L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Heavy downpour leaves residents fuming
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
An hour long downpour accompanied by strong winds not only uprooted a large number of trees but also inundated roads and low-lying area of the city, including a few posh colonies today.

The rain water entered a large number of houses and residents had a tough time draining it out. The normal life was thrown out of gear as power supply lines developed snags and uprooted trees blocked traffic on busy roads.

Residents had to wade through knee-deep water at a few places. Areas like Damoria bridge, Model town, Chander Nagar, Haibowal, Pakhowal road and a few parts of Sarabha Nagar were the worst affected.

Municipal corporation workers were seen clearing waterlogged streets and removing uprooted branches of the trees. PSEB employees had to work overtime to repair the snags that had developed in the supply line at a few places.

The worst hit were residents of Haibowal where knee-deep water made it difficult for them to pass through the road. Residents of a few areas of Chander Nagar, Civil Lines, Ghumar Mandi, Green Field, Shastri Nagar, Model Town, Cheema Chowk, Green Park and Kitchlu Nagar were crying hoarse as the civic authorities had once again were caught napping.

The colonies in the old city like Karimpura bazaar, Mansa Ram Street, Field Ganj, Kesar Ganj Chowk, Damoria Bridge, Dholewal and Vishwakarma chowks, Chaura and Lakkar bazaars, Ghanta Ghar, Ashok Nagar, Janakpuri, Partap Chowk, Sunder Nagar and New Madhopuri, were also waterlogged.

Chander Pal of Haibowal said most of the roads were flooded in spite of the storm - water drainage system laid out with a lot of fanfare. He added that the miseries of the resident were further compounded due to the backflow of the sewage water. 

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Construction of service lane by MC
Park Plaza gets a breather from court
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
Hotel Majestic Park Plaza has got a breather from the court after officials of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation started constructing a service lane in front of the hotel. According to the hotel management the land had been leased out it and the corporation had even taken advance rent for it, a fact that has not been denied by the corporation either.

Although the hotel management had got a status quo order, the corporation officials went ahead with the construction work.

The court of Civil Judge, Senior Division, Ludhiana today observed that the construction had been done in "gross violation of the stay orders". It said, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation officials "avoided appearance in the court and rather they speeded up the construction work in gross violation of the stay orders".

Referring to the submission of the corporation that the construction of the service lane was part of the development plan drawn up in 1998-99, it observed, "if the development plan could not be implemented for almost eight long years, it can wait for a few more days.The court ordered, “in the interest of justice, respondents (the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and the commissioner) are restrained from going ahead with any development work at the spot till July 25, 2007”.

Immediately after the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation started construction of the service lane in front of the hotel, the management had approached the court which had ordered a status quo. However, the MC officials continued with the construction work, which the court took note of today and remarked that it was “speeded up” in “gross violation” of the court orders. 

The hotel is owned by the CongressMLA from Kila Raipur, Jassi Khangura. The hotel management has been alleging that the construction was part of political vendetta unleashed by their opponents. Even the leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, who visited Ludhiana recently had remarked, that this was the worst example of “political vendetta” unleashed on the Congress workers and leaders.

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‘Krissh’ role spelt doom for him
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
He was so influenced by Bollywood blockbuster ‘Krissh’ that he tried a stunt by jumping from his roof and his life changed for the worst.

Thirtytwo-year-old Raj Kumar Mehta, a Bihari migrant, had been a satisfied man till six months ago when he tried to imitate ‘Krissh’ and jumped from a building in Chowni Mohalla. Blessed with three kids, he and his wife had been living happily before that but the movie spelt doom for them.

He had gone to watch ‘Krissh’ and he was so overawed by the stunts performed in the movie that he tried those in his real life. The next morning, he jumped only to land in a hospital with his left arm and leg fractured.

Working at a local flour mill for past many years, Mehta did not have enough money to get his treatment that required a surgery in both arm and leg. He needed Rs 1 lakh for the treatment. His father had to sell his land in Bihar to arrange money.

Despite spending so much, Mehta is not able to walk. His knee does not bend and he cannot work.

Doctors attending on him said various sessions of physiotherapy could benefit him but he did not have enough money to get treatment.

‘‘I cannot work now. My wife has gone to my village and I am all alone. My neighbours are giving me food for the time being. I go to the doctor whenever I have Rs 50. Otherwise I have to do without taking this treatment, ’’ he says.

Mehta said he did not remember why did he decide to jump from the building. ‘‘I think I was overcame by certain feeling. Or may be, it was a fit of madness.

I do not know. All that has happened is in front of everybody. But I am paying too much a price for everything.’’

He said he would have to work the rest of his life just to pay up the debt that was always burdening him. ‘‘The rate of interest was so much that I won’t be able to get out of this vicious circle. I am really doomed.’’ he adds.

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Kin suspects foul play in farmer’s death
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 13
Mystery shrouds the death of a farmer of Lohatbaddi village, whose body was recovered from the Bathinda branch of the Sirhind canal near Jalwana village on Wednesday.

Though the police had initiated proceedings, the kin of the deceased have accused a family of the village of eliminating him for his alleged illicit relation with their daughter.

Investigations by the Ludhiana Tribune revealed that the body of Lakhwinder Singh (26), who had disappeared on July 7, was found from the Bathinda branch of the canal near Jalwana village. Earlier, the belongings of Lakhwinder Singh, including clothes, shoes and mobile phone, were found along the bank of the canal near Kalyan village.

"We are four brothers. Only reason behind the death of our brother is that he had developed illicit relations with a girl," Rulda Singh had informed the police.

The deceased's wife Jaswinder Kaur had claimed that the girl had told them that her mother and brother had got him eliminated. "You just get my mother and brother booked, the truth will come out," the girl had asked Jaswinder Kaur and Rulda when they had gone to their home to inquire about Lakhwinder after his disappearance.

According to family sources, Lakhwinder Singh had left his house to give food to labourers working in his fields on the night of July 7. When he did not return till morning the friends and relatives started searching for him and ultimately succeeded in recovering his clothes and other belongings on the bank of the canal.

While the victim had impressed upon the Lohatbaddi police to initiate action against members of the family of the girl, no action was taken in this regard.

According to information received from Maghar Singh, SHO Sadar, no external marks of injuries were found on the body during post-mortem. “We can not initiate action against anyone till the viscera report suggests cause of death other than drowning,” he argued.

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Govt extends shagun scheme
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
The state government has extended the Shagun Scheme for girls of families belonging to the economically weaker sections of society. The scheme was so far available to the Dalit and downtrodden girls only. Although a decision to this effect had been taken during the previous regime, but it had been implemented only in Sangrur district only. More precisely in Malerkotla alone.

This was disclosed here today by Mohammad Mustakeem, the spokesman of the local Jama Masjid. He said, the decision to this effect was conveyed to a high level delegation of the community led by the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Ludhiana, Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman Ludhianvi.

He said the Muslim community expressed its gratitude to the Chief Minister for this goodwill gesture. He said, this will go a long way in ameliorating the plight of the economically weaker sections of the community.

The delegation also thanked the Chief Minister for the constitution the state Haj Committee with wide representation from across the state.

Mohammad Usman from Ludhiana has also been nominated as a member of the State Haj Committee.

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NGO contests minister’s claim
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 13
Shree Manav Sewa Welfare Bureau, NGO, at a meeting held today under chairmanship of S.K.Thaman contested the statement of local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia that the voters’ list would be completed by tomorrow.

Thaman said the process of making photo identity cards had not been completed for those who had filled new forms by depositing Rs 1 per member a month ago.

No door-to-door survey has been carried out for those who were omitted from the previous lists. The minister claimed that Rs 30 crore had been released for providing civic amenities in the city. But, a large number of parks, including that of F-block, Rishinagar, remains deserted and neglected by the local improvement trust, he added. 

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Cops look out for killers of taxi driver
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 13
A gang of vehicle snatchers, probably operating in the Dharamkot area in Moga district, snatched a new Ford Fiesta van after abducting and killing the driver, who had agreed to transport two big boxes from the nearby Chhapar village to New Delhi on July 7, 2007.

In his last telephonic conversation with his employer the deceased had told him that he along with the hirers of the vehicle had stayed at a house at Chhapar for more than two hours before leaving for their destination, the Dharamkot police and members of local taxi unions have focused their attention on locating the suspects.

Meanwhile, SHO, Sadar, Sukhdev Singh, impressed upon the taxi owners to establish identity the of hirers before sending their vehicles and drivers with them.

Investigations by the Ludhiana Tribune revealed that members of a gang of vehicle snatchers, probably operating from the Dharamkot area had killed Jagroop Singh, son of Jagtar Singh, of Jurahan village, on the intervening night of July 7-8. His body bearing marks of injuries inflicted with sharp-edged weapons injuries was found by a farmer of Fatehgarh Crotona village in the Dharamkot area on July 8 morning but the police could trace Nirmal Singh Cheema, owner of the vehicle, only last evening. Cheema had purchased the van only a fortnight ago and his driver, Jagroop Singh, had agreed to go with a youth and his associates on the daily rent of Rs 1,000.

According to information provided by Cheema, a motorcycle borne youth had come to the local taxi stand to hire a taxi for Air Port at New Delhi on Saturday evening. Jagroop had agreed to go with him. The youth had told him that the party was to start from the house of his relatives at Chhapar village and they had to carry two large boxes.

Worried about the welfare of his driver Cheema as usual had rung him up after some hours of leaving his native village Jurahan and he Jagroop) had told him that he was sitting at a house at Chhapar village. "But unfortunately I did not ask him about the owner of the house from where the party had to leave for New Delhi," regretted Cheema adding that he had started searching for the vehicle and the driver the next day after he failed to contact him on telephone.

Though Dharamkot police, on receiving information from the farmer, had found the body of the deceased it could not identify him till yesterday when a cop on searching the pockets of the deceased’s pants found a card having telephone number of local taxi union. The body was found in the water tank of tubewell of the farmer.

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Eight booked in land grab case
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 13
Eight persons, identified as Satgursharan Singh, Sandeep Kumar, Mandip Kumar, Gurbakhsh Singh, Sukhraj Singh, Fauji Baldev Singh, Baldev Singh and Dharam Singh, of Tugal have been booked for occupying land illegally on Friday.

The land belonged to Roop Singh of Kulgehna.

The Sudhar police has registered a case under sections 447, 427, 506, 427, 511, 147, 149 of the IPC against the said persons.

Opium

The local police from Gurre village arrested Shripal Singh of Amkhiria (UP) on Friday. The police recovered around 1 kg of opium from him. A case under NDPS Act has been registered.

Scooter stolen

Mohan Singh and his brother Hardeep Singh of Lamme allegedly stole a scooter (no. PB-56-8019). The two-wheeler belonged to Pritam Singh. A case has been registered by the local police under Section 379 of the IPC on Friday.

Man booked

Satish Gupta of Raikot along with some people allegedly stopped Inderjit Verma of Mohalla Tangrian Raikot and assaulted him with baseball bat on Friday. Raikot police has registered a case under Sections 341, 323, 324, 34 of the IPC.

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Apex chamber in National Directory 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
The Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be included in the National Chambers Directory being prepared by the Centre.

In a communication to P D Sharma, president of the organisaiton T K A Nair, principal secretary to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, lauded the role of the organisation in safegurading the interest of the industry.

Nair said, "Over the years the chamber has fostered the entrepreneurship in the state, served the cause of large and small business concerns and made important contributions to the accelerated development of Punjab. The expansion of its activities beyond the frontiers of the state and the success it has registered testifies to its credibility as a vibrant and dynamic chamber."

Meanwhile, in another communication to the government, P.D. Sharma sought their attention toward the plight of the industry. He said the small industries were given the least attention compared to large ones. This fact had been confirmed by international studies as well. Fortune small business magazine has placed India among the 10 bottom countries when it came to promoting small businesses.

The country had been ranked 46 among 53 countries.

The magazine's list Indonesia, Greece, the Philippines, Brazil and Jordan are among the only seven countries doing worst than India in terms of friendliness to small business.

He said loan and financial schemes for small industries needed a relook as the present ones were not proving beneficial to the small industries.

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Chamber satisfied with duty drawback scheme
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 13
The erosion caused to the margin of profit of the exporters due to the appreciated value of the rupee against the dollar has been compensated by the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry, pointed out The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking.

Disclosing the details, they said this has been done by enhancing the rates of tax refunds through the duty drawback scheme on nearly all products of exporters in effect from April 2007.

Hailing the steps taken by the government, Inderjit Singh Pardhan, and Avtar Singh, president and general secretary of the chamber, said the timely relief package of Rs 1,400 crore announced for the exporters indicates the protective gesture of the centre towards the export sector and the industry. 

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