L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Leftists’ Stir Call
Employees, farm workers block traffic
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 20
Employees of various government departments, along with industrial labour and farm workers, today went on a day-long strike in response to a call given by a committee of trade unions, owing allegiance to left parties.

The nationwide strike was held to protest the policies on globalisation, privatisation, rising prices of essential commodities and other anti-people policies of government.

Activists of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) staged a dharna at Sherpur Chowk on National Highway for more than two hours, disrupting vehicular traffic on Ludhiana-Ambala and Ludhiana-Jalandhar sections of the highway.

The police had a tough time in diverting traffic through service lanes along the GT Road while vehicles entering the city were diverted towards Sahnewal to take Chandigarh Road and then proceed to Jalandhar bypass.

Trade unions of the PSEB and the Punjab Roadways, affiliated to the All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and CITU also participated in the strike which had some impact on the services during early part of the day.

Addressing a rally at Sherpur Chowk, state secretary of CITU Raghunath Singh flayed the economic policies of the government which had led to the unprecedented rise in prices.

He called upon the government to put an end to outsourcing of work in government departments, implement labour laws scrupulously, stop attacks on trade union activities and enact a legislation for social security of the unorganised labour and the farm workers.

He also condemned the Indo-US nuclear deal, which, he apprehended, would threaten the sovereignty of the country.

A joint rally of All-India Coordination Committee of Trade Unions at Mini Secretariat, while voicing similar demands, urged government to strengthen public distribution system to provide essential commodities to the poor people on fair prices.

A demand was also raised to enhance minimum wages of the skilled and
unskilled workers.

Claiming that the PSEB employees responded enthusiastically to the call for strike, Kewal Singh Banwait, vice-president, PSEB Employees Federation (AITUC), said the striking workers focused on demands like scrapping the Electricity Act 2003, proposed unbundling of the PSEB and inflation.

In a rally organised by the AITUC and CITU unions at Ludhiana depot of Punjab Roadways, the employees called for reversal of anti-employee and anti-people policies of the government.

They also demanded scrapping of contractual system, merging PUNBUS with roadways and adding more buses to the Punjab Roadways fleet.


Strike hits common man
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
It was a tough day for residents as the strike that brought public services including banking, insurance and roadways to a grinding halt.

Business to the tune of crores of rupees was affected as public sector banks did not conduct any transactions. A the clearing house here, that receives roughly 50,000 cheques a day today got only 9,000 cheque.

Customers could be seen returning disappointed from electricity, telephone exchange, insurance offices and banks. Commuters too had a harrowing time as roadways buses did not ply.

"We wanted to deposit cash but the security guard outside the bank did not even let us enter . Banks should resist from causing inconvenience to the public. Particularly in case of business, cash transactions need to be conducted on a daily basis," said Varinder Kapoor, an industrialist.

Outside empty offices of various organisations were employees who observed dharnas in support of their demands.

Said Ravinder Kumar, another resident: "I wanted to get some correction in the electricity bill but my visit went futile as I was told that employees were not working today. In such sultry weather it is not possible for us to make repeated visits to an office. One wonders why common man is always at the receiving end."

As BSNL employees also joined strike, subscribers complained they were unable to deposit bills.

Commuters also suffered and many had to wait for long time at various bus stops. The local bus stand wore a deserted look today.

Employees of public sector banks raised demands like stopping mergers, urgent measures to control inflation, strict implementation of minimum wages, working hours, social security, extending farmers' loan waiver scheme to loans by private money lenders and expenditure wage negotiation for employees of Central public sector units including contract workers.

Condemning "delay tactics" of the government, Balwinder Singh, district secretary, BSNL Employee Union, said the government had not even taken any initiative to begin wage negotiations whereas the revised wages were to be implemented from January last year.

The association held a demonstration outside the office of general manager telecom in Bharat Nagar Chowk.

Members of the Northern Zone Insurance Employees Association, held a dharna
at the LIC divisional office in Dugri in protest against the government’s “anti-
employee” policies.

Full day strike was also observed by Income Tax Employees Association . “The government should expedite wage negotiations for employees of central PSUs and lift ban on recruitment in government services,” said Ram Kishan Singh, secretary of group C association.



City gang wars turn bloodier
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
Gang wars among local goons in the city are turning bloodier day by day with groups choosing to directly ambush rival leaders instead of taking it out on the members.

The murder of an alleged local goon Naveen Kumar Nonni in Division No 4 area on Monday evening is just a continuation of this traditional method of ambushing the leader of a rival gang.

As many as three different local gang leaders, including a woman, Channo, were murdered in the last few months. Besides, attempts to kill two others were made.

In March this year, alleged gangster Gurpreet Singh alias Billu was butchered near Domoria Bridge by a group of youths belonging to a rival gang.

Then, a woman leader Channo was murdered on May 31 outside her house in Qila Mohalla. She was facing several criminal cases. The police suspects that two gangsters of a rival group targeted her.

Nonni, too, was standing outside his house on Monday when he was attacked. Police records say he was a drug addict and leader of local goons.

On August 7, two persons were injured after sustaining gunshot injuries as two groups clashed at Subhash Nagar Chowk.

The role of the police comes into the picture only after a murder is committed. It seems the gangsters have a free ride to attack each other.

Another line of theory is that the police, struggling under political pressure to finish the gangs, lets them kill each other.

SSP R.K. Jaiswal said not much should be read in the incidents, "There are no organised gangs in the city. These are just street goons. Media is terming the incidents as gang wars. These groups are just involved in street-level clashes. The police has been arresting them from time to time. There is no pressure on the cops."

The targeting of gang leaders began in 2001 with the murder of an alleged local goon Bau of Chowni Mohallah.

Then, the Lalla and Nirdhosh Dhand gangs took gang rivalry to the next level by carrying out a series of attacks against each other in 2002-2004.

There have been sporadic clashes among members also but those were in response to the murder of a gang leader.

Lalla was killed in 2004 after which the disintegrated groups got divided into independent sub-groups, which fought for battle of one-upmanship, control of
local areas, protection to illegal activities, illicit liquor trade, narcotics and charging hafta or mahina.



Sewage flows on roads, dharna held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
The residents and BJP councillor of Ward Number 19 today staged a dharna against choked sewers in their area, alleging they were surrounded by slush all around and the municipal corporation was sleeping.

Led by councillor Santosh Kalra's son, Ajay Kalra, the residents sat on a dharna outside the Zone A office of the MC and demanded immediate action.

They said larvae of various insects were crawling on the roads as sewage was overflowing. Stench was emanating all around and residents were falling a prey to many diseases.

Kalra said they had written to the MC and complained verbally also before monsoons, requesting them to clean the drainage system beforehand.

Nobody, however, cared. Every time it rained, water entered houses in Madhopuri and Sunder Nagar. Still nobody could wake up the civic body.

Soon after the dharna today, sewage cleaning machines were pushed into service in the area.

The agitators handed over a memorandum to joint commissioner Mohinder Pal, who immediately ordered cleaning of sewers in the area.

Kalra said things had come to such a pass in their area that the sewage was flowing on the roads.

None of the manholes was clean enough to carry the discharge. They had repeatedly asked for cleaning machines, but these were not provided.

He added even the generator set used for these machines was out of order. Its repair, too, was ordered only today after the agitation.

‘‘We had to resort to a dharna despite being in the ruling party as nobody was listening to us," he said. 



Rains wash away admn's ambitious afforestation drive
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
Persistent rains during the last one month have derailed the ambitious afforestation drive of the district administration under which 11 lakh saplings were to be planted this season.

The administration had to plant saplings by Independence Day this year but sadly it failed to meet its deadline. Only two lakh trees were planted.

Chief parliamentary secretary Harish Rai Dhanda, who had announced the plan with much fanfare in the district in June, while talking to TNS today, said the rains did not allow them to plant saplings as there was not a single day when it did not rain.

"When it rains constantly, it becomes difficult for a sapling to settle down. That is why we have extended our deadline to the end of this fiscal year. We will meet the target of 11 lakh saplings by March 31," said Dhanda adding that the saplings already planted were doing very good.

“We will, however, continue with out afforestation drive till September 15 and try to plant as many trees as possible,” said Dhanda adding they would restart the plantation in February next year so as to achieve the target by March, 2009.

However, local crusader for environment S.S. Chana, retired forest officer, blamed the administration for starting the drive late.

He said the first week of July was scheduled for Van Mahotsav programmes since 1950s. The aim was to plant saplings during this period so that they could make use of rains, take roots and establish themselves. In Ludhiana, the drive was started very late.

The delay, however, could not be given as an excuse for deferring the drive, he said adding, “If a pit is dug well, a plant will not take long to settle down. Rather, the good monsoon this year was a perfect opportunity for tree plantation. We would have replaced our depleting tree cover.”

He rued that he had offered his services for the job by personally calling up those at the helm of affairs.

But nobody got back to him. The administration had claimed that Independence Day celebrations this year would be dedicated to the environment as saplings of different varieties would be planted in collaboration with JAGO, an NGO working for tree plantation during a meeting chaired by Dhanda.

Dhanda asked the SDMs and other officers to prepare details of government lands, sides of roads, schools and other government buildings, banks of canals and minors and even of willing private institutions and individuals for distribution of plants so that the drive could be made a success.

He had called it a revolutionary step to minimise pollution from the district, particularly from the city and to give the district a green look.



One held for attacking cops
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
The Division No 3 police today arrested a resident of Dhokka Mohalla for allegedly attempting to kill members of a police party that raided their houses last night to check illicit liquor trade.

The police team from Sarabha Nagar consisting of five cops had raided the houses in plainclothes late last night.

The alleged smugglers led by the youth, Manpreet Singh alias Sanju, attacked the cops and beat them up.

Later, additional force was sent to control the situation. Police sources said more arrests were likely.



Breaches in Banks of Sirhind Canal
Residents see threat to life, property
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 20
Residents of this part of Ludhiana and Sangrur districts are sore over the “indifferent” attitude of canal authorities.

What to talk of initiating crisis management preparations, the authorities have not even bothered to repair breaches on the banks of the Bathinda branch of Sirhind Canal Circle, passing through the area.

With reports of floods coming from various parts of the states, hundreds of families living in Jandali Khurad, Jandali Kalan, Chhanna, Pohir, Jagera, Butahri, Jhammat and dozens of other villages, situated on the bank of the canal, apprehending threat to their lives and property, have demanded an inquiry into the alleged inaction of authorities to SOS calls made by them during the past years.

In a communication to the Chief Minister, irrigation minister and the deputy commissioners of Ludhiana and Sangrur, the people have voiced their concern over the slack attitude of the canal authorities in this regard.

They alleged that the authorities had been misleading the civil works department with regard to the condition of the banks of the Sirhind canal.

The condition was worse near Jandali Khurad, railway bridge, Butahri, Khatra and Maksudra villages.

The canal banks are continuously eroding, but the authorities are yet to wake up from their slumber. Villagers have sent SOS calls to the authorities concerned, but to no avail.

Interestingly, the higher authorities, in the canal department, instead of taking action against erring officials had been claiming that those living along the canal were safe.

The survey of villages situated along the canal revealed that the roads lining the banks of the canals were being eaten into by the swift flow of water in the canal.

At some places, including the Jandali bridge area, the earth had caved in to the extent that the road was converted into a narrow trail where cars could not pass.

Near Khatra Micro Hydroelectric Plant, the northern bank lining the canal was eroded badly. A breach can develop at the place any time if water level in the canal rises.

Villagers living along the river said they were having sleepless nights due to the fear that the pressure of water could rise in the canal any time and result in the weak banks being washed away.

They say that the local administration does not have adequate flood-fighting equipment as this area is otherwise not a flood-prone area.

While a metalled road protects the southern bank of the canal, sensitive points can give way any time with water gushing into the villages. The bricks of almost all wharfs have since been washed away by the water current.



Students denied vocational training
Building awaits inauguration for 14 years
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, August 20
Girls of Government Senior Secondary School here have literally been denied the right to stand on their own feet as the vocational building, built by spending lakhs, has been awaiting inauguration for the past 14 years.

The building for providing vocational education to girls, especially from the rural areas, was constructed by the P.W.D in 1994 at Government Senior Secondary School for Girls.

But no vocational staff was provided, with the result that most of the students, who were keen on acquiring vocational knowhow, could not get it.

Apart from the teachers and the students of the school, the Parent Teacher Association has also favoured the provision of vocational education.

“The students show their eagerness for such courses as they provide them with technical knowhow but in this particular case, due to the absence of staff, we are left with no other option but to ask them to opt for another trade, sometimes much against their wishes. The irony of the situation is that the girls studying in this school do not have any option but to receive education from this particular institution due to financial and other social constraints,” a senior teacher said.

The vocational subjects, which are being taught in other government schools such as horticulture comprising agricultural trade and agricultural services, business and commerce, book-keeping and accountancy, home science, commercial garment making, knitting technology, textile craft (weaving), textile designing, engineering and technology etc. are being denied in this particular school.



Senior citizens’ day out
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
Sixty septuagenarians living at Swami Vivekananda Vridh Ashram had a memorable day out as they watched ‘God Tussi Great Ho’ at Waves Cinema today. The Chadha Group had sponsored the movie show for the senior citizens.

“Mere mention of Amitabh Bachchan tickles the memories of yesteryears,” said Ram Sarup (72), an inmate.

"I specially came to get a glimpse of the great actor as I have watched him in his biggest hits ‘Mukadar ka Sikandar’ and ‘Sholay’."

For 70-year-old Suhaag Sharma, Salman's Khan's character portrayal was the best as she remarked, "I can relate the story to my life as my son, despite getting best moral values from me, abandoned me but Salman is integrity personified as he is caring and loving towards his family.”

Forgetting their sad sagas for a while, the senior citizens were in a mood for some merriment as they applauded with glee at Big B’s entry.

Kailash and Iqbal Chand who are living in the ashram for the past nine years, sharing their experience of the movie show, said, "We never enjoyed so much in our entire life as we were busy bringing up children in our youth and amicably moved out to avoid unpleasant situations after our son's marriage."

Unable to come to terms with the present day movies, Krishan Singh, another inmate, was disappointed with the movie stating that there was no comparison to films like ‘Mother India’, ‘Chalti Ka Naam Gari’ and ‘Waqt’.

The old man, at the age of 70, has an eye for cinematography and art direction as he was all praise for the glamorous presentation of 'heaven' in the movie.

Interestingly, smile never left the faces of a group of 'old boys' sitting in the last row as long as Priyanka Chopra was on screen. One of them, a retired government official, referred to her as 'pretty woman’.

Abiding to the adage of 'no wastage', the group of senior citizens refrained from wasting their refreshments as they bundled their leftover combo meals and popcorns to savour in their leisure time at the ashram.



Insurance co told to pay consumer for negligence
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 20
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has ordered United India Insurance company and Paramout Health Services Pvt Ltd to make the payment of Rs 3000 to a consumer as compensation for not releasing his claim in time.

President of the forum T.N Vaidya and its member, D.S Bakshi, also directed to pay Rs 1000 for thrusting this litigation.The consumer will also get interest at the rate of 9 per cent per annum for the delayed period in making payment to him.

The orders were pronounced while deciding the complaint filed by Prem Pal Jain of College Road, Ludhiana.

The grievance of the consumer was that he was released the cheque of mediclaim very late even when the cheque was ready. He had to made representation to the higher officials of the company and reminders thereafter.

On the other hand, the insurance company had pleaded that actually cheque dated October 4, 2006 amounting to Rs 1,16,469 was misplaced.

There was no deficiency on the part of the insurance company. But the forum disagreed with these submissions.

The forum held that if the cheque was issued to the complainant after his representation and reminders, it certainly showed the deficiency in services.



Stir paralyses work in govt offices
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 20
Work in industrial units and government offices was paralysed after activists of various trade and employees’ unions of the area organised rallies in front of their establishments today.

Responding to a call given by the sponsoring committee of trade unions, a large number of factory workers, employees of the Punjab State Electricity Board, Food Corporation of India and a few nationalised banks shunned work and joined the protest rallies.

Accusing successive governments of ignoring the genuine demands of employees, various speakers demanded hike in wages and salaries and check on rising prices of essential commodities.

Gurdev Raj, president of Shryans Paper Mills Workers’ Union (CITU); Mohinder Kumar Yadav, president of SPL Workers’ Union (AITUC); Sikandar Singh Jartoli, president, Punjab School Teachers’ Union; Baldev Singh Latala, president, Kissan Sabha; Sukhcharanjit Singh, president, TSU; and Karam Deol, president, Pallerdar Union, were among those who addressed the rallies.



AICTU backs call for strike
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 20
The All-India Centre of Trade Unionists (AICTU) today extended their full-fledged support to the All-India State Government Employees Federation that has given a call for a nationwide strike today.

Pawan Kumar Kaushal and Bal Krishan, leading AICTU activists, today brought up the demands of the trade unions and associations of government employees, which chiefly include their remonstration against rising prices and the alleged anti-worker policies of the government.

They also voiced their protest against disinvestment in the public sector and sought modifications in the Sixth Pay Commission report.

They also desire that the government should expatiate wage negotiation apart from reforming labour laws and assuring social security to the contract labour in the central and public sectors.



3-fold rise recommended in licence fee
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
Licence fee for factories is all set to rise. A five-member committee of industrialists has recommended a three-fold hike in the fee.

The committee conveyed its recommendation at a meeting held with the director, factories, in Chandigarh today.

"The director, factories, had proposed a five-fold rise. After deliberating on the issue, we have recommended three-fold hike," said Varinder Kapoor of United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers’ Association, who is one of the members of the committee.



Pharmacists hold dharna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
The district unit of the Veterinary Pharmacists Union today held a dharna outside the office of the deputy director, animal husbandry, here to protest against the training being imparted in artificial insemination.

Bhupinder Singh Gill, president of the union, and Daljit Singh from Samrala, in a joint statement, said that they were against this move by the department.

"The training in artificial insemination is being given to 10th pass students by the department. There will be no work for pharmacists in the hospitals. Where will the pharmacists go if all are given training? It should be stopped in our interest,” said Daljit Singh. About 60 pharmacists staged a district-level dharna today.



PAU pensioners resent non-payment of
DA, other benefits

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
Pensioners of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) have expressed grave resentment over the denial of travel concession, instalment of dearness allowance (DA) and other pensionery benefits with effect from January 1, 2008.

R.R. Katyal, a retired PAU employee, said approximately 2,500 pensioners had been denied the benefits of travel concession for the past three years.

He said all the efforts of pensioners were proving to be futile as they had recently been told that no funds were available for the purpose.

Meanwhile, a five-member delegation of the pensioners today met comptroller A.S. Rana regarding the release of pension and other benefits for the month of July.

They were given an assurance that a sum of Rs 10 crore from the state government was awaited and it was expected to reach in next few days.

I.K. Garg, president, Confederation of PAU Pensioners, said Rs 20 crore would be given to the varsity by government till February 2009 for disbursement of pension.

"The government has already rejected the cess move initiated by farm scientists and economists of the varsity. They will have to make arrangements for releasing our pension. We are expected to get the pension for the month of July in the coming days but for other benefits, we have not been given any indication," he said.



Missing girl back with parents
Tribune News Service

Khanna, August 20
The police today claimed to have traced a missing six-year-old girl who was last seen by her parents in Bulepur village near Khanna.

The parents of the girl lodged a complaint of their missing daughter at Sadar Police Station, Khanna, and launched search operations.

SHO Dharampal and DSP Gursharan Singh Bedi constituted a team of police officials deployed for the task. Police officials also made announcements on loudspeakers.

"We got clues about the missing girl who went to play with her friends and went far away from her house. She forgot the way of her house in the village and went to some other village. The girl was traced with the help of area residents from near Mandi Gobindgarh", said the SHO said.



Music of ‘Sat Sri Akal’ released
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
Manpreet Singh, a turbaned Sikh from Mumbai, is all set to conquer the Punjabi film industry with his debut in ‘Sat Sri Akal’, the saga of love and faith.

Says Manpreet: "I left my engineering in third year to try my luck on the small screen with Aruna Irani's serial ‘Mehndi Tere Naam Ki’. Thereafter, I acted in Balaji’s teleserials and did modelling for some good brands."

“It was not a cakewalk to sustain on the small and silver screens for the past eight years as I was asked to give up my 'Sikhi' on a lot of occasions,” the actor informs.

"I took everything in my stride without compromising on my identity and also turned down silly roles of a truck driver and cleaner in Hindi movies. I was rewarded for my patience as I have lately been acknowledged for minor roles," reveals Manpreet.

Speaking on stakes of the movie in terms of business, the young actor said the effort was worth the risk as it was high time for Sikhs to get their share of 'global recognition' and the movie was well equipped.

‘Sat Sri Akal’, a joint venture of Frankfinn Entertainment Company Pvt Ltd and Mata Tripta Ji Charitable Trust, has dedicated the music of the movie to the late singer Ishmeet Singh.

Chairman of the Frankfinn Group K.S. Kohli, speaking on the music launch, said the movie was a family entertainer with a message.

Jagjit Singh, with his soulful singing in “Saheb Mera Meharbaan” stands out while Ishmeet's shabad recital "Dithe Sabhe Thanv" brought back the memories of his sublime performances.

The music is an amalgamation of singing talent as Sadhna Sargam, Alka Yagnik, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Sunidhi Chauhan, Richa Sharma and Abhijeet are at their melodious best.

Noted actor Arun Bali termed the film as 'suthari' and a milestone in Punjabi cinema with an ability to make the audience laugh and cry.

Actor Vivek Shauq thanked the mothers who served food to them like 'langar' at
every shoot.



MC holds suvidha camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
The Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, today organised a suvidha camp to redress the grievances of residents here today.

As many as 10 complaints related to the B&R cell, three complaints related to the O&M cell, 13 of water rates, two of the sale branch, three of the building branch, two of the health branch and the drawing branch each were redressed on the spot .

Besides, 36 cases of house tax were also solved. These included 24 T.S. -I and 12 ownership issues, said a communique by the corporation here this evening.



Brig Gill is vice-chief of Sainik board
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
Brig B.S. Gill has been appointed vice-president of the Zila Sainik Board for a period of three years.

He is a war decorated officer and recipient of Vir Chakra for bravery and Parakram Padak (wounded in battle) during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. He is a third generation Army officer and his both sons are now serving in the Army.

He will assist the DC, who is the president of the board, in discharge of duties of the board, welfare of ex-servicemen and their families, deceased soldiers and war widows and serving soldiers.

Assisted by tehsil level appointees, he will visit tehsil headquarters, sub-tehsil headquarters and big towns/villages of the district, comprising seven tehsils - Raikot, Jagraon, Payal, Khanna, Samrala and Ludhiana I and II - and interact with them on issues relating to them, said a communique by Col MS Sandhu (retd), District Sainik Welfare Officer, Ludhiana.



Part II
Manchester of India? Hardly
City Concerns
Dubbed "Manchester of India", Ludhiana has a long way to go before it can even come anywhere close. In spite of its modern infrastructure, the city can hardly cope with heavy rain that usually ends up flooding roads and houses. Waterlogging is common and despite numerous representations to the authorities concerned, nothing concrete has been undertaken to improve the situation. This is what a cross-section of Ludhianvis have to say on the issue.


The rains bring us happiness for moments and leave us helpless for hours. In our upcoming metro city, the administration and residents have joined hands to leave our city nothing but a bin of mud and pools.

On the poor side, our administration fails to provide adequate drainage and, if so happens accidentally, our residents leave no efforts in choking it with garbage. No single side, including individuals or administration, is to be blamed. It is a joint responsibility. We are never concerned about our city.

Billions are spent on roads and sewerage projects. There are scores of solutions but we never adopt even a single. If each of us makes a wish that he would keep the road and drains near his house clean and not throw garbage and polyethene, things would improve. Laws are there but without human wish to follow those, they would remain on paper only.
— Dr Robin Brar, Rajguru Nagar


A pit has come up in front of the house no 261, Aggar Nagar Enclave, Barewal road, Ludhiana, due to the heavy rains during the past several days. Sewerage has been laid down six months ago and a metal road was constructed in March, 2008.

Due to the rain water, the soil has settled down and there are low-lying plots adjoining the site. The entire road on one side has gone down and it has made big pits on the road measuring 6' in length, 4' in width and about 6'- 8' in depth.

These holes have created a serious concerns in the minds of all those living in
this area. It is dangerous for the persons walking on the road, vehicles and
specially for children playing on the roads. These holes may also cause serious
damage to our house.
— Ashok Singla, Barewal road, Ludhiana


The heavy rains leading to waterlogging is common in urban areas. The problem is worse due to excessive construction and depleting kutcha land that soaks water. During the past 20 years or so, Ludhiana gets maximum rainfall accumulation within the municipal limits as compared to the rest of the district.

Historically, all human settlements were set up on raised portion of land thus using the topography for drainage. As time passed, human habitation in low-lying areas hindered this natural flow. Sewerage system is not the only solution for waterlogging. Rainwater being the purest form of natural water can be harnessed on rooftops and used for drinking purpose.

Deep recharging wells can be dug at critical points in the city and it should be made mandatory that big structures like multiplexes and government complexes have their own such wells. Such wells already exist at multi-level parking building near Matarani chowk. Citizens are responsible for such problems. We should stop encroaching the streets and drains and use of plastic bags.
— Manjitinder S. Johal, Mandiani village, Dist Ludhiana


Have a look on the development rate and pattern of developed countries. Why they are so advanced? Why each and every person feel so secure in developed countries? They know the meaning of nationalism. They never put themselves in blame game.

They own the responsibilities. They work for others and for their nation. We need to refrain from the blame game and begin right from our own home, street and area.

Clean and planned surroundings will mean minimal waterlogging and lesser problems on the city roads. Forget thinking about only what the government has given us, instead think what we have given to the city and the nation as well. Start now.
— Minakshi Garg, K.L.S.D. College, Ludhiana


We are living in 21st century and are still involved in blame game for any mishappening. We are looking for blaming the civil administration or the government for developmental issue of the nation's economy. The problem of waterlogging has a lot to be thought about in future constructions.

There is a dire need of self-introspection. It is wrong to shift the whole responsibility on the government or to blame people. Residents may keep the city clean and green by helping not to throw wastes in the sewerage.
— Mohammad Saleem, Kamala Lohtia, S.D. College, Daresi


Ludhiana has become one of the most important cities of India. One can easily understand the lack of infrastructural facilities. The new developed colonies have not proper sewerage and heaps of garbage along the road and vacant plots is a phenomenon here when rain water accumulates due to unavailability of outlets it spread various sickness.

City roads do not have proper water outlets. Certain areas in the factories have no path and the existing makeshift structures are inundated. Irresponsible digging on roads for erecting shamiana is also one of the reasons of potholes on road.

Blockage of sewerage due to polyethene bags and garbage also play a major role in a flood-like situation. Unless there is a corruption-free administration, nothing is going to be changed. Our administrations lack foresight and commitment, People lack civic sense and discipline.
— Rev T David John, Jamalpur, Ludhiana



City Concerns

Ever increasing number of vehicles continue to choke city roads. Every 33rd hour, the roads witness a fatal accident. The mismanaged traffic can be seen flouting the traffic rules, openly.

Two-wheeler drivers are largely without helmets, majority vehicles don't follow lane rules, traffic lights are largely skipped and ruthless honking continues unabated.

Ludhiana Tribune is seeking public opinion as to what changes can be introduced in the traffic management system to allow free flow of traffic and provide some relief to the harried commuters, who battle this in sweltering summer months, torrid rains and even during chilling winters.

Is a workable community transport system in the city to reduce the traffic flow of private vehicles, at least to the places of work, feasible?

What can be done to ensure that people follow traffic rules and respect the rights of other drivers?

What is lacking in the present set up and is the Municipal Corporation and the traffic police doing their job earnestly to make the city roads safer?

Ludhiana Tribune invites its readers to write their opinion on this issue. Responses, in not more than 200 words, can be emailed to ludhianaconcerns@tribunemail.com or sent to our City Office at Bhadaur House, Ludhiana.
— City Editor



Development needs attention

A huge amount is being paid by industrialists and small traders to the state government and the corporation in the form of taxes but little attention is being paid towards the development proceedings of the city.

Nothing has been done to beautify the city since many years. Further, slogans to beautify the city and keep it neat can clean have remained till hoardings and lips.

Besides facing a lot of inconvenience at administrative offices, they have also to be the victim of wrong policies as well as rules and regulations.

System of dumping the garbage is also not as per the norms of a big city as heaps of garbage can be seen everywhere.

The state government and the administration should come out from slumber and steps must be taken to improve administration.

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.



Contests mark Urja Divas
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 20
Rajiv Gandhi Akshay Urja Divas was celebrated today at Government Senior Secondary School, Kaddon.

Various contests, including chart-making competition, model-making competition and declamation contests were organised in which students from both government and private schools actively participated.

The participants tried their best to exhibit ways and means through which India could adopt energy from the sun, wind and water in order to bring prosperity in life and make the nation self-reliant.

They especially remembered great visionary Rajiv Gandhi who initiated the movement and foresaw the solution in nature itself.

Baljinder Singh Grewal, BDPO, Doraha, who was the chief guest asked the students to preserve as much energy as possible and use renewable sources of energy so that the country could be saved from an energy crisis.

He along with the Principal of the school, Habhajan Ram, and senior teacher Major Singh, lecturer in Punjabi, distributed prizes among the winners.

Rajni Bala of Govt High School, Payal, was declared first in the chart- making competition while Simran Dhiman of Shri Guru Harkrishan Public School stood second. Amrit Pal Singh of Govt Senior Secondary School, Kaddon, was third.

Similarly, in the model- making contest, Gursewak Singh of Government Senior Secondary School, Kaddon, was first while Rajvir Singh of Saraswati Model Senior Secondary School was declared second. Mandeep Kaur of Khalsa Girls Senior Secondary School was, however, third.

In the declamation contests, Jaspreet Singh Nagi of Shri Guru Harkrishan Public School was declared first. Parneet Kaur of Senior Secondary School, Dhamot, and Manpreet Kaur of Government Senior Secondary School, Kaddon, won the second and third positions, respectively.

The students who shall now be representing their tehsil in the district-level competitions to be organised shortly.



PU Poll
Schoolteachers on door-to-door campaign
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
Besides college students and certain politicians, schools have also joined the campaign for Panjab University elections.

DAV schoolteachers have been assigned the task to campaign for their nominated representatives. The school largely tops the city chart as far as toppers in different streams are concerned.

"The September examination are round the corner and we are hard-pressed to get the best results. The irony of the situation is that in private institutions, we don't even have an option to tell our authorities that campaigning for elections is not part of our job profile", a senior teacher said on condition of anonymity.

Teachers are first expected to conduct their normal classes and then engage in door-to-door campaigning.

They are expected to carry a list of the eligible PU senate voters who are at least graduates of the university.

Each teacher is expected to visit and convince at least 20 voters. At the same time, sources said the school authorities had made it mandatory for senior students to ensure at least five votes each.

A teacher, on condition of anonymity, complained, "Yesterday we were told by the school authorities to visit the voters’ houses. We were told to convince them so that they should vote for their nominated representative."

Another teacher complained: "In a private job, one can be assigned any task without his consent. We were recruited as teachers in the school, look what kind of work are made to do. Besides teaching, we have to go from door to door in order to convince the voters to vote for our nominated person."



Teachers’ union members wear black badges
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
Members of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) wore black badges today at their respective colleges in protest against the state government's dilly-dallying attitude in implementing their long-pending demands.

A union leader said this was a mild protest against the government as teachers did not want to disturb the new academic session.

He said their demands included 95 per cent grant-in aid scheme, pension and gratuity of retired teachers and 100 per cent parity to director, physical education and librarians.

"The demands have been pending for a long time and governments (both Congress and SAD) had given assurances that these will be implemented soon, but nothing has been done till date", said the leader, Prof Rajinder Singh, adding that all the PCCTU teachers in the state wore black badges today.



Agricultural teachers form federation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 20
Scientists of agricultural universities perform duties which are entirely different from those in traditional universities, so the former must be treated differently with pay scales at par with IIM/ IITs and other national institutes.

Keeping this in mind, a conference of representatives of various agricultural universities teachers’ association of north zone was organised by Punjab Agricultural University Teachers' Association (PAUTA) today at the faculty club.

All representatives unanimously decided to form a federation to collectively represent the demands of the teachers.

Federation of North Zone Agricultural Universities Teachers' Associations was today formed and presidents and secretaries were unanimously elected.

Mukesh Siag, convener of the newly formed federation, said all representatives had demanded that Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) must set up its pay revision committee for recommending distinct pay package for agricultural scientists.

"The federation has been formed to collectively take up demands, issues, problems of agricultural university teachers with ICAR and other central agencies," he said.

Dr M.S. Mahal, chairman of the federation, said the house felt that ICAR should give 100 per cent assistance to implementation of pay scales and it shall be made mandatory on the state government's part to ensure that the ICAR pay review committee recommendations were implemented.

A complete charter of demands by the federation will be submitted to the director general, ICAR, agricultural minister and Prime Minister in the near future, he added.

The chairman and convener will be appointed on rotational and annual basis. Besides PAUTA, others who attended the conference included representatives of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University Teachers’ Association, YS Parmar University of Horticulture Sciences and Forestry Teachers’ Association, Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University Teachers’ Association and CCS Haryana Agricultural University Teachers’ Association.



Inter-zonal Basketball Tourney
PAU zone emerge champs
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 20
Green Land Senior Secondary School, Jalandhar bypass branch, stamped its authority to emerge champions in the Ludhiana District Inter-Zonal Basketball Tournament (boys U-17) organised by the education department at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

In the final, Green Land Senior Secondary School lads, representing the PAU Zone, romped home victorious without facing much resistance from their opponents, the Ludhiana II Zone. They helped their zone to win the verdict 36-16.

However, in the boy's U-14 years section, cagers of the Ludhiana II Zone avenged their defeat as they overcame a stiff challenge from the PAU Zone, comprising of Green Land Senior Secondary School and emerged champions.

Rajesh Rudra and Tejinder Chopra, director and vice-principal of the school, respectively, congratulated the lads on success and for bringing fame to the school.



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