L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


13-year-old boy’s body recovered from Sutlej
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 20
The body of a 13-year-old boy from Phagwara, who had fallen into the Sutlej last night, was recovered here today. The deceased has been identified as Maan Singh. He reportedly slipped from a gap in the footpath of a bridge, created due to a broken slab. He was busy on the mobile phone when the incident took place.

A caution board installed near the bridge in Ludhiana.
A caution board installed near the bridge in Ludhiana. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

According to Gulshan Lal, SHO, Phillaur, Maan Singh's body was found near Ladda village, 2 km away from the bridge, at 7 am. The deceased was taken to the Civil Hospital, Phillaur, where a postmortem was conducted and the body was handed over to his parents.

The tragedy has left his father, Mohan Singh Namdhari, a businessman from Phagwara, devastated. He said Maan Singh was his only son after two daughters.

Sitting in the Phillaur police station along with his relatives, Mohan Singh Namdhari rued the day when his son and wife visited the river to immerse "yajna samagri".

He said after alighting at the toll plaza at 8.30 pm last evening, the mother-son duo started walking towards the bridge. Maan Singh was walking ahead while his mother was following him.

"My wife said suddenly Maan Singh disappeared. She herd him screaming for help and in no time he disappeared only to be found dead this morning," said Mohan Singh.

Maan Singh's mother Rajinder Kaur could not endure the loss and fainted. She has been hospitalised.

What the SHO says

Rubbishing the allegations that the Phillaur police acted late and reached the spot at around 11 pm, Gulshan Lal, SHO, Phillaur, said he received a call from the Ladhowal police station at about 11 pm and without wasting time, a team reached the spot.

"There was no jurisdiction issue. I had agreed to investigate the matter once I was told by the SHO, Ladhowal, that the area where the incident took place fell in my jurisdiction. In the morning, we recovered the body and handed IT over to the parents following a postmortem," said the SHO. 


Parents, relatives blame construction firm for his death
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 20
The parents and relatives of 13-year-old Maan Singh, who drowned in the Sutlej, have blamed Soma-Isolux, a road construction and toll collection company, for his death.

Maan Singh slipped from a gap, created due to a broken slab, on the footpath of a bridge on the Sutlej.

Mohan Singh, the victim's father, has demanded the registration of a case against the road construction company.

Maan Singh's kin alleged that none of the employee of the construction company offered help to the woman in rescuing the boy.

"The construction company charges Rs 150 as toll tax from commuters and look what they have to offer in return: a broken road and broken bridges. My son has not died in an accident. He "has been killed" due to the poor road project of the construction company," said Mohan Singh.

While employees of the construction company kept passing the buck, an employee at the Ladhowal toll plaza said on condition of anonymity, "The construction work of the road project lies with Soma, while Isolux collects the toll."

PS Murti, project manager, Soma, said, "I have to look after the road maintenance till the Ladhowal toll plaza. The Sutlej bridge, which is under repairs, is being maintained by Isolux."

The employee of the Ladhowal toll plaza said the footpath, from where the slab was missing, was elaborately covered with caution tapes and barricades. A caution signboard was installed to prohibit commuters from using the footpath on the old side of the bridge.

Sukhwinder Singh Namdhari, Maan Singh's maternal uncle, alleged that the caution tape and barricades around the footpath were installed after the incident.

"How could he have fallen from a gap in the footpath if the place was properly barricaded. The toll plaza authorities covered the area after the incident to avoid legal action," said Sukhwinder Singh Namdhari.

Binder Singh, another relative, said it had been nearly five years since construction work on the expressway on the NH-I started, but the fate of the dilapidated Sutlej bridge remained unchanged.

"The contract awarded to Soma-Isolux should be scrapped with immediate effect. The company is charging a huge amount as toll and look what it is offering. Commuters are dying because of the company's negligence. Strict action should be taken against it," said Binder Singh.

Gulshan Lal, SHO, Phillaur said, "The construction company maintained that it had installed a caution signboard asking commuters not to use the old bridge. The matter needs to be investigated thoroughly."

Other factors that could have led to his death

What led to Maan Singh's death? While residents have blamed the poor condition of the bridge for the tragedy, other factors may have also contributed to it. Rajinder Kaur, along with her son Mann Singh, arrived at the bridge at 8.30 pm to immerse the "yajna samagri". It is learnt that an astrologer had told her to perform the rituals to restore peace in the house. As it was dark, the mother-son duo could not spot the caution signboard. Besides, Maan Singh was speaking on the phone and perhaps could not see the gap in the footpath.

Divers charge Rs 10,000

Divers living along the bank of the Sutlej fished out Maan Singh's body in the morning. They charged Rs 10,000 for the search operation. They kept on searching for the boy till late at night. They said the water current was strong due to which the boy was swept away.



At 44.8°C, city residents prefer to stay indoors
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 20
There was no relief for city residents from the scorching heat today. The city recorded 44.8°C today. According to Met experts, the temperature will continue to rise during the next few days.
Young girls protect themselves from the blazing sun with an umbrella in Ludhiana on Monday.
Young girls protect themselves from the blazing sun with an umbrella in Ludhiana on Monday. Photo: Inderjeet verma

The intense heat forced residents to stay indoors. The Agro Meteorology Department at Punjab Agricultural University recorded a minimum temperature of 28.2°C.

Dr Kulwinder Kaur Gill, Agrometeorologist at PAU, said, "The weather will continue to be clear and sunny during the next few days. This rise in temperature will be favourable for a good monsoon. We are expecting the monsoon to arrive early this year".

"We used to record 45°C generally in the last week of May in the past, but this year, we have recorded this temperature in the first fortnight of May," said Gill.

"The scorching heat in the region has decreased the traffic burden on city roads. People avoid moving out of their houses during the hot weather. Busy roads in the city witness thin traffic around noon. The hot weather has hit our business," said Raju, an auto-rickshaw driver.

PAU has issued an advisory to residents and farmers asking them to irrigate the vegetable crops and orchards frequently in this harsh weather.



Explosion triggered by candle kills woman 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 20
A 30-year-old woman died while her husband is battling for life after suffering burn injuries. The deceased has been identified as Usha Rani, while her husband has been identified as Partap, both residents of the Peeru Banda Colony in Salem Tabri.

The incident took place this evening when the couple burnt a candle after the power supply got snapped.

The burning candle accidentally fell on a kerosene can that was kept underneath the candle stand. This led to an explosion and the couple suffered burn injuries. While Usha died on the spot, Partap is battling for his life. 



City may get canal water
 World Bank shows interest in Ludhiana MC's project
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 20
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is in talks with World Bank for the supply of canal water for city residents. To check the feasibility of this system, a team of experts from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee, had visited the city in December last year. In its pre-feasibility report submitted to the MC, the team had given the go-ahead for this project.

At present, the entire water supply in the city is from underground water. Around 850 tube wells are being used for the purpose.

It is learnt that the MC and the state government are favouring World Bank funding rather than the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. “The JNNURM can fund only around 50 per cent of the project cost (which is around Rs 400 crore). If we are able to impress World Bank officials, we may get 100 per cent funding,” said a senior MC officer.

Municipal Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma said the state government had already approved the project. “World Bank has shown interest in funding this project for Ludhiana and Amritsar. A meeting in this regard will be held in Chandigarh on May 23. The meeting will be chaired by the Chief Minister. After this meeting, World Bank officials will visit Ludhiana and Amritsar,” he said.

An MC official said of the total MC water supply, around 80 per cent went into sewerage. “Residents are wasting precious water and this needs to be checked,” said the official.

If everything goes as planned, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation will construct underground reservoirs in Nehru Rose Garden in the Civil Lines, Mini Rose Garden in Kidwai Nagar and a park near Cheema Chowk for the supply of canal water to city residents.

To clean this water, a treatment plant will be set up near the Maanpur headworks on the Sirhind canal near Doraha. The canal water will be brought to the city through a 22-km-long underground pipeline.

How the idea was mooted

On September 19 last year, the idea was first discussed during a meeting chaired by Major Gen VK Bhat, head of the Technical Advisory Group under the Punjab Urban Development Mission. In the Finance and Contract Committee meeting held on November 1, it was decided that a team of experts from the IIT, Roorkee, will conduct a feasibility study of this project. The MC paid around Rs 54,000 to the IIT, Roorkee, as consultancy fees for conducting the feasibility study. 



parking violations on ferozepur road
Commissioners to submit report to HC
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 20
Hearing in the case pertaining to parking-related violations on the Ferozepur Road service lane as well as violations by shopkeepers and some commercial establishments took place in the Punjab and Haryana High Court today.

The hearing was attended by Municipal Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma, Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh and Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari, besides other senior officers of the district administration.

A double Bench of Justice Surya Kant and Justice RP Nagrath heard the case. The court has appointed two local commissioners, who will visit Ferozepur Road and prepare a report on parking-related violations. The report will be submitted before the double Bench ahead of the next hearing.

A city resident, living in a house located opposite gate number 2 of Punjab Agricultural University, had approached the High Court regarding the misuse of the Ferozepur Road service lane in front of his house. The court had directed the MC to get the service lane on Ferozepur Road vacated. During a hearing on April 30, the court had directed the MC to issue notices to 10 violators (identified by the local commissioners appointed by the court).

These commercial establishments were Hotel Majestic Park Plaza (a five-star facility owned by former Congress MLA Jassi Khangura), Ansal Plaza (a shopping mall), Hotel Friends Regency, Hotel Nagpal Regency, Khushi Ram and Sons, Olivia, Hotel Batra, Hotel A, KP Complex and Jay Sons, all located on Ferozepur Road.

On May 9, two violators, Hotel Batra and Jay Sons, were sealed by a five-member panel. Similarly, on May 10, a portion of Hotel Majestic Park Plaza, KP Complex and Olivia were sealed. On May 11, a portion of Khushi Ram and Sons was sealed.

During the hearing today, a group of shopkeepers from Ferozepur Road, counsel for Olivia Harpreet Sandhu and some other shopkeepers appeared before the court.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari said, “The local commissioners will visit Ferozepur Road and prepare a detailed report, which will be presented before the court ahead of the next hearing, scheduled for May 29,” he said.



Treaty benefits: File returns even if income not taxable
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 20
Those availing of treaty benefits will now be required to file returns of their income even if they are not liable to be taxed. The government has changed the Income Tax Rules and has made it mandatory for certain classes of assessees, including those covered under bilateral tax treaties, to file their returns in the country. The new rules will be effective from April 1.

Earlier, those who didn't pay taxes in India, owing to the provisions under the double taxation avoidance agreement between India and the country of origin concerned, were not required to file the return in India.

“A person claiming any relief of tax under Section 90 or 90A or deduction of tax under Section 91 of the Income Tax Act, shall furnish the return for assessment year 2013-14 and subsequent assessment years,” the Central Board of Direct Taxes said in a notification. The move would primarily impact majority of the investors from Mauritius who claim treaty benefits and don't file returns on the pretext that their income isn't taxable in India.

Though the move would increase the compliance burden on assessees, the government would have a lot of information to assess whether treaty relief claimed by people is valid or not, said a senior tax official.

Now, taxpayers would have to report foreign income separately, under a new schedule. They would have to bifurcate the foreign income to which provisions of a tax treaty apply and quote the tax identification number (TIN) in case tax has been paid in a foreign country. If the TIN is not allotted by that country, the assessee would have to furnish his passport number.

The new rules also make it mandatory for taxpayers with total annual income of more than Rs 25 lakh to declare their domestic assets, including land, buildings, bank deposits, shares, insurance policies, loans, jewellery, bullion, drawings, paintings, yachts, boats, etc. Now, as part of foreign asset reporting norms, assessees will also be required to mention their foreign bank account number and the details of the trusts in which they are trustees.



Awareness programme on thalassaemia

Ludhiana, May 20
Zindagi Live Foundation, a non-government organisation, started its awareness campaign for ‘thalassemia’ here yesterday at Guru Nanak Stadium with a cultrural programme presented by thalassemic children.

The awareness drive was kicked off by the chief guest Jagdeep Singal, chairman, Niikhil Singal Noble Trust along with his wife Bindu Singal and brother Vinay Singal. The Trust announced adoption of five more thalassemic children on this occasion. Kamal Sharma, president of the BJP, Punjab, promised to take the message of Zindagi Live Foundation to the state government.

The inauguration lamp was lit by Ravinder Mittal, Deputy Commissioner, Income Tax, and Sukhsohit Singh, an IAS from Pune and a thalassemic icon, who came all the way from Pune to attend the function. He motivated the children to work hard to achieve their goals just like his own self who crossed numerous hurdles of being a thalassemic.

Ravinder Mittal lauded the efforts of team Zindagi Live Foundation and wished them unending success. Simranjit Singh Bains, MLA from Atam Nagar, announced a contribution of Rs 51,000 for the NGO. Dr Pravin C Sobti, head of the Thalassemic Department of DMCH, educated the masses about the disease and Dr Joseph John, head, Haematology, CMCH, discussed bone marrow transplant with the audience for the treatment of thalassemia with his phenomenal success rate of 85 per cent.

The NGO also organised a thalassemia minor-detection camp at highly-susidised rates. The cultural extravaganza was co-ordinated by Saroj Khan Dance Academy chairman Ruchi Bawa while Param Gill, a Punjabi singer, enthralled the audience with his patriotic songs. — TNS



No fire station in Jagraon
 Residents continue to suffer huge financial losses in its absence
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, May 20
Once again, the need for a fire station was felt in Jagraon when goods worth lakhs of rupees were destroyed in a major fire that broke out at Indo-Canadian Departmental Store near Rani Jhansi Chowk on the Tehsil Road, a multi-storeyed building, in Jagraon on Saturday late night.

This is not the first time that the fire incident has caused a heavy financial loss to the residents of this area. But several other such kinds of incidents have taken place here during the past also. Thus, causing huge financial losses to the residents. Most of these fire incidents took place during the summer season. Despite so many incidents taking place in the area every year, no fire brigade station has been set up in Jagraon till date.

In fact, the absence of a fire brigade station at Jagraon has always been a sore point for the area residents. The area residents have been demanding from the government to set up a fire brigade station at Jagraon for the past several years. But all their demands seem to be falling on deaf ears as nothing concrete has been done in this regard so far. As a result of this huge resentment prevails among the city residents.

Every time when a fire breaks out in the area, the fire brigade teams are called from Ludhiana or Moga. But as it takes a lot of time for the firemen from Ludhiana or Moga to reach here, the fire had already caused a huge damage. In the latest incident, when the fire broke out at the local departmental store, the fire brigade teams reached after more than two hours till then the fire had already engulfed everything.

Sources said, Member Parliament from Ludhiana, Munish Tiwari, had offered to issue a grant of Rs 10 lakh to set up a fire brigade station in Jagraon around two years ago after the area residents had raised the issue with him. "But the Jagraon Municipal Council had rejected the offer stating that it neither had sufficient funds to hire the employees required to be deployed with fire brigade teams nor it had money and space for the construction of the fire brigade station," revealed the sources.

However, this long pending demand of local residents seemed getting materialised when local SAD MLA, SR Kaler, raised the issue in the Punjab Assembly House in June 2012 and urged Local Bodies Minister, Bhagat Chuni Lal, to set up a common fire brigade station for Jagraon, Raikot and Mullanpur Dakha at Jagraon. Following this, the minister had assured Kaler that the government would start the work of setting up a fire brigade station in Jagraon within six months.

Though more than 11 months have passed since then yet the government has failed to start the work for setting up fire brigade station in Jagraon.

Jagraon MLA, SR Kaler, clamed that he had also taken 1up the matter with the Assurance Committee of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha when no efforts was initiated for setting up fire brigade station at Jagraon even after the completion of 6 months time given by the minister for starting the work.

"I will meet the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal as well as the Local Bodies Minister, Bhagat Chuni Lal, in a couple of days. I would urge them to begin the work of setting up fire brigade station at Jagraon on priority basis," added Kaler.



Polling over, it’s time to relax for candidates
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 20
After toiling hard in the scorching sun and dust for over a fortnight, candidates contesting zila parishad and block samiti elections and their supporters seemed to be in a relaxed mood here on Monday. However, it remained a day of calculations and assessments with anxiety and stress explicit on their faces.

The post-poll mood was similar at the residences and offices of SAD candidate and their opponents with enthusiastic workers reassuring them that they had succeeded in their mission. While SAD candidates posed as if they had already won and the declaration of the result was merely a formality, those fighting against the stream pretended that voters had.

Parminder Rangian, SAD candidate from Sarabha Zone of Ludhiana zila parishad, who was surrounded by a large number of supporters at his office at Dehlon, said there was no change in his routine; except that he was not supposed to travel a long like pre-poll days.

"People have been coming as before right since the wee hours of the day. I have spent time with them as usual," said Rangian adding his supporters were still busy in giving tips to counting agents for the counting day on Tuesday.

Jagdeep Singh Bittu, another zila parishad candidate from Dehlon said it was the first day after a long time when he could relax at home for the whole day. Extensive touring in over two dozen villages spread along 25 kms of distance had exhausted him and his supporters and other members of his family.

Ravinder Puri, president municipal council, Jasbir Singh Dehlon, Tony Kalakh (SAD and BJP leaders), Harjinder Singh Kaka Nathumajra and Vikas Tandon (Congress leaders) were among those who had felt relieved after conclusion of polling on Sunday.



No respite from traffic jams in Jagraon
 NGO, traffic police had joined hands to ease situation
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, May 20
Despite the joint efforts of the local police and an NGO, Supreme Welfare Society, Jagraon, to improve the traffic situation in the town, there seems to be no relief for local residents as well as the commuters from frequent traffic jams on many roads in the city.

During the first week of May, Supreme Welfare Society, Jagraon, had joined hands with the local police and vowed to improve the traffic situation by removing roadside encroachments by the shopkeepers, outside their shops. With the aim of reducing traffic jams, the society had chalked out a special plan and divided the whole town into four different zones. Under this plan, separate teams of the society members had to be deployed in all the four zones and these teams were assigned the task of getting removed roadside encroachments to make the flow of traffic smooth.

The society had also organised a road show in the town during which the representatives and volunteers of the society appealed to the shopkeepers to remove encroachments from outside their shops. Besides, the shopkeepers were also asked to not allow the roadside vendors to put up rehris in front of their shops and to stop the visitors from parking vehicles on the roadsides in order to avoid the traffic jams.

But despite the efforts of the society there seems to be no visible improvement in the traffic situation of the town. There is not even a single road in whole of the town, where the vehicles are not struck in traffic jams. The situation is worst on the Lajpat Rai Road, Old Sabzi Mandi Road, Kamal Chowk etc which are among the busiest roads of the town and one can often see long queues of vehicles stranded in traffic jam on these roads.

Haphazard parking of vehicles on the roadsides, encroachments by the shopkeepers, rehris put up by vendors and lack of proper parking space are the major reasons behind the traffic jams on the city roads.

General secretary of the Supreme Welfare Society, Naresh Verma, said the teams of the society are keeping a regular check in the areas assigned to them and there is some improvement in the situation. "The most important thing to solve this problem is public cooperation, particularly the shopkeepers. Some of the shopkeepers are very cooperative. But majority of them are not. We are going to hold a meeting very soon. We would take up the matter with the Jagraon DSP, who is also the chairman of the society and demand strict action against those shopkeepers, who do not remove encroachments from outside their shops," added Verma.

Jagraon DSP, Surinder Kumar, said first of all, a warning would be issued to the shopkeepers, who have encroached upon the roadsides. If they do not remove encroachments even after the warning, a strict action would be taken against such shopkeepers, added he.



14 people challaned for smoking in public places
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, May 20
A team of the Health Department challenged 14 people, who were found smoking at various public places during a drive, here today.

As per the information, the health department team, led by Doctor Surinder Singh and comprising health inspectors, Gurdev Singh, Hari Singh, Karam Singh and Lakhvir Singh began the drive from the local Bus Stand today morning. The team members conducted surprise checks near the local bus stand, Tehsil Road, College Road, Railway Road, Sabzi Mandi and some other parts of the town and challaned those, who were smoking at public places in violation of norms.

"We imposed fine upon as many as 14 persons, who were found smoking at public places. We have also issued warning to the shopkeepers and kiosks, selling tobacco products, not sell the tobacco products to minors. If any shopkeeper is found involved in selling tobacco products to minors, we would take a strict action against him," said Dr Surinder Singh.

Senior Medical Officer (SMO) at the Jagraon Civil Hospital, Dr Balwinder Singh, said the drive initiated by the health department against smocking at public places would continue in the future too. "We would keep a regular tab on the shopkeepers and kiosks selling tobacco products and if any person is found involved in unlawful activities in violation of the norms set by the government, a suitable action would be taken against him," added SMO Balwinder Singh.



Police increases vigil to curb illegal sand mining
Deploys 10 MUVs, mobikes
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 20
The police has increased security in Ladhowal and surrounding areas including Mattewara and Salem Tabri following inputs of illegal sand mining. Over 10 police PCR Multi-Utility Vehicles (MUVs) along with the PCR motorcycles have been deployed in the area to curb the menace of illegal sand mining.

There were allegations that the police was going soft on the residents of the Ladhowal area who were involved in illegal practice.

Moreover, some local-level politicians, too, were involved in the illegal sand mining.

The menace also led to the transfer of Gurpreet Singh who was pointed as an SHO in Ladhowal.

Initially, it was suspected that Gurpreet was transferred due to political pressure. But he rubbished the allegation and claimed that his transfer was a routine matter.

Sources said that the SHO, Gurpreet, had kept a strict tab on the illegal quarry being operated near the bed of Sutlej.

Last year, his team had also conducted a raid at one such quarry. During the operation, one man, who tired to escape on seeing the police party also died in an accident.

The incident had led to a massive protest by the Ladhowal area residents, who blocked the National Highway-I for the whole night.

Inspector Mandeep Singh, who replaced him as SHO Ladhowal, recently, said the police was setting up special check points and surprise raids to curb the menace.

"In order to outsmart the people involved in the illegal sand mining, we keep on shifting the check points. Sometimes, we set up check point on the main road, while posing a surprise we enter the secluded streets of the villages to catch the illegal sand miners unaware," said Mandeep Singh.



Handwriting reveals one’s personality, says expert
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 20
Handwriting can be a tool to understand one’s personality and character. It is increasingly being used to get an insight into the psyche of an indivicual, says a Chandigarh-based graphologist, Mohan Ray, who was in the city a couple of days ago.

Although graphology is a complex study and one thing has to be studied in correlation to other things, but some of the strokes can indicate certain personality traits, he said. How one applies strokes, can show different personality traits, confidence level etc, of a person, he added.

For example bold, large handwriting may depict extrovert nature and small handwriting may reflect a reserved personality, he says. Slants may also depict how a person expresses emotions. A person having a vertical handwriting may be less emotional, whereas, a slant on the right may reflect a person who expresses emotions more whereas a person with the left slant of handwriting may suppress emotions, said Ray.

The dot on the 'I' may also reflect certain personality traits. If the dot is exactly above the I-bar, it may reflect focus. If is on the left, it may reflect cautiousness and thoughtfulness, if it is on the right side, it may depict hurriedness. The strength of the t-bar may tells about the self-esteem. A strong sure T-bar reflects a higher self-esteem, whereas a weak one may tell about lack of self-esteem. A falling t-bar also reflects lack of confidence, added Ray.

An angular or sharp-edged handwriting may be an indication of anger, aggression or analytical mind.

"These are only broader indications. Such indicators are seen in conjunction with other indicators and is reflected in the handwriting of a person," he said. Some of the personality traits may be changed by altering the handwriting, he said. The dynamic characteristics like outer behaviour can be changed by minor changes, said Ray.



Health expert gives tips to prevent water-borne diseases
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 20
An awareness rally by the district health department was conducted about water-borne diseases at Dhandari Khurd. Students of Guru Nanak College of Nursing, Gopalpur, participated in the rally which was conducted under the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme.

Led by Dr Parvinder Pal Singh Sidhu, Senior Medical Officer and in charge of the Community Health Centre, Sahnewal, the campaign focuses on making people aware about water-borne diseases like malaria and dengue. Pamphlets about spreading awareness doses and injections for pregnant women and new-borne were also distributed during the rally.

Dr Sidhu said only boiled water should be consumed during the rainy season. Chlorine tablets were also distributed during the awareness programme. He said one chlorine tablet should be put in 20 litres of water after which the water becomes fit for drinking for consumption after half an hour.

He further added that things over-ripe fruits and unripe vegetables should not be used. Uncovered food items should not be purchased, he said.

Check up should be sought from an MBBS doctor or health centre in case of upset stomach, he added. The ORS packet should be taken to prevent dehydration during the summer season.

Health Inspector Dalbir Singh said that action would be taken against vegetable and fruit vendors selling spoilt fruit and vegetables.



Provide C-form online, say cycle manufacturers

Ludhiana, May 20
A delegation of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association today met Tejveer Singh Sidhu and Bhupinder Gupta, Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioners, under the leadership of Gurmeet Singh Kular, president of United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, to discuss the day-to-day problems faced by the industry. 

The problem of VAT refund was discussed in detail Verification at four stages is neither feasible nor practical as there is no mechanism with taxable person to check whether the selling dealer has paid the tax or not. This was strongly opposed by the delegation.

The delegation demanded that the government should start providing C-form online which has already been adopted by some of the states. This will reduce the work load of department and also save time and energy of the dealers. "Previously VAT refunds to the beneficiaries were credited through the clearing process. But as on today, the same are treated as collection vouchers and heavy charges are levied/debited to the account holder," said Kular during the meeting. — TNS



Locked gates a public nuisance
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 20
Even though many residents have got security gates installed around their colonies, they seldom follow the rules. There are many areas in the city where such security gates have been installed on streets, but they remain locked 24X7, causing inconvenience to visitors as well as those using these roads.

Such gates on College Road and in the E-block of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar on Pakhowal Road remain locked all the time.

Different societies and colonies have got the gates installed illegally for "safety purposes". As they remain locked, schoolchildren and commuters are forced to take longer routes.

"All these gates are installed on the public streets and if any person wants to install them, he should make sure the gates remain open, especially during the day time. The locked gate in the E-block of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar is a nuisance as any person going towards Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar has to take a longer route. I wonder why the Ludhiana Improvement Trust is not taking any action against the people who keep this gate locked," said a senior citizen of the area.

Parmod Sharma, Executive Engineer, Ludhiana Improvement Trust, said he would ask his staff to visit Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar and make sure that the gate was not locked. "It is a public street and no person can install lock on any such gate. I would also speak to the office-bearers of the area resident welfare association," Sharma said.

Following repeated complaints by area residents about the permanent closure of two such gates in the Ashok Vihar area, near Rishi Nagar, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation officials uprooted both the gates on Friday.

Assistant Town Planner (Zone D) Rajinder Sharma said they had visited the area around 15 days ago and the locks installed on both the gates were removed.

"But the residents put the locks again. So we served a notice on them and uprooted both the gates on Friday morning. The local residents were objecting to the permanent closure of these gates as these were impeding the flow of traffic on a public street. We always take action against such security gates that remain locked during the day time. Residents should understand that they cannot impede the flow of traffic on a public street,: said Sharma. 



tax evasion
Noose tightened around yarn dealers 
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 20
Yarn dealers of the city are under the Excise and Taxation Department scanner after Balaji Sales Corporation was found wrongly availing exemption from the payment of entry tax.

A few weeks ago, raids were conducted at the local yarn units and the officials from Chandigarh, Hoshiarpur and Patiala were also in the city for an inspection of the units. The department has asked the police to register an FIR against the owner of Balaji Sales Corporation while investigations to determine the involvement of other dealers in such practices is under way.

Many dealers wrongly avail tax exemption as they do not process yarn into cloth and instead sell it in its raw form. To avail tax exemptions on yarn, it should be converted into cloth and sold as a tax-free item.

"We are identifying yarn dealers who are involved in this illegal practice. One has been booked and the department has launched a drive against those who are unlawfully availing tax exemptions," said Kanwalpreet Brar, Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner.

Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner HPS Ghotra said the most surprising fact was that these yarn dealers did not even have machines for manufacturing cloth. The machines they had shown us during the raid were meant for manufacturing yarn, not cloth.

"These yarn dealers mix two varieties of yarn to produce another variety known by the name of 'glory fibre'. The machines that they have kept in their units are for manufacturing yarn only. No cloth is manufactured at these units," added Ghotra. 



Health Dept starts review survey on infant deaths 
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 20
To know the exact reasons behind infant deaths in the state of Punjab, the Health Department has started an infant death review survey under the National Rural Health Mission. The survey began on April 1.

Dr Maninder Singh, District Family Welfare Officer, Ludhiana, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune said: "A part of the survey, we are holding awareness workshops for Auxiliary Nurse Midwives (ANMs) and Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) where they are trained on how to collect information about an infant's death. They will also tell expectant mothers about precautionary measures to be taken by them to save their infants."

The state has witnessed a downward trend in the infant death rate compared to the country's figures. The officer said: "In 2009, the infant death rate in Punjab was 43 death for every 1,000 infants. The figure came down to 30 deaths for every 1,000 infants in 2012. However, the national infant death rate is still 47 deaths for every 1,000 infants in a year."

The District Family Welfare Officer said there were about 1,100 ASHA workers in 10 health blocks of the district and their training in five blocks was already over.

ASHA workers' task

* To motivate expectant mothers for institutional delivery

* Make mothers aware of benefits of breast feeding

* Tell them who to contact for better treatment of their infants

* Motivate mothers for proper vaccination



pau notes
Low-cost cryogenic grinder developed

Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) has designed and fabricated a low-cost cryogenic grinder which would bring down cost to Rs 28 lakh from 1.5 crore of a similar capacity imported grinder. The grinding system is ready for commercialisation.

India is the largest producer of spices in the world and grows over 50 different varieties of spices. These are exported to more than 150 countries. The total production of spices stands at 2.7 million tonnes. Indian share of the world trade in spices is 45 to 50 per cent in terms of volume. During conventional grinding, flavours and medicinal attributes are reduced to large extent due to high temperature raised during the grinding process. On the other hand, cryogenic grinding was not viable due to high cost of the imported machinery.

The technology of cryogenic grinding has also been used in space for developing highly-cooled cryogenic engines. In this system, liquid nitrogen is used for making grinding feasible at ultra-low temperature to retain essential oils, flavour and medicinal properties.

“The developed cryogenic grinder has a capacity of 30 to 50 kg per hour depending on type of spices,” said Dr Pradyuman Barnwal, a scientist, who has designed and fabricated cryogenic grinder, adding that this was first of its kind cryogenic grinder developed in India with scientific design and having capacity to grind spices at a large scale.

The grinding system, developed at CIPHET consists of a self-pressurised liquid nitrogen cylinder of 185-litre capacity, cryo-precooler of a capacity 30-50 kg per hour and a grinder. All contact parts of spices are made of stainless steel. “There is a provision of collection of ground spice product through cyclone system and immediate sieving system for different grades of the powder,” Barnwal said. SN Jha, director (Acting), CIPHET, said design and fabrication of low cost cryogenic grinder would help Indian spice and pharmaceutical industry for producing quality products. He said adoption of this technology by industry would help customers in getting more naturally flavoured spice powder with retention of medicinal attributes.

Training camp

A monthly training camp for the Seed Producers and Nursery Growers Association will be conducted on May 30 at Kairon Kisan Ghar of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). The camp will be held under the aegis of the Directorate of Extension Education of the PAU.Giving details, Dr HS Dhaliwal, additional director, Extension Education, said the experts will dwell upon the quality seed production of vegetable crops, protection of plant varieties, farmer’s right and nursery production. Besides, the experts will impart marketing tips for farm products with special seed and nursery, he added.

Home science admissions

The College of Home Science (COHS) of Punjab Agricultural University has invited applications for admission to various undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. According to Dr Neelam Grewal, Dean, COHS, home science is a holistic field which aims at improving the quality of life of the families. “Its education not only helps to take care of the basic needs of food, shelter and clothing in a better manner but also empower girls to become professional women or self-employed entrepreneur,” she said. Neelam said the college offered a number of academic programmes to the candidates coming from different streams of education. The flagship programme is BSc (Hons) home science, a four-year programme, for which the eligibility is 10+2 with science stream or any combination of arts or commerce, with at least 50 per cent marks in aggregate. She said keeping in view the increasing demand for fashion designers in readymade garment and knitwear industry, the college had started BSc (Hons) fashion designing, a four-year programme. The eligibility for this course is 10+2 with any stream of subjects. The college also offered MSc (Fashion designing). Another undergraduate course of BSc (Hons) nutrition and dietetics, a four-year programme, for which the eligibility is 10+2 with medical or non-medical stream was also being offered, Neelam added.

US farmer visits campus

Harbhajan Singh Samra, a progressive farmer and a successful entrepreneur based in California, USA, paid a one-day visit to the PAU. “There is an increasing demand for the Asian vegetables in US due to the exodus of Indian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi communities,” he said. He had a meeting with the Vice-Chancellor, Baldev Singh Dhillon. He also visited the Centre for Communication and International Linkages wherein he interacted with the experts of Communication Centre, and the Department of Economics and Sociology.

Dr SN Jha appointed CIPHET director

Dr SN Jha, head of Agriculture Structures and Environmental Control Division, took over the charge of Director (Acting) of the Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), Ludhiana. Jha, who has received prestigious ‘Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Award’ of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) for his pioneering research work on non-destructive methods of food quality evaluation and post harvest technology, is an eminent scientist. He has developed technologies such as computation of maturity index, prediction of eating quality of mango, freshness index, overall quality index of brinjal and apple respectively, besides improved evaporative cooled storage structure and transport freight containers for fruits and vegetables. Jha said he would make all efforts to make CIPHET a global institute in post-harvest research. — TNS



Ludhiana Scan

Food samples collected

A team of the Health Department comprising district health officer, Dr Aninas Kumar, and food safety officer, Harpreet Kaur, collected six samples of eatables. Harpreet Kaur said: “We have collected samples of juice and mango shake from a fruit shop, prepared rice and aalu bhaji from a dhaba near the Clock Tower. While a sample of apple was collected from a fruit shop near the railway station, mausami juice from another fruit and juice shop in the same area. Sample of sugarcane juice was collected from a juice shop near Domoria Pul.” About 50 kg of over-ripened fruits were thrown away from the reharies near the Clock Tower and railway station.

Free eye check-up

A free eye camp was held at at Gurdwara Halti Wala Sahib in Gill village. As many as 220 patients were screened. Out of which, 48 cataract surgeries were conducted by Dr Rahul Sharma and Dr Amit Sharma.

Grants sent back

“The Central Government has launched many schemes for the welfare of schedule castes and schedule tribes. But the schemes fail to reach to the targeted people due to lack of communication,” said Rajesh Bhagha, chairman of the SC/ST Commission, Punjab. He was in the city to attend a function organised by Dr Ambedkar Naujawan Sabha. He said Punjab had been given Rs 500 crore under the post- matric scholarship scheme. But due to lack of awareness nearly 90 per cent of the grant was sent back to the Central Government.

Tube well inaugurated

A submersible tubewell was inaugurated here on Monday by a councillor, Anita Kharbanda, at ward No. 32. Anita, while speaking on the occasion, said it was a long-pending demand of the area residents which had been fulfilled today. “I am here for the help of the people and any other developmental work which area residents think is required should be discussed with me,” she said.

Sadbhavana Divas to be celebrated

The death anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi will be celebrated as “Sadbhavana Divas” by the Congress party. A function will be organised at the Congress Bhawan, near the Clock Tower at 12 noon. Pawan Dewan, president of the District Congress Committee, (urban) said: “Rajiv Gandhi was a man behind the modern India. The present Panchayati Raj elections were also his brain child.”

NGO awarded

Mandi Ahmedgarh: The Social Welfare Organisation (SWO), an NGO of the local town, has been declared as the runners-up in organisation of blood donation camps for blood bank being run by the Dyanand Hospital and Medical College, Ludhiana, consecutively for the third year. A citation and memento was presented to the office-bearers of the NGO during a function held by the DMCH recently. Dr Rajinder Mittal and Tarsem Garg, chairman and patron of the SWO said over 1,100 units of blood had been donated. — TNS



Two held for snatching incidents
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 20
The Dehlon police has arrested two miscreants for their alleged involvement in a number of snatching cases. Recently, the accused had allegedly snatched a laptop, a mobile phone and cash worth Rs 2,000 from an serviceman, Janmalas Siyadeeya a few days ago.

The accused have been identified as Harvinder Singh and Gurdeep Singh of Shankar village in the Ludhiana district.

The police is yet to establish identity of the victims, who were allegedly robbed by the accused on pretext of telling enquiring or telling them ways leading to nearby places.

Assistant Commissioner of the Police, Gill Gurpreet Singh Sikand, said that a police team led by the SHO Dehlon Satinder Pal Singh have nabbed the accused when they were hunting for a target at a deserted link road near here today.

While the police started collecting information regarding the cases registered against the accused, the police recovered cash and valuables which were allegedly snatched from an armyman a few days ago. The duo had robbed him when he had asked them way leading to Sangrur from Tibba village.



Drug peddler arrested with 50 gm of heroin in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 20
The Focal Point police has nabbed a drug peddler and seized 50 gm of heroin from his possession last night. The accused has been identified as Inderjeet Singh of Guru Arjan Dev Nagar.

He was nabbed at a police checkpoint near the Dholewal area. On spotting the police, he tried to escape. The police personnel intercepted his car. During a search of his belongings, the police found 50 gm of heroin. Posing as a driver, the accused used to supply drugs to school students and youngsters in villages. A case has been registered.

Man duped by highway swindlers

A city resident was duped by highway swindlers here yesterday. The victim has been identified as Jan Manas. While he was going to Bathinda from Dehradun, he asked for the right way from a person near the Tibba road. He told Jan Manas that he was also going towards Bathinda. Jan Manas let him get in the vehicle. The swindler's accomplice also joined them at the next roundabout.

When they reached the outskirts of the city, the swindler put a sharp weapon on Jan Manas's neck and robbed him of his laptop, mobile phone, Rs 2,000 and a briefcase that contained some important documents.

A case has been registered on a statement of the victim.

Foetus found in garbage dump

A foetus was recovered from a garbage dump in the Meharban area here last evening. According to Jograj Singh, a resident of Meharban village, while he was going towards Ekta Colony, he spotted a foetus lying in a garbage dump near Shakti Spinning Mills. 



New hockey stadium at agricultural university a mess
 Maintenance suffers as Mandi Board fails to hand it over to Sports Dept; players don’t know whom to approach with their problems
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

A urinal sans pipes and fittings at the newly constructed hockey stadium at the PAU; and (right) broken windowpanes.
A urinal sans pipes and fittings at the newly constructed hockey stadium at the PAU; and (right) broken windowpanes. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, May 20
The local hockey players have been facing the same problems even after the construction on the Olympian Prithipal Hockey Stadium on the Punjab Agricultural University campus. Though the new stadium has been equipped with a blue turf, lack of basic amenities there remains.

The players and the office-bearers of the local hockey academy do not know who they registered their complaints with as the Punjab Mandi Board has not handed over the stadium to the Punjab Sports Department.

During a visit to the stadium, it was observed that it required maintenance. The washrooms in the stadium are in a pathetic condition. The taps and other sanitary items have been allegedly stolen by the rag pickers. There is no boundary wall around the stadium. There are no power connections in most parts of the stadium.

"Some days ago, the water pump stopped working. The sprinkling of water should be done regularly on the turf. We complained to the sports official at the district office about the faulty pump set. But, they are helpless, as the Mandi Board has not handed over the stadium to the Sports Department," Niku Grewal, treasurer of the Hockey Academy, Ludhiana, said.

Kartar Singh, District Sports Officer, said: "I have visited the hockey stadium and am aware of the problems. We have deputed two guards at the stadium. We are helpless as the Mandi Board has not handed over the stadium to the department". 



30 athletes selected for Chennai meet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 20
The Punjab Amateur Athletic Association has selected 30 athletes who will represent the state in the 53rd Senior Inter-state National Athletics Championship, which is scheduled to be held in Chennai from June 4 to 7.

The trials were conducted at Guru Nanak Stadium on May 16.

According to Sanjeev Kumar, District Athletic Coach, these players will represent Punjab in different athletics events, including race, hurdles, javelin throw, shot-put and triple jump.

Ishwar Singh Deol, president of the Punjab Amateur Athletic Association, said they had high expectations from the selected players.

According to the sport officials, Maninder Singh, Davinder Singh, Satinder Singh, Shawki Ram, Tarandeep Singh, Kulwant Singh, Maha Singh, Arpinder Singh, Jagdeep Singh, Tejinder Singh, Jasdeep Singh, Kamalpreet Singh, Baljinder Singh, Jagtar Singh, Davinder Singh, Amar Singh, Surinder Singh, Pankaj, Ranjit Singh, OP Jaisha, Sumandeep Kaur, Manpreet Kaur, Rupinder Kaur, Harkirat Kaur, Katki Sethi, Kiranbir Kaur, Harman Kaur, Manjinder, Jyoti Saini, and Navpreet Kaur have been selected. 



Dalla youth to take part in Cyprus tourney
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, May 20
The residents of Dalla village, near Jagraon, were delighted when the news of selection of a youth from the village for an international boxing championship reached the village.

Sukhdeep Singh, a pugilist of Sher-e-Punjab Sports Academy, Chakar, and a student of Sri Ram College, Dalla, has been selected for the Junior International Boxing Championship to be held in Cyprus.

Expressing delight over Sukhdeep Singh's selection for the boxing championship, the Principal of his college, Dr Balwant Singh Sandhu, said apart from winning various state-level boxing championships in the past, Sukhdeep Singh recently bagged the National Champion title.

"Sukhdeep has been a highly talented pugilist. His passion for the game and sheer hard work have turned him into an international-level sports person," said Dr Sandhu.

A brief function was organised at the college before Sukhdeep Singh's departure for Cyprus. Jagraon MLA SR Kaler, who was the chief guest for the function, felicitated Sukhdeep.

"Sukhdeep's selection for an international-level boxing championship is a matter of great pride for the whole of the area. Sukhdeep has brought laurels for the village as well as the Jagraon area with his achievements in the field of sports," said Kaler.

While congratulating the college management and the pugilist, Kaler assured them of maximum possible help from the state government for the budding sports persons of the area. Senior Akali leader and Chairman of Sri Ram College Dalla Management Committee Bhag Singh Mallha, Akali leaders Chand Singh Dalla and Didar Singh Malak were also present.



Lovneet, Poonam to lead under-18 basketball teams
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 20
Lovneet Singh of Punjab and Poonam Chaturvedi from Chhattisgarh have been selected to lead the Indian junior basketball boys and girls’ teams (U-18), respectively, in the inaugural edition of the Three-on-Three FIBA Asia Basketball Championship. The meet is scheduled to be held in Bangkok from May 22 to 24, according to Teja Singh Dhaliwal, general secretary, Punjab Baksetball Association.

The teams were given a send-off at Guru Nanak Stadium here yesterday. Besides, Teja Singh Dhaliwal, Kartar Singh Sehmbey, District Sports Officer, Ludhiana, Vijay Chopra, a sports promoter, Harjinder Singh, Kulwinder Singh Gill and Rajesh Patel, senior basketball coaches were among others present there to wish the players good luck.

The names of the players are :(boys) Lovneet Singh and Gurwinder Singh Gill of Punjab, Anam Ali from MP and Narinder from Delhi; (Girl) Poonam Chaturvedi and Sharanjeet Kaur from Chhattisgarh, Iswari of Maharashtra and Vaishali from TN.



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