L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


City set for four-cornered contest
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
With Atam Nagar legislator Simarjit Singh Bains throwing his hat in the ring, the Ludhiana Lok Sabha poll promises to be at least a four-cornered contest. Bains today declared that he will contest as an Independent from Ludhiana.

Dakha legislator Manpreet Singh Ayali is the Akali Dal candidate, while senior advocate who has spearheaded the cause of 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims is contesting on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ticket. The Congress is yet to officially announce its candidate, though the sitting Member Parliament (MP) Manish Tewari had declared in the past that he would be contesting from Ludhiana.

Fortyone-year-old Simarjit, known for his hands-on approach, has the public image of a grassroots-level leader. His proximity to a Congress leader who shares an uneasy relation with the sitting MP may influence the electoral equations. However, political analysts say Bains will have to realise the dynamics of the Assembly poll are different from those of the Lok Sabha poll.

As for Ayali, who has the advantage of being the candidate of the party in power in the state, the political arithmetic is not very comforting. Without the support of Atam Nagar and Ludhiana South MLAs (Simarjit’s brother Balwinder Singh Bains is Ludhiana South MLA), drumming up support from within his own party and the BJP may not be an easy task for him. His voter base having a rural skew adds to his worries.

Phoolka’s support to the Panthic issues may also queer the pitch for 39-year-old Ayali. As analysts say, the Akali Dal will have to contend with another custodian of the Panthic agenda. However, Ayali is known for fighting his political battles with meticulous planning and aggressive image management as was evident during the Assembly poll in which he defeated the Congress candidate Jasbir Singh Khangura by more than 16,000 votes. The Modi factor, too, may work in Ayali’s favour.

Analysts also say that broad-basing his support base will be an uphill task for Phoolka. Yet, the Aam Aadmi Party’s appeal among a section of intelligentsia cannot be ignored.

The poll scenario in Ludhiana may keep throwing up surprises. Political equations and alignments may witness interesting shifts, says an analyst.


ludhiana votes 2014
Belan Brigade vows to rein in drug mafia
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Members of the Mahattar Sathi Jagriti Manch from the Navkairan Women Welfare Association have formed a “Belan Brigade” in an attempt to put a stop to drug mafia from distributing drugs during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Members of Belan Brigade from the Navkairan Women Welfare Association hold "belans"
Members of Belan Brigade from the Navkairan Women Welfare Association hold "belans". Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Armed with “belans” (used for rolling chapatis), the members of the organisation said if anybody was found distributing liquor, dope and other kinds of drugs during the election campaigns to garner votes, he would be confronted by the “Belan Brigade” comprising women members of the organisation.

Support of women organisations of the state was being sought for the purpose, they said.

Anita Sharma, president of the Navkiran Women Welfare Association, said the campaign would be started on Women's Day at the Jagraon Bridge and representatives of various NGOs had been invited on the occasion.

She said the candidates for the Lok Sabha poll were also invited to take a pledge against the distribution of drugs and liquor during the elections.



Now, YAD leaders demand arrest of shootout accused
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Strange are the ways of democracy where friends turn foe and rivals become friends. Till a few days ago, the local chapter of the Youth Akali Dal (YAD) was a united group comprising youngsters. But ever since the shooting incident took place at Sarabha Nagar, the fissures have begun to appear.

Instead of Opposition parties pressing the police for the arrest of the persons who were involved in the Sarabha Nagar mini-market shootout incident, some YAD leaders were mounting pressure on investigating officers to arrest the accused persons, who were their own party men.

Several Opposition leaders were approaching the police requesting them to be soft on the youth caught in the shooting incident.

Sources revealed that Kulwinder Sharma, alias Kinda, was also a victim of conspiracy.

The insiders revealed that Kinda's connection and stature within the party circle was increasing, which had caused worries to his rivals within the party.

The supporters of Kinda, who were present in the court, said a Youth Akali Dal leader, who had been booked for the criminal conspiracy, had instigated Sandeep Singh, alias Kaka Grewal, to open fire.

It was a meticulously planned attack as the gang, led by Kaka Grewal, had assembled in the house of one Joginder Patwari and it was only after Kinda arrived at the spot the shootout took place.

Ravinderpal Singh Minku, vice-president of the Youth Akali Dal, had denied the reports of infighting in the party.

Weapon licence to be cancelled

Commissioner of Police Paramjit Singh Gill seems hell-bent on cancelling the weapon licence of all accused involved in the shootout. “No one will be spared and such fellows do not have the right to carry weapons. We have initiated the proceedings to cancel the weapon licence,” said Paramjit Singh Gill.



Over 15 lakh voters to exercise franchise
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
As many as 15,24,441 voters, including 7,08,174 women and 8,16,267 men, will exercise their franchise to decide the fate of candidates contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Ludhiana.

Addressing a press conference, Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal said the Ludhiana Parliamentary Constituency would go to poll on April 30.

He said 1,652 polling booths would be set up in 748 polling stations. Except policemen, nearly 16,000 employees from various departments would be deployed for election duty.

The notification for the elections would be issued on April 2 and the last date of filing the nomination would be April 9.

On April 10, the administration would conduct the scrutiny of nomination papers. The last date of withdrawal of nominations would be April 12 and the symbols would also be allotted the same day.

The process of election proceeding in nine Assembly Constituencies will be completed by May 28.



Don’t make lame excuses to avoid election duty, says DC
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal has appealed to the employees deployed on election duty not to make lame excuses to stay away from the poll duty.

Deputy Commissioner Rajat Agarwal addresses mediapersons at Bachat Bhawan in Ludhiana.
Deputy Commissioner Rajat Agarwal addresses mediapersons at Bachat Bhawan in Ludhiana. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

“We should feel pride in the fact that ours is the largest and perhaps among a few democracies in the world where government employees ensure free and fair elections. I strongly believe that one should encouragingly take part in the process and shun the practice of staying away from the election proceeding by making lame excuses,” said the Deputy Commissioner.

Rajat Aggarwal said as per the Election Commission guidelines, the limit of candidate's election expenditure was Rs 40 lakh.

When told about the reports that election expenditure has been revised to Rs 70 lakh, the Deputy Commissioner said he had not received fresh notification.

Each Assembly Constituency will have independent assistant election observers who will individually monitor the expenditure of each candidate.

Video teams will be deployed in each Assembly segment to monitor the election process.

A complaint monitoring control room will be set up in the Mini-Secretariat to address the complaints of voters.

The Administration has issue a toll-free number, 18001800695, where the residents can lodge their complaints. A media certification and monitoring committee has also been constituted.

Besides flying squad and static surveillance team, an expenditure monitoring cell has also been set up by the Election Commission.

Rajat Aggarwal said any person or voter receiving a bribe or gratification to cast a vote to a particular candidate would be booked under Section 171-B of the IPC. Any elector who tries to threaten or intimidate another elector would be booked under Section 171-C of the IPC.



Code of conduct: Development projects come to halt in city
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Almost all major development projects worth about Rs 700 crore, for which grants under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) have been sought by the state government, have come to a standstill with the imposition of the Model Code of Conduct today.

Though the civic body officials tried their best to get the funds released for the projects under JNNURM, objections were raised by the Central Government to many key projects. The Central Government had cleared two projects to provide 100 per cent water supply to the residents (worth Rs 116 crore) and set up solid waste management plants (at a cost of Rs 98 crore) in the recent past but the departments concerned are yet to get the funds.

With the imposition of the code for the Lok Sabha elections, the funds can now be released only after the declaration of the election results (in May) and till then all these projects can not be initiated.

The other projects to be sanctioned by the Central Government are improvement of major roads in the city (including Ferozepur Road, Chandigarh Road, GT Road) for which approximately Rs 100 crore were sought from the Centre. A meeting of higher-ups on the issue was held in Delhi yesterday. Sources said the Central Government had asked for some clarifications and given a day's time to file the reply.

"But now, when the code of conduct has been imposed, the project will have to wait for about three months till the elections are over," said one of the higher-ups in the civic body.

Without getting grants approved from the Central Government, the Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal, laid the foundation stones for various projects in Ludhiana. Besides, the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) approved by the MC General House in the recent past has reportedly not been "considered" by the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC).

Spokesperson for the Congress councillors Parminder Mehta said the Deputy Chief Minister, who had been on a stone-laying spree, should now answer why all these projects would hang in the balance for another three or four months. 



Medical bandh in state today

Ludhiana, March 5
In protest against the arrest of 36 doctors in Kanpur, the Indian Medical Association (IMA), Punjab, will observe a complete medical bandh tomorrow. The call for the bandh has been given by the IMA Headquarters.

“Our four demands include immediate revocation of all charges against the arrested medical students and assurance for their safe transit from the jail to the medical campus. There should be a judicial enquiry into the incident by a working judge,” said Dr Manoj Kumar Sobti, president of the Punjab chapter of the IMA.

All OPD services will remain closed on March 6 but emergency services will not be affected. “Memoranda will be submitted to the Police Commissioners/Deputy Commissioners of all districts. This movement of ours is not against people. It is for the people,” added Dr Sobti.



2 flee centre with answer sheets
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Two students, who appeared for the physics examination of the Punjab School Education Board, fled the examination centre along with the answer sheets at Basian village. The District Education Officer directed the officials to get an FIR lodged against the students.

“We got the information late evening that the students had fled from the examination centre along with the answer sheets. I have asked the observer concerned to get a police case registered against the students,” said Paramjeet Kaur, District Education Officer.

Meanwhile, flying squad teams caught three students copying during the examination at different examination centres in the district.

A flying squad team, led by Charanjit Singh, Deputy District Education Officer, visited several schools. It caught a student cheating at Government Senior Secondary School, Siaar village. Another student was held for using a slip at Indian Public School. The flying squad also caught a student cheating at Government Senior Secondary School, Nasrali.

Sukhdarshan Singh, president, Anti Copying Teachers Front, has demanded the deployment of security personnel outside the examination centres to prevent students from running away with answer sheets.

“Such incidents are common during examinations. The PSEB should arrange security outside the examination centres,” said Sukhdarshan. 



Ministerial staff stir: Employees await salaries
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Not only the general public but also government employees are suffering due to the ongoing strike of the ministerial staff. The ministerial staff posted in treasuries have refused to accept salary bills from the state government departments.

The staff has been on strike since February 24. The strike will continue till March 6.

An employee of the Health Department said owing to the ongoing strike of the ministerial staff, they had not received their salaries.

“I have applied for a loan against provident fund but it has not been cleared as the employees concerned are on strike. The marriage of my daughter is approaching and I had to make arrangements for the same. I have received neither my salary nor the loan amount. I pray they end their stir and clear the bills immediately,” he said.

A Class III employee said: “The striking employees are fighting for their demands but we are at the receiving end of their strike. It is the fifth of the month and I am without salary. It has become very difficult for me to manage the things. The last date for depositing school fee of my son is March 10 and I hope by that time I receive my salary”.

Meanwhile, the striking employees said they had no other option but to go on strike. “Not only people and employees but also we are suffering. Our main demand is hike in salaries. Tomorrow, we will take out a massive protest rally,” said Sukhwinder Singh, president of the Punjab State Ministerial Services Association. 



Gender-based transfers: Shifted teachers cry foul
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
The teachers, who have got orders for their transfer from girls’ schools to boys’ schools, feel they have been targeted as the department has shifted only a few teachers under such transfers.

The Education Department has transferred 411 men teachers from girls’ schools to boys’ or co-educational schools last month. The orders would be implemented from April 1.

The teachers, who have been transferred, alleged the department has partially implemented the orders of the Education Minister. A large number of men teachers are still posted in girls’ schools. The department does not have alternative posts to transfer all men teachers from girls’ schools.

There are some limitations of the department for gender-based transfers. There are several men teachers deputed in the girls’ schools to teach vocational subjects. Vocational courses such as garment making are not offered in boys’ schools. Moreover, the department does not have a proper policy to implement these orders.

Satvinder Singh, a government schoolteacher, said: “We have been opposing this move from the very first day. The orders cannot be implemented fully as the department does not have an equal number of men and women teachers. The department has transferred men teachers to co-educational government schools. If the men teachers can not teach students in girls’ school, then how can they teach girls in co-educational schools? The move is totally unfair”.

Ramanjeet Singh from the Democratic Employees Front said: “The department doesn’t have immediate alternatives. So officials are unable to shift all teachers. The teachers, who have got transfer orders, are a disappointed lot. The Education Minister and the department officials should rethink the decision”. 



Cold weather to continue
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Weather experts feel there will be rain on March 10 and 11 and the temperatures would rise only after that. The chill would continue till the third week of March. For the last couple of days, the mornings and evenings are chilly while the temperature rises during daytime.

“Every morning we get confused as to what kind of clothes to wear. We cannot wear woollens as these become unbearable during in the afternoon. But the temperature dips in the evening and then we feel like wearing something warm,” said Satnam Singh, a resident of Sarabha Nagar.

Dr Kulwinder Kaur Gill, Assistant Professor, School of Climate Change and Agricultural Meteorology, Punjab Agricultural University, said there were chances of rain on March 10 and 11. “Western disturbances will cause the rain and the present cold weather will continue till then. The maximum temperature will rise only after March 11,” said Dr Gill.



Sterilisation of dogs to start in about a month
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
The Civic body has swung into action to curb the menace of stray dogs after the MC General House took up the issue recently. The Municipal Corporation is all set to award the contract of sterilising stray dogs in the city to a Hyderabad-based company.

The Vet Society for Animal Welfare and Rural Development, based in Hyderabad, is set to get the contract. The company, which had quoted sterilisation charges of Rs 795 per dog, has agreed to bring down the figure to Rs 760 per dog. A meeting in this regard was held yesterday.

The Senior Veterinary Officer of the MC, Dr YP Singh, said the last figure quoted by the company was Rs 760 per dog and the civic body had agreed to it. "The work order, which has almost been finalised, needs the signature of only one official," the official said.

He said the construction of the shed, as required by the company, might take longer. As a stopgap arrangement, the MC was trying to get a room at the Civil Veterinary Hospital, Hamran Road, which could be converted into a kennel room to start the sterilisation of dogs.

Dr Singh said the MC higher-ups were keen to start the process as the residents of the city were at the receiving end of the stray dog menace. He said the authorities had expected the procedure to start by June but now sincere efforts were being made to start it within a month and a half.

As per the rough estimates, the city has around 30,000 dogs. This is the figure of a survey report released about three years ago when the sterilisation project was awarded to a company, Doggie Lane. Since the company had failed to deliver the desired results and was not registered with the Animal Welfare Board of India, its contract was terminated.

Stray dogs have claimed two lives in one month

Stray dogs had claimed the lives of two children in the last one month. Eight-year-old Shivam died on February 27, 15 days after he was bitten by a stray dog near the Field Ganj area. The doctors said since the dog must have suffered from a serious disease, Shivam could not be saved. In another such incident, seven-year-old Mohit died in Dharampura Mohalla early in February. The dog had bitten Mohit at Ward Number 40.



Colourful start to two-day flower show at PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
To create awareness among the public regarding the importance of growing flowers and conservation of environment, a two-day Dr MS Randhawa Memorial Flower Show and Competition began at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today.

The show has been jointly organised by the Department of Floriculture and Landscaping, Department of Family Resource Management and the Estate Organisation, PAU.

Inaugurating the show, the chief guest, Dr Hari Singh Sandhu, former XEN (Horticulture), paid tributes to Dr MS Randhawa, former Vice-Chancellor, PAU.

The chief guest described Dr MS Randhawa as a great visionary who played a significant role in developing landscape of the university.

Tracing the history, Dr Sandhu said: “In 1968, the floriculture subject was not known to anyone. But when Dr Randhawa came to the university in 1968, he was keen to beautify Punjab. He offered free landscape advisory services to the farmers and educational institutions during those days.”

Dr Sandhu lauded the PAU for maintaining the rich tradition of organising this annual flower show, which aims at sending a strong message to the masses to love the nature and live in harmony and peace.

The guest of honour, Dr SS Gosal, director of Research, said the PAU was contributing maximum to the field of floriculture.

“The university is maintaining rich germ plasm of various flowers, doing breeding for the development of new flower varieties, developing protection technologies for various flower crops, and methodologies for improving shelf life of cut flowers,” he said.

With the efforts of the PAU, receptive farmers and supporting government policies, Punjab was now a leading state in flower production, he said.

Dr HS Dhaliwal, Dean, College of Agriculture, said flowers played a key role in beautifying the surroundings and conveyed the message of peaceful coexistence. He appealed to every household to grow ornamentals for beautification as well as for conserving environment.

He released two practical manuals on “Flower Cultivation and Landscape Gardening” and “Landscaping Manual” written by Dr HS Grewal and Parminder Singh.

Dr Premjit Singh, Head, Department of Floriculture and Landscaping, said growing of flowers was a good hobby.



‘Rahat Scheme’ to be implemented in Ludhiana from July
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
“Rahat Scheme” of the Excise and Taxation Department, which is already running in small towns, will be implemented in Ludhiana from July. The department is expecting that more and more dealers will come forward to register themselves under the new scheme.

Officials of the department said under this scheme, traders might opt for lump sum tax ranges from Rs 0-25 lakh to Rs 1 crore business. Any trader who had turnover between Rs 0 and Rs 25 lakh would have to deposit Rs 5,000 as lump sum tax, whereas from Rs 25 to Rs 50 lakh, it would be Rs 10,000. Besides, from the range of Rs 50 lakh to Rs 75 lakh, the lump sum tax had to be paid Rs 15,000 and for Rs 1 crore turnover, it would be Rs 20,000.

Officials of the Excise and Taxation Department would not be entitled to inspect records or shops of traders registered under the new “Rahat Scheme”.

“If any kind of irregularity is noticed by any dealer, then the commissioner can allow the inspection of the trade. The aim behind the new scheme is to simplify the procedure of trade and business in the state,” said Jatinder Khurana, taxation lawyer.

Eligibility to avail benefits

Any person, who fulfils the following conditions, will be eligible to avail benefits under this scheme: (a) he is a retailer; and (b) he does not conduct any business in any corporation or Class-1 municipal town; and (c) his taxable turnover (excluding the turnover of the goods covered under single stage taxation) is less than Rs 1 crore in a financial year; and (d) he does not conduct any inter-state sale or purchase.

Benefits under the scheme

* Business premises of any person, who has opted for the scheme, will not be inspected without prior permission of the Excise and Taxation Commissioner.

* Assessment of any person, who has opted for the scheme, will not be taken up without the prior permission of the Excise and Taxation Commissioner.

* If the premises of any dealer, who has opted for the scheme, is inspected by any officer of the department without taking prior permission from the Excise and Taxation Commissioner, in such a case, the dealer may lodge a complaint at the helpline number 1800-2582580 or e-mail ID rahatscheme2014@gmail.com in this regard. The complaint lodged by the dealer will be promptly looked into and the final decision in the matter will be taken by the Excise and Taxation Commissioner.



Work on health centre starts
Our Correspondent

Dehlon/Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 5
Residents of the region falling under the jurisdiction of Ludhiana and Sangrur districts heaved a sigh of relief when work on the 25-bedded community health centre at Dehlon was formally started 28 months after Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal laid its foundation stone.

Legislator Darshan Singh Shivalik and former minister Jagdish Singh Garcha inaugurated the construction work of the 6 crore project.

Badal had laid the foundation stone of the health centre on October 6, 2011. The then Health and Family Welfare Minister Satpal Gosian and Punjab Subordinate Service Selection Board chairman Santa Singh Umaidpuri had accompanied him on the occasion.

Despite the announcement to start the construction work immediately, not even a single brick was laid.

Legislator Darshan Singh Shival had to raise the issue repeatedly in the assembly.

The government released a partial grant of Rs 3 crore for the project.

The 25-bedded health centre will have three operating theatres and at least six specialists. All facilities, including diagnostic tests, will be available round-the-clock.

Acknowledging that the existing infrastructure of majority of government medical centres was prone to microbial growth, officials designing and constructing the proposed hospital said all floors, walls and ceilings would be covered with special aseptic tiles and coatings.

Besides catering to around 30 villages falling under the Ludhiana district, the health centre is expected to provide medical assistance to victims of accidents taking place on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla and Kila Raipur-Sahnewal roads.

Maintaining that the delay had been caused due to some technical reasons, Shivalik and Garcha assured the residents that the project would be completed soon and existing facilities at the centre would also be upgraded.



Varsity to hold Pashu Palan Mela

Ludhiana, March 5
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana, will organise Pashu Palan Mela on March 14 -15. Vice Chancellor of GADVASU, Dr VK Taneja, said diversification was the core issue at agricultural meets these days. He said livestock was the best option of diversification.

Taneja said the university would confer Chief Minister’s Award in the field of dairy farming, fish farming and pig farming at the mela.

These awards have been funded by the Chief Minister to boost the livestock sector in the state and will consist of a cash prize, a citation and a shawl.

The cash prize for buffalo and cows categories is Rs 21,000 each, for fisheries Rs 11,000 and for pig farming Rs 5,100.

Director of Extension Education, GADVASU, Dr Ranjodhan Singh Sahota, said the university’s best breed of animals would be exhibited in the Pashu Palan Mela to motivate farmers to breed superior livestock by getting the improved germplasm from the university. — TNS



Experts dwell on violence against women, kids
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 5
A national seminar on ‘Creating Awareness among Students Regarding Domestic and Sexual Violence against Women and Children’, sponsored by College Development Council, Panjab University, Chandigarh, was organised at Dr Ishwar Singh Memorial Hall of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, today.

Dr Rajesh Gill, fellow and former chairperson, Women’s Studies, Panjab University, in her keynote address said women have to make themselves strong to improve their position and shape their destiny.

"Violence against women remains hidden under the culture of silence. Easy access to new forms of information and communication technologies has given rise to harassment and violence. Men along with women have an important role to play in preventing and combating violence against women and children. Thus, the combined effort of both the sexes will surely yield positive results", she said.

Tarsem Bahia, former principal, AS College, Khanna, said a woman should not be viewed only as a mother, sister, wife and daughter, but she should be regarded as a human being capable of thinking, feeling and rationalising.

"The global economy can witness a spurt if women get the power of earning in their hands. It is the change of the mindset of the male counterparts that is utmost essential", he said.

Sukhwinder Amrit, an eminent writer, recited poems on women empowerment and regeneration.

Assistant Professor, Department of Laws, Panjab University, Dr Supinder Kaur, said that effective implementation of law required sensitisation work in the community and a functional judiciary and law enforcement system.

Assistant Professor, Department of Community Development and Disability Studies, Panjab University, Dr Dazy Zarabi, also spoke on curbing of domestic violence at home and workplace.

Vice president of the college, Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill, also called for an effective system and the change in the mental makeup of the society if woman have to be given their right place.

Jaswant Singh Gill, former principal and director, Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, said, "We need an unbiased society. When a woman comes out of the four walls and tries to build up a place for herself in society, she should be equally honoured by her male partner and her new position should be acknowledged and accepted without grudge".

Convener of the seminar Prof Gursharan Kaur and organiser Dr Kuldip Singh said, "The seminar focussed on some vital issues reflecting crimes against women and children as there is a need to break the silence and see that women get their right place in society."



2 get award for innovative agri techniques

Two Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) supported farmers namely Tirath Singh and Jagdeep Singh have been conferred with the ‘Innovative Farmer Award’ in recognition of their outstanding work in the adoption of innovative agricultural techniques and commercialisation of agriculture.

Dr KL Chadha, former deputy director general, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, and Dr Hari Shankar Gupta, director, Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), New Delhi, presented the award to the two farmers during Agricultural Science Fair, held at IARI on February 28, 2014.

Tirath Singh, a resident of Sandour village, Ahmedgarh block, Sangrur district, is a small farmer owning five acres of cultivable land and 0.5 acres of net/polynet house. He has been successfully growing capsicum and cucumber (seedless) in the net/polynet house.

Jagdeep Singh, a resident of Kanoi village, Sangrur district, has taken the lead in adopting resource conservation technologies in agriculture. To conserve the environment, he has been adopting agricultural practices like use of laser land leveler, happy seeder, bed planting and leaf colour chart for the last many years.

CIPHET participates in Pusa Krishi Vigyan Mela

Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) participated in Pusa Krishi Vigyan Mela organised on February 26-28 by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, on ‘Climate Resilient Technologies for Sustainable Agriculture’.

CIPHET displayed its process and product technologies. The main attractions were pomegranate aril extractor, banana comb cutter, groundnut milk and extruded products. Krishan Jangra from Haryana, one of the farmer-entrepreneur nominated by CIPHET was selected for ICAR innovative award 2014. He developed a small capacity carrot washer in the year 2000 for use in and around Bahabalpur and Hisar where carrot is one of the major crops. — TNS



latala government school principal’s suicide
Tragedy was avoidable: Son
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
The bhog ceremony in memory of Ranjit Singh, the principal of Government Senior Secondary School in Latala village who committed suicide by jumping into the Sirhind canal on Sunday, was performed at his native village today. The principal had left a suicide note blaming “Dakha MLA” among others for his death.

Sources said police officials and politicians stayed away from the bhog ceremony. Expressing anguish against the Education Department, Ranjit Singh’s son Paramvir said had the department taken timely action, the tragedy could have been averted.

"I would not have lost my father if the education department had intervened," said Paramvir.

District Education Officer Paramjit Kaur Chahal maintained that Perminder Kaur, the clerk at the government school who had accused Ranjit Singh of sexual harassment, had lodged a verbal complaint on phone, but did not lodge a written complaint despite repeated reminders.

Blaming the woman clerk, Paramvir said she did not file a written complaint as she knew that her false allegations would fall flat and she would be exposed.

Former MLA rebuts Ayali’s allegations

Meanwhile, Malkit Singh Dakha, former Congress MLA, has rebutted the allegations levelled against him by SAD MLA from Dakha and Lok Sabha candidate Manpreet Singh Ayali.

Manpreet Singh Ayali had yesterday stated that “MLA Dakha” mentioned in the suicide note could refer to Malkit Singh Dakha. Dakha accused Ayali of indulging into petty politics and trying to shift the blame.

“The entire conspiracy was hatched for transferring Ranjit Singh. Police were also pressurising Ranjit Singh on Ayali’s behest,” he said.

Dakha said for the past seven years he was out of power and did not interfere in the government’s working.

Last call made to woman clerk

Ranjit Singh made the last call to clerk Perminder Kaur before committing suicide, said Ranjit's son Paramvir Singh. He said the call details would make it clear who was threatening Ranjit Singh, leading to his suicide.



Bank deposits see 135% rise in district
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Deposits in banks across the district have registered an increase of 135 per cent in past one year. This was stated by MS Jaggi, lead district manager, Punjab and Sind Bank, at the district-level review committee meeting at Bachat Bhawan today. The meeting to review the progress of the Annual Credit Plan for this quarter was presided over by Isha Kalia, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development).

MS Jaggi said banks in Ludhiana had released loans to the tune of Rs 5,212 crore against the target of Rs 4,500 crore for agriculture and allied activities. In the case of non-farm sector, the banks gave loans to the tune of Rs 6,493 crore against the target of Rs 3,290 crore, he said. The banks saw 197 per cent hike in this sector.

The banks provided Rs 2,006 crore in loans to other priority sectors such as housing and education. The target for this sector was Rs 1,862 crore. Meanwhile, banks also witnessed a hike of 245 per cent in the non-priority sectors. 



DAV College staff strike work for tenth day
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, March 5
The indefinite strike launched by the teaching and non-teaching staff of Lajpat Rai DAV College entered the tenth day today. Pressing the management for fulfilling their long-pending demands, the protesting staff sat on a dharna at the college entrance. The employees also raised slogans against the college management for not disbursing their salaries for past three months.

The employees said they would take out a protest march in the town in coming days if the authorities failed to fulfil their demands.

"We have not been paid our salaries. Though, we raised the issue with the college management a number of times, nothing has been done,” said Karam Singh Sandhu, a senior lecturer.

Professor Bindu Sharma said the staff will strike work till the salaries were released by the management.

Members of the non-teaching staff have also been struggling to get their demands fulfilled. Their major demands include an increase in the wages and immediate disbursement of salaries.

Non-Teaching College Employees Union president Sushma Kumari said, "We will take out protest march if our demands are not met.”



GADVASU: Dairy tech students demand campus placements
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Accusing the authorities of showing no concern towards their recruitment, the dairy technology students of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) today staged a protest on the campus.

The College of Dairy Science and Technology was opened in 2008 with the aim of providing skilled manpower to the dairy industry in the state.

“The main idea behind this effort was to provide skilled graduates in dairy technology to Verka and other dairy cooperatives. But, with Indira Gandhi National Open University starting a one-year correspondence-based diploma in dairy technology, Verka is filling its officer-rank posts from amongst these students. We, despite undergoing four-year degree course that includes one-year industrial training, are being ignored,” said the protesting students.

The students said the university was doing nothing to ensure campus placements.

“Till now, only three students from the first two batches have got jobs in reputed companies, that too on their own. This year, no firm is coming to our campus for recruitments,” said the students.

PD Juyal, registrar, GADVASU, said the Vice-Chancellor was already in talks with the state government over the issue.



Implement new wage policy, say PRTC contractual staff
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Employees of the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) working on contractual basis struck work to press for the implementation of new directions issued by the state government regarding their wages.

The union claimed that no PRTC bus operated from Ludhiana depot.

PRTC Contract Employees Union (Azaad) general secretary Sawarn Singh said, “The Punjab government has made a new policy to set the wages of contractual employees. Till now, the contractors were paying us as per the kilometers scheme. The PRTC official, however, are not implementing the new directions.”

District president Jasveer Singh said, “We were asking the officials to implement the policy before the implementation of the code of conduct. After observing the strike, we did receive a communication from the head office that the PRTC had implemented the recommendations.” 



SCD Govt College staff to protest outside Ayali’s house
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Irked by the delay in the disbursement of their salaries, teachers and other employees of SCD Government College will stage a dharna outside the house of Akali-BJP candidate for the Lok Sabha elections, Manpreet Singh Ayali.

The employees said the delay in salaries was a routine affair during the end of the financial year. The teachers said it was the duty of the local leaders of the ruling party to ensure proper functioning of government institutes.

Dr Jaipal Singh, a senior professor, said: “We have not received salaries since November. In the budget, the government must allocate money as per the requirement of the colleges. The local leaders of the ruling party must press the finance minister to release the salaries.” 



Shruti makes city proud in company secretaries’ exam
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Shruti Garg has made the city proud by securing fourth rank in the Institute of Company Secretaries of India Professional examination at the all-India level. The 22-year-old graduated in commerce from DD Jain College before pursuing MBA from Shree Atam Vallabh Jain College.

A resident of Sector 32, Chandigarh Road, Shruti cleared both the executive programme examination and professional programme examination in her first attempt.

Shruti said she would soon be joining a company for training. She said she chose to pursue training after the exams as she wanted to clear the examination in her first attempt.

"Now, that I have secured a high rank, many of the top companies in the country are inviting me for training," she said.

Shruti said she did not take any coaching for the examination. "I did, however, take guidance from Bharat Sir, who teaches at a local institute," she said.

She said three months of rigorous preparation and spending eight to 10 hours a day were enough to perform well in the examination.

“Rather than spending too much time, one should study with concentration and try to clear the basic concepts,” she said. 



question papers for class IX exams
Schools resent dept’s instructions
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 5
Government schools are resenting the financial loss they had to bear due to the recent instructions of the Education Department regarding question papers of Class IX.

On January 2, the Director General, School Education, had instructed the schools to prepare question papers for the six subjects in Class IX and get these photostatted.

However, a few days before the examinations, the Education Department issued fresh instructions stating that the department will be preparing the question papers and the schools should get these photostatted instead.

"I am the in-charge of Class IX in my school. We have prepared all the papers as per the directions issued by the department in January. I got the papers photostatted for more than 100 students, spending Rs 1,000 on all the six subjects. Now, the Education Department has revised the directions. All our efforts and the money have gone wasted, said a schoolteacher.

“In all, lakhs of rupees were spent by the schools. The higher officials should think before issuing such directions,” said the teacher.

District Education Officer Paramjeet Kaur, on the other hand, questioned as to why the teachers got the papers photostatted in advance?

“How can the schools maintain secrecy if they get the question papers photostatted in advance?” she asked.

The DEO said none of the schools had complained to her yet.

“If any school complains, I will discuss the matter with the higher authorities,” said Paramjeet Kaur.



Two die in accident
Tribune Reporters

Khamano, March 5
Two persons died after a speeding car hit their motorcycle near Khamano Khurd village. The deceased were identified as Jagtar Singh (37) and Karamjit Singh (27), both residents of Chuhar Majra village.

The deceased were bus drivers and were on their way home after parking their buses in Ludhiana.

While Karamjit Singh died at the spot, Jagtar Singh was seriously injured. He was rushed to the Khamano Civil Hospital from where he was referred to a hospital in Chandigarh. He died on the way.

Assistant Sub-Inspector Harjit Singh, Khamano police station, said a case under Sections 279, 304-A and 34 of the IPC had been registered against the unidentified driver of the car, who fled from the scene. The police had impounded the vehicle, a Bolero.

Woman drowns after car falls into canal

Doraha: A 26-year-old newlywed woman drowned after her car fell into the Sidhwan canal here yesterday. The victim has been identified as Rakhi Sharma, wife of Ramandeep, a resident of Khanna. The incident took place a few metres away from Gurthali Bridge near Doraha last evening.

Ramandeep said he, along with his wife, was heading to Khanna in a car. When they reached near Gurthali Bridge, he suddenly lost control over the car and the car fell into the canal, he said. While Rakhi died at the spot, Ramandeep was rushed to hospital. The duo was married on January 20 this year.



159 apply for new power connections 

Ludhiana: As many as 159 industrialists whose units fall under mixed land use area submitted applications for an increase in the power load and new connections during a camp organised at the UCPMA office on Gill Road today. Chief Engineer Rachpal Singh inaugurated the camp. Manpreet Singh Ayali had made the announcement in this regard yesterday.

Puja wins PC Jeweller’s Valentine’s Day contest

Puja Verma Saxena has won the online contest organised on Valentine's Day by PC Jeweller Limited. The contestants were supposed to garner maximum "likes" on the pick-up line that they had to shared on the social networking site Facebook. The pick-up line for which Puja won a special ring was "Do you believe in love at first sight, or do I have to walk by you again?". — TNS




Doctors’ strike

PCMS Specialist Doctors Association continued their pen down strike for the second day. Dr Avinash Jindal, president of Ludhiana chapter of the association said the government was not giving higher education allowance to all PG doctors inspite of their repeated representations to the state government.

Cancer check-up camp on March 9

Roko Cancer Charitable Trust will organise a cancer check-up camp at Rajgarh village near Pakhowal on March 9. Cancer check-up, other medical tests, including mammography, blood sugar and blood pressure, will be done. Patients will get medicines free of cost. A free common kitchen will also be organised throughout the camp timing.

Sahir Ludhianvi’s birth anniversary

Members of the Nehru Siddhant Kender at a press conference in Ludhiana on Wednesday.Nehru Sidhant Kender Trust will celebrate the birth anniversary of poet Sahir Ludhianvi and organise 'Ek Shaam Nitin Mukesh Ke Naam' on March 8. The event would be held at Guru Nanak Bhavan, said Bipin Gupta, general secretary of the trust.

Members of the Nehru Siddhant Kender at a press conference in Ludhiana on Wednesday. photo: Inderjeet Verma

Kirtan Darbar

Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Sewa Dal will organise Kirtan Darbar at New Hargobind Nagar on March 8. It would start from 7 pm onwards and noted ragis and kathwachaks would participate in the event, said Ravinderpal Singh Khalsa.

Seminar held

A seminar was held on Wednesday at Nightingale College of Nursing (NCN). The main theme of the seminar was Canada Study Visa Programme - Applied Health Administration. Nightingale College of Nursing is attached with Loyalist College of Canada. IELTS requirement, visa process, fee structure and future prospects were the main highlights of the seminar. Representatives of the Loyalist College answered queries of parents and students. Dr Sarabhjit Singh, directror of NCN, among others were also present during the seminar. — TNS



Ana, Karanjeet declared best athletes
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, March 5
Ana and Karanjeet Singh, both students of BCom-III, were declared the best athletes in the girls’ and boys’ sections, respectively, in the inaugural edition of the Annual Athletics Meet of Shree Atam Vallabh Jain College held here today.

Maninder in the boys’ section, while Rajeshwari in the girls’ section emerged triumphant in the 100m sprint and were adjudged the fastest runners.

Prof Rajinder Bhandari, vice-chairman, Punjab State Planning Board, declared the meet open. Dr Janmit Singh, president of the College Managing Committee, and principal, distributed prizes among the winners.


Boys: 100m race: Maninder 1; Karanjeet Singh Kainth 2; and Sunil 3; sack race: Pratham 1; Pankaj 2; and Gagandeep Singh 3; 400m race: Amandeep Singh 1; Karanjeet Singh Kainth 2; and Atul Thakur 3; shot put: Karanjeet Singh Kainth 1; Sunny Chauhan 2; and Sahil Khanna 3; discus throw: Gursharan 1; Chandan Verma 2; and Sushil Kumar 3; 1500m race: Nitish 1; Sushil 2; and Tarun Aggarwal 3; long jump: Gurdeep 1; Maninder 2; and Amandeep 3; three-legged race: Manavjot and Ashish 1; Himanshu and Robin 2; Pratham and Abhishek 3.

Girls: 100m race: Rajeshwari 1; Shipra 2; and Rajpreet 3; 400m race: Nitisha 1; Simranjeet 2; and Shipra 3; spoon race: Kanika 1; Megha 2; and Simranjeet Kaur 3; discus throw: Ana 1; Pragya 2; and Ashima 3.



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