L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC contractor blacklisted
Two officials suspended
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
The local bodies department today blacklisted a municipal corporation contractor and suspended two of its Zone C officials for trying to influence a team of scientists for giving a favourable report. These scientists had recently collected samples of a freshly recarpeted ‘controversial’ road.

Junior engineer, Rakesh Singla, SDO Rakesh Sharma of B and R wing of the corporation have been suspended and owner of High Rise Buildings Company blacklisted.

This action was taken by local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia following a complaint lodged by Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, scientists that the trio had tried to influence them when they were testing the samples of a premix taken from the Gill Road, that was being recarpeted by the contractor under the supervision of these two officials.

Chief vigilance officer, Local Bodies, A.K. Prabhakar, while talking to The Tribune said action was taken by the minister today after the three went to the college and asked the scientists to give a report in their favour.

He added that the report of samples was yet to be received. ‘‘It would be out in a day or two. Further action would be taken once it is out,’’ he added.

The local bodies vigilance had collected samples from five different roads in the city that were being recarpeted 10 days ago. A team led by Prabhakar and accompanied by the PEC professors had collected the samples from the Partap Chowk to the Gill Road, Dhandra Road, Kocchar Market to Middha Chowk and the Humbran road. These were to be tested by the college and report was sent to the Local Bodies department.

Gill Road was in the midst of a controversy for some time. Shopkeepers in the area were alleging that inferior quality material was used in recarpeting the road. The junior engineer and the SDO were to be held responsible, as they had to ensure the quality of material.


Notices to SE, assistant town planner
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Taking strict action against erring officials who failed to comply with the directions,municipal commissioner G.S. Ghuman has issued show cause notices to SE (O & M) K.S. Dhillon and ATP Harpreet Singh Ghai for failing to meet the deadlines.

According to information, the municipal commissioner had issued a letter dated December 10 (copy of which is with The Tribune) and had given five-day time to municipal officials of various branches for sending a certificate that no court case is pending against their department. Besides, a few of those against whom civil contempt petitions were pending had been asked to send their replies to the appointed lawyers. The branch heads were also asked to give in written that they were complying with the court’s directions.

Though the time limit given by the commissioner was 9 am today, being a little liberal with his officials he had extended the time till today evening i.e. 5 pm to submit their replies.

Till today afternoon there were four persons who had failed to submit their replies to law officer K.S. Kahlon.

These four included Charanjit Uppal, SE K.S. Dhillon, ATP Harpreet Singh Ghai and joint commissioner M.P. Gupta. However, Uppal and joint commissioner Gupta managed to submit their replies till 5 pm.

The sources revealed that SE Dhillon was asked to file replies for four cases, while ATP Ghai, Uppal and joint commissioner M.P. Gupta had to file replies for one case each.

Talking to The Tribune, Ghuman said, "There were 15 cases in which reply was sorted out of which four were with SE Dhillon and one with Ghai. Since, they failed to file their replies; they have to face an outcome now."

He added that SE Dhillon and ATP Ghai both have been issued show-cause notices and after it they might be charge sheeted.



10 quintal magoor seized at fish market
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Despite a ban, the smuggling of magoor variety of fish is going unabated in this part of the region.

In less than a month, 56 quintal of magoor fish has been destroyed in Punjab by the department of fisheries.

On December 13 and 14, 10 quintal of fish was seized from the Sherpur fish market of Ludhiana and another 7 quintal was seized from the periphery areas of Jagraon and Moga.

“Ludhiana, being the hub of migrant population, remains the favourite destination for the banned fish. Experts feel that because the fish consumes toxic effluent, diseases like cancer could occur if the fish is eaten. It is cultured in unhygienic manner in village ponds of Punjab and Haryana. The fish, which was seized, was reportedly being smuggled from Haryana,” Kamaljit Singh Sidhu, president of the Fish Farmers Association, Punjab, and an ex-officio member of the Punjab Fish Farmer Development Agency, said.

He said fish farmers had suffered huge losses due to the unabated sale of magoor. This variety was sold at much cheaper rates as compared to other varieties like malli and sol.

At several villages, village ponds have been “hired” on contract by migrants for the culture of magoor. Tarsem Singh, another fish farmer, said dead animals, besides waste, was the feed of this fish. The variety was so sturdy that it could survive without water for more than 24 hours.

“Farmers had complained to the director, fisheries, but still hundreds of quintal of the fish was reportedly being cultured in Punjab and neighbouring states,” Sidhu said.



PAUTA protest rally today
High-handedness of authorities alleged
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
The Punjab Agricultural University Teachers Association (PAUTA) will hold a protest rally opposite Thapar Hall tomorrow. The protest has been organised against the alleged high-handedness of the authorities in singling out two teachers and trying to threaten them for their views expressed in the general house.

A member of PAUTA said Rajinder Kalra and Anil Sharma were being punished by the authorities for no fault of theirs. “Every member has a right to express his/her views in the general house. They did not take any names. Still, the complainant filed a suit against them and going a step ahead, the authorities punished them by relieving Kalra from hostel wardenship and sending Sharma to his parent cadre at Noormahal,” the member said on the condition of anonymity.

In addition to this, PAUTA members said they had submitted a resolution to the authorities about their demands on December 5, but nothing had been done about it so far.

Their demands include selection of various heads of department on the basis of assessment as per the statutes and that the matter should not be taken to the board of management.

They had also asked for early reinstatement of Dr Satpal Saini, who had been placed under suspension by the university authorities.

“We have decided to hold a rally in connection with these issues” Mukesh Siag, general secretary of PAUTA, said.



Youth sent to Spain goes missing
Distraught father meets Lok Bhalai Party leader
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
A resident of Jaid village in Kapurthala is in the city to urge the Lok Bhalai Party (LBP) to take up the case of his missing son with the Indian embassy at Ukraine.

He had spent Rs 9.5 lakh to send his son to Spain, but for the past five months, he was unable to find the whereabouts of his son.

His 22-year-son Jatinder Singh was sent to Spain by an Amritsar-based travel agent, who has gone underground.

Jatinder Singh had called up his father, Gurmeet Singh, from Ukraine five months ago. After that he never received any call. The travel agent, Rajinder Singh, alias Laddi of Kot Mitt Singh village in Amritsar, was neither picking up the phone nor was he available at his house.

Gurmeet Singh has also made rounds of several police stations, but in vain.

Talking to LBP leader Avtar Singh Mullanpuri, Gurmeet Singh said the travel agent had promised to send his son to Spain and took an advance of Rs 4.5 lakh from him.

For a farmer with small landholding, it was not an easy amount to arrange. He borrowed the money on interest, hoping his son would pay back the dues.

The agent took Jatinder to Moscow and returned, saying that he had sent Jatinder to Spain from Moscow and took another Rs 5 lakh from him.

“A few days later, we received a phone call from my son stating that he was in Ukraine. We were happy things were moving. After that we did not receive any call from him. The number he had called from was of a public booth,” Gurmeet Singh said.

“I have not only lost Rs 9.5 lakh, but also my son. I do not know how to console my wife. I wish I had not sent him abroad. At least he was with us,” he said.

Mullanpuri assured him of help and said they would take up the matter with the embassies in Ukraine and neighbourhood countries to find out the youth’s whereabouts.



11 trains cancelled due to fog
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 15
The railways has cancelled 9771 up/9772 down Amritsar-Jaipur Express and 10 other mail and express trains from December 15 to 31 in view of the fog prevailing in the region. The biweekly Amritsar-Jaipur Express runs from Amritsar on Tuesday and Thursday and from Jaipur on Thursday and Saturday.

According to railway sources, the other trains which have been cancelled include 0307 up/0308 down Mumbai-Delhi Express, 2435 up/2436 down Lucknow-Bareilly Express, 4 up/5 down Howrah-Rishikesh Express, 5011 up/5012 down Laksar-Saharanpur Express, 4043 up/4044 down Delhi-Kotdwara Express, 0341 up/0342 down Delhi-Ferozepur Express, 4323 up/4324 Delhi-Rewari Express, 0309 up/0310 down Nizamuddin-Ambala Express and 0345 up/0346 down Ferozepur-Jind Express.



Friend turns foe, ‘kills’ man
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
A friendship gone bad claimed the life of 32-year-old migrant Varun Singh settled at Mundian Kalan village here today.

Varun was allegedly murdered by his friend, Paplu, who had been working with him at a factory in the Focal Point.

His body was found from Bhamian Kalan village this morning. Injuries had been inflicted by a sharp-edged weapon on his head.

According to Hitesh Singh, brother-in-law of the victim, Varun and Paplu were bosom friends, but a misunderstanding developed between them and they turned foes.

Some days ago, Paplu allegedly threatened Varun that he would get him eliminated. Varun’s body was found in the fields of the village.

The police has booked Paplu under Section 302 of the IPC.



2 labourers asphyxiated; another serious
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Two labourers were asphyxiated due to a burning hearth at a house under construction at Mandiani village here late last evening.

Another labourer has been hospitalised in a serious condition.

The deceased have been identified as Zaheer (32) and Inftikhaar (30).

The trio had gone to sleep in the morning after working throughout the night. They had eaten food at a nearby dhaba. They used to work during the night and it was not unusual for them to sleep during the day.

But when they did not wake up till late in the evening, their co-workers raised the alarm.

They woke them up only to find them unconscious. They were taken to hospital where the two were declared brought dead.

Their families have been informed in Bihar. 



City Concerns

The entire scape of the city is stamped with images of power generators. Summer has gone, but power cuts continue. Thousands of houses and business establishments have installed generators.

In the absence of any government action on ground, residents breathe polluted air and have to bear with noise pollution.

Voice of citizen awareness groups and widespread coverage in the media seems to have had no affect on the administration or even the state government.

There is no official data on the level of pollution although the Punjab Pollution Control Board does have sample collection installations at various places in the city.

Ludhiana Tribune solicits public view on the state of affairs in localities. Is there any solution to the existing problem of generator sets in the wake of power cuts? What problems are you facing from the harmful generator smoke and the unending noise pollution? Is there scope for any government machinery to intervene in the matter?

Responses, in not more than 200 words, can be emailed to ludhianaconcerns@tribunemail.com or sent to our city office at Bhadaur House, Ludhiana.

— City Editor 



Contender for presidentship withdraws 
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Dr Devinder Walia, the independent candidate contesting for the post of president for district body of the IMA (Indian Medical Association), withdrew his nomination papers in favour of another contender for the post, Dr Narotan Dewan.

Today, being the last day of withdrawal of nominations, it is a significant development as it leaves Dr Narotam Dewan and Dr Arun Mitra to fight for the post of the president. The elections are scheduled for December 21.

Dr Walia has clearly written that his decision is the outcome of his wish to ‘bring a change’ in the district body through election of a new team. He also said he could not voice out his opinion against Dr Arun Mitra and the present district president because his mouth was 'gagged' by the election commission. While levelling the allegations on Dr Arun Mitra the doctor said he did not contribute anything for the IMA, Ludhiana. He also alleged Dr Mitra of misappropriation of funds, giving a detailed account statement of the withdrawal of Rs 5 lakh in a short span.

Dr Mitra said he had the receipt of all the money spent during his tenure. “The expenditure done from the IMA account was discussed in the executive committee and general body meetings followed by maintenance of a proper record,”he added.

However, in another interesting development, a senior physician has pointed towards the ongoing inquiry against Dr Narotam Dewan, thereby, putting a question mark on his credentials as a 'deserving' candidate for the above post.

A statement in a letter of the Punjab Medical Council issued today said, the council had asked for an explanation from Dr Dewan pertaining to the charges for holding a surgical camp without permission of the competent authority, unethical advertisement in the press, rebate in diagnostic test and discount in surgical procedure.

Dr Dewan said, “This is an old inquiry and I had given a detailed reply to the PMC, stating that the surgical camps were held for charity purposes. ”



NGOs organise blood donation camps
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
In an endeavour to collect blood for the patients admitted in ‘emergency’, some of the city-based NGOs are regularly organising blood donation camps.

One such organisation Salaam Zindagi today organised 11th blood donation camp at Gurdwara Reru Sahib Patshashi, Sahnewal.

A large number of volunteers, including some senior members of the gurdwara, donated blood at the camp.

The camp was organised in collaboration with the department of transfusion medicine of the CMCH.

Dr Rajoo Singh Chinna, medical superintendent, DMCH, delivered a lecture on liver diseases and diabetes. He also called upon the people to regularly donate blood, adding that blood donation keeps the donors in a good health.

Another organisation, Help Zone Club, also organised a blood donation camp in Haibowal today.

The club president, Arun Joshi, said the organisation was involved in motivating the youth to come forward for the good cause.

“Blood donation is one of the most noble deeds that can be done to save a life,” Joshi added.



Christmas camp by CMCH staff
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
The CMCH organised a “CMC Christmas Camp 2008” at the children’s park on the hospital premises on Saturday evening.

The camp was coordinated by Rev Stanley Thomas and his team in the fellowship department.

An array of cultural items and prayer was organised. The programme was attended by a gathering of around 2,000 persons, including CMC staff along with their families and friends.

Representatives from a local church also attended the programme. The gathering sang Christmas hymns.

The welcome note was delivered by nursing superintendent Triveni Rajappa.

Group songs were presented by participants from college of nursing, maintenance staff, CMC church choir, college of physiotherapy, paramedics, nursing department and ancillary staff.

The ancillary staff also presented a qawwali. The dental college and department of nursing presented a skit and a dance.

At a campfire to keep the audience warm, director Dr A.G. Thomas underlined the need to be spiritually linked to God. The programme concluded with a vote of thanks by Wilson who also hosted the event.



Model Neeti Singh inaugurates jewellery fest
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Contrary to the fact that models follow a strict diet regime, Neeti Singh of Wills India Fashion Week fame munches everything be it chocolate or a burger.

“I never consider that the snacks contain oil or the food has more calories. I love eating and eat what I want. But yes, going to gym every morning is a part of my routine. I burn extra calories by working out everyday,” she says. Neeti was in the city to inaugurate the Kundan Polki Antique Festival at Orra. She is herself fond of jewellery and love wearing antique pieces. "When I was offered to represent Orra at this festival, I agreed instantly because I love wearing jewellery, especially, the antique sets,” she adds.

The heavy kundan set with emeralds was perfectly complementing her green dress.

After completing her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Delhi University, Delhi, she aspires to do MBA.

When asked, if she has any plans to join Bollywood, she said she had never planned things in life. “I like to live in the present and do not beleive in making plans for future. I live each and every moment to the fullest without worrying about the future,” she smiles.

Talking about the most memorable moment, she says, “the day my younger brother was born”. However, reading is something she does not enjoy. "I bought Chetan Bhagat’s book and could read only four pages. Books are not my cup of tea,” adds she.

Before visiting Ludhiana, she thought it would be a village. “I am surprised to see that it was very much like Delhi and people here are very warm-hearted. The best part of the city is that people here love eating and that is what exacly I love doing,” she says.

Talking about the kundan polki festival, she said the glitter of diamonds, the sheen of gold and the royalty of polki had been beautifully meshed together. One could get a discount upto 50 per cent on 22 kt plain gold and jewellery and 10 per cent discount on classy kundan and polki jewellery.



Meltdown, not for women shoppers
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
At a time when the world economy is shaken with the fear of recession looming large, city women remain unaffected and continue to fill their coffers with the best of apparel and jewellery.

Said Maninder S. Sethi, organiser of the recently held “Wedding Asia Expo”: “Women and recession have no link whatsoever. Women will shop for expensive apparel and jewellery whether recession is on or not. These things do not really affect Indian women when it comes to shopping.”

He jestingly added that women had the riches and the means to shop even in these times. “Recession will only affected their husbands,” he quipped.

S. Raja, regional head, north and east India, Orra, who was in the city today in connection with Kundan Polki Antique Festival, could not agree more. “The global economic meltdown has not affected our sales in the city because women here do not mind loosening their purse strings for good stuff,” he added.

He further said keeping in view the city women’s taste for rich ornaments, the company introduced a new collection every three months in the region.

Huge rush in city’s posh markets and shopping malls are testimony to the fact that the prevalent downtrend in the global economy has had little or no effect on the residents’ purchasing power or their buying decision.

Confirming this, an apparel store owner in one of the city’s most popular malls, said: “The city’s population is known for its style, taste for the lavish and spending capacity and there is no change in the trend even now. In fact, if you study the rush in markets carefully, men, especially industrialists, have still become a little cautious with the amount of money they spend but not women.”

A chartered accountant, on the condition of anonymity, said: “My wife is an educated woman working with a leading MNC and understands the condition of the economy well. However, when she is out on a shopping spree, nothing can stop her, not even the mention of a possible re-run of the economic depression of the 1920s. Same is the case with the other women I know.”



Crowded markets lack fire-fighting equipment 
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
The lack of adequate safety measures at various sale points across the city, also in the crowded markets like Chaura Bazaar, has raised a question mark on the administration’s concern for the citizens security.

The safety norms continue to be flouted in the markets with impunity. Owing to the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities concerned and the non-compliance with the fire safety norms, almost all markets in the city lack fire-fighting equipment.

A survey by Ludhiana Tribune of the China Bazaars at various places across the city, including crowded markets like Ghumar Mandi, Bharat Nagar Chowk and Civil Lines revealed these markets were sans fire-safety equipment. Most of these places remained jampacked with shoppers throughout the day, putting thousands of lives at risk, in case, any mishap occurs.

“In case of any mishap at a place like Chaura Bazaar, the situation will go out of control as there are no safety measures in the market that is always over-crowded. In case of fire, the entire market will be gutted as the lanes are already very narrow and no vehicle or fire tender can enter the market,” Harbhajan Singh, a shop owner in Chaura Bazaar, said.

A fire safety official, when contacted, revealed most of these markets were without fire-fighting systems. “Such markets lack the necessary equipment, but, nothing much can be done about it,” he said.

He further said the fire department conducted a check at the Mall Road and found that the site was lacking fire-fighting equipment, but no action had been taken as there were no guidelines issued in this regard by the department concerned. 



Placement drive at PTU learning centre
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
The placement cell of the PTU learning centre, Goodwill Complex, organised a placement drive for the students today.

The representatives of companies, namely ICICI Bank, and Reliance Communications visited the campus to select students required for various vacancies.

Harvinder Singh represented the Reliance Communications whereas Amandeep Singh Rai and Jasbir Singh (branch manager) represented the ICICI Bank.

Placement officer Kirandeep Singh welcomed the representatives and briefed the students about the companies and details of the vacancies, for which the drive was being conducted.

The students actively participated in the selection process, which was coordinated by centre head Ramandeep Kaur and academic counselor Tandeep Kaur.

Before the conclusion of the placement drive, director Khushwant Singh said the centre endeavoured to hold such activities on a regular basis for securing the future of the students.



MC demolishes petrol station 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Acting tough the municipal corporation today demolished the petrol station at old Sabzi Mandi after senior deputy mayor Praveen Bansal raised his voice over the issue yesterday.

This step was taken after media highlighted the issue that a petrol station was allotted NOC by the district administration despite the fact that it was coming up in a thickly-populated residential area.

The corporation’s squad equipped with a JCB machine and a crane dug up the land for taking out a tanker, which was allegedly installed at the owned by the civic body.

Bansal along with other BJP councillors and Pink Vihar residents had alleged that the petrol station was set up without getting the site plan approved from the corporation.



Subedar Balwant Singh cremated 
Our Correspondent

Raikot, December 15
Subedar Balwant Singh of Nathowal village near here was cremated with full military honours at the village crematorium. He had died on the night of December 12 when he was on patrol duty at the Rajouri sector in Jammu and Kashmir.

While patrolling, he mistook to having stepped over a land mine and jumped back. Unable to balance himself, he slipped into a gorge and died. His body was bought by men of the 16 Sikh Light Infantry in which he served for about 24 years.

His body was wrapped in the National Flag.

The Army men were led by Col. Sanjiv Bakshi, who along with JCO Sunder Biswas, paid tributes on behalf of their commandant by laying a wreath on Subedar Balwant Singh’s body. At least 15 soldiers also paid their tributes to the departed soul by reversing their arms. The pyre was lit by his son amidst chanting of mantras.

Inder Partap Singh Phulka, national president, SAD’s ex-servicemen wing, Capt Jarnail Singh (retd.), district president,Raikot MLA, Harmohinder Singh,market committee chairman, Malwinder Singh Sivia, tehsildar Rajinder Oberai on behalf of district administration and a large number of villagers also paid tributes to the martyr.



Power cuts haunt recession-hit auto units 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
The local auto-parts manufacturing units have severely been hit by the unscheduled power cuts.

The auto-parts manufacturers' association has in a press note stated that this sector has already become uncompetitive due to the continuous fluctuations in the steel prices.

Now, the global meltdown has hit this industry hard. In addition to this, they received another blow after the duration of weekly power cuts were increased from 24 hours to 36 hours by the PSEB.

Gurpargat Singh Kahlon, association's president, said the long power-cuts were back to haunt the recession-hit engineering industries in the state. "Industrial output has reduced by 20 per cent, and the power-cuts will further adversely affect the profit of this sector," he added.



PAU sexual harassment case getting complicated 

Ludhiana, December 15
With the suspension of Dulcha Singh Brar, director, Students Welfare, Punjab Agricultural University, in an alleged sexual harassment case by the vice chancellor, the issue has started getting complicated.

University authorities has now decided to issue a show cause notice along with a charge sheet to Brar. They have also sought his reply within a month, which would be followed by a formal departmental inquiry against him to be conducted by a senior officer to be appointed by the vice-chancellor.

Brar, who was on leave till December 31, was recalled and served suspension orders on December 12. Vice- chancellor Manjit Singh Kang accepted the inquiry committee report before leaving for Italy as a head of a delegation of Indian scientists. Out of the four members in the committee only three signed the report. The fourth one who represented an NGO did not put in his signatures. The committee was headed by Neelam Grewal, dean, college of home science. Its report has not been made public so far. But it’s learnt that the committee has concluded that prima facie there was truth in the complaint.

The vice-chancellor had told The Tribune, “We had given sufficient time to the DSW for appearing before the committee to explain his position. Then I also heard him and gave another opportunity to plead his case. But he failed to turn up. We have proceeded as per the rules”. The committee held four sittings and Brar appeared before it at its first meeting and then at the fourth one.

Meanwhile, Brar approached members of the board of management and a few politicians not withstanding the denial by him. The financial commissioner (development) Punjab and finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal also extended their support to him. However, the vice-chancellor has refused to succumb to the political pressure and has proceeded against Brar.

The Punjab Agricultural University Teachers Association also came out in support of Brar at its general body meeting and a few of its members allegedly cast aspersions against the complainant who has served legal notices to the president, vice- president, secretary and a few other PAUTA members for allegedly indulging in character assassination.

However, PAUTA seemed to be divided over the issue of extending support to Brar as in a letter to the vice-chancellor on December 10, 2008 it was stated that Brar would not appear before him on that day at 4.30 pm. It also sought an inquiry and pleaded that Brar be given a fair chances to defend himself. The letter wasn’t signed by the PAUTA president and the vice-president. It carried the signatures of PAUTA secretary Mukesh Siag and a few executive committee members.

M.S Mahal, PAUTA president, when contacted said yesterday that he was on leave till December 18.

He, however, admitted there were differences among the PAUTA over the issue of extending support to Brar. He felt that this issue has harmed the university’s reputation. The matter could have been amicable been without stretching it further.



Now, MC tender forms available online
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
In an attempt to bring more transparency in the tender policy for which the municipal corporation has been repeatedly criticised, the civic body has started making tender forms available online.

The tender forms can now be downloaded from www.ludhianacorp.com and all those who want to apply can directly obtain these without requesting any official for it.

Talking to The Tribune, municipal commissioner G.S. Ghuman said: “There had been several complaints about irregularities that forms were denied to outstation contractors and others citing one reason or the other. With forms being made available on the Internet, anybody who wants to apply for the work can get these directly.” Besides, tenders will be opened the same day they are submitted so that tampering can be removed, he added.

MLA Harish Rai Dhanda, who had raised the issue of tampering with tenders and denial of tender forms to some contractors in the municipal house meeting, said: “The move of making forms available online will help applicants as certain officials who have been indulging in malpractice will now be refrained from their activities.”

He added that the practice of online forms was followed earlier too, but MC officials indulging in tampering had stopped the practice.

Dhanda said he took up the issue in the MC house because there were recent reports of denial of forms to the contractors in the streetlight maintenance contract tenders.

He added that he had also suggested that tenders should be attested by executive magistrate so that tampering could be curtailed.

Opposing the acceptance of single tenders, Dhanda said another issue of tenders that needed to be highlighted was single tender system that the MC had been following.

“I am sorry to say but the finance and contracts committee of the municipal corporation has prepared work orders for one of the construction of flats for economically weaker section under single tender system and has sent orders to the Punjab government for approval,” he said, adding that he would write to the chief minster to cancel the tender.



F&CC meeting today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
The finance and contracts committee will hold its meeting here tomorrow in which members, including municipal commissioner, mayor and senior deputy mayor, will discuss around 130 agenda items.

According to sources, these agenda items include various estimates approved by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal during his sangat darshan in the constituencies of Heera Singh Gabria and Harish Rai Bedi.

Besides, there will be around 25 cases of estimates for undertaking various works in wards of councillors.

Apart from this, other issues to be raised include reduction of contract amount for Feroze Gandhi market, which is currently being run buy the civic body after it failed to get any takers during auction.

Another topic to come under discussed will be request by the fire department to purchase around 100 fire safety balls where cost of each ball is said to be around Rs 4,000.



Show of strength by Amarinder’s loyalists 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 15
Loyalties of politicians keep on changing and Congressmen of this town have amply proved that they are with those who can make or mar their future. This was witnessed on Saturday when former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who came to appear in the sessions court in the City Centre scam case, was welcomed by local leaders who turned up in large numbers. These were those the Vigilance Bureau was questioning who had deserted Amarinder Singh earlier when a case against him was registered and he along with his son, Raninder Singh. These people were nowhere to be seen during these days. Rather the situation was such that a few of these leaders were secretly meeting Akali leaders for saving their skin. They were very keen to pledge their loyalty towards Akali leaders.

Among those who came to welcome Amarinder Singh on Saturday included Surinder Dawar, former chief parliamentary secretary, Nahar Singh Gill, former mayor of the municipal corporation, and Jagmohan Sharma, president, District Congress Committee (Urban), Malkiat Singh Birmi, former chief parliamentary secretary, and Harmohinder Singh Pradhan, MLA, and former president, District Congress Committee (rural), Ludhiana. Rajinder Singh Basant, who is the vice-president of the Punjab Beopar Cell of the PPCC, and Harmohinder Singh Pradhan are the two leaders who never deserted Amrinder Singh and stood by him in his difficult days.

Surinder Dawar, who was given the Congress ticket to contest Vidhan Sabha elections in 2002 and Nahar Singh Gill, who was elected mayor with the blessings of Amarinder Singh almost vanished from the scene in Ludhiana whenever Amarinder Singh came for being questioned by the vigilance bureau. Both Dawar and Nahar Singh Gill enjoyed the fruits of power during the tenure of Amarinder Singh as the Chief Minister.

Jagmohan Sharma was made the president of the District Congress Committee (urban) by Amarinder Singh when he was president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee. He was also not visible for a long time during the turmoil period.

Now, when Amarinder Singh has been made chairman of the election campaign of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee for the Lok Sabha elections and he has started receiving big response from the masses and the Congress workers they have then have made a U-turn and were trying to be before the camera on Saturday to show their "solidarity" with the former Chief Minister.

Ludhiana Congress is a divided house and come of the senior leaders like Harnam Das Johar and Rakesh Pandey, former ministers, have gone with Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and have not compromised with Amarinder Singh.

Jagmohan Sharma also faces big opposition from Congress leaders and workers and there is a strong demand for his removal from the presidentship of the District Congress Committee

(Urban). A section of the Congress leaders had revolted against him a few months ago.

Ludhiana Congress needs reorganisation immediately to face the Lok Sabha elections.



Minister Gabria’s birthday an ostentatious affair

Known for their involvement in 'frivolous activities', the cabinet ministers in Punjab are going overboard to celebrate important occasions. But the birthday celebration by state minister for jails, tourism and cultural affairs Hira Singh Gabria today became an event to remember. The worthy minister cut a cake of 62 kg corresponding to his 62 'golden years' of his life at an ostentatious ceremony organised by his 'close associates' at a marriage palace in the city. What was more astonishing was the fact that a blood donation camp organised by the Naujwan Ekta Welfare Club in order to oblige the minister collected '62' units of blood not a unit less and not a unit more. Not to miss the 'available services' of the district public relation office which did not let go of the chance to issue an official statement for the same.

Falling in Captain’s line

On Saturday when former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh arrived in the city to appear in a court in connection with a case, he was received by hundreds of party supporters led by sitting and former legislators. It was only during the last two dates that the former Chief Minister has been getting such an overwhelming response from the people. While the party workers would by and large come for attending his hearing, leaders used to keep away. But once Amarinder was appointed the chairman of the campaign committee of the Punjab Pradesh Congress and after his five-day whirlwind tour across the state which drew huge response, the estranged leaders have started falling in

line. So much so these leaders came with bouquets to be offered to Amarinder. The former Chief Minister declined to accept all these bouquets saying these must not be brought into the courts.

‘Deadly' gift

Smoking is a deadly habit. Yet people resist giving it up. And it is often your better half who is always more concerned about your health. Recently, a colleague got a surprising, rather a "shocking" gift from his wife. It was attractively packed for making it irresistible. When the colleague opened the pack to his shock and surprise it was a skull shaped ashtray,making it explicitly clear as what message the gift conveyed. The die hard smoker as the colleague happens to be did neither give up the smoking nor the gift from his wife. But one thing was sure that the moment he lights up the cigarette and drops the ashes into the ash-tray, he will get little scared. A wonderful gift indeed. Only if it leaves full and final impact at the earliest.(Pic)

Fascination for names

Names also loose charm after a certain period. The names which are a craze among people might be found to obsolete and outdated in a few years from now. With the release of Shah Rukh Khan Movie 'Rabb Nay Banayi Jodi', 'Surinder' (Khan's name in the movie) name is getting into the vogue once again. Otherwise those named Surinder would not like to mention it, instead they would use the initials only. With Shah Rukh Khan introducing himself as "Surinder Sahani" from Punjab powers those named Surinder have started describing themselves with the full name and not just with the initials.

Skipping geri route for duty

Usually on Sundays the youngsters go out for a geri. But, yesterday there was less rush on the usual geri routes in the city despite being Sunday. Youngsters realised their responsibility towards the society by being a part of the peace march taken out for the Mumbai victims. Two best pals, Rishabh and Nimit, enjoy every Sunday by just hanging around but yesterday they were also among hundreds to be a part of the peace march. People lighted candles at Rakh Bagh roundabout (see picture) to pay tributes to the departed souls. Sunday proved to be different this time for the happy go luck youngsters.

Side effects

Being a journalist has its own side effects.This, a young girl got to know recently when following Mumbai terror strikes, most of her non-journalist friends kept making frantic calls to her forcing her to write about the incident and how the government and defence forces went wrong on it. One young man even went to the extent of ridiculing her for being a "toothless tigress" for not lending a voice to the ire of general public in the columns of her newspaper. Following hundreds of such calls from her friends and relatives, the girl got so irritated that she switched off her cell phone. What irritated her was the fact that people refused to understand that the media could only acquaint the public with facts. It was for the powers-that-be of the nation to bring about a change in the state of affairs, which sadly, inspite of a tragedy of such a magnitude, still needs to be done.

— Contributed by Anshu Seth, Rajesh Bhambi, Manav Ghuman and Charu Chhibber



Stress on upgrading technology in small business
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
The Ludhiana Management Association organised a workshop on “Management skills to source financing and management of technologies by SMEs” for small and medium entrepreneurs of Ludhiana in association with the All-India Management Association (AIMA) here on Saturday.

LMA president Anil Kumar welcomed the participants and guests. Former AIMA president and SME committee chairman Dr J.S. Juneja presented his remarks on the theme of the workshop.

Medium Industry Development Board, Punjab, chairman Satish Dhanda inaugurated the event and LMA senior vice-president V.K. Goyal thanked the speakers at the end of inaugural session.

Delivering the welcome address, Anil Kumar said SMEs were flexible in management but there was a lack of world-class technology, which affected their performance in business operations.

Explaining the theme of the workshop, Dr Juneja said entrepreneurs always searched for change and responded to it to exploit it as an opportunity.

He added that entrepreneurship was related to the spirit of being entrepreneur rather than competing with big industries.

There was an urgent requirement of regular upgrade of equipment and modernisation of technology in small business, which helped increase productivity, operations, and standardising of the product.

Skill-based and professional education was another area that needed serious thought in entrepreneurship development, he said.

Dhanda said it was the best time for modernisation of business. Because of slowdown, small entrepreneurs could get everything easily but surely there was a challenge to sell the final product.

Former LMA president and Hero Majestic Ltd MD Mahesh Munjal was the chairman of technical session. He coordinated the sessions of the workshop.

LMA general secretary Dr K.N.S. Kang extended the vote of thanks to the experts and participants and sponsors of the workshop i.e. State Bank of India and NSIC.



Ex-servicemen spell out ways to end traffic chaos
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
The administration requires will to sort out the traffic problem prevailing in the city and local politicians can play an important role by raising the issue. This view was expressed by Maj Gen S.S. Jawanda (retd) during a meeting of the Ex-servicemen Welfare Society here.

In a press release issued by the outfit, ex-servicemen, including Major S.S. Rana, Maj K.S. Sidhu, Brig P.S. Toor and Col Harbax Singh, suggested that the number of auto-rickshaws should be reduced and buses on cooperative basis should be plied for which licences should be given liberally.

Besides, separate lanes should be marked on major roads for light and heavy vehicles.



BJP picks local lawyer to spearhead campaign
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 15
The top leadership of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) has named city-based lawyer Sukhminderpal Singh Grewal as its star campaigner for the 6th phase of campaigning for the Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections.

According to Grewal, he had been hand-picked for the job by the central and state leadership on the basis of his active role in uniting and bringing nationalists under one-umbrella and exposing the separatist forces during the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board land agitation.

“I had termed the land agitation as a direct challenge by the nationalist forces to the separatists. I was the one who had first exposed the unholy nexus of the Congress and the PDP, which led to the agitation and had cost the state of Jammu and Kashmir enormously in terms of human lives, property and peace.”

Interacting with mediapersons here today before leaving for Srinagar, Grewal claimed that his campaigning was expected to prove a boon for BJP candidates, especially in Hindu and Sikh dominated areas of Srinagar. Asked as to possible threat to his life while campaigning in terrorist hotspot, he said being a staunch loyalist of the party, he was not afraid of anti-national elements. “I will reach out to every Hindu, Muslim and Sikh across Srinagar to ensure support for BJP candidates,” he remarked, adding that the people of Jammu and Kashmir had seen the actual face of Congress-PDP combine during their rule, which was acknowledged more for corruption, sex scandals and poor governance.

He was confident that the BJP would form the next government in the state and people would reject the Congress, the PDP and the National Conference in the elections.



Railways urged to take up work on overpass
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 15
Punjab minister for tourism, cultural affairs and jails Hira Singh Gabria has urged the union railway ministry to provide halt of all important trains at Dhandari railway station so that passengers residing on the periphery of the city could board and disembark there and save them from coming to Ludhiana railway station.

At a meeting with Railway Yatri Suvidha Samiti chairman Parmeshwari Prasad Nirala and member Ram Asheesh Yadav here last night, Gabria pointed out that a lot of vacant sites were lying all along the Ferozepur and Dhuri railway lines that could be used for plantation of trees.

This would not only save the railway land from encroachment but also help check environmental pollution.

Expressing gratitude to union railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav for providing a special train from Amritsar to Hazoor Sahib (Nanded) during the tercentenary of Gurta Gaddi samagam, the minister asked the samiti chairman to take up with the matter with the railways for introduction of Garib Rath trains from Punjab to Patna, Hazoor Sahib and other religious places.

Chief parliamentary secretary, local bodies, Punjab, Harish Rai Dhanda, making a fervent plea with the samiti functionaries for providing better facilities to railway passengers in the industrial capital of Punjab, said construction of railway over-bridge in place of Lakkar Pul had been hanging fire for a long time now, pending approval from the railways even after the municipal corporation had deposited an amount of Rs 6 crore for the project.

“The railways would do well to approve amended alignment of the over-bridge and take up construction work without any further delay.”

He asked the railways to explore the possibility of a metro rail project jointly with the civic body here to provide to people a mass rapid transport system that seemed to be the only way to improve the chaotic traffic conditions prevailing in the city at present.

Nirala assured to take up the issues with the union railway ministry on priority basis and see that genuine demands of the state were accepted.

Among others, additional divisional railway manager R.S. Ghera, Amarjit Singh Chawla, Pritam Singh Bharowal and Parminder Singh Pappu were also present at the meeting.



Chemicals unit bags energy conservation award
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Ludhiana-based IOL Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Limited (IOLCP), producers of organic chemicals and drugs in India, has once again been awarded the most prestigious National Energy Conservation Award 2008 for its ongoing efforts towards new technology implementation to conserve precious energy resources.

IOLCP won the National Energy Conservation Award consecutively for the previous three years - 2005, 2006 and 2007, as well. IOLCP, a public-listed company (BSE), has its presence in over 40 countries across the world.

“Availability, reliability and affordability of adequate power is a prerequisite to India's sustained growth and the attainment of the status of a developed country over next two decades. We understand our role towards the achievement of this goal and have achieved steady decline in energy consumption at our manufacturing units due to implementation of a number of energy conservation measures,” said R.K. Thukral, company executive director.



Keralites welcome start of new train

Ludhiana, December 15
Members of the Southern Emigrant Welfare Association (SEWA), an association of Keralites, residing in the mega city, extended a warm welcome to the maiden run of Amritsar-Kochuveli Sampark Kranti Express at Ludhiana railway station yesterday.

Expressing gratitude to the union railway ministry on behalf of the community, Sanjeevan, SEWA president, said it was a long cherished desire of the Malayalee community to have a direct train to Kerala from Punjab.— TNS



Winning Ludhiana team honoured
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 15
Ludhiana boys who emerged champions in the 30th Junior Punjab State Football Championship held at Khadoor Sahib in Taran Tarn district from November 29 to December 3 were felicitated by the District Football Association, Ludhiana, at a function organised at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

In the last edition of this championship held at Ropar, Ludhiana lads had secured third position.

Association president Shivtar Singh Bajwa along with honorary secretar Tara Singh Lotey, deputy director (Patiala division), sports department, Punjab, Kanwar Harpal Singh, district sports officer (Ludhiana) Jasvinder Singh Bhandari, former district sports officer (Ludhiana) Amar Singh and basketball coach Davinder Singh was present at the function. Players and coaches were given track suits.

Congratulating the boys and coaches, Jaspal Singh, Manjeet Singh, Ram Lubhaya and Shivtar Singh said the boys had made the city proud as they overcame title favourites Hoshiarpur, Sangrur and Gurdaspur districts to stamp their superiority.

The district team that had eight players from Ludhiana football centre performed exceedingly well in the championship to script victory in all their encounters to bag the title.

In the final, Ludhiana managed to squeeze past the hosts, Taran Tarn, 5-4. The issue was resolved in a tie-breaker as the two teams failed to score during the stipulated period.

Earlier, the semifinal played between Ludhiana and Gurdaspur was also decided via a tie-breaker after the two sides were locked 2-all at the end of the regular time.

He praised Arjun Singh and Ankit, both students of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, who played the pivot’s role in team’s title win.

Member of the team include Charanpreet Singh, Jagsir Singh, Harmanjot Singh, Ankit Kumar, Sarabjit Singh, Arjun Singh, Rajan, Mandeep Singh, Harsimran Singh, Udhay Behal, Paravir Singh, Vishawdeep Singh, Tanvir Singh, Jatinder Singh, Jaspreet Singh, Gagandeep Singh and Raghav.



East Zone redeem themselves
Thrash South Zone 5-1
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 15
Defending champions, East Zone who had suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of FCI headquarters, Delhi, yesterday scored an easy 5-1 win over South Zone in a round robin league encounter on the fourth day of the 38th All India Food Corporation of India (FCI) Inter-Zonal Football Tournament being played at the Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

East Zone men looked a different side today from what they appeared last evening as they began the proceedings with an array of attacks into the rival's territory. They got the acts together and managed to secure the lead in the 14th minute through Moindul Mullah.

Nine minutes later, Lakan Haldar, after dodging past a hoard of players, managed to pierce into the South Zone’s citadel and rolled the ball into the net (2-0). With four minutes to go for the breather, Vishwajeet Hundal found the target to read it 3-0.

Immediately into the second session, East Zone added another goal through Moindul Mullah to make it 4-0. South Zone reduced the margin (4-1) in the 43rd minute when Fredy was on the target.

Just two minutes before the long whistle, Moindul pumped in another goal which enabled East Zone to wrap up the issue 5-1.

In the second match, Thomson Langthara scored five goals to steer North East Frontier Zone to register 8-0 win over West Zone.

Thomson struck in the 7th, 13th, 32nd, 33rd, 50th and 51st minutes while Birdwan Basu Mathary scored a brace (18th and 30th minute) and Sayeed Ansar found the target in the 58th minute to complete the rout (8-0).

Two minute silence was observed before the start of the matches today to mourn the death of Ved Parkash (32), an inter-varsity cricket player and an employee of the Food Corporation of India, who died in New Delhi last night. Shivtar Singh Bajwa, vice-president, Punjab Football Association, was the chief guest today. Dev Ashish Mishra, deputy general manager, headquarters, New Delhi, H.S. Dhaliwal, Sandeep Gosain, area managers of Ludhiana, and Sangrur, FCI, respectively, were also present at the stadium.



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