L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Railway Budget
Industry not excited
Says Lalu could have done more
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
Terming Laloo Prasad Yadav's Railway Budget as "populist", local industry today said the minister could have done more for the industry.

The announcement to introduce freight corridors from Ludhiana to Kolkata, said industrialists, was expected. Reduction in freight charges for transporting products like cement, coal, petrol and diesel was a welcome step.

Punjab was disadvantaged because of its location, and, hence, there should have been a reduction in cargo freight.

"However nothing has been done on this front. For industrialists here, a concession in cargo freight or in CONCOR freight would have helped a lot, but we are disappointed that no such measure was announced," said S.C. Ralhan of the Engineering Export Promotion Council.

A large section of industrialists, welcoming the announcement on freight corridors, said the efficacy would depend on the time taken in starting these.

"We are happy with the announcement on freight corridors. This would remove hurdles that industrialists face while transporting their goods,"said Varinder Kapoor, who owns a cyle parts manufacturing unit.

On freight reduction on items like coal and cement, Avtar Singh of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial undertakings said: "It is an appreciable step and would help industry."

However, industrialists pointed out that the minister had announced a time period of seven years for completion of the corridors, whereas they had expected a five-year deadline.

"The way things normally move, the freight corridor are not likely to begin functioning before at least 10 years," said a rather cynical Rajinder Singh, a hosiery trader.



But students, porters jubilant
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 26
The “please all” railway budget announced by Laloo Prasad Yadav has gone down well with all sections. There was jubilation among the porters at the railway station here who have been promised recruitment as gang men because the railways intended to promote thousands of gang men and shift them to unmanned railway crossings to curb accidents.

Said Jaswinder Grewal, a retired college teacher: "Rail travel is not only going to be cheaper but more secure with the installation of CCTVs at all major railway stations, recruitment of more police personnel and better fire safety measures in coaches."

She was particularly happy over 50 percent concession in fare announced for elderly women.The students community lauded the free travel facility. A spokesperson of the NSUI said it required a “visionary” like the railway minister to lend a helping hand to those pursuing higher studies when prices of all other commodities were on the rise.

Jagtar Singh, a business man and frequent traveller said: "The Budget has something for everybody - the common man, elderly women, students, coolies and railway employees. Providing more facilities to the public without raising ticket or freight charges shows that Laloo delivered what he had promised."



Unmanned crossings turn into killer tracks
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
Yesterday’s incident at an unmanned level crossing in Jagraon that claimed six lives has once again brought to the fore the issue of unmanned crossings that are becoming killer tracks.

Jagraon has three unmanned level crossings within a radius of 4.5 km. Three months ago, 14 volleyball players were injured when the vehicle in which they were travelling rammed into a train.

Just a few kilometers away from that crossing towards Ajitwal, yesterday’s incident took place.

It spelt doom for a family from Jalalabad which was going to pay obeisance at Roshni Mela. Kammo, her husband and their children Riya (4), Karan (3) and Mohit (2) died in the accident along with a male relative who was driving the Maruti car in which they were travelling.

The level crossing is on the way to Kothe Arkh village. Another crossing on the bypass between Aligarh and Raikot is also a killer track. Residents say that with the traffic increasing, such accidents are waiting to happen.

The road was never so busy until a bridge was constructed on the Jagraon drain. Earlier, vehicles could not cross the drain so the crossing did not a pose danger.

“The railway authorities have always been reasoning that setting up a manned crossing meant spending a lot of money. Even careful drivers ram into speeding trains as they do not come to know if the trains are approaching,” said Sohan Singh, a resident of Jagraon.

Citing the example of residents of Ludhiana who had hired guards for duty at an unmanned crossing, he said they, too, would have to follow suit. 



NRI’s Murder
SIT to send report to UK police
Mahesh Sharma

Khanna, February 26
The special investigation team (SIT) probing the murder of Manjit Kaur Kular, an NRI, who was allegedly done to death by her in-laws on November 9, 2007, will send its report to the UK police to enable it initiate action on a complaint filed by a friend of the deceased.

Manjit Kaur died under mysterious circumstances while she was on way to pay obeisance in a gurdwara on the outskirts of Bija village, native village of her husband, on last Diwali night (November 9, 2007).

Though Mandeep Singh, her brother-in-law, reported to the Bija chowki that Manjit Kaur had died after being hit by a vehicle, Gurmit Kaur, mother of the deceased, alleged that she was murdered by her husband (Jagpaljit Singh) and other members of his family. Consequently, the local police registered an FIR under Section 302 and 120-B of the IPC against Jagpaljit Singh, Mandeep Singh (Jagpaljit’s brother), Meenu ( sister-in-law ) and Harbans Kaur (mother-in-law) the next day.

In her complaint, Gurmit Kaur alleged that the suspects had been harassing her daughter for more dowry. “When we refused to succumb to pressure, they conspired to get rid of my daughter and killed her after inviting her here on the pretext of celebrating Diwali,” Gurmit Kaur had told the investigating police.

The case took another turn when,the suspects, terming the case as “fake,” urged the higher authorities to cancel it. The DIG of Ludhiana then ordered a fresh inquiry to establish whether the woman was murdered or had died in a road accident.

The inquiry was handed over to an SIT headed by Gurpreet Singh Toor, SP (D) Ludhiana, and Ashish Chaudhary, SP (D), Ropar (now SP, City, Ludhiana).

While the matter was being probed, a friend of the deceased urged the UK police to intervene in the matter. Ashish Chaudhary, SP (city), Ludhiana, when contacted, claimed that the SIT had recorded statements of both parties and verified movements of the suspects. “We have recorded statements of all suspects and their movements have been checked, but certain claims are yet to be verified,” said Chaudhary, maintaining that disclosure of details of the statements might affect the outcome of the probe.



Examination supervisors can’t carry mobiles
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
The Punjab School Education Board has ordered examination supervisors not to carry mobile phones.

They have been barred from carrying mobile phones during board examinations scheduled from March 1.

Sudesh Bajaj, DEO, who had earlier suspended the facility of mobile phones for teachers, passed this order while presiding over a principals’ meet at Nauhria Mal Jain School.

She said neither students nor examination supervisors would be allowed to take mobile phones in the examination hall.

As many as 94 officials have been appointed to make surprise visits to examination centres.

Meanwhile, examination-related material is being distributed at Government Senior Secondary Schools for Girls near Bhatat Nagar and the next meeting would take place on March 28. 



Mangal Dhillon crusades against drug abuse
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
Actor Mangal Dhillon has appealed to Punjabis to fight against drug abuse. “Be it politicians, educationists, thinkers or any responsible citizen of the state, we all need to take up the responsibility to eradicate the menace of drug abuse,” he said here today.

Dhillon, who was here for the screening of his film, “Sarvnaash”, at Bondli village, Samrala, said drug abuse among Punjab’s youth was rising.

His concern gave birth to the film which also provides solution to the problem.

“Each one of us needs to understand that our religious faith provides the solution to drug addiction that afflicts 40 to 80 per cent of Punjab’s youth.

The response to the film has been good and has reaffirmed my belief. People felt strongly about it, went to their places of worship and resolved to say no to drugs,” he claimed.

The film would be shown in more educational institutions, he said.

Students of Malwa College who watched the film said they were touched and wanted to spread the message of the ills of drug abuse. “The film is the need of the hour and the message is presented well. More such films carrying a social message need to be made,” said Jagmohan Singh, principal of Malwa College.

Dhillon plans to come out with films on foeticide and problems of farmers in Punjab.



Youth with knives nabbed
Tribune News Service

Vinay Kumar in police custody.
Vinay Kumar in police custody. — A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, February 26
Shopkeepers of Guru Nanak Complex nabbed a youth and allegedly seized sharp-edged weapons and a bottle of acid from him.

The incident occurred last night when the youth identified as Vinay Kumar, a resident of Bhattia village, was caught wondering on the roof of the market.

Watchmen Tulsi Ram and Ram Pershad suspected some movement on the rooftop and raised the alarm.

Some shopkeepers said the youth used to work in a factory situated close to the complex and they suspected that he had come to attack the factory owner. He told the police that he ran a meat shop and had come to purchase a knife from the nearby market.

Though kitchen knives have been seized, the police said no bottle of acid was recovered from the accused.



SAD Rally
Three-wheelers do brisk business
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 26
The public transport system remained crippled for the second day today as a majority of private buses remained off road due to the SAD-BJP “insaf” rally held in Delhi today.

Hiring of buses for ferrying party activists forced people to postpone their journey even as commuters felt harassed. A few buses, including state transport buses, were stuffed to capacity. Passengers could be seen sitting atop the buses.

Owners of three-wheelers and tempos plying on link roads did brisk business today.

As private mini buses are the only means of transport connecting the local town with surrounding villages, few customers were seen in shops.



Sealed outlets reopened
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
After submitting affidavit that they would provide parking space to customers within a month, Vishal Mega Mart and VLCC were opened today.

The buildings of these two outlets were sealed last week during a sealing drive of the municipal corporation as these were not complying with instructions on parking.



Kids missing school exams
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
According to startling revelations made by senior functionaries of the education department, at least 20% kids from primary classes in the periphery areas of the district were skipping their exams to attend to household chores such as feeding cattle and taking care of siblings.

Sources in the education department said 10 to 12 students in each section of 50 did not appear for Class V exams. The absence of one-fifth of students portrays the little priority given to education in these villages.

Even teachers of such schools are facing a tough time convincing the parents that attending schools is very important for their children.

According to Pinder Kaur, a teacher of a primary school, “It is quite tough to convince parents as education does not fall in their priority list. We are told that if children will be sent to schools regularly who will look after the affairs at home.” Another teacher said children also use it as an excuse for not attending schools.

A government school teacher at Kheri-Chamari village said: “Children are skipping their exams on the pretext that they have to look after their siblings, especially girls, if they are alone at home. Some cite parents’ illness as the reason for not attending school.” A senior officer from the education department said despite trying hard, parents are unwilling to understand the importance of education. He added that instead of allotting land to construct Adarsh schools, the government should first run a programme to educate people about the importance of education.



Pensioners’ hunger strike enters 2nd day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
The hunger strike of Punjab Agricultural University pensioners entered the second day today. Those who sat on the relay fast included pensioners K.S.Virdi, G.D. Sharda and Sarvesh Pal Sharma.

Supporting the struggle, Lakhwinder Singh Sandhu, serving employee and one of the members of PAU Employees Union, also sat on hunger strike opposite Thapar Hall of PAU. B.D.Tandon, president of the pensioners' association, alleged that they were being unnecessarily being harassed by the state government. "Some of the retired employees need immediate operations and expensive medicines because of various ailments but they feel helpless due to the delay in pensions. Around 2,500 pensioners are affected as they have not been given a single penny for the past four months,” said Tandon adding that they will intensify the agitation if government fails to resolve the issue in the coming days.



MLA gives cheques to schools
Our Correspondent

Khamano, February 26
The Punjab Government is making efforts to strengthen the structure of schools.

This was stated by Jagjivan Singh Khirnian, MLA, Samrala, while addressing the heads of schools during the distribution of cheques worth around Rs 16 lakh under the CRC Scheme for the construction of additional rooms in government schools of the Khamano area.

He presented cheques for Rs 1.70 lakh to schools of seven villages.

The DEO (E), Fatehgarh Sahib, Roshan Lal Sood, appealed to teachers and staff of the schools concerned to spend the money under their overall supervision.



Transporters rue heavy tax burden
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 26
The All India Motor transport Association today urged the government to save the transport industry, which was suffering due to heavy taxes and high fuel costs.

Charan Singh Lohara, president of the association, said over 70% of goods were transported through road. “Despite this fact not much attention is paid to improve the condition of goods transport industry. High cost of fuels and heavy tax burden has driven the industry to the verge of closure. We urge the state government to come to our rescue and take concrete measures to save the industry."



Mathematics Club of LCET holds lecture
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 26
Ludhiana College of Engineering and Technology (LCET), under the aegis of Optima Mathematics Club (OMC), organised a series of lectures on ‘integral transforms and its applications in differential equations” for its engineering students on the college campus, here yesterday. The aim of the activity was to explain complex mathematical concepts to students.

The resource person for the session was Dr Rajneesh Kumar, professor, department of mathematics, Kurukshetra University. Dr. Rajneesh apprised the students and mathematics faculty with the Laplace and Fourier Transforms, its properties and their uses in solving first order and higher order, ordinary and partial differential equations.



‘Team approach key to treatment of cancer’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 26
Even as detection and diagnostic facilities for cancer have witnessed an increase during the last decade, team approach for the treatment and rehabilitation of cancer patients is lacking, which is why survival probabilities in India are not comparable to those in developed nations.

This was stated by an oncologist from the US, Dr Sewa Singh Legha, while talking to The Tribune here today.

Dr Legha is on a visit to India along with eight senior medical students from Tulane University Medical Centre, Louisiana, to see the medical facilities and also have first-hand information on the standard of medical education.

According to Dr Legha for the successful treatment of a cancer patient, the oncologist, surgeon and radiation expert have to work in unison. But in most medical institutions in India, this does not always happen simply due to the shortage of trained medical professionals from all three specialities.

He said although the incidence of cancer was almost the same in India and other countries, the survival rate was better in the West just because of better infrastructure, higher level of training of medical professionals, economics and the latest diagnosis and therapeutic facilities. He attributed the increase in the incidence of cancer of mouth, throat, lungs and liver to the chewing of tobacco, smoking and excessive intake of alcohol. Indiscriminate use of fertilisers and pesticides, coupled with environment pollution, had also contributed to the rise in cancer.

“Earlier, many cancer patients died without being diagnosed and such deaths were attributed to an unknown illness, which is not the case now,” he said.

Dr Legha was associated with the Regional Cancer Centre project of the CMCH.



CMCH holds free medical camp for children
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 26
Under the Rural Health Outreach Programme (RHOP), Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) organised a free medical check-up camp for ailing children at Al Kausar CMC Hospital in Malerkotla, here yesterday. The department of paediatric medicine conducted the camp.

Besides a thorough check-up of nearly 250 children, free medicines were also distributed. A team of doctors, headed by Dr Geetika Dheer, along with Dr Gurinder examined the patients and rendered follow-up advice. CMCH director Dr John Pramod, in this message, reiterated the commitment of the institution towards providing quality health services in the region. Mohammed Owais, chairman of Al Kausar CMC Hospital Malerkotla, was also present on the occasion.



Sonia, Gurpreet declared best athletes
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 26
Sonia and Gurpreet Singh were declared best athletes among girls and boys respectively, in the 61st Annual Athletics Meet of Arya College that concluded here today.

Parvesh Chander Sharma, gold medalist in weightlifting in the Commonwealth Games, was the chief guest at the prize distribution function. Prof S.C. Sood, president of sports club of the college, read out the annual report, highlighting the achievements of college students during inter-college and inter-varsity competitions.

Dr S M Sharma, principal of the college, along with faculty and students were present on the occasion.


Boys: 400m - Pankaj 1, Sunil Paul 2 and Sidharth 3; 200m - Amit 1, Gurpreet Singh 2 and Ashish 3; 100m - Brij Bhushan 1, Amit Kumar 2 and Chetan Sharma 3; 1500m - Jagdeep Singh 1, Pankaj Gautam 2 and Pankaj Jatwani 3; 5000m - Simrat Dev 1, Brijesh 2 and Pankaj Bassi 3; Shot put - Ajmer Singh 1, Sandeep Thind 2 and Gopal Malik 3; 800m- Ashish 1, Uday Bhatia 2 and Ashutosh 3; Long jump - Gurdeep Singh 1, Gurpreet Singh 2 and Harpreet Singh 3.

Girls: 200m - Sonia 1, Shivani 2 and Shaveta 3; 100m obstacle race - Neha 1, Neha 2 and Rimi 3; Long jump - Sonia 1, Shivani 2 and Rimi 3; Chatti race- Pawandeep Kaur 1.



Athletics meet ends on high note
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 26
The 34th annual athletics meet for boys of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, concluded at the Guru Nanak Stadium, here today. Mohinder Singh Grewal, member of the commission for agricultural costs and prices, was the chief guest and inaugurated the meet. College principal Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu welcomed the chief guest.

Grewal urged the students to adopt an optimistic attitude and lead a life full of vigour. Stating various inspiring incidents from his own life, he enlightened the students regarding the value of sports. Grewal also presented a set of books authored by him to the college library and announced an annual scholarship for two students in memory of his late wife Jagbir Kaur. Roop Brar, president, S. Balwant Singh Pangli, general secretary, college managing committee and Jaswant Singh Gill, director, were present on the occasion. The chief guest gave away prizes to winners

Results: 100 m - Jasvir Singh (B.A. III) 1, Gian Singh (B.A. I)) 2, Sukhdev Singh (B.A. I) 3. 200 m - Jasvir Singh (B.A. III) 1, Harjit Singh (B.A. III) 2, Satnam Singh (B.A. I) 3. 400 m - Jasvir Singh (B.A. III) 1, Harjit Singh (B.A. III) 2, Sanoj Kumar (B.A. I) 3. 800 m - Jasvir Singh (B.A. III) 1, Sanoj Kumar (B.A. I) 2, Harjit Singh (B.A. III) 3. 1500 m - Gurmeet Singh (B.A. I) 1, Sanoj Kumar (B.A. I) 2, Gagandeep Singh (B.A. I) 3. 5000 m - Sanoj Kumar (B.A. I) 1,Gurdit Singh (B.A. III) 2, Manvir Singh (B.A. I) 3.

High Jump - Gurdeep Singh (B.A. I) 1, Yadwinder Singh (B.A. I) 2, Sandeep Kumar (B.Com. I) 3.

Long Jump - Sukhdev Singh (B.A. II) 1, Jasvir Singh (B.A. III) 2, Gurjeet Singh (B.A. III) 3.
Triple Jump - Sukhdev Singh (B.A. II) 1, Gurdit Singh (B.A. III) 2, Gurdeep Singh (B.A. I) 3.

Shot Put - Gurjit Singh (B.A. III) 1, Navaldeep (B.A. II) 2, Simranjit Singh (B.A.I) 3.



Fencing team wins laurels
Our Correspondent

Khamano, February 26
During the 53rd National Fencing Championship recently held at Panchwati, Nasik (Maharashtra), girls from Khamano area brought laurels for the state by winning several gold medals.

In saber individual title Komalpreet Shukla, in epee event Shamipreet and in the foil event Kanwanpreet Kaur won gold medals respectively.

In Saber team event Kiranjeet Kaur, Kawaljeet Kaur, Komalpreet Shukla and Ravneet Kaur won gold medals. In epee team title Baby Verma, Kawaneet Kaur, Shamipreet and Satbir Kaur won the title. In foil team event Ritu Sharma, Kawanpreet Kaur, Inderpreet Kaur and JupSimran Kaur won bronze medal respectively.

In the boys foil team event Sarwpreet Singh Dhillon, Harkamaljot Singh, Karan Joshi and Simranjit Singh won bronze medals. In epee team event Sarbpreet Singh, Harnoor, Rajinder Singh and Navjot won bronze medals.



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