L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bickering in Mahila Congress
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
All is not well with the Ludhiana District Mahila Congress. The Ludhiana (Urban) Mahila Congress President Leena Taparia is up in arms against the appointment of Asha Garg as the Acting President of the District Mahila Congress. The appointment was made last evening.

Taparia blamed the state Mahila Congress Chief Malti Thapar for "playing dirty politics". Calling the state unit of the Mahila Congress a "defunct unit", Taparia said she's paying the price for "working hard" in the party.

She said the report about the new appointment came as a shock to her. "The Ludhiana unit of the Mahila Congress has been doing very well. It's strange that changes were made without taking any of the senior leaders and the Ludhiana Member Parliament (MP) Ravneet Singh Bittu into confidence. This smacks of vindictiveness."

Taparia claimed she had worked hard during the Lok Sabha election campaign of the Congress. She said she would be leaving for Delhi tonight to meet the All-India Mahila Congress chief to apprise her of the situation. "Any decision about the office-bearers of the Mahila Congress can be taken only after consultations with the Punjab affairs in charge and the All-India Mahila Congress Chief. Besides, the decision has to be approved by the party high command," she said.

Thapar said the decision on appointing the Acting President was made at a meeting held in Chandigarh last evening. She said the final decision on Taparia's case would be taken by the party high command.

"The issue should not be blown out of proportion. There are some issues that are better settled within the party rather than bringing them out in the media," she said.

The state Mahila Congress chief said: "Taparia has been working hard. We see a wider role for her."

Thapar said the decision on the appointment of the Acting President was taken as Taparia was not attending the State Mahila Congress meetings. The decision was taken in the presence of the All India Mahila Congress secretary, who was in Chandigarh yesterday.

Post-poll power shift

In the faction-ridden district Congress, Taparia has been considered close to former MP Manish Tewari and the District Congress Committee Ludhiana (Urban) chief Pawan Dewan. Sources revealed after the Lok Sabha election, new power equations are emerging in Ludhiana and the changes in the Mahila Congress reflect these changed equations.

The District Congress Committee (DCC) of Ludhiana (Urban) President Pawan Dewan said: "The DCC does not interfere in the matters of the Mahila Congress."

Meanwhile, the post of the Ludhiana District (Rural) Mahila Congress chief remains vacant. In March, the District (Rural) Mahila Congress President, Neelam Kohli, had quit the Congress to join the Shiromani Akali Dal. She had alleged that the Congress had no place for committed workers. After Ravneet Singh Bittu's nomination as the Congress Lok Sabha candidate from Ludhiana, rumours were afloat that Kohli would rejoin the Congress. Kohli and Taparia were reportedly not on good terms with each other.

‘Chief indulging in petty politics’
Accusing the state unit Mahila chief of "indulging in petty politics", some members of the District Mahila Congress burnt Thapar's effigy. They alleged a certain section of the Congress did not want Bittu to win the election from Ludhiana.

More confusion
Adding to the confusion over new appointment, Malti Thapar said Asha Garg may be a possible replacement for Neelam Kohli who quit as District (Rural) Mahila Congress President


Continue with demolition drive, HC tells MC
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
During a hearing today, the Punjab and Haryana High Court asked the local Municipal Corporation to continue with its anti-encroachment drive. The next date of hearing in the contempt-of-court (4886) case is September 9, 2014.

The Assistant Town Planner (Headquarters), Kamaljit Kaur, said the court looked satisfied with the demolition drive. "We have been asked to continue with it. It has been made clear that these encroachments have to be removed and we will do our best to adhere to the court's directions," she said.

The alleged pick-and-choose policy of the MC was also highlighted in the court. It was conveyed that all these encroachments had to be removed so there was no such allegations. "Sooner or later, these have to be removed and none should interfere with the MC process. This was made clear by the court," said an official of the MC who attended the hearing.

The RTI activist, Rohit Sabharwal, who had filed the contempt-of-court application, said poor residents were being targeted while influential persons were being spared, to which the court said let the MC do its job and let all these encroachments be removed.

The MC authorities looked "relieved" this time. The court did not pull them up for not taking action against encroachers. "In fact, the court seemed to be satisfied with our action plan report and asked us to continue with the encroachment-removal drive," said the official. It means, the illegal structures had to be removed as per the list submitted to the court, come what may, the official added.

"There cannot be any political interference as the directions state all encroachments have to be removed. Be it shops near Chaura Bazar, constructions along Sem Nullah or at Barewal, everything has to be removed. The job of the MC is going to become tougher in the coming days as on one hand there will be pressure to adhere to the court directions while on the other leaders will continue to pressurise officials to save their vote bank," said the official.



Audit pulls up LIT for lapses
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 27
The audit wing of the Local Fund Account has admonished the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) authorities for improper maintenance of the general provident fund (GPF) accounts of its employees.

The audit report of the LIT for 2012-13 pointed out the GPF accounts were not being maintained as per the directions of the government. It could result in financial irregularities and even misappropriation of funds.

A copy of the audit report, obtained under the Right to Information Act by Rohit Sabharwal and Arvind Sharma, president and secretary respectively of the Council of the RTI Activists, reads the LIT authorities were maintaining the GPF accounts in PF-1 and PF-1E, which was contrary to the directions of the government.

The auditors further observed the Punjab Government had formulated Pension and GPF Rules 1994 for the employees of the improvement trusts. Under rules 7(1) (2), 10 and 2, the chapter 13 of Punjab Civil Services Part-2 has been made applicable to the Trust employees.

The audit report maintained the government had also issued directions to the Trusts vide its memo no. 12/229/80/4 FP/3/4688 dated May 2, 1989, to follow the procedure laid down for the maintenance of GPF accounts, which were being violated by the LIT authorities.

Raising objections over the way the GPF accounts were being maintained by the LIT authorities in contravention of the laid down procedure, the auditors desired the accounts be maintained properly as per the directions of the state government. “Action taken in this respect should be intimated to the audit wing of the Local Fund Account,” the report said.

Directions flouted
The audit report of the LIT for 2012-13 pointed out the GPF accounts were not being maintained as per the directions of the government. It could result in financial irregularities and even misappropriation of funds.



Delay in formulating advertising policy costs MC crores
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
On one hand the Municipal Corporation has been taking loans against its fixed deposits to pay monthly salaries to its employees while on the other it has made no efforts to generate revenue through advertising for the past one year. It seems the MC has succumbed to the pressure of a minister who wants to dictate his own terms in the allocation of advertisement spots.

The MC used to get Rs 5 crore annually through advertising. Around 420 unipoles, 68 bus shelters and garbage dumps were allocated on contract for advertising. No new tenders were invited after the Punjab Government decided to formulate a new policy on advertising. Its fate hangs in the balance as the authorities seem to be too busy to pay attention to the revenue loss being suffered by the Ludhiana MC.

Inder Aggarwal, chairman of the Advertisement Advisory Sub-committee, said the authorities had failed to convene a meeting on this issue for the past more than eight months. "No revenue has been generated through advertising for the past one year. We have identified advertising spots. Not just 420 spots but advertisements can be put up on nearly 1,000 points in the city. But who cares here? Nobody is bothered about crores being lost due to the dilly-dallying attitude of the government towards formulating a new policy on advertising. The MC is in dire need of generating resources," said Aggarwal.

"Those having a monopolistic approach want to grab the contract for the next 20 or 25 years. For the short term advertisement contract for six months, a contractor had offered the MC Rs 2.5 crore and he had to install 120 unipoles himself. If there is so much profit in advertising, then why can’t the MC earn more revenue through it?" asked another member of the Advertising Committee. 



Boiler blast at dyeing unit
Tribune news Service

Ludhiana, May 27
There was a boiler blast at a dyeing unit near Sherpur Chowk this evening. Eight persons, who were working at a workshop adjacent to the dyeing unit, had a miraculous escape after a boiler shell fell at the workshop.

Surjit Singh, owner of Surjit Motors, said the explosion caused a lot of damage to his workshop and his car.

Surjit said he had complained to the dyeing unit owner that the boiler was producing a lot of heat and could explode anytime.

The local residents alleged Sandeep Sharma, owner of Shri Ram Dyeing, shut the unit soon after the blast and reportedly tried to remove the signs of the blast.

An eyewitness said the explosion was so strong that the boiler parts flew nearly 50 feet into the air.

Sandeep Vadhera, Division No 6 SHO, said there had been no causality. "We are investigating whether the explosion took place due to negligence."



Rescuing injured birds, animals his passion
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
The saying, "Desire changes nothing, decision changes something but determination changes everything", goes true for Vijay Gaur, a volunteer of the Pakshi Sewa Samiti, a non-government organisation (NGO) that saves injured and sick birds.

Vijay (53), who is a Master Craftsman in Northern Railway, has served at Ludhiana Railway Station for the past 30 years. Talking to The Tribune, Gaur said: "In my childhood days, I was very fond of climbing on trees. The skill developed in the childhood has helped me in saving the lives of more than 100 birds after I joined the Pakshi Sewa Samiti about 10 years ago. One day, while I was returning from work, I came across Vipin Bhatia, the founder of the Pakshi Sewa Samiti, who was trying to save a bird badly entangled in kite string. There I got to know about his NGO and started working for it voluntarily."

Now, saving injured or sick birds has become his passion. He said: "I am a simple human being and not a surgeon. But when I save birds entangled in kite string or injured due to electrocution, I feel as if God has sent me to save them. After meeting Vipin Bhatia and a few volunteers of this NGO, I volunteered my services for bringing down the injured birds from trees or telephone towers."

Vijay has climbed towers as high as 50 or 100 feet to save injured birds. He has saved many crows, eagles, woodpeckers and nightingales. He rescues not only birds but also stray animals. Once he came across an ox whose skin was badly damaged as someone had poured acid on it.

“I, along with other volunteers of the NGO transported the ox to a cow shelter. We shifted a donkey, whose feet were badly swollen and were infested with worms, to a farm house of Maneka Gandhi."

One can gauge Vijay’s passion when he says: "I never count how many birds I have saved. My aim is not to improve on my tally of birds saved but to rehabilitate them well. "

Having witnessed 3 deaths in his family in the past six months, Vijay said: "I am upset as I have lost my father, a former DSP, my wife and my elder sister-In-law in a short span of time. After some time I will again start rescuing injured birds as I will get some solace in tending them."



Residents fear diarrhoea outbreak
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
After Fatehgarh Mohalla and Prem Vihar, residents of Hambran village and areas located near the Jalandhar bypass are fearing a diarrhoea outbreak. Many cases of vomiting, fever and stomachache are pouring in at hospitals.

Even the death of five-year-old boy from Prem Vihar nine days ago seems to have failed to move the authorities.

Prince was diagnosed with diarrhoea, although the department claimed that he died of high fever.

Kunti Devi, a resident of Aman Nagar near Jalandhar bypass, said she was suffering from diarrhoea for the past few days. "I am running high fever. It is all due to the contaminated water supply," she said.

Another resident of Aman Nagar said," The department should take precautionary measures and organise medical camps to combat any emergency situation."

Surjit Singh, a resident of the Hambran village, said the water that they were supplied was unfit for drinking.

"Contaminated water is supplied to our village. Many people in the village are complaining of vomiting and fever. My wife is also suffering from diarrhoea," he said.

Another resident Hardev Kaur from the same village also complained of stomachache and fever. "There are a few ponds in our village which are the main reason behind the spread of such diseases. Nobody has ever got them cleaned. Every summer, they become the prime reason behind he spread of diseases," she said.

District Epidimologist Dr Anil Verma said he had directed the officials concerned to take care of the areas. "Cases are not coming from one specific area, but one or two cases are surfacing in different localities. Camps are organised in areas where threat looms large," he said.



Contaminated water supply raises concern
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
Contaminated water is being supplied to several areas of the city, despite the Municipal Corporation's claims of replacing the old and broken sewerage pipes. Residents of Aman Nagar near the Jalandhar bypass complained that for the past three-four days, they were being supplied contaminated water, especially during morning hours.

Puja, a resident, said the water emitted foul smell and that they threw two-three buckets of yellow-coloured water every day.

"Though we have installed water purifiers at home, still there is always a risk of water-borne diseases because of continuous supply of contaminated water," said the resident.

Giaspura, Sherpur, Dhandari Kalan, Jawahar Nagar Camp, colonies along Buddha Nullah, Chander Nagar and Subhash Nagar are some of the high-risk prone areas in the city from where cases of diarrhoea/gastroenteritis are reported every year. Manjeet Singh, SE, Operations and Maintenance, said there could be several other reasons for water-borne diseases but contaminated water was the major reason. "We can take precautions. We have started with chlorination. Pipes, which are old and broken are being replaced, a helpline has also been started. At the same time, public support is a must. They must not install water connections in an illegal manner because most of the complaints pour in from areas where residents have installed their own connections. Their pipes get mixed with sewerage pipes at some points and they start getting contaminated water. We need cooperation from the public," said the official.

The residents have been continuously complaining that they were getting contaminated water. Even Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria along with other officials visited Chaowni Mohalla to check the cause of contaminated water and awareness was created among residents to avoid the outbreak.



Now, core banking services at post office
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
The core banking system (CBS) is all set to be introduced at the Head Post Office in the city. The services that banks offer will now be available at the post office. The postal department is already offering services, including saving schemes like the MIS and recurring deposits.

An official said the core banking system had already been implemented in Chandigarh.

All banks in the country will be connected with the central server in Mysore. A new account number will be given to customers who already have saving schemes in the banks.

"After the Head Post Office, the CBS will be extended to sub-post offices and later to smaller branches," an official at the post office said.

The edge that the post offices are going to have as compared to banks is their reach, particularly in villages. "Opening branches in rural areas is not financially practical. So extending banking services to far-flung areas will be much easier for the postal department," he said.

Sources said there were discrepancies in the saving accounts and those had been removed, so switching to the core banking system was now possible without any glitches. "After consent from the RBI, ATMs will be opened at a later stage," said another official. He said the postal department was taking the step to shore up its revenue.

Senior Postmaster, Head Post Office, Swaraj Kaur, said the preparations for introducing the services were under way.



City girls bring laurels in PU exams
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Harleen Kaur, student of Government College for Girls, who has secured the second position in the BCA-III exams conducted by Panjab University.
Harleen Kaur, student of Government College for Girls, who has secured the second position in the BCA-III exams conducted by Panjab University. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, May 27
City girls have bagged all three top positions in the annual examination of the BCA-III, conducted by Panjab University, Chandigarh. Girls outshined boys as not a single boy from the city got any position in the top 10.

Aanchal Gaba of the Devki Devi Jain Memorial College for Women topped the varsity with 84.2 per cent marks. Harleen Kaur of the Government College for Girls came second with 83 per cent marks, while Pooja Duggal of the Devki Devi Jain Memorial College for Women got the third position by securing 82.6 per cent marks.

Other city girls who brought laurels are Priyanka, who bagged the fifth position with 82.2 per cent marks, and Prachi, who came eighth by securing 80.5 per cent marks. Both are students of the Devki Devi Jain Memorial College for Women. Priyanka of the Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women shared the tenth position with Gunjan Sharma of Kamla Lohtia Sanatan Dharam College. Both scored 80 per cent marks.

Aanchal Gaba, in fact, has been clinching the top position throughout the BCA course. Speaking on her achievement, Aanchal said revising whatever is taught in the class at home was the key to her success.

She wants to start her own institute and teach there.

Harleen Kaur, who got the second position, also came second in the BCA-II examination last year.

“I am not a bookworm but study with concentration. I want to join the banking sector or become a government teacher,” said Harleen Kaur.

Pooja Duggal, too, wants to be a lecturer.



Education Dept, PSEB direct schools to collect sports fund
Defaulters to be barred from taking part in school games
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
The Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) has instructed heads of all schools affiliated to it to collect sports fund from students. In a circular issued on May 5, the PSEB Secretary told the schools to give heed to the orders of the Education Department.

Schools that fail to follow the orders have been warned of loss of their affiliation to the baord.

As per the directions, schools will collect Rs 10 per month from students of Classes IX and X. Those studying in Classes XI and XII will deposit Rs 12 as sports funds to the respective school authorities. Meanwhile, Additional Education Officer Ajitpal Singh, who is also the district sports in-charge, said after the notification of the Punjab government, the department has written to all schools of the district, running under various education boards, to collect the sports funds.

Eighty per cent of the collected amount is to be submitted with the District Education Office, while the remaining 20 per cent can be used by schools to develop their sports infrastructure.

As per the directions, the schools that fail to deposit the funds will not be allowed to take part in the School Games. According to the department officials, certificates of sportspersons from defaulter schools would also be cancelled.

“We are preparing a list of schools that have failed to submit the funds. Action will be taken against them as per the circular issued by the state government,” said Ajitpal Singh.



Burglaries during summer vacation
Residents take preventive steps
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh/Payal, May 27
Residents are taking steps to prevent burglaries at their unattended residences when they leave for trips during upcoming vacations.

This comes after the police, besides constituting special patrolling teams to guard various areas, advised all families planning to go out of town to take preventive measures to discourage burglars.

Implementing neighbourhood watch scheme, depositing cash and valuables in banks, asking someone to stay at unattended houses, ensuring that windows and ACs are enclosed in an iron grill and installing fire alarms, CCTV cameras and motion sensors have been suggested as some preventive steps.

Also, residents have been told not to disclose their programme to strangers, leave vehicles on the road outside their house or allow newspapers to pile up in front of the house.

Beat officers have been asked to enhance vigil after schools are closed for summer holidays on June 1.

The Assistant Commissioner of Police, Gill, Gurpreet Singh Sikand; Deputy Superintendent of Police, Amargarh, Gurmit Singh; and Deputy Superintendent of Police, Payal, Balwinder Singh Bhikhi have directed beat officers to implement the preventive measures meticulously in their respective areas.

Handbills and literature on measures to prevent thefts have been distributed among the staff and students of various educational institutes.

Students have been asked to share information with their parents and ensure that pamphlets and handbills reach all members of their families.

Beat in-charges have been directed to prepare lists of families who have planned trips in coming days. The families have been asked to provide telephone number of their neighbours.



Punjab Medical Council yet to renew licences of doctors
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
The practice of re-registering doctors by the Punjab Medical Council every five years seems to have gone haywire.

Nearly 500 applications are lying pending with the PMC, the registration of which are still to be renewed. Call it the casual and sluggish attitude of the PMC that it has failed to renew the registration before the last date.

According to the Punjab Medical Council Act, it is mandatory for all doctors to re-register themselves every five years. For getting licences renewed, the doctors are required to upgrade their knowledge by getting at least 50 credit hours, every five years, by attending continuing medical education (CME) programmes to remain in practice. "Despite applying for renewal, many doctors have failed to receive their renewed registration with the PMC. Nearly 500 doctors from the state are waiting for their renewal. It was in March that I applied for the renewal, but has failed to receive my renewed registration to date," said Dr Diljit Singh Brar from Samrala. "The very purpose of getting the licences renewed seems futile due to the casual approach of the PMC," he added.

The step of renewing the registration every five years was started to curb quackery in the state. The state had brought into being the Punjab Medical Registration (Amendment) Act, 2010, that ensured that only those medical practitioners, who had upgraded their skills and had re-registered themselves with the PMC would get a licence to practise.

"The applications are still lying at the council's registrar office and waiting for approval. While the PMC is adopting a casual approach, it is the doctors who are suffering," said Dr Neeraj Khanna from Ludhiana.

Registration a must
Doctors practising in Punjab are required to renew their registration every five years.
All doctors who have left India for lucrative jobs abroad and wish to return lose the right to practise till they get re-registered.
Doctors registered outside Punjab, but practising here are also required to register themselves again in Punjab.



Govt employees await clearance of fuel bills
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
Employees working in different government departments are still awaiting the clearance of their bills. They said fuel bills were yet to be cleared.

An employee said, "A month ago, I spent Rs 5,000 on refuelling my vehicle, but the reimbursement is still awaited." Another employee said expenses incurred during the elections are also yet to be reimbursed. He said, "My bills have been pending since March 31 and I don't know when these will be cleared."

Bhupinder Singh, Assistant Commissioner (General), Ludhiana, said,"We received the budget last week and have started clearing the bills."

Rachhpal Singh, District Treasury Officer, Ludhiana, said, "The Principal Secretary, Finance, has asked us to make payments on a daily basis.



Challans issued under tobacco Act
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
The health department today issued challans to 25 persons under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA, 2003).

Challans were issued on the directions of the Civil Surgeon, Dr Subhash Batta.

As World No Tobacco Day is falling on May 31, a team under the supervision of district health officer Dr Abnash Kumar along with food safety officers Ravinder Pal Garg and yogesh Goyal challaned 25 violators. Kumar said an amount of Rs 4,100 was collected as fine today. "Kiosk/stall owners have been instructed to install warning board," he said. Around 500 boards, banners and posters have been put up all across the city.

Challans were also issued at Sanhewal. An amount of Rs 6,100 was collected on the spot.



Man, daughter killed in mishap
Tribune news Service

Ludhiana, May 27
A father-daughter duo was crushed to death while the man's brother suffered serious injuries when an overspeeding car hit their bike at Tibba Road today.

The deceased were identified as Mohd Ayub (31) and his daughter Rukhsat (6). Ayub's brother Nasrudin (28) is undergoing treatment at the Civil Hospital.

The incident took place this evening when the trio was returning home from a hospital in Basti Jodhewal.

It is learnt that Auyb's daughter was unwell and was admitted to a private hospital this morning. She was discharged this evening and was being taken back home.

When they reached near Tibba Road Chowk, an overspeeding Maruti Swift car hit their bike from the rear.

Passersby rushed the trio to the hospital, where Ayub and Rukhsat were declared brought dead.

The SHO of Jodhewal Basti said the car had been impounded while the driver managed to escape.

The accused would be nabbed soon, said the SHO.



International brands fashion manufacturers’ creativity
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
With the entry of international clothing and fashion brands to the country, hosiery manufacturers are getting elbow room to experiment and innovate.

Ashok Jain from Fashion Brand said the entry of international brands to Indian market had created awareness among consumers in a big way.

"Earlier, when we showed fine lamb wool to customers, they used to say it was not of good quality, but now they are aware of design trends," he said.

The entry of foreign brands is not only driving the local manufacturers to produce good quality to catch up with the competition from the international brands, but is also allowing them to create good-quality products that the customers now demand.

"We are now adding more variety and quality to our products as there is a market for these here," said another manufacturer.

"Even kids wear segment has seen a change. The entry of the foreign brands has changed the way children's clothes are looked at in the markets. Earlier, people used to treat kids wear casually. Garments made by local brands and manufacturers used to have cartoons, flowers and more gaudy designing, but now the focus is on simplicity, design and colour combinations," said a manufacturer.

Saurabh Dhawan from Superkids said the clothes were much simpler and sophisticated for children as well.



Truck catches fire
Was carrying textile fibre from Ludhiana
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, May 27
A truck carrying textile fibre from Ludhiana to Ambala caught fire near Sahnewal last night. Three fire tenders pressed into service kept trying to douse the fire throughout the night.

When they finally left after putting off the fire, fire broke out again around dawn, following which the fire brigade rushed back to the spot.

The fire was attributed to a short circuit. As the truck was carrying textile fibre, the fire spread very quickly.

Police officer Sukhdev Raj said the fire was brought under control around noon.



Sutlej Club gets a facelift
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
Sutlej Club has been renovated with a new lobby area, a café and an elevator coming up on its premises. With the dining area and spa getting a facelift earlier, the club has seen an “aesthetic” change in past couple of years.

Despite the club being located in the vicinity of the residence of the Deputy Commissioner, who is its president, it lagged behind other clubs—Nirvana Club and Lodhi Club—in its looks.

With the staircase being “tucked behind”, now, the visitors are welcomed by a new lobby area, tastefully designed, and an elevator.

"It is great that the club has been renovated. Earlier, the interiors did not match up to the club’s reputation," said a member.

One of the things that helped general secretary Rohit Dutta get reelected unopposed was the club’s makeover in past couple of years, a member said.

"We have renovated the dining area, café, lobby, swimming pool and other areas. Rather than working on one area, we have tried to renovate all areas of the club. Now a state-of-the-art kitchen and renovated squash court are on our to-do list," said Dutta.



‘Franchising the way forward’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
Franchise India and Ludhiana Management Association organised the Growth Seminar 2014 on the theme “grow your business through franchising”. “There are very few local brands that have become popular beyond the region,” said Gauhar Marya, chairman, Franchise India.

In the absence of an “overall entrepreneurial ecosystem” here, manufacturing is shrinking, he said.

“As manufacturing sector is shrinking, adopting franchising would pave the way for the enterprising youth,” said Marya.

He discussed various trends and business models of franchising, lucrative sectors to look into, market opportunity assessment for upcoming franchisors, ways to raise capital and feasibility assessment.

The Ludhiana Management Association office-bearers, too, gave their insights. The event focused on why franchising was the best route to replicate success and how to evaluate the economics of a franchisee and hence mitigate risks.

Marya said franchising provided an ambitious business aspirant with the benefit of the skills, knowledge and best practices in management from people who have run a successful business over many years. At the same time franchising offered successful business enterprises with a fast-track route to growth that bypasses the obstacles of finance and human resources, he said.



Training session at PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 27
A state-level training programme in direct-seeded rice was organised by the Department of Agronomy at Punjab Agricultural University.

Around 50 agronomists and other extension personnel working in different districts participated in the training programme.

Dr HS Dhaliwal, director of extension education, inaugurated the training programme.

Dr GS Buttar, head, Department of Agronomy, while welcoming the delegates, expressed concern over depleting water table, especially in central Punjab.

He also highlighted the shortage of labour and overdependence on water and energy in case of transplanted rice to make the case for shifting to direct-seeded rice.

Dr HS Dhaliwal urged all extension personnel to familiarise with the new technique and disseminate it among farmers.

Dr MS Bhullar, senior agronomist, delivered a talk on seed drills, crop establishment and weed management in direct-seeded rice.

Agronomist Dr Sohan Singh Walia apprised the delegates of nutrient management in direct-seeded rice.



ludhiana scan
Tributes paid to Lyallpuri

Rich tributes were paid to veteran communist leader and freedom fighter Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri on his first death anniversary. Leaders of the Marxist Communist Party of India and other like-minded parties recalled the contributions made by Lyallpuri to the struggle for the rights of the poor and strengthening of democratic forces. The political situation arising from the formation of the new government at the Centre was also discussed.

Office-bearers get re-elected

Residents of Mehar Singh Nagar and Chand Colony re-elected the Teja Singh Sutantar Mohalla Sudhar Committee office-bearers. Committee secretary Randhir Singh read the report.

Volunteers donate blood

A blood donation camp was jointly organised by the Income Tax Department, Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax Department, Taxation Bar Association, North India Steam Ship Agent Association and Axis Bank. A team from Dayanand Medical College and Hospital and Christian Medical College and Hospital conducted the camp.

New school block opened

The Round Table India and Ladies Circle India inaugurated a new block at Government Middle School, Giaspura. The block built at a cost of Rs 25 lakh will provide latest facilities to students. Around 350 children, including 160 girls, study at the school. With the addition of three new classrooms, more than 100 students will be added to the school rolls. Most students are children of daily-wage earners or factory workers in the industrial area of the city. The Round Table India also installed a water purifier and a water cooler at the school. Also, three computers with LCD screens have been gifted to the computer laboratory.

Sahit Akademi fellowship

The newly elected team of the Punjabi Sahit Akademi, during its first meeting, decided to give the highest award of fellowship to Prof Gurbhajan Singh Gill, a former president of the academy. He will get the fellowship for his “continuous and selfless service towards Punjabi literature”.

Pandit Nehru remembered

Death anniversary of the first Prime Minister, Jawahar Lal Nehru, was observed at Congress Bhawan. Speaking on the occasion, Pawan Dewan, Congress district (urban) president said Nehru was the man who took India on the path of development after the partition. Floral tributes were paid to Nehru by party workers. The day was also observed by Desh Bhagat Yadgiri Society. MP Ravneet Singh Bittu said Nehru was the true son of the soil.

Pharmacists protest

The Rural Health Pharmacist Association demonstrated against the authorities for not fulfilling their long-pending demands. Rural health pharmacists and Class IV employees said they were going through tough times due to meagre salaries. — TNS



10-year-old boy kidnapped
Tribune news Service

Ludhiana, May 27
The police has booked unidentified persons for kidnapping a 10-year-old boy, Himanshu. The case has been registered after seven days of hectic search. The police have not been able to trace the boy so far.

Om Parkash, SHO, Daresi, said earlier also Himanshu had left the house and was found in Kurukshetra.

Sangita, Himanshu’s mother, said on May 21 when she returned home from work, she was shocked to find her younger son missing.

She said for a week she along with her other family members kept looking for Himanshu, hoping that he would return home.

In the meantime, she learnt that someone had kidnapped Himanshu. Soon Sangita informed the police about the incident and got a case registered against the unidentified persons.

Om Parkash said that they had started the search operation and also alerted the other police stations about the disappearance of 10-year-old boy.

Police crack whip on drug peddlers

As per a communique released by the Police Commissioner'?s office this evening, the police has registered 64 cases and arrested 72 drug peddlers from May 18 to May 27.

Police Commissioner Sanjiv Kalra said the police had launched a special drive against the drug peddlers and appealed to residents to share information if the menace was prevalent in the area.

Kalra said the identity of the informer would be kept secret. A special helpline number (0161-2414927) has also been launched.

The residents can help the police keep a tab on anti-social elements by sharing information on the helpline number.



Gang of robbers busted, six minors held, 2 on the run
Tribune news Service

Ludhiana, May 27
With the arrest of six minors, the city police have claimed to have busted a gang of robbers, who had created panic on the highway with their repeated strikes. The police said the gang was also behind several thefts that took place in the area in past few weeks.

Giving details, station house officer, Division No. 7, Dr Sandeep Kumar said the suspects were nabbed from Sanjay Gandhi Colony and EWS Colony by a team led by head constable Sukhcharan Singh.

The suspects had allegedly struck at a shop near Galada Ground a few days ago and stolen 28 mobile phones and recharge coupons worth Rs 5,000.

The suspects, reportedly, told the police that there were eight members in the gang.

The other gang members are on the run, said the police.

Besides eight mobile phones and recharge coupons, the police recovered a dagger, baseball bat and sword from the possession of the arrested minors.

The suspects, reportedly, confessed before the police that they used to accost people travelling on Chandigarh Road. After waylaying them, the suspects used to assault them and then rob them of their cash and other belongings, said the police.

The police violated the Supreme Court guidelines by parading the arrested minors before the media.

Suspects paraded before media
The police violated the Supreme Court guidelines by parading the arrested minors before the media. They were made to sit on haunches and told to hold their ears during the press conference.



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