L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Chaotic day for taxpayers
Dept’s website crashes on last date for filing of income tax returns
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
It was raining chaos at the income tax office today. Taxpayers had a tough time filing their income tax returns as the website developed a snag. Long queues were seen outside counters. The returns were to be accepted till 5.30 pm but the deadline had to be extended by a couple of hours. As many as 6,500 returns were filed today (the last date) while 38,000 were filed before March 31.

"We were made to wait as the server was slow. There was heavy rush at the office despite the fact that many people had filed their returns online," said Jatinder Khurana.

It was a busy day for chartered accountants, taxation lawyers and staff of the Income Tax Department. Amit Sabharwal, a chartered accountant, said he had to skip his meals. "Taxpayers kept me occupied through the day," he said.

Sumit Khanna, a taxpayer, said, "I will file returns on time from now on. I had to go through a harrowing time today."

An official of the Income Tax Department said they had been working round the clock for the past few days. Even on saturday and Sunday, the offices remained open, he said.

Those filing returns online should send a copy of the Income Tax Return Verification (ITRV) through speed post to the Central Processing Centre (CPC) of the department in Bengaluru. The department no longer accepts papers through ordinary post.

"This has streamlined the functioning. Even if the document is not received at the Central Processing Centre, a taxpayer will have a documentary proof to show that he has sent his ITRV through post to the centre," said a senior official.


Bacchus lovers on a high
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
The prices of Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) and country made liquor were slashed on the last day of the financial year. Cartons of liquor were being sold at cheap prices. Some vends were offering free snacks with drinks while others had introduced lucrative schemes.

In some parts of the city, liquor was being sold below the minimum price, which is against the excise policy.

Excise and Taxation officials said they were keeping a check on vends.

"Our main aim is to clear the stock before midnight. We have slashed the prices, but not below the minimum price," said a liquor contractor.

Jatinder Singh Grewal, who keeps organising parties, said it was the best time to buy liquor.

A buyer at a vend on Ferozepur Road said, "Seeing so many offers, I could not stop myself from buying a few bottles."



MC to serve notice on erring contractors
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Additional Commissioner Sumit Jarangal briefs mediapersons in Ludhiana.
Additional Commissioner Sumit Jarangal briefs mediapersons in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, March 31
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation will serve show-cause notices to contractors for using 'substandard' material in the construction of nine roads in the city. Additional Commissioner Dr Sumit Jarangal said samples of the material collected from Pakhowal Road had failed the test.

Dr Jarangal urged residents to help the civic body punish such contractors. He said they could approach the authorities if they found any irregularities.

"Civic officials have been conducting checks on a regular basis. Public money should not go down the drain," said Dr Jarangal.

He said as far as the testing of the material was concerned, the MC was trying to tie up with Guru Nanak Engineering College. "They have asked for a huge amount and we are negotiating with them," said
Dr Jarangal.

Recently, the civic body paid Rs 6 crore to a contractor who had used 'substandard' material.

On the issue, Dr Jarangal said the MC had the bank guarantee of the contractor and it could be encashed anytime if the work was not up to the mark.

"The payment will be made once we get approval from the Chief Engineer," said Dr Jarangal, adding that the MC was trying finishing construction work at night.

The samples were collected in the presence of Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohlwaria and were tested at Guru Nanak Engineering College.



Festival of fasting, feasting begins
Tribune News Service

A girl lights lamps at a temple on the first Navratra in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet verma

Ludhiana, March 31
Thousands of devotees paid obeisance to Goddess Durga on the first Navratra today. Religious fervour pervaded the city. Illuminated and decked-up temples were a sight to behold. Buyers flocked to markets to buy idols of Goddess Durga. Those observing fast were seen buying fruits and flowers.

Some distributed eatables and dupattas among girls. Making most of the occasion, vendors hiked the prices of fruits and potatoes.

Residents light 'Akhand-jyoti' (lamps) at home for nine days. A priest at Dandi Swami Temple said every year thousands of devotees offered prayers and observed fast. The devotees lit 108 lamps at Geeta Mandir, Vikas Nagar, today. The managing committee of the temple also launched a signature campaign against female foeticide on the first Navratra.



14,148 employees put on election duty
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
As many as 14,148 employees have been put on election duty in the state. With the elections scheduled for April 30, employees from more than 130 government and semi-government offices, including banks and insurance companies, have been assigned the work.

Election Tehsildar Surinder Singh Bhangu said,"We distributed appointment letters among heads of different departments today. They will hand over these to the staff."

Kashmir Singh, district election officer, Ludhiana, said,"There are 2,636 polling booths in the Ludhiana constituency. For the smooth conduct of the elections, 34,051 presiding officers, 34,051 alternative presiding officers and 7,246 polling officers have been appointed. We have issued appointment letters to 14,148 employees. Of them, 5,700 are women."

Of the 15,24,441 voters, 8,16,267 are men and 7,08, 174 are women. Bhangu said, "The last date for the submission of Form VI by new voters and Form VIII for corrections is April 2. The supplementary list of voters will be released in the second week of April."



Teachers denounce government
Seek release of salaries; threaten to boycott exam duty
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
The Government-Aided College Teachers Union and Government College Teachers Union have decided to boycott university examination while the ETT Teachers Union has decided to lay siege to district treasury offices.

Unhappy with the delay in the payment of salaries by the state government, the unions have decided to resort to agitation to press for their demands.

Kuldeep Singh, general secretary, Government-Aided College Teachers Union, said, “Teachers working in government-aided colleges have not received salaries for the past five months. We will go on a strike, if our demands are not met."

Gurmeet Singh, general secretary, Government-Aided School Union, said, “The Education Department has allocated the budget, still the district treasury office has failed to release the salaries.”

Paramjeet Singh, member, ETT Teachers Union, said, “We met the Deputy Commissioner and the district treasury officer today. We were told that there were no funds in the treasury.”

Some teachers have not received salaries for the past seven months. Most of them are hopeful of getting their salaries in the first week of April.

“We are facing a tough time. We can't even pay the school fee of our wards. The government should release the salaries at the earliest,” said Inderjeet Singh, a government schoolteacher.



ludhiana votes 2014
Cong’s Jagraon unit stands united
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 31
Faction-ridden Jagraon unit of the Congress put up a united front during the visit of Ravneet Singh Bittu, Congress candidate from the Ludhiana Lok Sabha constituency. Almost all senior party leaders, including former MLAs Gurdeep Singh Bhaini and Darshan Singh Brar, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) general secretary Major Singh Bhaini, Jagraon block Congress president Gopal Sharma and former vice-president of municipal council Ravinder Kumar Sabharwal, were present at the event.

During his maiden visit to the town after his candidature was declared, Bittu addressed the party workers at Old Grain Market.

A lot of enthusiasm could be seen among party workers, present in large numbers, at the venue.

Bittu asked them to leave behind personal differences and make combined efforts to ensure the victory of Congress party in the Lok Sabha elections.

Terming Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi anti-minority, Bittu said in case Modi became the PM, he would destroy the country with his communal agenda.

"The Congress is a secular party that treats people of every religion equally, while the BJP has always indulged in communal politics. It is, therefore, important to stop communal forces from coming to power and only the  Congress can do this,” said Ravneet Singh Bittu, who is contesting the Parliamentary elections for the second time.

The Congress candidate also attacked the ruling Badal family.

"Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal always blames the Centre for lack of development in Punjab, but the truth is that the state is lagging behind due to the Badal family. The state government has been trying to misguide people to cover its own failures,” said Bittu.



SarvA Shiksha Abhiyan
Dept begins distribution of books
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Finally after getting the approval of the Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab, the Education Department has started distributing free books to school students sponsored by Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. About two weeks ago, the department had stopped distributing these books and wrote to the Chief Electoral Officer to give permission for the same.

According to the senior officials at District Education Office, yesterday, the Chief Electoral Officer gave the approval to department to carry on with the distribution of free books. Following his permission, the work of distribution has been started from local Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Office, Bharat Nagar Chowk.

Earlier, teachers of government schools had opposed the move of the department to stop the distribution of books. The government provides free books to girls and students belonging to scheduled castes and schedule tribes from Classes I to VIII under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Project. The department is supposed to distribute books to schools before the beginning of the new academic session which is going to begin from April 1.

Ranjit Singh Malhi, District Education Officer (Primary), Ludhiana, said, “Today, we have started with the distribution of books. Though the process has been delayed but it will be completed in next two days.”

However, the teachers at government schools rue that the whole process would affect studies further as it would still take some more days for the process to be completed. A teacher said, “The books should be in the hands of students on the very first day of the academic session. The Education Department will take some more days to distribute the books to schools. Then schools authorities will further take time to distribute these to the students. Till then the students will have to study without books.”



A village sans public transport
While Metro is being launched in Ludhiana, Muhamadpur village lacks even the basic travelling facilities
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, March 31
At the time when the state government is planning to start the Metro Service in Ludhiana in the near future, there is a village in the same district which still lacks public transport service. In the absence of public transport service, the residents of this village feel alienated from the rest of world.

There is no mode of public transport for the residents of Muhamadpur village (also known as Sultan Khan) near Raikot even after 67 years of independence of the country. The villagers said this was perhaps the only village of Punjab where there was no mode of public transport.

According to the villagers, there is neither any bus nor any three-wheeler for villagers to travel. The villagers said they had to face a lot of problems when they had to travel somewhere for getting their routine works done in the absence of any public transport service to their village.

A large number of residents of this village having a population of around 400 people are relatively poor. Most of the residents of this village do not even own a vehicle therefore traveling to nearby destinations turns out to be the most difficult task for the villagers. The situation becomes more difficult in case of a medical emergency in the village.

“People hardly marry their children in our village just due to lack of public transport service. The relatives of the villagers also hesitate to visit the village and in case one pays a visit, he would call his relatives from Raikot to come there and take him along to the village,” said Balwinder Singh, sarpanch of the village.

Harbans Singh, who served as village sarpanch for 30 years, said, “Around 15 years ago, there was one mini bus that used to ferry people from the village. But that mini bus too stopped coming to our village several years ago and now there is no mode of public transport.”

Apart from public transport service, the village also lacks other basic facilities. There is no dispensary in the village. Moreover, the link roads connecting this village to Raikot and other villages are also in very poor shape. In such a situation, the villagers owning a vehicle find it utterly difficult to travel to nearby areas.

Now as the general elections are approaching near, the residents of Muhamadpur village hope their long pending demand of having a public transport service to the village would be fulfilled soon. Connecting the village with the nearby areas by starting the public transport service is going to be the most popular poll plank in this village as the villagers said they would vote for the candidate whom they believe that he would make concrete efforts to start the service in their village.



National training on farming concludes

Ludhiana: The national training on ‘Ground and Remote Sensors Based Precision Farming for Small Fields’ concluded at the Department of Farm Machinery and Power Engineering (FMPE), Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). The training was sponsored by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research under the World Bank funded National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP). A sub-project on ‘Development, Adaptation and Evaluation of Spectral Based Sensors for Precision Farming’ has been operational in the department under NAIP and will finish in March 2014.

The chief guest, Dr SR Verma, former Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, PAU, said, “Natural resources, the foundation of human survival, progress and prosperity, have been degrading fast at an unprecedented pace. This is one of the root causes of the agrarian crisis that the country is facing.” He emphasised that the precision machinery and sensors being developed in the sub-project must be commercialised for the farmer’s use through cooperative societies or custom hiring centers. He expressed that the training would give the guidelines for the judicious use of inputs in agriculture. Dr SS Thakur, officiating head, FMPE, informed the participants that precision technologies were being popularised among the farmers through different programmes of ICAR and state agricultural universities, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, State Extension Agencies, etc. The PAU has also recommended different technologies such as laser leveler, leaf colour chart, etc for saving water and for the judicious use of fertilizers, he added. Dr Manjeet Singh, director of the national training, told that various interactive discussions were held on theoretical concepts along with practical demonstrations related to agricultural machinery, precision agriculture, crop sensors, yield monitors, green seeker, unmanned air vehicle (UAV) and remote sensing. A guest lecture was also delivered by Dr Dharmendra Saraswat, associate professor, Geo Spatial Biological and Agricultural Engineering, University of Arkansas, USA, through videoconferencing.

3-month course on crop production ends

The three-month training course on ‘crop production’ organised for the rural youth of Punjab concluded at the PAU on Monday. In his address, the chief guest, Dr HS Dhaliwal, director of Extension Education, exhorted the trainees to make significant contribution to the national food kitty by adopting PAU developed farm technologies. He urged them to equip other farmers with agricultural technologies, evolved by the university, for profitability. He distributed the certificates amongst the participants. The trainees were made members of the PAU Kisan Club so that they may contribute vitally as a part of PAU Kheti Doots.

Multiple workshops at PAU in April

The Directorate of Extension Education (DEE) of the PAU will organise various training programmes in April. Giving details, Dr HS Dhaliwal, director of Extension Education, said state-level training-cum-workshop for the members of progressive beekeepers association will be held on April 2 at PAU. The experts will shed light on quality honey processing equipments during the training, he said. Another training course on ‘Use of Laser Land Leveller’ will be conducted on April 3 at Kairon Kisan Ghar, PAU, Dr Dhaliwal informed. The farmers and farm women will participate in the course, which will be jointly hosted by the DEE and Training Unit, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology. He said the university experts would give introduction to various components of laser land leveller, its installation on tractor and fault finding. Dr Dhaliwal further added that a monthly training camp for the members of PAU Kisan Club would be organised on April 3 at Kairon Kisan Ghar, PAU. The experts will lay emphasis on cultivation of summer moong and mash, summer vegetable crops, poultry farming and post-harvest handling of garlic and onion. During the meet of women’s wing of the club, the farm women will be educated about cultivation of seasonal flowers, aromatic and medicinal plants, and seasonal vegetables in kitchen garden, he added. Also, a ‘vocational and career development programme’ for schoolchildren will be held on April 10 and 11 at PAU. He added that subject matter specialists would focus on vocational and career development programme related to agriculture, agricultural engineering, basic sciences, veterinary science, home science, foods and nutrition, human development, business management and economics. — TNS



Ludhiana scan

Harpreet Grewal and Dharminder Bajwa have been appointed as the chairman and ward president of the Active Anti-Corruption Group, respectively. Sarup Singh has been appointed as secretary general, Satnam Singh as cashier, while Ranjit Singh, Pritpal Singh, Harman Singh, Major Singh, Pushpinder Singh and Pardeep Kumar as executive members. Amrit Kaur has been appointed as the ward president of women wing of the group.

Shastriya sangeet sammelan

The 13th shastriya sangeet sammelan was organised by Shree Guru Haridev Shastriya Sangeet Kala Kender on Sunday. Artistes belonging to various genres of music and instruments from Chandigarh, Mohali, Himachal Pradesh and UP were present during the sammelan. Ustad Munshi Sham from Ludhiana started the programme with ‘raag desi todi’.

Hawan ceremony

Youth wing of Shiv Sena Hindustan organised a hawan on the 11th establishment day of the party at Vishnu Mandir on Tibba Road on Monday. The hawan was held under the presidentship of Anil Sahni Monu.

Awareness on voting right

An awareness camp of Aanganwari workers and helpers was organised by CDPO office Urban-I in Ludhiana on Monday. The Aanganwari workers and helpers were educated about their voting rights and urged them to educate the masses, especially women in their respective wards regarding their right to vote.

NOZIT concludes

North-Zone Inter-Medical and Dental College Tournament (NOZIT-2014) concluded on Sunday with a prize distribution ceremony along with exhilarating dance performances and fashion show by medical students, which left the audience spellbound. DMCH students were declared the overall winners for their excellent performances in various sports but being a host to NOZIT 2014, DMCH handed over NOZIT trophy to the Punjab Institute of Medical Sciences, Jalandhar, and accepted the first runners-up trophy.

SBP opens its 1,265th branch

The State Bank of Patiala opened its 1,265th branch at Samalsar district in Moga on Monday. Rajiv Pal Sharma, deputy general manager, Ludhiana Zone, inaugurated the branch. Rajesh Passey, assistant general manager, Ludhiana, and others were present on the occasion. Rajiv K Sharma highlighted the various schemes offered by the bank. — TNS



SC students may be forced to leave studies midway
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, March 31
The students belonging to the Scheduled Caste (SC) category seem to be literally caught up between the devil and the deep sea. A number of them are still in the process of completion of their respective courses but a majority of them, due to non release of the much awaited scholarships and stipends, especially formulated by the Punjab Government to provide financial assistance to this category, have decided to drop their studies midway.

A number of needy parents, who want to provide higher education to their children, are in no position to bear the financial burden alone and shall be forced to make their children discontinue their studies. Sonam (name changed) had secured merit position last year and on the basis of assured scholarship by the government she took admission in the next class. “The cost of stationary, books and other day-to-day requirements were borne by my father who borrowed this amount on the assurance that the amount will be returned as soon as the scholarship arrives. It has been a year now but no scholarship has arrived as yet,” she said. Sonam is now left in the lurch and is forced to give up midway for her father, who is a daily wager.

At the same time the colleges, especially the private ones, too are now thinking in terms of denying admission to the children of this category as the reimbursement of the fees and other charges of SC students, which the government had promised, too have failed to arrive. “As per the instructions of the government, the colleges had not charged any fees from the SC students but as the reimbursement has not arrived, the colleges shall have to think twice before admitting such students from the next session,” shared a college principal.

Jaswant Singh Gill, secretary, Non-Government Colleges Management Federation opines that at the time when the colleges are already passing through severe financial crunch, the delay on the part of the government shall add to their woes further and at one time it would become difficult for them to pay even the salaries to the staff. “If the scholarships or for that matter the reimbursement, does not arrive in the session itself, the very purpose of according financial help stands forfeited,” he added.

Gurdev Singh Ghumman, DPI Colleges, when contacted said, “We have sent the case to the Welfare Department and it is expected that the amount will be released shortly.”



600 examined at medical and heart check-up camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
A free mega medical and heart check-up camp was organised by Hero DMC Heart Institute at RSD Raj Rattan Public School. Team of doctors, including Dr GS Wander, chief cardiologist (HDHI), Dr Rohit Tandon and Dr Rakendra examined around 600 patients at the camp.

Dr GS Wander said, “Camps have always been very popular in India, for all types of medical conditions, including cardiac related problems. Originally, the purpose of the camps is to provide medical services to poor patients who lived in remote areas where medical facilities are not available. Rather than forcing patients to travel to cities to get medical care, it made more sense for teams of doctors to travel to villages, where medical services can be provided to these patients at their doorstep. This is a very cost-effective way of delivering medical care, and allowed thousands of patients to be treated effectively.”

Diagnostic tests such as ECG, blood sugar and blood pressure was conducted free of cost along with distribution of free medicines.

Meanwhile, a free medical checkup camp was also organised by Saathi Teja Singh Sutantar Mohalla Sudhar Committee dedicated to Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. The camp was organised at Saiwal Public High School, Mehar Singh Nagar. Free medicines were also distributed to the patients apart from the checkups.



Market Committee secy seizes auction books
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Office-bearers of the Ludhiana Sabzi Mandi Arhtiya Association alleged that the secretary of the Market Committee had taken away the auction books from them at Bhadurke Road vegetable market.

Somnath Fauji, president, Ludhiana Sabzi Mandi Arhtiya Association, alleged that the market committee secretary, Jasbir Singh, visited the vegetable market and took away the auction books from more than 40 arhtiyas. This action created nuisance in the market and they faced financial losses.”

The arhtiyas alleged that this act of the secretary defamed them. Gurpreet Singh, general secretary of the association, opposed the action of the market committee.

“If there is any irregularity in books then the secretary should inform the office-bearers of the association. He should not have embarrassed the arhtiyas as all of them are licence holders,” alleged Gurpreet Singh.

However, Jasvir Singh, secretary, Market Committee, said, “We have collected the record because it is the end of the financial year. It is part of our job. If I will not collect the record then the higher authorities of the Mandi Board will intervene in the matter. Instead of cooperation they have opposed the move. It is unfortunate on their part.”



Local doctor to contest for MCI seat
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Dr Kulwant Singh, a cardiologist, is contesting to become a member of the Medical Council of India (MCI). He is the lone contestant from Ludhiana and is being backed by Indian Medical Association (IMA). One member is elected from Punjab while one is nominated. Apart from Kulwant Singh, seven other doctors are contesting for the post from different cities.

The ballot papers are being sent to the doctors registered with MCI through post and they are required to re-post the same as soon as possible. Counting will be done on April 11 and thereafter the results will be declared.

Dr Kulwant Singh, currently running his own Kulwant Heart Centre, said if he gets elected as a member his main thrust would be to push the matter of increasing post-graduation seats in medical colleges.

“The crisis of specialist doctors in India is a result of government’s failure to increase postgraduate seats in medical colleges. While the country suffers from acute shortage of specialists and super-specialists, lack of PG seats forces thousands of medical graduates to wait for years to get into specialty courses,” he said.

Though the government has taken several steps, including creation of primary health centres and promoting institutional delivery, the scarcity of super specialists still prevails. “Those who have passed out the MBBS should get good facilities and have ample choices to opt for specialization. My main stress will be on improving the standards of medical education,” he said.



Two Class X students caught copying
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Two students were caught copying during the Class X mathematics exam conducted by the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) here today. It is the sixth case in the district, when students were caught using mobilephones for cheating. Kuldeep Singh, superintendent at Government Senior Secondary School, Behlolpur, found active bluetooth device connectivity in the examination centre. During check, he found one of the students copying with its help.

Meanwhile, Deputy District Education Officer Charanjit Singh caught another student at Government Senior Secondary School, Ghudani Kala, who was copying from helping material.

“While conducting the inspection at the school, our team found activities of a student suspicious. We then checked the student and found 12 slips from his possession,” Charanjit Singh said.

“The tendency of cheating has decreased during the PSEB examinations. Nowadays, majority of students do not use any unfair means. But some of them try using shortcuts for success. The Education Department and the Punjab School Education Department is committed to curb cheating cases during the examinations,” he added.

Reacting on the use of Bluetooth device for cheating, Sukhdarshan Singh, president of Anti-Copying Teachers’ Association, said, “Tracing the Bluetooth devices has become a major challenge for flying squads during PSEB examinations. The board should be technically equipped to curb the use of technology for cheating.”

Official speak

The tendency of cheating has decreased during the PSEB examinations. Nowadays, majority of students do not use any unfair means. But some of them try using shortcuts for success. The Education Department and the Punjab School Education Department is committed to curb cheating cases during the examinations~

— Sharanjit Singh, deputy district education officer, pseb



MC staff refuse to accept enrolment forms in bulk
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Staff at the municipal corporation’s Zone A office today refused to accept enrolment forms brought by some persons in bulk. The persons, in turn, left after emptying the two bags carrying these forms on the office premises. Around 1,000 such forms were left scattered on the second floor of the office building.

"Three youths came to the office and asked us to accept these forms. Since we have been instructed not to accept enrolment forms in bulk, we refused to accept these. The youngsters emptied the bags in front of us, and when we tried to stop them, they just ran away,” said an office attendant.

The attendant said the forms could not be accepted as no one knew whether these were fake or original.

"These can be bogus forms. Unless the voter or an elder member of his or her family deposits the form personally, it cannot be accepted,” he said.

Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal, who is also the District Election Officer, too, said enrolment forms could not be accepted in bulk. In case a person was unable to deposit the form personally, an elder member of the family could do so on the applicant’s behalf, he said.



Social media plays pivotal role in poll campaign
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 31
Social media is proving to be one of the most effective tools to campaign for the Lok Sabha elections in the region. Although youngsters and urban population are most likely to be tapped through the online media, the elderly and rural population are no exception to the tendency.

Independent candidate Simranjit Singh Bains, SAD’s Manpreet Singh Ayali, Kulwant Singh and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Congress candidate Ravneet Singh Bitttu, AAP’s HS Phoolka besides Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and Vijay Inder Singla of the Congress, all have been using social networking sites for making poll announcements and seeking support.

Although the number of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ registered on these ‘posts’ cannot be taken as an indicator of the percentage of total votes the candidate will garner on the poll day, they do act as an index of popularity.

"Although it is too early to arrive to any conclusion, supporters’ response on our candidate’s Facebook account shows that he is far ahead of all other candidates," said Manish Vinayak, a supporter of one of the Independent candidates from the Ludhiana constituency.

He said over 48,000 users had already joined the candidate’s campaign on the social networking site, while other candidates were far behind.

While majority of the users posting comments on posts of various candidates usually appreciate their agenda, some do criticise them.

Vikas Tandon, a Youth Congress leader, said a large number of users had extended support to the party’s candidates in recognition of massive development funds brought to the state by the Congress MPs.

Posts regarding developmental works and fight against drug addiction undertaken by SAD candidate Manpreet Ayali have also received many ‘likes’ on his registered site.



Best Price observes National Safety Week

Ludhiana: National Safety Week was observed in all 20 Best Price Modern Wholesale stores, owned and operated by Wal-Mart India Private Limited, from March 4 to 10. More than 2,000 employees participated in the week-long campaign. With the objective of reiterating the company’s commitment to health and safety of employees and members, the campaign in the stores raised awareness of the right safety interventions and focussed on continuous assessments to prevent injuries and damages. Safety audits, evacuation drills, training on road safety and first-aid were covered during the week. Private medical practitioners, home guards, fire officers and traffic police were invited to conduct training and to share their expertise and best practices.

Gym inaugurated

A gym named ‘Heat Fitness’ was inaugurated by Punjabi Actor/ Comedian Jaswinder Singh Bhalla and CEO Sheru Classic Hemant Aangrish at Pakhowal road in Ludhiana on Monday. “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and in this competitive world people are not concentrating on their physical fitness. It is good for the economy where youth instead of choosing drugs can look forward to improve their physical fitness,” said Jaswinder Bhalla. The gym offers local residents an opportunity to work out every day with high-quality equipments at an affordable price and in a friendly environment, said Hemant Aangrish. — TNS



from colleges
Students excel in exams

Ludhiana: Students of Post Graduate Diploma in International Business (PGDIB) at Kamla Lohtia SD College once again came up with great results for Semester I declared by Panjab University, Chandigarh. Harman Preet Kaur stood first bagging 492 marks, followed by Rajat Mishra securing 487 and Shreyans Jain 479 out of the total of 600. Principal Dr Shiv Mohan Sharma said the course was highly professional and job oriented.

Cleanliness drive

Fifty one students of NSS Unit, Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology (GNIMT), Gujarkhan Campus, Model Town, Ludhiana, volunteered to join the cleanliness drive organised at Dana Mandi, Gill Road by GNIMT and Ludhiana Cares, an NGO, engaged in make-over of Ludhiana at Dana Mandi.

Placement drive

Mandi Gobindgarh: An extensive placement drive was recently held at RIMT Campus, Mandi Gobindgarh, for the students of MBA by FINSTEM, following which 13 students received offer letters with a package of 3 lakh per annum. The selection procedure comprised of company presentation, test, group discussion and interview. FINSTEM helps individuals and organisation create the value they are looking for by providing a platform for the entire range of financial services. — TNS



Manpreet Singh Ayali makes poll pitch across city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
SAD-BJP candidate from the Ludhiana constituency Manpreet Singh Ayali today addressed a public meeting at Atam Nagar in Ward No. 48. The meeting was organised by Amarjit Singh Makkar and Jaswinder Singh. Ayali told the gathering he would try to do his best for the development of the city, if he came to power.

The meeting was also addressed by Mahesh Inder Singh, political adviser to the Chief Minister. He said Ayali's victory would be a historic one.

During another public meeting at Ghuman Mandi in Ward No. 52, the Jain community extended support to Ayali.

Ayali appreciated works being done by community leaders Davinder Kumar and Mohit Jain.

At Chhawani Mohalla, a meeting was held in Ayali’s honour under the leadership of Vijay Danav, the convener of Bharatiya Balmiki Samaj.

The SAD-BJP candidate also visited New Shimla Puri, Ranjeet Nagar and Wards No. 47, 65 and 71. Later, he held meetings with residents of Model Town, Chhawani Mohalla and Sukhmani Enclave as well.



Timely action averts encroachment on govt land
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 31
Taking serious note of reports regarding attempts being made to encroach upon government land falling along the river at Kutbewal Araian village, the district administration took effective action to prevent the land from falling into the hands of certain vested interests.

Teshsildar (West) Pardeep Singh Bains said some persons’ bid to encroach upon government land and raise construction on the site was brought to the notice of the district authorities.

A visit to the site revealed that bricks were stacked at the site and poplar saplings had been planted by the encroachers, he said.

The district officials, along with police and officials of the mining department, issued directions for immediate removal of the bricks.

The Police Department was asked to keep an eye on the government land and the area patwari and kanugo were asked to demarcate the area where saplings were planted for further necessary action.



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