L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Night or a nightmare?
High-velocity winds disrupt power supply, residents sweat it out
Kuldip Bhatia

PSPCL workers rectify a faulty line on the PAU campus in Ludhiana.
PSPCL workers rectify a faulty line on the PAU campus in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, June 13
The intervening night between Thursday and Friday turned out to be a nightmare for residents as power supply was disrupted due to showers, high-velocity winds and hail that lashed the city late at night.

Many localities remained without power for five to 10 hours and people were denied water supply in the morning in areas where power supply had not been restored till noon.

Officials of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) said trees were uprooted in many areas due to mild storm which damaged the PVC and LT lines. As per rough estimates, more than 50 per cent of some 500 odd feeders in the city were affected which made it difficult, if not impossible, to shift the load elsewhere as a temporary measure.

“Our field staff and supervisory official remained on the tows all through the night and the supply was restored in the affected areas in a phased manner after manual patrolling of the feeder lines,” said an official.

Residents from several localities, including posh areas of Sarabha Nagar, Model Town, Dugri, Civil Lines, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Rajguru Nagar, PAU Campus, Kitchlu Nagar, Pakhowal Road as well as the old city localities complained that they had sleepless night in the stifling heat. In many areas, water supply during morning hours was also affected due to power failure.

Staff and faculty in the PAU residential complex told that power had failed late in the night and it was restored in the afternoon. “We could not sleep as the inverters also went off after a few hours. Not only this, there was no water supply in the morning which made things more difficult,” said a faculty member of the PAU. Almost being philosophical, a senior PSPCL official said, “We made our best efforts to restore the supply at the earliest. We do realise that people had to suffer due to disruption in power supply but then it was nature’s fury and everyone has to bear with it.”

Water supply too hit

Water supply too remained affected. Residents of posh areas of Sarabha Nagar, Model Town, Dugri, Civil Lines, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Rajguru Nagar, PAU Campus, Kitchlu Nagar and Pakhowal Road had to go without electricity and water for five to 10 hours.


Illegal religious structure pulled down 
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 13
After much dilly-dallying and dragging of feet, the Municipal Corporation today removed a religious structure at Ghumar Mandi which had recently come up on a part of government land. A team of officials of the building branch, along with MC Joint Commissioner PS Ghumman, Duty Magistrate Parveen Kumar and ACP RPS Sandhu, dismantled the structure named after Baba Bhulekha Ram.

In the presence of adequate police force, no resistance was put up by any person and the one-hour long operation was carried out smoothly.

The site, cleared of encroachment today, was a part of 2,200 square yards of municipal land in the upmarket commercial area of Ghumar Mandi, from where several permanent encroachments (shops and showrooms) were razed on May 7, 2014, amid vehement protests from affected shopkeepers. Since the building and roads branch of the MC, which was entrusted with the job of securing the piece of land and construction of a boundary wall to keep miscreants and unauthorised persons at bay, failed to act in time, certain miscreants had put up a pedestal, a green sheet was put up over it and earthen lamps were lit to make it look like a “dargah” or dera. Area residents maintain that the purpose of putting up the temporary structure was to exploit religious sentiments of people and make the encroachment permanent with time.

A city-based RTI activist, Rohit Sabharwal, who had been persistently complaining to the MC authorities against the particular encroachment and many other similar unlawful possessions elsewhere in the city, said the very purpose of the removal of encroachments was defeated if the authorities failed to secure government land and allow the same places to be encroached upon again and again. 



Thieves take away gold, cash
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
Thieves struck at a house in Rishi Nagar B Block and decamped with gold, cash and an LED. Narrating the incident, Amarjit Singh, a hosiery businessman, said the incident took place last night between 7 pm and 9.30 pm.

Amarjit said his elder brother had left the house along with his family at 7 pm. On return, they found six gold rings, a chain, a necklace, earrings and Rs 5,000 in cash missing.



I-T raids at Bhushan Steels

Ludhiana, June 13
The investigation wing of the Income Tax Department today conducted raids at five units of Bhushan Steels.

In Ludhiana, raids were conducted at the company’s unit in Focal Point. Its corporate office in Delhi and Dera Bassi were also raided.

Residential premises of two directors in Delhi were also searched. The raiding teams collected incrementing documents and sealed bank lockers. The raids started at 8.30 and were on till the filing of the report. — TNS



Mission Admission
Govt colleges move ahead of pvt institutes
Superior level of education, reasonable fee structure pulling in a lot of students seeking admissions, says academician
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
With the onset of the admission season, scores of students made beeline for buying prospectuses at various colleges. Instead of seeking admissions in private colleges, students were seen thronging government colleges.

The Government College for Girls and SCD Government College have already sold around 8,000 prospectuses each.

The Government College for Girls had published 14,000 prospectuses and SCD Government College authorities had published over 18,000 prospectuses. On the first day of the sale itself, i.e. June 10, both the colleges witnessed a heavy turnout of students and sold around 5,000 copies each.

In accordance with the guidelines of Panjab University, students can submit forms at colleges from June 19 to 30. The admission process in government colleges will start from July 7 and will conclude on July 15.

After submission of the forms, the colleges will prepare a cut off list of all the streams. To tackle the heavy rush, colleges have also initiated a facility of submitting forms online for BCom and BSc (Medical and non-medical). So far, the Government College of Girls has received a good response for online admissions.

Students are also seeking admissions at the government-aided private colleges. The authorities of Arya College published 5,000 prospectuses.

Santhok Singh, an academician, said, “The government colleges are comparatively inexpensive. While private colleges sell prospectuses at a cost of Rs 500, the government colleges sell a prospectus for Rs 40. The fee structure is also reasonable.”

Kuldeep Singh, a senior professor at Government College, said, “The standard of education at the government colleges attracts students to seek admission here. SCD Government College sells 18,000 prospectuses, whereas GCG sells 16,000 prospectuses annually. Private colleges have, undoubtedly, a better infrastructure than government colleges but the superior level of education and a highly experienced faculty at government colleges proves a boon for students.” 

Bumper opening

On the first day of the sale of prospectuses, i.e. June 10, the Government College for Girls and SCD Government College witnessed a heavy turnout of students and sold around 5,000 copies each. So far, both the colleges have sold around 8,000 prospectuses each. 



Unified action required to combat drug menace: BJP leader
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
If Punjab Government wants to model itself on Gujarat, it should not forget that Gujarat is a dry state. Former Health Minister and senior BJP leader Laxmi Kanta Chawla said this while talking to The Tribune today. She was in the city on her way back from Mandi Ahmedgarh where she had gone to attend the cremation of an RSS leader.

Urging for a unified, concerted effort to deal with the issue of drugs and liquor, Chawla said the state cannot have two policies – one for drugs and the other for liquor.

Flaying the ‘Alcohol Economy’, the BJP leader said, “The state should not encourage liquor consumption, even though liquor may be revenue generating for the state.”

As for drugs, mere lip service will not solve the issue of drugs, said Chawla. A sincere effort, matched with the will to implement the rules, is required. “There should be a zero-tolerance policy. No one – be it a political leader or a moneyed person – should be spared if found indulging, in any manner, in drugs.”

Chawla said a special focus on educational institutions is a must. Stringent action, without any fear or favour, against the guilty is imperative, she said.

During her visit, Chawla also met the members of the Navkiran Women Welfare Association. 



Environmental campaign kicks off at PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
Students of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) kicked off an environmental campaign on the premises. More than 60 students enthused by Dr Dinesh Kathuria collected garbage from parks, roads and green belts of the varsity.

Karanveer Singh, a student, said, “We apprise visitors and other students of harmful effects of plastic.”

Students also displayed several informative posters on the occasion. “Students should not throw disposable plastic glasses on the roads. They should do their best to save the environment,” said Jatinder, another student. 



Hire rural talent to tackle unemployment: Industry Minister
Tribune News Sevice

Ludhiana, June 13
Industry minister Madan Mohan Mittal urged the local industry to provide youths from rural areas with maximum job opportunities, so that the problem of unemployment and labour crunch are solved at the earliest.

Mittal was in the city for a job fair, organised by the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking (CICU).

The minister appreciated the CICU’s initiative to provide talented and skilled manpower to the industry.

During the interaction with the industrialists, issues related to various government departments were raised. Mittal said a joint meeting of various departments and industries will be organised in this regard.

During the interaction, Manjit Singh Khalsa highlighted the issues pertaining to the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited.

“There is a dire need of exhibition centre for the industry and another focal point. In the new focal point, a separate area should be marked for red category industry where they can have their separate treatment plant,” said Upkar Singh, general secretary, CICU. Problems related to delay on VAT refunds were also presented on the occasion.

Major issues raised by industry

  • Online VAT refund should be given within 30 days
  • Establishment of another Focal Point
  • Removal of strip land within Phase V, Focal Point
  • Need for exhibition centre for the industry.

Demands related to skill development

  • Grant of Rs10 lakh to CICU for purchase of software, upgradation of CICU Skill Development Centre
  • Setting up skill development centers
  • Establishment of Skill Development Board Punjab
  • Scheme of National Development Council



In their twilight years, they need a place to sit and chat
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
Senior citizens of Rajguru Nagar demanded that a senior citizen bhawan should come up in the area.

They said they had been requesting the Ludhiana Improvement Trust to construct the bhawan for long, but nothing had been done so far. “Elderly persons need a place to sit, relax and meet their friends, but there is no such place in the area. Although there is a senior citizen home, where people with no place to stay elsewhere are residing, but we need a bhawan,” said Malkit Singh Rai from the Rajguru Nagar Senior Citizens’ Welfare Association.

“Caught between the MC and LIT, the locality has suffered a lot. It has been a long pending demand, but nothing is being done about it,” said Surjit Singh Gholia, another member of the association.

Dharamvir Ralhan, a member, said in senior citizens wanted to meet, interact and share their experiences with one another. The bhawan should have a pantry and a library. Such bhawans must be there in every locality, he said.

Rai said the elderly wanted to live in peace and their own pace. Sharing experiences with people and friends their age soothe them. “It should be there in every locality, it is strange that we are being made to request and demand for it,” he said.



PHD Chamber submits memorandum to minister 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
The PHD Chamber has submitted a memorandum to Kalraj Mishra, Union Minister Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises through Sharad Jaipuria, national president of the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Gurmeet Singh Kular, zonal chairman of the Chamber, said they had urged the authorities to increase the import duty on both bicycle and parts by 50 per cent. He said original bill of the entry should be taken into account while calculating the customs duty. The chamber also demanded that the government should allow subsidy on machines imported by small and micro units since it would help them increase production.

“As trends of the global market are changing, the industry has to keep itself upgraded. We request you to give funds under the Technology Upgradation Fund (TUF) scheme for the bicycle industry, so that we can upgrade our technology and increase our market share in the market,” stated the members.

The demand to abolish 2 per cent of central excise on bicycles was also raised. As complete bicycle attracts the central excise duty of 2 per cent, the price is increased by Rs 50 on basic cycle which directly hits the poor. They said the central excise on complete bicycle should be abolished.



Safe Vahan Scheme: 150 schools served reminders to fill forms
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
More than 150 schools, affiliated to Punjab School Education Board, have been issued a reminder to submit their forms under the Safe Vahan Scheme at the District Transport Office before June 20.

The District Transport Officer (DTO), Ludhiana, Anil Garg, said, “A compiled report, based on these forms, will be submitted to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on June 20. Schools will have to fill forms and submit these within the stipulated time, come what may. The forms will have all the details about school vans, whether they adhere to the norms specified by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.”

Meanwhile, of 86 CBSE affiliated schools, 82 schools have already submitted these forms. Of 350 schools affiliated to the Punjab School Education Board, as many as 192 have submitted the forms while, 158 are yet to submit them.

“School buses are supposed to comply with more than 15 norms, as specified by Punjab and Haryana High Court,” said the DTO.

Till June 4, only 30 CBSE affiliated schools had submitted these forms. A camp was also organised by the DTO office to apprise bus drivers of the norms. Of 30 drivers, only 18 drivers turned up for the camp.

DTO said, “We will soon organise another awareness camp and send reminders to drivers of school buses to attend this camp.”



college NOTES
GNKCW students shine in BCA-I results

Students of Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women (GNCKW), Gujarkhan Campus, Model Town, secured 19 first divisions in BCA-I examinations held in April, 2014. Alisha scored 80.62 per cent and stood eighth in the university and first in college. Gayatri who scored an aggregate of 77.75 per cent stood second in the college. Sukanya bagged the third position in the college and secured 75.37 per cent. The general secretary of the college governing body, Er Gurvinder Singh Sarna, and principal Manjit Kaur Ghuman congratulated the students and the members of the faculty for their outstanding achievements.

Students excel in PTU exams

BSc-hotel management and catering technology students from Gujranwala Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology (GGNIMT) bagged top positions in the merit list declared by PTU. In the fifth semester, Ramandeep Kaur secured eighth position with 81.5 per cent. In the first semester, Manjeet Singh secured third position with 84.17 per cent, Johney Kumar notched fifth position with 83.5 per cent and Amanpreet Kaur clinched seventh position with 82.5 per cent. The college management congratulated the top rankers and the faculty and motivated them to keep working hard to fulfil their goals. — TNS



Sakshi Sawhney ranks sixth in CSE 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
Sakshi Sawhney, who secured sixth position in Civil Services Examination (CSE)-2013, conducted by Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), is currently celebrating the success with her maternal grandparents in Ludhiana.

Sakshi’s father Sunil Sawhney is Customs Commissioner at Amritsar while her mother Aneeta is a principal at a school in Delhi.

Making the cut at the second attempt, Sakshi said she did not expect that she would be in the top 10.

Sakshi had completed her BA, LLB (hons) from Hyderabad last year. “It was only in the last year of BA, LLB that I decided to appear for the Civil Services Examination,” said the topper.

The 24-year-old said, “To clear the CSE was not my aim. My aim is to serve the nation. I will go for Indian Administrative Services (IAS). If I get the Punjab Cadre, I’ll be really happy”.



Police officials launch drive to educate bankers
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 13
The police have launched a movement to educate bank officials about preventive measures to be taken for preventing robberies in banks and ATMs.

Managers of various banks had been asked to ensure that staff concerned is updated and alerted about crisis management plans besides checking working of CCTVs, emergency siren and fire alarms.

Action has been initiated in pursuance of guidelines of ADGP (crime) issued in wake of increase in number of incidents of robberies at banks in the state.

The police organised several meetings with managers and cash officers of various branches of commercial banks falling to insure compliance of directions received from the office of ADGP (crime).

The police said bank officials had assured to update security arrangements according to guidelines of the police department. Beat in-charges were also asked to enhance vigil at and around markets and branches of commercial banks falling under their respective areas. Traders had been advised to take preventive measures while transacting business through cash.

The circle officers claimed the extra alertness on part of all concerned would shatter sinister designs of miscreants who normally become active during and following the food grain procurement season.

“Though enough security arrangements had already been made for the safety and security of all concerned, staff at banks has to be updated about the issue and alerted from time to time,” said ACP Sikand, adding station house officers at the Sadar police station and Dehlon had been advised to inspect security arrangements at various commercial banks falling in their respective areas. 



World Blood Donor’s Day observed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
To mark the World Blood Donor’s Day, the department of Immunohaematology and Blood Transfusion, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, organised a seminar on the importance of blood donation.

The day is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of Karl Landsteiner, Father of Immunohaematology.



Air Cdre Vohra takes charge of AFS Halwara
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana/Jagraon,June 13
Air Commodore PK Vohra assumed the command of Air Force Station Halwara as Air Officer Commanding from Air Commodore RGK Kapoor.

A formal change of command ceremony was held at the base in consonance with service tradition and ethos.

Air Commodore PK Vohra was commissioned in the Indian Air Force (IAF) as fighter pilot in December 1987. He is an NDA alumni and a postgraduate from a distinguished institute of DSSC, Wellington. During his long career with the Indian Air Force, the officer held many important staff and command appointments. He has been Chief Operations Officer of a premier fighter base. Prior to taking over command of Air Force Station Halwara, he held a director’s appointment at the Air Headquarters.



Police apprise residents of ill-effects of drugs
Our Correspondent

Khamano, June 13
A police-public meeting was held at Sanghol under DSP Khamano Ramandeep Singh to aware the people about the bad effects of drugs in which the residents of Sanghol and adjoining villages including Panaichan, Kalewal, Khant and Panjkoha participated.

In his address DSP demanded cooperation from the people to control the menace of drugs and said it is possible only with the help of civilians to nab the drug suppliers.

He appealed the youth clubs and social organisations to aware the youths about the bad effects of drugs.

He also said the police department is making arrangements to admit the drug addicts in drug centers to keep them away from drugs. 



CICU organises a job fair for rural youth
Tribune News Service

Industry minister Madan Mohan Mittal give appointment letters to candidates during the job fair in Ludhiana. photos by inderjeet verma 

Ludhiana, June 13
A mega job fair was today organised by Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking jointly with Department of Technical Education and Industrial Training. Rural youth was the main target in this job fair.

Minister of Commerce and Industry, Madan Mohan Mittal inaugurated the event and RK Verma, Secretary, Department of Technical Education and Industrial Training were also present on the occasion.

During the job fair 939 candidates were given appointment letters. Another 630 candidates were short listed who will be given appointment letters on completion of documents.

During the fair 41 reputed companies from various parts of North India including Haridwar, Gurgaon, Sonipat, Noida, Ludhiana and Jalandhar participated in the Fair for recruitment in various trades such as fitter, machinist, CNC operator, welder, electrician, painter, plumber, computer operators, diesel mechanic, motor mech., tailor, production manager, wireman, tally and accounts assistant and AC mechanic.

Industry minister presented appointment letters to the selected candidates by Kay Jay Forging, New Swan Enterprises and Munjal Showa Ltd. He said quality improvement and skill development are the main challenges to compete and survive in the domestic and global markets.

Avtar Singh, president, CICU, speaking on the occasion said this event provided great opportunity for the Industries to recruit talented youths which will lead to better quality and culture in the organisations.

Upkar Singh Ahuja, general secretary, CICU, said this event has got overwhelming response from companies and ITIs. This event provided ample opportunities to unemployed youths.



Fail test, get learner’s licence!
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
Three applicants were issued learner’s license despite being failed in the ‘tab test’ which is conducted before issuing of Learner’s license by District Transport Office at its Model Town based Learner’s License centre. Anil Garg, District Transport Officer, swung into action after an anonymous complainant brought it in his notice. Following this the DTO immediately suspended one employee and also informed about it to State Transport Commissioner, Punjab.

He said, “I received the complaint from an anonymous caller that three applicants who failed in the test had been issued learner’s license. On verifying the computer record, I found that the complaint was true as the applicants failed to clear the test but stamp of “pass” was marked on the documents and the applicants were issued learner’s license.”

He said, “As the contract for issuing these licenses has been given to a private company, so we have brought it to the notice of company and the company has assured us that they will take further action against the erring officer. We have also brought it in the notice of State Transport Commissioner, Punjab, for further action.”

When asked as if the license of these three applicants would be cancelled, the DTO said, “For the time being we will not cancel their learner’s licenses. But before issuing permanent licenses to these applicants, their driving tests would be conducted under strict vigil.”

What is Tab test?

In tab test, an applicant is asked 10 questions related to traffic laws and road safety rules. An applicant is supposed to answer at least 5 questions correctly. On the basis of the rightly answered questions, the applicant is issued the learner’s license. In case an applicant fails in the test, he/she gets another chance to appear in test after the span of one week.



Warrant officer inspects police station
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
Naresh Kumar, warrant officer of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, today inspected the Kotwali police station and allegedly released Sarabjit Singh of Dharampura who was illegally detained in a car theft case.

Sarabjit’s father Sarwan Singh had filed a writ in the Punjab and High Court stating that his son was picked up by the police on June 11 in connection with a car theft case.

On the other hand, the police said Sarabjit Singh was being called at the police station for questioning after Karan Kumar had filed a complaint against him (Sarabjit) for attempting to steal a car. 



Beggars go to hills in summers!
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana , June 13
Although district administration has started a campaign against beggars in the city and motivating them to stay at “Shelter Home” of Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, but many of the beggars have already moved to hills.

It seems surprising but true that at the onset of summers many beggars moved to hilly areas. Requesting anonymity an officer said, “A few days ago I visited a hill station in Himachal Pradesh and came across a beggar near a religious place who is usually seen near a religious place in the city. I asked him as if he belonged to that place. Listening to this the middle aged beggar replied, “It gets very hot these days in Ludhiana. So every year I move here or any other hill station where I get enough to make my both ends meet.”

There are many beggars like him who follow this practice. Sources reveal that as summers set in, many of the beggars move towards hilly areas. Ram Kumar Verma, a city-based businessman said, “It is true that these beggars follow the pattern of tribes. I am a regular visitor of a religious place in the city. Even I have seen that many beggars suddenly disappear in summers and come back in winters. Once I also asked a few such beggars as where they were during summers and got to know that they moved to hills. As they don’t have any home so they keep wandering here and there depending upon the weather conditions.” Meanwhile Rajat Aggarwal Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana said, “This pattern of beggars reflects that although they are capable of working but prefer to sit idle and spend life as it is. We have started our campaign against beggars as beggary is crime and we want to curb this practice. We will keep motivating them to stay at shelter home and help them in doing some work of their choice. We will plan out something for the beggars who are unable to do anything.”



Admn to begin drive against beggary

Ludhiana, June 13
Temple committees and student volunteers of some city-based schools will be involved to create awareness against beggary in the city. This was decided today in a meeting held under the leadership of DC Rajat Aggarwal, Ludhiana. A few days ago district administration started a campaign against beggary in the city.

The meeting was attended by a some NGOs, Isha Kalia, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) Ludhiana, Dr Subhash Batta, Civil Surgeon, Pradeep Aggarwal, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana.

DC said, “Very soon we will be holding a meeting with temple committees and request them to make devotees aware against beggary and not to entertain beggars sitting outside or near the temples. Similarly we have planned to involve school volunteers of non-board classes i.e. students of class IX and class XI of some schools to make people aware against beggary and not to entertain them anywhere in the city.” — TNS



Police rope in civilians to tackle drug menace
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 13
Continuing their fight against drug menace, the local police have launched a drive to involve civilians in the crusade. Rank and file in the department have been directed to rope in office-bearers of social, educational and religious organisations of the area falling under their jurisdiction.

Levelling the drug abuse to be a breeding bowl for other crimes, SP Malerkotla Jaswinder Singh and DSP Gurmit Singh said the menace had assumed alarming proportions and the department understands the gravity of the situation.

All beat officers were directed to work in close coordination with the NGOs to tackle the challenge posed by the menace of drug addiction. As part of the anti-drug campaign, the officials said special beat-level teams of volunteers had been constituted and an awareness drive had been launched. The police said problem of drug addiction could not be solved without the help of the social organisations. Sounding a warning to chemists to refrain from dealing in harmful drugs, the officials warned that the department would be forced to take a strict action in case they failed to comply with the rules and regulations. Disclosing that office bearers and activists of various organisations participating in meeting held at MGMN Senior Secondary School had offered to provide information about drug peddlers on condition of anonymity, Jaswinder Singh said a complaint box had been installed at main gate of the police station. The police had been advised to open the compliant box daily and act on information provided by residents who do not wish to be identified.



APMA demands more excise exemption

Ludhiana, June 13
Auto Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA) has put forward its wish list for the coming budget. Association has demanded that central excise exemption for MSME should be 3 crores and service tax on job works limits should be raised to Rs 50 lakh. Association also demanded that audit of a firm should be allowed when the turnover of a firm exceeded 3 crores.

Meanwhile Economic Cell of Bahartiya Janata Party has also submitted a memorandum to finance minister and requested that agro crop, poplar and safeda should be fully exempted from excise duty.



Teen pregnancies on rise: Experts
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
The number of teenagers and young unmarried girls going for abortions has risen sharply in the city sparking concern among gynecologists over unprotected sex.

The most worrying part is that it is not the only rise in the number of pregnant adolescents, but self-abortions and botched-up abortions too has seen an increase over the years.

The availability of emergency contraception is being increasingly misused on a regular basis. Doctors confirm that school children seem to be open to physical relationships and the number of school girls coming to them with pregnancy queries has increased remarkably.

“A sexually active life at a young age leads to high incidence of sexually transmitted infections (STDs). One in 20 adolescent contracts with the infection every year, and half of all cases of HIV/AIDS is among the youth below 25. It may also lead to other problems in future,” said Dr Gautam Sharma.

Dr Zeenie Sharda Grin, obstetrics and gynecologist at SPS Apollo Hospital said, “There has been a remarkable increase in the teenage pregnancies. Earlier, there would be one-odd case a month but now there has been a considerable increase.”

“Most of them lie about their age and dress up in a mature way to hide it. It’s only when I talk to them that I realise that they are quite young. The normal age of visitors is 15-18 years and they come when the patient is about four to six weeks pregnant,” adds Dr Sudha Chawla a gynaecologist.

“I get two-three teen pregnancy cases a month that are in the age bracket of 16-18 years. These girls are from the educated class studying in reputed schools of the city. Till a few years ago, only one-odd case in three months would come up but now 4 cases come every month. These girls are so young and immature that they do even know the repercussions of the abortion they are going through. It is usually girl’s partner or friends who come along,” said another city-based gynecologist who wished not to be named.

A salesman from a chemist shop at Model Town tells, “Boys as young as 16 to 19 years come to buy emergency contraception.”“In recent years, more than the number of pregnancies, cases of using incorrect contraception has gone up. This is a bigger problem than teenage pregnancy. Since oral emergency contraception is easily available, it is taken by teens regularly, which, even if taken once, can lead to disturbed menstrual cycles. After regular usage, patients come complaining of hormonal imbalance,” added another city based doctor.

Abortion with pill on rise

With the easy availability of a pill that terminates pregnancy, surgical procedures have taken a backseat. But unlike emergency contraception, it can’t be bought without prescription or taken without medical supervision. The abortion pill is available at for Rs 1,000. It can’t be sold without prescription, but the law isn’t so strict, so youngsters use it without medical supervision. Self abortions can be life threatening. An ultrasound before abortion is a must.

Sex education is the need of hour

The most viable solution to keep the youth aware of one’s sexual health is to introduce sex education in the school curriculum at a young age covering the various aspects related to sex, reproductive health, pregnancy and family planning. If sex education is incorporated in the curriculum then there will be less exploitation of the young minds at the hands of internet and other distrustful sources.

What the law says?

By law, termination of pregnancy in a minor can’t be carried out without a parent or guardian’s supervision. “A boyfriend - adult or not - is usually not acceptable as a guardian. It has to be a parent or another legal guardian.



Closing ceremony

Ludhiana, June 13
Closing ceremony of a summer camp was organised at DRV DAV Public School, Phillaur. This camp was held from 2nd June to 12th June 2014. Students from Classes 1st to 7th participated in it enthusiastically and enjoyed a lot and attended English spoken classes.

Choreographers from Dance India Dance taught students different genres of dance. The dancing celebrity Paras Sharma of DID fame visited the school. Yogesh Gambhir, principal,said summer camp is the best way to exhibit the hidden talents among the students. — TNS



Business News
Spa centre celebrates anniversary

Incore Fitness and Spa Centre celebrated its first anniversary on Friday. The directors, Sangeeta Chopra and Sahil Sharma, said the centre has not only carved a place for themselves in Ludhiana, but in other parts of the state as well.

Rice Pro-Tech Expo to begin today

Over 100 rice mill manufacturing companies from India and abroad will showcase their latest rice processing machinery during a three-day long international trade fair ‘Rice Pro-Tech Expo’. The fair is scheduled to begin at Jifco Resorts, Sahnewal, , on Saturday. — TNS



2 held with poppy husk 
Our Correspondent

Dehlon, June 13
The police have nabbed two members of a notorious gang of drug peddlers and seized a huge quantity of poppy husk from them.

The accused have been identified as Amar Singh of Hareri village in Sangrur district and his son Gurdeep Singh.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Gill Gurpreet Singh Sikand said they had recovered over 90 kg of poppy husk from the accused.

The contraband was packed in plastic bags and the accused were going to supply the same among labourers of the area.

Investigations revealed that the accused had been supplying drugs and narcotics for long.

The police is yet to ascertain the source of supply and probable recipients of the present consignment. It is suspected that the accused had been receiving supplies from some inter-state gang and retailing the same in villages of the area.

Woman held with 26 bottles of liquor

Khanna: The police claimed to have arrested a woman and recovered 26 bottles of liquor from her possession. The accused has been identified as Shindi (40), a resident of Meat Market Bazigar Basti, Khanna.

She was stopped by a police party near the GTB market and on search 26 bottles of liquor were found from her. A case under the Excise Act has been registered against her. Khanna SHO Pawanjit said the accused was presented in a local court which sent her to judicial custody.



High Court stays release of movie

Ludhiana, June 13
With the stay order on the release of Punjabi movie ‘O my Pyo Ji’ that was set to be released on June 13, the hopes of the actors and fans awaiting the movie lie dashed. The release was stalled by a stay order from Ludhiana court on May 30 and it was later maintained by Punjab and Haryana High Court until the next hearing in July. The screening of the movie was stalled after Raj Yuvraj Singh Bains moved to court that Niharika Sahni, granddaughter of actor Balraj Sahni had denied him the rights as a co-producer.

Veteran actress and theatre personality from the city, Nirmal Rishi who has acted in the movie said she and other members of the crew were waiting for the release of the movie. She said it is unfortunate that the release of the movie was stalled due to misunderstanding between Sahni and Bains. In the lighter vein, she said it doesn’t suit Punjabi movies to have two producers, as it creates problems later, she said. The other actors in the movie including city based noted actor and comedian Jaswinder Bhalla, singer-actor Babbal Rai, Bhanushree, Binnu Dhillon apart from other actors. — TNS



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