L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Road romeos give girl students traffic blues
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 27
Students of various girls’ colleges here are a harassed lot, thanks to unregulated traffic outside their colleges soon after these close.

They said at times, it took 40-45 minutes to travel a few yards on their vehicles. Not only the students, but their parents, faculty and Principals, also feel that traffic should be properly regulated to prevent an accident.

Traffic has always been a problem outside city girls colleges, particularly outside Khalsa College for Women, Government College for Women, Guru Nanak Girls College, Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women. Majority of the girls blame boys on their “geri” routes on two-wheelers and four-wheelers for the traffic chaos.

“The boys harass us. They keep on roaming on their vehicles outside the college between 12 noon and 1:30 pm, when the colleges close. Some of them park their vehicles on the roads, blocking the traffic and pass comments on us. It is a routine affair”, said a second year student of Khalsa College for Women.

The traffic flow is worst hit during rainy days. One of the faculty members of the same college said the college was situated in the central part of the city. “Traffic regulation has always been a problem. But, when it rains, boys make it a point not to move from the place till some traffic police personnel come,” she added.

The students of GCW feel themselves a bit relieved as there were two-three gates in their college and it is situated near the residence of the Deputy Commissioners.

Dr Manju Chawla said the SSP of the city had convened a meeting of the Principals of the colleges on the problem. “They deputed traffic police personnel outside the colleges, they won’t stay there for long.”



Bihar protests with Punjab over Ludhiana violence
Vimal Sumbly & Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
The Bihar Government is learnt to have taken serious note of Friday’s violence in Ludhiana which involved some migrant labourers and the locals.

The Bihar Government is understood to have lodged a strong protest with the Punjab Government on the issue and demanded adequate measures for the safety and security of the people from Bihar. Following this, the district police reportedly decided to suspend the registration process of the migrant people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Meanwhile, an all-party delegation of MLAs from Bihar is arriving here in a couple of days to have the first-hand information about Friday’s incidents.

Well placed sources in the government revealed that the Director-General of Police, Punjab, Mr S.S. Virk, has sought a detailed report on the issue from the Ludhiana police. He had reportedly been approached by his Bihar counterpart following a lot of hue and cry after reports of violence reached there.

There was lot of panic all over Bihar since the rumour had spread that there was indiscriminate and widespread violence against the Bihari people all over Punjab. Even local people with whom the Biharis are working got numerous calls from the concerned relatives. Since the reports of violence had been widely covered by the print media and television news channels, panic had spread too fast across Bihar, forcing the government to take up the matter with Punjab.

The Bihar Government is also believed to have expressed its reservation over the Punjab police move of registering people from that state. Moreover, it (the Bihar Government) has questioned the purpose of the registration as it had been selectively meant for the people of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Residents from no other state were asked to register themselves with the police, it was pointed out.

The Punjab Government is learnt to have asked the local officers to look into the role of the local police during the violence. It has been alleged that while the migrants were being mercilessly beaten up by the locals, the police did not intervene. Moreover, the way the people from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh were dragged out from their houses and beaten up publicly has evoked strong resentment in their home states.

The DGP, Punjab, has reportedly asked the police to act tough with all those who indulged in indiscriminate violence against the migrants. The role of the police personnel who did not intervene to stop violence against the migrants is also being probed since there were allegations that the police acted in a partial manner.



450 tested for diabetes
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 27
Under its ongoing community service project, the National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA) organised its 11th diabetes detection camp at Gupta Clinic in Shivpuri here today. More than 450 patients were examined by a team of NIMA doctors, along with specialists from Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

Dr Surendra Gupta, secretary of the local branch of NIMA, said blood and blood sugar tests were carried out at the camp free of cost. Those suffering from diabetes and other diseases were given medicines free of cost.

Confirmed diabetic patients were educated about management of the condition and necessary changes in life style, diet.

Dr Gupta announced that NIMA would organise a seminar on cardiology on September 9 in which experts from Hero DMC Heart Institute would share latest developments in the field and modalities of treatment of cardiac diseases with NIMA doctors.

Prominent among others present on the occasion were Dr Rajesh Thapar, president, NIMA, Dr Sarjeewan Sharma, Dr Inder Sharma and Dr Ram Pabby.

At a free dental check-up camp, organised by NIMA in collaboration with the Sarb Hind Darbare Khalsa Dal at Bindra Dental Clinic in Harcharan Nagar on Samrala Road, a large number of patients were examined. Medicines were distributed among the needy free of cost.

Dr Kanwaljit Singh and Dr Amarpreet Kaur examined the patients and gave them tips on oral hygiene. It was inaugurated by district president of the Akali Jatha (SAD-B), Mr Hira Singh Gabria.



MiG displayed to rebuild public confidence
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 27
The Air Force authorities at Halwara tried to rebuild public confidence in MiGs by displaying a MiG 23 BN along with gunneries, arms and ammunition.

The all-weather supersonic tactile bomber with variable wing sweep, the fighter aircraft is propelled by an R 29 B, 300 type 55 B, turbojet, twin spool engine with a variable area nozzle. According to Sq Ldr Harjinder Singh, the aircraft had been used during wars with Pakistan. Its unique capability to use bomb of various dimensions and integral double barrel 23 mm gun made it more suitable.

A Rocket S 24 B, rocket 57 mm, various bombs and cartridge 23 mm GSH HEI (INERT) were displayed along with the fighter plane.

Senior functionaries said the IAF had planned to phase out the air defence version of the MiG 23 but had decided to take up the ground attack version MiG 23 BN for life extension.

With a take-off speed of 300-330 km per hours and take-off run of just 650-700 metres, the fighter aircraft attains a speed of 1.7 mach (1,350 km per hour). It has an internal fuel capacity of 5,400 litres and is capable of carrying the 3,000 kg of payload.

Out of around 20 MiG 23a involved in various crashes, the IAF (Halwara) had lost at least nine air defence version planes during the past decade.



Ludhiana Calling

The city has become a hot shoppers’ stop, considering the number of showrooms putting their stuff on heavy discounts. Almost all shopkeepers have their products on sale, starting from 10 per cent to as high as 50 per cent. Considering the rush of customers in these outlets one wonders if the residents are gone crazy. Shop, shop and shop till you go broke seems to be the mantra of city residents.

Milk adulteration

With all 200 milk samples tested in a Sarabha Nagar camp reporting adulteration, confusion prevails among the residents about which enforcement agency to look up to ensure that they get pure milk. One wonders why the milkmen were left to go scot-free when the Dairy Department itself checked the samples and found that most of them contained urea, a toxic chemical. Is there anyone to catch them?

Dry Saawan

The month of Sawan in the Indian calendar is over and it seems the region has been literally left high and dry as not much rain was experienced. Only a few cm of rain was recorded by various meteorological laboratories all over the state. Now when the next month has started and it is as hot and sultry as anything people are unable to understand what to do. When the rainy month is over can they invoke the weather gods?

Dirty welcome

Heaps of garbage greet the visitors to the city who alight from trains at the railway station. It is an everyday problem that the litter is not lifted from there and it gets piled up. Pigs and other animals have a field day and it stinks throughout the day. “The heaps are here to tell the visitors that we have reached a dirty city. Why can’t they at least keep the entry points cleaned?”

Slums mushroom

Ludhiana can soon boast of the highest number of slums in the state if the mushrooming of jhuggis all over the city is any indication. Just a small piece of land is enough for the slum dwellers to raise a number of shanties and within no time these people become all powerful with the help of some local leaders who depend on them for their vote bank. Then it becomes almost impossible to remove them from there. The examples are slums on Pakhowal Road, near City Centre, near Rishi Nagar and on Humbran Road. Nobody can dare touch them.

Lawn competitions

When the Municipal Corporation is giving away trees to city residents, it can encourage residents to grow more plants by holding some competitions of lawns and terrace gardens. Plant lovers say that the competitions can be held annually or biennially so that more and more people participate in the contest and greenery would come as a byproduct. A brilliant idea, only if there are takers.

Hell there

Life is literally hell for the residents of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar who are sick of petty thefts in their houses. If they leave anything in their backyards it is stolen by the morning. They have organised several meetings and even contacted the police to find a solution for their problem. But to no avail. Although the finger of suspicion is pointed on some jhuggi dwellers in the area but the problem prevails.

Contributed by Kanchan Vasdev and Jupinderjit Singh



AISAD resolves to ‘free’ Sikh bodies from Badals
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
The All-India Shiromani Akali Dal (AISAD) today “resolved to liberate” various Sikh institutions like the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhik Committee (SGPC), the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Akal Takht from the control of Mr Parkash Singh Badal and his family.

A joint meeting of the urban and rural units of the AISAD was held here today under the chairmanship of the party president, Mr Jaswant Singh Mann. A number of resolution were passed with main focus on taking the gurdwara reform movement to its logical conclusion. The party activists will pay obeisance at the Akal Takht on August 29 as part of the reform movement.

Later, talking to reporters, Mr Mann alleged that the Sikh institutions like the SGPC, SAD and Akal Takht had seen a gradual erosion since these came under the control of Mr Badal, his family and the coterie. He observed that a similar situation had emerged which had necessitated the reform movement in early 1920s.

He maintained that the Shiromani Akali Dal led by Mr Badal was no longer a Sikh party as Mr Badal had submitted to the Election Commission of India that it was a Punjabi party. He alleged that Mr Badal and his coterie were working against the Panthic principles for their own survival.

A separate resolution passed during the meeting appealed all the Panthic groups to ignore and overlook their individual differences in the interest of the Panthic unity. It said this was time that the “Panthic parties, groups, forces and individuals join hand to remove the ills that have crept in the Sikh bodies and values to usher in renaissance and resurgence”.

Today’s meeting was attended by a number of party workers and leaders of the urban and rural units of the party.



Poor people given 10 kg flour
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
Public Health Minister Harnam Dass Johar has stated that to give relief to the poor people from the rising prices, the government would to strengthen the Public Distribution System in the state and the various food items, i.e. flour, rice, pulses, kerosene etc would be made available for poor people at subsidised rates though the ration depots and sufficient stocks of these items would be ensured.

He was addressing a well-attended function organised by the Mohalla Welfare Committee at Abdulapur Basti to distribute atta bags of 10 kg among the poor people, here today.

The minister said in the villages and other remote areas, the ration items would also be distributed through the mobile vans of the Food and Supply Department.

Mr Johar asked the depot holders ensure an honest supply of all these items to the people and warned that the depot holders indulging in corrupt practices would be dealt with sternly.

He said that the workers of the Congress would also supervise the distribution of ration and pension to the poor people, so that the benefit of the government schemes could be provided to the needy people.

He claimed that the Congress government headed by Capt Amarinder Singh was according top priority for the uplift of the Scheduled Castes and weaker sections of the society.

He informed that 28.85 per cent of the total State Plan Outlay of Rs 4000 crore, i.e. Rs. 1150 crore, had been allocated to implement the welfare schemes framed for these sections of society during 2006-07.

Mr Johar asserted the government had also decided not to allow the diversion of the funds to other schemes at any cost.

The minister informed that the government had launched a new scheme named “Water supply and environmental sanitation” with the assistance of the World Bank, under which this facility would be provided in 6500 villages of Punjab at a cost of Rs 1819.35 crore.

To start work on the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project, 500 villages would be selected in first Phase from all the 19 districts of the state.

He said the children of slum areas and jhuggis falling in the 4 to 14 years of age group, who were not attending school were being provided basic education free of cost by setting up centres in these localities.

Mr Johar said that the State Government had created a “Dedicated Social Security Fund” of Rs 450 crore to ensure regular and timely pension/financial assistance to 11 lakh beneficiariesincluding old aged, widows, orphans and physically challenged.

Five new tubewells at a cost of Rs 50 lakh were also being commissioned in the area to permanently solved the drinking water problem of the people.

Bibi Gurnam Kaur, Director, Khadi Board, while addressing the gathering said Mr Johar had always stood for the welfare of the poor and the poor people would also extend their full sport in the coming elections.

Others present on the occasion included Mr Dimple Rana, president, DYC, Mr Ajay Johar, Mr Jagdish Marwaha, secretary, DCC (U) and Mr Amrik Singh.



Awarded for honesty, he has to prove his claim
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
A former Indian Railways employee and a 1984 genocide victim, who has been awarded several times for his honesty for returning travellers’ valuables, is struggling for the past four years to convince the Punjab Government to prove the genuineness of his case seeking compensation as a riot victim.

Mr Gurmukh Singh, a senior citizen who came to Ludhiana after riots in Patna, is an angry man today. Despite being awarded several times by various authorities for his honesty, he is being asked to bribe certain people if he wants to be compensated. Further, his claim of being a victim is also being questioned.

The reason—his case cannot be considered for compensation is that he does not have a red card, given to every riot victim following an inquiry by the district administration. His file was closed in 2003 as he was away to Patna when a team of the administration had visited his house to inquire into the matter. His wife had told the officials that he was away for an urgent work and would be coming back after 10-12 days.

After he came back from Patna, he made several rounds of the offices concerned, but allegedly nobody listened to him. He was told that the file was closed as he was not present in his house. Since then, he has been knocking at several doors, but nobody cares.

He tried his best to get a red card prepared some months ago, but to no avail. “Some employees wanted me to grease their palm for getting the card made. But I did not have the required money in my pocket at that time. So I am suffering. I took the money the next morning but then it was all over,” e said,adding that he was a disappointed man as he believed in honesty throughout his life but for getting a compensation he had to indulge in bribing people.

“Due to red-tapism, my work never got done. Do they think I am making a false claim? Why should I want the money when I am not actually a victim? I have shown them certificates given to me for my honesty but no value is attached to being an upright person. I am really a broken man today,” he said.

A certificate given to him by the Eastern Railway authorities reads that he had returned the bag of a Japanese tourist, who had forgotten it in a rail coach in 1979. The bag contained valuable coins and Indian and Japanese currency. It was valued at thousands at that time. He was given Rs 100 for his honesty.



Residents’ plea to PSEB on meters
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 27
Apprehending the theft of electric meters to be installed outside the houses of consumers, residents have urged the police to impress upon the board authorities to ensure the safety of the meters if shifting was necessary.

In a communication addressed to the SHO (City), the residents have apprehended that the meters, if installed outside the premises, might be stolen or tempered with by some miscreants.

“Though the board authorities insist that action would be taken against consumers in case of any change in the meter, we fail to understand how to guard the equipment that has been installed outside the premises,” the complaint says.

Claiming that they were not against the policy of installing meters outside the premises, they said the authorities should undertake the safety of the meters.

They have written a similar letter to the PSEB Chairman and the Executive Engineer concerned. “We request you to intervene and inform the authorities that the consumer should not be penalised or held responsible for any meter alteration or theft,” they said.



Two cops held taking bribe
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
The Payal police arrested two policemen while they were allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 200 from Mr Mohinder Pal, a resident of Model Town, on Wednesday night.

The arrested persons are constable Rakesh Kimar of Katoli, under the Talwara police station, Hoshiarpur district, and Darshan Singh of Rurki Kalan village, under the Amloh police station, Fatehgarh Sahib district.



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