Sunday, June 30, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC takes steps to check supply of muddy water
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 29
The Municipal Corporation swung into action on the reports of contaminated supply of drinking water in Kucha Harnam Das and other adjoining localities in Field Ganj area of the old city and a portion of leaking water main pipes where the water from sewerage and open drains was getting mixed.

Residents of the locality had lodged a complaint with the civic body that the piped water being supplied to the area was dirty and contaminated due to a suspected leakage in the water main which posed a grave threat to the public health. On receiving the information, the Zonal Commissioner, Zone A, Mr O.A.K. Sondhi, immediately directed the officials of the O and M wing of the MC to visit the locality and take remedial steps.

Meanwhile, as the stuffy hot and humid weather continues unabated, many city area were hit hard by acute scarcity of drinking water for varied reasons. Residents of quite a few colonies, including some of them in the posh areas, complain of feeble pressure and erratic supply from MC tubewells.

The worsened power supply and undeclared cuts being applied in residential areas had further compounded the problem of supply of piped water.

The MC officials attribute occasional interruption in water supply to electrical and mechanical faults, which they claimed were rectified on top priority basis. “The weak pressure, particularly towards the tail is due to indiscriminate installation of tullu pumps and motors for boosting the pressure and water being used recklessly for non-essential purposes like watering of lawns and washing of vehicles at peak hours.”

The officials claimed that in the areas covered by water supply network, water was provided through tankers in the event of supply being disrupted.

However, the residents of Ravidas Pura and Indra Colony (falling in Ward No 15) on Chandigarh road allege that while the people were facing acute scarcity of water, the civic body had done precious little to improve the situation. “We have no other choice but to bring water from adjoining colonies and long queues of women and children, carrying buckets, is a common sight at one or two places where certain resourceful persons have installed submersible pumps at their own level.”

Inquiries made by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that water lines were laid in the area more than two years ago but the joining work was still incomplete in some streets.

According to officials of O and M wing of Zone B, the matter for speeding up the joining of the water pipes was being taken up with the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board, which was the executing agency. In the meantime, steps have been taken to link the water supply network in these localities with Hira Nagar, across Chandigarh road, to step up the water supply and solve the problem for the time being.



Overturned gas tanker blocks GT Road
Our Correspondent

Khanna, June 29
Traffic on the GT Road was disrupted today when a gas tanker overturned near Kauri village, 2 km from here. The injured driver of the tanker, Rakesh Kumar, who belongs to Sonepat, has been sent to Rajendra Hospital of Patiala.

The gas tanker belonging to Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd had been going from New Delhi to Hoshiarpur. It overturned when the driver tried to avert collision with a truck that had turned all of a sudden. This happened at about 5 am.

The patrol van of toll tax collectors noticed the overturned tanker (MR-38-5690) and informed the police.

The police reached the site and called firefighters from Khanna to avoid any other untoward incident.

Officials of the HPCL also reached the spot from Nabha and Ludhiana and said the tanker had 18 tonnes of gas.

The police diverted the Ludhiana-bound traffic to Ikolaha from Khanna. The Khanna-bound traffic from Ludhiana was diverted to Bilamadi.

The truck driver who allegedly caused the accident escaped, but the tanker remained overturned till 3.30 pm.



Things are changing in civic body
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 29
There seems to be a perceptible change, although subtle and gradual, in the functioning of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation for about the past one month with all the officials being made accountable and responsible for all their omission and commissions. However, the Commissioner, Mr S K Sharma, maintains that it is more with persuasion than any punitive measures that has helped the corporation which is the biggest in Punjab to revive and transform itself making it more responsive and people-friendly.

First and foremost, the Commissioner has enforced punctuality and regularity of all the officials. Everybody is in the office by 9 am. “It had to begin from the top,” he remarks, while pointing out that the offices are functional by 9 am. Moreover, people do not have to wait for hours and return without meeting the officials concerned. It is probably for the first time during all these years when the officials, right from the Commissioner to the junior most person, are always available and accessible.

The Commissioner says that he wants to evolve a system of work culture and bring in a behavioural change in the attitude of the officials. Thankfully, he says, he has been getting full cooperation from his staff belonging to all sections and departments. “I feel it is a good beginning and the results have started showing up,” he observes, while maintaining that whoever is there the work should go on smoothly.

Mr Sharma has fixed his priorities. Right now he has been ensuring that the corporation is able to provide all the basic amenities like drinking water, proper sewerage and street lights to the people. “We have no complaints about the non-availability of water”, the Commissioner claims, while adding that complaints are only from the areas which are not covered by the corporation. The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has so far covered 80 per cent population only. Similarly, the MC has covered 55 to 60 per cent areas and there are no complaints from these areas as well.

This has been possible only after evolving a proper mechanism. The responsibility is fixed at the grassroots level. Each junior engineer of the area concerned is supposed to file daily reports about the situation in his area. This is cross-checked by the senior officers. Any follow-up action needed to be taken is reviewed on day-to-day basis. And where structural changes are needed time is set for the completion of the work.

Come what may, Mr Sharma has been sticking to his schedule. Even today when it was raining he went around the Salim Tabri area along with the local councillor, Mr M L Bagga. Recently he visited Rose Garden and Rakh Bagh for over four hours.



YC protests against toll tax
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 29
Activists of the District Youth Congress, headed by Mr Sarbjit Singh Bunty, senior vice-president, today took out a protest march in the city against exorbitant toll tax collection at Jalandhar, Doraha and Shambhu border. The protesters, shouting slogans against the Union Government, demanded immediate removal of toll barriers.

Addressing the party workers, Mr Bunty alleged that the Union Government had outdone even the repressive British regime of pre-independence era in imposition of taxes and making the life of common man miserable. He also charged that the allotment of contract for toll tax collection was also not above board and certain senior government functionaries had shown undue favour to the contractors.

He said people who had to frequently travel between Ludhiana and Khanna for business had to pay a two way toll tax of Rs 90 for a private car which was unjust and uncalled for. “Such restriction on movement within the same district is tantamount to repression and infringement of fundamental rights of the citizens,” he added.

Prominent among others present at the occasion were Mr Inderjit Makkar, Mr Gagandeep Singh, Mr Harbans Lal, Mr Ashish Chawla and Mr Jagpreet Singh.



‘Counselling can save marriages’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
“The Punjab Human Rights Commission is concerned over the increasing number of false complaints,” said Justice V.K. Khanna, Chairman of the PHRC, at a seminar on the ‘Role of Police Counselling in Resolution of Matrimonial Disputes’ organised by the Ludhiana police here today.

He stressed the need for sensitising police officials and the NGOs on settling matrimonial disputes through counselling, as this would save a large number of couples from separation.

Justice Khanna praised the Crime Against Women and Children (Prevention) Cell for its effective counselling that had helped a number of couples settle their disputes out of court.

He said such disputes were caused due to misunderstanding, unnecessary interference by relatives of either partner and financial reasons. The police should involve the NGOs in counselling of couples.

Justice Khanna said, in cases of marital discord, mostly elderly women from either side were responsible for the problems. He urged women to treat their daughters-in–law properly. Parents should not interfere in the married lives of their daughters.

Regarding false complaints by women who exploit their rights, Justice Khanna said this could affect of rights of women. He cited cases where counselling had settled the dispute and urged the police to adopt the Ludhiana police model for handling crime against children.

Mr A.P. Bhatnagar, Additional Director General Police, praised the Ludhiana police and said such cells would be set up in the other districts as well. Community centres would be set up in 23 police districts within four years, where couples would receive counselling, which would also improve the police-public relationship.

Mr H.S. Sidhu, SSP of Ludhiana, said the cell’s concept was that the police should seek community’s help to counsel couples for protecting rights of women and children. He said the cell had 10 counselling panels supervised by the DSP (Crime) and the SP (Traffic). Each pannel comprised a police official and two civilians.

The panels arrange regular sittings and counselling sessions. This is followed up by field visits and action. The cell established 10 months ago had achieved immense success in short span. It has saved many marriages.

Counselling here has also helped in checking crime against women. Cases of matrimonial dispute have decreased and the satisfaction of saving a home is invaluable. The speakers at the seminar included Mr K.K. Atri, ADGP (crime); Mr S.K. Sharma, IG Jalandhar; Mr V.B. Handa, District and Sessions Judge of Ludhiana; Mr Anurag Aggarwal, DC Ludhiana; Mr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chanceller of Punjab Agricultural University; and Mr D.J. Singh, Deputy Director of the Punjab Police Academy at Phillaur.



Man nabbed with 500 g charas
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 29
Sanjay Kumar, a resident of Pavittar Nagar in Haibowal, was arrested by the police and booked under Sections 20,61 and 85 of the NDPS Act for possessing charas here yesterday.

The police said 500 gm of the contraband was recovered from the accused who has been booked at the Haibowal police station.

Woman poisoned: The Division No 4 police yesterday registered a case under sections 406,498-A and 328 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Rashmi, a resident of Chhawni mohalla, against her mother-in-law, Kanta Sehgal. The complainant had alleged that the accused, who used to harass her and demand more dowry, administered some poisonous substance to her in the evening of June 26 as a result of which she lost her consciousness and had to be admitted in hospital. No arrest has been made so far.

Cash stolen: On the statement of Mr Kishore Chand, who runs a cloth store on the Jail road, the Division No 2 police yesterday registered a case under Section 381 of the IPC, against Sanjay Kumar, a resident of Gian Chand Nagar near Lohara village. The complainant had alleged that the accused, who has been employed by him as a helper, stole Rs 1,27,900 from the counter of the shop on the intervening night of June 27 and 28.

Meanwhile, the Shimla Puri police has arrested Sanjay Kumar and one of his cronies Arjan Kumar, who also lives in Gian Chand Nagar, and claimed that it has recovered Rs 1 lakh from Sanjay Kumar and Rs 27,000 from Arjan Kumar. Both the accused have been booked under Sections 411 and 34 of the IPC.

Other cases of theft: The Shimla Puri police has registered a case under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC yesterday on the statement of Mr Harjinder Singh, a resident of mohalla Basant Nagar, against unknown person(s), who allegedly broke into his residence sometime between 10.30 am and 7.30 pm. on June 26 and decamped with gold ornaments weighing about 35 gm, wrist-watches and Rs 500. No arrest has been made so far.

Another case of theft was registered at the same police station under section 379 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Jail Singh, who resides on the Daba road in Shimla Puri, against an unknown person who allegedly stole away his white-coloured Bajaj Chetak scooter from in front of the Kachi Building near the Gill canal on Friday night. No arrest has been made.

The Jodhewal police has also registered a case under section 379 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Ashok Kumar, a resident of New Kirpal Nagar, against an unknown person who stole his Avon cycle from outside his house on June 27.

Fraud alleged: The Division No 5 police yesterday registered a case under Section 420 of the IPC on the statement of Dr Daljit Singh, a resident of Kartar Nagar in Model Gram, against S.C.Khosla, Development Officer, National Insurance, Branch 74, located on the GT Road in Miller Ganj. The complainant had alleged that the accused had defrauded him by doing an insurance for Rs 2,90,000 instead of Rs 3,32,154 as claimed by him. No arrest has been made so far.

Woman beaten: The Salem Tabri police yesterday registered a case under sections 341,323,506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Paramjit Kaur, a resident of Aman Nagar, against Nishan Singh and his wife Balwinder Kaur, residents of the same locality. The woman had alleged that the accused intercepted her in the afternoon on Friday, beat her up and also threatened her. No arrest has been made.

Cases of beating: On the statement of Mr Kulpreet Singh, a resident of Khud mohalla, the Division No 3 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 323,324 and 34 of the IPC, against Vicky Phullanwalia, a resident of Islam Ganj, and Money, a resident of Naulakha Colony. The complainant had alleged that the accused waylaid him and his friend, Manjit Singh, on the night of June 27 and injured them with the help of sharp-edged weapons. No arrest has been made.

The Sadar police yesterday registered a case under Sections 323,324,341,506,148 and 149 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Parabhdeep Singh, a resident of Lalton Kalan village now living in Sant Nagar, Ludhiana, against Navdeep Singh, Amandeep Singh and Gurdeep Singh. The complainant had alleged that the accused injured him with weapons on the evening of June 26 and ran away. No arrest has been made.

The Dehlon police yesterday registered a case under Sections 323 and 325 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Surjit Kaur, a resident of Sayan Kalan village, against Hari Singh, a resident of the same village. The woman had alleged that the accused, due to a dispute over the disposal of waste water, hit her with an iron rod in the afternoon of June 27 in the village. No arrest has been made.

Cases under the Excise Act: As many as six cases were registered yesterday under Sections 61,1 and 14 of the Excise Act at different police stations of the district.

The Division No 3 police arrested Kala Ram, a resident of Dhian Nagar near the Civil Lines, and seized a little more than seven bottles of country made liquor from his possession.

The Division No 6 police registered three separate cases against Bhupinder Singh, a resident of Vishwakarma Colony from whom nine bottles of illicit liquor were seized after arrest- Jogesh Kumar alias Bobby, a resident of mohalla Kirpal Nagar in Basti Jodhewal, who was arrested with eight bottles of illicit liquor and Shammy, a resident of Industrial Area ‘A’, from whom 12 bottles of illicit liquor were seized after arrest.

The Sahnewal police arrested Bhagat Ram, a resident of Kotla Afghana village, and recovered 12 bottles of illicit liquor from his possession and the Koom Kalan police arrested Avtar Singh, a resident of Kalewal village, and seized a little more than 10 bottles of illicit liquor from his possession.

2 held for jamming traffic: The Division No 5 police yesterday arrested Surjit Singh, a resident of Lal Bagh colony on the Ferozepur road, after the Matador parked by him near the Aarti chowk jammed the traffic on the road on Friday afternoon and booked him under Section 283 of the IPC. He was later released on bail.

The Shimla Puri police yesterday arrested Chamkaur Singh, a resident of Sayan village, after the tractor-trailer, which he had parked on the Daba-Lohara road, caused a traffic jam on the road on Friday night. Booked under Section 283 of the IPC, the accused was later bailed out.

Held for quarreling: The Model Town police, last evening, arrested Rahul Kumar alias Sachin and Sikandar Kumar, residents of Jawahar Nagar Camp, and Sumit Uppal, a resident of Model Town, while they were quarreling on the road in the area as a result of which traffic on the road had been jammed and the general peace of the area disturbed. The accused were later booked under Section 160 of the IPC.

Cyclist killed:
Jagdish Kumar (27), of Raj Kapura (UP) who had come 2 days ago to see his brother here was hit by a vehicle when he was going on a bicycle on GT Road. He suffered multiple injuries and was brought to the local Civil Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. He is survived by his wife and a son.

Chain snatched: A woman passenger who boarded an auto-rickshaw near the DSP office found her chain missing soon after it was snatched from her neck by a woman. According to a source, the woman passenger was waiting for an auto-rickshaw towards Dholan. As soon as the victim tried to board the auto-rickshaw, the woman standing nearby pulled the chain from her neck and fled.



Girl commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 29
Failure in Class X examinations led a 15-year-old girl, resident of Shiv Puri, Khanna, allegedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance at her residence here today. Her body was brought for a post-mortem examination at the local Civil Hospital.

According to the post-mortem examination, the possible cause of death was poisoning but for final confirmation the viscera has been sent for chemical examination.


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