L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


GLADA acts tough on developers
Uploads names of 1,007 unauthorised colonies on website; warns general public
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 27
Keeping up the pressure against development of unauthorised colonies in and around the city, the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) has recently uploaded names of 1,007 illegal colonies on its website to caution the general public against purchasing plots and investing their money in them.

Not only this, GLADA has also issued a public notice to 100 developers of licensed colonies to fulfil the conditions of agreements, clear arrears of external development charges (EDC) and special infrastructure fund (SIF) failing which proceedings will be initiated for cancellation of their licences.

Talking to The Tribune, Rupanjali Karthik, GLADA Additional Chief Administrator (ACA), said as per the field surveys conducted by the GLADA staff till June 13, 2012, more than 1,700 unauthorised colonies were identified in and around the city. Out of these, 600 unlicensed developers were sent to the police for registration of criminal cases for violation of the provisions of the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act (PAPRA), and the police had also put up challans in various courts against 380 defaulters.

"At its own level, GLADA has lodged court cases against another 180 colonisers for violation of PAPRA," she stated. She further said that as per the provisions laid down in PAPRA, the development authority (GLADA in this case) could either ask the police to register an FIR against the erring defaulter or else file a complaint directly with the court for penal proceedings.

Maintaining that GLADA was committed to implement the zero-tolerance policy of the state government against unplanned and unauthorised development, the ACA further said that out of the 1,007 developers of unauthorised colonies, whose names had been put up on the GLADA website and 651 falling within the areas covered under the master plan of the city had been served a one-month notice to comply with the provisions of the Punjab Town Planning and Development Act. "Those failing to do so will face demolition of internal development works in addition to criminal cases,” she said.

As far as the unauthorised colonies which fall outside the master plan are concerned, GLADA will act under the provisions of PAPRA, which provide for lodging criminal complaints with the police or filing criminal cases in the courts, she added.

At the same time, Karthik advised the people to make sure that the residential and commercial properties that they were investing in, were developed by licensed colonisers and all conditions laid down in the agreements signed between the developers and the development agency were duly fulfilled by the colonisers.


VIPs flout norms with impunity
Despite being transferred, many officials overstaying in plush official residences at Mall Road, Rakh Bag area
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
The Deputy Chief Minister’s initiative to withdraw extra force allotted to politicians/officials and removal of red beacons from the vehicles to send a message that the government is against the “VIP” culture is a mere eyewash, as no action has been taken against the big fish so far. Many officials are overstaying in plush upmarket official residences on the Mall Road and surrounding area of Rakh Bag, despite being transferred out of the district.

Thanks to the alleged political clout, some of the junior-rank officials have also managed to get an official residence located on the Mall Road. One of the custom and excise officers too is staying in the residential quarters located on the Mall Road for the past several years.

However, it is mostly the police officers who seem to cock a snook at the rules. Several senior police officers, who have been posted in other cities, have not yet vacated their official residences with the excuse of holding an additional charge in Ludhiana.

Many are in fact retaining two government accommodations - one at their new place of posting and the other in the city where they are purportedly holding the additional charge - much to the ire of senior police officials. While these officers are reluctant to vacate the house, the newly transferred officers are facing problems.

Some police officials are even scouting for a rented apartment here, while some are living in one-room accommodation with no kitchen. Recently, two police officers who were staying in one-room quarters at the Police Lines had fallen sick due to food poisoning. Since there was no facility of kitchen, they were eating out at restaurants, which further led to their illness. It was also found that they were living in a damp room with no ventilation.

What the rules say

Any official who is transferred out of the city is required to vacate his official accommodation allotted to him within two months. If, in case, he is not able to do so, he can get special permission to stay for four more months from the Deputy Commissioner. After that, the permission is to be sought from the state government failing which the official has to pay the rent at market price.

Official speaks

Penalty for overstaying: Officials who have overstayed and not sought the required permission from the state government will have pay the penalty later during their service, as the amount will be deducted from their post-retirement benefits. If a custom and excise officer is staying in an official residence then he must have sought permission from the state government~

— Rahul Tiwari, Deputy Commissioner



City roads fast turning into deathtraps
Open ditches, manholes pose a threat to the lives of residents
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

An open ditch under the Lakkad Bridge flyover.
An open ditch under the Lakkad Bridge flyover. Photo: Inderjeet verma

Ludhiana, June 27
It seems that the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has turned a blind eye to the safety of residents, as the city roads are fast turning into death traps. Several ditches and manholes without covers are a common sight posing danger to the lives of residents.

Open manholes, storm sewers, big potholes and even ditches, which can be seen on the main as well as on the slip roads, can lead to accidents anytime. Despite the fact that many people have already fallen victim to such deathtraps yet the civic body has not paid any heed to the safety of residents.

These accident-prone sights can be spotted under the under-construction Lakkar Bridge, near the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi’s camp office in Rakh Bagh, at several places on the service lane along the Ferozepur Road as well as GT Road, in Feroze Gandhi Market, Bhadaur House, and some other parts of the city.

Potholes dot the Feroze Gandhi Market and (right) a portion of the road that caved in on the service lane along the Ferozepur Road in Ludhiana.
Potholes dot the Feroze Gandhi Market and (right) a portion of the road that caved in on the service lane along the Ferozepur Road in Ludhiana. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ironically, a storm sewer just opposite Jaggi’s camp office is without cover. In April, when a small portion of the old GT Road opposite the MC Zone A office had caved in, the MC officials left it unattended for several weeks and later, a big chunk of the same road caved in.

On May 3, MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi had issued orders to take safety measures at all construction sites in the city, failing which an FIR would be registered against the contractor as well as the SDO concerned. Jaggi had also directed all Additional Commissioners (Technical) to keep a close watch on the safety measures adopted by contractors at all the ongoing projects during their visits. And if they found any discrepancies in the safety arrangements, they were asked to take necessary action against the contractor as well as the MC official concerned.

But the order seems to have remained only on paper with some contractors carrying out development projects without adopting safety measures. Even the Additional Commissioners (Technical) seem to have not taken MC Commissioner’s orders seriously.



Duplicate products devouring sales of original brands
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
From cosmetics, fashion accessories, food products to medicines, more than 50 per cent of the city market is flooded with duplicate products. The branded T-shirt that you are probably wearing may not even exist in the design portfolio of the company. It may have been produced by a small-time designer who sits in the busy lanes of Ludhiana.

Numerous incidents have taken place in the city where the police has seized duplicate products. Recently, it was fake cosmetics and now duplicate T-shirts have put a question mark on the authenticity of the products available in the Ludhiana market.

Large global corporations spend millions of dollars developing a brand and once it becomes popular, many businessmen start thinking about the strategy to increase their product lines.

In India alone, the fake market is estimated to be worth more than RS 50,000 crore and it is growing by nearly 20 per cent every year, with the weak execution of IP laws and growing corruption.

Consumers are often unaware that they are buying products that merely resemble what they actually want. This is worrying the authentic companies because fake products often ride on the success of the original product, eating into their sales, and, in some cases, harming the consumer, said a salesman at a branded apparel store.

Higher prices can push customers to switch product loyalties better than the best ad campaigns. Despite the seriousness, almost all companies are vague about the methods to educate consumers. They are shying away from aggressive methods, mainly because the Indian consumers' tendency has been to totally avoid the imitated product rather than determine whether it is authentic, said product manager of a popular apparel brand in Ludhiana.

Most of the products copied are top-selling brands and consumers can be seriously affected while consuming low-quality adulterated products, particularly in the food and drug categories. These are usually manufactured under unhygienic conditions and without proper technical supervision.

I was shocked to know that the handbags which I was buying for hefty amount were fakes. It was one of my cousins who came from the US made me aware of the secret mark of the company to find out whether it was real or fake. Now I do not trust local sellers for branded products, said Neelam Sandhu, a city resident.

Govt losing out on revenue

The government is losing revenues worth several crores that would have been generated on excise, octroi, sales and income tax on these sales. For companies, besides loss of revenues, an even greater loss would be through damage to brand reputation or loss of customer loyalty caused by the poor quality of these look-alike brands. But as far as knocking out counterfeiting completely is concerned, it will never be easy and brands need to view counterfeit products just like any other competition.



One held for using fake logos on clothes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
The city police arrested cloth manufacturer for allegedly using fake logos of top international brands like Tommy-Hilfiger, Reebok and Adidas on clothes and selling them in the open market. The police has recovered around 1,000 T-shirts on which fake logos of international brands were used.

The police said, the accused, Maheshwari, a native of Rajasthan, was running a cloth manufacturing unit in the Salem Tabri area.

Maheshwari pasted fake logos of international brands on clothes and was selling them at garment shops located in the city. Due to the sale of the fake T- shirts these brands were facing heavy losses in business.

SHO GS Bains said a case under the Copy-Right Act had been registered against the accused.



Small scale industry planning to shift
Units considering the proposal of the Andhra Pradesh government
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

  • Benefits given by Andhra Pradesh govt
  • Land at Rs 4 lakh per acre
  • Power at Rs 4 per unit
  • Discount on land registration
  • Fifteen per cent subsidy
  • Tax benefit for one year
  • Labour, steel and coal at cheap rates

Ludhiana, June 27
The small-scale industry from Ludhiana is planning to expand in Andhra Pradesh, as the government of the said state is providing some benefits to it. First the industry is planning to shift and if the things go well there then they will finally wind from Punjab as it is becoming impossible for them to continue running from here due to various reasons.

The small-scale units, especially those comprising cycle parts and nut-bolts, are seriously considering the proposal of the Andhra Pradesh government to set up industrial units in the Karim Nagar region of the state.

“We have been approached by the Andhra Pradesh government and lucrative proposal is being offered to the industry of Punjab. We will be provided land at the rate of Rs 4 lakh per acre, power at Rs 4 per unit, steel is available at Rs 45,000 per tonne, coal and labour is also cheap there and in addition to this tax benefit for one year and 15 per cent subsidy will be provided to us," said Badish Jindal, president, Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association (FOPSIA), said.

"We are planning to shift in clusters with an investment of Rs 4 to 5 core per unit. If things go well, we will ultimately shift from the state as neither labour nor electricity is available here and in addition to this, the government is not giving us any additional tax benefits,” he said.

Somerapu Satyanarayan, MLA from Andhra Pradesh, confirming this said the government of Andhra Pradesh was giving certain benefits to the industry that was keen on setting up its units here.

“We welcome the industry; It should come and visit the place and see if it is viable for them to set up its units here and in case it is feasible for it, then the government of the state will provide them with certain tax benefits and subsidies,” he said.



Narrow escape for woman
Gets buried under sand for 20 minutes as a tractor-trailer overturns
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
A woman had a miraculous escape after a tractor-trailer carrying sand overturned in the Salem Tabri area here today and she lay buried underneath the sand for nearly 20 minutes. The incident took place in the morning when the victim identified as Kanta was going towards New Sabzi Mandi.

Eyewitnesses said that the woman was travelling along the road when the driver of a tractor-trailer that was coming from behind lost control over the vehicle and it overturned. The woman was buried in the sand.

Soon the residents rushed to rescue her. It took nearly 20 minutes to remove the tractor-trailer and pull out the woman.

The victim was rushed to the Civil Hospital. Her condition was stated to be stable.

It was later learnt that the caving in of the road led to the overturning of the tractor-trailer.



Burglars injure 72-yr-old, flee with Rs 50,000
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
Burglars struck at a house in Janak Puri and fled with Rs 50,000 cash by injuring a 72-year-old former postal department employee.

The incident took place at midnight when the victim identified as Harbans Singh was asleep. The victim, who suffered injury on the head, said he and his son were alone in the house. “While I was sleeping in the house, my son Honey was asleep on the terrace,” said the victim. He said the burglars scaled the wall and entered his room. The assailants, who were carrying a sharp-edged weapon then attacked him on the head. Harbans said the impact was so strong that he fell unconscious. Honey said after injuring his father the burglars fled with Rs 50,000 cash that was kept in the trunk. The victim was rushed to the hospital where his condition is stated to be stable.



PAU notes
Stress on conservation of resources

Ludhiana: Taking cognisance of depleting groundwater level and deteriorating soil health coupled with severe labour scarcity in Punjab, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) is laying emphasis on the development of resource conservation technologies (RCTs). Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said Punjab agriculture was passing through a critical stage and promotion of RCTs was the top priority of the university.

He said this would not only save labour and water (10-15 per cent), but would enable crops to get the best fit in different cropping systems on account of 7-10 days early maturity. Dr Dhillon said the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, had launched a scheme to promote the DSR with an incentive of Rs 2,200 per acre. He added that a team of PAU experts would create awareness on the technological components of the DSR. He stated that the team would visit Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Ferozepur, Hoshiarpur, Bathinda, Sangrur, Roopnagar (Ropar), Barnala and Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, under the National Food Security Mission.

Tips on grain storage

"Food grains constitute the bulk of diet of both rural and urban population. There is a need to grow more and minimise grain losses to meet the requirements of the growing population," said home scientists of the department of family resource management (FRM) of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) while giving tips on grain storage practices. Dr Muninder Sidhu, head, FRM, said the place selected for storage should be clean, dry, cool, dark, well-ventilated and free from rodents and insects. The grains intended for domestic storage should be checked for spoilage and infestation before putting them in clean and dry containers/bags for storage. Dr Shivani Sharma stressed on using plastic layered jute bags. Spray these bags with malathion in the ratio of 1:100 with water. She suggested, "If the old bags are to be used, these should be washed in boiling water and dried in bright sunlight. Mouth of the bags should be tightly stitched after filling with clean, insect free, cool and fully dried grains. Bags should be stacked 4 to 6 cm above the floor on wooden racks to prevent moisture penetration through floor."

Training camp

A monthly training camp of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Kisan Club will be held on July 5. The training camp for the members of the club will be held at Dr Borlaug Wheat Auditorium whereas for the women wing, it will take place at Kairon Kisan Ghar of the university.

Students selected

Second year students of BTech food technology (honours), Tushar Verma and Manjot Singh, of department of food science and technology, PAU, have been selected by Kansas State University (KSU), the USA, for 'BS Bakery Science and Management Programme'. Dr KS Minhas, head of the department of food science and technology, said the students would be joining the KSU in August. He added that Harleen Kaur, a third year student of BTech food technology, had already joined summer internship for two months at KSU. — TNS



Kitchen gardens gaining popularity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
More and more people in the city have started making space for kitchen gardens in their homes. Not only as a trend to have green hands, but also because of the rising health concerns, people are turning organic in a more homely manner. More residents are preferring to go for home-grown food. The trend is being driven as much for health reasons, as much as a hobby.

People are growing mint, gourds, coriander, radishes, onions, potatoes which grow relatively quickly and serve the needs of kitchen as well. "The taste of home-grown veggies is way better than what is available in the markets," says a resident. "These are much better," she says. "There is so much ease in having a kitchen garden. You get these fresh right from your backyard," says Kamini, a resident of Urban Estate.

"And you don't have to rush to the market to get the lemons," she says.

Another reason for the shifting back is the rising cost of the veggies. "Although it is not possible to grow all fruits and vegetables, but you can save on what you can grow at least. So it is a better bargain, both cost-wise and health-wise," says Sarabjit, a resident.

Not only gardens, but even gardeners who know how to grow organic food are being preferred. Some of the gardeners are also specialising in growing organic food.

Dr R Vatsyayan, city-based Ayurvedacharya, said vegetables available in the markets cause several problems which is why people have started preferring organic food in their homes, he says.



Woman president elected
Malaudh Nagar Panchayat elections
Our Correspondent

Malaudh, June 27
The Nagar Panchayat of Malaudh has got its first woman president in Indu Puri in the election held yesterday evening. Varinder Jit Kaur, a Congress-supported councillor, was unanimously elected the vice-president. Three of the seven SAD-BJP councillors stayed away from the election of the main chieftainship of the civic body.

SAD councillor Sukhjit Singh Lalli had proposed Indu Puri's name for the post of the president, and the Congress-backed councillor Surjit Singh seconded him.

The house consisting of seven out of the twelve members approved Indu Puri's and Varinder Jit Kaur's names unanimously.

Charanjit Singh Atwal, the Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha and associate member of the civic body, voted in favour of the decisions taken by the house.

Indu Puri and Varinder Jit Kaur were declared elected as the president and the vice-president, respectively, by the Returning Officer, SDM Raikot Gurmeet Singh.

Appreciating the gesture of the Congress leaders and the councillors of the town, Indu Puri said her team would strive hard for the development of all the wards of the town irrespective of the political allegiance of their representatives. The supply of pure drinking water and the strengthening of sewage system would be her priorities besides the improvement of infrastructure, she said.

Indu Puri's husband, Sanjiv Puri, has already headed the civic body for two terms.

Showing satisfaction over unanimity, Atwal said new developmental projects would be launched besides bringing grants for maintenance of the present systems. Rajinder Singh Rorian, a senior Congress leader, said councillors of his party had extended support to Indu Puri keeping in view interests of the residents of their wards.

Sukhjit Singh Lalli, Nirmal Singh Nimma, Manjit Kaur (all SAD councillors) and Surjit Singh (Congress councillor) were present in the meeting. Former minister Jagdish Singh Garcha, Raghbir Singh (SGPC), Bhupinder Singh Cheema (SVP), and Zila Parishad member Sukhwant Singh Tillu were also present.



Shortage of labour plagues textile industry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
"The textile industry in the city is facing a plethora of problems and hence suffering losses. The 100-year-old hosiery industry in Ludhiana enjoys reverence and status of mother industry of Punjab. If such a situation prevails, the industries' share in global textile market will be permanently taken away by competitive countries like China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Vietnam," said Vinod Thapar, chairman of the Knitwear Club. Here are a few problems faced by the industry:

Shortage of labour

Indian hosiery industry at present is reeling under shortage of labour. This is affecting the production-process of of the textile sector. The major centres of hosiery knitting industry are virtually in a state of collapse. If such situation continues, the industries' share in global textile market will be permanently taken away by competitive countries like China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Vietnam. Also, it will be unable to meet the robust requirements of the domestic market.

Raw material and electricity

The potential knitwear industry in India feels that unscheduled cuts and high cost of electricity have come in the way of its progress. As per the state government's order, industries will remain closed twice a week due to the shortage of power. The move has baffled the industry.

Bank interests

The industry is facing financial crunch due to unprecedented increase in the prices of raw material, high cost of labour, electricity and other factors. On the other hand, banks have raised the interests and create precarious circumstances for the survival of the industry.

Setting of outer industry

The government is inviting large textile companies and big brands to set up their production units in Punjab with profit motive. This criterion will affect the manufacturing sector as well as overseas buyers. The government hereby is not providing the facilities as being provided in the other states.



Akali leaders start lobbying for Mayor’s post
Puneet Pal Singh Gill

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
The Akali leaders lobbying hard for becoming the Ludhiana Mayor are “desperately” waiting for Deputy Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is on a foreign visit these days.

Earlier, Sukhbir Badal was to return on June 20, but later he extended his trip, which led to a disappointment for all those lobbying for the post of Mayor.

Earlier, it was believed that the decision on finalising the name of Ludhiana Mayor would be taken after June 20, but now the same decision would be taken after June 29.

Ever since the elections were held on June 10, the Shiromani Akali Dal councillors have been lobbying hard for getting elected as the Mayor.

As per the internal arrangement between the Akali Dal and Bharatiya Janta Party, the post of Mayor goes with the Akali Dal while the posts of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor remain with the BJP.

The main contenders for the post of Mayor are a three-time councillor, Pal Singh Grewal, outgoing Mayor and a five-time councillor, Hakam Singh Giaspura, and youth leader from the Bains group Kamaljit Singh Karwal. Earlier, the Akali Dal wanted a Hindu face to be its Mayor and which was why, Harish Rai Dhanda was allotted party ticket from Ward No. 28. But due to Dhanda’s loss, the Akali Dal had to change its plan.

One such leader, who is lobbying hard for the post of Mayor said the long wait was unbearable. “We were expecting that the decision on the Mayor would be taken soon after the MC elections held on June 10, but as Sukhbir is out of country, the matter is getting extended. We wish that the Deputy CM returns on June 29 and does not extend his trip,” said the leader.

Sources within the Akali Dal said as all local MLA’s were members of the MC house and had voting rights too. “That is why, if Sukhbir Singh Badal wants, an MLA can also be chosen as the Mayor. But it will be too premature to comment on this possibility as Sukhbir Singh Badal will be taking the final call on the matter,” said sources.

PWD minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon said Sukhbir Singh Badal would be returning on June 29. “The final decision on selecting the Mayor will be taken by him after consultation with the senior Akali leaders,” said Dhillon.



International honour for Rotarian
Awarded for efforts in polio eradication
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 27
The Rotary Foundation of Rotary International has conferred Regional Polio Eradication Award on Shub Karan Gupta, national member of the Polio Pulse Committee and past district governor of RI dist 3090.

Dedicating the award to his seniors in the organisation and other members, Gupta said a lot was yet to be done to check return of the virus.

This had increased his responsibility towards complete accomplishment of the mission, he said.

"Though no case of polio has been noticed during the last eighteen months, we can not afford to relax as our region shares boundary with Pakistan which is yet to be declared polio-free," said Gupta. He said that more and more Rotarians and social activists had volunteered to fight against the menace.

The award which included a citation and memento was presented by Amjad Ali, district governor, during a felicitation function held at Ludhiana recently.

Appreciating the role played by Gupta in extending organisational support to the polio eradication program launched by the global organisation in association with state and union governments, Ali said that it was probably for the first time that Rotarians from outside the nation had recommended an Indian name for one of the highest awards.

Gupta represents three Rotary districts comprising major part of North India. He, besides motivating Rotarians and members of their families to come forward in the fight against the disease, had constituted a State Task Force in coordination with the health department of the state government.



Meeting on drug menace held
Police officials meet people to spread awareness
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Biza (Khanna), June 27
A police-public meeting to discuss the drug menace was held at Milk Bar, Biza. The DSP Khanna, Prithipal Singh, addressed the chemists, shop keepers and people of the area during the meeting. The DSP said that drugs were spoiling the youth of the village. He urged the youth to stay away from drugs for their own health and for the welfare of the society. The DSP appealed to the chemists not to sell intoxicants. He directed them to give medicines to only those persons who had written slips from registered doctors. He said that the district police would honour those persons who give information about drug sellers.

Master Gurmeet Singh Bawa, main speaker of the programme, said several houses had been destroyed by the use of drugs in the area. Throwing light on the extent of drug abuse in the village Machhrai Kalan, he said that no outsiders were ready to marry their girls in the village. No marriage party from the village had gone to any other village for last four and a half years, he said.

The speakers alleged that some singers were also responsible for glorifying the use of drugs. The SHO Sadar Khanna, Waryam Singh, was also present on the occasion along with some other police officials, panches and sarpanches.



Educationists for online admission
Ask PSEB to streamline process
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
After two students fainted while waiting in a queue for submitting admission forms at Punjabi Bhawan, educationists have urged the Punjab School Education Board to make the process online.

Sandeep, a teacher at government school, said, "Nothing is new for students. It happens every year. The board authorities should make some alternative arrangement so that students and parents are not put to inconvenience."

Darshan Singh, a schoolteacher said, "The board authorities put the blame on students saying they come to submit forms on the last day. But students are also helpless as principals are not available during summer vacation. Principals charge Rs 100 from each student to attest forms. The board should do away with this practice."

Balwinder Singh, a social science teacher, said, "On the one hand, the board is charging hefty fee from the applicants while on the other it is doing nothing to streamline the process. The board has even failed to provide potable water to students."

Gurbeer Singh said, "The board should implement the online system for the submission of forms. The current system leads to sheer wastage of human resources as well as money."



CBSE affiliated schools yet to introduce vocational courses
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
Although it's been years since the CBSE introduced vocational courses and streams at higher secondary level, most of the city schools have not even started the courses.

Students lamented that many reputed schools in the city had not introduced the vocational courses whereas a few others were just content to start with just one or two courses.

"It is strange that many city schools are displaying such lackadaisical attitude towards practical education, says Pulkit," a student.

"I am feeling deprived of optional subject in my school. I would have loved to opt for a subject like fashion design or mass media," said the student.

Rahul, a teacher, said the system followed by the CBSE was so flexible that many subjects could be introduced as optionals, and even as full-fledged streams. But many schools were not even starting these.

Some school principals said there were not many takers for these subjects. But teachers stated that the popularity of these courses would increase only if these were introduced in the schools.

These courses should be introduced by the elite schools first as they have the financial back-up. But because their "seats" are getting filled without having to start new courses, most of the schools are sitting without the vocational courses, even as optional subjects.

Although, the purpose of starting new vocational courses was to infuse freshness, practical and vocational training among students, many schools seem to be showing myopic vision, said Rohit, a parent.



Political function leads to traffic chaos
Anupam Bhagria

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
Those commuting on the Ferozepur road had to go through a harrowing time as a large number of workers and leaders of the Akali Dal-Bhartiya Janta Party alliance, who had come to attend a function, parked their vehicles haphazardly on the road near KC Marbles.

The event was held to honour Kamal Sharma, the newly appointed secretary to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

It was around 11.40 am when the Ferozepur road witnessed a traffic jam for about 20 minutes.

Santosh Kumar, a motorcyclist, said,"I got delayed by 15 minutes due to the jam. Such functions should be arranged in such a way that the common man is not made to suffer."

Unable to bear the scorching heat, Parminder Singh, a taxi driver, said, "I was to pick up my employer, but due to the jam I will not be able to reach there on time."

The jam continued for about 20 minutes and as the cavalcade of Kamal Sharma marched towards the city, the situation became normal.

Meanwhile, district president of the BJP Parveen Bansal said, "We always try to arrange functions in a way that the residents are not made to bear the brunt. I learnt that the function led to a traffic jam today, but in future nothing of this sort will happen."



Over 1,500 take Common Entrance Test of vet varsity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) conducted the Common Entrance Test 2012 for BVSc & AH (bachelor of veterinary science and animal husbandry), BFSc (bachelor of fisheries science) and BTech (dairy science technology) at RS Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, Model Town, and College of Veterinary Science, GADVASU.

Dr Shushil Prbhakar, Controller of Examination, said a total of 1,582 candidates appeared in the exam. About 1,084 were boys while 498 were girls who took the test at both the centres. The CET-GADVASU result will be declared by the end of this month (around June 30) and will be available on the university's website www.gadvasu.in.

The counselling for BVSc & AH and BFSc will be held on July 17 while for BTech (dairy science technology) the counselling will be held on July 18 at Silver Jubilee Auditorium of the College of Veterinary Science.

Dr PD Juyal, Registrar, GADVASU, said the test was conducted for 61 seats of BVSc & AH, 22 of BFSc (bachelor of fisheries science) and 25 of BTech (dairy science technology).



Child labour
Nine children rescued from railway station
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

A boy on his way to dump garbage in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, June 27
In a bid to check child labour, the Railway Police Force (RPF) has rescued nine children aged between 8 and 14 from the railway station. To teach them and their parents/guardians a lesson, the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) has decided to send them to Children Home, Kurali (Ropar). Arvind Kumar, from an NGO, said a meeting of the Advisory Board of Childline was held under the presidentship of ADC Rishipal Singh here today.

The ADC has decided to hold another meeting next month to discuss the matter while requesting members to be prepared after reading the agenda. "These children were seen roaming at the railway station. They will be sent to the Children Home, Kurali, for rehabilitation. In case, we leave them like this, they will be exploited. Their counselling is a must. While some of them maintain that they are orphans, others say their step-mothers forced them to leave home. We do not know whether they are telling the truth," said members of the NGO. Child labour is prevalent in this industrial hub and children up to 14 years of age continue to be "exploited" by industrialists, dhaba owners and homemakers.

They continue to work in certain government offices, commercial establishments in the absence of strict measures taken by the labour department.



International Day Against Drug Abuse
Khanna SSP for strict action against drug peddlers
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna, June 27
The Khanna police organised a seminar to mark the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on Tuesday. Speakers apprised youngsters of ill-effects of drugs.

Khanna SSP Inderbir Singh while addressing a gathering said the menace could be checked with the help of the public. He appealed to the residents to come forward with information of drug peddlers. He said strict action would be taken against the guilty.

Dr Sarabjit Singh and YPS Walia said the drug sellers should be treated as murderers and demanded that a law should be introduced to curb the menace.

They said as per information, even the school students were becoming a victim of the menace as drugs were easily available outside schools and colleges.

Among others present included SP Nelambri Jagdale, DSP, Khanna, Prithi Pal Singh and other police officials of the district.



Primping up with hair bands
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
Hair bands are back. After years of dormancy, hair bands are again finding their place on heads, all resplendent in their colour and design. These are now there, from the high-end stores to that corner accessories shop. Girls and women are seen sporting these with aplomb.

Shruti, a student, said hair bands had the dual function as these not only kept hair in order, but also added that element of style to the hair.

"In the last decade or so, hair bands had almost disappeared, but these are finally back and look amazing. I just discovered how fantastic these look as these not only serve the aesthetic value, but are equally functional as well," says Komal, a resident. Can't believe something like hair bands can actually go out of fashion because these make you look cute or cool at your will, she says.

Gagandeep, a fashion faculty member at INIFD, said fabric, leather and flowery hair bands were as popular as the decorative stones.

City-based designer Sonu Gandhi said the look of 80's was back with the hairdo's, goggles and braids and now hair bands have come back. Brighter colours are more sought-after this season, she says. 



Protest by bank employees’ federation
Tribune News Service

Members of the Punjab Bank Employees Federation stage a protest at Miller Ganj in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, June 27
Following the call given by the United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), the Punjab Bank Employees Federation held a demonstration at Miller Ganj office today.

Naresh Gaur, secretary of the federation, said, "Various important issues raised by the UFBU such as revised compassionate appointment scheme, regulated and defined working hours, revised guidelines on staff housing loan, five-day banking, non- extension of pension option facility to voluntarily retired and resigned persons, improvements in pension scheme still remained unresolved."

He said the government was making efforts to close down rural branches. Members of the federation said they would stage a dharna on July 17. They added that demonstrations would also be held at all centres on July 24. They also threatened to observe a two-day strike on July 25 and 26.



Guru Nanak varsity’s decision hailed

Ludhiana, June 27
Punjabi Sahit Academy has welcomed the decision of Guru Nanak Dev University to make Punjabi a compulsory subject at the graduation level. The president of the academy, Prof Gurbhajan Singh Gill, said that literary organisations had been demanding this for a long time. Through this decision, non-Punjabi students would also be able to learn the language and understand the literature and culture of Punjab, he said. — TNS



Habit-forming drugs seized
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
A team of health officials today seized habit-forming drugs worth Rs 2,65,000 from a medical store at the Pindi street.

Drug Inspector Subhbeer Chand said,"On the instructions of Dr Subhash Batta, Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, we raided AP Medical Hall at the Pindi street today and seized a large quantity of habit-forming drugs. We seized 1,08,000 tablets of lomotil salt and 23,160 capsules of parvonspas, 240 bottles of rexcoff cough syrup.”

The team comprised Drug Inspector Ekantpriy Singla, Sanjeev Kumar Garg and Sukhbeer Chand.

Ludhiana Civil Surgeon Dr Subhash Batta,"This is one of the biggest seizures of health department in June. We will continue such raids in future. I appeal to one and all to cooperate with us and come forward with the information of sale of habit-forming drugs. The identity of informers will be kept secret."



12 gamblers arrested, Rs 1 lakh recovered
Mohit Khanna

Tribune News service

Ludhiana, June 27
Following a tip-off, the police arrested 12 gamblers and seized over Rs 1 lakh from their possession following a raid here today.

The raid was conducted by Division No 2 police personnel in Kucha No 16.

At around 8:30 pm, the police personnel surrounded the area after getting the tip-off. They plugged all the escape routes to trap the gamblers. On being surrounded from all the sides the accused surrendered. Some of them, however, tried to use their political contacts to influence the police but could not have their way.

The gamblers have been identified as Ashu Kumar, Paramjit Singh, Sanjiv Kumar, Hammiti, Mukesh Kumar, Gurpreet Singh, Bhupoinder Singh, Manohar Singh alais Deepa, Chanchal Singh, Sandeep Singh, Sukhwinder Singh, and Amardeep Singh.



Truck hits 4, damages 2 vehicles
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 27
Four persons were injured and two vehicles were damaged after an over speeding pick-up truck went on a hitting spee at New Sabzi Mandi in the Salem Tabri area here today.

The incident took place at 9pm, when the truck driver, who was allegedly under the influence of liquor, lost control over the vehicle.

The four persons who were walking along the roadside were also hit by the truck.

While the two injured have been identified as Som Nath and Om Parkash, the police is still looking for antecedents to establish the identity of the other two injured.All of them have been rushed to the civil hospital with multiple injuries.

The police also swung into action and arrested driver Hira Singh and impounded his truck. The driver was taken to the Civil Hospital for medical examination.



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