L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Parking contractors charge at will
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 22
The contractors of public parking lots along the Ferozepur Road are blatantly fleecing the city residents by charging them a flat rate of Rs 30 instead of the per hour charges. Instead of issuing a parking slip for Rs 10, the contractor’s employees are straightaway demanding Rs 30 from the residents for parking their four-wheelers.

The contractors are fleecing the residents because no electronic ticketing machines have been installed at all public parking lots along the Ferozepur Road. Three months ago, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had clearly directed the MC to make sure electronic ticketing machines were installed in these parkings.

It’s strange how the contractors have ‘managed’ to fleece the residents for three months and the MC, which otherwise ‘claims’ to be ‘very’ strict on such violations, have failed to notice this loot.

When The Tribune visited one of these parking lots opposite Silver Arc Mall, the contractor’s employee demanded Rs 30 as soon as he issued us a parking slip, which didn’t even mention time of our arrival. When reminded him that he needs to mention time on the parking slip and it would be as per the time that he would charge us, he remained adamant on his stand. He claimed that the contractor was demanding Rs 30 for every single parking slip. “What can we do? We are just following his orders,” said the employee.

It was after five-minute argument that we were issued a parking slip with time mentioned on it.

When the contractor was contacted on the phone as to why he is overcharging, he said: “Don’t worry brother, Rs 30 is the fee we charge from ordinary residents. For you, we will issue a free parking pass.”


MC Additional Commissioner Davinder Singh claimed that he would make sure that the electronic ticketing machines are installed at all the parking lots. “Once these machines are installed, there would not be any problem of overcharging. We all know these parking lots have come up as per the Punjab and Haryana High Court orders and I shall not want the contractor to fleece the residents,” he stated.

(However, even at the three parking lots maintained by the MC, no electronic ticketing machines have been installed.)

Higher fee for ordinary residents: Contractor

When the contractor was contacted on the phone as to why he was overcharging, he said: “Don’t worry brother, Rs 30 is the fee we charge from ordinary residents. For you, we will issue a free parking pass.”


  • Every parking slip must have the time of your arrival
  • The contractor would be paid after you leave the parking lot and not in advance
  • You would be charged as per the total time the vehicle remained stationed in the parking lot 


Five booked for abetment to suicide
GS Paul
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 22
In a new twist to the Ludhiana youth suicide case, the police today registered a case against five persons on the basis of a complaint submitted by the father of the deceased.

Harjinder Singh, a resident of Kot Mangal Singh, Gill Road, Ludhiana, lodged a complaint with the police that the five persons used to terrorise his son Jaswinder Singh (24) on the issue of some monetary transaction.

The accused have been identified as Koshal Sharma, resident of Rajguru Colony, Ludhiana, Jagga, Rubal, residents of Dad village in Ludhiana, Aman Ghai, alias Bhatia, and his wife Baljit Kaur, residents of Rajguru Colony, Ludhiana.

Even as no arrest had been made so far, yet the E-Division police had registered a case under Section 306/34 of the IPC (offence of abetment to suicide), confirmed the investigating officer, ASI Sarwan Singh. Earlier, the police had initiated action under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

"The deceased's father alleged that the accused used to terrorise his son constantly and threatened to kill him. This was the reason which forced his son to take such an extreme step," he said.

Harjinder Singh said his son had taken some amount on loan from Koshal whereas Aman Ghai and his wife Baljit Kaur were the guarantors in the deal. He said since then his son was under great stress.

He was allegedly attacked and later abandoned in his car by several persons on October 16 in Ludhiana. A case had already been registered at the Dugri police station, Ludhiana.

Two days later Jaswinder came to Amritsar along with his mother to see his sister's newborn baby at a hospital, but by evening he went missing. Without intimating any of his acquaintances, he had hired a room at Aggarwal Guest House in Katra Ahluwalia here. Yesterday morning, his body was found hanging with a rope from the ceiling fan in the room.

The SHO of the Kotwali police station, Surinder Mohan, said the instance came to light last morning only when the guest house owner informed them about the foul smell emanating from the closed room.

The police suspected that he had committed suicide on the same day, ie on October 18, when he checked in the guest house.



5 couples held for immoral activities
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 22
Stepping up its drive against immoral activities on the occasion of Karva Chauth, the police raided the Marhaba hotel located near Inter-state Bus Terminus and nabbed five couples who were alleged found in a compromising position.

It is the second crackdown by the police on immoral activities in the bus stand area. Last month, the police had caught 17 couples, including college students, a government staff nurse and teachers, following a raid at the Diamond hotel.

Dharampal, Station House Officer of the Division Number. 5 police station, confirmed the development. He said the raid was conducted following a tip-off. He said some of the couples caught in the raid were college students. He said the accused had been booked under various sections of the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act.

The police has also booked Jagtar Singh and manager of the hotel Mannu Mahajan.



Woman ends life after spat over Karva Chauth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 22
A 35-year-old woman allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan at her house in Janta Nagar here today.

The deceased has been identified as Kajal. Mother of three children, she committed suicide after her husband Rakesh Kumar, a daily wage earner, told her that he could not buy the Karva Chauth material due to financial constraints.

In the afternoon, she thrashed her children and then locked herself in a room and hanged herself.



Advertising firms flout Motor Vehicle Act norms
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 22
It seems that the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is in a deep slumber as some private companies are making a quick buck by using mobile vans to display their advertisements on prominent roads of the city. This is not only a violation of the Motor Vehicle Act but, but such advertisements are also banned as per the new advertising policy of the state government.

As per the new advertising policy, no such vehicles could display advertisement in the city and if it is done, it is a clear violation of the state government's own policy. It is also a violation of the Punjab and Haryana High Court directions in which the court has clearly banned all kinds of movable advertising means.

The companies resort to this type of advertising because their contract expired in June and since then the MC has not awarded any contract to the companies.

An advertiser said these vehicles acted as movable unipoles and were a big distraction for commuters and could even lead to accidents. "The advertiser is openly using commercial trucks or vans for advertising purposes, which is illegal even as per the Motor Vehicle Act," he said.

While speaking to The Tribune, Kamalzit Soi, vice-chairman, Punjab State Road Safety Council, said the use of these vehicles has been termed as the 'unauthorised use of vehicle' under the Motor Vehicle Act.

"Such offenders need to be challaned and their vehicles should be impounded. It is also a violation of the Punjab and Haryana High Court directions in which the court has banned all kinds of movable advertising," said Soi.

Additional Commissioner of the MC Isha Kalia said if such vehicles were being used for advertising purposes, then they were certainly illegal. "I will ask my staff to issue challans to the company involved in such advertising," she claimed.



Police martyrs’ families allege discrimination
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 22
Discrimination prevails in the Police Department when it comes to offering jobs to the kin of policemen who died in the line of duty.

While the children of the senior police officers were given preference and quickly recruited in the department, the wards of the lower rank police personnel are still running from pillar to post in the pursuit of government jobs. Anger was writ large on the faces of frustrated families, who attended the Police Commemoration Day at the Police Lines here yesterday. The affected children said had their fathers been senior police officers, they would have been Inspector or Deputy Superintendent of Police in the department.

Madhuri (23), was only eight months old when her father, constable Sham Sunder, died in a bomb blast in front of the residence of Congress leader and then Education Minister Harnam Das Johar in 1992.

"For the past six years, I have been repeatedly sent back home on one pretext or the other. However, the Commissioner of Police, Paramjit Singh Gill, has assured her that she would soon be offered a job," said Madhuri, adding that her family has been living in penury since her father's died.

"Sadly, the very people whom my father saved are making me run from pillar to post in the pursuit of a job," she lamented.

Though the sacrifice of the policemen, who laid down their lives in the line of duty during militancy, was great, that of their widows was even greater. These women lost everything at the prime of their life. They faced hardships, social stigma and greedy relatives who were eyeing their properties. For these brave women, struggle never stops.

"They think that they will persuade us by offering tea and "pakoras". They are mistaken. They are making a mockery of us. If they can redress our problems, it is fine otherwise we will stop attending Martyr Day programmes," said Madhuri's mother.

Heena, daughter-in-law of Martyr Madanlal Kapoor, met the Commissioner of Police and sought a job for her husband Amit Kapoor.

When confronted that her two brother-in-laws have already got jobs in the Police Department, Heena said: "Yes, but this does not weaken my husband's right of getting a job on compassionate grounds. My husband is also the son of a martyr. We have children and job security is very important for their better future." 

Ray of hope

A police officer, who keeps records of the cases, said things had started changing ever since Punjab DGP Sumedh Saini took over the reins of the department. He has laid special emphasis on providing jobs to the kin of police martyrs. Of 87 cases, 74 have been cleared and the children of martyrs have been provided jobs on compassionate grounds. 



Karva Chauth celebrated with fervour
Tribune News Service

Women celebrate Karva Chauth in Ludhiana on Tuesday.
Women celebrate Karva Chauth in Ludhiana on Tuesday. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, October 22
After week-long preparations for the day, Karva Chauth was celebrated amidst great enthusiasm today.
Festive atmosphere prevailed till past midnight with women and girls getting mehandi applied in Sarabha Nagar, BRS Nagar, Model Town and other areas of the city.

The festival has become very popular in the city, said residents. Canopies and tents for the festival were set up in areas where these had never been set up for the festival earlier.

“We had to go all the way to market areas to get the mehndi applied earlier, but this time, a tent was set up near our residence by a beauty parlour,” said Indu, a resident of Dugri.

Sweetshops were witnessed selling sweets such as mithi mathhi, mithe tikde and other traditional delicacies.

“I have purchased a gift for my wife. I will present it to her in the evening after she breaks the fast,” said Ravi Sood, a resident of the Pakhowal road area.

Various ladies clubs also celebrated the festival amid dance and music today. Chandabala Yuvti Mandal celebrated the festival at Rishi Nagar. The theme for the event was bride and members of the ladies club were supposed to come dressed up as brides as per the theme. City-based choreographer Abhinav Sarna, from a dance academy, organised a special dance for the day.

Girls who were not observing the fast for the day also got the mehandi applied. “For many, the festival is not necessarily for the longevity of their husbands, but they take it as more of a fun activity to get dressed like a bride, get the mehndi applied and look your best,” said Ginni, a Civil Lines resident.

In the evening, women observing the fast broke their fast after observing the rituals.

Later in the evening, most of the restaurants in the city were occupied to its capacity. “I don't work on the day of the fast and most of my friends too eat out on this day,” said another resident.



Husbands do their bit for fasting wives
Our Correspondent

Doraha, October 22
“I was sailing on the same boat when I had to skip the dinner with no one to cook, as my better half’s mehndi was in the process of drying,” commented a husband.
“I never feel bad about skipping my dinner as my wife is so enthusiastic about the entire event that her happiness is what really matters to me,” said Satish.

“There are a number of chores that have to be handled late evening and even the next morning as my wife believes the colour of mehandi has to be darkened towards the eve of Karva chauth, so she strictly abstains from water,” said Taranjit Singh, employed with a tourism company.

“As we generally prefer to stay indoors, I prepare noodles for the whole family and we eat together, one day prior to the festival. Not only I spoon feed my kids, but also my wife, as she gets mehndi applied on her hands a day before the festival. Facing a little difficulty for the sake of strengthening the emotional bonding gives me satisfaction,” said another dotting husband.

“I had to get mehandi applied in the evening .So I called my husband in the evening itself. We had an early dinner and then I went to get mehandi applied on my hands,” said Ramandeep.

“My husband and my kids hardly bother about the inconvenience faced by them on account of my inability to work,” said Anupam, a housewife.



Administration bans sale of crackers in residential areas
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 22
Taking note of the reports of storage and sale of crackers in residential areas, the local administration has strictly banned the sale of crackers in the residential areas of the region. The ban will remain applicable till November 4.

The administration has also short listed six locations for the sale of crackers in Jagraon. The decision was taken during a meeting of various officials with the traders dealing in the sale of fireworks here today.

The Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Jagraon, Apneet Rayat, presided over the meeting attended by Deputy Superintendent of Police, Jagraon, Surinder Kumar, Jagraon tehsildar Gurjit Singh, naib tehsildar, Sidhwan Bet, Sarabjit Singh, and main fireworks traders of the area.

The locations which have been short listed by the local administration for the sale of fireworks in Jagraon include the area near the boundary wall of Government Senior Secondary School on Tehsil Road, Lajpat Rai Park, near Municipal Council Office, LRDAV College Road, Dusehra Ground on Disposal Road, Old Grain Market and Railway Road.

“If any shopkeeper is found selling crackers at places other than those allotted by the administration, a strict action will be taken against him,” said the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Jagraon.

While the wholesale dealers have been instructed to obtain licenses for the stocking and sale of fireworks from District Magistrate, Ludhiana, the retailers were asked to obtain the license required for the sale of crackers from Municipal Council, Jagraon. The shopkeepers can put up stalls for the sale of crackers at the allotted locations from October 28 to November 4 between 9 am to 10 pm.

“Instructions have been issued to the police department as well to assure a regular vigil during the festival season to check if the fireworks are being sold as per the regulations,” said the SDM, Apneet Rayat.



14 more test positive for dengue
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 22
The health Department has confirmed two deaths due to dengue in Ludhiana here today. One patient belonged to Ludhiana city and the other one belonged to Jagraon area.

The department revealed these deaths after a meeting of a Dengue Death Review Committee, which was held today at Civil Surgeon office.

Dr Anil Verma, District Epidemiologist, said: There are 11 suspected dengue deaths reported in month of October in the district.

“A review committee under the chairmanship of Civil Surgeon held meeting of Dengue Death Review Committee to discuss the suspected deaths from Dengue. Medical, Pediatric, Pathologist, Anesthetist and Chest & TB Specialist from the DMCH, Ludhiana, and Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, attended the meeting and deaths were reviewed. The committee confirmed two deaths due to dengue reported suspected deaths on October 5 and 
October 10," informed Dr Anil Verma.

Today, 14 patients from Ludhiana confirmed as dengue patients from the City Hospital. Out of them, 10 are from city and four are from periphery areas. One patient from Fatehgarh Sahib was also diagnosed as dengue patient.

Meanwhile, a team of the Health Department comprising Raghubir Singh, Bhag Singh, AUO, Satinder Singh, Manpreet Singh, MPHS, along with insect collector and anti-larva teams visited in a factory at Focal Point to bring awareness among the workers of the factory.

The team also visited Housing Board colony and total of 73 coolers and 102 containers were checked. According to the report, larvae were found in six coolers and containers. The authorities sprayed pyrethrum around the houses of dengue patients. 



Poster making, debate mark Day-II
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 22
On second day of the Youth Festival at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), today, the students participated in the events-clay modeling, debate, and poetic recitation/hass rass. Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, Dr PPS Lubana presided over the morning session, while Dean College of Basic Sciences and Humanities, Dr RS Sidhu presided over in the afternoon session. In his address to the students, Dr Lubana said the participation in cultural activities helps the students in shaping their personality. In his address, Dr Balwinder Singh, Director Students Welfare said that PAU has produced a number of sports persons and artists of International repute.

Results of today's events: Clay modeling: 1. Atama Singh (CoHS); 2. Sukhdev Singh (CoAE&T); 3. Balpreet Kaur (CoA).

Debate: 1. Team of College of Home Science; 2. College of Basic Science & Humanities; 3. College of Agricultural Engineering & Technology.

Poetic Recitation: 1. Jasmine Sidhu (CoA); 2. Kamalpreet Kaur (CoA); Hass Rass: Sarabjit Singh (CoBSH)-third.



Delay in paddy procurement irks farmers
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, October 22
Resentment prevails among the farming community due to slow paddy procurement at the Jagraon Grain Market, second largest grain market of Asia. The situation is more serious in the grain markets situated in rural grain markets.

The farmers claimed that the officials of the procurement agencies are not cooperating in the procurement process and contrary to the claims of state government the procurement has been too slow. “The procurement agencies have been causing unnecessary delay in purchase of paddy on the pretext of more moisture in the crop. My crop has been lying at Bujgar Grain Market for the past 10 days and I am still waiting for the procurement,” rued Malkiat Singh, a farmer of Bujgar village.

Malkiat said there are more than 20 farmers at Bujgar grain market whose crop has not been procured for more than one week. “The people are celebrating the festival season. But we are forced to spend days and nights at grain markets due to slow procurement of paddy. We do not know how many more nights we have to spend in the grain market," lamented Kulwant Singh, a farmer of Jandi village.

Another farmer, Jagdev Singh, said only the Food Corporation of India (FCI) is procuring at most of the rural grain markets due to which the procurement was slow here. The farmers demanded that the state government shall deploy its own procurement agencies in the rural markets.

Same is the situation at Jagraon Grain Market. Not only the farmers but the commission agents and the owners of rice mills also criticised the slow procurement of paddy. Due to the delay in paddy procurement, the farmers, commission agents and the rice millers held protest and even blocked Barnala-Jalandhar and Ludhiana-Moga highways for couple of hours today.

The traffic police had to divert the traffic of both the roads to link roads. But it caused a lot of confusion among the commuters. However, the protestors agreed to leave the highways when SDM Jagraon, Apneet Rayat, assured them off speedy procurement of paddy from grain markets.

The delay in procurement has also affected the business of shopkeepers. The sales have not picked up yet and the shopkeepers who were hoping of earning good bucks during the festival season now seem upset due to the absence of farming community from the markets.

The farmers have now threatened to block traffic during Jagraon visit of Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, on October 25. The Chief Minister has been coming to re-launch Mai Bhago Scheme of distributing cycles among students.

SDM Jagraon, Apneet Rayat, said she has already issued instructions to the officials of various procurement agencies to step up procurement. "The authorities of procurement agencies have assured to increase the speed of procurement of paddy," added she. 



Paddy procurement smooth, says DC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 22
Deputy Commissioner, Rajat Aggarwal, today informed that paddy procurement is going on in the grain markets of district without any hurdle. According to the press release, issued by DC, the procurement agencies had bought 2,14,846 lakh quintals of paddy till October 21.

The farmers brought 2,67,279 lakh quintal paddy. DC said that Pungrain had procured 75,240 mt tonnes, Markfed 33,124 mt tonnes, PUNSAP 57,034 mt tonnes, Punjab Warehouse Corporation 20,699 mt tonnes Punjab Agro 23,295 mt tonnes, Food Corporation of India procured 3,154 mt tonnes and private traders 2300 procured 75,240 mt tonnes till the date. The amount has been paid to 78 percent farmers.



Health Dept destroys 5 quintals of sweets

Ludhiana, October 22
The Health Department destroyed five quintal of sweets which were seized from various sweet shops on October 1, here today.
The department had found the sweets unsafe to consume. Aluminum was also used to deco rate the sweets.

The teams of department had collected the samples fro Muskan Sweets, new Ashok Nagar and some other sweet shops. — TNS



Govt seeks suggestions to simplify housing policy
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 22
The Punjab government seems to have learnt a lesson from its revised policy for regularisation of the unauthorised colonies which failed to yield the desired results even as the extended deadline of October 25, 2013 is round the corner.

Sources indicate that not even a fraction of developers and property holders have submitted applications for compounding and regularisation of colonies/properties.

Sensing that the prevailing housing policy was cumbersome and proving rather a deterrent to the promotion of affordable housing schemes, the housing and urban development department had sought suggestions from the developers and members of public for simplification of the existing housing policy so that suitable amendments could be carried out.

In a representation submitted to the government, the Punjab Colonisers and Property Dealers Association has pointed out that at present the stipulated time frame for grant of license to develop the colony is 90 working days. But practically, it takes almost a year to get the licence which is the main hindrance in the promotion of the approved townships and planned urban development in the state.

Kultar Singh Jogi, president of the body, asserted that the time schedule of 90 working days ought to be adhered to in letter and spirit to give boost to the approved colonies and promote planned urban development.

The association has suggested that at the same time, the housing and urban development department should speed up the preparation of master plans of the remaining towns and cities and the zonal development plans of the towns and cities where master plans had been notified. "Professional architects and town planners could be hired for this purpose." Jogi further said that letter of intent to develop the colony should be given in 15 days time and a specific number, under intimation to the promoter, be allotted to the application. The procedure should also be applied on line with the promoter applying on-line with the hard copies of each and every document sent to the competent authorities.



Use of fitness applications a craze among residents
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 22
Use of fitness apps seems to be increasing among residents as people in the city have started using the mobile apps for keeping tabs on their fitness, workout routine as well as diet.

Harneet, one of the residents, says he uses a mobile app for jogging. "The app uses GPS technology through which I keep tabs on the distance covered and the speed at which I run," he says. Some of the apps also track the route taken and create a route of the map and the data can be shared with the people in friends list and know their fitness routine and how they are doing in their fitness routine.

Some apps even allow people to compete with friends despite being at different places, said Rohit another fitness enthusiast. "I was earlier a reluctant runner, but now, with all the data about my fitness activities available to me on the fly, I try to enhance my performance, every time I set out to run. Knowing my close friends in other cities and sharing my experience with them through mobile apps also encourages me," he adds.

"Technology has been blamed for making life sedentary by automating much of the physical work and thus indolence and lifestyle diseases. But through workout machines and mobile apps, technology is aiding and inspiring people to get fit," says Amandeep, an Atam Nagar resident.

Apps to check their calorie-count and diet are also very popular with residents. "I enter the food item’s name and I get the calories count and the total number of calories I have taken during the day," says a resident. So I balance the calories by taking a low calorie food, if I have taken more during the day," she says. 



Complete stadium renovation: DC
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 22
With the announcement of itinerary of 4th edition of World Kabaddi Cup the city is again hopeful for installation of canopies and completion other pending work at Guru Nanak Stadium.

The proposed renovation and development work at Guru Nanak Stadium were left incomplete midway in December 2012 and the government has not resumed the work till the date.

Deputy Commissioner, Rajat Aggarwal, visited the Guru Nanak Stadium and held a meeting with officials regarding the preparations of World Kabaddi Cup that is going to start from November 30. The closing ceremony and final matches would be held at the Guru Nanak stadium.

According to the information, Deputy Commissioner directed the authorities concerned to white wash the stadium and complete the renovation work.

It is worth mention here that the Sports Department and the Punjab Mandi Board installed the chairs and other infrastructure at the stadium last year before the World Kabaddi Cup. Ironically, it has been damaged again. The canopy on F block and ceiling on all other block have still not installed.

However, the Sports Department and the Punjab Kabaddi Association do not seem to be active for conducting trials and other formalities to conduct the World Kabaddi Cup.

Kartar Singh, District Sports Officer, said, “The officials of the Mandi board and higher authorities assured us that the work will resume within a day or two. As per the officials, they will install the canopy on F block within 10 days.”



Grow soybean, maize for crop diversification: Expert

Ludhiana, October 22
Inaugurating a 'Soybean Field Day' organised by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) at Naraingarh village (Fatehgarh Sahib) today, Punjab Farmers' Commission Chairman, Dr GS Kalkat said diversification from paddy-wheat crop rotation is a must to sustain farming in Punjab. Continuous depletion of underground water resources is a matter of great concern for which diversification from paddy, the water guzzling crop, is the need of the hour, he said. Describing soybean as the best crop to replace paddy, Dr Kalkat said at present India imports Rs 55,000 crore of oilseed every year. Increased production of soybean in the country will lesser the country's import burden as it will meet substantial portion of the oilseed needs of the country. "Since, the country is deficit in oilseed, there will be no problem in the marketing of soybean," he said. Dr Kalkat further said to encourage the farmers to grow soybean, the commission has decided to purchase from farmers the entire soybean crop and will use it as seed crop for next season. He also described maize as another viable crop for diversification and informed that the state government is providing hybrid seed of maize to farmers on subsidy and facilities are being created for its processing and value addition.

Dr Kalkat urged the farmers to devote at least one to two kanal of their land for growing pulses. "It will keep you busy and will also provide cheap and nutritious food for your family," he remarked. Stressing on the need to educate children in the villages, Dr Kalkat said that unless we educate our children in villages, we cannot think of any rural development. "Education of rural children is must for the progress of the state," he remarked.

In his address, Dr Balwinder Singh Sidhu, Commissioner, Agriculture, Punjab said pulse crops play an important role in the diversification mission of the state and soybean is the ideal pulse crop for Punjab farmers as it takes 122 days to mature which is equivalent to that of paddy crop. Describing the advantages of soybean, Dr Sidhu said it requires just one irrigation compared to about 20 for paddy and being a leguminous crop it enriches the soil. The crop residue of soybean easily incorporates in soil increasing its fertility, he added.

Admitting that there are some difficulties in popularising soybean in Punjab Dr Sidhu said efforts are on to develop better varieties and their matching production technologies for Punjab. "We will be able to give the farmer a new variety of soybean in a year or two," he said.

Addressing the farmers, PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon said India has witnessed major increase in soybean cultivation. "From a mere 20,000 hectares under soybean in 1970, India now has 140 lakh hectare under soybean-a real revolution indeed," he remarked. Soybean is a nutritious crop rich of oil and proteins. Even the crop residue is very useful to enrich the soil, he said. Stressing the farmers to adopt its cultivation, Dr Dhillon said, soybean can replace paddy. "Paddy cultivation was promoted by Government of India in 70's when food security was of major concern. Now, we have sufficient food stocks and soybean should be promoted for nutrition security," he said. He called upon the farmers to give their feed back to university scientists as it helps them to redesign their research programmes he said. — TNS



Sufi singer Madan mesmerises crowd

Ludhiana, October 22
A concert by an eminent Sufi scholar and music artist, Madan Gopal Singh, was organised at the Mini Auditorium of Guru Nanak Bhawan, here today. The acclaimed artist performed.

Organised by the Spirit of Amrita Foundation, it was celebrated in memory of scribe Amrita Chowdhary who died in a road accident last year. Madan Gopal Singh, a Sufi and folk poetry exponent, is known for his rendition of immortal Sufi compositions and love legends from Punjab and preserved in folk tradition, in addition to his Punjabi and Hindustani translations of Rumi, Attar, Rilke, Pablo Neruda, Brecht and Tagore.

His repertoire ranges from sacred text from Gurbani and Kabir to the adaptations of western hits of John Lennon and Simon and Garfunkel. Singh sang many of his soulful renditions. He has written dialogues and lyrics for Bollywood and international film projects. — TNS



‘Pakistan PM’s statement a conspiracy against India’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 22
Reacting on the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif's statement, in which he asked the United States of America to intervene in the Kashmir issue, Maulana Habiab-ur-Rahman Ludhianvi, Sahi Immam of the Jama Masjid, condemned the Sharif's statement and considered it a conspiracy against India.

Today, while addressing a press conference, at Janma Masjid, Habiab-Ur-Rahman alleged that Nawaz Sharif is an agent of the USA and this statement is also part of American strategy against India. He said, "We will never allow to America to intervene in the Indo-Pak issues."

"Everyone in the world better knows about the bad intentions of the USA. Nawaz doesn't want peace between India and Pakistan. Being a responsible person, he has to realise the USA's character. We have to remember what America has done in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan," said Sahi Immam.

He alleged that Nawaz had failed to provide good governance in Pakistan so he wants war between both countries to hide his failure."

Muslim leaders including, Mufti Jamaludin, Maulana Mehboob Alam, Kari Mothram, Anjum Asgar and Mustkeem were present on the occasion.



ludhiana SCAN
Workshop concludes

Hyper-spectral imaging symposium and workshop organised by Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) concluded on Tuesday. New technologies and their benefits were discussed on the occasion which included nano-bio interactions, crop and seed inspection and new technology in cancer research.

Hunger strike enters 14th day

Continuing the hunger strike on demanding some percentage of the government tenders, the five members of the 14 group of protesters sitting on dharna near Jalandhar Byepass Chowk gave up on drinking water. The strike has entered its 14th consecutive day. They were visited by president of the Teachers Union from Haryana. Gujjar Naujawan Sabha president Kamal Kataria and other members of organisations said that their demands must be accepted.

Party meet

A meeting of the Economic cell (Punjab) of the BJP was held in the city on Tuesday. Rajiv Katna, head of all the BJP cells and former district president of the party, said the BJP has constituted as many as 41 cells and these are serving the country from national level to block samiti level. Parveen Bansal, district president of the party, and Varinder Sharma, president of District Taxation Bar Association (Sales Tax), said tax collection system requires many changes and the input given by Tax Bar Association and Economic cell should be given due importance. — TNS



GNPS-Mullanpur, GHPS-Sidhwan clinch soccer titles
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 22
Guru Nanak Public School, Mullanpur, and Guru Hargobind Public School, Sidhwan, shared honours clinching titles in the boys’ U-14 and boys-19 categories, respectively, in the Ludhiana Sahodaya School Complex (West) Football Championship at Mullanpur near here today.

In the boys’ U-14 years group, Guru Nanak Public School, Mullanpur, beat Amrit Indo-Canadian Academy, Ladian, 3-0 to bag the title while Sacred Heart Convent School, Aligarh, (Jagraon) secured third position.

In the boys U-19 section, Guru Hargobind Public School, Sidhwan, survived some anxious moments against GHG Academy, Kothe Baggu, Jagraon, 5-4 to win the title and Eastwood International School, Mullanpur, finished at third place.

Dr Bhupinder Singh and Dr Rajpal Singh Grewal of GNPS, Mullanpur, management committee distributed the prizes while Baljit Kaur, principal of the host school along with faculty members was present on this occasion. 



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