L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Police acts on ‘doctored’ injury report, books two
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
The city police has finally woken up to the prevalence of exaggeration of medico-legal injury reports so as to make an assault case appear stronger.

It has booked two doctors, including a government employee posted at Civil Hospital, along with a Focal Point resident whose injuries were shown more serious than they actually were.

Dr R.K. Sharma of the local Civil Hospital, and Dr Subash Singla, who owns a private clinic, have been booked under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, along with one Bhupinder Kumar of the Focal Point.

They have been charged with exaggerating the intensity of wounds in the medico-legal report.

Bhupinder Kumar had allegedly connived with the doctors to show that he had suffered grievous injuries in a quarrel between him and one Baljit Singh of the Focal Point few weeks ago.

Baljit Singh was booked for causing grievous hurt in the Focal Point police station. However, he pleaded he was the real victim and Bhupinder had got the injuries exaggerated.

DSP Gurpreet Singh found in his inquiry that Bhupinder Singh had suffered minor injuries but the medical report showed he had got serious injuries. The police was yet to arrest any person in this regard.


Experts discuss ways to make mutual funds popular
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
A two-day seminar on ‘Mutual Funds’ organised by the Commerce Department of the Khalsa College For Women (KCW) concluded here today.

Nearly 35 resource persons from all over the country made the audience aware about different issues related to mutual funds in the three sessions of the seminar.

The technical session was chaired by Dr Ravinder Vinayak, Department of Commerce and Management, MD University, Rohtak, who said the economic condition of the country was improving and the service sector should put in its contribution in a big way.

Among those who presented papers, Ms Parminder spoke on the criteria of selection of mutual funds while Kirandeep Kaur elaborated upon the different long-term, short-term, open-ended and close-ended mutual funds.

Mandeep Singh from DIMT, Doraha, spoke on 'Mutual Funds and derivations' while Nitya Sharma, Hindu College, Kapurthala, gave the definition, history of mutual funds, investment pattern of UTI and the future of Mutual Funds in coming years.

It was also suggested that regulatory measures should be implemented against those who did not adhere to SEBI rules. The investor should ascertain the credibility of the fund manager and critically analyse the parameters before investing his money.

The third technical session was chaired by Dr R.K.Mittal, Department of Commerce, Kurukshetra University. In this session, myths and truths about mutual funds were told.

It was also discussed as to why the funds were less popular among the low-income group and about various strategies like launching attractive schemes and educating the investors so that the ordinary man could derive benefits from them.

The Principal, Dr (Ms) Varinder Kaur Thind, thanked all participants and gave certificates to them. She encouraged students and faculty to organise more such knowledgeable seminars in the college.



Rs 2810 crore earmarked for improving water, sewerage facilities: Johar
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
Water Supply and Sanitation Minister Harnam Dass Johar today said the state government had given special attention to providing potable drinking water and sewerage facilities in urban as well as in rural areas and chalked out a comprehensive plan of Rs 2810.35 crore to execute various such projects in Punjab.

He was addressing a function at Mansooran village in the Dakha constituency, 10 km from here, after inaugurating a rural water supply and sanitation project completed at a cost of Rs 44.31 lakh.

The minister said under the water supply and environmental sanitation scheme, sponsored by the World Bank, projects in 6500 villages of Punjab were being executed within six years at a cost of Rs. 1819.35 crore.

He said to start work on the rural water supply and sanitation project, 500 villages would be selected in the first phase from all districts of the state.

He added that 95 villages had been identified for inclusion in the pilot batch, wherein implementation of works would start soon.

Mr Johar claimed that the government had also taken effective steps for the welfare of all sections of society during the last five years and carried out record development in the state.

He claimed that more than 9000 crore had been spent on the all-round development and 257 big projects, costing more than Rs 90,000 crore, with an employment potential for 20 lakh youth, had been approved by the high-powered committee.

He said the interests of the farmers had been properly looked into and all crops had been smoothly procured, with a substantial increase in the MSP of wheat for 2006-07.

Mr Johar claimed that in the coming elections, farmers of the state would teach a lesson to the SAD-BJP, which had always been exploiting them by making false promises.

He said with the entering of corporate houses in the processing and marketing of agricultural produce in the state, the income of the farmers would increase manifold, ensuring a prosperous future for them.

Appreciating the efforts of MLA Malkiat Singh Dakha for the development of his constituency, Mr Johar said Mr Dakha had spent record funds in the constituency during the past five years and remained always available to the public.

Mr Johar also inaugurated six projects in villages of the Dakha constituency. He also laid the foundation stones of water supply and sanitation projects at Sehjad, Pamal and Waranhara villages.



Recarpeted road develops potholes in five days
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
The joy of residents of the Civil Lines here at getting the road recarpeted was limited to five days as potholes resurfaced, exposing the poor quality of material used within days of the work being taken up.

The recarpeting project from the Prince Hostel to the Tagore Nagar Chowk started a few days ago, but the stretch of the road, that had to last five years as per B&R rules, did not last even a week making the public money go down the drain.

Demanding an inquiry into the material used for the work, residents of the area said an MC team should collect samples and find out whether the material was of good quality or not.

‘‘We had been demanding the relaying of this road for quite some time as it had developed potholes. There has been no difference. The only thing is that public money has been wasted. We really feel very bad at the state of affairs’’, said a resident.

Mr Jiwan Dhawan, member of Shiromani Akali Dal working committee, said the road was recarpeted in a day. Though the stretch from the Prince Hostel to the Police Lines Gate was in a good condition, the rest had turned flaky the next day itself.

‘‘The gravel started coming off as very less bitumen was used. We complained to the contractor and workers carried out some immediate repairs. But that was not enough. Now the entire road has developed potholes and God knows how long will the new road last’’, said Mr Dhawan.

He added that he had gone to complain to the Commissioner, MC, Mr Vikas Partap.

‘‘I told him the entire state of affairs. He assured me of immediate action, but till date, nobody visited the spot to inspect the road. Lakhs have been wasted as it will require another layer of gravel mixed with bitumen’’, he added.

‘‘As a matter of principle, when a road is recarpeted, it is to be done in such a way that it will last for at least five years. Nobody is listening to my complaints when I want to expose the sorry state of affairs. They will come into action when the contractor will pocket the money for the development work’’, he said.



AICC secy in poll mode, eulogises party
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
The secretary All India Congress Committee (AICC), Mr Manish Tewari, today claimed that the Congress was headed for a landslide victory in the ensuing elections in the state.

He said the overwhelming response of the public to various programmes of the Congress and the government was an indication of the coming events.

Mr Tiwari, who was here to attend the golden-jubilee celebrations of a school at Mini Chhapar, told mediapersons that the Congress government was doing "exceptionally well in the state".

He pointed out that the government had fulfilled most of the promises that had been made in the election manifesto.

He said with Dr Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister of the country, state was getting a lot of priority and benefits, adding that the Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, too was taking lot 
of interest in the development of the state.

Mr Tewari said it went to the credit of Dr Manmohan Singh that Ludhiana was selected for the nationwide ‘Urban Renewal Mission Programme’ under which the city will get huge financial package for development. "The project will change the face of the city", Mr Tiwari promised.

Mr Tiwari, who contested unsuccessfully from Ludhiana Parliamentary Constituency in 2004, has regularly and frequently been visiting the different parts of the constituency.



Tewari takes a serious view of CM-Brar verbal duel
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 25
Terming the verbal duel war between Captain Amarinder Singh and firebrand Congress leader Jagmeet Brar as an avoidable controversy, Mr Munish Tewari, secretary, All India Congress Committee, asserted that allocation of tickets for Assembly elections would be decided by the party president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, in consultations the PPCC chief and nobody else was authorised to comment on the subject.

He claimed that people of Punjab, considering unprecedented pace of development in the state during the Congress regime, would help the party in registering sweeping victory during forthcoming elections.

While talking to the Ludhiana Tribune after presiding over a function at GHG Khalsa Senior Secondary School here today, Mr Tewari said the controversy on the issue of contesting election from Lambi was unavoidable and both Mr Brar and the CM should have refrained from issuing such statements.

"Though 'immature act' was quite a harsh word to define the behavior of esteemed leaders of the party, we will not appreciate such behaviour from anyone in the organisation," said Mr Tewari adding that the opposition parties would not be able to exploit the controversy. 



Information sought under RTI Act eludes pensioner
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, November 25
Mr Pawan Kumar Kaushal, a retired headmaster, seeking specific information about the status of his pensionary benefits for six-month ad hoc service under the Right to Information (RTI) Act from the DEO(S), is still waiting for a reply even after the expiry of the stipulated period of 30 days.

Mr Kaushal said the six-month ad hoc service was not counted for pension and pensionary benefits by the authorities concerned.

As per a decision of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the service rendered should be counted for pension and pensionary benefits.

The office of Secretary, Department of School Education, through a letter dated May 29, asked the authorities, including district education officers, to count the service of employees rendered on an ad hoc basis for the purpose of pensionary benefits.

Mr Kaushal said the AG, through a letter dated August 7, asked the DEO(S) of Ludhiana to send his revised pension case after including the service rendered on an ad hoc basis.

Mr Kaushal applied for information to the DEO(S) on October 12, but even after the expiry of deadline, the information sought eluded him.

Mr Kaushal had informed the state information commissioner and the chief information commissioner about the callousness of the DEO(S), demanding necessary action and an adequate reply.



Electricity pole poses threat
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana November 25
An electric pole, corroded by rust, which is not only damaged but tilted on one side, in front of the SCD Government College here, poses a threat to the lives of several passersby.

Gautam Goyal, a student of the college, said it was a high-tension wire electric pole with 11,000 volts.

The pole was under the Fountain Chowk subdivision of the Punjab State Electricity Board.

A mild thunderstorm could easily break the pole, posing a threat to several passersby and students.

A college lecturer said neither the college authorities nor the PSEB men had taken notice of this threat.



Repair of caved-in road to take time
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
A part of road that had caved in front of the RS Model School in Model Town would take another three months' time to be repaired.

This was stated by Mr Haravtar Singh, superintending engineer of the Water Supply and Sewerage Board.

He was called on the floor of the house by the MC Commissioner, Mr Vikas Partap, after the area councillor raised the issue. The SE said as the work involved carrying our repairs underground, it was time consuming.

Too many labourers could not be deployed on the job as it involved dangers of more earth caving in and risking their lives. He said they were constructing a RCC structure so that it did not sink in the future.

Mr Partap said he had asked WSSB officials to prepare a special design for the place, so that the road did not meet the same fate after some time. The same part of the road had sunk some years ago and the repeat of events happened on September 2 because it was reconstructed casually.

He said as per the new design, a concrete core wall would be erected around the sewer pipe of a diameter 153 inches, so that even a leakage did not eat into the earth which gave in.

The sewerage in that area was as old as 25 years and due to leakage, the earth around it washed away and the road caved in. Model Town did not have a separate storm water sewerage and rain water was being discharged into the common sewer. This had resulted in overburdening of the system, which gave way.

Commuters said they were having a tough time as the road was cordoned off for the last two months. The road led to a manned railway crossing and traffic chaos was always the order of the day. They added that there were no reflectors and someone could fall at night.



Despite waiver, residents get water bills
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
The state government has waived water and sewerage bills of residents living in houses measuring upto 125 square yards, but the municipal corporation continues to issue them bills, mentioning their living area as 248 square yards.

A number of residents, who have received bills despite living in small houses, have accused the civic body officials of apathy as they are issuing them bills although they have records in TS-1 register.

They say they have made rounds of various offices of the municipal corporation, but despite getting the error corrected, they are being sent the bills.

‘‘Now they have started asking us for a copy of the registry of our house. When they have all the records, why should they trouble us with bills everytime? And if we do not get back to them, they levy fine on us’’, said a resident, who had become sick of making rounds of Zone B office of the MC.

The issue of bills was taken up in the general house of the MC two days ago. The councillors had raised the issue and the commissioner had announced that the residents who were receiving bills should write an application to the MC, along with a copy of the registry of their house. He added that if they somehow did not have the documents, they could attach a power of attorney with the application.

The residents said they had got the records straightened in Zone B office. But they said there was no connectivity between the offices of the MC and again they were issued the bills. Mr Pran Nath Bhatia, a former councillor and BJP leader, said it was sad that the MC was not doing anything to help the public. ‘‘How will they handle so many people and their applications if they are not able to do anything to go through already existing records’’, he asked.



Brahmin body decries temple demolition
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
The Bhagwan Parshuram Brahman Sabha, Punjab, has condemned the demolition of temples in Kazakhstan. The sabha regretted that even the Kazakh government had not taken any action against this act of vandalism.

In a joint statement, the chairman of the sabha, Dr B.K. Dutt, and general secretary, Mr Sanjay Moudgil, urged the government of India to take up the issue with the Kazakhstan Government to ensure the safety and security of the Hindus living there and their places of worship.



City cries for a whiff of fresh air
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
With virtually no green space left in the walled city, the area is almost gasping for the breath.

Despite the fact that the city has spread out quite wide and far, the old city remains severely congested in narrow lanes and bylanes. If people want to take a walk around in the morning or evening they cannot.

There is still a great scope for developing the green spaces in these areas as a number of government offices and establishments have been shifted elsewhere.

Instead of developing shopping centres and business establishments or selling these off to private companies, the administration should better develop them into parks, which is quite important for the health of the city.

These areas have no 'lungs', (the marked green spaces in the area) to breath. Neither the civic authorities nor the administration or the local representatives have ever felt the need for developing some green areas.

Almost one third of the 30 lakh people of the city still live in the walled city. Except for the Mini Rose Garden in Kidwai Nagar there is no green space in the old city.

Space earmarked for the parks and lawns seems to have "vanished away" either having been encroached upon or having been converted into shopping or office complexes by the civic authorities. The problem is being felt now as the residents complain of not having a proper place to go for a walk or stroll.

Mr Mahesh Chopra, a resident of Pindi Street in Chaura Bazar, said not long ago, there were some green parks in the old city also.

"We did not need to go to the Rakh Bagh or the Punjab Agricultural University for a walk, but nobody knows where that green space has gone," he regretted.

Dr Rakesh Sharma, a general physician near the Prince Hostel here, said in absence of trees, plants or greenery, one could not get proper oxygen which affects the immune system.

Pollution spread by industries, vehicles and generators etc increased carbon dioxide in the air with the result that many breathing and respiratory problems occur, said Dr Sharma.

Meanwhile, places where green parks could be developed for residents include area opposite the Luxmi Cinema, Tehsil Office in Chaura Bazaar and 20-acre Old Court land which PUDA intends to take over shortly.

As a shopping mall is already being constructed opposite the Luxmi cinema, the residents fear that remaining two sites would also be used for commercial development only. 



High steel prices — a bane of Punjab industry
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
Steel prices, which have been registering a decline over the past few weeks across the country, are still on the higher side in Punjab adding to troubles of steel consumers and producers.

"The process of importing scrap is very cumbersome in Punjab, which adds to the cost. While the Home Ministry, in its guidelines, provides for 25 per cent inspection of shipments, the Ludhiana dry port is doing 100 per cent inspection. If this inspection is reduced costs, would also decline," said Mr P.D. Sharma, President, Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He said the dry port in Ludhiana needed to have more facilities so that steel producers and consumers could combat competition despite geographical disadvantage.

"We are not closer to ports which is why freight becomes a major contributory factor to rise in costs of scrap. The disadvantage can be set off only be taking other measures."

Pointing out that 26 ports in the country would be designated in the coming days, Mr Sharma said the Ludhiana Dry Port was unlikely to be included in the list.

"In that case, freight and inspection would add to cost and then inspection at this port would make scrap costlier for consumers here," he asserted.

The chamber said heavy fluctuations in price of sponge iron were further contributing to increase in steel prices. "Due to export of iron ore, price of sponge iron are very high. This is resulting in an increase in rate of steel produced by secondary producers."

Urging the government to reduce import duty on iron and steel scrap from the exiting 5 per cent to zero, the chamber said the duty was raised only this year and reducing it would go a long way towards making this easier for secondary steel producers in the state.



Diplast launches Veggi Fresh for tricity
Our Correspondent

Mohali, November 25
Diplast has launched, Veggie Fresh, fruits and vegetables in Mohali, Chandigarh and Panchkula in order to provide hygienically cleaned, sorted and packed vegetables and fruits to consumers on their doorsteps.

Mr Ashok Gupta, Managing Director, Diplast, said at a press conference here yesterday that vegetables and fruits would be chemical free and grown under the supervision and guidance of the qualified staff. The packaging would be done in net bags and poly packs duly perforated for aeration as per the guidance provided by Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. With the passage of time, the scheme would be extended to Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

Mr Gupta further said Diplast would also introduce hydro-tech farming which would be very helpful.



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