L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Weather woes
Power, water supply hit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
While the dense fog enveloping the region relented to some extent, the drizzle that started late in the afternoon on Saturday played spoil sport for the city residents who had to face persistent tripping of power supply, extended outages and consequent disruption in water supply during the last 36 hours.

Several localities, including posh residential and commercial areas like Civil Lines, Ghumar Mandi, BRS Nagar, Sarabha Nagar, Haibowal, Upkar Nagar and many of the old city areas, went without power for most hours of the Saturday night. In many of these colonies, people did not get their water supply in the morning as power supply was restored in a phased manner from late morning to noon.

Sources in the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited said there was a snag in the 220 KV line of the Humbran substation on Friday night with the result power supply remained disrupted in several areas around Civil Lines, Kitchlu Nagar, Haibowal and localities along Ferozepur Road.

“Even though power supply was restored, some load shedding had to be resorted to as the alternative feeders could not take the entire additional load,” said a Punjab State Power Corporation Limited official.

The light showers that had lashed the city for several hours from Saturday evening to early morning on Sunday, made the matters worse as more than two dozen feeders in different parts of the city were affected, leading to power shutdown in most parts of the city.

Several residents in Upkar Nagar, Guru Nanak Pura, Prem Nagar and Kundanpuri localities in Civil Lines complained that power supply remained erratic since late evening on Saturday till Sunday morning.

“We had no water for cooking or daily routine in the household while heaters had remained off due to power failure for almost 12 hours in many parts of the city,” said Lakhbir Singh, a resident of Upkar Nagar.

Officials of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited claimed that power supply as of now was near normal in the city and almost all feeders that were affected due to rain had been made operational.


Excise Dept unearths VAT evasion scam
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
The Punjab Excise and Taxation Department has unearthed yet another scam involving the evasion of value added tax (VAT) worth crores. Two city-based firms had devised a new method for evading tax. They would show on paper they were transporting goods to Rajasthan in "non-existent" vehicles.

Sources in the department revealed that goods were never sent out of Punjab and the whole transaction, right from billing, clearance at department's interstate checkpoints and delivery of goods in Rajasthan were executed only on paper and fake vehicle registration numbers were mentioned in such fabricated deals.

“In connivance with the department officials deputed at interstate checkpoints, the two firms had evaded VAT by showing that they were transporting goods to other states on vehicles, which do not exist in the transport records. The firms, dealing in goods of daily use, had shown movement of goods worth Rs 28 crore despatched to dealers in Rajasthan,” said a source in the department.

The VAT evasion scam by the two firms was detected when the Excise staff noticed that more than two dozen vehicles used in the transportation of goods from Punjab had registration numbers of Rajasthan and the inquiry into the matter revealed that many of these vehicles were non-existent in the records of the District Transport Office, Rajasthan.

How they evaded VAT

Dealers have to pay around 14.5 per cent VAT on commodities of daily use. These two firms, however, showed on paper that they were exporting the goods to other states and in such cases they were liable to pay only 2 per cent of the goods' cost in the form of central sales tax (CST).



Trains still running late
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 22
Even as the thick blanket of fog covering the region cleared a wee bit and visibility also improved after light showers lashed the city and Sun also appeared after a gap of five days, the rail traffic still remains off the track with many of the long-route trains running late. There was, however, some relief for rail travellers on the Amritsar-Ludhiana-New Delhi section as most of the trains running on this section maintained their respective time schedule on Saturday and Sunday.

The railway officials said barring the delay of a few minutes in some cases, the pair of Amrtisar-New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi trains, New Delhi-Ludhiana-Moga Shatabdi, Amritsar-New Delhi Intercity Express and Jalandhar-New Delhi Intercity Express trains were running on time.

However, many trains going to or coming from states like West Bengal, Bihar, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat were running behind schedule by anything from one and half to nine hours, causing harassment to the public.

According to railway officials, 12413/12414 Puja Superfast Express running between Ajmer-Jammu-Ajmer were running late by 9 hrs and 5.30 hrs respectively. Among other trains not sticking to the time table were 59389 Chhindwara-Amritsar Panchvalley Express (3.05 hrs), 18101 Tata Nagar-Jammu Muri Express (2.50 hrs), 14051 Delhi-Jammu Express (1.50 hrs), 13049 Howrah-Amritsar Express (4.15 hrs), 12331 Kolkata-Jammu Himgiri Express (2.30 hrs), 15707 (Katihar0Amritsar Amrapali Express (4.20 hrs), 12919 Indore-Jammu Malwa Express (1.55 hrs), 14674 Jaynagar0Amritsar Shaheed Express (5.40 hrs), 11057 Mumbai-Amritsar Dadar Express (2.45 hrs), 12473 Ahmedabad-Jammu Sarvodaya Express (1.20 hrs), 12357 Kolkata-Amritsar Durgiana Superfast (1.10 hrs) and 12715 Hazur Sahib-Amritsar Sachkhand Express (1.15 hrs).

The railway officials said even though the weather was showing signs of improvement, the cascading effect will remain for a few more days even if the weather conditions remain favourable in the days to come.



Year-end celebrations
Recession casts shadow on travel plans
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
Residents of the city are known to lead life in style and for making their celebrations memorable they don't mind spending a few lakhs to visit overseas destination during the Christmas and New Year celebrations. But if those running tours and travel businesses are to believe, then "recession" has cast a shadow on the new year plans of the residents. The travel agents say there was about 40 per cent downfall in the bookings to foreign destinations this time.

Rupjit Saggar of Saggarsons said though Dubai remained the favourite destination among residents this year besides countries like Malaysia and Singapore, compared to last year, there was a slump of about 40 per cent in the travel industry. "Fluctuating dollar, a slump in real estate business, overall recession in the market could be some of the reasons preventing residents from going overseas for celebrations," said Saggar.

Dubai packages start with Rs 40,000 per person for three nights and four days and during the end of the year, the country pulls crowds due to the ongoing Dubai festival too. "A majority of residents prefer to go to Dubai while Phuket, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore are also favourite with residents," he said.

Ravi Sharma, another travel agent, said in domestic destinations, Goa was favourite among Ludhianvis. "We have booked packages for families for Mumbai and Goa as people wish to travel in a cruise ship too. It is the peak time in Goa where grand celebrations for New Year and Christmas are held. We are getting many queries for Goa," said the agent.

Meanwhile, Ritesh Malhotra (name changed), who has visited places, including Singapore, Phuket and Dubai, said since there was a downfall in his business, he will take the family to Delhi this time. "And it will be the celebrations for December 31 only and we will come back on January 1. Only the big fish can survive in the times of recession while for a marginalised businessman, recessions means a lot," Malhotra added.

A homemaker, Ridhi, said it was "useless" to spend about Rs 20,000 per family on enjoying New Year's Eve celebrations at a hotel. "The amount is huge and I personally feel it is a waste of money for just few hours. We are planning to have a quiet dinner at a good place and then enjoy with the friends at somebody's farmhouse," she added.



Players of sports wings deprived of hostel facility
200 players travel twice a week to attend training sessions at Guru Nanak Stadium
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
Though the state government spends crores of rupees to organise World Cup Kabaddi every year, the trainees of the sports wings of the Sports Department have been deprived of even basic facilities.

More than 200 players of different sports have been receiving training at these sports wings in Ludhiana. The department has offered training to palyers of 18 sports, including athletics, basketball, boxing, badminton, cycling, football, gymnastics, hockey, handball, judo, kabaddi, kho-kho, lawn tennis, swimming, table tennis, volleyball, weightlifting and wrestling, under a residential scheme launched in the district.

Ironically, the department doesn’t have a hostel or any other accommodation for the players. They have to make their lodging arrangements on their own. Most of the players reside in the hostels of their respective colleges. The trainees at the hockey wing have been staying at Malwa Khalsa Senior Secondary School.

In the absence of a sports hostel, the players have been suffering a lot as they have to travel twice a day to attend training sessions at the stadium.

A few years ago, the district sports officials had sent a proposal to the state government for the renovation of the Block C of Guru Nanak Stadium as its accommodation can be used as a hostel. However, the proposal never materialised.

“The state government has spent crores on promoting sports but it will not help sports persons much. Instead of installing canopies on the stadium, the authorities should have constructed hostels for players. The canopies and other decorations will be in use for only one day every year during the mega event but a hostel will benefit players throughout year. The government should fix priorities,” said a player.

Kartar Singh, District Sports Officer, said: “We don’t have the hostel facility for trainees and it’s our long-pending demand. We have sent a proposal for renovating the C block of Guru Nanak Stadium at a cost of Rs 50 lakh. But the government did not respond".



Weather plays spoilsport for Sufi singer’s fans
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
Pakistani Sufi singer Arif Lohar's concert has been cancelled for the second time, much to the disappointment of his fans in the city. Scheduled to be held at Sutlej Club, the concert was cancelled due to inclement weather. Rain and cold weather played spoilsport for hundreds of fans of the celebrated Sufi singer.

Ruchi Bawa, cultural secretary of the club, said the event would now be organised in January next year.

Earlier, the concert was to be held on December 7, but it was cancelled by the Deputy Commissioner, who is also the president of the club, in view of the state mourning declared after the demise of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela.

"I was disappointed for the second time for not being able to listen to Arif Lohar live. I am a huge fan of his and his father Alam Lohar. Alam Lohar was a legend and Arif has already earned a lot of popularity that is spectacular," says Pallavi, a resident.

"I hope people of Ludhiana get third time lucky. The curiosity to meet and listen to the great Sufi singer live has only increased, and I can't wait any longer," says another club member.



Illegal beacons
Police crack down on violators
Our Correspondent

Sudhar/Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 22
Taking cognisance of reports of illegal use of red beacons, the police have launched a special drive to challan violators. The rank and file of the department have been advised to follow zero tolerance against the violators, irrespective of the political allegiance of the violator being caught.

Owners of vehicles, which earlier used to impress government officials by using red or blue beacons, have started removing these at least for the time being.

SHOs and beat officers falling in the jurisdiction of Ludhiana (rural), Khanna, Sangrur and Ludiana have been directed to take stern action against those who were caught misusing red beacons on vehicles with immediate effect. The updated list of officials and persons authorised to use red and blue beacons and siren have been provided to the authorities concerned to check the menace.

Senior Superintendents of Police, at Ludhiana (Rural), Khanna and Sangrur had earlier directed circle officers at Malerkotla, Raikot, Dakha and Amargarh to ensure that the directions of the Supreme Court against the unauthorised use of red beacons by people were implemented in letter and spirit in their respective areas.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Gill Gurpreet Singh Sikand said the SHOs at Dehlon and Sadar police stations had been advised to organise special nakas on highways to check the menace.

Perusal of records revealed that a number of vehicles had been challaned for violating rules regarding the use of beacons during the past days.

A white Innova vehicle (PB 10 DR 6309), registered in the name of former MP and chairman SC Wing of the Congress, Mohinder Singh Kalyan was challaned at the Block Road, Sudhar, by police personnel supervised by SHO Rajesh Sharma. Balvir Singh of Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana, was driving the vehicle.

Earlier, a black Balero vehicle bearing a red beacon, siren and black film, and being driven by Manchet Singh, was challaned by the same party.

Investigations revealed that the driver’s father was a senior official in a civic body at Moga, but he was not authorised to use the beacon



PAU Notes
Research workshop

A two-day “Research and extension specialists’ workshop for fruits, mushroom, agro-forestry along with post-harvest management, farm power and machinery, food technology and agricultural economics” concluded at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on Sunday. Officials of the State Department of Horticulture, Directors of Regional and Fruit Research Stations, Associate/Deputy Directors (Training) from krishi vigyan kendras, senior district extension specialists, senior officials of PAU and heads of various departments of the university participated in the workshop. PAU Vice-Chancellor Baldev Singh Dhillon, who was the chief guest, said: “An excellent work has been done by PAU in horticultural crops, mushrooms, and agro-forestry in the past.” Dr LS Brar, Director of Horticulture, Punjab, spoke on the “Targets, production and problems of fruits crops.”

Yellow rust ‘serious disease’ of wheat

Yellow rust was one of the most serious diseases of wheat that could affect the yield of the crop tremendously, said Dr PP Singh, Head, department of plant pathology, PAU. For the past five-six years, the disease was regularly appearing in the sub-mountainous districts of Punjab during December-January, he said, adding that it could spread to other districts of the state as well. The prevailing environmental conditions (relative humidity and temperature) were highly conducive and there was likelihood of the appearance of this disease shortly in wheat fields, he told farmers. Dr Singh said scientists of the department of plant pathology and wheat section of the department of plant breeding and genetics were regularly monitoring the appearance of yellow rust in the fields of the farmers of sub-mountainous areas of Punjab. Till date, no report of the occurrence of this disease had been received, he said. For further queries, experts of plant pathology could be contacted at phone No 0161-2401960/Ext. 319. — TNS



Year 2013 ender
A happening year on cultural front
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Artistes enact a scene from a play, “Two to Tango, Three to Jive”, at the Guru Nanak Bhawan in Ludhiana; and (right) paintings on display at an art exhibition organised at the Gallery Artmosphere. File photographs

Ludhiana, December 22
The year witnessed several activities on the cultural, fashion and literary front. Books, including "The Khwahish - A wish" by Sumeet Gogia, "Man Tandoor" by Gurbhajan Singh Gill, "Geet Paraga" by Daljeet Jassal, "A Silent Dream" by Bhagya Shree, in addition to many others, were released in the city. Several literary events, including Punjabi Kavita Kumbh and book exhibitions, were organised at the Punjabi Bhawan.

A Punjabi play, "Teri Amrita", starring Om Puri and Divya Dutta was staged by the Ludhiana Sankritik Samagam at the Guru Nanak Bhawan in February.

A musical play titled “Kabeer” was staged by Shekhar Sen in which he performed many acts in February again. Ashvin Gidwani's play, “Two to Tango, Three to Jive”, was staged in August at the Guru Nanak Bhawan. Organised by the Ludhiana Sanskritik Samagam, the play starred Achint Kaur, Sadiya Siddique, Preiti Mamgain and Surabh Shukla. It was directed by Shukla.

Singer Satinder Sartaaj performed in a concert titled “Afsaane Sartaaj De” in March and Hans Raj Hans performed in the city recently.

Art exhibitions by the local artists were organised at the Gallery Artmosphere and a couple of times at the MS Randhawa Art Gallery at the PAU.

The fashion event, “Blender's Pride Fashion Week” brought celebrities, including brand ambassadors Simran Kaur Mundi and Arjan Bajwa, apart from many models, fashion designers and Bollywood stars, to the city.

Designers, including Rocky S, Aslam Khan, AD Singh, Sandeep and Ravi and many Bollywood and Punjabi film actors like Karishma Tanna, Divya Dutta, in addition to others, walked the ramp. Designer Rajesh Pratap Singh also visited the city. Fashion events were organised by the city-based fashion institutes like INIFD, SIFT, etc. Annual fashion and lifestyle exhibitions brought several fashion labels from different parts of the country to the city.

Star casts of various Punjabi movies released this year like "Sadda Haq", "Fer Mamla Gadbad Gadbad", "RSVP", "Jatt Boyz", "Bikkar Bai", "Jatt Airways", "Nabar", "Jatt and Juliet 2", etc, visited the city for the promotion of their films.

Bollywood actor and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai visited the city for the inauguration of a jewellery showroom, while Salman Khan visited for the inauguration of a ‘Being Human’ showroom in a city mall recently. Hundreds of fans turned up to have a glimpse of the Bollywood stars.



Despite check, encroachments galore

While adhering to the High Court's directions, the MC may be trying hard to remove encroachments from the city and facing the wrath of the public; however, fresh encroachments continue to take place every second day in the city, especially in the areas like Bhadaur House, Mata Rani Chowk area, etc. It becomes difficult to pass through the stretch of about half-a-kilometer as shopkeepers in the AC Market and near the Improvement Trust building have conveniently encroached upon the public land. Corridors are blocked by shopkeepers, causing inconvenience to the public. The authorities should get into action to provide respite to the commuters, whose half of the time and energy go waste in arguing with defaulters.

Theatre or cinema!

Theatre and cinema have a very thin line between them. But today, cinema has gone far ahead of the theatre. We still find some artistes who are truly dedicated to theatre. There are still others whose first love, undoubtedly, is theatre but they are working in cinema to earn quick bucks. Recently, during an annual function of one of the colleges in the city, I was surprised to see a perfectly executed play on the stage (see photo). I found a lease of life in theatre. Still, there are youngsters who find interest in theatre. Unaware of the difference, some people even call a cinema hall as a theatre hall. Next time when you are going to watch a movie, call it a cinema hall and if you are going to watch a play, call it a theatre.

Traffic regulation

Policemen deployed at various busy intersections and problematic spots in different parts of the city are often found wanting when it comes to regulating traffic and effective intervention in traffic jams. Either the traffic policemen are ill-trained or they are not properly motivated to carry out the task assigned to them as most of them apparently derive pleasure in issuing challans. The other day when traffic was held up on Deepak Cinema Road right up to Clock Tower on one side and from Mata Rani Chowk to Bhadaur House turning on the other, the policemen deployed at T-point on Domoria Pul Road were telling the vehicle drivers to take a diversion towards Old Sabzi Mandi Chowk rather than intervening in the jam. When one of the car drivers asked the policemen to assist the stuck motorists, one of them said: “Inha nein gaddian aape phasaiyan ne, bhugtan deo (The traffic jam is of their, vehicle drivers, own making, so let them suffer).

(Contributed by Shivani Bhakoo, Manav Mander, Kuldip Bhatia)



National highway
Missing reflectors an invitation to mishaps
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, December 22
The absence of reflectors on the diversions on the Sahnewal to Doraha stretch of National Highway No. 1 is putting lives to risk in foggy weather. Though the visibility has reduced considerably, the authorities have failed to install reflectors or repaint the white lines dividing the two sides of the highway.

“Faded white lines, dug-up trenches and lack of proper indicators tell the story of negligence on the part of the private contractor. This is mainly due to the prolonged process of road widening and the lack of preparedness on the part of the authorities,” said Pritam Singh Jaggi of Doraha.

“Reflectors should be installed at least a month before the onset of fog. The fog is becoming denser day by day but the authorities, it seems, are yet to awake from slumber. A commuter driving in this fog is sure to land up in trouble on encountering a diversion,” said Prof Gursharan Kaur, who commutes daily from Ludhiana to Doraha.

Sharing a personal experience, Jandeep Kaushal, a resident of Doraha said, “This morning, as I was travelling from Ludhiana to Doraha, I nearly missed the diversion at Kanech Chowk as there were no reflectors. I had a miraculous escape.”

Spokesperson of the contractor, Soma Isolux, said, “Thermoplastic paint marking is done on the road surface after laying the final bituminous layer. This layer was not laid at many places as the work came to a standstill for some reason. However, temporary marking is done every year in winters and is being done presently too. Spring posts, cat eyes and solar blinkers have been provided at most of the diversions and will be installed at other spots too. Speed-limit boards are also installed before the diversions, which the travellers ignore. Parapets of the structures are being whitewashed to make these visible at night. During fog, accidents mainly happen due to vehicles parked without lights on."



Kaind Bridge a death trap
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 22
Residents and travellers moving on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road are at a risk due to inadequate railing along the Kaind Bridge near Dehlon. With the authorities concerned turning a blind eye to a damaged portion of the railing, a major tragedy is waiting to happen.

The banks of the canal on which the bridge is constructed have eroded to the extent that it is not safe to even walk along it. Moreover, boundaries along all the corners of the bridge have turned into virtual death traps. The gap between the railing and the bank has widened to such an extent that even four wheelers, including buses and trucks, can pass through it.

“At night, those travelling from Ludhiana to Malerkotla are at a risk of plunging into the canal due to poor visibility," said Ravinder Puri, a social activist and former president of the municipal council.

Onset of fog has worsened the situation. A number of accidents have occurred here in the recent years. Five members of a Panchkula-based family, including a serving Major and a six-day-old girl, had died when the car they were travelling in fell into the canal a few years ago.

Acknowledging the risk, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Gill, Gurpreet Singh Sikand, said he had already directed the station house officers in the region to prepare a detailed report of the accident-prone spots falling under their jurisdiction. He said the authorities concerned in the civil department would be asked to do the needful without further delay.



Teachers’ eligibility test
15,000 to appear from district
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
The state government will hold the Teachers' Eligibility Test (TET) in Punjab on December 28. Over 15,000 candidates are expected to appear from the Ludhiana district alone. As the state government has made it mandatory to pass the TET, candidates are leaving no stone unturned to crack it.

The Education Department has made 42 examination centres: seven at Jagraon, nine at Khanna, 15 in Ludhiana East and 11 in Ludhiana West.

To ensure transparency, the proceedings will be videotaped at the centres. Around 700 teachers are expected to invigilate.

Separate centres for differently abled

Keeping in mind difficulties faced by the differently abled candidates in appearing for the exam in such a huge rush, authorities have set up separate examination centres for them at the tehsil level. Sacred Heart School, Ratanheri, will serve the purpose at Khanna, where 38 candidates will sit for the exam. At the centre in Jagraon, around 22 differently abled persons are expected to take the exam. A total of around 160 candidates will appear for the TET in the Ludhiana district.

Tough to crack

Lakhs of candidates appear for the TET, which needs to be cleared in order to get employed as a schoolteacher under the Right to Education Act. Only around 15,000 candidates, however, are fortunate enough to clear the test. Even after passing the test, thousands of candidates struggle to get a government job.



Over 1,000 docs attend conference
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
The State Annual Conference of the IMA, Punjab, ‘PIMACON - 2013’, was organised by the IMA, Ludhiana, at the IMA House, BRS Nagar, here today. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal inaugurated the conference. In his inaugural address, he applauded the efforts of the IMA for organising this scientific programme and updating the knowledge of the doctors in the state.

This will help in uplifting the health of all citizens of Punjab in a long way. He appreciated the good work done by the IMA in the event of disaster by sending medical teams to Uttarakhand and flood-hit areas of Muktsar and Malout.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal releases a souvenir at a function of the IMA in Ludhiana on Sunday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

More than 1,000 doctors from all over the state attended the two-day conference, which included 11 lectures with brainstorming sessions.

Speakers from within the state and outside the state also delivered lectures. Advance arthroscopy (knee joint) workshop at Fortis Hospital, Ludhiana, and basic life support workshop at the DMC&H were part of the conference.

IMA president Dr Manoj Sobti, while delivering his presidential address, thanked the CM for addressing the organisation for the second time in less than two months. He apprised him of the problems of closure of nursing homes in the residential areas.

Maheshinder Singh Grewal, adviser to the CM, and Mayor HS Gohalwaria also addressed the gathering. Earlier, the secretary of the IMA Punjab, Dr Sunit Jindal, presented a report of the activities.

Many doctors were awarded for their achievements during the conference. They included Dr Iqbal Ahuja, Dr Sunil Katyal, Dr SS Grewal and many others.

The conference passed a special resolution applauding the role of Dr Manoj Sobti, Dr Arun Mitra, Dr GS Grewal, Dr Kulwant Singh, Dr Karamvir Goyal, Dr Sunil Katyal and their team for constructing the IMA auditorium.



From schools
Christmas fete

Ludhiana: Maple Bear Canadian Playway and Nursery School organised a Christmas fete in. Several games were conducted to attract children and their visiting parents. These included ring games, hit the glasses, photo-shoot, wheel of fortune, and hit the lemons. Santa Claus distributed candies and gifts among children. Children dressed as Santa were seen riding a sledge.

Annual function

A glittering ceremony marked the Annual Cultural and Prize Distribution function at BVM School. District Education Officer Paramjit Kaur Chahal was the chief guest, alumnus Dr Victor Vashisth was the guest of honour. They were accorded a floral welcome. The function started with lighting of the lamp, followed by a welcome song. Principal Ranjit Kaur highlighted the achievements of the school and students.

Festive fervour

Phillaur: Christmas was celebrated at DRV DAV Centenary Public School. Students came dressed as Santa Claus and fairies. They distributed candies among their fellow students. Cards were also prepared by children. Principal Yogesh Gambhir said such activities enhanced the feeling of brotherhood. — TNS



Kailash Kher captivates Ludhianvis
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
Celebrated singer Kailash Kher performed live amid cheers of hundreds of his fans in the city. Kher belted out his popular songs including "Teri Diwani", "Saiyan", "Odhni" besides songs of other singers such as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's "Tere Bin Nahi Lagda Dil Mera Soneya".

He was performing at Omaxe Royal Residency.

The fans were seen capturing his performance in their mobile phones and humming along.

Prior to the concert, the singer said he was in the city for the third time and liked returning here.

He said he had performed in over 800 live concerts in different parts of the world.

Kher said it was always great to see the popularity of Punjabi culture as it was predominant not only in Hindi movies but across the world.

"When I travel to other parts of the world, many people who don't know much about India do know about the Bhangra music as it has become very popular," said the singer.

Kher said his base had always been Sufi and he preferred to render songs with a spiritual bent.

"Even songs like 'Teri Diwani', to which a romantic angle is attributed, is dedicated to God," he said.



Purse containing Rs 10,000 stolen from car at parking
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
High drama took place at a parking lot located near the Aarti Chowk when a man claimed that someone broke the windowpane of his car and stole the purse containing Rs 10,000 here today. The incident took place this afternoon when Dr Raghuvir Sharma, a resident of Dugri, was visiting Ghumar Mandi, along with his relatives.

When he returned, he was shocked to find the windowpane on the driver's side broken. He raised alarm and informed the police about the incident.

Dr Raghuvir said he had parked the car at the parking lot, but still thieves managed to flee with the purse.

On the other hand, the parking contractor washed its hand of the issue and refused to take any responsibility. He claimed that the duration for parking the car was for two hours, but the vehicle was parked for more than two hours.

Raid at brothel, 11 held

In a combine raid, the Shimlapuri police and the CIA-I staff busted a flesh trade racket and nabbed 11 persons in this connection. The accused who were arrested included five women, five men and a woman brothel operator. All of them were arrested under the Immoral Trafficking Act.



Punjabi Bhawan to digitise rare books
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

A volunteer digitises a book; and (below) rare books and manuscripts procured from a Kapurthala resident at Punjabi Bhawan in Ludhiana. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana December 22
A team from Punjabi Bhawan has procured rare books and manuscripts for digitisation from a Kapurthala resident. The team, led by Janmeja Singh Johal, on getting the information that Sadhu Singh of Ballupur village in Kapurathala had rare books at his library, urged him to get them digitised.

The Punjabi Sahit Akademi is supporting a project of Punjab Digital Library for digitising rare manuscripts and books at Punjabi Bhawan.

“There are around 25 books including a few manuscripts. Most of the books are religious and published a century back. “Kalgidhar Chamatkar” was published in 1925, while “Sau Sakhi” dates back to 1908. We gave all the books and manuscripts to Punjab Digital Library for digitisation,” said Janmeja Singh Johal.

Other rare books include “Dasam Granth”, “Dasmesh Chamatkar”, “Sodhi Chamatkar”, “Bhagtan Ki Bani”, “Bai Waran”, “Nanak Parkash”, “Gurpartap Suraj Granth” and “Zafranfama”.

Johal said the digital library would return the books to Sadhu Singh after all the pages were fed into the computer.

“Some of the books have old fonts. We are working on the fonts to make a database of all the Punjabi fonts. These books will provide more font options to us,” said Johal.



Thieves strike at ATM in Sanghol
Our Correspondent

Khamano, December 22
Some unidentified thieves struck at an ATM booth at Sanghol village last night. The thieves broke into the booth, but failed to extract any money, said assistant sub-inspector Inderjit Singh, in-charge, Sanghol Chowki.

The incident came to light this morning when some employees reached the bank and saw the ATM broken into.

The thieves broke the wires of the CCTV camera installed inside the booth, but were caught on the footage captured by the camera installed outside, said the police.

Fail to extract money

The police said though the thieves succeeded in breaking into the ATM, they failed to extract any money. The bank employees said the code of the ATM got blocked.



Athletics meet
Divnoor bags gold in discus throw
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 22
Despite shivering cold, players from across the state displayed their strength in various athletics events on the second day of the 59th Punjab State School Athletics Meet.

Players from Ludhiana proved their mettle in discus throw (boys), long jump (boys) and pole vault (boys). Divnoor Singh from the city clinched gold medal in discus throw, Harpreet Singh won gold in long jump and Manjit Singh bagged gold in pole vault.


Race 200m U-19 (girls): 1 Manveer Kaur from Patiala; 2 Navjot Kaur from Sangrur; and 3 Sukhbinder Kaur from Taran Tarn

Race 200m U-17 (girls): 1 Kushwinder Kaur from Bathinda; 2 Manpreet Kaur from Sangrur; and 3 Harpinder Kaur from Ludhiana

Race: 200m U-19 (boys): 1 Narinder Singh from Patiala; 2 Seva Singh from Gurdaspur; and 3 Nisha from Gurdaspur

Race 200m U-17 (boys): 1 Gurlal Singh from Faridkot; 2 Ranjodh Singh from Patiala; and 3 Gurdev Singh Ludhiana

Race 200m U-14 (boys): 1 Arman Dudi, Roopnagar; 2 Manider Singh, Gurdaspur; and 3 Sudanshu, Bathinda

Discus throw U-17 (boys): 1 Divnoor Singh from Ludhiana; 2 Jaramanjeet Singh from Tarn Taran; and 3 Shinderpal Singh from Patiala

Shot put U-19 (girls): 1 Gurleen Kaur from Tarn Taran; 2 Kamalpreet Kaur from Muktsar; and 3 Ravnit Kaur from Ludhiana

Shot put U-14 (girls): 1 Paramjot Kaur from Patiala; 2 Arshdeep Kaur from Tarn Taran; and 3 Harmanpreet Kaur from Ludhiana

Long jump U-17 (boys): 1 Harpreet Singh from Ludhiana; 2 Rakesh from Ludhian; and 3 Stnam Singh from Jalandhar

High jump U-17 (girls): 1 Navjot Kaur from Sangrur; 2 Salon from Ludhiana; and 3 Mandeep Kaur from Muktsar

Pole Vault U-17 (boys): 1 Manjit Singh from Ludhiana; 2 Avtar Singh from Bathinda; and 3 Karan Kamboj from Fazilka

Pole vault U-19 (boys): 1 Prabhjot Singh from Barnala; 2 Amandeep Ram from Mansa; and 3 Pardeep Kumar from Fazilka

Discus throw U-14 (girls): 1 Saloni from Muktsar; 2 Paramjot Kaur from Patiala; and 3 Manju from Fazilka.



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