L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC dilly-dallies on High Court orders
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
In utter negligence on the part of the Municipal Corporation, it has “failed” to adhere to the instructions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court with regard to a few encroachers near Hathi Complex. According to the instructions given to the MC on January 19, 2011, the corporation was to hold talks with the encroachers and decide on the encroachments.

According to the case, the Municipal Corporation purchased about 2,.5 acres of land at Rajpura village in 1982 to set up infrastructure for starting a toy train there. But later the toy train was started at Rakh Bagh and the MC decided the land should be auctioned for residential use. In the meantime, a few people encroached upon the land. When the Municipal Corporation authorities went to remove these encroachments, three of them moved the court.

The MC claimed in the court that it issued notices to the encroachers but they did not give any reply. The court said it was not possible and time should be given to them for a hearing (by the civic body). Fortysix respondents gave replies to the notices and maintained that their structures might be regularised by charging a fee. The court then issued instructions to the MC to decide on the issue and pass a “speaking order” for the demolition (if required), since the structures were constructed on the MC land.

The MC has failed to pass any “speaking orders” for the particular chunk of land, which is worth several crores.

RTI activist Rohit Sabharwal had filed a contempt of court petition in the HC. The next date of hearing in the case is December 16, 2014.

Meanwhile, MC was trying to pass the “speaking orders” in a hush-hush manner.


No court relief to Talab Bazar shopkeepers

Ludhiana, September 10
The Punjab and Haryana High Court disposed of the writ petition filed by more than six shopkeepers of the Talab Bazar area, seeking relief in a case regarding encroachments.

Confirming the development, the Assistant Town Planner, Kamaljit Kaur, said a hearing in the case was held yesterday and the court ordered that the encroachments should be demolished.

According to information, these shopkeepers of the Talab Bazar area had moved the High Court with the plea that they should be spared as the land, where their shops are located, belong to a temple. Providing no relief to the petitioners, the court directed that encroachments would be removed.

There are hundreds of encroachments made by shopkeepers of the Chaura Bazar and Talab Bazaar areas. Since these are good vote banks, leaders of different parties interfere whenever the Municipal Corporation teams go to remove the illegal structures. During a recent hearing of the case, the MC had filed an affidavit in the court, seeking court guidance on the matter that since these shopkeepers had the copies of a decision taken by the administration about three decades back, whether their illegal structures be regularised. The next hearing of the case is on September 30. — TNS



Bus hits two bikers
Both admitted to hospital in a critical condition
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
Two persons travelling on a bike were critically injured after a speeding bus hit their motorcycle near West End Mall here today.

Around 30 passengers were travelling in the bus. However, none of them was injured in the accident. The accident led to a traffic jam on the Ferozepur road.

The bikers have been identified as Hira Lal (55) and Subhan (24). Both of them were rushed to a private hospital nearby. There condition was stated to be critical.

The incident took place this morning when the duo, who work at construction sties, were returning home at Phoolanwal.

According to the eyewitnesses, when they reached near West End Mall, a speeding Punjab Roadway bus hit the bike from behind. The man driving the bike lost control over it and both of them fell on the road. In order to save the two bikers, the bus driver took a sharp turn and the bus collided with the divider.

The eyewitnesses said the duo suffered multiple injuries and lost a lot of blood.

Killer wheels
It is the third accident involving speeding buses in the past 15 days.

August 26: Simar Kaur, a resident of Shimlapuri, was crushed to death by a speeding bus near the Jalandhar bypass.

September 2: A 35-year-old accountant was crushed to death by a speeding bus on the Dholewal flyover. The deceased was identified as Mohd Feroz. He was on his way back home. When he reached Dholewal flyover, a speeding bus hit his motorcycle. Feroz lost control over his vehicle and fell on the road. Before he could run to safety, the bus ran over him. A truck that was following the bus also crushed the motorcyclist, killing him on the spot.



Man gets 5 years’ jail for shooting at Cong leader
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 10
The Court of Sessions Judge Karamjit Singh Kang has convicted Brahm Kumar (37) of Housing Board Colony, BRS Nagar, of launching a murderous attack by shooting at a senior youth Congress leader Sanjiv Bhargav, alias Rocky, of BRS Nagar.

He was ordered to undergo imprisonment for five years u/s 307 (attempt to murder), three-year jail under the Arms Act and one-year jail under section 506 of the IPC. A fine of Rs 8,000 was also slapped on the convict.

Delivering the verdict, the court held that the prosecution had successfully proved the guilt of the accused beyond any reasonable shadow of doubt.

A case was registered against the accused at the Sarabha Nagar police station on November 2, 2009, on a statement of an injured Rocky. The bullet had hit him in the lower abdomen. He was rushed to the Medicity hospital by his father and brother-in-law. At the time of incident, the victim was at his house.

He told the police that following an altercation, the accused took out a pistol and trained it on the right side of his chest with intention to kill. When he tried to save himself, the bullet hit him in the lower abdomen.

However, the accused pleaded not guilty and claimed false implication.



Foetus mauled by stray dogs found in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
The city police have booked an unidentified woman for dumping a suspected female foetus that was partially eaten by stray dogs.

A safai karamchari, identified as Om Vir, spotted the foetus last evening. He said he was cleaning the road near the government flats in Daba when he saw the foetus lying at garbage dump.

He said the foetus was mauled by stray dogs. Soon, the police was informed about the incident.

The Daba SHO, Inspector Jatinderjit Singh, said the foetus was badly mauled by stray dogs and it could not be ascertained whether it was a male or female.

Sources in the police said the sex of the badly mauled foetus was female but the fact was kept a secret to complexities in the case.

The Civil Hospital authorities also maintained that the foetus was badly decomposed and its identity could not be established.

The said a case under section 318 of the IPC for concealment of birth by secret disposal of body had been registered against the unidentified mother.



CMCH-Kalveri Church row gets murkier
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
The standoff between the authorities of Kalveri Church, Brown Road, and the Employees Welfare Society of the Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMC&H) deepened today after the latter met Commissioner of Police Pramod Ban and Deputy Commissioner (DC) Rajat Aggarwal. The society has demanded security on the CMC campus in view of the two-day governing body meeting of the CMC starting tomorrow.

The delegation was led by Thulseedharan, president of the Employee Welfare Society; Alfred Goodwin, organising secretary; and Peter Das, medical adviser.

They said the secretary of the CNI church pastorate committee might try to disturb the meeting.

The members of the delegation said people from different parts of the state would attend the meeting.

The Employee Welfare Society apprehended any law and order problem would lead to disturbance in hospital working. Its members said they were worried about the trauma patients who required emergency medical care.

Meanwhile, Samsun Dogar, secretary, Kalveri Church, along with other members of the community took out a candlelight march on the Brown road.

They said their protest was against corruption prevalent in the premier medical institution.

Recently, Samson Dogar had claimed that the CMC authorities violated the law by giving a contract for constructing a building to Abhishek Giani, son of CMC chairman Rajinder Giani. Dogar also alleged that the value of the contract was fixed at Rs 9 crore while the actual cost of the project work was Rs 5 crore.

Meanwhile, the CMC Employees Welfare Society termed the allegations as baseless. They said Dogar, who was previously an employee of the CMC, was chucked out of services following a disciplinary action. His sole objective was to tarnish the image of the premier institute, the society added.



30-bedded health centre to be set up at Civil Lines
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
People living in the Civil Lines area will now have access to more health facilities as a 30-bedded urban community health centre is being set up at the Civil Surgeon’s office here.

Six urban community health centres are coming up in the city, which will cater to the people residing in corners of the city that do not have easy access to the Civil Hospital.

“The proposal for setting up of the health centre at the Civil Surgeon’s office has been passed and its construction will be started very soon,” said Dr Subhash Batta, Civil Surgeon.

Another such centre is being set up near the Vardhman factory on the Chandigarh road. It will be ready by December 31. Meanwhile, the land for two centres at Civil Lines and Shimlapuri have been approved.

The Shimplapuri centre will be set up next to the observation room. The Social Security Department has given an NOC to the Health Department in this regard. It will be a three-storey building with 10 beds on each floor.

“Such urban health centres will also be set up at Subhash Nagar, Dhandari Kalan, Jawaddi and Gahlewal.

“We have asked the authorities concerned for land. Once everything is finalized, a total of six urban community health centres will be set up in the corners of the city,” said Dr Batta.

Since it is not possible for everyone to visit the Civil Hospital and dispensaries were too inadequate to cater to the rising population, these health centres will come in handy.



Govt Ayurveda Hospital ailing
The 50-bedded facility, built at a cost of Rs 37 lakh 2 years ago, awaits staff, equipment
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
The fate of a 50-bed Government Ayurveda Hospital at Model Gram hangs in balance. Constructed at the cost of Rs 37 lakh, the hospital is awaiting for the staff as well as equipment.

Doctors deployed there are attending to OPD patients only. The foundation stone of the hospital was laid on October 18, 2010, by Lakshmi Kanta Chawla, the then Health and Family Welfare Minister, Punjab.

There are five such hospitals in the state. These have been constructed at Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar and Bathinda besides Ludhiana under a project of central government. However, none of these have been made operational for want of staff and equipment. For running all these five hospitals, as many as 435 employees are required.

Notably, before Lok Sabha elections, Surjit Kumar Jyani took over as the Health and Family Welfare Minister. Then, he had said the hospital would be made functional very soon.

But till date, the hospital is catering to OPD patients only.

Suman Sharma, a resident of Model Town Extension, said, “The government keeps making tall claims about improving health services but reality is totally different. Though this hospital was built last year, it has not been made operational completely.”

While Suresh Kumar, who prefers Panchkarma treatment to allopathy, said, “Ayurveda is good if diagnosis is proper. The government’s initiative to promote this field of medicine is appreciable. Now, the government should also depute staff at the hospital here so that patients may get benefit of it.”

I have already asked the state government to provide staff and equipment for the hospital. Former minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla has also talked to me about this. I am trying to get 230 posts sanctioned for these five government Ayurveda hospitals. I will also discuss the issue during the forthcoming Cabinet meeting. 
— Surjit Kumar Jyani, 
HEalth & Family Welfare Minister



Army flags off 7 trucks with relief material for J&K flood victims
Tribune News Service

Jawans load relief material for the flood-affected residents of Jammu and Kashmir at the military station, Dholewal, in Ludhiana.
lending a helping hand: Jawans load relief material for the flood-affected residents of Jammu and Kashmir at the military station, Dholewal, in Ludhiana. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, September 10
The Army flagged off seven trucks of eatables and other material for the victims in flood-torn Jammu and Kashmir.

With the efforts of Brigadier Jagdeep Dahiya and units of the Ludhiana Military Station, 30.6 tonne of material was sent today.

Disclosing this, Major Sunil Sharma said, “We have sent 24,557 litres of drinking water, blankets, biscuits, shawls, sweaters, rice, pulses and other food items besides candles, torches and medicines.”

The relief material was donated by residents besides organisations, including Coca Cola, SPS Apollo Hospital, Hero Cycles, Oswal Knitwears, Oswal Hospital, Cremica biscuits, Spring Dale School, Indus School, Kendriya Vidyalya, Yellow Chilly and Hot Breads restaurants.

Major Sunil appealed to the residents to donate more eatables, candles, match boxes and torches etc as there was enough number of blankets for the flood victims.



Chhapar Mela concludes
Faith blends with divine grace
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 10
Devotees continued to throng Guga Mari Temple at Chhapar village on the last day of the fair. As the event witnessed a huge turnout on Tuesday, residents of the town and surrounding localities chose to worship the deity today.

Owners and organisers of fun rides, circuses and magic shows felt relieved with the re-emergence of women and children who made their day profitable.

As schools were closed today, students and teachers showed up in large numbers.

Contrary to the normal trend, a large number of devotees were seen returning to their places early in the morning. Continuing tradition of their clans, the devotees performed a ‘chowki’ at the shrine overnight.

The pitiable condition of roads leading to the shrine had however made the journey bumpy.

Those coming by buses and trains had to make their way through rainwater stagnating in pits on approach roads.

Social organisations continued their gesture to provide free medicines at first-aid camps and serve food and water at langars and chhabeels. Karhi-chawal langar organised by the Sidh Salakhan Committee was relished by police officials and the visitors.

Making a healthy profit

Mela Chhapar turned out to be breather for the poor and the unemployed. They made the most of the occasion through novel ways.

Massaging, selling items of worship, sale of circulated parsad and exchanging large denomination notes with chiller and small denomination notes were some of the methods adopted by the ‘entrepreneurs’.

Ram Lal, a migrant labourer from Indra Colony, said he had compensated his loss of wages due to rains by organising an ‘open air massage parlour’ near the shrine.

“Finding no suitable job, I managed to earn enough money by giving massage to the elderly coming on foot from far-off places,” said Ram Lal. A number of youngsters were seen selling replicas of snakes wrapped in coloured papers. Unable to find suitable vends or shops nearby, the devotees purchased these. Another class of entrepreneurs was seen packing re-circulated parsad in paper bags for resale at cheaper prices.

Another man had established his stall to exchange larger denomination notes with smaller denomination notes or chiller.



Ban cotton imports: Farmers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 10
Asserting that cotton growers in the state were finding it difficult to sell their produce in markets, the Bharti Kisan Union today called upon the government to impose a blanket ban on import of cotton to safeguard the interests of farmers.

Talking to media persons after a state committee meeting today, the BKU president, Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, asked the government to pay 100 per cent compensation to the farmers for crop losses suffered due to rains.

He said failure of monsoon rains in the region had added to the cost of cultivation of paddy and other kharif crops whereas the government was continuing with its erratic formula of determination of minimum support price of various crops. Elaborating, the BKU chief with the MSP being determined on the basis of an obsolete formula, the farmers were suffering a loss of at least Rs 500 per quintal on the wheat crop.

Lakhowal said the meeting of the state committee emphasised upon the Agricultural Costs and Prices Commission to take into account the recommendations of Dr Swaminathan Committee for fixing the MSP of various crops. “On this basis, the MSP of wheat ought to be Rs 2,450 per quintal as against Rs 1,450 fixed by the government.

Looking forward to a bumper crop of basmati rice in the coming season, he said the state farmers were expected to produce more basmati rice. In order to secure the interests of rice growers, the government should fix its MSP at Rs 3,000 per quintal and at the same time a government agency should be entrusted with the procurement of basmati rice, he added. Lakhowal said diversification of crops needed to be promoted. With the objective, support price of maize should be announced soon. He urged the government to pay price of sugar cane to the farmers on a par with other neighbouring states and also provide more funds in the budget so that payments to the farmers were not delayed.



Dowry harassment
Police official adds insult to victim’s injury
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
Giving a little importance to a marriage certificate registered by the government, SHO of the Women Cell has asked a victim of dowry harassment to collect the certificate issued by the gurdwara where her marriage was solemnised.

Tired of running from pillar to post to collect the certificate, the victim, Iqbal Kaur of Mohalla Nandpura in Basti Jodhewal, has sought the intervention of the Commissioner of Police.

She told the Commissioner that SHO of the Women Cell Kulwant Kaur was trying derail the probe.

“I have been shuttling between my house and the gurdwara for the past 15 days. Each time, I visit the gurdwara, I am told that a copy of the marriage certificate will be provided only when the police will ask them to provide the certificate. I have submitted the marriage certificate issued by the government, but the police officials is not considering it valid,” said Iqbal Kaur. On July 19, Iqbal Kaur’s husband Gurpal Singh, her in-laws Harbhajan Singh and Gurvir Kaur, were booked in a dowry harassment case under Sections 406 and 498-A of the IPC. She said it was after much struggle that she managed to get the case registered. Iqbal Kaur stated that ever since the case was registered, the SHO was working overtime to quash the case. She said she had even met a senior police officials asking the latter to shift the case to some other official.

“The senior official ordered to mark the probe to some other official, but Kulwant Kaur is pressing me to produce the marriage certificate issued by the gurdwara,” said Iqbal Kaur. Kulwant Kaur has refuted the allegations. “The woman is pressing us to recover ornaments gifted to the in-laws during the time of wedding. The police cannot make such recoveries. We want the probe to be completed at the earliest, so that the challan is submitted in the court,” maintained Kulwant Kaur.



Be prepared for all contingencies: Army ex-chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
Former Army Chief General Ved Prakash Malik, who supervised Operation Vijay at Kargil, has expressed concern over the release of a 55- minute video by Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, in which the latter has desired to form an Indian branch of his militant group.

Malik, who was at Sat Paul Mittal School, said, “We have to be prepared for all contingencies. The Army, the Navy and the Air Force have to be exercise caution. The police and society should know how to handle such situations.”When asked whether Al-Qaeda’s weakening influence could be a reason behind its shift of focus on India, the former General observed, “I am not sure whether they are weakening, especially if you see what is happening in Iraq and Syria, they must be getting encouragement.”

Lauding the role of the Army in the rescue operation being carried out in flood-affected Jammu and Kashmir, Malik said, “They (Army) are playing their role. The dedication is there. I mean the soldiers are brought up in that manner. Army Chief, Dalbir Singh Suhag, had told the soldiers that no one would sleep till the time the job given to them was completed. If I would have been the General, I would have done the same. I always felt that the Armed Forces are and they have to be the most dependable brand in the country in times of crises.”Replying to the question whether the Air Force should have been given a larger role during Kargil War, VP Malik said, “Armed forces work together. The Air Force, the Navy and the Army have a role. We have our own characteristics so we follow those. But the military strategy at the highest level is worked together.” On shortage of officers, General Malik said, “There are two aspects. One important aspect is we cannot afford to dilute our quality and the second is that there are better opportunities today, so a large number of students are opting for those.”He maintained that patriotism had not taken a backseat.



Dragon eating into Indian cycle industry’s business
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
Rising imports of cycle and cycle parts from China and decreasing exports are giving sleepless nights to the local industry.

Over the last two years, the imports of bicycle and its parts have increased from Rs 300 crore to Rs 1,600 crore where as exports from India have reduced from Rs 1,400 crore to Rs 900 crore.

During a meeting of the anti-dumping duty committee of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers’ Association (UCPMA) held here, members expressed concern over the disturbing trends.

“The Indian cycle industry is in crisis due to import of cycle products from China,” said UCPMA president Charanjit Singh Vishivkarma.

Inderjit Singh Navyug, senior vice-president of the UCPMA, added, “Manufacturing is being stopped and industrialists are now depending on Chinese products. Almost 40 per cent of the bicycle industries have been shut while 10 per cent of the industries are in a very bad shape. The spare parts being imported from China and affecting the domestic market are hubcon, basket, chain, crank, brake cables, steel balls, levers, bicycle pump, pedal, axle, seat, spokes, complete end bicycles and high-end bicycles.”

There are reports that some manufacturers are importing material from China at very low price. They are using the sea route to bring products purchased from Chinese manufacturers. It is alleged that imported products are under-billed. Further, a number of industrialists importing Chinese products evade excise duty and sell final products in the domestic market at very low price.

“Materials imported in the illegal manner help importers save a large amount of money, which should have otherwise gone to the treasury in the form of import duty. That way, they are committing fraud with the government too,” said the UCPMA president.

Office-bearers of the association believe that the solution to the problem lies in increasing the import duty on bicycle and its parts from 30 per cent to 50 per cent.



Now, file monthly VAT return online
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
The monthly return of value added tax (VAT) can now be submitted online. “According to the public notice, the online facility is available from September 1,” said Arun Kanwal, president of the District Taxation Bar Association (Sales Tax).

Meanwhile, the tax deposit date will be the same, 20th of every month by cheque and 30th of every month by cash, said Mohit Aggarwal, press secretary of the association.

A dealer is now not required to submit the VAT 16 Form physically at the office of the department concerned.

Jatinder Khurana, executive member of the Indian Taxation Advocates Association, said the department kept issuing new orders and forms.

“Things should be streamlined and the entire process made online in one go. So, traders don’t have to upgrade their software every now and then,” he said.



City wakes up to smoggy morning
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
Smog engulfed the city in the morning today. As a result, daily commuters faced problem in driving to their destinations.

According to the School of Climate Change and Agricultural Meteorology, Punjab Agriculture University, “The weather is expected to remain partly cloudy with possibility of thundershowers at isolated places in Ludhiana and its adjoining areas during the next 24 hours.”

The maximum temperature was recorded at 32.8 degree Celsius today while the minimum was 25.2 degree Celsius.



Dengue larvae found in 31 houses
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
Larvae of dengue-causing aedes aegypti was found in 31 houses here today.

A team of 20 mosquito breeding checkers along with insect collectors and multi-purpose health supervisor checked coolers in different areas as a measure against breeding of aedes aegypti.

In Basti Jodhewal, dengue larva was found in one cooler while at Shimla Puri, larvae were found in 23 coolers. At Himmat Singh Nagar Dugri, six coolers were found to be containing dengue larvae and near Bharat Nagar Chowk, the larvae was spotted in one cooler.

The information regarding the same has been passed on to the Municipal Corporation officials for issuing challans.

The checking was held under the direction of Civil Surgeion Dr Subash Batta and under the supervision of District Epidemiologist Dr Anil Verma.



Wherever they go, politics follows
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
A dearth of women leaders in the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has led the SAD to appoint Bibi Jagir Kaur, who has a “tainted past”, as the president of the women’s wing of the party. Surjit Kaur Barnala, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Longowal), stated this in Ludhiana today. She, along with her husband Surjit Singh Barnala, was in the city to enquire about the health of senior SAD leader Jagdev Singh Talwandi, who is undergoing treatment at the DMC.

Surjit Singh Barnala, former Punjab Chief Minister and former Governor of Tamil Nadu, said Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s letter to the Punjab Government clearly indicated that the state government had “not utilised” the funds properly.

“Misuse of funds by the Punjab Government is the reason why the NDA Government has denied a special financial package to Punjab. The state government has been unable to get any special economic package from the Centre, though the BJP-led NDA is ruling at the Centre. The BJP is the SAD’s alliance partner in the state and the SAD is a constituent of the NDA,” said Barnala.”

Commenting on the SAD-BJP alliance in the state, Surjit Singh Barnala claimed that the relations between the alliance partners were strained due to the Akali Dal-INLD alliance in Haryana. There are reports that the BJP leaders from Haryana wanted the SAD patriarch, Parkash Singh Badal, to refrain from campaigning for the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD).

In the city to enquire about the health of a senior SAD leader, Surjit Kaur Barnala, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Longowal), accused the state government of misusing funds.



Pensioners upset over non-payment of dues
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 10
Pensioners of the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) today staged a dharna at the local depot to protest against the non-payment of pensions for the past three months.

Functionaries of the union, including Sukhwinder Singh, chairman, Krishan Lal, president, Bachittar Singh, vice-president, and Jagdish Singh, general secretary, said the harassed pensioners had staged a dharna at Patiala, the headquarters of the PRTC, on August 13, 2014, when the management had assured that dues of pension for two months would be paid by August 22, 2014.

“On failure of the management to make the payment, the pensioners had again staged a dharna at Ludhiana on August 22 when the movement of buses was also disrupted and the PRTC depot at Patiala was blocked. Still, the management of the PRTC has failed to pay the dues,” the speakers said.

The functionaries charged the state government with pursuing a systematic plan to push the public sector in transport out of business. “The PRTC workers will foil all such evil designs of the government and the management,” they maintained.

Alleging that the Punjab Government was eyeing prime chunks of the PRTC land to tide over its financial crisis, general secretary of the state INTUC Suresh Sood said 11 acres of land of Bathinda depot and headquarters of the PRTC at Patiala were in the process of being sold. “It is a conspiracy hatched by the government and the powerful lobby of private transporters,” he said.



Youngsters keeping watch in style
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
With the launch of Apple iWatch and other smart watches, youngsters and fashion lovers in the city are all agog about the changing technology and its making inroads into the fashion domain. “The technology is becoming more and more ‘personal’. With the coming of mobile phones, watches became more like an ornament, but with the smart watches, technology is taking the space on the wrist, marking the convergence of technology, fashion and utility,” said Gaurav, a youngster.

For many grown ups, having an interactive watch is nothing short of sci-fi movie of yesteryears. “I used to watch Bond movies having such gadgets and used to imagine having a ‘television screen’ in the watch, but with the coming of such wearable gadgets and watches, the fiction has become a reality,” said Ritesh, a businessman. For others, smart watches are a welcome gadget. “For me, holding a smartphone only serves the entertainment and Internet purpose. As big-screen phones have become a necessity for multimedia and Internet on the go, I find making calls with them cumbersome. The latest smart watches are a good alternative for such purposes,” said Harvinder, another young technology enthusiast.

Technology is increasingly becoming a part of fashion. “Smartphones, different covers and interesting coloured earphones are already considered a part of the style statement for many people and smart watches will further push technology into wearable ‘techno-fashion’ direction,” said another youngster. 



Kisan Mela
VC calls for huge participation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Baldev Singh Dhillon has called upon farmers and their families to participate in a large number in the two-day on-campus Kisan Mela to be held on September 12 and 13.

The mela offers a vast treasure of knowledge in addition to seeds of latest varieties of field and vegetable crops, he said.

“This year, the fair had been themed as ‘Khalas sudre beej apnao, Kharche ghatao, munafa vadhao’ (use improved seed, reduce cost and enhance profits),” he said.

Dr Dhillon said this time, the university had specially arranged live demonstrations on paddy straw management machinery for wheat sowing in combine-harvested paddy fields with standing stubble.

Besides, demonstrations would be given on the use of paddy straw for the preparation of farmyard manure, biogas and in mushroom cultivation, he said. Dr Dhillon said the visitors would be shown demonstrations on new varieties, production-protection technologies for field, vegetable and fruit crops along with agro-forestry and ornamental plants. University scientists would also demonstrate the working of small equipment/machinery. There will be a produce competition of various field, vegetable, fruit and ornamental crops.

A big agro-industrial exhibition would also be organised in which machinery/equipment manufacturers would display the latest models, the VC said.

Dr Dhillon said the fair offers many activities for farm women also. Home scientists would provide new ideas and tips on child care and home management. In addition, cooking, knitting and embroidery competitions would also be held.

SS Gosal, Director (Research), said the Kisan Mela was an important occasion for the farmers to learn about latest technologies for crop production and protection, post-harvest handling and subsidiary occupations such as mushroom growing and beekeeping.

The PAU always looks forward to receiving farmers’ feedback to reprioritise its research and other programmes, he said.

Dr HS Dhaliwal, Director, Extension Education, said the fair plays a crucial role in dispersion of farm technology at a larger level. Farmers could harvest latest advances in technology and share their problems with scientists at exhibition stalls.

A technical session for interaction between the farmers and the scientists would also be organised to acquaint the farmers with the latest technologies and respond to their queries. The quality seed of the recommended crop varieties and PAU farm literature would be available for sale, he added.



Delegation from Kenya, Malawi visits PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
A 30-member delegation from Kenya and Malawi visited Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) to have an overview of agriculture in Punjab and to apprise themselves of the research, teaching and extension programmes of the university.

The delegation was led by Deks William and George from Kenya and Malawi, respectively. VP Sharma, Director, Information Technology, National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE), Hyderabad, and Girjesh Joshi, Assistant Public Relations Officer, MANAGE, Hyderabad, accompanied the delegation.

The delegates interacted with senior officials of the PAU and visited experimental areas of various departments.

In his remarks, RS Sidhu, Registrar, said the PAU aims at exploring possibilities of collaboration with African countries for strengthening the learning process.

Stating that Indian agriculture had made tremendous progress in the past 50 years, he said the country was self-sufficient in producing food grains.

“Development of farm technologies by the PAU and their timely adoption by farmers played a pivotal role in making Punjab as a biggest contributor to the national foodgrain bowl,” he said.

Dr Sidhu emphasised on adopting new extension approach and said the capacity building of the farmers should be the prime focus in this direction.

Dr Gursharan Singh, Dean, Postgraduate Studies, said that the university was contemplating to open off-shore campuses in African countries.

While PS Aulakh, Additional Director, Extension Education, said the university was having exemplary linkage with the farmers.

The dissemination of latest research findings among farmers, farm women, entrepreneurs and extension personnel through kisan melas, workshops, exhibitions, special campaigns, trainings and field days was the major mandate of the PAU, he said.

Presenting research highlights of the PAU, Dr RK Gumber, Additional Director, Research (Crop Improvement), said Punjab generates the largest exportable surplus in rice in the world after Thailand, and the third largest in wheat after Canada and Argentina.

“PAU is a mother of green revolution, pioneer in apiculture, and leader in conservation agriculture, farm mechanisation, and developing cross-breed cattle,” he said.

At present, depleting underground water, deteriorating soil health, crop diversification, rice straw management, bio-energy, climate change, post-harvest management and value addition were the focus areas of the PAU research, he added.

Earlier, welcoming the PAU officials and the delegates, Chander Mohan, Additional Director, Communication, said the visit of the delegation to the PAU was a part of the US-India-Africa trilateral partnership programme.

Discussing about agriculture issues, he said: “For water management, there is a need to shift some area from under rice cultivation to other alternative crops.”

The PAU experts addressed all queries of the delegates. JS Mahal, Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology; and HS Dhaliwal, Director, Punjab Agricultural Management Extension and Training Institute (PAMETI), were among others present.

The delegation also visited the field area of plant breeding, lab of school of agricultural biotechnology and interacted with the scientists.



Parent files complaint against school

Ludhiana, September 10
A parent submitted a memorandum with the Commissioner of Police against a private school today alleging that the principal, director and staff of the school have been harassing his daughters studying in Classes IX and IV here.

He alleged that he had participated in a campaign against inordinate fee hike in the school and the school authorities were harassing his daughters in reprisal.

His daughters were made to stand in harsh sultry weather outside, not allowed to drink water and appear for examination and dismissed from the school, he alleged.

The girls are reportedly in a state of fear due to the same. He has sought action against the guilty and wants that studies of his daughters be resumed at the school. — TNS



Two students honoured for act of bravery
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
Students Jatin Behal and Nitin Baweja, who were instrumental in exposing shopkeepers who provided drugs, tobacco and liquor to children, were honoured by Police Commissioner Pramod Ban and Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal today.

The Raksha Jyoti Foundation had sought permission from the authorities to allow them to conduct a sting operation against those shopkeepers who were openly selling drugs to the youngsters.

Officials applauded the efforts made by the students and motivated others to follow their footsteps to expose social evils prevalent in society. The officials also praised the foundation for conducting the sting operation and said they would act tough against such shopkeepers.

They ensured that in case shopkeepers were found selling such items to schoolchildren, their licences will be cancelled.



College notes
Literacy Day celebrated

The NSS unit of the Doraha College of Education celebrated International Literacy Day on college campus. The students competed in the categories of debate, elocution and poem recitations. The topic of debate was ‘Educational qualification should not be considered while allocating portfolios to ministers’. In elocution, the participants spoke on the topic of ‘Social networking sites are a boon and bane’, Students participated in each category with enthusiasm. The students also staged a play, which was the main highlight of the programme. A cultural programme comprising folk songs and folk dances was also presented.

Seminar on emerging technology

The placement cell and the department of computer science of the Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Gujarkhan Campus, Model Town, Ludhiana organised a seminar on emerging technology on Wednesday. Jaswinder Singh and Nemparkash Chouhan from NIIT, Ludhiana, apprised students of BCA, BA and PGDCA about the emerging global technology. On this occasion, Principal of the college Manjit Kaur Ghuman welcomed the role played by such seminars in grooming the overall personality of the students.

Environment awareness rally held

A community work programme was organised by the NSS and Rotaract units of the Doraha College of Education Government Senior Secondary School, Rajgarh, under the ‘Bio-diversity Conservation campaign”, sponsored by the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology, under the aegis of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, GoI. Students of the college planted saplings on the school campus. The plants were donated to the school students with an objective to motivate them towards environmental awareness. The college students also donated stationery and sports items to school students during the programme. Sukhwinder Singh, assistant professor of the Doraha College of Education, also delivered a lecture on “the need of clean and green environment.” An environmental awareness rally on the theme ‘Go Green’ was also organised at Rajgarh village on Tuesday. The rally was flagged off by Narinder Pal Singh, Principal, Government Senior Secondary School, Rajgarh. S Bhagwant Singh, sarpanch, Malhipur, accompanied him during the drive. The students marched the roads of the village.

Book exhibition

A two-day book exhibition was organised at the Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Gujharkhan Campus, Model Town. The Gurmat Pustak Bhandhar of Model Town displayed books of publishers from various cities of Punjab, like Patiala, Jalandhar and Ludhiana. A variety of subjects were covered by the organisers ranging from novels, poetry anthology, cookery books, dictionaries and books on acupressure. A separate section was devoted to books on Sikhism and holy scriptures. The students and teachers showed keen interest in the exhibition. Books on the history of Sikhs and historical figures were liked by the students. — TNS



school notes

The student council of Guru Gobind Singh Public School was constituted on Wednesday. As many as 42 students of the council took the pledge. Gursimran Singh Dhillon was elected head boy. He is five times national champion of karate and three times international karate champion. Simranpreet Kaur was elected head girl, Kiranpreet Kaur of Class XI vice-head girl and Parampreet Kaur Handa sports captain (girl). Ramandeep Singh Chakkal was elected sports captain (boys). Discipline in charge is Jujhar Singh and Anupreet Kaur. Principal Manjit Kaur congratulated all members of the council.

Students win laurels

Students of Montessori-I of Ryan International School, Dugri, participated in a competition organised by the Maruti Art Academy. Students made the school proud by bagging gold and silver medals. Laksha Chandol of Class II and Sayyam of Class IV won gold medals where as Gurkirat Singh of Class Montessori-I has won a silver medal. Headmistress of the school Ritu Syal congratulated all winners.


DRV DAV Centenary Public School, Phillaur, organised an exhibition on environment conservation. Students prepared the charts showing the causes of increasing pollution in rivers and their solutions. Charts were displayed and all students viewed the exhibition. Yogesh Gambhir, Principal of the school, appreciated students for their excellent work and said clean and natural environment ensures the safety of human life on earth.

Students’ date with former Army Chief

A girl presents an item during the visit of former Army Chief Gen VP Malik to Sat Paul Mittal School in Ludhiana.
A girl presents an item during the visit of former Army Chief Gen VP Malik to Sat Paul Mittal School in Ludhiana. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Students of Sat Paul Mittal School on Tuesday got an opportunity to interact with Gen Ved Prakash Malik, former Chief of the Indian Army. Members of the governing council and other dignitaries were among those present. The function began with the address of Rakesh Bharti Mittal, chairman, governing council. He said Gen Ved Prakash Malik had set exemplary standards of patriotism and leadership qualities. In his address, General Malik shared his views on how to become good leaders. He said: “Leadership is 20 per cent knowledge and 80 per cent attitude.” He urged the students to develop a sound character and take on challenges confidently. Self-discipline, team spirit, courage (physical and moral), integrity and personal example were important attributes of a good leader. He shared some stories of Kargil heroes, who sacrificed their lives for the country. He also shared his experiences with them and urged them to succeed in every venture with integrity and make their nation proud of them. The visit marked the celebration of completion of 10 glorious years of the school. — TNS



ludhiana scan
Salary not paid, PAU employees protest

Members of PAU Employees Union on Wednesday protested against the delay in receipt of salaries from the university. Senior vice-president of the union Lakhwinder Singh Sandhu said about 800 members of the union squatted outside the Thapar Hall on the university campus to protest against the delay in the release of salaries. He said it becomes difficult to run home affairs due to delayed salaries, adding that they would continue their protest until their salaries were released. Members of the union would hold a rally on Thursday.

Murderous attack on doctor condemned

The Indian Medical Association, Punjab, has condemned the murderous attack on Dr Manish Garg at Safidon in Haryana. The doctors’ body stated that the attack was an outcome of old enmity over the demand of identity proof before conducting ultrasound scan on a pregnant lady. The IMA, Punjab, has conveyed its unconditional support to the IMA, Haryana, if the latter launches an agitation for the cause of safety of colleagues in Haryana.

e-auctioning of properties

State Bank of India has launched a novel initiative called SBI Property Mall to popularise the sale of industrial, commercial and residential properties through e-auction. The first such SBI Property Mall in the country was inaugurated in the city on Wednesday. Parveen Kumar Malhotra, deputy managing director and group executive opened the facility on the premises of the bank’s branch in Civil Lines. Details of the e-auction to be conducted along with photographs of the properties being sold are displayed in the mall. Interested investors were also familiarised with the online e-auction process.

Strike continues

The indefinite hunger strike by Bhupinder Singh, member of Rural Health Pharmacists Association, continued at Mohali. The members of the association are also sitting on a dharna for the last six days. Despite repeated promises, the jobs of the pharmacists have not been regularised, owing to which pharmacists adopted the path of agitation.

Seminar held

A seminar on “Recent advances in diagnosis of tuberculosis and updates on cervical cancer” was organised in USPC Jain Charitable Hospital. Dr Mona Goyal from Dr Lal Path Labs conducted the seminar. She informed the audience about the latest methods to diagnose tuberculosis and cervical cancer at an early stage.

Piece of metal removed from patient’s eye

A metallic foreign body was removed from a patient's eye at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital on Wednesday. A team of ophthalmologists, led by Sumeet Chopra, Associate Professor, Ophthalmology, found that the patient had a piece of metal in his eye that he got while working in a factory. The team removed the foreign body thereby saving the patient's eye. According to Dr Chopra, the foreign body had damaged the retina of the eye, resulting in retinal detachment and bleeding called vitreous hemorrhage. — TNS



Woman jumps off third floor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 10
Harassed by husband and in-laws, a 23- year-old woman jumped from the third floor of her house in Gulabi Bag Colony, Daba.

The woman, identified as Nisha (23), was rushed to hospital.

Her condition is stated to be critical.

Nisha’s relatives have told the police that their daughter was being harassed by her husband and in-laws. Nisha had a heated argument with her husband and in-laws this evening. A case has been registered.



Khanna lad wins four medals at PTU swimming meet
Our Correspondent

Jaspal Singh Grewal flaunts the medals he won at the swimming championship.
Jaspal Singh Grewal flaunts the medals he won at the swimming championship. A Tribune photograph

Khanna, September 10
Local lad Jaspal Singh Grewal has won four bronze medals at the Punjab Technical University inter-college swimming championship held in Ludhiana.

A BTech student of Gurukul Vidyapeeth Engineering College, Rajpura, Jaspal participated in 50-m freestyle, 50-m backstroke, 100-m breaststroke and 100-m freestyle categories and won bronze medals in all of them. The championship was held at Guru Nanak Engineering College, Ludhiana.

Jaspal is getting training at the NIS, Patiala.

A former president of Khanna Municipal Council, Iqbal Singh, and Bhalinder Singh Bhandal, a senior SAD leader here, congratulated Jaspal Singh for the feat.



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