L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Vikas Yatra reaches Ludhiana
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana November 9
The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh's, Vikas Yatra was accorded a rousing reception as it touched Ludhiana in the afternoon on its onward journey to Alamgir and Raikote. Hundreds of people led by party leaders like the Parliamentary Secretary, Mr Surinder Dawer, MLA, Mr Milkiat Singh Birmi and the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh, had lined up along both sides of the road at Sahnewal to receive the Chief Minister's cavalcade.

Standing in an open Gypsy and accompanied by the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, the Chief Minister smiled to the cheering crowds with folded hands. People were shouting slogans in support of the Chief Minister.

Visibly upbeat over the overwhelming response of the crowd, Capt Amarinder told The Tribune that the crowds were "communicative and responsive". He said, although it was not possible to shake hands with each and every person waiting to meet him, but the very presence among the masses made a difference as it led to different feelings.

The Chief Minister's cavalcade did not stop for much time anywhere, except for brief halts. At some places he went into the crowd, talking to them and learning about their problems. At a number of places, schools children had also lined up along the road to cheer the Chief Minister. He also accepted the representations and applications from people relating to various works, which he said, would be duly followed up and action ensured.

Huge cut outs of the Chief Minister and also those of the Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, and the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, had been erected everywhere. Mr Birmi, who represents the Ludhiana Rural Assembly segment, the area from where the yatra entered Ludhiana city and the Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, were out their to outscore each other by organising better shows than the other.

Mr Birmi was waiting ahead of Sahnewal along with his supporters. He got on to the open Gypsy along with the Chief Minister and the PCC president. Mr Gill was little late and he could not make it to the Chief Minister's vehicle and had to be content with mounting on another open vehicle.

Although the yatra bypassed the city, but the local legislators and the councillors had mobilised maximum number of supporters to receive the Chief Minister at Sahnewal, about 10 km from here. The small town had been colourfully decorated with the Congress flags and banners seen flying everywhere turning the sky into a riot of saffron, white and green colours.



Caste plays spoilsport for young lovers
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

A file photo of Vinay and Ekta.
A file photo of Vinay and Ekta.

Ludhiana, November 9
When two youngsters Vinay Kumar and Ekta Tyagi had fallen in love and tied the wedlock against the wishes of their Muzzaffarnagar (Bihar)-based parents a few months ago, they had no idea how the barrier of caste would separate them soon, and how one of them would be forced to make rounds of the police and administrative offices to reunite with the other.

Vinay (22), a short and frail youth, is highly frustrated for being unable to bear the pangs of separation from his beloved. But all he has got so far is lip service or direction to meet various officials.

Ekta is a Brahmin, while Vinay belongs to a Scheduled Caste. They had fallen in love in Muzzaffaranagar. Later, Vinay came to Ludhiana to do a course in information technology at an institute here.

Both remained in touch. A few months ago, Ekta came here on her own, claiming she was being allegedly married off to an aged person by her parents. Once they got married here, parents of both came and confronted them.

However, noticing the tough stance of the youngsters, who being over 18 years, were legally empowered to decide on their own, their parents said that they had suffered “loss of face in scoiety, which was still divided strongly on caste basis”. They eventually took away Ekta on the promise that they would marry them off formally.

Narrating his tale to Ludhiana Tribune while crying inconsolably, Vinay said he was unable to establish contact with his ‘wife’ since the first week of September. ‘‘ My parents tell me to forget her. They are concerned about my life,’’ he said.

He got further disturbed with reports given by common friends of him and his ‘wife’ that she has been killed. ‘‘ I have no channel to find out if she is alive or not. Honour killings of girls is not uncommon in our state, where breaking the caste system is a big crime.’’ he said.

Advised by mediapersons to seek police help in rescuing his ‘wife’ , he went to the Basti Jodhewal police station to lodge a complaint. He was told to approach the SDM office, who can direct the police to recover the girl from Muzzaffarnagar.

However, the SDM office staff did not show him any way. He met the Deputy Commissioner, who wrote on his complaint a direction to the SSP to take up the matter. The SSP office took his complaint 10 days ago, assuring him action. For the last 10 days, he has been unable to know the progress of his case, as security guards posted on the entrance door for ‘commoners’ have not let him in.

Vinay yesterday posted letters to the Human Rights Commission and the Muzzaffarnagar police, seeking their help.



Medical service providers a harassed lot
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 9
Medical service providers, employed by zila parishads on a contract basis for rural dispensaries are a harassed lot, as both the state government and the respective zila parishads have failed to fulfill their obligations towards them. As a result, the condition of health institutions in villages have further deteriorated and these are not in a position to deliver the desired services.

Several doctors recruited as rural health service providers in this district told Ludhiana Tribune that a majority of rural dispensaries are in a pathetic state and the doctors, as well as supporting staff at these institutions were finding it difficult, if not impossible, to discharge their respective duties.

Lamented a female doctor, posted at a rural dispensary, a few kilometres away from the city limits, "The Zila Parishads have failed to honour the terms and conditions laid down in the contract. There is no furniture in the dispensary, no potable water for the staff and patients and no toilets even after six months of the contract period have elapsed."

According to another doctor from a nearby village, medicines worth Rs 7500 were supplied by the zila parishad every month to each rural dispensary. However, the actual requirement of medicines, needed at the dispensary, was not being taken intoconsideration. Antibiotics, other life-saving drugs and medicines required for pediatric and gynecological problems were not available.

About the infrastructure facilities at the rural dispensaries, the less said the better, complained another doctor deployed in the Bet area of the district. "Pending electricity bills have not been cleared by the Health Department which was earlier running rural health institutions which has led to the disconnection of power supply. There are no stores or almirahs for proper storage of medicines which keep lying scattered in the open.

The rural doctors maintained that attendance in out-patient departments in rural dispensaries, which had witnessed a spurt after the new scheme (of handing over dispensaries to zila parishads) was introduced, had once again dropped for the simple reason of poor quality of health services being made available to the rural population.

The doctors were of the firm view that if immediate corrective measures were not taken by the government, and the adverse working conditions in the dispensaries were not improved, the total collapse of rural health services was just a matter of time. 



Govt employees hold demonstration
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 9
In response to a call given by the Punjab State Ministerial Services Union, government employees today held an “angry” demonstration at the Mini-Secretariat here where speakers flogged the state government for turning a blind eye to their genuine demands.

State president of the body Sukhwinder Singh, in scathing attacks on the Congress government, charged it with making false and misleading claims in several advertisements, released to the print and the electronic media, to project the 'achievements' of the Congress regime.

He said the employees were being discriminated against and their long-pending demands were not being accepted while the government was being 'more than liberal' towards its ministers, legislators and bureaucrats in raising their salaries, allowances, perks and purchase of luxury cars for them.

The union leaders reiterated the demand for fulfilling all promises made by the ruling party in its election manifesto during the last elections, which included 4-9-14 year time-scale promotion for subordinate staff, on a par with bureaucrats, which should be given effect from January 1996.

Speakers at the rally further called upon the government to enhance fixed monthly medical allowance to Rs 500, withdraw the condition of affidavit at the time of promotion and implement all decisions taken at the meeting with the Punjab Finance Minister, Mr Surinder Singla, on May 14,2006.

The union functionaries condemned the unprovoked use of force at protesting government employees in Anandpur Sahib on November 8 and demanded immediate release of the arrested employees.

Prominent among other speakers at the rally were Mr Dalip Singh, Mr Vijay Marjara, Mr Iqbal Singh, Mr Harbhajan Singh, Mr Darshan Singh Ladla, Mr Baldev Singh, Mr Harjinder Singh, Mr Manjit Singh, Mr Varinder Kumar and Mr Ashok Kumar.



Tribune does cops’ job
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 9
The credibility of the local police in ensuring the safety of the residents as well as detection of crimes against them seems to have taken a beating with the police proving unable to trace the person who had openly threatened to shoot The Tribune sports journalist Anil Datt six days after the incident.

However, The Tribune has tracked down the owner of the car no PB 19 b 0088, which the unidentified man was driving when the alleged incident happened outside Guru Nanak Stadium on November 4 morning.

It has been learnt from the Transport Office, Barnala, that the can was registered in the name of one Rajan Aggarwal. It was upto the police to establish who was driving the car as the vehicle could have been sold without getting the proper changes done in the registration record.

Incidentally, Mr Datt got no call from the police to inform him about the progress of the case. Moreover, the police was still to register a case in the matter.

The police had taken action on the complaint that the cops did not entertain the application seeking registration of a FIR into the matter. still, the case was not registered.

The alleged incident took place on November 4 when the accused driving a car had hit the scooter of Mr Datt. When confronted for rash driving, he took out a gun from under the seat of his car and threatened to shoot the journalist. 



Schoolgirl dies in road accident
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 9
A student of Class II of the GRD Academy was killed and another two were injured when the auto-rickshaw they were travelling in over turned after colliding with a motorcycle near Haibowal bridge over Budda Nullah this morning.

The deceased, who was 8-year-old, has been identified as Anmoldeep Kaur, a reisdent of New Tagore Nagar. She was rushed to a hospital but could not be saved.

Three youths riding the motor cycle ran from the spot leaving the vehicle behind. Eye witnesses said the youth crashed straight into the three-wheeler.



Factory manager held on rape charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 9
The Salem Tabri police today arrested a Production Manager with a local factory on the charges of raping a female employee and forcibly taking her pictures allegedly showing their marriage.

The police has booked the accused, Dixit Mahajan, under Sections 363, 366, 342, 376, 420, 494, 506 of the IPC. The complainant alleged that the incident took place on November 1 in the house of the accused situated near Veer Palace.

The accused was aged about 48 years and was married, the police said.



PPSC former member flays CM
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 9
Senior Akali leader and a former member of the Punjab Public Service Commission, Mr Amarjit Singh Chawla, has denounced the feudal style of politics being pursued by Capt Amarender Singh.

Speaking to mediapersons after the expiry of his tenure, Mr Chawla alleged that the Congress had wrongly cornered credit for exposing the misdeeds of Ravi Sidhu in the cash-for -jobs scam. I was the one who was pursuing the case and had even filed a case in the high court, he added.

He said after the unsavoury episode, the Congress had not even filled a single post through the commission. For the past over five years not even a single post had been referred to us. Instead, the government took out the posts out of the purview of the commission and filled them departmentally, he pointed out.

Citing an instance, he said over 170 posts of doctor had been referred to the commission after he quit office some days ago. This is an attempt to adjust the near and dear ones of the powers that be and would not have been possible as long as I was in the commission, he added.

On his political aspirations, he said he was a loyal soldier of the party and would abide by whatever Mr Prakash Singh Badal would decided for him.

He was ambivalent on queries on his intention to contest from the Ludhiana West Assembly constituency and added that if the party directs him, he would do so.

A large number of his supporters were present on the occasion.



Rare coins — prized possession of a family 
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, November 9
Antique things - be it coins, cars, manuscripts, books, letters are priceless and of immense value for the collector or the possessor. A family in city has some rare coins in its possession dating back to 1804. These coins speak of the past heritage of which they were a part. Dev Srivastav, who runs a computer centre in the city, is in possession of these coins.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, he said ,"These coins have been in my family since three generations. We were in Lahore before partition and then moved to Amritsar and finally settled in Ludhiana. Each coin is different from another. One had the image of Guru Nanak Dev while the other coin had depiction of Ram Darbar and another one had a few marks of a Moughal king. I do not know what metal they have been made of. A lot of people come to have a look at these coins, but sadly the administration has not shown any interest in my coins."

He further said he had shown the coins to experts from the Archaeological Department but they had not been able to tell anything conclusive. One coin has images of Ram and Lakshman and 517 E engraved into it while the other coin has an image of reclining Guru Nanak Dev ji and has 1804 written on it.

Third coin is made of copper and weighs about 50 gram and is hexagonal in shape. It has some Persian or Arabic words written on it indicative of belonging to some Moughal king. He said he had contacted the Archaeology Department in Delhi but they did not show any interest. Mr Dev said he got the coins from his mother Uma Rani who in turn received them from her maternal grandfather.



Anti-drug march on November 20 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 9
An anti-drug march will commence on November 20 from Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle , Model Town Extension, and will terminate at Deputy Commissioner's office at 12 noon, according to Mr Charan Kamal Singh of GGSSC.

Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle ( GGSSC) has been trying for the last three years to strictly get implemented the Tobacco Products Act, 2003, that was formulated three years ago but it is still waiting for the implementation of the Act at ground level. According to Dr Charan Kamal Singh, chief organiser, GGSSC, tobacco and other drug vendors are operating openly in front of schools, colleges and religious institutions and flouting the Act which forbids them to sell such products in front of educational and religious institutes.

He said that GGSSC is working vigorously to create a drug-free environment but the easy availability of these tobacco products at every door step is neutralising their efforts. He said that from last decade GGSSC has been carrying out anti-drug marches, seminars and other awareness camps in schools, colleges, and community gatherings to spread the awareness among the people . 



Car bazaar raises residents’ hackles
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 9
The controversial car bazaar in Feroze Gandhi Market is being clandestinely and gradually shifted to I-block Market in Sarabha Nagar much to the chagrin of residents and shopkeepers in the area.

Following stiff resistance by shopkeepers in Feroze Gandhi Market and subsequent orders of the High Court to the district administration not allowing the cars to be parked in the posh market, the car dealers have starting holding bazaars in Sarabha Nagar every Sunday.

So much so that not only the parking lots but a public park right in front of the area councillor's house is also being used for holding car bazaar every Sunday.

The residents had been protesting against the same on the plea that such bazaars disturbed the environment of a residential area.

Some time back, a signature campaign against the problem was also started by the residents and shopkeepers, who had submitted complaints to the Principal Secretary, Local Bodies, City Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, district Police Chief, Mr A.S. Rai and area councillor, Ms Amrit Varsha Rampal.

The shopkeepers and residents of the area said they had purchased houses and shops in a posh area so that they could live amid peaceful environs. But holding of such bazaars was holding all of them to ransom.

Moreover, the parking space was being used by some motor mechanics also who were carrying our repairs in the area meant for parking cars of customers to the market. This was causing a lot of inconvenience to the customers.

The genesis of this constant problem was in the inconvenience caused to the visitors and shopkeepers who had spent crores of rupees while buying property in the posh area. They had been demanding shifting of car bazaar from the market. They had, however, moved the HC after failing to get any response from the local authorities.

The shopkeepers had been alleging that the car dealers had encroached upon more than 70 per cent of the open areas of the prestigious market turning it into a car bazaar besides creating severe parking problems, thereby, affecting their businesses.

They claimed although they had spent a huge amount on buying shops in the area, thinking it would develop into an upbeat market over the years, the occupation of the pavements and other open areas for parking cars, use of parks as washing spaces and discharging dirty water on the roads by these dealers has sullied the once clean environs.

They alleged that the parking of hundreds of cars in the market left no parking space for the visitors besides causing serious security and fire hazards to the high-rise buildings.

Meanwhile, following media queries over the issue of car bazaar in Sarabha Nagar market, an MC team raided the market in the evening today and asked the motor mechanics to keep away their paraphernalia. They warned them of strict action against them if they continued to encroach upon the public place in future.



Couple’s novel way to spread Gandhi’s message
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 9
"To propagate Mahatma Gandhi's non-violent way of life, to explain the Mahatma’s 22 plans, uplift the poor, to keep unity among all religions and to spread the message of peace---these are some of the reasons that have made us take a 7000-km-long journey from Tamil Nadu to Kashmir on bicycle,"said Thiru M Karuppiah, founder of Gandhi National International Social Work Moment Trust, and his wife and administrator S. Chitra.

They left Gandhi Museum in Tamil Nadu on July 15 on bicycles and after travelling for 7000 km on cycle in 125 days, they reached Ludhiana yesterday where Dr Ravinder Kochar, president, Lions Club, and other members gave them a warm welcome.

Addressing Lion Club members, the couple said that the main aim of their travel on the cycles is to promote a sense of brotherhood among the masses and spread the message of peace.They said that they want all the people to live harmoniously.

The couple was made to rest in Lord Mahavira Homoeopathic College and Hospital.



VIP car number fetches Rs 4.7 lakh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 9
The VIP status-crazy rich residents of this industrial hub of Punjab today set new records in their mad race for obtaining the VIP car registration number by purchasing No. PB-10 BW 0001 of a new series at a whopping Rs 4.7 lakh.

Mr Kulbir Singh of Model Town bought the number following a tough battle with several other contenders who continued bidding far beyond the reserve price of Rs 50,000 fixed for the special number.

Another city resident, Dr Narinder Grewal, made a bid upto Rs 4.60 lakh. The auction was held in the District Transport Office at the Mini Secretariat here today.Huge rush was seen at the office with wealthy bidders jostling with each other to bid for the price.

Mr Kulbir Singh, District Transport Officer, said every year the department auctioned at least six series. 



Protest against delay in overbridge construction
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 9
Continuing with the signature campaign against the delay in the construction of a railway overbridge (RoB) in place of the Lakkar bridge and its subsequent linking with the elevated road, activists of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha(BJYM) held a protest here today.

Mr Satinder Narula and Mr Karan Salaria, leaders of the BJYM, said by not constructing the RoB, the Municipal Corporation had meted out a stepmotherly treatment to residents of the Ludhiana West constituency.

They said that the MLA of this constituency, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, was responsible for the non- linking of the RoB to the elevated road as Rs 51 crore spent on the motorable road had failed to benefit the residents of this area. They remained stuck in traffic jams throughout the day.

They reiterated that the road was not constructed as per the original plan and a side of the Jagraon bridge was also blocked leading to traffic chaos in Field Ganj. Moreover, the road did not connect the residents of the Civil Lines to the old city.



Stress laid on value-based management
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana November 9
In modern management ‘values’ are more important than profit. These give strength to an organisation and are more vital than any other technique of management.
This was stated here by an educationist and Chairman, Foundation for Universal Enlightenment, Swami Buddhanand, at Punjab Agricultural University.

He was delivering a lecture on ‘Value-based Management’ under the auspices of the Society for Advancement of Academics, Sports and Cultural Activities (SAASCA) and College of Basic Sciences and Humanities. He had served at the United Nation, New York, for nine years. 



KRIBHCO observes Vigilance Awareness Week
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 9
Krishak Bharati Cooperative Limited (KRIBHCO) organised a cooperative conference here today to observe Vigilance Awareness Week here today.
As many as 60 managers and secretaries of cooperative societies of the district participated in the programme. Mr Gurpreet Singh, SP (Vigilance), was the chief guest while Mr Balbir Singh Sohi, Deputy Registrar, Cooperative Societies, was the guest of honour. Others on the dais were Mr P.K. Sharma, Manager, Vigilance, KRIBHCO head office, Noida, and Mr Balwant Singh.

Speaking on the occasion, the SP discussed in detail about his experiences since he joined the present assignment and advised the participants to be honest in their duties as corruption disturbs the whole setup of the organisation once an accused lands in their net. Every employee should be honest and sincere in his duties to avoid bringing disrespect to his department.

Mr Gurpreet Singh also appreciated the KRIBHCO for organising such programmes which help the employees to understand the need of vigilance while performing their duties.

Ms Pratibha Goel, an expert from PAU, delivered a lecture on human behaviour in the day to day life. She emphasised that proper coordination might be maintained in the departments for smooth and better working. Dr H.S. Bajwa, also from the varsity, delivered a lecture on the ATMA Model. He also highlighted that government was providing budget for various activities as per the need of the villages/area.

Mr H.S. Dhaliwal, Assistant Registrar, Cooperative Societies, highlighted the role of vigilance in the cooperative sector. Mr Sohi too underlined the need to be vigilant while performing duties and asked the participants to serve the farming community with dedication.

Mr Satpal Singh, Area Manager, coordinated the programme and also delivered a vote of thanks.



Common house facility for shawl industry

Ludhiana, November 9
Shawl industry here is hopeful of getting its "rightful place" in the "most elite retail counters in the globe" with a common process house facility due to commence operations from April 2007.

Setting up of the dyeing and finishing facility will ensure availability of the latest technology and infrastructure, which the shawl industry here cannot afford on an individual basis. The Shawl Club of Ludhiana, which comprises of small and large manufacturers, has been making efforts to get a dyeing and processing facility since year 2000.

The club members, led by Ms Mridula Jain, ubmitted a project report following which the Ministry of Textiles sanctioned Rs 6 crore for the setting up of common process house facility. TNS



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