L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Festival season
Railways fails to cope with heavy rush
Passengers inconvenienced as Ludhiana-Saharsa special train cancelled at the last minute
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 6
Rail travellers intending to undertake journeys to their native places for the ongoing festival season are at the receiving end as the Northern Railway authorities have failed to provide adequate rail-travel facilities for the increasing rush of passengers. As the Chhath puja has already commenced, the migrants settled in the city are heading to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other states.

Even though one unreserved festival special train left Ludhiana for Saharsa (Bihar) this morning carrying around 1,700 passengers, the heavy rush of migrants, including women and children at the railway station here for the last couple of days, indicates that the festival special trains introduced by the railways were inadequate and grossly disproportionate to the number of passengers.

And to add to the misery of a large number of passengers, waiting to board the trains for destinations in UP and Bihar, the railway authorities cancelled the Ludhiana-Saharsa unreserved festival special train at the last minute, which was scheduled to depart on Monday morning. While hundreds were stranded at the railway station, they had to go through another ordeal of standing in queues for several hours to get the ticket refunds.

Railway officials said the festival special train had to be cancelled on Monday as the rack of unreserved coaches failed to arrive in Ludhiana on time. "One more unreserved festival special train will leave for Saharsa on Thursday," the officials said.

A group of migrants from Bihar, who could not make it to the special train that left Ludhiana this morning for Saharsa said some of them were trying to board UP and Bihar-bound trains like Amrapali Express, Saryu-Yamuna Express, Jansewa Express and Jannayak Express for the past three days without success.

"All the trains are running full to capacity, and to make the matters worse, those travelling in general coaches often lock the doors from inside when the train halts in Ludhiana to stop others from boarding the train," said Ram Vilas, a native of Katihar in Bihar. Waiting to catch the festival special train for Bihar on Thursday, he said it would be his last attempt to reach his home for the Chhath puja, which had already commenced.


Elderly woman thrashed to death, four booked
Personal enmity said to be the reason behind the attack
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
The Dugri police has booked four persons for thrashing an elderly woman to death.

The accused have been identified as Rahul, Vijay, Sajan and Deepak. The victim has been identified as Raj Rani (70). The murder case has been registered on the complaint of the victim’s son, Deepak Kumar, a resident of Street No 6, Jawaddi.

The complainant stated to the police that the accused trespassed into the house on November 4 and thrashed his mother. The assault proved fatal and the woman succumbed to injuries.

However, the four accused denied the allegations and said that they were not involved in the assault. They further told the police that Raj Rani's son was trying to implicate them in a false case. The police had launched an investigation following the claim and counter claim from both sides.

During the probe, the police found a broken tooth of Raj Rani from the house that had broken when she was assaulted. There were dents on vehicles belonging to the accused.

Further, the mobile location of the accused persons also substantiated that the four persons were present in Raj Rani’s house at the time she was attacked.The police came to know from sources that personal enmity was the reason behind the attack which led to the woman's death.

After collecting all the evidence, the police booked the accused under Section 302 of the IPC and launched a hunt to nab them.



17 samples fail purity test
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
In October, a team of the Health Department collected 101 samples of eatables from different places in the district. Out of which results of 59 samples have been received while the reports of 42 are still pending with the State Food and Drug Laboratory, Chandigarh.

District Health Officer Dr Abnash Kumar said," Out of the 59 samples, 17 samples have failed purity test. Action will be taken against owners of the samples under the Food Safety and Standard Act. Cases against the failed samples will be filed in the court and the cases of samples which have been found to be "substandard" or "misbranded" will be filed in the court of Adjudicating Officer i.e. ADC (General) Ludhiana ."

Among 17 failed samples it was found that non-permitted synthetic colour has been used in a few samples, while foreign fat, mixing of refind oil, starch, aluminum leaves, dead insects, artificial fat, misbranded and extraneous matter etc was found in other eatables.

It takes two weeks time to get the report of each of these samples from the State Food and Drug Laboratory. But reports of 42 samples are still lying pending. DHO Dr Abnash Kumar said, "We send the samples by hand and get the reports by post. We hope to get the result of the remaining samples soon."



Chowpati owners served notice
Told to get change of land use certificates within 72 hours
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has decided to act tough on “chowpati” owners as they were issued notices today and have given them 72 hours to follow building bylaws and get a CLU (change of land use) certificate.

For the last several months, the trend of setting up “chowpatis” on vacant plots in the city has been going on openly and the MC has failed to take any action against the violators.

These “chowpatis” are no more than a group of rehri venders selling fast food, gol gappas, pav bhaji and other such eatables.

The modus operandi adopted by these chowpati owners is that they hire a vacant chunk of land, set up rehris there and start their operations. Ironically, no arrangements for parking are made, besides the owners carry out business operations without even getting CLU certificates.

Interestingly, the civic body, which otherwise doesn’t have funds for development work, does not charge a single penny from the chowpati owners.

When contacted, MC Commissioner Isha Kalia said that the notices had been issued to all chowpati owners by the Assistant Town Planner (Zone D). “They have been given 72 hours to get CLU certificates and follow building bylaws. If such persons fail to act within 72 hours, their premises will be shut down permanently,” she informed.



Tremors felt in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
An eartquake of 4.9 magnitude hit the city this evening. Tremors were felt by residents at 8:21 pm. Residents came out of the houses and buildings.

No loss of property has been reported, but panic spread among residents. Within no time people started calling their near and dear ones enquiring about the earthquake and telling one another about their experiences. Earlier, the city witnessed tremors on August 29 measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale.



Hosiery traders eye brisk business
Expect to rake in between Rs 400 cr and Rs 500 cr this winter season
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
With a change in weather, hosiery industry is keeping its fingers crossed and praying for a good season ahead. With 8,000 units located across the city, the city's hosiery industry is targeting a business between Rs 400 crore and Rs 500 crore this season. Last year, the industry from the city did a business of nearly Rs 250 crore to Rs 300 crore.

Industry which is otherwise facing problems due to the rise in yarn prices is positive to make a quick buck this winter season.

"All the out-of-state orders have been dispatched and now, we are waiting for the local dealers to place their orders. The stock is lying with us and we hope to clear it soon as the winter has begun to set in," said Darshan Dawar, president of the Knitwear Club.

He further said that if all went well, the overall hosiery industry from the city was targeting a business between Rs 400 crore and Rs 500 crore.

"With nip in the air, we are expecting a good business this season. The year has been full of ups and downs with the increase in yarn prices, depreciation in the value of rupee. Now, all our hopes are on the winter season and we pray it starts soon and lasts long so that we can earn a few bucks," added Lalit Mehra, a hosiery trader from Subhani building.

The hosiery goods of Punjab are in great demand not only across the nation, but also worldwide. The industry is a major foreign exchange earner for India.

Another hosiery manufacturer, Vinod Kumar from Bajwa Nagar, said that with the season becoming short in the past couple of years, the manufacturers were left with very limited period for sales. "We are hoping that the season starts in time and all the stock lying with us is cleared soon. We are hoping a good season ahead," he added.



Woollens to cost more
Prices increase by nearly 30 to 40 per cent
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
Be ready to shell out more for keeping yourself warm this winter, as the prices of woollens has been increased by nearly 30 to 40 per cent. Raw wool prices have appreciated by 25 per cent in Australia and New Zealand which are the two major producers.

"Many factors have led to the hike in the price of woollens. The price of yarn has been escalating and the value of rupee depreciated against the US dollar. The raw-wool market is on fire. All these factors have led to the increase in price of woollens this season," said Satish Khanna, MD of JS Knit Fabs at the Jalandhar Bye pass.

Prices of Aussie and New Zealand wool have started rising because China has increased its offtake. Moreover, Australian dollar has appreciated against the rupee and is currently hovering around 59 level. All these have impacted the landed price of wool, he added further.

The rise in cost of raw material will not only jack up prices, but will also hit the sales. "With the production becoming costly, we are left with no other option but to pass some of the burden to the consumers. But the pricing strategy has to be planned carefully because if we hike the prices aimlessly then there will be less buyers. The sales will not jump this year. It will remain flat at the last year’s level," added Yogesh Sinha from Krishna Woollens.

Amit Aggarwal, manufacturer of shawls from Chaura Bazar, said, "We use merino wool from Australia for our shawls. The rupee devaluation has pushed up the prices of our raw material and we have no choice but to pass a portion of it to our customers. We will increase our prices by 15 to 20 per cent."

The woollen garment manufacturers are looking at blended woollen fabrics in which the raw wool content is less than 20 per cent. The market is now being flooded with cashmilon wool under various brand names to meet this year's demand, which is likely to be on the higher side.



Be polite: MC chief to staff
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

people feel agitated
Our employees are hard working, but when they carry out any work in a rude manner, people feel agitated, and then the end result is a big zero

Rahul Tewari, mc commissioner

Ludhiana, November 6
“Be polite” is the latest buzzword in the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation offices. Politeness, according to the MC Commissioner, Rahul Tewari, can prove to be the greatest weapon in the hands of a civic body employee. This, he believes, can create greater confidence in the minds of people and can also improve the working of the MC staff.

Rahul Tewari has issued written orders asking all the MC staff to address the residents visiting the MC offices as “shrimanji” and “madamji”.

“Public confidence is the greatest asset of a government servant,” said Rahul Tewari, while speaking to The Tribune.

“After all, it’s when residents pay taxes that we get our salaries. So, all residents visiting the MC offices should be treated politely. I won’t tolerate arrogant behaviour by any MC employee,” said Tewari.

The “shirimanji” and “madamji” concept is not new to the city. When IPS officer Harpreet Singh Sidhu joined as Ludhiana SSP in 2001, he, too, had directed all the police personnel to address the residents in a similar manner.

The MC Commissioner said when the civic body employees addressed someone rudely, the person go discouraged and stopped highlighting civic issues.

“Our employees are hard working, but when they carry out any work in a rude manner, people feel agitated, and then the end result is a big zero,” said Tewari.

The MC Commissioner has also asked the MC officials to make seating arrangements for all the visitors.

“If there is any shortage of furniture, staff or any other thing, then it should be brought to my notice. We cannot afford to have officials to have a rude behaviour while on duty, because that leaves a poor impression of the entire civic body,” said MC Commissioner Rahul Tewari.



Need to identify learning disability among children at early stage: Expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
Any signs of learning disability among children should be identified at an early stage.

Renowned educator and therapist Ruchika Sachdeva laid stress on this during an awareness workshop organised by a city-based centre working in the field, “Potentials”, in collaboration with the department of human development, Punjab Agricultural University.

Students and teachers of the department besides parents and representatives of major schools in the city attended the workshop.

Ruchika, with a vast experience of working in the field of special and remedial education, emphasised on the need to have more inclusive education in schools. She explained supportive strategies that could be carried out in classrooms. She said the segregation of children with special needs from what we generally perceived to be normal students was an erroneous distinction.

“Every child is unique and has special abilities,” she said, adding that just because a child had deficit in some area should not make him or her liable to be marked out. The inclusive education helped all children, she said.

Puja Kalra, the coordinator of Potentials, said learning disability was a common problem, but not enough was being done in the area.

“Being a specialised institute with limited capacity, we felt there is a need to raise awareness on the issue,” she said.

Earlier, Dr Jatinder Gulati, head of the department, welcomed the guests and emphasised on the need for mainstream schools to come forward in support of the cause.

Drishti Public School, Lehragaga, was honoured for setting up the first inclusive unit in the region and SEABA International Public School, Lehragaga, was recognised for a similar initiative in rural areas.



City in a poetic image
Over 100 poets converge on city for 'Punjabi Kavita Kumbh'
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Disability no bar
Disability could never come in the way of Rajvinder Kaur, a resident of Nawanshahr, who has been writing poetry since childhood and feels a deep connect with her ancestral home in Pakistan in Montgomery district. She writes whatever strikes her mind, but her poetry is more about nature. She started writing in Hindi and Urdu to begin with, but gradually her language of poetry became her mother tongue Punjabi. She cannot keep away from poetic programmes.

Ludhiana, November 6
More than a 100 young poets converged on Punjabi Bhawan to celebrate 'Punjabi Kavita Kumbh' today.

They recited poems to the applause of the admirers of Punjabi poetry. The event was attended by litterateurs and poetry enthusiasts. The young poets recited poems on various themes and issues. Guri Ludhianvi, a poet, said most of the poets are writing on realistic things these days.

"Although the theme of love and separation remains prevalent, younger poets are writing more on realistic issues," he said.

The event was dedicated to poet Sant Ram Udasi. A play dedicated to his life was also showcased in the evening. Noted personalities from Punjabi literature, including Surjit Patar, Gurbhajan Singh Gill, SS Johl and the others attended the event.

Facebook fillip

Facebook and social media have given a fillip to young poets and is helping in the proliferation of Punjabi poetry online. Social media is quickly becoming a platform for young poets to vent their emotions, showcase their poetic talent and creativity. It also helps like-minded people come together and share their writings. Many poets and admirers of Punjabi poetry have come from foreign countries to attend the event. Janmeja Singh Johl, one of the organisers of the event, said most of the people who came for the event got to know about it from Facebook. The campaign was started six months ago.

Avid writer

Lakhvinder Kaur has been writing online for long. Working as an assistant professor at a college in Hoshiarpur, she has been writing poetry and ghazals. She feels that women should not remain confined to the four walls. Although many women can emerge as great writers and poets, only a few get support from their families.

Empowering women

Premjit Kaur, another young poet from Mohali, said women must write about women to empower themselves. They should write on issues related to women.



Reviving roots
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, November 6
Some poets and writers had come to listen to what the young poets had to say. Sudarshan Dhaliwal, who is known as Being Darshan, has come from Kansas City in the US. He said there were 400 Punjabi families in Kansas. "They have created a cultural centre and youths there speak Punjabi. Cultural activities in Punjab have been restricted to schools and universities," he said.

Poetess Surjit Kaur, who has come to attend the event from Toronto, Canada, said the Punjabi culture was flourishing abroad. "Although the writings of Punjab earlier had a longing for their motherland, now they write more about the challenges for the community abroad," she said.

Parminder Sodhi, who has come from Japan, said the number of Punjabi families in Japan was limited. He said amid growing concern that the Punjabi youth lacked insight and sensibility towards art, aesthetics and society, a crop of young poets and litterateurs was like a silver lining.



A tragedy waiting to happen
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
Unipoles are posing a threat to commuters in the city.

After the contract of the advertising companies expired in June, the MC uprooted and removed the unipoles from several parts of the city. But still there are several places in the city from where these unipoles are yet to be removed.

As the MC started uprooting these unipoles, the work was done in such a manner that several ditches were formed, besides portions of the unipoles (made up of iron) were left uncut.

Most of these unipoles were installed along footpaths and now that they have been uprooted, these ditches can lead to a fatal accident as pedestrians can lose their balance and injure themselves.

MC Additional Commissioner Isha Kalia said she had already issued orders to its staff that after removing the unipoles, the ditches should be filled.

"But if any such unipoles are posing a threat to the pedestrians, I will ask the staff to fill and repair the spots," she claimed.



MC meeting turns out to be a damp squib
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
Annoyed over the defacement of public property, the civic body held a meeting with political parties and social organisations.

But the efforts of the MC proved futile as only a few turned up at the meeting.

MC officials had invited district presidents of all political parties, social as well as religious organisations, but none of the district presidents attended the meeting, although they sent their representatives.

The civic body has decided to act tough against violators.

On the behalf of Bharatiya Janata Party, councillors Inder Aggarwal and Sarabjit Singh Kaka attended the meeting while from the Shiromani Akali Dal, Jasdev Singh Gohalwaria showed up. The Congress sent their representative, the Communist party sent its representative and from Bhavadas, it was Vijay Danav who attended the meeting.

Ever since the contract of advertising companies expired in June, the unipoles are blatantly being used by political parties. Not only the vacant unipoles, but some political parties have even installed hoardings on the direction boards. A senior MC official said they faced problems while removing religious hoardings. "People who install illegal religious hoardings should understand that in a way they are defacing public property, which is illegal," he said.

MC Additional Commissioner Isha Kalia stated that the MC had sent invitations to all political parties, religious as well as social organisations. "We will not tolerate illegal advertisements. We will issue challans and even get FIRs registered against violators. FIRs will be lodged against those who paste posters on public property," said Kalia. "We are identifying places where such hoardings can be installed. Our survey will be completed by tomorrow and then we will prepare a list. The religious organisations will be allowed to install hoardings at such designated places for a week," said Isha Kalia.



15-yr-old murder case solved
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
The police has claimed to have cracked a 15-year-old blind murder case.

The Salem Tabri police was reluctant to share details about the case. Balwinder Singh, SHO, Salem Tabri police station, hung up on the reporter when he was asked to provide the name of the woman who had hired contract killers to murder her brother, Sucha Singh (45).

Sources said the police was digging the area in a village at Salem Tabri where the body of a man was buried.

"We are hoping to find some mortal remains as it will help us in strengthening the case," said a police officer.

It is learnt that Commissioner of Police Paramjit Singh Gill monitored the case. In order to hoodwink the police, the woman had filed a missing report.

Police sources said while the woman had been arrested, efforts were on to nab the contract killers.

Monetary dispute was stated to be the reason behind the murder. The case dates back to 1999, when the victim had lent Rs 8 lakh to his sister. After sometime, the victim asked his sister to return the money, but the latter refused.

This further led to an ugly property dispute. As per information, the victim was pressing her sister to return the money. Pushed to a corner, the woman hired contract killers and got her brother killed. Later, the contract killer buried the boy in a vacant land of the village. The mystery unfolded recently when the police received crucial information that the woman, who was claiming that her brother had gone missing, had orchestrated the murder conspiracy. 



27 persons test positive for dengue
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
Twenty-seven cases of dengue have surfaced in the city. Sixteen patients are from Ludhiana district.

Integrated Disease Programme Officer Dr Anil Verma said,"So far, 749 cases have been reported in Ludhiana district." The health officials have been urging residents not to keep containers on rooftops.

The residents should clean water coolers once a week.



Traffic police personnel go into awareness overdrive
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
The police went into traffic awareness overdrive, literally. As the Commissioner of Police, Paramjit Singh, had instructed all station house officers to create traffic awareness in their respective areas, the officers were not leaving any stone unturned.

The police officers, holding placards, were seen visiting markets and schools.

The officers failed to make a difference on roads as commuters kept indulging in traffic violations.

The Commissioner, too, visited many places in the city to take stock of the traffic awareness drive.

In the evening, the Commissioner called for an emergency traffic awareness seminar with politicians, representative of NGOs, industrialists and sought their suggestion on improving traffic scenario.

During the seminar, BJP leader Ravinder Arora pointed out that the traffic police personnel stood in the middle of roads which could prove fatal. Arora said trees that had come in he middle of roads should be chopped.

However, his plea was rebutted by veteran leader Sham Singh Harika who said chopping of trees was not a solution. "Delineators and reflectors should be installed on trees. We cannot chop the trees on the pretext of expanding roads," said Sham Singh Harika. Arora said the NGOs should also help the police in dealing with traffic violators, especially those who indulge in reckless driving, break the lane and cause a traffic jam.

Another representative of an NGO said instead of regulating traffic, the policemen remained busy taking calls.

Prof Rajinder Singh said, "Nearly 50,000 vehicles are bought every year. The city roads do not have the strength to accommodate so many vehicles. We have developed a habit of blaming the traffic police for all our errors. We need to change their mindset. Respect for traffic rules should be ingrained among the residents." Sham Singh Harika remembered Sham Sunder Juneja, who started traffic awareness and played a pivotal role in establishing traffic park in the city.

Representatives of the CII and the LMA offered infrastructure support to the traffic police. Rahul, a member of the CII, said the PCR personnel were not using the special halt office constructed for them at Focal Point, Phase IV 4 and VIII.He said the offices were constructed for increasing police presence in the crime-prone Focal Point area.

Rahul Verma, a businessman, who spends a day with the traffic police said a special drive should be launched as illegal autos had again started plying on roads.

Commissioner of Police Paramjit Singh Gill said no drive could be successful without public participation.

"Even terrorism was eradicated only after people of the state took the resolve to root out the menace. Similarly, traffic problem cannot be resolved without active public participation."

He admitted that the police turned a blind eye to the misuse of red beacon. He said only five vehicles with red beacon atop had been challaned till September.

"I have abstained from using police siren. I am against overspeeding," said the Commissioner of Police.

ADCP (Traffic) Harmohan Singh, ADCP (Headquarters) SS Brar, ADCP-IV Swapan Sharma, ACP (Traffic) Deepak Hilori and traffic expert Pritpal Singh were also present.



Basmati growers can expect better prices this year: Farm varsity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
The Agricultural Market Intelligence Centre (AMIC) of Punjab Agricultural University has predicted higher prices for basmati rice this year.

Dr Jagrup Singh Sidhu, in-charge, AMIC, said the centre had been continuously monitoring the demand, supply and price scenario of basmati, and was expected better prices for basmati growers during 2013-14.

To fetch maximum prices, regulate the arrival of the crop in the market, he said. The produce should be cleaned and dried up to the required level to add further value, he told the farmers.

Dr Sidhu said the export demand for the Indian basmati rice was continuously escalating due to the widening of international market and devaluation of the Indian rupee. Besides, the traditional main importers of basmati, such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Kuwait, and new importers including Iraq, Russia and China have shown interest for Indian rice, he said.

Consequently, the export of basmati rice from India increased from 23 lakh tonne (Rs 11,354 crore) during 2010-11 to 31 lakh tonne (Rs 15,450 crore) during 2011-12, and touched 35 lakh tonne during 2012-13, with the total realisation of Rs 19,391 crore, said Dr Sidhu.

The average international prices of basmati rice also remained favourable, around USD 1,000 per tonne during 2012-13, and currently are between USD 1,050 to USD 1,400 per tonne. As a result, the domestic prices also remained high, in the range of Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,500 per quintal during 2012-13, and currently are above Rs 3,000 per quintal, he said.

Dr Sidhu said the area in major basmati growing states was expected to grow by 20 per cent, i.e. from 15 lakh hectare to 18 lakh hectare, and production was expected to increase from around 40 lakh tonne to 45 lakh tonne. The area under basmati rice in Punjab increased by around one lakh hectare due to the promotion of basmati under state diversification plan, he said. The production is expected to increase from 12 lakh tonne to 14 lakh tonne, he said.



R&D centre
PTU norms ignored, say students
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
Students of R&D Centre for Bicycle and Sewing Machine, Focal Point, today protested against the principal for violating the guidelines of Punjab Technical University (PTU). Members of Active Action Group also supported the protesting students.

Airing their grievances, the protesting students said the college authorities were not following the guidelines. Information sought under the RTI Act revealed that in the past three years, 1,009 students were admitted to various diploma courses, but only 598 applications were accompanied by medical certificates, said the protestors.

The students went on to allege that the centre was regularly getting funds for providing gym and organising health check-ups and cultural programmes, but students were being deprived of these facilities. Students also accused the principal of not paying the staff as per the grades set by the authorities.



crop production
Rural youths trained at PAU

Ludhiana: A three-month training course on crop production concluded at Punjab Agricultural University on Wednesday. As many as 46 youths from various rural parts of Punjab attended the course, organised by the Directorate of Extension Education, PAU.

The chief guest, Dr MS Gill, director of extension education, called upon the participants to reap maximum benefit from the technical expertise of PAU faculty.

The course coordinator, Dr TS Riar, said the university experts educated the participants on crop production, horticulture, vegetable cultivation, bee keeping, mushroom cultivation, dairy farming and other farm-related activities. — TNS



Quilling catching up with art enthusiasts in city
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
The art of quilling, also called paper filigree, has become popular among city residents, with more art and craft enthusiasts learning and using it to create beautiful decorative items.

The art involves rolling of strips of colourful or white paper on quills to create coils, which are further turned into different shapes and designs to create decorative pieces. The strips of paper are then glued from one edge and pasted on the surface to create three-dimensional pieces.

"There is no end to what designs and shapes one can create using these strips. With creative use of the strips of paper, one can create fascinating designs and work of art,” says city-based artist Meenu Mahajan.

"The overall design stands out from the surface, giving it depth. Quilling, once learnt, is an asset. One can convert any simple piece of paper, gift or packing material into a piece of art," says Meenu.

"I learnt quilling from the basics, making simple patterns," says Richa, who has recently learnt the art.

"I have created clocks, envelopes and other 3D art," she says, adding, "It is not difficult to learn, but one has to practise a lot to become perfect.”

Beautiful decorative envelopes, wedding trousseau, gifts, designer wall hangings and many other items can be created using this art.

"In the past, quilling was not much in demand, but now, many youngsters, hobbyists and schoolchildren come to get quilling kits,” says a stationer.

Light-weight jewellery, too, is being created using the technique.

"Light-weight jewellery in various designs, including floral, butterfly and other shapes is created using the technique. With the use of a kind of varnish, the paper jewellery becomes lasting," says a designer.



Paddy stubble burning raises concern
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 6
The Punjab Government and the Punjab Pollution Control Board want that a ban should be imposed on the burning of paddy stubble and defaulters be dealt with sternly.

In the absence of any alternative, the practice continues unabated and the authorities too find it difficult to take action against thousands of farmers.

Ropar Deputy Commissioner Pradeep Aggarwal said since it was a major problem, steps had to be jointly taken by farmers, government and private companies.

"One such plant, Agni biotech, has been set up in Ropar district. It makes bio fuel and it is supplied to Himachal Pradesh, including Baddi. Forty villages have been associated with the plant, which takes the leftover from the fields and makes bio fuel. Farmers pay reasonable prices for it. If an alternative is given to farmers, stubble burning in fields can be stopped," said Aggarwal.

Punjab Pollution Control Board's take

Chairman of the Punjab Pollution Control Board Ravinder Singh said farmers should use machines like rotavators and happy zero trill drill. These will not only provide respite from pollution but will also make the soil fertile. "By burning the straw in open fields, friendly insects inside in the soil (up to 4-5 inches) get destroyed. Through these machines, the leftover will be composed and soil will become more fertile. Subsidy is also being provided to farmers to purchase these machines," said the chairman, adding that as per NASA reports, the pollution levels had increased after October 20.

Machines not successful, say farmers

President of the Bharti Kisan Union (Rajewal) Balbir Singh Rajewal said all farmers could not purchase the machines due to financial constraints. The machines are not successful as straw gets stuck in these.

Harmful effects

The air pollution caused by the burning of leftover straw leads to eye irritation, respiratory diseases like bronchitis and asthma. Besides, it increases individual disease mitigation expenses and also affects one's working capacity. Apart from it, the burning of stubble affects the life of animals, birds and other insects.



Biometric attendance system does not go down well with LIT staff
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 6
Employees of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) do not take their duty hours seriously. Their reluctance to switch to the biometric attendance system (BAS), despite the executive officer's orders, is testimony to the slackness.

The directions were to take effect from September 1, 2013. Information provided by LIT to Arvind Sharma, secretary of the Council of RTI Activists, under the Right to Information Act, indicated that as many as 83 employees and officials were not marking their attendance at the BAS machine which was installed at the office in June, 2013. The data recorded by the machine showed that 69 employees who had started punching the machine were either arriving late or leaving early. Many failed to mark the time of leaving the office, thus negating the entire purpose of the installation of the machine.

Defending the reluctance on the part of majority of the employees and officials of LIT to switch to BAS, the Public Information Officer of the Trust stated that there were no rules/provisions for marking the attendance through the biometric attendance system.

As per information received by Sharma, an office order issued by the executive officer of LIT on August 21, 2013, had directed all employees to mark their attendance through the biometric attendance system installed in the office. The orders had stated that those failing to punch the machine from September 1, 2013, would be treated as absent from duty.

LIT officials said the biometric attendance system was a new technique and most of the employees were not familiar with its working. "Heads of various departments in the office are being directed to familiarise the employees with the system and make sure that instructions to switch to BAS are complied with." In a complaint submitted to the Principal Secretary, Punjab Government, Local Bodies Minister and Chief Vigilance Officer, the Council of RTI Activists has sought suitable departmental action against erring employees and officials who had not followed the office orders to mark their attendance at the BAS machine.

The council has also asked the Local Government Department to issue strict instructions to LIT to ensure that each member of the staff, including officials, switched to the system without any further delay so that the employees and officials were available in the office during duty hours and their arrival as well as departure from the office were recorded.



District Revenue Officer alleges 'harassment'
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Munshi suspended
Munshi Dharminder Kumar, against whom District Revenue Officer had lodged a complaint with the Deputy Commissioner, was suspended on Wednesday evening. The orders were issued by the Commissioner of Police, PS Gill.

Ludhiana, November 6
District Revenue Officer Mukesh Sharma, who has been awarded by the state government for his honesty, has written a complaint to the Deputy Commissioner alleging that he had to face 'harassment' while lodging a complaint at the Sadar police station.

Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal said he had received a complaint from the DRO.

"Since I am in Chandigarh for an official meeting, I will act once I get the details of the incident," said Aggarwal.

The Revenue Officer stated that his son Ketan Sharma reached India (Delhi) from Canada on October 26. And on October 27, he started for Ludhiana. On reaching home, he found his small bag containing a passport, PR card and other important documents missing.

"I took him to the Sadar police station for getting a complaint registered. The munshi on duty said since it was a Sunday, a DDR could not be registered," said Sharma, adding that he called up the ACP and told him that munshi was reluctant to register the DDR.

Following which the munshi registered the DDR. Since the munshi had to register the DDR as the ACP had asked for it, he deliberately did not mention about the missing PR card, without which the Embassy could not have entertained my son.

"I was handed over a wrong copy. We had to face the agony for two days. I have requested the Deputy Commissioner to bring it to the notice of the Commissioner of Police," said Sharma.



from schools
PowerPoint presentation

Students give a presentation on PowerPoint during an inter-school competition at GN International Public School in Ludhiana on Wednesday.
Students give a presentation on PowerPoint during an inter-school competition at GN International Public School in Ludhiana on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana: GN International Public School, Model Town, organised Ludhiana Sahodaya Schools Complex PowerPoint Presentation Competition on the school campus. As many as 30 teams from eminent schools of Ludhiana gave presentations on mathematical and scientific topics: Green Mathematics for sustainable future, Food security in India, Nano technology--beginning of a new era, Applications of different equations, etc. The principal, Gurmant Kaur Gill, said such competitions were organised to harness life skills and to groom the overall personalities of the students.

Traffic awareness

A traffic awareness workshop was organised for the senior wing of Green Land Senior Secondary Public School. ACP, Ludhiana (North), Raj Kumar Jalhotra made students aware about traffic rules besides various social evils prevalent in the society. He highlighted the need to be responsible citizens and keep away from social vices. He responded to different queries made by students and cleared their doubts. The chairman of Green Land Schools, Rajesh Rudhra, advised the students to obey traffic rules for their own and other’s safety. Around 500 students of SDP Senior Secondary School were also made aware about traffic rules by the SHO of the Daresi police station, Sanjeev Kapoor, and ASI Vinod Kumar. Sanjeev Kapoor motivated the students to maintain law and order. Principal Jasveer Singh Chauhan thanked the police for taking the initiative.

Students felicitated

Ryan International School felicitated students of Classes VI and VII who scored 80 per cent and above marks. They were honoured at a special assembly by guest of honor Parveena John, principal of Ryan International School, Jamalpur. The headmistress, Ritu Syal, advised to concentrate on studies.

Music album launched

Green Grove launched its maiden music album recorded by the rock band Green Grove Dynamoz. Singers Priya Sharma, Navpreet Kaur, Karanveer Bhatti, Harman Kaur, Navjot Kaur, Suhail Goria, Amritpal Singh Bajwa, Taman Dhindsa, Jaskaran Singh Gill, Arshdeep Mankoo, Navdeep Kaur and Gursimran dedicated the first CD of “Tapping Tunes” to the school president. The music has been given by Avi and Manpal. — TNS



ludhiana scan
Awareness on govt schemes

The Press Information Bureau of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, in collaboration with the district administration, will hold an exhibition and seminars from November 9 to 11 to make people aware about the Centrally funded schemes. Holding a meeting with the heads of various departments, Additional Deputy Commissioner (D) Baldev Singh said the exhibition will be held on the playground opposite Shaheed Col Harcharan Singh Sekhon Senior Secondary School. Various stalls will be set up to provide knowledge about the schemes launched by the Central Government. These include MGNREGA, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, National Rural Health Mission, Aadhaar card, Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme and food security.

Teachers oppose privatisation

A meeting of CSS, SSA teachers’ union was held on Wednesday. They decided to hold a convention against the filling of posts on contractual basis on November 17. District general secretary Hardeep said the privatisation policy was harassing lakhs of employees. With the efforts of the association, salaries of teachers working under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan and Rashtriya Adhiyapak Sikhiya have been increased, but their services have not been regularised even after working for five years, he said.

Ghazal competition

Second inter-college ghazal competition will be held at Punjabi Bhawan on November 9. President of Punjabi Sahit Akademi Prof Gurbhajan Gill appealed to the participants not to sing compositions that hurt religious sentiments. Two students will be selected from one college, said Gill.

Actors come calling

Starcast of upcoming Punjabi movie “Dil Sadda Luteya Gya” was in the city onThe starcast of ‘Dil Sadda Luteya Gya’ in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Wednesday. Actors Ashmit Patel, Rana Jang Bahadur and Jividha were here to promote the movie. The movie revolves around Angad, who falls in love with two girls. To win his heart, the girls have to impress two men who jointly adopted Angad. The actors called the movie an entertainer. Other actors include Mangi Mahal, Sudesh Lehri, Rana Ranbir and BN Sharma. The movie has been directed by Hardeep Baddowal and releases on November 8.
The starcast of ‘Dil Sadda Luteya Gya’ in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Punjabi play

The Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry will stage the play "Karmo" at Dakha town from November 9 to 13. This play will be staged under Bharat Nirman Jan Suchna Muhim of the Ministry. Two-hundred artistes and technicians will help in staging the play, which is a Punjabi adaptation of the Hindi play “Jamuniya”.


The scouts and guides who took part in the National Integration Camp held at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh have made the city proud by winning the overall trophy there. Around 800 scouts and guides from 23 states took part in this camp. The eight scouts and seven guides from the district outshined others in folk dance, folk song, exhibition, quiz and other such events. — TNS



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