L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Rain turns bus stand into lake
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
The city bus stand has been virtually turned into a lake after showers that lashed the city two days ago.

Knee-deep water collected in the compound of the bus stand and commuters faced inconvenience.

In the absence of proper drainage, water collected inside the terminus and commuters had to virtually wade through knee-deep water.

The problem was compounded due to the construction of a new bus stand by a Baroda-based company on a build, operate and transfer basis. The entry point was changed and residents had to enter it through a narrow lane.

“There is little rain and the bus stand gets waterlogged. This is official apathy at its worst,” said Mr Mehtab Singh, a resident who commutes to his office in Khanna by bus everyday.

Bus drivers said they, too, were having a difficult time. “We have to stop the bus in front of every passenger so that they do not soil their clothes. Parking is also a problem,” Mr Pritam Singh, a driver, said.

The bus stand has always been a victim of official apathy. Last year also it was waterlogged during monsoon. The Chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust had got earth filled in to raise the plinth

There had been protests by the residents in the past as the bus stand was lacking in various basic facilities. Dotted with potholes, the bus stand presents a picture of utter neglect. The residents are now hoping that it would get a new lease of life.

They have seen various proposals for developing the bus stand but none could see the light of day. Earlier, it was announced that the foundation stone of the new bus terminus was to be laid by the then Chief Minister in 2002. The proposed Rs 7-crore project was entrusted to the municipal corporation. However, the project never took off.

The project was transferred to PUDA and Punjab Roadways also. The roadways authorities had conveyed to PUDA that the existing bus stand, spread over 9.92 acres, required renovation and needed proper maintenance. PUDA also washed its hands off the project, stating that the authority had not received funds from the government and could not start work on it.



Migrant verification drive suspended
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
The change of stance of the city police regarding the clash between a mob of migrant labourers and local residents in Sunder Nagar continues with the police now suspending the migrant verification drive indefinitely and cancelling the attempt-to-murder charge levelled against 13 migrants allegedly involved in the clash.

Initially, the police had held the mob of labourers responsible for the clash, but now the officials are of the opinion that it was a one-sided action against the labourers. The drive has been started and stopped several times in the past five years owing to different reasons, including pressure of the strong lobby of the labourer’s and industrialists.

Interestingly, the registration of the migrants was started after the District Magistrate issued orders making it mandatory in the district. The DM has not revoked the orders but the verification has been suspended.

A meeting between senior police officials and leaders of different groups of migrant labourers and political leaders claiming to represent them ended without clearing the deadlock over the issue yesterday.

‘‘The impasse continues and the verification would not be started till a way of registering migrants, which was acceptable to all parties was found,’’ revealed SP City-II D P Singh. He said the migrant leaders stressed that the verification was discriminatory against the labourers.

Police sources said the action had to be taken as the clash and subsequent registration of cases, mainly against migrants, had led to a confrontation between the Punjab and Bihar Governments. Sources said there was pressure on the cops to go soft on the labourers.

The situation had become quite volatile with some political leaders from Bihar claiming the police was discriminating against the residents of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh in the name of the drive.

The police had suspended the drive on August 25 after the clash. It had claimed that the drive would be re-launched after a week hoping the tempers would cool down.

The stopping of the verification has earned the wrath of the city residents with several organisations criticising the police for buckling under the pressure of migrant labourers at the behest of vote hungry politicians.

Col Chanan Singh Dhillon (retd) said the registration of the migrants was the only way to check the criminal elements which come in the garb of the migrants. He said the police too was a supporter of the verification as the cops faced tremendous problems in locating a migrant when he leaves the city after committing a crime.

The migrants have been mainly complaining that they have to make several rounds of the respective police stations for taking the ID-cards. This affected their work. They had also alleged corruption in the issuance of the cards. The police has been denying the allegations.



Rajguru Nagar suffers 7-hr blackout
Mall under construction to blame
K S Chawla

Ludhiana, September 1
The residents of Rajguru Nagar colony and the neighbouring residential areas were subjected to seven hours of power cut yesterday, courtesy the construction of a mall on the Ferozepore road. No official power cut was applied yesterday in the town due to heavy rain.

It was exact at 12 noon that the power supply to Rajguru Nagar Colony was suspended and the residents thought it was an official cut for three hours.

The officials of the Punjab State electricity board when contacted said there was some fault on the transmission lines and the supply would be restored as soon as the fault was removed. The officials were trying to find the fault, but failed. Finally, they found that the power transmission lines had been cut by the bulldozer of a mall under construction on the Ferozepore road.

The earth had caved in and the power supply system was disrupted. It was at 7 pm in the evening that the PSEB authorities put the Rajguru Nagar colony and other areas on another feeder and the supply was restored.

Mr K. D. Chaudhry, Chief Engineer, PSEB, when contacted did not know about the fault. But he promised to take action against the owners of the mall who had put the residents to inconvenience for seven hours.

Mr Anant Ram Gupta, former vice-president, and Mr Charanjit Singh Aulakh, former executive member of the Rajguru Nagar Welfare Society, urged the PSEB to put a heavy penalty on the owners of the mall for causing difficulties.

This was second such incident which to have taken place during the past few months where the power supply to the residential colonies was affected due to the negligence of the staff of the mall. They also pointed out that the owners of another mall under construction on this highway were throwing water in the lanes of Rajguru Nagar.



PO takes Roadways for a ride
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 1
A conductor of the Taran Taran depot of Punjab Roadways, who was declared a proclaimed offender, not only succeeded in allegedly evading arrest for 25 years but also worked with the Ludhiana depot of the same roadways.

According to Mr Rachhpal Singh Hara, DSP, Malerkotla, a special investigation team, led by Mr Darshan Singh SHO, Sadar, had arrested Malkit Singh of Maholi Khurad village, from the outskirts of the town when he was trying to leave the area.

Investigations revealed that Malkit Singh had been booked by the Taran Taran police under Section 409 of IPC for allegedly duping the Punjab Roadways of thousands of rupees by misappropriating money received by selling tickets in 1981. The case was registered on the statement of the then General Manager, Punjab Roadways, Taran Taran, on January 1, 1981.

Malkit Singh not only evaded arrest by shifting his residence for all those years but he worked in the same organisation that had earlier terminated his services.

“What wonders us the most is that after being terminated from the post of conductor by the Taran Taran depot of Roadways, the accused rejoined Ludhiana depot as driver and is presently working on the same post.

“This cannot be possible without the connivance of senior officials of the organization,” said Mr Hara while talking to the Ludhiana Tribune.

The police was trying to find out whether the accused tried to befool authorities by recording name of father as Bhan Singh instead of Bhim Sain.

Though Malkit Singh had shifted his family to Ludhiana in 1986, he continued coming to his native village all those years.



Panic over gas leak at Kohara village
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
Panic has gripped Kohara village since last evening when residents complained of difficulty in breathing and giddiness due to some gas leak in the village.

Residents ran out of the houses when the village gurdwara announced the leak, asking the villagers to identify the source. Sarpanch Nachhattar Singh said a number of villagers took medicines to prevent nausea and cure headache.

ASI Satwinder Singh Virk, chowki in charge, Ramgarh, said the villagers suspect a factory using plastic for manufacturing was probably the source of the leak. However, the source has not been identified so far.

ASI Virk said the police was investigating the matter. He said the police would call experts of the Punjab Pollution Control Board.



4th pay panel benefits elude doctors
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 1
The Punjab Civil Medical Services Association (PCMSA) has expressed resentment over the denial of financial benefits recommended by the 4th Pay Commission for PCMS doctors. It has called upon the state government to immediately implement all pending demands.

In a memorandum submitted to the state Health Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, who also holds the portfolio of Finance, the association pointed out that even as the government had made known its intention to set up the 5th Pay Commission, the recommendations of the previous pay commission in respect of the doctors were still gathering dust.

Dr Hardeep Singh, president, and Dr Ajay Bagga, press secretary of the state PCMSA, respectively, said it was most that the PCMS doctors were being denied benefits like revision of academic allowance at a uniform rate of Rs 300 per month in place of the present slabs of Rs 100 and Rs 250 per month to general practitioners and specialists, respectively.

The recommendations for upward revision of ESI allowance to the doctors working with ESI department from the present rate of Rs 200 to Rs 400 per month for re-designation of senior medical officers (SMOs) as Deputy Civil Surgeons with one promotional increment had not been given effect till now.

The conveyance allowance was admissible only to a few categories of doctors, who were maintaining their personal vehicles for official tours. In this regard, the recommended upward revision at the rate equivalent to the retail price of 75 litres of petrol had failed to get the government nod which was discriminatory, if anything.

The association made a strong case for grant of conveyance allowance for all doctors, including those serving in clinical hospitals for indoor emergency service without any official vehicle and also demanded the free telephone facility for PCMS doctors.

It further urged the government to enhance the special lump sum allowance to doctors in rural service to Rs.500 in place of the present rate of Rs 150 per month, as also pay academic allowance of Rs 500 per month to specialist doctors, resume the higher qualification allowance to all post-graduate (PG) doctors without any qualifying condition of cut-off date of January, 1996.



Newly carpeted road caves in
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
Just a few months after a road in I-Block of Sarabha Nagar was recarpeted, a part of it has caved in, posing a threat to commuters at night.

The road caved in after the rain yesterday. But no repair work was taken up even after so many hours when the damage took place. Some residents kept twigs over it so as to warn the commuters about it.

‘‘But for the twigs, nobody can anticipate the pothole at night. The road leads to a park in the area and is the most frequented road. Children also cycle their way to this park. They can meet with an accident. It can prove fatal for a scooterist if he lands over the caved-in road,’’ said a resident who alleged that there was some problem with the material used for the recarpeting.

He added that it was not possible that the road would give away after a few hours of rain only. ‘‘The road has caved in from a place which was metalled this time only. Earlier it used to be a kutcha roadside of a metalled road. It seems that the earth was not levelled well while recarpeting it. So it has sunk in.’’



BJP, SAD leaders deny fissures
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
The Shiromani Akali Dal president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and the state BJP president, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, today said there were no fissures between the SAD and the BJP on any issue, including the sharing of seats in the state.

These claims were made in two separate statements by the leaders. Mr Badal said the main object of both parties was to inflict a crushing defeat on the ruling Congress government and that any seat, whether of the BJP or of the SAD, belonged to the common kitty.

Mr Khanna said the phobia of any chinks between the Akali-BJP alliance was being created only by those forces who were getting panicky at the increasing strength of the alliance.

The bond between the two alliance partners were not only political but there existed even social, emotional and religious links between them, said the BJP leader.

In reply to a question, Mr Khanna said the first meeting of the coordination committee of both parties on the seat-sharing issue was going to be held on September 2 in New Delhi.

Every seat in Punjab, he said, would be fought unitedly with full force by the alliance with a single aim to dislodge the corrupt congress government in the state.

The state BJP president said Mr Prakash Singh Badal was the unquestioned leader of the SAD-BJP alliance who would lead it to victory in the coming Assembly elections. 



RSS leader passes away
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 1
Mitter Sen Gupta, a senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader died at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here yesterday.

He had been not keeping well for some time. He was 82 and is survived by his wife, two sons and three daughters.

His last rites were performed at the Civil Lines cremation grounds, this afternoon.

A large number of people drawn from various walks of life and political leaders attended the funeral.

Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, president of the Bhartiya Janata Party, Punjab, Lala Lajpat Rai, senior BJP leader and former member of Parliament, Mr Phul Chnad, Mr Kashmiri Lal, Dr Kuldeep, Dr Subhash Beri, president, BJP, Ludhiana (urban) and Mr Sat Pal Gosain, former Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, were the prominent personalities who were there to express sympathies with the bereaved family.

Gupta was the founder of the prestigious educational institutions, Bharatiya Vidya Mandir schools. 



City girl selected for super star finals
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 1
Anju Rana and her family members’ joy knew no bounds when they came to know that she had been selected for the finals of the reality show ‘’Fair and Lovely Menz Active SuperStars’’ last evening.

Anju is packing her luggage as she has to leave for Mumbai for 15 days on September 3.

The daughter of a retired Army officer Anju said: “This is a dream come true. Though I have been modeling for many designers for the past few years, acting has always been a passion. SaharaOne people have provided a platform to budding artistes. Since it is a reality show, there would be no chances of partiality”, she said.

Anju said a total 120 participants selected from all over the country would be groomed by experts. The show would be telecast from September 11 on SaharaOne.

“I hope that the 15 days would be full of fun and hard work. We will be making new friends. To be honest, I do not feel nervous at all”, she stressed.

An ardent devotee of Ma Durga, Anju said one should have faith in God. “I am representing Ludhiana and I am sure that lakhs of viewers would pray for me. I 
promise to put in my best efforts. The rest depends on destiny”, she added.

A graduate from Kanya Vidyalaya, Pallia, Uttar Pradesh, Anju said she had reached this level because of the encouragement of her parents and good wishes of her loved ones.



Man crushed under speeding train
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 1
A resident of Pakhowal was today crushed to death when the scooter he was riding was dragged by a speeding train coming from Dhuri near Jandali bridge.

The Railway Police has handed over the body of the deceased to his kin after conducting postmortem under Section 174 of CrPC.

Major Singh (57) was crushed to death after being dragged along with his scooter by a train coming from Dhuri and going towards the local railway station at the level-crossing.

Though there was no eyewitness to narrate the sequence of events, the spot examination revealed that Major Singh, who was going to Sekha village, might have tried to the barrier.

Locals said it was not the first incident of its kind. People had been usually trying to cross the barrier without waiting for trains to pass.



Vet hospital gets binocular microscope
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, September 1
The Department of Veterinary Clinical Service Complex, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana, has placed an advanced binocular microscope in the Veterinary Hospital as part of the Central Diagnostic Laboratory facility.

This facility will be open to all teachers for conducting the diagnostic work of clinical samples. It will help in rationalising the treatment of the animals. This is possible due to the efforts of Dr R. S. Sahota, Professor and Head, Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension, and Dr O S Parmar, Director of Extension Education.

Dr Parmar today visited the veterinary clinics of GADVASU and emphasised the need for excellent diagnostic services of veterinary clinics and extension services for the benefit of the farming community.

Dr S. S. Sidhu, Professor and Head, Department of Veterinary Clinical Services Complex, informed that the University Veterinary Hospital was a referral hospital which was considered as Veterinary PGI in the Northern India. The clinicians from these centres were providing their services in the veterinary hospital.



Rotract team installed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 1
The installation function of GGN Khalsa College, Rotract Club, was held on Wednesday. Preet Gobind Singh, president, and his team for 2006-07 was installed by R.S. Behal, president, Rotary Club, Ludhiana North. The following are the office-bearers: Secretary — Khusmeet Singh;vice-president — Kulwant Singh; joint secretary — Imanpreet Singh; treasurer — Mandeep Singh; Sgt-at-Arms Kuldip Singh and directors Amos Massey and Ms Sonam, Yash Paul and Ms Sapna.



2 highway robbers nabbed
Tribune News Service

Mullanpur Dakha, September 1
Two members of an inter-state gang of highway robbers were nabbed by the Dakha police along with two stolen vehicles, a revolver and four rounds of ammunitions. The gang members allegedly used to snatch vehicles and valuables from commuters on the highways.

Giving details of the capture, DSP Raghubir Singh Sandhu in a press conference here this afternoon said a truck (trailer) of Pangli Road lines, Sahnewal, was snatched by about a dozen Safari-bound robbers from near Pandori village on the outskirts of Mullanpur Dakha on August 18 at gunpoint.

The robbers had allegedly tied up the cleaner and threw him in a pit near the scene of robbery whereas they kidnapped the driver and later he was found tied by a tree near Samrala.

The SHO of Dakha, Mr Dharampal, was following the case and got success when an informer tipped him that the robbers wanted to hide the trailer in Dewtwal village, near Ludhiana.

The trailer was to travel via Pamal, Pamali and Hassanpur. The DSP of Dakha laid a naka at Hassanpur bus stand and nabbed the truck. The occupants tried to flee but could not succeed.

Among the nabbed were Prabhjot Singh, alias Lovely, s/o Gurbax Singh and Manjeet Singh, s/o Mohinder Singh, both from Durgapuri Ludhiana. A .303 revolver with four cartridges were also seized from them.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Dharampal said the robbers followed a unique modus operandi. They used to obtain the registration copy of a total loss vehicle which has been disposed of. They then used to wipe out the engine no. and chassis no. of the stolen vehicle and re-mark them with those of the total loss vehicle. In this way the theft became untraceable. This time also they reimposed the chassis and engine no. of a total loss trailer owned by Jasvir Singh s/o Amar Singh of Virk Roadways of Transport Nagar, Ludhiana.

The police is raiding at the hideouts of the other members of the gang.



Woman held for fraud
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 1
Sukhwant Kaur, daughter of Pritam Singh of Hamidi village in Baranal police district, was arrested from Bhogiwal village when she was visiting her sister.

She was wanted in connection with a case registered under Sections 406, 380 of IPC at Nihal Singh Wala police station about 8 years ago during the SAD regime.

Investigations revealed that she had allegedly duped a close relative of Mr Tota Singh, former Education Minister.

“As she had been settled in Canada for more than 15 years, the innocent youth fell prey to her alluring proposals. 



One nabbed for loot conspiracy
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 1
Tara Singh, son of Puran Singh, a resident of Ward number 5, Talab Bazar, Raikot, wanted in a case registered under Sections 399, 402 of IPC and 25,54, 59 of the Arms Act for allegedly conspiring to loot a commercial organisation on June 13, 2004, was similarly nabbed by the local police.

He had been evading arrest by shifting his residence to neighbouring Rajasthan and Haryana states during this period.

In another incident, Bahadur Singh, son of Nachhatar Singh of Phalaund Kalan, was arrested when he was going to supply poppy husk on his motorcycle. Almost 15 kg of banned product was seized from his possession. In yet another arrest, one Sohan Khan was held for allegedly carrying illicit liquor.



New trends in home decor displayed
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 1
With the focus of residents towards home interiors witnessing a growing trend, market players are vying to capture a significant share in the relatively new organised market. The result is the entry of new players in the organised segment for home decor and furnishings.

“We noticed a significant change in the demand scenario and consumers these days prefer outlets where they can have a large number of options and also seek expert advice. It is to cater to this changing trend that we decided to come up with a one stop shop for home interiors,” said Mr Surinder Pal Singh, Managing Director, Naveen Bharat Furnishings Private Limited.

The company was launched at Pakhowal Road here today. Spread over four floors, Mr Singh said the outlet would provide national and international brands in floor coverings, carpets, curtains, bed sheets etc. Besides, the company offers gift items and other stuff in home decor.

Talking about the brands, he said: “Seasons, Viva and Beekleen are few of the various brands that would be available. We are importing material from the USA, Germany and Egypt. With this, the common complaint of city residents about the non-availability of products in this category from international markets would be redressed.”

He said the company was planning to launch a home studio soon which would showcase various ways in which one can do different rooms in one’s house. “It becomes tough for customers to make a selection. A display of different rooms like drawing room, living room, lobby etc would be there which would make it easier for them to choose,” he added.

On changes in trends, he said changes in economy had created an impact on all segments, including interiors. “People are quite aware of the prevailing trends and do not mind spending towards the same. Rise in incomes too has contributed to this growth.” The company’s target customer, he said, would be middle income and upper income groups.

For those seeking expert advice on how to decorate their houses, the company would cater to that as well.



City hotel assn chief felicitated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 1
A function was organised by the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Ludhiana here yesterday at Imperial Hotel to felicitate Mr N.S. Nanda, president, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Punjab. He had been awarded Lifetime Excellence Award by Mrs Ambika Soni, Union Tourism Minister, at an international summit on aviation, tourism and hospitality industry organised by the Punjab Government and the International Punjabi Chamber for Service Industry in New Delhi recently. The function had been presided over by Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Tourism Minister, Punjab.

The city hotel unit presented Mr Nanda the Rai Bahadur M.S. Oberoi Memorial Award for his commendable services. 



LIC celebrates golden jubilee year
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 1
The Life Insurance Corporation of India is celebrating its golden jubilee year and the 50th anniversary insurance week, the celebrations for which started here today.

As part of the celebrations, Ludhiana division has undertaken multifarious activities to reach out to the people. It held a painting competition for students of various schools here today and plans to organise quiz competitions, cycle rallies, seminars, symposiums, and health check-ups during the week. 



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |