L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


When Badal comes, 'work' goes out
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
Frequent visits of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to the city are not only making bureaucrats see red, but residents also seem to be harassed a lot due to continuous VIP movement.

The Chief Minister has visited the city thrice in the past four days creating problems for the city residents as well as bureaucrats.

As the entire government machinery remains busy with the CM’s visit, no work is taken up at public offices. Senior officials stay away to be with the CM and the rest of the staff has a field day. All this makes the residents suffer as their work remains pending.

‘‘There was no work on Friday as Badal was here. Then it was the weekend. Today again, none of the officials was available as the CM came for the Valmiki Jayanti function. We do not know what to do,’’ said Gurdev Singh, a resident, who has been making frequent rounds to meet a senior official for the past many days.

Besides, the residents have to face problems while commuting through heavily guarded roads. When the CM has to pass through a road, it is cordoned off for sometime. The route is either diverted or there is a traffic jam.

‘‘We are held responsible by the public for not performing our duties. But what can we do? We have to be present with the Chief Minister. We cannot work and all our other responsibilities also suffer,’’ said a senior official. Badal would be visiting day after tomorrow and then two-three times more before Diwali, he added. ‘‘Not only us, but the cops too are a harassed lot. They have not slept for days.’’

Today, when Badal had to address the function at Daresi ground, many patients had to suffer as they could not enter the Rama Charitable Hospital in the area. The only way to the hospital, the main gate to Daresi ground, too was heavily guarded and was closed.

‘‘Mostly poor people come to this hospital. They were either shooed away or had to face a lot of harassment to get an entry. The cops started frisking people in the morning only,’’ said Mahal Singh, a resident of the area. He said his relative was to be taken to the hospital as he had fever. But the patient suffered more while he was being taken to the hospital than he could have due to fever.

‘‘It is fine that the CM is addressing grievances here. But there has to be a system that people are not harassed,’’ said a resident.


DBA poll activities in full swing
Ghumman stakes claim for presidentship
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, October 13
President of the District Bar Association (DBA) Parupkar Singh Ghumman announced that he would re-contest the elections for the post of the association president. He made this announcement at a meeting of his supporters in the lawyers chamber complex today.

Another senior lawyer Stevon Soni had already announced his candidature for the same post last month. He has already started door to door campaign to convince the lawyers to vote in his favour.

With the jumping of these two stalwarts in the fray, the contest for this post appears to be tough. The annual elections for 11 posts of the DBA are scheduled to be held on December 20. In the last elections, 1,449 lawyers were registered as voters, out of which 1,255 had taken part in the election process. This year, the number of registered voters was likely to increase upto 1,500.

Last year, Parupkar Singh Ghumman had won the elections by defeating his two opponents in a triangular contest. He had won the elections with a margin of more than 250 votes. His supporters claimed that he had done much for the welfare of legal fraternity. This was the reason that they insisted him to re-contest in the coming elections.

Other names which were being heard in the district courts complex included Vishal Gupta for the post of vice-president, Kamaljit Sharama, Rakesh Bhatia and Amandeep Bhanot for the post of secretary. Names of Naveen Sharma and Sandeep Arora, executive members of the DBA, were also being heard as the aspirants for the post of finance secretary.



Diamond Robbery
When protectors turn predators
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
The alleged involvement of security guard in high profile robbery case involving diamonds worth Rs 1. 75 corores has brought to the fore the misuse of government machinery for criminal purposes.

Mohit was reportedly misusing the security guards, assigned to his father for security purpose.

Surprisingly, the top brass of the police shrugged off the responsibility to question the vigilance SSP Patiala, Shiv Kumar Sharma, the authority to provide a body guard to his son, which has been appointed for Shiv Kumar's personal security.

The investigation in the case revealed that at least two gunmen belonging to the SSP were involved in the crime.

While one security guard, Harbans Lal, joined the investigation and further sent to three day police remand the other gunner is still absconding.

The investigations have also revealed that his gunman actually hired the vehicles used for the theft. They acted very swiftly and robbed the jeweller in a daring midnight robbery. The involvement of gunners in the criminal offices has raised alarm as the protector himself became a criminal.

Under fire for providing security to his son Mohit Sharma, the SSP Vigilance Patiala Shiv Kumar Sharma refuted the allegations and said that he had provided security to his son as his entire family was on the hit-list of dreaded criminals.



Vet varsity student hurt in brawl
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
Deepinder Singh, IIIrd year student of the College of Veterinary Sciences, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), sustained head injuries during a brawl that took place at hostel No. 8 here yesterday night. Deepinder, a resident of Bathinda, was immediately rushed to the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) for check-up.

According to an eyewitness, who did not wish to be quoted, Deepinder along with his roommate was sleeping when Kuljotvir, a final year student of the College of Veterinary Sciences, along with three-to-four other students attacked him with an iron rod. Kuljotvir was drunk,” the student alleged.

Raj Sukhbir Singh, hostel warden, said the reason behind the brawl was still not clear. The matter was being probed into and actual picture will only be known once the statements of eyewitnesses are recorded. “We don’t know whether outsiders were involved in the brawl or not”, he added.

The Sarabha Nagar police station SHO, however, said they were not aware of the brawl as no one had lodged any complaint in this regard.



Drug Peddling
Kin of NRIs under scanner
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 13
NRIs, who have been showering currency notes on outstanding players on the occasion of village sports and dancing girls on the occasion of social functions might preserve their “generosity” as certain security agencies have initiated the process to ascertain the exact source of their income.

These agencies were prompted to act after reports of alleged involvement of natives of some villages of Ludhiana district in cases of drug pedalling registered in Canada and the US. Youths from Sudhar, Sahauli, Aitiaana, Akalgarh, Buraj Littan, Gill and Noorpura villages of Ludhiana district, who had immigrated to Canada through various legal and illegal channels.

Jasbir Singh Jassa, a native of Akalgarh village, and a commercial driver settled in Surry of Canada, was recently arrested by the US police at the Canadian border. Three bags containing over two lakh tablets of a banned product worth Rs 9 crore were found concealed among toilet papers. Rammi of Sahauli village, an international football player, was also involved in the drug trafficking. SSP Ludhiana (rural) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said officials in special branch had directed to keep a vigil in areas where the concerned smugglers were reported to have links. 



Problems galore at Meena Bazaar
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Pick pockets have a field day

Pickpocketing is another problem plaguing the bazaar. The area is a haven for pickpockets who have a field day as the traffic congestion in the lane increases with the passing of every hour. In the absence of traffic management, the pickpockets, taking advantage of the chockablock roads, mix with the crowd and without anyone noticing, slip away with the booty from the shoppers' pockets. "If anyone dares to intervene, he has to pay the price as the pickpockets turn around on him and avenge themselves. That is why most cases of pickpocketing go unreported. They are armed with big knives and don't hesitate to assault anyone who comes in their way," said Bhag Chand, a shop owner in the area and victim of the brutality of a pickpocket, who attacked him for trying to save a customer from being looted.

Ludhiana, October 13
Meena Bazaar, the second largest confectionery and box market in the country after Delhi, seems to have become the “city of woes” for businessmen and residents of the area. But numerous complaints to the authorities concerned over the years have failed to bear fruit.

Housing over 100 shops, the 18-foot wide bazaar is a dingy narrow lane with shops on both sides of the street, which seem to be ready to burst at the seams even as the area outside, as wide as 4 foot, has been encroached upon by them.

Narrow labyrinths with hardly any space for the movement of vehicles are witness to incessant traffic jams from the time the shops open in the morning till they close down late in the evening.

Not only this, the market is the breeding place for epidemics and diseases with open drains full of filth and garbage on both sides of the lane. "We have complained many times to the MC authorities, but to no avail," rued Harbhajan Singh, general secretary of the Ludhiana Confectioners' Association.

He added that there was only one sweeper for the area extending from Pansari Bazaar to Meena Bazaar. However, since he retired about six years ago, there was no sweeper for the place. "The shop owners have hired a private sweeper, but he does not have required equipment to clean the overflowing drains," Singh said.

As if this was not enough, electricity wires, hanging lose over the shops and houses, pose a threat to the lives of not only the residents but also to the lives of the customers who come to the market.

The residents also complained about dirty drinking water supply in the area. "We get sewerage water that is unfit for drinking but the MC seems to be least bothered if we fall ill or even die," said a resident.

Not only this, there were areas which did not get any water supply and residents had to walk a kilometer to fetch water, he said.

A close look at the shops revealed that the area was ill-equipped to deal with any incident of fire. "In case of emergency, the fire tender will take about two hours to reach the site of incident as the traffic is so heavy and the lane is too narrow for a big vehicle to enter," said another shop owner of the area. "Seems like the authorities are waiting for a tragedy to happen," he said.

When contacted, Ludhiana municipal corporation commissioner G.S. Ghuman said: "I have not come across any complaints from the shop owners of Meena Bazaar or residents of the area since I joined duties. However, I will look into the issues of drinking water supply and encroachments and make sure things are set right."



Principal secretary inspects grain market
Our Correspondent

Doraha, October 13
Principal secretary to the Chief Minister D.S Guru visited the local grain market to take stock of the arrival, procurement and the lifting of paddy apart from hearing to the problems being faced by farmers.

Guru said at least 13 principal secretaries had been deputed to overlook the day-to-day problems being faced the farmers in 20 districts. “ I have visited grain markets at Barnala, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Moga and Faridkot and tried to solve the problems being faced by the farmers. The stress is being laid on plugging the loopholes for proper coordination between the farmers and the procurement agencies,” Guru added.

He said farmers were being given their dues within 48 hours at all procurement agencies and centres. “About 36 lakh metric tons has already been lifted till date out of which 32 lakh metric tons has been lifted by government agencies and four by private parties.

Sumer Singh Gurjar, deputy commissioner, Ludhiana, Neeru Katayal Gupta, Payal SDM, Jit Singh Pal, secretary, Doraha market committee, S.P.Verma, president, arhtiya association, Sarbjit Singh Mangat, president ,all-traders association, were among those present on the occasion. 



Organ Donation Day to be observed on Oct 15
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 13
Organ Donation and Transplantation Day will be observed at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) here on October 15. DMCH, in association with GLODAS INDIA (Gift of Life Organ Donation Awareness Society), will focus on creating awareness about organ donation and transplant in the course of different activities to be undertaken on the occasion.

Giving details of the programme, Dr Baldev Singh Aulakh, president, GLODAS INDIA, who is professor and head of urology and transplant surgery at DMCH, informed that finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal will preside over the opening function. This event would be a forerunner to the conference on organ transplantation being organised here on October 17 and 18 which will be attended by a galaxy of transplant surgeons from all over the world.

Vice-president of GLODAS INDIA Dr GPI Singh stated that this day is celebrated worldwide to highlight the importance of organ and tissue donation in order to save human lives. Dr Singh, who is also the head of social and preventive medicine at DMCH, explained that apart from a major health need, organ donation is a significant social issue.

From the medical point of view, it needs to be understood that there are a large number of medical conditions in which some of the organs of human body may fail to function irreversibly either due to infections, systemic internal disorders or due to injury. In such conditions, the only treatment is to replace these organs or tissues with donated organs from other human beings by transplantation.

Dr Singh remarked it a pity that in India every year nearly 1.5 lakh persons with kidney disease need kidney transplant, but only about 3,000 kidney transplants are done in the country.

"It is pathetic and painful for doctors and relatives to see the patient needing a transplant dying in front of them for want of a donor. The only logical and scientific answer to this serious medical issue is cadaver organ donation i.e. from brain dead persons, which if practiced freely like in all advanced countries of Europe, USA and Australia, will meet more or less the entire need of organ transplantation."

Dr GPI Singh said there was a strong need for generating awareness at all levels in the society about the need for donating organs by all of us as well as about the method of donation so that the precious organs do not go waste.



Dengue Outbreak
Social bodies to hold rally on Oct 17
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
With the municipal corporation and health department failing to take any effective step for controlling dengue cases in the city, local social organisations like the Ludhiana Maha Sabha, Lok Ekta Sangathan and the Karkhana Mazdoor Union have decided to hold a protest rally in front of the deputy commissioner’s office on October 17.

Ludhiana Maha Sabha general secretary Jaswant Jerakh said: “The rising dengue cases in the city have become a point of concern but the government is hardly doing anything. The civil hospital here has only 100 beds whereas the city has around 1,500 dengue patients.” Due to the non-availability of beds in the civil hospital, poor are being forced to take shelter in private hospitals, which are costly. Besides, a few cases are going unreported due to the lack of facilities in the government dispensaries, he added.

He alleged that neither the municipal corporation nor the health department was taking it seriously. Due to this innocent people were falling prey to the epidemic.

He said the organisation members met the civil surgeon today who told them that the corporation was responsible for fogging and cleanliness. The department could help people only when they get themselves admitted to the hospital.

“The Chief Minister’s “sangat darshan” too failed to take any initiatives for the disease. No one pointed out the dengue cases during the meeting nor the Chief Minister directed any authority to take any strict action,” he added. He said the city required at least three more small civil hospitals and the government should lend money for it rather than spending it on meetings and conventions.



Students sensitised
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
Under the direction of Ludhiana civil surgeon Dr Satpal Sharma, the health department today launched an awareness programme at various schools to educate the children about dengue fever.

District epidemiologist Dr G.P. Mangla and other officials of the health department delivered lectures on anti-malaria measures.

The students were asked to adopt preventive measures like not allowing water to stagnate, keeping water coolers empty and surroundings neat and clean. 



Valmiki Parkash Utsav
Badal calls for harmony in state
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has called upon the people of Punjab to carve out an ideal, value-based and harmonious society by following the teachings of Bhagwan Valmiki for strengthening the bonds of compassion, love, peace and brotherhood in the state.

Greeting people at a state-level celebrations to commemorate the Parkash Utsav of Bhagwan Valmiki here today, Badal said India is known worldwide as a soil blessed by gods and goddesses, gurus, saints and rishis, besides preaching, they were also instrumental in giving social order to our society for ages, that had to be scrupulously followed by one and all.

Moreover, the existence of different religions had made our country a land of cultural diversity with secular approach. He further said Punjab had also been specially known for its composite culture and religious tolerance.

Badal said Bhagwan Valmiki was a great exponent and forefather of the Indian culture 
and civilization. “Bhagwan Valmiki was the creator of first ever epic, the Ramayana that occupies a paramount place in the religious literature and has become a part and parcel of the Indian culture.

Due to its ethics and teachings it has crossed the boundaries of India and has made a significant place in the world. The teachings of Bhagwan Valmiki are still relevant in our present social structure and an ideal society can be formed by following the path shown by him,” said Badal.

Every one should respect other religions while practicing his own religious principles for further strengthening amity and communal harmony in the state. He said with this view the SAD-BJP government had started celebration of all-important festivals of different communities and religions as the state-level functions.

Badal also underscored the need for religious tolerance, magnanimity and unity in the larger interest of our state and society. He called upon the people belonging to different communities to strengthen the social fabric of our country by displaying the age-old ethos of understanding and goodwill as preached by our gurus, saints and seers.

Badal announced that the employees of the mohalla sanitation committees would be regularised soon after abolishing these committees in the state.

Reiterating firm commitment of the SAD-BJP government for uplifting the downtrodden and underprivileged section of society Badal said it was the fate of our country that 70 per cent of the total population was earning just Rs 20 per day. The policies and programmes of various governments that ruled for a longer period in the country were responsible for such a situation, added Badal.



From Schools & Colleges
Dayanand school wins science quiz
Our Correspondent

Khamano, October 13
A two-day science fair of seven schools belonging to Sarvhitkari Society was held at Sarvhitkari Vidya Mandir, Khamano, in which science quiz, paper reading and model exhibition were conducted. Chief guests on the closing ceremony were Karnail Singh, deputy director (retired), SCERT, and Narinder Sharma, secretary, Patiala department of Sarvhitkari Samiti.

In ‘shishu varg’ of the science quiz, Dayanand Public School, Pandusar (Nabha), won first position, and RMRSVM, Sirhind, came second. In ‘bal varg’, Dayanand Public School, Pandusar (Nabha), came first, and SVM, Sirhind, and SVM, Khamano, came second and third, respectively. In ‘kishore varg’ Dayanand Public School, Pandusar, won first position, SVM, Majhi, came second and SVM, Ropar, came third. In ‘tarun varg’, DPS, Pandusar, came first.

In ‘bal varg’ of the paper-reading contest, DPS, Pandusar, came first and SVM, Ropar, remained second. In ‘kishor varg’, SVM, Ropar, came first and SVM, Majhi, came second. In ‘tarun varg’, DPS, Pandusar, won the first position.


Results: Students of Ludhiana College of Engineering & Technology scored commendably in the second semester of the MBA examinations conducted by Punjab Technical University in May 2008. Principal of the institute Dr Pawan Kumar said all students had passed out with first division. Preeti Rani topped the institute in MBA (second semester) by scoring 82 per cent marks while Purshotam Chand and Bharti secured the second and third positions by securing 81.75 per cent and 80.5 per cent marks, respectively.

Mandi Gobindgarh

Rukhsat-08: A farewell party “Rukhsat-08” was celebrated with great enthusiasm at Desh Bhagat School of Nursing, Mandi Gobindgarh, today under the guidance of principal Kuldeep Kaur Longia. The programme began with the recitation of Sukhmani Sahib. Dr. Zora Singh, chairman of the Desh Bhagat Group of Institutes was the chief guest on the occasion. Students organised a cultural programme for the outgoing GNM batch. The programme included cultural items and modelling. Mr and Miss Farewell were evaluated on the basis of individual’s personality, coordination and intellectual ability. 



Youth fest enters second day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
Youth and Heritage Festival (Zone B) of Panjab University, Chandigarh, held at Guru Nanak Girls College here entered the second day today. Eleven teams are participating in the Zone B youth festival. Music competitions, including folk songs, classical songs, ghazals, bhajans, shabads etc, were performed by the participating students in their melodious voice. These students belonged to various colleges in the district. The students had gala time during the festival on the second day.

The students of Master Tara Singh College bagged first six positions in events like ladies’ traditional song, cross stitch, knitting, poster making and vaar singing. 



Vardhman director interacts with PAU students
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, October 13
Under the industry-institute interaction programme D. L. Sharma, director, Vardhman Textiles Ltd, visited the Regional Institute of Management and Technology. Sharma had done his MBA from the Punjab Agricultural University itself.

For becoming an effective manager one has to acquire knowledge, develop skill and attitude. In the present corporate world, business executives have to undergo a lot of stress while performing their duties. By inculcating self-discipline, time management and adapting to changes, one can cope with demands of the corporate life and students must develop these while being in the business school ,he added. Advising the students on how to become an effective manager, he called upon them to stabilise their mind for taking appropriate decisions as only calm and composed person can think rationally and 

He aptly handled queries put forth by the students, which included job opportunities, work environment in the corporate world and self-development.

B.S. Bhatia, director-general of the institute, thanked Sharma for sharing valuable information with the students. S.P. Panda, principal of the institute, and senior faculty members were present on the occasion. 



Campaigning for PAUTA poll picks up
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
With the Punjab Agricultural University Teachers’ Association (PAUTA) elections scheduled for October 21, intense campaigning and lobbying for the various posts has already begun. Like any other elections, both factions have started levelling allegations against each other. The rival group feels that the ruling group had done nothing for the teachers’ welfare in the past one year while the latter maintains that the allegations are baseless as this time, too, majority of the members had extended their support to them.

The rival group headed by M.L. Sharma, contesting for the post of PAUTA president, distributed their agenda in various departments of the university today. The members alleged that the PAUTA’s leadership had failed on numerous counts. They further said the PAUTA executive had shirked from their responsibility of calling general body meetings on important issues related to the university and the faculty like the UGC pay-scales, transfer of university lands and budgetary provisions for the pension dispersal.

Mukesh Siag, PAUTA general secretary, said all these allegations were baseless, as the faculty had extended their support to their candidature. He said during their regime (rival group), the deal of Bathinda land with the state government had already been materialised and the present executive had to obey the orders.

“In the same manner, they handed-over the sugarcane farm of the PAU near Jalandhar. As far as the land of the Ladowal farm is concerned, the present PAUTA did not let the state government to take it over. We started intense campaign on UGC pay-scales and many other agricultural universities have extended their support in this struggle,”” Siag added.

A senior faculty member of the farm varsity said instead of fighting with each other, both groups should realise that they had just one enemy- the state government- and the entire fight should be against it. “They should work for the teachers’ interest, students and the farm varsity. We are all educated people and we will cast our votes without any pressures”, he added.



At The Crossroads
No beauty in vulgarity

It is disgusting to see day in and day out vulgar display of female nudes in newspapers and journals. There is a limit to everything but there seems to be no limit to exposing the female form from every conceivable angle.

The motive behind this policy is, of course, obvious but it is immoral all the same. With a view to enhancing the sale of a product, the individuals and institutions find it convenient to pander to the sentiments of the teenagers, besides the elders with depraved minds. This method is condemnable not merely from the ethical point of view but also from the aesthetic viewpoint.

Beauty in human form has been appreciated throughout the ages. Great painter-artists have used naked human figures as a subject of art. The Greeks had their Aphrodite and the Romans their Venus. The Indians built temples for the worship of immaculate goddesses, mythical and otherwise. All this indicates that the human mind craves to visualize beautiful figures. But this should happen when the eye is appreciative and the mind reverential. Bawdiness in any style is repulsive and disgusting. It corrupts the thinking process while it plays havoc with the emotions.

In the present times, violence is the dominant theme. It is discernible not merely in terrorist activities, which are rampant globally, but also in the nefarious designs of the rapists. Drugs are playing their role in inciting the wayward youth to waylay the vulnerable girls and unsuspecting women. The tourists also become the victims of the persons with criminal instincts. Much hue and cry is raised for a short while, but nothing concrete is done to prevent such happenings in the future. No efforts are made to find out the disturbing elements in the system. In the society also, there is a dire need to pinpoint the raw nerves which may turn cancerous with the passage of time.

Television is vying energetically with the dailies and monthlies in projecting women in scantily clad forms as well as provocative postures. The intention behind all these dubious activities is to tantalise the viewers. The boys of impressionable age catch the hint and become roadside Romeos. Some of them go astray and molest the girls whenever they get an opportunity. The girls, on their part, are made aware of the potential of their oomph. They disregard their discerning minds and start concentrating on their bodies.

Now, the female child is the most-talked-about subject. To an extent, female foeticide has been curbed, under pressure or otherwise. But there is no awareness in the social and political circles as to how a female child has to grow up as a young girl and a woman. The moot point is to know as to what is in store for her when she attains puberty. Moreover, what are the protective measures which can ensure her normal growth as a human being?

A modern girl does not need pity or sympathy or some other special treatment. She wants to keep her head high and walk on the stage of life with dignity. Her potentials need be tapped to her fullest satisfaction. Motherhood should not be imposed on her as her ultimate role in the society.

The book that has induced me to open up and express my pent-up feelings on the subject is “Chanan da Tikka” by Dr Devinder Dilroop. In this collection of poems, ghazals and geets, the poem that has acted as a catalyst is “Dance ton Pehlan Judo-Karate”. In this poem the poetess tells that as a mother she was aghast to witness on the television screen the plight of a 10 year old girl who had become the victim of the rapists. The private channel was flashing on the screen, with annoying regularity, the gruesome scene and the bewildered victim.

The mother's own 8 year old daughter was sitting by her side but was in a state of utter confusion. At this the mother picked up the child and reflected —

Main gudia nun chukk ke

Gal naal la leya

Main eh soch ke kumb gye

Ke meri dhee wee ikk kudi hai

Merian akhkhan chon na sukkan wale

Harr waih turre

Gudian maithon puchchi gye

Te main roye gye.

The poem ends with the resolve of the mother that Judo-karate is more important for her daughter than dancing-

Main nischa kar leya

Ke main apni bachchi nun

Mukammal aurat banawangi

Main uss nun dance 
ton pehlaan

Judo-karate sikhawangi.

— N.S. Tasneem



‘Face of Punjab-08’ in December
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
To discover Punjab's hidden talent in dance and singing, a competition will be organised in December. “Face of Punjab-08” will be divided into different categories.

The categories will vary from age group (two to 15 years) to (16 to 25 years). To participate in the event, forms are available up to October 23 and in each category selections will be made on the basis of auditions. The final event will be held on December 7 in Ludhiana.

The winner of each category will be given a contract of a music album for one year. 



A different way to remember Nusrat
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
Yash Momi from Phillaur has chosen a unique way to pay his tribute to the legendary singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan on his birth anniversary falling on October 13. Momi has painted the picture of the singer on his palm.

Momi, from Phillaur, is a teacher. “No Sufi singer can match the calibre of Nusrat Fateh Ali. He is revered not only by the people of India and Pakistan but music lovers in every part of the world, admire him for his accomplished singing," says Momi.

He said the painting on his hand was just a small gesture to show his admiration for the maestro. "The singer has created a sound of silence, and the void created by him can never be filled," adds Momi.



Power Saving
Navleen wins first prize
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, October 13
Power situation in the state would improve within three years once the thermal plants at Talwandi Sabo, Giddarbaha and Rajpura starts functioning. This was stated by member (distribution) PSEB, H. S. Barar, while interacting with mediapersons after the end of the power conservation seminar at Gobindgarh Public School here yesterday. 

The board has recovered more than Rs 1 crore from raid conducted on power thieves and defaulters. The board has to yet to release 12,000 tubewell connections of general category. Preference will be given to those owning less than 5 acres, he added.

Barar distributed prizes between Navleen Kaur of GPS and Albert of Sacred Heart School, who stood first and second while Novdeep Khera and Sipla Jain were jointly declared third for their presentation on power conservation tips. About seven schools took part in the competition. 



Villagers protest against police inaction
Our Correspondent

Raikot, October 13
The villagers, including the panchayat of village Johlan, staged a dharna in front of the police station here today. Later on, when they did not get any satisfactory reply from the SHO Gurdial Singh, they led a peaceful protest march through the busy markets of the town.

The protesters blocked the traffic at the Hari Singh Nalwa chowk for nearly one hour. The Bathinda-Ludhiana state highway remained disrupted today.

The SHO gave an assurance to the protesters on behalf of the Raikot DSP, Narinderpal Singh Ruby, that action will be taken after the inquiry being conducted the DSP himself by October 15 is completed.

The panchayat of the village was demanding justice for the 80-year-old Bant Singh of the village, who was badly beaten up and his house and his mini bus parked in the house were also damaged on September 30.

Though a case was registered at Raikot police station on October 1, against the accused under Sections 452, 325, 323, 427, 148, 149 of the IPC, no one has been arrested even after passage of so much time.

The villagers gave an ultimatum to the police that in case the accused were not arrested by October 15, they would intensify their struggle from October 17.

The accused, however, has also got a counter case registered under Sections 323 and 324 of the IPC against the four sons of Bant Singh, namely Jarnail Singh, Jagtar Singh, Lakhbir Singh and Baldev Singh.



Bhalla’s mother-in-law found dead in canal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 12
Mother-in-law of noted comedian Jaswinder Bhalla was found dead under mysterious circumstances after her body was found in Sidhwan canal here today evening.

Amrit Kaur, mother-in-law of Jaswinder Bhalla, was a resident of Model Town. She had left the house today morning to attend a religious ceremony at Model Town Extension gurdwara. She, however, did not come back.

Her body was found in the canal by some beggars, who were swimming in the canal. Her husband, Narinder Singh, said she seemed to be robbed as the gold chain she was wearing was missing.



She willed her eyes for others
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 13
When Surjit Kaur (80) died on October 9 here, it was a moment of immense grief for the family. But even at the time of their huge personal loss, her sons -Gurinder Singh, a senior staffer with Ajit and Harinder Singh Kaka, a photojournalist with the same newspaper- did not forget to fulfill their mother’s pledge to donate her eyes.

On receiving the intimation, Ashok of Punarjot Eye Bank, Punjab, got the corneas removed from Surjit Kaur’s eyes. Later, these were transplanted into two corneal blind persons.

The recipients of the corneal transplant Bant Singh (65), a resident of Diwa village in Khanna tehsil of this district, and Gurdeep Singh (60) of Kalre village in Kapurthala district, were present at the bhog ceremony of the donor at Gurdwara Dukhniwaran here today for expressing their gratitude towards the family.

Stressing on the need for making an eye donation a mass movement, Ashok remarked that out of 40 million visually-impaired people in the world, India had about 15 million which included at least 2.5 million corneal blind ones.

He said the human cornea was like the glass on a wristwatch, which, if damaged, needs to be replaced for eyes to function normally. And to enable these blind people to see the world, a cornea donated by a human after his or her death was needed. In fact, one person can empower two blind persons. “Age is no limit to eye donation and only in the case of death, where cause is not known or by diseases such as AIDS, hepatitis, leukemia, rabies etc, the eye banks will refuse the eye donation.”



Patwaris to go on mass leave
Our Correspondent

Khamano, October 13
A meeting of the patwar union, block Khamano, was organised at Patwar Bhawan, Sanghol, under block president Ritupal Rathore, in which the patwaris condemned the behaviour of tehsildar, Khamano.

The union decided to go on mass leave on October 15 and 16 against the behaviour of the tehsildar. It was also decided that the struggle against the tehsildar would 
continue till he repented his conduct. The next meeting of the union 
will be held at on October 17 to chalk out the next course of action.



Devotees pay obeisance at Guga Mari Temple
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 13
A large number of devotees thronged the Guga Mari Temple at Chhapar village, near here, to worship the snake, an embodiment of “nag devta” on the occasion of Chhota Mela.

The police faced difficulty in controlling the crowd as no extra force was deployed for controlling the crowd. Being supplementary to one of the largest fairs of the North India, Chhota Chhapar mela started attracting a large number of devotees since early morning. Till noon, women outnumbered men.

As circus shows and joyrides were removed after the main event, women and children converged on vends and stalls providing eatables. Khajla and fast food item stalls attracted maximum crowd. 



Traditional themes inspire builders too
Shveta Pathak
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 13
Traditional themes have begun inspiring builders too, who are opting for a variety in exteriors of the buildings they are coming up with. The latest entrant is Bhasin Infrastructures and Developers, who have launched the "region's first" township with Rajasthani theme.

Apart from a 40-feet high gate and a 15-feet high fort like boundary wall, Rajgarh Estates, a township coming up near the Ferozepur road, would be built in red sandstone, have sculptures, roundabouts built in the "royal Rajasthani" style and add-ons like a buggi to complete the picture.

"We decided to launch the theme-based township. The exteriors and the overall ambience would be Rajasthani, though we would take care that in case of individual villas, the owners have ample flexibility to decorate their homes as per their choice," said Balraj Bhasin, chairman of the group.

The company, that is investing Rs 700 crore towards the project, is coming up with nearly 250 villas priced between Rs 1.28 crore and Rs 2.09 crore. Besides, the township would also have apartments, for which the company has sought an approval.

The township, spread over an area of 70 acres, promises more than 5,000 trees, over two lakh ornamental plants, playgrounds, fountains, a blue oasis, “putting ground” for golf enthusiasts, spa and club among other facilities.

Giving details, Bhasin added that the township would offer as many as eight concepts in villas like Amber Villas, Chittaurgarh Villas, Hanumangarh Villas, Jaisalmer Villas and Junagarh Villas.



His heart beats for bhangra
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, October 13
Anish Bhanot has been into bhangra from years together. Even as a kid, his heart pulsated at the dhol beat, and he could hardly resist its thump even from a distant place. “Bhangra is not in my blood. But I am striving to enthuse new blood into this folk dance so that it may no more remain the heart-throb of Punjab alone, but may thud the hearts of millions of Punjabis settled abroad as well as the foreigners who have started recognising the intensity of its beat," he proudly asserts.

Beginning from his early teens till date, he has trained a number of budding youngsters as an instructor of Punjabi folk-dances, both in bhangra and giddha. Rarely has the team trained by Anish Bhanot returned unrewarded.

Apart from winning due recognition at home, he has finally stepped out of country. Anish has recently instructed a total of 1,095 bhangra dancers, who registered their names last month in the Guinness Book of Records with the world's largest bhangra performance at Brampton Mehfil Mela, an annual celebration of South Asian culture. The festival attracted a crowd of 90,000 people to a grassy field outside the Powerade Center in Canada, where Anish assumed the prestigious role of jury assigned to him. The record was set by the gigantic troupe performing the traditional Punjabi dance for 10 minutes.

His services have been placed on record by the Punjabi Virsa Arts and Culture Academy in North America too.

"Preservation of culture is much wider a term than is being understood today by most of the modern forums, clubs and educational institutions," opines the young artist. "It should actually be envisioned as a sense of belongingness and craving for what is ours from centuries together but has been forsaken in the nightmarish allurement of pop modernity" he says.

The bhangra dancer and coach is a proud recipient of a commendable number of awards and honours. He participated in the international event of folk dance held at Warswa, Polland, in June 2003. He also carved a niche for himself and his team in the Association of Indian Universities at Punjab Agriculture University, Ludhiana, and the Association of Indian Universities at Punjabi University, Patiala. He participated in inter-varsity competition, state-level cultural competition at Government College for Women, Amritsar, and in national programme of folk dance held at Barpali in August 1999.

Anish's team was placed first in PU Zonal Youth Festival consecutively for three years in 1997, 1998 and1999. He secured first place in the 39th, 40th and 41st PU Inter-Zonal Youth Festivals. He also secured second place in GNDU Zonal Youth Festivals in 2000, 2002 and 2003. He remained second in university’s Inter -Zonal Youth Festival in 2000, first in GNDU Inter- Zonal Youth Festival in 2002, second in GNDU Inter-Zonal Youth Festival in 2003.

He also participated in the folk dance competition in the concluding function of the National Youth Week organised by the directorate of youth services, Punjab. He stood first in the folk dance competition under the banner of Indian Cultural Association. He was placed first in the Sur-Taal Folk Dance Competition in November 2003 under the banner of North Zone Cultural Centre.

He was awarded College Colour in 1998-99, Special Prize in 1998-99 and 2003, University Insignia by department of youth welfare of Panjab University, Chandigarh, in the years 1998 and 1999.



City Concerns
Plan and maintain better roads

Thousands of commuters daily face a harrowing time on the city roads because of potholes. Stretches of broken roads cause inconvenience to the travellers and vehicles too suffer damage. The residents rue the fact that despite contributing crores to the national exchequer as tax, people have to face inconvenience on the roads. Here is a peep into minds of a cross-section of Ludhianivis on the issue.

The potholes, collection of water in them and bumpy roads have become a part and parcel of our lives. The agenda of the government seems only to provide only roads but not good quality roads. People must realise that they are paying the government indirectly in the form of taxes.

It is the duty of the government to construct roads with high-quality material and repair it regularly. However, it is the duty of the people to maintain the roads for their safety. Pits and potholes result in accidents as well as the wear and tear of our vehicles. By encouraging the practice of car pooling we can reduce traffic, pollution as well as stress on roads. Rights and duties goes hand in hand. If we have the right to use the roads then it is our duty to maintain them as well.

Gurminder Kaur, Barewal Road

Go private

The condition of city roads is not as bad as it is projected. Most of the road length is fine but, as usual, the media highlights the worst-case scenario. The reason for the deterioration of roads is the problem of waterlogging. The combination of water and bitumen destroys even the best- quality roads. Potholes are as common on the roads of London, Montreal, New York or Seattle as here. Loaded trucks/ trailors cause damage to the roads of the industrial area. An alternative to bitumen is cement concrete. The sections of roads where water logging is frequent may be made of cement which is more resistant to water and contractions caused by temperature variations. Engineers have to stick to specifications laid 40 years back when traffic was not as heavy. The quality of government work is often doubted and to clear this apprehension, authorities may hand over the roads of certain portion or zone of city to a private firm for building and maintenance.

Manjitinder Singh Johal, Village Mandiani

Penal authority

A road breaks as soon as it is repaired or constructed. To keep a vigil on whether the framed rules and regulation are being complied with or not, the local administration and the state government should identify a penal institution to ensure punishment for violators.

Proper designing, approval, planning, legal and environmental considerations etc. should be laid down by a surveyor. The gradient should be designed so as to best suit the natural ground levels and to minimise the amount of cut and fill. Great care is required to preserve reference benchmarks. Drainage lines should be laid with sealed joints in the road easement with runoff coefficients and adequate specifics for the land-zoning and storm-water systems. Side slopes in the excavation area should not be steeper than one vertical to two horizontal for safety reasons. Moreover, earthwork process includes excavation, removal of material to spoil, filling, compacting, construction and trimming. If rock or other unsuitable material is discovered, it is removed, moisture content is managed and replaced with standard fill compacted to 90 per cent relative compaction.

Ravi Chander Garg, Ludhiana

Planned network

There is need for long-term planning for construction of roads to ensure smooth flow of traffic. This will not only produce easy access to the commuter but also reduce the cost of travel. There should be proper and well prepared plan on the basis of BOT (build, operate and transfer). A proper network of roads with a well-established navigation system should be in operation. This will also lessen the burden of traffic and other chaos. Potholes can be dangerous and even be a cause of death. The local administration should focus on the newly developed areas and should provide at least two or four-laning systems. There should be a at least two roads, one for slow and the other for fast movers.

Minakshi Garg
Senior lecturer, PG Department of Economics
Kamla Lohtia S.D. College

No entry

Ludhiana is connected with well laid out roads from a majority of entry points outside the city. As soon as one enters the city limits, the driver and the passengers are in for harrowing times. The smooth run is marred by potholes which are the worst during monsoon. Not just traffic congestion, the bad roads cause undue wastage of time in travelling through the city. Those travelling to destinations outside the city face unnecessary delay and might waste more than an hour of travelling time. The road coming from Chandigarh has been in a pitiable condition for more than an year.

Gurmeet Singh, Ludhiana



Firing Incident Main accuse surrenders
Our Correspondent

Raikot, October 13
The local police claims to have solved the firing incident in which one person had lost his life with the arrest of Sukhpal Singh of Bihili village, Barnala, today. He surrendered before police through an influential leader of the area. His vehicle (HR 32 A 8248) was also seized by the police. Two persons were seriously injured in a firing incident that had taken place at the Barnala Road, Raikot, on September 28. A few occupants of a Scorpio car were seen trailing a Ford Icon car (PB 10 BN 1148).

The accused have three licensed firearms in his name; including 315 bore rifle, one pistol and one .22 bore revolver. He is the nephew of Randhir Singh. The family owned a joint agricultural property of 22 acre at Bihili village. Even the mutations were in the name of Sukhpal Singh. He used to utilise all earnings from the land. The dispute started when Randhir Singh claimed his share in the property.



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