L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


It’s boom time for hosiery industry
Witnesses 15 to 20 per cent increase in profit this season; old stocks cleared
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Workers busy at a hosiery unit, as fresh orders continue to pour in
Workers busy at a hosiery unit, as fresh orders continue to pour in. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, January 6
The hosiery industry is in a jubilant mood as it has witnessed 15 to 20 per cent increase in profit this season. Last year's stock, which was lying unsold has already been cleared and the industry is now flooded with fresh orders. The production process is still on.

According to estimates, nearly 25 per cent of last year's stock was lying with the manufacturers since winters had arrived late. Due to the timely arrival of the winter this year, the last year’s stock has been cleared, while the production is still going on in most of the local units.

"Last season proved to be a damp squib as we had witnessed poor sales, but thankfully this winter, the sales have been good. Generally, the units halt their production, as there is a risk that the stock may pile up. The winter this year has been a boon for us, as the units are busy manufacturing the orders that are pouring in," said Darshan Dawar, president of the Knitwear Club.

Last year, the chilly weather only lasted till January so the manufacturers were unable to clear the stock. "With the timely arrival of winter this year, it is proving to be a bumper season and the industry has witnessed nearly 15-20 per cent increase in profit," added Kamlesh Jain, a hosiery manufacturer.

"We are already through with the international orders and we are now catering the local demand. Only yesterday, I received a big order for local consumption. If the cold continues to persist like this, I think that production will go on throughout January," said Naresh Sood, a hosiery manufacture from Bajwa Nagar.

Something to cheer about

  • International orders dispatched.
  • Production likely to go on throughout January


Ayurvedic dispensaries
Medicines arrive a year late, employees await arrears
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 6
Finally, the long-awaited medicines have reached ayurvedic dispensaries in the district. According to sources, these medicines arrived after a gap of almost one year. Now, patients who visit these dispensaries will get medicines free of cost.

However, the staff deployed in these dispensaries is yet to receive 60 per cent arrears of the Fifth Pay Commission. As an employee of a dispensary, requesting anonymity, said, “We received 40 per cent arrears in the first quarter of 2012. The remaining 60 per cent arrears were to be given in two installments. We are still waiting for the first installment that was to be given to us last May. It’s ironical that as the deadline for the second installment (May 2013) is approaching, we are still awaiting the first one.”

Another employee complained, “We have also not received the salary for December 2012. In such a scenario, the hope of getting our arrears seems far-fetched.”



Couple gets life term in murder case
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, January 6
Sessions Judge GS Matharoo has convicted a couple, Jagjit Singh, alias Bittu, and his wife Rekha of Malseeha Bhaikey village, Ludhiana, in a murder case. They were accused of killing neighbour Daljit Singh, who had objected to them using a “kundi” connection.

They were ordered to undergo rigorous life imprisonment and were told to pay a fine of Rs 5,000.

Pronouncing the verdict, the court held that the prosecution had successfully proved the guilt of the accused beyond any reasonable doubt. The court turned down the plea of leniency raised by the accused persons.

The complainant, Hardeep Singh, son of the victim, had reportedly told the police that on March 30, 2009, at about 7.30 pm, there was a power failure in their house. His father (Daljit Singh) and mother went outside to enquire about the cause of power failure. It was found that Jagjit Singh was trying to steal electricity with the help of a “kundi” connection.

"My father objected to it, which annoyed the accused. They began quarrelling with my father and mother. Jagjit Singh hit my father with an iron rod on his head. Later, my father died due to injuries," said the complainant.

However, the accused pleaded innocence. But after appreciating the evidence on record, the court held that the accused had taken a contradictory stand in the case.

“The case of defence was that the deceased had touched a live electric wire and had got electrocuted. The defence witnesses, however, have given altogether a new version. The witnesses had stated that Daljit Singh received injuries after falling on the ground during the quarrel”, observed the court.

A case under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC was registered against the accused persons at the Sidhwan Bet police station, on March 30, 2009, following a complaint of Hardeep Singh.



NRI woman cremated, 2 labourers picked up for questioning
Mohit Khanna
Tribune news Service

Ludhiana, January 6
The 65-year-old USA-based NRI woman, Balwant Kaur, who was stabbed to death by unidentified assailants on January 1, was cremated today. Her son performed her last rights, following which the victim's relatives gathered at the house located Bachittar Nagar, where the victim was killed.

The police is still clueless about the murderers. The immense pressure to solve the murder mystery could be gauged from the fact that Sub-Inspector Harinder Singh Chameli, who was earlier the SHO, Sadar, was reportedly transferred to the police lines for not cracking the case within three days.

The police is working on different theories and has preserved the bunch of hair which was retrieved from Balwant Kaur’s fist.

The police also suspects that the killers were not professionals. As the multiple stab injuries on the face, throat and arm clearly indicate that the killer attacked the victim in utter desperation.

The police is also taking the help of experts to ascertain that what kind of weapon could have been used in the murder.

The police today picked up two daily wage workers for questioning. The two workers were spotted at Bachittar Nagar Colony on the day when Balwant Kaur was killed.

"It is intriguing that nothing has been stolen from the house. If robbery was the motive then the killers should have laid their hands on something, but they didn't. We will speak to the family members of the victim to find out whether the family had any enemy, who could hatch a conspiracy to kill," said Amandeep Singh, SHO, Sadar.



Broken dividers a death trap
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 6
Broken dividers have emerged as the severest danger to lives of commuters on the Ludhiana Malerkotla road during foggy season. Unmindful of consequences of their illegal acts, the residents of villages situated along the highway continue endangering lives and making the road accident prone by creating gaps in the road divider.

These gaps are created so that the area residents can avoid taking a longer route for crossing-over to the other side of the road. The divider has been broken at many places in the area.

Though the police had informed the authorities in the Public Works Department long time ago, no action was taken to either check the malpractice of bridge gaps created illegally in the divider.

While damaging public property and causing inconvenience to the public has been considered offence under Sections 427 and 283 of the IPC, although no case has been registered for obvious reasons of want of formal complaints by the concerned officials in the PWD.

As no action was initiated against those who wilfully created gaps in the central divider for the convenience of their clients, it had been observed that many people, including owners of dhabas, petrol pumps and business organisations had been freely creating new death traps on the highway thus multiplying threat to lives of commuters on this road.



Special drive: Police to impound vehicles, register cases against violaters
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 6
Taking serious notice of danger caused by misuse of tractors, registered as vehicles meant for agricultural works, the police has launched movement to impound overloaded vehicles after registering cases under Section 283 of the IPC. At least 30 cases were registered during recent days. The decision to take stern action against violators was taken with intent to prevent accidents during foggy days.

Investigations revealed that the police had launched movement to curb malpractice of using vehicles meant for agricultural works for transporting commercial goods. This abuse, besides causing threat to life and property of commuters and residents, disrupts smooth flow of vehicular traffic when trolleys behind tractors are overloaded with bulky materials, including rice husk and wheat chaff.

DSP Malerkotla Bimal Sharma and DSP Amargarh Sukhdev Singh Virk claimed that they had directed the officials concerned to take preventive measures to check the unauthorised use of tractors for commercial purposes. Vehicles causing inconvenience to general public by interrupting traffic should be impounded after being booked under Section 283 of the IPS, the officials were advised.

Harinder Singh, SHO, Sandaur said at least five overloaded vehicles were booked under the sections recently. More than 15 cases were registered at local police station during recent days.



Staff on evaluation duty face problems due to lack of facilities
Lovleen Bains

Doraha/Ludhiana, January 6
The university staff and teachers, deployed on evaluation duty by Panjab University to conduct the evaluation of the answer sheets of post graduate semester classes, are facing a real tough time especially these winters.

While the university officials complain of poor arrangements at the evaluation centre, the teachers too are in no way satisfied by the conditions under which they are forced to evaluate the sheets.

The situation at present is that the conduct of evaluation has slackened due to the chilly winters. The university officials have to call the evaluators time and again, in order to continue the evaluating process. A university official deployed at a local centre, on condition of anonymity shared, “There are practically no arrangements made for the university evaluators and officials, who are required to stay at the centre. There are no proper no washrooms and no such provision by which we can keep ourselves protected from the biting cold and carry on our work smoothly. If we had not made arrangements for ourselves, we would have all been shifted to one or the other hospital by this time”.

“We have to call every evaluator at least twice or thrice to come and evaluate the sheets so that the results may not be delayed in any case. Although we have been trying everything we can, but it has been really difficult to manage such hard times”, another official added.

The teachers, on the other hand, have their own problems to share. “On the very first day when the winter vacations commenced, we got the evaluation letter. Whole of the burden fell on us as all the deployed evaluators did not report. Thereafter it became almost impossible to quit the work in between. Resultantly, it took us almost ten days to complete the evaluation work", said one of the evaluators.

“Moreover, the chilly winters have literally rendered us incapable of carrying on the work. Without proper arrangements of room heaters, it becomes difficult to continue with the process of evaluation in such a chilling atmosphere”, added another evaluator.

A lady evaluator shared, “I fell ill on the very next day of my joining due to lack of facilities and had to discontinue with the evaluation duty. We very well know that it is our moral duty to perform our work but at the same time, under such conditions, half-hearted evaluation may cost dear to the examiners.”

Senator Panjab University Harpreet Dua when contacted said, “Earlier the problem was graver all the more, the reason being that the evaluators had to go all the way to Chandigarh to evaluate the sheets, which was next to impossible in such a chilly weather. Actually, the centre for evaluation was allotted in haste and we knew that the infrastructure and necessary facilities required to brave the cold were lacking but in the next meeting of the syndicate we would definitely put forth this problem so that during next evaluation, the university officials as well as the evaluators get a congenial atmosphere for undertaking the work of evaluation”.



Traffic police seeks cooperation from society
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, January 6
The traffic police, district transport department are observing "Road-Safety week", which will continue till tomorrow. A lot many initiatives are being taken by the concerned departments to make the masses aware about safety on roads, in absence of which fatal accidents claim several precious lives.

The data available with the department shows that due to the strict measures adopted by the traffic police in recent times, the count of accidents/deaths has decline, still a lot has to be done to bring a change in the mega-city.

ACP Traffic Swapan Sharma said that department had to act tough with violators to bring improvement. "Society needs to join hands with us as we alone cannot make any difference. But in 2012, the number of deaths/accidents has reduced as compared to last two-three years. By making the masses aware about the safety on roads, we can certainly bring desirable results", he said.



Take care of your hands and feet, you may fall prey to chill blains this winter
Anupam Bhagria

Ludhiana, January 6
Extreme cold is making many, an easy prey to chill blains. People who suffer from it, usually complain of itching, pain and then tusky redness on certain areas of hands, toes, earlobes and nose etc.

With increasing cold, many cases of chill blains are being reported with skin specialists and doctors of medicines.

Dr Alka Dogra, Head of the Skin Department of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital said, "Number of cases of chill blain have increased this year. I have been daily receiving about 20 cases of chill ish blain for the last many days. Resultantly, lot of blisters of bluish discolored skin are being seen. In very few cases such things can even lead to gangrene, if not treated on time."

She further said that it was very unusual that chill blain had been appearing on unusual sites like nose and ear lobes in the form of blisters.

A city based Neurosurgeon and President of IMA, Punjab, Dr Manoj Sobti said," Due to coldness, small blood vessels in sub cutaneous tissue suffer from Vasoconstriction (Shrink) and if the exposure is prolonged, one suffers from chill blains. One should keep oneself warm."

What is chill blain?

It is a reaction of body to extremely cold temperatures. Small, painful and itchy lumps that appear on the skin. They develop as an abnormal response to cold. It takes one to two weeks to cure these

DOs and don'ts

  • Wear woolen gloves and socks even if one is suffering from chill blain
  • Avoid direct contact to cold water and cold air.
  • Take any anti-allergic in case suffering from chill blans
  • Prefer layer of clothes to keep yourself warm



No respite from cold wave in coming days
Charanjit Singh Teja

Ludhiana, January 6
The residents continue to face biting cold and harsh weather conditions with minimum temperature dipping to 4.0 degree Celsius in the city on Sunday. According to the weather report, there was a dip of 0.4 degree in minimum temperature but rise of 1.2 degree in maximum temperature.

On Saturday, the maximum temperature in the city was recorded at 8.8 degrees Celsius, while the minimum temperature was 4.4 degrees. Maximum temperature in the city was recorded 10.0 degree Celsius on Sunday however the sun was partially appeared after 12 O'clock.

The mercury continues to hover around 4 degrees Celsius since last few days. However, the Metrological department of Punjab Agriculture University has predicted that shivering cold would continue for some days but days will remain clear and no chances of fog and clouds.

Dr KK Gil, Agro Meteorologist from Punjab Agriculture University said, "We are expecting rise in maximum temperature but minimum temperature will remain low for next some days.

The sun which appears in afternoon cannot warm the day. We hope that the sun will start appearing in the morning after a few days".

The extremely chill weather conditions and cold wave forced people to stay inside the homes. People usually cover themselves with caps, mufflers, gloves and long coats while moving out.



Chinese string: Sale on despite ban
7 eagles injured this kite-flying season, pose danger to commuters
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 6
Despite the ban on the sale of plastic kite strings, their sale goes on unabated in the city. With the kite-flying season in full swing, birds are once again becoming victims of plastic strings, popularly known as Chinese dor.

In the past one week, seven eagles have been seriously injured after getting entangled in these strings in different parts of the city, said Vipan Sharma, founder of Pakshi Sewa Samiti, an NGO that is working for the healthcare of birds.

“Wings of few eagles have been completely damaged. I fear that they might never be able to fly again,” said Vipan.

Sharma said around 50 birds died and over 300 birds were injured due to plastic stings in the city during the last kite flying season — December, 2011, to January 2012.

The plastic string is becoming as dangerous for humans, especially for commuters on two-wheelers. A normal thread made of cotton splits easily on being stretched to a certain extent, but the string made of plastic does not split at all.

“In the afternoon, I was returning home from Dugri, along with my brother, on a scooter. When I reached near Atam Nagar Chowk, a plastic string got stuck in my cap. The thread did not break. Fortunately, I was riding at a slow pace and applied brake on time; otherwise, I could have been injured,” said Suresh Kumar, a resident of Sham Singh Road.

Plastic strings are being openly sold in wholesale at areas located near Daresi, Old City, Shimlapuri, Sham Nagar, Dandi Swami and Jawahar Nagar. A source said plastic strings worth over Rs 3 crore have been stocked by the kite sellers in the wake of Lohri.

Sources said that the police and the administration was aware about the sale of these strings, but took no action.

“Policemen are receiving kickbacks from kite sellers for allowing them to sell the banned plastic strings,” added a source.

Kite sellers, meanwhile, blame residents for the menace. “There is a cut throat competition in this business. Even if I don’t sell the plastic string, my competitor will sell it. Action should be taken against the kite lovers too who compel us to sell the plastic string,” said a kite trader in the Old City area.

Sources said that the plastic thread was not put on display due to the ban. “We sell plastic thread to our old customers or to those we are sure are not administrative officials,” said a kite seller.

Expressing shock over the presence of such a huge stock of plastic thread in the market, Vipan said, “I do not know how many pigeons will get killed this time around. Till now only birds are falling prey to the menace, but time is not far when it would cause serious injuries to us.”

Ban jacks up price of plastic string

The ban on sale of Chinese string has jacked up its price. Now, it is being sold at much higher rates, with police pocketing most of the increased amount, allege traders.

Seven killed, 1,000 hurt last season

Seven persons were killed and over 1,000 were injured in different parts of the state due to the use of the plastic string during the last kite flying season — December, 2011, to January, 2012. Majority of those who died were traveling on two-wheelers. Many cases went unreported as victims did not go to civil hospitals for treatment.



A road becomes bone of contention between residents, original land owner
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 6
A portion of mettled road, known as Street Number 3, in Amarpura area here has become the bone of contention between the residents and the original owner of the land.

While the owner claims ownership over the portion, substantiating his claims with the revenue records, the residents counter his claim saying that when the plots were sold, the road was shown as a common passage.

Having heard both the parties, Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, Kumar Rahul advised the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Rajesh Tripathi, to submit a detailed report based on the evidence collected during their joint inspection.

Pacifying the agitated residents, the DC assured them that their rights would be protected while taking the final decision.

Kumar Rahul told The Tribune that Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal, the original owner of the land over which the houses were built, had alleged that some residents on the street number 3 of the Amarpura locality had constructed a mettled road on a piece of plot owned by him. The police had also shown its inability in getting the plot vacated.

While the revenue records favour the complainants claim, the physical state of the street -- the water pipes and electric and telephone cables -- suggested that the land had been used as a common passage for decades.

Ravinder Puri, president of the local civic body, said the road had been constructed long before the commencement of his tenure.

Meanwhile, residents led by Councillor Avtar Singh Jassal, threatened to launch a protest in case the passage was obstructed.



Passengers heave a sigh of relief
Trains on New Delhi-Ludhiana section running on time
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 6
Although the cold weather prevailing in the region has not taken a turn for the better, but the rail traffic that has remained erratic for almost a fortnight now, due to a thick blanket of fog, has shown some signs of improvement.

Except for the New Delhi-Amritsar Shane Punjab, which arrived around 25 minutes behind schedule, all other trains on the New Delhi-Ludhiana section were running almost on time.

Trains coming from Bihar and a few from Mumbai and other places in Maharashtra, however, were still running late by an hour to more than 12 hours.

According to the information available till 5 pm today, Katihar-Amritsar Amrapali Express was running behind schedule by 12 hours, Saharsa-Amritsar Jansewa Express by 11 hours 47 minutes, Tatanagar-Jammu Tawi by 10 hours 40 minutes, Dhanbad-Firozepur Kisan Express by 6 hours 30 minutes and Darbhanga-Amritsar Jan Nayak Express by 1 hour 10 minutes.

Among other trains delayed due to the bad weather were Nanded-Amritsar Sachkhand Express (9 hrs 30 mins), Ahmedabad-Jammu Tawi Sarvodaya Express (3 hrs 10 mins) and Mumbai-Jammu Tawi (1 hrs 17 mins).

Railway officials said even if the weather improved in a day as predicted by the meteorological department, it will take at least a couple of days more for the rail traffic to come back on track.



Sky bejewelled with colourful kites as Lohri approaches
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana January 6
Ludhianvis love to fly kite throughout winters, but Lohri is the festival when the sky is filled with colourful kites. New and latest designs of kites are launched in the market especially during this period. Every kite has a different name according to its shape, design and colour.

As sun appeared this afternoon, the inner city was thronged with enthusiasts who could be seen flying kites. Students of private schools enjoyed their vacation flying kites.

A devotee of Peer baba bought kites with slogan of “Jai Mastaa Di” and 786. Kites with the pictures of Indian cricketers are also in demand. Some people like to buy kites with photos of actresses, while others prefer religious symbols.

Lala, who owns a kite shop in the Old city area, said: “It is amazing to see people coming out to buy kites in this extreme cold weather.”

“I have kept a large stock of kites this year, and there is a decent demand for kites,” said Raman, another kite seller.

“In Ludhiana kite flying is synonymous with Lohri. I have bought 30 jumbo-sized kites of different designs. On Lohri, I have invited my friends to my house and we will enjoy the festival together,'' said Amit, a kite lover.



Hospitals receive patients with deep cuts
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 6
Hospitals and clinics here have been receiving patients with deep cuts caused by Chinese kite strings. While some suffered cuts while flying kites, others were injured while walking or travelling on roads and streets.

Rajesh Tripathi, Subdivisional Magistrate, Malerkotla, said he had advised the Duty Magistrate, Manmohan Singh, to ensure that the banned strings were not sold or used in the area.

Social activists said despite the ban these strings were being sold openly and proving fatal to birds and animals.

Earlier, Kumar Rahul, Deputy Commissioner, Sangrur, had banned the sale and use of plastic strings in localities falling under his jurisdiction. "The Chinese kite string can cause injury on ears and throats of cyclists and those riding two-wheelers," argued the DC, while promulgating the prohibitory orders, which will remain in force till March 5.



Diabetes have adverse effect on kidneys, say docs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 6
The National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA) organised an interactive session on kidney diseases and diabetes. Dr Vikas, a renowned nephrologist, and Dr Karanvir Goyal were key speakers.

Dr Vikas said that hypertension and diabetes are directly linked with an individual’s lifestyle and family history. He said that recurrent urinary tract infections, hypertension and diabetes have an adverse effect on the kidney functions.

Dr Goyal, while addressing the delegates, said that prevalence of diabetes is a concern for the medical fraternity throughout the world, due to its damaging effect on every vital organ of the body.

Certificates of completion of National Diabetes Educators Programme (NDEP) were distributed to 20 doctors who had attended a year-long series of lectures.



Government to bring Ishmeet Academy back on track
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 6
Following the allegation of biased attitude adopted by certain members of the management committee of the government-run Ishmeet Academy, Additional Commissioner (Grievances) JP Singh feels that a lot needed to be done in order to run the academy in a smooth manner.

Students and staff of the academy had submitted a complaint against some members of the management committee to the Deputy Commissioner, who further marked it to JP Singh.

Singh said the government had started the academy to provide facilities to students, and if they were not satisfied with it, there was “no fun” in running the institute.

"The government has already spent around Rs 10 crore on the academy that was started on April 2, last year. It is not a private institute, but a government-funded institute opened in the memory of Ishmeet Singh. The students must get all the benefits,” said JP Singh.

Singh said certain managing committee members started operating it in a "self-styled" manner, and no bank account was opened for the academy. The cash of around Rs 5 lakh was kept with certain members, he added.

"We have started making improvements in the functioning of the academy. An account has been opened and the cash has been deposited into it. No PAN number or cash books were maintained earlier, but now things are coming on track,” said JP Singh.

On the issue of submission of a memorandum to the DC by certain staff members, the official said there were around 10 staff members enrolled on contractual basis. "We need to tell the staff about the terms of service such as leave encashment. Staff wants clarity and we will ensure it in future,” he said.


  • Affiliation of the academy, so that students can receive degrees/diplomas
  • Audit books to be maintained properly
  • Proper contract letters for contractual staff
  • Drinking water to be made available to staff and students
  • Posters and pamphlets to be distributed amongst students to attract admissions



DGSE dissatisfied with response from schools
Charanjit Singh Teja

Ludhiana, January 6
Though the Education Department of the state is using new media techniques to circulate its instructions effectively, the department feels that the district education authorities and school authorities are not responding as per the expectations, as they are not tech-savvy.

Director General School Education, Kahan Singh Pannu wrote, "It has been learnt that there is a delay in the implementation of orders issue by the head office. The main reason behind the delay is that schools and district officials do not check the website regularly. The negligence of authorities lead to delay in the implementation of urgent issues".



200 students participate in NSS camp

Ludhiana, January 6
A special seven-day National Service Scheme (NSS) camp began at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), under the aegis of the Directorate of Students' Welfare. As many as 200 students are participating in the camp. The Director Students' Welfare of PAU, Dr DS Cheema said that the camp started with the orientation of the students.

Dr Cheema further said that the camp would focus on social evils and environment conservation, in addition to the organization of a vast array of activities like competitions in poster making, essay writing and declamation. A rally on burning issues like road safety, female foeticide, dowry, drug menace would also be organised in the city.

The camp will conclude on January 10. — TNS



Vegetable prices normalise as strike called off
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 6
Prices of vegetables have stablised after the strike at the local vegetable market ended. The prices remained stable this week, giving much needed relief to the residents.

"Vegetable prices have normalised. Lately, the vegetable prices had shot up due to the strike at the local market. Now that the strike is over, the prices are back to normal," said the owner of Mian Ji Vegetable and Fruit Shop at Aggar Nagar.

Renuka, a resident of Gurdev Nagar, said she was hoping for the prices to remain stable in the coming day. She said she was also hoping for the prices of the seasonal vegetables to drop further in the coming days.



Plywood industry demands lesser govt interference

Ludhiana, January 6
Members of the Punjab Plywood Manufacturers Association will be meeting the Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, to deliberate on how to make the agro-based plywood and wood-based industry in the state compete at the national and international level.

Ashok Juneja, chairman of the association, said the Punjab government should allow the industry to purchase poplar safeda agro wood directly from the farmers as the arrangement was working fine without any intermediaries.

Juneja also said that no marketing fee should be imposed, since the industry was already burdened with heavy taxes including VAT, excise and CST. — TNS



Reporters’ diary
Enjoyable for a few, miserable for most

Ludhiana: The cold wave that has gripped the region shows no sign of abatement as yet. For a small section of the society, the cold weather accompanied by chilly winds is a time to enjoy bonfires and entertain guests with barbeques and liquor, besides peanuts and gachak. For the remaining section of the society, that comprises the majority, it spells misery. One comes across daily wagers, rickshaw pullers and vendors using all kinds of waste material to make fire in order to keep themselves warm. Worst is the condition of those who do not even have a roof on their heads.

Winter Wafts

Come winter and the sweet smell of “gajrela” and “panjeeri” wafts out from every household. It is the time to get indulged in energy-rich food, not worrying about calories. Recently, while writing a story about the seasonal food, I remembered how my mother used to make “gajrela” and “pinnis” for the entire family and how we all relished these throughout the season. Upon returning from school, I used to savour hot “gajrela” while basking in the sun. Carrot was most often used by my mother for preparing winter delicacies such as “kheer”, “gajrela” and cake, besides the normal carrot dish.

Mature response

A meeting of the District Vigilance Grievances Committee was held under the chairmanship of an MP. The members of the committee, including elected representatives from Congress and Akali Dal, were also present. On the issue of certain developmental works going on in the district, certain members raised an objection that the block development officers did not take them into confidence. It was a kind of "complaint", on which the MP acted maturely. He said, "Politics is a reality, but governance is also a reality. Let’s not go into these issues and focus on the real agenda". At the same time, he asked the officials to listen to the grievances of the elected representatives and take their advice.

Call of duty

The chilly weather has become a pain in the neck for everyone. At times, in such weather, the life seems to get standstill. Everyone depends on the mercy of the Weather God. On one such day, I saw some Army men standing near a tea stall. All were busy sipping tea. Suddenly, a passer-by said, “Look at them, how daring they are; braving the chill, just to perform their duty." The Army men just smiled and left for their next destination, leaving behind a thought for many: They too are human beings, but bound to strict discipline and duty.

Contributed by Kuldip Bhatia, Manav Mander, Shivani Bhakoo, Anupam Bhagria



Goldsmith flees with gold worth Rs 14 lakh

Ludhiana, January 6
The city police has booked a goldsmith who fled with raw gold worth over Rs 14 lakh belonging to a jeweller in the Kochar Market area. Complainant Sanjiv Kumar, a jeweller from the Kochar Market area said Manoranjan Gori of New Shivpuri was working as a goldsmith at a shop located near Fountain Chowk.

Sanjiv used to hand over raw gold to Manoranjan for making ornaments. A few days ago, he had given the accused gold articles for preparing a designer ornament.

The matter came to light last evening when Manorajan did not return to the workshop and his phone remained switched off. The gold was also missing from the workshop. The jeweller then visited Manoranjan's house, but he was not at home. Sanjiv informed the police about the incident later in the evening.

The police has registered a case for criminal breaching of trust against the accused goldsmith for usurping gold worth Rs 14 lakh.

Earlier in June last year, Manoranjan was booked for duping a jeweller at Fountain Chowk. — TNS



Safety railings worth Rs 20,000 stolen
Our Correspondent

Khanna, January 6
The thieves struck at under construction Railway Over Bridge (ROB) at Bija near khanna and decamped with more than 10 channels of safety cross railing, worth Rs 20,000. The incident happened last night and came into light today morning when some passer-by noticed it.

As per the information from the eye witnesses some angles could be spotted at the incident site and the empty holes indicated the story of stolen channels. These channels were fitted a day earlier, to finish the work on the ROB, which was scheduled to be inaugurated, the next day by PWD Minister, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon .

According SDO, Baljit Singh, they noticed the missing channels, which would be fixed quickly before the inauguration takes place.



Two youths dupe woman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 6
A migrant woman was conned by two swindlers in the Mundian area here on Sunday. She complained that the swindlers fled with her gold ornaments and Rs 10,000 cash, which she had saved for the rainy day.

Narrating the incident Sunita said, "Two youths who came on motorcycle entered my house and told me that my husband Jaiparkash had met with an accident.”

“I panicked and asked them to take me to the hospital where my husband had been admitted. While one youth stayed at my house, the other one took me on a motorcycle. He left me outside the hospital and drove off. But my husband was not in the hospital. When I reached home I was shocked to find the house was ransacked. The youths fled with my saving and gold ornaments," she said.

Later during the day, the couple reported the matter to the police.



Bank manager robbed
Tribune news Service

Ludhiana, January 6
A bank manager was robbed by two armed assailants near Vardhman Chowk late last night. Narrating the incident, Gulshan Kumar stated, "I received a phone call from the security guards of the bank that the security alarm had began buzzing.

Without wasting time, I left for the bank. When I reached near Vardhman Chowk, two youths who were travelling on a motorcycle intercepted me snatched Rs 2,000 at knife point."

Police sources said that the robbers turned out to be drug addicts and have been apprehended by the police.



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