L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rs 1315 cr MC budget passed amid uproar
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 24
The General House of the Municipal Corporation today passed a jumbo budget of Rs 1315.37 crore for the next financial year amid uproar by the Congress councillors who asserted the budget estimates were unrealistic.

The cash-strapped MC has apparently taken a quantum jump from its revised budget of Rs 778.16 crore for the current financial year with a lot more dependence on loans, share in taxes and Central grants.

Interestingly, as per the figures made available at the budget meeting by Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria and MC Commissioner Shruti Singh, actual income of the MC till December 31, 2013, was nearly Rs 557 crore while expected income in the last quarter of this financial year was projected at Rs 221.16 crore, which was termed as a tall order by the councillors.

According to the budget estimates for 2014-15, the MC expects to generate an income of Rs 330 crore from its share in VAT, Rs 90 crore from house tax and property tax, Rs 38 crore from octroi on electricity, Rs 15 crore from composition fee, Rs 25 crore from sale of land and property, Rs 40 crore from user charges (water rate and sewerage) and Rs 30 crore from additional excise duty.

Among other sources of revenue generation were advertisement tax, licence fee, rent of properties, tehbazari, recovery of loan from employees and the slaughter house fee.

While the MC had targeted to generate a total income of Rs 600.37 crore from its own sources, the rest of the funds were expected to come as its share in taxes, grants (Rs 530 crore) and loans to be raised from commercial banks and HUDCO (Rs 185 crore).

On the expenditure side, the MC has earmarked Rs 305.60 crore (23.23 per cent) for the establishment and Rs 54.35 crore (4.13 per cent) for contingencies while the major part of funds, Rs 955.42 crore (72.64 per cent), will go towards development and other committed expenditures.

The two-hour meeting was marked with regular disruptions by the Congress councillors who lashed out at the ruling SAD-BJP for presenting “highly inflated and unrealistic” figures in the budget to draw political mileage.

Hem Raj Aggarwal, Leader of the Congress councillors, along with Sanjay Talwar, Gurpreet Singh Gogi and Rakesh Parashar said the ruling combine had presented a jumbo budget without making any concrete provision for generating more income.

“More than half of the funds are expected to come from share in taxes, central grants and loans, which is a distant dream,” the Congress councillors maintained. They also stressed the MC ought to make concerted efforts to generate more revenue through the composition fee and change of land use charges in view of proliferation of commercial buildings in the city without approved building plans.

Decision reversed

In a complete about-turn, the MC General House on Monday reversed its decision taken at the last meeting against allowing the relatives of women councillors to take part in the deliberations, which had become a routine practice. A resolution approved in this regard said one relative of each women councillor will be allowed to enter the meeting hall.


Now, commute in AC comfort
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Ludhiana City Bus Service Ltd has put into service five air-conditioned buses in the city. This is for the first time that air-conditioned buses have been launched in the city.

Of these five AC buses, three have been put on the route from the bus stand to the Jalandhar bypass and two on the Bus Stand-Ferozepur Road octroi post route.

With the addition of these five AC buses, the buses running in the city bus service fleet has hit the 80 mark. These 80 buses are plying on the nine routes of bus stand-Jalandhar bypass, bus stand-Ferozepur road octroi post, bus stand-Gurdwara Alamgir Sahib, bus stand-Dugri, Sahnewal-Jalandhar bypass via Vishwakarma chowk, railway station-Clock Tower, bus stand-Kohara, bus stand-Tajpur Road octroi post, railway station-Haibowal and bus stand-Pakhowal road.

Baljit Singh, manager, Ludhiana City Bus Service Ltd, said the fare of these buses is double the fare of the non-AC ones.

“The fare for travelling up to 5 km is Rs 10, from 5 km to 10 km Rs 15, from 10 km to 15 km Rs 20 and for travelling more than 15 km the fare is Rs 2 per km. We have received a good response from commuters and during the summer season, we will start more such buses,” said Baljit Singh.



Many cops a law unto themselves
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
The involvement of two policemen in the kidnapping and murder of Rajpura resident Gulzar Singh Chaudhary (60) has yet again brought to the fore corruption in the Police Department.

Parminder Singh and Deepak Kumar, head constable and a Home Guards jawan, respectively, allegedly took the victim to the office of Bhupinder Singh Soma, a private financier, where he was beaten to death.

It was not the first time when policemen were found to be involved in criminal activities.

Last year, Narinder Singh, in-charge of the Raghunath Enclave chowki, and head constable Harnek Singh were booked for torturing a nine-year-old boy. Sources said during investigation, it was found they had used a pair of scissors (taking them close to his private parts) to scare him.

In another case, Assistant Sub-inspector (ASI) Ram Singh and constable Jaspal Singh were booked on a complaint lodged by a city resident, Nirmal Singh. The victim had told the police that the two policemen accosted him and took out Rs 900 from his pocket. When they demanded more money, he withdrew money from an ATM and gave it to the policemen.

The issue was brought to the notice of high-level police officers who investigated the matter. Later, the two policemen were booked for extortion and assault.

Rajpura resident’s murder: Accused, accomplice at large

It has been two days since Rajpura resident Gulzar Singh Chaudhary was allegedly kidnapped and killed but the accused, financier Bhupinder Singh Soma and his police friend Perminder Singh, are still at large.

Sources said Soma had good contacts in the Police Department who were helping him evade arrest. Many lower-rung policemen used to visit his office at Rishi Nagar to get liquor free of cost. Many of them have invested money in real estate. Soma’s ‘friends’ in the police also helped him recover money from borrowers by force, the sources added.

He was already facing a murder case and two cases of illegal confinement and torture. Last year, he allegedly picked up a PAU employee and his son and tortured them in his office.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP- Gill) Gurpreet Singh Sikand said action would be taken against the policemen who were associated with Soma.



Man dies of swine flu

Ludhiana, February 24
A 37-year-old patient from Mundian Kalan in Ludhiana district died of swine flu today. He was admitted to the Christian Medical College and Hospital.

Two patients from other states had died of swine flu earlier this year. Seven cases of swine flu, including three from Ludhiana, have been confirmed to date.

Medical experts said the disease spread through the air. The symptoms include high fever, sneezing, cough, diarrhoea, vomiting and breathlessness.

As a precautionary measure, hands should be cleaned thoroughly. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes and nose with unwashed hands, said the experts. — TNS



Little check on outsiders’ entry to PAU campus
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has been without a security in-charge for the past more than a month. Though “outsiders” are thoroughly checked at Gate Number 2, their number on the campus has been increasing day by day.

Students said as there was no security in charge, the security personnel were not performing their duty properly.

A student said earlier when Capt Ravinder Singh Grewal (retd) was the security in-charge, not many outsiders were found on the campus. “But now, several outsiders can be seen standing near the library, the Students’ Home and in other places on the campus. Our girl classmates told us these outsiders often pass lewd comments about them,” he added.

Another student said: “Earlier, no outsider was allowed to stand in groups anywhere on the campus. But ever since the post of security in-charge fell vacant, the activities of outsiders have suddenly increased on the campus,” he said.

Registrar of the PAU PK Khanna said the case was under his consideration. “We will take the final call in a day or two. The PAU campus will have a full-time security in-charge,” said Khanna.



Spicing up working couples’ lives with ‘Tadka’
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 23
A progressive farmer has scripted a success story by shifting from farming to agro-processing. Jagwant Singh Rai (45), a farmer from Narike Khurd village in Sangrur district, now owns a company, New Era Foods, which manufactures a popular product, ‘Pure Punjabi Tadka’.

The product is prepared with onion, ginger, garlic, green chillies, salt and other secret ingredients. It is free from any edible colour, chemical or preservative.

The business of Jagwant, who starting the company with an initial investment of about Rs 2 lakh, has increased manifold. Now, he earns much more than what he used to earn from his ancestral 35 acres of land.

“It started as a pastime and now it’s a full-fledged business. Advice given by professors from Punjab Agricultural University and technical know-how provided by the Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) gave wheels to my venture,” said Jagwant while speaking to The Tribune.

Jagwant’s wife Amritpal Kaur read the recipe of ‘Tadka’ in some book several years ago. “As I wanted to shift from the conventional agriculture to agro-processing, I felt ‘Tadka’ could be the best bet. I owned a shop in Malerkotla where we used to sell turmeric and other spices. Later, I decided to manufacture ‘Tadka, which was an instant success,” he said.

As ‘Tarka’ is a hot-selling product in Malerkotla and the nearby villages, Jagwant wanted to launch it professionally. “I visited Punjab Agricultural University where experts helped me in branding my product. They even got my product tested from the Department of Microbiology and Food Science Technology. The department certified the product fit for consumption. The experts from CIPHET helped me find the company from which I could get the packaging technology,” he said.

Dr Ramandeep Singh, Associate Professor, Department of Business Management, PAU, helped him sell the product in a professional way. “We help all farmers entering the agro-processing business so they can compete with the national brands. If Jagwant Singh Rai can script a success story in agro-processing, other farmers can also follow in his footsteps because agro-processing is the need of the hour,” said Dr Ramandeep.

“We are basically targeting those families where both partners are working. People don’t have time to prepare ‘tadka’, which is an essential part of Indian cooking,” Jagwant said.



Better Ludhiana encroachments-II
MC needs will to make way
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
While the authorities concerned keep passing the buck all the time, encroachments keep multiplying in the city. The Tribune took stock of the situation and spoke to a cross-section of the society on how to get rid of this problem.

Difficult to move freely

All the encroachments in the city should be removed to bring respite to the residents. Ludhiana being the industrial capital of Punjab attracts a huge migrant population. The city has become too congested and the roadside encroachments are making the life of residents even more difficult. We cannot move freely on roads or in the markets as encroachments thrive everywhere in the city. Strict action must be taken against the violators; only then, the problem can be solved.

— Dr Rohit Datta, 
veterinary doctor

Politicos must not interfere

There is no denying the fact that the Municipal Corporation has to be very strict with the violators. The roadside encroachments must not be allowed and heavy fine should be imposed on the encroachers for causing inconvenience to the public. At the same time, the residents need to behave as responsible citizens too. For earning a livelihood, the public roads should not be encroached upon. Not only the city gets overcrowded, there is no space left for the movement of residents. Moreover, politicians must not intervene if the civic body acts tough with the violators.

— Rakesh Grover, 

We must act as responsible citizens

One thing that attracts youngsters to the West is the quality of life there. In India, no one is bothered about obeying rules and regulations. The roadside encroachments have made our lives hell. We can not move in the markets or park our vehicles without being harassed as violators have conveniently encroached upon the roads. Due to this, the residents also enter into scuffles. As responsible citizens, we must not encourage these violators by buying things from them.

— Ashima Goel,

Onus lies on us too

We, ourselves, are responsible for the burgeoning encroachments in the city. Being responsible citizens, we should not only think about ourselves but also about others. Instead of creating hurdles, we should help the administration in keeping the roads free of encroachments. Local leaders play a crucial role here. Sometimes, to earn support, they try to help those people who are breaking the law.

— Dr DS Ladher,
retired professor

Congestion gets ugly

Space along the roads is often encroached upon, causing inconvenience to pedestrians as well as vehicles. This has only aggravated the problem, as already the space is less. The portion of road available to the traffic gets reduced to nearly half due to the encroachments. The vehicles move at a snail’s pace. Ambulances and emergency vehicles are the worst hit. Time needed to take patients to hospital is increased because of congestion on the roads; all due to the encroachments. Also, with the pavements being encroached upon, even pedestrians end up using the roads. Other than creating traffic chaos, this also puts the pedestrians at risk of being hit by vehicles.

— Dr Rajinder Gulati,
senior paediatrician

Drop pick-and-choose policy

Strict laws must be made and enforced without any pick-and-choose policy to curb this menace. Spreading awareness on the issue can also help. The area committees and associations concerned should be involved in this process. Members of these bodies should make a concerted effort to stop encroachments in their area. Politicians should act responsibly and should not help the defaulters at any cost. Everyone should be made aware of the fact that they cannot claim their right over a piece of land which they do not own. The people who encroach upon the space along roads should think of those who might meet with accidents due to their actions.

— Sanjay Shroff,
computer professional

MC must act tough

The tehbazari wing of the MC should act strict with the violators. If those who encroach upon public property are fined, the problem can be solved. Nobody should be let off due to political interference.

— Ashok Marwaha,



ludhiana votes 2014
Khosa to contest LS poll on BSP ticket
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) today announced Kulwinder Singh Khosa as its candidate from the Ludhiana Lok Sabha constituency. All-India general secretary of the party and Rajya Sabha member Narendar Kashyap made this announcement during the BSP Workers’ Sammelan organised here. Khosa, who claims to be a former Congress joint-secretary, is from the Jat Sikh community.

Addressing the gathering, Kashyap said the BSP would contest from all the 13 Lok Sabha constituencies of Punjab.

Talking to The Tribune, he said the time was ripe for the emergence of a third front as an alternative to the Congress and the BJP. He dismissed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as a bubble that might burst any time. Commenting on the third front, he said it was still premature to say with certainty how this front would shape up.

“The political permutations and combinations can become clear only after the Lok Sabha elections are held and the results are out,” he said.

Asked as to why the BSP was extending outside support to the Congress-led UPA government, he said it was to keep the BJP out of power.

“The BSP does not want communal forces to gain the upper hand,” said the party’s general-secretary.

He said the people were fed up of the “anti-people policies” of the Congress and the BJP. The people had lost confidence in both the parties and they wanted a change, he said.

The BSP leader also accused the Congress of being involved in scams. He charged the BJP with playing divisive politics and flaring up communal passions. He also accused the Shiromani Akali Dal of making false promises.

Kashyap refuted the charge that the Bahujan Samaj Party was nominating “parachute” candidates like Khosa for the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.

“There’s no rule book or a Constitutional guideline that stops any party from nominating a candidate to contest from a constituency that is not the latter’s place of residence,” he said.

The decisions on the nomination of the candidates were taken after consultation with the state and district party leaders, he said.

Among the leaders who attended the sammelan were the BSP state unit coordinator, Parkash Bharti, and the party’s state president, Parkash Singh Jandiali.



AAP cleans litter left at rally’s venue
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 24
A day after the Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi spoke at the Fateh Rally organised at Sugar Mill here on Sunday, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) volunteers led by the party’s Lok Sabha candidate from the Ludhiana constituency HS Phoolka carried out a cleanliness drive at the venue

The party volunteers, carrying party's poll symbol, broom, removed used plates and glasses spread all over the ground.

Phoolka alleged that during the cleanliness drive, a large number of pouches of habit-forming drugs and tobacco were found.

He said, "The presence of pouches of habit-forming drugs at the venue a day after the rally is an ample proof of how the ruling SAD-BJP alliance lured the people into attending the event. The current ruling alliance wants to win the coming Lok Sabha elections by distributing money, liquor and drugs among the voters.”

Phoolka said contrary to rallies organised by other political parties on Sunday, people attended the AAP rally at Rohtak (Haryana) on their own accord.

Making it clear that the Aam Aadmi Party would not distribute drugs, liquor or money to woo voters, Phoolka said other political parties were aggravating the problem of drug addiction and devastating lives of the youth.

The SAD candidate from Ludhiana constituency, Manpreet Singh Ayali, termed AAP’s cleanliness drive an eyewash.

"AAP leaders often speak of cleaning the political system. Today's cleanliness drive, however, was nothing more than a political drama to hog some limelight,” said Ayali.

After the drive, heaps of garbage could still be seen at the venue.



Ayali meets Modi at rally
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
The SAD-BJP candidate from the Ludhiana constituency, Manpreet Singh Ayali, met the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi at Fateh Rally organised at Jagraon yesterday.

The Deputy Chief Minister, reportedly, introduced him to Modi and told him about his service as the zila parishad chairman, especially the project involving the renovation of ponds for which he also won a national award. Modi, reportedly, wished him luck for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.



CITU takes out rally to raise workers’ demands
Kuldip Bhatia

Police erect a barricade of vehicles to divert the traffic
Police erect a barricade of vehicles to divert the traffic

Ludhiana, February 24
The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) today held a rally at Chattar Singh Park, followed by a protest march to the Mini-Secretariat, led by the action committee members, in a bid to highlight the problems of the workers.

There was a brief obstruction to the flow of traffic at Bharat Nagar Chowk during the march. The police set up a barrier of vehicles to divert the traffic and let the protestors proceed towards the Mini-Secretariat.

Addressing the rally, former legislator Tarsem Jodhan charged the functionaries of CITU workers turn up in huge numbers outside the Mini-Secretariat in Ludhiana on Monday. the ruling SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab with patronising mafia groups that were indulging in illegal sand mining, land grabbing, drug trafficking and black marketing of sand and gravel.

“As a result, the construction business has come to a complete halt in the state and lakhs of workers are facing mass unemployment,” he said.

Other speakers alleged with the promotion of contract system of employment, the workers were being socially and economically exploited.

The CITU leaders demanded the inclusion of accredited social health activists (ASHA) and mid-day meal workers within the ambit of minimum wages and scrapping of contractual system of employment. They also called for the abolition of “unwarranted burden” of property tax and composition fee for regularisation of illegal colonies in urban areas.

CITU workers turn up in huge numbers outside the Mini-Secretariat in Ludhiana on Monday. Photos: Inderjeet verma



DIG’s book on RTI released
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
The Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, Sukhbir Singh Badal, released a book on the Right to Information written by Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, currently serving as the Deputy Inspector-General, Ludhiana Range.

The book titled "Right to Information: Law & Practice" will cater to the needs of law students and also appeal to laymenbecause of its simple language, said the DIG.

He said the RTI was an emerging field with laws pertaining to it at the developing stage, by means of statutory amendments, interpretation by the Supreme Court, High Courts, Information Commissions and executive guidelines.

In this endeavour, he said he had consulted noted jurists, information commissioners, bureaucrats, police officers, academicians and RTI scholars.

The DIG, who holds a PhD in police administration from GNDU, Amritsar, has recently graduated in law from Panjab University, Chandigarh. He has earlier authored a book on cyber crime besides a one on Kabir’s teachings.



Kehar Singh new ADCP-II
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Kehar Singh has been appointed as the new Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP- II).

He will replace senior PPS officer Harmohan Singh, who had taken the additional charge from Bhupinder Singh, who was transferred to the NRI cell as the AIG.

Before this posting, Kehar Singh was the Superintendent of Police (Head Quarters) at Fatehgarh Sahib.

DPRO moved to Sangrur

The Ludhiana District Public Relations Officer (DPRO), Prabhdeep Singh Nathowal, has been transferred to Sangrur.

Surjit Singh Saini from Mohali will join as the DPRO, Ludhiana. Sources said the reshuffle took place because of the ensuing Lok Sabha elections.

Ludhiana is Nathowal’s home town.



Artists cast spell with their brush
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
A painting exhibition titled ‘Rasamanjari’ was inaugurated today at MS Randhawa Art Gallery, Punjabi Bhawan.

The paintings of 30 artists, who participated in the spot painting workshop organised by ARS Group yesterday, would be displayed at the art gallery for three more days.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Kulwant Singh, former fine arts professor at Government College for Girls.

“The best part of the exhibition is that the fine arts students and teachers from colleges and schools worked on the paintings all together,” said Richa Khanna, a teacher.

As there are lesser opportunities for artists to work together, it is great to learn and teach at the same time, said another artist.

So, exhibitions like these go a long way in promoting art and helps in learning from experienced artists and youngsters with fresh ideas at the same time.

All the paintings were based on different themes. Most of them were abstract paintings.



New gallery brings joy for amateur artists, art lovers
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
The recently opened MS Randhawa Art Gallery at Punjabi Bhawan has brought a wave of happiness for amateur artists of the city. They now have a new place to exhibit their artistic works and creations.

A few amateur artists said the city was in dire need of new and good art galleries. They said the city lacked enough art galleries and for art to flourish more galleries were required for artists to display their works and to promote it in the city.

Jagdeep, a fine arts student, said it was good that a new art gallery at an open space had been opened. As more the space, better will be the display, he said.

Although, some of the artists said brighter lights were required for the display of art works here as well. Preeti, an artist, said the art galleries should be bigger and better. Another artist said, “The place should be more prominent and better lighting should be used for increasing the visibility of the art gallery.”

There are so many art galleries in Chandigarh and people have a taste for great art there, said an artist. “One of the reasons for the great taste for art is because people get a lot of chances to go, see and get inspired from art at the various galleries, but here there aren’t enough places to do so. International level art galleries should be opened for people to develop a good taste for art, he said.

Janmeja Johl, from Punjabi Sahit Akademi, said opening of the art gallery was just a starting step, as it would be improved further. Johl said with the passage of time, it would be turned into a cultural centre, a rendezvous for artists and art lovers to meet every weekend. A place for them to come, paint and learn together, he said.

Johl added, “With an open theatre and the Punjabi Sahit Akademi housed in the same building, the art gallery will serve as a great place for young and veteran artists and writers to work together.”

rendezvous with artists
With an open theatre and Punjabi Sahit Akademi housed in the same building, the art gallery will serve as a great place for young and veteran artists and writers to work together.
— janmeja johl, artist, punjabi sahit akademi



ADG Chima in Ludhiana to familiarise with NCC group
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Major General GS Chima, VSM, ADG (Punjab Directorate) visited Ludhiana NCC Gp HQ today.

Having recently taken over the coveted appointment, he was on a familarisation visit to the city-based NCC group. He was received by Brig RPS Sandhu, SM, Group Commander Ludhiana NCC group, at the group headquarters in Sarabha Nagar. After a guard of honour presented by NCC cadets, he was introduced to all officers of various units under Ludhiana group.

Brig Sandhu, in his presentation later on, familarised the visiting dignitary with the various training and social activities being undertaken by the city NCC group. The ADG appreciated the efforts put in by Ludhiana group and especially for the recently held RDC competition. The ADG also interacted with the training staff and later on visited 1 R and V Sqn (in PAU) as well as Number 4 Punjab Air Squadron NCC at Sarabha Nagar.

During his visit to Number 4 Punjab Air Squadron, he appreciated the efforts put in by the unit in preparing the training room and other facilities available for the cadets.



Experts dwell on major challenges in agriculture
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
“Expansion of conservation technology and proper use of pesticides are the major challenges in contemporary agriculture.” This was stated by Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), while inaugurating the two-day ‘research and extension specialists’ workshop for kharif crops’ on the campus today.

Chief agriculture officers, deputy directors, joint directors and other agriculture officers from the State Department of Agriculture, Punjab, along with the directors of regional research stations, associate/deputy directors from krishi vigyan kendras and subject-matter specialists from Farm Advisory Service Scheme are participating in the workshop. The senior officials of the PAU were also present at the inaugural session.

Dr Dhillon said the competition with the private sector and abrupt climate changes call for the attention of farm experts, saying that experimental proceedings need to be enhanced. “The need of the hour is to expand and conduct adaptive trials with precision, and involve all the Krishi Vigyan Kendras located across Punjab,” he said. Expressing concern over the misuse of agro-chemicals by farmers, Dr Dhillon said, “Don’t look at present, look at the future. Don’t look at income, look at the profit.” He hailed the ‘Krishi Karman Award 2012-13’ conferred upon Punjab for record wheat and paddy production.

Dr Mangal Singh Sandhu, director of Agriculture, Punjab, spoke on the targets, production and problems of kharif crops in Punjab. He said at the grass root level, PAU and the State Department of Agriculture were working collectively for the benefit of the farmers. Many issues are cropping up in agriculture and there is an urgent need to sustain natural topography, he emphasised.



PU to sponsor seminars on violence against women
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 24
The College Development Council of Panjab University has decided to organise four seminars in four different colleges affiliated to the varsity in order to sensitise the students, teachers and masses on the issue of ‘domestic and sexual violence’.

Four colleges, which have to be accorded grants for the purpose include GGN Khalsa College, Civil Lines, Ludhiana; Dashmesh Girls College of Education, Badal; DAV College, Abohar, and Guru Nanak National College, Doraha.

The seminar shall entail presentations of papers and discussions by resource persons on the topics, including domestic violence against women and children, creating awareness among students regarding domestic violence and sexual violence against women and children.

Dr Naval Kishore, Dean, College Development Council, PU, informed that the objective to organise the seminars was to raise awareness on the issue of gender-violence; to analyse the causes and factors of violence against women; to analyse how the violence against women impacts the lives of victims, their families and society, etc.

Dr Kuldip Singh, Senator, PU, who is organising one such seminar in his college on March 5, shared the seminar would throw light on varied perspectives and issues, including overview of the Domestic Violence Act 2005, curbing sexual harassment at workplace, role of voluntary organisations and social welfare departments, patriarchal society and sexual violence against women, etc.

Dr Narinder Sidhu, principal, Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, who is also the director of the seminar, said the college chose the theme of creating awareness among students on the issue. “The seminar will focus on some vital issues reflecting crimes against women and children as there is need to break the silence and ensure that violence against them be combated if government and society join hands to yield positive results,” he added.



Chain hunger strike enters Day 40
Residents take out torch march to press for their demands, administration still not moved
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 24
Even as the chain hunger strike launched by activists and office-bearers of over two dozen local organisations has entered its 40th day, the administration seems to be totally unmoved by the agitation.

Upgrading the town to sub-division, establishment of a government degree college, construction of at least one over-bridge, plying of buses to local bus stop and improvement in basic civic amenities are cited as the main demands of the protestors.

Though the elected representatives, including Member of Parliament Sukhdev Singh Libra and legislator Iqbal Singh Jhoondan had assured the protesters of acceptance and implementation of their genuine demands, the Sub Divisional Magistrate shirked away his responsibility saying he had already forwarded the charter of demands to the higher authorities.

Unfortunately, none of authorities and leaders could succeed in persuading the protesters to end their agitation.

Having failed to get their voice heard, the protestors took out a torch (mashal) march in the town last night. Women outnumbered men at the march.

The march passed through Gandhi Chowk, Railway Road, Jawahar Nagar, Green Avenue, Dr Kundan Lal Road, Mahavir Road and Chaura Bazar before concluding at Bhagat Singh Chowk. The protesters who carried placards and banners raised slogans against the administration and the Punjab Government. Probably it was for the first time that the protesters raised slogans against the local legislator.

Led by Vicky Sharma and Vikas Tandon, the protesters complained that successive governments had failed to provide basic amenities to the residents. The protestors said office-bearers of various political parties, who should have impressed upon their senior leaders to support their movement, had tried to torpedo the movement.

Though a delegation of protestors had met Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to seek his intervention, the alleged indifference of the local leaders could produce nothing but disappointment, they alleged.

They said the agitation would continue till the protest reached its logical end. They also threatened to intensify the stir in the coming days.



Village youth records his first Punjabi song
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
A 21-year-old youngster from Pandori village has entered into the field of Punjabi music with the recording of his first single. Gurjeet Pandori, the son of a security guard deployed at Punjab Agricultural University, wants to make it big in the Punjabi music industry.

A diehard fan of Punjabi singers Gurdas Mann and Satinder Sartaj, Gurjeet Pandori completed his Class XII from Government Senior Secondary School, Dakha, and is now doing his Elementary Teachers Training (ETT) from Guru Ram Dass College, Halwara.

“I have been into singing ever since I was a small child. My Ustad, Niyamat Ali, from Sidhwan Bet, polished my talent and urged me to venture into professional singing,” said Gurjeet.

The high point in this budding singer’s life came recently when he got a chance to perform in the Lishkara programme on channel DD Punjabi. “My song ‘Soorme Sir Jhukauna Jaande Na Mooh Mor Den Talwaran De’ has been well received ever since it was aired on the channel. I am ready with two more Punjabi songs, whose music has been composed by Kainth Brothers. These songs would also be released soon,” he said.

Gurjeet Pandori has been performing at PAU Kisan Mela’s for the last couple of years. “I want to follow the footsteps of legendary singers Gurdas Mann and Satinder Sartaj, and that is why I write my own songs,” the youngster said.



Blood donation camps get positive response
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, Feb 24
The organisers of blood donation camps have been receiving a good response from donors. Screening of blood to check infectious diseases was the major factor for the success of blood donation camps.

While the recipients get germ-free blood during golden hours of emergency treatment, donors get their blood tested for probable infection by pathogens of dreaded diseases.

Introduction of Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing (NAT) by some organisations has drawn people from the elite class towards regular donation at these camps.

Sources said donating blood had become an element of lifestyle among people of middle and higher strata of urban and agrarian society.

Acknowledging the trend, office-bearers and activists of social and religious organisations led by former president of the Municipal Council, Ravinder Puri and former councillor Bimal Sharma, said more and more people had started coming forward to donate blood at camps as it provided an opportunity to screen the vital fluid for presence of pathogens of infectious diseases.

Many precious lives were saved by timely detection of dreaded diseases following blood donation at camps organised by Social Welfare Organisation (SWO) as a number of donors were found carrying pathogens of dreaded diseases in latent form, they said.

Chairman of the SWO Dr Rajinder Mittal said confirmatory tests were conducted on fresh samples of blood of suspected cases and follow-up of poor patients was undertaken by the organisation. Sources said at least nine tests were conducted on each unit of donated blood, which included tests for hepatitis B, syphilis, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1 and HIV-2), human T-lymphotropic virus and the hepatitis C virus.



College founder remembered

Ludhiana: A commemoration function of the 115th birth anniversary of founder of Guru Nanak Girls College Justice Gurnam Singh was celebrated with much enthusiasm on the college premises on Monday. Charanjit Mahal, principal of the college, highlighted the contribution of Gurnam Singh in transforming the rural economy of Punjab. Gurbir Singh, president Guru Nanak Education Trust, said he was a great son of Punjab who served the nation with distinction as a statesman, sportsperson, judge and an educationist. Fifteen meritorious students of the college were awarded tokens of appreciation on the occasion. Music and dance performances enthralled the audience.

Students take part in the Panjab University inter-zonal skill in teaching and on-the-spot teaching aid competition at the BCM College of Education.
Students take part in the Panjab University inter-zonal skill in teaching and on-the-spot teaching aid competition at the BCM College of Education. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Teaching aid competition organised

BCM College of Education hosted the Panjab University inter-zonal skill-in-teaching and on the spot teaching aid preparation competition. The competition was organised for teaching of subjects such as science, commerce, home science, mathematics, computer education, fine arts and music. As many as 250 students of 41 educational colleges of the Panjab University, Chandigarh, took part in the competition.

Annual meeting of college groups held

Red Cross, Anti-Drug and Placement Cell and Career Counseling society of the Government College for Girls organised their annual meeting on the college premises. Red Cross in-charge Kiranjit Brar and Anti-Drug in-charge Dr Anita Joshi amongst others visited the college. A PowerPoint presentation on road safety was presented, followed by a play for discouraging use of drugs among youngsters. The members of all the three groups of the institution were awarded with trophies and certificates for their year-long hard work and dedication.

Fashion institute hold sports meet

An annual sports meet was organised at the Pinnacle Institute of Fashion Technology (PIFT). The theme of the programme was ‘PIFT Run for Fun’. Sixty students participated in the event which included students from fashion, interior, textile and knitting department. Games, including badminton, three-legged race, human tram race, kho-kho, hopping race, ball relay, ping pong bobbing, spot the ball and tug-of-war were organised on the occasion. The college faculty also took part in the games. — TNS

National Youth Policy for 2014 launched

Ludhiana: More than 115 NSS volunteers, NCC cadets and students of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University took part in the launching ceremony of National Youth Policy 2014 (NYP-2014) and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan (RGKA) of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, in the Lecture Hall, Silver Jubilee Block of the varsity, today.

Similar function was organised in 299 universities and 623 districts of our nation on the same date and time. — TNS



Annual sports day

Ryan International School, Jamalpur, organised its annual sports day and prize distribution ceremony for the primary level classes. Athletic events, including 50m under the table race, 50m book balancing race, 50m toffee race, 50m lemon spoon race, 80m race, 50m sack race for boys and girls along with many other events were organised for the students. The event was supported by a cultural bonanza. Aerobics and lazium were some of the enthralling performances. Parents also took part in the event.

The annual sports meet was also organised at Ryan International School, Dugri, for senior students. Sports events such as 50m flat race, 100m flat race, 200m flat race, relay race, lemon race and long jump were organised. Special games were also held for parents such as 100m flat race for fathers and book balancing for mothers.

Students, parents play cricket match

Bal Bharati Public School, Dugri, organised a cricket match of teams comprising of students and parents at the school on Monday. It was done to strengthen the bond between the students, parents and the school. Fifty parents and 25 students participated in the matches. Principal Punam Dogra was all praises for the parents who practiced hard and played the game to encourage their wards and students. Special coaches were called to hone the cricket skills of the parents and the students.

Extempore competition

To enhance the efficiency of spoken English and to know the in-depth knowledge of subjects, an extempore speech competition was organised at Green Grove Public School. Students spoke on topics such as honesty is the best policy, knowledge is power, an ideal student, etc. — TNS



Silver ingots with Sikh heritage stamps

A limited edition of 25 silver ingots with Sikh heritage stamps was launched today. Hallmark India, a part of the London-based Hallmark Group, has launched ‘The Sikh Collection’ of 25 pure Swiss silver ingots (.999) layered in 24-carat gold of Sikh heritage stamps. To preserve the value for the collectors, the premium edition with 25 ingots has only 3,700 complete sets each. The collection celebrates the rich cultural and spiritual legacy of the Sikhs. To ensure high quality, each ingot has been crafted by the world's finest artists and Swiss craftsmen. The collection commemorates the remarkable impact the Sikhs have had on 500 years of the world history, beginning with the lives of the Gurus and the emergence of the Sikh empire, to their role in the two World Wars and continuing contribution in modern times in every facet of life. The collection is available online.

Delegation set for Taiwan

A delegation of 22 members of Bicycle Research & Devlopment Organisation (BRADO) is going to Taiwan for the 27th Taipei Cycle Show to be held from March 5 to 8, 2014. The delegation will focus on the high end cycles like alloy and carbon cycles, which are not manufactured in India. President, BRADO, Manjinder Singh Sachdeva, said there was a huge demand of high end cycles in Europe. The delegation would also study about cycle parts such as derailer, shifter, disc brake, alloy frame, alloy fork, alloy rims and carbon frame fork, said general secretary Gurmeet Singh Kular. — TNS



ludhiana scan
Workshop on remote sensing

The Ludhiana chapter of the Indian Society of Remote Sensing will conduct a one-day workshop on February 28 at Punjab Remote Sensing Centre in PAU to commemorate 25 years of successful operational services through Indian Remote Sensing Satellite Programme for national resource management. The workshop is aimed to enrich knowledge of the members pertaining to recent developments in remote sensing, interaction with experts and discussion to plan road map for sustainability of natural resources in Punjab using geospatial technologies.

Instructions to shift schools

The Navchetna Bal Bhalai Committee members said according to the instructions of the Director General School Education, Government Primary School and Government High School in Chauni Mohalla area be shifted immediately to a safe place because of the poor condition of the buildings of both the schools. They said a delegation of the committee met BPEO Mangat- 2, Asha Rani, in this regard. She said the primary school was being shifted to the primary school at Shahi Mohalla, whereas the high school students had been shifted to Government Senior Secondary School, Kundanpuri, in the evening shift.

Shobha yatra

Hindu Sikh Jagriti Sena, Kirpal Nagar, unit organised a shobha yatra to celebrate Shivratri. It started from Kirpal Nagar and going through different parts of the city, concluded at the same place. Schoolchildren, bhajan mandali groups and others participated in the yatra.—TNS

Skating championship

SPS Apollo Hospitals, Ludhiana, in association with District Roller Skating Association, organised a roller skating championship at the skating rink Leisure Valley, Sarabha Nagar. More than 60 kids between 6 and 12 years of age participated in the championship. More than 200 people, including parents of the participants, were there at the championship.



5 booked for opening fire, snatching wallet, phone
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
The city police have booked five persons for opening fire and robbing a youth of his mobile phone and wallet in the Civil City area on Jassian Road yesterday.

The accused have been identified as Ganga, Shalaudin, Praladh, Rajesh Kumar and Lakhwinder Singh. The Division No. 4 police have booked the accused under Sections 382, 336, 148, 149 and 506 of the IPC, besides various other sections of the Arms Act.

Narrating the incident, victim Ravi Kumar said the incident took place last evening, when he was playing cricket along with his friends on a plot on Jassian Road. He said the accused came on two motorcycles and suddenly fired a shot in the air. Then, the accused pointed a pistol at him and threatened to kill him, said the victim.

One of the accused then allegedly snatched Ravi’s wallet and mobile phone and the miscreants fled from the scene. The investigating officer said efforts were on to arrest the accused.

54-yr-old dies in accident

A 54-year-old man died in a road mishap on Dugri Road here yesterday. The victim has been identified as Hernek Singh. The incident took place when Hernek Singh was returning home on his motorcycle. According to the victim's brother, Jaslin Singh, a car driver rammed his speeding car into the motorcycle from the rear. The victim lost control and fell on the road, said the brother. He suffered serious injuries and was rushed to hospital where he reportedly died of injuries. The police have registered a case under Section 304- A of the IPC against the car driver, Varinder Singh of Harnampura village.

Body identified

The mutilated body of a man that was found from the forest area in Kadian village on February 21 has been identified. It has further come to light that the man was killed and his body was dumped in the forest area to eliminate evidence. The victim has been identified as Mehraj, a resident of New Shiv Puri. His relatives, who were searching for him since the time of his disappearance, visited the Civil Hospital in search of him and identified the victim. The postmortem was conducted following which a case was registered against unidentified persons for murder under Section 302 of the IPC.

Man dupes scrap dealer of Rs 8,000

A swindler, posing as an employee of the Civil Hospital, duped a scrap dealer of Rs 8,000. Manjot Singh, whose deals in the sale and purchase of old drums from his shop on Gill Road, said the accused told him that the Civil Hospital wanted to sell some old drums. Manjot said the man showed him the unused drums and a deal was struck at Rs 8,000. After receiving the money, the swindler told him to wait outside the emergency wing at the Civil Hospital, while he collected the receipt, said Manjot. When the man did not return, Manjot spoke to the hospital authorities, who told him there was no proposal made in this regard. The dealer has lodged a complaint with the police.

Man assaulted, robbed
In an alleged incident of road rage, a motorist was reportedly assaulted by a motorcyclist, who also took away Rs 1 lakh kept in the car. Tarun Tangri, a resident of Udham Singh Nagar, said the incident took place at Issa Nagri Pulli when he was going to a bank to deposit cash from his factory located at Focal Point. He said the motorcyclist intercepted him and hurled abuses at him. The motorcyclist and his accomplices also thrashed him, said Tarun. The victim, who was rushed to the Civil Hospital, said the biker and his accomplices, later, broke the windshield of his car and stole the cash. The police, however, was not completely convinced with the story, and suspected it to be purely a case of road rage, with no theft involved.



Two youths steal SUV
Our Correspondent

Samrala, February 24
Two unidentified youths robbed a Fortuner car by threatening its owner with pistols last night at Samrala. As per information and statement with the police, Dalvir Singh of Rohle village was sitting in his vehicle near the bus stand. Suddenly two youths came with pistols and threatened him to give the key of the vehicle. They took the car and fled away towards Samrala Chowk.

The Samrala SHO said the investigation was on and they had also informed other police stations.

Snatching case

In another case of looting, some youths snatched a goat from a person and fled away. As per information, the youths threatened Beer Deen with a pistol and took away his goat worth Rs 15,000, near Diwala village. He has informed the matter to the police who are investigating into the case. 



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