L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Amritsar-Ludhiana section
Snag hits rail traffic
Rains bound for Delhi, other destinations delayed by more than four hours
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 28
The rail traffic on the Amritsar-Ludhiana section was thrown out of gear for several hours since morning as engine of 12242 Amritsar-Chandigarh Superfast express developed a snag, and got stuck on the railway track between Jalandhar City and Jalandhar Cantt railway stations. As a result, almost all the trains bound for Delhi and other destinations in Uttarakhand, Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal were delayed by more than four hours.

With most of the train on "down" line held up either at originating point (mostly at Amritsar) or midway due to blockage of the railway track, passengers waiting at Ludhiana and other railway stations to board their respective trains, had a tough time at the platforms as they had to wait for hours.

Railway officials said wheels of the engine of the Amritsar-Chandigarh Intercity Superfast express trains got jammed due to "axle lock" between Jalandhar City and Cantt railway stations at around 6.15 am. The obstruction on the track disrupted the rail traffic which could be restored after more than four hours when a team of railway engineers rectified the snag and the train resumed its onward journey.

With uncertainty prevailing over resumption of rail traffic, thousands of harried passengers, especially those who had to catch connecting trains or flights from Delhi, had to face hardships. Those manning the railway enquiry counter at the railway station were the worst sufferers, as they had to deal with indignant and desperate passengers asking for the status of their respective trains.

Harinder Singh, a businessman with a family of four, and waiting to board the Amrapali Express train for Delhi, said the family had to attend a function in the evening. "Now that the train has been delayed by more than four hours, we are not sure whether we will be able to make it to the family function on time."

Similarly, many other Haridwar-bound passengers said, “We had planned to be back to the city late in the evening, but the delay of the Amritsar-Haridwar Janshatabdi express by more than three hours, has upset the whole travel schedule," they lamented.

The senior railway officials said as most of the Delhi bound trains were running late by several hours, many of the corresponding trains would also be delayed during their return journey.


Con woman lands in police net, sent to remand
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
The con woman, who duped a man and fled with his car while they were watching a late night movie on October 14, has landed in police net.

The woman, who projected herself as “Nature” and lured the man with the car, has been identified as Sandeep Kaur wife of Nirbhai Singh, resident of Ghanghor village of Barnala district.

The police said that she was arrested from the Westened Mall on Saturday afternoon on the information provided by victim Harjit Singh. While Sandeep has been nabbed, her two accomplices are still at large.

The police said that on the night of October 14 Sandeep handed over the car keys to her two accomplices and the duo fled with the vehicle by showing the parking slip to security guards at a parking lot of the mall. Once they were out of the mall, they handed over the keys back to Sandeep Kaur.

“Since the police failed to trace the girl, I began keeping an eye on the places she used to go with me. I saw her entering the Westened Mall on Saturday afternoon and immediately informed the police. The police responded quickly and nabbed her”, said Harjeet Singh.

Narrating his love story, Harjit Singh, a resident of Mandeep Nagar, said that he had met “Nature” (Sandeep Kaur)at a filling station in Haibowal, on October 11.

"I was sitting in my Swift car and the woman was riding a scooter. Soon, we exchanged mobile numbers near the filling station and later during the day we spoke to each other on the telephone," Harjit reportedly told the investigating officer.

The second day was followed by lunch and dinner. Finally, on the third day, they decided to watch a late night movie.

As per the plan, they met on Sunday evening and headed towards Waves cinema at the Westend Mall to watch the movie "Bhoot returns".

Harjeet Singh parked his car in the basement parking of the Westend Mall after procuring a receipt for parking and paid for the same.

It was during the interval that “Nature” began playing with the keys of Harjit's car.

She then handed over the car key to her accomplices who were also there at the mall. After taking the car out of the shopping mall the two accomplices gave the keys back to “Nature” and left.

The keys remained with “Nature” till the end of the movie. Finally, when they reached the basement, Harjit was shocked to find his car missing. The keys were also missing. Both returned to their residences and the matter was reported to the police. In the morning, the police started the investigation and questioned Harjit. Despite, several reminders, “Nature” did not turn up at the police station.

Today,the police did not divulge the name of Sandeep’s accomplices and she was produced in court and was remanded in police custody.



Stroke takes toll on city residents
20% of people below 45 became victim last year
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
Among Indian cities, Ludhiana has the highest number of stroke patients below the age of 45. Last year, 20 per cent of the residents below the age of 45 suffered from stroke in the city. Dr Jairaj Pandiyan, professor and head of neurology department of Christian Medical College and Hospital, said while talking to the Tribune on the eve of World Stroke Day.

Pandiyan said this on the basis of the recently conducted research by the stroke unit of the CMCH. The research is a part of three-year long project "Ludhiana Population based stroke registry" funded by the Indian Council of Medical Research. Pandiyan said, "Earlier, it was apprehended that chances of stroke were less during holidays as people relaxed during these days. But in Ludhiana there are more stroke cases during weekends as people even work during that time. In Thiruvananthapuram, Mumbai and Kolkata from of every one lakh 120 to 145 people
suffer from stroke. However in Ludhiana, the figure is 159."

Citing reasons behind more cases of stroke, he said that stroke was a lifestyle disease and the major reason behind it was high blood pressure, hypertension, excessive consumption of alcohol, and eating high-calorie food.

Take care

  • If you are between 25 and 30 years of age, go for a medical check-up once a year
  • Cholesterol level, diabetes and blood pressure should be checked. In case, you suffer from any of the above mentioned problems, consult a doctor
  • Don’t smoke and drink
  • Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet



City hails Manish Tewari’s induction as I&B Minister
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
Ludhiana has got a representation in the Prime Minister's reshuffled Cabinet. Manish Tewari, Congress Member Parliament from Ludhiana, has been inducted as the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, with independent charge, in the UPA's reshuffled Cabinet that has 17 new faces.

With 31 years' association with the Congress and a political lineage, 47-year-old Tewari's inclusion in the Cabinet is not surprising.

Tewari forayed into politics in his pre-university days. He rose to become the national president of the Indian Youth Congress in 1998 and the secretary of the All India Congress Committee before taking on the mantle of the national spokesperson of the party.

In 2004, he had unsuccessfully contested the parliamentary polls. However, in 2009 Lok Sabha elections, he defeated Shiromani Akali Dal candidate Gurcharan Singh Galib by a margin of over 1 lakh votes.

Known for his rhetoric, last year, Tewari had kicked up a controversy by accusing social activist Anna Hazare of corruption, though later he apologised for his remarks.

Reiterating his commitment to the people of Ludhiana, Tewari today said he was grateful to Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh for reposing trust in him, but it (his induction in the Cabinet) would not have been possible had the people of Ludhiana not elected him to Parliament.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Youth Congress President Vikramjit Singh Chaudhary has hailed the induction of Tewari in the UPA Cabinet. "His (Tewari's) political journey from the NSUI (National Students' Union of India) and the Youth Congress to a Member of Parliament is remarkable," he added. Tewari's father, Dr VN Tewari, who was shot dead by militants in 1984, was a professor at Panjab University and nominated member of the Rajya Sabha.



LPG consumers to fill KYC forms
Deadline for those with multiple connections Oct 31
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
LPG cylinder consumers who have more than one connection will have to submit "Know your Customer" form at their respective gas agencies by October 31. Harsimarjit Kaur, president of All LPG Distributors Federation, Punjab, made this announcement. "No separate affidavit is needed as the KYC form will cover all the details required in such cases," she said.

Meanwhile, the consumers having only one gas connection will also be required to fill this form. However, there is no deadline for such consumers.

Naveen Talwar, president of the Ludhiana LPG Distributors Association said, "The LPG distributors are in the process of collecting data of their consumer's through the KYC forms in order to facilitate work if at a later stage the government decides to give direct subsidy to the consumer.” He further said it would also help in checking multiple connections. 



Woman booked for hiding marital status
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
A married woman, who obtained a passport by claiming to be single, was booked after her husband lodged a complaint with the Regional Passport Office.

The woman identified as Rajni Bala of Model Town was booked following a complaint filed by her husband Gurpreet Singh. He said that she had got a fake passport by claiming to be single.

Rajni Bala, resident of New Deep Nagar (Kali Sadak) of Ludhiana, was married to Gurpreet some years ago and there was a family dispute and they started living separately.

Meanwhile, Rajni Bala applied for a passport at the Regional Passport Office, Ludhiana. She provided the address of her maternal house and submitted fake documents of being unmarried. A passport was issued to her by the authorities. In the meantime, Gurpreet came to know that she had been issued the passport, and lodged a complaint at the Model Town police station.

After conducting preliminary investigations, the Model Town police registered a case against Rajni Bala under Sections 12 of the Passport Act-1967 and 420 of the IPC in the case.



Textile industry hiring specialists, outsourcing work to tackle labour shortage
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
The textile industry in Ludhiana has been facing an acute shortage of labourers, even revision in wages has failed to solve the problem. Many textile manufacturers in Ludhiana have started introducing methods like hiring specialists and outsourcing their work to reduce dependence on labourers.

Ludhiana is considered a hub of textile manufacturers. “Left with no other option we have appointed specialists to suggest measure to reduce dependence on labour and how automation can be utilised for different types of work,” said Siddharth Jain, a hosiery manufacturer.

Sanjay Gupta, MD of Piyush Fashions, said his company had outsourced knitting work to smaller firms to deal with the problem. “Labour problem is getting out of hand. Left with no other option, I have started outsourcing small work like knitting and tying. At least now there is no tension of hiring workers”, he said.

“Automation is the need of the hour. It has become very difficult to hire labour force. One machine is capable of doing the work of three to four workers. It needs initial investment, but the machine becomes an asset for the unit afterwards,” added a member of the Knitwear Club.

“Hosiery industry in Ludhiana is promoting automation for better results. The members of the knitwear industry have imported stoll machines from Germany and other countries to reduce their dependency on labourers,” he added.

While suggesting another measure to curb shortage of labour, Chitwan Pahwa, another textile unit owner, said, “We need to switch over to machines as depending on the migrants is proving costly. Instead of depending on labourers coming from the far-flung areas I am now employing local women and training them. They are more reliable as they are based here and there is no fear of them leaving work to go to their native place,” he added.



reporters’ diary
These are the ways of children

Mothers always want their children to be comfortable. Children, however, fail to understand this at times.

Recently one of my friends prepared a meal for his four-year-old son who was suffering from toothache. She mixed morsels of “roti” with “dal” for him.

After seeing the meal, his son’s instant reply was, “Am I a dog that you are giving me such a meal, mom?”

My poor friend said she was just concerned about his son and gave him such a meal as it would have been easy to chew. “Children can never understand the concern of their mothers,” said my friend.

Short sighted!

With the intent to check unfair practices during the evaluation of answer sheets, various universities in the state have started table marking at designated institutes as well as extension centres of these universities.

Teachers, moreover, were asked to evaluate the papers under the supervision of senior officials. To encourage more teachers to come forward for the task, one of the universities also offered to remunerate the teachers on the same day.

One of the superintendents, supervising the evaluation work, was taken aback when an examiner showed his inability to sign the receipt after the payment. He had forgotten to bring his spectacles, he said.

"What was the need of spectacles for evaluating papers when I have a long experience of evaluating the papers at home," the teacher said on being asked how he could evaluate the answer sheets without his spectacles.

MC officials caught on wrong foot

Senior officials of the Municipal Corporation were caught on a wrong foot early last week when they reached a mall in order to seal its premises for the recovery of huge arrears of house tax.

An overzealous officer of the state civil services was so keen to seal the premises that guests at a birthday party, which was being held in a restaurant at the mall, were asked to leave and owners of the mall were also asked the get the premises vacated.

Other officials in the team, however, took the stand that the mall could not be sealed like that, as proceedings for the same had not been initiated as required under the law.

The HC, moreover, while disposing of one of the writ petitions, had also ruled against the sealing of property for recovery of arrears.

After a high drama which lasted for more than three hours, the MC team returned empty handed, except for an undertaking of the mall owners for clearing of the arrears.

Cruelty to animals

A couple of elephants were leading a procession passing through the Ghumar Mandi last evening.

One of the mahouts sitting on an elephant started slamming its forehead when it became a little slow. He was hitting the log so cruelly that the animal became a bit unstable in its gait, its eye started blinking with pain and the tail twisted due to the torture.

Due to the loud noise caused by the hitting, people watching the procession and passers-by also stopped.

One of the passers-by said that while on the one hand the Indian society held animals in high regard, on the other hand, people beat the animals so cruelly.

"We should become more concerned about the well being of all the creations of God," said another.

Contributed by Manav Mander, Mahesh Sharma, Kuldip Bhatia and Gurvinder Singh



Eid: Vegetable prices head north
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
The price of vegetables saw a sudden spurt in the city due to the festive season. Vegetable markets in Malerkotla remained closed for three days due to Eid-ul-Zuha, resulting in the spurt, as vegetables are brought to the city from there.

Most of the vegetable vendors who belong to the Muslim community had gone to Malerkotla to celebrate Eid, said Deena Ram, a vegetable vendor. The market there too remained closed for three days, resulting in the hike, he added.

“I was hoping that the prices of vegetables will come down after Navratras, but now with Eid the prices have again touched the sky. I hope the prices will come down soon,” said Suniiara, a homemaker.

Manjit Kaur, another homemaker from the city, also hoped that the vegetable prices would normalise soon.



Festival bonanza for MSMEs
Corporation Bank to entend Rs 20,000 cr this fiscal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
The Corporation Bank has announced the first-ever festival bonanza for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

"MSMEs are the driving force behind the economic growth of our country,” said SM Swathi, circle general manager of Corporation Bank, adding, “The bank has adopted a focused approach to develop business by rigorous marketing and developmental activities to increase the share of the MSME credit in total advances."

To achieve the desired level of incremental credit deployment in the MSME segment, the bank had opened an SME loan centre in Ludhiana, said Anil Kumar Jha, senior manager.

The campaign aims to get fresh sanctions to the tune of Rs 5,335 crore to enable the bank to reach a level of Rs 20,000 crore under SME credit portfolio by the end of this financial year.

Special features

  • Loans sanctioned on or after October 20, 2012, till Jan 31, 2013, and disbursed before Feb 15, 2013, are covered under the festival bonanza and are eligible for the concession in the rate of interest and processing charges
  • Loans to be sanctioned to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) upto Rs 25 crore with the maximum turnover of Rs 150 crore per annum


  • Interest concession to the extent of 50 bps below the applicable card rate
  • Women entrepreneurs are eligible for an additional interest concession of 25 bps
  • Prevailing interest rate concession of 25 to 50 bps for rated borrowers to continue
  • Interest concession to the extent of 0.25 per cent to Micro and Small Entrepreneurs for prompt payment to continue
  • Processing charges concession to the extent of 50 per cent



Farmers ignore ban
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, October 28
Although the district administration has banned the burning of stubble in the fields under Section 144, yet it is going on unabated in the area. The district administration as well as the officials of the Agriculture Department have been spreading awareness among the farmers about the harmful effects of burning paddy stubble but a majority of the farmers are still doing this .

During a visit to the fields of various villages around Jagraon, paddy stubble was found burning in majority of the fields. The situation is grave in the villages, falling in Bet area near the Sutlej river. Similar situation is prevailing alongside Ludhiana-Moga highway.

Though the experts have been warning the farmers about the harms of stubble burning, yet there seems to be no change in the attitude of the farmers. The practice not only causing pollution, leading to major health problems but also has an adverse impact on the fertility of agricultural land. Besides, the smoke, emerging from the stubble burning also lead to road accidents.

Despite all these problems, most of the farmers still prefer burning stubble. Farmers term it as an easy method to clear the fields for the next crop. A farmer of Bodalwala village near Jagraon, said he did not see any harm in stubble burning. " Every farmer does this. We have been following this practice for several years as it is an easy and the cheapest method to prepare the fields for the next crop," he added.

Gurmit Singh, SDM, Jagraon, said the administration had warned the farmers against burning stubble. "If the practice is going on we will look into the matter and an appropriate action will be taken against the farmers, who are found involved in the practice," he added. 



Residents of Hargobind Pura threaten to boycott elections
Oppose merger of village into Mandi Ahmedgarh MC
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 28
Feeling dejected after alleged attempts by their elected representatives to merge their village into the Mandi Ahmedgarh Municipal Council, residents of Hargobind Pura ( Mini Chhapar ) have threatened to boycott all forthcoming elections if their locality was changed into a ward and that too in another district.

Apprehending the scarcity of funds for existing wards due to additional burden, the social and political leaders of Mandi Ahmedgarh urged the authorities, including MLA of the area, to oppose the decision of the merger.

Residents of Hargobind Pura village, situated on western end of the Ludhiana district, known as Mini Chhapar, have urged the higher authorities, including the Chief Minister Punjab, Deputy Chief Minister and Rural Development and Panchayat Minister, to save their identity by foiling attempts of merging their locality with the local Municipal Council.

Referring to the announcements made by the legislator of their constituency during public functions, resident, led by sarpanch Gurinder Grewal alleged they would face administrative complications and deterioration of civic amenities if status of their locality and district was changed.

"Leaving aside the development work, all our official documents, including ration cards, election cards , passports and registered deeds will not be accepted by the authorities at courts, financial institutes," said Grewal and office-bearers of other social bodies of the village.

The residents regretted that successive governments had failed to ensure a life of dignity by providing ideal civic amenities. However, office-bearers of the civic body said grants of at least Rs 4 crore were required for various problems, accumulated during the past years but only Rs 7 lakh were received during the present term of the panchayat.

Residents of Ahmedgarh, led by Narinder Azad, a social activist, and Tarsem Garg, patron of Social Welfare Organisation, alleged that the development of the town would be affected adversely in case more areas were included in the civic body.

"How can we expect improvement in basic facilities when the council is forced to undertake massive development drive for the the village that has been ignored for decades," said Azad and Garg. They said Manpreet Singh Ayali, MLA of Dakha had made a public announcement in the presence of Iqbal Singh Jhoondan and Darshan Singh Shivalik that the issue would be discussed with all councillors and no decision would be taken against the interests of the residents of the town or Hargobind Pura. 



Freshers’ party becomes a costly affair

Ludhiana, October 28
The scramble by students to grab expensive dresses and ornaments during the fresher parties in colleges is making a hole in the pockets of their parents. It has been observed while attending various parties at colleges of the city, girls spend more on dresses, ornaments and make-up than boys. In a recently held college party, a girl student said she had a special make-up on the day of party, which cost Rs 8,000.

However, in the case of dresses, boys and girls are equally brand-conscious. Students spend major chunk of their money on dress.

"Students have made colleges as a place for show-off," says Radhika, a student. Meanwhile, parents consider it unnecessary burden on their pockets.

"I have two college-going daughters. According to an estimate they spend same amount on the day of a party, which I had spent for my graduation. We used to buy 2 or 3 shirts in a session but now the new generation needs a new dress every week.

Earlier the prime work in colleges was studies but unfortunately it's now a secondary thing and fashion is more important," says Deepak Sharma, a resident. — TNS



400 examined at eye camp
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 28
Major eye aliments, including myopia and hyper-metropia, are caused by the lack of concern among the people of rural and suburban areas. This was observed by a team of ophthalmologists after examining around 400 persons during an eye check-up camp, organised by the local unit of Rotary Club and Kar Seva Foundation ( UK) today. The camp was inaugurated by Amjad Ali while Dhano Singh, chief executive officers of the foundation, and Chani Singh were the guests of honour.

Dr Balvir Singh and Dr Rakesh Arora, both ophthalmic surgeons, said majority of the patients examined by them had ignored the eye care. "Besides ignoring proper hygiene care they paid meager attention to the nutritional constituents required for optimum vision," said the doctors.

Appreciating the role of social organisations in providing health facilities to the members of weaker sections. As many as 60 persons were operated upon. The organisers provided medicines and spectacles to the patients. Dr Rajinder Dhawan, Rajinder Goyal, Jyoti Kapoor, district blood transfusion officer, Sangrur, and principal Pardeep Sharda addressed the gathering during the camp.



City-based NGOs come forward to replicate success of Chakar village
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
A team of experts visited Chakar village to study and learn how it became a model village. The team will also be making a documentary on the village. According to Maneet Diwan, one of the members of the team, the way the village was functioning had set a benchmark for other villages and the society in general.

"They have their own chemical-free water-treatment plant. None of the streets are ‘kutcha’ any longer. They have created a small stadium where the youth practise sports such as boxing and volleyball, and the village has already produced national-level sportsmen," Diwan said.

The village had also undertaken organic farming, he added. Diwan said new initiatives like installation of reverse-osmosis water filters, reduction in the use of pesticides, and creation of well-maintained parks for children and women had been taken.

Harpreet Soin of Ludhiana Cares said it was amazing to see how volunteers had contributed for the development of the village, and the way sports culture had developed in the village.

According to Diwan, another purpose of the visit was to initiate urban participation in the development of the village. “The village has been assured of guaranteed revenue for the production of organic food. Ludhiana Cares and other NGOs will identify villages where success of Chakar village can be replicated,” he said.



from schools & colleges
Annual function

Ludhiana: The annual function of MGM Public School was held here today. Cabinet Minister Maheshinder Singh Grewal was the chief guest on the occasion. The students showcased the rich Indian culture and heritage at the function. They also conveyed various contemporary social messages. Hindi play "Sadachar ka Taveez" was applauded by the audience. Principal Poonam Sharma read the report of the school. Managing Director Gajjan Singh Thind appreciated the efforts of the students and encouraged them to participate in such events to build their confidence level.

Lecture on nanotechnology

Prof Saurabh Garg of NIT, Kurukshetra, was invited to deliver a lecture on "Nanotechnology — The Future Challenges" at Ludhiana Group of Colleges on Saturday. It was a highly informative lecture in which Prof Saurabh started with the history of nanotechnology, the major researches in the area, nanomaterials and its applications in engineering and bio-medical sciences. He also explained how nanotechnology was helping in making life better. Prof RK Bhushan introduced the guest faculty and welcomed all those present on the occasion.

Cultural fest

More than 350 school students and 250 college students from all over Punjabparticipated in various literary, cultural and fine arts events at cultural festival "Roshni-2012", organised at Doraha Institute Of Management and Technology (DIMT). The overall theme of the two-day festival, which concluded on Saturday, was "Drugs free Punjab". Sukhpal Singh, chairman, Doraha Group of Institutes, was the chief guest during the inaugural ceremony. Lt Col SR Talwar, Officer-in-Command, Doraha Army unit, was the chief guest. He distributed trophies and certificates among the winners. Thanking the guests and participants, Prof Hapreet Singh, principal, DIMT, advised the students to have a clear vision about their lives. — TNS



Mental stress in focus at medical practitioners’ meet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
Ludhiana Medical Practioners’ Association organised a CME on mental stress. Retired DGP of Delhi BL Vohra was the main speaker at the event.

He played an audio CD with slow music, useful in removing mental stress. Dr Sunil Mittu, president of the association, extended his thanks to Vohra.

Rajneesh Ahuja and NR Bhakri were the chief guests on the occasion.



Infrastructure development our top priority: PWD Minister
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking (CICU) organised an Interaction on industry-related problems with Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, PWD Minister, Punjab, Maheshinder Singh Grewal, Advisor to Chief Minister, Punjab, and Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana.

Dhillon said the industry was a great revenue and employment generator. He said the Sahnewal airport will be developed on world-class pattern so that big aircrafts could land there. He added infrastructure development was the top priority for the Punjab Government and all main roads in Punjab would be made four-lane within next three years.

"There are some areas where small industries are already working but these have been declared residential," he said. He assured to sort out mix-land-use area problem by reviewing the Master Plan Ludhiana.

Speaking on the occasion, Grewal said power had become almost as important as air and to ensure adequate supply of power was one of the challenges before Punjab.

Meanwhile, Mayor Gohalwaria said adequate space for parking of trucks and other heavy vehicles at Focal Point would be provided soon for smooth movement of traffic.

"Launching of local bus service, connecting the focal point with adjoining villages and residential areas will be our top priority," he said.

Avtar Singh, General Secretary, CICU, presented a memorandum to Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, highlighting land bank for industrial development, master plan for availability of power connection, technology upgradation, brand equity fund for cluster development and improving infrastructure availability. Timely completion of power projects and adequate power availability were also requested through memorandum.

  • Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, PWD Minister, Punjab, said the industry was a great revenue and employment generator. He said the Sahnewal airport will be developed on worldclass pattern so that big aircrafts could land there. He also declared the four-laning of all the main roads in Punjab within the next three years.



Civil Surgeon suspected of contracting dengue
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
Ludhiana district has witnessed as many as 122 confirmed cases of dengue this season. According to sources, Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, Dr Subhash Batta has also been suffering from dengue for the last few days. Health officials, however, neither confirmed nor denied the report.

District Epidemiologist Dr Anil Verma said, "A few days ago, the civil surgeon was suffering from high-grade fever and is on leave. I, however, did not receive any sample for testing."

Another high official of the health department said that Dr Batta had high-grade fever, but did not confirm if he had contracted dengue.



Companies cashing in on festive season
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
With consumers thronging stores ahead of Divali, companies across categories such as consumer goods, retail, automobiles and real estate are making hay. Even the online shopping sites are offering festive discounts.

"This year is likely to be better than the last in terms of sales. Sales have gone up by 35 per cent. Last year, the sales had witnessed an increase by 20-25 per cent," stated a store manager of electronic goods.

"I prefer buying online rather than jostling in markets. Even the gifts available online are unique. One can either buy gifts or vouchers or even pick and choose and prepare gift hampers," said Sheetal Jian, a south-city resident.

This year, with the rupee having risen against the dollar by six to 10 per cent, the cycle of price rises has stopped for now. Manufacturers say if the rupee had continued its downward slide, hike in prices, especially in home appliances, could have been a lot more than the 10-15 per cent seen so far.

"The technology segment, led by tablets and smartphones, home appliances has been doing well. Air conditioners, washing machines and other goods are selling like hotcakes," added a sales manager of a top-notch brand.

For two-wheeler and four-wheeler manufacturers, creating excitement in the marketplace around the festive season is common. Yet, even they appear pleasantly surprised with the response to their new products.

"Response to the newly launched SUV this year is amazing. The company is expected to increase its production. We are more than happy for the response we got," added salesman at a car agency.

Manufacturers and retailers say price discounting is down, with most counting on offers, promos, freebies and financing schemes to improve sales. The good news is that apart from non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), even regular banks have stepped in aggressively to lend to the retail consumer this season. So, consumers have more choice when seeking an auto or durables loan, apart from home loans. 



Slow lifting of paddy worries farmers
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, October 28
The procurement of paddy is in full swing at all grain markets of Jagraon, but the slow lifting process has left farmers worried.

During a visit to the grain market in Jagraon, which is the second largest grain market in Asia after Khanna, it was found that hundreds of tonnes of procured paddy was yet to be lifted from the grain market. The situation is even worse at grain markets located in rural areas where the lifting process is too slow.

Sources said as there was labour shortage, paddy was not being lifted from the grain markets.

The sources added that a large number of labourers had returned to their villages.

The slow lifting process has irked the farmers as well as commission agents who fear losses if it rains in coming days. The poor arrangements at rural grain markets have aggravated their woes.

Irate farmers and commission agents lamented that the produce had been lying in the open in the grain markets for the past many days.

"Officials of the market committee have failed to expedite the lifting process," said Paramjit Singh, a commission agent.

The farmers have urged the officials to speed up the process.

Secretary of the Jagraon Market Committee Jaswinder Singh admitted that the lifting process was going on at a snail's pace.

"We are making every possible effort to streamline the lifting process. The stock will be cleared at the earliest," he claimed. 



When learning becomes fun
Tribune news Service

Ludhiana, October 28
A few years ago, when animation started, it was considered a mere form of entertainment, but with the changing times, it has become an influential and effective means of education for children as well as for the audience.

A host of animated films such as Bal Ganesha, Ramayana, Little Khasa, Bhai Taaru Singh, Mata Gujri and Hanumaan have helped in instilling religious and spiritual values among children.

"Animation is a great way to make an impression on youngsters' minds. These are increasingly being used for entertainment as well as spiritual pedagogy," says Kamaldeep from a city-based animation house.

"Animation is a great medium for such values. Animated cartoon series keep children and even elders glued to television, showing religious movies have made it a great impact on young impressionable audience," says Samia, a resident.

Another resident said a few animated movies that showed violence were not good for children, but good message-driven films on moral, spiritual and knowledgeable topics can be of great help.

It is the responsibility of the film and animation industry to invest in such ventures," says Surjit, a resident. 



Theme-based weddings in
Tribune News Service

A wedding palaceLudhiana, October 28
The preference for theme-based weddings has increased with time. "The theme can be floral, European, Punjabi and Rajasthani, said Kanwaljeet, a wedding planner.

With this, theme-based "boutique weddings" may go to the next level.

A wedding palace in the city plans to specialise in weddings of NRIs.

"For this, we plan to build furnished cottages in the resort," said Rimpy Sidhu.

"As expenses of weddings these days run into lakhs, and giving a theme to the wedding adds to the experience, people are more aware of the concepts," said Kanwaljeet.



Readymade garments more popular
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
Turn the time-knob back about 15 years, and you would have preferred to get your suit stitched rather than purchase ready-made garments from the market. The situation has reversed for the cost-conscious consumer with the changing times. "There are so many options available with the ready-to-wear garments now, as many malls, outlets and brand-stores have opened across the city," says Sarabjit, a resident.

"Ready-to-wear garments are now available to suit all pockets," says Deepak, another resident.

"Abroad, the cost of stitching garments by tailors is more than ready-to-wear," says Rakesh, a resident, "And now the similar thing has started to happen here, with the influx of ready-to-wear garments," he adds.

A few city-based tailors said, "The cost of production, including stitching, is obviously less for garments produced at the mass level."

A tailor said, "Things certainly have changed, as I believe that 60 per cent of men's wear in cities is ready-to-wear and less than 40 per cent men get suits stitched nowadays because of increasing options in the retail market."

But that doesn't put the tailor in secondary role these days, as ready-to-wear clothes cannot match the precision and fitting of fine tailor-made products.

For, the cost of stitching of a men's suit starts from Rs 200 and goes up to Rs 5,000 or more. 



CII fairs to kick start from November 1
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, October 28
"The defence forces are looking towards indigenisation of defence equipment as a way of reducing costs and any exposition that provides a platform for indigenous defence equipment is good for the country," said PS Rajpal, Chief of Indigenisation, 3 BRD, defence forces.

He was speaking at a press briefing organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to throw light on the highlights of Destination Punjab, a B2B industrial and engineering exposition; and CII Ludhiana Fair, a shopping festival.

He said the defence forces supported and encouraged the SME sector of Punjab in its effort to help in the indigenisation of defence equipment.

Kamna Raj Aggarwalla, former chairperson, CII, Punjab State Council, stated, "The CII Ludhiana Fair will showcase leading Indian consumer brands along with exquisite handmade carpets from Afghanistan, decorations from Thailand and fine fabrics from across the border, besides trendy gadgets and latest cars for young automobile freaks."

DL Sharma, vice-chairman, CII, Punjab State Council, and director, Vardhman Textiles Ltd, shed light on the objectives, focus sectors and knowledge events of Destination Punjab.

"The B2B Expo will focus on defence, automation, auto ancillaries, industrial supplies, engineering services and agricultural machinery. The CII is interacting with the Punjab government to make Destination Punjab an annual event, which will boost the industry," he said.

He said the CII in association with the Punjab government was taking initiatives in supporting the industry. "It will also help in vendor development for automotive, precision engineering and textile industries based in Punjab and Ludhiana in particular," he added.

Sandeep Riat, chairman, CII, Ludhiana Zonal Council, and managing director, Akal Spring Ltd, said the Ministry of Defence, Government of India, had estimated defence imports of over Rs 100,000 crore for the next few years to meet the country's defence needs. He said of the total amount, at least half could be saved by going in for indigenous production.

He added that foreign vendors, who executed defence contracts worth Rs 300 crore or more, had to compulsorily source 30 per cent of the total contract value from Indian vendors. "Punjab, till now, has not been able to make the most of this opportunity," he regretted and expressed the hope that they would seize the opportunity now. He also shed light on the first edition of Destination Punjab last year that saw 7,000 visitors generating a business of more than Rs 30 crore.

The two CII events will be held at the Government College for Women, Ludhiana. While Destination Punjab, B2B event, will be held from November 1 to 3, the CII Ludhiana Fair, an annual shopping event, will be organised from November 1 to 4. More than 85 national and international exhibitors will put their work on display.



Cardiac experts delve on heart ailments of preborn child
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
Around 200 doctors attended a CME on paediatric cardiology organised at Indian Medical Association (IMA) House here today.

Theme of the CME was "Let the little hearts beat." Its focus was on heart ailments of children, especially preborn child.

Dr Manvinder S Sachdev Dr DP Singh Arora, president, IMA, Ludhiana, said if severe cardiac anomalies got detected in the womb, then these pregnancies could be terminated in time, saving a long-term psychological impact on parents.

Dr Narjit Kaur said severe and mild type cardiac anomalies could be differentiated by foetal echocardiography, and parents could be counselled about the prognosis and treatment options available today.

Dr Manvinder Singh Sachdev from Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, who was the main speaker on the occasion, said many of these anomalies were surgically correctable.

On the occasion, Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh, while interacting with the doctors, urged the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to adopt at least one chowk in the city and install closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) there to decrease the crime rate and lower the traffic chaos in the city. 



Ludhiana scan

Jewellery designer Alka Kumar (right) shows her designes to a women during an exhibition in Ludhiana on Sunday.
Jewellery designer Alka Kumar (right) shows her designes to a women during an exhibition in Ludhiana on Sunday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Delhi-based jewellery designer Alka Kumar showcased her new designs an exhibition named "Aks" on Sunday. The jewellery offered modern style with a blend of Indian culture, Said the designer.

Mulazam Front meeting held

A meeting of the Mulazim Front, Ludhiana, was held here on Sunday. Speaking on the occasion, Sukhwinder Leel, member of the front, said pensioners had not been given their dues. On the pretext of financial crunch the government could not hold back the pending amount, to be paid to the pensioners, he added. Gratuity, GIS, GPF have not been given to the pensioners. The members of the front demanded that the pending amount should be released as soon as possible.

Seminar on Ambedkar

A seminar on Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar was organised by the Buddhist Society on Sunday. Speaking on the occasion, president Baldev Raj said people were enjoying freedom due to the efforts of Dr Ambedkar. "He was the man behind the constitution and had a significant role during the freedom struggle. He was a great man and every Indian is indebted to him for his contribution in the freedom struggle and in making the constitution," he said.—TNS



City lad strikes golds
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
City lad Madhav Thakur clinched two gold medals in the recently held Punjab State Open Gymnastisc Championship at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.

Fourteen-year-old Madhav Thakur won the medals on the pommel horse and in floor exercise. He has secured the second position in vault gymnastics events.

Madhav is a Class IX student in BCM School, Chandigarh Road.

He has been practising for the past four years under the guidance of his coach Prem Singh at the multipurpose hall in Guru Nanak Stadium.

"With three medals (two golds and one silver) in my kitty, I will be able to make it to the National Games," he said. Madhav has already won a number of medals in the district and state gymnastics competitions. He has also participated in the National School Games.

Prem Singh, Madhav's coach, said, "He has performed well in the championship and he will scale heights as he has a great potential."

Prem Singh, coach (gymnastics), Punjab sports department, said the city team had secured the second position in the Punjab State Open Gymnastic sChampionship.

"We have very talented players in the district. Budding players have performed well in the championship and I am hopeful of their selection in the National games," added Prem Singh. 



Fans in city go gaga over Formula 1 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
Youths in the city were sitting in the seats as if they were driving the Formula 1 cars themselves. At every turn and with every noisy zoom, their eyes widened.

The new edition of the Indian Grand Prix got many a people excited. Sarabjit, a Formula 1 fan, said, "The sport is totally crazy and just seeing the sport gets you hook and I don't bat an eyelid."

People like Maninder Sobti, who have been following the game, could not wait to get to Noida to watch the event live. "I had seen a Grand Prix in Australia, but the facilities at the Indian Grand Prix were much better and everything is well organised and well planned," he says.

"The popularity of the sport surely has increased in the city after it was introduced in the country. I have been following the sport for more than a decade or so, but not many people knew about the sport. But the popularity in the sport has increased a lot within a year," says Dr Noel Singh, assistant professor at the CMC, an F1 fan.

"When an international event is played in the country, it does seem like your own sport, which otherwise seems like an alien game. So the buzz around the international grand prix and top-notch sportsmen coming to the country to participate in the game has done a good to the popularity of the sport," says Rohit, another fan of the game.

"Those who visit the actual event cannot help but come back with their eyes wide with wonder and as complete F1 fanatics. This also helps the game get a good following," says Navneet, a student and F1 fan. 



Will not play with Namdhari XI, says hockey player
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 28
The controversy surrounding the on-field fight between Olympian hockey player Deepak Thakur and players of Namdhari XI on Friday night during a semifinal match of 
Perfect Real Estate All-India Sahibzada Ajit Singh Hockey Champion Trophy-2012 refuses to die down.

The player has reportedly told the authorities that his team, Indian Oil Corporation, would not play with Namdhari XI.

While terming Namdhari XI unprofessional, Deepak said, "Namdhari XI had faced a defeat in a recently held tournament and as chances of their victory in this tournament, too, seemed bleak, they launched an attack on us."

Taking on former Indian Hockey Team Captain Ramandeep Singh Grewal, who was one of the tournament officials, Deepak said, "Ramandeep had failed to take a stand. Despite knowing the fact that Namdhari XI players were at fault, Ramandeep Singh did not take any action against them and penalised both the teams for indiscipline."

Deepak had sustained injuries.

Tournament officials said Deepak had abused the players of the rival team, following which they had entered into an argument.

Players of both the teams had hit each other with hockey sticks.

Deepak had sustained a shoulder injury and procured a medical report from a hospital.

He, however, did not report the matter to the police. Sources said the match referee had reported against Thakur for indulging in a fight.



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