L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Strike by Suvidha Centre staff hits residents hard
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
The indefinite strike which began on Monday by the 130-odd employees of the Suvidha Centre located in the city’s mini-secretariat caused considerable inconvenience to city residents who had to visit various government offices to get their work done. The staff has been pressing the Punjab government for permanent appointments besides other benefits.

The Suvidha Centre, which was set up by the government a few years ago for the benefit of the common man, presently provides about two dozen services to city residents.

With the centre closed a huge rush was seen at several government offices. “When I arrived at the Suvidha Centre at around 11 am to get my learner’s driver’s license made I was surprised to find it shut. Then I was told that due to strike, this work would be done by officials at the district transport office. But that office was also jam packed and there was no proper seating arrangement. I had to stand in hot and humid weather for getting my work done. At least the Suvidha Centre is airconditioned and has proper seating arrangements,” said Balwinder Singh, a student residing in Sarabha Nagar.

Many of those who turned up at centre were unaware of the fact that the staff had gone on an indefinite strike. “We know the employees are fighting for their rights, but the district administration should have made some alternative arrangements so that people don’t suffer,” said Manjit Singh, a resident of Jawaddi village, who had come to apply for a copy of his land registry.

For the past few months the Suvidha Centre employees, who were hired on contract, were coming to duty wearing black badges. They have been demanding their appointments should be made permanent by the state government. A data entry operator gets a monthly salary of Rs 5,000, an assistant accountant gets Rs 7,000 and an accountant gets Rs 10,000, while the administrator gets Rs 16,000 per month.

“How can the government expect us we can raise our families with such a meagre salary? Besides we aren’t even entitled to take any leave. We had raised this issue with government as well as district administration officials several times but they failed to redress our grievances. Now we have been forced to go on an indefinite strike. We have told the state government officials concerned in Chandigarh about our problems and they assured us of all possible help,” said a data entry operator who did not wish to be identified.

Speaking out  

Jaspal SinghI came here to take the death certificate of one of my family members. it was after reaching here that I learnt that suvidha centre employees are on strike. Now I have to come again when employees join duty as the death certificate is to be delivered only by the suvidha centre.  
— Jaspal Singh, resident of Nangal village

Vijay Kumar,I had come to collect the registration certificate of my vehicle. I didn’t know about the strike and had to get my work done from the DTO’s office, which wasted a lot of my time. The district administration should have made Alternative arrangements for the residents so that they didn’t have to suffer. — Vijay Kumar, city resident

Mohammad ZakirI had come for some work here , but now that it is closed due to strike, I would have to wait till the strike ends. 
— Mohammad Zakir, city resident


Vinod KumarThe district administration should have deployed staff at the suvidha centre so that people can get their work done at a single window. Now that the employees are on strike, I would have to make rounds of several departments to get the driving licence.  
— Vinod Kumar, city resident

Baljeet SinghWe are not against the employees who are fighting for their rights. But the state government should resolve the matter soon so that people don’t get harassed in government departments.  
— Baljeet Singh, city resident



MC official’s salary withheld
Had not given information under the RTI Act
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
Municipal corporation officiating commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi has ordered the salary of MC health officer Charanjit Uppal to be withheld on account of delay in providing details under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

Even though a city resident had sought information on sewerage men working in the city a year ago, MC officials failed to provide the relevant details to him. Taking serious note Jaggi decided to withhold Dr Uppal’s salary till the time the requested information was provided.

Confirming the development, Jaggi said the city resident, Vikrant Sidhu, had sought the details under the RTI Act on September 14 last year. “Sidhu had enquired about the number of sewer men who had retired or had died in service from January 2000 till January 2010. He also wanted details about how many sewer men had been employed by the MC on compassionate grounds during this period”, he added.

During the hearing of an appeal in the matter, Jaggi, who is the first appellant authority for the MC, took a serious note of the lapse.

“I’ve issued instructions that, until the information sought by Sidhu is provided to him, Uppal would not be paid his salary. Civic officials should take the Right to Information Act seriously and details sought should be provided to all applicants on time,” Jaggi added.

‘Details to applicant by Tuesday’

Municipal Corporation health officer Dr Charanjit Uppal claimed the details sought under the Right to Information Act by city resident, Vikrant Sidhu, would be provided to him by Tuesday evening. “The delay in providing the required information was because the clerk concerned did not put up the file on the application in the first place. I am able to provide details only if the relevant file is put up to me,” he said.



Health workers seek pay hike
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 26
Agitating auxiliary nurse midwives (ANMs) and lady health visitors continued to stage the dharna in front of the Civil Surgeon’s office for the sixth day today. Spearheading the protest, the activists of the Auxiliary Nurse Midwives Action Committee accused the government of step-motherly treatment.

President of the action committee Sneh Lata said while the government was distributing sops to employees of other departments, including the police, they were given a raw deal.

The protesters called upon the government to immediately announce the pay scales for ANMs and LHVs as recommended by the pay commission. They warned to go on chain fast if the government failed to accept their demands. 



Encroachments razed in Haibowal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
Officials of the building branch of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (LMC) today demolished 100-odd encroachments, both residential as well as commercial ones, in the Haibowal area of the city.

Assistant Town Planner (Zone D) Kamaljit Kaur said residents had encroached upon 20-foot wide street popularly known as “Aarey Wali Gali.”

“Most of the residents had constructed 3-foot wide ramps outside their houses on both sides of the road. Some of them were even 5-foot long. That is why, the 20-foot street was reduced to a 14-foot wide one, which resulted in traffic congestion,” said Assistant Town Planner Kamaljit Kaur.

Besides this, a few shopping complexes had encroached upon at least 5-foot wide street by constructing stairs. “At least 20 shopkeepers had encroached upon the road, which were removed today,” she added.

The residents objected to the drive and alleged that the MC officials were indulging in pick and choose policy. Kamaljit Kaur clarified that the encroached areas were marked red about six months ago. “There were some, who had themselves removed their encroachments, but most of them failed to do so.



Four killed in three road mishaps
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
Four lives were lost in different accidents that took place in the city during the past 24 hours.

On the Elevated Road late last night at around 1 am, Mohammad Mamin Khan (26) was killed when he lost control over the motorcycle he was driving. Deep Kumar (22), a friend accompanying Khan, was seriously injured. He was taken to the Christian Medical College and Hospital for treatment. Both were residents of Jawahar Nagar here had gone to Salem Tabri to meet their friend. They were returning home late at night.

Assistant Sub Inspector Jaswinder Singh at the Kotwali said both fell from the bridge. "Mamin died on the spot, while the condition of Deep Kumar was critical and he was unconscious," said the ASI.

A particular section on the elevated road has already claimed lives earlier due to its blind curves. An eye-witness said the motorcycle was a . "Their motorcycle skidded as there was a blind curve ahead and the vehicle lost its balance. It hit the boundary wall and both victims fell from the bridge," said an eye-witness.

Lakhbir Kaur, along with her five-year-old son Arshdeep Singh, were crushed to death under a speeding truck at Basti Jodhewal last evening. The mother and son belonged to Hawas village near Meharbaan. ASI Basti Jodhewal Jagat Singh said a case under Section 279/304 of the IPC had been registered against the driver, who was absconding. The police had taken the truck into their custody.

"The post-mortem of bodies was conducted at Civil Hospital today and bodies had been handed over to the family. The deceased were daily wagers from Hawas village and had come to Basti Jodhewal for some work, said Jagat Singh.

In another incident at Salem Tabri, an unidentified person was killed when a tractor-trolley overturned after loosing balance. The victim was walking on foot, while the driver of the trolley was changing its tyre when suddenly the jack was pulled and the trolley tilted towards the pedestrian, who lost his life on the spot. 



Ramps on Partap Chowk flyover inaugurated
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
Cabinet minister Hira Singh Gabria inaugurated the up ramp and down ramp of the Partap Chowk flyover today. Now, people will not have to face the maddening traffic on this stretch.

The foundation stone of this project was laid on May 25,2010. The estimated cost of the entire project was Rs 22.92 crore. The length of this flyover is 471 meters, while the width is 16.5 meters. The up ramp and down ramp are 70 meter long and 4.5 meter wide.

Presently, due to the ongoing construction, the entry of the heavy traffic was restricted. People preferred alternate routes, which usually led to the traffic congestion in nearby areas.

On August 27, Jaggi, along with senior municipal officials had visited the spot and announced that the up and down ramps would be opened for public on September 3. But, the plan was shelved and both projects got delayed for some time.

The up ramp and down ramp were inaugurated by Gabria in the presence of officiating Mayor Parveen Bansal, officiating MUnicipal Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi besides other officials. The flyover would be inaugurated by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in the first week of October.



Officials directed to maintain bitumen stock
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
After a BJP councillor accused Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) officials of turning a blind eye towards irregularities in the MC hot mix plant, officiating Mayor Parveen Bansal today visited the plant and directed officials to maintain a stock of at least a week for bitumen.

Bansal told the officials that due to heavy rainfall this monsoon, a large number of roads were damaged and now that the rains have stopped, the MC would be repairing all roads.

Harbans Lal Fanta, husband of BJP councillor from ward number 22, Sunita Fanta, had accused the MC officials of not running the civic body’s hot mix plant situated on the Hambran road properly. “Besides, the officials are even pocketing lakhs of rupees and are not supplying the bitumen for development works in the city,” alleged Fanta.

During the day, officiating Mayor Parveen Bansal, accompanied by senior MC officials, visited the plant.

“I was told there was some problem in the plant and that is why I decided to visit it. On reaching here, I found that there was a lack of proper planning amongst the officials, which was resulting in some delay in carrying out development projects,” informed Bansal.

The officials at the plant were told they should maintain stock of a week in case of bitumen. “Right now, they were not keeping any stock of bitumen, which was ordered as per the requirement. But this is not the right way as the MC should always have some bitumen in the stock. This monsoon, a large number of roads had damaged, which requires heavy repair activity. That is why, we should maintain proper stock of bitumen, so that the roads could be repaired without any delay,” said Bansal.

Bansal also visited the public under pass (PUP) opposite the mini-secretariat and claimed that the road on top of it would be opened for vehicular traffic on October 5.

Irregularities in mc plant

y Harbans Lal Fanta, husband of BJP councillor from ward number 22, Sunita Fanta, had accused the MC officials of not running the civic body’s hot mix plant situated on the Hambran road properly. “Besides, the officials are even pocketing lakhs of rupees and are not supplying the bitumen for development works in the city,” alleged Fanta.



Gate rally by Punjab Roadways employees to press demands
Also to observe one-day strike on September 28
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, September 26
Punjab Roadways employees, Jagraon, held a gate rally against the state government at the Jagraon depot this morning.

A large number of employees of Punjab Roadways, including drivers and conductors, took part in the rally organised on the call of the joint action committee of the Punjab Roadways Karamchari Dal.

The protesting employees raised slogans against the SAD-BJP alliance for not fulfilling pending demands of the employees despite a written assurance given by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Some of the demands include promoting senior employees as per rules, raising medical allowance, rolling back accident claims imposed on drivers, regularising part-time employees, ending contract system, merging 360 Pun buses which have cleared their debt with the Punjab Roadways and recruiting drivers and conductors on the pattern of Haryana Roadways, etc.

Jagraon circle general secretary Balwinder Singh Chahal said a delegation of the joint action committee met the Chief Minister in October 2009 at Chandigarh and had submitted a memorandum comprising of the demands of the roadways employees. “The Chief Minister had given a written assurance that the state government would resolve issues at the earliest. But it is sad that about two years have passed and the state government has paid no attention towards their demands,” said Chahal.

The protestors further declared that all employees of Punjab Roadways would observe one day-strike on September 28 to wake up the sleeping state government.



Teachers of pvt colleges to go on mass leave
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 26
Accusing political leaders of exploiting them for political gains in every election, activists and office-bearers of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union (PCCTU) have decided to intensify their stir to get their long-pending demands fulfilled by the state government.

While teachers of private colleges will proceed on a mass leave tomorrow, about 30 office-bearers will court arrest at Chandigarh on the same day. The office-bearers led by the state finance secretary of the outfit, Prof Vinay Sofat said the decision to intensify the stir had been taken after observing the pathetic attitude of the SAD leaders towards their demands.

Though senior leaders, including Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal, had assured to fulfill their long-pending genuine demands, no action was initiated to implement the decisions taken during earlier meetings with the union.

“What to talk of paying pension and gratuity, the government has failed to release the salary of college teachers for the past many months,” said Sofat regretting that officials at the office of DPI (colleges) had been harassing the teachers by not implementing the guidelines of the University Grants Commission.

The activists alleged that teachers of over 70 private colleges had not been paid salary for three to six months.



Farmer does Ghulal village proud
Encourages other villagers to take up organic farmng
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Ghulal(Samrala) September 26
Several villagers of Ghulal village have decided to adopt organic farming on the inspiration of a farmer of the village Jasvir Singh Ghulal who was awarded S Ujagar Singh Dhaliwal award by the Punjab Agriculture University during Kisan Mela recently held on September 22 at Ludhiana.

Some villagers led by Sarpanch Jasmel Singh gathered at his farm and expressed keen interest in organic farming and honoured him for his feat. The villagers were jubilant that Jasvir Singh has done their village proud by winning the prestigious award with his hard work and with new techniques of organic farming.

Jasvir Singh while sharing his experiences said he started organic farming in 2004 and later become member of several organic and kisan clubs to promote organic farming, including the member of PAU Kisan Club and member of Krishi Vigyan Kender Samrala. He took to this field when his wife was advised organic food by doctors. Presently he is growing organic wheat, maiza, grains, vegetables, fruits and herbal plants. He is also using drip irrigation system in his fields and is earning a good income.

He appealed his co-villagers to sow one acre or half acre of organic products to save their families from dangerous diseases like cancer and other diseases. He told villagers that about 3,000 farmers from all over Punjab had associated with him in organic farming. He told them that he had obtained export license to export organic products



‘Post-harvest technologies will benefit farmers’
CIPHET exhibition tomorrow at PAU campus
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
The Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), an Institute of ICAR, will organise an exhibition to showcase agricultural and food processing technologies on September 28 at CIPHET, PAU Campus.

The exhibition is aimed to bring new technologies in post harvest sector from the north region under one roof. State agricultural universities, innovative farmers, entrepreneurs, self-help groups, food processing companies and financial institutions will display their products and technologies.

CIPHET will also organise special events for providing free training to farmers in processing of anola and alovera using portable multipurpose processing unit and processing and cultivation of mushrooms. Dr BS Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, will be the chief guest on the occasion. Important dignitaries from ICAR and agriculture departments will also be present on the occasion.

Dr Deepak Raj Rai, head, Transfer of Technology Division, said that maximum farmers should take up this opportunity and visit the exhibition as technologies from different parts of the country would be showcased here, especially the technologies and training by innovative farmers. Dr R.K Gupta, CIPHET director, said that the institute would also guide farmers regarding number of training programmes in food processing for increasing the income level of farmers.



‘Trees will cater to the needs of future generation’

Ludhiana, September 26
Tree plantation drive with theme “My Earth- My Duty” was celebrated at 1 Pb. R and V NCC Sqn of College of Veterinary Science, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU). Dr. Satinder Pal Singh Sangha, DSW-cum-EO was the chief guest on the occasion. Sangha motivated the cadets for making the society eco- friendly.

He said that one should plant trees that would cater to the future generations. Lt. Col. Narender Singh, officer commanding, 1 Pb. R and V NCC Sqn was also present at the occasion and he informed that unit was regularly organising such kind of awareness drives for the cadets to make them conscious regarding their surroundings. Dr SS Sodhi and Dr Nitin Dev, care-taker officers of the unit were also present at the occasion. Sodhi appraised that students were taking keen interest in such activities.

He revealed that about 50 saplings of cycus, kanakchampa, arjun, kachnar and bagehra were planted. — TNS



200 folk dancers’ performance casts spell
Tribune News Service

ludhiana, September 26
More than 200 folk-dance artistes from different states performed on the beats of live folk music at Guru Nanak Public School, Sarabha Nagar. The artistes were from the North Zone Cultural Centre under the Ministry of Cultural Affairs.

The dance forms showcased native dance forms of 12 states including rouff from Kashmir, mewasi from Gujarat, jaibro of Leh, Assamese dance bihu, Manipuri form santa, goti pua from Orissa, gasayari from Uttarakhand, Rajasthani maangmehar, bapang - a jugalbandi dance form from Rajasthan, sulumkai from Mizoram), Naati from Himachal Pradesh, faag from the state of Haryana and giddha and bhangra from Punjab.

The artistes were in traditional costumes of the respective states.

At the end of the show, the principal of the school, Mona Singh, thanked the NZCC for enriching the consciousness of the audience. She emphasised that such shows had a lot of significance these days when the youngsters in India were mindlessly aping the west. 



From schools and colleges

Winners of ‘Koshish’ in a jubilant mood after winning the trophy at the annual festival of PCTE in Ludhiana
Winners of ‘Koshish’ in a jubilant mood after winning the trophy at the annual festival of PCTE in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Annual day celebrations
The annual function of kindergarten section- "bond of affection" was held at BCM School, Dugri. 'Papa ki Pari', Rajasthani dance, classical performance, Punjabi dhamaal and bharatnatyam performances were the highlights of the function. The little children performed skits on female foeticide and importance of co-curricular activities. Interactive games were also conducted for parents.

NSS Day celebrated
Under the slogan “Not me, but you” NSS day was celebrated at the Doraha College of Education today. The day began with the recitation of “shabad”. On the occasion, the chief speaker was Dr. RK Lekhi, director of Doraha Institute of Management and Technology. In his extension lecture Lekhi said, “The slogan of NSS, “Not me, but you”, itself expressed that we should take care of the happiness and welfare of others”. The NSS volunteers planted saplings in the historical place ‘Mughal Sarai’in Doraha village.

Plantation drive at Tagore school
Members of the Punjab Pollution Control Board exhorted students of Tagore International Senior Secondary School, Kohara Road, Sahnewal, to grow more trees in a campaign ‘Drive on plantation’ on Monday.XEN Rajiv Sharma, SDO Shiv Kumar, senior bank manager Avnish Gupta and manager Jagtar Singh distributed saplings among the students and asked them to nurse them in the campaign. They also encouraged the students to grow more trees to save the earth from destruction. Parents appreciated their sincere efforts to save the planet. — Tribune reporters



PU notes
NSS day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
The National Service Scheme (NSS) is operating in different colleges of Punjab Agricultural University. The NSS day was celebrated on the university campus today wherein the Director, students welfare, Dr. DS Cheema, presided over while SP Bangarh, District and Session Judge, Ludhiana, was the guest of honour.

"One must be aware about one's rights and duties", said Bangarh while talking about legal literacy in youth. Ritu Jain, Additional District Attorney, spoke to participants regarding the programmes and activities of the National Legal Services Authority. The NSS volunteers participating in the programme were educated about the traffic rules by Jagmel Singh, head constable, Traffic Education Cell. The posters and pamphlets on the subject were distributed. 



District scan

Free dental and eye camp

The Maa Bhagwati Club today organised a free-dental and eye check up camp at Gupta Model School in which around 250 students were examined for eye and dental ailments. A team of doctors comprising eye specialist Dr Ramesh and dental surgeons Dr Sarvesh Arora and Dr Monica Arora rendered follow up advice and also distributed free medicines. Satish Nagar, Ruchi Bawa Jain, both councillors along with Tarun Jain, Sukhdev Thapar and Avinash Sikka were also present.

Prabhat pheris on October 2
District Congress Committee former president Krishan Kumar Bawa said that "prabhat pheris" would be taken out in all 11 wards under the Atam Nagar assembly segment from October 2 and make people aware of the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. He asserted that the principles of non-violence, mutual trust and tolerance of Gandhi ji were even more relevant in the present times when law and order had completely broken down and there was a general sense of insecurity among the people.

NAREGA staff on dharna
Led by district president of NAREGA Employees Union Jaswinder Singh, the NAREGA employees held a protest dharna at the office of additional deputy commissioner against what they described as unwarranted termination of "gram rozgar sahayak". The protesting employees alleged that certain officials were out to scuttle the government scheme providing employment to the youth.

Protest march on Oct 28
Activists of the Joint Front against Repressive Laws, comprising representative bodies of farmers, farm and industrial workers, students, youth and professionals, will take out a protest march from Parade Ground to Punjab Assembly in Chandigarh on September 28, on the birth anniversary of martyr Bhagat Singh to raise their voice against legislative measures to gag the voice of the people, the All-India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha said on Monday. — OC



Jagjit’s admirers pray for his health
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
As Jagjit Singh’s condition continues to be critical due to brain haemorrhage he suffered on Friday, his admirers and fans in the city pray for his life and health.

NS Nanda, MD of a hotel, has been his friend since the times he began his career before moving to Mumbai and prays and cherishes the good times spent with him.

“I first met him when he used to visit his sister married in the city. At that time, we had a music club, Ludhiana Amateur Club, which we started in 1962. We used to perform there as a hobby. I used to play mandolin and violin in the group, while Jagjit Singh used to sing ghazals. It was then we became friends,” recalls 76-year-old Nanda.

“He was a jolly fellow and was always seen singing and doing riyaaz,” he remembers.



Man arrested for trespass
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 26
Anoop Kumar, a resident of Model Gram, who deals in hosiery goods, handed over Pradeep Kumar, a resident of Vishkarma Colony, to the Kochar Market police station today.

According to Anoop Kumar, the boy was hiding inside their house while the entire family was away to attend a function. “He had entered the house with an intention of committing the theft, but was caught,” added Anoop.

He said the servant along with two others, who were called to put up new curtains, was alone in the house when the man entered the house.

“I heard some noise behind the sofa as soon as I opened the door of my house. I found this man hiding behind the sofa with a screwdriver in his hand. My servant and the two workers rushed towards the drawing room as soon as I raised an alarm. They caught hold of the man and my servant sustained minor injury after he was attacked by the man,” Anoop Kumar added.

ASI Surinder Pal said: “The man has been identified as Pradeep Kumar. He had visited the complainant’s house four to five months ago for fixing an air-conditioner. We are looking into the matter.”



Friendly wrestling matches from Oct 4

Ludhiana, September 26
Wrestlers from India, Pakistan and England will compete for top honours, as the Indian Style Wrestling Association, Punjab, has decided to organise friendly matches from October 4 to October 8 at different places in Punjab.

President of the association, Ranbir Singh Khatra, and the Fatehgarh Sahib SSP said the opening match would be organised at Sangrur on October 4. After it, wrestling matches would be organised in Patiala on October 5, Samrala on October 6. Ludhiana would host the concluding match on October 7.

The members of the association also discussed at length arrangements for holding matches, boarding and lodging of wrestlers, media coverage and the live telecast of the event. At least Rs 20 lakh will be incurred on the matches. The winners will get about 2.5 lakh as prize money. — OC



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