Thursday, July 31, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Courses scrapped for want of teacher 
Deepkamal Kaur

Ludhiana, July 30
Inadequate staff coupled with paucity of funds is forcing many senior secondary schools of the district to scrap the vocational courses being offered to the Plus One and Two students.

As many as 26 posts of teachers, imparting training in different fields, including stenography, automobile servicing, agro-services, commercial arts, computer sciences, knitting technology, commercial garment making, radio and TV repair, food preservation and horticulture, are lying vacant. While many teachers of these courses have retired, others have been transferred to different districts of the state.

While in Government Multi-purpose Senior Secondary School, Cinema Road, against the two sanctioned posts only one teacher was taking the stenography class for the past two years. A single teacher was taking over 40 lectures per week for the students of Plus One and Two. But now this teacher, too , has retired and the circumstances have forced the students to stop studying the course.

Similarly, due to the retirement of the automobile servicing course teacher at Government Senior Secondary School, Kila Raipur, the course had to be scrapped. While school teachers said they had urged the Deputy Director of Vocational Training, Chandigarh, to fill the seats , nothing had been done for students who had opted for the course. Also the posts of vocational education teachers for various courses were lying vacant at Government Senior Secondary Schools at Khanna (girls’) and Kaonke Kalan.

However, about eight years ago these courses were approved at schools in Karamsar, Jagraon (girls’), Raoni and Siar villages, but not even a single teacher has been appointed to take the classes. The schools had been given equipment for running various courses and students had also been enrolled. Since the state government did not pay heed to fill the required posts , the courses had to be scrapped. The equipment had to be sent out to other working schools.

Besides, none of the schools here have received any grant for purchasing the raw materials or for repairing the existing infrastructure. Teachers have been bringing the raw materials like paints, yarn, scrap iron and saplings required for different trades to the school for the past three years so as to continue the courses on their own.

Students of Doraha had been demanding that the course in furniture making should be started at the earliest. Similarly, the local students had asked for a course in dyeing techniques. The course is being offered in Balachaur, Kapurthala and Amargarh.

To complete its target of imparting vocational training in 100 schools of the state, the Central Government had recently sent a proposal to the state government to select five more schools in Ludhiana for the purpose. The Education Department here had sent the proposal for schools in Haibowal, Mansuran, Sahnewal (girls’) and Lalton. The authorities of the five schools seem to be quite pessimistic about the courses that are yet to be started.



Rain leaves a trail of woes 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 30
Sharp showers that lashed the city late last evening left several areas inundated, exposing the inadequate readiness of the civic authorities to deal with the situation.

Low-lying areas as well as the posh localities in the city were ‘flooded’ with rainwater. The posh Sarabha Nagar area and the Malhar Road were under ankle-deep water. Several scooterists were seen waiting for the water to get drained before deciding to move on.

In other areas like Shakti Nagar, Green Park, Kitchlu Nagar, Ashok Nagar, Ghanta Ghar, Main Road, Lakkar Bazar Chowk, Janakpuri Main Road, near Partap Chowk, Sunder Nagar, New Madhopuri, Basti Jodhewal and New Subhash Nagar rainwater had collected causing inconvenience to residents and commuters.

Mr Sarabjit Singh, a resident of Shakti Nagar, said the area got waterlogged even after brief showers. He added that the level of water was so much on Tuesday that it was near impossible to wade through it. Several times the children had to miss schools due to the rainwater collected in the streets, he said.

In some areas the water even entered the houses as the sewerage went awry. Residents complained that everytime during the rainy season their houses were filled with sewer water. They alleged that their repeated complaints had led no effect on the authorities.



Pace of work in LIT painfully slow
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 30
Mr Devinder Singh, a 36-year-old man, was 15 when a plot was purchased in his name by his father in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar under an Improvement Trust’s scheme. While all these years have passed, he is yet to get a registry in his name, thanks to the slow pace of work in the trust. To cap it all, he has been levied non-construction charges by the trust.

A resident of Delhi, Mr Devinder Singh has visited the LIT office in Feroze Gandhi Nagar at least a hundred times and filled the job form everytime. Every time he is told to refill it, which is cited to be the reason for the delay in his work. His case is an epitome of the way things move in the LIT.

‘‘I hope I will get the plot registered in my name till I retire and I will finally have a house at that time,’’ says Devinder Singh in a satirical tone. ‘‘I don’t even remember the number of times I have filled the job form. It was way back in 1982 when the plot was purchased by my father. I completed all the formalities and the sale agreement is already in my name. But the plot is yet to be registered in my name.’’ he added.

He is one of the persons who is visiting the LIT office for the last many years. He was in the city today to meet the Chairman, Mr Ashok Garcha, who has vowed to take corruption head-on. There are hundreds of such persons, whose cases are pending in the LIT. The other day Ms Gurdial Kaur Khangura, a newly appointed trustee of the trust, had convened a press conference to present at least 200 such cases.

‘‘After reading in newspapers that the new chairman has announced that there would be no corruption in the trust anymore, I came to meet him after taking an off from my private job in Delhi. I met him and told him the entire story. He sounded interested in my work. I hope it would be done now,’’ said Mr Devinder Singh.

Similar is the tale of woes of Mr Jagraj Singh Gill, a resident of Manuke village, who had purchased a plot in Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar and has completed all the instalments and other formalities in March, 2002, but is yet to get the registry in his name. An angry Jagraj Singh said, ‘‘They have levied Rs 25,000 as non-construction charges on me despite the fact that the registry is not in my same. I would start construction only if the plot is in my name. Then what is the idea of putting a fine on me? This is their condition.’’

He added that his design has already been approved but the plot is not in his name. ‘‘Everytime I come here they ask me to fill the job form, and tell me to go back until they call me over the phone. For the last more than one year, I am waiting for the call but I am yet to receive it.’’

Mr Ashok Singh Garcha, chairman of the trust, said that he was not responsible for the delay in the work during the last many years but was streamlining the work and the public will see the difference itself. He added that initially there were teething problems as he wanted to clear the pendency. It would take some more time till the work gets smoothened.

He further said that he had transferred some of his employees who were proving to be deadwood and not doing the work sincerely. The transfers were done in the office itself and the trouble makers were posted at less important places. He said that the staff in the sales section of the trust was also pulled up.



Adamant Oppn forces House adjournment
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 30
Opposition members of the Shiromani Akali Dal, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party today forced the adjournment of the general house of the municipal corporation after the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, refused to concede to their demand of calling the zero hour before any activity of the House.

After the House was convened for the scheduled agenda, which included the shifting of the statue of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha and awarding of contracts for trees plantation, opposition members led by Mr Parveen Bansal of the BJP, Mr Harbhajan Singh Dang of the Akali Dal and Mr Hans Raj of the Bahujan Samaj Party demanded that before any agenda items were brought up in the meeting, the Mayor should call the zero hour so that the councillors could raise urgent issues.

The Mayor tried to assure the councillors that the zero hour would be called and they would be given sufficient time after the agenda items were discussed and passed. However, the opposition councillors insisted for calling the zero hour before taking up any other business of the House.

As the councillors insisted on calling zero hour, the Mayor declared the House adjourned without conducting any business. The drama lasted for about half an hour. Later the Mayor said he would convene an allparty meeting before convening the general house once again so that order was maintained in the house. He assured the members that they would be given sufficient time to all their grievances.

Later opposition members, including Mr Praveen Bansal, Mr Harbhajan Singh Dang and Mr Hans Raj convened a press conference. They alleged that for the last one-and-half-years their grievances were not being heard. They said no developmental work had been carried out in their areas.

Referring to the issue of the alleged manhandling of a Congress councillor, Mr Satpal Puri, the Opposition councillors regretted that the Mayor had become a party to the dispute and was siding with Mr Puri. The councillors said they were prepared to cooperate with the government at every stage, provided their grievances were redressed on time.



Gastroenteritis tightens grip in city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 30
The gastroenteritis threat continues to haunt city residents as more and more affected people have been pouring into the various hospitals and private nursing homes in the city. As many as 43 fresh cases of gastroenteritis were reported yesterday by the health department. Thirty patients, suffering from the disease have been admitted to Dr B.L. Kapoor Memorial Hospital alone.

Dr A.S. Chawla, District Epidemiologist, said not a single area in the city was left from where the cases had not been reported. The patients from Chandan Nagar, Issa Nagri, Transport Nagar, Dhandari Kalan, Hira Nagar, Civil Lines, Hazoori Bagh, Janak Puri, Shivaji Nagar, Chauni Mohalla, Bharat Nagar Chowk and Vasant Vihar areas have come for treatment.

Dr Chawla said the two areas where the intensity of the disease was very high were Dhandari Kalan and Nanak Nagar. “The drinking water is getting mixed with sullage in sewer pipes and people were using hand-pumps in the two localities. But now, the Municipal Corporation is providing drinking water through water tankers to the area residents”, maintained Dr Ajit Chawla.

A survey by Ludhiana Tribune team in the affected areas revealed that almost every house had at least one or more family members, suffering from stomach ailments. One of the area residents, Mr Ashwani Kumar said, "We have been getting water which is yellowish in colour and it also emits foul smell. One of my daughters is suffering from diarrhoea but her condition is stable. We have started using boiled water”.

Maya Raj, a resident of the Nanak Nagar area said, “The tubewell from which we get water, has not been working for the past several days. We are getting the diverted water supply. Perhaps that water is unfit for drinking”.

The area residents blamed the area councillor and Municipal Corporation for the supply of contaminated water. They alleged that the officials had no time to spare and listen to their woes. The affected persons also regretted that despite their bringing the problem to the notice of the authorities concerned, nothing had been done. “Had the corporation authorities taken timely action, several people would have been saved”, maintained the residents.

The health officials claimed to have sent their health workers in all areas. “We can not do much in such circumstances. The masses have to be given knowledge on the preventive measures. The residents have been told to use ORS solution. Hundreds of water samples have been taken from the city in the past one month out of which 38 have found to be unfit. We have launched a cleanliness drive and have written to MC authorities for providing potable water to the residents”, said Dr Chawla.



Board ‘directors’  a disillusioned lot
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 30
The recently appointed directors and members of various boards and corporations seem to be a disillusioned lot as most of them are yet to receive appointment letters. Surprisingly, local officials of various departments, boards and corporations have not even acknowledged their appointment. These "directors" maintained that none of the officials even made a courtesy call to them.

One of the directors of a corporation claimed that he was not even aware as whether any department existed in that name and if there was any office in Ludhiana. He said: "Sometimes even I am not able to introduce myself as I am not able to remember the name of the corporation of which I have been appointed a director". He maintained that it would have been better had the government not appointed them as directors as everybody knew what these posts meant.

Another such director, who has been appointed in a better known corporation pointed out that the local officials of the department refused to acknowledge their directorship. He said he was yet to receive the appointment letter.

So was the case with many other persons who have been nominated as members and directors of various boards and corporations. They said had they got the appointment letters they could know as what they were entitled to do.

One of the directors pointed out that one of the MLAs had reportedly resigned from the chairmanship of a corporation after realising that there was nothing much in that appointment. The director claimed that most of the appointees were "too disillusioned" as they had started realising that there was not much to cherish about such appointments. He disclosed that many more directors might resign in protest since they were not getting the due respect they deserved.

He said the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh had done well on his part by nominating the party workers to boards and corporations as members and Directors. But these workers expected that their appointments should be respected and acknowledged. Otherwise it became very difficult for them to face even their workers. "What is the fun of my being a director of a corporation where I cannot help anyone including my own party colleagues ?", the director asked while pointing out towards the indifference they have been facing from the officials, who believed that "directors come and go while they themselves are there for good".



Servant loots house
Our Correspondent

Samrala, July 30
The servant of Mr Ram Murti Aggarwal, resident of Civil Lines, here, looted the house by making Mr Aggarwal’s family unconscious by mixing some poison in the dinner last night.

The Nepali servant, Vijay Bahadur, started serving the family just 20 days ago.

The servant took Mr Aggarwal and his wife to the local Civil Hospital when they felt uneasy and told the doctor that Mr Aggarwal had taken drinks and his wife is suffering from high blood pressure and brought both of them back to their house.

In the meantime, the poison made them unconscious and the servant along with his accomplices looted cash, golden ornaments and other valuables and ran away.

In a similar way, the servant of Mr S.S. Guron, senior advocate, also mixed some poison in the food of Mr Guron’s family but no untoward incident has happened thereafter.

Both servants were intimately known to each other.



Mandi board to spend 210 cr on road repair
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 30
The Punjab Mandi Board will spend Rs 210 crore on the repair and maintenance of roads in the state and a sum of Rs 80 crore has been earmarked for repairing link roads during the current financial year.

Besides this, an additional Rs 40 crore will also be spent to repair damaged roads till March, 2004 and Rs 25 crore on the development of mandis, says board chairman Sant Ram Singla.

He was addressing a felicitation function organised in his honour by commission agents at the grain market in Jagraon today.

Mr Singla said the developmental activities would be carried out in the state without any bias or political considerations.

The elected representatives need not worry on this aspect since the money would be spent on need basis and not to cater to the whims and fancies of any individual.

“I have directed the officials to ensure that the standard of the repairs is not compromised by using inferior quality material. In case of any irregularities, strict action will be taken,” he asserted.

Commenting on the problems being faced by the commission agents in the mandis, he said a meeting to discuss the issues would be convened in Chandigarh on August 4.

Similarly, separate meetings to discuss the problems being faced by the workers and the farmers in the mandis would be held at a later date. The meetings would be attended by the officers concerned so that the issues could be redressed at the spot.

The staff posted at various mandis and the board offices has been asked to be courteous to the visitors, he added.

Reacting to queries regarding corruption in the board, he said the cancer of corruption had eaten into the vitals of the country. He said in case of the board, all complaints would be probed and the guilty would be punished.

He appealed to the farmers and the agents to come forward with specific complaints so that reaction could be initiated.

He also said the party was poised to win all seats in the general elections in view of the various development works initiated and the anti-corruption drive.

Earlier, Mr Vijay Kumar, president of the commission agents association, welcomed the chairman and apprised him of the problems being faced by the area residents. 



Cable operators ‘cheating’ PSEB
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 30
Cable operators in the city are “cheating” the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) by furnishing false details about the use of electricity poles of the board for laying out cables. Cable operators use the poles and are supposed to pay a fixed amount to the PSEB for the same.

It is learnt that there are about four lakh cable connections managed by about 500 cable operators in the city. All the cables are spread through the electricity poles of the PSEB.

A delegation of the Shiv Sena (Bal Thackrey) recently met the Chief Engineer, PSEB, and raised the issue with him. The Shiv Sena has been alleging that the cable operators in connivance with some officials of the PSEB were giving quite low figures, while in reality there were more connections and more electricity poles were being used. There are said to be about one lakh electricity poles in Ludhiana city. About half of these are used by the cable operators to provide connections to the customers.

But in reality the cable operators reportedly pay quite a low revenue by not showing the actual use of the poles. This is allegedly done in connivance with PSEB officials. The Shiv Sena has been demanding a fresh survey of the electricity poles in the city to find out as to how many of these were being used by the cable operators. 



Missing boy found in Hazoor Sahib
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 30
Tanjot Singh, a class XI student of Sant Ishar Singh Public School, Rara Sahib near here, who had been missing since July 13, was found at Gurdwara Hazoor Sahib, Maharashtra, yesterday. Police parties sent in search of the boy are yet to return.

The news relieved the residents of Kalahar village, of the tension they had been facing since the disappearance of the boy on July 13, when he had left the house of a principal of Mr Jogmeet Singh, Government Senior Secondary School, Nathumajra, for his home but had not reached there.

Sources at Payal police station revealed that Tanjot Singh, son of Jaswinder Singh, resident Bilaspur village in Payal, was found performing seva at Gurdwara Hazoor Sahib by his maternal uncle yesterday. The boy had reportedly gone to stay at the house of his classmate Navjot, alias Navi, at Kalahar village. Though he had left for his home by bus on July 13, he did not reach his home after which his parents lodged a complaint at Payal police station. His father Jasvinder Singh had alleged that Navjot Singh and his father Jagmeet Singh had conspired to kidnap Tanjot. He had later accused the Payal police of not doing thorough investigation.

Referring to information received form a close relative of Tanjot, Mr Harbans Singh Riar, SHO Payal police station, said Tanjot was found at Gurdwara Hazoor Sahib in Maharashtra. Though he had boarded a private bus for his home in Bilaspur village, he went to Ludhiana.

He reached Ambala by bus but had to walk down to Pipli town, as he had no money left by then. Tanjot took lift in a van for his onward journey till the Delhi bypass. He stayed at Gurdwara Sheesh Ganj in Delhi for four days after which he left for Hazoor Sahib by train.



ISKCON Temple opens on Aug 12
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 30
The inauguration ceremony of Bhagwan Jagannath Temple, which is being built by the International Krishan Bhavnamrit Sangh ISKCON at Sterling Tower, Brindawan Road, will be held on August 12, according to a press release by the temple management here today.

The ISKCON spokespersons, Mr Rajesh Garg, and Mr Amit Garg, said that the inauguration will continue from August 10 to 12. Discourses, sankirtan and yagya would be performed on August 10 and 11 and the first darshan of Bhagwan Jagannath will be from 9 a.m. to 12 noon on July 12.

The devotees and acharyas from different centres of ISKCON are reaching Ludhiana.

Mr Mulakh Raj Saluja and Mr Pawan Sharma said the construction work was expected to be completed by July 31. The remaining work would go on after the inauguration ceremony.



Tenant not involved in burglary: police
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 30
Police investigations into the burglary incident in Urban Estate here two days ago has ruled out the involvement of a tenant in the incident.
The tenant, a mechanical engineer, was reported as missing by the family members for the past over a month. Due to his absence, the needle of suspicion was pointing towards him. However, police investigation has found that he was living with a relative in the city and was an upright man.

The police said the tenant was just careless for not informing the landlords about his whereabouts.



One held with 7 kg of poppy husk
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 30
The Civil Lines police arrested Ram Singh, a resident of a village falling under Adampur police station of Jallandhar district, from near the bus stand yesterday and seized 7 kg of poppy husk from his possession. The accused has been booked under Sections 15,61 and 85 of the NDPS Act.

Man kills daughter: The Division No 2 police registered a case under Section 307 of the IPC on a complaint of Mr Ashok Kumar, a resident of Prem Nagar, against his maternal uncle Saba. The complainant had alleged that his uncle had thrown his three and a half years old daughter into the canal on Sunday night. According to information, Saba had two daughters. While the elder daughter (8) was staying with him, the second daughter (3) was living with Saba’s sister. On Sunday, Saba went to his sister’s house and reportedly threw her in the canal. The body of the girl has not been found so far. No arrest has been made in this connection.

Worker dies: The Shimla Puri police has registered a case under section 304-A of the IPC on the statement of Ranjit Kumar, a migrant from Uttar Pradesh living in Dashmesh Nagar, against Satnam Singh, owner of Pahwa Engineers, where the complainant is employed as a helper. The complainant had alleged that a co-worker, named Dev Anand’s arm got cut while working on a machine in the engineering unit as a result of which he died on the spot.

Injured: The Division No. 8 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279 and 337 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Vijay Kumar, a resident of Pik Vihar, Kailash Chowk, against auto-driver Nirmal Singh. The complainant, also an auto-driver, had alleged that the accused rammed his auto rickshaw into his vehicle and ran away from the spot. The complainant was injured in the accident. No arrest has been made so far.

In another incident, the Model Town police has registered a case on a complaint of Mr Bhupinder Singh, a resident of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, against an unknown car driver (DL 10-G 4754). The complainant had alleged that when he was going on his scooter on July 20, the car driver had fled away after hitting him. The complainant was admitted to the Civil Hospital. No one has been arrested in this connection.

Man dies in accident: The Salem Tabri police yesterday registered a case under Sections 279,304-A and 427 of the IPC on a complaint of Mr Randhir Singh, a resident of Shamshan Ghat, Salem Tabri, against an unknown bus driver ( PB- 29-B 9509). Mr Randhir Singh had stated that the bus driver had hit an unknown person on the GT Road, who later succumbed to injuries at the Civil hospital.

Motor cycle recovered: The Shimla Puri police yesterday registered a case under Sections 379 and 411 of the IPC against Gurdev Singh and Bakshish Singh, residents of Kharar in Ropar district. The police said today that the accused were arrested at the Gill chowk on Wednesday and a motor-cycle (Pulsar) bearing registration No. HP- 15 4279 was recovered from their possession.

Cycle stolen: The Division No. 7 police, on a statement of Mr Maan Singh, a resident of Indra Colony on the Chandigarh Road, yesterday registered a case under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC against an accused who allegedly stole his bicycle from a security company’s office in Kishore Nagar between 5 pm and 7 pm on Tuesday. The alleged cycle thief also took away his important documents added the complainant. No arrest has been made so far.

Beaten: The Salem Tabri police yesterday registered a case under Sections 341,323,294,506 and 34 of the IPC on a statement of Mr. Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Lakshmi Puri in Salem Tabri, against Tilak Raj and Raj Kumar, residents of the same locality. The complainant had alleged that the accused came to his house on Wednesday night and beat him up and his wife. No arrest has been made so far.

Murder bid: The Division No. 1 police yesterday registered a case under Sections 307, 324, 148 and 149 of the IPC on a complaint of Mr Ashok Kumar, a resident of Ram Nagar near the Baba Thaan singh Chowk, against Pardeep Kumar, Harwinder Pal and Davinder Singh, residents of Chhawni Mohalla, Mintu and Nitin. The complainant had alleged that the accused came up to him in Chaura Bazar on Wednesday afternoon and attacked with the intention of killing him. But when he shouted for help they fled away after seriously injuring him. He has been admitted to DMC Hospital.

Forcible possession: The Focal Point police yesterday registered a case under Sections 448, 427, 506 and 34 of the IPC on the statement of Ms Prem Kaur, wife of Mr Manjit Singh, a resident of Urban Estate Phase-I, Focal Point, against Harpreet Singh and Harbhajan Singh. The complainant had alleged that the accused came to her shop and forcibly occupied it and also threatened her. 


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