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7 die in road mishaps
Rakesh Gupta

Jagraon, June 10
Seven persons were killed in two road accidents that took place in the area today. The first accident took place near Sheikupura village in which four persons were killed. A group from Moga, while returning from Mata Vashino Devi, met with the accident when the tyres of the Qualis (PB 13 K 6464) in which they were travelling burst. After taking three-four turns, it rammed into a eucalyptus tree. Four of its occupants, including a woman and driver of the vehicle, died on the spot.

The three other occupants of the car were bought to the Jagraon Civil Hospital, from where they were transferred to Moga Civil Hospital. Rajinder Singh, an eyewitness, said after the bursting of the tyres, the driver of the Qualis lost control over the vehicle and it met with the accident.

In the other accident, a Ferozepur-bound bus (PB 10 BM 5197) of Amrit Bus Company (Libra Bus Service) coming from wrong side first mowed down a scooter (PB 25 6889), killing both riders on the spot. The victims were stated to be from Aligarh village.

The bus then rammed into a car (DL 3CU 0102), injuring all four occupants seriously. One of them is stated to have succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.

An angry mob later stopped another bus (PB 13 S 8827). of the same company and ransacked the buses by breaking window panes of the buses. The mob even lit a bus on fire ,but timely action taken by DSP Dakha Paramjit Singh Goraya saved the buses frombeing reduced to ashes by the angry mob.

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Mega radio cabs hit city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 10
In line with the transport policy of the government, all district transport offices of the state will be computerised and for this purpose, Union Government has released Rs 2.18 crore for Punjab.

Mohan Lal, Transport Minister, Punjab, after launching 25 radio taxi services, said all district transport offices of India would go online and the DTO office, Ludhiana, would be on top of the priority list.

He said these mega cabs, after making the lives of people in Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Mohali and Amritsar a lot easier, have now arrived in Ludhiana . “It brings world-class commuting experience as offered in international cities with its quick response time and dependable service. The mega cab service is available by dialling 4141414 anytime of the day or night, and within minutes a metered AC taxi will be there to take you, comfortably and safely, to your destination,” he added.

Each cab has been fitted with electronic tamper-proof meters ensuring accurate billing of the passenger ride. The service is available within a radius of 40 km, covering places like Khanna, Jagraon, Malerkotla and Phagwara.

He said these cabs run on state-of-the-art international systems with computerised online tracking of the cab through GPS and GPRS technology, keeping it constantly in touch with the control room.

He further added that all efforts were being made by the department to streamline the functioning of both PRTC and Punjab Roadways, so that they could attract more passengers.

Modern air-conditioned bus stands would be constructed at Mohali, Patiala and Bathinda, he said.

He also said the air-conditioned bus service had already been launched in the state, with charges just 10 per cent more than the ordinary buses.

He said the PRTC had made a net profit of Rs 9.82 crore and the transport department had earned revenue of Rs 430 crore from Rs 409 crore.

Manish Dhariwal, director of the company, said they aimed to connect the country through a nationwide network.

“The company promises to change the travelling scenario with its state-of-art and hospitable service bringing the local commuter an international travelling experience,” he added.

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Booming population strains groundwater
Poor quality makes it unfit for drinking

Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service


This is a chlorine tanker from which chlorine is mixed with water being supplied to homes in Ludhiana. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, June 10
The Central Groundwater Regulation and Management Department has labelled groundwater in Ludhiana as “dark” i.e. unfit for drinking in January, 2009, yet the Municipal Corporation has been supplying it to homes.

Reason - No other natural source of water is available for the city. With the population already crossing 40 lakh, including unregistered population, in the MC limits, the pressure on groundwater has increased so much that water scarcity of water is often felt.

“The situation of shortage of water has become more intense in the past eight years,” said Sudha Gupta, residing in the city for more than 30 years. Feeling the same, retired MC officials added that in summer condition got worsen as water table went down.

The civic body which has around 2 lakh registered water supply connections has been so “intelligent and efficient” all these years that it does not have maps of water network laid in the city from the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board. Absence of these maps has resulted in lying of two or three water supply pipes in the old city areas on the pretext of older being in a dilapidated state.

Subletting the work

Despite the fact that unfit water is being supplied and chlorination being the only way to clean water, the MC has handed over the keys to private contractors. These contractors, who are being paid Rs 3,100 per tubewell by the civic body, have further sublet the work to tea-stall vendors or cycle repair shop owners working on roads.

In fact, embezzlement of funds too is being witnessed this year as the MC will spend around Rs 5 crore extra by taking work of maintenance and chlorination in its hands.

Interaction with these vendors reveals that they are being paid between Rs 300 and Rs 1,000 for switching tubewells on and off.

Water Chlorination

Coming to chlorination, tubewells are fed with chlorine through tablets dissolved in water kept in plastic container which is connected to main supply through a thin pipe. In majority of the tubewells, either container or the pipe is missing and those which have full equipment some of them looked unhygienic. And those, which do not fall in this category, don’t have any chlorination equipment.

Irregular water supply

A 12-hour water supply is ensured by the MC from 5 am to 9 am, 12 pm to 2 pm and 5 pm to 9 pm, but the residents complained that the supply during these times too is irregular. Going by the records, there are 452 tubewells in the MC limits, where around 100 are shallow tubewells and rest deep tubewells. The daily output of these tubewells is estimated to be around 415 million litre per day.

Water consumption

For 40 lakh population, on an average, every Ludhianvi is getting 103 litres of water, which is less then average consumption in India. According to the United Nation Development Programme’s Human Development Report 2006, in India every citizen consumes around 140 litres of water on average.

For the fund-crunched Municipal Corporation, no help has come from the Punjab government. In fact, the civic body was “betrayed” by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal during his Sangat Darshan. A senior official said, “The CM was quick to announce installation of tubewells during his Sangat Darshan and promised funds too. But when it came to payment, a cheque for Rs 40 crore was handed over by the CM, revealing later that it was a loan to be returned by selling MC property.”

The increasing population and the limited groundwater being available, the coming days are going to be harder if water-table experts are to be believed. Experts from Punjab Agricultural University said, “A water stress has been created and mismanagement of water by both MC officials and the residents need to be blamed.”

A critical analysis of the situation reveals that for a natural source like water which is likely to end one day, conservation and careful use is the only key and an effort in this regard has to come from the residents too, suggested experts.

Residents too at fault

No doubt the Municipal Corporation has various lacunae, but even the residents had been playing a major role in wastage of water. While rich and upper middle-class people are often found using running water for washing cars and houses, those living on streets misuse water by leaving public taps open.

Even the huge number of illegal water connections prevailing in the city is another reason for water woes. The officials, including XENs and JEs, feel that if people blame them, then why not their neighbours who have easy access to water without paying taxes. They revealed that Ludhiana has more illegal connections than legal and it’s not possible for them to visit each house.

For the city like Ludhiana, large water consumption by the clothing, dyeing and electroplating industry is another reason for less supply of water to the residents. The officials said, “These industrialists are polluters too as they discharge waste water into ground which seeps inside and disturbs water quality.”

Official word

Urging residents to use water carefully, Municipal Commissioner G.S. Ghuman said, “The Rs 4.5-crore project for boring 30 tubewells has already been passed and Rs 1.80 crore has been submitted to the Punjab Water and Sewerage Department. Out of the total number, 16 have been bored and eight would be started soon.” Besides, a special 100 per cent water supply project too would be coming under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM), a detail project report of which would be submitted soon.

Regarding the water wastage, he said, “I have directed zonal commissioner B.K. Gupta to direct officials to start challaning people who waste water.” He added that from now onwards even clubs would be kept in water wastage preview.

Political word

Senior deputy mayor Praveen Bansal said, “I am aware about the irregularities and feel that municipal councillors can play an important role in removing all irregularities.” Citing example of Chandigarh, he said, “In the UT, there are special kits costing Rs 1,500 for checking chlorinated water and same could be apply wardwise in Ludhiana too. Apart from it, wardwise report to the councillors by the junior engineers, who inspect the tubewell, could be worked out too as till date the officials report only to the Municipal Commissioner and the Mayor. He added that one could not deny the fact that both of them could inspect 75 wards of the city.

Water Supply in Figures

  • Average water consumption for population of 40 lakh is 103 litre per day
  • Water output per day is 4,15,00,00,00 litres
  • Zonewise distribution of tubewells

Zone A - 98

Zone B - 111

Zone C - 80

Zone D - 163

  • Annual spending on water supply, including salaries to staff.

2002 - Rs 29.70 crore

2003 - Rs 32.58 crore

2004 - Rs 37.22 crore

2005 - Rs 39.97 crore

2006 - Rs 44.60 crore

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State of Health - III
Mini health centre ailing
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana/Mullanpur, June 10
Poor sanitation conditions and missing emergency services at Mini Primary Health Centre (PHC), Mullanpur, situated on Ferozepur highway, is a mockery of the public health sector. Despite having been upgraded to 24X7, this PHC has no infrastructure to cater to patients coming from nearby villages for emergency treatment.

There are around 10 villages under this PHC in addition to the injury cases in major and minor accidents on the highway.

The Tribune reporter posing as a patient visited the health centre yesterday at 10 pm only to find no doctor on emergency duty. A staff nurse accompanied by another staff member sitting in a room refused to even come out when asked to take a look at the problem, adding that, "The doctor is not present here and we can't do anything, so you take the patient to some other hospital."

The status of 24X7 wherein the patients should get round-the-clock services stands defeated under prevailing circumstances.

Interestingly, a stretcher was lying in a corner while a scooter and a cot could be seen in the main PHC corridor. Not to miss the dirty floors, unclean emergency room and clutter in other rooms that pointed towards the “misplaced” clean environs, the most important prerequisite of a health centre/hospital.

An injured patient (medico-legal case) was lying on the bed in a room without fan and light as the peon on duty said there was no power since 7 pm and the inverter only supported two lights and a fan. "The generator is functional but there are no funds for the diesel which is why it has not been used for years," the peon stated further.

A nearby shopkeeper, when asked about the working of the PHC, termed it as a “centre of medico-legal cases” which, he said, were not entertained by private doctors due to legal hassles. " Otherwise, people do not come here, especially during nights as majority of the medicines, including the medicines used in times of emergency, are not available here.

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IT raids on Vardhman, Vallabh firms
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 10
The Income Tax Department today conducted raids on Vallabh Steels, Vallabh Textile Company and Vardhman Industries at GT Road. At the same time raids were also conducted at their homes on Mall Road and Ferozepur Road.

The raids were conducted under the directions of the Director of Investigation, Income Tax, Vijay Kumar. The raids started in the morning and were on till the filing of the report.

During the raids, information from account books, computers, loose papers, property related documents, cash, jewellery, bank accounts and lockers was collected. Cash and documents were seized and stock verification was also done.

Sources in the department disclosed that they were expecting to unearth huge undisclosed income.

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COMMUNITY
 

4-hr power cuts for urban, industrial consumers
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 10
With eight-hour power supply being imposed on the agriculture sector in day and night groups from today (June 10) for paddy sowing operations, the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) has imposed a four-hour daily cut on all urban and industrial feeders in the state.

In addition, some restrictions have been imposed on the use of decorative lights, streetlights and large supply (LS) consumers with immediate effect.

As per the power supply schedule notified by the board, which has taken effect from June 10, the urban feeders with domestic, commercial and industrial load in Ludhiana I and II groups will have a daily power cut of 9 am to 11 am and again from 1 pm to 3 pm, while feeders in Ludhiana III group will remain without power from 11 am to 1 pm and from 3 pm to 5 pm.

For the urban pattern supply (UPS) wire-4 feeders in rural areas of Ludhiana zone, daily power cuts will be from 8 am to 10 am and from 12 noon to 2 pm, while UPS wire-3 feeders will have outage from 9 am to 11 am and 1 pm to 3 pm till further notice.

The PSEB has further issued directions that all decorative lights, electrical sign boards and hoardings will have to be switched off at 10 pm, while streetlights will also go off at 11 pm. Non compliance of these directions will attract penal action like disconnection of power supply for a period to be determined on the basis of first, second or subsequent default.

After withdrawal of exemption from peak load hour restrictions from June 1 from industrial units, some more restrictions have now been imposed in the wake of huge gap between demand and availability of power due to the increased load of the farm sector.

All arc/induction furnace units and rolling mills, fed from category II and III feeders, will observe an additional weekly off from June 10.

The PSEB authorities have made it clear that the schedule and duration of power cut on various categories of consumers can be altered, increased or decreased with one-day prior notice depending upon the fall in generation or availability of more power from certain sources.

Highly placed sources at the PSEB headquarters categorically stated that for the next couple of months, a minimum of four hour daily power cut will remain and the only hope lied with early pre-monsoon showers and adequate monsoons, which could take a great load off as far as demand of power from agricultural sector was concerned.

With eight-hour daily power supply for tubewells, commenced from today, the gap between demand and availability of power with the PSEB, was hovering at around 250 to 300 lakh units as of now.

One unit of Guru Nanak Dev Thermal Power project at Bathinda has been rendered inoperative due to technical fault, but it was expected to commence generation at the most by late evening today, the sources added.

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41 students attend capability enhancement training programme
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 10
As many as 41 students belonging to dalit families have been attending “Capability Enhancement Programme” launched by Vardhaman Group. The programme began on May 9 and would conclude on June 12. The Vardhaman Group started this programme in 2007, in response to the affirmative action campaign of the CII and this programme was launched by SP Oswal, Vadhaman Group in Punjab.

Students in the current group were from Government College, Ludhiana (15), Government College, Malerkotla (8), DAV College, Jalandhar (8), Government Bikram College of Commerce, Patiala (5) and St Soldier College, Jalandhar (5).

Col PS Chaudhary (Retd), in charge of the programme, said the objective of this programme was to enhance capability of graduates from the SC, ST and OBC categories of our society with a view to enable them to compete on merit for supervisory and junior officers jobs in private as well as public sector.

He told The Tribune that based on the survey on needs of training courses in English writing (comprehension, summarising and grammar), public speaking in English to enable them to participate in group discussion as well as to sell products in market, developing reasoning and analytical abilities by building up quantitative aptitude, general knowledge, basic computer skills, personality development skill and interaction with the eminently successful persons for inspiration were taught to students.

He said the training was intensive in nature. MBA students doing summer training on “Corporate Social Responsibility” were also engaged to help them. The current batch of summer trainees was working on “Performance Management” of such students.

During the training period senior faculty from the PAU and other educational and professional institutes were invited to deliver lectures.

The training of dalit graduates has proved a big boon for them to get job placements as in the first batch of 2007, 37 out of 46 students got jobs and 43 out of 50 in the second batch of 2008, got placed. As many as 18 students of current batch have been placed on panel of successful candidates.

Manish Tewari, member of Lok Sabha, Ludhiana, also visited the training camp and spoke about the role of Vardhman management in uplifting dalit graduates.

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City Concerns
Eve-teasing must be curbed

Eve-teasing seems to have become an accepted part of our daily lives, especially in the city. The police cannot be present everywhere, and it is found that a number of kids, even from normal families, are engaged in the troublesome activity in the city streets.

The market places, particularly in the evenings, are witness to scenes of girls being troubled.

The fact that a majority of the cases go unreported because girls do not come forward to go to the police because of various reasons. Here is what a cross-section of city residents have to say on the issue.

II

Man has forgotten how to respect woman. The eve of today suffers emotional as well as physical torture whenever she steps out of the four walls of her house.

I have witnessed a very sickening and painful eve-teasing episodes. One day, I was going to the market, along with my mother, when we were stuck in a traffic jam. Two guys in a Zen car behind us were honking horribly although they were known to the fact that it was impossible for us to give way. When the rush cleared while overtaking, they pointed rude and ugly hand gestures at us. We lodged a complaint with the constable on duty, giving him various details, including the car number, but he did not get any justice.

The incident left me wondering, if a girl moving about along with her mother is not secured on the streets, how safe an alone girl is?

Several men treat women as public property. Whether there is a girl sitting next to them in the bus or walking down the street, they never fail to comment on her clothes, hair or even her body.

Parents fail to raise voice against these criminals, because they fear the lengthy, slow and extremely tedious police procedures and feel it better to shun away the episode. Matters like eve-teasing require quick and immediate action.

Moreover, when a girl raises her voice, either acid is thrown on her face or she is raped. This is the reason women are refrained from taking action. The ruthlessness on streets detest girls, like me, to come on streets, even normally.

Gurnoor, Ludhiana

III

Eve-teasing is a social black spot and also a curse on the part of number of city youths. It must be checked and nipped in the bud, otherwise women and the girls will never feel secure when they are out of home on city roads.

The youth community indulged in this activity must learn a lesson if their sisters are teased like they tease the other girls, what action will they suggest? God may bless wiseness to enable them to recognise that eve-teasing is a social evil and must be curbed. It is an obscene behaviour in the public places, which is not acceptable by the society. Cases of eve-teasing can only be handled with an iron hand by the police.

If our police is vigilant and sets examples of strict action, the cases will definitely come down in a large number. It cannot be totally avoided as it is not possible for cops to be present every where.

The lacking monitoring mechanism of the administration needs to incorporate elements of greater responsibility, stricter action and media involvement in spreading the message.

SS Talwar, Urban Estate, Ludhiana

IV

Eve teasing has become a major social evil. It is all pervasive on roads, markets, cinema halls and top it all, even on college campus. The eve-teasing manifests itself differently in form of cheap activities, including staring, pinching, stalking, hooting, whistling and singing ugly songs.

The latest turn of events has also included throwing acid.

Every girl is vulnerable. The administration needs to take some strict steps against this evil. The main problem related to the crime is the lack of evidence. The girl victims, after being teased, get so panicky that they are unable to note down the number of vehicles of the offenders. So these boys generally go scot free.

In this case, the police needs to be more vigilant and listen to the claims of the victims patiently without embarrassing them. Also, a friendly approach is required on the part of the onlookers, who, because of the fear for their life, generally refrain from becoming witnesses.

Apart from this, women must learn the techniques of self-defence. They must carry pins, pen knives and red chilli powder as deterrents. Most importantly, while going to crowded areas, they must resort to conservative clothing.

Birkamal Kaur, Ludhiana

V

Eve teasing is not just a school or a college girls' problem in any particular city. The problem is all pervasive in the society. The unwelcome masculine attention on women subjects leads them to an unimaginable kind of pressure. Furthermore, eve-teasing is considered to be a problem related to delinquency in the youth in the form of sexual aggression and a growing menace throughout the Indian subcontinent.

The problem ranges in severity from sexually suggestive remarks, inadvertent brushing in public places, catcalls, to outright groping, and sometimes, with a coy suggestion of "innocent fun", just as euphemism used to describe it in the region. Women themselves have to tackle the situation at their own end as generally many cases go unreported for fear of reprisals and exposure to public shame and in some cases, police usually let the offenders go, after public humiliation through the Murga Punishment. All knee-jerk reactions, such as police patrols, white brigade actions etc are for a short period of time.

Just as recently, female students from MS University, Vadodra, thrashed four young men near the family and community sciences faculty, after they passed lewd comments on a girl student staying in SD Hall hostel, in February, 2009.

To get rid of this social evil, a massive sustained campaign by women's organisations highlighting the evil must be initiated. Students in colleges must specifically be counselled. Debates on this issue must be organised in colleges and TV shows, etc with responsible moderators, who will listen and reason an argument instead of sounding outright biased.

Beside this, need of the hour is to set up women police squad as well as organisation at each and every area.

Shivanshu Garg, BCM Senior Secondary School, Ludhiana

VI

Eve-teasing is present everywhere and almost every time in the society. It has many forms to satisfy the buried feelings of an eve-teaser. We live in 21st century, but our brain and personality is still afraid of the superior ones.

Eve-teasing originally means degrading a personality, which is perfect itself and one, which the teaser cannot become.

Certain suggestions, for girls that I think can address the problem include: Girls should become careful with their dresses at the occasion; Choose the perfect time to go out; Choose the standardised place to visit; and ignore eve-teasers.

The boys also need to watch their personality, care for dreams of your parents, and choose to be responsible for your acts.

I am surely not against boys and against girls who like the Western culture. My concern is that we may have travelled a long journey to reach here, but we still have a long journey to go ahead.

Sukhwinder Singh, Ludhiana

VII

Eve-teasing is a heinous crime against the society and should not be taken as an accepted part of life in the city at any cost. It is the slackness on the part of the administration that such a crime is on the rise in the city. It is a shame that women feel insecure on the city roads of Ludhiana.

The administration should rise to the occasion to crush such a menace with a heavy hand. Police personnel in plain clothes should also be posted in all the busy places immediately and no "sifarish" should be accepted of anybody, howsoever, influential he or she may be. The culprits, so nabbed, should be paraded in main bazaars of the city with their faces blackened and their names should be published in the local "Dailies" with photographs. The local residents, who come to the help of concerned fair sex, should be encouraged by providing them a commendation certificate by the local administration for this noble cause. The schools and colleges should provide a regular period to imbibe the need of social responsibilities of young folk towards the society as well, which will go a long way in eradicating such problems."

VP Chopra, Ludhiana

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Sub-Registrars boycott office
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 10
Hundreds of persons in three Sub-Registrar offices in the city were inconvenienced in the hot and sultry weather and the state exchequer, too, suffered when the Sub-Registrars did not return to work today in protest against the alleged attack on one of them by a lawyer yesterday.

Sub-Registrar (E), Jagsir Singh, was attacked by a lawyer and his accomplices yesterday. He had to leave his office mid-way. To lodge their protest, the Sub-Registrars East, West and Central did not attend their offices.

Visitors, who wanted their revenue documents registered with these offices, waited for hours together but nobody turned up.

Tehsildar Kanwar Narinder said they were angry at the misbehaviour yesterday. They wanted to complain formally to the Deputy Commissioner and were waiting for him to call them.

He said they did not want to strike work, as it made the residents and state exchequer suffer. “We are just waiting for the Deputy Commissioner’s call. We will go to work after meeting him,” he said.

The visitors to their offices said they were waiting for the officials since morning. “We have been waiting for three hours, thinking they would arrive soon. It is so hot and this wait is not going to help us,” said Ravinder Kumar, a resident.

The tehsildars said they were aware of the fact and did not want to cause inconvenience to the people. But when they were treated like this by lawyers and politicians, it did not go down well with them.

“We are not going to take it. Every day somebody or the other comes and treats us like this. We are going to meet the DC and give a written complaint,” said a tehsildar.

Major G.S. Benipal, SR (Central), said the DC was said to be in a meeting. “We have been told he would soon meet us. Then we would return to work,” he said.

Yesterday Jagsir Singh had alleged that a lawyer had created ruckus in his office. He had even pelted stones at his car.

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MC for easing traffic in city
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, June 10
With an aim to ease traffic bottlenecks, Municipal Commissioner GS Ghuman, along with his team, met traffic officials here yesterday to discuss in detail vehicular movement in areas like Bharat Nagar Chowk, Jagraon Bridge and Fountain Chowk.

Ghuman said, "Work on these three projects will be initiated first as they are a major problem. The circumference of the Fountain Chowk will be decreased as it leads to traffic chaos often. Similarly, the bus stand on Bharat Nagar Chowk will also be shifted a little away as it is another traffic-woe point." He added that the work on these projects would be started in a day.

XEN HS Salaria, who was a part of the delegation, said, "The Jagraon Bridge, which joins Jalandhar bye-pass with the city, will also be provided by a slip road on traffic lights as the people have to wait for light to take a left turn." He added that the team also had XEN electrical with them and the traffic officials had told them to repair some of traffic lights and suggested some points, where these traffic lights needed to be installed.

SP (traffic) Harjinder Singh said, "The meeting was aimed at asking MC officials to speed up the process of work allotted to them so that traffic could be streamlined as soon as possible. Further, we are initiating new projects in coordination with the Municipal Corporation to ease up traffic at some of the major bottlenecks of the city."

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Bank strike call withdrawn
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 10
Indian National Bank Employees Congress (INBEC) national president KR Tripathi, in a press note released here today, stated that the strike for June 12 by bank employees had been withdrawn following improvements in offer by the Indian Banks Association with the trade unions of the banking industry, which had agreed to offer 17 per cent wage increase.

Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) Punjab general secretary Shiv Gupta and Tripathi have already submitted a written memorandum to the Finance Minister Pranab Mukerjee, Labour Minister Harish Rawat and Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, urging for an early wage settlement due from November, 2007, whereas the 6th pay commission's recommendations for the Central govt employees for 40 per cent wage increase have been honoured. There should be no discrimination with banks employees who were contributing a lot in the nation's development and prosperity.

Dr Gupta stated that the main demands of the bank employees were immediate wage settlements , appointments on compassionate grounds in case of death of employee, pension for all bank employees, fresh recruitment of employees to improve customer services and stoppage of anti-trade union activities.

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Tribune Impact
Sutlej Club faces heat
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 10
After the news item “Smoking at the Sutlej Club goes unchecked” appeared in Ludhiana Tribune on June 9, Civil Surgeon SP Sharma has given strict instructions to the managing committee of the Sutlej Club to make a separate smoking zone in the club.

The directions came after The Tribune reported that how anti-smoking law was being flouted in the club and the members were feeling harassed.

Following the report, the health team visited the club premises and found gross violation of the Supreme Court directions against smoking in public places.

The civil surgeon said, "We have issued challans to 12 persons till date," bringing to the fore the carelessness of health department officials, who are one of the authorities to check smoking at public places.

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Buses collide, 6 women injured
Tribune News Service

Khanna, June 10
Six women mill workers were injured today, when the bus they were travelling in, collided with another bus near Rajgarh village in Machhiwara.

The workers were on their way towards a mill near the village. Earlier also, the buses belong to this mill, met with the accidents and many workers received injuries and some deaths were also reported in the past accidents. Today’s accident took place at around 7 am, when drivers of two buses tried to overtake each other and collided with each other. The buses were reportedly overcrowded. No case was registered in this connection. The police assured to take action against the overcrowded buses.

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Workshop for tiny-tots concludes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 10
A 10-day workshop was concluded on the premises of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Udham Singh Nagar, here yesterday.

The workshops included dance, music, art and craft, fabric paintings, calligraphy, photography, Vedic mathematics, bhangra and dramas. The cultural show, organised during the closing ceremony, included music and dance performances by the tiny-tots.

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Rs 1.13 lakh fine on hosiery unit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 10
A penalty of Rs 1.13 lakh was today imposed by the Sales Tax department on the local hosiery unit for transporting goods without bill.

Eleven boxes of hosiery consignment were detained at the railway station two days back by the mobile wing of the Excise and Taxation department. The boxes were being transported to Delhi without bill.

The total amount of the consignment was around Rs 4 lakh. Excise and Taxation Officer Bhupinder Gupta conducted raid on the directions of assistant excise and taxation commissioner Tejbir Singh.

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CRIME
 

Sewerage Department
Accountant fraudulently pockets Rs 20,000
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 10
A Divisional Accountant (DA) in the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Department allegedly fraudulently pocketed Rs 20,000 by altering records, preparing a fake affidavit of a contractor and getting a cheque from the department.

The DA, Balraj Singh, allegedly changed office records and showed fixed deposit of Rs 20,000 as earnest money by a contractor. He even changed the name of the contractor Aseem Kumar to Ashok Kumar and submitted a fake affidavit with his senior to claim this money.

The fraud came to light recently, when the DA retired on March 31 and the office was checking the records. It was then found out that he had got a cheque cashed by showing that he was going to pass on the money to contractor Ashok Kumar, who never existed.

The contractor Aseem Kumar had deposited the security deposit of Rs 20,000 for getting himself listed as a B-class contractor. Balraj Singh allegedly showed the money as earnest money deposited by Ashok Kumar after changing Aseem’s name in original deposit register and cash book.

He then prepared a hand receipt for the transfer of fixed security amount and got the cheque signed from Sub Divisional Engineer. The hand receipt passed through many hands, including XEN A.K. Jindal, SDE, N.S. Dhillon. Nobody could know that he was committing a fraud.

He then got the voucher of Rs 20,000 passed and got a bearer’s cheque of the same amount. On the day of his superannuation, he gave the cheque to his office peon for realisation. He collected the amount from him.

The SDE has written to the Senior Superintendent of Police about the entire scam. The SSP has marked an inquiry in the case and asked DSP Sahnewal to submit a report.

Officials of the sewerage department remained tight-lipped about the scam. They said they had passed the matter to the police and did not know anything about further action. They said after Balraj got to know that he was caught, he deposited the money back in the office account.

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Shell found from canal
Tribune News Service

Mandi Gobindgarh, June 10
Area residents of Chaturpura village were panicked today after they detected a shell of 1.5 quintal into the canal near the village. The matter was brought into the notice of the police by villagers who detected a heavy shell into the canal.

As soon as the police reached the spot, water was released in the canal and the police had a tough time in tracing the shell. A crane and tractor had to be pressed into service, besides taking the help of divers and villagers were also seen helping the police.

Police officials from Mandi Gobindgarh police station said the shell would have been brought here by some scrap dealers and in order to get rid of hassles, it was dumped into the canal.

Efforts would be made to find the culprits and stringent action would be initiated against them, said the police officials. The missile was brought to the police station for investigations. A case in this connection would be registered by the police after completing the investigations.

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Businessman ends his life
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 10
A local businessman committed suicide at Basant Colony last evening. The deceased has been identified as Varinder Kumar.

The incident came to light when some of his relatives came to meet him last evening. Despite repeated knocking, Varinder did not open the door. One of his relatives then scaled a wall and entered the house.

They then spotted the body of the deceased, hanging from the ceiling fan. They reported the matter to the police. According to his relatives, Varinder was under depression after he suffered huge losses in his business.

The relatives of the deceased said Varinder was upset, as he felt that due to his poor financial condition, he would not be able to marry off his two daughters. Due to this, he had become an alcoholic.

Recently, his wife, along with her two daughters, had deserted him, they disclosed.

The police has initiated investigation.

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Conmen nabbed, 5 vehicles recovered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 10
The police busted a gang of six conmen, who used to finance vehicle from bank by submitting fake documents.

The police has also recovered five vehicles from the accused. The accused are identified as Kulwinder Singh, Satwant Singh, Jyoti Kumar, Bharat Bhushan, Sanjiv Kumar, Vinod Gupta.

According to SP SK Kalia, Kulwinder Singh, along with his accomplices, used to prepare fake documents and further sent if for approval. Third member Jyoti Kumar, who was working in ICICI Bank, used to approve the fake documents, submitted by Kulwinder.

These vehicles were further sold in the market, due to which the bank was facing losses.

The gang members were nabbed today, while they were trying to finance another vehicle.

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Girl commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 10
Depressed over poor performance in the annual examination, a girl allegedly committed suicide by consuming poison.

The deceased was identified as Surpreet Kaur (19), a resident of Kundanpuri.

While the family remained tight-lipped, neighbours said the deceased was aggrieved over her poor performance in the BA-I examination.

The incident took place yesterday evening when she was alone at home.

According to Manjit Singh, his daughter died as she had consumed some expired medicines.

However, the family did not report the matter to the police.

The police has initiated investigation.

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Woman gets burns
Tribune News Service

Khanna, June 10
Jyoti, a resident of Billan Wali Chhapri, received burns after a reported scuffle with her husband today. According to neighbours, her husband was drunk last night and they had a fight over some petty issue. Jyoti received burns and was rushed to the local Civil Hospital from where she was referred to a hospital in Patiala.

A complaint has been lodged by her relatives.

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SPORTS
 

Katoch Shield
Ludhiana floor Bathinda
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 10
Riding high over fine centuries by Karan Goel and Gaurav Marwaha, Ludhiana defeated Bathinda by nine wickets in the second match in the ongoing Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Tournament for the Katoch Shield being organised by the Punjab Cricket Association that concluded on the Punjab Agricultural University campus ground here today.

Resuming at their overnight score of 151 for 3, hosts Ludhiana went on to score 324 for the loss of five wickets in 70 overs when skipper Ankur Kakkar declared the innings. Bathinda, in their first essay had made 196 runs.

Ludhiana's first innings revolved around Karan Goel and Gaurav Marwaha. Karan cracked 123 runs with the help of 15 hits to the fence and four sixes while Gaurav remained unconquered on 107 runs. His innings included 10 fours and four sixes.

Other notable scorers were Geetansh Khera (38), Ankur Kakkar (31), Varun Chitkara (16) and Gagandeep Dhand (8 n.o).

For the visitors, Ranjit Singh took two wickets for 26 runs while Sandeep Kumar claimed one wicket for 26 runs, Karan Kumar scalped one victim for 31 runs and Pawan Dabas grabbed one wicket for 108 runs.

Trailing by 128 runs, Bathinda began their second innings on a dismal as they could muster 170 runs in 42 overs. The main scorers were Haqiqat Singh (57), Harpreet Singh (29), Manjit Singh (28) and Karan Kumar (18).

For Ludhiana, their skipper, Ankur Kakkar, who had captured six wickets in the first innings, once again excelled with the ball, grabbing four wickets for 40 runs. Deepak Bansal took two for 12, Gagandeep Dhand claimed two for 40, Varun Verma grabbed one for 13 and Karan Goel chipped in with one wicket for 30 runs.

Needing 43 runs for an outright victory, Ludhiana, thanks to fine innings of 312 n.o by Karan Goel made the required runs in just nine overs after losing one wicket. Tarun Passi contributed 10 runs. The lone wicket taker for Bathinda was Sandeep Singh who took one for 26.

In the third match, slated to be held here at Punjab Agricultural University on 12 and 13, Ludhiana will take on Patiala.

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19 selected for aquatic coaching camp
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 10
Ninteen swimmers have been selected as members of the Punjab waterpolo team (junior) for the coaching camp for the preparation of the state team for the forthcoming 36th Junior National Aquatic Championship to be held from June 23 to 27 at Jaipur.

According to honorary general secretary of the Punjab Swimming Association Balraj Sharma, the selected boys have been asked to report to Balbir Singh, swimming coach, Sports Department at War Heroes Swimming Pool, Sangrur, where the camp will be organised between June 10 and 20.

The names of the selected swimmers are Jatindervir Singh, Jagdeep Singh Sr. and Adhiraj Sharma from Ludhiana; Sandeep Sikka, Manpreet Singh and Harmanpreet Singh from Amritsar; Resham Singh, Jeetinder Singh and Harinderjit Singh from Sangrur; Keshav Thakur and Karan Brar from Faridkot; Wikalp Vats from Hoshiarpur; Navjeet Singh from Bathinda, Kamaljeet Singh from Patiala; Jatinderpal Singh, Amarjeet Singh, Gagandeep Ghai, Amitoz Verma and Shivanshu from Jalandhar.

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