L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Extension of MC Limits
Census dept freezes district boundaries
Decision comes as a bolt from the blue for SAD MLAs
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
The Director, Census, decision to freeze district boundaries has jolted the SAD MLAs who had been pressurising the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation to extend its municipal limits.

Sources revealed that Director (operations), Census, Seema Jain, has already written to the state government to freeze boundaries of all districts. Besides, the Census department, Punjab, has already started its pre-Census preparations as per the present municipal limits.

“The office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India has already appointed Seema Jain in this regard. The Centre has directed the department not to change the municipal limits when the work of Census starts. Besides this, by March 2012 when the work would be completed the SAD-BJP government would have completed its tenure.”

Despite public outcry and the Municipal Corporation expressing its inability to extend the city limits due to paucity of funds, MLA Darshan Singh Shiwalik had been adamant for it. He had a spat over the issue with Mayor after a Municipal House meeting last year. He was supported by SAD minister Heera Singh Gabria.

“Extension of limits would benefit both SAD leaders as undeclared colonies and undeveloped areas in their constituencies would become legal. Besides this, the corporation would be duty bound to arrange funds for civic amenities like roads, water and sewerage in these areas. This would also benefit them as voters residing in the rural areas could then be wooed. But, this would mean an additional burden for the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation,” the sources in the Local Bodies Department added.

A senior officer of the Municipal Corporation said, “No one in the civic body was willing for an extension. But since MLA Shiwalik was close to Chief Minister directions for extension were given to the mayor and thus the corporation had to surrender. However, the move would bring cheers.”

Let the Municipal Corporation develop the present city limit, then only we should talk about more area, quipped the senior officer.


MC razes wall, schoolgirls spend night in terror
Jyotika Sood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Thursday night turned out to be a night of terror for some 30 girls of the sports wing residing at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Government Girls Senior Secondary School hostel here after the campus’ boundary wall was demolished as part of the municipal corporation’s ongoing anti-encroachment drive.

These girls not only spent last night in fear but even had to put up with hooliganism as several boys were able to enter the campus due to the razed boundary wall. The intruders went up to the hostel windows and harassed the girls by passing remarks and comments.

Though the girls remained silent about the incident, one of them admitted they had a “weird” experience last night.

“The ‘chowkidar’ (security guard) sat outside in front of a log fire till around 3 pm while the boys were roaming near the hostel. We were really frightened. The hostel warden, Satija, appeared quite worried about our safety. In fact, the head girl, Manjeet Kaur, has written an application on behalf of us to the school principal expressing concern over campus security. She has also complained about the poor amenities in the hostel like dirty toilets and no water,” said the girl whose name is being kept secret due to various reasons. She added the teenaged girls are studying in classes 8 through 12.

“The school campus has become quite insecure during the daytime too. Any outsider can enter it and girls residing in the hostel can go out anytime,” said a school employee. “The MC’s demolition drive has not spared even the school boundary wall”, he added.

DEO (secondary) Bachiter Singh said, “I’ve received a complaint regarding the incident and am making arrangements to shift the girls to the Bharat Nagar Chowk School hostel till the boundary wall of this school is rebuilt.”



Chilly weather: With tarpaulin for roof, schoolchildren forced to study in open
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
With tarpaulin for a roof and jute mats in place of chairs, students of Government Primary Schools 1A and 1C, Jail Road, learn their lessons together, shivering and huddled together to protect themselves from the chilly weather.

With a completely dilapidated structure, sans roof, rooms, and walls in the name of a building, no infrastructure and two staff members for 145 students; the schools depict the real state of the ailing educational system in the state. Both schools are housed on a common campus with no washroom or facility for potable water. A tap on the school premises quenches the students’ thirst while open space serves as the washroom.

In such conditions, classes are held in open, outside the area where the remnants of the building stand. Most of the students of these schools belong to the lower sections of the society and perhaps, what pulls them to the school even in the prevailing extreme weather conditions is perhaps the mid-day meal, which comes from the government school situated nearby.

However, with two staff members, including a headmistress, Government Primary Schools 1C is perhaps in a better state than Government Primary School 1A, which is one of the numerous teacher less schools of the state. The school is run by an education volunteer.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, a staff member said, “In the wake of extreme cold prevailing in the region, attendance in the schools is very thin. Otherwise also, very few students have been attending the school as conditions here are not conducive for studies.”

”Numerous complaints to the education department have failed to bear fruit as nothing has ever been done for the schools,” rued the teacher.

An official of the education department remarked, “The schools are a classic case of official apathy.” He informed that a land dispute was the reason behind the sorry state of the schools, which have been running in the same condition since the past many years.

”This is the state of affairs in the progressive state that boasts of an all-round development. In this weather when even the adults are finding it difficult to cop up with cold, these poor children are left in the open to get education. Is it is not the sheer failure of the state government,” asked a social worker?



School teacher dies in freak accident
Her shawl had got entangled in the genset
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Cops examine the site of accident in Ludhiana on Friday. (Inset) file photo of Manju Talwar. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, January 22
In a freak incident, a 50-year-old teacher was strangulated after her shawl got entangled in a generator while trying to switch it off in a school at Kesargunj Mandi here today.

The victim has been identified a Manju Talwar, a resident of Nawan Mohalla near Subhani building. Manju was teaching in Ganesh Vidyalaya for the past 15 years.

The incident took place at around 11am when Manju came downstairs to switch off the generator.

According to an eyewitness, when she leaned to switch off the genset, the shawl she was wearing got entangled in its rod. Within a fraction of a second she was strangulated and her neck got slit into two parts.

The incident spread panic among the students. They started shouting on seeing their teacher lying dead in a pool of blood in front of their eyes. A few students even fainted after seeing the ghastly sight. Hearing the outcry, shopkeepers in neighbourhood rushed to the school.

By the time they reached the spot the teacher had already died and her body was lying in a pool of blood.

As the school is situated on the first floor, the students were held up in their respective classroom till the time the body was rushed to the civil hospital.

It is said to be one of the oldest schools in the city as it was established in 1959. The school was closed for today, following the incident.

The body was later taken to civil hospital for the post-mortem examination. The relatives of the deceased complained of negligence against the school.

They alleged that the generator was kept in a dingy corner under the staircase due to which the woman could not locate the switch and her shawl got entangled in the rotating rod.

Despite repeated attempts, school headmistress Komal Kali was not available for comments.

The police has initiated investigation under Section 174 of the IPC and further sections would be added if the death was found to be due to negligence.



Two-day police remand for kidnappers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
The three youths, who were nabbed on the charges of abducting a six- year- old boy from Chand Nagar in Haibowal on January 17, were remanded in police custody for two days today. DSP Raj Kumar said the trio of Rajneesh Attri along with his accomplice Rajesh Sharma and Mahadev abduct Karan, while he was playing outside his house in Chand Nagar on Sunday.

They were the neighbours of the boy and were planning to abduct him for the past one month. They also procured a simcard by submitting fake documents.

On January 17, while Karan was flying kite in the street, Rajesh lured the boy to his house on the pretext of giving him more kites. When Karan entered the house, Rajesh Sharma tied his hands and legs and gagged his face.

Later, he handed over the boy to the Mahadev and Rajneesh, who further took him to a rented room in Dashmesh Nagar.

From there, the abductors called the child’s father Krishan Kumar and demanded Rs 2 lakh cash.

Rajesh, who stayed at Chand Nagar to monitor the situation, got frightened after witnessing heavy police movement in the area. The trio then vacated the house and started staying at Dashmesh Nagar, the sudden disappearance of the trio raised doubt. Following which, the police raided the house in Dashmesh Nagar and nabbed the accused. During the questioning they cracked and confessed having committing the crime.



Body of middle-aged man found
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
The body of an unidentified man, thought to be in his mid-40s, was found on Churpur Road here today. The body, in tattered clothes, bore stab marks with the word ‘Kaka’ inscribed on the right arm.

The Haibowal police discovered the body after it was informed by the area residents. It was later taken to the Civil Hospital for a postmortem examination.



Soothsayers much in demand during exam time
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
A session with a renowned astrologer prior to each examination season seems to have become as important for city students as is attending the best coaching institute in town. The aim behind both the endeavours is the same - to ensure good results.

A random survey by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that with annual examinations nearing almost every single astrologer in the city was witnessing double the footfall and queries from students and their parents.

Over the past couple of years, the trend of visiting soothsayers has become a fad of sorts among city schools and college students as well as their parents, who not only want to have a peek-a-boo in their academic futures but are also looking for “remedies to ensure good marks, to enhance concentration power, to sooth irate stars governing the scholastic aspect of life” and so on.

All this is in addition to the best possible facilities in terms of educational institutions, career counselling and parental support. Obviously, such students and their parents do not want to leave any stone unturned in their voyage towards their goals.

While the impact of such sessions on the actual results of the students is a debatable issue, the reason behind such visits is always the same - stress, parental pressure, overburden of studies and exam time anxiety. Unfortunately, television channels promoting astrological intervention in all matters of life in a major way, only add to the belief of people in this “science”.

Interestingly, with examinations round the corner and stress levels spiralling with each passing day, the number of students and their parents visiting fortune tellers rises manifolds, as does the frequency of their visits. All astrologers corroborate the fact.

Confirming this, Preeti Kansal, a renowned city astrologer, says, “Footfall as well as queries regarding studies from parents and students rises considerably during exam time.”

Ram Krishan Sharma, another astrologer from the city, added, “The trend of students, especially school children seeking astrological help for good results has caught up in the past one year or so. And quite evidently, exam time is the peek time for queries from students.” Astrologer Varinder Kumar also said a lot of parents consult him during examination time with regard to their children’s studies.

The astrologers added that most parents and students were keen to know as to how the children would fair in examinations, whether or not they would manage to get good marks. They also seek remedial measures and solutions to ensure excellent results.

“However, as a matter of fact, no pandit in the world can suggest a shortcut to success. Nothing can replace hard work. But prayers are extremely powerful and helpful, and that is all I tell my clients, including the students and their parents,” Kansal remarked.

Pyschologist Speak

Dr Rajeev Gupta says most people visit fortune tellers to get some kind of assurance, which helps them deal with high-stress levels. While positive prediction gives a false sense of security to the individual, negative future forecast can lead to extreme demoralisation. Both are harmful for the human psyche. They especially have a long-term bearing on the children. Parents should understand this and encourage children to work hard instead of going to soothsayers



US delegation visits vet varsity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
“We can work commonly on bio-fuels and animal waste. The US is looking forward to study the indigenous system of management of animal waste in different countries.”

These views were expressed by Dr Prema Arasu, a delegation member from North Carolina State University, the US, who was on a one-day visit to Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU).

The delegation discussed sustainable development and integration of complex issues related to livestock and poultry production, bio-fuels from animal waste, plant by products and implications to environment and public health.

The other members of the delegation were Dr Maria Correa, Dr Paul Bergey, Dr Kelly Zering and Dr Vivek Fellner. The delegation discussed various issues with officials and heads of the departments of the university.

Dr Correa said economy and conditions of both countries were different but there were a number of issues, which could be discussed with mutual cooperation and research.

She added that transboundry zoonoses diseases were also a major issue in all national and international veterinary conferences.

Dr Paul Bergey said environment was the main concern of the hour. Dr Onkar Singh Parmar, director of extension education, chaired the meeting. He said a large number of people were taking up dairy farming as a profession. He said animal breeding was helpful in developing good herd of animals.

Dr Simrat Sagar Singh, dean, College of Veterinary Sciences, described the educational functioning of the university. The members of both sides also discussed educational system of both countries.

Dr JPS Gill delivered his views on food security, safe use of pesticides and zoonoses diseases.

Dr MPS Bakshi threw light on nutritious and healthy food of animals, which could be easily made by waste products like vegetables, wheat straw and remains of human food.



Tips on writing research report
Tribune Reporters

Doraha, January 22
The Commerce and Business Administration Association of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, organised an extension lecturer on style and format of writing a research report and direct tax code-2011here today.

Dr AK Vashisht from Panjab University, Chandigarh, emphasised on content analysis and report presentation. Dr RK Gupta from department of correspondence studies, Panjab University, simplified the technical codes on direct Taxes. A comparison of prevailing tax provision to new tax provision was also explained to students.

Principal Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu stressed that students should actively participate in research work. Students of MCom, PGDCA, BBA, BCA and faculty members also participated.

Blood donation camp

Mandi Gobindgarh: A blood donation camp was organised at RIMT College of Education, Mandi Gobindgarh, under the guidance of lecturer Harjit Kaur in collaboration with a team of doctors headed by Dr Poonam from the Blood Bank of Rajindra Hospital, Patiala. RIMT Group of Institutes chairman, Dr Hukam Chand Bansal, inaugurated the camp. Twentyfive students donated blood.

Paper presented

Mandi Gobindgarh: Prof Navninderjit Singh, department of business administration, RIMT-Institute of Engineering and Technology, Mandi Gobindgarh, presented a paper on “Human Rights Aspect of Sustainable Development” at an international conference on “Sustainability in Business Vision, Practice and Education” at Argosy University in Minnesota, USA, recently.

The research scholar dwelled upon sustainable development of three generations.

He said sustainable development was not only an economic or environmental issue, but also had social and cultural aspects. His research revealed that communities are culturally rich can more effectively deal with the crisis of resources.

He gave examples, including town planning and Vaastu knowledge of India. Such has been the significance of culture in the development that even international law accords the “right to culture” as a “human right”.



Accidents on rise as fog blinds region
Authorities fail to take preventive measures; roads prove death trap for commuters

Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 22
With the people failing to cancel their travel plans, the foggy weather is claming precious lives in road accidents. Apathy of the public works department has left drivers and occupants of vehicles plying on the Ludhiana-Ahmedgarh road and other link roads on God’s mercy.

What to talk of undertaking construction work for safeguarding accident-prone passovers and bridges, the department did not even bother to do the minimum that could have saved many lives. Investigations by Ludhiana Tribune revealed that the road surface marking had not been done on most of the link roads and country roads in this part of Malwa.

While it is mandatory for the maintenance staff to ensure that the centreline and sidelines are marked prominently on all roads falling under their jurisdiction, a majority of them seem to have ignored the guidelines, leading to accidents. On the contrary, some faint centrelines lead drivers to dividers inviting mishaps.

With the onset of the foggy weather, the authorities should have started adopting preventive measures to avoid fog-related accidents. But they have not bothered to clear even the passages. With fog becoming thicker everyday, drivers find it hard to steer their vehicles safely. Overturning and collision with stranded vehicles and dividers is a common sight on Malerkotla-Ludhiana, Ahmedgarh-Raekot, Pakhowal road, Jagera road and Pohir roads.

Driving on roads along the banks of canals becomes more hazardous during fog as both sides of the passages are unsafe.

Many lives have been lost over the years in accidents in which vehicles carrying passengers fell in Bathinda branch of Sirhind Canal. Similar is the case with the road passing over Sidhwan branch and Abohar branch. There are no centrelines and sideline markings on these roads, which may help the drivers.

Road surface markings are used on paved roadways to provide guidance and information to drivers and pedestrians. Uniformity of the markings is an important factor in minimising confusion and uncertainty about their meaning.

Some state governments, including the Rajasthan government, have installed red reflectors along the sides and the dividers. This has reduced accidents due to poor visibility during nights and foggy days. But the PWD authorities seem to have learnt no lesson from fatal accidents.

Area residents have urged Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to ask the authorities concerned to undertake surface marking and save valuable lives.



Many trains cancelled, rescheduled
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 22
With the cold weather showing no signs of easing up and dense fog enveloping the entire region throughout most of the day for several days now, rail traffic continues to be in a state of disarray. The sudden cancellation of several long distance trains with most of the others running behind schedule have played havoc with city residents’ travel plans.

Due to several trains having been delayed beyond a manageable limit, railway officials today announced the cancellation of the 2716 Amritsar-Nanded Sachkhand Express, 2460 Amritsar-New Delhi Express and 2497 Nizamuddin-Amritsar Shane-e-Punjab Express for the day.

Virtually the entire train timetable has gone haywire due to heavy fog and resultant speed restrictions because of poor visibility, said railway officials.

Passengers travelling in the prestigious 2013 New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi Express on January 21 had a harrowing experience as the train departed from its originating point over three hours behind schedule and arrived here nearly six hours late. Both the 2031 and 2014 Shatabdi trains from New Delhi and Amritsar, respectively, were delayed by almost an hour today, with the evening Shatabdi trains (2013 and 2032) faring no better.

"Most of the up long route trains are running behind schedule, some by as much as 12 hours," the officials stated. Other trains running late include the 1077 Jhelum Express (by 12 hours), 8101 Tatanagar-Jammu Muri Express (11 hours), 3005 Howrah-Amritsar Mail (9 hours), 1057 Dadar-Amritsar Express (9 hours), 2715 Nanded-Amritsar Sachkhand Express (4 hours), 2459 New Delhi-Amritsar Express (3 hours), 5209 Jansewa Express (2 hours) 2203 Garib Rath (2 hours) and 2037 Delhi-Pathankot Express (2 hours 30 minutes).

"Train travel in these weather conditions has become a nightmare," said Neena Chawla, a teacher at Punjab Agricultural University, who travelled from New Delhi to Ludhiana by the Shatabdi Express on Friday evening.

"Though the delay caused due to the dense fog is understandable, the pathetic service in one of the country’s prestigious trains added to the misery of passengers. Passengers were given almost cold water in disposable cups for making tea, dinner was served at around midnight and, on the top of it all, the waiter appeared drunk," complained a fuming Chawla.

There were many other passengers like the PAU teacher who suffered silently due to the apathy of the railway and catering staff, both at rail stations and aboard trains.



Hostel Construction
Resident alleges owner of violating bylaws
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
A resident of Shastri Nagar has complained to the Municipal Commissioner against the construction of a nursing institute’s hostel run by Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital Charitable Trust alleging that the owner was violating the building bylaws.

Besides, UCO Bank in front of the campus was to be demolished before taking the construction.

Hardeep Singh, a resident, said, “As per the information obtained through the Right to Information Act from the Municipal Corporation revealed that UCO Bank building in front of the hostel campus needed to be demolished before starting the construction. However, the bank building stands tall and the construction is going on at full pace.”

Hardeep further added that MC officials were hand in gloves with the construction of the hostel.

The complainant also alleged that the hostel owner along with the officials took the civic body for a ride by giving false affidavits.

Guru Teg Bahadur Charitable Trust president MS Bakshi said, “The construction of the building is going according to the plan approved by the Municipal Corporation and we are completely abiding by the laws. As far as demolition of UCO Bank building is concerned, we would do it on the priority basis within the coming days.”

When municipal town Planner Hemant Batra was told about the issue, he said he would inquire into the matter.



Threatened to withdraw case, 61-yr-old dies

Ludhiana, January 22
The threat to withdraw a case proved fatal for a 61-year-old man who died following a cardiac arrest at his elder daughters residence in Kadwai Nagar here today.

Surinder Kumar was visiting his elder daughters house to resolve the matrimonial dispute of his younger daughter. The younger daughter of Surinder had filed a domestic violence case against her husband three months after her wedding. According to the relatives, a few men arrived at the house this evening and threatened Surinder to withdraw the case. The threats proved fatal and Surinder collapsed on the door. He was rushed to a hospital where he was declared brought dead. — TNS



2 youths drown

Phillaur, January 22
Two youths of Phagwara drowned in Sutlej river while trying to save a child from drowning.

The incident occurred on Thursday when three youths were performing Saraswati puja on the banks of Sutlej river. Eyewitnesses said they jumped into the river after they saw a child in trouble in the river. They managed to rescue the child, but two of them, identified as Kuldip (27) and Santosh Yadav (23), both residents of Onkar Nagar in Phagwara, drowned. — OC



Patwari held for accepting Rs 4,000 bribe
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 22
The Vigilance Bureau today arrested a patwari red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 4,000 from a farmer for permanent allotment of land. Farmers Chaman Singh and Joginder Singh of Baghian village near Sidhwan Bet had complained to the Vigilance Bureau in Ludhiana that patwari of Baghian village Bhupinder Singh was demanding Rs 4,000 from them for reporting about the facts of area of agriculture land under their possession.

Chaman Singh said he was in possession of five kanal five marla land where as Joginder Singh was in possession of 36 kanal of land owned by the Central government in Baghian village.

As per the new policy of the Central government, all the persons in possession of the government land were to be given permanent allotment after following the procedure. He said he applied for the permanent allotment to Jagraon SDM Mukand Singh, who referred the case to the naib tehsildar, Sidhwan Bet. The naib tehsildar forwarded the application to patwari Bhupinder Singh to report regarding the area under their possession. However, the patwari refused to do so till they paid him Rs 6,000, they alleged.

The deal was finally struck at Rs 4,000. Yesterday, the vigilance team laid the trap and arrested the patwari red-handed.



Bid to loot ATM

Phillaur, January 22
Some unidentified miscreants unsuccessfully attempted to loot cash from an automatic teller machine (ATM) of the State Bank of India at Apra village in Phillaur sub-division late last night.

The miscreants, however, fled after hearing some noises. The police has registered a case.

The police said the CCTV camera footage showed that two clean-shaven miscreants entered the ATM cabin and attempted for more than half-an-hour to break open the machine. — OC



Mini Olympics begins
Gurukul academy beat Jagtar XI
Our Sports Reporter

Jarkhar (Ludhiana), January 22
The 24th edition of the four-day annual sports festival, popularly known as Modern Mini Olympics began today at Mata Sahib Kaur Stadium. The event is being held under the aegis of the Punjab Rural Sports Promotion Council.

In the astroturf six-a-side hockey (boys), Mehta Gurukul Academy, Doraha, defeated Jagtar XI 5-1; Jarkhar Academy blanked Ghawaddi 5-0 and Gill Academy, Dhamot, overpowered Malwa Academy 5-2.

In hockey (grass), Khalsa College for Women, Ludhiana, blanked Government College for Women, Ludhiana, 3-0 and in the boy's section, Malwa Academy outperformed Ropar Hawks 2-0; PAU XI beat Bahadurgarh XI 3-0; Jarkhar Academy outplayed Delhi XI 4-2 and Sangrur Academy drew 1-1 against Haryana XI.

Darshan Singh Shivalik, MLA, and Manpreet Singh Ayali, chairman, Zila Parishad, Ludhiana, were the chief guests today.

Meanwhile, Narinder Pal Singh Sidhu and advocate Harkamal Singh, chairman and president of the festival organising club, said the competitions began today, but the festival would be formally inaugurated tomorrow.

The festival would be telecast live by the Fastway Channel, they added.

Punjab Cabinet Minister Hira Singh Gabria, Darshan Singh Shivalik and SSP Ludhiana Dr Sukhchain Singh Gill will declare the festival open on January 23 at 12 noon. They said the main attraction of this year’s festival would be wrestling and kabaddi teams from Pakistan.

Besides wrestling and kabaddi, grass hockey, astro-turf hockey, volleyball smashing and shooting, basketball and handball matches will be held.



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 |