L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Elevated Road Project
Sarabha statue comes in way of inauguration 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 15
The much awaited elevated road, which was expected to be opened by the Chief Minister, would not be inaugurated by him during his visit to the city tomorrow.
The hitch this time is the statue of martyr Kartar Singh Sarabha, which is situated under the Rs 51 crore worth elevated road. The Municipal Corporation plans to shift the statue to a proper place before actually allowing traffic movement on the newly constructed motorable bridge.

Considering the movement of traffic on the elevated road over the head of the martyr a disrespect to him, the MC has decided to postpone the inauguration till the statue is shifted.

The MC is, however, yet to decide about the new site where the statue would be shifted. As the Commissioner, Mr Vikas Partap, was out of station, officials said the place would be decided after his return.

The Commissioner had written to the Chief Minister last month seeking time for the inauguration of the project. ‘‘Only problem is the shifting of the statue. As soon as it is done, we would open it for public. Otherwise the work on the road is complete and it is motorable’’, said a senior official.

The project is already over delayed and it has jumped many deadlines for completion.

The original deadline for the project was May 18, 2003, but it got delayed due to a number of controversial reasons. The construction work of the road remained stalled for several months on account of friction of interests between the corporation and the construction company, M/s Skanska Cementations Private Limited, India.

Later, the deadline was extended to December 2005 but again it was not completed.

Intriguingly, the project took more than six years and a lot of inconvenience was caused to the general public all this while.

The Chaura Bazaar shopkeepers will heave a sigh of relief with the opening of the road, as most of the traffic would be taken care of by the elevated road.



Machine shortage hits fogging
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 15
Shortage of fogging machines continues to hit the city with residents of different areas alleging that fogging was not carried out on the scheduled time.
Though the city Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, announced that more machines would be added to the existing 13, residents of the Urban Estate, Dugri, falling in ward number 40, said fogging in their locality was scheduled for October 10, but the machines had not turned up so far.

The residents complained to councillor, Mr Davinder Singh Bittu, but nothing came out of it, said Mr Jagan Nath Bansal, a resident and office-bearer of the welfare society.

Fogging was not carried out despite the fact that there were hundreds of potholes on roads and water had accumulated in these. The potholes were perfect breeding grounds for mosquitoes, a fact being ignored by the civic body.

The residents said fogging should be carried out immediately otherwise the disease would spread fast. They threatened an agitation if their requests were not
heeded to.

“They did not recarpet the road despite our repeated requests. If some roads were dug up for development, these were left incomplete. Now, these are creating problems for us,” said Mr Bansal.

He added that garbage was also not lifted on a regular basis. This was posing a threat of an epidemic. 



Man’s fight for justice
Tribune News Service

Chakk Kalan (Ludhiana), October 15
Justice eludes octogenarian Gurdial Singh Gill of this village, who is fighting to get the killers of his son punished. His son was done to death by workers of a liquor contractor in May in front of his eyes.

Although the Moga police had registered a case against five accused, it failed to arrest the main accused, who continue to roam free threatening Gurdial Singh and his family of dire consequences if they went ahead with the proceedings of the case.

Gurdial Singh’s 39-year-old son, Jagdev Singh, was killed by five workers of a liquor contractor at Dhudikke village in Moga after they suspected the victim of having embezzled some money.

The unfortunate father himself worked at another vend owned by the same contractor at Ajitwal village. He saw his son being killed but could not do anything to save him due to his old age.

“I really cannot sleep at nights. The entire scene of the gory death he met gets relived in front of me every night. But the police is not listening to a poor man like me,” he says

Gurdial Singh said his son was killed at night. Four persons, riding a Sumo, came out of it with iron rods and lathis. ‘‘Seeing them my son locked the iron gate of the vend. This angered them all the more and they broke opened the lock with sharp iron rods and pierced his abdomen with rods.”

“When he lied on the ground after the attack, they took him to Moga hospital where he was declared brought dead. They picked his body and disposed it at my elder son’s house in Chakk Kalan. That was the longest and darkest night of my life,” recalled Gurdial Singh.

To keep his mouth shut, they threw Rs 20,000 at him to get his last rites performed. Despite threats he managed to get a case registered with the Mehna police in Moga against five persons, Gurvinder Singh, Tarsem Singh, alias Samma, Raju, Raju Sharma and Balbir Singh, a resident of Model Town in Ludhiana, under Sections 302, 506 and 148 of the IPC.

Tarsem Singh and Gurvinder Singh were arrested soon after but others are still roaming free.



Ludhiana calling

Divali is around the corner and the pollution is touching an all-time high in the city. But more than the crackers, it is burning of paddy stubble by farmers in the countryside that is worsening the matters. So does falling temperatures that cause the smoke mix with mist and remain closer to the surface of earth. One cannot help the natural reasons but at least the farmers can avoid burning stubble.

Child labour

The Supreme Court’s directive on child labour is in place. But nobody is paying any heed to the direction — neither the authorities nor the employers of young labourers. One wonders when the Chief Minister’s announcement that the state would follow the direction in toto would come into force. If the authorities say the implementation would take time, they should reply to what were they doing for the past three months.

Helmet irritation

A woman who was habitual of wearing helmet while driving scooter was shocked when a policeman asked her why she was wearing it when the law did not require her to do so. It was for her safety as she said but irritation was still writ large on the cop’s face who had stopped her for checking mistaking her to be a man.

Bijli Bazaar

If any city bazaar comes alive every festival season it is the Bijli Bazaar of Ludhiana. Though it remains out of focus during the most part of the year, it glitters the most during Divali days. Lights of all sizes, shapes and prices, used during the festival, are sold here. No wonder that all the roads from Chaura Bazaar lead to this market during this fortnight.

Diamond this time!

Divali means a number of gifts for the domestic helps. And why not? They clean every dust particle in the houses during these days. But one maid surprised her lady of the house by demanding a diamond pendant after watching an advertisement on the TV. “Iss baar ham heera lenge” (This time I want a diamond), was her demand and even the lady did not know how to fulfil it.

Cash blues

The “cash time” at the Treasury Branch of the State Bank of India, Civil Lines, gives a tough time to the nearby residents. The drivers carrying the cash escorted by police vans and jeeps block the road at the time of loading and unloading of the cash. The entire procedure takes 15-30 minutes or even more and the neighbours are asked to wait till their work is completed. When sentinel asked them to remove their vehicle, which was parked in the middle of the road, it was told to wait for “just” half an hour. When the policeman was told that there was a press conference, which had to be attended on time, the rude reply was, “Saada cash sambhalna tuhadi press conference to kite zaroori hai, pehlan sanu kam kar lain deo” (Let us finish our work first. Our cash safety is much important than your press conference) The poor sentinel had no option but to wait.


English can actually leave people embarrassed if some words are not spelled correctly. It has left a yoga guru in an embarrassing situation. A hoarding at a city chowk announcing his visit says “Mission: Immorality” instead of immortality.


Seen written on the rear of a Peter rehra: “Gariban di Limousine (poor man’s Limousine).

— Sentinel



Punjab BJP in a disarray
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 15
The BJP has seen a progressive decline in Punjab for the past some time. With most of the senior leaders having been pushed to the oblivion, there are not influential young leaders who could make the party a force to reckon with.

Moreover, the recent ruckus during a party meeting when senior leaders, including Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, were pushed off the stage, reflects the real state of affairs in the party.

At best the party seems to have reconciled to the reality of playing second fiddle to the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), with which it has an alliance in the state. The worst that could happen to the party is the changed policy of the SAD, which has now started inducting urban middle class Hindus, the traditional support base of the BJP, into its fold. The BJP can only watch as a mute spectator, despite earlier resistance.

Senior BJP leaders are upset that the SAD has started poaching into its (BJP’s) territory. Certain leaders said whenever the BJP had proposed the idea of appointing Mr Harjit Singh Grewal, national general secretary of the BJP, or the Amritsar MP, Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, as the state president, the SAD expressed its reservations. The latter thought that it might make the BJP more acceptable to the Sikhs, particularly the Jat Sikhs, since both Mr Grewal and Mr Sidhu belonged to the Jat Sikh community, the traditional vote bank of the SAD.

The leaders said there was an unwritten agreement between the two parties that they would avoid venturing into each other’s territory.

However, there is a different opinion in the SAD, which feels that the BJP has not been as effective as it should have been to counter the Congress in the urban areas. With the result, it (the SAD) has decided to include in its fold the urban Hindus also.

Senior party leaders like Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, Mr Madan Mohan Mittal, Master Mohan Lal, Mr Manoranjan Kalia and others have been marginalised and sidelined within the party. One party leader observed, “They have been reduced to ornamental value while they could contribute a lot more towards the party”.

Even the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological fountainhead of the BJP, has also seen parallel decline in Punjab. The level of motivation among the RSS workers remains the lowest. The number of the shakhas (the morning drills) has come down drastically as also the attendance in those shakhas. Even at the peak of terrorism there used to be crowded shakhas almost everywhere, but now that seems to be a thing of the past.

The common workers in the BJP have started feeling the most demoralised. They regretted that it has no longer remained the same party as it used to be earlier despite not having been in power. At that time, the leaders worked selflessly. The same spirit is no longer noticed anywhere in the party. 



35 given artificial limbs, calipers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 15
35 physically challenged persons were given artificial limbs and calipers free of cost at the 726th ‘‘viklang sahayta’’ camp, organised by the Bharat Vikas Parishad Charitable Trust, Punjab, at Rishi Nagar here today.

The camp was inaugurated by Mr Vinod Jain, former chairman of Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation and Mr Suraj Jyoti. Speaking on the occasion Mr Pawan Aggarwal, secretary of the trust, informed that the centre had been working since 1999 and till date artificial limbs, calipers, tricycles, hearing aids had been distributed to more than 25,000 handicapped persons.

According to Mr Aggarwal, the trust was also running a poly clinic in its centre where treatment was offered in different systems of medicine. He further said the trust would soon launch a polio surgery and general hospital where diagnostic and treatment facilities will be available at highly subsidised cost.

Prominent among others present on the occasion were Mr J.P Gupta, president, Mr Yash Paul Gupta, national secretary and finance secretary, Ms Neelam Gupta, Ms Sangeeta Soni, Mr R.P Gupta, Dr J.R Bansal, Dr S.K Sharma, Dr Chetan Dutta and Dr Suknya Verma.



Youth Congress to hold rallies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 15
Mr Harnam Dass Johar, Water Supply and Sanitation Minister, Mr Surinder Dawar, Parliamentary Secretary, and Mr Vijay Inder Singla, newly appointed president of the Punjab Youth Congress , today exhorted the workers of the Youth Congress to fan out in all parts of the state to propagate the achievements of the Congress government headed by Capt Amarinder Singh to ensure massive support from the people in the coming elections.

They were addressing a youth rally organised by the District Youth Congress at Cheema Chowk here today.

Mr Johar claimed that unprecedented development had taken place during the past two years in Punjab and funds amounting to over Rs 9,000 crore had been arranged for the development and welfare programmes launched by the Congress government. The state had emerged as a favoured destination for big investments.

Mr Dawar said the Congress government had taken care of all sections of society and in urban areas, poor people had been benefited by waiving off bills of water supply and sewerage for houses up to 5-marla plots and the entire population was being covered under the water supply and sewerage facilities.

Addressing the function, Mr Vijay Inder Singla said the Youth Congress had chalked out a comprehensive programme of district-level rallies to propagate the achievements of the government. He claimed that Capt Amarinder Singh had taken care of the interests of all sections of society, particularly farmers, whose crops were lifted without any harassment from mandis. He said Capt Amarinder Singh had taken a strong stand to permanently solve the complex issue of river waters and saved many districts of the state from going barren. 



Govt committed to development of towns: minister
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 15
Local Bodies Minister Chaudhary Jagjit Singh has said that the government has implemented a special programme to provide water supply and sewerage to 100 per cent population in all 124 towns of the state. These projects would be completed in 122 cities and all towns of the state by March, 2007.

He was addressing a function after laying the foundation stone for 100 per cent water supply and sewerage project to be executed at a cost of Rs 1.52 crore at Doraha last evening.

The minister said to provide basic amenities in the urban areas, plans of each and every city and town had been prepared and a systematic development would be carried out. The state government had set up a Municipal Development Fund of Rs 990 crore for providing the water supply and other facilities in the towns.

Chaudhary Jagjit Singh said the state government had launched “national slum development programme” with 100 per cent additional Central assistance in 23 towns with an outlay of Rs 20.10 crore. The charges for water supply and sewerage for families living in the houses built on the plots measuring up to 5 marlas had been abolished. 



Dr Jain appointed Hony Wildlife Warden
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 15
Dr Sandeep K. Jain, former Executive Member, Animal Welfare Board of India (Ministry of Environment and Forests, and state coordinator, People for Animals, Punjab, has been nominated as Honorary Wildlife Warden of Ludhiana by the state government.

Dr Jain has been active in the field of Animal Welfare and Wildlife Conservation for past one decade. He has been instrumental in getting many cases against offenders of the Wildlife Protection Act and Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and rescuing animals.

He is also a nominee of CPCSEA for various medical colleges and pharmacy colleges for supervising experiments upon animals and is the Chief Coordinator of CAPE-India (Care of Animals & Protection of Environment-India) and is life member of Beauty without Cruelty-India.



Assn seeks action in assault case

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 15
Taking a serious notice of an attack on Gurmeet Singh, Naib Tehsildar, Bhadaur, the Punjab Naib Tehsildar Association has urged the state government to take action against the culprits and ensure the safety of revenue officers while they are on duty.

While addressing a meeting of revenue officials at MGMN Senior Secondary School here, Mr Manmohan Kaushik, President of the Patiala division and Mr Mukesh Sharma, Senior Vice-President, state body said the attack on Mr Gurmeet Singh had proved that life and property of revenue officers was not safe in the present set up. OC



Valmiki sabha function

Ludhiana, October 15
Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Surinder Dawer, today exhorted members of the Valmiki Community to follow the teachings of Maharishi Valmiki. Addressing a function organised by the Punjab Pradesh Valmiki Sabha Central Committee here today, Mr Dawer pointed out, it was because of Maharishi Valmiki that the world could learn the great history of Ramayan.Mr Dawer also gave gold medals to meritorious students. Shawls and sweaters were also distributed to the needy. TNS



In-laws booked for seeking dowry
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 15
The Dehlon police has booked three members of a family of Hathoor village in Ludhiana district for allegedly harassing and forcing a woman to bring more dowry. No arrest has been made so far.

Baljit Singh, his father Teja Singh and mother Manjit Kaur of Hathoor village were booked for allegedly harassing Gurjit Kaur, wife of Baljit Singh and daughter of Major Singh, for allegedly bringing less dowry in her marriage that was solemnised about six years ago.

The parents of Gurjit Kaur had to borrow money from relatives and banks to fulfil demands made by Baljit Singh and his parents from time to time. Now when Major Singh showed his inability to present a luxury car to his son-in-law, Gurjit Kaur was thrown out of her in-laws house after being beaten up.

According to Major Singh, resident of Bool village, Gurjit Kaur was married to Baljit Singh on December 10, 1999, and a huge amount had been spent on her marriage. But her in-laws started harassing her immediately after the marriage and compelled her to bring more dowry from time to time.

“I had to borrow money from my relatives and friends and financial organisation, including banks, for fulfilling their demands. Besides other items of daily use I gave buffaloes and cash worth more than Rs 2 lakh to them from time to time,” said Mr Major Singh.

He said a substantial amount was spent on the ceremonies on the occasion of the birth of two sons of Gurjit Kaur. Gurjit was thrown out of her house when he (Major Singh) showed his inability to present a luxury car to Baljit Singh and his parents as demanded by them.

Mr Rashpal Singh Dhindsa, SHO, Dehlon, said the police had registered a case but no arrest had been made so far.



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