L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Industrial Area, a neglected lot
Roads water-logged, stray animals abound
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
Buyers from all over the world come to the city to book their orders for hosiery items, cycles and cycle parts, sewing machines and machine tools as Ludhiana has registered its name in the world map for manufacturing world-class goods.

But local exporters try hard that buyers do not visit their factories or units, especially in the Industrial Area A and B, fearing that buyers will cancel the orders after seeing the pathetic condition of surroundings near their workplaces.

Damaged and water-logged roads with garbage scattered near factories, mosquitoes and flies, and stray dogs, cattle and pigs, welcome buyers from India and overseas.

Those running units here for the past four decades here have observed that no development has been done in the area. The roads in the area have not been metalled for 30 years. During the rainy season, owners visit their units during late nights or wee hours as water enters their premises.

They engage labour to keep their stocks, worth crores, at safer places. So disgusted are the businessmen that some of them feel that discussing unproductive issues, which will bear no result, will be a waste of time.

The general secretary of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) says industry in the city has been paying maximum house tax to the MC. “The civic body has a target of generating Rs 90 crore as house tax this financial year and the maximum portion will be paid by the industry. We are also paying motor tax and disposal tax. Look at the facilities being given to us. Do you not think that we have the right to ask for basic facilities from the government, especially when we are paying hefty amounts as taxes,” asks Avtar Singh.

Industrialists rue that their swanky cars are in a miserable condition. “Ludhianvis are known for their style. We possess the best of cars, which are too expensive. But we have to send those to service stations after a month or so. Bumpy rides, traffic jams and damaged roads make it difficult to maintain cars well,” says Hitesh Gambhir.

“Jhuggi dwellers at the Industrial Area and the Focal Point, main industrial hubs in the city, leave their animals on the roads. The pigs, goats and cattle rule the roads and we cannot stop the owners. If we try to tell them to keep their animals in their areas, they come in groups, start fighting and use abusive language. Nobody keeps a check on the jhuggi dwellers,” he adds.

Several industrialists, whom the Ludhiana Tribune has spoken to, have lost hope of getting basic facilities like well-carpeted roads, serene surroundings, well-managed public parks and proper lifting of garbage.

Ray Of Hope

Councillor of the area Pritpal Singh Ghayal says proposals are ready and have been sanctioned. Work on construction of roads will be started after the rain. There will be no problem to the business community at the Industrial Area A once development work starts, he claims.

— Vishva Mitter NayyarThe condition is the same as was when I entered the business about 50 years back. We own a number of factories in the city today, but the surroundings remain the same. I have not seen any MC official or employee coming to the units to check whether water and sewerage charges and house tax are being paid regularly by all businessmen. When they are not bothered about revenue, will they pay any heed to our problems? Instead of making rounds of offices, we prefer to focus on our work, which is productive.

— Vishva Mitter Nayyar, owner of Hind Hosiery

Buyers from all over the country visit him and he has to cut a sorry figure each time because of the poor condition of roads. No one from the civic body has ever come here to see our plight and how we manage our work. During the rain, we take alternative routes to reach our units. Some of the buyers prefer to meet us at hotels instead of coming to our factories.

— Roopinder Singh, manufacturing industrial blades

Buyers have expressed shock over the way we manage things in such conditions. Stray cattle and pigs and mosquitoes rule here. There is neither fun, nor a working atmosphere here, but we manage it as we have no choice. So much is being spent on development projects, but the Industrial Area comes nowhere in the priority list. Roads have not been carpeted for the past many years. The construction of a connecting road was started about two years back, but it was never completed. The condition of the road has worsened now.

— Maninder Singh, dealing in batteries

Poor conditions matter little to industrialists, but are terrible for workers like him. During the rain, water-logging makes it impossible for us to reach the units, which are shut at times. There are traumatic days when we fail to earn a single penny. You can imagine how difficult it is to get two square meals during the monsoon.

— Ravi Kumar, a daily wage worker 


Power Supply
Poor distribution network bane of residents
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 1
Even as the power supply situation in the region is far better in comparison to previous years and the scheduled power cuts are also relaxed to a great extent, poor distribution network in the city, frequent breakdowns, coupled with inordinate delay in rectification of faults continue to haunt the city residents.

Not that the power supply only in congested old city localities, where the connected load has increased manifold over the period with the distribution network more or less remaining the same, is bad, even some of newly set up colonies, including posh residential areas, are facing problems of erratic supply, frequent snags and inordinate delay in disposal of complaints.

Residents of some of the worst suffering localities rue that with the transformers being overloaded and the cables being old, the system is on the verge of collapse.

“There is no power supply for hours together during the day and even at nights. The Powercom authorities will have to take remedial measures," said Kuldeep Singh Kreer, general secretary of the MIG Welfare Society (Urban Estate Phase II, Dugri).

He said the power supply infrastructure is not as per the requirment of a particular locality. Citing example, he said a 200 KV transformer installed in the locality was replaced with the one with a lower capacity (100 KV), resulting in low voltage, frequent burning of jumpers, blown fuses and long drawn disruptions. To make the matters worse, the Powercom call centre is also non-operational.

The fate of residents in many other localities like BRS Nagar, Haibowal, a number of colonies along Ferozepur Road, Pakhowal Road and Chandigarh Road is no better.

Facing a major disruption in power supply for over 15 hours during the last week, residents of Karol Bagh Colony on Pakhowal Road have submitted a memorandum to the Powercom authorities to immediately replace the old PVC cables, which caused frequent breakdowns and revamp the distribution system in the area by electing new electric poles and LT cables.

The Powercom officials admit that the power distribution network needs to be strengthened and upgraded in the wake of the ever-increasing demand for power and manifold increase in connected load in the city.

"An ambitious project is already under way for the purpose and the entire distribution network in the city will be revamped at a cost of Rs 484 crore, part of which will come from the Centre as one time grant and the rest from the Power Finance Corporation as a long-term loan. Under the re-accelerated power development and reforms programme (RAPDP), the existing sub-stations will be upgraded, new sub-stations will be set up, cables replaced and distribution system will also be streamlined," Powercom officials said.

On delay in disposal of complaints regarding disruption in power supply, they added that remedial measures have already been initiated and the task has been outsourced to enlisted contractors.



Mayor in ‘dock’ over misuse of public money
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
City Mayor Hakam Singh Gyaspura is in the dock for allegedly wasting huge amount of public money by making several proposals for a development project in his ward during the past one decade.

It took 10 years and a whopping Rs 1 crore of the public money for the municipal corporation and the Mayor, who was a councillor of the area in his previous term, to finally decide about developing a mini-rose garden in Chhappar Wali Gali in Giaspura.

Accusing the Mayor of wasting public money, the Shaheed-e-Azam S.Bhagat Singh New Sports Club, Gyaspura, and 99 residents of Gyaspura have filed a PIL in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against this sheer wastage of public money. The court has issued a notice to the Punjab Government and Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, and the date of hearing is August 26.

Addressing media here today, chairman of the club Amarpal Singh Maan said huge public money was wasted on three different proposals. It was enough to get another chunk of land, which could be of great value to the civic body. As per information taken through the RTI Act on August 20, 2008, via letter number 110-2C/D, a sports stadium was to be built on this land.

As per the initial plan of the civic body, a sports stadium was to be built in Chhapar Wali Gali in Gyaspura. According to the second decision taken by the MC, a public park was more appropriate. When it could not become "viable", plan to construct mini-rose garden was finalised. The "cash-starved" civic body spent about Rs 1 crore to take one decision.

The respective contractors were paid Rs 23.38 lakh, Rs 9 lakh and about Rs 60-70 lakh of public money for different projects.

"The work on the stadium started way back in 2001 and the contractor was given an amount of Rs 24.38 lakh. But the work was stopped in-between. Through letter number 347 EEC on September 9, 2007 (after six years), it was decided that the work on stadium was not satisfied and the file was closed," said Maan, adding that in September 2008, work on public park started by paying contractor an amount of Rs 9 lakh.

Again, the work was stopped abruptly on the pretext that the depth of land was about 8 feet and park could not be built. But information taken through the RTI Act suggests that 60 per cent work of park was completed.

President of the sports club Jaswinder Maan said when there were already three parks in Gyaspura, where was the need to construct mini-rose garden? "We have all the documents which show that contractors' names were just used, in the proposals. All these works were managed by Mayor's son and nephew themselves. This is nothing but wastage of public money and misuse of the power,” alleged Maan.



NGO to aid of thalassaemic children
Adopts kids abandoned by parents
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
Abandoned by their either parents, four thalassaemic children today got a foster family, as “Salaam Zindagi”, a city-based NGO, adopted them at a formal function organised in Ludhiana. Taking an oath to sponsor the education, living and treatment of the abandoned kids, the NGO members also volunteered to support three more thalassaemic children from economically weaker sections of society.

Rajni, Rohit and Dinesh will be provided financial support to continue their studies.

Life had become an endless battle for eight year old Khushi after her mother abandoned her during the first year of her birth when she was diagnosed with Thalassaemia major and her father also deserted her to remarry. Krishna, the girl’s grandmother, said, “I did not give up on the child and carried on with her treatment with the support of the CMCH with whatever little money I had. “Salaam Zindagi” had been helping me earlier also, but now that they have adopted Khushi, I am sure that she would get a good life, said Krishna.

It is a long way to go for one and half year old Ragini, whose mother abandoned her after five months of her birth. What left the family devastated, however, was the fact that she took Ragini’s twin brother along. However, shuttling between his work and home Sandeep, Ragini’s father, did not have enough funds to give his daughter a respectable life. “Salaam Zindagi with its initiative has given my daughter another family which will fill the void created in her life by the desertion of her own mother,” voiced Sandeep.

Committed to the cause of serving the needy children suffering from thalassaemia, “Salam Zindagi” had taken up the cause of Jaspreet Kaur (6) and her brother Prabhjot (5) from Iyali Khurd village who, having been diagnosed with the disease, were forsaken by their father. “We have taken the responsibility of the duo as their mother is involved in a legal battle with their father to get the due right of the children,” said Manjit Saini, president of the NGO.



Space constraints at PAU disappoint students
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
Teething problems with the commencement of the new academic session at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) are keeping the university authorities busy. Students as well as their parents are objecting to “inadequate” space in colleges and hostels.

The students enrolled in the BSc biotechnology honours course are facing space problem as classes of second year students are being held in the horticulture department.

“We are paying hefty fee for the courses and it is for the university authorities to provide us with classrooms as makeshift arrangements hamper academic sessions,” a biotechnology student stated.

Not enough space for students in hostels is another issue that has caused resentment among the students who have come from far-flung places like Jammu, Pathankot, Abohar and Gurdaspur.

A large number of new students have failed to get a room in hostels and have been asked by the PAU to look for private accommodation outside.

However, parents of girls are unwilling to leave them in private accommodations. “The PAU authorities should find a solution to the problem as the security of the girls is the primary concern and we can’t rely on the arrangements of private hostels,” the father of a student stated.

New wing coming up

Dr SS Gosal, director of the school of biotechnology, PAU, termed the space problem as temporary. “We have plans to construct a new wing for the school of biotechnology, but until then we have to make alternative arrangements,” he stated. He said the university had made it clear during counselling that in case of inadequate rooms, students would have to go in for private accommodation. “Parents had agreed to the arrangement then, but are now creating problems,” he claimed.



A clarification
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
Martyr Udham Singh killed Michael O' Dwyer in the Caxton Hall in London on March 13 in 1940 and not Brig-Gen Reginald E Harry Dyer as was erroneously mentioned in these columns today. The error is regretted.



Revised norms for school board exams
Teachers, students still in dilemma
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 1
Even as one-third of the present academic session has lapsed, Class X and Class XII students of schools affiliated with the Punjab School Education Board are not clear about the revised criteria for deciding their fate in annual examination.

While the board authorities have already cleared that it is necessary to obtain at least 33 per cent marks in all the subjects separately, students and their parents are seen asking if the same criterion applies on mathematics. So much so, some teachers and even heads of schools are not clear about the revised norms.

Realising the problems from queries by heads of government schools in meetings, the office of the Director General School Education has once again clarified the issue to all concerned.

Investigations by the Ludhiana Tribune revealed that a large number of students studying in class X and XII were not clear about the revised criteria about preparing final results. They are still under the impression that failure in one subject will not tantamount to failure in the examination.

Krishan Lal, father of a Class X student of a local senior secondary school, said that class in charge of his son, when asked to clarify the issue, had asked him to wait for a few days so that he (teacher) could collect exact information from the authorities. Lal had to contact the district education office at Sangrur to get the detailed information.

Official records revealed that principals and headmasters of some government schools had shown ignorance about revised norms in meetings with higher authorities, including the Director General School Education.

Claiming that he had already advised in charges of board classes to explain the revised norms to all students, Pardeep Sharda, principal MGMN Senior Secondary School, maintained that copies of letters received from the higher authorities were displayed on the notice board.

Criterion for passing exam

  • A student has to obtain at least 33 per cent marks in all subjects to get through Class X and XII.
  • A student has to pass each subject separately in written and practical examination besides internal assessment.
  • Students failing in two subjects in Class X and one subject in Class XII will be declared reappear. Only two chances will be given to clear the exam.
  • Result of a Class X student failing in house examination will be detained for two years.
  • Failed students can appear as private students in following semesters.



From Schools & Colleges
Teej celebrations

The primary wing of Tagore International Senior Secondary School, Sahnewal, celebrated Teej with fervour on Saturday. Students came dressed in colourful Punjabi attires and danced to the beats of Punjabi music. They took part in activities like grain pasting, flower making and chart making etc. Gifts and chocolates were distributed among students by school director BK Aneja and vice-principal Parveen Kumar.

A grand celebration was organised at Nankana Sahib Public School, Gill Park, to celebrate Teej. Girls were dressed up traditionally. A culture programme was also organised. Participants presented folk songs, dances, and took part in modelling. The programme ended with a giddha performance. Children shared “kheer-puras” with teachers.

Teej was celebrated with fervour at Doraha Public School. The school bedecked with flowers, colours and buntings. A cultural programme was presented by students depicting cultures of Punjab, Gujarat, Rajasthan and other states. The programme started with “shabad gayan”. Students of classes I and II presented giddha. Municipal Council vice-president Satwinder Kaur was the chief guest. The students later enjoyed the traditional festive food “kheer-maalpua”.

Tributes paid

SDP Senior Secondary School, Hazoori Road, observed the martyrdom day of Shaheed Udham Singh. Students presented a cultural programme on patriotic songs, speeches on biography of the patriot.

The martyrdom day was also observed on the campuses of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar and Kitchlu Nagar. Tributes were paid to the martyrs of the freedom struggle. Activities based on Shaheed Udham Singh were undertaken for students. The students were exhorted to follow in the footsteps of patriots.


The week-long festivities on “Go Green” culminated at Green Land Senior Secondary Public School today with a talk show on environment. Students of classes XI and XII highlighted the problems of global warming, deforestation, overpopulation and pollution, scant rainfall and floods.

Science fair

The Kalpana Chawla Science Fair-2010, dedicated to the first Indian woman astronaut, was organised by Vardhman International Public School. A slide show on the life of Kalpana Chawla was shown to guests. The main draw of the fair was the display of models related to different aspects of science and social science by students.


The school programmes wing of the TCY, STEPS, will hold a testing-cum-counselling session for class IX students tomorrow. The session will be held simultaneously at all five centres in the city from 3 pm to 4.30 pm. A few seats are available at the BRS Nagar and Jamalpur centres. The test will be a combination test of science, maths and reasoning skills. A counselling session will follow. The aim of the test is to pick potential future outperformers and groom them for success in competitive exams. Several schools of the city have confirmed their participation with over 300 students having registered so far. — TNS



Stigma of outsider still haunts migrants
Denial of ration cards deprives them of essential commodities, medicare
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
Despite having contributed immensely to the overall growth of the city, the migrant labourers, who have permanently settled here, are still living with the stigma of being “outsiders.”

The denial of the ration cards by the department of food, civil supplies and consumer affairs not only deprives them of essential commodities on subsidised rates but they are also left without crucial medical aid in case of any emergency.

As it happened, the wife of a domestic help in Civil Lines wanted to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Thus, she along with her husband went to a private gynaecologist to her pregnancy terminated. The gynaecologist asked for an identity card, which the couple did not have as the food and civil supplies department despite their repeated attempts had failed to issue a ration card to them.

As a result, the gynaecologist not only refused to go ahead with the procedure but also refused to prescribe any pill for the same.

The poor couple was left with no option but to approach a drug store and buy MTP pills in black. “I was charged ‘1,000 for the pills by the chemist whereas their actual price was ‘500. I was helpless, thus paid the amount,” said Mahesh, the woman’s husband.

In another case, a couple who had been living in the city for the past 11 years was charged Rs 5,000 by a gynaecologist for termination of her nine-week pregnancy. The gynaecologist told the couple that the procedure had been carried out as a favour as it was not legal in the absence of a proper identification.

Hurdles in applying for medical insurance and in getting disability pensions, travel concessions and passes are some other problems that the migrants face due to missing ration cards.

However, Dr Sanjeev Hans, district family welfare officer, said there wasn’t any need to prove ones identity for the termination of pregnancy. He said the identity proof was required for ultrasound scan and not for simple termination of unwanted pregnancy.

“We have the permission to terminate pregnancy up to 20 weeks at the civil hospital, thus the economically weaker sections, including the migrants, should come forward to avail the services of the gynaecologists at the government hospitals,” added the district family welfare officer added.



Drunken masters cock a snook at police orders
Mohit Khanna/Tribune News Service

An empty liquor bottle lying on a road leading to BRS Nagar in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

A youth gulps down canned liquor on a roadside in Model Town, Ludhiana. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, August 1
A few days after Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh banned drinking in the open, the practice continues unabated as the boozers cock a snook at the commissioner's orders. Tipplers can be seen consuming liquor on the roadside, in the cars parked in front of shopping malls, parking lots and drinking palaces and several are seen gulping liquor inside their vehicles.

Drinking in a car has of late become a style statement in the city. A quick survey by The Tribune of a hot jaunt in the city revealed that youths, majority of them from nouveau-riche families, make a beeline in front of liquor vends located in different parts, especially in the Sarabha Nagar market. They flaunt their swanky cars and take pride in consuming liquor by placing the bottle on the bonnet.

Though cops shoo away motorcyclists if they are spotted consuming liquor, it seems the rules are different for the rich, as they simply look the other way.

Liquor, once considered a taboo, has now become a status symbol. Hardly 15 years ago, consuming liquor was a closed-door affair. People would think twice before drinking in the open. Fetching a bottle from a liquor vend was considered a tough task as boozers never used to like to be seen buying a bottle. Earlier, the liquor vends were also located at dingy corners of the city, well beyond the reach of residents.

No one had inkling that a total paradox would happen in a span of 15 years and the thing, which was symbolic to evil, would soon become a style statement. Senior citizens of the city blame the boom in the real estate sector and the industrialisation as the real cause behind the evil.

"The price of land hit the roof and farmers, who were struggling to earn a two square meal, became multimillionaires. Though, these farmers still kept a low profile image, their children got spoilt. One of the reasons was that they did not know what to do with the money," said Prof KBS Sodhi.

Parth, a college student said, "My friends calls me a kill joy. They say I am a misfit to be taken for evening parties on weekends. Sometimes even I feel I should start drinking, but sanity prevailed when I read the newspapers in the morning that three youths feared to have drowned after their car broke the railing and fell into the Sarhind Canal near Mandi Gobindgarh."

Some of the city's most eagerly awaited dance nights are nowadays sponsored by the premium liquor brands.



Sarabha Nagar market: Den of tipplers

The Sarabha Nagar market was once considered one of the safest and pleasant weekend destinations, especially for women and children. The place, which was famous for its nightlife, high-end restaurants and fast-food joints, has turned into a den of boozers.

Politicians entering trade

There was time when liquor vends owners used to conceal their profession as along as possible. But things have changed now. The more liquor vends one owns, the more respect he will earn in the society. Topping the lists in owning liquor vends are politicians. A noted young Akali leader owns a major chunk of liquor vends of the state.

Hot spots

  • Liquor Vends near BRS Nagar
  • Mini-market in Sarabha Nagar opposite temple
  • New Shopping Complex on Pakhowal Road
  • Model Town Market

Kudos to cops

The police has imposed a ban on the opening of cafeterias in Public Park till late night. These cafeterias were serving till late hours till as liquor vends were open.

Women not behind

Though women used to drink liquor earlier too, but now it has become a style statement. Women can be seen raising the toast in parties and get-togethers. The women not only consume liquor but they also flaunt it.

A few months back, there were six liquor vends in a tiny stretch of Satpal Mittal road, infamously called 'Theka Road'.

However, Police  Commissioner Ishwar Singh took a serious view of the growing number of liquor vends in the residential  area and their number was reduced to two.

Though the liquor vends were closed, the famous general store which was earlier confined to bakery and grocery stuff has also jumped into the bandwagon of liquor sales, as there are more buyers for liquor than for milk product.

Tipplers park their vehicles in front of the residential area and consume liquor.

If someone objects to this, the boozers don’t hesitate to thrash him up.

A majority of area residents have even erected gates in their colonies to keep the tipplers at bay.

Area resident Assim Bassi rued: “When we bought a house in Sarabha Nagar, we used to boast that we have a house in a posh locality. But now we are thinking of selling the house as it is getting impossible to deal with unscrupulous elements everyday."

As the area has some of the major schools of the city, the presence of liquor vends and that too just a stone throw from educational institutions has become a matter of concern.



Flight of contention
Tewari lashes out at claims of SAD-BJP govt
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 1
Ludhiana MP and national spokesperson of All India Congress Committee (AICC) Manish Tewari today lashed out at the SAD-BJP government in the state for “spreading lies” about the city airport. He also ridiculed the state government for acting as the propagandist for the private Kingfisher Airlines.

Reacting to the huge advertisements issued by the publicity department of the state government in all newspapers announcing the launch of the flights by the Kingfisher Airlines from Ludhiana today, Tewari pointed out that it was unprecedented that the airlines did not issue any advertisement of its own, but instead the Punjab government did it for them (the airlines).

Condemning the government for misusing public funds, he pointed out that while on the one hand the Punjab government was moving with a begging bowl to the Centre seeking money for everything, on the other, it was wasting money to publicise the launch of a flight by a private airline from Ludhiana. He sought a probe into the motive of the state government to spend so lavishly for promoting a private airline, which can spend on its own.

The AICC spokesperson said the motive was obvious to claim false credit for the start of flights from the Ludhiana airport. He said no matter how hard the Akalis try to hijack the credit for the operation of flights from Ludhiana, the facts could not be changed.

He said, "For 14 long years there was no flight operated from Ludhiana airport and during this period, the Akalis, in alliance with the BJP ,were in power for over eight years. Let them speak out as what contribution they made during their earlier stints," he asked, adding that within one year of his becoming the MP, two daily flights had commenced from Ludhiana.

Tewari said the state government had not spent a single penny on the Ludhiana airport and the entire money was spent by the Airports Authority of India. "The only money they (the state government) have spent is for spreading lies and paying for the advertisements of a private airline", he remarked, adding that the Akalis seemed to be so desperate to hijack the credit for the operation of flights from Ludhiana that they spent precious state money for the Kingfisher Airlines.



Admission in pvt medical college
3 doctors booked for fraud
Mahesh Sharma

Jagraon, August 1
The police has busted a gang of doctors for duping prosperous families of lakhs on the pretext of getting their wards admitted to private medical institutes in various states.

The suspects include senior physicians serving in prestigious medical institutes of the national capital. Three members of the gang, including the kingpin, have been booked under Sections 420 and 406 of the IPC.

Identified as Dr Gobardhan Dass, a native of Zeera town and presently living in Salem Tabri area of Ludhiana, Dr Neeraj Sahni of Delhi and Dr Pankaj Kumar, a physicians posted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences at Delhi, along with their accomplices have allegedly been duping prosperous families of the state on pretext of getting their children admitted to management quota in private medical institutes of various states.

The gang was busted during an inquiry conducted by Rachhpal Singh Dhindsa, in charge, CIA, Jagroan. The inquiry was conducted on the complaint of Dr P K Maini of the Ram Nagar area of the town. Seeking admission for his son in MD, Maini, like many others, had contacted Dr Gobardhan in response to an advertisement in a vernacular daily. Keeping his identity concealed, the advertiser had assured admission at any of the prestigious medical colleges of the country at reasonable fee under the management quota.

On maturity of initials talks, Dr Gobardhan settled the deed for Rs 40 lakh for getting Dr Maini's son admitted at one of the private colleges of Jammu. He received Rs 10 lakh as an initial payment from Dr Maini from his clinic. After shuttling between some institutes of Jammu, Dr Gobardhan showed inability to get the admission there and introduced Dr Maini to Dr Shahni and Dr Pankaj. Another deal to get admission in some institute of Bangalore was arrived at and the balance payments were made at various occasions. Besides parting with the settled amount, the complainant was made to visit various colleges of the South.

Maini became suspicious when the suspects stopped responding to his phone calls. Realising that he had been duped, Maini approached the SSP, Ludhiana (Rural), and sought action against the suspects. The SSP ordered an inquiry.

Investigations revealed that Dr Gobardhan was staying at a rented house in Salem Tabri area of Ludhiana. The police is yet to ascertain the exact addresses of the accused and his accomplices.



Corporal Punishment
Residents demand teacher’s removal
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 1
Not caring two hoots for the ban imposed by the Supreme Court on corporal punishment in schools, yet another teacher, brother of a member of judiciary, has been accused of beating and caning at least 12 students of his school.

The alleged brutal incident infuriated villagers, including parents of the students, who aired their anguish by staging a dharna and protest rally in front of the school.

Had a police party, led by SHO Sukhdev Singh, not rescued the teacher by taking him in custody, the situation could have turned uglier.

Joginder Singh is currently posted at Shaheed Kiranjit Kaur Memorial Government Senior Secondary School, Mehalkalan.

Investigations revealed that a group of students of Class VI of the said the school had gone to watch games allegedly without taking permission of any teacher.This infuriated Joginder Singh, who asked a few students to shift school bags of the defaulting pupils to the staff room.

Though Joginder Singh had expected that the students would come to him and apologise for their behaviour, they (students) joined the morning assembly after taking their bags on their own.

Taking this to be his insult, Joginder Singh detained the students in a compound after assembly and allegedly thrashed them mercilessly. He allegedly used a cane to beat them.

Five of the victim students were admitted in the Civil Hospital, Mehal Kalan, while others were sent home after giving the first aid.

News of corporal punishment to such a large number of students spread in the area like a wild fire and villagers, including parents, started gathering in the school.

Activists of various social, constitutional and religious organisations, led by Harbhupinder Singh Laddi, sarpanch, Mehal Kalan Sodhe, and Rajinder Pal Bittu (husband of the sarpanch), staged a protest dharna and rally. Demanding strict action against the teacher, they demanded registration of an FIR against him.

However, the protestors were pacified when SHO Sukhdev Singh rounded up Joginder Singh after getting him relieved from the school.

Sources in the education department revealed that the district education officer, Barnala, had ordered transfer of Joginder Singh to Government Senior School, Sekhe. Investigation further revealed that Joginder Singh is the brother of a senior judge.

Joginder Singh said he had no enmity or personal grudge against any student. He was just trying to discipline them. “If this does not go well with them, I will not do that in future,” he said.



Irregularities in registration of voters
Admn officials pass the buck
Mahesh Sharma

Ludhiana/Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 1
All complaints regarding alleged irregularities and discrimination during registration of prospective voters for the SGPC, made to the Gurdwara Election Commission, Government of India, by Sikh organisations seemed to have been dealt with by the administration by passing the buck from the senior to junior level within the setup.

Instead of verifying allegations levelled in the complaints, the administration has tried to evade accountability by shifting onus from higher to lower level among those who have been entrusted the job to register voters.

“You are directed that guidelines issued by the Gurdwara Election Commission, Government of India, regarding elections should be obeyed in letter and spirit and it should be ensured that irregularities alleged in the complaints are not committed at any cost,” reads a communication received by in charge of respective teams undertaking registration work.

Copies or complaints from various political and Sikh leaders, including SAD (A) president Simranjit Singh Maan, SAD (Delhi) state president Jaswinder Singh Bayiewal and Khalsa Action Committee chairman Mohkam Singh, have been enclosed with the communication, expecting officials to verify the genuineness of allegations levelled in the complaints.

Investigations revealed that the secretariat of the GEC (GOI) at Chandigarh had received a number of complaints regarding alleged discrimination at the time of acceptance of application forms by public servants.

Accusing officials of violating guidelines of the commission, the complainants alleged that applications were being received in bulk from activists of the SAD without verifying eligibility of the prospective voters, whereas Sikhs owing allegiance to other political parties were being ignored on various pretexts.

The authorities at the secretariat, instead of probing charges levelled against the government officials, passed the buck to the Commissioner of the apex body convening election process and all deputy commissioners of the state.

The deputy commissioners further passed the responsibility to their junior officers to ensure that directions of the commission were obeyed in letter and spirit. But nobody tried to specify the irregularities being committed in the process earlier.



250 dentists converge for update on implants
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
More than 250 dentists from all over the state gathered in the city yesterday to get an update on new educational concepts on dental implants.

The workshop, “Simplifying Implants”, is being conducted by the local branch of the Indian Dental Association. Manish Tewari, a local MP, inaugurated it. Punjab Dental Council chairman, Dr Vimal Sikri, was the guest of honour.

Indian Dental Association (Ludhiana) president, Dr Rajan Jairath, said Dr SP Agarwal from New Delhi and Dr SPS Sodhi from Punjab in their capacity as resource persons had delivered a series of lecturers.

Dr Ajay Shahi, chief coordinator, submitted a memorandum of demands to Tewari seeking abolition of import duty on hi-tech dental equipment for making treatments within common man’s reach.

The association also demanded inclusion of at least two of its members into dental councils in the national and state levels for better functioning and called upon the government for reduction in the fee of dental colleges for making within the reach of deserving candidates.

The association also rejected the Clinical Establishment Bill and demanded imposition of quality control on the working of charitable dental clinics.

It also demanded an independent Indian Dental Association house in the city. Tewari assured to put forward their demands in Parliament and other forums.



‘Split in family can cause mental disorder’
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 1
Terming splitting of families as major factor behind increasing incidences of psychological disorders and drug dependence, psychiatrists led by Dr Naresh Bansal urged office-bearers of various social organisations to launch coordinated movement to bridge the widening gap between various constituents of society.

While talking to The Tribune after examining patients suffering from psychological disorders and drug addicts during a camp organised by the Rotary Club at a local hospital, Dr Bansal appreciated that observance of Friendship Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day had diluted the problem to a great extent. However, he felt that the impact of feelings shared on special days was short-lived.

“In fact we have been caught between traditional and the western culture. Had we conceived the basic idea of observing these occasions and applied the same in routine life while dealing with our relatives and members of families, the stress and strain could have eliminated for ever,” he argued.



Move afoot to make city green
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
In an effort to make the city green, district administration, municipal corporation, police department and GLADA started a move to plant saplings at every nook and cranny of the city. Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh, Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha and Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari at the Sutlej Club planted saplings yesterday.

Tewari said the forest department, a few NGOs and industrialists had also extended their support. Not only in city, but the saplings will be planted in various villages as well. He said 5 lakh saplings had already been planted while another 5 lakh would be planted shortly.

Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha said the civic body could provide different varieties of saplings to various organisations on demand. “We want to make the city look clean and green,” he added.

Ishwar Singh urged people to at least plant one sapling in his/her life. “Instead of giving mementoes and other honourary awards, saplings should be presented to guests/dignitaries,” he said.



This service road is nobody’s baby
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, August 1
The service road which links the national highway with the southern bypass at Doraha is nobody’s baby. Its condition has worsened to an irreparable extent this monsoon.

Narinder Singh, owner of Khem Singh petrol station, says they have moved from pillar to post to get it repaired or recarpeted, but nobody is ready to own responsibility.

“Officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) say they are not concerned with this patch,” he claims. “I had got it carpeted in 2004 by spending Rs 2.75 lakh. The NHAI is indirectly responsible for it as a majority of toll evaders take this road,” he adds.

Trees near this road have been uprooted. “If contractors had no plan to lay a road, why were trees axed,” asks a shopkeeper. The NHAI blames the forest department for this.

Shopkeepers allege that the executive officer of the municipal council has told them that this patch does not fall under its purview and the NHAI should take responsibility.

“We have met the Payal SDM, who has assured us of talks with the private contractor, but we have hardly any hope,” they say. Rakesh Garg, XEN, PWD, says that this patch does not fall under its purview and is part of the land width of the NHAI. “It is their duty to reconstruct it,” he says.



Kingfisher starts city-Delhi flight
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
Kingfisher Airlines today launched daily direct flights on the New Delhi-Ludhiana-New Delhi route. It is the only private airline to offer services to Ludhiana.

Kingfisher Airlines’ flight IT 4361 will depart from New Delhi at 1.45 pm and arrive at Ludhiana at 2.45 pm. From Ludhiana, flight IT 4362 will depart at 3.15 pm and arrive at 4.15 pm in New Delhi.

Manoj Chacko of Kingfisher Airlines Limited said, “The new direct flight will offer travellers from Ludhiana one-stop connection to Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Indore via New Delhi.”

This new route will also offer travellers from Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Jaipur and Ahmedabad a convenient one-stop connection to fly to Ludhiana via New Delhi. Besides catering to small and medium enterprises segment, the route is expected to cater to the needs of garments and sports goods industry, bicycle manufacturers, steel rolling mills etc.



Course for mothers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
The directorate of extension education, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), will organise a refresher course on importance of nutrition for pregnant women and lactating mothers on August 3 and 4 at Kairon Kisan Ghar.

Around 35 participants will attend the course.

Dr MS Gill, director of extension education, said the course will focus on low-cost diets, physical and psychological care of mothers, feeding and immunisation of infants, sterilisation of feeding bottles and nutrition-related disorders by experts.

Another training camp of the PAU Kisan Club will be held on August 5 at the Wheat Auditorium, wherein PAU experts will highlight the role of cooperative agriculture for minimising production costs, water-borne diseases, plant protection of Kharif crops, organic agriculture and procedure for standards and certification, marketing, processing of foods, bee-keeping and opportunities.



Textbook on dentistry released
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
Dr Abi M Thomas, principal of Christian Dental College (CDC), released the first textbook in India on “Ethical and legal issues in dentistry”. Dr Saurab Bither, assistant professor, department of oral and maxillofacial surgery, Christian Dental College, and Dr Rupika Bither, a postgraduate student, National Dental College, Dera Bassi, has authored the book.

The book basically addresses the need for ethical and lawful dental practice, as the concept of dental negligence and relevant provisions of various laws enacted in this area are of great concern to the dental fraternity.

Dr Thomas highlighted the concept of ethics in the dental practice, education and daily life and the need to understand the legal system in both medical and dental profession.



Shopkeepers stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
Sore over the apathetic attitude of the civic body towards the metalling of the road connecting Field Ganj with the Jagraon Bridge for long, at least 150 shopkeepers staged a dharna and blocked the road for more than four hours yesterday.

Hundreds of commuters, making serpentine queues, had to take alternative routes to reach the Jagraon Bridge. Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Congress councillor Sanjay Talwar said the area fell under Ward No. 36, whose councillor was Rakesh Prashar.

“Three women had a narrow escape when they fell on the potholed road. The authorities are passing the buck. While the operations and maintenance cell maintains that the road has to be constructed by the buildings and roads department, the latter says it cannot construct the road unless sewerage is laid. They should speed up the work as people are facing a lot of inconvenience,” said Talwar.

Randhir Singh, a shopkeeper, said there were regular traffic jams and road rage cases due to the ongoing construction. “They start the work and then stop it abruptly, which is irritating,” he said.



Stage-managed robbery exposed, ‘victim’ held
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
The urge to usurp creditors’ money without inviting their wrath drove an industrialist to stage-manage a robbery in the wee hours yesterday and landed him behind bars.

Anil Kumar of Lohara, owning a small industrial unit of spare parts, called up the police control room at around 4 am, reporting that a few unidentified persons barged into his house, thrashed him and robbed him of Rs 2.5 lakh.

A police party immediately rushed to the spot, but not finding any signs of the crime, got suspicious. Nothing concrete to support the allegations was revealed from the interrogation of neighbours and Anil’s wife, who was present when this incident took place.

After intense interrogation, Anil blurted out the truth. “He owes a lot of money to a number of people. To keep his creditors at bay for a few months, he claimed a robbery,” said police officials.

Anil was arrested and a case under Section 182 of the IPC was registered against him at the Daba police station.



BVM wrestlers make clean sweep
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 1
After making their presence felt in football, Bhartiya Vidya Mandir (BVM) Senior Secondary School, Kitchlu Nagar branch, stamped their authority in wrestling, winning titles in different age groups in the Ludhiana Inter-School Zonal Wrestling Competition for boys organised by the education department at Government Senior Secondary School, Haibowal, here yestersay.

In the u-19 category, Kitchlu Nagar branch students secured 23 points to romp home champions, while Udham Singh Nagar branch and Government Senior Secondary School, Kadiyan Kalan, collected 19 and 15 points to finish second and third, respectively.

Kitchlu Nagar branch garnered 38 points to emerge champions in the under-17 category.

Udham Singh Nagar branch scored 27 points to finish runners-up, while hosts Government Senior Secondary School, Haibowal, with 15 points had to content with the third position.

Similarly, in the under-14 category, Kitchlu Nagar and Udham Singh Nagar branches secured first and second positions with 14 and 18 points, respectively, while Government Senior Secondary School, Haibowal, collected 14 points to finish at third place.



Inter-School Zonal Meet
10-wkt win for Baba Ishar
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 1
Davinderjit Singh excelled with the bat and ball (36 not out and 1 for 15) as Baba Ishar Singh Nanaksar Senior Public School, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar branch, recorded a convincing 10-wicket win over Government Model School, Jawaddi, to enter the semifinal of the Ludhiana Inter-School Zonal Cricket Tournament for boys (u-19) at BCM School, Shastri Nagar ground, here yesterday.

Batting first, Government School were restricted to a meagre 60 runs for the loss of seven wickets in the allotted 10 overs. Only Paramveer could reach the double figures of 18 runs. For Baba Ishar Singh School, Davinderjit Singh, Sahil, Daljeet and Sukhdeep shared the bowling honours, chipping in with one wicket each.

Baba Ishar Singh School made the required runs in just 8.3 overs without losing any wicket. Davinderjit Singh remained unconquered on 36, which included three fours and one six, while Sarabjot Singh remained unbeaten on 18 runs.



Shakti school claim basketball title

Doraha, August 1
Shakti Public School overpowered Guru Nanak Model Senior Secondary School to claim the inter-school zonal basketball title in under-19 category at Doraha Public School.

Rohit Bector of the winning team secured 11 points.

Earlier, the under-19 cricket and under-19 kho-kho (boys) teams of the school secured first and third positions, respectively, at the zonal competition.

Principal Jatinder Sharma congratulated the school players as well as sports in charge Raj Kumar for their performance. — OC



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