Monday, November 25, 2002, Chandigarh, India

L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Richest MC has no green for parks
Committees resent attitude
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
Though the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation claims to be the richest civic body in the region, it has failed to release funds for the maintenance of parks in Sarabha Nagar here.

The park management committees of the city have been openly demanding funds for the upkeep of these parks.

A few days after such a committee of Tagore Nagar raised the issue of fund shortage, the Sarabha Nagar committee has, now, taken on the authorities concerned for not releasing the funds.

The office-bearers of this committee said, in spite of repeated requests and visits to the officials concerned, parks 214 and 215 didn’t have boundary walls and water supply. “All our efforts to develop these parks have not borne fruit due to water shortage and stray-animal nuisance,” said Mr S.S. Chana, president of the park management committee of Sarabha Nagar.

He said even footpaths laid in the parks in 1970s had got damaged, which could cause injuries to walkers.

The committee was given the responsibility of maintaining the parks on May 2, 2001.The expenses on developing the infrastructure were to be borne by the corporation.

Mr Chana said he had written several times to the Municipal Commissioner, but received no response. He said the committee’s request for a meeting with him to discuss these matters had not been accepted, so far.

He also said policy changes in this regard were not acceptable to the office-bearers and the Joint Commissioner of the MC had been told about it.

The committee plans to take up the matter at the MC ‘sangat darshan’ programme on December 23.

It has sought an immediate payment of the arrears due since February.

Mr Chana said the committee had even told the MC at a September 30 meeting that the corporation should reassume the maintenance responsibly if it was unable to release the funds within 12 days.

However, the corporation had done neither of the two things.



Ludhiana Congress a house divided
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, November 24
The Congress is a house divided in the city. The local leaders are invariably found indulging in leg pulling and sabotaging party programmes. The division in the party was amply demonstrated on November 18 when the reception arranged for the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president, Mr H.S. Hanspal, proved a big flop and the president refused to appear at the venue of the reception before the empty chairs.

The District Congress Committee (Urban) and the District Congress Committee (Rural) had been organising preparatory meetings in the DCC office for a month to give a big reception to the newly appointed PPCC chief and the organisers had been bragging that they would collect 10,000 workers of the party. But alas, there were hardly a few hundred workers who waited for hours for the chief guest and had to go without meeting him.

Mr Hanspal, who belongs to the Namdhari sect, has a base among the Ramgarhia Sikhs who are followers of the Namdhari sect. Eversince his appointment as president of the PPCC, he has been visiting Ludhiana and receiving receptions from the local industrial organisations. He has addressed a number of meetings of the industries and traders' organisations and listened to their grievances. The Namdhari darbar also organised a reception in his honour. As a matter of fact, Mr Hanspal has not missed any opportunity to visit Ludhiana. Hence there was nothing new which the local Congressmen wanted to present to Mr Hanspal. But they were keen on extending him an “official” reception and honour him on his appointment as president of the PPCC. Accordingly, the Congressmen made elaborate arrangements to give a “warm” welcome to their leader.

Ludhiana is considered as the stronghold of the Congress as all the four urban Vidhan Sabha constituencies are with the Congress now. Even the Municipal Corporation has a majority of the Congress elected councillors. The Mayor of the Municipal Corporation, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, organised a rally at Ludhiana on November 1 on Punjab Day where the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, was the chief guest and he launched a development scheme for Ludhiana city, including 100 per cent coverage of the population for the supply of potable drinking water and sewerage. The rally was very impressive as the turnout was good. There was no need for organising another rally after the successful rally in November. But the party factionalism in the Congress is such that the office-bearers of the DCC (Urban and Rural) wanted to impress the president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress and wanted to show their strength and popularity among the party workers and the residents of the city. The four local legislators are against each other and they are also opposed to the office-bearers of the DCC with the result they did not want that the rally in connection with the reception of Mr Hanspal should succeed.

Similarly, the legislators representing the rural Vidhan Sabha seats are also opposed to the president of the DCC (Rural) who was appointed by Captain Amarinder Singh two years ago on the recommendation of the sitting Member of Parliament of Ludhiana. The president of the DCC (Rural) had joined the Akali Dal before the Vidhan Sabha elections of 1997 but came back to the Congress fold. Mr Parkash Singh Badal failed to fulfil the promise made with him. The office-bearers of the DCC (Rural and Urban) do not have strong mass base and they are existing on the strength of “managed publicity” in the local newspapers.

So on November 18, the leaders accorded reception to the president of the PPCC at the entry points of Ludhiana and did not come to the venue of the rally with their supporters with the result that the reception proved a big failure and Mr Hanspal after reprimanding the organisers left Ludhiana without participating in the rally. The organisers told the small gathering that Mr Hanspal had been summoned to Delhi by the Congress president, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, to discuss the Punjab situation. Finally, Mr Tejparkash Singh, Transport Minister and son of late Mr Beant Singh, came to the rescue of the organisers.

The idea behind the rally was to please the president who is in the process of reorganising the district and the state units of the PPCC.

After the failure of the reception rally, the local Congress leaders have been accusing the organisers of collecting huge funds from the city to present a purse to the state Congress president and now they are seeking the details of the collections allegedly made by them.

Ludhiana city, which has witnessed many great Congress leaders like Maulana Habib-ul-Rehman before partition and Mr Sardari Lal Kapoor, Mr Sat Paul Mittal and Mr Joginder Paul Pandey, needs such calibre leader who can strengthen the party. Otherwise the Congress does not hold good future in this city. The present leaders of the Congress have no rapport with the people and the industry and trade.

Sources close to the Congress say that Mr Hanspal is a potential candidate for seeking elections to Parliament in 2004 and because of this reason, he is concentrating on Ludhiana. Mr Hanspal must set the Congress house in order before jumping in the election fray.



Move to remove Cong office-bearers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
After the November 18 Congress rally failing to draw crowd the continuation of Mr K.K. Bawa and Mr Gurdev Singh Lapran as district presidents of Congress unit of Ludhiana (urban and rural) has become doubtful as the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) President is reportedly not happy with both of them.

After the poor show at the Congress rally, the countdown for the removal of both Mr Bawa and Mr Lapran has begun. Particularly at a time when the process to reconstitute the PPCC and district units is already on and Mr Hanspal having to cut a sorry figure and return without being able to visit the venue, their continuation as office-bearers has become unlikely.

As the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, arrived here yesterday to inaugurate the 44th National Bridge Championship, the two Congress leaders along with the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, and two legislators Mr Milkiat Singh Dakha and Mr Surinder Dawer shared the dials with the Chief Minister to convey an impression that despite the poor show they still continued to enjoy his confidence. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, had to order for more chairs to be placed on the stage as it got overcrowded.

While both Mr Bawa and Mr Lapran claimed that they were called by the Chief Minister himself on to the dais, some of their detractors said they were trying to convey the impression that they were still close to the Chief Minister and may continue as district Congress presidents. Their rivals within the party had already started a campaign for their removal. But both leaders were hoping to continue on the posts counting on their performance during the Assembly and the local bodies elections, which saw the Congress winning most of the seats.



Encounter in jail brings joy to inmates
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
For the inmates of the Ludhiana Borstal Jail, it was an entirely different encounter, also an easy one. Perhaps, for the first time, their cricket team, Ludhiana Borstal Jail Angels, was playing against Ludhiana Devils. The match was played inside the jail complex early here today. Not only about 200 other inmates and the jail staff, but also crowd from nearby watched the match from rooftops. The performance of the Angels was remarkabe, which saw them bowl out the Devils for just 60 runs. It took them just 10 overs with eight wickets still in hand to reach the target.

For the youths, it was not only a cricket match, but also an encounter with the outside world. The inmates cheered and danced when their team won the match. For the Angels, the Assistant Superintendent of the Jail, Rahul, scored the maximum runs and also bowled well. For the Devils, only Jupinder and Parminder could score some runs, while the rest of the batsmen returned to the pavilion without scoring any run. The bowling of the Devils was equally dismal, with all bowlers getting a thorough drubbing from the Angels openers.

The players were extremely happy with the outcome and everyone enjoyed the game thoroughly. Some of the inmates said such chances of entertainment came their way rarely. The Jail Superintendent, Capt L.S. Jakhar, who was the skipper of the Angels, said he would like to encourage more such encounters, where the inmates experienced freedom while playing with outsiders.

After this encounter, a match of tug-of-war between the Angels and the Devils was also organised, where the Devils eventually found some luck and won.

The Additional Deputy Commissioner, Mr Rahul Bhandari, who also watched the match, gave away the prizes to the winners and the other outstanding sportspersons among the inmates.



Revamp of dist admn on cards?
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
Congress workers and leaders yesterday reportedly protested to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, that they were allegedly being ignored and ill treated by officials . The Chief Minister was in the city to attend a programme yesterday. In view of this strong protest lodged by the Congress workers to the CM, there are strong rumours that the district administration may be revamped. Informed sources claim that the patient hearing and subsequent assurance given by the CM are an ample indicator in this context.

The CM was in the city yesterday to take part in the 44th Winter National Bridge Championships at the Satluj Club where the Mayor, MLAs and some other senior party leaders were allegedly prevented from entering the hall where the game was in progress. It was at the intervention of the PSO of the CM that they were finally allowed in and offered seats in a corner.

Stung by the reported snub from the authorities, the Congressmen requested an audience, in private, from the CM who offered them a lift in his car on his way back. They reportedly appraised the CM of the state of affairs of the party and the ‘low’ morale of the workers, while stressing the fact that it was one of the major reasons for the poor turnout at the party rally held in the city on November 18.

PPCC chief H S Hanspal was said to have taken the leaders to task for the flop show and had also conveyed the same to the CM, the sources added.

The sources said the CM stopped his cavalcade some distance from Gurdwara Manji Sahib, near Doraha, and held a lengthy discussion with those accompanying him on the roadside itself. He is said to have expressed his concern at the state of affairs and the way the workers were being treated by the authorities. He also pulled them up for not bringing the ground realities to his notice before, they added.



A ray of hope for kids with low IQ
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, November 24
Akshay (not his real name), a student of UKG, is not only ignored by his teachers but also teased by classmates. His only fault is that he was born with borderline IQ. (Tests showed that his IQ was above 85, but lower than average IQ of 100or 110)

His distraught mother said: “He was selected after an interview. He has speech impairment, but in the interview the teacher just asked him to do some actions like get a ball, touch and show some colour. We thought that he was a little slow but teachers and the principal shocked us by calling our son dim-witted and asked us to withdraw him.”

But no more can these children with mental and physical disability be called by names as it is punishable by the law under the National Trust.

The Trust came into existence in 1999 and is a statutory body under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment. It was set up for the welfare of persons with autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation and multiple disabilities. Its aim is to enable and empower persons with disability to live independently.

Many distraught parents of mentally-challenged children have met in Ek Prayaas, a school for children with special needs, to think of ways and means of making education possible for their children with borderline intelligence. All of them, nearly 10 parents, were greatly upset as the rude and cruel behaviour of students and indifferent and unsympathetic behaviour of teachers had forced them to withdraw their wards from school.

Mr Anurag Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner, as Chairperson of the district-level committee under the Trust held meetings with the president of an NGO, Social Action Group, Ms Samira Bector, and Mr Kuldip Singh Brar, Director, Social Security Officer, to formulate a plan to ask the schools to start special classes for children with physical and mental disabilities.

Mr Kuldip Singh said: “The schools which do not admit such children and use abusive language for these children will have to appear in the court of the District Magistrate. The directorate is willing to fund NGOs devoted to educating these children to the tune of 50 per cent of expenditure.”

Students with borderline intelligence can cope well in school for normal children. The only thing they require is a little more love, caring and attention.



Shiv Sena (Thackery) activists take out procession
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 24
Activists of the local unit of the Shiv Sena (Bal Thackery) took out a procession through various parts of the city in protest against the increase in terrorist attacks on civilians and security forces, adoption of a soft approach by the Mufti Mohammad Sayeed government towards militants and the revocation of POTA in Jammu and Kashmir.

Led by Mr Pawan Sharma and Mr Krishan Sharma, president and general secretary of the party, respectively, the protesters raised slogans against the Jammu and Kashmir Government and later burnt an effigy of Mr Sayeed in front of the Clock Tower.

Addressing the agitators, the leaders said the people of Jammu and Kashmir had been bearing the brunt of terrorism for the past two decades and the Farooq government had failed to stop trans-border terrorism. Now, the PDP regime had shown its pro-militant stance by releasing militants and having a soft spot for the separatists.

They appealed to the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, to personally intervene in the matter and ensure that POTA was strictly enforced. 



LIT ‘ordered’ execution of sale deeds

Ludhiana: The general secretary of Kidwai Nagar Welfare Society, Mr R.R. Katyal, claimed on Sunday that the Administrator of Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), Mr Raminder Singh, had passed the orders for the execution of registration deeds of trust flats and kothies constructed in the Kidwai Nagar area. The matter had been hanging firefor past at least 30 years. Mr Katyal further claimed that the Administrator had even passed the resolution for reducing the penalty amount on account of adding additional construction from Rs 18,000 to Rs 9,000 for ground floor and from Rs 16,000 to Rs 8,000 respectively for upper floors. These flats and kothies were constructed in 1970s under the slum clearance schemes of the Improvement Trust. TNS



Man commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 24
The Division No 6 police has registered a case under Section 306 of the IPC on the statement of Manjit Kaur, wife of Charan Singh, who allegedly committed suicide yesterday in his Guru Arjan Dev Nagar house, against the estranged son of the deceased and three members of his in-laws' family.

According to information, Charan Singh (49) was living with his married son Baljit Singh. But of late, in addition to Baljit, his mother-in-law, father-in-law and brother-in-law had also been pestering Charan Singh for an early division of the property so that Baljit could inherit his share.

On Wednesday night, a tiff took place between the father and the son as a result Baljit banged his head against a wall and got admitted to a hospital.

Later a case was registered against the father on the complaint of the son under Sections 323, 324, 452, 506 and 34 of the IPC, which reportedly had an adverse effect on the mind of the deceased.

Till late night on Thursday, the man kept crying in the room of his wife. After she went to sleep, he went to his own room and allegedly hanged himself by the fan with the help of a turban. His body was found in the morning. The police is raiding various places to arrest the accused.

Woman beaten: The Jodhewal police has registered a case of beating and snatching on the statement of Charanjit Kaur, a resident of Street 1 of the locality, against Pritam Kaur and Joginder Singh, who allegedly hit her before decamping with her gold ornaments from her house on Thursday.

According to her statement to the police, the accused came to her house and told her that they wanted a room on rent in her house. On finding her alone in the house, the accused started beating her up and hit her in the face with a brick as a result of which she fell unconscious. The accused then locked her in a room and decamped with gold ornaments belonging to her.



New-born baby killed; father booked
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 24
The police has registered a case of murder against Mohan Kumar (33), a resident of Shivaji Nagar, for killing his two-day old son in a fit of rage at his house yesterday.

According to information, Mohan Kumar, who is a scooter mechanic, had sent his wife to a relative's house after she had become pregnant for the second time.

When his wife returned to his house yesterday with the new-born son, a husband-wife tiff took place, following which the man snatched the baby from his wife and threw him on to the ground.

The baby was rushed to the CMC Hospital where he was declared brought dead.

The accused is already the father of a five-year-old son.


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