L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


CMC public authority: Panel
Orders appointment of information officer & compliance with RTI Act
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
In a landmark decision, the State Information Commission (SIC), has declared Christian Medical College (CMC), Ludhiana, a public authority under Section 2 (h) of the RTI Act. The double bench of Chief Information Commissioner RI Singh and State Information Commissioner Surinder Awasthi today issued a 14-page order and directed the CMC to appoint a public information officer (PIO) and comply with the provisions of the RTI Act.

During the proceedings of a case filed by Munish Kumar Seth of Dhuri (Sangrur), the SIC observed that the CMC was drawing two-fold financial privilege from the state.

“It has been exempted from house tax. The complainant has placed on record a copy of letter dated November 18, 2011, of the Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana. It is clearly stated in the letter that as per the record, the CMC is not paying any house tax as it is a charitable trust,” the SIC observed.

It was further observed that the CMCH was a society registered under Section 12 (a) of the Income Tax Act and had been granted exemption under Section 80 (g) of the Act. “The relief granted under Section 80 (g) may be a tax relief to the donor, but the fact remains that because of this statutory enablement, financial benefits accrue to the CMC. Therefore, such a benefit must be construed to fall within the provisions of Section 2 (h) of the RTI Act,” read the order.

“The benefits drawn by the CMC are certainly not trivial or inconsequential and there is more than an iota of nexus between the benefit received by it and the act of its facilitation by the government. For this reason, the CMC must be held to be a public authority under Section 2 (h) of the Act.”

The SIC also said: “The information-seeker has brought on record that the governing body of the CMC includes government nominees, namely Director Research and Medical Education, Government of Punjab, Director Health Services, Government of Punjab, Director-General Health Services, Government of India and Nursing Adviser, Government of India. These four government nominees directly participate in the management and running of the institute. Mere recognition of the CMC by the Medical Council of India or its affiliation to Baba Farid University would not amount to ‘controlled’ within the meaning of Section 2 (h) (d) (i). However, the fact that these regulatory bodies have laid down elaborate guidelines and parameters and the government has appointed four representatives on the governing body of the CMC, lends the mechanism a colour of ‘controlled’ within the meaning of Section 2 of the Act. Moreover, the powers and authority of these nominee-directors is not limited to merely enforcing regulations of the MCI or the university. They are as good members of the managing committee as anyone else and enjoy powers of decision-making as any other member does. They are party to the management process and to that extent exercise control over the affairs of the college,” the order read.

The CMC pleaded that it was a purely private unaided institution with a charitable status. “It is not getting any financial support from the Minority Commission, University Grants Commission or from the government. As a minority institution, it has a right under Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution to administer its institutions.”

To this, the SIC said: “Transparency does not take away the right of minorities to manage their affairs, nor does minority status mean a right to operate behind the curtain or hushed management of its affairs. The argument that transparency law is not applicable to minority-run educational institutions has no merit. The law does not exempt an institution from disclosure of information on grounds of its minority status and such a standing in extraneous to the RTI Act.” 


City youth 7th in civil services examination
Gurvinder Singh

Ludhiana, May 4
Himanshu Gupta from Ludhiana has secured the seventh rank in the civil services examination, the results of which were declared this afternoon. The 24-year-old youth had cleared the Indian Forest Services examination in March, securing the 5th rank. This was his second attempt.

“It was my father’s dream and I am happy to have realised it,” he says. Having completed engineering in electrical and electronics from BITS, Pilani, in 2009, Himanshu got placed with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bangalore, at a package of Rs 6 lakh. He left the job after working for some time and set out to realise his dream.

His father, Ravi Kumar Gupta, a government contractor, says it was because of God’s blessings. “He is a blessed child and has been a top-scorer since childhood. He was good at studies and we never had to tell him to study,” he says.

His optional subjects were maths and physics. He says there are no shortcuts and one just needs to stay focused. Coaching helps, he says, adding that he took coaching from different institutes for different subjects. “Have faith in yourself and in God,” he adds. His family and friends have been his constant support. “I am happy to have stood up to the confidence they had in me,” he says.

He wants to serve the country and prefers to go for the IAS instead of the Indian Foreign Services. “It is more challenging and I wants to bring more financial security to people,” he adds.



Probe into poor quality of Shatabdi food
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 4
Taking up the cause of passengers who had lodged complaints about the poor quality of food and snacks being served on Shatabdi running between Amritsar and New Delhi, also highlighted in The Tribune in its columns on May 1, May 2 and May 4, the northern railway authorities have initiated an inquiry to fix responsibility and take action against erring staff and officials.

Sources in the railways here as well as at the divisional headquarters at Ferozepur revealed that the Chief Commercial Manager (CCM), Catering, who is the overall in charge of vending in trains, had sought a detailed report from the local and divisional officials about the complaints lodged by passengers during the last few days.

It was also learnt that travelling ticket examiners (TTEs) aboard Shatabdi trains, or for that matter all other trains, were supposed to send a written report to the division-level officials of the commercial wing about the complaints lodged by the passengers which, apparently, was not done in the case of complaints about poor quality of food and snacks served to the passengers and unprofessional service rendered by the catering staff on Shatabdi trains.

“Earlier also, warning notices had been served on some contractors to whom the catering service is being outsourced. But it appears that some of them are in no mood to mend their ways and the railways will have to take harsh measures against the defaulting contractors as well as the delinquent supervisory staff,” a senior railway official said.

Serious matter

Railway officials said the authorities at the northern railway headquarters in Delhi had taken a serious note of the persistent complaints about unpalatable food being served to the passengers on Shatabdi.



Ex-Dist Youth Cong chief booked for murder
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
After struggling for life for nearly 75 days, 24-year-old Harwinder Singh, who was allegedly set on fire by former District Youth Congress Committee president (DYCC) Komal Khanna and his two accomplices, succumbed to his injuries at the PGI, Chandigarh, here today.

Harwinder Singh, a resident of Nawa Mohalla, who had sustained 60 per cent burns, was discharged from hospital nearly a month ago.

According to his family members, Harwinder’s condition worsened a few days ago and he was rushed to the PGI.

“Earlier, Komal Khanna and his two unidentified accomplices were booked for attempt to murder, but with the death of the youth, the section has been updated to 302 of the IPC. Khanna has now been booked for murder,” said SHO Surinder Mohan.

Khanna, however, has claimed that he is innocent. “The ACP, Swapan Sharma, had conducted the investigation and recorded the statement of area residents.

Harwinder Singh had given an affidavit in my favour, in which he had stated that he had wrongly quoted my name before the magistrate while he was undergoing treatment in the hospital,” he claimed.

Harwinder Singh had stated before a magistrate on February 17 that the Congress leader and his two accomplices had set him afire while he was standing outside his house.



Travel agents dupe youths of Rs 38 lakh
Send them to Nepal instead of Canada, hold them captive
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, May 4
The foreign dreams of two youths hailing from Roomi village situated on the Jagraon-Raikot road turned sour when they were sent to Nepal instead of Canada as promised by the travel agents.

The travel agents also allegedly duped the families of the youths of Rs 38 lakh. The youths have been identified as Kamaldeep Singh and Gurdeep Singh. The matter came to light today when the youths along with their families met the SSP Ludhiana (Rural), Gurpreet Singh Toor, and brought the matter to his notice.

In their statement to the police, the youths said they wanted to visit Canada in search of greener pastures. They contacted a group of travel agents who assured to send them to Canada within a month and asked them to submit their passports and other documents. The agents said they would take money from the youths’ family only after they landed in Canada.

According to the victims, the agents called them a few days later, informing them that their visas had been approved and asked them to come to Delhi. The very next day they left for Delhi, from where they were taken to Kolkata and subsequently to Nepal to board a flight to Canada.

But after reaching Nepal, the travel agents allegedly held them captive and tortured them. They were forced to make phone calls to their families and tell them to give the money to one of the accomplices of the agents.

After getting the payment, the travel agents left them in Nepal and fled. After a few days, the youths managed to escape and crossed over to India. According to their family members, the youths were badly injured when they arrived home.

The SSP said the police had registered a case against three persons identified as Jasvir Singh of Dhillwan village in Faridkot district, Surinder Kumar of Nangal Sangha village in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar district and Sanjiv Mehra of Uppal village in Jalandhar district.



Woman, daughter killed in accident; son injured
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 4
A mother and daughter were killed, and son seriously injured, when the car carrying them collided with a tree near Ghudani village on Payal-Karamsar road last evening.

Though the reason behind the mishap is yet to be ascertained, it is suspected that the driver lost control of the car due to a medical problem.

The deceased have been identified as Kulwinder Kaur of Ghudani village, wife of owner of Milap Palace, and her mother Nachhatar Kaur of Pohir village. They were travelling in a Hyundai i20 car. The collision was so powerful that the trunk of the tree penetrated the front part of the car. H Singh alias Pandit, who was driving the car, was shifted to a hospital in Ludhiana in an unconscious condition. 



Youth has miraculous escape
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
A 25-year-old youth had a miraculous escape after a truck crashed into his car near Partap Chowk here today.

The incident took place here this afternoon when the youth, Mayank Madan, was going towards the bus stand in his car. “I was on the Partap Chowk flyover when the driver of an industrial truck lost control and the vehicle crashed into the divider before ramming into my car,” he said. The car was damaged completely, but Mayank did not receive even a scratch. The truck driver managed to escape from the spot. The incident led to a huge traffic jam on both sides of the road near Partap Chowk.



commercial property
PUDA open Auction a hit
Sells nine freehold single-storeyed shops in Canal Colony
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 4
The sale through open auction of nine freehold single-storey shops in erstwhile Canal Colony on Pakhowal Road here conducted by the Punjab Urban Planning and Development Authority (PUDA) turned out to be a success as all properties on offer were sold for Rs 7.75 crore.

With the reserve price of the shops, with floor areas ranging between 27.86 and 40.15 square metres, fixed at Rs 2,53,493 per square metre, the highest successful bid was Rs 2,56,875 while the lowest successful bid stood at Rs 2,53,650 per square metre. In the wake of a very high reserve price of the properties, which was comparable to the prevailing market price of commercial land in the upmarket area, the shops were sold at a marginal premium of some Rs 30 lakh (about four percent).

In the public auction conducted by the Ashok Singla, additional chief administrator of PUDA, Jalandhar, along with GLADA/PUDA estate officer Jeet Ram and a tehsildar representing the district administration, 19 bidders participated after paying an eligibility fee of Rs 50,00 0 each.

The successful bidders were required to pay 10 per cent of the total bid amount on the spot at the fall of hammer and another 15 per cent within 30 days of the date of auction. The balance 75 per cent of the cost of property could wither be paid in lump sum within 60 days of the issue of allotment letter without any interest and at a rebate of five percent, or else in four equated yearly installments along with 12 per cent interest.

According to PUDA officials, the successful bidders could take possession of the shops on payment of 25 per cent of the total bid amount.



civic body polls
Poor development work defines ward No. 1
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Roads remain uncarpeted making life difficult for the residents
Roads remain uncarpeted making life difficult for the residents
The view of a road in Bajigar Basti
The view of a road in Bajigar Basti

Ludhiana, May 4
Development has been patchy in Ward No. 1. While some of the areas have seen the carpeting of roads, the other areas remain backward, with no development activity. Despite the presence of warehouses and factories in the area, the area scores low on development. Many roads are in a poor shape in areas like Bajigar Basti. Some roads are being carpeted in the wake of the MC elections. The problem of garbage disposal is one of the major problems in the area with most empty plots turning into a dumping ground.

Garbage lies strewn across the roads in many areas. Waterlogging is common during monsoon and a menace for residents in areas like Chandar Nagar. Streetlights have been missing in Geeta Colony, Bajigar Basti and Sanyas Nagar. Barring a couple of parks, there are no green patches in the ward. The roads are congested without any sign of plantation or maintenance. Also, there is no high school in the ward. Residents complain of sporadic water supply and are demanding more tube wells and water tanks.

Ratanjit Kaur Seebia is the councillor of the ward, which is reserved for women in the general category. Randhir Singh, her husband, has been at the forefront of MC activities in the area. The ward has now been declared open for men in the general category. He plans to contest the elections this time. The area comprises 25 colonies including Guru Har Rai Nagar, Akash Nagar, Aman Nagar, Bhora, Chandar Nagar, Varinder Nagar, Maskeen Nagar, Dana Mandi, Bharti Colony, Bajigar Basti, Harvinder Nagar, Veer Nagar, Thapar Nagar, Gurbaksh Nagar, Dana Mandi, Banda Bahadar Nagar, Geeta Colony, Deepak Vihar and Jassian Colony.

Residents Speak

Nothing is right here

Tarsem Lal, a resident of Bajigar BastiThere is no maintenance of streets. No safai karamchari comes to the area. Most roads have not been carpeted. Nobody comes to collect garbage and so, most empty plots have turned filthy due to indiscriminate dumping of garbage.

— Tarsem Lal, a resident of Bajigar Basti

 Kulveer Singh, factory workerThe roads are riddled with potholes. During monsoon, it becomes difficult to cross the area due to waterlogging. Roads turn into dirty slush pools during rains. Due to stagnation of water, diseases like dengue and malaria afflict the residents of the area every year.

Kulveer Singh, factory worker

Sukhvinder Singh, resident of Aman NagarGarbage disposal is a big problem and there is always a fear of outbreak of diseases. With the rainy season set to start in a month or so, it could pose health problems in the area.

Sukhvinder Singh, resident of Aman Nagar

Manpreet Singh, resident of Bharti ColonyThere are no parks in the area for children to play. The children play on streets and there is always a risk of accident. Sometimes, we get no water supply at our homes. There should be more tube wells and better water facilities.

— Manpreet Singh, resident of Bharti Colony

Harbans Lal, resident of Bajigar BastiEven the primary school is surrounded with garbage and the stink is unbearable. There is no streetlight and snatching and robbing incidents are a common occurrence. Sewage disposal leaves much to be desired.

— Harbans Lal, resident of Bajigar Basti


Councillor Speaks

Have done commendable work

 Ratanjit Kaur SeebiaWhen we got the area after the last elections, it was totally backward with no development whatsoever. The MC spent Rs 10 crore on roads, Rs 50 lakh on three tube wells, and Rs 3.5 crore on sewerage. We also got a community hall and two parks built. The area faces problems as it falls under Ludhiana North and Ludhiana East constituencies. There are three primary schools. Upgradation of one of these to a high school and setting up of a dispensary in the ward would be a priority during the forthcoming elections. The extent of development is an achievement considering where we started from.

— Ratanjit Kaur Seebia



Flowing sewage, potholed roads, dumped garbage dot Ward No. 2
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
For the residents of Municipal Corporation Ward No 2 in the city, the forthcoming MC elections, which are to be announced any time now, have brought new hope as they feel that all their pending development works will be sped up and executed now by the ruling coalition in order to consolidate its vote bank.
Garbage dumped on a vacant plot in Bank Colony in Ward No 2
Garbage dumped on a vacant plot in Bank Colony in Ward No 2
Water accumulated on a street near Dairy Complex on the Noorwal Road in Ludhiana
Water accumulated on a street near Dairy Complex on the Noorwal Road in Ludhiana. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

The sitting SAD-B councillor Ranjit Singh Dhillon, who has recently been elected the MLA from Ludhiana East Assembly segment, claims that his victory in the assembly election is an evidence of development works undertaken in his ward.

However, poor condition of roads and pathettic level of sanitation across the ward belies the claims of the councillor, who is now a legislator of the ruling alliance. And this is a major cause of concern also for whoever is fielded by the SAD-BJP from this particular ward, as the residents might take it out on the ruling party candidate for what they term as failures of the sitting councillor during his term.

Area residents lament that garbage remains strewn on the streets and vacant plots leading to stink and threat of disease in the areas surrounding Noorwal Road. The Bank Colony is still worse as the residents are deprived of the basic amenities like disposal of sewerage and safe drinking water.

Accumulation of water on most of the streets is another major problem for the resident of Dairy Complex on Noorwal Road, streetlights are missing in the most of the area while those of Sartaj Nagar, Azad Nagar and Gurpreet Nagar not working properly.

There is no proper provision for dumping of garbage, major feeder roads are marked with potholes causing inconvenience to commuters. Noorwal Road that connects to most of the areas of the ward is crying for repair. In stark constrast, the former councillor had got a new road constructed leading to his office in Street No 2 in Sartaj Nagar.

Major colonies include Aazad Nagar, Anandpuri, New Anandpuri, Basant Viahar, Lajpat Nagar, Hera Nagar, Panchsheel , Garewal Estate, Sartaj Nagr , Guru Gobind Singh Nagar, Gurpreet Nagar, Sant Singh Cheema Nagar , Preet Viahar, Sain Bhagat colony, Harpreet Nagar, New Partap Nagar, Gobindpuri, New Deep Nagar, Anand Viahr, Inder viahr, New Sant viahar, Old octroi and Jain colony.

Residents Speak

Condition of roads pathetic

Harish Kumar, resident, Noorwala RoadThe condition of the main road is pathetic which leads to accidents and causes inconvenience to commuters. Blockage and overflowing of sewage is also a major problem in the area. During the monoon, there is water logging on streets.

Harish Kumar, resident, Noorwala Road

 Ravinder Kumar, shopkeeper, Basant ViahrIn the absence of proper dumping area for garbage, the people throw away waste in a vacant plot in front of the market which leads to stink and invites health hazards. Moreover, dusty road makes things more difficult for the shopkeepers on the main road.

Ravinder Kumar, shopkeeper, Basant Viahr

 Anoop Singh, resident, Gurpreet NagarRoads dotted with potholes is the major problem of the ward. Most of the time sewerage gets choked during the rainy session. Street lights are also dysfunctional in Sartaj Nagar and Gurpreet Nagar.

— Anoop Singh, resident, Gurpreet Nagar

 Kamalpreet Kaur, resident, Bank colonyPeople dump garbage in front of our house due to lack of a proper dumping ground. Residents of the Bank Colony are also deprived of sewerage system and water supply facilities.

— Kamalpreet Kaur, resident, Bank colony

 Sunny Heera, resident, Noorwala RoadBlockage of sewerage system is the major problem in the area We have complained to the councillor, but no one cares.

— Sunny Heera, resident, Noorwala Road


Councillor Speaks

Ranjit Singh DhillonThe development work is going on. In the last five years we have focused on roads, sewerage, and sanitation. The MC has spent more than Rs 12 crore on development work like carpeting of roads, sewerage system, streetlights and water supply during my tenure. Most of the areas of the ward are congested, so the residents do not have proper play grounds and parks. A government dispensary is also needed.If I am given a chance to contest the election, then I will try to get reverse osmosis (RO) system for supply of safe drinking water installed. A well equipped school and a dispensary will also be among my priorities.

Ranjit Singh Dhillon



Power tariff to be hiked from April 1
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
Members of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking said that power tariff would be hiked from April 1, 2012. New tariff is yet to be announced by the Punjab Power Regulatory Commission, but the revised tariff will be applicable from April 1. Chamber wants that the power tariff should not be announced from the back date, as it will cause them losses.

Avtar Singh, general secretary of Chamber of industrial and Commercial Undertaking (CICU), said that instead of hiking the power tariff, the Punjab State Power Corporation (PSPCL) should lay emphasis on reducing the transit loss of coal, and also curb the menace of theft of energy. Power theft should be made a punishable offence.

"On the one hand,P.S.P.C.L. has not been able to give uninterrupted power supply to the industry for the last four to five years and on the other hand the Punjab government had first increased the electricity duty from 10 to 13 per cent and then imposed entry tax of 12.5 per cent on diesel generating sets and further imposed 5 per cent electricity duty from captive consumption from any source.

"In addition to this, power tariff is being hiked almost every year by P.S.P.C.L. With all these taxes and duties in place, it is beyond imagination as to how the industry in Punjab will survive and compete in the national and international market. All the policies framed by the P.S.P.C.L. are anti-industry and the industrialists of Punjab are being supplied power at exorbitant rate as compared to all other northern states.

One cannot hope that any new industry will come up in the state due to the imposition of various taxes and duties every now and then," said Upkar Singh, joint secretary.

Adequate and uninterrupted power supply to the industrial sector is the need of the hour and the chamber has requested and urged upon the Punjab Chief Minister to review the hike in power tariff and that it should not be made applicable from back date.



continuous comprehensive evaluation
Format to be changed
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
After opposition from the teachers’ camp, the Punjab School Education Department is going to change the continuous comprehensive evaluation (CCE) format.

The Director General of School Education (DGSE) constituted a review committee after a feedback from teachers to revise the CCE Model. School teachers were opposing the current model of CCE by saying it was time consuming and non productive.

According to the new circular for DGSE, the department is going to revise CCE format from academic session 2012 -13 for class IV to IX after a feedback from the field. A meeting of the review committee is being organised on May 8. In the meeting, district education officers, principals, headmasters and teachers representatives will participate.

"The current model of evaluation examines the students weekly but teachers observe no change in students in a week. So we are demanding to extend the duration of evaluation period. It is time consuming, as teachers have to spend a lot of time every week. Moreover, the government implemented the CCE according to the recommendation of the RTE Act so it should be till class VIII", said a teacher form government school.

Balwainder Singh, a government teacher, said, "The current model of CCE is unproductive as every teacher has to mark the attendance of students in all periods. It leads to a waste of time.



Tardy lifting worries farmers
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, May 4
Slow procurement of more than 35,000 tonnes of wheat in the Jagraon Grain Market, the second largest in Asia after Khanna, has left thousands of farmers, whose wheat crop is laying in the open, as well as arhtiyas (commission agents) a worried lot.

Wheat arrival in the mandi was about two weeks late due to the prolonged winter spell and unusual rains. Now, the sudden influx of the crop in the grain market has been causing problems.

While farmers complain that agencies have been causing unnecessary delays in purchasing the crop, commission agents say the lifting has been rather slow. They say despite procurement having begun more than 10 days ago, only about 40 per cent of the total crop purchased has been lifted so far.

Satpal Singh from Pona village near Jagraon said the agencies were yet to procure his crop he had brought to the market four days ago. Several other farmers at local grain market too said that the procurement process has been quite slow so far.

A disappointed Gurmail Singh said: “I have been camping in the market since the past four days but the agencies have yet to purchase my crop. With the weather playing truant, the authorities should have stepped up the procurement process. But this has not been the case. Who will be responsible for the loss in case of more rain?”

Commission agent Rajinder Singh said a large quantity of stock purchased a week ago had yet to be lifted. “We are bound to suffer losses if the purchased crop gets wet in rain”, he said.

The farmers and commission agents have urged the local Market Committee to speed up procurement. But Malkiat Singh, secretary, Market Committee, Jagraon, claimed the procurement process had been quite smooth. He admitted that the lifting process was slow. He said this was on account of heavy arrivals and labour shortage.



Doraha village faces sewer water menace
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, May 4
Doraha village, that is Ward No 12 and 13 of Doraha town, lacks basic amenities.

Sewer water in a vacant plot at the village entrance tells it all. The civil dispensary is situated right in the midst of a dirty pond. Despite the fact that the village came was brought under the municipal council a long time back, it continues to get a step-motherly treatment.

“Even light showers are enough to bring the sewer water onto the roads. Many commuters, including students, have had a fractured limb on the dilapidated village road, ”said Tapvir Singh, Director, Doraha Public School.

“Students often slip on the road and reach the school with their clothes soiled. We have written to the council several times on the matter, but to no avail. Now they have dug up the street to lay sewer pipes ”said Dr Sandeep Sawhney, Principal, Doraha College of Education.

Inderjit Singh Kala, President ,Municipal Council Doraha said the road would be tarred in days to come. “The sewer problem is grave. We are hopeful that a water treatment plant to be set up soon will solve the problem.”



Saree showrooms to remain closed on Sundays

Ludhiana, May 4
To spend some quality time with family, members of the Ludhiana Silk and Sarees Association has decided to keep their shops closed on every Sunday.

The decision was taken during the meeting of the association held here today. At the meeting, owners of nearly 70 showrooms from Mall Road, national Road, Cemetery Road, College Road and Ghumar Mandi were present.

After discussion, the members reached a decision to keep their shops closed on Sunday. Pawan Batra said the shops would remain close on every Sunday throughout the year. The decision will be effective from May 6 onwards.

One of the senior members of the association said that his family members often asked him to spend some time with them but sadly he did not have time for them. "We are making money but we do not have time for our own family for whom we are earning. During my recent trip abroad, I saw a sticker pasted outside a shop, which read "Sunday closed for family and God". We should start thinking about our families along with our business," he said. —TNS



Net-house technology profitable: Experts

Ludhiana: Protected cultivation of vegetable crops is catching up with farmers due to the availability of net-house technology and incentives by the government. These views were highlighted by experts in the annual planning meeting of the project "Improving vegetable production and consumption for sustainable rural livelihoods in Jharkhand and Punjab," held at PAU, today.

The experts shared their findings and discussed ways to profitably grow net-house vegetables for extra four months of the year.

The project is a partnership between PAU and AVRDC-The World Vegetable Center, and funded by the Sir Rata Tata Trust (SRTT). It has developed an improved package of practices for net-house vegetable production in Punjab and improved home gardens for year-round family nutrition.

Now in its fifth year, over 15,000 farmers have already directly benefited from the project. More than 130 vegetable varieties have been tested to find the best for net-house production, new methods for controlling nematodes and soil-borne pathogens in net houses have been devised and the best biocides for controlling thrips and aphids identified. Dr Warwick Easdown, regional director for AVRDC, said that the application of even some of the research findings had the potential to double farmer incomes from net houses.

Dr SS Gosal, director of research, PAU, claimed that vegetable production in Punjab was too low and could only supply about half the minimum requirement for good health of the population. He said that net-house cultivation technology for tomato, brinjal, capsicum, etc. had been developed and popularised among farmers.

Soil and water conservation workshop

To discuss various issues concerning soil and water conservation, a state-level research and extension specialists' workshop will be held in the Dr Borlaug Wheat Auditorium of PAU on May 7.

PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon will inaugurate the workshop, informed Dr MS Gill, director of extension education. He added that during the workshop, the scientists would share research-based new findings on the conservation of water and maintenance of soil health.

The officers of the state department of soil conservation will forward their feedback to the scientists. The resource persons of different departments will discuss the feedbacks in the light of reprioritisation of research and technology transfer programmes.

There will be an exhibition of different technologies related to soil and water conservation and farm literature.



Gadkari to visit city on May 7

Ludhiana, May 4
Preparations are in full swing for the visit of BJP president Nitin Gadkari to the city on May 7. Parveen Bansal, Senior Deputy Mayor and district president of the BJP, said 200 party workers from each district were expected to participate in the function.

On May 6, a BJP working committee meeting will be organised in Ludhiana, which will be presided over by former Chief Minister Shanta Kumar, who is in charge of the Punjab unit of the BJP. — TNS



Unemployment allowance will hit industry, says federation
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
Unemployment allowance announced by the government has drawn flak from industry representatives, who say there is already a shortage of labour and no scarcity of jobs. It is feared that under such circumstances the benefit can go in wrong hands, leading to misuse of government funds.

"Allowance to the unemployed in Punjab is an unwanted step and is a mere wastage of government money. This step will further restrict the workers to look for job opportunities and they will prefer to sit idle to avail the allowance,” said Badish Jindal, president, Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association (FOPSIA).

The federation has also shot a letter to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, mentioning that the industry in Punjab is already facing scarcity of 30 to 40 per cent of skilled and unskilled workforce. “We are paying more than the minimum wages on account of this scarcity,” mentioned Jindal in the communiqué.

"The industry is already suffering due to MNREGA and industrialisation in Bihar and UP. The worst effect is coming from MNREGA due to which the labour is not coming to Punjab for work as they are already getting good wages from the government for sitting idle,” he said.

The government recently announced to facilitate migrant labourers with free homes to save the industry from the drastic effects of labour scarcity and now, this unemployment allowance was in contrast with the prior announcement, said industrialist Satish Chandra.

“The industry will get affected with this move, which will also not be in the favor of state's economy. So we earnestly request the government to look into the matter,” added Vinay Kansal, owner of a small-scale industry.



Kanwalpreet Brar takes over as DETC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
Kanwalpreet Brar today took over the charge of the Deputy Excise And Taxation Commissioner (DETC) of Ludhiana division. Brar was earlier posted at Jalandhar.

A 1992 batch PCS officer, Brar had earlier served as the additional commissioner of Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and joined the Excise and Taxation department in 2011.



from colleges
Students excel in PU exams

Ludhiana: Students of MCom Ist Semester of Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women performed well in Panjab University examinations. All students secured first division and 11 students got distinctions. Preety got third position in the university scoring 83.6 per cent and Manisha Rani was fifth in the university scoring 83 per cent marks. Principal Dr Parveen Kaur Chawla congratulated the students and appreciated the efforts made by the faculty of commerce department.

Farewell party at DIMT

Final year students of MBA, BBA and BCA at the Doraha Institute of Management Technology were given a farewell party. It was organised by all the juniors classes. Students said that they would cherish the memories of the college. — TNS



from schools
26 schools participate in declamation contest

Ludhiana: The 19th Inter-School Declamation Contest was organised by the Nehru Sidhant Kender Trust at its Joginder Pall Panday Auditorium in the memory of Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. The contest received an overwhelming response from the schools in Ludhiana. The contest was held in three languages, Punjabi, English and Hindi. As many as 52 Students from 26 Schools vied with each other for the Nehru Championship Trophy and the first three positions. Students spoke with zest and expressed their views confidently on burning topics of day to day interest like "As Civilisation advances, Culture Declines", "Emotional quotient is more important than intelligence quotient", "Right to Education Act, a great liberating force", "The best and the worst of media", etc.


A student speaks in an inter-school declamation contest at Nehru Sidhant Kender in Ludhiana
A student speaks in an inter-school declamation contest at Nehru Sidhant Kender in Ludhiana.
Students exhibit their models at Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana
Students exhibit their models at Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana. Tribune photographs

Quiz competition

Derek's Faster Smarter Better Challenge Quiz Competition was held at Green Grove Public School on May 3. Four teams participated in this competition. Each team comprised four students. The contest was won by team D. Principal S. George congratulated the winners.


An English rhyme recitation competition was organised on the premises of the Kindergarten Block at G.M.T Public School on Friday. The students of class II and III participated with zeal and confidence .The participants recited the rhymes with gestures and expressions.

Students recite poems

The KG Section of Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, held their Hindi poem recitation competition here on Friday. The children recited poems like Maa, Akhbaar, Koshish, Kaumi Jhanda etc.

Mother’s Day celebrated

Guru Nanak International Public School, Model Town, organised card making and poem writing competition here on Friday to mark Mothers' Day. Class VI students showed their gratitude to their mothers by making cards for them. The students of Class VII and VIII penned down their thoughts by composing verses on the importance of “Mother - an embodiment of love and sacrifice”.

‘Energy Tech 2012'

“Energy Tech 2012” was inaugurated at Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar. The two-day inter-school event is being held to mark the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All and the National Year of Mathematics. “Energy Tech 2012” started with a shabad recital by the host school. Principal Mona Singh accorded a warm welcome to the participants from 20 schools from Ludhiana, Phillaur and Patiala. She said it was important for all to realise the need of recycling, reusing and preserving the earth by using and generating 'Green Energy'.

On the first day teams competed in power point presentation, debating matters and quiz. BCM, Shastri Nagar, emerged winners in the power point presentation titled 'Energy Innovation Technologies', while MGM Public School bagged first position in the quiz. Sacred Heart, Sarabha Nagar, and BCM, Shastri Nagar, qualified for the final round of debating matters on the topic 'Is nuclear power the best way to meet ever increasing energy needs of the planet?'

Welcome party

A welcome party was organised by Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, Doraha (SGHPS), to usher in new students in nursery and kindergarten. Jaspreet Kaur, director, SGHPS, was the chief guest on the occasion. In the beginning, the tiny tots danced to the tune of music. A "Welcome Song" was dedicated to nursery and KG students. — TNS



1 held in murder case
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Samrala, May 4
The Samrala Police has arrested one person who was named in a suicide note with others by his own brother whose body was found hanging from a tree last night.

Ranjit Singh, resident of Shamgarh, was missing from his house and his body was found hanging from a tree on the night of May2.

After the recovery of body yesterday, a suicide note was recovered from his pocket in which he has alleged that he had ended his life due to quarrel with his family members. After the recovery of the suicide note, the Samrala Police has registered a case under Section 306 of the IPC against his brother Major Singh, Chhinder Kaur, wife of Major Singh, sisters Paramjit Kaur, Swarn Kaur and Manjit Kaur and brother-in-law Gurmeet Singh.

Samrala Gurinder Singh Bal, SHO, when contacted said that one of the booked person, Major Singh, had been arrested and others were still at large.



Opium, poppy husk seized
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna, May 4
The Khanna district police has arrested a person and recovered 2.50 kg opium from his possession. Disclosing this at a press conference Inderbir Singh, SSP, Khanna, said that a police party of the Doraha police station led by SHO Baljinder Singh stopped a person near Rajgarh village during patrolling who was carrying a bag in his hand.

When the police team stopped him, he tried to flee, but was overpowered. During the search, 2.50kg opium was recovered from his possession. He was identified as Abdul Shah, a resident of Nandor (UP,) who was at present staying at Jamalpur, Ludhiana, in a rented house. A case was registered against him under the NDPS Act and the police was questioning him.

In another case, a police party of Maloud led by SHO Rajneesh Kumar arrested a person and recovered 30 kg of poppy husk from his possession near Chomo village. He was identified as Sher Singh ,a resident of Maloud. A case was also registered against him. The SSP said that they would act tough against drug pedllers.



lic chess meet
Krishan, Renu emerge victorious
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, May 4
Last year's champion, Krishan Kumar Malhotra from the LIC Divisional Office, Ludhiana, maintained his domain intact as he emerged victorious in the men's section in the Life Insurance Corporation of India Chess Tournament held at its Dugri office here today.

In the final, Krishan, with calculated moves, prevailed over his opponent, Sunil Kumar of Unit-V. Ajay Jha had to be content with third position.

In the women's section, Renu Bala proved her superiority over Sneha Yatin Patil to bag the top honours while Ashma Saxena finished at third place.

On the basis of their performance, Krishan Kumar and Renu Bala have been selected to represent the Ludhiana division in the Zonal-Level Chess Championship slated to be held in New Delhi from May 22 to 24, Maan Singh, organising secretary, LIC Employees Sports and Recreation Club, Ludhiana Division, said.

Rajendra Kumar, senior divisional manager, Ludhiana, gave away prizes to the position holders. The employees of LIC units in Ludhiana and those from the divisional office competed in this the two-day meet.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |