Monday, March 31, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


High-intensity winds wreck havoc in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
High-intensity winds, moving at speeds of over 100 miles per hour, accompanied by heavy downpour, lashed the city and surrounding areas in the morning today.
Some structures, trees, signboards and rain shelters were uprooted in the storm that lasted for about half an hour. The winds reportedly caused extensive damage to the standing wheat crop.

While the morning started on an overcast note, dense clouds engulfed the city and as the day progressed sporadic drizzle was witnessed. It started to rain heavily with massive downpour around 10.30 am. Roads and streets were inundated at several places and people rushed for cover.

The storm reportedly caused a lot of damage to the standing crop. While no official was available for exact details, according to estimates, the loss is said to be worth crores of rupees. It is for the second time that the crop has been dislodged by strong winds at a time when it was about to be harvested.

Several billboards put up by the Punjab Government with the pictures of the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, were also uprooted in the storm. The traffic was blocked at several places, as billboards and trees fell across the road. The corporation and traffic officials had a hectic time clearing the roads and restoring the smooth passage of traffic.

The rain also brought down the day temperature that had started to rise during the past few days. Although the rain stopped within half an hour, the sky remained overcast throughout the day. At one time the clouds were so dense that people had to switch on the headlights of their vehicles.

In the Gurdev Nagar area, the wall of a building under construction reportedly collapsed. However, no loss of life was reported from there. The wall apparently collapsed due to high-intensity winds.



Filthy face of a posh market
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Shopkeepers and restaurant owners of the posh Sarabha Nagar-A market have converted a public road on the rear of the market into a filthy place, with garbage and filth littered all over it.

Furthermore, encroachments on the road have made the lives of the people living in more than 30 flats in the market miserable. The market consists of both shops and flats. The road provides the only access to the houses of the residents.

But encroachments have forced the residents to virtually struggle to reach their houses. Car owners are the worst affected as the road has shrunk to such an extent that even a two-wheeler cannot be driven easily through the heaps of garbage, waste material and construction debris.

Residents say they have approached the local MC, Health officials and police department to get the encroachments removed but to no avail. Encroachment teams have been sent on some occasions but they have done only half the job. The encroachments that are removed spring up again after every few days.

A visit to the place reveals a picture of neglect. While debris from the construction blocks chokes almost two-thirds of the path, garbage from hotels and restaurants litters whole of the road.

“Besides emanating foul smell, the waste generates germs and is a breeding ground for flies”, says a resident. Residents also fear the danger of spread of diseases. Furthermore, some restaurant owners have illegally dug up pits on the road itself. These pits have been covered with pieces of plywood. The risk of an accident or somebody falling into a pit constantly lurks in the minds of the residents.

Residents say the road is used regularly by schoolchildren. Last week a child had a providential escape when he almost fell into a pit, they added.

An elderly resident, on the request of anonymity, said they had requested shopkeepers and restaurant owners several times but to no avail. He said the residents had to spend a lot of money on the upkeep of their vehicles, as these had to be parked in the open.

He said it was shocking that the restaurants were dumping waste and garbage in their backyards and putting the customers’ health at risk.



Mushaira on Sahir Ludhianvi’s 82nd anniversary
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
The 31st all-India mushaira was held today to celebrate the 82nd birth anniversary of Sahir Ludhianvi. Panday Auditorium of the Nehru Sidhant Kendra was jam packed, with hundreds of people coming to listen to eminent poets who had come from different parts of the country.

Although Nida Fazili could not make it, yet there were others like Mauj Rampuri, Rahi Shahabi, Sohail Lucknavi, Hena Temoori and many others, who enthralled the audience with their poems and ghazals. Some of them like Tufail Chaturvedi and Annad Dehlvi were quite entertaining.

While Sohail Lucknavi set the tone for the evening as he was the first to start the mushaira, young Annad Dehlvi brought the evening alive with her choicest couplets in her melodious voice. Mauj Rampuri added wit and humour to the mushaira. He straightway took on the chairman of the Hero Cycles, Mr OP Munjal, who is himself fond of poetry. Addressing Mr Munjal, Mauj Rampuri said, ‘Akele mein woh itrata hai apne zore bazoo par, maggar main samne aaoon to rasta chhod jate hain’.

Anna Dehlvi was equally witty. Addressing the elderly, she said, they (the elderly people) did not like themselves to be called like that. So she coined her own term ‘bootpurv naujawan’ (former youth). She recited some beautiful compositions,‘Yeh pyar bara lehja dilgir na bann jaye, kehte kehte ghazal mujh par, woh Mir na bann jaye’.

Sohail Lucknavi recited a few moving couplets like, ‘Jab ki gaddaar wafadar kaha jayega, jab na haqdar ko haqdar kaha jayega, phir bahayega lahoo kaun watan par, jab wafadar ko gaddaar kaha jayega’.

There were other poets, including Rahat Indori, Popular Meeruti, Moin Shadab, Shakeel Jamili, Gulzar Amrit, who had come from London, and Nasim Nikhat, Yasmin Mehak and Ekta Shabnam.

Earlier, welcoming the guests, Dr Kewal Dheer, general secretary of the Adeeb International and convener of the mushaira, welcomed the poets.



Two brothers hurt in brawl
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Two brothers were injured in a brawl over the issue of parking a car at a car bazar in Gian Singh Rarawala market, near Preet Palace, here today. The police has registered a case against seven persons.

The injured persons, car dealers Gagandeep Singh ‘Sonu’ and Gunwant Bir Singh, alleged they were attacked by another car dealer and his men.

According to Mr Gagandeep Singh, the car dealers had unanimously earmarked space for the parking of cars. He said when he went to the market in the morning, he found cars of another car dealer parked in the space earmarked for his vehicles.

Gagandeep Singh alleged when he asked him to remove the vehicles, he was attacked and beaten. His brother was also assaulted.

Both are undergoing treatment at a private hospital. The police said a case had been registered against the other car dealer and his men and further investigations were on.



Doraha MC poll: 34 candidates left in the fray
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 30
As many as 34 candidates are contesting the Doraha Municipal Council poll to be held in 13 wards of the town on April 5.
Out of a total of 67 candidates, after 33 withdrew, 34 candidates have been left in the fray.

The ward-wise list of the candidates is as fellows.

Ward No. 1 — Ajit Kaur, Sheela

Ward No. 2 — Raj Devi, alias Rajdeep Kaur, Navjeet Singh, Gurmit Singh, Phool Chand, Darshan Kumar.

Ward No. 3 — Rakesh Kumar, Kuljit Singh, Adarsh Pal Bector.

Ward No. 4 — Priya Sharma, Raj Dulari.

Ward No. 5 — Sham Sunder, Raj Vir Singh, Karamvir Singh, Jasminder Singh.

Ward No. 6 — Balwant Singh, KiranBala, Jaspreet Kaur.

Ward No. 7 — Rajinder Kaur, Harnam Kaur.

Ward No. 8 — Vinod Kumar, Surinder Pal Sood.

Ward No. 9 — Gurwinder Singh, Gurnam Singh

Ward No. 10 — Gurcharan Kaur, Raj Rani

Ward No. 11 — Inderjit Singh, Bant Singh

Ward No. 12 — Jagroop Singh, Sardara Singh

Ward No. 13 — Gurmit Kaur, Harwinder Kaur, Jagbir Singh

The Congress is contesting elections in all 13 wards and the SAD in 11 wards. According to Mr Jagjitwan Pal Singh Gill, an Akali activist, ‘‘We shall be supporting Raj Dulari from Ward No 4. Her election symbol is cycle .’’

He also demanded the help of the administration, the police and the Election Commission for a free and fair election. He said,‘‘In the case of free and fair elections, we are sure to be the winners,’’ he added.



Local girl starts expedition against war
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
Upset over the war on Iraq by the USA and its allies, Supam Sandhu, a local schoolgirl, has started a bicycle expedition till the Wagah border to spread the message of peace.

Supam, a student of KVM School, has also sent a memorandum to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to impress upon US President George W. Bush to stop the war against the innocent people of Iraq.

She has also written to Pakistan President Parvez Musharraf, urging him to stop terrorism in the region and take measures to ensure peace.

“War brings devastation. And it is children and women who have to suffer the consequences throughout their lives. The responsibility of saving the lives of the people from disasters is on all us. Someone had to make a beginning and I decided to do so, ” she said.

Supam is a resident of Ranjodh Park in Haibowal. Her father Sukhjit Singh Sandhu said she would travel alone and cover 400 km on her bicycle. He said he had given his permission, seeing Supam's concern over the war and her ambition of bringing peace in the region. He said he did not see any problem in her travelling alone.

Supam, in her letter to General Musharraf, appealed to him to take steps to check cross-border terrorism. Condemning the massacre of Kashmiri Pandits in the valley, she said she was pained to see the sufferings of the people there.

The girl was flagged off by her parents, relatives, teachers and members of the Lions Club. Mr Dilbagh Singh Dhindsa, a senior officer with the Food and Supplies Department, performed the flagging-off ceremony.



World Cup turns fans into patients
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 30
A large number of cricket fans are suffering from withdrawal symptoms. According to a city-based psychiatrist, Dr Rajeev Gupta, ‘‘The brain responds to a psychological stimulus (cricket), or chemically induced stimulus like drugs in a similar manner. During this period, the brain produces a chemical which produces an ‘excitement state’ heightening the consciousness that leads to enormous happiness. When this stimulus, whether psychological or drug induced, is removed, a person goes into a phase of depression.’’

This was what was happening to the cricket fans, said Dr Gupta. The people were not only bothered with Indian team winning the cup but they identified themselves with the winners. Loss of stimulus made people depressed.

Actually both print and electronic media had created such a hype plus the World Cup offered a lot of excitement with great prize money offered by many consumer products and SMS contests on every channel that the people were hooked to the World Cup like drugs.

‘‘With the end of World Cup I feel quite listless. For last 45 days, the life was so full of excitement, and now everything appears flat. I had kept many important chores on hold as my attention was riveted to World Cup. Now I have the time, but no inclination to do the pending jobs,’’ says Inderjit Singh, a cricket buff morosely.

Courtesy Ms Mandira Bedi and due to the media hype, 49 per cent viewership of the World Cup had been of the women. It was not only the urban women who were suffering from despondency but rural women also. While mulching the cows, or shredding the fodder, the women had a transistor on and every time a boundary or a sixer was hit, they exulted in it.

‘‘The World Cup drove away the monotony of life. Now there is a lot of emptiness. Life seems very dull. We were busy in several SMs contests and now nothing,’’ said Mr I P Singh, a lawyer by profession.

The World Cup matches had therapeutic value as well as patients in the wards forgot their pain while viewing the matches, claimed Dr Kirpal Singh. 



‘Free coop societies from Markfed’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
The Cooperative Societies Employees Union has urged the Punjab Government to free societies from the control of Markfed.
At a meeting held at Chhatar Singh Park here yesterday, members said this was one of their long-pending demands which had caused huge losses to farmers on account of highly-priced fertilisers.

The new body of the union was also elected on the occasion. Mr Gurmel Singh Bharowal, a former president of the state unit, was elected to the state committee which in turn will elect the new state executive.

Elaborating on the problems faced by the cooperative outlets, he said 18 lakh tonnes of fertiliser was sold in Punjab out of which a major part was sold through cooprative outlets. He said there were 4, 000 outlets which used to supply more than 70 per cent of fertilisers to farmers across the state till 1998. The then Akali government suddenly decided to bring the societies under the control of Markfed which entered into agreement with certain private parties and supplied fertilisers which were costlier than in the open market.

Due to this the market share of the societies had come down to just 40 per cent now a days. While fertiliser was available for Rs 450 - 455 per quintal in the open market, it was supplied through their outlets for more than Rs 490 per quintal, he pointed out.

The union had been on the warpath for the past five years and had raised this issue with the government but to no avail. We finally approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court which in January directed the government to decide the issue within 42 days. Although - 74 days have passed after the court order, no decision had been taken in this context, he said.



Marriage of three girls solemnised
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 30
The Maa Bhagwati Club, Ludhiana, today organised the marriage of three poor girls at Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara, Deepnagar, Civil Lines, here under the supervision of Head Granthi Harmeet Singh.

Pardeep Handa, Randhir Sharma, Jagmohan Chopra, Bimal Chhabra, Yashpal Narang, Manjit Kumar, Sukhdev Thapar, Rakesh Kalra, Tarsem Jodhan, Surinder Gill, Ram Yashpal, Piyara Agarwal and Inderjit Kapoor and Bakshi blessed the newly wedded couples.

On the occasion, Avinash Sikka, Dimpi Makar, Manju Sikka, Davinder Kumar, Hanny Sikka, Harish Goel, Rajesh Kumar, Anu Sikka, Vinay Dhir, Shard Sharma, Jagmohan Kumar, Ramesh Banti, Amit Gupta, Narinder Kumar, Raj Kumar Sharma and Ramesh Kumar welcomed the guests on the behalf of the club and presented items like beds, boxes, sewing machines, table fans, watches, silver jewellery, clothes, water coolers, steel utensils, cotton quilts and towels to the couples.



Traders flay Pandits’ massacre
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 30
The Traders and Property Dealers Association, Feroze Gandhi Market, here has condemned the massacre of 24 innocent Kashmiri Pandits, including women and children. In a press note issued here on Sunday, Mr K.S. Monga, general secretary, and Mr S.S. Ghuman, president of the association, expressed their sympathy with the victimised families who should face such onslaught with fortitude and courage.

The association also urged upon the Centre and state governments to provide adequate security to the minorities to safeguard their life and property and deal with the terrorists with an iron hand. 



Bandh today

Ludhiana, March 30
With the Government of India unlikely to withdraw its decision on VAT and central excise, traders and small-scale industrialists have decided to go ahead with a 48-hour nationwide bandh, starting from tomorrow.

All organisations, representing the traders and the small-scale industrialists, are supporting the bandh. The business activity in the city is likely to come to a standstill during the bandh. TNS



Man booked for eve-teasing
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, March 30
The Sahnewal police on Friday booked an eve-teaser on the complaint of Manjit Kaur, daughter of Piara Singh of Amarpura, Ludhiana.
According to the complainant, Amarjit Singh Garcha had been abusing and teasing the complainant in the open for some time.

Liquor seized: Hawaldar Charanjit Singh of Sahnewal police station seized six bottles of illicit liquor from Jagir Singh of Chandran at Mangarh, on Friday.

A case under the Excise Act has been registered.

Cash snatched: A sum of Rs 1,000 was allegedly snatched from a worker of a wine shop at Soodanwala village, near here.

Ram Bali, a worker at the wine shop, alleged that Mohan Singh and Bachitri of Kanech and Rajpal of Sahnewal came to him and asked for a bottle of wine. He was about to give them the bottle when they threw chilly powder in his eyes and fled with the cash from his safe.

While Mohan Singh has been arrested and sent to jail, Bachitri and Rajpal are at large.

A case under Section 382 of the IPC has been registered. Scooterist injured: A man was injured when the scooter he was riding on hit a pig on Doraha-Nelon Road on Friday.

Hakam Singh was taken to Sidhu Hospital from where he was referred to the DMC Hospital.


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