L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Pressure horns: Police acts tough against violators
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
Miffed over the nuisance of pressure horns installed by bus drivers, the city traffic police has found a novel way to get rid of the menace.

The traffic police today removed pressure horns installed in buses and asked drivers to crush these under the wheels.

"Bus drivers have failed to learn any lesson despite repeated warnings. Pressure horns cause a lot of noise pollution. Bus drivers have been challaned several times, but they continue to repeat the same mistake," said a traffic official while removing a pressure horn.

Traffic policemen claimed that these pressure horns had often resulted in accidents, some of which were fatal.

"Several times we have noticed that vehicle drivers, particularly two-wheeler riders, lose control over the vehicle once the bus driver uses a pressure horn. Many times, two-wheeler riders get seriously hurt," said a traffic policeman.


GLADA auction a big draw
Sixteen residential plots sold for over Rs 13.75 crore 
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 11
A public auction conducted by the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) for the sale of residential plots in Dugri, Phase I, here today turned out to be a huge draw with 16 plots being sold for a little over Rs 13.75 crore against a reserve price of Rs 9,86,58,000, yielding a premium of around 40 per cent on the floor price.

GLADA had made an offer for the sale of 18 freehold residential plots in Dugri, Phase I, at a reserve price of Rs 32,886 per sq yard. These included 10 plots of 100 sq yards each, one plot of 200 sq yards, five plots of 300 sq yards each and two plots of 400 sq yards each. Of these, the lone plot with an area of 200 sq yards and one plot from among those measuring 300 sq yards were not put under the hammer.

As many as 70 bidders participated in the auction after depositing an eligibility fee of Rs 50,000 each.

According to GLADA Estate Officer Anand Sagar Sharma, who conducted the auction in the presence of Additional Chief Administrator Baldev Singh and other GLADA officials, the highest bid for the plots measuring 100 sq yards was at Rs 46,500 per sq yard. Similarly, the plots measuring 300 and 400 sq yards each attracted the highest bid of Rs 45,200 and Rs 55,000 per sq yard, respectively.

The successful bidders were required to make 10 per cent of the total cost of the plot at the fall of the hammer and another 15 per cent within 30 days of the date of the auction, failing which the 10 per cent earnest money deposited by the buyers would be liable for forfeiture. The balance payment could be made either in a lump sum within 60 days of the issue of the allotment letter with a rebate of 5 per cent or in six half-yearly instalments, along with 12 per cent interest.

Sharma said the residential plots were sold on "as-is-where-is basis" with the specific purpose of residential use. "No change of land use or sub division of these plots will be permissible at any time in the future," he said.

Highest bids

According to GLADA Estate Officer Anand Sagar Sharma, who conducted the auction in the presence of Additional Chief Administrator Baldev Singh and other GLADA officials, the highest bid for the plots measuring 100 sq yards was at Rs 46,500 per sq yard. Similarly, the plots measuring 300 and 400 sq yards each attracted the highest bid of Rs 45,200 and Rs 55,000 per sq yard, respectively.



Get water connections regularised, MC tells residents
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
Residents having illegal water supply and sewer connections can get these regularised under the voluntary disclosure scheme by paying a nominal fee. The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has asked city residents to get their connections regularised by March 31. Failure to do so will invite action.

There are over four lakh commercial and residential units in Ludhiana city with thousands of these having illegal water supply and sewer connections.

Sources in the MC said there were around two lakh water supply and sewerage connections in the city, of which more than 30 per cent were illegal.

On January 31, the F&CC had cleared a proposal under which city residents could get their illegal water and sewer connections regularised by March 31. The MC will organise camps in all 75 wards, where residents can come and get their connections regularised. At the time of getting these connections regularised, the residents will not have to pay any development charges. After March 31, if any resident is found having an illegal connection, the MC will take action against him.



MC general house meeting set to be a stormy affair
Meeting today; property tax, stalled development projects set to dominate proceedings
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
The general house meeting of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, to be held tomorrow, is all set to be a stormy affair with several councillors set to raise several issues, including those pertaining to property tax, stalled development works, dwindling financial position of the civic body and poor maintenance of civic amenities among other things.

The first and foremost agenda on the minds of councillors is that of property tax. Councillors say before the meeting os the zoning committee and the unit value committee, the property tax issue should have been first discussed at the MC general house meeting.

"We are better informed about city areas than MLAs. So issues related to property tax should have been first discussed in the MC House before taking a decision in this regard," said a councillor.

Stalled development works are also set to dominate the meeting. Due to a shortage of funds, several ongoing development projects such as the pedestrian underpass near Aggar Nagar are lying stalled.

Councillors have alleged that their areas are suffering as development works in the city have virtually come to a standstill. "Funds are not being allocated for development works. As a result, residents are suffering and the wrong policies of the MC are to be blamed for it," said another councillor.

Due to a fund crunch, the MC has not been able to make payments to contractors, some of whom have held protests against the MC.

'F&CC not constituted'

Congress MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu said the F&CC was a statutory body and was constituted in the general house meeting. "This is the first general house meeting and so technically, the F&CC is yet to be constituted. I have come to know that all proposals passed by the F&CC and forwarded to the state government are yet to be accepted. I wonder how the Mayor is organising F&CC meetings," said Ashu.

The F&CC comprises the Mayor, the Senior Deputy Mayor, the Deputy Mayor and two elected councillors as members, besides the MC Commissioner as its ex officio member. The two members are yet to be elected.

MLAs to attend meeting

With the state Assembly session in progress at Chandigarh, earlier it was expected that MLAs, who are also members of the MC House, would not attend tomorrow's meeting. But it is learnt that Congress MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Akali MLA Simarjit Singh Bains and some others will attend the meeting. It is learnt that during the Assembly session, both Ashu and Bains have discussed some points among themselves, which they will raise in the MC House.



Watch out! Drunk women can make your life hell
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
The families that once "inspired" their women to taste hard drinks as a status symbol are now ruing the day. Cases of inebriated women getting violent and beating up their husband and in-laws are being reported to counsellors and psychiatrists in Ludhiana. "The husband who loves to see a peg of wine in the soft hands of his wife is taken aback when the same hands go on a slapping spree," says a man who has had to bear the brunt of his tipsy wife's violent outbursts.

A city-based psychiatrist, Dr Rajeev Gupta, says every week he gets cases of two or three women patients addicted to alcohol. "Their family members usually complain of behavioural changes in them. Some of these women beat up their children, servants, mother-in-law, father-in-law and sometimes even their husband. They also hurl abuses at their family members without any provocation."

Women addicted to alcohol are mostly in the age group of 30 to 50 years, though some of them are as young as 17. They are mainly from the upper crust of society. However, many cases of alcoholism among women from the lower strata of society are also being reported. Confirming this, Dr Sudha Vasudev, a psychiatrist at Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, said, "During the past few months, we received a few cases of women addicts from the lower section of society."

On February 15, a 40-year-old tipsy woman called the police control room and took the city police for a ride. The woman, residing in the Daba area, called the police control room and stated that her life was in danger.

Soon after receiving the information, the police tried to contact her but she did not take the call. Finally, the police, along with area residents, entered the woman's house and were shocked to find her drunk. She had played a prank on the police. It was not the first time that she had played this hide-and-seek with the police. Earlier too, after her "spirited high", she used to call on helpline 100 and harass the police. She was later booked for hooliganism. Requesting anonymity, an alcoholic woman's husband says, "I myself offered the first drink to my wife about five years ago during a party. I thought it was just the right thing as all my friends' wives drink. But it was a big mistake that I still regret. Today, my wife takes two-three pegs daily. When she's drunk, she gets violent and smashes things indiscriminately. Many beautiful decoration pieces at our home have become victims of her mood swings." 

Peer pressure

Young girls, usually school and college students, start drinking under peer pressure. Students who do not drink are forced to do so by their peer group that passes uncharitable remarks against them. I often get such cases of youngsters in my clinic — Dr Rajeev Gupta, psychiatrist



Wine culture fast catching on among women
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
Women in the city are fast taking to wine. Considered "sophisticated and suave", the wine culture in fast catching on with some women taking to it in a big way. Some women feel it is a "healthy choice because drinks are considered good for the heart".

"Because of their biological metabolism, women get tipsy more easily. So, some women do not prefer a strong drink," says a wine enthusiast.

"The wine scene in the city is looking good, with many women taking to it," says a socialite. She says these drinks are generally served in birthday parties.

Women prefer "fruity wines" that have flavours of fruits like apple, peach, lime and musk melon. "Women prefer these because these are sweet," said a woman on condition of anonymity.

White wines are also preferred because these are lighter.

"The wine culture is on the rise. Many women visit our restaurant and take wines," says Sukhkarn Gill of Bistro 226. Most of the women visiting our restaurant for wine are aged between 25 and 45, he says.



Kidnapped boy found murdered
Body found dumped in a septic tank; 1 arrested, three suspects at large 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
The body of 13-year-old Akash, who was kidnapped nearly a fortnight ago by four youths of the Dhandari area, was recovered from the septic tank of a factory unit in the Dhandri area here today.

The murder mystery unfolded when the police got hold of the accused Chandan from Gurgaon.

During interrogation, he told the police that he, along with his three accomplices, Ajay, Amar and Pintu, gagged the victim to death and dumped the body in a septic tank at a non-functional factory unit.

Akash was kidnapped on February 27 while he was playing outside his house near the Kanganwal area.

After five days of hectic search, the victim's parents got a kidnapping case registered against Chandan, Ajay, Amar and Pintu.

Joginder Singh, who was inconsolable on seeing the his child's body, said he was suspecting the involvement of the four youths in his son's kidnapping from the beginning.

The police got hold of Chandan when it tracked the mobile location. The three other accused, Amar, Ajay and Pintu, are yet to be arrested.

Chandan told the police that they used to visit the victim's house to play, but Akash's mother used to object to their visits as Akash's sisters were young.

Chandan told the police that they were upset over Akash's mother's attitude and wanted to teach her a lesson.

He said they got scared as the police launched a massive manhunt to arrest them. Fearing that Akash would reveal their identity to the police, they killed the victim and dumped his body in a septic tank. 

Tragic scenes

Tragic scenes were witnessed at the factory unit in the Dhandari area after the police recovered Aksah's body from a septic tank. His mother and sisters were inconsolable. They demanded capital punishment for the accused.



Swine flu claims youth's life
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
A 26-year-old youth from Ludhiana City, who was under treatment at the CMCH for swine flu, died yesterday. With this, seven persons have so far died of swine flu from Ludhiana district alone. As many as 24 positive swine flu cases have been reported this season.

The District Epidemiologist, Ludhiana, Dr Anil Verma said, "No samples of suspected swine flu patients are lying pending in any hospital now." He said with the temperature on the rise, there was a decrease in the number of swine flu patients.



Teachers doubt board’s claims on copying 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
The Punjab School Education Board claims that it has been adopting strict measures to curb the menace of copying in board examination this time. However, many teachers feel that due to certain flaws, cases of copying are still being reported from various examination centres as seen during the Class XII examinations.

The board examination of Class X are going to start from tomorrow (March 12), it will not be an easy task for the board officials to check the menace of copying, especially when centres were made on the first and second floors of the private schools.

A senior government teacher from Government Senior Secondary School for Girls, Jawaharnagar Camp, said as per the board rules, the centres of the students had to be made at the ground floor only. But at good number of private schools, the centers have been made on the first and even second floors, too.

"Copying will not be a problem in the private schools. By the time, the team of flying squad reaches the first or second floor of the examination centre, an alert is sounded by the school managements and everything gets streamlined. This has been happening for the past several years in the private schools. Since, the finals of class X will start from tomorrow, copying will be at its peak in many schools," said the teacher.

The government school teachers also said that the main reason for the copying was that board never sends sufficient number of supervisors at examination centers. Maximum three to four supervisors were sent by the board and services of local senior teachers were taken, who acted as supervisors.

"The local teachers easily influence the supervisors coming from other places and many private schools manage to provide sufficient material for copying to their school students to get better results," said a government school teacher.

Teachers face harrowing time

The examination centers had to be opened today for teachers as the exams are scheduled from tomorrow. Teachers faced difficult times as the lists of the students did not match with the respective centers. They kept calling board officials and the office of DEO. Teachers were asked to contact the nearby centres to get a clear picture. "This is certainly not the duty of teachers to locate the right list of students or the venue. It is the board or the department, which has to streamline everything. Due to insufficient number of teachers on duty, the schools have been asked to engage more teachers. Tomorrow, the papers of other classes are also going to start. The school teachers have to perform duty there as well. Everything is in mess," said Parveen Kumar, general secretary, Punjab School Teachers' Union.



100 schools yet to submit forms to Education Dept 
Deadline ends today; erring schools face Rs 1 lakh penalty 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
Tomorrow is the last day for schools to fill the forms under the Right to Education Act, which are to be sent to the Education Department.

As many as 100 schools in the district have still not sent the forms to the department. A penalty of Rs 1 lakh will be imposed on these schools on 
April 1, 2013.

According to sources, there are about 1,550 schools (CBSE/PSEB/affiliated, private) in the district. It is mandatory for each and every school to fill the required form for the Right to Education Act.

March 12, 2013 was the second date given to the schools all over the state to file all the details required for Right to Education Act. The earlier date for filling the forms was in October 2012.

An official in the District Education Department, said as many as 267 schools in the district had not filled the forms. When the date was extended, around 140 more schools filled the RTE forms and sent the same to the Education Department. “As many as 100 schools still have not filled the forms,” said the official.

District Education Officer (Primary) RS Malhi said, “The department will wait till March 31. On April 1, a penalty of Rs 1 lakh will be charged on schools that had not sent the forms. In case they will not close the premises, then Rs 10,000 per day will be charged on them for opening their premises till the time they fulfill all the formalities. We have been organising seminars and making the schools aware about the RTE Act. Majority of the schools have adhered to the instructions, still there were few, who had not bothered to listen to the instructions. They will have to face the music.” 



In Ludhiana district, women outnumber men in post offices 
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
The department of posts in the district is one of the few workplaces where women outnumber men. The number of postal assistants in Head Post Office is 34 whereas the number of men is 25. Preponderance of women, in fact, reflects throughout the postal division in the district.

Even as the government launched an all-women post office in Delhi on International Women's Day, a sub-post office and a couple of post offices in the district are entirely being run by women, not by intention but by incidence, says an official at the postal department.

“One of the reasons for women outnumbering men in the Postal Department in the region is that the recruitment for the postal department is done on merit basis, says Swaraj Kaur, Senior Postmaster, Head Post Office. Until now, the marks of Class 12 examination for the position of postal assistant were taken into consideration along with entrance examinations, so women used to get a lead here. But it could change in the future, the government is planning shelve this process and recruit new employees through entrance examination only,” she said.

“Apart from the government job, non-political and corruption-free work environment, sans-interview recruitment process at
the postal department is more conducive for work at the postal department. This is the reason for women getting more attracted to the profession,” said the official.

“Swaraj Kaur is the first woman from postal staff to be promoted to the position of Senior Postmaster from Postal Assistant line in the Punjab Circle. There are no hiccups in the running of the departmental work even in all-women post offices.”



Stage set for 47th PAU kisan mela
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
A few people know that legendary Punjabi poet Shiv Kumar once wrote a song for kisan melas: "Jatta jaag oye, shera jaag oye, luttya na jave tera Punjab oye", to make the farmers aware of modern farming techniques and the use of improved seeds.

Punjab Agricultural University will organise its 47th on-campus kisan mela from March 15 to 16.

The PAU considers the kisan melas as a success story of the agrarian society of Punjab. In the past 50 years, the university had used the traditional media and folklore to make farmers aware of the kisan melas.

"'Mela' is a magical world for Punjabis and it represents the enthusiastic nature of people who join the melas with great zeal. The PAU offers everything with an extra dose of information to improve agriculture in the state," said Gurbhajan Gill, Editor, Punjabi Publications, PAU.

Initially, the kisan melas were started with the theme of "Grow More" to meet the food requirement of the country in the sixties. Those days, competitions in ploughing and the fetching of water from a well for irrigation were organised. The first kisan mela witnessed the participation of about 700 farmers.

While addressing farmers, then Vice-Chancellor, PN Thapar, who witnessed the first PAU mela, said: "You are the real masters of the university. We are like lyricists of songs, which are composed and sung by you".

"The Vice-Chancellor's words were very motivational for farmers. They started trusting university researches and mingled with scientists. More and more farmers started visiting the melas," said Gill.

Jagtar Singh Dhiman, Additional Director, Research, said: "The All-India Radio started broadcasting live the on-campus kisan mela in 1970. Gram Panchayats listen to radio at saths (common place of village). That practice helped make the melas more popular among the rural masses.

"The number of visitors to the melas is increasing every year. Meanwhile, there is a major change in farmers' political and social status. Earlier, they used to visit the melas on their carts, then buses, then their own tractor trailers, and now on SUVs. But, there are is still a section of farmers, which is needed to be approach by the university," said Gill.

"Earlier, farmers learnt from our scientists, and now we learn from their feedback. The hardworking farmers of the Punjab changed the destiny of the country. Now, the meals are thematic. We focus on different aspects of agriculture every year. The PAU puts up stalls to display new verities, production and protection techniques, farm technology and equipment. We also provide seeds of new crops, vegetable seed kits and the saplings of fruit plants to visitors to the melas," said Jagtar Singh Dhiman, Additional Director Research. 

PAU reaches out to farmers

In 1992, the PAU started organising kisan melas twice a year before the kharif and rabi sessions. The extension department started organising the melas in far-off areas of Punjab. Nowadays, seven regional melas are being organised in different regions of the state. 



HC relief for city resident
Her 34 years’ wait for allotment of plot may end in 3 months
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 11
Over three decades wait for a Ludhiana resident may come to an end in three months. Thirtyfour years after Charan Kaur applied for the allotment of a plot, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has built up her hopes by directing the Ludhiana Improvement Trust Chairman to look into her claims in three months.

The directions by the Division Bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice RP Nagrath came on Charan Kaur’s petition against the State of Punjab and another respondent. In her petition placed before the Bench, she was seeking directions to the Ludhiana Improvement Trust for the allotment of a plot under the “Local Displaced Persons Scheme”, and in accordance with Ludhiana Improvement Trust Land Disposal Rules, 1964.

Charan Kaur claimed that she applied for the allotment of a plot on May 16, 1978, on the plea that the land owned by her mother, Punjab Kaur, within the revenue estate of Dugri village in Ludhiana district was acquired.

She told the court that the land was taken for a 400-acre development scheme, known as the Model Town Extension Part-II plan. She also claimed that representations were forwarded to the authorities concerned. Besides, she appeared before the Trust Chairman, along with “proofs of her application and deposit of earnest money”. In an attempt to substantiate her contentions, she annexed with the petition representations allegedly made by her to the authorities concerned.

Taking up the matter, the Bench asserted: “Though it does not appear convincing to us that an aggrieved person would keep on waiting for 34 years to see the final outcome of her claim under the rules, nevertheless, we are inclined to dispose of this writ petition with a direction to the Chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust to verify the records carefully and determine the petitioner's claim, if any.

“The Chairman shall be required to verify the genuineness of the petitioner's claim to ensure that no undue benefit is granted to her with or without collusion of the staff. Similarly, this order shall not be taken as, if the inordinate delay in approaching the court has been condoned by us. The appropriate order as per law shall be passed by the Chairman within three months…”



MC meeting: Oppn to take up unfinished projects
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
The first general house meeting of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is all set to take place tomorrow. But the MC officials as well as the ruling SAD-BJP combine is all set to face fireworks as the councillors will be raising several issues concerning the city.

The main points on which the councillors will be raising the issue of delayed projects will be that the public money was wasted and the projects were neither started nor commissioned in a planned manner.

Such delayed projects include the Lakkar Bridge project, the Sidhwan Canal Expressway project, the Indoor Stadium on the Pakhowal Road, besides the covering of Ganda Nullah.

Parminder Mehta, former Congress councillor and spokesperson for the Congress councillors, said the civic body is short of funds as the MC has failed to keep a check on spending. "Costs of some of the projects have doubled over the years and due to such callous attitude of the MC officials, public money was wasted. And that is why, over the years, the richest civic body of the state has become near bankrupt due to a shortage of funds," he said.

Lakkar Bridge

The much-hyped 933.162-metre-long Lakkar Bridge project has been hanging fire since 1997. It is a clear reflection of the sad state of affairs in the state government as well as the Railways that even after 16 years a civic project, which was aimed at reducing traffic congestion in the city, remains incomplete. Ironically, even the cost of the project has escalated from Rs 13 crore to Rs 58 crore now.

Indoor stadium

It was claimed that the first phase of the Indoor Stadium being constructed on the Pakhowal Road would be completed by August last year, but work on the project, launched in 2004, still goes on. The construction of the stadium on a piece of land (playground of a government school) started in 2004 when senior IAS officer Sukhbir Singh Sandhu was posted here as MC Commissioner. At that time its cost was pegged at Rs 16 crore. Construction was stalled in 2007, and resumed in May, 2010. The delay in the completion of the project has raised its estimated cost from Rs 16 crore to Rs 25.89 crore.



Outsiders give tough time to PAU security
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
Outsiders, specially youngsters, have become a major headache for the security staff of Punjab Agricultural University as they use their "influence" to enter the campus. They visit the PAU with different motives and if the security staff try to stop them, they ty to enter the premises by hook or by crook.

The recent incident of assault on a security guard by some youngsters has raised the question that how strong are the securitymen and how much "influential" and "powerful" are these outsiders who manage to enter the PAU premises using one way or the other.

Two days ago, youngsters from Kasabad village thrashed a security guard of the PAU after he stopped them at the campus entrance. The victim lodged a complaint with the Division No. 8 police station. Now, he is reportedly being forced to reach a compromise with the assailants.

In another such incident, a young couple entered the PAU campus in a car a day before yesterday. When a security guard noticed their "objectionable" activities in the car, he showed his annoyance. The outsiders started arguing with the guard. The couple succeeded in proving that he had come to meet someone who resides on the campus.

The security staff can be daily seen arguing with outsiders at all the entry gates. The PAU authorities have installed CCTV cameras at the gates and at other important points on the campus. They have issued a circular to hostlers not to keep their cars in hostels.



16 illegal shops razed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
A total of 16 unauthorised shops were demolished by the building branch of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation in the Haibowal area here today. The demolition drive was carried out by the building branch of Zone D.

A building branch official said they had orders to demolish four unauthorised shops. "But when we visited the area, we demolished all the unauthorised shops in the area. We had aso issued challans to all of them," informed the official.

Assistant Town Planner Rajinder Sharma said of the 16 shops, four were located on Jassian Road.

Meanwhile, A meeting to defuse tension between Councillor Sukhdev Singh Gill and ATP Kamaljit Kaur was held at the Mayor's camp office on Monday evening. This meeting was held in the presence of senior MC officials and political leaders from different parties. "Some councillors were planning to raise this issue in tomorrow's MC general house meeting and that is why, the meeting was organised. We hope that all misunderstanding between Gill and Kamaljit Kaur is over now and both would cooperate with each other in the coming days," said a senior MC official. During the MC's demolition drive on Chandigarh Road on Friday, there was a tiff between ATP Kamaljit Kaur and councillor Sukhdev Singh Gill over the demolition of an illegal building.



Ludhiana chapter of ASSOCHAM Ladies League launched 

Ludhiana, March 11
The ASSOCHAM Ladies League (ALL), Ludhiana chapter, was launched during a meeting of the ASSOCHAM members at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan.

This is the fourth chapter of the organisation in India after Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Hyderabad. The organisation has 13 chapters globally, including Vancouver, Ottawa, New York, Washington DC, Miami, Bucharest, Port Louis, Islamabad, Colombo. —TNS



Reversing glaucoma impossible: Experts
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
Glaucoma once detected can be prevented from worsening, but reversing it is impossible. Even if you haven’t reached the age of 40, a regular eye checkup, including the glaucoma test, is advisable. This has been suggested by Dr GS Dhami.

World Glaucoma Week is being celebrated from March 10 to 16.

In fact, one should not wait for symptoms to get an eye checkup done. Small efforts like getting a thorough checkup every time you face difficulty in reading or changing your spectacles can make a big difference in the early detection of the disease. If detected at an early stage, Dr Dhami says, “eye drops work well in preventing it. What is important to note is that these medications are life long as it’s just a way to prevent it and not cure it.”

Dr Puneet Sidhu, an eye specialist at the Civil Surgeon' Office, said, "Glaucoma can also lead to permanent loss of eyesight. It is a disorder, which affects optic nerve of the eye and leads to permanent loss of eyesight.''


While some people have symptoms like redness in eyes, pain and blurred vision, appearance of halos around lights, nausea and vomiting, the more common variety of glaucoma is the silent type (chronic open angle glaucoma), in which a patient is totally asymptomatic and is even unaware of his gradual loss of vision.



From colleges

LCET students bag top positions

The Ludhiana College of Engineering and Technology (LCET) stormed “Metamorphosis 2013” at the Saint Longowal Institute of Engineering And Technology. Two teams from the Ludhiana College of Engineering and Technology bagged top positions in Techfest 2013. The teams that represented LCET in various events were 'Techogenious' and 'Fumigators'. Members of team 'Techogenious' were Rajat Bandha, Rahul Kumar, Nitin Kumar, Pankaj Sharma, Sumit Kumar, Sumit Singh, Pradeep Kumar, Manu Sharma and the members of team 'Fumigators' were Manish Samant, Sumit Kumar, Hemant Krishna, Abhishek Singh and Mohit. Team 'Techogenious' defeated 11 teams from different engineering colleges to win the first prize in ‘Line Follower Robot’ event held on March 8. During the event panel of Judges appreciated, the models displayed under different events namely Robowar, Robotic hurdles, and racing by both 'Techogenious' and 'Fumigators' teams. In non-technical events Team 'Fumigators' won first prize in Soccer and third prize in counter strike.

150 students conferred degrees

The convocation-cum-annual prize distribution function was held at DRV DAV Centenary College, Phillaur. Dr Swatantar Kumar, vice-chancellor, Gurukul Kangri Vishav Vidyalaya, Haridwar, lighted the lamp and declared the function open. ML Aeri, the founder Principal of the college, SK Malhotra, chairman, local committee, Manjit Singh Gulati, an eminent member of the local committee, Gyan Chand Aggarwal, graced the occasion. Dr SK Mahajan, officiating principal, DAV College, Phillaur, welcomed all the guests and presented a detailed report about the multiple activities and achievements of the college. As many as 150 students were conferred graduate degrees.

Students felicitated

The managing committee of Doraha Institute of Management and Technology distributed free laptops to all the MBA students. All these students showed 100 per cent results in university examinations held by Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar. In a specially organised function, the students of MBA, BBA, BCA and BCom were felicitated for their excellent results in university exams. Sukhpal Singh, chairman, Doraha Group of Institutes, was the chief guest on the occasion. He said use of computer was almost as necessary as books and pens in higher professional education these days. The committee also gave scholarships in terms of fee concession and books worth Rs 25 lakh for the current session. Japvir Singh, director, Doraha Group of Institutes, said many students, especially in rural areas, do not have an access to personal computers at home. It hampers their academic progress. He congratulated the students for their achievements in examinations.


Bhog Sri Akhand Path was organised at Ramgarhia Girls College today. The day started with kirtan by the students of the depatment of music. Bhai Randhir Singh ji, Hazoori Ragi, Sri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, also recited the kirtan. After the Kirtan, there was katha by Giani Gurbaksh Singh Gulshan. The students also showcased their talent at an exhibition organised by the department of fine arts and the department of fashion designing. It was inaugurated by Ranjodh Singh, president, Ramgarhia Educational Council.


Students of the departments of fashion designing, cosmetology, interior designing and textile designing of the Guru Nanak College for Girls bid farewell to their seniors. Gurbir Singh, president, Guru Nanak Education Trust, and principal Dr Charanjit Mahal presided over the function. To add colour to the occasion, the students presented an entertaining cultural bonanza of dance and songs. The main attraction of the programme was the modelling by students of the final year. Jaspreet Kaur was adjudged Miss Farewell. Tishu Dhawan and Bableen Kaur were crowned as 1st and 2nd runners-up, respectively. Baljit Kaur, Meghna, Manisha and Gurpreet were crowned as Miss Elegant, Miss Beautiful Smile, Miss Best Outfit and Miss Catwalk, respectively. —TNS 



  Ludhiana scan

Website launched

The Ludhiana Sabzi Mandi Arhtiya Association held a meeting at a hotel in the city. It was presided over by Somnath Fauji. A website of the association was launched by the name of the association on the occasion.

Meeting on RTE Act held

The representatives of private schools from Block Mangat-3 held a meeting with the BPEO Mangat-2 and Mangat-3 regarding the Right to Education Act. In the meeting, schools were given information about filling of form no. 1 regarding the RTE-2009.

April 4, a day against privatisasion

The Punjab Roadways Employees Union (Azad) would observe April 4 as the day against privatisasion and contract system, said a representative of the union at the local depot. The day is being observed on the occasion of 15 death anniversary of Tarsem Dusanjh, founder of the union. They also condemned the arrest of farmers and labourers by the government.

Farmers’ arrest condemned

The representatives of the Lok Morcha Punjab and the Ludhiana unit of the Inquilabi Kender Punjab said arrest of farmers and labourers who were struggling for their rights is condemnable. They said that such steps would not be able to stop the struggle.

Free medical camp

The Nikhil Singal Noble Trust organised a free medical camp at Gurudwara Manji Sahib, Alamgir. A team of doctors, including eye, dental AND orthopedics checked the patients free. In addition, free wheel chairs, tri-cycles, crutches and hearing aids were also provided to the needy persons. Various measures were taken by the technicians of the Viklang Sahayta Kender of the Bharat Vikas Parishad, Ludhiana, for artificial limbs. Patients were given away free medicines and spectacles. Vinay Singal Managing Trustee of Nikhil Singal Noble Trust assured that such free camps will be held at regular intervals.

Women's Day celebrated

The International Women's Day was celebrated in city division of LIC of India. Clothes were given to the needy children on the occasion. A meeting was organised in LIC, Divisional Office, Dugri, and women employees from all the local nine units, including Divisional Office participated in it. Manjit Kaur Khanna, co-convener, also addressed the meeting and condemned the Delhi gang rape case.

Workshop on children with special needs

A five-day master trainer's workshop on 'educating the children with special needs' began at the Government In-Service Training Centre under the directions of DGSE. Dr Sanjay Kant Prasad, Deputy Director, National Centre for Disability Studies, at IGNOU asked school teachers to recognise the children with special needs and help facilitate the right of children with special needs. Officiating head of the centre emphasised on the need to sensitise the teaching community about physically challenged children and students. Pradeep Kumar Kapoor spoke about the importance of inclusive education. Dr Davinder Singh Chhina said the attitude and positive-role of teachers towards children with special needs would instill more confidence amongst these children about education. —TNS



Pharma unit raided
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
A day after its employee Sunil Katyal was arrested by the Fathegarh Sahib police for his alleged involvement in a drugs trafficking racket, the police raided a pharmaceutical company.

The accused had been working in the company for a long time. The police is trying to find out how his activities did not come to the notice of the company authorities and his colleagues.

Meanwhile, the police has denied conducting any such raid at the factory.

"The raid would be conducted as and when required," said MF Farrooqui, DIG, Ludhiana range. Sunil Katyal's residence in Naseeb Enclave, Haibowal wore a deserted look. His daughter has slammed the allegations and said her father had been become a victim of some controversy. His wife is stated to be unwell.Katyal reportedly used to conduct the authenticity tests of drugs for international drug smugglers.He was an associate of NRI smuggler Anoop Singh Kahlon, who was arrested with a huge quantity of heroin from Mohali on March 7.

According to the police, Katyal was a close associate of Kahlon. He had taken drugs many times to his employer's laboratory to test their authenticity. He was getting a fixed commission for his job. The police said Katyal had been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and his interrogation was on.



Thieves decamp with 45 tola jewellery, cash 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
Thieves struck at a house at Phase 3, Durgri, and decamped with 45 tolas of gold ornaments, Rs 45,000 and other valuables.

The incident came to light when Kulwinder Singh, the owner of the house, along with his wife Janvi, returned to the house and found it ransacked.

Kulwinder reportedly told the police that he returned today after visiting his relatives. The thieves broke the main door to gain entry into the house. They broke an almirah and took the entire cash and gold ornaments.

The police has registered a case and started investigation.



President of Gurdwara Path Sahib, 40 assailants booked 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
President of Gurdwara Path Sahib, Issa Nagri, along with 40 assailants were booked for land grabbing and thrashing its Dalit occupants.

The accused identified as Gurbaj Singh alias Baja and his hired men were booked following complaints of Keval, Rajpal, Nanu Ram and Ashok Kumar.

The victims, who were rushed to the hospital after being assaulted, said they were living in a property located close to Path Sahib Gurdwara for past 50 years along with their families.

They said that it was until recently that Gurbaj Singh Baja started threatening them to vacate the houses.

They said today Gurbaj Singh and his accomplices trespassed into their house. The assailants thrashed them, demolished their houses and decamped with their valuables.

The incident snowballed into a political controversy when Hansraj Gagat, a Dalit leader, staged dharna and demanded action against the accused .



Man fabricates robbery tale
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
A debit-ridden man concocted a robbery story to pocket his employer's money. The city police today arrested Mahesh Kumar and recovered Rs 2 lakh from his possession.

Mahesh had claimed that two armed assailants had snatched the cash from him at gunpoint near Malikpur village on March 9. Mahesh had reportedly told the police that he was visiting the Hambran area to purchase a plywood machine for his employers.

When the police questioned the owner of the plywood company, he told the police that Mahesh, who was working as an agent, was insisting on carrying the cash.

Mahesh soon cracked and confessed that he had concocted the robbery story.

He said he used to sell jalebis. One day, when he was making jalebis, the boiling oil kept in a pan fell on his son. He had spent a lot of money on his treatment. He borrowed money from people for his son's treatment.

Later, he started working as an agent for Ram Narayan's company, Hosla Prasad and Son's, at Cheema Chowk.



Man creates ruckus on PAU campus
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 11
An outsider created high drama near the Dr Mohinder Singh Randhawa Library on the Punjab Agricultural University campus here today. The man seemed to be drunk.

At around 1 pm, a man reached an area near a cafe situated in front of the library. A number of students were enjoying snacks there. The man bought a bottle of cold drink from the canteen and started abusing, without targeting anyone. Then he passed ugly comments about the girl students sitting on the benches nearby.

The drama continued for more than 30 minutes. Some students called up the PCR. Meanwhile, the security staff of the PAU reached the spot and nabbed the man. 



42 probables selected for cricket coaching 

Ludhiana, March 11
As many as 59 aspirants attended the trials conducted yesterday by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association (LDCA) to select the probables (U-16) for the Regional Coaching Centre (RCC).

As many as 42 probables were selected.The names of the selected probables are Ishan Bhagaria, Keshav Sharma, Nihal Wadhera, Lovish Dhir, Gurjit Singh, Jaskaran Bhangu, Jaish Jain, Harmanpreet Singh, Depin Chitkara, Harnoor Singh, Yogesh Sood, Harkunwar Makkar, Sumer Singh Makkar, Aayush Verma, Akash Chogawan, Shivang Puri, Rahul Khanna, Gurtej Singh, Simar Singh, Akash, Akhil Gupta, Shailad Verma, Harkarandeep, Aayush Chawla, Manan Jain, Vaibhav Kalra, Manuj Saharan, Raghav Sharma, Sehaj Beri, Jagpreet Singh, Gurpinder Singh, Harkirat, Shubhendu, Anmol Sharma, Bhuvnesh, Mohit, Karanveer Singh, Abhinav Randhawa, Gurbir Singh, Deep Kanwar, Ekam and Nischay. —TNS



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