Saturday, August 10, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


City gets first traffic police station in region
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 9
The first traffic police station in the state was inaugurated here today by the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Ludhiana range, Mr Mohammad Mustafa. He said although such type of police stations do exist in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, some unique features make it first in the country.

Conceptualised by the Senior Superintendent of Police, Ludhiana, Mr Harpreet Sidhu, the traffic police station, to be headed by Inspector Santokh Singh, would pay special attention to traffic crime and investigation with development of expertise on the subject.

The police station would have clear responsibility of traffic problems and proper utilisation of the traffic staff. This would also unburden the police stations off the investigations related to the traffic offences. Moreover, it would help in streamlining of record maintenance, study of traffic problems, comprehensive traffic education and other related issues.

“The police station is a new milestone, particularly for a city like Ludhiana, which is facing the huge pressure of bulging vehicular population disproportionate to the length and breadth of the roads in the city,” said the SSP.

Congratulating Mr Sidhu, the DIG said, the new concept would provide major relief both to the general public as well as the police. From now onwards, the general police force will feel less burdened with traffic related offences and problems to be dealt by the traffic police station only.

In his brief address, Mr Sidhu disclosed that the entire city has been divided into four zones for the purpose of management, regulation and control of traffic. While an Inspector each would head three zones, fourth zone would be headed by a Sub-Inspector. The senior most Inspector would head the police station and the SP traffic would be the overall in charge.

Sixteen separate investigating teams have been set up. They would not only challan traffic offenders but also investigate cases of traffic crime. The teams have been provided with well equipped motor cycles, investigation kits and other traffic aids. Each of the teams has been given the particular traffic beat so as to reach the problem area in the minimum time period.

The DIG hoped that over the next few months, the standard and quality of managing the traffic and enforcement of traffic laws will improve. A review of the working of the traffic police station would be taken up after six months and if required a second traffic police station would be set up on the other side of the city.

Today’s function included a guard of honour and was attended among others by the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, SP traffic, Mr Gurdial Singh, SPs Mr Naunihal Singh and Mr Harish Kumar, and other officers.



On-the-spot fines for traffic violations soon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 9
“The system of on-the-spot fine for various traffic offences and violations will soon be introduced in the city. This will fulfill the long pending demand of the people here as the current system of challans for traffic violations remains cumbersome and time consuming. Moreover, the violators will no longer need to go to the court for getting their documents released,” said the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, Mr Anurag Aggarwal at an informal conversation with the reporters at the inauguration of the first traffic police station in Ludhiana.



Only two participants in science seminar
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, August 9
Delay in sending information to schools, sudden transfer of the district science supervisor and unpreparedness on the part of district education officers marred the opening of a students’ science seminar competition that was held for the school students of Khanna yesterday.

Even though there are two government senior secondary schools, five aided schools and six affiliated schools at Khanna, information regarding the conduct of contest was available only with the hosts at Government Girls Senior Secondary School. As per rules, not more than two students from a school can participate in the seminar. Therefore, two girls from the host school contested and won the prizes.

The seminar was held on the topic “Remote sensing: its possibilities and harmful effects” and the winners were Pradeep Kaur and Kulwinder Kaur who were declared first and second, respectively. The function was presided over by the newly appointed district science supervisor, Mr Birender Kumar Sharma.

While earlier when such contests are organised by the District Education Department, a majority of the schools from the town endeavour to participate. Since only the top two students from the tehsil-level contests can participate in the district-level and then state-level contests, the students from other schools have been deprived of the right to compete.

Principals of schools from Khanna, when contacted, said that they had no information regarding the competition till yesterday morning and it was in the evening that they came to know from different sources that it had already been held. They said that earlier when the same contest was scheduled to be held last month, they had received invitation. The contest was then postponed and they were again informed about it but now when the contest was held, no information reached them.

Mr K.K. Sharma, principal, AS Senior Secondary School, Khanna, when contacted, said that yesterday morning when he had gone to Government Girls Senior Secondary School for some official work, he was surprised to see that the tehsil-level competition was going on. He said that since his students were not prepared for it, he could not send them for the competition at the spur of the moment but he certainly called up his science teachers to attend the function. He said that it was probably due to some delay on the part of the postal or telegraph department that no other school received the information.

Similarly, there were only six participants in the tehsil-level contest held at Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Samrala. Manpreet Kaur from the host school won the first prize. Sukhjot Singh from Government School, Sihaba village, was declared second and Kanwaljit Singh from Government School, Otalan village, third. The function was attended by the district science supervisor and Mr Bachitar Singh Barn, principal of the host school.

Meanwhile, the contest for schools falling in the Ludhiana East constituency will be held on August 12 at Government Model School, Dholewal, and for schools in the Ludhiana West constituency is scheduled to be held on August 13 at New Senior Secondary School at Civil Lines. The top two position holders from Khanna, Samrala, Ludhiana East and Ludhiana West constituencies would take part in the district-level competition scheduled to be held at Government High School, Salem Tabri, on August 19.



Police steps up drive to nab ex-SP’s killers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 9
The Ludhiana police has stepped up its operations to arrest six accused in the case pertaining to the murder of former Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), SP, Jaswinder Singh Bhullar, who was murdered in broad-daylight in Chanday village on the outskirts of the city yesterday. The police have put up posters all over the city declaring the accused as absconders.

Released by Inspector Rattan Singh Brar, Station House Officer (SHO), police station Sadar, Ludhiana, the posters carry the names, addresses and pictures of six accused who are still absconding. The seventh accused, Jaspal Singh, was arrested soon after the murder yesterday.

The accused are Ajit Singh and his four sons Jagmail Singh, Ajmair Singh Nachhatar Singh, Gurdeep Singh and Gurjinder Singh, son of Jagmail Singh and grandson of Ajit Singh, all hailing from Chanday village, falling under Ludhiana Sadar police station.

The poster states both in Punjabi and in English that “the above accused are wanted in case FIR Number 311 of August 8, 2002, under Sections 302, 148, 149, 120-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) registered at the police station Sadar, Ludhiana, as these people have absconded after murder. If you have any information about these accused, please inform at the following telephone numbers. The name of the informer will be kept secret. SHO PS Sadar 447777, 321415, DSP Rural-306262, SP City-II-431462, 306869 and Police Control room-444610”.

It is perhaps the first case in recent times where the police has issued posters declaring the accused absconders within 24 hours of a crime. It may be recalled that Ajit Singh and six others had allegedly shot dead a former CRPF officer of the rank of a Superintendent of Police (SP), Mr Jaswinder Singh Bhullar, at his farm in Chanday village on Thursday morning over a personal dispute over some passage to his farm.

An eyewitness in this case has told the police that Mr Bhullar had a dispute with his neighbour, Mr Ajit Singh, over a passage to his farm and the two had entered upon an agreement recently which was unacceptable to Ajit Singh for some reason. Yesterday, Ajit Singh accompanied by his four sons and a grandson challenged Mr Bhullar and shot him at point blank range before he could react. The incident took place at Mr Bhullars’s farm around 7.30 am. The accused have since absconded.

Jaspal Singh who had allegedly participated in perpetuating the crime had escaped from his hospital bed where he was admitted for burn injuries and returned after the crime. Hospital staff has told the police about the absence of Jaspal Singh from the hospital around the time of the crime. He has since been arrested, but his interrogation has not led to any further clue in this case.



More trouble for DMCH management
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, August 9
Although Dayanand Medical College and Hospital(DMCH) has started limping back to normalcy, yet it would take some more time before its normal functioning was restored.

While the DMCH management is facing problems running the medical institute, the Hero-DMC Heart Institute, which is a part of the DMCH, also appears to be running into troubled waters.

The functioning of the heart institute was adversely affected with the resignation of Dr V M Kohli, chief thoracic surgeon, and at present the heart institute is working without a surgeon. However, even though Dr Kohli left this institute on July 20, so far no substitute had been appointed. Another thoracic surgeon, Dr Dubey, had also resigned from the institute.

Dr Kohli had cited ‘domestic ’ problems as the reason behind his resignation, but sources said that he resigned due to differences with some doctors. Dr Dubey, who the sources said had differences with Dr Kohli, had rejoined Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

The DMCH management, which also looks after the heart institute , is presently busy ironing out differences with the employees and bringing the hospital functioning back to normal, and has therefore not found time to find a surgeon for the heart institute. However, it is learnt that the management has approached Dr Trehan of Escorts Hospital.

Inquiries reveal that the heart institute was functioning normally and 70 to 80 patients visit the OPD everyday. But the admission rate had come down to nearly half of what it used to be.

The institute, which started functioning in April last year, was built at a cost of Rs 45 crore . A loan of Rs 23 crore was procured from banks, the annual interest of which is about Rs 3 crore. The monthly income of the hospital is stated to be around Rs 3 crore and now the management is worried about the piling up of the financial burden.

While the management was still grappling with the striking employees as a large number had still not reported back for work, the DMCH faculty had also not fully reconciled to the situation and passed a resolution against certain functionaries of the college, including the Principal, the Medical Superintendents, the Dean, the Chief Officer on Special Duty and the Chief Administrator . 



SAD activists protest against govt policies
Our Correspondents

Ludhiana, August 9
“The Congress government headed by Capt Amarinder Singh has failed on all fronts during its six months’ rule and all sections of people, including workers, farmers, employees and traders, are already feeling disenchanted. Severe power crisis and drought has further worsened the situation with the government reduced to the status of a mute spectator,” said Mr Amrik Singh Aliwal, former MP and vice-president of Shiromani Akali Dal. Mr Aliwal was party activists at a dharna organised at Mini Secretariat here today. The call for district level protest was given by the party supremo and former Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

Among others, Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, MLA, Mr Daya Singh, district president, Akali Jatha (Rural), Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, district president, Akali Jatha (Urban), Mr Inder Mohan Singh, Mr Pal Singh Grewal, Mr Darshan Singh Shivalik, Mr Amarjit Singh Bhatia, Mr Gurmel Singh Sanghowal, Baba Jagroop Singh, Mr Hakam Singh Giaspura and Mr Ranjit Singh Talwandi addressed the rally.

In an attack on Capt Amarinder Singh, Mr Aliwal said it was condemnable that when the people in Punjab were reeling under an unprecedented power crisis and drought-like situation due to failure of monsoons, the Chief Minister and his favourite officers had gone on a pleasure trip to the USA and other countries. “The entourage of the Chief Minister, in all probability, will come back empty handed simply because the Union Government has made it explicitly clear that no state government can obtain loans or assistance from foreign financial institutions like the IMF and the World Bank without taking permission from the Centre.”

He charged the government with going back on its poll promises. The development works were shelved for paucity of funds, all welfare schemes and even pensions to widows and old people were scrapped and farmers were being threatened with withdrawal of free power and water facility. To rub salt to the farmers’ wounds, fresh taxes were imposed on farm chemicals and fertilisers, which had further added to the misery of the agriculture sector.

Terming the anti-corruption drive of the government as selective, vindictive and a move to settle score and fix its opponents, Mr Aliwal demanded that the entire probe should be handed over to an independent agency like the CBI or a judge of the High Court and further that the ministers in the previous and present Congress governments should also be brought under its purview. Other speakers, coming down heavily upon the policies of Congress government, observed that the protest dharna was virtually the commencement of a mass Movement under the leadership of Mr Parkash Singh Badal against the Congress government, which had proved to be inefficient, undeserving and worthless. “The Congress party had launched Quit India Movement on the same day in 1942 against the tyranny and repression of the then British rulers and we (the SAD) have declared a fight against the misrule of Congress on the same day,” the party functionaries remarked.

Fatehgarh Sahib: The present Congress government has proved to be the worst in the history of the state, and had lost the confidence of the people in just a short span and annoyed every section of society due to its wrong policies, alleged Capt Kanwaljit Singh, former Finance Minister, while addressing a protest rally of SAD arranged by Mr Didar Singh Bhatti, SAD leader of the area, as part of the party programme to organise rallies in the district headquarters against the government.

Lashing out at the Chief Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh said that Punjab was the only state in the country, which had not declared itself as drought-hit state, where as all the other states had already declared and managed to seek the Central government aid. He said the government was discriminating against the farmers in supplying power. He said that the agriculture sector was not being provided with adequate power and the expenses of the farmers has increased many times. He said that by announcing Rs 700 per acre as drought relief to the farmers the government had treated it as a joke as the migrant labourers charge Rs 700 per acre just for the plantation of the paddy.

He said that government was making a false propaganda regarding the condition of the economy of the state. He said if the Congress was unable to run the government and fill the treasury it should hand over the government to Akalis and the Akali Dal would again start the development works on war footing. He said that the Chief Minister was a royal man surrounded by sycophants and he did not know the problems of common people. He said that the pension for old people, shagun schemes for Dalits, DA, allowances, pensions of employees had been stopped. He said that the government had failed to initiate even a single development project till today. He said the Chief Minister was ruling the state like, maharajahs and even the Congress leaders and workers were feeling suffocating.

Mr Didar Singh Bhatti a SAD candidate from Sirhind, in his address highlighted various omission and commissions of the state government and termed it as anti-people and particularly anti-farmer

On this occasion Mr Sushil Kumar, a Congress worker, who was associated with Dr Harbans Lal, Minister for Forests, addressed the rally and highlighted how the minister had amassed crores of rupees in just a few months. He alleged the minister had purchased two costly vehicles and also initiated renovation of his house. He urged the Chief Minister to conduct enquiry of his minister also.

Mr Rajesh Pal Singh Lalli, senior Akali leader, Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhatti, president Youth Akali Dal, Prof Balraj Sood BJP leader, Mr Swarn Singh Chanarthal, district president, SAD and various other leaders also addressed the rally.



Brace up for bio threats, Speaker cautions vets
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 9
Dr Kewal Krishan, Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, stressed upon the need for total preparedness of veterinarians to face the biological threats and disasters to effectively check any harm to livestock and to concentrate on having a strategic plan to meet any eventuality in the future.

The Speaker was in the city to inaugurate the 28th Indian Veterinary Conference and “National Seminar on Biological Threats and Disaster Management-role of veterinarians” hosted by the Punjab State Veterinary Officers Association at Punjab Agriculture University, here today.

Dr Kewal Krishan said that in the face of biological threats and disasters the role of the veterinarians is very important. Rather the veterinarians are the backbone of the rural economy, which is heavily based on livestock. The spread of disease from animals to human beings was nothing new but the present day threat was the engineering of such acts as was proved by the anthrax scare during the Afghanistan war. It is, therefore, for veterinarians to counter such a eventuality since the potential of destruction of a biological weapon is far greater than a nuclear one, he pointed out.

Besides agriculture, Punjab has made great strides and animal husbandry was another area where the state has achieved remarkable progress. It goes to the credit of the people that 17 per cent of the net domestic product of the state comes from this sector. He informed that there are about 62 lakh buffaloes and about 26 lakh cows in the state and the state accounts for only about 3 per cent of the milch animals of the country, but it has the pride of contribution 10 per cent milk to the total national milk production. The state produces about 78 lakh tonnes of milk annually, which is only second to the annual production of milk in Uttar Pardesh, which has 200 lakh buffaloes and 256 lakh cows. The per capita availability of milk in Punjab was the highest in the country at 880 grams against the national average of just 204 grams.

Referring to the achievements in the field of research, he said that the state is a pioneer in the field of cross-breeding programme in cattle and with the concerted efforts, it has improved the productivity level of desi cows from 800 liters per lactation milk yield to 2, 500 liters milk yield per lactation from the cross bred species.

He said that big achievements have been made and the state stands declared a rinderpest-free state. The Speaker claimed that poultry was another area where Punjab has excelled and achieved per capita availability of 125 eggs per annum against the national average of 38.

Dr R K Sharma, president, Indian Veterinary association, said India was surrounded by hostile neighbours therefore a biological weapon could have serious consequences for the country’s food supply and export of animal products.

Among others who addressed the seminar include Dr K S Aulakh, Vice Chancellor, PAU, Dr G S Chahal, Director, Animal Husbandry and acting chairman, Veterinary Council of India, and Dr Ashok Sharma, president, Punjab State Veterinary Officers Association.



Girdawari to be completed by August 25
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 9
Dr Harbans Lal, Minister for Forest and Food and Supply, has asked the district officers to conduct a special girdawari to assess the loss to the fodder and other crops due to the prevailing drought-like situation so that timely relief could be given to the affected farmers.

Addressing a special meeting of the officers here yesterday, Dr Lal said that because of the failure of the monsoon, the crops had been adversely affected. He said that the state government had directed all the Deputy Commissioners to complete the loss assessment work by August 25.

He said that the indiscriminate felling of trees was the main reason for the lesser rains and deterioration in the environment. He said the government had changed the slogan of ''each one, plant one'' to "each one, plant 20" so that the rapidly shrinking area under forests could be enhanced in Punjab.

The minister disclosed that the Forest Department had decided to set up bio-technology-based central nurseries, which would cater to the requirements of agro-forestry, which was the alternative to the wheat-paddy crop pattern. He said that to promote the environment by putting more plants, the government had decided to give the full return of the trees planted on both sides of link roads to the owner farmers of the land along the road.

He also exhorted the officers to make the pre-plantation, a mass movement in all areas to plant more and more saplings so that Punjab could be made an ideal state.

Meanwhile, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, addressed a meeting of all SDMs and heads of departments involved in the loss to crops assessment work. The work is to be completed by August 25 in the district and the teams would visit each and every village to make girdawari in the presence of farmers. Mr A.K. Sinha, ADC, and SDMs of all subdivisions also attended the meeting.

He informed that the lambardar of the village would remain present with the patwaris in advance regarding the date of the visit of the team so that the farmers could be present at the time of the assessment. He said that subdivision-level committees headed by SDMs and comprising BDPOs, Tehsildars, agriculture officers, veterinary officers and executive engineers, Public Health, had been formed which would hold daily review meetings and send reports to the DC's office daily and weekly report would be sent to the head office.

The Deputy Commissioner directed the executive engineer, Public Health, to also make the assessment of the loss to the drinking water supply schemes due to the fall in the ground water level because of the negligible rain during this season so that it would be given more funds to make these schemes functional. He also directed to provide drinking water through water tankers in the villages facing drinking water problems.



Quit India Movement anniversary observed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 9
A function to observe the anniversary of Quit India Movement was organised, here today. Mr Tej Parkash, Transport Minister, Punjab, presided over the function and honoured freedom fighters.

Mr Parkash said the martyrs and freedom fighters of the movement had made sacrifices to liberate the country. “We should be grateful to their families and extend all help to them,” he said.

The minister said, great revolutionary patriots of the state, including Bhagat Singh, Kartar Singh Sarabha, Udham Singh, Lala Lajpat Rai and others had infused a decisive spirit in the movement.

He said the Congress had launched effective schemes for the welfare of the families of freedom fighters and martyrs of state and assured that the present state government, would also accord proper respect to there families.

Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, MLA, said Quit India Movement was a source of inspiration for people and the new generation should learn from principles of patriotism and nationalism adopted by freedom fighters.

Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, president, District Congress Committee, said families of the martyrs and freedom fighters would always provide right direction to people in the future.

Others who addressed the function included R. Surinder Dawer, MLA, Gurdev Singh Lapran, president of the District Congress Committee (DCC-Rural), Diwan Jagdish Chander and Ms Sushil Gupta, Deputy Mayor.

Freedom fighters, who were honoured included Mr Jang Bhadur Bindra, Mr Gurmail Singh Mela, Mr Satwinder Singh Jawadi, Mr Dharamvir and Mr Amarjit Singh Matharoo. 



Teej celebrations at Niharika
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 9
The Teej celebrations by the Niharika Ladies Club was held at Hotel Le Baron this morning to celebrate the spirit of rainy season. Green, the colour of saawan, was the dress code. The members could be seen in all shades of green ranging from apple, emerald, jade to verdant green.

The function was conducted by Mrs Shaheen, secretary of the club.

A colourful fashion show was organised. The participants walked on the ramp and the judges had to select a Teej queen. Ms Sandeep Oberoi bagged the title of Saawan Ki Rani. Prizes were also given to the participants in the category of Ms Graceful, Ms Beautiful Figure.

A surprise gift was given to Mrs Surinderjit whose marriage anniversary coincided with the Teej celebrations. Many surprise gifts were also given to the members much to their delight.

A Punjabi folk song was presented by Dr Amrit and Mrs Charneet Thukral. Mrs Simran danced on a Punjabi song relevant to the occasion.



Honest gesture
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 9
In a rare gesture of honesty, Mr Gurpreet Singh of Ludhiana today disclosed that he had found some gold jewellery from the upper berth of the Paschim Express while on his way from Ludhiana to Amritsar. He was coming from Amritsar on Wednesday.

Mr Gurpreet Singh said the person who has lost the jewellery could contact him on his phone 9814444115. 



Robbers loot Rs 1 lakh, 200 gm of gold
Our Correspondent

Samrala, August 9
As many as six persons committed a robbery in the house of Mr Kulwant Singh, a commission agent, in the Civil Lines area here last night.

The robbers looted about Rs 1 lakh, 20 tolas of gold and other valuables, including a stereo. They attacked Mr Kulwant Singh and his wife, Kulwant Kaur, a retired teacher, with iron rods. They were also carrying a rifle.

The robbers entered the house and broke open the door of the room with rods where the couple were sleeping. They also snapped the telephone wires.

On receipt of information, early in the morning, the police reached the spot and started investigation.

Both the husband and wife received serious injuries and have been admitted to the Civil Hospital. They are stated to be out of danger.


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