L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Sukhbir's Oath-Taking Ceremony
Commuters suffer as buses go to Amritsar
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
With most private buses heading to Amritsar to ferry Akali workers for Sukhbir Badal's oath-taking ceremony, hundreds of commuters were inconvenienced as only a few buses were plying, especially on link roads.

Commuters had to wait for a long time as only roadways and PRTC buses were running and private transporters had to send their buses to Amritsar. There were a few private buses that too were overloaded as their number was not enough to ferry so many commuters. Many people were seen travelling atop the buses in the city.

The road in front of the bus stand, that is always marred by traffic chaos, wore a deserted look today as there were no private buses. Residents were, however, waiting for the buses for long. They were gathered on the roadsides waiting in vain.

"I did not know the buses would not ply today. I waited for a bus outside the bus stand as private buses usually stop here. When for an hour no bus arrived, then I knew there was something wrong. Now I am going to the bus stand to catch a PRTC bus for Moga," said Dharamjeet Singh, a resident.

The worst hit were the college students in various villages. They said they got late as none of the private buses passed from normal routes.

"Now I have come to know that the private buses had gone to Amritsar. I got late for my college as there was no bus," said Manmohan Dhillon, a student who reaches city from Dehlon every morning.

The taxi stands were also deserted as there were not many taxis in the city.

The public works also suffered as many officials too visited Amritsar for the ceremony. Residents raised a lot of hue and cry over unavailability of several officials.

In the morning, buses and taxis carrying workers and leaders left the city. Their rush resulted in traffic chaos on the roads. Traffic cops had a tough time in controlling traffic.

Meanwhile, several leaders celebrated the swearing-in ceremony. Several leaders distributed laddoos and several danced to the tunes of bhangra.


‘Misbehaviour’ by Councillor
Tehsildars go on 2-hr strike, pacified
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
A few days after the state government had intervened to pacify agitating tehsildars, sub registrars of the city were on agitation path yet again today with a SAD leader and councillor, Simarjit Singh Bains, and suspended work for two hours in the morning.

Visitors to all three sub registrars offices, inclduing East, West and Central, had to wait for two hours before the officials took up work. It was after the intervention of senior officials of the district that they returned to work.

Naib tehsildar-cum-sub registrar Hargobind Singh, who was sent on duty from Maloud at local central revenue office, yesterday complained to the police that Bains had misbehaved with him over the power of attorney of an Akali worker.

In his complaint to the police late last evening, the official said Bains used abusive language and threatened him on the phone. He wanted the naib tehsildar to register the POA while flouting the norms. When the former refused, Bains threatend him of dire consequences and used choices of abuses, said the naib in his complaint to the police.

The police did not register a case on his complaint. This angered the sub registrars in three offices, who said they would not work till action was taken against Bains. They said they would not do anything illegal under the political pressure.

They threatened to launch yet another agitation if action would not be taken against Bains. Soon after the intervention of senior officials, the tehsildars returned to work. No case was registered on the complaint till the filing of this report.

Bains said he had not abused anyone. He had just asked the naib to start work on regsitering the POA. "I told him clearly not to waste time as we would provide the document today. I told him that being an elected representative, I took the responsibility in the case. Moreover, the Akali worker already had the document but it was issued two months ago. The naib wanted that it should be issued afresh. He did not listen to me. I kept the phone down stating it was unfair to harass the Akali worker. This angered the Naib who wrote a complaint to the police," said Bains.



GS Saroa is PAUTA chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
The executive of the Punjab Agricultural University Teachers Association (PAUTA) appointed GS Saroa as the PAUTA president for the remaining period of the association’s term, official sources said here today.

The seat had fallen vacant following resignation submitted by MS Mahal wherein he had cited "pressing personal circumstances" as the reason for taken this decision.

The Executive co-opted Saroa as the PAUTA president for the remaining period of the present its term as per the provisions of its constitution, inscribed under point miscellaneous (ix), part (3)- vacation of the office , whereby it is stated that "any vacancy arising during the term of executive committee shall be filled in by co-option by the committee for the remaining period of the term from among its members for the rest of the term".

Harpreet Singh has also been co-opted as the joint secretary due to the vacancy created by co-opting Saroa as PAUTA’s president. Mahal had, earlier, submitted the resignation to BS Sohal, vice-president, who had not agreed.

Mahal said:"I had to tender my resignation because of difference of opinion with the executive members. Numerous actions, including the recent rally, were carried out without contest of the full executive".

Mahal said: "I differed with the executive even on the issue of the ongoing enquiry on the allegation of sexual harassment against Dulcha Singh Brar, the former DSW. I felt when the enquiry was on, we should not have interfered. The language used in communication with the university authorities is also very harsh, which is unbecoming of the staff members."

"The rival group in the PAUTA consisted of rather aggressive youngsters and I found it very difficult communicating with them. When there is no communication in place in the forum, I thought it was better to clear the arena, " he added.



MC commissioner to collect monthly report of challans
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
The building branch of the municipal corporation that has already entered into troubled waters after its officials were being targeted by the Vigilance Bureau has much more to witness.

After Vigilance, it is now municipal commissioner G.S. Ghuman who has finally decided to tighten the noose on the branch officials.

According to sources, Ghuman has decided to seek a monthly report of all challans that are issued under the compoundable offence by the building branch.These reports would also include details like site plans and particulars of the area that has been encroached upon or constructed and are not in accordance with the sanctioned plans.

Sources added that the written orders were yet to be passed and the decision was taken in the wake of increasing illegal construction going on in the city. They said there had been a number of reports of building inspectors, ATPs and other officials making money and the action would help to keep a curb on them.

They revealed that city residents had been flouting norms on their own and generally get their violations settled at lower level due to which the constructions had been going unabated. Besides, the revenue of the building branch that is obtained by fining the building, owners, too has reduced considerably.

Since the zonal commissioners themselves have failed to do the field work, the measure would help to keep a check and have everything on record that has been going on in the building branch.

At present a commercial site plan is approved at the rate of Rs 25 per square feet, while a residential plan is approved at the cost of Rs 12.50 per square feet. However, if the building plan has been approved for a commercial building than excess coverage or encroachment could not be allowed by taking compounding fees.

Notably, the building branch officials of the municipal corporation had been at the receiving end from both municipal commissioner and Vigilance Bureau for the past one month owing to various complaints of corruption.



F&CC meeting today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
The Finance and Contract Committee will meet here tomorrow at 4 pm once again to discuss various projects and give the final nod to various estimates that have been prepared.

The major issue that will dominate the meeting will be work orders for the brick lining of roads in 216 unauthorised colonies, work estimates of which were passed during the sangat darshan held by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Interestingly, during the last meeting on January 9, two members of the six-member committee had sent dissenting notes against the proposal of development in these unauthorised colonies. Even being a part of the ruling alliance, these two BJP councillors’ words were ignored by the rest of F&CC members which has SAD councillors in majority.

Apart from it, another issue to be discussed at the meeting is extension of Gill Road flyover. Earlier the flyover was to end up at Vishkarma Chowk, but MC officials have proposed that the flyover from Gill Chowk should go till KW Chowk, near Pratap Chowk, to ease traffic movement. Interestingly, sources in the MC revealed that the extension to the flyover was being given to facilitate the contractor who was doing construction. Since the contractor had agreed to work on old rates for the Gill Chowk flyover, the extension would help him to make more profits as the extended construction would be made on new rates, they added.



Notices on Jalandhar bypass to clear NH-1
Differences in Cong come to fore
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
While the ruling alliance of the SAD-BJP is already witnessing a difference in equations in the city, even the opposition Congress, too, seems to be faction-ridden.

The District Congress Committee chief Jagmohan Sharma held a press conference here yesterday and said the Congress councillors would hold a protest on January 29 over the issuance of notices to people on the Jalandhar bypass to clear the NH-1 following High Court directions. However, another group of Congress councillors held a meeting here today to oppose the move.

Talking to the mediapersons yesterday, Sharma had said that Congress councillors under the leadership of PPCC chief Mahinder Singh Kaypee and AICC general secretary Manish Tiwari would protest against the municipal corporation and the Punjab government for its failure to initiate development in the city. Besides, traffic and law and order situation had been going from bad to worse.

Accompanied by many councillors Sharma had said, "The municipal corporation was harassing people on the Jalandhar bypass and the Ferozepore Road by issuing notices to them under the garb of the Punjab and Haryana High Court directions, stating that being a national highway it needed to be cleared." If the MC feels that the area has been encroached, it should have checked dwellings when these were developed and stopped them there and then.

Lashing out at the civic body, the councillors had said, "The MC has its house-tax registers to verify which of these dwellers has been residing before 1995 and there was no sense of issuing notices to those who have been paying their house-tax in these areas before 1995."

The other group of Congress councillors, which included Parminder Mehta, Gurpreet Gogi, Hem Raj Aggarwal and Raji, son of Mukhtiar Kaur, held a meeting here today and decided to oppose the move.

According to sources, the four councillors decided that opposing the notices would be contempt of court and since the move was against encroachers, they would not support them. The councillors also decided that there are other issues that need to be addressed like deplorable condition of roads, potable water etc and they should not take part in legal entangles.

Meanwhile, the matter is likely to be settled at a district-level meeting now, which would be held before January 29.



Unemployment, meltdown push up crime
Mohit Khanna and Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
From suicides to kidnapping and now murder, the city is witnessing the worst kind of impact of recession.The police, which is already grappling with the existing crime, has a new challenge staring at its face.

Large-scale lay-offs by numerous organisations is the reason behind a growing number of unemployed people taking to crime in the city. And if the industry is to be believed, the rise in the crime rate in the last couple of months due to unemployment is just the tip of the iceberg.

The first impact of global slowdown around two months ago came to light when four members of a family of an industrialist committed suicide after suffering losses in business in Shimlapuri.

In the recent revelation, Chhabu Nath (20), a resident of Railway colony, who was nabbed by the city CIA-II department in connection with a murder case, had been sacked from the job recently.

According to the police, the accused admitted that he resorted to take the extreme step as he needed money to purchase drugs.

A police officials said he killed the victim for Rs 2,500, so that he could buy psychotropic drugs.

SP(D) Gurpreet Singh Toor said the accused used to discern the target and that was precisely what he had done in the case of Human Surat, who was spotted in highly inebriated condition. The youth hacked the victim near Old jail road two months ago.

The police said the accused had admitted that he had done four to five crimes of similar nature, but could not tell in how many cases the victim was being killed by him as they were not in their senses and in desperate need of drugs.

It is not only the addict, who has opted for the criminal route, the list has the names of some of the ambitious people who could not fulfill their dreams.

Recently, a servant, who was working at the house of a hosiery manufacturer, was sacked by his employer.

To settle the score, the servant abducted the boy and demanded Rs 5 lakh ransom from the family.

The servant was nabbed by the police and later said he had no source of earning, so he wanted to earn quick bucks by the abduction bid.

A youth of Shimla Puri was also found hanging from a ceiling hook four days ago. His relatives said he was working in hosiery and recently sacked from the job, which shattered his ambitions of becoming rich.

A highly placed police officer said most of the employees who were working in hosieries or at cycle part manufacturing units were hooked to drugs. Due to the recent lay off, these youths had been rendered jobless finding no means to get their daily dose of drugs, they had started taking extreme steps.

Charanjeet Singh Vishvikarma, president, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, said, "There will be a further rise in the crime rate of the city in the coming months if the government does not take immediate steps to help the industry get out of the economic crisis."

"The workers who have lost their means of livelihood and are struggling to make two ends meet, are indulging in crime. The number of robberies, dacoities, murders and suicides will shoot up if something concrete is not done immediately to curb unemployment due to negative growth in the market," Nageshwar Singh, district secretary, Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, remarked.

He said the government should introduce employment schemes to ensure employment for the labour class to save them from penury, thus saving them from falling into the trap of earning money by hook or by crook.

"The recent incidents of violence, including a suicide-pact by an entrepreneur's family in the city due to penury in the wake of economic crisis and a murder over money due to unemployment, will be repeated if the government does not bail out the economy out of the recession-like situation."A well-known hosiery manufacturer of the city and director of a premium brand of knitwear, said, "Unemployment always leads to crime and what has happened in the past two months will be followed by a 200 per cent rise in crimes like thefts, robberies, brawls and even killings. It will also increase prostitution among unemployed women."



A catastrophe waiting to happen
Articles stored under bridge by junk dealers put
residents’ lives at risk
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, January 21
Unwanted material and discarded articles stored by junk dealers under the bridge constructed over Sirhind Canal at Doraha can prove to be disastrous for the local residents.

Residents rue that this junk can prove to be devastating, as it is highly inflammable.

More so, if any unburnt explosive is transported with the junk, the whole bridge would be shattered and the damage to life and property would be enormous.

Only recently, bomb shells were recovered near Doraha in the Sirhind canal.

Unused bomb shells were recovered from scrap at Mandi Gobindgarh and at the octroi of Jugiana village.

At Doraha, junk dealers, particularly two of them, discovering it to be a “safe” and “befitting” shelter, have placed the scrap under the bridge, oblivious of the fact that this scrap can catch fire.

"There is also every possibility of unused bomb shells being transported along with the scrap coming from Arab countries and the storage of this scrap, and that, too, under the bridge, could lead to disastrous results," opined a senior citizen of Doraha.

"So much so that in the wake of strained relations between India and Pakistan, any such anti-social or anti-national character could plant any explosive or devastating material that could result in total blast and destruction of the bridge, as well as loss to life and property," said another person.

Many residents here have demanded the early lifting of this waste material so that they might not suffer for no fault of theirs.



Australian team on two-day visit to PAU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
An Australian team comprising Doug Mc Eachern, deputy Vice-Chancellor (research and innovation), University of Western Australia, KHM Siddique, Chair in Agriculture and Director, Institute of Agriculture, UWA, Mark Sweetingham, leader, Grain Legumes Programme, Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, Tanveer Khan, principal research officer, DAFWA, Geoff Smith, CEO, Council of Grain Growers Organisation, Western Australia, Mike Perry, Technical Consultant, COGGO, CLL Gowda, Global Theme Leader (crop improvement), ICRISAT, and Suresh Pande, principal scientist (legume pathology), ICRISAT, are coming to the PAU on a two-day visit starting from tomorrow. This was stated in a press note issued here today.

According to Head, Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, BL Bhardwaj, the team will review the progress of COGGO Project on "accelerated genetic improvement of desi chickpea" operating at the university. The members will also visit the fields on January 22. Harsh Nayyar, Professor of Botany, Panjab University, Chandigarh, will present a paper on "physiology of chilling tolerance in chickpeas on January 24, said Bhardwaj. An MoU will be signed between PAU and the University of Western Australia for promoting collaboration in identified areas.



Family throws goods, jewellery into canal
Our Correspondent

Raikot, January 21
A family under the influence of some godman threw all household goods into a canal at Sudhar.

The family said to be from Latala village approached Sudhar on a tractor-trolley with all household goods, including beds, almirahs, utensils, clothes, TV, fridge, beddings, scooter, gold and silver jewellery and cash. Except the clothes they wore, they kept nothing with them and threw even slippers and turbans.

The family was accompanied by two godman-looking persons and about five children, seven men and 12 women. They even danced and distributed the sweets there after throwing every thing in the canal.

The drama that continued for more than three hours were watched by scores of people of the area.

Though the family avoided mediapersons, the head of the family is identified as Tarlochan Singh of Latala village. To conceal their identity they were not even calling each other by names. When asked why they were throwing the goods into the canal, they said when they donated the goods, people mistook them and refused the donations.

It is estimated that the goods and jewellery worth Rs 4 lakh was thrown in the canal out of which some youths of the nearby villages managed to took out the scooter thrown.

It seemed that they had acted in this way under the influence of some black magic practitioner.



At The Crossroads
Memorable dedicated couple

Towards the end of 1998, I received a telephonic call from Manveen Sandhu that Spic-Macay was holding a national convention at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar. She invited me to give a talk to students of educational institutions on the art of creative writing. I went there and met her for the first time. Later I went to her Spring Dale Senior School (Amritsar) a number of times to deliver lectures to the students, with a creative bent of mind. With the passage of time I learnt that folk dances, folk songs, classical music and Sufi gayaki hold a sway over her mind. She was deeply interested in the social, cultural and political scenario of Punjab. Before long her research work on Maharaja Ranjit Singh hailed her as an educationist with an inquisitive mind and historic vision.

She was born in Jalandhar where her father Gurinderjit Singh Bhinder had been employed as superintendent of Central Jail. But she received her education in Ludhiana in such institutions as Sacred Heart Convent School, Govt. College for Women and Govt. of College (Boys). She stood second in Panjab University in her MA in economics held in 1982 when she was hardly 20 years old. Shortly afterwards, she joined Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Model Town, Ludhiana, as lecturer with the sole aim of competing for IAS in the coming years.

Destiny had, however, chalked out a different career for her. She was married in the family of educationists who had established in Amritsar Spring Dale Senior School, a haven for the young scholars. With the passage of time, she took charge of the institution as its principal. Her husband, Dr Shivinder Singh Sandhu, a renowned orthopaedic surgeon, recognised in her a visionary who had innate qualities of leadership and enterprise. As a result, she tiptoed on the stage of life like a ballerina.

As the co-director of Punarjyot, she aimed at broadening the horizon of the human mind for better understanding, tolerance and acceptance. With this aim in view she had been holding Amritar-Lahore Festival, under the banner of ‘Sanjh’, for the past few years. At such meetings of the minds from both Punjabs was highlighted the bonhomie of the people who were living under the same linguistic and cultural canopy.

Lately, Dr Shivinder Singh Sandhu had also been drawn to educational, cultural and social spheres. On his part, he had embarked upon new ventures in these fields. Both of them were engaged in imparting purposeful education as well as ushering in cultural renaissance. They had magnetic personalities which could bring together like-minded people, on both the sides of the border, on the theme of Punjabiat.

I recollect that Manveen’s play ‘Moran Sarkar’ was staged last year at Naat Shala, Amritsar. It deals with the theme of Maharaja Ranjit Singh's conjugal relations with a dancing girl, Moran. No one had earlier thought of restoring the image of a hapless girl, caught in the vortex of moral values and historical events. Incidentally, I had been associated with the script of this play and was much impressed by its narrative technique, witty remarks and ironic dialogues. At the end of the presentation of this play on that day, I met Manveen and Shivinder at the gate of the theatre. In reply to my congratulation, Dr Shivinder remarked, "My wife has lured me to theatre from my operation theatre."

That was my last meeting with the dedicated couple, who had a tragic end in a road accident near Bikaner on 11 January.

— N.S. Tasneem



Ahead of Basant, earth wears yellow cover
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Dharti ka hai aanchal peela, Jhoome amber neela, neela, Sab rangon se hai rangeela, Rang basanti...

Winters grey gives way to new colours and the sky will be blue once again. With Basant Panchami falling on January 31, the earth is wearing yellow cover these days. Of many kinds are the yellow flowers but the mustard, in full bloom around Basant Panchami, is symbolic of both the season and the festival.

The flowers are in plenty and the fields seem to be rippling with gold. The colour has pride of place in Basant songs, old and new, folk and filmi. However, in quite many movies love songs have been shot in mustard fields. Whenever one thinks of films like “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” and “Veer Zaara”, the scene of the mustard fields comes before eyes.

With even the villages turning into concrete jungles, the mustard fields are now seen very less. While those, who have migrated to cities, miss this exotic site.

Miss World Panjaban, Mohitinder Bawa, recalling the time spent in her village, says: “My school vacations were spent with grandparents in village near Dhuri. I vividly remember the rolling yellow fields of mustard, dotting the landscape, during our long drives. I miss my village and the cool breeze of the mustard fields.” She longs to visit her village especially on Basant as during this time, the earth seems to be adorning a yellow dupatta.

Gurmukh Singh, a senior citizen, who came to the city some thirty years ago, says the colour and vibrancy of Basant was celebrated with the beat of the dhol and bhangra in his village. Colourful kites used to dot the sky on the particular day.



Rally in mini-sectt for pay commission
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Members of the Punjab State Ministerial Service Union held a rally in mini secretariat here today for the Punjab pay commission to submit its report.

The union's district president Vijay Margera said, "It has been two years and the 5th Pay Commission has failed to submit its report till date. The Centre employees are enjoying regular benefits while we have been put up on hold by just waiting for the recommendations of the commission."

He said the Deputy Commissioner was not present, so the union members handed over the memorandum to the ADC (G) which had been addressed to the Punjab Chief Secretary and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

He said the other demands which had been added in the memorandum included cancellation of transfer of the union's state president Sukhwinder Singh.



Bronchitis on rise among kids: Docs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Bronchitis is on the rise among children between three to 10 years of age, as is evident from the records of the hospitals and clinics in the city. The allopathic, homeopathic and Ayurvedic practitioners in the city have expressed concern over the manifold increase in incidence of bronchitis.

Harpreet Singh, the child specialist at Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, confirmed almost 50 per cent increase in the incidence of bronchial asthma among kids. "On an average we are getting almost 35 per cent cases of bronchial asthma in OPD particularly in this season which would go up till April," the doctor said. He also added that industrial pollution, extreme climatic conditions, pollen grains and burning of seasonal crops have augmented the problem in the rural as well as urban areas.

The children experience breathlessness and behavioural changes which decrease their efficiency to play, study and carry out other indoor and outdoor activities. Plus the excessive administration of bronchodilators and anti-allergic medication add to the erratic behaviour of the children and also lower their resistance levels.

Similarly, Mukhtinder Singh of Homeocare Clinic stated that the stress and changed lifestyles, including eating habits among children, has weakened their resistance thereby making them vulnerable to diseases like bronchitis and asthma.

Speaking in his capacity as the practitioner of classic homeopathy the doctor said in bronchitis attack the airways gets obstructed adding, "In homeopathy we treat the general immunity of the anatomy so that the body does not become hyper reactive to the allergens. We treat the cause of spasm and not the spasm which is achieved through the detailed study of the case followed by the treatment."

Anshu Vatsyayan, another noted Ayurvedacharya, pointed towards the drug resistant cases wherein patients had practised self-medication that results in recurrence of severe bronchial asthma attacks. "The ayurvedic remedy for bronchitis includes administration of Honitus, shitopladhi churan, chandramrit , laxmivilasras depending upon gravity of the problem," the doctor added. She also emphasized on the home remedies which are helpful in taking care of the problem at the initial stage.



BSNL union elections held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
The elections to determine the majority union in Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited were held here today.

Non-executives members polled their votes to elect the majority union. Over 2.4 lakh non-executives took part in the voting all over India.

In the Punjab circle, 8,664 employees cast their vote. The elections are held every two years. The result will be declared on January 24.

Eight polling booths were made, including periphery areas. The main polling booth was at Bharat Nagar Exchange, while other booths were at Mata Rani Chowk, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Transport Nagar, Dholewal, Khanna, Samrala and Jagraon.

The voting percentage in the Ludhiana circle was 96.

The main agenda pending are the promotion policy, wage revision, staff recruitment and saving the Nigam from privatisation.



Man run over by vehicle
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 21
A man was run over by a Tata 207 pick-up vehicle yesterday near Aligarh village. Deceased Harjit (35) of Mahavir Colony, Jagraon, was crossing the national highway with his cousin Raj Kumar when the vehicle (PB 29 G 9129) coming from Ludhiana side hit him killing him on the spot.

Though the driver managed to escape under the cover of darkness, his number plate dropped there with the impact of the accident. On the basis of this number plate, the accused has been identified as Ravi of Ghall Kalan village.



City Concerns
Govt must form panel for speedy solution

Recent strikes by the petroleum employees and the truckers not only made common man face difficulties in managing their kitchens but also in commuting. As expected the industrial sector, to, was crippled. The raw material did not arrive and the finished products, particularly woolen garments, were stranded during the peak season. Employees on their part maintained that they were forced to strike work because the government didn’t pay heed to their long-pending demands. This is what a cross-section of the people has to say on the issue.

Due to the global meltdown, the recent nationwide transporters’ strike had further aggravated the problem of society as a whole. For exporters, who procured goods from other states and whose deliveries were supposed to be time bound, the delay in receipt of consignments could have resulted in losing orders and even the valued customers. The manufacturers were unable to procure raw materials or intermediate goods thereby affecting their production schedule. Their sale of consignments came to a virtual to a standstill. This resulted in increase in prices of all items of daily needs. Daily wagers engaged in the transport sector along with their families found it hard to survive due to the ongoing strike. To defuse similar situation, the ministry concerned in consultation with transporters’ union and prominent members of society should form a joint committee for discussing the issue for resolving it an amicable manner. The personal interests must be overlooked in the overall national economic interests.

Atambir Singh, Randhir Singh Nagar

Strikers, bane of society

It’s a well-known fact that strikes and protests have become the bane of democracy. Strikers not only force the common man but the entire system to come to a standstill. No doubt, it’s the right of every employee to make his grievances heard, and when their protests fall on deaf ears, they are forced to take such drastic steps. But, why are the people, especially those living below the poverty line, forced to go to the wall. Moreover, the system is such that ordinary men are not heard, unless they do something big. They don’t highlight the genuine grievance of the people. Thus, to seek medias or the government's attention, they do things, which hurt the public, and ultimately the government is forced to intervene. Why do we let the situation enter diabolic stage?

HS Dimple, Jagraon

Enact Bill for banning strikes

Strikes are an occupational hazard in our country. It’s the need of the hour to enact a Bill for banning uncalled for and illegal strikes by employees of the public sector, etc. The recent strikes by petroleum employees and transporters’ are best examples as to how common man was made to suffer. The loss of money, value and time itself is a matter of concern. The states and the Centre should enact the Bill for banning strikes. Certain amendments should be carried out in ESMA and other related legal Acts for punishing the guilty and impose fine on the spot. Going on strike is itself a violation of law. People also need to be more responsible towards committing such acts and it’s equally important for our leaders, planners and the decision makers to initiate the law as required.

Harpreet Sandhu, Ludhiana

Make workers feel responsible

Strike, a powerful tool in the hands of otherwise powerless workforce, is certainly misused in some cases for pressurizing the authorities. Strike by oil PSUs points to such tactics. But, the trend is to torpedo the efforts of a rarely used mechanism for countering corruption in public offices. Recent strike by the revenue officers portrays the worrisome attitude of administrators? Enacting stringent laws seem a good solution. But, such a step will be counterproductive tilting the balance towards high-handed authorities. The employees don’t indulge in tiresome activity, generally, for fun but wage cutting strike is used as a last resort. The solution, thus, is not snatching of this right by stiffer laws. The existing laws are sufficient for saving public from inconvenience. Actual need is the will to accept genuine demands without letting the situation to explode and not to accede to unjustified ones despite pressure. Endeavors need to be guided to groom a feeling of responsibility and ownership in employees by showing a caring attitude through leadership by example and transparency.

Satwant Kalkat, Chandigarh Road

Strike as tool

People tend to go on strike if their grievances, especially economical losses to the employee or the employer, are not met. Most of the strikes called by the unions are somewhat predictable. However, unions call not all strikes. Strikes are mostly called for pressurizing employers for derecognising the unions. Spontaneous strikes are sometimes called "wildcat strikes"; most commonly, they are responses for serious (often life-threatening) safety hazards in the workplace rather than wage or hour disputes. Whatever the cause of the strike, the government is generally motivated for taking steps for preventing them. A few companies negotiate with the government during a strike; other companies may see a strike as an opportunity for changing the political climate. We have an ESMA brigade run by the state governments and form part of their services in which everything will be more productive rather to counter to a strike in a form of a lockout, the form of work stoppage in which the government refuses to allow employees to work. Lastly, where corruption has become an issue and people support in the form of a strike or bandh should be dealt harshly and efficiently and implemented within a time frame.

Maj Kuljit Singh Sidhu, Ludhiana



Karan, Gagan fashion victory for Ludhiana
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, January 21
A sensible knock of 53 runs by Karan Goel and an equally useful contribution by Gagandeep Dhand (17 n.o. and 2 for 12) steered hosts Ludhiana to 57-run victory in a match against Minor Districts Zone B in the Punjab State Inter-District One-Day Cricket Tournament for the FC Mittal Trophy played on the Punjab Agricultural University campus ground here today.

Ludhiana skipper Ankur Kakkar won the toss and decided to bat first. In the allotted 50 overs, hosts scored 166 runs for the loss of nine wickets. Their innings revolved around Karan Goel, Gagandeep Dhand and Jagarpreet Singh.

The stylish left-arm batsman Karan Goel chipped in with 53 runs off 83 which included five hits to the fence and one six. Gagandeep Dhand and Jagarpreet Singh remained unconquered at 30 and 17 runs, respectively. Chinton Sehgal and Deepak Bansal contributed 13 and 11 runs, respectively.

For the visitors, Harmandeep Singh, Amit Saini and Krishna Kumar captured two wickets each after conceding 44, 21 and 24 runs while Deepak Gatta and Arminder Singh claimed one wicket each and gave away 22 and 32 runs, respectively.

Requiring 167 runs for win, Minor Districts Zone B were bowled out for 109 runs in 37.3 overs. Only four batsmen Arjun Kumar (24), Rohit Jassal (16), Haramandeep Singh (17) and Krishna Kumar (14) could reach double figure.

For Ludhiana, the skipper led from the front scalping three victims for 10 runs followed by Deepak Bansal, who too grabbed three wickets for 23 runs. Gagandeep Dhand, who excelled with the bat, bowled also beautifully. He sent down 4.3 overs and took two wickets for 12 runs. Gagandeep Singh Toor, too, bagged two wickets for 10 runs to help his team to wrap up the issue quite easily.

With this victory, Ludhiana secured three points, including one bonus point as they bowled out the Minor Districts Zone B within 40 overs.



Ankur, Gagan selected for Duleep Trophy
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 21
All-rounder Ankur Kakkar and speedster Gagandeep Singh Toor have been selected to represent North Zone in the Inter-Zonal Duleep Trophy Cricket Tournament slated to be held in Bangalore and Mumbai from January 29 onwards.

The list of the selected players are five from Punjab, including Ankur Kakkar and Gagandeep Singh Toor from Ludhiana, Uday Kaul from Chandigarh, Manpreet Singh Goni and Sunny Sohal from Mohali.

President and senior vice president of the Ludhiana District Cricket Association, Rajinder Nath Mahajan and Chaman Lal Malhotra joined other office-bearers congratulated Ankur Kakkar and Gagandeep on their selection for the forthcoming tournament.



Village girls turn cagers
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 21
Girls of Jarkhar village, who were so far being confined to the four walls of their houses, will be seen in the action at the 23rd Jharkhar rural games.

The village which was strictly against the girls participating in any sport event has made their own basketball team.

The Jharkhar rural fest has brought a welcome change in the outlook of the villagers.

Now, 23 girls of this village are part of the basketball academy being run in this village.

What more, they are provided free education and free diet by the Education Department and organisers of the Mata Sahib Kaur Charitable Trust.

But all this did not come easy, recalls Dipinder Singh Dimpy, sarpanch of Jharkhar village.

"I faced criticism from parents, especially mothers, who were strictly against the idea of girls taking part in the sports events," said Dimpy.

He further said the arrival of woman basketball coach gave impetus to his vision. He, along with basketball coach Kamaljit Kaur, who is also an international players, visited the house in the village to convince the parents to send their girls to the stadium.

Dimpy said, "I used to tell them the success story of Kamaljit Kaur, who represented Indian eve basketball team in the Commonwealth Games held in Australia and brought laurels to the state. I told the parents if a girl from a rustic village near Ferozepur took up sports as a career, why can't our own girl can do the same."

The villagers are all set to cheer their team as they are going to participate in rural fest. Dharamjit Singh said, "They will have the advantage of playing at home. I hope they will win."



Sports festival begins at Jarkhar
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, January 21
The 23rd edition of the sports festival at Jarkhar village, about 15 km from here, began today. Though the festival started yesterday, it was formally inaugurated today by Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, SSP, Ludhiana Rural. Competition in various regular and traditional disciplines will be held during this four-day festival.

Earlier, the games torch was brought to the main stadium from the historical gurdwara, Manji Sahib, Alamgir. Hockey star Jugraj Singh along with Inderjit Nikku and national football star, Gurmeet Kaur led the torch procession.

This was followed by a march past. International hockey player, Meenakshi and coach, Gurvinder Singh took the oath to compete in the true spirit of games.

In handball (girls), Ropar beat Amritsar and Ludhiana defeated Taran Tarn to secure berths in the title clash match. In the boy's section, Patiala outplayed Faridkot while Ludhiana outclassed Mohali.

In hockey (boys), Jagtar XI beat Chandigarh 1-0; Haryana XI pipped Kila Raipur 4-1 while matches played between Sangrur and Jarkhar, Bahadurgarh and Sangrur ended goal-less.

In the girl's section, Haryana XI and DAV, Amritsar recorded victories. Haryana XI prevailed over Ludhiana wing 2-1 while DAV, Amritsar blanked Chandigarh Academy 3-0.



Jalaldiwal win kabaddi championship
Rakesh Gupta

Mullanpur Dakha, January 21
The team of Jalaldiwal village won the kabaddi championship by defeating the team of Accharwal village. The two-day rural sports festival concluded yesterday evening at Chak Kalan village near here. This tournament was organised by the youth service sports club of the village and its panchayat. The team of Khanjarwal village won the volleyball championship by defeating the team of Daulatpura village.

In Kabbadi (42-kg category) the team of Burj Hari Singh Wala village stood first by defeating the team of Mullanpur village. In the horse race, Bhaini Baringa village stood first while the Karnail Singh Jhajj and Jaildar Hardev Singh secured the second and third positions, respectively. Kamal of Mehal Kalan and Sonu of Purain village bagged the trolley-reversing championship. Sahibjot Singh stood first in the kids race. The team of Dhudike managed to secure the third position. President of the sports club Jatinder Singh said the prizes were given away by the Chief Parliamentary Secretary Harish Rai Dhanda, Darshan Singh Shivalik, MLA, and Manpreet Singh Ayali, chairman, Zila Parishad, Ludhiana.

Harish Rai Dhanda issued a grant of Rs 5 lakh for the development of the village stadium whereas Manpreet Ayali announced a grant of Rs 15 lakh for the development of the village.



Ludhiana eves enter final
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 21
Continuing with their winning spree, Ludhiana district overwhelmed Bathinda 28-08 to storm into the final in the women's section of the 59th Senior Punjab State Basketball Championship being held simultaneously today at the Guru Nanak Stadium and Jarkhar village.

Ludhiana eves dominated the proceedings throughout the match and gave no chance to their opponents to settle down. For the winners, international cager, Kiranjit Kaur netted six points while Bhupinder Kaur fought valiantly for the losers contributing all eight points.

In the men's section, Jalandhar beat Patiala 47-39 after trailing 23-26 at half time while in the quarterfinal encounter, Mansa overpowered Ludhiana district 69-56.

At the end of the first qaurter, Ludhiana men were leading 12-7, however, in the next qaurter, Mansa players bounced back with vengence to surge ahead 39-24 and eventullay went on to clinch the match 69-56.

In another match, holders (men) Ludhiana Academy outnumbered Moga 68-55 with Dilawar Singh chipping in with as many as 32 points. Last year's runners- up, Gurdaspur district got the better of Kapurthala who they they drubbed 72-62 to advance ahead.



Khanna boy selected
Tribune News Service

Khanna, January 21
Gurpreet Singh (16), a resident of Khanna, has been selected for under- 17 Indian cricket team. The player got a letter in this connection today.

Gurpreet hails from a poor family and is currently pursuing his Plus Two privately. Last year, he had gone to play friendly matches in Karachi where he secured 400 runs and 26 wickets.

He will now go to Sri Lanka for yet another friendly matche series with the Indian cricket team. Former IAS officer, Rai Singh, today gave Rs 15, 000 to the youth's family as monetary aid in appreciation of his achievement.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |