Wednesday, February 26, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Aggrieved father takes on cops, whisked away
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
In an unusual case, a city resident today created a scene at the Jagraon overbridge by staging a dharna against a senior police official based at Chandigarh, who was allegedly pressuring and threatening him to withdraw a case against a Jagraon-based family.

Mr Sudarshan Kumar, an iron trader, sat on a dharna at 3 pm and was forcibly taken away by the police at about 5.30 pm.

He said he was anguished at the attitude of the local as well as Chandigarh police officials. He alleged that his daughter Vandana had been killed for dowry by her Jagraon-based in-laws in June 2001. A case had been registered and four members of the family had been arrested. The case was under trial in a city court.

He alleged that a Chandigarh-based former DIG along with some serving officers had telephoned him a few days ago and threatened him with dire consequences if he did not withdraw the case. He said when he lodged a complaint with a senior official of the city police today, he was abused and told to leave the office.

He then decided to stage a dharna to air his grievance. He claimed that the telephone number of the former DIG was stored in his mobile phone over which he had been threatened. He said the local police was not willing to see the evidence.

Onlookers caused a traffic jam and Mr Kumar was distributing copies of his complaint to them. A police team had to work hard to clear the traffic jam. He was not taken away for an hour but following an order from a senior cop, he was whisked away in a police gypsy.



Former DPRO charge-sheeted for inflated bills
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
Even two years after the organisation of the National Games here, a former public relation official has been charge-sheeted for allegedly committing a fraud in the expenses incurred on providing meals to journalists at the venue for the games.

The state government has issued a charge sheet to a former District Public Relation Officer (DPRO) after an inquiry by a former Additional Deputy Commissioner. Mr A.K. Sinha, had indicted the official concerned.

Sources in the district administration said the inquiry report was submitted to the state government following which the chargesheet was issued to the official.

The inquiry was ordered in January last year and Mr Sinha had directed Mr Darshan Singh, DPRO, to verify the records and submit the report to him within a week. The former DPRO and the Chairman of the media committee was issued a notice in the case.

The inquiry was ordered as a bill pertaining to the meals was stated by the officials concerned to be a whopping Rs 4 lakh. The amount raised suspicion among the officials.

The bill showed the number of journalists as more than actually present. Moreover the price of a single meal was also allegedly doubled by the officials concerned.

The organising committee had expected around 120 journalists and the arrangements were made as per the number expected. The records, however, show that around 250 journalists were provided meals for around 13 days.

In the bills, every meal cost around Rs 120 and included both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. The meals were supplied by a caterer who charges only Rs 40 for a vegetarian dish and Rs 60 for a non-vegetarian one.



Man receives bill without connection
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
Ravinder Kumar of the local Tagore Nagar was intrigued when he received a bill from BSNL for Rs 2,021 as charges for its mobile phone connection ‘CellOne’ for which he had not applied for.

A shocked Ravinder Kumar told The Tribune that he was intrigued on receiving the bill at his residential address in Tagore Nagar. The bill was served for a ‘CellOne’ connection with number 9417050103. He said he had never applied for any mobile connection of BSNL.

He was yet to receive a satisfactory response from BSNL officials. The officials had assured him that they would look into the matter. He said the officials were suspecting that someone might have applied for a mobile connection using his name and address by using fake documents.

A BSNL official said the matter was being looked into. He said there could be some discrepancy. He said it would, however, be difficult to comment at this stage.

The official revealed that the BSNL had earlier stopped services to nearly 300 subscribers who had furnished incorrect details. He observed that this could be a similar case and the mobile user could have used the name and address of Mr Ravinder Kumar.

Mr Ravinder Kumar said he had been assured that the matter was being inquired at the highest level and that the person would be soon traced. Meanwhile, services to the said number had been stopped.



Residents resent hefty water, sewerage bills
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 25
Thousands of residents of Urban Estate, Phases I and II, are sore over hefty water supply and sewerage bills sent to them by the local municipal corporation (MC) after a gap of almost two years. The residents have been asked to pay Rs 2,200 each within 15 days, failing which they will be denied the 10 per cent rebate and penal interest will be charged for further delay in payment.

Mr Kuldip Singh Kreer, president of the Residents Welfare Society and New Millennium Club, says, “The move of the MC is totally uncalled for and unjustified. The colonies of Urban Estate and Dugri were transferred by PUDA to the MC for maintenance almost two years ago and now suddenly the civic body has woken up and hefty bills have been sent to all residents.” He observed that for majority of the residents, it was difficult to pay such a heavy amount in one go.

Residents of the localities said earlier when the area was under the administrative control of PUDA they were charged Rs 70 per month for sewerage and water-supply facility, whereas now they were made to pay Rs 100 for the same. The bills were sent by PUDA on quarterly basis, which were quite convenient for people to pay. The residents were also sore over the shifting of the place of payment of bills from Dugri to MC Zonal Office in Sarabha Nagar, which, according to them would create problems for senior citizens and women.

Mr Kreer said a meeting of the area residents had urged the MC to allow the payment of the bills in easy instalments, that too without any interest. The residents wanted that in future bills be regularly sent on the quarterly basis and the facility of making payment in at the Dugri locality should also be restored.

Inquiries made by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that the data on water supply and sewerage bills was transferred by the PUDA authorities to the MC only a few months ago, which caused the delay in the preparation and despatch of bills to residents in Urban Estate.

A senior MC official said PUDA was providing metered water supply in its colonies and the monthly charges might be a little less than what was being charged by the MC on flat rates. “Once the PUDA colonies have come under the MC control, the residents will have to pay for civic services on the prevalent rates and residents in these colonies cannot be treated differently,” the civic official maintained.



Mystery shrouds MC employee’s death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
Mystery shrouds the death of a class IV employee of the local municipal corporation who died at hospital after complaining of chest pain today morning.
Ashok Kumar (30), and resident of Chowni Mohallah had three children, including a three-day-old daughter. His family accuses a relative of the death. They alleged that Ashok was given a glass of juice by a relative in the morning and his condition deteriorated after that.

The police said they were awaiting the post-mortem examination report for getting a clue about the cause of the death. The police is learnt to have rounded up two relatives of the deceased and they were being questioned.

The police said it had not reached any conclusion regarding the case so far. His relatives had told the police that Ashok Kumar had a quarrel with one of his brothers-in-law late last evening. The relative owed him some money.

The sources said Ashok Kumar was upset after the argument and remained depressed this morning also. A relative close to his brother-in-law came and took him out for drinking juice. 



Results upset punters
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
The unpredictable results in the World Cup cricket matches have shocked hundreds of punters. The last match between Kenya and Sri Lanka, which the former won, is learnt to have made the punters bite the dust.

It was one of the worst upsets, revealed a punter, pointing out that like him others lost lakhs as they had put all their stakes for Sri Lanka. The match had opened up with Sri Lanka as favorites and Kenya placed far behind the Sri Lankans.

The punters usually do not take risks and place bets on the teams that have better prospects. Most of them had placed their bets on Sri Lanka although the returns offered were very low. The match opened at 1:1.30 for a Sri Lankan victory, making it a safe bet.

At no stage, except for the last moments, was Kenya the favorite. And the punters kept placing their bets on the Lankans as the Kenyans had not scored much. With the Kenyan score only 210, it appeared to be a cake walk for the Lankans with a reasonably strong batting line-up and a weak bowling attack from the Kenyans.

But the turnaround by spinner Collins Obuya left the Lankans gasping for breath. The punters were also taken aback. “Nobody could imagine the Kenyans to win as the Lankans had already scored 70 runs and lost only two wickets”, said a punter.

Sources in the betting circles said this was one of the rarest matches they had seen. A punter said anyone who would have placed his stakes for the Kenyans might be rich by millions. The returns for Kenyan win were at one stage 20 times more as the prospects of their victory were negligible. The sources said the punters had started playing cautiously now but not without losing much money.




The World Cup fever has reached the highest pitch. Several cinema hall owners and hotel owners have made special arrangements to show the matches. Hotel owners have taken the lead by offering discounts on delicacies. The discount increase according to wickets taken or runs scored in the match, especially if it involves India. These hotel owners have also dressed their waiters in Indian team colours. The waiters have adorned the blue dress identical to the Indian cricket team but the owners have chosen not to wear the dresses. They claim to create a cricket ambience in the hotels to go by the popular mood. Ironically, the teams dress worn so proudly by the national team players after years of toil has been easily worn by the waiters.

Bad precedence

Mobile phone sets may be becoming cheaper and commonplace but they definitely remain a status symbol. The new and fancy mobile phone sets that have flooded the market have only added to the people’s craze for the instrument. So much so that now people have started demanding the latest and costly models in dowry. A marriage palace owner has revealed that this marriage season mobile sets were in great demand as dowry item. Recently, ugly scenes were created at one such marriage party when the bridegroom refused to take a mobile phone saying it was outdated. The bride’s family said the model was released two weeks ago only. The groom said one of his juniors had a same model and he wanted a new one. The bride’s family had to succumb to the demand even in this anti-dowry age.

Slip of tongue?

Players and their associations rarely see eye to eye on how the sports should be developed or run. The office-bearers of the association are often criticised by the players and vice-versa. Much to the embarrassment of office-bearers of a sports body and glee of the audience, a former national level sportsman, who was compering a sports function, kept referring to the officials as ‘office-barriers’ instead of office bearers. Was it deliberate or slip of tongue ? But one thing was certain that many in the audience felt that office-bearers sometimes are ‘office-barriers’.

Pleasant surprise

The piano concert organised recently by the Ludhiana Sanskritik Samagam, an organisation committed to bring various forms of performing art for Ludhianvis, gave the audience a pleasant surprise. It was when Brian Silas, noted pianist, invited the Director of Hero Cycles group, Mr Sunil Kant Munjal, also the brain behind LSS, to sing along with him. Mr Munjal accepted the offer readily and sang an old song saamne yeh kaun aaya dil mein hui hulchal, on the tunes of Silas. It was definitely a welcome gesture by Ludhianvis.

Cop given the slip

Ludhiana traffic police may have stepped up the drive to challan two-wheeler drivers without headgear but its immobility due to the lack of a proper equipment needed to nab the violators helps many of them slip right from the clutches of cops. One such incident when a youth gave the police a slip was witnessed near the railway crossing near Model Town the other day. A youth was driving a scooter without wearing a helmet and he was stopped by two cops posted at the crossing. Seeing the cops stopping him the youth, in a fraction of a second, turned his scooter and fled by speeding it up. The pot-bellied cop despite his best efforts to catch hold of him could not do anything but to invite the laughter of passersby.

March past

Remember your school days when your P.T. teacher used to hit on your knuckles for not stretching the arms or for not moving the steps while participating in a marchpast? Those who really had bad times while rehearsing again and again for presenting a perfect show at the annual day or other functions would have wondered at the marchpast by the students of Khalsa College for Women in a function held in the college recently, when it hardly subscribed to the marchpast. Not even two girls in a line were in synchronisation with the other and their arms were left so loose that it was an apology for a marchpast.

Dirty toilets

Guru Nanak Bhavan hosts most elaborate cultural shows. Renowned artists come to perform from all over the country. During the interval when the ladies visit toilets , the stench arising out from the toilets makes the visitors almost throw up. Every one has to cover one’s nose. Moreover, taps are leaking so much that the floors are all wet and there is always a danger of someone with heels slipping. Could the Administration do something to make the toilets more user-friendly?

Depressed parents

These days the most common topic of discussion among the young couples is whether their child has been admitted to a school in particular. Those parents whose children have been admitted to that school are thrilled and feel elated whilst those parents whose children have not been admitted are depressed and feeling quite low. These days the parents are trying to look up all those people who they feel would be helpful in getting their ward admitted to that school. There is no rest, no joy and no peace for these parents. Some parents feel that now that their child has not been admitted to the school, how would they face friends in their circle?

Over-anxious parents

Now that the board examinations are approaching, students as well as their parents are under a lot of stress. As the competition is cut throat the parents want their wards to do extremely well and they often nag their children to study more and yet more. But too much stress is not good and parents should help their children to take plenty of exercise, persuade them to have at least eight hours of sleep and offer them a balanced diet. Their morale ought to be built up by encouragement and optimistic words. Comparisons are odious, so a child should not be compared with others in terms of studies or anything else.


An old man visited the business section of a newspaper office for inserting an ad. Reaching the person concerned he quipped, ‘‘mein apni ladki da testimonial dena hai ji’’. The person across the table took a few seconds to understand that he wanted to insert a matrimonial in the newspaper.

— Sentinel



23 candidates for Payal Nagar Council poll
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 25
Of the 50 candidates who filed their nomination papers for the Payal Nagar Council poll, scheduled to be held on March 2, a total of 23 candidates are left in the fray.
While eight candidates are from the SAD, three BSP candidates have entered into an alliance with the SAD. The Congress is fighting on a total of 11 seats.

The list of candidates according to their wards is: Ward No 1 — Battu Ram (SAD) and Kewal Singh (Congress); Ward No 2 — Rajinder Pal Kaur (SAD) and Gurmit Kaur (Congress); Ward No 3 — Bhag Singh (BSP) and Nirmal Singh (Congress); Ward No 4 — Hardev Singh (SAD) and Harbans Singh (Congress); Ward No 5 — Manjit Kaur (SAD) and Anju Bala (Congress); Ward No 6 — Satish Kumar Soni (Congress) and Shankar Dass (BSP); Ward No 7 — Nachattar Singh (SAD), Darshan Kumar (Independent) and Mohan Singh (Congress); Ward No 8 — Amandeep Kaur (SAD) and Harjit Kaur (Congress); Ward No 9 — Malkit Singh (Congress) and Pritam Singh (SAD); Ward No 10 — Mehanga Singh (SAD) and Shiv Kumar Soni (Congress); Ward No 11 — Gurdev Kaur (BSP) and Kulwant Kaur (Congress).



Drive to identify reasons for traffic congestion 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
The local traffic police has launched a drive to identify bottlenecks that lead to congestion on roads. A team of traffic police officials, led by the SP (traffic), Mr Gurdial Singh, supervised the operation of traffic at various points.

Mr Gurdial Singh said the traffic police had launched a campaign to ensure the smooth flow of traffic in the city. He said the bottlenecks were being identified and wherever any remedial measures were needed, these would be taken immediately. He pointed out that there were several long and short term measures that needed to be taken to ensure the smooth flow of traffic.

Seeking cooperation from the public, he urged the shopkeepers to not allow the parking of vehicles on roads. He said wrong and unauthorised parking was one of the main problems that lead to traffic jams.

The team today visited several places, including the Domorian bridge and Sabzi Mandi areas. He pointed out that the traffic on the roads had risen manifold while the road length had almost remained the same. "The solution has to be found from the existing resources only, which we are trying to explore and exploit", he said.

He further maintained that there were not many traffic jams in the city. Except for in congested places like Clock Tower or the Domorian Bridge, most of the traffic moved smoothly.

Moreover, he pointed out, the pressure was limited to peak hours in the morning and evening . He said after the completion of flyovers, the jams would be a thing of past in Ludhiana.



PSERC listens to consumers’ issues
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 25
The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) today listened to various issues raised by consumers at a well-attended meeting in the local Bachat Bhavan.

This is a part of the public meetings to be held across the state before the proposed hike in power tariff for 2003-2004 and deliberations on the review petition for 2002-2003. The second meeting will be held in Amritsar on February 27 at 11 a.m. at Bachat Bhavan on Ranjit Avenue.

Mr R.S. Mann, chairman of the commission, presided over the meeting which was attended by Mr L.S. Deol and Mr S.K. Sharma, members, besides the member-secretary, Ms Anjana Dayalan. Also present were Mr H.C. Sood, Chief Engineer (Commercial), Patiala, Mr J.N. Sachdeva, Chief Engineer, Central Zone, Ludhiana, besides Mr P.D. Sharma of the Apex Chamber of Commerce, Mr Rattanpal Bhatia of the Indian Induction Furnace Association, Mandi Gobindgarh, Mr J.S. Birdi of the Cycle Trade Union, Mr R.L. Mahajan of the Consumers Group, besides a large number of political leaders.

While refusing to comment on the percentage of hike to be recommended by the commission, sources said this would be decided only after giving all categories an opportunity to put forth their views. A cross-section of consumers would be heard since it was a major issue and objections had been pouring in from all over the state, the sources revealed.

Most of the objections pertained to the functioning of the board and the huge transmission and distribution costs. Many said besides curbing distribution and transmission losses, severe austerity measures and a revamp of the board alone could help PSEB be in profit, he added.



Kalpana Chawla awards instituted
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 25
The Shivratri Mahotsav Committee has instituted the Kalpana Chawla awards in the memory of India-born American astronaut Kalpana Chawla, who recently died in the Columbia crash. These awards will be given annually on the occasion of Maha Shivratri to persons who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields.

According to Mr Sunil Mehra, president of the committee, Mr Vijay Kumar Chopra, Editor, Punjab Kesri Group of newspapers, Choudhry Satya Parkash, first city Mayor, Mr S.K. Sharma, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Mr Jagdish Bajaj, Mr Jagmohan Gupta, Mr Ram Kumar Jain, Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, president of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, and Mr Amrit Lal Jain, president of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, will be the recipients of the first edition of the awards.

The awards will be presented on February 28 at the Ram Lila grounds, Daresi, here on the occasion of ‘shobha yatra’ to be taken on the eve of Shivratri.

Meanwhile, the committee has chalked out an elaborate programme to take out the shobha yatra. Mr S.K. Sharma, MC Commissioner, will inaugurate the function, Mr Vijay Kumar Chopra of the Punjab Kesri Group will light the flame while a former city Mayor, Choudhry Sat Parkash, a former Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Mr Sat Pal Gosain, Mr Phul Chand Jain and Dr Shiv Kumar will be the distinguished guests.



Suicide by youth

Ludhiana, February 25
A youth in Kirpal Nagar allegedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance at his residence here last night. He was rushed to a local hospital, but could not be saved.

The deceased has been identified as Vishal. The police said the youth did not leave any suicide note. TNS


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