L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC’s tender boxes remain empty on last day
Contractors against Rs 25-crore tender, want it split
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Contractors wait for their turn for submitting tenders outside superintending engineer’s office in Ludhiana on Wednesday.
Contractors wait for their turn for
submitting tenders outside
superintending engineer’s office
in Ludhiana on Wednesday.
Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, November 19
The municipal corporation today did not secure a single tender for approximately 249 projects in the city worth Rs 101 crore following high drama by some applicants reportedly supported by BJP councillors.

The issue was a tender worth Rs 25 crore for 11 projects. The development would be officially confirmed when the superintending engineer opens the tender boxes.

According to the advertisements published by the municipal corporation, the SE (civil) had invited tenders worth Rs 25 crore, Rs 31 crore and Rs 45 crore for various works and had fixed November 19 as the last date to submit tenders.

The tenders included around 171 general works (worth Rs 31 crore) and 67 works of building roads (Rs 45 crore) which could be allotted only to those bidders who had hot mix plant.

The contractors and BJP councillors said they were against the Rs 25-crore tender that involved 11 works. They alleged that despite their repeated requests and opposition, the municipal corporation did not split the group as it wanted to help “big fish”.

The contractors and the councillors, led by senior deputy mayor Praveen Bansal, had been sitting in the office of the SE, Dharam Singh, since morning so that they could convince other contractors not to submit the tenders.

Talking to The Tribune, Bansal said: “We are only against the tender of Rs 25-crore. We haven't asked contractors to join us. They can submit the other two tenders and if they have decided not to pool in for even those tenders, then it’s up to them.”

He said they had cleared their stand to mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura on November 4, when the tenders had been invited by the MC.

If the tender was given, it would delay development works. If every work was allotted to an individual contractor, it would ensure better quality and quick work, he claimed.

Even Congress councillors had met the mayor regarding this issue last week and had told him that even they wanted that the works should be given to individual contractors.

A contractor, who had been refraining his counterparts from submitting bids, said the decision had been taken in wake of the “apathy” of the municipal corporation towards the contractors.

“If local contractors fail to meet the specifications for the bids, contractors from other areas would be able to get the work,” he added.

As far as the Rs 25-crore tender goes, six companies are in the fray. At around 2.30 pm when Rakesh Jain of one such company came to submit his tender, small contractors were seen trying to convince him to help them.

They tried to influence other big contractors too. Some heated arguments were also witnessed as some contractors were not ready to withdraw, but after repeated requests, they relented.

Some contractors came up with the proposal of submitting the other tenders and demanded that the closing time be extended from 3 pm to 5 pm so that they could pool in for the small bid, but all of them later decided not to pool in.

Sources in the municipal corporation confirmed that all three boxes kept for submitting the tenders were empty and no one was able to submit any bid.


Killer son gets life term
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, November 19
Kamaljit Singh, alias Kamal, of Balala village, Samrala, has been sentenced to undergo rigorous life imprisonment on the charges of killing his father, Gurmail Singh.

In an inebriated condition, he had set his father ablaze as his father used to stop him from quarrelling with his wife.

Delivering the verdict, additional sessions judge P.S. Dhanoa also ordered the convict to pay a fine of Rs 2,000. Terming it to be a heinous crime, the judge rejected the plea of leniency raised by the convict.

Interestingly, all the main prosecution witnesses had gone back on their previous statement recorded with the police. They were his family members.

They had said Gurmail Singh had set himself on fire and it was a suicide. They said he would drink a lot and when they stopped him, he took the extreme step.

The court relied on the dying declaration by the victim in hospital. He had given the statement to a police officer in the presence of a doctor of the CMCH.

The doctor and the police official confirmed the dying declaration, which resulted in the conviction of the accused.

Initially, the accused was booked under Section 307 of the IPC after the statement of Gurmail Singh on Feburary 21, 2007. After his death, the offence of murder was added.

The complainant had stated to the police that the accused used to quarrel with his second wife, Manjit Kaur, and he would stop him from doing so.

On Feburary 20, his son came to the house in an inebriated state and started quarrelling with him and his wife.

In anger, the accused picked up a plastic can containing kerosene and set Gurmail Singh on fire.



DC appears before Speaker, summoned yet again
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 19
The deputy commissioner, Sumer Singh Gurjar, today appeared before the Speaker of the Vidhan Sabha at Chandigarh in connection with complaints by the Scheduled Castes Welfare Committee and the deputy speaker, Satpal Gosain, but was summoned again as he could not convince the Speaker.

Welfare committee members had said he had not attended their meeting at Ludhiana and the deputy speaker had levelled allegations of corruption against him.

The DC appeared before the Speaker for the second time today, but was summoned again on November 27.

He failed to carry some documents and had to be summoned again, Nirmal Singh Kahlon, Speaker, said while talking to The Tribune over the phone.

He said he would decide the further course of action after seeing the documents submitted by the DC.

The welfare committee, especially constituted by the Vidhan Sabha to study problems faced by the SCs in the state and headed by Mahilpur (Hoshiarpur) MLA Sohan Singh Thandal, has been gunning for the DC as he had not attended their meeting when they were in the city.

Thandal said nine out of 13 members visited Ludhiana and asked the DC to come for the meeting with regard to ongoing welfare schemes in the district, but he did not turn up.

They called him up several times, but no representative of the administration bothered to reach the Circuit House where the meeting was held.

The committee returned and summoned the DC at Chandigarh to find out the reason behind his absence. Thandal said the reasons cited by Gurjar could not satisfy them, and they took the matter to the Speaker.

He had appeared before the Speaker twice and Kahlon said he would listen to him once again and if he was not satisfied with the explanation, he would forward the case to the Vidhan Sabha privilege committee comprising some MLAs.

Recently the Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, had also ordered an inquiry against Gurjar over the allotment of firecracker stalls in the city. Badal had announced that the inquiry would be conducted by the commissioner, Patiala division, and he would take action following the report.

The action against the DC had followed after the allegations levelled by Gosain that money exchanged hands during the allotment of the stalls.

Gosain had alleged that lakhs of rupees exchanged hands during the allotment.



Taking passengers for a ride
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 19
Private bus operators have been taking passengers for a ride by giving “wrong” information about the route and destination of buses.

Not only this, they even go to the extent of putting up wrong display boards on buses to make people board the vehicles.

Rashmi, a student of Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, said: “Recently, I took a private bus for Chandigarh, but when the bus reached Mohali, Chandigarh passengers were told to get off as the bus was Mohali-bound and would not go to the ISBT-43, Chandigarh. The conductor made groups of six passengers each and made us sit in autorickshaws. He paid Rs 10 per passenger to the autorickshaw driver and asked him to drop us at the ISBT. This is cheating as at the time of boarding the bus, the conductor had said it would go to Chandigarh.” She said stern action should be taken against the operators for misleading people.

Vineet Kumar, a private banker at Chandigarh, who often goes to Ludhiana on business, said: “Private bus operators cheat people by misinforming them about the vehicle’s destination. Passengers are made to get off midway. It is harassing, especially for the elderly, women and children.”

Rajeshwar Grewal, general manager, Punjab Roadways, said: “I am aware that private operators indulge in such practices. They tell passengers that a particular bus is bound for a destination whereas it is bound for some place else. They even put up display boards on buses, indicating a false destination. I have come across people complaining that they were told while boarding the bus that it was going to Delhi, but they were asked to get down at Ambala city and board another bus for Delhi. The same thing happens with passengers to Chandigarh as they are asked to get down at Kharar or Mohali.”

However, district transport officer Chander Gaind said he had not received such a complaint till date.

“Such practice is illegal and the driver can be fined. I will look into the matter and if any such complaint comes, I will personally conduct a check.”



20 quintal of banned fish seized
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 19
The officials with the department of fisheries, Punjab, were gheraoed by about 200 migrant labourers, after they raided the fish market at Sherpur here this evening.

The migrant population did not let the officials take away three trucks loaded with a particular variety of fish, the sale of which was banned by the Government of India. As a result, the officials had to seek police protection.

Acting tough with shopkeepers selling banned variety of fish in the Sherpur fish market, the department officials conducted a raid and seized three trucks of magoor fish.

Talking to The Tribune, director, department of fisheries, Punjab, D.S. Syal said a complaint was lodged by certain farmers during his visit to Ludhiana and nearby areas today with secretary fisheries, Punjab, Usha R. Sharma.

Since there was not enough staff to conduct the raids, officers from five other districts, including Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ropar, Ferozpur and Fatehgarh Sahib were called to accomplish the task.

He further added that trucks with approximately 15-20 quintal of magoor fish were seized during the raids at the fish market.

There are about 150-200 shops where different varieties of fish are sold. Syal informed that the variety could not be sold in the market as Government of India had banned its sale.

“It is the most unhygienic variety, which eats other varieties of fish. Secondly, it is sold just for Rs 20-25 per kg as compared to other fish sold at Rs 50-60 per kg. It is consumed by the migrant population. Magoor variety of fish creates several health problems,” said Syal.

Kanwaljit Singh Sidhu, president, Punjab Fish Farmers Association, said the step taken by the department was appreciable. “If such strict steps are taken, fish farming will definitely get a boost in future,” he said.



Five held for smuggling 16 oxen
Our Correspondent

Raikot, November 19
The Jalaldiwal police today intercepted a truck and held a gang of 5 persons along with 16 heads of oxen at the police chowki of Jalaldiwal village near Raikot.

The arrested includes Hashim, driver of the truck, Naiam, Afsar, Sayyad and Bura all residents of Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh.

The trustees of Gaushala, Raikot, had informed about the truck. They were keeping an eye on this illegal trade of ferrying cows and oxen to UP for the purpose of slaughtering.

Today they got the information of the truck being loaded with oxen at Malerkotla and trailed them till Raikot.

When the truck moved towards Jalaldiwal they took the police and intercepted the truck. The butcher houses of UP were purchasing the cattle heads from Malerkotla and sending them to Moradabad in UP.

Their agents used to collect the cattle head at cheaper rates throughout Punjab and then transport them to Moradabad.

Though Hashim, the driver of the truck, said the oxen in the truck were to be sold to the farmers in Moradabad, the way the oxen were loaded, packed and concealed in an airtight environment by the tarpaulin, so that no one could doubt about the load of the truck, narrated the motive of the purchasers.

The trustees and manager of Raikot Gaushala, Rajesh Kumar and Vijay Jain, took the recovered oxen to the Gaushala. Chowki in charge Narinder Pal Singh said the accused have been booked under Section 11 of the Prevention and Conservation of Animals Act, 1960.



Delay in road’s construction
Cong councillors, residents stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 19
Congress councillors along with residents, who were protesting against the municipal corporation’s failure to complete the construction work of a road in front of gurdwara for the past four months, staged a dharna at Haibowal here today.

The agitators, who were led by area councillor Hem Raj Aggarwal, also blocked the traffic. Talking to The Tribune, Aggarwal said the construction work on the Gurdwara road had been going on at snail's pace for the past four to five months and the contractor had failed to complete it within a stipulated period.

He said the road had become accident-prone and the residence had been complaining about it regularly but to no avail.

Later, the Congress councillors also met mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura and municipal commissioner G.S. Ghuman. Though the councillors termed it a routine meeting, sources in the corporation added that the meeting was aimed at lodging a complaint about Congress councilors wards being ignored.

According to information, the councillors also demanded transfer of joint commissioner B.K. Gupta alleging that he had failed to initiate any development programmes in O & M branch of the corporation. They said the branch had already called numerous tenders, but till date it is sitting "idle".

It was during the meeting that Congress councillor Bharat Bhushan Ashu walked out in a protest, as his counterparts were not talking about the agenda for which the meeting was meant.

The councillors revealed that the Opposition had not met municipal commissioner since he took over the reigns and meeting was just aimed at introducing each other.

However, Aggarwal revealed that Ghuman had promised to get the work completed within 15 days.



Dengue Outbreak
Health dept failed to chalk out plan
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 19
The ambiguous approach of the district health authorities to chalk out a proper action plan for preventing the outbreak of dengue is evident from their haphazard awareness programmes carried out under the IEC activity.

It’s mandatory to hold group meetings, distribute reading material, give advertisements, organise debates in schools and other interactive activities under the programme of the National Rural Health Mission.

Despite receiving the instructions from the directorate of health and family welfare, Punjab, for taking caution against dengue cases, the district health department failed to initiate timely campaigns for the same.

The health authorities don’t even have the details of funds spent on the awareness programmes undertaken for dengue.

District health officer S.S. Dhir when contacted said, "The expenses are covered under the funds for the national vector borne disease control programme but we do not have the details of any consolidated amount spent for the same."

The health authorities having termed the dengue outbreak as 'cooler epidemic' had said the patients were being reported from every pocket of the city.

However, the official records of the mass media wing show that awareness campaigns undertaken under the activity were restricted to the low-lying areas, including Dhandari Kalan, Makkar Colony, Labor Colony, Janta Nagar, Janakpuri, Basti Jodhewal and Rajiv Gandhi Colony.

Above areas are prone to gastroenteritis and jaundice. The mass media wing failed to campaign in majority of the posh localities even the areas from where the dengue patients were reported.

Urban Estate Dugri, Model Town, BRS Nagar, Aggar Nagar, Sarabha Nagar and various other areas were refrained from awareness campaigns as no group meetings were conducted neither were any pamphlets distributed in these localities.

Pointing towards the role of the deputy commissioner, a senior health official said, "The deputy commissioner being the head of the district should have taken a serious note of the situation and instructed health department and the municipal corporation for precise execution of the programme."



From Schools
NCC cadets visit old age home
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 19
NCC cadets of BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School visited old age home in Model Town extension, as a part of their week-long NCC activities in the city.

Cadets (both boys and girls) interacted with them on various social aspects. The cadets distributed fruits brought by Lt Col R.P. Singh, Commanding Officer. He assured help for the inmates of the home.

Fancy dress

A fancy dress show was organised at Love Dale Montessori Home at Sarabha Nagar. Small kids dressed as Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Parkash Singh Badal. Children danced on numbers like ‘Chak de India’ and got prizes and sweets.

Singing contest

Ludhiana Citizens' Council (Regd.) organised a Children's Day function at hotel Le Baron where the children of members of LCC participated in dance and singing competitions.

Darshan Arora, Chairman, LCC, said students should take part in extra curricular activities along with the studies. He gave away the prizes to the winners.



Students’ protest against fee hike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 19
Students of BBA course at Kamla Lohtia Sanatan Dharam College here reportedly protested against the management on the fee hike issue today.

They refused to attend classes and alleged that college management had suddenly raised the amount of second installment.

According to reports, students were pacified only after the intervention by the principal, who asked them not to get panicky, as the matter could be amicably resolved.

It may be mentioned here that in recent past students from several city colleges had protested against the fee hike move by their respective college managements.

The managements, on the other hand have maintained since fee had been increased as per the guidelines of Panjab University, Chandigarh, they could hardly do anything in the matter.



Sexual harassment case
Director students’ welfare seeks intervention
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 19
Dr Dulcha Singh Brar, director students welfare, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) against whom charges of sexual harassment have been framed is learnt to have met certain members of the Board of Management (BoM) of PAU and Punjab Government officials at Chandigarh to impress upon his demand either to get the enquiry conducted by a third party or to intervene in the case proceedings.

Confirming this, Avtar Singh Dhindsa, a member of the management board said he had received the copy of letter written by Brar recently.

"The issue has already brought disrepute to the institution. We will make sure that such incident must not happen at the campus again. The case has to be dealt at the earliest. In our next board meeting, we will formulate policy that such incidents are not publicised. It is the authorities, who are dealing with it and we hope that they will do justice to their job", said Dhindsa.

A senior government official in Chandigarh told The Tribune that Brar had come to him with his wife.

"He is not satisfied with the present committee members and wants intervention by a third party. Since it is a serious matter, one has to be very careful while handling the case", said the official.

Meanwhile, reacting to the statement made by finance minister Manpreet Badal, in The Tribune (Ludhiana) dated November 14, the complainant in the harassment case said that FM had said since the accused belonged to his constituency and being the elected representative, he (Badal) had to listen to Brar.

"I would like to tell Badal that I also belong to the same constituency. Being the elected representative he should listen to my woes, too and then make the judgements", she said.



PAU seeks aid for pensioners
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 19
The authorities of the Punjab Agricultural University have emphasised on the Punjab government to implement the recommendations of the expert committee which had suggested the levy of cess of 50 paise per Rs 100 on the arrival of the agricultural produce of the farmers in the market in order to provide pension to the retirees of PAU on sustainable basis.

The expert committee, which was set up by the board of management of the PAU, was headed by Dr S.S. Johl, former vice-chancellor, Punjabi University.

Vice-chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang, in a communication to the state government, has pointed out that the expert committee report has already been discussed and considered at a meeting held with the Chief Minister.

The CM had favourably responded to the recommendations and verbally ordered to prepare an ordinance for this purpose.

The vice-chancellor has informed the state government that under directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the PAU shall pay the pension and other arrears to the retirees before December 31 this year.

Out of the grant of Rs 10 crore provided by the state government, pension has been disbursed up to September and there are no sufficient funds in pension account of the PAU to disburse pension for the subsequent months.

The vice-chancellor has pleaded that as for raising the funds at the level of PAU, the expert committee has said that the capacity of the varsity to generate more resources was extremely limited, PAU being the residential university.

Even if the tuition fees of the students were increased and other resources were tapped the university could generate not more than Rs 1 crore in addition to the existing income of approximately Rs 10 crore. The monthly liability of pension at present is approximately Rs 3.75 crore.

Dr Kang has emphasised that funds may be provided out of market fee/rural development fund till the process to levy market cess is completed and the system gets in place to generate funds for the university.



More vet varsities needed: VC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 19
Dr V.K. Taneja, vice-chancellor Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, (GADVASU) presided over a joint meeting of delegates of Venkteshwara Veterinary University, Tirupati, and officers of GADVASU here today.

He said, “There is a great potential in the field of veterinary. To establish new veterinary universities at national level is the need of the hour. The state government has done a remarkable work by approving two new veterinary colleges for the state.”

A delegation of Venkteshwara University was on tour to GADVASU to discuss the educational courses, research and extension work of the university. Dr Taneja highlighted the growth of GADVASU after its establishment.

He said there were a number of fields where both the universities could come together to frame new policies for the development of veterinary.

Authorities of both the universities discussed a number of common needs and problems viz funds, management, infrastructure and educational courses.

Dr Simrat Sagar Singh, dean, College of Veterinary Science, deliberated that GADVASU was going to work on a project for students on "Earn while learn".

In this project, students will manage their own small projects of poultry, fishery, dairy and milk products for self-employment.

A visit was arranged for the delegates to monitor the activities of fisheries' college, dairy farm and veterinary clinics. Dr Asha Dhawan, scientist fisheries, explained the scenario of fisheries in Punjab.

A delegate member Choudhary V Suryarao, discussed problems and requirements of fisheries profession in Andhra Pradesh.

While visiting dairy farm, Dr A.K. Jain described the functioning of milking parlour and details of the crossbred cows of the university herd.



Folk dances mark youth fest end
Our Correspondent

Doraha, November 19
Giddha, the famous folk dance of Punjab, along with many other exquisite group folk dances, sizzled the stage along with theatrical items, music and skits during the last day of Inter-zonal Youth and Heritage Festival being organised in Dr Ishwar Singh Memorial Hall of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha.

Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu, principal, welcomed the guests and dignitaries. Results:

Drama: Hoshiarpur B Zone-1, Ludhiana B Zone-2, Chandigarh B Zone and Educational Colleges B Zone-3 (Individual) Gurpreet Singh and Ramanpreet Kaur, Hoshiarpur Zone B Zone -1, Manpreet Kaur, Educational Colleges A Zone and Jaspreet Kaur, Ludhiana B Zone- 2, Lakhwinder Kaur, Educational Colleges B Zone and Tejinder Kaur, Moga Ferozepur Boys

Group folk orchestra: Ludhiana B Zone-1, Ludhiana Zone A-2, Moga Ferozpur Girls Zone -3 (Individual) Amanpreet Kaur, Ludhiana B Zone-1, Kanchan, Ludhiana B Zone-2 Sukhjinder Singh, Ludhiana A Zone and Kirandeep, Ludhiana B Zone-3

Indian Orchestra: Ludhiana A Zone-1, Ludhiana B Zone-2, Moga Ferozepur Girls Zone-3 (Individual) Devender Singh, Ludhiana A Zone-1, Sugam Dhawan, Ludhiana B Zone-2, Baljit Kaur and Moga Ferozepur Girls Zone -3

Folk instrument: Gurwinder Kaur, Muktsar Zone-1, Sukhjinder Singh, Ludhiana A Zone-2, Rajni Bala and Ludhiana B Zone-3

Histrionics: Hoshiarpur B Zone-1, Ludhiana B Zone and Moga Ferozepur Girls Zone -2, Ludhiana A Zone and Chandigarh B Zone-3

Debate: Gaurav Chhibbar, Chandigarh A Zone-1, Pallavi Singh, Chandigarh B Zone-2 Shaifali Ashwani, Educational Colleges C Zone and Baljeet Kaur, Moga Ferozepur Girls Zone -3

Elocution: Tarandeep Singh, Ludhiana Zone A-1, Vashau Kumar, Chandigarh A Zone-2 Mandeep Kaur and Moga Ferozepur Girls Zone-3

Recitation: Amrita Pathak, Chandigarh B Zone-1, Dhiksha Sharma, Chandigarh A Zone-2, Sukhbir Kaur, Moga Ferozepur Boys Zone and Naresh Kumar, Muktsar Zone -3

Essay writing: Ajit Kaur, Hoshiarpur A Zone-1, Amandeep Kaur, Educational Colleges B Zone-2 and Amandeep Kaur, Moga Ferozepur Girls Zone-3

Short story writing: Ashok Kumar, Muktsar Zone-1, Sukhraj Singh, Hoshiarpur B Zone -2 and Baljinder Kaur, Moga Ferozepur Boys Zone-3.



Speaking Out
We want serials back

From left: Sushma Sharma, Priyanka, Hema Kapoor, Aman, Kanu Dixit.
From left: Sushma Sharma, Priyanka,
Hema Kapoor, Aman, Kanu Dixit.

While young hearts are missing the lead pair of Armaan-Ridhima of “Dil Mil Gayee” others miss the “Balika Badhu” on their televisions sets.

As the tiff between technical staff and producers continue for the past 10 days, viewers are left in a lurch and forced to watch the stale episodes of their favourite serials.

Viewers want their favourite stars and serials back while there are the exceptions that are enjoying watching the episodes once again.

Tribune staffer Manav Ghuman talked to cross-section of people in this regard and here is what they have to say.

"Why should the viewers pay the price for watching stale episodes due to the ongoing tussle. It is a very unprofessional attitude. All matters should be resolved at the earliest so that the viewers can enjoy their favourite serials. Showing old episodes is not a solution to such type of problems. The management should try and resolve the problems at the earliest." — Sushma Sharma, housewife

"I have very less time to watch television as I am busy in my studies. Yesterday, when I watched “Balika Badhu” I was shocked to see the old episode of the serial. There is no point in seeing the stale story over and over again so I ended up watching news." — Priyanka, fashion designer

"Though I miss the new episodes but I do love to watch the old ones. Seeing the old episodes of “Dil Mil Gayee” is worth. Even today I love watching its repeat telecast. But, I want things take a turn because I am really curious to know what happened next in the doctors’ lives.” — Hema Kapoor, MBA student

"Dil Mil Gayee and Mile Jab Hum Tum are my favourite serials. Though I love watching the repeat telecast of these two serials but that does not stand same for others. So I end up watching the music channels." — Aman, customer relations officer of a telecom company

"Watching the old episodes once again is a sheer wastage of time. It is better to show black screens then to show the year old episodes of the serials. I hope the matter is resolved at the earliest and I am able to see my favourite serials." — Kanu Dixit, PCTE student



City Concerns
Penalise encroachers heavily

Encroachments rule the roost in city markets and media reports indicate that encroachers may be hand in glove with tehbazaari officials of the municipal corporation.

The roads are congested with vehicles and visitors to the markets who battle “rehris” and “farrhis”.

Union members make open accusations of greasing the palms of tehbazaari teams. This is what a cross-section of residents have to say on the issue.

Encroachments have become a major problem in the city and have started affecting traffic. The MC should take action with the help of the police.

After hawkers have been removed, the operation would automatically gain momentum. Signboards of political parties should also be dug out using JCBs to send a strong message.

Unauthorised hutment and shops should be demolished. Some political leaders and residents are opposing the clearance of encroachments and are a hindrance. They should not be listened to. The police should do a fine job and overcome these hurdles.

Shops that are to be auctioned should be done immediately by the GLADA, Improvement Trust and the MC so that encroachers do not influence the committee. Heavy penalty should be imposed on all encroachers.

The public could also be used on a “contract” basis to check such hindrances. Where there is a will, there is a way.

The district transport officer should remove all unauthorised vehicles plying on roads by impounding them and later selling those. — Maj Kuljit Singh Sidhu (retd)

Encroachments must go

Encroachments have become a matter of serious concern and the problem needs to be addressed soon.

At every nook, more than 50 per cent of space meant for crossing the road has been covered by encroachers due to which it usually becomes difficult for customers to shop in markets.

Under the pressure of certain influential persons, the city administration has failed to find a solution to the problem.

Whenever the administration starts a drive to remove encroachments, it has to be stopped due to pressure from a particular political group. Rules and regulations are losing their meaning.

In order to find a solution to a problem, we have to root out corruption and check the influence of political parties. — Shivanshu Garg

Shame on MC

Many problems are self-created and for encroachers, Ludhiana is a paradise. No road is free from encroachments during the day and there are permanent kiosks also.

Gill road, highway en route to Rohtak and Hisar, has been encroached upon liberally. Scrap dealers can be seen occupying even park space.

The sale and purchase of old two-wheelers are carried out from kiosks that have covered nearly two-third of the road.

There is no adequate parking along multiplexes. People visiting complexes, especially those rented out to banks and hospitals, park their vehicles on the road, hampering the flow of traffic.

The MC does not even seem to take court orders seriously. It is a matter of shame. — Sher Singh

Anti-corruption cell must

Encroachments have been spreading rapidly all across the city. Due to the absence of parking sense among residents, it becomes difficult to even shop easily. Vehicles are parked haphazardly everywhere.

The city administration has failed to tackle this menace because of the absence of an anti-bribery cell in the city.

Corruption prevails at every stage in government departments and that is why a common man has to wait for years to get justice.

Such a democracy is dangerous and total freedom is being enjoyed by a few bureaucrats, leaders, and anti-social elements.

If we want that rules are complied with, then an anti-corruption cell must be formed. — Bhawna Garg

Hold people accountable

Records should be checked to see if applications filed under the Right to Information Act have been replied to in the statutory period.

Information sought in these applications may be vital for compliance by the MC. The contents of the complaints should be verified by the authorities concerned and counter-checked.

A report must also be prepared. It will be the duty of the associations of the area, trade, business and industrial establishments to see that no encroachment is undertaken and the authorities should have liaison with office-bearers of these associations.

The authorities should be held responsible for encroachments and road blocks by rehriwallahs and pheriwallas. These should be removed as was done by Kiran Bedi, former top IPS officer, in New Delhi. — R.N. Sehgal



Weekly meeting with jail inmates
Rights body to move High Court
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 19
Disappointed at the lax response of the administration and politicians on resuming the weekly meeting of around 800 family members undergoing jail term in various central jail, a human rights organisation is planning to file a writ petition in the High Court if no action is taken by the authorities.

Ministers and police officials have time and again directed all jail superintendents to resume the weekly meeting of families but to no avail.

The weekly meeting was stopped by the jail authorities in 2004 for reason best known to jail authorities.

Universal Human Rights Organisation president Satnam Singh said they had approached almost all officials on the issue but nothing had been done so far.

The body has now decided to file a writ petition in the High Court for the rights of these families.



Smoking leading cause of lung disease: Doctors
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 19
The chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a devastating lung disease that affects millions of people worldwide and is the third leading cause of death in the world, observed the DMCH doctors.

On the occasion of World COPD Day, the DMCH in association with Cipla organised a media interaction wherein doctors termed smoking, air pollution caused by poisonous gases emanated from autorickshaws, buses, burning of paddy husk and industrial smog as the factors causing COPD.

Dr Jagdeep Whig, vice-principal and professor and head of pulmonary disease, DMCH, Dr U.P.S Sidhu, professor of pulmonary medicine, DMCH, and Dr Sandeep Puri, medical superintendent and professor and head of medicine, DMCH, briefed about the various causes, preventive measures and facts of the disease.

Living with the disease is a challenge for a patient, but at the same time it doesn’t mean giving up on everything, the doctors said.

On repercussions of prolonged use of inhalers by asthmatic patients, Dr Whig said: “It is high time for people to dispel the myth that inhalers are unsafe as they are safer than drugs. The steroids inhaled directly enter the lungs thereby saving other organs from any sort of damage. Children too are safer with inhalers as compared to prolonged use of tablets and syrup,” the doctor added.

It is a condition in which airways get narrowed and blocked with secretions. Over a period of time, the lung tissue gets permanently damaged.

Early symptoms of the disease include coughing, bringing up sputum, and getting out of breath during exercise or exertion.

Without treatment, the COPD is generally a progressive disease and as the disease gets worse patients become breathless during everyday activities such as climbing a flight of stairs, walking the dog, or even getting washed and dressed in the morning.

Usually the symptoms are attributed to ageing or smoking and the patient is most often given short-term treatment.

Patients lose all hope and resign to a steadily and surely deteriorating quality of life. Lost productivity and repeated hospitalisation further escalate the burden for the patient.

Moreover, as it worsens, the disease affects the heart, muscles and can lead to other problems like depression.

For patients who are smokers, Dr Sandeep Puri said physicians went by five “A” methodology that was asking smokers about their habit, assessing them, advising them against it, assisting them to quit and making arrangements for the same.

The disease is largely caused by cigarette smoking, while other types of tobacco smoke are also strong risk factors.



Conference on anaesthesia concludes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 19
The two-day conference on International Anaesthesia and Critical Care Review-2008 (IACCR-2008) concluded at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital here recently.

The convention was inaugurated by the Punjab medical education and research minister Tikshan Sud.

He said such conventions would help enhance standards of medical education and patient care in the region.

Scientific sessions were held by the department of anaesthesia and resuscitation in association with Mayo Clinics, Rochester, USA.

During a session on “Recent Advances in Surgery”, lectures were delivered by Dr S.K. Malhotra, Dr R. Devine and Dr Indu Sen.

Dr N. Dietz spoke on unconventional physiology in anaesthesia followed by Dr J. Hammack and Dr P. Sandroni elaborating on the topics of unusual headache syndromes and autonomic dysfunction.



IMA elections tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 19
The elections for selecting the office bearers of the Indian Medical Association, Ludhiana, will be held on December 21 at IMA House, BRS Nagar.

IMA chairman Dr Iqbal Singh Ahuja said today that December 8 was the last date of filing nominations for various posts followed by December 15 as the date for withdrawals.

The elections will be held between 10 am to 5 pm and the city doctors who have enrolled themselves as the IMA, Ludhiana, members on or before November 30 are eligible to cast their votes.



Doctor honoured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 19
SKS Sarabha Charitable Hospital was inaugurated by the Chief Minister recently. The hospital and the upcoming dental college has been named after the martyr.

Badal honoured Dr Ashish Saxena from the CMCH, who was recently in Rome to attend a conference organised by the European society for the study of diabetes.

Dr Saxena is also a member of the cardiology society of India and the American society of echo cardiography and the Indian academy of echocardiography.



Filing of VAT returns
Industry wants deadline extended
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 19
The industry is finding it hard to file VAT returns by the scheduled November-20 deadline due to the non-receipt of forms “C” and “H” from buyers from other states.

The last date for filing of the annual VAT return had been fixed as November 20 by the Punjab government.

The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings, Ludhiana, has urged Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, finance minister Manpreet Badal, minister for commerce and industry Manoranjan Kalia and financial commissioner, taxation, S.S. Brar to extend the deadline for submission of VAT returns to March 31, 2009.

Chamber general secretary Avtar Singh has urged the authorities to review the VAT legislation of the Punjab government and the stipulated date for filing of the annual VAT return.

He added that the deadline for filing of annual returns be permanently fixed as March 31 in the ensuing financial years to avoid repeated requests for extension of deadline.



MC yet to transfer 459 parks, says Channa
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 19
Despite Punjab and Haryana High Court orders, the municipal corporation has only transferred 324 out of 783 parks to the park management committees.

This was stated by S.S. Channa, president of the federation of pollution and park management committees.

Channa stated that according to the court's directions dated May 10, 2007, the judiciary had ordered the corporation to pay Rs 1 to the committees for maintaining green belt and ecological balance.

However, the orders have not been fully implemented in the letter and spirit, he added in a press note issued here.



Deepika on starry trail
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 19
City girl Deepika will soon be realising her dream to become an actress. Resident of Noorwala Road she is doing a Punjabi picture 'Pardesi', directed by R.K. Nahar, Deepika is playing the role of a foreigner who hates India.

"I had sent my profile and was elated to get a phone call from the unit. When I heard the script, I found my role good and agreed for the same," she said. The shooting for the film has started and would be shot in the country and abroad.

For Deepika it’s her dream come true. "I always wanted to join the film industry but never thought the offer will come like this. I am very fortunate for working with such a good unit and production house, she added.

An alumnus of SBS Model High School, she is keeping her fingers crossed till the release of the film and is confident that it will be received well by the audience.



Tehsildar’s office to start from today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 19
The long wait of residents to have yet another sub-registrar’s office is finally over with the sub-registrar (South) office to start functioning from tomorrow.

The office would start functioning from near Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College. Tehsildar Gurjinder Singh Benipal has been appointed the sub-registrar (South). He joined the office today.

All revenue-related documents pertaining to the Kanugo areas Gill, Jodhan and Gujjarwal would be registered in the new office.

Another office was a long-pending demand of the residents who used to complain about pendency of registration of documents due to heavy rush.

The residents had complained to Chief Minister during sangat darshan programme. The Chief Minister had at that time announced two more offices for the city.



Sports Meet for the Blind
Gurvir breaks two national records
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Gurvir SinghLudhiana, November 19
Gurvir Singh is a proud boy today as he has the credit of breaking two national records during the ongoing 16th IBSA National Sports Meet for the Blind.

A totally blind player Gurvir was passionate about the event and was determined to do well in the events.

He has been successful and made two new national records in 100 metres (12.92 seconds) and in 400 meters (01.3.69).

Gurvir ran with a partner during the race. “During our practice session I practice alone, but during the games we have to run with a partner to avoid clash in the tracks. Though I found it little difficult, my stamina helped me not only to win the races but also to create new records,” he added with a smile.

“Earlier I used to play cricket and finally turned to athletics. My coach Dalvinder Singh has been a great support all these years. Regular practice sessions helped me a lot in achieving success,” he added.

He is not only a good sportsperson but also excellent in studies. He is doing graduation and plans to do BEd in future. “I have done my studies privately and secured 80 per cent marks in 10+2,” he said.

His father Ajit Singh, who works in a revenue department, added that his son is a very hard working boy and excels both in sports and studies. “I always stand by him and want him to realise his dreams the way he wants,” he said.

Apart from these games, Gurvir has won two gold and one silver medal during the games at Faridabad, one gold and two silver at Bangalore, and one silver at Delhi.



Hockey Tourney
Jarkhar lads go down against PNB academy
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 19
Jarkhar Academy lads fought a pitched battle against their experienced opponents from PNB Academy, Delhi, before going down 1-4 in the All India Gold Cup Hockey Tournament (u-19) being organised by the Doraha Hawks Club at Gurukul Mehta Academy ground, Doraha, near here today. The match was decided in a tiebreaker.

Though, most of the time, Jarkhar academy lads had an upper hand over PNB Academy and made attacks repeatedly, however they failed to capitalise on the opportunities, which came their way.

PNB Academy players looked a pale shadow of themselves as they remained on the receiving end.

As the regular period failed to produce any results, the issue was resolved through penalty strokes in which Arjun Antil, Swaraj, Kamlesh Rai and Banali Mxs struck for the PNB Academy while the lone scorer for the losers was Sukhbir Singh.

In the second match, MP XI, Bhopal scored 3-1 win over CO-X, Patiala, to register their second victory in a row.

Patiala outfit surged ahead in the 8th minute through Gagandeep. However, their joys were short-lived as in the very next minute, Bhopal players restored parity when Sunil Sonkar found the target to (1-1).

In the second half, MP XI gained lead through Imran Yousuf in the 45th minute and five minutes later, Pushkar Raj struck to make it 3-1 which also saw his side to romp homr victors 3-1.

The third match of the day was played between Punjab School XI and SAI, Hyderabad, in which the former came out triumphant 2-0 after leading by one goal at the breather.

Harnek Singh opened the account in the very first minute of the encounter while Gursharan Singh increased the lead in the 51st minute, which sealed the SAI's lads fate 2-0.

In the last match of the day, SAI, Orissa, prevailed over Punjab and Sind Bank Academy, Jalandhar 5-4 in a tiebreaker.

Orissa lads went ahead in the 24th minute through M Surin while the equaliser for the Punjab and Sind Bank Academy came off Jaswinder Singh's stick in the 48th minute.

As the sides were locked 1-all at the end of the stipulated period, the tiebreaker rule was applied in which the SAI, Orissa, managed to squeeze past 5-4.

Yesterday, in the first match of the day, down by one goal, MP XI, Bhopal made a fine comeback to outnumber Mehta Gurukul Academy of Doraha 3-1.

Manpreet Singh of Mehta Gurukul Academy put his side ahead in the 19th minute. After struggling for some time, MP XI players found their rhythm as Pushk Rak scored the equaliser just three minute before the half time.

In the second session, MP XI dominated the proceedings and gave no chance to their opponents to come near to the citadel.

In the 40th minute, Sunil of MP XI struck to help his team to gain the lead. He again found the target nine minutes later, which sealed academy lad's fate 3-1.

In the second match, SAIL, Orissa fought vailantly to down their spirited rivals from Sangrur Academy 2-1.

SAIL players went into an early lead when K Ekka sounded the board in the 9th minute. Sangrur Academy lads restored parity in the 25th minute through Bhupinder Singh and the match-winning goal was scored by M Lakra in the 54th minute (2-1).

The third match of the day was played between Sports Authority of India (SAI), Hyderabad and SAI, Bhopal in which the former came out winners 2-1.

After the first barren half, Arvind of SAI, Hyderabad opened the account while seven minutes later, Shiva Kumar consolidated the lead (2-0) which they managed to hang on till the long whistle. Olympian, Baljit Singh Saini was the chief guest.



Hockey champs honoured
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 19
The management committee of the GHG Khalsa College, Sadhar, felicitated players and coordinators of the hockey team of the institute that had emerged winners at the Panjab University Hockey Championship, held on the university campus at Chandigarh recently.

According to Dr Swaran Jit Singh Deol, the college hockey team, captained by Tarandeep Singh had won the PU Championship (A division) by defeating the campus team by 8-0.

While match with GN College, Doraha, ended in a draw, the college team defeated LLR Government College, Dhudike, and SCD Government College, Ludhiana, by margins of 3-1 and 1-0, respectively. Balwinder Singh was declared the best player of the event.

Coaches Gurteg Singh and Malkit Singh were felicitated for their guidance. The football (women) team of the college had earlier brought laurels to the institute by clinching university championship consecutively for the fifth year.



Junior Federation Cup
Inderjit makes long strides
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 19
Inderjit Singh, athlete and trainee of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) training centre being run here at Guru Nanak Sports Complex, has been making long strides.

For his consistent performance at various sports meets in the recent past, Inderjit Singh has been selected for the preparatory coaching camp to be held at NIS, Patiala, for the senior national athletes to prepare for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games slated to be held in New Delhi in 2010.

Harbans Singh, in charge, SAI training centre, Ludhiana, Inderjit Singh hogged limelight in the Junior Federation Cup held at Pune in May this year where he secured second position in 400m race.

However, in the All India Inter-zonal Athletics Championship conducted at Jamshedpur in August this year, Inderjit Singh emerged winner in the same event.

He was also a member of the India squad, which finished runners up in the 4x400m relay race during the Junior Asian Games at Jakarta in Indonesia.

Inderjit gave an excellent performance in the IIIrd Youth Commonwealth Games at Pune, last month.

He was a member of the Indian 4x400m relay team, which established a new meet record to bring fame to the nation.

Harbans Singh congratulated Inderjit Singh on his selection for the camp and appreciated coaches, Sita Kapila and Jasbir Singh for their efforts to hone the skills of the athlete.



Schools sports meet from November 23
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 19
The two-day Ludhiana District Schools Sports Meet for boys and girls u-16 will be organised by the Punjab Sports Department here at the Guru Nanak Stadium and Punjab Agricultural University campus on November 23 and 24.

According to the Ludhiana district sports officer, Jasvinder Singh Bhandari, competition in ten disciplines namely football (boys), volleyball (boys and girls), weightlifting (boys and girls), wrestling (boys), archery (boys and girls), athletics (boys and girls), basketball (boys and girls), hockey (boys and girls), table tennis (boys and girls) and badminton (boys and girls) will be organised in this meet.

Only one school team in each discipline can take part in the meet and the winning team will represent the district in the upcoming Punjab State Inter-District Schools Games, said Bhandari.



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