L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


A day of mishaps in city, periphery
Two students sustain burns in chemistry lab
Mohit Khanna
Tribune news Service

A fire extinguisher and slippers lying in the lab after the explosion.
A fire extinguisher and slippers lying in the lab after the explosion. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, January 21
Two girl students sustained burn injuries after a chemistry assignment went horribly wrong as a chemical formation exploded due to overheating during the chemistry lecture at SCD Government College here today. While one girl was critically injured, 15 others had a narrow escape.

The victim, identified as Supreet Kaur (21), a student of BSc (non-medical) final year, sustained 25 per cent burns. She was rushed to DMC Hospital, while another student was sent back home after administering treatment to her for minor burns. The incident took place this afternoon when the children were attending their chemistry lecture. Suddenly the chemical formation, which was placed on the burner by Supreet Kaur, exploded.

The boiling chemical fell on Supreet’s hand and face. The liquid also fell on other students standing next to Supreet. The explosion also caused fire in the chemistry laboratory.

The lab assistant and other employees of the college took swift action and managed to douse the fire. The students were safely evacuated from the chemistry lab. Nearly, 25 buckets of water and fire extinguisher was used to douse the fire.

“If the employees had not taken timely action and doused the fire, the explosion could have engulfed the entire chemistry lab in no time,” said a professor requesting anonymity.

The incident spread panic among students. According to doctors, Supreet’s condition was stable. She was advised 15-day treatment at the hospital.

However, the college authorities remained tight lipped about the entire episode and did not blame anyone for negligence.

Principal Jasbir Kaur Makkar, while downplaying the incident, stated that it was an accident.


School van collides with truck, 6 hurt
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, January 21
A major tragedy was averted when a school van, carrying more than 50 schoolchildren, collided with a parked truck on the Mullanpur-Janghpur road, near Mullanpur, this morning.

As many as six persons, including four students and two school teachers, were injured during the accident. One of the injured school teachers, Mandeep Kaur, got her leg fractured during the accident. The injured have been admitted to Kang Hospital, Ludhiana. All injured are stated to be out of danger.

As per information, the school van belonging to East Wood National School, Mullanpur, was ferrying students from various villages to the school. As soon as the van reached near the railway crossing on the Janghpur Road, it collided with the stationary truck parked on other side of the road. According to eyewitnesses the van driver, while trying to avert an accident with a motorcyclist, lost control over the vehicle and hit the truck.

No case was registered by the police in this regard till the filing of this report. SHO, Mullanpur police station, Jangjit Singh, when contacted, stated that the police has received no complaint in this regard. He added that the police would act only after getting a complaint.



Car falls in nullah, political blame game on
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
The falling of a car in nullah near the Civil Hospital has taken a political turn as Congress councillors have blamed the Mayor of the Municipal Corporation (MC) and other top officials of the civic body for the mess.

According to information, the car had fallen in the nullah, flowing from Gurudwara Dukh Niwaran to Shingar Cinema, near the hospital on Thursday night in which three persons were injured.

As there was no boundary wall on the nullah in that area, residents of the area had lodged protest against the councillor of the area. In the wake of it, in a press release issued here on Friday Congress councillors Sanjay Talwar and Rakesh Prashar clarified their position by alleging that MC Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura and top officials of the civic body were responsible for the mess. They alleged that the MC offices were harassing the Congress Councilors under the pressure of the leaders of the ruling alliance adding that the non starting on the work of covering the nullah is a testimony to it.

Talwar said that he had got two estimates approved from the MC for construction of the boundary wall on nullah in the year 2008 but even after passing of more then two years the MC officials had not bothered to start the work on project. He alleged that he had also complained regarding it to the MC Mayor and Commissioner AK Sinha but of them had never bothered to pay attention towards it. Both the Councilors said that though they have been repeatedly assured that the project of covering of nullah would be started soon but even that has not been kicked off despite of the fact that the Deputy CM had himself inaugurated the project.

They said that the MC Mayor and officials are responsible for the incident of falling of car adding that they would raise the matter in the meeting of the general house. On the other hand Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura was not available for comments despite of repeated attempts. 



Delayed run of train
Passengers create ruckus at station
Kuldip Bhatia

Railways and police officials persuade irate passengers to disperse and board the train so that it could resume its onward journey, in Ludhiana on Friday.
Railways and police officials persuade irate passengers to disperse and board the train so that it could resume its onward journey, in Ludhiana on Friday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, January 21
Hundreds of passengers commuting daily to Phagwara, Jalandhar and Amritsar created ruckus over the inordinate delay in the running of the Ambala-Amrtisar passenger train today, which leaves Ludhiana at 8.30 am.

As the train showed no signs of departure after its scheduled halt of 20 minutes, and some goods trains were given green signal in the meantime, restive commuters ran amuck, raised slogans and ran over the railway tracks, holding up entire operations at the railway station for quite some time.

Senior railways officials, along with the Railway Protection Force and the Government Railway Police personnel, had a tough time to restore order and persuade the angry passengers to clear the tracks, and flag off the train. In the process, the train which had arrived here 25 minutes late, was delayed by more than two hours. It ultimately resumed its run at 10.15 am.

With pandemonium prevailing at the railway station for nearly two hours till the passenger train was held up, other railway operations were also affected. 18101 Tata-Mury express, which was waiting for green signal at its scheduled time of departure, was also delayed by nearly half an hour.

The commuters relented and boarded the train only after railways officials gave an assurance that all possible steps would be taken in future to stick to the timetable so that daily passengers did not have to face problems due to the delayed run of the train. JP Singh, Devinder Singh and many other daily passengers alleged that the passenger train was already delayed, with commuters who had to make it to the offices and educational institutions on time getting restive as it did not depart after its scheduled halt. "Showing utter indifference to the fate of daily passengers, the officials deliberately held up the train at the platform, while some goods trains were made to depart during this period which infuriated the passengers who were already upset over the delay."

Station superintendent RK Sharma said the passenger train had arrived at the Ludhiana railway station behind schedule due to operational reasons, which at times, are beyond control. There was some confusion among the restive commuters who thought that goods trains were being given precedence over the passenger train, which was not true. "In any case, we shall make all possible efforts to cut down operational delay in the routine running of trains which mostly carry daily passengers," he added.



1 killed, 4 hurt in bus-car collision
Tribune news Service

Ludhiana, January 21
One person was killed, while four others sustained serious injuries following a head-on collision between a bus and a car at Ghaur village near Badowal on the Ferozepore road, 20 km from here. The incident too place at around 6:30 pm this evening when five persons, travelling in a Honda City, collided with the bus.

According to SHO Mullahpur Jangjit Singh, the driver of the car died on the spot, while four others traveling in the car sustained serious injuries.

The injured were rushed to the DMC hospital, where the condition of two persons was stated to be serious. The bus passengers escaped with minor injuries. 



Shopping Fest
Ludhianvis head for Dubai
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
The shopping enthusiasts, Ludhianvis, are heading towards Dubai to grab some special offers and discounts during the Dubai Shopping Festival, 2011. Always known for their exuberant style, city residents never miss an opportunity to indulge into a splendid shopping spree.

The month-long extravaganza started yesterday and will continue till February 20. For Indian customers, the main attraction and best buy would be gold and new design jewellery. There would be great discounts, promotional offers, deals and bargains at the festival.

The city-based travel companies are providing special packages for the shopping festival. Spring Travels Private Limited is giving a special package of Rs 27,000 for a single person for four nights and five days, including air ticket, visa and hotel stay. The special attraction in the package is Dhow Cruise and Desert Safari.

“The city residents have shown great interest in the shopping festival at Dubai. We have already booked 50-52 packages till date. Some people have already departed for Dubai, while some will be zooming off in the coming days. We are getting at least 10 queries everyday,” said Jaspreet, an executive for international and domestic packages at Spring Travels.

Tamana Sareen, who is visiting Dubai from the past three years during the festival, said being a part of this shopping festival was an experience in itself. “During the Dubai Shopping Festival, shops offer great discounts on their merchandise, daily car raffles are drawn and fireworks light Dubai’s night sky. Tourists from all around the world are lured not only for Dubai’s tax-free shopping, but also for all events that take place during the festival,” she said.

In the festival, out of 6,000 retailers showcasing their products, 60 per cent are jewellery retailers. Indians prefer buying gold because of the new designs and also since many of the gold retailers were connected with some promotional offers or discounts, they could avail it.



Counselling for subject choice proves futile
Parents refuse to accept aptitude tests’ results: Educationists
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Caring two hoots about their child’s aptitude, a majority of the city’s parents are found to be imposing their own choice of subject on their wards.

Not only this, they even refuse to accept the results of the aptitude tests conducted by the school authorities at Class X level to help children make right subject choice at the senior secondary level. Counselling sessions for the students and parents, too, have proved to be futile.

According to school heads and educationists, the parents are excessively imposing and simply refuse to pay heed to the school authorities’ advice when it come to the choice of subjects for their wards after Class X.

“I have parents coming to me complaining that the aptitude test held in the school is flawed,” remarked Navita Puri, principal, Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines.

“They call the test flawed because its result has not matched their own choice,” Puri added.

She also conceded that the parents refuse to attend the counselling sessions on subject choice. “They say the school will force them to allow their wards to choose a subject which they do not want their child to study. This, despite the fact that these sessions are based on expert evaluation of each child’s aptitude,” Puri revealed.

Baldeep Pandher, principal of Green Land Senior Secondary School, Jalandhar Bypass, also confirmed Puri’s claims.

“A majority of parents are not aware about what is right and what is wrong for their child. Their only consideration is their dream to see their child as a doctor or an engineer or a scientist. They do not really care if their child is suited to study the subject of his parents’ choice or not,” Pandher remarked.

She added that most of the times parents refuse to avail expert help from teachers and experts at their wards’ school.

“All attempts at convincing the parents to allow their child to opt for a subject according to his or her aptitude fail. If persuaded, they prefer to withdraw their child from the school and opt for another institution which does not guide them on subject choice,” she said.

Educationists say all efforts on their part to make the parents understand the importance of a child’s aptitude have repeatedly fallen flat.

“The parents just do not listen. For them, non-medical and commerce are the streams to be in. If an aptitude test of the child confirms it, they are happy; if not, they will pass it off as fake, flawed, nonsense and what not,” said Mandeep, a schoolteacher.

The school heads and teachers feel there is an urgent need to address the issue at the earliest and make the parents aware about the importance to give freedom of choice to their children.

“Otherwise we will continue to produce frustrated, low caliber doctors and engineers,” remarked Pandher, adding that the parents need to learn a lesson from Bollywood blockbuster “3 Idiots”, which aimed at creating awareness among the parents to let the child choose and see him/her succeed in life.



R-Day rehearsals in full swing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Rehearsals for the Republic Day function are in full swing at SCD Government College here. Numerous contingents assemble on the college ground and rehearse for over three hours everyday. These contingents include school and college students, NCC cadets, police personnel, ex-servicemen and home guards.

According to information, over 2,000 students from various schools across the district are participating in PT alone. The Republic Day function will include marchpast, PT drills, giddha, bhangra and various other cultural programmes.



Extension lecture on news processing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Gujranwala Guru Nanak Institute of Vocational Studies (GGN Campus) organised an extension lecture on “The procedure of news processing” for its students here yesterday. As many as 60 students pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate courses in Management and Mass Communications attended the lecture.

Technical head of a TV channel BS Rana and news reader Nivedita Aneja were the guest speakers for the occasion. While welcoming the speakers, the institute coordinator, Manjit Singh Chhabra, said: “Extension lectures not only provide knowledge about a particular topic, but also inform the students about various technicalities involved. Such lectures help the students become aware of their surroundings and further help them in seeking jobs. As today the media plays an important role in every aspect of life, it becomes mandatory for the young generation to know how it works.”

While deliberating on the topic, Rana told the students about the procedure involved in news processing and the steps in news production. He said, “The news flow chart includes four important steps -- news collection, news selection, news preparation and news dissemination. With so much activity and such a limited amount of space available in major media outlets, we attempt to determine what makes a relevant news copy and what simply is non-newsworthy. It is important to know what news is and the process through which it goes before reaching to the masses.”

Aneja informed the students about the role of news agencies. She said, “A news agency is an organisation of journalists established to supply news reports to news organisations: newspapers, magazines, and radio and television broadcasters.”

Kuldeep Singh, director of the institute, said: “Such lectures help in developing overall personality of the students and make them aware about the different issues. We are looking forward to organise more such seminars in future for the betterment of students.”



200 examined at medical, verification camp
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 21
With the intent to simplify the process of getting disability certificate, the department of social security, Ludhiana, organised a medical check up and verification camp at Dehlon village near here yesterday.

District programme officer, Ludhiana, Rupinder Kaur presided over the camp organised under the supervision of Saroj Rani, child development project officer, Dehlon.

A team of doctors led by Dr Anita and Dr Manisha examined 200 persons from 70 villages of the area.

Those examined included visually impaired, polio affected and amputated persons, besides orthopaedically disabled persons.

According to supervisors, Ranjit Kaur and Kanwaljit Kaur, over 200 persons from 70 villages falling under the Dehlon block had participated in the medical camp and seminar organised to facilitate rehabilitation of physically challenged.

Besides facilitating the issue of disability certificates to prospective beneficiaries, the organisers made available the information about various facilities being provided by the government.

Though disability certificates of about 100 beneficiaries had been prepared on the spot, the organisers said these would be delivered to them at their houses after getting signed by the district health authorities.



Entrepreneurs get tips on fashion designing

Ludhiana, January 21
The MSME Development Institute organised a six-week entrepreneurship skill development programme on fashion designing for women entrepreneur in Kanech village.

In this programme, 23 women entrepreneur were selected and certificates were awarded by SS Bedi, assistant director, MSME-DI, to the successful candidates.

Bedi informed about the need of organising such programmes for the benefit of new entrepreneurs.

He informed that in this programme, technical information and practical demonstrations were provided on fashion designing, colour combination, cutting, stitching, embroidery, tie and dye, painting and printing, etc.

In addition to this, the entrepreneurs were also guided about various schemes of the government.

Bedi while giving the valedictory address informed that women entrepreneur can play a vital role in the development of society by adopting self-employment opportunities. He stressed that women should come forward to set up their own small-scale ventures. — TNS



State refuses to review e-tendering
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
In a major setback to the municipal corporation authorities and contractors, who have been holding grudges against the levying of processing fee in e-tendering process, the state government has refused to review the matter.

Ever since the e-tendering had been introduced in the local bodies department the contractors of the civic body had unfurled a banner of revolt against the system citing that the processing fee charged by a private company was not justifiable.

To pressurise the government the contractors had even boycotted the tenders worth crores of rupees for carrying out the developmental works in the city. Bowing before their pressure the MC officials had also recommended to the state government to review the levying of processing fee in the e-tenders.

However, sources in the local bodies department revealed that the move of MC officials was strongly disliked by the state government.

Sources further asserted that the basic reason behind it was that the MC had a poor track record of following the prescribed procedure for tenders and even the reports of MC officials managing the tenders to oblige their blue-eyed contractors had been making the headlines in the past.

Sources added it is due to this reason only that the higher ups in the local bodies department have clearly refused to review the e-tenders.

When asked to comment on the matter, Local Bodies Minister Manoranjan Kalia confirmed that there was no question of reviewing the e-tendering process as the move was initiated to bring transparency in the working of the department. He added that the step was taken to check the pilferage of the public money.

The issue could have serious implications as the contractors have already refused to place bid for the tenders called for the developmental works in the city. The MC officials are now caught in a sticky situation as in the wake of the assembly elections, the local political leaders are pressurising the MC to conduct the work in expedite manner to woo voters.



Private chopper lands on PAU campus
Sports lovers cry foul
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Rules are bent for the rich goes a common saying. It was proved true yet again when the topnotch employees of the DLF were allowed to land their private chopper at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) football ground, much to the chagrin of sports lovers.

The bending of the law did not stop here, the SHO of the PAU police station and the ACP (West) were asked to make security arrangements for the arrival of the chopper.

The landing of the chopper drew bitter criticism from the football lovers, who worship their ground. They strongly condemned the use of the football ground for landing the chopper belonging to an industrialist since the ground suffered a damage due to landing.

Moreover, vehicles of the police, security personnel and private persons drove on the ground indiscriminately.

“As if the visits of politicians were not enough that the industrialists have been allowed to land their chopper at the PAU,” said Harmeet Sigh Ricky, a football player, visibly miffed over the landing of the chopper.

It is learnt that the chopper was allowed to land following the nod of a top functionary of the state government and the PAU authorities could not say no.

ACP Raj Kumar said, “Some DLF employees came on a chopper at the PAU.”

When asked to comment on the issue, Jagtar Dhiman, additional director (communication), said: “I don’t know about the development. Estate officer Gurkirpal Singh would be the right man to tell you every thing in detail.”

When contacted Gurkirpal Singh, he said: “I was not in the city and I am unaware about the development.”



Auto spare parts to cost more
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
The Federation of Auto Parts Manufacturers (FAPMA) has decided to increase the rates of its products by 10 to 12 per cent with immediate effect.

The decision was taken at a meeting of FAPMA.

Chairman of FAPMA Subash Bajaj said steep rise in steel prices had forced them to increase the rates of products. "Steel prices are increasing exorbitantly for the past month or so and there is at present no sign of rollback," he said.

Surinder Singh Ryait, president, said the speed at which steel-manufacturing companies were increasing their rates, it appears there is no control on prices and these might further continue to increase, resulting in great loss to the industry, which is already facing numerous problems like labour shortage, VAT refund etc.

General secretary Jagtar Singh Bhambra said, "Our industry finds it difficult to supply goods at the old rates since our buyers are in no mood to give us the increase in rates, pleading that they had placed orders long time back, hence goods must be supplied at old rates."

On the other hand, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are not accepting goods at the increased rates and they expect us to supply the goods at the already committed rates. Under such circumstances, the industry will be suffering huge losses, hence increase of 10 to 12 per cent was justified said Bhambra, adding that the government must take concrete steps to overcome this problem of industrialists, otherwise small and tiny industry will have to bear the brunt, which will ultimately affect the growth and development of the state.



Tipsy Home Guard creates scene
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
A tipsy Home Guard created a scene near Bhai Bala Chowk when he was trying to man traffic here this evening.

The Home Guard started checking documents of commuters and made them, especially women, uncomfortable. The matter was reported to ACP (Traffic) Wazir Singh, who swooped into action and picked up the tipsy guard.

ADCP (Traffic) Sajjan Singh Cheema confirmed the development and said the matter would be reported to the parent department.



Chowkidars to be called community security officers
Given new uniforms by police
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Shabbily dressed night watchmen here are all set to don a new avatar.

According to a pilot project, said to be the brainchild of Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and Commissioner Ishwar Singh, the night watchmen or chowkidars have now to be called community security officers (CSOs).

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Yurinder Singh handed over new blue uniforms, consisting whistle, a baton and blue jersey, to the watchmen working in the BRS Nagar area during a formal community interaction programme launched by the police here yesterday.

The DCP said first a list of all watchmen in different areas of the city was sought from station house officers (SHOs). The police then undertook a thorough verification of these watchmen, following which they attended an orientation camp in which they were taught about the duties in the role of a CSO.

SHO Sarabha Nagar Dharampal said the CSOs had been be given numbers of prominent persons of the locality. They would remain in touch with beat police officials and SHOs.

Besides, the watchmen would be in direct contact with PCR officers on duty.

Residents said the move would strengthen security in the area. The latest initiative would enhance security in all areas of the city, especially at night.

Ishwar Singh said, “The police is making serious efforts to make the city a safer place. We cannot be present everywhere, but trained CSOs could help the police in thwarting criminal activities in the city.”



Two children caught for theft at wedding ceremony
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Two children, including a girl, were caught red handed while stealing a bag full of cash belonging to a groom’s family during a marriage ceremony at Shimlapuri late last evening. However, instead of getting their act together, the Shimlapuri police was seen pondering over the legalities of detaining the children for a night.

It is learnt that initially the children were let off by the police, but once the matter came into the notice of a senior official, the Shimlapuri SHO swooped into action and formed a police party to nab the parents, who were forcing their children to commit the immoral act.

The incident took place when Gurmukh Singh was busy in the reception ceremony of his son in the Shimlapuri area. In the meantime, a 12- year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl entered the reception ceremony, along with other guests, and soon mixed in the crowd.

As they were shabbily dressed, the duo caught the attention of Gurmukh Singh. He was keeping an eye on the children and soon caught them stealing a purse. When probed, they admitted to have stolen a bag containing Rs 1.5 lakh from a wedding ceremony in Chait Singh Nagar few days ago.

After being caught, the children got terrified and even showed some currency notes they had stolen from wedding.

While the girl kept mum, the boy said his mother fled to Madhya Pradesh, along with the cash.

The police was also playing safe on the issue. A police official, on the condition of anonymity, stated that if they would be harsh on the children then the child commission and NGOs would take them to task. ADCP- II Sushil Kumar confirmed the development and stated that the police was investigating the case.

Sources said SHO, Shimlapuri, Balwinder Singh even informed the social security officer about the children and their offence. However, Balwinder remained tight-lipped over the entire issue.

The place where the children were kept for the whole night remains a mystery. According to the law, juveniles could not be kept in a lockup and that too for the whole night without registering a case.

In the morning three persons, including a woman, reached the Shimlapuri police station and asked the cops to free the children. The woman claimed herself to be the president of Mehila Mandal in Jalandhar. After spending some time in the police station, the trio left for Jalandhar. Sources said a police party followed the trio to nab the parents of the children. Till the time of filing this report, no case was registered against the children. 



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |