L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Epidemic waiting to happen at Ishwar Colony
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
Going by the insanitary conditions prevailing in the Ishwar Colony at Dhandari Khurd, where a large number of gastro cases were reported recently, an outbreak of an epidemic is waiting to happen as the sewerage system seems to have failed and mosquitoes are breeding in the stagnant water collected in vacant plots.

Falling in ward No. 14, the area is a pock mark on the financial capital of the state. Due to population pressure, where on an average 700 migrants live in a three storied houses measuring not more than 200 yards, the sewerage system seems has failed to carry the discharged load.

The moment one enters the area, garbage, overflowing sewers and vacant plots converted into ponds of stagnant water is seen all around. Stench of putrefying garbage and decaying water fills the nostrils. A swarm of flies makes it impossible to stand out on a street. To cap it all inhabitants, mostly migrants, did not care to ensure cleanliness of their immediate surroundings.

Residents said there were 100 to 125 rooms in these houses, commonly known as ‘‘vehras’’ which had rooms measuring not more than 8 x 8 sq ft. Five to seven migrants were staying in a room on turn basis. Shockingly around 50 persons were made to share a toilet.

When a team of Ludhiana Tribune reached the area today, even the residents were keeping their noses covered while standing in open. They said at least 20 persons of one “vehra” had suffered from gastro in the past one week.

‘‘The sewers never work properly. These are always choked and disease spreads during this season. We have complained to newly-elected councillor, Jasbir Singh Garcha, in this regard. But, there seems to be no solution, ’’ said Jokhan Singh, a resident, who was admitted to a local hospital due to gastro and was discharged yesterday.

He added that they were cleaning the manholes themselves as the corporation had failed to do anything. The health department remained on its toes today following reports of gastro from the area. Senior Medical Officer, K.L. Kapoor, Sahnewal, said their teams went from door-to-door, distributed chlorine tablets and ORS samples and educated masses about cleanliness.

He said the situation was under control and there was no fresh case reported today. Dr Kapoor said the cases reported earlier were due to unhygienic condition.

Garcha said, “I have been taking up the matter with corporation officials for the past 10 days. But nobody is listening to me. I will talk to the Commissioner in this regard today, ’’ he added.

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1 dengue case in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
Dr Gautam Aggarwal, consultant, internal medicine, SPS Apollo Hospital, has said that there is a steady influx of patients suspected to be suffering from dengue to the hospital’s OPD. He, however, said one person who was admitted to the hospital with fever,had been confirmed to be suffering from dengue.

However,civil surgeon,Satpal Sharma, said the department had was not aware of any dengue outbreak.

If any patients suffering from dengue have been admitted to a private hospital, it is mandatory for authorities to bring it to my notice, he added. So far, the hospital has not been brought to my notice, Sharma added.

None of the major hospitals in the city have reported about any such case so far. 

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Boy takes police, villagers for a ride
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, September 15
When family members of a missing boy, Gurpreet, were staging dharnas, along with other residents of Malah village, for pressing the authorities to trace him, the boy was said to be cooling his heals in the house of a relative and making calls from a stolen mobile phone of a constable.

Sequence of event

* Accused of stealing gold chain
*
Panchayat hands over boy to police
*
Escaped from custody
*
Kin, villagers staged dharna
*
Was found at relative’s home

Details of the phone calls made from the stolen mobile by Gurpreet, now with his parents, reveal that some family members knew about his whereabouts, yet the protests continued.

The root cause of the controversy is a gold chain that was found from the house of Gurpreet..

ASI Rajinder Singh said the trouble began on September 2 when Jagtar Singh, a resident of Malah village, complained that a gold chain of his wife was missing. He suspected the chain found by Gurpreet could be the same.

On that evening, the mother of Gurpreet submitted a complaint that her son had found a gold chain, which was bought by Jogi, a goldsmith for mere Rs 200 through his son, Vicky, who was also a friend of Gurpreet. Jogi denied he had bought the chain.

Panchayat, too, intervened in the matter asking the police to find out where the chain was and who the real owner was. The ASI said the chain was later found in the presence of the panchayat from the house of Gurpreet. The panchayat members and the parents of the boy were angry. They handed him over to the police, along with Vicky, who also allegedly knew everything.

The ASI, booked for illegal detention of the boy and his escape from police custody, said the police had never arrested the minor but it was village panchayat which handed over him to the police.

The panchayat, he said, insisted that Gurpreet and friend Vicky should be kept in the Kaunke Kalan police post for a night so that they could learn a lesson from their mistake.

After remaining on backfoot all these days, the police has in latest investigation sought to put all these sequence of events in its place. The police has now gathered evidence in the form of the mobile phone calls. This could put his family and all villagers, who staged dharnas, in a tight spot.

The police has so far not taken any criminal action against the parents or relatives or some village residents, who despite knowing about his whereabouts, misled the cops and created law and order problem.

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Chain snatching on the rise
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 15
Numerous instances of chain and purse snatching have spread fear among residents of this industrial town, particularly working women, as they are more vulnerable to snatchers.

The incidents of snatchings have been reported from posh residential colonies like Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Sarabha Nagar, Tagore Nagar and areas near the rose garden.

Although the police claims that surveillance has been intensified, yet residents are not satisfied with the preventive steps taken by it. Yesterday, a lecturer who lives in the B. Block of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, was deprived of her purse the moment she got down from a rickshaw. The two motorcycle-borne youth snatched her purse and fled away. The purse contained about Rs 1,000 and a mobile phone. Similarly on Thursday two scooter -borne youth snatched a woman’s necklace in Rajguru Nagar and managed to escape. About a fortnight ago, two teachers who were going on a scooter from their school in Randhir Singh Nagar were waylaid by two persons on a motorcycle. They snatched the purse of the lady riding pillion. The purse contained Rs 5,000 (school fee collected from students). Both teachers fell down on the road and sustained injuries.

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Ram Setu
BJP men burn Sonia’s effigy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
BJP workers, led by district president Subash Verma and state secretary Anil Sarin, today staged a protest demonstration at the Clock Tower against the Central government's affidavit in the Supreme Court questioning the existence of Lord Ram. They also burnt an effigy of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and asked her to tender an unconditional apology to the people of the country. They also asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to apologize to the nation.

The BJP workers raised slogans against the UPA government and its leaders, particularly Gandhi and Manmohan Singh. They also blamed Communist party leaders for hurting the sentiments of millions of Hindus across the country.

Briefing reporters, Sarin said the protests would continue as long as Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh did not tender an unconditional apology. They should own the moral responsibility for this blasphemy which has hurt the religious feelings of Hindus not only in India but across the world, he added.

On the other hand, Shankaracharya of the Jyotish Math, here, Swami Madhav Sadan, alleged that it was a deep rooted conspiracy to question the faith and belief of the Hindus. The responsibility must be fixed for this, he added.

Referring to the sacking of two senior officers of the Archaeological Survey of India, the Shankaracharya observed that they were being made the scapegoats. He pointed out for about a week, the UPA government was continuously defending its affidavit. But once the issue boomeranged it went for the damage control measures.

The Shankaracharya pointed out that the Indians in general and the Hindus in particular were deeply attached to Lord Ram and they begin their day reciting his name.

He asserted that it was high time that the government stopped taking Hindus for granted. "There is peace in the country just because we Hindus are peaceful and do not want anything untoward to happen here, otherwise the provocations have been too intolerable", the Shankaracharya warned. 

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SSP announces strict traffic norms
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
A public-administration meet on traffic and encroachments was organised by JCI Ludhiana Central under their project, “The Central Point” here last evening.

The main focus of the programme was to have all government departments, public and media under one roof for healthy discussion and solution finding. The meeting was attended by Prof. Rajinder Bhandari, BJP state president Harish Rai Dhanda, Harish Bedi, mayor, Hakim Singh Gyaspura, commissioner, MC Vikas Pratap, SSP RK Jaiswal, SP Traffic Rupinder Singh, senior deputy mayor Pravin Bansal and deputy mayor Sunita Aggarwal.

The SSP assured to provide immediate relief to the city and announced strict measures to prohibit the stopping of buses and autorickshaws at busy crossings. He said at busy places like Bharat Nagar Chowk, Gill Chowk, Samrala Chowk, Jalandhar Bypass Chowk, the buses would be made to stop at bus stops only and not in the middle of the chowk.

Dhanda assured strict implementation of laws, more one ways to regulate traffic and also explained his vision of developed Ludhiana.

Prof Bhandari explained his scientific approach of handling this problem both at micro and macro level.

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Decision on one-way traffic
Don’t succumb to pressure: People tell cops 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
Residents of areas surrounding Ghumar Mandi and also from other places have urged the traffic police not to succumb to the pressure of a few shopkeepers who want get the decision of introducing one way traffic in the area reversed. Residents of Dayal Nagar, Rani Jhansi Road, Arti Chowk, Gurdev Nagar and a few other localities called on Ludhiana Tribune to plead with the traffic police in this regard.

Ramesh Singla, social workers of Dayal Nagar said, the entire Civil Lines area has heaved a sigh of relief. Earlier it used to be a nightmare for those passing through Ghumar Mandi. After the one way traffic was introduced the congestion has reduced. While it is difficult to accept that this has affected the business, but even if it has to some extent, this shall not mean the entire city is put to inconvenience, he added.

Ravinder Kumar and Naresh Malhotra, both residents of Rose Garden Enclave, also argued that the administration must stick to its decision. There was nothing wrong in introducing the one way traffic in congested areas. They expressed surprise as how it was going to affect shopkeepers’ business. "A person who has to reach a particular shop or place will reach it anyway, only he or she may have to take a longer route", Malhotra pointed out.

The shopkeepers of the area have been claiming that their sale has drastically reduced after the administration introduced the one way traffic. However, not all shopkeepers agree with this argument. A few of them are happy. According to them, there is certainly a fall in the number of customers, but over a period people will get used to it.

A senior police official disclosed that they had taken all shopkeepers, traders and their representatives from various political parties into confidence before introducing the one way traffic. The official urged the shopkeepers to cooperate with the administration. 

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Garbage bin: Trouble for all
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
A garbage bin in block -I of Sarabha Nagar has become a problem. The bin has changed many places in the past as nobody wants it near their houses and the MC officials are at their wits’ end to fulfil the demand of residents for a bin.

The bin was lying near a park in front of motor market till a year ago. Then it was shifted on the road to Guru Nanak Public School. It kept on lying there for some time till a senior official, who lived nearby, had some problems and it was lifted from there.

S.S. Chana, who had waged a war against the garbage, had been demanding a bin from the MC since last one year.

When after some time the bin was not placed, Chana again took up the matter with the commissioner, who directed his staff to redress his grievance immediately. The bin was placed near GNPS again but soon removed from there after objections. It was shifted to H block, where the residents protested.

All this while when he was following up the issue, he found that the bin was placed in the middle of the road in front of his house last evening.

He added that if the idea of placing garbage bin did not go well with the residents, the MC should start collecting the garbage from doorsteps everyday. 

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Ganpati Mahotsav begins

Ludhiana, September 15
Ten-day Ganesh Mahotsav started in a temple in Janak Puri amidst chantings of Ganpati Bapa Moraya. A 20 feet idol of Lord Ganesha was established by Baba Ganpati Sewa Sangh ( regd), Ludhiana, here today. The 10-day worship of Lord Ganesha started with great fanfare today and would continue till its immersion on September 24.

The president of the sangh, Harish Bedi said they are organising this mahotsav for the fifteenth time in the city. Purshottam Mittal, president, Bhagat Ram Handa, the chief advisor of the sangh,Hira Lal Goyal, chief secretary, and hundreds of devotees were present on the occasion. The 10-day pooja started simultaneously in 108 other temples of the society. — OC

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No debate needed on Ram: Samiti
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana September 15
The Badrinath Ram Leela Samiti and the Garhwal Bhratra Mandal Ludhiana are holding a week-long Ram Katha on the Ram Leela Grounds in Daresi here from September 16 to 22.

The organisers of the katha said this was being organised at a time when the Central Government had raised unncessary controversy about Lord Ram.

Addressing a press conference here today, the members of the organising committee DP Sharma, Rachna Sharma and Kunwar Bisht said eminent speaker Gopal Mani of Gangotri would address the devotees. The committee members said the issue was not debatable. They said the Ram Katha was being told and retold for thousands of years and the issue was beyond any discussion.

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Letters
One-way
traffic in Ghumar Mandi

This refers to the protest against the one way traffic, by the shopkeepers in Ghumar Mandi area. I, being a resident of Dayal Nagar, would request the authorities to not to succumb to the blackmailing by shopkeepers’.

In fact, one-way traffic in the area was long overdue as the concentration of traffic had increased in the area.

We have heaved a sigh of relief after this system have been introduced. But we are apprehensive that the decision might be withdrawn. In case it is, it will cause hardship and harassment to thousands of people.

Satish Sharma, 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.

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Two youths die in mishap

Ludhiana, September 15
Trouble in negotiating the curves on the elevated road took life of two youths whose motor cycle fell from the road near Kapoor hospital this morning.

The youths identified as Sunny and Vicky from Uttrakhand were employed as waiters in Khuran Hotel. They were returning home after night duty. The duo allegedly was under the influence of alcohol. — TNS

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Six booked for obscene remarks
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 15
Parwinder Singh, Pardeep Singh of Manuke, Arwinder Singh of Khote, Gurwinder Singh of Hassanpur, Satwant Singh of Farurai and Dalbara Singh of Noorpur Hakima have been booked under Sections 341, 294, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC by the local police.

Parminder Singh with his other friends, allegedly passed obscene remarks and threatened Ranjit Kaur of Chananwal, when she declined his offer to be his friend. The police has started investigation. No arrest has been made so far.

Two held with illicit liquor

The Sidhwan Bet police arrested Rajwinder Singh and Dinny of Sherewal village, when they both were going on a scooter without number. The police recovered 15,180 ml of illicit liquor from their possession and also impounded the scooter. A case under Section Excise Act has been registered.

Seven booked for assault

Garry, his brother Sukhraj, Guriqbal Singh, Harjinder Singh, Jaswinder Singh, Sony and Bani, all of Barundi village, were booked under Sections 323, 325, 341, 506, 294, 148, 149 of the IPC for assaulting Mandeep Singh of Latala. They intercepted Mandeep on the way and assaulted him with base ball bat and iron rod. The injured has been admitted in the civil hospital, Ludhiana. The Dehlon police has registered a case against all of them. Some old feud is said to be the reason behind the incident. No arrest has been made so far.

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Industry fears more IT raids
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
With raids and surveys on their peak, the industry and residents are an unhappy lot. While taxation departments, that have become active with a view to increasing their revenue collections, residents stress that the departments should rather focus on adding to customer's convenience instead of causing panic among tax payers.

And with the festival season round the corner, these raids are only expected to rise further. In the coming days, those engaged in sale of crackers and other high-value items are likely to catch the taxation department's eye.

Sources said the business community had been cautious about their record books and many had kept these records in safe custody so as to avoid any complications in case of surveys or raids.

"The department is unduly harassing people. They should have been careful and observed transparency right from the beginning of the financial year instead of creating problems for tax payers," said Joginder Kumar, president of the Federation of Tiny and Small Scale Industries.

It is for the first time that Excise and Taxation Department officials openly said they would work with a "renewed vigour" to meet their collection target, which is 30 per cent more than previous year. Even the Income Tax Department, this year, has conducted several raids.

Industrialists said these raids had caused panic among the business community. "We fear that the Excise and Taxation as well as Income Tax Department would intensify surveys and raids as festival season arrives when transactions are on an all time high. The department should devise ways to make people come forward and pay tax instead of adopting measures like this," an industrialist said.

Trade said more transparency and low tax rates would help curb tax evasion. "Tax rates are quite high in our country. Particularly in case of income tax, the rate should not be more than 10 per cent. If tax rates are lower, people will be willing to pay them an there will not be much tax evasion," said Jatinder Khurana, a taxation lawyer.

Industrialists said the Excise and Taxation Department should be extra vigilant while letting goods cross barriers. "If they are honest and cautious enough, there is no reason for revenue collections to be low," remarked another industrialist.

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Interactive ad, next big thing on TV
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 15
Interactive advertising, which is quite popular in developed nations across the world, is being viewed as the next big thing on Indian television. Through interactive mode a tele viewer can get complete details of a product that is being advertised before making the final purchase decision.

Not only satellite service providers, even companies are fast realising the untapped potential the segment holds and are keen on running their interactive promotional advertising campaigns.

While a viewer gets the convenience of obtaining details sitting at home, the company is able to expand its reach.

Tata Sky introduced this mode of advertising over a month ago. Among the products that are considered to evoke good response from viewers are home appliances, mobile phones and mutual funds.

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