L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Man bludgeoned to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
A blood-soaked body of a man was found on Jagraon Bridge this morning. Soon, Kotwali SHO Surinder Mohan reached the spot and started investigations. The deceased, identified as Billa (35), was bludgeoned to death.

A few hours after the incident, accused Arun Kumar (20) was arrested with drugs.

Arun confessed to have killed Billa, who was sleeping on the footpath.

Vishal, an eyewitness, told the police that Arun came with a brick in his hand and smashed it on the head of Billa, killing the victim on the spot. The police said Arun and Billa were pickpockets. Last night, they had an argument over sharing the booty. Arun told the police that both of them had dinner together following which they consumed drugs. When Billa went to sleep, Arun decided to kill him. As the incident took place at Jagraon Bridge, there is a confusion over the jurisdiction as the Government Railway Police may probe the case.


Fake driver’s licence scam unearthed
3 docs, 3 agents, DTO and Suvidha Centre employees have been booked
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
Blowing the lid off a fake driver’s licence scam, Vigilance officials have booked eight persons, including three doctors, three agents, employees of the District Transport Office and the Suvidha Centre.

The arrests were made following a three-month probe. The accused have been identified as Dr Ashok Aggarwal, Dr PS Ghulati, Dr Santokh Singh, DTO office employee Baljinder Singh, Suvidha Centre employee Vinod Kumar Sehgal and three agents namely Desraj, alias Raj, Rajiv Gupta and Sunil Sood.

The accused have been booked under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

SSP (Vigilance) Satinder Singh said they had arrested Raj, Sunil and Rajiv while raids were on to nab the remaining accused.

On the involvement of the doctors, Satinder Singh said the names had cropped up during the probe, out of six, three doctors had given fake addresses.

The officials said Dr PS Ghulati and Dr Santokh Singh were retired Punjab Civil Medical Services (PCMS) doctors while Dr Ashok Aggarwal was practising at a charitable hospital.

During a surprise check at the DTO office on June 20, an agent was nabbed with 64 driver’s licences.

During investigations, the involvement of Vinod Kumar Sehgal, who was working for the outsourcing company, Smart Chip, came to light.

The company was given the contract of operating the Suvidha Centre where driver’s licence applications were also being submitted.

Vinod had hired Desraj, alias Raj, who received applications from other agents and residents visiting the DTO office.

Raj had his network of agents and doctors who prepared fitness certificates.

Besides charging government fee, Raj would take hefty sums from licence seekers.

DTO office employee Baljinder Singh was helping the accused in processing the applications coming through Raj.

The doctors were working overtime and were issuing fitness certificates without even seeing the applicants.

A few doctors had given fake addresses, said the vigilance officials.

Sources said more skeleton were likely to tumble out of the closet.

Scum of scammers
SSP (Vigilance) Satinder Singh said they had arrested Raj, Sunil and Rajiv while raids were on to nab the remaining accused.
During a surprise check at the DTO office on June 20, an agent was nabbed with 64 driver’s licences.
The doctors were working overtime and were issuing fitness certificates without even seeing applicants.
DTO office employee Baljinder Singh was helping the accused in processing applications.



Poor fail to bank on Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Sushil Kumar said he went to the State Bank of India’s Tagore Nagar branch where employees refused to open his account saying they had achieved their targets. “I face a great difficulty in sending money to my family in Uttar Pradesh,” he said.

Ludhiana, September 17
Making a mockery of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious project Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, banks are blatantly declining to offer facilities to the poor.

Sushil Kumar, a resident of Thapar Colony at Civil City in Haibowal Kalan, said he had lost the hope of opening a bank account. An embroider by profession, Sushil went to the State Bank of India’s main branch near Fountain Chowk to open an account, but was turned away by the staff.

“I was told that my account will be opened at Tagore Nagar branch of the State Bank of India. I reached the bank, but to my disappointment, employees told me that they had achieved their targets and refused to open my account,” said Sushil Kumar.

Thereafter, Sushil tried his luck at another nationalised bank located at Hambran Road near the DMC. But there too, bank officials refused to open his account.

He said in the absence of a bank account, he faced difficulty in sending money to his native village in Uttar Pradesh. “Due to the fear of thefts, a family member has to stay back,” said Sushil Kumar.

JP Kalra, branch manager, SBI, said the scheme was for the poor. He said people were opening multiple accounts in different banks.

“I did not know that bank employees refused to open Sushil’s account. I will look into the matter,” said Kalra.

Later, Sushil went to the bank again and this time his account was opened. “I have to submit Rs 500 in cash following which the bank will issue a passbook,” he said.



AIR mulls studio in city
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
After running AIR FM Gold Radio from a rented accommodation for 10 months, Prasar Bharati is mulling over having its own studio in the city.

A team led by Mohammad Shakeel, installation officer, All-India Radio (AIR), visited the city today. They discussed the proposal of the district administration

Rajat Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, said: “AIR officials are looking for land where they can set up the studio. I have spoken to PUDA and Ludhiana Improvement Trust authorities. The officials are also in talks with Punjab Agricultural University authorities.”

Another official said: “For benefiting farmers, the PAU is thinking of starting community radio. But the range of the radio will not be more than 10 kilometres. If AIR FM Gold studio is established on the PAU campus, everybody will be able to listen to. The farmers will be able to learn new techniques this way.” The project, spread over 2-3 acres, will cost AIR Rs 20 crore. AIR FM Gold Radio was launched in Ludhiana on November 10 last year. Manish Tewari inaugurated the FM station.



City reeks of A2Z company’s inefficiency
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
Following a number of complaints against A2Z, (a waste management company), MC Commissioner Pradeep Aggarwal has constituted committees to conduct a survey in all wards.

“I have constituted more than 12 committees. Senior officials of the civic body will head the panels. Each committee will survey five wards and will submit a report to me within four-five days,” said Aggarwal.

The authorities are reportedly not satisfied with the way the company works. It is learnt that the company has been lifting garbage for the past 25 years. An official of the Health Department said the company had not started door-to-door collection of garbage. “The company has to set up a processing plant in Jamalpur. The work is going on, but you never know how much time it takes. The company has only disappointed the residents, said the official.

He said it was not an easy task to live up to the expectations of the authorities and residents, especially when 1,100 tonnes of garbage was being collected by the company on a daily basis from the industrial city. But it has to comply with the terms and conditions,” said the official.



Testing times for hosiery industry

Ludhiana, September 17
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader HS Phoolka has written a letter to Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Parkash Singh Badal, demanding compensation for the hosiery industry that has incurred losses because of Jammu & Kashmir floods.

Urging the CM to treat those who have suffered losses as ‘flood victims’, Phoolka writes: “The loss suffered by hosiery units is estimated between Rs 50 crore and Rs 100 crore.” Phoolka has also demanded that a collector-level official be appointed to assess the loss incurred by the hosiery units. After assessing the loss, the state government should send a report to the Central Government and demand a special relief package. — TNS



Domestic helps: Here today, gone tomorrow
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
Residents’ obsession for domestic helps is costing them dear. For arranging a maid, swindlers posing as placement agents charge anything between Rs 20,000 and Rs 30,000.

The domestic helps either commit thefts or they quietly sneak away from the house after spending a few minutes. In the latest case, Sarabjit Singh, president, Brick Kiln Owner’s Association, became a victim of one such gang. Sarabjit Singh, a resident of BRS Nagar, said he had been on the lookout for a maid. “Someone suggested me to look for a placement agency on the Internet. I found one and sent a message to the placement agency. A person, along with a maid, visited my house and took Rs 30,000,” said Sarabjit Singh.

He said the servant stayed in the house for an hour and that he learnt about the fraud in the evening when the maid was nowhere to be seen. “I called up the placement agent, but his phone was unreachable,” said Sarabjit Singh. He reported the matter to the Sarabha Nagar police today. Another resident said she had hired a maid from Bengal through a placement agency. After working for a few months, the maid decamped with gold and diamond ornaments worth over Rs 5 lakh. “On learning about the theft, I contacted the placement agent and told him about the incident. The agent told me that the maid’s mother had lodged a complaint against him for forcing her daughter to work as a bonded labourer. I kept quiet and did not report the matter to the police,” said the woman. Recently, a maid, hired by a businessman, decamped with jewellery worth Rs 30 lakh from his house in Tagore Nagar. The woman was caught on camera.

People are at fault

Advocate Munish Purang said the city had witnesses several such cases. In some cases, residents are at fault. Many cases of theft go unreported as house owners hush up the matter.

Stealing peace
On Tuesday, two factory workers attacked Ranjiv Bajaj, his wife Aprajita and decamped with cash, gold jewellery and mobile phones. The victim were rushed to hospital. Sources said the police had arrested one of the accused.



MGNREGA strike enters Day 3
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
The MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) Contract Employees Union continued with their dharna outside the office of the Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development), Ludhiana, here today. The protest has entered its third consecutive day.

The district president of the union, Sandeep Singh, said the MGNREGA employees, who are on duty for eight hours, should be regularised.

“As many as 10 employees will sit on 24-hour long hunger strike at the Mini Secretariat tomorrow. The remaining employees will carry out a candle march in the evening. The candle march will start from Jagraon Bridge, heading towards Bharat Nagar Chowk, bus stand, Kochhar Market, Pakhowal Road and will conclude at the Mini Secretariat,” said the district president of the union.

On September 19, the MGNREGA employees, along with the support of the PSSF (Punjab Services Subordinate Federation) and the CITU (Center of Indian Trade Union), will burn effigies of the government and will also burn their degrees. Many of the MGNREGA employees are degree holders.

The agitating office-bearers maintained that their main demand is to regularise them. Sandeep Singh said, “The MGNREGA is a demand-based scheme. If a beneficiary demands for work, he should be given work. The salary of the MGNREGA employees is given from the six per cent contingency of the expenditure of the MGNREGA scheme. This reduces salary of the employees.”

The vice-president of the district union, Gurpreet Singh, said, “We have to be on duty from 9 am to 5 pm. So it is unfair to give salary to the MGNREGA employees with the contingency of expenditure. Ever since MGNREGA started in Punjab in the year 2007, the flow of funds remained irregular. The MGNREGA employees are usually paid salaries after a much delay of at least 4-5 months.”

He further added that without funds, the MGNREGA employees also face problem in getting works accomplished.

Hunger strike today
“As many as 10 employees will sit on a 24-hour hunger strike at the Mini-Secretariat on Thursday. The remaining employees will carry out a candle march in the evening,” said the district president of the union, Sandeep Singh.



Poor drainage system sickens residents of Nangal village
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 17
Residents of Nangal village are allegedly upset over the civic body’s failure to prevent overflowing of stinking water of ponds on the village roads.

There are four ponds in the village and reportedly none of them have been cleaned and de-silted for the past many months.

Though the village has been receiving enough grants for cleaning the ponds, but nothing has been done so far. The legislator of the segment, Darshan Singh Shivalik, has assured to get the ponds cleared up soon.

Villagers accused office-bearers of the civic body of adopting a lackadaisical attitude towards maintenance of drainage system and clearing of village ponds.

Majority of roads leading to the village has become waterlogged even after light showers. The stagnant water has caused inconvenience, particularly to schoolchildren and elderly. As a result, roads have been damaged too.

Residents of localities, adjoining the ponds, said the stinking water has seeped in at their houses as well, making life miserable.

Releasing the pond water on the road is no solution to the problem, rather it has added to the woes. Due to waterlogging, the villagers have become vulnerable to many diseases. Larvae have also been found in the stagnant water.

Acknowledging receiving receipt of complaints from villagers, panches Avtar Singh Chahal and Gurdarshan Singh Virk said they would discuss the issue in the meeting of the civic body and get the needful done at the earliest.



Government to transfer PWD guest house to PUDA
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna, September 17
With a motive to generate revenue, the Punjab Government has decided to transfer the PWD guest house, Khanna, to the PUDA.

The guest house spread over an area of 1.75 acres is situated near the bus stand on the GT Road and it was constructed about 70 years ago.

As per some residents of Khanna, the site is a prime location and its value estimates to be around Rs 70-80 crores.

The SDM, Khanna, Sanyam Aggarwal, confirmed about the handover of this prime property to the PUDA. “This property will be handed over to the PUDA in one month. The PUDA will decide how to use it as commercially or by another means,” said the SDM.

Aggarwal said this land was to be handed over to the PUDA, under utilisation of vacant government land for other purposes. The rest house was being run by the PWD B&R. Meanwhile, the MLA, Khanna, Gurkirat Singh Kotli, has flayed the decision of the state government to handover the guest house to the PUDA. The decision of the state government to sell this land is totally wrong, said the MLA.

A Congressman, Ashok Tiwari, also flayed the decision and said the Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister Beant Singh, former minister Shamsher Singh Dullon and several other ministers often stay there for meetings, functions and press conferences.



Encroachments galore in Old Grain Market
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, September 17
A large number of illegal encroachments are mushrooming in the Old Grain Market of Jagraon. Only a few shopkeepers in the market have not yet encroached upon the Municipal Council land in front of their respective shops.

Reportedly, a large number of shopkeepers have extended the area of their shops up to a space of more than 10 meters. In absence of an action by the local civic body, shopkeepers have even erected concrete structures on the land belonging to the local Municipal Council.

These illegal encroachments by the shopkeepers have further narrowed down the already congested Old Grain Market. Resultantly, people visiting the market have to face a lot of inconvenience. The movement of vehicles has also been affected due to the ill practice. Besides, illegal encroachments have caused heavy revenue loss to the civic body.

According to the sources, the shopkeepers have made these illegal encroachments in connivance with certain representatives of the local Municipal Council. It is worth to mention that whenever the Municipal Council initiate any drive to remove these illegal structures, some councillors or local politicians allegedly come to the rescue of shopkeepers and the authorities are forced to abandon their drive.

Apart from this, the Municipal Council has also been under political pressure from the local leaders of various political parties due to which the authorities have shut their eyes towards the illegal practice, added the sources.

Even though the issue of illegal encroachments in the market was raised several times by some municipal councillors during the past general house meetings of the now defunct Municipal Council, nothing has been done to remove these encroachments from the market so far. Some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) too raised the issue time and again, but nothing has been done so far.

Former municipal councillor Kamlesh Sabharwal also wrote to the higher authorities of the Local Bodies Department complaining about the illegal encroachments in the Old Grain Market some months ago. F

ollowing this, a vigilance team had also visited Jagraon to take an account of the situation but till now no action has been taken to remove these encroachments.

The Jagraon Municipal Council Executive Officer, Davinder Singh Toor, was not available for comments.



Human trafficking case
I’m being framed: Suspect
Alleges Samsul pressuring to hand over the children to him
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
A day after Samsul, a resident of Rajabitha village in Jharkhand, levelled allegations of child trafficking against his relative, Gafoor Ansari from Bihar, the latter has slammed the allegations as baseless.

Countering the allegations, Gafoor said, “It is indeed Samsul who runs a child trafficking racket and was even booked by the police in Jharkhand in this regard.”

He alleged Samsul had sold off his belongings in Jharkhand and shifted to the city.

Gafoor alleged that Samsul was now operating along with another placement agency at the Tajpur Road.

Gafoor further alleged that Samsul was pressuring him to handover the eight girls and a boy to him so that he could re-employ them somewhere and earn money.

Gafoor said he had also spoken to the families of the eight girls and the boy. “Their parents told me that Samsul had usurped the salaries of the children,” he alleged.

He further added that the eight girls and the boy were safe.

“I am visiting Rajabitha village in Jharkhand and soon I will bring the parents of the eight girls and the boy with me. I will hand over the children to their parents in the presence of the police. I know about Samsul’s evil designs and I will not handover the children to him,” alleged Gafoor.

Gafoor of Ram Das Nagar, Tajpur Road, said he came to the city 21-years-ago. He now runs a roadside eatery.

“Last year I met Samsul, who operates a placement agent. Samsul has supplied many children in Delhi and told me that he placed children as maidservants in the houses of businessmen. Samsul then took the eight girls — Soloni Paharan (12), Gori (17), Rupi (20), Maheshi (20), Surajmani (16), Mangali Pahari (20), Soloni (16), Kotri (20) and the boy, Lokhan Paharia (12) — to the city. I offered them food and shelter. Finally all were hired by businessmen as domestic helps,” alleged Gafoor.

He said he was unaware that child labour was an offence.

On the other hand, Samsul said Gafoor was trying to pass the buck as he had committed an offence.

The matter came to light yesterday when Samsul reached the Jamalpur police station and lodged a complaint against his relative Gafoor Ansari, alias Rahul Tokko, of Ram Das Nagar in Tajpur Road for making migrant children from Jharkhand work as bonded labourers.



Cash-starved MC aims to beautify Zone C
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
The cash-starved Municipal Corporation has not paid salaries to many of its employees for the past two months. However, even under these circumstances, the higher-ups have decided to “beautify” the Zone C office.

Though the finances remain a major issue, the authorities claim that since many of their buildings were on rent, the amount will be sufficient to carry out beautification.

Giving details, Additional Commissioner Rishipal Singh said on Wednesday, “All the 5-6 parks, falling under Zone C, will be well-maintained for the public. Besides, the halls and other buildings, which have been lying vacant for long, will also be given on rent to get the resources. Apart from this, Zone C office will be beautified.”

An employee with Zone C said, “The MC’s has rented out its properties to shopkeepers and a bank and it is receiving regular rent.”

“Renovation can be carried out with the money. As far as other issues are concerned, money is definitely needed. In these circumstances, huge tasks cannot be accomplished”, said the employee.

‘parks will be upgraded’
All the 5-6 parks, falling under Zone C, will be well-maintained for the public. The vacant buildings will be rented out for resources.
— Rishipal Singh,
Additional Commissioner, mc



civil hospital
Absent Class IV staff marked ‘present’
Ex-sarpanch of Issewal village has written to Health Minister and Civil Surgeon
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
In what reflects the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities concerned, two Class IV employees at the Civil Hospital, who have been ‘absent’ for a long time, have been marked present and are also drawing salaries.

Pointing towards the irregularities in the execution of duties by the Class IV employees, Nirmal Singh, ex-sarpanch of village Issewal, has written to the Health Minister, Director Health and Civil Surgeon, in this regard.

Singh further alleged in the complaint that the practice was being carried out with the ‘approval’ of the matron of the hospital.

Prema, who works as a sweeper, has been absent from duty since August 1, 2014. It is alleged that in Prema’s place, the daughter of another Class IV employee, Faggu, has been reporting for duty and marking attendance on Prema’s behalf. For this, she is paid Rs 4,500 per month by Prema, alleges Singh.

Meanwhile, another Class IV employee, Balbir Singh, is also ‘absent’ from duty for the past three years. It is alleged that in his place, Balbir’s son reports on duty and is also drawing salary.

A Class IV employee at the hospital not wishing to be named said, “We’ve tried to raise the issue to the authorities concerned but to no avail. The employees are sending somebody else to work. This practice is not right. The authorities should get the post vacated and should be assigned to the worthy candidates.”

Civil Surgeon Dr Subhash Batta said he had not received any complaint so far.

Commenting on the issue, Senior Medical Officer Dr RK Karkara said, “I have not received any complaint but I am aware about the issue. Some Class IV employees have health problems and hence bring their family members along for help. We are facing staff shortage and have allowed them to do so,” said Dr Karkara.



Sale of 32-acre land
PSPCL employees continue protest
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 17
In their ongoing agitation against the proposal to sell 32-acre land of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) on the Ferozepur Road here, the employees and officials of the power utility held a gate rally at City Central Grid division of PSPCL today.

Alleging that the prime land of PSPCL was being sold for commercial exploration at throwaway prices, activists of the PSEB Engineers Association and PSEB Employees Coordination Committee, said, “The move will lead to dislocation of all administrative offices of the Central zone as well hundreds of families of employees who were residing in the two power colonies located at the site.”

The PSPCL employees asked the management and the state government to scrap the proposal to sell this land forthwith, or else be prepared to face the wrath of the staff which would fight this injustice tooth and nail.

The protesting employees said on conclusion of the gate rallies at the divisional headquarters, falling under Central zone till September 23, a dharna would be staged at PSPCL zonal headquarters here on September 24. “If the proposal to sell land is not immediately withdrawn, the agitation will be further intensified,” they added.



Building Bylaws
Civic Body to act tough with those violating norms
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
The Municipal Corporation is all set to act tough with people violating the building bylaws. The shopkeepers will be allowed to put up advertisements of only those products which they sell and not all the brands.

If a shopkeeper has a franchise of a brand, he will have to write to the authorities concerned that he is a distributor of the particular product and that brands will not be promoted.

This was decided during a meeting on advertisements held by the Municipal Corporation here today. The meeting was attended by Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, Commissioner MC Pradeep Aggarwal, Additional Commissioner Rishipal Singh, members of the advertising committee and other officials.

An official not wishing to be named said, “The MC will adhere to the size of the advertisements. The boards with particular sizes, mentioned in the building bylaws, will be displayed and other huge boards will be removed at the earliest. It is better if shopkeepers or building owners remove the huge boards on their own.”

He further said the authorities had shortlisted a few ‘internal’ markets where advertisements will be allowed.

However, advertisements will not be allowed on the main roads — as they catch the attention of commuters — leading to accidents.

As far as the malls are concerned, advertisements will be allowed on the facade of the building. The boards cannot be installed outside.

The MC authorities are hopeful to float fresh tenders within a week. Further to notify the rates of advertisements, a rough proposal has been prepared by the officials, which will be sent to the state government for approval.



Architects’ delegation visits China
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
The delegation of leading architects from The Indian Institute of Architects- Ludhiana Centre (IIA-LC) along with its chairman Sanjay Goel recently visited the Building Materials Industry in China — which mainly caters to interiors — to gain first-hand knowledge on various products. The delegation comprised 10 architects.

The delegation members concentrated on the furniture industry, manufacturing of high-end interior products such as sofas, dining tables, beds, office furniture, wall papers, hardware etc.

The delegation received a warm welcome by Ryan Zhang, Vice President of Louvre Furnishing Group, a leading international furniture mall of Foshan. Louvre Mall is probably the biggest furniture mall housing as many as 2,000 brands on different floors dedicated to modern and classic furniture.

The Indian Delegation from Ludhiana Centre also visited the world famous “China International Furniture Fair (CIFF)” in Guangzhou displaying outdoor furniture, classic furniture, modern furniture, office furniture, modular kitchens, tiles, hardware and end number of interior products.

The delegation also did a detailed town planning and development study of adjoining cities such as Shunde and Shenzhen to learn how the workers manage their water supply, sewerage, landscaping, traffic transportation, electrification, roads etc. 



Cong enters into alliance with PPP
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 17
The chief of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Partap Singh Bajwa, today announced that the Congress would enter into alliance with the Peoples Party of Punjab (PPP) for the coming Municipal Council elections in Punjab.

Bajwa spoke to the mediapersons at the residence of a former Jagraon MLA, Gurdeep Singh Bhaini, today.

The state Congress chief also declared that the Congress would soon carry out a ‘yatra’ in the state to highlight the shortcomings of the government of the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in Punjab. He said the party leaders would visit every constituency of Punjab to expose the alleged corrupt regime of the SAD-BJP government.

“The paddy crop is almost ready for harvesting but the state government has not made arrangements for proper procurement of the paddy crop. If the farmers are made to suffer due to delay in paddy procurement, the Congress would gherao the residence of the Chief Minister and other ministers of his cabinet,” said Bajwa.

An MP from Ludhiana, Ravneet Singh Bittu, former minister Darshan Singh Brar, former MLAs Amrik Singh Dhillon, Tejparkash Singh Kotli and Major Singh Bhaini were also present during the occasion.



Food samples collected

Ludhiana, September 17
Keeping in view the coming festival season, the Health Department collected samples of sweets today.

On the directions of the Civil Surgeon, Dr Subhash Batta, and under the supervision of the District Health Officer, Dr Kulwinder Singh, samples were collected from sweet shops at Giaspura Road.

The food safety officers, Rakesh Garg and Brijesh Goyal, said samples of khoya burfi were collected from Chaurasia Sweets and samples of paneer and khoya burfi were collected from Sharma Sweets, Sahib Sweets and Garg Sweets. Sample of paneer was also collected from Jatinder Paswan, who prepares paneer near Diary Complex, Haibowal.

The DHO further said e-cigarette was seized from Chaurasia pan bhandar on the Ferozepur Road. It was seized from a hookah bar on the Pakhowal Road yesterday. — TNS



pending salaries
Education volunteers take out rally
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
Education volunteers led by the Inclusive Education Volunteers Union held a protest rally from Chatar Singh Park (near bus stand) to the office of the deputy commissioner. The volunteers raised slogans against the government during the rally.

The volunteers haven’t received salaries from the last six months. They also demanded hike in their salaries. Six years ago, Inclusive Education Volunteers were deputed on a monthly salary of Rs 1,000 each which was later increased to Rs 4,500 per month. In protest of delayed salaries, the volunteers have boycotted ‘home-based education’ and other official work.

Gurvinder Singh Budhewal, president, Inclusive Education Volunteers Union, said, “It’s been six months now, that the volunteers have not received their salaries. They don’t have money to visit far-flung areas to teach the special students. We have already written to the senior officials of the Education Department in this regard.”

Gurdeep Singh, general secretary, Inclusive Education Volunteers, Sidhwan Bet, said, “We will not sit calm till we receive our salaries. If the government doesn’t release the salaries in the next few days, we will intensify our protest.”



Sending mid-day meal attendance via SMS
Schoolteachers oppose DEO’s instructions
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
The district education officer (DEO) instructed schoolteachers to send the attendance and information regarding mid-day meal through Short Messaging Service (SMS) to district office. A large number of teachers have not been sending the attendance via SMSs as they oppose the system.

The teachers had staged a massive protest against the adoption of this system last month.

The office of the district education officer forwarded a letter of the District Mid-Day Meal Society to all Block Primary Education Officers (BPEOs) in district to assure that all teachers sent the attendance and information regarding mid-day meal via SMS.

The mid-day meal authorities stated that they had observed that the teachers had not been sending the details of mid-day meal to them. The BPEOs have to assure that all the teachers send the attendance.

The letter reads that the Deputy Commissioner was concerned about the implementation of the system.

Meanwhile, various teachers’ organisations again opposed the implementation of the attendance system.

Ramanjeet Singh, activist of the Democratic Teachers Front, said it was injustice with teachers and we would oppose the implementation of the system.

Parveen Kumar, general secretary of the Government Teachers’ Union, said, “We haven’t asked any teacher to oppose the attendance system but we will protest against it. The administration is posing unwanted burden on teachers.”



BIS organises seminar on standardisation of products

Ludhiana, September 17
The Bureau of Indian Standard today conducted a seminar on product certification by standardisation and ensuring quality.

“By standardisation of the product, goodwill is created. Hence, it is considered as a good marketing tool. BIS also comes under the quality system certification ISO 9001, Environmental Management System Certification ISO 14001, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points ISO 15000 to ensure high quality of food safety,” said AK Saini, deputy director general of BIS.

KK Seth, chairman of FICO, emphasised to get the products certified from BIS so that the quality of the product was standardised and customer was protected and in turn business of the manufacturer remains safe. — TNS



Iodised salt a vaccine for brain disorders: Experts
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
Survey on iodine deficiency disorders is being carried out at government schools across the Ludhiana district. Schoolchildren are specially asked to bring salt in their lunch boxes so that it can be tested.

A team under the supervision of Dr Anil Verma, district epidemiologist, consisting of five members, including medical officer Dr Jasleen Gill, Balwinder Pal Singh and Gurdev Singh, both health supervisors, today checked 90 students of age group 6-12 years at Government Primary School, Baghian-Sherewal (Sidhwan Bet), and 90 students of the same age group at Government Primary School, Agwad Lopo, Jagraon. All 180 children in the age group of 6-12 years were examined for goitre. Eighteen students were randomly selected for giving urine sample and similarly, 36 salt samples were taken from them which the children use in routine at their home.

“Controlling iodine deficiency has been a low-priority programme till date. Children living in iodine deficient areas have an IQ level of 10 to 15 points less than the average. Pregnant women, who don’t consume iodised salt, have a greater risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and infant deaths,” officials added.

Experts suggest: “Consider iodised salt as a vaccine that costs just 10 paise per person per year and protects against the single largest cause of brain damage among children in India.”

“Iodine is an essential micronutrient required daily in very minute quantities i.e. 100–150 micrograms for normal human growth and mental development. The disorders caused due to deficiency of nutritional iodine in the food diet are called Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD). The goitre is only the tip of the iceberg. Iodine deficiency results in physical and mental retardation. It affects people of all ages irrespective of sex and socio-economic status. It has also been reported that on an average, schoolchildren living in iodine deficient regions lose 13 IQ points compared to the schoolchildren living in iodine sufficient regions,” said Dr Gurdeep Singh from a local hospital.

The survey will continue till October 15, 2014, in which 30 areas of Ludhiana district will be visited and one school will be selected from each area.

sources of iodine
Cow’s milk
Frozen yogurt
Iodine-containing multivitamins
Iodised table salt
Saltwater fish
Soy milk
Soy sauce

Iodine deficiency is diagnosed across populations and not specifically in individuals. Since iodine is released from the body through the urine, the best way to determine iodine deficiency across a large population is to measure the amounts of iodine in urine samples.

Are there problems with too much intake of iodine?
Taking too much iodine can also cause problems. This is especially true in individuals who already have thyroid problems. In addition, individuals who move from an iodine-deficient region to a region with adequate iodine intake may also develop thyroid problems since their thyroid glands have become very good at taking up and using small amounts of iodine. In particular, these patients may develop iodine-induced hyperthyroidism.



Nothing but the best, say residents of the city
Prefer keeping two smartphones offering the best features and applications
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
Different mobile operating systems, each one of them offering great features, are available in the market today pushing residents in a dilemma as to which platform to choose.

“A large number of mobile platforms are available. It gets difficult to make a choice so, I carry two handsets at least,” says Harpreet, a resident.

Many people keep both android smartphone and iPhone with them. Mobile phones with other platforms such as Windows, Blackberry and even Firefox offer different features.

“So far as typing is concerned, I am sticking to my old Blackberry phone as I still prefer a physical keyboard. But, for other features, I use an iPhone or android-based phones,” says Daman, another resident.

“Although some platforms offer same features, but there are subtle differences that make all the difference,” says Amit. “I like the live-tiles interface of the Windows. Although I don’t use it as my primary phone, but I prefer to use it for a change,” he adds.

Not only the mobile platforms but customisations by smartphone companies add to the unique features that it has to offer. “Making shapes of the letters, open several applications on Oppo or Panasonic phones that are customised versions of android. This feature makes them different,” said Harkinder, mobile store owner.

“Apart from my iPhone, I keep a Nexus phone for pure android experience, as its new versions are released quite swiftly. The latest features definitely have an edge over the other platforms. The newly-launched Android One also offers a pure experience,” said a smartphone fan.



From Colleges
Workshop on enhancing creative skills

Ludhiana: The Dreamers Creative Academy conducted a workshop on 'enhancing creative skills' at the Khalsa Institute of Management and Technology (KIMT) on Wednesday. The workshop laid emphasis on the importance of keeping one's creativity alive in this hi-tech environment. The presentation started with breaking-the-ice activity. The presenters threw light on the most upcoming creative careers which are relatively unexplored but can lead to wondrous outputs if clubbed with technical education. The workshop focussed on awareness regarding upcoming fields such as fashion graphics, fashion styling, social media marketing, event management, etc. Team Dreamers guided the students about short-term professional programmes in the field of designing which ensure immediate earnings for youngsters. Through the medium of games, team activities and interaction, team Dreamers was able to instill a different kind of confidence and energy in the students especially those who are ready to embark on the professional journey.

City girl bags 15 gold medals in swimming meet

Kawalpreet Kaur of the Government College for Girls won 15 gold medals in the PU Inter-College Swimming Competition at Panjab University, Chandigarh. She also broke seven records. GCG was adjudged as the overall winner of the Swimming Championship. Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Girls stood second and Kamla Lotia SD College stood third in the championship. Principal Gurminder Kaur congratulated her for this big achievement and said it was a matter of great pride for the institution. She won gold medals in 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 800m freestyle, 50m butterfly, 100m butterfly, 200m IM, 400m IM, 50m breaststroke, 100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke, 50m backstroke, 100m backstroke and 200m backstroke.

Engineer’s Day

The Ludhiana Group of Colleges, Chaukimann, celebrated Engineer's Day in the memory of M Visvesvaraya (1860-1962). M Visvesvaraya was an eminent engineer and statesman who played a key role in building of the modern India. He was the first engineer in India to be awarded with the 'Bharat Ratna' in 1955. A quiz contest was organised to commemorate the birthday of the great engineer and architect. Students from various streams of engineering participated in the event. Dr Chawla, director LGC, highlighted various achievements of Visvesvaraya. He exhorted the budding engineers to take inspiration out of illustrious career of Sir Visvesvaraya and emulate some of his work in their future career. — TNS



gadvasu notes
Research project on Newcastle disease

Ludhiana: Newcastle disease, known as Ranikhet disease, infects the domestic poultry, causing heavy mortality of birds and financial losses to the poultry farmers. The School of Animal Biotechnology of GADVASU has been sanctioned a research project by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, to design novel vaccines adjuvant against Newcastle’s disease with outlay of Rs 26 lakh. The project, which is in collaboration with the Central Agricultural University, Imphal, Mizoram, aims towards identifying ligand-based vaccine adjuvant which may find application in veterinary vaccine production with enhanced and long-lasting immunity.

Another objective of the project is to study the responsiveness of the indigenous chicken for up-regulation of the genes to reinforce the innate immunity. — TNS



from schools
World Ozone Day

Ludhiana: To spread awareness about the depletion of the ozone layer, World Ozone Day was observed at Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School. The day has been established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1994 to search for solutions to preserve the depleting ozone layer. To join the mission, speeches were conducted on the theme: Protecting your atmosphere for generation to come. Students took out an awareness rally raising slogans such as ‘Save Earth Save Ozone’. Science teachers highlighted the causes of ozone depletion such as excessive use of CFC products and UV radiations leading to many health problems, including skin infections as well as environmental hazards. To conclude the students took a pledge to save the ozone layer in order to protect our planet from natural disasters. Managing Director of the school Avinash Kaur Walia supported the awareness campaign and urged students to share the information they received in the school with their family, friends and relatives in order to make Earth a safe place to survive.

Charity for relief operations in J&K

Students of Ryan International School, Ludhiana, donated wholeheartedly to the rescue and relief operations undertaken by the Indian Army for the flood-hit victims of Jammu and Kashmir. The students from all levels donated packaged mineral water, hard ration, plastic sheets, blankets, woolens, medicines and other utility items which were dispatched in bulk to Dholewal Military Camp in Ludhiana. Expressing her gratitude to the students and parents, principal Gurpal Kaur Anand said, “God always blesses us abundantly, so that we can share with the needy and stand hand in hand in this hour of calamity. We are proud that our Ryanites have empathetic attitude and are always lending a helping hand to the needy.”

BCM holds workshop

A two-day training programme on ‘Effective School Management and School Quality Assessment and Accreditation’ was organised for 90 teachers of middle and high school at BCM Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh Road, Ludhiana, on September 15 and 16. Principal DP Guleria was the resource person of the workshop. On the first day, the teachers were made aware of NCF- 2005, accreditation and quality enhancement in schools, role and responsibility of a teacher regarding accreditation and child right. On the second day, the teachers were made aware about life skills, values, gender sensitivity and role of a teacher to maintain gender sensitivity. Also, new initiatives by CBSE were highlighted in the workshop. In the end, there was an open discussion session for the teachers, in which they expressed their views and opined that such sessions were the need of the hour as they were informative, innovative and refreshing. — TNS



17 challans issued

As many as 17 challans were issued to shopkeepers selling tobacco and a fine of Rs 1,850 was collected from Jamalpur, Mundian Kalan, Mundian Khurd and areas falling under the Community Health Centre (CHC), Sahnewal. People were also told about the ill- effects of tobacco. Challans were issued on the directions of the civil surgeon, Dr Subhash Batta, under the supervision of Dr Parwinder Pal Singh Sidhu, SMO, CHC, Sanhewal.

Larvae found

On the directions of Dr Subash Batta, Civil Surgeon, and under the supervision of Dr Anil Verma, district epidemiologist, a team of 20 breeding checkers, along with insect collectors, and multipurpose health supervisor checked coolers at different areas for the breeding of Aedes Egypti (Larva of dengue). Larvae were found in Karnail Singh Nagar, in three coolers, four pots in Punjab Mata Nagar, three coolers and two pots in Vishal Nagar, two coolers and two pots in Iqbal Nagar, 12 coolers, two drums, 11 pots and two tyres. The information has been passed to the MC officials for issuing challans.

Quiz on Oct 16

The district language officer, Raman Kumar Sahota, said different competitions of the department will be held on October 16 at Punjabi Bhawan. The competitions will include quiz based on Punjabi literature, religion, language, famous personalities, culture, history and geography. There will be three categories. In the first category, students up to Class VIII, in category two, students up to Class XII and in category three, students of BA, BCom and BSC can participate. The aspirants can apply till September 26. There is no entry fee for participating in the competitions. The students are supposed to bring certificate from the school or college head showing the date of birth and class of the candidate. An educational institute can send more than one student. Position holders will be awarded along with certificates.

LIC forms help desks

The Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India has decided to give relaxations to the policyholders, who have been affected in the J&K floods. The senior divisional manager, Rajendra Kumar, said the LIC has taken some more initiatives. “Claim settlement process has been relaxed to a great extent and waiver of interest on premium has been granted on selective policies,” said Kumar. “Special help desks have been created at the divisional and branch offices to respond to death claim inquiries and assist in expeditious settlement of claim. Special task force has also been created to see the working of the help desks,” added Kumar. — TNS




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ATM break: Rs 5,40,000 stolen in Jagraon

Jagraon, September 17
Some unidentified thieves stole Rs 5,40,000 from an ATM of the Bank of India at Gidarwindi village, near Sidhwan Bet, last night. The thieves broke the glass door of the ATM and then broke the machine.

The manager of the Bank of India, Sidhwan Bet, Ramesh Singh, said there were Rs 5,40,000 in the ATM and the thieves decamped with all the cash. The thieves also took away the ATM along with them.

A team of forensic experts and dog squad was also called to gather any clue about the thieves. SSP Ravcharan said all the nearby police stations have been alerted and a search operation has been launched.

The investigating officer, ASI Ramesh, said the police have registered a case against unidentified persons on the complaint of the bank manager. — OC



Katoch Shield Cricket Tournament
Chandigarh lads bounce back into match against city
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, September 17
On the penultimate day of the match between Chandigarh and Ludhiana in the ongoing Inter-District Senior Punjab State Cricket Tournament being played at the Punjab Agricultural University ground, bowlers helped the visitors to bounce back into the game.

After conceding the first innings lead of 54 runs, Chandigarh forced the hosts to struggle for each run. At the draw of stumps, Ludhiana in their second innings were 139 after losing six wickets.

Chandigarh began the day’s play at 215 for seven and their innings culminated at 279 runs. Besides, Amit Prashar and Sarul Kanwar, who had contributed 54 and 82 runs, respectively, Gurvinder Singh made 31.

Ludhiana batsmen could not repeat their performance in the second innings as the top order was back into the pavilion without making any significant contribution. Except for the skipper, Geetansh Khera, Sunny Pandey and Vaibhav, the established batsmen appeared to be a pale shadow of themselves.

Gaurav Gambhir and Gurvinder Singh of Chandigarh bowled well to contain the hosts. Gaurav grabbed three wickets and Gurvinder scalped two victims.

Brief scores: Ludhiana (first innings): 333 all out in 112.5 overs (Karan Goel 129, Sunny Pandey 85, Geetansh Khera 43, Deepak Bansal 24; Gurinder 7 for 91 runs, VRV Singh 1 for 43 runs and Anshul Tripathi 1 for 14 runs).

Chandigarh (first innings): 279 all out in 81 overs (Amit Prashar 54, Sarul Kanwar 82, Gurvinder 31, VRV Singh 19; Amritpal Singh 2 for 32 runs, Rahul Singla 2 for 80 runs, Vaibhav Narang 2 for 21 runs and Karan Goel 1 for 19 runs).

Ludhiana (second innings): 139 for 6 after 68 overs (Geetansh Khera 48, Sunny Pandey 38, Vaibhav Narang 38; Gaurav Gambhir 3 for 39 runs and Gurvinder 2 for 55 runs).



asian games
Khanna youth leaves for China
Gurminder Singh Grewal
Tribune News Service

Raghav Sood
Raghav Sood

Khanna September 17
Raghav Sood, hailing from Khanna, who has been selected to participate in the Asian Games, left for China today. Sood, who is 15-and-a-half-years-old, is said to be among the youngest goalkeepers in the world.

He will participate in the 16th Asian Roller Sports InLine Hockey Championship, to be held in China from September 19-25.

Sood is confident about his game and has already participated in the World Championship, held in France recently.

A student of OP Bansal School, Khanna, Sood had already won several medals on the national level. He will participate in the Men’s Senior Team from the Indian side. His father Dr Venod Sood, mother Dr Mamta Sood and his school Principal PK Arora have wished him good luck for the games.

Raghav will participate in the 16th Asian Roller Sports InLine Hockey Championship, to be held in China from September 19-25.
Raghav, who is 15-and-a-half-years-old, is said to be among the youngest goalkeepers in the world.
Raghav has already won several medals at the national level.



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