L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Alarming rise in Drug addiction
 Quantity of drugs seized last year three times more than 2011
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

A teenager inhales a drug-smeared handkerchief in Ludhiana
A teenager inhales a drug-smeared handkerchief in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, January 13
Drug addiction has assumed alarming proportions in this part of the region. To tighten the noose around drug peddlers, who have spread their tentacles all around and are allegedly hooking the youth to drugs, the police cracked the whip on them. It recovered a huge quantity of drugs, including opium and habit-forming tablets, in 2012.

Data available with the Police Department shows that the seizure of drugs in 2012 was almost three times more than 2011.

Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh said it was due to a special drive initiated against drug peddlers that such a huge quantity of drugs was seized.

"We have adopted strict measures to check drug peddling. Our teams got details about suppliers, buyers and drug users. Opium, poppy husk, smack, charas and habit-forming tablets were seized. The seizure was three times than 2011, which means drug addiction has assumed alarming proportions," said Ishwar Singh.

In charge of the narcotics cell Harbans Singh said it was high time something was done to save the youth from the drug menace. "Drugs are being used by children as young as 10 and those as old as 80. Huge seizures of drugs are being made almost on a daily basis, which is unfortunate," said Harbans Singh. 


Snap trade ties with Pakistan: Industry 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
The killing of two Indian soldiers by the Pakistani forces has sparked a wave of resentment among the traders' community. The industry in the city wants the government to snap trade ties with the neighbouring country.

The Federation of Association of Small Industries of India (FASII) has written to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and requested him that all trade ties with Pakistan should be stopped after the killings of two Indian soldiers by the Pakistani army.

Badish Jindal, national president of FASII, in a letter to the Chief Minister, said, "Even if we consider the trade statistics, the figures are shocking. While exports from Pakistan to India are increasing, our exports to Pakistan are decreasing."

Giving details, Jindal said in 2010-11, Indian exports to Pakistan were worth Rs 9,254 crore, which decreased to Rs 7,448 crore in 2011-12.

In contrast, in 2010-11, exports from Pakistan to India were worth Rs 1,514 crore, which increased by 27 per cent to Rs 1,917 crore in 2011-12.

"Strategically, Pakistan is making all efforts to increase its exports to India and is decreasing the imports from India. Indian exports to Pakistan are just 0.51 per cent of the total export share of India, which can be ignored. Under such circumstances, Punjab must stop all trade activities with Pakistan," said Jindal.

Another industralist from the city said sucessfull trade was possible only when both countries shared a good bond. "After the recent incident, there is no point in carrying forward the trade ties with Pakistan. Trade through the Wagah border should also be stopped immediately," he said.



Thrown from rooftop, girl may take months to recover
 Her fault: She turned down a miscreant's marriage proposal; father seeks justice 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
"Girls are not even safe in their houses. My daughter has been rendered bedridden by an anti-social element for no fault of hers," said Shamsher Singh, father of an 18-year-old girl who was allegedly thrown from the rooftop of her house on January 10 after she turned down a marriage proposal.

The victim has suffered a spine fracture and may take months to get beck on her feet again.

Rattled by the incident, Shamsher Singh said while the government was trying to check the killing of the girl child in the womb, it had failed to provide a safe environment to women.

"A criminal barged into my house, thrashed my wife, tried to abduct my son and threw my daughter from the rooftop of the house, just because she turned down his marriage proposal. Where is the law of the land?," said Shamsher Singh, while seeking justice for his daughter.

"What to talk of streets and buses, girls are not even safe in their houses. The police is not to be blamed here. People who watched all this like mute spectators are to be blamed," alleged Shamsher Singh.

The incident has not only wrecked the family emotionally, it has also put them in a financially dwindling position.

According to doctors, the medical expenses on the treatment of the girl will run into lakhs of rupees. Shamsher Singh said so far he had spent Rs 40,000 on his daughter's treatment.

"She can hardly move from the bed and cries with pain. My heart bleeds for her. She is paying the price for being the girl. I cannot tell you how helpless I am feeling, being the father of a girl," said Shamsher Singh.

One of Shamsher Singh's close friends, who visited the victim in hospital, said due to fear of social embarrassment, the girl's father had not told any of the relatives about the incident.

On the night of January 10, the main accused, Vikram, along with his friend Anil and an unidentified person, allegedly barged into Shamsher Singh's house in the Salem Tabri area.

"I was on a business tour and Vikram was aware of this," said the victim's father.

Vikram and his accomplices entered the girl's house. He was drunk. He offered a marriage proposal, which the girl declined.

This rattled Vikram and he allegedly started thrashing the girl's mother. She fell unconscious following which he took the girl on the top floor of the house and allegedly threw her from the rooftop. The miscreants then tried to kidnap the victim's 13-year-old brother, but he managed to escape. The girl suffered serious injuries and is undergoing treatment at the DMCH.

The girl has made another startling revelation that Vikram even tried to throw acid on her face some time ago. The matter reached the police station. As Vikram and Shamsher are neighbours, the matter had ended in a compromise.

Shamsher said Vikram was stalking his daughter for the past four years. He was also caught for running a fake currency racket.

All accused, who were booked for attempt to murder, trespass and molestation, are at large.



Green belts in Dy Mayor's ward in bad shape
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

An ill-maintained green belt in Deputy Mayor PD Sharma's ward; (right) garbage lies scattered in a part of the belt in Ludhiana on Sunday.
An ill-maintained green belt in Deputy Mayor PD Sharma's ward; (right) garbage lies scattered in a part of the belt in Ludhiana on Sunday. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, January 13
Green belts and parks located in Deputy Mayor RD Sharma's ward number 25 are in poor state. The situation is almost the same in other green belts in the city.

A fountain which has been out of order for a long time.
A fountain which has been out of order for a long time. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

After Sharma, a first-time councillor, was elevated to the post of Deputy Mayor, residents of his ward were hoping that the green belts would now be maintained properly.

As one enters ward number 25 from the old GT Road side, one comes across an ill-maintained green belt, which starts from Budha Nullah and goes up till Jalandhar Bypass Chowk.

There is nothing green about this belt. Garbage is strewn all around. Grills installed on the boundary wall are missing. Neither the area councillor nor Ludhiana Municipal Corporation officials have made efforts to get new grills installed.

Fountains installed in this green belt have been non-functional for the past many years.

RD Sharma admitted that the green belt was in poor state. “All of us know that the MC is short of gardeners as well as funds. We have now roped in a private company which will maintain our green belts properly. Within two months, we are hopepul that the green belts in the city will be in a much better state,” said Sharma.

Before Sharma’s election in June last year, this ward was represented by his mother Prem Sharma, who was also from the BJP.



kite flying
Ban on plastic string goes up in thin air
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
The tall claims made by the police regarding imposing a ban on the sale of plastic strings for flying kites fizzled out completely as the "killer thread" today led to the death of birds and took its toll on residents as well.

Complaints from residents, especially commuters, regarding receiving cuts from plastic strings, which were used by many to fly kites today, kept arriving till late this evening.

"There was no check by the police and plastic strings were sold openly in the market. From Daresi to the Old City area, Field Gunj, Trunk Wala Bazar, Lakkar Bazar, Division No. 3, Sham Nagar and Dandi Swami, plastic strings were sold everywhere in the city," said Shiv Soni, president of the Rashtriya Chetna Manch.

Vipan Sharma, founder of the Pakshi Sewa Society, said so far reports regarding 36 birds having been injured after getting entangled in plastic strings had been received.

"Two birds got entangled in a plastic string near a shopping mall on Ferozepur Road. The toll is expected to rise as a heavy sale of plastic strings was reported," said Vipan Sharma.

The claims made by the police that it had conducted raids to ensure the implementation of the ban on the sale of plastic strings have fallen flat. The police has failed to find out how the killer strings made their way into the city.

Nilambri Jagdale, ADCP, told The Tribune that her team, comprising seven SHOs, had conducted raids on shops during the past couple of days.

She claimed that there was no report of sale of Chinese strings. She said the SHOs of police division numbers 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6, Daresi and Salem Tabri conducted raids today also. "Lohri is over and for kite traders the remaining stock is waste. The police will take this stock from the traders and show it as recovery. They should have nabbed kite traders before Lohri," said Shiv Soni.

Power supply hit
Plastic strings led to snapping of power supply in various parts of the city. A string got entangled in an electricity wire, which led to a power failure. Many complaints were received from the Hibowal area where plastic strings got entangled in wires, leading to power failures.



cancellation of pension scheme
Teachers resent govts move 
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, January 13
The teaching community seems to be in a state of shock as the Punjab Government has repealed the Act of Pension Scheme of 18/12/96. It has asked the Chief Minister to withhold his assent to the Bill by way of reserving for consideration to save the future of higher education and democracy in Punjab.

Principal Tarsem Bahia, Patron Retired Teachers Association, The Pension Scheme for Teachers and Employees of Private-Aided Colleges of Punjab was introduced by Late Beant Singh lead Government in the year 1996. The pension scheme also got the assent of Rajinder Kaur Bhattal Government but could not be implemented due to election code in the year 1997. The scheme had gone through all legal and administrative procedures and had received the approval of five Cabinets. In 1999, a special amendment was incorporated in the Service Security Act, 1974 for employees of private colleges in Punjab. One of the objectives of the Amendment in the service security Act was to secure power for implementation of the Pension Scheme of 1996.

Since the pension Scheme remained non-implemented for a number of years, a large number of teachers and non teaching employees of private-aided colleges filed many civil Writ petitions in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The Punjab and Haryana High Court, in its Interim orders passed on 10/10/2012, 26/11/2012 etc directed the Punjab government either to implement the pension scheme or to face contempt proceedings, he added.

General Secretary, Punjab and Chandigarh Teachers Union Dr Kuldip Singh shared, The pension scheme was about to be implemented with orders of the High Court. But all of a sudden the Punjab Government led by the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal decided to repeal the Act of Pension Scheme of 18/12/96 by misleading the Legislative Assembly.

The Bill has been passed in a most hurried manner without any discussion or debate whatsoever when Opposition Party Congress staged a walk out from the proceedings of Legislative Assembly. Obviously, the repeal Bill No. 22-PLA-2012 has been passed to sidetrack the court decision, he alleged.

Prof Iqbalpreet Kaur, Co-Convener Women Wing said, The retirees are facing acute hardships, leading a life of intense suffering and ailments have been pleading for justice by way of grant of pensionary benefits as social security. We jointly demand not to grant approval to the Repeal of 18.12.1996 Scheme Bill of 2012 as it is anti-social security, arbitrary, unconstitutional and contemptuous of the judicial authority.

The teachers have been striving hard to get the pension scheme implemented, which is in every way their due right. If the teachers of the aided schools can be given pension and if other states can implement the same, what right does the Punjab Government have to deprive us for our right to pension and gratuity? This is the height of exploitation. The teachers who frame the nation by enlightening the flame of knowledge in the youth, who would otherwise have been lead astray, are after retirement forced to depend upon their off springs or lead a life of penury. The respectable statuses they have enjoyed throughout their life do not permit them to cope up with the financial crisis they have to face at the dusk of their lives. Punjab Government has to hear the voice of the teachers as this is its moral duty to listen to the genuine demands of those who have made the youth capable enough to usher in a healthy change the economy of the state today, expressed Gunwant Dua, former president, PCCTU.

Retired Prof HS Hundal said, We have to get our right due come what may. It is unfortunate that the state government has till date shown total non serious attitude towards such a critical issue which needs to have been looked into much before and even now, when we are on the roads to assert for our righteous demands. On the contrary, the government has brutally closed all doors for us. Such a government shall definitely earn the ire of the educationists and nothing else. We may be less but the vast student force behind us is enough to make the government relent and accept our demand one day.



Drivers lose control over trucks, damage three vends
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, Jan 13
Two trucks coming from different sides damaged at least three vends and installations at the bus stand in Dehlon village when the drivers lost control after colliding with each other last night.

Later, the police had to intervene to save the drivers and their helpers from an irate mob, consisting of owners of damaged vends and passers-by, which could have allegedly beaten the already injured them to death.

Investigations revealed that the speeding truck, (RJ 21 G 1839) coming from Ludhiana to Malerkotla side hit a loaded truck (PB 4 G 9840) coming from Kilaraipur side at around 11 pm and rammed into installations situated along the of the road.

The collision was so powerful that road installations and vends were dragged along with the trucks for a long distance and all the installations were destroyed.

Many passers-by had to run from the spot to save their lives. Though drivers and helpers were injured in the incident, irate mob allegedly attacked them. Had the policemen led by Mohammad Sadiq not pacified the mob they (drivers and helpers) could have been allegedly beaten to death, said sources.



Sambar enters Kalirao Mohalla, rescued
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna January 13
Panic gripped old area named Kalirao Mohalla, Khanna, when the residents spotted a Sambar in their locality. An area resident, Joginderpal heard some noise in the morning and sensing any thief he got up and went out. He said that he was surprised when he saw a Sambar near his house.

In the meantime, people of the area gathered and concerned department officials were informed.

A team of the fire department and a team of the forest department reached the site.

The teams had to work hard to apprehend the Sambar for several hours.

At last, the animal was apprehended in the afternoon by a team of forest officials led by an official Devinder Singh with the help of fire officials.

An official of forest department, Balvir Singh, informed that the Sambar was apprehended and was let of at a jungle near Dhamot village near Payal after first aid as the Sambhar has some minor injuries.



reporters diary
All for a piece of paper!

Be it small kids, youngsters or middle-aged men, kite-flying has always been an attraction during the Lohri festival. Especially, here in the interior parts of the city, residents purchase kites, strings worth several hundreds of rupees to enjoy the festival. But just for a piece of paper or to cut other's kite, becomes "status-symbol" for many at times. During the kite-flying competition, youths fired shots in the air in retaliation when the cord of their kite was snipped by another group at Mundiyan Khurd village yesterday. For the same kite, the average cost of which will be anything up to Rs 100, small children run on the roads to catch hold of it. They do not bother if any speedy vehicle was coming from the other direction they just focus on the kite to catch. It is the driver of the vehicle who has to see that the kids are safe!

Winters proving boon

Winters are at its peak proving boon for the hosiery industry. Recently, I went to a roadside take-away shop near Clock Tower dealing in nick-knacks like caps, gloves and socks. I asked the vendor about the prices and the sale of his stock. After providing me information, he asked me to buy something from his shop. I told him that I do not need anything and explained him that I required the inputs since as I was doing a story. On hearing this, he packed one beautiful cap and gave it to me saying that he does not want his customer to go empty handed. So, I ended up buying the cap from him thinking he was a good salesman and knows how to sell things. Winters are surely proving boon to this shopkeeper as well. Thanks to his skills.

A cooks tale

In my hectic schedule, I rarely get time to try my hands on cooking dishes. One day, I prepared a sweet dish and decorated it with dry fruits. After serving to everybody, they all liked it, I again got busy in attending to a phone call for getting some news. After sometime, when I felt hungry, I thought to eat my sweet dish. Suddenly, I saw a brown coloured cat going out of the kitchen window. When I searched for the sweet dish, I found that the cat had already tasted it and left for her next destination. It reminded me of famous Sufi poet Amir Khusro's quote, "Kheer pakai yatan se, charkha diya jala, aaya kutta kha gaya tu baitthi dhol baja, la paani to pila"

Ducking the cops

Violating the traffic rules seems to be the in thing in the mega city, and nothing like that if you can get away with it without being caught, or at times, even if you are caught by an alert traffic cop. The other day, a traffic cop posted at Domoria Bridge T-point signalled a car driver to stop and park the car on the side of the road as he had jumped a stop sign, and had almost banged into a two-wheeler. The "over-smart" youth slowed down and turned the car towards the left side as if he was about to stop. In the meanwhile, the policeman had an incoming call on his cell phone and started to the call while also moving towards the car, which had almost come to a halt. However, once the car driver saw that the policeman was distracted due to the phone call, he sped away leaving the policeman baffled. The outwitted policeman made a motion of taking out his notebook to jot down the number of the vehicle. But then just shrugged and carried on with his duty.

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



contractors dues
MC seeks Rs 100 cr loan
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
The cash-strapped Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is all set to take a loan of Rs 100 crore by pledging its properties as collateral security, which may include its office buildings. The civic body is in talks with three prominent banks. Only one bank has submitted its proposal for the loan so far.

Owing to an acute financial crunch, the ongoing development works in the city have been hit. Contractors have even stopped construction at several projects.

To clear contractors dues, the civic body needs around Rs 100 crore.

At present, the MC is in talks with the Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and ICICI Bank. The officials from the Bank of India have offered a loan at an interest of 12.5 per cent per annum.

Officials from the PNB have said they might sanction a loan at an interest of 10.75 per annum. But, they are yet to take the permission for the loan from their head office. The officials from ICICI Bank are yet to respond to the loan requirement of the MC. Once all of them make their offers, we would take up this matter at a General House meeting and the decision to choose a bank will be taken accordingly, said MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma.

Out of its total budget, the MC spends around Rs 250 crore annually on paying salaries to its employees while about Rs 2-3 crore is spent on paying the electricity bills.

We are also in the process of hiring a financial consultant, who will suggest ways to cut our costs. And once the loan is sanctioned, we will be able to clear our dues. We will start fresh development works only when we have adequate funds so that there is no cash crunch in the future. All I want is that the MC should spend public money properly, stated Verma.



Notices to contractors
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
The Central Excise Department has issued show-cause notices to the contractors, who have been awarded contracts for towing away vehicles, for not paying service tax.

According to sources, the monthly income of these contractors is about Rs 8 lakh. "We have served them show-cause notices for not paying service tax, which is charged at the rate of 12 per cent. Documents have been seized and we are waiting for their reply," said an official from the department.

Any organisation or department, which gives services and charges from the public, is liable to pay service tax to the government. Only the services included in the negative list are exempted from service tax.



Aggar Nagar underpass to miss deadline
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
The pedestrian under pass opposite Aggar Nagar is all set to miss its February deadline as there has been no work on the project for the past more than eight months. The contractor says the civic body has not cleared his dues worth more than Rs 2 crore, due to which has been forced to stop construction of this underpass.

The foundation stones for two underpasses, one opposite the Mini-Secretariat and another near Aggar Nagar, were laid by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in November, 2010. The total cost of both these projects was about Rs 6.5 crore. While the underpass opposite the Mini-Secretariat was inaugurated in November 16 last year, the construction of the underpass near Aggar Nagar was stopped by the contractor in May.

On July 29, MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma had visited the project and claimed that the contractor had promised to complete this project within three months.

While speaking to The Tribune, the contractor said he had submitted two bills for Rs 80 lakh and Rs 1.90 crore to the MC in February and May.

While the MC paid Rs 63 lakh from the first bill, the second bill is yet to be cleared. The amount of Rs 63 lakh was paid in two instalments of Rs 50 lakh and Rs 13 lakh (paid last week). We did not want to stop the construction of this project, but we were forced to do so due to a shortage of funds. If the MC pays us about Rs 30 lakh or Rs 40 lakh, then we might be able to complete the project, said the contractor.

The MC Commissioner, Rakesh Kumar Verma, said: We dont want to keep any contractors money with us but the reality is that we dont have money. We are trying hard to recover the outstanding dues from residents so that development works in the city dont suffer, said Verma.



Cafe culture fast catching on in Ludhiana
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
With the winters at its peak, Ludhiana, which has rightly been labelled as a tea-addict city, is suddenly going crazy over coffee. With the trend of reading cafes emerging at an enviable pace in the city, the cafe culture is experiencing a defining moment.

High ceiling fans, round coffee tables made in archaic wooden designs, life-size blackboards with the menu of the day scrawled in chalk are some marked features of the cafes in the city.

"Coffee is a lifestyle, tea is a beverage. If someone special comes home, you'll serve him coffee, but if a neighbour drops by, you'll give him tea," says Shveta, a bank employee.

"By the way, cafes are not meant for the youth alone. We have a mixed customers ranging from youngsters and housewives and families coming together for a chit-chat on weekends. Caf culture is evolving in the city," said Swastika D Sobti, owner of Cake Square, a caf-cum-cake shop on the Pakhowal Road and Sarabha Nagar.

"Backpack on an empty chair, a book in hand, either reading or observing people while sipping an espresso or macchiato in a quiet corner is my ideal way of spending my Saturdays. It is not that I drink coffee for a show off but I love the aroma and taste of coffee," quips Gaurav, a class XII student.

Indeed, this is one contribution for which we all need to applaud Cafes! Coffee shops are the hangouts not just for the youth but for elderly persons as well. Indian Coffee House at Bhadaur House and Knight Coffee at Chaura Bazar, for example, have given many socialising moments and memories to the oldies.

Because going to caf is not about the coffee alone. It is the fun rather than the caffeine that drives the youth. So while tea remains the essence of our life, the health drink or even the national drink, coffee becomes the beverage meant to be sipped while flirting, discussing, dating and, yes, while chilling out! 



Meeting order rush
Hosiery industry offers incentives to labour
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
With the extreme cold conditions proving to be a boon for the hosiery industry and fresh orders still pouring in, it is not only the industrialists but also the workers who have both their hands full. The industry, which has been facing a labour crunch, is offering special incentives to workers to make them work till the orders are finished.

Generally, the production for the hosiery season is finished by December but this year it has been prolonged. Part-time workers, whom industrial units hire to meet orders, leave by December-end. To stop workers from going back home, the industry is luring them with incentives like free accommodation, mobile phones, cycles and other small goodies like blankets and home appliances.

"The industry is already facing a shortage of labour. So, to retain the workforce till the orders are finished we are giving them special incentives. We give them according to their needs. Some workers in my unit needed bicycles so I promise them to give them bicycles once the orders are cleared. The others were given blankets and pressure cookers according to their needs. Since there is a shortage of labour, I do not want to lose my workforce. Hence do not mind spending extra on them," said Darshan Dawar, president of the Knitwear Club.

Another industrialist Bhupesh Jain said his labour was doing overtime to finish the orders. Apart from giving them extra money, he is also providing them with some extra inducement.

"One of my workers was without an accommodation and I had allowed him to use a room in my factory till the orders are finished. I have given wrist watches to all the workers. I always promise to give my workers an incentive whenever our unit gets any bumper order," said Jain.

Suresh, a factory worker, said he had both his hands full. "I am also getting extra salary as I am working overtime these days. My owner also gave me a mobile phone. I wish the winters are so cold every year so that I can earn some extra money," he added.



2 test positive for swine flu
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 13
Two patients from Sunam And Sangrur, who are under treatment at the local Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, have tested positive for swine flu. 

Confirming that two patients have been tested positive, the District Epidemiologist, Dr Anil Verma, said, "Samples of other suspected patients tested negative for swine flu."



Schools resent PSEB decision
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana January 13
The affiliated schools have resented the decision of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) that it will not constitute examination centres in affiliated schools where the strength of students is less than 120 in urban areas and 90 in rural areas.

A delegation of the PSEB Affiliated Schools Association met Education Minister Sikander Singh Maluka in this regard.

Rajinder Sharma, president the PSEB Affiliated Schools Association, said: "We are fed up with the wrong decisions of the PSEB.

Suresh Tandon, Vice-Chairman, PSEB said: "It is not possible to set up examination centres in every school. We have to depute a supervisor and invigilators during the exams. These examination centres proved very costly to the PSEB.



Ludhiana Scan

Power shutdown

A spokesperson of the Punjab State Power Corporation due to maintenance of 66 KV Sub-station Kichlu Nagar, there will be power shutdown on January 14 at Upkar Nagar, College Road, Deep Nagar, Kichlu Nagar, Maya Nagar, Vivek Nagar, Guru Nanakpura, Rose Garden etc from 9 am to 4 pm.


A shobha yatra was organised on the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda here on Sunday. It started from Durga Mata temple and culminated at Arya College. PWD Minister, Sharanjit Dhillon, flagged off the yatra. Around 8,000 books on Vivekananda were distributed on this occasion.


To pay tributes to Dr BR Ambedkar, a seminar was organised by Punjab Buddhist Society here at Kadiyan village. Mahinder Baddhan, Founder member Ambedkar Memorial Committee Great Britain was the chief guest on this occasion. He addressed the gathering and said those who could not respect the ideology of Dr Ambedkar, had no right to follow Buddha religion. He said it was unfortunate that still a step-motherly treatment was being meted-out to SC/ST/BC categories.

Rs 4 crore grant for Jagraon

The Congress led UPA Government has sanctioned grant of several crores for development in the field of education while Rs 4 crore has been sanctioned for Jagraon alone. This claim was made by former state minister, Ishar Singh Meharban in a statement issued here on Sunday. He listed the names of government schools falling under Jagraon that received the said grant.

Residents celebrate Lohri in Ludhiana. Lohri celebrated
Bharat Neterheen Sewak Samaj and Baba Vishavkarma Sewa Dal Punjab celebrated festival of Lohri here on Sunday at VRTC Haibowal. The visually challenged children and youngsters sang songs, presented skits and entertained the guests. On the occasion, Daljeet Singh Grewal President of BRS Gurdwara Sahib of BRS Nagar-J Block was the chief guest.

Residents celebrate Lohri in Ludhiana. photo: Inderjeet verma

Free medical camp

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Guru Nanak Charitable Hopital Dehlon organised a free medical camp at Community Hall at Kilaraipur here on Sunday. Former sarpanch, Kuldeep Singh, inaugurated the camp and Mastan Singh was the guest of honour. Boota Singh, convener of the camp said a team of doctors supervised by chairman of the hospital Dr Balwinder Singh Walia examined more than 200 patients for various ailments and provided them free medicines. Patients were advised to visit the hospital for free follow up. Diagnostic tests including ECG and EEG were available on the spot.


For the sixth consecutive time in city premier Schools exhibition kicked off here on Sunday at a hotel. The exhibition which will conclude tomorrow showcase International schools, boarding schools and day schools all under one roof catering to the academic interests of parents of children in the age group from 2 to 18 years offering primary, middle and secondary level education. The exhibition provides parents with the option to choose a board affiliation preference for their child.


A national conference on best practises adopted by some Deputy Commissioners/ Collectors from all over the country was held on January 11 and 12 in New Delhi. Two DCs/Collectors were nominated from each state across the country. Punjab had nominated DC Ludhiana Rahul Tiwari, IAS and DC Nawashahar, Tanu Kashyap, IAS for the work they had done in revenue administration and in curbing female foeticide in their respective districts. The conference was organised in Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi and was attended by Minister of Personnel Union of India on the opening day and by Cabinet Secretary of India on the closing day. The Government of India had asked each state to nominate two collectors who had done good work in the field of Narega, rural development, health, education, law and order, revenue or some other such sector in their district so that the collectors from all over the country could gather and give a presentation on their work and the same could be replicated by other districts of the various states. Tewari represented the Punjab Government and in his presentation showed initiatives taken in land revenue administration in district Ludhiana. TNS



Jarkhar sports fest begins today
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 13
The stage is set for the 27th annual sports festival to be organised by the Mata Sahib Kaur Sports Club at Jarkhar village, about 20 km from here. The festival will begin tomorrow and conclude on January 17.

Though the competitions start on Monday, the formal inaugural ceremony is slated for January 15. The opening function will be held under floodlights between 4 pm and 7 pm, said Narinder Pal Sidhu, chairman of the club.

Jagroop Singh Jarkhar, spokesperson for the club, said during this four-day sports extravaganza, popularly known as the modern rural mini-Olympics, competition in hockey (boys and girls), kabaddi (academies), kabaddi (one village), kabaddi (girls), handball, volleyball, basketball (boys and girls) will be conducted.

A total prize money of Rs 12 lakh will be distributed among the position holders, said Jarkhar. "The torch will be brought in a procession from Guru Nanak Stadium, Ludhiana, to the venue. The players of the national and international levels, besides popular Punjabi singers, will participate in the procession," said Jarkhar.

The main features of the opening ceremony will be gatka, a laser show and performances by Punjabi singers, Happy Jassowal, Harjeet Harman and Hardeep Bhambra. Folk singers Diljeet and Harbhajan Mann will entertain the audience on the concluding day.

The organisers will honour prominent personalities for their outstanding contribution to their respective fields. On January 15, photo artist Janmeja Singh Johl, noted Punjabi lyricist Dev Thareeke Wala, sports organiser and secretary, Punjab Basketball Association, Teja Singh Dhaliwal, hockey player Parveen Thakur and Master Sadhu Singh Chokra will be felicitated with the life time achievement award.

On the concluding day, the prestigious annual awards will be given to personalities from different spheres. They include former captain of the Indian team Rajpal Singh, Rajdeep Singh Gill, former DGP, Punjab, and president of the Basketball Federation of India, Punjabi folk singer Pammi Bai, Editor-in-Chief of PTC Channel Ritesh Likhi and visually impaired athlete Harmanpreet Kaur Chahal.

Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Punjab minister, and MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik will inaugurate the festival while Cabinet Minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia and MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali will be the guests of honour on the concluding day function.



Jagtar Memorial tournament
Pakistan, Bangladesh teams register for hockey meet
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 13
Two teams from across the borders will be seen in action during the 7th All-India Jagtar Memorial Hockey Tournament (u-21) scheduled to be held at the Olympian Prithipal Singh Astro Turf Stadium of Punjab Agricultural University in the first week of February.

Teams from these neighbouring countries, along with those from the Sports Authority of India (SAI), Orissa, Bhopal, Lucknow and Maharashtra, Punjab National Bank Academy, Delhi, Centre for Excellence, Patiala, Luhdiana and Amritsar, will take part in this tournament to be organised under the aegis of the Hockey Federation of India from February 4 to 8.

Addressing the media after a meeting of the Jagtar Memorial Hockey Tournament Committee, Olympian and its president Hardeep Singh Grewal said a total of 10 teams would slug out during the five-day event, which would be held on a league-cum-knockout basis.

"The position holders will be given prizes besides trophies. The best player, best full back, best forward and the best goalkeeper will be honoured during the prize distribution function," said Gurinder Preet Singh, secretary of the tournament committee.

Former captain of the national hockey team and deputy director (sports), PAU, Ramandeep Singh Grewal, Ajay Pal Singh Poonia, president, PAU Hockey Association, former district sports officer, Ludhiana, Amar Singh, sports promoters Jagbir Singh Grewal and Kirpal Singh Aujla, Dr Darshan Bari and Bakshi Dwaraka Nath were among others who attended the meeting to finalise the dates for this tournament.



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