L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Hour-long rain floods city roads
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
Just an hour of heavy rain this afternoon left the city inundated. Rainwater entered houses and shops in several low-lying areas as the drainage system failed to hold the water.

Residents of Talaab Bazaar, Rupa Mistri Gali and Kishore road and several shops in Chaura Bazaar had a tough time draining water from their buildings.

“Everytime it rains, our houses get flooded. There is 4-5 ft water on some streets. One gets compensation for damage in floods, but whom should we contact when our houses get flooded each time it rain?” Parampal Singh, a resident, asked.

Parminder Mehta, councillor of the area, said he had taken up the issue with the MC authorities, but to no avail.

“The residents are fed up. For them, no administration exists,” he said, adding that the “ganda” nullah had not been cleaned for years and the drainage in these colonies was poor.

In other colonies, too, roads were waterlogged. and sewage was overflowing. Most residential areas and major roads were flooded, leaving people stranded on roads.

“It was shocking that roads got waterlogged after less than an hour of rain. There is knee-deep water on the Haibowal road,” Sanjouli, a resident of Haibowal, said.




Insurance firm ordered to pay up Rs 2.74 lakh
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 29
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has ordered the National Insurance company to pay about Rs 2.74 lakh as claim to a consumer on account of damage to his car in an accident.

The president of the forum pronounced the order while deciding the complaint of Sukhdeep Singh of Baddowal village, Ludhiana.

The forum termed the denial of claim to the consumer as unjustified. It also directed the company to pay Rs 1,000 as litigation costs.

The complainant had submitted before the forum that he had purchased a car from someone in 2005 and the vehicle was insured with the company in New Delhi.

The car had met with an accident while crossing tracks and his father had died. The car was completely damaged and the insurance company was informed about it. The company deputed a surveyor, who assessed the loss, but he was not paid claim.

The company, however, justified its stand, saying that the complainant did not have an insurable interest at the time of the accident as the vehicle was insured in the name of the owner. The buyer had failed to get the policy transferred in his name.

The counsel for the complainant said once the insured car had been purchased by the complainant, he was entitled to the benefits of the policy bought by the previous owner.


Notice to cancer foundation on technician’s plea
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued a notice of motion to the authorities of Mohan Dai Oswal Cancer Treatment and Research Foundation here.

The hospital authorities have been asked to file a reply on September 18 against a writ petition filed by Phool Chand, a senior laboratory technician at the foundation.

He went on leave in February 2007, but was not allowed to enter the premises when he came back to resume work in March.

The security officer at the hospital told him that he had been instructed not to allow him inside. His attempts to meet the chairman, Jangi Lal Oswal, and medical director Satish Jain, bore no fruit. The petitioner was with the hospital for almost 12 years.

He said he was not given any suspension or termination letter and was not even allowed to withdraw his money from the bank situated inside the hospital.

Phool Chand had then sent a legal notice to the medical director in October, following which he received a letter, wherein he was asked to join duty and face a departmental inquiry.

However, he was not allowed to enter the hospital even after showing the letter. He said he had met the secretary, home department, Punjab, and the labour secretary, but to no avail.




19 plots fetch GLADA over Rs 11.20 cr
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 29
The Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) made over Rs 11.20 crore from the sale of 19 residential plots in Phase II, Urban Estate, through an auction here today.

The auction was conducted at the GLADA’s complex on the Ferozepur road under the supervision of S.R. Kler, additional chief administrator.

As many as 81 bidders had taken part. They had deposited a participation fee of Rs 50,000 each.

Kler said two plots of 400 sq yards each, three plots of 300 sq yards each, one plot of 250 sq yards, four each of 150 and 125 sq yards and five plots of 100 sq yards had been put under the hammer. The reserve price for plots was over Rs 6.37 crore.



Doctors protest vigilance action
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
Doctors and paramedical staff of the civil hospital staged a dharna to register their protest against the Vigilance Bureau for arresting a pharmacist, Rajinder Singh, on charges of corruption in a medico-legal case.

Trouble started when Harpal Singh of Basti Abdullapur had a fight with Bobby and asked the hospital employees to make an MLR.

The employees refused to do so, saying that bruises did not qualify for the report. He then approached head constable Baljit Singh at the police post inside the hospital, who allegedly took Rs 2,000 and took him to the pharmacist on duty.

After examining the youth, the pharmacist asked Dr Ravinder Kaur to write an MLR. Later, Harpal Singh reported the matter to Gurcharan Singh, DSP, vigilance, who reached the spot and recovered Rs 1,950 from the head constable and Rs 50 from the pharmacist.

Dr Balwinder Kumar, general secretary of the PCMS Association, arguing in favour of the pharmacist, said Rs 50 was the prescribed fee for writing an MLR.

“It is not fair to harrass the staff as they have not been found guilty of accepting money from the complainants,” he said.

Association members asked the vigilance to withdraw the charges. However, the vigilance bureau said in an official statement that the pharmacist and the head constable were caught with the bribe.

The statement further said the constable had asked for Rs 5,000, but settled for Rs 2,000, saying that it would be shared with the staff on duty.



Cops demand vehicles from complainants
to conduct raids

Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Khanna, July 29
Police officials at Khanna demand vehicles from complainants to conduct investigative work like raids.

Acute shortage of police vehicles has raised such demands. As soon as a complainant lodges complaint against someone, the police officials unapologetically demand for a vehicle to trace the culprit.

According to the data procured by TNS, there are only 63 vehicles provided to the Khanna police, which are on road for 11 police posts and six police stations of the district. This excludes the vehicles given to gazetted police officials.

Against the sanctioned strength of 24 motorbikes, the police is provided with only 15 bikes and most of them are 20 or 30 years old.

Similarly, against seven cars they have only one. Fourteen gypsies are needed for patrolling the area whereas the police has only 11 and majority of them have outlived their life and need repairs.

“We were recently provided with new jeeps, which need at least five to seven minutes of ignition to start. These vehicles provided to the police have only four gears, but the vehicles we chase are advanced ones having five gears,” said a police official in the SSP office.

“I was in charge of a police post few months ago where we were provided with only one vehicle. At times we have to rely upon vehicle of a complainant and many times we end up using accused’s vehicle as well,” the cop said.

Hartosh, relative of an assault victim, said his father-in-law was assaulted by a drunk car driver without any rivalry or provocation at a roadside.

“We lodged a complaint with the nearest police station and also gave registration number of the car to the police. Next day we got a call from the investigating officer that they need a car to raid the house of the accused,” Hartosh said.

He said the police told them that the accused was residing in Ludhiana and they needed a car to reach there.

“We informed cops that we only have a scooter and they never called again. The file probably closed, as we don’t have a car,” he said.

Though the police recently purchased 12 Bolero jeeps, six Tata Sumo, five bikes and a prison van, but even then dozens of more vehicles are required to meet the demand, said the police officials.

Most of the existing vehicles are of no use and cops keep on relying on complainants and accused for vehicles.

Senior police officials said it is not only vehicles, but many other essential things the cops need. However, the government does not have funds for same, they added.



2 youths held for labourer’s murder
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
The police today arrested two youths of Jodhan village on the charge of killing a labourer near Dullo Kalan village on July 14.

The SP city-III, Sajjan Singh Cheema, told the media that initially the death of Rakesh Kumar was treated as an accident.

However, postmortem report revealed that he had been stabbed to death. Police investigation revealed that two unemployed alcoholics youths had allegedly killed him for his mobile phone.

The accused, Avtar Singh and Gagandeep Singh, had waylaid him late in the evening and tried to take away the phone and cash. When Rakesh resisted, they stabbed him several times.



Coop society president booked for fraud
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
The police has booked the president of the Zenith Cooperative Housing Society for allegedly tampering with land records of the society to transfer the ownership of a house to someone.

An FIR lodged last night stated that the president of the society, H.P. Sharma, was booked under Sections 465, 468 and 471 of the IPC on the complaint of Balbir Kaur.

She said her husband had bought a plot from the society in 1989. After his death in 2007, she applied for change of ownership in her name, but was shocked to find that it had been transferred to someone else.

Following an inquiry by the DSP City-II, the SSP had recommended the registration of a case of forgery.



BSNL employees protest merger
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
Protesting against the proposed merger of the Indian Telephone Industries into Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), telecom employees held a demonstration outside the office of general manager (telecom) at Bharat Nagar Chowk here today.

The protesting members of BSNL Employees Union, Sanchar Nigam Executive Association, All-India BSNL Executive Association held the demonstration under a ‘Joint Forum of BSNL Unions’.

Addressing the members, Balbir Singh, circle secretary, BSNLEU, said ITI was a sick unit suffering losses to the tune of Rs 2,200 crore annually.

He said at a point when the BSNL had earned an operational profit of only Rs 300 crore in comparison to last year’s Rs 7.80 crore, the merger would have a severe adverse impact on the financial condition of the corporation.

“Due to capacity crunch in the BSNL, market share, too, has drastically reduced. If timely measures are not taken to tackle the situation the BSNL, too, would become a sick unit. The move of merger would further weaken the BSNL,” said Balbir.

Union representatives also expressed worry that over 13,000 employees of the ITI would become the BSNL employees, which would burden the telecom operator.

“Earlier, the government had compelled the BSNL to place an order for commissioning equipment in Gujarat and Maharashtra and the ITI had failed to supply the same. As a result, BSNL’s earnings in these two states have been hit,” said Inderjit Singh, senior all-India vice-president of the Sanchar Nigam Association.

Demanding that the government should stop the move to merge the two entities, district secretary M.S. Dhaliwal said employees would intensify their struggle if the move was not stalled.

Among others who addressed the protesting employees were union leaders Balwinder Singh, Paramjit Singh, Jasbir Singh, Harbhajan Dass, Narayan Singh, Darshan Singh Gill, Avtar Singh Jhande and Jaswant Singh.



Frequent power cuts throw life out of gear
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 29
Normal life in the city has been thrown out of gear for quite some time now with daily power cuts of six to eight hours being imposed on urban feeders in the wake of dismal power situation that shows no sign of improvement in the near future.

The revised schedule of continuous power cut for five hours, from 12 noon to 5 pm, has further added to the misery of people.

Inverters do not work for that long if not recharged in between. For those having diesel generators, non-availability of diesel in adequate quantity poses a problem.

Shopkeepers and traders, in particular, are feeling the pinch of long hours of power cut during the day, which is adversely affecting their business.

“During the period of power cut, the business comes to a complete halt as we cannot even run the generators due to shortage of diesel. And even if we do, running diesel generators for long durations add to the operational cost and cut into our margins of profit,” laments Narinder Aggarwal, an electronics dealer.

While the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) authorities maintain that gap between demand and availability of power in the state was around 300 lakh units (LU), highly placed sources said that the gap had crossed 400 LU a couple of days back, which was rather unprecedented.

The gap between demand and availability of power, which was increasing with each day, was attributed to the snag in 500 MW unit each in thermal power projects in Singrauli and Rihand, both in Uttar Pradesh, and drop in power generation at some of the hydel projects, including Mukerian in Punjab, due to decreased water discharge.

The sources pointed out that the widespread rains in western and southern parts of the country are the only saving grace as far as the power scenario is concerned.

“Due to heavy rains, coupled with stepped up wind power generation, states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have stopped overdrawing power from the southern grid, which has eased pressure on the northern grid. As a result, Punjab could get a little bit extra power,” sources said.

But on the flip side, almost all the states had backed out from supply of power under power banking agreements due to shortage prevailing in their own states.

In the prevailing situation, there seems to be no respite from the acute power crisis unless the state has widespread rains that would reduce the demand of power from farm sector, sources said.



PAU to pitch in for water literacy
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
The Punjab State Council of Science and Technology (PSCST), under its project ‘Networking for WASH’ -- eco-water literacy campaign 2008 (Punjab), has sought active participation of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here.

The campaign on eco-water and sanitation literacy through science-based organisations, educational institutions and science and technology departments will be initiated in selected districts of Ludhiana, Ropar, Bathinda and Nawanshahar.

The programme envisages involvement of municipalities and panchayats to prioritise ground water recharge, maintenance of water bodies, waste-water recycling, monitoring of water quality, prevention of pollution and safe drinking water.

Dr Neelam Gulati Sharma, joint director, PSCST, informed that under the programme, a proposal to the Government of India had been sent for obtaining funds to take up activities such as organisation of district-level workshops on development of posters, pamphlets, distribution of water-testing kits and CDs on water literacy, developed by PAU, in the four identified districts.

He added that the Krishi Vigyan Kenderas (KVKs) would also be involved in preparation of the resource material. Meetings will be held at PAU with scientists of KVKs of the selected districts to work out further modalities.

"The villages will be selected around Budha Nullah in Ludhiana district, while for Bathinda, the villages, where cancer-related cases have surfaced, will be selected. In Nawanshahar, the villages affected by selenium toxicity will be selected, while in Ropar, those around the wetland will be focused for awareness generation on water conservation," said Dr Sharma.

For the workshops, resource persons, including KVK officials, NGO activists and teachers will be trained under the programme. For each workshop, 50 participants, including school teachers, farmers, members of PAU youth clubs and members nominated by panchayats, will be involved.

A video CD on water literacy, prepared by Dr Anil Sharma of the Centre for Communication and International Linkages at PAU, will be used for the purpose. Low-cost water-testing kits will also be used to check water’s fitness of use.

PAU-designed 'tensiometer' for scheduling irrigation in paddy and 'leaf colour
chart' for deciding about nitrogen application to paddy will also be included
in the campaign.



Union backs jobless teachers
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 29
The Punjab School Teachers Union announced to support agitation launched by some organisations of unemployed teachers in the state.

The announcement was made at a meeting of state body at local municipal children park, here on Tuesday.

According to the state president Sikander Singh Jartoli, the decision was taken after the inhuman treatment of unemployed teachers at the hands of cops during recent incidents of cane charging.



Sapling plantation drive
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
As a part of its tree plantation program, the student organisation of India (SOI) celebrated ‘Van Maha Utsav’ at Circuit House, here today.

Sharanjit Singh Dhillon inaugurated the plantation campaign in the district by
planting a sapling.

Dhillon appreciating the program launched by SOI workers said that the organisation had shoulder the responsibility of improving the environment by planting more trees.

Raju Khanna, president SOI, said two lakh trees of different varieties were expected to be planted against the target of one-lakh plants in the entire state. Khanna said that 25,000 to 30,000 plants were being planted in the city.

Elaborating the program of SOI, Khanna said that the organisation had decided to broaden the ambit of its activities from student’s welfare to other social activities like solving transport problems of students, creating awareness against female foeticide, promotion of sports among the youth etc.

He added that in the new transport policy, a number of additional facilities for students were being included.

Further adding he said that the government has been requested to ensure the plying of buses to all the newly established educational institutions.

Among the others who attended the function, included, Manpreet Singh Iyali, chairman Zila Parishad, Inder Moharn Singh Kadian, district president YAD (rural), Manpreet Singh Talwandi, Prabhjot Singh Dhaliwal.



Teej celebrated at Bija
Tribune News Service

Doraha, July 29
Punjab Micro Circuit Research labs organised a Teej festival for girl trainees coming from various engineering colleges of the state.

Various competitions were organised such as mehandi, singing, etc. and the winners were awarded with prizes.

Factory owner and district president of Human Rights (WC) Satinder Kaur said that the motive behind the celebration was to make the young girls realise the value of the festival and the cultural importance it holds.



Mobiles a moral hazard

Cell phone, besides being a health and traffic hazard, is a moral hazard also. Its easy availabiliy to children has exposed young minds to pornography through SMS, MMS and obscene jokes.

It has not only facilitated crime, but it has also promoted practice of unfair means in examinations. Parents should ensure that the use of mobile by their wards is kept under strict vigil.

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.



Six booked for trespass, assault
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, July 29
In two separate incidents, the Jagraon police has booked six persons on the charges of assault. Gurdeep Singh, Baljit Singh, Binder Singh and Jasbir Singh of Kaunke Kalan allegedly trespassed into the house of Piara Singh of their village on July 25 during night hours and assaulted him with a sharp edged weapon and a stick.

In second incident, Jit Singh and Kapoor Singh of Kamalpura allegedly trespassed into the house of Jaswinder Singh of their village on July 17 and assaulted him with a sharp edged weapon.

Both injured have been admitted to Civil Hospital, Jagraon. The police has registered separate cases under Sections 452, 324, 323 and 34 IPC. No arrest has been made so far in both incidents.



BBA, BCA seats increased at PCTE
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
The Punjab College of Technical Education (PCTE) has got its seats increased from 200 to 280 in BBA and BCA courses each recently.

There are 29 institutes in Punjab running BBA and 46 institutes running BCA under PTU. Both BBA and BCA courses are run in 29 institutes in Punjab.

Out of all these institutions, PCTE is the only institute having maximum intake capacity of 280 each in BBA and BCA courses approved by the PTU.

Dr K.N.S. Kang, director PCTE congratulated all students and faculty members and remarked that the increase in the seats was because PCTE had been ranked 12th in India by the Business World B-School survey for its best learning environment.

Business India had rated PCTE A+ category B-school of India, AlMA had rated PCTE A category upper layer B-school of India and Best B-school of the Punjab, HP & J&K in the four year of surveys continuously.

Dr Kang further informed that PCTE has opened new BBA/ BCA campus with modern infrastructural facilities for students and more than 30 foreign students from 6 different countries of Africa were studying in the campus.

Dr Kang also said PCTE has started new courses such as B.Sc. (Bio Technology) and B.Sc. (Media, Film & Entertainment Technology) in the current academic year.



Crash course in English concludes
Our Correspondent

Doraha, July 29
One-month crash course in English, organised by Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, concluded here today.

Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu, principal of the college, said with the world turning into a global village, importance of English language has gained all the more momentum.

If the students are to frame a definitely recognisable career, they will have to acquire this particular language with confidence.

“This one-month crash course”, he said, “was a step towards enabling the students and non-students to acquire adequate knowledge about English language. As we have received favourable response, the college shall be conducting similar courses in future too so that the students shed their hesitation in speaking English.”

He added that the teachers should motivate the students to practise the English language. Participants were awarded certificates.

The students too expressed their views about the linguistic skills acquired during the course. The function was organised by English Literary Society of the college. 



Doctors hold workshop on ORS
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
District unit of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics today organised a workshop on oral rehydration solution (ORS) for patients at ESIC Model Hospital here.

Observing the ORS Day, Dr Arun Handa, president, IAP, Ludhiana, elaborated upon the preparation of ORS at home.

He said there was dramatic reduction in the mortality with diarrheal diseases during the last 20 years.

The reduced rate was directly proportional to fewer children requiring hospitalisation, fewer secondary infections, and lower health-care costs, the doctor said.



Cancer detection camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
As many as 100 patients were examined at a free cancer detection camp for women organised at Iqbal Nursing Home and Hospital.

Dr Mini Ahuja, along with a team of doctors, performed free pap smear and
colposcopy test.

The approximate cost of the test is Rs 1,500, wherein the cervix (lower part of uterus) is examined through a hi-tech machine and cancer can be detected at an early stage, when the treatment is almost 100 per cent.

Dr M.S. Chawla, medical superintendent, informed that almost 4,73,000 cases of cervix cancer are diagnosed all over the world every year and 2,53,000 die of the disease every year.

Women above the age of 35 years should get pap test done once in a year, the
doctor advised.



Swimming trials for district teams
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 29
As many as 70 swimmers, including 50 boys and 20 girls, attended the trials at municipal corporation swimming pool here today.

The trials were conducted by the Ludhiana District Swimming Association to pick the Ludhiana swimming and waterpolo teams (junior boys and girls).

The selected swimmers will represent Ludhiana in the 33rd edition of the Junior
Punjab State Swimming and Waterpolo Championship for boys and girls in all the national events.

These are scheduled to be held at the War Heroes Swimming Pool, Sangrur, from August 1 to 3.



Pranav shines in national badminton tourney
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, July 29
Pranav Chopra of the Ludhiana Badminton Academy (LBA) gave a stupendous performance in the Tata All India Major Ranking Badminton Tournament (senior) being played at Bombay Gymkhana Club, Mumbai.

He created a flutter as he, pairing with Prajakta Sawant of Air India, recorded an upset victory over India’s rank I pair of Sanave Thomas of Kerala and Jyotsna from
Air India.

According to a communique received here today at the LBA centre run at the Shastri Hall, near Guru Nanak Stadium, Pranav (16), who had recently been adopted by Air India, defeated India's top seeded pair in the senior section.

In the first set of the fourth qualifying round, Pranav and Prajkata fought valinatly to down their experienced opponents 21-19. However, they could not keep up the momentum in the next set and lost it 15-21 which levelled the score one-all.

In the third and deciding set, Pranav and Prajkata kept their composure and rattled their rivals to wrap it up 21-16, which enabled them to qualify for the quarter-finals.

In the men's doubles category too, Pranav performed well to reach the pre-quarter-
final stage.

He, along with Sai Praneet from Andhra Pradesh, outplayed Anshuman Hazarika and Sarshil from Karnataka in the third round to advance into the last sixteen.

Anupam Kumaria, general secretary, LBA, informed that Pranav, Sai Praneet, Prajkata Sawant, who attended a 40-day specialised training at Indonesia organised by the Badminton Association (BAI).



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