L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Battle Over Parks
Encroachers decide to move PHRC
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
The issue of encroachment of parks in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar is turning into a battle of human rights with the slum dwellers deciding to knock at the doors of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission.

The PHRC has already admitted a complaint of SBS Nagar residents, who had complained that the slum dwellers had encroached upon these green belts. It was after a direction from the commission only that the Ludhiana Improvement Trust had gone to raze jhuggis some days ago.

‘‘If they can move the PHRC for parks, we can also go with a prayer that if they have right on parks, we have right to live on this land. Where will our children go? We have no place in this city. Poor people like us have problems arranging for our meals what to talk of buying land. ’’ said Ashok Kumar, president of slum dwellers.

He said they were consulting a lawyer to present their case in the commission. ‘‘We will not move from here. Come what may. We will resort to force if we are forcibly evicted,’’ he said, just a day prior to the LIT's warning to them to vacate the public parks.

All dwellers remained stay put with an intention never to leave the place. No movement seemed to have taken place in the area as life went on normal for the slum dwellers today. Many of them told TNS that they would do whatever their president would say and he had asked them to stay put as he would handle everything.

With the slum dwellers also talking about their human rights, it remains to be seen whose humans rights are given a preference over the other by the commission. And whether the LIT also takes action against them tomorrow or not.



Meanwhile, ultimatum to slum dwellers

Ludhiana: The Tehbazaari Department of the Municipal Corporation today warned slum dwellers along the Sidhwan canal to pull down their jhuggis within three days otherwise the department would be forced to shoo them from the spot.

The team, led by Superintendent Naveen Malhotra, had gone to remove the encroachments of slum dwellers this afternoon. The jhuggi owners prayed upon them to given them some time so that they could move their children and goods to a safer place.

The squad came back asking them to leave the place themselves. The department removed temporary encroachments at BRS Nagar, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar and Punjab Mata Nagar in the afternoon.



Steel Hike
Industrialists meet Prime Minister
Pin hopes on coming Budget

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
Dissatisfied with the "minor" reduction in steel rates despite struggling for 11 days, industry representatives from the city met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the issue today in New Delhi.

Representatives of the industry from Ludhiana had met union minister of steel Ram Vilas Paswan on the issue last week. Having made efforts in several directions, the industry is now pinning hopes on the coming Budget.

Today, they put forth their problems on account of steep hike in the steel rates and sought a cut in duty on import of scrap and a cess on export. "The Prime Minister assured us that he will discuss the matter with the departments concerned and take action," said Varinder Kapoor, general secretary, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.

The local industry, which had started a protest for the past 11days against an increase of almost Rs 7,000 per metric tonne in steel rates, had to contend with a minor reduction of Rs 500 on HR coils and Rs 1,000 per metric tonne on long products announced by steel producers.

After meeting Paswan, the industry, though withdrew its protest dharnas, said it would continue with its efforts to get its demands fulfilled.

For steel consuming industries, particularly in the small and medium sector, the steep hike came as a severe blow as it increased their costs tremendously. While the representatives put up a brave face and continue making claims that they would get their demands met, several industrialists say that there is little hope of a roll back.

The industry's hopes are now pinned on the coming Budget.

Among industrialists who met the PM were K.K. Seth of Neelam Cycles, Narinder Bhambra of Fasteners Manufacturers Association and Charanjit Singh Vishwakarma, president of United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association.



It was much too easy, say beaming pupils
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
Approximately 1 lakh students across the district, who appeared for the Class V board examinations, came out smiling as the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) issued a relatively easies paper, which could be solved even by students of first standard without any difficulty.

The candidates were asked about the name of the fruits, vegetable and parts of the body. The toughest was the paragraph translations.

The teacher of the affiliated school, who were earlier protesting against the government decision for making the class fifth board exam compulsory for the students of affiliated schools, were happy with the easy examination pattern.

The teacher of one such affiliated English medium school said, "Looking at the style of question paper, I can safely say that our students will score well over 90 marks out of 100 marks. I would not be surprised if some student gets 100 out of 100."

A school principal of one such affiliated school said, "The paper was such that even a student of first standard could easily solve the exams and score good marks."

A government school teacher said, "Except, the grammar portion, which came from out of the syllabus, rest of the paper was easy and I hope that the children would have done well in this examination. I am happy with the easy pattern of question as the student living in the villages face difficulty while comprehending English."

The schools situated in the old city area were hit by the routine power cut, which posed great difficulty to the students as they had to take their exams in pitch dark conditions.



Indifferent Babudom
In public offices, wheelchairs are scrap
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
Wheelchairs donated by several voluntary organisations for the challenged are now part of office scrap. The damaged wheelchairs are found in compounds of various offices.

A rusted wheelchair lies in the mini secretariat bang outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office. Ironically, DC Sumer Singh Gurjar had himself written to various public offices asking them to ensure that they were more friendly to the challenged and that aids were provided to them.

Bhure Lal, who walks on crutches, visited the DC’s office for getting a certificate. He was disappointed as the wheelchair available was not fit for use.

‘‘I am shocked at the state of affairs.Why can’t they get it repaired, ’’ he asked.

In the office of Punjab State Electricity Board at Fountain Chowk, a wheelchair donated by the Bharatiya Vikas Parishad lies mangled in the office compound.

Employees revealed that it had been damaged as it was kept in the open for years together and nobody thought about its maintenance.

Yashpal Gupta, finance secretary, Bharat Vikas Parishad Charitable Trust, said it was a sorry state of affairs.

‘‘Nobody cares for anything given free of cost or donated. But the authorities should take good care of all donations. After all somebody has paid for these in the belief that these would benefit somebody, ’’said Gupta.



PSEB can’t reclaim charges: Forum
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 18
In an important decision, the permanent lok adalat has restrained the PSEB from recovering Rs 37,214 from a consumer on theft charges terming the same to be unjustified.

Pronouncing the verdict, lok adalat chairman C.D. Gupta and its members R.S. Khokar and Nand Lal held that the checking report was prepared in two handwritings using different inks. The allegations regarding theft of energy and using domestic supply for the commercial purpose appears to be written later, Khokar remarked.

The meter number did not tally with the meter installed on the premises of the complainant. Moreover, the checking report was neither witnessed by the complainant nor by his representative, which was mandatory as per PSEB’s instructions.

The orders were pronounced by the lok adalat while deciding the complaint filed by Kesar Singh of Mudian Khurd, Ludhiana.

It further held that the checking report was in the name of Davinder Kumar and penalty on account of theft charges was levied in his account. Later on, the penalty amount was transferred in complainant’s name. No record giving justification for this was produced in the court despite the issue being raised by complainant’s lawyer.



3 run over by trains
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
As many as three persons were crushed under different trains in separate parts of the city wihting last 24 hours.

According to ASI Avtar Singh, the identity of the two deceased persons was still to be ascertained while the third was identified.

The first incident took place at 7:30 am at Dhandari railway track when Duggar Singh (45), a migrant labour from Nepal, while crossing the railway track got crushed under the passenger train, which was heading for Ambala.

The other accident occurred at around 9:30 am when a man, aged around 60 years, was crushed under the Delhi-bound Delhi- Ambala mail near Dholewal railway track.

The third victim of the rail accident succumbed to injuries at the civil hospital after being crushed under a train near Dholewal. He was still unidentified.



Tewari is AICC spokesman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
All-India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary Manish Tewari has been appointed as spokesman of the AICC. The appointment has been made by Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Tewari had worked on various posts in the party. He had worked as the Indian Youth Congress president and also contested election for the MP from Ludhiana constituency in 2004.

Working as the AICC secretary, Tewari has held important assignments and remained in charge of the Congress affairs in Gujarat. Now, keeping in view the committed and dedicated services of Tewari towards the Congress, he has been appointed as one of the AICC spokesmen.



Yoga to bust cops stress
Our Correspondent

Payal, February 18
To bust the stress of crime busters, the Khanna police has started yoga classes. The exercise will help in improving the personality of the cops, authorities hoped.

At least 100 policemen from Samrala, Machhiwara, Koom Kalan, Khanna Sadar and Khanna city police stations besides the local police, attended the yoga classes on the first day of the week-long camp being organised by the Khanna unit of the Bharatiya Yog Sansthan today.

Sources revealed that a large number of cops from all police stations falling under jurisdiction of Khanna district had participated in yoga classes convened under supervision of Pinky Gupta and Ashwani Bansal, office-bearers of the Khanna unit of the Bharatiya Yog Sansthan today.

According to SSP (Khanna) Gautam Cheema, this step has been taken with an intention to improve the physical and psychological health of the cops who had been under stress due to various reasons.

“Now, since the yoga has been recognised as an organised branch of physiotherapy for maintaining the good physical and psychological health, we have organised the camp, initially for selected cops,” said Cheema adding that more cops would be roped in the near future.

Earlier, addressing the participants, Yoga experts Bansal and Gupta advised them to be careful about their diet and attitude which ultimately affect one’s health.

The experts called upon the cops to adopt it as lifestyle for minimising the job stress. “Instead of finding solace in drink, one should adopt yoga as our lifestyle in order to cope with the stress that has become a part of the police official’s routine,” Gupta said.

Dharam Pal, in charge of the event, said the camp would be followed by a series of sports sessions. Cricket and volleyball matches would be organised at the subdivision level, Dharampal said.

SP (Headquarters) Ajmer Singh Romana, SP (D) Gurmit Singh, DSP Payal Ratan Singh Brar and DSP (Khanna) G.S. Bedi were present on the occasion.



10-year old needs help
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
After fighting with thalassaemia for long now, 10-year-old Chunnu Sidharth Kapoor is going to have a bone marrow transplant at Christian Medical College, Vellore. The operation will at least Rs 10 lakh.

The family has sought finacial support from the public. Anyone desiring to help can donate money in patient’s name and number 053071-D via a demand draft or a cheque in favour of 'The Treasurer, Christian Medical College, Vellore'.

Those willing to pay cash can do so by depositing the amount in account number 0296000107703429 of Punjab National Bank.



At The Crossroads
Poet of nature’s varying moods

It was a memorable day for me when I met Shakti Singh Chandel in the company of Dr Som P. Ranchan at Fair Lawns (Mashobra). He was director of institute of public administration and at that time IAS and HAS officers had assembled there for the refresher course. I chatted with some of them over a cup of coffee after lunch. Earlier, I had visited many a time Dhalli, Kufri and Mashobra during my long stay in Shimla and considered these place merely tourist resorts. But, then in Fair Lawns I realised that I was at a place, which was connected with the administration of Himachal Pradesh.

Later, I met Shakti at his residence from where I could see people roaming at the Ridge below. That was again a thrilling experience, as instead of being a part of ‘Tamasha’ (spectacle), I had become a ‘Tamashaee’ (spectator). There he showed me a bunch of his poems, most of which had been published in the Tribune earlier. He read out some of them, which revealed him as a lover of nature, mostly in a contemplative mood. He had also with him the script of his research work ‘Bilaspur: Through the Ages’. Now, both these scripts are in print.

Once, he came up to Rashtrapati Nivas (Summer Hill) where I had been staying as Fellow, Indian Institute of Advanced Study. On that occasion, I came to know that he had passed out from the Indian Military Academy, Dehradun, and served with the 4th Battalion the 4th Gorkha Rifles for about nine years. Later, he joined civil service in Himachal Pradesh and had the distinction of being a much admired IAS Officer.

He told me that he would be retiring from service after a year and a half in September 2000.

‘Beyond the Clouds’, a collection of 35 poems by Shakti Singh Chandel, is a veritable delight for the reader. Most of the poems are about the varying moods of nature. In summer - ‘The sun is ablaze, never seems to go down’. But, rains bring the much-needed relief for the inhabitants of the parched earth - ‘Showers of rain fill the earth with fragrance and the flowers spring sprightly.’ Moreover - ‘At night twinkling fireflies glitter and glow like scattered jewels.’ Autumn is, of course, ‘The season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’, as Keats viewed it. But, our poet is hilarious in a different manner - ‘She has been robbed of her robes but look at her artlessly beautiful form.’ Later, winter has it’s own charm, which very few can appreciate - ‘The folksongs echo above the hills and vales.’

But, nature is not always benign. At times, it is turbulent and devastating. Heavy snowfall can wreak havoc on ‘man and bird and beast.’ In January 1991, as the poet tells us, Shimla witnessed one of the heaviest snowfalls of the century. Everything had come to a standstill. Thousands of tourists were stranded in the snow. In ‘The Cowherd’, the plight of a young cowherd, who had lost his cow in the blizzards, has been described with pathos. In search of his cow, the lad rushed into the nearby jungle at dusk. But at dawn -

The boy was resting under the snow shroud
Pine trees were silent like a solemn crowd
The cold winds whistled, turned his lips pale
Birds, animals grieved seeing his faded face

Shakti Singh Chandel comes from Bilaspur (H.P.) and is deeply interested in the historic significance of this erstwhile princely state. In the poem ‘An Epitaph’, he sheds a tear for the populace of the Sutlej Valley of Bilaspur that had been uprooted for the dam project. They saw their ancient town (Naggar) submerged, inch-by-inch, into the rising lake in 1960. It was surely a sacrifice for the sake of their countrymen who live in Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. Still, he gives vent to his feelings poignantly but with restraint -

Let us not grieve at the gone glory any more!
Yet can’t tell how we feel the loss to the core
That brings back so sadder, deserted dreams
Ah! Memories emerge in nostalgic - streams

The human concern apart, the poetic excellence of this composition is discernible in the last two lines of the poem -

Those bird songsters wander far and wide on wild trail
And sing sadly a dirge to the submerged town of the vale.

— N.S. Tasneem



From Schools & Colleges
Students bid farewell to seniors
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, February 18
Students of Class XI of USPC Public School, Chandigarh road, organised a party to bid adieu to their seniors here today.

The occasion was marked by a colourful programme. Members of the school management committee M.P. Jain (secretary), D.P. Jain (school manager) and T.R. Jain (former school president) graced the occasion.

Students were wished good luck for their future. Senior students, too, assured that they would leave no stone unturned to bring laurels to the school. School principal Ratna Das headed the panel of judges. Bhavneet Kaur was declared Ms Disciplined while Harsh Shah was given the title of Mr Disciplined.

GMT Public School: Students of Class XII of GMT Public School were given a farewell on the school premises here today. Hawan was organised to bless the students. Directors Kashmir Singh Thind and Jasbir Singh Thind, principal Amarjeet Dhaliwal, along with the staff members and students, attended the hawan. Compliments were given to the students and teachers. Students presented dance items and fashion show. Arwinder Singh was crowned Mr GMT while Parul was crowned Ms GMT.

ANNUAL DAY: Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management celebrated its prize distribution-cum-annual day here, recently. Dr S.P. Singh, former VC, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, was the chief guest. The function started with the lighting of the lamp by Dr S.P. Singh and reciting of Saraswati Vandana. College principal Dr Prem Kumar read the annual report. Dr Prem Kumar highlighted the achievements of the college in the current academic year. Dr S.P. Singh gave away prizes to students who excelled in academics and co-curricular activities. Ashwinder Singh of B.Com-III won the trophy for standing first in B.Com (hons.)- Marketing Management Subject in Panjab University. Ritika Thapar, Khushboo Ahuja and Preetika Goyal won several prizes in academics. Gagandeep Kaur of B.Com-I and Piyush Mehra of B.Com-II were awarded the trophies of best athlete (girls and boys), respectively. The college also gave cash prizes to students who performed well in the Panjab University annual examinations. Col P.S. Choudhry, general manager, administration and education, Vardhman Group, presented vote of thanks.

Competitions: The Panjab University Zonal ‘Skill in Teaching’ and ‘Teaching Aid Preparation’ Competitions’ for the subjects of social studies, economics and commerce will be held at Doraha College of Education tomorrow.

At least 15 colleges from Hoshiarpur, Ludhiana and Chandigarh will participate. Harmit Kaur, principal, Ramgharia Girls College, Ludhiana, will give away prizes to the winners.



NCC cadets take exam
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
The No. 4 Punjab Air Sqn NCC conducted the "B" certificate examination for the first and second-year senior division cadets at Arya College today. More than 80 cadets, including 36 girls, took the examination.

The cadets from Arya College, SCD Government College for Boys, GGN Khalsa College, Government College for Women and Khalsa College for Women took the examination.

The examination board comprising Wg Cdr H. Singh, Wg Cdr Pradeep Bishnoi, Col S.S. Dhaliwal, FLt S.P. Singh tested the skill of the cadets through various tests in air frame, aero engine, principles of flying first aid, general service knowledge and flying instruments etc. The practical examination was also conducted after the written tests.



PU pensioners to hold rally on Feb 22
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
Pensioners of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), who have not been paid their dues for the past five months, will hold a protest rally on the campus on February 22. A pensioners’ delegation met the vice-chancellor in this regard today.

President of the PAU pensioners’ association B. D. Tandon said today that they were not satisfied over the dilly-dallying attitude of the university authorities and the state government. He said Class III and Class 1V employees were the worst-affected. Authorities concerned will have to take the responsibility, otherwise we will sit on hunger strike in coming days, Tandon said.



Cancer Hospital
Manpreet Badal to lay stone
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
CMC will start a regional cancer centre (RCC) that’s being built by CMCH. Finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal will lay its foundation on February 20.

Maximum amount of pesticides are being used in Malwa. Therefore, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Muktsar, Bathinda, Mansa and Sangrur, six of the nine districts in Malwa, are the worst-affected. Studies show that caner, deformities, learning disabilities, and other disorders are higher than average in Bathinda. Officially, 2,472 people have died due to cancer in Bathinda, Muktsar, Faridkot and Mansa in the past 10 years.

CMC is planning to start a cancer hospital and research centre at Gidderbaha at village. It will run in collaboration with its American counterparts and follow protocols of cancer care management as in the USA. This was stated by CMCH director Dr John Pramod.



Cochlear implant surgery at DMCH
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
DMCH has claimed to have conducted first-ever cochlear (ear) implant surgery in the region. A team of DMCH doctors carried out the surgery for improving the hearing capacity of a four-year-old girl. The patient was born with 90 per cent hearing loss and would have become deaf in later years due to this.

According to Dr Hemant Chopra, “Cochlear implant is an electronic device that restores partial hearing among the deaf. These are especially useful for children since they have been able to join the mainstream life after receiving the implant. One of the key factors impacting its success is the early identification of hearing loss and assessment for implant suitability.”

Dr Kapil Dua said the successful implant had raised the hope of girl’s parents, who would overcome this disability and start talking normally.



800 examined at medical camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 18
DMCH organised a free medical check-up camp under the aegis of Vivek Mission Charitable Hospital at Jalal, Bhatinda, recently. The camp was organised for the patients relating to general medicine, ophthalmology, oncology and urology. As many as 800 patients were examined and free medicines were distributed.

The patients were also informed about the ways to lead a balanced and hygienic lifestyle so as to remain healthy.

Meanwhile, the hospital conducted a first aid training class for employees of Rockman Industries, in which 54 employees were imparted training in handling the first-aid.



Manmeet, Mandeep declared best athletes
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 18
Manmeet Singh of BSc-III and Mandeep Kaur of BSc-I were declared best athletes among boys and girls, respectively, in the 88th edition of the annual athletics meet of Satish Chander Dhawan Government College, Ludhiana, recently.

In the boy’s section, Manmeet clinched four gold medals besides finishing runner up in one discipline. He bagged top honours in 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m races and secured second place in 1500m.

In the girl’s section, Mandeep Kaur won two titles in addition to one silver and one bronze medal. She proved her mettle in 200m and long jump events besides finishing runner up in 100m-sprint and securing third place in high jump.

Sumer Singh, deputy commissioner, Ludhiana, inaugurated the meet while chief parliamentary secretary Harish Rai Dhanda distributed the prizes.

As many as 48 students who won at university, state, national and international level tournaments were honoured during the prize distribution function.

Results: (Boys) 100m: 1 Manmeet Singh, 2 Rohit Chhiber and 3 Pawandeep Singh; 200m: 1 Manmeet Singh, 2 Rohit Chhiber and 3 Sandeep Singh; 400m: 1 Manmeet Singh, 2 Rohit Chhiber and 3 Naveen Tiwari; 800m: 1 Manmeet Singh, 2 Naveen Tiwari and 3 Lovepreet Singh.

1500m: 1 Naveen Tiwari, 2 Manmeet Singh and 3 Deepak; 5000m: 1 Naveen Tiwari, 2 Deepak and 3 Lovepreet Singh; Long jump: 1 Dhanraj Singh, 2 Rakesh Kumar and 3 Rohit Chhiber; high jump: 1 Rohit Chhiber, 2 Gurdeep Singh and 3 Rajan; triple jump: 1 Rakesh Kumar, 2 Rohit Chhiber and 3 Navneet Singh.

Shot put: 1 Harpreet Singh, 2 Prabh Simran and 3 Gurminder Singh; hammer throw: 1 Harpreet Singh, 2 Prabh Simran and 3 Gurminder Singh; discus throw: 1 Prabh Simran, 2 Harpreet Singh and 3 Gurminder Singh.

Girls: 100m: 1 Jyoti, 2 Mandeep Kaur and 3 Richa Sharma; 200m: 1 Mandeep Kaur, 2 Ramandeep Kaur and 3 Manpreet Kaur; long jump: 1 Mandeep Kaur, 2 Satveer Kaur and 3 Manpreet Kaur; high jump: 1 Jyoti, 2 Manpreet Kaur and 3 Mandeep Kaur.

Shot put: 1 Jagdeep Kaur, 2 Sunita Rani and 3 Jaspreet Kaur; discus throw: 1 Gurmeet Kaur, 2 Jagdeep Kaur and 3 Sunita Rani; javelin throw: 1 Manpreet Kaur, 2 Rajdeep Kaur and 3 Jaspreet Kaur.



Ajay wins silver medal
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, February 18
Gobindgarh Public College, Alour, team won silver medal in the Panjab University inter-college cricket tournament division-B. More that 19 teams participated in this tournament.

Ajay Kumar, student of B.Com-II won silver medal in the open district badminton tournament held at Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College, Fatehgarh Sahib. Kabya Gupta and Umesh Bansal of BA-I won consolation prize in this tournament.

Principal Dr Suresh Tandon congratulated the winners.



City girl brings laurels to college
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 18
Baljit Kaur, student of SDP College for Women, Ludhiana, brought laurels to her alma mater. She represented Panjab University in the All India Inter-University Softball Tournament held at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, recently, and played the pivot role in her team’s silver medal winning performance.

Earlier, Baljit led the Panjab University baseball squad in the All India Inter-University Baseball Championship held at Srinagar where the team secured bronze medal. President of SDP College management committee Balraj Bhasin and college principal Dr Geeta Bhandari congratulated Baljit Kaur on the achievements.



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