L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


‘peti mafia’
Railways joins hands with tax dept
To curb evasion of VAT and other taxes causing loss to state exchequer
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 3
Softening their divergent stand against the enforcement staff of the state excise and taxation department, the Northern Railway authorities have now decided to extend cooperation to the taxation staff to check the nefarious activities of “peti mafia” and curb massive evasion of VAT and other taxes.

Till now, the railway officials and the staff of the enforcement wing of the excise and taxation department have been at loggerheads over inspection and seizure of goods once these enter the railway parcel office, and there have been quite a few open confrontations between them over the crucial issue with the result that operators of “peti mafia” have been having a free run.

A meeting of senior railway officials, including the divisional railway manager, Ferozepur Division of the Northern Railway, NC Goyal, and the senior divisional commercial manager, MM Singh, with the officials of the Punjab Excise and Taxation department, held here last week arrived at a conclusion that both the departments ought to support each other to discipline the “peti mafia” which was causing a huge loss to the state and national exchequer by way of tax evasion.

The railway authorities, on their part offered to plug all unauthorised entries points to the railway parcel office and allow entry to vehicles carrying parcels only through the main entry gate of the goods office while the excise and taxation officials assured that if access to the parcel office was confined to one entry point, they would carry out the inspection of documents and packages before the consignments entered the railway premises.

The officials of the mobile wing of the excise and taxation department contended that with several unguarded entry points to the Railway Complex near Society Cinema, bylanes on Deepak Cinema Road and railway goods shed on the Old Courts Road, the operators of “peti mafia” had easy access to the parcel office.

"Manufactured goods worth crores are sent out of the city by the Railways without proper invoices and payment of taxes, and once the packages enter the parcel office, the railway officials do not allow us to check the goods or inspect the document quoting rules governing carriage and transport of goods through parcel wagons," the taxation officials said.

Taxation officials said if the Railways were to put up barricades on all unguarded entry points to the parcel office and the Railway Complex, the task of the enforcement staff would become much easier and help in checking massive evasion of taxes.

entry points clubbed

A meeting of senior railway officials held here recently reached a conclusion that to discipline the “peti mafia” which was causing a huge loss to the state and national exchequer by way of tax evasion. The railway authorities, on their part offered to plug all unauthorised entry points to the railway parcel office and allow entry to vehicles carrying parcels only through the main entry gate of the goods office while the excise and taxation officials assured that if access to the parcel office was confined to one entry point, they would carry out the inspection of documents and packages before the consignments entered the railway premises.


Man dies of ‘suffocation’ at Mini Secretariat
Shivani Bhakoo and Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
Gorakh Nath, a 35-year-old man, who had come to the Mini Secretariat to get his licence made, died outside the Suvidha Centre following "suffocation and breathlessness" here at around 11.30 am.

Though the eye-witnesses claim that had he been given timely first aid, he could have been saved, while the staff at the Suvidha Centre maintain that the moment they got to know about his deteriorating condition, they immediately informed the police and the ambulance.

An eye-witness said, after entering the Suvidha Centre, Gorakh Nath became breathless and immediately came out. He started vomiting outside the Suvidha Centre. "He was suffering from breathlessness and was vomiting. He then made a call to someone. Had he been given timely treatment or the first-aid on the spot, he could have been saved. The ambulance and the police came after 20 minutes and by that time he was already dead", said Kartar Kaur, an eye-witness.

As per available information, Gorakh Nath was basically a migrant, but for the past two decades, he had been living at Karamsar Colony with his wife and two children.

"Today, he had come to get his licence made, but on reaching the Suvidha Centre he felt uncomfortable and suffocated. He started vomiting and then called his nephew Sonu Gupta who lives near Tibba Road to rush to the Mini Secretariat as his condition was serious. When the employees tried to take him to a hospital, he requested to let his nephew and a cousin come. By that time, we reached the spot, Gorakh Nath was already dead. His family members said that it could be a case of heart failure. But things will be made clear after his post-mortem report is out", said the ASI Jaswinder Singh, who reached at the spot after getting information from the control room.

Gorakh Nath may have died a natural death, but in cases of emergency, there should be some arrangement in place to provide timely medical aid, feel the visitors at the Mini Secretariat.

Jagtar Singh, one of the visitors at the DTO office, said that hundreds of visitors came here daily. There should be a dispensary with a doctor stationed here, who can take care of those falling sick when they come to get their work done", said Singh.

The postmortem examination of Gorakh Nath was conducted by a panel of doctors. The viscera report is awaited and the body was handed over to the family.

DC marks an inquiry

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari has marked an inquiry into the incident and ADC General Neeru Katyal will look into the matter. 



MC decides to set house in order
To convert Zone A office near Mata Rani Chowk into headquarters
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
After The Tribune highlighted the poor state of MC Zone A office, the Ludhiana municipal corporation has now decided to set its house "in order" and convert Zone A office located near the Mata Rani Chowk into the headquarters.

MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma today asked the officials concerned to survey the Zone A building and submit a report within a week.

"It is surprising that all records are not under one roof," said the Commissioner.

At present, the MC Commissioner sits in Zone A office every Monday, while he sits in Zone D office in Sarabha Nagar on the remaining weekdays. Interestingly, whenever the MC Commissioner wants to hold any meeting on weekdays (excluding Monday), the officials concerned have to go to Zone D office which is a waste of time.

I wonder why the MC Commissioner sits in Zone D building when his office is in Zone A? Maybe this is the reason behind the poor performance of the officials. Zone A office will be converted into the MC headquarters and I will sit there on all working days," said Rakesh Kumar Verma.

In the process of converting Zone A into the headquarters, even the office of Zonal Commissioner of Zone A maybe shifted to some other place. "We have limited rooms in Zone A, therefore only a handful of employees will be present there. We are mulling over shifting other offices as well," said the MC Commissioner.

As far as the facilities are concerned, the civic body's Zone A office is in a bad shape. Cracks have appeared on several walls of the three-storeyed building and it seems that no one is concerned about the safety of the officials and visitors.

The situation is such that the doors of toilets are broken and washbasins are without outlet pipes.

The Ludhiana civic body needs to take a look at its own Zone A building first.

The MC Commissioner said orders had also been issued for carrying out necessary repair work in the Zone A office. "An office should look like an office and I must admit that our Zone A office does not present a pleasant picture. The issue was highlighted in these columns of The Tribune following which orders were issued to officials to fix the things at the earliest. Leave aside other things, even the stairs at the entry point need to be cleaned, besides several other works," stated MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma.



‘Derogatory’ remarks against Akali Councillor
Case registered against engineering student
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
A case under Section 66-A of the IT Act has been registered against an engineering student, Rahul Sadiora, a resident of Sahibzaada Ajit Singh Nagar for posting "derogatory" comments on the Facebook against Harcharan Singh Golwaria, an Akali Councillor from Ward Number 70.

As per available information, the complaint was registered by the Councillor in July after the Municipal Corporation elections in Ludhiana. The comments were allegedly posted by the student right after the Municipal Corporation elections and the complaint was forwarded to the Cyber Crime Cell, following which a case was finally registered on September 1.

Talking to The Tribune, Golwaria said that the youth against whom he had got a case registered, was just like his son. "Under the pressure of other rival politicians, Rahul posted derogatory remarks against me and my family on the Facebook, which is really unfortunate. We know him and his family as they live nearby. I came to know about this through someone. The comments are damaging and derogatory and it is a direct personal attack. The comments posted by him have brought disrepute to the family. I really did not want to be harsh, but I was left with no other option", said the Councillor adding that he does not know whether the comments are still there or not as he had made a request that the page be removed.

Jaswinder Singh, SHO, Shimlapuri Police Station, said that a case had been registered.



Superstitious parents try to bury infant
Rescued near railway track at Haibowal
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
In a horrifying incident, a 21-day-old infant, Dinesh, was rescued by the Government Railway Police (GRP) here today when his parents along with two other men, tried to bury the child near the railway track at Haibowal this afternoon.

As per available information, the parents of Dinesh, Mukesh (father) and Rita (mother), used to visit a “tantrik”, who told them that their newborn was not "lucky" for them. The parents took the child to the tantrik, who first tried to burn him. Fingers of the child have been burnt. At that time, the child reportedly became stiff and unconscious and the “tantrik” thought that he was dead. He then asked the parents to bury him.

Both Rita and Mukesh (migrants) along with two other persons brought the child to the railway tracks near Haibowal and dug a pit to bury him. The whole incident was being witnessed by Devinderpal Singh, who lived nearby. He immediately informed the GRP about the incident as he was suspicious about the "activity" being carried out in a hurried manner.

The police reached the spot and took all four persons into custody. As the child was breathing, he was immediately taken to the Civil Hospital for treatment. Meanwhile, Rita has been kept at the hospital to take care of the infant, under police supervision. "The other three persons, including Mukesh (father) have been arrested", said a police official at the GRP police station.



Scorpio catches fire, driver safe
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
A Scorpio SUV turned to ashes due to sparking in the inner wiring of the vehicle on the Dugri Bridge here today. Car driver Ravinder Kumar (58) came out of the vehicle with the help of commuters after the vehicle got centrally locked following a short circuit.

Ravinder Kumar is a resident of Gill village and was coming back from Pakhowal Road after dropping his relatives. The vehicle is owned by Ravinder's relative. Ravinder said on reaching the Dugri Bridge, he noticed the fire in the engine of the vehicle. He stopped the SUV but was unable to come out of it as it got centrally locked.

"When I reached the Dugri Bridge I found that smoke was billowing out from the engine of the vehicle. I stopped the car immediately and tried to open the window. But it became difficult for me open the vehicle as I found that the SUV was centrally locked. I broke the glass window and some commuters helped me come out" said Ravinder.

Satwinder Singh, SHO, Dugri police station, said, the incident took place due to sparking in the inner wiring of the vehicle. The SUV turned to ashes within a few minutes. Fortunately, the driver is safe".



13.30 quintal of poppy husk seized, four arrested
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
The Jagraon police has recovered a huge quantity of poppy husk from the Sidhwan Bhet area of Ludhiana district and four persons have been arrested involved in smuggling of narcotics. The police recovered 13.30 quintal poppy husk on September 3 and 3.85 quintal poppy husk was recovered on September 2.

Navreet Singh Virk, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Dakha, said that they had arrested Ramandeep Singh and Jeewan Singh, residents of Sidhwan Kalan, who were carrying a huge consignment on a canter.On getting a tip off, a naka was laid in Bharowal Kalan. He said that they had also arrested two more associates of Ramandeep, Swaran Singh alias Sona and Karaj Singh, resident of Dholewal of Moga district. He said that they had recovered five registration number plates of different states from the vehicle of Ramandeep as he changed the number plates of the vehicle before entering states.

"In the preliminary investigation we have come to know that many cases have already been registered in the name of the gang. The arrested persons are part of a big drug -peddling nexus and they have started investigation to arrest big fish of the network" said Virk.



.5 % increase in VAT on certain items from today
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
The value added tax (VAT) rate has increased by 0.5 percent on certain goods from today. Now traders have to shell out more for paying VAT on the items and schedule listed below. Not only this, traders have to get their software updated for filing VAT returns.

"Every time there is a change in the rate of VAT we have to get our software updated as the rate of VAT is already installed in the software. For filing VAT returns of our clients we first have to dig into our own pockets to get the software updated," added Jatinder Khurana, tax professional.

Sukhminder Singh, a trader said, "First it was e-trip system, then it announced to charge processing fee and now the rate of VAT has been increased. We will now have to get the software updated and in addition to this shell out more on submitting VAT," he added.



Not caring much about the spurt in suicide, murder cases in city
Police issues 447 firearms licences
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
Ignoring the rising cases of suicide, murder and clash by licensed weapon holders, the police has issued licences to 63 per cent of city residents this year. It also allowed 10 women to purchase the firearms.

A total of 709 applications were received by the police this year.

About 696 applicants were men while women applicants were 13. The department issued 447 licences to 437 men and 10 women.

Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh said, "We have issued a few licences this year. Only those in need are given the licences."

The police officials said before the issuance of a licence, the department conducted a two-day training at the Police Lines.

Applicants are told how to use a weapon during the training programme.

A medical certificate and police verification are also required for the issuance of the licence.

If someone misuses the weapon or any case is registered against him or her, the authorities cancel the licence on the complaint of the officer concerned.

Misuse of weapons

A 17-year-old boy shot himself in the head with his father's licensed revolver at his residence in Ishwar Nagar Colony, Daba area, on July 26 this year. The boy took the revolver following a heated argument.

A 19- year-old Kulwant Singh, son of Sub-Inspector Nirmal Singh, shot himself in the head, with a service revolver of his father on May 22, 2012.

Not only the youngsters, but elders, too, are using weapons to commit suicide. Kewal Ahuja, a 61-year-old former Punjab State Power Corporation official, shot himself in Hambra village on July 22.

The brutal murder of Avtar Singh Gora on January 7, 2001, who was shot dead by CAT- turned- policeman Gurmeet Singh Pinki and the recent broad daylight shooting incident in which former sarpanch Bunty Bajwa succumbed to bullet injuries during the municipal corporation (MC) elections on June 10, still haunt the city residents.

Later, the city police nabbed a 24 -year-old youth, Karanbir, who belongs to an affluent family and has a criminal record, for killing Bunty Bajwa.

Recently, at a night club in Ghumar Mandi, some drunk youths pulled out pistols and trained those at each other following a heated argument. However, the owner of the night club along with the employees managed to handle the situation.



Mad scramble for postal assistant's post
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
There is an acute shortage of forms for the post of postal assistant at the post office here. So much is the demand for these forms that about 800 forms vanished within two hours in the morning. Forms have arrived in the city only thrice since the date of filling of forms was announced on August 11.

About 2,200 forms have been received so far. This despite the fact that there is no opening in the city division and only four vacancies are there in the Mufassil (rural) division. Apart from these, vacancies for other stations are there, though.

The overwhelming demand for these forms is because overqualified people show keen interest in working at the postal departments. Although the eligibility for the post is only Class XII, people with masters degree are also applying for the posts.

People pursuing doctorates are also working at the postal department. "There are hardly any government jobs these days, and these are one of the most coveted ones," said Rohit, who has a masters degree in English.

For some, the absence of interview in the entrance test is the turning point. "This is one of the very few entrance tests that is totally based on the merit as there is no interview. There is always a possibility of favouritism in interviews. But here only those candidates are selected who qualify the objective test," said Aditi, a student.

"This is one of the best opportunities as the status, facilities and the work environment in the post offices have improved immensely over the last few years, and it is thus a great thing," said another resident.

As per an official at the postal department, "There is a great demand for these forms. Many people take two-three forms together, and thus these vanish in no time," he added.



Date for oath taking ceremony yet to be finalised
No communiqué received by civic body officials so far
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
Councillors may not be administered an oath on July 6 as the civic body has not received any communiqué in this regard. The MC officials kept waiting for an official communiqué today.

As per rules, whenever the state government sends an official communiqué in this regard, the oath-taking ceremony takes place three days later. For example, if the letter arrives tomorrow (September 4), the oath ceremony will be held on September 7.

As the term of the outgoing MC house is ending on September 6, the local leaders were expecting that the ceremony would be held on that day.

Manjit Singh, secretary, Ludhiana municipal corporation, said they had not received any official communiqué from the state government. “Once we receive the communiqué, the ceremony will be organised,” he said.

It is learnt that the communiqué will be in the form of invitation letters that will be sent to the newly elected councillors as well as seven local MLAs.

“These invitation letters will come in the form of individual sealed envelopes from the office of Divisional Commissioner, Patiala. Whenever they arrive in Ludhiana, they will be distributed among the councillors," said a senior MC official. Ajit Singh Pannu, Divisional Commissioner, Patiala, will administer the oath to the newly elected councillors. After the ceremony, election to the posts of Mayor, Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor will be held.

Two days after June 10 MC elections, all elected Shiromani Akali Dal and Bharatiya Janta Party councillors had given all rights of choosing the Mayor to the SAD president and Deputy CM, Sukhbir Singh Badal.

“As all rights have been given to Sukhbir Singh Badal, an envelop containing the name of the Mayor will be brought to the MC house by a senior Akali leader. Even the BJP has discussed names for the posts of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor in a meeting held in Chandigarh today. And it is likely that a senior BJP leader will either announce the name of councillors to be elected as the Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor or a sealed envelop will be delivered in the meeting,” said a senior Akali leader from the city.

The Ludhiana MC is the richest civic body of the state with an annual budget for 2012-13 being Rs 741 crore. As per the internal arrangement between the Akali Dal and Bharatiya Janta Party, the post of Mayor goes with the Akali Dal, while the posts of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor remain with the BJP.



Woman driving vehicle with blue beacon atop let off
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
The traffic police has been "trying hard" to maintain law and order in the city. But these strict directions seem to be missing in certain cases as a woman, claiming to be a "close relative" of a DSP serving in some other district, has put a blue beacon atop her Pajero.

A traffic policeman said the woman was "influential".

"When I stopped her, she made me speak to her relative, who is a DSP and later on asked me to let her go.

I had to listen to the official. She is not an official, but she roams in the vehicle with a blue beacon atop," said the policeman.

While Inspector (traffic) Beant Juneja said, "We are here to take action against defaulters. In case, we find any violation, we will impound the vehicle. Otherwise, anyone can complaint to us and we will take action against the offender. Law is there for everyone and we have to follow the rules," said Juneja.



mayoral poll
BJP candidates
Party high command to take final call
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
With the date for the election to the posts of Mayor, Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor being announced anytime, the Bharatiya Janta Party today convened a meeting of all its councillors in Chandigarh today.

During the meeting, it was “unanimously” decided that the names of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor will be decided by the party high command and all councillors and other party leaders will accept them.

Today’s meeting was chaired by BJP state president Ashwani Sharma, general secretary Kamal Sharma and senior leader Ajay Jamwal, besides others.

A BJP councillor said before the meeting, all party councillors were called one by one to a room, where their suggestions were sought. “They asked us to give our suggestions on the names of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor. Later, after hearing all of us, they decided in the meeting that the names will be finalised by the party high command themselves,” said the councillor.

Parveen Bansal, BJP district president, and the Senior Deputy Mayor in the Ludhiana MC outgoing house, confirmed that the final names would be decided by the party high command themselves. “We have assured the party high command that we will adhere by the party's decision," said Bansal.

The newly elected BJP councillors are Sunita Aggarwal (ward number 13), Megha Aggarwal (ward number 14), Inderjit Aggarwal (ward number 18), Monica Jaggi (ward number 20), Sumit Malhotra (ward number 21), Ripu Daman Sharma (ward number 25), Renu Sharma (ward number 29), Narinder Singh Malhi (ward number 31), Gurdeep Singh Neetu (ward number 42), Geeta Devi (ward number 43), Ramandeep Kaur (ward number 44) and Renu Bansal (ward number 51).

The BJP councillors are lobbying hard for the posts of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

The front-runners for the post of Senior Deputy Mayor are Gurdeep Singh Neetu and Sunita Aggarwal. Narinder Singh Malhi and Ripu Daman Sharma are in the race for Deputy Mayor. In the outgoing MC house, Neetu was the leader of the BJP councillors while Sunita Aggarwal was the Deputy Mayor.



Fountains — the in thing
Tribune News Service

Residents of Ludhiana are decking up their houses with fountains
Residents of Ludhiana are decking up their houses with fountains. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, September 3
Fountains also called waterfalls are finding spaces in the living rooms of many houses in the city these days. Available in various designs, some have the impression of Lord Budha on them, while others look like rectangular stones.

These add a special aura and mood to the place, as fountains of old times do not look very good and seem like a distraction at homes, but these fountains look very beautiful infusing a subtle calming effect, says Arun, a resident.

"The fountain adds a lot of freshness to the ambience, being a water figure,"says designer Sonu Gandhi, who has placed one in her fashion lounge. In addition to freshness, it looks beautiful, she says.

"I have kept this fountain especially in my spa for the light sound of water only accentuates the soothing effect we want in our spa," says Shweta Sharma, from a spa in Sarabha Nagar. Water falling down looks and sounds very calming to the senses and the musical sound of water is great to listen to, she says.

Available in various sizes of 1 ft by 1 ft to the 6 ft by 2.5 ft, the starting price of these fountains is Rs 5,000 and goes up to Rs 80,000, said GL Saini from a marble and decor store. The cost can go up further depending upon the material used for the fountains.

These fountain bars are unobtrusive and yet liven up the space, looking elegant and the sound of water adds great space to these, says Deepti, another resident. And being simply rectangular bars, these can easily be places on the sides without obstructing the pathways in the home and corridors, she says. These look nice and sophisticated, she adds.



Tanjore paintings catch visitors' fancy
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

A Tanjore painting put on display during an exhibition in Ludhiana
A Tanjore painting put on display during an exhibition in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, September 3
An exhibitor put up Tanjore paintings on display during an exhibition organised in the city. These paintings which are decades old have been procured from palaces in the South. The paintings in different sizes, including large 6ft by 4ft, were exhibited along with other artifacts bearing cultural and religious values.

Tanjore painting technique is the classical form of South Indian paintings from the town of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. The art form dates back to the 17th Century. Many paintings have been painted and coated with gold foil. Most of the paintings are those of deities, gods and goddesses. "Many of these were procured about five years ago from palaces in the South," says Dinesh, proprietor of the firm that exhibited the paintings.

Parveen Kumar, lecturer at the fine arts department in Government College for Women, said Tanjore paintings were known for their embossed art, richness and colours. "These cannot be called paintings in a complete sense as some parts of these are painted and portions of these paintings have very detailed and intricately designed ornamentation in the form of gold foils," he says. Tanjore paintings are particularly favoured in religious places, he says.

One of the paintings sized 6 ft by 4 ft was priced at more than Rs 4 lakh and another of Lord Vishnu was priced at Rs 3.94 lakh. The exhibition concluded today.



rising gold prices
Jewellers do away with making charges
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
With the prices of gold going through the roof, jewellery showrooms have started wearing a deserted look even though the wedding season is nearing. To attract customers, a majority of jewellers in the city have announced to waive making charges.

“We are left with no other option. Although the festive season is on, still not many are coming forward to buy the yellow metal. Customers are waiting for the prices to come down and just to attract them we are offering discount,” said Ram Parkash, a jeweller at Ghumar Mandi.

With gold prices touching Rs 31,220 per 10 gram it has become impossible for the middle class to buy gold.

“On my daughter’s wedding, I will be gifting her ornaments that my mother gave me during my marriage. We will be buying only a few things like bangles and finger rings and I am happy that the making charges have been waived by our family jeweller,” added Himani Dhir, a city resident.

Another jeweller, Som Chand at Sarafan Bazar, said 2012 started on a sad note for those in the jewellery business. First, there was agitation due to new duties imposed by the Union government and shops remained closed for almost a month and now the skyrocketing prices of the metal have affected our business.

“We have announced the waiver keeping in view the festive season. We will be offering discount for another 15 days,” added another jeweller at Sarafan Bazar.

Forwarding and online trading of gold has resulted in unprecedented uncertainty in their profession which need to be checked. “We have not seen such an increase in the prices of gold over the years and online trading needs to be checked for the same,” added Ram Parkash, a jeweller.



'Manorites' get together, relive old memories
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
It was an evening to reminisce, re-bond and rejoice for the alumni of St George's College, Mussourie. They got together to reconnect with their school mates. Popularly called Manorites, students of the school, came from all over the state for this get-together.

Remembering school days, they met their batchmates and other students.

We as students share a strong bond with the school. Here, we have grown up together, says Gurpreet, a student of 2001 batch.

Even after leaving the school, the connection with friends remains intact, agrees Harjinder Kukreja, a student of 2004 batch.

Former DGP Rajdeep Gill, said, "Memories of the school are still vivid in his mind despite having passed out from the school in 1966. This school had played an important role in shaping my career aspects and making me what I am today.ā€¯ "The school provides a great balance of sports and academics. The value system inculcated here goes a long way in making students men of character. You would seldom find any Manorite indulging in wrong things in life," he added.

He took pride in talking about numerous achievers from the school who have made it big both nationally and internationally.

The school had launched the Punjab chapter of its alumni association. Brother Christopher, principal of the school, was also present on the occasion.



MCPI slams UPA govt
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 3
The Marxist Communist Party of India-United (MCPI-U) came down heavily on the Congress-led UPA government, while charging it with pursuing anti-people policies which had created serious problems of price rise, unemployment and rampant corruption.

The politburo of the party which met here for two days under the presidentship of M Rajan, member from Kerala, observed that the ruling coalition at the Centre was integrating the Indian economy more and more with imperialist countries like the USA and Europe.

The MCPI, while condemning the "coalgate" scandal, asserted that the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and his other colleagues had no moral right to stay in office. Having lost the credibility, the least that the government should do was to cancel all allotments of coal blocks and order a high-level probe into the matter.



Postage stamp on freedom fighter released
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
Postage stamp on noted scholar and freedom fighter Husain Ahmad Madani has been launched by the department of posts. Although the stamp is yet to reach the post office in the city, the first day cover has arrived in the head post office.

Madani contributed to the freedom struggle, as per a philatelist who brought the first day cover.

Understanding the need for joint endeavours of Hindus and Muslims in challenging the Britishers, he took an active part in the freedom struggle. Also called Maulana Hindi, he lent support to non-cooperation with the British in the Khilafat conference held at Allahabad in June, 1920.

He also fought in the civil disobedience movement in 1932 and Quit India Movement in 1942 and was incarcerated many a time during the freedom struggle, according to information brochure published along with the stamp. Madani was elected president of Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind in 1940.

Mukesh, a city-based philatelist, said the postage stamp would be a welcome addition to my collection of stamps based on Indian personalities.

Launching of commemorative postage stamps is a great way of remembering great personalities who have made contribution for the betterment of humanity and the country, he says.



CBSE to introduce new exam pattern
Will test reasoning ability of students of classes IX and XI
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is all set to change the pattern of school examinations from the next academic session. Problem Solving Assessment (PSA) will be introduced for Classes IX and XI to test the reasoning abilities of the students. The board is also mulling to implement the "open book testing" method for Classes X and XII.

The PSA system would evaluate quantitative and qualitative reasoning and incorporate aspects such as creative thinking, decision-making, problem solving and communication in the question paper. The CBSE will also allocate 5 per cent marks of every major subject, such as English, Hindi, mathematics and physics, to questions pertaining to the cultural, environmental and social ethos of the country.

While open-book testing will take away the pressure of having to cram for a test, questions will require students to apply their knowledge rather than recall or simply copy the answers from the textbook.

Paramjit Kaur, principal of BCM Senior Secondary School, said: "These reforms will definitely prove helpful for the students as they will force them to leave the routine learning methods and test their application and analytical skills," she said.

RS Patial, principal of the DAV Public School, said the new pattern will help the students as they would learn things apart from that prescribed in the books. "The system will help in developing the overall personality of the students," he added.

Teachers, on the other hand, said the new system would require planning at not just the school level, but the university level too. It' would require students to know their texts well, they said.

Students will now face tough and indirect questions that would enhance their analytical, reasoning and creative skills, said Kanika, a parent. They would be forced to understand the topic, instead of mugging it up, she added.



Youngsters make beeline for auditions
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
Some were theatrical, some comical and some tried to portray strong emotions displaying their acting skills in front of a team of director and producers. Auditions for the upcoming Punjabi movie, Stupid Seven, were held at Ramgarhia Girls College yesterday.

More than 90 youngsters, including about 20 girls, gave auditions yesterday. They were two rounds of auditions, the second round being the camera round.

Directed by Pali Bhupinder, the movie revolves around the lives of seven teenagers. "We required talented child artists for the role," said Bhupinder. Having auditioned about 1,200 children in Chandigarh, Barnala, Patiala, Abohar, we are going to select about 30 of them for a workshop and finally select about 12 of them. The final team would be selected from these after another workshop, he says.

The movie based on Bhupinder's play Me and My Story, focuses on problems and issues teenagers face these days.

It is going to be shot in Chandigarh, Ludhiana and other parts of the state and the shooting is slated to start later this month and the budget is above Rs 1 crore as per producers.

Naresh Kakkad, one of the producers of the movie, said it was a great period for Punjabi cinema and it had started gaining acceptance among the multiplex-going audiences. "This is the time for more talent to come and perform, and sustain this momentum that is with the cinema," he says.

Jasmeet Kaur, a Class IX student, said she had acted in several plays in school and was fond of acting. Awwaljot, a student at PAU, who had come for the auditions said acting had always been his dream and he wanted to become an actor.



Govt’s apathy
College road in pathetic condition
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, September 3
The college road of Doraha is in a miserable state. Daily commuters including school and college students and bank employees have no other option but to take this route.

The sweepers and the sanitary officials had not taken any necessary precautionary measures in this regard; as a result, the residents are forced to face many problems due to filthy conditions, residents complained.

A teacher of a near-by college complained, “The municipal council is well aware about the problems being faced by students and the staff of the college everyday due to heap of garbage lying on the road, but the authorities seem to be least bothered. The council should find an alternative place for garbage dumping.”

Residents alleged that the council had practically no place in the city for dumping the waste.

They said, "The garbage is picked only to be dumped on the roads and streets. Unhygienic conditions prevailing here can spread water-borne diseases in the area," the residents said.

An executive officer of local civic body said, “Sanitary employees pick garbage everyday. People should avoid throwing garbage on roads. I shall personally look into the matter and see if the place for dumping can be shifted to some other spot.”



Nuclear disarmament
Indian delegation attends world congress
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
A 43-member delegation of Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) returned after participating in the 20th World Congress of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), organised by the Japanese Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (JPPNW) at Hiroshima, Japan, from August 22-26.

As many as 12 delegates from Punjab attended the event.

The congress aims to work for a nuclear free world as a tribute to the victims of atomic bombing at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This will be achieved through its core programmes, like International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and Aiming for Prevention.

The IPPNW will also stress upon the world leaders to shun nuclear power plants and use renewable resources to fulfill the energy-based needs.

After the congress, a 30-member delegation went to Fukushima to get first hand information of the situation resulting from the nuclear power plant melt down on March 11 last year. Dr Arun Mitra from IDPD was a part of this delegation. The congress also elected him as a member of the board.

Before the congress, 31 students from different countries, including Arshdeep Singh and Apramjyot from IDPD, took a bike tour from Nagasaki to Hiroshima covering a distance of 480 Km in 14 days from August 7-21. They stopped on the way at various places spreading the message of peace through different activities.



Funds disbursed for rural development
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, September 3
Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker of Punjab Vidhan Sabha, disbursed cheques worth Rs 60 lakh among three blocks -- Khanna, Doraha and Dehlon -- at Dr Ishwar Singh Memorial Hall of Guru Nanak National College, here today.

Addressing a gathering of members from 105 panchayats, the speaker said that government was committed to rural development. He said the state would release grants for the all-round development of villages and small towns to ensure that they did not lag behind big cities and be deprived of the facilities being accorded to the latter.

Atwal told the sarpanches and panches to utilise the grant in a free and fair manner to ensure that the money reached the lowest strata of society. He said indulgence in any corrupt practice would not be tolerated. Out of a total of 105 villages, cheques worth Rs 36.44 lakh were given to 55 panchayats of Doraha, Rs 16.91 lakh to 35 panchayats of Dehlon and Rs 6.13 lakh to 15 villages of Khanna.



Students apprised of balanced diet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
To mark the National Nutrition Week, an interactive session on malnutrition was organised at Saraswati Model Senior Secondary School. Dr Pallavi Aggarwal, a city-based nutritionist, apprised the students of the nutritional value of various kinds of fruits and vegetables.

"Child malnutrition is both the result of economic conditions and poor nutritional awareness. A poor diet has an adverse effect on our body, causing diseases such as scurvy and obesity,” she said.



BSNL to increase bandwidth

Ludhiana, September 3
State-run BSNL is all set for infrastructural changes to increase bandwidth in the city. Senior general manager, CS Bhanot, said, the present infrastructure will be replaced with a new technology and BSNL will increase bandwidth for the 3G services to three times to speed up the data transfer process.

With the introduction of these changes, voice and data would operate on the same channel. The infrastructural changes would be carried out in a phased manner only in Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar and Ludhiana as the data consumption in these cities is more, Bhanot added. — TNS




Muskan crowned Miss Freshers

Participants of Miss Freshers’ contest at Guru Nanak Girls College in Ludhiana
Participants of Miss Freshers’ contest at Guru Nanak Girls College in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana: Muskan, a first-year student of Guru Nanak Girls College, was crowned Miss Freshers’ during the

Freshers’ day celebrations on the college campus. The show commenced with senior students of the faculty of science welcoming the new students. A cultural show was also organised on the occasion. Around 40 students took part in the Miss Freshers’ contest.

Placement test

Around 250 final year students of Kamla Lohtia SD College sat for a written test for jo placements. The test was conducted for the students of various streams including BCom, BBA, BCA and BA. It will be followed by interviews by various multi-national companies, IT companies and Indian corporations.

Talent hunt

"Talent Hunt Week" was organised at GMT College of Education. Various events including rangoli making, collage making, pakhi design, still life drawing, crochet work, poster making, on-the-spot painting, knitting, cartooning, poem recitation, creative writing, story writing and quiz competitions were organised on the occasion.

Farewell party

The students of Gujrawala Guru Nanak Institute of Vocational Studies organised a farewell party on the college premises. Students who completed courses in Java, PHP, .Net and Tally from the institute were given certificates. A cultural programme was also held on the occasion. Students performed solo songs, solo dances, mimicry and a group dance.

Heena tops in university examinations

Heena, a second semester MSc (Mathematics) student of Khalsa College for Women, Civil Lines, has topped the Panjab University examintions by securing 89 per cent marks. In all, four students have secured a place amongst the top-10 university positions. Priyanka Dixit, Sunita Kumari and Amandeep Kaur stood third, sixth and eight with 84.8 per cent, 79.2 per cent, and 78.4 per cent marks respectively. — TNS




Students distribute gifts

Ludhiana: Students of Ryan International School, Dugri, distributed gifts to students of the primary school at Gahaur village. Students commenced the programme by seeking blessings of the God. They also prayed for the well-being of everyone present on the occasion. The headmistress of Ryan International School said such events promoted integrity, honesty, a sense of belongingness and responsibility among the students. These events also helped in stimulating the development of noble and moral values in the students, she said.

Parents sensitised about childcare

BCM Arya School teamed-up with a city-based private hospital to organise “Healthy Kids Campaign” on Monday. The campaign aimed at sensitising parents about the common paediatric emergencies and various behavioral problems in children. Specialist doctors shared their expertise with parents and provided guidance to them regarding the healthcare of their children. An interactive session took the parents through a range of activities aimed at apprising them of diet, body and energy systems. The campaign focused on the prevalence of anaemia in children and how it affected the growth of the child. School principal Paramjit Kaur stressed on the importance of health for each individual and termed it as an active process in which each individual must participate.

Rangoli-making contest

To bring forth the artistic abilities of students, a rangoli-making competition was held at Guru Nanak Public School, Model Town Extension, for Classes IV and V. The young artists exhibited their creativity in form of floral and geometrical designs showcasing bright colours. Headmistress Dr Harjit Kaur Dua said such competitions developed the aesthetic sense of students.

BVM School judokas hog limelight

Bhartiya Vidya Mandir High School, Dugri, won the first position in boys’ (under-14) category at District Judo Championship organised by the District School Tournament Committee at Guru Nanak Stadium. The girls’ (under-14 and under-17) teams won the overall third position in the same championship.

Sukhraj shines in swimming meet

Sukhraj Singh, a Class-IX student of MGM Public School, Dugri, won two silver and one bronze medal at the District-Level Swimming Championship held at Punjab Agriculture University. Swimmers from the school bagged seven medals in all, five silver and two bronze. Sukhraj has also been selected for the state-level swimming competition.

DAV School win badminton tourney

The girls’ (under-19) badminton team of DAV School, Pakhowal Road, won the Ludhiana Sahodaya Schools Complex Badminton Championship after beating Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, in the final match. Twenty-one teams participated in the tournament held at BCM Arya Model School, Shastri Nagar, recently. Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School bagged the second runners-up position. — TNS




Suspected cases of dengue

Two suspected cases of dengue were reported from the DMC Hospital on Monday. Meanwhile, under the directions of Civil Surgeon Dr Subhash Batta and District Health Officer Dr Kulwinder Singh, a team of experts has been guiding residents about the prevention of diseases including dengue and malaria. They are also being told about the precautions that need to be taken including washing of hands before and after having food, and consuming fresh fruits and vegetables.

Milap Diwas

On the occasion of Milap Diwas, when Baba Banda Singh Bahadar met Guru Gobind Singh, Jagdev Singh Jassowal from Baba Banda Singh Bahadar Foundation demanded that road from Hazoor Sahib Nanded to Chapadchidi be named as Baba Banda Bahadar Marg. He also demanded that a postage stamp on Baba Banda Bahadar should be released, and Mukhlasgarh (Lohgarh) should be taken care of by the cultural and archaeological department of the Centre and the state.

Visually impaired an asset: MLAs

Gurpreet Singh Chahal, president of Bharat Netraheen Sewak Samaj, met Balwinder Singh Bains and Simarjit Singh Bains, members of legislative assembly, and apprised them of the problems being faced by the visually-impaired players in the state. The MLA brothers said that visually-impaired players were also an asset to the nation and they should also be given the same facilities as other players.

Travel exhibition

A travel exhibition was organised at Hotel Le Baron with the aim of building awareness amongst local residents. A number of international tour packages and hotel packages for Malaysia, Mauritius, Dubai, the USA, Canada and other countries were available at the exhibition. Domestic travellers also got attractive and discounted holiday packages at the event

Brar is new SSP

Khanna: Ravcharan Singh Brar has been posted as the Senior Superintendent of Police at Khanna. He was earlier posted as SSP at Kapurthala. Inderbir Singh, the former SSP of Khanna has been moved to Kapurthala in his place. The Punjab Government issued the orders with immediate effect on Monday.

NH-95 to be widened

Samrala: The widening of NH-95 that connects Ludhiana to Chandigarh will start in the next seven to eight months on the Kharar to Ludhiana stretch. The forest department has given its approval to remove trees. This was stated by PWD Minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon while inspecting the carpeting work near Malwa College Bondli Samrala. He gave information that to give relief to the commuters about Rs 11.50 crore will be spent on the premix carpeting of this road and this will complete at the earliest. He said that a special plan had been introduced and 150 crores will be spent to repair all the main roads of the state. He said that the widening of Zirakpur-Patiala and Patiala-Bathinda will start in September this year and Rs 3,000 crores will be spent on these projects. — TNS



Milkman injured in accident
Tribune News Service

A government vehicle that hit a milkman on Hambran road in Ludhiana
A government vehicle that hit a milkman on Hambran road in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, September 3
A milkman was injured in an accident when an over-speeding government vehicle hit his motorcycle near Kali Mata Mandir on Hambran road today morning. According to eyewitnesses, the vehicle hit the milkman, Harjeet Singh, a resident of Hambran village, from the rear side. He was admitted to a private hospital.

Seesh Pal, an investigating officer, said, "The government vehicle belongs to Chohla Sahib, Block Development and Panchayat Officer (BDPO) of Tarn Taran. Chohla Sahib, Milkha Singh and three others were on their way to Chandigarh for some official work and all are safe."

Seesh Pal claimed that the police had taken the vehicle into their custody. The police, however, denied all allegations of eyewitnesses that the vehicle was overspeeding.



25-year-old migrant worker found murdered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 3
A 25-year-old migrant worker was found murdered in the PUDA ground opposite Vardhaman Factory yesterday night. The deceased, Qurbaan, reportedly had a scuffle with some unidentified persons who later killed him, the police said.

"We received information this morning that a body was lying dead in the PUDA ground. When we reached the crime spot, we found that the victim was badly hit with some heavy thing,” informed Harbhajan Singh, investigation officer. Qurbaan, who hailed from Poornia district in Bihar, worked in a factory and resided on Bamian road. He was unmarried.

"During the preliminary investigation, we came to know that the deceased had been residing in the city for the last four years. We have informed his family and they are on their way to Ludhiana,” said Harbhajan Singh.

The police has registered a case and sent the body for postmortem.



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