L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Smokers puff in the face of ban
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
Eleven days after the Implementation of the Anti-Smoking Act in the country, the law has still remained on paper as far this city is concerned. People continue to smoke in public places. Kiosks selling cigarettes, gutka, etc do business as usual quite close to schools and no hotel, shop or kiosk owners have put up boards ‘Non-smoking area’ or ‘No sale of cigarettes for minors here’, made mandatory under the Act.

The police has remained a mute spectator to all these violations. Not even a single FIR has been lodged against any violator so far. The police has also not undertaken any exercise to spread awareness among the masses or warn the violators to follow the law or face consequences.

Under the new Act, smoking is banned in public places but one can see people smoking on roads, railway station, bus stand, parks and markets.

The law requires that no shop or kiosk selling cigarettes, gutka or any other tobacco product should be allowed to operate within a distance of 100 metres from schools, colleges, and other educational institutions. But a survey of the city by Ludhiana Tribune reveals that there is not a single educational institution which does not have any such seller in the vicinity. At places where there is no permanent shop or kiosk, there are mobile sellers operating on bicycles.

Blatant violation was spotted near schools and colleges in Miller Gunj, Shahpur Road, Jawahar Nagar, Sarabha Nagar, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Hambran Road, Civil Lines, Ghumar Mandi and Raj Guru Nagar. Kiosks were seen very close to the Ramgarhia College of Education Millergunj, Jawahar Nagar school. Naulakha road school, KVM school and Shahpur road school.

Even the school authorities have yet to take up the issue with the district administration.

The Tribune survey also found that no one has put up boards declaring ‘no smoking area’ in hotels or open places like the railway station. The kiosk or shop owners selling cigarettes, etc, apart from those selling on tables or bicycles, are supposed to put up a board ‘No sale for minors (under-18) here’. Most of these sellers are migrants only. Very few are literates.

One such seller had put up the required board, nicely painted in English, near the Domoria bridge on May 1 only, the very first day of the enforcement of the Act. the board has now disappeared. No other such board has been spotted anywhere in the city.



Heavy security for EVMs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
The fate of 18 candidates who contested the Ludhiana parliamentary seat has been sealed in electronic voting machines that have been kept under heavy security at different places in and around the city.

The EVMs are being guarded by the personnel of the Border Security Force assisted by the Punjab Police. According to information, the counting of votes will start at 8 a.m. on May 13 and is expected to be completed by mid day.

In Ludhiana the EVMS have been placed in Shastri Bhavan in the Guru Nanak Stadium and at Rotary Bhavan in Sarabha Nagar. Votes from all the nine Assembly segments in the Ludhiana parliamentary segment will take place at seven places in the city and in three places outside, namely at Dakha, Jagraon and Payal.

The counting of votes for the Jagraon segment will be done at Lala Lajpat Rai College, Jagraon. For Dakha at BCM Arya Model College, Dakha. Votes from the Kila Raipur Assembly segment would be counted at the Rotary Bhavan at Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana; Ludhiana north at SCD Government College, Ludhiana, Ludhiana west at Khalsa College for Women, Ludhiana, Ludhiana east at Arya College for Boys, Ludhiana, and Ludhiana Rural at the Guru Nanak Stadium.

For the Payal segment the counting will take place at Government Senior Secondary School, Payal, for Koom Kalan in the Government College for Women, Ludhiana.



Candidates’ supporters make fortune
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
As the election process ended yesterday reports have started coming in regarding funds collected allegedly by supporters of various political parties.
While the Congress candidate, Mr Munish Tiwari, has decided to initiate legal proceedings against a newspaper which alleged that he had collected crores of rupees in the name of election, Minister for Higher Education, Harnam Dass Johar said the issue needed to be probed as some people had collected funds in the name of Mr Tiwari in the city.

Giving a clean chit to Mr Tiwari, Mr Johar, however, apprehended that there were some leaders in the city “who had amassed wealth” during these elections, claiming that they had been collecting funds in his (Mr Tiwari’s) name. He urged the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to initiate a probe into the whole affair.

Even some government officers reportedly approached leading industrialists, claiming that they had been asked to collect money for Mr Tiwari. While some of the industrialists tried to cross check, there were many others who did not dare to question the credentials of these officers.

Some people claiming to be supporters of the SAD-BJP alliance candidate, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, also made good of the elections. Whether the money collected in the name of Mr Dhillon reached him or not is difficult to confirm, but the industrialists revealed that they used to get regular phone calls and personal visits from certain political leaders seeking donations for him.

Some industrialists were even summoned to Faridkot in the name of Mr Sukhbir Badal. “They claimed that they had been specially deputed for the job and in case of doubt they said you cold directly call Mr Badal or meet him personally”, revealed a local businessman. He said, since he understood that somebody was trying to misuse the name of Mr Sukhbir Badal, he did not pay any money nor did he entertain any more telephone calls.

It is not only the candidates contesting from here who seek donations, even those contesting from other parts of the state come here in this contest.



Candidates cross fingers as D-Day approaches
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
With the counting of votes only a day away the candidates are waiting with their fingers crossed. No wonder all candidates, including Independents, claim that they will emerge victorious.

However, for the campaign managers it was another hectic day today as they had to organise their agents. Though after the introduction of the electronic voting machines the role of the counting agents has been minimised, the candidates want to ensure that each and every counting centre is adequately represented.

Stream of visitors could be seen at the residence of each and every candidate with workers making tall claims about casting votes, motivating voters, preventing bogus voting by the rivals and much more.


To readers who couldn’t vote...

Several readers in Ludhiana and surrounding areas could not exercise their right to franchise when they went to the polling stations on Monday because their names did not figure in the voter’s list.

If you are one of them, let us know your name and address which we will publish in Ludhiana Tribune for the information of the Election Commission.

You can send us your name by fax or e-mail at:

Fax: 01612707412

e-mail: ludhiana@ tribunemail.com



Poor performance by science students
Deepakamal Kaur

Ludhiana, May 11
Plus Two (science stream) students from the district who appeared in the examination conducted by the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) have shown a dismal performance this year.

Barring a few schools like Government Senior Secondary Schools at Kot Gangu Rai, Koom Kalam and Jagraon, Vishwakarma Senior Secondary School and Anand Isher Public School, the majority of science students in other schools either failed or got compartment in a subject.

At Arya Senior Secondary School, 15 out of the total 34 science students have failed and 19 got compartment. The Government Multipurpose Senior Secondary School has 16 students failing and 22 with compartment out of the total 90 science students. The result of SAN Jain Senior Secondary School has been very poor as out of the total 13 students, 10 have failed and only three have passed.

Of the 25 students at Nauhria Mal Jain Senior Secondary School, six have failed and seven have compartment. Government Senior Secondary School at Humbran with a strength of 23 students has five students failing and 12 with compartment. Of the total 15 students at Government Senior Secondary School of Machhiwara, four have failed and five have compartment

Even colleges have not been able to do very well as GHG Khalsa College, Gurusar Sudhar, with 62 students has 15 students failing and 13 with compartment. Six students have failed and 13 have compartment in GGN Khalsa College. Of the total 28 students at Arya College, six have failed and nine have compartment.

The result of commerce students, however, has been much better. All students of RS Model Senior Secondary School, Government Senior Secondary Schools at PAU, Kot Gangu Rai and Jagraon, Vishwakarma Senior Secondary School, Ramgarhia Girls’ Senior Secondary School, Teja Singh Sutantar School, Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, Government College for Women and Khalsa College for Women have passed without a single case of compartment or failure.

Government Senior Secondary School, Dehlon, with 22 students has not been able to perform well as six students failed and six have compartment. Arya Senior Secondary School has four students failing and 10 with compartment. Of the total 56 students at SAN Jain Senior Secondary School, three have failed and eight have compartment. Government Multipurpose School with 51 students has two students failing and two with compartment.

Some of the schools having low strength have also performed badly. Government Girls’ Senior Secondary School at Hargobindpura had just two students, both of whom have failed. Government School at Pakhowal had six students, of which two have failed. Ghalib Kalan School has three compartment cases of the total eight students and Hassanpur School with 15 students has five compartment cases.




The people in general have lost all hope from the political leadership and their frustration over the poor performance of the successive governments clearly shows. Fed up with the hollow promises and no action to improve the lot of the common man, a local businesman has suggested that the process of election to Parliament be given a go-by and instead, competent persons from different walks of life, well qualified for the job, should be picked up to form an all-party government. Though impractical, the idea given in a letter to the President of India sounds good; but the writer seems to have gone a bit too far when among the proposed members of the Cabinet one finds the names of not only Mukesh Ambani, Dharmendra, Dara Singh, Sunil Gavaskar, Shahi Imam and Gurpreeti Hari but also George Bush and Pope John Paul, along with Atal Behari Vajpayee, Sonia Gandhi, Jyoti Basu, Manmohan Singh, Ram Jethmalani et al.

Miffed voters

During the polling for the Lok Sabha elections in the city on Monday, besides frayed tempers at many places, one came across quite a few lighter moments. At one polling station, a middle aged male voter had a tough time convincing the staff on poll duty that he was not a ‘female’ as mentioned in the voter’s list. Elsewhere in the city, a couple of voters were so much annoyed on finding that the polling booth was at the other corner of the building and not the one to which they had been directed by the polling agents, that they tore up their voting slips and went away without casting their votes.

Bus stand

The Ludhiana bus-stand is in a deplorable condition. It has been more than five years that the bus-stand has been crying for repair but the authorities do not seem to be bothered to do anything about it.

Butchering of English

The press notes one receives at The Tribune office has so many glaring mistakes that it sends shudders down one’s spines. One ladies club sent a press note saying: “ladies weared nice sarees”. Another note from a school said: “The function would be held tomorrow but the chief guest had arrived on time.” One does not understand what they mean to say. The words ‘tiny tots’ are spelt as tinny tots. And beauty ‘parlour’ as ‘beauty parler’.

VIP menace

Are the redlight and hooter-installed vehicles of VIPs above traffic rules? This seems to be the case as far as the blatant violation of rules is done by drivers of these vehicles. Anybody can view this at the congested Domoria Bridge road. The road is clearly divided in the left and right lane by the traffic police and commoners have to pass through the way in a disciplined manner. The queue is always long and it moves at a snail’s pace as well. No one can take the opposite lane. It can lead to head-on collision or complete traffic jam. However, the VIP vehicles care too hoots for this. The drivers would startle others by blaring the loud hooter. Then they would break the queue and drive straight into the opposite lane forcing vehicles there to scurry for cover. The VIP thus conveniently passes through the muddle.


Photo by Pradeep Tewari Since the election day, was a hot day, the voters were finding it difficult to stand in queues and wait for their turn. As the mercury soared in the afternoon the need for drinking water arose in the booths. Though it was difficult for the poll staff to arrange for water for so many people, the considerate villagers in some villages put up stalls offering cold water to the voters. For hours together huge slabs of ice were being brought to the booths and cold water was being supplied to the people.

Poster war

As the campaigning was in full swing in the Ludhiana parliamentary constituency, the entire city was covered with slogans, posters and flags of various parties. Though the local administration had left no stone unturned to get the mess in the city cleaned, the posters were coming up again and again. The local police has registered as many as 90 cases under Prevention of Defacement of Property Act but most of them were against unidentified persons. Unless the booked persons are identified the action remains on paper only.

Bad boy

Yesterday Sentinel noticed a graffiti ‘Bad Boy’ written in red colour in bold letters. What did the owner of the car want to say? Is he the bad boy? Then why tell it to the world? Or does he consider others bad? If so, why so? Let us see if you can figure out the reason.



No lessons learnt from school bus tragedy
Steps not taken to avoid accidents
Naveen S. Garewal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
Less than a week after tragedy struck the city claiming lives of four children and leaving 15 other schoolchildren injured, life continues as normal for all, but the families of the victims. Trains pass as usual through a dozen odd unmanned level crossings in the city with the administration and railway authorities shutting their eyes once again and seem to be simply waiting for another accident to happen. Inquiries have revealed that no proposal has been mooted nor has any work been initiated to man the unmanned level crossings in or around the city.

The unmanned level crossings are located on the branch lines on the periphery of the city. What has complicated the situation for the district administration further is the fact that all unmanned level crossings do not fall under the jurisdiction of any one Railway division. While, some unmanned level crossings in the city fall under the Ferozepore Division, the one at Himmat Nagar, where the fatal accident took place on May 5, is in the Ambala Division.

Officials who did not wish to be quoted revealed that no proposal has been mooted so far even on paper to initiate a preliminary survey of the unmanned level crossings. Over the years, the unmanned level crossings have claimed the lives of cattle, but with the increase in city’s population and expansion of residential areas beyond the city limits, now human lives are in danger at these unmanned crossings.

On the unmanned level crossing near Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar on way to Uccha Pind Sunet, accidents are a common site. Several lives have been lost at the crossing near Raj Guru Nagar. In spite of a hue and cry being raised by residents of the area where the accident took place, the administration has expressed its helplessness to take preventive steps on the pretext that the rapid development had made more areas outside the municipal limits accident prone. Many colonies with unmanned level crossings do not exist in the records of the administration.

Officials feel that a drive to educate villagers and residents living close to the unmanned level crossings can help reduce the accidents considerably. Some ex-servicemen have even suggested that the residents should deploy volunteers at the crossings at the time of arrival and departure of trains, besides teaching road safety rules to the residents living in the vicinity of such unmanned level crossings.

In the Southern region, the Railway authorities have been holding seminars on safety for railway drivers, residents and general public. During such seminars the public is told that the Railway officials are expected to inspect 15 to 20 gates every month. Vehicles violating rail safety are fined. People are told that on broad gauge lines the trains normally run at a speed of about 100 kilometres per hour and require a minimum of 500 to 600 meters to come to a stop. The train drivers are absolutely helpless in preventing an accident where a vehicle suddenly crosses the track.

It may be recalled that on May 5 an overloaded Maruti van carrying kindergarten children of Khalsa Diwan run Shri Guru Harkrishan Public School had met with an accident when the driver of the van suddenly came onto the railway track without noticing the Hisar-bound passenger train at the unmanned crossing. The driver of the van, Mr Gurminder Singh, was also critically injured.

City residents are hoping that some immediate steps would be taken by the Railways and the district administration to prevent such accidents in future.


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