L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

City submerged
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
The continuous rain that has been lashing the city for past two days has started giving sleepless nights to residents living alongside the Budda Nullah, especially on the weaker banks of the nullah.

There was a deluge in the city today and all low-lying areas and some posh areas of the city were inundated throwing the normal life out of gear. The water level in the nullah also went up forcing the civic authorities to make arrangements for any eventuality arising out of situation.

With rumour mills working overtime in the sensitive areas, especially Haibowal, newspaper offices were flooded with queries on whether there was a flood-like situation in the city or not.

Municipal Corporation Commissioner Vikas Partap asked the residents not to panic as there was not an iota of truth in the rumours that were making rounds. Still the MC was prepared to face any situation as sand bags were procured and kept handy near the sensitive areas only. Emergency repair work was taking place in some areas, he said.

The normal life came to a standstill as vehicles were caught up in the waterlogged roads. Some houses with low-plinth level were also flooded and the residents had a difficult time in manually draining the water.

The deluge exposed the tall claims of local civic body officials who had been saying that the stormwater sewerage system worth lakhs of rupees would take care of the flood water.

Many residents had to wade through knee-deep water at several places as it took quite some time for water to drain out. Although reports of waterlogging were received from almost all parts of the city, areas like Chander Nagar, Upkar Nagar, Abdullahpur Basti, Gill Road, Khalsa College Road, GT Road, Haibowal, Durga Puri were the worst sufferers as the streets were flooded with the rainwater. Many streets were waterlogged till the filing of this report. Industrial Area, Miller Ganj, Janakpuri, Field Ganj and New Madhopuri were also waterlogged.

The MC workers remained on their toes and were draining the water by opening the manholes and clearing the garbage.



Road caves in, car driver hurt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
A car driver was injured when a part of road near BCM School in Model Town here caved in suddenly due to the continuous rain and leaking sewerage today.

The driver suffered injuries on his face but was saved. Just a few minutes after his car was taken out from the caved in part, another big chunk of earth gave in leaving a huge crater on the road.

It was sheer providence that a railway gate on the otherwise busy road was closed and traffic had come to a halt. Otherwise some casualty could have taken place considering the formation of a huge crater. Moreover, BCM School was just a few metres away from the portion.

Soon after the road gave in, officials of Municipal Corporation rushed to the spot. The area was cordoned off and traffic was diverted through other side of the road. City Mayor Nahar Singh Gill and Commissioner, Vikas Partap took a stock of the situation during the rain only.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, he said he had ordered cordoning off of the area and his staff would remain posted throughout the night on the spot so that no untoward incident took place.

He said the sewerage in that area was as old as 25 years and due to leakage the earth around it was washed away and the road caved in. He said they were waiting for the rain to stop and the area to dry up before taking any corrective measures. The work was to be done by the Water Supply and Sewerage Board and they were moving the government machinery for carrying out repairs. All senior officials of the MC were also on the spot and studying the cause of damage. Traffic cops were also asked to remain posted on the place round the clock to warn the commuters on this road.

Mr Partap said that the damage was caused due to continuous rain as water could have seeped in from some point. Heavy rain this morning could have triggered the damage.

Mr Jaswinder Singh Bhola, area councillor, said the Model Town did not have a separate storm water sewerage and the rain water was being discharged into the common sewer only. 



Another Sikh youth alleges hair cut
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
Tension gripped Rarhi Mohalla today when a city youth returned from Delhi alleging that his hair and beard were cut by some miscreants who attacked his Tilak Nagar residence in Delhi last evening.

Harpreet Singh, alias Sonu (24), who runs a Pagri Training Centre, was brought by his father, Mr Angrez Singh, alongwith a number of SGPC members and supporters to local Kalgidhar Gurdwara, here today.

The youth, with his head and beard shaved, alleged in front of mediapersons that his hair were cut by some persons identified by him. Despite his attempts to get a case registered, the Delhi police did not do so. He claimed that the police recorded his statement but did not register a case.

He rushed back home where various leaders, including some SGPC members and SAD leaders, Mr Kanwal Inder Singh Thekedar, Sukhwinder Singh Sokhi, Hira Singh Gabria, Amarjit Singh Bhatia and Mr Simarjit Singh Bains, held an indoor meeting with the youth and decided on the further course of action.

Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, SGPC president, who left for Delhi, urged upon local residents to maintain calm.



Beant Singh Wala still a dream
Mahesh Sharma
The new name of Kotli village is yet to figure on the milestone four years after it was renamed Beant Singh Wala village.
The new name of Kotli village is yet to figure on the milestone four years after it was renamed Beant Singh Wala village. —Tribune photo by Sayeed Ahmed

Kotli ( Payal), September 2
Various death anniversaries of late Chief Minister Beant Singh have come and gone, but even four years after the Punjab Government had announced the re-naming of his native village after him, the residents are still awaiting the implementation of the orders.

Residents of this village blame the apathy of political leaders and bureaucrats for the failure to fulfil several promises made annually at the commemoration of the former Chief Minister's death anniversary in this village.

Mincing no words, they term it as an annual joke on the supreme sacrifice of their great leader who had laid his life for the peace of the disturbed state 11 years ago.

Though the village was rechristened Shaheed Beant Singh Nagar by the Punjab Government four years ago, nowhere in the records appear the name of the savior of the Hindu and Sikh fraternity. "The Chief Minister of the state had made the announcement proudly on the occasion of the anniversary of the martyrdom in 2002, he had reiterated the stand next year also. But we fail to understand the reason behind delay with the Congress ruling the state and Centre as well," rued Nirmal Singh, a contemporary of Beant Singh.

Captain Amarinder Singh, CM, Punjab, talking to a section of press on September 1, 2003, had held that he would press the Union Government to confer Bharat Ratan Award posthumously on Beant Singh. But nothing concrete has been done so far in this direction.

People remember that Captain Amarinder Singh had stated that their village had been named Beant Singh Wala and the Cabinet of Ministers had passed a resolution in September, 2002, regarding the change of name of road linking Payal with the national highway.

What to talk of leaders in the state, Central leaders have failed to recognise the sacrifice of the martyr and his family.

"Though Moti Lal Vohra, cashier of the AICC, had announced last year that a chapter on the life of Beant Singh would be introduced in the syllabus books we have not noticed any new chapter in any book so far," said another villager. A stamp in honour of Beant Singh was similarly awaited.

Allocation of Rs 8 crore for much talked bout memorial in sector 42, Chandigarh, is yet to materialise. Contrary to the expectations of the villagers, certain senior leaders of the party had been ignoring the annual function also.



Panel meets Raninder over special road tax
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 2
A deputation of the members of the Association of the Punjab School Education Board Affiliated Schools, Punjab, met Mr Raninder Singh, general secretary, PPCC, and Mr Sushil Malhotra, coordinator, Bathinda, under the presidentship of Mr Rajinder Sharma. They gave a memorandum to Mr Raninder Singh regarding the special road tax imposed on the buses of affiliated schools.

Mr Sharma said, “We are already paying the road tax, but a special road tax, which has been imposed by the Punjab Government on the buses of affiliated schools, is a great burden on these schools and the parents as well. There is no motive of any commercial purpose involved in it. Nominal charges are taken from the students for this service. The special road tax is a great burden on the meager resources of the schools.”

They urged Mr Raninder Singh to consider the difficulties of the parents and the students and remove the tax.

Mr Raninder Singh assured the deputation that their problem would be solved soon as these affiliated schools were sharing the burden of education with the Punjab Government by providing education to a large number of students in rural areas and urban areas. 



Labour Lok Adalat settled 78 cases
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 2
The District Legal Services Authority held a lok adalat to settle the cases pending between labourers and their employers, which was presided over by Mr A . K. Singla, Additional District Judge-cum-Presiding Officer, Labour Court.

With the amicable settlement between the parties, the lok adalat settled 78 cases out of 157 placed before it. The compensation worth Rs 4,72,850 was disbursed to the labourers.

The President of Labour Court Bar Association, Mr Chaman Lal Vashist, Senior lawyers Mr P. D. Sharma, Mr B.D. Arora, Mr B.N. Sehgal participated in the proceedings of the lok adalat actively.



Kirtan Darbar at gurdwara
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 2
The eve of tercentenary celebration on completion of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and first parkash day of Sri Guru Granth Sahib was celebrated yesterday at Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, Model Town Extension, here.

SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar, addressing the congregation, said, “For being spiritually successful in life, we should devote to bani and bana.”It means to follow the teachings of the Guru and be devoted to him.

Mr Mohinder Singh , general secretary of the gurdwara, said kirtan and katha darbar were held during celebrations. Renowned Hazoori ragis from Sri Darbar Sahib, Amritsar, Bhai Kirpal Singh and Bhai Ravinder Singh , Bhai Gurdev Singh and Bhai Manjeet Singh moved the sangat with hymns from Guru Granth Sahib.

Besides kirtan darbar, katha vachak like Baljeet Singh from Ropar, Giani Jaspal Singh, Giani Jagtar Singh (UK) and Giani Baldev Singh from Paonta Sahib, put forward thoughts of Guru Granth Sahib. All were honoured with siropas.



Award an honour for Punjabis: PPCC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
PPCC vice-president Tej Parkash Singh and MLA Malkiat Singh Dakha have said it was a matter of great honour for all Punjabis that the state has secured the number one position in the country in an independent survey conducted by the India Today group.

President APJ Abdul Kalam presented the Overall Best Performance Award to Capt Amarinder Singh at a special ceremony in New Delhi yesterday.

Mr Singh and Mr Dakha said the state had also achieved distinction in budget, prosperity, infrastructure, agriculture and consumer market.

He claimed that these achievements had come as a results of an excellent planning, strict measures taken to reduce the non-productive expenditure and right policies pursued by the Congress government during the past four and a half years.

They said the government had inherited a shattered economy with debts totalling Rs 52,000 crore. They said the faulty polices and dismal performance of the SAD- BJP government had left the state on the brink of bankruptcy. Also, the SAD- BJP alliance could not succeeded in mustering due share of grants and funds from the Centre.



Senior citizens seek place for home
Our Correspondent

Samrala, September 2
At a meeting of senior citizens here yesterday, more than 200 persons participated. They decided to meet Mr K.B.S. Sidhu, Secretary, Rural Development and Panchayats, on September 4 for the allotment of a proper place for a senior citizens’ home.

Earlier at the meeting, Mr Mehar Singh Heera was elected president of the Senior Citizens Association of Samrala subdivision while Mr K.L. Khanna was elected general secretary.

The meeting was addressed by Mr Rashpal Singh, Mr Mehma Singh Kang, Mr Malkiat Singh Ghuman and Mr Prem Sagar Sharma, all office-bearers of trade unions.



BSNL officials given farewell
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 2
Mr T.R. Narang, Subdivisional Engineer and Luxmi Dutt, phone mechanic in Mata Rani Telephone Exchange of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), were accorded a warm send-off on their retirement. They put in 40 and 35 years of distinguished services, respectively, here today.

The party was attended by BSNL officials and employees in a large number.

Mr Parveen Kumar, SDO, Mata Rani Exchange, along with other staff members, presented mementoes to their colleagues.



Recitation of National Song must, says BJP
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
To commemorate the centenary of the composition of the National Song, Vande Mataram, on September 7, the state unit of the BJP has demanded its compulsory recitation in all schools and educational institutions all across Punjab on that day.

Terming the celebrations of the song as of greatest significance for the state, a member of the national executive BJP youth wing, Vineet Joshi, urged Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to issue directions to all DEOs and DPIs to ensure its recitation in every school. The nationwide celebrations of 100 years of composition of Vande Mataram must be similarly reflected in the state in a big way.

The demand in Punjab assumes importance in view of the fact that the Union Minister for Human Resources Development, Mr Arjun Singh, is non- committal on the issue. Having backtracked from his earlier statement in which the minister had explicitly conveyed that all educational institutions in the country were supposed to recite the national song to mark the centenary of its composition. But the minister did a volte face a few days back.

Mr Joshi remarked that the evasive attitude of the UPA leadership, particularly the Congress, on this nationalist cause was deplorable and Mr Arjun Singh should come out clean on the issue.

He asked Capt Amarinder Singh to show courage and not toe the line being adopted by the Congress’ central leadership on the issue.

Highlighting the need to enthuse young minds and hearts with the spirit of nationalism, Mr Joshi called upon the youth to commemorate the centenary by remembering the legacy of the great author, Bankim Chandra Chaterjee.

“It is high time to set a trend by recitation of the song in schools to begin with and later induct Vande Mataram as part of the educational curriculum keeping in mind the aspirations of the masses,” he added.

The party also called upon all Indians to celebrate the centenary of this great song with enthusiasm and fervour. The BJP workers all across the state will lead the celebrations by reciting Vande Mataram across the state, Mr Joshi said.



Postal delay costs nursing aspirant dear
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 2
In ordinate delay in delivery of a letter posted from Ludhiana to Faridkot has cost a nursing aspirant dearly. The victim will now have to wait for another year to take the entrance examination to B.Sc (nursing) degree course, or she will opt for another career.

Sakshi, a resident of Gopal Nagar on Tibba Road, in the city, sent her application form for pre-paramedical test (PPMT) to the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS), Faridkot by post under ‘Certificate of Posting’ (UPC) on August 11 at Samrala Chowk post office here. The last date for receipt of application forms was August 17.

To the utter shock of the candidate, she received a letter from the Deputy Registrar of the BFUHS, intimating her that the application was received in the university office on August 23, much after the last date, and hence her candidature had been rejected as per conditions laid down in the prospectus. The examination was scheduled to be held on September 3, 2006.

Pleas made by Sakshi’s parents to university officials that the application was posted well in time and the applicant should not be punished for the negligence on the part of the Postal Department. The university authorities refused to entertain the application.

While senior postal officials were not available for comments, a functionary of the post office, requesting anonymity, stated that the Department of Post could not, in any manner, be held responsible for delay in delivery of ordinary (unregistered) letters. “Postal delays do occur at times, and more often than not, these are beyond our control,” he observed.



Bus stand in deep waters
Mahesh Sharma

A view of exit gate of the waterlogged bus stand at Ahmedgarh.
A view of exit gate of the waterlogged bus stand at Ahmedgarh. —Photo by Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 2
With all amenities lacking for passengers, the local bus stand proved a place sans buses after showers that lashed the area for three days.

Deep water collected in the compound not only posed inconvenience to passengers, majority of them commuters; it kept large number of buses away from the reach of passengers.

Majority of bus drivers, irrespective of their routes, preferred to divert from Pohir village, instead of coming to the bus stand.

The problem is more severe at the exit gate where large pothole has made the gate inaccessible to the vehicles.

“Though we have been impressing upon authorities in the Transport Department and the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation, nothing concrete has been done to improve the condition of the bus stand. With the result, residents of the area have started using alternative means for travelling to nearby towns and cities,” said Mr Jatinder Bhola, President, Municipal Council.

Referring to the information received from representatives of various social and educational institutes, Mr Bhola alleged that only a fractional number of buses plying on this route reached the bus stand on rainy days.

He claimed that the authorities had pretended to initiate action to ensure that all buses reached the bus stand but the effects were short-lived.

“Though the depot managers concerned of the Punjab Roadways had been submitting lists of buses violating rules by not coming to the bus stand no action was ever taken against the violators,” rued Mr Bhola.

Interestingly, almost all buses are being shown coming to the bus stand daily. Operators of buses, other than those of PRTC, have to pay certain amount of Adda Fee every trip. Collection of this fee is being done on contract basis.

“Instead of impressing upon the authorities to make buses reach the bus stand, the contractor has deputed his employee at Pohir village. The employee collects fee from every bus driver and issues him receipt showing the vehicle reached the bus stand,” said Mr Bittu Singla, former municipal councillor.

Besides facing inconvenience, the passengers, including women, children, old persons and students, have to suffer monetary loss also. They have to hire private auto rickshaw or a taxi to reach Pohir village so that they can catch a bus for their destination.

Bus drivers said they too were having a difficult time. “As the authorities have failed to check private operators from violating norms, we too have to go straight to save time. Particularly on rainy days, when exit gate becomes inaccessible, coming to bus stand causes congestion and blockade that wastes more time,” said a driver.



Husband, in-laws convicted in dowry death case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 2
The Additional Sessions Judge, Mr A.K. Mehta, has convicted Gulshan Kumar (husband), his father, Sher Singh (68), mother, Mayawanti(53), brothers, Surinder Kumar (31) and Dinesh Kumar(38) of New Shivaji Nagar, in a dowry death case. The accused were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for eight years each.

Rozy, wife of Gulshan Kumar had died of harassment by the convict and his family. A fine of Rs 2,000 each was also imposed upon the accused.

The body of Rozy was found hanging with one end of her dupatta tied to her neck and the other end was tied with the ceiling fan. Later the visera of the deceased was sent for chemical examination. The report said organo phosphorus compound was found.

However, the court acquitted Geeta Rani sister of Gulshan Kumar and his younger brother, Pawan Kumar(23), giving them the benefit of doubt.

An FIR was registered at Division No: 3 police station on January 18, 2003, under Section 304-B of the IPC, following the statement of the father of Rozy Madan Lal of Basant Vihar.

In his complaint he stated that the marriage of his daughter was solemnised with the prime accused on October 20, 1999. After marriage her in-laws began harassing her for dowry. Several time he rehabilitated his daughter with the intervention of panchayats. He alleged that Gulshan Kumar had also demanded Rs 50,000.



Woman, paramour remanded
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 2
Manjit Kaur and her paramour Daljit Singh were remanded in police custody till September 4, by Ms Jitender Walia, SDJM, Jagraon, in a murder case under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC registered at the local police station as both of them murdered Mandeep Singh, husband of Manjit Kaur.

On the intervening night of August 29 and 30, Daljit Singh who is the husband of Manjit Kaur’s sister had come to Manuke to meet Manjit Kaur as they had developed illicit relations before her marriage. Earlier, the mother of Mandeep Singh, objected and advised her daughter-in-law not to allow Daljit Singh to visit her. But Daljit Singh continued to visit her. One night Mandeep Singh found them in objectionable state which resulted in altercation. Daljit Singh hit Mandeep with stick on his forehead. Later both strangulated unconscious Mandeep. Daljit Singh left the place of incident during night. In the morning Manjit Kaur claimed that her husband had committed suicide. During investigations it was allegedly found to be a murder case and both were arrested and produced in the courts at Jagraon.

5 booked for assault

The Jagraon police has booked Ajmer Singh, son of Bachan Singh, Ajmer Singh son of Hakam Singh, Kalu, Pali and Mangu of Mallah on the charge of assault when they allegedly entered the house of Sukhdev Singh of their village and assaulted him with gondasa and lathis.

Motorcycle stolen

A motorcycle, Bajaj Boxer, was stolen from Seerat Nursing Home, Mullanpur. The Dakha police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC on the complaint of Gurmail Singh of Bassian Bet village. No arrest has been made so far.

Two booked for theft bid

The Sidhwan Bet police has booked Mohan Singh and Dalbara Singh, alias Paro, of Sherpur Kalan when they allegedly tried to steal the motor of Hardial Singh of Ramgarh Bhullar but could not succeed in stealing it. The police nabbed them on the spot but somehow Dalbara Singh managed to flee. The police has registered a case under Section 379 and 511 of the IPC.



Traders welcome abolition of octroi
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 2
Mr Tulsidas Jaitwani, president, Punjab Beopar Mandal, has welcomed the abolition of octroi by the Punjab Government and described it as a bold step.

Mr Jaitwani observed that abolition of octroi would benefit the trade and industry and also help in ending corruption. This was a long due promise of the state government which had been fulfilled by Capt Amarinder Singh. The industry was grateful to the Chief Minister for this decision, he added.

Mr Jaitwani further said the income of the state had increased with the introduction of the VAT last year and there was no need to have another tax in place of octroi. The VAT had resulted in the increase in revenue by Rs 1,000 crore.



Nahar group restructuring gets nod
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
The Nahar group of companies, which announced restructuring of its textile and investment businesses, has received the nod of the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange for it.

As per the proposal, while a new company, called Nahar Capital and Financial Services, will be formed to take over the investment business of Nahar Spinning Mills, a demerger of the textile business of Nahar Exports will also take place.

Mr Dinesh Gogna, director, corporate finance, Nahar group, told The Tribune that the company decided restructuring so as to draw a clear line between its various businesses and draw benefits like economies as a result.

The scheme of demerger, proposed by the respective boards of directors, provides for a demerger and transfer of investment business of Nahar Spinning Mills to the new company Nahar Capital and Financial Services. Shareholders of Nahar Spinning, under the scheme, will be entitled to receive one equity share of Rs 5 each fully paid in Nahar Capital and Financial Services for every one equity share of Rs 10 each fully paid held by them on the record date.

In case of Nahar Exports, upon transfer of textile business to Nahar Spinning, shareholders of Nahar Exports will be entitled to get 55 equity shares of Rs 5 each fully paid in Nahar Spinning for every 100 equity shares of Rs 10 each. The swap ratio is on the basis that 65 per cent of the total networth of Nahar Export is being represented by industrial activities, the company said.

According to the company, the expected equity capital of this company will be Rs 8.40 crore.

Nahar Spinning Mills will focus on yarn manufacturing and knitted garments business and its expected equity capital will be Rs 18.10 crore. The company proposes to add another 50,000 spindles to its existing capacity of 3 lakh spindles.

Nahar Exports will hold residual business, that is, investment business amounting to Rs 124 crore.

While the scheme is subject to approval of the high court, a meeting of shareholders and creditors is expected to take place in the first week of the next month.



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