L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


35 cops on VIP duty pulled out
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
The axe of security cut fell on city VIPs today as the SSP, R.K. Jaiswal, recalled 35 police personnel, who were earlier deployed on VIP duties, to their parent department.

The development followed soon after the orders of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to impose a 25 per cent cut on the security cover to VIPs in the state.

Though the decision does not seem to have gone down well with the city’s high and mighty, some of whom were enjoying “unsanctioned” security with the mutual understanding of various police station in charges.

Officially, around 400 police personnel are deployed in the city for VIP duties, but unofficially, the figure is nearly double.

The list does not include only politicians, it has endless number of officials working in the judiciary and the administrative department.

Though people often term cops as inefficient and blame them for the increase in crime rate and traffic mismanagement in the city, but the fact is that there are only 2,209 constables, 487 head constables, 184 ASIs, 12 inspectors and 10 DSPs to ensure the security of around 40 lakh residents of the city.

On the other hand, there are around 400 police personnel, who have are providing security cover to around 70 VIPs.

According to a senior police officer, out of the total number of police personnel, a large portion is deployed at various subordinate departments like traffic, VIP duty and official work. The remaining are tackling law and order situation in the city.

The police department has not made any increase in the ratio for the past five years.

A police source revealed that 12 to 15 police personnel retire every month and no recruitment had been undertaken by the department to fill vacant posts.


MC to train street food vendors
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
Street food would soon be given a new direction as the municipal corporation would be conducting a training programme for 1,000 vendors.

According to information, the proposal was passed during the finance and contract committee (F&CC) meeting. The Rs 13 lakh training programme is being funded by the central government.

The joint commissioner, Mahinder Pal Gupta, said a survey for the identification of food vendors was being undertaken and the report would be forwarded to the central government for a final nod.

Gupta said the survey was being taken by an NGO. The vendors would be imparted skills on how to prepare food in hygienic conditions. Besides, they would also be given lessons on manners and how to serve food nicely.

He said once the training was completed, the vendors would be helped in acquiring loans from local banks. The loan amount would be Rs 30,000 and the central government would give them a subsidy of around Rs 7,500. The loans would be given to purchase handcarts.

The city is full of street food vendors who are always on the hitlist of the municipal corporation and health officials when it comes to quality and hygiene of food.

They are found in every nook and cranny of the city and have been a target of the tehbazaari wing of the municipal corporation. It is perhaps for the first time that the MC would be doing something constructive for the vendors.



Protest by contractors halts recarpeting of roads
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
Recarpeting of all roads in the city has come to a standstill following the protest by contractors, junior engineers and sub-divisional officers of the B&R cell of the local municipal corporation against the blacklisting of a contractor and suspension of a JE and an SDO.

The contractors had stopped operations of recarpeting from yesterday and JEs and SDOs had gone on mass protest leave on Wednesday.

With the protest all major roads that were being recarpeted have been left midway. Authorities are worried as the work was already started late. The suspension of work for now would delay the work further. The foggy days expected in future are also going to cast shadow on the timely completion of the development work.

Most of the roads are yet to be recarpeted completely. Stretches of roads have been recarpeted partially and the others are demanding immediate attention. The semi-carpeted roads are causing concern for the residents as two wheeler drivers can skid on the roads.

Authorities said they were expecting that the contractors would restart work soon but three days had passed since their protest began. Nobody had tried to pacify them.

Mayor Hakam Singh Gyaspura today called the JEs and SDOs and listened to their grievances. He assured them that he would take up their issue with the local bodies department.

Meanwhile the JEs and SDOs, who are on mass protest leave today threatened that if their demands would were not met their protest would be extended to all corporations in the state.

They said they would hold a meeting of engineers of all corporations tomorrow and if the government would not listen to them they would protest from Monday onwards. They said they were short of staff and all demands to had more engineers had fallen on deaf ears.

Linking the shortage of staff with the action taken by local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia against JE Rakesh Singla and SDO Rakesh Sharma four days ago, the engineers said if they did not protest many of them would too suffer such actions.

The minister had suspended both officials and blacklisted a contractor for influencing the testing of samples of material filled from the Gill Road.

They said there were only 14 JEs working in the cell against 136 posts and 21 SDOs against 39 posts. The norms that every SDO should have four JEs was not being followed and two SDOs had one JE with them instead. This was hampering their supervision.



Woman found dead in water tank
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 19
A 40-year-old woman naked woman was found dead in a water tank at Dhiromajra village, near here, yesterday.

The woman has been identified as Sinder Kaur of Khanpur village. The police has booked her “husband”, Randhir Singh (50), for her murder as his driver’s license was recovered from near the spot.

A case under Section 302, IPC, has been registered against him, but he has not been arrested yet.

Family sources said the couple had started living together 18 years ago, but no marriage ceremony was performed at that time. Since then, they had been together.

For the past two years, they had started having disputes and Sinder Kaur would go missing for a few days after a fight.

This time also she left the house in anger and did not return for two-three days. The body was spotted by farmers in the water tank in the fields.

The couple had no children. The victim was identified by her sister-in-law.

The police said there were no injury marks on her body and the postmortem report was awaited. 



Schools suffer due to red tape
Welfare funds underutilised
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
Although the state government has fixed a number of funds which are collected from the students in government schools, but the same are not been used for the benefit of the students. The funds are meagre but when taken into totality, it becomes a handsome amount. The plight of government schools would not have been all that bad had the government not imposed a number of restrictions on the utilisation of the funds by the school authorities.

The funds collected from the students are amalgamated fund (up to Class VIII - Rs 2.75 per student per month, Classes IX and X - Rs 5 per student per month and Classes XI and XII - Rs 120 per annum), magazine fund (Classes XI and XII - Rs 10 per year), cycle fund (Classes VI to XII - Rs 10 per year), sports fund (Classes VI to XII - Rs 60 per year), health fund (Rs 12 per year per student) and house examination fund (Rs 12 per year per student). Besides building, audio visual and Red Cross funds are also collected. In addition to the government funds, parent teacher association is also collecting Rs 60 from Classes VI to VIII, Rs 80 from Classes IX and X and Rs 100 from Classes XI and XII per annum as funds.

However, the inquiries made by this reporter show that the schools are not publishing magazines. A teacher, on the condition of anonymity, said that even the annual report of the school cannot be printed with such a meagre amount. Only a salary of a cycle chowkidar can be paid with the cycle fund and they cannot build a cycle shed out of this fund.

Inquiries further reveal that the heads of the schools cannot spend more than Rs 500 on their own. If they are to spend up to Rs 5,000 they have to seek the permission of the DEO, and permission of the DPI is needed to spend up to Rs 50,000.

Even the heads of the schools say whenever the accounts are audited by the government auditors they ask them that the saved amount should go in the fixed deposit. The heads complain that lakhs of rupees are collected by them every year but they are not allowed to spend the same for the welfare of the students. They want the government to relax the norms for the utilisation of funds for the upkeep of the schools.



From Schools
Christmas celebrated with fervour
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
Love Dale celebrated Christmas with great fervour. Children, while bracing the chill, indulged in the festivities by singing carols. Montessari provided the touch of feast by offering big chunks of cake to one and all. The children and staff exchanged the greetings, thereby educating the children for the significance of Christmas.

Lovely Lotus School celebrated Christmas with great enthusiasm. Children danced and sang the Christmas carols. Festivity was in the air and children were dressed up in bright colourful clothes.

Chanda Mama School principal gave the children a novel experience and the children indulged in dramatic play and acted as carol singers. The children used all sort of musical instruments to make the occasion cheerful.

Space colony

BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, has initiated the first step by qualifying for the semi-finals of Asian Regional Space Settlement Design (ARSSDC). The project has been prepared by the team of 12 students under the supervision of Anita Choudhary, Gurpash and Swaranpreet Singh. The project is an endeavour to set up a space settlement outside the domain of earth’s gravity, housing over 22,000 permanent residents.

Students visit head post office

Maple Bear School organised an educational tour to head post office, Bharat Nagar Chowk. The kids were practically shown the importance and working of post offices. The children interacted with a postman. Veena Aggarwal, principal, explained to the kids the emotional attachment of the persons who receive their letters from their dear ones.


The 15th National Sahodya Conference was organised at Champion School in Bhopal. Five principals from Ludhiana Sahodya Schools complex, Guru Gobind Singh Public School, Guru Nanak Public School, Nankana Sahib Public School, BCM Chandigarh road and Indo-Canadian Academy attended this conference. The conference was attended by APJ Abdul Kalam and many others. 



PAU releases greeting cards

Ludhiana, December 19
Punjab Agricultural University has brought out New Year greeting cards in three attractive designs which were released here today by PAU vice-chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang.

The cards are available on the sale counters at centre for communication and international linkages and at Farmers’ Service Centre. — TNS



Warmer week than last year
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
The weatherman at PAU today recorded a maximum and minimum temperature of 22.1° C and 7.7° C, respectively, an official press release said here today. The temperatures are higher than the normal for the current week which was 21.6° C (max) and 6.3° C (min), respectively.

Giving further details about the prevailing weather conditions, Dr G.S. Bains, head of the department of agricultural meteorology, PAU said the ongoing week had received no rainfall so far against the normal rain of 2.8 mm. He added that a strong western disturbance had developed due to which widespread showers at many places in Punjab were expected today and tomorrow.

He disclosed that due to the development of cloudiness the night temperature on December 18 and 19 was recorded at 10° C, which is higher by 3.7° C than the normal. The prevailing weather conditions are generally favourable for the major rabi crops, livestock and human beings as the expected rain will settle down the dust and other particulate matter in the air. He, however, mentioned that the cloudiness and rain are not favourable for potato as the conditions are favourable for the development of late blights disease for which the farmers are advised to take control measures as per PAU recommendations.



IMA, DBA Polls
Wooing voters with liquor, lavish dinners
Anshu Seth/ Rajneesh Lakhanpal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
Determined to abide by the doctrine of ‘wooing the voters’ at any cost, those contesting the IMA (Indian Medical Association) and the DBA (District Bar Association) elections have left no stone unturned to ensure free flow of liquor followed by lavish dinners for their supporters.

Those contesting for the post of district president, Narotam Dewan and Arun Mitra, are organising get togethers at the Ludhiana Club and Hotel Le Baron thereby ensuring 'generous share' of premium brand liquor for their supporters. Irony of the situation being, the dinner tables instead of having the hard copies of the 'health agendas' are loaded with 'non-vegetarian snacks'.

Insolent statements by the contesting candidates for each other have made the IMA elections a derisive affair. Unity front contestants comprise Narotam Dewan, S.Ohri, Hardeep Singh, S.Nauhria and H.Singh while the opponent group consists of Arun Mitra, D.Karamvir Goyal, Kulwant Singh, D.P. Singh and Narjit Kaur. These doctors are contesting elections for the post of the president, vice president, secretary, finance secretary and the joint secretary.

It is unfortunate yet true, that none of the candidates have tried to persuade their supporters by raising their voice for the issues that haunt the health sector which have become a challenge for the medical fraternity in the state at large. On the contrary, it is the 'petty politics' that they are indulging in while making their claims for the posts in the IMA executive.

A retired PCMS doctor while pointing towards the 'politicisation' of the IMA elections said: "The top two contenders are contesting IMA elections like politicians probably because Narotam Dewan is the son of former MLA and Arun Mitra is associated with the CPI.

But they should be wise enough to accredit the doctors with intelligence, who will not caste their votes under the influence of a few drinks and some ostentatious dinners."

This time the DBA elections have become an expensive affair. Contestants spent huge amount on banners, posters, hoarding displayed in the court campus. They hardly cared for the Defacement of Property Act. Apart from this they were seen eager in wooing the voters with lavish parties particularly of non-vegetarian dishes and drinks by spending lakhs of rupees on it.

A few contestants were feeling uneasy to see the lavish parties thrown by their opponents. So much so that a candidate contesting for the post of the vice- president openly announced in a debate organised at district courts that this was his first and the last elections hinting clearly towards the much use of money power this time. It was not an easy job for a lawyer to contest the elections.

Though the history of the district bar association shows that contestants never win elections only with lavish lunch and late night parties. If a contestant was not having strong base, he looses despite spending lakhs on elections campaign.

There was a strong liasoning between the politicians, bureaucrats and the candidates of the election, which was evident from the fact that they were seen together in the lunch and late night parties of the contestants to influence the voters. A few politicians, police officers, sales tax department officers were heard making telephone calls to their known lawyers requesting them to cast vote in favour of a candidate of their choice.

A few lawyers-turned politicians were likely to cast their vote in the elections tomorrow.



Young lawyers to play major role
District Bar Association poll today
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, December 19
There is a close contest between Parupkar Singh Ghumman (sitting DBA president) and Stevon Soni for the presidentship of the District Bar Association (DBA). They had left no stone unturned to woo the voters.

Both of them had done door-to-door canvassing. Interestingly, both seem to be confident of their victory. But 1,694 voters have kept their fingers crossed. They will decide the fate of 26 contestants tomorrow.

Ghumman was seeking one more opportunity to serve the legal fraternity, listing his achievements made during his one-year tenure.

While, another strong contender for the same post Stevon Soni terms the tall claims of Ghumman nothing but an election gimmick. He has promised more congenial atmosphere, speeding up the completion of new lawyers chamber complex part-2, transparency in the working of association and maintaining the dignity of young lawyers.

They were the decisive factor in the DBA polls. More than 700 lawyers have joined this profession in the past couple of years. Interestingly, Ghumman and Stevon both claims to enjoy the support of majority of young lawyers.

For the post of the secretary there was contest between Gurvinder Singh Sodhi, Kamaljit Sharma, Rakesh Bhatia and Amandeep Bhanot. Whereas, there was triangular contest for the post of the vice-president between Vishal Gupta, Joga Singh Rahi and Anil Kaushal.

A tough contest was also being seen for the post of the finance secretary between the young lawyers namely Naveen Sharma, Sandeep Arora, Ajay Arora and 
Puneet Jaggi.

Giving details of the polling schedule returning officer Ashok Mittal and assistant returning officers Darshan Gupta, N.P.S. Gahir informed that the polling would start at 9 am till 4 pm. In order to avoid any untoward incident, the SSP has been requested to provide adequate security. Voters will have to bring their I-cards to avoid inconvenience.

Meanwhile, chairman of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana Balwinder Goel has appealed to the voters to cast their vote in favour of Stevon Soni. 



Rly officials hand in glove with ‘peti mafia’
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 19
Even as huge evasion of VAT and the Central Sales Tax continues through inward and outward transportation of goods through the Railways without proper invoices and other documents, officials of parcel office once again tried to evade confiscation of yet another inward consignment by enforcement staff of the excise and taxation department here yesterday.

It all started yesterday afternoon when suspecting tax evasion, the encroachment staff deployed at the railway station, tried to seize some packages which had arrived from Delhi and other places through parcel van of Shan-e-Punjab Express. The officials told the railway staff that they would take the goods in their custody, which would be released on production of the invoices, proof of payment of tax and other necessary documents.

Citing rules of the railway parcel booking, the officials of parcel office maintained that the inward packages were still being weighed and related documents yet to be examined. They further made it clear to the taxation officials that they could not seize goods lying in the parcel office, which were yet to be released.

As the stand off between the railways and taxation officials continued, the passers (luggage moving staff at the parcel office) shifted the packages from the site to different places around the parcel office. In such circumstances, the enforcement staff was left with no other alternative than to beat a retreat.

The matter was reported to the senior officials of excise and taxation department while the parcel office was also said to have sent a report to their superiors.



PAU may tie up with Italian universities
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 19
Punjab Agricultural University may have collaboration with University of Naples, Italy for research in biotechnology and other allied fields.

Disclosing this here today, PAU vice-chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang told The Tribune that there could be collaboration in the faculty and students exchange with some of the universities in Italy.

Dr Kang returned to Ludhiana yesterday after leading a delegation of sixteen scientists of the country to Italy which participated in the three day conference held from December 15 to 17. The conference was organised by the Innovation and Internationalization group for India and China. There were twenty scientists from China too who participated in the conference.



Sambar strays on GT Road, killed
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, December 19
A sambar was run over by speeding vehicles plying on the GT road near Jugiana village, 3 km from here, in the wee hours today. The face of the animal was badly crushed and bruised legs bore proof that speeding vehicles had mercilessly hit this otherwise weighty creature. A few villagers managed to pull the animal to one side of the road. It took at least five to six persons to drag the sambar.

Pritpal Singh, forest block officer, said he along with his guard Sukhjinder Singh rushed to the spot as soon as he received the information from Mahavir Singh, DFO, Ludhiana, early in the morning.

According to the officer, "The post-mortem examination has already been conducted at Dhadhari and the animal buried there after." "Such cases are common as during the winters most of the animals enter the plain areas to escape the chill of the hills. Chances of sambar escaping from the Matewara forests cannot also be ruled out. Moreover, Sambar even if caged can scale big fences, the officer added.



Toor elected Bar chief
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 19
Raghubir Singh Toor, who polled 37 votes, registered a 13-vote win over Gurtej Singh Gill to claim the president’s post in the Jagraon Bar election here today.

Similarly, for the post of vice-president, Ranjit Singh Roomi secured 32 votes to beat Parminder Singh, who secured 29 votes. Both winners belong to the same faction.

Sixty one lawyers out of 62 had exercised their franchise to elect the president and vice-president.

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

As there were only two seats of executive members, both contestants were declared elected unopposed.

After the withdrawal of the nomination papers, only six candidates were left in the fray.

During the campaign, Jagpal Singh Buttar requested his rival Sandeep to withdraw his candidature for the secretary’s post, to which Gupta agreed. Buttar was then declared secretary unanimously.

Gill had already served as Bar Association president once but Toor was considered the favourite for the post.



Associations get cheques
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
The Punjab government will strive to help social and religious organisations and fund them, said deputy speaker Satpal Gosain while distributing cheques for Rs 8.5 lakh here yesterday.

The cheques were given from the MLA fund to various social organisations, including Dr Ambedkar Sangarhsh Morcha, Sant Nirankari Mandal and Bharti Valmiki.

Urging the organisations to participate actively against female foeticide, the MLA said it was alarming to see the way the menace was still prevalent. There was a need to curb it and social and religious organisations could play a vital role in dealing with it, he added.



Two villages embrace CFL
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 19
The drive for power conservation and awareness launched by operations wing of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) in the central zone here paid rich dividends today after people in two villages — Bahadarke and Kasabad — in the district came forward to replace over 1,000 ordinary lamps used for lighting with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) here.

During a function organised at Bahadarke village, senior executive engineer (city west division) Pradeep Gupta observed that even though CFLs were a bit expensive initially, these paid off many times more than their cost in terms of 80 per cent saving of energy and six time for life in comparison to ordinary lamps.

“The switchover to CFLs has assumed greater importance in view of severe power shortage being faced by people in the state and the sooner the people start replacing ordinary lamps at homes, offices and commercial establishments, the better.”

Lakhwinder Singh Maan and Baljinder Singh, sarpanches of Bahadarke and Kasabad, respectively, assured the PSEB officials of mobilising villagers to replace ordinary lamps with CFLs, which would lead to saving in energy as also electricity bills.



3,000 for surgeons’ meet
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
As many as 3,000 surgeons from India and abroad will participate in the 68th annual conference of The Association of Surgeons of Indian, scheduled to be held in DMCH from December 25 to 30.

The chief ministers of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana Governor will be the guests of honour during the conference.

Dr Kuldip Singh, eminent surgeon at DMCH who is also the conference secretary, addressing a press conference today said it is the first ASICON being hosted in Ludhiana. “The surgeons from all premiere international and Indian medical institutes will take part in the conference. Live workshops on December 25 will have surgeons perform operations in four operating theatres at the DMCH,” the doctor said.

He also said a large number of patients had already been registered for the operations.

Interactive sessions on important topics, including wound dressing, peripheral vascular disease of lower limbs, laprascopic urology and advanced colorectal cancer in 21st century, would be held.



Health staff stage protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
Members of the Paramedical and Health Employees Union, Punjab, staged a dharna yesterday against the privatisation and contractual job policy of the state government.

The general secretary of the union, Deedar Singh Mullanpuri, said the government should release the pay commission report followed by its implementation at the earliest.

“It is high time, and hence, the government should stop recruitments on contract basis, instead regular appointments should be made in order to give the required benefits to the employees,” Harbhajan Singh said. 



Robbers strike at brick-kiln
Our Correspondent

Samrala, December 19
Four dacoits attacked a brick-kiln near Khaira village last midnight and took away Rs 70,000 and some gold and silver ornaments from the families of labourers at gunpoint.

The police put nakas to nab the robbers. SHO Jaswinder Singh said four youths armed with kirpans and firearms robbed the contractor, Satpal Singh, and took away some ornaments lying in his room. Later, they entered the room of a labourer, Ram Kumar, and took away Rs 6,000 and some gold ornaments of his wife.

The SHO said it seemed to be the handiwork of local youths. The police has registered a case.



Punjab TT meet from today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 19
Around 400 paddlers from all over the state will vie for top honours in the 49th Punjab State Inter-District and Open Table Tennis Championship to be organised by the Ludhiana District Table Tennis Association (LDTTA) at the Indoor Hall of Punjab Agricultural University campus here from December 20 to 23.

Addressing a press conference here today, LDTTA president H.S. Mand said board and lodging arrangements of the visiting participants had been made at hostels on the PAU campus.

DIG (vigilance), Punjab, S.S. Chouhan will inaugurate the championship on Saturday while N.S. Kalsi, joint secretary, ministry of home affairs, and president, Punjab Table Tennis Association, will be the chief guest on December 21.

A.K. Mehra, commissioner, central excise, Ludhiana, will give away prizes to winners in the open category on December 22 and Parmod Ban, commandant, IRB, will distribute prizes on the concluding day. Office-bearers of the organising association were present at the press conference.

Meanwhile, the following players have been selected to represent Ludhiana in the tournament, according to Fang Jenn Chiu, secretary, LDTTA. They are: cadet boys: Jashandeep of Sat Paul Mittal School and Harnoor of Darshan Academy; cadet girls: Yashi Sharma of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Kitchlu Nagar, and Amol of DAV Public School.

Sub-junior boys: Shung Ming Chiu and Abhaydeep, both of Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, Shubham of Alpine International School and Karan Wadhwa of Sat Paul Mittal School.

Sub-junior girls: Himani Bhatia of Sat Paul Mittal School, Dhriti and Yashi, both of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir School and Tarunpriya of Sat Paul Miital School.

Junior boys: Karanvir, Bhavuk of Alpine International School, Fu Ming Chiu of Sacred Heart Convent School and Agnish.

Junior girls: Kritika, Anushka and Bhumika of Alpine International School, Kirti Aggarwal of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir School.

U-20 boys: Sahil Sharma, Dharmendra, Manpreet and Parul.

U-20 girls: Nirdosh and Kirti Aggarwal of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir School, Dimple of Guru Nanak Public School and Shveta.

Men: Sahil Sharma, Dharmendra, Manpreet, Himanshu and Bhavuk; Women- Nirdosh, Kirti Aggarwal, Shevta, Promilla and Deepika.



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