L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


LIT says no to land for DIG’s residence
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 3
The Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) is understood to have taken a decision not to offer land in its colonies for the construction of the residence for the DIG of police, Ludhiana range, or for that matter relocation of police stations.

Early this year, the police had made a formal request to the LIT for the allotment of 2.25 acre at Maharishi Valmiki Nagar and another 1 acre at Model Town Extension for the relocation of the Model Town police station, which is proposed to be made into a model police station.

The LIT had adopted a resolution as required under the Punjab Town Improvement Act and sent it to the local government department for approval. The nod is awaited. The entire process was undertaken before the incumbent chairman Ashok Juneja was appointed.

With the change of guard at the LIT, all proposals in the pipeline for the transfer of land to various government departments and institutions were examined afresh and the consensus of legal experts was that such transfers of trust land were banned in law.

The Punjab Town Improvement Act under which improvement trusts have been constituted does not have any provision for the transfer of any of its land or property to other departments or institutions.

Vacant land available with the LIT has been earmarked for specific purposes and the land cannot be used for any other purpose than those mentioned in the schemes.

The PUDA had also asked the LIT to transfer 2.25 acres at Maharishi Valmiki Nagar and 2.10 acre land at Rajguru Nagar. The transfer of land was sought by PUDA against loans advanced by the authority to the urban local bodies, including the MC. The LIT has, however, declined the request on legal grounds.

AK Bhandari, general secretary of Public Cause, an NGO, said indiscriminate transfer of land to institutions and government departments at the whims of the government was tantamount to cheating residents of those localities as the land was being put to use other than in the original scheme.

“This arbitrary practice would not be allowed and we have already sought a list of such transfers of LIT land made till date in order to seek legal intervention,” he said.

Ashok Juneja was not available for comments.


Undertrial in murder case appears for examination
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 3
Guru Nanak College for Girls at Model Town received an unusual visitor today -- a man in handcuffs (facing jail term in a murder case) who had come to take the examination.

Eid Karim (42) is in the final year of Bachelor of Tourism and took the examination along with seven others on the college premises.

He was brought to the city from Nabha Jail this morning. At the beginning of the examination, a cop was made to sit with him for security reasons, but later the jail authorities accompanying him removed the handcuffs and allowed him to write the paper.

Students queued up outside the examination hall to catch a glimpse of the undertrial. A teacher by occupation, Karim did BEd from Bihar University. He was running a school at Vardhman Nagar, Rahon road, when he was nabbed along with seven others in 2000 for allegedly killing a man following an argument at Field Gunj.

Talking to The Tribune after taking the examination, a visibly happy Karim said: “It was easier than I expected. I have to prepare my project report as I have to submit it in a few days.”

Karim, who has imparted education to over 150 illiterate prisoners, rued his fate. Due to his imprisonment, the education of his four children received a setback and they could not study further.

“Everything was ruined following the arrest of my father. We could not go to school and our mother died. I had to earn food for my three younger siblings,” said Rehmat, the eldest son of Karim.

Karim, whose jail term is going to end soon, was all praise for the jail authorities. He said after the death of his wife, he went into depression, but jail officials helped him and provided him with books. They even made arrangements so that he could take the examination. “I would ensure that my children study after my release from jail,” he said with hope.



Swine flu deaths set off alarm bells
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Warning Signs

  • Trouble breathing, including rapid breathing
  • Gray/bluish colour of skin
  • Less intake of fluids
  • Sleeping constantly and not interacting when awake
  • Over reacting and irritable
  • No urination; no tears while crying
  • Symptoms improve, but return with fever and worse cough

Ludhiana, December 3
The recent deaths of swine flu patients undergoing treatment at hospitals in Ludhiana has become a matter of concern for the district health authorities.

Doctors have termed the late arrival of such patients to hospitals as a major cause that leads to deterioration and complications, resulting in multiple organ failure which proves fatal.

Dr Kanwal Masih, medical superintendent at the CMCH, said people were unable to differentiate between common flu and swine flu as the symptoms were similar and as a result, they were late in reporting the matter to the doctor. In a majority of cases, the patients came to the hospital with viral pneumonia wherein H1N1 moves deeper into the lungs, hindering oxygen supply to organs.

Another doctor, referring to the dangerous habit of self-medication, said common cold did not require a doctor and people started taking medicines on their own, thinking that it had been triggered by seasonal allergy. “But self-medication proves fatal in case of swine flu patients as the first five days of contact with H1N1 virus are most crucial when the person concerned should be put on immediate medication,” he observed.



Sacked HIV/AIDS workers back
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 3
The nine outreach workers working with the integrated counselling and testing centres in Ludhiana to help HIV/AIDS patients, whose services had been terminated last month by the National AIDS Control Organisation, were reinstated today.

The termination of services of these outreach workers had come as a shock to the NGOs working for the cause of HIV/AIDS patients and also to the patients as these workers were the most important link between the mainstream and HIV/AIDS patients.

Jagjit Singh Mann, president of the NGO Punjab Networking People’s Party (PNPP), which had been working for HIV/AIDS patients, said the department reinstated the outreach workers following reports published in English dailies on the World AIDS Day on December 1 and this gave a new lease of life to HIV/AIDS patients in the district.



Dharna against guru’s visit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 3
Traffic came to a halt at Jagraon bridge today after a group of nearly 100 persons staged dharna against the three-day visit of spiritual guru Ashutosh Maharaj.

Protesters condemned the attack on some people allegedly by the followers of Ashutosh Maharaj. However, his supporters slammed the allegations as baseless.

Sensing trouble, heavy police was deployed at Kalgidhar Gurdwara and senior police officers arrived to pacify the crowd. The anti-riot force was also pressed into service for any eventuality. Later in the evening, the protesters took out a peaceful march.



World Disability Day
MC yet to compensate manhole victim
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Rakesh Talwar Ludhiana, December 3
A fall in an uncovered manhole rendered Rakesh Talwar paralysed a decade ago. He fought a legal battle, but the MC has failed to compensate him despite court orders.

In August this year, a local court held the MC responsible for the tragedy and directed it to pay Rs 6.58 lakh to him with an annual interest of 6 per cent from the filing of the case.

Despite the court having ordered a relief four months ago, the MC has failed to give the money to Talwar. “Though the judge gave a remarkable judgement, the MC failed to follow up. I am sick of visiting the MC office now. Several people have taken up the matter with the Municipal Commissioner, but to no avail,” he said.

The judge had held that full and fair compensation was the right of the complainant. He could not be compensated with money for his suffering, but since there was no option, monetary compensation was the only way.

A screen printer, Talwar’s career ended on the day of the incident in 1998. He was driving his scooter through a flooded street in the Dhobi Ghat area, when he fell into the open manhole after his scooter got stuck in it.

The cover of the manhole hit his head and the right side of his body was paralysed.

He suffered 50 per cent disability and remained in coma for six months at the DMCH.

He, however, did not give up. After 11 years of struggle, he can walk, but not like a normal man.



LPG Misuse - I
Dept inaction annoys oil companies
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 3
Misuse of domestic LPG for commercial purposes is going unnoticed by the district food and civil supplies department and is causing revenue loss to the government, besides oil companies.

Domestic LPG cylinders are being used by hotels, restaurants and rehriwallas and also being used to run cars, geysers and generators, which is a violation of the Essential Commodities Act.

For commercial activities it is mandatory to use commercial LPG cylinder priced at Rs 1,056 (per cylinder) and weighing 19 kg.

A large number of car owners are using commercial cylinders in connivance with car dealers and mechanics.

Oil companies have marked the cylinders differently with coloured bands. Indane of IOC and HP Gas of HPCL have marked the cylinders for commercial use with blue bands while Bharat Gas of BPCL has marked these cylinders yellow.

However, in the absence of action from the department of food and civil supplies, the misuse of domestic LPG is on the rise.

Manish Gupta, deputy manager of LPG sales of the oil companies in Ludhiana, said: “I have given written complaints to the department in the past two months, but officials first said they were busy with paddy procurement and later failed to initiate any action.”

The companies would have to take action against violators as they had already incurred heavy losses, he added. However, the director of the department, Punjab, DS Grewal, when asked about the inaction of the department during his visit to the city yesterday, did not give a specific reply. “The department takes action against violators following complaints,” he said.



Concert leaves a trail of destruction
Liquor ‘served’ inside stadium

Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 3
“Sharaab and kebabs” were allegedly served inside the Guru Nanak Stadium during the Gurdas Mann concert organised last evening.

It was a free-for-all during the concert with the state-of-the-art stadium bearing the burnt of the frenzied crowd. A stampede-like situation prevailed when the Punjabi pop singer took the stage.

The concert left behind a trail of destruction and broken chairs. The entire area was littered with leftovers. The ground received maximum damage as the stage and seating area for VIPs were set up there.

It was learnt that during the concert, liquor was served, even to VIPs, inside the stadium.

The incident left members of the the sports fraternity fuming. They condemned the apathetic attitude of the officialdom towards sports facilities.

“Thanks to the Deputy Commissioner and the SSP for permitting the organisers to hold the show there. Spectators vandalised the stadium, caring little about the colossal damage they had caused. There should be some accountability for such action,” said Kanwar Jatinder Singh, a youth Akali leader and a former hockey player.

District sports officer Jagir Singh Nahar said the sports department had charged Rs 2 lakh from the organisers for the event.

However, he had no answer to a poser on the damage caused and its compensation.

“If the sports department is so much in love with money then why don’t they hang a billboard of a marriage place outside the stadium and invite people to organise private functions there,” said Ramandeep Singh, an athlete.

Around 20,000 persons had turned up for the show at the stadium.

Shivtar Singh Bajwa, president of the District Football Association, said: “It is a shame to see people, who dance in frenzy and distribute sweets when the country does well in Olympics, damage the very infrastructure that produces such players. We expected sports director Pargat Singh, a hockey player himself, to save the pride of the stadium but he has also joined their bandwagon.”

Though, the police conducted a mild lathi-charge to disperse fans, it proved futile as they stormed into the stadium from all sides.

The incident of drinks being served inside the stadium has triggered a sharp criticism from athletes, as consumption or serving of liquor is strictly prohibited inside sports facilities.



More congested areas cleared of encroachments
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 3
The drive to remove encroachments in the city continued relentlessly as the team of municipal corporation officials and supporting staff bulldozed its way through some of the most congested and narrow commercial areas in old city here today.

Over 200 temporary and permanent illegal structures at Clock Tower Chowk, Town Hall road, Partap Bazar, books market and electricity market were removed.

The razed structures included steps and railings on public roads and cemented extensions, while the signages, stocks and racks for display of goods placed by the roadside were also removed.

Municipal town planner Hemant Batra who along with zonal commissioner Vinod Sharda supervised the day-long operations said the team carried out its assigned task smoothly and not much resistance was offered by shopkeepers and traders.

There was a minor scuffle between two parties in the electricity market when the owner a shop, taking advantage of the drive, tried to throw his tenant out even as the matter was sub judice.

The MC officials intervened saying they were not concerned about the possession of the shop and their brief was to remove encroachments that were hindering the movement of traffic in commercial centres.

He added that the iron grills put up around the zila parishad market at Clock Tower Chowk to carry out commercial activity on footpath and roadside were also removed with the result that flow of traffic in the congested crossing had improved significantly.

The commercial area where encroachments were removed all through the day wore a different look in the evening with visible improvement in traffic movement and absence of prolonged traffic jams, which had become the order of the day there.

“It is a pleasant sight to see smooth flow of traffic and some semblance of order on roads in these markets,” said Kulwant Singh, a customer at books market.



Chrysanthemum show draws crowds
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 3
Massive turnout of people from all walks of life marked the conclusion of the two-day chrysanthemum show at Punjab Agricultural University here today.

Over 150 varieties of chrysanthemum flowers were on display during the exhibition.

Talking to The Tribune, exhibition organsier Dr Ramesh Kumar, head, department of floriculture and landscaping, said the response to the exhibition was overwhelming.

"This year, not only flower lovers and nursery men, but even students have shown great interest in the show," Dr Ramesh said.

"Tired of hectic city life, the exhibition seemed to have come as a respite for the city residents, many of whom spent the entire day admiring the beauty of the blooming chrysanthemums of varied hues," said Dr Ramesh.

He added that the new varieties of chrysanthemum introduced by PAU evoked a positive response from visitors.

Dr Ramesh added that the feedback received from the visitors would be given weight-age in breeding.

He said PAU had maintained a large germ plasm of indigenous and exotic flower types and the re-orientation of breeding programmes would lead to release of desirable flower types. He shared the varieties and hybrids that PAU had already released for general cultivation in the state.

The exhibition, that started yesterday, was jointly organised by the department of floriculture and landscaping and estate organisation.

The show was dedicated to eminent Punjabi poet Bhai Vir Singh whose birth anniversary falls on December 5.

Over 150 different varieties of chrysanthemum of varied colours, shapes and sizes had been exhibited during the show. Large and small flower types, flowers with incurved, reflex and spider types of petals were greatly admired by visitors. Potted plants of decorative, pompon, animone, spoon and spreading type were also displayed.



Residents warm up for Christmas, New Year
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 3
Having no dearth of money and avoiding the last-minute rush, city residents have started to make bookings for celebrating Christmas and New Year.

This time, Kerala seems to be the favourite destination of Ludhianvis while those interesting in going abroad are taking interest in Singapore, Bangkok, Malaysia, Hong Kong and Macau.

If the travel agents here are to be believed, hundreds of enquiries are pouring in daily from the fun-loving people of Ludhiana.

Rajiv of Resorts Travel Services here told Ludhiana Tribune that people were taking a lot of interest in west Kerala, where nice cottages and hotels were available.

Besides, a cruise had been started recently from Kochi to Maldives via Colombo, which was quite reasonable for Ludhianvis. The package for three nights cost about Rs 20,000 per person.

“If one wants the whole package from Ludhiana, it costs about Rs 35,000 per person, including stay, sight-seeing and meals,” he said.

He also said hundreds of enquiries were being received by the travel agents, out of which between 10 and 12 tours were booked on a daily basis.

One of the managers with Saggarsons Travels here, Ashok said December was generally called the ‘blackout period’ in airlines, when there was no easy availability of tickets.

In order to avoid the rush and inconvenience, people booked early tickets for holidaying. “Since Christmas falls on the weekend, a majority of people have extended their holidays till New Year. Besides Kerala, Mysore and Ooty are other places in which people are showing keen interest. A majority of residents are going for whole packages, which includes to-and-fro ticket, sight-seeing, meals and stay at the hotel,” he said.

Rakesh Jain, an industrialist, said he made it a point to celebrate Christmas or New Year with family out of Ludhiana. “Throughout the year, we are busy with our hectic schedule. This is the time when we can enjoy and relax with the family and kids. If one can afford holidaying, one should not miss the chance,” he said.



Market Committees
Board told to appoint info officers
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 3
Terming the failure of the Punjab Marketing Board to appoint public information officers or assistant public information officers below district level, as gross violation of the Right to Information Act (RTI Act), Darbara Singh Kahlon, state information commissioner, Punjab, has directed the secretary of the board to employ these officials at all market committees without delay.

During hearing of a petition filed by Sikandar Singh of Chhappar village against the PIO market committee, Ahmedgarh, Kahlon observed that people seeking information had to go to district-level PIOs and APIOs. Their communications at market committee level were ignored as such.

“This court directs secretary marketing board, Punjab, to depute PIOs and APIOs at market committee level under Section 5 (2) of RTI Act, 2005 immediately and present their officers before this court within one month,” reads orders passed by the state information commissioner, Punjab.

Reprimanding district mandi officer, Sangrur, for depriving the petitioner of his right to information by asking him to submit application on prescribed proforma, Kahlon warned that action would be taken against him in case the tendency persisted. Information can be sought on telephone also, claimed Kahlon.

Sikandar Singh had applied for information regarding deplorable condition of certain roads from market committee over four months ago.

Maintaining that the roads in connection fell under the jurisdiction of the market committee, Ahmedgarh, the authorities at the Kilaraipur committee asked Sikandar Singh to seek information from appropriate authorities.

The secretary at the local market committee returned Sikandar Singh’s application arguing that only the DMO could provide the required information.

The commissioner observed that the DMO Sangrur, showing little respect for the Act, had deprived the applicant of his right to information by asking him to submit the application on prescribed proforma only.



Teachers, students pay to get email IDs
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 3
Constituents of a large number of state-run schools of the area have started hiring services of private computer centres and cafés to get their email Ids done.

Directions by director general school education Krishan Kumar to ensure creation of IDs of all students and teachers by December 31, was reportedly the reason behind the trend.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that a large number of students and teachers from state-run schools were out to seek services of computer centres for getting their email IDs.

They were ready to pay demanded fee for the purpose. Depending upon the nature of individuals approaching them, owners of computer centres were charging between Rs 100 to 200.

Ranjit Singh, father of a Class VIII student of a government school, said his son had asked for Rs 150 to get her email ID created by a computer centre. She, like majority of her classmates, did not know how to use Internet.

Having little or no knowledge about computer and internet facility, constituents of government schools, mostly situated in rural parts of Malwa found them cornered when heads of their institutes directed them to submit their email ID without delay.

Krishan Kumar, director general school education-cum-state project director, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Authority, Punjab, had recently directed heads of all state-run schools to get email IDs created for constituents of their institutes. Broadband Internet connections were earlier provided to these schools.

The department aimed at dispensing time consuming system of communicating through hard copies.

While communication between students and teachers was almost missing, at least one staff member, usually a teacher was engaged to exchange letters between the controlling office and the school daily.

According to sources, the idea was adopted from the West, where parents and teachers exchange information through Internet.

Instead of writing letters to parents, teachers and heads could keep in touch via emails.



Emphasis on quality in higher education
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 3
A two-day national conference sponsored by NAAC on “Quality in higher education in India: concerns and strategies” began at Khalsa College for Women, Sidhwan Khurd, today.

The conference was inaugurated by chief guest Dr Manjit Singh, Dean colleges, Punjabi University Patiala. Prof JA Khan, department of political science at Punjabi University, Patiala, was the guest of honour.

The keynote address was delivered by Dr KK Bajaj, NAAC nominee. Dr Akshay Kumar, department of English, PU Chandigarh, Dr Sehajpal Singh and Dr HS Rai from GNE College, Ludhiana, and Dr Prithipal Singh Sohi from SCD Government College, Ludhiana, were the resourcepersons.

More than 70 delegates from 30 colleges participated in the deliberations. Principals of various colleges attended the conference, including Dr Rupinderjit Grewal (GNBL Ramgarhia College for Women, Phagwara), Dr Savita Uppal (SGGJG College, Raikot), Dr SS Deol (GHG Khalsa College, Gurusar Sudhar), Dr Gurdev Singh (Tri Shabadi College, Amritsar), Dr Nanak Singh Mahal (RGE, Phagwara), Dr Baljit Kaur (GHG Harparkash College of Education, Sidhwan Khurd) and others.



Pay Scales
Protest enters Day 8
PAU staff unrelenting

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 3
Punjab Agricultural University employees protest against the non-implementation of revised scales entered the eighth day today.

A protest rally was taken out by all non-teaching, teaching and Class IV employees from various departments of the university. The protesters marched through various colleges and buildings of the university.

A group of five executive members, including Dr JS Virk, joint secretary, PAUTA, Dr Chander Mohan, executive member, PAUTA, Mahal Singh Sidhu, organising secretary, PAU Employees Union, Prem Singh and Veer Bahadur, executive members, PAU Class IV Union, sat on chain dharna today.

"Dharna and rally will continue till tomorrow. The agitation will be intensified further if the demand for the implementation of revised pay scales is not met," informed Lakhwinder Singh Sandhu, senior vice-president, PAU Employees Union.

The rally was jointly addressed by HS Mundi, president, PAU Employees Union, Dr Harmeet Singh Kingra, vice-president, PAUTA, Dr KS Sangha, secretary, PAUTA, Avinash Kumar Sharma, general secretary, Lakhwinder Singh Sandhu, senior vice-president and Jasbir Singh, secretary.

All speakers condemned the apathetical attitude of the state government towards the university employees. They raised slogans against the Punjab government and demanded immediate release of grant for the payment of revised pay scales soon.

Talking to The Tribune, Mundi said: "The joint forum of PAU employees has demanded a Central status for PAU because if the state government is not able to fulfill our genuine demands, including pay scales, then it is better that they give the university a Central status."



Tips given to manage stress
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 3
A one-day seminar on stress management was organised by the Ludhiana Medial Practitioners' Association at Lord Maharaja Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital in collaboration with Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan.

Speakers from the sansthan highlighted the daily routine of life, which was stressful. They also gave tips on stress management with the help of a CD.

Association patron and principal of the medical college Dr Ravinder Kochhar also highlighted the subject.

Association president Dr Sunil Mittu also spoke on the subject while general secretary of the association DR Sunil Lakhotra appealed to the medical fraternity to come forward and create awareness among all sections of the society. The association also honoured the speakers.



From Schools & Colleges
Students reach out to disabled
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 3
On World Disability Day today, students of Ram Lal Bhasin Public School came up with different visions for the disabled. The students reflected the message that complexity of disability can only be understood through proper interaction with the disabled.

They vowed to help the disabled realise their potential and place in the world.


An inter-house story-telling competition was organised today at Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, for classes III-V to provide them with a platform to use their mother tongue expressively and also to inculcate the habit of reading stories and books.

The function was presided over by school principal Rajiv Nagalia, along with primary section in charge Annu Sehra.

The participants narrated interesting stories with morals that were highly appreciated. Poonam Mehandiratta and Kiran Kapoor were the judges.

The principal gave away prizes to winners.


SDP Collegiate School, under the aegis of SDP College for Women, organised an essay writing competition on World Disability Day today.

Students of classes XI and XII participated and came out with innovative ideas to absorb the disabled in the society. College principal Meenu Sharma was the chief guest.


A declamation contest was held at Khalsa Girls' Senior Secondary School today in collaboration with Rotary Club and Punjab Vikas Manch.



ATP tries to wriggle out of spot
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 3
The postponement of a district grievances committee meeting scheduled for December 1, which was to be chaired by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, has given an opportunity to municipal corporations officials to oblige city residents, who were all set to voice their complaints at the meet.

Some officials along with councillors are now making the rounds of houses of those residents who had filed complaints against the officials with the grievances redressal committee.

Meanwhile, an assistant town planner has been visiting the home of a resident who had lodged a complaint against him. The ATP has been under the scanner after he was accused of pocketing lakhs of rupees by issuing a ‘no objection certificate’ of which there is no record in the MC and which were obviously forged.

The ATP had reportedly issued the NOC to convert the house’s residential electricity meter into a commercial one and, while doing so, exempted the houseowner from ‘charging of land use’ (CLU).

When the resident went to the MC office to collect the record pertaining to the NOC issued by the ATP, the official there refused to hand over the attested copies. The resident then applied for the NOC under the RTI and even filed a complaint with the district grievances committee against the ATP.

“Under the city’s new master plan implemented from January 1, 2009, no NOC can be issued to residents who want to change their residential land into a commercial property, especially if the land falls in a residential area,” said the resident.

In the meantime, the ATP along with his battery of councillors, have made several visits to the house of the Akali leader, trying to get an MLA to put pressure on him.



City Concerns
Rail overbridge: A project gone awry

The fact that the rail overbridge proposed to be set up on the site of the old Lakkar Bridge will not be connected to the elevated road defeats the entire purpose of the project despite a planned expenditure of Rs 60 crore. The overbridge’s present design is in the form of a Y shape with the tail starting from the Civil Lines. While the downward ramp will end at the Central Post Office at Mata Rani Chowk, the upward ramp will begin from the Reikhy Cinema chowk.

Though municipal corporation officials claim this design will ease traffic flow, experts feel it would further impede vehicular mobility. Should the civic body go ahead with the project or should it consult the experts once again before commencing work? Following are the responses of some readers of The Tribune:

Public money down the drain

The rail overbridge planned to come up in place of the Lakkar Bridge would be a sheer wastage of public funds by the MC if the bridge is not connected with the elevated road. Also, one downward ramp should end at the CPO at Mata Rani Chowk so that traffic coming from Civil Lines may be diverted towards the inner city as well as the Jalandhar side. Similarly, an upward ramp leading from Reikhy Chowk should be connected with the elevated road as well as to the downward ramp towards the Civil Lines.

In this way vehicular movement will be smooth and city residents will have some respite from the interminable traffic jams. We hope the administration again gives a thought to these crucial points to avoid wastage of public money.

Virinder Bhakoo

Engineers hampered by bureaucratic meddling

I feel pained by the municipal corporation’s demolition of the Lakkar Bridge, one of the city’s historic structures, a decade ago even though the civic body has yet not been able to commence work on the rail overbridge project on the site. I understand the MC is now going ahead with the project even though it would not help in easing vehicular movement. It definitely needs to be connected with the elevated road and another downward ramp should end at the Central Post Office at Mata Rani Chowk. This would help ease traffic flow from Civil Lines and the Jalandhar side.

However, I fail to understand though we have well-qualified engineers in the civic body, who do very well when they go abroad, they aren’t up to the task when it comes to setting up infrastructure in the city. Is it because bureaucrats don't let them have their way? I call upon these engineers to wake up and prevent public money from being wasted.

Maj Amarjeet Singh (retd)

Post project designs on MC website

Before city residents can give their opinion on the proposed rail overbridge, they should see the project’s actual design and entry/exit points. Why can’t the municipal corporation put the project designs and maps on its website? If it can show the designs to shopkeepers who would be relocated, why not show it to the public as well? It is not a military secret to be kept under wraps! Seems the ‘babus’ can’t change their habit of not sharing any information with the public if they can do so.

Further, instead of such costly projects the MC would be advised to first improve the city’s existing infrastructure to ease traffic congestion. An example is the road in front of the AC market/Main Post office in Bhadaur House, which is always crowded and is bound to get more so after the planned overbridge is completed. One only hopes that crores of rupees of public funds is put to good use and that the overbridge’s design includes lanes that are broad enough for two-way traffic on each side.

Zorba Sharma

New design will jack up project cost

It appears in almost all development projects initiated by the municipal corporation in various wards of the city, there is something wrong at the bottom. The rail overbridge planned to be constructed at the site of the Lakkar Bridge a few years back was estimated to cost only a few crores of rupees. The initial design for the overbridge to be connected with the elevated road has now been changed.

Due to the delay for several years the cost of the bridge has skyrocketed to about Rs 60 crore, a gigantic amount. Out of that how much amount will end up in the pockets of various officials can easily be imagined as big projects mean big corruption. An inquiry should be held to find out why the civic body again and again changed project’s design and schedule, which has resulted in huge cost overruns.

Moreover, the change in the design whereby the overbridge will not be connected to the elevated road will result in a much higher project cost. The previous design was far better and would have also reduced the cost.

The downward ramp up to CPO at Mata Rani Chowk will increase traffic congestion and the upward ramp from Reikhi Cinema chowk will lead to fatal accidents while crossing the elevated road. Before finalising the project it will be better if technical experts are consulted.

Kuldip Singh Kreer

MC should consult technical experts

The municipal corporation is wasting public funds by undertaking major projects without any proper planning and technical surveys. The proposed rail overbridge, designed in a Y shape, will add to traffic woes in the area. There will be more traffic jams in the already congested Mata Rani Chowk, so much so it may take hours to reach our shops situated right in the chowk. It is imperative the civic body consults technical experts before commencing work on this project. A rotary should be planned and the overbridge should be connected to all sides including the elevated road.

Kuldip Thapar



Spreading cultural heritage
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 3
A few cultural, social and religious organisations of the town and surrounding areas will disseminate elements of the rich Indian cultural heritage and secularism through members of the Rotary Foundation group study exchange team, scheduled to visit the USA in April next.

Claiming to have drafted kits depicting the ideology of universal brotherhood and sacrifice, the organisers have urged members of the team to facilitate the spread of teachings of great Indian saints and philosophers among the people they interact with during their visit.

Dr Ravi Sharma, president of the local unit of the Rotary Club, sponsor club of the leader of the team, said office-bearers of a few organisations led by Jagjit Singh Jajjie and Tarsem Garg had expressed the desire to contribute to the spread of the message of universal peace and international understanding.

He had appealed to Raj Kumar Sharma, Mukesh Bansal, Vishav Bharti and Arun Arora, members of the team, to coordinate with the enthusiasts before leaving for the tour.



Mobile hospital donated
Our Correspondent

Raikot, December 3
Hoshiar Singh, an NRI, has donated a mobile hospital to Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha hospital at Sarabha village. He has donated a state-of-the-art bus with sophisticated equipment for trauma cases.

The hospital will use this bus to conduct medical camps in the surrounding areas, besides providing urgent medical service at the doorstep of needy patients.

Hoshiar Singh has been donating to the Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Memorial Trust for better facilities. The bus is christened as ICU centre-cum-super-specialty heart hospital.



Accidents claim 2 lives
Tribune News Service

Khanna, December 3
Two persons were killed a couple were seriously injured in different accidents here.
In the first incidence, a motorcyclist was run over by a tempo near the Doraha barrier. Raghubir Singh of Mohanpur village was on his way to meet some relatives on a bike when it was hit by the tempo. He died on the spot. Tempo driver Sukhdev Singh of Rajpura has been booked by the police in this connection. Also, Kala, a resident of Jatana village, was killed when his bicycle was hit by a truck late last evening. He died on the spot.

In yet another accident, Mohan Singh, a local resident, received serious injuries when the car he was driving was hit by another car. His wife Kirpal Kaur also received injuries in the accident. The couple were undergoing treatment at a local hospital. The police has registered a case in this regard.



Lawyers strike work over police inaction
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 3
Lawyers at the district courts observed a complete strike today over the alleged failure of the police in arresting persons facing charges of harassing a woman lawyer.

In October, the lawyer had gone to the Sarabha Nagar market where she was allegedly harassed.

A case was registered for bailable offences. However, the lawyer wanted action against the accused for trying to kidnap her.

The working at the courts came to a grinding halt following the strike.

A large number of litigants suffered inconvenience, as their lawyers did not attend courts.

Several witnesses also had a harrowing time as they would now have to come back again for deposition in the court.



BVM players honoured
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 3
Students of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Kitchlu Nagar Ludhiana, who brought laurels in the state as well as national level sports tournaments, were honoured for their outstanding performance.

They were given prizes at a function organised on the school premises, here today.

Santosh Mehra, school principal, appreciated the boys and girls who finished among position holders in different meets and made their school proud.

She also congratulated director, sports, Bhartiya Vidya Mandir Schools under whose guidance these players performed and won medals.

The players, who were felicitated, include Guneet and Gunjan who represented Ludhiana in the Punjab State Football Championship (girls u-14) at Ludhiana; Kirti Aggarwal (u-19) who was the member of the district table tennis squad that competed in the second edition of the Punjab State Open Table Tennis Tournament conducted last month at Ferozepur.

Malika Choudhary, Abhiti (u-14) and Priya (u-19) fetched medals. Malika represented the state in the National School Athletics Meet at Amritsar where she bagged gold medal in the shot put event, while Abhiti was the member of the district squad in the Punjab State Athletics Meet at Ludhiana.

Similarly, Priya represented Ludhiana district in the Punjab State Athletics Meet conducted at Ludhiana, however, she could not win a medal.

In chess, Karan Vig (u-19) made the school proud when he bagged third position in the Punjab State Chess Championship, organised at Moga, while Jai Sharma was the member of the Ludhiana district cricket team (u-14) that participated in the Punjab State Cricket Tournament at Patiala.

The members of the school cricket team (u-14) were also honoured for winning the title in the inter-school cricket tournament held at GRD Academy last week in which teams from 10 schools competed.



Punjab eves, lads bag titles
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 3
Punjab softball players created history of sorts after they annexed titles in both girls and boys sections of the 22nd edition of the Sub-Junior National Softball Championship held from November 25 to 30 at Puri in Orissa.

According to Pran Nath Passi, honorary secretary, Punjab Softball Association, both boys and girls’ teams gave stupendous performances, warding off challenge from their respective opponents in the national meet and coming out triumphant.

On the basis of their performance during the championship, three girls from Punjab — Reena, Navdeep Kaur and Amandeep Kaur — were selected to represent the country in the Junior Asian Softball Championship slated to be held in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). They had been advised to attend the preparatory camp to be held at New Delhi from December 3 to 11. The secretary joined other members of the Punjab Softball Association in congratulating the players for bringing fame to the state. They also appreciated their coaches on the achievement.



Skating Meet
Dismal show peeves parents
Coach under fire
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 3
After a dismal performance in the recently concluded skating competition at Fatehgarh Sahib, more problem are lined up for the district skating association, especially for its coach, as parents have levelled charges of favouritism against him.

In spite of having best infrastructure, skaters gave a dismal performance in the State Roller Skating Championship and won just one gold medal from 10 categories, five each for boys and girls.

The local team did not participate in the roller hockey event, for reasons best known to the coach and the authorities concerned.

Miffed at the poor performance of their wards in the competition, the parents have decided to take on the coach, AS Dhaliwal, who is also the secretary of the skating association.

The parents have requested anonymity for the fear that their wards would be targeted.

They alleged that the coach had focussed on players belonging to a particular school, ignoring those belonging to other schools.

The parents alleged that Dhaliwal left them in the lurch and did not accompany the team to the tournament. Consequently, the participants and their parents had to face a lot of difficulty and the team performed badly.

The parents said their children missed their events due to lack coordination. In some cases, the schedule of events of skaters were changed without bringing it to their knowledge.

Denying the charges, Dhaliwal said: “All allegations are baseless and there is no iota of truth behind these. I treat each player equally and do not indulge in discrimination.”

Parents alleged that talented players, who had won gold medals in the Ludhiana district skating championship, were shown the door, while some others were given backdoor entry to the state team.



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