L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Sinha new MC commissioner
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
PUDA administrator AK Sinha has been appointed the Commissioner of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation. GS Ghuman, who joined the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation on August 10, 2008, has been transferred.

Ghuman has been in the news for installation of fancy lights, tender tampering and I-cats that have proved to be a loss-making purchase for the civic body. Besides, the Transport Nagar shop constructions, too, kept the officer in the limelight.

During his tenure of more than a year, Ghuman has been trying his best to improve civic amenities, but due to paucity of funds it didn't worked out much. Apart from it the extra monetary burden put up by the Chief Minister through his Sangat Darshan on the civic body too were the issues, but the officer tried to manage it. Besides, the officer also tried hard to improve the civic body system by visiting illegal construction sites on his own.

Talking to The Tribune, the new Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha said: "I have just received the orders and am likely to join by Monday."


VIP areas given a miss
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Security shelter outside the SSP (Vigilance) house.
Shelters outside houses of govenment officials on public land.
Shelters outside houses of government officials on public land. Photos by Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, September 2
While the Municipal Corporation has been continuing anti-encroachment drives in the residential areas, civic body officials have given VIP areas a miss where government officials too are on the list of encroachers.

A survey by a Tribune team revealed that various government officials have installed shelters of their security personnel outside their houses that amounts to encroachment. The silence of the MC officials over these has raised a question that are VIPs and public not equal when it comes to laws.

The VIP area in Civil Lines, near Rakh Bagh, where senior government officials, including SSP, DC, etc reside, is a place where the corporation officials have never conducted any survey to warn these bureaucrats to mend their ways as they were flouting norms.

Apart from it, these roads which are virtually quite wide, have become narrow due to these shelters.

SP (traffic) Roopinder Singh has also a shelter for his security personnel outside his residential quarter. When he was tried to be contacted, he didn't pick up his mobile.

Similarly, SSP (Vigilance) S.S. Mand too has the cabin for his security men outside his house.

Even GA to the DC J.K. Jain is on the list. The officers phone were switched off.

Leaving this VIP area apart, even the senior government officials, who have their owned residences in Ludhiana, don't mind to make pucca shelters adjacent to their residence and SSP Kanwarjit Singh Sandhu tops the list. Though the officer has been transferred to Chandigarh, the encroachment made for his security guard at his house in Rajguru Nagar brings to fore that officer could not be touched for violation of laws as they themselves are caretaker of it.



Health workers stage dharna
Rural health mission terms their appointments ‘mistake’
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
Accusing the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, and the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) of dumping the multipurpose health workers (female) after using their services to achieve targets for various health programmes, the unions of paramedical staff and multipurpose health workers today staged a dharna outside the civil surgeon’s office.

More than 200 multipurpose health workers (female) from the city and Moga raised slogans against Health Minister Laxmikanta Chawla and National Rural Health Mission MD Anurag Aggarwal for terming their appointment as a “mistake.” Convener of the Contract Multipurpose Health Workers’ Union (female) Punjab Sarabjit Kaur said the minister and the MD met union leaders yesterday. They stated that these workers were appointed by mistake. It is because of this that they were removed. “It is rather absurd that the departments’ concerned acknowledged our services from November 2008 to August 2009 and also gave us salaries for six months without realising that these appointments were an outcome of some slip up,” added Sarabjit Kaur.

The contracts were signed for one year (November 2008 to November 2009).

Taking note of the breach of the contract, which the National Rural Health Mission had signed with these multipurpose health workers, the union leaders said “It is ‘unlawful’ to terminate the contract without a month’s prior notice adding that it is mentioned that if it so happens each worker would be given a month’s salary in the form of compensation.”

District president Kiranjit Kaur pointing towards the “dissolute act” of the above departments stated that each multipurpose health worker (female) relived from the duty contributed towards achievement of the targets given to the community health centres, primary health centers for family planning cases, immunisation and institutional deliveries.

These health workers travelled miles to motivate people to come forward for non-scalpel vasectomy, deliveries in the primary health centres and the community health centres without asking for any travelling allowance and were content in working at a meager salary of Rs 6000 per month.

The unions have warned the government that if the health workers are not re-instated by September 7, the paramedical staff and health workers will stage dharna in front of the civil surgeon offices in every district.



Fall of man in open manhole
MC told to pay Rs 6.58 lakh
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, September 2
The long struggle of Rakesh Talwar, a Ludhiana-based resident, who had become paralysed after falling in an open manhole allegedly due to the Municipal Corporation's apathy, has finally got relief, with a local court ordering to pay him a compensation of Rs 6.58 lakh.

Talwar fought a legal battle for 9 years after recovering from his coma. In a remarkable judgement, Civil Judge Jagdeep Sood held the MC responsible for the negligence for leaving the manholes open on a rainy day.

While pronouncing the judgement, the Judge held, “Due to the accident on account of the gross negligenc by the Municipal Cororation, the life of the plantiff and his family members have been ruined. He cannot be put back into his original position”.

“Full and fair compensation is the legal right of the plantiff. He cannot be compensated with money for the pain and physical consequences sufferred by him due to the accident. But no other process has been devised by the jurisprudence than that of awarding a monetary compensation”, added the court.

Being a screen printer, Talwar's career ended on the day of the incident in 1998. He was driving his scooter through a flooded street in the Dhobi Ghat area. He was not able to anticipate an open manhole and his scooter got stuck in it.

He fell on the road and the cover of the manhole hit his head. He injured his head and the right side of his body was paralysed. He had sufferred 50 per cent disability. He had remained in coma for six months and admitted to CMC.

After around 11 years of struggle, he could walk, but not like a normal man. Earlier, he was given Rs 1 lakh as compensation by the former Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, during his tenure. During the case proceedings, MC officials were not ready to conceed that there was any fault on their part. But after appreciating the evidence on record, the court found the MC officials negligent.



Sibia case
Councillors meet Mayor
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
Councillors from various political parties today met Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura to take the matter of registration of case against the husband of municipal councillor Rattanjit Kaur. Her husband R.S. Sibia has been booked on molestation charges.

According to information, councillors, including Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal, BJP councillor Sarabjit Singh Kaka and Tanveer Singh Dhaliwal, urged the Mayor to meet the SSP tomorrow demanding cancellation of the case against the councillor’s husband.

Besides, it was decided at the meeting that an action should be taken against the SHO, who resorted to lathicharge and booked Sibia.

Talking about the meeting, SAD councillor Dhaliwal said, “We discussed with the Mayor that in the past few months, the councillors in the city had been facing a lot of problems from the police and the matter needs to be discussed with the DIG.”

Citing example of Sibia, Tanveer Dhaliwal said, “A woman comes and levels allegations and the police is too quick in its action that it presents a challan in just two days after the receipt of the complaint. Things need to be sorted out, and the Mayor has agreed to it.” He added that after meeting the DIG and SSP, the matter would be surely sorted out.



2 youths killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Khamano, September 2
Two youths were killed and one injured in a road accident on the Chandigarh-Ludhiana road near Jatana Niwan village.

The three youths of Ludhiana were going towards Chandigarh from Ludhiana in their Maruti car. When their car reached near Jatana Niwan village, it collided with a speeding truck coming from the opposite side.

The impact was so intense that the car was smashed badly. A police patrol vehicle had to work for about an hour with the help of some villagers to take out the youths from the car.

The injured were rushed to the Civil Hospital Khamano, where two of them were declared dead.

They were identified as Dhiraj Kumar and Parmjeet Singh, both residents of Ludhiana. The third injured Surinder Singh was recovering at Civil Hospital Khamano.

The Khamano police has registered a case against the absconding truck driver.



Thousands visit Chhapar Mela
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 2
Thousands of devotees thronged Guga Mari Mandir at Chhapar village near here to worship snake, an embodiment of “Nag Devta”. The first day of Chhapar Mela, popularly known as “chowkis”, saw a large number of men and women attending the religious fair. The police faced difficulty in controlling the unexpectedly large gathering.

Being one of the largest fairs of North India, Chhapar Mela started attracting a large number of devotees since early morning. Till noon, women outnumbered men.

The devotees offered wheat and salt as a mark of respect to Nag Devta. Snake charmers had a field day today.

Organisers of joy rides, “maut ka kuan”, magic shows and mini circuses did brisk business on the first day, as children and women had come in large numbers. The cops have to make special arrangements near these stalls.

Ludhiana (Rural) SSP Gupreet Singh Bhullar and in charge of the mela said about 1,450 policemen had been deputed to ensure proper security for the devotees.

To keep a check on the sale and use of liquor, special teams had been constituted. The policemen in plain clothes, including women, had been deputed at sensitive points.

The police would be assisted by cameras, which would keep an eye on anti-social elements.

Bhullar said a limited number of four-wheelers would be issued passes to enter the mela area. This, he said, would restrict the carrying of weapons and wine in the mela.



Police on toes
Mahesh Sharma

A police official gives tips to a patrolling party at Ahmedgarh on Wednesday.
A police official gives tips to a patrolling party at Ahmedgarh on Wednesday.
Photo by writer

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 2
To boost confidence of people in view of suspected intrusion of strangers and anti-social elements in Mela Chhappar, the circle police made elaborate security arrangements in the local town and surrounding areas of Malerkotla subdivision.

About 100 security personnel from the state police, the IRB and the Commando Force were pressed into service to augment safety measures undertaken by the police.

According to Gurpreet Singh Sikand, DSP, Malerkotla, about 100 cops, including commandos, had been deputed to supplement security arrangements made by the police in view of the mela that commenced at Chhappar village today.

"Besides installing special nakas, we have constituted special patrolling parties each guided by officials of the local police," Sikand said.

Flag marches were organised to boost the confidence of residents of the local town and surrounding villages.

SHO, city police station, led the troupes.

The circle office called upon the office-bearers of various social and political organisations to help the police maintain law and order during mela days.



Ban on carrying, sale of weapons
Our Correspondent

Women and children purchase toys at a stall in Chhapar Mela on Wednesday. Photo by writer

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 2
The administration has imposed a ban on carrying arms and articles being used as weapons, crude or sharp-edged, at Chhappar village and surrounding localities, including Latala, Dhurkot, Jand, Juraha, Meherna Kalan and Barundi villages, for five days.

The ban has been imposed with an intention to maintain law and order situation in the area during mela days.

Using his powers as district magistrate, Vikas Garg, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, promulgated orders under Section 144 of CrPC today, which would remain in force till September 6, revealed sources in the administration.

Paramjit Singh Gorayan, DSP Dakha, in charge of the police control room set up at the mela site, said nobody would be allowed to carry or sell any article that could be used as a weapon.



Infighting Within SAD
Sink differences or face action: Sukhbir
KS Chawla

Ludhiana, September 2
Infighting among several local Akali leaders should be a matter of concern, but the party leadership seems less bothered about it.

Hira Singh Gabria, Minister for Jails and Tourism, heads the local faction and is being opposed by a group led by Avtar Singh Makkar, SGPC president, which comprises Darshan Singh Shivalik, MLA, Harish Rai Dhanda, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, and Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, former MP.

Simranjit Singh Bains, councillor, Municipal Corporation, who also happens to be president, District Youth Akali Dal, has the support of a few Akali councillors. Bains, too, was a strong contender for the mayor’s post. But, he could not get the support of the high command. Gabria got his own man Hakam Singh Giaspura elected as the mayor two years ago. Since then, the Bains group has been opposing Gabria tooth and nail. The Bains group had also succeeded in securing the patronage of Bikramjit Singh Majithia, former minister and brother-in-law of Sukhbir Singh Badal.

The Bains group also claims to have the support of Sukhbir Singh Badal as he had extensively campaigned for worked Harsimrat Kaur Badal in Bathinda during the Lok Sabha elections.

Bains also lodged an FIR against Congress leaders on the day of polling at Bathinda. But he and his supporter Karamjit Karwal have behind the bars for the past two months now. They have been arrested for assaulting Tehsildar Maj GS Benipal. So far Sukhbir Singh Badal has not been able to extend any support to them in the case.

Hira Singh Gabria, who belongs to the Tohra group, has also been successful in winning the confidence of both Badals. Thus, his opponents have failed to cause any harm to him. Amarjit Singh Bhatia, who being the senior vice-president, Akali Dal, is quiet vocal, supports Gabria.

Gabriel’s opponents have been pressurizing Badals to remove him from the presidentship of the local unit of the Akali Dal. But, so far, they have met with any success.

In the byepoll to ward No. 57 of the corporation, which took place on August 23, the Congress candidate defeated Akali Dal nominee. The Akali’s nominee was Gabria’s man. The Akalis did not extend support to him, as it was Gabria, who single handedly campaigned for him.

Sukhbir Singh Badal has been apprised of the facts after the result of the ward No. 57 was declared. Party chief is reported to have reprimanded a local MLA and other senior leaders for not extending support to the Akali Dal nominee. Sukhbir Singh is reported to have warned the local leaders to sink their differences failing which action would be taken against them. Only time will tell how effective has been the warning of the party president.



Midday meal still eludes students
Schools have not been getting ration under the midday meal scheme for the past one month
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Machhiwara, September 2
More than 20 primary schools, out of 85 in Machhiwara block, are still bereft of midday meals. This despite the fact that the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner had recently instructed education department officials to ensure that children from primary schools get mid-day meal.

Lack of funds meant for the scheme has delayed ration in many schools, making children go hungry.

The DC, at a recent meeting, told the education department officials that if primary schools lacked ration, it should be taken from secondary schools.

However, the distance between primary schools and nearest secondary schools was the major factor due to which ration could not be ferried to the primary schools.

A visit in various primary schools of the town today revealed that primary schools failed to get the ration. Teachers in these schools said they had not been getting the food under the midday-meal scheme for the past one month.

Some teachers in primary schools, however, said the primary schools were getting ration from only those secondary schools, which have surplus ration. Nearly 25 such primary schools are still bereft of food for the past few days, said the teachers.

Senior officials of the education department said efforts were being made to provide ration to primary schools in the next few days.

These children belong to lower strata of society and providing midday meals in school is the government’s initiative to control dropout rates as well as make parents send their children to schools.

With lack of ration, the very purpose of scheme had been defeated as children were left with no other option but to bring their own meals. “Not all students can afford to bring lunch boxes. It’s a difficult situation,” revealed a teacher.



Mix response to grading system
Sheetal Chawla

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
The decision of the HRD Ministry to do away with the board exams in class X and replacing it with a grading system has created confusion among major stakeholders i.e. students, parents and school authorities.

If one student gets 90 per cent and other student gets 97 per cent, both of them will be categorised under the A1 grade.

The students, who get E grade in two papers, can appear for compartment. The students are confused as in how are the grades going to differentiate between the topper and the mediocre.

Brilliant students find the grades demoralising, whereas the average students feel relieved of the tension and pressure of the marks in the board examination.

The grading system will reduce the competition amongst the students, as earlier they have been conscious about the fraction of marks. The students will be judged from their year-round performance and not on the basis of only one exam.

There will be continuous and comprehensive evaluation of the students throughout the year and one exam is not going to settle the grade.

The decision has been taken to detraumatise the students, as they work under parental pressure, peer group pressure and examination pressure.

Principal RS Patial, DAV Public School, said the decision of the HRD Ministry would lead to two types of teaching- where some students will go for optional exams and other for board exams, which will be problematic for the schools to manage two different students of one class.

Principal DP Guleria, BCM School, Chandigarh Road, said commercialisation of education would decrease and the grading system would be beneficial for the students.

Ashwini Katyal and Meenu Katyal, whose children are studying in classes IX and XI, said the class X examination provided base to the students and on the basis of these exams the students selected their stream of study to be pursued in class XI.

They feel that the children will develop casual attitude towards studies if there are no exams.

Monica, their daughter, is of the opinion that the board exams should not be made optional, as they provide platform to the students to judge their ability.



Dharna against price rise, power cuts
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 2
Led by activists of joint forum of revolutionary democratic organisations, a large number of industrial workers, employees and people from weaker sections of society today staged a dharna at mini secretariat to protest rising prices of essential commodities and prolonged power cuts which had put the life out of gear.

Addressing the protesters, Parminder from the Naujawan Bharat Sabha, Rajwinder from the Karkhana Mazdoor Union, Vijay Narain from the Moulder and Steel Workers Union, Bhajan Singh from the Democratic Teachers Front, Ramanjit Singh from the Democratic Employees Front, Kasturi Lal from the Lok Morcha, Punjab, and Jaswant Zeerakh from the Inquilabi Kendra, made a scathing attack on the government for its failure to curb prices, streamline the public distribution system and ensure adequate power supply in the state.

The trade union leaders maintained that an unprecedented rise in the prices of daily need were far from being natural, but it was the cascading effect of hoarding and profiteering, coupled with anti-people and pro-rich policies of the government.

"Farm produce is under the monopolistic control of corporate houses or big traders, who are out to exploit the people by creating artificial scarcity of essential items and raising prices," they said.

Giving a call to the masses to get united and put up a fight against the unholy nexus of opportunist business houses and political leadership in the country, the speakers at the dharna said the need of the hour was to force the government to take effective steps against skyrocketing prices.

On dismal scenario of power in Punjab, they attributed the situation, once again to wrong policies of privatisation and commercialisation of the power sector being pursued by the government.



Samrala school gets US exposure
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
The staff and students of Max Arthur Macauliffee Public School in Samrala district had the opportunity to experience the American style of education recently.

Ambri Pukhraj, a middle school English teacher in California, spent three days at the school in an effort to exchange views with the staff and teach students lessons using the American style of instruction, which involves more student engagement and added time for practice of concepts in each lesson.

Pukhraj taught grammer and spoken English lessons to the students, who were responsive and quick to learn. In the afternoons, staff members came together for workshops on various topics such as five-step lesson plans, English immersion, discipline systems and school culture.

Pukhraj said it was so interesting to observe the similarities and differences between schools. “We may use different textbooks, technology and instructional methods, but kids are kids. They have the same issues here as we do back in California, whether it is incomplete homework, not following instructions or being generally mischievous”, he added.

Director-cum-principal Parminder Kaur was also glad that her staff had the opportunity to collaborate and exchange notes with Pukhraj. They had the chance to learn about different cultures and their way of teaching.



Gates on Streets
4-member panel meets today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
The matter of gates on public streets seems to have finally drawn the attention of the Municipal Corporation as a four-member panel, formed to formulate a policy, will meet here tomorrow.

According to information, members MTP Hemant Batra and all zonal commissioners - Vinod Sharda, Mahinder Pal Gupta and B.K. Gupta - will be meeting tomorrow.

The policy formulated by this committee will be finally presented before the municipal house for its final nod and will bring curtains down on the double standards maintained by the corporation on this matter.

The issue which has divided city residents into two parts will not only give relief to MC officials, but also to the Ludhianvis.

In the past few months, the media has several times reported the protests by the residents with some favouring the move of installation of gates, stating security as the reason.

On the other hand, there are citizens who are of the opinion that the gates make streets as parking lots for the residents and hampers the easy movement of every individual.

The MC officials revealed that the MC Act does have a provision of allowing these gates but only on the permission of the municipal commissioner. However, the final decision is with the MC house.



Feminism comes alive in painting exhibition
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
Feminism came alive in the painting exhibition put up by "We", a group of contemporary Indian painters at the "Virasati Mela Dhiyan Da", which concluded here on Monday.

“We” is the group of 21 young women painters from Chandigarh, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Delhi and various other parts of India.

The famous painting, depicting Sohni with her pitcher in the Chenab, was the epitome of feminism in ancient Punjab, which has been, over the decades, inspiring painters. A young woman artist while applying her strokes said, "I have added vibrancy with colours without interfering with the "mood" that the original works of veteran painters had portrayed in the painting."

Emotions, as they say, when captured on the canvas have a lingering effect on viewers, which was established as the onlookers at the exhibition were hooked to the painting of a mother and daughter.

Appreciating a young artist from Chandigarh, an art aficionado stated, "The conflicting emotions on the face of the mother standing behind her daughter who is lost in the thoughts of her "love" have been beautifully captured."

Splashed with watercolours and oil paints more than two dozen paintings portraying the vices of female foeticide, dowry and ecstatic moods of brides and beloveds were a treat for the onlookers.

The exhibition was a tribute to the first Punjabi woman painter Amrita Shergill. who, according to Sadhna Sangar (the founder of “We”), was a painter with par excellence.

Sadhna who is head of department of fine arts in Government College, Mohali, described Amrita Shergill as a maestro when it came to depiction of bucolic backdrops of Punjab and India at large.



‘Replace inefficient pumps to save power’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
As the acute power shortage has shaken the industry in Punjab, the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry has advised the state government to replace inefficient agriculture pump sets with energy-saving models.

President of Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry PD Sharma said long power cuts had put the credibility of the industry at stake. This has resulted in the loss of clients. He said the financial position of tiny and cottage industry had become miserable due to long power cuts.

He said power cuts had also resulted in shortage of labour. Agricultural labour preferred Punjab as the state that gave them assurance of full-time engagement with the benefit of overtime. With the industrial development taking place in other states, power cuts in Punjab will divert the labour from Punjab to neighbouring states, he added.

He said the situation of acute power crisis could be overcome to some extent by replacing agriculture pump sets with energy-efficient models. He said instead of giving free power to the farmers, a part of the cost of the new efficient pump sets could be subsidised for the poor farmers.

“This will save a lot of power. The Central government is thinking of setting up national missions to enhance energy efficiency in the agriculture and the industrial sectors. It is here that Punjab government can press upon to give financial assistance to the agriculture sector for replacing inefficient pumps,” he said.

“Tractors have a built-in power take off. This is meant to drive other farm equipments. There are over four lakh tractors in Punjab to till 40 lakh hectares of land. It is a norm that tractors should be used for a minimum of 1,000 hours. However, tractor usage is much less in Punjab. The range of most of the tractors fall in the category of 25-40 Hp. On an average, a tractor can generate over 20 KW of power. If only 10 per cent of the tractors are deployed for the purpose, Punjab can produce more than 800 MW of power,” said Sharma.

Farmers who have under-utilised their tractors can get much financial relief due to this arrangement. The money for the power so generated can be given instantaneously to them, 
he added. 



City Concerns
Stop blaming authorities for all ills

Encroachments are a reality on the city roads. Vehicle drivers and pedestrians have to face a lot of difficulties as a result of these. This is what a cross-section of the city residents has to say on the issue

Why do we keep on criticising the authorities for all problems in the city? Do we have no one to come forward with solutions? Walking in the interior areas of the city is becoming increasingly difficult, with each passing day. Life has become to a hell at several places in the city.

It’s better to ask and persuade authorities to deal with such problems honestly. People or vendors encroach upon the roads by putting tables, 'pharis', 'tarpals', benches or in front of the shops. Engaging unemployed youths through NGO’s can check this. It is not possible for the Tehbazari wing of the Municipal Corporation to keep a round-the-clock vigil on encroachments, all over the city.

The pitiable condition of markets in wake of encroachments is openly visible in a number of areas like Field Ganj, Jail Road, Shahpur Road, Moch Pura and Kesar Ganj, besides a few others.

DP Jindal, Ludhiana

Proper parking must

The Gol Market of Model Town is a classical example of being encroached upon by shopkeepers, roadside rehris, haphazard parking and traffic jams. Walking and shopping in the market has become a Herculean task. The pedestrians’ woes aggravate in the absence of traffic cops for regulating the traffic and parking of vehicles.

No vehicle should be allowed inside the market, which should have a proper parking zone. Adjacent to the market is the Guru Nanak College for Girls. Most of the private buses coming to drop or fetch the students park their buses in the residential area near the college particularly during college hours. Encroachment, unauthorised parking, noise and air pollution by these buses, hooliganism and traffic chaos unleashed by eve teasers are a constant pain in the neck of residents.

The buses should not be allowed to be parked in front of private houses and police personnel should be posted during college hours to keep a tab on the lawlessness and traffic jams. Own parking space must be mandatory for showrooms, hospitals, colleges and eating places. Rehris should be moved by the corporation to a rehri market.

Dr JS Chugh, Ludhiana

Turning into mini-Delhi

Ludhiana is also known as the city for cycle and hosiery industry, but, ill-planed architecture is turning it into mini-Delhi. Thus, traffic problems and encroachments persist everywhere. The only possible solution to this problem as well as the shopping places is by the Municipal Corporation taking steps to segregating parking areas at all the places. On the Mall Road many malls and shopping complexes do have their parking lots but those are usually filled and as a result we can see lots of vehicles parked alongside the road. So, at last, the problem cannot be resolved only by making the parking lots but the implementation of its use should be made mandatory. Also the parking charges should be reduced.

Amandeep Kaur, Ludhiana

Political will must

Traffic problems and encroachments are interconnected. Both can be solved if there is a political and administrative will to do so which unfortunately is utterly lacking. Add to this rampant corruption and you have a lethal mixture, which can kill the city.

You have to employ pull and push method. Push means you sincerely remove the encroachments from congested areas and not only because of the High Court orders. Presently, encroachments are being removed only temporarily, essentially for the benefit of media and to avoid contempt of the court. This does not serve any purpose.

Pull means you develop new commercial areas in those parts of the city where there are large number of consumers but lack adequate commercial areas. But this is not being done. The corporation must stop granting permission for construction of new complexes in the already overburdened areas. A case in point is the area between Dugri and Lodhi Club. Two incomplete road sections must be completed and a road of uniform width be made. One side of the road should be developed as commercial area along the entire length of the road like it has been done in Mohali.

SS Jawandha, Ludhiana

Walking in the hell

Certain important points to be raised are:

1)- Plight of pedestrian in the city warrants immediate remedial measure by conscientious citizens and authorities. Virtually it has become a hazardous and harassing affair to walk in the lanes and bazaars of Ludhiana, one feels physically unsafe and psychologically tortured.

2)- Encroachers in the markets and shopping centres hardly leave any space for walking. Haphazards parking before the shops further add to the woes of pedestrians.

3)- Parking chaos in the cassette market lane near Bengali Sweet Shop in Ghumar Mandi has made the life of the people a hell.

4)- Crossing Ghumar Mandi Chowk, a confluence of five roads, without traffic lights and traffic staff on regular duty along with haphazard parking before the shops is nothing short of putting one’s life and limbs at stake.

5) The need of the hour is installation of traffic lights in Ghumar Mandi Chowk. Besides certain areas there be declared as ‘No Parking Zones’ including Cassette market lane and roads leading to Gurdwara Mai Nand Kaur, Maya Nagar along with Dr, Hira Singh Road.

6) To solve this vexing problem MC should not hesitate even to convert public parks in parking places and acquiring land this purpose.

KS Sodhi, Ludhiana

Stern action against violators

Ludhiana has grown into a mega-city and its roads present complete chaos. A visit to busy markets is a troublesome experience. Enjoying political patronage the encroachers have surpassed all limits to grab every available inch in connivance with the corporation staff or otherwise.

Authorities awaken only to curb public outcries without ever trying to stem the rot. Evil men prevail when good people cease their vigilance and struggle. Encroachers understand the nerve of people. Recent move of the SSP to engage Marshals to help traffic police is a commendable step and we should endeavour to make this noble and unique effort a grand success. Stern action should be taken against violators of traffic rules and illegal parking. All illegal vehicles must be confiscated. Traffic police must flow like a butterfly and sting like a bee. The administration may take some additional measures like enforcing one-way traffic on select roads and banning entry of all vehicles in busy markets. This measure will promote the use of bicycles by city residents. The roads may be made green as far as possible to make cycling a pleasure. All busy markets may be declared traffic-free zones. Parking at convenient points may be provided invariably. Let us grapple and finish the problem instead of breast beating.

DN Sharma, Ludhiana



Rs 1,000 notes
Shopkeepers wary
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
Several showroom owners in the city have complained to be getting counterfeit notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 denomination from customers, which have been rejected by them. At the same time, they feel that more awareness has to be generated so that people are not duped.

A showroom owner at Mall Road disclosed that a customer had purchased dress material from the showroom yesterday and paid Rs 5,000. "We have tied up with several banks to send us the latest instructions by the RBI. We instructed our staff here not to accept the notes of this particular series. When we saw the note, we rejected it. Though, the customer kept on convincing us that the note was not fake, we refused to listen to him. We were saved as we were aware but not everyone is as lucky as we were", said the owner, adding that several showroom owners were regularly complaining about the circulation of counterfeit notes in the city.

These counterfeit notes of Rs 1,000 denomination in the series of 2 AQ and 8 AC bear the signature of D.V. Reddy. According to a letter by the General Manager, RBI, to all banks, this was for the first time that counterfeiting of higher denomination notes pertaining to the 2005-2006 series had been brought to the notice of the RBI.

The RBI has also asked the banks to alert the staff handling cash of all branches.



301 units of blood collected
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
Salaam Zindagi Foundation organised a voluntary blood donation camp at the Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib with the help of Parbandhak Committee of Gurdwara Sahib yesterday.

A total of 301 units of blood were collected for the needy thalassaemic children.

The camp was inaugurated by gurdwara mukh sewadar Pritpal Singh, who appreciated the efforts of the organisation and declared to organise at least two voluntary blood donation camps every year.



Induction programme at management institute
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, September 2
The Punjab Institute of Management and Technology (PIMT), Mandi Gobindgarh, organised an induction programme for MBA and MCA students today.

PIMT director, Dr AS Joshi, addressed the gathering and highlighted the key features of the institute to the new students.

He emphasised that the institute focused on total quality management, which made the students competent and ready to meet the demands and challenges of the 21st Century.

He also motivated the students to come forward with articles to be published in the “PIMT Journal of Research”.



Pondy Lt-Governor woos industrialists
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
The newly appointed Lt-Governor, Pondicherry, Iqbal Singh, visited the city after taking over the charge as Lt-Governor.

He invited industrialist to invest and explore the business and tourism opportunities in the UT.

Iqbal Singh was honoured by the International Youth Organisation, representatives of the Freedom Fighters Association, veteran soldiers, pensioners and NGOs at Circuit House here today.

Iqbal Singh thanked the people of Punjab for extending him cooperation during his entire career and appealed to the industrialists for making investments in Pondicherry, as the UT was a quite peaceful and fast growing place, ideal for the tourism industry.

He also asked the people to visit Pondicherry as it was a wonderful tourist spot.



Traffic awareness camp at college
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 2
A one-day traffic awareness camp was organised at Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women for NSS and NCC wings of the college.

Jagmail Singh and Sukhdev Singh, head constables from traffic education cell, Children Traffic Training Park, Ludhiana, imparted valuable information to the students about the importance of obeying traffic rules.

They have been visiting the colleges and other places to make the general public aware of the traffic rules.

Principal Dr Parveen Kaur Chawla also stressed upon the need of obeying traffic rules in the city.



Rs 1.5 lakh missing from ITI Manuke Safe
No locks found broken

Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 2
Thieves decamped with Rs 1.5 lakh from the ITI of Manuke village near here. Though the theft seems to have been taken place sometime during the three holidays of Friday, Saturday and Sunday in broad daylight, it came to notice on Monday when the ITI reopened.

Principal of the ITI Rai Singh, however, ruled out any external hand in the theft, as the thieves did not break even a single lock. He said the thieves must have struck during the day, as there is a permanent night watchman of the ITI, who was on duty on all three holidays.

The thieves, he said, first entered his office by opening it with a key to obtain the keys of the room of the clerk. Thereafter, they opened the clerk room and out of the three almirah kept in the room, they opened the almirah of the cashier and took about from 61,000 from it along with the two keys of the safe vault installed in the office of the principal. They then opened the safe with the keys and took out about Rs 86,000 from it and left the campus of ITI after locking all locks.

Interestingly, it has come to the notice after the theft that Satnam Singh, the cashier, had during his three-year tenure, never deposited the amount in the bank on time i.e. the next working day. He was keeping huge amount in his almirah for more than a week. During the last three years, about six principals assumed the chair, but none could know that both keys of the safe vault were in the custody of Satnam Singh. Principal Rai Singh maintained that these all are violations of procedures, as the amount must be deposited in the bank on time and both keys should be kept in the secure custody of at least two different persons on security reasons.

Mohammad Jamil, in charge of the Hathoor police post, however maintained that he had got a complaint in the matter.



2 Nihangs held with stolen car
Our Correspondent

Khamano, September 2
The Khamano police has arrested two Nihangs with a stolen Zen car. DSP Khamano Anil Kumar while talking to mediapersons said on August 29, three Nihangs stopped Iqbal Singh, a resident of Ghungrali village, Sikhan, saying that they had no petrol in their motorcycle.

When he opened the window of the car, they overpowered him and took control of the car.

The owner, somehow, escaped from their clutches after they robbed him of his purse, mobile phone and car.

He filed a complaint with the police. As a result, a team led by SHO Ashok Kumar nabbed the two Nihang's whereas the third accused is yet to be nabbed.

The Khamano police has registered a case under Sections 382 and 34 of the IPC and the court remanded them to one-day police custody.



Body found near Humbran
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, September 2
The body of a youth, identified as Kulwant Singh (28) of Baniawal near Humbran, was recovered from Humbran yesterday under mysterious circumstances.

The body was recovered from the bushes near an eating joint on the Ludhiana Sidhwan Bet road.

According to investigations, he earlier used to run a cycle repair shop in Humbran but later started working with a private bus operator.

SHO Dharampal said the deceased seemed to have died under the influence of liquor.

The police proceeded under Section 174 of the CrPC on the statement of the father of the deceased and handed over the body to the family after a postmortem.



Steffi wins 3 titles
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, September 2
Steffi Kala, a student of class X of Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, gave an excellent performance to win three titles in the Junior Punjab State Badminton Championship organised by the Patiala District Badminton Association at Rajinder Gymkhana Mahindra Club, Baradari, Patiala, from August 27 to August 30.

Steffi, a state champion in the junior section, gave a stupendous performance when she rattled Damanpreet Kaur from Sangrur, current state champion in the senior category.

In the under-19 category, Steffi overpowered Damanpreet in the straight sets 21-11 and 21-15 to romp home victorious.

Then in the doubles, Steffi teaming up with Neelam of Nawanshahr got the better of Jaspreet Kaur of Jalandhar and Shelja of Ferozepur whom they drubbed easily 21-15 and 21-12.

Steffi hogged limelight in the inter-district team event also. She along with Harveen Kaur outperformed the pair of Damanpreet Kaur and Muskan, both from Sangrur. They won the verdict 21-7, 21-12.

Another player from the city, Anand Tiwari also excelled in the meet. He paired with Bob Sharma from Patiala to annex the title in the boys’ doubles section.

Mohinder Singh Grewal and Vipin Dawar, president and general secretary, respectively, of the District Badminton Association, Ludhiana, congratulated Steffi Kala and Anand Tiwari for bringing fame to the association as well as the city.



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