L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


F&CC clears key matters
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
A meeting of the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation was held here today. The meeting was attended by Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, MC Commissioner Rahul Tiwari, Senior Deputy Mayor Sunita Aggarwal and Deputy Mayor RD Sharma, besides senior officials of the civic body.

There were over 200 small and major items on the agenda and it took the committee about three hours to clear these. The cleared items will now be presented before the general house for approval. The general house meeting is expected to be held on February 21.

Fresh contracts for Ferozepur Road parking

Adhering to the high court's decision, fresh contracts will now be given for the parking on Ferozepur Road. According to the court's directions, the maximum parking time for a vehicle shall not exceed four hours in a day. While the charges for one hour will be normal, to be fixed by the MC, for each subsequent hour, the charges will be double, triple and four times. If the vehicle remains parked beyond four hours, the traffic police will impound it and not release it till it is paid an impounding fees of Rs 5,000. The court has made it clear that no contractor or commercial or non-commercial establishment shall earmark any part of the public parking for its customers.

Focus on development

The F&CC meeting focused on development works in the wards. The committee members said providing better road infrastructure, sewerage and safe drinking water would be the focus areas in the annual general meeting of the House.

Plan for 4 new parking lots

The MC has plans for four new paid parking lots at Malhar Road (from Ferozepur Road to the Shastri Nagar railway crossing), Ghumar Mandi (from Aarti Chowk to the ITI College for Girls), the Sarabha Nagar Kips market and the Sarabha Nagar I Block market. 

Major items that were cleared

* Fresh contracts to be given for parking lots on Ferozepur Road (from Jagraon Bridge to Sidhwan Canal).

* Four new paid parking lots to come up in Ghumar Mandi, the Sarabha Nagar I Block market, the Sarabha Nagar Kips market and Malhar Road.

* An MoU to be signed with Verka for giving it land for setting up booths.

* Advertisement to be issued for handing over the maintenance of rotaries to industrialists


Panchayat Minister honours farmers for excellence 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
The Punjab Agricultural University Kisan Club organised its annual function today. Surjit Singh Rakhra, Rural Development and Panchayat Minister, was the chief guest on the occasion, while DS Cheema, MLA, Ropar, was the guest of honour. Mangal Singh Sandhu, Director of Agriculture, Punjab, presided over the function.

Farmers from across Punjab and other states participated in the function.

Rakhra said unless the rural population of the state worked aggressively, no development could take place. "Progressive farmers can help other farmers of the state make use of the research conducted by the PAU," he said.

Stating that Punjabis had made a mark at the national as well as the international level, Rakhra appreciated the efforts of the university in the formation of PAU "kheti doots" and the Kisan Club. He presented awards to farmers for excellence in agriculture and allied activities.

Cheema said agriculture was a pious occupation which produced food and generated employment opportunities. However, the contribution of agriculture to the GDP had slipped from 30 per cent to 15 per cent, he said. The rising cost of inputs, shrinking landholdings, depletion of underground water, deteriorating soil fertility and injudicious use of pesticides were some of the major concerns in contemporary agriculture, he said.

Interaction among scientists was the need of the hour to promote crop diversification and marketing of other crops, he said. Cheema also expressed concern over the shortage of funds for agriculture research.

Sandhu called upon the club members to participate in the forthcoming agriculture summit at Chhapar Chiri, Mohali, on February 16. About 50,000 farmers were expected to attend the summit, he said.

Sandhu said the Agriculture Department was committed to equipping the farmers with farm technologies developed by the PAU. In view of the ever-increasing population, there was need for developing and adopting crop varieties requiring less water, he said.

JS Dhiman, Additional Director of Research (Natural Resource and Plant Health Management), stressed the need for conservation of natural resources and farm sustainability. He highlighted the new varieties of various crops developed by the PAU and urged the farmers to read the university farm literature regularly.

Ajit Singh Aujla, president, PAU Kisan Club, presented the annual report of the club. He said the club was on the path of progress and had played a vital role in disseminating agri-technology to the farmers.

HS Dhaliwal, Dean, College of Agriculture and Director of Extension Education, welcomed the dignitaries and the participants. He said the club was established in 1966 and had at present a membership of more than 6,700 farmers and 500 farm women. He threw light on the extension mechanism of the PAU and apprised the farmers of the upcoming kisan melas in March.

TS Riar, Programme Coordinator, conducted the proceedings of the programme. During the function, experts delivered lectures on the scope of agro-forestry in Punjab, agriculture marketing practices, role of IFFCO in farm development of Punjab, on-farm marketing through roadside display and agricultural credit facilities for farmers.



Officials explore possibility of link road 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
Officials of the building branch of the MC, assistant town planners (ATPs) and district president of the BJP Parvin Bansal today visited a 6-km road stretch (Hambran Road to Bajwa Nagar) to see how it could be converted into a link road and how encroachments on it could be removed to provide respite to residents.

Bansal said the area came under the North constituency and if this particular stretch of the road, which was blocked by encroachers, could be cleared, it would provide huge respite to the residents who wished to go to Chandigarh Road from the Hambran side.

“It takes up to 30 minutes to reach Chandigarh Road from Hambran Road due to traffic bottlenecks and road diversions. If this particular stretch is converted into a link road by removing the encroachments, it will take around eight minutes for people to reach Chandigarh Road. The road will also cater to the residents of Rishi Nagar, Kitchlu Nagar, Haibowal and Civil Lines,” said Bansal.



Firing outside councillor's office 
Station House Officer among 12 injured as ensuing protest turns violent
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
At least 12 persons, including Focal Point SHO Gurtej Singh, were hurt after angry residents, who were protesting against a firing incident that took place outside the office of BJP councillor from Ward No. 16 in Deep Singh Nagar near Shepur Chowk, threw stones at a police party.

The situation was tense in Focal Point and the surrounding areas after the incident that triggered a massive protest on the NH-I near Shepur Chowk. Angry supporters of the councillor blocked the road and demanded the arrest of the culprits.

The protest led to a massive traffic jam on the NH-I, leaving several commuters stranded.

A high alert was sounded after several migrant labour organisations joined the protest. The protesters, brandishing sharp weapons, created panic among the residents.

Sources said sensing the gravity of the situation, the Commissioner of Police deployed all SHOs of the city on the spot and called a special meeting with officials.

Meanwhile, the police have rounded up four persons in connection with the incident.

DCP Harsh Bansal said the police were recording the councillor's statement and were in the process of registering a case. He confirmed that some persons had been rounded up for questioning.

The sources said 12 rounds were fired. Radhe Krishan, BJP councillor from Ward No. 16, blamed the husband of a former woman councillor for orchestrating an attack on him.

Radhe Krishan said in the evening, at least 24 assailants surrounded his office and opened fire into the air. The assailants thrashed his supporters and damaged vehicles. He said after creating panic, the assailants fled.



Sanitary woes at govt school in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
To sensitise school students to conservation of natural resources, the Education Department introduced the subject ‘Environment’. But the authorities at Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Government Senior Secondary School, Bharat Nagar, here are yet to draw a lesson from the subject.

In absence of proper sanitary fittings, the water tanks installed on the roof of washrooms at the school overflow throughout the day. Water gets accumulated in front of the classrooms causing inconvenience to students.

School principal Kawaljit Kaur said, "I am aware of the overflowing tank. We had got the sewerage pipes changed recently. The water tanks have been linked with water supply connection of the Municipal Corporation. The flow of water is not in our control but we will surely check wastage of water. The issue will be redressed by tomorrow.” A teacher said, “We teach students to conserve water and other natural resources but what they see is entirely different. The school should take a note of it."



Long wait for high security registration plates
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
The applicants of high security vehicle registration number plates are a harassed lot as the company hired by the District Transport Office for the purpose is the least concerned about their convenience.

The visitors to the high security vehicle registration number plate counter at Suwidha Centre in the District Transport Office have no information about the contact number of station where the company installs the plates. The contact numbers of workshops were displayed outside the counter before it was shifted to Suwidha Centre. Those manning the counter do not respond satisfactorily to visitors’ queries about the contact number.

The company officials claimed that an applicant will get a high security number plate within 15 days. Most visitors said they did not have one even though they had applied one and a half months ago.

Kulwinder Singh, an applicant, said he applied for a number plate in December but today an attended at the fitting station, Rahul, informed him that the plate was still not ready.

“The attendant said they made plates for cars on priority. Two-wheeler owners will have to wait,” he added.

Meanwhile, counter in charge Pankaj said: “We have shifted the counter recently so the contact number of the fitting station is yet to be displayed. We will do it soon”.

He denied comment on the delay in the installation of high security number plates. 



Dental health in focus across district 
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, February 6
As part of a statewide campaign, the Health Department is observing Dental Fortnight across 10 health institutes of the district. Civil Surgeon Dr Subhash Batta inaugurated the campaign at the Civil Hospital here today.

The campaign will create awareness of dental health among field paramedical workers, schoolteachers and students. Also, underprivileged patients will be provided with complete denture sets besides other routine dental treatments for free at the 10 health institutes.

District Dental Health Officer Dr Pardeep Kumar Sharma said during the fortnight, the focus will be on the early detection of oral cancer.

"By training dentists in early detection of this deadly disease (oral cancer) we can save lives. Youngsters will be educated on oral hygiene as well as the potential hazards and implications of unhealthy habits such as smoking and chewing of tobacco,” said Dr Sharma.

Dental problems of adolescents, including crowded teeth, early loss of first permanent molars and impacted third molars, will also be discussed with target groups, said the health officer.

"Proper oral hygiene and oral care will also be taught to expecting mothers. Pregnancy gingivitis is a major reason for early loss of teeth in women. Educational material will be displayed at all the 10 institutes," he said.

Punjab Health Systems Corporation is providing the material and financial support to the campaign. Dr Arundeep Kaur Riar has been nominated as the nodal officer.

15-day camp at Jagraon

Jagraon: A 15-day free dental check-up and treatment camp began at the Civil Hospital here today. Local MLA SR Kaler inaugurated the camp.

He urged people to avail themselves of various health services being offered by the government.

"The government keeps providing several kinds of health services to the people. We need to take these to the masses,” said Kaler.

Hospital’s Senior Medical Officer Dr Sukhjeevan Kakkar said the camp would continue till February 21.

"Two dentists—Dr Balwinder Singh and Dr Vinay Garg—will examine and treat patients suffering from any kind of dental ailment. The required tests will also be conducted at the hospital for free,” said Dr Kakkar.

During the camp, the hospital would also transplant teeth of around 15 patients, said the medical officer. 



One more diagnosed with swine flu
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
One more person has been diagnosed with swine flu. The patient, a 28-year-old man from Ludhiana, has been admitted to the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMR), Chandigarh.

The blood sample of a suspected swine flu patient has been sent to the PGI. The 55-year-old patient is from Jammu and Kashmir.

Four cases of swine flu have been confirmed in the state this year. Of them one belonged to Ludhiana. A patient from Himachal Pradesh had died.



Keeping relative’s memory alive

Ludhiana, February 6
Bereaved kin of Shetesh Pal Sharma celebrated the latter's birthday with students of the Vocational Rehabilitation Training Centre for Blinds (VRTC), Haibowal, today.

An event was organised by Shetesh Pal Sharma Welfare Foundation, an NGO, at the centre in the memory of Shetesh (22), who died in accident in UK on December 11, 2011.

Shetesh's father Gaganpal Sharma, the owner of BBN Industries, said, "This is the third consecutive year when we are here to celebrate Shetesh's birthday. Though we have lost ours, we want to bring smile on others' faces."

Gaganpal said, "On this day, we serve lunch to students of the centre and also distribute gifts. By serving them, I feel as if I am meeting Shetesh."

Appreciating the gesture of the NGO donating Rs 1 lakh to the centre, director of VRTC Sara Johansn said, "Scholarships were also given to some meritorious students from other schools." — TNS



Info panel slaps penalty of Rs 25K on Vigilance officer
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 6
The State Information Commission, Punjab, has imposed a penalty of Rs 25,000 on an official of the Vigilance wing of the Local Government, Punjab, for a delay in providing information under the Right to Information Act and the "callous attitude" of the official.

Disposing of an appeal filed by Rohit Sabharwal, a city-based RTI activist who also heads the Council of RTI Activists, State Information Commissioner Ravinder Singh Nagi noted that according to the orders pronounced by the commission during a hearing on December 3, 2013, a compensation of Rs 3,000 had been paid to the appellant. The relief was paid for the harassment suffered by him due to a delay of more than a year in providing information to him under the RTI Act.

According to the directions of the commission, the respondent Public Information Officer (PIO)-cum-senior vigilance officer in the Local Government Department, Atul Sharma, appeared in person and submitted that besides the compensation, complete information had been provided to the appellant. He pleaded that a case may be filed and also submitted a sworn affidavit in response to the show-cause notice, which was taken on record.

Pronouncing the orders on the appeal on January 28, the Information Commissioner observed that the case had been heard on July 4, August 21, October 30 and December 3 last year and the information had been provided to the appellant after more than 13 months. “Not only this, information under the RTI Act was provided in bits and pieces and no sincere efforts were made by the PIO to provide information within the stipulated period as per the provisions of the Act,” the commissioner stated.

The commissioner said that in the affidavit submitted by the PIO, he had admitted that there were some lapses in providing information. The PIO had not provided any reasonable justification for not providing information within the stipulated time in the affidavit submitted by him.

Taking a serious note of the lapse, the commissioner said, “It can be safely concluded that the PIO has intentionally and wilfully delayed providing of complete and correct information to the appellant. It reflects the callous attitude adopted by the PIO. It is a fit case for imposing of penalty upon the PIO. The commission imposes a penalty of Rs 25,000 on PIO Atul Sharma.”

The commission directed that the amount of penalty would be deducted from the salary of the PIO by the Director, Local Government, and deposited in the Treasury.

The case will now come up for hearing on March 26 for confirmation of compliance of the order.



Fewer youngsters take to farming
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
As the Kisan Club of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) celebrated its annual function on the university campus today, many feel the decreasing number of young farmers was a matter of concern. At the Pal Auditorium, where the function was held, farmers sporting grey beards outnumbered youngsters.

Even the PAU authorities expressed concern over the declining interest in farming among youngsters. They emphasised only innovative farming methods could draw youngsters to farming.

Harjit Singh Dhaliwal, Director, Punjab Agricultural Management and Extension Training Institute (PAMETI), while addressing the farmers, said: "Your concern is right that fewer youngsters are taking up farming nowadays. But what have you done to cultivate in them interest for farming? Frankly, youngsters find your methods of farming dull and boring."

He said roadside vendors selling fresh fruits, vegetables, peanuts and pulses have become a lucrative business.

"Recently, I met Nirbhay Sing of Sukha Singh Wale village in Mansa. He sells fresh farm products and has reached a turnover of Rs 35 lakh in just six months. He had vacated a small chunk of his land so commuters can park their vehicles there and buy his fresh farm products," said Harjit Singh Dhaliwal.

He stressed the time had come when the father becomes a producer and the son a seller.

Surjit Singh Rakhra, Rural Development and Panchayat Minister, Punjab, was the chief guest at the function.



Book exhibition concludes

Ludhiana, February 6
The two-day book exbition organised at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) concluded here today.

Dr VK Taneja, Vice-Chancellor of the university, had declared the exhibition open yesterday. He visited various stalls and showed a keen interest in the latest editions of books on veterinary science, animal breeding, biotechnology, dairy technology and fishery science.

Librarian Dr S Prabhakar said 31 leading book publishers and distributors took part in the event. Dr HS Sandhu, Dean, College of Veterinary Sciences, highlighted the role of library in shaping careers of students. — TNS



Government gives nod to national centre at Doraha
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
The Punjab government has approved the setting up of a National Industrial Training Centre (NITC) at Doraha. The centre will be providing advanced training to those who studied from Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), said Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Dr Charanjit Singh Atwal.

He was speaking after laying the foundation stone of various developmental works at Sirthala village. The NITC would be constructed over an area of 47 acres, he said. 

Talking of other works, Dr Atwal said the Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) at Maloud had been completed at a cost of Rs 11 crore. He said STPs were being set up at Payal and Doraha. 

Dr Atwal said the clean water from the STPs would be used in irrigation.  At Sirthala, Dr Atwal laid foundation stones of various projects including the installation of solar lights and constructing drains. He also gave cheques to  11 pensioners.



Unwinding the bikers’ way
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
While some want to rush home to relax after hectic office schedules, others may just want to watch a movie. And there is a more interesting way to unwind. After a busy day, many city youngsters pick up their bikes and go for a long ride in the evening.

The bikers include industrialists and businessmen who are passionate about biking. For them evenings and nights is the time to unwind. Jasjeet Libra, who owns a Harley Davidson, says he some times goes for a ride after day's work and finds it very relaxing.

"It is a very hectic day and just going for a ride on a bike is the best thing in the evening. Although I used to do a lot of biking earlier, now I go to my factory and don't get enough time to ride during daytime. So the late evening is my time for riding a bike," says businessman Sahil Arora. "I like riding late in the evening when roads are almost traffic-free," he says.

Every biker likes to unwind in his own way. While some like to zip through on their super bikes, others just ride smoothly on their cruiser motorcycles. "Riding a bike is a different experience as you feel the brush of breeze on you,” says another businessman. The evening is also about enjoying the city life, and it is fun visiting the narrow lanes of the city where cars cannot move through, he adds.

"I go to a gym in the evening and go for a ride on my bike to simply relax," says Kapil, a student. 



Teachers plan to take protest to social networking sites
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, various teacher associations have started holding protests on roads in order to get their long-pending demands accepted.

And computer teachers of government schools have decided to take a novel way to protest against the SAD-BJP government in the state. The Computer Teachers Union, Punjab, has announced to ‘expose’ the Akali-BJP government on social networking websites.

Around 7,000 computer teachers working under the Punjab Information Communication Technical Education Society, a government body, were appointed on regular basis but after completion of the two-year probation, the state government changed the terms and conditions for jobs.

Teachers claimed that with the new terms and conditions, they would be deprived of several benefits available under a regular job, including medical reimbursements and Pay Commission recommendations. The teachers wanted that the government should bring them under the Education Department so that they become entitled to the benefits available to a regular teacher.

Harpreet Singh, the president of Computer Teachers Union, Punjab, said, "We met Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on January 8. Education Minister Sikander Singh Maluka and senior officials of the Education Department were also present in the meeting. The CM had promised to constitute a committee to redress our grievances and the committee was supposed to file its report within three weeks. Sadly, the department did not even constitute the committee till date.” He added that now they were going to intensify their protest.

"Besides holding protests outside the head office of the Education Department, we will expose the SAD-BJP alliance on social media," he added.

"The reach of social media is very wide and we know how to use it to our advantage. Initially, we will share how the government cheated computer teachers. Later, we will bare all the loopholes in the state’s education system,” said Harpreet.



  gadvasu notes

Scientists awarded

Ludhiana: Scientists and postgraduate students of the department of livestock production management, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, brought laurels at a national seminar held at Anand Agricultural University in Gujarat. Dr AL Saini was the co-chair of one of most important technical session. He also presented a lead paper. Dr Chandrahas, Dr Sandeep Kaswan, Dr Sarada Prasanna and Dr Anil Kumar Sharma got oral presentation awards, while Dr Priyanka Rana and Dr Aleesha Luthra won poster presentation awards. — TNS



College notes

RIMT signs MoU with Iraq

The RIMT Institute has signed a collaborative educational programme with the Republic of Iraq. The dignitaries from the Middle East were welcomed in a traditional style. Founder chairman of the institutes Dr Hukam Chand Bansal and chairman Vijayant Bansal greeted the dignitaries. A function was organised on the occasion showcasing the multi-cultural heritage of India. Performance of bhangra, dandiya and gidha regaled the visitors. In his address, Dr Bansal spoke about on the collaboration and the prospects it holds for uplifting education in the region. The delegation comprised Hussein Taher Naser, joint secretary, Education Development, Prime Minister's office, Dr Zain Karim, chief adviser to the National Foundation for Development and Growth, Education Department and Dr Ali Hussain Ali, principal adviser, Ministry of Health among others. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed for academic, cultural and scientific collaboration of the Ministry of Higher Education, Republic of Iraq, and the RIMT Group. The delegation visited various campuses of the group and looked into the infrastructure and educational prospects before the MoU was signed.

Industrial visit

The Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE) Student's Chapter of Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology, Gujarkhan Campus, Model Town, Ludhiana organised an industrial visit for its MBA second semester students to Aarti International, Ludhiana. Assistant professors Inderpreet Kaur and Ramneek Kaur accompanied the students. During the visit, the head of the R&D department of the Aarti International interacted with students and explained the processes of manufacturing. The students visited other departments of the industrial unit. They were keen on seeing the processes of yarn manufacturing and were excited to get an opportunity to interact with technical experts. — TNS



From schools

Basant Panchami

Students of Orient Convent Senior Secondary School celebrated Basant Panchami with zeal and enthusiasm. Dressed in colourful attires, mostly yellow, students designed bright kites with full dedication. They brought yellow-coloured dishes from home. Addressing students, school director Vikram Sharma and principal Sharda Sharma spoke about the importance of the festival. A kite flying competition was also organised on the occasion.

Book lovers pay tributes to eminent writers

Book lovers of Bal Bharati Public School Unit-I, dressed as their favourite storybook characters, and students of the Unit II of the school paid rich tributes to eminent writers of the world, whose works enrich school libraries. At unit I, the school library was abuzz with activity as student dressed as superheroes, prince and princesses, villains and witches moved around. Students of classes I, II and III brought alive the adventurous journey of storybook characters. Kids were dressed as Spiderman, Noddy, Krishh, Batman, Doremon, Ben10, Rapunzel, Barbie, Akbar and Birbal among other characters. Children dressed as Harry Potter wearing Gryffindor robe with a lightning scar on the forehead fascinated everyone. At unit II, an exhibition of the projects made by students was organised. On the display were book covers, book reviews and biographies of popular writers like RL Stine, JK Rowling, Enid Blyton, Geronimo Stilton, Ruskin Bond etc. Paramjeet, Hindi teacher, threw light on the motive of celebrating the Library Day. Amardip Kaur, a Punjabi teacher, read a poem titled “Importance of books”. — TNS



Business news

Indo-Pak trade expo to begin on February 13

Ludhiana: Trade could lead to peaceful Indo-Pak relations, said Rajiv Bali, chairman, Punjab Committee, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

"More and more avenues and events, such as the Indo-Pak International Trade Expo being organised in Ludhiana from February 13 to 17, need to be created," he said.

It would give people from both the countries an opportunity to come together and take back fresh and first-hand impressions of those on the other side of the border, said Bali.

With India and Pakistan agreeing to round-the-clock trading across the Wagah border, traders are upbeat.

Trade between the two nations would reach new heights, said the chamber’s regional director, Dalip Sharma.

"We also anticipate that trade will witness multifold increase in the coming years with the efforts of both the governments," he said.

According to a study released by Assocham, the opening of the integrated checkpoint at the border and Pakistan's move of granting the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India can increase the bilateral trade to USD 8 billion a year in the next two years from the current level of USD 2.6 billion.

Iron and steel traders to stage protest

Iron and steel traders are demanding the rollback of the second stage of the recently notified Input Tax Credit (ITC).

Roshan Lal Singla, president of the Iron and Steel Traders Association, said the traders will burn the Punjab government's effigy at Loha Mandi on Friday.

He said if the government failed to meet their demand, traders from across the state would join the protest. — TNS



Traders resent delay in VAT refunds
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
Now, Vishnu International has come under the Excise and Taxation Department scanner for tax evasion. The firm has shown bogus inter-state transactions to avoid tax.

"The department is conducting an inquiry into this specific case and all transactions of the firm are being scrutinised," said Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner, Amrit K Gill. Gill said VAT evasion in crores by this firm, which deals in the resale of nuts and bolts and steel sheets, was suspected.

Meanwhile, the delay in VAT refunds has become a cause of concern among traders. They have blamed the ongoing inquiry into the VAT refund scam and new cases of VAT evasion for the delay in refunds.

Malkiat Singh, a trader, said his VAT refund had been not been cleared for the past few months. "Since the case of bogus VAT refund came to light, things have become very difficult. First an inquiry was marked to the CBI and then the department took over the case. Things have been made difficult for traders ever since as the VAT refunds are getting delayed," he said.

Another trader said he had been doing the rounds of the department but his VAT refund had not been cleared so far.

"There is a problem of staff shortage in one district which has affected the clearance of VAT refunds. The inquiry into the case in no hindrance to department work," Amrit K Gill said. There has been no delay in the clearance of VAT refunds due to the ongoing inquiry into the VAT refund scam, she added.



Ludhiana scan

80 patients attend health camp

An orthopaedic and joint check-up camp was organised at Sarabha Nagar-based Deepak Hospital. Under the guidance of Dr Raman Singla, around 80 patients were thoroughly checked at concessional rates. Patients were also apprised of ways to prevent and treat ailments such as knee arthritis.

Experts discuss medical issues

A continuing medical education (CME) programme was conducted by Rising Youth Association in association with the Surgical Association of Ludhiana. Local surgeons discussed complications of gall stone disease. City's prominent surgeons were present on the occasion. Dr HS Jolly, chief laproscopic surgeon at the RG Stone and Super Speciality Hospital, gave a lecture on managing abdominal tuberculosis.

Club sponsors heart surgery

The Rotary Club, Ludhiana Greater, donated funds for the heart surgery of a five-year-old girl, Puneet. Club president Dr Rajan Bir Singh Thind said in the past four months, the club had helped seven children suffering from heart ailments.

Awareness programme

The district administration in collaboration with the Press Information Bureau of the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry will organise a three-day Bharat Nirman Public Information Campaign at Jagraon. The programme, to be held at Khalsa High School from February 10, will make people aware of various public welfare schemes through seminars and exhibitions.

SGPC promoting gatka, says chief

Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) is making every possible effort to promote the art of gatka in schools and colleges of the state. This was stated by SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar at the Khalsa College for Women. Makkar said the game connected the youth to their roots. Makkar was addressing students who had gathered to observe Baba Banda Singh Bahadur's martyrdom day.

Civic body’s action flayed

Congress MLA Rakesh Pandey has condemned the Municipal Corporation for demolishing structures raised by a few house owners at Bharti Colony recently. Pandey visited the area and met the affected residents. He said it was unfortunate that the MC acted tough against the poor, while sparing the influential people.

Potable water project launched

Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria and Congress MLA Rakesh Pandey inaugurated a project for providing safe drinking water to the residents of Ward No. 22. The Rs 48-lakh project will bring relied to the residents who have been drinking contaminated water for the past 20 years.

BSP to protest

The Bahujan Samaj Party will protest against the alleged anti-people policies of the state government on Friday. The dharna will be held at Jagraon Bridge, said party’s state president Parkash Singh Jandali. He said after the dharna, a rally will be organised at the District Commissioner’s office. — TNS



Six held for illegal sand mining
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 6
The Jagraon police and officials of the Mining Department jointly arrested six persons for alleged illegal mining and smuggling of sand from the Sutlej today. The police impounded five sand-laden tractor-trailers.

The accused have been identified as Jatinder Singh of Jallur village in Barnala district, Bharat Kumar of Tiba village in Sangrur district, Jasdev Singh of Dhanola, Surjit Singh of Madepur village near Jagraon, Gagandeep Singh of Dhanola and Dhanna Singh of Gag Kalan village near Sidhwan Bet.

The accused were arrested near Ramghar Bhullar village on the Jalandhar-Barnala highway. "When we asked the drivers of the tractor-trailers to show documents, they failed to produce these following which they were arrested," said area mining officer Gurcharan Singh Deol.

The police had registered two cases against the accused under the Mining Act, said Deol.



2 arrested for robbing forest guards in Jagraon
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 6
The Jagraon police have arrested two persons for allegedly robbing two guards of the state Forest Department of cash and bicycles. The police arrested both the accused within two hours of the crime. The accused have been identified as Satnam Singh, alias Satta, and Harwinder Singh, alias Kalu, both residents of Kothe Khajura village.

The accused, who were armed, robbed the two guards, Jagdev Singh and Prem Singh, while they were patrolling alongside a drain near Kothe Khajuran village on the outskirts of town.

The incident took place at around 2 pm. Soon after the incident, the guards informed the police about the incident. "We immediately deployed police teams on all roads connecting the crime spot. Both accused were arrested at around 4 pm and the bicycles and cash was recovered," said ASI Satpal Singh, the investigating officer.

The police have registered a case against the accused on a statement of the forest guards.



Man held with smack
Our Correspondent

Samrala, February 6
The local police reportedly arrested a man for carrying 10 grams of smack.

The accused was identified as Gurjant Singh (33), a resident of Ghulal village near her.

On seeing a police party near a railway overbridge near Sangatpura village, the accused reportedly hid himself in the fields, pretending to be defecating.

Acting on suspicion, the patrolling party of the Hedon police chowki, searched him.

During the search, the police found the contraband. Assistant sub-inspector Avtar Singh said a case under the NDPS Act was registered against Gurjant Singh. The accused was also produced before court, which sent him to a 14-day judicial custody in Ludhiana.



8 held for violating Section 144
Teachers were protesting in front of Mini-Secretariat seeking release of 58 colleagues
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
The city police on Wednesday arrested eight demonstrators, including teachers, who came to the Mini-Secretariat to seek release of the teachers arrested on Sunday.

The police had arrested 58 teachers of the SSA/RMSA Teachers’ Union on Sunday for holding a rally at the Grain Market on Jalandhar bypass.

Yesterday, two teachers along with six activists of farmer unions and communist unions were arrested from Chatar Singh Park. The activists of various unions had gathered at the park to stage a protest despite the fact that the police had imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) there.

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP) Harmohan Singh said all the eight activists were sent on judicial remand till February 13.

"We will take strict legal action against all those who will violate law, including Section 144 of CrPC,” said the ADCP.

Meanwhile, various teachers’ unions have condemned the arrests and called upon teachers working in government schools to initiate a united struggle against the Punjab Government.

The Democratic Teachers Front (DTF), the Inqulabi Kendra, the Master Cadre Union, Punjab, the TET Passed Unemployed Union and the ETT Teachers Union (Sahota) have denounced the police action.

Nirmal Singh Jaladiwal, a communist, has convened a meeting of teachers at Desh Bhagat Yadgari Hall, Jalandhar, on February 8 to chalk out the next course of action.

Deep Raja, the president of TET Passed Unemployed Teachers Union, stated that the action against teachers was undemocratic.



2 held for robbing auto passengers

Ludhiana, February 6
The Ladhowal police have nabbed two robbers who used to target passengers hiring their auto-rickshaw. The accused have been identified as Vicky Sharma of Moga and Surinder Kumar of Bhattian Bet.

The duo had robbed Munna Lal of his purse and dumped him at a secluded place during the night.

Munna Lal had said he had hired the duo’s auto-rickshaw from the railway station for his home in Ladhowal. When the vehicle passed through a forest area near Kadian village, the accused stopped the vehicle and robbed him of his purse at knife point.

MC employee, aide arrested for snatching

A Class IV employee of the Municipal Corporation, along with his accomplice, was nabbed for snatching a mobile phone and cash from a city resident.

The victim, Rajinder Kumar of Nidhan Singh Nagar in Haibowal, had lodged a complaint, following which the duo, Sajan Kumar and Shubham Napali, were arrested. Sajan is employed with the MC.

Meanwhile, MC employees said it a monetary dispute had been given the colour of crime.

10-year-old raped

A 10-year-old girl was raped by a migrant during Saraswati Puja at Mundian on Wednesday. The victim said when her parents were busy performing Saraswati Puja, the accused took her to a room on the pretext of gifting her a mobile phone, and raped her. The accused has absconded. — TNS



10,500 register under Food Safety Act
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
From Ludhiana, 10,500 eateries have registered while 1,604 applicants have got licenses under the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006. According to sources, there are still many businessmen who have not applied for the licence.

The last date for registering under the Act was February 4. However, there is confusion regarding the extension of the deadline. Some were of the view that the last date had been extended by six months.

A notification issued by the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India has led to confusion. It says the deadline for eateries manufacturing caramelised and glazed food items has been extended for six months or till further notification, whichever is earlier.

Under the Act, all food business operators with a turnover of up to Rs 12 lakh have to obtain “registration” while those with a turnover of more than Rs 12 lakh have to obtain “licences”, which have to be granted by the respective state governments. The Centre grants licences to operators with a turnover of Rs 20 crore and more.

The Food Safety Act mandates all food businesses, ranging from roadside eateries and canteens to star-category hotels and restaurants, either register or obtain licences.

District Health Officer (DHO) Avinash Kumar said: “The process of registration and issuing licences has been completed and till February 4, which was the deadline, we had registered 10,500 eateries, including those operating on the roadside, at hotels and other shops, and issued licences to 1604 food joints”.

“Action will be taken against those who have not registered. We are yet to receive instructions from the higher authorities regarding it,” said the DHO.

The Central government agency had warned of stringent legal action, including imprisonment, against food firms operating without licences or registration.

The sources said only licensed and registered entities would be allowed to supply their stuff to religious places and to schools under the Mid-day Meal scheme. 



Court seeks weekly report
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 6
The HC has directed MC Commissioner Rahul Tiwari to send a weekly report on the car bazar, held every Sunday at Gyan Singh Rarewala Market near Preet Palace here.

During a hearing in the case today, the MC Commissioner and Additional Commissioners Isha Kalia and Devinder Singh were present. The HC asked the MC to ensure that no car bazar was held in the particular market and send a report to the court by post every week. 



Nav Bharti, Patiala school enter final
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 6
Nav Bharti Public School (Sr) and Government Multipurpose School, Patiala, today came out triumphant in the semifinals of the boys’ section to set up the title clash in the BFI-IMG Reliance Punjab Schools Basketball League under way at Guru Nanak Stadium here.

In the first semifinal, Nav Bharti Public School (Sr) proved too good for Nav Bharti Public School (Jr) whom they outnumbered 67-54. In the second semifinal, played between Government Multipurpose School, Patiala, and Punjab State Sports School, Jalandhar, the former romped home victorious 69-50.

In the girls’ section, Government Senior Secondary School, Mall Road, Amritsar, and Khalsa Girls Senior Secondary School, Ludhiana, wrapped up their respective semifinal encounters to secure berths in the final.

Government Senior Secondary School, Amritsar, faced a little resistance from Apeejay Public School, Jalandhar, as they recorded an easy victory (51-23) to join Khalsa Girls Senior Secondary School, Ludhiana, who overpowered the Government Senior Secondary School for Girls, Sardoolgarh, 42-31.

The final in the girls’ section will be played tomorrow at 2 pm while that of the boys’ section at 3 pm. Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, Rajat Aggarwal will be the chief guest at the prize-distribution function.

The winners in both the sections will receive a cash prize of Rs 50,000 each while the runners-up will pocket a cash prize of Rs 30,000 each. The teams finishing third will be richer by Rs 20,000 each. 



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