L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC bulldozers pull down houses
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 9
In a drive to clear encroachments from the city under the directions of Punjab and Haryana High Court, a team of officials from building branch of the Municipal Corporation today pulled down a couple of houses located on government land in Mandeep Nagar locality near Rishi Balmiki Nagar here.

The demolition team of the MC, comprising building branch officials, labour and a contingent of the police, carried out its operation for nearly two hours without facing much resistance. Most of the affected persons, occupying the land belonging to the civic body, were its own class IV employees, who were reported to have been shifted to this place after having been evicted from Atam Nagar several years ago.

Ms Monica Anand, Assistant Town Planner, who led the anti-encroachment drive, told Ludhiana Tribune that two major encroachments, listed in the details submitted before the High Court, were cleared in the operation carried out today and the land, approximately measuring 1500 square yards, was restored back to the MC, which was the rightful owner of the land.

Mr Balkar Singh, Congress councillor of Ward No 45, who was present on the spot was, however, unhappy over what he described as an injustice against the class IV employees. He said the MC had uprooted its own poor employees, most of whom were occupying plots of 50 square yards each and had put up small dwellings. At one stage, the MC had initiated a scheme to grant ownership rights to the occupants but the residents, with limited resources, could not pay the installments towards the cost of the land, the councillor observed.



Child labour continues at Mini-Secretariat
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 9
Despite action by the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC) against employers for employing child labour in Mini-Secretariat and Judicial complex, the practice goes unabated with people employing other children for getting their work done.

Responding to the complaint filed by ‘Voice For Human Rights’ (VHR) — working for rights of people in the society, PSHRC had asked the concerned authorities to conduct a survey and submit the enquiry report regarding child labour. According to the report dated April 19, 2005, five persons were challaned under the Punjab Shops and Commercial-cum-Establishment Act for employing child labour. The report further added that child labourers had got admitted to schools to get education.

But a survey by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that about 12 new children had been employed at tea-stalls and dhabas again at the Mini-Secretariat.

Ms Prabhjot, General Secretary VHR said in utter violation of Human Rights, children below the age of 14 years were still employed at government offices and judicial complex. She added that working condition of these children was so worse that they did not get even a half an hour rest during the day. She alleged that they were mercilessly beaten by their employers.

Indian Constitution prohibits employment of children below the age of 14 years and by Article 21-A Right to Education is a fundamental right of every child. Special Legislation The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 also prohibit the employment of children and criminal prosecution against the violators of provisions of the Act.

“Unfortunately, administration seems to have failed to protect the rights of children. The children are seen employed in these premises. Licence of those found guilty be cancelled,” demanded Prabhjot.



Vice-President of LDBA resigns
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, May 9
Mr Mohinder Kumar Chopra, Vice-President, Ludhiana District Badminton Association (LDBA) has resigned from the association. In a letter, addressed to the secretary, LDBA, Mr Chopra alleged that the association had collected more than Rs 1,50,000 during the Harish Memorial Punjab State Junior Badminton Championship held here and it was agreed that Rs 50,000 would be given to Harish’s family who died in a road accident in Kolkata.

Harish Chander, popularly known as Lallu, son of Babu Ram, caretaker of the Shastri Hall of Guru Nanak Stadium was a former national champion (junior) had represented Punjab for many years.

Mr Chopra released this letter (dated February 16) today to the press in which he has levelled charges of misappropriation of funds by the LDBA.

When contacted, Mr Chopra informed that it was only after his letter to the secretary that the LDBA gave a partial assistance of Rs 12,000 to the widow of Harish Chander. The LDBA had also resolved that it would give monthly help of Rs 500 to the family. “I collected Rs 68,000 alone and Rs 50,000 was given by Avon Cycles and the rest was collected by the LDBA to be given to the former national champion’s wife. I repeatedly asked the secretary to hand over the collected amount to the family but my pleas fell of deaf ears,” rued Mr Chopra.

Meanwhile, Mr Kidar Nath Malhotra, Mr Anupam Kumaria, Mr Jai Parkash, Mr Kamal Kwatra and Mr Ravi Jain, members and office bearers of the LDBA have welcomed Mr Chopra’s resignation.



Youth enacts drama of kidney’s removal
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 9
To attract the attention of his parents and teach them a lesson, a Dalit youth of Kailey village in Ludhiana district, simulated as if some gangsters had got his kidney removed surgically.

Unaware about the apparent signs of the massive surgery required for the removal of the vital organ, the parents approached the Sudhar police who rounded up two persons on the statement of the youth and started investigations. The drama culminated when a diagnostic centre confirmed that both the kidneys of the youth were functioning normally.

Kuldeep Singh (18) of Kailey village complained to his father Mr Dalwara Singh that Dr Kala, a practitioner of the same village and his associate had sold his kidney after getting it removed on the pretext of a surgery done for removal of nodes in his abdomen.

Worried about the future life of his son Dalwara Singh, an ex serviceman reported the matter to the Sudhar Police.

According to Mr Rajiv Ahir Senior Superintendent of Police Jagraon, the father of the youth had complained to the Sudhar police that two persons of the same village, including a practitioner had got a kidney of his son Kuldeep Singh removed at some multi specialty hospital for pocketing huge amount.

After noticing scars of stitches on the abdomen of Kuldeep Singh, the police swung into action and rounded up Dr Kala and his associate. Preliminary investigations revealed that a surgical operation had been conducted on the youth for removal of lymph nodes in the abdomen. A relative of Kuldeep Singh had accompanied him during the surgery.

“The police team investigating the case became suspicious, when the youth kept on changing his statement. Before proceeding further we got the ultrasound scan of the abdomen of the youth done at a diagnostic center at Raikot after which it was established that his both kidneys were in their place,” briefed Mr Ahir.

Further investigations revealed that Kuldeep Singh had felt himself ignored by his parents. His parents had ignored his complaints regarding presence of some nodes in the abdomen. He then got the nodes removed with the help of his brother-in-law at a hospital.

“When my parents did not bother about me even after the surgery, I decided to teach them a lesson and staged a drama about “my missing kidney’,” uttered Kuldeep Singh to the Sudhar police.



Passing Thru

Vipan Aneja
Vipan Aneja, a singer

How do you find the crowds in Ludhiana?

I have come to the city a number of times to perform for launching many products and at times to perform in weddings and in corporate shows organised by big companies. I must say that I have enjoyed singing in Ludhiana. The people are ‘mast’ and give a good response to the singers.

Do you think there is a shift in the music scene?

Yes, there is a definite shift. I think the craze for remix music is waning. For the past few years though it has been at its zenith. Even my album “Teri Payal” by Megna Sound was not a remix and, coupled with bad promotion, it did not do well, but on the other hand my other album “Gulabi Ankhen”, a remix, has been a hit. But the trend is changing. Rabbi Sher Gill with his Sufi rock music has revolutionised music and given us a new genre of music. Now original music will be the mantra.

Where all have you performed live?

I have performed in Live Peace Concerts with AR Rehman in many countries. The experience is awesome. The whole event with 150 musicians playing under the baton of AR Rehman was awe-inspiring. It was indeed a great learning experience for me.I hope to perform in a live show with Adnan Sami.

— Asha Ahuja



Land ‘grabbing’ case: villagers demand probe
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Highlighting the gravity of the matter pertaining to alleged grabbing of public land worth over Rs 100 crore at Bhaura village, villagers have demanded an inquiry. They have submitted a petition to the Revenue Officer in this regard.

The eight-acre land, originally belonging to the Public Works Department, they said, was being grabbed by some persons in connivance with government officials as the land had been mutated in the name of a tenant in violation of rules.

According to the villagers, the alleged encroachers turned a pond into land by filling it. “The land fell within the limits of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and the corporation even demolished the structure after learning about the lapse,” a resident said.

Mr Gurmej Singh, a resident, who has been making efforts to stop the misuse of land, said the value of the land was much above Rs 100 crore.

“It is a matter that needs to be investigated. However, the present pace of work by government departments is much slower.”

In a letter to the Revenue Officer, the villagers have demanded constituting a commission for investigating into the matter.

“An investigation by a commission is required to identify the parties trying to grab the land,” the villagers said.

Copies of the letter have been forwarded to the District Collector and the Commissioner, Ludhiana Municipal Corporation.

The villagers alleged that a son of a former sarpanch of the village was selling the land for Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000 per square yard. The residents said Narinder Singh Sahni, a former sarpanch, was a tenant and the land was being mutated in his name by clearly violating rules.



SAD to hold protest on May 20
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 8
As a part of its state-level agitation against the anti-people policies of the Congress government in Punjab, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) would hold a protest demonstration at Mini Secretariat here on May 20.

Stating this here today, party activists Baba Jagroop Singh Sahnewal, Mr Pal Singh Grewal, Mr Jasbir Singh Khanpur, Mr Harminder Singh Sandhu, Mr Baldev Singh Dharaur and Mr Baljit Singh Gobindgarh, informed that a meeting of the party functionaries from Ludhiana rural segment would be held at Gurdwara Rehru Sahib at Nandpur (Sahnewal) on May 10 to mobilise the party cadres for the protest.

While the party general secretary and former MP Mr Amrik Singh Aliwal would preside over the meeting, other prominent leaders, including Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, Mr Hira Singh Gabria, Mr Bikramjit Singh Khalsa and Mr Gurmel Singh Sanghowal, would address the party workers.

Meanwhile, presiding over a meeting of active workers and former office-bearers of district (urban) unit of Shiromani Youth Akali Dal here today, the former district chief, Mr Kanwaljit Singh Dua, claimed that the party had received tremendous response from the youth during its ongoing recruitment campaign. He called upon the party activists to revive and revitalise party units at mohalla and ward level in order to further strengthen the organisation and defeat the ruling Congress in next Assembly elections.

Mr Dua charged the government with complete failure to fulfill any of its poll promises he said. The development process had been put on a hold, unemployment had reached a new high, corruption was rampant and the law and order situation was deteriorating day by day. He exhorted the party workers to reach out to the people from all walks of life and expose the real face and anti-people policies of the government to them.



Milk Plant staff stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Protesting against the management’s “inaction” with regard to their demands, employees of the Milk Plant today staged a dharna outside the plant on Ferozepur Road here. The employees will stage another dharna on May 20 outside the head office of Milkfed, Punjab.

The call for the dharna was given by the Co-operative Milk Plants Projects Employees Federation.

The employees alleged that the management had not been paying any attention to their “genuine demands like clubbing dearness allowance with the basic salary”.

The employees demanded that dependents of the deceased employees be given employment, and corruption be curbed in milk plants.

They said they had apprised the management of their demands earlier also and had deferred their decision to stage a dharna in September 2004 on an assurance given by the management that their demands would be met. “However, nothing has been done so far and this inaction has caused resentment among the employees,” the employees said.

Mr Nirmal Singh Gahaur, general secretary, Mr Kareem Chand, senior vice-president, Mr Avtar Singh and Mr Sukhdev Singh Garewal addressed the protesting employees. They also urged employees to participate in the protest dharna to be held on May 20 outside the head office of Milkfed, Punjab.



Shobha Yatra taken out
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 9
On the occasion of Parshuram Jayanti , a shobha yatra was taken out in the city today by the Bhagwan Parshuram Brahman Sabha Ludhiana District. Moti Nagar Mandal also was associated with the yatra. The yatra started at 4pm after ‘pujan at Shri Hari Om mandir, Moti Nagar. Mr Jagmohan Sharma, president District Congress Committee was present on the occasion.

The yatra was inaugurated by Mr Rakesh Pandey, Minister of Science and Technology, while flag was hoisted by DSP Bakshi. People joined in the yatra in large numbers. Students of Everest Public Senior Secondary School and many other schools had also joined in. The bands accompanying the devotees played devotional songs Stalls of food, water were set up by several socio-religious organisations. After passing through Moti Nagar Market, Baba Gajja Jain Colony, Urban Estate Sector 38, it had to end from where it had started.



Lions Club cabinet meeting on May 15
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Mr K.S Sohal will take over the charge of District Governor of Lions Club International, District 321-F on June 1.
As many as 140 clubs in different parts of J&K, Punjab and Chandigarh come under District 321-F.

Sharing his goals for the year Mr Sohal said he would aim at making Lion members more aware of and fully equipped to fulfill their responsibilities. For this purpose ‘‘Residential schooling’’ will be held in Shimla from June 18. All office-bearers of the clubs from different towns will be made aware of their responsibilities so that they can work for the betterment of society in a more beneficial way.

According to a press note a Micro Cabinet Meeting of district officers will be held in Ludhiana on May 15.



Fire in hosiery factory
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
A major tragedy was averted today by the timely action of the firemen who controlled the fire well in time thus preventing it from spreading in an otherwise highly congested Field Ganj area. The loss was restricted to the factory premises only.

The fire started reportedly after a workman in the hosiery unit switched on the lights. The owner of the hosiery unit, Mr Kulbushan Goyal disclosed that the fire spread in the first and second floor of his house were he was manufacturing the hosiery products. He said, loss was yet to be ascertained. No loss of life was reported.



Gurbani Kanth competition
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 9
The Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle is organising Gurbani Kanth and dastar tying competition on May 21 & 22 said a press release. Chief Secretary of Circle Dr Charan Kamal Singh said that Study Circle is organising Gurbani Kanth competition on May 21 at 8 am in Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Model Gram, Ludhiana. The first group which comes under 15 years should know Japji Sahib, Rehras Sahib, Sohila Sahib, Saviye, Ardas and the participants over 15 and 25 should know Japji Sahib, Rehras Sahib, Jaap Sahib, Sohila Sahib, Saviye and Ardas etc. 



Scooter stolen
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 9
Hakam Singh , Sukhdev Singh of Mohi allegedly stole Bajaj Chetak Scooter No PB -10-AH-1767 which was parked by Jagdish Kumar of Jodha in front of a shop.
A case has been registered under Section 378 of the IPC by Sudhar Police on the complaint of Jagdish Kumar.

Poppy husk seized: ASI Swaran Singh on a tip off arrested Bagga Singh of Kannia Hussaini from his village and seized 20kg of poppy husk from his possession. A case under Section 15- 61, 85 of the NDPS Act has been registered at Sidhwanbet Police Station.



Implement relief in electricity load extension: CICU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) has pointed out that industrial units are not being given relief as declared by the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) in its commercial circular in July 2001.

The chamber said that as per the circular, the PSEB had given some relief to industrial units located in non-residential areas for getting load extended. However, the instruction was not being followed and several industrialists were being harassed at the time of checkings by flying squads.

“As per the circular, under clauses 42.3 and 42.3.1of the conditions of supply, the board had said that green category of industries located in other than residential areas shall be allowed extension up to 25 per cent of the existing load without authorisation and the same would be compulsorily regularised without imposing any penalty,” CICU said.

It further stated that in case of other than green category of industries, this load extension was 10 per cent of the existing load. “However, it has been observed that these instructions are not being followed by several lower offices of the board,” Mr Avtar Singh, general secretary of the chamber, pointed out.

CICU has urged the Chairman, PSEB, to ensure that these instructions are adhered to and industrialists whose connections are checked by flying squads are not harassed.

Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, president, CICU, said these instructions needed to be followed in letter and spirit and industrialists should not be harrassed and their extended loads up to the limit as per the circular be regularised.



Ludhiana tops in small savings collections
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
The Ludhiana district has recorded the highest collection under various small savings schemes in the state this year. Informing this, Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, said that the district had followed its tradition for the last 24-years and recorded Rs 1,485.11 crore of collections and Rs 721.44 crore net collections under different Small Savings Schemes.

He said the district had attained top position in the state last year also with a gross collection of Rs 1,252.36 crore and net collection of Rs 576.88 crore.

Deputy Commissioner informed that out of the total collections, Rs 155.14 crore had been invested in recurring accounts, Rs 76.12 crore in National Saving Certificates (VIII issue), Rs 235.45 crore in monthly income scheme, Rs 282 .13 crore in Time Deposits, Rs 218.91 crore in Public Provident Fund (PPF) schemes and R. 68.26 crore in Senior Citizen schemes.

He said that the Ludhiana district had a strong net work of around 3,000 small savings agents, Mr Verma said the administration was also getting full cooperation of the officers of the Post Offices in the district, who accorded high priority to receive collections from small savings agents. 



BSNL bill collection centre upgraded
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 9
The bill collection centre of the BSNL at Dholewal here has been upgraded to customer service centre. The BSNL General Manager, Mr G.S. Julka, formally inaugurated the centre at a brief ceremony here yesterday.

According to Mr Ashok Kumar Khanna, Divisional Engineer Phones (Outdoor), all services, including new telephone connections, Excel and CellOne booking and sale of ITC and Excel recharge cards, would be offered at this centre with immediate effect.

The commercial branch of the Dholewal division, comprising the Dholewal, Jugiana and Giaspura telephone exchanges, has also been shifted to Dholewal from Transport Nagar for easy accessibility of the customers.


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