Wednesday, June 5, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Good-quality material was used: report
Construction of park in Rajguru Nagar
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
The high-level inquiry into alleged lapses in the construction of a park by the Improvement Trust in Block-C of Rajguru Nagar, which had led to the tragic death of a nine-year-old girl six months ago after a pillar had fallen on her, has maintained that the material used in the construction of the park was of good quality.

Although not made public as yet the report is all set to raise many eyebrows. While the report has held that the material used was of good quality, Gurpreet Kaur, was crushed under heavy stones when a pillar erected at the entrance to the park fell on her in November last year. The girl had suffered serious head injuries and had died on the spot.

The parents of the deceased girl have also written to the Improvement Trust for not holding anybody responsible for the lapse. According to Mr P.K. Goyal, Executive Officer of the Improvement Trust, the trust had not taken action against anybody as the girl’s parents themselves had desired so. “The parents themselves came to us and told us to close the case as their daughter had already died and they did not want to trouble anybody.”

A visit to Rajguru Nagar revealed that the house of the parents of the girl was locked and their neighbours told Ludhiana Tribune that they had left the house just after their daughter had died.

The neighbours, too, did not want to reveal anything about the case and pleaded that the issue should not be raised again. They said repairs should be done immediately.

One of the neighbours who did not want to be quoted said that the parents had actually told the Improvement Trust to close the case.

Nobody in the area wanted any inquiry to be held.

This despite the fact that after the incident in November, the area residents had demolished all such pillars in all parks maintained by the Improvement Trust in the area and had demanded a thorough probe into the construction of the parks. A visit to the site revealed that the allegations of using sub-standard material could hold ground as the heavy stones seemed to be constructed in sand with a minimal quantity of cement.

Although the report has not been sent to the Improvement Trust and no action has been taken against anybody, the Executive Officer said that the then Deputy Commissioner had ordered an inquiry into the construction of the parks.

He had appointed Mr Gurnam Singh Azad, XEN, Provincial, PWD as the inquiry officer. He was, however, not available for comments.

Mr Goyal said the sample of the construction material was tested by Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College and it had given a clean chit to the contractors as well as officials.

He said the report of the inquiry had not been sent to the trust yet.

The incident had flared up tempers in the city at that time as it had brought in focus, the alleged irregularities committed in the construction of parks. Former Chairman of the Improvement Trust M.M. Vyas had told Ludhiana Tribune at that time that he was deeply disturbed at the unfortunate incident and had ordered an inquiry to fix responsibility. The park was constructed in 1988 by an Amritsar-based construction company.

Three officials of the trust were associated with the construction work. Only one of them is in service while one has died and the other retired.



Petrol pumps ‘turn dry’
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune, News Service

Heavy rush at a petrol pump
Heavy rush at a petrol pump: Petrol pump dealers did not sell any petrol or diesel during the day in Ludhiana on Monday, anticipating a hike in prices. — Tribune photo Pradeep Tewari

Ludhiana, June 4
In anticipation of a hike in prices of petrol and diesel most petrol dealers in the city did not sell any petrol or diesel to the people for the whole day yesterday. Since the new rates were to be applicable after midnight, most of the dealers maintained that they had run out of stock since there had been no supply from the depots.

While on the previous days there had been a heavy rush at petrol pumps and long queues of vehicles could be witnessed outside these, yesterday the petrol-pump owners straightway refused to sell petrol or diesel. The common explanation forwarded that there was no stock of petrol, since there was no supply.

While the district administration remained as inert as ever, the Public had to suffer immensely. Interestingly all petrol pumps started providing petrol immediately after midnight, when the new rates became effective. The District Food and Civil Supplies Officer was not available for comments. However, officials maintained that nobody complained to them and the matter was brought to their notice at any stage.

Some angry customers rang up newspaper offices to complain, alleging that no government official was available. One customer told Ludhiana Tribune that when he tried to contact the office of the DFC here, he was told that they could not do anything as there might be an actual shortage of petrol.

However, sources revealed that the petrol dealers always have huge stocks stored with them. These run into thousands of litre. Since they were expecting the rates to be revised by at least Rs two per litre, everybody held backtill midnight.

Sources disclosed that each petrol pump owner might have made at least Rs one lakh by hoarding petrol for a single day only. On an average there are at least 25000 litre of petrol and diesel each, stocked by the petrol dealers and the average sales vary from dealer to dealer. “But whatever they held back, paid them handsome dividends”, revealed a source.

However, one of the representatives of the petroleum dealers sought to clarify that the supply was withheld from the source and petrol-pump owners could not really do anything. 



BKU flays hike in petrol, diesel prices
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 4
The BKU has assailed the Union Government for 10 per cent hike in prices of petrol and diesel, saying that the move would annihilate the farm economy if corrective measures were not immediately taken.

The BKU President, Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, and the Secretary-General, Mr Manjit Singh Kadian, said in a joint statement here today that an increase of Rs 2.50 and Rs 1.75 in the price of petrol and diesel, respectively, had taken the people by surprise since the government had been maintaining a stand all along that the prices will not be jacked up.

Mr Lakhowal and Mr Kadian further called upon the government to immediately announce procurement price for the coming crops, including paddy, which should be calculated on the basis of hike in the prices of all inputs. 



Govt-aided colleges face financial crunch
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 4
A number of government-aided colleges of the state have not paid salaries to their teachers and non-teaching staff, thanks to the delay in the release of government grant.

Mr K.B.S. Sodhi, former president of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union, said here today that there were about 50 colleges in the state which had not paid salaries to their staff since November. He said some colleges which had a track record of paying salary to the staff on the very first day of every month, including DAV College, Jalandhar and Arya College, Ludhiana, had also been facing financial crunch.

Mr Sodhi said the government had now released Rs 18 crore after making 10 per cent cut in the same for the period of December, 2001, and January and February of the current year. Some of the colleges had taken loan from the amalgamated funds of the students to disburse the salaries to the teachers.

Mr Sodhi said the colleges were getting aid for 60 per cent deficit in place of 95 per cent from the government.

Mr Sodhi hoped that the Education Minister Mr Khushal Behl would stand by his commitment made with the PCCTU that the grant of Rs 18 crore and arrears totalling Rs 21.35 crore would be revalidated in the Budget of the state.

Mr Sodhi called upon the Chief Minister to fulfil the promises made with the teachers before the Vidhan Sabha elections.



Judicial remand for SI
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 4
Sub-Inspector Chaman Parkash, in charge, Sherpur police chowki, who was caught red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000 by Mr Nau Nihal Singh, SP, City-I, here yesterday, was produced in the court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr J.S. Chauhan, today. The magistrate sent the Sub-Inspector to judicial remand till June 15.

Earlier, the accused was produced in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mr Arunvir Vasishta, at around 11am, who sent him to one-day police remand.

But the police completed their investigations in about six hours and produced him again before the duty magistrate late in the evening. The cop has been booked under the Anti Corruption Act. He allegedly demanded the gratification in connection with a case of fraud registered under Sections 406 and 420 of the IPC.




Not many people know that Ludhiana’s Municipal Corporation finds a place on the web at However, the site has an anomaly in that it continues to list Mr R.L Kalsia as the Municipal Commissioner. The website mention Ludhiana to be an industrial town of India, lauds the city bicycle and bicycle component industries, hosiery goods, and machine tools. The site says that we have decided to build an e-corporation concept to provide the police an easy and efficient tool for better living.

No cells, please

Many local banks have banned the carrying of cell phones inside the bank premises. The authorities of a bank have even put up a banner near the entrance banning the use of mobile phones inside the bank. The development comes in the wake of various robbery incidents in banks. Robbers in one case had used a mobile phone to effect a robbery by sounding the partners waiting outside for the person carrying the cash.

Strange ways

Strange are the ways of the local administration if handling of various women by officials is any indication. The entire DC office remained busy last week organising a fashion show for designers of NIIFT, Mohali. The staff members were on their toes to extend perfect hospitality to the women of glamour world. They were even treated as state guests as their stay arrangements were made in the local Circuit House. On the other hand the Aganwadi workers, who were protesting against the occupation of their office by the local police, were cane charged on the same day the fashion show was organised. Six of them sustained injuries and were taken to the Civil Hospital. Later, a case was also registered. Is this the way to treat Aganwadi workers, especially women?

Mobile phone nuisance

Mobiles continue to be a nuisance in the programmes of performing arts brought to city by the Ludhiana Sanskritik Samagam. In a play recently organised with Shekhar Suman, despite various requests by the organisers to switch off mobile phones, as these disturb the performers on stage, many did not heed to the request. The phones kept on ringing. The director of the play, Om Kataria, kept visiting people, requesting them to switch off their phones. But to little avail.

Chelsea’s dog?

There’s a general impression that the mediapersons are “moving encyclopaedias” and can provide answers to all questions in the world. The impression is strengthened by fact that whenever the schoolchildren have a general awareness exam, newspapers offices are flooded with strange phone calls. The other day a colleague received a call from a harassed parent whose ward wanted to know the name of the dog of Clinton’s daughter (Chelsea). The colleague was suprised when the voice on the other side of the phone said that the weird question was asked in the general knowledge paper of a second-standard student. When he expressed his inability to answer the question, the parent said, "Even the journalists don’t know the answer. How can they expect the little children to answer such questions?”

PAU benches

People in Punjab Agricultural University have no option but to sit on ground and look at the broken cemented benches (see photo). There were about five cemented benches near the cafeteria in front of the M.S. Randhawa library which are in a dilapidated state.

Earlier these benches not only made good impression on the visitors but also made the cafeteria a place for frequent visits by students and faculty. Pupils as well as teachers used to sit here to get a breathing space after a hectic study schedule.

Perhaps due to financial crunch , the PAU authorities do not even have the funds to fix up half a dozen cemented, wooden and iron benches for the convenience of students, faculty, staff and visitors. — Sentinel



Badal flayed on river waters issue
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 4
In a surprise move which may have far-reaching political ramifications, the BJP Kisan Morcha, a front organisation of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which shared power with the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) in the state for five years, today assailed Mr Parkash Singh Badal, charging him with sacrificing the interests of the state with regard to river waters just to maintain his (Mr Badal’s) friendly relations with Haryana Chief Minister Om Parkash Chautala.

Presiding over an emergency meeting of the BJP Kisan Morcha at Gill Road here today, the party convener, Mr Jaswant Singh Chhapa, strongly reacted to the statement of Mr Chautala staking claim to river waters of Punjab. He said the then Chief Minister, Mr Badal, had chosen not to properly represent the case of Punjab on the sharing river waters in the Apex Court, which had led to such a judgement that would adversely affect Punjab.

According to Mr Chhapa, the Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal was the main reason for flaring up of communal tension in this border state and the people had suffered the consequences for well over a decade. In a note of warning to the Haryana Chief Minister, he observed that the people of Punjab were prepared to shed their blood but they would not part even with a drop of river water, which rightfully belonged to this state.

The Kisan Morcha convener took exception to provocative gestures of the Haryana Chief Minister, particularly at a time when the tension on the Indo-Pakistan border was also mounting. He also urged the state government not to go ahead with the proposal for scrapping the free water and power facility to the farm sector since the farmers and farm workers were already on the verge of annihilation due to economic stagnation. Mr Chhapa also urged the government to take necessary steps for payment of compensation to people in the border areas, who were forced to shift elsewhere in the wake of the threatened war.

Prominent among those present in the meeting were Mr Manjit Singh Gill Pehalwan, Mr Kala Singh Prithipur, Mr Mehnga Singh Khaira, Mr Balvir Singh Garcha, Mr Gurdev Singh Susrali, Mr Ujagar Singh Siarh, Mr Nirbhai Singh Alamgir, Mr Gurdev Singh Kutba and Mr Mohinder Mohan Happy.



Man injured in attack 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 4
Mr Lakhwinder Singh, 40, a resident of Bhattian village, was injured in an attack with sharp-edged weapons while he was going on his scooter on Monday.

According to Ms Charanjit Kaur, wife of the victim, sometime ago there used to live a woman of suspicious character in their neighbourhood. Her husband had objected to her presence in the locality and asked the landlord to evict her. The landlord complied with the request but started harbouring enmity due to the incident. Three cronies of the landlord allegedly attacked her husband with the help of sharp-edged weapons and injured him. Two of the alleged attackers have been identified as Ajit Singh and Jagir Singh and the Salem Tabri police has registered a case.

Two booked: The Division No. 6 police station has registered a case of beating on the statement of Mr Jaspal Singh, a resident of Shivaji Nagar, against Mika and Avtar Singh. The complainant alleged that the accused first rammed their motor cycle into his scooter and later beat him up.

The Shimla Puri police station has registered a case of teasing on the statement of Ms Manpreet Kaur, a resident of Preet Nagar, against Jasbir Singh. The woman alleged that the accused started teasing her on the road on Sunday and later arrived at her house and threatened her.

The Model Town police station, on the statement of Ms Nana Gill, a resident of Ambedkar Nagar, has registered a case against Virender Singh and Satnam Singh of the same locality. The complainant alleged that the accused teased her, beat her up and threatened her.

Rajiv Goyal, 23, a resident of Jammu Colony, was beaten up by here on Monday as a result of which he has been admitted to the Civil Hospital. According to Rajiv, he had gone to a chemist shop in the morning when some youths told him not to park his scooter in front of the shop. When he objected against their behaviour, the accused hit him and fled.

Dowry case: The Kotwali police station has registered a case of harassment for more dowry on the statement of Mr Uday Raj Singh, a resident of Hindi Bazaar, against Anand Kumar Singh, Bitri Devi, Varinder Partap Singh and Rekha Devi, all residents of UP. The complainant alleged that his sister, Suminda, had been married to Anand Kumar. The accused were indulging in beating and threatening her and demanding more dowry, he added.



Woman kills self, two kids
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 4
Twentysix-year-old Jyoti, a housewife living in Jammu Colony falling under the Model town police station, committed suicide and also killed her two kids by setting herself and them afire.

According to information, Mr Ashok Kumar, husband of the deceased, a factory employee was not at home at the time of the incident. Domestic tension is said to have driven the woman to take the extreme step.



Biz Clip
PNB branch
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 4
In order to provide efficient and customer-friendly banking services to residents of the area, the Punjab National Bank has converted its Extension Counter at Jain Public School, Benjamin Road into a full-fledged branch here on Tuesday.

The regional manager Mr K.I. Singh while inaugurating the branch, said to the customers and staff members, Mr Singh said, “Keeping in view the demands and needs of the customers, we have converted this extension counter into a full-fledged branch. He further said, “The services provided henceforth at this branch include Tatkal Suvidha Kendra, 7 day service, express counters, extended services, dawn to dusk services, opening of high value branches and 24-hour ATM services.”

Mr Singh stated, “The PNB is striving hard to provide necessary comforts through better in-house facilities and branch automation.” Others present on the occasion were, Mr Narinder Kumar Jain and Mr Baldev Raj Jain, president and vice-president of Jain Public School Committee respectively. 


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |