L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Telephone lines cut due to digging
K S Chawla

Ludhiana, July 21
Nearly 500 telephone connections falling in Rajguru Nagar, HJ block of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar and Housing Board Colony have gone out of order thanks to the negligence of a Punjab Sewerage Board contractor working on the Ferozepore Road.

The board has taken up the digging of the sewer lines on the Ferozepore Road on a large- scale and the telephone lines were cut yesterday, according to an official of the BSNL, Ludhiana. The men of the BSNL were busy restoring the connections today.

An official spokesman of the BSNL said that they would impose penalty on the contractor and the sewerage board for their negligence.

The digging has also caused traffic bottleneck and daily accidents are reported near Rajguru Nagar and Lodhi Club road crossings.

Residents of the areas have already brought the matter to the notice of the police, but nothing has been donein this regard.

Meanwhile, the management of a mall being constructed on the Ferozepore Road near the central point is also understood to have connected its sewerage system with the coverage pipes of Rajguru Nagar illegally.The authorities of the improvement trust have failed to take any action despite repeated complaints.

A senior officer of the improvement trust claimed that no connection with Rajguru Nagar pipes had been made and an executive engineer of the trust had inspected the site. When the executive engineer was contacted, he denied having visited the site.

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Potter mania: Publicity draws people to bookshops
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
A large number of the people might not be aware of what Harry Potter exactly is, but, thanks to massive publicity most of them could be seen rushing towards book stores to get it’s the latest copy of J.K.Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”.

The massive publicity about this book has managed to bring residents of the city, who are not so avid readers, to book stores. This book is recording better sales than the previous one. Copies of the book have been booked in advance. It’s clear that a large number of buyers have booked it copies only flaunt it, but the craze has definitely increased its sale

The seventh book in the Potter series has made book store owners happy as a large number of people had booked their copies in advance. A few of them were offering discounts also. Today, a few book stores opened at 6 a.m. to cope with the rush.

Book store owners said “The massive publicity about this book has managed to bring residents of the city, who are not so avid readers, to book stores.

“This book is recording better sales than the previous one. Copies of the book have been booked in advance. It’s clear that a large number of buyers have booked it copies only flaunt it, but the craze has definitely increased its sale," a book store owner said.

For readers, curiosity as to whether Harry Potter or other characters in the book will die played a crucial role. “We sold 50 books by noon and sales are continuing," said Deepak, regional manager, Book Café, Sarabha Nagar.

Potter banners were splashed outside a large number of the book stores. Apart from advance bookings, the first day of the launch witnessed a lot of fresh enquiries as well.

“It is rare for any new book to generate such a response on the first day itself. Not just children, grown ups also appear to be excited about this one,” added Deepak.

Potter fans said media hype too increased the curiosity. "I got curious about this book due to massive publicity. News about the advance booking of this book forced me to procure its copy in the morning,” said Achala.

Apart from the book, old Harry Potter movies, games like trump cards bearing different characters from J.K. Rowling's series, too are generating a lot of interest.

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MC clerk arrested for fraud 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
The Economic Offences Wing of the city police has nabbed a clerk of the local municipal corporation, who after falling in the viscous circle of lottery trade, pocketed bills paid by the public and misappropriated nearly Rs 30 lakh in two years.

The accused, Rajinder Kumar, lost the entire money in the lottery trade. He kept issuing receipts of the bills to the public but did not deposit it to the public exchequer. Surprisingly, this went unnoticed for nearly two years till the civic officials came to know about it.

Jaswinder Singh, enforcement wing in charge, said he was arrested after g a complaint was filed against him by the civic officials. Zonal Commissioner Vinod Sharda had informed the police that the clerk had usurped the public money and caused huge loss to the public exchequer. The police official said no amount could be recovered from him. He had allegedly invested the money in the lottery trade and lost it.

Rajinder Kumar said he was playing investing in the lottery for the past many years. “I made money initially but then lost it. Soon, I got so hooked to it and invested the entire salary and savings in it. When he still could not recover, he committed the fraud hoping to return the amount after winning."

His family lives in poverty. His 30-year-old daughter earns a paltry sum of Rs 2,000 per month . It is her salary which kept the kitchen fire burning.

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Hero 10 months ago, forgotten now
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
Ten months ago, two cops, Gurcharan Singh and Raj, were heroes for officials of the Punjab police as they had played a major role in solving the sensational Vikramjit murder case with the arrest of the key accused Jagminder Singh.

Today, while head constable Jagdish Raj has been promoted and given a cash award of Rs 7.5 lakh, SPO Gurcharan Singh has been denied the honours for reasons best known to them.

Dejected at the alleged step-motherly treatment of his seniors, Gurcharan rues that he had worked on the case despite being under suspension at that time. He has no grouse about his colleague being promoted, but is upset as he too deserved it.

The SPO’s claim is based on proof as his pictures along with that of the head constable were flashed by the media. Further, former DIG Parag Jain and SSP, Ludhiana, A.S.Rai had recommended his case.

IG H.S.Dhillon, who supervised the operation, told Ludhiana Tribune about the significant contribution made by SPO Gurcharan Singh. When contacted over the phone, he promptly remembered his name and the case as well.” Yes, Gurcharan had played a major role. I remember his contribution,” he told during a telephonic talk.

He expressed surprise that Gurcharan had been denied promotion and award. “I would pursue his case. He deserves the award and the promotion,” he said adding that the SPO had not approached him so far.

SSP Ludhiana (Urban) R.K. Jaiswal said the case took place prior to his taking over as the city’s SSP. I will look into the case, he added.

Gurcharan Singh said he was suspended in 2001 for not attending the duty due to personal reasons. He claimed that he worked on the case despite being under suspension and informed seniors about it. Officials promised to reinstate as well as promote him.

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Govt to restart shagun scheme
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
The state government will reimplement the shagun/ aashirwad scheme for poor and destitute girls with certain modifications.

Under the scheme, a sum of Rs 15,000 will be provided at the time of their marriage.

Pritam Singh, district welfare officer, said the minister for social welfare, Mr Gulzar Singh, had presided over a meeting of district welfare officers a few days ago wherein the minister had stated that the money would be given with effect from April 1, 2007.

The families whose annual income as not more than Rs 20,000 in the rural areas and Rs 27,500 in the urban areas are eligible to get the grant, he added.

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Sangat darshan: 400 apply for driving licence
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
A sangat darshan was organised at New Kidwai Nagar, Shaheed Park, by Parveen Bansal, a former leader of the opposition in the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation.

As many as 250 persons applied for widow and old-age pension and 400 for driving licence.

Bansal said all cases would be settled soon. He said more sangat darshans would be organised in this area for the welfare of the public.

Anil Walia, Inder Aggarwal, Navin Kohli, Om Parkash Ratra, Rajinder Gupta, Kamaljit Singh, Santosh Bhatia, B.L. Bhatia and Sohan Singh Nanda helped the public to fill their forms.

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City in spirit of Teej
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
Sawan, the festival of young women, is being celebrated in the city in the form of Teej with great enthusiasm these days. Colleges, ladies clubs and other organisations have started celebrating the festival.

Eatables like kheer and malpure are prepared in every household to welcome the month of Sawan. The delicacies are served in restaurants and hotels as well.

Harmit Kaur, a septuagenarian, said the festival had great importance for every Punjabi. It was a sign of prosperity and happiness.

“We used to wait for this festival. Our parents bought bangles and sweets for us,” she said while sharing her nostalgic moments. She further added that they used to spend most of their time with friends and other women of the village enjoying swings (peeng) and eatables.

City women are seen applying mehandi on their hands.

Rajiv, one of the mehandi artist at Ghumar Mandi, said that Karwa-Chauth and Sawan were the best days for them. Girls and women prefer to apply mehandi on their hands, he said adding, “this is a shagun for Punjabi women, especially the newly married ones. They wait for hours for their turn. Whatever we demand, they readily pay. We are charging Rs 50 per hand (for ordinary patterns) during the entire month of Sawan.”

Of late, the traditional form of celebrating the festival has changed also. Many organisations and ladies clubs arrange rain dance to celebrate Teej.

Tina Nalwa, treasurer, Lakshmi Ladies Club, said they had arranged rain dance to add more colours to the festival.

“We are celebrating the festival both in traditional and modern way on July 25 at Maharaja Farms. Since the festival is exclusively for women, I feel they will definitely enjoy the rain dance,” she said.

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B.B. Jindal is CCI chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
Bharat Bhushan Jindal was elected president of the prestigious Gobindgarh Steel Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday.

He defeated his nearest rival Jagmohan Singh by one vote, the polling for which was held at the Gymkhana Club. Jagmel Singh Matharoo and Sushil Kumar Sharma were declared elected unopposed as the general secretary and senior vice-president of the organisation.

The poll was held under the supervision of B.L. Bassi, Ashok Gera, both advocates, and Sanjay Goyal. Seventeen executive members of the committee chose Bharat as their chief from 2007 to 2009.

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Shreyans Group CEO is LMA chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
President and CEO of the Shreyans Group, Anil Kumar, has been appointed president of the Ludhiana Management Association (LMA), a local chapter of All-India Management Association.

The association, that appointed its new team for 2007- 2009 term, has director of Punjab College of Technical Education K.N.S.Kang as its general secretary and Eastman Industries J.R. Singhal as its vice-president.

Kang said chief commissioner of Income Tax, Ludhiana, Mandeep S. Rai, would deliver a lecture on “India-on the threshold to take off” on July 23.

“The association will work for developing the management aptitude by conducting various programmes and short courses on management skills.”

President of the association Anil Kumar said: “About 720 people are its members and 12 executive members comprising academicians, professionals, practitioners and dignitaries from the city.”

MD, Century Cotsyn, Sanjay Gupta, MD, Spectrum Textiles, Ajay Virmani and vice-president Reliance Industries A.K.Dadoo, have been appointed as secretary and joint secretaries of programmes and public relations, respectively, he added.

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