L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Laying of Roads
2 contractors to pay for using poor material
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
The chief vigilance officer, Local Bodies Department, has ordered the recovery of Rs 2.92 lakh from two municipal contractors for using substandard material for laying two different roads.

In a letter to commissioner, MC, dated July 2, 2008, the CVO has asked him to effect the recovery from Ludhiana Builders and M.S. Constructions within a month.

An inquiry was ordered following allegations of sub-standard material being used for laying service lane from Arti Chowk to Bharat Nagar chowk and 22 feet road in New Durgapuri, Haibowal.

Recovery of Rs 1,11,187 has been ordered from Ludhiana Builders and Rs 1,81,777 from M.S. Constructions.

The two different orders clearly say, ‘‘Work on the site was inspected by vigilance cell of the department. Losses to the tune of lakhs were detected and the government has asked to recover the amount from both the builders failing which it should be effected from officials who supervised execution of this work, H.C. Salaria, corporation engineer, Vinod Mahajan, assistant engineer, Raman Kaushal, assistant engineer, Sanjeev Sharma, JE and Balwinder Singh JE.

Ludhiana Builders was allotted a tender of laying service lane from Arti chowk to Bharat Nagar chowk at a cost of Rs 13.5 lakh. M.S. Constructions was entrusted with the work of Durgapuri road worth Rs 18 lakh. When the roads were being laid, shopkeepers had protested, stating that poor quality material was being used. They stated that the top layer of new recarpeted road wore away within a few days only. This prompted the vigilance cell of the Local Bodies Department to order an inquiry. Samples of material were collected and tested.

Superintending engineer Dharam Singh said the recovery would be made from the final payments of both contractors. He said the case has already been forwarded for further action.


Tax sleuths raid firms
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
Panic struck the business community as teams of more than 50 officials from the investigation wing of the Income Tax Department conducted investigations and raids on industrial enterprises and a chartered accountant here today.

Concealment of income from share transactions led to investigations in most cases.

Sources said the DI wing conducted raids on A.S Group of Industries, a steel manufacturing unit located in Mandi Gobindgarh, and a plastic manufacturing unit in Khanna. Raids were conducted at the Delhi office of the company and residential premises as well.

Raids were also conducted on the office and residential premises of a chartered accountant Kuldip Bansal in Model Gram here.

The raids began at around 9 am today and were on till the filing of this report.

According to sources, a team of tax sleuths also visited the local stock exchange in order to investigate share-related transactions of brokers and sub-brokers with these companies.

The investigating teams also assessed cash, jewellery, gold, property documents and other accounts. Heavy amount of cash is said to have been found from the parties.

The investigations were carried under the supervision of director, Investigation, Vijay Kumar.



Varsity staff object to dean’s reappointment 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
The faculty of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) are up in arms over the management’s decision to reappoint Dr O.S. Parmar as the director of extension education.

Talking to The Tribune, GADVASU Teachers Association’s president Dr I.S.Bajwa said Parmar’s reappointment had not only sabotaged the promotional avenues of the scientists working in the university but also set a wrong precedent.

Nowhere in the 46-year-old history of Punjab Agricultural University, a director (dean) has ever been reappointed to the same post after superannuation. It is clear that every director (dean) in the university will lobby for reappointment after retirement thus demoralising the young faculty members with innovative ideas, some of whom may never be able to occupy these coveted posts and show their potential, said Dr S.S. Randhawa, general secretary of the association.

The faculty also alleged that a few officers of the university were holding more than one post, which was not only affecting the work of offices but was blocking the promotional avenues of the others. “We will not tolerate such ad hocism as it is not in the interest of the university. There are other well-deserving persons for this post”, said Dr Randhawa.

Dr V.K.Taneja, vice-chancellor, GADVASU, however, said Dr Parmar was reappointed as there was no other competent substitute. He had brought many new programmes for the welfare of the university and farmers. As far as the appointment of new registrar was concerned, the varsity had no surplus funds to pay. “One person is handling two charges efficiently, work in departments is not suffering, why should objections be raised then? asked the vice-chancellor.



Cop booked for cheating
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 24
Mandeep Masih of Akalgarh village, an IRB cop, has been booked under Section 420 for allegedly cheating the authorities by producing a fake Punjab State Education Board certificate of class VIII for getting permanent job. He was earlier serving the Punjab Police as a special police officer (SPO).

Sources at the Sudhar police station revealed that a case had been registered on the basis of inquiry conducted on directions of Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP Ludhiana (Rural).

Investigations revealed that Masih had submitted before the authorities in the Indian Reserve Police that he had passed class VIII from PSEB, Mohali. To substantiate his claim, he produced a certificate, purportedly issued by the board authorities. The appointing authorities found on verification that the document was fake. The IRB authorities asked the Ludhiana (Rural) police to initiate action against the erring cop as the document was submitted at the Sudhar police station.

The investigation team led by Sukhbir Singh is trying to establish the link between the accused and a gang of swindlers that was booked for printing fake certificates at the local town two years ago.

The accused has not been arrested so far. 



Conviction in cheque bounce case upheld
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 24
A fast track court headed by Additional Sessions Judge, Manjinder Singh, has upheld the conviction of Avinash Chander of Upkar Nagar, Civil Lines, Ludhiana, in a cheque bounce case.

The court found no infirmity in the sentence awarded by the lower court. 'As such economic offences are on the rise and persons like the accused are playing a fraud on the banking system, this court is not inclined to grant the benefit of probation to the appellant(accused)', remarked the judge while rejecting the plea of leniency of the accused.

Earlier, judicial magistrate K. K Bansal had sentenced the accused to undergo imprisonment for one year.He was also fined Rs 5000.

The accused was convicted on the complaint filed by Harcharan Singh of Jiwan Nagar, Focal Point, Ludhiana,who submitted before the trial court that the accused had taken a loan of Rs 4,30,000 from him in the year 2000. In order to repay the loan amount, he issued five cheques.

He presented all these cheques to the bankr of the accused. The cheques bounced due to the insufficiency of funds in the account of the accused. Despite serving a legal notice, the accused failed to make the payment. Thereafter, the case was filed by him. 



Chemist shops raided
Our Correspondent

Doraha, July 24
The local chemist shops selling restricted drugs were raided today following the report published in the columns of the Ludhiana Tribune on July 22. A team of the health department comprising a medical officer and a drug inspector raided these shops and recovered huge quantity of intoxicants. The move was initiated after these chemists failed to produce the account of sale and purchase of the restricted drugs they were selling in open.

Drug inspector Rajesh Suri told this correspondent that a huge quantity of restricted drugs was particularly seized from two chemists shops. Nine types of intoxicants were seized from the former; the latter had 12 types of intoxicants like Proxymon, Corex, Rexe-Cof, Phensydryl, Phenotil, Lomotil, and Alprex etc.

The drug inspector said the health department would now move a court for getting the licenses of these chemists cancelled. The Tribune had highlighted the plights of school and college students who had got hooked to drugs like Luminol, cough-syrup (Corex), muscle relaxants (Spasmo-proxivon) and Parvon, Fortwin injections, Gardinal (drug for epilepsy) and other anti-depressant drugs and pain killers available in a few chemist shops here. 



Power cuts irk residents 
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
Power played truant in a large number of areas across the city after midnight and in the early hours today, causing inconvenience to the people.

Despite the scheduled eight- hour power cut, people in Sant Isher Singh Nagar, Model Town, Chandigarh Road, Sham Singh Rod, Sarabha Nagar and Urban Estate Dugri were inconvenienced as there was no power from 3 a.m to 5am.

Residents in some areas, including the Chandigarh Road, Salem Tabri, Daresi and various other areas informed that there was a power breakdown after midnight.

Uma, a resident of Sant Isher Singh Nagar complained that there was a lot of fluctuation and they had to switch off all the gadgets. "The airconditioner was not working because of the voltage fluctuation and the inverters also did not get charged, thereby adding to the problems ," she said.

Taking a dig at the Punjab Government for increasing the cuts in urban areas from six to eight hours, H.S Singh , a senior citizen from the Civil Lines, stated that the government was befooling people under the garb of supply to the agriculture sector.

The power cuts are in stark contrast to the reports of the PAU agro-meteorology department stating that there was 273.40 mm rainfall in the month of June, which is the best in the last 40 years. Similarly, the month of July, too, has received enough rainfall for the paddy crop, added Singh.

To add to the problems, employees at the PSEB complaint centres fail to take the calls and are reluctant to attend the late night complaints.

Deputy Chief Engineer, Ludhiana (Central),H.S Randhawa when contacted, informed that areas adjoining Fieldganj got supply from the 220 kv substation in Jamalpur which was under the BBMB (Bhakra Beas Management Board). The board had administered a cut from 3 a.m to 6 am.

He said problems in other areas were a result of breakdown at the Lalton substation and overloading.



Govt hikes wages of visually challenged 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
Soon after July 17 Chief Minister’s visit, things have started rolling at Braille Press Bhavan at Jamalpur. Officials of the social welfare department resumed work after taking stock of the situation today.

The official said Badal met all top-ranking officials in Chandigarh yesterday and expressed his concern over the condition of Braille Press. The meeting was attended by chief secretary R.I. Singh, Chief Minister’s principal secretary D.S.Guru, principal secretary (Finance) D.S.Kalha, secretary (Social Security) Harjit Singh, secretary (Water Supply and Sanitation) P.S. Aujla, special secretary (Planning) Tejveer Singh, director (Social Security) Rakhi Gupta Bhandari and deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar.

After the meeting the state government decided to enhance the current allowance from Rs 600 to Rs 1,200 per month of each visually challenged student with immediate effect.

He even asked the secretary, water and sanitation department, to immediately undertake the work of providing potable water at Rs 12.85 lakh in the institute for blind students by the end of October.

The Chief Minister also asked the chief secretary to send a team of senior officers to visit the institute of visually-impaired, Dehra Dun, for seeking expert and for upgrading the Brail Bhavan thereby increasing its capacity to 500 visually-impaired students.

He also directed the finance department to immediately release Rs 40 lakh for the installation of new brail press and a digital studio in the institute. Besides, he also agreed in principle to upgrade the existing high school to 10+2 level.

Badal also deputed director (Sports) to visit the institute and prepare a detailed plan for the development and expansion of existing playgrounds.

He also asked the mayor to construct a foot over bridge at a cost of Rs 75 lakh across the Ludhiana-Chandigarh highway to ensure easy access to the visually impaired children to the institute.

Sumer Singh Gurjar visited Braille Press today and ordered to start the works related to the construction of a boundary wall and a reception centre.



Postal dept to pick industrial consignments 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
The Post and Telegraph Department will provide pick up facility for heavy consignments to big firms and industrial units. The department would also involve postmen for marketing its premium products.

Addressing a press conference here today, P.R. Kumar, chief postmaster general, Punjab circle, said heavy consignments were a high revenue generating area and customers would be able to avail this facility by hiring the vehicle or through departmental mail motor service free of cost. “Ludhiana is a high potential city. Being an industrial hub we intend to tap its potential by providing services like sending heavy consignments through speed post, EPS or logistic post,” he added.

Postmen will also be involved in the marketing the premium products offered by the department, he said.” We have a workforce of 263 postmen in the city and will further strengthen the staff in order to provide better facilities like booking of speed post articles. Postmen can do the best marketing as he is aware of customers’ requirements.”

Kumar said post offices would also be modernised for providing better facilities to the customers. On customers’ demand, the speed post service at the business centre, railway station, will now be available round-the -clock. Hence, they won’t have to wait for another day to avail this service, he added.

The postal department was expected to double its revenues this year and attain a business of Rs 13 crore. It will also hold meetings with customers to review the status of services being offered to them for further improvement. Another attempt at improving the functioning is a recently- formed three-member committee that will give daily progress report to the chief postmasters’ office. 



Raikot resident electrocuted 
Our Correspondent

Raikot, July 24
The local police has registered an FIR under Section 304-A against power board officials for allegedly causing death of Sukhdev Singh (24) of Bhotna village, who got electrocuted after coming in contact with high tension wires passing over house of his uncle Sher Singh at Johlan road here yesterday.

The case was registered after Sukhdev’s relatives staged dharna in front of the local board office. Sher Singh had stated in FIR that Sukhdev, his nephew, got electrocuted while he was assisting labourers putting up lintel on his house located at the Johlan road here yesterday.

Holding the board authorities responsible for the incident, the complainant demanded action against the erring officials. When the PSEB officials refused to own the responsibility, Sukhdev’s relatives, accompanied with local leaders staged dharna in front of their office. They demanded immediate arrest of the erring officials.

Though the board authorities maintained that the 11 KW cables was installed a long time ago and the owner of the house had started construction without informing them. However, the complainant alleged that complaints filed by him had gone unheard.

SHO Sadar Gurdial Singh said action would be taken after verifying allegations leveled by the complainant.

“We have asked the complainant to produce copies of complaints filed with the PSEB authorities prior to the accident. Investigations revealed that Sukhdev Singh was electrocuted when his head touched a wire, passing about 3 to 4-foot above the roof. He died on the spot. The victim’s body was cremated after the postmortem.



For now, roads to get patchy treatment 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
Driving on city roads will no more be a bumpy ride as the municipal corporation has decided to  repair the potholes for  the time being.

The stop-gap arrangement is being done as  the MC cannot start  recarpeting of roads immediately due to  monsoon.

‘‘We have decided to put premix in the potholes and levelled it with  road rollers. This will help residents have a smooth ride. After the rains, we will decide about giving the roads a new carpet,’’ said senior deputy mayor Parveen Bansal.

He said for the time being, bitumen would not be spread as it would again be washed by rains. ‘‘So just a patchwork will be enough to last a month or so. Later, we will call tenders for recarpeting, ’’ he added.

Almost all roads had developed potholes after the rains. Poor drainage resulted in waterlogging and the top layer was washed in patches at  everal places.

Residents were complaining of bad roads for the past many days. All major roads had potholes and even the ones in  residential areas were washed away.



10 pledge bodies to two hospitals
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
Inspired by the initiative of donating their bodies for medical research after their death by members of the newly formed NGO, the New Hope, at least 10 more local residents pledged their body to CMC and DMC hospitals for research here today.

The name of donors on the list included Paramjit Singh Kochar, a chief manager with Punjab National Bank, M.K.Maria, manager with the State Bank of India, and his wife Rita Maria, Jagdish Kaur Chunia, Jagvinder Singh, Gulshan Kumar, a journalist, Narinder Singh, Inderjit Singh Bedi and his wife Shakuntala Bedi and Parkash Singh, a religious preacher.

In a press note, N.S.Nanda, president of the New Hope, said, "In less than three months, 69 persons had already volunteered to donate their body for medical research after they passed away and at least three more were on the immediate list".



Communication matters

I had recently issued a cheque for Rs 600, dated July 21 drawn on a local bank’s branch, to a credit card company against my outstanding due to be paid till July 24. My banker had on July 22 honoured the cheque. Today at around 8.18 am. I received a message stating “ HSBC card alert: Cheque received for amount Rs 600 for credit card no.****8271 on July 21. Thank you. Payment subject to realisation. Sender: HSBC.” This is a fine example of alerting people on issues concerning them. Companies that hardly communicate with its customers on issues concerning them should take this as an example. One must remember the fact that delayed communication serves no purpose and is treated as no communication. In order to provide hassle-free working, companies whose business solely depends on communication, must try to overcome the irregularities that are hindering their work environment.

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.



Woman’s murder: Son absconds
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 24
Inderjit Singh, a youth of Hissowal, who allegedly clubbed his mother to death is yet to fall in the police net.

Despite repeated raids by the Sudhar police at hideouts of the suspect, he could not be arrested due to the non-cooperation of his relatives, including his father.

Investigations revealed that Inderjit killed his mother, Harbhajan Kaur, as his mother objected to his addiction to drugs and threw him out of the house. His wife had left him earlier.



4 booked for assault 
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 24
Babbu, Manna, Kinder Singh and Natti of Burz Hakeema allegedly assaulted Gurdeep Singh of their village and assaulted him with a sharp-edged weapon on July 19. The injured has been admitted to the civil hospital, Raikot.

The Raikot police has registered a case u/s 341, 324, 323, 34 IPC against the four. A dispute over an election is said to be the cause of the crime.No arrest has been made so for.



Cotton farmers to be updated on pest management
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
In order to boost cotton production and achieve the desired productivity level, PAU is all set to reduce the gap between available technology and its adoption by farmers.

According to Dr. N S Malhi, director, Extension Education, 27 farmer training centres have been set up in different villages in the cotton belt of the state to update farmer's knowledge on cotton production and protection technology.

He said emphasis had been laid on integrated pest management (IPM) that led to a decline in the area under non-descript Bt cotton. In the current year, the area under non-descript Bt cotton varieties was less than 8 per cent. The farmers were now aware of the need for management of cotton pests and taking necessary precautions, he said. The community approach for the management of pests was lacking at this moment. In view of this, season long training programme will be organised at these centres to educate farmers about recent pest management techniques together with the role of community approach in enhancing production, said Dr Malhi.

He said each IPM centre would have all necessary literature and training infrastructure. These centres would also create IPM awareness in 225 villages and each centre would have trained manpower for monitoring of pest population and creating the needed awareness among farmers.

Dr. N S Butter, head of department of entomology, said under the ICAR-sponsored project on insect resistance management knowledge about IPM and other components of production technology was being passed on to farmers in districts of Muktsar, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Mansa, Faridkot and Barnala. The adoption of technology would increase production and reduce the cost of cotton production drastically. The earlier studies on the impact of IPM had indicated that a benefit of Rs. 5000 ha could be achieved by adopting this technology. In each centre, 50 farmers would be provided for the required training.

While elaborating the programme, Dr A K Dhawan, co-coordinator of the project, said scientific procedures for pest monitoring would help identify constraints in adoption and management of pests, adding that the centres would also offer short-term training to panches and sarpanches to create awareness about IPM through community approach.



No takers for  BSc courses 
40 seats lying vacant in SCD College
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
About 40 seats of BSc (medical and non-medical) are lying vacant at SCD Government College here. Despite trying hard to enrol students, the seats are lying vacant due to the lack of awareness among students, especially the rural ones. Many of them have not even filled their application forms fearing that merit will be too high but seeing the huge number of vacant seats, college authorities have kept the admissions open for both girls and boys.

One of the members of the admission committee informed that there were total 180 seats for BSc non-medical and 120 seats for B.Sc medical courses. About 40 to 50 seats in both courses were still lying vacant, as there were “virtually no takers”.

“Other courses like B.Com, BBA, BCA have become so popular among students that BSc has taken a back seat. Students are not ready to opt for the course, which used to be very demanding a few years ago. Secondly, Panjab University, Chandigarh, has increased 10 seats for each course at the entrance level. It did not take any time to fill the seats in vocational courses but vacant seats in BSc increased further in the college”, he said.

Surinderjit Singh, a student with 59 per cent from a village near Macchiwara, said he did not apply, as the merit in other courses was too high. “My friends with 70 per cent had failed to get admission in courses of their choice. How could I get admission with just 59 per cent marks? Secondly, we did not have enough money to pay the fees”, he added.

The students can still apply in BSc with a late fee of just Rs 150 at the college. BSc in other private institutions cost students approximately Rs 10,000 whereas at government college, students had to just pay Rs 2,600 (including the late fee) to get the seat. The admissions are open for both girl and boys and the last date is July 28. 



PAU union to meet VC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
Members of the Non-Teaching Employees Union of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) will meet the Vice-Chancellor, Dr M.S.Kang, and other senior officials at the campus tomorrow to discuss their charter of demands.

Lakhwinder Singh Sandhu, senior vice- president of the union, said the meeting would be held under the presidentship of union chief Harbans Singh Mundi. He said the union had raised 35 demands with the authorities."Our major demand is that in the Board of Management, like PAUTA president, one of the representative of the union should also be included,” he said.



S P Singh appointed RIMT director
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, July 24
Dr S.P. Singh has taken over as director of the RIMT-Institute of Management and Computer Technology. Earlier, he had worked as director at the Sri Baba Mast Nath Institute of Management Studies and Research, Asthal Bhor, near Rohtak.

A postgraduate in commerce, he has taught graduate and postgraduate classes for over four decades. He did his PhD on ‘Working Capital’ in the Haryana public sector undertaking. He has supervised five PhD students and 17 MPhil candidates. He has also to his credit five books on accounts and cost accounting. He has also attended numerous national level seminars and conferences. He was instrumental in starting MBA courses in S.A. Jain College, Ambala.



DHA selects 22 probables
Anil Datt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
As many 22 probables were selected by the District Hockey Asociation (DHA), Ludhiana, after two days trials conducted here on July 22 and 23 at the Prithipal Singh Memorial AstroTurf Stadium of the Punjab Agricultural University.

Thirty-five players attended the trials organised by the DHA to pick up the probables for the forthcoming Punjab State Hockey League (senior) slated to be held at Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Amritsar and Badal.

Ajay Pal Singh Roomi, honorary general secretary, DHA, the selection panel appointed by the association, including Ramandeep Singh Grewal, Harpal Singh Bhullar, Gagadeep Singh, Yudhwinder Singh, Harminder Singh and Tej Pal Bhalla supervised these aspirants during the trials.

Ludhiana will play its first match here at the PAU stadium on August 3. They will take on the winners of the match played between Mansa and Barnala to be played on July 27 at Barnala, Roomi said.

The names of the selected probables are Harsimranjit Singh, Karney Singh, Manjinder Singh, Gurdeep Singh, Tej Pal Singh, Malkit Singh, Harmanpreet Singh, Sandeep Kumar, Taranjit Singh, Daljeet Singh, Navdeep Singh, Jagdeep Singh, Yudhwinder Singh, Chamkaur Singh, Jagjeet Singh, Bhupinder Singh, Ravinder Singh, Harminderjit Singh, Harvinder Singh, Hirdaypal Singh, Jaspreet Singh and Upraj Singh. These probables are attending a coaching-cum-training camp at the same venue and during the conclusion of this camp, an eighteen member Ludhiana district squad will be announced for the upcoming league, Roomi added.



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