L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Miscreants cock a snook at law-enforcers
Youth held for trespassing on DC’s house
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
Even the high-security zone of the residence of the Deputy Commissioner (DC) cannot be considered safe anymore.In the latest incident, a thief was caught for allegedly trespassing on the house of DC Rahul Tewari last night.

Had the waiter employed at the Sutlej Club not spotted him, the thief might have laid his hands on valuables.

The incident took place around 12:30 am. A youth in his mid-20s was spotted cutting electricity cable wires by security officers at the DC’s residence.

The web of wires was located adjacent to the DC’s residence. The DC was present in the house when the incident occurred.

Sources in the administration said electricity supply to the camp office of the DC was snapped. The thief scaled the wall and entered the club.

He was nabbed after an hour-long intensive search and handed over to the Division No. 8 police. The call to the police was made from the DC’s camp office.

SHO Maninder Bedi confirmed the incident, but said the thief was not trying to trespass on the residence of the DC.

He said the accused was a small-time wanderer stealing cable wires. The police had not taken action against him yet. This was not the first such incident.

Nearly two years ago, a cop was caught raping a 14-year old here. A judge had also lodged a complaint that thieves struck his house and decamped with clothes.

Following the implementation of the commissionerate system, security was beefed up, but stray cases of snatching were still reported at Rakh Bagh.

Residents complained that the cafeteria at Rakh Bagh, open all night, was the root of the problem as tipplers and anti-social elements visited it.

DCP conned
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
Three persons have landed in trouble for conning none other than Deputy Commissioner of Police Parmod Ban.The matter came to light when the police registered a case of fraud and criminal conspiracy against the three city residents.

The accused, identified as Hari Mohan, Rajesh Vij and Sunil Verma, were booked for submitting forged documents before the DCP's court and getting their man released.

Mohit Kumar, a resident of Phillaur who was booked by Kotwali police under section 107/151 of the CrPC, was released on bail after furnishing surety bonds on June 7.

According to the police, Hari Mohan, identified himself to be a Lambardar, while Rajesh Vij of Harcharan Nagar submitted fake "Farad" before the court and Sunil Verma, a resident of Kundanprui, appeared as side witness.

Later when the police probed the matter, they found that the trio produced fake documents and forged their identities to get their man released. The police has registered a case under Sections 420, 467, 471 and 120-B of the IPC for duping the cop. All accused are on the run.


MC recoups funds bilked in fake bill scam
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
Seven months after the ‘fake bill’ scam was uncovered, bringing disrepute to civic officials, almost all the entire amount of money that was misappropriated has been recovered by the municipal corporation. The last installment of about Rs 31 lakh received as excess payment was deposited by project contractors to the MC on June 3.

Of the three contractors involved in the scam - Sunny Gossain, grandson of deputy speaker Satpal Gossain, Kulbir Singh and Varinder Kumar - the last two deposited money recently. Sunny had already deposited Rs 15.6 lakh against the excess payment of Rs 15,58,784 that he had got on December 11, 2009.

The scam, detected last November, had created a flutter in the city. The three project contractors had fraudulently claimed funds amounting to about Rs 75 lakh by allegedly submitted forged bills to the civic body. An inquiry held in the case found about a dozen MC officials had gone "out of their way" to favour the three politically-connected contractors by passing many bills that did not even fall in their jurisdiction.

The probe was conducted by MC additional commissioner Kamalpreet Brar, who had indicted civic officials for not performing their duties in accordance with the regulations.

While the indicted officials claimed the contractors had forged their signatures, Brar had observed the senior officials went out of their way in clearing the files of the “well-connected” contractors.

Chief vigilance officer AK Prabhakar had summoned the records, including forged bills, measurement books, vouchers and other official records pertaining to the case in his possession.

The report that was later submitted stated these officials had worked “hand in glove” with the contractors in preparing the fraudulent bills and issuing payment vouchers, which cost the civic body over Rs 75 lakh. Acting tough with those involved in the scam, Punjab Local Bodies Minister Manoranjan Kalia suspended 11 officials.

When contacted, Brar said the MC had recovered the misappropriated money recently. "The project contractors had agreed to pay back the excess money they had collected and the entire amount has been recovered", she added.

Contractors pay up

l Sunny Gossain, a project contractor involved in the fake bill scam, paid back Rs 15,60,000 on December 11, 2009 against the excess payment of Rs 15,58,784 he had collected

l Kulbir Singh, another contractor, deposited Rs 14,69,000 against an excess payment of Rs 17,28,186 on June 3, 2010, while Rs 2,59,231 was adjusted against his contracts with the civic body

l The third contractor involved in the scam, Varinder Kumar, paid back Rs 15,74,800 on June 3, 2010 against an excess payment of Rs 44,99,157. Rs 29,21,376 was deducted against projects contracted with the MC



Rail Reservation Mess
Two supervisory officials suspended
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 9
In the wake of mass irregularities in advance booking of railway tickets, especially the increasing number of complaints about non-availability of "tatkal booking", the Senior Divisional Commercial Manager (SDCM) Dharmendra Kumar conducted a surprise inspection at the reservation complex here late last evening and two supervisory officials, found absent from their duty, were placed under suspension.

Sources at the divisional railway headquarters revealed that there were spate of complaints about bonafide railway passengers not getting reservation in most of the trains on trunk routes due to summer rush, and in many of these trains, even waiting lists were full.

Similarly, the tatkal reservation, which is available two days before the date of journey, was also beyond the reach of public as the entire "tatkal" quota was passed on to touts and railway reservation agencies in a clandestine manner by conniving staff.

While going through the reservation centre during surprise checking, which lasted for more than half an hour, a fuming Kumar found to his shock that both the Chief Reservation Supervisors Ramesh Kumar Bedi and DL Meena were missing from the office. On being questioned, the staff deployed at the counters told that Bedi had left at around 10 am after disposing off the "tatkal" bookings while Meena had left at 2 pm without handing over his charge to any one.

Terming the unexplained absence of the supervisory officials as highly irregular, the SDCM suspended both officials on the spot while asking senior officials here to call for their explanation and prepare a charge sheet against them in due course.

Kumar said the complaints about non-availability of general tickets (unreserved), particularly at peak hours in the morning and evening at the railway station were also being looked into seriously, and the staff found derelict, would be sternly dealt with.

Over the common belief that railway employees at general ticket counters were hand in glove with the authorised railway ticket agencies, and passengers were forced to purchase tickets from such agencies rather than the railway booking windows, the SDCM was non-committal while adding that remedial steps were being taken.



Sugar auction on June 12
Dept mantra: Don’t await report, let’s chuck it out
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
In haste to get rid of the 115,796 quintals of confiscated sugar, the department of food, civil supplies and consumer affairs, without waiting for the laboratory report, has scheduled the next auction for June 12.The sugar was confiscated from Seehra village in September last. It had to put off the last two auctions following protests by sugar traders and residents.

The first auction was scheduled for February 26, but was cancelled as the department failed to convince the traders that the sugar was fit for human consumption.

The tags on the bags carried 2007-08 as the manufacturing date, followed by the message ‘best before two years’.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari, following the demand of residents for a laboratory test of the sugar, called off the second auction on June 6.



PAU research head summarily relieved
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
In a totally unexpected development, Punjab Agricultural University research director PS Minhas was relieved of his post by the varsity administration yesterday evening. He was handed over the relieving letter after he returned to the city after attending a meeting in Chandigarh.Dr Minhas, who was earlier assistant director-general, irrigation & water management, at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), was appointed as PAU research director in January 2007 for a period of four years.

Expressing resentment over the university administration’s sudden decision, a group of senior PAU faculty members termed his removal as "autocratic". Requesting anonymity a senior scientist said: " Minhas is a competent person who is upright in his personal conduct. His only fault has been that he raised his voice against elevation of undeserving candidates to some important positions in the varsity”.

Another colleague while listing Minhas' accomplishments stated the latter had worked in the areas of soil water plant interaction in saline environments and development of management strategies for the judicious use of low quality water.

Minhas is accredited for having coordinated an operational research programme on saline irrigation techniques. He has received prestigious awards including the Indian Agricultural Research Institute’s Su Kumar Basu Award for 1997-98, ICAR’s Hari Om Ashram Trust Award for 2002-03 and the CSSEI Excellence Award on Soil Salinity & Water Management, instituted by the Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, Karnal for 2004.

When contacted, PAU additional communication director JS Dhiman stated Minhas was sent on deputation to the varsity by ICAR, claiming he had been relieved of his post following the latter’s request to “send him back to the institute”.

Minhas seeks to continue in office

Dr PS Minhas said he has already forwarded a request to the PAU vice chancellor to let him continue in his post till the end of his tenure in January 2012. "I’ve come here on a four-year contract and I wish to continue working at PAU as I want to complete unfinished research work," he stated.



Day 2: 15 more child workers freed in ongoing drive
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
The district administration today set its own house in order and rescued 15 children, who were working as labourers at makeshift food joints at the mini-secretariat here and other parts of the district, during the fourth day of its Child Labour Elimination Week, here today.

The action was taken after receiving brickbats form residents for the blatant use of child labour at the mini-secretariat. Assistant Labour Commissioners Mona Puri and Satnam Singh conducted the drive from Bachat Bhawan here this morning.

Seven-year-old Dalip Kumar was the first to be rescued. He was washing utensils at a food stall on the mini-secretariat premises. He was handed over to the police.

Deepak (12), who was making tea just in front of the district courts complex, was also freed. Till the evening, the labour department freed 15 children. While three were released from Khanna, 12 were freed from various eateries. The team yesterday freed five children working as labourers in different parts of the city.

So far, the department had freed 20 children in two days. While 18 children were handed over to their parents, two were shifted to a board and lodging of the Sarva Sikshya Abihyan at Miller Gunj.

The department conducted raids on liquor vends, tea stalls and small eateries, but left industrial units out.


Not willing to leave work, Dalip argued with Mona Puri. He claimed that he was a rag-picker and visited the mini-secretariat to gather scrap. On being questioned, he cracked soon and admitted that he was working at the eatery for one year. Many children ran from the district courts complex premises.

Fine, too

The labour commission slapped a fine of Rs 20,000 on employers caught using child labour. A challan would be produced at the industrial tribunal. A 24-hour child helpline, 0161-2532032, was launched to lodge complaints of child labour.



Doraha college students excel in varsity exams
Our Correspondent

Doraha, June 9
Students of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, have shown excelled in annual examination conducted by Punjab University.In BCom (I), Sukhjinder Singh topped the class by getting 81.63 per cent, while Amar Sharma and Manpreet Kaur Dhaliwal secured 76.54 and 74.36 per cent, respectively.

Similarly, in BCom (II), Navdeep Kaur came first in the class by securing 76.96 per cent, while Gurpreet Kaur stood second with 72.26 per cent. Charan Kamal Kaur got third position by securing 71.74 per cent. In BCom (III), Gaurav Sharma got 77.55 per cent, while Nisha Sachdeva and Harpreet Kaur got second and third positions, respectively, by securing 72.94 per cent and 71.33 per cent.

In BCA (I), Tarnjeet Kaur topped by securing 73 per cent, while Ranjana Thakur and Mandeep Kaur got second and third positions, respectively by securing 65.12 per cent and 64.87 per cent. Sandeep Singh of BCA (II) stood first in the class by obtaining 71 per cent and Manjot Kaur stood second with 69.5 per cent. Kamaljeet Kaur and Satinder Kaur, however, jointly stood third by getting 69.44 per cent. Similarly in BCA (III), Tarandeep Kaur got 75.83 per cent, while Pawandeep Kaur and Vandana Mehta were second and third, respectively, by getting 75 per cent 73.79 per cent.

In BBA (I), Gurpreet Kaur topped the class by getting 72.5 per cent, while Kamalpreet Kaur Pangli and Kamaljit Kaur got 69.86 and 68.13 per cent marks, respectively. Similarly, in BBA (II), Shubhneet Kaur stood first in the class by securing 69.58 per cent, Malka Rani stood second with 67.45 per cent.

Rajinder Kaur got third position by securing 66.48 per cent. In BBA (III), Manpreet Kaur got 66.69 per cent, while Navneet Kaur and Pallavi secured second and third positions, respectively, by securing 66.46 per cent and 63.48 per cent.

President of the college management committee Roop Brar, general secretary Prof Balwant Singh Pangali, director Jaswant Singh Gill and principal Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu congratulated the students, parents and staff members.



At The Crossroads
Pioneer of ‘New Hope’ in the city 

It is very difficult to write about a person who is so well known in social, literary and cultural circles. He is not a gatecrasher nor is he eager to make his presence felt at all functions. Sometimes he comes quietly, remains seated unobtrusively and then leaves the place unnoticed. He is a keen observer of people and their performances. But at the functions that he organises he remains in the limelight throughout. He quotes couplets, makes witty remarks and regales the audience with jokes and repartees.

NS Nanda is proud of his rags-to-riches success story. The family migrated from Darkali Khurd (Rawalpindi district in Pakistan) in August, 1947 and settled in Ludhiana. He got admission at the age of 12 in a school in class VI. But when he was in class VIII his name was struck off the rolls, on May 30, 1949, as he was a defaulter in paying his fee of 13 annas (less than a rupee).

Thereafter, he ran from pillar to post for quite sometime, passed his matriculation examination as a private candidate and was employed as a postal clerk in 1955. He served the Post and Telegraph Department for 16 years, during which period he enhanced his educational qualifications, and then switched over to business. He established Hotel Nanda in 1981.

In adversity he found solace in cultural events and played Banjo, as well as violin and Mandolin. Stringed music appealed to him as it stirred the innermost chords of his heart. Later, he organised a number of musical evenings in the city clubs. Even now his peculiar dress at cultural events, particularly his printed turban, has the aura of its own. He is never tired of praising the dignitaries in the various fields of life, like former Prime Minister IK Gujral and eminent writer Kartar Singh Duggal, at functions held under the aegis of Dhan Pothohar, of which he is the president over the years.

Nanda has many facets to his personality. He is ever ready to spring a surprise. Like thespian Raj Kapoor, he believes that the show must go on. Does it indicate his craving for projecting himself?

"I have no intention of projecting myself. When I do something for the good of the society, I want my work to be acknowledged. This gives me incentive to do more work for a noble cause," he says.

He has started a campaign for motivating people to donate their bodies after death to medical colleges for research purposes.

The descendants of certain individuals may not allow this to happen. Will this scheme serve any purpose?

"So far I have enlisted 607 persons and some others are also coming forward. Donation of a body after death helps medical students to learn topographic localisation of tissues of the body. The anatomists always feel the shortage of cadavers for imparting training to medical students. Hence there is a strong need to popularise the message to the masses in this regard,” he said.

What has he to say about his New Hope (NGO), which has caught the imagination of the residents of this mega city?

"New Hope (NGO) has undertaken to provide relief and cheer to the aged and elderly persons, who are being abandoned, ill-treated and thrown out of homes by their children. This organisation provides an avenue for channelising collective efforts so as to extend help to the distressed and needy persons. We always make a humble appeal to the public to come forward for providing relief and comfort to the senior citizens, " he said.

Does he have something else up his sleeves in the coming days, as his mind is very fertile in chalking out new plans?

"Of course. On June 21,we are celebrating "Father's Day" because most fathers are forlorn and depressed. The mothers somehow adjust themselves to the new set up. I want to establish "Senior Citizen Day Centre" so that the aged persons who remain cooped up in their homes daylong should come out in the evening to participate socially with the persons sailing in the same boat," he says further

What does he say about corruption, rampant among officers, construction projects and business undertakings? Could it be termed as the way of life in modern system?

"No, not at all. Corruption no doubt seems to have become the way life but in reality it is not so. A sizeable part of the society condemns it outright. The corrupt people live luxuriously and this lifestyle shortens their life span. Moreover, amassing wealth for the progeny is to make the youngsters lethargic and wayward,"he says.

Does he feel that he has fulfilled the mission of his life and there is nothing else to attract his attention?

"I will go on making efforts, in my own humble ways, to uproot social evils like drug addiction and to cleanse the system of all maladies. There was a time when I shunned the pleasures of life so as to expand my hotel business. I provided delicious meals to the customers but refrained myself from enjoying sumptuous dinners. Now I realise that running after money is counterproductive. The joy of life is absent and the younger generation is reluctant to appreciate the work done," he says.

What is his message to his contemporaries?

"My message is that my contemporaries should lead normal lives without making extraordinary efforts to bring up children with silver spoons in their mouths,"he adds further. — NS Tasneem



Panels on core issues constituted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
At a meeting with all commissioners of municipal corporations of Punjab in Chandigarh today, Minister for local bodies and Industries, Manoranjan Kalia has constituted several committees on core issues related to power saving, water supply and sewerages etc.

According to sources, training on putting waste, including plastic bags, plastic bottles and tyres etc into bitumen, is likely to be given in Ludhiana. The minister has asked commissioners to arrange for technical persons, who could provide detail knowledge on how to mix the waste into bitumen and the ratio of material.

A committee has also been constituted to work on energy saving power lights, which will submit its report to the minister within 15 days. Out of 2.5 lakh streetlight points in all over Punjab, 88,000 points were in Ludhiana alone.

The committee will work on various options and alternatives available, which will generate more revenue for the civic bodies in state.

The meeting was attended by all commissioners, deputy directors of local bodies, secretary of local bodies and other senior functionaries in the department.



From Schools & Colleges
Summer camp

Students at BCM School, Dugri, enjoyed during a summer camp here on school campus.More than 200 students in different age groups enjoyed the camp with zeal. Activities like classical dance, western dance and martial arts were held under the supervision of trained experts so as to enhance the physical fitness of the students. Besides, personality development and English speaking was also taught by the experts to lead children towards the path of self- development and boost their confidence.

Dr Vandna Shahi, principal, said such camps give students a break from their monotonous routine.


Randeep Kaur, lecturer, BCM College of Education, and Harinder Singh, lecturer from Partap College of Education, refreshed the knowledge of teachers of RS Model Senior Secondary School by explaining them about Right to Education Act and how to be an effective teacher. Presentations were used to make the seminar interesting.

Save Earth Day

Maple Bear, Canadian Play way and nursery School, Udham Singh Nagar, celebrated Save Earth Day on its campus in the ongoing summer camp.

‘‘Forty years after the first Earth Day, our world is in crisis. While climate change is the greatest public health challenge, it also presents the greatest opportunity -an unprecedented opportunity to build a healthy, prosperous, clean environment now and for future,’’ said principal Veena Aggarwal.

Children were given an opportunity to showcase their talent through slogan writing, presentation like save water, trees and energy.

Industrial visit

Punjab Technical University Learning Centre, adjoining Shehanshah Palace, Ferozepur road, organised an industrial visit for its students at Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala, recently. The RCF, which was established in 1986, is the second coach manufacturing unit of the Railways. During the trip, students were explained about the procedures and functions related to manufacturing of rail coaches. Students were allowed to have a look into the various stages involved in the process of manufacturing of the rail coaches. Each group was accompanied by an officer from the industry. — TNS



‘72 villages getting safe drinking water’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
The District Programme Management Cell, Department of Water Supply and Sanitation, Ludhiana, organised two-day workshop on people participation for effective implementation and co-ordination among the department officials here today.

Hira Singh Gabria, Minister for Jails, Cultural and Tourism and Printing and Stationery Department, inaugurated the workshop. AK Soni, District Programme Director cum- Superintending Engineer, Dr Sultan Ahmed Ismile, Director, ECO, Science Research Foundation, Chennai, Priya Ojha from World Bank and Mohd Isfaq, XEN also addressed the seminar.

Addressing the workshop, Gabria said the Punjab government had launched the Water Supply and Sanitation project for providing safe and quality drinking water to the villages of Punjab with the financial assistance of Rs 1,280 crore from the World Bank. This project was aimed at providing safe drinking water facilities to the villagers of Punjab under the people participation mode. He appealed the people of the villages that they should avail benefit from this project.

Soni said 72 villages were provided with safe drinking water under this project. He also told that under this project pond renovation work had been started in 42 villages for betterment of sanitation condition of villages. He also implied the need of people participation for effective implementation of project. He also said that 220 villages had come forward to adopt this project and approximately Rs 3 crore had been collected as beneficiary share from them.

Ismile said that resource person on the occasion discussed in detail the effective implementation of project by people participation in every mode. He also told that on June 10 at Dhandra village, he would provide detailed knowledge of how to battle with solid waste management and pond renovation. 



Bougainvillea Garden: Earmarked ‘garbage disposal area’ by PAU
Charred trees, stray dogs, burnt waste, heaps of polythene bags, stinking surroundings have replaced the vibrant hues of the bougainvillea shrubs
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
Having reduced the Bougainvillea Garden to a garbage dump, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) is defying the maxim “ practice what you preach” by setting afire the waste generated in the campus, including the straw, from the university fields.

Bougainvillea Garden in the PAU, referred to as the lungs of Ludhiana, which was once the safe abode of "peacocks", now spells a sad saga. Charred trees, stray dogs, burnt waste, heaps of polythene bags, stinking surroundings have replaced the vibrant hues of the bougainvillea shrubs.

The domestic waste generated in the residential colonies of Punjab Agricultural University is thrown in the Bougainvillea Garden, which has been officially earmarked as the "garbage disposal area".

In complete paradox, the university being the state agricultural university has been for long disseminating education on burning of crop stubble as a deterrent against soil and air pollution.

A group of scientist working at the PAU said, "We even recommend to the agriculturists that the crop residues should be converted into compost, which can be used in the fields. It is sad that the university by ignoring such important issues is setting up a wrong example for the outsiders”.

In order to get rid of the "garbage dump", which is an eyesore for the visitors, the garbage should be disposed off in deep pits in a remote corner of the university, suggested an old class IV employee at the PAU.

A group of students from the university have already approached the university authorities on the issue adding that the dump should be shifted to some remote corner of the PAU. The dump is adjacent to the departments of food technology and post harvest technology. 

Foul smell following shower

Recently, a fire set to the garbage in Bougainvillea Garden had spread to the adjoining areas, thereby, burning the tree trunks and some shrubs. It took two fire engines to douse the fire. Last evening's shower has made things worst as the damp domestic waste has begun emanating foul smell, thereby, making things difficult for the staff working in the adjoining departments. 

The fire at the Bougainvillea Garden was an accident. We are also making arrangements to shift the dump from the Bougainvillea Garden soon after the rainy season is over and the garden will be revamped.— Dr Gurkirpal Singh, Estate Officer, PAU



BJP drive picks up

Ludhiana, June 9
The ongoing signature campaign of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against price rise got a big boost as a large number of people signed the memorandum during a meeting organised by its Shivpuri mandal at Santokh Nagar here today.

District unit president Rajiv Katna launched a scathing attack on the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre for its failure to curb the rise in prices of essential items.

He said people were already reeling under the burden of inflation while the government was about to add to their woes through another hike in petrol, diesel and LPG prices. He charged senior functionaries of the government of being hand-in-glove with the powerful lobby of hoarders and profiteers. — OC



Transport firm penalised for charging excess fare
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, June 9
Holding a private transport company guilty of indulging in an unfair trade practice by charging an excessive fare, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has ordered it to pay an exemplary compensation of Rs 10,000.

The orders were pronounced by forum president TN Vaidya and members Priti Malhotra and Rajesh Kumar while deciding on a complaint filed by a local lawyer, Gagandeep Singh, a resident of Punjab Mata Nagar here. The company, Jujhar Travels Pvt Ltd, was also directed to pay Rs 1,000 as litigation expenses.

The forum held it had been proved that the transport firm resorted to an unfair practice by charging an excessive fare. “It is through such a mode that the opposite party (transport company) must have got its coffers enriched by continuously charging an excess amount from Ludhiana passengers going to Chandigarh over a long period”, the forum remarked.

The complainant had submitted before the forum that he along with his brother, Jaspreet Singh Jassowal, had boarded an airconditioned bus owned by Jujhar Travels. The bus conductor had charged Rs 60 in place of Rs 55 for a seat, he stated.

When he objected, he was asked to alight from the bus when it was on the way to Chandigarh. The conductor forced him to pay Rs 120 for himself and his brother, with the plea that he was charging such fare as per the instructions of his employer.

“The demand was illegal, arbitrary and against the government notification. The fares were charged for Chandigarh but we were left in Mohali. Later on, 14 passengers were taken to their destination in a taxi that had a capacity of only ten people”, the complainant added.

However, the transport company denied the complainant’s allegations, saying it did not have any knowledge whether the complainant or his brother had boarded its bus for Chandigarh.

After going through the evidence of both the parties, the forum held there was no reason to disbelieve the complainant’s version as it was supported with bus tickets in which a fare of Rs 120 was charged for two seats.

The forum further observed that as per notification of state government, the bus owners were entitled to charge 10 per cent extra for an AC bus against the normal fare. The forum also referred the information obtained under the Right to Information Act from the Punjab general manager and placed before it. The said information clearly stated the AC bus fare from Ludhiana to Chandigarh was Rs 55.

“We’ve to keep in mind that through this clever and illegal mode, the company must have collected unaccounted amount by fooling a large number of passengers for years”, the forum observed in its order.



Bhopal Gas Verdict
Jagriti sena activists burn effigy of Moily
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 9
Terming the verdict in Bhopal Gas tragedy, which claimed more than 15,000 human lives, a black spot on the judicial history of the post-independence India, activists of the Hindu-Sikh Jagriti Sena today burnt an effigy of the judicial system and Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily at Clock Tower here.

Parveen Dang, president of the body, who led the protest, said killers of thousands of innocent people, had virtually gone scot-free. "Not only the justice has been delayed and denied to the victims, but as if to add insult to the injury, the unholy alliance of the government, the central investigating agency and the judiciary had joined hands to save the perpetrators of a huge crime against the humanity."

Dang and other speakers demanded that those responsible for causing inordinate delay in dispensation of justice should be made accountable failing, which the majority of the Indian public would lose their unflinching faith in the judicial system.

They said the Chief Justice of India (CJI) could not simply escape his responsibility by merely saying that the justice had not been done in this particular case. "The CJI and the government ought to take this matter seriously and a process for judicial reforms be initiated at the highest level so as to ensure that cases of such nature are disposed off on top priority basis in fast track courts, and in a fixed time frame."

Ashwani Katyal, chairman, Ajay Behl, chief advisor, Baljit Singh, general secretary, Dimple Jain, president of the youth wing and Balraj Singh Bagga, district (rural) president of sena were also present.



Tewari takes up safety of Indian students in Oz
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 9
Local MP and All India Congress Committee national spokesman Manish Tewari met Australian officials, including police officers, in Melbourne on Tuesday to raise the issue of security of Indian students in that country. He also sought immediate action in the case pertaining to a student from Jagraon, Nitin Garg, who was stabbed to death in Melbourne a few months ago.

According to a press release issued by his office here, Tewari met, among others, Victoria Police deputy commissioner Ken Jones, who broadly oversees investigation of serious crimes by the Melbourne police.

The MP expressed satisfaction at the progress of the investigations into Garg’s murder. He was told there had been some headway in the matter but, for the obvious reason that the investigations were still in progress, not many details could be shared. He also visited the crime scene in the park, 100 yards from Hungry Jack’s restaurant where Nitin was killed.

Later in the day, Tewari met Victorian Minister for Education, Skills & Workforce Development Vronyn Pike and discussed the larger issue of security of Indian students. The minister recently returned from Bangalore where the people she met had raised the safety issue with her. She assured Tewari the Australian government was taking all measures to ensure the security of Indians, particularly those studying in Australian institutions.

Earlier the Indian consul general in Melbourne organised a reception for Tewari where the latter met people from a crosssection of the Indian community in the city, including students who said they had been victims of street violence. The MP heard their views on a wide range of subjects including the need for the Indian government to take up the amendment to federal immigration laws.

Tewari also had a long meeting with Harry Jenkins, speaker of Australia’s Federal House of Representatives, and discussed ways of broadening parliamentary cooperation between India and Australia.



Kashmir is this year’s vacation flavour for Ludhianvis
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 9
"If there is a paradise on earth, it is here, it is here, it is here".The above lines clearly explain the beauty and splendour of Kashmir. The natural beauty of the valley of Jammu and Kashmir, offers an unparalleled potential to prop up tourism with all attractions that no part of the globe can offer in one place.

(left)Tourists throng the Dal Lake in Srinagar; (Right)A panoramic view of the Dal Lake at sunset. Tribune photos: Anand Sharma

Despite jolts during the past several years, the tourism in the valley is reviving. A large number of city people visiting J&K this year during vacations are a testimony to the fact.

The "paradise on land" is now all set to regain its past glory. "It was my dream to visit this place since long but had delayed the visit due to violence in the state. No doubt things have changed a lot today but still fear lurks in one corner of my heart but I have overcome that fear to see the paradise on earth," said Dilpreet, who along with her husband and two sons zoomed off to Kashmir early this morning.

For kids like Abhay, who has seen Kashmir only in their textbooks is excited to visit the valley. "I have read a lot about this place in my textbooks and now I will be actually visiting the place," said an excited Abhay.

Abhay's mother Natasha is also thrilled to visit the Valley but the security situation in the state is also worrying a little. "Things have become normal but since Kashmir and violence have become synonyms in the past years I do have some fears in my mind," she said.

A series of steps has been initiated by the Jammu and Kashmir government to revive tourism in the Valley, which has remained the mainstay of more than 30 per cent of its population.

"A large number of people in the city are heading towards Kashmir this year. The Valley has become the hottest destination for the people here. Till date, we have booked air tickets for nearly 30 families and receive 8-10 queries daily," said Sarwan Singh, director of Sparsh International, dealing in international and domestic air tickets.

While another tour packager from the city added that people from the city had given thumbs down to Kullu-Manali and instead headed towards Kashmir this year. "We are receiving maximum queries for Kashmir this year and have already booked 45 packages so far," he said. 

Efforts made by the J&K government to step up tourism

l Formulated a special package.

l Enacted a special legislation - J&K Registration of Tourist Trade Act.

l Contacting foreign offices in various countries to advise their citizens to visit Kashmir.

l Setting up a Website for disseminating information about Kashmir.

l To enable operations of direct-chartered flights to Kashmir, the Srinagar Airport has been upgraded to receive all types of aircraft.



Fungus found in mineral water packs
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

A city resident shows fungus in packs of ‘Bisleri’ mineral water.
A city resident shows fungus in packs of ‘Bisleri’ mineral water. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan 

Ludhiana, June 9
In a case of a "duplicate" manufacturing of mineral water under the brand name of "Bisleri", a city resident today registered a complaint with the district health authorities for having found fungal growth in two packs of 200 ml each.

The mineral water packs bear the name of Bisleri manufactured at Asian link Health Food Ltd in Jandiali village, Chandigarh Road.

The manufacturing date of April 13, 2010 followed by its expiry after three months are sealed and the fungus is clearly visible to the naked eye.

A representative from "Bisleri" sent by the company after looking at the mineral water packs said, "The original mineral water packs are blue in colour, these are not original as they are green in colour."

Surinder Kumar from Singla electronics in Mata Rani Chowk had bought 40 packs of mineral water from a retail outlet in Meena Bazar and was shocked to see fungus in two packs.

Surinder has given a written complaint to the district health officer (DHO) demanding necessary action against the manufacturing unit for posing danger to the lives of people.

" The health authorities should not take this complaint lightly as fungus in water can lead to serious ailments and can even prove fatal," said Kumar.

At the same time, the Department Of Health And Family Welfare following the complaints of people pertaining "bad quality" mineral water had already taken samples of every brand from various outlets in the city. DHO Dr DS Kochar further stated that they had even taken samples of "Bisleri" from their manufacturing unit in Jandiali adding, "We are just waiting for the laboratory reports, which will reach us at the beginning of next month. Depending upon the reports we will take necessary action," said Kochar.



Link roads to be widened to check mishaps
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana/Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 9
Roads joining the local town with nearby villages will be widened in the initial phase of the process of surrendering of encroached land by farmers.The surrendered land, measuring hundreds of kanals in the region falling under Ludhiana district has been filled with earth under NREGA scheme.

The movement launched by the district administration will check roadside accidents, besides, allowing better traffic on link roads joining about fifty villages with Ludhiana, Ahmedgarh, Raekot and Payal.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that land, along the link roads of Ludhiana district had been surrendered voluntarily by farmers in response to a call made by authorities recently.

According to sources, roads that had earlier been narrowed due to habitual encroachment by farmers would now be widened.

Appreciating the role of political and social leaders of the area for inspiring the farmers to surrender the encroached land, SDM Ludhiana (West) Prem Chand maintained that this would benefit all residents especially farmers, as ownership of land would now be strictly according to revenue records, number of disputes over sharing encroached land would also decline.

Prem Chand appreciated that active involvement of social and political leaders had facilitated the action. “Though it is the prerogative of government to get the encroached land vacated and proceed further in widening of roads, the political and social leaders made our job easy by encouraging farmers to contribute in filling of land, besides surrendering it,” held Prem Chand, adding that former sarpanches and panches of all villages had played an active role.

Referring to information received from revenue officials Prem Chand said link roads joining about 40 villages with surrounding towns would get widened significantly. Farmers of villages Kanganwal, Dhandra, Himayunpur, Memoodpura, Kheri, Kanech, Barwala, Katani Kalan, Panghli, Sangowal, Sarinh, Alamgir, Detwal, Pamal, Rania and Jassowal would be benefited.

Encroachment on common land, including government land had emerged as major problem for administration and public.

The encroached land included link roads and a large number of drains, which had been constructed in the 60s to check water-logging and floods.

Though office-bearers of the civic bodies felt that the restoration of the encroached land to the public works department (PWD) and the drainage department would help fight the menace of vehicular accidents, overflowing ponds, water-logging and frequent floods, no one has taken a stand on the issue.

Several farmers here had ploughed the land belonging to the PWD and the drainage department, which resulted in narrowing of roads and closure of drains.

The defaulters included village panchayats and office-bearers.Though the PWD has erected measuring stones along the boundaries of roads, no action was taken against farmers who plough beyond the demarcated line.



Swimming tourney at Ropar
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 9
The 26th edition of the Punjab State Sub-Junior and the 35th Punjab State Junior Swimming Championship for boys and girls in the age groups of 15-17 years, 13-14 years, 11-12 Years, and 9-10 of age will be held in all national events at the Sports Department Swimming Pool, Ropar, from June 18 to 20, according to Apinder Singh Grewal, president, Punjab Swimming Association.

Swimmers born in the years 1993, 1994 and 1995 are eligible for junior age groups (15-17 Years), 1996 and 1997 for junior age group (13-14 years), 1998 and 1999 for sub-junior age group (11-12) and those born during the years 2000 and 2001 for sub-junior age group (9-10).

The Punjab swimming teams (junior and sub-junior boys and girls) will be selected on the basis of their performance during this championship for their participation in the 37th Junior and the 27th Sub Junior National Aquatic Championships to be held at Bangalore in Karnataka from July 7 to 11 and from July 12 to 15, respectively.

Entries close with Balraj Sharma, general secretary, Punjab Swimming Association at Ludhiana on 15 June.



Cricket: Gurjot, Akhilesh fashion Super Club’s win
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, June 9
Fine all-round performance by Gurjot (two for 19 and 24 runs) and consistent bowling by Akhilesh (two for eight) steered the Super Club to script two wicket victory against the National Club on the fourth day of the 15th Chaman Lal Malhotra Cricket Cup Tournament (U-14) being played at the MGM Public School, Dugri, here today.

National Club scored 74 runs in 17 overs with Tushar making 12, followed by Nitin and Shivam who contributed 10 runs each.

For Super Club, Akhilesh captured three wickets, while Gurjot and Manjot claimed two wickets each.

Super Club made the required runs in 27 overs after losing eight wickets with main contributions coming from Gurjot (24) and Deepak Mehta (15 n.o.).



Mohali tame Ludhiana in cricket
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 9
Thanks to fine batting display by Harpreet Mander (113) and Sohrab Dhaliwal (105 n.o.), Mohali defeated Ludhiana on the basis of first inning lead of 135 runs in the first match of the Punjab State Inter-District U-19 Cricket Tournament for the Dhruv Pandove Trophy being organised by the Punjab Cricket Association which concluded at the Punjab Agricultural University, here today.

In reply to Ludhiana's total of 259 runs, Mohali scored 394 runs for the loss of six wickets in the allotted 95 overs.

Harpreet Mander gave a fine display of batting, contributing 113 runs. He also figured in a 112-run partnership for the third wicket with Sachin Sohal who made 46.

Sohrab Dhaliwal, who chipped in with six wickets yesterday, again hogged the limelight today. He remained unconquered on 105 runs and along with Saurabh Chopra (57 n.o.) added 137 runs for the seventh wicket, which helped Mohali to surpass home side's score of 259 runs.


Ludhiana (first innings): 259 all out in 94.3 overs (Harjit 10, Sunny Pandey 43, Abhishek Talwar 31, Gurinder Hara 34, Jashan Sidhu 56, Nitish 18; Ravi Saini one for 23, Jashan Sidhu six for 64, Sirjan Sablok two for 67 and Vir Kamal one for 37).

Mohali (first innings): 394 for six in 95 overs (Harpreet Mander 113, Vir Kamal 28, Sachin Sohal 46, Saurabh Chopra 57 n.o., Sohrab Dhaliwal 105 n.o.; Amrit Pal Singh three for 81, Abhishek Talwar one for 97 and Jashan Sidhu one for 62).



PFA to organise course for referees
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 9
The Punjab Football Association (PFA) will be organising a referee recruitment-cum -development course at Guru Nanak College Sports Complex, Phagwara, from June 16 to 21.

According to SS Jassar, senior vice-president of the PFA, interested candidates (those who have been playing football at school, college or club level) may attend this course. They have been advised to bring four color passport size photographs, original date of birth certificate and medical fitness certificate from a qualified doctor declaring that the candidate is fit to perform physical fitness test.

The candidates are asked to report at the venue at 8 am on June 16. All candidates from outside would be provided free lodging, added Jassar.



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 |