts” to become lecturers. Language teachers claim that masters and mistresses of Language subjects are suffering as the practice hampers their chances of promotion.

Nirlap Singh, Jalaldiwal, president of the Language Teachers Union, said, “The government should revise the policy because language teachers and students of senior secondary classes were suffering. There are a number of language teachers who have PhD degrees, but still they are working as masters because science and maths teachers get promotions by doing a master degree in language.”

“On the one hand, teachers who have more experience of teaching science subjects have been teaching Punjabi without any experience,” he added.

Gurbeer Singh, a maths teacher, said, “We oppose the practice. The government should promote teachers from their subject only. I have been serving as a maths teacher how can I teach Punjabi or any other language.”



Reshuffle in excise dept
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
All assistant excise and taxation commissioners (AETC) and deputy excise and taxation commissioner (DETC) of the Excise and Taxation Department have either been reshuffled or transferred from the city.

Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Ludhiana division, Gurtej Singh, has been transferred as the Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Jalandhar, while Kawalpreet Kaur Brar from Jalandhar will take over as the Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Ludhiana.

Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner (I) Harbir Singh have been shifted as the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner (II) Jaskaran Brar will take over as the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner (III) LK Jain has been promoted as the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner of Patiala while HPS Ghotra from Patiala will take over as the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner (III). Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner (mobile wing) Tejbir S Sidhu has been transferred to Jalandhar as the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner (I) while Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner Inderjeet S Bhawra from Jalandhar (I) has been transferred as Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner (mobile wing), Ludhiana. Meanwhile, Arun Thaman, Excise and Taxation Officer from Jalandhar, has been promoted as the Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Ludhiana.



Ganda nullah
Gosain chides MC, contractor for delay
Was upset over use of substandard raw material in the project

Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
With the Municipal Council elections nearing, politics regarding covering of the Ganda Nullah is likely to hot up. This was evident today with former Health Minister Satpal Gosain pulling up officials of the Municipal Corporation as well as the contractor for using raw material of poor quality and for the delay in completion of the project.

“We have procured information through the Right to Information Act and it was then that we came to know that poor quality material was being used in the project. Specifically, the iron bars used were of lighter weight,” said Gosain while talking to The Tribune.

He further hinted towards the contractor-official nexus prevailing in the civic body. “If the contractor has used poor quality material, it could not be possible without the connivance of a few municipal officials. I know that until and unless a few municipal officials are involved, the contractor cannot dare to dupe the corporation of public money,” claimed Satpal Gosain, who visited the Ganda Nullah project along with a few municipal officials today.

He confirmed that the project was running behind schedule. “It was during the elections that the project got delayed. But now I have told the officials that I would be visiting the project regularly and they should speed up the work. If it rain, residents of the area will suffer and I will not tolerate it,” said Gosain and added that he would the project site again on May 10.

A five-member team has also been formed. It will keep a check on project on day-to- day basis. The corporation has decided to cover the Ganda Nullah from Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib to Shagun Palace. The work on this project was once again started in February, 2011, at a cost of Rs 22 crore. The deadline for completion of this project was March, which has now been extended till December. Sources say this project might not be completed in a stipulated timeframe as only 40 per cent of the work has been completed so far.



Dragon devouring local plywood units
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
Cheap import of plywood from China is disrupting the business of their Indian counterparts. Plywood coming from China is 25 per cent cheaper than those made in India. Cheap imports coming from China has already gulped down 30 per cent of the business of Indian manufacturers.

Ashok Juneja, chairman of Punjab Plywood Manufacturers’ Association (PPMA), said the government should put a ban on the cheap imports coming from China. “If a ban is not possible then anti-dumping should be imposed on plywood coming from China. If the situation continues to be the same, it will ruin our businesses,” said Juneja.

“Plywood is coming to India in surplus manner as a result we are losing our business to the Chinese. “Not only plywood, even the cycle industry and other industries are facing the same problem. An anti-dumping duty is the only solution to curb the un-stoppable imports from China,” he said.

Mangat Sood, member, Punjab Plywood Manufacturers’ Association, said there was a time when they use to earn nearly 30 per cent of profit from the sales but today things have taken a different turn. “Plywood from Ludhiana is being supplied all over the country, but now, the number of orders we get have decreased,” he said.

Further, he added that the plywood from China is being imported through the Gandhi Dam port and then supplied to other states. There is a huge difference in the prices, as a result people are going in for the plywood manufactured from China. The government should prepare a negative list for the imports from China,” suggested Sood.

Cheaper goods

Plywood from China is being imported through the Gandhi Dam port and then supplied to other states. Plywood in the areas near the port are sold at a throw away prices. There is a huge difference in the prices, as a result people are going in for the plywood manufactured from China.



Habit-forming drugs worth Rs 65,000 seized
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
A team of the Health Department today seized habit-forming drugs and vaccines during a raid conducted on chemist shops in the Pindi Street here. Drug inspectors Sukhvir Chand, Sanjiv Garg, Karuna Gupta, Perneet Kaur, Roop Preet Kaur, under the directions of Civil Surgeon Dr Subhash Batta, raided 12 chemist shops in the Pindi Street. During the raid, seven samples of different drugs were taken.

About 20,000 tablets of alprazolam were seized from the Capital Pharma.

The team also seized 52 vaccines from Gautam Medicos and 34 vaccines from Capital Pharma. Anti-rabies vaccines were stored at the room temperature, though the recommended storage temperature for these vaccines is 2 degree Celsius to 8 degree Celsius.

The drugs and vaccines seized by the team were worth Rs 65,000.

The department will send the seized drugs and vaccines to the state drug controller for further action."We will forward all the information about today's raid to the drug controller. It is for the first time in the last six months that we have seized vaccines stored at the room temperature," said drug inspector Sukhvir Chand.

Batta said if the storage of the vaccines was not as per the recommendations, the vaccines had lost their efficacy. "The desired dose of the vaccine may not be effective in such cases," he added.


About 20,000 tablets of alprazolam were seized from the Capital Pharma. The team also seized 52 vaccines from Gautam Medicos and 34 vaccines from Capital Pharma.



Food quality check not on Rlys’ menu
Untrained catering staff, unpalatable food on board Shatabdi irk passengers

Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 30
Passengers, who boarded the elite New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi Express from New Delhi today morning, passed through a harrowing experience because food and snacks served by the unprofessional catering staff was unpalatable and complaints lodged by them were being ignored. It was literally after a direct confrontation with the supervisory staff of a catering contractor that the passengers were formally able to lodge their complaints.

Passengers sitting in the executive class (E 2) were so upset with the catering staff and unpalatable food served to them that almost half of them lodged their complaints in a complaint book provided by the reluctant catering staff.

Umesh Narang, a city-based industrialist, told The Tribune that food and snacks were of substandard quality. “Even boiled eggs served in breakfast were coated with dirt and had greasy smudges all over. The catering staff was discourteous, un-professional and shabbily dressed.

A retired professor from Delhi, who was also among the complainants, said the poor quality of food and attitude of the catering staff on board the train and particularly in the executive class was shocking. “The Railways charge exorbitant amount for serving food and snacks to passengers, but such a thing is not acceptable at all,” she added.

Narang said the passengers created an uproar and demanded the complaint book. The catering staff tried to pass on the visitors’ book (used for seeking comments of the passengers) to them. It was only when a few passengers confronted CM Pandey, supervisor of the catering contractor (Doon Caterers) that the complaint book was handed over to them. “Almost all passengers travelling in this particular coach were feeling short-changed by the Railways and nearly 30 of them signed the complaint book,” he added.

This is not for the first time that complaint of poor catering on board the Shatabdi Express trains had surfaced. Earlier also, passengers have protested against poor quality of food, lack of cleanliness, dirty washrooms and cockroaches moving all over the chair car and executive class coaches.

Catering on board trains were taken over by authorities of the Northern Railway from the Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) almost a year ago in the wake of frequent complaints. But, it seems, the have not improved since then.



Proclaimed offender flees from court, arrested
Jawant Shetra

Jagraon, April 30
A proclaimed offender, who was brought to the Jagraon court for hearing, managed to escape from the police custody today. But the police team acted swiftly and gave him a chase following which the accused was finally nabbed within 15 minutes from Kothe Sher Jang area on the outskirts of Jagraon.

The accused has been identified as Gurbax Singh of Talwandi Narwad village near Sidhwan Bet. As per the police, Gurbax Singh was booked under Section 224 of the IPC by the Ludhiana (rural) police. But he continued to evade the arrest for long and did not even appear in the court during the hearing.

Following which, he was declared a proclaimed offender by the court in 2010. However, he was arrested by the Ludhiana (rural) police and was lodged at the Ludhiana Central Jail.

As per information, Gurbax Singh was brought to the Jagraon court today by the police for hearing. But he managed to flee from the court complex.

Confirming the development, Ludhiana SSP (rural) Gurpreet Singh Toor said Gurbax Singh managed to escape from the police custody after beating up a police employee. But he was arrested later, he added.

Toor stated, “I have instructed all police officials to remain extra vigilant during court hearings to avoid such incidents.”



Bridge or deathtrap?
Mahesh Sharma

A motorcyclist takes a wrong turn on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road.

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 30
A major tragedy is waiting to strike at the newly constructed Jagera bridge on the four-laned Ludhiana-Malerkotla road, near here. Contrary to expectations of residents, long-awaited completion of the bridge has proved to be a death trap for occupants of vehicles coming from four sides.

While commuters going from the local town to Malerkotla and Payal via the Ahmedgarh-Jagera road get confused on reaching the highway, those coming from Karamsar side and intending to continue journey to Ludhiana and Raekot side normally adopt wrong side of the four-laned road for covering long distance.

A fraction of drivers, who hesitate in violating traffic rules, have to wait for long for taking a U-turn near Jagera and Pohir villages, situated on two sides of the bridge.

Two lanes of the highway >> near the Jagera bridge have been blocked by buses. 
Photos by writer 

Slight negligence of drivers can be disastrous for occupants of these vehicles.

Officials maintained that central verges and gaps had been left according to the approved draft plan of the bridge and the road, and nothing could be done at this stage.

Restricted movement of vehicles from Ahmedgarh and Jandali side to Malerkotla and Payal and vice versa; had complicated traffic management across the Jagera bridge which has been constructed recently. Vehicles parked near dhabas and workshops situated on both sides of the bridge have further complicated the problem.

A majority of commuters, including drivers of public transport, travelling from Payal to Ludhiana and Ahmedgarh were seen adopting wrong lanes till Pohir villages and those coming from Ludhiana side and destined to reach Ahmedgarh were seen taking shortcuts. School buses and vehicles carrying VIPs and government officials are no exception to the tendency.

Residents have urged the authorities to take remedial steps before some major tragedy strikes on or near the spot.

SDO Satwinder Singh Sekhon said the department had sought guidelines from the road safety wing in Chandigarh for required amendments for the smooth flow of traffic.



Ludhiana scan
Annual function

Activists and office-bearers of various social, constitutional and educational institutions of the area vowed to pay maximum attention towards inculcating ethical and moral values among youngsters. An oath was administered in response to a call given by the office-bearers and activists of Sewa Bharti (registered) during the concluding session of annual function of the organisation at Aggarwal Sewa Sadan on Sunday. Som Nath Aggarwal, general secretary of state body of the NGO, presided over the function and Anil Aggarwal, chief executive director of Shryans Industries Limited were present.

Labour Day

The United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association has announced to open an employment office on Labour Day. In a meeting held today, it was decided that a function would be held between 10 am and 1 pm in the main office of the association. Chairman of the association Manjit Singh Khalsa said labourers coming from other states would be registered in the employment office and would be given jobs.

CME on neurosurgery

Fortis Hospital in association with the Physician Forum organised a CME at Hotel Park Plaza. With Fortis healthcare’s continual endeavour to educate and increase awareness in the medical fraternity, two informative sessions on minimal invasive neurosurgery and current scenario of liver transplant in India were held.

Dr Vikas Gupta, senior consultant, neurosurgery, Fortis Hospital, Noida, said, “Minimally invasive neurosurgery is a relatively new technology slowly becoming popular. The surgery is performed utilising small incisions and tiny tools to repair and diagnose surgical problems.

RJD state chief resigns

President of the Punjab state unit of the Rashtriya Janta Dal Parminder Singh Papu resigned from the party membership. Papu alleged that the party’s president was not serious for Punjab unit as he invited a number of times to Punjab, but he never came to the state.

Speaker for better roads in rural areas

Speaker of the Punjab Assembly Charanjit Singh Atwal visited Sardar Nagar and Arrecha village here on Monday. While addressing party workers, he stated that development helped SAD win the elections so development of the state would be their priority. He added that as per the government’s next three-year plan, emphasis would be laid on better roads in rural areas and sewerage and water supply to urban areas.

Campaign launched

To feed and serve birds, the Dharmik Ekta Welfare Society and Jeev Jantu Smabal Seva Samti launched a campaign "feed a bird" here on Monday. Under this project, the society will place pots in various locations of the city, where people can feed the birds.

— Tribune Reporters



Pass holders have long tale of woes
Say conductors do not let them board the bus; have to face humiliation every day
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, April 30
Students having bus passes narrate a new tale of rejection, humiliation and embarrassment every day. Not a day passes when one or the other student is not caught up in an altercation with either the conductor or the driver of a roadways or a PRTC bus. The reason being simple-the students have to board the bus and the drivers and conductors, in a majority of cases, ignore them, insult them and sometimes even leave them hanging mid way.

“The same old story every day. We have to miss one, two or even three classes in the morning, reach the college even by 11 am and return home sometimes after 6 pm. And nowadays, when our final exams are going on and we cannot afford to be late in any case, the same story is repeated again. The transport authorities are literally testing our patience. Now, as they are crossing all limits to harass us as much as possible, we are planning to show them what we can do in return,” lamented Sunil, a BA second year student.

“Boarding a moving bus is dangerous, but we have to do so as there is no other alternative. It is an endless wait for the bus. The drivers and conductors never let us board the bus. Many a times they declare openly that the bus pass holders shall not be entertained. We have no other way out but to cling on to the moving bus,” said Shashi, another student.

“We find not many roadways buses on either side in the morning and afternoon. If at all they are, they are of long routes which care a fig for the pass holders like us. The PRTC buses do not approve our roadways pass. Two passes of different transports are not allowed. Then whom should we go for the redressal of our grievances? We are really hard pressed at this time,” said another student who commutes from Ludhiana to Doraha.

“I do not understand why after all does the government run such worthless schemes if it has not to implement these in spirit? Does the transport authorities have any idea of our time and energy that is wasted by standing in endless wait of these buses to stop and take us to our destination?” said Niranjan, a students of BCom-II.

“Everything is done on paper these days. They say they have started running special buses for the convenience of students and that the bus pass holders shall not be facing any problems now. But it is all rubbish. At least, I have not seen any such bus being run to facilitate the students and neither have my partners who, day in and day out, have to face the same embarrassment, the same rough language and the same indifferent attitude,” said a BA second year student.

“Is the transport authority sleeping now? And the government that boasts of providing special facilities to students, too, seems to be no longer awake. On the one hand, the government delivers tall talks on free and compulsory education while on the other we are being deprived of the facility that has been very well given to the students,” said Satnam.

Rachpal Singh, GM, roadways, when contacted, said, “I don’t think such a problem persists, now that we have run special buses for the students. Even then if on any particular route the problem is being felt, we can always sort it out on the complaint of the students. I shall surely look into it personally and get it resolved at the earliest.”



Political support fails to bring respite to developers of unauthorised colonies
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 30
There seems to be no relief in sight for the developers of unauthorised (unlicensed) colonies on the periphery of the mega city, at least for the time being, even though certain politically connected colonisers had approached senior government functionaries, and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had directed the officials of the housing and urban development department to simplify the existing policy for compounding all unauthorised colonies.

While the senior officials of the housing and urban development department are busy giving final shape to a revised and simple policy for regularisation of all unauthorised colonies in the state.

Some of the major demands of the developers with respect to total area of colony, external development charges and requirement of no-objection certificates from different departments, may be fully or partly incorporated in the revised policy.

The Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority, at the same time, has been asked not to let up its regulatory action against erring developers.

Top officials of the department have specifically instructed the GLADA authorities to carry out a demolition drive against 114 identified unauthorised colonies who were put on a one-month notice in the beginning of March, 2012. Further, the GLADA officials have also been directed to make sure that no new colony was carved out or developed without obtaining a licence and fulfilling other provisions of the existing laws.

While a section of colonisers and developers is quite optimistic that the state government would soon come out with a soft and simpler policy for compounding the existing colonies, it is learnt that certain political leaders having big stakes in the real estate development, and also having easy access to the senior functionaries of the ruling coalition, were fiercely lobbying on behalf of the developers.

GLADA additional chief administrator Dr Jaswant Singh said regulatory measures as per the existing policy and law were being taken against the developers.

“Internal development projects in such colonies are being dismantled and the developers are being given instructions to desist from any further development work. At the same time, we have to be on guard against all attempts to carve out a new colony as agricultural land will soon become vacant after harvesting of wheat on the periphery,” he added.



PAU notes
Seed-borne pathogens cause ailments

Ludhiana: “About 18 to 20 per cent increase in the production is possible with the use of quality and disease-free seed. But farmers at times do not pay attention towards the selection of good-quality disease-free seed,” said scientists of the department of plant pathology and Seed Technology Centre of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). Cautioning farmers, the scientists explained that a variety of micro-organisms were associated with seeds that deteriorated seed health.

The seed-borne pathogens cause ailments like seed rots, seedling decay, pre and post-emergence seedling mortality, leaf spots and blights, smuts, stem rots, seed discolouration, reduced and shrivelled seed size. Emphasising that the selection of quality seed, free from seed-borne pathogens, provided good foundation for the good crop, they highlighted that the seed treatment helped in getting rid of pathogens on and in the seed.

Dr Chander Mohan, senior extension pathologist, pointed out, “It has been observed that the farmers commonly use home-saved seed, produced and stored under bad conditions due to lack of basic knowledge of seed production. They often arrange for seed at sowing time from unreliable sources on the advice of dealers. Such seed, generally, possesses low vigour and is prone to seed-borne diseases.” Another scientist, Dr Sandeep Jain, stressed that even the healthy seed should be treated. The application of recommended fungicides to seed helps in disinfecting seed surface, controlling pathogens inside the seed and protecting roots and young plants against infection.

Seminar on rural development

The College of Home Science of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in collaboration with the Home Science Association of India (Punjab branch) will organise a national seminar on “Women and Rural Development: Critical Issues” on May 2 and 3 in the Pal Auditorium of the university. Surjit Singh Rakhra, Rural Development and Panchayats Minister, Punjab, will be the chief guest while Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, will preside over the inaugural session of the seminar.

Experts to dwell on pest management

The department of entomology in association with School of Agricultural Biotechnology of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) will organise a national seminar on “Biotechnological Approaches in Pest Management” on May 4 and 5. Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, will inaugurate the seminar, which will see the participation of more than 150 delegates. — TNS



Teachers keen on learning basics of computer
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
Computer has become a hit with government school teachers as nowadays they seem more interested in learning computers during training classes. As per experts from the teacher training centre, earlier teachers from language and other subjects thought that computer education was useless.

The education department organises a five-day training in basics of computer for all teachers. A computer trainer said the training helped teachers make assignments on computer, surfing Internet, mailing and other official work.

Davinder Singh Chinna, in-charge, computer training, Government in-service Teacher Training Centre, said, “We have been imparting training to teachers for the past five years. We are observing a change in the mindset of teachers. Earlier, teachers termed the training as a burden and considered it a waste of time. But now the attitude of elderly teachers has also changed.”

“Nowadays, everyone can afford computers or laptops. In the technical era, everyone should know how to use a computer,” said Balwinder Singh, a teacher.



Protest by special trainers
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
Special trainers working at the Special Training Centres (STC) under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) did not turn up in the district office of the SSA during the recruitment counselling.

Trainers were opposing the department’s decision to reduce the number of posts by 400. They held a protest outside the SSA’s office.

As many as 274 trainers have been working at these centres in the district. Now, as per new orders, only 185 trainers will continue with the SSA.

A year ago, the Punjab government appointed 1,894 special trainers under the abhiyan. These trainers look for children who have never gone to school. Every trainer has to find at least 35 such children. Initially, the government was paying them on the basis of the number of students they enrolled. The trainers get Rs 3,500 per month.

As per the STC Union members, the department is going to revise the merit list after one year of trainers’ appointment. Sukhwinder Singh, member, STC Union, said, “After doing postgraduation and professional courses, we are working on meagre salaries. But the government wants to see us unemployed. The government wants to reduce the strength of trainers, but we will quit if it tries to do so.”



School notes
Poster-making contest

Ludhiana: An Inter-House Poster-Making Contest was organised at Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar bypass. Students from classes IV to XII made beautiful posters depicting shortage of water and depletion of underground water.


Students of Ryan International School, Ludhiana, excelled in various national and international-level science, maths and English olympiads. As many as 35 students clinched gold medals, 12 students bagged silver medals while 20 got bronze medals. In a maths olympiad, four students got wrist watches, one got a mobile phone and five won the annual subscription of mathematical ability book.

Eco-friendly week

Students of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, Udham Singh Nagar, observed an Eco-friendly week with great enthusiasm. Saplings were planted and students made paper bags. In primary section, slogan writing, drawing and paper reading were held. Students participated in painting and poster making.

Colour Day celebrated

Nursery and KG wing of Gujranwala Guru Nanak Public School, Rose Garden, celebrated Colour Day. Red Day, Green Day, Orange Day and Pink Day were celebrated.

Pool party

Students during an animal show at Kids Quest Pre School, BRS Nagar, Ludhiana.
Students during an animal show at Kids Quest Pre School, BRS Nagar, Ludhiana. Tribune photos

A pool party was organised at Green Land Convent School, Civil City, for students of Kindergarten section. Students enjoyed the pool party. They relished fruits. They also danced to the tune of rocking numbers.

Animal show

Kids Quest Pre School, BRS Nagar, organised an animal show to spread Mahatma Gandhi’s message that the progress of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated. Children were dressed as animals. — TNS



Show-cause notice to 9 teachers
Charanjit Singh Teja

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
The District Education Officer, Leela Rani, has issued show-cause notices to nine computer teachers for not answering the phone calls of officials. The notice was issued to Gurtej Singh from Government High School, Kuldeep Singh from Government Senior Secondary School Nathewal, Pratiba from Government High School Kasabaad, Gursewak Singh from Government Senior Secondary School Sahnewal, Ramandeep Kaur from Government High School Katahri, Amanjeet Kaur from Government Senior Secondary School Kaunke Kalan, Ramanjeet Kaur from Government High School, Ramgarh Bhullar, Varjinder Kaur Burj Hakeema and Harmandeep Kaur from Government Senior Secondary School Sidhwan Bet.

As per the notice, the department officials called up the teachers several times but they did not respond to their calls. The teachers did not even try to get through to the department officials. The District Education Officer said the officials’ orders were unheeded by the teachers, therefore notices had been slapped on them.

The DEO has ordered the teachers to justify their act otherwise as per norms the case will be transferred to the head office for further action or they will be transferred to far-flung areas.

Now, the teachers have to submit a written clarification within 10 days. The department has also directed the school in-charge to stop paying the mobile bills of these teachers.

District Education Officer said, “The department gives mobile allowance to teachers and officials for effective communication. It is their duty to keep in touch with officials.” 



Child Labour Act exists on paper alone
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana/Khanna, April 30
Tall claims of respective governments, the district administration and the Labour Department of implementing the Child Labour Act in "spirits" fall flat as a number of children between the ages of 8-14 years continue to be "expoited" in factories, dhabas and offices by their employers in the city.

For proper implementation of the Act, the Central Government has to create funds and the state government has to construct child homes in the districts where such children can be kept after being rescued. According to the law, these children need to be kept at these homes until they complete their education. Proper rooms have to be constructed where these rescued children can sleep and are provided with food daily. Not just that, they need to be sent to schools through the government transportation only. Once they complete their education (Class XII), they have to be given vocational training and then loans through the banks to start self-employment or help hem get a job in the Industry.

But in absence of all these facilities, they land up working as "child-labour" in factories, dhabas, commercial establishments, offices etc.

"These facilities can be created only after shelling out hundreds of crores of rupees by the Central and state governments. We are always blamed for not raiding the premises of factories or dhabas to rescue the children working there, but where should we send these kids to after rescuing them? At times even the NGOs refuse to keep these children on their premises. After a day or two, we counsel them and their guardians and send them back to either their parents (living in the city) or the guardians. We cannot do much after that. As these children belong to poor families, they again start working at a tender age to earn their daily bread", said an Inspector at the Labour Department here on condition of anonymity.

Harsh Kapoor (name changed), a hosiery manufacturer at Sunder Nagar said that the children (below 14 years of age) were energetic and dedicated workers. "They are paid less than the normal workers. Besides, we ask them to work overtime in case of emergency. And why should we alone be blamed for keeping them? Had the authorities provided them with education, food and shelter, they would have never come to us for getting employment. The children are being exploited due to the wrong policies of the government", said the manufacturer who has kept about six children on the factory premises to tie buttons and packing of products.



Remote sensing centre introduces new course
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
MTech in geoinformatics was introduced at Punjab Remote Sensing Centre today. Prof Rajneesh Arora, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Technical University, was present on the occasion. About 25 students will be enrolled in the two-year course. As the course involves multiple areas, students from different backgrounds in geography, IT and civil engineering may be enrolled.

The VC said the course had a lot of significance and would cater to skilled workforce in defence, power transmission, irrigation, land use, agriculture, land use and mapping. There are a few universities offering such courses in India. Talking about the industry-oriented courses, he said by next year, the university also planned to launch MTech in space science in addition to MBA in disaster management. He said funds were available with Punjab Technical University for investing in the infrastructure. The university has corpus of Rs 800 crore.

Dr Brijendra Pateriya, director, Punjab Remote Sensing Centre, geo-informatics, said the course was gaining significance with time. “The advantage of starting the course is that the experts will be available and students will be imparted practical exposure on projects,” Dr Brijendra added.



Noise pollution act
Teams constituted to check violations
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana/Khanna, April 30
The district administration has decided to constitute teams comprising officials from the district transport and the police departments to deal sternly with those violating the Noise Pollution Act. Strict action will be taken against those using pressure horns, playing loud music near the educational institutes and other such violations.

Additional Deputy Commissioner (General) Rupanjali Kartik met officials on this issue at Bachat Bhawan today. She said passengers were facing lot of inconvenience due to pressure horns being used by government and private buses. The teams will randomly check the buses and taken action those violating the Act. People could not play loud music without taking permission from appropriate authorities, she added.

Kartik also asked the police department to conduct raids outside the educational institutes to ensure that students were not harassed by the pressure horns. About 335 people were fined for creating noise pollution, 324 for playing loud music and penalties were slapped on 314 persons for using pressure horns. She also asked officials of the transport department to challan buses playing movies in their vehicles.

She also asked the District Education Officer to instruct the school authorities to create awareness among the students about the Noise Pollution Act, so that they could make their parents and neighbours aware of it.



Going the ‘dhaba’ way
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
If you are missing the typical taste of the “dhaba daal fry” or “kebab” you had on the roadside of the highway the other night, the Dhaba Festival at Park Plaza is your perfect date with the dhaba food. The 17-day festival at a city hotel is offering the dhaba flavours.

The culinary team at the hotel had done research on more than 25 famous dhabas in and around the city to recreate the dhaba experience, Umesh Yadav, food and beverages manager of the hotel said. The menu on the cardboard is like the dhaba menu usually seen in dhabas. Th preparations like chapli kebab, barrah kebab, pankhudi kebab, lahsoni seekh, soya galouti, papad paneer, dal fry desi ghee one can get it all at on place.

The special menu includes the theka menu serving beverages. There are no pegs, or bars and drinks are available at the table - the adhas, pauvas in the "desi" way, said Yadav.

"The usual becomes interesting when transferred to the new setting and the menu of the dhabas," said a visitor. Live Punjabi folk music with staff dressed in the traditional Punjabi attire add to the ambience of the dhabas.



Kucha No 7, a hell
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
Residents of Kucha Number 7 in Field Ganj have been living in pitiable state due to non-functional sewerage system. It is located near Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib. Water gets accumulated in the locality whenever it rains. Pardeep Kumar, who resides in this locality, complained that the problem started when the project of covering Ganda Nullah began. “We have lodged complaints with municipal officials on numerous occasions, but they hardly give preference to our area. If this situation prevails, one can imagine what will happen during monsoon,” he added.

Another resident Sunita Devi said water enters our houses whenever it rains. “We have to shift our belongings to the first floor of our house after water enters it. Even safai karamcharis don’t listen to us. We have lodged a complaint with municipal authorities in this regard a few days ago. A few safai karamcharis came, looked at the accumulated water and went back with a promise to return. But till date, no one has turned up and we are living in miserable state,” she added.

Zonal Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation AS Sekhon said: “I will send a team of officials to inspect the area tomorrow. It will ensure that the problem does not arise again.”



Education dept not so tech savvy
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
On the one hand, the Punjab government is claiming that it is adopting new technology for the convenience of public, but on the other, the education department is lagging far behind. Most of the circulars and orders issued by the Directorate of Public Instructions (DPI) are still written on typewriters and distributed to schools by post. The website of the DPI (secondary) has not been updated for many months and even the domain of the DPI (secondary) website has expired now.

"The DPI often issues important circulars, but the department never uploads any document on the official website. They are sent to the schools by post. Most of the times, these circulars never reach the teachers. The department must upload the circulars and orders on the official website. So everyone can read it", said a teacher from a local government school, requesting anonymity.

"I regularly visit all theofficial websites related to school education to update myself. But website of the DPI (Secondary) has not been updated for long. Now the domain name has also expired. It sounds strange in the era of technology, but no official website of the education department is working," said another teacher.



Seechewal gets Punjabi Viraasat Award

Ludhiana, April 30
Baba Balveer Singh Seechewal has been honoured with the Punjabi Viraasat Award at Punjabi Viarast Bhawan by the Jagdev Singh Jasowal Charitable Trust here today.

The function was organised to celebrate the 77th birth anniversary of Jagdev Singh Jasowal. On the occasion, Seechewal said that the Sikh Gurus emphasised on the conservation of water, air and soil in gurbani as these were the gifts of nature to human beings. He said, “ It is our moral duty to keep these natural gifts neat and clean. He emphasised on simple living as preached by the Gurus.

PWD minister Sharanjeet Singh Dhillon appreciated the efforts of Jagdev Singh Jassowal. He said that efforts were needed to promote Punjabi culture so that the next generations would know about the rich heritage of Punjab. — TNS



Cosmopolitan outlook, trends making way to city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
With the city stepping towards the metropolitan culture, the cosmopolitan outlook and trends are making their way to the city.

There was a time, when it was only Punjabi or tandoori chicken that used to interest the taste buds of the city residents, but now the most popular of the chains of restaurants are descending to the city. From the world’s best pizzas, to the quick-service burgers, fried chicken to the fresh vegetable snacks and meals, all have already found acceptance here.

Another international Portuguese restaurant specialising in peri-peri chicken was opened in the city at Sarabha Nagar market yesterday.

“For a food lover, the city offers a great opportunity now. There a plenty of opportunities to try and taste different cuisines,” said Sarabjit, a resident of Dugri.

“I am a complete foodie. I dine out every weekend, so it is good to have different cuisines available in the city,” said Vini, a resident. There is a lot more mobility and residents have been demanding good food options in the city.

Sunny, another resident, said he had never tasted exotic foods earlier. “You name it and I have tried it,” he said.



Web domain of SCD college’s website expires

Ludhiana, April 30
Students browsing the website of SCD Government College these days are in for disappointment. The website no longer exists, as the web domain of the website has expired. These days a host of students seeking admission to different colleges are browsing the websites to gather information about courses and colleges. “Websites have become the first windows to know about any institution,” said Amit, a student. “Now, if the website is not well-designed, user-friendly or not working properly, the first impression of the institution goes down,” he said. “First, I Googled the name, the website was hardly to be seen in the search results. Then, I typed the exact URL, and I was surprised to see that the domain had expired,” he said. — TNS



Chahal is new principal of SCD college
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
Prof DS Chahal has taken over as the officiating principal of the SCD Government College. A farewell party was organised for principal Jasbir Kaur Makkar who retired today. Her three-year tenure as the principal and 38-year-old career as an academician completed today.



Function to mark May Day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 30
Workers from Ludhiana are organising a programme at PUDA ground on the Chandigarh Road to mark the May Day tomorrow.

The event is being held under the banner of Karkhana Mazdoor Union and Textile Mazdoor Union. Workers from different areas of Ludhiana will participate in the function.

Convener, Karkhana Mazdoor Union, Lakhwinder said even today the working and living conditions of the workers were very inhuman. He added that the main motive of the Karkhana Mazdoor Union and Textile Mazdoor Union was to educate the workers about martyrs, their glorious history and the path of changing the present conditions of working men.



ml markan cricket
Mohali script thumping victory
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, April 30
Mohali, riding high over strokeful centuries by Sidharath and Tanprit, scripted a thumping victory over hosts Ludhiana by an innings and 50 runs on the third and final day of the match in the Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Tournament (U-16) for the ML Markan Trophy at Punjab Agricultural University campus ground here today.

The match was organised by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association under the aegis of the Punjab Cricket Association.

In reply to Ludhiana's first innings total of 224 runs, the visitors resumed their reply today with the score board reading 298 runs for the loss of three wickets.

Last evening's not out batsman, Sidharath (109) went on to add 49 runs and remained unconquered on 158. Eventually, Mohali declared their first innings at 406 runs after losing four wickets in 100 overs in which Ramandeep contributed 60 runs while Amrit remained unbeaten on 25.

Trailing by 182 runs, Ludhiana batsmen again failed to deliver the goods as their second essay folded at 132 runs in 59 overs. Rohit and Sher Singh chipped in with 25 and 24 runs, respectively while Jai made 17. Harnoor Singh and Deepin Chitkara scored 12 runs each.

For the winning side, Harpreet and Amesh who excelled with the ball in the first innings, again shared the honours grabbing three and four wickets, respectively to clinch a comprehensive win for Mohali.

Brief scores

Ludhiana (first innings): 224 all out in 114 overs (Harnoor Singh 51, Jaskarn 31, Deepin Chitkara 40, Raman 24, Naman Jain 29, Jai Sharma 19; Harpreet 5 for 67 and Amesh 4 for 70).

Mohali (first innings): 406 for 4 declared after 100 overs (Tanprit 111, Sidharth 158 n.o, Shubham 26, Ramandeep 60, Amrit 25 n.o; Anirudh 1 for 78, Naman Jain 1 for 78 and Raghav 2 for 52).



Innovative way to rid society of social evils
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana/Khanna, April 30
In a unique initiative taken by the police department to create awareness regarding three major problems prevalent in the city- drug addiction, gambling and traffic regulations, a two-day volleyball tournament have been organised for the police personnel, players and the general public.

The top officials including Rahul Tiwari, Ishwar Singh and MS Jaggi from the district administration, police and the municipal corporation respectively, inaugurated the event at the Kotwali police station, here, today. The tournament will be held today and tomorrow. The aim to hold such an event is to create awareness amongst the youth regarding drug-addiction and gambling, which have ruined several lives.

Police personnels' joys knew no bound to see senior officials in a relaxed mood, playing matches with them and the general public. A policeman, on condition of anonymity said that it was good to see their "strict" officers playing with them in a friendly manner. "There is so much enthusiasm amongst all", he said. Talking to The Tribune, Swapan Sharma, Assistant Commissioner Police (ACP) Traffic, said that these matches would be conducted thana-wise. Three police stations - Salem Tabri, police station Number 1 and 4- are taking part in this volleyball tournament. Each thana was being represented by three teams each of the police, players and public respectively. On the occasion, police commissioner Ishwar Singh said that the drug-free society was the need of the hour. Through such sporty tournaments, important messages could be spread amongst the masses.



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