L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC fails to open bids of tenders worth Rs 17 cr
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
Not ready to budge from its tradition of "tender tampering", the engineering branch of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has once again failed to open financial bids of tenders worth Rs 17.1 crore.

The tenders are related to road construction in Focal Point and were invited on October 30. Though the civic body received the bids on November 11 and opened technical bids there and then, it failed to open financial bids even after 15 days of their receipt due to reasons best known to them.

According to information, there are six types of work ranging from Rs 1.53 to Rs 6.46 crore for which bids were invited and 12 firms had applied for the work. These works include strengthening of road from Sharu Steel to Chandigarh Road, Jeewan Nagar Chowk to Phase VIII, from Rockman Cycle to Indira Park Chowk, Aarti Steel to Metro Unit Number 4, main road of Dry Port, etc.

Interestingly, the MC has been accused of tender-tampering on several occasions due to its failure to open bids on time. The contractor-official nexus, especially in the Tender Inviting Cell of the Municipal Corporation, has come under scanner several times and on many occasions, the bids have been also cancelled.

This drawback of the civic body has rocked the MC house several times and MLA Harish Rai Dhanda has often asked Municipal Commissioner and Mayor to make tender system of the Municipal Corporation transparent. But the corporation officials have not changed and tender-tampering in the tenders, involving hefty amount of Rs 17.1 crore, is also being suspected.

When tender inviting cell (TIC) in charge AK Singla was asked about it, he said, "We had to take various works like accounts etc in consideration and within a day or so we would submit our report to the Municipal commissioner. Once we get consent from AK Sinha, we would open the tenders that day only."


Violation of terms
Civic body moots to pledge 7.33 acres to Hudco
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 25
In a move which can have serious legal and other repercussions, the Municipal Corporation here has mooted a proposal to pledge 7.33 acres in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, a colony developed by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), to the Housing and Urban Development Corporation (Hudco) to obtain a Rs 200-crore loan to raise funds for mega development projects.

Interestingly, the land, along with another 1.13 acres in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, was transferred to the MC by the LIT in September 2008 on the directions of the Punjab government on certain specifically laid-down conditions for the utilisation of the funds generated through the disposal of the land.

The tranfer documents of the said land (a copy of which is with The Tribune) clearly state that the MC will retain a sum of Rs 150 crore through commercial exploration of this land, estimated to yield anything around Rs 400 crore, and pass on the balance funds to the LIT. By pledging the land with Hudco against a huge loan, any commercial exploration of the land in the foreseeable future will not be possible, and in the process the funds raised by the MC will be at the cost of LIT, which will be completely deprived of the much-needed funds for the maintenance of its colonies and other development works.

Senior officials, both in the MC and the LIT, also maintain that the very process of transfer of trust land to the civic body, merely to extricate the former from a big financial mess, was bad in law and would not stand scrutiny under the provisions of the Punjab Town Improvement Act under which improvement trusts in Punjab were constituted.

Many city residents, especially those living in residential colonies, carved out and developed by the LIT, are crying for lack of proper infrastructure and poor maintenance, purportedly due to inadequate financial resources available with the trust. They apprehend that the process of development will be further hit if the promised funds through commercial exploration of the said land turned elusive.

Going a step further, the Public Cause, an NGO operating here to safeguard the civic rights of the people here, has served an ultimatuim to seek the intervention of the Punjab and Haryana High Court if the MC went ahead with the proposed mortgaging of land, which belonged to the LIT and funds generated from it ought to be utilised for carrying out development in the trust colonies.



Residents demolish illegal structures on their own
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
With the Municipal Corporation adopting a strict policy against the encroachers, residents of the city have learnt a lesson and started demolishing the structures on their own.

Following the suite, Model Town Market Association today met Zonal Commissioner PS Ghuman and assured him that they would remove all encroachments marked by the corporation within two days.

Keeping the word, the shopkeepers started a mass drive of razing the in the Model Town Market today themselves. Majority of shopkeepers in the most popular market of the city have engaged masons and labourers to break the structures and for picking up their generator sets from the roadside which too amounted to encroachment.

A shopkeeper said, “I have engaged two labourers to remove the tiles that were placed outside my shop. I was not aware that it amounts to encroachment, but now that I have learnt, I don’t mind removing it.”

During the site visit, Area Town Planner (ATP) SS Bindra of D-zone expressed satisfaction over the work being undertaken by the shopkeepers. He said, “We are happy to see that people themselves have realised their responsibilities and are helping the civic body to make the place livable.”

When Zonal Commissioner PS Ghuman was asked about it, he said, “Our basic aim is to give better infrastructure to the people and encroachments are a big hindrance. It’s good to learn and hear people themselves coming forward and expressing willingness to correct themselves.”



Meanwhile, MC drive a lacklustre affair
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
After conducting stiff anti-encroachment drives in B and D zones, the Municipal Corporation operations seemed to be dampening today, while it erased various structures in the Gill road of C zone here today.

Under the drive, various temporary and permanent encroachments like wall, footpaths, shelters, etc., which were protruding outside the building line were demolished, but the MC work was not that aggressive, as it used to be earlier.

Talking to The Tribune, employees undertaking the work said, “It was a complete mismanagement today. We started our work from an octroi on the Gill road near GNE College and ended the work at the Gill chowk where flyover is coming up. The operations today were feeble and even officials seemed to lack that will to work today.”

They added since the corporation had to submit a report of its working today at the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the officials adopted an easy-to-go approach during the demolition drive today.

The civic body did witness some oppositions and spats from the encroachers, but they managed to go ahead with their job. One of such confrontations was witnessed when the demolition squad reached near a temple on the main road. The shopkeepers adjoining the temple started taking plea that the shops belong to the religious place and should be refrained from the action.

However, the demolition squad led by C zone Assistant Commissioner AS Sekhon removed the encroachments. Besides, two petrol pumps, one near Arora Palace, were taken to task by erasing their structures that were considered encroachments.

ATP Nirmalpreet Singh said, “We tried our best to remove the encroachments and left the work near the Gill chowk today. We would start from the chowk itself tomorrow.”

In fact many encroachers have started removing their structures on their own fearing an action, he added.



Maintenance of mortuary
Rights panel summons DC, SSP
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
Taking a strong note of lack of response from the Deputy Commissioner and Senior Superintendent of Police in a case pertaining to the poor maintenance of mortuary at Civil Hospital here, the Punjab State Human Rights Commission has directed both officials to ensure that senior officials appear personally before the commission during the next date of hearing.

Observing that there was lack of coordination between the departments in the city, the commission, in its latest orders, has asked Civil Surgeon, Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, an officer not below the rank of the ADC and SP, from the office of DC and SSP, respectively, to appear personally before the Commission on December 22.

Member, PSHRC, Avinash Rai Khanna, had visited Civil Hospital Ludhiana in July this year. During his visit to the hospital, he found that the condition of the mortuary was pitiable, with no deep-freezer working and also other abnormalities in the cremation of bodies.

Based on this report by Khanna, the commission took cognisance of the matter and called for a report of the DC, Commissioner MC and Civil Surgeon Ludhiana on August 11.

In compliance to this order, only the SMO Ludhiana had submitted a report, in which the police was burdened with the responsibility for the disposal of bodies. The report stated that most of the bodies kept in the mortuary were related to legal cases. The police was bound to dispose these of.

While the SMO had washed his hands of the responsibility, the SSP and DC failed to even send a report to the commission on this account.

In his report, Khanna had depicted poor conditions prevailing in the mortuary of Civil Hospital. The report said though the deep freezer was not working, five unknown bodies were kept in the hospital everyday. It was very difficult to enter the mortuary, as foul smell was coming from it.

There was no ice placed near the mortuary nor the bodies were covered with cloth. It was reported that the bodies from the Civil Hospital used to be shifted to the cremation ground before covering the same and were cremated without observing the religious rites, said the report.



Hotels, clubs violate Copyright Act
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
A majority of hotels, restaurants, social and health clubs in Ludhiana are violating the Copyright Act, 1957, by playing music in the absence of licence from Indian Performing Rights Society Limited (IPRS), a body authorised to issue licence in India.

The society was formed in 1969 to check physical piracy of music and ensure royalty to the artistes who are members of the IPRS.

Out of the list of 2,000 plus commercial establishments, which are using music to promote their respective businesses in Ludhiana and Jalandhar, only 150 have taken licence from the IPRS.

Kunal Sarin, society spokesperson, during his visit to the city today, called upon the people to volunteer for the licence. “We will make an earnest request, but even then if people are not willing to comply, the IPRS will take a stern action against the offenders, which includes heavy fines and imprisonment of six months to two years,” Sarin added.

The society administers and controls the performing rights in musical works wherein royalties are collected for respective writer, composers and publishers whose musical work is being performed, broadcasted and transmitted in any part of the world.

Kunal Sarin added, “There are performing rights societies of every nation, which ensure the collection of the royalties of Indian artistes from performances, transmission and broadcast and the stipulated amount from that income is paid to the artistes.”

He cited the example of Pakistani artistes who have always been frequent visitors to India adding that Pakistan could never develop a music industry of its own because of rampant piracy. “We have to safeguard the interests of our artistes and music industry,” Sarin added.

Noted Punjabi lyricist Dev Tharikewala voicing his gratitude to the IPRS said, “I registered myself with the society six months ago and have already received a cheque of Rs 53,000 as my royalty from my music performed in India and overseas.”



Farmers seek arrest of SGPC chief
Kuldip Bhatia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 25
Responding to a call given by a few farmers’ bodies for a statewide protest, a large number of farmers and farm workers from different parts of the district, held a demonstration in front of the mini secretariat here today. They were demanding arrest of Avtar Singh Makkar, president, SGPC, and others, including the head of the SGPC task force, who were allegedly behind the killing of two farmers and injuring several others at Khanna Chamiara village under the Dera Baba Nanak subdivision in Gurdaspur district on November 3.

Led by activists of the Kirti Kisan Union, Jamhoori Kisan Sabha, Punjab, Khetibari, Kisan Vikas Front and the Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta), the protesting farmers further demanded immediate disbanding of the SGPC task force, which they alleged, was being used to let loose a reign of terror at the instance of the SGPC functionaries and senior SAD leaders.

Speaking at the occasion, leaders of the farmers’ bodies like Tarlochan Singh Jhordan, Gurcharan Singh Acharwal, Mohinder Singh Seelon Kalan, Mohinder Singh Acharwal, Narinderjit Singh Sodhi and Nirmal Singh Bhumal called upon Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to clarify stand of the government over such highhanded and repressive act, or else quit.

The demonstrators asked the state government to announce a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for those killed in firing and a government job for eligible member of the family, Rs 3 lakh to injured farmers and grant ownership rights to cultivators in this particular village. They also wanted strict action against the police officers who had failed to discharge their duty and provide protection to the farmers.



Sangrur cops get blackberry for effective policing
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 25
The Sangrur district police went a step ahead in using the software technology for monitoring the law and order situation in the area.

All important events concerned with maintaining the law and order, including the receipt of complaints and their redressal are immediately conveyed to the headquarter.

The Malerkotla circle has emerged as the first subdivision with all SHOs interconnected with the headquarters and among themselves with Blackberry smart-phones provided by the department.

The Sangrur district police had taken a lead in training all members of its force in using computer and Internet technology for monitoring the law and order situation in the area.

Naunihal Singh, SSP of the district, had made it obligatory for all concerned to acquire minimum knowledge in information technology and computer science. Special classes were arranged at educational institutes situated in respective areas of various police stations.

The system besides sophistication and institutionalising process of recording and redressing complaints received from residents has brought down the response time of the police control rooms vans in reaching crime spots.

With software technology being used at every step, the police headquarters will be able to keep a track on all events occurring in the area and coordinate with different teams accordingly, DSP Malerkotla Gurpreet Singh Sikand said.

With all beat in charges and investigation officers having been interconnected through Internet facility, the SHO in Malerkotla circle have been provided blackberry smart phones.

MMSs and clippings concerned with relevant incidents taking place in the area are sent to higher officers, including the SSP, SPs and circle officers as and when events occur.

The development is also expected to mend alleged hostile attitude of self-styled political and social leaders who earlier used to interfere in police working to appease their cliques.

While complainants and justice seekers are happy being responded in a better way, residents of the area expect the system will help honest cops in effective policing.



Effluent Plants: Businessmen to meet pollution board chief today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
Four representatives from the industry, who had been included in the high-level committee constituted by the state government for the installation of Common Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) in the city, have been asked to attend a meeting with the Chairman, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), tomorrow in New Delhi.

These four industrialists are VK Goel, CEO, Vardhman Spinning and General Mills, Ashok Makkar, president, Dyeing Associations, Ludhiana, Tarun Bawa Jain and Rajat Sood. They met yesterday to discuss the agenda and report to be submitted to the CPCB chairman tomorrow.

One of the officials of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) here said along with the industry representatives, members of the department would also attend the meeting. "The state government is keen to install CETPs in the city so that the pollution level from Budha Nullah is curtailed. The CPCB chairman has also invited senior environmental scientists to take part in the meeting. Besides, one of our delegations had recently attended a seminar on environment in Israel. They will also discuss their experiences during the meeting with the chairman", said the 

According to sources, many companies from places like Delhi, Ahmedabad, Baroda etc were taking keen interest in getting the contract for installing effluent treatment plants here.

Ashok Makkar, one of the industry representatives and a member of the committee, said they were asked to submit the report on November 10 by the state government but the meeting could not take place that day. "We will discuss all issues tomorrow. We are hopeful that something fruitful will come out from the meeting", he added.



Rotarians as ambassadors of peace
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
To serve as ambassadors of peace, a Rotary Foundation group study exchange (GSE) team from Rotary District 3090 has been selected to showcase the rich Indian cultural and vocational expertise to a few regions of New Jersey in the USA.

Mukesh Bansal, Commissioner, MC, Bilaspur (Chhatissgarh), Vishav Bharti of Barnala, Arun Arora, Mansa, Dr Saran Pal Singh of Bathinda and The Tribune correspondent from Mandi Ahmedgarh are part of the team.

Amzad Ali, chairman, Sohrab Group of Industries, Malerkotla, and convener of the selection process, said the team members would help the Rotary Foundation to build goodwill and peace through a world fellowship of business and professionals during a scheduled programme.

Mukesh Bansal of Sunam and Bilaspur MC Commissioner said he would try to blend most affirmative elements of administrative set up of two countries and utilise the same for further enhancement of the system.

“By staying with families of prominent Rotarians of one of the most developed nations of the world, I will be able to observe elements of administration, which are liked by those governed by the USA,” said Bansal while talking to The Tribune after familiarisation meeting held here yesterday. He maintained his disposition would improve the image of Indian administration among the Americans. Vishav Bharti, a journalist, said the programme was a unique cultural and vocational exchange opportunity for business people and professionals who are in the early stages of their careers.



‘Canada keen to accept immigrants’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
With aging population and impending labour problem, this year Canada is accepting the highest- ever number of immigrants from across the globe in the past 15 years, said Lt Col BS Sandhu, chairman and managing director of the World Wide Immigration Consultancy Services (WWICS).

Addressing a press conference here yesterday, Sandhu said with the introduction of the fast track immigration, the entire procedure had become simpler for the immigrants, who could seek immigration under different categories of skilled worker category, federal investor category and Quebec investor category.

He said in the past couple of months, 74 immigrants had received their immigration papers through WWICS. “Realising its need to have young and talented people, the Canadian government has implemented major changes to ease the influx of talented and hard working immigrants,” he added.

Economy in Canada and Australia depend heavily on immigrants to fill the shortfall in its labour market, therefore, applicants falling under the Canada’s 38 priority occupation list and the Australia’s critical skill list are processed on fast-track system and aspiring candidates gets nod within six to 12 months, he added.

Businessmen can easily make it to their dream destination as permanent residencies under the Canadian Federal Investor Programme and the Quebec Investor Programme, without having to worry about clearing IELTS, he added.

With an investment of just Rs 50 lakh, the wannabe immigrants can immigrate through the fast track system within this period. Banks can readily finance the balance money. With just two years business experience and having net worth equivalent to CDN 800,000, businessmen qualify for this opportunity enabling their entire family to immigrate.

Sandhu added that besides providing opportunity to the business class, Canada is an attractive destination for students pursuing quality education.



Protest against pollution by auto-rickshaws
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 25
Activists of Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Suraksha Samiti today staged a protest against what they called the increasing level of environmental pollution caused by thousands of auto-rickshaws plying without valid permits on the city’s streets.

The group’s state president, Rajiv Tandon, and senior vice president Amar Takkar, who led the protest, accused the administration, especially the traffic police and transport department, of ignoring the “havoc wreaked” by the city’s three wheelers. "These auto rickshaws are plying without valid permits, driving licences and pollution check. In the absence of any kind of enforcement plying an auto-rickshaw in the city has become a lucrative business," they said.

The Samiti leaders said the three wheelers, whose drivers had no traffic sense and were parked illegally at every conceivable place, had worsened traffic jams that had become the order of the day. “This has led to wastage of precious fuel as well as manhours, besides posing a grave threat to public health by way of adding to the already high level of environmental pollution”, they added.

The protesters called upon the authorities to effectively tackle the problem and “fulfill their constitutional and moral responsibility to the people”, failing which the Samiti may have to “resort to measures to goad them into action”.



Eve teasing on rise in colleges
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
Incidents of eve teasing and sexual harassment are on the rise in the city colleges. Everyday, scores of girl students are subjected to indecent comments, mental and psychological harassment and many times, even physical assault.

And mostly the perpetrators of such acts of indecency are the male students of the institution itself. But, this does not completely absolve the outsiders of such acts of indecency on the college campuses.

Unfortunately, the eve teasers manage to go scot free, as their victims fail to lodge a protest or complaint with the authorities concerned, fearing retaliation by the culprit, social stigma, peer pressure and lack of support from the college authorities.

This not only encourages the assailants to continue with their uncalled-for behaviour but also gives them enough reason to harass their victims persistently.

Most girls studying in the co-educational colleges, mostly professional institutions, confirmed having been a victim of eve teasing or sexual harassment on the campus, when a team of Ludhiana Tribune talked to them.

Indecent language, cheap songs, rude comments, attempts to make physical contact were said to be the most common means of the sexual harassment by fellow students on the campus.

However, most college authorities are aware of the goings-on on the campus, even though no or a few formal complaints are made.

And, unfortunately, they fail to punish the culprits and curb the menace effectively.

Confirming that eve teasing and sexual harassment take place on the college campuses, Dr KNS Kang, director, Punjab College of Technical Education (PCTE) said, “We are aware that youngsters indulge in harmless flirting, teasing and joking with their fellow students on the campus but any kind of rude and indecent behaviour is not tolerated. We have stringent rules and regulations in place for dealing with rowdy students who create indiscipline on the campus.”

He added that punishment like few days’ suspension is sufficient and apt to deal with and rectify such behaviour. “Vigilance on part of the authorities and punishment for the culprit are the only means to tackle the issue of eve teasing and sexual harassment on the college campuses,” Dr Kang remarked.

Requesting anonymity, the director of an engineering college near here, said, “We know such incidents do take place but in the absence of any complaint, we cannot take an action against anybody.”



From Schools & Colleges
Helpers’ day at Mother's Pride
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
Tiny tots of Mother’s Pride celebrated the helpers’ day on the school premises here today, as they came to the school dressed as teacher, soldier, postman, gardener, tailor, waiter, farmer, nurse, doctor, carpenter, barber and cobbler. Not only did they become aware about the importance of these people who help the community, but also the way they help society. They also learned to respect these helpers and their contribution in building society.

A helpers’ race was held in the school in which tiny tots participated with great enthusiasm. The entire school was divided into work places of various helpers like doctor’s clinic, vegetable seller shop, post office, etc. where children had unlimited fun with games and fancy dresses.

School director Shobhan Soi encouraged the kids to participate in the activities, which he termed as “fun and learning experience for the children”.


Dr (Col) HS Singha, director, Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology (GNIMT), has been awarded an International Gold Star Award for individual excellence in recognition of sterling merit, excellent performance and outstanding contribution for progress of the nation by achieving excellence in education. The award was presented by Paitoon Kaewthong, minister of labour, Government of Thailand, during the Indo-Thai Friendship Banquet held in Bangkok recently.

There were about 30 participants from various countries. Dr Anshu Kataria of Aryans Group of Institutes was also awarded a Certificate of Excellence for being a young entrepreneur in spreading technical education. These awards were presented for excellence and achievements in various spheres of service to society in general and for the India-Thailand Friendship enhancement in particular.

GNIMT has also bagged the National Achievements Award for Education Excellence in June, 2009, which was presented by BP Singh, Governor of Sikkim.


The Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE) Students’ Chapter and training and placement cell of Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology (GNIMT) organised a seminar on time management.

Prof Dhanjay Singh, senior faculty member, ICFAI, Hyderabad, was the resource person. Singh enlightened the students about the importance of time management. He told the students that time management is self management, which can be attained by setting goals, proper planning, organising, delegation and setting priorities. Motivating the students, he asked them to set their goals to sustain in the cut throat competition.

More than 100 students attended the seminar.

Dr (Col) HS Singha stated that such informative seminars are conducted from time to time for the benefit of the students. He thanked the resource person.


A quiz show, “Mind Teasers”, was organised at Darshan Academy in which 28 schools participated. In the preliminary round, six schools were shortlisted. In the main round, Green Grove School, Khanna, stood first followed by Darshan Academy, Ludhiana. Sacred Heart Convent School, Khanna, and Ryan International, Jamalpur, jointly emerged as the third winner.

Chief guest PN Malhotra, education official to Darshan Education Foundation, Delhi, encouraged the students for their participation.


A lecture by Canadian citizen Sadhvi Vidushi Om Prabha Bharti was organised by Devki Devi Jain Memorial College for Women. Principal Surinder Dua extended a warm welcome to the guest who spoke on personality development, stress management, self discovery and energy management.

A documentary was also shown to the students.



Annual day
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 25
Two schools, SNAS Senior Secondary School and SNAS Model Senior Secondary School, Mandi Gobindgarh, jointly celebrated the annual day at the school complex recently. Management committee chief Joginderpal Singla was the chief guest. Municipal council chief Dharampal Rao and former vice-president Suresh Kumar Babli were the guests of honour.

The programme began with Saraswati vandana and shabad presented by the students. The students presented gidha, skit and bhangra to mark the celebrations.



Medical camp for physically challenged
Our Correspondent

Raikot, November 25
The Lions Club, Raikot, organised a medical camp for the physically challenged and polio-infected children. The team of Dr Ujjagar Singh, an orthopaedic specialist from Bathinda, examined around 50 children.

He said these patients needed moral support than the medical support and advised the parents never to loose heart, as there was always a possibility for recovery in such patients.

Club president Mukesh Gupta, project director Baldev Khurana, Dr Surinder Singla, Durgesh Sharma, Sandeep Sharma and Dr Naresh Goyal were present on the occasion.

The club also gave free medicines to the patients at the camp. Moved by the plight of the physically challenged children and their enthusiasm for life, Mukesh Gupta announced to support them with free medical aid to be financed jointly by the club and fellow doctors, who are members of the Lions Club.



Police cautions against use of LPG geysers
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 25
Taking note of the several accidents, some of them fatal, linked with carbon monoxide poisoning that have occurred during the past few years as a result of using LPG powered water heaters, the police has urged social and educational organisations to instill awareness among people on the consequences of using these devices in unventilated bathrooms.

Besides being dangerous, the use of geysers powered by LPG is also illegal as a domestic gas cylinder sold at subsidised prices can only be used for cooking purposes.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune after interacting with office bearers of a few social and educational institutes, Malerkotla DSP Gupreet Singh Sikand said the sudden and tragic deaths - most of them in bathrooms - that took place in the last couple of years have been linked to carbon monoxide poisoning caused as a result of using geysers in closed bathrooms.

Though the gas-powered geysers have become extremely popular in recent years, in the absence of adequate safety features as well as lack of safety precautions, they have been the cause of deaths and accidents.

Sikand maintained most people install the LPG cylinder outside but keep the geyser inside, presuming this will prevent accidents linked with leakage of LPG and carbon monoxide poisoning. However they overlook the fact that combustion takes place inside the geyser, which is placed in an unventilated or at least underventilated bathroom.

"As the ignition takes place in a restricted supply of oxygen, incomplete combustion of gas produces carbon monoxide that combines with hemoglobin of blood, thus acting as a poison," argued Sikand, adding a large numbers of victims of carbon monoxide poisoning had been admitted to hospitals in the past.

Asserting immediate action was required to protect consumers and prevent more deaths resulting from use of LPG geysers, Sikand said he had directed his beat officers to ensure that geysers dealers warned their customers about threats associated with use of the device in a closed bathroom.

Preventive steps

l Ensure ventilation in bathroom
l Install geyser outside bathroom
l Don't spend too much time in bathroom when a geyser is in use
l Switch off geyser before using the bathroom
l Heart and asthma patients shouldn’t use LPG geysers at all



Policy on religious encroachments on cards
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
Encroachments seem to have become the flavour of the season. While the civic body is taking the anti-encroachment drive for the past two weeks, the Ludhiana administration too has started collecting information on religious encroachments.

According to information, various departments like Municipal Corporation, PWD, Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), etc., submitted a list of religious encroachments identified by them to the DC office today.

Officials revealed that the data was being collected to help the Punjab government to draft a policy on the religious encroachments on the directions of the Supreme Court.

An official pleasing anonymity said, “A few days ago, the Supreme Court had issued directions that mushrooming of the encroachments in the name of religion should be stopped immediately. Besides, efforts should be made to get rid of the already existing ones by finding an amicable solution.”

ATP Harpreet Ghai, who represented Municipal Corporation, said, “There are around 103 religious encroachments within the MC limits. Most of these encroachments are on public parks, roads, etc., and no action has come over it.”

He added that the departments were just asked to submit lists and further refused to comment.

Interestingly, many MC parks and roads in the city have become a victim of the religion. For example, a public park in the Model Town Extension where a gurdwara has come, the Jagraon bridge where a big temple has been constructed and a mosque at Basti Jodhewal.

The encroachments flourishing under the garb of religion have not only become an eyesore for commuters, but have even put the city development at stake, as town planning has been disturbed in various accounts due to these religious encroachments.



Murder accused dies
Our Correspondent

Raikot, November 25
A youth of Toose village, who was an accused in the Pakhowal murder case, died under mysterious circumstances at Ludhiana. The deceased, identified as Gurpreet Singh, was the only son of late Amarjit Singh and Narinder Kaur.

He was released on bail two days prior to his suspicious death.

The Sudhar police had arrested Gurpreet Singh, along with his accomplice Ajay Kumar, on August 2 after a gap of 14 months when they, along with their other accomplices, attacked two youths, and allegedly murdered Dharminder Singh of Pakhowal and attempted to murder Kuldeep Singh of the village in a shop, where the victims had tried to hide in early 2008. One of the accused, identified as Kuldeep Singh, of Toose village, is still at large.

On November 22, Gurpreet Singh went to Ludhiana with his friends, identified as Babbu Suniar and Sandeep Sonu. On November 23, her mother was informed that her son was lying unconscious at a hotel. When she along with relatives reached the hotel room no. 133, she found Gurpreet lying unconscious on the bed and a lady, identified as Kitty of Shimlapuri, sitting beside her.

The family of the deceased accused the Sudhar police of being inactive in the case and friends of the deceased and relatives raised anti police slogans and blocked traffic on state highway at Sudhar. Under pressure, the body was sent to Ludhiana for postmortem, which will be video-graphed afterwards.



TV serials head overseas for fresh feel
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
Encouraged by the growing popularity of numerous Indian television shows in neighbouring countries, producers have now taken to shooting a few of the serials there.

Very soon viewers will see Laali and Shekhar, the lead pair of the popular Zee TV serial ‘Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya hi Kijo’ romancing in the beautiful valleys of Nepal. With a major twist coming up in the story, the Zee TV team has decided to shoot against the backdrop of the Himalayas.

An excited Ratan Rajput, who plays Laali in the serial said: “The story is set in Bihar and Nepal is just across the border. Hence the audiences will definitely find a connection with Nepal. The part which is going to be shot there is very crucial in taking the storyline forward, finally cementing the Lali-Shekhar relationship”.

Equally excited, Abhishek Rawat (Shekhar) chipped in: “I can’t wait to pack my bags and board the plane to Nepal - this is going to be so exciting. I’ve already done my research on that country. It’s freezing out there -visiting Nepal in the winter is going to be simply awesome!” The unit will primarily shoot in Pokhra and Kathmandu during a 15-day tour.

“Zee TV’s popularity arises from its understanding of the Indian culture and beliefs that are depicted in its programmes. Realising the need for Indian entertainment in the overseas market the company launched Zee TV in the United Kingdom and Europe (1995), the USA (1998) and Africa (1998) and the channel is today available across the five continents,” said a Zee TV spokesperson.



City Concerns
Construct artificial lake near Ladhowal station

The financial capital of the state lacks a tourist spot. Though the city offers recreation to its residents in different ways, there is no place where the residents can unwind in the lap of nature. Even the visitors often ask for a lake or water body where they can go for a walk or just relax on its bank. The Sidhwan canal passing through the city has a great potential when water is released into it. They miss Chandigarh's Sukhna Lake and yearn for a similar water body in Ludhiana. The residents have come up with different ideas on the issue.

The Sidhwan canal should have a bridge for morning walks and evening strolls. Citizens are breathing poisonous air and there is no space to enjoy the fresh air. The successive governments and municipal corporation thought little about the health of the citizens and recreation sites for them. As the Sutlej is flowing on the western side of the city, an artificial lake should be worked out for boating purpose near the Ladhowal railway station and its water could be incurred from the Sutlej. The governing corporation usually talks about the paucity of funds but where there is a will there is a way. The space can be rented out to private companies, who can set up some recreational parks and charge a ticket for the same.

Sher Singh, Ludhiana

Tourist spot

Converting the Sidhwan canal into a recreational tourist spot in the lap of nature is a novel idea. To make the Sidhwan canal an attractive place, there is enough scope of landscaping. There should be proper painted iron railing on both sides of the canal to avoid accidents. More bridges should be constructed on the canal to control traffic. The tourist spot should be created on the pattern of Sarabha Nagar’s Leisure Valley.

Proper provision of electricity, jogging tracks, children play parks, water falls, fancy lights, fountains, fish tanks, swimming pools and sitting arrangement in open should be made.

Bhajan Singh Kukereja

Allocate budget

Ludhiana, the central district of the state, falls in Doaba and is being called as the financial capital of Punjab and the Manchester of India. Its importance is worldwide.

On the outskirts of the city, a number of rose gardens, zoos, waterfalls, tourist spots, etc. can be set up for the city-dwellers, where they may go far a walk. Taking in view of the dire need of Ludhianvis and tourists, the finance and tourist ministry must earmark necessary budget to fulfill this dream, for which the national and global tenders can be floated with time frame.

However, the major problems the city is encountering are pollution, poor cleanliness and drainage system, broken/potholed roads, power cuts, thefts, vehicular traffic, jhuggi dwellers, encroachments, etc, which must be tackled at the highest priority.

Jai Gopal Kusla, Ludhiana

Need of the hour

The urban interference has made Ludhiana an arid city, which lacks a suitable tourist spot where one can go and relax after a weeklong stress at work. Therefore, making and developing the Sidhwan canal into a tourist spot is a project worthy of appreciation because it is definitely the need of the hour.

A tourist spot around the canal would not only help in the better upkeep of the canal but would also sensitise the coming generations to help produce and maintain a pollution free, clean and healthy environment while learning to preserve, care and love the environment. Ludhiana has the unique privilege of having Punjab Agricultural University. Their floriculture and landscaping experts can help the city to develop the canal into multiple tourist spots. It is therefore, not only a citizen’s right to have a place to relax and unwind, but also the crying need of the tense lifestyle that we are living in.

Dr Madanjit Kaur Sahota

Exploit canal’s potential

It can be a beautiful idea to develop the Sidhwan canal as a spot of tourist attraction. The residents in the city have always missed a water body. Several of them have been specifically visiting Chandigarh to sit on the banks of Sukhna lake. But the authorities have never been able to feel the need of the residents and exploit the potential of the Sidhwan canal.

The authorities concerned can develop walkers’ spots alongside the canal. These can be beautified and music can be played in the mornings and evenings. People can be attracted with the help of fishing platforms where fish lovers can be allowed to sit for hours together. There can be a provision for boating also and many people can get employment at the same time, while providing recreational facilities for the residents.

Dr Parvinder Singh, Ludhiana



Gang of swindlers busted
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, November 25
After receiving a tipoff a police team led by Mandi Gobindgarh SHO Dalbir Singh Grewal arrested five members of a gang of swindlers near the Krishna Mandir here today. The action follows a directive from district police chief Kaustabh Sharma calling on the cops to launch a campaign against ‘antisocial elements’ in the area.

The five suspects have been identified as Mohammad Javed, resident of Kohimtoor (Tamil Nadu), Harmandeep Singh alias Sambha, Gaurav Kumar alias Anil Kumar, Gurbinder Singh alias Gopi (all residents of Batala) and Sandeep Singh of Verka, a resident of Amritsar. The gang members were presented before the media persons here today.

The police also took possession of a Honda City car (registration no: PB18C 9600) that the gang used to commit various crimes. An FIR number was registered today against the five men under sections 406, 420, 463 and 120B of the IPC.

The police said it recovered an ICICI Bank MasterCard in the name of Parkash Gupta and another MasterCard issued to Deepak Ragani, two coloured photocopies of a driving licence in the name of Vikas Gupta and Deepak Ragani from one of the suspects, Gurbinder. From another suspect, Sandeep, the cops recovered an ICICI Bank MasterCard, two Standard Chartered Bank MasterCards in the name of Kuldeep Singh and two driving licences in the name of Anil Singh and Narinder Singh.

From Harmandeep the police recovered HSBC and Citibank Visa cards in the name of Kuldeep Singh and colored photocopies of a driving licence issued to Ravi Malhotra. From Gaurav a Citibank Visa card in the name of Parkash Gupta, an ICICI Bank MasterCard in the name of Deepak Ragani and two coloured photocopies of a driving licence issued to Parkash Gupta and Nafish Alam were recovered.

From Javed the cops recovered a Citibank MasterCard and an HSBC Bank Visa card in the name of Parkash Gupta. The gang members had pasted their own photos in place of those of the genuine credit card holders.

The police said after securing police remand for the five suspects it hopes to find out who were involved in preparing the fictitious documents.



Motorcyclist dies in mishap
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, November 25
A motorcyclist died yesterday after being hit by an unidentified vehicle. The accident took place in the evening near Bajigar basti of Sehjad village. The biker died on the spot.

The deceased has been identified as Mantan Pandit (40), a contractor of Phullanwal village, who was on his way to Ludhiana from Jodhan after finishing his day’s job on the motorcycle when an unidentified vehicle coming from the opposite direction rammed into his bike.

The driver of the vehicle, however, managed to escape from the accident site. The Sudhar police on the statement of Videshwadi Pandit, the brother of the deceased, has registered a case under Sections 279, 427 and 304A of the IPC against the unidentified driver.



One held with intoxicants
Our Correspondent

Khamano November 25
During patrolling the local police arrested a man with a sizable quantity of intoxicant substances in his possession in Sanghol, near here. According to information, a patrol team led by Amardeep Singh, in charge of the Sanghol police post, apprehended the suspect near the bus stand and after a search recovered 68 bottles of the intoxicant Recodex and 550 capsules of Travon Spas from him. The suspect has been identified as Lakhvir Singh.



Punjab Women Sports Festival
Two city girls win gold, silver medals
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 25
Kamalpreet Kaur and Suhapanpreet of Ludhiana did the city proud by bagging gold and silver medals in 200 meters individual medley and 100 meters freestyle swimming events held on the third day of the Punjab State Games for Women at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today.

Kamalpreet Kaur was adjudged the winner with 3:07.75 m in individual medley followed by Suhapanpreet in second position with 3:07.87 m while Anish of Jalandhar finished third with 3:09.25 m.

Ludhiana girls outshone swimmers of other districts as they won the gold in swimming in 4x100 mt. Medley relay clocking 5:43.91 m. Sangrur Swimmers took 6:11.11 mnts to win the silver followed by Jalandhar team that bagged the bronze in 6:12.62 m.

Upinder Singh Grewal, former mayor and President, Punjab Swimming Association, was the chief guest and Harpal Singh Kanwar, Deputy Director, Sports, was the guest of honour.

Navjoban Kaur of Hoshiarpur bagged gold in 1500 mt track clocking 4:32.51 m. at Guru Nanak Stadium while Manpreet Kaur of Jalandhar won the silver in 4:40.77 m followed by Loveleen Kaur of Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar who got bronze in 5:24.75 m.

In 100 mt Hurdles race Satwant Kaur of Hoshiarpur won gold as she completed the race in 14.70 sec, Sumandeep Kaur of Jalandhar won silver in 14.76 sec. and Sukhmanpreet Kaur of sangrur got bronze in 15.76 sec. Simarjit Kaur of Jalandhar won the gold in 400 mtr. clocking 57.12 sec. Manpreet Kaur also from Jalandhar got silver in 58.91 sec. where as Akwinder Kaur of Sahibzada Ajit Singh Nagar bagged bronze in 59.20 sec.

Rupinder Kaur of Jalandhar secured first place in javelin throw by throwing it 40.37 mtr., Gurpreet Kaur of Patiala got second with 37.23 mtr. and Jagdeep Kaur of Ludhiana finished third with 21.05 mtr.

Roop Nagar clinched Gold in handball’s final match by defeating Ludhiana by 23-18 where as Tarn Taran edged upon Jalandhar by 24-23 for the bronze medal in the dying minute of extra time given to them as both teams at level during the set time.

Kapurthala stormed into the final of hockey by crushing host Ludhiana 9-1 as the winner team did not gave any chance to the host to make any move against them. In the second semifinal match Sangrur crashed out Mukatsar by 5-1 goals. Kapurthala will play final match with Sangrur tomorrow.

Ludhiana won gold in swimming in 4x100 mtr. medley relay clocking 5:43.91 m Sangrur swimmers took 6:11.11 m. to win silver and Jalandhar got bronze in 6:12.62 m.

Results: Volleyball (Quarterfinals)

Mukatsar beat Patiala 25-09, 25-10

Jalandhar beat Ludhiana 12-25, 25-20, 25-13

Sangrur beat Moga 25-13, 25-11

Amritsar beat Barnala 25-09, 25-09

Kho Kho (Quarterfinals)

Patiala beat Mansa 4 points

Sangrur beat Hoshiarpur 13 points

Ludhiana beat SA S Nagar 8 points

Jalandhar beat Ferozepur 6 points

Badminton (Semifinals)

Ludhiana beat Jalandhar 2-0

Sangrur beat Patiala 2-0

Volleyball (Semifinals)

Jalandhar beat Amritsar 25-23, 21-25, 25-11, 25-23

Sangrur beat Mukatsar 25-15, 25-20, 25-22

Swimming (200mt individual medley)

Kawalpreet Kaur (Ldh) winner 3:07.75 minutes

Suhapanpreet (Ldh) runners up 3:07.87 minutes

Anisha (Jal) third place 3:09.25 minutes

Swimming (100mt freestyle)

Kawalpreet Kaur (Ldh) winner 1:13.08 minutes

Suhapanpreet (Ldh) runners up 1:13.45 minutes.

Alisha (Pta) winner 1:20.45 minutes.

Hockey (Semifinals)

Kapurthala beat Ludhiana 9-1

Tarn Taran beat Amritsar 5-1

Kabaddi (Quarterfinals)

Patiala beat Ferpzepur 49-24

Jalandhar beat Bathinda 56-18

Ludhiana beat Amritsar 19-16

Sangrur beat Mansa 34-29.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |