L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC seals three mobile towers
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
Officials of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (Zone C) today sealed three mobile towers of leading telecommunication companies at Jugiana village in the city. Two of these mobile towers were illegal, while the sanction for the third one was cancelled a few days ago after some residents registered their protest against it. MC officials said the mobile towers were of Reliance, Vodafone and the BSNL.

On March 25, the MC had sealed a mobile tower installed on the rooftop of the house of an MC employee in the Vishal Nagar area on Pakhowal Road. Here also, residents of the area had objected to it. With the increase in the number of mobile phone users, thousands of mobile towers have come up in the city.

Assistant Town Planner Banke Bihari said the towers of Reliance and the BSNL were illegal. “The permission for the Vodafone tower was cancelled a few days ago. The three towers were installed at different places in Jugiana village and we sealed them today following complaints from residents,” he said.

Two such mobile towers, installed on property owned by Aseem Kalra were sealed by the MC in the Shastri Nagar and RK Road areas in the city on January 16. Kalra had claimed that after the installation of these mobile towers, they were facing social stigma because their neighbours stopped speaking to them and even stopped inviting them to social functions because they felt that the family was posing a risk to their health.

On December 11 and October 5 last year, two mobile towers were sealed on the rooftops of two private buildings on College Road. On December 4, MC officials had sealed two mobile towers installed on the rooftop of Raghunath Hospital located near Aggar Nagar on Ferozepur Road.


Among the three towers, two belonged to Reliance and the BSNL, which were illegal. The permission for third tower, which belonged to Vodafone, was cancelled a few days ago. The three towers were installed at different places in Jugiana village and we sealed them following complaints from residents — Banke Bihari, Assistant Town Planner


Golgappa vendors care little for hygiene in city
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
Despite instructions issued by the Health Department, a majority of golgappa vendors in the city continue to serve eatables without wearing gloves.

A golgappa vendor goes about his job without wearing gloves A few among them wear polythene gloves while a majority can been seen mixing "spicy" water with bare hands. Customers also seem to be least concerned about proper hygienic conditions.

Nirmal Sharma, a homemaker said, "We often have 'chat' from our street vendor, but never bother whether he is wearing gloves or not. We relish his chat and golgappas."

A golgappa vendor, who was covering mashed potatoes with a dirty cloth in Kitchlu Nagar, said, "The cloth is not dirty, it has become wet due to boiled potatoes. I feel irritation in my hands if I wear gloves and have to serve without these. Gloves are not good for the skin."

In the absence of any check on them, vendors care little for hygiene. Vir Singh, a vendor in the Model Town area, said, "I have been working in the city for more than 10 years. No one ever came to check my stall and I have never been fined."

Manoj Khosla, Food Safety Officer, said, "We appeal to all golgappa vendors to wear polythene gloves and urge people to avoid eating from vendors who do not wear gloves. Strict action will be taken against the violators." 



MC turns a blind eye to haphazard parking
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
It appears that when it comes to following the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, officials of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation work hard, but when it comes to performing their routine duty, they are often found wanting.

There are several roads in the city where vehicles are wrongly parked. Instead of taking action against the violators on these roads, MC officials are busy carrying out anti-encroachment drives only on roads where the court has directed them to do so.

In several other areas such as the Feroze Gandhi market, Bhadaur House, Ghumar Mandi and Pakhowal Road, the tehbazari wing of the MC hardly carries out any anti-encroachment drive. As a result, several vehicles can be seen parked haphazardly in these areas.

The MC has failed to check encroachments and haphazard parking in the Bhadaur House area in the city. Due to haphazard parking by people visiting the market, the area witnesses long traffic snarls throughout the day.

Ironically, the Zone A office of the MC is situated merely 100 yards away from Bhadaur House, but officials seem to be least bothered. Vehicles are parked on the road despite the fact that a multi-level parking of the MC and another parking of Calibre Plaza are situated in the area.

Similarly, the Feroze Gandhi market is fast turning into a hub of illegal parking in the city. Though the MC has allotted a fresh parking contract for the Feroze Gandhi market, the contractor concerned is using roads surrounding the market as well as footpaths for the parking of vehicles, which is illegal.

To help city residents from the maddening traffic, a team of the Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) is in the city these days. The team held a meeting with MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma, which was also attended by traffic policemen.

“Experts from RITES have suggested several short-term measures to improve the traffic situation in the city. We plan to implement the suggestions on Ferozepur Road and later on Hambran Road. They have suggested measures such as traffic diversions, closure of road cuts and construction of multi-level parking slots. Once the comprehensive mobility plan is implemented, the city will have a better flow of traffic and ample space for parking,” said the MC Commissioner.



‘Insulted’ by policewoman, man sits on hunger strike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
Not only are newly recruited men constables gaining notoriety for being boorish, woman constables also seem to be following in the footsteps of their male counterparts and reports of misbehaviour by policewomen have been trickling in.

In the latest case, a city resident sat on a hunger strike outside the office of ACP (Traffic) Dhruman Nimbale here today after police officials told him to visit the office again in connection with a complaint of misbehaviour by a woman constable.

After a day-long drama, the man ended his hunger strike. It is learnt that Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh had addressed his complaint and assured him of necessary action.

Jaswinder Singh, the complainant who runs a dairy, said the incident took place nearly 20 days ago while he was standing at a traffic light.

"My vehicle was parked on the zebra crossing when a woman constable approached me and reprimanded me for parking the vehicle on the corssing. I was offended by her misbehaviour and approached ASI Taranjit Singh. However, he did not listen to me," said Jaswider Singh.

He said he had been visiting the office of the ACP (Traffic) to lodge his complaint for the past 20 days but his request to meet the officer was turned down on one pretext or the other. 



HC seeks action-taken report 
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 8
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today sought an action-taken report from the state of Punjab on a petition filed in public interest for shifting students from five “unsafe government schools in Ludhiana district”.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Arjan Kumar Sikri and Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain also issued a notice of motion for April 22 to the state, the Punjab DPI (Schools) and the Ludhiana District Education Officer (Primary Education) on the PIL filed by advocate HC Arora.

He contended that the schools had been declared “unsafe” by the PWD as per a report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India on Ludhiana district. Directions were also sought to the state government to carry out an inspection of all government primary schools in the state for identifying unsafe buildings.

While issuing a notice to the respondents, the High Court directed the Punjab Government through Additional Advocate General JS Puri to take immediate steps in the matter and to submit an action-taken report on the next date of hearing.



Hearing adjourned till April 18
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 8
Additional Sessions Judge Paramjit Singh today adjourned the hearing in the DSP Balraj Gill and Monika Kapila murder case till April 18. DSP's father Kashmira Singh Gill, who had lodged the FIR, was present in the court for a cross-examination along with his lawyer Harpreet Sandhu.

However, he could not be cross-examined as one of the defence lawyers requested the court for examining witness Sanjay Agnihotri before his cross-examination. The lawyer later stressed that he wanted to cross-examine both the witnesses at the same time.

Thereafter, the court ordered to summon Agnihotri on the next date of hearing and asked the DSP's father to be present on the next hearing.

On January 15, charges were framed against the accused in the case. DSP Balraj Gill was found murdered in a farm in the Golf Link area on Hambran Road, Ludhiana, on Feburary 1, 2012.



Experts give tips on hypertension
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI) & SNA (Student Nurses Association) Unit of College of Nursing (Local Branch) celebrated World Health Organisation Day in Medical OPD of the CMC, Ludhiana. The theme of World Health Organisation Day of this year is “Hypertension”.

The theme was highlighted by president TNAI (local branch) Balqis Victor. Speaking on the occasion, chief guest Dr R Calton professor and head of the cardiology department CMC & Hospital, Ludhiana, shared about the factors contributing toward heart diseases that are the alcohol consumption and smoking. He also emphasised on preventive measures for controlling hypertension i.e. salt, restricted low intake of fat, exercise, life style, meditation and regular check-up.

Posters were displayed by the TNAI members. The chief guest inaugurated the exhibition of posters displayed by nurses. Students nurses also staged role play to convey the message on "Hypertension" which was appreciated by patients and their relatives present there.

While the day was also celebrated in Mohan Dai Oswal Hospital, here also an exhibition of posters on hypertension awareness was displayed and lecture was delivered that highlighted the hypertension caused prevention and its treatment. Madhuruchi Lamba (vice-president), Dr Rajinder Kaur Mahal (principal of Mata Mohandai Oswal College of nursing) and Dr Gurinderjit Singh medical superintendent laid stress on key points and appreciated the effort taken by the students.

Booklet containing information on hypertension was released by BN Gupta (general manager) distributed among general public. Free blood pressure check-up and examination for screening was another activity carried out.




Squint can cause decreased vision: Experts
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
People usually consider that a squint has only cosmatic value. But it can also cause decreased vision because of amblyopia, which means vision is not developed in one of the eyes in early childhood. And it is better if one gets treated it at the earliest, otherwise only cosmetic purpose is solved and vision-wise, there is no benefit.

Stating this, Dr Satish Thomas, paediatric ophthalmologist and squint specialist, Christian Medical College & Hospital, Ludhiana, said,"Unfortunately, many patients who come to us late have been advised by doctors that they have to wait until they get older to have this eye disorder operated. However, contrary to it, this disorder must be corrected as early as possible after its detection. This is because the 3D vision can only be restored if eyes are realigned within a year of the detection of the disorder, which is before two years of age. Amblyopia or lazy eye can only be treated before seven or eight years of age. "

He said, "We can have 3D vision only when both the eyes function simultaneously. Children having a squint suppress image from one eye in order to avoid double vision, but in the process they lose the 3D vision.

If this eye disorder is to be operated upon only for cosmetic purposes, then timing of surgery does not matter as much. A surgeon can operate and correct a squint at any age, but unless it is done very early in life, the patient cannot obtain any binocular vision and 3D perception ability.

Dr HP Singh of Vasan Eye Care said,"Almost all the varieties of primary squint originate in childhood. Awareness level is more among people now. It is better to cure it as early as possible as after some time, it adds only to the cosmetic value and one does not get visual benefits."

Suggesting this, Dr Ramesh, founder, Punarjot Eye Bank, said, "Rural people usually come with delay in squint cases. Parents should get the eyesight of their wards tested before sending him or her to preschool as the brain of a child develops up to three years and if there is a squint in eyes and eyesight is also weak, then it will also affect the development of the brain."



Real Train Info System gaining popularity
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
Real Train Information System (RTIS), used for accurate train tracking, has been gaining popularity as it provides much required service to the train passengers.

The Indian Railways has launched the Real Train Information System (RTIS) for public in October 2011. Some private service providers are also providing the same facility in mobile apps which show the running status of trains.

With the emerging of mobile apps, now passengers are able to track any train on mobile phones. Railway officials at every railway station give inputs for this service. They have to tell verbally to the RTIS centres.

According to the railway officials, the railway master informs the RTIS centres on phone about the arrival and departure time of trains.

"In the era of information technology, every second is worthwhile. The RTIS is an advanced technique which provides accurate information about the trains. Railways is getting good response of this application," said Ravinder Sharma, Station Supervisor.

"When a train departures from the station, we inform to the RTIS centre at Ferozepur. They update the status on the live route chart which is connected with satellite. Passengers can track it online within seconds," added Sharma.

Rajat Kumar, a local resident, "I often use this application to locate the train. It is very useful application. Earlier, we used to call railway inquiry to get the information. But now, we can easily track any of the trains. I left my place according to the information. It saves times as I had to sit idle at the Railway Station waiting for the arrival of the train."



Child labour goes unchecked in city
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
Efforts of the administration to put a curb on child labour have failed to yield any result in the city. A number of children can be seen working at roadside dhabas, tea vendors and industrial units.

A seven-year-old boy can be regularly seen distributing tea in various shops near the Clock Tower. When asked about his whereabouts, he said: “I live with my maternal aunt. But since she does not keep well, I help her financially by contributing some money in the household expenses,” said the boy who also has a tattoo of his name on his arm.

In the absence of resources, poor people are left with no other option but to engage their children in work.

“During daytime my wife works with me and in the evening, my son helps me at my tea shop. We poor people have no other option but to engage our family members in helping us in our work,” said Raju, a tea stall owner.

“It is the responsibility of every individual to save childhood. Even we employ children at our homes and offices so this is the moral responsibility of every individual to stand against child labour and say no to it,” said Hardev Singh, a senior citizen.

“The administration should ensure that children should go to school and receive their necessary education. They are the future of the country. Strict action should be taken against offenders,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari said: “We keep conducting raids and rescue children engaged in child labour. Seven-eight raids have been conducted in the past two years and we managed to rescue nearly 150 children.”

He said: “A sum of Rs 20,000 is imposed as fine on those who employ children. A fund is being created out of this fine and we are planning to open bank accounts of these children out of this fund.”



Police Commissionerate yet to respond to notice
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
It has been three months since the Central Excise Department served a notice on the Ludhiana Police Commissionerate for failing to deposit service tax. However, the Police Department has not even replied, leave alone the payment of the tax. The due date for depositing service tax is April 24.

The Excise Department had sent a notice to the Police Commissionerate on January 8 because it had failed to pay Rs 12.10 lakh as service tax. The service tax at the rate of 12 per cent is levied on security services provided by the department. The Police Department had earned Rs 1.11 crore from security services provided to private persons during 2007-2012.

“The Central Excise Department had sent a show-cause notice to the Ludhiana Police Commissionerate for not paying service tax from 2007 to 2012. But till date, we have not received any reply in this regard,” said a source in the Central Excise Department.

Officials of the Accounts Department of the Police Commissionerate said they had been asking the firms to deposit service tax with the department. Once the amount is collected, it would be deposited with the Excise Department.

“The last date for depositing the tax is April 24 and we are confident of depositing it by the due date,” he said.

On being asked why the department had not filed a reply to the show-cause notice, an official said, “Even we have not yet got the replies of the notice we have sent to the parties who had hired security services from us. Once we are through with all details and tax money, only then can we reply to the Central Excise Department.”



86,165 administered polio drops on Day 2
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
On the second day of the migratory round of pulse polio campaign, the District Health Department administered pulse polio drops to as many as 86,165 children.

District immunisation officer Dr Sanjeev Hans said: “Today, our volunteers visited 1,67,353 houses. The volunteers administered polio drops to 55,360 children in their respective houses. However, 20,161 children were administered polio drops outside their houses. While 2,735 children were administered polio drops in the houses with mark of X (the houses where the volunteers could not meet the children during their previous visit), supervisors administered drops to 1,448 children and 6,461 children were administered drops by mobile teams.”

The pulse polio campaign will conclude on April 11 in the city, Koomkalan and Sahnewal. All children will be covered at these places. However, in the remaining health blocks of Ludhiana district, the campaign will conclude tomorrow and children of only migratory labourers will be covered.



Ludhiana Market Committee all set to buy produce
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
The Ludhiana Market Committee is all set for the procurement of wheat as committee officials claim that they have completed all arrangements in the local mandis.

Ludhiana has three major grain markets and a number of sub-centres for the purchase of food grain.

Sukhminder Singh, secretary, Ludhiana Market Committee, said: "All arrangements have been completed for the new season. We request farmers to come with dry grain to avoid inconvenience”.

Officials of the Ludhiana Market Committee claimed that all purchase centres under the market committee were well carpeted.

"We have installed lights in every market. Sanitation drive has also been done. All markets and sub-purchase centres have basic amenities like potable chilled water, toilets and shelters,” said an official from the Mandi Board.

Sukhminder Singh said: "Last year, we had received 5.83 lakh quintals of wheat in our mandis. We are expecting that this year more wheat will arrive as weather conditions have been favourable for the crop. The minimum support price for wheat is also more than the last year, which is Rs 1,350 per quintal. Last year, the minimum support price was Rs 1,270. It is expected that the procurement will start from April 13-14.”

Surjan Singh, a farmer, said: "Wheat crop is yet to mature. There is a chill in the weather so grain will take time to reap. We hope that the farmers will harvest their crops in the last week of April”. 



Procurement of wheat begins at Khanna grain market
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 8
Punjab Mandi Board chairman Ajmer Singh Lakhowal launched the procurement of wheat at the Asia’s biggest grain market today.

He said all arrangements regarding the procurement had been completed in Punjab.

While talking to mediapersons, he said about 277 quintals of wheat arrived in Punjab grain markets till today as compared to the 617 quintals last year.

He said a bumper crop was expected this year and a total of 140 lakh metric tonnes (MT) was expected as compared to the 136.65 lakh MT last year.

In Ludhiana district only, 11.5 thousand metric tonnes wheat is expected this year against the 10.85 thousand metric tonnes last year.

He said the price of wheat would be Rs 1,350 per quintal this year.

He said there would be no glut. The mandi board had completed all arrangements even if 3 lakh metric tonnes of wheat arrived a day.

He said the work of lifting should be handed over to commission agents to save the problem of loading and unloading during the season.

Prem Chand, ADC, Khanna, said there would be no problem at the Khanna Mandi Grain Market and they had directed purchase agencies to make proper arrangements for the ‘bardana’.

The Khanna SDM and other officials concerned of purchasing agencies and some leaders of the BKU and the Akali Dal were also present on the occasion.



Residents protest, want liquor vend shifted

Ludhiana, April 8
Residents of Chander Nagar again held a protest against the setting up of a new liquor vend in the area.

When workers of the contractor came to open the vend today, the irked residents threw liquor bottles in the Budha Nullah.

Area councillor Narinder Singh Malhi said when the residents didn’t allow the vend in the area then no one had the right to install it.

“We have met senior officials of the Excise Department but they did not listen to us,” he said.

Today, officials of the Excise Department along with the police reached the spot and pacified the protesters.

The residents have been opposing the move of the Excise Department from the past one week.

Varinder, a resident, said the department had allotted the vend to the contractor near a school and a temple in the area. “We want to shift the location of the liquor vend,” he said.

“The residents raised slogans against the Excise Department and the government,” said Malhi. —TNS



1,636 trainees pass out from Punjab Police Academy
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, April 8
The annual passing-out parade of the Punjab Police Academy (PPA), Phillaur, was held today. SK Sharma, Additional Director-General of Police (HRD and CP)-cum-Director, PPA, Phillaur, took the salute.

Ishwar Chander Sharma, Additional Director, PPA, Phillaur, presented the report of the academy. He congratulated the passing-out trainees on the successful completion of their training. He also wished them success in all walks of life.

A total number of 1,636 trainees passed out, including 3 P/DSPs, 1 P/inspector, 2 P/sub-inspectors, lady recruits and trainees of basic drill instructor course.

P/DSP Rajpal Singh commanded the parade.

A colourful cultural programme was also held after the passing-out parade.

Among others who were present on the occasion included DIG-cum-Joint director SPS Parmar, Deputy Director (Indoor) Gursharan Singh Sandhu, Deputy Director (Outdoor) Harinderjit Singh, Deputy Director (General) Gurnam Singh and other officers of the academy.

The names of prizewinner trainees are:

Initial Training Course for P/DSPs/Insprs

All-round first: P/DSP Harveen Srao No. 1st/IRB

All-round second: P/DSP Raj Pal No. 13 Bn.

Initial Training Course for P/SIs

All-round first: P/SI Rajinder Singh No. 188/BRT

All-round second: P/L/SI Ruby Tomar No. 4th IRB/562

Lower School Course (PAP)

All-round first: Ct. Jatinder Singh No. 82/291

All-round second: Ct. Bhupinder Singh No. 4-IRB/271/ 113/PPA

Lower School Course (Distt./GRP)

All-round first: L/Ct. Ranbir Kaur No. 94/BNL

All-round second: Ct. Faquir Singh No. 2443/PTL

Lower School Course (INT)

All-round first: L/Ct. Amarjit Kaur No. 550/INT

All-round second: Ct. Karnail Singh No. 112/INT

Lower School Course (CHG. Police)

All-round first: Ct. Inderjit Singh No. 2757/CP

All-round second: L/Ct. Paramjit Singh No. 2735/CP

Basic Drill Instructor Course

All-round first: Ct. Kamal Preet Singh 51/CTC

All-round second: Ct. Vishavdeep Bal 59/CTC

Basic Lady Recruits Course

All-round first: L/R Simranjit Kaur No. 1347/Moga

All-round second: L/R Gurdeep Kaur 372/RPR

Best Shooters

Revolver/Pistol Firing: P/DSP Rajpal Singh 13 Bn /PAP

P/DSP/Inspr. Course

9mm Carbine: Ct. Kuldeep Singh 2756/CP

Lower School Course

.303 Rifle & 7.62 SLR: Ct. Harpeet Singh No. 75/417



Working for the cause of stray animals
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
In the hustle bustle of the busy and fast-paced city life, amid traffic and mounting noise, people turn blind eye to the speechless animals, only to look at them with aversion. But a few people feel the pain and plight of the animals, stray or abandoned struggling to survive in the inhumane environment.

As the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month is observed this month, some in the city feel concerned for and compassionate stray dogs and animals dotting the apathetic city lanes.

Poonam Kalra has been tending to stray dogs for years together. She has been curing, cleans the wounds, bandages and caring for the dogs that came her way. She spends time and tends at a kennel at Sarabha Nagar that was started by Sarabha Nagar market association.

Gurpreet Singh from Sarabha Nagar market association says that although they take care of stray dogs and the dogs in the area have been adopted by their association under the initiative 'Pop-corn' to adopt stray dogs as community dogs. The dog was found in Sarabha Nagar market and named pop-corn. The initiative to adopt the dogs as community dogs was named as Popcorn. The association members have adopted stray dogs as community dogs, and set up a kennel to take care of the animals. They carry out sterilisation of the dogs at times through volunteered money.

Ashok Bakshi, 65, also known as Kukku has been feeding stray animals and birds for the past 40 years. He spends four hours every morning feeding the animals with milk, bread, biscuits and feed to keep them afloat. "I feel the animals are my true friends, and I feel a deep sense of satisfaction serving and feeding them," says Bakshi. "Parrots call out my name as Kukku, when I meet them," he says. He has dedicated his life to feed the animals. He spends most of the meagre savings and donations from people to feed the animals, he says.

But sympathisers with the animals can only help to some extent. "The government must take initiative on a war footing," says Kalra. "When people get to know someone is taking care of animals, they start swamping them with animals, but they can only help to an extent. There municipal corporation must build a proper place and shelter for stray and abandoned animals," she says.

The government must step in and take this initiative to prepare a few places for these animals to stay, and appoint veterinarians to care for animals. They must sterilise and give post-operation care to the animals, which are not being done at all, she says.



Kavita Mela to provide platform to young Punjabi poets
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
Punjabi Kavita Mela is all set to be organised on April 19 and April 20 at the Punjabi Bhawan. In one-of-its-kind initiative, new poets, who are writing poetry online and otherwise, will get a platform to meet and discuss the emerging trends in Punjabi poetry.

“The event will also see detailed discussions about poetry being written by emerging poets to promote the art of writing poetry,” said poet Jaswant Singh Zaffar.

“There will be interactions based on the poetry written in the past year and a half,” he said. The event, initiated by Zaffar, is being organised by the Shabd Lok and Punjabi Sahit Akademi.

“Online writing is giving a fillip to the art of poetry as well as the language,” said Yudhvir, a young writer.

“As online media is preferred by the youth, the social media is playing a crucial role in making poetry as well as language reach the youth both in India and abroad,” he said.

“Young talent will get an opportunity to present their poetry alongside the old and established poets. This will allow an exchange of ideas and thoughts not only between the young and old generation of poets, but also between the established school of poetry and fresh emerging trends in poetry,” said Zaffar.



US citrus fruit breeder interacts with farm experts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
A professor of Citrus Genetics and Breeding, Citrus Research and Education Centre, Lake Alfred, University of Florida, USA, Dr Fred G Gmitter today held a detailed interaction with the senior officials of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) namely Dr PK Khanna, PAU Registrar; Dr SS Gosal, Director of Research; and Dr Gursharan Singh, Dean of Postgraduate Studies. Besides, he also interacted with the deans, additional directors, and heads of various departments of the University.

Dr Gmitter said that his ten-day visit to Punjab, in general, and PAU, in particular aims at learning about this farm university, visiting the citrus growing areas in the state and providing information on breeding and genetics which is valuable for the scientists as well as the farmers of the state. Nearly 40,000 farmers practice agriculture in Florida, he revealed, while expressing concern over the citrus diseases, which are posing a big threat to the production of this lucrative crop in Florida.

Welcoming the US delegate, Dr Khanna gave a brief introduction of the visiting member. He presented the key outlines of the organisational set-up of the PAU and also shed light on the activities of College of Basic Sciences and Humanities of the University.

Highlighting the research programmes of the PAU, Dr Gosal said that the university is working on more than 100 crops. Besides, the development of climate resilient technologies, processing and value-addition, protected cultivation, etc. are some of the priority areas for research, he told.

‘Citrus diseases, a big threat to global production’

"Citrus is a number fruit crop globally and in USA," said Dr Fred G Gmitter, professor of Citrus Genetics and Breeding, Citrus Research and Education Centre, Lake Alfred, University of Florida, USA. Dr Gmitter, who is on a ten-day visit to the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), delivered a thought-provoking lecture on the topic entitled "Citrus Genetic Improvement in Florida: Challenges and Approaches to Solutions," here today. The faculty and the postgraduate students of the College of Agriculture attended the lecture.

Dr Gmitter told that in Florida, 85 per cent production is of sweet orange, and 10 per cent of grapefruit, respectively. Revealing the 2007 statistics of Florida Citrus Production, he informed that the crop value was $1billion and value to economy was $10 billion. But in the past five years, the value to economy has slipped to $ 8 billion, he disclosed.

Elaborating, Dr Gmitter pointed out that the genetic control of citrus diseases and pests including Huanglongbing (greening), Canker, Citrus Tristeza Virus, Root Weevils, and Citrus Blight calls for the attention of the farm experts. "Huanglongbing (greening) is a great biological threat to global citrus production," he observed.

About sweet orange, he said that its improved quality and productivity through an extended season is also a big challenge. — TNS



Pvt schools protest against property tax
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
Even as the state government is yet to decide the unit value of property tax, around 25 private schools of the city have joined together and held a silent protest march against the government, here today. The march started from the Guru Nanak Stadium and went up to the statue of Bhagat Singh on the Jagraon Bridge.

But ironically, the protesters included schoolchildren, some of them of younger classes. However, the school authorities justified the participation of schoolchildren and claimed that each school had brought 25 children each and that also from class XII.

This march was organised by the Association of Private Unaided Schools of Punjab CBSE.

The protest consisted of the students from KVM School, Green Land schools, BCM Schools, BVM Schools, Nankana Sahib Public School, Saraswati Modern School, Green Groove, GDS Convent School, Guru Nanak International Public School, GMT Public School and Springdale Public School.

“The march was a firm protest against the tax policy on the private unaided-schools of Punjab which are giving quality education to the students which in fact, is a state subject,” stated the members of Association of Private Unaided Schools of Punjab CBSE.

Rajesh Rudra, president of the association stated, “It is only due to the hard work of these private institutions that the standard of education is being maintained. By burdening them with taxes, the government is trying to pull them down and thus the school authorities and the students are protesting. It is high time that the government understands that the property tax levied on schools would be an extra burden on the parents and the students. Without the effort of these schools the education would be what they are giving in their government schools.”

Parents of one such child who took part in this protest rued that the school managements should not ask students to join such protests. “All school managements charge hefty fee and now when the state government is levying property tax on them, they are making our children to protest on the streets,” he rued without being named.

When asked about the participation of students in this protest march, Rudra justified by claiming that the students are very much part of the schools. “Only 25 students from each school participated in this protest and all the students were of Class XII,” he claimed. But when reminded that some of the students were from younger classes too, Rajesh Rudra claimed that this could not be possible. “Only one student was of a younger class and he too was child of a staff member,” he stated.

It is pertinent to mention that these schools already pay house tax to the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation. "The house tax is very nominal. But we fear that the property tax would be much more," claimed Rajesh Rudra. 



From colleges 

Students visit milk plant

Ludhiana: Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE) Students' Chapter of Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology (GNIMT) arranged a visit for the BBA students to Verka Milk plant, Ludhiana. The students were taken for a round to all the departments of the plant. The food technicians apprised the students about the functioning of the plant and explained various operations of processing and production of milk and milk products. The students were very enthusiastic and showed keen interest in the functioning of the plant. Officiating director, Dr Sandhya Mehta thanked the authorities of the milk plant for allowing the students to visit the milk plant. She said that such visits provide first hand knowledge of structure of an organisation and modes of various operations. — TNS



From schools

Abhishekh, Varun win laurels

A drawing "Man ke Udaan" and paper folding competition was held at St Soldier Divine Public School. Students were divided in different groups in which they made beautiful drawings on the topics save earth, vaisakhi celebrations, save girl child, drugs and gave a message effectively. Abhishek, Varun stood first, Riya, Arshpreet second, Gavy, Gagandeep third. Students also show cased their creativity in paper folding competition. They made toys, pots, flowers, dustbin, decoration pieces for home and office and so many things which were appreciated by all. The motive to conduct this competition was to inform the students not to destroy waste papers and use them creatively to create something new.

World Health Day

HVM Convent Senior Secondary School celebrated World Health Day on the school premises. To mark the importance of the day the school organised various activities like speeches, poster making, slogan writing etc. A 'healthy tiffin competition' was also held to inculcate good and healthy food habits among the students. School principal, Radhika Jain, laid stress on healthy, balanced and nutritious diet. Prizes and certificates were awarded to the winners. — TNS



Ludhiana scan

Former minister writes to Dy CM

Perturbed over the delay in completion of the Ganda Nullah covering project, former Health Minister, Satpal Gosain, has written a letter to the Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal, demanding that the project should be completed on priority basis. In the letter addressed to the Deputy CM, Gosain has stated that due to this incomplete project, it's the area residents who are suffering. Satpal Gosain has also stated that projects such as Janakpuri Storm Sewer, Children Park in area, besides others should be completed before the next Lok Sabha elections. The Rs 22 crore project to cover Ganda Nullah (from Gurudwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib till Shagun Palace) was started in 2010 and till date the project is incomplete.


Lion’s Club, Ludhiana, organised a Charter Night to honour the winning team of the Lodhi Club. The key personalities of the Lodhi Club who were honoured included Manoj Gupta (general secretary), Pawan Garg (cultural secretary) and Ripudaman Singh (mess secretary). A new CD of Suresh Mehandiratta was also released by Vinod Thapar, chairman Knitwear Club.

Paddy farmers demand parity

Farmers of the state have demanded that the government should link the price of rice to the International market so that they can get good price of rice. Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, president of Bharti Kissan Union, Punjab, said farmers need diversification in crops, which is only possible if they find these crops profitable. Government should encourage diversification in cropss," he added.

‘Govt fails to give salaries’

Krishan Kumar Bawa, congress leader in a release issued to the press has alleged that Punjab government is not at all concerned about the public and is busy enjoying in Goa. He further said that the Punjab Government bought a helicopter worth Rs 38 crores for their own use but it has failed to give salaries and pensions to its employees.

Car rally

The announcement of a unique car drive "BMR-blind man rally 2013" in the city on April 14 by "Round Table India" has generated tremendous response from public at large. The aim of this event is raising funds to support Sutlej Public School, Chandigarh Road, where more than 200 under privileged children are currently studying but the school infrastructure lacks even the basic necessities like proper classroom and furniture. Rishi gupta, chairman, Ludhiana Round Table, 188 said that the registration for this rally can be done at Kiran Homoeo Pharmacy, College Road, Fountaion chowk, India Haat, Mall Road, Classic enterprises (whirlpool home) near Ishmeet Chowk. One may also register by sending an sms "bmr13" to 57333.

Eco-friendly campaign

Third leg of Avon Cycles eco-friendly campaign, Avon Cyclogreen, reached Lucknow on the occasion of World Health Day while going across various cities in India. Speaking about the initiative, Mandeep Singh Pahwa, chairman Avon Cycles Limited said, "Now people across the country will cycle for a cause and we hope that every concerned citizen of our country will come out and cycle their way to change not only perceptions but the future. These types of events will promote the idea of going green through cycling. As we know cycling is the best way to exercise and to go places without polluting the environment. With this initiative we also hope and look forward to more bicycle riders commuting on city roads soon. We hope that this starts a revolution for a better and a greener tomorrow."

Sarabjot adjudged best camper

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Ikjot Kaur and Sarabjot Kaur were adjudged best campers during three-day Gatka Refresher and Training Camp that concluded at Narangwal Khurad village near ere on Monday. Varinder Pal Singh, chief organiser of the event, presided over the concluding session and former minister Sucha Singh Chhotepur was the chief guest. Over 120 amateurs and students learnt fundamentals of the martial art and undertook to use the art for self defense and protection of the weak. Players from Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Akhara, Sant Isher Singh Gurmat Sangeet Vidyalya, Singh Sabha Rurki Kalan and Nankana Sahib Public School, Kilaraipur, showed outstanding performance during the camp. — TNS



3 suicide cases reported from city in 24 hours
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
Three suicide cases have been reported from the city during the past 24 hours.

In the first incident, a 15-year-old girl, identified as Amandeep Kaur, alias Komal, reportedly committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan at her house in Khud Mohalla last night.

According to the police, the girl committed suicide after being scolded by her stepfather. The police has registered a case against her stepfather, Karamjit Singh.

In the second incident, a 27-year-old man committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at his house in the Amarpura area.

He has been identified as Sanjiv Kumar. According to Sanjiv's relatives, he had a heated argument with his in-laws last night while he was on a visit to Khanna to meet his newborn daughter.

After returning home, he allegedly committed suicide. His body was found hanging from a ceiling fan.

In the third incident, a 16-year-old girl working as a maid, ended her life by hanging herself from a ceiling fan at the house of her employer in Sector38 on the Chandigarh road.

The incident came to light when the owner of the house, Davinder Singh, returned home after visiting Jagraon and was shocked to the find the body of Chandni hanging from the ceiling fan. 

15-year-old victim

In the first incident, a 15-year-old girl, Amandeep Kaur, alias Komal, reportedly committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan at her house in Khud Mohalla last night 



Farmer murdered; 17 booked

Phillaur, April 8
A farmer, identified as Gurdev Singh, was reportedly attacked and brutally murdered with sharp-edged weapons by his own nephews and their wives in connivance with nine other villagers in the nearby Gorsian-Peeran village near Bilga here last night.

The SHO, Bilga, Narinder Singh, while confirming the incident, said Dalbir Kaur and Lakhwinder Singh, wife and son of the deceased, sustained injuries in the attack by the assailants who struck in the village when the deceased, along with his wife and son, was working in the fields.

Both the injured victims were rushed to a nearby hospital. Surjit Singh, one of the accused and also a nephew of the deceased, was caught in a power theft case and he was doubtful that the deceased had disclosed his crime to the authorities.

The police has registered a case under Sections 302, 34, 148, 149 and 324 of the IPC against 17 persons and handed over the body to the relatives after conducting a postmortem examination.

Meanwhile, the police has not arrested anybody in the case. — TNS



Thieves strike at cloth unit

Ludhiana, April 8
Thieves struck at a cloth unit at Hargobind Nagar on Friday midnight. Harvinder Singh, owner of the unit, said on Friday night, he closed his unit and went home. But when he returned to the unit the next morning, he was shocked to find his unit ransacked.

Thieves trespassed the unit by breaking the locks and fled with costly clothes material from the unit. Harvinder brought the matter to the notice of police.

The police has recorded his statement and a case has been registered against the unknown thieves.

One arrested for snatching

The local police has arrested a person in a case of snatching. The accused has been identified as Rajesh Thakur, a resident of Hari Kartar Colony. The incident had taken place on April 1, when a victim, the resident of Jodhewal Basti was riding on his bike and heading towards Harcharan Nagar. — TNS



Man poses as friend, loots house
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 8
The police has registered a case against an unknown person who posed as a friend and ransacked a house. The accused fled with gold ornaments and cash. The police booked the accused after conducting a four-day long investigation.

The incident took place on April 4. Gurpreet, (owner of the hosue) said that he and his wife left for their work as a routine. When they returned in the noon, they found their child in a state of shock and sitting in a corner.

His child, 10, told him that when they had left the home, a person came to the house posing himself as a family friend.

He soon took the child in confidence and asked them to bring a bottle of cold drink from market. When he left for the market, the accused allegedly ransacked his house and fled with gold ornament and cash.

Gurpreet reported the matter to the police. A case has been registered against the unknown accused.



Crime briefs

Two drug peddlers held
The Dugri police has nabbed two drug peddlers from two different areas of the city, here yesterday. The accused have been identified as Raj Kumar of Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar and Parminder Singh of Manakwal village.
Raj Kumar was nabbed from Himmat Singh Nagar while Parminder Singh was nabbed from the CRPF colony, Dugri. On spotting the police, the accused tried to flee the scene, but the police got hold of them and seized 165 gm and 160 gm of seductive powder respectively found from the possession of the accused. A case under Sections 22-61-85 of the NDPS Act has been registered against the accused.

Habit-forming drugs seized, one arrested

One person has been nabbed by Dugri police here last evening. The accused has been identified as Inderjeet Singh a resident of Guru Teg Bahadur Nagar. He was nabbed during at a police checkpoint at Dhandra village. On seeing the police, he tried to escape but the police got hold of him. During the checking of his bag, the police found a huge quantity on psychotropic drugs including injections, cough syrups and tablets along with 165 gm of seductive powder. A case under Section 22-61-85 of the NDPS Act has been registered against the accused.

Habit-forming drugs seized

A team of the Health Department conducted a raid and seized habit-forming drugs from a godown here today. Drug inspector Balram Luthra said: “On the instructions of Subhash Batta Luthra, civil surgeon, Ludhiana, I along with drug inspector Lajwinder Singh and Sukhbir Chand conducted a raid in the godown of Deepak at Pindi Street. Habit-forming drugs were seized from the godown, which include 8,400 capsules, 34,000 tablets and 10,000 injections.” — TNS

Car stolen

There seem to be no stopping of the vehicle lifting cases. In the latest case, Vikram an MBA student, a resident of Dugri lost his car. The incident took place on Saturday when he parked his car outside a school, situated near Gill Park, and went inside to take in his MBA exam. When he returned, he found his car missing. He, immediately, reported the matter to the police. "Two mobiles, a purse, three ATMs and an RC of a motorcycle was in the car," he said.

Driver crushed to death

An auto-rickshaw driver died after being hit by an unknown vehicle. The victim has been identified as Rajinder Kumar, a resident of New Partap Nagar. Deepak Singh, son of the victim, Rajinder, said that his father was heading towards his home after leaving a relative at bus stand. When he reached near Bharat Nagar Chowk, an unknown vehicle hit his auto-rickshaw from the rear side. The auto-rickshaw turned turtle and Rajinder died on the spot. A case has been registered against the unknown vehicle drive for driving rash, resulting to death.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |