L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Budda Nullah cleaning resumes amid threats
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Dhnansu (Ludhiana), May 9
Residents of this village today resumed work on the Rs 200 crore Budda Nullah cleaning project with enthusiasm amid threats by some unidentified persons who do not want the water body to be cleaned.

The work on the project was stopped a month ago in view of the harvesting season and was restarted last evening. The villagers, who are cleaning the water body passing through their village, said just an hour after they pressed their tractors into service, some unidentified motorcycle-borne men drove past them and warned them against restarting the kar seva.

“They told these villagers that if anyone from the village sent tractors for the work, he would suffer the consequences. However, we are continuing with the work. If we get another such threat, we will inform the police to take action against such elements who do not want the water body to be cleaned,” said Baba Jaspal Singh Baddowal, chairman of the Budda Nullah Development Committee, while supervising the cleaning work at the village today.

The work continued throughout the day today barring the afternoon hours. The kar sevaks, who started the work with a renewed gusto, said they would brave rain and shine but not let the Baba down.

“We have promised the Baba that we would clean the water of sorrows. We stand by our promise and we are not bothered about the threats,” said Pal Singh, sarpanch of the village. The villagers have pressed their tractor trolleys into service to level the nullah and erect a bandh to keep effluents of a cardboard mill away.

The restarting of the work on the nullah rekindled hopes of the residents living alongside the nullah as the stopping had led to speculation that the work would not be taken up now and they would continue to suffer due to the polluted water body.

Jaswant Singh Chapa, president of Budda Nullah Development Committee, said the desilting and levelling would progress towards Kum Kalan village and it would take another couple of days to complete around 10 km till Karaur village.

He added that the discharge of a cardboard mill was coming in the way of the cleaning process at Dhnansu. “We have to erect a bandh in the middle so that the stinking and toxic discharge does not hamper the levelling work. By May 30 things would be better when the industrial units will be stopped from discharging their wastes into the water body,” said Chapa.

The cleaning work on the nullah was started on December 6, 2006, in collaboration with the state government and P. Ram committee. By March end, the kar sevaks had levelled the water body till Karaur village after starting from Kum Kalan.

The Baba said once the nullah was cleaned, they would strengthen both its banks and lay a road on one side and forest belt on the other. He would provide four lakh saplings like neem and pipal to kar sevaks, who would plant them on the banks of the nullah.

“If all goes well we are going to convert the most polluted drain into a recreational place. We hope if a religious body like ours requests people not to pollute it further, they would listen to us,” said Baba Jaspal Singh.



Students face shortage of CET forms
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Several parents of the students preparing for the combined entrance test (CET) by Punjab Technical University here are facing harassment at the hands of local banks, who refuse to entertain them, saying there was a "shortage of CET forms".

Interestingly, the forms can be easily procured from leading book shops in Chaura Bazaar and Civil Lines on the black market. The price of each form is Rs 500 (by PTU), whereas on the black market, these are being sold for Rs 590 or Rs 625.

Two local banks Kotak Mahindra and Punjab National Bank (PNB) have been designated to distribute the CET forms to students by the PTU. The worried parents and students have been frequenting these banks to get forms since last Thursday but to no avail. The bank officials maintained that they had received just 100 forms a few days ago, which were sold within hours on the same day.

Anil Kumar, a parent from Phillaur, whose son has to appear for the test said that he had gone to all three branches of the PNB in the Civil Lines, Gill Road and Chaura Bazaar to get the form. "But it was not available anywhere. Today, I was told by someone to contact HDFC bank, but the forms were not available there also.”

Kunal Malhotra, a student, said he did not waste time to get the form from any of the banks. He said he paid Rs 590 to one of the oldest bookshops in Chaura Bazaar and got the form within 5 minutes. "I had to pay Rs 90 more, but there was no harassment at all", he said.

Some of these shops have even displayed boards outside their shops, saying "CET forms available here". One of the salesmen at a Chaura Bazaar bookshop said they had purchased the forms in bulk from banks on the first day. "Obviously there will be a shortage because banks get a limited amount of forms from the university. People get panicky when there is a shortage and they are ready to pay anything for the same. And we sell it after taking our profit," he said.

According to sources with the PTU, the university had got 10,000 forms printed this year whereas the requirement was about 22,000.

Meanwhile, Dr S.K.Salwan, vice-chancellor, PTU, talking to Ludhiana Tribune from Ajmer, said that he was not aware of any such problem. But he assured that he will speak to the Registrar immediately so that students and parents are not harassed. "They will get the forms by tomorrow from the designated banks, as all the 22,000 forms have already been distributed to them," claimed Dr Salwan.



Arrest of fugitives
Daily target fixed for cops
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Professionalism in the Punjab Police is set to reach a new high with the deputy inspector general of police (Ludhiana Range) fixing a daily target for the cops to arrest fugitives, who have been hoodwinking the cops for long.

In a directive to SSPs of Ludhiana Urban, Rural, Khanna and Ropar, DIG Ishwar Singh has asked each SHO and incharge-police posts to ensure at least one proclaimed offender or absconder was arrested daily. The special PO staff, made to catch the proclaimed offenders, has also been given the same target.

There are 2,174 fugitives in the range. Out of those 1,540 are absconders while 574 are proclaimed offenders. An absconder is one who has run away from arrest, while a proclaimed offender is one who apart from escaping arrest, remains absent from court proceedings. He is declared PO by a court.

In another new effort, the DIG has roped in municipal councillors and sarpanches of villages to help the police in catching the criminals. This category of criminals is held largely resonisble for the majority of crime in a region.

The DIG said the police officials living up to the standard would be suitably rewarded. The DIG has directed all SSPs in his range to appoint respective SP (detective) or DSP (detective) as nodal officer for this campaign.

The police would display the list of the wanted fugitives in villages and urban areas to seek information from the public.

Besides, a 15-day special drive will be launched in all police districts for solving all pending cases, action pending under Section 174 CrPc, verification of passports and other issues.

Taking a new initiative in controlling drug menace, the police would hold awareness camps in the district. The local sports club and de-addiciton centres would be formed or the existing ones would be involved in the process to sensitise youth against the ill-effects of drugs. Also sports committees are being constituted in villages to channelise energy of youth towards sports and take them away from drugs.



Youth dies in accidental firing at marriage ceremony
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
A marriage ceremony of a Chandigarh girl with the son of a former registrar of Punjab Technical University turned sour when a cousin of the bride was killed by an accidental shot fired by a relative at Sterling Resorts last midnight.

The marriage was immediately called off with all attention diverted to save the life of the youth, Hemant Rajpal (24), resident of Sector 20-A in Chandigarh. He was rushed to the DMCH but could not be saved. The bullet had hit his forehead.

The relative, Kewal Krishan, has been booked under section 304-A of the IPC causing accidental death not amounting to murder. He was invited by the bride’s family. He was yet to be arrested.

The incident took place despite the district magistrate’s ban on carrying firearms inside marriage palaces and firing into the air. The police has not taken any action against the resort owner so far.

Police sources said the accused tried to fire a shot into the air when the bride, Monika, was being escorted to the pandal. When the shot was not fired properly, Kewal Krishan lowered the weapon to check it and a bullet was accidentally fired hitting Hemant, who was standing close by.

Monika’s father Om Prakash Rajpal is a fruit merchant, running his business from Sabzi Mandi, Sector-26, Chandigarh.

The groom, Nirdosh Dhir, is the son of K.K. Dhir, former registrar of Punjab Technical University.

The marriage has been postponed indefinitely. A relative of the bride said the marriage was postponed due to the tragedy only. The relative said they were treating it as an accident only.



Health staff take samples of milk products
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 9
Stepping up its drive against adulteration of food items and sale of unripe or overripe fruits and vegetables in the city, officials of the health department took 10 samples of milk, curd and cheese from milk vendors and dairies in different parts of the city yesterday.

The samples were sent to the government laboratory for analysis and action under the PFA Act would be taken if any of these were found adulterated or substandard.

Giving this information here today, civil surgeon Dr S.P. Sharma said teams of health staff had gone to several dhabas, rehris and eateries in the area of the railway station where a large quantity of uncovered and decayed eatables were destroyed. The vendors were explicitly directed not to sell substandard food items and further to keep all eatables properly covered.



Beekeeping picking up in Punjab
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Beekeeping is fast coming up as a viable option for agriculturalists in Punjab. Quite a number of farmers in the state have adopted it as a full or part time trade.

A 12-day beekeeping training course for farmers and farm women of Punjab is currently being organised at PAU here jointly by the directorate of extension education and department of entomology, PAU, under the ICAR’s all-India coordinated project on honeybee research and training from May 7 to 18.

According to Nachhattar Singh Butter, head, department of entomology, the PAU has been a pioneer institute in the country in successful introduction, establishment, multiplication and dissemination of Italian honeybees throughout the country. The Italian bee has brought about the commercialisation of beekeeping in the country, in general, and Punjab, in particular, and has enabled the country to export its good quality honey to even the developed western countries.

He said the university has been instrumental in the dissemination of scientific technologies in beekeeping to various stakeholders through organising trainings at different levels, including the apicultural scientists of other state agricultural universities and ICAR institutes. It may be noted that the PAU’s research and extension efforts have made Punjab to lead the country in apiary honey production and to transform it into a hub of beekeeping in the country within a short span of only 30 years.

In the present training course, according to Butter, the trainees will be imparted both theoretical and practical training on various aspects of beekeeping, including species of honeybees, their castes and division of labour; life cycle of Italian honeybees; various considerations for starting beekeeping; design and application of various apicultural equipment and machinery; seasonal bee management practices; management of bee enemies and diseases, including the recent problem of Varroa and its management, swarming, robbing and queenlessness problems in honeybee colonies and their remedies; queen bee rearing techniques; honey extraction, processing, packing, quality, Agmark and marketing; collection of other bee products viz bee wax, royal jelly, pollen and propolis and loan facilities to beekeepers from banks and subsidy schemes of the government agencies.

Besides, the trainees will also be taken on a tour to the apiaries of progressive beekeepers, hives and apicultural equipment-manufacturing industry and to honey trading and exporting entrepreneurs.



Vocational training centre to be set up
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
A vocational training centre to provide training in modern vocations like information technology and computer etc would be set up by the District Sanik Welfare Board at Sainik Rest House. The centre would be set up for the children of ex-servicemen so that they could get jobs in the private sectors.

Pryank Bharti, ADC (D), was presiding over the quarterly meeting of the SWB at Bachat Bhawan in Ludhiana, today. He also distributed cheques totalling Rs 3.50 Lakh among 10 beneficiaries.

Bharti asked the district welfare officer to initiate correspondence to get the registration from PTU or some other institute, so that the certificates issued by the training centre could be considered valid for getting employment.

The district sainik welfare officer, Col. Mukaljit Singh Sandhu, requested that the income certificate to the ex-servicemen and widows of ex-servicemen should be issued by the Revenue Department without any delay for providing them financial assistance of Rs 500 per month.

Others present on the occasion included Air Vice Marshal PPS Kahlon, Commander Makhan Singh, Col. M.S. Samra, Lt. Col. B.S. Sandhu, Col. R.S. Sohi, S.S. Gill, SDM, Khanna, Amrita Gill, SDM, Indu Malhotra, SDM, Payal, Gurlovleen Singh, SDM, Jagroan, and Lt. Commander Tarlochan Singh.



50 marriages to be solemnised
Our Correspondent

Samrala, May 9
Mass marriages would be solemnised in the grain market, Samrala, on May 10, said Balbir Singh Rajewal, president of the Bharti Kisan Union, here today.

The Chief Minister of Punjab, Badal would be the chief guest to bless the newly wedded couples. The applications from the needy persons were almost complete. But if more needy persons approached, it would be considered, he added.

Tributes paid

Tributes were paid to Lambardar Mohinder Singh of Samrala, at the Gurdawara Sangat Sahib, here today.

Most of the deed writers, typists and advocates, including former MLA Amrik Singh Dhillon and Jathedar Kirpal Singh Kheernian, members of SGPC, Jaswant Singh Kler, spokesman of the Deed Writers Association and its president Rajan Sharma had gathered to pay tribute.

Scooter stand tax

Lambardars of Samrala tehsil may be exempted from paying parking charges at the scooter stand at the courts compound, Samrala, said Sher Singh Kulewal, press secretary of the Punjab Lambardara Union, of Samrala tehsil.

Sher Singh, appealed the local SDM, Sukhdev Singh, and tehsildar Dr Babita, to direct the contractor of scooter stand not to receive Rs 5 from any Lambardar who frequently visits Tehsil/SDM courts for the welfare of the general public.

A deputation of Lambardars would also meet the deputy commissioner, Ludhiana, if no action is taken by the Tehsil Administration, he added. 



40 medicos donate blood
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 9
On the occasion of World Thalassaemia Day and International Red Cross Day, it was a unique experience for members of medical fraternity at Christian Medical  College and Hospital, when doctors and students not only lent assistance to patients, but also came forward to donate blood to critically ill patients.

Forty donors mainly consisting of faculty members and students of CMC contributed towards the cause for the welfare of society.

Dr Rupinder Kaur said in order to overcome the ever increasing demand of blood, the Department of Transfusion Medicine, had revamped itself and planned to organise periodic blood donation camps in the region. Besides the supply of whole blood, the department also prepared blood components to meet the requirements of the desired components which the patients might need.



Mother’s Day celebrated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
The students of BVM Kitchlu Nagar, celebrated Mothers’ Day with enthusiasm. They made cards and posters to express their love and gratitude toward their mothers. The teachers also shared their views with the children on this occasion. 



MLA against withdrawing  corruption cases against Garcha
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
The Kila Raipur MLA, Jassi Khangura, has opposed the reported withdrawal of the corruption cases against former minister Jagdish Singh Garcha.

In a letter addressed to director of the Vigilance Bureau, the Congress MLA alleged that the Garchas were being let off the hook although they were involved in massive corruption.

The Garchas represent the ‘worst face of Punjab politics’. “They have not only accumulated vast tracks of agricultural land and urban property, but they continue to enjoy income from the illicit trade of liquor,” he said.

“It will be a great tragedy if political compulsion leads the current government to close this investigation”. He has appealed to the Vigilance Bureau not to close this file.

Meanwhile, in a separate letter addressed to the deputy commissioner, Ludhaina, Khangura, alleged that some officials were continuing to harass the sarpanchs who had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court against a government order.

He appealed to the DC to ensure that the sarpanchs, who are democratically elected representatives of people, are not harassed on one pretext or the other. 



  Sangat darshan attracting complainants
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
With a hope to overcome the official red tape and going around from one official to another, quite a number of people have started coming to the weekly sangat darshan programme, presided over by the deputy commissioner, here every Tuesday.

As the heads or the representatives of all departments are supposed to be present at the programme, people expect on-the-spot redressal of their grievances. Probably that explains the presence of quite a number of people at the sangat darshan yesterday. However, not everybody appeared to be as satisfied as he or she had hoped to be. Because most of the complaints and grievances are mostly postponed and set for another hearing to get the details.

Like Gurtej Singh, a physically challenged, who has been fighting a lone battle to get financial assistance for himself and his family, said, he had come with great expectations. “Let me see how can they help me. Unable to make my both ends meet, at last I have come here for a help,” he said with an apprehensive sense of uncertainty that whether he could put up his case or not before the authorities.

Jatinder Kaur (name changed on request), belonging to an “upper caste” family, has been trying hard to meet the deputy commissioner for the past two months but to no avail. She wants to marry a boy belonging to a different caste. The boy’s father does not approve of their marriage. “We have to get permission for the court marriage. I need to meet the DC but the clerical staff refuses to listen to us,” she said, while adding, “I have come here with great hopes this time.”

These are not the isolated cases, but just a few examples. Every week the number of complaints in sangat darshan has been increasing. As the word starts travelling around that there is on-the-spot redressal of grievances, people have begun coming over here.

However, according to officials, there is a proper procedure. The complaint has to be submitted in advance only then it is taken up at the sangat darshan with advance intimation about the date to the complainant. The officials say usually it is ensured that the complainants need not make frequent rounds. But some cases tend to take a little more time.

The nature of complaints varies from person to person. People come from Ludhiana, Payal, Jagraon, Mullanpur, Khanna, Samrala, etc, with complaints of domestic violence, illegal possession of land, restoration of pension and gratuity, pollution problems, civic amenities, erring officials, harassment, etc. Although the officials claim to try to provide immediate relief to people, but the solution comes at a slow pace due to tedious paper work.



Plea to help road accident victims
Our Correspondent

Doraha, May 9
While inaugurating the Road Safety Week at Doraha, which started on May 5 and would end on May 10, Dr Ravinder Singh Sidhu of Sidhu Hospital Doraha said the hospital has achieved success in the golden hour, which is the very first hour of an accident.

He said Sidhu Hospital with its first Highway Trauma Rescue Centre, has succeeded in providing necessary medical care and treated a number of individual and mass casualties in the golden hour.

Elaborating further, he said, “An accident victim, rescued within an hour’s time and if provided with necessary medical care, has a very high probability of survival.”

He said their aim was to spread road safety awareness for the benefit of the public, to inculcate safe driving habits, to follow laid down rules and regulations and wear safety equipment while driving.

In order to enforce road discipline, all staff members of the hospital have been asked to wear helmet and safety belt while driving in order to avoid accident.

Dr Sidhu added that while there has been improvement in the rescue services, the number of accidents has increased. The number of road accidents in Ludhiana happens to be the highest as per a recent survey in the region, especially in the Doraha-Khanna belt.

Speaking further about the cause of road accidents, he said, “More than 90% of the accidents are caused due to human error, judgement failure and being drunk while driving. The major contributory factor for human error accidents, is lack of road discipline and proper education. There is also serious lack of patience and understanding among which results in road rage incidents. Jumping a red light is a routine happening. So it is up to an individual to follow the rules, and control his speed.” 



44 booked for assault
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 9
Manjit Singh, Gurjant Singh, Malkit Singh of Abbupura and Kuldip Kooka of Bhaini Sahib, along with 40 unknown persons, have allegedly attacked Kuldip Singh of Abbupura. They threatened and assaulted him with dangs and sticks. The accused also fired shots in the air with .12 bore rifle.

The Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case under Sections 336, 323, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC against them.

The injured has been admitted in civil hospital, Sidhwan Bet. Dispute over some land is said to be reason behind.

So far, no arrest has been made.

One injured in road mishap

Jagdev Singh of Phallewal has been injured near Jarahan village, when a speeding Tata Mohindra Jeep hit him.

The Dehlon police has registered a case under Sections 279, 337 and 338 of the IPC against the unknown driver of the Jeep.

So far, no arrest has been made. 



Youth arrested for raping married woman
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 9
The Payal police has arrested a youth of Bilaspur village, who along with his mother was booked under section 376 and 120 of the IPC for allegedly prompting a married woman to desert her husband and later betraying her after raping her. The accused has been sent to judicial custody for 14 days.

According to Rattan Singh Brar, DSP, Payal, Satjit Singh of Bilaspur village in Ludhiana district has been arrested and presented in the court of junior magistrate (I) Gurdarshan Kaur in Ludhiana.

Referring to information received from Randhir Singh, SHO, Payal, Brar said the accused had admitted to having prompted Maninder Kaur (name changed) to desert her husband and later betrayed her after exploiting her sexually.

“I wanted to teach her a lesson as she had offended my love and agreed to marry someone else by ignoring my offer. Now when she is married to him why should I adopt her as my life partner,” Brar quoted Satjit as stating before the police.

Satjit’s mother Ranjit Kaur had also been booked for facilitating him in the crime. The case was registered on the directions of the SSP, Khanna, who was approached by the victim.

Satjit Singh and Maninder Kaur had developed proximity at a tuition centre where they used to study together. Though Maninder Kaur was married to Manpreet Singh of Ghaloti village, Satjit, with an intention to teach her a lesson for ignoring his “love,” continued expressing his feelings to her.

The victim told the police that Satjit continued blackmailing her emotionally and threatened to commit suicide in case she ignored him. He even tried to instigate her to leave her in-laws’ house after drugging her husband and other members of the family.

She said she refused to accept a mobile phone and sleeping pills he tried to give her when she had gone to Bilaspur to meet her parents in March.

Satjit succeeded in making Maninder Kaur leave her in-laws’ house on March 14. The victim alleged that Satjit exploited her physically at a religious place, his house at Bilaspur and a transport office at Alamgir village for two days.

Though Manider’s parents had agreed to the marriage proposal of Satjit and his parents, the latter backtracked after a few days.



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