L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Youth’s death: Arrest of drivers sought
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 6
Various organisations here have urged the authorities to impress upon the Ludhiana police to arrest the drivers of the buses whose alleged negligence had caused the death of Sat Pal, a youth of Amarpur area here.

The youth, who was 26-year-old the only brother of six sisters and bread-winner of his family, was crushed to death by a speeding bus in Ludhiana yesterday.

Hundreds of residents and representatives of various organisations mourned the death of Sat Pal and joined his funeral procession today.

Office-bearers of various organisations, led by Mr Jatinder Kumar Bhola, president, municipal council, urged the authorities to impress upon the Ludhiana police to nab the accused for causing the death of Sat Pal.

Referring to information received from his family, Mr Bhola alleged that the youth had lost his life due to the negligence of the drivers of the two buses. "While one of the buses hit the scooter Sat Pal was riding, the other bus crushed him after he fell on road. It is a pity that the police could not stop the vehicles, though at least six cops were performing duty near the place of the mishap," rued Mr Bhola, adding that a case had been registered only after people blocked traffic for about two hours. He said various organisations had demanded compensation for the family and stern action against the accused.

Sat Pal is survived by his wife Rekha and Garima, their two- month-old daughter. He was serving as a salesman with Swani Motors Ludhiana and had gone to Ludhiana to deal a prospective customer there. He used to help his father at his grocery shop at Kalakh also.



Bridge opened by Dy CM still incomplete
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 6
Prior to the enforcement of the code of conduct for the Punjab Assembly poll, Deputy Chief Minister, Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, inaugurated an incomplete Gill bridge here on December 28.

While the minister got praise for providing the much-needed bridge, commuters found it of no use because even after a week, work was continuing on the bridge.

Opened on December 28, the bridge is still closed for public and traffic is passing through the existing bridge only. The way to the new bridge has been closed with the help of concrete blocks.

Mr Rajinder Singh Bajwa, area councillor, said the delay was caused as the Irrigation Department had not discontinued water supply in the canal. He added that shuttering was being opened today as the canal had dried up some days ago and it had become possible for the workers to work under the bridge.

The councillor said that it would be put to use only after the Municipal Corporation would finish the work of laying premix on the road. ‘‘It would take some more time. We expect that they would do it within a day or two,’’ he said.

Workers on the spot said it would take some more time for the bridge to be put to use.

Commuters on the road expressed their anger at the delay. They said the authorities had provided a bridge two years after it had collapsed. ‘‘Finally when they opened it, it proved to be a political gimmick. It is shameful that they are running the country only for winning elections,’’ said a commuter.

‘‘What was the hurry for the Deputy CM to inaugurate the bridge when work was not complete. They might have thought that they would not be able to claim publicity for the bridge after the code of conduct came into force,’’ said Mr Sanjeev Sood, an area resident.

Being constructed at a cost of Rs 92 lakh provided by the District Planning Board, the bridge has seen a number of delays. It was to be completed originally after 35 days from inauguration. But it got delayed and finally the construction work was started on October 30.

Work on the bridge was inaugurated by Mr Lal Singh, Rural Development, Panchayats, Irrigation and Power Minister, Punjab, six months ago.

Construction of the Gill bridge has been a long-pending demand of residents of adjoining areas. It had collapsed more than two years ago and was not constructed since then. Though there was a parallel bridge, it was not sufficient in catering to traffic needs of this area. Many protests were organised to demand a new bridge as many accidents had taken place in its absence and many families had lost their members at the spot.

Commuters on the road had been crying hoarse for quite some time now as traffic chaos was the order of the day on the existing bridge. During office hours, serpentine queues were witnessed on the road.



Schools flout SC ruling with impunity
Asha Ahuja

Ludhiana, January 6
The LKG admissions and interviews preceding them are in full spate despite the fact that the Supreme Court has banned the interviews for admissions to nursery-level classes. Many parents too are oblivious of the apex court judgment.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, Mr Rajiv Kalra, a parent, said," We have put up banners before the Sacred Heart Convent Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar, as they were conducting the interviews for admission to Class LKG.

“We are making the city people aware that no interviews are required for admission as per the rulings of the Supreme Court. When the school authorities saw the banners and asked us why we were putting them up, we said we wanted to make the parents aware that they were not abiding by the Supreme Court rulings.

The school authorities then said: “You do your work and we will do ours."

Other parents said:" How will the parents know on what basis is their child rejected as there is no transparency. The parents do not know what is the yardstick of selection.”

“Many other schools are conducting interviews and we plan putting up banners in front of these schools as we want people to be aware of the ruling of the Supreme Court. We wonder how schools can defy the Supreme Court,” one of the parents said.



SAD (A) launches poll campaign
Our Correspondent

Amloh, January 6
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) will provide alternative choice to the electorate in the Vidhan Sabha elections scheduled for February 13 by fielding candidates in all the 117 Assembly constituencies in the state with the help of like-minded parties by forging a united front.

This was stated by party chief Simranjit Singh Mann while talking to the mediapersons after inauguration of the election office of his party candidate, Mr Bhag Singh Bhamasi, here today. He also kicked off his election campaign today. The SAD (A) has fielded 36 candidates in the Panthic areas and seat adjustment on the remaining seats will be reached with other parties to defeat the Congress and the SAD-BJP combine, said Mr Mann.

Lashing out at the Congress and SAD, Mr Mann called them traders who settle deals with some persons to remain in power at the cost of Panthic and state interests. He accused Mr Badal of family rule and he had always ignored the interests of the state. After 60 years of Independence, successive governments of SAD and Congress had failed to provide basic amenities to the people like food, education, potable water, and health services which are out of reach of the common man. The number of unemployed has risen to 30 lakh in the state.

The stagnation in development was attributed to the decade of militancy. After the control of militancy, three governments of the late Mr Beant Singh, Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Captain Amarinder Singh had remained in power for 15 years but no practical steps were taken to solve the problems of the people, except for hollow slogans to misguide voters.

Several hundred activists of the party were kept spellbound by the ‘dhadi jatha’ of Gurdeep Singh Ghadaniwale which presented ‘kavishri’ highlighting bravery of our heroes.

Among other senior SAD (A) leaders, Jathedar Imaan Singh Mann, SGPC member from Amloh constituency, Mr Ravinder Singh Khalsa, party candidate, Jathedar Bhag Singh Bhamorsi, Bibi Surinder Kaur (Istri Akali Dal chief ), Jathedar Jaswant Singh Rajindergarh, Jathedar Gurdial Singh Ghulumajra, Jathedar Sucha Singh Amloh were present.

Bibi Harbans Kaur (circle president), Jathedar Baljit Singh, Mr Satnam Singh and other office-bearers of the party also spoke at the inaugural function and appealed to the workers to ensure the success of Mr Bhag Singh Bhamarsi.



SAD nominates 4 more in Ludhiana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana January 6
The Shiromani Akali Dal today completed the process of nominating the party candidates in Ludhiana district. The party announced the names of Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, Mr Bikramjit Singh Khalsa, Mr Bhag Singh Mallah and Mr Darshan Singh Shivalik as candidates from Payal, Khanna, Jagraon and Dakha, respectively.

With this, SAD has accommodated both the former MLAs, Mr Grewal and Mr Khalsa, who were loyalists of the former SGPC president, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra. However, none of them have been nominated from the constituencies they represented earlier.

Mr Grewal, who represented Ludhiana West between 1997 and 2002, has now been shifted to Payal. Mr Harish Rai Dhanda is the SAD candidate from Ludhiana West. Mr Khalsa has reluctantly accepted Khanna as he wanted to contest from Dakha which he represented between 1997 and 2002. This time SAD has fielded Mr Darshan Singh Shivalik from here. He also contested on the SAD ticket unsuccessfully in 2002 against Mr Malkiat Singh Dakha of the Congress.

Mr Bhag Singh Mallah has been nominated for the third time by SAD from Jagraon. After SAD president Parkash Singh Badal left Jagraon undeclared in the first list, speculations were rife that he might be replaced by Mr Amrik Singh Aliwal, a former MP from Ludhiana.

Mr Aliwal, who happens to be a seasoned politician, has reportedly been assured "proper adjustment" once the party comes to power after the elections. He has strong pockets of influence in Jagraon and Ludhaina Rural Assembly segments.



Scramble for Cong ticket
KS Chawla

Asked if Mr Dullo had consulted or discussed the possibility of seeking election from Khanna, Ms Harbans Kaur Dullo, wife of the PPCC chief said: “We do not discuss politics and do not interfere in each other’s working.”

Ludhiana, January 6
There is a big scramble for the Congress ticket from Ludhiana urban seats of Ludhiana West, Ludhiana North and Ludhiana East.
A large number of Congressmen have sought the Congress ticket for these seats. For Ludhiana West besides Mr Harnam Das Johar, sitting MLA, Mr KK Bawa, Chairman, Housefed, Mr Pawan Dewan, Mr Jagmohan Sharma, president, DCC (Urban), Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka and his wife and Mr Ramesh Joshi are in the race for the ticket.

Mr Johar is likely to be retained on Ludhiana West to face the SAD candidate, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda.

For Ludhiana East where Mr Surinder Dawar is the sitting MLA, Mr Parminder Mehta, secretary, PPCC, Mrs Sushil Gupta , Deputy Mayor, and secretary, All-India Mahila Congress, and Mr Jagmohan Sharma have sought ticket. For Ludhiana North, Mr Rakesh Pandey is the sitting MLA and Mr Madan Lal Bagga, a councillor of the Congress, has sought the ticket. Mr Rakesh Pandey may be retained.

Ludhiana Rural seat is witnessing a tough competition for the Congress ticket. Besides Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, who is the sitting MLA, Mr Nahar Singh Gill is a hot contender for the Congress ticket and he has also started his campaigning in the segment. Mr Birmi is opposed by the Punjab Congress chief, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, who is supporting Mr Gill. Mr Ashok Singh Garcha, a former Chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust and son of the late Mr Devinder Singh Garcha is also in the race for the Congress ticket.

All the candidates are now making personal contacts with senior party leaders in Delhi and pressing their claims for the Congress ticket.



Cong ticket aspirants camping in Delhi
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana January 6
Most of the aspirants for the Congress party ticket seem to have entrenched themselves in the All India Congress Committee (AICC) headquarters in New Delhi, where their fate would be decided in the coming days.

After filing their applications at the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee headquarters at Chandigarh, the aspiring candidates have started camping in New Delhi. With Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and PPC president Shamsher Singh Dullo also staying in New Delhi, the entire rank and file of the Congress has moved there.

Interestingly, all four urban and one semi urban constituency is being represented by the Congress candidates only. Barring Mr Surinder Dawer from the Ludhiana East, all others have represented their segments more than once. Although all sitting MLAs are confident about their renomination, but that does not deter the fresh applicants from trying their luck.

Moreover, the Chief Minister has once again reiterated that some sitting legislators would be dropped, as they had failed to deliver along the expectations of the party as well as the workers, sparking expectations among the new aspirants and a mad pursuit for the party nomination.

The most-sought-after constituency remains the Ludhiana West, represented by Mr Harnam Dass Johar, a senior leader and a minister in the present government. With Capt Amarinder reportedly not inclined to field Mr Johar, owing to various reasons, some prominent Congress aspirants are trying their luck from here. They include the District Congress Committee, Ludhiana (urban) president, Jagmohan Sharma, Mr Pawan Dewan, Mr Krishen Kumar Bawa, Mr Gurbir Singh Grewal, alias Bakhoo, the son of former Chief Minister, Justice Gurnam Singh, Mr Paramjit Sibia, a former chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka and his wife, who recently resigned as the Deputy Advocate-General.

Similarly, Ludhiana East, represented by Parliamentary Secretary Surinder Dawer has also a number of applicants. Mr Dawer had defeated Mr Satpal Gosain of the BJP in last elections by a huge margin of over 15,000 votes. Although he appears to be a probable candidate from here, there are several serious candidates who have applied from here. They included Mr Atiq-u-Rehman, Ludhianvi, who belongs to the family of the Shahi Imam of Ludhainia and is also the president of the minority wing of the Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Parminder Mehta, secretary PCC and Ms Sushila Gupta, the Deputy Mayor.

In Ludhiana Rural, the race for the tickets is mainly between the sitting legislator, Mr Milkiat Singh Birmi, and city Mayor Nahar Singh Gill. Mr Gill is banking upon the support of Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, who is opposed to Mr Birmi. In fact it was Mr Dullo, who got Mr Birmi dropped as the Chief Parliamentary Secretary despite Chief Minister's unwillingness to do so.

Mr Ashok Garcha, a former chairman of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), is also in the race. Although he enjoys a clean and honest image among the public, this might prove to be his nemesis. Mr Garcha, while resigning from the post of the chairman of LIT, had alleged that some senior Congress leader from the high command had demanded Rs 100 crore from him for the party. Later, LIT was in the eye of the storm over the alleged multi-crore scam in the Ludhiana City Centre, a project of LIT.

From Ludhiana North, represented by Mr Rakesh Pandey, a minister in the current government, there are not many aspirants. However, a sitting councillor, Mr Madan Lal Bagga, has been seriously pursuing his candidature from here against Mr Pandey. Mr Bagga is likely to contest as an independent candidate in case he does not get the party nomination.

In Dakha, the sitting MLA, Mr Milkiat Singh Dakha, does not face any major challenge. However, Mr Mohinder Singh Kalyan and Mr Jagjit Singh have also filed their applications from here for the party nomination.



Johar supporters up the ante
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 6
A day after some councillors staked their claims for a ticket in the constituency represented by the Congress Minister, Mr Harnam Dass Johar, many councillors came out in his support today.

The Johar-camp councillors appealed to the high command that the senior leader should be given a chance to contest elections from the Ludhiana West.

Ms Santosh Kumari, Mr Rakesh Prasher, Mr Raju Thapar and Mr Amarjit Matharu, all councillors from various wards, said that Mr Johar had served the constituency for the past 20 to 25 years.

Coming with their supporters to a meeting at Ms Santosh Kumari's residence, these councillors said Mr Johar had done a lot for the schools, upliftment of slums, helped SCs and STs in setting up dharamshalas, besides ensuring a record number of development works in his area.

‘‘Mr Johar has been a Father Christmas for all of us. In my ward alone, he helped the public with Rs 85,000 during his regime.

“He visits all houses without any discrimination whenever anybody needs him. We want that he is the next candidate also. But it all depends on the high command and we would respect their decision, ’’ said Mr Sushil Raju Thapar. 



With poll near, industrialists too seek favours
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 6
As the Assembly elections draw nearer, industry is making all efforts to ensure its demands are met.
The recent in line are oil mill machinery manufacturers, an industry holding a significant share in domestic market, who have turned to the Congress for their demands.

The industry has demanded that the areas where over 180 units of oil mill machinery manufacturers are located be declared as industrial areas.

"Over 180 small-scale units of our industry are located in areas like Vijay Nagar, Simlapuri, Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar, Prabhat Nagar, Giaspura, Daba Road etc. We want these areas to be designated as industrial areas. Since efforts were made in the direction by the ruling party, we decided to put forth this demand to them only so that our demand is met when they come to power," said Mr Harish Singla, general secretary, Oil Mill Machinery Manufacturers Association.



Dy Mayor asserts family right over Ludhiana East

Ludhiana, January 6
Ms Suhil Gupta, Deputy Mayor, Ludhiana, and secretary of the All India Congress Committee, today asserted her family’s right over the Ludhiana East Assembly segment.

She alleged that sitting legislator Surinder Dawer had ‘encroached upon’ the seat, which had been represented thrice by her father-in-law late Om Prakash Gupta.

Accompanied by three other councillors of the area, Ms Gupta alleged that Mr Dawer had failed the expectations of the electorate of this segment. She represents Ward 50, falling in the same Assembly segment.

Ms Gupta also asserted that as a secretary of the All India Mahilla Congress, she had a strong claim. Moreover, she said, keeping in view the Congress stand on the 33 per cent reservation for women in legislative bodies, she hoped to get the party nomination. — TNS



Cops get a break from 24 X 7 routine
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 6
Giving them a break from the routine, a special screening of film Dhoom 2 was organised for cops and their families at Arti Cinema here today.
With the strenuous 24 x 7 job of a cop leaving him no time for family or his own entertainment, senior officials, led by SSP A.S. Rai, gave the families the chance of watching the movie not only with the entire family together but also with neighbours and other police colony mates.

SSP Ludhiana said that at one level it was meant to be a year-end appreciation of good work done by the Ludhiana police personnel over the past year wherein they had succeeded in solving many major cases.

At another level, it was meant to encourage espirit de corps among the police personnel and provide them an opportunity to spend time with their families.

Speaking about the selection of the movie, he said they all wanted to see this movie, as members of one of the recent gangs caught by the city police had told them that they had been inspired by this movie.

It was essential for police personnel to be aware of latest methods being adopted by criminals, he added.

He expressed his thanks to the Aarti Cinema authorities for organising the show. 



Devotees celebrate Gurpurb with fervour
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 6
The birth anniversary of the 10th Sikh Guru, Sri Guru Gobind Singh, was celebrated with great enthusiasm and devotion at Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran, here yesterday. Right from early morning till late night, the programme was telecast live by the local cable network.

Thousands of devotees from all sections of society visited the gurdwara to pay obeisance to the great Guru, who sacrificed his entire family for the rights of the humanity. Kirtan darbar was organised in the evening. The various Kirtani Jathas recited hymns of gurbani and preachers highlighted the life, teachings and philosophy of the Guru. Throughout the day, ‘Langar’, sweets, tea, snacks and many other eatables were distributed among the devotees.

At night, the whole gurdwara complex was beautifully decorated and illuminated with different types of lights.

Mr Pritpal Singh, president of the gurdwara, expressed gratitude to the ‘Akal Purakh’, local administration and media for their kind cooperation to make the Gurpurb a success.

All members of the committee, including Avtar Singh, General Secretary, Kuldip Singh, Gurdeep Singh, Rajinderpal Singh Tinku, Jagbir Singh Maini, Gurbaksh Singh Bhatia and many others were present there.



Customers fume as ICICI ATMs fail
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 6
Hundreds of customers of the ICICI Bank were left in the lurch today as they could not withdraw the cash owing to the failure of the ATM machines of the bank located in the Feroze Gandhi Market.

The bank officials said there was a minor problem, apparently with the server, which would be rectified soon. But the customers said they were given this answer since early morning but the problem was still persisting.

An angry customer remarked, "If the (in)efficiency of the ICICI ATMs in the city is any indication, then we need to carry cheque-books and pass-books to be on the safer side." Several other ICICI ATM card holders had a tough time today when the bank’s two ATMs in the Feroze Gandhi Market, one  at the Fountain Chowk and the other near DMC Hospital, failed to deliver cash to the customers for more than a couple of hours.

A long queue was seen at one of the ATMs around 12 noon. Hardly 15 customers had got their cash after standing for more than 30 minutes in the queue, when the ATM showed the "insufficient cash".

Mr Sanjiv, one of the customers, said it was the third non-working ATM. He said the ICICI ATM at the Fountain Chowk always showed the board "ATM Temporarily out of Order".

"Their services are deteriorating day by day. I had to deposit cash in my other account but it will not be possible as it is Saturday today," he rued, while adding, the ATM failures are too frequent and regular that nobody was sure whether one could withdraw the cash or not.

The Ludhiana Tribune spoke to the Bank Manager, Operations at Feroze Gandhi Market who checked-up with the concerned officials and said that it would take another 15-20 minutes to rectify the problem.

The manager claimed it was a minor technical fault, adding that said technical errors did crop in once in a while and these were rectified instantly. 



Abolition of textile cess hailed

Ludhiana, January 6
Welcoming the abolition of textile cess on readymade garments local textile industry today said the measure would accelerate pace of exports and improve industry's competitiveness in global market.
Mr Vinod K. Thapar, president, Knitwear Club, said the government had ceded to industry's long standing demand.” —TNS



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