L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Two injured in firing incident
Panic grips Kochar market as 2 groups exchange fire;
old enmity suspected
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Panic spread in the Kochar market and the surrounding areas following a crossfire between two groups travelling by two SUVs. Two youths, Abhimanyu and Narinder Kumar, both residents of Khanna, were injured in the incident.

While Abhimanyu received a bullet injury on his back, Narinder was shot at on his leg.

Old enmity is believed to be the reason behind the incident. The groups had reportedly clashed yesterday in Khanna in which Abhimanyu's brother Rajbir was injured.

A case has been registered against eight persons, including Bittu Atwal and Gurpreet Laddi, both residents of Khanna, in connection with the firing incident that took place today.

According to area residents, the incident took place this afternoon when youths travelling in two black Mahindra Scorpio vehicles accosted each other.

A youth, carrying a pistol, alighted from a vehicle and challenged a man travelling in the other SUV.

Accepting the challenge, the man, addressed as Mangi, also alighted from the vehicle and fired a shot into the air. The man who had challenged Mangi fried back and sat in his car. Mangi also fired four shots at the SUV.

Soon, both vehicles were driven away. Residents alleged that a police officer of the rank of an ASI reached the spot on time, but on seeing the crossfire, he ran for cover as he was not carrying a weapon.

The residents said one of the youths appeared to have been discharged from a hospital as he was still wearing a drip bandage on his arm.

Police officials, including ADCP-III Joginder Singh, ACP-West Gurpreet Kaur Purewal and Division No 5. SHO Dharampal, reached the spot and started an investigation.

Sources said the latest firing incident was also the result of politics behind appointing a "self-styled student union president".

Last month, a firing incident had taken place in Tagore Nagar in the city due to a rivalry between the Girjot and Vikram gangs. Vikram and his accomplice Gurjant were shot at on the leg.

The main accused, Gurjant Singh, is evading arrest due to the alleged patronage of politicians.

The police suspects the Kochar market shooting incident could be the fallout of rivalry between PAU students.

Recently, the PAU authorites had averted a clash between two student groups, which wanted to appoint their respective candidates as president of the student union.

in Tagore Nagar The police is also liking the firing incident with a group clash that took place in Barewal village two days ago in which a man, identified as Mandeep Singh Mani, was assaulted by armed assailants.



Three quintals of barfi, raw material seized from unit
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Health officials inspect the raw material used in the preparation of sweets at the unit.
Health officials inspect the raw material used in the preparation of sweets at the unit. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, October 16
The district health authorities today seized three quintals of "substandard barfi" and raw material from a unit in the Salim Tabri area in the city. Besides, seven quintals of sugar concentrate was destroyed at the unit. A team of the Health Department, comprising the District Health Officer, Dr Avnash Kumar, Food Safety Officer Harpreet Kaur and another employee Manoj Khosla raided the unit, owned by Baldev Kumar, in Street No. 6 of Nanak Nagar on the rear side of Old Sabji Mandi.

Dr Avinash Kumar said, "We found that barfi was being prepared by mixing starch in the sugar concentrate (prepared from the leftover of sweets collected from different sweets shops in the city). Besides, synthetic colours were being added to it. We destroyed seven quintals of sugar concentrate on the spot and seized three quintals of barfi, which appeared to be substandard, along with raw material."

Food Safety Officer Harpreet Kaur said, "We collected two samples of barfi, which have been sent to a laboratory for testing. Action will be taken against the owner under the Food Safety and Standards Act after the lab report is received."

On October 1, the Health Department had raided Muskan Sweets Shop at Khajoor Chowk in New Ashok Nagar near Salim Tabri and had seized five quintals of barfi. The shop was owned by Vinod Parsad, a resident of Jharkhand. He used to sell these sweets on the periphery of the city and in his state also.

Aluminium foil used to decorate sweets

"We found that aluminium foil was being used to decorate sweets. The owner used to sell barfi in plastic boxes carrying labels such as New Delhi, India Sweets and Jiya Sweets. Interestingly, each label carried a warning 'nakli maal se saavdhan'," the District Health Officer said.


Students suffer as laboratory attendants take classes
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
The future of students of government schools seems to be bleak as in the absence of qualified teaching staff, they are being taught by lab attendants, who have not studied beyond Class XII.

Having no option but to adhere to the instructions of headmasters and principals, the lab attendants say they cannot do justice to the students as they are not qualified for the job they are being asked to do.

A lab attendant, working under the Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan, said on condition of anonymity that the services of lab attendants were being utilised to teach students of Class VI to VIII throughout the state.

"Students of Class VI to VIII are not failed under a government policy. Even if the students do not attend classes, they are passed by the school authorities. We are asked to teach the students maths, science, social studies, English and Punjabi, depending on what the headmaster wants. Because of a shortage of staff in government schools, our services are utilised," said the 

Harjinder Singh (name changed), another lab attendant, said they were being paid a fixed amount of Rs 10,000 a month by the government and teaching students was certainly not their cup of tea.

"We belong to the non-teaching cadre. However, we are helpless when principals or headteachers ask us to take classes of students. I haven't studied beyond Class XII and have no teaching experience, but I am still teaching science to the students. I know I am not able to do justice to the students, but the school authorities refuse to listen. The students should have a strong foundation and the government has no right to play with their future," said the lab attendant.

There has been no recruitment of teachers in government schools for a long time. Teachers' unions have been struggling to get thousands of vacant posts filled in government schools. They have met the authorities concerned several times in this regard, but in vain.



Travel by Shatabdi, Rajdhani costlier from today
Railways increases prices of food items served on board the trains
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 16
Close on the heels of a 2 per cent hike in the railway fares on account of fuel cost adjustment last week, the Railways is now increasing the prices of food items served on board the trains from October 17. As a result, travel by elite trains like the Shatabdi, Rajdhani and Duronto, in which the food cost is included in the fare, will become costlier while passengers travelling in AC classes in other trains will also have to shell out more for the meals.

The Railways had revised the rates of food items and beverages sold at railway stations and through pantry cars on board the trains in December 2012. However, the revision of rates for meals served on premier trains, where the cost of food is included in the fare, has just been approved by the Railway Ministry.

According to railway officials, the overall increase in the prices of food will be higher for passengers travelling by AC chair car in elite trains and AC II and AC III in other trains in comparison to executive and AC I class. However, the price of the morning and evening tea has been cut down from Rs 13 to Rs 8 while that of high tea and breakfast will go up from Rs 40 to Rs 66. Similarly, passengers in the Shatabdi and other elite trains will now have to pay Rs 112 against Rs 75 (an increase of Rs 37) for lunch and dinner.

In contrast, passengers in executive class in elite trains and AC I in other trains will have to pay Rs 13 more for lunch and dinner and Rs 24 more for breakfast.

While railway officials here are still clueless about the exact impact on the fares of the Shatabdi Express trains from Ludhiana to New Delhi, an official said on condition of anonymity that passengers would have to tentatively pay Rs 21 more for travel by the morning Shatabdi (inclusive of morning tea and breakfast) while travel by the evening Shatabdi would become costlier by Rs 64 (inclusive of high tea and dinner).

Defending the upward revision of prices of meals, a senior railway official said the prices were last revised in 1999. Since then, the cost of raw material, operations and labour had increased manifold.

"The Railways is not only concerned about the prices of food items, but of late there has been more emphasis on the quality of meals served on board the trains. Strict instructions have been issued for the purchase of items like ice cream and curd from reputed manufacturers and for maintaining the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene among the catering staff," the official said.



Eid-ul-Zuha celebrated with fervour
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Eid-ul-Zuha was celebrated in the district with religious fervour today. Thousands of Muslims offered prayers at Jama Masjid in Field Ganj and at several other places in the city. Male goats were sacrificed on the occasion. People from other communities also joined Muslims in the celebrations.

The Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, Field Ganj, said the festival was celebrated in remembrance of Hazrat Ibrahim's "sacred sacrifice of his son". He said the readiness for such sacrifice depicted that one must always remain ready to obey the will of the Almighty. He said Muslims laid down their lives during the struggle for Independence and were ready to sacrifice their lives for the welfare of the nation even now. However, some mischievous elements in society were trying to disturb the religious harmony of the country by creating differences among communities, he said.

MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Punjab Pradesh Congress secretary Ashok Parashar, Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib president Pritpal Singh and Kulwant Singh Dukhia were among those present at the Jama Masjid for the celebrations.

There was a demand for male goats in the city. At a market in Basti Jodhewal, each goat fetched a price of over Rs 9,000. Some goats were sold for as high as Rs 45,000.



Case under SC & ST act
2 MC sanitary inspectors sent to jail
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 16
Two sanitary inspectors of the local MC, Kamaljit Singh and Anil Passi, were today sent to jail by a local court in a case pertaining to the SC and ST Act. Unaware of the implications of the case, these two officers today appeared before the court of Judicial Magistrate Shagun as they had received summons from the court.

Tension gripped the sanitary inspectors when the Judge ordered to send them to jail. They were seen pleading that they were innocent and did not know that they had been summoned in connection with a non-bailable offence. The case will now come up for hearing on Octber 21.

The court had summoned them under Section 3 of the Prevention of Atrocities on SC and ST Act, following a complaint by Raj Kumar, superintendent in the MC.

The complainant had alleged before the court that on August 7, 2012, the accused had used casteist remarks against him in Abdullapur Basti. It was mentioned in the complaint that there was a dispute between them over the appointment of some relatives of the complainant in the MC. The accused were allegedly harassing him to ensure the exit of his relatives from employment.



Ludhiana Scan

Power shutdown

11-KV Cemetery Road feeder, fed from 66-KV Kitchlu Nagar substation, will remain shutdown for urgent repair and maintenance works on October 17 from 9 AM to 3 PM. Power supply to areas, including Officers Colony, Sarsang Road, Malerkotla House, Green Park, Dandi Swami, Kitchlu Nagar A-block and some parts of Tagore Nagar, will be affected during this period.

Convention held

The 67th convention of diploma engineers of the Irrigation Department was held here on Wednesday in which engineers from all over Punjab took part. Maheshinder Singh Grewal, media advisor to the Chief Minister, said all major developments were dependent on the hard work of engineers. They needed to be appreciated. He said earlier, too, the state government had tried to provide solutions to their problems and now also, the Punjab government would try to address their demands. On the occasion, Pravesh Kumar was elected the president of the association at the state level. Mementos were presented to the engineers by Grewal during the convention. The report on the achievements of the past three years was read by the office-bearers.

Ban on burning of paddy straw

Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal, under Section 144 of the CrPc, has put a ban on the burning of paddy straw in fields till December 9. The Deputy Commissioner said it came to notice that farmers, after sending their produce in the markets, burn the remaining straw in fields, which creates a lot of health hazards for the masses. He said the orders should be strictly implemented in the district.

Wing formed

To make the Arora Mahasabha strong, a wing of the Arora Mahasabha will be formed in every district. The wing of the mahasabha will be formed in every locality, village, street and the city. One wing of the mahasabha was formed on Wednesday at Ward No. 25. While speaking on the occasion, Anil Kumar Batra, president, said the Arora sect plays an important role in the economy of the country. But, this sect was ignored by the government. “The organisation will be made stronger at the ground level so that their voice is heard by the government,” he said.

Workers to meet CM

Workers of the Sikh Students Federation (Mehta) will be meeting the Chief Minister to discuss the corruption prevalent in government offices. Gurvinder Singh Bharti said corruption was rampant in government offices and no work was done without giving money under the table. “It is a known fact that corruption goes unchecked in government offices, but for how long will this system go on. We will be meeting the Chief Minister to discuss the issue and also to devise out way to check the same,” said Bharti.

Birth anniversary celebrated

Birth anniversary of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur was on Wednesday celebrated by the Baba Banda Singh Bahadur International Foundation. Speaking on the occasion, senior Congress leader Krishan Kumar Bawa said the life of Baba Banda Bahdur inspired us to live strong and fight all odds of life with bravery.

Hunger strike

The hunger strike by 15 people on the Jalandhar bypass for the inclusion of SC/BC’s share in the government tender entered its eighth day on Wednesday. One of the persons sitting on the hunger strike said if their demand was not met, the government would have to pay for it in the coming elections.

Trials held

Trials of “Dhee Punjaban-2013” were carried out on the campus of GGS Khalsa College for Women, Jhar Sahib (Ludhiana). Students from four districts, Ropar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Nawan Shahir and Ludhiana, participated in the event with zeal. Dr Davinder Singh Chhina, director, PCPC, Sarabjit Kaur Mangat, Chief Choreographer, Jaspreet Mohan Singh, NCERT awardee, and Dr Amanpreet Kaur judged the talent of the participants. Participants enthralled the audience with their performance. — TNS



Politics over fogging machines
Residents allege councillors are using these machines for petty political gains
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Though the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has handed over 75 handheld fogging machines to the councillors two years ago, the residents say these machines are not being put to optimum use by the councillors, who play politics over these machines and send them for fogging only when their supporters request for the same.

To check the spread of dengue, the MC had purchased 75 fogging machines from Germany by spending Rs 50 lakh in April 2011.

“We all know that dengue cases in the city are on the rise, and still our area councillor has failed to get fogging done in our area. I called him several times to inform him that an area resident was recently diagnosed with dengue. Instead of sending the handheld machine, he gave me another phone number. It becomes the duty of the councillors to make sure the area residents don’t suffer and if we intimate him about some problem, he should get it rectified on his own instead of giving some other person's number,” said a resident of the Civil Lines area.

A resident of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar said she had never seen a fogging machine in action in her area. “Three residents of the area have been diagnosed with dengue in our area, and still the area councillor is not paying any heed towards this serious problem,” she said.

However, the MC Health Department officials claim that 16 of their fogging machines (mounted on tractor-trailers) are daily carrying out fogging operations in all parts of the city. But, the councillors have another grievance. They said whenever a mounted fogging machine is sent to their respective areas, fogging is carried out according to the original schedule prepared by senior MC officials. They are not at all consulted about which areas require fogging.

A senior MC official stated the purpose of buying handheld fogging machines was that the councillors should get fogging done in their respective areas on their own. “If a councillor is not getting fogging done in his area, then the residents can complain about it at the MC offices. But, we don’t think that any councillor will intentionally stop his staff from carrying out fogging in a particular area,” said the officer.


Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria said if any resident had any such problem, he could bring it to his notice by calling at 9780039400. "I have always switched on my phone for the public so that I can have a direct contact with the residents," he said while speaking to Ludhiana Tribune.



Notes gadvasu
Save livestock from parasitic infections, say experts

Ludhiana: With the onset of monsoon, vector-born blood protozoan diseases in animals and humans start increasing. This is due to the favourable climate for multiplication of vectors, ticks, flies and mosquitoes. Dr LD Singla, professor-cum-head, Department of Veterinary Parasitology, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana, said: “There is increased number of cases of blood protozoan infections, including trypanosomososis, theleriosis, anaplasmosis and babesiosis.

These diseases result in rise of temperature, blood loss and anaemia in dairy animals. Blood loss leads to drop in milk production and ultimate death. The continued increase in population of vectors may further lead to increased number of cases due to blood protozoan diseases in the post monsoon season. To reduce the losses and fatality due to such diseases, early diagnosis is very important. The GADVASU has a well-equipped disease diagnostic laboratory for proper diagnosis of such diseases.” Dr Singla said, “To get maximum profit from dairy animals, prevention and control of these parasitic infections is a very important.

To prevent breeding of flies, animal dung should not be allowed to accumulate in the sheds. To prevent dairy animals from ticks and flies, acaricidal applications (drugs for treatment of ticks and mites) may be done under the supervision of veterinary doctor.” Dr Mandeep Singh Bal, Assistant Scientist, said: “Occurrence of gastrointestinal parasitic infections, particularly stomach and liver flukes in livestock is most likely during post rainy season.

This is due to increased population of snails during rainy and post rainy season which act as intermediate hosts for stomach and liver flukes. Stomach flukes cause amphistomosis in animals which is characterized by fowl smelling foetid diarrhoea and sub mandibular edema which is due to hypoproteinaemia. Liver flukes also result in diarrhoea and death due to liver damage by immature flukes. Animals should be administered anthelminthic treatment as suggested by veterinary doctor.” — TNS



Mid-day meal scheme
Maluka for studying Tamil Nadu model
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
To bring improvement in the Mid-Day Meal Scheme in Punjab, which has always remained in controversies for one reason or the other, Education Minister Sikandar Singh Maluka is planning to visit Tamil Nadu with the officials of the Education Department to study their successful model of the Mid-Day Meal Scheme.

Talking to The Tribune, Maluka said that he recently came to know how that Mid-Day Meal Scheme was a success in Tamil Nadu. “We will seek permission from the state government to visit Tamil Nadu. Apart from the Central Government’s aid, the state government is also putting large share in the Mid-Day Meal Scheme,” said the minister.

He said Tamil Nadu government was putting an approximately share of Rs 1,000 crore in Mid-Day Meal Scheme because the number of students Tamil Nadu’s school was three times higher than that of Punjab.

“If we go by that, we will have to put at least Rs 200 crore to bring improvement in food and uniforms being supplied to the students. The Central Government is providing Rs 400 for the uniform of one student, which is too less, especially in winters. Still, we wish to study the scheme there,” said Maluka.



PAU notes
Youth fest from October 21

Ludhiana: The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) is all set to hold its Inter-College Youth Festival 2013-14 from October 21 to 27. Dr Balwinder Singh, Director, Students' Welfare, said: "The youth fest will provide an opportunity to the students to showcase their talent and creativity in vast array of events." He said, "Although the PAU is a farm varsity, yet the students have enthusiasm and passion to participate in cultural activities and win laurels."

Dr Singh said, "Various competitions, collage making, creative writing and cartooning will be organised on October 21 followed by the competitions in poster making, debate, clay modeling and poetic recitation on October 22. Besides, events like painting, extempore/elocution, rangoli and photography will be held on October 23 and 24." Dr Singh said, "The formal inauguration of the youth fest will be held on October 25 at the Open Air Theatre of the PAU, which will be followed by a cultural progrmame.

Varsity Dean attends international workshop

Dr Gursharan Singh, Dean, Postgraduate Studies, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), represented India at a workshop on "Raising Productivity in Higher Education" held at Yogyakarta, Indonesia. He was selected and sponsored by the Asian Productivity Organization (APO), Tokyo and National Productivity Organisation (NPO), India, for participation in the workshop. — TNS



From colleges
Students sensitised on social evils

Ludhiana: The volunteers of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha were sensitised on various social evils which were eating into the vitals of the social setup in the existing scenario. Prof Darshan Singh, a visiting professor of Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle, while sharing his views on the topic 'Art of Living' said man has forgotten the art of living. He wants to live for his own. Prof Darshan Singh discussed various social evils as eve teasing, drug abuse, dowry, female feoticide, corruption and degradation of moral values.

Camp concludes

A five-day "Inspire" residential camp, organised by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, concluded at GHG Khalsa College on Wednesday. The concluding session was presided over of Principal SS Deol and Dr Amar Singh, IAS ( retd ), was the chief guest on the ocassion. Harpreet Khurana, chief coordinator of the event, said as many as 250 students from over 20 government schools had imbibed elements of science and technology from eminent scholars and scientists of the nation. Outstanding performers of the poster making, best-out-of-waste, poetical recitation and essay writing competition were felicitated during the valedictory session. The event was inaugurated by Vice-Chancellor of the Punjab University Chandigarh Dr Arun Grover and eminent scholars, including VK Walia (Department of Zoology, PUC) , Kuldeep Singh ( Department of Agricultural Biotechnology, PAU) , Manjit Singh, DRDO, Dr Naval Kishore, Dean, CDC, PUC , Dr Ramesh Kumar, Director, Floriculture, PAU, Dr Khushwinder Kumar, Davinder Singh, Registrar, Punjabi University, interacted with the participants during various sessions.

NSS camp under way

A seven-day NSS camp has been running at the AS College for Women, Khanna, under the guidance of Principal Dr Meenu Sharma. Under the leadership of NSS In charge, Monika Soni, NSS Officer Dr Chhinderpal Kaur and NSS Accountant Ravinder Kumar, all NSS campers went to Libra village. — TNS



World Food Day celebrated

Ludhiana: Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School celebrated World Food Day to highlight the importance of nutritious food. Children were informed that nutritious food would not only improve their stamina but would also give glow on their faces. Moreover, they would be less prone to diseases, stressed teachers. All students from KG to Class XII were asked to bring seven soaked almonds, one seasonal fruit, one cheese stuffed prantha and glucose or chocolate biscuits. Before they enjoyed these food items during their lunch break, they were made to understand the necessity of having nutritive food items. Principa Avinash Kaur Walia was happy to see the enthusiasm of children.

Kalam’s birthday celebrated

Principal, teachers and students of RS Model Senior Secondary School celebrated the birthday of the missile man of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. Principal ML Kalra told the students about the life and struggle of Dr Kalam and inspired them to be determined to become great like him, overcoming all difficulties. Science Lecturer Harpreet Kaur threw light on the major works and achievements of Dr Kalam. Lovepreet (a science lecturer) handled the programme. Vice-principal Maninderjit Kaur summed up the programme by inspiring the children to follow the footsteps of Dr Kalam.

Green Grove Public School

Students of Green Grove Public Senior Secondary School celebrated 82th birthday of Dr Kalam. The event commenced with a warm welcome to school principal S George and vice-principal Ronald. A special power point presentation was presented by Class X students Ankita, Amrita, Navpreet, Ravneet, Lovneet, Vaishali showcasing Dr Abdul Kalam's scientific journey. This week is being observed as a Science Week in the school. Classes were decorated with the posters and collage of eminent scientists. Demonstration was also given on frog anatomy and human skeleton. A quiz competition was organised for the students and the winners were: Team A: Balpreet, Akashdeep, Aastha, Komal, Elvis, Tejdeep; Team B: Joban Kaur, Manvir Singh, Aditi, Navkiran, Faldeep Singh, Sukham Kaur. In the senior group, class X B and IX B won first and second positions, respectively. — TNS



City NCC girl cadets scale17,000-foot Himalyan peak
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
After successfully climbing a 17,000-foot Himalayan peak, two girl cadets of No 4 Pb Air Sqn NCC brought laurels to the unit and NCC Gp Ludhiana. It was on October 5 when cadets Sarita and Nancy, succeeded in completing their NCC mountaineering expedition held in Himachal Pradesh from August 28 to October 11.

Commanding Officer Wg Cdr SS Kaila said, "The two cadets were selected after a tough competition within the interested cadets of this unit and are BA-II year students of Arya College, Police Lines. The feat is more remarkable in the light of the fact that only six of the 18 cadets were successful in this endeavour. The fact that these two were the only Air Sqn cadets who reached the mountain top, makes their effort more proud-worthy for the unit."

He said he was proud of the cadets and exhorted other cadets, specially the girl cadets, to emulate their performance. Feeling on top of the world, the cadets said, "The expedition left them thrilled and they are look forward to more such challenges." Their aim is to join Air Force and as a first step they joined National Cadet Corps (NCC) last year in the senior division. About the expedition, they said, "It was like a dream. We feel fortunate."

A total of 18 NCC girl cadets, from all over India were selected for the expedition. After the initial training at Manali, they shifted to the base camp of Shitidhar Peak (17,062 feet). After a three week tough training and acclimatisation, two separate teams, of nine cadets each. These two cadets from Ludhiana were the only ones to complete the expedition."

They underwent 20-day rigorous training of rock climbing, rappling and river crossing with the help of rope. These experiences were out of the world experience for them.

Crediting the training staff and the CO for the success, Cadet Sarita said, "Our CO has been very encouraging."

Cadet Nancy said, "We would like to tell all girls of Ludhiana to develop the same spirit and it shall do wonders. They must join NCC as it will broaden their horizons and provide them such golden opportunities."

Both the cadets are NCC 'B' certificate holder and next year, they would get the coveted 'C' certificate.



Jagraon residents sitting on tinderbox
Firecrackers stocked in stores, godowns in densely populated areas
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, October 16
Residents of several localities in Jagraon are sitting on a pile of explosives as many wholesale dealers of firecrackers have stocked a huge quantity of crackers in their stores and godowns. Some of these stores where the crackers have been stocked are located in the densely populated areas.

In fact, the main wholesale dealers of Jagraon had already started storing a huge quantity of crackers in their stores many days ago keeping in view the festival of Diwali approaching near. During past weeks, crackers worth several crores have been imported by the local fireworks dealers.

According to sources, some of these wholesale dealers have already sold crackers worth lakhs to small-scale shopkeepers in Jagraon and the surrounding areas. But contrary to the previous years, the local administration has held no meeting with the dealers of crackers so far to allot them authorised spaces for the sale of fireworks during Diwali.

“Unlike previous years, we have received no intimation on part of the local administration this time. This has spread a feeling of chaos among the traders dealing in firecrackers as they fear the delay in finalising spaces for selling crackers will cause a lot of problems and also financial loss to them,” said a local wholesale crackers dealer.

Storing and sale of crackers in the residential areas was strictly banned during the recent years. But this time, many wholesale dealers have stocked crackers in stores located in residential localities, including the Old City area, which is densely populated with narrow streets. The local administration, too, seems to have turned a blind eye towards this so far.

If sources are to be believed, most of the fireworks dealers have brought crackers from other cities illegally to evade the sale tax.

“To dodge excise and sale tax officials, the traders are bringing fireworks in the town at late night. Besides, a majority of fireworks dealers do not have valid licences to store and sell crackers,” claim the sources.

DSP Jagraon Surinder Kumar said he had spoken to the SDM Jagraon in this regard and a plan was being finalised to streamline the sale of crackers.

“A meeting of fireworks dealers will be convened soon during which we will issue guidelines on where traders can stock crackers and set up their stalls for selling these. If any trader is found neglecting these guidelines, a strict action will be taken against him,” said the DSP.



MC forms sub-committees
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Though the Mayor has formed several sub-committees of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, the formation of the Finance and Contract Committee is yet to see the light of day. Even these sub-committees have been formed 16 months after the new MC house was elected. The following are the new sub-committees.

Advisory Sub-committee: Former Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, Pal Singh Grewal (Chairman), Balkar Singh Sandhu (vice-chairman), Monica Jaggi, Sukhdev Singh Gill and Gurdeep Singh Neetu.

Building and Roads Sub-committee: Jagbir Singh Sokhi (Chairman), Sukhdev Singh Gill (vice-chairman), Inder Aggarwal, Parminder Singh Soma, Anita Kharbanda, Rakesh Prashar and Neha Nayyar.

Water Supply and Sewerage Sub-committee: Swaran Singh Mahauli (chairman), Rakhwinder Singh (vice-chairman), Gurpreet Singh Khurana, Amrik Singh, Kuldeep Kaur, Renu Bansal and Ashwani Kumar.

Health and Sanitation Sub-committee: Gurdeep Singh Neetu (Chairman), Surjit Singh Rai (vice-chairman), Sushma Mehta, Jasbir Singh Jassa, Swarandeep Singh Chahal, Pinky Bansal and Manjit Kaur.

Vigilance Sub-committee: Hem Raj Aggarwal (chairman), Jaswinder Singh Bhola (vice-chairman), Kashmir Kaur, Balkar Singh, Amandeep Kaur, Renu Sharma and Sarabjit Singh Garcha.

Tehbazaari Sub-committee: Kamaljit Singh Karwal (chairman), Sumit Malhotra (vice-chairman), Rajesh Jain, Maharaj Singh Raji, Sanjeev Talwar, Baby Singh Thakur and Ranjit Singh Ubhi.

Street Light Sub-committee: Narinder Singh Malhi (chairman), Kapil Kumar Sonu (vice-chairman), Varinder Sehgal, Avtar Kaur, Monica Jaggi, Satpal Singh and Manjit Kaur.

Social Welfare, Women, Child Welfare and Landscaping Sub-committee: Mandeep Kaur Sandhu (chairman), Bhupinder Singh (vice-chairman), Mamta Ashu, Megha Aggarwal, Gurpreet Singh Gora, Satinder Kaur Grewal and Radhe Krishan.

Transportation Sub-committee: Manwinder Singh Makkar (chairman), Randhir Singh Sibia (vice-chairman), Kulwant Kaur, Sarabjit Kaur Cheema, Daljit Singh Grewal, Sarabjit Kaur and Gurpreet Bassi.

Land Use and Building Sub-committee: Paramjit Kaur Shivalik (chairman), Raghbir Singh Beera (vice-chairman), Veeran Bedi, Deepika Bhalla, Narinderjit Kaur Dhillon, Jai Parkash and Surjit Kaur Dang.

Purchases Sub-committee: Tanvir Singh Dhaliwal (chairman), Ramandeep Kaur (vice-chairman), Geeta Devi, Narinder Kumar Kala, Sarabjit Singh Laadi, Amandeep Kaur and Surjit Kaur Bhatia.



Deputy Commissioner addresses concerns of industrialists
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
An industrial interaction was today held with Rajat Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner, GS Kohli, Chief Engineer (distribution), PSPCL, Patiala, and Rachhpal Singh, Chief Engineer, PSPCL, Ludhiana.

Interacting with members of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking (CICU), Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal said in line with the directions of the Punjab Government, the proposal for converting the Knitwear Facility Centre into an exhibition centre for industries was under active consideration. All revenue officials had been suitably advised to remain in office and in case of emergency, another official would be available for attending to public.

Aggarwal said the skill development programme to meet the requirements of the industrial sector would be implemented on the receipt of relevant database. For carrying out repair and maintenance of roads, sewerage system and streetlights, development of parks and extension of city bus service for the Focal Point area, detailed discussions with the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, would be held for providing immediate respite to industrialists, said the DC.

Aggarwal also advised the officials of the Punjab Pollution Control Board and Punjab State Power Corporation Limited to hold monthly meeting with industrialists for addressing their problems.

Rachhpal Singh, Chief Engineer, PSPCL, said the special committee, which was formed for the overall development of Ludhiana, had already submitted a report to the chairman and the managing director, PSPCL, for incurring expenditure of Rs 413 crore for upgradation and maintenance of systems, shifting and replacement of poles causing traffic hindrances, opening of new powerhouses and other allied works. All other points would be considered amicably.

Upkar Singh, Joint Secretary, CICU, presented a memorandum to Rachhpal Singh regarding the review of exorbitant charges, master plan for availability of power connection, timely completion of power projects to ensure adequate power availability, foundry having induction furnace with power connection up to 1000 KW should be treated under general category, payments of power bills, upgradation of distribution system and maintaining high voltage transmission lines.



23 new dengue cases reported from Ludhiana district
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
As many as 23 new cases of dengue have been confirmed from the DMCH during the past three days. The patients belong to various parts of the district. Of them, 15 are from the city, while the rest are from the peripheral areas.

Besides, 19 more cases have been reported from other districts of the state. Of these, four are from Hoshiarpur, three from Jalandhar, two each from Nawanshahr, Sangrur and Fatehgarh Sahib, and one each from Kapurthala, Patiala, Ferozpur, Gurdaspur, Barnala and Bhatinda. As many as seven cases have been reported from J&K.

District epidemiologist Dr Anil Verma said: “With this, the total cases diagnosed till date in Ludhiana hospitals are 300 from the district, 85 from other districts and 100 from other states”.

Meanwhile, under the directions of Civil Surgeon Subhash Batta and under the supervision of district epidemiologist Dr Anil Verma, a team of the Health Department visited Ward Nos. 38, 39, 37, 13 and 15.

In Dhoka Mohulla, Khud Mohulla, New Kirti Nagar and Beantpura, the team members held 18 group meetings to create awareness about dengue.

A total of 72 desert coolers and 114 containers were checked by the team. Larva was found in 17 coolers/containers, and the information of the same was given to sanitary inspectors of the Municipal Corporation of the Zone A and Zone B for challaning.

The team members also distributed pamphlets among the residents. Spray of pyrethrum was done in and around the houses of patients suffering from dengue.



MC to hold camps for regularisation of illegal properties
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
With the extension of deadline till October 25, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation drive to regularise properties in unauthorised colonies has gone slow. Now, the Municipal Corporation has pulled up its socks and has prepared a proposal under which camps would be organised in different parts of the city on a daily basis.

A helpline number has also been launched.

The work of getting regularised properties falling in unapproved or illegal colonies started on August 28, and the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has regularised around 9,000 properties. It has earned a revenue of more than Rs 23 crore till October 7.

During a survey carried out on property tax, around 3.8 lakh units (residential, commercial and industrial) have been identified by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation. As per the rough estimates, there are roughly 50,000 properties that are located in unapproved or illegal colonies.

A senior officer of the Municipal Corporation claimed that they expect that the number of applicants would increase as the last date nears. “We appeal to the city residents to get their properties regularised at the earliest if they don’t want to suffer due to a huge rush. Residents can also get their properties regularised by applying to the Municipal Corporation offices,” said an officer.



Paras Property Dealer, Bahadurke Road

Guru Vihar, Rahon Road


33 feet Road, Mundian Kalan

Sua Road


Eastman Chowk, Dhandari Kalan

City Garden Colony, 33 feet Road, Giaspura


Mangat Resort, Barewal

Sangam Palace Chowk, Haibowal Kalan

Civil City Road, Haibowal



Bird-lovers await winged guests
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Bird-lovers await chirpy little visitors from the Central Asia. They arrive during the sowing season in the next month when there is a little more nip in the air. These birds keep on wagging their tails up and down, and are thus called 'wagtails'. The wagtails come from the Central Asia when harsh winter sets in there. Looking for a suitable habitat, these birds arrive at various parts of India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The small birds travel long distances flying 30 km a day and they nest in shrubs. Flying in flocks, these birds come to the subcontinent in large numbers.

These sparrow-size birds are farmer friendly as these feed on insects and pests on farms that are freshly irrigated during the sowing season.

Some of the wagtails species include forest wagtail, yellow wagtail, yellow-headed wagtail, grey wagtail and white wagtail. The white wagtail has a black bib, white chin and grey throat. The yellow wagtail has a yellow neck. The yellow-headed wagtail has a yellow neck as well. With slight variations in colour, these birds look almost the same while they fly in a flock.

Dr Tejdeep Kaur Kler, ornithologist at the PAU, says when these birds find a good place where there is plenty of food, these drop like leaves all of a sudden. These share a feeding habitat with other birds like maina, crows, she adds.

"As sparrows have almost disappeared from the urban landscape, it is good to see these sparrow-like birds," says Sarabjit, a bird-lover. "These birds travel miles to come to this part of the world. It is always a delight to see them," he says.



Shobha yatra marks Bhagwan Valmiki’s birth anniversary
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
A Shobha yatra to commemorate the birth anniversary of Bhagwan Valmiki was organised by the Bhartiya Valmiki Adi Dharm Samaj (Bhavadhas) in the city today. It was led by Dr Jodha Ram Zakhmi, national coordinator of the organisation. The religious procession was inaugurated by District Congress Committee (Urban) president Pawan Dewan.

Starting from Jawahar Nagar Camp, the procession concluded at Ghumar Mandi passing through Sabzi Mandi, Bharat Nagar Chowk, Bhai Wala Chowk, Aarti Chowk, etc.

Dewan, along with other leaders, said by writing the Ramayana, Bhagwan Valmiki gave the world a great epic, the teaching and lessons of which were still showing path to several people to lead a good life.

To mark the birth anniversary, BJP district president Parveen Bansal and Valmiki Sabha Punjab president Dr DP Khosla said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal would lay the foundation stone of a Valmiki Ashram in Amritsar on October 18, and workers from the Valmiki Sabha from the city would go there to celebrate the occasion.

They said the ashram was being built at a cost of Rs 115 crore.



Taxes hitting business, say traders

Ludhiana, October 16
Office-bearers of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal expressed concern over the increasing number of taxes being imposed by the state government during a meeting. State Secretary Sunil Mehra and Secretary Mohinder Aggarwal, during the meeting, said it appeared that the state government did not want trade and business to flourish in the state as it was imposing new tax every other day.

“Taxes are imposed on the urban population, while the rural areas are given exemption. Power is also given free in the rural sector, while businesses are being shut down in the cities due to the shortage of power,” said Mohinder Aggarwal.

Secretary Sunil Mehra said furnaces had been shut down in the state and shortage of power was casting its shadow over the business.

“While the case of entry tax was still pending in the High Court, the department replaced the same by advance tax,” said Aggarwal.

The members said several crores were lying pending with the Excise Department in the form of VAT and now advance tax was being imposed. — TNS



UCPMA to form single-window system
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
To facilitate the cycle and cycle parts industry in solving their problems related with different government departments, the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association (UCPMA) will be forming a single-window system at its association's office.

“We will be roping in retired officials from different government departments like excise and taxation, PSPCL, pollution control and alike with which the industry has to interact regularly,” said Joginder Kumar, chairman of the UCPMA.

While big industrial houses and corporate houses have different departments and heads to deal with different problems related to different departments, it is the small industry which suffers. To help the small industry in solving these problems, the UCPMA will be taking the help of experts.

“There are several problems the industry faces with various departments. Our experts will be helping them in writing applications and guiding them in meeting various concerned officials,” said Badish Jindal, president of the Federation of Association of Smal-Scale Industries.



Poor imports hit city jewellers
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Even the start of the festival season has failed to cheer jewellers as gold imports have virtually dried up after the government introduced the 80/20 rule. Jewellers complain that most gold stocks are cornered by exporters.

The festival season has started and will peak with Dhanteras, an auspicious day for buying gold, in November while the wedding season will continue till December.

"Our work has virtually stopped now. There is a premium of 7 per cent on global prices. We are helpless to buy gold at such high prices. For the upcoming Dhanteras, if the industry does not get adequate raw material, we will face a major problem," said Ananda Parkash Sikri, president of the Ludhiana Jewellers Association.

The World Gold Council has said India's gold demand could rise by as much as 15 per cent this quarter to 300 tonnes as pent-up demand following a good monsoon keeps the country on track.

"Only compulsory buying is taking place at present. There is a shortage of raw material and we have kept our fingers crossed as demand is going to increase in the coming days. We hope the demand to rise during Dhanteras but at preset the market is cold," added another jeweller, Krishan Jain from Civil Limes.



Rice millers up in arms
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Machiwara, October 16
Demanding relaxation in the paddy procurement norms, the rice millers of Machhiwara and Samrala have decided to go on strike and not to purchase discoloured paddy till October 18.

A meeting of the rice millers was held at Machhiwara, which was presided over by president of their association Tehal Singh Aoujla. They have decided that they will not allow purchasing agencies to stock paddy in their mills and will not purchase the same themselves. They have appealed to the Punjab Government to revise the norms as per the discoloured paddy crop.

The meeting was of the view that the paddy coming to the grain markets in the area was discoloured up to 50 per cent and they can give 45-55 kg rice out of one quintal paddy, not as required under the present norms.



ESIC staff continue protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
Protest by the employees of the ESIC Model Hospital, Ludhiana, entered its sixth day here today. The agitating employees burnt the effigies of the hospital authorities for not fulfilling their demands.

Meanwhile, Ramandeep Kaur, president of the ESIC Employees Union, said: “Today, the hospital authorities suspended me, along with two office-bearers of the union. Yesterday also, two employees of the hospital were suspended”.

The hospital staff, including nurses, pharmacists, orderlies, etc., remained on strike throughout the day and provided only emergency services.

The employees raised slogans against the authorities and decided to continue their struggle till their demands were fulfilled.



Two arrested; stolen cash, gold recovered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
The police has arrested two Nepalese nationals who had committed a theft at the house of their employer on October 7. The accused have been identified as Sushil Bahadaur and Ram Bahadur. The police has recovered the stolen amount of Rs 2 lakh and gold ornaments from Sushil while Rs 70,000 was recovered from the possession of Ram Bahadaur.

The duo had been working as domestic help at the house of Yashpal, a resident of the Brindawan Road area, for a long time.

Vinod Kumar, Station House Officer of the Division No 4 police station, said the accused were arrested following a tip-off.



Cheque-bounce case
Businessman’s house, factory unit raided
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 16
The Delhi police and the Ludhiana police conducted a joint raid at the house of a noted businessman of the city, dealing in milk products, in connection with a cheque-bounce case.

The police teams conducted the raid at the businessman's residence located on the Pakhowal Road and his factory unit.

While the city police conducted the raid in connection with Rs 20 lakh cheque-bounce case, the Delhi police was here for Rs 1 crore cheque-bounce case.

The team of the Ludhiana police was headed by assistant sub-inspector Balbir Singh, in charge of Police Post Saheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, and the team of the Delhi police was headed by sub-inspector Umesh Rana.

On seeing the police, the heath of the industrialist worsened and he was rushed to the DMC Hospital.

The police teams have been stationed at the hospital. The industrialist has duped various financial establishments of Rs 10 crore.



Bharatiya Vidya Mandir girls clinch handball title
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 16
Hosts Bharatiya Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Kithclu Nagar branch, DAV Public School, BRS Nagar, and Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar, shared honours in the girls' section clinching one title each in the Ludhiana Sahodaya School Complex Handball Tournament played at BVM, Kitchlu Nagar, here today.

In the girls' under 14 category, DAV School came out triumphant while Guru Nanak Public School and BVM, Kitchlu Nagar, finished at the second and third palce, respectively.

BVM, Kitchlu Nagar branch, won the title in the girls' u-17 group, followed by DAN School and BCM Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, respectively.

In the girls' u-19 section, Guru Nanak Public School emerged champions while Nankana Sahib Public School, Gill Road branch, secured the second position. The match for the third position will be played tomorrow between Jesus Sacred Heart School and DAV Public School, BRS Nagar.

Meanwhile, in the boys' under-14 category, teams from Guru Nanak Public School and DAV Public School won their matches to enter the final that is scheduled for tomorrow.

Earlier, PC Goyal, member of the BVM Trust, inaugurated the tournament in which 13 teams from all over the district are taking part. Neelam Mittar, officiating principal of the host school, welcomed the chief guest and participating teams.



Ludhiana boys emerge champs
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 16
Hosts Ludhiana faced a stiff resistance from Amritsar before coming out victorious 2-0 to win the title in the boys' section of the 15th Sub-Junior Punjab State Softball Championship for girls and boys that concluded at Guru Nanak Stadium here yesterday.

Earlier, in the semifinal, Ludhiana lads defeated Sangrur 2-0 while Amritsar scored an emphatic 12-4 victory over Fazilka to reach the final.

In the league phase, Patiala drubbed Gurdaspur 14-0, Fazilka beat Bathinda 8-6, Ludhiana beat Mansa 10-0, Sangrur blanked Ropar 11-0, Fazilka outnumbered Jalandhar 13-6 and Amritsar drub Patiala 7-2.



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