L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Payment of bills a headache for most
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 4
Even though Powercom has installed half a dozen automated bill payment “sewak” machines in the city and also made arrangements for the payment of bills at cash counters of Powercom, 45 designated post offices and some commercial banks branches, it isn’t really helping consumers.

Consumers say that payments made at “sewak” machines are either not credited to their accounts or the amount is shown as unpaid in subsequent bills. At times, the machines reject genuine currency notes of high denomination and cheques. As a result, people have to go to post offices or stand in long queues at the cash counters of Powercom.

Also now, the facility of paying bills at the post offices has been withdrawn. Senior Superintendent (Post Offices) City Division JR Noor said Powercom officials had intimated their headquarters through a letter that the receipt of electricity bills at post offices had been discontinued with immediate effect. “The reasons cited were dwindling number of consumers coming to post offices and late payments,” he stated.

However, the postal authorities said the payments were still being received. “We are still to receive orders from the headquarters not to accept the payment of electricity bills.” they said.

Jaideep Singh, owner of an industrial unit, said the power bill of the unit was paid at an automated machine last month against a valid receipt, but the power supply to the unit was disconnected some days back for non-payment of bill. “It was only after I produced the receipt that the Powercom staff restored the supply,” he said.

Citing complaints of this nature as isolated cases, Powercom officials maintained that sewak machines were a huge relief to consumers.

An official with the computerisation cell of Powercom said these machines remained functional from 8 am to 8 pm all through the week. There were some minor problems with the machines which have been rectified,” he added.


Today is World Environment Day
Denudation of trees goes unabated
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
On the eve of World Environment Day (observed on June 5), administrative officials remain indifferent about the fast depleting green cover as is evident from their failure to initiate any plantation drives in the city and its periphery. This is notwithstanding the fact that Ludhiana district has attained the dubious reputation of being the most deforested in Punjab.

Ceremonial speeches made by the officials reflecting their “environment friendly” objectives are nothing but hollow promises. Over 2.2 million saplings nurtured in the forest department’s dozen nurseries are still waiting to be planted.

Widening of roads and construction of new housing colonies have cost the city 150,000 trees in the past one year alone. In order to compensate the loss 1.5 million saplings have to be planted as it takes eight to ten years for them to mature into fully grown trees.

District forest officer Vishal Chauhan stated the forest department had already submitted the ‘Greening Ludhiana’ plan to the municipal corporation commissioner and deputy commissioner.

"The administration has to earmark land for plantation of 70,000 trees within MC limits. We’re also waiting for support from the ‘zila parishad’ for plantation of saplings on the city’s outskirts”, Chauhan added.

The police department for once has taken the lead by volunteering for plantation of 4000 plants in the police lines Ludhiana. Not to miss the government schools and colleges, which have kept their promise to make the city green. However, majority of the government departments have not even bothered to plant a single sapling.

The forest department has urged residents to buy saplings at a nominal price of Rs 2.50 from its 12 nurseries functional at block level. Saplings of mango, guava, ‘jamun’, ‘neem’, bamboo, ‘pipal’, ‘dek’, banyan, teak, ‘mahua’, ‘sheesham’, jasmine and various other plant varieties are available for sale at the nurseries.

The forest department will plant 600,000 trees under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and nurture 400,000 more for the next year. Also, 50,000 saplings will be given free of cost to the public and NGOs during the first week of July.

Punjab Youth Forum, a city-based NGO working for the cause of a healthy environment, plans to plant 100,000 saplings this year with special emphasis on adoption of trees. Harmohinder Singh, its president, said: "Our aim is to ensure the survival of at least one-half of the saplings planted under our supervision. We’ve made arrangements for dense plantation on land in Payal and on Samrala road in July”.


Bamboo plantations

With its tapered roots bamboo gives off 35 per cent more oxygen as compared to other plants. It is thus the best option for terrace gardens as it can be planted even in a limited space and is the best tree when it comes to providing shade. Bamboo saplings are available at the Forest department’s nurseries in the city. District forest officer Vishal Chauhan said, "It’s a myth that bamboo trees are an abode of snakes. City residents should come forward for bamboo plantation as the central government has launched some special schemes under the national bamboo mission”.



Thumb print now must for new SIM
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
Thumb impression will now be required to buy a new SIM card. Apart from submitting ID proof and photograph, customers will now have to give their thumb impressions on a blank paper along with their signatures.

The increasing crime rate in the city has led the police to instruct mobile phone dealers to do so.

Satish Kumar, a dealer, said they had been instructed by the police to take the thumb impressions of customers before giving them SIM cards.

In the past, several crimes have occurred in which mobile phones played a major part. Although ID proof is required to be submitted with the form, criminals managed to give fake documents and when the police verified the credentials, these were found to be bogus.

Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh said the police had asked SIM dealers to ensure the identity of customers. “We have asked the dealers to take the thumb impressions if they feel suspicious about a person asking for a SIM card. This will help us,” he said.

However, implementing it isn’t really easy. Another dealer, Jagatjit Singh, said when he asked a customer to give his thumb impression, he refused to do so. “Since no such instruction has been given on the form, customers feel no compulsion to give the thumb impressions,” he said.



Move to re-auction ‘expired’ sugar raises outcry
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
The controversy over the re-auction of 115,796 quintals of “expired” sugar seized in Seehra village, near here, by the food, civil supplies & consumer affairs department in September last year has taken a new turn. Demands from city residents for the health & family welfare department to intervene in the matter and conduct laboratory tests on the sugar are now rising by the day.

The department had seized 97,500 quintals of “expired” sugar hoarded by one Khubi Ram Johari Mal, 8,516 quintals from a godown belonging to Yashika International and 9,780 quintals from a godown owned by Chandi Mal Roshan Das in Seehra This was stated to be one of the biggest such seizures in Punjab.

The hoarders had specially rented godowns in the city to stock the sugar. Following raids the city police filed a case against them under the Essential Commodities Act.

The department’s officials auctioned the seized sugar stocks on February 26, 2010 asking traders to sell it in the open market within 72 hours. The officials had specifically declared the sugar was "good" and "safe" for human consumption.

Though it sounds strange, the traders, despite having paid for the sugar, failed to lift the stocks from the food, civil supplies & consumer affairs department’s storehouse. And now the department, without giving the reason behind the sugar not being lifted, has announced a re-auction for the same stocks on June 6, putting a question mark on its style of functioning.

In an application filed under the Right To Information Act, Arvind Sharma, a ‘social worker’ in the city, had demanded details of the auctioned sugar with reference to manufacturing and expiry dates. "The tags on the sugar bags carry 2007-08 as the manufacturing date followed by the message ‘best before two years’, specifying its date of expiry as 2010," he pointed out.

Sharma said the department had failed to provide him with the information under the RTI Act. "The Punjab health & family welfare department is authorized to take samples of expired eatables and send them for laboratory tests. Thus the sugar should not be sold in the market till the time it is declared safe for human consumption by undergoing such tests," he asserted.

HC stay delayed lifting of stocks: DC

When contacted deputy commissioner Rahul Tewari claimed the delay in lifting the seized sugar stocks was due to the stay granted by the Punjab & Haryana High Court. Speaking on demands by residents for a lab test, he said: "No one has approached me on the matter till date, but even then I’ll discuss it with the food, civil supplies & consumer affairs department and a decision will be taken in the public interest”.



No laughing matter, this
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
It is easy to make someone cry, but difficult to make people laugh. And, if by mere appearance, one can evoke laughter, it is no mean feat, says Shiv Kumar Srivastava. Working with magician Samrat Shankar for the past 16 years, Srivastava, who is 3.5 foot tall, is in no way less than his taller counterparts. He feels that the greatest satisfaction is in making others happy. “I make a living by making people laugh and am proud of it,” he says.

The 53-year-old “little man” belongs to Gorakhpur and started his career as a clown in a circus, but found magic shows more appealing.

“I am by nature a happy man and making people happy comes naturally to me,” he remarks, talking about his choice of career.

“I knew from my childhood that I was different and it pushed me to do something different. I was barely five when my parents got to know that I was a dwarf. But they never let me feel any different from my siblings, who are all of normal height,” he recalls.

“I completed Class VIII and decided to earn a living to support my family. I moved to the city at the age of 15, where I worked as a clown in a circus and liked to watch smiling faces,” he says. His wants to earn enough to give his five children and wife a comfortable life. For people like him, he says: “Being a dwarf doesn’t hinder life. We can do what regular people do if we have the will.”



Counselling a boon for rural students
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, June 4
A majority of rural students, despite having fared well in their matric or senior secondary examination, fail while making the ultimate choice, something that can shape their future.

However, counselling by expert teachers as well as counsellors can be of great help to such students at this crucial juncture.

Rural counselling being imparted these days by a majority of local colleges of the region has proved to be a boon for rural students.

While colleges make these students aware of the courses they offer, aspirants get the knowledge right on their doorstep.

Tough the aim is to attract students to various courses, it is proving to be a blessing in disguise for rural students and their parents, who in most cases want to see their children give up studies once they have cleared matric or senior secondary class.

According to teachers involved in the task of door-to-door counselling: “It has been generally observed that most students, especially girls, in spite of securing very high percentage are not allowed to study by their parents either due to meager resources or other social reasons. Moreover, allowing girls to go in for higher studies means giving them freedom, something they are not entitled to in the rural setup.”

A local counsellor feels: “Adequate awareness and timely guidance helps change the psyche of such parents who even today refuse to accept the changing world. It has been generally seen that nearly 50 per cent of such parents are convinced into putting their wards in professional courses when they are educated about the future prospects their child.

Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu, principal of a rural institute, says providing quality education to rural students, especially girls, is the primary objective of their institute.

“We are trying to provide education on the very doorstep of village students, especially girls, by making special arrangements for their transport, a facility in the absence of which many a rural talent goes waste.

Moreover, the financial help accorded by the college in the form of scholarships, stipend and fee-concession enables them to acquire education almost free of cost.

“The college gives special, sometimes total, relaxation in fee to students whose parents are unable to teach their children due to financial constraints,” he adds.



Ritika tops varsity in BCom-III
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
Ritika Thapar of Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management has brought laurels to her college by bagging the top spot in BCom III in Panjab University with 89 per cent marks. Out of 128 students of the college who appeared for the examination, 124 scored first division. As many as 19 students secured distinction and 97 per cent scored first division.

College managing committee SP Oswal, committee members, officiating principal Bulbul Singh and staff members congratulated Ritika on her success.

Also, the overall result of the Government College for Women in BCom III examination held by Panjab University in April 2010 is 98.8 per cent. Vanita Aggarwal stood first in the college by securing 83.33 per cent marks whereas Sonam Taneja came second with 83.11 per cent marks and Roohi Goel third with 82.50 per cent.

Kamla Lohtia SD College has achieved 98.83 per cent result in BCom III, the result of which was declared here today.

Satin Katyal stood first in the college with 75.88 per cent, Sumit Sood stood second with 75 per cent and Pankaj Malik third with 73.16 per cent marks.

Over 50 students have secured first division. Principal Dr Behl and college president Nain Mittal have congratulated the toppers.



From Schools & Colleges


Ludhiana: Master Tara Singh Memorial Collegiate Senior Secondary School will give special fee concession to its students scoring over 75 per cent marks in the Punjab State Education Board’s class XII examinations held in March 2010. College principal Dr Parveen Kaur Chawla and advisory board held a meeting today and decided to honour the meritorious students.

The college authorities have also decided to arrange scholarships for such students from various government and private organisations.

The school students had excelled in the examination. In commerce, Priya Jain bagged merit position in the state with 86 per cent marks. Jatinder Kaur bagged the second position in the college with 83 per cent marks, while Parmeet Kaur stood third with 82 per cent marks. Out of 51 students, 30 secured first division. Pass percentage in the commerce stream was 97 per cent whereas in humanities, the overall pass percentage was 99 per cent. Kamalpreet from humanities bagged the first position in the college by securing 77.5 per cent.


OP Gupta SDP Model Senior Secondary School organised its 10-day summer camp here today. Students enjoyed activities like western dace, vocal recitation, computers, stitching and music. — TNS



Disabled but gritty college student gets scholarship
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
Of late numerous school and college students with disabilities have made a mark on the academic sphere with their brilliant performances.
Jaspreet Virk poses with her trophies that she has won for academic excellence in Ludhiana
Jaspreet Virk poses with her trophies that she has won for academic excellence in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Jaspreet Virk, a second-year BA student of Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Gujjarkhan campus, is one such student. Suffering from cerebral palsy since infancy, she has never let her handicap come in the way of her education.

Fighting all odds, she has managed to continue her studies despite the worst of circumstances. Seeing her determination and perseverance, State Bank of India has honoured her with an annual scholarship of Rs 3,000.

Born normal, Jaspreet suffered from high fever when she was only one. This resulted in a stroke and 75 per cent disability. Though she can now walk with the support of a walker, till three years ago she was completely confined to her wheelchair. She still has problems with writing and doing normal chores with her hands and had to face tough odds to secure admission in college.

With no institution prepared to enroll her regular classes, Jaspreet completed her education till Class XII privately with the help of a writer even as she went to Ashirwad Ek Prayas, a school and daycare centre for physically challenged children.

After scoring good marks in the Class XII board examinations, she decided to join college. However, seeing her disability no institution was interested in admitting her, citing lack of facilities for special students like her.

Jaspreet was keen on joining the Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women. Seeing her determination to study further the college officials not only granted her admission but also shifted the classes from the first to the ground floor for her convenience.

"We’re very proud of her. She has gone through very difficult times including three surgeries and nine plasters, but our child never gave up. She’s a brave and happy child and is going strong because of her tenacity," said Jaspreet's proud parents, Capt Gurcharanjit Singh Virk and Sarabjeet Kaur.

Unable to conceal her happiness at SBI’s gesture, Jaspreet said: "The scholarship is an acknowledgement of my hard work. I’m very happy." She said the scholarship would be given to her on an annual basis till she completes her education.

"Earlier, the college officials wanted to waive Jaspreet's college fees as a mark of acknowledgment of her efforts but she refused. Instead, she told them to waive the fees of some other needy student whose family couldn’t afford the expenses of education. She made us very proud that day," smiled her father.

Jaspreet is fond of kids and plans to open a crèche after graduating. A keen painter, she loves to pour out her feelings on the drawing sheet. Watching movies and listening to popular Punjabi singer Harbhajan Mann are her other hobbies.



Biz Word
Bicycles launched

Ludhiana: Hi-Bird Cycles, a unit of Safari Group of Industries, has re-launched their Shakti range of models with ISI marking.

The bicycles are now being supplied with ISI marking on major components. — TNS



Drive against drug peddlers from today

Jagraon, June 4
DIG Ludhiana range, Dr Jatinder Jain, has given 10 days time to the Ludhiana Rural police to arrest the drug peddlers. SSP Ludhiana Rural said today that a drive would be launched from tomorrow onwards to arrest the peddlers.

The SHOs who performs well would be rewarded. The best SHO would get Class I appreciation letter from the DIG Zonal 2 Jalandhar beside a cash reward of Rs 2,000. The second and third best performers will get Class II and Class III certificates along with Rs 1000 and Rs 200 in cash as reward, respectively. — OC



Water-free urinals on the cards
Three installed at MC’s Zone D office
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
To save water, which is generally wasted in washrooms and urinals, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (LMC) has approached a Delhi-based firm to give a demonstration of water-free technology at its Zone D office here yesterday.

Two-member team from Falcon Company, New Delhi, headed by Sanjay Maheshwari had a detailed discussion with the officials of O and M Cell of the corporation and Additional Commissioner Kamalpreet Brar on this topic. As demo, company has also installed three urinals (free of cost) at Zone D office.

Giving details about this, Brar told The Tribune that water-the important natural resource-was being wasted by the residents in the city. In an effort to save water, the company was providing the technology in which urinals remained dry. There was absolutely no use of water and the technology was odour free.

“These urinals are totally hygienic, ideally suited for commercial establishments like malls, offices and cinema halls etc. We have installed three such seats at the Zone D office to see if the technology was successful. The cost of one water-free urinal was about Rs 18,000. Besides, there will be no pressure on sewerage if this technology was adopted”, said Brar adding that if the demo was successful, the corporation might install the urinals at all its offices. Other than Brar, superintending engineer VP Singh and executive engineer of the O and M cell of the corporation were also present at the meeting.



Food Processing
Youths should set up their own units: Expert
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 4
There is an immense scope in the food processing industry and the youths should come forward for setting up their own processing units. This was stated by Dr RT Patil, director, Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET).

Dr Patil was addressing a gathering at CIPHET today wherein a city youth Sham Sunder was awarded licensing technology of soybean processing.

Emphasising on high profitability in food processing as compared to other industries, Dr RT Patil said in no case quality should be compromised. “Anyone who is setting up an industry should

give top priority to quality and packaging. Otherwise, customer will not buy the product for second time.” Besides, the entrepreneur must have patience and urge to improve his product to succeed in his venture.

Encouraging youths to get training at CIPHET, he said they would also allow institute-trained entrepreneurs to use brand name of CIPHET and allow use of the pilot plants for production on nominal rent basis. “This will help them to market their products,” he added.



World Environment Day
Once green belt, now a desert
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 4
Observance of World Environment Day, followed by a long and expensive Vanmahotsav seems to have little effect in this part of the border state.

Trees along the Sirhind Canal near Ahmedgarh dying due to staff negligence
Trees along the Sirhind Canal near Ahmedgarh dying due to staff negligence. Photo by writer

What to talk of growing more plants the authorities have failed to nurture and save trees growing on the state-owned and other common lands, including the roadsides and canals.

Even sapling plantation drives, undertaken with the government’s money, during the observance of Vanmahotsav have turned out to be a mere lip service, as most of the parts of the area still bear a deserted look.

If media reports and records about appropriation of funds during the Vanmahotsav in the past are to be believed, lakh of saplings planted by various government and non-government agencies should have covered all vacant spaces with thick forest cover.

But the picture is entirely different wherein long stretches of inundated land and sides of highways and link roads give an impression of a desert.

The trend, besides disrupting the ecological niche of animals and birds has affected passers by adversely, who fail to find a shady tree for shelter in the area.

Investigations revealed that the observance of World Environment Day and Vanmahotsav in the past had apparently failed to produce desired results. While reports sent by office-bearers of various units of government agencies, educational institutes and NGOs to their seniors suggest that they had planted hundreds of saplings on their respective premises and common lands. But verifications revealed that a majority of trees in the area were axed.

Even as the Zila Parishad, under the chairmanship of Manpreet Singh Ayali, had decided to plant at least one lakh saplings along the 250- kilometer stretch of roads falling under Ludhiana district last year, no saplings were seen growing along the Ludhiana- Pohir road from where hundreds of trees had been axed in the several years. The authorities have failed to plant saplings at places from where trees were removed either deliberately or naturally.

Though a few persons were booked for unauthorised felling from the government land in the past, no case was learnt to have reached conclusive end. In majority of the cases, caretakers of forests were found facilitating felling.

Tarsem Garg, secretary of the local unit of the eco club, has urged the authorities to probe the matter with the help of the government agencies.



Govt to renovate 500 village ponds: Ayali
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, June 4
Renovation of village ponds undertaken by Manpreet Singh Ayali, chairman, Ludhiana Zila Parishad, has started bearing fruits. About Rs 18 crore has already been sanctioned for the Ludhiana district alone that includes construction of toilets for the below poverty line families, schools, water supply and 
sanitation facilities.

Paramjit Singh Aujla, secretary, along with six engineers and SR Aggarwal, chief engineer, respectively, from the Water Supply and Sanitation Department, Punjab, visited the ponds at Detwal, Issewal and Rurka Kalan where the 
project is operational.

Aujla also announced that a pilot project on the pattern of the one started by Ayali would shortly be launched throughout Punjab. It would be launched in 500 villages with 20 to 25 villages per district in the first phase.

Terming the renovation of the ponds as the only way to tackle the sanitation and sewage problem, he said the recharging of underground water was advantageous.

It would help in saving million of gallons of water annually and would be helpful in rainwater harvesting. Once a lifeline of the rural Punjab, these ponds have become non-potable due to its poisonous nature and overflowing water.

The Ludhiana Zila Parishad has started a pilot project in 33 villages at a cost of Rs 85 lakh for upgrading the sewage system of the villages under the Total Sanitation Project (TSP) as per the guidelines of the government of India and UNECIF for Solid and liquid waste management in rural India.

The work has already been completed in Rurka, Detwal, Dhat, Dhandra, Mullanpur, Issewal, Chak Kalan, and Sarabha. Ayali said the Zila Parishad was planning to extend the project in 200 villages of the district. 



Roads, bridges cry for repair
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 4
Most of the roads and bridges here have become virtual deathtraps for want of repair but the authorities concerned continue to be indifferent towards their upkeep.

Main roads and link roads have become virtual deathtraps for those travelling early in the morning and in night.

Obstructions due to four-laning of the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road have further compounded the problem.

Drivers find it difficult to negotiate turns at the Jagera and the Kaind bridges thanks to the pitiable condition of the road here. A large number of people have died in accidents on these bridges.

The old bridges at Kaind and Jagera have since been closed for the traffic; blockades erected by the authorities concerned are positioned dangerously. Narrowing of road due to construction work has made the stretch accident-prone majority of which have been fatal in the past.

Sukhchint Kaur of Pohir was killed and her sister-in-law Gurmeet Kaur injured seriously when the motorcycle they were riding collided with a tempo coming from opposite side near the Kaind bridge yesterday. Viewers maintain that the accident took place due to confusion over the abrupt narrowing of road here. Similarly the turns on the roads at Pohir, Dehlon, Sarinh and Gill villages are also accident-prone.

Railings of many small and big bridges on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road and link roads have been damaged. A major accident is waiting to happen, as a small bridge near Jartoli village has no railing at all. Though the contractors have put up warning signs near sensitive points, drivers find it difficult to steer clear their vehicles at nick of time.

Residents demand that the contractors should be directed to take preventive measures to avoid accidents. 



Price Rise
BJP collects 1 lakh signatures
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 4
In the course of ongoing nationwide signature campaign launched by the BJP against unprecedented rise in the prices of essential commodities all over the country, and failure on the part of Congress-led UPA government at the Centre to curb inflation, activists of Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) today organised a meeting at the local railway station and got signatures of more than 2,000 city residents affixed on a huge memorandum.

President of the district unit of the BJP Rajiv Katna made scathing attacks at the Union government, charging it with total inaction on the price front. “The government has not only failed to take effective steps to curb the price rise, hoarding and profiteering, but senior government functionaries are under a shadow for their dubious role in the entire gamut of rising prices.”

Later in the day, the BJP mandals in Shivaji Nagar and Shingar Cinema Road organised similar meetings to seek signatures of the people on the memorandum.

Katna claimed that the party was aiming for at least one lakh signatures on the memorandum to have their voice against price rise heard and force the government into action.



Combating Crime
Dehlon police to prepare list of idlers
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 4
With an intent to curb crime in villages falling under Ludhiana district, the Dehlon police has launched a drive to identify and isolate anti-social elements engaged in the illegal trade of drug trafficking.

Sub-committees constituted at village level have been asked to help the police prepare list of petty suppliers of drugs and narcotics and idlers of their respective areas.

Acknowledging the impact of drive launched by the police against social evils in the area, office-bearers of some social, educational and religious organisations have urged the authorities to ignore those political leaders whose alleged interference in the administrative affairs had been annulling the outcome of crusades launched during the past years.

Maintaining that the war against anti-social elements could not be fought and won without the help of local people, Ludhiana’s Assistant Commissioner of Police Narinder Ruby called upon social leaders to act as a bridge between the administration and public and join hands with the police against social evils, including drug addiction and eve-teasing.

After addressing a police-public meeting at Dehlon village, near here, Ruby appreciated that a majority of office-bearers of social and constitutional organisations sincerely wanted to uproot evil of drug addiction.

“Now when people have understood that drug addiction was breeding almost all kinds of crime taking place in the rural areas, they have started cooperating with the officials in identifying and isolating anti-social elements engaged in the illegal activities,” said Ruby.

Dehlon SHO SP Singh was directed to ensure that in-charge of all beats submitted lists of idlers of their respective areas soon.

“With minimum force at our disposal, we have drafted ‘crime preventive project’, according to which in-charge of various beats will prepare roster of identified idlers. Those who could not explain details of their daily routine will be examined by senior officers for ruling out their involvement in anti-social activities,” elaborated Ruby.

Later, Ruby heard grievances of residents, including women and elderly persons.



2 teenagers run over by truck
Our Correspondent

Raikot, June 4
Two teenagers were killed and a third was critically injured when a loaded truck trailer ran over them here today.

The victims were on a Scooty and were going to play in the grain market yard around 7 am when a Malerkotla-bound truck hit them head-on, killing two of them.

Kannu Gulati (16) and Ishu Taneja (16) died on the spot while Karan Davar (17), who was driving the Scooty, was seriously injured. He was taken to a private hospital from where he was referred to the DMCH. He is on life support system.

Kannu was the only child of his parents. Ishu was a resident of Hardwar and was visiting his cousin, Kannu, in connection with a wedding.

The driver of the truck, identified as Baldev Singh of Barkhandi village near Muktsar, is absconding. The police has registered a case under Sections 279, 304-A, 337 and 338, IPC.



Cheque Bounce Case
Man gets 2-year jail
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 4
Court of Judicial Magistrate Vipindeep Kaur has convicted Anuj Kumar Soni of Madhopuri in two cheque bounce cases. He has been ordered to undergo two years imprisonment and pay compensation worth Rs 40,000 in both cases.

The court convicted Anuj Kumar in an Rs 3 lakh cheque bounce case. The orders were pronounced while deciding a complaint filed by Ravinder Singh of New Madhopuri, Ludhiana.

The complainant had submitted that the accused had taken a loan worth RS 3 lakh from him in January 2007 with a promise to return the amount within three months along with the interest. Thereafter, he issued three cheques for Rs 1 lakh each in order to make the payment. But when the cheques were presented it got dishonoured for want of sufficient funds in the account of accused.

However, the defence lawyer pleaded that there were business transactions between the complainant and accused. Actually his client never borrowed any money. During business transaction, complainant took the blank cheques and letter pads. Later, he misused these.

The court held that the defence lawyer did not put even a single question to the complainant in this regard, when he was cross-examined. So, the story narrated during arguments was not believable.

The same person was convicted in another cheque bounce case of Rs 2 lakh filed by Anita Verma, wife of Ravinder Singh. She has also alleged that the accused had taken loan from him. Thereafter, in order to return the amount issued two cheques of Rs 1 lakh each. 



Punjab boys emerge champs
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 4
Punjab lads created history of sorts by winning the title for the seventh consecutive year in the 28th Junior National Softball Championship held at Puducherry in Tamil Nadu, recently.

In the semifinal, Punjab boys survived a scare against Maharashtra before romping home victorious with a narrow margin of one point (4-3).

The final too turned out to be a low-scoring affair, with Punjab managing to prevail upon their spirited opponents from Kerala, whom they beat 2-0 to bag the title for a record seventh time in a row.

However, in the girl’s section, Punjab failed to finish among position holders. In the semifinal, they went down fighting 5-6 against Delhi.

Pran Nath Passi, honorary secretary, Punjab Softball Association, appreciated the boys’ performance and wished them more success in future tournaments.



Lads flex muscles
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 4
A large number of participants competed in different weight categories in the biceps competition held a health club in Shastri Nagar here today.

A participant in action during a biceps competition at a club in Ludhiana
A participant in action during a biceps competition at a club in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Nishchay Sachdeva, director of the club, gave away trophies to the position holders.

Results: 50 to 55kg: 1 Anubhav, 2 Rinku Sharma and 3 Rishab; 55 to 60kg: 1 Manveer, 2 Jaspreet and Pawan, 3 Ashu; 60 to 65kg: 1 Dr Harpreet, 2 Lalit and 3 Goldy; 65 to 70kg: 1 Lakhbir, 2 Arjun and Onkar, 3 Sahil; 70 to 75kg: 1 Mani and Garry, 2 Robin and 3 Sonu; 75 to 80kg: 1 Vivek, Ricky and Sanju, 2 Sahil Luthra and 3 Prince; 80 to 85kg: 1 Jatin, 2 Puneet Negi and 3 Manpreet; 85kg and above: 1 Lovely, 2 Monty and 3 Goldy and Gopi.



Patiala in driver’s seat
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 4
Patiala restricted Ludhiana to a modest total of 180 to gain first innings lead of 225 runs and then went on to hoist 403 runs for five in their second innings on the penultimate day of the final of the Punjab State Inter-District U-22 Cricket Tournament being organised by the Punjab Cricket Association at the PCA Stadium, Mohali, today.

Ludhiana added just one run to their overnight total of 179 as their innings folded at 180 in 77.1 overs.

Patiala did not force a follow-on and decided to bat for the second time. Their batsmen went on a leather hunt with Kunwar Raina blasting 188 runs. Jeewant Jot, Himanshu Chawla and Perry Goel contributed 74, 56 and 37 runs, respectively.

At the draw of stumps, Patiala were sitting pretty with 403 for five after 91 overs. The two not out batsmen were Amitoj and Vikram Ditt, who were at the crease with 20 and eight runs, respectively.

For Ludhiana, Jashan Sidhu grabbed four wickets for 123 runs, while Bharat Malhotra claimed one wicket for 45 runs.



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