L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Traffic chaos all the way
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 2
The increase in number of vehicles with every passing day, coupled with lack of planning and enforcement, is leading to traffic chaos on almost all major roads in the city. The result is that vehicular travel is becoming a horrible experience for the city population.

Frequent traffic jams, not only in congested localities of old city and commercial centres, but also in relatively new residential and business areas have become a routine. All sections of road users — motorists, two-wheeler drivers, cyclists and even pedestrians — are finding it increasingly difficult to move from one place to another within the city.

Even as Old GT Road, Mata Rani Chowk, Clock Tower Chowk, Chaura Bazar, Old Sabzi Mandi Chowk, Domoria Bridge Road, Fountain Chowk, Mall Road, Ghumar Mandi, Feroze Gandhi Market and Bhadaur House areas continue to remain a nightmare for road users, the authorities, as usual, remain indifferent to the problem.

For the past couple of months, the traffic movement on the Domoria Bridge road, which connects old city with Civil Lines and other new localities, has become a permanent traffic bottleneck with serpentine queues of vehicles stuck for hours together and the traffic policemen, deployed at T-junction of the Deepak Cinema road and the Old Sabzi Mandi road, seeming clueless to the situation.

To add to the woes of road users, portions of the Old GT Road from Jagraon Bridge to Chand Cinema remain completely or partly closed to traffic for days together.

The situation of vehicular traffic on this section worsens during peak hours in the morning and evening, as well as at the times of breaking of schools when a large number of school buses, vans and three-wheelers ferry the students back to homes from their respective schools.

Due to frequent traffic jams on this section, a large number of people find it difficult to reach the railway station in time as, more often than not, they get stuck in the traffic melee on Domoria Bridge. Daily commuters are sore over the apathy and insensitivity on the part of the enforcement authorities — the civic body and the traffic police — as these appeared to be totally oblivious to the plight of the people.

While the people attribute the traffic chaos in the industrial hub of the state to poor traffic planning, little or no enforcement, inadequate infrastructure like parking spaces and general lack of road sense among road users, it is also a harsh reality that the crucial matter was not being given due attention by the authorities concerned.

Those bearing the brunt of poor traffic management on city roads feel the vehicle drivers ought to show some consideration towards other road users while moving on the roads and parking their vehicles.

The administration should also provide ample parking spaces, remove encroachments on roadsides and sternly deal with cases of misuse of parking space for any other purpose.

Moreover, they feel the traffic police should not be a mere tool of slapping challans on the defaulters, but it should be equipped and trained to enforce rules so that the city roads become more safe and flow of traffic improves to some extent.



Cong on look out for urban Sikh dist chief?
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
After the appointment of Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, an urban Sikh, as the president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the Congress is believed to have started thinking in terms of appointing some leader from the community to the post of the district president, Ludhiana (urban). It is learnt that a group of Congress leaders from Ludhiana belonging to the urban Sikh community has made a representation to the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo and also the party high command at the centre.

The leaders have been arguing that the urban Sikhs hold a lot of influence in most of the urban seats of Ludhiana. They said, they had not been given any representation so far. Even elsewhere in the state, the leaders argued that they had not got any representation. The leaders maintained that in case the party decided to appoint an urban Sikh to the post it could checkmate the Akalis’ move of placating the community by appointing the SGPC from amongst them.

In most of the four city seats in the Assembly, the presence of voters belonging to this community is quite significant. While so far the community remained mostly preoccupied with the business only, now quite a number of them have joined the politics. Mostly the community had so far identified with the Akali Dal, but now quite a number of them are in the Congress for a long time.

The community leaders in the Congress had been arguing that in case the party gives representation to any of them it could make a definite and decisive impact. They have been holding that the community members have always wanted an alternative to the Akali Dal and that was the Congress only. A community leader told the Tribune, “this is the high time that the party recognises the community’s strength and it will help in the forthcoming elections”.

If some leaders are to be believed, the PCC President is also reported to be in favour of giving due representation to the community, while keeping in view their strength in terms of votes. This has already led to a race among the community leaders for trying to lobby support. Although there are no indications of the immediate removal of the incumbent president, Mr Jagmohan Sharma, but still the aspirants have started making their claims.



Raikote family scion sees better future for Indo-Pak ties
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
Rai Aziz Ullah Khan, a scion of the erstwhile family of the Nawab of Raikote and a member of the Pakistan National Assembly, expects a bright future for the Indo-Pak ties. He said the people of the two Punjabs deserve credit for the same.

He pointed out that it was the two Chief Ministers, Capt Amarinder Singh and Pervez Elahi who were instrumental in initiating the process for an everlasting relationship between the people of two Punjabs.

Rai Aziz Ullah was speaking at a reception organised here on Wednesday in his honour at the Hotel Majestic Park Plaza. Prominent among those present included senior Congress leader and the chairman of the hotel, Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura, a former Mayor of Houseglow in England, Mr Harbans Kanwal, senior Deputy Advocate General, Harpreet Sandhu .

He said the peace process between India and Pakistan was “an irreversible one”. He expressed confidence over the growing trust between the people of the two countries. He said, “even if the two governments want, which of course they will not, they cannot afford to keep the enmity for long”.

He observed that there was a “huge scope” for cooperation between the two countries, in general, and the two Punjabs in particular.

Expressing gratitude to the people of Punjab for showering so much love and honour on him, Rai Aziz Ullah said similar feelings were prevailing across the border also. He said, “You can ask the people who keep on going to Pakistan that how they are treated”. He observed that there were a lot of misunderstandings and misgivings which needed to be removed. “But I am confident that these misgivings are being removed to a great extent”, he said.

Welcoming him, Mr Kanwal said it was the people-to-people contact at the grass-roots level that would strengthen the relationship between the two countries and not the government-to- government contact. He said, “we look forward to more and more such visits so that trust and confidence built over a period is further strengthened”. 



Akali leader booked
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 2
The police today booked an Akali leader, Sukwant Singh “Tillu” and his accomplice Malkiat Singh on the charge of assaulting a person, trespassing into a plot near Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, with the intention to take forcible possession of the plot.

He was booked at Sarabha Nagar police station following the complaint of Darshan Singh of Sunet village. The complainant has submitted to the police that the accused earlier tried to grab his plot. The accused also threatened to kill him, added the complainant.

Acting swiftly, the police arrested the accused, Sukhwant Singh and produced him before the Court of Illaqua Magistrate, Mr Tarsem Mangla. The judge remanded him to judicial custody. Refuting the allegations, the Akali leader claimed that he was falsely implicated in the case.



Councillors greet MLA for getting grant
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 2
Local Municipal councillors greeted and thanked Ms Razia Sultana, Parliamentary Secretary and MLA Malerkotla, for impressing upon the Chief Minister to get grants worth more than Rs 5 crore for the development of the local town that had remained ignored for decades after the independence.

Led by Mr Jatinder Bhola, president, councillors, greeted Ms Sultana and paid gratitude for getting substantial grants sanctioned. Ms Sultana said it was her duty to plead before the Chief Minister the case of people of the constituency. “With the recommendation of Capt Amarinder Singh, CM, we could get grants worth more than Rs 5 crore for various developmental projects that will be started soon,” said Ms Sultana.

The MLA substantiated her claim with the copies of correspondence undertaken by her according to which she had brought the pathetic condition of the town in the notice of functionaries of the Punjab Government. She said about Rs 4 crore would be spent on the sewage and drainage and around Rs 1.5 crore would be incurred on other developmental projects.

Commenting on the earlier situation, she said factionalism of the councillors had delayed the sanction. “We will continue bringing grants for the town till the president acts in democratic manner and keeps councillors and people of the area with him”.

Mr Kishori Lal Badhan, former president, Ms Santosh Rani, vice-president, Mr Mohamad Yaseen, Mr Mohinder Multani, Ms Chiter Rekha, Ms Veena Puri and Ms Ramandeep Kaur (all councillors) and Ms Bittu Singla applauded the role of the MLA.



Setting up of military academy in Punjab hailed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 2
Vijay Sathi an ex-MLA and a senior Congress leader has welcomed the announcement by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to set up a military academy in Punjab. Mr Sathi observed, it showed the Prime Minister’s far sightedness and his deep regard for the unmatched sacrifices made by the people of the state.

In Sathi’s opinion, the setting up of the academy would enthuse the youth of the state to work and sacrifice for the country. It would also provide a golden opportunity to the educated unemployed youth of this area to get handsomely employed as officers. Besides, it would also help the country overcome the lingering problem of shortage of army officers.

Mr Sathi was of the view that Moga was the most suitable site for such an academy. The district was proud of producing great patriots and martyrs. Lala Lajpat Rai, who nurtured the freedom struggle with his blood and Subedar Joginder Singh, who was awarded the highest gallantry award ‘Paramvir Chakra’ for his rare courage, commitment and sense of sacrifice belonged to this district.

Mr Sathi also appealed to the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, to reconsider the views of Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia. Dy. Chairman, Planning Commission, to set up a nuclear plant in the state as it will help overcome the shortage of electricity in the state.



Martyr cremated 
Tribune News Service

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 2
Leaders of various political and social organisations paid homage to Gurpreet Singh of 20 Sikh Regiment whose mortal remains were consigned to the flames with full military and state honours at his native village Kalsian near here yesterday.

Gurpreet Singh (27) laid down his life while guarding the Siachin sector on November 29. Gurpreet was the eldest son of Jarnail Singh, a marginal farmer of Kalsian and his wife had given birth to a boy only three weeks earlier. Gurpreet joined military about nine years ago.

Though the exact cause of death was not mentioned in the communication received by the administration, his colleagues who accompanied the corpse wrapped in the Tricolor said he had died due to intensive cold and deficiency of oxygen gas at the peaks. Besides two children Gurpreet is survived by his wife, mother and father.


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