L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


parking problem
Lawyers block road, stage dharna
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 14
Lawyer of the city today blocked Ferozepur Road and staged a dharna outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner against the failure of administration to provide adequate space to park their vehicles.

The protesters also resented non-shifting of malkhana from the court complex. The protesters gathered outside the Mini-Secretariat at 9.30 am and did not allow vehicles of officials and judges to pass.

An Additional Sessions Judge tried to reach the court complex through the main entrance to the Mini-secretariat, but the agitating lawyers did not allow him to do so.

Secretary of the District Bar Association Rustam Pal Singh and vice-president Gurdeep Singh Salh flayed the administration and police for not making parking arrangement for lawyers despite several requests.

President of the District Bar Association Parupkar Singh Ghumman also joined the agitators about 12 noon. 


Visitors to Mini-Secretariat at receiving end 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
As if the three-day strike by employees of the DC office was not enough, those visiting the Mini-Secretariat had to suffer due to lawyers’ protest today.

The protesting lawyers blocked the road leading to the Mini-Secretariat demanding space for parking their vehicles. The MC has been approached to provide parking space. “But it will take time as the MC Commissioner has forwarded the proposal to the Mayor. The proposal will be put before the MC House for approval. We have come to know that a councillor owing allegiance to the Shiromani Akali Dal does not want that space be allotted for parking. The protesters blocked the road and those visiting the Mini-Secretariat had a tough time,” said an official. Sukhdarshan Singh, an employee at the Mini-Secretariat, alleged that lawyers had deliberately chosen the day as employees had organised a path on the occasion of Makar Sankranti.

“They could have chosen some other day or would have spoken to the authorities before staging a dharna. It is not just the visitors who faced problems, but employees also faced inconvenience,” he lamented. 



Get licence by Feb 4, health dept warns eatery owners 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
District health officer (DHO) Dr Abnash Kumar has warned owners of all eateries to get their units registered or get the licences issues by February 4 or face action.

The DHO said: “All eateries, both big and small, are being covered under Food Standard and Safety Act, 2006. Eateries having an annual income of more than Rs 12 lakh need to get the licence while the smaller units with income less than Rs 12 lakh should be registered under the Act.

The DHO said the health department was holding special camps for the purpose since January 9. Anyone who wants to get his eatery registered could visit to the civil surgeon’s office between 9 am and 5 pm. For more information, the applicant could dial on the control room number 0161-444193. The civil surgeon, Dr Subhash Batta, said a camp would be held at at Shringar Theatre on January 15. The DHO said those who fail to obtain licence or get their units registered till February would be fined Rs 5 lakh or can face imprisoned for six months.



MC offers Rs 5-lakh relief, job to wife of deceased 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 14
The imbroglio over the death of a sewer man, Surinder Kumar while he was cleaning of a sewer line on Saturday, was settled following a compromise between the municipal corporation authorities and unions of the Valmiki community.

After the MC awarded a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the family of deceased and a regular job to his widow Veena Rani at a meeting held at circuit house this afternoon, the agitating MC staff of sanitation and sewerage wings relented and the dead sewer man was cremated in the evening.

The MC officials present at the meeting also agreed to the demand of compensation of Rs 1 lakh each and regular jobs for Vinay and Raj Kumar, colleagues of Surinder Kumar, who had also fallen sick during the cleaning of the sewer line, and were still undergoint treatment in a hospital.

The civic body officials, however, made it clear that providing regular jobs to kin of deceased sewer man and his co-workers, was within the purview of the state government and the MC could adopt a resolution to this effect and send it on to the government for final approval and implementation.

With the compromise between the activists of Valmiki unions and the MC administration, way has also been cleared for cancellation of the criminal case registered against Ranjit Singh and Surjit Singh, SDO and junior technician respectively of the O and M (sewerage) wing of the MC for causing death due to negligence. The ministerial staff of the MC was up in arms over registration of the case and had threatened to launch an agitation if the case was not withdrawn.

Manjit Singh, additional commissioner (technical) and zonal commissioner (zone C) confirmed that an affidavit had been obtained from the complainants of preferring no charges against the MC staff which will be forwarded to the police with the request for cancellation of the FIR, he said. 

Death of sewer man 
Precautionary measures

MC additional commissioner Manjit Singh said orders had been issued that no sewer man or any other worker would enter into a manhole for cleaning sewer lines in the absance of the supervisory officer. The sewer man should wear safety gear before entering the manhole. He said safety kits were available with the MC, but the workers cleaning the sewer were not in the habit of using safety gear.

CPI bats for workers

The Communist Party of India (CPI) has expressed concern over the failure of the MC to provide safety gear to workers, particularly those going inside manholes. The workers carrying out roadside cleaning work should also be provided with gloves, masks and gumboots so that they don’t cath infection, said representatives of the party. 



Short supply of drugs ails aushadhi centre
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
Generic medicines are still a distant dream for patients at Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital. Reason: Some doctors are still prescribing branded drugs. Moreover, some generic drugs prescribed by doctors are not available at the Jan Aushadhi Centre. Patients have no other option but to buy expensive medicines from the market.

During a visit to the Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital, it was observed that some parents approached Jan Aushadhi Centre for medicines. After going through the prescription, the pharmacist at the centre replied: "These are branded medicines. We don’t have these at the store.”

This is not the solitary case, a number of patients and attendants are sent back from the centre on a regular basis.

Pawan Kumar, an attendant of a patient, said: “What is the use of opening this centre when patients don’t get cheap medicines here?"

When contacted, Kuldeep Kanda, chief pharmacist at Jan Aushadhi Centre, said: “We have been facing shortage of medicines since the inception of the centre. We send a list of drugs to the authorities every month, but we get only a few medicines.”

Officiating senior medical officer of Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital Dr Tarshinder Goyal said: “We have received a circular from the state health department that no doctor should prescribe branded medicines at the Civil Hospital. We are going to circulate it among all the doctors so that they desist from the practice and patients are not harassed.” 



Ray of hope for drug addicts 
10-bedded de-addiction centre to be ready by month-end 
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
A 10-bedded de-addiction centre is coming up on the premises of Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital, Ludhiana. Constructed in an area of 2,000 square yard with an amount of about Rs 55 lakh, it will house 10 addicts at a time. Addicts can also get free consultation at the OPD.

Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, Dr Subhash Batta said: “Two psychiatrists and two counsellors will look after the drug addicts.”

Gurpinder Singh Sandhu, sub-divisional engineer, Punjab Health System Corporation, who is looking after the construction work, said: “The project will be over by January 31 and we will handover the building it to the hospital authorities.”

The centre has two wards with capacity of four beds each. The centre will have two isolation rooms where doctors will examine patients, besides a nursing station and a doctor's room.

The space around the centre will be used for sports activities for addicts. 



plying of buses
Drivers continue to flout norms
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 14
Giving two hoots to prescribed rules and norms of the route permits, drivers and conductors of buses plying on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla route continue to infringe rights of commuters and passengers depending on public transport.

Besides picking up and dropping passengers according to their whims and fancies, staff of a majority of the state-owned and private company buses return from Pohir village instead of plying through local bus stand.

Disappointed over the failure, administration, activists and office-bearers of various social and political organisations have launched a movement to divert buses from Pohir village.

The activists and office-bearers of social and political organisations led by Amar Singh Saraon, president SAD, alleged that promises made by senior functionaries of the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) had fallen flat. “While Surinder Singh, general manager (Operation), PRTC, had assured us, in presence of MLA Iqbal Singh Jhoondan, that corporation buses plying on at least 28 routes would reach the local bus stop daily. But failed to do so,” alleged Saraon maintaining that staff of some buses had agreed to reach at the local bus stop after being warned against the violation of the route permit.

Activists, organising camps at Pohir during the past days, regretted that the majority of conductors and drivers, who were intercepted, tried to befool protestors by concealing details of the route permits. Drivers of some private buses starting from Ludhiana in the morning threatened the activists of dire consequences in case they continued their ‘action’.

Interestingly, all buses returning from Pohir village were issued a certificate of entering the local bus stop by giving them an entry pass. An employee of the contractor collecting ‘adda fee’ was permanently posted at Pohir village.

Residents alleged that travelling by bus had become more expensive and troublesome after the opening of the four-lane Ludhiana-Malerkotla road.

They were forced to cover an extra distance of about 4 km to board a bus. Besides, spending more money on auto-rickshaws or private vehicles, they also end up wasting a lot of time.



Education department fails to update website 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
A letter, mentioning the names of more than 1,000 schools from all over Punjab, which have been ‘closed’ as they did not fulfil the Right to Education Act (RTE) norms has been uploaded by the Education Department on its official website ssapunjab.org.

It seems as if the Education Department is least bothered to get itself updated.

Of the total list of schools (including schools affiliated from CBSE, ICSE and PSEB), about 60 schools are from Ludhiana, which either failed to provide information or did not fulfil the norms.

One such school mentioned in the list is Ryan International, which is not just operational but the authorities are surprised as to how the name of the school was mentioned in the list.

The principal Ryan International, Parbeena John, said the management had completed all the formalities of both the branches at Dugri and Jamalpur.

“It is surprising if still the school’s name is mentioned in the list. We will get it checked as we have already sent all the information, which the department wanted,” said the principal.

One of the employees with the Education Department, demanding anonymity, said the list was prepared for the session 2012-13 and after that a lot many changes took place.

“It seems as if the department has not updated the list as many schools had submitted the details late,” said the employee. 


Kumar Rahul, Director General of Secondary Education (DGSE), said he was aware of it and would immediately get the list checked. “The revised list will be updated at the earliest,” he assured.

DEO’s tall claims fall flat

Even after bringing it to the notice of the District Education Officer (Secondary), the official website of the DEO has still not been updated. The last letter was posted on the website on December 5 and after that no information has been uploaded for the teachers/staff concerned. Though the DEO had claimed to get it updated at the earliest, but to no avail.



Dhaliwal is DSW of farm varsity

Ludhiana, January 14
The Registrar of PAU, Dr PK Khanna, said today that Dr Ravinder Kaur Dhaliwal had been appointed as the Director Students’ Welfare, while Dr Ashok Kumar had been appointed as the Additional Director of Research (Food Science, Nutrition and Engineering).

The decisions were taken during a meeting of the Board of Management, PAU, held today under the Chairmanship of VC Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon at the University Camp Office, SAS Nagar.

Dr Dhaliwal joined the PAU as the Assistant Professor Extension Education in 1989 and was elevated to the position of the Associate Professor Extension Education in 1996, Professor in January 2004 and the Head of the Department in 2010. She is also performing the duty of Chief Warden (girls) since August 2010 and has served as the Controller of Examination for eight months. At present, she is holding the additional charge of the Additional Director Communication. Dr Kumar is actively engaged in teaching, research and extension in the discipline of processing and food engineering. — TNS



Punjab Govt to take steps for reconstitution of all nagar councils: Minister 
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna, January 14
Giving no time frame for nagar council and nagar panchayat elections in the state, Local Bodies Minister Anil Joshi said the polls would be held after the completion of the delimitation process, which was in progress.

He said the process would take some more time. He was talking to mediapersons at the time of inauguration of Rs 8.56 crore-development project at Khanna nagar council.

He said the Punjab Government would take steps to reconstitute all the nagar councils before the expiry of six months.

He assured that there would be no shortage of funds for the development of cities. He said although 80 per cent cities already had the services and the remaining would get these soon.

He said they had drawn a plan of about Rs 145 crore for the city in which sewerage, roads and water supply would be provided to the residents.

Also, he said, “The AAP will have no effect and people should help the BJP and the NDA to form the next government for the welfare of the country. He said AAP leader Kejriwal held sangat darshan for a few days but Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was regularly holding sangat darshan in the state.”

Former MLA Ranjit Singh Talwandi in his address said the Punjab Government was committed for the welfare of the area. Folk Singer Labh Janjua joined the BJP during the function.



Punjab Congress
Factionalism creates confusion over ‘chakka’ jam
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, January 14
A lot of bewilderment prevails among the local workers of the Congress over the party's chakka jam programme against Punjab Revenue and Public Relations Minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia, who has been accused by notorious drug lord Jagdish Singh Bhola of being involved in the drug racket in Punjab.

In fact, the Punjab Congress has given a state-level bandh call and declared to observe a complete chakka jam throughout the state on January 16.

Accusing the state government of trying to shield powerful Cabinet Minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia for his alleged involvement in the international drug racket in Punjab, the party high command has instructed its leaders and workers to stage protests on January 16 in all constituencies to press for the demand of handing over the investigation of the drug racket case to the CBI.

But the local workers of the Congress seem to be puzzled over the issue due to divisions in the local Congress leadership. In fact, the Jagraon unit of the Congress is divided into two factions led by former minister Isher Singh Meharban and former Jagraon MLA Gurdeep Singh Bhaini and both the groups have declared to stage separate protests. This has caused a situation of bewilderment in the local unit of the Congress and the party workers are finding it difficult to decide to which group they should lend their support to during the protests to be observed separately.

Former minister Isher Singh Meharban, while presiding over a meeting of the party workers here today, declared to observe a protest in Jagraon on January 16, whereas on the other hand former Jagraon MLA Gurdeep Singh Bhaini, too, looked firm to stage a separate protest on the same day.

Meharban had recently resigned from the post of executive member of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) when his rival party leader Major Singh Bhaini, who is the son of former MLA Gurdeep Singh Bhaini, was appointed the general secretary of the PPCC. When Meharban resigned from the PPCC, he had openly accused state Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa of ignoring senior party leaders and adopting biased approach while preparing the list of new office-bearers of the PPCC. But now he is claiming to enjoy full support of Bajwa.

When questioned, Meharban said he had only resigned from the PPCC but he is still loyal to the party.

“I am still constituency in-charge of the Congress from Jagraon and I will lead the protest against Majithia from the front. Now I have no complaint against Bajwa and I will continue to follow the instructions of the party high command,” said Meharban.

PPCC general secretary Major Singh Bhaini said he was finalising the strategy of the protest. “We are holding talks with state party chief to finalise the plan of observing protests in Jagraon and Mullanpur Dakha,” said Bhaini.



Pulse Polio campaign from January 19
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
The first national round of Pulse Polio campaign will begin on January 19. While chairing the meeting of the district task force today, Rajat Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, asked for extensive monitoring of the campaign.

Subhash Batta, Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, said pulse polio drops would be administered to children in the rural areas in booths on January 19. The volunteers would go house to house to administer drops in these areas on January 20 and January 21.

In Ludhiana city and the peri-urban areas of Sahnewal and Koomkalan, it will be a five-day house-to-house campaign.

District immunisation officer Dr Sanjeev Hans said: “Pulse polio drops will be administered to 5,73,160 children with the help of 959 teams through 1,253 booths, 72 mobile teams and 103 transit teams. As many as 9,63,586 houses will be covered under the house-to-house campaign.”



Shooting incident: Parties reach compromise
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
The midnight drama between secretary of the district unit of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) Happy Mittal and his NRI neighbour has resulted in a compromise.

Mitral had claimed that he had a narrow escape after his neighbour’s son allegedly fired a shot at him following a heated argument at the Durga Puri area in Haibowal last night.

The incident took place around 9 pm when Happy, along with his supporters, was celebrating Lohri outside his house.

According to information, Kuljinder Randhawa objected to it and told Happy to celebrate the festival inside his house and not to block the road. This led to a heated argument between Harsh and Keljinder.

Mittal had claimed that Kuljinder allegedly brought a pistol from his house and fired four shots.

Later, the matter reached the police station where it ended in a compromise after the intervention of residents and politicians. 



Dyeing industry to go on strike from today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
Dyeing industry of the city has decided to go on a two-day strike starting tomorrow. The strike will be observed by the industry against the raids conducted by the Punjab Pollution Control Board recently.

The owners of the dyeing industry rued that the board was causing unnecessary harassment to them by conducting raids at the dyeing units every now and then.

“No show cause notices are served to the units. The department directly issues closure notice to the firms, which it finds are not working according to the law,” said Ashok Makkar, president of the Ludhiana Dyeing Industries Association.

Bobby Jindal, general secretary of the association, said the department officials come to the units for collecting samples more frequent.

“Earlier, the samples were collected by the department once or twice in six months, but now they it almost every month. The officials get our signatures on the visiting report but never share the same with us. We are directly sent the notices of closure or disconnection of electric meter. We are not given a chance to present our view side,” said Jindal.

“The industry will be observing two-day peaceful strike. If the department does not mend its way, then we will be going on an indefinite strike. We are unable to carry our work otherwise also as the fear of raid looms large over us,” said Jindal.



Youth’s death: Police still clueless

Ludhiana, January 14
It has been over a day since Rahul Verma (25) was killed and his sister, Priya, was injured seriously by unidentified assailants at a house in South City, the police have not yet made any headway in the case.

The deceased was cremated today. The postmortem examination was conducted at the Civil Hospital. The postmortem report explained the brutality of the crime. The victim had suffered 19 stab wounds and multiple head injuries.

The condition of Priya is stated to be critical. Commissioner of Police Nirmal ingh Dhillon said the investigation was on and the police would crack the case soon. — TNS



Badish Jindal is member of EPFO executive committee

Ludhiana, January 14
Badish Jindal, president of the Federation of Association of Small Industries of India, has been elected as the member of the executive committee of the Employees Provident Fund of India. At a meeting of the Central Board of Trustees of the Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) held today in Delhi under the chairmanship of Oscar Fernandes, Union Minister for Labour and Employment and Minister for Road Transport, elections were held for the post of the executive committee member of the organisation.

He has been elected for a period of five years. The executive committee will manage the funds of more than Rs 5 lakh crore of the organisation and also send recommendations to the Central Board of Trustees of the EPFO for the welfare and streamlining the policies for 8 crore employees registered under it. In another decision of the EPFO, the interest rate on employees’ provident fund has been enhanced from 8.5 per cent to 8.75 per cent. — TNS



Plethora of performances on Day 3
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
The third day of the 18th National Youth Festival saw participation of teams from different states in various events at the PAU.

Visitors pose with an artiste.
Visitors pose with an artiste. 

Teams from Daman, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Goa, Karnataka, Odisha, Rajasthan, Andaman and Nicobar, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra presented their folk dances representing their culture and tradition.

Participants from Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Karnataka, Punjab, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh took part in renditions of Veena, while participants from Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Rajasthan, Odisha, Chandigarh, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Manipur participated in Sitar-playing competition.

25 teams from different states participated in harmonium-playing competitions and the same number of teams participated in an elocution. The participants spoke on various issues in an extempore speech at Pal Auditorium.

Teams from Chhattisgarh, Tripura, Kerala, Bihar, Haryana, Manipur, Punjab, Delhi, Karnataka, Dadar and Nagar Haveli participated in Manipuri dance competition and 11 teams from different states showed their dance prowess in kuchipudi.

Visitors and participants participated in other events like adventure camp, handicraft exhibition, food festival etc at the festival.

A participant from Punjab performs; and (right) some artistes discuss their performance.
A participant from Punjab performs; and (right) some artistes discuss their performance. 



Sullen day for Diu
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
The team from Diu was not allowed to perform in the folk dance competition today. The teams from Daman and Diu came with their teams at the National Youth Festival, but only the Daman team was allowed to participate in the event.

Afzal Khan, who had come with the Diu team, said “We had got the letter of approval for preparing a team from NYK Diu, which was forwarded from NYK Daman. There is a difference of 750 kilometers between the two places, and since Diu has a smaller population, so Daman is given the preference”.



Their music touches strings of soul

Ludhiana, January 14
Nisha Punni from Thiruvanthapuram in Kerala has already bagged two gold medals for her rendition of Veena at the national youth festivals in 2010 and 2012 and now, the 22-year-old is eying another first prize at the 18th National Youth Festival being organised at the PAU.

She has been learning the instrument since the age of eight, and says that nothing matches the delight of listening and playing to the musical instrument that touches the strings of soul. She wants to become a Veena exponent and devotes at least an hour to practicing the instrument, she says.“Only six teams are participating in the event this time. At previous youth festivals, more than 20 teams competed,” she said.Another participant, who wants to strike gold this time and wants to get third-time lucky is Jaspreet Singh from Punjabi University, Patiala who has represented Punjab and has participated in Sitar playing. He has won silver medals at two youth festivals in the past. 



Karnataka does justice to Manto’s play
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
A play based on the story of renowned Punjabi writer Saddat Hassan Manto was performed by Karnataka team for an one-act play at Guru Nanak Bhawan today.

The Karnataka team performs a play, ‘Toba Tek Singh’ at Guru Nanak Bhawan.
The Karnataka team performs a play, ‘Toba Tek Singh’ at Guru Nanak Bhawan. 

The play based on the short story of Manto “Toba Tek Singh” was staged by the team. The story is about the futility and foolishness of partition that divided the country and Punjab that had the same culture. Two countries were created when the people living on both side had the same culture.

Srinivas from Shantala Kalavidaru, who sported a turban to play the character of Toba Tek Singh, said he liked the appeal of the story by Manto. He had decided to do this play earlier, and when the team got to know that the venue of the festival was Ludhiana, they were excited, as Ludhiana was the birthplace of legendary writer Manto.

“In the play, there is no protagonist, but the story itself is the protoganist and has strong appeal,” he said. At the end of the play, the character stands on top of a tree and says he is neither in India nor in Pakistan, and considers the division of the country a foolish step.

The team from Punjab presented a play titled “Behavioural Science” that focused on career, which is of foremost importance these days, and so is fulfilling the parents’ dreams. It showed emotional turbulence and dilemma, and giving importance to responsibility over emotions.

The team from Uttarakhand presented a play titled, “Jeevon ki Vyatha - Manav ki Khata”, bringing to the fore the environmental damage being caused by human beings and its dangerous consequences. The issues of deforestation, water pollution, excessive use of polythene etc, were shown to harm the industrialists and those causing harm eventually, as they learnt about the direct impact it could have even on those involved in damaging the environment.

Other team performance today include, Sikkim’s “Sankalp Sakaratmak jeevan Ka”, it deals with the issue of HIV AIDS, and Daman and Diu staged “Neem Hakeem Khatra Jaan”.



Participants soak in Pongal spirit
Tribune News Service

Visitors from Tamil Nadu celebrate Pongal.
Visitors from Tamil Nadu celebrate Pongal. 

Ludhiana, January 14
Pongal was celebrated among participants and natives of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry today. The festival of Pongal marks Tamil New Year, and was celebrated in a traditional manner by the people there.

Abdul Kader, the team leader of Tamil Nadu contingent, said that the festival marked the culmination of a successful harvest and new crop  was sown at the start of the season.

"Pongal is the name of a dish, after which the festival is named," he said. “The dish is prepared by mixing rice with jaggery which is the traditional delicacy of the region. It is also called 'Tamilghar Thirusal', he added.

About 200 participants came to celebrate the festival as the dish was prepared in a traditional manner. It was prepared in the open in a traditional hearth.

"Although we are away from home, but this is a special occasion, and we have set up traditional hearth and Pongal is being prepared and we are going to relish it” , said another participant from Tamil Nadu. The visitors also had a field day.



Venue lacks facilities, say youths
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
There venue should have been decorated and beautified intrinsically, said participants and officials from various contingents at the National Youth Festival.

It is a national festival, and care should have been taken by the Punjab government to make the event more vibrant," said Sushil Kumar, who has come with the Haryana contingent. "National youth festivals earlier used to be well decorated and the lighting system used to be of high standards. But this time, this festival lacks that kind of preparation," he said. "It is strange that there is no greenroom for girls near the stage where folk dances are being performed. No temporary toilets have been set up," he said.

There is no transport for participants to take them around the city or for them to go from one venue to another. There is nobody there to guide them. "We used to have a bus to take us around the city at the National Youth Festival held in Mangalore, but here there is nothing," said Ketan Chaudhary, a participant from Jammu and Kashmir team.

"There should have been more colour and more local participation", said another official at the festival.



Man killed in mishap 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 14
A 58-year-old man was killed in a road mishap at the Chandigarh road near Ramgarh on Monday night. The deceased has been identified as Ram Gopal Bawa, a resident of Jamalpur. The victim was father of Puneet Bawa, a scribe working with a vernacular daily.

According to the information, Bawa, who was travelling on a motorcycle, was returning to his house in Jamalpur after visiting Kohara.

When he reached near a police post in Ramgarh, a speeding car hit the motorcycle.

The victim lost control over the motorcycle and suffered serious injuries. He was immediately rushed to the CMC hospital where he succumbed to his injuries this morning.

Prominent personalities, including Cabinet Minister Sharanjit Dhillon, District Planning Board chairman Hira Gabria
and others attended the cremation.

The Jamalpur police have impounded the swift car and have arrested the driver. A case has been registered against the accused, also a resident of Jamalpur.



from schools
Dance, folk songs mark Lohri celebrations

Lohri was celebrated at Sacred Soul Convent Senior Secondary School, Dugri-Dhandra Road. Students from Classes I to V danced to the tunes of bhangra and giddha. Punjabi folk songs were sung by girls of classes VI to VIII, followed by an inspirational poem by the head boy of the school. The story of “Dulla Bhatti” was narrated by the Punjabi teacher.

Bonfire adds warmth to festivities

Lohri was celebrated at Shri Harkriashn Sahib Public Senior Secondary School here. A bonfire was lit by the school management on this occasion. Principal Manjit Kaur Lotey informed the students about the importance of the festival.

Martial arts championship

Students of GRD Academy, Humbran Road, participated in the 59th National Squat Martial Arts Championship, which was held in Delhi from January 2 to January 9. Dev Sagar of Class VII and Kangana Sagar of Class II bagged third position in the U-14 category for boys and girls, respectively.

Teacher training workshop

A one-day teacher training workshop on CCE was organised at Shifaly International School by the director of the Career Group of Educational Institute, Dr Abha Bharat Shah from Lucknow. Principal of the school Rosy Jain welcomed Dr Abha. The training was based on the tools and techniques of the CCE. Eighty teachers attended the programme. — TNS



Ludhiana Scan

Orders issued

Ludhiana: Orders regarding a ban on hooka supply in restaurants and hooka bars in the district have been issued by Rajat Aggarwal, deputy commissioner. He said it had come to his notice through a civil surgeon that certain restaurants were serving flavoured hookas to the youngsters, which are harmful for their health. He said a strict action would be taken against the owners who violated the orders.


A meeting of the Punjab Government Pensioners’ Welfare Association was held in Ludhiana on Tuesday under the presidentship of Gurcharan Singh. He said the Punjab Government should release the pending
installment of dearness allowance at the earliest. Other demands of the pensioners include one rank, one pension, house rent allowance, medical allowance (should be increased from Rs 500 to Rs 1,000) and exemption from the property tax.

Medical camp

SPS Apollo Hospital organised a free cardiac checkup camp at the Sukhmani Enclave. More than 500 residents participated in the camp. A team of specialists provided free consultation, examination along with ECG, blood sugar tests and counselling to spread health awareness among the general public.

Death mourned

Teaching community expressed grief over the sad demise of Yash Paul Ghai, who was a dedicated teacher committed to the cause of education, a social activist, an untiring worker and a rare example of selfless service. He retired from Punjab Education Department as a lecturer in economics after 37 years of service. After retirement, he had been actively associated with the Punjab Government Pensioners’ Association and Public Cause, a social organisation that seeks justice for the downtrodden.

Religious discourse

Shahi Imam while addressing the muslims at Jama Masjid said a real muslim was one who follows the teachings of Hazrat Mohammad. He said, “His teachings still show us the way of life. He was the last nabi and nobody else can take his place till eternity,” Imam said.

Parwasi Punjabi Sammelan

The huge rush at the Parwasi Punjabi Sammelan proved that the Punjab Government has put in a lot of effort, said Jatinderpal Singh Saluja, senior Akali leader, on Tuesday. He said a lot of NRIs have shown interest for investing in Punjab which was a positive development. “Punjab has developed to a great extent with the setting up of roads and flyovers,” he said. — TNS



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