L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Good roads being recarpeted? MC orders probe
Development project embroiled in controversy
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 6
The development work on some streets in Zone B, which was inaugurated by the Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Surinder Dawer, amidst much fanfare a week ago, has turned into an embarrassment for him with the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (LMC) ordering an inquiry following allegations that the streets were in a good condition and did not need any recarpeting.

Mr Dawer had inaugurated the project on August 31. He had claimed that he had got it sanctioned from the LMC. Street numbers 1, 2 and 5 in the Ward number 59, near Maharaja Ranjit Singh Park, were to be recarpeted under the project.

However, before the work could start, the Municipal Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sharma ordered an inquiry into the project and assigned the Joint Commissioner, Mr Pritam Singh Johal, to look into the matter and report to him the facts of the case. Confirming the development, Mr Bansi Lal, Zonal Commissioner, said Mr Johal was doing the inquiry.

Mr Pran Nath Bhatia, a BJP leader, had four months ago, protested against inviting of tenders for the work on the streets following which Mr Sharma had surveyed the area. He had suspended the entire process in-between only.

But when Mr Dawer inaugurated the project on August 31, Mr Bhatia again raked up the matter and expressed his surprise. He claimed that the streets were in a perfectly good condition and did not need any repairs. He further alleged that while many roads in the city needed urgent attention, the ones in good condition were being recarpeted to ‘‘benefit certain persons’’.

While Mr Dawer was not available for comments, Mr Ashok Bagga, husband of area councillor, Ms Anju Bagga, said he had the signatures of hundreds of residents of those particular streets, who wanted the roads to be recarpeted . He added that these people were the sufferers as rainwater enters their houses due to the low plinth level of the streets. He added that he was not worried as the inquiry officer would himself see the condition after visiting the spot. Mr Bagga said work on the road had not started as yet.

Interestingly, following the inquiry, the area councillor supported by five others had threatened to resign on Sunday. They had released the letter ,threatening the resignation on the plea that the MC officials were not doing development in their area, to the media also but soon after they had withdrawn the threats.



Petrol price hike resented
Transporters threaten strike on Sept 16
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 6
Hike in petroleum and diesel prices today was resented by residents and industry. Following the government’s decision effecting a Rs 3 hike in petroleum and Rs 2 hike in diesel rates, the prices have shot up to Rs 47.74 for petroleum and Rs 29.88 for diesel.

As a result of the hike, that was announced during the day, to be implemented from midnight, long queues of people wanting to get fuel at cheaper rates could be seen at petrol stations.

While the government termed the hike unavoidable due to spiralling international crude oil prices, the common man only feels helpless as the increase hits his budget.

“This is the third time that this government has increased prices, which have already touched an all time high. It was only over a month ago that there was an increase. The decision is highly unjust,” rued Mr Santokh Singh, a resident.

It was only recently that the government hiked petrol prices by Rs 2.50 and diesel by Rs 2 per litre. Petrol and diesel prices were increased a couple of months ago prior to this hike as well.

Reportedly, state-run oil marketing companies — Indian Oil Corp, BPCL, HPCL and IBP — posted losses in the first quarter of this fiscal. With an increase in international prices, these companies have to face an additional burden, which, if not shared by consumers, would increase the losses incurred by these companies.

“It is true that state run oil companies would have suffered if there was no hike. The fact is that if we consider rising international crude oil prices, there would have been a hike at least four-five times here. Despite all this, one feels bad as it is the common man who is the worst sufferer,” said Mr Ashok Sachdeva, general secretary, Ludhiana Petroleum Dealers Association.

Meanwhile, in protest against the hike, transporters have threatened to observe a complete strike on September 16. At a meeting of transporters held here today, the president of the Punjab State goods Transporters Association, Mr Bhupinder Singh Pandher, condemned the hike in diesel prices.

“Industry is suffering due to the constant increase in prices. The government must control prices if industry is to survive,” he said. He said the hike would have a severely adverse impact on the industry and if the government did not withdraw its decision, transporters across the country would go on strike.



Rs 30 lakh for Sarabha memorial
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 6
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, has released a grant of Rs 30 lakh out of his discretionary quota for the completion of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Memorial which is under construction at Sarabha village.

Mr Anurag Verma, Deputy Commissioner, said a cheque for this grant have been handed over to the SDM, Ludhiana (West), and he has been directed to get the work completed under his supervision through the PWD at the earliest.

He said the SDM along with the Executive Engineer, PWD, Mr Gurnam Singh Azad, had already inspected the site and reviewed the status of works. He also asked the SDM to ensure the proper cleanliness in the memorial complex and make arrangements for landscaping and plantation of saplings.

The DC also said the Chief Minister has also sent a grant of Rs 10 lakh to the Kuka Memorial Trust for the construction of parking place at Bhani Sahib and Rs 5 lakh for Grewal Sports Association, Kila Raipur.

He said the Chief Minister announced the grant of Rs 5 lakh while presiding over the prize distribution function at Kila Raipur. Out of this grant, cash prizes of one lakh each would be given to the winners of bull cat race, wrestling, kabaddi, off loading and loading of tractor-trailer and best outstanding sports man of the year in the rural sports category.



Two Abohar men held for theft bid 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 6
The city police today claimed to have nabbed two theft suspects soon after they failed to break open a mobile-phone shop on the Threekay Road around 10.30 pm last night.

Addressing a press conference here this afternoon, the SP (D) said the arrested duo had been identified as Deepak and Puran, residents of Abohar. The suspects were paraded before newsmen along with the two knives and a lock-breaking rod of tempered iron. The SP said both had been jointly booked under Sections 457,380 and 511 of the IPC and also separately under the Arms Act. According to the confession of the suspects, they had arrived in the city by bus from Abohar around 8 pm on Monday.

The police has registered the case on the statement of the watchman on Threekay Road who stated that when the suspects tried to break open the lock of a shop , he challenged them, but they tried to flee the spot. The two ran into a naka party headed by SHO Jasvir Singh.

Cases of theft have also been registered against the suspects at Abohar. 



2 PAU officers get show-cause notice
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 6
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today issued a show-cause notice to two officers, asking them why their services should not be terminated for their alleged misconduct. The Registrar, Dr V.K. Sharma, said the two officers — Mr Sat Pall Sharma, accounts officer in the College of Home Sciences, and Mr R.S. Arora, administrative-cum-accounts officer in the College of Veterinary Sciences, have been asked to reply to the notice within one month, failing which their services would be terminated.

The Registrar said the show cause notice follows an inquiry conducted by Dr S.K. Sondhi, Dean College of Agricultural Engineering, which found the two officers guilty of misconduct against the Vice-Chancellor, Dr K.S. Aulakh and the university. The inquiry based its conclusions mainly on newspaper reports and the campaign to mislead the employees of the university allegedly by the two officers.

The Registrar said the two employees were served a charge sheet on January 7, following which the inquiry was instituted.

The two officers today started a protest dharna against the notice. They said they would go on fast in case their termination orders were not withdrawn. They said they would also move the state and national human rights commissions against the “injustice” meted out to them by the university.



Puzzle that has baffled many world over
Asha Ahuja

Adeesh Mittal
Adeesh Mittal

Ludhiana, September 6
“We turn the cube and it twists us,” said Erno Rubik, inventor of the Rubik Cube. Though Rubik Cube was invented way back in 1974 by the Hungarian Professor of Architecture, its magic and great attraction has not been diminished by time.

The last World Rubik Game Championship was held on August 23 and 24, 2005.

The cube has baffled over 500 million people all over the world. Its 26 blocks of plastic are held together in such a beautiful and clever way that it baffles anyone who tries to solve it.

It has intrigued children from five to mathematicians of all ages the world over.

Rubik Cube has remained the most popular puzzle throughout the world.

Adeesh Mittal, a Class IX student of Kundan Vidya Mandir, who is good at mathematics, too, got addicted to the cube.

His father, Ravinder Mittal, told Ludhiana Tribune that while going to Vaishno Devi shrine once, they came across this puzzle and bought one for Adeesh.

Adeesh tried solving it instinctively by aligning the corners first, which incidentally is the correct way.

Adeesh said: “I was determined to solve it. After trying it for one and a half months, I was able to solve the puzzle. Now I am able to solve it within three to four minutes. I really enjoy solving the puzzle as it refreshes me.”

A very small percentage of people can solve all six sides, he said.

Adeesh has now found new a passion and solves Su Do Ku, a popular puzzle in Japan, that appears in newspapers daily.

Adeesh wants to become a computer software engineer and also invent games. He says such games pose a challenge and stimulate the brains.



Vets ask govt to revise inoculation targets
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 6
The Punjab State Veterinary Officers Association (PSVOA) has urged the state Animal Husbandry Department to fix realistic targets for vaccination of cattle against foot and mouth diseases (FMD) and hemorrhagic septicemia (HS), as also to consider the cost factor for inoculation, which was on a higher side.

A meeting of the central body of the association, held here today under the presidentship of Dr Ashok Sharma, state president, expressed concern that veterinarians were being asked by the department to achieve 100 per cent target for HS vaccination, which was practically impossible.

Further, the department had decided to charge an amount of Rs 2 per dose per animal for HS vaccine whereas several companies were selling the same at Re 1 per dose. Senior veterinary officers from all over the state, besides Dr T.P. Saini, senior president, Dr Nirmaljit Singh, state general secretary, and Dr Paramjeet Singh, press secretary of PSVOA, attended the meeting.

According to Dr Paramjeet Singh, press secretary of the association, the meeting was of the view that providing the FMD vaccine at a cost of Rs 4 per dose, as against free of cost, as was done during the past two years, was proving to be a big stumbling block.

Since 100 per cent vaccination on cost basis was not possible, the target was sought to be revised downward at 60 to 65 per cent.

Similarly, the vets described the target for artificial insemination of cows and buffaloes as illogical and wanted it to be fixed on the Haryana pattern.

Moreover, they wanted the target to be decided by a committee of technocrats rather than by bureaucracy.

The meeting impressed upon the Department of Animal Husbandry to prepare a calendar of vaccination schedule against different diseases, make provisions for cash payment of incentive to trainees at women empowerment camps, ensure timely payment of salaries to those working on non-plan posts, put an end to caste-based discrimination for filling senior posts and grant non-practicing allowance, academic allowance and conveyance allowance to vets on Haryana and Central Government pattern.



Car bazaar business hit by pillars
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 6
Thanks to the confusion over the green space in Feroze Gandhi Market, about 50 second-hand car dealers along with their over 500 employees, have been rendered jobless. They have been asked not to carry on any trading during the week days. They can do it on Sundays only.

The car dealers have been holding that the market, where the trading of second-hand cars is held, does not have any shop doing a different business. All shops deal in cars or car accessories. Consequently, they will be rendered jobless on other days.

Recently, the police erected cement pillars in front of their shops. This has led to the wastage of considerable space in the area. The car dealers have been maintaining that the basic problem has been of the availability of space only. They said surprisingly the police personnel erected pillars without realising that they had blocked a considerable space where at least 100 more cars could be parked.

The worst sufferers appear to be the accessory traders. After the way to their shops was blocked by the police, no person can take the vehicle up to the shop. With the result, they are on the verge of closing down their business.

An accessory dealer in the market pointed out, “If one cannot bring his vehicle near the shop, how can we install the accessories...we cannot do it on the road”.

The car and accessories dealers have been pleading with the district and police administration and the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation to take a practical view of the situation. They said they respected the high court directions on the matter. They, however, claimed that the HC directions were not being properly followed and implemented and in the process, they were being made to suffer losses.

The car dealers have been claiming that they were the first to settle and set up their business in an otherwise deserted Feroze Gandhi Market about a decade ago. “Nobody would like to come over here. It is we who started business and people started coming here and now the irony is that we are being made to vacate the place,” an upset car dealer regretted.

He pointed out that the open space in the market was meant for parking only. “And we were also parking the cars only and even after we were forced not to park our vehicles here only the cars remain parked here, so why have we been singled out and discriminated against,” the car dealer said, while alleging that they were being denied their bread and butter. 



SAD-BJP consensus over MC bypoll likely
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 6
The Shiromani Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party are likely to reach a consensus over a common candidate for Ward No. 66, where the byelection is to be held on September 18. The district president of the SAD, Mr Hira Singh Gabria, said he was confident that the alliance would field a common candidate to ensure the defeat of the Congress.

The BJP has announced the candidature of Mr Charanjit from the ward. The SAD leader said September 11 was the last date for the withdrawal of the nomination papers.


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