L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Another bank robbery bid in 10 days
Cops: Security lax
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
A few persons made an abortive attempt to loot Canara Bank, Focal Point, yesterday night. They managed to enter the bank by breaking the locks on the door and the grill gate. However, they could not open the safe.
  • 46 banks have no security guards
  • Most banks sans security alarms and CCTVs
  • Ban on cell phones inside banks flouted

o security guard was present in the bank at that time. SHO, Focal Point, said it seems they fled away after hearing the hooter of the PCR cops who were patrolling the area. The matter was reported to the PCR cops.

The police has collected finger prints from the scene and investigation was on to identify the culprits

“Make security arrangements immediately or face action by the administration.” This is the stern warning the police has issued to banks in the city, which were found lax in maintaining security.

The police warning follows a special survey conducted by the police last week in banks on whether the financial institutions have posted security guards, finetuned alarm system and made other provisions in the wake of the robbery in Oriental Bank of Commerce, Kithclu Nagar, on September 7.

The police survey again pointed out glaring violations by the banks as a few of about 50 banks identified working without a security guard had made fresh postings. In total, 326 banks exist in the city. Most of them do not fulfil all security measures underlined by the RBI as well as by the local police.

SSP R K Jaiswal said he had apprised the district magistrate about the gravity of the problem and urged him to issue orders making it mandatory for the banks to maintain security arrangements.

Police sources revealed that SHOs in the city had surveyed the banks to note if proper security arrangements were in place or not.

A police survey conducted after the Oriental Bank of Commerce robbery had found that 46 of the banks had no security guards despite several reminders by the police to post one at the earliest. The majority banks did not have functional security alarms, close circuit TVs and very few have night guards. The direction on ban on mobile phones inside the bank is violated.



No fogging till date
Kanchan Vasdev

Ludhiana, September 17
Dengue has entered the city with a case already confirmed by Apollo Hospital and the city has a number of fresh water puddles that can serve as perfect breeding grounds for the Aedes mosquito that spreads the viral fever.
Mayor Hakim Singh Giaspura and municipal comissioner Vikas Pratap inspect the Jamalpur area in view of gastro threats in Ludhiana
Mayor Hakim Singh Giaspura and municipal comissioner Vikas Pratap inspect the Jamalpur area in view of gastro threats in Ludhiana on Monday. — A Tribune photograph

Though the Municipal Corporation claims that fogging operations were being carried out and the commissioner yesterday ordered sprinkling of kerosene on stagnating water, a quick survey by a Tribune team in Gyaspura and various colonies on Tajpur Road revealed that the situation was otherwise.

Residents of these areas said they had not seen the fogging machines in their areas for the past many months. Rain water was stagnating in vacant plots but not a drop of kerosene was sprinkled by anyone.

Heaps of garbage, plots filled with water and breeding pathogens of various diseases and stench emanating from all around was the order of the day at Baba Jeevan Singh Nagar, Puneet nagar, Kishore Nagar, Bihari Colony and EWS Colony.

Similar situation prevailed in Gyaspura also. The residents of Ishwar Colony were thanking the outbreak of gastro in their area some days ago as some attention was being paid to that colony. Lime powder was being sprinkled on garbage heaps but the fogging was not carried out yet.

Residents of Baba Jeevan Singh Nagar claimed that not a single team either from the corporation or Health Department had visited their area for the past many days.

‘‘Nobody has come to educate us on what to do to prevent the disease. ’’ said Garib Dass, a migrant.

Most of the cases are reported from such areas where insanitation prevails and the residents do not pay much attention towards hygiene and ironically these areas are mostly ignored.

Gyaspura was declared a malaria and dengue-sensitive area by the Ministry of Health some time ago, not much attention was being paid to check the disease this year also.

‘‘Though the authorities should concentrate on underdeveloped areas to prevent dengue where water stagnates throughout the year. But what they lack is a will to act and give some results on ground, ’’ said Col Harjap Singh, a resident, who has filed a PIL in the High Court also to fight against insanitary conditions in the city.

Not only underdeveloped colonies but also residents of posh areas like Sarabha Nagar and BRS Nagar also said no fogging was carried out in their area.



It’s a bumpy road to Chhapar Mela
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 17
A visit to this town by road from Ludhiana, Payal, Malerkotla, Mullanpur, Sandaur and Raekote revealed that none of the roads is in ideal condition for motoring. Condition of all six approach roads - the Jandali road, Pohir road, Dhulkote road, Chhapar road, Dehliz road and the Jagera road - is in bad shape.

Similar is the condition of the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road. The road, which was once used for local traffic only, is lately being used as a short route for heavy vehicles bound for New Delhi and Haryana. Toll barriers on the national highway have added to the traffic here. The zig-zag driving by drivers to avoid potholes has caused many accidents.

The road along the bank of the Bathinda branch of the Sirhind canal is also in a bad shape. The journey on approach roads from Mulanpur, Sandaur and Raekote is also bumpy. The situation becomes worse during the rainy season.

While the Chhapar Mela, which has been witnessing huge gatherings of devotees, commences on September 25, the authorities have taken no notice of the bad condition of the roads.

Residents say that since the VIPs have started coming to the mela by air, nobody bothers about the woes of the common man.

Nachhatar Rahi, a resident, said the PWD was indifferent towards the maintenance of roads. He said the local bodies department, the PWD and various market committees were supposed to look after the maintenance of particular stretches of these roads. And this confusion had resulted in the present condition of approach roads.

Kuldeep Singh Karwal, general secretary, SAD, criticised the previous government for ignoring the maintenance of the road on the bank of the Sirhind canal.

Though this road is the shortest route from Raikot, Barnala and Ahmedgarh to Anandpur Sahib, pilgrims have to take other routes so as to avoid accidents as the condition the road is bad.

Pawan Kumar and Tarsem Lal Garg are concerned over the falling business in the town because people from surrounding villages have started going to other towns for purchases due to bad condition of the approach roads.

Residents of the area wish that the Chief Minister should reach Chhapar village to attend the mela by road so that he might have a taste of bumpy ride on these roads.



City investors look to Dubai, London
Shveta Pathak

Ludhiana, September 17
Buying property overseas is the latest craze among city investors who have not been able to reap benefits out of real estate transactions in the recent past. Stagnation in property prices here, apart from lure of foreign lands and desire to earn handsome returns, is making a large number of people eager to invest overseas. All this has been possible due to the government’s move to relax the norms.

All those putting their money are expecting to emerge winners.The business is equally good for those engaged in getting such transactions done. And it’s Dubai and London that are emerging as hot favourites.

“The trend of buying land abroad started some time ago, but these days more people are interested in investing there. Apart from returns, the buyers want to secure their kids’ future. Businessmen who frequently travel abroad,too, are finding it to be an attractive option," said Harmohan Sharma, owner of UK Land Investment, which facilitates purchase of land overseas.

To be an owner, the investment can begin from less than Rs 12 lakh. And sitting back at home, the companies engaged in the business, provide details of land one can buy through videoconferencing and even promise to get all formalities completed till a buyer receives his copy of registration.

For cash-rich residents, particularly business community, having property overseas has been found to be quite convenient also.

A large number of people, who plan to get settled abroad in later stages of their life, too are keen on investing in this area. “It is less expensive than it would be if one has to invest towards starting a business there. Property prices only escalate. Besides, it will be good to own a house there even before one gets settled," said a resident planning to make a purchase in the United Kingdom.



Aggarwal likely to be leader of oppn in MC
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 17
Congress municipal councillors have suggested names of office-bearers and sent the list to the party high command. According to information, 14 of the 18 Congress councillors have recommended the name of Hemraj Aggarwal as the leader of the Congress in the municipal Corporation with Jaswinder Kaur Chadha as deputy leader, Bharat Bhushan Ashu as a member of the finance committee and Sanjay Talwar as a member of the house tax committee.

PPCC president S.S.Dullo had convened a meeting of the councillors of all four municipal corporations last month where Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and Jagmeet Singh Brar were also present.

According to sources, it was decided that the councillors would suggest the names of the office-bearers to the party high command for the final approval.



Be judicious while using water: Stewart
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
India is likely to face severe water crisis, both in terms of agriculture and potable water, in the coming decades as the country has been using it quite injudiciously. According to B.A.Stewart, director,Dryland Agriculture Institute, Texas, the water should be used in perfect proportion of it being recharged through other sources. However, this is not happening in India.

Stewart, who is here to attend a workshop on "water management and food security", organised by Punjab Agricultural University, said, “This crisis was prevalent all over the world and problem was very serious in countries like India. Even the countries like the USA, China and those in the West Asia were not utilising water judiciously.

He said, “In India, monsoons were helping to recharge the water sources. But these are not being recharged in the exact proportion to the water being used”, he said, while pointing out, this is certainly going to lead to continuous deficit which is being reflected in the falling water table.

The situation was still not alarming as such a trend could be arrested, if not totally reversed, by taking recourse to the scientific and technological advances. He said situation in his country (water depleting) was even worse than in India. He stressed, "But science has the answer to it. Though it does not tell us what is right or wrong but it surely state other methods to be adopted. Science, first has to go to the farmers, the policy makers, who can decide on its adaptation process, later”. It is definitely the time when people must deal wisely with the natural resources, he said.

Stewart further added that science always provided other suitable options. "If you delay the planting of rice, you can save a lot of water. No reduction in rice yield will occur even if we start transplanting the crop a little late", he said. He suggested that farmers that they could easily plant the crop even in the last week of June. He said there was a need to revive the old water courses and increase canal water supply.

Stewart said that such problems needed to be discussed to get concrete solutions, proposals and strategies to ameliorate the water situation. 



Bairagi Mahamandal laments government apathy
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 17
The Bairagi Mahamandal has castigated successive state governments for ignoring genuine demands of the community even after making tall promises.

Addressing a state-level meeting of the mandal here yesterday, its national president Krishan Kumar Bawa lamented that demands like setting up a Chair in the name of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur in one of the universities, making a documentary film on the life of Banda Bahadur, allotment of land for the construction of Banda Bahadur Bhavan and declaring a public holiday on the birth anniversary of the martyr on October 16 were not accepted during the past 18 years.

The meeting was convened to chalk out a programme to celebrate the 337th birth anniversary of Banda Bahadur at Gurdwara Gurdas Nangal Garhi in Gurdaspur on October 16.

State president of the body Hari Das Bawa speaking on the occasion made a case for giving due representation to the community at various levels. He said the representatives of this minority community should be nominated to district and sub-division level grievances committees and other advisory committees of different departments.

Avtar Singh Grewal, hailing from Dhandra village in this district and now settled in the USA, and Buta Singh were presented Punjab Ratan award at this occasion for organising functions in Seattle and New Jersey to mark martyrdom day of Banda Bahadur earlier this year.

Prominent among others present at the meeting were Rajinder Pal Bairagi, Bawa Ravinder Nandi, Bikramjit Singh Rauni, Rajinder Kumar Jayantipur, Baldev Bawa, Ashwani Mahant, Jiwan Das Bawa, Buta Singh Bairagi, Kewal Das, Baldev Krishan Rangia, Nand Singh Bawa, Surjit Singh, Bhagwan Das Bawa, Kanchan Bawa, Neelam Bawa and Rajni Bawa.



‘Illuminate houses to celebrate Bhagat Singh’s birth centenary’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
Cutting across their political ideologies, leaders of the SAD, the Congress and some other parties today appealed to the people to celebrate the birth centenary of Bhagat Singh with gaiety and fervor. They appealed to the people to illuminate their houses on the nights of September 26, 27 and 28 as a mark of respect to Bhagat Singh, whose birth centenary is being celebrated at the national level on September 28.

The appeal was made at a meeting of the representatives of various parties and NGOs held under the chairmanship of Sumer Singh Gurjar, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana. The meeting was attended by the leaders of all political parties and representatives of various NGOs.

The leaders observed that Bhagat Singh enjoyed deep respect in the hearts of the people and was a central figure amongst patriots and martyrs of the country, who had shaken the foundations of the British rule. They felt that maximum numbers of people should be involved in the centenary celebrations cutting across the political affiliations so that the younger generation could seek inspiration from the brave deeds and ideology of Bhagat Singh and other martyrs.

The Deputy Commissioner directed the officers of departments concerned to ensure foolproof arrangements regarding the functions being organised in the district in this connection on September 27. He said a group of 100 youths wearing dresses like that of Shaheed Bhagat Singh holding torches in hands would start from the ancestral house of Shaheed Sukhdev in Naughara (Chaura Bazar), Sarabha (native village of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha) and Bhaini Sahib in the district on September 27, which would converged at Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, in the afternoon.

Gurjar asked the MC authorities to decorate all main chowks of the city and route of the procession. He directed the BDPOs and executive officers of municipal councils to install hoardings and banners at all villages falling on the route.

Among others who attended the meeting were Harminder Singh Pardhan, Gurdeep Singh Bhaini and Ishar Singh Meharban, all MLAs, Santa Singh Umedpuri, president, District Akali Dal (rural), Jagmohan Sharma, president, District Congress Committee (urban), Amarjit Singh Chawla, Vijay Danav, Narinder Dhingan and Laxman Dravar. 



Dead chicken being sold in market
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
The chicken being sold at various outlets and also that supplied to hotels and restaurants are being transported in most cruel manner.

It is learnt that a number of birds die before being taken for slaughter.

There is not a single poultry farm in Ludhiana which transports chicken in a proper way.

A survey of some poultry farms and chicken outlets revealed the cruel condition in which birds are kept.

Against the widespread impression that these were overfed to increase the weight, most retail outlets prefer to keep the chicken starved. This way the chicken weigh lesser and these are sold for more price as compared to those which have extra weight.

Right from the production in the poultry farms up to the outlets where these are slaughtered, the chicken are treated as lifeless objects. These are bundled into vehicles much beyond their capacity. Most of the birds break their limbs during the transportation, while some even die on the way.

Ludhiana is the largest chicken producing centre with maximum consumption in the North after Delhi. There are hundreds of big and small poultry farms scattered in the outskirts of the city. Besides, there are hundreds of retail outlets, where dressed chicken is sold.

Surprisingly, there is no check from the health authorities on the retail sale outlets, which, barring a few exceptions, are most unhygienic with flees and mosquitoes flying around.

There is no water for washing the chicken once it is slaughtered. And the dressed chicken is left open prone to various infections.

Following the recent reports that dead chicken were sold in some low-cost

Delhi restaurants, health experts here have advised that people should prefer live birds to those already dressed.

Although there are no such reports in Ludhiana, but given the huge consumption, there can always be such a possibility, said Gursharan Singh, a leading doctor and former district president of the Indian Medical Association.

He pointed out while the administration issued ban on the sale of cut fruits, there were no such orders about cut meat kept in open.

According to a recent report by the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the chicken are subjected to the worst cruelty possible right from their production up to the slaughter. Even the process of slaughtering is most cruel. After their heads are chopped, the chicken are left jumping in pain till they die.



Hoardings make city look ugly
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 17
A large number of hoardings and posters can be seen on any vacant space available in the city. These are not only defacing the city but also causing a lot of inconvenience to drivers. These hoardings have been put at crossings to attract the attention of passers by.

Citi Bank relationship manager Ashima Banga, who returned to her native place after five years, said, “A large number of showrooms in the city astonished me. But, I was taken aback to see how crowded the city looks due to big hoardings and hardly any green cover visible. Even if these have to be displayed, they should erected at such a height that one can see trees at least. Why don’t they display advertisements on balloons. After living and working in cities like Delhi and Bangalore, the city looks very ugly to me.” There is hardly an inch of space visible on Mall Road, Pakhowal Road, Model Town Road, GT Road, Ferozepur Road.

Chander Sharma says, “I feel irritated while cycling to my office as there are huge hoardings staring at you.” The film posters are worst. However, posters and hoardings cannot be found in areas like Sarabha Nagar, BRS Nagar and South City.

Despite repeated attempts joint municipal commissioner Ashok Bajaj could not be contacted.



Kashmiris ‘resolve’ to return
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
Members of the Kashmiri Welfare Society have resolved to return to their homeland at all costs.

According to A.K. Pandita, vice-president of the society, the general body meeting was held under the chairmanship of H.L. Takoo at the Mini Rose Garden, Jamalpur, here yesterday.

The society also paid tributes to all those martyrs who were killed by the terrorists in Kashmir for refusing to subscribe to the secessionists views. The community members said although they were forced out of their homeland by the terrorists, they were still resolved to return to their homeland.



Front helps victims of fraud
Our Correspondent

Samrala, September 17
The Anti-Corruption Front president Rashpal Singh, while talking to the Ludhiana Tribune here yesterday, said the front had received complaints from Jasvir Kaur of Ramgarh Mand and Devinder Kaur of Punia about the fraud having been committed with them by Satnam Singh of Makrauna Kalan, who had taken Rs 2,38,000, along with passport of her husband Satnam Singh, for sending him to foreign country.

Satnam Singh, after making false promises for a long period, returned the passport of her husband but refused to return the money.

Like this, Bhupinder Singh Chohan issued cheques amounting to Rs 1,80,000 but the cheques were bounced back due to lack of funds.

The front appreciated the stepts taken by the both SSPs on whose directions, cases were registered against them. Satnam Singh Makrauna has been arrested.



Campaign for cycle assn poll hots up
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, September 17
The annual election of the office-bearers of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association (UCPMA) has evoked a lot of interest among the local industrialists.

The cycle industry is now divided into two major groups and hectic campaigning for the election by the two groups has started. The polling will now be held on September 21.

The two groups which have fielded their candidates are Ajit Singh Kular, Mohinder Singh Bhogal and K K Seth on one side and Joginder Kumar, V P Chopra and the Deol group on the other side. The Kular-Bhogal-Seth group has fielded Charanjit Singh Vishwakarma and Virender Kapoor for the post of president and general secretary while the Joginder Kumar-Chopra group has put up D S Chawla and Jaswant Singh Virdi for the post of president and general secretary. All five leaders of the two groups are known as veterans of the cycle industry.

Both groups have now started door-to-door campaign for their candidates. Such an intense campaigning has never been witnessed in the past for the election of the office-bearers of the association.

Both groups have issued their election manifesto promising moon to the industry.

As a matter of fact, the bicycle industry has been facing crisis as Chinese manufacturers of the cycles and cycleparts have thrown a big challenge to the cycle industry by flooding the market with cheap cycle parts and complete bicycles.

Ludhiana has been having the monoply of manufacturing the cycles and cycle parts which has been severely hit with the entry of Chinese goods.

The election manifesto of both the groups has sought imposition of dumping duty to check the flooding of the local market with the Chinese goods and also enhancement of Central excise duty on import of cycle parts.



Manhandling of PSEB engineer by juniors
Act against erring men: Engineers 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 17
The PSEB Engineers Association has reacted to manhandling of an engineer by subordinate staff in Patiala East Division on last Thursday following an altercation on the outsourcing of field work while calling upon the board management to take stern action against the erring employees.

An emergency meeting of the association held here yesterday called upon the central executive of the body of PSEB engineers to take up the matter at appropriate levels with the PSEB management as also the police so that the employees, responsible for this act were brought to book.

The meeting also made a plea for providing legal assistance at the cost of the association to the affected engineer Gurdeep Singh so as to restore the morale of the PSEB engineers working in the field.

Speakers including Jaswant Singh Zafar, Charanjit Singh Brar and Bhupinder Khosla remarked that as a result of the PSEB decision to outsource the field work and the employees putting up a stiff resistance to these policies of privatisation, the supervisory staff was facing a tough time.

"If the board wanted to hand over the field work to private operators, it ought to ensure that the employees are taken into confidence and further that there should be no margin for confrontation between the employees and senior staff on this issue. The political parties should also exercise restraint and should not misuse trade unions for their political motives," the PSEB engineers pleaded.

They added that the political interference in the PSEB affairs had affected the efficiency and work culture in this technical organisation to the extent that the bureaucracy and the board management had got an opportunity to make plans for handing over the public sector entity to multinational corporations on a platter.

Those present at the meeting vowed to abide by any agitational approach, adopted by the central executive of the association, in case the PSEB management failed to take any action against the employees, responsible for assault on the engineer.

R.S. Grewal, Jaspal Singh Birdi, Sohinderjit Singh, Mandeep Singh, Ishar Singh and PC Gakhar also addressed the meeting.



Bank guard dies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
A security guard posted with the Bank of Rajasthan near Dholewal Chowk allegedly died due to an accidental shot from his gun this evening.

Lachman Singh was sitting on a chair with his chin resting on the barrel. The gun went off killing him on the spot, the police said.

He was a resident of Sidhwan bet and is survived by two children and a wife. The police has conducted proceedings under section 174 of the CrPC.



Booked for stealing streetlights
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
The Shimla Puri police has booked a resident of the Barota road for stealing three streetlights worth Rs 9,000 in Jujhar Nagar Colony.

The accused, Rinky, has been booked on a complaint by Tirath Bansal, an official of the municipal corporation. 



Cotton County opens outlet

Ludhiana, September 17
Cotton County, a fashion brand of Nahar Retail, has opened its outlet in Flamez Mall here. The company has also come out with a promotional offer as part of the launch.

Sachin Sahni, associate vice-president, Cotton County, said, "This is our 325th outlet. We have come out with the offers wherein customers buy one and get two-three garments free, which is a unique attempt by any fashion brand. — TNS



Industry hit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 17
Domestic industry is suffering due to rising imports from China. This was stated by general secretary,Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, Mohinder Aggarwal, here today.

He said industries like sewing machines, hosiery, auto parts, yarn, electrical equipment and cycle parts were particularly affected by large scale imports from other countries, particularly China. 



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