L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Derailment: Trains late by eight hours
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 10
Chaos prevailed at the railway station here today as most trains, including Shatabdi Express and Sachkhand Express, got delayed by seven to eight hours due to the derailment of an engine at Jalandhar.

Hundreds of passengers were inconvenienced and a large number of tickets had to be cancelled.

Passengers blamed the railway authorities and said they should have been informed about the delay so that they could have made alternative arrangements.

The authorities had opened a special counter to accommodate the heavy rush for the cancellation of tickets.

After the engine got derailed at around 2.45 am, the downline got infringed. It was only around 1 pm today that trains could resume their journey.

The morning Shatabdi, scheduled to arrive at 7 am, reached at 2.45 pm wheareas the Amritsar-New Delhi Express, scheduled for 9 am, arrived at 4.30 pm. The Sachkhand Express was delayed by over seven hours.

Passengers could board the Jansvera Express that starts from Amritsar after 5 pm, much later than its scheduled time of 9.30 am.

The other trains that got delayed were Paschim Express, Brauni 5708, Dadar and Shahid Express.

The timings of several evening trains, including Shan-e-Punjab and Shatabdi, were also hit.

“Since 9 am, we have been waiting for the train. I had to go to Delhi, but we are all stuck here,” said Varun Jindal who had been waiting for the train along with his parents.

“It is sheer harassment and wastage of time. The railways should have informed us so that we could have made alternative arrangements,” said Seema, who intended to travel with her family to Delhi.

Expressing their helplessness, the authorities said: “There was a technical problem and we are aware of the inconvenience caused to passengers. We have opened special counters to facilitate quick refunds. They can get refunds at other counters as well.”



Civic Polls
Women candidates set out to win voters 
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 10
Women candidates of the SAD and the Congress contesting for the zila parishad elections scheduled for May 12 have begun their campaigning.

SAD candidate Paramjit Kaur from Noorwal village, contesting for the Mangat Zone, was out on a road show in an open jeep, followed by a caravan of more than 200 vehicles.

Accompanied by her supporters, she toured all 42 villages of the zone.

A first-timer, she expresses her keenness to work for the development of her zone. “I want to uplift the status of women in villages as it is the only way to steer households towards prosperity,” she says.

Dharmender Kaur of Dhandra village and Congress candidate says: “Winning and losing are two sides of the same coin. What matters is the genuineness of a person.”

Paramjit Kaur believes that it is her “moral duty” to contest. “My father-in-law was the sarpanch for almost two decades and was succeeded by my husband. I, too, am abiding by the family convention by contesting on the seat reserved for women and am determined to give my best to the village and the zone,” she says.

Manmohan Kaur, sarpanch of Binjal and a zila parishad member, is out of the race this time as the seat for women has been converted into an open seat.

She is campaigning for her husband Bikramjit Singh and is confident of having garnered support for him to see him triumphant in the elections.

Paminder Kaur, sarpanch of Burj Hari Singh, feels conviction among rural women to break the image of “pseudo” women leaders playing into the hands of their spouses is evident as they are have stepped out to see things from their perspective.



Pollution Watch
Idols found on dried-up canal bed
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 10
With the water supply (for irrigation purposes) to the Sidhwan Canal having been stopped, the dried-up bed of the canal has revealed idols made of plaster of Paris that do not dissolve in water, unlike terra cotta. These pollute water which is supplied to the fields.

Terra cotta scores

Environmentalists and religious leaders have appealed to the masses to use idols made of terra cotta as these dissolve in water

Environmentalists and religious leaders have urged the masses not to “disrespect” the idols by immersing them in the canal.

The issue was raised in Mumbai recently when several NGOs got together and started creating awareness among people to switch to terra cotta idols.

Rajinder Sharma, president of Shri Amarnath Yatra Welfare Organisation, said he felt bad when he saw the idols lying on the canal bed two days ago. “I could not sleep at night. The idols were lying amid garbage,” he said.

Residents should switch to environment friendly medium instead of POP. “We all should bring about this awareness,” he added.

Baba Balbir Singh Seechewal, who was in the city recently, had also said the idols should not be immersed at all. He said devotees should keep them in their gardens where these would break down with time.

He said “religious materials” should be used as a fertiliser. “The gods will remain in our kitchen gardens and water bodies would stay clean,” he stated. 



Cable war, but viewers losers
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 10
The entry of more players in the cable service industry has failed to benefit TV viewers. The companies, for now, are only focussing on attracting small cable operators with a view to hogging market share.

For a cable service provider, a shift of a small cable operator impacts the company’s presence in the entire area held by the operator.

Hence, the focus is on gaining as many cable operators as possible.

“Whenever I switch on the television, I find that the settings are changed. My cable
operator tells me that he is shifting to another service provider. It has been happening for over a month.

If there are more players, subscribers should benefit, but we feel harassed,” rues Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Rajguru Nagar.

The subscribers are disappointed as they have neither been given any additional service, nor have they benefited in terms of monthly charges.

“When competition increases, customers benefit, but in this industry small operators monopolise the market due to which subscribers do not get the benefits. Instead, in the name of technology upgradation, the companies are asking us to pay more for installing set top boxes,” Pankaj, a resident of Civil Lines, says.

Small cable operators have expressed their inability to slash prices any further. “It is not in our hands to increase or reduce the rates as we have to follow the instructions of the companies. There is huge price difference. In many areas, we are charging below the minimum amount,” claims an office-bearer of the Ludhiana Cable Operators Association.

Companies have also ruled out any cut in rates. “Our focus is on upgradation of technology to combat competition. Rates are not the consideration,” a senior functionary of a cable company says.



City Centre case adjourned; venue changed
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, May 10
The sessions judge, G.K. Rai, today adjourned hearing in the City Centre scam case until June 6.

Meanwhile, in a new turn of events, the hearing in the case was today held in a meeting hall instead of the court room of the sessions judge. The trial, too, would be conducted here.

The venue was changed as a large number of accused persons as well as advocates used to remain present there.

Former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh did not appear before the court today. His presence was exempted for this hearing.

The MD of Today Homes, G.K. Gambhir, director Arun Nayyar and vice-president Vinay Subhiki had moved an application seeking permanent exemption from appearing in the case.

They said they apprehended danger to their lives.

It was argued by their counsel that on the last date of hearing, some people tried to kidnap Gambhir while Nayyar and Subhiki were “illegally restrained from moving”.

It was said despite an application to the police, nothing had been done.

A representation had been given to the SSP also for providing them with police protection during the hearings, but nothing had come of it.

The district attorney, however, refuted the allegations. He said all this had been concocted to get exemption.

The court has asked the prosecution to file reply on May 19.

The court exempted the personal presence of former additional advocate-general Harpreet Sandhu. His lawyer submitted that due to false implication, Sandhu was under depression. He had remained in hospital for about two months.



3 naibkots sent to Police Lines
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 10
The police has transferred three naibkots to the Police Lines following complaints by the prosecution cell.

They have been identified as Balraj Singh of Division No. 6, Gurpal Singh of Shimla Puri police station and Parshotam Kumar of Salem Tabri police station.

Harish Kumar, SP (headquarters), said they were transferred as complaints had been received against them from the prosecution cell.

Sources in the police department said they had allegedly been caught on camera while taking bribe.



Youth succumbs to injuries
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 10
A 24-year-old youth today succumbed to his injuries that he sustained during a brawl last night.

Gurpreet Singh of Daaba Lohara had sustained serious injuries during a brawl last evening with a rival group over an old issue.

A fight ensued on the main road in the vicinity of his house. He was admitted to the Christian Medical College and Hospital where he died this afternoon.

The police has registered a case against the accused and investigations are on.



Edusat a blessing for rural students
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 10
The “Edusat” project started by the Edusat Society, Punjab, is turning out to be a boon for the lower-middle class students, who aspire to be a doctor or 
an engineer.

The training programme, designed to provide education through satellite, has proved to be a blessing for those students, who cannot afford expensive coaching programmes at private institutes.

Through this project, the students of the state are getting exclusive coaching for competitive exams like CET and PMT.

District coordinator of the programme Paramjit Singh said approximately, 300 students were undergoing coaching through this programme at five centres across the district.

Iyush Pandey, a student of Indian Public School, near Lohara village, who is preparing for the CET through Edusat at the Government Inservice Training Centre (GITC), said: "I am quite excited about the new concept. After taking my exams, I was looking for a training institute that could provide quality education for the preparation of the CET, but I could not afford the expenses. In the mean time, I came to know about the Edusat programme from one of my friends. With the kind of quality coaching provided at the centre, I am hopeful that I will score good in the upcoming examination."

The institute is imparting training to approximately 70 students from various schools of the city.

Jaspreet Kaur from Tagore Public School, who is the only student from a school affiliated to the CBSE, said, "My teacher guided me to avail myself of the opportunity provided by the government and I am quite satisfied with the training."

A brainchild of Punjab director general of school education Krishan Kumar to bring the students of the rural areas on a par with the urban students, the programme has got a tremendous response.

The Gyan Sewa Trust played a pivotal role to initiate the programme in the state. "We hired the best CET, PMT instructors of the country to provide quality coaching to the students," said Avtar Singh Dhindsa of the Trust.

He further said, "The Trust will provide financial assistance to the students, who cannot afford to bear the expenses of the admission."

Students from the rural areas like Lohara, Dakha, Gujjarwal, Pakhowal and Sudhar etc are benefitting from the programme at the GITC.

Davinder Singh Chhina, coordinator of the Edusat programme, said special discussions would be organised on May 12 and 13 to assess the progress of the students undergoing coaching.

Principal of the GITC Gurdeep Kaur said the project would definitely yield desired results. 



Civic Polls
Depute special observer: Cong to CEC
Mahesh Sharma

Raikot, May 10
Accusing civil authorities of harassing candidates belonging to a certain caste that has been recognised as the scheduled case by the government, and ignoring the Punjab and High Court’s direction, Congress leaders of the area have urged the Chief Election Commissioner to depute a special observer for safeguarding interests of such candidates.

The leaders alleged that the returning officer, instead of complying with the court orders by allotting symbols to candidates for the Pheruraian block zone, whose nomination papers had earlier been rejected on flimsy grounds, returned them empty handed.

Denying allegation levelled against them the authorities claimed that they had sought direction from ADC Ludhiana and the needful would be done after receiving orders from his office tomorrow.

According to block Congress committee president Pal Balwinder Singh and Ajvinder Singh Sibia, the returning officer at local office had allegedly harassed candidates owing allegiance to their party and ignored the High Court’s directions by not issuing symbols to candidates belonging to the certain caste.

The leaders alleged that the nomination papers of Karamdin of Accharwal village and his son Dil Khurshaid, candidates for the block samiti election from the Pherurain zone were allegedly rejected on instance of SAD leaders of the area.

Investigations further revealed that Karamdin and Dil Khurshaid had filed their nomination papers for the block samiti, Pherurain zone, after getting these checked from an advocate. Though the nominations were in order, the returning officers rejected them on the pretext that the caste was not recognized as scheduled caste. Pal Balwinder Singh and Sibia alleged that a revenue officer had cancelled caste certificates allegedly on instance of SAD leaders of the area.

Though the certificates were issued after proper verification last year, the authorities allegedly cancelled it on basis of fake witnesses.

Failing to convince authorities at the subdivision office, the candidates moved the Punjab and High Court where the judge directed the authorities to continue with election process for the segment and served a notice on the government for May 28. However, the result would be announced only after the court pronounces the judgment.

Meanwhile, accusing a few government officials of pressurising local residents to cast their votes in favour of SAD candidates, Congress leaders have also urged the Chief Election Commissioner and the Governor to remove officials posted in their home districts. Raikot block Congress president Pal Balwinder Singh and former chairman of the Malaudh market committee Raghu Nandan Sharma have alleged that state government officials in general and BDOs in particular were allegedly using illegal methods to support candidates owing allegiance to the SAD and the BJP.



Freedom gained, but struggle on

Even after 61 years of Independence, we are struggling for basic facilities like infrastructure, electricity, education, water, sewerage system etc. Our natural resources are depleting at a fast pace.

The political parties have divided the country for their own gains. We get jobs, admissions, justice etc on the basis of castes, ignoring merit. Every political party has a different agenda.

Who is responsible for all this? Definitely our political set-up led by tainted leaders. Then, how can we expect our country to become progressive and emerge as a super power?

Jaigopal Kusla, 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.



Ex-MP’s son booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 10
The police yesterday booked Yadwinder Singh, son of a former MP, Amrik Singh Aliwal, and his accomplices for allegedly trespassing on a shop and attacking the shopkeeper. A case under Sections 451, 380, 506 and 34 of the IPC has been registered on a complaint lodged by the shopkeeper at Sherpur Kalan. He alleged that Yadwinder Singh, along with his friends, had come to his shop, asking for the rent, as he had a dispute with the owner of the shop. When he refused to do so, they allegedly beat him up, threw his goods and stole Rs 1,000, among other goods.

4 booked

Jagraon: Baljit Singh, his brother Balraj Singh, their mother Hardev Kaur, and Daljit Kaur of Tajpur allegedly entered into the house of Harnek Singh of their village on May 8 and assaulted him with sticks. Harnek has been admitted to the Raikot civil hospital. A case has been registered.



Good infrastructure must for overall growth: Minister 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 10
Industry in Punjab urgently requires an optimum mix of social and physical infrastructure for good growth. It should also concentrate on empowering human capital. This was stated by minister of state for industries Ashwani Kumar at a lecture organised by the Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) here yesterday evening.

Kumar, who spoke on the topic “Industrial growth in India-Punjab perspective”, said Punjab was geographical at disadvantageous position but it had immense potential to attract foreign investors and large industrial enterprises. The state needs to focus on improving its infrastructure and quality of human resource in order to tap its full potential, the minister added.

The government would focus on overall growth of the manufacturing sector. Chairman of the Vardhman Group S.P.Oswal asserted on implementing plans for ensuring proper growth.

O.P. Munjal, co-chairman, Hero Cycles, Rajinder Gupta, chairman, Trident Group, Anil Kumar, LMA president, and Manish Tiwari, AICC spokesperson, were present on the occasion.



Farmers speak up for PAU
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 10
Expressing concern over the recent developments at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), the farmers in the region said they were indebted to the scientists and employees of the university, who played a vital role in bringing Green Revolution to the country.

Fund Crunch

Punjab will be able to provide food security to the nation only when its mentors will be contented. It has been more than five months and there has been no solution. We must not take lenient view of the situation

They said the technologies and varieties developed by PAU had benefitted the Punjab farmers to the tune of hundreds of millions and they were able to feed their families well. Farmers feel that collective efforts are needed to take the university out of the present financial mess. And the state government had a major role to play in it.

Talking to The Tribune, Mohinder Singh Dosanjh and Mohinder Kaur Dosanjh, a farmer couple from Jagatpur village, Nawanshahr, said the development of improved varieties and crop production technologies at PAU, had brought a noticeable increase in productivity and production of crops, particularly of wheat, cotton, maize, rice and pulses.

"It is unfortunate that the varsity, responsible for providing food at every home, is in dire state. The employees, researchers, scientists are on the verge of starving. And the government seems to be putting the entire blame on the university. Punjab will be able to provide food security to the nation only when its mentors will be contented. It has been more than five months and there has been no solution. We must not take lenient view of the situation," said Mahinder Singh Dosanjh.

Recipient of Babu Jagjiwan Ram Award, Darshan Singh Tabiba, a farmer from Hayatpura near Machhiwara, said during the past four decades of its existence, the university has held distinction of having competent faculty, researchers and scientists, who had brought laurels and won prestigious awards at the national and international levels.

"And now the same persons are fighting for their rights. It is a matter of shame for the country. How can we be so selfish? If the government refuses to take the responsibility of the university, this agrarian state will not progress further," said Tabiba.

Satnam Singh Behru, president consortium of the Indian Farmers’ Association, said the recommendations of the university had borne fruitful results. The varieties of crops, vegetables and fruits developed by its scientists were very popular among the farming community.

The achievements of the university were countless, he said adding that we must not demoralise the persons who made all this possible. 



From Schools
A salute to motherhood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 10
Saluting the spirit of selflessness, students of BCM Dugri organised an exhibition for their mothers.

The exhibition marked the culmination of the week-long activities in which students had enthusiastically participated to give a tangible form to their innocent expressions of love and gratitude for their mothers.

Vibrant rangolis and a motley of exhibits consisting of greeting cards, photo frames, slogans, posters, decorative pots and other gift items found display.

“God couldn’t be everywhere, so He created mothers. The day presents us with a wonderful opportunity to pay a glorious tribute to that angelic spirit, who is always there for us but is often taken for granted in the hustle-bustle of our lives,” commented principal of the school Dr Vandna Shahi.

GMT Public School: The Art Club of the school organised a poster and greeting card-making competition at GMT Public School here today. Students gave expressions to their feelings for their mothers by making posters and greeting cards. They penned down many thought-provoking quotations highlighting the sacrifices and selfless love of their mothers.

Directors K.S. Thind, J.S. Thind and principal Amarjeet Dhaliwal advised the students to respect their mothers.

USPC Jain Public School: USPC Jain Public School celebrated the day with great zeal on the school premises here today. Students from nursery to Class V participated in various activities. A quiz contest for mothers was also organised.

Bhartiya Vidya Mandir: There were thought-provoking speeches by students of senior classes. The students also presented songs like "Tujhe Sab Hai Pata Meri Maa" and "Maa Jannat Da Parchawan” to pay tributes to their mothers. Later, principal of the school Sunil Arora gave blessings to all students and inspired them to realise the sacrifices made by their mothers in giving them a good life.


Green Grove Public School, Mohanpur: Students of Green Grove Public School, Mohanpur, paid rich tributes to their mothers at a function organised to celebrate mother’s day on the school premises today.

The students presented speeches, group songs, dances and choreography. The speeches by Navreen and Prabhjot of Class IX and Navneet of Class VII highlighted the sacredness of the divine creation.

The show began with a classical dance. Tiny tots dancing to the tunes of the song “Mamma Darling” sent a wave of triumph in all. The Kashmiri dance by Class VII “Hind Posh Mal” was marvellous. The choreography titled “Maa Ka Dil” by Class-VIII students touched everyone’s heart.

Principal of the school S. George appreciated all mothers for their contribution to the world.

She acknowledged the majestic strength of the women and asked all students to pledge to remain honest and humble to their mothers. 



Corporates hire students for internship
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 10
Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women, Ludhiana, has completed its summer training placement for the 2007-2009 batch of students of master’s in business administration commerce and information technology.

The basic idea of the summer training is to expose students to the corporate world.

The summer internship starts in the second week of May and its duration is generally four to six weeks.

Some of the leading recruiters are: Cremica, Birla Sunlife, Bharti Airtel, Vardhman Industries, Ludhiana Stock Exchange, Aarti International, Punjab Tractors Ltd, Hero Cycles and Bonn.

Principal Dr Madanjit Kaur Sahota appreciated the efforts of staff and students for successful placement and extended a vote of thanks to all organisations for their keen participation in the project.



Harbhajan back with a bang
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 10
Harbhajan Mann makes a comeback with the release of his music album "Pehli Var Jad Nazaran Miliyan", which was released yesterday at a function organised in Ludhiana.

The album offers a distinct bhangra flavour and is already on the shelves of the leading music stores. The album has eight exquisite tracks besides three videos shot at the best locales in Punjab, Italy and Greece.

The music was released by Harbhajan Mann and Big Music. UK-based bhangra producer and artiste Shukshinder Shinda is the music director of the album. 



Anything for a lock of hair
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 10
Baldness,particularly in those relatively young, often invites uncharitable remarks, affecting relationships. But with new hair transplant techniques gaining more acceptance and yielding results, the problem is disappearing.

Dr Aman Dua, assistant professor, department of dermatology, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, says the only permanent answer to male pattern baldness, women with male pattern hair loss and post-burn hair loss is hair transplant.

This includes treatment in the form of oral finasteride and topical minoxidil solution which are given for years to prevent further hair loss. Other non-surgical methods include hair wiglets, hair weaving and bonding.

Hair transplant and hair weaving are not the same as in hair transplant, the body’s own hair are taken from permanent zones like sides and the back of the head, whereas hair weaving means artificial or natural hair of another person are given as a wiglet which is clipped with on the scalp.

These days the most favoured treatment is "follicular unit transplant" in which hair follicles are extracted with the help of the strip technique followed by “follicular unit extraction” (FUE). The strip technique involves taking a strip of hair from the sides and the back of the head and transplanting the follicles to the front. The gap is closed with sutures which are removed after seven-10 days.

In the FUE method, individual hair follicles are extracted and implanted on to the front of the scalp, with no strip being extracted. The donor area requires no sutures. Although it is laborious and requires a number of sittings, the FUE is preferred as it is less painful. 



Tennis Tourney
Harvest academy players excel
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 10
Seeds sown a year ago in the form of Harvest Tennis Academy at Jassowal have started yielding fruits. Budding players of this academy have shown their talent by clinching three titles, two in the singles category and one in the doubles section, in the AITA Championship Series Tennis Tournament that concluded at the academy courts recently.

In the boy's u-14 section, Rishab Dev won a double crown. After clinching the title in the single’s, he paired with Amit Bzad, another player of the academy, to bag the top honours in the double’s section as well. Rimpledeep Kaur, another trainee of this academy, outclassed her opponents convincingly to emerge as the champion in the girl’s u-14.

Rishab Dev defeated Aayush Mintri of Amritsar in straight sets. He outnumbered his rival 6-3 in the first set. However, in the second set, he survived some anxious moments before emerging victorious.

In the doubles section, Rishab and Amit Bzad played in tandem to beat Aayush Mintri of Amritsar and Ranjeet Singh of Chandigarh.

In the girl's singles final, Rimpledeep Kaur had to fight hard to outclass Sukhmani Kaur Wadhwa of Maharashtra. In the first game, she went down fighting 4-6. However, she bounced back in the next game and wrapped it up quite easily at 6-1. However, in the decider game, Rimpledeep came out triumphant at 6-3 and won the title. 



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