L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Heavy downpour throws life out of gear
One electrocuted, commuters stranded, water enters houses
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
Heavy downpour accompanied by strong winds lashed the city for many hours today, throwing normal life out of gear and inundating the entire city, exposing the unpreparedness of the city for the monsoon season. Worsening the matters was the drizzle that continued throughout the day.

An unidentified man was electrocuted at the Pakhowal road near Gurdev Nagar after he was trying to pass near a transformer. Eyewitnesses said he struggled for life for some minutes and was finally charred.

The heavy rain recorded to be 114.2 mm by the Meteorological Lab at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) flooded the roads and even houses of many residents. It took hours for the residents to drain out rain water from their houses. It was the heaviest rain recorded in the city during this monsoon.

Some residents skipped their routine work to handle the water that had entered their houses. Not only the low-lying areas but almost the entire city was under deluge and it took hours together for the water to get drained out. The residents of posh localities, too, had a tough time when they had to wade through knee-deep water to reach their destinations.

Many commuters in the city were caught offguard when the rain started. Within a few minutes the roads were left waterlogged. Some people had to leave their vehicles in the middle of the roads and run for shelter. Many cars and scooters were stranded in the middle of flooded roads as water entered the machinery of the vehicles. College girls were seen pulling their two wheelers in the knee-deep waters.

The strong winds accompanied with rain blew off hoardings and branches of many trees. The government machinery had to work throughout the day to clear the manholes, trees from the roads and repair the hoardings.

Low-lying areas, including Chaura Bazar, Miller Ganj, Gill Ganj, Dholewal Chowk, Industrial area, Model Town, Malhar Road, Shiv Puri, Damoria bridge, Karimpura Bazar, Street Mansa Ram, Field Ganj and Kesar Ganj and many other localities, were the worst hit where parents had to literally carry their children while wading through deep waters to reach home after school.

Other areas, including Ghumar Mandi, Rani Jhansi Road, Atam Nagar, Rishi Nagar, Haibowal, Dhobi Ghat Road, New Courts Complex, Sarabha Nagar, BRS Nagar and some parts of Ferozepore road, were also water-logged.

Many public parks were converted into swimming pools and after the rain stopped children were seen swimming there. Many areas remained flooded till late in the evening. Despite remaining on tenterhooks to drain water by cleaning the manholes, employees of the local Municipal Corporation could do little to combat the flood-like situation.

The city’s bus-stand was also under deep water. Many people remained stuck up inside the bus-stand.

Residents came forward to help the commuters on various roads, dug by a telecom company, by fixing danger signs to warn them against the trenches. Some persons had even placed their clothes drying stands in the middle of the roads to warn the commuters.

Mini-Secretariat basement flooded

The heavy rain threatened the revenue record stored in the basement of the Mini Secretariat basement which was flooded with rain water. The District Revenue Officer,(DRO), Mr Inderpreet Singh Kahlon, had to direct employees of his office to shift it to a safe place.

The Mini Secretariat of the city had to bear the brunt of the situation after water entered basement and roofs of offices started leaking.

The roof of Deputy Commissioner Anurag Verma’s office also started leaking. His PBX at his camp office also developed a snag due to rain.



Tension in village over place of worship
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
Tension prevails at Dhaula village in the Basti Jodhewal area here since last night following the alleged razing of the building of a religious place. Members of two different communities have been staking their claim over the ownership of the building since the Independence of the country.

The fresh trouble arose when a portion of the building was allegedly found razed late last night. Members of the Muslim community who have been claiming that the building was a mosque before the partition of the country gathered in large numbers at the site. The members of the Sikh community also assembled there.

Timely intervention by the Basti Jodhewal police prevented a major clash between the two communities though heated arguments continued to take place. The police was deployed in the village to prevent escalation of tension. The police security would continue for some time, sources said.

The SHO, Basti Jodhewal, Mr Jaswinder Mangat, said the police had managed to convince both the parties to sit across the table today late evening to sort the matter amicably.

Leaders of the two different communities have made their own claims about the ownership of the building as well as the sequence of events that led to the trouble. According to the police, Muslims and Sikhs pay obeisance at the place . However, the Sikh community claims that only a gurdwara exists there.

They claimed that the building of the gurdwara was quite old and was on the verge of collapsing in heavy rain. They razed a portion of the building to prevent damage to other part as well as to prevent injuries to the sevadaars.

However, members of the Muslim community claimed that the portion of the building was deliberately demolished to expand the gurdwara. They said the building was actually a mosque converted into a gurdwara after Partition.



SHO booked for wrongful confinement
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
A Punjab police inspector and former Station House Officer (SHO) of the Salem Tabri police station has been booked on charges of wrongful confinement and criminal intimidation of a city resident.

According to the FIR registered with the Salem Tabri police station, Inspector Arvind Puri has been booked under Sections 342 and 506 of the IPC for allegedly illegally confining a man identified as Ramesh.

Arvind Puri had served as SHO of the Salem Tabri police station where he has been booked as accused now. He was transferred a few months ago on administrative grounds.

The FIR has been registered on the basis of the inquiry report of SP (Detective) Gurpreet Singh. Sources revealed that the alleged victim managed to prove his illegal confinement when some persons clicked his pictures when he was lodged in a cell of the Salem Tabri police station.

On the basis of his complaint to the SSP, Ludhiana , and proof of the pictures and some witnesses, an inquiry was ordered which indicted the cop. The Punjab police crime branch is also conducting an investigation into some aspects of the case.

The victim, Ramesh, was also booked under a case of cheating in the police station. He however, claimed that the was wrongly booked.



Free power to farmers to cost Rs 439 cr
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Jails and Defence Services, Malkiat Singh Birmi has asserted that with the decision to provide free power to the farmers for irrigation costing Rs 439 crore per annum, Capt Amarinder Singh had proved that only the Congress could watch the interests of the state.

He was addressing a rural gathering at Sahnewal Khurd village, 17 km from here, today.

He asserted that the new package for free power for irrigation to the farmers was justified as the brave and hard-working of the farmers had been contributing more than 80 per cent to the food basket of the country. 



Passing Thru

Harbans Pathak
Dr Harbans Pathak, District Governor Rotary International 3090 (Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan)

The Rotary movement is one of the oldest NGO efforts in the world . But somehow it has not been able to attract the youths?

We have been introducing new programmes for the youth off and on. My Rotary district has realised that it was time to rope in more youth in the service for the better future of the country and mankind as a whole. Precisely for that reason, we have decided to dedicate the current Rotary year to the ‘Service of the Youth’.

What activities are covered under this special programme?

We have instituted a special award, Rotary Youth Leader Award Camp for the good of the youth activists to encourage them. Besides that, we have started a youth exchange programme within India and abroad. We are organising special functions to mould the attitude of the youth. We work on the motto ‘ Build Excellence’ while keeping the youth in mind.

What is Rotary International’s role in international peace?

Rotary being a world- wide organisation is trying its best for international peace. We believe that it is only through a better understanding of one an other’s culture, values and social ethos that international peace can be achieved. The method adopted is to organise more meetings between residents of different countries. For this purpose, we are organising special trips of the Rotary members to Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Denmark and Thailand.

— Jupinderjit Singh



BJP workers burn Aiyar’s effigy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
Workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today staged a demonstration against the hike in the petrol and diesel prices. They also burnt an effigy of the Petroleum Minister, Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar, blaming him for the frequent hike in the prices of petrol and diesel.

The BJP workers alleged that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had ignored the interests of the common people. The BJP leaders said the Congress and its allies, particularly the Left parties, had come to power after getting the support of the common masses. But they seem to have forgotten the commitment and are taking such measures which hit the common man only.

The party leaders said the BJP would soon be launching a nationwide protest against the government policies which have made the common masses suffer. They claimed that the UPA government had miserably failed on all fronts and would soon collapse under its own weight.

They said with repeated hike in the petrol and the diesel prices, the overall economy of the middle class families had been disturbed and the survival of people was becoming difficult. Because, they said, the hike in the prices of the petroleum products leads to the rise in the prices of other essential commodities as well. 



Tibetans earn 65 pc income from woollen trading
Shveta Pathak & Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
Though the primary occupation of Tibetans in exile, settled in India, is agriculture, over 65 per cent of their income comes from trading in woollens that they procure from Ludhiana.

“It would not be wrong to say that the Tibetan refugees are entirely dependent upon Ludhiana,” said Prof Samdong Rinpoche, Prime Minister of the Central Tibetan Administration (also called the Tibetan Government-in-Exile). He was in city today to attend a Tibetan cultural show, ‘Dances from the Roof of World’.

India is home to nearly one lakh Tibetans, majority of whom pursue agriculture for around six months in a year. In July, they start coming to Ludhiana to procure woollens that they sell in different parts of the country. According to estimates, the annual sale by woollen garment manufacturers to the Tibetans is almost Rs 250 crore.

Expressing gratitude towards the city industrialists, Prof Rinpoche said, “Had it not been for manufacturers who supply to us, earning a living would have been a tough task.”

He said the cultural show today was a part of the fund-raising exercise started by the Tibetan Government-in-Exile and involved the participation of over 30 Tibetan artistes from Dharamsala. The funds raised from the show, that has so far been conducted in Bangalore and Mumbai, would be used towards social projects like education and health programs, he disclosed.

He said he had undertaken a fund-raising exercise for the third five-year -plan for their settlement in India. “For the past 40 years, our projects were being primarily funded by foreign agencies like the European Union. But now, we too are getting involved in it.”

“Our primary motive is to promote education and health,” he said, adding, “We have nearly 80 schools, apart from several hospitals. Equal stress is laid on promoting the Tibetan culture, which is done through our institutions that provide training in and promote Tibetan style of painting, dances and music.”

Ludhiana has a Tibetan population of around 1,000, majority of which stay here only for a part of the year. “Tibetans today are as much a part of India as any other community. In fact, through trading, they are also contributing to the government’s revenues,” said Mr Navin Sood, president of the Indo-Tibetan Hosiery Association, which is organising the cultural show.



Jewellery collection launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
A leading jewellery store today launched its Maharaja Collection, a diamond jewellery aimed at style, glamour and elegance.
Addressing a press conference at the launch here yesterday, CEO of the store Rohit Jain said: “The collection has been launched keeping in view the changing customer tastes and a burgeoning buying market, which is fast expanding.”

Mr Jain said they had ensured that the quality standards were constantly upgraded, prices were kept affordable and new strategies were formulated to see how to give each customer “value for money”.

Jewellery exhibition: Swarn Sambandh, a jewellery exhibition, was inaugurated at a local hotel here today. Nearly 30 jewellery designers and dealers are participating in the four-day exhibition, which concludes on September 12.



BSNL opens on-line cash counter
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 9
The sixth on-line cash counter of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) was inaugurated by the General Manager of Ludhiana Telecom Circle, Mr G.S. Julka, at its subdivisional office at Baddowal here today.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Julka reiterated the commitment of the BSNL to provide value-added and efficient services to the consumers. Among others present at the function were Mr Dinesh Garg, DGM, Jagraon, Mr Suresh Badal, DGM (South), Ludhiana, Mr Deepak Kumar, DGM (F and A), Mr Mohinder Singh, DGM (Planning), Mr Jasbir Singh, DE, Mullanpur, Mr Amarjeet Singh, DET, and Mr Gurpreet Singh, SDE.


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