L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


City cries for water
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
The summer has just set in and residents of the city have already started complaining of potable water shortage. The complaints of water shortage are being received from all over the city. A number of tubewells were rendered useless due to declining of water table and need to be installed afresh. Unscheduled power cuts were adding to water woes as there was no source of alternate power generation at the pumping sites.

Residents of Parbhat Nagar, Vishwakarma Nagar and Labour Colony falling in ward number 25 claim that they had been without water for the past many days. The problem was compounded in this weather as more water was required.

Area councillor Sohan Singh Goga said two tubewells in his area had failed. One of them at Partap Chowk was rendered useless two years ago and another at Labour Colony also failed two months ago.

‘‘We have installed a submersible pump at one of the places and are supplying water with it. Forty per cent of our problem has already been solved. Rest will be sorted out once new tubewells are installed.’’ he added.

Residents of Urban Vihar near Model Town are also complaining that they were facing acute shortage of water. There was a need of a new tubewell in the area, said the residents. Reports of water shortage were being received from ward number 6 and ward number 39.

Residents of Kidwai Nagar are also facing acute shortage of water. After making repeated complaints to the MC, the residents say that they would move the District Consumer Redressal Forum against the civic body.

Mr S.K. Ghai, a senior citizen and resident of the area in his written complaint to the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, claimed that the low pressure had been plaguing the supply for the past about two years.

He added that around 70 to 80 families living near Shiv Shakti Mandir were having trouble due to short supply. ‘‘We are sick of complaining to the authorities but to no avail. We have to install electric motors to get water. For the deficiency of the MC, we are paying double the amount for water to the civic body and the Punjab State Electricity Board for drawing water with the help of electric motors. Why should we suffer?' asked Mr Ghai.

The MC authorities say that the residents are themselves responsible for the problems as they install illegal pumps, which compound the problem. They add that they should use the water more responsibly only then they would be able to cater to the needs of a big population. The MC was installing 20 new tubewells and will address the needs of those who were facing acute shortage.

The authorities add that four years ago there were 245 tubewells in the city and over these years the number of tubewells has almost risen. The water table has also gone at least 200 feet down. These are depressing datas and the residents have to restrict the use of water. 



School functioning from truck and tent
Mahesh Sharma

Ahmedgarh, May 4
Bhamipura, a nondescript village in Jagraon tehsil, near here, would be remembered for inhabiting a private senior secondary school that not only taught students in a truck covered by PVC sheets but also admitted having arranged four other trucks for sheltering more students in the ensuing rainy season.

The school has been running without a building after the landlord who had leased the building for the purpose got it vacated on the expiry of the contract recently.

The SDM, Jagraon, has asked the District Education Officer, Ludhiana, to initiate appropriate action against the management of the school and ensure safety of the students in case the institute was allowed to run under these circumstances.

Mr Sukhwinder Singh Gill, SDM, Jagraon, stated that he had asked the DEO, Ludhiana, to initiate action against the principal and the office-bearers of the body running Little Star Public School at Bhamipura village that had been working in tents against the norms laid down by the Punjab Government.

After receiving verbal complaints about the violations of rules by the said school, Mr Gill had directed Mr Manmohan Kaushik, Executive Magistrate, to visit the spot and submit his report. It was on the basis of his report that Mr Gill directed DEO, Ludhiana, to take appropriate action against the school authorities.

Mr Kaushik had observed that the school was running in tents as the owner of the building, housing the school earlier had got it vacated on expiry of the contract. “We were shocked to observe that a teacher was trying to teach some students in a truck covered by a PVC sheet to save students from rain on Tuesday,” reported Mr Kaushik to the SDM. Mohinder Singh, principal of the school, had told Mr Kaushik that the management had arranged four more trucks to accommodate more students during the ensuing rainy season.

The school was established in 1995 and was being run by a registered body. Earlier it was running in a rented building but the owner of the building had got it vacated recently. Though the construction of the building has been started, the management instead of arranging another building started taking classes in open and the tents. The violation attracted the attention of the administration and Mr Kaushik was deputed by the SDM to investigate the matter. 



3 youths held for old man’s murder
Tribune News Service

Mullanpur Dakha, May 4
Sexual escapades of a 70-year-old man, who was found murdered on April 24 here, and the treachery of three alleged pimps had led to the crime. Addressing a press conference at the Mullanpur Dakha police station here today, Jagraon SSP R.K. Jaiswal said three youths, Buta Singh, Kewal Singh and Jagga Singh, all of whom worked as farm labourers, used to arrange women for the old man. “They have been arrested on the charge of murdering the old man,” he added.

The decomposed body of farmer Ajaib Singh was found buried under a haystack in a vacant plot in the town on April 24. He had been missing since April 21. His son, Baljit Singh, had lodged a report with the police in this connection.

The police found a used condom from the spot. It took it as a lead to the crime. Later, it was found that Ajaib Singh had copulated with a woman on April 21, the day he went missing.

The police found that three youths had arranged the woman for the man. SSP Jaiswal said the three accused had to repay Rs 1,500 to the deceased. They offered him a woman. However, the woman was not paid, which led to heated arguments among them.

The woman left the place, but the youths and the victim continued to argue over the issue. The youths confessed to the police that they had strangulated the aged man with his turban. Before dumping the body, they removed the gold ring, purse and the watch worn by Ajaib Singh.

SSP Jaiswal said the three had been booked under Section 302 of the IPC.



Man caught offering bribe
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, May 4
A resident of Jalwana village was caught attempting to bribe a clerk at the office of Joint Sub-Registrar here. He was caught by the Executive Magistrate, Mr Mukesh Sharma and released after he submitted a written apology for the act.

According to Mr Mukesh Sharma, Lekh Singh of Jalwana village had allegedly attempted to bribe a clerk of his office in order to get his Scheduled Caste certificate prepared without getting certain shortcomings in the application rectified.

“Instead of getting certain rectification made in the application, Lekh Singh tried to bribe the clerk concerned by giving him Rs 20. When I caught him doing so, he feigned ignorance about the consequences of paying and accepting bribe in any form,” said Mr Sharma.

Perusal of the records at the office revealed that Lekh Singh had apologised for his alleged irresponsible behaviour and had given written assurance that he would not indulge in such activities in his life again.

He admitted that the clerk concerned had pointed out some discrepancies in the application and that he had not demanded anything from him.

“As I had to apply for exemption of bill for my domestic power connection and today was the last day for getting registered for the same, I was desperate to get the certificate made today,” Lekh Singh said.

Meanwhile, Mr Ajit Singh, Executive Engineer at the office of Punjab State Electricity Board, said the certificate was not required at the time of the registration. “We have registered hundreds of cases without insisting on production of the caste certificate. The verification will be done at the time of implementation of the scheme,” he said.



MC squad comes back as shopkeepers seek more time
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
A demolition squad of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, which had gone to raze shops in the service lane opposite the Punjab Agricultural University, came back after taking action against a single shop only.

The team comprising, ATP H.S. Ghai, ATP Tejpreet Singh, and DSP, MC Police, Amandeep Kaur came back stating that the shopkeepers had asked for a time of 15 days and they have been told to vacate and demolish the shops themselves.

Allegations flew thick and fast as the shopkeepers alleged that they were misguided by some officials who accepted money from them stating nobody would touch their shops. A shopkeeper even alleged that a senior official had taken seeds worth Rs 15,000 from them free of cost on the promise of not taking any action against shops. However, none of the shopkeeper wanted to come on record.

They named not only the officials of MC but some senior functionaries of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust also, who they claimed had asked them to stay put.

The team remained at the spot for some time waiting to take action. Later, President of District Congress Committee (Urban) also reached the spot.

Soon, the officials returned without taking substantial action. 



Land row: Jt Director's authority questioned 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
A controversial land dispute on property worth over Rs 6 crore at Mall Road here involving two highly reputed families and a relative of the Uttranchal Governor turned murkier today with an accused, charged with grabbing the property, questioning the authority of the Joint Director, Prosecution, to give a legal opinion in the case.

Sanjeev Goyal, who was booked along with two others, including N. K. Aggarwal, a relative of the Uttranchal Governor, for allegedly forging the signatures of Hari Dutt Dumra to claim ownership of the property, claimed that the FIR was lodged on the legal opinion of Mr Amarjot Singh Sidhu, Joint Director, Prosecution and Litigation, Ludhiana.

He claimed that Sidhu was not authorised to give the legal opinion to the police. He said Sidhu was appointed for giving legal opinion to the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, and not to the SSP, Ludhiana. He also presented a copy of letter of Director, Prosecution, Punjab, who has confirmed to him that Sidhu was appointed only for legal opinion to the Deputy Commissioner.

Sidhu, however, stated that former SSP Narinderpal Singh had directed him to give the legal opinion in the controversial case. He said he had to give the legal opinion to the case as asked by the superior officer. Sidhu said his opinion was legal and valid and no one could question that.

Meanwhile, sources said N K Aggarwal had, in a statement made in a court, stated that he had no knowledge about the land deal and was innocent.

Mr Sanjeev Goyal also alleged that the police had not taken any action on his complaint that he was receiving threats by some land mafia members who wanted to grab the property.



Child with a hole in heart needs help
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 4
Three-year-old Pranab has a congenital heart problem, which needs surgery. A hole in the heart of this child is retarding his normal body growth and affecting his vital functions.

Son of Mr Satish Kumar, a native of Nepal, employed with a local firm for the past more than seven years, Pranab is the only male child of his parents. With limited financial resources, his parents have got him examined at several hospitals, including the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune here today, Mr Satish Kumar said AIIMS had offered to waive the entire hospital and bed charges, but still he was required to deposit an amount of Rs 1.02 lakh for the surgery. In addition, he would have to pay for four units of blood needed for the operation.

The doctors at AIIMS had tentatively posted the child for surgery on May 15 depending on whether he was able to arrange the required funds by that date.

The only ray of hope for this tiny child is the kindness of good Samaritans from the city who might come forward and lend a helping hand to the family so that the child could lead a normal life after corrective surgery.

Those wishing to make any contribution could send it to Mr Satish Kumar, c/o Vadhawa Ram Pawan Kumar, 768, Lakkar Bazar, Ludhiana 141008.



Killing is a pastime for terrorists now

When King Lear in Shakespeare's tragic play exclaimed 'Then kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill!', he had a motive behind it. He had been wronged by his kith and kin. Moreover, his outburst was indicative of the frenzied state of his mind. Otherwise, he had not the strength at that time to kill even a fly.

But the killings taking place in the present-day world are reminiscent of the barbaric age, when the counting of severed heads was considered an act of valour.

The savages who severed the head of K. Suryanarayana in Afghanistan would have considered this dastardly act as the accomplishment of their mission.

To kill an innocent person under one pretext or another is not merely a crime but devilry.

But to defile the dead body of the victim, as in the case of this engineer whose beheaded corpse was thrown by the roadside, is a sin beyond redemption.

The Greek poet Homer has told the story of the war of Troy in his epic 'The Iliad', composed three thousand years ago.

During the last days of the war, Hector, the commander-in-chief of Trojan forces, was killed by the Greek Hero Achilles in the battlefield.

In his unabating rage, Achilles refused to hand over the dead body to the enemy as was the time-honoured custom observed by the warriors. Instead, he treated Prince Hector in a shameful way.

As a matter of routine, Achilles harnessed his fast horses to his chariot, tied Hector loosely to the back of it, dragged the dead body a long way and then left it stretched face downward in the dust.

Apollo felt compassion for the slain hero and expressed his desire to the other gods and goddesses for acting in right earnest to save Hector from this dishonour after his death — "Achilles had better beware of our wrath, great man though he is. What is he doing in his fury but insulting senseless clay".

The Olympians, it has been alleged, used to kill human beings for their sport. Now the terrorists are doing all this as their pastime.

The senseless killing of 32 persons in Doda and Udhampur districts in Jammu and Kashmir is diabolic, to say the least.

The perpetrators of such crimes may remain for sometime beyond the long arm of the law but they cannot escape the fury of nemesis. Extremism, in any field of human activity, is reprehensible as it clouds the lens of rational thinking and gives full rein to stupid behaviour.

In Vadodara, communal forces ignited the passions of the people, resulting in mob violence and police firing.

Human mind, as Dr S. Radhakrishnan has said, refuses to accept new ideas in the beginning but yields when forced to do so.

In the present context it is doubtful if new concepts of harmonious living have been accepted by the diehards.

The ages of reason and enlightenment can be, in no time, engulfed by the dark ages of human history.

In his war poems, Thomas Hardy has highlighted humanitarian aspects of conflicts between individuals as well as nations.

In the poem 'The Man He Killed', the poet brings home the idea that the soldiers kill each other simply because it is their duty to do so— “I shot him dead because / Because he was my foe.”

Otherwise as individuals they have no grudge against each other. In case they had met at any bar, they would have entertained each other, “Or help to half-a crown.”

Faiz Ahmed Faiz laments the persons trapped in the killer fields or waylaid on the highways.

The mass killings have a different story to tell as in such cases there is neither a requiem nor an epitaph for the departed souls.

In the poem ‘Woh jo be-naam rahon pe maare gye’, Faiz says in unequivocal terms that the blood of those killed on the nameless paths will not go waste. It will add, in the days to come, to the radiance of a new dawn.

— N.S. Tasneem



Kitchen garden tips to women

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 4
Land is no limitation for developing a kitchen garden. This was stated by Dr Indu, SDM, Malerkotla, while addressing a gathering of women at Ram Mandir Dharamshala here yesterday.

Dr Indu said a soil bed could be prepared on roof in case adequate land was not available. “The studies have proved that photosynthesis in plants was better on higher and open places that at lower and shady ones,” she maintained.

The kitchen gardening, besides providing fresh vegetables and other items was a source of enjoyment also. “For housewife, it is a place where she could spend spare time taking care of plants. Besides saving money, it would provide organic vegetables, free of insecticides,” she said.

She stressed women councillors and leaders should create awareness among women about the significance of a kitchen gardening.

Mr Jatinder Kumar Bhola, president of the MC, claimed he had developed a kitchen garden on the roof of his home after being inspired by the SDM. OC



Samsung unveils fridges, microwaves
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 4
Samsung India yesterday announced its plans to strengthen its home appliance business by adopting product innovation, product customisation and an enhanced product line strategies.

The company, which is targeting more than 50 per cent growth both in frost-free refrigerator and microwave oven sales this year, announced the launch of 10 new frost-free refrigerator models and six, feature-loaded microwave oven models in the market.

“Product innovation, technology and design continue to be the thrust areas for Samsung which is why we have come out with products that are highly differentiated in terms of features and also design,” said Mr R. Zutshi, Deputy Managing Director, Samsung India.

Among the products that were launched by the company today are a new range of side by side refrigerators with the world’s first twin cooling system.

The new range is equipped with consumer-friendly features like a Cool Select ZoneTM , no frost operation with multi-flow, automatic water and ice dispenser, digital display and control and silver nano health system.

The company also introduced six new microwave ovens in the Indian market.



Steel price hike hits industry

Ludhiana, May 4
A price hike of around Rs 6,000 per metric tonne within a fortnight, in case of HR coils, CR coils and sheets, has upset steel consuming industry here. Local industry feels the government needs to take immediate measures to control steel prices which have been fluctuating for quite some time now.

“Private manufacturers have been arbitrarily increasing steel prices, as a result of which small-scale industry,l including bicycle and parts manufacturers, have been suffering a lot. The government must step in and control the fluctuation in prices,” asserted Mr Inderjit Singh Pardhan, president, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU).

He said the recent statement by the ministry that it did not have any control on price structure of steel manufacturers had upset the industry. TNS


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