L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Role of MC officials comes under cloud
Issuing of NOC to petrol station
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
The role of some officials of the municipal corporation, here has come under a cloud over the issuance of a no objection certificate (NOC) to a petrol station, whose part of land allegedly belongs to the Provincial Government, if a copy of revenue record is to be believed.

The petrol station being set up opposite Kapoor Hospital near Old Sabzi Mandi on the GT road was given clean chit without even verifying whether the land belonged to it. The negligence came to light only after the complainant in the case got a copy of the revenue record, which clearly stated that a part of the land was owned by the Provincial Government. It was shown to be in possession of the PWD in the form of the GT road.

Interestingly, the case brought to light the fact that the historical GT Road had shrunk by 82 feet over the years, while the authorities did not come to know about it. According to Revenue records, the road measured 165 feet, while presently it was 83 feet as per the report of the Tehsildar.

It was only after Deputy Commissioner, Anurag Verma ordered an inquiry into the case that the officials of MC woke up from their slumber. A perusal of records by them showed that major chunk of land, on which the owner was going to build a filling station, was actually a part of the road.

The DC had asked Ms Amrit Gill, SDM (E), to look into the matter and submit an inquiry report. When the fact came to light, officials of the building branch of the MC stopped construction on the site. The work of digging was in the progress when action was taken against them.

It was after the ordering of the inquiry that the Senior Town Planner (STP) of the MC asked the Tehsildar (East) to inform him about the width of the GT road, which presently measured 77 feet. The STP also asked the Tehsildar about the actual width as per the revenue records and whether a part of it was grabbed by somebody.

In his reply dated, April 4, 2005, the Patwari, Mr Ashok Kumar, and the Tehsildar conveyed to the STP that after the measurements, the road came out to be 83 feet wide but as per the revenue records, it was 165 feet. The reply further stated that they could not provide details about the case as the Field Book was not present in the Patwar Khana.

The reports, however, vindicated the stand of the complainant, Mr Sukhwinder Singh, who had claimed that the site for the petrol station was hardly 92 sq yards and not 333 sq yards as claimed by the owners. As per the rules, atleast 335 sq yards of land was required for setting up a station. He had submitted his complaint to the Deputy Commissioner in November last year.

The MC had issued the NOC to the owner last year only when he had applied for opening the petrol station in building number, B-2-330, opposite Kapoor Hospital. The NOC was issued on October 18, 2004. 



5.26 lakh children given polio drops
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
The district health administration today claimed to have covered all eligible children up to the age of 5 years in the second phase of national programme for polio eradication in the district. Nearly 5.26 lakh children, in the city, other towns and rural areas were given polio drops.

Inaugurating the pulse polio campaign in the Civil Hospital here, the Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Mr D.S. Guru, administered polio drops to children.

Toys and sweets were also distributed by the department among the children. The Civil Surgeon, Dr Rajinder Kaur, the SMO of the Civil Hospital, Dr Manjit Kaur, Dr V.K. Goyal and the District Vaccination Officer, Dr Kuldip Kaur Sahni, among others, were present at the function.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Guru said that if every eligible child took the dose of vaccine during the ongoing campaign, the task of elimination of the disease from the country could be achieved by the end of this year. Not even a single case of polio had been reported from Punjab during this year, he added.

Giving details of elaborate arrangements made by the Department of Health, the Civil Surgeon informed that while the city was divided into 14 sectors for effectively carrying out the vaccination, in all, 1,100 teams were deployed in villages and another 900 in the urban areas.

She said various NGOs, educational, social and religious organisations had lent significant support to the campaign as out of a total manpower of 8400, deputed for this purpose all over the district, only 2,100 were the employees of the Health Department. The Civil Surgeon said that the main focus during the drive was on slum areas and such colonies where people belonging to weaker sections lived. The respective SMOs had personally supervised the administration of polio drops at primary health centres and government dispensaries to ensure that no child was left out.

A number of mobile teams had given polio drops to children at railway stations, bus stands and state highways, she added.



Sarpanch accuses SHO of illegal confinement
Vijay Bansal

Jagraon, May 15
Sarpanch Kuldeep Singh of Bardeke village accused Sub-Inspector Dharam Paul, Station House Officer, Sadar Police Station, Jagraon, for illegally confining him in the police station.

Kuldeep Singh has moved an application to the Punjab Human Rights Commission and other high officials, seeking action against the erring police official.

According to information, Manjeet Singh and Gurdeep Singh of Bardeke village, who are cousins of the sarpanch, suffered injuries at the hands at Paramjit Singh, Charanjit Singh, Jagroop Singh, Golu, Nirmal Singh, Bhagsingh and Billu, all of the same village. The police registered a case against the accused under Sections 452, 324, 323, 148, 149 of the IPC.

SHO Dharam Paul went to Bardeke for enquiry with regard to the incident, where the sarpanch asked him to record the statements of the witnesses. But, the SHO took with him along with Manjeet Singh, Gurdeep Singh, Baljit Singh, Devinder Singh and Santokh Singh to the police station, where they were allegedly tortured and kept in jail. The police did not arrest the accused.

When the sarpanch approached Dharam Paul, he, according to sarpanch, confined him for about 20 minutes and later initiated security proceedings against Manjeet Singh, Gurdeep Singh, Baljit Singh, Devinder Singh, Manjot Singh and one other person and let the sarpanch off.

When this correspondent contacted Dharam Pal, he said the law had taken its own course as according to him when he went to the spot for enquiring into the incident, the sarpanch brought some persons and started threatening the witnesses for which the security proceedings were initiated rightly against him. He denied having confined the sarpanch.



Property worth lakhs gutted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
Property worth lakhs was gutted in four fires in different parts of the city in the past 24 hours.
Fire broke out on a warehouse where gunny bags containing wheat were kept. Fire fighters worked for a couple of hours to douse the flames. The gunny bags were saved but a number of wooden stands were reduced to ashes.

In the second incident, fire broke out in a shop, Arora Trading Company, in Salem Tabri at about 2:30 am. Four fire fighters were pressed into service which successfully controlled the fire but there was huge loss of property.

In another incident, a dyeing factory caught fire on Rahon Road today evening. Sources in the Fire Department said there was no loss of life but property worth lakhs was gutted. In the fourth incident a fire broke out in a heap of garbage in Civil Hospital which threatened to spread but was controlled well in time.



Treasury office ‘harassing’ staff of Education Dept
Payment of salaries held up 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 15
Various organisations of government teachers in this area have accused officials at local treasury office, of harassing employees of the Education Department by not releasing their salaries despite clear orders by the authorities.
The treasury office officials, however, maintained that they had not received orders from the Finance Department.

Mr Ram Singh Dehliz, Mr Bhagwan Singh and Mr Nirmal Singh, office-bearers of the SCBC Teachers Union, said the staff of government schools in this block had not received their salaries for two months. The authorities concerned had stopped the payment on the issue of pay fixation of some categories of teachers who were receiving higher qualification scales and the government had passed an ordinance to stop their higher allowances. The government had later retreated and asked the authorities to continue paying the salaries as usual.

A perusal of a letter written by the district education authorities to the respective treasury offices reveals that the under secretary of school education had written to the Advocate-General of Punjab that the government had decided not to take action on the provisions of impugned ordinance.

“No action, under the provision of the Punjab Payscales of Teachers Ordinance, 2004, and the Punjab Payscales of Teachers Act 2004 (Punjab Act Number 1 of 2005) shall be taken till further orders,” said of the circular endorsed to the DPI Elementary and Secondary. In the same letter the Under Secretary had asked the Advocate-General to seek adjournment in the case of a CWP filed by Mr Avtar Singh, a government school teacher. Mr Sikander Singh Jartoli, general secretry of the Government Teachers Union, alleged that the authorities at the treasury offices had been harassing the teachers by not releasing the salaries despite clear orders by the Education Department.

The authorities at the treasury office, however, maintained that they could not release the salaries on the basis of fresh orders until they received directions from the Finance Department.



Talk show on treatment through Gurbani
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
It was a unique experience for city residents and those from the adjoining towns when they were provided an opportunity to participate online in a two-hour-long medical talk show on the treatment of several incurable and crippling diseases merely through recitation of Gurbani.

With Dr Balwant Singh, secretary, Sarb Rog Ka Aukhad Naam Mission, and the professor of pathology at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Dr B.S. Shah, as the hosts of the show, telecast by Sity Cable from Gurdwara Kalgidhar here on Saturday evening, a large number of patients and their family members discussed the therapy, called “faith healing” by the organisers.

People not only from the city, but places like Jagraon, Khanna and other places interacted with the organisers and many of them turned up at the gurdwara even after the conclusion of the show. Quite a few SMS queries, received during and after the programme about treatment of different diseases, were replied to.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, Dr Balwant Singh said the presence of a senior pathologist, Dr Shah, at the medical talk show lent credibility to the claims of miraculous cure of several life-threatening diseases through meditation or recitation of Gurbani at special healing camps, being organised on a regular basis by the mission.

During the talk show, Dr Balwant Singh explained various aspects of faith healing and dispelled certain doubts and misgivings among medical professionals about this therapy. “Except for reciting gurbani to the patients, no medicine is prescribed. Administration of steroids is out of question and no fee is charged from the patients.” He said the objective was to alleviate the suffering of the patients, the skepticism of the medical fraternity, notwithstanding.

Replying to queries of viewers during the show, Dr Balwant Singh maintained that the mission did not create any superstitions among the patients. Along with the faith-healing therapy, any other standard medicinal treatment could be followed which would ensure quick and certain recovery from the ailment. He was of the firm view that patients had nothing to lose by following the method of treatment through gurbani. “If doctors do not have any treatment for your disease, there is hope for the patients of incurable diseases through the therapy of faith healing.”

Part of the show was devoted to interviews with some of the persons who had been able to get rid of their diseases by participation in the healing sessions, held by the mission during the recent past.

Ms Balwinder Kaur, a patient of breast cancer who had undergone an operation, said the cancer had spread to her brain and had afflicted the sixth nerve. Her vision was badly affected. She was completely healthy now and even her MRI had shown no presence of cancer in the brain. Similarly, Mr Darshan Singh Thind and Ms Malkiat Kaur had been cured from another deadly disease, Hepatitis C.

Some of the other participants in the show like Ms Neena Behal, Ms Jagdish Kaur, Mr Jagtar Singh, Mr Harmel Singh Bhardwaj, Ms Loveleen Kaur had been able to say goodbye to diseases like coeliac disease, chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (a crippling brain disorder), chronic depression, recurrent dislocation of shoulder joint and severe endometriosis (incurable infertility) respectively with the blessings of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and gurbani.



DYC chief warns party rebels of action
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
The newly appointed president of the District Youth Congress (DYC), Mr Dimple Rana, while sounding a note of warning to party rebels, said their conduct would be brought to the notice of party high command so that disciplinary action is taken against them.

In the wake of unruly behaviour and demonstrations by supporters of ousted DYC president Komal Khanna, the new party president asked the workers not to be misled by the motivated and false propaganda but maintain decorum and discipline so that the organisation could be further strengthened.

Addressing a party meeting at Congress Bhavan here today, Mr Rana vowed to take along all party cadres and to make the district unit a cohesive body.



Passing Thru

Chander Shekhar Upadhyaya
Mr Chander Shekhar Upadhyaya, Advocate-General of Uttaranachal

What is the reason of the pendency of the huge number of cases in courts?

Paucity of adequate number of judicial officers is one of the main reasons. Also about 60 per cent cases pending in the country are of petty criminal offences, such as gambling etc. Filing of false and frivolous cases are also responsible.

What is required to cope up with this situation?

The number of judges should be increased. There is also a need to amend the laws keeping in view the changing need of society. Petty criminal cases like gambling should be disposed of on the spot by imposing fine, which would help reduce the overload on the judicial system.

How can the filing of false and frivolous cases be stopped?

The properties of litigants found to have filed false cases knowingly should be confiscated by the government so that it may prove a deterrent.

How can we stop unnecessary arrest of a person booked by the police ?

There is need to set up a legal committee comprising law students or fresh advocates. They should be assigned the job to enquire into the cases thoroughly, after registration of case against any person, except in heinous crimes. Only after their approval, if charges are found against the accused he should be arrested and tried.

— Rajneesh Lakhanpal



Ludhiana Calling


Come summer and there is a big problem of mosquitoes. The anti-larva wing of the city’s health department is very busy during this time. But it seems to be selective in its operations. The anti-larva wing does not cover all city areas. It passes through a few main roads of the city and then the vehicles return to garages.

Photo by Sayeed Ahmed

YOUTHS derive great fun by pasting funny stickers on their mobikes or painting some slogans. One such youth, however, had a cruel brush with reality of the world. He had painted a slogan NO FEAR on his number plate instead of the mandatory number. A senior official of the city police noticed the slogan during late evening patrolling and stopped the youth. The youth got panicky and begged to be let off. The cops had a hearty laugh at his expense when they asked him why had he painted NO FEAR when he was so scared at being caught. The youth was eventually let off with a warning.


Thanks to the local Municipal Corporation, domestic servants and sweepers have to work overtime while complaints of respiratory problems among residents are on the rise. The reason for this is that the MC has not been able to pave the roads dug up for laying sewerage pipes in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Sarabha Nagar, Model Town and other posh colonies. Dust from the roads flies all around and finally settles inside the houses or causes respiratory problems. Despite all that, the MC authorities are not only turning a blind eye to the problem but also seem to be passing through the area with their noses well covered!

Glut of mediapersons

The city is witnessing an overpopulation of mediapersons. An official of the Public Relations Department revealed that at a recent press conference of a senior government official, they had to make arrangements for as many as 75 mediapersons. The official was worried that the number was only growing.

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day was celebrated recently. Many schools, in order to get media coverage, celebrated it in advance. It has become a habit of these schools to be the first to get space in newspapers. Even when the day is over, they keep on celebrating it at a later date. With the result that an important day stretches on for a week and the importance of the day is lost.

— Sentinel



CPI, CPM to jointly oppose privatisation
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 15
Leaders of various political and social organisations paid tributes to Shahid Gurmel Hunjhan and Joginder Singh at a function organised at Pandher Kheri village, near here, yesterday. The organisers dedicated the anniversary of the deceased to the cause of improvement of education in the state-run schools.

Addressing the conference, Dr Joginder Dyal, secretary of the state council of the CPI, dedicated the anniversary of the two leaders to the development of education in the state. He said Hunjhan, like hundreds of other party workers, had sacrificed his life for the cause of national integration and human rights in the state.

Dr Dyal further said the CPI and CPM would initiate a joint action against privatisation of education and power soon. It will be launched from Hussainiwala. The gathering resolved to impress upon the government to ensure minimum work of 100 days for all and reservation for women.

Mr Tej Parkash Singh Kotli, Mr Jasvir Singh, Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha (former ministers), Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura, in charge of the Congress committee, Mr Jatinder Bhola, Mr Kartar Singh Buani, district secretary of the CPI, and Mr Bant Singh Brar recollected the sacrifice of Gurmel Hunjhan and Joginder Singh who had been assassinated by terrorists on May 14, 1989.



An organisation in service of have-nots
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 15
The Ludhiana Young Samaj Sewa Sangh stands apart from other organisations by doing a great service in helping the needy, destitute women and orphans. The organisation formed and managed by youngsters is diligently providing school fees to orphans and poor children, besides giving rations and other necessary household items to needy women.

For the past six months, the organisation is holding functions at Sarabha Nagar Block-I market to hand out rations and school fees. The organisation does not rely on gathering funds from others and all the members arrange funds from among themselves. Ms Amrit Varsha Rampal, Municipal Councillor too has been helping the organisation’s cause without fail.

Fiftyone needy women were distributed rations and other house hold utility items today. Speaking on the occasion, the organisation president Yogesh Sachdeva Happy said, “We all should not always rely on the government for providing relief to needy or poor sections of the society. We all should contribute for their well-being”.



Tension at Jain Sabha meeting
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, May 15
An election meeting of Shri Atmachand Jain Sabha was held at SAN Jain School this morning. Its agenda was the election scheduled to be held on May 26. But a great deal of tension prevailed at the meeting. Mr Sikander Lal Jain, an advocate and member of the Sabha, told Ludhiana Tribune that in order to win elections for his own candidate, the outgoing president of the sabha, Mr Ramesh Kumar Jain, had prepared a bogus and fraudulent list of voters leaving many voters who had paid life membership fees.

He further said that as per clause 6 of the constitution of the Sabha, any Jain Shetambar Murti Pujari family, which had paid Rs 50 as subscription, was entitled to vote . The head of the family is eligible to vote as one family has one vote. So the president had no power to delete the names of members. His act of deleting votes was totally illegal and unfair, he added.

Mr Jain said that the names of some voters already printed in the list of 1994 had been deleted . He said that despite our request the president refused to look into the matter. When the election commissioner was approached in this matter , he expressed his helplessness.

Mr Jain said that finally a suit had has been filed in the court of law as sabha members wanted free and fair elections.

The members who had paid subscription fees were demanding right to vote. His act of adding votes was totally illegal and unfair, alleged Mr Jain. 



Tributes paid to Sham Sunder Jain
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 15
Leaders of various social and political organisations of the town and surrounding villages paid tributes to Mr Sham Sunder Jain, a councillor and a former vice president of the local Municipal Council who died under mysterious circumstances a fortnight ago. These organisations reiterated their earlier demand to get the case probed by some investigation agency.

Meanwhile, the SSP, Sangrur, has constituted a special investigating team to probe the death of the leader.

The bhog ceremony of Mr Jain was held at the local MGMN Senior Secondary School today. It was attended by a large number of persons, including activists of social and political organisatons namely BKU (Ugrahan), Aartia Union, Beopar Mandal, Congress Party, SAD, SAD (A) and SAD (Ravi Inder Singh)

The leaders of these organisations held a meeting after the bhog ceremony and reiterated their earlier demand, seeking a probe into the death of the leader. The speakers alleged that Mr Sham Sunder had been murdered and the suspects had tried to pass the murder as suicide.

Mr Balwant Singh Ghudani, general secretary, BKU (Ugrahan), Mr Kartar Singh Buani, Secretary CPI, Mr Nusrat Akram Khan, former SAD minister, and Mr Sinder Singh Kanganwal, Chairman, Market Committee, said the local leaders should refrain from taking political mileage out of the death of Mr Jain.

Mr Sham Sunder had died under mysterious circumstances on the night of May 3. Mr Gaurav Jain, the only son of the deceased, who had earlier stated that his family did not want a case to be registered, has now demanded a CBI inquiry. 



Lions Club to take up service projects
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
The Lions Club International (district 321-F) will take up several service projects like AIDS awareness, blood donation, TB awareness, drive against female foeticide, environment, child care, sight first and lion quest during the current lionistic year.

This was announced by Mr K.S. Sohal, district governor, while presiding over the first micro cabinet meeting here today. All committee chairpersons, regional chairpersons, chief coordinators, zone chairpersons and several past governors along with other officials attended the meeting.

The district cabinet secretary of the club, Mr Gagan Sohal, said that the district schooling session would be held in Shimla from June 18 to 20. All presidents, secretaries, first vice-presidents, PROs as well as other regional, zonal chairpersons, secretaries and committee chairpersons must attend the session.

All office-bearers of the district council and other clubs in the district assured the district governor (elect) of their support towards service projects. 



Marriage palace owner denies charges
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 15
The owner of a marriage palace, M/s Mehar Meadows, today denied the charges of disobeying the orders of the Consumer Forum, which had directed him and his manager to refund the booking amount of Rs 11,000 along with 9 per cent per annum interest on February 11.

Major I. S. Sandhu claimed here that the copy of the orders were received by him on April 19. The question of defying the orders does not arise, as the forum had given 30 days’ time to implement the order from the receipt of the copy of its order. So, still I have time to obey the orders till May 18 or to file an appeal before higher court, he said.

It may be recalled that acting on the petition of a consumer, Vinod Sehagal, in which he had levelled the allegation of disobeying the orders of the forum, the Consumer Forum had issued summons to the marriage palace owner.



SBI launches OSF project

Ludhiana, May 15
The Zonal Office of the Ludhiana Module of State Bank of India yesterday launched Outbound Sales Force (OSF) under bank’s Business Process Re-Engineering (BPR) initiatives for giving a boost to the sales of home loan products to the retail customers. Mr Akhilesh Moha, Deputy General Manager, Zonal Office, Civil Lines, Ludhiana inaugurated the cell. OC


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