L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Officials mull change in Metro design
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
City residents whose land falls on corridor two of the Ludhiana Metro rail project need not worry as officials from the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) are making efforts to change the design mentioned in the detailed project report (DPR) prepared in 2008.

For this purpose, they are planning to reduce the total area required for the construction of parking lots for Metro stations on Gill Road. Which means comparatively less amount of land will be acquired.

The Gill Road area has a large number of shops and for the construction of corridor two, many of these shops were to be acquired. If there is a change in the new DPR, it will bring some respite to the area shopkeepers.

Accompanied by municipal corporation officials, RG Sharma, Assistant General Manager of the DMRC, visited the proposed sites for setting up stations on corridor two. The visit is aimed at finalising the DPR.

The officials also want to change the site of the Metro maintenance depot, which, as per the existing DPR, was in Gill village. During these four years (from 2008 to 2012), a large number of houses have been constructed around this site. To reduce the complications in land acquisition, the officials have now proposed that the maintenance depot can be constructed before the entry to Gill village.

The height of corridor two near the Sidhwan Canal will also be increased as a flyover has come up there. The newly constructed flyover is part of the Sidhwan Canal expressway project.

During today’s visit, the team members also discussed that the alignment of corridor two should be changed at Gill Chowk because a flyover has been constructed there. The Metro will be underground on Gill Road, but at Gill Chowk, instead of a straight alignment, it has been proposed that the alignment should be a little curved.

Due to a religious building in Basti Jodhewal Chowk, the officials proposed that the design of the proposed Metro station here should be changed.

The present DPR was prepared by the DMRC in 2008 and needs to be updated because four years have passed since then. The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation conducted a fresh survey and discussed it during a meeting held in New Delhi on August 22. It was during this meeting that it was decided that DMRC officials will visit the city. 

Corridor 2 to have 13 stations

Corridor two is 13.035-km long. It will start from Gill village and end at the Rahon Road octroi post. The corridor will have 13 stations, including seven underground. Corridor one is 15.798-km long. It will start from Ayali Chowk on Ferozepur Road and will go till the BBMB powerhouse on Chandigarh Road. It will have 14 stations, including four underground.

The corridors will be elevated as the Metro rail will run some 26 ft above the ground level and in the underground corridor, the Metro rail will run 15 to 20 metre below the ground.

Official speak

Rakesh Kumar Verma, MC Commissioner and Managing Director of the Ludhiana Metro Rail Corporation, said the DMRC Assistant General Manager had visited both corridors. “During his visit, the existing DPR as well as our recently conducted survey report were discussed. The AGM will discuss all issues with his seniors, after which the final DPR will be prepared.”


Check sand mining, police officials told 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
The police has registered 29 cases in the district in the recent past against defaulters on the sand-mining issue. Acting tough with the defaulters, the district administration had asked the police to register cases against 32 persons. However, three cases could not be registered due to some "technical problem". Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari today asked the police officials concerned to register cases against the remaining persons.

At a meeting with police officials here today, Tiwari said since the Punjab and Haryana High Court had imposed a ban on mining, the practice had to be checked strictly in the district. He said the High Court had banned the mining of sand, gravel and sand generated through kilns. He said as per the directions of the High Court, prior environmental clearance was mandatory for any mining activity.

After the police started registering cases against the defaulters, the Earth Fillers Association had raised a lot of hue and cry over the "strict measures" adopted by the police. Members of the association held a protest at the Mini-Secretariat yesterday and were backed by former BJP minister Satpal Gosain. Since their activity was also "illegal", cases were being registered against them, said the police.

Sand mining has become a money-spinner in Punjab in recent times. It is being done illegally near canals, especially along the Sidhwan Canal and the Sutlej, allegedly in connivance with "bigwigs". An Inspector in the Mining Department here said without the support of political leaders, the illegal activity was not possible. He said at times it became difficult to tighten the noose around the sand mafia due to their "links" with politicians. "They openly threaten us with dire consequences and we need police protection while taking action against them," said the Inspector.

A sarpanch of a village near Jagraon said the High Court's decision to ban mining was welcome as now the illegal activity would come to a halt. "Everyone knows that sand mining is being controlled by the mafia, having good rapport with politicians. The real culprits go scot-free while cases are often registered against small fish," said the sarpanch.

The sand mafia dictate their terms by increasing the prices of sand and gravel in the market. Besides, due to this illegal activity, canals often get breached and the common man is made to suffer in flood-like situations.

29 cases registered

Acting tough with the defaulters, the district administration had asked the police to register cases against 32 persons. However, three cases could not be registered due to some "technical problem"

Mafia threat

"The sand mafia openly threatens us with dire consequences and we need police protection while taking action against defaulters." — Mining Dept Inspector 



Shopkeepers want project scrapped 
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
It seems the road for the Ludhiana Metro rail project is not going to be easy with shopkeepers and residents, whose land is to be acquired for this project, voicing their anger against the project. Shopkeepers of the Gill Road area have said they want the state government to scrap this project because its "not going to be viable for the city".

Corridor two of this project will pass through the Gill Road area and for the construction of stations, some land may have to be acquired.

A team of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is in city and is conducting a survey so that the final detailed project report on the Ludhiana Metro Rail project can be prepared.

Speaking to The Tribune, JS Bajaj, general secretary of the Iron and Steel Dealers Association, Guru Nanak Dev Market, Gill Road, said the Ludhiana Metro rail project would be a wastage of public money.

“Most residents feel that the city should not have a Metro rail project. Besides, we fail to understand why there is need for constructing five stations on a stretch of 4.5 km? More than 100 shops will be acquired on Gill Road alone if the state government goes ahead with this project,” he said.

He said he had come to know that the state government would not give due compensation for this project. “The market value of a shop on Gill Road is around Rs 2.5 lakh per sq yard and if the state government goes ahead with this project, shopkeepers will be ruined,” said Bajaj, who also claimed that he had come to know that some residents were planning to file a public interest litigation in this regard.

Meanwhile, Deepak Sharma, president of the Gill Road Shopkeepers Association, said the present site of a Metro station at Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Market on Gill Road was of no use for the residents. He urged the visiting DMRC team to shift the Metro station to a new site opposite the office of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association as people from a large number of localities would benefit from it.

Why 5 stations?

"Most residents feel that the city should not have a Metro rail project. Besides, we fail to understand why there is need for constructing five stations on a stretch of 4.5 km? More than 100 shops will be acquired on Gill Road alone if the state government goes ahead with this project." — JS Bajaj, gen secy, iron dealers' assn 



Fly-by-night firms under DRI scanner
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has come across a number of fly-by-night exporters and importers in Ludhiana. Such businessmen export or import goods once and then vanish.

Trade transactions by numerous exporters and importers have come under the scanner of the department for alleged money laundering and tax evasion.

“The department has found details of suspicious trade transactions by some firms based in major industrial hubs of the country. Ludhiana is also on the list, while other cities include Mumbai, Delhi and Surat. Traders are manipulating import and export invoices, thereby generating black money,” said a source.

“It is suspected that trade dealings are being held in West Asia, the US and the UK. Most of these transactions seem to be dubious and the addresses of the recipients and booking agents here have been found to be incorrect,” added the source.

Earlier, the DRI claimed to have unearthed a hawala racket in Ludhiana, allegedly involving laundering of at least Rs 1,000 crore. The exposure came following a scam by a Ludhiana-based exporter, who used inflated bills and took unfair advantage of a "duty drawback scheme", run by the Union Finance Ministry, to gain incentives of Rs 60 crore.



4 fresh cases of dengue confirmed
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
Four fresh cases of dengue were confirmed today. According to officials of the Health Department, the confirmed cases include a 50-year-old man from Rajasthan and a 42-year-old woman from Jalandhar. Two of the cases, 14-year-old Jaspreet Kaur and 60-year-old Pritam Singh, are from Ludhiana.

According to Dr Puneet Juneja, District Epidemiologist, dengue cases may show an increase in the coming days. "With the monsoon showing a revival, we have to be vigilant. The Health Department has already stepped up its surveillance in vulnerable areas. Today, we visited Transport Nagar and cleared stagnant water that had accumulated in 200 tyres. In order to prevent the spread of dengue, we have to prevent the breeding of Aedes mosquitoes. The drive to clear stagnant water in possible breeding grounds in the city will continue," he said.

However, he added that last August about 100 cases of dengue had been reported from Ludhiana city, while this year only 12 cases had been reported so far this month.

Meanwhile, a team of the Health Department collected seven samples of food items from different places today.

Food Safety Officers Ravinder Garg and Harpreet Kaur took two samples, one sample each of cake and pizza, from the premises of Domino's Pizza located in Sector 32 on the Chandigarh Road.

Four samples, one sample each of moong dal, salt, sugar and mustard oil, were collected from Vishal Megamart located in Sector 32 on the Chandigarh Road. A sample of pizza was collected from Pizza Hut located in the same area.

"As per the Food Safety Act, workers at Domino's Pizza and the Pizza Hut were wearing uniforms, and their health certificates were also found to be in order," said Garg, while talking to The Tribune.

He added that as a precautionary measure, the team had instructed the workers to keep their nails trimmed and take care of their personal hygiene.

Stagnant water cleared
"With the monsoon showing a revival, we have to be vigilant. The Health Department has already stepped up its surveillance in vulnerable areas. On Tuesday, we visited Transport Nagar and cleared stagnant water that had accumulated in 200 tyres."  — Dr Puneet Juneja, District Epidemiologist



City bus service goes online!
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
Next time you want Ludhiana City Bus Service Ltd to start its service in a particular area or if you have any suggestions for it or want to seek some information, you need not visit the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation office.

In an initiative to connect directly with city residents and get first-hand feedback, Ludhiana City Bus Service Ltd (LCBSL) has gone online. It has created a profile on the social networking website Facebook and will update it regularly.

LCBSL officials said a profile had been created on Facebook to a feedback from residents.

“These days most people, especially the youth, have access to Facebook on their mobile phones. Ever since the city bus service was launched, it has been very successful. We wanted that residents should connect with us directly and that is how the idea of creating a Facebook profile came to my mind,” said Baljit Singh, Manager of the LCBSL.

This Facebook profile will have a detailed schedule of LCBSL buses, information regarding the fare, phone numbers in case residents want to submit any complaint, besides other details.

“We will also encourage the city residents to inform us in case any of our drivers is indulging in rash driving. In case any driver or conductor misbehaves with any resident, he or she can either call us on the numbers mentioned on the Facebook profile or submit their comments on it,” said Baljit.

He said the residents would also be updated about any news regarding the LCBSL on a regular basis.

“We will update the residents on any new routes to be started. Once people start giving their feedback on our Facebook profile, it will be easy for us to know which new routes should be started,” said Baljit.

A view of the Facebook profile of Ludhiana City Bus Service Ltd.
A view of the Facebook profile of Ludhiana City Bus Service Ltd. A Tribune photograph



Toy-library concept fast catching Ludhianvis' fancy 
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
Is your child bored with the toys he/she has been playing with? Is there a shortage of space for storing the ever-increasing number of toys of your kid? Well, if these are the problems bothering you, you need not worry; all you have to do is to rush to a toy library and fulfil your kid's desire for new toys and return these to the library later on.
A toy library that has come up in Ludhiana
A toy library that has come up in Ludhiana. A Tribune photograph

The concept of toy libraries, popular in the West, has arrived in the city and is fast catching the fancy of Ludhianvis after it got its first toy library. One can either pay a visit to the toy library located adjacent to Hotel Park Plaza on Ferozepur Road or can choose toys online from its website www.rentmetoy.com. Though home delivery has yet not been started in the city, the company plans to kickstart it soon. The concept of toy library here is the brainchild of Davinder Malhotra, a Chandigarh-based woman. Besides Ludhiana, toy libraries have already come up in Chandigarh, Lucknow, Pune, Hyderabad and Dehradun.

Davinder Malhotra, director of Rent Me Toy, says, "In the present-day context, quality toys are expensive and though working couples have enough money to buy these, there is hardly any utility of such expenditure as children get bored quickly with these. Toy libraries provide access to a variety of quality toys with an interactive space for children, their parents and caretakers."

"At toy libraries, we not only rent out toys but also educate kids about new toys, books and their value. We get queries daily on our website or on the telephone from parents who want their children out of the TV room. The toy library concept is fast catching up with them," says Shipra Jain, franchisee owner of Rent Me Toy at Ludhiana.

Avneet Kaur, a parent, said,"Initially I found it a bit awkward to get rented toys for my kids. However, when I visited the library, I found it to be a great concept and now I will frequently visit the library to get toys for my kids." 

Access to quality toys
"In the present-day context, quality toys are expensive and though working couples have enough money to buy these, there is hardly any utility of such expenditure as children get bored quickly with these. Toy libraries provide access to a variety of quality toys with an interactive space for children, their parents and caretakers."  — Davinder Malhotra, director, Rent Me Toy 



School sports policy released
 Winners of state school games to get cash prizes, marks in exams
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
The education department has released a new school sports policy to upgrade the sports at the school-level in the state. The department has announced to construct a new girl's hostel in the city.

Sports officials said a girl's hostel would be constructed at Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Bharat Nagar, to organise Pre-National camps of girls.

Meanwhile, the department has also announced to give cash prizes to sportsmen, who will secure the first three positions in school games.

“If any of the sportsmen is injured during the school games, the department will bear all the treatment expenses,” said Ravinder Ravi, state sports organiser.

The education department has also increased diet and refreshment money for the sportsmen Rs 25 in the sports official's diet and Rs 5 in sportsperson's diet during national school games.

Officials of the department say that the department will give 15 extra marks to those who secure first three positions in state school games and 20 marks would be awarded for those who will secure the positions in national school games.

Ravinder Ravi, state sports organizer said, “There is not a single girl hostel in Punjab for the sports camps of girls. Moreover, there is no proper accommodation for boys in schools too. In the absence of any proper hostels we have to arrange school classrooms during camps.”



Tube well norms made stringent
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
Now, getting permission to sink a new tube well will be an easy job as the government has issued strict guidelines in this regard. The strict measures have been brought in to control depleting groundwater, as notified by the Central Ground Water Authority.

A person has to get prior permission to sink a tube well/submersible pump from the District Advisory Committee. The permission will not be provided for sinking tube wells for the agriculture, horticulture, business and construction purposes. However, institutions like schools, colleges, universities, hospitals and embassies could get a no-objection certificate from the Advisory Committee for sinking tube wells/submersible pumps provided water is used for personal consumption.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari said in case any person wanted to get a new connection for domestic consumption, he could get just one connection. Permission will not be given to anyone for a second tube well.

"Those seeking permission to sink a new tube well will submit the name and address of the agency at least 10 days in advance to the authorised officials or the Advisory Committee. The bore must not exceed 100 mm in radius and the power of motor must not be above one horsepower. The owner needs to make arrangement for rainwater harvesting and the water drawn from a submersible pump must be used for domestic consumption only," said Tiwari. Besides, the owner needs to maintain proper documents and records to be shown to the officials coming for inspection. In case of any violation, a case will be registered against the defaulter under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

The government may be showing concern to check depleting groundwater, the reality is that hundreds of submersible pumps have been sunk by residents deep into the earth, which is illegal. An official of the Municipal Corporation said the residents were suffering due to water shortage in the city. Many residents had installed submersible pumps without getting prior permission from the department concerned.

"Not everyone thinks it necessary to go through the tedious process of getting permission for sinking a new tube well. It is due to wastage of water that the underground water table was going down at an alarming pace. The departments concerned need to keep a check and take strict action against the persons who had got tube wells sunk in an illegal manner," said the official.

The guidelines

* No permission for sinking tubewells for the agriculture, horticulture, business and construction purposes

* Applicant to submit the name and address of the agency at least 10 days in advance to the authorised officials or the Advisory Committee

* The bore must not exceed 100 mm in radius and the power of motor must not be above one horsepower

* The owner needs to make arrangement for rainwater harvesting

* Water drawn from a submersible pump must be used for domestic consumption only

* In case of any violation, a case will be registered against the defaulter under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986



2 youngsters crushed under truck wheels
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
Two youngsters were run over by a truck at Phase IV of the Focal Point area last night. One of the victims has been identified as Gurinder Singh from Kum Kalan. The police has arrested truck driver Atinderpal Singh and registered a case under section 304A of the IPC," said Davinder Chaudary, SHO, Focal Point Police Station.

The duo was returning from work when the accident happened. According to the eyewitnesses, the speeding truck hit the rear of the motorcycle and Gurinder lost control over it. Both fell on the road and before they could get up the truck ran over them. Both of them died instantly.

As the Focal Point is a migrant workers-dominated area, hundreds of them gathered at the scene. They complained speeding trucks were a menace in the Focal Point area and these cause many accidents, several of which go unreported.

While road-safety experts are pressing the government for the implementation of norms requiring the installation of speed governors on commercial vehicles, no action has been taken in this direction so far as the lobby of transporters was against the move.

Migrant worker run over by train

A 35-year-old migrant worker was run over by a train while he was crossing a level crossing near Giaspura here this morning. The man, identified as Radhe Sham, was visiting Giaspura for some work.

According to eyewitnesses, the victim could not see the approaching train. Before he could react, he was run over by the train. The government railway police has registered a case.



Hike in Ladhowal toll tax from September 1
 Car owner to shell out about Rs 150 for travelling 12 km from Phillaur to Ludhiana
Ashok Kaura

Phillaur, August 28
The fifth increase in toll tax will come into force at the toll plaza situated at Ladhowal from September 1.
A chart showing revised toll rates at the Ladhowal toll plaza.
A chart showing revised toll rates at the Ladhowal toll plaza.

The much-publicised toll plaza set up near Ladhowal between Phillaur and Ludhiana became functional on August 5, 2008. From September 1, every car owner will have to shell out Rs 102 against Rs 45 (toll on the date of starting the plaza) and about Rs 150 in place (earlier Rs 67.5) for the daily pass to travel a distance of merely 12 km from Phillaur to Ludhiana.

When this correspondent visited Ladhowal Toll Tax Collection Centre this evening, several vehicle owners were seen protesting against the heavy toll tax. Hoardings carrying toll tax rates have been displayed at several places.

It was learnt that vehicles belonging to the Army, police, paramilitary forces, civil officers, judicial magistrates, ministers, MLAs and VVIPs fitted with red or blue beacons, ambulances, mortuary vans, etc, were exempted from the tax.

The toll tax of Rs 102 will be charged from car owners for one side while the full journey (including return) tax has been fixed at Rs 154. Now, a person travelling only from Phillaur to Ludhiana and back by his/her own car will have to pay Rs 154 in place of earlier tax of Rs 140. Light commercial vehicles will be charged Rs 179 for a single trip and Rs 269 for multiple trips while buses will be charged Rs 359 for a single trip and Rs 538 for multiple trips. Heavier vehicles will be charged Rs 576 for a single trip and Rs 865 for multiple trips from September 1.

Meanwhile, the officials of SOMA Company, which is running the toll plaza, told The Tribune that only 10 per cent increase was made in toll tax, which is an annual exercise. The toll tax for a single trip is at present is Rs 85 and for return trip it is Rs 140 till August 31.

However, the monthly pass rates will remain the same.



Residents suffer as Jagraon stinks 
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, August 28
There seems to be no near relief for the residents of various localities situated in different parts of Jagraon. A large number of residents of these localities are forced to live under highly unhygienic conditions due to negligence on part of authorities of local municipal council.
Dirty water and heaps of garbage can be seen at the old grain market at Jagraon
Dirty water and heaps of garbage can be seen at the old grain market at Jagraon. 

Thousands of residents of the localities like Gandhi Nagar, Ajit Nagar on Raikot Road, Bagh Kheta Ram on the College Road, Old Grain Market, New Gaushala Road, Disposal Road, Kacha Malak Road and some localities in old city area are forced to live under very unhygienic conditions due to lack of cleanliness.

Residents of the area say, the sweepers of local municipal council clean these areas only twice or thrice in a week and the drains often remain blocked due to filth.

“Though we have requested local municipal council authorities a number of time during the past to get these areas properly clean yet it seems all our requests have fallen on deaf ears and nothing has been done to improve the condition of our locality,” rues Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Bagh Kheta Ram.

The residents say such unhygienic conditions have been posing serious health hazards to the residents. “During last two-three months, around two dozen residents of our locality have suffered diseases like diarrhea, stomach infection, soar throat etc. Apart from dirty surroundings, we have been also getting contaminated water which is the major reason behind such kind of ailments," stated Harbans Lal, a resident of New Gaushala Road.

The worst effected are the residents of localities like Ajit Nagar and Gandhi Nagar situated on Raikot Road where the sewerage often remains accumulated in the streets due to chocked sewer. The sewerage always enters the houses of the area residents thus turning their lives into a virtual hell.

The sewerage not only stinks the whole time but also is a breeding ground to mosquitoes and other insects which further leads to ailments like malaria, dengue and skin allergies. The residents of these localities fear outbreak of an epidemic if the problem is not resolved at the earliest.

During a visit to various localities today, heaps of garbage were seen laying at many places. The sewerage was also seen accumulated at some other localities.

The residents lamented that though they have raised the issue with the civic body officials a number of times yet they got nothing but only false assurances.

“Neither the MC employees lift the garbage regularly nor do the sweepers clean the drains. When we ask them to perform their duty sincerely, they often argue with us," said Manohar Lal, a resident of Old Grain Market.



Child drowned in village pond
 Recently renovated pond sans boundary wall, fencing
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, Aug 28
A child got drowned in a pond at Flaund village, near here, last evening. The pond was renovated and its depth increased by about 8 foot under the rural development scheme recently.

The accident took place when Dilawar Khan, alias Mehtab (4), along with his friends, was playing near the pond. The panchayat has neither raised any boundary nor put a barbed wire around the pond.

While playing, the children got attracted by the coloured weeds in the pond. They started throwing pebbles on the weeds. Unaware of the lurking danger, Mehtab went closer to the pond, slipped and got drowned.

His friends raised an alarm and ran towards the house to inform his family. The villagers reached the spot but could not save him from drowning. His body was taken out of the pond late in the evening. He was, however, taken to a local hospital where the doctors declared him bought dead.

The victim was the only son of his parents. His father is a cart-puller. "We lost our child due to the carelessness of the authorities concerned. If there were fencing around the pond, our child would be alive today. The accident could have been averted," said one of the relatives of the victim.

However, no case has been registered.



Steel industry on the warpath against e-billing of trade details
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, Aug 28
All the trade and industrial associations of the town, known as the Steel Town of India, after joining hands under the banner of the Gobindgarh Steel Chamber of Commerce and Industry, held a dharna at the local Loha Bazar in protest against the e-trip imposed by the Excise and Taxation Department. It was decided that they would continue with their strike till the notification on e-trip was withdrawn.

The protest, which was held under the presidentship of Bharat Bhusahn Jindal, president of the Steel Chamber, was joined in by Mohinder Gupta, president of the Mandi Gobindgarh Induction Furnace Association, Harmesh Jain, Rakesh Jindal and Kamal Singla, all from the Small Scale Steel Re-rolling Mills Association and the All-India Steel Re-rollers Association, Subash Singla, president of the Steel Town Induction Furnace Association, Devi Dayal Prasher, vice-chairman of the Gau Sewa Board, Shankar Lal Gupta, president of the Steel Traders Association (STA), Om Parkash Gupta, president of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, Parkash Chand Garg, president of the Angle and Channel Manufacturers Association and Sukhvinder Singh Bhambri addressed the agitating traders during the dharna.

Jindal asserted that all the associations were supporting the strike and appealed to them that the unity be maintained. Shankar Lal said the steel trade had generated the revenue of 13,000 crore on account of VAT, which was only at 4,000 crore about 5 years ago. Harmesh Jain appealed to the Chief Minster and the Deputy Chief Minister to withdraw the e-billing system as there was no such regulation prevalent in the neighbouring states. He said it would adversely affect the industry in Punjab.

Parkash Chand Garg of the STA said the government was keen to invite fresh investments in the industry, but it should also take care of the existing ones. Bhambri and Prasher expressed the hope that there could be a consensus among the trade representatives and the government. Bhagwan Dass of the Scrap Traders Association asserted that such a move, which had far-reaching consequences on the trade, should have been debated with the captains of the trade and industry before its implementation.



Illicit relations cost man life

Ludhiana, August 28
Having illicit relations cost heavily to 27-year-old migrant labourer Om Parkash, who was allegedly murdered by his companion at Sant Vihar Colony on the Chooharhpur road on Monday night, investigation officer Swarn Singh said here today.

Om Parkash, hailing from Betia district in Bihar, lived at a rented accommodation at Sant Vihar Colony. He was attacked with a sharp weapon and suffered injuries in the stomach.

"During preliminary investigations, we have come to know that Om Parkash had a love affair with Vinod Kumar's wife, hailing from the same district," said the IO.

"A case has been registered against Vinod Kumar and two unidentified persons under sections 302 and 34 of of the IPC. All the suspects are at large," he added.



‘Adopt village as memorial to martyr’
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 28
Accusing the successive governments of undermining historical importance of their locality, residents of Sarabha village near here have urged the government to adopt their village as Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha's memorial.

Residents of Sarabha village raise slogans in support of their demands.
Residents of Sarabha village raise slogans in support of their demands. A Tribune photograph

Besides preserving martyr's house, the government should do the needful to attract Sarabha's fans to visit grounds and streets where he spent his childhood.

Office-bearers of the Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Sports Club and Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Naujwan Sabha regretted recognition of supreme sacrifice of their forefather had been limited to observance of anniversary by the government.

“What to talk of making efforts to invite masses to out village in routine, the government did not bother to publish his picture among martyrs in an advertisement published on occasion of Independence Day this year,” lamented Singh and Sarabha adding the road passing through the locality, despite being rechristened as Kartar Singh Sarabha Marg is still known as Pakhowal road.

Appreciating role played by legislator Manpreet Singh Ayali in getting construction work on Sarabha's native house restarted, Hoshiar Singh Grewal, chairman of the KSS Trust, said efforts should be made to get it completed before next anniversary of the martyr.

Investigations further revealed that residents of the village and that of the surrounding localities had to launch movements to get sacrifice of the martyr recognised. It took them over 10 years complete work on memorial of Kartar Singh Sarabha four years ago.

Ranjit Singh Makhan said Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, had inaugurated work on the memorial in 1998. But the work remained suspended for 10 years. It began in 2001 when the martyr's cousin, Bibi Jagdish Kaur, recipient of the "Punjab Mata" title, threatened to renounce the title if the work was not started.

The archaeological department of Punjab had also declared that the house would be protected, as a monument in 1998, after which it remained abandoned for it required repair. While the conservation work on the ground floor of the martyr's ancestral house has already been completed, further work was interrupted later which has recently been started.



Freshers’ parties reduced to beauty contests
Tribune news Service

Ludhiana, August 28
The freshers’ parties organised by college authorities in the garb of welcoming new students have been reduced to just beauty contests and monotonous exercise in futility. Besides creating a hole in the pocket of parents, it has triggered an ugly completion “good looks” amozng the youngsters.

Even the beauty parlours are not left behind and cashing on the opportunity. Abhay, an owner of a saloon said, “We throw special discounts to attract students during this time of the month. We receive a huge rush as girls who have just been to college throng the saloons for makeup during this time which costs from Rs 750 to Rs 1500," said Abhay.

On the other hand, there is a section of professors, who have strongly condemned growing culture of beauty contests.

“The fresher parties are reduced to fashion parades, which is very unfortunate trend. Earlier, there used to be creative writing contest, quiz and declamation contests, which would boost the moral of the students. Sadly, the college principals and professor are also succumbing to this beauty contests and making no effort to introduce creative this for new students,” said PS Bhogal, Prof Arya College.

While defending the beauty contests, a college principal said, “Every student wants to look beautiful when he or she enters the college the first day. Further, the questions asked by the judges during the time of beauty contest.”

Contestants often fumble
While organising these contests, stress is laid on communicating in English. Majority of the contestants are often seen either struggling to speak or fumbling for words on stage. This makes them laughing stock among students. Some students take it as sophisticated way of raging on stage.

Boys lagging behind
While there is a rat race among girls’ colleges to organise freshers party, the boys’ colleges are conspicuous for not indulging in such activities. Boys feel that only girls’ colleges can enjoy the luxury of organising fresher party. A professor said it is very difficult to control boys as they create a lot of ruckus during such programmes. On the contrary, girls are more disciplined.



Cell phones recovered from jail inmates
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
Alert guards seized eight mobile phones and two sim cards from inmates at the central jail on the Tajpur Road here today. The jail officials conducted an inspection at the jail this evening following inputs that certain inmates were using mobile phones and making threat calls to people.

There have been reports that these inmates were calling up their accomplices who arrange drugs for them.



Rain plays spoilsport for NCC cadets
Mohit Khanna
Tribune news Service

Ludhiana, August 28
Rain played a spoilsport and led to delay of Group Commander, Ludhiana Group Brig SS Gill. Gill was schedule to arrive at around at 11 am but due rain he reached around 1.30 pm. The delay off the officers took a toll on students and many cadets, who skipped their breakfast to reach for training on time, suffered hunger pangs and had lunch at 2pm.

Brig Gill, visited the hostel of SCD Government College, here today to inspect the NCC Camp. 



  pau Notes

Three-day training course on horticulture
Ludhiana: A three-day training course on “storage and processing of horticultural produce” began at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here on Tuesday. The course has been specifically designed for the Agriculture Development Officers (ADOs) and Horticulture Development Officers (HDOs). The training will be supervised jointly by the PAU Directorate of Extension Education and Training Unit of College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology. The Director of Extension Education, Dr MS Gill, said the PAU subject-matter specialists would apprise the trainees of the agro-processing technologies, amla and honey processing, processing of potatoes for chips making and cleaning, grading and post-harvest management of fruits and vegetables. Besides, the farm experts would dwell upon the processing of machinery for turmeric and chillies, processing and storage of fruits and vegetables at a small-scale level, mushroom and mentha processing and processing of onion and milk with thrust on their related machinery, he added.

Seminar on child counselling
A one-day national seminar on “Child, school and family counselling” will be organised on August 31 at the Pal Auditorium of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).

The seminar will be coordinated by the PAU Department of Human Development (HD), in association with the Child Development Society. Giving details, Prof and head of the HD Department, Dr Jatinder Gulati, said the seminar held a special significance in the contemporary era, in view of the unhealthy relationships and lopsided development of personalities. Besides, deliberations by renowned clinical psychologists and counsellors, the prime focus of the seminar would be on educating the participants about the ways to resolve their day-to-day personal, she added.



From Colleges

Students take part in a modelling contest during a freshers’ party at Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, Ludhiana, on Tuesday.
Students take part in a modelling contest during a freshers’ party at Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, Ludhiana, on Tuesday. Tribune photo: himanshu mahajan

Freshers’ party at GNG College
Ludhiana: A freshers’ party was organised at Guru Nanak Girls College here on Tuesday. Students of the college organised a cultural show to welcome newcomers. A cultural extravaganza comprising of dances, songs, skits and humorous choreography was presented by the senior students. The hallmark of the day was Miss Freshers’ contest in which 58 students took part. There was a question-answer round. Harneet was declared Miss Fresher, while Nayna and Mehak Arora were the first and second runners-up, respectively. Arshpreet was titled as Miss Beautiful Smile, Vandeep as Miss Elegant, Priya was as Miss Best Outfit and Neha Thakur was declared as Miss Best Hair Style.

Kimmi is Miss Fresher
During a freshers’ party organised at Master Tara Singh College for Women, Kimmi Sharma was declared as Miss Fresher, while Shewta and Neha were the first and second runner-up, respectively. While Sakshi and Jyoti won the titles of Ms Verve and Ms popular respectively during the contest.

RIMT wins championship
In the Inter-college Women PTU Swimming Championship 2012, RIMT, Mandi Gobindgarh, has won the overall championship trophy. Harinder Singh Chatha, Director Physical Education and Sports, said that college student Manjot Kaur Sidhu (B.Tech CSE, fifth semester) clinched 8 gold medals in various events, also bagging the award of Best Swimmer-2012 for the third consecutive year. Manjot participated in 50m free style, 50m back stroke, 50m breast stroke, 50m butterfly, 100m freestyle, 100m back stroke, 100m breast stroke, 200m individual medley. RIMT Group vice-chairman congratulated her for the achievement and honoured Manjot Kaur Sidhu in college campus here on Tuesday. Manjot Kaur Sidhu has earlier, bagged the Inter-college Women PTU Swimming Championship in 2011 for RIMT-IET and clinched 8 gold medals and one silver medal as well as the PTU Best Swimmer Award-2011. In 2010 also she won 8 gold medals and was declared PTU's Best Swimmer. She also won the Inter-college Women PTU Swimming Championship in 2010 for the institute.

NSS volunteers visit old- age home
The NSS volunteers of Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce visited an Old Age Home, Swami Vivekanand Vridh Aashram. — TNS



Ludhiana Scan

Ban on plastic thread demanded
Ludhiana: The Pakshi Sewa Samiti, in a memoranda submitted to the Deputy Commissioner of the Police has urged them to impose ban on plastic thread (used for flying kites) as it was a serious threat to human, birds, animals and environment. Vipan Bhatia, president of the body said that the killer plastic thread had claimed 15 human lives including those of children in different parts of the country. While thousands others received grave injuries last year. Not only this, a large number of birds were seriously injured or killed by the plastic thread.

Medical camp at Focal Point
A free medical check-up camp for factory workers was held at Focal Point here on Tuesday. The camp was scheduled to be held till afternoon but due to rush of the patients, it was extended till evening. “It was found that maximum patients were suffering due to dirty surroundings they were living in. The patients were also given medicines while some were referred for the further check-ups,” said one of the doctors at the camp.

Installation ceremony
The installation ceremony of Rotary Club, Ludhiana Midtown, was held here. Former district Governor Arun Kapur, Shashi Kant, DGP Punjab (retd) was the chief guest. Manoj Gupta was installed general secretary, Aman Kapur as treasurer, others on board included Mahesh Munjal, Devinder Bhasin, Surender Mahendru, Inderjit Nagpal, IC Gupta as advisers and Sanjay Aggarwal was the project director.

Workers to organise rally
The Field and Workshop Workers Union will organise a protest rally in association with their counterparts in the other departments including the PWD, Water Supply department, Sewerage Board etc. The rally will be held at Udyog Bhawan Chandigarh, demanding the regularisation of the workers serving in the respective departments for long. In case, the government failed to take necessary steps in their interests, the workers' union will intensify their agitation.

Students honoured at BCM School
An event to honour intelligent and meritorious students was organised at BCM School, Basant Vihar, Dugri. The event was conducted by the Punjab Pradesh Maharaja Aggarsen Aggarwal Sabha. Students of BCM School were awarded with appreciation certificates.

Tributes paid to Rajguru
Rich tributes were paid on the 103rd birth anniversary of martyr Rajguru. The function was jointly organised by the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sabhyacharak Kendra and that of the Taraksheel Society. Balbir Chand Longowal from Taraksheel Society threw light on great Martyr's life and encouraged the new generation to take lesson from their sacrifices. The dignitaries present on the occasion said that the younger generation should stay away from vulgarity and obscenity.

Smoking major cause of lung cancer: Expert
Dr Devinder Singh Sandhu, a renowned cancer super-specialist and Executive Chairman of Cancer Council of India (CCI) has welcomed the Punjab Government ban on sale of Gutka and related chewable tobacco products. The step will go a long way in control of throat and mouth cancer largely prevalent in labourers from Bihar and UP. “But the government has not banned bidis and cigarettes which are primarily responsible for lung cancer. Lung cancer is the commonest cancer and about 90 per cent of lung cancer cases are related to tobacco smoke. In addition, the death rate in lung cancer is more than 90 per cent,” said Dr Devinder Sandhu. — TNS



woman’s death
5-day police remand for husband
Tribune News Service

Amloh, August 28
The police finally arrested the husband of pregnant woman Monica who was found dead behind the Lok Sewa petrol station located on the bypass road on August 26. Her husband Manpreet Singh was today produced before the court of Justice Parminder Kaur who remanded him in police custody for five days.

However, three other accused, including the father, mother and brother of the Manpreet, have absconded.

The victim, Monica had married Manpreet in February. She shifted to a rented accommodation after leaving her in-laws’ house on the day of the incident. The victim was employed at the office of the Block Education Officer, Doraha, and was pregnant for a few months, sources said.

The police has registered a case against Manpreet and other members of his family on a complaint filed by the victim’s parents, who alleged that Manpreet was pressuring Monica to bring more dowry from her parents and used to torture her if she refused to do so.

The Station House Officer of the Amloh police station, Dalip Kumar Bedi said raids were being conducted by police parties to nab Manpeet’s father, mother and brother.



Undertrials can get free legal aid: CJM
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 28
Every undertrial is entitled to free legal services for getting bail or defending the case registered against him. This was stated by the Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-secretary, Punjab Legal Services Authority, KK Singla, while presiding over a legal literacy seminar held at the local Borstal Jail here today.

The District Legal Services Authority organised the seminar in order to create awareness among the jail inmates about their legal rights.

Singla said even if someone was convicted, he could file an appeal before the Sessions Court or the Punjab and Haryana High Court free of cost through the Legal Services Authority. 



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