L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Trees continue to pose threat to lives
No lessons learnt from Rara Sahib canal mishap
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

The accident prone road with trees on one side and Sirhind canal on the other near Rara Sahib
The accident prone road with trees on one side and Sirhind canal on the other near Rara Sahib.

Rara Sahib (Ludhiana), August 20
A fortnight after six persons, including four children, died in an accident in this village after a truck in which they were travelling on a narrow road fell into a canal, a dozen eucalyptus trees which caused narrowing of the road that caused the accident still stand tall posing threat to lives of more travellers, while the authorities continue to be in a deep slumber.

The tragedy that claimed six lives could have been averted had the bureaucratic wranglings and official apathy not come in the way of felling these trees that caused the accident that day.

Not having learnt any lessons from the past incidents, neither of the department concerned seems to have expedited that matter as the trees still stand on the spot where the management of Rara Sahib Gurdwara had organised a bhog in the memory of the deceased.

The fact that the bank of the canal was giving away due to water being released in the canal for last three months, was ignored by the Public Works Department, responsible for maintaining roads alongside canals and the Canal department also, which did not take any cudgels to get the issue resolved.

The issue was also highlighted by the Tribune in these columns a number of times but the authorities failed to take action as if they were waiting for the disaster to wake them from their slumber. But even after the tragedy it seems they were still in a deep slumber.

The SDM, Payal, Mr Tejinder Singh Dhaliwal, said that the district administration had written to the officials seeking permission to fell the trees. The permission, however, did not come.

Mr Dhaliwal said that they had been waiting for the green signal for felling otherwise the trees would have been axed by now.

The stretch of road was virtually a death knell at nighttime as the trees were not visible. There were no reflectors in sight on the spot.

The Divisional Forest Officer, Mr Tushar Kanti Vahera, was not available for comments despite repeated attempts.

On the day of tragedy, Army officials, heading rescue operation had also expressed disappointment over the issue. They said that they had problems in posting the recovery vans on the stretch of narrow road while pulling the truck out.

‘’Before the arrival of monsoon, the authorities could have been well prepared to avoid any incident on the stretch. If a common man can find out that there was a risk posed by these trees, what was the official machinery doing?

The officials responsible for the delay should be brought to book for their gross negligence, ‘’ said a senior official while requesting anonymity. 



Homage paid to canal accident victims
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 20
Hundreds of persons today prayed for the peace to the souls of six persons, including four children, who had been killed when a truck carrying devotees fell into Sirhind Canal, near here, 12 days ago. The joint prayer was held on occasion of bhog ceremony of Akhand Path organised by the management committee of Gurdwara Karamsar (Rara Sahib) near here.

The organisers of the prayer felicitated the heroes of the rescue operation conducted jointly by the administration and the public.

According to Mr Jarnail Singh, Head Granthi of the gurdwara, the management committee had held an Akhand Path for the peace to the souls of the victims of the accident. The bhog ceremony was largely attended by the residents of the area, but the kin of the deceased did not turn up. Mr Pardeep Bains, Tehsildar, and Mr Parminder Singh Kular, Naib Tehsildar, represented the civil administration.

Besides paying tributes to the victims, the organisers felicitated eight youths, who had acted bravely during the rescue operation. Jaswant Singh, son of Niranjan Singh, Beant Singh, son of Khushia Singh, and Partej Singh, son of Jit Singh of Katahari village, Manpreet Singh, son of Surinder Singh, and Nazar Singh, son of Harnek Singh of Ghudani, and Jaspreet Singh Bawa, son of Bhupinder Singh of Rara Sahib, were presented with siropas by Jarnail Singh.

Mr Harbans Singh, a Trustee, and Baba Balwinder Singh Garry, son of Mr Harnek Singh, and Mr Pritpal Singh, son of Mr Darshan Singh of Ghangas village, were also honoured.

A well-organised team of volunteers, under the leadership by Baba Teja Singh of the Karamsar gurdwara, and residents of the area had reached the spot within minutes of receiving the news of the accident.



Tributes paid to Rajiv Gandhi
Dakha calls him architect of modern India
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
Glowing tributes were paid to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 62nd birth anniversary. A function to remember him was organised jointly by the urban and rural units of the District Congress Committee (DCC)at the Congress Bhavan here today.

Prominent among those who paid tributes to late Congress leader were Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, former minister and MLA, Mr Jagmohan Sharma, president of the DCC(U), Mr Bhalinder Singh, president DCC(R), and Mr Prem Mital, Senior Deputy Mayor.

Mr Dakha said Rajiv Gandhi was the architect of modern India. He had introduced computerisation and information technology in a big way at all levels. Rajiv Gandhi was a far-sighted and fully dedicated leader, who accorded priority to launching planned programmes to put the country on the fast track of scientific development. It was the result of his efforts that now our country has earned a respectful position among the big powers of the world, he added.

Mr Dakha said it was Rajiv Gandhi who had ensured the involvement of the youth in the development process and enthused a spirit of nationalism among them. Late Congress leader had also struggled hard to establish peace, not only in India, but also in the Asian sub-continent and had to pay a big price with his own life.

He appealed to the people to follow in the footsteps of Rajiv Gandhi and make concerted efforts to create an environment of peace and communal harmony amongst different sections of society, so that every person could be benefited in the prosperity India.

Speaking on the occasion, the DCC president, Mr Jagmohan Sharma, said following in the footsteps of late Rajiv Gandhi, the state government during the past four and a half years, had laid focus on the welfare of SCs and other weaker sections of society and funds amounting to Rs 1,154 crore were being spent to implement different welfare schemes during the current financial year.

He claimed that the government had abolished water sewerage charges from the residential houses up to 5 marlas in municipal towns, which would benefit the urban poor. The state of Punjab had emerged as the favoured destination for the big investors and so far more than 235 mega projects worth Rs 80,000 crore would be set up in the state.

Ms Veena Sonti, general secretary, PPCC, Ms Usha Malhotra, president, District Mahila Congress, Ms Amandeep Kaur Kalkat, president, District Mahila Congress (Rural), Mr Dimple Rana, president of the DYC, Mr Mohinder Lal Lalka, chairman of the bazigar cell of the PPCC, Mr Diwan Jagdish Chander, Mr Ram Nath, Mr Jasbir Singh Chadha, Mr Sardul Singh Grewal and Ms Asha Garg (all councilors) were present.

A separate function was organised by the Rajeev Gandhi Youth Federation. Speaking on the occasion, the president of the federation, Mr Varun Mehta, said this was the high time that India followed the path shown by Rajiv Gandhi.

Another function was organised by the Congress Seva Dal. It was attended among others by Mr Sushil Prashar, Mr Ashok Prashar and Mr Pappi Prashar. 



Burglars remain untraced even after four weeks
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
Four weeks after a burglary took place in their shop, the owners of Lohia Enterprises, who deal in sewing machines, are hoping against hope that the police will trace the culprits and recover their stolen cash.

The burglary which took place on the intervening night of July 26 and 27 was unique in the sense that the burglars twisted the shutter of the shop in such a manner that one person could slip under and enter the shop.

Shopowner Kuldip Singh told Ludhiana Tribune that he had kept about Rs 3.50 lakh in the locker of the shop. To his utter shock, he found the money missing. Later, he noticed the twist in the shutter.

The shopowner rued that almost a month had passed since the burglary, but the cops had not arrested any person so far.

He said even fingerprint experts were not called at the shop to take some prints.

In his letters to senior police officials, Mr Kuldip Singh, has urged them to direct the Division No 3 police to expedite investigations into the matter and arrest the culprits. 



Urban Vihar faces water shortage
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
Residents of Urban Vihar, Jwaddi, are reeling under shortage of drinking water for the past three months.
The issue of shortage of water surfaced at the meeting of the general house of MC some days ago. The area councillor highlighted the problem of residents, saying a tubewell was not being installed despite permission by the authorities.

Residents said despite various representatives to the Municipal Corporation, water supply to the area had not been restored. The area councillor had, however, arranged for water tankers.

The residents claimed that they had to queue up before the tankers in the morning and evening, fill buckets and carry water to their homes.

Angry residents said that they had been facing water shortage for the past many months.

The problem had compounded as tubewells drawing water had also failed.



Cong MLA tries to woo the poor
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 20
Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha, a Congress MLA, has said that people from the lower strata of society had always reposed faith in the Congress and had been appreciating development polices of the successive Congress governments.

“Though developing infrastructure and other community development projects are a major factor for assessing the functioning of any government, poor people visualise this in terms of facilities provided to them individually,” Mr Dakha said, adding that the payment of pension and “shagan” to all eligible beneficiaries would go a long way in ensuring a victory for the Congress in the coming Assembly elections.

He termed the use of money power in elections as a wrong practice.



Ludhiana calling

A traffic cop was almost crushed by a speedy Honda car at Pakhowal traffic light chowk the other day. The cop had tried to stop the vehicle after it jumped the red light and did not have a registration plate. The cop had to jump aside to save himself. The driver seemed to be to aware of lack of police infrastructure. Traffic cops have no wireless sets to nail such truant drivers. The embarrassed cop was seen leaving his post and sitting quietly in a corner of the chowk, seemingly disgusted at his helplessness.

Wedding exhibitions

Even as industrialists of the city cry hoarse about losses suffered due to alleged unfriendly government policies, tax structure and of late irregular power supply, their families virtually swarmed the two mega wedding exhibitions held in the city. The manner in which the ladies bought jewellery, wedding dresses and associated products, it seemed that the financial situation of the city traders had, in fact, gone several notches higher. May be only tax officials can find out the truth.

Terrace gardens

Terrace gardens seem to have become the latest fad in the city. Residents, while constructing houses or renovating old ones, are calling professional horticulturist and garden designers to plant saplings, design the lawns or beautify the terrace with pots. The residents seem to be suggesting to the government that it is now the government’s duty to spread greenery on roadsides and public parks.

Incorrigible cops

The city cops do not seem to have learnt any lesson from the faux pas it committed in using an innocent girl’s picture as picture of a “most wanted” conwoman. It seems that not much attention is given to posters before these are passed. The police recently issued posters announcing a cash award of Rs 10 lakh in the Bikramjit murder case. The posters said the identity of the informer would be kept secret. But the mobile phone number of the SSP on the poster was wrong. It had 11 digits instead of the mandatory 10.

Mobile mania

A pre-nursery student of a playway school put his parents in a fix when he started demanding a mobile phone from them. The reason-his teacher was always talking to someone over her mobile phone and she did not have time to talk to this little one. He stopped eating, stating that he would not eat till he was given a cell phone. It was only when they bought him a demo set that he budged.


An administrative officer of the district became overzealous when he released a press note of the Late Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary a day prior to the function was organised. The official quoted the Deputy Commissioner addressing the function and stated that as many as 300 schoolchildren participated. Much to the embarrassment of the department, the special guests on the occasion, who were said to have attended the function, were shocked to see the news report the next morning.

Weak opposition

The opposition in the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation’s general house remains ineffective in highlighting certain issues affecting the public. During the last meet certain councillors had claimed that they would take the house by a storm. But they were seen sitting silently. If at all they said something, it was not even a storm in a tea cup.

Milkman’s excuse

A resident confronted her milk vendor after the milk he supplied had tested positive for urea. Though too shocked at the question hurled at him by the resident, the milk vendor took no time to make an excuse. ‘‘Actually the fodder given to cattle is grown with the help of fertiliser that contains urea. As the cattle feeds on it, their milk will definitely have some traces of urea. How can we help it?’’


Despite the Punjab State Electricity Board appealing to residents and government departments to save electricity, the Municipal Corporation continues to care two hoots for the appeal. The streetlights are switched on daily much before sunset. And this when the region is already reeling under power shortage.



Flying Officer Johal remembered
Our Correspondent

Leaders pay tributes to Flying Officer Kuldip Singh Johal at Saharnmajra village near Mandi Ahmedgarh on Sunday
Leaders pay tributes to Flying Officer Kuldip Singh Johal at Saharnmajra village near Mandi Ahmedgarh on Sunday.

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 20
Residents of the area paid tributes to Flying Officer Kuldeep Singh Johal who chose to sacrifice his life instead of ejecting from a crashing plane to save residents of the village and the surrounding areas.

Villagers have been keeping alive the tradition of remembering the sacrifice of the hero for the past 36 years. Meanwhile, reacting to a story published in Ludhiana Tribune on the alleged unconcern of successive governments and the IAF authorities in this regard, Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura, a senior Congress leader and in charge of the Kilaraipur constituency, announced to contribute Rs 1 lakh for the construction of a memorial to the martyr, besides assuring the construction of the Saharanmajra-Momnabad road dedicated to him.

A team of officials from the IAF, Halwara, led by Sqn Ldr Vinitt Kahle, paid floral tributes to the martyr on behalf of the Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station, Halwara, and his staff today.

Relatives and friends of the martyr, who hail from Johal village in Jalandhar district, participate in the three-day function every year.

Flying Officer Johal had laid down his life while saving residents of the area on August 21, 1970.

He had taken off form the Halwara base on Raksha Bandhan when his plane developed a technical snag while flying over Saharanmajra village. Even though the officer had the opportunity to eject, he chose to stay on the plane and 
steer it away from the populated area.



IT to focus on consumer awareness
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Sharad Srivastava
Sharad Srivastava

Ludhiana, August 20
As Indian consumer becomes techno-savvy and number of computer users grow each year, corporate world engaged in information technology (IT) feels the market has matured and it is the right time to focus on generating consumer awareness.

“Considering that a large section of people are familiar with computers, it is important for customers to be equally aware about the accessories and the stuff that they use in their computers so that their investments pay off well,” said Mr Sharad Srivastava, director of sales, Western Digital, a global hardware manufacturer.

It is with this focus in mind and with an idea to educate its channel partners that the company is conducting a host of road-shows across the country. It covered metros and now is in the process of conducting such awareness roadshows in other towns, targeting 50 by the end of this year, Mr Srivastava, who was in the city in connection with a roadshow, spoke to the Ludhiana Tribune here today.

He said the company was keen on making its products available throughout the country for which it was emphasising on expanding its sales network in smaller towns in addition to metros.

“There are products like our recently launched ‘passport’, an external storage device that can store upto 120 GB data, and can be carried anywhere. Such products, new to the market, are gaining popularity but they need to reach individuals so that IT can truly benefit all.” He said the company would target not only corporates and institutions but also individual users.

He said, adding, “We offer a 5-year warranty on internal storage devices and a 1-year warranty on external devices. A consumer can call a toll free number and the product will be picked up from his place and delivered right back to him at his place.”



Aggarwal body to support Badal
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 20
The Punjab Pradesh Aggarwal Sammelan has resolved to strengthen the hands of Shiromani Akali Dal supremo and former Punjab Chief Minister Mr Parkash Singh Badal. A state-level mass mobilisation campaign for this purpose would be launched at Bathinda on September 10 with a blood donation camp.

Announcing this at a news conference here last evening, the state president of the body, Mr Amrit Lal Aggarwal, said that the blood donation camp, to be organised by Bathinda unit of sammelan, would be inaugurated by Mr Pradeep Mittal, president, All-India Aggarwal Sammelan.

Mr Aggarwal, who had promised support of the community to SAD in a meeting with Mr Badal at a function here recently, said the functionaries of sammelan, along with prominent leaders of the community, would undertake a tour of the entire state after September 10 to create public opinion in favour of SAD-BJP coalition for the forthcoming assembly elections in the state next year.

In a scathing attack on Congress government, he said all sections of the people, particularly the members of trade and industry, were feeling frustrated under the mis-rule of ruling Congress. Steep rise in prices of essential commodities, coupled with unprecedented power crisis had broken the backbone of trade and industry. As if this was not enough, the government was oblivious to the increasing burden and complexity of taxes on the business community, which had led to mass migration of industry to other states.

Mr Aggarwal informed that the 28th meeting of working committee of All-India Aggarwal Sammelan will be held here on October 28 followed by a national delegate session on October 29, which would be addressed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

Among others, Mr Surinder K. Gupta, Mr D.K. Gupta, Mr Arvind Jindal, Mr Sunil Jindal, Mr Ved Parkash Gupta and Mr Prem Jain were present.



Drive against adulteration stepped up
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 20
In course of its ongoing campaign to check adulteration of food stuff in the city and elsewhere in the district, a team of health officials set up nakas at different places in the city early on Friday morning and took 10 samples of milk from vendors.

The team comprising Dr I.D. Goyal, District Health Officer, Mr Manoj Khosla and Mr Ravinder Garg, both Food Inspectors, took the milk samples from Bharat Nagar Chowk, Pakhowal Road, Haibowal and Gill Road Chowk.

Later in the day, the officials took samples of ‘chana-bhatoora’ and gulab jamun from Vishwakarma Chowk. All samples were sent to the Government Laboratory for analysis and appropriate follow-up action would be taken on receipt of the test report.

According to the Civil Surgeon, Dr Sat Pal Sharma, the health staff had earlier seized samples of several essential food items like wheat flour, ground spices, vanaspati ghee, juice, sharbat and aerated drinks in a series of raids conducted on provision stores, eateries and dhabas at different places in the city.

He said the department was determined to curb adulteration of food items with a firm hand and till date as many as 353 samples had been taken by teams of health officials.

On the basis of reports received from the government analyst, a number of prosecution proceedings were launched against offenders under the relevant law.



Three poor girls married
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 20
Three poor girls were married here today by the Public Social Welfare Council at its fourth annual mass marriage function. The Lions Club, Ludhiana Greater, also actively participated in the marriage ceremonies. Lion Bhupinder Kaur, Lion Lalit Gupta and Lion Balwant Singh Zandu were present on the occasion.

The marriages were solemnised at Janj Ghar, Sanatan Dharam Mandir, New Model Town, this morning.

Founder members, well-wishers and donors had assembled in the temple to accord a warm welcome to the bridegrooms and their family members.

Mr Surinder Kumar Ghai, president of the council, said around 200 persons were present to bless the couples.

Mr Rakesh Pandey, Minister of State for Science and Technology, Punjab, presided over the function while Mr A.S. Rai, SSP, Ludhiana, was the chief guest.

The couples were given beds, fans, utensils, clothes, ornaments and other gift items to help them start a new life.



Brahman Sabha sets terms for support
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
The Bhagwan Parshuram Brahman Sabha today said it would continue to retain its a poltical character. A meeting of the executive committee of the sabha was held here today which was attended by the representatives from all over the state.

The sabha observed that while it would continue with its political anonymity, at the same time which ever party addressed the issues concerning the community would get their support.

The sabha expressed concern over the plight of most of the community members.



One killed in road mishap

Jagraon, August 20
Naresh Mehta of Shanda village(Bihar) was knocked down by an Indica car in the Halwara Bus Stand area. The Sudhar police has registered a case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC on the complaint of Chamkaur Singh of Halwara village. OC



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