L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


LIT under fire for unadjusted advances
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 14
The Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) has earned the wrath of the auditors from the Directorate of Local Fund Accounts, Punjab, for unadjusted advances worth about Rs 71.93 crore, some of which have not been reconciled for the past more than 30 years.

Having failed to evoke the desired response from the LIT authorities despite repeated reminders, the audit wing has taken up the matter with the Director, Local Government, Punjab, calling for fixing the responsibility of guilty officials and employees as also taking action as per the rules for this grave lapse.

Copies of the audit report of the Trust for 2012-13, obtained by Arvind Sharma, secretary, Council of RTI Activists, under the Right to Information Act, reveal that unadjusted temporary advances of the LIT till the end of March 2006 stood at a whopping Rs 60,22,43,663. During the period between 2006-07 and 2011-12, further temporary advances worth Rs 11,71,13,497 were given by the LIT authorities to different parties, which were still to be reconciled and properly accounted for.

Notable among the unadjusted advances paid by the LIT till the financial year 2005-06 were to the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (Rs 6.14 crore), Nawanshahr Municipal Council (a loan of Rs 50 lakh), Steel Authority of India (Rs 1.03 crore), Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board (Rs 13.71 crore), Land Acquisition Collector (Rs 22.33 crore), Senior Sub-Judge (Rs 13.01 crore).

Similarly, during the period between 2006-07 and 2011-12, temporary advances worth more than Rs 11.71 crore also remained unadjusted. Of this amount, a substantial amount (nearly Rs 10 crore) was paid to the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board for water supply and maintenance of sewerage under various schemes of the LIT but subsequently the amount was not adjusted with supporting documents.

The audit wing had also pointed out that the LIT authorities were not abiding by the directions made by the Local Government Department, Punjab, through its letter 4LG (2LG)96/664-770 dated December 19, 1995, for the adjustment of temporary advances, which kept mounting every year.

The Council of RTI Activists has urged the Punjab Government to intervene and take appropriate action against the officials and employees of the LIT, who were responsible for this grave financial irregularity, which could also lead to misuse and misappropriation of funds.


Corporation sleeps over regularisation certificates
Of 20,000 applications, 19,000 are pending
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
Under the Punjab Apartment and Property Regularisation Act 1995, the last date for providing regularisation certificates to applicants is April 16 (for the state governments). There are around 20,000 applicants but only around 1,000 of them have been issued certificates so far.

According to information, more than 20,000 persons had applied for regularisation of their plots and colonies within the MC limits. The last date for filing applications was March 25, 2014. The Secretary, Department of Housing, had given clear instructions applicants must be given regularisation certificates by April 16. The officials concerned will be held responsible if they failed to do so.

Sources in the civic body said not more than 1,000 certificates have been issued so far in all four zones of the MC. Adopting a lackadaisical approach, the officials concerned have not bothered either to inspect the sites or to check proper documents of the applicants.

"With the last date approaching, about a week ago, the officials concerned started asking for documents. Thousands of applications sans layout plans, ownership documents, missing property numbers, etc, which need to be completed before issuing the certificates. Maximum applications for regularisation of plots/colonies were filed in October/November, 2013. Since then the authorities had slept over the issue. About a week ago, the MC started asking the applicants to complete their documents, which is unfortunate," said one of the higher MC officials.


Assistant Town Planner (Headquarters) Kamaljit Kaur said the MC had conveyed the objections to the applicants. "We can issue a certificate only when all documents are properly submitted," she said.



UGC circular a bolt from the blue for new colleges
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
The recent circular issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) to the regional universities against opening new colleges in 2014-15 has come as a jolt to at least five such colleges in Punjab that are almost complete and are waiting for university affiliation. The owners of these colleges, who claim to be bringing a state-of-the-art education system in Punjab, said if the UGC did not revoke its circular, then they would be forced to move to the court.

JS Bajaj, Chairman of Bajaj Engineering College, near Mullanpur, said it took them more than two years to set up world-class infrastructure at this upcoming engineering college but the UGC circular had dampened their spirits. Bajaj said the justification given by the UGC was that one-year moratorium would create a balance among different colleges.

"Good colleges will always be preferred over others and students/parents are aware enough to make the right choice. We are promising better standards, dedicated faculty and the best infrastructure. Then why should we be made to wait for another year to admit students? Such moratorium will hardly serve any purpose of balancing student ratio in colleges," said Bajaj.

The UGC also says the moratorium has been enforced in view of the little time left for laying down the rules and regulations for the setting up of new colleges by the commission before April 30, 2014, as ordered by the Supreme Court approximately 11 months ago.

Dr Anshu Kataria, chairman of the Aryans Group of Colleges, Chandigarh, said a year's moratorium was good but it had come at a wrong time. Similarly, Gurdeep Singh, chairman, GNA Institute of Management & Technology (GNA-IMT), Phagwara, said the UGC, being the controlling authority, had given a free hand to the universities to make any number of admissions. Why these restrictions are slapped on new players?

The chairperson of the Abhishek Group of Colleges, Sanjiv Middha, said: "We have invested everything to start the college. Now, the UGC asks us to stop everything. If the circular is not withdrawn, then the affected parties will move the court," said Middha.



Employees spin web of excuses to avoid poll duty
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
Poll duties are no less than a "burden" for some employees. While some use their contacts with influential persons to avoid election duties, others make excuses, which are hardly defendable. An employee approached an officer at Mini-secretariat, with an excuse. "Madam, I am to get married. Kindly grant me exemption from poll duty," he told the officer. But when the officer asked him who were the persons (the names mentioned under “R.S.V.P.”) whom one could reply to with regard to the invitation, the employee simply said: "Pata nahin".

Surabhi Malik, Nodal Officer for Poll Personnel Management, said: "The employees who want exemption from poll duty usually say they have been suffering from backache, heart ailments, hypertension, dust allergy, etc. Certain employees pleaded they had undergone surgery and would not be able to perform poll duty. But, when we examine such applications, we found they had undergone surgery in 2010 or 2012. Certain employees plead their parents are very old or they had small children (not on mother’s feed) who need care the whole day. A few employees say they are not comfortable working while a large number of people are around."

Surabhi said when a person, with a genuine medical problem, approached her, she apprised him or her of the proper procedure for getting exemption from poll duty. She said: "There are around 150 applications from couples who want exemption from poll duty."

We have sought a clarification from the Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab, about deploying contractual workers on poll duty. So, we deployed some contractual employees who fulfilled certain conditions.

She said dereliction of poll duty was a cognisable offence. An FIR can be lodged against a person who ignores election duty.

Rajat Aggarwal, Distict Electoral Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, has sent notices to around 600 employees for not joining the first polling rehearsal.

Lame excuses: Certain employees pleaded they had undergone surgery and would not be able to perform poll duty. But, when officers examined such applications, we found they had undergone surgery in 2010 or 2012. Many others pleaded their parents were very old or they had small children (not on mother’s feed) who need care the whole day. A few employees say they are not comfortable working while a large number of people are around



Head constable kidnapped, dumped for dead
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, April 14
A Sahnewal police station head constable, Rakesh Kumar, was kidnapped and dumped near Bhairomunna village by his kidnappers on Saturday night. He was admitted to a hospital and was out of danger. According to police sources, Rakesh Kumar (38), who had been posted at the Sahnewal police station for the past about eight months, was kidnapped by Mallan, Love and two persons by the same name, Munna, all aged between 17 and 18 years. All residents of the Tibba Road area, they kidnapped the policeman in a Scorpio (without registration number) near a restaurant while he former was returning home after duty. He was taken towards Bhairommuna village.

"The kidnappers not only thrashed him but also stabbed him in the back. They dumped him for dead. When the villagers spotted an injured Rakesh, they reported the matter to the police. He was admitted to the Apollo hospital, where he is reported to be out of danger," the police said.

Munna had personal scores to settle with the head constable, who had arrested him with 350 gm smack last month. A case has been registered under sections 307, 364, 382, 148, 149 and 120-B of the IPC. The kidnappers have been arrested.



AAP worker attacked, hospitalised
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
A worker of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Manpreet Singh, has alleged he was assaulted by persons owing allegiance to the BJP at Haibowal last night. Manpreet Singh, who was rushed to the Civil Hospital, lodged a complaint with the Division No. 4 police today.

The Division No 4 SHO said the police had started investigation.

Manpreet said he had a heated argument with BJP workers while canvassing in the Haibowal area yesterday. Last night, while he was standing outside the house, the BJP workers assaulted him.

The assailants fled the scene when Manpreet raised an alarm.

Meanwhile, leaders of the AAP condemned the incident. The BJP leader, Mohit Sood, said the AAP volunteers were adopting cheap tactics to hog publicity.



Ludhiana votes 2014
Kartar Singh sarabha still not a national martyr
Stir over status called off
Our Correspondent

Sarabha, April 14
Jasbir Singh Pamali, general secretary of the Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Naujwan Sabha, called off his hunger strike today. Seeking national martyr status for Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha, Jasbir had been on strike since last Wednesday. Jasbir said candidates contesting elections from the Ludhiana constituency assured him of fulfilling his demand after the formation of the government.

Six-year-old girl Bani offered juice to Jasvir Singh who was persuaded by Sant Bhupinder Singh Dhakki wale to end his fast.

As senior politicians are busy campaigning, Jasbir Singh Pamali failed to catch their attention.

Sukhwinder Singh, an associate of Jasbir, lamented that successive governments at the state and the Centre had failed to meet the demands of the followers of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarbha.

Residents of Sarabha village had to launch movements. It took them over 10 years to complete work on the memorial of Kartar Singh Sarabha six years ago. Some Shiromani Akali Dal activists led by Harpreet Singh Ballowal termed the action politically motivate.

"Jasbir Singh, who is claiming to be non-political, has been a close associate of Union Minister and Congress MP Manish. If he is interested in getting the demands fulfilled, he should have impressed upon Tewari to get it done earlier," lamented Ballowal.

Road show

Khamano: Aam Aadmi Party candidate for the Fatehgarh Sahib Lok Sabha seat Harinder Singh Khalsa organised a road show in Khamano, Sanghol and surrounding areas on Monday. The rally passed through 35 villages, including Mansoorpur, Manela, Dhanola, Raipur Raian, Burj, Shamshpur and Suhavi. Harinder Singh Khalsa appealed to residents to support him in order to bring about a change. He was accompanied by local leaders. — OC



Support pours in for SAD candidate
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 14
Office-bearers and activists of 20 organisations of the town and surrounding areas announced to support SAD candidate from the Fatehgarh Sahib constituency Kulwant Singh. The announcement was made in response to an appeal made by Legislator Iqbal Singh Jhoondan during a function organised at Aggarwal Sadan, Hargobindpura village, last night.

Speakers, including former president of the Municipal Council Ravinder Puri, patron of the Social Welfare Organisation Tarsem Garg, president of the CB Welfare Organisation Gopal Krishan Toni, secretary of Bhagwa Anand Mittal, president of Aggarwal Sabha Naresh Bhutta, patron of the Wholesale Footwear Sellers Association Amar Singh Saraon, office-bearer of the Arhtiya Association Sita Gogna, said they had decided to support the SAD candidate.

"Though Jhoondan has already done a lot for the town, we wish to strengthen his position in the state government so that he can bring more grants from Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal during his remaining term," said the speakers. Appreciating gesture of the residents, Jhoondan and Kulwant Singh said pending demands would be fulfilled. "A railway overbridge will be constructed in the town," they said.



Poll din on PAU campus
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
As the Punjab Agricultural University Teachers' Association (PAUTA) elections round the corner, groups have started lobbying. Last year, the elections were held on April 30. This year, the poll will be held after May 15. Last time, Dr Harmeet Singh Kingra was elected the PAUTA president as he had defeated his rival Dr Mukesh Siag by 19 votes. Dr Kingra got 354 votes whereas Dr Mukesh Siag got 335 votes.

Dr Harmeet Singh Kingra said they would hold an executive committee meeting in a few days. "This time, the elections will be held after the counting of votes for the Lok Sabha elections," said Dr Kingra.

PAUTA is a body consisting of the PAU teaching staff.

Cong workers flay Sanjay Baru

Congress workers are up in arms against Sanjay Baru, former media adviser to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, over his remarks.

The title of his book is "The Accidental Prime Minister". The workers burnt the Internet version of the book and posters of Baru outside the election office.

Former district Congress president KK Bawa, senior Congress leader Amarjeet Singh Tikka, Congress leaders Ramesh Joshi, Sushil Malhotra and Usha Malhotra led the protest.

The leaders said the book was released to malign the image of the Prime Minister.

The workers also slammed political rivals who commented on Manmohan Singh on the basis of the book.



Electronic voting machines to be kept at farm varsity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
Security on the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) campus has been beefed up in view of the Lok Sabha elections. After the completion of voting, the electronic voting machines (EVMs) would be kept at the PAU and the counting of votes would also be done there.

The EVMs have been kept at the PAU for the past several years as the campus is considered a "safe" place.

The district administration has taken control of the PAU gymnasium, Dr Sukhdev Singh Bhawan, examination hall where these machines would be kept till the counting of votes on May 16.

To make security foolproof, the windows of these buildings have been bricked. "We have sealed the rooms properly to prevent any person from tampering with the EVMs," said a senior district administration official. Meanwhile, the number of police personnel on the PAU campus has been increased. "Whenever Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal visits the city, he stays at Sutton House and that is why security has been beefed up on the campus," said a district administration official.

The PAU students feel with security having been beefed up, the gymnasium would be out of bounds for them. "Though it is necessary for the district administration to beef up security on the campus, arrangements should be made in such a manner that these don’t affect the students," said a student.



An inspiration for many
Tribune News service

Ludhiana, 14 April
Congress candidate for the Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat Ravneet Singh Bittu said Dr BR Ambedkar's vision had given a strong base to the country. "Dr Ambedkar has guided us to work for equality, secularism and integrity and every citizen of India has followed his thoughts," said Bittu.

He said some communal elements were trying harming the nation. "The Congress has made sacrifices. It has always worked for the development of the country," he said. Among others present included district Congress (rural) president Malkit Singh Dakha, MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Jasbir Lavan, Naresh Sodai, Sushil Malhotra, Sheela Masih, KK Bawa, Samay Singh Birla, Jodha Ram Jakhmi, Vikram Chauhan, Puneet Chauhan, Rahul Pohal, Banwari Lal Sagla, Shiv Kumar Parcha, Peetu Gill, Mahinder, Arvind Kala, Sheetal Pardhan, Subhash, Mohan Lal, Mamta Mohini, Majinder Kaur and KIshan Lal.


Khanna: The Congress-PPP alliance took out a rally to garner support for Congress candidate Sadhu Singh Dharmsot. Dharmsot appealed to residents to vote for him as he was aware of their problems. He assured them of developing the area. Senior PPP leader Gurpreet Singh Bhatti said they would make a clean sweep. MLA Gurkirat Singh Kotli also addressed the residents. — OC



Ludhiana scan
101 units of blood collected

Volunteers donate blood at a camp in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

As many as 101 units of blood were collected at a camp organised by Shri Guru Nanak Sewa Mission in association with the NGO Zindagi Live Foundation. The Mayor, Harcharan Singh Gohlawaria, inaugurated the blood donation camp and donated the vital fluid as well. The camp was held under the supervision of Dr Victor Masih and a team from Christian Medical College and Hospital. The Mayor appreciated the foundation for sponsoring the transfusion medicines and filters of 94 underprivileged thalassaemia patients. He was also all praises for mission for holding such camps.


A district-level meeting of Master Cadre Union, Ludhiana, was held on Monday. The meeting was presided over by state finance secretary Jagjit Singh and district president Dharamjit Singh Dhillon. After the meeting, the members met Election Officer Surabhi Malik and demanded that women should not be deputed as presiding officers and at least two female employees should be deputed in a polling party.

Free meals

On the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir, members of Bhagwan Mahavir Sewa Sansthan arranged free meals for the patients and their attendants at Bhagwan Mahavir Civil Hospital. Sansthan president Rakesh Jain and Kamal Jain, president, Atam Jain Society, were present on the occaions.

Medical camp

The National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA) organised a free respiratory camp to mark the organisation’s installation day. A team of doctors led by Dr Surinder Gupta, Dr Rajesh Thapar, Dr KK Kohli, Dr Diwaker Sharma, Dr Sangeeta Chhabra, Dr Rahul Jain, Dr Sarjivan Sharma, Dr Bharat Bhushan Chhabra and Dr Ramandeep Singh examined the patients. Sixty patients were provided free services at the camp. Vitalometery test was conducted to check the air holding capacity of lungs. Those found deficient were counselled and given free medicines.

Swine flu: One tests positive

A 32-year-old patient from Hoshiarpur has been reported to be positive for swine flu. The patient is admitted at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

Sikh mission in Nepal

Doraha: In order to promote Sikh philosophy, the Shiromini Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee will set up a Sikh mission in Nepal. This was stated by SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar at the executive committee meeting held at Gurdwara Katana Sahib recently. He said Dharam Parchaar Committee secretary Satbir Singh and SGPC secretary Roop Singh would look into it and prepare the plan. Recalling the contributions of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, Makkar said: "A special religious function will be held at Gurdwara Fatehgarh Sahib from May 12 to 14." The jathedar also informed the gathering about a hi-tech machine set up for cancer patients at Guru Ram Das Medical Sciences and Research College, Amritsar, which would become operational in the coming days.

Six held for selling meat

Khanna: The police raided six shops in Khanna and Samrala and registered cases against the shopkeepers for selling meat and eggs on Mahavir Jayanti. The sale of meat, eggs and all types of non-vegetarian items was banned by the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner. Cases were registered under Section 188 of the IPC against four shopkeepers in Samrala and two in Khanna. The arrested persons were later released on bail.

— Tribune Reporters



From schools
Thanksgiving mass

Ludhiana: The ceremonial beginning of the golden jubilee year of Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, kicked off at the school auditorium, where the staff and students gathered to offer prayers. The mass started with prayers by Rt Rev Dr Franco Mulukkal (bishop of Jalandhar diocese). The vicar generals, parish priests, provincial superior, corporate manager and other sisters of the northern province were welcomed by Sister Chantal, the school principal. She also unveiled the golden jubilee logo. The bishop released a souvenir on the journey of the school. The golden jubilee calendar was presented to him and Sister Maria Leena, provincial superior.

Baisakhi celebrations

Ram Lal Public School organised a dance competition to celebrate Baisakhi. Students came attired in folk dresses. Giddha, bhangra and folk dances were performed by the students. School principal Suman Arora told the students the significance of the festival. Rose Playway School, too, celebrated the harvest festival. The school was decorated with festoons, wheat stalks, dhol, etc. Children danced on a number of Punjabi songs. School director Tarannum Fatma wished all the tiny tots and gave away prizes to the “Sohni Mutiyaar” and “Gabru Munda”.

Adventure camp

A fun-filled adventure camp was organised at KVM City Campus. Children took part in various activities with enthusiasm. The main attractions were flying fox, net climbing, rappelling, zorbing ball, rope climbing, commando net, rope bridge, monkey crawl and cat crawl. Students were divided into different groups. Many games such as treasure hunt, ball collection, water collection, tug of war, Australian trolley and tent pitching were also held to entertain the students. Headmistress Namita Raj Singh and teachers, too, took part in the camp.

Martial art test

Dragon Tiger Technique, a school of the Chinese martial art form Kung Fu, conducted a belt-grading test for children of their school. Over 50 students took the test. They displayed their skills to upgrade their belt. Uday Chandna, Manjul and Krish said they were very happy to have won their first yellow belt. The best student award was given to Balkar Singh (12) and Aditya (5). — TNS



Child trafficking
4-member SIT to probe case
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
The police will investigate the alleged child trafficking case in which two Railway Protection Force (RPF) officers were booked for kidnapping a three-year-old girl. A four-member special investigation team (SIT), including Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police MS Dhesi, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Deepak Hillori, ACP Jaswinder Singh and in-charge CIA- II Rajesh Kumar, has been set up.

The woman, whose granddaughter was kidnapped, had approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court demanding an independent probe into the matter.

She had alleged that the Government Railway Police (GRP) washed its hands of the matter by simply registering the case.

Sources said the registration of the case against ASI Manohar Lal and constable Surjit Kaur was a face-saving measure by the GRP so that they could state in the court that action had been taken against the RPF officers and the matter was under investigation.

An FIR, a copy of which is with Ludhiana Tribune, was lodged in September last year after victim Urmila (grandmother), a resident of Ambedkar Colony in Khanna, with the help of social activist Sameer Vij, brought the matter to the notice of the higher authorities.

Urmila is a juggler and used to perform acts along with her two granddaughters on moving trains to earn a living. She said the incident took place on January 19 last year when she was returning home from Mullanpur Dakha.

Urmila stated in her complaint that when the train reached Baddowal, a woman grabbed her by arm. She claimed that she was a child rights' activist and rescued children who were forced to work.

Urmila told the woman that both the girls were her (Urmila's) granddaughters. But the woman took her to the RPF office where ASI Manohar Lal and constable Surjit Kaur allegedly confined her and her elder granddaughter for half-an-hour while the woman took away her three-year-old granddaughter.

Urmila said when they were released, she asked the police about the whereabouts of her younger granddaughter. She alleged that Manohar Lal and constable Surjit Kaur told her that the woman had taken her granddaughter to an orphanage.

Urmila claimed that ever since their was no clue of her three-year-old grand daughter.

Several teams were set up by the RPF and the GRP to trace the girl, but to no avail.



Heart diseases on the rise among rural population, says doc
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
The urban-rural divide in the state is decreasing in terms of the incidence of lifestyle diseases. In Punjab, both rural and urban areas report a very high incidence of diabetes, high blood cholesterol level and obesity, says Dr Harinder Singh Bedi, head of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at Christian Medical College and Hospital.

"These, in turn, manifest as cardiac problems. Around 35 per cent of the heart patients are from Doaba region," he says.

In rural areas, the hard manual labour is now being done by migrant workers, but the native population continues to take cholesterol-rich diet. As a result the body is unable to metabolise all the calories consumed, leading to deposits in the arteries.

Dr Bedi says, in such a scenario, people should eat less fried food, butter and ghee besides exercising every day.

"Exercise daily for around 45 minutes and reduce stress in life," he says.

An analytical study conducted by Dr Bedi at Phagwara during a medical check-up camp revealed that people with heart disease in the area were more likely to die before reaching a hospital than their urban counterparts because of the delay in proper care.

Dr Bedi stresses on addressing the root cause of heart disease in Punjab.

"Punjabi diet is very rich in calories as compared to that of the population living in the southern part of the country. It is for this reason that we are witnessing so many cases of people at young age having heart attacks," the expert says.



Paper on road safety a hit with students
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, April 14
Students who appeared for the “environment education and road safety” paper conducted by Panjab University recently welcomed the component on road safety. They said preparing for the section made them aware of rules and regulations to be followed on roads.

It was two years back that the university had changed the nomenclature of “environment education” to “environment education and road safety” by adding 20 questions on road safety to the compulsory paper.

Purnoor Jawanda, a student of BA-I, said the portion on road safety was very educative.

“The questions related to different road signs, Motor Vehicle Act, driving licences, traffic helpline numbers, accidents, speed limit, significance of white line and yellow line on the road, alcohol test, certificate of registration, importance of helmet, etc,” he said.

“The younger generation, generally, don’t follow traffic rules. This is the reason the section on road safety was added to the compulsory paper of environment education,” said Harpreet Dua, PU Senator.

“Besides regular subjects, if youngsters are sensitised to such crucial issues, things can change for the better. In the majority of cases, accidents occur because drivers are not aware of road safety and traffic rules,” said Prof Arun Singla of AS College, Khanna.

The Deputy Superintendent of Police, Payal, Bhupinder Singh Bhikhi, said: “Panjab University has done a really good job by making road safety a compulsory subject. Most traffic violations and accidents are caused by the youth. Educating them means lesser violations, accidents and deaths.”



Sickles fast becoming obsolete
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Sickles on sale at a shop in Ludhiana. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, April 14
With the adoption of modern implements in agriculture, sickle is becoming obsolete during the harvesting season. Gone are the days when farmers used to buy sickles before Baisakhi to harvest the wheat crop.

Ludhiana-made sickles were known for their sharp blade and durability. Farmers used to make a beeline for the local market of agricultural tools near Gill Chowk to buy these sickles.

With time, a large number of sickle makers shifted to making garden cutters and other equipment, which are in demand.

"Nowadays, sickles are not in demand. We used to sell thousands of sickles during the harvesting season. Nowadays, farmers prefer reapers,” said Harbans Singh, a shopkeeper who sells agricultural tools in the city.

Jagroop Singh, senior economist at the Punjab Agricultural University, said: "Due to the shortage of labour, manual harvesting proves costly. The new technology, i.e. reaper, is a viable alternative."

"Sickle used to be the primary tool of farming. There are several traditional couplets on the relevance of sickles in an agrarian society. Manual harvesting is now a thing of the past. With time, sickles will become an antique item, to be preserved in museums,” said Janmeja Singh Johal, an artist.



Tax relief for partnership firms?
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
In what could bring a major relief to partnership companies, the Income Tax Department is set to clarify that income of a firm that has been exempted from tax cannot be taxed for the profit credited to the firm’s partners.

Earlier, even if the taxable income of a firm was nil due to certain deductions and exemptions, some assessing officers levied tax on the profit credited to its partners. This led to disputes and some taxpayers challenged this in courts.

"After looking into the issue, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has decided to clarify that such income in the hands of partners will be completely exempted," said a senior I-T official.

The partners who had already paid taxes on such income might be allowed to get refunds or adjustments against their future tax liability.

"The income of a company is to be taxed in the hands of the company alone. This can, under no circumstances, be taxed in the hands of its partner," states a CBDT circular that is likely to be made public soon.

However, partners' interest income from capital in account and the remuneration they receive from the company will continue to be taxable according to the provisions of the I-T Act.



New range of plywood

Ludhiana: Kamdhenu Ispat Limited, a TMT bars, structural steel and paint manufacturing company in India, has entered the Punjab market with its trademark Kamdhenu Plywood. Company director Sunil Agarwal said the fast growing state of Punjab had a huge demand for building and interior materials, and the company wanted to tap this market.

Bed sheets launched

After venturing into the home textile segment by launching premium quality towels, Mafatlal Industries is now launching premium cotton bed sheets. The company officials said the decision was taken after the towels received a positive response.

Showroom inaugurated

Bath Valley opened a showroom of designer tiles in the city. The showroom provides a wide array of tiles. Residents can also visit the showroom for buying bathroom fittings. — TNS



Floral tributes paid to Dr Ambedkar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 14
On the birth anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar, Vishwa Guru Ravidass Mission organised a bicycle march today. The event aimed at apprising the poor of the right to vote. Chief Engineer, Powercom, Ludhiana, Rashpal Singh flagged off the rally.

The Bhartiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj held a 'Chetna' march at Civil Lines. Vickey Sahota, state secretary, Punjab, VIjay Manav, national joint secretary, and Ravi Bali, state convener for (BHAVADHAS) were a part of the rally.

BHAVADHAS leaders urged people to follow in the footsteps of Dr Ambedkar.

The Mulnivasi Sangh celebrated the birth anniversary of Dr Ambedkar near the Jalandhar bypass.

Floral tributes were paid by members of the Dr Ambedkar Mission Employees Federation, Ludhiana.The Ludhiana Bhalai Manch too celebrated the day. Members of the Nationalist Congress Party also remembered Dr Ambedkar.



Firing at food and supplies controller's office
Employees ask for security cover

Ludhiana, April 14
After two persons opened fire at the District Food and Civil Supplies Controller's office at Sarabha Nagar a few days ago, the staff want the department to step up security.

It was on April 9 that two persons, owing allegiance to the Akali Dal, gained entry into the office and fired gunshots. The tendering process was under way when the incident occurred. With the process resuming tomorrow, the staff have written to the Police Commissioner urging him to deploy police personnel. "We have asked the Commissioner to deploy more officials," said DFSC Dr Sona Thind. — TNS



Cricket meet: Jawahar Coaching Centre win title clash
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 14
Penetrative bowling by Lincon (5 for 13) and sensible batting by Vicky (42) enabled Jawahar Coaching Centre, Jalandhar, to script a five-wicket victory in the final against SDP Coaching Centre, Ludhiana, during the eighth Sanjeev Kaushik Cricket Tournament for Boys (U-16) at Bharat Box Factory cricket ground on Jail Road.

Jawahar Coaching Centre’s decision to invite SDP Coaching Centre to bat first turned out to be a wise one as the latter could muster only 93 runs in their quota of 20 overs. Deepak was the highest scorer with 27 runs while Abhinav made 25 runs.

For the visitors, Lincon and Mahesh ran through SDP Coaching Centre’s batting line-up. Lincon bowled four overs and scalped five victims for 13 runs while Mahesh captured three wickets in as many overs after giving away 23 runs.

The target set by the local outfit appeared to be a meagre one as Jawahar Coaching Centre surpassed the total in 16.1 overs, losing five wickets. Vicky played the sheet anchor role with 42 runs and Bobby contributed 22 runs which saw their team to achieve the target quire comfortably.

Bobby and Lincon from Jawahar Coaching Centre were declared the man of the tournament and the best bowler, respectively.

Narinder Kala, councillor, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, and Inderjeet Kaushik distributed the prizes.



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