L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Yet another freight corridor for city
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today announced a Railway Freight Corridor (RFC) from Mumbai to Ludhiana to boost industrial growth in the state. He said the Centre had approved the RFC and a team was all set to visit him to work out the modalities.

Badal was in the city today to lay a series of foundation stones of various infrastructure and development projects in and around Ludhiana city at a total cost of Rs 56 crore, as a part of the mega development plan of Rs 1,000 crore. Earlier, the Centre had announced an RCF from Kolkata to Ludhiana also.

Badal said these two corridors would facilitate the transportation of manufactured goods and raw materials from different destination of state to other parts of the country.

Badal also pointed out that the rail link from Chandigarh to Ludhiana would soon be completed, as the ministry of railways had already earmarked adequate funds in the Union Budget during the current financial year to extend this link from Morinda to Sahnewal, which would ultimately connect it with Ludhiana.

Making a firm resolve to ensure all-round development and economic growth in the state, Badal said that the Punjab government was already in the mode to prepare master plans for all the cities and towns with the provision of water supply, sanitation and sewerage facilities to the inhabitants.

The basic objective to prepare these master plans was to ensure integrated and planned urban growth in view of the long-term perspective. He said as many as 7,000 dwelling units for the economically weaker sections would be constructed at a cost of Rs 92 crore in Ludhiana city.

Under the first phase, Badal said he had today launched the scheme at Gyaspura village and Mundian to construct 4,000 such units at a cost of Rs 40 crore and it would be completed within the next two years. Besides he also laid the foundation stone of a flyover at Gill Chowk at a cost of Rs 16 crore to de-congest vehicular traffic in the city.

Badal also announced to construct an elevated road over the Sidhwan canal to ensure smooth flow of traffic to and from the city.

Manoranjan Kalia, local government and industries minister, said the development and prosperity in the state was synonymous with the SAD-BJP government. He mentioned that Ludhiana city would soon emerge as one of the best metropolitan cites of the country. He also announced that an inter-city bus service would be launched in mid-August to facilitate the local commuters.


MC repairs roads ahead of Badal’s visit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
Overzealous municipal corporation today repaired several roads in the city just a few minutes before the Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, had to take to these.

The workers of the municipal corporation worked overtime and did patchwork on Circular Road just before Badal was about to reach former councillor Satpal Beri's house in Bajwa Nagar here.

Badal was scheduled to visit his house in the afternoon after inaugurating several projects in the morning. When he was about to reach there, MC's machinery was working to repair the road in patches on a war footing. Premix was being put and rollers were levelling the patches just half an hour before Badal reached his house.

Not only circular road, but the Basti Jodhewal road was also being patched up during the last minute. The road rollers were levelling the road and the work stopped only when the convoy of the CM was to cross the area.

Sources in the MC said the material for repairing was being taken from the MC's own hot mix plant. No contractor was asked to do the job. The MC employees were themselves completing the work.

The roads in entire city had developed potholes after the rains. The residents were complaining about the problem for the last many days. There seemed to be no solution in sight. But the CM's visit today made this happen.

‘‘I am amazed at the way the MC staff worked and repaired the roads within a few minutes. If they work like this on a routine basis, the city would be like heaven,’’ said Mohinder Pal, a resident of Bajwa Nagar.

He said they all were very happy that the CM was coming to area not because of his visit but because the roads were given a new lease of life. Otherwise they were suffering. 



Trees felled illegally to widen road
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ahmedgarh, July 10
Under the garb of widening the Jagera-Rara Saheb road along the Bathinda branch canal, illegal felling of trees is on allegedly to help land developers. The widening has come as a golden opportunity for the developers, especially for those trying to set up a petrol station. Felling of one tree here or there felicitates carving out a path for leading up to the fuel pumps.

The alleged connivance of the forest department employees in the illegal felling is also suggested by the manner in which the forest officials have numbered or not numbered the trees.

A Tribune team saw tree number 172 missing from the forest stretch opposite the Ghanghas village bridge. The tree was there a few days ago. It was situated in the centre of tree number 171 and 173.

But now the tree was missing. Interestingly, a well-grown tree situated just behind tree no 173 (a eucalyptus tree) does not have a number. If the road is to be widened, the trees like no. 173 situated closer to the road would be cut first and not the one which does not have a number.

Both the trees have been marked X also. District forest officer Mahavir Singh said no tree had been felled as per his knowledge. "The final list of the trees to be cut for widening the road is yet to be prepared. Moreover, cutitng of a tree requires permission from the Central Government, which has not given clearance to the felling.

"When pointed out that The Tribune has pictures of the trees and the numbers were missing, the DFO said it was not possible but he would immediately find out the truth. “The forest employees can be dismissed over the issue. However, the marking of trees is being done by the PWD department also but the final list of the trees selected has not been prepared so far.

The stretch of the road has been mired in controversy earlier also over illegal felling of trees. Some developers had cut trees slowly to make paths for petrol stations, which could not be set up due to norms. The High Court had taken notice on the basis of a report published in The Tribune, after an environment society took up the matter with the court.



Missing kids cases to be treated as kidnappings
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
In a major reprieve to missing children’s parents, who have been complaining of police inaction in tracing their missing wards because of no registeration of an FIR, the city police has decided that from now on a case of kidnapping will be registered if the child cannot be found for two days.

However, out of 90 missing children, the local police claims to have recovered 45. Increasing number of cases of missing children have been reported in the past couple of years, which has prompted the police to register a case of kidnapping instead of the daily diary report (DDR).

R K Jaiswal, SSP, Ludhiana city, said, "From now onwards, if a child cannot be found for two days, a case of kidnapping will be registered against an unknown person. However, the previous complaints of missing children will not be converted into kidnapping complaints."

He said clear instructions had been issued to all police stations to sensitise themselves on matters pertaining to missing children. Further, a separate register would be maintained to deal with the complaints of the missing children.

Sandhya Bajaj, member, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), during her visit to the city a few months ago favoured the move to register a kidnapping case instead of DDR in the matter.



Power aplenty, only if Chief Minister is in city!
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 10
For once the residents of this mega city did not mind the elaborate security bandobust and hassles of traffic diversions at various places during the visit of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today because his presence all through the day had a magical effect on power supply, which remained uninterrupted.

It was after a pretty long time (ever since the paddy-sowing operations commenced in the state in middle of June) that the city residents did not have to face extended power cuts imposed for six to eight hours each day right from early morning to evening.

If the city did not experience any power cut, it was not that suddenly the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) had adequate power to meet the demand of the industrial capital of the state in full, but uninterrupted power supply was ensured to the city just for today at the cost of other major cities, towns and villages to save the Chief Minister from embarrassment on account of a severe power crisis gripping the state, during his stay here, if sources in the PSEB were to be believed.

Meanwhile, highly placed sources in the PSEB headquarters at Patiala revealed that the gap between demand and availability of power in the state had gone up to some 250 lakh units and it might escalate further in the days to come if the monsoons did not become active. Any extended dry spell at this juncture will jack up the demand for power from the farm sector leading to further power cuts on urban and mixed feeders.

While a 210 MW unit of Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Plant at Roapr, rendered inoperative since mid-June, had become functional, the state was still not getting its share of power from the central grid due to a snag in two units of Singrauli Thermal Power Plant in Uttar Pradesh, capable of generating 500 MW power. The snag in the power plant will take some more time to be rectified when it would resume generation to its full capacity, the sources added.

The cash-strapped PSEB, it was learnt, was also finding it difficult to purchase power at exorbitant rates from other states and traders in the wake of the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) taking a strong view of the practice of purchasing power at a very high rate and then supplying the same to consumers in Punjab at cheaper rates. 



Providential escape for kids as power cable snaps
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 10
Things could have taken a tragic turn had the uncle and grandfather of the two kids-Lakhwinder Singh and Kamaljit Kaur-both residents of Karabara Road here, not rushed to their rescue when these boys accidentally touched a snapped low-tension cable lying on the ground in front of their house today morning.

According to Jaspal Singh, father of the kids, a low-tension power line, passing from in front of their house in Street No. 14 in the locality, had fallen late yesterday evening. A complaint was lodged with the PSEB subdivision concerned immediately and maintenance staff had visited the spot. However, the snapped power line was neither reconnected nor was power supply switched off.

“The kids were playing outside the house when we heard a loud shriek of Lakhwinder who had accidentally touched the power line. As Kamaljit Kaur tried to pull her brother, she also received an electric shock. The kids would have been in trouble had my brother and grandfather had not thrown the power cable away with the help of a slipper.”

Jaspal Singh said even though the kids were saved from electrocution or burn injuries but they were in deep shock and terrorised. Other residents of the area complained that though the matter was brought to the notice of senior PSEB officials it had not been rectified.

PSEB officials said the snapped power line had been reconnected and power supply to the area restored in the morning. The reason for failure of the staff to disconnect power to the snapped LT line was being looked into and action would be taken if dereliction of duty on the part of any employee were established, said a subdivision-level official.



PSEB’s callous attitude

Residents of New Sukhdev Nagar, Bhamian Road and nearby villages are suffering these days due to long power cuts.

Last night, residents of New Sukhdev Nagar and nearby villages had to spend the whole night without electricity as the main line was damaged by a running truck on the road. Similar type of situation usually arises as high tensile electricity wires can be seen hanging every nook and corner of the locality and nobody from Punjab State Electricity Board bothers to install the same in a right manner.

Phone calls of the people were not answered by the employees at complaint centre. When the affected people approached the complaint center situated near Gurudwara Kutia Sahib, the same was found locked. The area XEN, when contacted on phone, spoke in a rude manner.

PSEB officials must look into the matter and instruct the authorities concerned to sort out problems  of residents.

Ravi Chander Garg, Ludhiana

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Power Crisis
Industry seeks CM’s intervention
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
Local industry today urged Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to resolve the power problem on the priority basis. In a memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister members of the Knitwear Club told him that the small units were on the verge of extinction due to unscheduled power cuts.

Vinod K. Thapar, president of the club, said there was an urgent need to provide uninterrupted power supply to the industry for ensuring increased production. “It will also help increase the state’s revenue. It is therefore requested that power may be outsourced to meet the immediate requirement of the industry till its adequate generation is achieved,” said Thapar.

Taking up the issue of the industrial units located in the residential areas, the club said a few areas of the city like Bajwa Nagar, Sunder Nagar and Shivpuri accounted for 70 per cent of SMEs. “Entrepreneurs often get jittery on the issue eviction. These units are innocuous in nature,” the memorandum stated, demanding regularisation of the units and waiving off of the need for obtaining NOC for getting electricity connections.

Industrialists also urged the Chief Minister to allow freight subsidy. 



Farmers’ panel honours Kaura
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
The Progressive Dairy Farmers' Association has honoured Anil Kaura, former director, Dairy Development,Punjab, for his contributions in the field of the dairy development sector. A seminar was also organised by the department of veterinary and animal husbandry extension and the directorate of extension education, GADVASU.

Dr V.K.Taneja, vice-chancellor, congratulated Anil Kaura for being appointed as the dairy consultant in the Punjab State Farmers Commission,Mohali. The association bestowed a “sanman pattar” and a gold medal on Kaura.



Badal announces Rs 10-lakh grant for MTS College
Tribune News Service

Monika, a visually impaired student of MTS College, receives the roll of honour for music from Parkash Singh Badal during the annual convocation of the college in Ludhiana on Thursday.
Monika, a visually impaired student of MTS College, receives the roll of honour for music from Parkash Singh Badal during the annual convocation of the college in Ludhiana on Thursday. Tribune photo: Sayeed Ahmed

Ludhiana, July 10
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today exhorted the girls to excel in every field. "The way girls are moving ahead, they will be the officers of tomorrow and I fear boys will have to cook food in homes," he said in a lighter vein while delivering the convocation address at Master Tara Singh College for Women here today.

He said a nation's prosperity depended on education provided to girls. "If the woman is educated, the whole family is considered to be educated whereas a man gets education for himself alone," he said, adding that in every sphere, girls were far ahead than their male counterparts.

The CM asked vice-chancellor of Panjab University Dr R.C. Sobti, who was also present on the occasion, to bring changes in the education pattern so that students could compete with the world. He stressed on imparting quality education to students and said emphasis should be on vocational subjects, which would help students to get employment. He also announced a grant of Rs 10 lakh for development of the college.

Applauding sincere efforts put in by Monika, a visually challenged student of the college, who was given the roll of honour, Badal said nature had been unkind to her but her hard work had paid.

Dr Sobti said MTS had come a long way and created a niche for itself. Today, it was being recognised among the 10 best colleges of Panjab University, Chandigarh. He said the university had increased 25 seats in every college affiliated to it so as to provide education to more students. He said special attention would be paid to the education of girls.

The function started with rendering of the college shabad. The dignitaries present on the occasion lighted the ceremonial lamp. Dr Madanjit Kaur Sahota, principal MTS College, read the annual report. Degrees of MCom, BCom, MA, BCA, PGDCA and BAS were bestowed upon hundreds of students.

Besides this, meritorious students were given the college colour and roll of honour.Among others present were Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, Hira Singh Gabria, Harish Rai Dhanda, Harish Bedi and Swaran Singh.

Students pay the price

A number of students complained that they were asked to shell out Rs 500 as "refreshment charges" (including gown fee) to entertain the VVIP guest at the college today, out of which Rs 100 will be refunded. "My father is a small employee in an industry and paying such an amount pinches us a lot," complained a student.



Blood donation camp at Arya College
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
City-based NGO Salaam Zindagi, striving for the cause of thalassaemic children, organised a blood donation camp at Arya College for Boys, Ludhiana.

This was the sixth camp organised by the NGO wherein volunteers donated 51 units of blood to support the needy and poor children suffering from thalassaemia. The camp is organised on the 10th of every month at Arya College, Ludhiana.

Industrialist and philanthropic Sudhir Modgil was the attraction of the camp who donated blood for the 99th time.

Dr Sandeep Puri, medical superintendent, DMCH, and eminent gynecologist Dr Suman Puri were also present at the camp and honoured the volunteers of Salaam Zindagi.

Appreciating the efforts of the NGO, Dr Puri said the camp was a ray of hope in the life of thalassaemic children who are fighting for their lives.

Manjit Saini, president of the organisation, said they had successfully collected 51 units of blood in each camp held till now. He also appealed to the people to extent their co-operation by joining the NGO to contribute towards the noble cause. The next blood donation camp would be held on August 10 at the same venue, he announced. 



Providing education on their doorstep
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, July 10
Schools and colleges of the area are exhorting rural students to opt for various courses, which the latter are otherwise deprived of due to lack of awareness and guidance.

Though the basic motive is attracting students to classes, it is proving to be a blessing in disguise for rural students and their parents who, in most cases, opt for discontinuation of their wards' studies once they clear their matriculation or Class XII.

According to teachers involved in the task, “It has been generally observed that in many villages most of the students, especially girls, inspite of securing a high percentage, are not allowed to study by their parents.”

Prof Balwant Singh Pangali, general secretary of a local college, feels, “Such an endeavour by schools and colleges does help in changing the psyche of parents who refuse to accept the changing world around them. It has been generally seen that nearly 50 per cent of such parents are exhorted into admitting their wards in one course or the other when they are educated about the future prospects of a particular course and the professional stability it brings with it.”

Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu, principal of one such rural institute, said, “We are trying to provide education on the doorstep of village students, especially girls, by making special arrangements for their transportation, a facility in the absence of which, many a rural talent goes waste. Moreover, financial help accorded by the college in the form of scholarships, stipends and fee concessions go a long way in enabling them to continue with their studies. The college gives special and sometimes total relaxation in fees to the students whose parents cannot afford to send them to college.”

Sometimes the parents and their wards are misguided by the academies who lure them with good courses, qualified staff and regular degree but fail to offer any of these,” opined Jaswant Singh Gill, director of an institute here.

Many students have benefited from this endeavour of the institutions. One such student summed it up: “I had dropped the idea of studying further but when a college teacher visited our home and informed me that their college was offering fashion designing as an optional subject, I immediately made up my mind to study further and convinced my parents for the same.”

Ajaib Singh of Nandpur village said, “My girl scored 78 per cent marks in Class XII but I could not afford the cost of her higher studies due to financial constraints but when some teachers informed us about fee relaxation their institute can give, I immediately decided to send my child to college.” 



Workshop on ethical, legal issues in nursing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 10
The inaugural session of the two-day workshop on ‘Ethical and Legal Issues in Nursing’ commenced today at College of Nursing, CMC and Hospital, Ludhiana.

State branch of the Trained Nurses’ Association of India has sponsored this workshop while Prof Triza Jiwan, principal of College of Nursing, is the chief organiser.

Dr Gulshan Bir Kaur, secretary, TNAI, Punjab state branch, spoke on maintaining the patients’ rights, prevention of negligence and malpractice among nursing professionals.

Director of CMC and Hospital Dr Abraham G. Thomas said, "Knowledge and practice of ethics protect the health professionals from lawsuit."



Pvt hospital’s licence suspended
Our Correspondent

Raikot, July 10
A team of health officials sealed an ultrasound machine installed at Gurkeerat Hospital here and suspended license of the diagnostic centre for performing imaging and ultrasound procedures for about four weeks. Non-renewal of the license was cited reason behind the action.

According to Dr Ujjagar Singh, SMO in-charge at the local civil hospital, ultrasound machine of the hospital was sealed for violating rules prescribed by the health authorities. While the owner of the US centre was required to apply for the renewal of the license at least one month prior to the expiry of the validity date, the same was not done even after expiry date on July 4. 



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