L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Debt-ridden trader shoots self
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
A debt-ridden medicine trader shot himself in the head with his licensed revolver at his house in Model Gram, near Kochar Market, here today. The deceased has been identified as Rakesh Dutta. The incident took place this morning at around 7:30 am when Dutta entered the bathroom and soon the members of his family heard the sound of a gunshot.

The family members broke the door of the bathroom and found Rakesh Dutta lying dead in a pool of blood.

Soon, the Kochar Market police, Division No. 5 SHO Dharampal and ACP- West Ravinderpal reached the spot and started investigation.

Dharampal said Dutta had a contract to sell medicines at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital. But the contract was recently terminated. Further, there was a strike going on at his factory at Baddi in Himachal Pradesh (HP).

Dutta owed money to wholesale dealers. The family members alleged Dutta was being pressed by the medicine traders of Pindi Street for repayment of the money. He was pestered by the striking employees at the Baddi factory, the family added. He had been suffering huge losses due to strike at the factory.

He was under immense stress due to the ongoing financial crisis. Yesterday, he met his mother, who returned from Canada.

The police have initiated inquest proceedings under section 174 of the CrPC.

Meanwhile, the members of his family lodged a complaint with the police, demanding registration of an abetment-to-suicide case against 12 persons.

The Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana, Parmod Ban, has confirmed the complaint. He said it was being verified.

The 12 persons involved in the complaint belong to Pindi Street and Baddi.

Double whammy

Dutta had a contract to sell medicines at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital. But the contract was recently terminated. Further, there was a strike going on at his factory unit at Baddi in Himachal Pradesh. Dutta owed money to wholesale dealers.


Rescuing kidnapped girl
High drama after girl fails to appear for examination
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Child Protection Officer Shilpa and activists of the Nav Chetna Bal Bhalai Committee enquire about the girl. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, August 28
Rescuing the 13-year-old girl, who was dumped by her kidnapper in Ludhiana, turned out to be an uphill task for District Child Protection Officer (CPO) Shilpa and social activists of the Nav Chetna Bal Bhalai Committee. The girl, who was allegedly kidnapped four years ago from Amritsar, was made to work at a factory to repay the amount spent on her failed marriage.

Today, the girl did not turn up to take her examination. Sensing trouble, Shilpa, school teachers and social activists started looking for her. After an hour, she was found locked in a shanty in the old city area, said Sukhdhir Singh Sekhon, president of the NGO.

Her foster father Jaspal claimed that the girl was kept in the shanty due to security reasons. It was learnt that the girl’s husband Shiv Kumar and Jaspal’s wife pressurred her to retract her statement as they feared they might land in trouble, said Jagjit Singh Mann, general secretary of the committee.

After an hour-long drama, the girl was taken to the police station. The policemen made a mockery of the Protection of Child from Sexual Offence (POCSO) Act as they took the girl’s statement in the presence of her foster father.

According to law, a victim’s statement is recorded in a closed room and in the presence of a CPO and a woman constable.

Shilpa met Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP- North) Kuldeep Singh Randhawa and expressed her resentment at the working of the police in the case.

She demanded registration of cases (kidnapping, child mirage, rape and child labour) against the accused persons under the POCSO Act. However, the ACP-North told her that the cases would be registered only on the basis of the victim’s complaint.

Meanwhile, Randhawa asked a police woman to record the girl’s statement.

“In the evening, the girl urged us that she did not want her foster father Jaspal, who has been taking care of her for the past four years, should land in trouble. We cannot forcibly take the girl away. We are in touch with the authorities in Delhi and appropriate action will be taken as per their directions,” said Shilpa.

Meanwhile, the NGO approached Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-Legal Services Authority KK Singla and sought the court’s intervention in the matter.

Being poor her only fault

Social activist Sukhdhir Singh Sekhon said: “Had she been the child of influential parents, the entire government machinery would have been pressed into service to rescue her and all those responsible for her plight would have been booked.”

No Herculean task

It was not a Herculean task. The girl should have been produced before the court and sent to Nari Niketan. The police officer concerned should have registered a case and proceeded with investigation.

Kuldeep Singh Randhawa, ACP-North



Snakes in ATM booth
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) campus has become a haven for snakes. A visitor to the ATM booth of Bank of Baroda on the campus was shocked to find a snake coiled under the machine today.

When Joginder Singh spotted the six-foot-long snake in the ATM booth, he raised the alarm. The watchman at booth and some shopkeepers in the same market said they also saw snakes in shops and on streets.

Today, the shopkeepers called Manga Naath, a snake charmer of the Dugri area. Manga took one and half hours to catch two snakes from a shop. One snake was more than seven feet long while the other was six feet long.

He also caught a male and a female snake from the ATM booth. Later, he caught two more snakes from shops.

According to Manga Naath, the snakes he caught are of two different species, “Ghor-Pashari” and cobra.

Manga Naath said snakes often come out of their holes in the rainy season. They take shelter in weeds, debris and houses. Both these species of snake are very dangerous and their bite can cause death on the spot.

The snake charmer charges Rs 501 to Rs 2,100, depending on the financial status of a household, for catching a snake.

The Bank of Baroda authorities also asked the snake charmer to sanitise the bank premises.

A large number of students, employees and passersby gathered at the spot as the snake charmer caught snakes.

Manga Naath is the grandson of a renowned snake charmer, Nihaala Naath, who died after a snake bit him while he was trying to catch it at a house.

“For safety against snake bite, we wear “jhull” (a long caftan) and carry some medicines with us,” he said.



Snake threat: PAU students want weeds removed from campus
Tribune News Service

A snake charmer shows the snakes caught from an ATM at the PAU campus. Tribune Photo : Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, August 28
Students of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) have urged the university administration to cut weeds from the university campus at the earliest for the safety of students and employees.

Students said snakes are very commonly found in hostels, lawns, parks and grounds on the campus. Students of the Under Graduate Girls Hostel have also written to the Estate Officer a few days ago to cut the weed inside the hostel.

“After lunch, I was just roaming around the hostel building. I saw a snake on the ground and shouted for help. Now, I avoid going there as weeds are grown everywhere,” said a student. The president of the PAU Student Association (PAUSA), Karanveer Singh Sandhu, said, “Due to the rainy season, weeds have grown at the backyards of hostels, footpaths, and other vacant areas. The university authorities should remove the weeds as soon as possible.”

Students offer help

The president of the PAUSA, Karanvir Singh, has offered help to cut weeds. “We know that the campus is quite big and the authorities cannot just accomplish the task within a day or two. If the authorities want help of students, then we are ready to volunteer,” said Sandhu.



MC told to probe misuse of parking spaces
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 28
Acting on a complaint, alleging misuse of parking space for commercial purposes by hospitals and nursing homes in Ludhiana, Chief Vigilance Officer of the Punjab Directorate of Local Government has directed the Municipal Commissioner to initiate action after looking into the matter.

The development is significant as hospitals and nursing homes in the town are allegedly running intensive care units and laboratories in the parking spaces. Information in this regard was furnished to the Punjab and Haryana High Court during the hearing of a petition filed in public interest by an RTI activist, Rohit Sabharwal. In the petition against the State of Punjab and other respondents, Sabharwal had sought directions to private hospitals and nursing homes in Ludhiana town “to make proper arrangements with regard to parking spaces”.

His counsel told the court that the hospitals and nursing homes in the town were, in fact, using the parking spaces for running their intensive care units, laboratories, pharmacies and for other commercial purposes. It was further averred that the institutes were blatantly using the open spaces for such purposes.

The Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Ashutosh Mohunta and Justice Harinder Singh Sidhu was also told that the petitioner had earlier submitted a complaint on misuse of the parking space for commercial purposes by the institutes before the Directorate, Local Government. He, in turn, had vide order dated July 26, directed the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, to “look into the facts of the matter seriously and take action as per the rules against the hospitals who are committing violations of the parking spaces”.

Taking a note of the developments, the Bench asserted: “As directions have already been issued by the Chief Vigilance Officer of the Directorate of Local Government, Punjab, no further orders are called for”.

Disposing of the petition, the Bench added: “However, the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, is directed to take necessary steps in accordance with law in view of the orders passed by the Directorate, Local Government, Punjab”.



Amenities, LIT do not go hand in hand
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 28
Thanks to the apathetic attitude of the Ludhiana Improvement trust (LIT) authorities towards the plight of residents of Maharishi Valmiki Nagar, basic amenities such as good roads, streetlights and well-maintained parks remain elusive. Repeated pleas made by the residents have failed to yield the desired response.

Satish Thaman, an area resident, who is also a member of the Ludhiana West Sub-Division Grievances Redressal Committee, said several internal and main roads in the colony were in a state of neglect. “Most of the roads have not been recarpeted/repaired for quite some time even after the authorities had assured that the process of calling the tenders and allotment of work was on.

Sanitation workers do not show up on a regular basis. “The supervisory staff is lax as there is no check on the sanitation workers who do not perform their duty diligently,” Thaman claimed that in the absence of regular cleaning and maintenance, the drainage network in the colony left the roads and streets waterlogged. Thaman and many other residents complained of the poor lighting system on the roads and parks in the colony. They said streetlights in blocks A to F and XYZ as well as in the parks were non-functional and that these were not repaired even after several representations.

The area residents said the work pertaining to the maintenance of the parks being carried out by the Park Management Committees was also suffering as the maintenance fee for more than 10 months had not been paid by the Municipal Corporation, which had the administrative control of the colony from April 2013 to January 2014.

“The residents are contributing funds from their own sources to maintain the parks as bills from April 2013 to January 2014 amounting to little more than Rs 2.15 lakh are yet to be cleared by the MC,” Thaman said.

LIT officials said the development works in the colony, including the repair/carpeting of the roads, were delayed as the colony, along with three other colonies of LIT, was transferred to the MC for maintenance. However, after about 10 months, the state government had revoked the decision.

The officials said the process had already been set in motion for the repair and carpeting of various roads while instructions had been issued to the staff to maintain cleanliness, drainage and streetlights.



Encroachments spell chaos
Residents and commuters of Sahnewal have tough time passing through the town
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, August 28
The residents and commuters passing through the single market road, Sahnewal, are in arms against the municipal authorities as well as the police department. Residents alleged that the both departments have done practically nothing, till date, to resolve the perpetual problem of encroachments in Sahnewal, which goes unabated without fear or fret of any authority, what so ever.

Encroachments in Sahnewal town are a perpetual headache for the commuters as well as the residents. Roadside vendors on both sides of the main market road known as the Kohara road, the town gives a horrific look. The encroachments have messed-up situation to the extent that the people of the nearby villages literally dread the idea of visiting the town any more.

“You go to the town for 15 minutes but get stuck up in the mess for an hour or so,” shared Rajiv Kapila a shop owner, Sahnewal. The encroachments give a horrible look which despite of several efforts by the police department as well as themedia highlighting the matter from time to time have remained the same.” The pedestrians just push in their way amidst the extended shops and the fast running vehicles on the road. It is after all the headache of the commuters who take to this road,” said Ramesh Kumar Kapila, another resident. “We have been starved to get even a whiff of fresh air. The road side vendors are lifted only when the higher officials visit the town otherwise who cares for the common masses. No matter how they suffer and to what extent, the authorities remain unperturbed,” said Harbans Singh Sains.

The matter has been brought to the notice of the authorities and the police department several times. The temporary removal is however done but till date no permanent solution has been sought out. The encroachers are left with a warning which only signifies that they can return at their will any time.

These encroachers act in connivance with the shopkeepers and the municipal council, otherwise the way they react back to the commuters and the shoppers is too much,” said the residents.

Sampooran Singh rued, “No action has ever been taken against the rehriwalas. They are allowed to go scot free, they return in no time. Unless and until any lawful action is initiated against them, the problem cannot be solved altogether.”

Assistanct Commissioner of Police (ACP) Lakhvir Singh Tiwana said, “We are aware about the problem of encroachments. But the actual work of taking substantial measures rests with the municipal council. We shall provide security as and when required by the council.”

President of the Municipal Council Kulwant Singh Kanti said, “The encroachers have been warned several times. We are thinking of taking some tough action so that the residents and commuters may not suffer on account of these.”



Seminar held

The Punarjot Eye Bank Society organised a seminar on industrial ocular trauma and its management to sensitise the people about prevention and management of ocular injuries and role of eye banks in restoration of young industrial workers having corneal blindness following eye injury during work. Dr PL Chaudhry, medical superintendent, ESI Hospital, with more than 40 doctors attended the seminar. Eye specialist Dr Ramesh said the number of blind persons in India in year 2000 was estimated to be 18.7 million of which 9.5 million were cataract-related and 3 million refractive error-related. If there is no change in the current trend of blindness, the number blind persons in India would increase to 31.6 million by 2020.

Jan Dhan Scheme

The SC Morcha of BJP along with Sarvjan Kalyan Parishad held a special camp in the Municipal Corporation complex where staff and officials of Syndicate Bank opened 400 new bank accounts of the under-privileged people under the Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan scheme. The camp was inaugurated by member of the state executive of BJP DP Khosla.

Gen secretary appointed

District (Urban) president of Congress Sewa Dal Nirmal Kaira has appointed Vishu Dhingra as general secretary of the outfit. Exhorting the workers to reach out to the people to spread policies and programmes of the Congress party, he said the Sewa Dal would continue to work as the backbone of the party.

Martyrdom Day

A prayer meeting will be held at the Beant Singh Memorial, Sector 42, Chandigarh, on August 31 to observe the martyrdom day of the slain chief minister Beant Singh. Ravneet Singh Bittu, MP, Ludhiana, and grandson of Beant Singh said the day would be observed as “sacrifice day” to pay homage to the former chief minister who had fought valiantly against the terrorism in Punjab.

CITU calls for action

Centre of Indian Trade Unions while expressing grief and anguish at death of three workers in a fire which broke out in a garment factory in Shivpuri has demanded the owner should be booked for murder and the next of kin of the deceased workers be paid compensation of Rs 10 lakh each. District president of the body Jatinderpal Singh further alleged that labour laws were flagrantly being violated by the employers and the workers were maltreated.

Mega blood donation camp

Akhil Bhartiya Terapanth Yuvak Parishad will organise a mega blood donation camp across the nation on September 6 in which one lakh units of blood will be collected simultaneously at 700 centres. Giving details of the preparations being made for the mega event, convener of the parishad for North India Kuldeep Jain Surana said the blood donation camps will be held at Terapanth Bhawan on Ikbal Ganj Road and Government College for Boys.

Deposit water bills by Sept 30

The water and sewerage bills of Municpal Corporation, Ludhiana, for Zone-D are being issued and last date for payment of these bills is September 30. It is informed that all the residents of different blocks falling under Zone-D should pay these bills by September 30 even if they do not get the bills. In case anyone pays bill after the due date, he will have to bear the loss of 10 per cent rebate and have to pay interest. — TNS



Insufficient funds put teachers in a spot
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
The teachers in government schools are having a hard time providing school uniforms to students under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA). The government releases Rs 400 to provide winter uniform, including sweater, shirt, trouser, and shoes to each student. Teachers have, however, claimed that the funds are insufficient.

Adding to the woes, the SSA officials have asked schools to buy uniforms only from those firms, who pay VAT and give bill receipt. Now the teachers have no option but to wait for donors before the winter session begins.

The government provides winter uniform to the girl students, boys belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the students belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, studying from Class I to VIII in the government schools.

The teachers had demanded an increase in the funds allotted for the uniforms last year. Earlier, teachers were buying uniforms from other funds allocated to the schools.

“Due to inflation, it is hard to buy sweater, shirt, trouser, and shoes in just Rs 400. Most of the schools compromise with the quality of products in order to provide uniforms. But this year, the SSA officials have asked to generate the receipts of VAT paying firms. Now, it remains a challenge for teachers to provide the items in Rs 400,” said a teacher.

The District Education Officer (Primary)-cum-District Project Coordinator of the SSA, Gurjot Singh, said, “I know that the allocated money is not sufficient as per the requirement. We raised the issue during a meeting with senior officials and demanded an increase in the fund from Rs 400 to Rs 700. We hope that officials will increase the funds from next session.”

Students dependent on donors

On one hand, the government makes an effort to provide winter uniforms to underprivileged students but on the other hand, students still rely on the donors. According to the education officials, students from rural areas get donors easily but, students studying in urban schools are not as lucky as them and find it hard to find donors.

Providing school uniforms

The government provides Rs 400 for winter uniform, including sweater, shirt, trousers and shoes, to each student. Teachers claim the funds are insufficient. They had demanded an increase in the funds allotted for uniform last year. The government provides winter uniform to girls and boys belonging to the Scheduled Castes and students from the BPL families studying in class I-VIII at government schools.



School notes
Seminar on continuous, comprehensive evaluation

A seminar on continuous and comprehensive evaluation was conducted for the parents of Class VI students at Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School, Focal point road, Sherpur. The seminar was held in two slots 9.00 am to 10.00 am and 11.00 am to 12.00 noon. The session started with the school song, followed by a Powerpoint presentation highlighting the achievements and activities of the school. The presentation was given by the academic advisor, Amrita Gakhar. She also apprised the gathering of the CCE system. Neeraj Sharma, the CCE in charge, explained about the CCE in details. The session concluded with the National Anthem. The managing director and founder principal, Avinash Kaur Walia, said such seminars are educative and keep parents aware of the latest updates in the education system.

‘Vedic Bhashan Pratiyogita’

BVM, Kitchlu Nagar, organised Vedic Bhashan Pratiyogita in association with Ved Prachar Mandal. The topics for the competition were- Rational utilization of modern equipment, Importance of women, Swami Dayanand Ji, Yoga- Aim of human life, Drug free society, Yog-for relaxing mind, Safeguarding Indian culture and the role of youngsters. Over 100 students took part in the competition. Principal Neelam Mittar congratulated the winners.

Students told about functioning of banks

Students take part in a special activity at Bal Bharati Public School in Ludhiana. A Tribune Photograph

‘Banking services-Our helpline’ was held at Bal Bharati Public School. The activity updated students about the basic banking procedures. Students of Classes XI and XII (commerce group) set up a mock bank in the school. There were six help desks and an enactment was held where a customer wishing to open a bank account entered the bank. Students were told about various types of bank accounts i.e. saving account, current account, recurring account and fixed deposit account. They were also enlightened about other basic activities. A fruitful presentation on how to withdraw cash using ATMs was also shown. The issue of educational loans was also brought to notice. A small interactive session was also held where the students were asked various questions related to the banks of India. Principal Poonam Dogra appreciated the whole activity.

Founder’s Day at Ryan International School

Founder’s Day was celebrated at Ryan International School on Thursday. All the students and teachers wished their chairman Dr Augustine Francis Pinto a very happy birthday. A special assembly was the highlight of the day. Sweets were also distributed among the students and staff.

Students present a group song during the Founder’s Day celebrations at Ryan International School. A Tribune Photograph

Investiture held

Investiture Ceremony was celebrated in Ram Lal Bhasin Public School, Dugri, Phase I. It was presided over by principal Suman Arora and JL Narang (ASWO). During the induction, students were honoured with badges. President Balraj Bhasin advised the council members to work with loyalty, truth and sincerity. Sanmeet Singh (Class X) was elected as Head Boy, Rishika Bhatia (Class XI) as Head Girl, Jatin Dua (Class XI) as sports captain and Yashul Goel (Class X) and Shivani Thakur (X) have been selected as vice-captains. Monica (Class IX) from Shastri House, Ambika (Class VIII) from Gandhi House, Simranjeet Kaur (Class IX) from Subhash House, Mehak (Class IX) from Nehru House were elected as the house captains. Savleen Kaur (Class VII), Gurkamal Kaur (Class XI), Avneet Kaur Sond (Class IX), Arshneet Kaur (Class VIII), Jasmeen Kaur (Class VIII), Yashna Goel (Class X) were elected as prefects. — TNS



Co-Curriculam Education Competitions
Lovepreet clinches debate title
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
The Quality Education and Regional Services section of Punjab School Education Board organised Co-Curriculum Education Competitions at Ramgarhia Girls Senior Secondary School here today. The organiser of Co-Curriculum Education Competitions, Ravinder Singh, said competitions of six various art items were held on the occasion.

In shabhad gayan competition, Harleen Kaur of Guru Harkrishan Public School, Doraha, got first position in five to 11 year age group. Suneha of Teja Singh Sutantar Memorial School, Shimlapuri, stood second while, Gursewak Singh of Guru Harkrishan Public School, Daba, stood third in the competition.

In debate competition, Lovepreet Kaur Kalara of SS Public School, Tajpur Road, stood first while, Harbaks Singh of Guru Harkrishan School Gill Marke clinched second position. Anmol Kursi of Teja Singh Sutantar Memorial School, Shimlapuri, stood third in competition.

In handwriting competition, Sahil of Government Primary School, Bhamia Khurd, stood first. Namneet Kaur of Guru Harkrishan Public School, Boparai, stood second and Simaranjeet Kaur of Hindi Putari Pathshala, Khanna, stood third.

Gagandeep Kaur of Guru Harkrishan Public School, Gill Market, stood first in painting competition. Bhawana of RS Model School, Shastri Nagar, stood second and Gaurav of Government Primary School, Bhamia Khurd, bagged third position.

In solo dance competition, Jasika of SS Public School got first position. Harpreet Kaur of Guru Harkrishan Public School, Gill Market, stood second. Simranjeet Kaur of Hindi Putari Pathsala, Khanna, secured third position.

While in folk song competition, Jasan Kaler, of SGG School, Gorewal, stood first, Saneha of RS Model School, Shastri Nagar, stood second and Tamana of Saraswati Model School, Doraha, stood third in the competition.



NCC camp to commence today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
3 Pb Girls Battalion NCC is organising its annual training camp for over 500 girl cadets of Ludhiana, covering 19 colleges and schools, for a duration of 10 days. The training camp is expected to begin from August 29 to September 7 at the NCC Academy, Ropar. The camp will be commanded by Col Ashwani Kumar, Commanding Officer, 3 Pb Girls Battalion NCC.

Col Kumar emphasised on the need for maximum number of girls to join NCC.

“Towards this end, the cadets will be given an exposure to soldering and army life. They will be imparted training on important subjects such as weapon training, drill, map reading, field craft and battle craft, health and hygiene,” said Col Kumar.

In addition, various guest lectures will be organised on important subjects and the cadets will get to interact with people and spread awareness among the local public on various issues.

This will be done by means of rallies that would be organised in the town during the annual training camp.

In addition to the laid down syllabus, the girl cadets will also get to hone their co- curricular skills. Those attending the camp will get a chance to fire small arm weapons.

Blood donation camp will be organised during this camp and a massive rally will be held by cadets against drug addiction and drug abuse.



Students shine in PU exams

Toppers Satinder (centre), Ankita (left) and Ekta (right) in a jubilant mood at the Devki Devi Jain Memorial College for Women in Ludhiana. a Tribune Photograph

Students of MSc (IT) second semester studying in Devki Devi Jain Memorial College for Women, shined in Panjab University examinations. Satinder stood first in Panjab University and secured 85.84 per cent, Ankita stood 10th in Panjab University by securing 83.2 per cent and Ekta stood 11th in the district. Samaj Rattan, Shri Hira Lal Jam, chairman of the college, Managing Committee, Kedar Nath, president, Shanti Saroop Jain, senior vice-president, Bipin, secretary, Surinder Kumar, manager, and Neelam , officiating principal of the college, congratulated the head of department, Hitesh Ahuja, staff members and students for the achievement.

CAT scholarship test conducted

The students’ Chapter of Institution of Engineers (India) and the Indian Society for Technical Education of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College, Ludhiana, organised a diagnostic test for Common Aptitude Test (CAT) 2015 aspirants. The test was conducted in association with the IMS Ludhiana centre. Over 300 students across all streams participated in the event. The one-hour test was based on the CAT pattern and had two sections comprising 20 questions each. Section 1 was on quantitative aptitude and data interpretation while, section 2 was based on verbal ability and logical reasoning. Cash prize of Rs 2,100 will be awarded to the winner. The winner will be announced next week. — TNS



Electrostatic nozzle developed

An electrostatic nozzle has been developed by the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), in collaboration with the Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO), Chandigarh, and the Centre of Excellence for Farm Machinery (CSIR-CMERI Lab), Ludhiana. The electrostatic nozzle was sprayed on cotton crop grown at a departmental research farm.

The nozzle produces charged droplets in the range of 20-60 microns. It works best for insect-pests and disease control, as well as for foliar application of fertilizers and plant growth regulators. By using this technique of spraying, one can save water, time and labour. There is chemical savings of more than 50 per cent and it is eco-friendly too. Dr C Ghansyam, CSIO, Chandigarh, said this is an efficient technology for spraying and has been developed indigenously.

A research engineer of the PAU, Manjeet Singh, who also helped in the development of nozzle, said trials are being conducted at research farm and more trials will be conducted on the field as well. Dr SR Verma, member of the Management Advisory Committee (MAC) for DST funded projects and former Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology (COAE&T), Dr Jaskaran Singh Mahal, Dean, COAE&T, and Dr Gursahib Singh Manes, head, Department of Farm Machinery and Power Engineering, were present during the demonstration of the technology. — TNS



Non-teaching staff of LRDAV College observe strike
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 28
The non-teaching staff of Lala Lajpat Rai DAV College, Jagraon, observed a strike in support of their demands. The strike was organised on a call given by DAV College Employees Coordination Committee, the protesting non-teaching staff members raised slogans against the DAV College Management.

The non-teaching staff members of the college staged a dharna outside the college and ended the dharna. The striking non-teaching employees of the college criticised the DAV College Management for not paying any heed towards their long pending demands.

The demands of the no-teaching employees include free education to the children of employees of DAV College in the schools and colleges run by DAV Management, job to the kin of the employees in case an employee dies on duty, proceed the promotion cases of the employees which have been stopped by the management, increase in the salary as per the grade set up in December 2011.

While speaking on the occasion, convener of DAV Coordination Association Jagdeep Singh said the DAV College Management has been unnecessarily delaying the just demands of the non-teaching staff members.

“During the meeting between the representatives of DAV Management and DAV Employees Coordination Committee on September 23, 2013 at Jalandhar, the management had agreed to fulfill the demands of the non-teaching staff but the management has not implemented any decision in this regard so far,” said Jagdeep Singh.

Sushma Rani, president, Non-Teaching Employees Union, Jagraon, said, “If the management fails to fulfil their demands they will sharpen their struggle and the DAV Management will be responsible.

Sarabjit Singh, general secretary, and Rajni Sharma, finance secretary, Non-Teaching Employees Union, DAV College, Jagraon, were also present during the strike along with other members of the non-teaching staff of the college.



Haj Committee takes preventive measures
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 28
Muslims going for a pilgrimage to Makkah, have been advised to attend special awareness and vaccination camp being organised by the State Haj Committee at Malerkotla on Monday. Besides undertaking mandatory vaccination, the organisers will be giving tips on preventive measures to be taken in wake of Ebola threat.

Referencing to information received from the Chairperson of Punjab Haz Committee, Farzana Alam, office-bearers of local Muslim Welfare Organisations said Muslims of the area intending to performing Haj have been asked to attend special camp scheduled to be held at Haj Building, Wadi Idgah, Malerkotla, on Monday.

The camp is being organised in pursuance of guidelines received from the Central Haj Committee.

Former councilor Dilshad and social activist Munir Mohammad said residents planning visits to other countries were afraid of Ebola Virus Diseases that besides having registered outbreak in some countries.

In absence of any organised guidance people had started thinking about postponing their scheduled international travels.

As pilgrimage to Makkah cannot be rescheduled, office-bearers of local Muslim organisations had appealed the authorities of Haj Committee to do the needful in the matter.

“Identifying safety and security of Hajis as her prime duty chairperson Punjab Haj Committee Farzana Alam organized a special camp at Malerkotla during which medical experts will be giving tips on preventive measures to be taken by the pilgrims,” said Dilshad and Munir Mohammad.

Among 308 Muslims who have registered for the pilgrimage majority hailed from local town and surrounding localities including Malerkotla, Ludhiana, Rohira, Dehliz, Kanganwal and Rasulpur.

Residents of the area planning international travel and expecting guests from foreign countries were worried about invasion of the dreaded virus after the World Health Organisation declared outbreak of the disease West Africa as in international health emergency.

The WHO has declared that a coordinated international response was deemed essential to stop and reverse the international spread of Ebola virus.

Though the virus is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of the infected persons pilgrims wish to be overcautious.

WHO had also desired that travelers to risk areas should be provided relevant information on risks, measures to minimise those risks, and advice for managing a potential exposure.



Mind Plus Retreat opens first unit

Mind Plus Retreat today announced the launch for their first unit in Ludhiana. It has specialist psychiatry, neuropsychiatry and de-addiction facilities under one roof. It is spread over 5 acres with comfortable air-conditioned bedrooms, living areas, gym, recreation facilities and landscaped outdoor space. Latest psychiatric equipment such as EEG and magnetic brain stimulation are also available at the facility. ?It is conveniently located 15 kms south of Ludhiana. Dr Kunal Kala, Managing Director, Mind Plus Retreat said, “Mental health difficulties such as depression and stress are increasing, and the prevalence of alcohol and drug use is of epidemic proportions in Punjab. Individuals sometimes suffer for long periods of depression and have on numerous occasions attempted treatment that has not been successful for one reason or another.” The team consists of psychiatrists and psychologists trained in the UK and India.

FASII condemns increase in wages

FASII strongly condemned the notification of enhancement of wage ceiling from Rs 6,500 to 15,000. This is going to badly affect the trade and Industry in India. This simply means that a small unit employing about 100 people will have to pay around Rs 25 lakh a year which is very high.Badish Jindal said, “Most of the employees are unable to give their share of EPF due to high rate of inflation and under such circumstances the employer will have to deposit their share. Presently due to Rs 6,500 of ceiling (earlier above 6,500 wage or salary the employees were not covered under EPF) only around 5 per cent of the total employees are covered as the minimum wages are more than the EPF limit in a unit, but with an enhancement to Rs 15,000 the employers will have to register around 80 per cent of their employees. The government also issued notification of Rs 1,000 minimum pension, now the pension of any retired employee cannot be below Rs 1,000.

Factory visit

Today, FICO delegation under the leadership of Harjeet Singh Sondh, vice-chairman, FICO, visited another factory Buchel & Roder (largest manufacturers of bicycles spokes, brass nipples & mudguards in Germany). The company has unique technique in manufacturing of mudguards. They manufactured the painted mudguards but in India we first do rolling then paint them. The system is so revolutionary that CR Strip for the manufacturing is purchased painted in different colours. In the process a layer of plastic sheet is fixed during rolling to avoid scratches on the mudguards. Amongst who visited were Gurmeet Singh Kular, President, Manjinder Singh Sachdeva, General Secretary, Padam Aul, Appu International and Vikas Chopra of Chopra Engineers.

Industry, government interaction important: FIEO

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is intended to be a free trade agreement (FTA) between the 10 countries of ASEAN namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam and the six countries with which ASEAN has existing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) – Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea, and New Zealand. The Commerce Ministry feels that it is important to have an interaction between the Government and industry on various aspects of the FTA and to assess the opportunities and challenges that exist for India once the FTA gets implemented, which will be significant implications for Indian business. SC Ralhan, Regional Chairman (North), FIEO has appealed to all exporters from engineering, machine tools and textile industry to attend this meet to give suggestions to the government officials so that they can consider the same while negotiating. — TNS



Sanitation workers continue strike
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 28
The town is fast turning into a dumping site. One can see garbage strewn in every nook and cranny. With sanitation workers refusing to call off their strike, residents are at the receiving end.

The workers have been protesting for the past four weeks. Dissolution of the elected body of representatives has further compounded the problem as there is nobody to persuade the employees to help the civic body provide services.

Social activists are also hesitant to intervene. The residents apprehend that the situation is bound to go out of control in case efforts are not made to persuade members of the Safai Mazdoor Union to call off their strike. As the shunning of work was preceded by public holidays, the problem became more serious. The forthcoming festival season is bound to aggravate the situation. The civic authorities maintained that nothing could be done till the state body of the unions called off the strike. The government’s orders to implement ‘no work no pay’ rule has also failed to deter the agitators.

The activists led by president of the local unit Satnam Singh alleged that the situation had arisen due to the apathetic attitude of the government towards the genuine demands of the employees. Maintaining that senior functionaries of the union had been invited by the government for working out a solution, Satnam Singh said, “We are aware of the residents’ problems, but we are helpless. We had to adopt the path of agitation. We hope that the government agrees to accept our pending demands.”

Singh said the department would not be allowed to deduct even a single penny from the salary of the agitating employees.



Dr APJ Abdul Kalam to visit city today
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India, will visit the city tomorrow. He will interact with children at Adarsh School (run by Bharti Foundation) at Sherpur Kalan near Jagraon, Sat Paul Mittal School, Dugri Phase XI and BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar.

He is visiting the city after 11 years. He had come to the city to inaugurate Kisan Mela at Punjab Agricultural University way back in 2003.

Sumitter Singh, a resident of Vishal Nagar, said, “I had gone to meet the Missile Man of India. His simplicity and punctuality bowled over many. I want to meet him this time as well.”

Harmeet Kaur Waraich, director, Sahodya School Complex, and principal, Nankana Sahib School, said, “I had gone to attend a conference in South India where Dr Kalam was to address the gathering. He reached the venue on time and ensured that everyone had a copy of his lecture. He exhorted teachers to teach children honestly and asked them to be their role model.”

Paramjit Kaur, principal, BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, said, “I am fortunate to have met him twice. I met Dr Kalam at Parliament House and spent more than 20 minutes with him. After our visit, he sent us appreciation letters. I have put up those in my office.”

The students are eagerly waiting for Dr Kalam.

On Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s request, students of 10 government schools have been invited for the interaction at BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nahar.



SCD College website provides outdated info
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
SCD Government College is one of the oldest and renowned institution of the city and offer various computer courses but surprisingly the official website of college provides outdated information.

Ironically, the information about the college principal is incorrect on the website.

Even after retirement of former college principal Dr Rajinder Singh, the website is still showing the message to former principal. While, there is no update about the new principal Dharm Singh.

The website shows old academic calendar of Panjab University for the session 2012-13.

While the college claims on website under facilities column that college provides hostel facilities to students. But in reality, the students of college have been deprived from the hostel as the government gave it to the senior secondary school for meritorious students. Now the students have been residing as paying guests in the surrounding areas of college.

The website claims that the college has ample space for parking but the vehicle can be seen parked on the road outside the college.

When contacted Dharm Singh, principal of the college, said, “I was not aware about it. We will update the website soon”.



Being by their side in twilight yrs of their lives
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
Rajat Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, today stated that the district administration had decided to dedicate the month of October to senior citizens. A meeting to redress complaints under the Senior Citizen Act-2007 was held today.

While issuing instructions to officials, Aggarwal said any complaint received under the Act should be redressed on a priority basis. He said there should be no delay in giving justice to the senior citizens. He said health officials should depute nodal officers at district level and should keep the police and hospital staff updated.

He instructed Paramjeet Kaur, District Education Officer (secondary), to hold awareness programmes in schools. He said for facilitating the senior citizens, the police department had launched a helpline number 1090. Those who need help can contact the department.

The DC said the district administration got a survey conducted and it was found that 65 senior citizens, whose age was above 100, were provided free treatment every three months. He ordered the Civil Surgeon of Ludhiana, Dr Subhash Batta, to provide free medicines to the elderly and offer them discounts.

Rajat Aggarwal said the health officials visited all five senior citizen homes once a week and examined them. Officials, including ADC(D) Supreet Singh Gulati, Ajay Kumar Sood, ADC, Khanna, SP Karkara, representative, senior citizens, Rakesh Popli, SDM, Raikot, and Apneet Riat, SDM, Jagraon, attended the meeting.



Clash in tajpur road locality
Registration of case sparks protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
A day after a dairy owner and residents of a slum area clashed in Tajpur road, the police have booked the dairy owner, Ramesh Kumar, his son Sushil Kumar and four others in an attempt to murder case. The case was registered on the complaint of Mintu of Ram Behari Colony.

Supporters of Ramesh Kumar staged a dharna at Tajpur road and blocked traffic. The protesters said Sushil Kumar opened fire in self-defence.

They said Ramesh Kumar was assaulted and his house was vandalised. On seeing his father unconscious, Sushil fired shots in self-defence. “Sushil too suffered injuries, but the police have not registered a case against the opposite party,” said the protesters.

The ugly clash had taken place as Ramesh Kumar had parked his vehicle in the middle of the road.

Fraudster booked

The police have booked a stock trader for duping an industrialist of Rs 40 lakh.

Sections 409, 420,467, 471 of the IPC have been slapped on Amit Aggarwal of Sarabha Nagar on the complaint of Rakesh Dumra, partner, Eve Line International Industrial Area C.

The case has been registered following a year-long probe. Dumra told the police that in July, 2012, Aggarwal had persuaded him to invest in share trading on the pretext of high returns.

He invested Rs 40 lakh in shares, but the accused sold the shares in losses without taking Dumra’s consent. Dumra alleged that the accused had deliberately sold his share to usurp his money.

Three labourers stuck in sludge, rescued

Three labourers got stuck in sludge while digging up a bore well at Focal Point today.

Soon area residents pulled them out with the help of a rope.



A rising tide lifts all boats, says CM
Talks about economic independence of women, welfare of poor
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has admitted that corruption stalks the banking sector in the state. Speaking at a state-level programme at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan to launch the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna, the CM said banks refused to give loans to the poor. He said sometimes the bank officials sought a “cut” of Rs 1,000-Rs 2,000 on a loan of Rs 10,000-Rs 20,000.

The CM’s speech had a similarity to the Prime Minister’s speech, particularly on the issue of women empowerment. The PM, in his address at Delhi (that was shown live during today’s programme at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan), said the scheme marked an era of economic independence for women.

The CM, lauding women for their financial acumen, said the women handled money prudently while men squander wealth. He said: “Usually, it’s the men who are loan defaulters.”

Urging the banking sector to encourage women to avail of interest-free loans and other benefits of the scheme, the CM said the objective of the scheme was to improve the lot of the poor and disadvantaged sections. He said bankers could play a pro-active role in bringing down the existing exorbitant rates of interest on the loans advanced to the poor and underprivileged strata of the society.

He announced that Punjab would lead in accomplishing the target of opening saving accounts under the scheme much before the national deadline of January 26, 2015.

Priceless: The CM, in a lighter vein, said he could also get Rs 5,000 on opening an account under the scheme. He said he did not carry money, neither did he wear a watch. “Mera sab muft hai. (Things are free for me.) Mera pucca Aadhaar card hai.”



rural games
Khanna athletes ride on all-round performance
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
Khanna Block athletes emerged victorious in the boys’ category by pocketing 50 points during the District Rural Games for Boys and Girls (U-16) at Guru Nanak Stadium today. Samrala Block and Doraha finished at second and third places with 18 and 16 points, respectively. Samrala eves bagged a gold medal while Jagraon and Machhiwara stood second with 19 points. Doraha secured the third place with 15 points.

In the kabaddi semifinal, Ludhiana 1 defeated Samrala 51-37 and in the second semifinal Dehlon outplayed Raikot 48-13. In the girls’ category, Raikot defeated Dehlon 35-18 and Machhiwara got a walkover from Ludhiana 1.

Khanna topped the tally in weightlifting (boys) by getting 38 points whereas Samrala and Ludhiana 1 stood second and third with 24 and 15 points, respectively. In the girls category, Khanna clinched a gold medal while Samrala and Machhiwara clinched a silver and a bronze.

In hockey (boys), Samrala defeated Ludhiana 11-10 goals in the first semifinal while in the second semifinal, Ludhiana 2 defeated Sidhwan Bet 8-6. In the girls’ category, Ludhiana 2 defeated Sudhar 4-3 and Sidhwan Bet defeated Ludhiana 1 3-1.

In wrestling (boys), Ludhiana 1 grabbed a gold medal, Khanna won a silver medal while Dehlon bagged a bronze medal.

In basketball (boys), Khanna won a gold medal by defeating Doraha 27-19 and in the girls’ category, Jagraon won a gold medal by outplaying Doraha 14-13.

Kartar Singh, District Sports Officer, said, “The final will be held on August 29. It will be followed by a prize-distribution function.”



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