L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Drainage system gets choked
Chotti, Badi Haibowal areas flooded
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Choking of sewers in the Chotti and Badi Haibowal areas caused flooding in a few localities after the rain threw the normal life out of gear today morning.

The rain compounded the problem as roads and a few households in both areas were waterlogged. The rain water was not drained till the filing of this report and residents had a tough time wading through the ankle-deep water.

Employees of the local municipal corporation remained on their toes to drain the water but failed miserably. A municipal corporation employee said nothing could be done as roads in Haibowal get flooded every year as sewers of this area get emptied into the budda nullah.

A few residents whose houses got flooded with rain water said they were sick and tired of the drainage system.

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80-yr-old fights for his land
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
It seems to be an unending struggle for Baldev Singh of Jhande village, who wants to get back his 18 bighas, allegedly grabbed by a few villagers. For the past many years, he has been meeting a large number of officials but to no avail. At the dusk of his life, he feels helpless and desperate.

“I had 30 bighas at Jhande village. Being illiterate, I never bothered to check the records and papers. A few years ago a few persons started tilling my land. When I asked them they said the land belonged to them. I went to a patwari and narrated the incident. He refused to check the records. But, when I insisted, he said official files don’t show that I own 30 bighas.” I found that one to 42 pages of the record book are missing. When I asked about it, he started harassing me”, he added.

Baldev Singh said he did not know what to do at this stage. One of his son was a drug addict. At present, Baldev owns just 12 bighas, which also, a few influential persons of the village want to grab, he alleged.

“These persons in connivance with the police are harassing me and my family. They want me to sign on a few documents, which I refused. They are threatening me of dire consequences. I don’t have money to plead my case in the court”, said Baldev Singh with tears rolling down his wrinkled face.

He had recently met the deputy commissioner at a sangat darshan. The deputy commissioner had referred the matter to a tehsildar concerned. “I had gone to an officer, who said nothing could be done in my favour. I do not think I would be able to get my land back”, said visibly-shattered Baldev Singh.

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Official Apathy
Gyaspura
Where monsoon heralds diseases
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
The outbreak of gastroenteritis that claimed six lives and left many ill in Gyaspura recently has once again proved that the area is a disease time bomb that keeps on ticking throughout the year and goes off during monsoon season.

Diseases like gastro and malaria spread every year in the area during this season and many people suffer but the administration and MC seem to learn no lessons. Official apathy remains at its best as people suffer year after year. After news reports of outbreak of these diseases are highlighted in local media, official paraphernalia rushes to the spot armed with medicines and chlorine tablets but no efforts are made to prevent the diseases.

Gyaspura remains a blot on the face of this industrial capital of Punjab. Filthy lanes and bylanes, heaps of garbage, choking stench, obnoxious living conditions and puddles of water greet the visitors to the place. The Municipal Corporation workers wake up only when there is an outbreak of diseases. Then they clear the garbage, clean the manholes and pile up the sludge on the roadsides only.

A visit to the area after the first rain can make anybody realise why diseases thrive in the area but authorities wait till it happens. And after the outbreak also the authorities concerned remain busy passing the buck of blame. They start operation cover up and make statements that the deaths were due to other reasons and so forth. They even go on to say that illegal water connections are the real culprits. But nobody takes any action against the violators throughout the year and disease is allowed to spread.

‘‘We are a bunch of poor people. Nobody cares if our children die every year of gastro. Had the situation been similar in any other area of the city, there would have been some action, ’’ said Ram Partap, a migrant.

The MC authorities say that migrants were used to living in unhygienic conditions and they lived in ‘‘vehras’’ which had a number of rooms on a small plot. Moreover, five to10 migrants took turns to stay in every single room. The fact remains that most of these houses are owned by some MC councillors and even some officials. That is why no action is taken against mushrooming of such houses though the issue is raised at various platforms every year.

‘‘When they know that disease breaks out every year why can’t they start preparing two months in advance. They wake up only after somebody dies. And then also it is just an operation cover up,’’ said a resident.

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2 gangs busted, 10 held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
The city police today claimed to have busted two notorious gangs of criminals, most of them drug addicts, who were allegedly involved in several cases of snatching, theft, robberies and dacoities in houses as well as factories in the city.

SSP R.K Jaiswal said inspector Dilpreet Singh, in charge CIA-II, played main role in nabbing the allegedly hardened criminals. Ten members of the different gangs have been arrested while few others were reported to be absconding.

Four members of the first gang, specialising in snatching chains and cash, were identified as Varinder Kumar, Sandeep Kumar, Parkash and Naresh Kumar.

The absconding member of this gang was Paalu.

The police recovered sharp-edged weapons and five gold chains from their possession.

Six members of the second gang, allegedly held responsible for 11 robberies and dacoities in factories, were identified as Rakesh Kumar, Upinder, Tarsem Singh, Shashi, Pradeep and Vinod Kumar.

SSP Jaiswal and SP-Detective Gurpreet Singh said the gangs were a major headache for the police and a huge threat to life and property of the residents.

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Industry’s Demand
Simplify process for VAT returns
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Local industry has urged the government to simplify the process of filing Value Added Tax (VAT) returns.

“The procedure of filing the VAT returns and also of refunds, needs to be simplified so that all can handle it without difficulty,” said Pardeep Wadhawan, secretary of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

Representatives of industry asserted that the process of sending the VAT refunds also be speedup so that the traders and industrialists do not have to visit the department time and again to get the same. Besides, delay in refunds results in blocking the working capital that hampers smooth functioning of an organisation, they added.

“We had expected this government to simplify things related to VAT at the earliest. However, it came as a big disappointment to us that the aspect did not even find a mention in the recent budget presented by the present government.” Constituting a committee that included representatives of industry who could work toward simplifying procedures involved in filing VAT returns and in speeding up refunds process could be helpful, they said. The move would go a long way in bettering things for industry here, said industrialists.

Regarding refunds they said the delay caused undue harassment. “Refunds should be automatically sent to the concerned person,” added Wadhawan.

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Two held for rape
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
The local police yesterday arrested two persons, including son of a head constable, for allegedly raping a dancing girl near Lalton.

SP (Detective) Gurpreet Singh said the victim and manager of the orchestra company were returning to their home on a motor cycle when it developed snag near Lalton.

The two accused, Kamaljeet Singh and Goldy,a head constable’s son, offered them a lift. However, after covering some distance the duo beat up the manager and threw him out of the car. They took the girl to a room situated in the fields and raped her. They, later, dumped the girl on the Pakhowal road.

CIA Inspector Devinder Singh spotted the girl in distress. The two were arrested from an undisclosed location on the basis of the information provided by the girl.

The police refused to divulge much details about the case or the place from where the accused were arrested.

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Two-and-a-half-year-old recognises latest cars
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Two-and-a-half-year-old Arvinder Singh cannot speak one sentence properly but he can easily memorise the names of over 20 latest cars. According to his parents, inquisitive by nature, Arvinder always want to know about the latest trendy cars on roads.

Mother of Arvinder, Dr Jagdeep, said children of his age demanded chocolates or other toys but Arvinder always demanded the latest magazines of cars. “Once he is told the name of a car, he will never forget it. On roads, he can easily recognise the latest cars”, she said.

Arvinder can recognise cars like Maruti, Zen, Honda Civic, Mahindra Balero, Mitsubishi Cedia, Mitsubishi Lancer, Chevrolet, Skoda, Hyundai Verna, Elantra, Accent, Santro Zing etc.

“He discusses about the latest cars with his school friends. He is keen to know the speed and other functions of any new car. And now he wants his father to get the latest Mahindra car”, said his mother.

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Freedom fighter’s kin ‘causes loss’ to public property
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 4
Accusing kin of a freedom fighter of causing loss to public property and obstructing officials from performing their duty, the executive officer, local Municipal Council, has urged the local police to initiate action against the suspects.

The civic body authorities were forced to demand action when they started uprooting sharp iron bars girdled around a roundabout housing statue of Devi Dyal. The kin who had earlier allegedly anchored these for protecting the steps and boundary of the roundabout, attempted to stop employees on work.

Meanwhile, the suspects led by Devki Nandan, accused the authorities of acting under certain political leaders. According to K.S. Brar, executive officer, Municipal Council, office-bearers of various associations of the Raikot area had brought into notice that Devki Nandan, son of Devi Dyal, of Lohatbaddi village, along with his associates, with an intention to protect steps and boundary of roundabout at Dhoolkot Chowk had anchored sharp iron bars on the road. “The office-bearers told us that the action of Devki Nandan caused inconvenience to the passersby and tyres of many vehicles were damaged due to these bars during the past 24 hours,” said Brar.

Brar alleged that the suspects led by Devki Nandan, instead of admitting their fault, tried to stop the employees from clearing the path by removing iron bars. He had urged the police authorities to initiate action against the suspects.

The office-bearers of the associations, led by Yadwinder Singh Phallewal, general secretary of the All-India Students Federation, alleged that erection of the statue of Devi Dyal and widening of the roundabout had multiplied the problems of the drivers and shopkeepers of the area. Questioning the justification of installing the statue and widening of the roundabout Phallewal argued, “We fail to understand how the administration allowed the residents to install the statue of their ancestor in Sangrur district”.

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Badal to inaugurate power station on July 7
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana July 4
Elaborate arrangements are being made to organise a programme to dedicate 66 KV power station to the people at Hedon Bet near Machhiwara on July 7. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will formally inaugurate the power station.

To review the ongoing arrangements, a special meeting of officers of district administration, police and PSEB was held here last night under the chairmanship of Charanjit Singh Atwal, Deputy Speaker, Lok Sabha.

Atwal informed that keeping in view, the overloading of the power stations already existing in the bet area, the new 66 KV power station would help in easing the load from these power grids, besides directly benefiting 50 surrounding villages. 

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Poor state of roads, sanitation
MC flayed, residents write to CM
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 4
Accusing the local civic body of showing an indifferent attitude towards genuine demands of residents of the area, office-bearers of various social and political organisations have urged senior officials to impress upon the authorities to provide basic amenities required for living a dignified life.

Inefficient water supply and sewage disposal, besides maintenance of roads and streets were quoted as the main areas where the civic body had allegedly failed badly.

Jatinder Bhola, president, Municipal Council, however, claimed that the stagnation in development works had resulted due to withdrawal of funds worth crores that had been provided by the previous government.

"Though we had started major development projects, including laying of water and sewage disposal pipes, the present government, immediately after its constitution had withdrawn grants worth crores that had been provided for laying the sewage disposal system and water supply pipes," maintained Bhola assuring that the necessary repair of roads and streets would be taken up shortly.

In a communication addressed to senior officials, including the Punjab Chief Minister, the residents of the area projected problems faced by them. While supply of pure drinking water and disposal of sewage were cited as affecting the health of the residents, the pathetic condition of roads and streets adversely influenced the business. "The condition of roads linking the town with the nearby towns and villages is so critical that people instead of visiting local market for making purchases preferred to go to Ludhiana and surrounding villages thus affecting the business here adversely," reads the representation sent to the Chief Minister.

The Jandali Road,the Jagera Road,the Dehliz Road,the Ram Bagh Road,the Pohir Road,the Dhulkot and Raikot- Malerkotla Road were mentioned as deathtraps as potholes outnumbered smooth spans of metalled part on these roads.A number of accidents were caused when the drivers lost control over their respective vehicles while avoiding large pits.

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Doc lauds people’s role in saving mishap victims
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Local residents set a unique example when a large number of them rushed to Deep Hospital on Sunday for helping the accident victims of Sayan village near Dehlon who were admitted there. The timely information about the accident to hospital’s management helped in ensuring that things were ready by the time victims reached there.

Recalling the incident, hospital’s director Baldeep disclosed that he received a call from former minister Jagdish Singh Garcha that an accident had taken place near Dehlon and the patients were being rushed to the hospital. He said, “Six team led by a surgeon each were immediately constituted. The entire operation was coordinated by H.S.Kang.

Baldeep said: “For the first time I found that people were cooperative and willing to help. People also came forward to donate money”.

Garcha and local MLA Jassi Khangura donated Rs 20,000 each while his friend Balbir Singh gave Rs 25,000. A passer-by donated Rs 5,000 and Gurdwara Dukhniwaran gave Rs 35,000 for the treatment of the injured. The gurdwara also made arrangements for supplying food to the patients and their attendants.

Baldeep said: “It was one of the worst tragedies when those offering water to people at a chhabeel were run over by a truck. Except for the two seriously injured patients, all others could be saved by treating them on time and surgery. He regretted that the two seriously injured who could not be saved had suffered server injuries and had almost died when they reached the hospital.

While contributions have helped to some extent, the district administration has assured him that it would bear the remaining cost of the treatment, he added.

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Folk singers, actors to attend seminar
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 4
The chief secretary of Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle said today that a seminar on Punjabi culture and modern singing would be organised on July 20 at Punjabi Bhawan. Minister of cultural affairs Hira Singh Gabharhia would be the chief guest. Filmmaker Mangal Dhillon would be the special guest. The seminar would be organised under the presidentship of the circle’s chief organiser Ram Singh. Editor of “Sada Virsa Sada Gaurav” Balwinder Pal Singh would read out the main paper.

Director of youth services and seminar’s convener Satnam Singh Solahpuri said popular actor and modern Punjabi singers ,Mangal Dhillon, Hans Raj Hans, Gurmeet Bawa, Sardool Sikhander, Amar Noori, Kuldeep Manak, Pali Detwalia, Mangi Mahal, Bhotto Shah, Kaka Shah, Gurkirpal Noorpuri, Gurmukh Singh Lali Barnala, K.S.Gill, Ravinder Singh Diwana, Pargat Khan, Jagdev Khan, Jasbir Jassi, Argun Ladla, Sukhiwinder Gora, Kler Kanth Nakodar, Sabar Kotti Jalandhar, Harjit Harman, Pmmi Bai, Bibi Mandeep Akhtar, Dev Threeke Wala, Bukhan Jatt, Surinder Laddi, Amrik Singh Talwandi, Jaswinder Bhalla, Mohammad Sadeeq, Master Khan, Surinder Salam, Gurpreet Sunny, Yadwinder Siddu, Harjeet Guddu, Jarnal Singh Ghuman, Nirmal Jorra, Albel Brar would attend the seminar.

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PAU pensioners seek interim relief, DA
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Pensioners of Punjab Agricultural University are sore over the government’s apathetic attitude towards them. The pensioners said they had not been paid the interim relief and dearness allowance announced by the government in November 2006 and January.

According to RR Katyal, a pensioner, despite numerous representations made to the Punjab government and the university authorities no action had been taken so far. He said even their LTC had been withheld.

Katyal has urged the vice-chancellor to personally look into the pensioners' problems. He said, “It seems that the university had stopped thinking about us since we were no longer in service”. 

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PO arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
The Division No. 8 police has arrested a proclaimed offender who had been evading arrest for the past four years.

SHO Arvind Puri said the accused Shiv Kumar belonging to Shakti Nagar, Jagraon, was declared a proclaimed offender under various Sections by a local court last year.

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Truck drivers much in demand in Canada
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Truck drivers are said to be in great demand in Canada.Various immigration agencies in Canada and India are trying to rope in as many truck drivers as possible.They ensure that they are experts, have valid licences and can go for long- distance drives of thousands of kilometers at a single stretch.However, the drivers will also need to pass the driving test there as well.

According to Hart Kaminker, a leading Canada-based lawyer and an immigrant consultant, there are other professions where the people are required.These include healthcare and veterinary professionals also. Kaminker, who is currently on a tour of the country and planning to set up an immigration consultancy in Punjab, said, the Canadian government wanted only legal migrants.

Referring to the recent immigration scandals and cases of human trafficking, Kaminker said the aspiring immigrants must adopt legal course. He said the process might be lengthy and difficult, but it was never impossible to immigrate to Canada. "It is not necessary that you have a particular degree, you can go even if you have a valid driving licence", he said, and added, "you only  need to adopt proper  procedure".

Asked as to what made him to set up an immigration consultancy in Punjab, he said since quite a number of people from here planned to go there, it was "best place to set up the office". He said since he belonged to Canada and was a practising lawyer there, he could be helpful to people desirous of going there in a better way than others. "Moreover, our work would be sincere, honest and transparent", he assured. 

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