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Heritage sites a picture of utter neglect
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
Often called the ‘Manchester of India’, few people - both residents and outsiders - know that the city has a large number of significant historical structures that can be major tourist attractions but instead languish in a state of neglect.

Lodhi Fort
Lodhi Fort

Clock Tower
Clock Tower

Sunet Village
Sunet Village

Mughal Sarai
Mughal Sarai

One such noteworthy example is Christ Church, which dates back to the 1830s. Adjacent to the Fountain Chowk, it is probably the oldest church in Punjab. However, it has been entangled in several legal disputes relating to attempts to sell off the property, which are still pending in court. The scruffy look of the church compound is a testimony to how the structure has fallen on bad days.

The foundation stone of the church, affiliated to the Church of England, was laid by the fifth Bishop of Calcutta, Daniel Wilson, was it consecrated in 1840. In its early days, elite officers of the British army and civil service worshipped here.

Though this historic church is poorly maintained due to lack of funds and is surrounded by unauthorized structures, its intricately vaulted ceiling still holds charm.

‘‘The SSP’s home was once the priest’s residence. At one time the church had two parks, one of which has since been auctioned and converted into a market. There is no longer a proper entrance to the church that remains in a decrepit state”, said BM Fredrick, secretary of the United Church of Northern India, Punjab synod.

Another neglected historical site is the Lodhi Fort, built about 500 years ago by Yusuf Khan on the banks of the Sutlej that once flowed near the city. The mud fort, steeped in a rich archaeological heritage, has now slipped into oblivion. Civic officials had once proposed to develop a hanging garden over 3.5 acres of land around the fort, but the plan never materialized. Instead, it now stands surrounded by wild grass.

The fort, from which the city derived its name, is in a shambles these days. Most of its inner part and barracks have crumbled. A mysterious tunnel from inside the fort is said to go under the Sutlej and open at the Phillaur Fort. Legend has it that the tunnel was dug up either to enable the fort inhabitants to flee during an emergency or to surprise the enemy by attacking them from behind on the Sutlej side.

‘‘A few years ago some Muslim devotees used to come here on Thursdays to worship, but today no longer do so. Instead one can often see drug addicts lying in stupor inside the fort’s premises, ’’ said Bashir Malik, who lives nearby and has seen the heydays of this fort.

A historical monument that has suffered neglect over the years is the city’s best-known landmark - the Clock Tower, popularly known as Ghanta Ghar - which is over a century old. The Victoria Memorial Clock Tower, as it was known during the British Raj, was inaugurated by Charles Montgomery along with Deewan Tek Chand, at that time the lieutenant governor and Ludhiana deputy commissioner, respectively. The structure, which has gradually emerged as the city’s emblem, was erected as a memorial to the silver jubilee year of Queen Victoria’s reign.

The original clock, installed when the tower was built by the British, had to be wound manually and was later replaced with an electronic clock a few years ago after the earlier one became worn out. ‘‘It’s a monument that city residents can identify with. However, one can now see ‘peepal’ trees growing around the structure but the authorities appear not to be bothered at all. We need to treasure this historical tower, ’’ said SS Chana, a city resident.

Another neglected historical site in the city is Sunet Village where archaeologists have discovered traces of six cultures dating back 3,800 years to 1800-1400 BC. The place is also popularly known as Ucha Pind and Kacha Pind, probably on account of the existence of an old mound there

The Archaeological Survey of India has declared this large chunk of land in Sunet a protected site. It first came into the limelight in the early 1980s when a large number of seals and thousands of coin moulds of the Yaudheya, an ancient tribal confederation who lived in the area between the Indus and Ganges rivers, as well as coins belonging to the Hermaeus, Gondopharnes, Chandragupta and Samudragupta eras were found here. Vestiges of the Harappan civilization were also discovered in the village by archaeologists.

It is only the board of the department which tells the historical importance of the Sunet Village comprising of ancient mounds, some of which were excavated. A wall recently built by the archeological department to preserve the heritage site.

‘‘Inside the compound one can find heaps of garbage and youngsters can be seen playing cricket on Sundays in one corner. This is how we treat our historical treasures, ’’ said Col JS Brar, a city resident.

Mughal Sarai, built in Doraha during the 17th century, is another example of a historical site that could have been a major attraction for foreign tourists but is now a picture of utter neglect.

Built by the Mughal emperor Sher Shah Suri and located south of the present day Ludhiana-Khanna road, it was the most sought-after place for weary travellers. Today, thanks to the Bollywood movie ‘Rang De Basanti’ starring Aamir Khan, which once again brought this historical 'sarai' into limelight. All those who have seen the movie recognised the dilapidated building.

It is a beautiful 'sarai' spread over approximately 168 square metres. There are imposing gateways in the centre on the northern and southern sides. The northern gate has remains of floral designs while the southern gate has floral and formal paintings. A ‘kutcha’ (makeshift) pathway connects both the gateways.

The big compound is now being maintained as a lawn by the archaeology department and the ‘sarai’ is protected under the Punjab Ancient and Historical Movements Archaeological Sites & Remains Act, 1964.

‘‘Sadly, this ancient wonder is in ruins today and appears to be waiting for nature’s fury to crumble. Time has already effaced its magnificence. The paste coming out of the walls, the vanishing wall paintings, the faded carvings on the ceilings are a proof of the neglected glory of ancient India,’’ says Preetraj Kang from Chandigarh who frequently visits this place on weekends to spend some quality time with his friends.

Other structures that have been neglected - the Kos Minars or ‘mile pillars’, were erected by the Mughal rulers on the main highways across the empire to delineate the route and mark the distance. They played a significant role in the system of governance during the Mughal period. But over the years these significant road monuments have gone into a state of disrepair and are almost lost in obscurity.

The Kos Minars were built during the reign of Jahangir on road to Lahore from Delhi. Though, these milestones were built during Jahangir’s rule, the route existed even during the Ashokan period. While in the present age, milestones are put after every kilometre, the ‘minars’ were built after every 4.17 kilometres. These 'minars' are found when one travels from Ludhiana to Phillaur to Noormahal to Nakodar.

The Kos Minars can be seen around the city in Ghungrali Rajputan, Lashkri Khan, Dhandari Kalan, Sherpur and Sanhewal. These ‘minars’, which should have been preserved , have all but disappeared from the scene.

Photos: Himanshu Mahajan, Inderjeet Verma

No central funding

Deputy commissioner Rahul Tewari agreed these historical monuments, which city residents should have been proud of and which could have been major tourist attractions, are in a sad state of neglect today. “A master plan to restore heritage structures in the entire state was submitted to the central government, but the latter never released the grants due to some reason”, he added.


Hosiery material worth lakhs gutted
No firefighting arrangements in building: Officials
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
Yarn, hosiery material and machinery worth lakhs of rupees were gutted in a massive fire that broke out in a hosiery unit near Dana Mandi here this afternoon.

The blaze broke out in two storeyed building of H Sehgal hosiery at about 4 pm when workers reported smoke emanating from a part of the building. Within a few moments, flames engulfed the entire two storeys.

As many as six fire engines were rushed to the spot, but the fire was yet to be controlled. Fire official on duty Ravinder Kumar said the cause of fire was yet to be ascertained, but it spread fast, as highly combustible hosiery goods and chemicals were stored inside. He said factory owner had stored a huge quantity of diesel in a drum of 200 litres and 10 cans of 30 litres each. “It was sheer providence that the flames had not reached that part of the building. Otherwise, it could have been disastrous. When I saw so much of fuel inside, the first thing I did was to get it removed from there. We kept the oil at a distance from the factory,” he said.

Firefighters rued that despite so much of inflammable material stored inside, the unit owner had made no arrangements to fight fire. There was not even a single water storage tank that could be made use of. “We will report the matter to the authorities,” said the firefighters.



24-hour police helpline for women
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
Women suffering from domestic violence can now find help as the police is all set to launch a 24-hour helpline for such women.

Besides domestic violence, the women would get immediate police help in case of any eventuality.

Sources said the police had chalked out a plan to launch the helpline and it would be functional in a few days. The helpline number would be of four digits and the entire set-up would operate under the community police resource centre.

A woman cop would attend to the call at the helpline and redress the problem of the victim.

ACP Bhupinder Singh said a large number of complaints pertaining to domestic violence and dowry assault cases were pouring in at the offices of all police officials in the city. Hence, it was decided to start a helpline so that the complaints of the victims could be redressed at the earliest.

Special staff would be appointed to handle such cases and a PCR officer would react immediately in case of an emergency.

The ACP, who has had a stint with the women’s cell, said a majority of domestic violence cases could be settled with timely action by the police.



One killed as well caves in
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 13
A man was killed and another injured when a well they were digging caved in at Dholan village, near here, yesterday.

The incident occurred around 10.30 am when Kaka Singh (35) and Jeewan Singh (37) of Roomi village, along with four others, were deepening the well in the fields of Mohan Singh. The well suddenly caved in, trapping Jeewan Singh and Kaka Singh.

The others raised the alarm and villagers gathered to rescue them. After over an hour, they managed to save Jeewan Singh, but the body of Kaka Singh could be pulled out only past midnight.

The SDM and other officials monitored the rescue operation. Eight tractors and three JCB machines were pressed into service.



120 units of blood donated

Ludhiana, June 13
As many as 120 volunteers came forward to donate blood at the monthly blood donation camp organised by the Salaam Zindagi Foundation to mark the World Blood Donors Day here today. The camp was coordinated by a team of doctors and supporting staff from the department of transfusion at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

Bhagwan Singh, a social activist, and Pritpal Singh, mukh sewadar of Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran, while inaugurating the camp lauded the initiative of the NGO in bridging the gap between the demand and availability of safe blood through promotion of voluntary blood donation.

NGO president Manjit Saini said the main targeted beneficiaries of the voluntary blood donation movement were thalassemic patients, especially children, who required blood transfusion throughout their life. — OC



Dirty drinking water in govt schools
DEOs told to ensure tanks cleaned every month
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 13
Pure drinking water is a secondary concern for heads of state-run schools. Water storage tanks in schools are not cleaned for months together.

Even parents, instead of urging management committees and school heads, to provide potable water to their wards, prefer to give them water bottles.

The higher authorities in the education department have now directed district education officers (DEOs) to ensure the supply of clean drinking water to all schools falling under their jurisdiction.

“It has been brought to the notice of this office that no attention is given to clean water tanks in government schools. You are advised to ensure that water tanks are cleaned at least once a month and these should be properly covered,” a communication addressed to all DEOs of the state reads.

Investigations by The Tribune revealed that a majority of schools had failed to ensure adequate supply of potable water, forcing students to drink dirty water supplied through overhead tanks.

“Unfortunately, both the managements of schools and parents of students have failed to realise the importance of clean water even during summer. Though they keep asking for the installation of ceiling fans and generators in schools, they do not bother to enquire about the quality of drinking water there,” Tarsem Garg, a social activist, stated.

A majority of schools in the rural areas were providing the same water for drinking which was being used to clean floors.



Training camp on awareness against drugs
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 13
The Punjab Youth Congress (PYC) will organise a state-level training for senior party functionaries, including all district presidents, at Amritsar on June 17 and 18.

The camp will focus on awareness against drugs and other intoxicants and party national president Rajiv Sattav, along with PYC chief Ravneet Singh Bittu, will outline the drive concerned proposed to be undertaken by the party to curb the increasing menace of drug addiction in the state.

This was stated by Dimple Rana, president of District Youth Congress -Urban (DYC) while addressing a party meeting in Haibowal (Ward No 31) here today.

Mahila Congress (women wing) president Leena Taparia, group leader of Congress councillors Hem Raj Aggarwal, councillor Raju Thapar and Maharaj Singh Raji also attended the meeting.

According to Rana, the party had already launched a comprehensive campaign against social evils like drug addiction, dowry and female foeticide. “But the party leadership has desired that all district units should lay more emphasis on awareness against the drugs, as more and more youth are falling prey to drugs and other intoxicating substances, thereby ruining their health and career.”

Other speakers at the meeting, Hem Raj Aggarwal, Leena Taparia and Raju Thapar, lauded the work being done by the YC ranks under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, the youth icon of the Congress.



Rotary Club
Office-bearers felicitated
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 13
Four office-bearers of the local unit of the Rotary Club were felicitated at a function organised at Bathinda today.

District Governor Prem Aggarwal presided over the function and Sarup Chand Singla was the chief guest.

Club president, Dr Ravinder Sharma, was presented the Rotary Foundation District Service Award in recognition of his outstanding service in promoting ideologies of the foundation and its goal of world understanding and peace.

Bimal Sharma and Dr Bhupinder Singh Bedi were presented the appreciation awards for contributing towards the international funds and becoming Paul Harris Fellow.



Summer Camp
Japneet, Kaashvi win food coupons
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
An 18-day summer camp was organised by Radcliffe School for the children between the age group of 2-6 years. The camp got an overwhelming response from the students and parents. The children learnt various forms of painting like spray painting, sponge painting, crushed paper painting and created mesmerising craft items. Food without fire was another attraction of the camp.

A two-day painting workshop was also organised by Camlin during the camp. The tiny tots enthralled their parents with dance performances on the concluding day. A small skit “Save animals and save petrol” was highly appreciated by the audience. Children were also examined during a health check-up camp conducted by Dr Vinu Kumar and Dr Ritu Bansal. A lucky draw was also held and first prize winners got coupons of “Yellow Chilly” worth Rs 1,000 each and the second prize winner got coupons of “Mom and Me” worth Rs 500 each. Principal Iqbal Pahwa thanked school faculty, guests and parents for their interest and cooperation in making the camp a success.

Lucky draw results:

Junior group: 1. Japneet Kaur, 2. Hiranya; senior group: 1. Kaashvi Taggar, 2. Sagar Gupta.



Blood donation camp at CMCH
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
To mark World Blood Donor’s Day tomorrow, CMCH will celebrate the day by organising a voluntary blood donation camp for staff and students, thereby encouraging younger generation and first time donors.

The day is celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Karl Landsteiner, creator of ABO blood group system.

This year’s campaign focuses on young donors with the slogan "New blood for the world".

Dr Abraham G Thomas, director CMCH, said the need of blood was increasing in all parts of the world and younger generation could make an important contribution by donating and motivating friends and others to donate blood.

Dr Kanwal Masih, medical superintendent, said the aim was to raise global awareness regarding the need and supply of safe blood and blood products for transfusion and honouring the contribution by voluntary donors.

Dr Rupinder Kaur, in charge blood transfusion unit, said the event also focused on motivating more people to donate blood voluntarily.



US medical students visit hospital
Tribune News Service

Doraha, June 13
Medical students from the University of Tourro, California, USA, arrived at Sidhu Hospital on a mutual exchange programme sponsored by “Shatya”, a California-based NGO being run by NRI medical professionals.

The team members included Ranjeeta, Saira, Brayan Jay and Sukhbir. “The team during their stay in the hospital will share medical facilities being accorded to the citizens in the US. They will also interact with medical practitioners in the hospital apart from interacting with the patients as well,” said Dr Ravinder Sidhu.

A short cultural programme was also organised in their honour. Brayan, a team member, thanked the students and authorities for according them a warm welcome.



4 needy couples tie nuptial knot
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 13
Four needy couples tied the nuptial knot during a function organised under the aegis of Swami Chetanya Ji Trust at Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Brahampur, near here yesterday.

Former SAD minister Jagdish Singh Garcha was the chief guest on the occasion.

The organisers besides making arrangements for the ceremony, also presented gifts to the newly wed couples.

The gifts included jewellery, clothes, furniture and cooking gas cylinders.

Shri Ram Mandir president Bimal Kumar Sharma, Journalists Association president Ravinder Puri and Rotary Club president Ravinder Sharma were among others who blessed the couples.



City Concerns
Shift venue for protests

Protesters block the road in front of the DC’s office. Since the road is a few hundred yards away from the mini secretariat, does the venue for the protest a symbol of a “healthy” democracy? Sometimes it is done simply for protesting without a reason as a protest increases the “visibility” of the cause, demonstrates power, promotes solidarity, and energises participants.

This problem can be taken care of with a flyover, which is in the pipeline, across Bharat Nagar Chowk, extending to the DC’s office. Also, local express lanes should be constructed and access to the road should be limited. Four-laning is necessary along the Ferozepur road on which “reversible” lanes should come up. Separate lanes must come up for specific user groups. Multiple storeyed parking could come up at the mini secretariat and the present parking could be used by the protesters. The protest venue could also be shifted to Dana Mandi or any other park, but these places must be easily accessible to the DC as most memoranda are handed over to him.

Maj Kuljit Singh Sidhu (retd)

Sensitise masses

Protests, demonstrations, shobha yatras and bandhs have become the order of the day and cause blockades. These are a nuisance for the common man. The population of the city has crossed 3.5 million and such blockades only inconvenience commuters. The imposition of Section 144 and its strict implementation at places where road shows or protests are to be held by a party or an organisation seems to be the only way out. Also, the public must be sensitised not to protest at busy points and observe civic sense. Rationalisation of traffic and strict observance of traffic rules, for which adequate police force is required, must be considered.

KL Chitkara

Collective responsibility

We are a democratic nation. Expressing resentment in the form of protests is not unheard of here. We shook the British empire by showing our strength in the form of protests. But it is sad that even after six decades of Independence, the public is not happy with governance. Though there is a reason for the protests, we have a responsibility to ensure that our acts do not cause inconvenience to others.We have to change our approach. We cannot expect the government to set aside a public park and assign officials for protests.

It is up to us to device a method so that our concerns reach the right people. One or two representatives of a body can meet the officials concerned and hand over the memorandum. For a mature society, a post box should be enough to air grievances in writing. At the same time, it would be for those in governance to take a call. We need to evolve a system together.

Jasmeet Grewal

Act responsibly

Perhaps, it is the growing disenchantment or frustration of the public over the failure of successive governments to deliver, and an administration which is least responsive to the needs and problems of the people, that over the period, protests have become a routine affair.

The success of such protests, marches and demonstrations is often gauged by the extent of traffic chaos and inconvenience caused to people. Whatever the cause or extent of grievance of those holding protests, blocking a national highway—the Ferozepur road, where the headquarters of the civil and police administration, besides the subordinate and sessions courts, are located, cannot be justified. Imagine the plight of thousands of people travelling to places like Jagraon, Moga, Ferozepur, Bathinda and far-off places and getting stranded for hours due to a protest. Protests on the Ferozepur road, or any other road in the city for that matter, should be checked.

Those holding protests should act in a responsible manner. They must not forget that by exercising their democratic right to hold a protest at a public place and obstructing the flow of traffic, the right of other people to use the road is being violated.

Ashwani K Sood



CCTVs installed at Bharat Nagar Chowk
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
To keep a tab on the growing crime rate and increasing traffic violations, the city police has installed eight closed-circuit televisions (CCTVs) at the Bharat Nagar Chowk for effective policing. Besides, a speed dome camera has also been installed in the middle of the chowk to monitor the movement of commuters.

One of the cameras installed at Bharat Nagar Chowk in Ludhiana on Sunday
One of the cameras installed at Bharat Nagar Chowk in Ludhiana on Sunday. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

The speed dome camera is able to read the number plate of the vehicle from a distance of 500 m.

The cameras cover all parts of the chowk for effective monitoring.

Further, a control room has been set up to check the visuals captured by the CCTV.

These night-vision cameras are equipped with infrared mode enabling the police to monitor traffic movement in low visibility.

According to officials, the CCTVs would help track criminals who manage to give them the slip after committing offence. Further, the footage of the accused would be used as evidence in court.

The cameras can record footage up to 15 days. The police is further planning to connect these directly with the police control room.

Varinder Brar, who heads the office of the ADCP traffic, said in future the technology would help the police in e-challaning vehicles.

Under the e-challaning concept, a vehicle driver caught on camera while violating traffic rules is issued a challan through a letter sent by the police department.

Brar said the cameras would be helpful in regulating traffic and tracking criminals.

More to follow

The city police is planning to install CCTVs at all major intersection of the city. This would help the police assess the situation at time of emergency. In the first phase, the police would install CCTVs at Samrala Chowk and Sarabha Nagar Market. The city police would also put up CCTVs near Verka milk plant on the Ferozepur road.



Minister assures better link roads

Amloh, June 13
The link roads in Amloh would soon be recarpeted, said former minister and member of the Scheduled Castes Commission Dalip Singh Pandhi at a weekly meeting yesterday.

Harnek Singh of Shamashpur village in an application pointed out that the road from Amloh to Shamashpur upto Neellon village, Shamashpur to Kaulgarh and Shamashpur to Tangrala needs immediate attention. Balvinder Kaur, a resident of Amloh, demanded that the commission should hold inquiry into the allegations levelled by her against some influential persons who were allegedly involved in collecting money through illegal committees.

Lakshmi Kaur, resident of Annian village, alleged that a water supply tank was set-up on her plot and no alternative plot was allotted to her. Sukhdev Singh and others residents of Machhrai Kallan also demanded an inquiry into the illegal sale of 54 green trees by the former sarpanch of the village. — OC



4 of family booked for duping man of Rs 30 lakh
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 13
The Sidhwan Bet police has booked four members of a family, including three women, for duping a man of Rs 30 lakh on the pretext of taking him abroad after conducting marriage.

Gurmail Singh of Ghamnewal village, near Bhundri village, had complained to the Jagraon SSP that his father Bhan Singh was known to Mohinder Singh of Bharowal Kanal, near here. Ranjit Kaur, one of the daughters of Mohinder Singh, was married to a youth in Canada but in 2004 she was divorced by her husband. Mohinder Singh contacted his father and offered to marry his daughter Ranjit Kaur, a Canadian citizen, with the complainant for a consideration of Rs 30 lakh besides marriage expenses. The deal was settled at Rs 30 lakh, including Rs 5 lakh as expenses for the marriage. Ranjit Kaur came from Canada and married Gurmail Singh. As part of the deal, Rs 25 lakh was given to the bride’s family.

Ranjit Kaur, after spending some time in India, went back to Canada and asked him to apply for immigration at the Canadian Embassy in New Delhi.

When he went to the embassy to submit his documents, the authorities there refused to accept these stating that Ranjit Kaur was already married and had not obtained divorce so far. Both Ranjit and her husband still had a joint account, the embassy officials added. The complainant confronted Mohinder Singh on the issue but the latter further demanded Rs 10 lakh from him for his smooth immigration to Canada. The complainant, however, declined to pay the money.

The complainant alleged that Mohinder Singh and his family had been threatening him with life whenever they demanded their money back.

Sidhwan Bet SHO Balbir Singh said after conducting preliminary investigation, they had booked Mohinder Singh, his wife Surjit Kaur and his daughters Inderjit Kaur and Ranjit Kaur under Sections 406, 420, 506 and 34, IPC.

The case has been transferred to the economic offences wing of the Jagraon police.



Summer camps a big draw
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
June is the most happening month of the season. It’s that time of the year when schools are closed and children are out to have fun. Like every year, this year too, the city is abuzz with a gala of fun-filled activities for the children of all ages.

Right from summer camps, dance or language classes, painting workshops, swimming and horse riding classes to acting and yoga workshops, you name it and the city is offering them.

And as expected, the children are not the ones to miss out on all the fun. A survey reveals that as many as 85 per cent of the children between the age group of 3-16 years have enrolled themselves in some activity or the other.

While many are busy at the summer camps organised by their respective schools, there are a large number of others who are enhancing their skills with fun-filled activities at private centres.

“Gone are the days when the children used to sit at home during the summer vacations and fret about being bored in the absence of any recreational activity. For, over the past two-three years, the city has evolved greatly and become more children friendly. Now, a large number of activities are available to the children of all age groups, which are quite easy on the parents’ pockets,” remarked Renu Chaudhary, a housewife, who runs a drawing workshop for tiny tots.

The children sure are having a great time. Fourteen-year-old Preetika Bakshi remarks, “I have been learning Indian classical dance every summer since three years. But this year, I am also learning pottery and painting.”

Ten-year-old Sudhanshu and his six-year-old sister Kyra's faces light up at the mention of summer camp. “We are attending a music and dance workshop, along with our cousins. Our teacher has taught us dance on all latest Bollywood tunes. It is so much fun to be able to dance like Hrithik Roshan,” exclaimed Sudhanshu.

With a plethora of options for their children, the parents are definitely a happy lot.

“The summer vacations are a good time to learn while having fun. Otherwise it is difficult to make kids learn an extra skill with the pressure of attending school and tuitions and doing homework looming large on their heads,” remarked Sharda Mehta, mother of two teenaged children, who have enrolled in swimming classes.



Society’s green initiative to revive Budha Nullah
Creates park along the rivulet
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 13
At a time when all efforts to clean the Budha Nullah have bitten the dust, residents of Basant Nagar, near Gandhi Nagar, are making efforts to revive greenery alongside the rivulet, once considered the lifeline of the city and popular for it’s scenic beauty. A 100-yard park created along the nullah is catching the fancy of commuters these days.

Now, the determined effort of the residents has started to bear fruit, as Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal has offered his support for the cause.

He has told that he would try to provide all possible help so that green patches could be increased along the nullah.

Recounting their endeavour, Gulshan Kumar, member of the Har Har Maha Dev Welfare Society said: “It all started two years ago. The society members who live on the banks of the nullah planned to beautify its boundaries. But cash crunch was the major hurdle before us. We managed to save money and started spending on the park.”

Buta Ram, another member of the society, said: “We did not have any mode of irrigation, as the acidic water of the nullah could have ruined the green cover. So we installed a tap to water the plants.”

To get rid of the foul smell emanating from the nullah, residents planted flowers and Tulsi to clean air and spread fragrance.

Besides, saplings of neem, peepal and other verities have also been planted on the green patch.

Society members maintain their small park and also do yoga in the morning there.

However, youngsters of the area are reluctant to take a walk alongside the nullah.

“The smell from the nullah is poisonous. I do not want to fall ill by exercising near the nullah,” said a youth who is the son of a society member.

On the condition of the nullah, Muni Lal said: “The land near the the nullah could have been rated as prime property in the city had the water of the tributary not been polluted by dyeing and electroplating units.”

The society has appealed to the municipal corporation to plant more trees to revive green patches near the nullah to reduce pollution.


Combating pollution

  • Society urges MC to revive green patches alongside nullah
  • Plants sapling, flowers for cleaning air
  • Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen extends a helping hand




Govt nod to replacing old bridges
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, June 13
The Punjab government has approved the replacement of old bridges over the Budha Nullah, said said Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, in charge, Sahnewal Assembly Constituency here.

He said the public works department (building & roads) had approved eight bridges falling in the constituency under head 3054.

“Some of these bridges were constructed much before the Independence and people of the area were suffering due to the poor condition of these. Many valuable lives have been lost due to these unsafe bridges.”

The bridges to be replaced are on the Kakka-Tajpur road, the Rattangarh-Partapgarh road, the Khassi Kalan-Dhaula road, the Bhaman Kalan-Fatehgarh Jattan road, the Dhannsu-Doaba Bhaini road, the Mattewara-Rattangarh road to Khassi Kalan Road, the Koom Kalan to Nathu Bhaini road and the Manewal to Gurugarh road.

“A sum of Rs 60 lakh will be spent on each bridge and the total expenditure to be incurred on these would be Rs 4.8 crore. The construction work on all the bridges will be started in August and completed before March, 2011,” he said.

Dhillon appreciated the government for sanctioning the bridges of Sahnewal Assembly constituency.



LIT working on half the sanctioned staff
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 13
The common complaint of city residents about tardy disposal of work related to properties of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) here may be justified, but at the same time the institution is making do with almost 50 per cent of the sanctioned staff strength for the past over one year.

Pointing out the staff crunch, which was seriously hampering the day-to-day administrative affairs as well as work in the sale, drawing, engineering and legal branches, LIT chairman Ashok Juneja, in a letter to the principal secretary, local government, has urged that the vacant posts be filled at the earliest so that the working in all branches could be streamlined and a time-bound disposal of public works be ensured.

“As a result of staff shortage in almost all branches, not only the available employees and their supervisory officials have to stretch themselves to the limit, it is becoming increasingly difficult to safeguard the properties from unlawful possession, pursue large number of legal cases in different courts, undertake new projects and development works and hold auction of trust properties on regular basis,” says Juneja in his letter.

According to the LIT chairman, out of the sanctioned posts in the trust under the budget for 2009-10, three posts of superintendent, nine each of senior assistant and clerk, two of steno typist, one of law officer, four of assistant trust engineer, six of section officer, two of head draftsman, four of draftsman and one of assistant town planner were lying vacant.

“Even though we have been trying to speed up disposal of pending files, clear cases of registration of sale deeds, transfer of ownership and other administrative matters, while also undertaking development and maintenance works in the colonies developed by the LIT, it is a fact that with staff strength of less than 50 per cent, we cannot deliver our 100 per cent,” Juneja maintained.



Ex-minister raps Badal govt
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, June 13
Terming the SAD-BJP state government a non-performing regime, former minister Gurmail Singh has asked Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to issue a white paper on the performance of the government during first three and half years of rule.

Talking to mediapesons here today, he alleged that the SAD-BJP government had failed to initiate steps for the welfare of people or development of the state. The former minister added that the people of the state were feeling suffocated due to the misrule of the government as neither the Akali nor the BJP ministers could live up to the expectations of the people.

He claimed that people were now waiting for the return of the Congress government to restore stability, transparency and accountability in governance.

He alleged that people had been facing problems like power crisis, price rise of essential commodities, etc.

He said the law and order in the state had collapsed and residents were feeling insecure.

Gurmail Singh said traders, farmers, industrialists were facing severe crisis due to the wrong and directionless policies of the SAD-BJP government.



Comprehensive community policing launched
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 13
With intent to curtail increasing number of disputes leading to litigations and curb social evils, including drug abuse and eveteasing, the Ludhiana (rural) district police has launched comprehensive community policing.

All SHOs and beat officials have been directed to rope in office-bearers of social, educational and religious organisations for acting as a bridge between authorities and target groups.

On every Wednesday, designated district-level official will coordinate conciliation of cases, which could not be arbitrated at the circle-level of the police station-level meetings.

Appreciating the initiative taken by SSP Harinder Singh Chahal, social and political leaders urged their supporters to shun factionalism and help the administration to provide crime-free niche for the development of the area.

Referring to the outcome of the police-public meeting at Jodhan village on Friday, Chahal claimed that the leaders, irrespective of their political allegiance, had assured wholehearted support to the movement launched by the district.

“Acknowledging that the menace of drug addiction had been controlled to a great extent, as a result of their active involvement, a large number of leaders, irrespective of their political allegiance, came forward to curb other social evils,” said Chahal adding that he had directed rank and file in the force to rope in the leaders of their respective beats.

Elaborating on the movement, Chahal maintained that SP Gurpreet Singh Toor would coordinate weekly camps, scheduled to take place on every Wednesday at Jagraon.

The coordinating committees represented by members of all sections will be constituted to facilitate arbitration of family disputes and allied issues.

Levelling the drug abuse to be the breeding bowl for all other crimes, Chahal said the menace had assumed alarming proportions and the department was seized of the gravity of the situation.

All circle officials were directed to work in close coordination with the NGOs to tackle the challenge posed by the menace of drug addiction.

As a part of the anti-drug campaign, the SSP said special village-level teams of volunteers had been constituted and an awareness drive had been launched.



Entry-level exam
Legal fraternity hails Bar council’s decision
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 13
The legal fraternity has hailed the decision of the Bar Council of India (BCI) for making it mandatory to pass an entry-level exam to be eligible for legal practice after attaining a law degree.

Former chairman of Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana BK Goel said it was need of the hour. The move of the BCI was in the right prospective and will raise the standards of the law profession.

District Bar Association president Naval Kishore Chibber said it was necessary to maintain the dignity of legal fraternity. With this, only capable persons would join the profession and litigants would get better services.

Former Additional Advocate General, Punjab, Hapreet Sandhu stated that this move was the most appropriate step in the interest of the legal practitioners, as law profession had virtually been let down and had been facing some unpleasant situations in respect to professionalism.

With this step, we will get only genuine and deserving candidates to become lawyers in future.

Vice-president of District Bar Association ND Chopra, secretary Gurpreet Singh Virk, Rajneesh Gupta and Sales Tax Bar Association president Arun Kanwal have also welcomed the move of the BCI.



Youth ends life

Mullanpur Dakha, June 13
A youth, habitual of consuming drugs, yesterday committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan. The victim, identified as Chinna Singh (38), residing near the grain market, had returned home around 11 pm. Without having anything to eat, he went to his room and locked himself.

After some time, he came out of and went to a medical store in the market to have some habit-forming drugs to which the chemist refused to give. He returned home and went back to slept. In the morning, the family found his body hanging from the ceiling fan of his room. The Dakha police has initiated inquest proceeding under Section 174, CrPC, on the statement of Mohinder Singh, father of the victim. — OC



31 get prosthetics, hearing aids
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 13
Thirtyone physically challenged persons were given prosthetics, calipers and hearing aids at the free artificial limbs distribution camp organised by the Bharat Vikas Parishad (Tagore branch) at the Viklang Sahayta Kendra in Rishi Nagar here today.

Ramesh Arora, managing director of Paramount Syntex Private Limited, the chief guest at the camp, appreciated the efforts being made by the parishad towards mitigating the sufferings of physically challenged persons and their rehabilitation.

Vijay Laxmi Kapoor, president of Tagore branch of BVP, said the parishad had been holding such camps on regular basis in a bid to help make physically challenged persons self reliant and productive. “We will continue in our endeavour to assist the physically challenged persons in future as well,” she added.



Three booked for fraud
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, June 13
The Dakha police yesterday booked three men, including a patwari of Jangpur village, in a fraud case.

Malkait Singh of Gahour village has accused that two brothers of Jangpur village has sold their land to him in December 14, 2007 on the basis of a forged jamabandi issued by the patwari.

At the time of mutation, he came to know that the brothers owned only 56 kanal 10 ¾ marle and by getting repeated entries of the same numbers they had raised the ownership of 5 kanal in the jamabandi and the patwari had convened with them.

Malkait Singh said he approached the accused to either return the excess money taken or give him the possession of additional 5-kanal land. When the accused refused to accept either of his demands, he complained the matter to the Dakha police on October 8 last year, but the police did not act on his complaint.

Having left with no other substitute, he complained the matter to SSP Ludhiana (rural) Harinder Singh Chahal on June 2. The SSP entrusted Kishan Dev, in charge of EO wing, to inquire into the matter.

In the inquiry, he found all three guilty. SSP Harinder Singh Chahal ordered a case to be registered against the accused under Sections 420, 465, 468, 471 and 506 of the IPC. No arrest has been made so far.



Youth killed in accident
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 13
A youth of Patti Bawa of Manuke was killed when the motorcycle he was riding was hit by a tractor coming from the opposite side here last night.

The accident occurred at Bhammipura Kalan village when the victim, Mandeep Singh (20), was returning to his village on a bike along with his two brothers after finishing their job at Dalla village. The driver of the tractor escaped from the scene. The victim’s brothers — Amarjeet Singh and Daljeet Singh — also sustained injuries and were admitted to the Jagraon civil hospital. The Jagraon Sadar police has registered a case under Sections 304A, 279, 338 and 427, IPC, against the unidentified driver of the tractor on the statement of Daljeet Singh.



Man held with hashish
Our Correspondent

Mullanpur Dakha, June 13
The Humbran police arrested a youth selling hashish at Humbran last evening. Sub-inspector Vinod Kumar, in-charge of the Humbran police post, said the accused, identified as Ram Dass of Blura village, near Arai, Muzafferpur district (Bihar), was intercepted on the basis of his suspicious activities during routine patrol.

The accused tried to sneak away after seeing the police team near the shanties of Beant Nagar of Humbran but was overpowered by the policemen. On search, 2.250 kg hashish was found in his possession. The accused had been active in the trade for many years and used to supply the contraband to labourers in Humbran. A case has been registered.



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