L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Major fire at Shakti Nagar
Two injured, eight houses destroyed
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 29
While the city was enveloped in a thick blanket of fog last night, a major fire broke out at Shakti Nagar here reducing eight houses to ashes and injuring two persons severely.

According to sources, the fire broke out around 12.30 am in the house of Rizwan (30), causing losses worth several lakhs. At least six fire-tenders were pressed into service by the fire department and it took them over six hours to douse the flames.

The two persons who sustained 70 per cent burn injuries were identified as Mukuram (22) and Buddu (14) and were undergoing treatment at the CMC Hospital.

Talking to The Tribune, Rizwan said: “When I noticed fire in my house, I rushed out with my wife and two children and raised the alarm.”

However, the children of his friend Ikram, who were asleep in their house, could not be rescued in time and were severely burnt.

He added that both boys realised that the fire had broken out when their house was already engulfed in flames.

Some eyewitnesses claimed short-circuit in Rizwan’s house as the cause of the fire. “The fire was so intense that LPG cylinders burst and everything, including vehicles, machines and household articles, was destroyed,” they said.

They added that the explosions left big holes in the overhead tanks made of plastic on the rooftop.

Illegal commercial activity has been going on in the area where the fire broke out. The fire victims said they were into the business of making threads from hosiery remains.

Assistant district fire officer (ADFO) Kartar Singh said the cause of the fire was still unknown and the absence of firefighting arrangements in the area compounded the problem.

“If these people are running commercial activity from their houses, they should at least take NOC from the department concerned,” he said.

People of the area were under perpetual threat of mishap but were unwilling to take precautions, he said.

Meanwhile, Minister for Jails Hira Singh Gabria visited the area and directed Deputy Commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar and SDM Manpreet Singh to probe the reason behind fire and submit the findings by tomorrow.

He also announced free medical aid for the wounded and ration and bedding for the eight affected families.

The SDM said the Deputy Commissioner had directed the CMCH that all expenses of the injured would be paid by the Red Cross Society.

Sitting on powder keg

Gunny bags filled with hosiery material used to extract threads.
Gunny bags filled with hosiery material used to extract threads. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

The Shakti Nagar area that witnessed a major fire last night sits on a powder keg. Its congested streets has many houses where residents run commercial activities without any fear.

The house-owners have been running their businesses for the past 20 years and have not taken permission from the municipal corporation or the fire department for the same. Besides, they have engaged their families in the work.

According to sources, the area is dominated by people who have migrated from areas like UP and Bihar besides other parts of the country.

Talking to The Tribune, some residents said: “Earning is still a challenge for us, as the money we make through our small businesses is not enough to meet our family expenses.”

Most of the neighbours who were into same occupation were unaware of security measures to be taken. They said it was a mere accident.

Rehman, who also runs the same business, contended: “The business is not a lucrative one and I didn’t know if permission is required for it. There are thousands of people in the area who are into the same profession and most of them have also not acquired a licence.” — TNS


MC crackdown on food joint
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 29
Bombay Picnic Spot, a famous street food joint in the city, was removed in a joint operation by the tehbazaari wing of the municipal corporation and the police here today.

Tehbazaari squad along with a police team picked up around 10 rehris and other articles from the joint. The area is generally thronged by local residents in the evening.

The area had been plagued by frequent traffic jams as residents usually halted at the place for a snack. For the past few days, the tehbazaari wing had been taking on encroachers in various zones.

The zone-D wing today picked up eight scooters from the Feroze Gandhi Market for wrong parking and removed 10 flexes.

Similarly, zone-A team removed encroachments, including two kiosks, six lottery tables and around 50 tarpaulins, during drives at Samrala Chowk and Jail Road, where people had put up tea and fruit stalls.

Zone-D wing in-charge Naveen Malhotra said: “We will hold joint drives on a regular basis to ensure that encroachers do not return.”



Mystery over software engineer’s death
Wife, in-laws booked
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 29
A software engineer was found dead under mysterious circumstances at his in-laws’ house in Punjab Mata Nagar here today.

The deceased has been identified as Narinder Singh, alias Billu (32), a resident of Mast Nagar, Phagwara.

Sources in the police said the deceased allegedly consumed poison at his in-laws’ house.

However, the family of the deceased levelled murder allegations against his in-laws. The relatives alleged that Narinder was poisoned to death by his in-laws.

Davinder Singh, brother of the deceased, alleged that Narinder was poisoned to death as he was having strained relations with his wife. He said Narinder had visited the house of his in-laws on Saturday to work out a solution.

Narinder was married to Harvinder Kaur around three years ago.

According to Pritam Singh, maternal uncle of the deceased, relations between the couple were not cordial and due to this reason Harvinder Kaur had gone back to live with her parents six months ago.

It was after much persuasion by the family members that he agreed to visit his in-laws’ house.

“We never knew that this would culminate in such a way. We were informed about the incident by the police this morning,” said Pritam Singh.

The police has also recovered a suicide note that states that the deceased had willfully committed suicide as he could not become rich.

The deceased’s family has raised doubts over the content of the suicide note. Surjit Singh, Narinder’s cousin, said the deceased was a software engineer in a multi-national company at Noida and was earning well.

“There is no reason why he should commit suicide as he was handsomely paid. I believe there is more to the story,” said Surjit.

Meanwhile, the Model Town police has booked wife Harvinder Kaur, in-laws Gurdial Singh and Malkit Kaur and brother-in-law Kawaljit Singh for forcing the victim to commit suicide. All four accused are at large.

Model Town SHO Beant Juneja said: “We will conduct analysis of the suicide note from a writing expert.”



Yes... No... Yes!
PAU just can’t decide
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 29
Recent twists and turns and rolling back from decisions has cast its shadow on the working of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here. Surprised over the way the decisions were being taken by authorities and then withdrawn, faculty and employees of the university feel it is not in the interest of the institution.

A senior faculty member, on the condition of anonymity, said certain major decisions taken and then withheld by the authorities had spoilt the image of the university. “Difference of opinion is one thing, but rolling back every time is not justified,” he said.

One of the decisions from which the university has pulled back in the past few months include the appointment of secretary to the Vice-Chancellor. Appointment of a teacher for the administrative post was also condemned. Protests were held against the decision following which Dr PPS Lubana, faculty member, who was appointed the secretary, was re-appointed as the technical adviser to the Vice-Chancellor.

The case of sexual harassment against director students’ welfare (DSW) also got the same treatment. On the recommendation of committee probing the matter, the DSW was suspended by the authorities but at the board meeting in Chandigarh, suspension orders were revoked and Brar (DSW) immediately joined his parent cadre — the department of entomology.

In another example, a woman teacher from the department of journalism was shifted to the department of communications and international linkages in September but before she could join, the orders were reverted after a month.

Following a complaint, Ravinder Kalra, a faculty member and warden of hostel No. 6 of girls hostel, was asked to relieve but after a few days, these orders were again revoked. Kalra, however, resigned later.

The non-teaching employees were served advisory notes not to approach media or speak against authorities but after protests by the union, authorities again issued letters to the heads of the department to consider previous letters, as ‘withdrawn’ as there was some misunderstanding.

Despite repeated attempts, Vice-Chancellor Dr MS Kang was not available for comments.



Signposts Turn Signboards
Sports meet posters dot city roads
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 29
After politicians, it’s now the organisers of the rural sports cup who have put up posters on signposts meant for motorists, much to the inconvenience of the latter.

In spite of orders from the Supreme Court and the High Court preventing anyone from abusing public property, organisers of the Guru Kabaddi Cup Tournament have blatantly flouted the rules.

With promotional bills covering signposts at key locations of the city, thousands of motorists are finding it hard to navigate their way to their destination.

The organisers have even engaged sponsors to get their posters pasted on these signposts.

In one such violation, the advertisement of the tournament has been pasted on the signpost at Gill Chowk, located on the southern bypass of the city, which directs routes to some districts of the state. Similar posters have also been put up at signposts in Dugri and two other locations on the same route.

Recently, the cup organisers had allegedly removed these signboards and replaced these with promotional posters of the cup with pictures of politicians on these.

“No one cares about rules here and it’s the common man who has to pay the price,” said Suresh Singla, who was stranded at the Gill Road.

However, Cabinet Minister Hira Singh Gabria has assured that the posters would be removed at the earliest. He said no one was above law and such an offence would not be tolerated.



Gold jewellery worth Rs 4 lakh stolen
Tribune News Service

Khanna, December 29
Gold ornaments worth Rs 4 lakh were stolen from a jewellery shop in Gandhi Chowk.

In his complaint to the police, owner of Jagdambay Jeweller Ramesh Kumar said he found the ornaments missing from his shop this morning.

The thieves entered the shop from a narrow passage at the rear of the shop after breaking the windowpanes. The thieves broke open the locks of the shop to gain access.

They searched the shop using candles and took away gold jewellery lying in a wooden counter. They also tried to open the safe but failed to break its locks.

The shopkeeper said earrings, bracelets and gold chains were missing from his shop besides some instruments used for assembling jewellery. The police has registered a case in this regard.

This is the third incident of theft in the area in the past just few days. Earlier, thefts were reported in residential houses and a mobile shop in the main chowk.



In Retrospect
DC remained embroiled in controversies
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 29
The district was riddled with controversies all through the year with the Deputy Commissioner facing the brunt of allegations from various quarters.

The Deputy Commissioner and Sub-Registrar offices remained in the news as allegations of corruption were levelled against Deputy Commissioner Sumer Singh Gurjar, while Sub-Registrar Arvind Parkash Verma was nabbed by the Vigilance Bureau for graft.

Verma was picked up by the bureau from the office for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 10,000. His record was also scrutinised. Later, the office gained the notoriety of being a “den of corruption”. The office again came in news when it was left open till late at night and none of the officials concerned was found in the office.

District Revenue Officer Inderbir Singh Kahlon upon inquiry found that some outsiders were present in the office. He submitted his report to the Deputy Commissioner but no action was taken.

The Deputy Commissioner remained in the midst of controversy when he was rapped by former Divisional Commissioner, Patiala Division, S.K. Ahluwalia for scam in grants to riot victims.

Ahluwalia had conducted an inquiry into the allegations and had suspended three clerks and recommended action against an SDM. He had held the Deputy Commissioner responsible for the irregularities as he had said that the Deputy Commissioner had seen it all yet not taken any action.

Towards the later part of the year, Deputy Speaker Satpal Gosain also levelled allegations of corruption against Gurjar for irregularities in allotting sites for sale of firecracker. It was after a lot of hue and cry raised by Gosain and his supporters that Chief Minister had to order an inquiry against Gurjar. Divisional Commissioner, Patiala Division, Jasbir Singh Bir was entrusted with the inquiry. Bir is holding the probe.

No major infrastructural development project was executed in the year. Carpeting of roads began in the later part of the year and work was near completion at the year-end.



Indian doctors the best, says Kidwai
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 29
Haryana Governor AR Kidwai termed ASICON 2008 as the boon for the surgeons of India as he referred to the Indian doctors as the best in the world. Kidwai was the guest of honour at a special banquet held last evening in the wake of the ongoing annual conference of the Association of Surgeons of India.

Dr SS Gill, Vice-Chancellor of Baba Farid University of Medical Sciences, Dr MS Gill, Vice-Chancellor of PAU, Dr Abdul Ahmed Hai, President, ASI, and the organising secretary Dr Kuldip Singh were amongst other guests present on the occasion.

A symposium on hernia surgery was held today wherein various surgeons discussed the methods of hernia surgery with an emphasis on its complications.

In another significant scientific session, the doctors deliberated on laparoscopy in semi-urban and rural India.

Dr Madhu Sekar, while speaking on the present status of laparoscopy in India, said there were very few laparoscopic surgeons in the rural and semi-urban areas. “People in the rural areas are still doing the conventional surgery thinking that it costs less. But the overall cost of laparoscopy surgery is lesser as the patient can get back to work soon thus the working days lost are few,” the doctor observed.

Dr GV Rao delivered a talk on natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery (NOTES). According to him, this was a new technique in which no cut was made on the body and surgery was done through natural orifices like mouth, rectum and vagina. He said this was a very advanced surgery and was in the experimental stage.

A surgical quiz for the resident surgeons was also held on the occasion.



Forum decries criminalisation of politics
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 29
An NGO, Peoples Awareness Forum, expressed its concern over criminalisation of politics in the country and the alleged murder of an executive engineer in UP involving an MLA.

The meeting, held with Prof Prithipal Singh Kapoor, former Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, and president of the forum, called upon the Central government and the Chief Election Commissioner to amend the Peoples Representative Act prohibiting the entry of criminals into the electoral process of the country. This was necessary to strengthen democratic setup, he said.

The forum further condemned the murder of executive engineer and sought action against the BSP legislator.

The forum also condemned terrorist attacks in Mumbai on November 26 and expressed sympathies with the families of those killed.



Diet, exercise can prevent diabetes: Expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 29
Dr Surendra Gupta, managing director, Diabetes Free World, and secretary, National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA), addressed the general body meeting of the SBI pensioners association on symptoms, causes and prevention of diabetes. Association resident VK Kalia and zonal secretary JL Mehta were also present on the occasion.

Dr Surendra Gupta said diabetes mellitus was a global killer and presently 33 million Indians were suffering from the disease. As per reports, by 2025 every 2nd diabetic in the world will be an Indian. India is projected as diabetes capital of the world and keeping in mind the huge cost of specialist and hospitalisation-based healthcare, a country like India has to prevent the rise in incidence of diabetes.

As per a study of the year 2000, diabetes incidents in urban segments are more than 12.4 per cent and fasting blood sugar above 110 mg - 125 mg or post meal blood sugar level between 140-199 mg is an indication of pre-diabetic state. Moreover, prior family history, obesity, lack of exercise, high lipids, and hypertension contribute much towards incidence of diabetes.

One should be careful to take low-calorie, low-fat and high-fibre diet to keep normal blood sugar level, Dr Gupta went on to add. Complications of diabetes can be prevented with proper diet, exercise -- like walking, jogging and performing yoga -- and medical care.



PAU seeks extension to clear dues
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 29
Though Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) has released the pension for the months of October and November, the authorities are reportedly in the process of moving the court once again for extension of time for clearing the previous dues, as directed by the High Court.

An official, on condition of anonymity, disclosed that the pension for the month of December will be given in January next year. As far as dues of the Leave Travel Allowance (LTA) from the year 2004 were concerned, authorities were in the process of moving an application to court to get enough time to generate resources, added the official.

IK Garg, president, the Confederation of PAU Pensioners’ Association, said cheques of October and November were released on December 27. “We have come to know that an application has been moved by authorities for extension of time limit. Whatever their plans are, we should be given the pensionary benefits. We are already at the dusk of our lives. The dues must be cleared in time for our better life,” said Garg.



Agricultural varsity releases handbook
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 29
A renowned wheat scientist from the USA, Dr Bikram Gill, who is on a visit to Punjab Agricultural University, while releasing the 42nd volume of PAU Agricultural Handbook-2009, on the eve of the New Year said that regional language was the best medium to transmit knowledge and information to the masses.

He said the effective communication in Punjabi had provided strength to the capability of PAU to transfer agricultural knowledge to the farming community. Dr Gill said farmers of Punjab will benefit from the farming related information and statistics given in the handbook. The handbook is prepared in English and Punjabi and distributed by the Centre for Communication and International Linkages.

Dr Gill said it was the duty of the researchers to convey the field worthy information to farmers in simple terms and understandable language. Hailing from Dhudike, Moga, Dr Gill expressed that even after living on foreign lands for years, he maintained a connection with his village. He disclosed that he was involved in the project on research in wheat genome that was sanctioned to PAU with a budget lay out of Rs 11 crore. He said when the project having global partnership will be talked about at any forum, the presence of Indian Tricolour, among flags of the other participating nations, will be a matter of national pride.



With dip in mercury, sale of winter clothing soars
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 29
Dipping mercury and cold wave sweeping across, the city has led to a spiky rise in the sale of caps and gloves. Reason is not hard to define. One, they provide great protection against the harsh winter winds and two, they add a touch of style to winter wear, be it a formal outfit, official gear or routine clothing.

Caps and mufflers of various hues can be seen adorning the shelves of the stores, big as well as the small ones, across the city are in great demand these days so much so that "They are swept off the shelf the moment they land in the stores," says Pranav Singh, owner of a girls' wear store in Ghumar Mandi.

These fashion accessories, which were till now, utility items, are especially a hit with the younger crowd, who love to flaunt the dash of colour these lend to dull, heavy woolens. Scarves, caps and mufflers in various colours and styles have now become must-haves for every style-conscious individual.

"Caps, gloves, mufflers and scarves are selling like hot cakes these days so much so that almost 90 per cent of the day's sale comes from them," remarked Shyam Lal, who runs a hosiery shop in Ghumar Mandi market.

He added that during the past three days, as much as 80 per cent of the season's stock has been exhausted. "If the weather conditions remain the same, the entire stock will be gone in the next two days."

Agrees Subhash, a hosiery retailer in BRS Nagar market, "Caps and gloves are in great demand this season. "

Besides the branded stuff being offered by big brands like Globus, Benetton, Levis, Addidas and Lee, the unbranded ones are also a hit with the crowds and are as much in demand. "They are easier on the pocket but no less when it comes to style quotient," says Aaruti Manchanda, a fashion stylist.



Toppers honoured at Radha Vatika School
Tribune News Service

Khanna, December 29
Radhika Vatika Senior Secondary School, Khanna, celebrated its annual day today.

DR Yadav, joint secretary regional officer CBSE Panchkula, was the chief guest. Tiny-tots from nursery class performed an action song depicting values of etiquettes.

Students presented dance items, including fusion, Indian, Western and Arabian dances. Students also presented plays ‘Mothers’ Day’, ‘adalat bachon ki’ highlighting studies as a cause of worry for students.

School principal presented annual report in the form of a slide show. Prize distribution function was also held on the occasion wherein achievers were honoured.



Remedial classes hardly a remedy
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 29
Sarv Sikhsha Abhiyan is making all out efforts to improve the standards of education in government schools. If ‘Padho Punjab’ has been started for the primary classes, remedial classes in the subjects of English, maths and science are being conducted for upper primary, i.e. VI, VII and VIII, for two hours. Under this scheme, extra classes in these three subjects are held for the mediocre students. The teachers are engaged from outside and are paid Rs 1,800 per month per subject. However, this scheme, instead of proving to be a boon for the students, has become a bane for them.

With the coming of this state government, the school timings in the government schools have been increased. In winters the timings are from 9 am to 3.45 pm. Remedial classes start at 4 pm and end at 6 in evening. The 9-hour-long stretch overburdens the children.

The school authorities say that after studying for 9 hours in the school, students hardly find any time to do their homework at home and concentrate on other subjects as they go back home fully exhausted.

The teachers further say, “In winters, it becomes all the more problematic as it gets dark by 6 pm. Moreover, most students in government schools are from the lower strata of society and don’t have any conveyance of their own.

Some parents come to drop and fetch the students from schools. Some of the parents are up in arms against the school authorities. But even the school authorities have to remain there till 6 pm. Women teachers are also hard pressed as they have to perform their household duties, along with their professional work.” The repeated requests to Sarv Siksha Abhiyan to reduce the timings have gone in vain.



NSS camp ends
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 29
A ten-day special NSS camp organised by Youth Services, Punjab, on the campus of RS Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, Ludhiana, came to an end with a cultural bonanza. Principal ML Kalra and camp commandant Maninderjit Kaur and Neelam Behl welcomed chief guest Hirdaipal Kaur (director, Youth Services, Punjab) and guest of honour Mahatma Satyanand Munjal (president, school management).



Reporters' Diary
Sports bike catches cop’s fancy

Sports cars and bikes catch everybody’s fancy. While these go vroom on the road, everybody is compelled to turn their head and have a look at the sports vehicles.

One such sports bike was zooming on the road one evening and everybody was having a glimpse at the red coloured bike which was going at an unbelievable speed. When this bike stopped at the traffic light, it turned everybody’s head and the biker riding it seemed to be proud to possess this machine. Even the policeman standing at the duty was having a curious look at the bike. Unable to control his curiosity, the policeman came near the bike and started asking the biker about it.

This correspondent was inquisitively looking at the two and the gestures between the two proved that they were talking about the bike. Suddenly the biker got off his bike and the policeman took a ride on the sporty bike. After taking a small round he came back and the smile on the policeman’s face was to be seen. The biker probably would never had allowed anybody to even touch his proud possession, but the policeman was lucky enough to be in his uniform and on duty!

Winter bonfires

This winter has proved to be quite unpredictable. The days were too sunny bright and warm till a couple of days ago. It took everyone by surprise when the day temperature dipped too low and people discovered the cold was biting. People started making bonfires, sitting around and gossiping. In fact, it is an occasion that is rounded off on Lohri.

While the people around here are used to this cold, those from the southern parts of the country have never experienced such harshly cold weather. Those who have come here to participate in the annual conference of the Association of the Surgeons of India were thrilled with the chill. Despite the biting cold, they seemed to enjoy the weather around bonfires. This is a spectacle they had seen in pictures only and now they had the first hand experience.

Promoting Punjabiat

It is about a decade now since the Punjab Sabhyachar Manch was launched. It has been certainly doing a lot of work to promote Punjabi culture and heritage. Recently the manch organised the Miss World Punjaban contest which had participation from almost all countries where the Punjabis are settled. The idea of choosing the Miss Punjaban might had seemed to be remote a few years ago, but now people talk about it with a strong sense of belonging. This year participants from the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand were in good numbers. While last year Jaapjee Khaira from Australia won the crown, this year it is Chandigarh girl Mohitinder Bawa. Organiser Jasmeer Singh Dhatt had been making continuous efforts from last ten years to promote Punjabiat among women folks. This helps the Punjabi blood to integrate and create a sense of belonging.

Heartening humility

The ascent of road under the Domoria bridge makes it impossible for a ‘rickshawallah’ to pull the wagon up the slope. A puller cannot cycle on the ascent, even alone, what to talk of a climb with the passengers. A ‘rickshawallah’ usually gets down and pulls his passengers to the top.

On a normal day it is usual to see the passengers perched high on the rickshaw while the driver pulls the wagon. When this correspondent was moving slowly to the top of the road, in his car, recently, he was stuck with the image of a heavy elderly gentleman getting down from the rickshaw, right when the puller had de-boarded.

“You will be drained pulling me up the climb. I would rather walk,” he said. He was limping very badly because of age or perhaps an injury. The incident was immediately followed by a young couple, whose richshaw had been overtaken by the elderly’s wagon, who also got down and walked to the top.

Ethics and journalists

During my informal meeting with a home science teacher, we were discussing about the research works. She said journalists come to collect the research works and when they report it in the newspaper they don’t write the name of the teachers concerned. She further said some journalists collected the research works, but they neither published it nor returned it. Journalists often report about the drawbacks of other systems, but they forget the ethics which they themselves are to follow.

Mistaken identity

One fine morning, a young journalist was shaken out of deep slumber when the landline phone rang. As soon as the voice on the other end identified himself, the girl started listing the stories for the day. Confused as to what was wrong with her, the voice on the other end asked the girl if she was fine. Unfazed by the question, the girl went on, little realising that the caller was not her boss, but his namesake - her paternal uncle. On realisation, the girl apologised to her uncle in an embarrassed tone. Since then, every time he calls, the uncle, who shares his name with the girl’s boss, never forgets to identify himself as her “uncle” before giving out his name, lest he be bombarded with the “list of stories”!

Male ego and driving

Male ego and driving have been always associated with each other. Whenever a woman or girl unintentionally or intentionally overtakes a vehicle driven by males, it becomes a prestigious issue. Something like this happened with this correspondent when she was on her way to meet an official at Bharat Nagar Chowk. She was in middle lane and the person who was on her left took her overtaking so seriously that he travelled along with her vehicle for around 4 km and jumped traffic lights just to display that he drives better. However, later he was caught by a traffic police personnel for not adhering to traffic rules.

Chat over ‘chaat’

The cosmopolitan element is evident as you take a look at sea of people at the ongoing All India Surgeon’s Conference (ASICON 2008) at PAU. But what is more interesting is the ‘chat over chaat’ between the worthy wives of the surgeons. The wives, irrespective of their composite cultures, shared their proud moments as they discussed their success stories of convincing their husbands to get them along for the conference. But what clicked amongst the wives from West Bengal, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and other states was their shared thoughts about their husbands.

The discussions of the non-working wives were focussed on ways to ‘dent’ the pockets of their husbands for shopping in the city, but it was the honest confession of a working wife, a gynaecologist, which turned the heads. “The truth is that we don’t trust our husbands to let them come in this part of the country alone,” said a qualified doctor.

Traffic woes

The bursting-at-seams vehicular traffic on city roads, coupled with absolutely no traffic or parking sense among the drivers, zig-zagging three wheelers and temporary encroachments all along the roads, both in commercial and residential localities, continues to defy all efforts of enforcement and management at the hands of traffic cops. Bumper-to-bumper traffic and prolonged traffic jams all over the city all through the day have become a routine. However, the traffic police remains clueless to bring some semblance of order on the roads. In particular, certain permanent bottlenecks like the Domoria bridge, Mata Rani chowk, Jagraon bridge, Dugri canal crossing, Ghumar Mandi, Bhai Bala chowk and several other congested localities in old city witness traffic jams at regular intervals. The situation calls for radical steps to enforce traffic rules, instil sense of road use and parking among the motorists. Stern measures must be taken to remove roadside encroachments rather than going about with half-hearted or adhoc steps for traffic management.

Begging their own way!

Beggars, including small children, are seen on roads, near roundabouts and in every market these days. Their population, no doubt, is increasing with each passing day. This correspondent had to stop her car on traffic lights for about 90 seconds recently. A small child of about seven years came to her and asked for alms. He kept on giving blessings and showering compliments on her. As she did not have the change, she politely asked him to work. He took it as offence and started abusing her loudly. “You don’t want to give anything, its fine but do not preach. It is my life and I do not want passers-by like you to suggest me what to do,” he said. She had no answer so she started the car to avoid humiliation at his hands.

Contributed by: Manav Ghuman, Rajesh Bhambi, Sanjeev Singh Bariana, Sheetal Chawla, Charu Chhibber, Jyotika Sood, Anshu Seth, Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo



City Concerns

The Ludhiana police has withdrawn 35 security personnel from VIP duty in a follow-up to the ongoing debate on pruning the excessive security cover of VIPs. People feel there is scope for greater rationalisation. Residents are peeved at the security cover being provided to VIPs travelling to the city, additional security at sites they visit and unnecessary security to some political leaders.

Residents feel community policing is being compromised, as is indicated by the number of thefts, traffic chaos and numerous incidents. Police personnel on their part maintain that a very small workforce is available for such work.

We would like to seek your opinion on whether large police deployment for VIP security is justified and what should be the criteria in allowing a security cover for an individual or an organisation. Do you recommend that the powerful and rich should employ a private security agency that is monitored by the state police?

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



Sports Fest
Dashmesh Kabaddi Academy lift trophy
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, December 29
The mega rural sports festival at Mullanpur and Dhatt village concluded here yesterday. The Dashmesh sports and welfare club of Mullanpur village conducted the four-day Sant Chanan Singh Memorial Rural Tournament of Kabaddi at Pritam Singh Memorial Stadium. Dashmesh Kabaddi Academy, Nakodar, picked the prestigious champions trophy by defeating Baba Ludhiana Parushrampur Kabaddi Academy by 17-12 and also bagged the cash prize of Rs 1 lakh.

Darshan Singh Shivalik, MLA Dakha, Paramjit Singh Manawan, MLA Canada, Manpreet Singh Ayali, chairman Zila Parishad, Ludhiana, Maghar Singh Braich, chairman, market committee, Mullanpur and Gogi Gill, president gave away the prizes to winners. The village vice championship of Open kabaddi was won by Jalaldiwal village by defeating the team of Kaunke by 327-31 points. The 70 Kg championship was won by Sangatpura by defeating Katahari. The trophy of 40 plus age category was won by Ludhiana by defeating Moga by 17-21. Khanjarwal village team defeated Mullanpur team in volleyball match.

The team of Bhanohar village defeated Jangpur team by 2:3 goals and bagged the trophy. In yet another four-day rural sports festival that was conducted by Baba Bhan Singh youth welfare club at Dhatt village, Rasulpur team defeated Chuarchak team by 21-23 points and bagged the championship in all open village vice championship.

The 70 Kg championship was won by Kadiala by defeating Sangatpura village by 32-23 points. The show match of girls Kabaddi , however, remained the main attraction of the tournament. Manpreet Singh Ayali gave a grant of Rs five lakh for the village development.



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