L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Civic body gets Rs 100-cr loan
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
The cash strapped Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has a reason to cheer as Canara Bank has sanctioned a loan of Rs 100 crore to the civic body.

The bank will charge 10.25 per cent rate of interest from the MC. The MC will have to repay the loan in three years.

This amount is expected to be transferred into the account of the civic body within a week. MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma said with this, outstanding payments and pending bills of contractors would be cleared.

The loan, however, has been sanctioned for a price. MC had to keep two of its offices, the Zone B office near Shingar Cinema and the Zone D office in Sarabha Nagar, as collateral securities with the bank.

Due to acute financial crunch, the development works in the city were suffering to such an extent that some of the contractors had even stopped work at several places. Even some fresh tenders floated by the civic body did not get desired response.

The MC had approached several banks for the loan, including the Bank of India, Punjab National Bank and ICICI Bank.

It is learnt that Canara Bank was offering the loan at rate of 12.5 per cent per annum. But after Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria’s intervention, the MC managed to get the loan at the rate of 10.25 per cent per annum.

“We will now make sure that all development projects are completed on time. Though the loan is for a period of three years, we will try to repay it within a year,” said MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma.

Sources said that out of the total budget, the MC spends around Rs 250 crore annually on salaries and around Rs 3 crore is paid as electricity charges. 

Contractors hopeful
The loan of Rs 100 crore has also brought smiles on the faces of contractors who were protesting against the non-clearance of their bills. “The MC has not cleared our bills for the past one year. But now we expect that we will get our money. Some of the contractors are left with no money to complete the ongoing projects,” said a contractor.


Three killed in tempo-truck collision
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 15
Three persons were killed when the tempo they were travelling in collided with a truck coming from opposite direction near Kup village on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road this morning.

The collision was so intense that both the vehicles landed in fields. The front cabin of the tempo was completely damaged and the victims’ body parts were scattered in the fields.

The deceased were identified as Kuljit Singh, driver of the ill-fated tempo, and his companions Kamal Bahadur and Narayan Bahadur, all residents of Ludhiana. The bodies were intermingled with the smashed parts of the cabin and the engine and some parts of the bodies were collected by the passers-by and the police from the fields.

Investigations revealed that driver of the tempo (PB-10-DH-7904 ), coming from the Malerkotla side, lost control over the steering while manoeuvring a turn near Kup village on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road and the vehicle, after crossing divider, collided with the truck (PB-13-W-9097 ). While the tempo, belonging to a hatchery, was carrying poultry birds, the truck was loaded with sand.

Though the truck driver tried to apply the brakes with full force, both the vehicle got dragged for a long distance and landed in the fields. Had the colliding vehicles stopped on road the loss could have more as many speeding vehicles, including a private bus, were following the truck.

As none of kin of the deceased wanted action against the driver and owner of the truck, the police handed over bodies to the aggrieved families after the post-mortem.

40-yr-old man dies in road accident

A 40-year-old man died in a road accident near Transport Nagar in Ludhiana on Tuesday evening.

The victim was identified as Ram Parkash, a steed cart rider. According to Tersem Lal, who was travelling along with Ram Parkash, the incident took place at 8 pm near JB Dharam Kanda in Transport Nagar.

Tersem said a truck driven by Subhash, a resident of Tamil Nadu, came from behind and hit the steed cart.

The impact was so intense that Ram Parkesh and Tersem, both residents of Ropar, were tossed into the air. They sustained serious injuries and Ram Parkash was declared brought dead by doctors at a hospital.

Tersem said the driver of the truck fled. The police has booked him under Section 304 of the IPC for reckless driving causing death.



Man tears policeman’s uniform, arrested

Ludhiana, May 15
The Daba police has booked a man for tearing the uniform of a police personnel and obstructing him from discharging his duty. The incident snowballed into a controversy when accused’s wife levelled counter allegation against the police personnel of falsely implicating her husband. ASI Janak Raj stated that Madhu Sekhri and her husband Naresh were called at the police station for resolving a dispute with their neighbours.

Janak Raj said when ASI Nirmal Singh was listening to both the groups, Naresh stood up and started thrashing his neighbours in the police station. When ASI Nirmal Singh intervened, Naresh tore his uniform. said ASI Janak. Naresh was arrested and booked under Sections 186, 353 and 332 of the IPC. — TNS



MC demolishes shutter, shopkeepers protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
Amid resistance from shopkeepers, the Zone A building branch of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation today razed a shutter of a shop in the Niggar Mandi area of the old city. This demolition was carried out following the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

A shopkeeper had installed a shutter outside his shop due to which the entry to three other shops was restricted. The affected shopkeepers moved the court.

The MC team, led by Assistant Town Planner (Zone A) Kamaljit Kaur, reached the spot and ordered demolition of the shutter. As the shutter was razed, shopkeepers of the area got agitated and started misbehaving with the ATP. They raised slogans against the MC and even tried to stop the ATP from leaving the spot.

Some of the shopkeepers had an altercation with policemen present on the spot.

ATP Kamaljit Kaur said the shopkeepers misbehaved with her. “I wonder why people fail to understand that we were just abiding by the orders of the court,” she said.

Encroachments removed
Continuing with its drive, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation on Wednesday removed encroachment from Model Town Extension, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar and Dugri.

The MC team removed two illegal vegetable markets from Model Town Extension and the Dugri area. The MC drive started from near Jawaddi Bridge in Model Town Extension. An illegal vegetable market opposite the cremation ground was cleared.

The MC team also confiscated grills and tables lying outside shops in Model Town Extension and challaned 37 violators.

Tehbazaari (Zone D) superintendent Naveen Malhotra said: “On the Lodhi Club road in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, seven rehris selling eatables were also confiscated.”



CBSE to incorporate health subject in school curriculum 
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
Concerned over the changing food habits among children, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is planning to introduce a new independent subject on health as part of school education. It will be taught to students between classes IV and X.

The basic framework and the syllabus is being designed and developed by the National Institute of Health and Family Welfare and will take four to six months to finalise the textbooks. The government plans to begin consultation with the state governments to introduce it in different state boards.

"We are hopeful that the course would be introduced by the next academic session. It will be of great help to students and improve their eating habits. Besides, some may become interested in the subject and adopt it as a career. With children increasingly hooked to fast food, this subject is the need of the hour," said principal of KVM School Navita Puri.

"There is a dire need for health education at the school level. The increasing pressure of education and changing lifestyle is taking a toll on them. Today, children are hooked to video games instead of playing out. With both the parents working, they tend to indulge in eating junk food on a regular basis. It has become a big problem in urban areas and it will be good to educate children on the importance of healthy eating habits and exercise," said Sukhjeet, a parent. 

Following the Finnish model
It's believed that the move to integrate health as a part of the mainstream education is inspired by the Finnish model. Finland is one of the healthiest countries on the planet.



Zila parishad polls
Involvement of residents complete in Doraha, Sahnewal
Lovleen Bains

A woman candidate campaigns at Rampur village on Wednesday.
A woman candidate campaigns at Rampur village on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph

Doraha/Sahnewal, May 15
While the pace of campaigning at other places may not be satisfactory, it is at Sahnewal and Doraha that the involvement of the candidates and their followers is complete.

At Sahnewal and the surrounding areas, there may have been some rift between the alliance, but the Akails have been exercising a strong influence despite the fact that "the sand prices are sky rocketing and pensions have not been disbursed for the past seven months, rued an old villager of Bilga, a village falling in the Kanech Zone of the Sahnewal constituency.

The party affiliations are very strong, though in some cases, the villagers forget their party ties to vote for their neighbour. From the Akali Dal, it is former sarpanch Sukhwinder Singh and from the Congress it is Surjit Singh. But to vote for their candidates they even forget the party lines and vote at a personal level", said a resident of Kohara, village falling in the Bhairomunna Zone of Sahnewal block Samiti.

While on the other hand, the process is more or less mechanical for the party leaders and their workers .As a matter of routine, they fix the area to be covered, the time to be spent and the words to be uttered.

While the Akalis recount their achievements and try to use their position for campaigning, the Congress leaders list failures of BJP-SAD government.

PWD Minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon while seeking votes in his party's favour asked the voters to vote in favour of development and far sightedness. "The electorate should decide wisely without any external pull or pressure. The developmental phase, through which the state has passed through all these years, must be enough to make the voters decide as to which party actually deserves to be voted to power" he asserted.

While Vikram Bajwa, a Congress Leader, son-in-law of Rajinder Kaur Bhattal said that in all Zila Parishad Zones of Mangat, Chak Sarwan Nath and Mathewara, the situation was no different. "People are literally fed up of the Akalis and they admit that they would never think in terms of supporting the Akalis again", he added. 



Parties, candidates play the emotional card
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 15
In the zones and blocks situated near Ludhiana and Sangrur districts, votes are cast mostly on personal and emotional equation with the candidates. With senior leaders of political parties leading the campaign launched in favour of candidates of their respective parties, they don't hesitate from exploiting their acquaintances emotionally for ensuring victory of their candidates.

Barring the cadre of the political parties a majority of residents are tightlipped about their agenda.

Observations revealed that senior political leaders of the SAD and the Congress, including legislators and former MLAs, were all out to ensure victory of their respective candidates for the Zila Parishad and Block Samiti elections.

Charanjit Singh Atwal, speaker Vidhan Sabha, Jagdish Singh Garcha, former minister, Iqbal Singh Jhoonadan, Darshan Singh Shivalik, Manpreet Singh Ayali ( SAD MLAs), Malkit Singh Dakha, Jasbir Singh Khangura, Tej Parkash Singh Kotli and Razia Sultana ( former Congress legislators ) are prominent among those who are convening meetings and rallies in favour of their candidates. SGPC members, including Jaipal Singh Mandian, Raghbir Singh Saharanmajra and Charanjit Singh Alamgir are supporting the SAD candidates as the Congress lacks clout in the religious bodies of the Sikhs.

Amrik Singh Jandali, Jagdeep Singh Bittu, Parminder Singh Rangian, Baldev Singh Advocate, Captain Ajaib Singh and Jagjit Singh Jagga are among other candidates whose supporters claim that they will win the election with a wide margin. 



Power supply voters’ main concern in villages
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
It doesn't matter if one is a Congress supporter or an Akali supporter, in the Zila Parishad and Panchayat elections, electricity is a common issue for rural masses.

The farmers in the villages have been raising concern over less availability of power for the agricultural sector and regular power cuts in the domestic supply too.

The farmers who sowed paddy in the nursery for the cultivation of rice crop are worried about the power status in the state.

The farmers say that they are not getting sufficient power supply for the nursery then how can they grow paddy.

Some of them are hopeful as the parliamentary elections are nearby and governments often make efforts to provide power in the election year, as the ruling party does not want to annoy the voters before elections.

Mangal Singh, a farmer from Neelon village said," It is one's personal choice as to whom he/she wants to vote. But the issues are the same for both the supporters of the Congress and the Akalis. Power is the major concern of the farmers ".

Ramndeep Singh, A farmer from Sidhwan Bet, said, "The claim of the Deputy Chief Minister that his government will sell surplus power to Pakistan is just a joke, as we have already started experiencing long power cuts with the rise in temperature".

Sukhdev Singh, an activist of the Farmer's Union said, "We have seen Congress -ruled government during 2002-07 and it is the second term of the Akali-BJP government. During both their tenures, they have gheraoed the sub-divisions of PSPCL and blocked the roads to get electricity.

Neither the SAD nor the Congress is serious about such issues. 



SAD-BJP alliance responsible for poor law & order situation in state: Tewari
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, May 15
Campaigning in support of Congress candidates contesting the upcoming Zila Parishad and Block Samiti elections in villages surrounding Jagraon and the surounding areas, Manish Tewari, Information and Broadcasting Minister (state) and Member Parliament from Ludhiana today criticised the Akali-BJP alliance government. He said that the law and order situation in Punjab was deteriorating.

Tiwari addressed a series of meetings in villages, including Tihara, Sherpur Kalan, Galib Kalan, Gurusar Kaunke, Kanunke Kalan, Chakar, Lakha, Bhamipura, Chimna, Malak, Alighar and Sidhwan Kalan. During his campaign today, he urged the voters to vote for the Congress candidates to save Punjab from ruins. Tiwari said that the Zila Parishads and Block Samitis played a very significant role in the development projects particularly in the rural areas.

Raising concerns over the worsening law and order situation, shattering economy, widespread corruption in the state and ever rising unemployment rate Tiwari said, "The state government has failed on all the fronts. Several industrial projects have already shifted to other states and the remaining industries specially from Ludhiana have been moving out of Punjab due to anti-industrial and wrong policies under the regime of the present government", lamented Tiwari.

"The government has been ruining the young generation of Punjab by pushing the youths towards drugs and crime for personal gains", added Tiwari while referring to rampant drug peddling and addiction in Punjab. He held the present government responsible for the current situation in Punjab. 



Ballot papers handed over to ROs
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
The district administration handed over the ballot papers for the Panchayat Samiti elections to Returning Officers(ROs) here today.The printing of ballot papers for the Zila Parishad elections are going on and according to the authorities, the papers for Zila Parishad will be handover to the ROs soon.The district administration will print around 21 lakh ballot papers for the Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti elections.

Rishpal Singh, ADC (D), said, "We have printed around 21 lakh ballot papers for both the elections. Today, we handed over the ballot papers to the ROs for the Panchayat Samiti elections. ".



house tax
MC to auction property of defaulters
Committee preparing list of saleable properties and their reserve price
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has taken a strict stance against those who have defaulted on paying their house tax. For the recovery of pending house tax, the civic body had formed a committee, which would auction the properties owned by the defaulters.

At present, thousands of defaulters in the four zones of the city owe around Rs 23 crore as the house tax to the MC. The MC has planned to start this drive from Zone B, in which there are around 1,200 defaulters owing around Rs 4.5 crore to the civic body.

The cash-strapped MC had started a massive recovery drive last year. Since then the officials have not only sent several notices to the defaulters, but also published their names along with the property details in newspapers. Despite this, several defaulters failed to clear the pending dues.

As the last resort, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has now decided to auction their properties. A decision in this regard was taken in a meeting chaired by MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma. Last month, the MC Commissioner had formed a committee comprising of Additional Commissioner (Zone D), Zonal Commissioner of the zone concerned, head of the Bridges and Roads Branch, head of the Building Branch, superintendent, house tax, of the zone concerned and a government-approved valuator. This committee would prepare a list of saleable properties and fix their reserve price. After fixing the reserve price, the committee would decide the time and date for holding the auction.

PS Ghuman, Zonal Commissioner (Zone B), said after fixing the reserve price of salable properties, a short-term notice would be published in newspapers to inform the residents about the time, place and venue of the auction, as well as the reserve price of the properties to go under the hammer.

“After publishing the notice, we would give a 15-day time to the defaulters for paying the pending house tax. If they still fail to make the payments, we would auction their properties,” said Ghuman.



international day for families
People moving back towards joint families, say experts
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
The increasing number of nuclear families is changing the social fabric. We are getting Westernised, but not necessarily modernised, say experts. The negative fallout of this trend had led to an undercurrent for the revival of joint or extended family system, they say.

"Children are not getting socialised enough. As a result, child delinquency is increasing. There is more isolation among them," says Nisha Bhagat, sociology lecturer at the Government College for Girls. "Although you get freedom and individuality in a nuclear family, the society has not modernised enough to absorb this kind of freedom," she says.

Dr Sukhdev Singh, professsor of sociology at Punjab Agricultural University, said the importance of a family cannot be discounted. “It is observed that in a community that has a larger role for families, there is lesser crime and deviant behaviour,” he says.

“We are seeing a movement for reverting to the ‘Indian culture’, and the system of joint families is being revisited, particularly by those who have seen the negative outcome of nuclear families," says Bhagat.

Dr Sukhdev says: "Western systems are developed. Infrastructure, libraries and sports give an outlet to children. In India, however, systems are not that evolved to allow that kind of socialisation," says Rohit, a lecturer.

"There is a better civic sense in the Western society, because of which there is a better discipline. In India, however, there is more freedom, leading to negative consequences," says Dr Sukhdev.

Preeti, a resident of the Chandigarh Road area, says staying with grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins helps in the socialisation of children. “With the support given by the in-laws come certain constraints too. However, the factors of good socialisation of children and support override the constraints,” she says. 



Five-day buyer-seller meet concludes
Frequent power cuts, labour shortage may affect production, fears industry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
Hosiery manufacturers inthe city are a happy lot at the end of the five-day buyer-seller meet that concluded here today. With orders for the winter season booked, they are now gearing up for the production.

"We are happy with the response we got this year. The previous year, too, had proved to be lucky for us and there was no stock in the pipeline,” said Rohan Kapoor, a manufacturer.

Now we have to make arrangements for the manufacturing process to complete the orders, he said.

Sudershan Jain from the Knitwear and Apparel Manufacturers of Ludhiana, however, is worried about the grim power situation and labour crunch being faced by the city-based industry.

"We got an overwhelming response, but we are worried about the power situation in the state,” said Jain.

“The peak summer time is yet to come, and we are already facing power cuts. Labour shortage, too, is plaguing the industry. We have to overcome these hurdles to complete and dispatch our orders on time," he said.

Another manufacturer said tomorrow the industrialists would meet to plan their strategy for completing the orders on time.

"We don’t have to approach buyers, seeking orders for the coming winter season. Now, we have to focus on completing the orders received during the meet on time," he said.



Absence of exhibition centre giving tough time to traders
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
The lack of a common exhibition centre in the city is giving tough to the local industrialists. They were hopeful of getting a grant for the same during this year's state Budget, but nothing came threw.

Due to the absence of an exhibition hall, manufacturers in the city are forced to hold exhibitions at different places. Sample this: The buyer-seller meet of the knitwear industry had to be organised at four separate venues.

Sudershan Jain from the Knitwear and Apparel Manufacturers of Ludhiana said they were facing a tough time organising meets as there was no common exhibition hall in the city. "We are holding a buyer-seller meet, and are forced to spread it across four venues. We want to make this meet an international event, which is only possible if we have a common exhibition hall," he said.

Rohit Bhardwaj, a buyer who came to the meet from Haryana, said: "Things would have been much easier if all the companies could be under one roof. Commuting from one venue to another is a bit difficult, and taking decisions becomes very difficult under such circumstances, as we are unable to compare the products.”

Another exhibitor said that despite Ludhiana being an industrial hub, the absence of an exhibition centre was regrettable. "We hope the announcement made by the Chief Minister’s Adviser, Mahesinder Singh Grewal, that an exhibition centre will come up at Knitwear Facility Centre, comes true.” he said.

CM’s Adviser promises a centre soon

Maheshinder Singh Grewal, Adviser to the Chief Minister, on his visit to the exhibition, assured the traders that the Knitwear Facility Centre at Focal Point, Phase V, would be converted into an exhibition centre for the industry.



Namdhari activists sit on fast

Ludhiana, May 15
Divided on the issue of new head of Namdharis after the demise of Satguru Jagjit Singh, one of the groups, under the banner of International Namdhari Sangat (INS), today held a peaceful protest at the Katani turn on Chandigarh Road.

Twenty-one activists of the group sat on a fast, protesting against the management of Bhaini Sahib. According to the office bearers, the peaceful protest was held with an aim to remove tensions between the two groups.

"We are struggling to unite both the groups. The INS will continue such initiatives for the unity of the sect," said chairman Jaswinder Singh. “The protest was peaceful and we did not create any disturbance for the traffic,” he said.

A huge number of policemen were deployed at the spot to avoid any clash between the groups. ADCP NP Sharama, DSP Harash Bansal and ACP, Sahnewal, Jaswinder Singh were present at the venue. — TNS



PAU students devote an hour to cleaning campus
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
Punjab Agricultural University Students Eco Club today organised a cleanliness drive on the campus in association with the PAU Student Association. During the one-hour drive, over 50 students removed disposable glasses, plates and polythene bags that were littering the cafeteria and its surrounding area. Students also cleaned the defunct pools around the student home building.

PAUSA president Sharanbir Singh said, "It has been observed that students often throw disposable glasses and paper plates after taking food from the cafeteria and canteen. This cleanliness drive was initiated with an objective to sensitise students about cleanness. We have also approached the PAU authorities asking them to install more dustbins in the surrounding areas.”

Yadwinder Singh, a PAU student said, “It felt good to take part in the drive. I have realized the importance of cleanliness today.”



Play, candle march grace Sukhdev Thapar’s 106th birth anniversary
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
The 106th birth anniversary of martyr Sukhdev Thapar was celebrated at different places in the city. Inquilabi Kender and Amar Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Welfare Society celebrated the birth anniversary by organising different events.

Inquilabi Kender brought out a march to pay tributes to the martyr. Schoolchildren also participated in the march. The statue of Shaheed Sukhdev was garlanded. A play on his sacrifice was also organised on the occasion.

Kanwaljit Khanna, general secretary of Inquilabi Kender said: “The dream of martyrs who laid down lives for the nation is still unrealised. We need to take inspiration from the martyrs, their high ideals and work for the betterment of the nation and society.”

A candle march was organised at Dugri today to mark martyr Sukhdev Thapar's 106th birth anniversary.

On the occasion, Thapar’s niece Babli Nayyar said the government's claim of respect to martyrs and taking care of their families was belied as none of the officials from the government or administration had ever met her, let alone helping or supporting the family. Babli, 56, said she had been living in the city for the past 30 years, and not once had she heard from the government, she added.

“My uncle laid-down life along with Bhagat Singh and Rajguru for the nation, but the administration here has not even been able to build a museum in his memory at his ancestoral house,” she said.

“We struggled by sitting on dharnas to get the ancestral house vacated, and now it has been locked by the administration and nothing is being done about it,” said Babli’s son Vishal Nayyar.

He said the government must convert the ancestral house into a museum and open it for the public to see. “Most of the people don't even know that Sukhdev Thapar’s ancestral house exists in the city,” he said. 



Despite ban, burning of wheat stubble continues
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 15
Despite a strict ban imposed by the administration on burning of wheat stubble and repeated appeals by the government and non governmental organisations to stop the farming community from burning wheat residue, the practice of burning stubble in the fields continues in this area.

With the harvesting of wheat crop almost complete, the farmers are busy preparing their fields for cultivating the next crop. A majority of them have been opting to burn the wheat stubble in their fields for cultivation of the next crop at the earliest.

Apart from polluting the environment, burning of stubble has also been causing various kinds of problems. It increases the air pollution and causes degradation of the atmosphere and causes health problems.

Moreover, the burning of stubble also leads to fatal accidents as the visibility is reduced drastically on roads due to the smoke billowing out of fields. It becomes quite difficult for the commuters to see the other vehicles passing on roads.

In an accident yesterday evening near Dholan village near Jagraon, a youth riding a two-wheeler failed to see an animal on the road due to the smoke coming out due to stubble burning. His motorcycle smashed into the animal. The youth identified as Parminder got seriously injured in the incident. Later, he succumbed to injuries during the treatment at the hospital.

In yet another incident, the jhugis (huts) of two poor migrant families living in a slum area near Gurdwara Nanaksar on Ludhiana-Moga highway were reduced to ashes when they caught fire due to burning of wheat residue in the nearby fields. Though no loss of life was reported but two poor migrant families were rendered homeless. Such kind of incidents had been witnessed during the past years too.

Besides the burning of stubble has also led to decline in soil fertility. When the stubble is burnt in the fields, the soil loses various natural nutrients and other friendly organisms present in it, which play an important role in growing any crop.

Though the government has imposed ban on burning of crops residue, yet this has not yielded the desired results due to lack of strict implementation as well as awareness on part of the farming community.

SDM, Jagraon Gurmit Singh, said: “I have already instructed the departmental officials to keep a strict vigil in the area and stop farmers from burning the stubble. Besides, we are also holding awareness drives in the villages to make the farmers aware about the ill effects of burning stubble in the fields.” He also appealed to the NGOs to create awareness among the farmers about the ill effect of stubble burning. 

Health hazards caused by stubble burning
The pollution caused due to burning of crop residue in the fields leads to various kind of health hazards. According to medical experts, the common people might suffer from ailments such as asthma, respiratory problems, throat, lung and eye infections and many other health problems. “Most of the patients these days come with the complaints of respiratory problems, eye and throat infections. These health problems are often caused by pollution in the air which increases manifold due to burning of stubble in the fields,” said Dr Pradeep Watts from Jagraon.



Shooting of Punjabi movie concludes at RIMT campus
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, May 15
The 15-day shooting of upcoming Punjabi movie “Ik wari haan kar de” under the production house Younger’s Dream World Production and director Naresh Singla concluded at the RIMT campus today. Singla has directed over 300 Punjabi music videos and 65 commercials.

The star cast of the movie includes Aryan Vaid (Graviera Mr India), Hiten Paintal, Vivan Arora, Garry Sohal, Tiku Talsania (famed Indian comedy actor), Divya Sharma. Jaivi Dhanda and Naresh Singla are the producers of the movie.

The inauguration of the movie was done at the RIMT campus by RIMT vice-chairman Vijayant Bansal. Talking to the media, producers of the movie said the movie was about three young boys who aspire to become actors. The film revolves around the tricks they play to achieve their dream.

The movie is set to release in India, UK, Canada, USA and Dubai in August. The shooting for the movie will also be done in Chandigarh, Himachal Pradesh and Bangkok.



College Notes
Experts spread awareness on autism
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
SDP College for Women organised a seminar on autism. Merry Barua, founder director of the National Centre, New Delhi, was the chief guest and resource person at the event. In her discourse, Barua apprised the participants with the nature of this condition. She said autism is not a mental disease or retardedness but an intellectual disability. “Autism is a triad of impairments which include reciprocal communication, reciprocal social interaction, interests and behaviour. An autistic child will like to remain aloof, passive, indifferent, active but odd, over social and formal.”

The lecture was followed by an interactive session. Earlier, Balraj Bhasin, president, SDP Sabha, S Verma, director and Dr Paramjit Kaur, principal, welcomed the chief guest while highlighting her contribution as a disability activist in the field of autism.



Ivy Hospital celebrates Nurses’ Day
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 15
A week-long International Nurses Day was organised at Ivy hospital, Khanna. During the week, seminars and workshops were held for nurses on the theme of “Closing the gap: Millennium development goals”. On the concluding day a cultural programme was organised at the hospital.

The function began after unfolding the history of the Nurses Day, besides, information of seminar and workshops for the whole week was also given through PPT to the audiences. Later, nursing staff also presented solo dance, group dance, melody on Hindi and Punjabi songs, qwali, skit based on drug addiction and ramp walk, which was the main attraction of the event.

Dr Kanwal Deep Kaur and renowned singer Bittu Khannawala distributed the prizes among nurses for their better performance. Praising the efforts of the nurses Bittu Khannawala said: “Nursing is a profession in which nurses help patients selflessly to get cured and make them healthy.” He said the compassion and care of the nurse cannot be repaid.

Dr Kanwal thanked the whole nursing community of the world on behalf of Ivy Hospital for saving thousands of lives daily. The function came to an end with the beats of bhangra. 



Health dept seizes 4.4 kg gutkha
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
A team of the Health Department today seized 28 packets of gutkha from the possession of a supplier at Haibowal.

Food Safety Officer Harpreet Kaur said: "We intercepted a gutkha supplier, Manoj Kumar, near Gopal Nagar in Haibowal today. He was carrying 32 packets of gutkha on a motorcycle, to be supplied to various shops in the city."

The team comprising of District Health Officer Dr Avinash Kumar, Food Safety Officer Manoj Khosla and Harpreet Kaur collected four packets as samples, while seizing the remaining under the Food Safety and Standard Regulation, which puts a prohibition and restriction on the sale of certain products which contain substances injurious to health.

Dr Avinash Kumar said, "The packets weighed 4.4 kg in all, and contained 60 smaller packets each."

Harpreet Kaur said the maximum retail price on each big packet was printed as Rs 120; however, Manoj Kumar admitted he used to sell each packet for Rs 150. “This means the supplier has also been promoting black marketing of gutkha,” she said.



Suicide case: Confusion due to similar names
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 15
In the report ‘Labourer commits suicide at Grain Market’ published in these columns on May 13, it was mentioned that a commission agent, Jeevan Jhanji, was booked for abetting suicide.

It was, however, wrongly stated that the accused was the husband of Pushpa Jhanji, former Congress municipal councillor from Jagraon, and a close relative of former chairman of Market Committee, Sidhwan Bet Rajiv Kumar Jhanji.

The accused, in fact, is a namesake of Pushpa Jhanji’s husband and has no connection to her or Rajiv Kumar Jhanji.



Two youths snatch purse from woman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
Two motorcycle-borne youths snatched a purse containing Rs 30,000 and gold ornaments worth lakhs of rupees from a woman last night.

The incident took pace around 9.30 pm when the victim, Usha Singhal, a resident of Mohar Nagar near the Division No 3 area, and her sister-in-law were returning home on a rickshaw.

She said when they reached near Lakkar Bazar, two youths riding on a black-coloured motorcycle came from the rear side and snatched her purse.

It contained Rs 30,000, a mobile phone and gold jewellery, including a ring, chain and bangles worth lakhs of rupees, she said.

The woman raised the alarm but the snatchers managed to flee.

It is not the first incident of snatching that took place near the railway station in the recent days. Last month, too, a similar incident had taken place, following which the police had increased the vigil in the area. It, however, failed to deter miscreants from striking again. 



Husband, in-laws booked in attempt to murder case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
The police has booked the husband and in-laws of a woman for allegedly trying to set her afire. A case of attempt to murder has been registered against the accused.The victim identified as Neelam, who is recuperating at the civil hospital, said that she was married to Ravinderpal Singh nearly five years ago. The couple was staying at the PAU. She said that since the time of her marriage, her in-laws were harassing her for dowry. She said that 10 days ago her husband and in-laws tired to set her afire. She somehow managed to save herself and kept nursing the burn wounds. On May 9, Neelam's condition worsened and she was rushed to the hospital. Following her statement, the police booked husband Ravinderpal and his parents under Section 307 of the IPC for attempt to murder case.

Jeep stolen

Parking a jeep outside the house proved costly for a city resident,as thieves fled with the vehicle. Saji, a resident of Tibba road, said that he parked his car outside the house and went to sleep. In the morning when he was going for a morning walk he was shocked to find his jeep missing. The police has recorded his statement and registered a case against unidentified vehicle lifters and started the investigation.

Hotelier booked for hurling casteist remarks

A hotelier has landed in a soup for hurling casteist comments on the employees of the municipal corporation who visited the hotel to seal the premises following the court's directions. Today, the members of the Dr Ambedkar Ekta Mission, Punjab, and the Bhartiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj met DCP Harsh Bansal and demanded action against hotelier Ashok Batra. Bansal assured them that hurling of casteist comments would not be tolerated and action would be taken following an investigation.

Stolen items recovered

The city police recovered stolen gold and silver ornaments from thieves today. The accused identified as Rajinder Parsad, alias Pappu, and Vijay Kumar, who were arrested in a theft case at Rishi Nagar and Kitchlu Nagar, were brought from jail on production warrant. Gurveer Singh, SHO, PAU, said silver ornaments, seven silver coins, gold chain, ring and two expensive watches were recovered from the accused persons.

Tipsy cop

High drama took pace at Mini- Secretariat this afternoon when a tipsy Punjab Home Guard jawan passed out.The jawan, who was lying on the road, caught the attention of people visiting the Mini-Secretariat. The other policemen took him and left him at his residence.



Athletics association conducts trials
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
Punjab Amateur Athletic Association today organised trials for selection of players for the 53rd Senior Inter-State National Athletic Championship scheduled to held from June 4 to 7 at Guru Nanak Stadium in Chennai.

As many as 60 players from all over the state participated in the trials. The trials of following eight athletic events were conducted today — 100m for men/women; 400m for men/women; 800m for men; triple Jump for men and women; long jump for men; javelin throw; discus throw; shot-put. Sanjiv Sharma, athletics coach, Sports Department, said the results of the trails would be declared within two-three days. Medal holders in Federation Cup (national event) will be selected directly. The Punjab Amateur Athletic Association will announce the teams for Punjab till the end of this week.



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