L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


3 killed, six hurt in accident
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Khamano, November 21
Three residents of Ludhiana were killed as an Innova MUV collided head on with a truck loaded with iron material late last night.

The deceased were employees of the Titan Watches at the Feroze Gandhi market here.

Six others received serious injuries in the accident, which occurred near Lakhanpur village. The truck was on its way to Chandigarh from Ludhiana.

The deceased, all aged between 18 and 25 years, were identified as Vikas Arora, Kamal Sharma and Vishal Datt. Vishal was driving the vehicle.

The employees had attended an official meeting at Panchkula and were on their way back in the vehicle, hired from Ludhiana. They met with the accident around 12.15 am.

The six persons injured, aged between 20 and 25 years, were identified as Gautam, Raj Kumar, Vinod Kumar, Parveen Kumar, Vikas and Amar Singh.

According to eyewitnesses, the impact of the collision was so strong that the fuel tank of the truck caught fire.

The flames were doused after about 45 minutes with the help of residents of the area.

Officials from the nearby police station reached the spot with an ambulance and the injured were taken out from the mangled remains of the Innova after much effort.

While the police was busy in taking out the injured, the truck driver, whose identity could not be established, fled from the spot.

Police officials said preliminary investigations revealed that the truck driver was at fault as he hit the Innova from the wrong side while overtaking another vehicle.

A case was registered in this connection and efforts were on to trace the truck driver. A number of similar accidents had taken place on this stretch in the past.

Six young boys of one family from a village in Fatehgarh Sahib had also been killed in an accident late at night.


VIP visits, nagar kirtan cause chaos
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
VIP visits and a nagar kirtan spelt chaos on city roads as commuters remained stuck in traffic snarls for hours today.

Serpentine queues of vehicles were seen on the roads leading to the prominent spots of the city.

One-way traffic enforced by the city traffic police to regulate traffic in various parts of the city backfired as it resulted in chaos instead of easing traffic flow.

The roads leading to Jagraon Bridge, Clock Tower, Domoria Bridge, Mata Rani Chowk, Field Gunj and Chand Cinema witnessed the worst traffic jams during the nagar kirtan as the police put up barricades to divert traffic, which resulted in traffic jams.

Lack of coordination between the police and nagar kirtan organisers also contributed to the traffic jams.

The commuters were caught unawares as the police gave no prior intimation about the traffic diversion.

Rohit Papreja, a city based hosiery trader, said, “It has been more than an hour and I have hardly reached Jagraon Bridge. Here too, the traffic police has put up 
traffic diversions. I do not know when I will reach my shop as I cannot go back from here.”

Caught in the traffic, some commuters opted to park their vehicles at the railway station and walk to their destinations.

Women were badly affected as they were also harassed by eve-teasers, who took advantage of the chaos.

The chaos led to pollution and unnecessary loss of fuel as vehicles remained still or moved at a snail’s pace. Two-wheeler riders and pedestrians were the worst hit.

Rajinder Kaur, while trying to calm down her five-year-old son, who had suffered a bout of cough due to the pollution, said, “My son is suffering from bronchitis and I was taking him to the doctor. But we are now stuck in a traffic jam and I do not know where to go.”

SP (traffic) Rupinder Singh said, “We had made adequate arrangements to tackle the situation, but a large number of tractor-trailers from villages and other parts of the district had been invited by the nagar kirtan organisers, which resulted in traffic chaos. However, we managed to control the traffic by the evening.”



Ignorance takes ‘toll’ on passengers
Pay fee despite lifting of barrier
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, November 21
Even a year after the lifting of toll barrier from Doraha, bus passengers who commute between Ludhiana and Patiala are being made to pay toll for their ignorance. The toll barrier had been shifted to Ladowal on the Ludhiana-Jalandhar road.

In gross violation of norms, government and private buses have illegally been charging toll from passengers even when there is no toll barrier en route.

The plight of the passengers has been highlighted in the media several times but to no avail.

“Bus operators openly charge toll from passengers when it is no longer applicable on us and we are not supposed to pay it anymore,” says a daily commuter.

“Commuters pay Rs 1 for ever 10 to 20 km between the toll limits and hence if they travel from Ludhiana to Patiala, they end up paying Rs 5 to 6 extra in the form of toll,” the commuters allege.

They say since the toll barrier has been lifted from Doraha, the authorities concerned should waive off the passenger toll fee.

A passenger says: “Since there is no toll barrier on the way, it is wrong on the part of the government to charge passenger toll. There has been no assurance from the government to discontinue with the practice. This is unacceptable and we will fight against the injustice.”

Commuters are generally seen arguing with conductors over the issue. And in the face of such unsavoury situations, the latter express their helplessness in the absence of orders from the authorities concerned.

Various social and voluntary organisations have demanded the withdrawal of passenger toll, failing which no private or government bus will be allowed to ply on the route.

Commuters and local residents have urged the government to initiate steps in this direction.



Commuters up in arms over trains’ delay
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 21
Thousands of harassed rail passengers travelling on the Ferozepore-Moga-Ludhiana and Hisar-Dhuri-Ludhiana sections, especially those who commute daily to the city as well as others who take connections to Jalandhar and Khanna from there, are up in arms over passenger trains running late.

Of late, this has become a routine rather than an exception. After not getting a positive response to several pleas to the railway authorities to streamline operations on these sections, they have now taken to holding protests.

Hundreds of commuters travelling by the 2LJH Hisar-Ludhiana passenger train staged a protest at the Gill railway station on the city’s periphery after the train was held up there for over an hour and station officials on duty expressed their helplessness.

Karnail Singh, a daily passenger, said after the train left Gill, it again came to a halt at the outer signal at Ludhiana after taking over 40 minutes to cover the journey, which normally took 10 minutes.

As a result, the train arrived at Ludhiana nearly two hours behind schedule and its return trip back to Hisar was also delayed.

The erratic schedule of the 4629/4630 Ludhiana-Moga-Ferozepore Sutlej Express was no different, complained several daily passengers.

Said Upendra Sharma, a commuter: “The train’s departure time from the Model Gram station is 7:09 am but, more often than not, it runs late. Even if it departs on schedule, it is detained without any apparent reason at Baddowal, Chauki Maan, Ajitwal and Dagru stations. The train runs in the same manner on its return journey with extended halts at several stations, causing inconvenience to those passengers who have to catch connecting trains to Howrah, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar late in the evening.”

When contacted, Northern Railway divisional traffic manager GP Singh said as the engineering wing was conducting repairs and strengthening the tracks near the Gill station, it had obtained ‘blocks’ lasting an hour or two during certain times of the day to carry on the work.

“During this particular period, trains running on this section are affected, but it is a temporary problem,” he added.

The ongoing repair and maintenance work on platform number 4 had also been causing delay in the arrival or departure of trains during the day at times as berthing was not available during rush hours.

“The Railways are aware of the problem and efforts are being made to complete the work in about a week or so when trains on these sections will run according to schedule,” he stated.



Man booked for cheating Army
Had impersonated as his brother for 18 yrs
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, November 21
A resident of Bhaini Arrian village, near Sidhwan Bet, has accused his brother of serving in the Army for 18 years and withdrawing pension by impersonation.

Following an inquiry, the charges have been found to be true. The Army has been informed of the developments.

Surjit Singh, in his letter to Ludhiana Rural SSP Harinder Singh Chahal, claimed that his brother Sukhpal Singh had used the certificate issued to their brother Baljinder Singh and joined the Army around 18 years ago.

Surjit claimed that Sukhpal had impersonated in the Army as Baljinder all these years and still continued using the name of his brother.

He added that using Baljinder’s name, Sukhpal had secured an arms licence, on the basis of which he had secured the job of security guard in a private concern.

Considering the seriousness of the allegations, SI Gurcharan Singh was entrusted with the inquiry into the matter.

Gurcharan had found the allegations to be true and after seeking the opinion of the DA Legal, the Jagraon SSP ordered the registration of cases against Sukhpal.

The Sidhwan Bet police registered a case under Sections 420, 409, 467, 468 and 471 of the IPC. No arrest had been made so far.

Surjit expressed apprehensions that Sukhpal might misuse the firearm Sukhpal had obtained against Surjit during the land dispute in the family.

The police confiscated the firearm possessed by him and forwarded the case for cancellation of arms licence.



US pressure on climate change worries industry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Industry has to face yet another formidable challenge posed by the wrong policy of the government. With US pressure on climate change mounting, New National Ambient Air Quality Standards have been evolved. These are the first uniform health based standard for the country.

PD Sharma, president of Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said it would be hard to follow such rigorous air standards. “It is well known that the government is under intense US pressure to toe it’s line on climate change. A lot of wrangling between government and other parties is going on on the issue. Developed countries have been the major emitters of greenhouse gases during their economic growth. The US now wants India and China to curb emissions. Rich countries are required to decrease emissions with reference year 1990. In fact, they have increased emissions. Even on the face of coming summit on climate change, the US has declined to have any fresh domestic law on emission control,” he said.

Air pollution has been directly linked with public health. As a result, any citizen can go to the court and implicate any industrial unit. The government is boosting the production of diesel car fleets. Society for Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) estimates that the share of diesel cars will be 50 per cent of total car sales by 2010. Diesel vehicles are known to emit higher smoke, particles and nitrogen oxide than their petrol counterparts, he said in a press release issued here yesterday. 



Shopkeepers remove illegal structures
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
While the municipal corporation kept Saturday and Sunday off for its demolition drive, the terror of the civic body striking their illegal structures forced encroachers to remove these on their own.

Shopkeepers in various markets, including Bijli Market, were seen removing their sheds and shutters on their own here today.

Ludhiana Electrical Merchant Association general secretary Jasmeet Singh Makkar said: “Assistant Commissioner Vinod Sharda visited our market on Thursday and apprised us of the demolition drive. We were given a deadline till Monday. But since we realised our civic duty, almost all shopkeepers in the area removed objectionable structures from their respective shops.”

He added that the move of the shopkeepers was a show of support to the civic body’s drive.

Association president Raj Gumber said: “While removing these sheds, we had to face difficulties like sparking from PSEB’s power cables supported by structures.”

“With power cables falling on the road, we are worried that they could lead to a tragedy.”

Shopkeeper Sandeep Chawla, who went to the PSEB office in Chaura Bazaar, said: “I approached officials present there and they gave me the number of a junior engineer, Kapil. However, I failed to get a favourable response from him.”

However, the junior engineer said: “Saturday and Sunday are my days off and I can do something only when I return to work on Monday. There are other officials at the office and they can be contacted.”

Deputy chief engineer (PSEB) HS Randhawa said: “I’ll look into the matter and things would be sorted out soon.”



Dealers' meet

Ludhiana, November 21
Luminous Power Technologies, power back-up solution provider in India, organised a “Dealers Meet” for members of Leopard Club here today.

Rakesh Malhotra, founder, Luminous Power Technologies, discussed future marketing and expansion plans.

An educative and informative session was organised for the dealers to enhance their sales, service and marketing skills. He said: "We have organised this meet to discuss the future market strategy and targets for the upcoming season.” — TNS



PAU to strengthen research on medicinal plants 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
PAU is all set to strengthen research on medicinal and aromatic plants. For which, PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang, along with other scientists, visited the 176-acre Botanical Garden at Sarangpur near Chandigarh.

Senior horticulturist of PAU, Dr Satish Narula, informed that the garden hosts over 300 types of medicinal and aromatic plants, which through propagation in the nursery are distributed free of cost.

Some plants in the collection were rare, he said. Dr Kang said research on medicinal aromatic plants was ongoing in the department of agronomy at PAU since 1973, and the scientific efforts led to the standardisation of technology made the cultivation of mentha popular in the state.

The herbal garden showcases over 100 medicinal and aromatic plants for the education of students and visitors, he added.

Dr Kang said the collection would be strengthened by bringing more accessions from across the country. The inter-disciplinary team of scientists was carrying out studies on medicinal and aromatic plants, he added.

Head of the department of agronomy Dr US Walia, said farmers would be made aware about medicinal and aromatic plants through appropriate means. He added that the efforts made so far had helped enhance area under these crops to 5,000 hectares of which mentha occupies the largest area.

Senior agronomist Dr DS Gill said the mentha occupies area in districts of Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala,  Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar and Ludhiana.

Turmeric cultivation is largely confined to Hoshiarpur, Ropar, Ludhiana and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar districts while celery is mainly grown in the districts of Amritsar and Gurdaspur. The production technology for these crops has been developed by the university, he said adding that the industrial units for processing had been located in the production areas.

He said over 100 units for mentha distillation were involved in extracting mentha oil that finds application in medicines, cosmetics, confectionary, etc. Dr Gill said turmeric-processing unit in Hoshiarpur were an attraction for turmeric growers.

He said celery is generally grown for seed production and that nearly 80 per cent of the national seed production in the country is met by Punjab.

Dr Walia said the farmers were keen to take on growing medicinal and aromatic plants but proper information about their marketing was a constraint. He said the saplings were available in the Herbal Garden of PAU and that the best time for planting is February.



Schools & Colleges
Freshers walk the ramp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
Fresher's party was organised at Devki Devi Jain Memorial College for Women, here yesterday. Students enthralled the audience with several dance items. A fascinating ramp show was also presented by the students. Simran from commerce department was adjudged Ms Fresher while Avleen and Chahat were selected Ms Fresher from arts and computer science departments, respectively. Manjot Kaur was chosen Ms Fresher from department of postgraduation. Surinder Dua, officiating principal and members of teaching faculty honoured the winners.


A seminar was conducted by the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India at Bhartiya Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School here yesterday. The aim was to help girls deal with the problems of puberty and changes related to it. Dr Anshu Mittal gave guidance to the students in two sessions. More than 600 girls participated.


Bhutta College of Engineering and Technology organised a visit to the Ludhiana Stock Exchange for MBA students to enable them get an insight into the working of the stock exchange.


The NCC unit of Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Gujarkhan campus, celebrated NCC Day with fervour. Chief guest on the occasion was Lt Col Subhash Sehgal, CO, 3PB Girls' Bn NCC, Ludhiana.

Paper-reading contest

Music department of Government College for Women organised a paper-reading contest under the guidance of Dr Nimita Sharma and Prof Smita Sharma. College principal RK Aulakh presided over. As many as 26 students of BA I, II and III participated.

Techno-cultural fest

A two-day techno-cultural festival “Genesis 2009” was inaugurated by PTU Vice-Chanceller Dr Rajneesh Arora at Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College. According to college director Dr MS Saini, group songs, group dances, bhangra-giddha and technical competitions were held on both the days. A fine arts and photography exhibition was also organised. 



Three of family held in dowry death case
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 21
The Raikot police has arrested three members of a family for harassing Shakeena, who had died under mysterious circumstances on Thursday, for dowry.

The three have been identified as Rashid Mohammad (husband), Hanifan Begum (mother-in-law) and Shiraj (brother-in-law).

Though the body of the victim bore marks of multiple external injuries, the suspects had claimed that she had committed suicide by hanging from the hook of the ceiling fan.

Iqbal Mohammad of the local Dehliz road area had alleged that the suspects had beaten his daughter to death and tried to pass it off as suicide on Thursday.

Shakeena was married to Rashid Mohammad of Johlan village around nine months ago.

Things went normal for a few months after which her in-laws allegdly started harassing her for bringing meager dowry.

Friends and relatives of both families had to intervene whenever she was harassed physically and mentally to bring cash and valuables from her parents.

“We tried to meet their demands till they demanded in thousands. But things got out of hand once they demanded Rs 1 lakh to help Rashid open a shop,” said Iqbal, alleging that Shakeena was beaten up a few day ago too.

The family had received a call that Shakeena had committed suicide by hanging herself.

However, her parents grew suspicious when they noticed external injuries marks on her lips, chin and legs.

Preliminary investigations by a police team led by Waryam Singh revealed that the suspects had harassed, physically and mentally, Shakeena just before her death.

The three were arrested from various places but the police was yet to establish the sequence of events leading to her death.

A case under Section 304-B of the IPC has been registered against the three.



Shopkeeper held for selling fake sports goods
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 21
The Kotwali police today arrested a shopkeeper for selling fake sports goods bearing names of international brands.

A raid was conducted following complaints from Yougal Kishore, a Delhi-based dealer, who had alleged that fake sports goods were being sold from a shop situated on the Deepak Cinema road.

Kishore had alleged that two persons — Ashu Gupta and Rakesh Gupta — had been engaged in the sale of these goods. While Ashu was arrested, Rakesh managed to flee.

The police confiscated fake goods worth over Rs 1 lakh and booked the two for fraud and under the Copyright Act.



One killed in mishap
Tribune News Service

Khanna, November 21
A resident of Khanna was killed in an accident late last night after the motorcycle he was driving was hit by a speeding truck on a flyover on the Samrala road.

The deceased was identified as Malkit Singh of Model Town, working with the Khanna Finance Company. He was on his way back home after collecting money from Khanna.

He was hit by the truck during a turn on the flyover. The injured was rushed to the Khanna civil hospital by some passersby.

He was then referred to Patiala, but died on the way. The truck driver fled from the spot. The police registered a case in this connection.



Sports day at kindergarten
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 21
Tiny tots took part in a number of fun games during the one-day sports meet held at Mother's Touch Kindergarten, Rishi Nagar, here today.

The school was tastefully decorated with colorful balloons and flags for the occasion. The meet began with kids taking out an impressive march past.

Deepinderbir Singh Chadha, director of the school, declared the meet open.

Star race, dressing-up race, tub race and three-legged race were the main features of the event. Tug-of-war match between senior and junior teams was the main attraction of the day.

A race for parents was also organised.



Yashika, Sharandeep fastest runners
Our Sports Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 21
Yashika and Sharandeep Singh romped home as fastest runners in the sub-junior girls’ and sub-boys’ sections, respectively, on the opening day of the annual athletics meet at the Guru Nanak International Senior Secondary Public School, Gujarkhan Campus, Model Town, here today.

Results: long jump (sr girls)- Antarpreet Kaur 1, Tarvinder Kaur 2 and Deepika 3; 400m (sr boys)- Anoopjit Singh 1, Bhupinder Singh 2 and Sarabjot Singh 3; 100m race (sub-jr boys)- Sharandeep Singh 1, Gagandeep Singh 2 and Rajbir Singh 3; shot put (sr boys)- Sarabjot Singh 1, Harmeet Singh 2 and Parampreet Singh 3; shot put (jr girls)- Savleen kaur 1, Rasleen 2 and Narpinder Kaur 3; shot put (sub jr girls)- Prabhleen Kaur 1, Yashika 2 and Prabhleen 3; long jump (sr boys)- Bhupinder Singh 1, Sarabjot Singh 2 and Ilamjot Singh 3; 400m race (jr boys)- Lovejot Singh 1, Shahbaz Singh 2 and Mohitbir Singh 3; 400m race ( Anoopjot Singh 1, Bhupinder Singh 2 and Sarabjot Singh 3; 200m race (sub-jr girls)- Harsimran Kaur 1, Ravneet Kaur 2 and Gurnoor Kaur 3; 100m race (sub jr girls)- Yashika 1, Harsimran Kaur 2, Japjot Kaur and Ishwinder Kaur 3.



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