L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Fire dept issues notices to 10 commercial buildings
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
The fire department has issued notices to 10 commercial buildings on Mall Road here for not following the fire safety norms.

The action was taken following week-long inspections by chief fire officer Kartar Singh at these buildings.

All these buildings were found to have flouted the fire-safety norms while constructing the structures. The owners had not cared to install fire-fighting equipment. If it was installed, then refilling schedule was not followed.

Kartar Singh said he had inspected buildings on Mall Road and found most of them not following norms. ‘‘Some of them did not have a fire exit. Almost all the buildings did not get their fire extinguishers refilled. The refilling was long overdue,’’ he said.

He said he would inspect more buildings in different parts of the city. ‘‘More than 100 buildings in the city do not follow fire-safety norms. All these will get notices. The notices will be issued after thorough checking,’’ he added.

He will prepare a detailed report of all these buildings and submit it to the commissioner for further action. ‘‘It will all depend on higher authorities now. Any stringent and extreme action can be taken against these building owners. After all it is their security that is at stake.’’

Most of the buildings on Mall Road are multi-storeyed. They do not have fire exits and have only lift systems to reach upper floors.

This is not for the first time that fire issue has assumed centre stage. Earlier also several of these buildings were issued notices. A restaurant run from a basement was even closed down. The MC managed to close it somehow but an entire market sprung up in its place. Now life of scores of people is at stake in that building.


Drug seizure
Powder not intoxicant, case fizzles out
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
The much-publicised biggest haul of narcotics in the region in the form of five quintals of small crystals in November last year from three persons, including an NRI, has fizzled out with the narco-analysis test stating that the powder was not an intoxicant.

While the city police is embarrassed at the negative report, it believes it could be a case of hunters being hunted.

Highly placed sources reveal the three smugglers could have been cheated by a Hyderabad-based gang, which duped them of crores of rupees by giving them simple powder instead of ephedrine. The seizure could have been worth over Rs 100 crore if the drug was proved to be an intoxicant.

On November 21 last year, the jubilant city police had announced that it had arrested Canadian NRI Harbhajan Singh Sidhu, Laddi and Baldev Singh with five quintals of suspected ephedrine from near the Kailash cinema chowk.

A scorpio car in which they were travelling had also been impounded.

The police had got information that some Canada-based international drug smugglers had made telephone calls to some contacts here telling them that the booty was arriving in a courier from Hyderabad.

The drug was sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory, Chandigarh, for ascertaining its chemical nature. The laboratory reported in the negative. “We had sent it to another laboratory in Delhi, but the report was the same,” said SSP R K Jaiswal.

He added that the crystals, which break into powder easily, would be sent to the CBI laboratory to ascertain the nature of the substance. Police sources revealed that local drug inspectors had already said that it did not seem to be ephedrine or heroin.

Officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) were also of the same view. The police hoped the lab report would throw some more light.

The SSP said the three persons were not arrested at the time of the seizure. “Only a DDR was lodged. They could not be arrested until it was proved they were carrying a banned drug. Now the case would be closed.”

The police has, however, not closed the investigation completely. “The three had got the crystals from a group in Hyderabad. We hoped the three would lead us to the widespread network of smugglers. But now the investigators would have to find a new way to catch the culprits,” said a senior officer.

The seizure was significant as Punjab had been termed as a transit point of international drug trade in a World Drug Report by the United Nations. Drugs reaching here from Afghanistan are refined using ephedrine. A popular byproduct is ecstacy, which is in high demand in Canada and USA. Canadian NRIs have often been caught on drug-peddling charge.



MC throws RTI Act to winds
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
Making a mockery of the RTI Act, the building branch of the municipal corporation has not provided information to a local resident for the past one year.

The resident, Sanjeev Kumar, had sought the site and completion plans of house number 237 in H block of BRS Nagar in June last year. He sent several reminders to the building branch of the MC but to no avail.

Finally after two months, he received a reply stating that the information cannot be provided to a third party. The letter signed by APIO to Sanjeev stated that the building in question was very old. If the applicant wanted to get the information, he needed to provide the site plan number and date of issuance so that the application can be processed.

This left the complainant very angry. He sent another letter to the MC, stating that it was in the MC's record and he could not provide the number and date of the site plan. He is yet to receive a reply to his letter.

‘‘I was shocked at the MC's reply that the house was very old and MC could not find the record. I wonder how many houses would there be in BRS Nagar H block. I think the MC does not know how to maintain records. Or it is just an attitude that they do not want to provide me the information,’’ said Sanjeev.

‘‘How can I provide them the site plan number? I do not keep the record of the MC. They are making a mockery of the RTI Act. If the law of the land wants to help people, these babus do not let this happen. I do not know when things would change,’’ he said, adding that he would take up the matter with Information Commission at Chandigarh.



Orchestra group driver murdered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
The driver of an orchestra group was found murdered in a colony on the Noorwala road this morning.

Balbir Singh, aged about 27, resident of Shimla Puri, had left home last evening to meet Preeti, a female member of the orchestra party, for some official work.

The Basti Jodhewal police said he later told Preeti he was going to collect payment from a party near the Noorwala road. His body with seven stab wounds on face and chest was found this morning.

The police said Balbir could have been murdered because of an illicit relationship. The police found some feminine stuff in the car. There were some signs that liquor was consumed with eatables in the car. A liquor bottle was also found.

The white Qualis car was found parked on the side of the road while the body was found near an abandoned house in an inhabited colony.

The police had taken the statement of Preeti, a resident of Manjit Nagar. The parents of the deceased do not suspect anyone.



Artist draws in charcoal to overcome odds
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
For Rampal Sahota, choosing charcoal to draw on the canvass was not something out of choice but due to financial constraints that he faced during his days of struggle. Today, he is well recognised by the art connoisseurs for his mastery in charcoal paintings.

Working as an art teacher at Air Force School, Halwara, near here, Sahota has put up a four-day exhibition of his art work at Sutlej Club here. The exhibition was inaugurated today by ADC Priyank Bharti.

Even the financial constraints during the initial phase of life could not deter him from indulging in his passion. The journey started when almost two decades back, Sahota expressed his hidden talent by making a sketch of Maharishi Balmiki with charcoal, which his mother used while cooking.

"It came out so well that everyone praised my art. I decided to go ahead as I found charcoal attractive and easily available at home. By the grace of God, today I am being recognised as a specialist in charcoal sketching", said Sahota, who has now put up his maiden exhibition in this industrial town.

Expressing gratitude towards DIG Ishwar Singh, Sahota said the latter had organised everything for putting up the exhibition. "Hundreds of sketches on display here are being appreciated by art lovers of Ludhiana. What more can an artist expect?", he asked.

The artist in him overcame all hurdles as he did not take any professional training in painting. The theme of a majority of his works has been "happy moods". He believes that one must feel refreshed while looking at his creative art in the morning. "I want to make people forget about their worries and sorrows", he said. A majority of his sketches depict the beauty of a woman and nature but sketches that depict the happiness on the wrinkled faces of old people are to be seen to be believed.

A majority of his works are in black and white but he has cleverly used oil paints in some sketches to give them a vibrant look. All the sketches on display range anything between Rs 3000-Rs 15,000.

Ashwani K.Gupta, an art lover, said he never missed an opportunity to see such exhibitions. "These charcoal paintings have come out so well that a layman will not be able to distinguish between pencil and charcoal art", he said.



Doraha MC Poll
12 Congress, 3 BJP candidates in fray
Litmus test for SAD-BJP alliance
Loveleen Bains

Doraha, June 28
With the BJP fielding three candidates against the SAD-BJP alliance candidates, the June 30 Doraha municipal council election is being significantly viewed as the litmus test for both parties unity. More so, as the panchayat elections had witnessed violent clashes between the two parties, who are partners in the government, in several part of the state.

Out of the total 47 candidates contesting 13 wards of the local municipal council, 12 are of the Congress and 12 of the SAD-BJP Alliance. The BJP has, however, filed three candidates in opposition to the alliance from its own side.

A total of three candidates are contesting from ward No 1. Lal Chand Lali is a Congress candidate while Darshan Singh Kala is from the side of the SAD-BJP alliance. Bant Singh is, however, contesting independently.

Similarly, out of the three candidates from ward No 2 (S.C women reserved seat) Vicky Rani is contesting for the Congress and Karamjit Kaur for the SAD-BJP alliance.

In ward No 3, out of six candidates that are in the fray, former president of the municipal council Adarsh Pal Bector is being regarded as a strong Congress candidate while Uday Sharma, a SAD-BJP candidate, is known to have got the seat as a reward of shifting from the Congress to the alliance. Kuljit Singh Vicky is contesting the election Independently from this ward

BJP president, Vinod Kumar Bector, who contested the earlier elections from ward No 8, is now contesting for SAD-BJP alliance from ward No 4, and is said to be facing a tough resistance from Sudarshan Kumar Sharma, former municipal council president, who also happens to be a Congress candidate.

In the ward No 5, Surinder Kaur, wife of Bant Singh Daburjee, former chairman Budewal Sugar Mills and an active Congress leader, is contesting from the Congress ticket while Bibi Satwinder Kaur is contesting as an alliance candidate. She is, however, a close relative of Akali leader Inderjit Singh Lopon.

Kanwaljit Singh Bittu is a Congress candidate from ward No 6 while Captain Jarnail Singh is contesting from the side of alliance. Gurcharan Singh is, however, contesting Independently.

In ward No 7,Kulwant Singh is the Congress candidate while Sukhjit Singh Sukha, a refractory of the Alliance, is now contesting the election officially from the side of the BJP. Manjit Singh Jaggi is, however, a candidate of the Akali Dal. Four Independent candidates are also in fray from this ward.

S.P.Sood is contesting from the ward No. 8 on a Congress ticket while Tarlochan Singh Sethi, an advocate, is contesting as an Independent from this ward. He, however, enjoys the patronage of the Alliance as well as MCPI (U).

Jasminder Singh Jassa, a former councillor, who had contested from ward No 5 earlier, is now contesting from ward No. 9 as a Congress candidate. Whereas, Gurwinder Singh Babbar is contesting from the Alliance side.

Savtantar Kaur, daughter- in-law of former municipal chief Harnam Kaur, is contesting as a Congress candidate from ward No. 10 while Devinder Kaur Sethi is a SAD-BJP alliance candidate.

Ramesh Kumar, a Congress candidate, is believed to be facing stiff resistance from Inderjit Singh Kala, president, Dasmesh Charitable Hospital and Dispensary, who happens to be strong Alliance candidate. Ramesh is contesting from ward No 11. Prominent Congress leader, Bant Singh Daburjee, who earlier used to contest from this ward, did not file his nomination papers this time. Two Indepedendent candidates, Krishan Kumar Vinayak and Sanjeev Kumar, are also contesting from this ward.

Jagmohan Singh, a Congress candidate, is contesting from ward No 12,while Jagroop Singh is contesting from BJP’s side. Harnek Singh, however, is an Akali Dal candidate.

Astonishingly no Congress candidate has filed his nomination papers from ward No 13. Here, Gurmit Kaur Roobal, wife of Rajvir Singh Roobal, a BJP candidate, and Kulwant Kaur of the Akali Dal, are contesting the elections.

Apart from this there are 19 Independent candidates who are contestants from various wards of Doraha.



21 booths declared sensitive
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 28
With all except one polling booth out of 22 being declared very sensitive, the district administration has deployed extra forces to combat any unsavory situation during the municipal council elections scheduled to take place on Monday. The booth which is not declared very sensitive has been pronounced sensitive.

Apprehending hostility at majority of booths during polling for election to the local municipal council, the administration has deputed armed cops according to 'very sensitive' norms laid down by the state election commission. Extra force, led by a DSP, will supervise the security arrangements.

Investigations by the Ludhiana Tribune revealed that certain SAD leaders had been threatening residents to cast vote in their favour. Owners of business organisations and government employees were threatened of dire consequences in case they dared to support Congress-backed or Independent candidates. These SAD candidates have even gone to the extent of threatening booth capturing in case the trend was against them.

Factionalism among SAD leaders of Malerkotla and Kila Raipur was reported to be the reason for threat to peace and tranquility of the town. An office-bearer of the district unit of SAD, who along with his supporters had raised slogans against Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal during his visit to the residence of a trader of ward number 11, is reported to have catalysed hostility in the area.

Malerkotla DSP Gurpreet Singh Sikand said adequate security arrangements had been made according to the norms laid down by the elections commission. Acting on a report submitted by SHO (city) Sukhdev Singh, 21 booths were declared very sensitive and one sensitive. Cops had been deputed accordingly, he said adding that DSP special branch Bir Davinder Singh would supervise the security arrangements.



Candidates woo voters through kin, friends
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh/ Raikot, June 28
Candidates for the election to the municipal councils are leaving no stone unturned to convert their efforts into victory. Besides lodging their claim on usual grounds, they are trying to pressurise voters through their relatives and friends residing in other parts of the state. NRIs are no exception to the trend.

Contrary to directions of the election commission, the government officials, allegedly acting on the instance of a few SAD and BJP leaders, were allegedly coercing their juniors to cast their vote in favour of particular candidates.

While none of the Congress-backed candidates agreed to accept symbol of the party, allotment of the SAD and BJP symbols generated controversy in a few wards.

Supporters and voters in majority of the wards at local town got fed up of insistent behaviour of candidates for election to the municipal council. Instead of canvassing in a normal manner the candidates have been pressuring voters to declare their support openly. Clans with more number of votes faced more difficulty as they were forced to accompany processions and rally organised in favour of almost all contestants in their respective wards. More enthusiastic candidates tried to mobilize support by calling relatives of these families.

A few local leaders felt embarrassed when they were made to “inaugurate” offices of more than one candidate in the same ward.

Rajinder Bhandari, state BJP president, Harish Rai Dhanda, chief parliamentary secretary, Rajinder Singh Kanjhla, SAD’s state vice-president, former minister Jagdish Singh Garcha, Congress MLA Mohinder Singh Pardhan, Jagdev Singh Talwandi and Ranjit Singh Talwandi canvassed in favour of candidates of their respective parties during the past a few days.

A few leaders were also accused of opposing their party candidates in certain wards. Though Mohinder Singh Billu was allotted party symbol in wards No. 1, SAD leaders led by Rajinder Singh Kanjhla, district president, opposed him and extended support to Avtar Singh Dhaler, a SAD-backed Independent candidate. However, Jagdish Singh Garcha and his brother, Mann Singh, extended support to Billu. Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, MP, is among other top slot leaders who tried to impress government officials to ensure victory of Jagwant Singh Jaggie in ward No 11. None of the BJP and SAD-backed candidates at Raekot agreed to contest election on the party symbol. However, Congress candidates are fighting on party symbol here.

While direct and triangular contests are expected in majority of 14 wards, Satish Kumar Aggarwal, a BJP leader, was announced declared elected after cancellation of nomination papers of all other candidates. Ram Kumar Chhappa, president of the city Congress, accusing authorities of acting at the instance of BJP and SAD leaders, alleged that they (officials) had illegally rejected his nomination papers without any reason.

Lalit Kumar Jain, a PPCC member, wanted in a case registered under Section 420, is a strong contender in ward No 9. Interestingly, SAD leader Amandeep Singh Gill and BJP leader Kimti Lal Jain are also trying their luck in this ward.



Prestige of major parties at stake
Tribune News Service

Khanna, June 28
With the campaigning at its last phase the stage has been set for the local municipal corporation’s elections. Candidates are leaving no stone unturned for wooing the voters. Since the Congress has been ruling former municipal corporation’s house, SAD-BJP candidates are more than hopeful of donning the winner’s cap this time.

Earlier, the SAD-BJP combine had barely managed to win two seats each, however, with their government in power both parties expect to bag 15 or more seats, out of the total 27.

The BJP and Alkali’s have shared 27 seats equally. Thirteen candidates each from both parties are in fray. The remaining one seat has been given to an independent candidate, Dinker Kalia in ward No. 17. Both parties are supporting him. At least 12 candidates, including 54 independent candidates, are eyeing 27 seats.

Interestingly, one father-son duo is also in fray. Vijay Sharma, an independent candidate, is contesting from ward No.25, while his son Ankur Sharma is also contesting as an independent candidate from ward No. 25.

Maximum voters (3,100) are in ward No. 5.Eight wards have been declared sensitive in the area. Candidates as usual are wooing voters with a promise of better roads, sewerage facilities and potable water. A few residents from ward No. 10 have decided to boycott the elections, stating that none of candidates have initiated any developmental works in the past few years. They have also put up a banner in their ward declaring their boycott and staged a dharna in this connection.

Though the deputy commissioner has ordered closure of all liquor vends and taverns within city limits on June 30. The candidates clandestinely in various wards of the city are serving liquor.



Poll observer
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 28
The State Election Commission has appointed Gurdeep Singh, joint secretary, Forest Department, Punjab, as the observer for supervising the Jagraon and Raikot municipal councils elections to be held on June 30. Priyank Bharti, additional electoral officer, stated this.



Lecture on history, significance of PPA
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
R.S. Gill, DGP and director, Punjab Police Academy (PPA), Phillaur, delivered a lecture on the history and significance of PPA.

He was invited as guest lecturer at a meeting of Rotary Club, Ludhiana north, at Rotary Bhawan last evening.

Speaking on the occasion, Gill told how a serai (inn) constructed during the era of Mughal king Sher Shah Suri was turned into a fort and later, into a boundary between the British and Ranjit Singh’s empires.

After defeating the Sikh Army, the British made Phillaur its first garrison in 1949. He said in the 1857 mutiny, it was made the first arsenal centre by the British.

In November 1891, Phillaur became the first police training centre in British India. In 1966, Police Training School, Phillaur, became Police Training College and was headed by a DIG rank officer.

It became the first police training centre to receive a colour. Earlier, colours were only given to the military. The centre got the stature of an academy in 1992 and since then, it is headed by a DGP rank officer.

He further said the PPA would soon attain university status. The first Police University would start working from Phillaur and later, would be shifted to its own campus.

He said PPA had a capacity to train 1,200 policemen. Last year, 1,680 policemen were trained at the academy. Not only police personnel, but it also trained dogs and horses, he said.

The meeting was presided over by B.D. Sharma, I.S. Grewal, former president J.S. Bindra and S.P. Karkra. The Rotarians thanked the guests for sharing the glorious past of PPA with them.



Residents threaten protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
Flooding of Transport Nagar, Janakpuri Link road, and Industrial Area Extension during rain yesterday has evoked protests from residents, who have threatened to lodge a protest if something was not done for proper drainage of rain water.

The deputy opposition leader in the MC house, Pritpal Singh Ghayal, said these localities were waterlogged yesterday but no measures were taken by the civic body to help residents. Ghayal said the nullah water had flooded roads and the business of transporters was hit.

He said the problem arose due to incomplete storm sewerage project worth Rs 95 lakh in Janakpuri. They had requested the commissioner and the city mayor to get the work started immediately but to no avail. They even took up the matter with sewerage board authorities a number of times. ‘‘Things have come to such a pass that due to waterlogging all the roads in these areas were washed away. These needed immediate repairs,’’ said Ghayal. He threatened that if their pleas went unheeded, they would stage a dharna and even observe a fast.



Robbery: Cops yet to register FIR
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
A resident of Dugri here is awaiting registration of an FIR against a “god-fearing” thief, who had looted his house between June 21 and June 25 while his family was away.

But, even after three days no FIR has been registered. The victim, Rakesh Soni, quality manager, Hero Cycles, is wondering how he can make the police act on his complaint.

He told The Tribune that goods worth Rs 1 lakh was stolen from his house.But, the police reaction had made him feel dejected. If they are going to take so long aw, then when would the thief be caught?



3 lakh jobless have benefitted from SEZ: Singhal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are the source of industrial transformation. So far, the total investment in SEZs has exceeded Rs 77,200 crore, providing more than 3 lakh jobs. It is expected that the investment in SEZs would touch $ 72.28 billion (US). Export Promotion Council of India director-general, L.B.Singhal, said this during a lecture organised by the Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) here yesterday evening.

Singhal said, “ There are 41 fully operational SEZs in India. The government also plans to another 462 operational soon. These economic zones have reported over $17 billion exports for the year 2007-2008. The contribution of SEZs in total exports of the country has increased to 10 per cent from 4 per cent in the last four to five years.

Talking about Punjab, he said the state had mooted a proposal of setting up seven SEZs in textiles, IT, electronics and communication. “With the setting up of SEZs the social and commercial infrastructure of the country will get a boost as majority of companies which are setting up their plants in these zones are also likely to create houses, shopping places, educational institutions, hospitals and schools within these zones.”



At the Crossroads
Changing patterns of human life

That was the time in 1950's when we were all alone in Shimla. My friends Dev Kumar, Bee Kay and Nagar were in search of degrees in M.A. English. I was also with them, though a latecomer. They respected me as a family man, whereas all of them were bachelors then. Alone we were because we had a separate identity. We were always engrossed in the study of literature, particularly in the library at the Ridge. In the coffee house, we occupied the table for a long time so as to discuss the literary movements. Still it was meaningless to roam about on the mall, when the sky was overcast with clouds, the harbingers of snowfall.

The best course open to us was to go to Bee Kay's two-room set that had the old world charm. There we could occupy dainty chairs in front of the fireplace, with our hands stretched out towards the flames. The second round of the inebriating stuff helped us recollect the verses of the great masters. Sometimes the howling wind blew whistles at the chimney top and the flames leapt up in good response. Nothing else mattered, in that wistful atmosphere, except the recitation of a ghazal.

Those were the days when the Brave New World of Aldous Huxley's imagination was in the process of taking shape. At that time we were sceptical of most of the predictions of the great philosopher. His concept of test-tube babies and surrogate mothers seemed preposterous. He visualised that the teenagers in the near future would be in a hurry to pass through the agonising period of growth. Thereafter they would attain adulthood without gaining maturity. Most of his prophecies have indeed come true for better or worse.

New expectations grip the minds of the people in every age. The earlier period seems to be of no significance in regard to the progress of mankind. With the passage of time, modern concepts replace the older ones. This process goes on for some time but, before long, the things start falling into a pattern. Then a time comes when the newly acquired routine loses its charm. Gradually the same process becomes irksome, resulting in the birth of some new concepts concerning human situation.

During the first decade of the 21st century, human nature appears to have undergone a drastic change. The younger generation has either fallen into the trap of lethargy and depression, or it is scaling new heights of achievements in various fields of human activity. The drug-addicts are running away from the bonds of life, else they are drifting into the web of illusions. The nihilistic attitude of these misled youngsters has deprived them of their rich cultural heritage. Their disdainful attitude to all that is good, beautiful and true has also bereft them of all the joys of life.

The young ones of the other category are shining like stars in the firmament of the present day world. Most of them are indeed seeking such jobs as can secure for them big pay packets. This tendency has its drawbacks also. In the days to come some of them will become workaholics, oblivious of the other important aspects of life. They may at times act like the mythical Icarus who went too near the sun, against the advice of his father, with his wings of wax. His fall was imminent on the land or in the sea, although prudence could help him realise his dream in a proper manner. He could not sustain his flight, at a particular stage, due to his overambitious nature. The talented young ones of our time should keep their feet firmly on the ground while taking up the careers where sky is the limit.

Looking back to 1950's I realise that, in the past 50 years, the process of life has undergone a sea change. At that time hurry was not the catchword whereas now things are moving recklessly fast. I am of the view that one should move with time ungrudgingly. Even then there is a need for reappraisal of human concerns and age-old values. As an old guard, I cannot help recalling the lines of a poet which are etched out in my memory -

No time to turn at beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance
No times to wait till her mouth can
Enrich the smile her eyes began?
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

— N.S. Tasneem



Traffic regulation

Various rules and regulations are framed by the state government and the traffic police from time to time in order to regulate the traffic. But the law-makers as well as the protectors, themselves, violate these rules.

Pictures of policemen, clearly violating traffic rules, are usually published in newspapers. They don't hesitate to jump the red light signals.

Whenever a convoy of a minister crosses anywhere, they don't bother whether the signal is green or not. They usually cross the traffic signals making too much noise due to the high-decibel hooters.

Before enforcing reforms among the public, they must regulate themselves first.

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.



Premium fuel sale hit by 60%
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
Oil companies’ endeavour to focus on sale of premium fuel seems to have failed. Post fuel price hike, the sale of premium variety has come down by 50 to 60 per cent, say dealers. The price difference between normal and premium fuel having been increased customers are unwilling to pay for the more expensive variant.

Earlier, the oil companies had asked dealers to ensure that at least 40 per cent of the total fuel sale came from the premium category. However, after much protests by dealers, the companies have mellowed their previous stance. Dealers, now, are procuring premium petrol and diesel only as per requirement, which has drastically come down.

“After the fuel price hike, oil companies increased premium fuel rates too. The difference between the two variants was as high as Rs 5 per litre, which consumers refused to pay. Under such situation oil companies stressed that we should sell premium fuel, but we refused to do so as we cannot force consumers to buy a particular category of fuel” said Ashok Sachdeva, general secretary, Ludhiana Petroleum Dealers association.



BCM Arya students, teachers return from US
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
A 28-member group, including 21 students and seven teachers of B.C.M Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, returned from an 11-day trip to the US.

The group visited New York and Florida. They also attended United Nations model session and saw Kennedy Space Centre - NASA. They saw Time Square, Statue of Liberty, Empire State building and Ellis Island in New York but the most memorable moment for all of them was participation in the UN model sessions.

The 11-day trip was enough to change the approach of Class X district topper Garima Goyal who got so inspired by the achievements of astronaut Kalpna Chawla that she decided to pursue a career in the field of space.

"Eariler I was thinking of becoming a computer engineer but after learning about Kalpna Chawla's achievements, I have decided to peruse a career in aeronautical engineering and do something for my country like she did," said Garima.

Paramjit Kaur, principal, B.C.M. Arya Model Senior Secondary School, said, "The students visited Orlando in Florida. They also enjoyed their visits to the Disney Youth Education Series, Epcot, Universal Studios, Animal Kingdom, Space Rides and Sea World. The moments spent at NASA were unimaginable and thrilling for the students as well as teachers."

She further said, "The tour was highly informative, realistic and provided first-hand knowledge specially about the working at United Nations and NASA."

She added, "It was heartening to see the students rushing to see their National flag in the United Nations headquarters."

Karan, a Class X student, is planning to start a hygiene awareness campaign in the city after his visit to the US.

He said, "People in the US are more conscious about environmental hazards. They are aware about the possible outbreak of a disease that is why they keep their surroundings clean. I have realised that more than the administration, it the responsibility of the people to keep the environment clean. The need of the hour is to generate awareness among the general public about environmental hazards."



Free medical camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
A free medical camp was organised at Gurdev Hospital today under the monthly free camp series started by the hospital.

As many as 170 patients of eye, gynaec, surgery, pediatrics, ortho and dental problems were examined free of cost by specialists.

Dr Balwant Singh, administrative officer, in a press statement, said the management of the hospital was pleased to start a series of free medical camp facilities on last Saturday of every month for poor and needy patients. It was the first camp in the series.



Tennis Tourney
Punjab lads shine on day one
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 28
Participants from Punjab prevailed over their opponents to advance into the third round on the first day of the annual PAU AITA Total Tennis Talent Series Championship being organised by the Total Tennis Academy at the Punjab Agricultural University campus courts here today.

More than 300 participants across the country are taking part in the tournament in which under-12 and under-14 boys and girls are competing.

The qualifying matches began today in the boys’ under-14 category.

In a second round tie, Rishab Dev from Punjab got the better of his statemate Chirag Kohli 7-4, while in another encounter, Punjab's Udhay Partap Singh recorded win against Vibhu Khurana from Uttar Pradesh in similar fashion (7-4).

Hardeep Singh of Punjab scored an easy 7-2 victory over Himanshu from Haryana and Ravinder Singh of Punjab outnumbered Saurabh, also from Punjab, 7-5 to make it to the next round.

In other boy's under-14 matches, Amit Bajaj of Haryana proved too good for Anmol of Punjab, whom he defeated 7-2; Pallav from Delhi beat Yashbir from Punjab 7-0; Jodh Pal of Punjab faced a little resistence from Yuvtish from Punjab 7-2; Bhawanpreet of Punjab stamped his authority by registering a hard fought win of 7-4 against Harsh Arora of Delhi; Yajdeep of Punjab beat Parveer of Punjab 7-2; Harpreet of Punjab scored an authentic 7-0 win over Manav, also of Punjab; M. Veerakumar from Tamil Nadu scored an authentic 7-1 win over Haryana's Sharan; Sonu of Punjab outclassed Simrandeep of Punjab 7-1 and Abhijit of Chandigarh defeated Jass of Punjab 7-2 to mave into the next round.



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