L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Auditors rap Improvement Trust
Ask it to ascertain annual income of civic body from 2007 to 2013; recover dues running into crores
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 22
Auditors from the Local Fund Audit Department, Punjab, have pulled up the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) for the non-recovery of Rs 66.70 crore which accounts for 2 per cent of the annual income of the Municipal Corporation from 1973-74 to 2006-07. If the similar contribution from 2007-08 to 2012-13 is taken into account, the total outstanding amount will exceed Rs 100 crore.

A copy of the audit report of LIT for 2012-13, obtained under the Right to Information Act, 2005, by Arvind Sharma, secretary, Council of RTI Activists, revealed that the MC had not paid 2 per cent of its total income from 1973-74 to date.

As per Section 68 of the Punjab Town Improvement Act, 1992, the civic body is required to 2 per cent of its annual income to LIT.

The auditors pointed out that based on the annual budget of the MC from 1973-74 to 2006-07, the total amount payable by the MC to LIT worked out to Rs 66.70 crore. The audit note states that LIT authorities had, apparently, not made any concerted efforts to effect the recovery of the outstanding amount.

The auditors have asked the LIT to ascertain the annual income of the MC from 2007-08 to 2012-13 and build pressure on the civic body for recovery of the municipal contribution for the period as well.

“In case of reluctance on the part of the MC to make the payment, the matter for recovery of outstanding municipal contribution could be taken up with the Principal Secretary, Local Government, Punjab,” the auditors had recorded on the audit note.



Rs 300-crore jolt to MC
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
The ‘cash-starved’ civic body has suffered losses to the tune of over Rs 300 crore. Reason: Officials’ failure to recover dues.

The officials admitted that they were to recover money from house tax, water bills, building branch and octroi tax branches but whenever their teams acted against defaulters, pressure was mounted on them and they had to step back.

Replying to an application filed by an RTI activist, Rohit Sabharwal, the Joint Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, through a letter 109, MOEO issued on April 21, 2014, (a copy of which is with The Tribune), said Rs 22 crore was to be recovered by the building branch. Apart from this, water bills amounting to Rs 212.91 crore, recoveries to the tune of Rs 63.67 crore and Rs 23 crore were to be effected by the house tax and octroi tax branches.

An MC official said the civic body could be financially comfortable, if the recoveries were made on time.

"But the recoveries are never made religiously by the officials. By the end of the financial year, the MC gears up to effect recoveries and then interests are also waived. But this should be an ongoing process. Besides, when teams go to make recoveries from defaulters, political leaders/councillors come in the way and the team members avoid landing themselves in trouble,” said the official.

Although the officials claim to have made the recoveries, a huge amount is still pending with the civic body.

Spokesperson for Congress councillors Parminder Mehta said unless penalties were imposed on defaulters, recoveries could not be made. "Besides, the officials should be held accountable, if they adopt dilly-dallying tactics,” said Mehta. 


Police rule out suicide in teenager’s case 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
The mystery behind the killing of 18-year-old Nisha, whose burnt body was found in the bathroom of her house at EWS Colony near Samrala Chowk yesterday, has deepened. The police have ruled out the possibility of suicide and have registered a murder case against unidentified persons.

The case was registered after the station house officer (SHO) of the Division No. 7 Paramjit Singh found some lose ends in the statement of the victim's parents.

The victim's parents said the incident took place at 1.45 pm and Nisha succumbed to injuries at 2.30 pm.

"The girl’s mother Nirmala was at home and despite neighbours spotting smoke emitting from the house, the victim’s cries went unheard. The body was partially burnt which I doubt could lead to death? There was no sign of struggle. Moreover, the victim's mother did not raise the alarm when the incident took place," observed Paramjit Singh.

The police are suspecting that Nisha was killed and then set on fire to make it appear that the victim had committed suicide. He said after registering the murder case against unidentified persons, the body was sent to the Civil Hospital for postmortem.

"But the autopsy report has been inconclusive. The viscera report has been sent to the special laboratory to find out the exact cause of death. To begin with, we have registered a murder case against unidentified persons and started the investigations,” said Inspector Paramjit Singh.

Honour killing angle being probed

The police said honour killing could be the reason behind the murder. Now, they are trying ascertaining if the girl had an affair. The family hails from Haryana. The victim's father, Mann Singh, is employed with a private factory unit. Sources said thepolice had rounded up a few persons for questioning.

Board conducts postmortem

The board of Dr Pardeep Mhaindra, Dr Sandeep Chopra and Dr Mala conducted the victim's postmortem on Tuesday. The board stated that the victim was first killed and then set on fire. However, the board has suggested to send the viscera to ascertain the exact cause of death.



Kidnapped boy rescued 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
The Model Town police has rescued the 16- year-old boy who was kidnapped by a jilted lover from the Parkashpuri area near Abdullahpur Basti on the intervening night of April 20 and 21.

Giving details about the rescue operation, SHO, Model Town police station, Gurdev Singh said the boy, Amarjit, was found from Kathgarh village in Nawanshahr.

"Our priority was to safely rescue the child and we have succeeded in it. Now, our focus is to arrest the accused, Jatinderpal Singh, and his accomplices," said SHO Gurdev Singh.

The victim reportedly told the police that the accused first took him to Chandigarh and from there they took him to Nawanshahr.

SHO Gurdev Singh stated that the accused left the boy alongside a road in Kathgarh village. Sources said the police had mounted pressure on the family of Jatinderpal which led to the release of the Amarjit.

In her statement to the police, Amarjit's sister said she and Jatinderpal were in love with each other. However, due to family pressure, Amarjit's sister got married to Jatinderpal’s maternal uncle.

But barely after two days she deserted her husband and eloped with Jatinderpal. Both of them were into live-in relationship and were staying in Phagwara. After some time, the girl asked Jatinderpal to solemnise a marriage, but the latter refused.

She left Jatinderpal and returned to her paternal house. She told the police that Jatinderpal was mounting pressure on her to start living with him. When she refused, Jatinderpal along with his accomplices arrived at the house on the midnight of April 21 and kidnapped Amrajit Singh. 

Fallen in love

Sixteen- year-old Amarjit was kidnapped by his sister’s lover, Jatinderpal, on the intervening night of April 20 and 21. The girl eloped with Jatinderpal two days after her marriage. The two were staying in Phagwara. When Jatinderpal refused to marry the girl, she went to her paternal house. To avenge her move, the accused kidnapped the boy.



Principal Secy takes stock of wheat procurement
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 22
The principal secretary, Punjab, A Venu Parsad took stock of the procurement of wheat in the Asia’s biggest grain market in Khanna, today.

Parsad analysed some wheat from the heaps and concluded that moisture content was appropriate.

The secretary of the market committee, Khanna, Bharpur Singh, said the principal secretary has directed the officials concerned to make arrangements for smooth purchase.

Parsad said lifting, cleanings, and purchases should be in order and that there should be no glut of the crop in the market, said Bharpur.

Bharpur claimed that the purchasing agencies have already purchased 20,631 MT of wheat so far. Last year the purchase was 65,800 MT.



MC officials to join inquiry in Amritsar
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
Following the directions by the High Court, seven officials from the Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, will leave for Amritsar on April 25 to probe into the illegal structures erected in the vicinity of the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

A letter in this regard was issued by the Special Principal Secretary to the Deputy Chief Minister, Punjab, Rahul Tiwari, to the Commissioner Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana on April 16.

Rahul Tiwari has asked Municipal Corporation Commissioner, Ludhiana, to send Isha Kalia, Additional Commissioner, Ludhiana, Dr Sumit Jarangal, Additional Commissioner, Ludhiana, Kamaljit Kaur ATP Headquarter, Rajiv Saggar, inspector Headquarter, Vijay, draftsman Zone-D, Satish- draftsman Headquarter, to reach the office of Municipal Corporation, Amritsar, on April 25 to assist the committee in the inquiry.

Tiwari has asked the MC Commissioner to make sure that the officials reach the venue on time as the matter is time-bound. First report in this regard is to be submitted to the government by May 5.

Notably, the High Court had strictly asked the state government to give the detailed report of the commercial buildings constructed in and around the galiara (Golden Temple) and outside the wall-city of Amritsar. Following these directions, the state government had constituted a committee, headed by Rahul Tiwari (the name was approved by the High Court), to look into the matter.

Tiwari said commercial buildings such as hotels and guest houses were constructed near the Golden Temple in violation of the building bylaws.

“The next date of hearing is May 16,” said Tiwari.

Fact file

*n The Special Principal Secretary to Deputy Chief Minister wrote to the MC Commissioner to spare six officials

* The officials will probe into the illegal structures near Golden Temple, Amritsar

* The committee members will reach Amritsar on April 25 to look into the matter

* Next date of hearing in the High Court is May 16 



Women cops uproot benches from MC park
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
In the absence of a proper sitting arrangement, women cops, deployed in Sarabha Nagar market, have uprooted chairs, installed by the Municipal Corporation (MC), at a public park in Sarabha Nagar and have placed it as per their discretion.

Women constables are complaining of joint pains as a result of standing for hours altogether. Although they take support of their scooters, but no provision of sitting arrangement has taken a heavy toll on women on duty.

Residents, who often sit in the park, have objected to the action of woman cops.

“The Police Department should make adequate sitting arrangements for the women cops so that they do not uproot benches and chairs from the public parks. Perhaps, the woman cops did not realise that by uprooting the chair they have committing an offence. They need to be taught about the law of the land,” said Rupinder Singh, a frequent visitor to the market.

On the other hand, a cop, on the condition of anonymity, said, “We are also human. Can you sand for eight hours in scorching heat? Life of women cop is not easy. We even have to struggle to find washrooms.” 



Three hurt as car rams into divider

Ludhiana, April 22
Three persons had a miraculous escape as the car they were travelling in overturned after ramming into a divider near Jamalpur Chowk on Chandigarh Road today.

The trio, identified as Sudesh Panday, Mayank and Vishal, all residents of Chandigarh, suffered minor injuries.

The incident took place around 7 am when the three were heading to Chandigarh.

When they reached near Jamalpur Chowk, a stray dog came in front of their vehicle. In a bid to save the dog, the driver rammed the vehicle into the divider.

The injured were rushed to the hospital. The accident caused a traffic jam. — TNS



e-books no match to fun of holding, reading a book, say city bibliophiles
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
On the occasion of the World Book Day, bibliophiles in the city still consider books as man’s best friend. In the age of technology, however, few like to read books and even fewer would want to splurge money on them. Man has indeed become a slave to technology. But devoted booklovers will continue to be loyal to their first love-books.

No matter how much information online websites or social media offer, books will always be my companion, says Rohit, a booklover.

To the utter disappointment of booklovers, there are hardly two or three bookshops in the city. Lack of reading culture here is increasingly taking a toll on the booklovers. Some of the book cafes had to close down, because of the absence of readers. Even the public libraries lie vacant.

“Listening to an online lecture is not a substitute for face-to-face teaching. Similarly, reading ebooks is nowhere near to the joy of holding and reading a book,” said Sumeet Kaur from DD Jain College.

“Children are hardly reading any books these days. They spend hours browsing internet, using social media and playing games on mobile phones,” says Sumeet.

“One cannot gain understanding, analytical skills and perspective without reading,” says Harpreet, another resident. 



Modi to address rally on April 25
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will visit the city to address a rally on April 25.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal and BJP state chief Kamal Sharma will also attend the rally. Earlier, Narendra Modi had addressed a rally at Jagraon.

Today, during the roadshow of SAD-BJP candidate Manpreet Singh Ayali, BJP workers were seen wearing Modi masks to show their support for the BJP leader.

Leader expelled

The party today expelled Avinash Sharma, co-convener of the Punjab BJP Beopar Cell, for six years for indulging in "anti-party activities". According to the district BJP president Parveen Bansal, Sharma was openly supporting a candidate contesting as an Independent in the Lok Sabha polls.

Bains writes to CEC

Independent candidate Simarjit Singh Bains today wrote a letter to the Chief Election Commissioner, complaining against an official of the Punjab State Power Corporation for allegedly issuing 500 demand notices illegally on the instructions of the ruling alliance to favour the SAD-BJP candidate.

AAP’s HS Phoolka flays “established” politicos

Aam Aadmi Party candidate HS Phoolka, during his campaign in the city today, said that every section of society was fed up with the established political parties. "The established politicos feel threatened by the supremacy of an 'aam aadmi' and they have started using various illegal means such as distributing drugs and alcohol to the youth to garner votes," he said.

Administration seeks list of sensitive booths

The district administration has asked candidates contesting the elections to provide a list of polling stations and booths they consider sensitive and need deployment of extra force. The candidates should submit the list at the earliest for the consideration of the administration, said Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal.

Congress workers stage ‘symbolic’ protest

The Congress, during a protest against the alleged anti-development policies of the state government on Tuesday, sold packets of sand at Congress candidate Ravneet Singh Bittu's election office in Gurdev Nagar.

“The SAD-BJP government's anti-development policies have ruined the state's economy. The real estate is in doldrums. Unemployment has increased manifold,” said former district Congress president KK Bawa.



SAD manifesto a let-down for farmers: PAU economists
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
Farm economists at Punjab Agricultural University have criticised the Shiromani Akali Dal for neglecting farmers in its election manifesto.

The farm economists say nothing has been announced for farmers or the farming sector in the manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections that was released by the party at Bathinda yesterday.

An economist said people expected the SAD to do something for the benefit of farmers.

“Sadly, nothing concrete has been announced for farmers or farming community as a whole. The Akalis have been stating for a long time that they would get a survey done on farmer suicides since 2010. Nothing has been done despite several announcements,” he said.

A farm scientist said that between 2000 and 2010, 6,926 farmers committed suicide in the state.

“There is a dire need of a survey related to farmer suicides after 2010 because till the survey gets completed, the state government cannot grant compensation to the aggrieved family. The state government should formulate such a policy wherein the families should be paid compensation immediately,” said a farm scientist.

Rajwant Singh, a farmer from Raikot, said a farmer from his village committed suicide in the 2013, but his family had received no compensation in the absence of a survey.

“We all know that carrying out such surveys takes ages. We were hoping that the ruling party would make some announcement in this regard in the election manifesto,” he said.



fatehgarh sahib votes 2014
Election scene hots up in & around Mandi Ahmedgarh
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 22
Even as candidates contesting the Lok Sabha elections from the Fatehgarh Sahib constituency are finding it hard to cover the vast area spread from Roopnagar in east to Raikot in west, local supporters of various parties are busy campaigning in the town and surrounding areas.

Besides organising ward-level meetings and rallies, they are undertaking door-to-door campaigning in mornings and evenings.

Supporters of SAD-BJP candidate Kulwant Singh are seeking votes in the name of legislator Iqbal Singh Jhoondan, who according to them had brought massive grants for development of the town.

Constructions of Pohir Road, Jandali Road and Jagera Road besides sanctioning of Rs 25.43 crore sewerage strengthening project are being projected as major achievements of the legislator.

“As pending developmental works need funds from the state government, we should strengthen the position of our legislator, Jhoondan, so that he can impress upon the Chief Minister to sanction more grants for the town,” say supporters of the SAD nominee, led by former municipal council president Ravinder Puri.

Supporters of Congress nominee Sadhu Singh Dharmsot, meanwhile, are seeking votes in the name of secularism and creation of a stronger government at the Centre.

Congress leaders, too, are trying their best to woo leaders of local social and political organisations who are unhappy with the SAD legislator.

In-charges of various wings of the Congress, including Jaswinder Singh Sond, Jagga Ram Dharmsot, Bittu Singla and Ravinder Kumar, are trying their best to convince members of their community to vote for party candidate Dharmsot.

Following an impressive roadshow by Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal, party nominee HS Khalsa has started receiving support from those who are disappointed with the state and union governments for varied reasons.

Office-bearers and activists of the Ahmedgarh Ekta Manch, who had launched a movement to get long-pending demands of the town residents accepted, are seeking votes for the AAP nominee.



Drugs cast a shadow on election campaigning in region
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 22
After the district administration tightened the noose around candidates and their supporters who used to woo voters with poppy husk and other habit-forming drugs, addicts are facing a shortage of their “lifeline” supplies.

In the absence of complementary supplies, they have to pay exorbitant prices for rarely available inferior quality and adulterated commodities.

Drug peddlers mix adulterants such as saw dust, rice bran and de-oiled cake to increase the quantity of contraband. Some drug addicts from the Raikot Assembly segment, reportedly, submitted a memorandum to a candidate contesting the Lok Sabha poll from Fatehgarh Sahib seeking opening of poppy husk vends.

Shiromani Akali Dal MP from Malwa, reportedly, went to the extent of telling villagers in her constituency that she had suggested to the Chief Minister to open a licensed poppy husk vend in the state.

Also, a candidate contesting from the Ludhiana Lok Sabha constituency, who had launched a movement against drug addiction a few months ago, reportedly, had to face the ire of drug peddlers and leaders of his own party shielding them.

The addicts are reported to have coordinated with drivers and staff of trucks and other vehicles plying between the region and neighbouring states where poppy husk is easily available. However, they have to pay Rs 300 to Rs 400 per mug.

Some addicts are reported to have gone to the extent of preserving and drinking rain water from a pit into which two bags of poppy husk being smuggled through a train fell.

Couriers working for drug peddlers, reportedly, threw jute bags containing poppy husk from a train and when they reached the spot they found the bags had fallen into a pit partially filled with rainwater. 



Supporters deface public property
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 22
The Prevention of Property Defacement Act, 1997, is being violated with impunity in the town and surrounding areas falling under Sangrur and Ludhiana districts. Ignoring directions of the State Election Commission, supporters of candidates continue defacing the public property.

Though some cases under the Act were registered against unknown persons for pasting posters carrying appeals and pictures of some candidates, no suspect has been identified yet.

Also, in some cases, FIRs were registered on complaint of police officers on patrol duty.

However, officials of various government departments who have been advised to get the posters removed seem to have ignored defacement of their own office buildings.

Not only privately owned properties, offices of the civic body, joint sub-registrars, market committees and education department besides government schools, too, have not been spared by the violators. 



Volunteers create awareness
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
Vintage cars including Volkswagen Beetle, 1961 Fiat, 1956 Studebaker and Willy Jeep were part of a rally organised to motivate residents to vote here today.

Starting and concluding at the Sarabha Nagar market, the rally covered Ghumar Mandi, Mall Road and Model Town.

Inderjit Singh Gill from Punjab Heritage Motoring Club said value of a vote could not be undermined.

“If you don’t vote, your vote can be misused; so it becomes all the more important to vote,” he said.

Members of Volunteers for Better India also took part in the rally. A street play titled “Sau Pratishat Vote” was performed in the market by students of the Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology.

Antarpreet, a student, said the play was being organised for the third time. The play showed how the election day was treated as a holiday by many irresponsible people.

“It is only when all the opinions are expressed through voting, genuine representatives can be elected,” said a student.

He said it was important to vote, even if a person chose the “None Of The Above (NOTA)” option.



Drugs, liquor destroying families, says Belan Brigade
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
Drugs and liquor have destroyed many families in the state, said Anita Sharma, head of Belan Brigade, the women’s organisation campaigning against distribution of drugs and liquor in the run-up to the elections.

Sharma said while campaigning she and other members met a woman at Dasuha, whose husband had died after consuming liquor he got for free during elections.

She said at least 72 per cent rural households in the state are affected by drug abuse, thanks to politicians backing the drug mafia.

Sharma said though many organisations and firms were displaying advertisements encouraging people to vote, the zone-wise helpline numbers meant for lodging complaints were not being promoted enough. 



Teachers’ body to hold meeting today 
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
The election process for Punjab Agricultural University Teachers’ Association (PAUTA) has begun with the general body meeting being organised tomorrow. The term of the present PAUTA would end on April 30, but due to Lok Sabha elections, the PAUTA elections are likely to get scheduled after May 16, the day when the counting of votes would take place.

Like every time, the counting of votes would take place at different places inside the PAU campus and that is why, the PAUTA elections could not take place on time. Last year, the elections were held on April 30.

Last time, Dr Harmeet Singh Kingra was elected the PAUTA president by defeating his rival Dr Mukesh Siag by 19 votes. Dr Kingra got 354 votes whereas Dr Mukesh Siag got 335 votes.

While speaking to Ludhiana Tribune, Dr Harmeet Singh Kingra said they would hold their general house meeting tomorrow. “We will discuss several issues related to the welfare of PAU professors and a returning officer for the conduct of elections will also be appointed,” informed Dr Kingra.

The Punjab Agricultural University Teachers’ Association is a teachers’ body comprising of around 700 members, 200 of which are posted in different centres and research stations of PAU across the state.



Staff shortage hits studies at govt schools
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
City government schools have been facing shortage of teaching staff and employees leading to poor educational standards besides the advertisements by political parties, ruling in state and Centre, portraying them with state-of-the-art facilities.

Thousands of students have been suffering due to shortage of teachers. Moreover, a number of schools don’t even have school heads and principals.

There are 1,534 schools, including 144 senior secondary schools, 185 high schools, 190 middle schools and 1,014 primary schools in the district.

According to the information available on Education Department’s website, there are 934 posts of teachers vacant in schools of the district. There are total 10,842 posts of teachers that are sanctioned for senior secondary, high, middle and primary schools.

As per the data, the schools require 29 principals, 89 head masters, 70 lecturers, 191 master cadres, 20 vocational teachers and 415 primary school teachers on sectioned posts.

It is pertinent to mention here that, more than 15,000 youth, who has passed the Teacher Eligibility Test (TEST), are still struggling to get jobs.

Ragbir Singh, state president of Unemployed TET Passed Teachers’ Union, said, “As per the recommendations of the Right to Education Act, the state requires 50,000 more teachers in schools. We are well qualified and TET passed, still we have been struggling from last three years to get the jobs. The schools have been running without teachers but they don't have jobs for qualified teachers.”

Not only teachers, the schools have been facing sheer shortage of clerical staff and Class IV employees as well. The government had stopped the permanent recruitment of clerical staff and Class IV employees several years ago. Last year, the Education Department recruited 500 Class VI employees on daily wage contract.

Moreover, in absence of a school clerk, the school authorities depute some of the teachers for the clerical work. A number of teachers have been doing the clerical job at the District Education Office. In this case, the study suffers in schools.

Due to shortage of clerical staff, the school authorities also take help of computer teachers. The various teachers’ unions have asked teachers to boycott the non-educational works of school. Despite the call of unions, the teachers still do clerical work.

Apart from the clerical staff, most of the schools have also been running without a watchman and gardeners. In the absence of watchmen theft cases in schools have become a regular affair. The schools do not have appropriate number of peons. It has been learnt that the students are doing the tasks which are meant for peons.

The state government has recruited many teachers in the last few years. But we still require more teachers and other staff. We have sent a proposal to the higher authorities. We hope that the government will recruit more teachers soon. — Charanjit Singh, District Education Officer 



PSEB fails to take action against defaulters 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
The senior officials of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) did not take any action against the schools that have been running in less than 200 square yard area even after a negative report submitted by the depot manager of the board. The depot manager at PSEB office in Ludhiana submitted the report three weeks ago to the higher authorities of the board.

The district officials had submitted the report after conducting a survey of 27 schools in the district. According to the officials, more than 85 per cent schools failed to fulfill the criteria of the board. Earlier, the PSEB had ordered to shut down 800 associated schools, running in less than 200 square yards, across the state.

Now these schools have started with the re-admissions and new admissions. When asked, a school owner informed that they did not receive any instruction from PSEB so they would continue with the school for the next academic season.

These 27 schools in the district had raised an objection on the board’s move and demanded to recheck the status of their schools. The board officials had conducted a survey a month ago.

According to the information, some of the schools got a few square yards to fulfill the criteria of PSEB. While some of the schools bought a plot near to the schools to satisfy the board officials.

Balwinder Singh, district depot manager of PSEB, said, “I had visited all the 27 schools of the district, which claimed that they have fulfilled the criteria. I have sent the report to higher authorities to take further action. I don’t know why the authorities did not take any action till date.”



College notes


Bank branch opened

On the occasion of the World Earth Day, the State Bank of Patiala, in collaboration with Desh Bhagat University, opened its first green branch in the country at the student centre of the university.

Interactive session

An interactive session on ‘Feministic Perspective on Entrepreneurship’ was held at MTSM College. LMA Young Innovative Entrepreneur Award winner Sandeep Riat addressed the students. — TNS



From schools


Earth Day observed

Green Land Convent School, New Subhash Nagar, observed ‘Earth Day’. To create awareness among students, a PowerPoint presentation was shown to the students in the morning assembly to light a spark in their hearts for their mother earth. The students took a pledge to save flora and fauna from the deadly hands of growing industrialisation and urbanisation. A speech was given by the principal of the school, Jyoti Pujara, to motivate the students to join hands for the social and noble cause of saving earth.

School holds ‘Go Green’ rally

A function to mark Earth Day was organised at BCM in Basant City, Pakhowal Road. RB Khanna, Education Advisor, BCM institution, was the chief guest on the occasion. A rally was carried out on the school campus followed with slogan of 'Go Green' by the students of Classes I and II. Principal Amar Jyoti Chawla explained the importance of the day to the students.

Poster-making contest

Earth Day was observed at Atam Public Senior Secondary School to make the students aware about the deteriorating conditions of ‘mother earth’. Students took part in different types of activities such as poster making, slogan writing and fancy dress show. The students of Classes I, II and III participated in a rally held on the day holding banners related to the ocassion. Principal Uma Sadawarti along with teachers and students planted saplings to secure the greenery of earth. — TNS



Ludhiana scan

2 test positive for dengue

Two male patients have reported positive for dengue. Both the patients belong to Jalandhar and are undergoing treatment at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

World Earth Day

The Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha organised a function to celebrate World Earth Day at the Guru Nanak Khalsa Senior Secondary School (Gujjarkhan) Model Town on Tuesday. MS Bhatia addressed the gathering on the occasion. A quiz was conducted by Ranjit Singh. Pavandeep Singh, student of the school, recited a poem on environment on the occasion. School teachers Manpreet Kaur and Mandeep Singh also addressed the gathering.

CICU seminar

The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking (CICU) organised a seminar on ‘How to increase business with UAE’ on Monday. Avtar Singh, president, CICU, said the main objective of the programme was to make contacts and learn about the economic and financial benefits and assistance available to expand business. Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA) team will interact with industry leaders/decision makers to apprise them of the benefits of doing business from RAKIA Industrial Park and FTZ.

Comments condemned

Shahi Imam Punjab Maulana Habib-Ur-Rehman Sani Ludhianvi has condemned the comments of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Pravin Togadia and BJP leader Giri Raj Kishore. The Shahi Imam said both the leaders should understand that the Muslim community will never get frightened of their threats. — TNS



2 arrested for murder
Gurminder Grewal

Khanna, April 22
With the arrest of two persons, the Khanna police claimed to have solved a blind double murder case.

They have also impounded the car and seized sharp-edged weapons used in the crime.

Khanna SSP Harcharan Singh Bhullar said two bodies of a man and a woman were found near Gurthli Bridge on April 10. The deceased were identified as Gurpal Singh and Gurpreet Kaur, both hailing from Bathinda. The two were staying in Ludhiana, the police stated. Bhullar said a special investigation team was constituted to probe the case. He said two iron rods were recovered from the accused, Arpinder Singh, alias Sonu, and Sarabjit Singh, both residents of Ludhiana.

Bhullar added that the duo committed the crime for Rs 8 lakh.

Gurpal and Gurpreet wanted to buy a plot. The accused took Rs 8 lakh from the couple and sold them a plot by forging documents. On learning that Arpinder Singh was not the owner of the plot, Gurpal Singh told him to return his money or register the land in his name.

Arpinder asked Gurpal Singh to meet him at a nursery in Bulara village where he was attacked with sharp-edged weapons.

Gurpreet tried getting through to Gurpal all this while. The accused then called her up saying Gurpal was busy signing some papers and she could come to the nursery and meet him there.

When Gurpreet reached the place, the duo attacked her. Later, the two dumped the bodies near Gurthali Bridge and fled.

Bhullar said Khanna SP(D), DSP(D), CIA in-charge and Doraha SHO cracked the case and arrested the accused who confessed to have committed the crime. The police said Arpinder was booked in theft cases. A case under Sections 302, 201, 34 of the Indian Penal Code was registered against the accused.



86 challaned under tobacco Act
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 22
The Health Department today issued 86 challans under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA), 2003.

A fine of Rs 10,720 was collected. The challans were issued at the railway station, Clock Tower, local bus stand, Gyaspura Chowk, Dholewal, Gill Chowk, Atam Park near the ESIC hospital and Fountain Chowk. DHO Dr Avinash Kumar said they told shopkeepers not to violate the Act.

Ëvery year, 10 lakh people die due to tobacco consumption in India.

Civil Surgeon Dr Subhash Batta said: “It is mandatory to install a warning board outside shops where tobacco products are sold. The board should act as an advisory and mention that it is illegal to sell tobacco to people below 18 years. It should also mention that tobacco is injurious to health and causes cancer.”

The DHO said tobacco products should not be displayed outside shops.

“The sale of tobacco is not to be allowed within 100-m radius of educational institutions such as schools and colleges. People should not smoke at public places such as cinema halls, public parks and railway station,” he added. 



Annual poll: Lobbying intensifies at DBA 

Ludhiana, April 22
In view of the upcoming annual elections at the District Bar Association (DBA), hectic lobbying was witnessed by the candidates.

Former vice-presidents of DBA Vijay and Ashok and former secretary Gurvinder Singh Sodhi are contesting for the post of the president. For the post of vice-president, sitting vice-president of DBA Gurdeep Singh Salh, Rakesh Bhatia and Girish Anmol Sood are in the queue. Gurpreet Singh Arora, sitting DBA secretary Rustam Pal Singh and Rajesh Rai are fighting for the post of secretary. For the post of joint secretary, Damanpreet, Kamal, Ravinder and Vikram are in fray. Ravinder Arora Prince, Neeraj Mahajan, Amit Rai, Himanshu Walia and Kuldip Banga were struggling to ensure their victory for the post of finance secretary.

While six executive members were unanimously elected by returning officer, as no one else, but they filed nomination papers for the posts. — TNS



Hosts post mammoth score of 442 runs 
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 22
A century by Vaibhav Kalra and his partnership with Sajjanpreet helped Ludhiana to post a mammoth score of 442 runs on the opening day of the match against Bathinda in the Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Tournament (U-16) for ML Markan Trophy at Satish Chander Dhawan Government College ground here today.

Ludhiana skipper, Deepin Chitkara won the toss and decided to bat first. They went on to move the score board quickly and also lost wickets in the process.

Vaibhav scored 166 runs while Sajjanpreet remained unbeaten on 48 runs. For the visitors, Vaibhav Yadav remained the most successful bowler scalping eight wickets for 144 runs. 



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