L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


14 plots sold for Rs 9.9 crore
GLADA finds no takers for commercial sites; another auction to be held today
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 5
The Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) today raised Rs 9.90 crore from the sale of 14 residential plots of different sizes through a public auction in Dhandari Kalan, Phase I and II.

The plots yielded a premium of nearly 48 per cent over the total reserve price of Rs 6.65 crore. However, there were no takers for 10 shop-cum-flats (SCFs) in Dhandari Kalan, Phase I, which were also proposed to be put under the hammer.

According to RK Popli, Estate Officer, GLADA, who conducted the auction with Additional Chief Administrator Baldev Singh, 107 bidders turned up for the auction, each one of them having deposited an eligibility fee of Rs 50,000 for the residential plots. No eligibility fee of Rs 1 lakh, however, was deposited for the 10 SCFs, each with a floor area of 146.21 sq metres and a reserve price of Rs 1,30,165 per sq yard.

All eight residential plots on offer in Dhandari Kalan, Phase I, were sold with these sites fetching Rs 42,000 (highest) and Rs 27,100 (lowest) per sq yard as against their reserve price of Rs 22,123 per sq yard. The sold plots included three with an area of 250 sq yards each, three others measuring 450 sq yards each and two plots of 188 sq yards each.

Of the six plots sold in Dhandari Kalan, Phase II, one plot had an area of 500 sq yards while five others were of 166 sq yards each. Against the reserve price of Rs 22,123 per sq yard, the 500 sq yard plot was sold at Rs 25,000 per sq yard whereas one of the plots measuring 166 sq are yards was sold at Rs 45,100 per sq yard.

Popli said GLADA would hold another public auction for the sale of commercial sites and built-up properties in various localities tomorrow. The sites/properties on offer are shop-cum-offices (SCOs), shop-cum-flats (SCFs) and shops in Dugri, Phase I, SCOs and booths in Dugri, Phase II, and SCOs, SCFs and booths in Sector 32-A.


3 pilgrims hurt in bus mishap
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Three pilgrims from Uttar Pradesh, who were sitting on the rooftop of a bus, sustained serious injuries after the vehicle hit the ceiling of the Domoria underpass here today.

The injured are Vinod Kumar, Dinesh Kumar and Sham Monohar. The trio sustained serious injuries and were taken to a hospital.

The incident took place in the wee hours today when the bus was crossing the Domoria underpass. Of late, bus drivers have not been using this underpass as its height has got reduced reportedly due to carpeting work over a period of time. Since the bus had come from UP, the driver was not probably not aware of the height of the underpass.

One of the pilgrims said the trio was sleeping on the rooftop. As the bus passed through the Domoria underpass, the roof of the vehicle hit its ceiling. The trio got badly bruised and started screaming with pain. The bus was stopped and pilgrims, along with local residents, rescued the three victims, who were taken to a hospital. According to paramedics, the condition of Dinesh and Vinod is serious, while Sham Manohar is out of danger.

A pilgrim said they stayed at Krishna Mandir in Model Town last night and were headed for Jammu to pay obeisance at the Vaishno Devi shrine when the mishap occurred.



63 cases of malaria reported from dist this monsoon season
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Sixty-three cases of malaria have been reported from the district this monsoon season so far. Although the district has not received much rain this year, 63 people, including 26 from the city, have fallen prey to various species of female anopheles (the mosquito responsible for causing malaria).

The District Epidemiologist, Dr Anil Verma, said, "Most of the malaria cases reported are from the Sidhwan Bet, Noorpiur Bet and Khaira Bet areas. In the city, most of the reported cases are from Gyaspura, Sherpur and the Model Town area."

This year, the number of malaria cases has seen an increase. Last year, only 29 cases had been reported till July.

Dr Verma said, "The number is not alarming. This year, the government had issued a notification asking all private clinics and hospitals, which conduct malaria tests, to inform the Health Department about cases which test positive. As a result, nursing homes and city laboratories have started reporting to us about all positive cases of malaria."

He said testing for malaria was free at all primary health centres, community health centres and the Civil Hospital.

dos and dont’s

  • Do not allow fresh and stagnant water to accumulate near your house
  • Use mosquito nets or sprays to keep mosquitoes at bay
  • Malaria patients should take chloroquine for 3 days and brimaquine for 14 days under the guidance of a doctor



Garbage disposal system runs into trouble
Firm put on notice; MC exploring alternative options
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 5
A to Z Waste Management Company, that has been handling the work pertaining to the disposal of garbage from the city for the past more than a year and a half has allegedly failed to perform the task in the desired manner.

The municipal corporation has served a show-cause notice on the company and is reportedly exploring other options for the collection and disposal of garbage.

The MC had entrusted the work of garbage disposal from containers to the private firm in December 2011. A couple of months ago, the work of door-to-door collection of garbage was also handed over to the company. At present, the private company is handling the work pertaining to the collection and disposal of garbage in 60 wards while MC safai workers are taking care of the sanitation and garage collection in the remaining parts of the city.

MC Commissioner RK Verma had indicated in the MC general house meeting held on Friday that the company was not operating in the desired manner. "There are complaints that adequate vehicles and manpower are not deployed for the clearance of garbage containers in several localities and the work of collection of garbage from the doorstep of city residents in many wards is also not being done properly," he had stated.

According to officials in the health branch of the MC, the civic body has sent a report of unsatisfactory performance of the private company to the state government indicating that the prevailing arrangement may be done away with and the MC may look for alternative arrangements (handing over the work to some other private company) if A to Z Waste Management Company fails to make the desired improvement.

Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria and several councillors, including those from the opposition parties, have also voiced concern over poor sanitation in the city.



knitwear club row
Warring groups call general house meetings
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
With the gate of the Knitwear Club locked by two "warring" groups, the future of the club hangs in the balance. The controversy engulfing the club has deepened further with none of the two groups ready to bow down.

The groups have called separate general house meetings on August 22 to decide their future course of action. Office-bearers are allegedly indulging in "fights" over personal issues.

Due to this, the industry, especially the MSME sector, is suffering. "The industry is already passing through a difficult phase due to labour and power shortage. In such a situation, when we should have been together to solve our problems, club members are indulging in mudslinging, which is unfortunate," said Vipin Jain, a small-scale knitwear manufacturer.

The group led by Darshan Dawar will hold the annual general meeting on August 22 in the afternoon while the other group, led by Vinod Thapar, will hold its annual general meeting the same day in the evening.

"We have 1,200 members. Let's see how many turn up for the meeting. The door of the club is locked and will be opened only after the meeting on August 22," said Thapar.

Dawar, president of the club, said "In the last meeting, we had suspended the chairman of the club and in the coming meeting we will terminate his membership. They may call a meeting, but it holds no importance.



Snag hits taxpayers on last date of filing returns
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Taxpayers had to face a tough time while filing their I-T returns as the web portal of the Income Tax Department developed a snag today, the last date for filing the returns. It took a lot of time to upload the returns due to the snag. The server at the Ludhiana office was down for nearly an hour.

The counter for accepting the returns remained open till 6 pm today. On the last date, 5,800 returns were received by the Ludhiana range while the number of returns filed from April 1 till today is 1,05,500.

"The server in the department stopped working for nearly an hour and we had no option but to wait for it to re-start. There was considerable rush at the office despite the fact that many people are filing their returns online from home," said Munish Shukla, a taxpayer.

It was a busy day for chartered accountants, taxation lawyers and staff of the Income Tax Department. Amit Sabharwal, a chartered accountant, said today he did not even find time to have his meals properly. "I was very busy and the entire day went in filing returns as there was a huge rush. Since many people prefer filing their returns online, there is a lot of pressure on the network," he said.

Jatinder Khurana, general secretary of the Tax Bar Association, said last year people having an income above Rs 10 lakh were required to file their returns online while this year the limit had been reduced to Rs 5 lakh.

Gagan Baweja, a taxpayer who filed his return online, said, "It was with a great difficulty that I filed my return. Due to a rush on the web portal, it took me almost double the usual time to upload the return. Next time, I plan to file my return well before time to avoid a rush.

A staff member of the Income Tax Department said they had been working round the clock for the past few days. The offices were open even on Saturday and Sunday and today the office timings were extended till 6 pm for the convenience of the taxpayers.



EWS Colony breeding ground for diseases
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Despite the tall claims of the Municipal Corporation and Health department, mosquito breeding continues on stagnant water on the potholed roads of EWS Colony, Tajpur Road.

Though a team of the Health Department had visited EWS Colony in June and sprayed anti-larva solution and distributed pamphlets among the local residents, the water accumulated in the recent rains had brought the situation back to square one.

As the Municipal Corporation authorities show less interest in the development of the migrant-dominated areas, EWS Colony is bereft of development. The main road leading to the colony has not been carpeted with bitumen. Frequent blockages in sewerage lead to water stagnation on the roads and streets.

The residents of the area said they had never seen the potholes on the main road dry. A pond in the area is full of garbage and rainwater. The muddy streets of the area make commuting a nightmare for the residents. A number of residents have taken ill due to unhygienic conditions in the area. However, the Health Department does not consider the colony as a disease-prone area.

Rakesh, a local resident, said: "Stagnant water, kutcha roads and heaps of garbage is a common sight in the area. Doctors from the Health Department visited the area but the Municipal Corporation has done nothing to sort out our problems. The rainy season adds to our problems".

Gurpreet Singh Gora, Councillor of Ward No. 7, said: "I am aware about the problem of stagnant water in EWS Colony. There was some problem in the storm-water line. We will change the pipe within a few days. The problem will be fixed soon".



Rajoana not to be shifted, says ADGP
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Balwant Singh Rajoana, former Chief Minister Beant Singh's assassin, will not be transferred from the Patiala prison, said Additional Director-General of Police (Prisons) RP Meena.

Meena, who visited the Central Jail here to inspect high-tech baking machines worth Rs 21 at a biscuit factory, said Rajoana would stay in the Patiala jail.

Yesterday, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had said in Patiala that the government had not yet decided on shifting Rajoana.

He said mobile phone jammers had been installed in two jails of the state and soon more such jammers would be installed in other prisons of the state.

"I am here to inspect the functioning of the machines. The factory will be formally inaugurated in a few days by the Jail Minister. We are focusing on installing a packaging unit on the jail premises to increase the shelve life of biscuits," said Meena.

The pending cases for the release murder convicts, who have completed their jail term, would be sped up. At present, there are 38 prisoners in the Ludhiana jail whose cases are pending at various levels for clearance.

Meena said Prof Anjali Khanna of Lovely Professional University would impart special bakery training to the inmates. Initially the bakery products would be used in state jail and as the production increased the Department of Jails would make arrangements for their sale.

Jail officials taken to task

The ADGP (Prison), RP Meena, reprimanded the officers of the Ludhiana Central Jail and told them to improve the quality of food being served to the prisoners. Meena, who tasted the food, was upset over its quality of food.



Industrialists discuss problems with Chief Parliamentary Secy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Industry representatives today met Sarup Chand Singla, Chief Parliamentary Secretary (Excise and Taxation), to discuss the various problems faced by them. Issues related to VAT refunds, e-trip were also discussed at the meeting.

Singla said the government had chalked out a plan for the setting up of a land bank. From the next year, the industry will not face any power problems. Regarding e-trip, he said the system was going to be implemented and industry had to follow it.

Varinder Sharma, president of the District Tax Bar Association, pointed out that at the time of grant of refund purchase within the state of Punjab was verified at four stages for input tax credit (from first, second, third and fourth taxable person). That this is not feasible and is impractical. It puts dealers claiming refund to at lot of inconvenience, he added.

Ashish Thama, an advocate, said the limit of e-trip should be 24 hours, given a lot of problems relating to power and infrastructure.

Gurmeet Singh Kular, president of the United Cycle and Parts Association, suggested that the case files of Information Collection Centre after the release of goods may kindly be sent to the local authorities for the necessary inquiries and adjudication as per the provision/practice/law under the repealed Act.

"The government should start providing C-Form online, which is already prevalent in some of the states. This will reduce the workload of the department concerned and save dealers' time and energy," said another industrialist.

The Excise and Taxation Department has imposed entry tax on generators but since the state is facing a power crisis, the department should exempt it from the entry tax, said Baljit Singh Lotey.



bhakra release
DC tells officials to gear up for breaches
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari has asked the departments concerned to arrange sufficient labour that would come handy in case of any breach at the sensitive points of the dhussi bandh.

Tiwari asked the officials to gear up for the release of 60-70,000 cusecs of water from the Bhakra Dam for a few days, as a flood-like situation could arise at the six sensitive points of the dhussi bandh.

Chairing a review meeting on the arrangements being done by the administration, at Bachat Bhawan today, Tiwari also asked the officials not to go on leave between August 15 and September 30 without informing him.

The Deputy Commissioner told the officials from different departments that at the six sensitive points, Dhullewal, Mattewara, Jamalpur Leli, Kasabad, Khehrabet and Madepur, there was a possibility of a breach and they should be fully prepared to handle any worst situation.

He asked the officials to arrange gravel and sandbags at the sensitive points. He also asked the District Forest Officer to arrange trees, which could be used to check overflowing water. "Human lives are much more precious than a few trees," he stressed. He asked the officials from the Drainage Department to arrange JCB machines and tippers in case there was a need for setting up a ring barrier.

Besides, Tiwari asked the SDMs from Samrala, Ludhiana (East and West) and Jagraon to tie up with factories so that their labour could be used in case of emergency. The Deputy Commissioner asked the officials to set up evacuation centres for villagers with facilities like electricity, toilets, safe water, food and cattle feed. He asked the nodal officer to do a trial check and ask the departments concerned to arrange the required material on time. The officials from the Food and Supplies Department were asked to arrange food packets, kerosene, etc, while the Civil Surgeon was asked to stock the required medicines.



Today is National Organ Donation Day
NGO lights up 2,646 lives
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Motivation for any noble cause can work wonders. It is evident in the work of a city-based NGO, Punarjot Eye Bank Society, which has lit up the lives of 2,646 visually impaired people through cornea transplant free of cost.

Talking about their achievements on the eve of National Organ Donation Day, Dr Ramesh, founder of this NGO, said: "We procured 3,562 corneas in a span of less than six years and transplanted some of them on 2,646 patients. All this could happen with the active support of the deceased's relatives and the members of the society."

Beneficiaries of cornea transplants are from the rural areas of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana, Rajasthan, UP, Bihar, Assam, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Nepal and certain NRIs living in the US and Canada.

Dr Ramesh, who has worked extensively to promote eye donation in the state from 1992, started his practice in ophthalmology in Mansuran, a small village in Ludhiana district. By holding many free eye operation camps in cooperation with Lions and Rotary Clubs and many social organisations, he ran a blindness control programme

Dr Ramesh said, earlier, people were totally unaware about eye donation. But on being motivated, they gradually showed a good amount of confidence in this noble cause.

The district administration honoured him for his selfless service for the blindness control programme on January 26, 1997, Independence Day in 2001, Republic Day in 2004. He received a state award from the then Chief minister in 2005 for eye donation movement.



Aided schoolteachers hold protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
The Punjab Aided School Teachers and Other Employees Union, Ludhiana district, held a protest to exert pressure on the state government to "take over" aided school employees in government schools.

The teachers said they were not paid salaries for the past five months, while 95 per cent of the grants were already given by the state government to school managements.

Devinder Rehan, general secretary of the union, said their dharna would continue till August 8. Despite repeated requests and pleas made to the government, the staff of aided schools had not been paid salaries.

Rehan said since the government was already putting 95 per cent share in aided schools, it should merge aided schools with government schools.

“Rs 180 crore is being spent by the government on aided schools as salaries to the staff. But for the past five months, we have not been able to get salaries. How can we survive without salaries? When the state government is already paying a huge amount as grants, then why cannot it merge aided schools? Besides, the state government will get about Rs 250 crore deposited with the managements of aided schools as provident fund of the staff. If the schools were merged, the amount can be transferred to the government treasury,” said the general secretary.

Besides, 4,500 sanctioned posts of teachers in aided schools would be shifted to government schools immediately and the students would be able to study better with sufficient and experienced staff.




PU results

Ludhiana: Students of Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women have again proved their mettle by showing outstanding performance in Masters in Fashion Designing & Management (MFDM) semester II, Panjab University examinations, held in May 2013. Harmandeep Kaur bagged the first position in the university by securing 86.70 per cent marks, Rajni Bala got the second position in the university by securing 83.20 per cent marks and Gurmeet stood third in the university by securing 79.7 per cent marks. College president Swaran Singh, principal Dr Parveen Kaur Chawla and members of the Managing Committee congratulated the students as well as teachers for the excellent results.

Teej celebrated

DRESSED FOR THE OCCASION: Students of the INIFD celebrate Teej in Ludhiana
Students of the INIFD celebrate Teej in Ludhiana. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

The Inter National Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD) celebrated Teej festival on Monday to mark the beginning of the new academic session. The campus was beautifully decorated to represent the rich culture of Punjab. Swings loaded with fresh flowers were adding beauty to the ambience of the campus. The students, dressed in colourful Punjabi attires, participated enthusiastically in the event. There were several performances like dances, singing and skit. A group dance on "Punjabi boliyan" was presented by Arshdeep Kaur, Pratibha, Manpreet Kaur, Ishika, Vanshika and Amrit. Solo dance by Rishab was a contemporary dance form and it added spice to the whole environment. A group dance on Punjabi songs was performed by second-year girls - Manpreet, Harpreet, Avipreet and Veerpal. Another group dance performance of Suruchi, Prakriti, Divya, Taranjot, Kanika and Mannat was also appreciated by the audience. The “Miss Teej” contest was the attraction of the event. Around 30 girls participated in the contest. The participants were evaluated on the basis of their attire and performance by senior faculty members of the INIFD - Aparna Sharma, Rajwinder Kaur and Gurjeet Kaur Sidhu. Veerpal Kaur was declared “Miss Teej”, while Avipreet Bindra finished as first runner-up. The students danced to the tune of rocking numbers.

Awareness programme

The Sportking Institute of Fashion Technology (SIFT) conducted an awareness programme on “Importance of Marketing for a Fashion Designer”. Vineet Jain, an industrialist of Ludhiana, was the keynote speaker on the occasion. Jain was welcomed and introduced by the executive director of the SIFT, RM Gupta. Around 65 students and faculty members participated in the interactive talk. Jain emphasised the need for smart work to achieve the top position in any organisation. He quoted “marketing” as a “mind game” and explained how market tactics play with the prices of products. The institute plans to conduct more awareness programmes on quality, teamwork, professional and social etiquette, time management, human and public relations, etc. Anjali Avasthi, president of the SIFT, presented a token of gratitude to the speaker.

Freshers' party

A freshers’ party was organised at DAV College, Phillaur, to welcome the new students. The senior students accorded a warm welcome to the new entrants and extended whole-hearted cooperation to them. Dr SK Mahajan, principal of the college, urged the students to concentrate on their career and emphasise on the personality development by participating in sports and other extra-curriculum activities. On this occasion, a cultural show was also presented by the seniors, and the freshers were invited to demonstrate their skills. Gaurav Singh and Harwinder Kaur were crowned "Mr Fresher" and "Ms Fresher", respectively. — TNS



Poll postponed at Doraha
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, August 5
The election to the post of chairman and vice-chairman could not be conducted today as out of the 16 members, seven did not show up at the meeting. Mohinder Pal Gupta, returning officer, said since notice about the meeting was not served on all these members as they were not available at their places, they failed to turn up at the meting.

But the Congress leaders alleged that out of the 16 members, all nine members of their party were available while the seven members of the ruling party were intentionally absent.

Lakhvir Singh Lakha, in charge, Congress , said the ruling party was now resorting to delaying tactics.

“The ruling party has now started taking advantage of its present party position, but this will not go for long. We want the election to be conducted at the earliest, and we will not sit back to wait and watch,” he said.

The returning officer said the fresh date for the election would be decided in the coming days.



Election put off at Khamano
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khamano, August 5
The election to the post of chairman and vice-chairman of the Block Samiti, Khamano, was postponed due to the lack of quorum today. A meeting for this purpose was held at the SDM Office under the Returning Officer-cum-SDM, Sukhdev Singh, in which eight members out of the 15 were present.

The SDM said there should be two-third majority in the first meeting, but only eight members turned up. Due to the lack of members, the meeting was postponed. Now, the meeting would be held on August 7 at the BDPO office.

There were total 15 members of the Block Samiti, of which six members belong to the Akali Dal, seven belong to the Congress and two belong to the PPP. In today’s meeting, two Congress members were present and with six Akali Dal members, now the strength of the Akali Dal stands at eight.

Justice Nirmal Singh (retd), MLA of the area, said two members belonging to the Congress had come in their favour without any precondition, and now the Akali Dal had the strength of eight members out of the 15.

Out of the 15 members, seven belong to the Congress and two to the PPP. But both the parties' dream to have their members as chairman and vice-chairman was shattered today when two members of the Congress joined the meeting of Akali Dal members, reducing their combined strength to seven.



Expert: 40% mothers unaware of breastfeeding techniques
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
About 40 per cent mothers of newborns are unaware of the breastfeeding techniques, especially when they give birth to their first child. This is the reason they find it difficult to feed their infants.

Revealing this, Dr Gurmeet Kaur, Professor of Pediatrics at Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, said: “This unawareness can be removed through counselling sessions on antenatal period for pregnant women, along with other family members, before delivery. During such sessions, pregnant women are prepared mentally and emotionally for breastfeeding their newborns. They are told about its importance for both the mother as well as the child.”

It has been observed that sometimes a few women don’t feed their children as they complain that they didn’t get adequate feed. Dr Gurmeet Kaur said: “For such cases, lactation arrangement is required. Doctors and nurses are trained for this so that they may help the mothers of newborns.”

Citing the reason behind this, Dr Rajinder Gulati, national trainer of Infant Young Child Feeding (IYCF), said: “Such mothers suffer form acute stress due to some reasons. So, their hormones get disturbed and adequate feed does not come after the child's birth. It also happens sometimes immediately and sometimes, after a few weeks of the delivery. In such cases, lactating mothers need a good counselling."

Lactating counsellors required

On July 29, an NGO, along with the department of Government of India and the Department of Women and Child Development, held a conference in Chandigarh on Infant Young Child Feeding (IYCF).

An officer of the Health Department said: “It was also discussed at the conference that the government as well as private hospitals must have lactating counsellors who can guide and counsel women for breastfeeding their newborns so that Infant Young Child Feeding could be promoted."



Breastfeeding week
Poster-making contest held

Ludhiana, August 5
To mark the celebrations of World Breastfeeding Week, a poster-making competition was organised by the Civil Hospital, Ludhiana. Nursing students from six different colleges namely the College of Nursing (CMC & Hospital), GHG College of Nursing (Raikot), Ludhiana Institute of Nursing (Katani Kalan), Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha College of Nursing (Sarabha), Seth Madan Lal Memorial School of Nursing (Mullanpur) and Mata Saraswati Institute of Nursing Education participated in the competition.

Dr Rajinder Gulati, Pediatrician at Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, who coordinated the event, said “Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers” was the topic of the poster-making competition.

Dr RK Karkara, Senior Medical Officer, Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, along with Dr Tarsinder, Dr Harpreet, Dr Yogesh and Dr Ramesh, judged the posters.

Rozy Philip from the Mata Saraswati Institute of Nursing Education; Sandeep Kaur from Seth Madan Lal Memorial School of Nursing; and Sandeep Kaur from the GHG College of Nursing bagged the first, second and third prizes, respectively. Dr KS Saini, Assistant Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, gave away mementos to the winners. — TNS



Waterproof rakhi envelopes a hit
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
As people eagerly wait for the festival, the 'limited-edition' rakhi envelopes are ruling the market, days before rakhi. The envelopes are sold like hot cakes at the post offices. “About, 177 envelopes have been received at the Head Post Office and were sold within a couple of days,” said Bachni, postal assistant at Head Post Office.

Similar is the case with other post offices. At Bharat Nagar post office, only 10-odd are left from the stock of hundred. “People start enquiring about these envelopes days before the arrival,” a postal official said.

These are light-weight, tear-resistant and waterproof. Available in different colours, these bear an image of rakhi and are titled as ‘Rakhi Envelope’, along with the India Post logo costing Rs 7.

“As the festival happens to be during the rainy season, there is always a concern for the envelopes getting wet due to the rain, so special care is taken to protect them,” a postal official said.

“The envelopes are not only waterproof, but also look very attractive. And because these are especially printed for rakhi, I prefer to use these for sending rakhi to my brother in Bangalore,” said Nidhi Arora, a resident.

“I sent rakhi in this envelope last year, and my brother specially mentioned about the envelope after receiving it. So, I made sure that I didn't miss out on sending it in this envelope again even though I had to go to three post offices to find one. These were already sold at the other two," said Komal, a Dugri resident.



Now, rakhis with cartoon characters attract children
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
The fever of cartoon or gaming characters have engulfed the city as people prefer to buy rakhis embossed with such popular characters to please their children. “My son is insisting upon getting a Ben 10 rakhi. Children only look for the popular cartoon or game characters while choosing anything nowadays.

These characters are available on everything and everywhere,” said Neha Saluja, a resident of New Model Town.

Every festival, be it western or Indian has become a victim of commercialisation. Most of the children's products carry a cartoon or gaming characters such as, Angry Birds, Ben 10, etc which are ubiquitous.

Rakhis with pictures of characters like Doremon, Poo, Batman, Spiderman, Angry Birds, Ben 10, Batman, Pikachoo, etc abound the market. Variants like the rakhis fitted with lights are also available. Even toys are fitted on rakhis.

“There is a good sale of rakhis with popular cartoon characters. Children prefer to buy such rakhis,” said Ravinder Singh, a gift store owner in Ghumar Mandi.

“There is so much of commercial culture, as most of the festivals have now become a vehicle for the market forces to promote their own products. These are actually killing the actual purity and sanctity of the festivals,” said Dheeraj Vig, a resident of Civil Lines.

“These rakhis are not spreading any culture, instead creating a monoculture of the same things all across. Look at children products, whether clothes, stationery, games or even festivals like Rakhi, Diwali, etc there is a kind of invasion of their lives with these cartoon, popular TV or gaming characters,” he said.



PU research centre inaugurated at Jagraon
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, August 5
GHG Harparkash College of Education for Women, Sidhwan Khurd near Jagraon, today inaugurated its Panjab University Chandigarh Research Centre for Pre-PhD course. The first batch of PhD course commenced in the new academic session.

Dr Surjit Singh Sekha, an eminent scholar and educationist, was the chief guest. Dr Sekha appreciated the initiative of the college management to start the PhD course.

Dr Sekha spoke about plagiarism in research and said, “Research is being used progressively more for making decisions, policies and programmes in the field of education. Developing new knowledge sustainable to life is gaining importance but it is the moral duty of the researchers to follow the research ethics and code of conduct.”

Dr Baljeet Kaur Gill, principal of the college, assured the students they would be imparted congenial as well as educative excellence at the newly opened research centre.



MCPI (U) opposes government policies
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, August 5
The monthly meeting of Marxist Communist Party of India (United) was organised at KK Kaushal Memorial Bhawan today .The members of the party jointly opposed the 'anti-people measures' taken by the Punjab Government and at the same time questioned the Statistical Data regarding BPL issued by the Central Planning Commission.

Kuldip Singh, national general secretary of MCPI (U) stated that delegating the powers directly to the Transport Minister for increasing the bus fares, levying of professional tax, imposing tax on diesel and raising the retirement age of the employees to 60 years are all anti-people steps taken by the Punjab Government. The members rued the raise in the retirement age shall escalate the prevailing un-employment situation in the state and financial burden on the state exchequer instead of easing it. The members also condemned the 'un-declared' financial emergency by blocking the payment of salaries and other allowances of its employees and urged the government to withdraw its decisions.

Pawan Kumar Kaushal, state committee secretary of MCPI (U) demanded that the services of the employees appointed on contract basis, should be regularised. He also demanded the cut in unlimited expenditure of its cabinet and bureaucracy instead of making the poor and the middle class compromise at every level.

The members of the MCPI (U) further questioned the statistical data issued by the Planning Commission regarding the BPL population in the country. "The commission said the poverty in the country had decreased from 37 per cent in 2004-05 to 21.9 per cent in 2011-12 but the party felt that it was not at all possible.



Retirement extension: Delay in file clearance
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Though the state government increased the retirement age of its employees, it takes months to get the files cleared by the departments concerned due to the lackadaisical attitude adopted by the staff.

Principal of the SCD Government College reportedly retired from the service on July 31, 2013. “I have to continue with the office as I have not yet received a formal approval by the government,” the principal said. Similarly, the principal of Government College for Girls will retire on September 30. Her file for extension was sent to the department about two months back to avoid any delay.

“It is not that files are not cleared by the officials. But the clerical staff takes it too long to forward the files,” said a senior faculty member at government college.

Sikandar Singh Maluka, Education Minister, said the file of principal of the SCD Government College had already been cleared while the other file will be cleared soon. “There are so many things involved and it takes time to clear things,” said Maluka.



Financial mess
‘Akali-BJP govt owes explanation to people’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari today said the Akali-BJP government in the state owed an explanation to the people of Punjab over the “financial mess” they had created in the state with the total state debt more than doubling during the past six years of their rule.

Tewari claimed that the total state debt according to the government's own figures was likely to cross Rs 1 lakh crore by the end of this fiscal. The minister blamed the Akali-BJP alliance for messing up the finance right since the day they took over in 1997.

He said the Congress government between 2002 and 2007 tried to control the borrowings, and during these five years, the state debt increased by about Rs 15,000 crore, an increase of 47 per cent only. Since the Akalis took over the government in 2007, it had already crossed Rs 1 lakh crore. This was a dangerous sign for the economy.

Tewari said: “The state government is now borrowing money to pay interest on the loans, while the actual amount keeps on increasing as the state government is on a borrowing spree”.



No let up in tomato prices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Tomatoes still priced at Rs 40 per kg are burning a hole in the common man's pocket. Women have started preferring tomato purees instead. The kitchen budget of the households remains disturbed for the past one month.

Earlier, the price of tomato has gone up to Rs 90 per kg. Thankfully, now it has come down to Rs 40.

The price of tomato is still higher, since normally it is priced at Rs 20 per kg.

Ginger is priced at Rs 200 per kg, while garlic is being sold at Rs 100 per kg.

“Rain in other parts of the country is to blame for the price rise. Once the things are normalised, the prices will also go down. At present, we have no other option but to bear the brunt of the price rise,” said Mohd Hussain from a vegetable shop at Civil Lines.



Three hurt in road mishap

Jagraon, August 5
Three youths sustained serious injuries when a two-wheeler they were riding on collided head-on with a Toyota Innova on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur Highway near Alighar village, 5 km from Jagraon, yesterday night.

The youths have been identified as Kulwinder Singh, alias Kala; Rohit Kumar, alias Honey, both residents of Gandhi Nagar locality; and Jaswant Singh, alias Goga, a resident of the Lajpat Rai Road. The youths were coming from Ludhiana to Jagraon on a motorcycle yesterday night. When they reached near Alighar village around 9 pm, their motorcycle collided head-on with the SUV coming from the Moga side.

Some passers-by informed the police about the incident, following which the police reached the spot and rushed all of them to the Civil Hospital, Jagraon. The police has impounded both the vehicles involved in the mishap. However, no case was registered till the filing of this report. — OC



Bodies of 2 labourers fished out
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
The bodies of two labourers, who fell in the Sidhwan Canal on August 2, were fished out here today. The deceased have been identified as Avtar Singh (25) and Gurpreet Singh (26), both residents of Jaspal Bangar village. They were reportedly taking liquor on the banks of the canal.

Avtar's relative said while the duo were taking liquor, Avtar suddenly fell in the canal. To rescue Avtar, Gurpreet also jumped into the canal and both were swept away by the current.

Today, commuters spotted the bodies near the Dugri bridge and called up the police. Soon their relatives, who had been searching for them for the past two three days, reached the spot.

The bodies were handed over to the families.



City-Talwandi road four-laning by March
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
The project of four-laning of the Ludhiana-Talwandi road is 50 per cent complete and the remaining work would be completed by March 2014. Disclosing this here today, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, PWD Minister, Punjab, said the four-laning of the 78-km Ludhiana-Talwandi road was being done at a cost of Rs 479 crore.

The minister said four major four-laning projects, Ropar-Chamkaur Sahib-Neelon-Doraha, Morinda-Kurali-Siswan, Kotkapura-Sri Muktsar Sahib and Batala-Mehta-Beas, were under way in the state. He said these projects would be completed by December 2014. The expenditure on these four projects covering 149.80 km of road would be Rs 454 crore.



Mustard oil sample fails purity test
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
A sample of mustard oil collected by the Health Department staff in July has failed the purity test. District Health Officer Avinash Kumar, said: ''The mustard oil sample was collected from a Dehlon-based grocery shop and has been found of sub-standard quality."

Meanwhile, on Civil surgeon Subhash Batta's instructions, the department has collected 10 more samples this month. Avinash Kumar said: "We collected five samples on August 1. These inlude the samples of pizza and mineral water from a restaurant near Aarti Chowk, papad and 'soyabeen vadi' from a factory in Industrial Area -A and salt from Transport Nagar."

On August 3, the department collected five samples of eatables in the city.



Raid on exhibition venue
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
The Excise and Taxation Department today raided Welkom Palace where a lifestyle exhibition had been going on for the past few days. The organisers had paid no tax for the same.

Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner Bhupinder Gupta said the owner of the venue was required either to pay tax in lump sum in advance or get the bill books of the stall owners authenticated.

He said 13 exhibitors, who were from outside the state, had paid their tax and got their bill books authenticated. While 70 exhibitors were from Punjab, neither their bill books were authenticated nor tax was paid in lump sum.





The India Travel Mart (ITM) has been organising the mega travel and tourism exhibitions in order to offer best of the opportunities to the potential buyers. Ajay Gupta, chairman and managing director said, “With the success of the exhibition it is now confirmed that there is a huge demand in the travel and tourism market and buyers are looking for best available outbound and domestic destination with the world-class amenities.”


Rashpal Singh, chief engineer of PSPCL, was honoured by Shree Jagannathpuram Welfare Society on Monday. Kalyan Bhagat, president of the society, gave a floral welcome to the chief engineer. The members of the society also discussed the power problem being faced by them in their society to which chief engineer promised to find a solution. He also promised to hold a meeting in future to listen to their grievances and solve them timely.


Convention of Aanganwari Mulajam Union district Ludhiana was held at Chatar Singh Park. About 100 delegates from 16 blocks participated in it. Many issues and achievements of aanganwari employees were discussed in it. Office-bearers were elected under the leadership of Subhash Rani, state treasurer.

Restaurants inaugurated

A restaurant named Nita Mehta's Lemon Grass opened in the city. The restaurant offers Thai and Mexican dishes altered with Nita Mehta’s touch to make it more palatable. The restaurant will have live performances by music artists as well a dance floor. Meanwhile, another restaurant named Fast Trax opened at Omaxe Mall in the city under the supervision of Shamphy Chadha, Sarbeshwar Singh Chadha for Saga Hospitality Master Franchisee for Punjab and Chandigarh. The restaurants offers several interesting products like their signature California burger, paneer tikka wrap and kabab roll, bridging the gap between authentic international fast food and Indian flavours.

‘Bhandara’ organised

Shiv Welfare Society organised a “bhandara” to mark the month of saawan on Monday. Kheer-puras were served to the public near railway station. People were also told the importance of Shivratri and saawan.

Aadhaar Card

A meeting on Aadhaar cards under way at Delhon on Monday
A meeting on Aadhaar cards under way at Delhon on Monday. A Tribune photograph

Dehlon: Scores of customers of the State Bank of India got their UID number uploaded in their accounts maintained at the local branch of the organisation. Kamaljit Kaur, child development and project officer, presided over the camp supervised by Sher Singh, manager of the branch. Annapurna Arora, assistant manager and convener of the project, said over one hundred customers had showed their inclination to get their UID number in their accounts. UID number of those customers who had received the Aadhaar card was uploaded in their particulars and those who did were yet to receive the document. — TNS



School games begin

Ludhiana, August 5
District-level tournaments of school games started at different venues in the district today. According to the sports calendar of the School Games Federation of India (SGFI), the Education Department, Punjab, will conduct district tournaments in 11 disciplines from August 5 to 14.

The inter-zonal cricket tournament (u-16 and u-14) started at Government Senior Secondary School of Punjab Agricultural University. Meanwhile, Fencing competition in U-14, U-17 and U-19 categories for girls and boys was also held at the school.

The results were awaited till late evening. — TNS



City girls win basketball tourney
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 5
Girls of Ludhiana won the 64th Punjab State-Level Open Basketball Championships of Junior Level (Women) here today. In the final match, Ludhiana defeated Amritsar. The girls' team of Jalandhar secured the third position in this championship.

Meanwhile, in the men's category, the final was held between Ludhiana Academy and Ludhiana District.

The tournament is dedicated to Dr S Subramanian who was the Chief Coach of Ludhiana Basketball Academy (LBA). Subramanian passed away last year. The games began on the 3rd of this month.



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