L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Hassled by Badal, rains 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11
The Chief Minister's visit and waterlogging of roads due to downpour caused massive traffic jams in the city today causing inconvenience to commuters.

In the morning, when CM Parkash Singh Badal travelled by road from Punjab Agricultural University to Sabzi Mandi, the traffic on roads leading to Ferozepore road was blocked. The commuters had to wait for more than 45 minutes before the jam was cleared.
Traffic chaos during CM Parkash Singh Badal’s visit to Ludhiana
Traffic chaos during CM Parkash Singh Badal’s visit to Ludhiana on Friday. Tribune photograph: Sayeed Ahmed

Later, when the CM had to leave in the afternoon, it was the similar situation on Ferozepore road. The residents again had to wait. Many commuters resented VIP visits to city. They said whenever a VIP visited the city, there was a problem of traffic jams. Heavy rain that lashed the city in the afternoon left the roads flooded adding fuel to the fire.

All low-lying areas and roads were flooded and residents had a difficult time anticipate their way through water.

The worst-hit were the commuters on Damoria bridge where knee-deep water was collected till the evening. Many two wheelers broke down in the pool of water and were left parked there only. This resulted in a total chaos. The traffic could not flow smoothly.

The situation was bad on the Mata Rani chowk road. The water was all set to enter the shops when a heavy vehicle was passing through the waterlogged road. To prevent this, the shopkeepers of area, parked their scooters in the middle of road and did not allow any heavy vehicle to pass through.

‘‘We are really sick of rains. Whenever it is a heavy shower, our shops get waterlogged. The civic body has not cleaned the sewers this time. Water gets collected on the road and finally it starts entering our shops thereby damaging our goods. For how many times can we face losses? ’’ asked a shopkeeper.


Girl Stabbing
Two youths nailed, car recovered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11
The police has arrested two youths from the city for stabbing an MBA student Sonika on July 7 evening just for her Maruti Swift car. The car has also been recovered.

The youths, Randeep Singh, alias Deep, of Mullanpur and Umesh Kumar, alias Sonu, of Sudhar had committed the crime to roam around in the car for a few days and sell it later.

They had visited Chandigarh and also put a Chandigarh registration number plate on the car after the crime.

The incident had sent alarm bells ringing in the city with the youths going to the extent of trying to take a life for stealing the car. It also put a question mark on the safety of women in the city.

The incident had also exposed how the wounded girl, Sonika, who was stabbed in the chest and thrown on road near Casa La Baron marriage palace, cried for help from passersby but in vain. She also knocked some gate in Green City colony but no one responded.

SSP R K Jaiswal and SP-Detective Gurpreet Singh said the accused were traced on vital lead provided by the victim girl. She had revealed that one of the accused was addressing the other as "Deepu". The police shortlisted all criminals with a similar name. Of those Randeep matched the description.

The police said Randeep and Sonu were earlier involved in a car lifting and attempt to murder case. However, it was for the first time, they went to the extent of killing a person for taking away a car.

Jaiswal said Randeep belonged to a low middle class family in Mullanpur. He was earlier employed as a car salesman. Randeep took around his maternal grandmother to a religious place also for "thanksgiving" of the new car.

The police has recovered a knife from the accused that they used in the case. A mobile phone and a Master Card of the girl was also recovered.



Era gone, but not the charm
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11
The highly paid actress of yesteryears, Vyjainthimala Bali still maintains same charm and grace. She feels that her era in film industry was different. The movies had meaning, depth and realism. Suceess did not come that easy and actors had to put in their sincere efforts and hardwork to get recognition.

Talking to The Tribune, the dignified actress, accompanied with her actor son Suchindra during a short stay at her niece's place near Rose Garden here, said visit to Punjab for the second time was religious. "My son wanted to visit Golden Temple for long and I came here to fulfil his wish", she said.

Talking about the serenity at the temple, she said both of them were elated. Not only this, they were presented "siropas" at the temple. Watching Retreat at the Wagah border was another unforgettable experience, she added.

At present, she is busy imparting training to her Bharatnatyam disciples at Chennai. She said today's generation was much aware and followed tips minutely. She started her career as a dancer when she was just 13. Films happened just by chance.

"I was never inclined to work in movies. M.B.Ram of AVM Productions saw one of my performance and signed me for a Telugu film “Vazhkai” (life). It received tremendous response. There was no looking back after that. “Bahaar” was my first Hindi film opposite Karan Dewan. Then came all hits, including “Naya Daur, Madhumati, Sangam, Jewel Thief” etc.

Sharing her views about today's movies, she said these days, there was so much exposure. "We all worked as individuals. There was no highheadedness among actors. Nutan and Mala Sinha were good friends. There was a bond of sincerity among actors".

Asked if there were chances of coming back into films, she said "Absolutely not". She said she was busy conducting dance workshops. It was her son's turn to establish himself as an actor. 



Power thieves! Beware
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 11
The PSEB has set up anti-power theft police stations in all five zones and these power stations have become functional at Ludhiana, as well as other zones, including Amritsar, Jalandhar, Bathinda and Patiala. The step has been taken to curb the power theft all over the state and huge loss of revenue.

The police station in Ludhiana will be located in the zonal headquarters of the PSEB. The number of such police stations, as also the staff deployed, could be increased in future depending on the work load and efficacy.

The police stations at each zone will be headed by an SHO, inspector or sub-inspector rank, who will be assisted by three assistant sub-inspectors and six constables at the initial stage. The staff will be drawn from the police personnel deployed with the enforcement and vigilance wing of the PSEB from the Punjab Police, the Punjab Armed Police and the India Reserve Battalion.

The anti-power theft police stations will register cases against those indulging in power theft and launch proceedings under the provisions of the Indian Electricity Act 2003 which provided for imprisonment and fine of varying degree depending on the level of offence. The work of these police stations will be coordinated by an ADGP level officer, heading the PSEB vigilance wing. Sources in the PSEB revealed that the underlying motive of establishment of these police stations not only to check the power theft by consumers and non-consumers worth several crores of rupees every year, but also to create fear of the criminal act of power theft.

“Till now, cases of power theft were being reported to the Punjab Police through police stations having the jurisdiction over the area. But due to the police being overburdened with the job of maintenance of law and order and other major crimes, the cases of power theft used to drag for long periods and was hardly taken to their logical conclusion due to lack of proper follow up,” said a senior official of the PSEB.

In due course, these police stations will have adequate manpower to be able to undertake routine patrolling also to keep an eye on habitual offenders and “kundi connections”, besides taking action against reported cases of power theft, the official said.

Inquiries made by The Tribune revealed that even though track record of the Ludhiana zone with regard to loss of electricity during transmission, distribution as also through theft was better than the state level average of the PSEB, still the zone suffered around 11 per cent loss of electricity which, when translated in terms of money, stood at a staggering Rs 25 crore every year.



SBI told to pay Rs 15,000
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, July 11
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has ordered the State Bank of India (SBI) to pay Rs 15,000 as compensation to a former managing director of the Life Insurance Corporation(LIC) of India Yash Pal Gupta for causing unnecessary harassment to him.

Delivering the verdict, president of the forum T N Vaidya and its member Daljit Singh Bakshi directed the banker to pay Rs 2,000 as cost of litigation apart from paying the due interest at the rate of 8.5 per cent on the amount deposited by the consumer.



Badal administers oath to 6,000 panches
Orders review of wheat-dal scheme beneficiaries’ list
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said today that the government would review the list of beneficiaries of the much-publicised atta-dal scheme.

He asked all panchayats to scrutinise the lists of such beneficiaries and find out if benefits under the scheme were extended to undeserving ones.

Badal was addressing a gathering of 6,000 newly-elected members of 892 panchayats from the district, who were administered an oath of office.

Admitting that the poor were not covered under the scheme whereas numerous well-to-do people were getting atta-dal at subsidised rates, Badal asked the panches to rise above petty politics and review the entire list.

He told them to strike off the names of such bogus beneficiaries who were encroaching upon the rights of the deserving ones.

The Chief Minister asked panches to serve the people with dedication rising above party politics.

In yet another announcement that would bring much-needed relief to old age pensioners, Badal said the pension would be disbursed in villages instead of banks. Stating that the elderly were inconvenienced when they had to visit a bank, Badal said pensions would be disbursed to them as early as possible.



Anganwari workers seek Class III grades
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11
A delegation of anganwari workers and helpers met Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal yesterday. They urged him to regularise their posts and grades equivalent to 
that of Class III and IV employees.

District president of the union Subhash Rani also highlighted the insufficient allowances of Rs 400 and Rs 200 given to anganwari workers and helpers, respectively. "The amount should be increased to Rs 1,500 and Rs 750, the same that the workers and helpers are drawing in Uttarakhand," she added. 



Stop poisonous food

A photo carried in Ludhiana Tribune on June 14 showed a milkman destroying synthetic milk for fear of being caught by health officials. So many times this is in the news that the selling milk is not pure, yet this goes on. All products from such milk have virus.

Most of the fruits and vegetables are also sprayed on pesticides. Fruits like Watermelon are given injections to increase in weight and for early ripening. Poisonous urea is put in the land while sowing. Chickens are given injections to make them fatty.

All this is done to earn more, without realising its impact on public health. By eating synthetic food, public get diseases like cancer.

Govt must take steps to stop this malpractice and ensure supply of fresh and pure eatables to the public.

Sher Singh, 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.



2 booked for stealing jewellery
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 11
Gurdeep Singh, alias Nikka, and Jaswinder Singh, alias Janta of Galib Kalan, who were entrusted with the task of looking after Darvesh Asthan Nakath Banian at Galib Kalan from June 27 to July 1, allegedly stole three pairs of gold earrings, two gold rings, 28 tolas silver ornaments and Rs 30,000 in cash. The total loss has been valued at Rs 65,000. The Sidhwan Bet police has registered a case under Sections 406 and 34 of the IPC at the instance of Mian Basant Baba of Dargah Baba Mohkam Din Baliala.

THEFT: Kamaljit Singh, alias Niku of Amargarh Kaler, allegedly stole an angle iron and iron wires worth Rs 70,000 from Agwar Khwaja Baju on July 9 belonging to Rajesh Kumar of Nehru Market, Jagraon. The local police has registered a case under Sections 454 and 380 of the IPC.

STOLEN: A few persons allegedly stole a horse cart belonging to Hardeep Singh of Latala village. The Dehlon police has registered a case under Section 379 of the IPC.

ASSAULTED: Devinder Singh, Sham Singh and Harjinder Singh of Kutba district, Barnala, allegedly waylaid Darshan Singh of Kalsian near Dholan village on July 8 and assaulted him with a baseball bat and snatched Rs 2,700 cash from him. The local police has registered a case under Sections 308, 382, 323, 341 and 34 of the IPC. Darshan Singh has been admitted to the civil hospital, Jagraon. The trio also assaulted Jasvir Singh of Akhara village with a baseball bat on the same day and another case under Sections 458, 324, 323, 148 and 149 of the IPC was registered against them. The injured is undergoing treatment at the civil hospital. Some old dispute is said to be the reason behind the assault.



Industry trying to tap rural workforce
Plans to start training centres all over state 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11
Hosiery manufacturers who are facing an acute shortage of labour are now trying to tap workforce from the rural areas. Industry is now planning to set up training centres in rural areas in order to get skilled workforce from there.

Due to the significant drop in the number of migrant labourers willing to work in factories most of the units are facing 30 to 50 per cent labour shortage. As enterprises in this town rely for over 80 per cent of their total labour requirement on migrant workers from states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, the shortage has started affecting the production processes.

“We are planning to set up training centres in a few villages all over the state. We will first train people residing in these areas and then employ them as skilled labourers for working in industrial units. We intend to finalise our plan within one-and-a- half month,” said Narbhushan Kumar Jain, general secretary, Readymade Hosiery Manufacturers Association.

Industrialists said rising prices of the raw material had already hit them hard. From yarn fabric to other materials, rates have recorded a hike of more than 10 per cent in each category. Labour problem under such a situation was making it difficult for them to continue with their operations, said industrialists.

Owners of industrial units have been trying to increase the wages besides monetary and other incentives with a view to attract labourers.

Many have been trying to employ women workers. However, the efforts have not yielded a desired result.

“Unless we find a long-term solution to the problem we cannot hope for a turn around in the situation. Many units are opting for automation. But labour cannot be done away with and getting skilled workers by imparting training can be a good way out,” said an industrialist.



Discounts to rope in customers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11
Residents are happy as a large number of shopkeepers have started selling various products at discounted rates. Instead of waiting for the season to end, leading brands, mega and mini malls are offering heavy discounts on summer wear and other products.

“Discount sales have started and I am happy I would be able to get good bargains. Unlike winters when most sales begin at the end of season this time, they are offering discounts on summer items itself which is good for us,” said Pooja Sharma, a resident.

Retailers said it was a good opportunity for consumers to get their best picks. “We are offering a 50 plus 20 per cent discount on our designs. Heavy discounts make products within the reach of most of the people, even to those who can not afford brands in routine,” said Rajeev Garg, MD, Swadesh retail outlet.

Thanks to promotional offers retailers are doing a brisk business. “Growth is not very good at this time of the season. But our business is flourishing in spite of high inflation. We are recording a good growth,” said Rajesh Arora, a retailer.



Provide connections in 10 days, BKU chief tells PSEB
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11
BKU president and chairman, Punjab Mandi Board, Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, has asked farmers to run their tube wells in whatever manner they deem fit, to save their crop (paddy).

Talking to The Tribune here yesterday after addressing a gathering of farmers, Lakhowal said despite making timely payments under the Own Your Tubewell (OYT) scheme, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) had failed to provide connections to them. "If connections are not provided within 10 days, farmers will run tube wells on their own. We can not sacrifice the crop", he said adding that each farmer had already paid up to Rs 3 lakh for a tubewell connection. "Electricity supply is miserable in the state. The crop will be wither if there is no water. We are being forced by the government to adopt such practises to save the crop", he stressed.

He further added that farmers would stage a dharna in New Delhi on August 4 and 5 against the "anti-farmer" policies of the Central government. Announcing an MSP of Rs 850 for the rice was just not acceptable. Dr Swaminathan’s committee had announced an MSP of Rs 1,580 whereas the Agricultural Costs and Prices Commission (ACPS) had announced Rs 1,020 for it. "The MSP for the rice fixed by the government is much less than those recommended by the committees. It has to be revised", said Lakhowal.

The chairman alleged that the government had further aggravated the farmers’ problem by cutting down the import duty on cotton. "They can conveniently get cotton from other countries at slashed prices. Punjab puts 10 per cent share in the country's cotton production. We are against this move (slashed import duty)", added Lakhowal.

Talking against the reservation move, Lakhowal said the farmers were under heavy debts and they all should be provided employment. He said the government at the Centre always adopted "negative approach" against Punjab farmers, who, despite putting 45 per cent share in the nation's food-stock, got just 1 per cent loan waiver. Already reeling under stress, such announcements made by the government put more burden on them, he added. 



KVM acts tough against minor drivers
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11
Taking a tough stand against minor drivers, KVM School has prohibited all students sans a driving license to bring any vehicle to the school.

Nearly 1000 students would be affected by the decision.

School authorities have conducted a special check in the surrounding areas of the school to see if students were parking the vehicles outside or around the residential area in the vicinity of the school.

Today morning, school deployed four teachers in Tagore Nagar area, which falls close to the school. The school authorities found more than 200 abandoned vehicles parked by students in the area alone. The teachers then caught the students while they were parking the vehicles outside the houses situated in Tagore Nagar.

Quick to respond, the school authorities jotted down the vehicle numbers and intimated erring students’ parents. Written understanding was received from the parents.

Rajiv Nagalia, school principal, who initiated the move, said, "Students are allowed to park their non-gear scooters in school, the license of which can be obtained at the age of 16. Recently, I found lot of students commuting either by cars or motorbikes. I called their parents and convinced them to change the mode of commuting to non- gear scooters.”

Another senior functionary of the school said, "The school has initiated the move as the government is going strict on the issue of under-age driving."

Nagalia said parents agreed to his appeal and appreciated the drive.

There were several others who disagreed, "We are trying to negotiate and find an amicable solution to the problem. The parents felt they were not in a position to buy another vehicles for them.”

Several students alleged that the school authorities asked them to park their vehicles in school, but when they went to park, they called their parents instead.

The students said that even the traffic police was keeping tight vigil outside the school and especially targeting the students.

"Any student, who is wearing school uniform, is being challaned by the traffic police officials, who are keeping a special check in Tagore Nagar area," said a student of the school.

The strict decision by the school authorities has put the students of senior classes in a spot of bother. Terming the decision taken by the school authorities as harsh, the students complained that vehicle is a necessity for them as they have to rush straight from school to attend tuitions and they are not in a position to buy a new vehicle.

Mamta, a parent, supporting the views of principal, said, "stringent steps need to be taken by other schools also so that no one can flaunt the rules. It's the parents who spoil their wards in the name of affection and present them expensive motorbikes and cars. These kids further put their own and others’ life at risk."



World Population Day observed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11
Students of Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Government Senior School took out a rally to observe the World Population Day. Civil surgeon Dr S.P. Sharma, along with other senior officials of health department, flagged off the rally.

The students carrying banners against increasing population walked from Shaheed Sukhdev Thapar Government Senior School, Jawahar Nagar Camp, to RS Model School, Shastri Nagar.

A function was also organised at Chanan Devi Memorial High School, Salem Tabri. 



Sony told to replace defective mobile
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, July 11
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has ordered owner of Harjeeo Corporation, Model Town, Sony Ericsson’s authorised service centre, to replace or repair the defective cell phone to the consumer’s satisfaction. The forum has also directed the owner of M/s Sachin Gift Gallery, Model Town Extension, to pay Rs 1,000 for causing harassment to the consumer by selling the defective set to him.

Forum’s president J.S.Chawla and its member Daljit Singh Bakshi pronounced the order while deciding the complaint filed by Sachin Sharma of Chander Nagar, Ludhiana.

It was submitted by the complainant that he had purchased the defective Sony Ericsson cell phone from Sachin gift centre.

He handed over the cell phone to Harjeeo Corporation on September 5, 2007. He was advised to collect the handset after 15 days. Thereafter, he visited the authorised service centre on numerous occasions. Neither his cell phone was returned nor replaced, added Sachin. 



Raids on ultrasound centres 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 11
District Health authorities raided four ultrasound centres in Raikot yesterday. One centre which had failed to get its registration renewed was sealed by them.

Ludhiana’s worst sex ratio (878:1000) forced the health authorities to raid premises of medical practitioners who were carrying out sex determination tests under the garb of ultrasound scanning.

A large number of ultrasound centres in villages and small towns are carrying out such tests. The recent trend of one child norm has added to the problem as people with large landholdings in villages and business empires in cities look for a 'heir' in unborn babies. "The boys stand a better chance when it comes to taking on family property or business which has added to the social stigma," informed Preeti, working with a city-based NGO.

The district health authorities have inspected 464 ultrasound scan centres from July 1, 2007, to June 30, 2008. They have also suspended registrations of 29 scan centres, issued show cause notices to 38 centres followed by cancellation of registration of three others. "But it is unfortunate that we could not catch any ultrasound scan centre performing the sex determination tests," said District Family Welfare Officer Reena Sandhu.



City girl shines in Asian b’ball 
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, July 11
Indian girls gave a stupendous performance to bag top honours in basketball in the IVth Children of Asia International Sports and Games which concluded in Russia, yesterday.

According to Rajdeep Singh Gill, DGP, Punjab and president, Punjab Basketball Association (PBA), the Indian girls’ squad which had a trainee of the Ludhiana Basketball Academy, Nagma Mirza, in its ranks performed well to prove their authority and clinched the title.

In the final, India scored an overwhelming victory over Yakutia and etched its name on the winner's trophy. They won the verdict 98-65.

Earlier, in the semi final, Indian cagers registered an authentic win (97-53) against Irkustk to set up the title clash with Yakutia. In the league matches, Indian players got the better of Khabarovsk 84-60; pipped Thailand 90-53 and then prevailed over Mongolia to advance into the last four stage. Deepa and Kavita fired maximum three pointers and steered India to finish at the top.

Rajan Sharma, also of the Ludhiana Basketball Academy, who represented India's boys team in this tournament, performed well. However, the team finished at fifth place.

The PBA will honour Nagma Mirza and Rajan Sharma at a special function for bringing fame to the association, Gill added.



Suraj finishes runners-up in LIC chess meet
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 11
Suraj Parkash, assistant, Life Insurance Corporation of India, Unit II, Ludhiana, finished runners-up in the Zonal-Level Chess Tournament organised in New Delhi, recently.

He has been the divisional-level chess champion for the past three years. Maan Singh, secretary, LIC of India Sports Cell, the winners of all divisional offices of the LIC of India from the North zone took part in this event and in the finals, Suraj Parkash drew with A.K. Walia from the Delhi division. The tournament was conducted on the Swiss league basis and Suraj secured the second position for obtaining progressive points.

On the basis of his performance during this event, Suraj has been selected to represent North Zone in the forthcoming All-India LIC of India Chess Tournament to be held at Pune in December. Eight zones from all over the country will be vying for top honours.

S.C. Dhingra,senior divisional manager,LIC of India,Ludhiana, honoured Suraj Parkash for bringing fame to the Ludhiana division. He was given cash prize of Rs 1,000 besides an appreciation certificate. Ashok Madaan, Sanjiv Kalia, Subhodh Kumar, all office-bearers of the LIC of India Sports Cell along with Darshan Singh, manager (P&IR) were present on the occasion.



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