L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Roof Collapse
Architect under scanner
Had used own construction material
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
The Shimla Puri police has asked officials of the PWD to examine the material used in the construction of the roof and pillars of the farmhouse whose roof collapsed yesterday, killing two persons.

The police action comes in the wake of the statements made by relatives of the farmhouse owner who was killed in the incident, that the architect was using his own material for the conctruction.

The police wants to verify if he had used sub-standard material or if some flaw in structural designing had led to the incident.

With two bodies recovered after a night-long operation, the police today announced that the farmhouse owner, Tejinder Singh, alias Tony Chawla, and his friend-cum-vastu shastra expert Ravi Mehta had died. There was no third person with them.

Labourers had claimed last evening that three persons were buried under the debris. Rescuers kept searching for the third body until they were convinced that there were only two bodies.

SHO Kanwarjit Singh said relatives of the deceased had claimed that they had suspected the roof of the basement to be weak and wanted more pillars to support it. The architect had assured them that the roof was strong.

The police has not registered a case against the architect yet for causing death due to negligence.

Meanwhile, residents flocked the house of Tony Chawla. The family has postponed the cremation to Saturday. They are waiting for his only son to return from Australia. 



Factionalism may cost SAD dear
Vimal Sumbly/Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
Factionalism within the SAD may cost it dear, particularly in the wards falling in the Ludhiana rural assembly segment represented by Hira Singh Gabria. It has the maximum number of 32 wards in it. This gives an edge to Gabria even as a number of wards have been allotted to the BJP from this segment, too.

It would not be possible for the SAD to accommodate all nominees of Gabria who is also the district president of the party. Moreover, there is strong factionalism within the urban unit of the party. Gabria is in direct confrontation with the other group represented by Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Avtar Singh Makkar and Jagdish Singh Garcha. The two factions have, on several occasions, tried to outscore each other.

This group had a dominant role in shortlisting candidates. Although Gabria tried to be firm about his own candidates who had worked hard to ensure his success in the assembly elections, he could not manage to get each one of them accommodated.

This has led to the apprehension that some of his loyalists might rebel and contest as independent candidates. This will mar the prospects of most of the official candidates.

Being a seasoned politician, he may not encourage his loyalists to rebel, but it may not be possible for him to convince everybody. Particularly, when the people owing allegiance to the rival faction would get a good share of seats.



 Speaking Out
What’s in a number? For most, nothing

Ludhianvis are known to be vainglorious. They flaunt their riches. Be it a craze for designer clothes, swanky cars, trendy mobile sets, registration number of vehicles or cell numbers, they don't mind spending a fortune. Amit Malhotra, 25, did just that. He paid Rs 15.5 lakh for a special Hutch number. This is what he and others told Tribune reporter Shivani Bhakoo

Amit Malhotra‘Since childhood, I wanted to do something different in life. You may call it a passion. I have been eager on VIP numbers for all my belongings.The Hutch number 9780000000 is one of its kind. The number has made me a celebrity overnight.—Amit Malhotra, Businessman
TanviThe show-off culture is increasing by the day. I don’t know how this can be stopped. Spending Rs 15 lakh to be different from others is simply outrageous. This is sheer wastage of hard-earned money of parents. This kind of competition needs to be discouraged.—Tanvi Student
Vikram KanwarSpending Rs 15.50 lakh on a telephone number has no justification. The money could have been spent on a charitable cause, or even on near and dear ones.This is beyond my comprehension, but if somebody wants to spend a fortune on numbers, so be it—Vikram Kanwar, Businessman
Vandana MainiIt is shocking. The youth are spending on frivolous things. They are throwing away money. I blame the consumer society for this. Bidding so high for a VIP number is disgusting. With this money, he could have sponsored needy students, who are intelligent but cannot study.— Vandana Maini, Principal



11 Independents file papers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
The filing of nominations for MC elections began here today. Eleven Independents filed the nominations on the first day. They include Inderjeet Kaur (Ward No 2), Navjeet Kaur (Ward 23), Rani (Ward 34), Ajay Walia (Ward 35), Lakhwinder Singh (Ward 39), Makhan Singh (Ward 44), Balkar Singh (Ward 45), Urmila Anand (Ward 64) and Amrik Singh (Ward 69).

Seven returning officers (ROs) and and seven assistant returning officers (ARO) have been appointed for 75 wards.

The assistant commissioner grievances has been appointed RO for Wards 1 to 11, with the chief agricultural officer as the ARO. The nomination forms for these wards would be submitted in the office of the assistant commissioner, grievances.

The SDM (East) is the RO for Wards 12 to 22 with the tehsildar (Ludhiana East) as the ARO.

The nominations can be submitted in the office of the SDM (East).

The SDM (West) is the RO for Wards 23 to 33, with the tehsildar (Ludhiana West) as the ARO. The nominations can be submitted in the office of the SDM (West).

The deputy director local government (DDLG) is the RO for Wards 34 to 44 with the GM, Punjab Roadways, as the ARO. The nominations can be filed in the DDLG’s office. The assistant excise and taxation commissioner (AETC), Ludhiana-II, is the RO for Wards 45 to 55 with the deputy director, horticulture, Ludhiana, as the ARO.

The nominations can be filed in the office of the AETC-II office.

The SE, Sirhind canal circle, is the RO for Wards 56-65 with the district manager, Markfed, Ludhiana, as the ARO. The nominations can be filed in the office of the SE, Sirhind canal circle office.

The district transport officer is the RO for Wards 66 to 75 with the estate officer, PUDA, Ludhiana, as the ARO. The nominations can be filed in the PUDA office.



Bird flu scare triggers panic selling
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
Poultry farmers here are resorting to panic sale of eggs and chicken following the news of bird flu hitting a village in Manipur.

The sharp reaction led to decline in egg and poultry rates in the wholesale market. While the rate of broiler has reduced from Rs 50 to Rs 38 per kilogram, eggs recorded a decline from Rs 150 to Rs 144 per hundred.

The reaction from residents, however, is relatively mild this time in comparison to last time when consumption of chicken was hit badly.

In the retail market, no significant decline was witnessed and broiler was priced at around Rs 90. The effect, if panic sale by farmers continues, is likely to be visible in a few days.

"The losses last time were so high that it took farmers over a year to break even. Wary of that, the farmers appear to be responding rather too sharp and are indulging in panic sale. Due to this panic, there has been a reduction in prices of poultry products," said P.P.S. Gill, secretary, Punjab Poultry Farmers Association.



VB probe into impersonation
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 27
The vigilance department has initiated a probe into the alleged impersonation in the Class X examination held by the Punjab school education board.

According to a complaint filed by Nirmal Singh of Buraj Hari Singh, Daljit Kumar, son of Parkash Chand, had allegedly passed the examination through the open school system by using “unfair” means in March 2006.

Though rules restrict candidates from opting for centres outside their tehsil area, the candidate had passed the examination through a centre located in Jalandhar district.

Perusal of a notice served by the secretary of the board, reveals Daljit Kumar had been accused of getting his answersheets solved by the superintendent of the examination centre. Though he was invited to present his side before the UMC committee on October 10, 2006, November 11, 2006, January 23, 2007, and March 20, 2007, he did not turn up to defend his case.

While the board authorities had declared that unilateral decision would be taken in case of the non-appearance of the candidate, no action was taken against him, according to the complainant.

Confirming the receipt of the complaint against Daljit, an official in the vigilance, claimed that the investigating team had sought comments of the board in the case and that action would be initiated after receiving a response of the inquiry officer who had conducted investigation into the allegations.



Blood donation camps at SCD college
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
The local SCD Government College has decided to organise series of blood donation camps to help students suffering from various diseases.

The first such camp will be organised on July 30 on the college premises. NSS, NCC students those in various societies of the college will donate blood. College principal Malkiat Singh said these camps would be organised under the aegis of the local Red Cross Society and a team of doctors would assist Dr Parveen Sobti of DMC.

He said Red cross would organise one such camp every month in a college. The second blood donation camp would be organised in December.

The principal urged students and staff to come forward and donate blood on July 30.



Heavy showers likely
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
Ludhiana likely to experience heavy downpour in the next 48 hours. According to DrK.K.Gill, assistant agrometeorologist, Department of Agronomy and Agrometeorology, PAU, the forecast is based on a report from the Department of Meteorology of India, Pune.

Giving details about the erratic rainfall in the country, Dr Gill said Maharashtra and Gujarat had been experiencing heavy floods whereas Punjab had received only 140 mm of rainfall in July which is far below the expected 232 mm range.

However, Punjab received sufficient rainfall in June which is an ideal month for paddy transplantation.

Regarding relative humidity, Dr Gill said it measured 91 per cent on July 26 against the normal value of 75 per cent in this month. 



No water for one year
Sector 32 residents getting restive
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
A large number of residents living in LIG flats, Sector 32, have been waiting to get a tube well installed in their area for more than one year. The locality continues to reel under water scarcity.

The municipal corporation has failed to release funds for the water supply and sewerage board for installing tube wells and roughly 4,000 residents have to struggle daily for fulfilling their needs.

Their continuous hammering could only move the MC authorities to sanction a tube well and ask the WSSB to install it but even after one-year they have to fetch water from other houses.

The sewerage board had prepared an estimate and passed it on to the corporation for payment. Board authorities say that they cannot do anything unless they money was sanctioned for the job.

“The corporation is not listening to us. We just want that they sanction the money to the WSSB. We know how we have lived without water in this hot weather, “ said Chamkaur Singh, an office-bearer of the residents’ welfare society.

He said they had been moving from pillar to post for getting the money released but to no avail.‘‘ With the municipal elections round the corner they have a reason for not releasing the money. But, they can do it as the amount has already been sanctioned. Nobody knows what is holding them back,” said area councillor Sardul Singh Grewal.

Angry residents said the corporation did not spare a thought when it snapped the water connections of residents for not paying the bills. It did not, however, care when the residents were going without water for a year.

‘‘We have been forced to wait for water that we receive in drops everyday. A bucket gets filled in hours. The water too stinks and is yellowish in colour. Our children go to schools without taking bath. This is the state of affairs,” Chamkaur Singh said.

MC releases cheque

The MC today released a cheque for Rs 3 lakh for installing a tubewell in Sector 32. Chamkaur Singh, office-bearer of the welfare society, said the MC had released a cheque to the sewerage board today and the work would start tomorrow. 



N-deal unsafe, uneconomical: Doctors

Ludhiana, July 27
In the wake of the Cabinet Committee on Security clearing the Indo-US nuclear deal, the Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD), has come out to sound a note of warning over the use of nuclear energy for power generation.

In a press note issued here today, IDPD president L.S. Chawla and secretary Arun Mitra commented that nuclear power generation was neither safe nor economical. Moreover, it was fraught with enormous dangers to health of the people. They said a recent report on shutting down of nuclear plants in Japan published in the July issue of the European Journal of Cancer Care had warned of a 24 per cent rise in leukaemia among children around nuclear facilities.

The conclusion of this report was drawn by researchers of the medical university of South Carolina on the basis of meta-analysis of 17 research papers, covering 136 nuclear sites in the UK, Canada, France, the USA, Germany, Japan and Spain. — TNS



Patiala cops inspect DEO office

Ludhiana, July 27
A team of Patiala police today scanned documents of the district education officer (DEO) and questioned a few employees, including DEO Manjit Kaur, in connection with the probe into postings and transfer case.

The police had nabbed two days ago an office superintendent for allegedly misusing the names of family members of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. The police was here to find out the transfers carried out by misusing the name. — TNS



File returns to avoid penalty: Rai
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 27
Chief commissioner of income tax (CCIT) M.S. Rai has called upon those who come under the purview of income tax but had not been filing their returns to do so without any delay to avoid penal proceedings under the provisions of IT Act.

While addressing a meeting convened by Ludhiana Citizen Council (LCC) here yesterday evening, he stressed that the department would like encourage voluntary compliance. But, if the taxpayers refuse to pay their dues, the department might have to resort to door-to-door surveys for identifying them.

He, however, made it clear that as and when such surveys would be undertaken, IT officials will not ask any questions from the existing assesses except for seeking such basic information like the name and address, year of starting the business, constitution of the firm, particulars of PAN number, designation and place of assessing officer, latest assessment year for which a return of income had been filed and the income shown therein.

According to Rai, the department had set a target of collecting Rs 1,460 crore from Ludhiana chief commissionerate during the current financial year. The department will take all possible steps to plug the evasion of taxes. However, no action will be taken on false and frivolous complaints.

The CCIT further desired that since the last date of filing of the IT return for accounts that were not subject to audit, being July 31, the assesses and bar members ought to submit the returns as and when these were ready without waiting for the last date.

LCC president K.S. Kelley suggested steps for the smooth functioning of the tax regime while pointing out that correct PAN and TAN numbers must be mentioned on all tax returns and documents. 



MC staff memo to commissioner
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
The Punjab State Municipal Karamchari Dal today submitted a memorandum to the commissioner in favour of their long-pending demands.

Vijay Danav, chairman of the dal, demanded that many families of employees, who had died during service, were waiting for employment of their children in the MC on compassionate grounds but the matter was being delayed.

He also said the employees, who had been awaiting promotions for quite some time, were not being given justice.

Pays of many safai sewaks had not not given for the past many months and they should be paid their dues.

Danav further demanded that sewer men should be given gas masks and safety kits so that the tragedies should be prevented. 



B’minton Academy chief bereaved

Ludhiana, July 27
Swarn Kanta Chopra, mother of Mohinder Kumar Chopra, president of the Ludhiana Badminton Academy and grandmother of international shuttler Pranav Chopra, died at Delhi today after a prolonged illness. She was 77.

Swarn Kanta Chopra is survived by four sons and one daughter. — OC



Teej by Niharika members
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
The Niharika Ladies Club organised “Teej ka tyohar” here today. It was a festive occasion to celebrate the rainy season.

A large number of club members joined together and enjoyed the moments. To celebrate the birthdays and anniversaries of the club members, a cake was cut. Many surprise gifts were won by audience and a bumper tambola was played.

A Teej queen was selected in a competition based on brides of different states. Participants came in heavy lehangas and colourful sarees depicting different dresses of brides. Main attraction of the function was the demonstartion of mocktail made by joint secretary Dolly Arora and advisory member Charneet Thukral.



Shame for Ludhiana

The incident in which a dead man kept on lying on a roadside in Ludhiana a few days ago is a shame for Ludhianvis and humanity as a whole. It is shocking that the police, who was informed about the incident, did not bother to shift the body and let it lie on the ground. The poeple in that area also did not care even to cover the body with a shroud. For hours, the body had kept lying there amidst stray dogs and sultry weather. Wish people showed more sensitivity than to just inform the police and forget their humaneness.

Dr Muktinder Singh, Dugri

Ludhiana Readers are invited to mail letters (not more than 200 words) at "ludhiana@tribunemail.com" or post the same to The Tribune, 1, 2 Improvement Trust Building, Badaur House, Clock Tower, Ludhiana.



Laptop stolen from car
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana,July 27
A miscreant allegedly broke a rear windowpane of a car belonging to an area sales manager with Samsung Electronics opposite the Reliance Fresh store in Dugri on Wednesday night and decamped with a bag containing a laptop, digital camera and five cheque books.

The victim, Vikram Sahnan, has lodged a complaint with the Model Town police.

He said besides other valuables, the miscreant also took away a 512 mb memory card.

Vikram said he had gone to the store with his wife, Dr Shveta.

The couple were shocked to find the windowpane broken and the bag 



2 nabbed with poppy husk

Jagraon, July 27
In two separate incidents, the local police has arrested two persons with poppy husk from their possession. Balwinder Singh and Naib Singh, both of Kaunke Kalan, were arrested by the police during patrolling from their village and seized 20 kg and 18 kg of poppy husk from their possession, respectively. Cases under the NDPS Act have been registered.

Booked for gambling

The police has arrested Hardeep Singh Gora of Shastri Nagar, Jagraon, on the charge of gambling in Agwar Gujjran and recovered Rs 310, along with cardboard and pen. He was alluring the people to multiply their money by investing in some number. A case under the Gambling Act has been registered. — OC



Orissa invites industrialists from Punjab
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 27
Orrisa is keen on attracting investment from industries located in Punjab. A 30-member delegation comprising senior government officials from the key industrial organisations, representatives of industry associations and promoters of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of Orissa listed benefits of investing in that state, particularly, for setting up steel and auto component units.

The team has also planned road shows and interactive sessions in other northern states for showcasing Orrisa as a preferred business destination for those willing to invest in the metal sector.

In an interaction held here yesterday evening, the delegates said their visit was a logical step towards achieving the vision of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for catalysing higher employment generation, development of entrepreneurship and utilisation of local skills and resources for overall development of the state. The visit also assumes relevance as the Industrial Policy Resolution - 2007 of the state gives special emphasis on development of ancillary and downstream industries.

The team was led by commissioner-cum-secretary, Industries, Ashok Dalwai. Others members were IPICOL MD Ashok Meena, IDCO MD Vishal Dev, director (Industries) Hemant Sharma and SISI director Panchanana Das.

Delegates from Orissa also visited a few small and ancillary units here.



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