L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


IT sleuths swoop on builder
BJP leader, kin had bagged contracts worth Rs 200 cr during CWG
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
Income Tax sleuths today swooped on a coloniser, as a part of its nationwide raids on the premises of BJP leader and businessman Sudhanshu Mittal and his relatives following discovery that contracts worth more than Rs 200 crore, related to Common Wealth games, were bagged by them.

The IT officials conducted raids, that went on till late in the evening, on the premises of Ireo Waterfront Pvt Limited at Feroze Gandhi market and at their site located at Baddowal.

A team of sleuths, led by Ravinder Mittal, assistant director (Investigations) Income Tax, carried out the operations in the city.

Raman Goel, DIG (Investigations) said: “Raid on the premises in Ludhiana is a part of those being carried out by the department in Delhi. We were asked by the Delhi office to conduct these raids. Our team is assisting them and will be forwarding the details to the Delhi office.”

Ravinder Mittal, ADI, however, refused to divulge the details about the raids. “We are doing our work, as directed by the Delhi office. Raids are also being conducted at their Chandigarh office as well,” he said.

Sources said as many as the Income Tax officials raided 30 locations, owned by the contractor and his relatives in and around Delhi.

Sudhanshu is linked to the CWG games through his nephew, Vinay Mittal whose firm Deepali Design and Exhibits won one of the most lucrative deals worth Rs 200 crore in a consortium with a foreign partner. Vinay was given a contract for treadmills, chairs and umbrellas at heavily marked up prices.

Yesterday, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Vinod Rai, had formally announced a massive audit of the expenditure on the Games to be completed within three months. Among the various agencies conducting a probe are the CBI, the Directorate of Enforcement, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, the Central Vigilance Commission and the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.


Rs 12.5-lakh jewellery stolen from shop
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
Two unidentified men on a motorcycle escaped with jewellery worth Rs 12.5 lakh from OP Jewellers on the ATI Road, here today. The theft took place at around 2 pm when Om Parkash (60), owner of the jewellery shop, was alone at his shop.

According to the police, two unidentified persons, posing as customers, entered the shop and asked the owner to show them rings and earrings. While Om Parkash was busy dealing with these men, he received a call from an unidentified number.

The caller informed Om Parkash that one of his neighbours had sustained serious injuries in the accident. At this, Om Parkash rushed out of his shop to find out what exactly had happened. By that time, the men in the shop fled away with the jewellery displayed in the counter.

Investigating officer, Tara Chand, said a case had been registered under Section 420 of the IPC and manhunt launched to nab the suspects. “We are also tracing the number from which the call was made to the owner,” said Tara Chand.

Unfortunately, the jeweller had not installed CCTV cameras in his shop.



Rs 2 cr that he never lost, returned
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
Six months after about Rs 2 crore in cash was stolen from the Sagar Engineering Works factory and was later recovered, the police handed over the money to its owner today. Jaswant Singh Sagar walked away with currency wads of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 bills amounting to Rs 19,887,000 in a huge iron box after the legal procedures were completed.

The police, however, was not able to solve the mysterious case. ‘‘We submitted an untraceable report to the court as the industrialist wanted his money back soon. It was released on 'superdari' by a court and finally handed over to him today, ’’ said division no 6 police station SHO Gurinderjit Singh.

The money was stolen from the factory in the Industrial Area on April 5. Sagar, who had sold a property in the city, had kept the money from the sale in a safe in the factory premises.

When he visited next day, he found the lock of the safe opened and money missing. He complained to Division number 6 police. The police had reached the spot and inspected the premises, the entire cash was stashed away under a machine. The police recovered it and registered a case of theft.

‘‘Despite conducting investigations, we couldn’t find out who stole the money from Sagar’s safe. It was mysterious and must be the handiwork of an insider. But there were so many

workers inside the factory that it was difficult to pinpoint anyone. Though we questioned many people it didn’t yield anything”, Gurinderjit said.

“Though I’d have liked the police to trace the thieves I was glad to get my money back”, said Sagar.

Taxmen come calling

Though the thieves could not lay their hands on the Rs 2 crore kept in the factory as they could not take it out of the premises, income tax sleuths knocked at the doors of the factory owner. Sources said he paid about Rs 50 lakh to the income tax department as tax after it learnt about the stolen money being recovered



Gunda Nullah Project
MC to float tenders once again
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has decided to once again float tenders for the much-awaited project of covering the Gunda Nullah. The corporation was forced to float the tenders as even the lowest bidder, in the previous bids, had sought Rs 4 crore more than the actual amount sanctioned by the state government. The file of this project has been sent for final approval to the Local Bodies Department in Chandigarh. Fresh tenders will be floated within three to four days.

MS Jaggi, Joint Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, when asked about the delay in starting of the work, said the tenders were floated three weeks ago also. Three bidders had taken part in it. “The lowest bidder had demanded Rs 4 crore more for doing the work. The state government had sanctioned Rs 23 crore for the project. Had that contractor been given the work, the corporation would have suffered Rs 4 crore lose. So, the civic body decided to once again float the tenders of this project,” said Jaggi.

Those residing in the interior part of the city have been waiting for the Gunda Nullah to covered since long. This, they believe, will help in easing the flow of the traffic. If this particular 2-km stretch is covered, even the pollutants won’t flow into the Budha Nullah. Nullah, otherwise, has become one of major source of pollution and diseases in the interior part of the city. Those residing in densely- populated colonies like Field Ganj, Kidwai Nagar, Islam Ganj and the Suffian Chowk will heave a sigh of relief once the work on this project is started.

At a Glance

n Stretch to be covered is about 2 km
n Colonies like Islam Ganj, Field Ganj, Kidwai Nagar, near the Suffian Chowk to get relief
n Money allocated for project is Rs 23 crore
n Stretch from Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib to Dhonkala Mohalla to be covered



Health dept hedges over buyers of spurious khoya
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
The health & family welfare department has come under fire from local NGOs for not disclosing the names of the buyers of adulterated ‘khoya’ seized in the city.

Officials have been unable to establish a clear link between the 700 quintals of spurious ‘khoya’, which they had confiscated from godowns located outside the city in October last year, and its buyers. The director of the central food processing industry department, Amarjit Singh Tikka, had demanded details on the buyers under the Right to Information Act.

After keeping the matter under wraps for months, the health department came up with a dissatisfactory reply that stated: “The cold storage owner did not have the names of the buyers as people had booked orders with him without disclosing their names.”

“The health department’s reply implies the unwillingness of its officials to disclose the names of the sweetmeat shops as they are prominent in the trade. Most importantly, these sweetmeat sellers are being sheltered for obvious reasons including the hefty amounts that are paid to health department staff,” Tikka alleged.

MS Gill, who heads an NGO, People’s Forum for Transparency & Social Concern, said: “It’s rather disappointing as the role played by the health department in observing the regulations under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act is far from satisfactory. Department officials have failed to give the actual information on the issue of the seized ‘khoya’ just before Diwali last year.”

Also, the department has failed to reveal the findings of the reports of the samples taken from major sweetmeat shops in the city taken during last year’s festival season. Gill further said, “The health department should act in the larger interest of the public rather than safeguarding the interests of the few who are guilty of harming the health of hundreds”.

Objecting to what they called the department’s “pick-and-choose policy” in conducting raids and procuring samples of sweets from small outlets, owners of some of the shops in the city accused officials of “unfairness”.

Extensive checks on: DHO

District health officer (DHO) Dr Jagpal Singh expressed ignorance over the health department’s failure to reveal the names of buyers of the spurious khoya seized last year. However, he said he would again inquire into the matter to give the correct picture to NGOs seeking information. “Also, we have taken almost 25 samples of milk /milk products and sweets this month. We will conduct extensive checks on the godowns so as to seize spurious and synthetic ‘khoya’ and sweets,” he added.



Centre of jan (a)suvidha
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
At least 50 to 60 people had to return disappointed as employees of a Suvidha Centre at the Mini Secretariat refused to entertain them after 12.45pm today. Though the centre closes at 1.30 pm, but security personnel did not allow anyone to enter it after 12.45 pm. Sore over the “arbitrary” attitude of the employees, people condemned authorities for unnecessarily harassing them.

Talking to The Tribune, Rajinder Singh, a resident of Laleri village in Khanna, said, “I reached the Mini Secretariat at around 12.35 pm. It took 10 minutes for me to reach the centre, but I was not allowed to enter it. I have come to submit the medical report for getting my arms license renewed. But, the security personnel for reasons best known to them stopped me. I argued with them for about 15 minutes, but they refused to listen to my pleas. I am not alone, you can see others arguing with the employees also.”

Lakhbir Singh Gill, a senior citizen, said he had come all the way from Dugri Urban Estate for getting his license. “Due to ill health I cannot come to the centre again and again. I came to

get my license, but they refused to cooperate with me. They have told me to come again tomorrow. What kind of the centre is this? We are unnecessarily being harassed,” asked Gill.

Rahul Tewari, Deputy Commissioner, said: “We have started centralised token generation system to streamline the work at the centre. This system was put to test for the first time today. Problems do cropped up on the first day. From tomorrow onwards everything is going to be alright and people will be dealt with in more efficient manner.”



‘Designer mithai’ to sweeten up this Diwali
Manav Mander/TNS

Ludhiana, October 19
Diwali celebrations are incomplete without ‘mithai’ (sweets) that even calorie and health conscious people find hard to resist. With ‘designer mithai’ on offer in this festive season they will find it even more difficult to hold back. Gourmands can look forward to gorging on scrumptious sweetmeats during the festival of lights.

Diwali sweets are as diverse as the celebrations of the festival itself. Although there are specific recipes, sweetmeat shops have begun blending them with contemporary ones to come up with “exclusive” Diwali sweets that appear more tempting. ‘Designer mithais’ are set to overshadow the most popular sweets including ‘kaju burfi’, ‘bundi ladoo’, ‘gulab jamun’, ‘khoya burfi’ and almond ‘seera’.

"People want to make this festival special so they go in for ‘designer mithai’ that catches people's fancy as

soon as they have a first look at it," said Tarsem, head of the sweets corner at Khushi Ram & Sons on Ferozepur Road.

‘Badam laugh’ priced at Rs 1,400 per kilogram is the most expensive ‘mithai’ this festive season, while Khushi Ram has come up with a special ‘kaju badam pista burfi’ costing Rs 580 per kg. "The shelf life of this ‘burfi’ is two months," Tarsem added.

Cashew nut (‘kaju’) rules the roost as an important ingredient in sweets with a huge variety of items available in the market - ‘kaju’ apple, ‘kaju kalash’, ‘kaju paan’, ‘kaju jalebi’, ‘kaju’ strawberry, ‘kaju madhu milan’, ‘kaju kulfi’, ‘kaju raina’, ‘kaju kharbooja’, ‘kaju’ lemon, ‘kaju chabri’, ‘kaju gujia’, ‘kaju ghat’ and ‘kaju bahar’, just to name a few.

Figs (‘anjeer’) are another important ingredient of most of the ‘designer mithais’. ‘Anjeer burfi’, ‘anjeer anar’, ‘anjeer’ roll and ‘anjeer peda’ are some of the varieties that are available. All these sweets are priced between Rs 500-600 per kg.

Apart from cashew nut, sweets made from ‘chenna’ (a kind of firm locally made cheese) and whipped cream are sure to lure crowds. ‘Kacha gola sandesh’, ‘pista chakkar’, ‘badam bhog’, ‘raja babu’, ‘chenna’ tasty, strawberry ‘sandesh’ and ‘badam bela’ - all prepared in attractive soft colours like pink, yellow and green - are hot sellers in sweetmeat shops. Priced between Rs 200 and Rs 300 they are easy on the pocket and yet striking.

Three ‘must try’ sweets

n 'Kaju’ apple (` 500 per kg): This miniscule mithais look so real, one would think they came straight out of an orchard. Crafted out of cashew nut and pista, they taste just like kaju katlis

n ‘Paan petha’ (` 510 per kg): With a pista covering that encases genuine gulkand, paan mithais have a brand new taste that guarantees to leave you mesmerised

n ‘Diamond’ (` 600 per kg): This vibrant yellow mithai has been christened ‘diamond’. The central pistachio rock provides a welcome relief to taste buds exhausted from an overdose of sweets. The somewhat less than innovative casing is just a folded kaju katli, yet it is the best part.

Mithai for the health conscious

Diwali sweets that have a low fat content, little or no sugar or are artificially sweetened , including sugar-free besan ladoos, burfi, pinni, ras malai and phirni, are available for the health and calorie conscious.



A noble gesture
Council gives books to needy children
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
The Children and Women Welfare Council today gave stationery to poor and needy children at Ewing Christian High School.

“The progress of any country depends upon its children.

A country can progress only if the children of the nation are literate. It is our duty to help those who want to study but do not have resources. A little help can really boost their confidence and help them in achieving great heights in their lives,” said Monika Khurana, president of the council.

School principal Avinash Kumar said, “Children need encouragement and these small gestures really mean a lot to them. Such donations really prove helpful,” added Kumar.



PAU Notes

Training course

Ludhiana:“Farm scientists are developing need-based technologies to make farming better through efficient crop cultivation, protection and post-harvest handling operations,” said Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman, additional director of communication, PAU, during the young farmer training course at Kairon Kisan Ghar. The PAU brings out farm magazines like Changi Kheti and Progressive Farming for farmers. Several bulletins on different crops, occupations relevant to farming, subsidiary ventures such as bee keeping and mushroom growing are published in these magazines.


On the second day of CSIRO-AusAID workshop on water balance studies in agroforestry at the PAU, experts dwelt on details on evapotranspiration (ET) measurement techniques. Workshop organiser Dr Avtar Singh said experts were of the opinion that empirical methods could estimate ET of different cropping systems that was influenced by climate, soil and plant species. Some instruments like porometer, sapflow sensors and ventilation chambers could directly measure ET, he added. —TNS



Bouquet of technologies for farmers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
The Central Institute of Post Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET) will organise an exhibition under NAIP Mass Media Project on October 20 at the institute.

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research Institutes from northern region, including Central Potato Research Institute, Shimla, National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, National Research Centre on Equines, Hisar, Punjab Agricultural University, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Science University (GADVASU), will showcase their

technologies and products during the exhibition.

Food processing industry, including Kashmir Apiaries and Verka, will also display products.

GADVASU Vice-Chancellor Dr VK Taneja will be the chief guest, while NABARD general manager Dr DC Sharma will be guest of honour.

CIPHET director Dr RT Patil said the exhibition aimed at bringing bouquet of technologies from the region to farmers/entrepreneurs under one roof. He hoped that farmers/entrepreneurs would get new ideas, which would increase their income.



Printart to kick off from Oct 23
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
The much awaited Printart-2010 being organised by the Offset Printers Association (OPA) will begin on October 23 at Kumra Palace.

The exhibition will continue till October 25. There are more than 60 exhibitors from all over the country, some of these representing overseas companies to showcase their products and machinery. Nicky Mason, managing director, IIR Exhibitions Ltd, London, will grace the opening ceremony as chief guest and NS Manku, president, Indian Printing, Packaging and Allied Machinery Manufacturers Association (IPAMA), will be the guest of honour.

The latest technology in machines, materials, systems and products will be on display during the exhibition.

The participants are APL Machinery Pvt Ltd, Insight Communications (representing KOMORI-Japan), Micro Inks, Baldwin India Pvt Ltd, Grafica Flextronica, Hi Tech Systems , Mayfair Bio-Tech Pvt Ltd, Joy D-Zing Engineers Pvt Ltd, Pidilite Industries Ltd, Printools Graphics Pvt Ltd, RISO India Pvt Ltd, Sigma Rollers Pvt Ltd and Teknograf Inc.

The mega event aims at apprising printers and packagers of the region of latest advancements and technological developments.




Ludhiana: Pinnacle Institute of Fashion Technology organised an exclusive modelling-television-acting-grooming seminar-cum-workshop on Monday. The workshop was conducted by fashion choreographer Kaushik Ghosh.

Speakers on the seminar were Manish Chalotra, Puneet Sangwan and Ananya. Kaushik said the seminar aimed at grooming students. More than 60 students attended the seminar. — TNS



Punjabi film fest from November 12
Our Correspondent

Khanna, October 19
A film festival will be organised by the First Frame Club on November 12 and 13.

Documentaries will be screened during the festival.

Gautam Kapil, member of the club, said, “Various colours of our rich culture and heritage will be showcased during the festival.”

Simran Kaler, another member, said, “Documentaries made by students of various colleges and universities will be screened.”

Kaler said the films would be selected on the basis of concept, story, script and direction. The best documentary will be displayed in the auditorium. Parmjeet Singh said best documentaries would be aired.

Artistes, directors and prominent persons from Bollywood and Punjabi film industry will be present on the occasion. Harpreet Prince and Narinder Pal Singh Jagdeo said the motive behind the event was to promote Punjabi cinema.



NGO comes to aid of dengue patients
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
Salaam Zindagi Foundation, a state-awardee NGO working in the city to promote voluntary blood donation and support thalassaemic children, has recently taken the initiative to come up for the help of dengue patients.

The NGO was set up outside emergency ward of the DMCH since October 4. The NGO members have voluntarily helped the needy dengue patients by providing them single donor platelet (SDP) and random donor platelet (RDP).

The volunteers have donated 140 SDPs in the last 14 days and have also donated RDPs. Volunteers from all walks of life are coming forward in support of this noble cause and many precious lives have been saved.

Dr Amarjeet Kaur, head, department of transfusion medicine, DMCH, appreciated the effort made by Salaam Zindagi Foundation adding, “This is a noble cause and the work done by the NGO volunteers is commendable.”

NGO president Manjit Saini, in an appeal to people, stated that donation of blood in the need of the hour to save precious lives was the best service to the mankind. One voluntary donation could save an important member of one’s family.

Aseem Joshi, Rajesh Kapoor, Balram Mehta, Suraj Sharma, Anurag Sharma, Rajeev Sharma, BS Nagi, Arvinder, Jagjit, Varun, Ashok Marwaha, Raja Flora, Manoj Gautam and Saurabh, along with other members of the foundation, are working round the clock to manage the help desk and to serve humanity.



Panel for eco-friendly steps
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
The Ludhiana Machine Tool Manufacturers Association’s governing body met under the chairmanship of its president Kirpal Singh Sagar yesterday.

Kirpal Singh emphasised on disposal of solid, liquid, gaseous waste after proper treatment, groundwater recharging by rainwater harvesting, energy saving, minimising the use of polythene and insisted on using biodegradable materials, saving water and planting and nurturing more saplings to save the environment.

He urged fellow citizens not to burst crackers during Diwali and save the environment from noise and air pollution.

He also requested industrialists to install pollution control equipment.



From Schools


Ludhiana: Poetry is not only a dream or a vision, it is the skeleton architecture of our lives.

The essence of these lines was clearly felt during the Punjabi and Hindi poetry competition at Jesus’ Sacred Heart School. Around 14 schools participated in the event.


Hindi poetry: 1 Twinkle (Jatindera Greenfield School, Sudhar), 2 Amandeep Kaur (Amrit Indo Canadian Academy, Ladian), 3 Komal ( Partap Public School, Ludhiana);

Punjabi poetry: 1 Anmol (Partap Public School, Ludhiana), 2 Manvir Singh (Eastwood International School, Mullanpur), 3 Mandip Singh (DAV Public School, Jagraon).


Under the directions of Menakshi Sharma, deputy director, District Bureau of Rozgar Generation and Training, a mass counselling programme was held at GSSS, Alamgir. Principal Dr Surinderpal Kaur welcomed resource persons and encouraged students to work hard in order to achieve their goals.

District guidance counsellor Santokh Singh stressed upon the individual counselling technique for students. Prof Diljeetpal Singh Brar from the PAU explained about the courses being offered by the university. Major PP Singh from defence services apprised students of job options available in Air Force, Navy and Army.

Among others present on the occasion included Gurpinder Singh, ITI, Ludhiana, Bhajan Singh, ATI, Ludhiana and Vikrarampreet Singh from the fishery department.


A declamation contest was organised at Sanatan Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School by the Ved Prachaar Mandal for the students of higher wing.

All students presented their views on different topics in a very impressive manner. Simran, Preeti, Yasmine, Twinkle, Mehak, Kunika, Kusum, Himani, Ishan, Muskan Arora, Gaganpreet and Himanshi spoke on moral values, Guru Gobind Singh, yoga, religion, vedas, mental pollution, women empowerment and granthas.

Following were the winners: 1 Mehak Mitira (IX), 2 Himanshi (VIII) and 3 Twinkle (IX). — TNS

World Food Day

DRV DAV Centenary Senior Secondary Public School, Phillaur, celebrated World Food Day. Students prepared sumptuous dishes of 24 countries, including India, and displayed their names and method of preparation. Yogesh Gambhir, principal of the school, appreciated the efforts of students and teachers. 



Juneja resigns as LIT chairman
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 19
Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) chairman Ashok Juneja has tendered his resignation after an eventful tenure of nearly 15 months.

Still recuperating from injuries sustained in a car accident on June 28 here, he decided to put in his papers after deliberating with state BJP president Ashwani Sharma and Punjab local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia.

“The doctors have advised me not to undertake any strenuous work and take rest till complete recovery,” Juneja said while talking with this correspondent here today, adding that in quitting the post and paving the way for appointment of a new chairman, he had put interest of people before his personal gain.

He said during his tenure, all work in the LIT as chairman had been carried out with highest degree of honesty and dedication.

“I took several decisive steps towards development of the city and put specific thrust on the disposal of long-pending issues, proper follow-up of court cases and speedy execution of development works in colonies carved out by the trust.”

According to Juneja, his biggest achievement was the disposal of almost 90 per cent outstanding sale and transfer deeds, along with fresh cases.

Further, the LIT was able to get the City Centre civil case decided in its favour from the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh, during his tenure.

Recounting development projects initiated and executed during his tenure, he claimed that work on development of parks and roads amongst new and existing colonies had been much appreciated.

Besides, launch and construction of multi-storey housing complex in Karnail Singh Nagar on Pakhowal Road, commencement of work on SCOs in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, which will be on offer soon to public, and carrying through the proposal to provide missing link between Pakhowal Road to Ferozepur via Lodhi Club were his other achievements.

Juneja had his share of controversies as well. During his tenure, a sale deed of a 500 sq yd plot in Rajguru Nagar, valued at over Rs 2 crore, was got executed by the then executive officer by forging signatures of the chairman on the file.

The case also involved a local leader of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha and accusing fingers were also pointed towards Juneja.

However, Juneja referred the case to vigilance cell of the local bodies department, got a probe conducted, had the executive officer suspended, and also lodged an FIR with the police to emerge unscathed. “In this case also, truth prevailed and the guilty were brought to book,” he added.



Tipsy cop creates ruckus
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
A tipsy head constable of the wireless wing of the local police created ruckus at the Sarabha Nagar police station this afternoon.

A departmental inquiry has been ordered against him.

Head constable Parmajit Singh, a wireless set operator at the police station, used foul language and hurled abuses at his colleagues, who tried to control him.

Sarabha Nagar SHO Rajan Parminder Singh said they had complained to the wireless wing officials against the head constable.

A team from his wing arrived on the scene and got his medical test done, establishing that he was drunk. A departmental inquiry has been marked against him.



Row over discourse at stadium
Sri Sri steps in, changes venue
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
In a respite to the agitating sports fraternity in the city, Art of Living head Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has announced to change the venue of his function previously scheduled at Guru Nanak Stadium for November 11.

In an email message to Teja Singh Dhaliwal, an office-bearer of the Punjab Basketball Association, (PBA), the religious leader has stated that he has directed his followers to change the venue considering the sentiments of sports lovers and save the stadium from the onslaught of hundreds of people visiting there.

The sports fraternity in the city had been fuming and fretting over the sports department’s permission to rent out the stadium for a discourse of the religious leader.

They had held a series of agitations against the move. This had, however, not deterred the sports department from re-reconsider their decision.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, however, rose to redress the grievance of the community by announcing to change the venue.



Surgeons cure facial spasm
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
A team of neurosurgeons under professor and head Dr Sarvpreet Singh Grewal and Dr Pranshu Bhargava have successfully operated a patient for hemi-facial spasm at the neurosurgery department of the CMC here.

The patient, 40-year-old male, had been suffering from hemi-facial spasm for the past two years.

Hemi-facial spasm is a rare disease affecting less than one individual in one lakh population and is more prevalent in women.

The disease is characterised by intermittent, involuntary, painless contraction of muscles of the eyelid and face, which are supplied by a particular cranial nerve called the facial.

The diagnosis is based on a clinical history. However, MRI and MRI angiography are also helpful.

The cause of the disease is commonly an artery pressing over the facial nerve at the brain stem.

In this case, it was the ecstatic vertebral artery that was compressing the facial nerve. Thee treatment is primarily surgical, however drugs and botulism toxin injection can be tried.

The surgery done is called micro-vascularn decompression and involves removing the vascular compression of the nerve. The patient was relieved of his problems after a surgery.



Amenities elude this rly station
Mahesh Sharma

A locked urinal and stinking surroundings at the railway station at Ahmedgarh
A locked urinal and stinking surroundings at the railway station at Ahmedgarh. Photo by writer

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 19
The railway station here is in a state of neglect.

Thanks to the apathetic attitude of the authorities, it even does not have toilets, water coolers and a proper waiting room.

The only room, which once used to be a waiting room, is now used as a battery room.

Failing to get toilets cleaned, the authorities have locked these permanently.

The stink emanating from these toilets have become a bane of passengers and residents.

Maintaining that providing facilities was not their concern, officials at the station said the toilets had been locked to prevent local residents from using these. They alleged that shopkeepers from nearby areas had started exploiting the amenities meant for passengers.

It was learnt that the authorities had failed to provide even the basic amenities to passengers.

Sources said as the toilets remained locked, passengers were forced to answer nature’s call in open.

The town has one of the largest wholesale markets. Thousands of passengers board trains for Amritsar, New Delhi, Mumbai and Madras everyday. Those coming from surrounding villages have to wait for hours at times.

Residents said there was no security arrangement at the station during night hours and it was frequented by anti-social elements. A good cafeteria and a decent waiting hall were also needed at the station, they added.

Tarsem Kumar, a daily passenger, said the station lacked necessary amenities. “Cleanliness is a major problem, heaps of garbage remain scattered on the platforms,” he added.

Manjit Singh, an executive in a private company at Ludhiana, said expanded portions of the platform at the railway station lacked adequate canopy. “In the absence of a proper waiting room, passengers find it tough to wait for a train under the scorching sun. Showers worsen the situation even more. Lighting is also poor here,” he alleged.



Ex-ministers rap Badal govt
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 19
Former Punjab ministers Malkiat Singh Birmi and Harnam Das Johar along with other Congress leaders on Sunday lambasted the SAD-BJP government in Punjab, charging the coalition with all-round failure.

Addressing a meeting organised by the District Youth Congress (DYC) at Punjab Mata Nagar on Pakhowal Road (block no 12), they said people were disenchanted with the present government, which had miserably failed to address their problems.

The meeting was attended among others by DYC president Dimple Rana, former chief parliamentary secretary Surinder Dawar, councillors Hem Raj Aggarwal, Gurpreet Gogi, Raju Thapar, Amrit Varsha Rampal and Pritpal Singh Ghayal.

Birmi and other Congress leaders said the senior government functionaries were making tall promises but where the development of the state was concerned, their report card was nil.

“People from all walks of life - employees, teachers, youth, farmers, traders and members of industry and business community - are all feeling frustrated and betrayed. The government has failed to fulfil its poll promises and repression has been let loose against those raising their voice for justice,” they maintained while pointing out that the days of the coalition government were numbered.



Illegal Hoardings
Shiv Sena protests MC role
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
Activists of the Shiv Sena organised a protest against the municipal corporation authorities for failing to keep a check on the installation of illegal unipoles/hoardings in the city by the “advertisement mafia”.

Party’s state unit in-charge Rajiv Tandon said green belts in the city were being damaged due to the mushrooming of hundreds of such unipoles.

He said the civic body had given permission to put up another 445 boards in the city, whereas a similar number of “illegal” unipoles were put up in various parts of the city. The party leaders held the MC Commissioner responsible for the menace.

“Due to the MC Commissioner’s negligence, illegal unipoles are flourishing in the city. We need to get answers from the MC,” said Tandon.

MC Commissioner AK Sinha said the matter was already taken up during a recent general body meeting. A special F&CC meeting on unipoles would be held before Diwali.

“A nine-member committee will decide and identify illegal boards in the city and the corporation will take action accordingly,” Sinha said.

According to sources, “advertisement mafia” is perturbed over the corporation’s recent refusal to add more unipoles in the city.

“All political leaders, certain MC functionaries and many councillors are involved in this advertisement scam. These well-connected people are minting money by installing huge boards of companies promoting their products. The mafia is getting the support from local political leaders. On most of these illegal hoardings, leaders are the attraction. Leaders need to stop giving support to the mafia to curb this practice,” said a councillor on the condition of anonymity.



Shot in the arm for amputee
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 19
Nirmal Singh, having lost his arm while working at a crusher last month, was brought to Guru Teg Bahadur Charitable Hospital with profuse bleeding.

The amputated arm was brought by his relatives, 30 minutes after his admission to the hospital.

The limb was restored to the patient following a surgery carried out by Dr JK Madan, orthopaedic surgeon, and Dr Rahul Tandon, plastic micro-vascular surgeon.

Dr Madan fixed the bone, thereafter Dr Tandon took six hours to join veins and arteries to restore the blood supply to the limb.

The surgery was done on September 28 and after three weeks of the operation, the patient is moving his arm in all directions.

Speaking on limb amputation, Dr Tandon said it could be re-implanted within six hours of amputation, but it should be preserved in cold without bringing it in direct contact with ice.

Dr Pushpinder Singh and Dr Preet were the anaesthetists during the surgery.



Four arrested with poppy husk, illicit liquor
Our Correspondent

Macchiwara, October 19
The police has arrested four persons from different places and seized poppy husk and illicit liquor from their possession.

According to SHO Anil Kumar Kohali, Gurmukh Singh, a resident of Raipur Bet village, was arrested at a checkpoint with 20 kg poppy husk.

Another man, Rakesh Kumar, was arrested with 24 bottles of country-made liquor near Ratipur village T-point.

Also, Harcharan Singh was arrested with 24 bottles of country-made near liquor Jhungian village during routine patrol.

In another case, Amritpal Singh was apprehended with 12 bottles of ountry-made liquor near hanpur village at a checkpoint.

The four have been booked under relevant sections.



Cyclist killed

Samrala, October 19
A cyclist was killed in a road accident near Sarwarpur village early this morning. According to sources, Bhim Singh (50) and his father Rachan Singh, residents of Chari, were going towards their village on their respective bicycles when Bhim’s bicycle was hit by a speeding tempo, killing the rider on the spot.

The body was handed over to the family after a post-mortem examination. The police is investigating the case. — OC



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