L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Akalis banking on atta-dal, Cong SC votebank
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Polling in 1,436
booths today

Polling will be held today at 1,436 booths in the district for 25 zila parishads and 12 panchayat samitis.

The police has declared 58 booths “very sensitive”. These fall in Ludhiana-I, Ludhiana-II, Pakhowal and Delhon blocks.

The 131 booths declared “sensitive” are in these blocks and Sudhar and Jagraon.

Nine candidates were already elected unopposed on the last day of filing of nominations.

Ludhiana, May 11
Even as the Akalis are depending on the much-hyped atta-dal scheme for success in the zila parishad and panchayat samiti polls, the Congress hopes to win with the help of the SC votebank.

Issues like inadequate water supply and poor state of roads and infrastructure were brought to the fore during campaigning by Congress leaders.

Akalis claim to have built a number of roads and to have installed many tubewells. The Congress leaders counter the claims.

“ How many roads have they built ? The atta-dal scheme too began late and the grains did not reach the targeted population,” said Jagmohan Sharma, president of the DCC, Ludhiana.

Congress candidates are depending heavily on the SC votebank in the villages. The Akalis expect that the elections will be a cakewalk for them.

‘‘We have created a dent in the Congress votebank by wooing voters belonging to the Scheduled Castes in the villages, ’’ said Dilbag Singh Chapra, an Akali leader.




Vote Ballet
Cash demand by voters leave candidates jittery
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
Hours to go for the zila parishad and panchayat samiti elections tomorrow, a number of voters seem to have put a price tag on their precious ballot.

Campaignng this time did not see much spending by candidates unlike the past. The cash demand by voters has left several candidates jittery. Little money was spent on liquor or election material this time.

“They (voters) are coming up with demands for cash. Several candidates have called up NRIs to help them meet the demand, ’’ said Daljeet Singh Barundi, an Akali contestant.

Several candidates said voters in their zones were demanding that they paid their electricity bills as also school fee of wards.

"I was shocked at being approached by a group of villagers who demanded that a submersible pump be installed for three-four families facing water shortage. But I did not have that kind of money. They went back in anger. Now I do not know whether they will vote for me or not, " said a rather nervous candidate.

Kartar Singh, a resident of Hargobindpura village, said he had asked candidates of both parties to get a submersible pump installed in their locality.

‘‘These leaders remain elusive for five years. Now when they approached us for votes, we asked them to meet our demands.”

Another candidate zone said villagers had asked him to throw a party today if he wanted to win. "I will have to concede to their demand," he said.



Youth dupes parents of Rs 20 lakh
Refused bike, enacts own kidnapping
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 11
Failing to convince his parents to buy him a motorcycle of his choice, a youth of Kothala village near here enacted his own kidnapping in connivance with his brother-in-law and the duo made his parents part with a ransom of Rs 20 lakh two days ago.

Had the police not interrogated the brother-in-law, who had gone to handover the ransom amount to kidnappers, the family could have continued to believe that he was the saviour of the youth.

Though all accomplices of the kidnapper have been identified, the police did not disclose their identity.

Panic spread in the area last week when people came to know that Harjinder Singh, son of a farmer of Kothala village, was kidnapped by five armed persons from the outskirts of the village at about 7.30 pm on last Saturday.

The family came to know about the incident late in the night on last Saturday, when Harjinder Singh rang up his uncle Malkit Singh and informed him that he had been kidnapped and the kidnappers had demanded a ransom of Rs 20 lakh.

The kidnappers told Malkit Singh that place and time of payment of the ransom would be informed the next day. Malkit Singh received three more calls on Sunday. Interestingly all calls were made from mobile phone of Harjinder Singh.

Though Malkit Singh had tried to bargain with the “kidnappers”, Harjinder Singh impressed upon his parents not to argue with them and make full payment as and when desired by the abductors.

The abductors also dictated that the ransom amount should be sent through Sukhpal Singh of Darogewal village, a son-in-law of the family.

When the family sent three more relatives with Sukhpal Singh, they refused to accept the money and insisted that he (Sukhpal Singh) should come at a particular hotel at Sahnewal.



Dog trouble
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
Directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to check stray dog menace in the state notwithstanding, the stray dogs continue to multiply even as the municipal corporation fails to address the problem.

Hundreds of stray dogs roam in different parts of the city and there seems to be no solution to the ever-growing problem.

Residents keep on complaining to the authorities and the latter express their inability to do anything to solve the problem.

Things have come to such a pass that in every street of the city, where there used to be a dog or two till a year ago, there are at least 10 dogs now.

It becomes near impossible for the residents to venture out in any area at night. Dogs in groups rule the roads and cases of dog bite are reported everyday.

“We do not send our children to play out as we fear they will be bitten. But nobody seems to care,’’ said Hitesh Nayyar, a resident of Malerkotla house.

He added that he had written a number of letters to the commissioner asking him to do something about the menace. But nothing was done so far.

Residents of Laxmi street also complained of the problem, especially at night. They claimed that there were a number of small pups in their area who have made their life a hell.

G.S. Middha, a resident of the Model Town Extension, said the population of stray dogs had grown manifold. Dogs near Dugri bridge, who were feeding on left overs of flesh from the meat shops, had turned ferocious and were biting people.

According to a census in the city, there are 20,000 stray dogs. The menace has reached the alarming proportions and needs immediate attention. A number of incidents of dog bites are reported everyday.

The MC functionaries said soon the city would have a solution as far as stray dogs were concerned.

The state government has decided to sterilise and vaccinate dogs and the process would be started for the first time in Ludhiana.

The government has already tied up with an NGO, who would be training the MC staff and members of a local NGO to tackle the menace in the city.

Commissioner, MC, Vikas Partap, said the NGO that has already worked in Maharashtra for tackling the stray dog menace, would be sent to the city to train the staff and local activists.



Book cops for torturing youths: Cong men
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 11
Terming transfer of an erring official during electioneering as administrative obligation, Congress leaders of Payal subdivision have urged the authorities to book those persons on whose instance the SHO Payal had allegedly tortured five youths.

Showing ignorance about the sequence of events, SHO Payal Parkash Singh, maintained that the accused were caught smuggling liquor, brought from Chandigarh.

Congress leaders led by Gurkirat Singh Kotli alleged that the authorities had allegedly rejected nomination papers of Charanjit Kaur (for block samiti from Barmalipur) on flimsy grounds to appease SAD leaders of the constituency.

The police, acting as puppet in hands of SAD leaders, went on to the extent of registering a false case against a son of Charanjit Kaur and torturing him and his four other associates.

Though Gurmel Singh, SHO Payal, had been transferred by the authorities, no action was initiated against his juniors who had manhandled the victims and the returning officer who had rejected the nominations on flimsy grounds.

Referring to information received from Charanjit Kaur, Kotli alleged that the police had abducted Kulwinder Singh Kala (Charanjit's son), Harpreet Singh Happy of Bishanpura, Navdeep Singh Jitti of Rampur, Simarjit Singh of Kaddon and Jatinder Singh, panchayat member from Kot Mandiala Kalan, during campaign and allegedly applied third degree torture to force them admit what they had not done.

"When we showed marks of injuries and electric shocks on body parts and provided medical reports of doctors, the civil authorities were convinced that cops led by Gurmel Singh had tortured the youths to pressure them. Now, when the allegations levelled by Congress candidates have been established, the authorities should register criminal case against the cops and those SAD leaders on whose instance they had acted," said Kotli, demanding that election to the seat should be cancelled.

According to Sukhjinder Singh Gill, SDM Khanna, state Election Commission, after receiving complaint from Charanjit Kaur, had directed the ADC (Development) Ludhiana to probe the matter.

On the basis of independent reports submitted by Gill, an election commission observer had recommended transfer the SHO. However no action was initiated against Bir Pal Singh, returning officer.



City’s malls, high-rise buildings at risk
Fire dept ill-equipped; time for MC to wake up
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
The city boasts of a number of malls, shopping plazas and high-rise buildings but the municipal corporation’s fire department is not even equipped to deal with natural or man-made disasters.

The local bodies department issues no objection certificates after builders fulfill the criteria of installing fire-fighting systems in their buildings.

Yet the corporation has failed to spend Rs 5 crore for even buying an automatic ladder- cum-lift used for rescuing people trapped inside multi-storied buildings.

The city woke up to the necessity five years ago when a multi-storied commercial complex on the Pakhowal Road caught fire.

A few workers were found to be trapped on the fifth floor of the building. The fire fighters felt helpless as they were not equipped to rescue them.

It was only after a few shopkeepers arranged wooden ladders and tied them together that they were able to enter the building and rescue them.

The fire department has sought funds from the corporation for buying an automatic ladder measuring 150 feet for rescue operations. Their demand, however, has not been met till date.

Thus, the fire department is left with no choice but to depend on the arrangements made by those residing in the multi-storied buildings to douse the fire.

“All these buildings have installed state-of-the-art fire fighting systems like network of pipes and sensors capable of detecting and dousing the fire. But, we still need ladders as the duty of carrying out of the rescue operation rests with the state,” said city chief fire officer Kartar Singh.

“We recently met the municipal commissioner and the mayor to apprise them of the situation. They assured us that steps would be taken to solve the problem,” he said, adding, the municipal corporation of Chandigarh had already bought a mechanized ladder but the local municipal corporation was lagging behind.

Despite this, the municipal corporation is well-equipped to deal with such exigencies, he added. It has set up five fire offices at Haibowal, Mata Rani Chowk, Sunder Nagar, Gill Road and the Focal Point.

About 28 fire tenders are stationed in these offices. “There were 32 fire tenders till last year, but four of them were discarded by us. The fire tenders we have are sufficient enough for catering to the needs of nearly 30 lakh people,” he added.



Talks on conserving power
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
“How to conserve electricity in buildings?” was the subject for the talk show organised by the Ludhiana Architects Association here today.

The speakers discussed new innovations towards the environment-friendly buildings with special emphasis on the maximum use of natural light and energy in designing the buildings.

It was also pointed out that the maximum use must be made of the solar energy which gained importance of depleting oil resources and rising prices of fuel.

A special mention was made towards working out building models which increase the effective area to save on the power usage. Ravinder Khosla, president of the LAA, launched a new range of power switches.

Vijay Jain, general secretary of the LAA, explained new developments in the designs of the electrical products.



PCCTU panel to prepare common voters’ list
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
In an important development towards resolving the issues of contest between the warring factions of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU), the special committee today was authorised to prepare a common voters list for the voting at a common venue.

The seven-member committee, including Principal Tarsem Bahia, Prof Charanjit Chawla, Dr Rabinder Nath, Dr S.S. Chatha, Principal V.K. Tewari, Principal J.S. Randhawa and Dr G.S. Brar will oversee the election process. The elections are scheduled for May 31. Dr Brar could not attend today’s meeting.

The PCCTU elections were facing a roadblock because of difference between the camps of Dr S.S. Hundal and Dr Kuldip, the president and general secretary of the PCCTU, respectively.

The main issue of contention was allegations of lists containing fake list of voters. It was being said teachers from certain colleges had been purposely left out in the membership list.

Majority of the teachers contesting the list of PCCTU voters belonged to the newly affiliated Bachelor of Education colleges.

Allegations were also levelled on grounds that certain nomination papers for the posts of the union had been rejected on baseless grounds. A fair and all-inclusive list of there voters was also being demanded.

The committee members heard different opinions on the matter from certain prominent members, including Dr Hundal and Dr Kuldip Singh.

The committee members appealed to the PCCTU members to maintain unity in the teacher movement, which had assumed a more serious dimension in context of the changing scenario because of liberalisation and privatisation.

Different group members present on the occasion assured full cooperation with the committee members.

“At a point of time, the PCCTU, constituted in 1948, was the strongest teacher body in North India. We all need to sit together and bury our differences to prepare an action plan to meet the challenges in getting our voice heard at the highest levels. We will have to prevent a split in our union at all costs, otherwise the entire security structure of teachers, particularly in private colleges, would collapse”, a former general secretary said.



Dr Mehta is ADG of ICAR
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
Vegetable expert Dr Ashok Kumar Mehta, working as zonal coordinator (zone-I) of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) at the Punjab Agricultural University, has been appointed as the assistant director general (ADG) of ICAR.

Dr Mehta said in addition to his new placement as ADG to monitor agricultural extension related activities at the national-level; he will also look after the Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs).

He has been given additional responsibilities of zonal coordinator (zone-I) at PAU although his headquarter will be at Krishi Anusandhan Bhawan, New Delhi.



5 pc rise in transport revenue mop-up
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
The industrial city has registered a 5 per cent increase in the state transport revenue collection, which makes it to Rs 273.31 lakh up to the March 31, 2008.

Though, the district transport department was given a target of approximately Rs 60.2 crore for the year 2007-08 as against Rs 57.9 crore last year, it generated to the tune of Rs 62.9 crore.

The other offices which have added to the transport revenue collection include RTA Jalandhar, RTA Ferozepur, RTA Patiala, Bathinda, Fatehgarh Sahib, Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, Jalandhar, Nawanshahr, Tarntaran and Mohali.

Among these districts, Mohali tops the list with 61 per cent increase to the state exchequer. The newly formed district of Mohali, alone, has generated a whopping amount of Rs 565.26 lakh.

The districts, which failed to meet the set targets in transport revenue collection in the year 2007-08 include Amritsar, Faridkot, Ferozepur, Mansa, Muktsar, Moga, Patiala, Sangrur and Ropar.

Out of the total 23 transport offices in the state, 14 districts generated more revenue than the budget estimate while nine districts failed to achieve the targets.

The districts of Mansa and Ropar have performed worst this year with -12 per cent and -11 per cent decrease, respectively, against the fixed budget estimate. In 2007-08, Punjab had generated total amount of Rs 1180.48 lakh from the transport department.

Expressing satisfaction over the performance, Chander Gaind, district transport officer, said it was due to department's collective efforts and good management.

"Recovery from old arrears have added well to the total revenue collection. In addition to that, heavy penalties were imposed on illegal operators/defaulters. The auction of special numbers, which was banned for over six months, has also added approximately Rs 40 lakh to the total amount", said Gaind.



Biz Word
New range of refrigerators
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
Electrolux, a home appliances company, announced the launch of its new range of “Deo Fresh Direct Cool and Frost Free” refrigerators here.

The new range includes luxury and premium series. “This year we expect to sell 5 lakh refrigerators, notching a market share of over 11 per cent. The sale of frost free range is expected to cross 1.5 lakh”, said a company spokesperson.

Hair colours

Piazza beauty parlour at the Mall Road introduced a new range in hair colours under the name of Wonder Browns.

The hair stylist while giving the details informed that new range consists of 14 different colours with the names red brown, warm gold, copper, mocha, ash, jade and all are compatible to Indian skin tone.

A live demonstration session was conducted with the models followed by a special session by the technical adviser on the colours.



From Schools
Mother’s Day celebrated with fervour
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
Children of Love Dale Montessori celebrated Mother’s Day today. They sang and danced the whole day.

They also participated in modelling along with their mothers. They expressed their emotions by singing songs like ‘Maa Tu Kitni Acchi Hai’ etc.

Dr Jyoti Tah was the chief guest. The chief guest gave appreciation awards away. Sweets and cakes were served.

Maple Bear: Maple Bear Canadian playway and nursery school, Udham Singh Nagar, Ludhiana, celebrated Mother’s Day today.

The day is being celebrated all over the world to remember the contributions made by an American Anna Jarvis in 1907.

Children danced, sang songs and recited poems for their beloved mothers. There was a lot of fun while mothers also played certain games and danced with the their kids. Kids celebrated this day by thanking their mothers.

The kids displayed handmade cards by pasting their handprints and decorating it with petals, leaves and flowers on the greeting cards and colouring the messages for their mothers. Mothers also gave good wishes, gifts and sweets to the kids.

Guru Ram Das Academy: An inter-class card-making contest was organised on Mother’s Day. Students from all classes made some exceptionally beautiful cards.

Ankit from first class, Bhasvar from second class, Ujjalpreet from third standard, Kabir from fourth class and Harsh Kamal from fifth class won prizes in the primary section.

Abhishek, Lovekamal, Shubam, Chetan, Aashmin, Gurasis Singh won first prizes in the middle section. Gautam and Karishma bagged prizes in the senior secondary level.

BVM School: Students of BVM Senior Secondary School, Kitchlu Nagar branch, Ludhiana, celebrated Mother’s Day today. The primary wing showed excellence in card making.

Drishti, Daman and Sushant Maini bagged first positions in self-composed English, Punjabi and Hindi poems, respectively. In collage making, Heema, Ria and Aanchal were first, second and third, respectively.



Rain dance party at Everest school
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
A rain dance party was organised by the pre-nursery wing of Everest Public Senior Secondary School, Moti Nagar, here today.

Tiny tots dressed up in swimming costumes performed a dance programme. A small water pool was especially made for the occasion.

Later, cakes and sweets were distributed among the children. Poonam Sharma, in charge of pre-nursery wing, suggested the methods to save oneself from chronic summer season.

Nutrition expert informed about food habits that should be followed in the summer season to keep tiny tots healthy. She emphasised on the physical development of children along with their mental development.



Indecisiveness worst enemy of students, says expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, organised an orientation programme to sensitise them about the need of time management, positive behaviour, maintenance of good health and hygiene etc.

Eminent personalities from the educational and medical field were invited to deliver useful information and share their views with the young minds.

Dr Aditi Satija, doctorate in psychology, lecturer of Khalsa College, Ludhiana, communicated with students of senior secondary classes. She emphasised the need of prioritising work and delegating duties.

She very categorically stated that the worst enemy of today’s students was the habit of procrastination and indecisiveness.

She elaborated certain guidelines and organisational skills, which the students found quite beneficial.

Students learnt the significance of using planners, pin pointing the problems, removing clutter and utilising high-energy period productively.

Students were imparted useful tips to beat their stress and cope up with the workload.

Dr Baldeep, Dr Susheel Chopra, Dr Monika, Dr Rajiv Kapil, ENT specialist, also interacted with the students.



Golden Apple Award for Malerkotla girl
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 11
If people join teaching profession by choice, their love for children and dedication towards vocation can do wonders for even those students, who are considered “hard” in India, especially in Punjab.

These were the views of Samina Khan, daughter of a Malerkotla-based family, who was given the Golden Apple Award for excellence in teaching in Chicago recently.

Terming education as the noblest profession, Khan stated that it was just like winning the Nobel Prize.

“Though, I was born in Ethiopia and raised in Nigeria, I feel teaching is in my genes,” said Samina Khan adding that she would visit Punjab after receiving the award on September 6.

Samina, a science teacher at Clark Academic Preparatory Magnet High School, Chicago was selected from among the 850 nominees and would receive $3,000, a tuition-free spring term sabbatical at Northwestern University and a computer.

The Golden Apple Awards, instituted in 1986, are for excellence in teaching for teachers from grades IV through VIII. Samina is the first teacher of Indian origin to win the award.



NIMA holds diabetes camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
The National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA) organised its 55th diabetes detection camp at Shivpuri here today.

NIMA secretary Dr Surinder Gupta said today that the association was regularly organising such projects under its community service project programme. At least

240 patients were examined during the camp by a team of doctors. Medicines were provided free of cost among the needy.

Dr Navin Mittal said chances of the next generation inheriting type 2 diabetes was 40 per cent if one parent was diabetic.

He said the ratio increased to 60 per cent if both were diabetic. He said two basic principles to prevent diabetes were diet and exercise.



Nurse’s Day celebrations today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 11
SPS Apollo Hospital will celebrate International Nurse’s Day at the hospital premises on May 12.

The programme comprising of various activities such as panel discussion, debate and poster making competitions that were held in the hospital the whole week, will culminate tomorrow.

Prizes will be given to the winners. Jugdeep Singh, managing director of SPS Apollo Hospital will inaugurate the function and Sister Soosamma Varghese, nursing superintendent, will preside over the function.



Cricket Tourney
Media XI register win
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 11
Fine batting by Monty (65) and Varun Chitkara (42) went in vain as the Punjab College of Technical and Engineering (PCTE) lost to Media XI by six wickets in a friendly cricket match played at Arya College here today.

This was Media XI’s second win in a row. They defeated Railway Police Force XI last Sunday by eight wickets.

PCTE XI won the toss and chose to bat first. In the stipulated 20 overs, they scored 187 for the loss of five wickets. Opener, Kanwal Singh lost his wicket on the very first delivery of the match when he was clean bowled by Mohit Khanna.

Then, Varun Chitkara and Monty played sensibly and steadied the innings. In the process, the pair added 118 runs for the second wicket.

Varun’s essay of 42 runs included four hits to the fence and one six while Monty hit two sixes and seven fours in his contribution of 65 runs. Sachin made 14 runs while Sahil scored 11 runs.

For Media XI, Tarsem sent down four overs and consumed three wickets for 15 runs while Mohit Khanna,in his quota of four overs grabbed one wicket for 22 runs.

Media XI began their chase on a sound note with the opening pair of Mohit Khanna and Sunil adding 97 runs in just eight overs.

Mohit made 42 runs with the help of two sixes and six boundaries while Sunil’s contribution of 40 runs was studded with one six and five hits to the ropes.

Other notable contributors were Samar and Ajit who scored 25 and 29 runs, respectively, while Vikas chipped in with 18 runs as Media XI scored 188 runs losing four wickets in 18 overs.

For PCTE XI, Sumit sclaped two victims for 30 runs in four overs while Varun Chitkara captured one for 17 in two overs.



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