L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Fake Bill Scam
Govt silent on ‘clean chit’ to contractor
Asks MC to lodge FIR against 11 ‘tainted’ officials
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
The state government seems to have given “clean chit” to contractors involved in the fake bill scam, which rocked the Municipal Corporation last year. In the latest letter sent by the Special Secretary, Local Government, Chandigarh, municipal authorities have been asked to lodge an FIR against the “tainted” officials and employees involved in the scam, but the letter fails to mention about the action to be taken against the “influential” contractor. This letter has certainly jolted the authorities, who are yet to get detailed copy of the probe conducted by the chief vigilance officer.

A senior municipal official told The Tribune that the department received the letter yesterday. The official added, “It is shocking that letter did not mention anything about main contractor (grandson of Deputy Speaker Satpal Gosain), responsible for the scam. Not only the contract of that particular contractor has been renewed but he has floated another company as well. And he is getting regular contracts on regular basis from the municipal corporation.”

Another shocking thing about the letter is that it mentions “as per preliminary investigations by the CVO”. Everything was submitted by the municipal authorities to the Chief Vigilance Officer, Local Bodies, Chandigarh in December 2009.

The department took about eight months to get all details but it still mentions “as per preliminary investigation”. Secondly, if an FIR is registered against the officials and employees, the police will be involved in the case, which means it will take several more months to reach to any conclusion.

Additional Municipal Commissioner Kamalpreet Brar confirmed that the corporation had received a letter. She said, “We will seek the detailed report from the CVO only then any action could be taken against those found guilty. More than that we can not comment at this particular stage.”

In the “infamous” fake-bill scam, at least 12 municipal officials had worked “hand-in-glove” with contractors in preparing the fraudulent bills and issuing payment vouchers, which cost the civic body over Rs 75 lakhs. Acting tough with those involved in scam, Punjab Local Bodies Minister Manoranjan Kalia had suspended 11 officials.


PSEB Semester Examinations
Exemption from duty led to teachers’ shortage
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
The exemption from duty to “problem teachers,” who were deployed as invigilators during the on going semester examinations of Classes X and XII being conducted by the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB), has led to massive staff crunch. Grappling with the acute staff shortage various government schools have hired teachers from private affiliated schools, who are currently carrying out the job of invigilators. The teachers, who have an excellent track record, are harried lots. They have complained that the education department was punishing them for their good conduct.

While problem teachers, who were facing charges of helping children in cheating during the examination, were exempted from examination duty. These teachers were either stayed away from the exams or were deployed at far-flung areas following orders of the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB). But the teachers reportedly got exemption from the District Education Officers (DEO) on humanitarian grounds and medical grounds. DEO (Secondary) Bachittar Singh agreed to the fact that private teachers, who were teaching in the PSEB-affiliated schools, have been deputed in the different examination centres due to the shortage of government teachers. Over the issue of exemption of duties he said, “The teachers who were facing charges of helping students in cheating during the examination were told to stay away from the semester examination.”

The centre superintendents were miffed over the fact that the DEO did not deploy any other teacher as replacement, which led to the staff crunch in the examination.

The superintendent examination has complained that they were not intimated before the examination about the exemption of duties to problem teachers. Facing staff crunch the centre heads forced to employ teachers from private schools at the last moment.

Meanwhile, private school teachers, who were deputed in the examination centers as invigilators, have complained that the members of the flying squad had misbehaved with them.

The private school teacher deputed on examination duty at Government Senior Secondary School, Khamano, alleged that members of flying squad have misbehaved with them and accused the teachers of helping the students in cheating during the examination.



Visits of VIPs a boon for officials
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Undeclared Holidays

Officials as well as junior employees of five government departments, including the district administration, municipal corporation, Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority as well as the police and the health and family welfare departments were recently engaged for two days to ensure that the official functions to be attended by the Deputy Chief Minister went off smoothly.

Ludhiana, September 11
The eight visits of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in the city during the past 40 days may not be termed constructive, but these have certainly affected the working of the government departments in addition to causing lots of inconvenience to the general public.

With Saturday and Sunday being off days, there are just five working days left in a week, but the repeated VIP visits amount to “no work” for the senior officials in the administration even on these days.

Ten non-working days, two official holidays in addition to eight days attributed to the VIPs in the past 40 days have added to the backlog of files.

The manpower from the police and health departments, district administration and the traffic wing are also deployed on the VIP duties.

The Chief Minister’s visit to Ludhiana for attending a religious function in Janakpuri on Ganesh Chaturthi today may be for a noble cause but it was another day of inconvenience for the residents as the traffic was stalled on the roads leading to the venue and people were refrained from moving on the adjoining roads.

The functioning of the state government is in complete paradox to the democratic state wherein the government is “of, for and by” the people.

“Here, every move is made to safeguard the interests of the politicians who thrive on false promises made to the people during the elections,” said Shridhar Trikha, a retired banker from Janakpuri.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal does not have the answer to the inordinate delay in filling up of the vacant posts in government departments, which are reeling under the staff crunch. But when it comes to official protocol, even the sparse staff is ordered to perform the VIP duty, pointed out another city resident.

The officials in the administration don’t even have the time to receive the applications of the people a day prior to the VIP visit, while many remain absent from their offices under the garb of VIP duties. And the end result is further delay in the clearance of the pending work.



Woman cop killed in accident
Mahesh Sharma

Mullanpur, September 11
The local police has booked unidentified owner of a vehicle for causing death of a woman constable. The accused had run away after hitting Activa scooter being driven by the cop near Chanagni village the on Mullanpur-Humbran link road near here.

Amandeep Kaur of Khaira Bet was killed after a tempo hit the Activa scooter she was driving today afternoon.

Investigations revealed that Amandeep Kaur was returning to her residence after performing duty at Jagraon when the incident took place.

The accused, while trying to overtake her vehicle lost control over their four-wheeler and hit her. Profusely bleeding Amandeep was shifted to a private hospital where doctors declared here brought dead.

Bhinder Singh and Baldev Singh, brother and father of the victim, were following her vehicle at the time of mishap. The police has registered an FIR under Section 304 and 279 of the IPC against the unidentified driver and owner of the vehicle.

A police party led by Gurtej Singh has initiated probe into the incident.

Amandeep Kaur, whose husband had died in an accident about three years ago, had joined the unformed force only 10 months ago. She is survived by a daughter.



Pvt hospitals violate Pharmacy Act
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service


Balram Luthra, drug inspector, Ludhiana, when appraised of the issue stated that he had recently taken over the charge. I will soon procure the list of offenders and take necessary action against the violators. Any violation of the Pharmacy Act will be dealt with severely.

Act violation

Ludhiana retail chemists’ association president Aman said as per the Act, a minimum area for a drugstore should not be less than 120 sq ft. Some nursing homes have small chambers with stacks of medicines and no space for even a single person to sit.

Ludhiana, September 11
In the absence of any check from the drug control authorities, a large number of private hospitals and nursing homes are violating the Article 17-A of the Pharmacy Act by operating in-house drugstores without license.

Indifferent to the “Hippocratic Oath” taken by the doctors to practice medicine ethically, a few of them can be seen even selling “duplicate and sub-standard” medicines, manufactured locally at their in-house drug stores.

It is shocking that the state drug control authority has been “ignoring” the matter since long, despite the fact that the retail chemists association from Ludhiana had lodged numerous complaints with body.

But what is more shocking is the fact that the doctors are indulging in the unethical practice of selling drugs procured under the garb of “usage during emergency.”

The doctors working in the private health sector, registered with the Punjab Medical Council are authorised to give medicines to indoor and outdoor patients, but he /she is not authorised to sell them at the hospital counter to patients without any license.

On the contrary, a large number of hospitals and nursing homes in remote areas of Ludhiana and its periphery are selling medicines at the in-house pharmacies.

Maintaining anonymity, a senior doctor employed in a government hospital said, “Some centres are administering and selling morphine injections which can only be procured on a special license.”

The doctors in order to evade the tax don’t issue bills for medicines to the patients, thereby causing loss of revenue to the state exchequer.

Pulling the wool over the eyes of the health authorities is easy for the violators as a few “pharmacists” reportedly sublet their licenses to these hospitals and nursing homes for Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,000 per month.

To top it, unqualified persons are handling these drugstores.



Indira Awas Yojna
Cops tighten noose around 2 suspects
Mahesh Sharma

Special Status

The accused has been enjoying special status in the administrative offices at Ludhiana. Senior functionaries, including a PCS officer, has reportedly tried to influence the staff at the Jodhan Police station where an FIR under Sections 452, 294, 506, 148 and 149 of the IPC was registered against Lachhman Singh on June 22. Kulwinder Kaur of Dhulkot had accused him of abusing and threatening her by entering her house forcibly along with his accomplice. Lachhman Singh remained in judicial custody for a few days but no department action was initiated against him.

Ludhiana, September 11
The Ludhiana police has tightened its noose around perpetrators of scam in which over Rs 50 lakh out of Rs 1.66 crore Indira Awas Yojna grant were siphoned off in a bizarre manner during the past several months.

Exploiting mindset of bank officials to compromise with laid down norms for opening an account, the swindlers got a current account in name of the Assistant Deputy Commissioner (Development) Ludhiana, by forging his signature on the account opening forms. Ideally the account holder has to give specimen signature in the presence of designated official of the bank.

Having identified the main accused in the scam detected recently, a police team led by SHO Division No. 5 Dharam Pal raided hideouts of Lachhman Singh of Dhulkot village near Ahmedgarh and Varinder Kumar, a local resident. Though no arrest has been made so far, relatives of the suspects have undertaken to present them, as soon they are located.

Preliminary investigations into a case registered on statement of the ADC (D) Ludhiana Davinder Singh revealed that Lachhman Singh and Varinder Kumar, prime accused, had hoodwinked the staff of the Punjab and Sindh Bank by getting a current account in the name of the official on the basis of his forged specimen signatures.

Though ideally the account holder is supposed to put his signature in the presence of officials opening the account, the bank staff compromised with the laid down norms for obvious reason of losing government business. All officials passing payments worth over Rs 50 lakh were absolved of their responsibility to compare the signatures on cheques as both specimen signatures and the same person scripted those on cheques.

Astonishingly Lachhman Singh was not even concerned with the Indira Awas Yojna under which the grant in question was received.

He was working under the National Literacy Mission on consolidated pay of Rs 4,000. Varinder Kumar, another accomplice, who has introduced the account holder, is working in the account department of the ADC office.

The duo had allegedly conspired to dole out the whole amount of Rs 1.66 crore bit by bit. Had the bank officials not brought the matter into notice of the account holder, they could have succeeded in their sinister designs.

Though only Lachhman Singh was named in an FIR registered under Sections 409, 459, 467 and 471 of the IPC on Thursday, the complainant in his statement recorded later named Varinder Kumar as another accomplice. He was identified on perusal of account bank by the ADC.



Encroachments unchecked, accidents on upswing
Gurdeep Singh Mann
Tribune News Service

Khanna, September 11
Unchecked encroachments on roads here, including the GT Road, have increased the frequency of accidents in this police district. “A major bottleneck is the place opposite the Kalgidhar gurdwara, where a market with around 500 ‘rehris’ has come up,” said Jagwinder Cheema, traffic in charge here.

He said the ‘rehris’ enjoyed political patronage and hence, the tehbazari wing of the municipal council had failed to remove those, due to which the road was congested.

Though the problem had been brought to the notice of officials of the council, nothing had been done in this regard, said Jagwinder. No municipal official was available for comment.

Besides encroachments, the haphazard parking of cement mixers and trucks on the roadside had led to chaos on roads.

Work on widening the GT Road had reduced its width and traffic moved at a snail’s pace, leading to long queues, with pedestrians finding it tough to cross the road.

Two cops patrolling this stretch had died in an accident a few months back. Many other accidents had occurred due to chaos on roads.

Potholes on roads had led to accidents on other roads, including the Amloh road, the Malerkotla road and areas near the bus stand.

Residents said besides encroachments, the stray cattle menace was also on the rise, due to which the frequency of accidents had gone up.

Nek Singh, a local resident, said the situation was worse during the evenings, when the density of traffic was higher. “The number of sports utility vehicles has gone up. Youngsters drive those at breakneck speed,” he said.

Only influential persons could own such vehicles, he said, adding that traffic cops thought twice before challaning those.



Damaged bundhs keep admn on toes
Mahesh Sharma

A view of the dhussi bundh, a portion of which has been washed away, at Kasabad village in Ludhiana district
A view of the dhussi bundh, a portion of which has been washed away, at Kasabad village in Ludhiana district. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, September 11
The administration has been on its toes, supervising the repairing and strengthening of temporary bundhs. The bundhs, erected about a fortnight ago, have given way due to the increased flow of water in the Sutlej and canals passing through the area.

Erosion-prone parts of banks are being provided extra protection. More workers have been deployed to prepare sand bags and tree twigs in case of an emergency.

SDM (West) Prem Chand has admitted that bundhs in an 18-km span in the Khera Bet area have been damaged due to the constant thrust of water released by the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB).

About 12 villages are located on the banks of the Sutlej where the administration has enhanced vigil on directions of Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari.

Though there is not an immediate flood threat, the administration, keeping the safety of residents in view, has alerted all rescue teams, constituted earlier.

A 20-ft trench on the dhussi bundh a few days back has added to the danger of a flood-like situation. The administration has narrowed the trench now.

With the BBMB releasing more water, the district administration has put the drainage department on high alert.

Villagers have been blaming the drainage department for the deterioration in the situation, alleging that concrete measures have not been taken to strengthen vulnerable spots.

Some of the villages that face a flood-like situation are Khera Bet, Ballipur Kalan, Ghamnewal, Maniewal, Baniewal, Talwandi Nauabad, Gorsian Qadarbaksh, Aliwal, Kotumra and Bhandari.



Initiative to train docs to curb infant mortality rate
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
In the absence of neo-natologists in the state, the infant mortality rate (IMR) hovers at 42 deaths per 1,000 births even after four years of the national family health survey conducted in 2006.

Keeping in view the foremost goal of the National Population Policy (2000), the National Health Policy (2002) and the National Rural Health Mission (2005) to reduce the IMR to less than 30 per 1,000, the department of health and family welfare, Punjab, has planned to train paediatricians and gynaecologists to the job.

Dr Rajinder Gulati, executive board member of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP), Punjab, who is also coordinating the training programmes in the north zone, said two such trainings were planned for the state.

“The trainings will commence in November wherein 40 paediatricians/gynaecologists will be trained as district instructors. The aim is to train at least four private practitioners from each district of the state,” said Dr Gulati.

Dr Gulati added that these district instructors would further train healthcare professionals involved in any aspect of newborn care and neonatal resuscitation within the district.

A majority of newborns die within three days of birth due to asphyxia and prematurity, while deaths after the first three days of life are largely due to systemic bacterial infections like pneumonia and sepsis.

Low birth weight remains the common underlying condition in a large proportion of neonatal deaths, which is why neonatal mortality constitutes over two-thirds of infant mortality.

Bringing down neonatal mortality rate (NMR) to less than 20 per 1,000 live births will subsequently bring down the IMR to 30 per 1,000 births.

At least 100 newborn deaths occur in India each hour, which amounts to annual toll of 9 lakh — highest for any nation — according to a leading city paediatrician.

Dr Naveen Thacker, national coordinator of the IAP, said the training would help enhance the skills of health providers, especially birth attendants at facilities with low resource settings where skilled manpower and/or instruments are not available.



Changed syllabus, style of question paper
Students, teachers cry foul; bodies seek grace marks
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 11
Accusing the Punjab School Education Board authorities of causing confusion among students and teachers regarding syllabus and style of question paper in the advance mathematics and computer commercial applications for class XII vocational stream, parents and teachers of affected students have urged the authorities to allow grace marks in the examination conducted on Friday.

The management committees of schools and teachers’ organisations have demanded that detailed and clear instructions be communicated in advance.

Parents and teachers of students appearing in first semester examination of class XII being conducted by the PSEB alleged that the question paper given to their wards was not in accordance with the syllabus and style already in practice.

Though the authorities had circulated changed instructions in connection with other subjects, no communication was received regarding change in curriculum of the said subject.

These were not even available on the website of the board.

While earlier students had to solve only five questions of 16 marks each, they were required to attempt seven questions of one mark each and eight questions, fetching maximum 6 marks each, now. All questions have been termed compulsory.

The tendency has created confusion among students and teachers alike.

Organisers of private schools led by Rajinder Sharma, president, Association of the Punjab School Education Board Affiliated Schools, demanded the authorities at least 15 grace marks to students.



5 teachers ‘picked up’ ahead of protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
Five member of the local chapter of the ETT Teachers’ Union Punjab were rounded up by the police ahead of the state-level protest in front of the house of panchayat minister Ranjit Singh Bramhpura in Amritsar tomorrow.

The arrested teachers include Charanjit Singh of Seh village, Sukhbir Singh and Sanjiv Kumar of Samrala, Gurdeep Singh and Vicky Kumar, both from Raikot.

ETT Teachers’ Union district president Paramjit Singh, who has also been on the run for the past two days, said Charanjit Singh, Sukhbir Singh and Sanjiv Kumar were arrested and subsequently sent to jail, while the whereabouts of Gurdeep Singh and Vicky were not known.

He added that the ETT activists would stage a sit-in in front of the house of panchayat minister Ranjit Singh Bramhpura in Amritsar.

The development took place after 12,000 teachers, who were recruited as service providers and resource persons, were employed on regular roll during the cabinet meeting on September 7.

This triggered an outrage amongst elementary teachers who also demanded the government to regularise them.

Paramjt Singh said around 8,000 teachers would stage a dharna in front of the minister’s house tomorrow. The minister had reportedly objected to the demand of regularising teachers.

He said the dharna would continue till the time their demands were accepted.

In spite of repeated attempts, none of the police officials concerned was available for comments.



ETT union’s agitation unjustified: Badal
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, September 11
The agitation of members of the Unemployed ETT Teachers’ Union was unjustified as the government still stood by its assurance given to them at their earlier meeting, said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to mediapersons after addressing a state-level function organised by the Brahamin Sabha Chief Devi Dayal Prashar at Parsuram Dharamsala here today.

He said the teachers had deviated from their stand and decision taken at the meeting.

Badal criticised the provocation of teachers by SAD (Amritsar) chief Simranjit Singh Mann and his decision to accompany them to Akal Takht Jathedar Gurbachan Singh yesterday.

Earlier addressing a function, Badal suggested to adopt the path shown by Bhagwan Parsuram and work for the welfare of people.

He announced a grant of Rs 5 lakh for a dharamsala in Mandi Gobindgarh and Rs 3 lakh for a Parsuram memorial gate at Khati village, near Phagwara, the birth place of Bhagwan Parsuram.

Prashar bestowed Parsuram Award on Badal and presented him a silver axe.

District planning board chairperson Satwinder Kaur Dhaliwal, Punjab youth development board chairman Gurpreet Singh Raju Khanna, Sirhind MLA Didar Singh Bhatti, SAD district chief Jagdeep Singh Cheema, former municipal council chief Sukhwinder Singh Bhambri and industrialist Chanan Singh Matharoo were among those present.



Hospital’s college block inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
The college block of the Institute of Nursing Education at Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib (C) Hospital and Nursing College was inaugurated by Chitranjan S Kahlon, member, Central Board of Direct Taxes, and special secretary to the Government of India, here today.

A function was organised by college students in which Bakshi Mohinder Singh, chairman of hospital trust, and Dr RS Sodhi were also present.

Kahlon appreciated the efforts of the management in developing the hospital from a small dispensary.

He pointed at the philanthropic act being performed by the institution saying: “the aid to the suffering humanity is indeed the noblest of deed”.

He assured the hospital of providing help for buying equipment for Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Institution so as to help them carry out the good work.

GS Randhawa, chief commissioner, income tax, Ludhiana, Mohinder Gupta, additional deputy commissioner, income tax, attended the function.



Mehsopuria back on track
Tribune News Service

Punjabi singer Mehsopuria, who was in Ludhiana to announce the release of his upcoming album
Punjabi singer Mehsopuria, who was in Ludhiana to announce the release of his upcoming album, on Saturday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, September 11
After a string of international hits like “Put Punjab Da”, “Ranglay Punjab Diyaan”, “Ranjha Jogi” and “Thumka II”, Mehsopuria returns after three years with his new musical offering “Fearless”.

Mehsopuria, a popular international name in the Punjabi music circuit and for his energetic bhangra songs, announced the release of his album here today.

“The album promises to beat all his hits so far, with a new image and new musical style. ‘Fearless’ will showcase different styles of tracks catering to my fans across the world,” he said. The album has been produced by Kam Frantic, QC and Majic.

Mehsopuria has been signed by music giant Universal India and recently joined one of UK’s most reputable record labels Moviebox UK.

Universal are extremely proud to announce the unexpected and surprise signing of international bhangra artiste Mehsopuria and are prepared to unleash the forthcoming Mehsopuria project under the Universal India label.

Mehsopuria was excited to launch this new venture with a new team and style.

“It’s great to be working with two globally known and respected music brand names. With the grace of God, I believe the album will deliver,” said Mehsopuria.

The album has 10 tracks, each being unique like “Punjabi Bhangra”, “Dance Urbane” and “Killer House”.

“In this album every beat and track is distinct from what one might have heard in my previous albums. I ensure that every single penny of the hard-earned money that one spends on buying the album is worth it,” he says.



Traffic awareness drive by Jaycees
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 11
With the intent to spread awareness on hazardous consequences of violation of traffic rules, office-bearers and activists of the local chapter of the Jaycees joined with the traffic police in regulating vehicular movement at sensitive points of the city.

The project was launched as part of ongoing Jaycee week celebrations.

Sukhdev Singh, Upinder Bir and Didarjit Singh led various groups of volunteers deputed at different bottlenecks in busy areas, including Dugri T-point, Preet Place and bus station.

Stressing the need for involvement of social organisations in spreading awareness about the cause and consequences of the menace, the constituents of the organisation argued that people, including commuters, were more receptive to suggestions and messages propagated by the social organisations than the orders passed by the authorities.

Traffic chaos was normally caused due to irresponsive attitude of professional drivers, majority of whom violated traffic rules and did not even realise problems faced by others.

Political interference in the traffic control system was cited as another reason behind the tendency.

The organisers announced to continue the project till next Wednesday.



Low-Waist Jeans
Do a Dublin here, NGO asks top cop
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
If you think sagging jeans are a matter of concern only in the US, think again. Feeling embarrassed over the growing trend of low-waist jeans, a local NGO has requested the police Commissioner to impose a fine on such youths for indulging in obscenity.

Varinder Bhakoo, president, Citizens for Public Causes, said, “If the US, considered the most modern country as far as fashion is concerned, can impose a fine on people who deliberately expose their underpants, why can we not apply the same rule here?”

“There is fine line between fashion and obscenity. The younger generation has crossed that line and the time has come to send the message across. Politicians were reluctant to involve themselves and so, we sent a complaint to the Commissioner,” he said.

The NGO planned to send letters to schools and colleges, requesting the authorities to impose a ban on wearing such clothes at the institutions.

In the meantime, cops were in a tizzy on how to implement the rule and were discussing legal tangles in imposing such a fine.

A report on the interview of Dublin Mayor Phil Best on television, in which he stated that he planned to sign an ordinance, was published in The Tribune yesterday.

The rule prohibited people from wearing pants or skirts more than three inches below the top of the hips and exposing any skin or underwear.



Recruit supervisors, demand workers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
Anganwari workers in the Mangat block demanded the inmmediate recruitment of supervisors at anganwaris during a meeting here today. The secretary of the Anganwari Mulazim Union Punjab, Subhash Rani, stated that Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had assured them of honorarium and the government had issued a notification in this regard, which was implemented from September 1.

Each worker was being given Rs 2,300 and helper Rs 1,150 per month.

Speaking on recruitment, she called upon anganwari workers not to give an ear to rumours. “The department will issue advertisements in newspapers,” she said.



Speed governors provide partial relief, say NGO
Notification excludes private bus operators
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Govt lax

The notification was a formality as the high court had told the state government to implement orders as soon as possible. The high court had issued directions in 2002, but the government had been dilly-dallying on the issue.

What limit?

The road transport department had issued a notification to instal speed governors by September 30. It did not specify the permissible speed limits for various categories of vehicles, which could lead to confusion.

Ludhiana, September 11
An NGO has termed the notification
of the state government to instal speed governors in school and college buses as partial relief. The NGO, Punjab Road Safety Council, has said the notification excludes private bus operators.

A major chunk of private buses belong to politicians.

Kamaljit Soi, vice-chairman of the council, said private buses had caused major road accidents in the recent past and the decision of excluding those was uncalled for.

Lambasting the transport department, he said, “It is partial relief in the sense that government vehicles in the city are not covered. The biggest need was installation of speed governors in public-undertaking and private buses.

It is imperative for the government to cover buses on long routes and in city areas. By not covering the vehicles, the government has given those the licence to wrack havoc on the road.”

Several complaints had been reported in the past of drivers of private buses being involved in fatal accidents due to overspeeding.

The driver of a private bus, on the condition of anonymity, said they had to reach the bus stand at a stipulated time, due to which they had to drive at high speed.

He added that passengers prompted them to press the accelerator. A majority of drivers with private bus operators did not possess a driving licence.



Workshop on HR management for cops
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, September 11
A one-day workshop on human resource management was organised at the Punjab Police Academy here today. Thirty officers of SP and SSP ranks from different parts of the state took part in the workshop. It was inaugurated by ADGP (HRD) SK Sharma, who, in his inaugural address, said the expectations of people from the police had gone up manifold.

Sharma stressed the need for effectively managing human resources in the country, especially in the police, in a coordinated way so as to achieve the goals of healthy working more effectively.

Delivering the valedictory address, Punjab DGP PS Gill talked about some important steps initiated towards a more strengthened institutionalised system so as to look into the management of human resources in the police.

Three technical sessions — “Role and importance of human resources management, human resource development for effective police working” by ADGP (HRD) SK Sharma; “Human resource development in police-psychological issues involved” by academy joint director Dr DJ Singh; and “Towards progressive work culture through healthy inter-personal relations and better manpower management” by Dr Minakshi Malhotra — were also conducted.



Pro-SAD union threatens agitation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 11
Accusing the SAD of betraying promises made during the past Assembly elections, the Punjab Raj Mulazim Dal, the largest trade union supporting the party, has threatened to launch an agitation against the government if the demands of the employees were not accepted soon.

The decision was taken at a state-level meeting of the outfit held on the sewerage board premises here today. Union president Inderjit Sharma presided over the meeting.

Their main demands included payment of arrears for 43 months as per the pay commission, regularisation of employees of PUDA, corporations and sewerage boards, including withdrawal of privatisation moves, filling of vacant posts and absorption of ETT teachers.

Speakers, including secretary general Piara Singh, general secretary Rajinder Pal Singh and senior vice-president Amarjit Singh Bhattian, alleged that leaders like Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal had failed to keep promises made to state government employees during the Assembly elections.

They alleged that the SAD had been using office-bearers and activists of the outfit as a ladder to achieve power in the state during elections but never bothered to redress their grievance after the constitution of the government. Instead of watching the interest of lakhs of employees, the state government was trying to appease legislators and SAD and BJP leaders.

“What can be more ridiculous than a workman having served the government for 33 years getting pension lesser than that authorised for a politician taking oath as legislator. Similarly, the government was more interested in enhancing already high pay and perks of bureaucrats,” lamented Sharma.

The leaders rued that SAD leaders had interpreted Badal’s slogan of “Raj Nahin Sewa” in their favour. “Majority of them, including those close to the Chief Minister, have tried to serve their clans and family members at the cost of interest of common people, including employees,” alleged Sharma.



Badal attends Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in city
Tribune News Service

CM performs pooja

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal performed “pooja” on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi at Janakpuri today. The priest applied “tilak” to the CM and members of the organising committee draped red dupattas (symbolic of blessings from the God) around his neck. He was also presented with pearl necklaces with a pendant carrying Lord Ganesha’s image.

Ludhiana, September 11
Punjab Chief Minister visited the city and offered greetings to people on Ganesh Chaturthi here today. He also visited mosques in Malerkotla and the city to greet the Muslims on Id-ul-Fitr.

Speaking during a religious ceremony to mark Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, Parkash Singh Badal said: “Lord Ganesha’s birth is an occasion to celebrate equality, integrity, religious harmony and camaraderie.” He attended the function for over an hour.

He appreciated MLA Harish Bedi for taking the initiative to organise Ganesh Utsav celebrations in the state, adding that he had established Baba Ganpati Sewa Sangh in 1993, which was elemental in making the celebration a part of religious fervour of the state.

The BJP led by its leader of the legislative wing and senior cabinet minister had all along been protesting that the urban areas, particularly constituencies represented by the BJP, were being ignored by the senior leaders the Akali Dal.

Minister for jails Hira Singh Gabria, Prof Rajinder Bhandari, Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, MLA Harish Bedi and leaders of the BJP were also present.



Eid celebrated with religious fervour
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana/Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 11
After 30 days of rozas (fasting), it was time for the devout of the region to feast on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr today. After offering prayers at mosques of their respective localities, the Muslims distributed “sewiyaan” among their relatives and friends, including the Hindus.

The devout offered prayers outside mosques on the local Dehliz road, Dehliz Kalan, Rohira, Kanganwal and Rasoolpur, besides Jama Masjid in Ludhiana.

Id Milan programmes were also organised in which people from all walks of life congratulated their Muslim brethren. Leaders of various political parties congratulated Muslims on the occasion.

Clad in colourful garments, Muslims gathered in the morning at mosques on the Dehliz road, and in the surrounding villages of Dehliz Kalan, Rohira, Kanganwal and Rasoolpur, besides those in Ludhiana.

Before offering prayers at mosques, members of the Muslim community gave alms to the poor.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal visited the Malerkotla Jama Masjid and greeted the Muslims, who had turned up in large numbers to offer prayers there.

Addressing the devotees, Mohammad Ibrahim, chief of the Ahmedgarh Jama Masjid, said Eid reaffirmed the belief of sacrifice among human beings.

He said Islam preached peace and brotherhood among different communities.

He condemned certain vested interest that were trying to identify Islam with violence and terrorism.



Terror Threat
Checks carried out in theatres
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 11
In the wake of terror threat, the police conduct surprise checks in theatres on the occasion of Eid here this evening. The Kotwali police led by SHO Nirmal Singh visited theaters located in the old city area and searched the belonging of suspected people.

Further, heavy police deployment was made in and around Civil Hospital and the Fled Ganj area having maximum concentration of Muslim population this morning.

The arrangements were made following intelligence inputs that anti-social elements were trying to disrupt the festive atmosphere by striking at theatres or religious gathering.

A dog squad accompanied the police during the operation. However, Kotwali SHO Nirmal Singh played down the development saying it was a routine checking.



Job fair by company

Khamano, September 11
A job fair was organised by the local Lakshmi Energy and Foods Ltd with the help of district employment office, Fatehgarh Sahib, here. District employment officer Arvinder Kaur, who supervised the job fair, said around 500 applications were received on the spot from candidates.

After verifying the documents of the applicants, 200 were shortlisted for interview. The selected candidates will be appointed by the company and adjusted on different posts.

Managing director Janakraj Singh Uppal said they had organised the fair for the unemployed youth of the area and would continue with the initiative in the future as well.

The candidates would be appointed to the posts of computer operator, driver, supervisor, security guard, helpers and sweepers. Staff of the district employment office were also present. — OC



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