L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rs 3 cr sanctioned for city
w Rs 20 lakh for Shaheed Sukhdev Memorial w Rs 56 lakh for Rakhbagh w Rs 40 lakh for Rose Garden w Rs 35 lakh for Ghanta Ghar w Rs 7 lakh for tourist information centres w Rs 58 lakh for tourist facilitation centre
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
With the union ministry of tourism and urban development sanctioning Rs 3.02 crore for Ludhiana, the city is all set to be on the tourist map as major parks and historical buildings would be given a new lease of life.

Stating this here today, the MP, Manish Tewari, said Rs 20 lakh had been sanctioned for the improvement of Shaheed Sukhdev Memorial building, surroundings, landscaping, parking, interpretation centre and renovation of Shaheed Sukhdev’s heritage.

About Rs 56 lakh had been sanctioned for the improvement of Rakhbagh area, including public amenities, beautification and musical Fountain. Another Rs 40 lakh had been sanctioned for the improvement of public amenities at Rose Garden.

For improving the surroundings around Ghanta Ghar, Rs 35 lakh had been sanctioned. This is expected to help in decongesting and beautifying the area.

Besides, Rs 7 lakh had been sanctioned for tourist information centres at the railway station and the bus stand and Rs 58 lakh for the development of tourist facilitation centre in Ludhiana. A sum of Rs 52 lakh would be used for signal and display boards in the city.

He said Rs 241.94 lakh had been released as the first instalment.

The state government had submitted a proposal for the grant of Central assistance of Rs 5.63 crore for the integrated development of Ludhiana as a tourist destination to the ministry of tourism, but the project had some inadmissible contents and so the amount had been cut to Rs 3.02 crore.

He said he would monitor the progress of the sanctioned projects so that the quality of work was maintained.


Metro project likely to be taken up in phases 
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
The metro project in the city is likely to be taken up in two phases due to its high cost.

The consensus in this regard was reached between municipal corporation officials and the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) chief engineer, SD Sharma, here yesterday. Sharma was in the city to survey the sites where the work of the project had to be started.

Officials said their main aim was to find out how the project cost — at present, Rs 10,516 crore — could be cut. “Since overhead corridors would require acquisition of land and large-scale demolition, underground corridors are being preferred. One way to reduce the cost was to take up the work in phases,” senior town planner TS Tulli said.

The officials were of the opinion that the acquisition of land for the metro was not possible and underground corridors should be given priority.

They discussed technical problems which would come in the way of overhead corridor construction.

The Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) would take up the project and the detailed project report had been prepared by the DMRC. A distance of 29 km would be covered through the metro.

The proposed routes are from the Rahoan road to Gill village and BBMB power house to Ayali Chowk Station. Both routes converge near Guru Nanak Stadium, where commuters could change the metros.

The DMRC has also suggested the Punjab government to set up a special purpose vehicle for the project and it should be registered under the Companies Act.

It should be made a public sector undertaking and could be named the Ludhiana metro rail corporation. Besides, a special consultant should also be hired for the first year of its functioning.

The report also stated that a light metro would serve the purpose of a population for the next 25 years.



Rath yatra chokes traffic 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
Traffic came to a standstill at various parts of the city following the Jagannath rath yatra here today. The CM’s visit to the city also added to traffic chaos.

Commuters heading towards the Jagraon bridge were the worst hit. Serpentine queues of vehicles were witnessed at the entire stretch, beginning from Bharat Nagar Chowk.

The delay in the arrival of the CM, who was to flag off the yatra at 1 pm, aggravated the situation. Some commuters violated traffic diversions and entered the route of the yatra, creating chaos.

The police held the commuters responsible for the mess. An official on duty at Ghumar Mandi said traffic diversions were published in newspapers and public announcements were also made to inform residents about it, but still commuters refused to comply with rules.

A large number of women parked their cars in the middle of the road to buy vegetables. Also, the tents pitched on the road to distribute eatables among devotees added to the traffic snarl.

w Loudspeakers were installed at pandals, causing noise pollution. According to a devotee, over 300 music systems and DJ systems were installed en route the yatra.

w Devotees left a trail of leftover and empty plastic wrappers and bottles behind. The absence of garbage bins was also the reason behind the litter.



Sea of humanity at rath yatra
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
At least 1.5 lakh devotees, including some from abroad, turned up for the Lord Jagannath rath yatra, which was taken out amid much fanfare and festivity here today.

The colourfully decorated chariot made its way on city roads this afternoon. Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Goddess Subhadra were taken out in an elaborate ritual procession, which was drawn by devotees and taken around the city.

The entire city wore a festive look today to welcome the rath yatra, with decorative lights adorning every road and roundabout of the city.

All religious boundaries were erased as Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims and Christians gathered to catch a glimse of Lord Jagannath and seek blessings.

Dressed in traditional attire, devotees were seen dancing and singing in praise of Lord Jagannath on the roads. Devotees who had come from China, Japan, the US and the UK caught the attention of one and all.

Traditionally attired in dhoti, kurta and saris, these devotees could be seen walking the city streets barefoot, distributing free literature on Lord Krishna to passersby, chanting the name of the Lord.

Followers swept the city streets and showered flowers on the roads on which the yatra was to be taken out. Massive rangolis were prepared on the yatra route by the devotees, who were busy in preparations since early hours.

The yatra commenced from the Durga Mata mandir on the Jagraon bridge following ‘maha aarti’ by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who was the chief guest.

The yatra passed through various parts of the city, including the Fountain Chowk, the Bharat Nagar Chowk, the Ghumar Mandi and the Aarti Chowk before culminating at the Shri Navdurga Mata mandir, Sarabha Nagar.

The administration and the police made elaborate arrangements for the smooth conduct of the yatra. Preparations for the procession had started days in advance.

The chariot carrying idols was the main attraction during the yatra. The rath was constructed with iron and wood of specified trees like ‘phassi’ and ‘dhausa’. This year, the rath was covered with a bright canopy in stripes of red, yellow and green.

Lord Jagannath was identified with Lord Krishna, also known as Pitambara, the one attired in golden yellow robes and hence, the distinguishing yellow stripes on the canopy of the chariot.

Though during the previous years, all three idols used to be taken out in three different chariots, but keeping in view the traffic situation, the ritual had been changed and now, these idols were taken around the city in a single chariot.

The idols were taken from the Jagannath temple on the Brindaban road. The chariot was 40 feet high and decked with flowers like ‘rajnigandha’, ‘chameli’ and ‘gainda’ brought in from Kolkata.

Every year, the chariot was prepared at Kurukshetra. Devotees of the ISKON temple at Kurukshetra prepared the chariot two months in advance, said an organiser.



Riot victims protest Doabia’s visit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
Victims of 1984 riots today protested against the visit of TS Doabia, a former Delhi High Court Judge, who was asked by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee to probe into the December 5 firing against Sikhs who were protesting against religious leader Ashutosh Maharaj.

Justice Doabia was to listen to the victims of the violence at Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women. The riot victims carried black flags and marched towards the college.

However, the police had barricaded the area and did not allow the riot victims to pass through.

The riot victims alleged that Sarna was a “traitor” and was working at the behest of the Congress while portraying himself as their sympathiser.

They said he did not allow the riot victims to organise an akhand path at a Delhi gurdwara to observe the 25th anniversary of the riots. “What kind of a Sikh is he?” they asked, adding that he had no locus standi to constitute a probe panel as the state had already ordered a magisterial probe.



One killed, 4 injured in fire
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
One person was killed and four injured when fire broke out at the KD Oswal Hoisery in Basant Nagar here early this morning.

The deceased was identified as Prithipal while the two injured were identified as Suraj and Pawan.

According to information, the fire broke out around 3:30 am on the second floor of the building, which was the factory-cum-residence.

At the time of the mishap, five workers, who worked till 1 am, were sleeping on the second floor.

Eyewitnesses revealed that the ground floor of the building was the residence of the hosiery owner while the two upper floors were used for commercial purposes.

The fire started on the second floor and slowly engulfed the third floor. The fire led to panic in the area, especially when the people caught in the fire started crying for help.

“We started trying to douse flames with the help of buckets of water, but as hoisery material was acrylic, fire could not be controlled,” said a resident, adding that by then, fire tenders reached the spot.

Fire officer Amarjit Sharma said, “When we reached there, the building owner and residents revealed that there were five persons inside. While four of them were conscious, the fifth one was lying unconscious on the floor.”

Following evacuation, he was rushed to hospital, while the rest sustained a few burns. He added that it was not a major fire.



Two more down with swine flu
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
With two more swine flu patients being admitted to the civil hospital here, the total number of patients in the district reached 17.

Four more samples were collected from different hospitals and were sent for testing to the PGI in Chandigarh.

The department of health and family welfare deputed teams to review the situation in all hospitals in Punjab where swine flu patients had been undergoing treatment.

A team of officials from Chandigarh visited hospitals to review arrangements. Isolation wards at the civil hospital were equipped to provide good medical care to patients.

Dr Maninderjit Singh, civil surgeon, said two patients undergoing treatment at the civil hospital were kept in complete isolation and put on therapeutic treatment.

He took a round of all private hospitals providing treatment to suspected and confirmed swine flu patients.

He directed doctors to ensure proper treatment. The health authorities provided additional beds and ventilators at the civil hospital to accommodate swine flu patients.

He said that people were being examined round the clock at the special OPD of the civil hospital and medicine qwas being given to patients as per their symptoms.

He asked residents to be vigilant, contact doctors in case of symptoms and not panic.

He said swine flu was curable, but was fatal when the patient reported late.



India can compete with China: Assn 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
Though China is far ahead in every sector as compared to India and it has posed a serious challenge to the Indian entrepreneurs in the international market. But, the entrepreneurs in the auto-sectors from Punjab were considering themselves capable enough to compete with China at the global level.

A delegation of 40 members of Auto-Parts Manufacturers’ Association led by its president Gurpargat Singh Kahlon and general secretary Ranjodh Singh returned from China. They had gone there to attend an International Trade Fair “Automechanika-2009” at Shanghai from December 9 to December 14.

The delegation met representatives of China National Automotive Industry International Corporation (CNAICO) and discussed business potentials between both countries. There was a big scope for auto-parts business to be developed in both countries, added Kahlon.

Ranjodh Singh said they had invited Chinese counterparts to set up a big automotive unit for manufacturing cars or trucks in Punjab. He said at present 1.3 crore vehicles were being manufactured in China and it was being exported to various countries whereas India was manufacturing just about 20 lakh vehicles per annum.



Madrasa board for introducing English
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
Pressing on the need of introducing English and computer in madrasas, Ismalic World Forum chairman from the UK Maulana Isa Mansoor and All-India Bini Madrasa Board chairman Yaqoob Bulandshehri said: “The introduction of these two subjects in religious schools would help in establishing peace.”

The two were in the city yesterday to start their 15-state tour that aims at promoting education and social upliftment.

Talking to mediapersons, Mansoor said: “Apart from religion, technical education should be introduced on priority basis in madrasas so that the students get professionally trained too.”

“Our aim is that education should flourish in every house of India and children from every family should become literate,” said Mansoor.

Denying allegations that madrasas were nurseries of terrorism, Mansoor said: “Islam is a religion that preaches peace and this is what is taught in our religious schools.” He added that peace was what the religion prays for.

Punjab Shahi Imam Maulana Habib-ur-Rehman also honoured the duo on this occasion.



Seminar on financial sector in Jan
Our Correspondent

Doraha, December 19
The Post Graduate Department of Commerce and Business Administration of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, will organise one-day national-level seminar on changing dimensions in the Indian financial sector, sponsored by the Indian Council of Social Science Research Ministry of Human Resource Development (Government of India) on January 30, 2010.

Scholars of national repute, Dr SD Vashisht, Maharishi Dayanand University Rohtak, Dr Karamjeet Singh, Panjab University, Chandigarh, Dr Balwinder Singh, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Dr Bikram Singh Virk, Nawab Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, Government College, Kapurthala and Dr Sukhdev Singh, Guru Nanak Engineering College Ludhiana, will share their views with the delegates. 



Jagjit Singh casts spell
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
Ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh cast a spell on city residents with his melodious voice at the Guru Nanak Bhavan here last evening. The event, organised by the Arpita Cancer Society for Children, lasted over two hours.

From the choice of the numbers, it was evident that the singer had chosen the ghazals for the occasion and poured in all his feelings while presenting those.

His accompanists on the tabla, the guitar, the violin, the harmonium and the flute provided all the support to him to make the event memorable.

His favourite numbers, including “Kuchh na kuchh to zaroor hona hai, saamna aaj unse hona hai”, “Chitthi na koi sandesh” and “Hazaron khwaishen aisi ki har khwaish pe dam nikle”, were greatly appreciated.

At least 1,200 music lovers were present, who thoroughly enjoyed the evening till the singer rendered his last ghazal. People wanted more, but organisers had to wind up the event in time.

Arvind Jain, a fan of Jagjit Singh, said residents should feel proud that such a legend had agreed to entertain them with his magical voice.

“I long for such opportunities. Ludhiana is otherwise considered a dull city. If we start developing interest in art, culture and music, I am sure that it will soon become a happening city like Chandigarh,” he said.

The president and the secretary of the society said it had completed one year. The concert was organised to make the masses aware of cancer.



Man cooks up snatching incident, held
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 19
The Sidhwan Bet police has cracked a case wherein an employee had complained that three unidentified youths had snatched a bag containing the cash meant for the company where he was employed. In an inquiry conducted by the Sidhwan Bet SHO, the complainant was found guilty of staging a drama of Rs 3.71 lakh being snatched by youths with the help of his brother. Accused Raman Kumar, a resident of Pejowal village in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, was working as a supervisor at Tilak Raj Oil Mills situated at Alwalpur village near Jalandhar. The mill used to supply oil products to AP Refinery situated at Tappar Harnia village near here.

On Thursday, Raman Kumar came to AP Refinery to collect payment on behalf of his employer. Kapil Dev on the instruction of Ravi Kumar, owner of AP refinery handed over Rs. 3.71 lakh to Raman Kumar. After an hour he returned and concocted a story of the bag being snatched by three motorcycle-borne youths.

However, after the incident neither Raman Kumar nor Ravi Kumar informed the police about the incident. The police registered a case under Sections 382, 420 and 34 of the IPC. They zeroed in on Raman Kumar. The police came to know that his brother Dharamveer, alias Rinku, had also accompanied him but was waiting outside the factory. Both brothers were arrested from Pejowal village and Rs 3.71 lakh seized from their possession. 



JE manhandled at Dugri
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
A junior engineer (JE) of the PSEB, who was allegedly manhandled at Dugri, has been identified as Avtar Singh. He had gone to Baba Buddha Enclave at Bhai Himmat Singh Nagar in Dugri for the preparation of estimates for shifting power meters outside houses.

He parked his motorcycle in front of a house, which reportedly led to an argument. Talking to The Tribune, Avtar Singh alleged: “When I parked my mobike, Pritpal Singh, alias Billu Baba, along with his two friends, came and attacked me. They were drunk and before I could say anything, they started hitting my motorcycle with an axe and damaged it.”

He alleged that they also beat him up, but he was saved due to the jacket he was wearing. Board officials said a medical examination of the injured JE had been conducted at the Civil Hospital and a complaint had been lodged with the police. However, till the filing of this report, an FIR was yet to be registered.



Six injured in group clash
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 19
Six persons were injured in a group clash over to the installation of a generator at the Clock Tower Chowk market here today.

The incident took place this afternoon when two groups, each led by Kewal Krishan and Lovely, attacked each other with sharp-edged weapons.

Eyewitness said both groups clashed with each other in the morning as well. The injured could not be identified yet.

A lottery trader said Lovely, running a lottery shop, and other 10 shopkeepers shifted the generator adjacent to the spectacles shop owned by Kewal Krishan.

Due to the municipal corporation’s anti-encroachment drive, they were asked to shift the generator. Kewal Krishan objected to the installation of the generator.

The incident led to a scuffle in the morning, following which both groups starting gathering their men for a show of strength.

In the afternoon, a group led by Lovely tried to instal the generator again, following which both groups, which were equipped with swords, attacked each other. The clash could have turned ugly had the men led by Kewal Krishan not taken shelter and closed the shop.

The police later reached the spot, separated the warring groups and started an investigation. The police registered a case.



Nine booked for assault
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 19
The Ludhiana Rural police has booked nine persons for assault in two incidents. The Dakha police booked Ajit Singh, his wife Sukhwinder Kaur and his son Agiapal Singh of Jangpur village, for assaulting his brother Amrik Singh. In his complaint Amrik Singh alleged that the accused attacked him after entering into his house. They also demolished the gate and the boundary wall of the house. The rivalry between the two was due to the land dispute. The accused have been booked under Sections 447, 511 and 427 of the IPC.

Meanwhile, the Raikot police has booked six persons namely Rakesh Kumar and Davinder Singh of Bazigar Basti, Phagwara, Hussaain, alias Soni, Rajeev Kumar, Amrit Kumar and Gurmeet Kumar of Pandori village near Phagwara, for entering the house of Malkait Ram of Bazigar Basti, Raikot. In the complaint Malkait Ram has stated that the accused entered his house due to some domestic quarrel and beat him and his wife with sticks. They even threatened him of dire consequences. The complainant and his wife were admitted to Raikot civil hospital. 



District chess tourney begins
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 19
Unseeded Vinod Kumar caused a flutter when he scored an upset victory over former district champion Rajiv Verma from State Bank of Patiala in the first round of the Ludhiana District Chess Championship, which began at the Janj Ghar, Shastri Nagar, near Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, here today.

Nearly 145 players from schools, colleges and organisations are taking part in this two-day tournament being organised by the Ludhiana District Chess Association (LDCA). Over 40 participants in the under-11 year category and around 50 competitors in other age groups and senior section are battling it out for the top honours.

Meanwhile, top seed Raminderbir Singh of State Bank of Patiala wrapped up his first round match to prove his mettle and the defending champion, Anurudh Garg, a student of Satish Chander Dhawan Government College, besides Piyush Manuja of Kundan Vidya Mandir, Gursher Singh and Amarjit Singh too won their respective matches and advanced into the second round.

Other players who recorded victory in the first round matches include (U-11 mix) - Anubhav Verma, Viabhav, Arnav Jain, Pratyoosh Chitkara, Samridhi Manchanda and Yash Pal Chopra.

In the under-15 year group, Sushant Manuja and Imanjot Singh Deol, both national players, along with Divanshu Jain, Shruti Tiwari, Himandeep Kaur and Jasdeep Singh Khandal, too came out victors in the first round matches.

Earlier, Dr MD Umraiya, formerly head of department, urology, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, inaugurated the championship.

On the basis of their performance during this championship, top nine players in the senior category and top three players in the under-15 category will be selected to represent Ludhiana in the forthcoming Punjab State-B Chess Championship slated to be held at Malerkotla from December 24 to 27.



Cricket trials at PAU from tomorrow
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 19
Trials will be held at the Punjab Agricultural University here on December 21 and 22 from 10 am to choose the Ludhiana cricket team for the Premier Cricket League from February 14 to March 7 next.

Players selected will be imparted training prior to their participation in the league. Those interested should contact coach Bhunesh on 9888610185.

After knockout inter-city matches, six teams will qualify for the league.

The winners will reeceive a cash prize of Rs 1 crore.



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