L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


One dies after fire engulfs building
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
A 40-year-old man died at a hospital here late last night after being asphyxiated in a fire at a building in Field Ganj that occurred at around 11:30 pm. The victim, who has been identified as Sharwan, was evacuated by firefighters through a window by placing a bamboo ladder and was rushed to the hospital where doctors failed to save his life.

A spat between fire officials and area residents delayed evacuation of the victim from the burning building by a few minutes. Later, the police was called in to handle the situation after the residents tried to manhandle the fire officials, even tearing off clothes of some of the rescue personnel in a fit of rage.

Talking to The Tribune, the angry residents alleged the officials had arrived late at the fire scene because they were drunk on duty. The fire department refuted the accusation and claimed they reached the scene within 10 minutes of being informed of the fire. They said they managed to put out the fire during an operation that lasted over an hour and involving three fire tenders.

However, both the fire officials and residents were later seen assisted each other to fight the flames. While the firemen extinguished the flames on the building’s second and third floors, the residents helped them by pouring buckets of water on the ground floor.

While the reason for the fire breaking out is yet to be ascertained, it completely razed the three-storey structure causing a loss of lakhs of rupees to the property. The ground floor was being used as a store while first and second floors were used as residential accommodation as well as a storeroom, neighbours said. They said the fire started from second floor and within few minutes engulfed whole building.

However, a major mishap was averted as the locality is overcrowded with haphazard construction in very narrow streets in which only one car can enter.

Talking to The Tribune, fire officer Amarjit Sharma said, "The team did great work and prevented a major disaster. The flames were controlled in the building itself without causing any loss to adjacent buildings." He attributed the success to both firemen and residents.


Tribune Impact
MC puts contentious projects on hold
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
Taking a serious note of various reports published in The Tribune, the municipal corporation’s finance & contracts committee (F&CC) today stalled various projects in which irregularities were reported and those which came under ‘luxury spending’.

According to sources, the committee did not clear items relating to installation of signs and direction boards that were being given priority by councillors instead of civic amenities like roads, streetlights, etc in their wards. The Tribune in a report on October 15 (‘Misplaced priorities, MC's forte’) had highlighted how even during a funds crunch the corporation was ready to spend lakhs of rupees on signboards when it should be spending money judiciously. The sources added all such projects have been kept pending.

Similarly, F&CC members have asked for clarifications on construction work on all streets following another report (‘Partially recarpeted roads coming apart’) published on October 22. The F&CC members today did not approve any work relating to roads and the superintending engineer of the roads department has been asked to give clarifications on various projects. The final decision on recarpeting would be now taken on priority basis only after examining the condition of the city’s streets.

Meanwhile, the six-member high-power committee today cleared projects relating to the O&M cell like laying of sewerage pipes and submission of Rs 8.40 lakh for shifting of the municipal corporation library from C-zone to Guru Nanak Bhawan. A sum of Rs 72.4 crore was also sanctioned for the Punjab Water & Sewerage Supply Board (PWSSB) to undertake installation of sewage systems under JNNURM.

The amount to be deposited would be a part of the Rs 241-crore project, where the MC has to share expenses of 30 per cent. Besides, Rs 40 to 45 crore would be spend on road recarpeting and other civic amenities.

The members also decided the corporation would mortgage its property to take a loan of about Rs 200 crore to ensure development in the city as the civic body did not have sufficient funds to undertake such a large infrastructure development project.




Lakkar Bridge project
Six depts told to shift to A, B zones
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
With work on the Lakkar Bridge project in full swing, municipal corporation officials are now to give shape to the project with all decks having been cleared from their side.

The MC’s offer to 27 shopkeepers to put up their shops in the already constructed portion of the bridge appears to be lucrative, with the latter having begun to demolish their present shops on their own.

According to information, MC officials met the shopkeepers today at their A-zone office and told them that they should vacate their sites before Monday. A senior officer who was present at the meeting said: "The shopkeepers were told they could set up their shops in the portion which has already been constructed. These shops would be a makeshift arrangement as more than 60 structures are to be razed for constructing the corporation's ambitious Lakkar Bridge project."

Many of these shopkeepers saw their structures being razed today.

Similarly, six departments that were working from the corporation building near Clock Tower were asked to shift to the A and B zones. While the births and deaths department has been asked to shift to the B zone, the rest of the departments including accounts and audit will function from the A zone from Monday onwards.

Senior MC officials said these departments were to be shifted to the fire department building near the old bus stand. However, as the building is incomplete, for the time being they would function from the MC's A and B zone buildings, they added.



Residents blamed for traffic menace
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
The officials, who were invited to speak on the topic of “City development, issues and challenges” spoke straight from the heart and discussed a volley of issues concerning the city which requires immediate attention.

Speaking on the issue on traffic, SSP SS Gill held the attitude of city residents responsible for the traffic menace. The officials, including DIG Dr Sharat Satya Chauhan, SSP Dr S.S. Gill and MC Commissioner A.K. Sinha, were invited by the Ludhiana Management Association here last night for an interaction with representatives of people.

"People follow rules in Chandigarh, but once they enter the city, they feel at home and think that they will get away with anything as a majority of the people are well-connected here. They give two hoots to the lower-rung officers and whenever they are stopped by a cop for breaking the traffic rule, they just call a senior police official or a politician and compel the cop to talk on phone. Breaking rules have become a habit of the residents," said the SSP and further added, "Why Chandigarh is well-governed because there is Governor’s rule there."

Even DIG SS Chauhan, jumping into the conversation, said, "We always complained the police of being ill-mannered, but before complaining, we should also keep in mind they are one among us. They are also part of the society. Have you ever noticed why South Indians are not ill-mannered?"

He said first the residents have to change their attitude only then any reform could be successful.

Firing a fresh salvo at the MC commissioner, SSP Gill said, "The ongoing development projects, which were stated to ease traffic chaos, have actually become the core reason behind the growing traffic jams. The development projects have become major bottlenecks of the city, due to which the traffic load at Jagraon bridge has been multiplied," said Gill.

Talking about the traffic chaos created at Ferozepur Road and Pakhowal Road due to the sudden mushrooming of marriage palaces, the SSP said, "Leave us (the top cops), I have seen the vehicles of high court judges and Cabinet Ministers stuck up in traffic jam for hours together during the marriage season."

He said, "With merely over 100 traffic cops, how can we manage to regulate traffic, but still we are trying our best."

He termed Punjab Agriculture University, PAU, of being an oasis. If the PAU would not have been situated here, the city resident would have been struggling to breath.

All top office-bearers of various departments appealed to the residents, "Stop blame game, let's work together for better future."

More in the pipeline SS Gill, SSP

n More traffic marshals will be recruited soon. Now, only 15 traffic marshals are operating in the city. The number will be increased up to 50 in the coming days.

n The police has launched a new helpline for senior citizens under which special emphasis will be laid on the time-bound solution to their complaints.

n CCTV cameras will also be installed at some major chowks of the city to keep an eye on anti-social elements.

n A new police control room will be set up soon and the police will install global positioning system (GPS) devices on police vehicles.

AK Sinha, MC commissioner

n According to an ambitious plan, the MC will launch a new parking system which will reduce traffic chaos in busy markets. Residents, commuters and shopkeepers will be told to park their vehicles on one side of the road, leaving adequate space for the free movement of vehicles.

n Sewerage cleaning work is the next big project which is in the pipeline. I will hold a meeting with the nambardars, heads of sewer men, and discuss with them how the cleaning programme should be conducted and what are the requirements.




LMA meet with admn top brass
Mushrooming liquor vends, rising crime top agenda
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
Members of the Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) today took Deputy Commissioner Vikas Garg, SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill and MC Commissioner AK Sinha to task over mushrooming of liquor vends, spurt in snatching cases and poor civic amenities in the city.

“While cracker stalls are set up outside of the city, liquor vends are allowed to operate in residential areas,” said members of the LMA during a meeting organised on “City development issues and challenges” here.

The mushrooming of liquor vends alongside the Malhar Cinema road remained the core issue of discussion, with not just residents, but also the DIG, SS Chauhan, acknowledging the menace created by liquor vends.

“You can easily spot boozers drinking outside liquor vends on any given day. Drunk men often create trouble and have no fear of the police,” the DIG said.

He said recently an acquaintance who had bought a house in the Sarabha Nagar area had complained of nuisance created by nearby liquor vends, and tipplers parking vehicles outside the house and drinking in the vehicle.

At this, residents requested the Deputy Commissioner to relocate liquor vends from the Melhar road.

The Deputy Commissioner said: “If residents had any such problem they could have lodged a complaint three months prior to the construction of the vends.”

The LMA members then targeted SSP SS Gill on the issue of spurt in snatching cases.

The members accused the police of not registering FIRs in many cases. They complained that the police was often reluctant in registering FIRs in such cases.

Gill said he would ensure that all snatching cases were registered in future. Further, he said if policemen showed reluctance in registering cases, the complainant could contact him.

The members urged AK Sinha, who had recently joined as MC Commissioner, to ensure that garbage trucks were properly covered and garbage was removed during the wee hours.

“These truck often littered garbage on the road, making the life of motorists miserable,” a resident said.

The members also highlighted the deteriorating condition of roads.

The MC Commissioner assured that he would look into the matter and try to mitigate their problems.



Thieves decamp with cash, gold worth Rs 40 lakh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
Thieves decamped with jewelry and cash worth Rs 40 lakhs from an industrialist's house in Model Town Extension here this evening.

The industrialist, Gurdev Singh (80) and his wife, Shanti Devi had gone to a place of worship in Sarabha village at around 11 a.m. today. When they returned at around 5 pm they found the locks of their house broken and 125 tolas of gold and cash worth Rs 20 lakhs missing.

Relatives of the family said the thieves scaled the boundary wall of the house, broke open the locks of the rooms, almirahs and lockers and decamped with the valuables and cash.

The house was completely ransacked. It seemed the thieves remained in the house for quite some time. The neighbours however did not come to know about the activites going on inside.

Gurdev’s two sons live abroad and two others live in Ludhiana, but separately. Two sons had visited the house of their parents today to attend a place of worship in their native village.

The police pressed sniffer dogs into service. Fingerprints were also picked up by the forensic experts. A case has been registered and investigations are on.

Police sources said the theft looked like the handiwork of an insider, who knew everything about the almirahs and lockers. Gurdev Singh had recently sold a plot and was keeping Rs 20 lakh in the house only.

The police also said since the family used to visit Sarabha after every Diwali, the theives probably knew that they would be away during these hours. Moreover, they broke open five important locks and laid their hands on the ornaments and cash.



City Concerns

Most children in Ludhiana do not have playgrounds for outdoor games, forcing them to become couch potatoes by watching TV and playing video games. The Guru Nanak Stadium, the city’s sole stadium, does not allow every child to enter inside to spend an hour or two for leisure activities. Colleges and schools too only allow their own students to make use of their facilities.

Even the city’s green parks are out of bounds for kids as their management committees feel children spoil their parks. The result is a dearth of playing space. Where else should the children go?

Readers can send in their views on the issue and possible solutions.

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



Number of cases may be higher, fear physicians
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
Of the total 27 cases of dengue reported in the city this month, 10 hail from Ludhiana district, while the rest 17 belong to other districts of the state.

Rajesh Kumar from Hoshiarpur, a confirmed case of dengue, was admitted to the DMCH in a critical state but died on October 16.

Five cases of dengue were admitted to SPS Apollo Hospital from October 10 to 20 and the remaining 22 patients were undergoing treatment at the Dayanad Medical College and Hospital (DMCH).

However, senior physicians in the city apprehend that there may be more cases of dengue in various hospitals of the city.

A city doctor stated that the district health authorities had put pressure on private hospitals to refrain from reporting such cases in media.

“It is wrong on part of the health authorities to conceal right information from public as knowing about the degree of spread of the disease is also part of the awareness campaign,” the doctor added.

District epidemiologist Dr GP Mangla said: “The situation is under control as compared to last year’s dengue outbreak. But we are getting patients from urban as well as rural areas of Ludhiana and other districts.”

He said the weather was conducive to breeding of Aedes larvae and mosquito for another week but the lowering of temperature would take care of the problem.

However, he blamed the municipal corporation for having failed to extend support to their campaign.

“Against their promise of giving 40 men for campaign against dengue, only 32 were provided and eight out of the 32 were later recalled. Moreover, not a single person in residential areas had been challaned for water-filled coolers,” added the district epidemiologist.



14 women honoured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
The Shaheed Memorial Sewa Society celebrated the 43rd Great Women's Day at Ramgarhia Girls Colleges. The society honoured 14 women from different fields.

A seminar on female foeticide was organised, wherein chairperson, Punjab State Social Welfare Board Vijay Laxmi Bhadu, said domestic violence that was on the rise needs to be checked.

On violation of Pre-Natal Diagnostic Test (PNDT), Vijaya Laxmi said the state as well as union government should take a stringent action against offenders.

Principal, Ramgarhia Girls College Dr Jatinder Kaur, Shaheed Memorial Sewa Society general secretary Vijinder Singh and several others were present.



Problems of women entrepreneurs discussed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
An interactive programme between a delegation from the US-based Women's Earth Alliance (WEA) and local women entrepreneurs for exchanging information and knowledge was today organised at Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET).

As many as 15 foreign delegates from WEA participated in the programme.

Delegates from WEA, an organisation engaged in developing entrepreneurship and protecting environment, reached CIPHET to get first-hand information regarding women entrepreneurship in Punjab.

Dr RT Patil, director CIPHET, welcomed the delegation led by WEA director Dr Melinda Kramer.

Women entrepreneurs trained by CIPHET and Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) exchanged their views with the delegation on difficulties and challenges faced by them. Most of these entrepreneurs are in the manufacturing and sale of processed foods like squashes and fruit juices, jams, jellies, pickles, soya milk, honey etc and making of chemical-free detergents, soft toys, candles, herbal medicines etc.

They also shared their experiences about how they were running business by forming self-help groups and individually.

Dr Melinda Kramer said a large number of women from across the globe, including India, were working with WEA for enhancing the income of women for their empowerment through sustainable agricultural practises.

She said protecting natural resources and environment was the biggest challenge in the world.

"Women can do a lot in saving the environment and creating a better world," she added. During direct interaction between foreign delegates, local women entrepreneurs asked for help in exporting products and management of domestic waste with technology available abroad. They also told them about hardship faced in getting finance and maintaining coordination in self-help groups.

Dr Sangeeta Chopra, senior scientist, facilitated the talks and said several women were trained by CIPHET and PAU in entrepreneurship development programme.

Dr HS Bajwa, senior extension specialist from PAU, said Punjab was meeting 60 per cent food grain requirement of the country, but unfortunately was fast losing soil fertility due to overexploitation.

The foreign delegates showed keen interest in various products displayed by women entrepreneurs.



Schools & Colleges
Trends in academics underlined
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
A workshop for coordinators, heads, vice-principals and principals commenced today at BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, here.

As many as 30 principals from various CBSE and ICSE schools attended the workshop, which was organised with a view to keep school administrators abreast of the latest in academic leadership, styles and archetypes of leadership, traits of successful principals and how principals could make a difference.

Prof BL Handoo, eductional innovator, IECS, and Dr Subhash Arora, CEO, IECS New Delhi, were the resource persons.

Youth fest

Students of Arya College here once again proved their mettle at Panjab University Zonal Youth and Heritage Festival held at KLSD College, Ludhiana, by winning 22 prizes in various events.

College principal Dr SM Sharma and in charge of women section Prof Asha Sharma said the college had participated in 33 events and won 22 prizes.

Meanwhile, Panjab University Zonal Youth and Heritage Festival Zone-A will begin at BCM College of Education on October 25.

As many as 30 colleges affiliated to Panjab University, Chandigarh, will participate. MP Manish Tewari will inaugurate the festival. The festival will conclude on October 28.

Fruit day

Fruit day was celebrated at BCM School, Dugri. Students brought different fruits like strawberry, banana, pomegranate, orange, papaya, pineapple, etc.

Students came dressed in different fruit costumes and were apprised of the nutritive values. Several rhymes related to fruits were recited. Co-coordinator of KG section Preeti Behl motivated students to inculcate the habit of eating fruits daily.

Graduation ceremony

Graduation ceremony was held at Guru Nanak International Public School here today.

Chief guest Manpreet Singh Chatwal, SDM, (East Ludhiana), gave certificates to tiny tots who passed out from the kindergarten to the primary section. Director P Kahlon was also present. A cultural programme was presented was presented by the students of pre-primary.



Awareness programme on iodine
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 23
To educate masses about deleterious effects of deficiency of iodine, the district health authorities launched a comprehensive awareness programme on the occasion of Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders Prevention Day recently.

A few social and educational organisations here and in surrounding localities organised seminars and camps to highlight importance of micronutrients in mental and physical development of growing children.

Addressing activists of social organisations and medical professionals at Hind Hospital here, Dr KC Goyal, former district health officer, regretted that people were deprived of sufficient quantities of iodine due to defective cooking practices.

“Observations have revealed that members of families using iodised table salt in food were also suffering from diseases having genesis in deficiency of iodine. It was later found that major part of iodine content was lost during cooking,” said Dr Goyal adding overheating sublimed the volatile micronutrient. He suggested that table salt should be added to food after cooking only.

Dr Sunit Hind, Dr Rajiv Sood and other speakers focused on several health problems created due to iodine deficiency while stressing on the need for consumption of iodised salt, which could make up the iodine deficiency in the human body.

Speakers said the deficiency of the micronutrient not only caused goitre but gave rise to serious mental and prenatal period problems among children and women, respectively.

Lower school performance, impaired mental development, impaired physical growth and decline in intelligence quotient (IQ) were cited as main manifestations of the deficiency.

Iodine deficiency could result in abortion, still birth, lack of mental and physical growth of foetus and physical complications during post-parturition period in women.

Dr Ravinder Sharma, organiser of dairy farm and kennel, disclosed that besides human beings, lack of iodine could affect even animals, which could show signs of poor production of milk, eggs, wool and meat as well as reproductive loss.

Dr Narinder Dhawan, director (community services), Rotary Club, pointed out that the iodine deficiency was one of the major causes of preventable mental retardation in the world today.

He said iodine was an essential component of thyroxine hormone, produced by thyroid gland, which regulated the body mechanism to ensure generation and utilisation of body energy as well as optimal mental and physical development of all human beings.



Mass weddings performed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
An NGO, Kasturi Lal Mahajan Helping Hands, today organised mass marriages of needy couples in the city. The event also involved the distribution of the necessary articles among the couples.

The other upcoming projects of the organisation include setting up orphanages, old-age homes and leprosy centres. The orphanage will be provisioned with providing education to inmates so as to enable them to stand on their own feet.

The old-age home will be set up to look after the needs and requirements of the old-aged folks so as to make them feel at home.



Safai workers stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
Members of the Safai Labour Union and Disposal Worker Union staged a dharna in support of their demands outside the municipal corporation’s A-zone office here today.

The safai karamcharis were protesting against the failure of the corporation in accepting their demands like regularisation, pension for sewermen, etc.

Leaders said on October 9 they had apprised newly appointed MC Commissioner AK Sinha of their demands, hoping that he would initiate some action, but to no avail.

Their demands like permanent job for one member of deceased sewerman’s family was justified and corporation officials and the Mayor had assured them of accepting these. However, they had failed to act, they rued.



Raid on illegal slaughterhouse
Tribune News Service

Khanna, October 23
A squad of the district administration raided an illegal slaughterhouse in Jain Colony near Basti Jodhewal and rescued 15 goats kept for slaughtering here this afternoon.

Reacting on a complaint by residents of the area that the slaughtering was being done illegally and was hurting the religious sentiments of people, Deputy Commissioner Vikas Garg had ordered an inquiry and entrusted the SDM (E) with it.

The SDM (E) further marked it to executive magistrate Kanwar Narinder, who went to the meat shop and raided the premises.

Kanwar Narinder said when he went inside, he saw 15 goats waiting to be slaughtered against the rules that allow slaughtering only in a slaughterhouse run by the Municipal Corporation after a thorough checking by veterinary experts.

He then called a team of the veterinary department, who checked the goats and confiscated them. They were contemplating to pass these animals to an animal rights activist organisation.

Kanwar said there were three schools in the vicinity of meat shop and residents and children of school had complained to the Deputy Commissioner, stating that the slaughtering was done openly and it was hurting the religious sentiments of people.

He said he had conducted an inquiry into the complaint. He would soon submit a report with the Deputy Commissioner.

The DC said he would take action only after the inquiy report.



Death due to negligence
Medical council ‘siding’ with doctor
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
The Punjab Medical Council (PMC) has been accused of siding with the medical fraternity after the council failed to deal with the complaint of a city resident against a doctor charged with causing death of his son due to medical negligence.

Sher Singh had written to the PMC in July, 2008 at which the council had asked the doctor concerned to submit his comments and clinical record of the patient.

In a letter dated August 11, 2008, the council had also asked the doctor to send a copy of his registration certificate.

Since then, the PMC had chosen not to reply to Sher Singh in spite of his repeated reminders sent to the council office at Mohali.

Sher Singh had accused the doctor running a nursing home on the Gill Road of causing delay in giving right treatment to his son, Preet Pal Singh (52), in June, 2008.

He had stated that in spite of knowing that his son had suffered a heart attack, the doctor went ahead with the ECG that took almost half an hour, resulting in deterioration of the patient’s condition.

“It was only after seeing his son’s serious condition that the doctor referred him to the Hero DMC Heart Institute. However, as the institute was at some distance, I took my son to SPS Apollo Hospital where he was declared brought dead,” the complainant added.

After having waited for months to get a reply from the PMC, Sher Singh approached the Medical Council of India, state health minister and union health minister demanding intervention.

The directorate of health and family welfare, Punjab, wrote to the PMC to look into the matter in December, 2009 to which the PMC sent a reply in January, 2009, stating that the matter was to be discussed by the disciplinary committee. The disciplinary committee meeting was held quarterly but the PMC chose to ignore the matter.

The complainant said: “The only cause behind the delay is to safeguard the interest of the doctor concerned but it reflects poorly on the council, which is a regulatory authority on the registration of doctors in Punjab.”

PMC president Dr Manmohan Singh expressed ignorance about the case.

However, he assured of informing the registrar and asking him to take immediate action in the case.



Suspected polio case
WHO team surveys city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
Following a suspected case of polio from a slum in Ludhiana, a team of experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) conducted a survey in the city.

The team visited various places and called upon the people to come forward for administering polio drops to the children below the age of five years during the pulse polio drive.

Focusing on the "problem zones", the WHO team visited various pockets in the city which are crowded with migratory populace.

Civil surgeon Dr Maninderjeet Singh stated that the boy, who was suspected to be suffering from polio, is from a slum colony of Ludhiana but hails from Uttar Pradesh. “We are already in touch with the health authorities in UP to get a detailed report of the boy's antecedents”, he said.

He said if the polio case from Ludhiana is positive, it would be the second case in the region. A confirmed case of polio has already been reported from Jalandhar.

"Apart from the ongoing drive against polio in slums of Ludhiana, the district health department is abiding by the national polio eradication programme. Also, we will focus on creating awareness among illiterate people to come forward for identification of polio cases at hospitals and special check-up camps which will be organised at regular intervals," Dr Singh went on to add.



Rly pensioners hail relief for attendants
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 23
The Northern Railway Pensioners Welfare Association has hailed the decision of the Railways board to allow attendants of the first class pass-holder railway pensioners to travel in upper class by paying one third of the fare for higher class after deduction of the sleeper class fare. This concession will be available to those pensioners, who had attained the age of 70 years.

In a statement here today, Sher Singh, chairman of the association, said the gesture towards the old retirees was a welcome step but still the railway pensioners would continue their efforts to get the demand for free travel of the companion in the first class for the pensioners above the age of 75 years and similar concession for widows and widowers of the pensioners at the age of 70 years.

According to Sher Singh, the Railways had extended the free-travel concession to the attendants of the pensioners, over the age of 65 years, if the pensioner, even though holding a first class pass, travelled in sleeper class which was not acceptable to the railway pensioners. "If Railways could allow free travel facility to attendants of former MPs in the same class, then why the same concession is being denied by the Railways to its own pensioners, who had served for decades for the welfare and betterment of utility," he wondered.



CPI raises concern over rising crime
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 23
The Communist Party of India (CPI) has expressed concern at the deteriorating law and order situation in the city.

In a joint statement here today, Kartar Singh Bowani, district secretary, and Dr Arun Mitra, assistant secretary of the party, said thefts and robberies were the order of the day in the city.

Incidents of roadside snatching had increased and were commonplace in almost every part of the city. Also, drug peddlers were active and there was no effort to check their activity.

The CPI leaders further lamented that land mafia had become a menace for residents.

Anti-social elements targeted workers coming home after work. Workers were being waylaid and their belongings taken away.

To make the matters worse, their complaints were not being entertained by the police.

They asserted that strict administrative measures were needed against hooligans and organised gangs of criminals.

If timely action was not taken, things would get out of control, they warned.

“The party demands immediate and effective action to improve law and order situation and also act against political patrons of the criminals.”



Residents oppose dumping of waste on roads
Tribune News Service

Khanna, October 23
Residents of the Amloh Road are upset over the dumping of waste by safai karamcharis on roads. Employees of the municipal council often dumped waste by the roadside after cleaning drains.

“To make the matters worse, vehicles smudge roads with the waste, making it impossible for people to use them,” said Suresh, a resident.

As drains are often cleaned during the morning hours, students, shopkeepers and commuters on two-wheelers often face difficulty using these roads.

The residents said the waste should be lifted soon after the cleaning of drains and disposed of at dumping grounds.

The residents rued that safai karamcharis had paid no heed to their requests so far.



Man held with psychotropic drug
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 23
The police has arrested a man for illegally possessing 40 bottles of Rexcof, a habit-forming drug.

The accused, Budh Raj of Mohalla Dhuman, was arrested by ASI Charanjit Singh of the narcotics cell and his team from a tea stall near LR DAV College here.

The accused confessed to selling the habit-forming drug to college students of Jagraon and Ajitwal. He used to operate from the tea stall. He told the police that a medicine agent from Ludhiana used to supply the medicine to him through a local contact.

However, the ASI said their police team intercepted the accused following a tip-off from Lande Phatak at Agwar Khawaja Baju last evening and seized bottles of Rexcof from his possession.

He added that the accused was not a chemist. A case has been registered.



Man booked for assaulting woman cop
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 23
The city police has booked a man for thrashing his wife, who is a woman constable.

The victim, Kulwinder Kaur, posted at the PPA, alleged that her husband, Sabar Ali, beat her up and stole gold ornaments and Rs 30,000 in cash from her residential quarters situated in the police colony at Jamalpur, near Chandigarh road.

Kulwinder, who had been married to Ali for the past 10 years, alleged that her husband had illicit relationships with another woman.

The police has booked the husband in a theft and assault case and started a hunt to nab the accused.



Tehsildar case adjourned to Nov 5
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 23
The court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate JPS Wehniwal today adjourned the tehsildar assault case — in which SAD youth wing president Simarjit Singh Bains is among the accused — to November 5.

The case was adjourned for hearing arguments on applications moved by two of the accused — Gurpreet Singh and Satnam Singh — seeking identification parade before the start of the trial as well as for scrutiny of the chargesheet.

The prosecution filed reply to the applications of the accused, terming it delaying tactics.

They pleaded that the accused were booked by name in the FIR so they had no right to claim identification parade.

The accused, including Bains, sacked Akali councillor Kamaljit Singh Karwal, Sarabjit Singh, Jaspreet Singh, alias Sahil, Roopinder Singh, alias Honey, Satnam Singh, Ravi Sharma and Jasbir Singh, alias Jassa, were present in the court during the hearing.

They were booked for stripping and assaulting tehsildar-cum-executive magistrate Major GS Benipal.

None of the accused was on bail. However, the bail applications of some of the accused were pending in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. A case under Sections 353, 186, 332, 333, 307, 394, 148, 149, 120-B, IPC, and Section 25, Arms Act, was registered at the Sadar police station on on June 19.



Alpine, DAV girls to fight for title
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, October 23
Alpine International School, Ludhiana, and DAV International School, Amritsar, wrapped up their semifinal matches to set up the title clash in the girls U-16 category on the second day of the 26th CBSE Cluster TT Championship being held at MGM Public School here today.

In the first semifinal, Alpine International School outperformed Apejay Public School, Jalandhar, 3-0 while DAV Public School defeated Innocent Heart School, Jalandhar, in a similar fashion (3-0).

Results: Girls U-14: Apeejay School, Jalandhar, bt GPS, Mandi Gobidngarh, 3-1; DAV International Public School, Amritsar, bt Darshan Academy 3-0; DAV Public School, Fazilka, bt Alpine International School, Ludhiana, 3-1; Green Land Senior Secondary School, Ludhiana, bt MGN Public School, Jalandhar, 3-0.

Boys U-14: Apeejay Public School, Jalandhar, bt GPS, Gobindgarh, 3-0; Sacred Heart, Ludhiana, bt MGN Public School, Jalandhar, 3-1.

Boys U-16: Apeejay Public School, Jalandhar, bt SDS Public School, Rayya (Amritsar) 3-0; DAV International School, Amritsar, bt BCM School, Ludhiana, 3-0 and Sacred Heart Convent School, Ludhiana, bt BCM School, Ludhiana, 3-0.



Cricket trials from Oct 30
Our Corresponden

Ludhiana, October 23
Trials will be held at Kamla Lohtia Sanatan Dharam College, near Daresi Ground, here, to select the Punjab cricket team (U-17) for the coming National Twenty20 Cricket Championship slated to be conducted at Sunder Nagar in Himachal Pradesh from October 30.

Players born on or after September 30, 1992, are eligible for these trials. Interested players may contact Bhuvnesh at his cell no 9888610185.

Friendship cup

Six teams from different states will slug it out in the first edition of the Friendship Cup Cricket Tournament (boys U-16) to be organised by the Shivam Cricket Academy here on the Sarpanch Bachan Singh Cricket Academy ground, Balloke village on the Humbran road, from October 25 to 28. 



Athletics: Peace Public students bring laurels
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, October 23
Energetic students of Peace Public School brought laurels to their school by exhibiting their vibrancy in the playfield of Guru Nanak Stadium, Ludhiana, where Zonal Athletics Championship was held recently.

The students participated in several events and grabbed several positions. Shubsangeet Kaur got first place in shot put, Denis got second position in discus throw, Jatinder in 400 mt and 600 mt race, Chanpreet Singh stood second in 800 mt race. Simardeep got third position in shot put along with Karan in discuss throw, Arshpreet Kaur in 400 mt race and Arshpreet Kaur 100 mt race and long jump.

Prof SC Jain, president of the school and principal CK Jeeja congratulated the winners.



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