L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Diesel taps run dry
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
With diesel getting out of stock at majority of the fuel stations across the city, consumers rushed to the stations outside the city to buy surplus stock. Majority of the pumps had no diesel after 10 in the morning that had people rushing from one pump to another.

The notices pasted at some pumps read "out of stock", thereby triggering panic in public.

Laxmi Petrol Pump at Ferozepur road being the only pump selling diesel had queues of vehicles during the day. The vehicles waiting for their turn caused obstruction to the vehicular traffic at Ferozepur road.

Nagender, a resident of Model Town extension, said he was refused diesel for three consecutive days at two IOC pumps. Consequently, he stocked double the quantity to save himself from further inconvenience.

Another consumer at Laxmi fuel station bought diesel worth Rs 4,000 against his need of diesel worth Rs 1,000 to avoid standing in queues.

Station owner had a tough time handling people indulging in brawls as many vehicle tried to jump the queue. One machine was allocated for supplying diesel to vehicles while the second machine filled the cans of consumers.

Deputy manager (retail sale) of Indian Oil Corporation Manoj Gupta said their was some problem in supply which has been taken care of. The supply at pumps had been regularised and consumers would get enough diesel at all IOC pumps.

A senior official at BPCL said the situation was normal where the company supply was concerned. "It is just the panic buying among people that has led to this situation. With some stations facing shortage due to excessive demand, people spread rumours of diesel shortage that results in stockpiling and creating a difficult situation," the official said.


Refused, cop opens fire at dancer
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
A Punjab Police constable, Sukhwinder Singh, allegedly molested a dancer of the Love Orchestra group in a marriage function at Malhotra Palace last night for refusing to dance with him.

The cop, posted with highway patrol staff, his son and five accomplices, later allegedly chased the orchestra team on the Ludhiana-Jalandhar highway after the function ended. He forcibly stopped them near Hardy's World and smashed their car while opening fire at the girl, who escaped miraculously.

SHO Beant Juneja said according to the complainant girl, the constable, reacted in this manner when she refused to dance with him.

The police was also investigating if there was some old enmity between the constable and the orchestra group. The owner of the group, Deepa, was brother of a youth, Bau of Chowni Mohallah. Bau, who headed a gang of local criminals, was murdered in late 2000 by rival members of the Nagaar gang.

A district magistrate has banned carrying weapons, firearms inside marriage palaces for such functions. While reports said the cop opened fire inside the palace, the police claimed the argument took place inside but the alleged violent incident happened later.

Juneja said raids were on to nab the accused, son and other accomplices. All of them, riding in a Tata Safari car, had chased the Indica car of the orchestra group and damaged it.

He said an FIR against Sukhwinder, his son and others has been registered under Sections 307 (attempt to murder), 354 (molestation), 324, 324 (causing hurt) and 148, 159 (carrying weapons, rioting, unlawful assembly) of the IPC.



Tribune Impact
Mid-day meal back in schools
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
Students of class VI, VII, VIII were served midday meal today in majority of the government schools of the district.

The development followed after The Tribune highlighted the issue of midday meal getting rotten in its columns on July 17.

The grain meant for midday meal for students of middle classes, which was getting rotten at various centres and storerooms of schools, was cooked at various government schools of the district from today.

Taking strict action, Sudesh Bajaj, DEO (Secondary), directed all government schools to start midday meal with immediate effect.

"We received the orders from DEO (secondary), to start the midday meal with immediate effect, but the school does not have huge utensils to cook food for more than 100 students. The gurdwara authorities were generous enough to provide us the utensils so that we can cook food for children," said Jasvir Singh, principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Hassanpur.

Some schools have still not started cooking mid-day meal due to short of funds. "We are waiting for funds so that we can buy fuel and spices to cook food.

Sudesh Bajaj, district education office, said, "I have directed all senior secondary school to start mid-day meal with immediate effect. And from today onwards, students of class VI, VII, and VIII will be served midday meal. I will visit schools to check the if the midday meal is being served to students or not."



Traders bow before demolition team
Pull down structures on their own

Tribune News Service

Encroachments being removed at Tajpur Road in Ludhiana on Friday.
Encroachments being removed at Tajpur Road in Ludhiana on Friday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, July 18
Industrialists along Budda Nullah at Tajpur Road started pulling down their structures, alleged to be encroachments, when a demolition squad of the district administration reached the area today.

Led by SDM Davinder Singh, the squad, armed with JCB machines and accompanied by a heavy posse of the police, reached the spot in the morning.

Before they could pull down any structures, the industrialists started demolishing part of structures themselves to escape major damage due to JCBs.

The squad watched the entire operation from a distance. The SDM said when the parties were themselves removing the encroachments and matter was being solved amicably, there was no need for them to do anything.

He said the team would remain at the spot till the encroachments would be removed completely.

While the entire operation was in progress on a hot sultry day, the industrialists claimed that their structures were not encroachments. The administration was trying to take action against them as it had to reply to the high court about the encroachment issue along Budda Nullah.

Claiming that they had requested the deputy commissioner to get Budda Nullah land demarcated from the revenue department, the residents said their requests were not heeded to.

"If after demarcation, our encroachment is proved, we will remove every inch of construction from there. But then they have to prove the encroachment," said Anil Seth of Ashish Dyeing.

Another industrialist said he had already moved a court against the administration and his appeal was pending in the court.

Even then the officials had reached there to remove the structure.

The administration issued notices to these industries a year ago.

Following this, the industrialists demanded that the area should be demarcated.

An inquiry was conducted by the then SDM also but nobody listened to their demand.

"We then requested naib tehsildar Pritpal Singh to demarcate the area so that we know if our structures were encroachments. Not a single inch of nullah land was on our side. Then why should we face action?" asked Seth.

He added the DC dismissed their appeal and refused to listen to them. "Where will we go? It is a genuine demand and still it cannot be fulfilled."



4 milk samples fail purity test in Haibowal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
In a case of adulteration, four samples of milk collected during a raid at Haibowal dairies tested positive of unnatural fat.

The health department had caught two dairy owners red-handed, mixing refined oil to water and skimmed milk powder.

Out of a total of seven samples collected from five dairies on June 13, four have failed to clear the adulteration test.

Civil surgeon Dr Sat Pal Sharma said the milk sample collected from Jagtar Singh Dairy tested positive. He used to add refined oil in milk.

Similarly, the milk sample from dairy owned by Rajkumar was a blend of skimmed milk powder, water and refined oil.

Karnail Singh, another dairy owner, was also found guilty of mixing refined oil to cow milk to increase fat content.

Dr SP Sharma further said solid not fat (SNF) is also less as per the prescribed quantity in all samples.

He added that a strict action would be initiated under the PFA Act against the dairy owners, who found guilty of selling adulterated milk.



Bank staff submit memo to administration
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 18
In a bid to set the process of strengthening the public sector banks in motion and to prepare against a systematic onslaught, the Punjab Bank Employees Federation (PBEF), affiliated to the All-India Bank Employees Association, has launched a nationwide campaign which would culminate with observing "Save Public Sector Banks Day" tomorrow and a day-long strike on August 20.

As a part of this drive, activists of the federation, along with representatives of the All-India Bank Officers Association, today submitted a memorandum to the district administration, calling upon the Union government and the respective bank managements to ensure that the public sector banks earnestly fulfilled the objectives for which these were nationalised in 1969. They wanted that money collected from the people be utilised for their welfare and national savings be put into use for national development.

Naresh Gaur, federation’s secretary, who led the deputation of bank employees and officers, said among other steps needed to be taken for safeguarding public sector banks, the government ought to continue as a major stakeholder and equity partner in these banks, check the policy of reckless mergers and consolidation, restrict foreign direct investment, curb the tendency among banks to open more branches in urban areas, enhance rate of interest on saving deposits and check high cost deposits in the banks.

Making a strong case for bringing stricter financial discipline to check the spurt in non-performing assets of the banks, the memorandum noted with concern that NPAs of public sector banks, the highest among the entire banking industry, had gone up to a staggering 19,600 crores in 2006-07 while the banks had made a provision of Rs 7,300 crore for bad loans till that period. It stated that reduction in absolute figures through waivers, provisions, write offs and other measures was no consolation and the situation called for stringent measures to recover NPAs.



Forest dept’s uncaring attitude upsets VC
K.S. Chawla

Ludhiana, July 18
How much the Punjab Government cares for the vice-chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, Dr M.S. Kang, is evident from the treatment meted out to him by the Punjab forest department in connection with a function organised to celebrate Van Mahotsav on the university premises yesterday.

The forest department had sought to hold the function on the university premises as it could not find a suitable place for launching a sapling-plantation drive in the town. The university authorities came to the rescue of the department and provided them venue and also a spot for sapling plantation.

Although a half-page advertisement carrying the pictures of the Chief Minister, forest minister, chief parliamentary secretary, Ludhiana MLAs, mayor and deputy mayor of the Ludhiana municipal corporation and other dignitaries appeared in the newspapers, the picture of the vice-chancellor was missing. Even the invitation cards printed for the function did not carry the name of the vice-chancellor.

Realising the mistake, a senior officer visited Dr Kang to tender an ‘unqualified’ apology for the lapse on the part of the department. A visibly upset VC told the officer that they should have maintained the protocol.

The officer also handed over a copy of the minute-to-minute programme of the function to the VC and made amends by incorporating “Welcome of the Chief Minister by the PAU VC".

The advertisement again appeared in some newspapers yesterday with name of the vice-chancellor, Dr M.S. Kang, mentioned at the bottom.

This is the second incident wherein the PAU authorities have faced humiliation during the past one week. Last week, the VC, along with a number of the university scientists, had gone to Chandigarh to attend a meeting at Punjab Bhawan. The meeting was convened to discuss the problems being faced by the farmers in the state. But only three persons namely the vice-chancellor, director, research, and director, extension education, were allowed to attend the meeting while others were denied permission on the pretext that there were no chairs for them in the committee room.

The scientists had to return by the university bus which had taken them to Chandigarh. They were not even offered a cup of tea by the organisers.



PNB holds plantation drive
Our Correspondent

Khamano, July 18
Punjab National Bank celebrated the 59th Van Mahotsav today at Kinder Garten Public School, Samrala. S.K. Mohala, deputy general manager, Ludhiana circle, was the chief guest.

He made an appeal to the children and school staff to grow more saplings. School chairman Daljit Shahi welcomed the guests. The chief guest announced that the bank would provide two computers to the school.



Discourage beauty contests in colleges

The city has more than 12 colleges having approximately 50,000 students on their rolls. Unfortunately, the young students, who can play a vital role in crusades against social evils like dowry system, female foeticide, eve teasing, gender bias, sex abuse and domestic violence, remain unguided and directionless.

As soon as new session starts, various kinds of beauty contests are organised at colleges. These ill-conceived contests not only distract students’ attention from studies, sports and other creative activities, but are also responsible for a majority of sex-related crimes.

The managements and heads of the institutions should discourage such contests and replace them with contests in academics, sports, scriptural studies and cultural activities.

Prof K.B.S. Sodhi, 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.



Govt to lease tourist spots
Loss-making units to be handed over to pvt sector
Tribune News Service

Khanna, July 18
The state government will lease out various loss-making property related to tourism to private players in coming days. The government-run tourism complexes are running into losses since long.

“In order to generate revenue we have decided to lease 14 loss-making property, including the five big tourist complexes and tourist spots of Punjab Tourism to private parties for a period of 33 years”, said Hira Singh Gabria, minister for tourism and cultural affairs.

We have earned profit worth Rs 2 crore this year from Punjab. The amount earned from such a large number of tourist property is less, he added.

Boat club, Ropar; floating restaurant, Sirhind; Hotel Amaltas, Kurali, Morinda; Khat Khat Kala near Nawashaher, Mohali, and few others in various districts of Punjab would be leased out to the private parties.

The minister said the government had already invited private players for the maintenance of Neem Chameli Tourist Complex at Wagah Border, Amritsar, on the public-private participation model.

He revealed that private parties would have to upgrade, maintain and operate these property as well as share the profit with the state government.

A new master plan of tourism will be ready within five months or so, he added. He revealed that Richard Batchelor, World Tourism Organisation, United Kingdom, is touring Punjab with his team for the purpose. We will cover all dams, rivers, historical and religious places in Punjab for attracting people.



Power crisis cripples industry
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 18
With the power situation taking a turn for the worse and the gap between demand and supply of power widening with each passing day, daily life of people in the mega city has not only been affected but the trade and industrial activity has also come to a halt.

The people are reeling under 8 to 10 hours power cut throughout the day, which often extends during the night hours, forcing people to have tough time during the day and sleepless nights amidst extremely hot and humid weather conditions. For the past few days, there have been spate of power failure due to tripping and faulty cables in many localities in the late evening or night, which have led to angry protests by the affected residents.

Irate residents, along with members of trade and industry, held demonstrations at the Dugri Canal crossing, Gill Road and Model Town areas to voice their protest against erratic power supply and inordinate delay in rectification of cable faults on Thursday and Friday in the city. Last night, PSEB employees in the complaint office in Chander Nagar under Haibowal subdivision, fled away when a mob gathered there to lodge their complaints about power failure. Later, the SDO concerned came to the office late in the night and registered complaints of the residents, which were attended to till wee hours in the morning.

Lambasting the PSEB administration with gross inefficiency, which had led to the power crisis in the state, the Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association (FOPSIA) said the board appeared to be suffering from a terminal sickness for the past several years.

According to V.P. Chopra, president of the federation, the PSEB was neither in a sound financial health nor was it able to provide adequate power supply to the people. “The only reason for its existence, even though being in such a precarious state, is that it is a public sector undertaking. Had it been a private entity, it would not have been allowed to operate for such a long period of mismanagement and inefficiency.”

He said power was the lifeline of industry and other economic activity like trade and farming. The prevailing bleak power scenario in Punjab has virtually spelt a doom for the state economy and ironically the consumers were being made to pay more by way increase in power tariff for the suffering of extended power cut being caused to them.

The United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association noted with concern that amidst 6 to 7 hour power cut during the day, in addition to a compulsory weekly off, the industrial units were left with just about two and half working days during a week which was not sufficient for sustenance.

The industrial production had drastically gone down, the manufacturers were not in a position to execute their orders and pay wages to their workers. If no remedial measures were taken soon, many medium and small units might be forced to close down causing a serious setback to the industrial economy, the speakers remarked.

The association further asked the PSEB to shift 12 odd 11 kv feeders each on 66 kv Basant Road feeder and 66 kv Gill Road feeder from category 1 to category 2 so that the industrial units located in these predominantly industrial areas could have uninterrupted power supply except for the weekly off.



European fashion brand in city
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 18
Makson Retailers, a leading footwear and lifestyle retail chain in North India, today launched European-styled footwear and accessories brand WODZ in the mega city. Comapny's CEO Mohinder Makkar formally inaugurated the WODZ store outlet at West End Mall in the presence of a select gathering.

Talking to mediapersons on the occasion, he remarked that the city was considered to be the Manhattan of India and an ideal destination for WODZ. The brand had something for everyone, and was sure to catch the attention of the fashion-conscious Ludhianavis.

“The market for lifestyle brands is growing at a rapid pace in India. With the increase in disposable income, Indian consumers are demanding high quality lifestyle products and are willing to pay a price for the same,” Makkar added.



Students awarded for excelling in academics
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 18
The Desh Bhagat Institute of Management & Computer Sciences, Mandi Gobindgarh, held a prize distribution function today. The students, who had excelled in academics and co-curricular activities during free coaching classes organised by the institute from mid April to mid July, were given away the prizes.

Deputy Commissioner A.K. Singla presided over the function. He said education was essential for personal as well as social growth and no individual or nation could progress without it.

Earlier, Dr Zora Singh, chairman of the Desh Bhagat Group of Educational Institutes, while welcoming the chief guest and other guests, said they had been organising free courses for the past four years. Director general of the group Prof Shalini Gupta informed the gathering that over 400 students had benefited from these courses during the current year. She added that this was the only institute in the area that organised free courses. Students also presented a colourful cultural programme.



Talent-hunt contest at BCM Arya
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
A talent-hunt contest was organised at BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, here today. As many as 80 students showcased their talent in dances, group and solo songs, mono acting and skits.

The young performers gave vigourous and energetic performances dancing to the tunes of popular numbers like 'Shaka Laka Laka', ‘Aaja Nach Le' and 'Oye Oye Ma'. Skits presented by the students had the audience into peals of laughter.

Bhangra by students transported the audience into an altogether different world.

The show was marked with fun, frolic and excitement. Even judges had a tough time to select the winners.

Results: Group dance: Students of Class X non-med and medical (first)

Best anchor: Arshdeep; solo song: Sahil 1, Nandini 2, Kamalpreet 3; solo dance: Shubham 1, Kanika 2, Karan 3.



CJM records statement of DC’s staff
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, July 18
Chief Judicial Magistrate Lachhman Singh today recorded statements of three employees working in deputy commissioner’s office, Ludhiana, in an inquiry conducted against deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar.

The inquiry proceedings were initiated by the CJM following the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The deputy commissioner citing health reasons had not appeared before the High Court in a contempt petition field against him.

The judge recorded the statement of deputy commissioner’s superintendent Dalbir Bhardwaj, Ratandeep Kaur (ahlmad) and of one more employee. All these persons refused to divulge the details of questions put to them during the inquiry. The judge is learnt to have taken photocopies of certain documents from these persons.

Justice Surya Kant of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has taken a serious note of the deputy commissioner’s absence. Gurjar was to appear in person before the High Court on July 11. He failed to attend the court. A medical certificate was produced before the High Court, in which it was written that the deputy commissioner has been advised not to travel for a week due to the disc problem.

Following this, the High Court has ordered an inquiry to be conducted by the CJM.

On July 16,the CJM has starting recording the statements of persons concerned and taking documents in possessions. On that day, he had associated Mohammed Yamin and two doctors of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital. The statement of driver of deputy commissioner’s vehicle Malkiat Singh were also recorded on that date.



Kidney stones removed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 18
B.S. Aulakh, professor of urology and head, transplant surgery at DMCH, performed a rare endoscopic procedure of kidney stones' removal from 4-year-old girl child.

According to Dr Aulakh, kidney stones are not very common in children. But their incidence seems to be increasing gradually especially in tropical and developing countries where factors like dehydration and urinary tract infections act as important triggers of stone formation.

Garima Gupta, the patient, was admitted to DMCH with pain in abdomen and occasional pus in urine. Thereafter, she was diagnosed with stones in both kidneys and the ones in her right kidney were large, causing obstruction and swelling in the kidney. The doctor after thorough evaluation decided to proceed with percutaneous nephrolithotomy, a technique in which a needle is used to puncture the kidney under X-ray guidance and an instrument is passed into the kidney to allow direct examination, fragmentation and removal of the stone.

Training attended: Sanjeev Uppal, professor of plastic surgery at DMCH, recently attended an advanced training in "Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy" at Saint Agnes Medical Center, California, USA, specialised for wound-care facility.

Symposium: Sigma Newlife Heart is organising a national-level symposium on heart diseases at Guru Nanak Dev Bhavan, Ludhiana, on July 20. Padmashri Dr. K M Chenan from Chennai would deliver an lecture on latest advances in this field.

Doctors from all over India have been invited to address a large gathering of Punjab doctors.



Chandigarh lads reach semis
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 18
Chandigarh recorded a two-wicket win against Jalandhar today on the fourth day of the Punjab State Inter-District Twenty20 Cricket Tournament (u-16) for the Shaheed Udham Singh Trophy being played simultaneously at the Government Institute of Textile and Knitting, Rishi Nagar, and BCM Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, here. With this victory, Chandigarh made it to the semifinal.

Put to bat, Jalandhar were shot out for a paltry total of 73 runs in 14.3 overs. Only two batsmen could reach double figure. Pankaj scored 13 while Kanhaya made 12 and Madhur contributed seven runs.

For Chandigarh, Arun sent down two overs and grabbed two wickets for 16 runs and Navdeep claimed 2 for 17 in four overs while Shyam Kumar and Gourav took one wicket each for seven and 13 runs, respectively.

Chasing a modest total, Chandigarh scored 75 runs for the loss of eight wickets in 18.3 overs. Sukhpreet faced just 18 balls and scored 30 runs while Shyam made 10 off 12 deliveries.

For Jalandhar, Ashutosh and Diamond were the most successful bowlers, chipping in three wickets each, conceding just five and eight runs, respectively, in their quota of four overs. Masoor scalped two victims for 18 runs.



Pranav enters quarters
Our Sports Reporter

Pranav Chopra Ludhiana, July 18
Local shuttler Pranav Chopra, a trainee of Ludhiana Badminton Academy being run here at Shastri Hall near Guru Nanak Stadium, secured his berth in the quarterfinals of the Asian Badminton Championship being held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In the pre-quarterfinal encounter, the Indian duo of Pranav Chopra and Sai Praneet scored an easy win over Sri Lankan pair of Gunawardane and Amila to advance into the quarterfinals.

In the quarterfinal slated for tomorrow, Pranav and Sai will take on the Chinese pair. In the mixed doubles, too, Pranav fared well and advanced into the next round.

The office-bearers of the academy, including Anupam Kumaria, M.K. Chopra, Ravi Jain and Arun Dhand, hailed Pranav's victory and wished him more success. They also congratulated coach Mangat Rai Sharma under whose guidance Pranav could polish his game.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |