L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC okays Rs 467 cr budget
Kuldip Bhatia

A Congress councillor raises the issue of house tax and advertisement fee at the budget meeting of MC in Ludhiana on Thursday
A Congress councillor raises the issue of house tax and advertisement fee at the budget meeting of MC in Ludhiana on Thursday. — Photo by Inderjit Verma

Ludhiana, March 20
The general house of the Municipal Corporation (MC) today gave its assent to Rs 467.41 crore budget for the next financial year while at the same time approving the downscaling of the budget for the current year by nearly Rs 50 crore due to its failure to achieve the targeted income even as the year is about to end.

Presenting the budget before the House, mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura asserted that the major thrust of the budget was on development works and improvement in the delivery of civic services. That the councillors, both from the ruling party and the opposition, had not bothered to study the budget was evident from virtual lack of speakers during the meeting which lasted barely 25 minutes.

The commissioner Vikas Pratap, responding to points raised by some of the Congress councillors, assured the House that all efforts would be made to achieve the targets of income, plug the loopholes, check evasion and improve recovery from all quarters so that the funds earmarked for development works were available.

In the next financial year, the MC expected to generate an additional income of Rs 173 cr as compared to current year. The major receipts would come from octroi and VAT (Rs 162 cr), house tax (Rs 49.50 cr), octroi on electricity (Rs 12 cr), advertisement (Rs 8 cr) composition fee (Rs 3 cr), water supply and sewerage (Rs 30 cr) and additional excise duty (Rs 57.30 cr). The civic body further expected to get funds to the tune of Rs 74 crore from the Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission and another Rs 39.84 cr from HUDCO as loan for expansion of water supply and sewerage.

During the next financial year, a whopping Rs 321.05 cr had been earmarked for development works which would be 68.69 per cent of the total income while 27.87 would go to the establishment branch. The MC intended to incur an expenditure of Rs 168 crore for extension, operation and maintenance of water supply and sewerage during the year.

In addition, Rs 30 crore had been provided for laying new roads and another Rs 18 crore for repairs of existing roads, Rs 12 crore for construction and repair of PWD roads within MC limits, Rs 11 crore or construction and repair of flyovers, Rs 25 crore for pavement of streets and drains while Rs 4 crore would be spent for development of new parks and Rs 3.5 crore would go for maintenance of existing parks.

As the meeting commenced, ruling party councillor Simarjit Singh Bains raised the matter of leakage of budget, terming it as regrettable act. He stressed that the dignity of the House ought to be maintained at all costs and the elected representatives as also the senior officials should remain more vigilant in future.

Prem Mittal, leader of the opposition, along with his colleagues in the House Amrit Varsha Rampal and Parminder Mehta, alleged that due to lackadaisical atttitude of the official concerned, the MC was losing huge revenue from house tax and advertisement. "The house tax assessments of commercial and industrial buildings have been hanging fire for years while some of the advertising agencies are also evading payment of actual fee for hoardings and signboards."

Amount to be spent on

  •  Rs 30 cr for laying new roads
  • Rs 11 cr for construction and repair of flyovers
  • Rs 25 cr for pavement of streets and drains
  • Rs 4 cr to go for development of new parks
  • Rs 3.5 cr for maintenance of existing parks



It works during exams, feel students
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
Vishvaditi Kapoor, a BA final year student of a local college here, makes sure that everytime she goes to take her exams, she wears yellow, white or blue-coloured clothes. She believes that these are the lucky colours for her, which always brought her great success during examinations.

Her is not an isolated case. Hundreds of students appearing for the examinations of various classes in the city have been performing one ritual or another to get success. Starting from early morning prayers these days, students are seen offering milk to black dogs, grass and fodder to cows and seven-typed foodgrain to birds on particular days.

Not only this, some believe to put their right leg forward while entering the examination centre while others go to respective gurus to get a "pen-touch".(with which they write in the answer sheets).

Kaveri Kharbanda, a student from GCW, said red was an unlucky colour for her. She avoids wearing red colour during examinations. "While leaving home for my exam, I always eat curd and rice to bring luck. I have been trying it for the past two years and I do get above 75 per cent marks", she claimed, adding that she also does meditation and yoga during exams.

Unfortunately, some teachers are making fool of their students. "I was shocked when my son told me that his tuition teacher along with other students called spirits to know the results. I immediately stopped him going to that teacher. This sounds very scary", she complained.

"Whatever their beliefs are, we must respect them. This is nothing abnormal or unique in it. Students get panicky during frantic times (examinations) and meditations, yoga and prayers do help a lot. But that does not mean one starts relying on these things alone. They are helpful but one should work hard and prepare well for exams", said Pt Mahanand, a priest at a local Shiv temple.



Pollution board's properties attached
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, March 20
With the orders of a local court, the properties of the pollution control board were attached here today as board officials failed to comply with the decree passed against the board.

The properties attached included three Ambassador cars occupied by the executive engineers and several computers.

The orders of attachment of properties were issued by the court of civil judge (junior division) Ranjan Khullar in an execution application filed by Manohar Lal, one of the officials of the Punjab Pollution Control Board.

As per the information, in a civil suit filed by the Manohar Lal, assistant enviornmental engineer, the court had passed decree in his favour. He had challenged the board's order passed in 1992 for promoting allegedly one of his junior. The court had quashed the orders of the board and directed it to consider the seniority of Manohar Lal.

After losing the case, the board had preferred an appeal, which was ultimately dismissed by the Fast Track Court in 2005. In 2006, the decree holder had filed an application seeking directions to implement the court judgement and decree passed in his favour. 



Truck driver beaten up, looted
Tribune News Service

Khanna, March 20
Unidentified persons reportedly robbed a truck driver of tyres worth over Rs 13 lakh from his trucks that was on its way to Ludhiana on the National Highway number 1.

According to driver of the truck, he had brought 125 tyres from Delhi that were to be transported to Ludhiana. He said the previous night at around 2.30 am, when he reached Khanna, some people forced him to stop his truck and started beating him up accusing him of having hit a tempo on his way.

He said the persons administered some intoxicant to him after which he felt unconscious. On regaining the consciousness in the morning, he found himself to be lying tied in his own truck on the outskirts of Bagli Kalan village. He somehow managed to free himself and went to the nearby police station where he reported the matter following this a team of police officials reached the spot and started investigating the matter.

The police said the matter was being considered to be suspicious and the driver of the truck had been detained for questioning. Though a case has been registered in this regard against unidentified persons, the matter was still being looked into and the case presented by the driver was being verified.



Need to expand dist administration
K S Chawla

Ludhiana, March 20
This city has witnessed phenomenal expansion during the past three decades. According to 2001 census, the population of the district as a whole was more than 30 lakh and today the population of Ludhiana city alone is estimated at 35 lakh. It is pity that the expansion of the state administrative office has not kept pace with the expansion of the district as a whole.

Even the Central Government offices have witnessed an unprecedented expansion during this period. Being the financial capital of Punjab, the revenue earning departments like the income tax and the central excise have now huge administrative set-up.

Ludhiana has one chief income tax commissioner with six commissiones of income tax, including two commissioners of income tax (appeals).

Similarly, Ludhiana now has full-fledged commissionerate of Central excise and customs. Both these departments are earning huge revenue from the industries.

Contrary to this, the district administrative set-up which is busy due to the rise in the population and increase in the revenue work, has not seen any expansion for the past many years.

Besides, the DC, there are two additional DC and two sub-divisions for Ludhiana city East and West.

More than 5,000 people daily visit the district administrative complex which is also known as the mini secretariat for the redressal of their grievances. Many visitors often return disappointed in the evening as the officers are busy to look after the VIPs who visit the town frequently.

Keeping in view the heavy load of work in Ludhiana, Ashok Gupta, who was deputy commissioner for a short stint before the formation of the SAD-BJP government, had written to the state government to strengthen the district administration with the posting of one more additional DC and two more subdivisional magistrates.

The revenue work, in particular, pertaining to the registration of purchase and sale of properties (real estate) has increased manifold. Nearly 500 registerations are done daily. There are two sub-registrars for this purpose and the senior officers admit that they are unable to cope with the work. They strongly feel that Ludhiana should at least have four sub-registrars to meet the daily rush of registration of properties. Besides, the sub-registrars also do the work of registering the general power of attorneys and registration of marriages.

There are 28 subordinate courts and besides the district and sessions court, there are eight courts of additional sessions judges, two fast-track courts and one labour court and one consumer court. But the output remains unsatisfactory.

Ludhianvis call for early expansion of the district administrative set-up. 



‘Kick the meat habit’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
JD Institute of Fashion Technology finds another reason to fashionably campaign against cruelty towards animals. The institute is urging its friends and neighbours to kick the meat habit by organising an exhibition of designs created by students using vegetable products here today. The theme of the exhibition was “Vegetarianism is in fashion”.

Director of the institute, Pragati Taneja, said their endeavor was to act responsibly towards the environment and also motivate and train the designers for the same. The budding designers of fashion design, jewellery design, interior design and textile design participated in the event.

The models walked on the ramp in a confident manner. The students also depicted the themes of global warming, nature’s bounty and a cricket pitch.

Meanwhile, the institute has also introduced two new diploma courses on fashion merchandising and fashion photography recently. The eligibility criterion for the courses is 10+2 and both these courses have been devised keeping in mind their bright future prospects and the industry demand.



Critically ill woman needs help
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 20
About a fortnight back, 20-year-old Dhanya, a native of Kerala, was admitted in the ICU of Christian Medical College and Hospital in a critical condition (Unit No- C 7128557). She was suffering from viral encephalitis with seizures and sepsis and needed ventilator support.

Dhanya, now residing in Muktsar town, is a primary school teacher by profession. Since her father’s death, she has been the sole breadwinner for her family, comprising of 2 younger sisters and mother.

Dr Jasbir Dhanoa, attending on her, is hopeful of recovery provided the treatment and medication continues. The patient requires further intensive life saving treatment and medication, which is very expensive.

After having spent whatever financial resources were available with her, Dhanya and her family is in a desperate condition. Pinning all their hopes on kind hearted people of the region; the family now looks for financial help in this hour of distress. All donations or philanthropic financial aid will be appreciated.

All those gracious Samaritans interested in helping Dhanya and her desperate family can contact the office of medical superintendent at CMCH, Ludhiana. All donations should be made in favour of ‘Christian Medical College and Hospital’ with “Treatment of Dhanya” written on back of the cheque/ DD or on the covering letter.



Doctors call for end to arms race
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 20
The 18th World Congress of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), hosted by the Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) from March 9 to 11, 2008, at New Delhi gave a call for abolition of nuclear weapons and to put an end to arms race across the world.

Addressing a news conference here on Tuesday, the IDPD president Dr L.S. Chawla said prior to commencement of the congress, a peace tour was undertaken by an international group of 74 medical students, which included 35 girls and 39 boys from different countries. The peace march passed through the cities of Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Gobindgarh, Ambala and Mullanna before reaching Rajghat in Delhi.

On the sidelines of the IPPNW convention, the medical students organised a 2-day congress, which was inaugurated by Dr Shakeel Ahmed Khan, director general, Nehru Yuvak Kendra Sangathan.

The chief guest at the main congress M. Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India, called for complete abolition of nuclear weapons from earth.

According to IDPD general secretary Dr Arun Mitra, several workshops were held on issues related to peace, nuclear disarmament and challenge of healthcare to people during the congress. In all, 25 workshops and 9 regional meetings were held. As a part of dialogue with decision makers, the delegation met the President of India Pratibha Patil while a delegation of IPPNW met Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to impress upon him the need for India to take initiative in this direction.

The congress elected Dr Ime John, Dr Sergei Klaslmikov and Dr Vappu Taipale as co-presidents for next two years. Dr L.S. Chawla, president of IDPD, was elected the vice-president of IPPNW. The session decided to hold 19th World Congress of IPPNW at Basel in Switzerland.



Drug trafficking on rise: DIG
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
Drug trafficking is on top among the list of crimes in the state and it is spoiling the youth of Punjab. It was observed that out of 10,000 youth aspirants, only 500 qualified for armed forces on the basis of physical fitness which is quite alarming, said Ishwar Singh, IPS, deputy inspector general of police, Ludhiana range, at a lecture meeting conducted by the Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) on ‘Industrial Security and Police’ here last evening.

He said bomb blasts, sabotage, loss to life and property, violence, agitation, lockouts, leakage of poisonous and life threatening gases, serious fire, infiltration of criminal elements, cheating, cyber fraud, credit card frauds, vehicle theft, theft of copper,nickel, aluminum, theft of finished products from industrial houses were major safety related threats being faced by industry.

Asserting that people should come forward and reach the police, he said no individual or department could improve social and industrial security alone. There has to be cumulative effort by all sections of society to reduce the crime rate.

He said industry needed to educate its employees regarding security norms and necessary regulations through awareness camps, lectures etc.

Anil Kumar, president, LMA, and K.N.S. Kang, general secretary, were also present.



Release Sarabjit: Valmiki Samaj
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
Members of the Bhartiya Valmiki Dharam Samaj, under the leadership of Lakshman Dravid, held a protest rally demanding the release of Sarabjit Singh, who is currently jailed in Pakistan.

The members said relations between India and Pakistan had improved significantally in the last couple of years and in order to maintain a cordial relation both countries need to make efforts. "If Pakistan does not take a lenient view of Sarabjit's case both countries would have to suffer," said Dravid.

The march by the members started from Municipal Corporation office and culminated at Clock Tower.

Among others who participated in the march were Naresh Dhingan, Ashwani Shota, Mohanvir Chauhan and Vijay Manav.



No clue in woman murder case
Tribune News Service

Samrala, March 20
Even after having stumbled upon various clues that could lead to the cracking the murder case of Baljit Kaur, the police is yet to make headway in the case.

Khanna SSP Gautam Cheema told Ludhiana Tribune that a team of police officials was working on the case and a breakthrough was expected soon. Sources in the police said some people had been picked up for question but there had been no formal arrests made in the case. The police also recorded the statements of her family members looking for vital clues.

Baljit Kaur's headless body was found dumped in one of the field on the outskirts of the Neelo Khurd village on Tuesday morning.

The killers, who are yet to be identified, had taken away the woman's head.

However, the police managed to identify the body with the help of some phone numbers scribbled on a piece of paper that was tucked in her clothes. The SSP said the police called on those numbers and inquired about the woman.



3 arrested for abetting suicide
Manish Sirhindi
Tribune News Service

Mandi Gobindgarh, March 20
The local police has registered a case against three persons on charges of forcing a government employee to commit suicide.

The case was registered on a complaint filed by Karnail Singh, a resident of Sangatpura village, who alleged that his son Ranjit Singh who was working in the Mandi Gobindgarh municipal council, committed suicide. He said Rohit Kumar, a resident of Dashmesh Colony, Vishav Nath and Surinder Kumar, were constantly troubling his son.

In his complaint, Karnail Singh said his son was in distress for the last several days and ultimately he committed suicide by some poisonous substance.

It may be mentioned here Ranjit Singh had recently been interrogated by the police in connection with the disappearance of Rup Rani, a peon of MC, who had been missing since February 28.

After he consumed poison, he was rushed to the local civil hospital, form where he was referred to DMCH, Ludhiana, where he breathed his last.

Meanwhile, the local police has registered a case against the three accused. 



Villagers looted at gun point, one shot at
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, March 20
Two motorcycle-borne armed robbers looted four villagers at pistol point and shot at one of them who had tried to persuade the victims to attack them collectively. Incident took place near Raul village near here last evening. Robbers, who had masked their faces, fled on TVS motorcycle under the cover of darkness. Injured Gurmit Singh of Raul village was admitted to a multi-specialty hospital at Ludhiana.

The Payal police has launched a hunt for robbers after registering a case.

Other victims were identified as Jit Singh of Buani village, Malkit Singh of Gidri village and Bant Singh of Raul. While loss suffered by other victims was yet to be ascertained, Malkit Singh had lost Rs 5,400 and a mobile.

According to Daljit Singh, sarpanch, the robbers had started waylaying passersby at the deserted village at around 7.30 pm.

“It was after being looted that Gurmit started persuading others to try to overpower the robbers as according to him they were less in number than the victims. Apprehending attack, the robbers shot at Gurmit who receive bullet injury in pelvic region,” said Daljit Singh.



Suchet, Saloni best chefs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
The PCTE Institute of Hotel Management organised the first intra-college chef competition on its camps here yesterday. Tahir Sufi, director of the institute, inaugurated the competition.

The teams from all PCTE institutes participated in the competition.

Three hours were given to each team for preparing their food.

First Prize was shared by MBA team (Chitvan, Neha, Shikha) and BCA team (Urvashi, Erica, Sarabjeet from PCTE Institute of Management and Technology).

Second prize was bagged by the team of MCA students (Suchet, Saloni Gupta, Swati Jain from PCTE). Third prize was bagged by B.Pharmacy students (Goldy, Suman and Amandeep Kaur from PCTE Institute of Pharmacy).



10-yr RI for possessing narcotics
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 20
The Court of Additional Sessions Judge, A.K. Mehta has convicted Ram Dev Patil of Dholewal Chowk, Ludhiana, on the charges of possessing narcotics.

He was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for ten years. The court also ordered him to pay a fine of Rs 1 lakh.

He was booked by the police officials of Division No. 6 on the charges of possessing charas weighing 1.20 kg in May 2004.

He was charged under Sections 20,61,85 of the NDPS Act. 



Protect your skin and hair during Holi: Expert
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 20
Holi, the ancient Indian festival of colours, marks the beginning of spring, the season of life and new beginnings, the season of flowers, green leaves, freshness, and fragrances.

However, with the natural colours giving way over the years to synthetic colours which are increasingly being used during the Holi festival, the toxic ingredients in these colours can wreak havoc on skin and hair besides leading to other complications, says Dr Jastinder K. Gill, consultant dermatologist.

She commented that earlier natural colours made from flowers, leaves and herbs of the season were used. But, the synthetic colours in vogue now contained heavy metals, acids, alkalis, powdered glass, asbestos and chalk pastes. The black paste had lead oxide, the green colour was made from copper sulphate and red had mercury sulphite as its main ingredient. Not only this, the shimmering shine given to these colours came from mica and powdered glass.

She asserted that these colours containing toxic chemicals could cause immense damage to skin and hair, in the form of allergy, rash, irritation, infection and much more.The symptoms might vary from mild irritation, dryness to a severe form of irritant dermatitis burning, itching and allergic dermatitis. Similarly, the hair damage can be in the form of itching, redness, dryness, scalp infections while the delayed effects could be loss of hair, and coarse, thin and lustreless hair texture.

Dr Gill asked the people to be extra careful for the young ones, newborn and infants, as they had very sensitive skin. The pregnant mother should also exercise caution, as the chemicals could get absorbed from the skin.

"So, beware of these toxic synthetic colours, use natural colours made from flowers and herbs, which have a beneficial effect on skin and health, she advised.

Tips to protect skin and hair

  •  Before going out to play Holi, apply a moisturiser, and then a sunscreen on the face and other exposed parts of the body, even pure coconut or olive oil can be applied on to the body, as it forms a protective barrier and thus protects the skin from the colours.
  •  For extra protection, use lacto calamine on top of the moisturiser and sunscreen.
  •  Do not forget to apply the moisturiser and sunscreen on the lips too. The girls can apply stay on lip colour for extra protection and the boys can use lip balm.
  •  Protect your hair by applying leave on conditioner; even simple coconut/olive oil can give good protection to your hair. This is the only time, use of hair gel is recommended as it will protect your hair.
  • The girls can apply nail paint on their nails to protect them from damage.
  • At the end of the day, first thoroughly cleanse your face, body and hair with lots of water to wash away the colour. Then use soap and shampoo to cleanse the body and hair.
  •  Moisturise the skin well and condition the hair.
  •  In case of mild irritation or rash, apply calamine lotion. In case of severe allergy or irritation consult your dermatologist.



Workshop on AIDS
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 20
A special workshop on AIDS was organised by the district health administration in collaboration with the department of health education and family welfare at Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) here today.

The civil surgeon Dr S.P. Sharma delivered keynote address while the district health officer Dr S.S. Dhir was the organising secretary. The programme was especially designed for the students, adolescents and NGO’s involved in HIV/AIDS projects.

Various speakers dealt with a range of issues such as HIV and drug abuse among migrant population, immuno-modulation, prevention and investigation, testing and treatment etc.

Dr Abi Thomas, interim director of the institution, presided over the function.



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