L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


City manholes left gaping, MC shuts eyes
Miraculous escape for family of three as bike nearly falls into open manhole
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
An open manhole in Madhuban Enclave on the Barewal Road almost turned into a death trap for a family of three, including a four-year-old child, who had a miraculous escape when the bike they were riding nearly fell into it late last evening.

Viji Raj, a native of Kerala and presently residing in the Housing Board Colony near Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar in the city, said his family was still in shock. “I am thankful to God that my family escaped unhurt in the incident. However, not everyone is as unfortunate as we were. But my heart still misses a beat whenever I think about what could have happened," said Viji Raj, who works as a general manager with a coaching institute in the city.

Narrating the incident, Viji Raj said he along with his wife Ritu and four-year-old daughter Ananya were going to meet a friend in Madhuban Enclave on Barewal Road on a motorcycle. “There were no streetlights on the Barewal Road towards Madhuban Enclave. I slowed down my bike but within seconds, the front tyre of my bike got stuck in an open manhole and the bike tilted towards one side and we nearly fell into it. I somehow managed to maintain balance and that is how all of us escaped unhurt,” stated Viji Raj, who still looked in a state of shock.

As it was dark, there was no one to help the family. “On reaching home, we thanked God for saving our lives as I have heard of so many incidents where city residents lost their lives or got injured by falling into open manholes. Though we are the lucky few, my daughter is still in a shock. Officials of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation should keep it in mind that with a small mistake of theirs, someone can lose his life," said Viji Raj.

Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, however, claimed that he had already issued orders for installing covers on manholes. “I would personally check the manholes and make sure that all of these are covered,” he added.

Serious lapse

It was a serious lapse on the part of the officials concerned. The Sewerage Board officials had only recently laid sewerage lines in the Madhuban Enclave area and it has not yet been handed over to the MC. But still, I will not take it as an excuse and will write to the state government to take strict action against senior engineer of the Sewerage Board RP Gupta, who is handling the area.

AK Sinha, MC Commissioner

Will take action

I came to know about the open manhole on Wednesday evening. I will send a team of officials to the area and take necessary action.

RP Gupta, senior engineer, Sewerage Board

Past incidents

n January 30, 2011: Seven-year-old Sujan died after falling into an open manhole near the Jalandhar bypass after his father's scooter skidded.
n April 18, 1999: City resident Sarita Ahluwalia lost her life after falling into an open manhole near Punjab Agricultural University
n 1998: 56-year-old Rakesh Talwar was paralysed after the scooter he was riding fell into an open manhole in Dhobi Ghat area on Rajpura Road that was flooded with rainwater


No lessons learnt
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
Even as the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is spending crores on development works in the city, it has failed to install covers on open manholes, which costs Rs 1,100.

The MC doesn’t seem to have learnt any lesson from the past incidents where many lost their lives after falling into open manholes.

The recent incident being of a seven-year-old boy Sujan, who died after his father's scooter slipped due to a 25 feet open manhole on National Highway-I near Jalandhar bypass in January.

The incident took place when Sujan, along with his father Satpal, was coming from Qadian village after attending a religious function on a scooter. When the duo reached near the road leading to their house in Chander Nagar in Bhaura village, Satpal noticed a manhole that was uncovered in the middle of the road. He applied brakes only to lose balance and his scooter skidded, while Sujan, who was standing in front of the driver's seat, fell in the 25 feet deep manhole.

Though MC officials tried to save the boy, his body was fished out of the sewerage treatment plant in Bhattian village, 5 km from the accident site, after three hours.

Sujan's death was a clear example of the civic body’s lackadaisical attitude in checking such drains and open manholes that have virtually become death traps.

Another city resident, Sarita Ahluwalia, lost her life in a similar incident on the fateful night of April 18, 1999. Nearly 12 years after the incident, which devastated the family, 69-year-old Anand Sagar Ahluwalia, husband of the Sarita Ahluwalia, who at the time of incident was the vice-principal of New Senior Secondary School, is fighting the case in court.

Similarly, 56-year-old Rakesh Talwar fell prey to an open manhole in 1998. A screen printer by profession, Talwar's career ended on the day of the incident in 1998 when he was riding his scooter through a flooded street in the Dhobi Ghat area on Rajpura Road. He fell into the open manhole after his scooter got stuck in it. The cover of the manhole had hit his head and the right side of his body was paralysed. He had suffered 50 per cent disability and remained in coma for six months at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

Last month, he was awarded a compensation of Rs 8.5 lakh by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation. This compensation was awarded on the directions of District and Sessions Court.

Death traps

A quick survey of the city after Tuesday’s incident revealed how the civic body has failed to replace broken manhole covers in several areas. The Tribune team spotted open manholes opposite Chand Cinema, inside Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Sabzi Mandi Chowk, Ferozepur Road, besides other areas of the city.



Justice still eludes manhole victim’s kin
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
The incident involving members of the Raj family having a providential escape after tripping over an open manhole in the city has once again touched a raw wound among relatives of a seven-year-old boy who died seven months ago after falling into a manhole near the Jalandhar bypass and who are still waiting for justice. When contacted municipal corporation commissioner Ajoi K Sinha said: “Seven months ago we sent an executive engineer on forced leave and suspended Jatinder Kumar, a lambardar and in charge of the patrol team as well as Sunil Kumar, a junior engineer, for their failure to detect missing manhole covers.” He, however, said he was unaware what happened to these three officials.

Rather than ensuring justice to the boy’s family, the district administration rubbed salt on its wounds after a probe held by subdivisional magistrate Prem Chand laid the blame for Sujan's death on his father as well as civic officials and a private firm.

The administration was forced to order the inquiry after a protest by area residents who accused civic officials of negligence. Subsequently Chand, who visited the accident site, conducted the probe by calling MC functionaries, representatives of the firm, SOMA, that has undertaken the work to widen NH 1 and even the deceased's father.

However, to the utter shock of many, in his inquiry report Chand held Sujan’s father, Satpal, responsible for his son’s death along with officials of the MC and SOMA. According to him Satpal had “used the area under construction as a shortcut to his house” though the MC staff was also responsible for mishap to a big extent because they had not replaced broken manhole covers.



Locals nail vendor mixing milk with drain water
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
High drama was witnessed in the city’s Rishi Nagar locality on Wednesday morning when a few vigilant area residents caught hold of a milk vendor reportedly mixing drain water with the milk he intended to sell.

An area resident, Sunil Dutt, told The Tribune: “We had been keeping an eye on the milk vendor, a migrant named Ramesh, for the past four or five days after someone had earlier told us he used to adulterate the milk he sold with water. But today we ourselves saw him doing it and caught hold of him red handed. We immediately informed the police and also the district health department. Two cops came here after about an hour while a team of health officials arrived about two hours later."

Meanwhile, a food inspector, Harpreet Kaur, said: "We’ve taken samples of the milk this vendor was carrying and will send them for lab testing on Thursday. The report is expected to come after 30 days and action, if any, against the vendor would be taken after that. The vendor used to purchase milk from various dairy farms on Hambran Road”.

Sohne Lal, a migrant showed area residents the drain where Ramesh used to mix water in the milk he sold.” On asking his name, he kept telling different name on all the three days when we were keeping a strict vigil on him. One day he told us his name as Sanjay on first day, Mela Ram on second day and today as Ramesh”, said some residents.

Meanwhile, cops at the Kitchlu Nagar police post began enquiries about the milk vendor.

Officials, cops pass the buck

Area residents had a tough time handing over the milk vendor to health officials after the police began playing passing the buck over taking action against him. “When we contacted district health Officer Dr Kulwinder Singh, he said, ‘As I will be accompanying Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari on his trip to review flood control measures, you should contact district epidemiologist Dr Anil Verma’. When we called up Verma he came to the locality and said "I am in a hurry as I have to attend a court hearing. So wait for the department team to arrive and collect milk samples.” It was around 10 am when food inspector Harpreet Kaur arrived and took samples of the milk,” claimed one of the residents.



Police dept also owes MC Rs 13.6-lakh rent
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
The police department owes Rs 13,60,957 lakh as rent to the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC). The rent is for the Model Town police station, which is situated in a building owned by the MC. The outstanding amount is from March 1986 to July 1999.

As per a report procured under the Right to Information Act, audit department officials have raised objections and have asked the MC authorities to recover the amount.

In a letter written by the Deputy Inspector General, Ludhiana Range, on August 31, 2001, the DIG confirmed that it owed Rs 13,60,957 to the MC and said the outstanding rent would be paid soon. But this remained only on paper as the police has failed to pay the amount.

This is not the first time that the matter was taken up by the audit department. The issue was highlighted in its reports of 2001-02, 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06.

Rohit Sabharwal, president, Council of RTI Activists, said one could imagine the state of affairs in the MC as not only residents, but also the police department is not paying the outstanding rent.

“On the one hand the MC is raising funds by either selling its properties or by mortgaging them and on the other hand, it is not doing anything to recover the dues,” he said.

Police Commissioner Sharad Satya Chauhan said the matter was under process and the MC would be given the outstanding amount soon.



Bicycle industry faces grave threat from China
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 27
Some 6,000-odd units engaged in manufacturing bicycles and cycle parts in the city, with a daily turnover of around Rs 25 crore, are under serious threat from import of bicycles and parts from China, which has achieved phenomenal growth in the past two years. The bicycle and bicycle parts manufacturers strongly feel that in the absence of immediate remedial steps as well as adequate incentives, the industry providing direct employment to more than six lakh persons will suffer huge set back with grave repercussions on the entire state economy.

Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) general secretary Avtar Singh said the bicycle and components units here have an installed capacity of 50,000 to 60,000 bicycles a day and out of some 1.35 crore bicycles manufactured in India every year, the local industry accounts for nearly 90 per cent. In, addition, more than 3,000 units are engaged in cycle trade and the total employment generation capacity of the bicycle segment (industry and trade) is over 26 lakh persons.

With the import of complete bicycles and components like steel spokes, steel balls, pumps, paddle axles, saddle and saddle parts, handle-brake levers, basket, chain and chain wheels and brake cables from China at highly under-valued prices since last year, the local units are feeling threatened.

He said that the Chinese bicycles and components are eating into the local market and it is evident from the fact that import of these items from China has shot up from Rs 200 crore in 2008-09 to Rs 1,000 crore in 2010-11. "Not only the indigenous production had to be cut down by 25 per cent due to the low demand, but the export of bicycles and cycle parts has also dropped by almost 50 per cent during this period."

The overall impact on the sector has been excruciating, said the CICU functionary while claiming that some two lakh workers have been rendered jobless while the central and state exchequers have suffered huge loss of revenue due to evasion of custom duty, VAT and other taxes due to under-valuation of import from China.

"In the wake of deep crisis looming over the head of the domestic bicycle sector, the government ought to act with a sense of urgency," said Avtar Singh calling for immediate measures like anti-dumping duty on Chinese bicycle parts and evolving a mechanism for strict verification of invoices and other documents for import of bicycles and parts from China.

He also made a fervent plea with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to announce a comprehensive package of relief and incentives at par with those being offered to sugar and textile industry.



Prime commercial land in city again fails to sell
GLADA’s 2nd auction for Ferozepore Rd draws a blank
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 27
For the second time in a row the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) failed to find any buyers for prime land on the city’s arterial Ferozepur Road at the open auction conducted on Wednesday.

On offer for sale were two pieces of commercial land with each having a one acre floor area and adjoining the West End Mall on the national highway, with a reserve price of Rs 94.05 lakh (for the corner site) and Rs 85.50 lakh.

Having been unsuccessful earlier in finding any takers GLADA officials had made yet another attempt to attract buyers for these sites that have a huge potential for commercial exploitation - again without any success.

“With no one depositing the eligibility fee of ten percent of the total cost of the land before commencement of the auction, and even thereafter while officials kept waiting with their fingers crossed, the auction was deferred”, said GLADA additional chief administrator Jaswant Singh, who presided over the proceedings.

The failure to find buyers even for prime commercial properties in the state’s financial and industrial hub appears to be becoming a habit with the authority of late. Even if the real estate sector is not looking up, holding unproductive auctions one after the other, especially for commercial sites with huge potential, flies in the face of conventional wisdom.

After an unsuccessful attempt to sell these two sites on March 14, 2011, GLADA had made an offer for sale of a commercial pocket in Phase I, Dugri valued at Rs 50 crore on June 27, 2011 followed by a hotel site in Sector 32A on the Chandigarh Road with a total reserve price of Rs 64.61 crore. However, there was no buyer for these properties sale of which could have netted up to Rs 300 crore had the auction raised some interest.

Sources in the real estate sector pointed out commercial properties are unlike residential plots and built-up apartments that are lapped up by genuine buyers, investors and speculators. "Big chunks of prime commercial land, commanding prices running into hundreds of crores of rupees, are beyond the pockets of local buyers and investors. Potential buyers have to be big builders, developers or consortia. And it appears GLADA failed to reach the buyers or else the real estate scenario is still to look up, keeping buyers at bay," the sources added.

Unproductive auctions

The failure to find buyers even for prime commercial properties in the state’s financial and industrial hub appears to be becoming a habit with the authority of late. Even if the real estate sector is not looking up, holding unproductive auctions one after the other, especially for commercial sites with huge potential, flies in the face of conventional wisdom.



City’s new Commissioner reshuffles SHOs
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
Newly appointed Commissioner of Police, Dr SS Chauhan, on Tuesday transfered some of the SHOs posted in the city. The reshuffling was accompanied with the claim that thetransfers were neither complaint-based not done under any pressure. "Changes have been made to bring more efficiency", he said.

SHO, Focal Point Paramjit Singh has been sent to Police Lines while Kanwarjit Singh, SHO, Koomkalan, has been posted the new SHO of Focal Point. Inspector Harpal Singh, who was SHO, Model Town, has been shifted as In-charge CIA-1.

In yet another transfer, Inspector Navreet Singh, who was with the traffic police, has been posted as the SHO of the Model Town police station. Assuistant Sub Inspector Pavittar Singh has been shifted from the Police Lines as the In-charge Police Post, Dhandari Kalan. Inspector Dharampal has been shifted to Police Lines.



Talent show: Students highlight social issues
Gurvinder Singh

Ludhiana, July 27
More than 100 students participated in the Inter-House Talent Search contest organised at Kundan Vidya Mandir School, Civil Lines, here today.

The school houses, comprising students from Classes VI, VII and VIII, competed in compering, mime, mono acting, duet-dance, duet-song, keyboard and orchestra on various themes. Most of the performances were based on folk culture and social issues. Social problems like child labour, evils of begging, child education and terrorism were highlighted.

Students also underscored issues like water conservation and religious unity in front of an audience exceeding 800 students in the school auditorium.

“We made sure that along with the development of various talents, students understood and felt for society as well. So we gave them themes that were socially relevant and culturally enriching,” said principal Navita Puri.

“I played a poor man, a policeman, a politician and a doctor. I feel bad about the state of the poor,” said Nikhil Sharma of Class VI, who won the first prize in mono acting. Nitika, Gulshan, Samriti, Ishita and Vaibhav, all students of Class VII won in miming category. They showcased the problem of excessive use of gadgets and technology.

Gauri Phull and Diksha Jain of Class VIII won in compering. Mehak and Gaurang stood first in singing. Tanish Galhotra and Harleen Kaur sang ‘tappas’ to bag their first prize. Vaastav Bhasin walked away with the first prize for performance on keyboard.

“Cultivation of talents of children is a must for personal enrichment and making of a complete individual,” principal Puri said.



dharna in vet varsity
Release pending arrears, demand non-teaching staff
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
Sore over the callous attitude adopted by the state government and authorities at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) for not releasing the pending arrears, the Non Teaching Employees Union of GADVASU held a dharna at the veterinary campus here today.

Jagjit Singh, the president of the union, said if the state government failed to release their pending arrears (from January 2006) till August 15, the union would intensify their agitation. He said 40 per cent arrears were pending with the government out of which 20 per cent were to be given to the employees while remaining 20 per cent were to be deposited in the GPF of the non-teaching employees.

"Despite making repeated requests, GADVASU authorities have failed to take-up our mater with the state government.

Whereas, other employees working in different government departments had already got arrears. We fail to understand, as to why the government had adopted a step-motherly attitude towards the non-teaching employees", said Rajinder Singh, general secretary of the union.

Meanwhile, the Private College Non -Teaching Employees Union, Punjab, and Chandigarh have also declared their strike mandate against the government's policies. The employees union will hold their state-level pen-down strike on July 28 and a series of dharnas on August 1, 2 and 19, 2011.

Hoshiar Singh, district president of the union, Ludhiana, said that their main demands included arrears of new scale from January 1, 2006, raising of medical from Rs 250 to Rs 350 from January 2006, 5 per cent interim relief, implementation of pension and gratuity and abolishing ban on new recruitments.

"The strike mandate has been decided under the leadership of Kulwant Singh, president, Private College Non-Teaching Employees Union, Punjab, and Chandigarh", said Hoshiar Singh. The union will hold a state-level protest rally on August 3 (Panjab University wing) and August 26 (GNDU wing).

Rajiv Bhasin, senior vice-president of the union added that the non -teaching of the state was capable enough to get their rights from the state government and later on from the management of their colleges. Hoshiar Singh said that all the demands were genuine and government should fulfil these demands immediately keeping in view the assembly elections in the state.



Development works
Congress councillors serve ultimatum to Mayor
Ask to clear all pending files of different wards irrespective of party affiliation
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 27
Charging the city Mayor with discriminating against the Congress councillors in the matter of execution of development projects and allocation of funds, the councillors belonging to the main opposition party today served an ultimatum to the civic body to clear all pending files of different wards irrespective of the party affiliation of the councilor concerned by the end of this week failing which they would resort to an indefinite dharna at the office of Mayor from August 1 till the acceptance of their demand.

Addressing a news conference at the zone-D office of the MC here, the Congress councillors said the general house meetings of the MC were not convened for months together as against statutory schedule of once a month, and those of the Finance and Contracts Committee (F&CC) were also erratic. "In brazen discrimination against the Congress councillors, not even a single file for development works in the wards represented by them was included in past two meetings of the F&CC."

Sham Sunder Malhotra, group leader of the Congress councilors, further said that the staff deployed for sanitation and maintenance of sewerage network was not only ill-equipped but even their salaries were not paid on time which grossly hampered the work.



Six cases of measles reported
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
The health department woke up only after cases of measles were reported in Zeenat Nagar of Ward Number 31.

According to sources, "More than half a dozen children had been suffering from the measles in the Zeenat nagar area. It was on Tuesday morning when the team of health department got to know about it they got them admitted at the Civil Hospital."

Confirming this, Dr Charanjeet Uppal, the health officer of Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, said, "We got the area properly cleaned along with adjoining vehras. We also got the fogging done over there. The residents were also distributed chlorine tablets along with instructions about usage.

While Dr Anil verma, district epidemiologist, said, "Four children had fallen sick with different diseases. Out of these, two were suspected to be suffering from measles, while the third one was suffering from eye flu and the fourth from diarrhoea. We have conducted some tests on these children and once the reports come we will treat them accordingly. They are under treatment at the Civil Hospital. Today we did not receive fresh cases of measles."

Isolation a must

It is a viral infection and usually occurs in rainy season. In case a person suffers from it, he or she should be Quarantined. The incubation period for patients suffering from measles is seven to 10 days. patients suffering from high temperature should be given paracetamole.

Dr K S Saini, District Immunisation Officer, Ludhiana



DC visits flood-prone villages, faces heat
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari was flooded by complaints when he visited the villages, which are most prone to floods during the monsoons, today. The DC kept assuring the villagers that the state government was making the best arrangements with the available resources, but it seemed as if every person had a different story to tell.

The residents of various villages, which the DC visited today, complained that government was not doing anything to help them. But the DC kept telling them that the state government had already released Rs 31 crore for the strengthening of the Sutlej banks.

Accompanied by a battery of senior district administration officials, Tewari visited villages such as Shergarh, Dhullewal, Sainsowal, Issapur, Ghumana and Mattewara today.

Tewari claimed that he was taking first hand information of the present situation. Some of the villagers stated that the state government had not done anything concrete to check floods in their area, while some rued that their fertile land was washed away in floods and had now become a part of the riverbed. However, they claimed that they were not given any compensation by the state government.

Sewa Singh (70), a resident of Dhullewal village, rued that he owned 11 acres in the village. “But during various floods from 1993-96, 10 acres of my fertile land was washed away. And now I own just an acre. The state government has not given us any compensation for the same. Now, I am forced to lead a life of a pauper. All I want is either land or compensation, so that I can lead a respectable life.”

Ajmer Singh, another resident of Dhullewal, rued that the state government had not chalked out a comprehensive plan for checking floods in their village. “Officials visit our village every year and all that we are left with are fake assurances,” he stated.

Another village resident Budh Singh said he had lost five acres due to floods. “Leave aside compensation, the government did not even assure us of any help.”

Tewari claimed that there were 15 points along the Sutlej river banks, which were sensitive. “Three of them, which include Mattewara, Khaira Bet and Madhepura, are very sensitive. For this reason the Ludhiana district has been divided into three zones — Samrala, Ludhiana and Jagraon — which would be headed by ADC (development) Pardeep Aggarwal, myself and ADC (general) SR Kler, respectively,” the DC said.

He claimed that out of a total of Rs 31 crore sanctioned by the state government, Rs 4 crore has already been sent to the district administration. “With this money we are strengthening the river banks at Mattewara, Khaira Bet and Madhepura,” he added.



Another community centre goes BRS Nagar way
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 27
Some six resident welfare societies have lodged a protest against the community centre in Dugri Urban Estate Phase II, being given to a contractor for maintenance, who in turn, has converted it into a resort/marriage palace. The community centre in Dugri has met a similar fate as that of the one in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, which has not only been turned into a marriage palace by the ruling group of residents welfare society, but its name also changed to Le Satkar Palace.

A deputation of the welfare societies, led by Gurpreet Singh Chawla, which met the additional chief administrator of the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA), Jaswant Singh, in his office here today, submitted a written representation against alleged misuse of the community centre, which was meant for the residents of the locality.

Talking to The Tribune, Chawla said GLADA had exceeded its authority in handing over the common facility to a contractor against the rules, and further that the community centre being put to commercial use was against the very purpose for which the facility had been created. Functionaries of the resident welfare committees asserted that a representative committee of the area residents was the competent body to run and maintain the facility, and GLADA ought to scrap the contract so that the residents could themselves look after the community centre at their own level.

Expressing a sense of dissatisfaction at the low pace of various development projects in Dugri Phase III, the delegation urged the GLADA authorities to develop greenbelt in the area and make operational the service lane from Dhandra Road to Phullanwal bypass, take up sanitation work, development of parks and street lights in phase III, make provisions for proper roads, adequate parking spaces, drainage of rain water and parks in all phases of urban estate.

Jaswant Singh, while asserting that the contractor of the community centre had been explicitly directed not to change the name of the building, however, sought to justify the facility being handed over to a private party for making it a self-supporting entity. "The centre has a swimming pool and other facilities and they also have heavy electricity bill to take care of," he said.

He added that if a body of residents came forward with the commitment to run and maintain the facility in the desired manner and raise the required funds for this purpose, GLADA would have no problem in handing over the centre to them.

Meanwhile, the BRS Nagar (East) Welfare Society has flayed the total inaction on the part of the district administration in holding probe into alleged financial and other irregularities committed by the ruling group in converting the community centre into a marriage palace. They alleged that the building was constructed with the government grants, which was now being put to commercial use in an illegal manner.

Charging the reigning group with holding office for several years beyond their term, failure to hold general house meetings despite requisition by majority of the members and debarring bonafide members from the election process in an unconstitutional manner, they urged the authorities to inquire into gross mismanagement of the facility and the funds without further delay.

Cummunity centre turns into resort

The community centre in Dugri Urban Estate Phase-II has been given to a contractor for maintenance. He in turn has converted it into a resort/marriage palace



Tips for keeping ornamental plants
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
Both indoor and outdoor ornamentals are used to beautify houses, gardens and landscapes, said PAU experts of the department of floriculture and landscaping. Providing tips to the farming community and general public for the management of ornamentals in August, the experts said the plantation of ornamental trees, shrubs and creepers can be continued in this month due to less mortality.

Talking about permanent plants, the floriculturists advised that the growing tips of young bougainvillea plants in pots should be pinched for desired shape and size. The gap filling of the permanent plants may also be undertaken which died during earlier planting.

Referring to pot plants, PAU experts suggested that rooted cuttings or emerging suckers should be planted in the pots. Adding that overgrown pot plants may be pruned for proper shape of the plant, the experts said potting should be done during this month. Regarding lawns, they said, “Grass can be planted in this month. Established lawns should be frequently mowed to have a uniform and compact growth.”

Managing honeybee colonies

The scientific management of honeybee colonies is the key to the success of beekeeping. Proper and effective management influences colonies’ performance and productivity. Weather conditions and availability of flora vary from place to place and time to time, said PAU bee-keeping expert Dr Pardeep Chhuneja and cautioned the bee-keepers that monsoon brought, in general, the floral dearth in major parts of Punjab.

Telling that many enemies, including wax moths, predatory wasps, ants, predatory birds, etc invaded the colonies during this season, the entomologist said the attack of enemies, if not checked, could result in heavy toll of bees.

The bee-keeping expert said high humidity due to frequent rainfall and stagnant water adversely affected foraging activity of honeybees.

Pointing to the menace of robbing among the bee colonies, Dr Chhuneja told the bee-keepers that the dearth of bee flora during this season triggered robbing, which was a serious menace due to scanty availability of nectar in the field.

Suggesting the preventive measures, the expert stressed that the feed should not be prepared in the apiary and care should be taken that the sugar syrup did not spilled in the apiary or on any hive.



ludhiana scan
Mass contact programme

Former president of District Congress Committee Krishan Kumar Bawa launched a mass contact progarmme in Ward No 61 falling under the Atam Nagar assembly segment to mobilise party cadres and people for the proposed state-level party convention at Isru in this district on August 15 to be presided over by PCC chief Capt Amarinder Singh. Addressing a meeting, Bawa said meetings would be convened in all 11 wards of the constituency to expose the misdeeds of the SAD-BJP government while also propagating the policies and programmes of the Congress. He alleged that all sections of the people were disenchanted with the government, law and order situation had gone out of hand, drug addiction had reached new heights and mafia groups were looting the people under the patronage of government functionaries.

Taxation bar, DETC row ends

In a joint meeting of the District Taxation Bar Association (sales tax) and the joint action committee of the officers of Excise and Taxation Department, the row between the two bodies over the working of deputy excise and taxation commissioner (appeals) and then a resolution calling for the boycott of a taxation lawyer Bal Krishan Gupta, was amicably resolved. A joint statement signed by Arun Kanwal and DS Garcha, presidents of the two bodies, said the resolution for boycott of the taxation advocate should not have been adopted, and it was a mistake.

Loan festival

HDFC Bank held a mega loan mahotsava at Khanpur in this district to extend financial assistance for construction, earth-moving equipment and agriculture in collaboration with machinery and equipment makers like JCB, L and T Komatsu, Terex, Schwing Stetter, Doosan, Escorts Construction, Kobelco, Tata Motors and Asia Motorworks. Anil Bhavnani, head, Infrastructure Finance Group, HDFC Bank, presided over the function which was also attended by city Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, Balwant Singh, sarpanch of Khanpur and Vineet Arora, zonal head, branch banking, HDFC Bank.

New challan for VAT

Conceding the demand of trade and industry, the excise and taxation department has proposed a new composite challan for payment of VAT, Punjab Municipal Fund and Punjab Municipal Infrastructure Development Fund in place of three forms being used presently for this purpose. Commenting on the draft of proposed composite form, PC Garg, a leading taxation advocate, has suggested that that it would be better if the registered dealers were not made to mention all components of VAT and surcharge - the PMF and PMIDF in the challan. The rest of the calculations ought to be made by the bank or the department at their level. He has also suggested that in place of five copies of challans, there should be only one copy like the income tax challan, which will save a lot of time, paper and energy of the taxpayers.

SME meet

Corporation Bank organised a small and medium enterprises (SME) meet here. Speaking at the occasion, zonal manager of the bank RK Verma said that a new zonal office had been set up here to cater to 40 plus branches spread over the states of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. The branch network is in the process of being expanded to 50 by the end of this financial year. He said the bank had crossed the milestone of Rs 2,00,000 crore of business ending March 2011. The AGM of the bank, UC Nayak, focused on various loan schemes designed for SMEs.

MGNREGA helpline

The district administration has launched a help line for redressal of all suggestions and complaints related to implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act. According to additional deputy commissioner and MGNREGA programme coordinator Pradeep Aggarwal, the helpline number 9988400403 can be contacted on all working days from 9 am to 5 pm. — OC



School Notes
Saplings planted

LUDHIANA: SAN Jain Model Senior Secondary School observed ‘Tree Plantation Day’ here on Wednesday. Students of kindergarten and primary classes planted various plants on the school campus. Teachers explained the benefits and qualities of plants to the students.

Dance competition

An inter-house dance competition was organised for the students of Classes VI to XII on the theme ‘Just Dance’. Sonica and Sanchit Dhall bagged the first position. Principal Bhupinder Gogia gave away the prizes to the winners.

Laureates honoured

An assembly was held at DAV Public School, Pakhowal Road, to honour students who brought laurels to the school. Nomya Singla, Jaskaran Kalra, Manav Garg, Prince Gupta, Gareema Pariwal, Pranav Gupta and Sahibdeep Singh received educational CDs. Arshia Puri received gold medal for national short story competition. Gurleen Kaur, Harkeerat Kaur and Gurleen Chhabra received gold medal and cash prize. Sanchay Palan bagged gold medal in essay writing. Principal JK Sidhu gave away the prizes to the students. — TNS



Man arrested for ‘killing’ aunt
Also booked for criminal activities in Mumbai
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
The city police has arrested one Deepak Verma, who had allegedly killed his 61-year-old aunt Kamla Devi over a property feud on July 21 at Rishi Nagar. Though Kamal Kishor, husband of deceased, was also present at the crime scene, due to old age and weak body he could not nab Deepak, who fled from the scene after committing the crime. The accused was arrested today from the Hambran Road and he would be produced before the court tomorrow.

Giving details, DSP RK Jalhotra said SHO Beant Juneja, ASI Angrez Singh and Harnek Singh on a tip-off nabbed the accused from the Hambran Road.

Beant Juneja said Verma had a criminal background. “Kamla Devi and Kamal Kishor did not have any child. Verma’s father had died and his mother had disowned him due to his anti-social activities. His mother stayed at Jammu while Verma used to run an auto-rickshaw here,” said Juneja adding that two criminal cases had already been registered against Verma with the Mumbai Police.

Juneja also said that Verma worked as a domestic help at Bollywood actor Aditya Pancholi’s house for five years in Mumbai. He formed a small gang in 2006 in Mumbai, which indulged in several snatching incidents. “We are in touch with the Mumbai Police as we are sure that he must have been declared a proclaimed offender,” he said. On July 21 around 9.45 pm, Verma called up his uncle Kamal Kishor on his mobile number and asked the latter to come out. As Kamal Kishor was aware of the ill intentions of his nephew, he preferred to stay indoors. Enraged Verma allegedly barged into the house and attacked his aunt with a dagger, killing her on the spot.

The accused worked as a domestic help at Bollywood actor Aditya Pancholi’s house for five years in Mumbai. In 2006, he formed a small gang in Mumbai, which indulged in several snatching incidents.



Spurned woman accuses lover of trying to torch her
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
Depressed over being rejected by her much younger lover, Harjinder Kaur, 45, a resident of Daba Road in the city’s New Simlapuri locality, accused him and three others of attempting to set her afire late on Tuesday night. Based on her complaint the Salem Tabri police has filed an FIR against Brij Lal, 29, and the three other unidentified people under sections 436, 506, 509 & 34 of the Indian Penal Code.

According to Harjinder, Lal, a resident of Gobindsar Mohalla, accompanied by the three men came to her home at about 11:15 pm while she was watching TV. “On hearing a noise coming from the verandah I opened the door and saw Lal setting a few things in the room on fire. They even threw a bottle filled with kerosene oil on me but I managed to run away. The intruders used abusive language and then fled the scene”, she claimed.

When contacted police station house officer Balwinder Kumar said a case had been filed though no arrest had been made so far.

“Primary investigations reveal that Harjinder was having an affair with Lal, who married another girl about six months ago and stopped seeing Harjinder. The complainant has alleged Lal and three others barged into her home on Tuesday night and tried to set her ablaze. We’re still looking into the matter and can’t comment till the investigations are over", said Balwinder.



inter-zonal football tournament
Ludhiana-I, Kila Raipur prove their mettle
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 27
Ludhiana Zone I and Kila Raipur Zone proved their mettle to come out as champions in the girls’ under-14 and 17 groups, respectively in the Ludhiana Inter-Zonal Football Tournament being organised by the Punjab Education Department at Bhartiya Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Kitchlu Nagar branch here today.

In the under-14 category, Ludhiana Zone I and Raikot Zone secured five points each, however, the former were declared the champions on the basis of better goal average. Kila Raipur Zone collected three points to finish third.

In the girl's under-17 category, Kila Raipur Zone accumulated 5 points to emerge as winners, followed by Khanna Zone which scored four points to finish as runners-up. Ludhiana Zone I with three points stood third.

In the boy's under-14 section, four teams- Kila Raipur along with Jagraon Zone, Raikot Zone and Khanna Zone wrapped up their respective matches to qualify for the league phase.

Kila Raipur Zone managed to scrape past Samrala Zone 1-0; Jagraon Zone got the better of Ludhiana Zone II 3-2; Raikot Zone outclassed Ludhiana Zone I 5-3 and Khanna Zone routed Sahnewal Zone 3-0 to advance into the league.



BVM School beat Dugri branch
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 27
In the Inter-School Chess Tournament, BVM Senior Secondary School, Kitchlu Nagar branch, beat BVM School, Dugri Road branch, 2-0 while Sargodha Public School defeated Alpine International School 2-0 in the boys under-14 group to being their campaign on a strong note.

In the boys’ under-17 category, BVM, Kitchlu Nagar branch, blanked Nankana Sahib Public School, Gill Road 2-0; Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, BRS Nagar outnumbered RS Model Senior Secondary School 3-1 while KVM, Civil Lines beat BCM School, Dugri Road branch 2-0.



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