L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MLAs boycott meeting on property tax
Irked over improper zoning of properties
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 28
A meeting of the Deputy Commissioner with members of the committee on property tax, including MLAs and a nominee of the local MP, could not be held today as all local MLAs and a nominee of the MP decided to boycott the meeting citing improper zoning of properties for the purpose of property tax, which is proposed to be levied from April. The Deputy Commissioner later held a meeting with MC officials.

Earlier, a meeting was convened by MC Commissioner RK Verma, which was attended by Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria and other elected representatives of the people. Although what exactly transpired at the meeting was not known, Congress MLAs Surinder Davar, Rakesh Pandey and Bharat Bhushan Ashu, and Parminder Mehta (nominee of Ludhiana MP and now Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Manish Tewari) said they would not attend the meeting called by Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari to fix the unit value for different zones for the purpose of property tax.

The bone of contention, it was learnt, was improper zoning of properties in different parts of the city. Cutting across party lines, all MLAs and the nominee of the MP asserted that objections lodged by them at a meeting held yesterday to hear objections on proposed zones were not incorporated in the final list. They also wanted that the proposed unit value for eight zones be made known to them prior to the meeting with the DC so that they could prepare their objections and represent the people in a proper manner.

If sources are to be believed, the MC top brass was virtually isolated at the meeting as even the ruling party legislators made known their displeasure over the zoning in no uncertain terms.

It is learnt that one of the SAD legislators present at the meeting was far more aggressive than his counterparts from the Congress. He said the nominees of the public were not averse to the imposition of tax to raise the much-needed resources, but at the same time, interests of the people had also to be safeguarded. He said once the zones were finalised and the unit value of each zone fixed, the process would be irreversible.

Almost all Congress MLAs at the meeting found fault with the proposed zones, saying that crucial factors like civic amenities, location and market value of the properties were ignored while carving out zones. They were also perturbed over their objections to the zoning being ignored.

What the Mayor has to say

We have incorporated most of the objections raised by the MLAs and the MP in the zoning. The remaining objections will also be taken care of before a meeting for the unit value fixation takes place.

Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, Mayor


Rates to be announced by March 4
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
Deputy Commissioner-cum-chairman of the Property Tax Committee (District) Rahul Tiwari today held a meeting with higher officials of the municipal corporation, the Deputy Director, Local Bodies and SDMs to draft the rates of land/ floor area for the purpose of calculating property tax, which is to be implemented from April 1 in Punjab. Though the drafted rates will be formally announced by March 4, the “proposed” rates for the eight zones in Ludhiana city will vary between Rs 20,000 and Rs 2 lakh per sq yard, depending on the zone.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, the Deputy Commissioner said the drafted rates would be announced within four days after which one month’s time will be given for filing objections, if any. The rates would be freezed by the end of March after holding a high-level meeting with MLAs, the MP and other committee members.

The city has been divided into eight zones: A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H. Zone A is being considered as a posh zone having about 47 colonies, including residences and commercial establishments. It is expected that the drafted rate of the properties in this particular zone will be about Rs 2 lakh per sq yard keeping in mind the market value of the land, rental income and cost of construction. The rates will not be increased for five years.

“Low rates will not be proposed as otherwise there will be no benefit to the municipal corporation and municipal committees, which are running in losses.

Let residents raise their objections and the rates can be decreased also. The rates for the lowest zone (H) will be around Rs 20,000 per sq yard,” said an official who attended the meeting.

In 10 municipal committees, including Khanna, Jagraon, Payal, Samrala, Doraha and Raikot, the proposed rates vary between Rs 10,000 per sq yard and Rs 55,000 per sq yard.

An official, wishing not to be quoted, said proper “homework” had not been done by the committee and representatives due to which nothing could be finalised at the meeting today. “The Deputy Commissioner has asked the officials concerned to hold a detailed meeting with the committee members within three days to work out the exact rates”, said the official.

Proposed rates

The proposed rates of land/ floor area in the eight zones in Ludhiana city vary between Rs 20,000 and Rs 2 lakh per sq yard, depending on the zone. In 10 municipal committees, including Khanna, Jagraon, Payal, Samrala, Doraha and Raikot, the proposed rates vary between Rs 10,000 per sq yard and Rs 55,000 per sq yard



City gives thumbs down to Budget
MSEs, fastener, cycle industries disappointed; knitwear sector elated
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
The city has termed the Budget as a "dull Budget", which they will forget at the end of the day. It has brought no cheer to the local industry with the knitwear segment being an exception. The hope for a hike in the income tax exemption limit was also dashed. Ludhianvis, known for their class and style, will now have to shell out more for eating out, buying SUVs and smart phones.

Badish Jindal, national president of the Federation of Association of Small Industries of India, while reacting to the Budget, said: "It is a huge disappointment to the Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) sector that the Union Budget 2013-14 has not offered anything concrete to it on the taxation front."

At the time of recession, the MSEs hoped that measures like a cut in excise duty would be taken but nothing has been offered to the sector. No word has come from the Finance Minister about enhancing the central excise exemption limit for this sector against the present limit of Rs1.5 crore and the service tax exemption limit against the present limit of Rs10 lakh.

Narinder Bhamra, president of the Fasteners Association of Ludhiana, said: "The engineering and fastener industries in particular are taken aback at the outcome of the Budget. A lot was expected but nothing has been done". No step has been taken to save the industries from location disadvantages by introducing a freight equalisation policy and nothing has been done to introduce anti-dumping duty on imports from China to save the engineering industry, he added.

Avtar Singh and Upkar Singh Ahuja, general secretary and joint secretary, respectively, of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking, condemned the Budget, saying that the Finance Minister has done nothing to address the growth imperatives for the industrial sector. "This Budget is very disappointing as the MSME sector has been completely ignored," they said.

The cycle industry is heartbroken over the Budget. Gurmeet Singh Kular, president of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, said they had been requesting the government to abolish central excise on a complete cycle as this industry has been paying 12.36 per cent central excise on the raw material and other inputs, which is not refunded.

"Central excise has been abolished on garments, which is a great relief to the textile industry, but the cycle industry has been totally ignored in spite of its repeated requests," said Kular.

Commenting on the Budget provisions, Malvinder M Singh, Chairman, CII Northern Region, said it was a growth-oriented Budget. He added while it could have had some more direct measures to boost investment and growth, it did spell out many steps to address the constraints faced by industry.

The measures for promoting housing, specially low-cost units, will have a multiplier effect on the economy, he added

Ashok Juneja, president of the Punjab Tax Bar Association, and Jatinder Khurana, president of the Taxation Young Lawyers Association, were unhappy as income tax rates and basic exemption limits have remained unchanged. "Past experiences indicate that whenever the tax rates are brought down and the exemption limits enhanced, the number of assesses and revenue both increase," said Juneja.

Pay more for eating out

Now, you have to pay more after having a meal at your favourite restaurant. All the air-conditioned restaurants have been brought under the service tax regime in the Budget 2013-14. Earlier, only those air-conditioned restaurants that have licences to serve liquor were supposed to pay service tax.

Kawalpreet Basant, president of the Ludhiana Hotel and Restaurant Association, said the step taken by the government was not justified. Today, every neighbourhood dhaba and eating joint has air-conditioners as these are now considered a necessity, he added.

"Only 5 star restaurants should have been brought under the service tax regime as customers visiting these have a good paying power," said Basant.

Sachin Ahuja, a young professional, said: "I have all my meals at the nearby restaurants or eating joints as Ludhiana is not my hometown. It seems now I have to start cooking food to save money," he added.

Kamal and her friends said: "We uses to be very careful while selecting a restaurant for hosting kitty parties and avoid restaurants serving liquor. After the Budget, all the restaurants will be covered under the service tax regime. Now, we need to loosen our purse strings to host a kitty party the next month," she said.

Gagan, a student, said: "Every weekend we used to eat out but now we will have to re-plan our Budget," she said.

Loosen purse strings to buy SUVs, cellphones

Ludhianvis, who are known for flaunting their smart phones and high-end cars, will now have to shell out more to make other envy. Excise duty on sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and mobile phones has been increased while 100 per cent custom duty has been imposed on the import of luxury cars.

Duty on SUVs has been raised from 27 to 30 per cent while custom duty on imported cars has also been hiked. However, SUVs registered as taxis are exempted from the duty. Mobile phones with a price tag of more than Rs 2,000, a 6 per cent duty will be levied.

"Come what may, the city residents will never stop showing off their cars and mobile phones. I think it will have a little effect on the people's mindset in Ludhiana," said Karamjeet Singh, a senior citizen.

Palak Aggarwal said her family was planning to buy a SUV but now they would have to think twice before taking the final decision. "Since we are a big family, we were planning to buy a SUV," she said.

Sachin Ahuja, a salesman at a car company, said: "It is just a matter of time. In a few days, people will forget and they will start buying SUVs. They will put off their plans for the time being," he added.



A Budget in name only, say residents
The Budget has failed to impress city residents. Ludhiana Tribune talked to two families with different backgrounds for their reaction to the Budget

What the families have to say

Industralist Jagatvir Singh, along with his friend Rajiv Jain, wife Davinder Kaur and his mother, watch the Budget highlights at their home in Ludhiana
Industralist Jagatvir Singh, along with his friend Rajiv Jain, wife Davinder Kaur and his mother, watch the Budget highlights at their home in Ludhiana. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

We were expecting import duty on bicycles will be increased to curb cheap imports from China. The Budget has nothing to offer to the cycle industry. It is totally a negative Budget.
  Jagatvir Singh, industrialist and president of Ludhiana Bicycle and Engineering Park

There has been nothing to uplift the small-scale industry. It is a dummy budget in my opinion.
 — Rajiv Jain, president of Lahgu Udyog Bharti

I would have been happy if only the prices of essential goods were decreased. But, contrary to this, the Budget has nothing to offer to people.
Davinder Kaur's wife

It is a traditional budget. With the prices of commodities increasing daily, the Budget has lost its actual meaning. Prices are increased overnight so the Budget affects our lives a little. The farm sector has been totally ignored and nothing has been offered to industry as well. It is a budget in name only.
Dr Narinder Sandhu, Principal of Ramgarhia Girls College, and her husband Jatinder Sandhu, who is an advocate



Man’s mutilated body found hanging from fan
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
Panic gripped the Field Gunj area after the badly mutilated body of a 25-year-old man, who was missing for the past 10 days, was found hanging from a ceiling fan in a textile shop godown.

The victim has been identified as Sandeep Kumar, a resident of Lohara. Sandeep was working at Sahib Textiles for the past six years as a salesman.

According to Jaspreet Singh, the owner of the shop, Sandeep was missing for the past 10 days. Sandeep's mobile phone was not functioning.

He said Sandeep's family was looking for him, but it had not reported the matter to the police.

The incident came to light when employees of the textile shop complained of foul smell emanating from the godown premises.

The premises was cleaned, but the foul smell continued. One of the employees told Jaspreet that the foul smell was emanating from the godown.

The door of the godown was locked from inside. The employees broke open the door and were shocked to find Sandeep's badly mutilated body hanging from a ceiling fan.

Jaspreet reported the matter to the police. Sandeep's family was also informed about the incident.

The police sent the body to the Civil Hospital for a postmortem.

Sandeep was engaged and was about to get married in a few months. Sandeep's family members were distraught as they were preparing for thier son's marriage.

It is suspected that he may have had "some issues" with his fiancee following which he committed suicide.



Man bludgeons wife to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
A psycho allegedly bludgeoned his wife to death and locked her body in a room at Sarabha Nagar.

The husband then fled the scene. The victim, Seema Devi (30), a native of Uttar Pradesh, was working as a maid in Sarabha Nagar.

The accused, Ram Bilas (32), is at large.

The incident came to light late last night when the couple's 12-year-old son broke open the door with the help of neighbours.

On opening the door, they were shocked to find the woman lying in a pool of blood.

They also spotted a hammer lying near the body and informed the police about the incident. The neighbours told the police that the couple had an ugly fight in the afternoon following which Ram Bilas bludgeoned his wife to death. He fled the scene after locking the room.

The Sarabha Nagar police has registered a case of murder. A hunt is on to arrest the accused. It is suspected that Ram Bilas has fled to UP to evade arrest.



Day 3: Civic body pulls down 225 illegal structures
Kuldip Bhatia

Residents sit on debris after a demolition drive in the Jawahar Nagar Camp area in Ludhiana on Thursday
Residents sit on debris after a demolition drive in the Jawahar Nagar Camp area in Ludhiana on Thursday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, February 28
The municipal corporation today razed 225 illegal structures, including extensions of shops and houses raised on government land, in the Jawahar Nagar Camp area on the concluding day of a three-day anti-encroachment drive. The MC had demolished around 360 structures during the first two days of the drive. The drive was carried out on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The drive, carried out by the building branch of the MC, has changed the entire look of the area. Though heaps of debris are still lying on main streets and markets, the change is visible as the streets appear wider, the congestion in shopping areas has become a thing of the past and movement in the locality has become easier now.

Municipal Town Planner Raj Kumar and Assistant Town Planner (Zone D) Rajinder Sharma, who led the operation which lasted for well over eight hours today, said in the initial survey of the MC, the total number of identified encroachments was 304. "However, later, many more encroachments came up. In the first phase of the drive, we have managed to clear the targeted area of illegal structures," Sharma said.

The demolition drive went off peacefully and no resistance was put up by any quarter to the MC team, which was accompanied by a strong police force to deal with any eventuality.

On the contrary, many area residents and shopkeepers were seen demolishing illegal structures and extensions on their own to minimise damage to their properties, which would have been manifold had the structures been pulled down with the help of JCB machines.

The MC team used four JCB machines during the demolition drive today instead of two used during the past two days.

According to MC officials, the debris and other material accumulated in the area will be cleared by the buildings and roads wing of the MC, which will also carry out the necessary repairs and carpeting of streets.



GLADA auction gets good response
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 28
Unlike the earlier auctions of commercial properties and big chunks of land, which failed to draw the desired response, the public auction of 20 residential flats in Sector 40 on Chandigarh Road today turned out to be a huge success. All the flats on offer were sold for a whopping premium of 89 per cent during the auction, which was conducted by GLADA.

Against a total reserved price of the multi-storey flats at Rs 1.77 crore, the auction yielded Rs 3.35 crore. More than 150 bidders took part in the auction after paying an eligibility fee of Rs 50,000 each.

According to GLADA Estate Officer RK Popli, who conducted the auction proceedings along with Additional Chief Administrator Baldev Singh and Superintending Engineer RK Sharma, five flats each on the first and second floor and 10 flats on the third floor of the multi-storey residential complex were auctioned.

The flats on the first floor, with a reserved price each of Rs 9.60 lakh, attracted the highest bid of Rs 26 lakh whereas the lowest successful bid was Rs 18.60 lakh. Similarly, flats on the second floor with a reserved price of Rs 9 lakh each went for Rs 16.90 lakh (highest) and Rs 15.35 lakh (lowest). The flats on the third floor with a reserve price of Rs 8.40 lakh were sold for Rs 15.90 lakh (highest) and Rs 14.80 lakh (lowest).

The successful bidders were required to deposit 10 per cent of the total bid amount at the fall of the hammer and another 15 per cent within 30 days of the auction. The balance 75 per cent amount will become payable after one year of the date of auction in two instalments.



Embezzlement charges rock MC meeting
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, February 28
Allegations of massive embezzlement of funds meant for various development works of the town resurfaced again during the monthly general house meeting of Jagraon Municipal Council held today.

In the beginning of the meeting, Congress municipal councillor Kala Kalyan, who represents ward 5 of Jagraon Municipal Council, claimed that a massive embezzlement in the funds meant for the development works has been detected by him.

“No development work has been carried out in the ward 5 during recent years. The authorities of the local municipal council in connivance with contractorhave passed the bills of the development works which have never been carried out,” said Kalyan.

He asked the municipal councillor and council authorities to visit the ward represented by him and see whether any development work has been carried out or not. “If you find out any kind of development in ward 5, I will resign as councillor,” said Kalyan.

Municipal councillor Ravinder Sabharwal also levelled allegations of corruption against the municipal council authorities. “The municipal council had passed a resolution to provide Rs 50,000 to each ward for the installation of street lights but only few street lights have been installed. The majority of the areas of the town are still without street lights,” said Sabharwal.

Municipal councillor, Kanwarpal Singh, directly blamed municipal council president Baldev Krishan Dhir for embezzlement of funds and demanded an impartial investigation into this matter.



Workers stage dharna against cop
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
Members of the Labour Union staged a dharna against a policeman and demanded his suspension. A leader, DP Maur, who led the protest, alleged that a Head Constable, Balwinder Singh, assaulted Arjun Parsad and took away Rs 10,000 that the migrant labourer had borrowed for his daughter's treatment.

The incident took place near Gurdev Hospital on the Ferozepur road on Tuesday night when Arjun Parsad, along with his two relatives, was riding a motorcycle. He was asked by the police to stop. But instead of stopping the motorcycle, he entered the hospital. He said he was rushing to the hospital as only after submitting the hospital fee, his daughter's treatment would have started. Balwinder, who was accompanied by a resident, chased Arjun. He allegedly thrashed Arjun and took away Rs 10,000 from him, he added.

On the next day, Arjun went to the Raghunath Enclave police post to lodge a complaint against Balwinder, but the officer concerned refused to register a case.

Pavittar Singh, police post in charge, said he would not register a case without receiving the SHO's approval.



Knitwear industry upbeat
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
The knitwear industry is in a cheerful mood with excise duty on branded garments withdrawn in the Budget.

"The long-pending demand of the knitwear industry for the withdrawal of excise duty on branded garments has been fulfilled in the Union Budget 2013-14. This withdrawal is just like a dream comes true for the entire knitwear/textile industry. The duty was imposed on the branded knitwear garments in the Union Budget of 2011 at the rate of 12.36 per cent," said Darshan Dawar, president of the Knitwear Club.

Vinod Thapar, chairman of the club said: "It has lessened the burden on industrialists and now they will work with more enthusiasm, passion and zeal. Excise duty proved to be a major hindrance in the progress of the industry," he added.

Maninderpal Singh, small garment manufacturer, said: "I am a small manufacturer. Since I put a tag on garments manufactured by me, it does not make them at par with the big brands in the market. Excise duty was proving a major hindrance to the industry," he added.

Varinder Singh, garment exporter, expressed similar sentiments.

Duty withdrawal to boost hosiery industry: MP

The hosiery industry in Ludhiana is set for a major revival with the withdrawal of 12.5 central excise duty in the Budget.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari, who is the local MP, expressed his gratitude to the Finance Minister for this massive relief, saying that the hosiery industry in Ludhiana needed this breather.

Tewari, who had headed a delegation of the hosiery manufacturers, which met Chidambaram in January, said he (Chidambaram) had understood and appreciated the concerns of the industry and this was reflected in his Budget speech.

Tewari said there were around 14,000 hosiery units in Ludhiana employing around 5 lakh people. This would not only help the hosiery industry to overcome the deficits but also ensure that there were no lay-offs.



Class XII exams begin today
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
The class XII examinations of the Central Board of School Education (CBSE) and the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) will start tomorrow.

Officials, staff and teachers have been deputed at examination centres.

The PSEB has stated that 216 examination centres have been set up for students of government and private schools. CBSE has not disclosed any information. Paramjit Kaur, district nodal officer for the CBSE and principal of BCM School, said duties had been assigned to teachers.

Anju Goyal, a student, said: “The class XII exams will provide students a chance to prove their mettle. We are under tremendous stress due to the final board exams.”

Teachers face difficulty in locating exam centres

Teachers are facing difficulties in locating centres allotted to them for duties due to improper addresses mentioned by the District Education Department (DEO).

A teacher from Government School, Jeevan Pura, alleged that it was a tough time for him to locate centre as department did not provide details of the location.

"I was assigned duty at Maharaja Public School, Anandpur. I tried to locate the place here in city but to no avail. Then I was told that there was a village named Anandpur near Sahnewal. I rushed there to see the school. When I reached the village there was no school with such name. Ultimately, I had to contact the authorities concerned about the problem. At last the particular school was located at Basti Jodhewal and Anandpur was a small locality in the area. They mentioned about the locality in the duty chart but not the area so I had to suffer a lot," said the teacher.

Parveen Kumar, general secretary of Punjab Government Schools, said such complications should not be there and department should perform its duties cautiously.

Meanwhile, the officials in the District Education Department said they were also facing problems due to the shortage of staff. DEO Secondary Paramjit Singh Chahal said, "The board has deputed less number of teachers at the examination centres.



EPF board meeting held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
A meting of the Central Board of Trustees of the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF) was held under the chairmanship of Union Labour Minister Mallikarjun Kharge.

The newly inducted member of the board, national president of the FASII Badish Jindal raised the following points at the meeting.

One-time settlement scheme

Pointing to a huge number of litigations (about 15,000 cases) pending in various courts regarding EPF recovery/assessment/damages, Jindal suggested the introduction of a "one-time settlement scheme", which, he said, would save legal expenses and the precious time of both the Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) and the stakeholders.

EPF contribution limit

Employers have to contribute a minimum of 12 per cent to the EPF on salaries less than or up to Rs 6,500 (basic and dearness allowance). A proposal has been pending with the Ministry of Labour for raising this limit. Jindal said there was no need to raise this ceiling at least in the prevailing economic conditions. 



Districts way behind revenue targets
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
The Revenue Department is expected to suffer a setback with major revenue districts being way behind their given targets. Though this financial year ends by March 31 and the revenue figures are expected to increase a bit, there has been less revenue generation due to "an overall slump in the market" till December, 2012.

An officials of the Revenue Department, Chandigarh, said Mohali and Ludhiana had remained two major revenue-generating districts in Punjab. Ludhiana had remained number one district in revenue generation. But, this year, none of the districts could perform well.

"Ludhiana had always remained ahead of the given targets. Last year, Mohali attained the top position by dint of a huge industrialisation and Ludhiana slipped to the second position. But this time, both the districts are way behind their given targets. The target given to Ludhiana is Rs 590 crore. Till January 31, the district was able to collect a revenue of Rs 427 crore. Similarly, Mohali was given the target of Rs 550 crore. With Rs 353 crore generated till January 31, 2013, it is also behind the target (compared to last year). . The major reason for their poor performance has been non-regularisation of illegal colonies.," said the official.

According to the available data, Amritsar has been given a target of Rs 295 crore, against which it has generated a revenue of Rs 223 crore till December, 2012. The target given to Patiala is Rs 280 crore. It has generated Rs 147 crore till December. Similarly, Jalandhar district has been given the target of Rs 275 crore. By December, it has generated Rs 242.71 crore. Bathinda could generate Rs 79.21 crore against its target of Rs 115 crore. The only saving grace has been Gurdaspur district, which has collected Rs 110 crore against a target of Rs 115 crore.



MLA inaugurates lawyers' chambers
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, February 28
A building housing lawyers' chambers in the Judicial Complex of Jagraon was inaugurated yesterday. Jagraon MLA SR Kaler was the chief guest on the occasion. He inaugurated the lawyers' chambers.

Kaler also handed over a cheque of Rs 25 lakh on behalf of the state government to the association members.

The construction work of the building had commenced two years back and was completed recently. The foundation stone of the building was also laid down by SR Kaler in March 2011 while he was serving as ADC (Development) Ludhiana.

Jagraon Bar Association president Ashwani Atre said the new building of the lawyers' chambers has as many as 80 chambers for the lawyers practicing in Jagraon with various modern facilities.

Freedom fighter and renowned social activist of Jagraon Daya Chand Jain felicitated the chief guest, SR Kaler, on behalf of the Jagraon Bar Association.

Apart from President Ashwani Atre, several members and office bearers of the association, including vice-president Gurwinder Singh Sidhu, secretary Gurdarshan Singh Bedi, former president Raghvir Singh Toor, Vikram Sharma and senior advocate Mahinder Singh Sidhwam were present during the event.



11 challaned for smoking in public
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
The anti-tobacco task force today challaned 11 persons for smoking at public places in the city. The team included the District Epidemiologist, Dr Anil Verma, Drug Inspector Sukhbeer Chand, Food Safety Officer Harpreet Kaur, Additional Deputy Attorney Amandeep Singh and NGO representative Krishan Lal Malik.

The violators were challend under the Anti-Tobacco Act, 2003. The violators were challaned near the old DMCH, Chander Nagar, Kitchlu Nagar, Rani Jhansi Road and Rose Garden.



ludhiana scan
Swine flu case

Ludhiana: A woman patient admitted to the CMC from Ludhiana tested positive for swine flu. So far, Ludhiana district has received 22 cases, of which six patients died.

Auto-expo on March 9

An auto-expo is being organised in the city thereby giving the local residents an opportunity to witness attractive display of luxury cars. The auto-expo will be organised on March 9 at Wave Mall.

Flower show on March 3

A flower show will be organised on March 3 at Gurdwara Sarabha Nagar. Balihari Kudrat Vaseya president Jatinder Singh Sandhu and its committee convener Mohinder Singh Grewal invited general public and requested them to pump-up the show.

Students honoured

Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker, Vidhan Sabha, during the prize distribution ceremony organised at Desh Bhagat Senior Secondary School today said teachers can play an important role in bringing the hidden talent of the students to the fore. He also honoured the students for their excellence in sports and academics.

Students congratulate SAD

Representatives of the All India Sikh Students Federation congratulated Shiromani Akali Dal on the victory of the party candidate Joginder Pal Jain in the Moga byelections. They said that the victory proves that people in the state want Akali Dal to win. The members of Shiromani Akali Dal Bajigar Cell also congratulated the party leadership.

Budget anti-farmer: Union

The Bharti Kisan Union, Punjab, have termed the Union Budget as anti-farmers. President of the union Ajmer Singh Lakhowal said, "By allowing farmers to take more loans is not going to resolve the problems being faced by the farmers. They cannot improve the economic conditions of farmers." —TNS



from colleges
Prize distribution ceremony

Ludhiana: The annual prize distribution function of the Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women was organised today. Janak Raj Dhiman, Deputy Registrar, Panjab University, was the chief guest on the occasion. As many as 400 students were awarded by the chief guest for their excellence in academics.
Santa Singh Umedhpur (second from left), chairman, Senior Secondary Board, Punjab, gives a certificate to a student during the annual prize distribution function at the Government College for Girls in Ludhiana on Thursday
Santa Singh Umedhpur (second from left), chairman, Senior Secondary Board, Punjab, gives a certificate to a student during the annual prize distribution function at the Government College for Girls in Ludhiana on Thursday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Government College for Girls

The annual prize distribution function of the Government College for Girls, Ludhiana, was held on Thursday. Gurminder Kaur, principal of the college read the annual report of the session and highlighted various achievements of the college. As many as 600 students from different streams were awarded prizes for their performance in academics, sports and extra-curricular activities. Ziaratpriya Kaur was declared the student for the year

Seminar on Punjabi plays

Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, organised a seminar in which Punjabi playwright Dr Atamjit Singh interacted with students of the Post Graduate Department of Punjabi. He discussed Punjabi drama and its fundamental aspects. Later he gave a lecture on his self composed play 'Kamloops Diyan Machhiyaan' (The Fish of Kamloops). The lecture was followed by an interactive session in which the queries of the teachers and students were resolved.

Workshop on cyber security

The GGNIMT organised a workshop for the students of the computer science department. The workshop was conducted by experts in cyber security from Malaysia. Harpreet Khattar and Kshitij Adhilekha shared their personal experiences about their email account being hacked. They emphasised that students should be very careful while sharing their email and facebook passwords. The team from Malaysia demonstrated various tools used in hacking. Students were also told how to check for vulnerabilities in a website and how to secure these.

Awareness camp

A screening and an awareness camp for the hepatitis-B and hepatitis-C was organised at Kamla Lohtia SD College. Dr Anish Chopra (MD) Gastroenterologist from the CMC Hospital along with his team apprised the students and staff members about the causes and symptoms of hepatitis-B and hepatitis-C. He also explained how this virus through blood infection causes damage to the vital organ of the body.

Discussion on Union Budget

The faculty of department of management and students from MBA, BBA, BCom (Professional) streams watched the live telecast of the budget from the Parliament. It was followed by presentations by the faculty members of DIMT on specific areas like Agriculture, industry, social welfare schemes, education, infrastructure and taxation. The students also participated in an open house discussion.

Techno-cultural festival

The cultural committee, Photography and Fine Art's (PFA) Club and Technical Committee of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College (GNDEC), Gill Park, Ludhiana, hosted a two-day techno-cultural festival, 'Genesis 2013'. Students presented an entertaining cultural programme, comprising classical dances, solo singing, folk songs, light vocal, group dances, western solo, skits and giddha. The technical events during the day included miser run, battle of genders, English debate, mud valley, Singh versus Kaur, googly, sport-o-mania, dexterous transcend 2.0, student of gne-2k13 and glide ride. On the spot competitions were held for rangoli, poster making, still life, photography, collage making, painting and cartooning. During the event, Dev Thareekewala, Gill Surjit, Ranjodh Singh and Satinder Sartaj were honoured.

National conference

A two-day national conference on “Continuous Professional Development for Learning Professionals” under the UGC development scheme was organised at the Partap College of Education, Ludhiana. Prof Ken Jones, Dean of Humanities, Swansea Metropolitan University, UK, was invited as the chief resource person for this conference. Dr SS Johl, Chancellor, Central University of Punjab, Bathinda, was the chief guest on the inauguration of this conference. As many as 75 delegates from different universities and colleges participated in the event. The quarterly educational research journal of the college "Parview" was also released on the occasion. Prof Ken spoke about issues like creation of constructive tension, energised teachers and linguistics and technical excellence. Dr Johl emphasised upon qualitative professional competence. —TNS



from schools
National Science Day celebrated
Students of Kangaroo Kids present a dance item during a cultural show in Ludhiana
Students of Kangaroo Kids present a dance item during a cultural show in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana: The National Science Day was observed with full enthusiasm and fervour in Spring Dale Public School on Thursday to mark the great discovery of 'Raman Effect' by the Indian Physicist CV Raman. Manpreet Kaur of Class X, for having won first prize in the state level essay writing contest organised by the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology on the topic "Chemistry in Kitchen", was honoured on the occasion.


HVM Convent Senior Secondary School, Karamsar Colony, organised a get together for the students of IX and X on the school premises. DP Sharma, president, and Meena Sharma, chairperson, were given floral welcome by the students. Various cultural activities were presented by the students. Prizes were given to the students for their good achievements in academics and games. Maninder Singh and Navreet Kaur of class X grabbed the title of Master and Miss HVM, respectively.

Chandigarh Golf Club honours players

As many as 12 children from Delhi Public School, Khanna, were honoured by the Academy of Golf, Chandigarh Golf Club. As many as 40 children from different schools in the age group of 5 to 14 years were honoured by academy who participated in the junior golf camps organized by the academy in the year 2012.

Annual club activities

The closing of the annual intra-club activities of the primary wing of Guru Nanak International Public School, Model Town, was held today. Children exhibited their talent through dance, drama, oratory, arts, cooking. Students also presented their art and craft skills and cookery skills. Dramatics and literary club students expressed their opinion on various issues. Cookery Club students presented a live presentation of dishes. —TNS



14-year-old kidnapped

Ludhiana, February 28
The police has booked Raju, a resident of Dholewal village, for kidnapping a 14-year-old girl on the pretext on marrying her.

According to Sham Nath, a resident of Dholewal chowk, Raju beguiled his sister-in-law and kidnapped her on February 26 with the intention of marrying her. The police has registered a case under Sections 363 and 366 A of the IPC against the accused. Raju is suspected to have fled to Uttar Pradesh with the minor to evade arrest. — TNS



Two arrested with drugs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 28
The police has arrested two persons and seized a huge quantity of psychotropic drugs, including injections, cough syrups and tablets from their possession. The accused have been identified as Suresh Kumar and Vijay Kumar, who runs a medical store at Daba.

The duo was nabbed at a police check point at Sua road near Daba. A case under Section 22, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act has been registered against them.



12 booked for forging documents
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 28
The local police has booked as many as 12 members of a gang of swindlers.

They were involved in preparing fake documents to open accounts in banks with intent to raise huge loans.

The suspects have been identified as Gurdeep Singh of Habri village, Kaithal, Haryana; Balbir Singh of Sahibjada Ajit Singh Nagar, Ludhiana; Parvesh Kumar of Guru Nanak Colony, Ludhiana; Mandeep Kumar of Model Town, Noormehal; Bhupinder Singh of Sunderpur , Kurukshetra, Harayana; Sulakhan Singh of Khursaidpur, Jalandhar ; Kuldeep Singh of Balewal village; Chamkaur Singh of Sarbarpur village; Jagtar Singh of Chomo village; Balwinder Singh of Mandiala and Tarlok Singh of Jalandhar.

According to FIR, the suspects were seen conspiring to open an account in name of Inderjit Singh, an NRI, who hails from Chomo village in Ludhiana and owns a large property in the village. Besides procuring copies of revenue records required for availing loan against land measuring over 400 bighas, the suspects had prepared fake documents required under KYC ( know your customer ) norms, by affixing picture of Gurdeep Singh. The fake documents included PAN Card, voter identity card, driving license and electricity bill bearing particulars of the NRI.

The police has also initiated hunt for two cars (PB 032 Temp 5900 and PB 10 DN 9147) which were reportedly being used by the suspects.

The police is yet to ascertain the role of different members of the gang.

It is suspected that documents were prepared by using computers and printers installed somewhere in Ludhiana.



Dhanya, Ganga best athletes
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 28
Ganga Gautam and Dhanya were declared the best athletes among the girls' and boys' sections, respectively, in the 66th Annual Athletics Meet of Arya College which concluded here yesterday. Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal distributed the prizes among the winners. Shanta Singh Umedhpuri, Chairman, Subordinate Staff Selection Board, Punjab, was guest of honour at the prize-distribution function.

The chief guest announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the college managing committee. Dr RC Tejpal, Principal of the college, thanked the guests and congratulated the winners. The faculty members and students were present on this occasion.



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