L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Hawala scams rock city
Taxation Dept, DRI unearth rackets involving several thousand crores
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
Hawala scams have rocked the city. The Excise and Taxation Department and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) have claimed to have unearthed hawala rackets in Ludhiana. Input tax credit (ITC) given by the state government and the duty drawback scheme of the Central Government are being openly misused by the local traders to draw benefits.

What is Input Tax Credit?

l It is the credit for the tax paid on inputs. Every dealer has to pay output tax on the taxable sale effected by him. The basic formula of VAT is that every dealer pays tax only on the value addition in his hands. In simple words the input tax credit is the mechanism by which the dealer is enabled to set off against his output tax, the input tax. Dealers are not eligible for input tax credit on all the inputs.

Duty drawback scheme

l The government's duty drawback scheme provides a rebate on duty chargeable on any imported material or excisable material used in manufacturing or processing goods manufactured in India and exported to other countries. An exporter gets value-based incentives while availing himself of grants through the scheme, which is aimed at promoting exports.

The Excise and Taxation Department has claimed to have unearthed yet another "hawala racket" and issued notices to nearly 150 dealers in Ludhiana who are under its scanner for issuing bogus bills.

All these dealers were dealing with the Puskhar Impex company, which was found indulging in bogus billing to get ITC. "Notices have been issued to 150 dealers of Ludhiana and we are expecting to unearth a scam involving several hundred crores. All these dealers were dealing with Puskhar Impex which was involved in a fake bill scam," said KBS Sidhu, Director (Investigations).

"It was the abnormal sale and purchase which raised suspicion. A cycle part dealer issuing bills to a hosiery manufacturer raised several question marks and after investigations we found a hawala racket was going on. Most of the dealers to whom notices have been issued either belong to Mandi Gobindgarh or Ludhiana and deal in cycle parts, iron and steel," added Sidhu.

Meanwhile, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has claimed to have unearthed a hawala racket allegedly involving at least Rs 1,000 crore.

The scam came to light after a city-based exporter took undue advantage of the duty drawback scheme of the Central government and gained incentives worth Rs 60 crore.

Sources said the matter came to light after the inflated bills of the said exporter, who used to export sub-standard garments, were found.

The exporter, who runs several firms, was sending garments to the US and the Middle East by allegedly inflating the cost of the garments.

While another city-based businessman, an alleged hawala operator, provided the businessman with these bills. It was revealed that this hawala operator has allegedly laundered over Rs 1,000 crore through different channels and was also helping the exporter in routing his illegal money from foreign countries to India through inflated bills. 



Couple commits suicide
Love story of married landlord and girl ends in tragedy
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
As their affair could not meet a desirable end, a dejected couple allegedly committed suicide in Jagraon. Their bodies were found at Charanghat, near the Akara bridge, here today.

The SHO, Surinder Singh, said the police was informed about the bodies by passers-by. The SSP, Jagraon, Gurpreet Singh Toor, reached the spot and the bodies were recovered from a car parked at Charangat.

Surinder Singh said Sarabjit Singh of Pherurai village fell in love with 22-year-old Gurdeep Kaur, a resident of the Kutcha Malak road area in Jagraon. Sarabjit was already married and had a little daughter while Gurdeep Kaur was unmarried. Sarabjit, who was a landlord, secretly got married to the girl on June 28. After the wedding, he reportedly took Gurpreet to an undisclosed destination for honeymoon.

When they returned from their honeymoon, his first wife and other relatives came to know about their secret marriage. She reportedly objected to the wedding. Finding no other option, the dejected couple allegedly consumed some poisonous substance while sitting in their car. A suicide note has also been recovered from the spot, said the SHO, adding that both the bodies were sent to the Government Hospital, Jagraon, for a post-mortem examination. The police had recorded the statements of the members of the deceased's families and the case was being investigated under section 174 of the IPC. 



17,000 screened at Army recruitment rally
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
As many as 17,000 candidates have been screened during the ongoing Army recruitment rally and the figure is likely to cross the 27,000 mark in the next two days. The Officiating Deputy Director-General (Recruitment), Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, Col Sanjiv Sirohi, said today that the rally was being organised in a transparent manner to choose the best talents to serve the nation, but still "touts" were trying to dupe gullible candidates.

"They take money from students and assure them jobs, which is absolutely misleading. Our recruitment procedure can not be manipulated. We have been warning candidates that they should beware of such touts, as four of them have been handed over to the police during a recruitment drive at Sangrur recently," Colonel Sirohi said.

Rubbishing the reports that the health standards were going down in Punjab, Sirohi said all the vacancies were filled from Punjab and they had the best of the candidates from the state. "But in the past two years, about 75 vacancies of Mazhabi Sikhs (technical category) were surrendered as we could not get enough candidates with plus two as basic qualification. But we feel that all these vacancies must not go waste, otherwise in Punjab, we get the best lot in the other categories," he said.

He said 30-40 per cent of the candidates were rejected because of documentation requirements while about 40 per cent were rejected during the physical tests. Just 20 per cent got selected for further tests. The candidates would be selected for three categories, soldier (GD for all arms), soldier clerks and soldier (technical category). Anybody could take part in the recruitment drive provided he qualified the requisite norms.

On July 2, out of 4,132 candidates, 489 candidates qualified for further tests. On July 3, out of 6,230 candidates, 656 candidates got selected while on July 4, 4,307 candidates took part in the rally and 516 cleared the test.



Suspected dengue patient dies
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
Two more suspected dengue patients were detected in the city today. One of them, who was admitted to Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital, died in the city today.
District Epidemiologist Anil Verma said: "The patient, who died here today, suffered from fever. The report of his blood samples is yet to come. Another suspected dengue patient was also admitted to Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital, Ludhiana. His blood samples have been collected for dengue test."

Now, there are as many as four suspected cases of dengue in the city while eight patients have already been confirmed as dengue cases.

The Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, Dr Subhash Batta, said: "There is nothing to feel panicky about it, as the reports of the blood samples are yet to come. We have enough arrangements, including platelets separator machines, at Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital.''



No respite from power cuts
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 5
Residents of the city are made to bear the brunt of extremely hot and humid weather conditions with power department resorting to frequent power cuts and load shedding due to low frequency at the Northern Grid.

Residents from almost all the localities in the city complain that unscheduled cuts and power failure have made their lives a hell. "There is no relief from power cuts during daytime when power goes off for an hour or so many times and we are made to sweat in the oppressive weather. It is worse during the night when again we have to go without power at almost regular intervals," said residents from different areas.

The severe power crisis has had an adverse impact on the quality of life in the city. "In such harsh weather conditions, we have to go without power and water for a major part of the day," said Ravinder Kaur and Charanjit Singh, both residents of the Haibowal area.

The entire state is reeling under a serious power crisis and there was a yawning gap between the demand and supply due to adverse weather conditions and the delayed rains, said senior officials of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) and Punjab State Transmission Corporation Limited (PSTCL) while claiming that the snag in the 100-MVA transformer situated on the Ferozepur Road has been rectified and it has been fully operational since Monday.

The Engineer-in-Chief, PSTCL, CS Mann, said all the major transmission systems at the 220-kv sub-stations situated on the Ferozepur road, Humbran and Lalton Kalan, feeding the city, were fully operational, and whatever power cuts were being imposed in the city were in consonance with the schedule drawn up by the headquarters for the entire state. Chief Engineer, Central Zone, PSPCL, KL Sharma said even though the transmission system in the mega city was fully operational, there had been a spurt in the demand for power due to the prevailing weather conditions. The demand for power in the city has crossed 2,200 lakh units as against the normal level of 1900-2000 lakh units during this particular season.

"One-hour power cuts are being imposed three times a day in the city, and the total duration of power cuts is not more than three hours. However, power has to be shut down occasionally for shorter duration due to low frequency, but that is an emergency measure," Sharma said.



Number of ‘licensed opium addicts’ reduces to half
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
With a fall in the number of "licensed opium addicts" receiving their doses of opium from the various Civil Hospitals of Ludhiana district in the past six years, the employees (distributing them opium) heaved a sigh of relief now. These addicts were a group of Compulsive Complainants who used to complain against the employees to higher authorities for distributing them with "deliberate delay.

Sources said, in the year 2007, there were as many as 42 licensed opium addicts in the district, who used to get opium dose from the health department. It is the excise department, which gives opium to health department for these addicts. But after the span of six years, i.e. in the current years, the number of 42 has reduced to only 20 addicts. Out of these 11 are registered with Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital, three with the Civil Hospital, Khanna, and six with Civil Hospital, Jagraon. Interestingly, all these addicts are given opium as per the requirement of their body. The health department Ludhiana gets 169 grams of opium every month for these licensed addicts who are above 70 years of age.

An employee of the Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital said, "Earlier, there used to be two women among them, but both died in the year 2008 and 2009, respectively. All the addicts are given their fixed quota in the first."

The reason behind decrease in their number is that when state government stopped issuing licenses to the opium addicts in mid 90s with an aim to discourage addiction. Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana Dr Subhash Batta said, "The licences of these opium addicts are renewed every year at district level. Whenever, they come to collect their dose, they have to show their license for it."

The second reason of the decrease in their number is that many of the addicts have died by now. While a positive reason is that the state government and some Non-Government Organisations have come up with "Opium Substitute Therapy" centers-where drug addicts. Dr SS Dhir, incharge of the OST centre at the Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital in Ludhiana, said, "At this centre the" injectable" Opium drug users are counselled and made confident to become main stream of the society."

In the year 2007, there were as many as 42 licensed opium addicts in the district, who used to get opium dose from the health department. It is the excise department, which gives opium to health department for these addicts. But after the span of six years, i.e. in the current years, the number of 42 has reduced to only 20 addicts. Out of these 11 are registered with Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital, three with the Civil Hospital, Khanna, and six with Civil Hospital, Jagraon. Interestingly, all these addicts are given opium as per the requirement of their body. The health department Ludhiana gets 169 grams of opium every month for these licensed addicts who are above 70 years of age.



Monsoon to reach city in day or two
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
It is a good news for residents that monsoon will approach the city within one or two days. According to the meteorology department, this time the monsoons have changed its route and it is going to approach Punjab via Himachal Pradesh. Earlier, the monsoons used to approach Punjab via Delhi and Haryana.

It is being predicted by a meteorologist that if the monsoons approach Punjab via Himachal Pradesh, then the Malwa region of Punjab may get lesser rains.

Dr KK Gill, agro-meteorologist from Punjab Agricultural University, said, “Fresh monsoon pictures depict that the monsoons will approach Punjab within one or two days. The monsoons have been stuck at Assam area for several days. This time, we are observing a little change in the pattern and route of the monsoons.”

A dip in the temperature was also recorded, as the maximum temperature of the day was 36 degree Celsius.

According to the meteorology department, this fall in the temperature was recorded due to the east winds.

“Residents heaved a sigh of relief on Wednesday night, as wind made the weather pleasant during the night. Now, we are waiting for the monsoon showers,” said Ricky, a resident.



Nothing new in 25 years
Nehru Planetarium still equipped with old technology
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
Although there have been tall talks about the need to increase the interest of children in science yet no concrete steps are being taken at government or administrative level about it. This seems to be the case looking at the old projectors.

Children and parents who have been to the planetarium complain, though the show is interesting yet there has been absolutely no change in the show for the past 25 years. When installed in 1985, it was once of the elementary models, but now it has become obsolete. Being a manual system, there is a limitation of it running the same show.

"There has been no change in the show. In fact, my whole family has seen it. There should be more latest things about the universe to be showcased, which would not only advance the knowledge, unveil the wonders of the universe, but also increase the interest of the people," said Rohit, a resident of Civil Lines.

Deepak, another resident, who visited the Science City in Kapurthala said that the planetarium there is much different. The images were a lot crisper and clear and watching the show there is much better than in Ludhiana.

In fact, not only should the equipment be improved but also telescopes should also be installed for witnessing the rare celestial events, says Ankush. "I also wanted to witness the transit of Venus, see other things, but since no telescope ha been installed in the city, children miss the opportunity to witness the important events," he says.

The equipment installed 25 years ago at Nehru Planetarium is manual containing different lenses, which project images on the dome screen, simulating the universe and planets, and runs about 30 minutes show.

But now that the technology has changed and high quality of equipments are used in planetariums and simulation for simulation. The latest digital planetarium projectors also allow showcasing the newest of the CD's showcasing mysteries and developments in the celestial world to be showcased.

The MC Commissioner, MS Jaggi, said that the planetarium is already under renovation. About installation of the new technology planetarium projectors, he said that talks with coordinators for the installation of the latest technology at the planetarium are already underway.

"I have seen planetariums at Kolkata and Jaipur. I also want the city should get the finest of the projectors," he said.



‘Staff shortage at govt offices’
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
Admitting to the fact that there is an acute shortage of manpower in the state government’s offices, SC Aggarwal, Chief Commissioner, Right to Service Commission, said the offices of the state government had been facing acute shortage of manpower.

He admitted it during his maiden visit to the city after getting appointed as the Chief Commissioner, Right to Service Commission. He said, “The state government has already appointed PCS officials and now going to appoint about 1,000 employees as clerical staff. We know that there is requirement of about 2,000 to 3,000 employees as the clerical staff, but in the first phase, the state government will appoint 1,000 employees. The remaining will be appointed in phase two and three.”

The Chief Commissioner, who also visited GLADA as well as municipal corporation office, today to have the first-hand check on the implementation of the Right to Service Act said, “The Right to Service Act was already in system in the government offices. The Act has brought more efficiency in the old system.”

It has been observed that many people are still not aware about it. Admitting to it, Aggarwal said, “I have also observed that awareness level is not up to the mark even yet. So, we will hold some more awareness seminars at the grassroots level like at the sub-divisional, block and even at the village level to make more and more people aware about it.”

Meanwhile, at the Civil Surgeon office, he checked the work of issuing of death and birth certificates by the counters of the suvidha centre. He asked the employees concerned to maintain separate record of certificates issued in the previous years.

In 1994, during a fire incident, record of death and birth got burnt, along with other records of the Civil Surgeon office. So, many people have been facing problem in procuring the documents of the years before 1994. Commenting about it, SC Aggarwal said, “Not found certificate. A person will apply for the late registration, for which the permission will be granted by the SDM. In case of application falls before 1970, then first the permission of director health services need to be sought and the SDM will give permission for late registration.”


Install software soon: DC

l On observing that employees of the suvidha centre at the Civil Surgeon office, issuing certificates of “not found record” manually to some visitors, SC Aggarwal asked them as why they do not issue this type of certificates through computers? Listening to this, data entry operators of the suvidha centre said, “We do not have a computer with software, which could covert Punjabi to English and vice-versa. So, we do it manually.” On this, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, Rahul Tiwari, who was also accompanying SC Aggarwal said, “The software has already been installed in the computers of the suvidha centre at Patiala. Arrange it from there and get it installed within a week and then report it to me.”

Act implemented on August 29

l In Ludhiana, the health department’s Right to Service Act was implemented on August 29, 2011. The Act aims at empowering people to claim services as their right with a provision to penalising the government authority concerned for denying or delaying the delivery of services. The Act promises timely delivery of services and removal of procedural delays. Certificates pertaining to death, birth, post-mortem and medico-legal should be issued within two days (for the current year). If a person wants these for previous years, they should be issued within five days.



Chief Commissioner expresses satisfaction
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 5
The Chief Commissioner of Right to Services Commission, SC Aggarwal, today expressed satisfaction over delivery of services in the municipal corporation (MC) and Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA), which had been incorporated in the Right to Services (RTS) Act by the state government for time-bound compliance.

After visiting the MC and GLADA offices to review the delivery of specified services here today, Aggarwal said even though work load in the mega city was tremendous, most of the stipulated services were being provided to the people well within the time limit.

“The awareness level among the public about the RTS provisions might be less right now, yet the people are making more and more use of the mechanism provided to them under the RTS for getting work done in various government offices,” he stated. To substantiate his assertion, he said the number of complaints at the first appeal level under the Act was just a few hundred as against lakhs of services provided under the RTS so far ever since its enactment in August, 2011.

Aggarwal further pointed out that even though some of the departments, specifically health department, were taking the plea of staff shortage for their occasional failure to deliver certain services within the stipulated period, but punitive action, as per the provisions of the Act, will be taken against the defaulting departments and employees concerned as well as supervisory officials in case any formal complaint is lodged by the aggrieved persons.

He said the Commission had sent a formal proposal to the state government for bringing another 49 services under the ambit of the RTS Act. “The proposal is under the active consideration of the government and a notification to this effect might be issued soon, which will take the total number of services to be delivered within a fixed time limit to 110,” the Chief Commissioner said.

Earlier, during his visit to the MC office, Aggarwal reviewed the working of release of new water and sewerage connections, issuance of birth and death certificates, approval of building plans and completion certificates. At the GLADA office, the Chief Commissioner was apprised with the single window system made operational for delivery of eight services, which were included in the RTS Act.



Production of steel goes down
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
Depreciating rupee value has led to slowdown in the economy and even steel units of Mandi Gobindgarh are not away from its effect. Production in one of the largest steel markets has also decreased due to the sluggish demand.

The steel manufacturing has come down by 25 per cent and even the big steel companies have huge stocks piled up in their godowns, but have hardly any takers.

Sushil Gupta, who runs a unit at Mandi Gobindgarh, said a couple of months ago, 15,000 tonnes of steel were produced in his unit, but now it has reduced to 10,000 tonnes.

“It is expected that in the coming days, the demand will dip further. The value of dollar is increasing and at the same time, the demand for steel is going down,” he said.

Another steel manufacturer, HM Shinde said, “In the international market, the dollar rate is getting high, as a consequence, the demand of steel is going down in the local market. This is the worst-ever period we are going through, as the stock is lying with us and we have hardly any buyers,” he added.

“Since April, the amount of steel sold by our unit is going down constantly. Sales have decreased by almost 50 per cent and as a result, we have also decreased the production. We are waiting for the economy to get back to its normal position and hope the rupee gains its strength back,” added PK Jindal, a small manufacturer.



Councillors lobby hard for Mayor’s post
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
Race for the post of Mayor seems to be heating up now as Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has returned from his foreign trip. Councillors, who were earlier frantically waiting for Sukhbir Badal, have again started lobbying hard for the post of Mayor.

Ever since the MC elections held on June 10, the lobbying for the post of Mayor had started. But the councillors in fray for the post received a rude shock when they came to know that Sukhbir Singh Badal has extended his foreign visit.

Ever since, the Akali councillors were desperately waiting for Deputy Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) president Sukhbir Singh Badal.

The Ludhiana MC is the richest civic body of the state with the annual budget of year 2012-13 being Rs 741 crore. As per the internal arrangement between the Akali Dal and Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), 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 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.

One such leader, who is lobbying hard for the post of Mayor, said the long wait was unbearable. Now that Sukhbir Badal is back from his foreign trip, the councillors have heaved a sigh of relief. We were expecting that the decision on the Mayor would be taken soon after the MC elections, but as Sukhbir was out of the country, the decision got extended. We hope that the decision will be taken soon, said the leader.

But sources within the Akali Dal said presently all party leadership was busy in Dasuya byelection and the decision of finalising the Mayor might get extended by a few weeks.



‘Commercial diet not healthy for pet dogs’
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
Beware while offering your pet dogs commercial foods available in the market! If experts at the Guru Angad Dev and Veterinary Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) are to be believed, then a majority of the pet dogs, kept on the commercial diet, have been suffering from stones.

Besides, the experts have advised pet lovers to think twice before keeping a pug (a breed) at home, as in a majority of the cases, they turn blind due to their bulging eyes.

In the present scenario in India, population of dogs and pets is increasing not only in the cities but also in rural areas. At the same time, many diseases in dogs required surgical intervention for proper treatment.

Dr SK Mahajan from the department of surgery in GADVASU said in recent cases, they had observed that pet dogs kept on the commercial diets were suffering from stones as compared to others. In many cases, surgery was the only option. Secondly, fractures in dogs were a common occurrence due to fall from height or due to automobile accidents.

“Fracture is managed by various techniques like plastering, pinning, plating and interlocking nailing depending upon the case. Like humans, different types of hernias are also common in the dogs, which require surgery. Due to change in feeding habits of pet dogs, a lot of problems like urinary stones, dental tartar and periodontal disease are common in dogs these days. Common conditions of the eye requiring surgery are trauma, ulcers, cherry eye and tumors of the eye and we have observed that pugs, having bulging eyes, catch eye infections easily as compared to other breeds,” said Dr Mahajan.

“Other conditions requiring surgical intervention are pyometra (pus in uterus), caesarean section, ear canal infection, prostatic diseases, etc,” said DR Mahajan.



Speed post charges hiked

Ludhiana, July 5
With many services coming in the increase of service tax ambit from July 1, the cost of services, including speed post and express parcel post, has also increased.

The speed post charges for sending articles within the country have gone up by Rs 1. The price of speed post for sending articles or parcels abroad varies from country to country. So, adding 2 per cent of the service tax will lead to an increase of Rs 25 for sending articles to Australia, about Rs 11 for the US and Rs 18 for Canada. There has been an increase of 2 per cent service tax for express parcel post facility as well. — TNS



Khamano villagers block traffic, demand proper power supply
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khamano July 5
Fed up with the poor power supply to agriculture, farmers of the area blocked traffic on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road near Pohlo Majra village near here for about half 
an hour.

The protestors raised slogans against the government and demanded continue and eight hour power supply for sowing paddy in the season. The farmers alleged that although Punjab government has promised proper power supply but now the power cuts are routine from Kajauli Power Grid and they are forced to spend money on diesel for sowing paddy.

XEN Ghulal Gurtej Singh Chahal who reached on the scene assured that power supply will be given uninterrupted. After assurance the protestors opened the traffic 

Due to traffic blockade the commuters had to face hardships in the scorching heat. Jaswant Singh who was going towards Chandigarh said that he had to wait for about 25 minutes to cross the blockade after the blockade was lifted. The Khamano police diverted the traffic through other routes during traffic blockade.



Right time to buy luxury cars
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
For those looking to buy luxury cars and sports utility vehicles (SUVs), this could be a good time as car companies selling high-end sedans and SUVs imported as completely built-up units (CBUs) are absorbing an increase in import costs and deferring price hikes due to sluggish demand.

The cost of imported vehicles has increased 25-30 per cent because of the depreciation of the rupee. That has made CBUs more expensive to import but companies are putting off price hikes and taking a hit on their margins.

Spokesperson of one of the leading car manufacturers said, "We have already passed on the hike in excise and customs duties to customers and raised prices by 15-20 per cent after the union budget. Since the market is so pessimistic at the moment that we cannot afford to raise the prices immediately," he said.

The rupee has fallen by 20-25 per cent over the last one year to 72 per euro from the earlier 58 per euro. This in itself has raised import costs by a quarter.

"I was planning to buy a SUV and now I think this is the right time as companies are absorbing the price hike and not passing on to the customers. So not wasting the time, I will be purchasing my dream SUV as soon as possible and save myself from paying extra bucks due to depreciating rupee value," said Devinder Pal Singh, businessman.

Deteriorating rupee value is giving tough time to everyone but those planning to buy imported sedans and SUVs are feeling a sigh of relief, as the hike is not being passed to the customers.



CPI meet to focus on people’s problems

Ludhiana, July 5
The Punjab State Unit of the Communist Party of India will hold its 21st state conference from July 7 to 9,2012 at Community Centre, BRS Nagar, here. The state meet will be preceded by a rally at Dana Mandi on Gill Road.

CPI district secretary, Kartar Singh Bowani, said that among the main speakers will be several senior party leaders including Sudhakar Reddy, national general secretary, Gurudas Das Gupta, MP and leader of the CPI in Lok Sabha, Shameem Faizee, member, Central Secretariat, Dr Joginder Dayal, member, Central Executive Committee and Nirmal Dhaliwal, state secretary.

Dr Arun Mitra, assistant secretary of the district unit of the party said that the delegates elected at the district conferences from all over the state will participate in this conference.

The state meet of the party will focus on the hardships and problems faced by the people of the state as a result of the ongoing policies of the government, said DP Maur and Ram Rattan, assistant secretary and city secretary of CPI, respectively.

"The conference will dwell upon increasing unemployment and under employment under the contract system, rampant corruption, road accidents, steep rise in the prices of essential items, very high and unaffordable cost of education and health care, lack of clean drinking water, increasing drug addiction, alarming rise in the crime rate all over the state, problems of the peasants, agriculture labour and MANREGA workers, minimum wages for the workers, industrial development, and also neo-liberal economic policies which are root cause of all the problems," they added. — OC



Shortage of boulders hampers work
NABARD, Punjab government release Rs 11 crore to control floods in city
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
With the onset of rainy season (end on July) every year, cracks in Dhussi Bandh, as a result of rising levels and fast flow of the Sutlej, become the cause of concern for the district administration and municipal corporation.

But with the constant efforts of the authorities, about Rs 11 crore have been released by both NABARD and Punjab government to control the floods by making brick walls and putting boulders in front of the bandh.

The drainage department had identified 32 different points on which the required construction was to take place to stop the floods. But except for 15 points, the work was being hampered, besides having financial resources. The reason is that the drainage department is not getting the required boulders, which have to be put along the bandh to stop the floods.

An official in the drainage department rued, “After so many years, the funds were released by the agencies to start the work to control the floods in the district. Till now, we have been controlling the floods by putting huge sand bags on the bandh, so that excessive water cannot enter the villages. But these were temporary solutions. The stud (attaching huge boulders to the bandh), spur (putting protruding beak inside the river to control flow) and revetment (construction of a brick wall) have to be made for providing relief permanently. For all this, the boulders are required, but we are not getting these due to the strict measures adopted by the government on illegal mining.”

The official further added that the work on 15 points will be completed by the end of this month, but on other 17 points, it had still not been started due to the unavailability of huge stones. “We have been asking contractors to bring boulders from Pathankot and Ropar side, but we are not getting good response. Earlier, there was no problem of shortage of boulders, but since the government has adopted strict measures against the illegal mining, the supply has been hit,” said the official.



PAU fails to accommodate students
University has not expanded its hostels
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 5
New students hoping to stay in Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) hostels have little hopes to get hostel on campus as the university has failed to expand accommodation according to the requirement.

The university had introduced a number of new academic courses in past few years but hostels were not constructed to accommodate the increasing strength of students.

However, it is already written in prospectus "hostel stay is a matter of availability".

But most of the students want to stay in university hostels. Counselling of some of the courses is going on so authorities have still not concluded the data about hostel seekers.

A large number of male students stay at private accommodations outside the university campus. Some of them prefer staying as paying guest.

However, girl students feel luckier as the university provides hostels to girls on priority. "We can not ensure all the girls that we provide them with hostels, but we would provide them the facility on priority. Most of the parents prefer hostel for their daughters.

We have to make adjustments for it," said DS Cheema Director, Student Welfare.

Dean, Student Welfare, said the university is enhancing the capacity of hostels and renovating some new buildings to use them as hostels.

DS Cheema Director, Student Welfare, "We are renovating some buildings to accommodate some more students and this year we will enhance the capacity to accommodate at least 150 more students."

"Earlier, we had satisfactory accommodation but with the start of new courses, we are lagging on building front," he added.

Harpreet Singh, a new student seeking hostel said, "Hostels are very cost effective and comfortable for the students. The university should provide hostel facility to all the students.”



from schools
Scholarship for topper

Ludhiana: Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, has awarded scholarship to Kirandeep Kaur, topper of class XII, Medical. The scholarship was awarded to the student's higher education who are within the top 1 per cent at class XII examination conducted by the CBSE during March/April 2012. Kirandeep had qualified for the scholarship valued at Rs 80,000 per year for the next five years. The chairman, the director, the principal, staff members and members of the management congratulate her and her parents on her brilliant success.

Workshop for teachers at Ryan International School

Learning is a life long process and even the wisest mind has something yet to learn. Going by this approach, the teachers at Ryan International School, Ludhiana, attended a workshop on 'Theatre' on 2nd July, 2012. The workshop was conducted by Rajeev Lochan Sharma and his team from primary plus. They guided the teachers about the nitty gritty of theatre, importance of body language, actions and manner/tone of communication with the students. — TNS



Ludhiana scan
Eye care camp

Ludhiana: An eye care and diabetes camp was organised by Dr Ramesh super specialty eye centre and the Sarbhat Da Bhlla Welfare Society at Gurdwara Singh Saba Manjit Nagar here on Thursday. During the camp, Jatinder Singh Pamal from Punarjot eye bank society spread awareness the people about the importance of eye donation. More than 250 patients were examined by doctors free of the cost.

Novel released

Adabi Sangat with the association of Punjabi Sahit Akademi organised a programme to release the BS Sodhi's newly published novel "Gahne Paye Arman" here on Thursday. The programme was organised by Niranjanb Tasneem and Dr Surjit patar and Gurbhajan Gill were chief guests.

Protest held

Failing to get the problems of stagnation of drainage water in the streets resolved, the residents of Iqbal Nagar, Mandi Gobindgarh blocked traffic here on Thursday on the National Highway. The population of this area is adjacent to the municipal limits but is not under the jurisdiction of the Civic Body. The agitators demanded that the area should be brought under the municipal limits and civic amenities be provided accordingly. The drainage water emits foul smell and people have to pass through the drainage water to enter in to their houses. District Traffic In charge Rajesh Saddi and Mandi Gobindgarh Traffic In charge Major Singh assured the agitators to manage a meeting with the administration to resolve their problems. On this assurance the residents lifted the blockage.

Ceiling fans donated

PNB PRERNA, an association formed by involving the services of the wives of the senior officials of the bank, took yet another steps forward towards reaching out to under privileged segment of the society. The overarching goal of the association is to supplement the corporate social responsibility initiatives of the bank.

Manch plans rally

The Jammu-Kashmir Bachao Manch here on Thursday flayed the recently submitted report of the Centre-appointed Group of Interlocutors on Kashmir. Addressing the media persons, the Manch members alleged that the report encouraged separatism. "The manch would organise a rally on July 6 to protest against the report. We would also submit a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner," said Anil Goyal, district coordinator of the Manch. The members alleged that the contents of the report were not in the interest of the nation.

Ajaib Chitarkar remembered

The Communist Party of India, Ludhiana, has paid tributes on the demise of renowned poet Ajaib Singh Chitrakar. His poetry has been an inspiration for many people and several upcoming poets and writers who have a concern for the society. He will be remembered for his progressive work for times to come, said Dr Arun Mitra, assistant secretary CPI.

Shab-e-barat celebrated

Shahi Imam of Punjab, Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman announced that festival Shab-e-barat will be celebrated on the night of July 5.

Bar association holds protest

Samrala: Bar Association, Samrala, organised a protest in front of the SDM office, Samrala, against the allegedly poor working of SDM, Samrala, here on Thursday. The protesters raised slogans against the SDM and demanded his transfer from Samrala. The dharna continued for an hour from 11 am to 12 noon. Association secretary, Gaggandeep Sharma, said a meeting will be held at bar room on July 5 to chalk out next course of action. He informed that the association has given a memorandum to revenue minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia in this regard. When the SDM Jasvir Singh was contacted in this regard, he said that he was doing duty as per rules and that no advocate had taken up any matter with him. He expressed surprise at the strike. — TNS



Body found in bag

Phillaur: A unidentified body wrapped in a bedsheet inside a bag was found lying near a small bridge of a mini-canal near Sangh Dhesian village here this afternoon. It is suspected that somebody has thrown the dead body after murdering the youth.

70-year-old run over by train

In a second incident, an old man, identified as Ram Parkash, (70), was run over by a train near the Phillaur Railway Station here last night. The deceased was crossing the railway lines when the incident occurred, said sources. — OC



Sherry, Cherry win top honours
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, July 5
Over 150 participants in the different weight groups shrugged their shoulders to finish among position holders in the annual Bench Press Competition organised here at Prime Bodies Health Club, Shastri Nagar in the Model Town area.
The competitors battled it out to pip their immediate opponents and in most of the weight groups, the organisers had tough time to declare the winners as the top three lifters gave their best.

Sherry and Cherry, twins were in the thick of action as they came out victorious and shared top honours in the 85kg and above weight category. In this group, they were closely competed by Gaurav and Prince, respectively.

On the occasion, Nishchay Sachdeva, director of the organising club urged upon the participants not to take steroids, which would help them to continue with bodybuilding throughout their lifetime.

"Anabolic steroids affect bodybuilders' performance and and also cut short their career besides causing serious health problems," added Sachdeva.

Results: Below 50kg-1. Brijesh 2. Bhavuk 3. Ravi; 50 to 55 kg-1. Arun 2. Rishabh 3. Rinku; 55 to 60kg-1. Harshit 2. Sahil Arora 3. Manjot; 60 to 65kg-1. Manmeet 2. Amandeep 3. Roshan.

65 to 70kg-1. Goldy 2. Sahil Khaneja 3. Krishan; 70 to 75kg-1. Arjun 2. Mani 3. Abhishek; 75 to 80kg-1. Lucky 2. Suraj 3. Tony and Rajan; 80 to 85kg-1. Gurpreet 2. Sunny 3. Sahil Luthra; 85kg and above-1. Sherry and Cherry, 2. Gaurav 3. Prince.



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