L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Locomotive breaks wall, enters residential area
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 9
A diesel locomotive went out of control during a trial run on the premises of the railway engine shed here and barged into a railway residential colony near Manjit Nagar after breaking a wall. No one was injured.

The engine narrowly missed two houses and stopped midway on a busy road connecting the railway colony 7 with Manjit Nagar and Fauji Mohalla. This was the third such incident in the area. The first one took place in 1996 and the second one a few years ago.

It was a providential escape for a large number of children playing on the other side of the road, besides the passersby. Only a few minutes before the incident, a funeral procession passed through the road.

The incident took place at about 4 p.m. when the employees of the railway engine shed were examining the performance of diesel locomotive WDM 1-14027. The engine was on a trial run after some repair work.

During the trial run, the engine went out of control. The driver, who refused to divulge his identity, told Ludhiana Tribune that the brakes of the locomotive did not work. “Despite my best efforts, the engine did not stop,” he said, adding that fortunately, it stopped after breaking a wall, otherwise the damage could have been much more.

A railway official, who also refused to be identified, said the engine seemed to have gone out of control either because of the failure of the brakes or some other problem, including human error. A source revealed that the experts were checking the power and the speed of the engine. As per their routine, the engine was put on maximum speed, but it remained stationary. In this case, the engine started moving at a rapid pace.

The Railways would conducted a high-level inquiry into the accident. Official orders in this regard were yet to be issued. Sources said it would be quite a task for the railway authorities to retrieve the engine. It was stuck up about two feet under the road.

The accident attracted a huge crowd. Children of Railway Colony, Manjit Nagar, Fauji Mohalla, Abdullah Pour Basti and adjoining areas flocked the spot. The unusual scene of watching a locomotive on a road was quite interesting for the people.

The incident was the latest in the recent countrywide spurt in railway accidents. Sources informed that recently, an engine had derailed at the railway station, but railway officials managed to keep it a secret. Early last week, an engine went out of control at Jagraon and damaged a car.



Board, admn differ on pollution levels
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 9
The district administration and the Punjab Pollution Control Board have different equipments to measure the concentration of pollutants in the city if the data provided by both of them about the pollution level is any indication.

While the data revealed by the Punjab Pollution Control Board claims that the levels of pollutants like oxides of sulphur and nitrogen are just within the permissible limits, those provided by the district administration some time ago had stated that the level of pollutants was much beyond the alarming concentration. This despite the fact that the authorities concerned had not taken corrective measures in the past so that the level of pollutants could go down.

The former Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, had put an official stamp on Ludhiana being the most polluted city after Delhi in the northern region and had affirmed that the level of pollution, especially in air, had crossed danger marks. The Centre had also declared that Ludhiana figures among the 27 most polluted cities in the country.

Though Mr Aggarwal had told the Tribune that the suspended particulate matter (SPM) in the city was between 500 to 600 microgram while the permissible limit was only 120 microgram, the data provided by the Chairman of the Board, Rana K.P. Singh, claimed that the SPM was 277 microgram.

Similarly, the data of the presence of sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen was also not less alarming, as per the former Deputy Commissioner. Both the pollutants, as claimed by him, were more than 80 microgram, while other cities in the state did not have more than 10 to 12 micrograms of these pollutants. While the data by the Chairman claimed that these pollutants were 12 and 40 microgram, respectively.

The communique by the PPCB thus reads, “It is clear that only SPM is in excess and the chief source of excessive (SPM) is contributed by a large number of automobiles operating in the city and rice straw burning in the fields.”

Interestingly, the data by the board was claimed to be monitored in October this year when the city was under the thick cover of smog. This was due to the burning of paddy stubble by the farmers and bursting of fire-crackers during the festival season. Environment experts contest the claims of the board stating that October and November were the months when the concentration of SPM was the highest due to these reasons. They claim that it could not be less than 500 to 600 microgram.

Moreover, they argue that how was it possible that some time ago the levels had crossed the alarming proportions and now these had come down so fast although no measure to check the pollution had been undertaken.

“The amount of SPM is so high in the city that many people can fall prey to various bronchial diseases, including cancer. There is a very high level of soot, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide in the city, claim experts.



No dissidence in party, claims Hanspal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 9
State Congress President H.S. Hanspal today said there was no dissidence in the party and its legislative wing and said rumours in this regard were the outcome of some vested interests. He was talking to mediapersons here after participating in a function organised by the Namdhari sect to celebrate the birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev and Sat Guru Jagjeet Singh.

Stating that the talks of dissidence were only a figment of vested imagination, Mr Hanspal said the party was standing by the Punjab Chief Minister, who enjoyed full confidence from all sections of the party. The Chief Minister, he claimed, was a man with a vision, wisdom and a sense of modernity. He ruled out any possibility of a change in leadership in the state Congress legislature party after the Assembly elections in five states.

He said individual differences of opinion on certain issues were a natural phenomenon in any democratic party, but categorically stated that these had not given rise to any factionalism or dissidence.

‘‘Some vested interests were only blowing up such minor differences out of proportion in their attempt to tarnish the image of the Congress party,’’ he said.

He made it clear that Capt Amarinder Singh would remain the leader of the Congress legislative party for the full term of five years. Responding to a query in view of the outburst of Punjab Agriculture Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, he said all possible legal help was being provided to her.

The state Congress chief also defended the Chief Minister in the DGP controversy, saying the Chief Minister had come out stronger and made it clear that he meant business. He had given strong signals to the state bureaucracy, Mr Hanspal Said. Congress workers would go to Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi to campaign for Congress candidates, he added.



MC behind spread of dengue, says Shiv Sena
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 9
Activists of the Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) today staged a demonstration against the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation. They alleged that the MC had failed to maintain cleanliness in the city. This, they said, had led to the spread of a deadly disease like dengue.

Led by the president of the district unit of the Shiv Sena, Mr Rajiv Tandon, and vice-president, Mr Prakash Khatry, the activists carried brooms and swept the roads in the city. They also sprinkled DDT powder in the streets and drains. Mr Tandon pointed out that dengue was assuming epidemic proportions in the city even as the corporation was watching as a mute spectator.

Mr Tandon claimed that the cleanliness drive launched by the MC was only “eyewash” as the maximum damage had already been done with so many people having lost their lives because of dengue. He added, that there were so many people who were suffering from dengue and were admitted to various hospitals in the city.

The Shiv Sainiks maintained that the MC had failed in its duty to keep the city clean. They observed that it was high time that the MC understood its responsibility and set its house in order so that the city presented a better look and was disease-free. 



Lecture on dengue today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 9
To create health awareness among the public, the health education cell of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital will organise a lecture on “Dengue-prevention and management” tomorrow. The lecture will be delivered in Hindi by Prof Atul Sachdeva, Head of the Department of Medicine, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh. The lecture will be followed by a question-answer session.



Mobike recovered from murder suspects
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, November 9
The motor cycle that was stolen from a fair at Pawa Khagat village on September 8 was recovered today by a Sahnewal policy party from the custody of three youths hailing from Sahnewal town. The youths have also been accused of murdering their companion near Garkhal village, 19 km from Kasauli, on October 7.

According to Mr Gurbaj Singh, SHO, Sahnewal police station, "Three youths, Amandeep Singh and Mohit Sharma of Sahnewal town and Ranjit Singh, alias Jeeta, of Nandpur village, who are supposed to be involved in the brutal murder of Ravi, their friend, hailing from Dhamot village under Payal police station, were brought on a one-day police remand at Sahnewal police station.”

“On interrogation, the three along with the deceased admitted to having stolen a motor cycle from the fair at Pawa Khagat village. The deceased had kept the motor cycle to himself and misled his parents that he had borrowed it from somebody and would return it soon. The suspects told the police about the place where the stolen vehicle was hidden and it was finally recovered from Ludhiana.”

The three suspects were taken back to Solan again on judicial remand. It was on the information given by an HRTC driver that the Gorkhal police had reached the place of murder and found the body of the deceased. The Dharampur police was informed about the three accomplices who had escaped in a private bus. They were arrested by the Dharampur police.



Rally against female foeticide held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 9
Activists of the District Youth Congress, led by its secretary Mr Manoj Rawal, today took out a rally on two-wheelers in protest against female foeticide. Mr Rawal said the purpose of the rally was to create awareness among the general public against female foeticide.

He pointed out that due to the widespread incidents of female foeticide, the male-female ratio was severely disturbed. He said Punjab was the worst hit and had the dubious distinction of having the most unbalanced sex ratio in the country.

He warned that such a trend in the coming years would lead to chaos. He said there was a need for mass movement against female foeticide across the country, particularly in Punjab.



Regularisation of daily-wage workers sought
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 9
A delegation of the Punjab State Civil Supplies Class IV Employees Congress met the Punsup Chairperson, Mrs Aruna Chaudhry, MLA, under the leadership of the INTUC president, Mr Balwant Rai Kapoor, who is also the chairman of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (Labour and Employment Cell, and sought the regularisation of more than 200 daily-wage workers employed in Punsup for the past 20 years.

The general secretary of INTUC, Mr Kuldip Roshan, the General Secretary of the Class IV Employees and Labour Federation (INTUC), Mr Surinder Makkar, and Mr Surinder Kalra, president and General Secretary of the Punsup Class IV Employees Congress, Mr Pran Nath of the ITI Employees Union, Fazilka, also comprised the delegation which apprised Mrs Chaudhry of various other demands of the Punsup employees. They highlighted the rampant corruption prevalent in Punsup allegedly involving officials of Punsup.

Mrs Chaudhary is reported to have assured the delegation that adequate measures would be taken to ensure early regularisation of all daily-wage workers.



Gurpurb celebrated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 9
Local gurdwaras were illuminated beautifully and lights brought out the beauty of the gurdwaras yesterday. Men, women and children thronged gurdwaras to light candles. A majority of the people lit up their houses with Chinese lights they had stored after Divali. Fireworks illuminated the sky with myriad colours.

Meanwhile, the Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Khud Mohalla, organised shabad kirtan and declamation contests for school children on Gurpurb. At least 100 students participated. President of Singh Sabha and former councillor Kulwant Singh Dukhia said the purpose of organising such competitions was to make students aware of the tenets of Sikh Gurus.

Dean of College Development Council Dr Amrik Singh Dua presided over the function. He said,”Such kind of declamation contests should be organised at regular intervals so that the students get connected with religion and follow the path shown by Gurus”. The judges as well as teachers from different schools were given prizes.

Results of shabad kirtan contest: Guru Nanak International Public School 1, Guru Harkrishan School, 2, GGN Public School 3; declamation contest: Kamaljeet Kaur of GGN Public School 1, Hardeep Kaur of Guru Harkrishan Public School and Saloni of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir 2, Ravinder Kaur of Khalsa College 3.

Meanwhile, Rotary Club 2003 also celebrated Gurpurab at Rotary Bhavan, Sarabha Nagar. The club was illuminated for the occasion. Dr Sarup Singh Alag, writer and Sikh historian, spoke on the occasion. He spoke about the teachings of Guru Nanak and impressed on the audience that honesty and true earnings were the only way to salvation. Dr Alag, sharing his experiences, enlightened the audience about Sikhism.



Passage to Lahore: past & present

A serious debate is on with regard to the choice of time for making peace proposals to Pakistan. Past experience apart, the wise step is timely. Such a step is for the collective good promising peace and amity. People to people contact is the basic need, an urge. Animosity is never real, therefore, never permanent. Nations of the West may have burnt any number of boats any number of times. We have learnt the lessons of coexistence and cooperation. Surely, India and Pakistan can co-exist peacefully as acceptable neighbours.

Lahorites love life, enjoy living. Those born and brought up at Lahore, besides those who adopted it, are almost alike in habits and speech, behaviour and attitude, hobbies and funs. To know better watch an Amritsari. Both are historically cousins, emotionally similar. As homo-sapiens, we share roots. History records heritage and culture. Lahorites retain and project a lovable trait. May call Lahoricus. Lahore is complex in several ways. Persons are not mysterious. They are lovable Punjabis. Speak lovely Lahore dialect, a fine one. Speech has tones. Many local nuances.

Much water has flown under the bridges of Punjab rivers. We wish the doors open as they do at the borders of Canada and the USA. We hope at least the 65 plus senior citizens will cross the Radcliffe line soon. Meanwhile, as a preparation to that, we walk down the memory lane.

“Jarnaili Sarak, G T Road. To its left is rail-track (North-Western Railway- NWR). See landmarks Jallo, Manaawan Thana, Bata Factory, Lahore branch canal bridge, radio station transmitters. Move on to Harbanspura and Mughalpura. Well, to the right, see the historical Shalimar Bagh — more majestic than Pinjore Garden. May see more on return. Relive days with Jahangir. Recall Ranjit Singh. Recollect the Raj days! Lahore railway station is central landmark. Roads taking off to Badami Bagh, Ravi Bridge. Naulakha chowk, Landa bazar. Sultan’s Sarai close by with sites of Moolchand Mandir, gurdwaras Shaheedganj and Bhai Taru Singh. Paying obeisance, we walk to the walled-city, the historical Lahore. Circular Road runs around with pavements. Inside has wooden-fence guarding grassy lawns. A water-channel runs to water gardens and trees. A walkway connects all city-openings through historic gates in the city walls. We watch the eastern gate, Delhi Darwaza, a majestic one. Arched-domes fascinate. Sounds of moving tongas. Horse-shoes reverberate, rhythmically. We move closewise.

The next is Akbari darwaza, centre of foodgrains. Mochi gate is the third. See political and social gatherings. Islamia college, some Muslim schools are close by. Taj company of publishers display huge hoardings. Fourth is the famous Shahalmi gate, a rich Hindu locality. Inside shops have huge stocks of grocery, pulses, dry fruits, condiments, papad. May remind one of Khari Baoli of Delhi. See Dr Kalicharan. Visit Sitala Mandir. Do not board Nanda Bus yet. See Biswin Sadi boards.

Lahori gate is the southern opening with the famous Anarkali linking the elite Mall road through Neela gumbad. A rare site of delight. Mori gate is the next. Mohan Lal Road takes off. It has many books and stationery shops. Publishing houses and presses. Bhaati gate excites complex multiple images. Cinegoers move about Minerva, Crown, Wellington, Naaz (Ganga). Once poet Iqbal lived nearby. Inside houses Faquir Museum of Ranjit Singh period. Colleges, university, museum, besides historic land marks are at a walking distance: Darbar Data Gunj Bakhsh, Gole Bagh. Here Bhagat Singh shot Saunders dead.

We take to the Ravi Road and watch the Taksali Darwaza. You are now facing the Lahore of legends and folk songs: Uchche burj Lahore de- heith waggey dariya (High domes of Lahore, the Ravi flows close-by). The Badshahi mosque, samadhi of Ranjit Singh, Gurdwara Dera Sahib Guru Arjan Dev, the Shahi Quillah, Hazoori Bagh and the grand Roshni Darwaza. Let us not enter the city yet. Outside is the sprawling Minto Park, site of Dasehra and Jor Mela, besides circus shows and exhibitions. Close to the fort is Masti gate, standing aloft. Next ones are Kashmiri Moti, Yakki gates, besides Sheranwala facing Badami bagh. Land of swings in spring and sawan, venue of Baisakhi. This Ravi land is indelible. We will do the city-walk next week.

M.S. Cheema



Bairagis to campaign against social evils
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 9
The All-India Bairagi Maha Mandal has decided to launch a campaign against social evils prevailing in the community.
A unanimous resolution was passed at a one-day convention organised by the mandal here today.

It was presided over by Mr K.K. Bawa. The mandal thanked the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, for declaring October 16, the birth anniversary of Banda Bahadur, as a holiday.

Mr Bawa said this had fulfilled the long-pending demand of the Bairagis, who were mostly concentrated in Punjab, but were also spread all over the country. There were about 15 lakh Bairagis in the state.

Referring to various social evils, Mr Bawa said it was decided to launch a campaign against the dowry system. He said the youth of the community would be involved in the campaign and motivated to go for dowryless marriages.

The mandal will organise meetings at all 17 districts in the state and a national convention of the bairagis will be held in March in New Delhi.

Mr Bawa nominated Prof Jeevan Dass Bawa and Bawa Rajinder Nandy as national general secretaries of the mandal, while Vaid Swaran Dass was nominated as treasurer. Various other office-bearers were also appointed today. 


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