L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Dog menace: MC a step closer
Hyderabad-based firm gets contract to serilise stray dogs
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 16
Finally, the residents of the city will get respite from the menace of stray dogs as the civic body has awarded the contract of sterilisation of dogs to the Hyderabad-based Vet Society for Animal Welfare and Rural Development. The company has asked the Municipal Corporation (MC) to provide them space where stray dogs could be sterilised and provided pre and post-operative treatment. The MC has agreed to the company's demand.

If things go according to the MC plans, then sterilisation of dogs is expected to start by June this year. The Senior Veterinary Officer of the Municipal Corporation, Dr YP Singh, said the company would be paid Rs 795 per sterilisation (each dog).

"The company needs a place where dogs could be treated. We have identified a piece of 4,000 square yards near the MC Veterinary Hospital, Haibowal Dairy Complex, and tenders will soon be floated for the construction of a shed or building as required by the company. A similar project is being handled by the company in Bengaluru, where they are paid Rs 850 per dog. In Bengaluru, the company started the project two years ago at a rate of Rs 650 per dog on the condition of 10 per cent increase every year. But with us, there is no such condition," said the Veterinary Officer.

The civic body expects residents will start getting relief from the stray dog menace by June this year. The city has about 30,000 dogs. This is the figure of a survey report released about three years ago when the sterilisation project was given to a company, Doggie Lane. Since the company failed to deliver the desired results and was not registered with the Animal Welfare Board of India, the contract was terminated.

Fact file

  • The company will be paid Rs 795 for sterilisation of each dog
  • The Municipal Corporation has identified a piece of 4,000 square yards near the MC Veterinary Hospital, Haibowal Dairy Complex, where a shed or building would come up
  • The company given a target of sterilisation of about 1,200 dogs per month
  • The Municipal Corporation expects residents will start getting relief from the stray dog menace by June this year


AAP Lok Sabha candidate from city to work for ‘swaraj’
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 16
Senior advocate HS Phoolka (58) is the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate from Ludhiana Parliamentary constituency. His name was announced today in the first list of the AAP candidates for the ensuing Lok Sabha poll. The candidature of Phoolka, who has spearheaded the cause of 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims, makes the Ludhiana Parliamentary poll a triangular contest, the other two contestants being Congress leader and Union Minister Manish Tewari (though Tewari has still not been formally announced as the Congress candidate) and the yet-to-be-announced Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidate.

According to observers, with Phoolka in the fray, the votes of urban Sikhs will, in all probability, see a divide. Phoolka as the AAP candidate from Ludhiana is an uneasy proposition for the SAD. The SAD that has professed to be the only party that gives political voice to the Sikh issues now has a formidable rival in the AAP’s Phoolka. It may be recalled that when the AAP government in Delhi decided to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to reinvestigate the 1984 riots, SAD supremo Parkash Singh Badal opposed the decision.

However, some observers also say Phoolka’s association with pro-Sikh issues may alienate a part of the electorate. Phoolka, while talking to The Tribune on the phone, slammed the observation as contradictory to facts. “I have, during my legal practice in the last 30 years, kept (Sikh) hardliners at an arm’s length. My fight is for human rights, irrespective of caste or religion. I have been taking up the cause of the poor and the underprivileged - be it the fight against trafficking of girls or collection of funds for the cyclone-hit in Orissa,” he said.

Phoolka, who belongs to Bhadaur village in Barnala, joined the AAP in January 2014. Delhi-based Phoolka has a Ludhiana connection. He graduated from Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).

Reiterating the AAP’s ideological focus on decentralised democracy, Phoolka said he would work for “Swaraj” - the people’s rule in the people’s hand. “The ‘Right to Recall’ is very important for a democracy.” Listing out his priorities, he said he would fight against corruption and nepotism at every step.

On the prospects of his ‘winnability’ from the Ludhiana constituency, the AAP candidate said like Kejriwal, his focus is on changing the system. “If we, as political leaders, are able to change the system, it’s our win.”



Phoolka a farm varsity alumnus
Tribune News Service

Punjab Agricultural University where Phoolka did his BSc (Agriculture)
Punjab Agricultural University where Phoolka did his BSc (Agriculture). A file photograph

Ludhiana, February 16
The announcement that senior Supreme Court lawyer and Aam Aadmi Party leader Harvinder Singh Phoolka would be the party candidate from Ludhiana has brought cheer to the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) fraternity. Phoolka has done his BSc (Agriculture) from the PAU and has a big circle of friends and classmates in the city.

Phoolka, who hails from Bhadaur in Barnala district, joined the BSc (Agriculture) course at the PAU in 1971 and passed out in 1976.

Speaking to The Tribune, Sarabha Nagar resident Avtar Singh Dhindsa, who is Phoolka’s classmate as well as close friend, said at that time the BSs (Agriculture) was a five-year course after matriculation and a four-year one after prep.

“Harvinder Singh Phoolka joined the five-year course of BSc Agriculture while I pursued the four-year course. He used to stay at a room in Kairon Kisan Ghar, which, at that time, was a hostel. Ever since we finished our degrees, he has been like a brother to me,” said Dhindsa, a progressive farmer and president of The Asia Pacific Seed Association.

Besides Avtar Singh Dhindsa, senior IAS officer Raminder Singh, Director of the Punjab Agricultural Management and Extension Training Institute (PAMETI) Harjit Singh Dhaliwal is also Phoolka’s classmate.

Harvinder Singh Phoolka belongs to the Phoolkian dynasty's Bhadaur chiefs, which is a senior branch of the Patiala royal family.



LPG cylinder price
Administration waits for circular as residents suffer
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 16
Even as several weeks have passed since it was announced that the domestic LPG cylinders would be made available at the earlier rate of around Rs 450, the city residents are still paying Rs 1,203 for a cylinder. And the local DFSC office is merely waiting for the circular to be issued by the Centre Government.

“We feel cheated by the Central Government because despite the government order, we are still purchasing domestic LPG cylinders at higher prices,” said Basant Singh, a resident of Sarabha Nagar.

The price of a non-subsidised cylinder for this month is Rs 1,203, including VAT, while it was Rs 1,310 in January. There are roughly around 9.5 lakh LPG customers in the city, of whom only about 46 per cent have got their Aadhaar cards linked to their bank accounts for the subsidy. The rest are purchasing cylinders on the non-subsidised rates.

Some of them even feel the gas companies as well as agencies are deliberately delaying the circular. “Everyone knows that the linkage with the Aadhaar card is no more compulsory, then why are the gas agencies not reducing the prices? The common man is already suffering due to inflation and by purchasing domestic LPG cylinders almost triple the earlier price is like playing with his emotions,” said another resident.

A gas agency owner clarified they were just waiting for the government circular. “Prices will be slashed the moment we receive it,” he added.



Examinations around, DJs add to students’ worries
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Sandeep Joshi
Sandeep Joshi

Ludhiana, February 16
It’s not only examination jitters students are having these days but they are also at the receiving end of nuisance caused by disc jockies (DJs) playing loud music at late night wedding parties. Besides, sick people are also suffering due to these irresponsible DJs.

Demanding strict action against such DJs, Diwanishi Sinha, a Class XI student, said: "A few days ago, there was a function at the Community Centre near our house. The music was so loud that I could not study even a single chapter from 8 pm till the function was over. Despite shutting all the doors and windows of my room, I could not concentrate on my studies."

A student who studies in a local college, Bharat Sharma, said: "My house is situated near a marriage palace. The loud music played by DJs at the palace make me so tense that I can neither sleep nor study. People have lost civic sense."

Not only students but also sick people curse these DJs. Radhika Dhir, a resident of Model Town in Ludhaian, said: "My husband was discharged from the hospital only a few days ago. He had undergone some surgery. He has been advised proper rest by the doctors who operated upon him. But these late night music parties in the area make him feel uncomfortable”.

Loud music

A few days ago, there was a function at the Community Centre near our house. The music was so loud that I could not study even a single chapter from 8 pm till the function was over. Despite shutting all the doors and windows of my room, I could not concentrate on my studies.

Diwanishi Sinha, a Class XI student


We have issued instructions in this regard. Anyone who faces any such problem may complain to the Police Control Room at 100. I will also take up this matter with the Commissioner of Police so that the PCR personnel are sensitised about this public nuisance.

Rajat Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner



80-year-old killed in accident
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 16
An 80-year-old man was killed in an accident near Dholewal Chowk here today. The victim has been identified as Baljinder Singh, a resident of the Amar Nagar near in Dholewal.

The incident came to light this morning when a commuter spotted Baljinder lying unconscious on the road. He was taken the hospital where the doctors declared him dead on arrival.

The police say it appears that Baljinder was hit by a speeding vehicle. The police sent the body to the Civil Hospital for post-mortem. A case will be registered after receiving the autopsy report.



Better Ludhiana: sanitation
Toilets turn into public ‘inconveniences’
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Urinals in a pathetic condition at Bahadur House; and at Rose Garden in Ludhiana. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, February 16
Ludhiana, a city with over 17 lakh inhabitants, has to make do with only 54 public toilets. Even these toilets are in such a pathetic condition that those who dare to enter these are always prone to infection.

The situation is similar at all the toilets (21 managed by the NGO Sulabh International Social Service Organisation and 33 privately): filthy seats, unclean floors, chocked drainage and smell oozing out of every nook and corner.

At many toilets taps keep running, choking the drain. At some, a huge container of water is placed as taps are out of order. But, soaps remain elusive at all of these toilets.

The toilet near the city's railway station is a big eyesore. Although, it is not easily visible to a passer-by, the sight and smell of the overflowing sewage can lead anyone to it.

The toilet is owned privately, according to the caretaker who sits on a cot inside the toilet compound. He charges Rs 5 from every visitor. Still, the toilet has no soap or phenol.

Parminder Singh, a daily visitor to the market adjoining the toilet, said, “You can well imagine how bad the toilet must be that people prefer to urinate on the roadside.”

Toilets near Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital, Rose Garden, Bahadur House and Jalandhar Bypass fare no better.

Suman Puri, a homemaker who was shopping at Chaura Bazar, said: “There is no separate toilet for women here.”

She said there ought to be dedicated toilets for women at various places.

Bharat Bhushan Vij, an NRI who has been visiting the city for past many years, said: "Many big stores and malls have come up in the city. But, when it comes to public toilets, not even one is being maintained properly. In fact, the situation is getting from bad to worse."

Parveen Bansal, president of the BJP’s district unit, said: "As far as the maintenance of toilets is concerned, an agency like Sulabh, which has credibility, should be chosen. Any commercial building with an area of more than 200 sq-yard should have toilets for public use. Moreover, people should also help in keeping the toilets clean."

Kamlesh Bansal, Additional Commissioner (Technical)-cum-Zonal Commissioner, Zone B, said they were yet to decide as to which agency would be given the task of maintaining all the toilets.

Sulabh ready to manage all toilets

Sulabh shauchalaya, a concept devised by Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, is based on appropriate and culturally acceptable technology and use leach pits for on-the-site disposal of human waste.

Flushing the waste requires only 1.5 to 2 litre of water, as compared 10 to 15 litre needed in conventional toilets. Sulabh shauchalaya needs two pits, one used at a time. When the first gets filled, the waste is diverted to the second one. As the waste gets decomposed, it can be removed and put to use in agriculture.

Controller, Sulabh International Social Service Organisation, Punjab, AK Singh said the NGO’s contract of taking care of 21 public toilets in Ludhiana got over on February 13.

“A month ago, we held a meeting with the Municipal Corporation officers. We proposed that by spending only Rs 2 crore, we will manage all the 54 toilets in the city. Of this, Rs 40 lakh will be contributed by us,” he said.

AK Singh said a few toilets needed to be reconstructed and the NGO was ready to do the needful.

“The contract will be signed for 10 years, under which we will build, maintain and operate these toilets. In these toilets, we will also provide space for caretakers to sit after cleaning the toilet. Otherwise, the staff keeps sitting at nearby tea stalls after cleaning the toilets,” he said.

The controller said the NGO was already constructing a few toilet blocks in the city with an amount of Rs 45 lakh.

"We have already constructed one such toilet near Mata Rani Chowk with all the planned facilities. The remaining three, too, are nearing completion. These will come up at Transport Nagar, near the Civil Hospital and at Sherpur,” he said.

Singh also proposed to maintain mobile toilets, in case the MC set up these in the city.


Earlier, we were planning to construct 100 toilets in the city under the utility creation scheme. The contract was to be given to one firm, which would have constructed and maintained these toilets. The proposal, however, was not passed by the MC House. The second proposal pertains to the maintenance of the existing 54 toilets. The expression of interest was called for. Tenders, too, are being floated.

— Rahul Tiwari, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana



Ayali calls for drug-free elections
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 16
Mullanpur Dakha MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali had called upon the leaders of all the political parties to make the coming Lok Sabha elections completely drug-free. Ayali appealed the politicians to not get indulged in the practice of distributing drugs among the people to garner votes during the elections.

According to Ayali, the task of eliminating drugs is quite difficult and it might take a lot of efforts and time to completely eradicate the menace of drugs from our society. "For the success of this campaign against drugs, we require the cooperation of all sections of society including the political leaders. The leaders must set an example for the public by staying away from the practice of distributing drugs and money during the elections," said Ayali.

"But if the political leaders keep indulged in the practice of distributing drugs among the electorate during the time of elections to garner votes, the war against the menace of drugs would become more tough," added the MLA.

Ayali also made it clear that if Shromani Akali Dal (SAD) opts for him as party's candidate from Ludhiana constituency for the coming general elections, he would not let anyone distribute drugs among the voters in the elections. "In case, I am asked to contest the coming general elections from Ludhiana, at no cost I would make compromise with my principles. I would prefer to lose the elections then getting indulged in practice of distributing drugs among the people to win votes, he said."

Ayali claimed that 'Punjabio Jago Nashe Tiyago' campaign initiated by him has been yielding a positive response. "We had initiated this campaign against drugs some time back and it has been yielding good results. We helped police in arresting hundreds of drug peddlers and helped a large number of drug addict youth in giving up the drugs by offering them free treatment," said Manpreet Ayali.



Pakistani suits strike a chord with Ludhiana women
Tribune News Service

Women at a stall of Pakistani suits at the Indo-Pak expo in Ludhiana on Sunday
Women at a stall of Pakistani suits at the Indo-Pak expo in Ludhiana on Sunday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, February 16
Although the craze for Pakistani suits is declining, after their reign in the markets for several years, but the Pakistani suits at the Indo-Pak expo were in great demand, as a number of residents visited the expo and women were seen checking out Pakistani suits at the expo.

According to a Pakistani vendor, the popularity is decreasing because a lot of sellers in India started selling substandard quality of cloth in the name of Pakistani cloth and suits, taking advantage of the popularity of Pakistani suits. This is one of the reasons for the decline in interest, he said.

People who know the quality of the materials, designs and colour are still going for Pakistani suits, said another seller. "We exhibited our products a couple of days later the exhibition, and sold most of the stock within a couple of days, as those who knew quality immediately go for these," he said.

"Although the style of stitching of Pakistani has gone down to an extent, and with it the demand for Pakistani suits has also lessened, but at the expo one can see some of the latest patterns and styles of suits from across the border," said Sukhkiran, a resident of Sant Nagar.

No doubt the popularity of Pakistani suits had taken a hit, but some of the suits with fine quality cotton-silk, chiffon and such materials and colours from Pakistan are excellent, whether or not we sell them saying these are Pakistani suits, said a boutique owner.



Will always work for Ludhiana, says outgoing MC commissioner

The Commissioner of Municipal Corporation Rahul Tiwari has now been transferred as Special Principal Secretary to Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal. The tenure of four years in city had been satisfying for the officer as he candidly said, "I have received so much warmth and affection from the people of Ludhiana. Both professionally and personally, I have learnt so much from the city. I will always work for the betterment of this town in whatever position I can.” The down to earth and accessible officer could be seen walking/cycling on the roads as a common man with no red-beacons on his vehicles or security with him. As Deputy Commissioner, Tiwari upgraded the DC Office and Suvidha Centre and started computerisation of land records which provided much needed relief to the city residents. During his short stay in MC for five months, he got two major projects sanctioned by central government, for which the civic body was trying hard for the last three years.

Hail the hail!

Yesterday the city witnessed a hail storm which was no less than a snowfall. The city roads wore a white blanket and gave people an opportunity to pose for their shutterbugs. Ankit, a city resident, said they could not make it to the hill station this year due to some reason and his kids were really upset. "Yesterday's hailstorm made my day as my kids were happy like anything when they saw the snow balls. They clicked the photographs and it made their day. Hailstorm proved to be a blessing in disguise for me," said he.

Musical chairs for bureaucrats

As the announcement for Lok Sabha elections, scheduled to be held in next couple of months, draws near, the government has launched a vigorous exercise to shift and shuffle top bureaucrats and officials in the city so as to meet the guidelines of the Election Commission of India and Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab. Recently, the commissioner of Municipal Corporation Rahul Tiwari and chief administrator of GLADA RK Verma were shifted to Chandigarh, and deputy commissioner of Jalandhar Shruti Singh has taken over both these posts. Similarly, GLADA additional chief administrator Supreet Singh Gulati has been posted at Chandigarh and Kuldip Singh, commissioner of Phagwara Municipal Corporation has been given additional charge of ACA GLADA. Additional deputy commissioner (General) Neeru Katyal has been posted as Land Acquisition Collector in Improvement trust and she has been replaced by Baldev Singh who was additional deputy commissioner (Development) till now. Isha Kalia, additional commissioner in Municipal Corporation has been given additional charge of ADC (Dev). Quite a few police officials of the rank of ADCP and ACP have also been shuffled in the run-up to the elections.

Tough walk

Due to failure of Ludhiana Municipal Corporation in cleaning sewer lines, sewer water often overflows on posh Rani Jhansi Road, here. Due to this poor approach of the MC, residents who park their vehicles along the road, often use bricks to reach their vehicles safely. Every day, the residents, mostly students of Khalsa College for Women, some of whom park their cars opposite the college premises can be seen having tough time entering their cars as sewer water gets accumulated along the road. "We wonder why the MC authorities fail to notice it despite the fact that it is a main road," rued a student.

Contributed by: Shivani Bhakoo, Manav Mander, Kuldip Bhatia, Puneet Pal Singh Gill



A dedicated ayurveda doctor who has won hearts of Mehdudan residents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 16
Dr Nalini Saklani introduced ayurveda in the sleepy village of Mehdudan, near Samrala. She is a rare example of an urbanite taking up a job in the rural belt for the sake of patients. She is a friendly doctor, close to her patients, which was proved during the recent surprise visit of Deputy Commissioner, Rajat Aggarwal to the Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Mehdudan village where she is posted. Villagers were all praise for Dr Nalini and called her their saviour, DC said the district administration will be giving an appreciation certificate to the doctor.

Recalling her first steps at primary health centre she said, “Things were not easy for me when I joined. I was the only female doctor at my centre and patients did not know about ayurveda. I took up the challenge and started interacting with the villagers through medical camps and a board announcing the ayurveda OPD was put up at the PHC. In addition to this I spread the word of mouth through Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers. Announcements were made during the medical camps and slowly and steadily patients started coming up at the ayurveda OPD. It took me nearly 6 months to make the patients visit my OPD. Dr Shikha, medical officer and Satnam Singh, ayurvedic pharmacist were also there with me during thick and thin," she said.

Like other doctors Dr Nalini is very partial about ayurveda and respect the need and requirement of the patient at that particular time. "Sometimes patients who come to me need immediate treatment and care, than I refer them to the Allopathic OPD as the health of the patient is more important to me then promoting my own set of medicine," she smiles back.

But she never relents back extending a helping hand to the allopathic patients. "Sometimes female patients feel free to talk to me. I listen to their problems and then communicate same to the allopathic doctor. While sometimes if a delivery case comes to the PHC then I help the patient in whatever possible way I can," says Dr Nalini.

When asked if she would like to return back to the city and take up a job there she refused. "My patients are dependent upon me and my medicines. Sometimes they find a person in me with whom they can discuss their health problems and sometimes they just need me beside them for emotional support. I cannot leave them in lurch. The village is like one big family for me and I treasure the love and warmth extended to me by them. Recently jobs in urban areas under NRHM were declared but I did not applied as I do not want to leave the people of the village in between although commuting 
daily from Ludhiana is bit difficult. But I can do anything for my patients," she signs off.

Meanwhile, Inderpal Tewari, a pharmacist at the same PHC will also be given an appreciation certificate by the Ludhiana district administration which was announced by DC, Rajat Aggarwal during his recent surprise check. "I am into job since June 2013 and was transferred at PHC, Mehdudan in June 2013. It is due to my friendly and welcoming attitude that people in the village feel free talk to me about their health related issues," he said.



Mobile apps give a peep into the minds of top brass
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 16
The status at your social networking sites and apps reflect your state of mind and also gives a peep into one’s personality. With people increasingly becoming dependent upon these sites and apps for unleashing their feelings the status messages had also become an important tool to spread across a word in the administration. Officials of different departments are not behind and write crunchy and crispy status messages.

To start with, the head of the administration, Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal through social networking app, WhatsApp, has put across his word to those in list to dedicate themselves towards work.

DC Aggarwal had put his status which goes like this "kam aur kam ki baat". Even his profile picture reads "Keep calm and keep kam se kam".

His predecessor, Rahul Tiwari and outgoing MC, Commissioner reflecting his selfless nature has written "Apne liye jiye toh kya jiye, tu jee ah dil zamane ke liye".

Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana, Nirmal Singh Dhillon's status "at the gym" shows he is regularly hits the gym and extra cautious about his fitness which goes well with the police service.

While ADCP Swapan Sharma writes "Keep Walking". Keep walking on the path of duty and serving the people can be one the connotations.

The mystery of life and it being bound by responsibilities is aptly written by Shikha Bhagat, who had served Ludhiana as additional commissioner, grievances. Her status update is ,"Man is born free but everywhere he is in chains."



Book release, kavi darbar organised
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 16
UNESCO Club of Punjab organised a book release function here today at the Punjabi Bhawan. On the occasion a "Gazal collection" of Dr Rajinder Toki was released. Dr Toki recently retired as head of Hindi department from AS College, Khanna.

The book was released by Dr Prithpal Singh, former, Pro-vice chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University and Rajinder Bhandari vice-chairman of Punjab Planning Board. While Dr Rakesh Kumar of SCD Government College read the paper on his book. Dr GS Maan, Chairman and Dr Kulwinder Singh Minhas, Secretary of UNESCO Club of Punjab were also present on the occasion.

Book release function was followed by a "Mushaira". The poets namely Danish Bharti, Gurcharan Narang, Dharampal Sahil, Sagar Syalkoti, Sanjeev Dawar, Asha Aneja and Manoj Preet recited their poems.



aided and unaided colleges of punjab
Teachers to go on mass leave
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 16
Teachers of 136 aided colleges and unaided colleges of Punjab will go on a mass casual leave and hold a protest rally in front of the office of DPI Colleges, Punjab, to push for their pending demands, on March 1.

Teachers will be protesting against the non-fulfillment of their long-pending demands. These include pension and gratuity, lifting ban on recruitment, re-inclusion of teachers working against unaided posts in Service Security Act of 1974, extension of relaxation of RC/OC up to June 2010, as per the parity with counterpart government college teachers, and arrears of pay revision of DPEs and librarians.

Other demands include arrears of pay revision for teachers working against unaided posts (January 2006) and undue delay in the Career Advance Scheme of Union Territory Chandigarh teachers because of the confusion regarding API scores.

Professor JR Prashar, president of the union, severally criticised the state government which repealed the Pension Scheme (December 18, 1996).

Prof Kuldip Singh, general secretary, criticised the government for imposing a ban on recruitment of teachers in aided colleges, since 2005, and exclusion of teachers working against unaided posts from the purview of Service Security Act of 1974.

The security of services was provided to teachers in 1974 when there was no grant-in-aid available for colleges, but unfortunately the security was withdrawn in 2007.

Prof Mukhwinder Singh, vice president, condemned the state government for not extending the benefits of pay revision to the teachers working against unaided posts.

Dr PS Gill, co-president of the union, criticised the Chandigarh Administration for its callous and evasive attitude towards implementing the CAS of teachers working in Chandigarh.



Mohinder Grewal’s book on crop diversification will make a difference, say academicians
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, February 16
National award recipient and former member of the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices, Government of India, Mohinder Grewal’s book ‘Crop diversification for sustainable agriculture—A practical guide’ is being anticipated to be a grand leap ahead in the field of innovative farming and sustainable agricultural growth.

Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, who released the book, said, “The book highlights innovations in farm operations, simple techniques of mechanisation and indigenous ways of rationalising the use of inputs for optimising farm returns. On several occasions, even foreign dignitaries, farmers and students have visited his model scientific farm to see the innovations that Grewal has made in the farming practices. I have myself visited the farm and was astonished to see Grewal’s hard work and dedication.”

Dr Gurdev Singh Khush, professor, University of California, Davis, USA, claims that farmers need to follow steps shown by Mohinder Singh Grewal.

Dr GS Kalkat, chairman, Punjab State Farmers' Commission, said, “Grewal has shown ways to improve small-farm income. He has become a role model for farmers not only in Punjab but also at the national-level. For increasing farm income, farmers should grow high-value crops such as vegetables and fruits.”

Dr RS Paroda, chairman, Haryana State Farmers' Commission and former director general of ICAR, said, “The book will be very useful for farmers in Asia-Pacific region, and also in some of the African countries such as Nigeria and Ethiopia.”

Dr Balwinder Singh Sidhu, Agriculture Commissioner, Punjab, Chandigarh, said Grewal has developed several innovations to augment the returns from his small holding of about four hectares.

Dr SS Johal, Chancellor, Central University of Punjab, said, “Mohinder Singh Grewal has done pioneering work in the field of agriculture. I have suggested the Vice Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) to suggest his name for Padam Shree award, since this innovative farmer has paved way for other farmers to grow.”

“My attempt, all through, has been to make the knowledge of diversified farming thoroughly popular among farmers. Since crop diversification has now become an urgent need of the hour, I wish that maximum number of stakeholders should profit out of it and leave aside redundant traditional farming and come out with innovative techniques to become self-dependent,” said Mohinder Singh Grewal.



Promoting healthy living, the Punjabi style
Plant pathologist to spread awareness about kitchen gardening through folk couplets
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 16
A senior plant pathologist at Punjab Agricultural University, Dr Pritpal Kaur Chahal, will be organising workshops to promote kitchen gardening in the region.

“Vegetables purchased from market are costlier, stale, tasteless and poisonous whereas those grown in kitchen garden are cheaper, fresh, and nutritious,” says Dr Chahal.

Incorporating knowledge acquired through her research on plants into couplets and folk songs, Dr Chahal highlights availability of essential elements and vitamins in fresh vegetables through reciting Punjabi couplets and educating masses about the advantages of kitchen gardening.

She shares one such couplet: "Sun neen santeeye, sun neen banteeye, ikk gall mein samjhanvan; je mein gharelu bagheeche lavan, bin zehron sabji khavan; te sehat naroyee pavan, nale aamdan ghar dee vadhavan; nale pind khush-hal banavan. (If I set up a kitchen garden, I will relish healthy vegetables besides increasing my family income and making the village prosperous).

Dr Chahal has written a number of plays, poems and articles on social issues, besides papers in her main subject.

Though her family is settled in Canada, she wants to help people by spreading awareness and promoting a healthy life.

Office-bearers of local organisations such as Rotary Club, Social Welfare Organisation and Lions Club welcomed her mission to spread the message through folk songs and couplets.

Creativity at its best

A senior plant pathologist at Punjab Agricultural University, Dr Pritpal Kaur Chahal, will be organising workshops to promote kitchen gardening in the region. Though her family is settled in Canada, she wants to stay here and help the people by promoting healthy eating habits among them.



Class VI student wins contest at Abu Dhabi
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 16
Ayush Hind, a Class VI student of Ludhiana Public School, emerged champion in an extempore competition organised by Ferrari at Abu Dhabi in the UAE recently.

Hind won after his family participated in a fast-paced interactive game show at Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi.

Hind answered all questions related to motoring.

Ayush came back home with cash vouchers and a citation of the Fast Lane Grand Champion.



Choose your cooking oil with extra care
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 16
With so many options available when it comes to buying cooking oil, it's easy to get confused while choosing the healthier alternative.

Different factors, such as smoke point, combination of fatty acids, taste and whether the oil has zero cholesterol or trans fat, come into play while making the correct choice.

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that oil behaves differently when heated and changes texture, colour, taste and its nutritional properties.

When oil reaches its smoking point, a lot of nutrients are destroyed and sometimes harmful compounds are also formed. Also, different oils have varying amounts of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fats. Experts advise to choose the cooking oil according to the type of cooking that is being done.

The total amount of oil consumption should not cross 30 gram per person per day, that too if the person is free from heart ailments, say experts.

Dipti Chauhan, deputy dietician at Christian Medical College and Hospital, says using oils on rotational basis is a healthy option. It gives the body different essential fatty acids that it needs, she says.

"Normally, no single oil has all the essential fatty acids and the right ratio of fatty acids. For example, we need a judicious combination of monounsaturates, polyunsaturates and saturated fatty acids," says Chauhan.

"Following advertisements blindly can be harmful. Olive oil is not at all recommended for Indian cooking. It should be used with salads and pastas only. Also, the consumption of other oils should be decreased if olive oil is added to salads," she says.

Body needs judicious mix of various oils

Using oils on a rotational basis is a healthy option. Olive oil works with breakfast, pastas and salads, while sunflower oil can be opted for deep frying. Sesame oil is apt for Asian cooking, but when it comes to Indian cooking, rice bran and canola oils can be used alternately.



Experts discuss tax issues
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 16
A two-day national tax conference concluded here today. The conference was organised by the All-India Federation of Tax Practioners, Punjab Tax Bar Association, Taxation Bar Association and District Taxation Bar Association.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court judge Rajesh Bindal was the chief guest.

Over the two days, the attendees discussed various issues pertaining to taxation. Discussions on existing and emerging issues concerning value added tax, income tax and service laws were held. The gathering gave suggestions to the government.

Speaking on the occasion, KL Goyal, chairman, Punjab Tax Bar Association, said a government notification was necessary to implement any announcement. No new tax system or rate of tax could be imposed in verbal, he said.

Jatinder Khurana, general secretary, Taxation Bar Association, said if a trader felt that the assessment officer had not done the assessment up to the mark, he could appeal to the tribunal.



NGO distributes artificial limbs
Tribune News Service

Volunteers give an artificial limb to a physically challenged man in Ludhiana
Volunteers give an artificial limb to a physically challenged man in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, February 16
Mahavir International Ludhiana, a non-governmental organisation, today distributed artificial limbs to 21 physically challenged people here today. Ramesh Kumar, an entrepreneur, was the chief guest. Organisation's president Sushi Kaura and chairman Hari Daman were also present.

50 attend medical camp

A free multi-speciality medical camp was organised by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) in collaboration with the District Administration and the Civil Surgeon office at the IMA House.

Doctors having different specialities, including medicine, general surgery, orthopaedics, gynaecology, paediatrics, eye and ENT, examined the patients. Patients suffering from cancer were also examined at the camp.

More than 50 patients took advantage of the camp. Free medicines were distributed by Punjab Medical Representative Association.



pau notes
CIPHET takes part in agri fair in Nagpur

Ludhiana: The Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) participated in the National Agriculture Fair-cum-Exhibition Krishi Vasant 2014 for showcasing post-harvest technologies at Central Institute of Cotton Research, Nagpur, recently.

The exhibition was inaugurated by the President of India. — TNS



ludhiana scan
Rally held

Volunteers donate blood during a camp organised by the Zindagi Live Foundation in collaboration with the Sutlej Club in Ludhiana on Sunday
ALL FOR A NOBLE CAUSE: Volunteers donate blood during a camp organised by the Zindagi Live Foundation in collaboration with the Sutlej Club in Ludhiana on Sunday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Lal Jhanda Cycle Mazdoor Union held a rally at Gyaspura Chowk on Sunday. Members of the union expressed resentment over the contract system and said equal work should invite equal pay. Workers from industrial units here will also participate in the rally on February 20.

Ration distributed

The 56th ration distribution function was organised by Akhil Bhartiya Samaj Sewa Society at Shivpuri on Sunday. On the occasion, as many as 31 needy and underprivileged women were given ration and other items required for daily use. Akhil Bhartiya Samaj Sewa Society members said till date they have helped 15 patients availing treatment for different ailments.

Teachers’ meet

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA)/Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyaan (RMSA) Teacher Union, Punjab, held a meeting, under the presidentship of Didar Singh Mudaki and general secretary Sunil Mohali, on Sunday. The office-bearers of the association condemned the Ludhiana District Administration and senior police officers for curbing the voice of the teacher union. Office-bearers will hold a meeting on February 23 at Desh Bhagat Yaadgari Hall, Jalandhar, and will chalk out the further course of action.

Effigy burnt

Sore over the apathetic attitude adopted by the Civic Body in getting the blocked sewerages cleaned, residents of EWS Colony here burnt the effigy of Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria on Sunday. Residents alleged that even after repeated complaints, Municipal Corporation (MC) is not paying any heed towards cleaning the choked sewerages. Residents said even the area councillor is not doing anything in this regard. — TNS



Thieves strike at shop

Ludhiana, February 16
Thieves struck at a shop in Salem Tabri and stole 300 shirts besides Rs 30,000.

The theft came to light on Sunday morning when Mandeep Singh, owner of the shop—Dashmesh Garments, reached there. He informed the police. — TNS



Body found in Focal Point area
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 16
Panic spread in Focal Point, Phase-I, when the body of a man was found on the roadside this morning.

The man, aged about 30 years, could not be identified. The police brought residents from the nearby area to identify the deceased, but were of no help.

The body was taken to the Civil Hospital where it would be kept for 72 hours. If no one turns up to claim it, post-mortem would be done.



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