L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Robbers make off with bank safe
3 lakh looted after locking up watchmen
Tribune News Service

Khamano, December 2
At least eight armed robbers struck at a cooperative bank in Sanghol village, near Khamano, early this morning and took away a safe containing Rs 3.23 lakh after locking up in a room two watchmen of the market in which the bank is situated.

The watchmen were freed after more than seven hours by employees of the bank and the police.

The robbers had come in a Tata-407 mini truck. As they could not break open the safe, they uprooted it and took it away.

The Khamano police has registered a case and is questioning the watchmen regarding the description of the robbers. The incident has caused panic among residents and shopkeepers of the area.

The cooperative bank had no security arrangements of its own. The watchmen were employed jointly by the market shopkeepers.

According to police sources, the watchmen, Lal Singh and Naseeb Singh, both aged about 50, have revealed that the truck stopped near the bank about 2 am as they were sitting around a fire. Six persons armed with sharp-edged weapons and iron rods alighted from the truck and told them to keep quiet.

The robbers entered the bank by breaking open the door. They then locked the watchmen in a room. After struggling for some time, they uprooted the safe and took it with them. The safe is said to weigh 7 quintals. The robbers also ransacked the place. They, however, did not take away a rifle lying in the bank.

DSP Balwant Singh and Inspector Ajay Pal Singh told Ludhiana Tribune that the robbery was noticed by bank employees when they arrived at the bank at 9 am. However, they waited for the arrival of the police before opening the bank, even though they heard the cries of the watchmen.

The police has registered a case under Sections 457 and 380 of the IPC. As the watchmen reported seeing 8 persons, the FIR has been registered against “eight unknown persons”.



Gagandeep’s family has a ball 
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, December 2
Ecstatic scenes were witnessed at the residence of Gagandeep Singh Toor here today with the news that he has been selected in the Indian cricket team for playing two Test matches and three one-dayers with Bangladesh later this month.

Jubilated at his success, his parents, Mr Hardeep Singh and Ms Surinder Kaur, friends and relatives were seen dancing and distributing sweets to residents of the area and visitors to their house near Chand Theatre late last evening and throughout today.

Gagandeep’s success assumes more significance as he belongs to a middle class family and has reached this stage with sheer hard work and toil. He is just the second player from Ludhiana to don the Indian team colours and that too 27 years after Yashpal Sharma had become the first to earn Indian cricket team cap from here.

Gagandeep is scheduled to report to coach John Wright on December 6 at Kolkata. He is presently in Mohali and would visit his home here on Friday before leaving for Kolkata.

The cricket ground at the local Arya College for Boys, the venue where Gagandeep learnt the intricacies of the game at the regional coaching centre, was the other place where his inclusion was celebrated by the trainees.

The young budding players who attend the centre were elated to know about the speedster’s inclusion in the national team. Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Sushyant Kohli, Dushyant Kohli, Varun Chitkara and Pankaj, promising cricketers, said Gagan’s entry into the Indian team would encourage them and others to perform better to win laurels for the city as well as the state and nation.

Talking to this correspondent, Gagan’s parents expressed gratitude towards Mr Chaman Lal Malhotra, chairman, selection committee, Punjab, and Mr Vinod Chitkara, honorary general secretary, LDCA, for standing besides Gagan which helped him to perform in the national-level tournaments.

Meanwhile, different sports associations and representatives of sports organisations and sports promoters along with the members of the SDP Senior Secondary School and Principal of the local Arya College have congratulated Gagan for his selection in the Indian team.



Chrysanthemums spread colour on PAU campus
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
Inaugurating a chrysanthemum exhibition organised by the Department of Floriculture and Landscaping, PAU, today, Dr Malwinder Singh Tiwana, Dean, College of Agriculture, said flowers were the most beautiful gift suitable for all occasions.

Appreciating the Department of Floriculture and Landscaping for organising the show, Dr Tiwana said that under the guidance of Dr Ramesh Kumar, the department had brought about significant changes in beautifying the university campus.

As far as floriculture and landscaping were concerned, the campus was among the best, Dr Tiwana added.

He said the department organised this flower show every year, which was a tribute to Dr Bhai Vir Singh, a well known Punjabi poet who had written several poems on flowers.

In his welcome address, Dr Ramesh Kumar, Head of the Department, said about 2,500 chrysanthemum pots of several varieties had been displayed in the exhibition, out of which some varieties have been released, such as Baggi, Ratlam Selection, Birbal Sahni (for loose flowers) and Punjab Gold (for pot culture).

A total 175 collections of chrysanthemum varieties such as Korean Double, Korean Semi-Double, Korean Single, Pompon, Animone, Spray, Large type, Spider, Spoon and Reflex have been displayed.

The pots would be put for sale on December 3 after 11 am onwards.

The Deans of the five constituent colleges, Dr V. K. Sharma, Registrar, Dr H. S. Brar, PAUTA president, and heads of the department were among those present on the occasion. 



DC tells SSP to book lambardar for forgery
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma has asked the SSP to register an FIR against lambardar Gurdial Singh of Lalton Kalan village for making a wrong identification of a person and enabling him to execute a property sale deed. A show cause notice, returnable within 15 days, has been issued to terminate his lambardari.

Giving details of the case, Mr Verma said that on a complaint by Gurdial Kaur and her sons, Kesar Singh and Gurnam Singh, that one Jaswant Singh had grabbed their land in Lalton Kalan village by executing a false sale deed by presenting some other person in place of her husband Jeet Singh, who had died about 12 years ago.

The complaint was marked to the SDM (East), Mr M.S. Jaggi, for inquiry. Mr Jaggi in his inquiry report stated that the charges made in the complaint had been fully substantiated. He confirmed that Jeet Singh had expired on May 11, 1979, and the mutation of his property was transferred vide certificate No. 2084 in the favour of his legal heirs, which was produced by the complainant. Gurdial Kaur had also presented papers regarding her husband’s pension transferred to her name after his death.

But the mutation of the said plot was not transferred in their names in the record due to some mistake. Later, on December 23, 1991, Mr Jaswant Singh of the same village got a forged sale deed for the plot executed in his favour. Someone impersonated as Jeet Singh before the Registrar. lambardar Gurdial Singh of Lalto Kalan village identified the impersonator as Jeet Singh and one Ranjit Singh of the same village was a witness in the sale deed.

On his part, Mr Ranjit Singh said that he worked as a contract labourer with Mr Jaswant Singh. The latter had taken his signature without disclosing him the purpose as he had taken a loan of Rs 1,000 from Mr Jaswant Singh. He also stated that he never went to the office of Registrar to record his witness. The SDM recommend a legal action against the lambardar.

Mr Verma further said that the legal opinion of the District Attorney in this case was also taken. The District Attorney opined that some person impersonated Jeet Singh and got the land sale deed executed in the name of Jaswant Singh, son of Kartar Singh, a resident of Lalton Kalan village, on December 24, 1991. Jeet Singh had died in 1979. Thus, prima facie, an offence under Sections 419, 420, 465, 467, and 468 read with Section 120-B of the IPC, was made out against Mr Jaswant Singh, Mr Ranjit Singh, lambardar Gurdial Singh and others. He also recommended the registration of an FIR against the guilty persons, Mr Verma added. 



New houses without power in South City
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
A dispute between the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) and South City promoters over the payment of dues is forcing residents of the area to spend dark nights as the board has refused to give new power connections in the area.

Residents complain that having spent lakhs of rupees to buy plots and construct houses in the PUDA-approved colony, they are shocked to learn that they will not be able to live in the houses till a court gives a decision in the case.

While the electricity board claims that the promoters, Vikas House Building Corporation, owe Rs 80 lakh to the board for installing poles in the area, the promoters claimed that they have provided land worth Rs 1 crore to the board, so it owes them Rs 20 lakh instead. They say they would go by the court orders in the case, where the matter is pending for the past one year.

While the two parties wrangle over the issue, residents are forced to either live in darkness or continuing living in rented accommodation elsewhere despite having constructed new houses. The PSEB has not provided new connections in the area for the past one year.

There are many families that have shifted into new houses and are depending on the neighbours for electricity or on kundi connections, causing loss to the PSEB.

One harried resident said on the condition of anonymity, “The officials do not seem to care. They make rounds of the colony, see the kundi connections or the drawing of power from neighbours, but do not take any action. They know they are doing injustice to us, so they can’t say anything. However, they are indirectly encouraging us to resort to illegal means.”

While many aired their grievances to Ludhiana Tribune, nobody wanted to be named, fearing that board officials would not like it and their “survival” would become more difficult.

“One cannot live without electricity in today’s world. I spent my life saving for the house and even borrowed money. Because of the power dispute, I am paying Rs 12,000 as monthly instalment toward the loan and at the same time Rs 6,000 as rent elsewhere. I can’t think of moving into the new house till there is power,” said another resident.

“The court may take 10 years to decide the case. Will we be forced to live like this till then?” asked a resident.

Board officials said they were sending a fresh application to the head office at Patiala and if the seniors agreed they would provide the new connections immediately. They said a new case highlighting the grievances of the residents has been prepared and forwarded to the head office. They said they were aware of the residents’ problem but they were helpless as far as the policies of the board were concerned.

The residents demanded they should be given temporary connections so that they could start living their lives normally. 



Three bodies lie unclaimed at CMCH mortuary
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
Three unclaimed bodies lying in the mortuary of the Christian Medical College and Hospital for the past several days have become a headache for the hospital authorities. They appealed today to the Deputy Commissioner for permission to dispose of the bodies after the police failed to trace their relatives.

The bodies are of two male infants and of a former mess employee of the hospital, David Daniel.

According to CMCH officials, poverty may have forced two families to abandon the bodies of two infants who had died in the hospital two weeks ago. The bodies are lying unclaimed since November 13.

The authorities are in a fix over the matter as the addresses furnished by the parents have come out to be fake. The medical bills in these two cases also run in thousands but the hospital officials are willing to forego the claim and handover the bodies to the right claimants.

One infant is identified as Surjit, who died on November 13. Hospital records state that his father was Suraj, a resident of Preet Nagar, Tajpur road. No body with this name lived there. Medical bill of over Rs 15,000 was pending in this case. The second infant was yet to be christened. He is just stated to be the son of Anu Sharma whose address was not known. The baby was abandoned after its death last week.

The hospital has no record about the relatives of David Daniel even though he worked with the institution for the past 20 years.

Dr John Abrahim, Medical Superintendent, CMCH, said they had first written a letter to the Division No 3 police for tracing the whereabouts of the parents of the two infants but there was no clue about them. He has today written a letter to the Deputy Commissioner-cum -District Magistrate, Mr Anurag Verma, for permission to dispose of the bodies.

Dr Abrahim said they had placed advertisements in some Kerala-based newspapers as David belonged to that state. However, there was no positive response so far.

However, Mr B.M. Fredrick, general secretary of the Brown Memorial Hospital Employees Union, has held that the CMC authorities were responsible for the unclaimed bodies. He criticised the authorities for not keeping a record of the employees. He said it was strange that a person can work in the hospital for two decades without furnishing his address.



Sahnewal sans civic amenities
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, December 2
Residents of Sahnewal seem to be left entirely to their fate as the basic civic amenities are lacking in the town. The authorities have paid no attention to the “repeated” appeals of the residents for improvement.

The sewerage system facility is yet a distant dream. Many times water entered shops and houses. Some of the streets are entirely neglected as the residents complain of broken roads, water accumulation and heaps of garbage at various places. They say even after a month nobody bothers to pump out the stagnant water and clear the garbage.

At times the blockage of water further adds to the agony of the residents. Foul smelling ponds near Government Senior Secondary School, old Sahnewal village and Nandpur colony have no dearth of mosquitoes.

The residents have demanded regular cleaning of open drains. Lifting of garbage should became a matter of daily routine. Also encroachments near drains have hindered the task of periodic cleaning.

Mr Devinder Singh Grewal, executive officer, Nagar Panchayat, said: “Garbage is removed from time to time and special efforts are made to drain out stagnant water,”.

Mr Ramesh Kumar Pappu, president, Nagar Council, said the sewer system would be installed soon as a resolution in this regard was passed on November 25.



PSERC ignored farmers: BKU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
The Bharti Kisan Union has flayed the recommendations of the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission as being discriminatory towards the farmers.
Prof Manjit Singh Kadian, acting chief of the union, said the commission had erred in not lowering the tariffs for tubewells in the state but had chosen to extend the benefits only to the urban population. This despite the fact that a deputation had met the commission members and presented their side of the story and the actual ground realities in the state, he added.

Mr Kadian said the current tariff, Rs 220 per hp, should be lowered to Rs 70 per hp. They have a strong case as the quality and quantum of power supplied to the rural sector was very poor. The electricity board releases the power at their own convenience, mostly at odd hours, when it is of no use to the farmers, he said.

The entire transmission network in the rural areas is in a shambles. The overhead wires are not enough to bear the load, transformers are overloaded and most line faults take days to be repaired. In case the transformer gets burnt, they have to run from pillar to post to get a replacement and often not without greasing palms, he alleged.

He said the rural-urban discrimination could be gauged from the fact that while a fault was repaired in less than an hour in the cities, it may take nearly two weeks in the countryside.

Mr Kadian said they had appealed to the commission to take a lenient view of the matter and roll back the hike announced previously. By bringing down the subsidy, both the farmers and the state would benefit, he said.

He said in case the commission sticks to its decision, they would have no option but to protest. A meeting of the union has been convened here on December 10 to chalk out the further course of action.



Rly gears up to deal with fog
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 2
The Northern Railway has completed all preparations for preventing train accidents due to poor visibility in winter, says Mr R. F. Jaruhar, General Manager.
Talking to Ludhiana Tribune today, he said officials had been directed to take all precautionary measures to prevent accidents during fog. “We have completed the training programme for the track staff and they have been instructed not to depend on visual signs alone. The drivers of night trains should be cautioned with crackers as has been done in past winters,” Mr Jaruhar explained.

The General Manager, along with his team, was here for an annual inspection. Besides the local railway station, the team also inspected Ludhiana, Dhuri and Rajpura stations.

He said a few irregularities had been observed, which would be rectified soon. The team inspected drinking water facilities, sanitation, upkeep of the waiting rooms and the maintenance of the track and mechanical systems.

The “touch” inquiry system, contract-based cleaning in trains and enhancement of the public health facilities would be given top priority, he stated. Mr Jaruhar assured the Daily Passengers Association that their grievances regarding trains running behind schedule and lack of facilities would be addressed soon. 



Poor service disappoints food lovers
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, December 2
The seven-day Chinese Food Festival, which started at the Sutlej club on November 28 with much hype, seems to have failed to satisfy food lovers because of slow service provided by the organisers. In the absence of the requisite number of chefs, waiters, supervisors, many Chinese food lovers are forced to resort to the routine club menu.

Though a Chinese ambience has been created by the organisers to welcome the guests, the slow service by waiters fails to attract the members. When the food lovers order their favourite stuffs like prawns, shredded chicken or fried gold chicken they get a reply from sloppy waiters, “Sir, you will have to wait for at least 40-45 minutes or even more to get your order. If you can wait, we can get your order”.

A club member said that he had invited his family friends but was disheartened to see the slow service. “After an hour or so, when we were served food, the whole enthusiasm had gone”, he said. Another member complained that since it was a prestigious club, such a slow service by waiters would harm the club’s reputation. “Such an activity draws a big crowd and one has to be prepared for that. The organisers should have made all the necessary arrangements well in advance to avoid such shortcomings”, he said.

One of the waiters in the dining hall said that there were only two chefs but they had a long list of orders. “We have been told to wait. If a club member was in a hurry, he could order from the club’s kitchen”, he said.

Dr J.S.Dhillon, mess secretary, said that there were members who appreciated the food and the service. Mr Ashok, one of the organisers of the festival, said that he had brought chefs from Mumbai. Everything was being prepared in a typical Chinese manner. “There are some complaints but members should realise that we have to cater to hundreds of people everyday. They should understand the problems faced by us and should bear with us. We are trying hard to improve the service”, he said.



Kribhco Marketing Director
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
Dr V.P. Singh, Senior General Manager, Krishak Bharti Cooperative Limited (Kribhco), has taken over as Marketing Director of the organisation. A post-graduate in agronomy, a post-graduate diploma holder in farm management technology and a Ph.D from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, he started his carrier as plant scientist at IIT, Kharagpur, and later joined IFFCO in 1977, where he worked as area agronomist and area manager.

Dr V.P. Singh joined Kribhco in 1987 as State Marketing Manager and was elevated to the post of Senior General Manager (Marketing).



Teacher booked
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 2
Shingara Singh, a resident of Chakkar and a teacher, allegedly sold 50 kg of wheat meant for schoolchildren. On a complaint of Darshan Singh, lambardar of the village, the police has registered a case of breach of trust under Section 409, IPC. No arrest has been made so far.

Liquor seized: Prem Singh of Salempura Ibba was arrested and 9 litres of illicit liquor was seized from his possession. A case under Section 61/1/14 of the Excise Act has been registered.

In another incident 12 bottles of country-made liquor were seized from Gurri of Saholi Khurd. A case has been registered.



Biz Clips
Industry condemns unscheduled power cuts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
The Ludhiana Motor Parts Manufacturers Association today said the unscheduled power cuts were adversely affecting the industry.
In a joint statement, Mr G.S. Kahlon, president, and Mr Charan Singh, general secretary of the association, said due to non-functioning of some of the power units in Ropar and Bathinda and low level of water at Bhakra the situation had worsened.

“If the situation continues for another six months, as is being indicated, small-scale industry will be ruined. It is also likely to create law and order problems as unemployment will rise,” said Mr Kahlon.

He said the industry was already suffering due to steep hike in steel prices and power shortage would act as a major blow.

The association urged the government to come forward with favourable policies so as to save the industry from the ongoing crisis.

Meanwhile, the association also welcomed the Punjab State Power Regulatory Commission’s (PSERC) decision to reduce power tariffs for domestic and industrial consumers.

The association said it was the first time that the commission had taken a decision in favour of the consumers.

Awareness meet: LG Electronics organised a meet for consultants, architects, interior designers and engineers to share new breakthroughs in air-conditioning technology and trends, here on Wednesday.

Mr Chetan Bajpai, product group head, commercial air-conditioning systems, said : “On the infrastructure front, LG has invested a lot in creating project engineering set up, market presence of direct sales, projects and service team in all its 47 branches across the country.”

Mr Bajpai said air-conditioning scenario in the country was likely to change with more companies entering the market and designers and even architects joining the movement.

Spice to improve network: Spice subscribers can look forward to better days ahead with the company planning to set up 70 more towers in Punjab by the end of December. This is likely to improve the congestion problems which having been causing high inconvenience to the subscribers.

Mr Mukul Khanna, DGM, Marketing, Spice, said during a press conference to launch two new services by the company, “We are upgrading our network. There will be 70 more towers by the end of December which will improve the congestion problem that was occasionally being faced by the subscribers.” Mr Khanna on Thursday launched Spice Locator Service and Spice Active Add-on Connection.

Chamber hails power tariff reduction: The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings hailed the reduction in power tariffs by the PSERC. Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, president, and Mr Avtar Singh, general secretary, of the chamber said the decision would provide relief to the industry. They suggested that the old K.W. system should be shifted to KVA system to curb harassment to industrial power consumers.

Home loan mela: Indian Bank, Model Town, organised a home loan mela here on Thursday. Nearly 80 visitors were provided first hand information on home loan schemes of the bank by the officials on the first day of the camp that would conclude on Friday.

Mr M.K. Ghalotra, branch manager, said 12 applications, involving an amount of nearly Rs 50 lakh, were accorded on-the-spot sanction in principle. He said several branches of the bank in the city and also in other cities across the state were organising home loan melas.


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