L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Crop insurance under consideration
Compensation for damaged crops hiked 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today announced to enhance the compensation to farmers for the damage to their crops in case of natural calamities from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 per acre.

Talking to reporters here today, Badal said the state government had decided to enhance the amount of compensation for damage to crops by hailstorm and heavy rains to the farmers from Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 per acre. He said the state government was also considering to make arrangements for crop insurance for the farmers, so that in future they could get the full compensation for the damaged crops.

Answering a question regarding power shortage in the coming summer season, Badal said the previous government had not even added a single unit in the power production in the past five years. He said his government was going to accord the top priority to execute more power projects and would definitely increase the production by 1,000 MW in the coming six months. He said in the coming years the state would be producing sufficient power to meet the requirements of the state.

Asked about the Centre-state relations, Badal said the SAD had been demanding more autonomy for the state since long, as the states could not take decisions on smaller development schemes.

He said his government had also decided to give rights of ownership to the cultivators of evacuee land along the rivers just by charging Rs 16,00 per acre.

On industrial policy, the Chief Minister said his government had come out with an innovative “Make and Implement Your Own Industry Policy” and under the new scheme the industry could formulate its own policies. The government would provide a platform through industrial and trade development boards one each for large and medium scale industries and the small scale industry and trade for the formulation of the policy and the revival of industrial economy.

He said these boards would comprise industrialists and traders and their chairmen too would be among the representatives from the trade and industry, who would be given the rank of a Cabinet minister.



It’s work as usual on City Centre Project
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
Work goes on as usual at the controversial City Centre Project, which is in the eye of a storm these days over the alleged illegal relaxing of norms, kickbacks and corruption in the mega project deal involving several bigwigs like former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh.

The intention of the present government to let the work continue has also been made clear with no orders of stopping the work. Sources said the work may continue, as much was at stake regarding the project.

Engineers and labourers came to work as usual at the site today. The construction of the basement of the City Centre Project and the erection of the mighty pillars that would support huge roof of the building, strong enough to be used as a helipad, was under way.

Though the Improvement Trust was dissolved during the regime of the Congress government only when the media exposed the alleged corruption, the work on the project was never stopped. The intention of the present government to let the work continue has also been made clear with no orders of stopping the work.

Sources said the work may continue, as much was at stake regarding the project. With the registration of the FIR, the future of the project was again uncertain. Though the work was on, property dealers and residents around the area were wary about the fallout of the case on the value of the property.



Sullage, solid waste disposal a big problem
Choked sewerage makes situation worse
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 24
Waste water and solid waste disposal emerged as waterloo for authorities at local civic body office here. Though citizens in all areas of town are forced to live in unhygienic conditions, residents of Dehliz road area are virtually living in hell.

Charanjit Singh Channi, executive officer, maintained that the problem would be solved after completion of the main project process for which had already been started.

Investigations by the Ludhiana Tribune revealed that waste water and solid waste disposal had emerged as major problems for authorities at civic body office here. Stagnant water and piling garbage were a regular scene on Railway Road, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Chowk, Janta College area, Jandali Road and Dehliz road area.

Situation was worst on roads leading to crematorium where choking of sewerage resulted in frequent overflow of stinking water.

What to talk of walking on these roads, vehicle drivers fail to manage their vehicles on these roads. Stranded vehicles were common scene in this area. The situation is bound to affect social ties also as people have started avoiding accompanying funeral processions also for obvious reason of inability to walk through overflowing sewerage water.

Inadequate disposal arrangements have affected supply of drinking water also. Interruption in power supply worsened the situation as it affected both disposal and supply of water.

Residents have urged the authorities to make necessary arrangement before an epidemic breaks out in the area. 



Funds for Bhaini Sahib development soon: CM 
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana March 24
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today announced reconstitution of the Bhaini Sahib Raiyan Development Board to ensure fast integrated development of historic Bhaini Sahib headquarters of Namdhari Darbar. He said adequate funds would be released for all the remaining development projects.

Badal was discussing the plan in a meeting after presenting a cheque of Rs 50 lakhs for the completion of Kuka Martyrs Memorial at Malerkotla as announced by him during his last visit to Bhaini Sahib on March 6 to Sat Guru Jagjit Singh Ji head of Namdhari Darbar at Bhaini Sahib 25 kms from here today.

The Chief Minister discussed the detailed plans relating to the development projects of Bhaini Sahib with Sat Guru Jagjit Singhji, Namdhari Thakur Udhey Singh, MD, Namdhari Seeds Bangalore, Sumer Singh Gurjar Deputy Commissioner Ludhiana.

Bhaini Sahib- Raiyan, the birthplace of Sat Guru Ram Singhji, was a sacred and historic place for the whole country as the most effective Kuka Movement for the freedom of the country was launched from here by Satguru Ram Singhji.

On the demand for the construction of roads linking Bhaini Sahib, the chief minister asked the Principal Secretary, Local Bodies, Punjab, to issue special directions to sanction the plans and start work for construction of peripheries of Bhani Sahib and other link roads connecting to this place at the earliest.

On another suggestion from Namdhari Darbar, Badal asked the Vice-Chancellor Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, on telephone to immediately revive Sat Guru Ram Singh Chair in the university and assured the required funds would immediately be released for this purpose by the government.

Badal said 150th anniversary of Kuka Movement launched by Sat Guru Ram Singhji in 1857 would be observed in a fitting manner and a high level meeting to chalk out the detailed programme for the anniversary would be held at Chandigarh under his chairmanship.

Keeping in view the contribution of Namdharis in the independence struggle, the government was also considering to set up two more memorials, one at Raikot, in Ludhiana district and another in Amritsar district, so that the coming generation would seek inspiration from the sacrifices of the followers of Sat Guru Ram Singhji.



School organiser held for impersonation
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 24
The police has arrested the organiser of a private village school for allegedly impersonating as a student appearing in the Class X examination being conducted by the Punjab School Education Board at MGMN Senior Secondary School here today.

The accused was booked under sections 419 and 420 of IPC on the statement of superintendent of the examination centre.

Harpreet Singh, son of Gurmel Singh of Dhaler village, who is reportedly running a private school at Dhanon village, was arrested for allegedly appearing in Class X examination on behalf of Gursewak Singh of Khanjarwar village in Jagraon tehsil at Gandhi School here today.

According to Rachhpal Singh Hara, DSP, Malerkotla, the accused was caught on the basis of information provided by Bhupinder Singh Bath, superintendent at the examination centre.

“Though the accused had succeeded in impersonating Gursewak Singh (roll number 243573) in two papers, Khem Singh Deputy Superintendent became suspicious about genuineness of his candidature today. Ultimately he broke before the police and admitted having cheated the education authorities for helping the candidate,” said Hara while talking to the Ludhiana Tribune. Though police was yet to establish modus operandi of the accused, preliminary investigations revealed that the accused had been running a private school at Dhanon village. The police suspects that he could have charged huge amount from the candidate for impersonating him.

Interestingly, the accused had passed Class XII from Government Senior Secondary School Kanganwal a few years ago. Probably, he had done graduation also. But none of the invigilators suspected him and he wrote two papers on behalf of the candidate. The candidate was yet to be examined by the police.



Spy case: Police zeroes in on govt depts
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
The city police has brought many government departments in the ambit of investigation regarding activities of the alleged Pakistan spy, Rajveer Ranawat, alias Abdul Hanan Rashid.

The spy had managed to obtain a driving license, ration card, bank account , ATM card under his assumed name, Rajveer Ranawat, which could have eventually got him an Indian passport.

The police is also contemplating taking serious action against the landlord of the house where the accused stayed as a tenant. Under the orders of the district magistrate, the tenants have to be registered with the police. The owner was also detained for questioning, but had no links with the actual identity of the accused.

Highly placed sources told Ludhiana Tribune that special teams, formed to investigate the role of various employees of each department in making the documents, have started the process of tracing the manner in which the files moved.

Sources said there was high probability that the accused had greased palms for felicitating his work and no employee could have knowingly helped him.

However, negligence in the verification of the antecedents of the accused and into the claims of his assumed identity was being viewed seriously, as it had led to compromising with national security.

SSP R.K.Jaiswal said the police could not divulge much about the course of investigation but serious action would definitely be taken against those employees who were found guilty of dereliction of duty.

He said the police had detained many persons in daily contact with the accused.

The persons included the owner of his house, neighbours and friends. However, all have been found innocent. They had no inkling that the soft-spoken decent youth was actually a Pakistan spy.

The police officials were interrogating the accused further on his network. Intelligence agencies were also trying to establish his links. Sources said the accused had divulged little details, as he too was in the dark of other Pak-sponsored operations.



Members rue Lodhi Club’s plight
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
The members of the Lodhi Club here feel that the club’s management should be given in the hands of "honest and loyal" persons who would make every possible effort to bring back its reputation.

The club,once considered to be on a par with prestigious Sutlej Club, has been "ignored" in the recent past. The club was started with a membership fee of Rs 30,000 in 1995 with S.S.Channy, the then Deputy Commissioner as its president.

At that time the membership fee of the Sutlej Club was about Rs 60,000.

"Today, people are willing to shell-out even Rs 6 lakh to be a member of Sutlej club, which refuses to enroll new members. But hardly anybody wants to be a member of Lodhi club (with membership fee of Rs 2 lakh) because of its continuous degradation," said one of the old members of the club on condition of anonymity.

Another member of the club said the Lodhi club had all facilities, including swimming pool, games facilities, bar, dining hall, etc but no body took any initiative to maintain its dignity.

"Club needs to be monitored on daily basis. Such a huge club can not be run through remote control. The club records and balance sheets are not properly maintained. Moreover, we are being given a step-motherly treatment by the district administration also. They would go all the way to arrange a good function in Sutlej Club but no body bothers about our club," alleged the member.

Sore over the past experiences, some of the members of the Lodhi Club have even decided to boycott tomorrow's elections.

"The food section is deteriorating and there is no arrangement for proper parking. A handful of non-committed people are responsible for the downfall of the club. Members should not vote for them again," said one of the complaining members.

It may be mentioned that the elections of the Lodhi Club will be held tomorrow. The two returning officers are Amrit Kaur Gill and Indu Malhotra (SDMs).

For the post of vice-president, there are two candidates, Anand Sikri and Ramesh Prashan.Sikri feels that the club should choose candidates on merit basis, those who can spare time religiously.

For the post of general-secretary, the candidates are K.S.Chabra, Amrit Bhambri and Manoj Gupta.

For bar secretary, the contestants are Pawan Garg and Bhushan Gupta.Rajesh Mittal and Hans Raj Kapoor are contesting for the post of the sports secretary.

Lalit Singla and M.S.Bedi are contesting for the post of the joint-secretary while for the post of treasurer, Nitin Mittal and Chaitley are in the fray.

Rashmi Gangwani and Anantjit Chugh are contesting for the post of executive member (women).



Setting a novel trend for a noble cause
3 govt teachers pledge to donate their bodies
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 24
Setting a novel trend, three retired government teachers pledged to donate their bodies to a medical college for purpose of understanding human anatomy and carrying out research in medical science. The decision was taken on the eve of farewell party of the former teachers.

Jagmit Singh Pandher of Jhammat village, Surjit Singh of Rohira (both retiring from Government Senior Secondary School, Nathumajra) and Hari Singh of Government High School, Baurhai Kalan declared to donate their bodies (after death) to Dyanand Medical College Ludhiana at a farewell party organised at Malikpur Jandali near here yesterday.

“After coming to know that majority of the medical colleges were not able to get sufficient number of human bodies for dissection, we decided to donate our bodies after our death,” said Jagmit Singh after signing prescribed papers authorising college authorities to take possession of the body after death.

Besides making written will to the effect, the donors impressed upon their relatives to inform the medical college authorities at suitable time. “As the college authorities can not afford to follow all donors, it becomes duty of the kin to inform them instead of cremating our bodies. It will be breach of trust in case they do not arrange to hand over our bodies to the authorities,” said Pandher. Hundreds of relatives and friends of the trio consented to their proposal.

Ashok Kalia, general secretary, Taraksheel Society Ludhiana, on whose inspiration the retired teachers had come forward for the noble cause, claimed that the college authorities had announced to provide special concession for treatment of relatives of donors at multi-specialty hospital associated with the institute. “The college authorities, in recognition of benevolence of the donors have promised 20 per cent concession in bills of members of the families of the donors,” explained Kalia.

Residents of the area, including school heads, teachers, social and political leaders appreciated the role of these teachers in upgrading the standard of education.

Dr Maghar Singh, Aman Deep, Sikandar Singh Jartoli, Harbans Aulakh and Sanjiv Joshi spoke on the occasion. 



Bus overturns, 19 injured 
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, March 24
A PRTC bus on its way from Patiala to Jalandhar overturned yesterday evening near village Kharori on the Patiala-Sirhind road. 19 passengers and driver of the bus were 
seriously injured and have been rushed to the civil hospital Fatehgarh Sahib.

The condition of one person is reported to be serious and has been taken to the PGI. Deputy commissioner Alak Nanda and SSP Nilabh Kishore visited the hospital and assured full help to the injured.

While talking to The Tribune, a few injured persons said as soon as the bus came out of the city it stopped due to some technical defect.

The passengers pushed the bus and it started moving again. But as soon as the bus reached Kharori village a tyre of the bus burst. The driver lost control and the bus hit a roadside tree and over-turned.

Soon, the villagers and the police reached the spot and helped the passengers out of the bus. 



Martyrs remembered
Tribune Reporters

Fatehgarh Sahib, March 24
The 75th martyrdom anniversary of Saheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev was observed by the Congress at Sirhind yesterday.

Dr Harbans Lal, former MLA, organised a function at old grain market where hundreds of party workers, leaders and local residents paid tributes to the martyrs.

The former MLA said the sacrifices made by martyrs were instrumental in our nation attaining independence. He urged the youth to wage a war against social evils like drug abuse and female feticide.

Ranjit Singh Tarkhan Majra, chairman market committee Sirhind, also addressed. The families of some freedom fighters were also honoured.

Patiala: Chug Homeo Clinic, Patiala, observed the martyrdom of Shaheed Bhagat Singh in collaboration with the Chhoti Baradari Market Association, here, on Friday.



Chef Day celebrated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 24
Strawberry Club kids yesterday enjoyed being chefs, wearing impressive chef headgear. The kids rolled their sleeves, tied their aprons and made open sandwiches in the club premises.

Shivani Arora, Shika Lamba and Shafali of the Club said that such activities widen the horizon of the children and helps children to find out their aptitude.



Seminar on standardisation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
There is a need for higher interaction among industry and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), said S.M. Bhatia, DDGT, BIS, at a seminar on standardisation organised for bicycle and parts manufacturing industry.

Highlighting the work being done at international level and problems being faced by industry in implementation of these standards, Bhatia emphasised on the need to harmonise India's standards with international.

He said it is important to adopt international levels as India is a signatory to the WTO.

International norms would also help industry compete better at global level, he added.

The seminar also dealt with topics like new areas of standardisation, problems of industry if two new Indian standards published on safety of bicycle were brought under mendatory certification.

Paramjit Singh, chairman of the Bicycle Sectional Committee, spoke about the research work and developments in the area of bicycle industry. Officers from the BIS, Research and Development Centre for bicycle and sewing machines, and industry representatives also presented technical papers on the occasion.

Rakesh Kumar, head, Transport Engineering Department of BIS, and G. Ramprasad, president, All India Cycle Manufacturers Association, were among others present on the occasion.



Telecom co launches smartphone
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 24
Hutch and Research In Motion (RIM) have announced the launch of BlackBerry 8800 smartphone, which will be available from next week onwards.

The BlackBerry 8800 from Hutch offers customers a combination of performance and elegance. It features built-in GPS (Global Positioning System), a first for a BlackBerry handset in India, that can provide "out-of-the-box" support for a wide variety of location-based applications and services, the company said in a press note issued here today.



Biz Clip

Scheme announced: Kirtilals has announced a promotion offer under which it would give away 15 cars as bumper prizes to its customers in Ludhiana, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kochi and Vijaywada. A company press note said that coupons would be given to customers on a certain amount of purchase, which would entitle them to a lucky draw.



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