L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

MP, MLAs walk out of planning board meeting
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
Alleging discrimination at the hands of Congress-led government in the state, four MLAs and and Member Parliament, Ludhiana, belonging to the Shiromani Akali Dal walked out of the meeting of the District Planning and Development Board (DPDB) chaired by Mr Lal Singh Rural Development and Panchayat, Irrigation and Power Minister, here today.

While staging the walkout the MP and four Akali MLAs of the Ludhiana Assembly segment, including Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, Mr Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, Mr Bhag Singh Mallah and Mr Ranjit Singh Talwandi, said the government was not releasing Rs 3 crore towards the MPLAD Fund to MP, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, for the past one year and they would not participate in the meeting of the commission.

‘‘When they do not want to release the funds due to our constituency why should be sit in the planning board meeting? When we air our gerivance they keep telling us that it would be done. When there is no money what is the fun of planning without it? ’’ said Mr Dhillon, while talking to TNS today.

He said that Rs 1 crore was due from the government for the past year and not even a single penny was released for this year fund also. He added that a file was lying with the Deputy Commissioner for the past eight months and whenever he went to inquire about it he was told that the work was getting expedited.

‘‘They want to tarnish our reputation in the public making the people feel that they had elected us and we could not do anything to help our areas. This is what their aim is, ’’ said Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, MLA of Kila Raipur constituency.

He added that they had also demanded that various grants from the government should be distributed in respective constituencies by some government officials and not by the Congress leaders who were not even in power.

He alleged, ‘‘A Congress leader, who is very close to the Chief Minister was distributing governments grants to people in Kila Raipur and other villages. When he was not an elected representative why was he allowed to do that? He should distribute his own money if he wanted to tell people that he was doing so much for the area,’’ said Mr Garcha. 



Five of snatchers’ gang arrested
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 21
The Sudhar police has nabbed five members of a notorious gang involved in snatching valuables from crowded areas of Ludhiana city, while the kingpin escaped. Jewellery and mobile phones worth Rs 1.5 lakh have been recovered from the gangsters.

According to Mr Vijay Kumar Sharma, SP (D) Gurjinder Singh, alias, Ghoga, Bhawjit Singh, alias, Bablu, Mohan Singh, Jagtar Singh, Mandip Singh and Lakhbir Singh, residents of Chaminda village in Ludhiana district were nabbed by a police party led by Jangjit Singh Randhawa, SHO, Sudhar, yesterday on the basis of information provided by a social worker of the area.

Mr Nidhan Singh in charge Jodhan had received information that a group of the youths between 20 and 30 age group were standing at Main Chowk near Sehzad village on the highway. ‘‘They were discussing about disposing off some Jewellery and other valuables they had stolen from some where,” told the informer to the police.

On receiving information a police party led by Mr Jagjeet Singh raided the said place and rounded up the accused while Gurpreet Singh, alias Golu, of Chaminda ran away on his motor cycle.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the accused belonged to well to do families. Addiction and lust for expensive mobiles had led them to the world of crime, disclosed the police.

Meanwhile Mr R K Jaiswal, SSP, Jagraon, claimed that he had discussed the case with his counterpart in Ludhiana district. ‘‘We have sent the interrogation report to Mr Amardeep Rai, SSP, Ludhiana, so that he could get the other victims identified,” said Mr Jaiswal. Six victims have been identified while an equal number of other victims targeted by absconding miscreant were expected to be identified, claimed Mr Jaiswal. 



2 held, goods worth Rs 3 lakh recovered
Our Correspondent

The police questions the miscreants nabbed by the Sudhar police on Tuesday.
The police questions the miscreants nabbed by the Sudhar police on Tuesday.

Amloh, June 21
The local police has nabbed two thieves and recovered cash and valuables worth Rs 3 lakh from them. This was stated by the district police chief, Mr Shiv Kumar Verma, at a press conference at the local police station yesterday.

According to the FIR registered by ASI Devinderpal Singh, the investigating officer, a theft was committed on June 14 at the shop of Ramesh Kumar Gupta in the main bazar, Amloh. Besides goods and cash the police also recovered two motorcycles from them.

Those arrested have been identified at Veer Singh (21) and Kashmir Singh (19), both sons of Majattar Singh of Shezadpur village under Dera Baba Nanak police station, Gurdaspur district. They were presently residing as tenants at ward No. 2, Mahar Singh Bhangoo Colony, Mandi Gobindgarh.

Meanwhile, to control the deaths of labourers in steel factories at Mandi Gobindgarh, the district police has launched an awareness campaign to educate the labourers regarding extracting brass items from scrap. The police has also launched a scheme to issue identity cards to the tenants.



Wait for a bridge is over
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
The wait of residents of colonies near Gill Bridge over Sidhwan Canal to get the collapsed bridge reconstructed is finally over with Mr Lal Singh, Rural Development and Panchayat, Irrigation and Power Minister, Punjab, laying the foundation stones of two new bridges here today.

The new bridges would come up at two different points at Sidhwan Canal, including the one at Gill Road worth Rs 92 lakh and another near Ishar Nagar at a cost of Rs 1.24 crore at Shimla Puri.

Taking a dig at the Akalis while addressing the gathering, Mr Lal Singh while refuting the claim of Mr Parkash Singh Badal of anti-government voting said that during the coming elections people would show the SAD leaders their right place.

He said Mr Badal would not be able to play with the emotions of the people on the cards of farmers and Panth, as the people of the state were now fully aware that the Congress government had substantially benefited the farmers and served the Sikh Panth in a better way than them.

Mr Badal, he said during his rule had never done anything for the farmers or the state. He said the interests of the farmers had been fully watched by Captain Amarinder Singh and the government had ensured the smooth lifting of all the crops of the farmers, where as, during the Badal’s regime, they had to spend several nights in the mandis and forced to pay bribes to sell their produce.

He said that Capt. Amarinder Singh had permanently solved the river water issue of the state by passing a Bill in the Vidhan Sabha to abrogate all previous agreements relating to waters with other states and saved nine lakh hectares of agriculture land going barren and 16 lakh families from starvation.

Referring to the fast development in the state, Mr. Lal Singh said with the excellent financial management, the economic condition of the state had substantially strengthened and revenue from only stamp duty have been enhanced from Rs 431in 2002 to crore to Rs 2000 crore in 2006. He said the big flow of investments had brought historic prosperity in Punjab and the prices of agriculture land of the farmers were touching all time high rates. He claimed that the government had approved 203 big projects with investment of more than Rs 73,000 crore, including housing projects of Rs 32,000 crore in the state. He said that the foundation of the development was being strengthened by augmenting more power projects with capacity of 7700 MW in the state.

Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, MLA, while addressing the function said the two new bridges would be constructed at a fast speed and the long-pending demand of the area would be met. He said that in the urban area of his constituency, funds amounting to Rs 50 crore had already been spent and after the completion of tenure of the present government, no development work would be left pending.



Case against advocates: inquiry ordered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
The city police today put on hold the arrest of all six accused, including four senior advocates, in the Bala Mittal suicide case and directed SP City-I Rakesh Aggarwal to conduct an inquiry into the allegations levelled against the accused in the suicide note.

The institution of police inquiry was made on the plea of the accused who had claimed that the woman had named them out of frustration whereas they were not responsible for the problems in her life.

The woman’s former husband Ashok Mittal, a senior advocate, was meanwhile admitted in Hero DMC heart institute after he suffered some heart problem.

SSP A.S. Rai said told Ludhiana Tribune that he had ordered the inquiry and stayed the arrest till the inquiry is completed after a delegation of senior advocates of the city met him and filed an application claiming the suicide note was based on truth.

Interestingly, no close relative of the woman is alive to follow up the case on her bahalf of SSP A.S. Rai, however sought to allay fears in this regard claiming the police would hold impartial inquiry.

The badly decomposed body of Bala Mittal was recovered from house no. 227-I, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar on Monday evening. She was found hanging from the ceiling fan.

All six accused, including her husband Ashok Mittal, were booked under Section 306 of the IPC in Sarabha Nagar police station.



A vow at father’s death fulfilled
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 21
Ten years after she vowed to become an Army officer on the death of her father in an ambush by the Bodo terrorists, Ms Shashi Singh got commission as a Lieutenant and assumed charge as Administrative Officer in 3 Punjab Battalion of NCC at Ludhiana. Star wearing ceremony was performed at the local Anand Isher Senior Secondary School on Tuesday.

In order to achieve her target Lt Shashi Singh had to resist pressure from within her family as her mother, Ms Rajeshwari Singh, wanted her to continue service as a teacher. "I knew that my joining the armed forces would upset my mother and kin, but my soul would have haunted me if I chose an easy going life to serve the nation on the border," exclaimed Lt Singh, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune after receiving the commission.

Recollecting sequence of events Lt Singh said her father had been killed by Bodo activists in 1996. "When my brother was giving pyre to body of my proud father, Hukam Singh, Commanding Officer in PAC in UP, I had vowed to become an Army officer so that I could taken revenge of my father's death," sighed Lt Singh.

After doing her graduation and degree in education she became a school teacher in JNV, Rewa (MP). She had been selected for the assignment as CDPO also, but she preferred trying her luck in Army through competition examination conducted by UPSC and ultimately succeeded in achieving her goal.

Though initially she was disappointed to be posted away from the border, now she undersands that serving in the interior of the country was equally important. 



Start desilting of Buddah Nullah
immediately: Lal Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats, Irrigation and Power, Punjab, Lal Singh today directed the officials of Drainage Department to immediately start the work on the desilting of Buddah Nullah.

The minister took serious notice of unutilised grants and directed the officers either to immediately utilise these and submit the utilisation certificates or recover the same from the panchayats as soon as possible.

Taking the issue of the absence of some officers from the meeting seriously, Mr Lal Singh warned that all heads of the district must attend the meetings in future. If they failed to do so despite the warning, they would face strict action, he said.

He was chairing the meeting of the District Grievance Redressal Committee after the meeting of the District Planning and Development Board (DPDB) at Bachat Bhavan, here today.

The issue of Buddah Nullah was raised in the meeting to which the Executive Engineer, Drainage, replied that the desilting would be started within a week as the state government had sanctioned Rs 15 lakh for the project.

On another complaint regarding the decreasing level of groundwater in the city, Mr S.K. Sharma, Commissioner, stated that the Sewerage Board had executed three treatment plants at Balloke, Bhattian and Jamalpur, which would clean the sullage and recharge groundwater. The minister asked the members of the Grievances Committee to submit written complaints, so that these could be amicably sorted out in the meetings.

Earlier, the minister asserted that strict vigilance would be exercised to ensure efficient utilisation of grants amounting to Rs 500 crore released under the Punjab Nirmal Program in the state. All Deputy Commissioners have been asked to direct the officers concerned to make regular checking of the ongoing development works. They were warned that stringent action would be taken against those found unnecessarily delaying the implementation.

The Development Minister also asked the MLAs and members of the District Planning and Development Board (DPDB) to check the progress and quality of the ongoing works in their areas. He said in case of any lapse it should be brought to his notice.

He said the government launched a comprehensive development program, under which funds amounting to more than Rs 5,000 crore had been made available for the development projects, both in urban and rural areas.

Referring to the grants being disbursed through the DPDB in Ludhiana district, Mr Lal Singh stated that till date Rs 49.80 crore had been released under the Punjab Nirman Program to various departments. He said during 2005-06 Rs 23.28 crore were spent under this program and Rs 37.35 crore would be spent in the current financial year.

The minister further said Rs 2.62 crore had been given for development to unanimously elected panchayats in the district. Funds amounting to Rs 5 crore had been released for the development projects, especially for Kila Raipur constituency.

At the meeting more grants of Rs 5.58 crore were sanctioned for development works, including Rs 4.97 crore to provide nutritious diet to the children up to the age of 6 years and lactating mothers, Rs 22.29 lakh for nutritious diet to adolescent girls of poor families through the Social Security Department, Rs 37.89 lakh for the Indira Awas Yojna and Rs 1.30 lakh for Swaran Jyanti Gram Rojgar Yojna during this year.

The minister said regular monthly meetings of the DPDB and the Grievances Committee would be organised on the first Thursday of every month in future.

Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, Deputy Commissioner, while addressing the meeting said all SDMs had been directed to regularly check development projects in their areas. He directed the officers concerned to ensure the utilisation of grants. He said that ADC (D) would review the progress of works by holding fortnightly meetings.



Students interact with villagers at trekking camp
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 21
Students from various schools of Ludhiana and surrounding villages and wards of officials of the Indian Air Force Station, Halwara, interacted with residents of various localities during a trekking and camping session that concluded at the Officer’s Enclave today. The trekking groups were flagged of by AOC Anil Chopra and Ms Suman Chopra, chairperson, AFWWA, yesterday.

Majority of the trekkers were fascinated by the routine chores undertaken by women of the villages they visited. They appreciated the lifestyle of villagers whose coordinated work filled the grain bowl of the state.

Referring to information received from the trekkers, Ms Chopra claimed that for majority of them it was their maiden trekking camp. “Besides being a pleasure trip during vacation, the camp served as an adventurous and educative venture as they learnt certain technical affairs, including use of compass,” she added.

Trekkers were imparted knowledge in map reading, navigation, flight safety and civil defence. They were also made aware on personal hygiene, disposal of waste matter, preparation and storage of food, purification of water, vector-borne disease and vector control, heat stroke and first aid.



Ludhianvis move to cool environs of hills
Shivani Bhakoo
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 21
The relative fall in the day temperature in the region appears to have no impact on Ludhianvis. Quite a number of them have already moved, or are planning to move, to chill out in the hills. With the result, most of the hotels in the hill stations in the neighbouring Himachal Pradesh and Uttranchal Pradesh are reportedly full with advance bookings. The rise in the incidents of violence in the Kashmir valley is believed to have also led to the diversion of tourists to Himachal Pradesh. Hence, additional pressure on the resources.

The pressure has already shown up here among travel and tour agents. Taxis are also not available and bookings have to be made much in advance. As the summer vacations are also coming to a close in the coming week, this appears to be the peak time for the outing. The travel agents said the hotel rooms are not available even on premium as people have made advance bookings. The most favourite places include Kasauli, Shimla, Manali and other places in Himachal Pradesh and quite a few in Uttranchal Pradesh like Mussoorie.

Ms Mona, who left for Chail with her husband and two kids today, said that there should always be a break from routine. “Being a working woman, I need to have a break and summer vacations are the best for holidaying when everyone is free. We had booked a cottage there well in advance so that we are not harassed with kids. Chail and Shimla have always been my favourite”, said Mona.

Another city-based couple, Kumar and Prabha, have plans to go to Manali for a week. Mr Kumar said: “Earlier we were planning to go to Srinagar but because of disturbance in the valley we changed our programme. We had to go in the second week of June but because of great rush in hotels and cottages in Manali, we had to postpone our trip. Now we will be going on June 28”.

Ritu, who returned from Kasauli two days back, said that they had not booked a room in advance. So they had to face difficulties. “But somehow we managed to be the paying guests of an old couple there. The days are reasonable but the evenings are too pleasant there”, she added.



Bank takes over defaulters’ properties
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
The State Bank of India, Punjab Agriculture University branch, took physical possession of properties mortgaged in the name of Mr Harjeet Singh Puri and Mr Harbhajan Singh here yesterday.

According to the bank, Dr Ravinder Chopra, the parties had availed of certain credit facilities 
from the branch and defaulted in the repayment of the bank dues to the tune of Rs 4.95 lakh and Rs 7.88 lakh, respectively.

The bank served a 60 days' notice to the borrowers in July and April 2004, but they failed to respond following which the bank took physical possession of the properties.

‘‘All premises were duly locked and sealed,’’ said bank officials. The entire procedure was

carried out with the assistance of M/s GATS Financial Reconstructors Limited. Mr B. S. Jaswal, authorised officer, said action would be taken against borrowers who failed to pay their dues in future as well.



Govt staff to wage ‘decisive war’
against Cong regime

Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 21
The Punjab Mulazam Sangharsh Committee, comprising four employee federations, more than six dozen unions and another six independent trade unions, is gearing up for a decisive battle against the anti-employee policies of the Congress government in the state. As commencement of a long-drawn

agitation to seek justice, the committee would hold a state- level rally and a protest march at Hoshiarpur on July 6 in which more than 20,000 government employees were expected to take part.

This was decided at a meeting of the central committee held here today under the presidentship of Mr Hari Singh Tohra. The meeting decried the privatisation of Eeducation, Health and Animal Husbandry Departments, recruitment on contract basis, repression against agitating employees and indifferent attitude of the state government towards other genuine and pressing demands.

Giving details of the deliberations, conveners of the sangharsh committee, Mr Ranbir Dhillon, Mr Sucha Singh Khatra and Mr Datar Singh,

said in a joint statement that the cadres were now prepared to adopt a policy of 'do- or- die' against the Congress regime which had failed to fulfil any of its poll promises and continued to sit over several other demands like the regularisation of part-time or contractual employees, setting up of pay commission, grant of Rs 1000 as interim relief, restoration of more than one lakh abolished posts and review of proposed withdrawal of pension benefits.

They informed that the action committee would convene district-level meetings all over the state to mobilise the employees for the mass agitation.

Meanwhile, the Coordination Committee of Para-medical and Health Employees, Punjab, claimed that at a meeting with the Director, Health Services, Punjab, held at Chandigarh yesterday, many of the demands of para-medical and health staff were accepted.

Mr Ravinder Luthra, chairman and Mr Bhajan Singh Sandoa, convener, respectively, along with other functionaries, attended the meeting.

According to Mr Amarjit Singh Pandher, co-convener, the Directorate had already issued instructions to the Civil Surgeons with regard to disbursement of salaries to pharmacists and class IV staff, which had been rendered surplus after the control of dispensaries was handed over to zila parishads.

Further, cases of class IV employees, who had passed the diploma of laboratory technicians, as well as matriculate health assistants and class IV, who desired to be trained as multi-purpose workers, had been forwarded to the directorate. Mr Pandher claimed that the demand for promotions of employees in different categories and according financial sanction for all plan schemes by June 30 had also been accepted in the meeting.



One booked under Section 307
Our Correspondent

Khanna, June 21
The Payal police has booked Hardip Singh of Doraha under Section 307 of the IPC on the complaint of Karamjit Singh.

According to information Karamjit and Hardip were room mates at Guru Teg Bahadur College, Patiala. Hardip reported fell in bad company and for this reason Karamjit started avoiding him. This was not liked by Hardip.

As per the complaint, Hardip also tried to beat Karamjit on several occasions.

On June 17, when Karamjit along with his friend Narinderjit was standing near Ghuman Hospital, Doraha, Hardip came there on his motor cycle and started abusing him. When they tried to stop him, he took out a weapon and fled after attacking him. Karamjit was taken to Apollo Hospital, Ludhiana, for treatment.



Financier Shambhu to be labelled history-sheeter
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 21
Kanganwal village-based financier-cum-politician Shambhu will be declared a history-sheeter for his alleged criminal activities just days after he had shared stage with PPCC president Shamsher Singh Dullo.

The SSP, A.S. Rai, told reporters after flagging off 13 new Bolero Jeeps for 13 police stations under a Union Home Ministry modernisation plan that the police was gathering Shambhu’s criminal record. He was answering a query on why he has not been arrested so far. The SP, Headquarters, Mr Amar Singh Chahal was also present.

The financier had been booked for allegedly rendering an aged couple of the village homeless early this month. The victims had to resort to a fast at the mini-secretariat for several days for getting a case registered.

On his part the accused had been claiming high political links. He had went on to share the stage with Mr Dullo even as the police was on his trail. But no police official present at the rally arrested him. The financier had allegedly went into hiding after the media exposure of his political links.

Meanwhile, the SSP also announced that PCR policemen had been given 70 wireless sets.



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