L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Petrol price reduced again, people relieved
Now, want state govt to reduce VAT on petrol
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
Reduction of the ever-increasing petrol prices by Rs 2.46 by the Central government has provided respite to the commuters. The new rates were implemented from 12 am today. If distributors of the oil companies are to be believed, then the price of petrol are expected to reduce further by July 15.

Talking to The Tribune, General Secretary of the Ludhiana Petrol Diesel Association, Ashok Sachdeva, said the slash in the rates had provided some respite to the commuters. The people will feel relieved if the prices of the crude oil are reduced by Rs 2 again till July 2.

In Ludhiana, the premium petrol will be available for Rs 78.71 per liter while the ordinary petrol will be Rs 75.86 per liter. The prices of petrol were drastically increased by Rs 7.50 per liter last month by the Central government. And this step of the government had invited criticism from all sections of society.

A distributor on the outskirts of the city said speculations were rife that the policy-makers would bring certain reforms in the oil sector after the Presidential elections. “We are expecting that after 15 to 20 day, the prices of diesel, which is subsidized, may see an increase up to Rs 3 or Rs 4 to share the burden, which in a way will be a correct step,” said the distributor.

Meanwhile, the commuters said this would certainly provide some respite. They demanded that the state government should also decrease the VAT on petrol to provide more relief to the commuters. Surinder Mohan, a bank employee, said the ever-increasing prices of petrol had brought frustration among the commuters, using petrol-run vehicles.

“Though we are bit relieved, if the state government decides to bring down the VAT on petrol, which is 33 per cent presently and start putting more VAT on diesel, which now is 8.9 per cent, then petrol rates will reduce further in Punjab. Secondly, this will balance the entire situation,” said the bank employee.



City zooms on diesel vehicles 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
With hike in the price of petrol, the consumption of diesel has gone up by about 25 to 30 per cent in the city. Earlier, it had increased due to the steep hike in petrol prices as commuters preferred buying diesel vehicles over petrol ones. But recently the consumption of diesel has increased further due to the regular power cuts in the state, especially those imposed on the city-based industry.

Confirming this, the general secretary of the local Petrol Dealer Association said the consumption of diesel had increased up to 15 per cent two months ago. “People had started buying diesel vehicles as the prices of diesel were more affordable than petrol. If we receive 10 cars/vehicles for filling fuel, eight out of 10 are run on diesel and just two on petrol these days. Secondly, due to unannounced power cuts in the region, the consumption of diesel has increased further,” added Sachdeva.

Having no other option, the Industrialists in the city rued that they were already facing the slump in their businesses and power cuts had brought down the productions in the units. President of Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association (FOPSIA) Badish K Jindal said industry was paying almost double the cost for diesel to run their units.


Gensets choke posh city areas 
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
Not only long power cuts in residential areas but noise and air pollutions being produced by generator sets are making lives of those residing in the city pitiable.

A large number of people residing in posh areas have installed generators in their houses. These areas can be seen engulfed in smoke during the power failure. But, those who don’t own generators suffer the most. And the smoke emitted by the generators of neighbours sometimes leads to quarrel.

“There is no option other than using generator sets. We have installed high-power inverters in our house, but it seems ineffective during long power cuts. So, now, we have installed a generator. We are well aware that it causes noise and air pollutions, but we don’t have any other option,” said a resident.

“We are facing inconvenience during power cuts. One of our neighbors installed generator in front of our house. It is difficult to pass the street in the absence of electricity. There should be check on generators,” said Suraj, a resident.

“We have the Noise Pollution Act 1986 in place. But, the Punjab Pollution Control Board is only implementing the rules in case of industries. Pollution in residential areas due to generators is to be taken care either by the police or the municipal corporation,” said Krunesh Garg, Senior Environmental Engineer, Zonal Office II, Punjab Pollution Control Board. 



Unscheduled power cuts taking a toll on residents' health
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 29
Unscheduled power cuts and frequent breakdowns are taking a toll on the health of residents here. While cuts during daytime directly affect the efficacy, interruption in power supply at night creates health problems due to lack of proper sleep.

Patients and elderly persons are the worst affected.

ACs, coolers and fans do not work due to low voltage. Residents have now started looking for traditional handmade fans.

Acknowledging that scheduled power cuts had affected the working of almost all sections of society, Inder Jit Singh, executive engineer in the local office of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited said his team had already taken precautions to minimise interruption in power supply. Rank and file in the maintenance department had been asked to be vigilant to breakdowns of any level, maintained Singh.

Frequent power cuts and breakdowns due to overloading had affected the efficacy of members of almost of all sections of rural and suburban society in this region.

As a majority of residents of lower and middle class society had not installed electric generators at their houses and establishments, they were worst affected due to the failure of power.

Fed up with the frequent interruption in sleep, a large number of families have started sleeping on rooftops. However, there are a few others who prefer to suffer than to take risk of losing their valuables due to fear of thefts.

Jagdeep Singh of Jandali village said he had engaged a servant for fanning his ailing father as he had refused to shift to the house where a generator set had been installed.

Pawan Kumar Garg, a grocer, said a large number of families from villages had started adding handmade fans to the list of items required for their houses.



City residents weary of the summer heat
With the mercury soaring, people from different walks of life are trying their best to save themselves from the sizzling summer. Tribune lensmen Himanshu Mahajan and Inderjeet Verma captured some such moments 



Criminals netted, victims feel relieved
On run with 2 sons for 3 yrs, living in gurdwara after wife became member of gang 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
The day after the city police picked up notorious criminal Rajinder Singh, alias Lovely Lumba, and three of his accomplices in connection with the robbery bid, a few residents, who were being terrorized by these criminals, visited the office of Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh to express their gratitude.

Jagjit Singh (36), one such victim, was a relieved man today. He along with his two sons was seen thanking senior police officials for nabbing Rajinder Singh and his associates from outside the house of SAD leader Amarjit Singh Bhatia in Abdullahpur Basti yesterday.

Until now Jagjit was shuttling from one gurdwara to another along with his sons- Prabhjot (15) and Gurjot (12) - for seeking shelter. Jagjit alleged that he was thrown out of the house by Rajinder Singh and his associates Rajneesh Kumar, alias Rinku, Vikah Chabra aka Mehandi and Gurjeet Singh, alias Jeeta.

What he divulged further was shocking. Jagjit said his wife was also an active member of gang operated by Rajinder Singh.

Prabhjot and Gurjot were more vocal in criticizing their mother. “We don’t want live with her. She used to come to our house during midnight and when we objected she threw us out the house. She had even tried to implicate our father in a false case. We are facing trouble for the past three years. We are living in the gurdwara and being fed on langar,” they added. Jagjit curses the day when his friend introduced him to Rajinder Singh during 2006 elections.

“I was influenced by his political connections and befriended him. That turned out to be my biggest mistake. He visited my house and developed illicit relationship with my wife. Soon my wife also became member of the gang. I tried to stop her, but it was too late,” said Jagjit Singh.

Jagjit further said he was being implicated in false cases when he objected to his wife’s relationship with Rajinder Singh.

“My wife consumed sedatives and lodged a complaint with the police that I had forced her to commit suicide. I was shocked. Following a probe, I was declared innocent and she was booked for implicating me in the false case. This infuriated her. She used force and threw me and my sons out of the house with the help of Rajinder and his accomplices. We are living in the gurdwara for the past two years,” Jagit Singh added. He said a few people residing in Field Gunj, Amarpura and surrounding area were living under the fear of Rajinder Singh and his accomplices.

“I along with my children will start life afresh. But, I don’t my wife to return,” he added.

Several cases have been registered against Rajinder Singh. Recently, he was booked in an attempt to murder case for thrashing a property dealer in Dugri. Besides there have been allegation of extortion against him. Rajinder Singh was also operating several gambling joints and enjoying considerable political backing. Several punters are also working for him and betting on cricket matches.



60-yr-old govt contractor cries foul
Alleges land mafia along with revenue officials ‘usurped’ his land 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
A 60-year-old government contractor alleged today that land mafia in connivance with officials of the revenue department had usurped 1,572 square yards located on the main road of Kohara-Sahnewal route.

Gurbhajan Singh Bajwa, the government contractor, has been shuttling from one office to another to act against the revenue employee instrumental in preparing fake land documents.

Bajwa said he had purchased a piece of land at Kohara village on the Chandigarh Road in 2008.

“The police had registered an FIR against the land owner a year ago. He had sold the piece of land to me and indicated the involvement of a patwari in creating a fake land documents. But nothing has been done so far. A letter written by the Police Commissioner was sent to the Deputy Commissioner for conducting a departmental probe in matter,” said Gurbhajan Singh.

He further said the Deputy Commissioner had on June 23, 2011, marked an inquiry to the SDM (North) and told him to submit a report within 15 days, but nothing had been done and the file is shuttling from one office to another.

“The SDM (North) marked an inquiry to the Tehsildar (North) on July 20, 2011. It was further sent to the Niab Tehsildar (Sahnewal) on July 21, 2011. The file was finally sent to Kanungo (Sahnewal) on July 25, 2011. The file is lying in the Kanungo’s office for the past one-year, but no action has been taken so far. Instead, the Kanungo is pressurising me to affect a compromise and withdraw the case,” said Gurbhajan Singh.

Despite repeated attempts Kanungo Avtar Sigh was not available for comments.



Girl crushed to death
Family members block traffic near Transport Nagar
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
A 10-year-old girl was crushed to death by a speeding truck near Transport Nagar today. This incident led to massive traffic jam as relatives of the victim demanded immediate arrest of the truck driver, who had fled from the spot.

The victim has been identified as Shashi. She was living in a shanty in Transport Nagar. According to an eyewitness, the incident took place when the girl was crossing the road. She came in front of the speeding truck as soon as she reached the middle of the road.

The driver instead of applying breaks sped away. Soon residents and relatives of the victim gathered at the spot and staged a dharna at Transport Nagar. They blocked the road, which led to the massive traffic jam.

The police reached the spot and assured the relatives to nab the truck driver at the earliest.

Following this, the relatives lifted the dharna. It took nearly two hours for the police to clear the traffic.

Meanwhile, the police has registered a case under Section 304-A of the IPC for reckless driving leading to death.

It was the second such incident in a fortnight. Earlier, a 12- year- old boy Akul Shekh, who was living in a shanty close to the bus stand, was crushed to death by the private bus.



Fatal mishap 
Policeman dies in accident, body found floating in the brook
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 29
Body of a policeman posted at Chhappar Chowki was found floating in a brook at Latala village today morning. The policeman identified as Bhupinder Singh Bhupi of Jaspalin village had left for Latala village on an official assignment on Thurday night, said sources at the Chhappar Chowki.

Bhupinder had left for Latala village after attending a 'naka' at Chhappar Chowk around 9 pm yesterday. Though he was supposed to provide some vital information to his seniors on phone, his mobile phone was not reachable shortly after he left, the police said.

Having failed to establish his location, a police team led by Satnam Singh started searching for him. Today morning, some farmers spotted his body floating in the brook at Latala.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Bhupinder might have lost control of his motorcycle after confronting some vehicle coming from the opposite side, and his motorcycle collided with the bridge near Latala village on Ahmedgarh-Raekot road.

Hit and run theory was not ruled out, the police said.SHO Jodhan Rachhpal Singh Dhindsa said the body of the deceased had been handed over to his family after the postmortem. The deceased is survived by his wife and a 4-year-old son.



Health officials swing into action
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
With four cases of dengue surfacing in the city, the health department has started instructing the public to take preventive measures.

In a press release, Ludhiana Civil Surgeon Dr Subhash Batta stated, "As the monsoon is about to set in, residents are fearing an outbreak of water-borne diseases. We are putting in efforts to quell the spread of dengue. We are launching a campaign from July 1 and will apprise residents of best cost effective interventions."

Dr Batta said, "I met the Commissioner of the municipal corporation yesterday and we discussed a detailed strategy to prevent the disease. On Thursday, we have planned a common and comprehensive meeting of the MC and health  officials. During the  meeting, the officials will be assigned duties to contain the spread of  the disease."

Meanwhile, no fresh case of dengue was reported today. District epidemiologist Dr Puneet Juneja said, "To diagnose dengue, MAC EL IZA test is being done free of cost at Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital. We usually conduct the test twice a week (Monday  and Friday).

Tips for dengue prevention

Clean and dry coolers once a week.

Don't keep containers / tyres on rooftops.

Wear full-sleeved clothes and cover your feet in the morning and evening.

Spray insecticides under tables/behind the curtains.

Report suspected case of dengue/gastroenteritis to nearest dispensary/ Civil Surgeon's office (0161-2444193)

Use anti-mosquito nets to prevent dengue and  malaria.

Drink boiled water.



Late arrival of monsoon may deplete groundwater level
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
The groundwater table, which saw an increase in the last 2-3 years, may come down once again, if the arrival of monsoon is delayed in the region. Experts believe that due to paddy transplantation, a lot of water will be required by farmers, if the monsoon does not arrive on time in this part of the region, the level of groundwater may go down.

Dr KK Gill, agrometeorologist at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), here said monsoon was expected to arrive in the region on July 7-8.

"In the last three years, Punjab saw good monsoon due to which the water-table, which was fast depleting, witnessed an increase, which was a very good sign. But going by the weather conditions, it seems that monsoon will arrive late and groundwater may deplete due to excessive need of water for paddy crop," said Dr Gill.

She added that in the last two days, the maximum temperature hovered around 38 degrees Celsius and 39 degrees Celsius, which was slightly below normal. "Though the temperature has not increased, still the weather is hot with a lot of humidity. The level of humidity in the air has increased. The Northern-Western winds are blowing in the region whereas these should have been Southern winds, which bring the monsoon. The wind pattern should have been changed by now. It will take another week or so for the arrival of monsoon in Punjab," said Dr Gill.

Meanwhile, due to hot and humid weather, the residents in the city feel uncomfortable. Reena Malhotra, a home-maker, said the present weather was irritable. "We were expecting that by the end of June or early July, we will witness monsoon. Seeing the present weather conditions, it seems that we have to wait for another couple of days to get respite from heat," she said.



Good news for Urdu learners
Another six-month session to begin from July 4
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
Learners of Urdu will get another opportunity to learn the language. Dr Prem Bajaj is going to start yet another six-month session for teaching the basics of Urdu for those interested in learning the language.

These classes, starting from July 4 are free of cost, and are run by the language department of the state for the promotion of Urdu. This was informed by District Language Officer Satnam Singh. "Urdu is part of the culture of Punjab. Urdu and Punjabi were very much part of the every day language of people of the undivided Punjab, but with the change, Punjabi in the other side of the border, and Urdu on this side are facing a decline. It is the endeavour of the state department to encourage the language through free classes," said Dr Bajaj.

"The one-hour class is held at Punjabi Bhawan everyday. People from all age-groups and different walks of life attend these classes. Advocates, engineers, professors and college students have attended the previous sessions," Dr Bajaj said.

Dr Bajaj said many students were retired employees, who harboured love for the language. They joined the classes because they admired Urdu poetry and wanted to understand it first hand, without the translated editions.

A resident said reading translated versions of Ghalib, Manto, Faiz Ahmad Faiz was so fascinating, that he could not keep himself from reading the original works, and thus learning the language.

Learning the language for Ludhianvis is all the more important as "even now, some of the tallest names in Urdu poetry are associated with Ludhiana, including that of Manto and Sahir Ludhianvi," said Sarabjit Singh, a resident.

Dr Bajaj said many people also learnt the language because they wanted to increase the mutual compassion between both sides of Punjab through literary exchange.

He said that towards the end of the session, students were given diploma certificates after clearing an examination conducted by the department. The district language officer said those interested in taking admission to the course could fill in the forms before July 3. 



Training courses for farmers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) will organise two training courses for farmers, farm women and members of the Progressive Beekeepers Association (PBKA). On July 3-4, PAU Directorate of Extension Education in association with the department of microbiology and Punjab State Council for Science and Technology, Chandigarh, will hold a two-day training course on "Preparation of natural vinegar from fruits and non-alcoholic carbonated beverages" for farmers and farm women at the PAU Kairon 
Kisan Ghar (KKG).

Dr MS Gill, director, Extension Education, said the experts would lay special emphasis on the preparation of natural vinegar and non-alcoholic carbonated beverages from grapes and other fruit juices in addition to their futuristic aspects, economics, scope and significance. Besides, a state-level training-cum-workshop for the PBKA members would take place on July 4 at the Kairon Kisan Ghar of the university, informed Dr Gill.

The subject-matter specialists would deliberate on bee management in rainy season and feeding management of bees, he added. 



PAU experts bat for nutrition vegetable gardens at home
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) is working towards motivating urban masses to grow nutrition home vegetable gardens. PAU experts said these kitchen gardens were better than traditional vegetable gardens. They involve as many as 27 annual and perennial crops that can be repeatedly harvested to meet a family's vegetable needs throughout the year. The experts' from the department of vegetable science, PAU, said the nutrition home vegetable garden could be developed on a 36 (6 x 6) square meter area of land.

The university experts suggested that crops for this particular model for 6 x 6 square meter area are Chinese cabbage, cucumber, kasuri methi, bottle gourd, amaranthus, brinjal, cowpea, tomato, chilli, coriander, carrot, garden pea, capsicum, basella, mint, lettuce, veg. mustard, spinach, broccoli, onion, garlic, radish, sponge gourd, lablab bean and long melon.

The suggested model can produce 250-300 kg of vegetables each year and provide a family vitamins and protein from an area of less than one decimal.

Dr Daljit Singh Khurana, professor of vegetable, said, "This garden can be developed at the backyard of the home. He said that they recommended high -yielding vegetables so that the model could meet the nutrition requirement of a family.

"Nowadays, commercial farmers spray harmful insecticides and use chemical fertilisers in excess for the fast growth of vegetables, which are harmful to the human body. We recommend organic neem-based insecticide to control insects and farmyard manure for the growth of vegetables. Moreover, a person can procure fresh vegetables form his garden according to his choice." Khurana added.

Dr BS Brar, head, department of vegetable science, said, "Rotation of many crops provides continuous food for the family and save people from harmful pesticides. Three different crops of vegetables can be grown on the same soil annually.The suggested model has the best combination and sequence of crops, less pesticides, improved soil fertility and continuous harvesting throughout the year".

Dr SK Jindal from the department of vegetable said "The suggested crop varieties will have less insect problems, but if pests appear and begin to eat into leaves or fruit one should remove them by hand, prune off the damaged plant parts, remove damaged plants or spray the plant with the extract pesticides (neem or pongamia oil, adathoda leaf extract). Use yellow sticky traps, made by applying oil or grease over a yellow container stuck on a post, to trap sucking insects.



Spurt in number of fire incidents 
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
With the mercury soaring, there has been a sudden spurt in the number of fire incidents in the city. The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation’s fire department has its hands full these days, with the number of calls witnessing a rise.

Fire department officials claim that the number of fire incidents have increased manifold and they are forced to work overtime to make sure no one gets injured and the financial loss is less due to any fire incident.

The day temperature in May this year crossed 45 degrees Celsius mark and so did the scorching heat, accompanied by dry weather, made conditions conducive for fire to occur.

Most of the fire incidents are taking place due to overloading of electricity transformers, short circuit, and other such reasons. The fire control room is receiving around 20 to 22 calls every day apart from controlling fire incidents in Ludhiana, the fire department is contributing to fire-fighting operations in the adjoining towns of Phillaur, Jagraon, Raikot and Mullanpur.

Few days ago, when the fire broke out at Cremica company godown in Phillaur, the fire tenders from Ludhiana were pressed into service there. Even Jagraon town does not have a fire brigade and so whenever any fire incident takes place, the fire tenders from Ludhiana are rushed to the spot.

Even the high-tension wires in the inner areas of the city are posing a threat to the lives and property of residents, but the authorities have still to take stock of the situation. As per the data of the fire department, every year more than 1,000 fire incidents are reported in the city, out of which more than 70 per cent take place during summers.

A fire department official stated that during summers, the demand for electricity goes up and the heavy load usually causes short-circuit, leading to fire incidents.

To make matters worse, the fire brigade is ill-equipped to deal with such fire incidents. For a population of over 13 lakh, the fire brigade is having 62 officers against the sanctioned strength of 134, which means the department is short by 72 posts, that are lying vacant for several years. The MC’s fire department has only 13 drivers for a total of 28 vehicles, which means at one point of time, only 13 fire tenders can be put to service.

While speaking to The Tribune, Fire officer Krishan Lal Kakkar said that all officials of the fire department were giving their best to the residents. “For us safety of residents comes first,” he claimed.



White watches are flavour of the season
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
After the golden, black and platinum-look, white-coloured watches seem to be in vogue nowadays as one can find many youngsters sporting these, in the all new "white" avatar.

Youngsters are heading to the showrooms to wear white. As these are getting increasingly popular, many top brands are also catering to the new demand. Although, these watches are more popular with girls and women, men too are not refraining from wearing the latest wrist fashion.

The watches come in various varieties, the ceramic have more sheen on them, and these are scratchless and shiny. The fibre ones are not scratchproof, but do have the sheen on them. Then the silicone ones have matte, subtle look. "Although white straps were very much available earlier in leather and looked nice, but these look very cool," says Gurpreet, who works at a watch store.

Nisha, a student, says that white watches give a pure look. "I had left wearing watches since a long time, but these are very pleasing to the eye and are more of a fashion accessory," she says. "I had never seen a chain-like pattern of the silicone, which looks ultra-cool and fabulous," says Rouble, a resident of Civil Lines.

Another student said she used to wear white wristband, but her latest white wrist watch was a better replacement. "Although I did not like people wearing totally white on wrists, but now the colour seems to have grown on me, and now I feel it is rather cool and the best colour to wear”, she said.

Sonu Gandhi, a city-based fashion designer, says that many top brands have lately launched white watches along with sunglasses. "These watches are more popular with women, as these are eye-catching and also look cool in summer," she says. The round dials are more preferred this season, she says. 



NSE, Postal dept tie-up; screens to be put up in post offices
Will display stock prices and financial savings schemes to spread awareness among the people
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
There has been a tie-up between the National Stock Exchange and the Department of Post, under which the NSE will be putting up screens in post offices of the country that will display stock prices and financial savings schemes. The screens are being installed at 50 post offices in the country.

Chief Post Master General KL Khanna, said initially, the screens were being put up in Patiala, Amritsar Mohali post offices, with the aim to increase awareness about stock and financial literacy. It will have the online stock rates flashed along with information about the premium services by the postal department. After the success of initial phase, these might be installed in other post offices, including Ludhiana, said an official.

Manjit, a broker, said this could help the rural masses understand stock, if the screens are put up at the post offices. Although stock trading can be beneficial, but there is less awareness among the people, and installation at post offices would spread awareness.

Pritpal Singh, Chief General Manager, Ludhiana Stock Exchange, said this step will help increase awareness. It might be a gradual process, but ultimately it would prove beneficial for the market, he said. 



Bhagpur re-elected as Verka’s chief

Ludhiana, June 29
Ajmer Singh Bhagpur has been unanimously re-elected as the chairman of the Verka Milk Plant, Ludhiana, today. The decision was taken during a meting of the Board of Directors of the plant. In another unanimous decision, Amrik Singh Rauni was elected as the vice-chairman.

On being elected, Bhagpur said that he will take necessary steps to boost dairy industry and cooperative sector. He said that with the cooperation of others, he would make sure that Punjab sees a white revolution. The re-elected chairman also expressed his gratitude to the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister as his name was proposed unanimously for the second consecutive term. Former Minister Maheshinder Singh Grewal was also present on the occasion. Grewal said that CM Parkash Singh Badal had entrusted him with the duty to ensure that fair elections were held at the Verka Milk Plant. — TNS



BJP to recruit 20,000 workers
Gurminder S Grewal

Khanna, June 29
About 20,000 party workers would be recruited by the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Police District Khanna, in the month  of July.

This announcement was made by District Incharge BJP, Khushwant Rai Giga, in the meeting of the BJP Mandal, Khanna, at Daawat restaurant  here today.

Recruitment would start from July 1, and about 20,000 workers would be recruited, he said. 



Samaritans come forward for cause
Arrange Rs1 lakh for making seating arrangement for needy students
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, June 29
The government or the nagar council did not come to the rescue of the students of Government Primary School, Nandpur, the plight of whom was highlighted in the columns of Ludhiana Tribune yesterday, but good samaritans Ramesh Kumar Bhatia and Rajinder Singh, both shop owners at the Dehlon road, Sahnewal, came forward for the noble cause and collected an amount of Rs1 lakh to buy benches and desks for 200 students who were forced to sit on the floor.

Rakesh Kumar Bhatia said, "I always wanted to do something for these children."

Similarly, Rajinder Singh, called up his friends settled abroad, for financial help to be accorded to these poor children.

"My friends have promised me to give Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 and the amount shall arrive soon. Local contributors will give the remaining amount. We along with the help of generous contributors like Jasminder Sandhu and others, will try to arrange the infrastructure for these children as early as possible. We are planning that these children should have benches and desks to sit immediately after the summer break."

"I am astonished that the government makes tall promises to provide free and compulsory education to all, but on the other hand renders no help to them as far as the fulfilment of their basic educational needs are concerned. A number of leaders, politicians and so called social workers have visited the school and walked away by giving just false assurances. If they have become heartless, at least we, who are though termed as common people, should try to think something about their future. If not much, we can at least come out with some sort of help, as and when possible," said these samaritans. It was stated through the columns of this paper that the students of Government Primary School were forced to endure most unhygienic conditions. Not only this, the cattle were made to graze without any inhibition, trespassers had destroyed the boundary wall to make way for their easy passage while the students were made to sit on the floor in the absence of any infrastructural facilities.



Semester system in GNDU
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
As Guru Nanak Dev University is all set to introduce the semester system at undergraduate level for the first time in the region for non-technical courses, speculations about the pros and cons of the new system are doing the rounds.

Although most of the colleges in the city are not permanently affiliated to the university, many associated colleges are gearing up the change.

Manjit Singh Chhabra, coordinator from GGN Khalsa College, Civil Lines, said the new development would apparently come as a relief for students. Students also seem to be welcoming the change. "We will not have to take the whole chunk of syllabi in one go and will be much better," said a student, who plans to take admission to BCom stream.

Some teachers say it will streamline the system, division of syllabi twice will keep students on toes about the university examination taking place twice a year, as students in the annual system of examination tend to become lax in their studies. So we expect better results with the semester system coming in, says Prof Gurpreet Singh Bhatia, a teacher.

Although, semester system has been withdrawn by the Punjab School Education Board, but there is a difference between the functioning of university and the school board, he says.

Not everyone, meanwhile, is happy with the decision. Vishal, another student, said students will have to pay examination fee twice, which is going to put extra financial burden on those who come from a humble background. This will affect rural students more, he says.

Some teachers are not pleased with the development as they think it will have a bearing on summer vacation. "Summer vacation will get shortened as semester exams generally take place in about June-July, which generally is the time for summer vacation," said a teacher.

With the introduction, speculations about other universities of the region, including Panjab University and Punjabi University, introducing the system at undergraduate level have also increased. Although, the issue is still hanging fire in the Panjab University Senate, GNDU has gone ahead, being the first university in the region to make the decision, a teacher says. "It is expected that now that other universities will also follow suit," he says. 



12 fined for smoking, six for selling tobacco products near schools
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
At least six persons were challaned for violating the Tobacco Control Act by the District Task Force today. They were found selling tobacco products near schools. Twelve others were challaned for smoking at public places. All of them have been challaned under Section-6 of the Anti-Tobacco Act 2003.

District Health Officer Dr Kulwinder Singh said: “We challaned them on instructions of Ludhiana Civil Surgeon, Dr Subhash Batta. We challaned six persons for selling cigarettes and other tobacco products near Green Land Convent School located on the backside of Vardhamn Mill and near Green Land Senior Secondary School near the Jalandhar bypass.”

The District Task Force also challaned 12 persons for smoking at public places and took Rs 200 as fine from each of them.

District Epidemiologist Dr Puneet Juneja, Amandeep Singh, Drug Inspector Perneet Kaur, Ekaant Priya Singla and Jagat Ram were members of the District Task Force.

Meanwhile, another team of the district health department destroyed three quintals of rotten fruits and vegetables from different vegetable markets and shops yesterday.

District Health Officer, Ludhiana, Dr Kulwinder Singh, said: “The team of the department destroyed rotten fruits and vegetables at vegetable market on the Pakhowal road and shops in Model Town.”

Watermelon, melon, mangoes and seasonal vegetables were among the fruits and vegetables destroyed yesterday. 



'Holiday homework frightens me like a dragon in my sleep'
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, June 29
With just a few days left for summer vacation to end and schools to reopen, students have started worrying about their incomplete holiday homework.

"I had resolved that I shall finish my homework in the very first week of vacation and enjoy rest of my holidays, but I became entirely oblivious of my school, my books and everything related to them," says Divyansh, a class IX student.

"I spent the whole month in other activities and thought I'll sit down to work one fine day. To my horror, that day never came. Nothing can be done at this stage," he says.

Divyansh is now planning to get his project work done from outside to "escape the wrath" of his teacher.

Saraansh, a student of class VII, is not too keen on going back to school after vacation get over. To him "life seemed to be worth living only during the vacation".

"Alas! The school is going to reopen. I thoroughly enjoyed my holidays. Although the weather was unfavourable, and we could move out only in mornings and evenings, still we were relaxed. There were no early mornings, no classes to attend, no tests, no seminars, and no worries. Since my first terminals were already over and the results announced, my mother too had no reason to pressurise me for studies," he says.

The realisation that his school would be reopening soon is giving Saraansh sleepless nights. Due to the paucity of time, he has turned to his elder brother for help.

"For the past two to three days, I am not getting a relaxed sleep. The holiday homework, which had been buried under my books, frightens me like a dragon in my sleep. As the time is less, I have asked my elder brother to assist me," he says.

Parents are also not much pleased witnessing the ordeal of their children. They are not just worried but also angry because their children did not give heed to their advice.

"Despite my warnings to my son to complete his homework, he was careless throughout the holidays. Now he walks around the house looking for his holiday slip that he believes has been misplaced," says a concerned mother.

The situation, however, is not the same for all the students. Ruchi, a Class X student, says that she had completed her homework in time to enjoy rest of the holidays.

"I am too relaxed. Rather, I am eagerly waiting for the school to reopen so that I may meet my friends and share my vacation experiences with them," she says.

Having completed her homework, Ruchi is now spending her time revising different subjects by engaging in extra studies.



NCC cadets get certificates
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
A valedictory function of the NCC Air Wing was organised at Arya College today. During the function, 58 cadets were awarded CEE certificates, including 19 girl cadets. Cadets were from Arya College, SCD Government College and Khalsa College for Women. Chief guest Brig SS Gill, Group Commander, Ludhiana NCC Group, distributed certificates among cadets.

The cadets participated in flying, weapon training, firing, drill, general service knowledge, leadership, civil defence and social activities.

Brig SS Gill said NCC camps and training were instrumental in developing qualities like patriotism, social service, team spirit, leadership, discipline and self-confidence.

SS Kaila, Commanding Officer, 4 Punjab Air Squadron Wing Commander, said a CEE certificate holder had many advantages. The most important one was their eligibility for Short Service Commission without undergoing CDS written examination which meant they would be facing direct SSB interview," he added.



School notes

Summer camp a big draw
The summer camp organised by Arizona Dance Institute in association with Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, in Ludhiana was a crowd-puller. Organised for the first time in Ludhiana, a theatre workshop on the pattern of 'Theatre in Education' (TIE) attracted children aged between 6 and 16. They wrote scripts of plays through group discussions and directed those with the help of theatre experts who had come from Delhi to conduct the workshop.

Annual fest ends: "Holy Angels Nursery School organised a closing ceremony of their annual summer fest "The Summer Vacation Hungama - 2012". It started at 10 am. A dance performance was given by the summer dance group. Parents also joined the event around 11.30 am. Certificates were awarded to all students by the school principal, Harry Norden, in various categories such as guitar, keyboard, art, 
spoken English, calligraphy and dance. — TNS



Ludhiana scan

Sell unused land, says MLA: Manpreet Singh Iyali, MLA from Dakha constituency, has asked the Irrigation Minster to sell the land of irrigation department in the adjoining areas of the city which is not in use and has been encroached. Iyali made this suggestion during the Budget session of Punjab Assembly. He said that due to the urbanisation of the area, the land is not in use now; so the government can generate good revenue by selling these pockets which were earlier used as water channels.

Councillors meet Bhattal: Congress leaders and former councillors met Rajinder Kaur Bhattal in Chandigarh yesterday to discuss the Bluestar memorial issue. The secretary of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Parminder Mehta, in a press note issued here today said that Congress leaders condemned the State government for its "double-standards". Mehta said that on one side, the government led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was claiming to promote peace and harmony in the State, on the other hand, Badal was committed to build the memorial. Mehta said that BJP leaders were acting as puppets in the hands of SAD leaders to remain in power. Mehta said that instead of honouring "anti-social" elements, the ruling party must pay tribute to the innocent persons and policemen killed during the operation.

Unemployed linemen to protest: A meeting of unemployed Lineman Union led by Raguveer Singh Jamalpur was held at Bhai Chatar Singh Park. Raghuveer asked all the union members to reach Patiala on July 6 to take part in the 'gherao' of the head office. He said the union had been struggling to get jobs for its members for several years, but the government had failed to fulfil its promise to recruit all the 5,000 linemen.

GLADA's move appreciated: Sudhar Sabha, Sector 32, has appreciated the decision of GLADA to install inter-locked tiles in the area. In a meeting held on Friday, the sabha, however, appealed that the ramp in front of the houses should be broken just before installing these tiles to avoid any inconvenience to the residents.

Tulsidas to be remembered: Asian Club will celebrate birth anniversary of Tulsidas on July 25. This was decided in a club meeting. In this function, a competition will be held in which children would sing the poetry of this 16th century poet-saint. Kids who have excelled in academics would also be honored with gold medals on the occasion.

Celebrations in the USA: A delegation of Banda Bahadur International Foundation has left for the USA and Canada to celebrate the 296th birth anniversary of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur. The chairman of the foundation, Jagdev Singh Jasowal, and the president, Krishan Kumar Bawa, were present on the occasion.

Leadership camp: Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle organised a 5-day National Youth Leadership Training camp at Akal Academy in village Baru, Himachal Pradesh. Head priest of Akal Takht Gurbachan Singh was also present on the occasion. He appreciated the efforts of the study circle. — TNS



Migrant raped
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
A 25-year-old migrant was allegedly raped by a tipsy youth living in the locality near the Sherpur Chowk last night.

According to the victim, the youth identified as Mithlesh entered her house last night while her husband was away for night duty.

She alleged that the youth raped her.

Residents surrounded her apartment after she cried for help. Sensing trouble the youth fled from the spot.

She reported the matter to the police today.

A case has been registered against Mithlesh in this regard. The accused is absconding.



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