L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


PU Senate Polls
Remarkable win for city candidates
Three elected from principal’s constituency, one from lecture’s
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
With the declaration of results of two constituencies — principal and lecturer, Ludhiana candidates have once again proved their mettle at the senate elections of Panjab University.

The results of both constituencies were declared at Chandigarh.

Almost all candidates for these constituencies were camping at Chandigarh with their supporters at the time of the counting of votes.

From the principal’s constituency, three local candidates -- Prof Satish Sharma (principal, DAV College, Jagraon), Prof R.S. Jhanji (A.S. College, Khanna) and Prof H.S. Ghosal (Gobind National College, Narangwal) -- emerged winners.

A total of eight senators were to be chosen from this constituency, for which 13 persons had filed their nominations.

In the lecturer’s constituency, Mukesh Arora from SCD Government College here won with maximum votes of 307. This is his fourth consecutive win. Earlier, he had contested from the graduate’s constituency.

Harpreet Dua, sitting senator and a Punjabi lecturer at the local GGN Khalsa College, also won.

From this constituency, eight senators were to be elected and 12 candidates from all over the state had filed their papers.

A former president of the PCCTU, Prof K.B.S Sodhi, said the district had always performed well in the senate elections.

He said it was a matter of pride that from the principal’s constituency, three local candidates had won.

The result for the graduate’s constituency would be declared tomorrow.


Woman killed in roof collapse
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Khanna, September 23
Channo (56), a resident of Purana Bazar, was killed when the roof of her house collapsed due to heavy rain today.

Her 19-year-old daughter Rajji was rescued after around two hours.

The incident took place in the wee hours of today. The roof collapsed over the room in which they were sleeping.

The family members said water started seeping from the roof two days ago. The patch was repaired with mud.

Residents said the loud noise in the morning woke-up neighbours who reached the spot. “A log of wood from the ceiling had fallen upon the woman and she died on the spot. Her daughter was rescued after around two hours and rushed to the civil hospital,” they said. Her condition is stable.

Senior police officials, including the DSP and SDM, reached the spot and assured help to the family. The SDM, Sukhwinder Singh Gill, said the matter would be taken up with the administration to release compensation for the family.

“Rainwater has been seeping from roofs and walls of many houses in the locality for the past four days,” said Ashok Kumar, a resident.



Rahul’s Visit
Left-out Congress leaders sulk
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
A day before the visit of AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi, there were many sullen faces in the Congress today. Some leaders claimed that they were not given passes to attend his function at Guru Nanak Bhawan tomorrow.

Sources in the Youth Congress said only delegates of the AICC and the PPCB had been given passes. Although there was a seating capacity of 800 persons in the bhawan, not many passes had been issued.

Seeing the general mood of the local leaders, the AICC has organised an address of Rahul Gandhi at a tourist resort, where he would thank Congress leaders and workers for their support.

“We will only have a glimpse of Rahul Gandhi. Although we wanted to meet him personally, we would not be allowed to do so. The special protection group will not allow us to go near him,’’ a Youth Congress leader, requesting anonymity, said.

“The way they are treating the grassroot workers, it is only going to leave them angry. If they are treated like this, what will be the fate of the party in the state?” another leader wondered.

Rahul Gandhi would also be visiting the PAU to meet progressive farmers.

Meanwhile, the Congress has “painted” the entire city in party colours. All roundabouts have Congress flags. The work was started in the afternoon to avoid MC action.

‘‘We are playing safe and we will put most of the banners and hoardings in the evening so that the MC does not remove those,” a leader entrusted with publicity said.



Master Plan
6,000 small units face closure
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
With the approval of the master plan for the city, as many as 6,000 small-scale industries and trade units at Shimla Puri and Janta Nagar will face closure.

The master plan shows these areas as residential areas despite the presence of these units.

The association of SSIs and traders had filed their objections with the town planning department, but these were not considered.

They said 6,000 unit owners and at least 1 lakh workers were earning their livelihood in these areas. All of them would have to relocate now.

Industrialists and traders have decidd to protest against the master plan. They would gherao the deputy commissioner and the Chief Minister.

“We had organised a congregation of industrialists, which was attended by SAD and Congress leaders. They only extended promises. We spend lakhs of rupees on organising their political functions during elections. And they have ditched us. Why should we spend money if we know they will not support us?" asked Gurwant Singh, general secretary of the association.

“We could not understand why this was done. We have been running our outlets from here for the past couple of decades,” he said.

When the master plan was being drafted, they had held a meeting and leaders like jails minister Hira Singh Gabria and Deputy Speaker Satpal Gosain had assured them that they would convey their message to the Chief Minister and all aspects would be considered.

“What has the government done for us? They have not set up any new industrial focal point where all these people could shift to. They are selling government land at Rs 2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh per sq yard. Where shall we go?” they asked.



LIT gets nod to auction complex
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 23
A 2.22 acre ultra modern commercial complex of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) on Maharanai Jhansi road here has received the assent of the state government to be auctioned at a reserve price of Rs 197 crore.

The auction is expected to be conducted in November after nationwide publicity to attract leading real estate developers and other companies. The complex is expected to yield over Rs 250 crore to the trust.

Built at a cost of more than Rs 16 crore, the complex is close to the upmarket commercial area of Ghumar Mandi.

Initially, LIT officials were of the view that the trust could have made more money if all 88 units in the complex were auctioned separately over a period, but the department of local bodies wanted it to be sold as a single unit to the highest bidder in a transparent bidding process, even though there is no such provision in the Punjab Town Improvement Act.

LIT executive officer Avtar Singh Azad told The Tribune that the built-up area in the complex was 8,234 sq yard. The two-level parking in lower and upper basement had space for 250 cars and as many two-wheelers.

On the ground floor of the complex, a provision has been made for four banks and 14 showrooms. It could have two restaurants, two department stores and 11 showrooms each on the first, second and third floors. The fourth floor has space for 41 offices and four small shops.

The fifth floor will be a residential area with eight apartments, each having three bedrooms and a carpet area of 1,880 sq ft.



City Concerns

Though Ludhiana claims to be one of the top industrial towns in the country, its roads present a picture of neglect and apathy on part of the government. While the state highways are being fast upgraded, the local authorities seem to have turned a blind eye to the harrowing time that thousands of commuters face due to potholes.

Residents rue the fact that despite contributing crores to the national as well as the state exchequer and generating employment for thousands of people from all over the country, the roads here are in a pitiable state.

The GT Road between Vishvakarma chowk to Dholewal, link roads to industrial area, the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road and scores of other patches are a daily reminder of public discomfort.

Ludhiana Tribune seeks public opinion on the way to handle this problem. Who is to be blamed for the present condition of roads? How far is heavy, unregulated traffic responsible for the state of roads and what can be done about it? Does it make sense to hand over the construction and upkeep of internal roads to private parties on nominal fee?

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



Bomb scare at railway station
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
A hoax call created panic among passengers at railway station barely hours before the arrival of Youth Congress leader Rahul Gandhi to the city late last night.

The hoax call was made at the PCO situated at platform No. 2 at around 2.30 am.

According to the PCO owner, it was the voice of a male. The caller said the terrorist had planted a bomb at the railway station. This news spread like wild fire. Soon a joint team of GRP and RPF sprung into action. A bomb squad and sniffer dogs were pressed into service.

A massive search operation lasted for an hour. The team searched all booths situated at the railway station, railway line, parcels and suitcases of the passengers.

Later it turned out to be a hoax call. A senior GRP officer said, “We are not taking the call lightly and that is why we have intensified the security at the railway station.”

The security was also tightened in city due to the visit of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

SSP R.K. Jaiswal conducted all SHO meeting last evening to ensure that no untoward incident should take place during the visit of the Congress leader.



Rly Ticket Scam
Official facing fraud charges reinstated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 23
The Northern Railway authorities have revoked the suspension orders of Iqbal Singh, assistant station master of Dhandari railway station, and he has been posted at Jassian railway station till the completion of inquiry against him. He has been indicted and a vigilance probe will be conducted to bring out the facts on the receipt of his reply.

Iqbal was placed under suspension last month after the anti-fraud wing of the railways charged him with embezzlement in a blank paper ticket (BPT) racket involving an amount of several lakhs.

According to prima facie report of the officials of anti-fraud wing, the accused official while posted at Dhandari was involved in a racket of issuing BPTs to railway travellers for far off places while the receipts submitted to railway authorities showed these tickets to have been issued for nearby destinations.

On a tip off, a team of the anti-fraud wing had intercepted more than half a dozen BPTs issued to passengers for destinations in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh while the carbon copy of the same tickets in BPT book showed the fare to have been charged for Khanna and Rajpura. The scam involved huge amount of money, which was evident from the fact that in a single day the said official had issued BPTs worth Rs 4,500 while showing a total collection of just Rs 150 from these tickets.

Since the fraud was being committed for more than a year, the amount involved was estimated to be several lakhs, indicated the railway officials.



‘Healthy Heart Expo’ from Sept 26
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 23
Aiming to focus on World Heart Day’s theme “Know Your Risk”, the heart centre at SPS Apollo Hospitals here will organise a “Healthy Heart Expo 2008” from September 26 to 28.

The event will cover activities like free heart check-up camp, a CME, walk for healthy heart, public lectures, exhibitions and drawing competitions.

Heart attack survival kits will be given free of cost to first 200 participants.

Addressing mediapersons today, Dr K.C. Mukherjee, senior consultant cardio-thoracic surgeon at the hospital, said heart disease and stroke were the world’s largest killers, claiming 17.5 million human lives each year.

By the end of the century, India would account for more than half of the total heart patients in the world.

Yet, when a heart attack struck, most people did not know what to do, resulting in loss of valuable time — during which the heart becomes increasingly damaged with the result that 50 per cent of patients with myocardial infarction die before reaching emergency medical care.

Dr G.L. Avasthi, director medical services of the hospital, said a camp would be organised from September 26 wherein patients would be screened and provided with follow-up advice.

The expo would provide important information on heart problems to general public and enable medical professionals to keep them abreast with latest developments in the fields of cardiology and cardio-vascular surgery, added Dr Avasthi.

Dr S.P. Singh, COO of the hospital, observed: “Education through mass awareness is finding prime of place in healthcare delivery today with hospitals across the globe giving more priority to this segment. We, too, have constantly endeavored to innovate and create new ways to educate masses across the country.”



Transport Nagar sans basic amenities
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
Residents and traders of the Transport Nagar have been facing hardship owing to lack of basic amenities in the area.

Recent rains have left huge potholes on roads in the area, not only making the lives of motorists miserable but also posing a health threat to people due to stagnant water.

With the area housing migrant labourers, the area has become an eyesore for residents.

All-India Motor Transport Congress chief K.S. Lohara said living conditions had gone from bad to to worse.

“We have met various officials in the past. Even mayor Hakan Singh Giaspura visited the place thrice, but to no avail,” said Lohara. Now, they are pinning their hopes on the visit of the municipal commissioner.

He rued that the sewerage system in the area was non-functional due to which foul smell often enveloped the area.

S.C. Gupta, a trader, said the condition of the area had been affecting their business as very few customers visited them. He added that around 500 heavy vehicles passed the area every day.

“Small vehicles like cars and auto-rickshaws often get stuck in potholes. It is a nightmare for two-wheeler riders as they have to negotiate.” Workers were falling prey to water-borne diseases like dengue, he said.

Encroachments in the area too were adding to the chaos, he added.

Area transporters were now planning to send a proposal to the government urging it to shift the Transport Nagar to another place if it was unable to provide basic amenities.

Renu, a resident, said the place had become unsafe for children as it was dangerous for them to venture on the road.

Area municipal councillor Pritpal Singh Ghail said he had been making efforts to initiate the process of patch work in the area. He added that if the municipal house meetings were held regularly, the councillors could do their work more effectively.



Industry rues bad roads in Focal Point
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
Industrialists are upset at the cancellation of a meeting with the industry by municipal corporation commissioner regarding bad roads in Focal Point.

The industrialists said the meeting was called off at the last moment and it only reflected the corporation’s attitude towards problems of the industry here.

“We wanted to tell the commissioner about the deplorable condition of industrial infrastructure at the Focal Point. But cancellation of the visit does not speak healthy of the MC,” said Avtar Singh, general secretary, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings.

The commissioner had been invited by the Focal Point Welfare Association.

Industrialists alleged that poor condition of roads was adding to the troubles of the industry.

“The problem needs to be dealt with on priority and Focal Point should be developed properly so that the industry can function smoothly and attract foreign buyers.”



Vidarbha to adopt Punjab model to save cotton
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
An effective and popular model of integrated pest management (IPM) in cotton had been developed and followed in the cotton belt of Punjab to revive green revolution, said Dr G.S. Chahal, team leader of Sir Ratan Tata Trust (SRTT).

The model included a package of technologies developed by PAU scientists in a project funded by the trust, said Dr Chahal. He emphasised that the focus under the programme remained on maximising yield of cotton with minimum use of pesticides.

The trust along with the department of agriculture had adopted 224 villages for large-scale dissemination of IPM technology through a unique approach of hiring young boys of villages as scouts who were trained to guide farmers under the supervision of skilled field officers, consultants of the trust and officers of the department of agriculture.

The efforts helped keep the menace of mealy bug under control. Apart from advice on judicious use of pesticides, the farmers were guided on critical inputs, as a result of which a majority of cotton growers in adopted villages now sowed only approved varieties of cotton.

In light of the success of the project, the trust had extended the same model to Vidarbha (Maharashtra) tract of cotton. A group of officials of the trust and representatives of NGOs had a three-day visit to the cotton project areas.



US economy to blame: MCPI (U)
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
The meltdown in US economy is not only leading to bankruptcy of international banks but also having an impact on India, as it was leading to suicides by share brokers.

This was stated by Nacchattar Singh of the Marxist Communist Party of India (United) while addressing the meeting of its state committee.

Accompanied by party’s state secretary Kuldip Singh, Nacchattar Singh said the unprecedented fall in share prices was a result of global crisis of capitalism, which emanated from implementation of liberal and non-liberal policies.

The leader said the Indian economy was suffering from slowdown and recession that in turn was creating jobless growth and high prices.

Among others present were Prem Singh Bhangu, Sher Singh Pharwali, Pawan Kumar Kaushal and Ajit Singh Kalia.



World Bank-aided scheme discussed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
The state programme management cell of the water supply department held a meeting with contractors yesterday to discuss the progress of World Bank-aided project for providing potable water and sewerage in villages across the state. State programme director Sita Ram Aggarwal chaired the meeting.

Aggarwal told the contractors to complete their work on time and assured them of cooperation. He said the Rs 1,280-crore project had been started to provide safe drinking water to residents of 3,200 villages. On a complaint by a contractor that the Punjab State Electricity Board was not giving power for tubewell connections, the officer said it was the duty of his department.



Sub-registrar’s file forwarded for action
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
The tehsildar-cum-sub-registrar, Arvind Parkash Verma, is likely to be suspended as the district administration has sent his case to the state government following his arrest by the Vigilance Bureau in a graft case.

Deputy commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar said he had sent his file to the government for further action.

As per rules, any government official, who is arrested and remains in police custody for more than 24 hours is put under suspension. It has been five days since Verma was arrested. No official has been appointed in the sub-registrar (west) office yet.

No work was taken up at both offices of the sub-registrar today also. The SR (W) office remained closed throughout the day. The sub-registrar (E) was sitting in his office since morning, but there was no staff on computers.

Sources said computer operators had gone on strike as they had not been paid their salaries.



Students’ union gives memo to DSW
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
The Punjab Agricultural University Students' Union (PAUSA) today presented a charter of demands to director students’ welfare (DSW), Dulcha Singh Brar, with a request that these needs to be addressed on priority basis.

Gurprit Singh Brar, president PAUSA, on behalf of the students demanded reopening of Students' Home canteen on the campus, which was closed for more than one-and-a-half year now. He said the students as well as visitors had to face a tough time in absence of proper canteen on the campus.

He said more sitting benches should be provided by the authorities.

Brar further said the opening of the gate between hostel No 1 and hostel No 2 was necessary as it would cut short the distance between both the hostels and would benefit the students, who walk to college from the hostel No 2. He said that library must be opened till 9 o'clock on weekends and holidays that fall between the dates of examinations.

Besides, the students asked the authorities to provide them internet facility at Students' Home, hot water in the hostels during winters, flood lights in basketball, volleyball and handball courts and new office to the PAUSA as the earlier office had been converted into a computer room.

The president said the DSW had agreed to many of their demands. "He has assured us that he will handover the charter to the authorities for further action", said Gurpreet Brar.



Vet Varsity
Randhawa joins as comptroller
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
B.S. Randhawa, former secretary to PAU vice-chancellor, has joined as comptroller, GADVASU.

Prior to his joining the PAU, Randhawa had worked in the defence audit department of C&AG of India in different capacities as senior audit officer, assistant audit officer, section officer and auditor from from 1974-2005.

He has an experience of 31 years of service. GADVASU vice-chancellor Dr V.K. Taneja greeted Randhawa on his joining as comptroller.



PAU retirees get pension for 2 months
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 23
The pensioners of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) had a sigh of relief with the release of pension for two months — July and August — by the authorities.

A cheque of Rs 10 crore was received by the university last week, which was distributed as pension for two months among the retirees recently.

One of the retirees, B.D. Tandon, told The Tribune that arrears like dearness allowance and leave travel concession (LTC) since January were still awaited by the pensioners.

“The arrears for the past nine months have not been given to retirees. The pension, too, is being given in installments by the government. We want it to be distributed on regular basis and they must clear all our dues,” he said.

The university authorities maintained that since the month of September was also going to end, more funds were required from the state government. An official, on condition of anonymity, said until the backlog was cleared by the government, paying pension in installments will not serve any purpose.

It may be mentioned here that about 2,500 retirees of the varsity had threatened to move to Punjab and Haryana High Court against the violation of the court’s orders by the government and the PAU authorities.



Tavern employee murdered
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 23
A minor argument between customers and employees of a tavern proved fatal for one while the other was seriously hurt.

The incident occurred last night at a liquor vend of Kaunke Kalan. Baldev Singh and Sukhwinder Singh, both resident of Dangian village, were consuming liquor at the tavern of Bahadur Singh. The tavern was adjoining the liquor vend where Ramanand Tiwari (32) and Satyanand Tiwari (42), migrants from Uttar Pradesh, were working as salesmen.

Baldev and Sukhwinder asked for more liquor, which the salesmen refused as the vend had been closed. At this first they had an argument and after a brief scuffle Sukhwinder took out a knife from his pocket and stabbed both the salesman. Satyanand died on the spot while Ramanand was admitted to CMCH, Ludhiana.

The Jagraon police registered the case on the statement of Jagjit Singh of Gill village here, owner of the vend. Both the accused fled under the cover of darkness.



Cheating Case
SAD legal cell chief, six others acquitted
Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 23
After a trial that spanned 13 years, a local court has acquitted Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) legal cell’s acting chairman Iqbal Singh Gill and six other persons facing charges of cheating and forgery.

They were accused of selling around 13 acres land worth Rs 65 lakh of a woman in connivance with each other by forging her signatures.

Judicial magistrate Randhir Verma passed the orders. Those acquitted include Gurpreet Singh of Urban Estate Dugri, Naginder Singh and Pal Singh, both residents of of Bolke village, lawyer Chander Shekhar of Rajguru Nagar, Yadwinder Singh of Machhiwara.

A case under Sections 420, 465, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC was registered at the Sahnewal police station on May 30, 1995 on a complaint moved by 90-year-old Daya Kaur of Arjan Nagar, Patiala.

She had moved an application against her step-grandson Gurpreet Singh to DIG Ludhiana range for registration of case.

It was stated that her husband was the owner of land at Baunkar village, Ludhiana.

He had executed a will in favour of the complainant. Her husband died in 1994, after which she became the owner.

She had claimed that due to ill-health and old age, she entrusted the management of land to her step-grandson Gurpreet Singh as she had no children.

Taking advantage of her physical incapacity, her step-grandson sold her property through different sale deeds in March and April, 1995.

It was further alleged that her signature on the sale deeds were fabricated.

She had demanded legal action against the accused person.

After inquiring into the matter, the police also chargesheeted other accused finding them guilty of conniving with each other to usurp the land. The prosecution had examined 10 witnesses to prove its case.

On the other hand, the accused submitted before the court that they were innocent and had been implicated falsely.

After appreciating the evidence on record, the court did not find the accused guilty and exonerated from the charges levelled by the prosecution.



Shooting Tourney
Amreen bags top honours
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, September 23
Amreen Bath of Ludhiana has made her mark in the rifle shooting by bagging top honours in the district as well as the state championship.

Amreen, a student of XIth of Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana, won a gold medal in the 10 m peep sight rifle event in the Ludhiana District Rifle Shooting Championship, held at Markfed Shooting Ranges, Mohali, recently. She emerged winner in the junior and senior sections to make her presence felt.

Subsequently, Amreen, daughter of a former inter-varsity handball star, Dr J. S. Bath and granddaughter of former director, students welfare, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, repeated this feat in the Punjab State Rifle Shooting Championship conducted at the same venue early this month and brought fame to her school and city.

Amreen started her shooting training at Ranjitgarh Shooting Club of the Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, under the watchful eyes of coach, Sukhdev Chand, who honed her skills, which helped her a lot to perform at different tournaments. At present, she undergoes the training at the newly built Arjuna Shooting Range at Satish Chander Dhawan Government College for Boys campus where coach Gurjeet Singh imparts her the training.

Sister Chantel, principal of Sacred Heart Convent School, appreciated Amreen's achievements and wished her more success in the upcoming tournaments.



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