L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


DEO Sudesh Bajaj posted out
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
The Punjab government has ordered the immediate transfer of Sudesh Bajaj, DEO (secondary). She has been appointed Principal of a government school at Churchak in Moga.

The DEO (primary), Amarjit Kaur, today took over the charge of DEO (secondary) while Harpal Kaur from Rarasahib has been appointed DEO (primary).

A rally was jointly organised against Sudesh Bajaj on February 11 by the Punjab School Government Teachers Union, Government Teachers Union, Democratic Teachers Front and Clerical Staff Union, demanding her transfer.

They said the DEO (secondary) had committed irregularities in the rationalisation of the posts of teacher and was acting against the interest of teachers.

They protested against her alleged dictatorial attitude towards the teachers. The Democratic Teachers Front had submitted a 150-page memorandum to the Punjab Chief Minister at a sangat darshan programme and he had ordered an inquiry into the matter.

The Chairman of the Punjab School Education Board had also ordered an inquiry against her for allegedly deputing superintendents of examination centres, general secretary of the Democratic Teachers Front said.

Meanwhile, government teacher organisations have welcomed the transfer of Sudesh Bajaj, DEO secondary, Ludhiana. Democratic Teachers Front and Government Schoolteachers Union representatives Mohinder Singh Kamalpura, Joginder Azad, Baldev Singh Mangat, Bhajan Singh and Surinder Singh Grewal said in a statement that Bajaj was appointed DEO ignoring seniority and her service record. They said they would follow the inquiry pending against Bajaj. They expressed hope that Amarjeet Kaur, new DEO, secondary, would solve the problems of teachers.


Auction leaves GLADA richer by Rs 24 crore
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 13
Slowdown in the real estate notwithstanding, the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) today collected Rs 24.5 crore from the auction of 12 freehold commercial sites in Dugri Phase I here. The sites put under the hammer included six shop-cum-offices (SCOs) measuring 155.55 sq yards each and six shops with an area of 44.44 sq yards each.

GLADA was among the first government agencies to go in for auction of property in the city after the meltdown amid apprehension that the sale might not draw the desired response.

Against the reserve price of Rs 1 lakh per sq yard for SCOs, the highest bid went up to Rs 2.26 lakh while the lowest was Rs 1.72 lakh per sq yard. Similarly, with the same reserve price, one of the shops was sold for Rs 3 lakh per sq yard whereas the lowest successful bid for another shop was Rs 2.5 lakh per sq yard. The SCOs and shops sold at the auction yielded more than double the reserve price of Rs 12 crore.

As many as 67 bidders participated in the auction after paying an eligibility fee of Rs 1 lakh for SCOs and Rs 50,000 for shops.

SR Kler, additional chief administrator of GLADA, said top-class infrastructure around the commercial sites and assured development had played a crucial role in the overwhelming response.

“GLADA has completed a major part of work for the construction of a 45-ft-wide canal bridge across Sidhwan Canal at Dugri and widening of the main Dugri road connecting phases I, II and III as part of development projects for the area,” he said.

Harwinder Singh Kalra, a successful bidder, said any day was better to invest in property. GLADA had a good track record and had never let down the buyers.



IT Raid
Mill owner to pay up Rs 30 cr
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
The income tax department conducted search and seizure operations on the premises of Laxmi Rice Mill here yesterday. Commercial as well as residential premises of the owner at Khamano and Chandigarh were also raided.

The operations were carried out at four premises and surveys were conducted at four other premises. An excess stock of Rs 6 crore was found that remained unexplained. It was also revealed that the assessee had not filed any return for the financial year 2007-08, for which the last date was October 31, 2008.

Another fact that came to light was that despite it being a big company whose shares are quoted, there has been no audit of the book of accounts and no tax audit has been done so far.

The provisional profit and loss account and balance sheet were found for the financial year 2007-08 on the basis of which the assessee should have returned an income of Rs 30 crore. The assessee accepted that an income of Rs 30 crore had to be returned.

The assessee gave a surrender letter for Rs 30 crore, stating that he would file a return of income of Rs 30 crore for 2007-08 and pay taxes on the same.

According to a press note issued by Vijay Kumar, director of the income tax (investigation), Ludhiana, the total surrender amounts was Rs 36 crore. The department also restrained a locker belonging to the assessee. The documents seized during the search are yet to be scrutinised.



V-Day bug bites officials
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
Taking time off from their busy schedule, officials have decided to do something special for their spouses on Valentine’s Day.

“Love is eternal when your Valentine becomes your spouse,” feels SSP RK Jaiswal. “The day is special for me as I got engaged on February 14. I am looking for the best roses for my wife who is the love of my life. And knowing her, I am expecting a surprise in return,” he says.

The Civil Surgeon, Dr SP Sharma, says he plans to have a cosy dinner with his wife, who has been his perfect Valentine through good and bad phases of life. “But it’s the chemistry that we share even after becoming grandparents that makes our relationship special,” he adds.

For chief parliamentary secretary Harish Rai Dhanda, it is a truly special day. “It is good to have a day earmarked for expressing love for your dear ones as it evokes feelings that we generally don’t get time to convey to one another. My love for my wife is beyond the parameters of time, but it has occurred to me that I must give her a surprise tomorrow,” he says.

It’s also a great day for florists, who have orders pouring in from all quarters. A single red rose is going for Rs 70-80, which they say could become dearer depending on the demand tomorrow.



This cop has other plans
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
If miscreants are thinking of celebrating Valentine’s Day by teasing girls and hooting outside colleges and market places, their vehicles might be challaned heavily.

Ashwani Kumar, an ASI, had challaned 184 vehicles on Valentine’s Day last year and is looking forward to breaking his own “record”. He is the only cop in the country to have challaned so many vehicles in a single day.

“I do not have hostility for this day. I just want that it should be celebrated in the right spirit,” he said, adding that the miscreants believed that the day gave them a license to tease girls.

Last year, he was deputed in front of a girls’ college, where he challaned 184 vehicles. Most of the youths were challaned for not wearing helmet and for not possessing license.

It was unfortunate that some mischief makers tried to get physical with girls. “I know of many such girls living in my locality who have unpleasant memories of this day,” he stated.

“Let us see where seniors depute me, but if I am deputed in front of a college, I will ensure a safe passage for girls. If I break my record, it would be an icing on the cake,” he added.



Couples get nostalgic
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile. ... Franklin P. Jones

Cupid struck his arrow in their hearts and the lives of these couples changed forever. Time shared during courtship remains close to their hearts.

For Arun Jaie and Niu Niu, it was love at first sight while it took Amit and Rajeshwari some time to know their love for each other. For Navpreet and Kamal, it was an arranged match.

Getting nostalgic, Arun Jaie, GM of Park Plaza, said his first Valentine date was unforgettable. “I gifted a bouquet of red roses and jewellery to Niu Niu. In the evening, it was dinner along the beach at Oman. We had Japanese dinner with a bottle of champagne and loads of chocolates,” he says.

“Ours was love at first sight. The first time we looked at each other, we knew we were made for each other. After a courtship of two years, we got married,” Niu Niu chips in.

Amit and Rajeshwari said they worked together, but it took them some time to realise they loved each other. On their first Valentine’s date, they both went to dinner. Amit gifted her wind chimes which are still with her.

Reminiscing, Kamal and Navpreet said they had a quiet dinner and Kamal got perfume for her.

“There were very few days left for our marriage as we got married on February 27 and Valentine’s Day was special for us,” he adds smiling.



Ultrasound centre sealed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
The ultrasound scan centre at Mittal Nursing Home at Khanna was sealed during a surprise check by a team of health officials lead by the district family welfare officer.

A show-cause notice was also served on Preet Scan centre at Khanna for incomplete records.

The Ludhiana Civil Surgeon, Dr SP Sharma, said in a statement today that centres violating the PNDT Act would be dealt with severely.

The team said ultrasound machines were lying in the open and the doctor was missing at the centre in Mittal Nursing Home. The machines had been sealed.



City Concerns

The railway station is one of the most congested areas of the city. Hundreds of migrant labourers land here daily or travel back home. As a result, it gets impossible to commute on adjoining roads at several points during the day.

A number of trains, including Howrah Express, Amarpali, Jan Seva, Himgiri and Garib Rath, besides several others, add to the rush. A cross-section of residents are seeking a station at an alternative location, particularly for handling traffic of the migrant population.

Sources say that the railway authorities are already considering Dhandari Kalan as the best possible alternative venue. The traffic outside the station, particularly the rush of autorickshaws, would be handled well, making space for other vehicles and commuters.

What suggestions would you make to improve the railway station and its neighbourhood?

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



Mata Rani Parking
Contractor takes motorists for a ride
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
In blatant violation of municipal corporation norms, the contractor of the Mata Rani Chowk multi-purpose parking, who took over the charge of the parking lot on the intervening night of February 12 and 13, has been fleecing customers.

The corporation had made it clear that if the contractor failed to adhere to the prescribed norms, the contract would cancelled. However, the contractor’s men have been overcharging motorists without any fear.

Gaurav Sharma, a customer, said: “My father had parked a car there and was charged Rs 20.” He said the car was parked in the lot for just two hours.

He said as the rate list displayed the same amount, they were forced to pay it. Besides, the staff there didn’t even ask for the duration for which the car was to be parked.

The contract specifies that the contractor should charge Rs 10 as parking fee for 12 hours and Rs 20 for 24 hours.

However, the staff at the parking lot has been charging the rate meant for 24 hours from motorists.

Ramesh, another driver who had parked his Sumo at the parking lot, said: “I was asked to pay Rs 40 as parking fee for four hours and the slip issued too had the same amount.”

He added that he was not aware of the 12-hour rate list and no such price was mentioned on the display list.

Also, the list on display at the parking lot shows variations in rates. While the contract does not specify separate charges for four-wheeler like Qualis and Sumo, the contractor has displayed Rs 40 as the parking rate for these vehicles. The site was auctioned for Rs 2.1 crore on January 19 and was given to the contractor for a tenure of one year.

Joint Commissioner Mahinder Pal Gupta said: “I will ask one of my officials to inquire into the matter.”



Violation of transport permit
RTA challans, impounds buses
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 13
Taking cognisance of dropping passengers at Pohir village instead of bringing them to bus stop here, the Regional Transport Authority, Patiala, has started taking stern action against violators of transport permits.

The regional authority took the step after the district transport officer (DTO), Ludhiana, failed to ensure that all bus operators stick to the norms laid down in their route permits. He, along with his counterpart in Sangrur district, had earlier been directed to ensure that all buses reach local bus stand to drop and pick passengers.

Investigations revealed that Manvinder Singh, RTA (Patiala), had conducted surprise checking at Pohir chowk near here on Friday. Besides challaning a number of Punjab Roadways and PRTC buses for not entering the Ahmedgarh bus stand, he impounded at least two buses belonging to the New Fatehgarh Transport Company and Grewal Bus Services. These buses were left in custody of SHO Dehlon later.

The action was taken on the basis of complaints made by Sikandar Singh, a social activist of Chhapar village, near here.

Earlier, the PRTC authorities had slapped a fine of Rs 500 for dropping 10 passengers at Pohir village instead of bringing them to the bus stand at local town in November last year. He had also been asked to remove the driver of the said bus from the service.

In his letter addressed to the DTO, Ludhiana, the secretary, RTA, Patiala, had stated that private operators and officials of the PRTC were directed to ensure that all buses ply according to their route permits only. But it was observed that some drivers with an intention to save fuel and time used to drop the passengers at Pohir village instead of reaching the bus stand here.

Appreciating responsiveness of the authorities, Sikandar Singh claimed that he had been taking up the issue for about two years. The PRTC authorities have now starting submitting periodical reports about defaulting operators. Some other operators have also been issued show cause notices.



Depleting groundwater
Time paddy sowing with monsoon: Expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
Showing grave concern over depleting water table in the region, a cross section of farmers and experts dwelled upon various facets of truth about groundwater and challenges in the meeting of the Progressive Farmers titled “Pawan Guru Pani Pitah” at Punjab Agricultural University here today.

Dr GS Hira, a former additional director of research (agriculture), PAU, made an elaborate screen presentation showing the lowering of water tables at different parts of the state and made suggestions about possible means to overcome the problem.

One of the suggestions was planting paddy in consonance with the monsoons and avoiding early plantation which made huge use of underground water. He said in no way the paddy plantation should begin before June 15.

BS Bir, director of the farmers’ meet, said “Increasing pollution and decreasing water were directly related to various problems being faced now or those which could crop in the near future.” MS Grewal, a former member of the CACP, said, “Farmers alone were not to be blamed for the existing problem of depleting water resources. A large number of industrialists and even common households in the city were equally guilty in water wastage in a big way.”

Dr Swaraj Singh, environmentalist from the USA, gave his views on different aspects of environment in a global perspective. Vice-Chancellor of PAU MS Kang spoke on benefits that farmers could derive from discussions on field related subjects.

Mohinder Singh Dosanjh was conferred with the ‘Progressive farmer award’. Balbir Kaur from Gurdaspur was the recipient of the award in the women’s category. Gurcharan Singh Thind and Nek Chand, both from Haryana, and Chet Ram Dhani and Dr OP Sharma, both from Himachal Pradesh, also received special appreciation for their work in their respective fields.

PS Pangli, president of the PAU Kisan Club, proposed the vote of thanks.



Capturing wildlife his passion
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
A hunter turned wildlife photographer, Jaskaran Sandhu, is passionate about birds and animals. He spends hours to capture animals in a particular mood. He vividly captures tigers, lions, birds, peacocks, and deer in his shutterbug. Jaskaran exhibited his collection of photographs in the exhibition titled "Victims of Mankind" at Artmosphere Art Gallery.

Hailing from Patiala, Jaskaran developed a niche for wildlife, and natural habitats ever since he went on hunting trips along with his father. Rather than holding the gun, Jaskaran started capturing the movements and moods of the animals through his camera.

"Due to depleting wildlife and forestry, a dramatic change occurred in my life which turned me into a wildlife photographer, so that I can show others the beauty of wild species, especially the endangered ones and help in the cause of spreading the message of wildlife conversation," he adds.

Presently serving as SE in the irrigation department, he regularly takes out time from his busy schedule, to visit natural habitats in India and abroad.

Telling about the photograph of a sambar in which the reflection of the animal was seen in the water he said, "It took me two hours to click this picture. I had to wait a long for the perfect light and the result was amazing," he adds.

Jaskaran is into photography from the past nine years. “Wildlife is a precious gift to mankind and if it is not preserved, our future generations will miss out beauties like tigers, lions, butterflies or vultures,” he feels.

Following his keen interest in the wildlife, he was appointed as vice-chairman of the Wildlife Advisory Board, Punjab, in 2002.



States must have specialised force: Bayley
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
Every state must a specialised police force to tackle any eventuality, said David Bayley from the School of Criminal Justice University at Albany, New York, US.

He said flushing out of terrorists involved in Mumbai attacks wouldn’t have taken so long had there been a specialised police force to tackle such situations.

Talking to The Tribune, Bayley, who was here recently to attend the ninth convocation ceremony Punjab Police Academy (PPA), Phillaur, appreciated the job of policing in India.

He said it was a challenge to maintain law and order with limited resources.

Expressing unhappiness over the lack of technical awareness amongst the police, he said it was unfortunate that while developed countries were gearing up to handle challenges like biological and chemical warfare, the Indian police was still grappling with cyber crime.

Professor Bayley, who has written over 100 books on policing, said coordination between the police of different states was of utmost important. Anti-social elements exploited the lack of coordination to perpetrate crime.

Professor Bayley, who is a specialist in international criminal justice, has done extensive research in methodology of policing in India, Japan, Australia, Canada, Britain, Singapore and the US.

He said policemen needed to have a thorough knowledge of the area and people living there.



Dharna by pensioners
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 13
Government pensioners staged a dharna in front of the office of Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Payal, today seeking implementation of recommendations of the 5th Pay Commission.

The pensioners alleged that while the government had been extending unfair treatment to its employees, it remained concerned about granting and increasing allowances of its MPs and MLAs. The common man was already reeling under the pressure of inflation. The cost of living had gone up the extent that it had become difficult for the common man to make both ends meet.

The cost of medical expenses had risen manifold and the aged could not afford to get treatment under such circumstances.

It was thus obligatory for the government to come to the aid of the common man.

The union impressed upon the government to accept their demands failing which they would be forced to intensify their struggle.

The dharna was addressed by Mukhtiar Singh Arshi, president, Government Pensioners Association, Khanna sub-division, Pawan Kumar Kaushal, state committee member, Kewal Singh Jargari, Paramjit Singh Sioraha and Shamsher Singh Allona.



Sacred Heart wins dance contest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
Following their dreams and expressing themselves in the most entertaining and unique way, Sacred Heart School, have been voted the winners of Disney Channel's 'My School Rocks' (MSR), all-India dance competition.

In addition to the high scores from the judge of the competition, Shiamak Davar, Sacred Heart won the maximum votes amongst the eight finalists in the audience poll. In its third year, ‘My School Rocks’ invited participation from eight cities. The competition was held for the first time in Ludhiana.

The students of the school will star in a special music video for the song 'Hasta La Vista' from Disney's 'Camp Rock’ Hindi soundtrack. The video will premiere on Disney Channel on February 15.

Contest judge, Shiamak Davar said: “I have witnessed great talent and enthusiasm in the dance show over the past two years. The Ludhiana team was particularly impressive with their choreography and team coordination.”

The winning team said: “We worked very hard on our choreography and tried our best to express the energetic and inspirational essence of the song. Our school, family and friends are looking forward to seeing us in the music video.”



Alumni meet at GHG College
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, February 13
The annual general body meeting of the alumni association of G.H.G. Khalsa College, Gurusar Sudhar, was held in the seminar hall of the College. More than 150 old students of the college attended the meet.

Prof. Major Singh, general secretary of the alumni association presented the detailed report of the activities undertaken by the alumni association during the year. More than 30 new alumni, majority being girls, presently pursuing their higher studies at Punjab University, Chandigarh and Punjabi University, Patiala, showed keen interest and enrolled themselves with their almamater.



Tributes paid to Krishan Lal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
The local councillors and the municipal corporation officials paid tributes to Municipal Councillor, Krishan Lal Chabbra, who expired on February 7, due to a heart attack, here today.

The house started with a two-minute silence after which Pritpal Singh Ghayal, senior most Municipal Councillor, said a few words about the departed soul.

Senior Deputy Mayor, Praveen Bansal said, "He was a man with mass appeal and his traits were the reason why the SAD-BJP alliance had supported him against for the post of Mayor.”

Among others who addressed the house were, leader of opposition, Prem Mittal, SAD councillors- Simarjit Singh Bains, Pal Singh Grewal and joint commissioner, Mahinder Pal Gupta.



Woman wins 1-kg gold

Ludhiana, February 13
Reliance Jewels, the jewellery specialty format of Reliance Retail, announced the first prize winner of the All-India Wedding Festival and Anniversary promotional offer for consumers here yesterday. Thousands of shoppers from all over India had participated in this offer, which was held from November 15 to December 14 last year. As part of this promotional offer, customers had the opportunity to win the grand prize of a 24-kt 1-kg gold bar.

Rashmi Kaur from the city was the lucky customer who won the grand prize and this was handed over to her at Reliance Jewels, Ludhiana store. — TNS



Plant more trees, says IMA chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 13
The IMA, Ludhiana, expressed serious concern at the large numbers of felling of trees in the city at different places.

Dr Manoj Sobti, president IMA Ludhiana, stated that felling of 1,700 trees in the old court complex is a matter of grave concern.

With constant increase in pollution in Ludhiana, trees are the only hope for health. Therefore, it is for every citizen to plant more trees, added Dr Sobti.



Sangeet akademi director awarded

Ludhiana, February 13
Prof Kartar Singh, director Gurmati Sangeet Akademi, Anandpur Sahib, and lifetime member of the Punjabi Sahit Akademi was conferred on Rashtriya Sangeet Natak Akademi award.

Members of the akademi expressed elation over the achievement of Prof Kartar.

Secretary cultural activities at the akademi, Surinder Rampuri, stated that Prof Kartar is a multifaceted personality who has earned a name in gurbani recitation, teaching and for being a benevolent human being. — TNS



Sharma elected customs chief

Ludhiana, February 13
AK Sharma, superintendent, customs and central excise department, Ludhiana, has been elected president of the Customs and Central Excise Gazetted Executive Officers Association (Chandigarh Zone) here yesterday.

This zone comprises of states of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Union Territory of Chandigarh. — OC



Narcotics Case
Absconding Nigerian held

Khamano, February 13
A Nigerian resident who had disappeared after procuring bail from the High Court in a narcotics case has been rearrested by the Khamano police from Delhi. The Nigerian resident, Kode, was arrested in 1998 by the Khamano police with smack and a case was registered against him under the NDPS Act. He was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment and sent to Patiala jail.

After some time, he procured bail from the High Court and disappeared. His bail was later cancelled but he failed to return. The police was on a lookout for him ever since. He was tracked to IM Cell, Delhi, from where he was arrested by a police team led by ASI Harjinder Singh and ASI Gurpinderpal Singh. The accused was presented in the court of duty magistrate, who sent to the Nabha jail to complete his remaining term. — OC



Labourer found dead in well
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, February 13
A migrant labour was today found dead in the well of an agriculture field. The deceased, identified as Shakil alias Chottu (35) from Bihar, was sustaining himself in Sadarpura village by working as a labour for last more than 20 years.

Amarjit Singh, a farmer, went to his field this morning around 4 to water it, but the motor did not start.

He entered the well and found the body. He informed the village panchayat who in turn informed the Sidhwan Bet police. On the statement of Amarjit, the police initiated proceedings and sent the body for postmortem.



Weightlifting meet
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 13
The District Ludhiana Weightlifting Association will organise the two-day annual District Weightlifting Championship for women and men on February 14 and 15 here at the Ludhiana Weightlifting and Bodybuilding Club, Rakh Bagh, according to the association secretary, Parvesh Chander Sharma.

Competition in the plus 56 kg, 62 kg, 69 kg in the women’s section would be held tomorrow, Sharma said.



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 |