L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rain Aftermath 
Rs 100 cr needed to repair roads
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
Downpour for the past four days has caused widespread damage to roads. The recarpeting undertaken by the MC, without leaving room for natural drainage, is being termed as the major reason for the damage.

Most roads, including state highway, have developed huge potholes. The upper crust of the roads has disappeared.

Experts feel that the wall-to-wall road carpeting by the MC is the reason behind the damage. Roads with kutcha berms or green patches have coped with excess rain, but all others have been washed away in parts.

The MC commissioner, G.S. Ghuman, said the idea to pave the road surface required rethinking. “The roads with no greenery or non-concrete berms have suffered the most. The national highway has not developed potholes. Some roads in the city have been saved due to natural drainage,” he said.

The four major roads connecting the Samrala chowk to Dholewal chowk, besides the bypass on the Gill road and parts of the Pakhowal and Ferozpore roads, have developed huge potholes. Surinder Singh, a shopkeeper, said heavy vehicles could overturn as buses usually tilt while negotiating the “craters”.

The road under the elevated bridge has also been washed away.

Ghuman said a whopping Rs 100 crore would be required to pave all city roads. “The government is aware of the problem. It will provide us with the required funds soon,” he said.

Also, the process would take two months. “We plan to fill the potholes first and later undertake patch work. In the end, all roads would be paved again,” he said.



Toll point shifted, but road not cleared yet
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, August 16
The toll plaza has been shifted near the Satluj bridge, but structures and big stones left behind on the NH-1 here are virtually a death trap for commuters.

Even after 11 days, toll employees have not removed raised platforms which were supporting cabins of toll staff. The cabins have been removed, but the raised concrete structures are still there.

When the road gets waterlogged, it creates more problems for commuters. “With the mere shifting of the toll plaza, the road has not ceased to be a toll road. The NHAI is all for a hurdle-free road, but funnily, they themselves are creating hurdles and endangering lives,” a commuter rued.

People regret that lights too have been brought down, giving the area a deserted look.

They said even during the day, it is difficult for a driver to make out from a distance which of the five-six converging roads to take, but with the lights gone, it is nearly impassable at night.

“We have been filling the coffers of the NHAI for the past six years for nothing. Is it not the duty of the NHAI to recarpet the road and remove hurdles?” Jandeep Kaushal, a social worker, asked. 


Retailers find novel way to promote products
Promotional SMS annoys subscribers
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
After product and services promoting telephonic calls, it is promotional text messages that have started giving a headache to residents.

From retailers offering discounts on purchases to health clubs, coaching centres, marriage bureaus and various other service providers text messages are being aggressively used as a promotional tool these days. For receivers it had become a trouble as multiple numbers of messages are virtually flooding inboxes.

“Earlier it was only tele-callers. Now, they have started sending messages for promoting their products.

Had it been an occasional thing, one could tolerate. On Independence Day itself I must have got 20 such messages which is quiet irritating,” rued Suruchi Sharma, a student.

The recipients feel helpless, as they don’t even get the caller’s number with the message.

“There should be some control by mobile phone companies. We don’t even have the option of getting such a service stopped but messages are as disturbing as calls used to be,” said Varun Kumar, a businessman. “After the restriction that was put on tele-calling, we hoped of getting some relief from such disturbances, but they have invented a new way to promote their products now,” Kumar added.

However, those using text messages for promoting their products and services feel it is a more effective and quite an economical option.

They feel it also saves them from the ‘fury’ of receivers in case of those who don’t wish to receive such phone calls.

“It doesn’t cost much and I feel it is more effective way to communicate details of your products to potential consumer as they read the entire message.

In case of calls, people have to be convinced, it takes longer and many disconnect. I have recently started sending SMSes to people,” revealed an owner of a coaching centre.



Youth killed as car rams into tree
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, August 16
The son of the recently appointed acting president of the nagar panchayat of Sahnewal was killed in an accident on the Sahnewal-Dehlon road this morning while he was going in his car, along with two friends, to pay obeisance at a holy place in Ajnaud village.

The accident took place when Harpreet Singh, driver of the Indica, lost control of the car at a blind turn and rammed into a tree before hitting a wall.

Harpreet Singh Sandhu, who was sitting at the back, died on the spot while the driver, Harpreet Singh, was admitted to hospital with multiple abrasions.

Gurvinder escaped unhurt. Harpreet Singh Sandhu (22) was doing a diploma course in mechanical trade at Ludhiana College of Engineering and Technology, Katani Kalan.

His body was cremated in the afternoon. A large number of political leaders and social personalities of the area attended the funeral.

Kulwant Singh Kanti, father of the deceased, is an Akali leader.



Peti mafia going strong
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 16
The “peti mafia” operating at the railway station here continues to evade taxes worth crores by sending goods without proper invoices. Repeated attempts by the enforcement staff of the excise and taxation department to nail the guilty, have failed to yield any result. It was after much deliberation and dilly-dallying that the railway authorities let the taxation department put up a temporary checkpost at the main entry to the railway parcel office.

A plan of the excise department to install close-circuit TV cameras to monitor the movement of “peti mafia” operators around the parcel office had to be partly shelved after the railways refused to give a nod, saying that the taxation staff had no jurisdiction inside the railway premises.

Conceding that the efforts of the department were not yielding the desired results due to the “uncooperative” attitude of railway officials and the railway police, a tax official said these operators continued to find innovative methods to transport goods to the parcel office.

“They do not hesitate to confront the enforcement staff when cornered. Under such circumstances, it has become very difficult to nab them,” the official remarked.



City Centre Scam
Vigilance for early framing of charges
Case adjourned till Sept 27
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, August 16
Sessions Judge G.K.Rai today adjourned the multi-crore City Centre Scam case involving former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh till September 27.

Vigilance Bureau’s counsel M.L.Solanki requested the court for expediting the process for framing charges. He alleged that the accused were intentionally delaying the framing of charges on the pretext of completing inspection work of the case file.

He said more than five months have passed when the a few lawyers of the accused had started inspecting the case file. But till today, they have not completed the work. This endless process must be stopped for starting the trial, added Public prosecutor.

Whereas the defence lawyers alleged that the prosecution had failed to provide the mirror images of the hard disc and pen drive allegedly recovered from accused Chetan Gupta. They claimed that they were regularly inspecting the case file and it would soon be completed. The Vigilance Bureau’s counsel submitted that they had already supplied all relevant documents in this regard.

In a new development, one of the witnesses Sunil Kumar Day has alleged that 19 accused were threatening him to backtrack from the earlier statements. He was being pressurised for deposing in their favour. It has also been alleged that false and frivolous cases were being filed against him in the Delhi courts. He has also alleged tampering of evidence by a few accused.

In its application, this witness has sought cancellation of bail of Today Homes Company’s MD G.K. Gambhir, vice-president Vinay Subhiki, GM Sunil Kumar Sharma, marketing manager Sanjeev Kumar Gupta, assistant marketing manager Saurabh Gupta and Ashwajit Singh, MD of the IPE Company. The applicant has also sought strict action against 12 other accused in this case mainly related with Today Homes Company.

Chairman of the PPCC legal cell Dharamjit Singh Khera, Gurdish Grewal, Rajwant Singh, Jagmohan Warraich, Rajneesh Gupta, Rana Harjasdeep Singh, Amrit Varsaha Rampal were present on the occasion.

Meanwhile, District Bar Association President Parupkar Singh Ghumman alleged that the police was unnecessarily harassing lawyers and litigants on the pretext of security, which was not acceptable. To show their annoyance, lawyer abstained from work. 



Price Rise 
CPI (ML) to hold rally on August 19 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 16
The CPI (ML) plans to hold district-level protest demonstrations all over the state to mount pressure on both state as well as the Central governments to check inflation and bring down prices of essential commodities.

The district unit of the party will hold a rally at Chattar Singh Park here on August 19. Later on, it will take out a protest march on city roads to focus on inflationary trends, which had made the life of workers, farmers and the common people miserable.

In a statement issued here today, Hardev Singh Sandhu, president, All-India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha said the parties like the Congress, SAD, BJP and other right wingers were least bothered about the unprecedented price rise. The ruling parties in the Centre and in states were blaming each other rather than owning the responsibility for inflation and taking corrective steps.

Sandhu said the scenario in Punjab was no different with the ruling SAD-BJP combine shirking its own responsibility and blaming the Congress-led UPA government for all problems, including rising prices. “The public distribution system in the state has virtually collapsed and the fair price shops have failed to provide food grain to the masses, who have been left to fend for themselves.”



Congress rebuts Badal’s charges
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 16
The Congress has taken a serious note of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s statement wherein he had accused the Central government of step motherly treatment towards the states being ruled by the Opposition.

In a rebuttal to charges leveled by Badal, AICC secretary and spokesperson Manish Tewari stated here today that it was during the rule of then NDA government, led by Atal Behari Vajpayee and Sukhbir Singh Badal as a union minister, that no help, whatsoever, was ever given to Punjab from the Centre just because the government in state was that of the Congress. “Rather obstructions were created by the Vajpayee government to ensure that Punjab did not get anything”, he alleged.

He claimed that the UPA government had never adopted discriminatory approach towards the states being ruled by parties other than the Congress. Supporting his claims, Tewari pointed out that had the RBI not been liberal enough, the Punjab government would not have been able to disburse the salaries of its employees on monthly basis. “The education in state is being funded through the Sarv Sikhisha Abhaiyan. And furthermore, the funds in JNNURM are available but the Punjab government has failed to avail its benefit due to the non-submission of requisite project schemes, as mandatory in the mission”.

The AICC spokesman further lashed at Badal saying that the railway corridor project from Ludhiana to Kolkata and Ludhiana to Mumbai would help Punjab. “Likewise, during the annual Budget, the finance minister has announced substantial grant to Punjab Agricultural University, because the institution acts as a nodal 
institution for agricultural- related research and other works”, he claimed.

Tewari fervently stated that the Akali leadership do self-introspection about their conduct, for the sake of unity and integrity of the country, after Independence. He also said rather than criticising the Centre for any delay in installation of the statue of martyr Bhagat Singh in the Parliament House Complex, Badal should follow suit and ensure that the martyr’s statue was installed in the Punjab assembly as well. 



Global face of city’s youth
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
Sample this: Cool dudes and girls! Welcome to this community of people from the biggest city in the richest state. It is always rocking! You will simply freak out here.

We have malls, we have education, and industry and we have the maximum number of Mercedes! If you are settled in USA or any other place on the earth, and have fond memories of your hometown, you too are welcome.

This online invite is followed by thought provoking issues, ranging from safety of girls in this city to ideas on dealing with corruption in the country, whether the government is doing what it promised and even your personal problems. Dating of course, finds a mention.

This cosmopolitan invite, it may surprise you, comes from our very own Ludhianavi youth. This side of their “global face” is there for all to witness. Being online is a passé; they are now making their presence felt via global forums on the World Wide Web. Not just one or two, click of a mouse would take one to thousands and thousands of such forums formed by youngsters from this industrial town.

“Not only because it’s the in thing, I find it quite cool to express my opinion via communities online. One has the advantage to remain discrete and at the same time be frank. We don’t really need to bother what others may think of us,” feels Sirjana, a regular on a leading community site.

Gripping their attention are topics that range from the local to country and even global issues.

“We are not just talking of dating, though it is an important part of our life. Web is the easiest mode to bridge distances that are geographical, cultural or, in many cases, even language-based,” opines Ankit, who is not just member of a few communities but also has a blog to his credit.

On the web, one can find nearly everything connected to Ludhiana-the local Kipps market, to the university, almost every school and college, markets of Ghumar Mandi and even Chaura Bazaar, the malls, cars, mobikes, hotels, industry. The list continues.

Talk of reported misuse of the sites, and youngsters are quick to respond. “Anything and everything can be misused. We are mature enough to know how to handle things safely,” snaps Vikram. Good going, for sure.



Indifferent municipal corporation

Indifferent attitude of the municipal corporation, Ludhiana, coupled with heavy rains is a menace for the inhabitants of urban estate area. Several main and internal roads are severely broken, besides being a root cause of fatal accidents.

All roads are fractured with deep potholes and ditches. There is an urgent need for patch work, which is not being done despite repeated requests.

What adds insult to injury is that though due attention is being given to other wards of the city, nothing is being done for ward No. 50 (Dugri urban estate area). No councillor/MLA/ MP (past and present) has taken any interest to ameliorate the problems.

Over 13 years and no development work ever undertaken by any authority. MIG colony, Ph.II, urban estate, Dugri is especially the most unfit for living. Several letters have been written by MIG Welfare Society (Regd), but nothing’s been done.

Society welcomed the announcement recently made by the newly appointed municipal commissioner, G. S. Ghuman, that no political interference in developments works.

Society earnestly appeals to the commissioner to visit this area of Dugri especially MIG colony, Ph.II and take necessary steps to atleast avoid mishaps.

Kuldip Singh Kreer, 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.



On I-Day, kids made to stand in rain
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
The Independence Day function took its toll on students, as many of them suffered from cold and fever after the celebrations.

The message of peace and brotherhood cost a lot to the students who were made to stand in rain for hours during I-Day function organised at various schools of the city.

The worst hit were the tiny-tots of the primary wing who participated in patriotic rally organised by many schools.

The rally marched through many colonies and streets. The students of primary wing found it difficult to keep pace with the teachers.

The students, who performed at the state level I-Day function held at Guru Nanak Stadium also complained against the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities.

These students were made to wait and stand in rain for more than two hours before the Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, arrived at the venue. This is not all. The students were not provided food after their performance.

The parents complained against the irresponsible attitude of the school authorities.

Sanjiv Sharma, whose son complained of cold, said the authorities should act responsibly, adding, “How can you let a child walk for miles in rain. What kind of celebration is this which makes a child fall sick?”

Similar was the story of many other parents, who complained that I-Day celebrations came down heavily on their children.

“My son was sneezing and complained of cold soon after he returned from school. It was at 6:30 am that the students were made to assemble in school. They stood in rain and were later taken for a march amidst the rain due to which my son fell sick,” said Amit Kumar.



Students remember martyrs 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
Independence Day celebrations at Ryan International School concluded today.

The Montessori students made lovely pigeons, lotus and balloons by thumb painting and pasting papers.

The tiny-tots gave emphatic speech on Independence Day. A special slide show was prepared for the students of classes I to V, in which they were shown the days pre and post Independence. A talk show was conducted in which the students discussed India's achievements. The day was celebrated with patriotic fervour at Sat Pal Mittal School. The Satyans invoked the blessings of the motherland through the National Song. The speeches in English, Hindi and Punjabi by the students reminded the supreme sacrifice of the freedom fighters.

Independence Day was also celebrated at Bal Bhalai School, Ambedkar Nagar. Harish Rai Dhanda, chief parliamentary secretary, was the chief guest on this occasion.

He announced a grant of Rs. 2 lakh for the development of the school. He also distributed books and sweets.

Guru Gobind Singh Public School, Daad, Pakhowal road also celebrated the day with lots of enthusiasm. Principal of the school, Manjit Kaur, hoisted the Tricolour. The function started with the National Song 'Vande Matram', then students presented patriotic songs like “Desh mera rangila”, “Ae mere vatan ke logo”.

A skit by the students of class X based on the social ill of female foeticide was also presented on this occasion.



Insanitary conditions dot civil hospital
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 16
Defying the maxim “practice what you preach” government hospitals have failed to ensure cleanliness in and around their institutes thereby adding to the patients’ misery. With its share of potholes and wild growth of plants, the sanitation condition at the civil hospital puts a question mark on the working of the state health department at large.

Accumulated water in potholes, open manholes has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. A hospital employee said, “The hospital is full of mosquitoes during the rainy season and I wouldn’t be wrong in saying that the health department has failed to prevent their own institutions fro the threat of malaria and dengue.”

This week’s incessant rains have supplemented to the poor sanitation conditions thereby increasing the number of diarrhoea, gastroenteritis, jaundice and dengue cases. The low-lying localities on Tajpur road, Gill road, Transport Nagar, Sherpur Chowk and various other areas have large number of people suffering from seasonal diseases that has increased the influx of patients in hospitals, primary health centres and dispensaries that don’t even have clean surroundings.

The municipal corporation has even failed to evolve a proper system for disposal of waste. The students and staff at Lord Mahavira Homeopathic College, Haibowal, have to bear the stink as people dump the garbage next to the college wall. Dr Ravinder Kochar while talking to The Tribune said, “Despite repeated reminders to the corporation nothing has been done and the dump is growing in size with every passing day.”



Robotic surgery catching up

Ludhiana, August 16
Imagine a scenario where a surgeon stationed far away is operating upon a patient with the help of robot! Well this, now, is a reality. In the robotic procedures, the surgeon guides the robot during surgery the same way, as a pilot would fly the plane using the modern computer technology.

According to Dr Arvind Goyal, assistant professor of Urology, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here, who visited Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre, New York, USA, robotic surgery is becoming popular day by day and proving to be of immense help to surgeons worldwide. He was impressed by the results of operations performed on cancer prostate with the help of robots. He said, “In developed countries like the USA, prostate cancer is being diagnosed at an early stage due to aggressive screening. Resultantly, the patient gets completely cured.” Explaining the concept of robotic surgery, he said it was a computer-enhanced minimally invasive surgical system. The robotic arms translated the natural hand and wrist movements of the surgeon into corresponding, precise and scaled movements. Instruments could only move when commanded by the surgeon. The extensive range of motion allowed precision that would not be available in standard minimally invasive procedures. — OC



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