L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Crackdown on illegal autos
Day I: Police impounds 61 auto-rickshaws and challans 60 vehicles
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
The traffic police kicked off a drive to remove illegal auto-rickshaws from the city roads. These vehicles have not been registered with the registration authority. On the first day of this drive, the police impounded 61 auto-rickshaws and challaned 60 vehicles for violating the traffic norms.

According to the police officials, more than 80 per cent illegal auto-rickshaws stayed off the road today as the police had announced to crackdown on illegal auto-rickshaws plying without proper documentation.

Beant Juneja, SHO, Traffic Police, said, "When an auto driver fails to provide any document like license, registration certificate and permit we consider it illegal. It is a general observation that 30 or 40 percent of the auto-rickshaws plying on the roads in the city are illegal".

According to police officials, department has divided the city into four traffic zones and chose five points in every zone to keep a tab on illegal auto-rickshaws. The traffic police department has deputed four sub-inspector, 27 ASIs, around 200 head constables, constables and traffic marshals in all the four zones for the drive.

A majority of these auto rickshaws were brought to the city after Delhi and some other states imposed a ban on old auto-rickshaws.

Beant Juneja, said, "We have challaned 121 illegal auto-rickshaws and impounded 61 vehicles. We do not harass anyone without cause. We only stop those autos auto-rickshaws, which are overloaded (more than six passengers), not carrying a number plate, parked wrongly and stopped abruptly.

Meanwhile, Ishwar Singh, Police Commissioner, said, "There is no relaxation for the illegal auto-rickshaws. We will take strict action against violators".

CNG-run auto impounded

According to the police, the drive is against only illegal auto-rickshaws. But, the police did not differentiate between illegal and CNG-run auto-rickshaws. The traffic police officials impounded the auto-rickshaws belonging to Inderjit Singh of Threeke village. Inderjit claimed that he had all the relevant documents but the police did not bother to verify the papers and impounded his vehicle.

Union submits memorandum

Meanwhile, the rickshaw unions apposed the drive. The District Auto-Rickshaw Workers Union held a rally to oppose the move of the traffic department. The union submitted a memorandum to the police urging it to stop the drive. Kulveer Singh Khalsa, president of the union, said, "Hundreds of workers are earing their livelihood by running auto-rickshaws. If the police impounds their vehicles then they might take to anti-social activities". According to the Khalsa, the Police Commissioner gave them some relief by saying that the police would not challenged those who had registration documents". He has appealed to the auto-rickshaw drivers to maintain the required documents.


Ladhowal toll rates hiked by 8.5%
Now, pay Rs 102 (single journey) to travel a distance of merely 12 km from Phillaur to Ludhiana
Ashok Kaura

Phillaur, September 1
Travelling from Phillaur to Ludhiana in your own car will take a heavy toll on your pocket as the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has increased the toll rates by 8.5%. The fifth increase in the toll rates has come into force at the toll plaza barrier at Ladhowal from today, i.e. September 1.

The much-publicised toll plaza has been set up along the Sutlej at Ladhowal between Phillaur and Ludhiana. Now, every car owner will have to shell out Rs 102 (single journey) and Rs 154 (multiple journey) to travel a distance of merely 12 km from Phillaur to Ludhiana.

Imposition of heavy toll taxes at different toll plazas has led to resentment among people.

The officials of SOMA Company told The Tribune here today that only 8.5% increase had been made to the toll rates, which was an annual exercise.

Meanwhile, a BSP leader, MP Singh Goraya, has opposed the increase in the toll tax, which will badly affect short-distance travellers. He has urged the government to review its toll-revision policy in the interests of short-distance travellers.

However, the rate of the monthly pass remains the same.



Garbage collection starts amid protest
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
Amid a protest by private garbage collectors, workers of A2Z Waste Management Ludhiana Ltd, a private company, started door-to-door solid waste collection in ward number 68 and 69 here today.

While the private garbage collectors held a protest against the A2Z company, the A2Z company officials alleged that around 100 people gathered near the Zone D office of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and threatened them against starting door-to-door collection in the city.

The officials of the company alleged that their security guard was also beaten up, after which Manoj Mishra, Deputy General Manager, A2Z Waste Management Ludhiana Ltd, has written to the MC Commissioner for providing security cover to the workers of the company.

Ever since the A2Z company started its operations in the city on August 15 last year, it has been facing protests by private garbage collectors of the city. That day, the staff of the company was manhandled by a group of private garbage collectors. They broke window panes of their vehicles and threw brand new garbage bins into the Sidhwan Canal. The Sarabha Nagar police had registered a case against the protesters and even arrested one person, who was later let off on bail. Later, the A2Z staff had to collect garbage under police protection.

Meanwhile, a group of private garbage collectors today held a protest at Sarabha Nagar by burning Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s effigy.

Surinder Kalyan, leader of the private garbage collectors, stated that on October 31 last year, they had a meeting with Badal and Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal in Chandigarh. “At that time, both of them had promised that garbage would be lifted only from collection points and not from door to door. But now, both the leaders have backtracked on their promise and that is why we will now hold protests in all parts of the state,” claimed Kalyan.

Manoj Mishra admitted that even though the clause of door-to-door garbage collection is not a part of their contract, “now, we have started door-to-door collection because the state government has ordered us to do so. We plan to start operations in all the 75 wards of the city in the next six months. We are just following the government orders and the private garbage collectors should understand this. But, attacking and threatening our staff is not a good thing to do and we have moved a police complaint in this regard”.

Door-to-door collection of garbage was inaugurated by councillor Parminder Singh Soma at around 8,000 houses of ward-68 while councillor Swarandeep Singh Chahal inaugurated it in ward number 69.

At Khanna, A2Z Waste Management has been collecting garbage from all secondary points since April and from today it started door-to-door collection of garbage in two wards of Khanna city, i.e. Ward no 9 and 10.


The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is committed to starting door-to-door collection of garbage in all parts of the city. The state government wants that this service should be started in all parts of the city and moreover it’s the civic body that has to decide as to which thing is good for the residents.

— Rakesh Kumar Verma, MC Commissioner



Killing of man at police station
Police deployed on highway, situation under control
Shivani Bhakoo and Loveleen Bains
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
More than 1,000 police personnel were deployed on the National Highway I between Sherpur/Dhandari and Sahnewal as a "precautionary measure", following yesterday's incident in which a tipsy man, Dalip Kumar, tore pages of the holy book on a gurdwara premises. Later, he was shot by Mandeep Singh of Kube village near Samrala with his .32 revolver at the Sahnewal Police Station.

According to the information, Dalip Singh had been hit by four bullets. Three were taken out by the doctors while the fourth one was still inside his body. He is said to be stable and has been undergoing treatment at Apollo Hospital here. Mandeep has been sent to 14 days' judicial remand.

The Gurdwara Committee at Sahnewal will again hold an akhand path at the gurdwara and the bhog will be observed as "ardas diwas" tomorrow. The police is said to have made all the arrangements to prevent an unruly scene at Sahnewal tomorrow. The Deputy Commissioner of Police, GS Toor, visited the place with other senior police officials to take stock of the situation.

Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh said though the police was deployed on the highway, the situation was under control.

Meanwhile, several leaders from different groups held a meeting on the premises of the gurdwara. The leaders said they wanted a fair investigation into the matter as they feared that the incident was either politically motivated or some dera persons must have instigated Dilip for the mischief.

Meanwhile, the SGPC president, Jathedar Avtar Singh, has termed the sacrilege at the Sahnewal gurdwara as a deep-rooted conspiracy and demanded a high-level probe into the incident. He was talking to media persons at Samrala after laying the foundation stone of a new building of Nankana Sahib School run by the SGPC.

He said the SGPC would chalk out proper steps to stop such type of cases in the future. He also appealed the Sikh Sangat to remain calm.



Dating at public places
Youth shouldn’t ‘cross limit’
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
"There should be limits for youngsters while dating at public places. They have to follow them, otherwise moral policing is justified.” It is a common expression of people from different walks of society and police officials.

But no one responds when asked as "who are you to decide the moral limits of someone?”

The young boys and girls, who cannot afford to buy tickets for a move in a multiplex, dine in malls or cannot bear the expenses of a long drive, usually meet at city gardens.

Rose Garden, Leisure Valley and road besides Sidhwan Canal are the popular spots among youths for dating in the city.

During a visit to the Rose Garden, a number of school students were seen in the garden.

According to Pawan Kumar, in charge police post, Rose Garden, “Residents of the city had submitted written complaints against these youngsters and asked us to take action against them if found in compromising positions.”

"The police and media are the biggest threat for the couples in public places. We cannot roam freely on roads.

The police insult us any time. But the worst part of the situation is when the police calls our parents," said Manpreet Singh (name changed).

"Once policemen had stopped us at a naka. Legally, they were required to check documents, but in spite of this, the policemen started asking about our relation and asked for our parents' phone numbers. They threatened us that they would call our parents," said a girl.

Meanwhile, police officials said, “We don't want to annoy anyone, but the residents have problems with the youths dating in public places.”

We have received two written complaints besides several verbal complaints this month.”

Pawan Kumar said, “I don’t want to involve in the ongoing debate on moral policing, but I know one thing that youths have to follow the limits of society. To call someone's parents is our extreme step and we do it only when we found someone in compromising positions. Otherwise, we leave them after giving a warning.”

Kirpal Singh, in charge, horticulture branch of the municipal corporation, said, “The youths often cross their limits despite the fact that they are sitting at a public place. A huge number of residents visit these gardens and they complaint to us and ask us to stop them and take stern action against the erring couples. So, to avoid such complaints, we take help of the police."



LIC launches micro insurance scheme
Tribune News Service

Senior divisional manager Rajindra Kumar (right) addresses a press conference in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, September 1
On completion of 56 years of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) Ludhiana Division, the LIC has unveiled a new micro insurance scheme. Senior divisional manager Rajendra Kumar unveiled the new scheme which has been named 'Jeevan Deep'. "This is the third micro insurance product by the LIC after 'Jeevan Madhur' and 'Jeevan Mangal'," said Kumar.

This is a scheme that would benefit the financially weaker sections of the society, said another official present on the occasion. "This product would provide guaranteed returns," he said. This is not a market related plan, but only a conventional one, he added.

Special service counters have been installed in all the offices of the division. With the addition of 3.57 crore new policies during the year (ending March 31, 2012), there are now 29.16 crore policies currently, officials informed.

The first premium income of LIC rose to Rs 81,514 crore during the last fiscal. The market share of LIC was 80.56 % in the number of policies, according to the officials.

LIC's new product launches include Jeevan Arogya, Jeevan Ankur and Jeevan Vaibhav, he said. On the micro Insurance front, Jeevan Madhur, and Jeevan Mangal plans are finding good response from the low-income policy holders. Weaker sections of the society are offered social security schemes like Janashree Bima Yojana, Shiksha Sahayog Yojana and Aam Aadmi Bima Yojana, at subsidised rates, according to marketing head Sat Paul.

For the convenience of customers, the facility to pay premium on-line has been introduced with the help of net banking facility of 50 major banks, in addition to a host of other payment facilities, an official informed.

The Ludhiana Division of LIC has performed very well during the financial year with 1,56,245 new policies being added with first-premium income of Rs 137.94 crore. The division has completed 43,738 new policies with first premium income of Rs 38.10 crore till August 15. A total of 96,944 claims of maturity and survival benefits, amounting to Rs 335.68 crore, were settled during the year. Similarly 3,602 death claims, amounting to Rs 43.09 crore, were settled during the period.



Ludhiana scan
Annual camp

A combined annual camp of 3 Pb Girls' Battalion was organised at SCD Government College on Saturday. The camp was organised to enhance the overall personality of the cadets and to provide them training in every field. A total of 370 girls are participating in the camp. Besides, learning basic of firing, the cadets are being taught about map reading. In the national integration classes cadets were taught about the importance of national unity. A class was organised on field craft and battle craft in which cadets were trained about camouflage and concealment. Camp commandant Lt Col Subhash Sehgal delivered a lecture on the occasion.

Hike in prices of yarn opposed

The members of knitwear club have expressed their anguish and concern over the hike in the prices of yarn. The members said knitwear industry was already facing financial crunch and the burden of various taxes and hike in the prices of raw material would make an adverse impact on the industry. The club members, including chairman Vinod Thapar and president Darshan Dawar have decided to meet Industry Minister Anil Joshi to sought his intervention in the matter.

Health talk

The Geetanjali Ladies Club organised a health talk with Dr Davinder Singh Sidhu, an oncologist, on Saturday. The talk was held to make women aware about the causes and of cancer. An aerobic dance was performed to highlight the importance of exercise in day-to-day life.

'Akali-BJP govt misleading people'

During a meeting with party workers, Congress spokesperson and MP Manish Tiwari has alleged that the Akali-BJP government took Rs 800 crore as grant from the Centre to help farmers but till now the government has not given any account of its spending. He said the Punjab Government was misleading people by levying taxes on liquor for improving education but it did nothing to uplift the standards of education in the state. — TNS



Ration distribution
Depot holders demand salary
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
The Punjab Depot Holders Union has appealed the state government to take up the matter of giving salaries to depot holders with the central government. This was said by the state president of the union, Gurjinder Singh Sidhu, while addressing a meeting of the union today at Bachat Bhawan.

Sidhu said, "The depot holders get only a commission of Rs 700-900 per month. However, the expenses to run a ration depot is at least Rs 9,000 a month. Under such circumstances, it is very difficult to run a depot. We have already brought up this matter in the notice of Punjab Food and Civil supply Minister Aadesh Partap Singh Kairon and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal."

Sidhu thanked the state government for considering their demand of providing them carriage charges. He said, "None of the depot holders want to run depot by selling goods through unethical practises. So the state government should pursue the matter with the central government to provide salaris to ration depot holders."

He appealed all the 26,000 ration depot holders to be a part of the union within one month so that the next plan of action could be taken. Sidhu said very soon a list of the state body would be released.



Five-day training on diagnosis of animal diseases concludes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) conducted a five-day training programme on "Diagnosis of Animal Diseases" for the veterinary officers of the State Animal Husbandry Departmet, which concluded today.

Dr BK Bansal, course director, revealed that a batch of 20 veterinary officers from the state had participated in the programme.

The training involved experts from different disciplines, including veterinary medicine, pathology, microbiology, parasitology, extension and animal disease research centre. During the training, veterinary officers were imparted training on the diagnosis of rabies, brucellosis, aflatoxicosis and other important bacterial, parasitic and blood protozoan diseases of domestic animals while using conventional as well as advance techniques such as ELISA, PCR and serological assays.

The latest approaches in the treatment of various health disorders in animals such as lameness, bovine mastitis, mineral deficiency disorders, neurological problems, renal failure, toxicities, peritonitis, eye diseases and skin affections were advocated during the programme. The training on the use of latest clinical techniques such as blood transfusion, eye examination, endoscopy, ultrasound and echocardiography in veterinary medicine was also imparted. Dr HK Verma, course-coordinator, said the training was useful for veterinarians as they received hand on information regarding the latest technologies in the diagnosis of animal diseases.



Tardy repair of sewer line delays underpass project
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation's plan to close one side of the Sidhwan canal bridge on Ferozepur Road may get delayed as the civic body has not yet been able to repair the damaged portion of the sewer line near the same spot.

The sewer line had got damaged on August 17 when a digging work was going on near the place. The MC officials came to know about the damage on August 18 and since then MC's Operations and Maintenance (O&M) branch is trying to repair the sewer line.

The MC had planned to close one side of the bridge for vehicular traffic, going towards Mullanpur, Jagraon, Moga or Ferozepur for three months as an underpass was to be constructed for the under-construction Sidhwan Canal Expressway project.

But now the repair work is creating problems for the commuters as they suffer traffic jams throughout the day. The MC officials have installed two jet machines on the spot to drain out the sewerage and rainwater from the pit.

While speaking to The Tribune MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma said one side of the Sidhwan canal bridge could not be closed till the damaged sewer line was fully repaired. "Our staff is working hard to repair the line but due to rains, they are not being able to repair it but I am hopeful that in the next few days, the sewer line will be fully repaired, after which the work on Sidhwan Canal Fxpressway will start," Verma said.



City-based couple gives impressive performance
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
It was a musical morning at Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, today as a city-based couple performed and brought alive songs from the movies of the '70s and '80s. Performing to a packed auditorium at the college, Mukesh and Namrata Sharma also sang contemporary songs.

The two have been performing together for a long time. Brought together by their love for music, Namrata was impressed by Mukesh's melodious voice.They came together because of music at one of their shows. After that, they started performing together and eventually got married. Both of them have done various shows and performed at various places outside the state, including Himachal, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir and Mumbai.

Both of them are teachers as well. While Mukesh is a part of the faculty at Ishmeet Music Institute teaching Bollywood music, Namrata is head of department at Sat Paul Mittal School. It is great to have a musician as a life partner, says Mukesh.

Namrata has been the first runner up at Sa Re Ga Ma Pa while Mukesh has bagged the Kishore Award. Taking about Bollywood music, Mukesh says that one really has to concentrate on the octave and the pitch that is part of the mood of the songs. One also has to have a grip on the ragas. Although classical music is the base of every type of music, attaining a voice for playback singing and variation is important for success, he says.



Vigilance exposes food-grain scam
Wheat meant for BPL families was being sold to private traders
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
The Vigilance sleuths have registered a case against Jaspal Singh, an Inspector of Punjab Agro, and Subhash Chander, owner of Shanti Flour Mills, Jugiana (Sahnewal), under sections 406, 409, 420 and 20-B of the IPC for selling the government food grain to private traders. The owners of the four trucks, which were carrying the government wheat, have also been booked. However, no arrest has been made so far.

The SSP, Vigilance, Satinderpal Singh told The Tribune that the raids were conducted yesterday and the food grain loaded on four trucks was seized by the sleuths. According to sources, the food grain was to be disbursed among the families of the below poverty line category.

The SSP said these four trucks belonged to the Pungrain and District Food and Supplies Department. He said, "Three trucks with the government food grain were impounded at Dana Mandi here. The fourth truck was empty. The food grain loaded on the fourth truck must have been sold to some private flour mill. We had got the information about the misuse of the government food grain," said the SSP.



Vehicle catches fire after coming in contact with high-tension wires
Lovlen Bains

Sahnewal, September 1
The cabin of an empty tractor trailer truck caught fire after coming into contact with the high tension wires on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road at Heeran village near Kohara today afternoon. The cabin and the front tyres were completely destroyed, but no loss of life was reported.

A tractor trailer truck, which had come from Bangalore, was going back after emptying the loaded cars, when it touched the high tension wires and created a flash after which the fire spread in no time. The driver,Sandeep, managed to jump out and in no time the fire engulfed the whole cabin in its flames. Both the front tyres got burst.

PCR cops Sukhminder Singh and Harjinder Kumar, who reached as soon as they got the information, said that the fire quickly spread in the whole cabin. "It could be brought under control only after three fire extinguishers were called in. The driver, the sole occupant, escaped unhurt.



Two PPS officers shifted
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
Principal secretary DS Bains transferred two PPS officers, who were posted in Ludhiana, to Patiala and Chandigarh. Manjit Singh Dhesi, who was serving as additional deputy commissioner of police in the city, has been transferred to 36 Battalion Bahadurgarh, Patiala, as assistant commandant. Assistance commissioner of police (crime), Gurmeet Kaur, who was also holding the charge of assistance commissioner of police (south) has been transferred to 82 Battalion PAP, Chandigarh.

The charge of assistant commissioner (south, crime) has been given to Mukhtiar Singh, PPS, while the charge of ADCP has been given to Harmohan Singh Snadhu, PPS.



Car-jackers’ gang busted, 7 vehicles recovered
Tribune News Service

Mandi Ahmedgarh, Sep 1
The Sadar police has nabbed three members of a gang of vehicle thieves and recovered seven vehicles which had been stolen from various places in recent past.

Recovered vehicles included one Mohindra Pickup van, one Maruti car, two Indica cars, two motorcycles and one Activa.

According to Sukhdev Singh Virk, deputy superintendent of police, Amargarh, a joint team led by SHO Sadar Gurpartap Singh and Surinder Pal Singh, incharge, CIA, Sangrur, had nabbed the accused last night when they were trying to flee, near Jandali Kalan village in a stolen Mohindra Pickup van.

The accused were identified as Rajwinder Singh of Raju of Dhuri, Ali and Imran of Malerkotla.



LBA outplay Amritsar to enter semis
Anil Datt
Our correspondent

Ludhiana, September 1
The reigning champions in the junior boy's section, Ludhiana Basketball Academy (LBA) appeared all set to retain the title as they scored another comprehensive victory over their rivals in the third Mahindra NBA Challenge Basketball League organised by the Punjab Basketball Association with the help of Punjab Sports Department at Guru Nanak Stadium today.

In the quarter final match, the LBA players scored a thumping 91-57 win against Amritsar and entered the last four stage.

Contrary to what the scoreline might suggest, LBA cagers were made to fight for each point as Amritsar district players fought valiantly before losing the match.

At the end of the second quarter, the Amritsar outfit was trailing by just two points (38-40) but could not keep up the momentum in the next two sessions and lost the match.

In a junior boys match, Gymkhana Club faced a little resistance from Delhi Public School, Ludhiana, and lost 56-28.

The third match was played between Muktsar district and ACE Club, Khanna, in which the former romped home 71-59. Amandeep Singh of Muktsar netted as many as 31 points which proved decisive for Khanna team.

In the senior men's category, Punjab Police, Jalandhar proved too good for Ludhiana district whom they drubbed 96-33 with main contribution coming through Ranbir who scored 23 points.

In the junior girl's section, Khalsa College, Ludhiana outplayed Jalandhar 46-14, Amritsar district defeated Kapurthala district 61-29 and Mansa district beat Muktsar district 42-22.



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