Saturday, November 3, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Park mishap case: 4 JEs, 1 SDO suspended; more heads to roll
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 2
The Municipal Corporation has ordered suspension of four Junior Engineers (JEs) and one SDO in the park mishap case, which had claimed the life of a girl child in Model Town Extension locality here on October 21. The suspended JEs are Mr J.B. Panesar, Mr Manjit Singh, Mr Hari Krishan Sharma and Mr Bal Krishan Sharma while the SDO is Mr V.B. Khanna. The civic body has also recommended to the state government, the suspension of another SDO, Mr M.P.S. Kalra, who has since been transferred to Patiala, while an Executive Engineer (Horticulture) has been asked to explain his conduct.

Giving this information, the MC Commissioner, Mr R.L. Kalsia, told in a news conference here today that out of total 600 municipal parks in the city, 49 had swings and playway equipment for the children, installed at an approximate cost of Rs 7 lakh. During an inspection of the parks conducted last week, 30 parks were identified where playway facilities needed to be refixed or strengthened. He made it clear that the MC would not bear the expenses for poor workmanship and the strengthening of swings and other equipment would be done either at the cost of contractors or the erring officials, who were found responsible for slack control.

In order to check the recurrence of any such tragedy in future, the MC has set up a committee of technical experts and senior administrative officials to prepare detailed specifications for installation of any playway equipment in public parks, which would be scrupulously adhered to for all works, to be carried out in future. Answering questions on the issue of encroachments in the city, particularly those related to religious institutions, Mr Kalsia said he had sought another detailed report on the Durga Mata Mandir issue and once the extent of encroachment was established, the matter would be dealt with strictly in accordance with law. On the installation of a gate in a park, facing a temple in Kitchlu Nagar, he disclosed that the park maintenance committee had been explicitly told to remove the gate of their own and their response was positive.

The MC Commissioner informed that measures were being taken at various levels to check the menace of encroachments in the city.

A meeting of the representatives of social and religious bodies, industry and trade associations and other groups in commercial centres and markets, would be convened on November 3 to focus on the issue of encroachments and to seek public cooperation to effectively deal with the problem.

Focussing on the priorities and the development projects, Mr Kalsia informed that expansion and qualitative improvement of water supply and sewerage in the city remained the top priority of the civic body. A massive Rs 85 crore had already been spent on development works during the current year and another Rs 30 crores would be provided for this purpose by the year-end. Claiming that there was no dearth of funds and the MC was well within the achievement of budget targets, he said three flyovers were being constructed in the city at a cost of Rs 54 crore and work on all these at Dhuri Crossing, Dholewal and the 2.3 km-elevated road between Jagraon Bridge and Chand Cinema on the Old G.T. Road in the city, was progressing as per the schedule.

Asked on the deadlock between the civic body and the contractors, which led to the contractors boycotting the tendering process, Mr Kalsia said the uncertainty over abolition of octroi had created some misgivings. In addition, the contractors were also opposing the deployment of an outside agency to ensure quality control. He said while the MC would consider the genuine problems of the contractors, there would be no compromise on quality and on this issue the civic body would not bow down to any pressure.



Trespass case: inquiry panel for expulsion of student
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 2
A Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) student who had trespassed into the house of the Vice-Chancellor on October 28 midnight, in what was said to be a case of accidental straying, had actually allegedly manhandled a professor before slipping into the VC’s residence to escape the ire of teachers.

Following this revelation, an inquiry into the case has recommended strict action against the student concerned.

The inquiry committee constituted by the Vice-Chancellor is yet to table its report before the VC. Reliable sources in the PAU told Ludhiana Tribune that the committee has recommended that the student should be expelled from the university as he tried to manhandle the teacher.

A senior official of the PAU confirmed the development and said the inquiry would be presented before the VC on Monday as he had gone out of station today. The inquiry committee has suggested action against the student on the grounds that he had allegedly hurt the religious sentiments of the professor, assaulted him, and had trespassed into the VC’s residence.

As per the inquiry report, the incident had taken place after midnight on October 28 when a student of had allegedly misbehaved with a teacher of the Department of Agronomy when he was attending the wedding of the son of a professor in Sukhdev Singh Bhavan. After misbehaving with the teacher, he fled from the spot.

The inquiry committee has further revealed that after the student ran from the Sukhdev Singh Bhavan, he somehow slipped into the house of the VC through the main gate as it is very near to the Bhavan. He had tried to escape from the VC’s house and was injured after he was stuck in the barbed wires fixed on the boundary wall of the house.

Then he was spotted by Security guards of the VC. He sustained injuries and was hospitalised.

Sources said the university had not come to know about the incident till the Professor who was allegedly manhandled had complained to the Vice Chancellor.

The Vice-Chancellor had then directed the Director Students Welfare to initiate an inquiry into the case.

The inquiry was ordered and Dr S.K. Sondhi was appointed chairman of the committee. The inquiry also revealed that the whole incident was pre-planned as three-four boys were waiting outside the VC’s residence who had allegedly taken away the turban of the professor and disappeared.

Sources said that the student concerned was asked by the authorities to appear before the inquiry committee on October 29 but he failed to be present there. Then on October 30 again he was told to be present before the committee but he failed to turn up.



Cable network accuses two operators of blackmail
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 2
The Ludhiana Cable Network Private Limited (LCN) has levelled charges of blackmailing and propaganda against Mr Ramesh Maini, a cable operator in Haibowal, and Mr Kamlesh Bhardwaj of Chandan Nagar.

The LCN has demanded an inquiry by the district administration against the said persons. It has also condemned the dharna of some cable operators and the burning of the effigy of one of the directors of Win Cable, in the presence of a police official, in front of its office on October 31.

Mr A.S. Dhabha, a director of Win Cable, in a press note issued here today, said Mr Maini and Mr Bhardwaj were creating panic among cable operators to maintain their leadership.

They were blackmailing multinational companies for their personal benefits.

Mr Dhabha further alleged that Mr Maini was blackmailing and pressurising a cable operator in Haibowal.

He had threatened to disturb the signals by cutting the cables in the area, besides paying him less amount for broadcast of channels.

The LCN alleged “that the two cable operators had more than 1,000 cable connections while they were paying to pay channels for only 150 connections.

They had grabbed the area of small cable operators.

They had planned different types of agitation against multinational companies to blackmail these, it further alleged.



Students forced to take tuitions
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, November 2
There seems to be a growing trend among teachers coercing their students into private tuitions. Several cases of victimisation of students refusing to join tuitions have come to light.

A majority of such cases have been reported in the girls’ colleges at Civil Lines and Model Town where teachers are taking tuitions within the college premises. Such teachers have a strong hold in the college and none of the students, teachers or even the principal have the courage to check their activities.

In the most recent case of victimisation of commerce students at a college located in the Civil Lines, the head of the department has told all B.Com and Class XII (commerce group) students to take tuitions of accountancy from her. Students said that while nearly 30 per cent of them felt the need for tuition and joined it, the rest were being victimised by her through various means.

The students complained that since they did not join tuitions, they were being humiliated in the class through questions asked during the lecture. The students said that when they are not able to reply, they are told that they should join tuition for better understanding of the subject. While several students feel pressurised and ultimately decide to take tuition, the rest have to face mental harassment.

The students said that they were being punished in class even for murmuring during the lecture. They said that their attendance was not being marked even though they are present during the lecture. The students also blamed the teacher for marking the attendance of students who were taking tuition from her but were absent during the lecture.

Besides, several commerce students complained that since the monthly tuition charges levied by the teacher are Rs 2000, some of them were not able to afford the expenses. However, even such students were not being spared from harassment by the teacher.

During a visit to the college today, it was found that the students were so scared of the teacher that several of them refused to give information. Others, on condition of anonymity, said that the teacher was taking private tuitions on the campus during college hours, either in the typing room or inside the hostel. They said that since some of the hostel residents could not go to her residence at Model Gram, they were taught within the college.

When asked why they did not complain to their principal, the students said that they were scared of the teacher and if she came to know they would be subjected to worse mental agony. They said that teachers in the same department were also being terrorised by the teacher against complaining to the principal. Besides, the students said that teachers in other departments of the college were also harrasing students for not taking tuitions.

The principal, when contacted, said that she had received no such complaint from the students. ‘‘Had I received such a complaint, I would have surely inquired into the matter,’’ she said. The teacher against whom the allegations have been made refused to give any comments on the issue.

Similar cases have been reported from a college in Model Town where day scholars and hostel residents are being coerced to attend tuitions in the college hostel in the evening. 



Child dies of burn injuries
Our Correspondent

Khanna, November 2
A child died in a fire accident at Mohanpur village, when his mother, Jaspal Kaur, caught fire while lighting a stove. Her two children, Sonu and Manpreet, also caught fire. A resident of the village, Muktiar Singh brought them to the Civil Hospital, Khanna.

They were referred to Rajindra Hospital, Patiala. Sonu succumbed to his injuries.

The condition of the others is reported to be serious. 



Free driving licence camps
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 2
The office of the District Transport Officer has permitted the Crime Free India Bureau (CFIB)to organise camps for preparing driving licences of residents free of cost.

The regional Director of the bureau, Dr Bharat Ram, said today the residents would be able to get their driving licences within 24 to 48 hours of the application without paying any extra cost. The bureau has invited the residents interested in getting the driving licences of two and four-wheelers to submit their documents, including proof of residence, proof of the date of birth, medical report and three pictures with the office of the Crime Free India Bureau, in Civil Lines.



SHSYAD men demand punishment for guilty of ’84 riots
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 2
Activists of the Sarb Hind Shiromani Youth Akali Dal (SHSYAD) today took out a protest march from Gurdwara Mai Nand Kaur at Ghumar Mandi to the Mini Secretariat here and later submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner, demanding punishment for those responsible for ‘systematic massacre’ of Sikhs in Delhi and elsewhere in November 1984. Earlier, bhog of akahnd path was performed in the gurdwara in the memory of riot victims.

Addressing the party workers, Mr Sukhwinderpal Singh Garcha, secretary-general of SHSYAD, lamented that even 17 years after the riots, the guilty were not punished. He alleged that the indifference of the governments of the day was evident from the fact that Parliament had failed to adopt a resolution on condemnation of the ‘massacre’ till date.

Mr Garcha charged the BJP-led NDA coalition government at the Centre with adopting the same apathetic attitude towards this sensitive issue, as had been adopted then by the erstwhile Congress government. ‘‘The Shiromani Akali Dal had extended unconditional support to the BJP at a time when the party was considered an ‘untouchable’ and the Sikh community had voted overwhelmingly for the BJP candidates under the impression that the alternative government would undo the excesses and injustice done by the Congress government,’’ he added.

However, the hopes of the Sikh community were shattered and the issues like release of Sikh youths from jails and awarding punishment to guilty of 1984 riots were put on the back burner. The attitude of the SAD(B) government, headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, towards these pending issues, was all the more disturbing. ‘‘In pursuit of his political ambitions, Mr Badal had completely forgotten the crucial issues before the Sikh community and pending demands of Punjab,’’ he added.

Other speakers, including Mr Parkash Singh Matharoo, general secretary, All-India Sikh Students Federation (Gill) and Mr Sohan Singh Goga, district president, SHSYAD, criticised the NDA government at the Centre and the SAD-BJP coalition in Punjab for pursuing an indifferent policy towards the guilty persons.

Prominent among those present at the occasion were Mr Rajinder Singh Sandhu, Mr Sukhwant Singh Chak Kalan, Mr Balbir Singh Khalsa, Mr Gurcharan Singh Guru, Mr Mandip Singh Maholi, Mr Manjit Singh Simla Puri, Mr Sanjiv Kumar Sharma, Mr Tejinder Singh Samundri, Mr Sukhdev Singh Plaha, Mr Devinder Singh Matharoo, Mr Gurdip Singh Gill, Mr Harpreet Singh Happy, Mr Mohinder Singh Sandhu, Mr Sumit Khanna, Mr Parminder Singh Sohal, Mr Charanjit Singh, Mr Parminder Singh Cheema, Mr Sohan Singh Dholanwal and Mr Jasbir Singh Dhillon.



DCC (Urban) unit reconstituted
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 2
The president of the District Congress Committee (Urban), Mr Surinder Dawar, has reconstituted the party unit and the new office-bearers, nominated with the approval of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Capt Amarinder Singh, include 12 vice-presidents, one treasure, 16 general secretaries, an office-secretary and a press secretary, both with the designation of general secretaries, 30 secretaries, 22 members of executive committee and 36 permanent invitees. In addition, all councillors and heads of all frontal organisations, will also be the permanent invitees to the district unit of the party.

The following are the new office bearers of the party:

Vice-presidents: Mr Prem Mittal, Mr Pritpal Singh Ghayal, Mr Sat Pal Beri, Mr Chaman Lal Ahuja, Mr Rajinder Kapoor, Mr Balraj Singh Sekhon, Mr Mohinder Singh Sheinh, Mr Ashok Bagga, Mr Alam Din, Mr Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Mr Sham Lal Sapra, Mr Gurpreet Bassi.

Treasurer: Mr Ashwani Sharma.

General Secretaries: Mr Ramesh Lakhanpal, Mr Jiwan Mohan Dhawan, Mr Parmod Gaba, Lala Jiwan Kumar, Mr Amar Nath Bharti, Mr Roop Singh Jassal, Mr Ramesh Mahajan, Mr Parveen Grover, Mr Balwinder Singh Sherpuri, Mr Amarjit Singh Dhamotia, Mr Joginder Singh Sarhali, Mr Raju Thapar, Mr Kuldeep Singh, Mr Umesh Sharma, Mr Chint Ram Mehra, Mr Arun Likhi.

Office secretary: Mr Varinder Gandhi; press secretary: Mr Vinay Khurana.

Secretaries: Ms Pushpa Sahney, Mr Sanjeev Malhi, Mr Ram Nath Malhotra, Mr Deewan Chand, Mr Yash Pal Bittu, Mr Vinod Bathla, Mr Mohinder Singh Saini, Mr Sohan Lal Sharma, Mr Ashok Thapar, Mr Pammi Chadha, Mr Parveen Sood, Mr Bakhshish Singh Ghayal, Mr Dilbagh Rana, Mr Banwari Lal Sankhla, Mr Roop Chand, Mr Duli Chand, Mr Nasrinder Lotey, Mr Dhanjit Singh Dhall, Mr Varinder Joshi, Mr Subhash Gaba, Mr Taranjit Singh, Mr Gian Singh Saini, Mr Gurdev Singh, Mr Ajaib Singh Chauhan, Mr Rajinder Batra, Mr Surinder Gumber, Dr Mohan Lal Leaver, Mr Satish Sharma, Mr Ravinder Sehgal.



Power houses to generate 216 lakh units daily
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 2
Bhakra power houses will generate 165 lakh units while Pong Dam will generate 51 lakh units of power daily during November. The two house reservoirs will release 16000 to 17000 cusecs and 10000 cusecs of water, respectively, in the month to meet the irrigation requirement for wheat sowing of beneficiary states. The decision to release water from the reservoir and generate power was taken by the Bhakra Beas Management Board Technical Committee at Chandigarh.

According to official sources, Punjab will get 51 lakh units of power from Bhakra complex and 11 lakh units from Pong Dam as its share from the two hydro power houses. The Dehar power house will generate 50 lakh units of power daily and Punjab’s share comes to 22 lakh units.

The inflow of water to the hydro projects has fallen to the below dry level as Pong Dam received about 2000 cusecs and Ranjit Sagar about 1500 cusecs of water daily.

The water level of Bhakra reservoir was reported 1635 ft while that of Pong 1361 ft. The Bhakra reservoir level was lower by 20 ft compared with the level of the corresponding period of the last year and Pong reservoir level was higher by 20 ft compared to last year level. The authorities at the Ranjit Sagar dam are also depleting the level and this will be brought to 496 by December 31. This has been necessitated due to the concreting of the tunnel at the Ranjit Sagar dam, which will take five months to complete.

Meanwhile, the plugging of the Mukerian hydel channel is in full swing by the irrigation department and this is likely to completed within the next three days. With the plugging of the breach, the four units of Mukerian hydel project will start generation by next week and the state will have 40 lakh to 50 lakh units of power daily from the same.

The PSEB authorities have also planned annual shutdown of three thermal plants for maintenance and one unit each of Bathinda and Ropar have been closed for the same.



Check pedigree before buying a pup
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, November 2
Ludhianivis’ love for dogs has grown. Keeping a dog these days has become a status symbol. Dogs definitely provide an umberalla of security.

Dog-breeding has turned into a lucrative business. Many people have started kennels and made a business of selling pups. Many middlemen, petshops and even veterinary doctors are into the business of selling pups. The seller of the dog has to give a pedigree certificate of both the parents of the pup, date of birth, and all the markings. But according to Geetika, who runs a kennel, many sellers falsify the age of the pup. The pups of Great Danes and German Shepherd are sold at Rs 25,000 but the buyers are not sure of the pedigree .

According to a leading dog-breeder, Dr, Gulab Singh, the registration certificate can carry the pedigree of not only the pup but of the grandparents and their parents. The Kennel Club of India issues the certificates. He says, “The breeder has to register the dog with the KCI, but the snag is that if the dog has four pups, the breeder may register for seven pups. Though some veterinary doctors are appointed by the KCI, it is a mere formality. The middleman and some reputed vets make good money by taking hefty commissions and procure fake certificates of pedigree. Very few people are knowledgeable about the different breeds. Usually when a child asks for a pup, the parents generally buy without knowing the antecedents of the dog. If the middleman and doctors take some commission on the sale of the pup, then it is not a bad bargain. But generally they take hefty discounts. Gulab Singh advises people desirous of buying pups to buy from registered breeders. The best place to buy pups is at dog shows where good breed pups participate. A good breeder will never compromise on the quality of pups. Dog lovers should visit dog shows which are generally held in November and December in Ludhiana”.

Ripudaman Kaur of K- Nine Care says:” People often get duped while buying pups. There are about 10 breeders in Ludhiana, and the people are advised to buy pups from registered breeders or registered pet shops. Then only they would get to buy genuine breed.” Dr P.S. Mann says that corruption is prevalent in every field and it happens in this field. There are pups that are registered and some of them are unregistered.

A lot of veterinary clinics have sprung up in the city as dogs need an array of annual vaccinations and its follow-up. Raja, a dog breeder, says that vets charge exorbitantly if a dog falls ill. Since dogs cannot be fed orally, injections are given. A layman does not know what injections are being given and how expensive they can be. The vets even order x-rays, scans. But most of the laboratories are not well equipped.

Geetika, a dog breeder, says: “These days German Shepherds and Great Danes are being imported from Germany and England at the cost of Rs 3 lakh. The person has to spend money on his own ticket plus the fare for the dog. But it is worth it as they sire a lot of pups and each pup fetches 20,000 to 25,000. The litter of these dogs is big: each gives about seven to eight pups. The litter has to be taken care of for six weeks before they are disposed of. “But some agents have made it a big business. They book the orders for a pup of a particular breed and obtain the breed and enjoy a hefty commission. But breeders do not make much money, and Gulab Singh agrees to it.

The Chairperson, Ms Sudarshan of Kennel Club of India, has issued a directive to all the kennel owners to inform the KCI of the birth of pups within a week and to get the litter inspected from the nominated doctors. But sadly enough these remain orders on the paper. 



Tyre godown gutted
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 2
An old tyres’ godown in Laxmi Puri mohalla of the Salem Tabri locality was gutted in a fire that broke out as a result of cracker bursting by children of the area last night. However, no loss of life was reported as the godown was not surrounded by any residential quarters.

According to information, some old tyres lying in the open outside the godown caught fire as a result of the bursting of crackers in the area at about 9 pm. Soon the fire spread the inside the godown. Residents of nearby houses, noticing the high flames, vacated their houses in a hurry. Some of them also took out their belongings. A wall of a house near the godown was partially damaged under the impact of the high temperature generated by sky-high flames.

The fire was so intense that it took 18 fire tenders more than two and a half hours to douse the flames, the Chief Fire Officer, Mr Kartar Singh told Ludhiana Tribune. Tyre godowns in residential areas are not allowed according to the law, added Mr Kartar Singh.



Illegible crime files
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 2
Of late,crime reporters of the city are facing a new problem on account of the daily crime file issued by the Press Information Centre (PIC) of the city police.

The copies of the crime file, which used to be distributed among the reporters of various newspapers by the PIC, until a couple of weeks ago, are now being forwarded to the office of the District Public Relations Officer (DPRO). The office of the DPRO then faxes the crime file to different newspaper offices in the city. But the faxed copies are not legible.

When this reporter asked the DPRO’s office today to repeat the file in order to get a clear copy, he was told to ask the PIC to prepare a legible copy for them. It was not their fault that the copy could not be read fully, said the DPRO’s staff. An official at the DPRO office said that they got about 15 copies of the crime file from the PIC every day none of which was clear. And as such the DPRO’s office was helpless in this regard, he added.

Mr H.S.Sidhu, SSP, could not be contacted for comments


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