L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Safai sewak loses life for Rs 200
Swept away by sewage current while he was cleaning a choked sewer at Haibowal
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
A safai sewak lost his life for mere Rs 200 here today. The safai sewak, Pardeep Kumar (36), along with two of his friends, had taken a private “contract” of clearing the sewerage line near Dairy Complex in the Haibowal area. A scrap dealer had “hired” them for Rs 600 for the job. When Pardeep entered the manhole, the strong current of sewage swept him away.

Pardeep, a resident of Bank Colony, worked as a contractual safai sewak and was getting a monthly salary of around Rs 4,000.

The sewer is 90 inch in diameter and carries sewage from the areas falling on the right side of the old GT Road. That is why the flow sewage in the line was very fast.

Pardeep was at his home today when two of his friends, accompanied by the scrap dealer, reached there in an auto-rickshaw.

While speaking to The Tribune, Pardeep’s nephew Amit Kumar said: “His friends told Pardeep that the scrap dealer, who deals in gunny bags, wants him to clear a choked sewerage line passing by his shop. Pardeep is a contractual employee and is the only earning hand in the family. He agreed to do the job and accompanied them to the spot. He and his two friends were to get Rs 600 for this job, which was to be shared equally among them (Rs 200 each).”

Eyewitnesses said the moment Pardeep entered the sewerage line, he was swept away in the strong current of sewage. Instead of saving Pardeep, his friends, who are yet to be identified, fled from the spot. The scrap dealer then raised an alarm, after which the Haibowal police, area councillor Maharaj Singh Raji and the MC officials started a rescue operation. The MC as well as police officials said his body could be found at the sewerage treatment plant (STP) at Balloke as this sewerage line is connected with the plant.

Not the only incident of death in sewer

  • On February 5, 2011, two sanitary workers named Pappu and Sushil Kumar died due to asphyxiation while cleaning a choked sewer in the Bhagwan Chowk area.
  • On December 24, a resident, named Tinku (25), was asphyxiated in a sewer in the Dashmesh Nagar area on the Gill Road.
  • On September 5, 2009, a sewer man, named Anil (25), died due to asphyxiation in the Basti Jodhewal area.
  • In April 2009, two sewer men, identified as Ram Prakash (45) and Tarsem (21), working with the Ludhiana MC, were killed while cleaning sewers in Mansa.
  • On May 31, 2008, two sewer men, named Naresh Kumar (40) and Bittu Kumar (34), died while cleaning a manhole in the Focal Point area.

Safai sewaks not allowed to enter sewers: MC

Joint Commissioner of the MC AS Sekhon said Pardeep was not supposed to enter the sewerage line as only sewer men are allowed to enter it. “But, maybe the urge to earn a few extra bucks cost him his life. He should not have entered the sewerage line and if the line was choked, the residents should have informed the MC,” said Sekhon.

Power cuts hamper operation to search body

Erratic power supply hampered the operation carried out to recover Pardeep Kumar’s body at the sewerage treatment plant at Balloke village near here. Power cuts hampered the pumping out of water from the plant tank with the help of electronic pump sets. Joint Commissioner of the MC AS Sekhon said: “Every time the water level comes down, there is a power cut and the water level increases again, which hampers the operation to recover Pardeep’s body”.


Northern Grid trips again
Trains delayed from 40 minutes to two hours
Kuldip Bhatia

A girl with her father at Ludhiana railway station on Tuesday when several trains were delayed due to the Northern Grid failure.
A girl with her father at Ludhiana railway station on Tuesday when several trains were delayed due to the Northern Grid failure. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, July 31
Yet another failure of the Northern Grid this afternoon panicked the people who were still to come out of the shock of one of the worst blackouts of the decade in the wee hours of Monday, which lasted for more than 10 hours. The worst hit were the railways, which had to go without power for almost three hours, leading to disruption in the rail traffic.

As the city residents were again rendered powerless for several hours, for the second day in succession, it was a virtual replay of the ordeal that the people had to suffer yesterday. There were frantic calls to the complaint centres of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) and to the offices of the print and electronic media to know the reason for extended power failure.

Quite a few residents were seething with rage over what they termed as the failure of the state government and the PSPCL to foresee the increased demand for electricity during this season and make comprehensive (and long term) arrangements to meet the same from whatever sources.

"We are not concerned as to the reasons of grid failure for a second time in a row. If the power utility fails to provide adequate power to us to meet our demand, it is a failure on their part. And the state government is also equally responsible for denying the people what is a basic necessity and an integral part of daily life," said Balwinder Singh, a retired engineer.

Highly placed sources in the PSPCL said power supply to the railways was restored at 4 pm and supply from the hydel sources was also made available to some major cities, including Ludhiana, to warm up the transmission system so that power supply could be restored as and when thermal power stations resume generation one after the other in the evening.

Station Superintendent RK Sharma said due to power failure for around three hours, most of the trains were delayed from 40 minutes to two hours. The Jammu Tawi-Indore Malwa Express was stranded at the railway station for more than half an hour as an electrically hauled goods train got stuck near the Dhandari railway station. The train was moved with a diesel engine when the rail traffic on the Ludhiana-Ambala section was restored.

For the rail passengers, it was yet another day of uncertainties and delayed journeys. Several passengers aboard the Indore-bound Malwa Express chided the railway authorities for their failure to maintain movement of trains and provide correct information to the stranded passengers.



MC to lodge FIR against scrap dealer
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has decided to get an FIR registered against the scrap dealer, who had hired Pardeep Kumar for cleaning a sewerage line. The civic body has already banned the opening of sewers by private persons in the city and one needs to take permission for doing the same.

This decision was taken in February last year, when two MC employees had died while they were trying to open a sewerage line in the Bhagwan Chowk area of the city. At that time also, both the sewer men had lost their lives.

After this incident, the civic authorities had decided that an FIR would be lodged against anyone who opened a manhole without their permission.

At present, 844 persons are permanently employed as sewer men with the MC while around 300 are contractual staff. The contractual staff is paid a monthly salary of around Rs 4,000. Most of the contractual staff is involved in such 'private' jobs of cleaning choked sewers, which lead to such unfortunate incidents.

According to the orders issued by senior MC officials after the February, 2011, incident, if the employees were found cleaning any private sewer without taking permission from the higher officers, they would be suspended immediately. The employees were also advised to avoid entering a manhole without safety kits.

Joint Commissioner of the MC AS Sekhon said their first and foremost priority was to recover Pardeep Kumar's body. "Once his body is recovered, we would get an FIR registered against the scrap dealer, who has already been detained by the Haibowal Police," claimed Sekhon.

The corporation officials claim new safety kits have been purchased for the sewer men. "These kits are handed over to them whenever they go to clean a choked sewer," said Sekhon. For several years, sewer men were forced to use those safety kits, which weighed around 18 kg each. It was impossible for sewer men to enter a manhole of 12 inch diameter after wearing these safety kits. A sum of Rs 2 lakh is paid whenever a sewer man dies in harness. But, no compensation is paid when sewer men are involved in accidents while doing private jobs, like the today's incident.



Gloomy Rakhi for Babli
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
All hell broke loose for Babli, who will not be able to tie rakhi on her brother Pardeep Kumar’s wrist on this Raksha Bandhan. Babli was at her in-laws' house in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh when the news of her brother’s death reached her.

When Pardeep Kumar left for “work”, even his family would have never imagined that they would not be able to see him alive ever again. Belonging to an economically weaker family, Pardeep was the only earning hand in the family, which included his wife and three children.

Pardeep had three children, a 14-year-old daughter, 12-year-old son and a four-year-old daughter.

The members of his family said he was able to earn a few extra bucks by cleaning sewers privately.

While speaking to The Tribune, Pardeep’s elder brother Binesh Kumar said: “He was a very jolly kind of person. We had never thought that God had planned such a painful end for him. His so-called friends, whom he had accompanied for cleaning a choked sewer, ran away when he fell into the manhole.”



Industrialists vent ire on power corpn
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
Yet another Northern Grid failure, second in two days, today, sent a chill down industrialists' spine. The industry of Ludhiana, which is known as the Manchester of India, is facing a tough time due to erratic power supply and the losses incurred by the industry on account of it are giving industrialists sleepless nights.

The power situation has been worse this summer. We demand the top officials of the PSPCL should submit their resignations with immediate effect. The whole state is suffering due to power shortage and nothing could be done, said Badish Jindal, president of Federation Of Punjab Small Industries Association.

Jindal said the PSPCL yesterday issued a notification mentioning that the industry in the state would remain shut till further orders. The notification was rolled back later during the night. "We are shocked how the PSPCL can ask the industry to shut operations. In case we fail to pay our dues on time, we are fined, now will the PSPCL pay for our losses?" Jindal asked. Though the notification was rolled back, the industry shut down due to the tripping of the Northern Grid this afternoon, he added.

Another industrialist, Vivek Kawatra, said my business is running into losses, thanks to the PSPCL. It has become impossible to run the unit on diesel power generator sets throughout the day. Besides, the compulsory weekly offs are giving us sleepless nights. How would production take place if the units had remained closed down for four days in a week besides unscheduled power cuts," he added.



60-year-old woman hacked to death
Belonged to a high-profile business family
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana July 31
In a tragic incident, 60- year- old woman, belonging to a high-profile business family, was hacked to death by unidentified assailants at her residence in the posh Model Town area here today. The victim has been identified as Taranjit Kaur. The incident came to light around 9pm when Harkirat Singh, the victim’s son, arrived at the house and was shocked to see the body of his mother lying in a pool of blood.

Harkirat raised an alarm and informed the police about the incident.

Soon after receiving the information the Model Town police swung into action and reached the spot.

Fingerprint experts and dog squad also arrived at the scene.

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP- II) Bhupinder Singh said, “It is a brutal murder case and it would not be appropriate to comment anything at the initial stage of investigation.”

Sources said that personal enmity appears to be the reason behind the murder as gold chain and other gold ornaments, the victim was wearing, were intact.

According to Harmohinder Singh, the victim’s husband, the family shifted to the new house barely two months- ago.

Earlier, the family was living at Model Town Extension. Harmohinder said his son Harkirat was along with him in the factory unit while his elder son Sukhdev Singh was visiting Uttarakhand in connection with business.

The victim was a house wife while her husband was running a nut-bolts manufacturing unit in the Dholewal area.

Harmohinder said they had recently solemnised the marriage of their daughter.

The police has took the possession of the body and sent it for a postmortem examination.

The incident led to panic in the area and inquisitive residents were seen gathering outside the victim’s house to know the details about the police investigation. 

Personal enmity suspected reason

Sources said that personal enmity appears to be the reason behind the murder as gold chain and other gold ornaments, the victim was wearing, were intact.



Liquor peddler opens fire at police
Three persons held with 90 boxes of liquor
Tribune New Service

Ludhiana, July 31
The city police nabbed three persons with 90 boxes of liquor following an exchange of fire on the Bhamia road during the wee hours here today. The suspects have been identified as Sanjiv Kumar, a resident of Indira Colony, Chandigarh Road, Gagandeep Singh and Shrivastiva of the Machiwara area.

However, the kingpin of the gang, Jagsir Singh, alias Sunny, who opened fire at the police party, managed to escape.

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP-IV) Sushil Kumar said the suspects were travelling in two vehicles, a Toyota Innova and a Tata Indigo. A police party, led by in charge of the anti-liquor smuggling staff Harbans Singh and ASI Sanjiv Kumar signalled the two vehicles to pullover.

Jagsir Singh, alias Sunny, who was travelling in the Toyota Innova, opened fire on the police party.

According to the police, Sunny fired four shots. In retaliation, in Harbans Singh and ASI Sanjiv Kumar fired shots into the air.

As it was dark, Sunny escaped while his three accomplice were nabbed. It was not the first time that Sunny had locked horns with the police. He is wanted in various other cases, including assault, drug peddling and gang wars.

The suspects have been booked under sections 307, 353, 186 and 34 of the IPC for attempt to murder, assault or use of criminal force to deter the public servant from discharging his duty.

In a similar incident, the Salem Tabri police nabbed two persons with 20 boxes of liquor. The suspects have been identified as Rajesh Kumar and Jasveer Singh. They were ferrying the boxes in a Maruti 800 car.



Milk prices increased by Rs 2
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
In yet another jolt to the common man's budget, the private milk-suppliers will increase milk rates by Rs 2 per liter from August 1. Though Verka has yet not decided whether it will increase prices or not but the dairy farmers attached with the cooperative societies have been continuously pressurising the state government to increase the rates else, they will be forced to adopt an agitating path.

A dairy farmer Barewal JS Sandhu (name changed) said he had increased the rates of milk to Rs 45 per litre. "I know the rates are pretty high but nobody can match my quality. Moreover, I am not bound to the state government or that to any other agency. I will fix the prices as per my requirement. The rates of fodder have increased tremendously and farmer has no other option but to increase the prices,” he said.

The huge disparity in milk prices is a cause of concern as in the absence of any Law or policy on formulating the prices; the private players are making the field day.

Talking to The Tribune, Rajpal Singh, general secretary of the Progressive Dairy Farmers' Association, Punjab, said that on August 2, the association would organise a press conference in Chandigarh to decide their further course of action, as the cooperative societies have not increased the milk prices.

“The private players are selling mil at the rate of Rs 45 per liter while Verka sells the same quality of milk for Rs 32 per liter. There is no check on the milk quality of private dairy farmers. There is adulteration too still they are minting money. The prices of green and dry fodder have increased, which affects us as well. We also want that Verka must increase the rates else we will adopt agitating path,” said Rajpal Singh.

According to the information available, the cost of milk to a dairy farmer comes out to be Rs 26 to 27 per liter (buffalo) but the private dairy farmers sell it to the tune of Rs 45 per liter while those attached with the cooperative societies sell it at low rates as compared to the private ones. In Punjab, about 25 lakh liters of milk is consumed everyday and Verka picks up about 7 lakh liters of milk each day.

A homemaker, Gurdeep Kaur, said that it had become too difficult to run the household during inflation when prices of basic necessities had reached maximum. “Milk is the basic requirement in each house. We cannot even cut-down on the quantity as kids need it,” rued Gurdeep Kaur.



Bed aspirants a confused lot
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, July 31
Students aspiring to pursue a BEd course seem to be lost in dates of registration, counselling, upgradation of seats, and declaration of results. They are confused about taking admission in a private college or to wait for the counselling of the government-aided colleges, so that they might be saved from the financial burden of almost double the fee in the private colleges.

"I have already registered for both government-aided and private colleges. My seat in the aided college will be confirmed late. So, there is a risk of losing my seat in the private college, as their admission process is already in full swing," said one of the BEd aspirants.

"I know that I have a good percentage and subject combination. So, I am sure to get admission in an aided college. But still, I do not want to take any risk and I am thinking of getting admission in a private college," said another student, who wants to take admission in an aided college due to a massive difference between the fee of private and government-aided colleges.

"The problem is that of fee, which is almost double in a private college. My father passed away last year. He was the only breadwinner of our family. I have got a good percentage in my graduation, but marks too, at times, fail to get you the desired seat," expressed another aspirant.

A student seeking admission in a private college said he was being harassed by the college authorities as he was being asked to submit additional money for the second counselling. "I got my registration done with Rs 1,000 and now when I could not get through in the first counselling, they have asked me to get my seat upgraded by paying Rs 5,000 more. We are confused as to how the process actually works. There is utter confusion. We have to depend and blindly follow the helpline, which, too, sometimes fails to give any clear response," he said.

Malwa Central College of Education for Women Principal Ravinder Kaur said: "The private colleges have unnecessarily created a panic situation. A number of seats in these colleges will be lying vacant even after the process of counselling and admissions is over. There are a total of 22 government and government-aided colleges with 200 seats each. A student who has secured 60 per cent marks and above is in a safe zone. So, rather than giving into the pressure of the private colleges, they should wait till August 3 when the merit list will be displayed. Moreover, our fee is Rs 20,000 in the first installment and Rs 17,000 in the second, while the fee charged by the private colleges is sure to give goose bumps to the students."



Rakhsha Bandhan sweets may taste bitter
VAT on sugar, shell out more money for sweets, cakes
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
Be prepared to loosen your purse strings, as sweets will cost you more this rakhi. After the state government imposed 5 per cent VAT on sugar, sweetmeat makers have shot up the prices. An increase of 5 to 10 per cent has been witnessed in the prices of the traditional sweets.

Narinder Pal Singh, president of Punjab Halwai Association, said, “Increase in price of sugar has further added to our woes. We are left with no other option but to increase the price of the finished goods. The input cost has been increasing with the increase in the prices of chickpea flour, dry fruits, ghee, milk and now sugar we were bound to increase the prices. Not only price rise but we are also facing the problem of labour and power shortage as well,” he said.

Indian festivals are incomplete without traditional sweets and now that too has become costly. “With government levying VAT, sweetmeat makers have shot up the prices. Since it is an integral part our festivals we cannot miss it out. On raksha Bandhan, I will be buying mithai no matter if the prices are high,” said Swati, a resident of South City.

“Not only sweets but also the prices of confectionary goods like cakes have also gone up. I love gifting cakes on raksha bandhan and other special occasions but now that the prices of dry and icing cakes have also gone up with the increase in sugar prices,” said another city resident Reema Malhotra. There is no tab on the increasing prices and common man is burdened under them. Everybody will be buying mithai and cakes but may be in less quantity, added she.

Customers are ordering theme cakes for rakhi. Cakes with colourful rakhis or cakes in the shape of rakhis are a hit among the city people. “Due to increase in the prices, some people are opting for smaller size cakes to save money but they are buying cakes as sweets are offered during the festival,” said an owner of a popular bakery in the city.



From schools
Monsoon party

Ludhiana: Monsoon season party was celebrated Mothers Pride Pre School here on Tuesday with a rain dance party in the school. Showers and sprinklers along with the splash pools made the children enjoy the day dancing out and throwing away the hot summer season.

Green Day

"Green Day" was organised by the students of Everest Play Way and Nursery School on the school premises here on Tuesday. On the occasion, students came in green dresses and crown of different flowers, fruits and vegetables.

Inter-school Sahodaya competition

An Inter-School Sahodaya competition in Swimming was held at DPS School from July 27 to 28. The students of the GRD Academy participated in the competition and brought laurels to the school. Simran Brar of XI won 2 gold and 3 silver medals.

Best Educationist Award

Parveena John, principal Ryan International School, was presented with the two awards in the field of Education-"National Mahila Rattan Gold Medal Award" by Indian Solidarity Council and Best Educationist Award and a Certificate of Education Excellence" by the International Institute of Education and Management in a National seminar on Education and Industrial Development which was held in New Delhi on July 25.

Tributes paid

Paying homage to the memories of great man of courage and action, special discussion sessions were organised at BVM, Kitchlu Nagar, to make students aware of his sacrifices. Similarly, teachers and students of SDP Senior Secondary School, Hazuri Road, Ludhiana, paid homage to patriot Udham Singh on his Martyrdom Day. A chart making and poetry recitation competition was organised on the occasion. The students depicted the menace of drugs down grading the youth and exuviated how the youth cab get inspiration from this great patriot through charts.

Book Week

Bal Bharatians celebrated Book Week in school as an annual event. The whole week, studded with literary activities, commenced with activity 'Meet My Pal'. About 45 students of class I participated in the activity and introduced the various helpers that we come across in our daily life.

Display board competition

GNPS, Model Town Extension, organised a display board competition on the school campus. The importance of games and sports in curriculum was presented in effective manner by students. Class III students exhibited the ill effects of junk food in an informative way.

Students selected for youth award

Directorate, Punjab Computer Education and Welfare Society has selected two students, Eknoor Kaur and Twinkle Kaura, for Kartar Singh Sarabha Youth Award. The ceremony will be organised on August 8 at Tagore Theater, Sector 18 , Chandigarh. Awards will be given by secretariat, National Sarv Sikhya Abhiyan, New Delhi.

Jungle Day

Jungle Day was celebrated at Green Land Convent School Dugri here on Tuesday to lay emphasis on the saving of jungles to save endangered species. The tiny-tots dressed as trees and animals gave a wonderful performance conveying a message that if jungles were saved, only then the wild animals would survive. Children came dressed as elephant, zebra, tiger, sparrows.

Teej celebrated

Teej was celebrated by the girls of Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar Bye Pass, and Green Land Convent School, Subhash Nagar. The girls of both the schools enjoyed the celebrations at Subhash Nagar branch. Students were dressed up in colourful outfits with Phulkari, Parandi, Patiala Shahis, Punjabi juttis along with typical Punjabi ornaments.

Guru Gobind Singh Public School

The traditional festival of teej was celebrated in Guru Gobind Singh Public School, Pakhowal Road. A prize distribution function was organised on the occasion. Simarjeet Singh Bains, MLA was the chief guest of the occasion. Prizes were distributed to the students who had secured 10 CGPA in Class X, 100 per cent attendance prize, students winning in Divinity competitions, sports etc.

GMT students shine

GMT students won first runner up trophy in the U-16 boys table tennis team during the Inter-School Sahodaya School Complex Competition. The competition was held at DCM Presidency on July 27 to 29. Over 20 schools from all over Ludhiana had participated in this competition. Sanjeer of X, Harshul of X, Neerav of IX, Neerav Grover of X, Gaurav Popli of X class won silver medals and trophies for their marvelous victory.

Kiddies Paradise School

Students of Kiddies's Paradise School welcomed 'Sawan' and celebrated 'Teej' with traditional gaiety and fervours. Tastefully decorated school campus with make-shift swings and fast disappearing colourful traditional articles displaying Punjabi cultural heritage added all the more charm and glamour to Teej celebrations. — TNS



Amended PNDT Act
Dept tightens noose on centres
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
The Health Department is strictly implementing the gazette notification of India regarding the amended PNDT Act, which restricts radiologists from visiting more than two centres for doing ultrasonography. The department has issued these instructions to all the radiologists in the first week of June and asked them to give the department in writing as to which two ultrasound centres they would visit and what will be their working hours there. The department has also issued instructions to the owners of ultrasound centres to give them in writing about radiologists visiting them.

The Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, Dr Subhash Batta, said, "I have received consent in writing from 99 per cent radiologists."

While the District Family Welfare Officer, Ludhiana, Dr Sanjeev Hans, said, "We have issued instructions to all the radiologists as well as the owners of ultrasound centres. We also gave a deadline of five days to these centres during which they were supposed to give us in writing about the radiologist visiting them and what are his visiting hours. The centres, which failed to informs us about the same in the stipulated time, are now being inspected by us and their ultrasound machines sealed, not due to deficiency in service but because of unavailability of radiologists."

Dr Hans said ever since the implementation of this amended Act, they had sealed four ultrasound machines at different centres for unavailability of radiologists there.

On the other hand, general secretary of the Indian Radiologist and Imaging Association, Punjab and Chandigarh, Dr Rajeev Garg said, "The Bombay and Delhi high courts have given a stay order on the gazette notification of June 4, 2012, issued by the Government of India. We want compliance of this stay order in Punjab too. I have mailed a request in this regard to the Director, Health Services, and the Principal Secretary, Health Services. There are already a few radiologists in the state, so such restrictions would affect health care delivery and poor patients will suffer."

Officials Speak

  • The Deputy Medical Commissioner, Ludhiana, Dr AK Handa, said, "For stay, the association should move the Punjab and Haryana High Court. We cannot do anything in this regard."
  • The Civil Surgeon, Dr Subhash Batta, said, "I have orders in black and white from the state government for implementing the amended Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques Act (PNDT Act) strictly and we are following it. I have not received anything in writing like a stay against the gazette notification of India. We are sealing the ultrasound machines not due to deficiency in service by the centre but due to the absence of radiologists over there."

Change in Rule 13

  • Dr Sanjeev Hans said, "There is also an amendment to Rule 13 of Pre-Conception Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique (PCPNDT Act), according to which, the owner of an ultrasound centre will have to seek the approval of the district health authorities one month prior to buying or changing any equipment or deploying any employer at the centre."



PAU to introduce mushroom-growing packages
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana July 31
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) is going to introduce button mushroom growing packages for domestic use very soon. The university would provide packages of compost including mushroom seeds to resident. According to the experts from the PAU, thee mushroom packages can grow in the urban areas and one can fulfill his domestic requirements.

Basically, mushroom growing is a rural activity because raw material, manure and other required components for mushroom farming are easily available in villages. But the PAU would introduce readymade bags of 5 kg compost including seeds, which can easily kept in homes.

According to the university experts, the PAU will start selling these mushrooms from this October and after one month, one can cultivate. Button mushroom can cultivate 3 to 4 times in 6 weeks during winters. A 5-kg package can produce 700g mushrooms during 6 weeks.

Dr PK Khanna, Additional Director Research (food processing) said, “We are going to start this project from this winter. It would be beneficial for people who reside in the urban areas. We shall charge Rs 32 for 5 kg compost packet, which is very nominal as compared to the market prices of mushrooms. One can buy these packets according to his requirement. As many as 10 packets are sufficient for a small family.”

“This small scale mushroom growing requires little efforts. There is no need of any separate training session. Growers have to spray water two times on mushroom bags. We shall guide the customers when they will come for purchase. Mushroom growing will be very beneficial as our seeds are certified and one can take hygienic, nutrition and safe mushrooms by growing it at home.



School refuses entry to student
Had consumed energy drink in school; parents protest
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana July 31
A high drama witnessed outside of the Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, when parents of a student along with relatives protested against the school authorities. Protesters alleged that School authorities have restricted the entry of class IX students on false ground.

Student's father said the school authorities called him to the school on July 20 and told that his son had consumed Red Bull (an energy drink) on the school premises.

“Sports teacher had complained to me about my son and advised me to not send the student to school for some days. He told me that it was a punishment to make realise him his mistake. I agreed to him and did not send my son to school for the next three days. But on Monday when my son joined the school the school authorities did not allow him to enter class. When I met with principal, she said my child has consumed liquor in the school so they could not allow him to continue,” said father of student.

Meanwhile, parents alleged that their son had seen a teacher while consuming smack on the school premises so school was harassing him.

“Today, we staged a protested in front of the school gate but no one came from the management,” said father of student.

Mona Singh, principal, Guru Nanak Public School said, “The issue involves minor child, so I do not want to talk about the incident because it involves with future of a student.”



Power cuts add to woes of patients, attendants
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

A view of the Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital in Ludhiana. Tribune file photo

Ludhiana, July 31
Frequent power cuts are adding to the woes of patients and their attendants at the Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital. Ranjeet Kumar, a resident of Chander Nagar, Haibowal, said, “I stayed here for a few hours with my uncle, who is undergoing a treatment. It became difficult even to breathe as there was no electricity.”

While a patient who was otherwise on way to recovery said, “I feel that I have again fallen sick in the absence of power supply. I am having severe headache due to this.”

In a few wards, the patients and their attendants were facing this crisis since morning. It was only around 5 this evening when the north grid became functional and the patients of these wards heaved a sigh of relief.

Shiv Ram Saroy, founder of Ann Jal Sewa Trust, said, “We faced a lot of problem in preparing breakfast and lunch today, as there was no fresh water supply since morning. As power and water supply are connected, so whenever power is off, water supply also gets affected.”

Senior medical officer, Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, Dr Karanveer Goyal, said, “We have power generator sets in the hospital, but it helps us in providing power in some parts of the hospital. The power supply was there in most of the wards, however, only a few were affected. I again visited the hospital in the evening to take stock of the situation and found the power supply normal.”



10-yr-old missing child found
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
The Model Town police has rescued a 10-year-old boy of Nepalese origin, who went missing from Patiala around 12 days ago. The boy, identified as Krishna, was today handed over to his father, Dhan Bahadur, by the Model Town police.

Giving details about the incident, Model Town police station SHO Ashok Kumar said it was on July 18 that Krishna lost his way home. He told the police that he was upset and wanted to go back to Nepal. He hired a bus and reached Ludhiana.

“As he could not understand the local language, Punjabi, he had no idea where the bus had dropped him. He had Rs 100 when he reached the city. Soon, the entire money was exhausted and he started begging for food,” said SHO Ashok Kumar.

Dhan Bahadur told the police that he along with his son came to Patiala around 20 days ago in the pursuit of a job. It was last night that PCR policemen spotted Krishna in a miserable state in Model Town and took him to the police station where they called a Nepalese resident to understand the child’s language. Krishna gave a mobile number belonging to his relatives in Nepal. The relatives further gave the mobile number of Dhan Bahadur’s relative in Patiala.



Hospitality industry in city to promote organ donation
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
To promote its organ donation campaign, Ludhiana-based organisation GLODAS (Gift of Life — Organ Donation Awareness Society) will collaborate with the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Ludhiana.

"The idea is to educate the people with help of the hospitality industry. The industry serves lakhs of people who visit the hotels and restaurants," said Dr B S Aulakh, founder of GLODAS.

The hotels and restaurants would supply forms and educational material on organ donation along with donor cards to visitors, Dr Aulakh said. "Slogans related to organ donation will be written on bill books, table tops and even in the reception halls," he added.

On Wednesday, the society is holding an inaugural campaign on organ donation where the Commissioner of Police would be the chief guest, Dr Aulakh informed.

GLODAS came into existence in Ludhiana in 2007 with the aim to promote organ donation. It was conceived by philanthropists and medical professionals led by Dr Aulakh, professor of urology and transplant surgery.

The society aims to make people aware about brain death and importance of organ donation in saving lives. So far, the society has distributed more than 10,000 donor cards.



53 students take veterinarian's oath
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
The College of Veterinary Science at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University celebrated an oath-taking ceremony of 53 passing-out veterinarians of 2007 batch. The students who graduated inclued 14 girls.

Dr HS Sandhu, Dean, College of Veterinary Science, administered the veterinarian's oath to the passing out graduates. He spoke about the achievements of students who had brought laurels to the university in the field of academics, sports and extra-curricular activities. He highlighted the importance of livestock in nation's economy as well as welfare of farmers. He appealed to the students to be passionate about animals' welfare and to follow ethics of the profession.

Speaking on the occasion, GADVASU Vice-Chancellor Dr VK Taneja highlighted the importance of teacher student relations in the academic curriculum. He asked the interns to give feedback so that quality of the education and training could be improved in the future. He exhorted the students to work hard and face bravely the challenges before them and to achieve excellence in their professional life. He urged them to serve the society, especially the poor farmers in the rural sector.

Dr Taneja said veterinarians should also give importance to livestock production and extension apart from providing healthcare facilities.



Test flight expected by weekend
Installation of DVOR at Sahnewal airport
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
To check the success of a recently installed Doppler Very High Frequency Omni Range (DVOR) in five acres of land at the Sahnewal airport, the first test flight is expected to be conducted by the weekend.

VP Jain, official in charge for the Airport Authority of India, said he was conveyed that the test flight could be conducted by the weekend. On asked why it had not been conducted so far, Jain said the aircraft was not available for the test drive.

The DVOP provides the pilot an idea or visibility to land the plane on seeing just two kilometers of the track where plane can be landed. Once the test flight is conducted successfully, by mid August, the facility will become fully operational at the airport.

Amrik Singh from the Sahnewal airport, however, said the flights were landing and taking off thrice a week from here. “It is only when the weather is not favourable that the flights get affected, otherwise it is normal. But with the installation of DVOR, it will become more convenient for the pilots to access everything closely,” said Singh.

Meanwhile, the local industry has expressed happiness over the state government’s decision to acquire more land to expand the Sahnewal airport. “This should have been done by now, as for the business class it will save a lot of time,” said SC Ralhan, chairman, Northern Region of Export Engineering Promotion Council.



Food Security Bill
Communist workers leave for Delhi
Kuldip Bhatia

CPI workers at the Ludhiana railway station before leaving for New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, July 31
Hundreds of workers of the Communist Party of India (CPI) led by district secretary Kartar Singh Bowani today left for Delhi to participate in the ongoing five-day dharna being staged by the Left parties to press the demand for adoption of the Food Security Bill in the monsoon session of Parliament.

Addressing a rally, the CPI leaders said despite tall claims of growth by the government, some 380 million persons in the country were suffering from hunger and malnutrition.

While reiterating the demand for providing food security and clean drinking water to all, the CPI leaders called upon the government to ensure supply of cheap and good quality food grain to the people through public distribution system, irrespective of the financial status of the beneficiaries, scrap the proposed foreign direct investment in the retail sector.



Last date for filing of income tax returns extended
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 31
Owing to the power grid failure in the northern and eastern parts of the country, the income tax department has extended the last date for filing returns by one month. Now, the last date for filing I-T returns is August 31.

A senior I-T official confirming the same said the date had been extended keeping in view the power failure in certain parts of the country. “Those who were unable to file their returns have ample time now and can file them by August 31,” he said.

Welcoming the step, Jatinder Khurana, tax professional, said, “This has come as a big relief to many taxpayers. The power failure has occurred as a big hurdle in filing the returns. This is a welcome step, as now people will be able to file their returns on time and they will not have to pay interest,” he added.



60-yr-old held under NDPS Act
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, July 31
The city police has nabbed a recidivist (habitual offender), a drug peddler, and recovered 800 gm of charas from his possession.

The accused has been identified as Brij Lal, alias Birju (60), a resident of Hargobind Nagar, and was nabbed by the Jodhewal Basti police during a naka at the Noorwala road here last night.

Birju was carrying a polythene bag and on checking the bag, the police found the contraband weighing 800 gm. The accused was detained.

It was not for the first time that Birju was nabbed in the case of drug peddling. He admitted before the police that he was into the trade from 20 years. Birju has been booked under Sections 20, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.

Habit-forming drugs seized

Habit-forming drugs worth Rs 5,000 were seized from a chemist shop near Daba Police Post area today. Drug Inspector Karuna Gupta along with ASI Dharminder Singh raided the medical provision store, Money Medical Hall, and seized the drugs. "We raided Money Medical Hall and seized habit forming drugs, including 56 bottles of Rexcof cough syrup, and Parvon Spas tablets," said Gupta.

Thieves decamp with 3 mobile phones

Thieves struck at the house of an employee of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), who reside in Besant Estate, and decamped with three mobile phones and two ATM cards. The incident came to light when Keval Singh, a PSPCL employee, returned home and saw the door of his house open. He was shocked to see the house ransacked and informed the police about the incident.

He said the thieves fled with three mobile phones and two ATM cards.

1 held, 1.6-kg opium seized

Jagraon: The Jagraon police has arrested Rajvir Singh, sarpanch of Rajoana village near Sudhar, and seized 1.6 kg of opium recovered from his possession.

According to Jagraon SSP Gurpreet Singh Toor, the police laid a naka for routine checking on the link road leading to Kular from Chaunkiman. In the process, policemen stopped a car coming from Chaunkiman side and when searched found 1.6 kg of opium in it.



Man killed in road accident
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, July 31
A middle-aged man was killed in an accident when a speeding Toyota Innova (PB10 BV 3213) hit him at the Sherpur road near the Jagraon grain market. The deceased has been identified as Laxman Singh (45), a resident of old city area of the town.

The accident happened at around 4pm when a speeding Toyota Innova hit the Honda Activa he was riding on. He was rushed to the Civil Hospital where he was declared brought dead.

DSP Jagraon Surinder Kumar said a case of negligent driving had been registered against unidentified persons.



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