L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


2 killed, 15 hurt in road mishap
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
Two persons were killed and about 15 injured when a mini bus carrying 20 passengers and overloaded with cargo turned turtle after colliding with a truck-trailer that had taken a wrong U-turn on National Highway No. 1 near Giaspura Chowk at about 2 am today.

The bus, travelling from Amritsar to New Delhi, skidded off the road and turned turtle in the opposite lane after jumping over the central verge. The truck-trailer was coming from the Sahnewal side. The driver took the U-turn without bothering for the traffic coming from the Ludhiana side.

The deceased persons — bus driver Surinder Bittu and Vedu Kashyap of Shamli village of Muzaffarnagar, UP — were flung out of the bus windows due to the impact. The bus fell over them, killing them on the spot.

Most of the passengers were sleeping at that hour. The truck-trailer driver fled the scene. The Focal Point police later booked the unidentified driver for negligent, wrong and rash driving, causing the deaths.

The New Star Mini Bus Service, Amritsar, owned the ill-fated bus. The SHO of Focal Point and SI, Mr Mukesh Kumar, in charge of the Sherpur Chowk police post, said ambulances of the highway police and the national highway reached the spot immediately and soon more from Apollo Hospital and CMC also arrived.

The injured were given first aid at the spot before being shifted to various hospitals.

The police said the passengers were terrified by the accident and many shivered with fear.

The SDM, Mr M.S. Jaggi, and some senior police officials also reached the spot and supervised the rescue operations. The vehicles were removed from the accident spot as they were hindering the traffic flow.



Kids suffer as teachers put on poll duty
Three schools closed for a month
Asha Ahuja

Teachers protest against electoral duties given to them outside the PUDA office on the Ferozepore Road in Ludhiana on Thursday
Teachers protest against electoral duties given to them outside the PUDA office on the Ferozepore Road in Ludhiana on Thursday. — Photo by I.V.

Ludhiana, October 20
The deployment of teachers on the duty of updating voters’ list in the district has left many a school without teachers.
With the rehearsal for the voting list beginning today, at least three schools will remain closed for one month because a majority of the teachers have been put on duty. The state government has once again deputed teachers on duty for intensive revision of electrol roles. This one-month exercise began today. The teachers are required to do intensive house-to-house surveys.

In Government Senior Secondary School, Govind Nagar, 16 teachers out of 18 have been put on duty while in Government School, PAU, 65 teachers out of 68 will do the work of updating votes. In Government Senior Secondary School, 29 teachers out of 35 have been put on duty.

Thus, with the closure of schools for a month, education for the students has come to a standstill.

Many other schools are also facing shortage of teachers.

Hundreds of teachers arriving for rehearsals at PUDA Office, Ferozepore Road, protested angrily and shouted slogans here today. Mr Bhajan Singh, district chief of the Democratic Teachers Front said the Punjab Government’s plan to derail education in schools had become very obvious. He said that the teachers already were involved in seminars, adolescent education and school sports and were overworked. This extra duty would cripple education in schools.

Mr Anoop Kumar, a teacher of PAU Government School, warned that the teachers would involve the students as well as their parents in the protest. Ms Kanwal Jeet Kaur of the Ph.D Teachers Association said the teachers almost on the edge of retirement would not go door to door for collecting information

The teachers had given a memorandum to Education Minister, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, asking him to withdraw the duties given to teachers, she added.

The leaders of teachers said the communication gap between politicians and bureaucrats had become wider as Mr Johar had earlier said teachers would not be deputed on non-teaching duties and yet teachers had been given this month-long duty.



Every Ambassador car with red light atop is not official
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
As Ambassador cars continue to be identified with official or bureaucratic positions, quite a number of people, fond of official recognition, have started travelling in such cars, while abandoning their own luxury vehicles. Because, if you travel in a white Ambassador you are looked at respectfully and usually no police dares to stop you. At times you get saluted even by some unsuspecting cops.

Quite a few people in Ludhiana have purchased white Ambassador cars to make themselves look like some senior officials. Most of these are self-proclaimed political leaders who have been adjusted as honorary directors and nominees to various boards and corporations by the Punjab Government.

Recently when one such appointee started flaunting his brand new white Ambassador car with a flag and red light atop, everybody was taken aback. The particular nominee has always claimed close proximity with the Chief Minister. This caused lot of ripples in political and administrative circles as how the government could procure a brand new Ambassador car for him. Ultimately it turned out to be his personal car as he was not entitled to an official car or the red light and the flag on it.

Interestingly, the particular person abandoned his own Mercedes Benz car as that did not earn him the regard and the respect he desired.

Inquiries reveal that there are some more nominees and members (of various boards and corporations) in Ludhiana, who have purchased their own white Ambassador cars. One such member admitted that it was his personal car since he was not officially entitled to a vehicle. However, he claimed that he had a personal liking for the white Ambassador car as it was “very comfortable”. He also added, there is not much stopping and questioning by the police if you are travelling in a white Ambassador car. He denied that he had ever used a red light atop his car.

A senior leader of the Congress told The Tribune on the condition of anonymity that everybody in politics wanted recognition.



Women fast for long life of husbands
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 20
The festival of Hindu married women — Karva Chauth — was celebrated with traditional fervour here today. The women, dressed in their best, kept the fast for the long life and prosperity of their husbands. The markets were abuzz with activity till late night with
mehandiwalas applying henna on the hands of women and girls. The women were seen doing last-minute shopping for the festival.

Keeping themselves busy, women had arranged several get-togethers and played tambola and other games. The Punjab Pradesh Mahila Aggarwal Sammelan organised a special function for their members. The function was presided over by Ms Shveta Verma, wife of the Deputy Commissioner.

Mr Amrit Lal Aggarwal, president of the sammelan, said the population of over three crore Aggarwals in the country, celebrated the festival with traditional fervour. He said," One should not forget one’s rich traditions and culture. Our roots are Indian and we should feel proud to be Indians”.

The organisers organised a ‘Karva Queen’ contest. Ms Rashmi Gupta and Ms Brij Mittal were adjudged Karva Queens. Ms Monika Mittal, president, and Ms Ritu Garg, senior vice-president of the women’s wing said they celebrated such festivals with great enthusiasm.

Many ladies’ clubs also held various functions today to keep their members busy. One-minute games and tambola were played by the members. They were also given many surprise gifts. Cinema halls witnessed a huge rush of women.

In the afternoon, women were seen exchanging thaalis with family members and friends.



Man books cinema hall for wife

Ludhiana, October 20
The love of a 35-year-old man for his wife after nine years of marriage was the talk of the town today, as he booked the entire cinema hall to watch a film with his wife and three children on the occasion of ‘Karva Chauth’.

Local businessman Sikandar Singh, who did not disclose the amount he paid to the cinema hall owner, as it was a gift to his wife Meenakshi, watched the Amitabh-Hema Malini-starrer ‘Baghban’.

He said he was also on fast today on the occasion of the festival just as Amitabh Bachchan kept with wife Hema Malini in the film.

He said he often failed to give enough time to his wife and three children — Anmol (8), Smridhi (4) and Sultan (18 months) — and, thus, he gave a surprise to them by taking them for an exclusive show at Surya cinema hall in the Habowal locality of the city this morning. — UNI



3 robbers arrested
Our Correspondent

Khanna, October 20
The police has claimed to have busted a gang of robbers with the arrest of three persons here. S P (D) Dilbagh Singh said in a press conference organised at the SSP office complex here today that a stolen truck and two pistols were recovered from their possession.

The SP said on October 17 three persons travelling in a Tata Mobile stopped a truck near Pawaat Bridge in the Machhiwara area. They took away the truck on gunpoint after beating the driver. They changed the number plates of the vehicles. Next day one of the robbers Charnjit went to Mandi Gobindgarh with the stolen truck and the other two to Jawadi village to park the Tata Mobile there. On the way a police party stopped their Tata Mobile near a toll tax barrier. During the checking of the papers of the vehicle, the police found that the number on the number plate of the vehicle was not matching with the registration certificate.

The police arrested both of them. During investigation they confessed to taking away a truck from the driver in the Machhiwara area.



CMCH sends relief team for quake victims
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
The Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH), today sent a 10-member medical and surgical team to quake-hit areas in Jammu and Kashmir.
The team was flagged off by Mr S.N. Maini, a renowned city philanthropist and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the CMCH and Dr Mark Fitzgerald, President, Australian Trauma Society and Director of the Emergency and Trauma Centre in Melbourne, Australia.

Speaking at the occasion, Dr John Pramod, Acting Director, CMCH, said the day earthquake hit, the institution had offered medical help to the concerned administrations. “It is our proud moment that we have been given a chance to serve our fellow human beings in their hour of need.”

Giving more details, Dr John Abraham, Medical Superintendent, CMCH, said the relief team of six doctors, including orthopaedicians, anesthetist, general physicians and four ancillary staff members would work through a base hospital at Baramula district in association with the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and St. John’s Medical college, Bangalore.

“The team will also reach out to the isolated terrains in the affected area for serving those who have been trapped there. The team will also carry all necessary medicines and equipments. Majority of the team members have worked in the medical camps at quake-hit Gujarat and tsunami-hit Tamil Nadu earlier,” Dr Abraham added.

RELIEF SENT: Responding to the appeal of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, for sending relief to the victims of earthquake, which has caused death and destruction in Jammu and Kashmir the Nahar Group of Companies, Ludhiana on Thursday sent a truckload of clothes. The Nahar Group a textile giant of North India, has come forward and contributed woollen garments worth Rs 12 lakh for the victims of earthquake of Jammu and Kashmir.



Two donate piggybank savings for quake victims
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
Two schoolchildren of the city have set a unique example for others to emulate by donating the savings of their piggybank for the help of Jammu and Kashmir earthquake victims.

Varinder Pal Singh (9) and Gurvinder Singh (12), both sons of a traffic cop Harjeet Singh in Ludhiana, gave an amount of Rs 400 to the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund from their savings in their piggybank. They came to The Tribune office today and offered their piggybank.

“Take whatever amount comes out of our piggybank” they said, “We are moved at the sufferings of the quake victims. They have been rendered homeless. We wanted to help them in whatever possible way we can.” The two study in Sargodha Khalsa School at Field Ganj.

This is not the first time that they have donated their savings. They had donated Rs 351 from their piggybank to the victims of the tsunami disaster. The children were quite sensitive to the environment too. They had hogged limelight last year by planting trees on their birthdays in the city instead of spending money on cakes and sweets.



Road width reduced
D.B. Chopra

Ludhiana, October 20
Jail Road, the widest road in the old city area, has been reduced to an alley, thanks to rampant roadside encroachments by shopkeepers and rehriwallahs on both sides of the kilometre- long road.

The vast residential area of Field Ganj, with as many as 16 kuchas or avenues, lies on the eastern side of the road while on the western side lies the rest of the old city. Adjoining the kuchas towards further east is the sprawling industrial area and as such Jail Road serves as the main shopping centre for the thousands of middle and lower-class families residing in these localities.

Since the vast road is not enough to accommodate so many shops, several residential buildings in various kuchas of Field Ganj , notably 5,6, and 9 , have been converted into shops with extensions running into the middle of the road.

The road has come under further pressure due to the current festival season. Apart from shop extensions up to 10 to 15 feet on the roadside, the road has been literally hijacked by those selling their merchandise right on the road or on carts.

The tehbazari wing of the local municipal corporation has conducted numerous raids in the past to clear the otherwise wide road, but the action taken every time is limited because of opposition by rehris unions and local politicians, who do not want to lose their vote banks at all costs.

With the result the tehbazari officials are reluctant to visit the area to carry out any anti-encroachment operations there. This has only further emboldened the encroachment mafia that is bent upon occupying every available space along the city roads.

As if taking a cue from the chaos on Jail Road, Shahpur Road, which connects Jail Road with Brown Road, is also witnessing roadside encroachments taking place at a fast pace. 



Transport Nagar, bridge inaugurated
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, October 20
Punjab will soon become a prosperous state with the installation of new industry worth Rs 16,000 crore which will provide employment to the youth of the state, said Choudhry Jagjit Singh, Minister for Local Government Labour and Employment, Punjab.

Talking to mediapersons at a conference in the Municipal Council here this evening, he said the government was taking a special interest in the development of the urban area. The overbridge of Jalandhar city would be completed at a cost of Rs 28 crore. All other over-bridges, including that Ludhiana, would be completed shortly.

Mr Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Parliamentary Secretary (Home, Justice and PWD) and council chief Joginder Pal Singla were also present.

It was pointed out that the overbridge costing Rs 23 crore was announced by the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee during his visit at Mandi Gobindgarh, but no work had been started for want of sanction from the Railway Board. The local council was ready to bear 25 per cent expenses, 25 per cent should be paid by the state government and 50 per cent cost by the central government. The minister assured that the project would be completed at the earliest.

He further added that water supply in all towns would be made available and Rs 36 lakh had been allotted for the development works for Amloh town.

Later, the minister inaugurated Transport Nagar at Chattarpura village, near here, and a bridge joining Focal Point with Transport Nagar. He also inaugurated the Green Park on the G.T. Road, near the PWD resthouse.

A cultural programme was also organised at the municipal complex. Choudhry Jagjit Singh was the chief guest and Mr Sadhu Singh presided over the function. Sardool Sikandar, a folk singer of fame, presented a colourful programme with his party.

Mr Singla welcomed the guests and gave a detail of the development works during the 30 month tenure of the present team of councillors.

The development works included the formation of Transport Nagar, which would provide parking space to 750 trucks, installation of Guru Hargobind Rai Memorial Gate, installation of Maharaja Agarsen statue at a park named after him, a computerised complaint centre, Unique Ladies Park, Modern Bus Stand, installation of five tubewells, three community centres at Nasrali, Master Colony and ward No.10, Senior Citizen Entertainment Home, Modern sewerage section cleaning machine provided, sectionwise complete numbering of houses, Mr Singla maintained.



BJP ‘pained’ at farmer’s suicide in Ferozepore
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
The Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has expressed grief over the suicide by a farmer along with his wife in Ferozepore district. The party spokesman, Prof Rajinder Bhandari, said the farmers in Punjab were passing through a crisis and the government was not bothered about them.

The BJP leader claimed that so many farmers had committed suicide during the past few months as their economic condition was deteriorating. He said the farmers were debt ridden and did not see any hope from anywhere. This led them to acute depression and consequently they resorted to extreme and desperate steps.

The BJP leader demanded adequate compensation to the family of the deceased farmer. He said the government must conduct a survey about the economic conditions of the farmers so that they were adequately compensated.

Meanwhile, the Shiromani Khalsa Dal today criticised the Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal-Badal for making a mockery of the debate about the root causes of militancy in Punjab. A Dal spokesman said instead the government and the Opposition should have discussed the plight of the farmers in the state who were committing suicide.



Jawan killed on duty, widow awaits relief
Vijay Bansal

Jagraon, October 20
Col Bhag Singh, senior vice-president of the Indian Ex-Services League Punjab and Chandigarh, has informed the media that soldiers were sacrificing their life for the nation during peace and war and were now busy evacuating victims of the earthquake in J and K .

It was unfortunate that a jawan coming back from the area was killed at Ludhiana by a gang and the security authorities are still not alerted even after 10 such deaths of soldiers approximately.

When Nk Jagtar Singh was coming on duty from the operational area in Jammu and Kashmir to his rear location of 152 INF BN Ta, he was declared killed in an accident by the police of Dakha on September 21.

Col Bhag Singh informed the government of Punjab, Army Headquarters, Station Commander, Ludhiana, Air Force Station Halwara, Director Sainik Welfare, Chandigarh, and Deputy Director Sainik Welfare Ludhiana. The SSP of Jagraon, Mr R K Jaiswal, was contacted and he ordered an inquiry and deputed the DSP of Dakha, Mr H.S. Brar, for this purpose.

But despite the personal efforts of the military authorities, the government has not declared any financial assistance to the young poor widow and parents of the deceased jawan. 



SDM visits grain markets

Khanna, October 20
SDM Payal, Tejinder Singh Dhaliwal visited the grain markets of Malaud, Payal and Doraha to supervise the procurement system there and solve the problems faced by farmers.

According to a press note of the Public Relations Department the SDM checked the arrival and procurement of paddy. He enquired about the arrangements for drinking water, lights, and cleanliness in the grain markets. OC



Curb female foeticide, says Guru Maa
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 20
Anand Murti Guru Maa yesterday exhorted medical professionals, including nurses, to come forward to fight against the social evil of female foeticide.
Delivering a discourse at the Institute of Nursing Education in Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Charitable Hospital here yesterday, she appreciated the role of nurses towards the care of suffering humanity. Guru Maa asked the girls to become strong both physically and economically.



2 swindlers held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
The Vigilance Bureau has arrested a clerk of the District Transport Office here along with an agent allegedly for pocketing tax amount paid by a person for the registration copy of his vehicle.

Mr G.S. Dhillo, SSP Vigilance Bureau, said clerk Jasdev Singh and agent Rajinder Singh were arrested during a raid conducted by DSP Darshan Singh. They allegedly pocketed Rs 5,600 paid by a person for his registration copy.



Constable arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 20
The city police today arrested a constable of the Punjab Police posted at the single window system building for allegedly issuing fake police verification for the issuance of a passport.

Constable Megh Singh was arrested on the complaint of the Chandigarh Passport Officer, Mr Arvind Sharma, who had received several complaints in this regard.


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |