L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Unresponsive Bureaucracy
Sr deputy mayor against NOC to petrol station
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
Leaders of the ruling party in the state are surprisingly seeking media’s help for taking action against the local bureaucracy for 'wrongfully' giving clearance to a petrol pump in a thickly populated area, instead of doing it through the official channels of the government.

Unresponsiveness of bureaucracy in Ludhiana to the people's problems once again came to the fore today when residents of Pink Vihar led by the senior deputy mayor and other BJP leaders sought media's help for lodging their protest against coming up of a petrol station in the thickly-populated residential area on the G.T. Road here today.

The petrol station has been given a green light by the district administration even though there were instances when such fuel stations have led to major tragedies. Just two months ago six persons were charred to death and a few injured in a fire at a fuel station in Jaipur.

Led by senior deputy mayor Parveen Bansal, a number of BJP councillors and residents protested against the setting up of the petrol station that they claimed was being set up without getting the site plan sanctioned from the municipal corporation.

Shockingly, the station was issued an NOC by the administration and residents had already lodged complaints with the deputy commissioner but to no avail. The owner even got the underground tank installed in the midnight a few days ago.

Bansal said at least 60 families living in the area would virtually sit on a powder keg if the petrol pump would be allowed.

Area councillor, also a BJP leader, Satish Naagar said the owners had allegedly grabbed a piece of the government land for constructing the petrol station. As per the revenue records the old GT road measured 165 sq ft while on ground it is 83 sq ft. The owner has grabbed the rest, he alleged.

They had stopped the construction activity on it two years ago. A former SDM (East) had given a ‘‘false’’ report that the station had 440 sq yd while it had only 330 sq yards. The rest of the land belonged to the road and was shown as a part of his area.

The SDM's report also showed it as a non-residential area, while the plot is located in the congested Pink Vihar.

The residents wanted that the petrol station allotment be cancelled from the place. They said they wanted to convey through the media to the Chief Minister that bureaucracy was not caring about residents in the city anymore. 


Wife, paramour kill man
Rakesh Gupta

Mullanpur Dakha, December 14
A wife with the help of her paramour has reportedly killed her husband. This incident took place at Raqba village near Mullanpur Dakha in the wee hours of today. The deceased Kamlu, a deaf and dumb labourer along with his wife Annu and two sons, aged three and five, was living in the village for quiet some time. He originally hailed from Loli village in Khagria district of Bihar.

He suspected that his wife has developed illicit relationship with another migrant labour Anil Kumar, who was working at the fields of Bahadur Singh of Raqba village. He brought this to the notice of Bahadur Singh and the village sarpanch as well.

According to eyewitnesses Bahadur Singh and Balwinder Singh, when they went to the fields of Baljinder Singh at around 6 am they heard strange sounds. On reaching the fields they saw semi-clad Annu holding her husband and Anil Kumar attacking Kamlu with a machete. Within seconds Kamlu’s throat was slit. A case has been registered.



Disabled youth moves PHRC, seeks protection
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 14
Billa Lasoi Wala, a physically-challenged Dalit youth of Lasoi village in Sangrur district, who has over 100 Punjabi songs to his credit and his asthmatic widowed mother, who had refused to withdraw a case registered against supporters of a SAD leader and legislator from Dhuri; are moving from pillar to post to get a cross case registered against them by the Malerkotla police withdrawn.

Eighty percent disabled, with congenital malformation of both feet and hands Billa, who takes foods with his mother’s help has been accused of assaulting and injuring the accused by waylaying them.

Accusing the police of acting at the behest of the legislator and shielding the accused, Billa and his mother have now approached the Punjab Human Rights Commission and the SC/ST Commission for seeking justice and protection of their lives and property.

Billa’s raising voice against anti-social elements in the village was cited to be reason behind the rivalry.

Denying any pressure, DSP Malerkotla Gurpreet Singh Sikand claimed that he had initiated a probe into allegations levelled by Billa and the cross case would be cancelled in case charges levelled against him and his mother were found frivolous.

In a communiqué addressed to higher authorities, including PHRC chairman and SC/ST Commission, Chandigarh, Darshan Singh Billa of Lasoi village has accused the staff at Sadar Malerkotla for allegedly shielding Amrik Singh, Chiranji, Gupreet and Jaswinder Singh of the same village, who had been booked under Section 452, 323, 324, 427 and 34 of the IPC for allegedly assaulting his family by forcibly entering into his house on August 14.

Maintaining that the accused had got a blank paper signed from him by kidnapping him in a white car at pistol point on September 6, Billa alleged that the police facilitated bail for the suspects on the basis of a fake compromise, purportedly written on this paper.

Though SP (Headquarters) Patiala, acting on directions of the IG, Patiala, had sought legal opinion on a complaint lodged by Billa about his alleged kidnapping no action has been initiated even after receiving recommendations of the legal authorities.

The police officials were also accused of misleading the court about judicial custody of the suspects. While a court at Malerkotla had ordered to remand the suspects in judicial custody for 14 days, officials at the subdivision jail maintained that they were never brought there.

When supporters of the suspects failed to pressurise the victim family for withdrawing the case, they allegedly put pressure through Dhuri MLA and got a cross case registered against Billa, his mother Nachhatar Kaur and a brother.

The police was also accused of harassing illegally detaining Billa whenever he appears before a senior police officer or a court.

Failing to get justice from the IG Patiala, DIG Patiala and SSP Sangrur, Billa and his mother have, now, knocked at the doors of the Punjab Human Rights Commission and the SC/ST Commission. “And in case we do not get justice there we will seek intervention of the Punjab and Haryana High Court,” added Billa while talking to 
The Tribune.



DMCH bans laptops
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
Post-Mumbai terror attacks, the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital has banned indoor patients, medical representatives and other visitors from carrying laptops inside the hospital premises as a precautionary step.

In wake of the reports that the latest laptops could help in mapping the buildings, the hospital has warned visitors against carrying any such stuff that can help in video graphing and taking pictures in the interest of security.

The visitors, carrying bags, were being frisked on regular basis and those carrying laptops were asked not to carry them inside. The hospital has asked the patients and visitors to cooperate with the security staff.

Chief security officer Krishan Dutt said the step was taken after taking into account the fact that the laptops had inbuilt cameras that could help anybody map the entire hospital and record it.

As the hospitals houses large number of people on any given time, the security becomes a concern. ‘‘We are just following the guidelines issued by the police. It may cause inconvenience to several people but we have to be disciplined to ensure we have no weak points, ’’ added Dutt.



Tension in Basant Avenue over land ownership
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
Tension prevailed in Basant Avenue near Dhandra village when a few armed persons unsuccessfully tried to construct a wall around 6,000 sq yards land worth Rs 50 crore allegedly under the patronage of police in the wee hours today morning.

The bid to usurp this piece of the land started at 6 am when a group of workers, armed with a JCB razed the pavement alongside the road lining the piece of land and started ploughing it. Foundations were also being dug and a wall was to be constructed when the complainant party got to know about it and reached the spot.

Both parties staked claim on the piece of land claiming each other to be the illegal occupants. The scene was turning ugly when the police intervened.

The land was lying vacant for quite some time. The developers of Basant Avenue said they were the rightful owners of the land as shown under khasra No. 246, 247, 248 and 249 in the land records. The other party was the owner of khasra No. 245.

Vijay Aggarwal of Damini Resorts and Builders, who have developed Basant Avenue, said the opposite party was also trying to grab a portion of the road that leads to Basant Avenue Part I from the Urban Estate so that there was no approach road left from the Urban Estate to the developed colony.

Showing a copy of revenue records they claimed the land belonged to them. “We were waiting to develop the land. But the land sharks are eyeing it. We have brought the matter to the police now. Let us see what happens,” said Aggarwal adding that the grabbers were intimidating their workers who had tried to stop them from trespassing.

He said the 45 sq ft road was allotted to them by the PUDA as they had paid the development charges and even sharing charges to the authority.

SP (City-III) Sajjan Singh Cheema said the matter had reached him today morning. He directed SHO Jangjit Singh to look into the details. “I have asked him to find out the real culprits. Whosoever is found to be telling lies would be booked,” he said adding that he was out of station and would act on the report filed by Jangjit once he returns. 



Residents pitch in to repair road
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 14
Having failed to evoke any action from the top politicians of the city and senior officials of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) in taking up repair work of a badly damaged road in the H block of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, a colony developed by the trust, the residents took it upon themselves to do the job rather than just raising slogans and blaming the government and the trust administration.

Work for filling up depressions with sand and stones, repair of damaged manholes and laying base coat for about 200 m of the 30-foot wide road commenced this morning in the presence of a large number of residents and functionaries of the Shaheed Bhagat Singh (H Block) Residents Welfare Association.

Balwinder Singh Malhi, Tilak Raj Madan, Balwinder Monty, Sunil Sharma, Dinesh Sharma, Narottam Kumar and Tarlochan Singh, along with other residents present on the occasion said they were fed up with repeated attempts to draw the attention of the trust authorities towards the pathetic condition of the road which had become a potential threat to them, resulting in numerous accidents during the past couple of months.

"Feeling that even sustained agitation by the residents will fail to move the trust officials, we decided to channelise the energy for repairing and recarpeting the damaged stretch of the road on our own rather than wasting the same visiting the LIT office and still fail to get any result," said the residents.

They said each of the 350 households in the H block of the locality had chipped in with contributions ranging between Rs 100 to Rs 500 and depending on the total cost of recarpeting, they had promised to raise more money.

"We have made this unique effort primarily for our own welfare as the political leadership as also the authorities responsible for upkeep of roads have failed to perform their duty. However, we do have a faint hope that the example set by residents of this locality will spur the LIT officials and the politicians into some sort of action which might benefit other localities in the mega city," the residents remarked.



Miss World Punjaban
Phoren bred, desi dreams
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
With just five days to go for the finals of “Miss World Punjaban”, contestants are keeping their fingers crossed and waiting for the D-day with bated breath.

Damsels from countries like Australia, the USA, Canada, New Zealand as also places like Delhi, Haryana and all over Punjab are putting in their best efforts to win the coveted title.

The competition will see bridal round, solo dance, heritage quiz and giddha round. Contestants from abroad are confident of giving tough competition to their local counterparts.

Supreet Malhi from the USA is a university student and is well-versed in Punjabi culture. She has been getting lessons in Punjabi culture since childhood from her mother and grandmother. “Whenever I am at the university, I am in jeans. Otherwise, I love wearing Punjabi suits. Every few months, I order suits and footwear from Patiala,” she adds.

Harmanjot from Australia loves to be in Punjab and when she visits her native village she will love to savour “sarson da saag” and “makki di roti”. “Besides, I like going to the fields, sit on the tubewell and take a tractor ride through the village,” she adds. If given a chance she will love to settle in India.

Gurpreet form Canada is a student of Class XII. Her first priority is to complete her studies but dreams of working in films.

Her favourite movie star is Kim Verma from Punjabi movies and Shah Rukh Khan from Bollywood. “We are busy in the contest but once it’s over, I will watch ‘Rab Ne Bana De Jodi’,” she adds.

Sophie Manpreet Dhaliwal from New Zealand is a student of bachelors of communications. She loves giddha and learned it in from her grandmother when she was 12. “We regularly hold functions on Diwali and Baisakhi and giddha is the mainstay at such functions,” she adds.



Killing two birds with one stone
Migrant kids forced to provide domestic help for cheap tuitions
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
Tuition is not the prerogative of the rich. The wards of the labour class also go in for tuitions and their charges are as low as Rs 100 to Rs 150 per child. There are teachers in the city who take up tuitions for the labour class children only. For them it is killing two birds with one stone, as they ask these children to come for tuitions and side-by-side, force them do their domestic chores like dusting, cleaning of the house and utensils.

Migrant labourers, who are uneducated, but want their wards to have good education send their children for extra coaching.

Pushpa, a migrant from Uttar Pradesh, sent her two grandchildren to a teacher's house for private tuition. Instead of teaching, the teacher extracted maximum household work out of them. The two children were of Class VI and VII, studying in a government school. When she came to know how the teacher was exploiting the children, she withdrew her grandchildren from there.

Kusum, who irons clothes, said she did not send her children to government school, as she has heard that the studies are not good there. She has put her children in some temporary school within the premises of a house being run by two ladies. They teach about 150 children and charge just Rs 100.

Bimal Kumar, a student of a government primary school and son of a migrant, has also to perform household duties in the morning and evening in lieu of education being provided to him by the house owners.

The children of the migrant labourers hardly learn in the government schools. The government teachers don't teach in the schools as a result they have to send their children for private tuitions, otherwise they will not pass, alleged the migrant parents.



Mgmt students carry out live research
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, December 14
With a view to have practical knowledge and field experience, MBA final year students, of Desh Bhagat Institute of Management and Computer Sciences, Mandi Gobindgarh, undertook a live research project under the guidance and supervision of Technopak Advisers Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore.

The research project which was based on customer expectation and satisfaction regarding various retail products being sold at different retail stores in India was carried out by nine students at retail stores located in the city.

It is worth mentioning that all the nine students conducted a full-fledged research by collecting primary data and then interpreting it by applying various statistical tools. Prof Shalini Gupta honoured the students with monetary incentives as well as certificates.



From Schools
Christmas bells start ringing at Sacred Heart
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
The Christmas celebrations began at Sacred Heart Convent School, Srabha Nagar. As the festivity of Christmas rings in, the celebrations began by offering prayers through a dance performance. Fr. Antony, Astt. Parish Priest of Holy Cross Church, Sarabha Nagar, were present.

He exhorted the students to shed hatred and jealousy. He awarded the certificates of excellence to the girl guides.

Declamation contest

The founders’ day of Everest Public Senior Secondary School was held on the school premises and tributes were paid to the late Dina Nath Sharma, the founder of the school. Dr Satish Menon, head of extension education, Lovely Professional University, inaugurated the function. Anjali of Central Model High School stood first in Hindi, Gurleen Kaur of the Everest Public School, Ludhiana, and Meenakshi of Everest Public School, Giaspura, stood second and third.

Neha Sharma of Harikrishan Public High school bagged first prize in Punjabi, Amandeep Kaur of Everest Public School, Jaspalon, and Anmol Sharma of S.N. Public High School, bagged second and third prize.

Dr Satish Menon, S. Pal Singh Grewal and S. Sukhdev Singh Gill, Councillor, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, gave away prizes to the winners.


A conference of Government School Teachers Union was held at Pension Bhawan, mini secretariat. The appointment of computer teachers and educational provider on regular basis, appointment of teachers on regular basis for 4,000 vacant posts and submission of the report of pay commission etc were discussed.

Annual function

The 17th annual prize distribution function and cultural programme was held at Greenland Senior Secondary Public School with great fervour and enthusiasm.

Munish Tiwari, spokesperson AICC (I), was the chief guest. Rajesh Rudhra, chairman-cum-director of Greenland schools and Baldeep Pandher, principal, welcomed the chief guest. The students gave a stupendous performance through dances, songs and skits.



Stress on training, development in academics
Our Corresspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, December 14
Faculty development programme on behalf of the department of science and technology, Govt. of India and Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, Ahmedabad, was organised at RIMT-Institute of Engineering and Technology in collaboration with the North India Technical Consultancy Organisation, Chandigarh, from 2nd to 11th December 2008.

Various faculty members from different institutes took part. S.K. Ahluwalia (I.A.S. Retd.) chief director general, RIMT group of Institutions was the chief guest. Rattan Singh, managing director NITCON, Chandigarh, stressed that entrepreneurship is more significant in the current global scenario, as the number of job seekers are more than the jobs available.

Ahluwalia expressed his views on the need of training and development in the academic sector. He also said teachers are the best source of motivation and guidance and they should fulfill this social responsibility.

Dr Pritpal Singh, principal of the institute said latest educational methodologies should be provided to the faculty members so as to provide modern and latest education and technology to the students.

Dr Bimal Anjum, head of management department, concluded the views of experts visited during the programme. Prof Harsh Sadawarti, vice-principal, Rakesh Mohan, dean academics, S.S. Singh, dean student welfare, Rajnish Talwar, head of ECE, Sukhman Kaur and Vijay Arora, senior manager NITCON shared their experiences.



Cultural bonanza marks Green Grove’s annual day
Our Correspondent

Doraha, December 14
'Fiesta - 2008', the annual function of Green Grove Public School, Mohanpur, was organised here today. Kuljit Kaur, member incharge A.I.W.C, New Delhi, presided over and Prahlad Singh, member of school management was the guest of honour.

The function commenced with a two-minute silence in order to pay homage to those, who lost their lives in the Mumbai blast. The Kindergarten children gave a spectacular performance through nursery rhymes, folk songs and vegetable kingdom.

The senior section performed on a western number. Other items like modelling, choreography and melodious western numbers left the audience spellbound.

The play 'The Bishop's Candlesticks' displayed the oratory and dramatic skills of the students. The Bishop's message that 'This body is the temple of the Living God' received accolades from the audience. The show ended with a bhangra.

The chief guest gave away prizes to the students who excelled in academics and extra-curricular activities.



Khalsa College gets new principal
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, December 14
The GGS Khalsa College for women, Kamalpura, gets its new principal. Dr Barinder Kaur has recently joined the college. Earlier, after Dr P.K. Grewal left the college in May 2007, the college activities were managed by the acting principal, Kamaljit Kaur.

Dr Barinder Kaur has served for 12 years as a lecturer and six years as principal at various colleges run by SGPC. She was the founder principal of Mata Sahib Kaur Girls College Talwandi Bhai Ki.



MC commissioner inspects road work
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
Municipal commissioner G.S. Ghuman today inspected the work on carpeting of roads, which has been going on in the city at various places. Ghuman inspected work on the Ferozepore Road and was accompanied by MC officials from the B&R department.

Assistant commissioner Vinod Sharda, who also heads the B&R department, said currently four agencies were working on the Ferozepore Road. These were: Shekhar Chand Jain, Ludhiana Builders, Kabir Constructions and BM Constructions.

He said work had to be completed within two months and the MC was expecting it to be done before the deadline.

Similarly, two agencies Ceigal Builders and Highrise were engaged in work on the GT road, while Kabir Construction was working on the link road from the stretch joining Samrala Chowk to Cheema Chowk.

Sharda said major work on the Chandigarh Road, the Hambran Road and the Gill Road had been completed and only final layering was left. It would be undertaken in mid-February or beginning of March as temperature would be conducive at that time to carry out final carpeting.



Lawyers form state forum
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
The Punjab Lawyers Forum was launched here amidst gathering of lawyers from all over the state yesterday.

The outfit also announced five-member presidium led by Gurinderpreet Singh, who was made general-secretary of the forum. He laid out a five-point programme as the main agenda for this year.

The agenda includes stipend and allowances for young lawyers to be made mandatory, making the police seek permission of the District Bar Association chief before initiating action against any association member, provision of chambers free of cost for members of the DBA and proper security for every court complex in Punjab.

Another presidium member, Bakshi Dawarka Nath, said the forum would act as a tool against corrupt officials of the judiciary and appealed to the legal fraternity to join the forum for the common cause of lawyers. The outfit also appointed its office-bearers from all over the state.



Team inspects amenities at railway station
Finds cleanliness not up to the mark
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 14
The level of cleanliness, amenities and facilities being provided to passengers at the local railway station left much to be desired and a lot more needed to be done in this respect. These were the observations of a high-level team, led by Parmeshwari Prasad Nirala, chairman of Railway Yatri Suvidha Samiti, which inspected the railway complex for around two hours this morning.

Nirala along with some senior railway officials arrived here by Shatabdi Express last night.

During the inspection of the railway station, the team was accompanied by additional divisional railway manager R.S. Ghera, divisional traffic manager Parminder Singh and station superintendent Ashok Singh Salaria, among others.

The visiting officials went round the railway platforms, reservation complex, ticket booking windows, retiring room, parcel office and the refreshment room.

They also checked eatables and other items being sold by railway vendors for quality and pricing.

What irked the inspection team most was the poor level of sanitation all round the railway complex, especially waiting rooms and lack of public conveniences.

Nirala minced no words to make it clear to the officials that they ought to pull up their socks and bring about visible improvement in cleanliness. The plea of shortage of sanitation staff made by the local officials was rebuffed by the officials saying the matter should have been taken up with the railway authorities long back.

The team took serious note of some of the complaints lodged by passengers during the inspection, which related to alleged extortion by government railway police personnel deployed at the railway station and overcharging at booking windows and reservation counters.

Nirala assured the complainants of stern action against the offenders and putting up a mechanism in place for effective disposal of such complaints at the appropriate level.



First CNG filling station by March: Kalia
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
The central government has principally agreed to introduce CNG in the city along with five other cities of the state. This was stated by industries and commerce minister Manoranjan Kalia, who was in the city today.

Stating that the level of pollution was rising alarmingly in cities, the only solution was switching over to the CNG.

He said the first CNG filling station would start functioning in the city by March next year. In the first phase, all auto-rickshaws running on other fuels would be replaced by CNG-run auto-rickshaws, he added.

He said the new industrial policy of Punjab would be announced by the end of next month and would ensure that the needs and demands of the industry are met.

He said finishing touch was being given to the policy, which would be conducive for the development of industry in the state.

Kalia assured that the policy would not only help the existing industry in its economic growth but also attract further investments in the state. The policy would be sent to the state cabinet for its nod.



Rly pensioners seek better facilities
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 14
The 10th annual general meeting (AGM) of the Northern Railway Pensioners Welfare Association, held at Pensioners’ Bhawan in the mini secretariat here today focussed on seeking better facilities at the banks, railway stations and government offices and upgrade of railway health unit to full-fledged railway hospital.

In his address, association president K.L. Chitkara pointed out that certain banks, entrusted with disbursement of pension to railway pensioners, had shifted their pension cells to Chandigarh from the city with the result that pensioners were made to face avoidable inconvenience as and when there was certain revision of pay scales and pension benefits.

He added that the railway health unit in the city ought to be upgraded to hospital and provided with latest diagnostic and therapeutic equipment along with specialised doctors. In the absence of comprehensive healthcare facilities here, elderly railway pensioners had to travel to divisional hospital at Ferozepur or New Delhi for treatment.

Other speakers, including general secretary of the association Vishwa Mitter Bhandari, made a strong case for providing a rest room near the welfare section at the local railway station for railway pensioners who had to come from far-off places to get complimentary rail travel passes.

They also urged the railway authorities to ensure speedy settlement of cases pending in railway pension adalat and take up the matter for enhancement of medical allowance of pensioners.

Extending welcome to chief parliamentary secretary of local bodies Harish Rai Dhanda, who was the chief guest, Chitkara asked him to take up the matter with the state government for providing old-age pension to railway pensioners on a par with the amount being paid by the state government, travel concession in roadways buses and courteous treatment to pensioners in all state government offices.



Councillors need to set their house in order
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
Even though municipal councillors and local MLAs have been criticising MC officials for their dilly-dally attitude, they have apparently forgotten to introspect before levelling allegations.

The blame-game witnessed during the municipal house brought to fore their own loopholes.

To begin with, Congress councillors, who pointed out that Park Plaza was being targeted because it was owned by Congress MLA and the demolition squad preferred midnight to hold its operations, apparently forgot that they were part of the civic body and should treat every violator equally.

Interestingly, the wall constructed to block the service lane, which was removed by the civic body, was built on MC property and had to do nothing with the hotel.

Similarly, Congress councillor Amrit Varsha Rampal had made a statement that her ward was one of the posh areas in the city and demanded removal of slum-dwellers from there.

Though she targeted the poor, she never urged the MC officials to remove encroachments made by rich in her ward, which were quite large in number.

Various SAD councillors to complained of lazy attitude of the MC officials. They didn’t raised a finger on their leader i.e. mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura who himself has been adopting an indolent attitude.

It took almost more than four months for the mayor to arrange a municipal house meeting. Besides, there had been reports that he had been postponing finance and contract committee meetings many a time.

When the mayor who heads the municipal house has equal responsibility of running the civic body, he himself is not active enough

Even SAD’s ruling alliance, the BJP, too, sailed in the same boat. Senior deputy mayor Praveen Bansal, who has been made head of the committee to look after renovation of hot mix plant, has failed to visit the site even once since the committee was formed.

Various committees and sub-committees formed by the municipal house, too, seem to be “hardly functional”. For instance, the transport committee has held no meeting so far.

Even tender tampering, which has already brought a lot of criticism for the municipal corporation, has involvement of various political leaders.



Ganda Nullah
BJP councillor seeks Gupta’s transfer
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
BJP councillor from ward No. 42 Gurdeep Singh Neetu has urged the authorities to transfer joint commissioner B.K. Gupta and has even set a deadline till tomorrow in this regard.

Talking to mediapersons here yesterday, Neetu said: "The O and M cell which is under joint commissioner B.K. Gupta is in a very pathetic state and lacks equipment." Nothing has been done to cover the Ganda Nullah in his constituency.”

“I have written a letter to the minister that the joint commissioner should be transferred by tomorrow failing which the councillors would be forced to stage a dharna in front of the zone B office of the municipal corporation.



Residents get glimpse of exquisite designer wear
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
Fashion enthusiasts of the city yesterday got an exclusive preview of latest international brands through a show put up at a city hotel.

On display were fashion brands like Poleci, Christies and iconic handbang brand Judith Leiber. The exhibition included apparel, lounge wear, formals, evening gowns, jackets et al, accessories, clutches and handbags.

“It was great seeing Ludhiana’s luxury afficionados warming up to our earlier show. They have a discerning sense of style,” said Sangeeta Assomull, CEO, Marigold Group, the organiser.

The collection of stylish designer clothing by Poleci were lapped up by visitors. Statement pieces in silver grey along with detailed sequin halter tops and sheer chiffon blouses, complimented by beautifully tailored skirts and trousers had made this brand a much-coveted fashion must-have today.

The chic contemporary Italian brand Christies had women’s essentials wear ranging from skirts, shirts, trousers to corsets.

In addition, the other attraction was Judith Leiber, an iconic American luxury and bag brand that deals in red carpet dressing both for Hollywood and Bollywood was well received by the city’s elite.

Girls were especially inquisitive about flower clutch that Shilpa Shetty carried. From gracing Hollywood luminaries like Catherine Zeta Jones, Sarah Jessica Parker to Bollywood’s Shilpa Shetty and Priyanka Chopra, Judith Leiber’s collection of evening clutch bags and minaudieres in crystal with stunning array of designs captured the imagination of all.



Menswear showcased
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
Italian fashion house Brioni held an exclusive preview of its Fall-Winter 2008/09 collection at a pre-holiday show at a city hotel yesterday.

For over 60 years, the fashion house has been the final word in luxury handcrafted menswear, standing for perfectionism and quality. Its precision Roman tailoring reflects an artisan heritage that prescribes to only the highest sartorial standards, seamlessly merging timeless style with modern elegance.

“Going back to date, Brioni has never compromised on its quality or style of work,” asserts Andrea Perrone, Brioni CEO. The brand boasts of devoting at least 22 hours to stitch a suit. But perhaps what Brioni is most recognised for is being the exclusive suit makers for James Bond for the last 13 years, ever since we saw Pierce Brosnan in ‘Golden Eye’ (1995) dressed in a markedly slimmer silhouette outfit.



Mumbai Attack
Peace march by residents
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
It was not a usual Sunday for the city residents. They all gathered today to take out a peace march and raise their voice against terrorism. People from every age group united today for the noble cause. Even the youngsters were present in large groups for the common cause.

The peace march started from the Rose Garden and then went to College Road, Fountain Chowk and culminated at Rahk Bagh. After reaching Rakh Bagh everybody observed silence and paid homage to those who lost their lives during the Mumbai attacks. Everybody wore black badges and lit white candles at Rakh Bagh.



Shiv Sena flays politicisation of terror attacks
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 14
Activists of the Shiv Sena today held a demonstration at the Jagraon Bridge here against politicking of Mumbai terror attacks by different political parties.

Condemning the dastardly act of militants in holding innocent people, including women and children to ransom, the protesters voiced that major political parties, without exception, were trying to draw political mileage from the acts of terrorism rather than facing the grave challenge in an articulate manner.

Rakesh Kapoor, Rikal Bedi, Ashwani Kumar and Rajiv Tandon, who led the demonstration, said it was unfortunate that leaders of all parties were more concerned with their own security or filling their personal coffers while the national security was least of their priorities. “The attacks by a handful terrorists in Mumbai is an example of total failure of the intelligence network and corrupt leaders and inefficient bureaucracy,” they asserted.

The party functionaries demanded that security personnel provided to political leaders, other VIPs and self-styled leaders of other outfits be immediately withdrawn on the basis of threat perception and national security be strengthened to ward off terror strikes or other anti-national activities.

All major parties should also avoid holding unnecessary rallies or taking out big processions, which could provide militants with soft targets.



Bar Poll
Six left in fray
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 14
Six candidates were left in the fray for three posts of the Jagraon Bar Association, after the last date of withdrawal of nomination papers ended yesterday.

While Raghubir Singh Toor and Gurtej Singh Gill will contesting for president, Parminder Singh and Ranjit Singh Roomi will be pitted against one another for the post of vice-president.

Sandeep Gupta and Jagpal Buttar will contest for the post of secretary.

Earlier, 14 candidates were in the fray, with five contestants for the post of president, three for vice-president and four for secretary.

Vishal Sharma and S.S. Chabbra were elected unopposed as executive members.

A section of lawyers also tried to reach a consensus on unanimous election of the president, but in vain.

The election will be held on December 19 in which 62 lawyers will exercise their right to vote.

Keen contest will be witnessed for the post of president between Toor and Gill. Where Gill has already served the association as president, Toor, a social worker, is one of the most respected lawyers here.




Various types of encroachments are common in all cities. Being unplanned and non-sector city the market roads, prominent areas etc are seen under encroachments of standing vehicles, rehris, farrhis, hawkers, vendors, slum dwellers etc.

There is a spurt of encroachments of slum-dwellers in and around the city. Being vote bank of politicians, tehbazaari officials are unable to uproot them. Needless to mention, they have not only made the city dingy and dirty, but also increased the crime rate, thefts, sale of intoxicants, smuggling, population, workload of courts, police stations etc.

To constitute an official body to authenticate the allegations of bribing officials for allowing rehris etc will not eliminate corruption, as most of the concerned officials from top to bottom are themselves involved.

Jai Gopal Kusla, Ludhiana

Readers are invited to mail letters (not more than 200 words) at "ludhiana@tribunemail.com" or post the same to The Tribune, 1, 2 Improvement Trust Building, Badaur House, Clock Tower, Ludhiana.



Proclaimed offender held after four years
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 14
The local police has arrested a proclaimed offender who had been booked under Sections 364 A, 506, 120 B of the IPC and Section 25 of the Arms Act for allegedly kidnapping the son of a local trader and demanding Rs 1 crore in ransom four years ago.

The PO had been evading arrest by staying as “paying guest” at houses of certain families of Haryana who used to exploit his helplessness to earn extra income.

A peasant family had gone to the extent of “marrying” their divorced daughter to him. Gurdeep Singh, alias Doctor, of Gopalpur village in Ludhiana district was arrested by a team led by SHO Harinder Singh three days ago.

Gurdeep Singh and his accomplices had allegedly kidnapped Devinder Singh Banni, son of a businessman, in a Maruti car on December 17, 2004.

They had demanded a ransom of Rs 1 crore for his release. However, Banni had managed to free himself before his parents could pay the ransom.

Prit Pal Singh of Alamgir, Kulwinder Singh and Gurdeep Singh were then booked under Sections 364 A, 506 and 120 B of the IPC and Section 25 of the Arms Act.

Prit Pal, who was arrested shortly after the kidnapping, was awarded life imprisonment. Gurdeep Singh and Kulwinder Singh, another PO who was arrested earlier, would be tried now.

According to revelations made by Gurdeep Singh, a number of families settled at certain towns and villages of Haryana had been sheltering proclaimed offenders and absconders at their houses for years together.

He had been staying with some families of Chautala, Dabwali, Aaboob Shehar, Raghu Wala and Pamal.

Though he did not specify what amount he had been paying in lieu of board and lodging, he admitted that all his earnings were utilised towards these expenses.

He was living with a divorcee sister of a farmer of Raghu Wala, from where he had come to visit his parents a few days ago.

Bhajan Lal of Chautala village, a self-styled Dalit leader, had taken him to an ADGP of Haryana. Gurdeep was told that the ADGP had requested the then SSP of Sangrur district to be lenient with him.



Cop booked for assault
Tribune News Service

Khanna, December 14
A cop has been booked for assaulting a woman from the Sun city area.

In her complaint to the police, Rajwinder Kaur, alleged that head constable Prem Singh, a resident of Amrali village in Fatehgarh Sahib, had an argument with her over some money transaction. On December 12, Prem came to her home and started beating her. Later, he threatened her of dire consequences. The police has booked him under Sections 323, 323, 344, 341 and 506 of the IPC.



Two detained for trespass
Residents stage dharna against minister
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
Residents of ward No. 63, led by councillor Jagbir Singh Sokhi, staged a dharna outside police post in Shimlapuri to protest against illegal detention of a resident, Ram Parkash, and his wife at the behest of supporters of a local minister.

The residents lifted the dharna only after the police released the detainees in the evening.

Ram Parkash and his wife were picked up by the police following the complaint of supporters of the minister, who had alleged that the couple had trespassed on to their land.

The land, however, belonged to Ram Parkash and Akali leaders had grabbed it earlier.

Ram Parkash had appeared in a sangat darshan programme of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal recently stating that his plot had been grabbed by Akali leaders.

Badal had directed the district police to inquire into the case.

The police in its inquiry had found that the land belonged to Ram Parkash, but he was not able to get the sale deed registered. He had bought it on power of attorney.

After the report, the couple went to their plot in Suraj Nagar this morning. The supporters of minister got angry and complained to the police against them. They wanted him booked for trespass and theft.

Councillor Sokhi and residents of the area staged a dharna outside the police post and raised slogans against the minister and the police.

They lifted the dharna only after the police released the two.



Armed youths thrash two, vandalise parlour
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
A group of armed youths allegedly thrashed two persons and vandalised a parlour in Gurpal Nagar here yesterday. They went on a rampage, destroying furniture and other infrastructure at the parlour.

According to sources, the youths, around five in number, had followed four girls, who had come to the parlour take lessons.

The girls complained about the youths to parlour owner’s son Rohit, who reached the scene soon after.

Talking to The Tribune, Rohit claimed that as soon as he reached the scene, the youths started abusing him. A few minutes later, some more youths joined them.

The youths, around 15 of them, were armed with swords and daggers. “They went on a rampage and destroyed furniture and various other articles besides attacking me with a sword. They also beat me up,” he alleged.

A Rohit’s friend who came to his rescue, too, was attacked by the youths and both of them were undergoing treatment at the local civil hospital.

The victims revealed that the youths were from the same area and they could recognise them.

No case was registered till the filing of the report. 



FCI Soccer Meet
Delhi team pull off an upset
Beat defending champs East Zone
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 14
In a major upset, Head Quarters, Delhi, stunned reigning champions East Zone 1-0 in a round robin league encounter on the third day of the 38th All-India Food Corporation of India (FCI) Inter-Zonal Football Tournament being played at the Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

Defending champions looked a pale shadow of themselves as players from Head Quarters, Delhi, dominating the proceedings, pushing their rivals against the wall. The all-important goal was scored in the 32nd minute through Thushar Mithani.

Stung at the reverse, East Zone men tried hard to restore parity. However, they failed to capitalise on the chances that came their way and HQ, Delhi, players eventually managed to wrap up the encounter with a wafer-thin 1-0 margin.

The second match was played between North Zone and West Zone in which the former came out triumphant 4-0 to register their third victory in as many outings.

After the first barren half, North Zone opened the account in the 48th minute through Manish Mithani. He again struck in the 65th minute to enhance the lead (2-0).

Three minutes later, Tirlok Singh Bisht scored a superb goal to further consolidate the lead and in the very next minute, Vikas found the target to complete the rout 4-0.

The third match of the day played between North East Frontier Zone and South Zone turned out be a one-sided affair in which the former romped home victorious without being challenged (6-0). This was South Zone’s third defeat in a row.

Thomson Langthara (18th and 20th minute) and Bhaskar Jyoti Borha (27th and 55th minute) scored a brace each, while Sayeed Ansar (29 minute) and Aken Khaklary (49th minute) were the others who saw NEF Zone script an easy victory.



16 teams for cricket meet
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 14
Sixteen teams from all over the state are expected to take part in the Open Cricket Tournament to be held at the Sarpanch Bachan Singh Cricket Academy at Balloke on the Humbran road from December 18 to 25.

The winners will receive a cash prize of Rs 11,000, while the losing finalists will pocket a cash prize of Rs 5,000.

The tournament will be organised on the knock-out basis and matches of 20 overs each side will be played during this week-long tournament.

Entries may be sent by December 16 to Rajinder Billa or Varinder Patwari.



Table Tennis
Yashi defies age to clinch title
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 14
Yashi Sharma (7) has made her presence felt by registering upset victory over her senior and experienced opponent in the Ludhiana District Table Tennis Tournament held, recently.

Yashi, a student of Class II of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Kitchlu Nagar, Ludhiana started playing the game only six months ago and impressed one and all with her deft foot work and ball control.

In the North Zone Prithipal Singh Memorial Table Tennis Tournament held here on the Punjab Agricultural University campus in the month of August, Yashi playing her first major tournament fought valiantly before going down 2-3 against the district sub-junior champion, Himani Bhatia of Sat Paul Mittal School, Dugri.

Daughter of the former table tennis player, Tapinder Sharma, Yashi avenged her defeat during the district championship held in the last week of November when she outnumbered Himani. Competing in the u-16 group, Yashi stunned Himani 11-7, 9-11 and 11-6 to clinch the title.

There was a double delight for this upcoming paddler as she defeated Amol of DAV Public School 3-1 to bag the title in the cadet girl's category.

Suresh Sharma, Sports Authority of India (SAI) coach and Sanjeev Sood, former international table tennis star who impart training to Yashi, see tremendous talent in her to excel at the national and international level.



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