L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Safai sewaks to meet CM today
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, October 8
Residents will have to face the garbage menace for another day as the deadlock between the Safai Karamchari Sangharsh Morcha Punjab and the state government will continue till tomorrow.

Members of the morcha held a meeting at the zone A office of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation here today to discuss further course of action. The morcha leaders announced that their delegation would be meeting Chief Minister (CM) Parkash Singh Badal at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) at 9.30 am tomorrow.

Further course of action would be decided only after meeting the Chief Minister. But sources in the MC said they were hopeful that the strike would end tomorrow as the CM was taking keen interest in the issue.

During a rally of the morcha today, the safai karamcharis looked like a house divided when some speakers accused senior Valmiki leaders from the city of not supporting the strike.

“There are some who feel that their political aspirations are above the issues of safai karamcharis as well as the Valmiki community. If we are together, political parties will listen to us, else no one would take us seriously.

“All of us must come together on a common platform and fight for our rights,” a leader said.


Residents dumping waste on roads, plots
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune news service

Nasal allergies

If garbage remains littered like this, it may cause serious health hazards. It will become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which could spread dengue in the city apart from nasal allergies. Fungal spores from garbage can lead to nasal allergy.

Dr Rajiv Kapila, ENT specialist

Ludhiana, October 8
With the strike of safai karamcharis entering its fifth day today, city residents are trying to evolve their own ways of disposing of garbage.

Residents of various localities are emptying out their garbage in polythene bags and throwing them in empty plots and on deserted streets. Some are even disposing of the polythene bags in parks where there are already heaps of cut grass and weeds.

Satnam Kaur, a morning walker said: “I go for a walk everyday at 5.30 am and take along the garbage in polythene bags to throw them near a railway line near my colony. What else can we do?”

Some other residents, unmindful of their civic duties, are throwing garbage in streets that do not belong to them. Garbage can be seen carelessly strew all around. 



Safai sewaks meeting with Gabria inconclusive
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune news service

Garbage littered in one of the localitie
Garbage littered in one of the localitie; Tribune photographs 

Ludhiana, October 8
Cabinet minister Hira Singh Gabria and certain other leaders urged members of the Safai Karamchari Sangharsh Morcha Punjab to end their strike last evening, but they refused to do so and accused the Akali-BJP government of taking away their jobs to benefit private companies.

Gabria, along with Rajinder Bhandari, vice-chairman of Punjab State Planning Board, Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal and other senior leaders had called the morcha members for a meeting last evening.

The morcha members kept asking Gabria and other leaders to speak to the Chief Minister over the phone so that their demands could be accepted. Gabria had to go to another room to speak to the Chief Minister. When Gabria announced that a meeting with the Chief Minister would be held in Chandigarh on either October 28 or 29, the morcha leaders got furious and said the government should give them one date.

“Stop dilatory tactics. We understand everything. Give us one date,” said Chandan Grewal, a leader of safai karamcharis from Jalandhar.

They said by October 29, the festival season would be over and no one would listen to them. “We want an early date else we will continue with the strike,” they said.

The meeting, which continued for almost half an hour, remained inconclusive. The Safai Karamchari Sangharsh Morcha Punjab leaders were told to have their own meeting and consider the proposal of the state government.

Later at around 9.45 pm, Gabria and the Safai Karamchari Sangharsh Morcha leaders announced that a delegation would meet the Chief Minister in Ludhiana tomorrow. “We will urge him to give us an early date for a meeting. Let us see what happens,” 
said Laxman Dravid, a morcha leader.



Fire will hurt my parents, cries 5-yr-old
Mohit Khanna
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, October 8
“What happened to my mummy and papa? Why are you burning them? The fire will hurt them,” said a sobbing five-year-old Arman when he was told to light the pyre of his parents.

It was in the morning that Arman, son of 38-year-old Amit and 35-year-old Parveen, who committed suicide by hanging themselves in separate rooms of their house located at Sector 32 in the Chandigarh road area yesterday, was told that his parents had left him forever.

Poignant scenes were witnessed at the crematorium on the Jamalpur road. Relatives of the couple were inconsolable and were in a state of shock.

Station House Officer (SHO) Golpal Krishan said the family faced huge losses in the share market and it may have prompted the couple to commit suicide.

Sources said the couple committed suicide at the same time and both used electrical wires.

Their bodies were handed over to the family this morning after a postmortem.

Sonu, brother-in-law of Amit, said his sister had called him before committing suicide and had requested him to take care of her son after their death.

“I tried to contact her, but her phone was switched off. If they had taken my call, I would have changed their decision. They were such a loving couple. I don’t
know why they took such a tragic step,” he cried. Before heading to Ludhiana, Sonu had called Aditya, Amit’s brother, to check him up, but his phone was also switched off. Amit and Aditya owned three chemist shops in the city.

However, the family members of Amit were reluctant to divulge any details about the incident and what may have driven the couple to take the extreme step.

Arman said his parents left him in the lobby and locked the door from inside. “They were holding wires and kept kissing me before locking the door from inside. My mother was crying,” said Arman, too young to understand that his life has changed forever.



Police releases alternative helpline nos.
New emergency numbers: 9592917440, 9815800251
Mohit Khanna
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, October 8
In the wake of the ongoing dispute between BSNL and private telecom operators, residents are finding it difficult to get through the emergency ‘100’ helpline of the police department.

After being flooded with complaints, the police today launched two mobile helpline numbers -- 9592917440 and 9815800251.

An official said the snapping of emergency services could result in serious implications in the coming days.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashish Chaudhry said: “We were receiving complaints that mobile users could not avail of the helpline facility due to the dispute between the telecom companies. Taking preventive steps, we have launched two mobile helpline numbers.”

Another officer said: “It is festival season and there has been a significant rise in cases of robbery, fire and snatching incidents. It is important that residents have easy accessibility to emergency services for timely help.”

Sanjiv Sharma, a city resident, said: “Last night I was returning from Chandigarh and was caught in a traffic jam at Kharar. There was no traffic cop to regulate the traffic. I dialled ‘100’ for emergency assistance, but the call kept getting dropped.”

Another resident Gobindpreet Singh Sodhi criticised the snapping of emergency services. “The safety and security of residents is paramount. It is a festive season. What if a house catches fire and residents cannot contact 101 for fire services? What if an accident victim dies in the aftermath of failing to establish contact with the ambulance service?” he asked.

For ambulance dial 7307475506, 9888484889

There has been a 50 per cent drop in the number of complaints ever since the emergency services snapped. Residents can now contact us at 7307475506 and 9888484889 in case of an emergency.

Jatin Kumar, cluster head of 108 ambulance service

‘BSNL alone not responsible’

We have brought the matter to the notice of the authorities concerned. But it is the responsibility of a private operator to directly provide the facility of emergency services. Why should BSNL provide them a route to reach emergency services? They have access to railway enquiry; then why can’t they arrange for other emergency services.

SC Bhanot, General Manager (BSNL)



Quacks make most of dengue scare, dupe migrants
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, October 8
Quacks are having a field day in the wake of the dengue fear and lack of awareness among uneducated and migrant population about the disease. Self-styled doctors are creating panic among the migrants and coaxing them to get hospitalised for proper treatment. The poor are being made to pay inflated bills for being “treated properly”.
Soft target

The vulnerable targets are migrants working in factories at Focal Point, Industrial Area, Bahadurke Road, Sunder Nagar and Haibowal Kalan. Even if they suffer from mere cold or mild fever, they are “referred” by “doctors” for blood tests and hospitalisation

The vulnerable targets are migrants working in factories at Focal Point, Industrial Area, Bahadurke Road, Sunder Nagar and Haibowal Kalan. Even if they suffer from mere cold or mild fever, they are “referred” by “doctors” for blood tests and hospitalisation.

Rajinder Kumar, a hosiery manufacturer, said he was tired of hearing that every second worker in the factory was suffering from dengue. “A worker who had fever told me that a nearby doctor had asked him to get admitted at his clinic since he had dengue. After checking his blood count, the doctor gave him a glucose drip. When I asked the worker to show the blood report, he said the doctor did not give it to him. He had to shell out about Rs 10,000 for the treatment. I am ready to give him advance, but he should not be misguided by quacks,” he said.

Since migrant workers had no knowledge about the disease and how it spreads, it has become easy for quacks to dupe them. Also, there has been no check on quackery by the enforcing authority and quacks are flourishing.

Krishan Bahadur, a worker at a factory in the Industrial Area, said: “We cannot afford to spend too much on treatment in hospitals like the DMCH or the CMCH. We have to depend on nearby doctors. How can every second person in the city be suffering from dengue? I can’t pay Rs 8,000- Rs 10,000 on medicines.”



Dads on duty, cops’ kids have gala time at circus
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 8
As their policemen "papas" remain on round-the-clock duty during the festival season, there was something to cheer about for the children.
Following the order of the Commissioner of Police Dr SS Chauhan, police officials today took the children and wives of cops to watch the circus at GLADA ground on the Chandigarh road.

Sources said that the move was taken following complaints by the family of cops. The children complained to senior police officials that as their fathers remained on duty, they could not enjoy the festival.

“My friends were full of stories about what they did at the fair, what they ate and what toys they brought, while I watched them like a mute spectator. I always miss the fun during festivals as my father remains busy on duty," said Gurpreet Singh, son of head constable Harjeet Singh.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashish Chaudhry said, “A special circus show was organised for the children of cops and students of police DAV School. Even my children went to see the circus.”

Wife of the Commissioner of Police also accompanied the children for the circus show. The three-hour show started around 4pm. Wives of cops too thanked senior police officials for the gesture. 



Transport workers stage protest
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 8
Members of the Jagraon branch of the Punjab Roadways Transport Workers’ Union held a gate rally in support of their demands at the Punjab Roadways Jagraon depot today.

A large number of Punjab Roadways employees took part in the rally organised on a call given by the joint action committee of the Punjab Government Transport Workers Union. The protesting employees raised slogans against the SAD-BJP government for not fulfilling their pending demands despite a written assurance by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Addressing the gathering, the speakers criticised the state government and the transport department for ignoring their demands. Union leader Amreek Singh Mika said a delegation of the union members had met the Chief Minister in Chandigarh in October 2009 and submitted a memorandum.

“During the meeting, the Chief Minister had given a written assurance that the state government would resolve the issues related to the roadways employees at the earliest. However, nothing has been done in this regard even after about two years,” said Mika.

The employees’ demands include promoting the senior employees as per rules, raise the medical allowance, roll back of accident claims imposed on drivers, regularising part time employees, ending contract system, merging 360 Punbuses which have cleared their debt with Punjab Roadways and recruiting drivers and conductors on the pattern of Haryana Roadways.

The protesters declared that the employees from all over the state would hold a dharna in the Transport Minister’s constituency Fazilka on October 17. 



Residents’ fight against pollution
Do their bit to protect themselves
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 8
Even as some city residents are venting their ire against the civic body and the district administration after the WHO declared Ludhiana as the fourth most polluted city in the world, some have started taking preventive measures to save themselves from inhaling polluted air.

People are taking measures to save themselves from the ill-effects of pollution. Some cover themselves while driving while others try to improve the air quality by planting saplings and indoor plants in their houses.

Nitin Vohra, a resident of Punjab Mata Nagar is getting his lawn redone with more plants and is planting saplings with wide cover in front of the house. "Charity begins at home. So I am planting saplings of plants in and around my house so that I can have some fresh air. Everyone now needs to plant as many plants as possible and make a little contribution to improve the air quality."

Dr Manish Munjal, ENT professor at DMC&H, said the pollution affects the well-being of people adversely. Apart from the long-term ways of educating the children and the society, he advises city residents to use facemasks, nasal filters and handkerchiefs when going outdoors.

Ophthalmologist Dr Ramesh Mehta advises wearing protective eyewear while outdoors and using lubricating eye drops, besides washing eyes once a day.

Balwinder Singh, a landscape consultant, said indoor plants can improve the quality of air in houses. "Plants like areca palm, aglonema, china palm, croton, raphis palm, schflera, mother-in-law tongue, money plant and varieties of ficus plant increase the oxygen in the air while some of them absorb toxins,” he said.

"There is a need for the new green revolution in the city and each one of us needs to do a bit for the city, people, children and our future and to wash this tarnished image of being one of the most polluted cities in the world," said Ajitpal Singh, a resident of Gurudev Nagar. 



Colourful start to Punjab Women’s Games
Anil Datt

Girls perform gidha during the opening ceremony of the Punjab Women's Games; and (right) Cabinet Minister Hira Singh Gabria and Director Sports Pargat Singh release balloons at Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana on Saturday.
Girls perform gidha during the opening ceremony of the Punjab Women's Games; and (right) Cabinet Minister Hira Singh Gabria and Director Sports Pargat Singh release balloons at Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana on Saturday. Tribune photos: Himanshu mahajan 

Ludhiana, October 8
Gidha and an impressive gymnastic exhibition were the main attraction of the 37th Punjab State Women's Games which got off to a colourful start at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

Punjab Cabinet Minister Hira Singh Gabria declared the games open in which more than 1,900 participants drawn from all over the state are taking part in 12 disciplines.

Padmashree awardee and director sports, Punjab, Pargat Singh along with Jasvirpal Kaur, assistant director, sports, and other dignitaries was present at the opening function.

The chief guest took salute of the march past by contingents of different districts. He released colourful balloons to mark the opening of the games.

The games torch bearing ceremony was performed by international athletes Hardeep Kaur, Suhapanpreet Kaur and Navjot Kaur, besides Kanwalpreet Kaur (swimmer) and Pragaya (hockey).

International basketball player Kiranjit Kaur took the oath on behalf of the players to compete in true spirit of the games. The contingent of Fatehgarh Sahib district was declared the best squad in the march past.

The minister urged the participants to motivate other girls to take part in sports. He wished the players a comfortable stay in Ludhiana.






From colleges
NSS camp

Ludhiana: On the sixth day of the NSS camp at Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women, the volunteers visited Hassanpur village to provide training in stitching, embroidery and painting to village women.

PL Ahuja, former in charge, Railway Safety Training Centre, enlightened the volunteers regarding the need for observing safety guidelines while travelling in trains. — TNS



Gangster booked in stripping case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 8
The city police booked a notorious gang leader Mohani and six of his accomplices for stripping Pawan Kumar Talli of Haibowal in public and making his MMS.
The accused have been identified as Vijay Kumar, Sachi, Ajaypal, Kukri, Jadeja and Bhopa.

Gang leader Mohani along with his accomplices had abducted Talli recently and had stripped him.

The MMS was being circulated and even put on social networking sites. 



21-year-old youth killed with sharp-edged weapon 
Our Correspondent

Amloh, October 8
Twenty-one-year-old Gagandeep Singh, resident of Jasso Majra, was sleeping in the compound of his house when at 2 am on Friday an unidentified person attacked him on the neck with a sharp-edged weapon and fled.

The victim’s family members found him vomiting and he was not able to speak. He was taken to the Bhadson Civil Hospital in a pool of blood, from where he was referred to Rajindera Hospital in Patiala. However, he died on the way.

On the statement of deceased’s father Satpal Singh the police has registered an FIR against an unidentified person. 



Woman burnt to death

Phillaur, October 8
A young woman, Indu Wala, died due to critical burn injuries in Phillaur last night.
The deceased’s father Ashok Kumar alleged that his daughter was killed by her-in-laws by setting her afire. He said Indu was being tortured both physically and mentally by her in-laws in greed for more dowry since her marriage in November 2009.

He said Indu’s in-laws informed him telephonically that she had committed suicide by setting herself afire, but the truth came to light after seeing her. The Phillaur police has registered a case under various sections of IPC against her in-laws. — OC



Minor gangraped, 5 booked
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 8
A minor girl of Deharka village near Jagraon was allegedly gangraped by some youths of the same village on Friday afternoon. The incident came to light when the maternal grandmother of the girl filed a complaint with the police.

In her complaint to the police, the girl’s maternal grandmother alleged that her granddaughter, a student of class 10, had gone to school to take her examination on Friday morning. “While coming back from the school, two boys, identified as Kuldip Singh and Gurjit Singh, both sons of Harchand Singh of Deharka village, forcibly her to their house and raped her,” she alleged.

The complainant said besides Kuldip Singh and Gurjit Singh, three other youths were also present in the house when the girl was raped. The other suspects include Baljit Singh, a servant of Harchand Singh, Harpreet Singh, son of Kartar Singh of Deharka village, and Mandeep Singh, who runs a jewellery shop in the village and hails from Kili Chahlan village near Ajitwal,” she alleged.

When the girl did not return home, her maternal grandmother got worried and started walking towards the school. When she reached near the house of Harchand Singh, where the girl was raped, three youths standing outside the house to keep a vigil, fled on seeing her. This made the girl’s maternal grandmother suspicious and when she entered the house, two other youths also fled.

The victim was taken to the Civil Hospital for medical examination. The police has registered a case against five persons.

When contacted, SHO, Sadar police station, Jagraon, Rachpal Singh confirmed the incident and said the police has booked five youths, including Kuldip Singh, Gurjit Singh, Baljit Singh, Harpreet Singh and Mandeep Singh.

No arrest has been made so far. 



Jalandhar eves dominate on opening day
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, October 8
Players from Jalandhar district began their campaign on a sound note clinching two gold medals on the opening day of the four-day 37th Punjab State Games for Women being organised by the Punjab Sports Department here today.

Jalandhar proved its prowess in 800m race and discus throw events. Manpreet Kaur clocked 2:18.47 sec to open the account for her district. Sharanjit Kaur from Gurdaspur district followed her with the timing of 2:29.10 sec and had to content with silver medal while Ramandeep Kaur of Ludhiana took 2:29.24 sec to claim the bronze medal.

Another athlete from Jaldndhar district, Baljit Kaur, bagged gold medal in discus throw with her attempt of 48.12mts. Mandeep Kaur from Sangrur hurled the disc to a distance of 36.50mts to claim the silver medal. The bronze medal winner, Harmandeep Kaur, of Ludhiana threw the iron disc to 34.50mts.

In the first round of badminton encounters, Hoshiarpur district outplayed Bathinda district 2-0; Ludhiana district defeated Tarn Taran 2-0; Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar district beat Gurdaspur district 2-0; Roop Nagar district outplayed Fatehgarh Sahib district 2-0; Amritsar blanked Muktsar district 2-0 and Patiala district got the better of SAS Nagar Mohali 2-0.

In volleyball, Hoshiarpur district outclassed Tarn Taran district 25-20, 25-17, 25-15; Gurdaspur district beat Ferozepur district 25-13, 25-7, 25-17 and Muktsar district beat Kapurthala district 25-10, 25-15 and 25-12.

In kho-kho, Gurdaspur district trounced Muktsar district 14-1 and Amritsar district routed Moga district 10-1.

In handball, Tarn Taran district overwhelmed Mansa district 18-2 to advance into the next round. Tth main contributions came through Anuvir and Sarabjit Kaur who chipped in with 7 and 6 points, respectively.

In kabaddi, Faridkot district, Hoshiarpur district and Mansa district wrapped up their matches to move into the second round. Faridkot drubbed Gurdaspur district 56-22 while Hoshiarpur defeated Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar district 72-26 and Mansa overcame Amritsar district 33-17.



Players walk 5 km to sports stadium
Complain of inadequate transport facility
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, October 8
Tall claims of the Punjab Sports Department officials regarding adequate arrangements for transporting players visiting the city during the ongoing Punjab State Games for Women notwithstanding, some of the players were forced to walk around five kilometres from their place of lodging to Guru Nanak Stadium.

The participants lodging at Government Polytechnic College, Rishi Nagar, were seen going on foot last night to have their meals at the venue - Guru Nanak Stadium.

One of the players complained: “How the authorities concerned could expect us to perform well when we have to walk around 10 km prior to our participation in an event.

“We were exhausted while coming back to our place of stay last night which affected our performance this morning,” rued another girl.

Meanwhile, women players who have come here to compete in the sports festival face another problem due to the makeshift washrooms and changing rooms set up near the Shashtri badminton hall since the existing urinals and changing rooms had been demolished recently due to the renovation work going on at the main complex. Players as well as officials felt unsafe using these 'temporary' facilities.



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