L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Halt work on mall: MC panel
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 16
In a peculiar development that might lead to confrontation between the civic administration and elected representatives, a committee of councillors, set up by the mayor at a general house meeting, has called for stoppage of construction work on Silver Arc mall in Gurdev Nagar here and withdrawal of permission granted to builders.

Interestingly, zonal commissioner of zone D Kuldeep Singh, a PCS officer, who was also a member of the committee, is not a signatory to the report which was submitted to the mayor today by three councillors, Prem Mittal and Amrit Varsha Rampal, both from the Congress and Harbhajan Singh Dang from Shiromani Akali Dal.

The councillors nominated to the sub-committee have stated that the site of the mall was inspected on April 11, 2008, when the joint commissioner had also accompanied the committee members. Besides going into the ongoing construction work, the committee also interacted with affected residents, who had complained of damage to their properties as a result of digging of the basement of the mall building.

Without attributing any motive, the councillors pointed out that the joint commissioner had not submitted his report on the basis of inspection carried out on April 11 and after waiting for more than a month, they were left with no other choice but to prepare the enquiry report and submit it to the mayor for further necessary action.

The report maintains that adjoining three-storey house of Bikramjit Singh and others had developed cracks and the entire building had started tilting towards west side making it totally unsafe. Further, another adjoining residential building of Amandeep Singh has partially collapsed while house of Santokh Singh has also developed cracks.

The report further says that the MC road at the rear of the proposed mall has been damaged and part of the road has been blocked by dumping the construction material.

In the course of construction work for the mall, the builders had also inflicted damage to sewer lines in the area. It has called for assessment of the damage caused to MC properties and the houses adjoining the mall for payment of compensation which should be recovered from the builders.

MC joint commissioner Kuldeep Singh told The Tribune that being a returning officer for the zila parishad and panchayat samiti elections, he could not find time to submit the report to the mayor. Refusing to comment on the report submitted by three councillors of the sub-committee, he said he would prepare the report and submit the same within one week. The mayor was not available for comments.



World Hypertension Day
To destress, get into your walking shoes
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 16
With one out of every five persons in India suffering from hypertension, there is need to change lifestyle and increase awareness to prevent this "silent killer" that is rapidly spreading its tentacles, said Dr K.C. Goyal, district health officer, Sangrur, on the eve of World Hypertension Day today.

Goyal said a regular exercise, especially brisk walk, good diet with low salt intake and cessation of smoking were a few ways that could ensure a hypertension-free life.

Stating that hypertension affected over 15 billion people across the world and irrespective of economic strata, Indians too were getting increasingly affected by it, Dr Sunit Hind, an office-bearer of the Rotary Club, said the key to managing this disease lay in understanding it.

Quoting studies on hypertension, he said in the past six decades, the number of those affected by it had increased by almost 30 times in the urban areas and 10 times among rural population.

"Those inflicted with hypertension are more vulnerable to a stroke and were at a risk of shortening their life span. Routine blood pressure monitoring is essential and these days can be done in the comfort of one's home itself. Besides, lifestyle changes are important too," he said.



Excise raid on Lodhi Club
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 16
Excise and Taxation officials conducted a raid on the high-profile Lodhi Club here late last night.

The officials said the club did not obtain the permit for consumption of liquor at a party and on investigation, shortage of 19 bottles of liquor were detected from the stocks of the club. The club had tried to adjust liquor consumed at the party from its stocks, said the officials.

The club would face a penal action after the investigations were complete, they added.

"The club did not obtain the permit due to which we conducted a raid. They also tried to adjust the liquor consumed in the party from their existing stocks due to which we recorded a shortage of 19 bottles of scotch," assistant excise and taxation commissioner (AETC) H.P.S. Ghotra.

Sources said the party was thrown by one of the senior executive members of the club. For any function that involves liquor consumption, a permit is to be obtained from the excise department. In this case, as the function was held on the premises of the club, the club would be held liable for not obtaining the required permission.

The case has been forwarded for further action to senior the DETC, added the officials.

City clubs, where liquor consumption is quite high, are likely to come high on agenda of the excise department. "We will keep a close tab wherever liquor consumption is high in order to ensure that there is no tax evasion."

An Excise official said such activities by clubs would not be tolerated.



Punish erring college staff, says Rajdeep’s father
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 16
The body of Rajdeep Singh, final-year student of Guru Nanak Engineering College, was cremated at his native village, Kohli Kalan, today. A large number of SAD and Congress leaders attended the funeral.

Residents were upset at the absence of members of the college management committee at the condolence meeting.

Bachhiter Singh Mukandpur, a cousin of the deceased, alleged that the college administration failed to rescue Rajdeep who bled to death after being attacked by a group of students on Wednesday.

"Had the staff bothered to get Rajdeep proper medical assistance after the attack, his life could have been saved.“

Jaswant Singh, father of the deceased, was in a state of shock. “My son could have been alive had the management of the college provided him medical help in time. I want action against the erring staff,”he said.

Rajdeep was the only son of his parents. 



NGO goes green
Takes to fruit tree plantation
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 16
Taking up plantation of fruit trees, the Nishkam Sewa Ashram, a city-based NGO, is supplying saplings of various fruit trees, including mango, orange, peach, guava, jamun, apple and ber, free of cost.

The organisation is buying all plants, worth lakhs of rupees, from Punjab Agricultural University and further distributing these to the public, NGOs and government agencies.

Sarwan Kumar, the founder of Nishkam Sewa Ashram, said Ludhiana municipal corporation commissioner Vikas Pratap had procured a large number of saplings and had these planted in every part of the city. The NGO has a workforce of 140 people and five of them are working on new projects for betterment of society. "Letters for the plantation drive were written to the Prime Minister, Punjab Chief Minister, state ministers and deputy commissioners of all districts in Punjab. It was a good beginning as we got a positive reply from the deputy commissioners of Ferozepur and Mansa", Sarwan Kumar said.

To take the message to the maximum number of people to plant fruit trees instead of simple and ornamental trees, a special documentary on the Nishkam Sewa Ashram with emphasis on the tree plantation drive is being shown on Zee Jagran and Shradha channel every day.

A member of the NGO said fruit trees on road side, in public and private offices would be a boon for poor people who couldn't afford to buy these everyday.

Two hundred fruit trees which were planted in Guru Kirpa Dham at Dugri and hundreds others at dispensaries run by the ashram trust in the city are already bearing fruit.

Shruti, the project manager and a trustee of the ashram, expressed elation over the calls of people from Jalalabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Mohali, Ahmedabad , Rampur (HP) and other parts of Punjab. "People have shown keenness to plant fruit trees and are even coming up with good suggestions for plantation of specific varieties in particular regions," informed Shruti. 



CPM protests against inflation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 16
To mark its protest against inflation, the Communist Party of India (M) held a protest march from Chatar Singh Park to the deputy commissioner's office where it held a dharna here today.

Hardev Singh Sandhu, president of Kul Hind Mazdoor Sabha, said farmers and labourers were the worst-hit sections of society due to zooming inflation.

"Items of daily use have become costlier by at least one-and-a-half times making life tough for the common man." Blaming globalisation, he said subsidies to agricultural sector had been cut significantly, due to which farmers were getting affected.

Condemning private procurement companies, Sandhu said they had a major share in the total purchase, which was an unhealthy trend and would only fuel inflation further.

The protesting members of the party said the government was misleading people by terming international trends responsible for inflation whereas if it took measures, inflation could be brought under control.

Among those who addressed the dharna were Tarlochan Singh Jhordan, district president of Kirti Kisan Union, Sukhdev Singh Manuke, Jarup Singh Gill and Inderjit Singh Jagraon.



Authorities ask tea shop owners to stop serving food
PAU appoints another contractor; staff resent move
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 16
Resentment prevails among employees of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) over the recent letter issued by authorities asking teashop owners not to serve food to its employees, students and faculty members. The university has given the contract of serving food to another person recently.

In the absence of good cooperative canteen on the campus, which caters to about 6,000 employees, these teashop owners had been serving food along with tea and snacks to a large number of employees at “reasonable rates” for the past many years. Criticising this move, the employees said when they were getting good food at economical rates from these stalls, why should they pay more to the contractor hired by the authorities.

President, non-teaching employees union, GADVASU, Anil Sabharwal, said employees had to suffer a lot due to the lack of proper canteen. “Whenever we have a few guests, we are forced to take them to these teashops. But, yesterday they refused to entertain us and showed a letter issued by the Estate Office. Till recently, they have been serving us quality food, which suits our pockets. Why should we try others, when we are satisfied with the present service”, he said adding that the university should leave it to the employees rather than impose their decision.

Though the employees have been demanding a full-fledged canteen at the university for long but for one reason or another, the demand had not been considered. Recently, the contract of a canteen was given through auction near the College of Agricultural Engineering. This canteen was providing vegetable “thali” for Rs 20 to employees, but the latter said they were getting similar food between Rs 13 and Rs 14 from places near the Press, Communication Centre, workshop and college of Basic Sciences.

One of the Estate Office officials said the university had given license to these tea stall owners for selling tea and snacks and not the food.

“The practice started as there was no canteen. But recently, the contract of canteen has been given to a person, who is paying Rs 6,000 per month to the university for providing food to employees. He will definitely suffer if others keep on serving food to employees”, he added.



Missing Children
Police slack in absence of FIRs, says Bajaj 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 16
Lesser police accountability in tracing a missing child because no FIR is registered has led to parents registering cases of their wards being kidnapped. This was stated by Sanjana Bajaj, member of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), while talking to The Tribune here today.

Bajaj was here for a meeting, on missing children in the city, with the police, administration and aggrieved parents.

Bajaj felt, "In a number of cases, the police showed a slack attitude because of no FIR. A missing child's case was dismissed in the daily diary report (DDR). In case of no action on an FIR for long, parents often went to courts and sought an answer to police enquiry in their case".

Bajaj met DIG Ishwar Singh and SSP R.K. Jaiswal and asked them to submit a detailed report on missing children within a month. She suggested that the police should make a separate register for the missing children, sensitise the force in the matter and increase vigil at the key locations such as bus stands and railway station to find the missing children.

She told the aggrieved parents that if they did not feel satisfied with the procedure, they could approach NCPCR to pursue their cases.

However the police claims that out of 90 missing children, the Ludhiana police had recovered 45 children.



Vets demand exemption from poll duty
Our Correspondent

Doraha, May 16
The dairy animals of the state especially of Payal tehsil seem to be left entirely at the mercy of God as all the 11 veterinary doctors and para veterinary staff of the tehsil has been deployed on election duty, not only for the recently held elections but for the coming panchayati elections also.

At other tehsils, too, the veterinary staff have not been spared despite election commission’s directions to the Punjab election commission not to deploy the vets for electoral duty. The exemption has already been endorsed by the state government but to no avail, complain the veterinary doctors. They rue that a representation in this regard has already been sent to the ADC, who, on the plea of shortage of election staff, refused to cancel the duty of any of the veterinary doctors or the para staff.

Dr Darshan Kheri, district president, Para Staff Veterinary Officers Association (PSVOA) said, “We performed the earlier duty somehow but the deployment of almost the same staff for the coming panchayat elections is too much.”

The veterinarians say that the electoral office should have given some thought while putting all the doctors and the total staff of the tehsil on election duty.

It was only day before yesterday when a cow died in the absence of any medical aid at Payal as all veterinary doctors of the tehsil and the staff were on election duty. To make matters worse, their was no doctor to conduct a post-mortem examination of the animal because of which the insurance claim will either be delayed or not availed by the owner for no fault of his. Some more animals have been reported to have met the same fate during the election days. 



Hit-and-run accident victim needs help
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 16
Darbara Singh, a resident of New Subhash Nagar in Basti Jodhewal locality here, met with a road accident in which he sustained fractures in both legs and a head injury in early March this year. As the offending driver of the vehicle managed to escape without paying heed to the victim, he was taken to Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) by the area residents for treatment.

According to doctors in the orthopaedic department of the hospital, who attended on Darbara Singh, the accident victim had suffered fractures of both bones in the right leg, fracture of femur bone in the left leg and head injuries. The patient remained in the hospital for more than a week and continued follow- up treatment in the OPD thereafter. Still unable to stand on his own feet, he is bed-ridden and being the sole bread winner, is unable to support his family comprising six daughters.

Kulwinder Kaur, eldest daughter of Darbara Singh, says the family had spent nearly Rs 1.5 lakh on the treatment which is still to be continued for quite some time. "With all our financial resources having dried up and my father bed-ridden and out of work, we have no source of income to sustain ourselves and at the same time continue treatment in the hospital. The only hope of the family now lies with the kind-hearted people of the region."

All those gracious samaritans interested in helping Darbara Singh and his desperate family can contact the office of the medical superintendent at CMCH, Ludhiana. All donations should be made in favour of 'Christian Medical College and Hospital' with "Treatment of Darbara Singh (unit no C-7128807)" written on the back of the cheque/DD or on the covering letter.



Ban adult film screening

Cinema, once a major source of entertainment, is heading towards extreme vulgarity. Films made these days are full of filthy music and vulgarity. Gone are the days when music along with good quality script, story line and choreography made the film memorable.

One comes across numerous cinema halls where such films are being screened to entertain local residents. Besides this, there are a few cinema halls that screen four films at a particular time. But, a few cinema owners, in order to lure more viewers prefer screening of adult films which is unethical and condemnable act. Obscene posters of such films can often be seen pasted on city walls at every nook and cranny. Sometimes, one feels ashamed after watching these obscene posters in front of family. Moreover, screening of such type of films affects younger generation, including children. The district administration must ban screening of adult films in local theaters.

Ravi Chander Garg, Ludhiana



Banned drugs seized
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 16
The Anti-Narcotic Cell conducted a raid in Chhajjawal village yesterday and recovered a large quantity of banned drugs from a shop.

ASI Gurcharan Singh raided the house of Surjit Singh, son of Inder Singh of Chhajjawal, who runs a kariyana shop in his house.

The police recovered 18,000 tablets of Momotel and 864 capsules of Spasmo Proxyvon. The police arrested Surjit Singh and registered a case.



State govts should ‘contribute’ to MSP
Tribune News Service

Khanna, May 16
The state governments should also contribute to the MSP given to the farmers on their produce. This could be done only when the state governments moot a policy related to it.

The chairperson of the Commission for Agriculture Cost and Prices (CACP), Prof S. Mahendra Dev, said this while talking to The Tribune here yesterday. Professor Dev and the Punjab Mandi Board chairman, Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, were here yesterday on a visit.

"The contribution of the state governments to the MSP could bring relief to the farmers to a great extent", he said. He claimed that the farmers in Khanna and the adjoining villages were quite satisfied with the recent price rise in wheat.

He pointed out that the agriculture prices in India were affected by the rise in the global prices. Since the prices were set up at the national level, the farmers of various states always demanded more prices for the produce, he said.

He said the MSP for paddy was also expected to get a good price.



Freshers’ party at Guru Nanak Senior Secondary School
Tribune News Service

Doraha, May 16
A freshers’ party was organised at Guru Nanak Model Senior Secondary School today.While the tiny tots put up their best attires on this special day, teachers arranged various colourful items in their honour. The students participated in various games and were rewarded. In the competitions that followed, Navnish Singh and Sneha were declared ‘prince’ and ‘princess’, respectively.

Poetry recitation

A poetry recitation competition was organised among students of the primary wing of Spring Dale Senior Secondary School, Sherpur Chowk, here today.

The competition organised in two categories was held in English, Hindi and Punjabi, respectively.

Students recited poems on the topics like patriotism, mother’s love, nature and environment and teacher’s role in students life. Director Avinash Kaur Walia and principal Sandeep Raikhi appreciated the students for their extraordinary skills and distributed prizes.

Meanwhile, hindi poetry recitation competition was organised for the children of the KG section. Children enjoyed the competition. Principal S.C.Saxena and Ranjana Dhanda, in charge, KG section, distributed prizes among the winners. It was a very tough decision for the judges to take.

Arshit Sood of LKG (F) and Harnoor Kaur of LKG (C) received Ist prize. Besides them, Akshi Sharma of UKG (C) and Ramya Sharma of UKG (E) also received the Ist prize.


Lord’s Divine Public School, Grewal Colony, Noorwala Road, organised a function to commemorate the birth anniversary of Shaheed Sukhdev here today. Besides him, Gopal Krishan Gokhle, Raja Ram Mohan Rai, Veer Savarkar, Rabindra Nath Tagore and Maharana Pratap whose birth anniversary also falls in May, were also remembered.The function started with the lighting of the ceremonial lamp followed by recitation of “Vande Matram”. The function was presided over by principal H.C.Gupta.

Pool party

Mom’s Pride School organised a pool party on the school premises here today. It was a great relief for the little ones from the scorching heat. The children were dressed up in swimming costumes and trunks. Refreshment was also distributed among the children.



Lecture on knitting techniques
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 16
The Ivanna Institute of Fashion Technology organised a lecture-cum-demonstration on knitting techniques here. Amardeep Singh Kalra, head of the knitting technology department, Government Institute of Textile and Knitting Technology, was the resource person.

The lecture was specially organised for the fashion technology students studying under the PTU distance education programme. 



Johal heads US chapter of cultural body
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 16
Baljit Singh Johal was appointed the president of the American chapter of the Punjab Cultural Society (PCS) at a function organised in the city yesterday.

PCS founder-president Ravinder Rangoowal, while lauding Johal for his role in promoting Punjabi culture overseas, said his involvement with the society would steer society towards a better future. "There is more to Punjabi culture than dance and music and we along with Baljit Singh Johal will convey the same to the American citizens and other communities settled there", Rangoowal said.

Johal was the first Punjabi to start Punjabi TV in Washington DC in 1992.

He started a special television programme to teach Punjabi to the younger generation settled there. "I am already involved in social pursuits, which include sponsorship worth 25,000 US dollars to orphans, deaf and dumb children." 



Diabetes check-up camp today
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 16
Ludhiana Mediciti Hospital here will organise a diabetes awareness and check-up camp on May 17. Dr Gaurav Sachdeva, a diabetes specialist, will examine patients, render follow up and dietary advice and educate the diabetic persons on lifestyle changes to have a better quality of life.

He said demonstration on the use of insulin would be given and blood sugar level test will also be conducted free of cost.

Meanwhile, the ENT department of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital will hold an awareness camp for parents of children with hearing impairment at Dumra Auditorium in the hospital on May 18 from 9 am to 12 noon.

Dr Hemant Chopra, professor and head of the ENT department in DMCH, said the camp would focus on treatment modalities for deaf and mute children in general and the ‘Cochlear Implant’ programme in particular. 



Camp on lifestyle disorders at Desh Bhagat hospital
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, May 16
Desh Bhagat Ayurvedic Hospital and Panchkarma Centre, Mandi Gobindgarh, organised a two-day free medical camp on lifestyle disorders to mark the International Family Day. The camp concluded last evening.

Dr Ranjit Singh, SMO, Mandi Gobindgarh Civil Hospital, inaugurated the camp.

Dr Ramesh Chander jain, Dr Ramesh Kumar Kapila, Dr Vimla Sannd, Dr S.M. Tripathi, Dr Arvinder Kaur Arora, Dr Darpan, Dr Anupama and deputy vaidya Chand Mittal examined the patients. More than 150 patients were examined.



Sports Quota Scheme
180 girls take part in trials today
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 16
A large number of girl aspirants turned up for the selection trials conducted by the Punjab sports department to select the players for different colleges of Panjab University, Chandigarh, under its sports quota scheme.

The two-day trials began today simultaneously at Guru Nanak Sports Complex and the Punjab Agricultural University campus. As many as 180 girls attended the trials which included 45 in athletics, 22 in basketball, 4 in gymnastics, 45 in kabaddi, 11 in cycling, 42 in hockey, 11 in weightliting, 9 in volleyball, 2 in boxing, one in judo and 9 in handball.

Teams of selections panels, including coaches of the state sports department, besides advisors, former and current sportspersons of national and international repute, deputed by the department supervised the aspirants during the trials.

It is after a gap of 14 years that the department has reintroduced admission in the colleges under sports quota across the state. As many as 450 seats (boys and girls) are reserved in all three universities namely Panjab University, Chandigarh, Punjabi University, Patiala, and Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.

Jasvinder Singh Bhandari, officiating district sports officer, Ludhiana, informed that he had received a number of phone calls from boys and girls who could not come today to appear for the trials. “They would be accommodated if they turn up tomorrow”, he added.

The selected players would be provided facilities as per the guidelines laid down by the department.

Trials are being held for day scholars and the residential schemes in as many as 15 disciplines- athletics, basketball, boxing, cycling, football, gymnastics, wrestling, handball, judo, kabaddi, volleyball, weightlifting, swimming, badminton and hockey.

The selected players would be provided facilities as per the guidelines laid down by the department. Tomorrow, trials would be held for the boys in same disciplines.



Amritsar lads thrash Ludhiana
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 16
Fine knock of 70 runs by Abhinav Bhatia, student of Kundan Vidya Mandir School, Civil Lines, Ludhiana, went in vain as Amritsar demolished Ludhiana on the basis of their first innings lead of 262 runs in the inaugural match of the Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Tournament (u-16) for the M.L. Markan Trophy played at Gandhi ground, Amritsar, today.

In reply to Amritsar’s first innings total of 396 runs, Ludhiana began the day at 15 for one. Fine bowling spells by Amritsar’s bowlers restricted the team to a very low total. Eventually, Ludhiana’s first innings folded at 134 runs after 69 runs.

Only Abhinav Bhatia put up a brave fight to top score with 70 runs. Two other batsmen who could reach double figure were Paras Mehndiratta and skipper Abhishek Talwar. They contributed 22 and 12 runs, respectively.

For Amritsar, Vinay Chaudhary was the wrecker-in-chief who grabbed five wickets for 32 runs while Kamal Passi claimed two wickets for 45 runs and Shubham captured one for 11.

In their second innings, Amritsar were one down for 52 runs in 13 overs when it was called a day. With this victory, hosts secured two points to begin their campaign on a sound note.

Now, Ludhiana play their second match on May 18 and 19 at Government College, Ropar, against Ropar Zone-B XI.



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