L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


25 swine flu ‘suspects’ kept in isolation
Alert as patient attended cousin’s wedding on Sept 30
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
Twenty-five persons of a joint family that resides in Sarabha Nagar have been identified as the “suspects” as they were constantly in touch with their NRI relative, who was tested positive for H1N1 virus on September 3 at the PGI in Chandigarh.

The relative of the family had come from Canada for attending his cousin’s wedding but got sick soon after landing in the city.

Rapid Response Team (RRT) formed to deal with the Swine Flu cases swung into action as each of the family members was put on preventive medication followed by complete isolation.

The NRI had attended a wedding at Kothari resorts on September 30, which had a gathering of almost 1,000 people. Going by the incubation period of Swine Flu, which is five to 10 days, those showing symptoms should go in for swab sample test.

However, district epidemiologist, Dr GP Mangla, stated that they had made the lists of persons who came in direct contact with the person infected by H1N1 virus and added that things were under control.

The authorities are not sure of the fact whether the infection travelled from Canada or the individual came in contact with the infection on his flight.

The file of all above details has been prepared and sent to the state nodal official for Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme Dr Deepak Bhatia in Chandigarh.

The swab samples of two servants and three members of the family have been sent to the PGI for test. District epidemiologist Dr GP Mangla said: “Having identified the cluster of suspects, we in order to take precautionary measures have sent five samples for testing. The reports will be available by tomorrow evening,” Dr Mangla added.

At the same time, the district health authorities have criticised the role of a local corporate hospital where the NRI was initially admitted following the symptoms of Swine Flu. The authorities of the hospital concerned failed to report the same to the civil surgeon’s office. It is mandatory for the private hospitals to report all confirmed as well as suspected cases of Swine Flu, which has been declared a pandemic, to the civil surgeon’s office.

Meanwhile, Palak Setia (9), a city-based girl, who was undergoing treatment for Swine Flu at the CMCH, has been discharged.


Six-year-old crushed to death
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
An over-speeding Mercedes crushed to death a six-year- old boy near ESI Hospital here today. The deceased has been identified as Sahil, son of Ashwani Kumar, a resident of Jawahar Nagar. The incident took place this afternoon while Sahil was playing along with his friends on the corner street.

According to an eyewitness, three men were sitting inside the car when this accident took place. While, a man in his mid-40’s who is said to be the vehicle owner was driving the car, the other two were sitting on the navigator and the rear seat of the silver coloured Mercedes.

The eyewitness further said as the road was blocked due to some construction work, the man opted to drive his Mercedes through a narrow by lane near the ESI hospital.

The man suddenly lost control over the vehicle and the car ran straight towards Sahil, who was playing on the corner of the road.

Sahil was rushed to DMC hospital where the doctors declared him brought dead.

The trio managed to flee from the spot. Later infuriated residents tried to set the car ablaze, but police reached managed to disperse the crowd. The police took the possession of the vehicle and started the investigation. The identity of the accused could not be established till the filing this report. Meanwhile, the police was trying to track the ownership of the vehicle from its number (PB- 10- CL- 7578).

Balbir Singh, in charge, Kochar Market police post, said: “We are investigating the case and tracking the persons who were behind the wheel.”


Kaind Bridge
Admin ignores warning, puts ribbon reflector
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 4
The administration seems to be least bothered about the safety of thousands of commuters and motorists travelling to and fro on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road, who are at risk with inadequate barricade along the Kaind Bridge on a canal near Dehlon.

Instead of constructing barricade or filling the gap, the authorities have tried to evade responsibility by putting a reflector ribbon after a story on the issue was published about a fortnight ago.

With the authorities concerned turning a blind eye to a damaged portion of railing of the bridge, a major tragedy is waiting to happen. Heavy rains in the recent weeks have further eroded the banks of the canal adjoining the bridge.

A visit to the spot revealed that the banks of the canal adjoining the bridge’s railing had eroded badly. Boundaries along all four corners of the bridge have turned virtual death traps for commuters. Gap between southwestern end of the railing and the bank has widened to such an extent that even four-wheelers, including buses and trucks can pass through it.

The situation had worsened after workers of a contractor dismantled the old bridge a few months ago. Besides removing waste materials from the banks, the workers had even removed the earth. Passage constructed for the plying of trucks and trolleys carrying the earth is now posing a threat for those passing over the bridge.

Even after publication of a story highlighting unconcern of the authorities, contractors seemed to have performed a ritual to show their concern about commuters’ safety. To pass on responsibility on the commuters they have tied a red cloth reflector across the gap.

Though the officials supervising the work had said the railing would be repaired shortly, no concrete action has been taken in this connection so far.



Absenteeism in MC office
Beware! Superintendents watching you
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
Attitude of the municipal corporation officials to take things easily could land them in trouble from now onwards. Reason-Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura has issued an order to the civic body employees to maintain a movement register.

The orders, copy of which is with The Tribune, reveals that whenever officers of various departments like the house tax and the building branch, etc are asked to be present before the mayor, many of them take the pleas like they are gone on a hearing of the court case or are in field. However, when it comes to proving their presence in such places, many officials fail to do so.

To curb this irregularity, a movement register would be maintained in every zone by the superintendents of various branches. Whenever an employee leaves his seat, he needs to make an entry into the register stating the reason where is he going and who has called him. The orders were passed on September 30.

They further states that zonal commissioners shall check this register regularly and on the day of inspection, they should sign the document along with their comments. Apart from it, special instructions have been given that no department meeting would be held before 2 pm because during morning it’s generally public dealing.

“The Mayor and the municipal commissioner had to face embarrassing moments on numerous occasions when delegations and people come to meet them in the morning. They try to call the officers and those smelling rat make various reasons for not coming in front of them. This has really irked the mayor and forced him to issue orders,” sources revealed.

There is a provision about this in the service rules, but it has never been followed. However, they hope that this direction might help in improving public dealing provided orders are followed in true spirit.



Man decamps with Rs 23 lakh, nabbed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
The coordination between the inter-district police yet again a played pivotal role as a man, who had snatched the bag containing Rs 23 lakh cash from a cashier of the Sate Bank of Patiala, Batala branch, was nabbed last night.

The accused has been identified as Hemraj, an assistant lineman with the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) and a resident of Kalanor near Batala, Gurdaspur border.

Addressing the press conference DIG SS Chauhan appreciated the efforts of both police chiefs, which led to the arrest of the accused from near Ladhowal.

Giving details about the incident the SSP said, “Yesterday evening I received a call from SSP Batala, who briefed me about the entire episode."

The SSP said his counterpart in Batala informed him that the accused was visiting his in-laws who live in Haibowal.

Soon after receiving the information a police team frisked all vehicles and people entering the area.

Later in the evening a couple, who were heading towards the city, was stopped by the police. On being frisked, the police found the booty from the accused,” the SSP added.

Hemraj was questioned. He soon cracked and confessed committing the crime. He said he had an obsession for a lottery and that was the reason way he went to the Sate Bank of Patiala, Batala branch to apply for a loan.

Hemraj said: “While I was waiting in the bank I saw the cashier filling the bag with cash. As soon as the cashier left the bag for collecting more cash from the drawer, I quietly took the bag and made good a escape on a motorbike.”

On reaching home Hemraj told his wife Nidhi Sharma that he had a fight with a few persons over an issue. And added that people were following him and could reach his home anytime. He told his wife to quickly pack the bags so that they could leave the city at the earliest.

According to the police, his wife had no inkling that her husband was on the run after committing a theft.



Theft at SBoP
Accused had obsession for playing lottery
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Lottery stalls at Clock Tower in Ludhiana on Sunday.
Lottery stalls at Clock Tower in Ludhiana on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, October 4
The greed to become instantly rich by playing lottery led to the undoing of Hemraj, an assistant lineman with the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), who fled with a bag containing cash Rs 23 lakh from State Bank of Patiala, Batala branch, and was later nabbed along with his wife Nidhi Sharma by the police.

During the interrogation, Hemraj revealed that he had an addiction for playing lottery and wanted to play the same with the entire amount of Rs 23 lakh. He further said he used to spend his entire salary on playing lottery and was currently in debt of lakhs of rupees he borrowed from people on high rate of interest.

Hemraj’s addiction to lottery is not a stray case. There is a sizable chunk of people in the city who have lost everything, from home to their salaries, for playing lottery.

They pay scant regards if their children are sleeping without food. Many cases have come to light where the addiction to lottery has led to divorce between couples.

Clock Tower, said to be the hub of the town’s lottery trade, witnesses hectic activity from dawn to dusk, as people who fantasise that there fortune would change overnight, throng the place.

These fortune-seekers, majority of them consisting of migrants, try their luck in lottery bazaar. They daydream that one-day they would be rich enough to buy a car. However, they only become poorer with each passing day.

Lottery market on the Gyaspura road, Sherpur Chowk and Vishwakarma Colony in the Focal Point area, are also quite popular with migrant labourers who eke out a living by doing menial jobs. They come with all their earnings and mostly go away a disappointed lot.

‘Kachi parchi’, an illegal trade where a paper slip indicating the time of the lottery and the number of tickets for which it is valid, is given to the buyers. This trade is largely based on trust and the money earned through ‘kachi parchi’ goes straight into the pocket of a lottery trader.

Though the police was doing its bit to nab people who were running the illegal lottery trade, the offenders exploited the lacuna in the legal system and again indulged in the illegal trade.

There are people who spend their day discussing and guessing about the number which would be announced through a draw.

Hemraj was just one amongst the many lottery addicts who wanted to become rich overnight and hence he committed the theft, said a senior police official.



Drug abuse: Chemists act as catalyst
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, October 4
Empty bottles of intoxicants on the Boparai-Guru Teg Bahadur road and opposite to one of the schools of Doraha are a clear indication of the intensity with which the drug trade is being followed here and in the surrounding areas and at the same time its crazy intake by the school and college going kids.

The authorities have till date shown peripheral concern for the crude fact that more than half of the medical stores at Sahnewal and Doraha are doing brisk business by selling ‘death’ at cheaper rates.

“While the life saving drugs as penicillin, histaglobulin etc are generally in short supply, ironically there is no dearth of life shattering drugs as Luminol, cough-syrups as Corex, muscle relaxants as Spasmo-proxivon and Parvon, Fortwin injections, Gardinal (drug for epilepsy), other anti-depressant drugs, pain-killers etc,” remarked one of the renowned surgeons of the area.

Chemists also do not give two hoots to the raids being carried out by the drug department and its staff from time to time. “Much more is actually required to be done when a raid is conducted,” viewed one of the chemists of the town.

“These raids are more than usual for the chemists whose primary business thrives less on the sale of life-saving drugs and more on these varied life-shattering drugs,” added another chemist. Majority of the chemists and RMPs practicing in the surrounding villages are also involved in the free trade of these ‘restricted’ drugs.

“All these drugs are a controlled item and supposed to be sold only at the written prescription of a qualified doctor. Moreover, the record of its sale and purchase has to be maintained at all costs,” commented a doctor.

“Not even a single village of entire Sahnewal-Doraha belt has remained aloof from this menace. Most of the youngsters have taken to more than easy ways of life, thus ruining their lives to the extent of destruction,” commented a sarpanch of one such village.

“The entire responsibility now rests on the shoulders of the government, which is totally insensitive to this most sensitive issue. Things can take a turn for the better if the production of such ‘restricted’ drugs is restricted still further. The situation has worsened as these items are in abundant supply,” rued a reformist.

“It seems that everything has turned topsy-turvy. The children have been sidetracked due to the unfocused involvement of parents in their daily activities and at the same time the disinterestedness of teachers and guides towards giving them a constructive piece of advice as has been noticed in majority of cases,” opined an intellectual.



200 gm smack seized; kingpin held
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 4
A drug peddler was arrested for possessing 200 gm of smack from near the crematorium here last night.

According to Gurpreet Singh Sikand, DSP, Malerkotla, a police team arrested Joginder Singh Ginda of Dhuri during night patrol on the outskirts of the town and seized the smack from his possession.

Sikand said: “After receiving information about the activities of addicts and drug peddlers in the town, we directed SHO Harinder Singh and Bhagwant Singh, SHO Sadar, to intensify the vigil. It was around midnight that the police team intercepted the suspect coming from the Chhanna side and seized a packet of smack from his pocket,” he added.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Ginda was kingpin of a gang that has been involved in illegal trafficking of drugs and narcotics for the past several years. Besides smuggling illicit liquor and poppy husk the gang members used to bring smack from Lucknow and distribute it among small dealers in this area. The contraband was handed over the consignees at deserted places decided on telephone. The present consignment was to be delivered to a youth of Chhappar village near here. The smuggler is facing numerous cases against him at various police stations of Malwa.



No brakes on underage driving
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Students continue to bring vehicles to schools inspite of being warned against it. Also, they adopt novel methods of avoiding punishment by parking vehicles in nearby markets

Ludhiana, October 4
Underage driving has been rampant in the industrial town, thanks to the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities and lack of responsibility among parents.

Unmindful of the consequences of such driving, families, especially those belonging to the elite class, allow to their wards to drive their way to schools.

Some underage students even drive luxury cars to schools in violation of the directives of their school authorities.

Consequently, a large number of fatal accidents have occurred in the recent past and the menace is far from slowing down.

Just two days ago, two youngsters lost their lives and two others were seriously injured in one such accident.

The city has grown both in population and number of vehicles, with the result that roads have been bursting at the seams, leading to increase in numbers of road accidents.

Traffic is in a state of chaos and traffic jams are the order of the day. Unprecedented power cuts have aggravated the problem, as traffic signals do not function during such cuts.

And even when there is power supply, majority of traffic signals remain out of order.

The city has around 25 CBSE affiliated schools and a number of them are located in posh and congested residential and business areas. Students belonging to rich families are the mainstay of these public schools.

A number of school heads contacted by The Tribune expressed helplessness in checking underage driving.

They said students continued to bring their vehicles to schools in spite of being warned against it. Also, they adopted novel methods of avoiding punishment by parking vehicles in nearby markets.

School heads added that parents, instead of stopping their wards from engaging in driving, went on to encourage them.

RS Patyal, principal, DAV Public School, said: “We do not allow students to bring any motorised vehicle to the school. Only those in classes XI and XII are allowed to bring scooters, provided they have the learner’s licence. We even conduct checks at the entry points to the school to prevent students from bringing vehicles.”

He expressed surprise at the transport department authorities for issuing driver’s licence to students without verifying their date of birth from schools.

He also accused parents of producing wrong date of birth certificates just to get driver’s licence for their wards.

Paramjit Kaur, principal, BCM Arya Senior Secondary School Shastri Nagar, said: “We only allow bicycles with token to enter the school premises. If students bring scooters or cars and park these outside the premises, they do it at their own risk and the school authorities are not responsible for it.”

Enquiries show that touts at the DTO office help in procuring driver’s licence for youngsters by allegedly bribing officials.

Roopinder Singh, SP (traffic), said the police department regularly organised educational sessions in schools to aware students about the dangers of underage driving.

Pamphlets were distributed among students regarding traffic rules.

He said only gearless scooters could be driven by students over 16 years of age and a driver’s licence could only be issued to an individual once he attained the age of 18.

The police department challaned students for underage driving and during special drives 100-150 challans were issued every month, he added. However, it was not proving to be a deterrent, he said.

The SP said parents did not cooperate with them and instead encouraged their children to indulge in underage driving.

However, parents contended that they had to drop their wards to schools and bring them back. And then their children had to go for tuitions. It was difficult for them to spare time from their daily schedule to transport children, they added.

One of the parents said his daughter went to the school on an e-bike, which did not require driver’s license or registration.



Inter-state teacher exchange programme launched
Tribune Reporters

Raikot, October 4
With an intent to contribute their role in building a stronger and better nation, the Council of Teachers Education (CTE) has launched an interstate teacher exchange programme. The Assam and Punjab Chapter of the Council have already joined hands to accomplish goal of teaching excellence in the first stage.

This was disclosed by Dr Dev Raj Vij and Dr Nilima Bhagwati, presidents of the CET Punjab and Assam, respectively, on conclusion of the three-day goodwill mission tour of educational institutes of the border state.

While talking to The Tribune after interacting with residents of the area at Government Senior Secondary School, Bhaini Baringa village, near here yesterday, the Assamese educationist delegates led by Dr Bhagwati acknowledged that the education method of Punjab was one of the best systems of the nation.

“After visiting educational institutes of many states we have observed that the education system of the border state is the best. It is undoubtedly the most colourful and vibrant system in India,” said Dr Bhagwati hoping that teacher and technology exchange programme between most eastern and western states would elevate standard of education of both the regions.

Terming education system of any entity to be foundation stone of its development, Dr Bhagwati and Dr Vij claimed that we could not think of competing with other nations without further improving our teaching methodology.

The Assamese delegates appreciated various features of the education system of Punjab. Referring to observations made during the visit to universities, colleges and schools of the state, the delegates appreciated that mandatory teacher training during BEd and colourful morning assemblies were unmatchable.

The educationists maintained that coordination among Punjabi and Assamese teachers would facilitate more research work and publish better literature besides preserving kaleidoscopic culture of the two states.

The delegation also extended an invitation to teachers of Punjab to visit Assam for teachers exchange programme.



Tired of bad roads, choked sewerage
Industrialists want CM to visit Focal Point
KS Chawla

Ludhiana, October 4
While Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has been frequenting the city and talking development, industrialists want him to visit Focal Point, Dhandari Kalan, and see for himself the plight of roads there. The Focal Point is one of the most important industrial areas of the state.

However, potholed roads, choked sewers, littered garbage and haphazard parking is all that is visible there.

Roads have been badly damaged and have deep potholes with stagnant water, taking a toll on expensive vehicles of industrialists who run their units there.

The Focal Point has a large number of large-scale and medium-scale units, including some corporation offices.

The sewerage system is in complete mess and the municipal corporation, which collects huge amounts in house tax, has never bothered to get it cleaned.

Manjit Singh Khalsa, chairman, Industrial Advisory Council of Focal Points, said the corporation had not employed a single sewerman to clean the sewerage.

Instead, the advisory council, which comprises local units, has employed 28 sewermen to get it cleaned. Almost all sewer lines are choked and require huge machinery for cleanup.

Industrialists rue that they fill the coffers of parties during elections but the latter never care to even provide them with basic amenities.

Now, they have invited the Chief Minister to visit the Focal Point to see for himself the plight of civic amenities there.

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had visited the Focal Point to address industrialists some time ago but the route followed by his convoy bypassed the ugly side of the industrial hub.

They want the Chief Minister to inspect the performance of the municipal corporation and other departments concerned vis-à-vis the development of Focal Point.

Representatives of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings met the Chief Minister last month and highlighted the problem to him. The government has sanctioned Rs 7 crore and an equal amount would be spent by the municipal corporation for recarpeting roads and improving the sewerage system of the Focal Point.

MC Commissioner AK Sinha and Deputy Commissioner Vikas Garg held a meeting with representatives of the industry recently and discussed the implementation plans for the development of the Focal Point.

Rajnish Ahuja, president, Focal Point Sheds Association, said they pointed out the need for getting the sewerage system in order before the roads were recarpeted.

The drainage system was also a cause for concern, as rainwater often got accumulated on roads. Further, there were no parks and the green belt has been encroached upon by influential people and jhuggi dwellers.

The Focal Point also has a dry port which caters to the needs of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.

Huge consignments are cleared for export and import from the port. However, huge trucks and trailers remain parked on both sides of the roads, causing traffic jams. The industrialists want a separate parking area for trucks and trailers.

Sinha said experts from Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College had collected soil samples of the area and they would give new designs of the roads within a fortnight.

After the approval of the design, tenders would be floated for the construction of roads. He said six major roads would be covered under the project.



Villagers protest waterlogging
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 4
Residents of Leela Megh Singh today openly confronted the decision of panchayat over draining the stinking pond water on the village roads. There are three ponds in the village and none of them had been cleaned and de-silted for the past many months.

Though as per records, Rs 10,000 were spent for cleaning the ponds of the village in 2004, apparently everything was only on papers. Now, the panchayat of the village, under sarpanch Bakshish Singh, had decided that the overflowing water of the pond to be drained in the sewer of the village.

With the drainage of pond water into the village sewerage, the water had stagnated over around 1-km stretch of the road itself. The stagnant water had caused inconvenience particularly to the small school going children. It was damaging the road itself.

Gurcharan Singh, a resident of the village, said the stinking water was entering his house, making his life, and that of his family, miserable. Another resident Santokh Singh, snubbing the decision of the sarpanch, said there were many ways to evacuate excess water from the pond.

Releasing the pond water on the road was no solution to the problem, rather it had added to the problems of many others. Due to waterlogging on the road, the village had become vulnerable to many diseases as the larvae of mosquitoes were now breeding over it.

The primary school of the village is just half km from the road under water while the senior secondary school is also within a range of 1 km. Paramjit Kaur, another villager, said the students had no other option but to pass through the water or to go to school accompanied by elders.

Balbir Singh, a resident of the village, said: “Whenever we approach the sarpanch over the issue of waterlogging, he asks us to contact the sanitary employees.” Balbir added that the sanitary employees demanded bottles of liquor to do the job, but instead of questioning the sanitary employees the sarpanch justified their demand saying they could not go into the stinking water without consuming liquor.

Sarpanch Bakshish Singh, however, dismissed the complaints of the villagers and said he had no other option left than to release the water in the village drainage lines or the houses built around the pond would have submerged as the level of water in the pond was continuously rising.

He said the water was released in the village sewer at night so that the villagers did not face any problem. He, however, also maintained that the village pond has not been cleaned by the authorities for many years.



Baba Than Singh Chowk-Laxmi Cinema stretch
MC sleeps over recarpeting
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
The condition of the road network in the city has been deteriorating with each passing day, hitting the motorists hard. And the municipal corporation is being accused of failing to improve the infrastructure.

While roads throughout the city need attention, the stretch from Baba Than Singh Chowk to Laxmi Cinema in particular has become a a potential threat for motorists due to its poor condition.

Ramesh Kumar, who commutes on the road regularly, said: “The stretch is accident prone especially with schoolchildren commuting on it daily.” He lambasted the civic authorities for the present condition of the road.

The road falls in the wards of Congress councillors Sanjay Talwar and Rakesh Parashar and work orders for its recarpeting were issued around four months ago.

However, the contractor concerned has failed to initiate the work so far.

Talking to The Tribune, the councillors said: “Four schools, Civil Hospital and several religious institutions are connected by the road, but the municipal corporation has done nothing in spite of their raising the issue in the MC house. Work estimate of Rs 99 lakh for it was approved under general quota, but it was later shifted to sangat darshan quota.”

They added that during the MC house meeting, MC Commissioner SK Sinha had sought three days’ time and when they met him 10 days later, he again promised to initiate work in two days, but to no avail.

XEN PK Chaddha said: “The work on recarpeting was suspended due to rains. The weather is likely to improve in a few days, after which the work will be started immediately.”



Snag in Transformers
People spend sleepless nights
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
Following a major snag that damaged one out of the two main transformers at 220 KV Lalton sub station, those living in urban and rural areas of the city are being subjected to “sleepless nights”.

The makeshift arrangements made by the board officials have added to the problems of the city residents as they are getting power supply at alternate hours.

“It has been two sleepless nights for me and my children as we are getting power supply on alternate hours and the time is not sufficient for the invertors to get charged” complained Avninder Kaur, a resident of Dugri.

The transformer collapsed two days ago thereby disrupting the power supply to 66 KV substations at Model Town, Gill Road, Dugri, Basant Park and Alamgir in urban areas and at Narangwal and Pakhowal in rural areas.

Deputy chief engineer (City East) HS Randhwana called upon the people suffering on account of “damaged transformer” to bear with the PSEB.

The transformer that weighs 100 tonnes is irreparable and has to be reinstalled which according to the PSEB officials in Ludhiana is a cumbersome process. The transformer will become functional only after a week’s time.

More than 35 workers of the field staff and technicians of the board are working round-the-clock to install the new transformer.

Deputy chief engineer (City East) stated that the total cost of the transformer is Rs 8 crore. He added that the body of the transformer had been transported from the board’s workshop in Jamsher near Jalandhar.

However, the dip in the temperature following today’s rainfall has decreased the electricity load, which according to the officials will enable them to ensure “undisrupted” power supply in the areas falling under the Lalton substation.



Megha, Gagandeep win declamation contest
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, October 4
In order to acquaint students with BEd course curriculum, Doraha College of Education recently organised an orientation week in the college campus.

Sukhpal Singh, chairman of Doraha Group of Institutions, told the students about the historical background of the college and extended his blessings on the new prospective teachers.

The students were acquainted with various domains of BEd course like core papers, options, work experience, co-curricular activities, community work, school experience programme, internal assessment, houses, tutorials, associations, college, library rules and regulations etc. throughout the whole week.

During the course of the orientation week, students celebrated Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s birthday with vigour to pay a sincere tribute to the martyr. A declamation and poem recitation contest was organised on the life and sacrifice of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. Megha Sharma, Gagandeep Kaur and Amritpal Kaur won the first, second and third prizes, respectively, in the contest. Pallvi Sharma was declared first in poem recitation.



Runaway success for BVM athletes
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 4
Athletes from Bharatiya Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Udham Singh Nagar branch, bagged 31 medals in the Ludhiana District Athletics Championship held at Guru Nanak Stadium on October 1 and 2.

Boys and girls who finished among position holders in the two-day meet include (girls u-16): Urmila - gold medals in 1500 m race and 3000 m race, Anmol Puri - silver medals in 1500 m race, 5 km walk and bronze medal in 800 m race; u-18: Deepika Pathak - silver medals in 100 m, 200 m races and long jump; Ganga Gautam - silver medals in 400 m, 1500 m and 3000 m races; u-20: Kamajeet Kaur - bronze medals in 100 m, 1500 m races and long jump.

Boys u-16: Prabhat Singh - silver medals in 400 m and 800 m races; Anubhav Sharma - bronze medal in 100 m race; u-18: Harpreet Singh - gold medal in 400 m hurdle; Raghav Mohindru - bronze medal in 800 m race; u-20: Shashi Kant - gold medal in javeline throw, Gagandeep - silver medals in discus throw and javelin throw; Anil Sharma - silver medals in 110 m hurdle, 400m hurdle and long jump; Tushar - bronze medals in 400 m race and 110 m hurdle; Lokesh- bronze medal in 100 m sprint; Nitin Kumar - silver medal in 110 m hurdle; Neeraj - bronze medals in discus throw and javeline throw.



13 shortlisted for ‘Mr Singh’ contest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
Auditions for Mr Singh International Contest were held here today. The event is being organsied by Akal Purakh Ki Fauj.

This is the third season of the contest, which is held every two years. “Sabat surat sardars” are eligible to participate in the contest, according to a press release issued by the organisers here today.

The auditions for the event are taking place all over the country.

Over 100 Sikh youths participated in the preliminary round of auditions here today. After personality and question rounds, 13 candidates were shortlisted for the next round.

All shortlisted candidates will now undergo a 15-day self-development camp at Amritsar, wherein they would be given training in Sikh culture, personality development, theatre, etc.

The finals will take place at Amritsar on November 28.



Badal visits women jail
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 4
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal took the police as well as the district administration by surprise when he conducted a surprise visit to the women jail located on the Tajpur Road here today.

The Chief Minister had expressed his inclination to visit the central jail in the morning, but changed his plan at the last minute and visited the women jail instead.

According to sources, Badal stayed at the jail for 10 minutes and later directed Deputy Commissioner Vikas Garg to start training institutes for women inmates so that they could become self-dependent.

According to sources, the Chief Minister did not interact with the inmates.

Jail Superintendent Snehjot Dhawan confirmed the visit of the Chief Minister to the jail.

Badal reportedly expressed satisfaction over the hygiene condition in the jail.



Phillauri’s birth anniversary celebrated

Ludhiana, October 4
The Pandit Sharda Ram Phillauri Memorial Welfare Society, Punjab, celebrated the 172nd birth anniversary of Pt Sharda Ram Phillauri here today.

MP Manish Tewari was the chief guest, who paid floral tributes to Phillauri. Tewari remarked that Pandit Phillauri had given a great gift to the world in the form of his composition of verse “Om Jai Jagdish Hare”.

Tewari said he would talk with the Centre to release a postal stamp in the name of the writer-poet. — TNS



Couple arrested in dowry case
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 4
The Ludhiana (rural) police has arrested Amarjit Singh and his wife Rajwant Kaur of Sudhar village, who along with three other persons had been booked under Sections 406, 498 A and 120 of IPC for allegedly harassing the daughter of a local Congress leader for bringing meager dowry.

The three other suspects - Harjinder Singh (husband), Sinder Pal Kaur, aunt-in-law, and Harpal Singh, uncle-in-law - were reported absconding.

According to an FIR registered at the Sudhar police station, Jagtar Singh, former OSD to a former Congress minister, had married his daughter Ramandeep Kaur to Harjinder Singh of Sudhar on December 30, 2006.

Things went smoothly for a few months after which the suspects started harassing Ramandeep for bringing meager dowry.

Jagtar and his relatives gave huge amounts to her in-laws but their demand for a luxury car complicated the matter.

Ramandeep alleged that the accused had been torturing her physically and mentally for all these years and friends and relatives of both families had intervened many a time to patch things up.

SSP Ludhiana (rural) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar had directed Mukhtiar Singh DSP (H) to verify the allegations levelled by the complainant against the accused.

Acting on the inquiry report of the investigating team, the SHO Sudhar booked the suspects under the dowry Act and constituted a team led by Bhagat Ram to arrest them.

Amarjit Singh, father-in-law, and his wife Rajwant Kaur were arrested when they were trying to leave the area yesterday.

However, the other accused were still at large.



Gang of women robbers busted; 4 held
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, October 4
The police claimed to have got a major breakthrough with the arrest of four members of a gang of women highway robbers. Sunil Kumar, driver of a truck (PB 12 B 7679), of Bathinda in his complaint to the police had alleged that four women carrying some bundles had signalled him to stop when he was going towards Jagraon.

When he stopped his vehicle, they snatched his purse containing Rs 6,800 in cash.

Acting on the complaint, a police team led by Swaran Singh arrested the gang members when they were waiting for another prey.

The police booked all four, including Jaswinder Kaur, Gurmeet Kaur and Pammi of Moga and Jaspal Kaur of Amritsar, under Section 379 of the IPC.

Investigations revealed that the gang was allegedly involved in flesh trade and used to rob people whenever they got a chance.

They worked in group and used to hitch a ride from drivers of different vehicles. They would then solicit sex.

If the person accepted the offer, the gang used to rob the victim. In case the person resisted, the gang used threaten him with implicating him in molestation and attempted rape charges.



Man killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Khamano, October 4
One person was killed and three others, including two women, injured in an accident on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road near Jatana village here today.

Surinder Kumar, a resident of Ludhiana, along with his daughter, son and sister was returning in a car after attending a marriage in Chandigarh when the car hit a tree. Surinder was killed on the spot.



Softball Meet
GNKC eves retain title
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 4
Students of Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Gujarkhan Campus, Model Town, gave an excellent performance to win the title for the third consecutive year in the Panjab University Inter-College Softball Championship, held at Panjab University campus, Chandigarh, recently.

In this championship, Guru Nanak Khalsa College players wrapped up all their three matches to romp home victorious.

In the first encounter, they proved too good for DD Jain College, Ludhiana, whom they drubbed 10-0 to start the campaign in a style.

However, the next match, played between Guru Nanak Khalsa College and Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College, Sector 26, Chandigarh turned out to be a keenly contested affair in which the former managed to squeeze past 3-1.

In the third match, Guru Nanak Khalsa College eves outperformed Ramgarhia Girls College, Miller Ganj, Ludhiana, 8-0 to fetch the title for the third time in a row.

Baljeet Kaur led the Guru Nanak Khalsa College squad comprising Kuljeet Kaur, Navdeep Kaur, Arshi, Daljeet Kaur, Amanjit Kaur, Sandeep Kaur, Sukhbir Kaur and Shweta.

Dr Karamjit Kaur, college principal, congratulated the girls and coaches Sukhdev Singh and Harbir Singh Gill for their performance.



KVM trounce CRPF School
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 4
Thanks to an all-round performance by Abhishek Talwar (66 runs and 2 for 9) and batting contribution by Himanshu Chawla (57), Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, Ludhiana, registered a comfortable 100-run victory against CRPF School, Delhi, in the pre-quarter final of the 9th All-India Bhai Gobind Singh Pasricha Cricket Tournament being held at MGM Public School, Model Town, Jalandhar, today.

Batting first, Kundan Vidya Mandir scored 190 runs for the loss of seven wickets in the stipulated 20 overs. The main contributors were Abhishek Talwar, Himanshu Chawla and Akhil Aggarwal who made 66, 57 and 20 runs, respectively.

For, CRPF School, Sachin claimed three wickets for 29 runs, while Amit and Anshuman took one wicket each after conceding 17 and 18 runs, respectively.

In reply, CRPF School could muster 90 runs after losing nine wickets in the allotted 20 overs. Surya top-scored with 28 runs, followed by Anshuman and Mayank who made 25 and 16 runs, respectively.

For the winners, Abhishek Talwar sent down four overs and chipped in with two wickets for nine runs, while Akhil Aggarwal scalped two victims for 19 runs and Gagandeep Singh grabbed two wickets for 20 runs.

For his outstanding performance, Abhishek was named the man of the match.

Jaswant Rai Bitta, honorary general secretary, Jalandhar District Cricket Association, was the chief guest.



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