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Space for parking still a dream
Deadline ends tomorrow
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
Even though the deadline issued by the municipal corporation to commercial complexes in the city to provide parking space is coming to an end, there seems to be no arrangements made by most of the complexes.

The MC had on March 21 inserted a notice in the newspapers asking all commercial complexes to provide parking within a month otherwise all those not following the guidelines would be sealed.

Only two complexes, including Vishal Mega Mart and VLCC, have provided parking space in basements after these were sealed. Khushi Ram Sweets on Ferozepore road has also converted its banquet hall into parking.  A quick survey revealed that no other outlets had taken the warning seriously. They were all adopted a wait and watch policy. None of them had either come up to provide a common parking for the vehicles.

With just two days left for the MC's drive against the violators, the residents are waiting if the MC would take action or succumb to the pressure.

Sources in the MC said the senior functionaries were under immense pressure being exerted by politically connected and affluent persons. They added that at this juncture, it seemed impossible for the MC to start the sealing drive.

Two months ago, the MC had sealed Vishal Mega Mart, VLCC outlet and several other complexes in a similar drive. The drive was stalled midway but already sealed outlets were allowed to open after they provided with the space.

Later mayor Hakam Singh Gyapsura had in a press conference claimed that they were providing one month's time to the complexes to adhere to the parking restrictions or face strict action.

Nothing has moved for the past one month. The roads are as chaotic as ever. Even the big malls like Ansal Plaza and Flames that had provided basement parking are finding it difficult to accommodate all visitors vehicles. On a weekend, the vehicles are parked on the roadsides nearby causing a traffic chaos. There seems to be no solution to the problem.

Going by the past record of the MC, none of the strict drive has been proved successful. Be it a demolition drive or a sealing drive. Largely, it remains an eyewash and the MC succumbs to the pressure.

An official on the condition of anonymity said they were ready to take strong action. But it would all depend on the stand of elected representatives. It remains to be seen whether the MC goes ahead this time or this warning too fizzles out. 



100 jhuggis razed at grain market
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
More than 100 shanties, "illegally occupied" by the migrant population at the grain market, Salem Tabri, were demolished by the demolition squad of the District Mandi Board here today. The squad members, almost 60 in number, had to face tough time as the "encroachers" protested against the move.

Giving details about the demolition drive, Rajpal Singh, district mandi officer, said about 40-45 police personnel were deputed on the spot to avoid any unruly incident. He said, "The encroachers were given warnings 15 days back to vacate their jhuggis from mandi board's land but hardly 25 per cent adhered to the orders. We had to remove them forcefully from here", said Rajpal Singh, adding that the members of demolition squad were able to tackle the situation.

The migrant population had encroached upon the land about three months back. One of the workers at grain market informed that there were just 5-6 shanties initially. "More migrants joined them within few days when they saw that the existing jhuggis were not removed by anyone", he said. The mandi board has 34 acres of land in Salem Tabri and these shanties were developed on about 2.5 acres of land.

Kiosks removed

The demolition squad of the municipal corporation today demolished 22 kiosks on Gill Road.

It was a long pending demand of the residents of the area. A team of MC officials and employees gathered outside the Zone C of the MC and moved towards Gill Road accompanied by the police.

Kiosk owners protested mildly to the action. The operation was successful.

The kiosks selling vegetables, fruits, meat and other items mushroomed many years ago. The MC had issued notices to them and they had moved a court. MC officials said a stay was granted by the court which was vacated recently and the civic body had swooped to action.



Liquor vend has residents fuming
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
The act of municipal corporation to lease out its land to a liquor vend in Gill Chowk is making the residents see red.

The location of the vend, which is right on the road, has the commuters fuming, who say that this was not the place for allowing the liquor vend to come up.

They added that they were seeing the temporary structure coming up for the past many days but did not know that it was a liquor vend.

It was only after the vend was opened that they came to know that it was going to stay put at least for this financial year.

The commuters said the vend was near the traffic lights chowk. It was causing congestion on the road, which already had a traffic load on any given time of the day.

"We have come to know that the MC had given its land in order to generate revenue. But it should have considered the viability of the vend. There is no place to park the vehicle and the commuters brush by the vend when they cross this piece of land," said a shopkeeper.

He added that they had sent a complaint to the MC two days ago but there was no response. "Now, we are going to protest if they do not listen to us," said the shopkeeper wondering how the MC had allowed such a structure to come up.



Man exploiting ‘daughter’ for 2 years held
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 19
A 55-year-old migrant labourer had not only kept a minor girl in bondage for two years, but also allegedly exploited her sexually.

He continued to pose the 9-year-old girl as his daughter, whom he had abducted from Patna two years ago.

The horrendous tale was exposed today when a farmer of Rangian village saw him in compromising position with the girl and reported about his shameful conduct to the police.

Ramji of Ramji Chakk Digha in Patna district (Bihar) was booked under Section 363, 354 and 366 A of the IPC for allegedly abducting and exploiting a minor girl physically for over two years. He was handed over to the police by residents of Rangian village led by Parminder Singh sarpanch yesterday.

According to an FIR registered on the statement of Jawala Singh, Ramji had been employed to reap wheat crops in his fields a few days. Though he had presented the girl Asha as his daughter, Jawala Singh and other villagers suspected that he had been exploiting her modesty for a long time.

“I became suspicious when I saw the girl massaging thighs of Ramji who was lying on a cot only. When we asked the girl about her relationship with Ramji, she admitted that she was not his daughter and that he (Ramji) had abducted her from Patna two years ago,” Jawala Singh told Varinder Pal Singh, SHO, Dehlon, adding that Ramji had tried to flee when his sin was exposed. The police had nabbed the accused when he was trying to run away. Ramji received minor injures in the scuffle.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Ramji had kept the girl at various places, including Jalandhar, Mohali and Ludhiana. Jawala had brought them from railway station Ludhiana only a few days ago. Besides working as farm labourer, he had been working at some brick kilns.

According to the victim, her name was Asha and she was daughter of Raju. She alleged that Ramji had abducted her from Patna. 



Anniversary gift for Abhi, Aish
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
Aishwarya Rai and Abhishek Bachchan might be preparing to celebrate their first wedding anniversary at New York tomorrow but they do not know that they have a fan in Ludhiana, who celebrated their anniversary today by unveiling their wax statues etched by him.

Chander Shekhar Parbhakar, a local resident, organised a ceremony to celebrate their anniversary by cutting a cake after unveiling their statues at local Hardy's World where these would be exhibited for the visitors.

It took four months for Parbhakar to create their statues and arrange for the dresses similar to the ones they wore on their wedding day last year.

"I collected their pictures last year only. At that time I had decided that they would have a gift from Ludhiana too on their first anniversary. I found this was the best way for me to express my love for them. I hope they receive my blessings through the TV channels and newspapers tomorrow," said Parbhakar, who worked hard to meet the deadline today.

A cake was also cut to celebrate the anniversary. ‘‘I had to ask the tailors to prepare the dresses. I did not want to take any chance that the statues did not look real.’’

Parbhakar was into chemical business till six years ago before he underwent a bypass surgery. Doctors told him to stop working. It was a visit to Wax Museum at London that he rediscovered himself and returned with a mission.

He started making statues and has a collection of 27 wax statues of eminent personalities to his credit.

As many as 15 statues, including that of Mahatma Gandhi, Jawahar Lal Nehru, Mother Teresa, Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi are exhibited at the Hardy's World only. 



Dharna against inflation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
Ludhiana unit of the Shiv Sena today staged a protest against inflation and burnt the effigy of prime minister Manmohan Singh.

Led by district president of the sena Anil Singla, the activists took out a rally from railway station to Ghanta Ghar chowk.

State president of outfit Krishan Sharma said the Congress was responsible for the rising prices of essential commodities but the PM had washed his hands by saying that the prices could not come down.

He said the people belonging to poor strata of society were not able to arrange for two square meals due to inflation.



Servant-tenant registration to restart 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
The servant and tenant registration scheme, considered a must for checking the crime, but sacrificed at the altar of politics a number of times, is all set to be reinforced in the city following crimes committed by domestic helpers.

The police is in the process of making registration of domestic servants and tenants mandatory by orders of the District Magistrate. SSP R.K.Jaiswal said he had recommended deputy commissioner-cum- District Magistrate Sumer Singh Gurjar to make registration of all residents mandatory. Gurjar had issued similar orders two years ago also, but were not reinforced after six months.

The registration acts as a deterrent for servants, mostly migrants, to refrain from committing thefts, robberies or even murdering their employers.

The SSP has come down heavily on the city residents as well. He not a single resident was willing to get their servants and tenants registered at their respective police stations. What surprises me more is that most of the residents don’t take pictures of their servants in their mobile phones. Usually, people who can afford a servant can afford a camera phone as well.”

The move to restart the registration process is a fall out of recent drugging and looting of a family on the Col Gurdial Singh road and theft of Rs 7 lakh in Gurdev Nagar two days ago by servants and their accomplices.

The registration process began with much fanfare about two years ago with migrants and tenants asked to register themselves with their respective police station. Even the District Magistrate had made mandatory for the landlords to submit records and pictures of tenants and servants. Factory workers and owners were also directed to do the same.

It was discontinued owing to immense public and political pressure against the move. Industrialists, too, wanted the registration to be scrapped as they had to disclose the actual number of labourers working with them.

The basic need for the drive was felt due to the problems faced by the cops in catching fugitives who escape after committing the crime. Secondly, in numerous cases criminals used the city as a hiding place by taking rooms or houses on rent.

The cops after identifying those people had no clue to find out their whereabouts as neither the factory owners nor the landlords had exact information about their addresses in Bihar or Uttar Pradesh.

Same story was repeated in case of Punjabi tenants also; who fled after their involvement in a crime was suspected. Then, there were numerous cases where servants had decamped with valuables after looting or drugging the employers.

Cops were helpless in tracking them down as the employers had not kept their address as well as their photographs.

The landlords, too, shy away from giving records of their tenants as most of them would have to pay more house tax due to “benami” property.



RTI Revelations
276 went missing in 2007
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
As many as 276 persons went missing from the city last year. Out of the total, only 46 could be traced by the city police. With approximately 34 persons had gone missing since January and February alone, it shows the inability of the district police to find missing people.

The repeated incidents of untraceable people prompted Pawan Kumar, a resident of Purana Bazar, to file an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act seeking the information regarding the missing and kidnapping of the people in the city.

The detail was collected by Pawan Kumar, who is running pillar to post to find his 12-year-old son Gaurav, who had gone missing since November 28 last year.

Kumar complains that the police is not helping him in tracing his mentally challenged son.

Not only Pawan Kumar the parents and relatives of as many as 230 missing people are left with no hope of their siblings returning home.

They are spending sleepless night the last meeting with their loved ones is not letting them sleep and their worries gets magnified as the cases of sexual assaults are happening quite frequently.

While the relatives of the missing people are making all sorts of speculation, they allege that such children are being used for organ trade. Kumar has the valid concern as Ludhiana has witnessed the dreaded sexual assault on children near old Jail area some years ago the memory of which continues to haunt the city resident.

"I have been searching for my son Gaurav for over four months but despite all effort, I could not find him. He was last seen fiddling with toys just outside his home. There has been no trace of him since then,"said Kumar. "Gaurav is the only bother of two sisters who are in a state of shock ever since he went missing, "said Kumar.

SSP RK Jaiswal said, "We are making all possible effort to trace the missing people. The police is even putting the names of the missing people in the CIA gadget. Further, we are making announcements to find the missing people."



Ensure safety

Driving on the city roads is no longer safe these days. Besides the pathetic condition of roads, heavy traffic congestion is also there. Rash driving can be seen everywhere.

Also many roads like Gill Road, Samrala Road etc. have not been recarpeted since many years. Haphazard parking of vehicles is also a common sight. Due to this, there are greater chances of accidents. There is no check on speed limit.

Some people jump the red lights and others suffer because of this. Traffic police is not taking any action in this regard. They keep watching all this as silent spectators. Sometimes they can be seen sitting inside a cabin in order to save skin 
from the scorching heat of sun.

City administration as well as the traffic police is requested to ensure the safety of drivers instead of harassing them by giving priority to challans. The administration should make better roads to ensure the safety of residents.

Ravi Chander Garg, Ludhiana

Readers are invited to mail letters (not more than 200 words) at "ludhiana@tribunemail.com" or post the same to The Tribune, 1, 2 Improvement Trust Building, Badaur House, Clock Tower, Ludhiana.



Woman attempts suicide
Our Correspondent

Raikot, April 19
Prompt rescue operation undertaken by passers- by and the police helped in saving the life of a Dalit woman, Saravjit Kaur, who allegedly tried to commit suicide by jumping into the Bathinda branch of the Sirhind canal near Dadhahoor bridge here yesterday.

The police has initiated a probe to establish the sequence of events leading to suicide bid by Saravjit.

Meanwhile, the Ludhiana (rural) police chief has directed police officials to identify those who rescued the woman for suitably rewarding them.

Investigations revealed that Saravjit Kaur of Mandiani village got married to Ram Singh of Virak village about 12 years ago. Ram Singh used to allegedly harass her(Saravjit) on one pretext or the other.

“Instead of helping me, he always demanded money for consuming liquor. Whenever I refused, he used to thrash me mercilessly,” Saravjit Kaur, who is being treated at the local civil hospital, said today.

The police is yet to register cases against Saravjit and her husband. Moreover, doctors have not declared her fit for getting her statement recorded with the police. 



Gang of cheats busted 
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, April 19
The district police has busted a gang of cheats involved in forging documents to get bails for accused in various cases from the judicial courts.

According to SSP Dr Kaustubh Sharma, the gang was busted by SP (detective) Shamsher Singh Boparai and his team. The SSP said the gang, whose members included a woman, used to forge documents to bail out accused in any given case. Later, the accused used to go underground and become proclaimed offenders.

The police chief said the Mullenpur police had received vital information about the gang from one of the local patwaris. Acting on the tip-off, the police raided a number of places and arrested kingpin of the gang Jagtar Singh. The other two members of the gang have been identified as Narinder Singh and Sheela Devi, who are yet to be arrested. The SSP said efforts to detain the other two culprits had been stepped up.

The SSP said the gang was active in this area for quite sometime and had forged documents for a number of criminals. He said the police was further investigating the matter to ascertain whether the gang had been helping criminals in other parts of the state also.

Meanwhile, a case under Sections 420, 467 and 468 of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against the three accused at the Fatehgarh Sahib police station. 



Shoemakers protest outside DC’s office 
Allege harassment by wholesalers 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
Alleging harassment by wholesale traders, shoemakers in the city protested outside the deputy commissioner’s office here today.

Members of the Shoemaker Association alleged that wholesalers in Girja Ghar Chowk, Clock Tower and Akal Market were not making the payments on time deducting 15 per cent to 20 per cent of the total amount, causing losses to their business.

“We have been supplying shoes to these wholesalers for the last 30 years. But, they unduly harass us by not giving us the complete amount due towards them,” said Bobby Chandalia, president of the association.

The association members said they had lodged a complaint in this regard with the local police, but no action has been taken in this direction so far. “They are unduly dilly dallying the issue. The entire problem is causing us heavy losses. For the last 10 days, all the shops in our area have shut operations,” added one of the members.

The association urged the administration to resolve their problem failing which they threatened to intensify their struggle.



Industry boards a ‘welcome move’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
President of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) Inderjit Singh Pardhan, who was recently made chairman of the small industries development board, organised a press conference today.

Pardhan said: “Industry’s representation in decision-making will go a long way in improving its situation. We will take up issues like fluctuating steel rates, inspector raj and other economic policies of the government.”

Issues like unemployment particularly in the industrially-backward districts of the state like Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Kapurthala and Faridkot would also be discussed with the government, he added.

Exporter Satish Dhanda, who has also been made the vice-chairmanship of the medium industries board was also present on the occasion. Industrialists said, “With the formation of industrial boards for the large, medium and the small-scale industries, infrastructure development and for traders the government had fulfilled its long-pending electoral promise.



Wheat crop spread over 32 acre destroyed
Our Correspondent

Khamano, April19
About 32 acres of standing wheat crop was destroyed in a devastating fire that broke out near Dhanaula village. Fire started from Dhanaula village side and spread to fields located in Amrala and Amargarh villages. It took about an hour for the villagers to douse the fire.

But, by that time crops cultivated over 32 acres was reduced to ashes. Naib tehsildar Manjeet Singh and the SHO reached the spot to supervise the rescue work. The effected farmers have demanded compensation from the government. The cause of fire could not be ascertained. 



Special kids perform on annual day
Tribune News Service
Students of KVM School take part in a fancy dress competition in Ludhiana
Students of KVM School take part in a fancy dress competition in Ludhiana on Saturday. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, April 19
“Their deformity is by birth where nobody can really help but if society provides them with love and affection, they can become responsible citizens ands self-reliant to an extent, even better than their normal counterparts”, said Jasbir Kaur, mother of a seven-year-old boy Harpreet Singh, who is unable to speak.

Like Harpreet, about 50 other students of Nirdosh School, suffering from one deformity or another, performed during the annual day celebrations of the school at Rotary Bhawan here today.

The parents, guests and other dignitaries present on the occasion were moved to see these special children learning to be self-dependent.

The co-chairperson of the school, Manjula Jain, said this school for mentally challenged children, started 28 years back, with an aim to make every ‘special’ child an acceptable and useful citizen of the society.
Students of Sethi Study Circle during the prize distribution function ‘Horizon’ in Ludhiana
Students of Sethi Study Circle during the prize distribution function ‘Horizon’ in Ludhiana on Saturday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Throughout the year, these children are trained for vocational rehabilitation, depending on their capabilities. The activities for the purpose include candle making, shagun envelope making, pot-painting, rakhi making, greeting cards and flower making etc.

“The articles prepared by them are exhibited at the annual exhibition during festival days. Many of them have been employed in work places like shops, box factories, hosiery, beauty parlours and boutiques etc. These special children are trained to read, write and draw and to perform their chores without anybody’s help”, said Ritu Verma, aunt of an eight-year-old mentally retarded girl.

She added that before coming to school, her niece remained aloof and irritated but now she had changed a lot for good.

Meanwhile, the students presented many dance and singing items on the annual day. They were presented awards for their performance in various fields at school, district and state-level.

Chief guest Harish Bedi lauded the work being done by the members of the club for these children, who were otherwise ignored by the society. 



Cosmic museum opened at Sahnewal
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, April 19
An intricately carved and beautifully designed museum was inaugurated in the basement of the local church near Sacred Heart Convent School today.

A symbol of national integration, this museum underlines the coexistence and relevance of various faiths and religions of our country. Named as the cosmic spiritual museum, a visual art gallery, it is the brainchild of Dr Hormise Nirmal Raj, who got inspiration from Bishop Symphorian Keeparth, the first Bishop of Jalandhar.

Wall etchings and carving inside the church traces the evolution of mankind and its faiths through the millennia. Built over a period of four years, the museum was constructed with the help of 10 to 20 handpicked artisans drawn form the southern states.

Spread over 40,000 sq ft, the museum has 14 rooms and two long corridors which depicts different aspects of ancient, medieval and modern history. The journey starts with the earth’s conditions before the arrival of man and the subsequent chambers follow evolutions with the beginning of various terrestrial and marine life forms and the stories of Adam and Eve and Noah’s Ark.

Besides depicting the life of Jesus, the rooms highlight Indian deities and saints belonging to Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.

The museum was thrown open for the public today and the timings are from 11 am to 6 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. This event coincided with the golden jubilee celebrations of the priestly ordination of bishop Symphorian Keeparth.

The museum has been equipped with the light and sound effects for each room in both English and Punjabi.



Dial 104 for brain stroke
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
Residents of the city need to dial 104 to rush brain stroke patients, the second leading cause of death in the world, to the emergency ward of the Christian Medical College throughout the day.

The CMCH is the only centre, excluding PGIMER Chandigarh, to offer comprehensive stroke programme in this part of the country.

Once a patient dials 104, the ambulance crew will pick him up from his residence and take them to the casualty ward of the CMCH. The MRI scanner and the ward will be ready, well in advance, for attending to the patient.

Launched a few months ago, this ambitious project has a streamlined programme involving nurses, doctors, ambulance, radiologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, physiotherapists and nutritionists, besides the administrative back-up to give a round-the-clock emergency services.

Head, Betty Cowan Innovation and Research Centre, CMCH, and professor, stroke unit, department of neurology, Dr Jeyaraj D.Pandian, said stroke was the second leading cause of death in the world. However, the healthcare system in our country was not apt to the stroke care in case of an emergency.

Stroke or brain attack occurs due to the blood clot that blocks an artery in the brain or due to the rupture in brain artery. The common causes of stroke are hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, smoking, obesity, stress, lack of exercise and excess alcohol consumption.

Dr Pandian said stroke patients get themselves admitted at a later stage because most of them prefer showing themselves to a local doctor and non-availability of transport. Dr Pandian has collaborated with Prof Yashpal Singh to establish the emergency care centre for stroke with a multi-disciplinary team approach.

The CMCH stroke programme consists of an acute stroke unit, fast tracking of stroke patients for thrombolysis with assistance from ambulance and mobike accident rescue services (AMARS) and a rehabilitation programme. The mobike rescue crew members have been trained to identify stroke patients. A 24-hour MRI scanner with special software to select patients for clot bursting is also available.



Sukhbir, Paras steer Mahajan Club to second win 
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 19
Fine bowling spell by Sukhbir Singh (5 for 29) and a valuable contribution of 44 runs by Paras Mehndiratta steered Mahajan Club to outplay Superdeep Club by seven wickets to script second victory in the cricket tournament being organised by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association. The tournament is being organised to prepare the district team (u-16) for the forthcoming Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Tournament for the M.L. Markan Trophy at the Satish Chander Dhawan Government College ground here today.

Superdeep Club won the toss and chose to bat first. However, their decision appeared to be a miscalculated one, as they were bowled out for a meager total of 93 runs in 40 overs. Only three batsmen could reach double figure.

Himanshu Garg scored 29 runs, followed by Sahil Sood (11) and Ajay Mehra (10). Kushal contributed 9 runs.

Sukhbir Singh of Mahajan Club was the pick of bowlers, capturing five wickets for 29 runs. Mrinal Partap Singh took three wickets for 22 runs.

Chasing a modest target, Mahajan Club made 94 runs for three wickets in 42 overs. Paras Mehndiratta remained unbeaten on 44 while Sunny Pandey scored 30 runs.

For Superdeep Club, Abhishek Talwar grabbed two wickets for 22 runs and Vivek Kumar took one for 22.



Punjab karate meet begins
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 19
The Open State Punjab Full-Contact Karate Championship got off to a colourful start on the premises of Saraswati Modern School, Partap Singh Wala, Hambran road, Ludhiana, today.

The two-day meet was declared open by Pradeep Jain and MD, Kingson Exports and King Security Group, Harinder Singh.

The opening ceremony was marked by an impressive cultural presentation, “Swagatam” and “India-My Country” after the ceremonial lighting of the lamp.

At least 200 schoolchildren from all over the state are taking part in different categories and weight groups.

School’s headmistress Priyanka was present on the occasion. 



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