L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Cat’s Eye Fiasco
MC denies info under RTI
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The denial of information under the RTI Act by the MC about the cat’s eye installed on the Ferozepur road has proved that public money can be wasted at the will of bureaucrats and politicians.

After The Tribune highlighted the fiasco in a report published on June 4, the Anti-corruption and Crime Investigation Cell, NGO, had asked the civic body to give it the required information. However, the MC replied that the information could not be revealed, citing third party as the reason.

Even the demand of Congress councillors to see files pertaining to the tenders and bills has not been met till date.

The silence of the MC on the project, which has been a complete wastage of funds, has proved that there is no one in the civic body to “protect” the money of people being paid to it in the form of taxes.

The project has incurred a loss of around Rs 1 crore to the MC and is an example of how people are fooled.

Neither MC commissioner GS Ghuman nor Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura have made an effort to inquire into the matter. Broken cat’s eye are often found broken and scattered on the road. Also, most of them are not functional.

NGO president Rohit Sabharwal said: “Due to some personal reasons we have decided not to pursue the case in the State Information Commission.”

Congress councillors Sanjay Talwar and Rakesh Parashar said: “One tries to hide things only when something is wrong. We wanted to raise the issue at the MC house meeting, but the Mayor never gave us a chance.”


PSEB staff face mob fury
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 13
With the power situation worsening with each passing day and the frequency of cable and transformer snags also increasing due to overloading, residents seem to be losing their patience.

Irked over power failure for more than six hours late last evening, several angry residents of Durgapuri locality at Haibowal gheraoed the PSEB complaint centre at Chander Nagar, demanding immediate rectification of the snag.

Some protesters even pelted the centre with stones. Sensing the mood of the public, the line staff and those deployed to attend to complaints, fled from the scene.

Later, the protesters gathered at the zonal office of the PSEB in Sarabha Nagar to bring the matter to the notice of senior board officials and blocked traffic on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway for nearly an hour.

The police had to intervene to disperse the mob, but the dharna was lifted only after senior PSEB officials assured the residents that they would visit the affected area.

Residents of Bawa Colony also staged a protest against a faulty transformer that was causing low frequency or frequent disruption in power supply. Councillor Hem Raj Aggarwal took up the matter with the PSEB officials, asking them to take steps to check breakdowns and low voltage.

President of the Durgapuri residents welfare association Harsh Basandrai said: “All through the day, there is no power, and water supply is also affected. To make matters worse, unscheduled cuts are imposed at night or there is some snag which is not mended for hours.”

Even after a power cut for more than seven hours yesterday, residents from several areas complained of power failure in the evening or night due to a cable or transformer fault.

Deputy chief engineer, City West Circle, Rachhpal Singh, who inspected some localities at Haibowal, said most transformers in the area were overloaded. “We shall add around half a dozen transformers in the areas where the situation is bad. The power supply should improve in some days,” he said.

Reports said residents of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Jeewan Preet Nagar, Upkar Nagar, Dugri, Model Town Extension, Sarabha Nagar and Rishi Nagar had to sweat it out due to prolonged tripping or power failure during the night. 

City Concerns

Residents of the city are a peeved lot with the ever-growing hours of unscheduled power cuts along the announced power cuts. From six the cuts were increased to eight, a few weeks back and now the scheduled cuts will be 10 hours from Thursday onwards. Industry too is suffering, massively, in terms of manpower and production, due to three day announced cuts in a week. Narrate your experiences and also send forward a possible way out of the power crises, if you feel there is any.

Responses, in not more than 200 words, can be emailed to ludhianaconcerns@tribunemail.com or sent to our city office at Bhadaur House, Ludhiana.



Harassed by daughter-in-law, 75-yr-old commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
A 75-year-old man, who allegedly consumed poison yesterday, died at the CMCH here today.The deceased has been identified as Tulsidas Thapar, a resident of Fathegarh Mohalla.According to the police, he was “forced” to commit suicide due to the harassment he had to face at the hand of his daughter-in-law Shashi.

The police has also recovered a suicide note. Tulsi said he had taken the extreme step as Shashi, the widow of his elder son, had filed three cases against his son Suman and was causing trouble for other family members.

He said his son was suffering from depression as he could not bear the financial burden of the cases. He also alleged that she had occupied a portion of the house.

He also claimed that she was behind the death of her husband.

The police has arrested the woman and booked her for abetment to suicide.



Graft: DC sacks 3 employees
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The Deputy Commissioner, Vikas Garg, has sacked three employees, including a woman, of the Suvidha Centre here on the charges of corruption levelled by a personal assistant to jails minister Hira Singh Gabria.The minister’s PA, HS Gohalwaria, had complained that an agent charged Rs 300 from him and shared the money with a woman employee, allowing him to “jump”the procedure to get an affidavit.

He claimed that he had earlier requested the woman to get his affidavit signed, but she had refused to do so and asked him to stand in a queue and get a token.

When he was returning, he was approached by an agent, who promised to get his work done if he was ready to pay Rs 300.

He agreed and saw the agent give half of the money to the woman. She immediately got his picture taken and sent the affidavit for signing from an executive magistrate.

All this left Gohalwaria shocked and he complained to the DC.

Garg said he had inquired into the episode and found the three guilty of accepting money. “I want the message to go that corruption would not be tolerated,” he said. 



Ward Bypoll
Three left in fray
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The withdrawal of nominations by five persons today has left only three candidates in the fray for the upcoming bypoll of Ward Number 57, scheduled for August 23.

SDM-cum-returning officer Prem Chand said: “Except for Suresh Jindal, Harpreet Singh Bedi andDr Hari Singh Brar, all others withdrew their nominations today.”

The contest would be between Akali candidate Harpreet Singh Bedi, Congress nominee Dr Hari Singh Brar and Independent Suresh Jindal.



Cultivating ethics among students
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
Upholding its commitment to social responsibility, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) launched PAU Society for Ethics (PAUSE) here today.

The aim is to sow the seeds for cultivating values and ethics in students in addition to the university's established role of cultivating vast fields.

PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang equated ethics with one's character, which is what one does when no one is watching. Ethics require self-regulation, he opined and one can change society by changing oneself.

Citing examples of respect for intellectual property rights, confidentiality, honesty, responsible mentoring, competence and social responsibility, Dr Kang reframed the old adage of "a sound mind in a sound body" as "a moral mind in a 
moral body".

He appreciated the initiative and hoped that it would help the students evolve as better citizens of the world.

Dean, postgraduate studies, Dr SK Mann gave a brief background of the initiative and said the move would streamline the deans and directors as well as journalism students evoked an animated and healthy discussion.



I-Day celebrations at School
Tribune News Service

Khanna, August 13
Students of Radha Vatika Senior Secondary School celebrated Independence Day, wherein various competitions and programmes were held.

They wore colourful dresses and participated in different events and dramas during the occasion. Bhabha house was declared winner.

Chairman Nirmal Parkash Sofat and principal Arvind Sakarsudha informed about the importance of Independence Day to the children.



22-year-old succumbs to burns

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
A 22-year-old newly married, who had allegedly set herself ablaze yesterday, succumbed to her injuries at Civil Hospital here today.

She has been identified as Urmila, a resident of Salim Tabri. She had allegedly poured kerosene on her following a heated argument with her in-laws.

The police has arrested her in-laws and is investigating the matter before a formal registration of the case.



No stopping private tuitions
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
Private tuitions these days have become necessary for students, particularly those studying in private English medium schools.

Though the legislation has provided free and compulsory education to the children between the age group of 6-14, only time will tell regarding its implementation. Even in the past, the government had come out with such directions, but all in vain.

Another important clause in the right to education bill is banning private tuitions and it has been made obligatory for the teachers not to engage in private tuitions.

Although the school heads claim that they don't allow the teachers to take private tuitions at their homes but the practice continues unabated.

Enquiries made by The Tribune revealed that teachers of some of the renowned schools force the students to go in for private tuitions to secure good marks in exams, assignments and practicals. Some of the students said they had to go for private tuitions because of the unwieldy number of students in the class. Students allege that the teachers do not pay personal attention or proper attention towards the students in the class, thus they have to seek the guidance of the schoolteachers through tuitions.

Students further alleged that these teachers charge tuition fee for two months instead of one month so that the students don't leave the tuition. At the time of board exams, teachers make rise in their tuition charges. They charge Rs 300 per hour. This is particularly true for subjects like maths, accountancy and science.

One of the girl students of reputed school who failed in the language paper said the teacher forced her to take tuition from her, but she refused. When she got through the board exam, the concerned teacher asked her, (Tu Kive pass ho gayee) “How did you manage to pass?”

RS Patial, principal, DAV Public School, hails the law, as he feels that it will improve the classroom teaching. He further said when the teachers were being paid high salary then why should they take up private tuitions.

Col DB Sharma, director, Sat Paul Mittal School, said the tuitions could be banned only if there was change in teaching methodology. “Parents are ready to spend any amount just to ensure that the child performs well," he added.



Tips on spraying methods
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
A campaign to educate farmers on correct methods of spraying was organised at Bondli village, Samrala, Ludhiana.

Dr Jugraj Singh, deputy director (training), Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Samrala, and Sandhya demonstrated different types of spray pumps and their correct use to farmers.

They gave them useful tips to prolong the life of sprayers.

Dr Rubaljot Kaur educated farmers for correct pesticide selection and application. She also stressed on the judicious use of pesticides.

Dr Devinder Tiwari acquainted the farmers with various types of spraying nozzles for effective use of pesticides.

An exhibition on different types of sprayers was also organised.



I-Day: Roads being recarpeted for deputy CM
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
In the battle between common man and VIPs, once again the latter has won, as roads are being re-carpeted for their visits during the Independence Day celebrations.

At the time when the city people are witnessing bumpy rides due to potholes on almost every road, the administration and Municipal Corporation has re-carpeted roads especially for Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal, who is visiting the city for Independence Day celebrations.

The example of it is relaying of road from the PAU gate no 4 to Government College for Boys.

According to sources, in a meeting convened by Deputy Commissioner Vikas Garg instructions were forwarded to the Municipal Corporation that was attended by zonal commissioner BK Gupta.

The civic body was directed to take care of roads.

With a ban on re-carpeting of roads by Municipal Commissioner GS Ghuman in the monsoon season due to technical reasons, it seems laws and public funds could be wasted for the VIPs. Notably, The Tribune had highlighted uncompleted re-carpeted roads several times in its columns that were causing inconvenience to the public.

However, officials of the Municipal Corporation failed to act on public complaints, while for VIPs they don't mind spending money in the times of fund crunch.

Sources in the Municipal Corporation revealed that more than Rs 15 lakh would be spend on the construction of road.

While talking to The Tribune, residents who live near BVM School, where the road has been re-carpeted, said: “This road was comparatively in better position than other roads like those in the Focal Point and Transport Nagar where you will find only dust in the name of roads. Instead of wasting extra money here, it was better if the corporation had spent it somewhere else.”



8,229 patients examined
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
As many as 8,229 patients were examined at the on going free health check-up camps in civil hospitals, sub-divisional hospitals and primary health centres of Ludhiana district.

The camps are being organised for the good health of women and children in wake of Independence Day celebrations.

Around 1,378 were expecting mothers who were examined at the camps. Women and children were also administered and were given vaccinations free of cost.



Annual meeting of mgmt assn

Ludhiana, August 13
The Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) organised its 31st annual general meeting at Park Plaza here yesterday.

Dr KNS Kang, general secretary, LMA, presented the annual report of the association, highlighting the various activities and programmes conducted by the association during 2008-2009.

During the meeting, VK Goyal, chief executive, Vardhman Spinning & General Mills, was elected as new president of the association.

JR Singhal, CMD, Eastman, was appointed as senior vice-president, LMA, and Sachit Jain, executive director, Vardhman Textiles, became the vice-president of LMA for the next tenure. — TNS



Illegal construction of 20 shops
MC Commissioner’s silence raises eyebrows
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
Local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia’s reply to media that “you know better than me” on the construction of 20 shops in the Transport Nagar has left many questions unanswered.

When the minister was told that the Area Town Planner had specifically mentioned the names of those who were pressuring him, he had replied: “You better ask the MC Commissioner”.

However, instead of replying to the minister, MC Commissioner GS Ghuman kept mum despite the fact that he had received the enquiry report ordered by him two months ago.

Talking to The Tribune, probe officer, Zonal Commissioner BK Gupta, said: “It has been two months since I submitted the report.” However, he refused to divulge any details.

The silence of the MC Commissioner on the matter in front of the minister has raised many an eyebrow as to why the report is being kept confidential while everything has been reported from day one by the media.

The 20 shops in Transport Nagar had been demolished twice — once in the presence of Chief Vigilance Officer AK Prabhakar and the second time by ATP Kamaljeet Kaur.

Also, Kamaljeet Kaur had given in writing to the MC Commissioner that she was being pressured by some political leaders, including councillors, no action had been initiated.

In the latter half of May, Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura too had formed a four-member committee to inquire into the matter countering MC Commissioner.

The committee comprised SAD councillor Harbhajan Singh Dang, Congress councillor Bharat Bhushan Ashu, BJP councillor Gurdeep Singh Neetu and ATP SS Bindra.

In the past over two months, the members have met several times but failed to finalise their report so far.

The irony is that Neetu has been made committee member despite the fact that he is reportedly in favour of construction on the controversial site, which according to the MC is an encroachment.

Despite repeated attempts, the MC Commissioner could not be contacted for comments.



Vigilance team visits city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The vigilance department of the Punjab local government today visited the municipal corporation’s C and D zones to inquire into complaints received.

According to sources, the two-member vigilance team visited C and D zones to inquire into two constructions.

At C zone, they inspected a shop that had been constructed in a house 20 years ago.

Similarly, another site that was questioned was at street No. 6 in Sham Nagar, near bus stand, where a residential building had come up without sanction from the municipal corporation.

The officers visited the site and during questioning found that the complaint was right as the house owner had not got his building plan approved from the municipal corporation.

Vigilance officer Rajnish Wadhwa said: “A complaint was received by minister Manoranjan Kalia about the construction in Sham Nagar. We inspected the site and found that the multi-storey building is without approval. Regarding construction in C-zone, we did some cross-checking.”



Bad Roads
Rights panel seeks vigilance probe
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The Universal Human Rights Organisation has demanded a vigilance inquiry into the poor shape of roads in the city and action against erring officials and contractors.

Addressing mediapersons here today, Satnam Singh Dhaliwal of the organisation said: “The roads within the municipal limits pose a threat to life and material venturing on it. This city has an MP, an MLA, councillors and many VIPs but still the condition of roads has gone from bad to worse.”

He said: “The Chief Minister often visits the city but has never been given a taste of bumpy ride. It’s an irony that they don’t notice the roads on which public moves, as the corporation presents a rosy picture before them.”

Every day media highlights the state of roads, but officials and contractors always overlook quality while undertaking work on re-carpeting, he added.

Organization members BP Singh Gill and Deepak Sabharwal said: “People have trust over the state vigilance and we hope the same will be kept by probing into roads of the city judiciously.” The NGO warned that if the roads proper work was not carried out on re-laying of roads, they would be forced to move the Punjab and Haryana High Court.



Janamashtami spirit grips city
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
Euphoria for Janamashtami is not just restricted to Mathura — the birth city of Lord Krishna — but pervades the rest of the country.

The city is also in the grip of festive spirit. Families are getting ready for the festival and Lord Krishna’s swings are also being prepared.

The leading trousseau packers in the city are offering the holy swings in different shapes, sizes and colours to seek the blessings of Lord Krishna.

A popular belief is that any wish made while rocking the cradle is fulfilled on this day.

Tamanna, a city resident, said every year she prepared Lord Krishna’s swing at home. “While trousseau packers also offer swings, I love making and decorating it on my own. It gives me a lot of satisfaction. In the evening, the entire family will rock the cradle,” she quipped.

Jhulan Yatra festival is inspired from Lord Krishna’s pastimes in Brindaban. It is believed that Lord Krishna and Radha used to swing in the monsoon season at Brindaban.

During the festival, an idol of Lord Krishna is placed on a decorated swing.

The swinging takes place along with music and dance. In some temples, Lord Krishna is seen along with an idol of Radha. While some also set up a swing at their homes.

Temples all over city are engaging in various ceremonies and prayers to mark the festival.

Chanting of shlokas, rendition from religious texts, singing devotional songs and dance performances will be part of the festival.

The festivities will begin at midnight. The celebration reaches its peak at midnight, with the marking of birth of Lord Krishna amidst chanting of hymns and aarti, blowing of conch and rocking of cradle.

The idol of Lord Krishna is bathed with milk and curd and rocked in the cradle.

Eatables made of milk and milk products are relished by devotees. Kheer, laddoo, butter, shrikhand and singhare ki poori are some of the delicacies prepared on the day.



Green Land karatekas emerge champ
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 13
Hosts Green Land Senior Secondary School, Jalandhar bypass branch, wrapped up as many as 17 out of 24 titles at stake and emerged overall champions in the Ludhiana Inter-School Sahodaya Complex Karate Championship held yesterday.

BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar branch, and DAV Public School, Pakhowal road branch, secured second and third positions, respectively.

Competitors from over 10 schools took part in the meet. Rajesh Rudra and Baldeep Pandher, director and principal, respectively, of Green Land School, gave away prizes to the position holders.

Results: boys (below 20 kg): Akshot of BCM School 1, Soumaya Dhingra of DAV Public School 2; 20-25 kg: Varun Garg of DAV Public School 1, Asman Bindra of Sacred Heart School, BRS Nagar, 2 and Rajit of Green Land School 3; 25-30 kg: Rahul of DAV Public School, Pakhowal road, 1, Kushket of Green Land School 2 and Wahegurupal Singh of Green Land School 3; 30-35 kg- Bavesh Sood of BCM Arya School 1, Manik of Green Land School 2 and Pranav Nagpal of DAV Public School 3.

35 kg and above: Dishant of Green Land School 1, Bharat Sharma of DAV Public School 2 and Chanpreet Singh of BCM School, Dugri 3; below 35 kg: Harman of Green Land School 1; 35-40 kg: Shubham Katyal of BCM School, Shastri Nagar 1 and Mukul Sood of Green Land School 2; 40-45 kg: Pulkit of BCM School, Shastri Nagar 1 and Gagan of Green Land School 2; 45-50 kg: Kamal of Green Land School 1 and Mukul Gulati of BCM Arya Model School 2; 50-55 kg: Jagmeet Kumar of BCM Arya School 1, Gaurav of Green Land School 2 and Varun Pathak of DAV Public School 3; 55-60 kg: Gurdash Preet of Green Land School 1, Divyanshu Gupta of DAV Public School 2 and Akashash Chopra of BCM Arya School, Shastri Nagar, 3; 60-65 kg: Raghav Jaggi of BCM Arya Model School 1, Rahul of Green Land School 2.

Girls (below 20 kg): Monisha of Green land School 1 and Jasleen Kaur of Green Land School 2; 20-25 kg: Navjot Kaur of Green Land School 1, Simranpreet Kaur of Basant Public School, Dugri, 2 and Nitya Sood of BCM Arya Model School 3; 25-30 kg: Kanika Jain of Green Land School 1, Probhustat of DAV School, BRS Nagar, 2 and Tini of BCM School, Shastri Nagar, 3; 30-35 kg: Nitika of Green Land School 1; 35 kg and above: Kanupriya of DAV Public School 1, Mahima of Green Land School 2 and Sifti of BCM Arya Model School 3; 35-40 kg: Anjali of Green Land School 1; 40-45 kg: Priyanaka of Green Land School 1; 45-50 kg: Shilpa of Green Land School 1, Alisha of Shifaly International School 2; 55-60 kg: Twinkle of Green Land School 1 and Karina Gill of BCM Arya Model School 2; 60-65 kg: Daman of Green Land School 1; 65 kg and above: Bhavika of Green Land Senior Secondary School 1.



Chess meet at BVM
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 13
Over 300 students took part in an inter-class talent hunt chess competition organised at Bhartiya Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Udham Singh Nagar, branch here yesterday.

Boys and girls in the under-9, under-11, under-14, under-17 and under-19 year categories took part in the event.

Results: Boys (u-19): Jaskarn Singh 1, Rishi Batra 2 and Parth Gupta 3; u-17: Rachit Jaggi 1, Sandeep Singh 2 and Bhanav 3; u-14: Rishab Jain 1, Jatin Brar 2 and Deepak 3; u-11: Viabhav 1, Vinay 2 and Kunal Ahuja 3; u-9: Bhaskar 1, Karan Soni 2 and Karan 3.

Girls (u-19): Bhawna 1, Deepika Pathak 2 and Surabhi Narang 3; u-17: Aaina Gupta 1, Geetanshu Bansal 2 and Sakshi Malik 3; u-14: Lovina 1, Divya 2 and Aditi 3; u-11: Vanshika 1, Meghna 2 and Pavneet 3.



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