L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Major fire in hosiery unit
Goods worth lakhs destroyed; ill-equipped firemen control flames after 3-hour battle
Tribune News Service

In the absence of proper firefighting equipment, a firefighter uses a wooden ladder to douse the flames at a hosiery unit in Ludhiana on Monday.
In the absence of proper firefighting equipment, a firefighter uses a wooden ladder to douse the flames at a hosiery unit in Ludhiana on Monday. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan 

Ludhiana, February 11
Goods worth lakhs of rupees were destroyed in a major fire incident that took place at a hosiery unit in the Daresi area in the city. It took the fire brigade around three hours and three fire tenders to douse the flames.

Shortage of firefighting machinery once again proved a hurdle. Firefighters were seen using obsolete machinery to douse the flames.

The firefighters were without masks and were seen using wooden ladders to douse the flames. Even the hydrant system installed outside the hosiery premises was not in a working condition, due to which the firefighters were seen taking water from fire tenders.

Krishan Lal Kakkar, Fire Safety Officer, MC, said the fire started due to a short circuit at around 12.30 pm.

"We rushed to the spot and the flames were doused at around 3.30 pm. The fire started on the ground floor of a three-storeyed building and our staff ensured that it did not spread to other floors," said Kakkar.

The fire department of the Ludhiana MC is ill-equipped to deal with disasters due to shortage of equipment and staff. The fire department is one of the most neglected departments of the MC. There are only 48 firefighters in the city having a population of over 17 lakh. At present, the department is working with just three leading firefighters. The firefighters do not have masks to cover their faces, leave aside other safety equipment.

The department has 33 firefighting vehicles, which are worn out. Experts say the life of a fire engine is 10 years, but the fire department is still working with vehicles manufactured in the 80s. Only 10 new models have been inducted into the fleet since 2002. Officials say the MC has got a green signal to recruit staff in the fire department, but due to some political reasons, this matter has got delayed.


SCOs in Feroze Gandhi Market sans fire-safety certificates
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation seems to be waiting for a tragedy to happen. Shop-cum-offices (SCOs) in Feroze Gandhi Market and shop-cum-flats in the Sarabha Nagar main market do not have fire-safety certificates. These facts came to light when a city resident sought information in this regard under the RTI Act.

Thousands of people visit Feroze Gandhi Market everyday. The market is known as the financial hub of this industrial city with a large number of banks, financial institutions and hotels situated here. The Ludhiana Stock Exchange is also situated in the market. The Sarabha Nagar market is known as the Sector 17 of Ludhiana, with several multinational companies having their outlets here.

Fire brigade officials claim that shortage of staff in the department is the main reason why regular checks are not conducted in these markets.

"Staff shortage is to blame for failure to conduct checks. These days, most of the time our staff is busy controlling fires taking place in different parts of the city. Because of this, neither are we able to conduct regular checks, nor are we able to issue fire-safety certificates," said a senior official of the fire brigade on condition of anonymity.

For a city having a population of over 17 lakh people, there are only 65 employees in the fire brigade, which includes drivers.

City resident Arvind Sharma, who sought this information, claimed that both the fire brigade as well as owners of SCOs in Feroze Gandhi Market and SCFs in the Sarabha Nagar market are playing with the lives of city residents.

MC Assistant Commissioner Davinder Singh, who also heads the Fire Department, said the matter had come to his notice and he would ask his staff to carry out a fire audit of all commercial buildings in the city.



6 held for illegal sand mining
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, February 11
Tightening the noose around persons involved in illegal mining and smuggling of sand, the Sidhwan Bet police, accompanied by officials of the Mining Department, arrested six persons for alleged illegal mining of sand. The police also impounded six tractor-trailers used for the purpose.

The accused have been identified as Bhajan Singh of the Agwar Lopo area in Jagraon, Gurpreet Singh of Dhaner village near Mehal Kalan, Sawaran Singh of Ghuman village, Rachpal Singh, Gurjant Singh and Avtar Singh, all three residents of Sherpur Kalan village near Jagraon.

Jagraon Mining Officer Gurcharan Singh Deol said they received information that some persons were trying to illegally smuggle sand from the Sutlej in the Sidhwan Bet area. "We contacted the Sidhwan Bet police and conducted joint raids in the Sidhwan Bet area and arrested six persons involved in illegal sand mining," said Deol. Sidhwan Bet SHO Jangjit Singh said the police had impounded six tractor-trailers in which the accused were trying to smuggle the sand. "We have registered a case against the accused under the Mining Act. Raids would continue in the area to check illegal sand mining," said Jangjit Singh.



Men posing as cops rob six women
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Six women and a six-year-old child were allegedly "taken hostage" and robbed by five persons posing as policemen at Hussainwal here last evening.

The women were going in an auto-rickshaw to pay obeisance at a religious place when five car-borne men intercepted their vehicle. The men identified themselves as policemen. While two of them sat in the auto-rickshaw, the others followed them in another vehicle. Soon after sitting in the auto-rickshaw, the robbers pulled out pistols and told the auto-rickshaw driver to go to a "police station". When the auto-rickshaw driver asked for the reason, the robbers thrashed him.

As soon as the auto-rickshaw reached the Focal Point area, the women realised that something was wrong. They started opposing the men and started shouting. They threw the child out of the auto-rickshaw and the driver stopped the vehicle. Soon, commuters gathered at the spot. On seeing them, the robbers fled in the car. Before leaving, the men snatched cash, camera and mobile phones of the women. The women could not note down the registration number of the car.

"We have registered a case and started investigations. We have managed to trace the con men. The car belongs to a resident of the Mundian Kalan area. The accused will be arrested soon," said investigating officer Balvir Singh of the Ladowal police station.



Three arrested with drugs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
The city police has arrested two persons and seized a huge quantity of psychotropic drugs from their possession. The accused have been identified as Amit Sachdeva and his employee Rohit Kumar.

Amit owns a food supplement shop at Pindi Street. The duo were arrested from a police naka at Kesar Gunj Mandi.

According to the police, the accused were carrying a bag and on seeing the police, they tried to escape. They were soon intercepted and on search, the police found a huge quantity of psychotropic drugs, including cough syrups, injections and tablets worth Rs 2.5 lakh, from their possession.

The police has not ruled out the possibility of the accused supplying drugs to youngsters in gyms. ACP-North J Elanchezhian said the police was investigating the issue and trying to find out whether the contraband was to be delivered to youngsters.

In another incident, the police has nabbed Parveen Kumar from the old city area and seized pharmaceutical drugs from his possession. The accused was arrested last evening while he was carrying the contraband and heading towards Clock Tower.



Farmers demand Rs 1,800 as MSP for wheat
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 11
Various kisan sabhas today organised a march from Chattar Singh Park to the Mini-Secretariat and held a rally under the banner of the Punjab Kisan Sabha to highlight their demand for suitable increase in the minimum support price of farm produce in the wake of a steep hike in the cost of inputs.

Activists of the farmers' bodies as well as the CPI and the CPM criticised the "anti-farmer policies" of the government at the Centre and the state and "persistent neglect of the farmers' demands".

Speakers at the rally said farmers had to face huge losses every year due to natural calamities that affected their farm production, and at times the crops were totally destroyed. The government did not have any policy to provide them adequate compensation.

Demanding immediate waiver of all loans given to small and medium farmers, they demanded that the MSP for wheat be fixed at Rs 1,800 per quintal and an additional bonus of Rs 150 be given to the farmers by the state government. "This has become essential due to an increase in the cost of inputs like diesel, electricity and fertilisers," they said.

Making a strong plea for an increase in the MSP of sugarcane, which is Rs 45 higher in Haryana as compared to Punjab, the farmers also demanded that milk be procured at the previous higher rate. The rally called for effective steps to curb inflation as price rise had made life tough for the farm community.

The farmer organisations warned against introduction of GM crops without safety audit while pointing out that such a move might lead to several problems for the food security and health of the nation in the future.

The rally was addressed by Kartar Singh Bowani, Sukhminder Singh Sekhon, Surinder Jalaldiwal, Baldev Singh, Avtar Singh, Mukhtiar Singh, Amarjeet Singh Sidhwan, Sikander Singh and Harbans Singh.



2 killed as truck hits motorcycle
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Two persons riding a motorcycle were crushed to death under a truck near the Jalandhar bypass here last night. The victims have been identified as Kirpal Singh and Alwinder Singh.

The incident took place last night at around 10.30 pm when the duo, who were in their mid-20s, were heading back home. Kirpal Singh, who was working at a showroom of watches in Chaura Bazar, was riding the motorbike while Alwinder, who worked as a salesman at a cloth shop at Chaura Bazar, was riding pillion.

When the duo reached the Jalandhar bypass, a truck hit their vehicle, crushing them. 



Don’t hike power tariff in next fiscal, pleads industry
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 11
Federation of Small Industries of India (FASII) has made a plea against any more hike in power tariff in the next financial year as the industrial sector was already facing a negative growth which had been precipitated by acute shortage of power all through the year. It was of the view that rather than imposing any fresh burden on consumers, including the industry, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) ought to put its house in order.

In a representation submitted to the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Authority in connection with the power tariff and annual revenue requirement (ARR) of the PSPCL for the financial year 2013-14, national president of FASII Badish K Jindal asserted that even after persistently jacking up the power tariff, the power utility was heading towards bankruptcy.

"In the past three years, the total borrowings have gone up from Rs 7,060 to Rs 8,485 crore while the accumulated losses have mounted to Rs 7,020 crore by the end of 2011-12. At the same time, the interest payment has also increased from Rs 1,674 crore (2010-11) to Rs 2,163 (2011-12) which is expected to further go up to Rs 2,600 crore by the end of this year," the representative body of the industry pointed out.

Pleading for rejection of the ARR, the FASII asked the PSERC to firmly tell the power utility for improving its financial health by cutting down wasteful expenditure, transmission and distribution losses, better manpower management, plugging pilferage and theft of equipment and material and cut down losses on power supply to farm sector.

Pointing an accusing finger towards the state government for the financial mess prevailing the PSPCL, Jindal said the government was not releasing funds for subsidy towards free power supply to agricultural sector. At the end of September 2012, subsidy worth Rs 1,596 crore was due which included Rs 229 crore for the power supply made during the last financial year. "The government be directed to pay interest on late payment of subsidy," the FASII emphasised.

Among other points raised by the FASII in the representation filed before the PSERC were maintenance of parity in supply of power to industry and farm sector, especially during a big gap between demand and supply, abolition of cross subsidies, abolition of minimum charges system which is irrational, rationalisation of service charges, octroi and other charges, supply of cheap power to industry at night, need for special enforcement for agricultural load, stagnating level of power generation and rejection of two part tariff.



3-day conference on peace, development from Feb 15
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
A three-day long 9th national conference for peace and development will be organised in the city from February 15. The theme of the conference is "Peace and Development: a Public Perspective."

During the conference, issues of public health, peaceful co-existence in South-Asia, violence against women, intolerance and violence and above all the abolition of nuclear weapons from earth etc will be discussed.

Disclosing this, president of Indian Doctors for Peace and Development, Dr LS Chawla, and general secretary Dr Arun Mitra, said, "It is unfortunate that the world spends over Rs 24,000 crores on arms race per day. On the other hand 14,700 children die of hunger everyday mainly in Africa and South Asia."

They said there was thus urgent need to divert expenditure from arms race to health, education and development. Our organisation as an affiliate of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW)-(winner of Nobel Peace Prize 1985) has been campaigning for the abolition of nuclear weapons, check on the proliferation of small arms, confidence building measures among nations through people to people relations so that the wasteful expenditure on arms race is diverted to the welfare of mankind.

They further said that our country is one among those with poor health indicators. But because of continued arms race in South Asia we have to spend huge amount of our budget on defense. This is causing adverse effect on the expenditure on health and education. Out public health expenditure is less than 2 per cent of the GDP. We need to spend a minimum of 6 per cent to meet the basic bare minimum health needs of our people.



100 delegates from colleges take part in seminar
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 11
GHG Khalsa College of Education, Gurusar Sadhar, organised a national seminar on the theme "Excellence in Teacher Education-Perspectives and Challenges" in the college auditorium today.

Dr Satish Sharma, Director (colleges) DAV College managing committee, New Delhi, was the chief guest. He inaugurated the seminar by lightening the ceremonial lamp. A large number of students and faculty members also attended the seminar sponsored
by CDC Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Fellow and Syndic Panjab University Chandigarh, Dr Kulwinder Singh, and Dr Kuldeep Puri, Associate Professor, USOL, Panjab University, Chandigarh, were the key resource persons during the occasion. Nearly 100 delegates from various colleges of Punjab and other states of the country deliberated upon this crucial theme of Teacher Education during the seminar.

In his keynote address, Dr Sharma said excellence in any field is dependent upon education and education in the contemporary world has transformed completely. "We need to be abreast with latest developments which is a major challenge before the system of education in India. A composite and flourishing system of education needs to be adopted which will teach to its takers tolerance, ability of self expression and help in their harmonious growth," stated Dr Sharma.

Dr Kulwinder Singh expressed his concern about Quality Education, which is the major contributor to Human Development Index. He focused upon the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA) where Indian educational system is lagging behind and many efforts are required to raise the level of educational system of India to match Global Standards.

Dr Kuldeep Puri talked about the challenges put forth in Yashpal Committee report, provisions of NCF-2005, constructivist approach to education and to reconstruct Indian Educational System according to global demands keeping in view the needs of Indian society.



R&D unit to boost bicycle industry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
To give a thrust to the Ludhiana bicycle industry, Bicycle Research and Development Organisation (BRADO) has been set up at United Cycle Parts and Manufacturers Association's complex.

The new organisation will have Manjinder Singh as president, who is a Ludhiana-based industrialist. Gurmeet Singh Kular is general secretary, Harjit Singh Sondh is finance secretary.

The organisation has been formed with a strong objective to lead the bicycle and bicycle parts industry into global era where it has been facing a tough competition from body will also act as standardisation agency, which will draft quality standards for the cycle industry and provide certification to its members who adopt and qualify these standards are emerging economies for quite some time."With the help of the government, it will assist in providing a better infrastructure to this industry and also act to safeguard its interests in the changing political and socio-economical scenario.



Poor students fail to get grants on time
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Though the Central Government has initiated several schemes to provide monetary benefits to the students from SC/BC category so that poor, meritorious students could continue with their higher education yet the State Government, on contrary "fails" to release these grants on time to colleges and by the time these grants reach the colleges, the beneficiaries (students) already pass-out from their respective colleges.

According to information gathered, in both the government colleges in city Government College for Girls and SCD Government College, the scholarships after the year 2010-11, have not reached the colleges.

The scholarship grants are pending for the years 2011-12 and 2012-13 it becomes a Herculean task for the college authorities to find the old beneficiaries (students) as majority of them have already left the colleges (after graduation etc).

Principal GCG Gurminder Kaur, who is also the officiating principal of SCD Government College, said almost 25 per cent of the total students in both the government colleges were the beneficiaries. "For getting the scholarships, forms are sent by the college authorities to the department. The Central Government sends the grants to state government and then the finance department releases the grants. But most of the times, these scholarship grants are sent late by the government and by the time they reach to us, majority of students leave the institutes. For the past two to three years, we have been sending these grants back to government as majority of the students are not located. The monetary benefits must reach to the needy on time," said Dr Gurminder Kaur.

Prof Kuldeep Singh, a senior professor, however, said these benefits should be provided directly to the beneficiaries instead of sending it through the departments/colleges etc. "In three districts of Punjab- Fatehgarh Sahib, Nawansher and Gurdaspur, for school students, the benefits (scholarships) are directly transferred to the students. On similar lines, system should be made so that college students too are able to get the benefits, directly in their accounts," said Prof Kuldeep Singh.



College teachers to observe two-period strike today
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, February 11
The teachers of private-aided colleges of Punjab and Chandigarh have once again decided to come on roads to pressurise the Punjab Government to implementation of their long pending demands.

Dr Kuldip Singh, general secretary of Panjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union shared, “We have been constantly fighting for our rights as well as trying our level best for lobbying with bureaucrats and with political leaders to achieve our genuine demands. The Joint Action Committee consisting of the employees, working in aided-colleges, like teachers, principals, non-teaching employees and retired employees decided to intensify their agitation in the near future.”

Dr Singh said, “The teachers of Panjab University area will observe a two-hour strike tomorrow from 11am to 1pm. Our main demands include amendment in Service Security Act to provide service security to teachers working against unaided posts, release of in-time 95 per cent grant in aid, additionally early release of total arrears up to March 31, relaxation of Refresher/Orientation courses up to June 30, 2010 on par with our counterpart, extension the benefits of pay revision to teachers working against unaided posts, creation of posts of professors in affiliated aided colleges, lifting of ban on recruitments, implementation of pension and gratuity scheme for employees of aided-colleges, arrears of pay revision of 1/1/96 of DPEs and Librarians etc.”

“The teachers of Panjab University area will observe a two-hour on February 16 and those of Guru Nanak Dev University on February 18. Further, a state-level protest rally will be held in Chandigarh. The teachers will avail mass casual leave and assemble in front of DPI Colleges Punjab Sector 17,” he added.

Dr PS Gill, co-president of the PCCTU said, “We are the only category of employees who have not been paid arrears of grade revision payable W.E.F. 01.01.06. The other state government employees have been paid arrears in installments. The protest is mainly due to the dilly-dallying of the government in this regard. We wish to entreat upon the government for the release of arrears at the earliest.”

District president, Manjit Komal, too asserted that the government has always over looked the cause of the teaching community. “If teachers are considered to be the nation builders, their genuine demands should not be over looked at any cost,” he added.



Five-day training programme for Maharashtra farmers begins
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
A five-day training programme on ‘post harvest technologies for rural catchments’ for farmers from Osmanabad, Maharashtra, was inaugurated here today at the Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology. A total of 23 participants are participating in the training programme, which is sponsored by the Maharashtra Agriculture Competitive Project (MACP).

The training programme would consist of agro-processing technologies from All-India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on Post Harvest Technology, soyabean processing technology, marketing of agricultural produce, vegetable puree production, production of green chilli powder and puree, evaporative cold room, application of plastics, modified atmosphere packaging of fruits and vegetables, cooling technology for food crops, value added products from root crop, dehydration technology, preparation of cattle feed pellets from potato waste etc.

Speaking on the occasion, head of Technology Division, Dr Deepak Raj Rai, said the farmers are best suited for agro-processing industry. “The raw material is already available with them in form of crop produce and with help of technology could get higher returns by selling different agro based products,” he said, adding that number of products could be made from soyabean and pearl millet, which is widely grown in Maharashtra. “We have also technology to for separation of arils from pomegranate with machine as well as hand tool,” he said, adding that presently most of profits of farmers is taken away by middle man which could minimized when farmers themselves took occupation of entrepreneurs.

Dr Sangeeta Chopra, senior scientist, informed the participants about various package of technologies included in training programme. She added that with adoption of these technologies farmers could multiply their profits manifolds.

Director Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and TechnologyDr US Shivhare said that the Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology had developed number of products and standardised various processes. “Farmers should get benefit of these training programme by contacting at the institute,” he added.

Senior Scientist Dr Aleksha Kudos and Technical Officer OP Moondan were also present on the occasion.



Legal aid clinic inaugurated
Rajneesh Lakhanpal
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 11
A Legal Aid Clinic was today set up in the Community Policing Resource Centre (CPRC), opposite to the office of Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana, for providing free legal services to the needy section of the society.

The Sessions Judge-cum-chairman of the District Legal Services Authority, GS Matharoo, inaugurated the clinic.

Speaking on this occasion, GS Matharoo said earlier, around 18 legal aid clinics stands already opened in different villages and city. It was felt to open a clinic here as a large number of aggrieved persons were seen approaching to CPRC everyday.

Commissioner of Police, Ishwar Singh, was also present on the occasion along with CJM-cum-secretary district legal services authority KK Singla.

Later, the Sessions Judge also presided over a seminar in the conference room in which all the officers manning different Sanjh Kendras outside police stations especially attended the seminar. The Sessions Judge asked them to work with "commitment" as they were important part of the justice delivery system. Nobody should be condemned unheard and all are equal before Law.

Addressing the gathering, Commissioner of Police said, "I hope that a number of problems would now be solved on the spot if proper legal advice will be available to the people. Moreover, this would enhance the credibility of system and faith of people in system."

This legal aid clinic would be manned by one retainer lawyer of authority and one para Legal Volunteer, added KK Singla.



45-year-old woman dies of swine flu
Less variation in temperature leading to more cases, say experts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
A 45-year-old woman died of swine flu at the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) here today.
Reports said she was under treatment for some time at the hospital. However, no new case of swine flu was reported.

With this, 16 patients have been found swine flu positive in Ludhiana district so far this year of which six died.

Twenty two swine flu positive cases were reported from other districts of the state out of which five died. Two cases were reported from other states out of which one died.

With more cases of swine flu being reported this year, the experts in the Health Department opine that a less variation in temperature can be the reason behind it.

District Epidemiologist Dr Anil Verma said, "There is less variation in temperature this year. The weather is still cold and it could be the reason that more people are becoming an easy prey to the disease.”

Verma did not rule out the possibility of more people coming for the tests. Medical Superintendent, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Dr Kanwal Maseeh said, “This year, the government has provided more testing facilities. Even the flow of medicines is quite sufficient as compared to the past years.” 



Man critically injured as car hits divider at PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
One person was critically injured while three others had a narrow escape last night after a speeding car hit a divider at Punjab  Agricultural University (PAU) here.
The victim identified as Kuldeep Singh (45) sustained serious head injuries and was rushed to hospital. His condition was stated to be serious but out of danger.

He was visiting PAU to drop his relatives who study at the veterinary college of the varsity.

A relative of the victim said the accident took place as a stray dog ran in front of their vehicle. The security guards at PAU did not rule out speeding to be the reason behind the accident.

The PAU authorities have imposed a speed limit on vehicles plying on the campus. The rules, however, are being flouted with impunity.



BSNL staff seek merger of allowance with basic pay
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
The BSNL Employees Union today held a demonstration in front of the office of general manager (telecom), BSNL, here.
The call for demonstration by the union was given against the non-settlement of merger of 78.2 per cent industrial dearness allowance (IDA) into their basic pay.

Balbir Singh, a member of the BSNL Employees Union, Punjab, said the decision of IDA merger into basic pay was taken in December last year in a meeting held between the BSNL employees union and management.

The approval for the same was given by the BSNL Board of Directors and the case was referred to the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) for further approval, he said.

The department, he said, was delaying the approval on one pretext or the other. The wage revision of the executives and non-executives was done from January 1, 2007 and IDA merger was also due from the same date, he added.

Balwinder Singh, district secretary of the BSNL Employees Union, Ludhiana, said the union would organise a dharna in a few days and intensify their agitation if the issue was not resolved soon.

Balwinder Singh said with the merger, the salary of all employees would increase by Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000. He also demanded to settle the wage reduction of the staff recruited on and after January 1, 2007. 



Govt to implement direct cash transfer facility from April 1
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
The Punjab government has asked the local authorities to prepare a list of beneficiaries under 34 schemes, including scholarships to the students belonging to the SC/BC categories, on the basis of their Aadhar cards and bank accounts so that funds could be transferred under Direct Cash Transfer from April 1.

Sources said the letter had been sent to the authorities in this regard in all 27 districts of the state. The beneficiaries include students from schools and colleges, old age pension holders, widow pensioners among others.

Earlier, Central grants were given by the state government to local authorities such as district education officer (DEO) (Primary), DEO (Secondary), district welfare officer and zila parishad members and then disbursed to respective beneficiaries.

“Since it was a tedious task, the government decided that the financial benefits should be transferred directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries on basis of their Aadhar cards. A meeting in this regard was held by the authorities recently. Another meeting will be held on February 26 as the government is keen to start the process as soon as possible,”€¯ said an official with the Education Department. 



Kite-flying hobby proving fatal in city
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Kite flying habit has claimed many lives in the city in the past few years. A teenager was electrocuted recently after he suddenly fell on an electric wire while flying kite.

The victim was at the rooftop of his house when his kite caught stuck in an electric wire. While trying to retrieve his kite, he got caught in the wires and was badly burnt.

Dr Baldeep, Managing Director, Deep Hospital, who treated the boy said, “The boy is in the paediatric ICU of the hospital. He has received multiple burns along with head and chest injuries. He remained on ventilator for more than a week and is still critical. Now we have removed the ventilator and he is recovering.”€¯

In November 2011, 8-year-old Badaami had sustained 98 per cent burns after he came in contact of a high tension wire passing over the rooftop of his house in New Kundan Puri.

Dr Sanjeev Uppal, head, plastic surgery department, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), said, “We receive four to five such cases during every kite flying season where people get electrocuted.”

Taking caution

  •  Avoid using Chinese nylon strings in kites
  • Stand away from the edges of rooftop while flying kite
  • Be careful of high tension electricity wires near your house
  • Two wheeler drivers should drive slowly as they may get wounded
  • Cases of neck wounding are reported every year, especially when driving over flyovers and bridges
  • Be careful of children running on roads with kites



Folk singers fight a losing battle in digital age
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
City-based folk singers say they are fighting a lost battle in the digital age when rules, lyrics and folk music are not being valued.
These singers having offices in the city, including the ones at the Dhyan Singh Complex, lament that now those who are trying to carry on with cultural and folk heritage are hardly finding space for themselves amongst a new crop of musicians.

“To some extent, the fault also lies with musicians and the music industry. By making the CDs, adding the paraphernalia of artists, sets and bringing out the videos, the singers lose personal touch and contact with the audience,” says Hakam Bakhtadiwala, a folk singer and head of the International Lok Gayak Kala Manch.

“Rather than condemning the bad kind of music, folk music needs to be promoted. The artists who are sticking to the values of clean Punjabi music and who are perpetuating the cultural heritage should be encouraged and supported,” Bakhtadiwala says.

Offices of most of the singers at the Dhyan Singh Complex are in a shambles. Many of these have closed down and many are on the verge of closure.

"Our business has been reduced to nil," says Kuldeep Singh, another musician. Most of the folk musicians now sing with orchestra groups and during exhibition shows, he laments. 



Auction of vanity numbers on March 1
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, Feb 11
The District Transport Department will conduct an auction of fancy numbers on March 1 at Bachat Bhawan here. The auction will be conducted of series PB 10 DJ.
The auction of remaining numbers of PB 10 DH series will also be held on the same day. DTO MS Chatwal said the reserve price for fancy numbers, had been fixed, i.e. 0001 (Rs 25,000), 0002-0009 (Rs 5,000), 0010-0100 (Rs 1,500) and remaining for Rs 500.

The applications by the bidders must reach the office by February 27, the DTO said.



ludhiana scan
Power shutdown

Due to an urgent maintenance work, 11 KV Jail Road feeder will remain shutdown on February 13 from 10 am to 3 pm. During this period, power supply to Raikhy Cinema Road, Kesar Ganj, Raman Market, Lakkar Bazar, GT Road, Tyre Market, JMD Complex, Jagraon Bridge, Bearing Market, Sukhram Nagar, Field Ganj Kucha Nos 1 to 9 and Gurudwara Dukh Niwaran will be affected.

Kabaddi Cup from Feb 14

Dhandari Kalan Kabaddi Cup will be held on February 14 to 15 at Dhandari Kalan village, backside of Surjit theatre. Chairman of the club, Resham Singh, said kabaddi 70 kg, 57 kg, dog race will be held prominently. The champion of the kabaddi village open championship will be awarded a cash prize of Rs 71,000 while runners up team will be given Rs 51,000.


Rekha Mattoo has been appointed as the president of district wing of the Bhartiya Dalit Sena. Rekha has been appointed as president keeping in view the work she has done for the upliftment of women. "I will work towards the social cause and help women in achieving greater heights in the lives," she said.

‘Use yoga to treat cancer’

State president, Dr Inderjeet Rana, employees working under Rashtriya Rural Health Mission has appealed to the state government and the state health department that for curing cancer, alternative therapies like ayurveda, homoeopathy, yoga and sidhha ayush should also be brought into use, so that importance of these therapies can use for the service of humanity as well as for the survival of these therapies as well. He said creation of CM Cancer Relief Fund is a commendable step. But these therapies can also be helpful in combating the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. He also said changing lifestyle is responsible for diseases like obesity, tuberculosis, diabetes and people must go closer to nature which would help in healing.

Patient needs help

An appeal for help has been sent by the concerned medical fraternity for helping a financially weak patient Julie admitted at the CMC Hospital. She was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis. Bills of close to Rs 2.5 lakh have been collected during her treatment. She further requires throcotomy and decortication surgery for the same, which would require close to Rs 3 lakh. Family of Julie is financially poor and requires financial support, according to a PG resident doctor at the CMCH. — TNS

Valentine’s Day celebrated

Ludhiana: ABC Montessori School celebrated Valentines Day here on Monday. All the students were dressed in pink and red colours with red roses. Many kinds of games, like passing the parcel and musical chairs were arranged during the celebrations. It was followed by a cake-cutting ceremony.

Children celebrate Valentine’s Day at ABC Montessori School; and (right) students take part in a spoon race during the annual athletics meet of Bharatiya Vidya Mandir School, Udham Singh Nagar, in Ludhiana on Monday.
Children celebrate Valentine’s Day at ABC Montessori School; and (right) students take part in a spoon race during the annual athletics meet of Bharatiya Vidya Mandir School, Udham Singh Nagar, in Ludhiana on Monday. tribune photos: Himanshu mahajan

Award ceremony

As an initiative to foster the spirit of competition at young age, STEPS Conducted Regional Scholarship Test (STEPS-Regional Scholarship Exam-2013) for the students of Classes VI to IX at regional as well as state level. Total 4,500 students participated in the exam at regional level and 1,200 students participated from schools of Ludhiana. To further motivate as well as recognise the efforts of the students an award ceremony was conducted by STEPS at Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar. As many as 88 toppers of the exam at Ludhiana level. Topper from each class VI to IX were given a cash prize of Rs 5,000. Kamal Wadhera addressed the parents and gave them inputs that how STEPS programmes were innovative as well as a mark ahead in shaping the future of the students.

Athletics meet

The Annual Athletics Meet of Pre-Primary and Primary wing of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, Udham Singh Nagar,  commenced with full zeal and vigour. Young sportsmen attired in prismatic track-suits, assembled in the play ground and took the oath to participate with true sportsmanship in the events. The manager/ caretaker of the school lighted the ceremonial lamp and declared the auspicious opening of the annual athletics meet and flew the tri-colored balloons carrying the school insignia. Enthusiastic little champs of Pre-Nursery to Class V bubbling with energy and excitement contended for the top positions in the events including 100m, 200m, 400m, short put, long jump, sack race, lemon race, frog race, biscuit race. Beating their competitors with every leap, the winners were awarded by secretary (BVM Trust) with gold, silver and bronze medals and declared the athletics meet closed. Mangat Ram Thakur was also present in the event. Meet was conducted under the supervision of Baljit Singh Gill. — TNS



Man booked for hoarding kerosene

Ludhiana, February 11
The police has arrested a person for allegedly stocking kerosene and the selling it in the black market.

The accused has been identified as Sanjeev Kumar, a resident of Jodhewal. After a tip-off, the police raided his shop at Dhandari Kalan last evening and seized 175 liters of kerosene from his procession. A case under Section 7 of the EC Act has been registered. — TNS



Gold chain, earrings snatched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Two motorcycle-borne youths snatched a gold chain and earrings from an elderly woman at Sarabha Nagar here.

The incident took place when the victim, identified as Kiran, was going to pay obeisance at a gurdwara. An eyewitness said two youths who on a bike came from behind and snatched the gold chain and earrings from her. The woman raised alarm but the snatchers managed to flee. The police has started investigations. 



Annual athletics meet kicks off at PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
The 47th Annual Athletic Meet of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) began here today. Dr DS Cheema, director, Students’ Welfare, said the students of the four constituent colleges participated in hammer throw, 110m hurdles (men), triple jump (men), javelin throw (women), and 5000 m race (men).

In hammer throw, Sukchain Singh stood first followed by Amandeep Singh and Devinder Singh who secured second and third positions respectively. In 5000m race, Sandeep Singh, Rasamdeep and Ramandeep S Sidhu got first, second and third positions respectively. In triple jump, Rajkamal Singh, Hardeep Singh and Manjinder Singh bagged first, second and third positions respectively. In 110m hurdle, Rajkamal Singh clinched first position followed by Manjinder Singh and Karandeep Singh.

In javelin throw (women), Hraveen Kaur, Jagdeep Kaur and Alisha Sharma bagged first, second and third positions respectively.

Dr Cheema said the formal inauguration of the athletic meet would be held tomorrow. Dr RK Mahey, PAU Registrar, will preside over the function. A prize-distribution ceremony will be held tomorrow evening. Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, chairman, Punjab Mandi Board, will be the chief guest while Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, PAU Vice-Chancellor, will preside over the function. 



Society Cinema houses city’s oldest billiards club
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Not many people know that the Society Cinema houses the oldest billiards club in the city.
The club was formed in 1960 exclusively for the members and partners of the Society Cinema after it was started in the year 1957.

Friends and acquaintances of the members are allowed to come and play here. National level billiards players like Michael Ferreira, Geet Sethi, Satish Mohan have played on the tables of this club.

Ashok Kaura, manager of the cinema, said, “The club was started three years after the cinema was started. Billiards was played by few and members of our cinema would come every evening to play a game or two. The place would bustle with activity throughout the day. But things have changed now” Kaura rues.

Ashok Kumar, trainer at the club, says, “My father was also a trainer here. He was in love with the game. After we migrated from Pishor, my father took up a job here and taught many tricks of the game,”€¯ he says.

“Competitions were organised here on weekends. National players such as Geet Sethi, Satish Mohan and Michael Ferreira have come here to participate in competitions,” he recalls.

Kumar now has also started making billiards table. “You cannot sustain yourself on hobby. I have started making billiards table to eke out a living,”€¯ he added.

Devpartap Singh, a city resident, says, “I keep visiting the club quite often. It gives a different feeling about playing on the oldest billiards table in the city,”€¯ he quipped. 



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