L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Reality Check
Civil Hospital needs care
Each nurse looks after 45 patients, corridor floor serves as bed for many
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Many patients are forced to share beds
Many patients are forced to share beds. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, October 29
The Civil Hospital, which caters for the entire district, has plethora of problems. From shortage of nursing staff and gynecologists to the shortage of beds and blood bank running without a license, the Civil Hospital is a picture of neglect.

During a visit to the Civil Hospital, one finds patients lying on the floor in the corridor. Some lucky ones do get beds in the corridor. The situation inside the ward is no different. Patients are seen sharing beds.

A mother with the newly born baby (just a few hours old) was lying on the floor with the baby. The attendant of a patient said: “The baby was born in the morning and both the mother and the child needed medical care. Since there was no bed available in the ward, we laid the bedding on the floor itself”.

The corridor has been turned into a ward. Om Parkash, one of the patients, said his grandson was ill. “Owing to the shortage of beds, we are forced to lay our bedding in the corridor,” he said.

Senior Medical Officer RK Karkara said there was a shortage of beds and they hoped with the opening of the mother-child hospital on the premises, this problem would be solved. “We have 20 beds against a requirement of 60,” he said.

The nurses at the hospital are also burdened due to staff shortage. “We are forced to work 12 hours a day and take care of 45 patients each. In the absence of an adequate number of gynaecologists, we are forced to handle delivery cases. During the night, we have to repeatedly call up the doctor concerned if a C-section case comes. A majority of delivery cases are handled by nurses,” a staff nurse said.

Dr Karkara admitted there was a shortage of nursing staff in the hospital. “We have 51 staff nurses and need 20 more. We have three gynaecologists, one is one leave. We need at least a total of four gynecologists in the hospital,” he said.

The Indian Nursing Council norms say every three beds should have one staff nurse. But at the Civil Hospital, one nurse takes care of at least 45 patients.

The most surprising fact about the Civil Hospital is that the blood bank has been running without licence for the past two years. In March this year, a team from the Centre had found a few shortcomings at the bank. Alterations as per the recommendations on structural and other changes were made and a report was submitted to the authorities. However, the license has not been renewed to date.

Dr Karkara said they have five-year licence and should apply to the Central authority for its renewal at least a month before its expiry.

Many basic facilities non-existent

The Civil Hospital doesn’t have the basic facilities such as MRI machine and central oxygen system. Maximum cases of road accidents come to the hospital and patients need MRI scans. “A central oxygen system will be installed in the upcoming mother-child hospital. The intensive care unit of the hospital is also being upgraded,” said Dr Karkara.


Regularisation of illegal colonies
Composition fee hiked in new policy
Now, developers to pay double, plot holders 25 to 30 per cent more
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 29
The Punjab Government has notified the policy for regularisation of illegal colonies as well as plots and buildings in such colonies for a period of one year. As per the notification issued on October 28, 2014, under the provisions of the Punjab Laws (Special Provisions) Ordinance 2014, the policy will remain in force till October 27, 2015.

In the new policy, composition fee for regularisation of colonies and plots/properties has been increased. The policy says the developers will have to pay enhanced composition fee of 1 per cent (as against 0.5 per cent in the previous policy) of the collector rate as on April 1, 2013, with a minimum cap of Rs 50,000 per acre (as against Rs 25,000) and maximum cap of Rs 2 lakh (as against Rs 1 lakh) for colonies developed prior to August 17, 2007.

Similarly, for colonies that had come up after August 2007, the composition fee will be 4 per cent (as against 2 per cent earlier) of collector rate with minimum and maximum cap also raised by 100 per cent to Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh per acre respectively. Composition fee for regularisation of plots and built-up properties in illegal colonies has also been raised by 25 to 30 per cent in the new policy.

Though brought in with the objective of providing relief to developers of unlicensed colonies and plot/property owners in such colonies, the new policy had received a mixed response from the stake holders.

While the developers have reacted strongly to the hike in composition fee, a cross section of plot/property owners has hailed the government initiative to provide yet another opportunity to them to get their plots and properties regularised and have access to all basic amenities on a par with the approved colonies.

“Especially, the provision regarding processing of pending application submitted under the previous policy that had expired in April, 2014, had come as a boon for developers and property owners whose cases were not yet finalised and NOCs were not issued to them,” said Raj Kumar Gupta, a property developer.

Among other features of the new policy are mandatory submission of Google image showing the existence of colony and its location, curtailment of time period for payment of composition fee in instalments from one and a half years to one year and agreement to sell or proof of full and final payment on stamp paper. The cutoff date for regularisation of illegal colonies has been retained as April1, 2013.

Another realtor, Jagtar Singh, said submission of Google image along with the application for regularisation of colony would help in curbing bogus colonies that have not been developed till date. “The government ought to have made a provision that based on Google image, if a colony has not been developed and plotting not done prior to the cut-off date, the application for regularisation will not be entertained.”

He further sought a comprehensive survey to locate colonies that were still in the process of being developed but applications were not filed for regularisation by the developers, preferably by some outside agency due to staff and time constraint.

Policy features at a glance

  • Mandatory submission of Google image showing the existence of colony and its location
  • Curtailment of time period for payment of composition fee in instalments from one and a half years to one year
  • Agreement to sell or proof of full and final payment on stamp paper
  • The cu-off date for regularisation of illegal colonies has been retained as April1, 2013.



Protesting eunuchs give commuters a harrowing time
Tribune News Service

An injured Kuldeep Kumar
An injured Kuldeep Kumar. Photo: Inderjit Verma

Ludhiana, October 29
Miffed at alleged police inaction, around seven eunuchs, along with a few local residents, created a ruckus at the Commissioner of Police’s office and then at Bharat Nagar Chowk here today.

The protesting eunuchs said the police had failed to nab the persons who had attacked their driver on Monday evening. The protesters also damaged two auto-rickshaws at Bharat Nagar Chowk.

Kuldeep Kumar, a resident of Raju Colony, Prem Vihar, who works as a driver for the eunuchs, was allegedly beaten up by Sonu, Sunny, Guggi, Raman and the driver of a Toyota Qualis.

Kuldeep said he was thrashed after he refused a “beedi” to them.

The protesters alleged that the attackers had greased the palms of the police to avoid action.

The Station House Officer (SHO) of the Division No. 5 police station, Dharam Pal, said the protesters lifted their dharna following an assurance that the accused would be arrested soon.

Hardeep Singh, SHO of the Jodhewal police station, said a case had been registered on a complaint of the eunuchs and their driver. The delay on the part of the police was on account of additional security measures on Chhath Pooja.

Traffic jam

The protest by the eunuchs led to a massive traffic jam at Bharat Nagar Chowk. Many commuters took narrow bylanes to avoid traffic jam while others got down buses and auto-rickshaws and walked their homes.



dowry death case
Mother-son duo gets 7-year RI
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 29
The Court of Additional Sessions Judge Surinder Pal Kaur has convicted Mukesh Deep Bedi (husband), his mother Parveen Bedi in a dowry death case. Mukesh’s wife died within six months of their marriage.

They mother-son duo was ordered to undergo rigorous imprisonment for seven years. The court also ordered them to pay a compensation of Rs 50,000 to the victim’s family.

Delivering the verdict, the court held that the prosecution had successfully proved the charges levelled against the accused.

However, the court acquitted other members of the family, Rattandeep, Anu, Surinder Pal and Kiran.

A case against the accused was registered under section 304 B and 120-B of the IPC in September 2012 at the Basti Jodhewal police station following a complaint of Bablu Bhandari, the victim’s brother.

The complainant had stated that his sister Ritika got married to Mukesh on March 29, 2012. It was alleged that his sister was being harassed on account of bringing less dowry.



BMW crash survivor booked
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
Atul Bansal, the lone survivor of the BMW car crash, has been booked under sections 304-A and 279 of the IPC for causing death by rash and negligent driving. Confirming the development, the Sarabha Nagar police said the case was registered on a complaint of one of the vicitms, Gagan’s mother Reenu Sharma.

Yesterday, members of Gagan’s family had expressed anger against Atul, who was driving the car at the time of accident, and demanded strict action against him. They have blamed Atul for the deaths of Gagan and Rajat Dua.

It was alleged that a drunk Atul was driving his BMW car over 200 km per hour when it flipped over and rammed into at tree near Deepak Hospital. While Gagan died on the spot, Rajat died on the way to the Civil Hospital. Atul was admitted to a private hospital.

It was later learnt that Atul used to perform car stunts and share the videos on a social networking site.

A section of local residents was demanding Atul should be taught a lesson for the death of his childhood friends. The Sarabha Nagar police said a case had been registered and further investigation would be initiated.



Winter on time, weather fit for sowing
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
The city received 2.5 mm rainfall last evening. Weather experts have attributed the rain and storm to western disturbance. Today, the minimum temperature was recorded at 16 degrees Celsius and maximum temperature at 30 degrees Celsius. The humidity level was 80% in the morning and 57% in the evening.

The meteorologists said: “The weather conditions are normal this month. Last week, the minimum temperature had remained a little higher than the normal temperature. The normal minimum temperature these days is 14 degrees Celsius. Last week, the average minimum temperature was 18 degrees Celsius, 4 degrees Celsius more than the normal minimum temperature.”

The arrival of winter is on time and is normal. “The city received 2.5 mm rainfall yesterday. In the normal weather conditions, we receive 2.35mm rain during this week. The arrival of winter is also on time,” said a meteorologist.

According to the forecast issued by the School of Climate Change and Agricultural Meteorology, Punjab Agricultural University, the weather is expected to remain clear and dry over Ludhiana and its adjoining areas during the next 24 hours. It has been expected that the weekends can witness cloudy weather and light showers.

Surinderpaul, Director, Indian Meteorology Department, Chandigarh, said: “The cause of rain was western disturbance. The next few days will remain dry. The weather conditions will remain normal.”

Dr Gurmeet Singh Butter, head of the department of agronomy, said: “The weather conditions are favourable for the sowing of wheat crop as it requires cold during the sowing season. The right time to sow wheat crop is from the fourth week of October to the fourth week of November.”

Right time to sow wheat crop

The arrival of winter is on time and is normal. Dr Gurmeet Singh Butter, head of the department of agronomy, said: “The weather conditions are favourable for the sowing of wheat crop as it requires cold during the sowing season. The right time to sow wheat crop is from the fourth week of October to the fourth week of November.”

Weather forecast

According to the forecast issued by the School of Climate Change and Agricultural Meteorology, Punjab Agricultural University, the weather is expected to remain clear and dry over Ludhiana and its adjoining areas during the next 24 hours. It has been expected that the weekends can witness cloudy weather and light showers.



No room to shelter their gloom
City has only three night shelters for the poor; Supreme Court’s guidelines go for a toss
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
As per directions of the Supreme Court, for the population of 1 lakh, there should be one shelter home, which means for the population of 16 lakh, there should be 16 shelter homes.

But there are just three shelter homes with 10 rooms in the city and the authorities say the industrial hub has 10 night shelters.

Another direction of Supreme Court states that nobody should sleep on footpaths and roads, but in the city, one can hardly find any footpath where beggars or rickshaw-pullers are not sleeping.

As per information, the three night shelters, which have been converted into shelter homes (as the authorities claim that these remain open round the clock), are located near Lakkar Bridge, Manju Theatre and Hambran Road. There are six rooms in the shelter home at Lakkar Bridge, three rooms at the shelter home near Manju Theatre and two rooms at the shelter home on Hambran Road. Two-three more shelter homes are under construction near the Sub Zone B office of the Municipal Corporation.

Although the authorities claimed that watchmen remained deployed at all shelter homes round the clock, but the correspondent could not spot even one. At the shelter home near Lakkar Bridge, only a few people were seen in the rooms. A shopkeeper said during the day, one or two persons were seen in shelter home, but towards the evening, the number increased to 20.

Assistant Town Planner (Headquarters) Kamaljit Kaur said various departments needed to put in efforts to follow the SC guidelines. Although the MC came up with shelter homes, it should be the responsibility of the police department to ensure that nobody slept on roads and footpaths.

“It should be a joint effort by all. Residents should avoid donating eatables or clothes to beggars on roads. If we ask beggars why they do not go to shelter homes, they say during winter, good Samaritans provide them with two-three blankets, but at shelter homes, they get nothing. Now that winter is about to set in, around 150 persons will be take shelter in these homes for two-three months,” said the ATP.

All for Alms

Another reason why the poor do not prefer taking shelter in these homes is that residents give them woollens, eatables and clothes on roads or outside temples. Beggars believe if they are shifted, they will be deprived of the facilities.

Staff crunch

Due to the staff crunch, the guidelines of the Supreme Court are not being followed by the authorities. The ATP said in the absence of adequate staff, records could not be kept at shelter homes and watchmen were taking care of inmates’ attendance.



Chief Electoral Officer woos new voters
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
The Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab, has started wooing new voters through SMSes. Many people have been receiving SMSes from the officer with the appeal that if there is a person of 18 years of age or above on 1.1.2015 in your family or in the neighborhood and not enrolled as a voter, kindly ask him or her to visit the Election Returning Officer (ERO) or Booth Level Officer (BLO) before November 10, 2014, for registration as voter.

District Election Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal said work for amendments to the voter lists started on October 15. He said: “Ajit Singh Pannu, Commissioner, Patiala Division-cum-Electoral Role Observer, will hold a meeting with all MPs, MLAs, former MPs, representatives of different political parties and all the Election Registration Officers at Bachat Bhawan, Mini Secretariat, on October 31. After this meeting, the Commissioner will redress the grievances of the public with regard to amendments to the voter lists.”

He appealed to all voters that it they had any complaint or suggestion, they could visit him on October 31.

Meanwhile, Davinder Singh, Election Registration Officer of 62 Atam Nagar-cum-Additional Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, said the residents of the Vidhan Sabha constituency, who have just turned 18 or are above 18 years of age, should visit their respective polling stations on every Sunday till November 10, 2014, to get themselves enrolled as voters by filling in Form 1.

Overseas voters should fill in Form 6-A. For getting his name deleted from the voter list, one should fill in Form 7 and for any amendment to the voter list, Form 8 is to be filled in. For changes in the address and shifting of booth, one should fill in Form 8 O. These forms are available free of cost at the office of the Election Registration Officer or Booth Level Officer concerned.



youth's death on diwali eve
Victim’s parents suspect foul play
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
Alleging police inaction, the family of the 27-year-old youth, who died near Extension Library on October 22, staged a dharna. While the police initially maintained that the deceased, identified as Mishu Kalia, died after his scooter rammed into a divider near Extension Library on the night of October 22, the family suspects a foul play.

The deceased’s mother, Meenu Kalia, said her son was killed and the incident was being projected as an accident. Meenu alleged that the police had made it an open-and-shut case.

The youth’s father, Ashwani Kalia, claimed that he had got hold of a footage captured through a CCTV camera installed in a shopping mall near Sessions Chowk in which Mishu was seen stopping the scooter on seeing an SUV. The footage goes blurred and a few minutes later Mishu was found injured.

“For 40 minutes, my son kept struggling for life, but no one rushed him to hospital. The police kept standing by his side while my son was struggling for life, but they did not bother to rush him to hospital. Had Mishu received timely treatment, he would have been saved,” lamented Ashwani Kalia.

Ashwani questioned the accident theory of police. “The police claim that my son died after his overspeeding scooter rammed into a divider, but the CCTV footage says something else. My son was stopped by someone,” said Ashwani. He added that it had been over a week, but the police could not trace the caller who called up Mishu on the fateful day. Soon after taking the call, Mishu left home, said Ashwani.

The victim’s family said they suspected the involvement of Mishu’s friends and requested the police to question them. However, the suspects were offered VIP treatment by the police, alleged the family. Despite repeated attempts, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP- III) Paramjit Singh Pannu could not be contacted.



Reduction in diesel prices
No cut in bus fare irks passengers
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, October 29
Following a reduction in diesel prices by Rs 3.37, the bus passengers have demanded a proportionate decrease in the bus fares. A school teacher who travels from Doraha to Ludhiana in a bus said, “I have been travelling in a bus from Doraha to Ludhiana for long now.

I have always seen that there is a hike in bus fares, be it due to the imposition of toll or due to hike in diesel rates. More so, if the rates remain stable for some time, the conductors hike it arbitrarily on their own.”

“The passengers, especially the ones commuting from Patiala to Ludhiana or Ludhiana to Patiala feel that they are an exploited lot. When a toll plaza was set up at Doraha, the bus fares were increased but even as the toll plaza got shifted to Ladowal, the bus fares remained the same. So, in a way we are still paying the tax, despite the fact that there is no toll plaza on the way,” said another commuter. Jandeep Kaushal, a social worker of the area, rued, “Now, that there has been a decrease of Rs 3.37 in the diesel prices, we should definitely be given some relief. Moreover, the bus conductor usually charge extra from the commuters. We have to pay the demanded money is order to avoid their rough language and unnecessary altercation.”

“The labour class or the commoners who travel in the buses are already so over- burdened with the pressure of price hike on one commodity or the other. The authorities concerned should at least think about them,” added a factory accountant, who travels in a bus from Ludhiana to Khanna on a daily basis.



Disparity in rates baffle consumers
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, October 29
The consumers are confused about the disparity in rates at which diesel is being made available at the petrol pumps. Moreover, the consumers believe that if the reduction is sans VAT, then the rates should have gone down still further.

The consumers complain that they have failed to get a relief of Rs 3.37 in the diesel rates, as announced by the government. Rather they have been given a relief of Rs 3.30 or at the most 3.32 here in and around Doraha.

They rued that whenever the government hikes the oil prices, it is at the same time that VAT, too, is increased proportionately.

“If diesel has been made cheaper by Rs 3.37, the VAT imposed on the currently reduced amount, too, needs to be reconsidered so that the consumers get maximum benefit out of it. Since January 2013, the rates have cumulatively increased by Rs 11.81 per litre. The common man is already reeling under the pressure of inflation which has almost brought a number of families on the verge of penury,” said a resident.

“If we ask the petrol pumper dealers, they have a single answer that they have been asked to reduce the prices by 32.2 rupees and that they have to go as per the received orders,” said another resident of the area.

The divisional manager of the Indian Oil Corporation said, “As the rates were deregulated on the 19th of this month, the rates may vary from company to company. The announced rates are of Bombay or Delhi but here in Chandigarh as the VAT is 12 per cent, the cut is of Rs 3.44, whereas in Punjab as the VAT is 9.75 per cent, the rate may vary between Rs 3.30 and 3.32.”



With entertainment on mind, they sing blues away
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
“Jugal Bandiyan” is an all-girl pop ensemble. Preeti, Shalu and Reshma, the three trained and talented singers, have come together to perform as a group (band). During a brief interaction with the media, the band members said they wanted to go the Bollywood way.

With a large and diversified repertoire of Bollywood songs from the golden retro years of the 60’s and 70’s to the latest musical blockbusters, “Jugal Bandiyan” renders the songs faithfully, preserving the original melody but giving each song a unique interpretation with the addition of harmony, rhythm and chorus, which not only highlights the group’s performance skill, but also imparts to the song a touch of originality.

“The band on the Indian music scene will bring Bollywood style entertainment said Preeti, one of the members of the band. “Jugal Bandiyan” is promoted and managed by impresario Paramjit Singh.



Chhath Puja: Seeking blessings at dusk, dawn
Tribune News Service

Women offer prayers near Sidhwan Canal
Women offer prayers near Sidhwan Canal. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, October 29
For 5 lakh migrants in the Industrial hub, Chhath Puja remains the biggest festival. The five-day festival is celebrated with zeal by the migrants hailing from Bihar. Vijay Singh of Jagdishpur village, Bihar, who has been working at an auto-part unit in the Focal Point area, said Wednesday and Thursday were the important days to offer prayers.

“The migrants worship the sun at dusk and dawn. Prayers are offered on the banks of a river. We seek blessings for our family. Women observe a 24-hour fast,” said Vijay Singh.

Another migrant from Lagma village near Patna Shankar Jha said while women worshipped the sun, men offered prayers. “For five days, they do not eat garlic and onion. Gujia, kasad and dhakua are prepared.

Yesterday, kharna (another ritual) was performed while today and tomorrow, we will gather on the banks of the Sutlej and Sidhwan Canal to offer prayers,” said Jha.

He said the festival was celebrated with fervour.

Regional chairman of the Federation of India Export Organisation SC Ralhan said most of the workers in factories were from Bihar. Most of the labourers have left for their native places. “As per a rough estimate, over 5 lakh migrants from Bihar live in the city,” said Ralhan.



A vet hospital with a difference
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
Veterinary Hospital (Polyclinic) at Gill Road, being run by Animal Husbandry Department, is proving to be a blessing for cattle owners. In the last two-and-a-half years, more than 12,000 animals were given treatment at the OPD.

Major surgeries were performed on 1,638 animals and minor surgeries were performed on 347 animals. This was stated by Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, Rajat Aggarwal.

Aggarwal said all types of tests, for diagnosing different diseases in animals, are done free-of-cost at the hospital. The OPD fee is only Rs 10.

Aggarwal said this is the only veterinary hospital in Ludhiana, where ultrasound facility is also available at a nominal rate of Rs 75.

The DC appealed to all the cattle owners to visit the hospital in case a need arises.



VAT quarterly return
Last date extended to November 3
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
Traders heaved a sigh of relief as the last date for filing VAT quarterly return has been extended from October 30 to November 3. While the last date for depositing annual processing fee remains the same — October 30.

“Now, we will be able to file the return before the last date,” said Satish Kumar, a trader.

Jatinder Khurana, taxation lawyer, said: “A number of traders who got their value added tax (VAT) number recently were unaware of the annual processing fee. The fee is collected in October every year, but since it is the end of the year, many traders were unaware of the same. The department should inform the traders about it. A receipt or challan, as a proof of payment of the processing fee, is to be attached to the quarterly return,” he added.



PMC serves notices on 12 doctors
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
The Punjab Medical Council (PMC) has issued notices to 12 doctors across the state for giving advertisements in newspapers. Ten doctors belong to Jalandhar, one hail from Mohali and one is from Ludhiana (Dr Navdeep Singh from Satguru Partap Singh Apollo Hospital, Ludhiana).

The notices issued by the PMC mentions that the advertisements given by the doctors were objectionable and amounted to soliciting patients, which was against the ethics to be observed by the registered medical practitioners. Dr Navdeep Singh from SPS Apollo Hospital said, “I have not given any advertisement in the paper and I fail to understand why the PMC has issued me a notice. If the hospital is getting advertisements published, it is not my fault.”

Sukhwinder Singh, associate vice-president of SPS Apollo Hospital, said the advertisement given by the hospital was just to welcome a new faculty member. “We wanted patients to know that a new doctor has joined us. There is nothing wrong in it,” he stated. The council has sought explanation from the doctors within 15 days of the issuance of the letter.

“We have issued notices to the doctors for unethical practices. Doctors taking commission will be nailed through sting operations. The PMC knows who the doctors are and will take action against them. The council is determined to minimise unethical practices,” said Dr GS Grewal, president of the Punjab Medical Council. As per the Medical Council of India Code of Medical Ethics, the Indian Medical Regulations, 2002, and guidelines issued by the Punjab Medical Council, doctors are not supposed to publish advertisement in the lay press, electronic mediain Punjab, Haryana, Himachal, J&K and Rajasthan.



Shifting of school: DPI breaks the deadlock
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

An open classroom at Government Primary School Kundanpuri in Ludhiana
An open classroom at Government Primary School Kundanpuri in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, October 29
A meeting was organised to sort out the issue of shifting of Government Primary School, Kundanpuri. The Directorate of Public Instructions (Elementary), Darshan Kaur, visited the school at 9 am and conducted a meeting with education officials, school teachers, local politicians and parents.

Following the meeting, Darshan Kaur issued instructions to lock the four rooms of the school that were declared unsafe during inspections. Kaur stated that as per the directions of the court, students cannot be forced to attend classes in the buildings that have been declared unsafe. The district officials have locked the rooms of the school.

Now, the students of Classes IV and V will attend classes in Government Senior Secondary School, Kundanpuri, which is near to the primary school. Students of Classes I, II, III will attend classes in the verandahs of the same building.

Earlier, the District Education Officer (DEO), Ludhiana, had issued instructions to shift Government Primary School running in the rented building of Dharmshala to Government Primary School, Chander Nagar. The parents of students studying in the school, however, opposed the shifting as they did not want their wards to go 2 km away from their homes.

Even today, a large number of parents were present outside the school to oppose the shifting.

The district president BJP (Urban), Praveen Bansal, said the residents of the area are contributing funds to reconstruct the building.

“The Education Minister, Dr Daljit Singh Cheema, has assured help in this regard. We have started with the construction work. The parents are now satisfied with the decision,” said Bansal.

It is pertinent to mention here that the students will have to attend classes sitting in the verandah in winters as well.



Police action averts group clash at PAU
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
A probable clash between two groups of students over displaying leadership posters was averted on the PAU campus by the city police. According to information, a student, who claimed that he got registered for the Punjab Agricultural University Students Association (PAUSA), asked the students to gather at Rock Garden, near examination hall, on the PAU campus.

It is learnt that he was going to declare himself as the president of the PAUSA and had already planned to issue a poster of presidentship in the gathering. To sabotage his attempt, Police Station PAU patrolled the area in the morning.

The students, associated with incumbent group of the PAUSA, also responded actively to his attempt of displaying the poster.

The SHO, Police Station PAU, Surinder Kumar, visited the spot and interacted with the students.

“There was a possibility of clash because of this step. So to avoid that situation, we deputed cops to keep a vigil. We have spoken to both the groups of students. We have asked them to maintain peace on the campus. We will take a strict action if someone disrupts the peace on the campus,” said the SHO.

Student politics find its way despite ban

A ban has been imposed on the students politics and elections for a long time now. As per the ongoing practice, self-styled students announce themselves as president by putting posters on the campus. Last year, a group clash took place on the PAU campus after two groups of students put their respective posters. Due to the ban on the elections in colleges and universities, clashes among self-styled leaders are often reported.

The students have been demanding to lift the ban on elections.

Lift the ban, say students

Due to the ban on the elections in colleges and universities, clashes among self-styled leaders are often reported. The students have been demanding to lift the ban on elections for a long time now.



Workshop on cognitive development
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
Special educator Arvinder Singh Paul held a workshop on “Sensory integration for cognitive development” at Ashirwad, a unit of North India Cerebral Palsy Association. Paul said contrary to popular belief, there are eight senses of human beings instead of five.

Apart from the senses of sight, touch, hearing, taste, smell, vestibular sense gives the sense of balance and gravity, while prepreoception sense is about the position and space.

Paul said when a child is 20-week old, he/she develops these two senses along with the sense of touch, which is critical for the development of brain. “But if a child is born with a disability or has a floppy neck, these senses are not completely developed. So focus should be on the development of these senses among the special children to trigger their cognitive development,” added Paul.

The special educator also gave a demonstration of a group activity titled ‘play parachute’, which has an object like a parachute with a hole in the middle. He said this activity helps develop these senses and also helps in memorising and promoting playfulness among all children and even adults. The activity is relatively less popular in India, but it is common in the western countries. Dr Neelam Sodhi from Ashirwaad said recognition and early intervention in special children can go a long way in making the effect of mental disabilities less severe. Awareness plays an important role, she added.



50 students donate blood

The Red Cross Society of the AS College for Women, Khanna, conducted a blood donation camp in collaboration with the Blood Bank Unit, Civil Hospital, Khanna, on the college campus on Wednesday. Principal Dr Meenu Sharma inaugurated the camp. Dr Karuna Arora (Dean academics), Arvinder Kaur (Dean sports), Dr Prabhjit Kaur (Dean co-curricular activities), Dr Naina Sharma and all other staff members were also present on the occasion.

Dr Chhinder Pal (in charge, Red Cross Society) gave a floral welcome to the principal. The NSS volunteers of the college also contributed to make the camp a success. As many as 50 students donated blood. Chandana Rajput, Monika (from Home Science and FD Departments) and Narinder (College bus driver) also donated blood. Principal presented mementos to the members of the Blood Bank Unit, led by Dr Manohar Lal (SMO, Civil Hospital, Khanna) and Dr Harvinder Singh.

Technical workshop

The Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Desh Bhagat University, organised a technical workshop on virtual labs for the faculty members and students of the engineering courses. The workshop was arranged in collaboration with IIT, Delhi, under the national mission on education through ICT, an initiative of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). Faculty members and students from different parts of the region participated in the event. While inaugurating the workshop, university Chancellor Dr Zora Singh announced that Desh Bhagt University has been selected as a nodal centre for virtual labs by the MHRD. The initiative will provide remote-access to labs in various disciplines of science and engineering and henceforth, improve the quality of education. The expert team from IIT, Delhi, apprised students of the uses of virtual lab and their benefits.

Rotractors distribute clothes

Rotractors of Gujranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa College distributed woolen clothes to the needy and underprivileged people of Sham Nagar and L-Block of Ludhiana, under the guidance of Rotract in charge Prof Munisha. President Jaswinder Bhullar, vice-president Pardeep Kumar and secretary Karanveer Singh of the club worked with great enthusiasm to make the project a success. — TNS



Training in resource conservation

Ludhiana: A three-week training course on “Advances in Resource Conservation Technologies for Higher Soil, Water and Crop Productivity” began at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on Wednesday. The course id being organised by the department of soil science under the aegis of the Centre of Advanced Faculty Training (CAFT), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

Twenty-four scientists from ICAR institutes and seven state agricultural universities are attending the course. Chief guest Dr Gursharan Singh, Dean, Postgraduate Studies, PAU, emphasised on conserving precious natural resources, including soil and water, for sustaining farm production of the country. He expressed concern over the fatigued soils, falling water table and deteriorating water quality in Punjab. Highlighting the importance of soil health, he stated: “If soil is not appropriate, nothing is appropriate.” Dr Singh lauded the research achievements of the soil science department. Dr BS Brar, officiating head, department of soil science, said the training course aimed at disseminating the resource conservation technologies to scientists in order to sustain soil quality and crop productivity. He also referred to various farm issues being confronted in Punjab agriculture. He highlighted the vital contributions of Punjab towards the national food kitty. Since 1995, the department has organised 27 CAS/CAFT trainings and trained more than 470 scientists, he added. Welcoming dignitaries and participants.

Dr OP Choudhary, chief coordinator, CAFT, said resource persons from the PAU would delve on managing soil quality in relation to conservation agriculture, integrated nutrient management and need-based fertiliser management, crop residue management and machinery for conservation agriculture and advance technologies to increase water use efficiency. “Besides, the focus will be on precision farming and micro-irrigation and fertigation techniques; soil and water conservation in water sheds; management strategies for macro and micronutrient deficiencies; water balance in relation to climate change scenario; and managing problem soils and brackish waters,” he said. Dr BB Vashisht, course coordinator, while proposing the vote of thanks, said experts from Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) and CSK Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya, Palampur, would deliver lectures.

PAU student bags ICAR international fellowship

A student of the School of Climate Change and Agricultural Meteorology, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Avik Mukherjee has bagged “ICAR International Fellowship 2014-15” for doctorate degree. He is one of the 26 candidates to have been selected from India. Dr BS Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, Dr Gursharan Singh, Dean, Postgraduate Studies, and Dr HS Dhaliwal, Dean, College of Agriculture, congratulated the student on his outstanding achievement. Dr LK Dhaliwal, director, School of Climate Change and Agricultural Meteorology, said Avik would pursue his doctorate from the department of plants, soils and climate, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA. “He is the first student in the discipline of agricultural meteorology to have received the fellowship,” said Dr Dhaliwal. Besides, he did his MSc under the guidance of Dr Som Pal, associate professor, School of Climate Change and Agricultural Meteorology. — TNS



Students apprised of e-judiciary

Students were apprised of e-Judiciary at Blossoms Convent School. Raghvir Singh Toor, chairman of Bar Association Cell, Sanjeev Gupta, advocate member of Bar Association, Parminder Singh and Amninder Singh gave information about the transparency in courts due to e-systems.

The event was conducted to mark vigilance week in the school. The officials also gave satisfactory answers to the questions asked by the students. Toor applauded the efforts of principal Amarjit Kaur Naaz for her efforts to build up the future of students. Students hard work was also appreciated and they were urged to chase their dreams with dedication and diligence. The managing director, Major Singh, was also present on the occasion. He spoke on a few topics.

School to hold ‘Run for Unity’ on Oct 31

Radha Vatika Senior Secondary School, RV Model School and RV College for Women will be holding a “Run for Unity” on October 31. The principal of the school, Sakar Sudha, said the event is being held on the call of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She claimed that 27-28 school buses wouldl be arranged for the rally. — TNS



Four test positive for dengue

Four more patients from Ludhiana tested positive for dengue. A 55-year-old woman from Basti Jodhewal, 21-year-old male from Salim Tabri, 18-year-old youth from Jai Singh Nagar and 31-year-old male from New Manjit Nagar are undergoing treatment at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

Total number of dengue patients taking treatment in Ludhiana hospitals has gone up to 119, of which 83 belong to Ludhiana, 31 to other districts and five are from other states.

Larvae found

A team of 20 breeding checkers, along with insect collectors and multipurpose health supervisor, checked the coolers of different areas for breeding of Aedes Egypti (Larvae of dengue). The action was initiated following the directions by Dr Subhash Batta, Civil Surgeon. The team, under the supervision of district epidemiologist, Dr Anil Verma, found three coolers and one drum infected in Karnail Singh Nagar, Pakhowal Road, one cooler, three drums and two pots were found with larvae in Sunet and in Joshi Nagar, Haibowal Kalan two coolers and two pots were found breeding larvae. The information regarding the same has been passed to the MC Officials for issuing fines.

Chhath Puja

Chhath Puja was performed with religious fervor by Sarvjan Kalyan Parishad on Wednesday. Prayers and offerings were offered to the sun alongside the Sutlej river by devotees. Dr DP Khosla, member of the BJP, SC wing, was also performed puja with the devotees. Prayers for the welfare of mankind were offered during the puja.

Participants at an NCC camp held at Malwa Khalsa Senior Secondary School in Ludhiana
Participants at an NCC camp held at Malwa Khalsa Senior Secondary School in Ludhiana. A Tribune photograph

NCC camp

The NCC Air Wing cadets of Malwa Khalsa Senior Secondary School participated in a 10-day camp organised at Jawahar Navodya Vidyalya, Dhanansu. The camp concluded recently. The camp was held under the guidance of Wing Commander SS Kailey. Various events were held on the occasion. Students were given participation certificates.

National conference

A national conference on direct taxes will be held in the city on November 1 and 2 by the Direct Taxes Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. The conference will be hosted by the Ludhiana branch of the ICAI. The Commissioner of Income Tax, Raman Kumar Goyal, will be the chief guest on the occasion. Theme of the conference is “Waves of change: Ocean of opportunities”. Varied topics of professional interests and of utmost relevance in the present day scenario will be discussed by guest speakers, said the chairman of Ludhiana branch, Rajesh Kumar Jain, during a press conference on Wednesday. — TNS



ACC Limited launches Imprintcrete

ACC Limited launched ACC RMX Imprintcrete to break through the mould and introduce a new brand of concrete, which will not only bolster a structure but also beautify it. An innovative range of concrete, Imprintcrete is a perfect new product for home renovation which can be moulded to provide a variety of surface textures ranging from marble, stone to even a wooden finish.

Suited for both indoor and outdoor application, the product is ideal for giving a new look to porches, paving, footpaths and walkways as well as the driveway to a garage or a poolside private access path.

Man-made lake

First ever man-made lake was unveiled at Ireo Waterfront in Punjab. Speaking on the occasion, president of Ireo, Madhukar Tulsi, said, “We are extremely delighted to announce that a significant milestone has been crossed with the unveiling of glittering lake, along with the commencement of handover of the first villas and plots in Phase I and II at the world-class 500-acre township on the Sidhwan Canal road.

Thermal wears presented

Duke presented largest range of thermal wear, designed and crafted as per the latest market trends, with using quality tested fabric. The thermal wears can be purchased in various standard sizes, patterns and finish and are priced between Rs 185 to 740.

Videocon Telecom launches loan service

Videocon Telecom launched yet another customer-centric initiative that offers instant talktime loan facility to its prepaid customer base. Branded as “Turant loan”, the facility allows a customer to avail instant talktime loan of Rs 10/20 or 50 when their balance reaches less than Re 1. The loan will be automatically extended to the customer when the balance runs out and will get automatically repaid as and when the customer makes a subsequent recharge. — TNS



Shopkeepers flout norms

Ludhiana, October 29
Without taking the Municipal Corporation and the police into confidence, 20-25 shopkeepers of Chaura Bazar drew a yellow line on a road to keep rehri-walas at bay.

The tehbazari wing of the MC stated that the shopkeepers had not sought permission before drawing the line. It was learnt that the vendors had “refused” to give weekly money to the shopkeepers.

In charge, tehbazari wing, Satwant Singh said the shopkeepers were stopped immediately as they could not do so on their own. The police too were unaware of any such activity. “After placing goods outside their shops, the shopkeepers drew the yellow line. I told them that they were not allowed to do any such thing without seeking the MC’s permission,” said Satwant Singh. — TNS



Spanish couple adopts sisters

Jagraon, October 29
A Spanish couple has adopted two girl children from an orphanage, being run by Swami Ganga Nand Bhuri Foundation at Talwandi Dham village near Jagraon. Dakha MLA Manpreet Ayali handed over the 9-year-old twin sisters to the Spanish couple.

Jagraon SMO Dr Sukhjiwan Kakkar was also present. The Spanish couple adopted the twin sisters through recognized Indian placement agency, under the Juvenile Justice Act 2000. The general secretary of the foundation, Kuldeep Singh Mann, said, “At present, more than 50 children are staying at the orphanage.” — OC



Minister visits mandis

Ludhiana, October 29
To review the proceedings of the purchase of paddy, the Irrigation Minister, Punjab, Sharanjeet Singh Dhillon, visited different mandis of the district today. He appealed the purchase agencies and aarhaties to not to harass farmers who come to sell their paddy in mandis.

The minister asked them to ensure payment to farmers at the earliest. In some mandis he also monitored the procurement of paddy. He also appealed to the farmers to not to bring paddy with moisture content in the mandis so that they may get full price of the paddy. Dhillon also listened to the grievances of farmers in mandis of Katani Kalan, Lakhowal, Koom Kalan and Mattewara. — TNS



Rumour monger booked
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 29
A city resident has been booked for fraud and slapped various sections of the IT Act for causing panic in the city. Atam Nagar ACP Ramandeep Singh said the case had been registered under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471. The culprit was earlier working as a photographer with the vernacular daily.

The disturbing photographs of four persons, including a child, were circulated on social media. In no time, the rumour of gruesome killing spread in the city like a fire. Station house officer of Model Town Inderjit Singh was at the receiving end. In the evening when the SHO was inspecting police nakas to keep a check on snatching incidents, he started receiving frantic calls on his mobile phone regarding the murder of four persons.

He swung into action and sounded high alert in his area. Simultaneously, he was answering calls from high rank police officers and even politicians were asking him about the incident.

Finally, it was ensured that the murder was a hoax and spread by a city resident. The incident of murder caused commotion in media houses as well. Ironically, some local politician had even expressed shock over the law and order situation in the city and later he cut a sorry figure. The ACP said such miscreants would not be tolerated.

In the actual incident reported at Dehradun, Harmeet Singh (22) , his father Jai Singh, his stepmother Kulwant, his father’s adopted daughter Harjeet, 29 and Harjeet’s daughter Sukhmani (3) were allegedly stabbed to death a few days ago.



Victoria school lift football trophy
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 29
Students of Victoria Public School came out triumphant to lift the title in the Ludhiana Sahodaya Schools Complex Football Tournament for boys and girls (U-19) held at Nankana Sahib Public School, Gill Road, today.

Teams from various schools participated in the three-day tournament and battled it out to bag the top honours. Sacred Heart Convent School and hosts Nankana Sahib Public School finished second and third, respectively, in the girls’ section.

In the boys’ section, Raikot Public School clinched the title. Nankana Sahib Public School and BCM Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, secured the second and third positions, respectively.

Harmeet Kaur Waraich, director, LSSC (Central), congratulated the winners and emphasised the importance of sports along with academics.



Women’s games from today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 29
Around 2,200 players are expected to take part in the Punjab State Games for Women scheduled to be held at different venues from October 30 to November 1. Besides, around 200 officials will visit the city to conduct the mega event.

The players will compete in 12 disciplines during the three-day event to be organised by the Punjab Sports Department. The players will slug it out in athletics, badminton, basketball, gymnastics, hockey, handball, kabaddi, kho-kho, lawn tennis, swimming, table tennis and volleyball. Tejinder Singh Dhaliwal, director, Sports, Punjab, visited the venues to review the arrangements.

Competitions will be held at Guru Nanak Stadium, Multi-Purpose Indoor Hall, Shastri Hall, Satish Chander Dhawan Government College for Boys, Municipal Corporation Swimming Pool, Government College for Girls and Punjab Agricultural University.

Rupinder Singh Ravi, assistant director, Sports, Punjab, said lodging and boarding arrangements for all the players had been made at college hostels and schools. “Performance during the games will be taken into consideration while selecting Punjab women contingent for the National Women Games to be held towards the end of November,” added Singh.

Mohinder Singh, District Sports Officer, Ludhiana, said Pawan Kumar Teenu, Chief Parliamentary Secretary (Sports), would inaugurate the games at 11 pm tomorrow while Punjab Cabinet Minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon will be the chief guest.



Handball tourney

Ludhiana, October 29
DAV Public School, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar branch, Ludhiana, and Police DAV Public School, Jalandhar, emerged champions in the girls and boys U-19 groups, respectively, in the DAV National Handball Championship Cluster Level-2014 held at DAV Public School, Sarabha Nagar extension branch, today.

Teams from a number of DAV Public Schools from different parts of the region took part in the championship. Dr Mohan Lal, cluster head and principal of the host school, declared the championship open.

Hosts DAV Public School, Sarabha Nagar extension branch, secured the second position in both the categories. Dr Mohan Lal gave away prizes to position holders. — OC



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