L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Pleas ignored 
Shopkeepers hold commuters to ransom
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
Protesting against frequent incidents of clashes between rival gangs in the city’s Hargobind Nagar, Shingaar Cinema road and nearby areas, shopkeepers today staged a ‘dharna’ (sit-in) at Dholewal Chowk, blocking traffic for nearly an hour.

The shopkeepers, numbering about a hundred, shut down their stores and handed over the keys to police officials. Raising slogans against the cops, they alleged criminal activities were on the rise in the area due to police patronage.

Meanwhile, some senior politicians belonging to various parties visited the Division No 6 police station at Dholewal Chowk to express support for the shopkeepers. However, this only added to the commuters’ woes as, instead of pacifying the protesters, the politicians joined them and further aggravated the traffic snarls.

Like always the cops appeared ill prepared to tackle the situation and were seen passing the buck. Though the police knew about the protest no preventive measures were taken to prevent things getting out of hand.

Senior cops including ADCP Harsh Kumar Bansal witnessed the ruckus like a mute spectator. The police left the commuters to brave the scorching sun, making no alternative arrangements to ease the traffic jams.

Narrating their grievances against the police, Gauravjit Singh, son of former SAD councillor Jasbir Singh, said: "Skirmishes between the Mohni and Lovely groups have become routine in this area and every time both groups clash it is the shopkeepers who become the victims. We’ve no faith in the police. On May 13 Ankur, Sachin, Mohani, Ajaypal, Bhutto and Gagan along with their accomplices barged into my cloth store after they spotted Lovely, who had come to my shop to make a purchase”.

“The assailants, who were equipped with sharp-edged weapons including swards and knives, attacked Lovely. They didn’t even spare me. After injuring me they ransacked my shop”, he added.

"Though the police has arrested three youths in this connection but the latter are simply pawns. The real culprits are still absconding. We want the police to arrest these criminals and put an end to the frequent gang wars," said Gauravjit.


‘VIP treatment’ for Irfan miffs fans
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
The ‘special treatment’ accorded to the Indian cricket team’s star former all-rounder Irfan Pathan left his fans and even a senior cricket coach disappointed here today.

The cricketer, who is struggling to make a comeback in the national squad following the Indian team’s disastrous performance in the recently held T-20 World Cup, was visiting the Punjab Agricultural University campus for a trial organized by a cement company.

However, his visit left many of his admirers disappointed. The fans who wanted to take an autograph had to jostle with an army of musclemen surrounding the cricketer.

The local cricketers practicing on the ground were annoyed when they saw a man standing with an umbrella in order to protect the cricketer from scorching heat.

“Why is he making a mockery of the entire cricketing fraternity, why does he needs a shade? Is he not a cricketer? Already critics are complaining the national level cricketers are more worried about their faces rather than their game and he is proving them right,” said a cricketer, who is representing the under-22 from Ludhiana.

The situation became intense when a multiutility vehicle in which Pathan was scheduled to travel back following the trial entered the PAU cricket ground and allegedly crossed over the pitch.

RD Singh, a senior coach and former Ludhiana District Cricket Association general secretary, was seen fuming and fretting after witnessing the car allegedly crossing cricket pitch.

“Hey, take this car out of the ground. They cricketers worship this place and you are driving your car here. Cricketers as big and Kapil Dev have visited this ground but they have never acted so pricey. They have always kept the sanctity of the playing field,” said RD Singh.

Expressing regret about the incident, Pathan said, “If the driver of the car ran over the cricket pitch it’s very unfortunate,” said Pathan.



Missing File
LIT executive officer suspended
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 21
The case of the missing file of a prime residential property in Rajguru Nagar Colony, developed by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), took a turn after executive officer (EO) Jatinder Singh, who was earlier shifted to Sangrur for his role in the execution of the title deed of the plot, was suspended late last evening.

The vigilance cell of the local bodies department, which was investigating the matter, in its report to the government, said not only the sale deed of this plot, but also sale deeds of two other properties of the LIT were executed by the EO in a similar manner.

Even though a criminal case lodged with the police about the record having been tampered with, and the file going missing had not made much progress (reportedly due to the non-cooperative attitude of the EO), the government had decided to go along with the recommendation of the vigilance cell.

It was on the intervention of LIT chairman Ashok Juneja that local government minister Manoranjan Kalia ordered a vigilance probe. “The law will take its course and the guilty will not be spared. The LIT has initiated procedure to get the sale deeds cancelled and officials have been asked to keep the mutation in abeyance,” Juneja said.



Robbers flee with SUV at gunpoint
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
In yet another daring broad daylight robbery, two armed youths took away the SUV of a man at gunpoint from a residential colony in Sarabha Nagar here today. The incident took place at around 5 pm when Sulinder Jaggi, a real estate agent, reached his house in I-Block and asked his driver, Surjit Singh, to park the Tata Safari outside the house.

Surjit Singh, who was sitting in the car, said two youths knocked on the window of the vehicle on the pretext of asking for directions.

When he rolled down the window, one of the youths pulled out a pistol and told him to get out of the vehicle. “They threatened to shoot me if I made any noise,” he said. The youths then sped away and the police was informed. A manhunt has been launched and various places in Raikot and Sahnewal are being raided.



Four injured in chemical store fire
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
Four persons sustained burns during a major fire that broke out at a chemical store in Trunk Bazar here today.

Manoj Kumar, owner of the chemical store, a shopkeeper, Inderjeet Bawa, a worker, Vinod Kumar, and fireman Balwinder Singh sustained injuries while dousing the fire.

The incident took place at 10 am when Manoj Kumar opened the shutters of the shop and the chemicals exploded in his face.

His neighbour, Inderjeet Bawa, rushed to his rescue, but was caught in a ball of fire.

He has been admitted to the Civil Hospital and is reported to have suffered several burns.

“I was in a state of shock and failed to realise what had happened. One side of my face was burnt. Soon, the fire engulfed the store,” Manoj said.

The other shopkeepers called the fire brigade. Since the fire office is near the bazar, it did not take firefighters long to reach the spot even though the fire engines had to pass through congested markets.

The store was destroyed and nothing was left in the godown of another chemical store on the first floor where glass was stored. Naresh Kumar, owner of the chemical store, said: “Our store also caught fire and the entire godown on the first floor was gutted. Glass stored in the godown has been destroyed.”

It took 10 fire engines and four hours to control the blaze.

The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained. Fire officer Amarjeet Sharma said Balwinder suffered injuries in the hand from shards of glass.



May 25 Revised deadline for ‘jinxed’ flyover
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
A week after Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal failed to turn up for inaugurating Rs 22.5 crore Gill flyover, it would 
finally be opened for the public on May 25.

Sukhbir Badal and Local Bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia will jointly inaugurate the flyover at 4 pm on that day This was announced by Cabinet Minister Hira Singh Gabria here today.

The flyover was scheduled to be inaugurated on May 18 but was postponed later on. Gabria while citing the reason behind it said the construction company had handed over the flyover to them on May 18 and since then they conducting trial runs on it.

"The flyover can’t be inaugurated without testing the strength and endurance. We are
testing it during night by passing heavy vehicles on it. The government cannot take any chance without with public safety,” he added.

The flyover has two portions. One is straight and will bypass the Gill Chowk.

It will begin at the petrol station on the Link road and end just before the Pratap Chowk. This portion has been four laned and is about 400metres in length. Similarly, arms of the flyover meet the Gill Road and is 170 metres in lenght.

With the opening of overbridge, commuters going towards Industrial area, Partap Chowk, Focal Point would reach these destinaitons without taking alternate routes. With the overbridge becoming operational, traffic will be eased out at Jagraon Bridge.



Assault Case
Schoolboy accuses classmate, family stages dharna
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service
Vineet Malhotra with injury marks on his neck
Vineet Malhotra with injury marks on his neck. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, May 21
Supported by residents of several neighbouring villages, family members and friends of a class 12 student of Nankana Sahib Public School, Gill Road, held a ‘dharna’ (sit-in) outside the school, alleging he was thrashed by another student.

Vineet Malhotra, 18, claimed he was thrashed by a fellow student, Ajayveer Singh, on Wednesday outside the school premises. “School officials however have not taken any action against Ajayveer, who is still being allowed to attend school,” he said.

Vineet also accused the police of keeping silent on the issue. “Though I had filed a complaint no case has been registered as yet”, he said.

Narrating the incident, Vineet said following the declaration of his class XII result on Wednesday, he had gone to the school to distribute sweets to his teachers.

"As soon as I came out of the school, Ajayveer and his friends beat me up badly. They were armed with rods, revolvers and rifles and hit me on the head with the butt of a rifle," alleged Vineet.

He also said the assailants then forcibly took him to Ajayveer's home across the road. "The school staff rushed to my rescue and saved me from the assailants. I suffered serious injures in the assault and was immediately rushed to the Civil Hospital following the incident”, he said.

Vineet said he had no enmity with Ajayveer, who is the son of a village sarpanch. "In fact Ajayveer had some problem with the other boys of our school. And since I was on friendly terms with those boys I was beaten up," he claimed.

However, the school’s principal, Harmeet Kaur Waraich, said, “It was an old dispute between Vineet’s and Ajayveer's families, who were using their children as pawns to settles scores with each other.

“On Wednesday Vineet had come to the school to look up his class XII results. When he left school Jasvir Singh forcibly took him somewhere in a vehicle at gunpoint. My staff members witnessed the incident and brought it to my notice. I immediately rushed them to save Vineet," said Waraich.

"We then informed the police. The incident took outside the school and Ajayveer was, at that time, inside the school attending a class. He has nothing to do with the incident," she added.

Waraich added she had narrated the incident to the police. "This morning the villagers blocked the road outside the school to press the police to register a case. They also stopped students from entering the school. However, no demand for action against Ajayveer has come to us," she said.

ACP Narinderpal Singh Ruby said statements of both the sides had been recorded and “suitable action” would be taken. "Jasvir has alleged Vineet and his friends barged into his home and thrashed his son, Ajayveer, while Vineet claims he was beaten up by Ajayveer. We’re looking into the matter," he said.



900 students conferred degrees
Tribune News Service

Students of SCD Government College with their degrees in Ludhiana on Friday
Students of SCD Government College with their degrees in Ludhiana on Friday. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, May 21
The annual convocation of SCD Government College was held here today and over 900 students of BCom, BA, BSc, MA and MCom were awarded degrees.

The convocation started with an academic procession led by DPI (colleges), Punjab, Jasmeet Kaur Nayyar, along with college principal Jasbir Kaur Makkar. Dean of academic affairs of the college, Prof RK Miglani, also accompanied the procession.

The convocation started with a shabad recitation “Deh Shiva Var Mohe”. The college principal presented the annual report of the college.

Meritorious students were awarded the roll of honour and degrees were conferred on 900 graduates and postgraduates.

The principal also announced that Panjab University had declared the college as the research centre to conduct PhD research in Hindi, which is the only college in the state to have won this status.

Nayyar said time had come when educational institutions must understand their role to uplift society. She said society must contribute for the education of the poor and needy students so that they could make their life useful for society.



Martyrdom Day
Tributes paid to Rajiv Gandhi
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 21
Led by Youth Congress (YC) district president Dimple Rana, activists of the party organised a blood donation camp to mark the martyrdom day of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at the Congress Bhawan here today.

More than 151 volunteers, including the YC workers, came forward to donate blood at the camp, which was coordinated by a team of doctors and supporting staff from the department of transfusion medicine at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

Senior party leaders, including Gurkirat Singh Kotli, Harnam Das Johar, Malkiat Singh Birmi, Malkiat Singh Dakha, Mahila Congress district chief Leena Taparia, DCC president Jagmohan Sharma and former Mayor Nahar Singh Gill, were present on the occasion.

Addressing the party workers, Rana said on the directions of Rahul Gandhi, the youth icon of the party, all district units of the YC were holding blood donation camps as a tribute to Rajiv Gandhi. He exhorted the party activists to follow the ideals of the slain Prime Minister, who had not only worked relentlessly to take the nation towards greater heights, but had also laid down his life for the sake of its unity and integrity.

The District Congress Committee (DCC) held a free eye check-up camp to pay tributes to Rajiv Gandhi.

Speaking on the occasion, DCC chief Jagmohan Sharma recalled the contribution made by the then Prime Minister for empowerment of the youth by lowering the age for voting and bringing about a technological revolution in the country. He lashed at Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal for questioning the acts of Rahul Gandhi in reaching out to the poorest of the poor in different parts of the country.



Experts dwell on causes of drug abuse
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, May 21
A seminar on drug abuse was organised by Government Girls High School, Dakha, and Rotary Club International at Dakha village near here yesterday.

DIG Ludhiana range, Dr Jatinder Jain, along with Rotary Club president Kanti Behl presided over the seminar, which included a brief cultural programme, including patriotic choreography and a play on drug abuse.

Addressing the seminar, Dr Harbans Singh said the drug menace could not be tackled till the supply line was identified and eliminated. He said education was must to eradicate all social problems. Senior HDFC official Partap Singh said easy availability of the drugs through various means had enhanced the problem of drug abuse.

Dr SS Gill, former director of extension education, PAU, presented the current scenario of the drug abuse, especially in Punjab. SP Karkara, an IAS official (retd), said the result of awareness drives was not that encouraging.



From Schools and Colleges
Exhibition on water conservation

LUDHIANA: Students of Green Land Senior Secondary Public School put up an exhibition on water conservation on the school premises here on Friday. The weeklong campaign on “Save water - Save life” culminated with students of all four houses displaying their models, charts and collages. Rajesh Rudra, chairman-cum-director, Green Land Group of Schools, and chief guest Bachhitar Singh, DEO (secondary), Ludhiana, inaugurated the exhibition. The students highlighted the importance of water conservation through power point presentations. Winners of various events, including poetry recitation competition, power point presentations, photography, collage making and poster making, were given prizes by the chief guest. — TNS

Rally against terrorism

LUDHIANA: NSS volunteers of SDP Senior Secondary School, Hazoori road, took out a rally against terrorism. Students raised slogans against terrorism under the guidance of Balraj Kumar Bhasin, president, SDP Sabha and SDP Institutions. School principal Jasveer Singh Chauhan addressed the students and urged them to extend all help towards strengthening of the nation. — TNS

Lecture on traffic rules

LUDHIANA: On the third day of the NSS camp being held at Devki Devi Jain Memorial College for Women, Jagmail Singh, head constable from the traffic educational cell, delivered a lecture on traffic rules. He sensitised volunteers about safe driving and discussed the social problem of drug addiction among the youth. He also made them aware about the process of de-addiction. In the second session, Madan Mohan Mishra delivered a lecture on the importance of yoga in maintaining good health. He also demonstrated various yoga postures. Officiating principal Surinder Khurana thanked the resource persons. — TNS

Ravneet shines in poster making

LUDHIANA: On the second day of the seven-day special NSS camp organised by Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, Gurasis, a lecturer in fine arts gave an innovative demonstration to volunteers on poster making. The volunteers learnt the art of creative drawing, poster making and painting on the theme “environment conservation”. This was followed by a poster-making competition. Ravneet and Shaheena (BA II) stood first, Baljeet and Rupali (BCA II) stood second and Rajwinder and Inderjeet (MA- political science) bagged the third position. — TNS



DA hike fails to cheer employees
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 21
Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal’s decision to hike the dearness allowance of employees and the state government pensioners from 27 to 35 per cent with effect from January 1, 2010, and further to deposit the arrears from January to May 2010 in the GPF of the employees, has failed to cheer the beneficiaries, who feel that the government had shortchanged them.

The trade union activists here said the hike in DA to bring parity with the Central government employees was overdue and the government had unnecessarily delayed implementation of the rightful benefit to its employees and pensioners. The arrears of the past five months, also, ought to have been paid in cash, they said.

DP Maur, secretary, Joint Council of Trade Unions, said the move was a welcome step. But the delay caused in giving effect to long-standing demand of the employees had caused a lot of resentments. “To add to the misery of the employees, the government has decided to deposit the arrears of the past five months in the GPF which practically amounts to refusal of the government to give the employees their rightful dues at the right time.

Maur lamented that recommendations of the pay commission had also been implemented either in an erratic manner or partially in many cases. “To add insult to the injury, the government is behaving in an adamant manner and refuses to see the reason.”

He said the trade unions would hold zonal-level protests all over the state on May 27. Kewal Singh Banwait, vice-president, Punjab State Electricity Board Employees Federation (PSEBEF), said arrears of 8 per cent increase in the dearness allowance (DA) should have been paid in cash as most of the employees had already made certain financial commitments in anticipation of the payment of arrears from January to May 2010.

“The decision to deposit arrears in the GPF of the employees is unjust and arbitrary, especially in the case of employees of the erstwhile PSEB (now Powercom/ Transcom) because the employees invariably face difficulties in getting funds from the GPF when these are most needed,” the employees said.

He further said the Powercom management had also failed to resolve the issue of anomalies in the revision of pay scales despite several rounds of bilateral talks with the trade unions. “The powercom/ transcom managements ought to address the issues raised by the unions with regard to revised pay scales without any further delay failing which the employees will be left with no other alternative but to adopt the path of agitation.”



Noise pollution can impair health
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
The rising noise pollution in the city could lead to residents suffering grave health problems. This was underscored once again during a noise level measurement survey organized by GMT College of Education Foundation along with Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha, Ludhiana and the Small Scale Industrialists & Traders Associations at the interstate bus terminus here today.

About 20 college students, led by Gurwant Singh, participated in the survey, conducted under the ‘Save Mother Earth’ programme. They visited the bus station and measured the noise levels during the morning.

According to Gurwant, the nose level in a commercial area should be 65 to 55 decibels and 65- 55 decibels in residential localities.

"However, when we arrived at the bus station we were surprised to see the alarming rise in the noise level, which crossed the 100 mark and reached 101 decibels. While the government is shifting small-scale industrial units, it is turning a blind eye to the increasing level of noise pollution in the city”, he stated.

Hypertension, hearing problem and restlessness are some of the problems causes by noise pollution.



BDPO accused of aiding encroachers
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 21
The panchayat of Shankar village, near Dehlon, has accused the BDPO of facilitating certain people encroach on village common land.

The panchayat has taken up the issue with the higher department authorities and the SHO concerned. The resolution passed by the panchayat alleged that the BDPO was supporting two brothers who had encroached on the land and though a complaint had been lodged against them several months ago, no action was being taken.

On receiving the complaint, SHO Satinderpal Singh visited the disputed site and assured action against those guilty. Akber Ali Khan, BDPO, however, refuted the allegations. He said the complaint regarding the encroachments were being investigated into and investigation took some time. He said the panchayat was expecting immediate action without any inquiry being conducted.



Bio-control agent to control foot rot
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
The use of chemicals to control pests and diseases is sometimes debatable due to ecological and economic reasons. This was stated by Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, while releasing the talc-based formulation of bio-control agent, Trichoderma, which has been developed by PAU to control the foot rot disease of paddy.

Dr Kang said wherever effective biological control technology against diseases was available, it had been well received because of its eco-friendly character.

Dr Kang added that more emphasis needed to be given on development of practical strategies involving the bio-control agents to manage economically important soil-borne diseases of crops.

Dr Dhiman said the bio-control technology needed to be popularised among farmers. Dr Rewal said the foot rot was a serious disease of basmati rice caused by a fungus “Fusarium moniliforome”, which was occurring in areas like Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Patiala and Kapurthala districts with an incidence of 2-40 per cent adding that the Pusa-1121 variety of basmati rice is highly susceptible to it.

Dr Narinder Singh, senior plant pathologist, said the disease was characterised with the excessive elongation of seedlings in nursery as well as in the field and that the affected plants initially turn yellow followed by drawing. He shared that based on the selection of local strain, 1 kg formulation of T Harzianum in talcum powder has been prepared.

Dr Rewal said necessary instructions about the use of bio-control preparation had been given on the pack itself and that further query, if any, might be addressed to the department of plant pathology.

Present on the occasion were director of research, Dr PS Minhas, estate official-cum-chief engineer, Dr Gurkirpal Singh, additional director of communication, Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman, head, department of plant pathology, Dr HS Rewal, and senior plant pathologist, Dr Narinder Singh. 



Trade unions back agitating BSNL staff
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
Various local trade unions met here today to extend their support to agitating casual and contractual workers of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited in the Bharat Nagar Chowk. In all 28 organisations representing industrial workers, transport, electricity board, hospitals, educational institutions, banks, municipal corporation, PSSF, teachers, kisan unions, construction workers, PAU employees forum, paramedical staff, ASHA workers, istri sabha, working women, agriculture laborers, doctors, Lawyers, writers, small-scale industries and traders association attended it.

The issue regarding the reinstatement, ESI and PF facilities of the casual and contractual BSNL workers was discussed at length. The workers have been agitating for past more than two months and are on chain hunger strike since April 5. 



Levy of charges by banks
Pensioners write to PM, finance minister
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
Peeved about deduction of money by banks on account of various charges, Sher Singh, chairman and former president of the Northern Railway Pensioners Welfare Association, has written to the Prime Minister, the finance minister and the Governor, Reserve of India, urging them to look into the matter.

Banks have been levying ledger, inspection, insurance and cheque-book charges on quarterly basis on customers.

In the letter, he said: “These charges are superfluous and should be within the interest amount. While ledger charges are for stationery, inspection charges are for auditing.”

He question the rationale behind charging insurance charges when the bank could mortgage the property in lieu of warranty.

Cheque books are charged in current account at the rate of Rs 2 per cheque and Re 1 for savings account, which hardly cost the banks 30-40 paise per cheque.

Further, he added that bank interest rates were the same for big loans and small loans, except for agriculture sector, whereas they should be higher for higher amounts and lower for small amounts.



Labour Shortage-I
Wooing domestic help with gifts
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
There is a shortage of domestic labour force in the city as a faction of migrants have either permanently shifted to their hometown or have returned home due to the ongoing harvesting as well as marriage season. Despite this, influential people are leaving no stone unturned to woo them.

City of riches has no dearth of money and people here don’t mind doling out extra to the domestic help. When Reema Malhotra’s maid left for Bihar she chose to give a lucrative offer to woo a maid for her household chores. In addition to boarding and lodging she promised to give her maid a surprise gift every month and in no time she succeeded in getting a new maid for herself.

“Sometimes it is a suit or saree, I arrange movie tickets for my maid and her family. Giving such small incentive makes them happy and they also work whole-heartedly,” she smiles. Earlier I used to pay Rs 2,000 to my maid. But, now I am paying Rs 3,500 to my new maid. “Maximum number of the labourer has returned home due to the harvesting and marriage season. I don’t mind paying extra as it is not possible for me to do household work,” said Parminder Grewal, a housewife and resident of Sarabha Nagar. Even the agencies dealing in providing maidservants are short of them.

Still if they provide you the one, there is no guarantee that they will last long. Manisha Sobti said: “Since I am a working woman I need a fulltime maid. After failing to get one from the city, I hired the services of a Delhi-based company to find the maid.

These agencies provide maids under different categories like skilled, semi-skilled and non-skilled. The monthly pay of the maids depends upon the category they belong to.”

“I got a maid, hired through a company, by paying Rs 20,000 in advance and to my surprise the maid fled away from my home within a month and the company refused to refund the money,” Sobti said. Narrating her woes another city woman Rohini Sharma says, “I have to leave for my job early in morning and it is not possible for me to do the household work.

While returning home I pick the maid from her house and then drop at night as I failed to get a maid from a nearby area. Since this maid lives 15 kilometers away I have to pick and drop her every day.”



GLADA, MC tell developers to stop work
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 21
Taking cognizance of the illegal colony being developed along the GT Road near Basti Jodhewal police station here, both the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) and the Municipal Corporation (MC) have swung into action. The Ludhiana Tribune had carried a report on the illegal colony coming up in an area of 8 acre along the National Highway 1.

While GLADA is in the process of lodging a criminal complaint with the police against the coloniser for violation of provisions of the Punjab Apartment and Property Development Act while also having put up warning board at the site against purchase of plots in the said colony, the MC team visited the spot on Thursday and restrained the developer from carrying out any work related to internal development like laying of roads, streets, sewer and water lines.

Sources in GLADA disclosed that similar warning boards, advising people not to purchase plots in the illegal colonies had also been put up in at least three other colonies which were being developed without obtaining the mandatory license around Seerha village on Rahon Road on the outskirts of the city.

"Through the warning boards, GLADA has asked the people not to throw away their hard-earned money in purchase of plots in such illegal colonies because even after these colonies have been developed and plots sold away, electricity, sewer and water connections will not be released by the departments concerned," the sources said.

Information gathered by The Tribune revealed that even by conservative estimates, there were some 650 illegal colonies in and around the mega city with more than 200 of such colonies within the city limits alone.

"In the wake of acute shortage of affordable housing, the unscrupulous property developers and colonisers carve out a colony with haphazard and poor internal development. Make false promises to gullible buyers, sell away plots and commercial sites and then disappear, leaving the buyers high and dry. The problem persist not only in unauthorised colonies, but even in many of the PUDA/GLADA-approved colonies, the developers fail to carry out internal development works and provide basic infrastructure as per norms due to poor regulation and enforcement," remarked Anil Sharma, a resident of an unauthorised colony on the Chandigarh Road.



Rice-sheller owners threaten to boycott FCI
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 21
Accusing certain officials at the local unit of Food Corporation of India of allegedly adopting corrupt practices during storing of processed paddy, owners of rice shellers of this area falling under Sangrur and Ludhiana district have threatened to boycott dealings with the central procurement agency from the next season.

Denying allegations levelled against them, the officials led by the depot manager have argued that the rice-sheller owners were labeling the delay due to scarcity of means as ‘demand of bribe’.

Asim Chhabra, DGM, FCI, Chandigarh, ordering probe into allegations levelled against the officials has urged office bearers of the Rice Shellers Association to impress upon owners of rice shellers to continue storing processed paddy in godowns hired by the procurement agency.

Accusing officials at the local unit of FCI Depot of harassing them during stocking of processed paddy, as many as 43 rice-sheller owners threatened to boycott dealing with the central procurement agency from next season. Decision to boycott was taken at a meeting of the association presided over by Gora Lal Dhand last evening.

Office-bearers of the association, including chairman Naresh Bansal and secretary Bir Bhushan, alleged that corrupt practices being adopted by the officials had resulted in a situation wherein at least 2,300 truckloads, out of 4,300 loads of milled paddy were still lying on the premises of rice shellers.

Feeling unheard by local and regional authorities, a delegation of office-bearers of the association had lodged a written complaint before Chhabra on Wednesday. Confirming receipt of the complaint, officials at DGM office at Chandigarh said action would be taken against erring officials in case charges were proved.



Nishu tops commerce stream in Khanna
Tribune News Service

Khanna, May 21
Nishu Dhir of DAV Public Senior Secondary School has secured the top position in Khanna in the commerce stream in the class XII CBSE examination, the result of which was declared on Wednesday. She has also found a place in the merit list by securing 93 per cent marks.

Nishu gave the credit of her success to her principal Sarita Garg. She aims to join an MNC after completing her studies.



New registrar for vet varsity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
Senior professor of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Dr Prayag Dutt Juyal, today joined as its new registrar. Dr Juyal had earlier headed the department of veterinary parasitology and got many awards and honours.

Presently, he is the vice-president of the Indian Society for Parasitology and general secretary of the Indian Association for Advancement of Veterinary Parasitology (IAAVP). He is a fellow of the National Academy of Veterinary Sciences and IAAVP. He has over 100 published articles in the journals of national and international repute to his credit



Youth drowns into Satluj
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, May 21
A youth is reported to have drowned while bathing into the Satluj. He has been identified as Gurlabh Singh (22) of Hambran village. He along with his younger brother Sandeep Singh and friends Sukhwant Singh and Gurinder Singh had gone to swim in the river near Khaira Bet village.

When Gurinder saw that Gurlabh Singh had not come above the water, he tried to look for him but in vain. Villagers rushed to the spot with divers and boats. The body was fished out of the river. The Humbran police has, however, registered a case under Section 174 of the Cr.PC on the statement of Sikander Singh, the father of the deceased.



Prithipal Singh Hockey League
Malwa Academy hog limelight
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, May 21
Malwa Academy, Ludhiana, scored second victory in the junior section on the second day of the inaugural edition of the Olympian Prithipal Singh Hockey League being organised jointly by Jarkhar Hockey Academy and Ludhiana Sportsmen Welfare Association at Mata Sahib Kaur Stadium, Jarkhar near here today.

Malwa Academy lads blanked Sports Wing, Sudhar 5-0. Yesterday, they defeated Randhir Academy, Dhamot 7-2 to begin their campaign in a style.

In other matches, Sports Excellence Centre, Ludhiana, beat Jagtar XI of Jarkhar 3-1 while Grewal Hockey Academy, Kila Raipur outplayed Government High School, Ghawadi 3-0 and Jarkhar Academy pipped Randhir Academy, Dhamot 5-0.

Earlier, MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik inaugurated the league in which eight teams in the junior section and four outfits in the senior section were taking part. He announced a grant of Rs 3 lakh for the installation of floodlights at the stadium.

The organisers honoured Jaspreet Kaur and Jatinder Sharma, daughter and son-in law, respectively of Prithipal Singh on this occasion. Hockey coach, Darshan Singh Assi Kalan was also felicitated for his contribution in the field of hockey.

In the senior section, the Lakhbir Grewal Club of Jarkhar and the Friends Club of Doraha recorded wins in their respective encounters.

The Lakhbir Grewal Club drubbed the Sunday Morning Club, Ludhiana, 7-3 after leading 4-2 at half time. For the winners, captain, Mandeep Singh and Harminder Pal Singh contributed two goals each while Pargat Singh, Kujit Singh Kala and Narain Singh accounted for one goal each.

For the losers, former Olympian Hardeep Singh, Sukhwinder Singh and Jejbir Singh reduced the margin.

The match in the senior section was played between, the Friends Club of Doraha and the Army Club of Ludhiana in which the former came out triumphant, 6-2.



Gobind Singh Cricket Tournament
City indifferent to differently abled
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 21
The city's indifference towards the differently abled came to the fore here today during a cricket match for the hearing impaired organized between Punjab and Nepal. Not even a single spectator came to watch Shri Guru Gobind Singh Cricket Tournament organized by the Deaf Cricket Federation, Punjab, at Punjab Agricultural University.
A cricket match in progress between Punjab and Nepal at the PAU in Ludhiana on Friday
A cricket match in progress between Punjab and Nepal at the PAU in Ludhiana on Friday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Both teams playing in the grounds of the PAU did not have anybody to cheer them. Arya Parshad, president and head coach of the Nepal team said it was the first time they had come to Punjab. "It is very disheartening to see that not even a single spectator turned up to see the match," he said.

Indians are crazy about cricket but I think nobody is interested in watching the match played by the differently abled children. Had there been crowd to cheer the teams, the enthusiasm level of these kids would have grown much higher, feels Parshad.

"Weather in Punjab is very hot as compared to Nepal but otherwise we are loving this place," he said. Though the participation level is also not too high in Nepal but people do come there to watch such matches. Nearly 30-40 per cent take interest in watching matches played by differently abled children," he said.

Uttam Maharaja, captain of Nepal team, said not only in Ludhiana but the response was similar in Jalandhar as well. "Yesterday, we had a match in Jalandhar and the scene there was also similar to Ludhiana. I wonder why nobody is interested in our match in a cricket crazy nation," he said.

Gurdeep Singh, captain of Punjab team, further added that the team was very enthusiastic about the tournament but after receiving no response from the public the entire team was disheartened.

Harbhajan Singh and Sachin Tendulkar top the list among the players. Saurav and Ajay from Nepal are fond of Indian cricketers and Sachin is their idol. "He is a magnificent player and one can learn a lot from him," he added.



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