L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Head warden suspended
Another official chargesheeted
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
In a fallout of the escape of two inmates from Central Jail by scaling the 16-ft-wall with the help of a rope here last night, the jail authorities today suspended a head warden and chargesheeted the assistant superintendent for dereliction of duty.

Meanwhile, minister of jails Hira Singh Gabria has ordered a probe into the matter. DIG (Jails) Jagjit Singh has been instructed to submit the report within two days.

Gabria said strict action would be taken against jail officials if evidence suggested their involvement in helping the prisoners flee.

The matter came to light at around 7 pm last evening when the two inmates were found missing during the head count.

Confirming the development, Jail Superintendent SP Khanna said head warden Shaddi Lal had been suspended while assistant superintendent Harnek Singh had been chargesheeted.

Khanna was reportedly on his way to Chandigarh for a meeting with the Director-General (Prisons) when he was informed about the escape of the inmates.

The fugitives, identified as Sehdev Singh, alias Sadhu, a convict in a kidnapping case, and Sukhbir Singh, alias Sukha, an undertrial facing an attempt to murder charge, fled from the central block located near tower number 1. Hectic activity was witnessed in and around the jail premises.

The police has registered a case and launched a massive manhunt operation to nab the duo. It is learnt that police parties raided the houses of the accused in the wee hours, but it turned out to be a futile exercise.

Preliminary investigation suggested that they scaled the wall of the jail with the help of a rope. The rope was tied to a tree outside the jail premises. Jail sources said the escape was well planned as the accomplices of the inmates sitting outside the jail threw the ropes inside the jail and helped the duo in scaling the wall.

Investigating officials have not ruled out the involvement of jail cops in the escape. The sources said the matter was kept under wrap initially as the jail authorities tried to trace the inmates on the premises, failing which they alerted the police.


Passing of buck begins
Mohit Khanna /Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
The escape of two inmates from Central Jail has sent shock waves among the rank and file of the jail department. Soon after the escape, the jail authorities were seen passing the buck to the city police for negligence.

A jail guard, on the condition of anonymity, said lack of security around the jail premises by the police led to the escape of the inmates.

One of the fugitives, Sukhbir Singh Sukha, has nine case of theft, assault and robbery registered against him at various police stations of the state. He was recently shifted from Jalandhar Jail to Central Jail in Ludhiana. Sources said he was shifted following apprehension that he might escape.

Food found near a tree where the rope was tied and on the jail premises indicates that their accomplices were constantly in touch with them.

Jail sources said the inmates did not visit the place where the ropes were lowered. The place used to remain desolate. Investigating officers said knots were tied on the rope at regular intervals so that the inmates could easily scale the wall.

Last night’s incident has opened a Pandora’s box for

the jail authorities, who are facing brickbats from all quarters. Barely two weeks ago, assistant superintendent of jail Gurdeep Singh was booked by the Bathinda police for allegedly helping an undertrial flee from police custody. The escape was foiled by two alert cops who accompanied the undertrial for a hearing in Bathinda.

A few days later, the city police faced a major embarrassment after five of its cops were booked by the Delhi police for helping a Delhi-based immigration agent and Maharahstra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) accused Vipin Sharma and Aman Alam flee from jail by preparing fake summons of the accused.

First Jailbreak

Yesterday’s jailbreak is the first such incident at Central Jail, Tajpur Road. About three years ago, eight members of the notorious Bangala gang fled from police custody while they were about to enter the jail premises following their hearing in court.

The curious case of Sehdev

The escape of Sukhdev Singh, who is facing serious criminal charges, has not surprised the police but the fleeing of Sehdev has certainly baffled it. Sehdev was convicted in a kidnapping case and was serving a four-year rigorous imprisonment term. Jail officials said he was to be set free in four months. But now he has again been booked in a serious offence. If caught, he would spend another six years in jail.

No birthday bash for minister

It was not a day of celebrations for jail minister Hira Singh Gabria today. Apprehending embarrassment, the administration quickly wrapped up the celebrations. Reacting to a volley of questions, the minister said a high-level probe had been ordered and Deputy Superintendent of the jail, Sukhwinder Singh, had been transferred.



Mayor sits on criteria, stalls recruitment
Manvinder Singh/TNS

Ludhiana, December 15
The process of recruiting firemen has been hanging fire as civic body officials are awaiting the nod of the Mayor to fix the recruitment criteria, even though over six months have passed since the posts were advertised.

The MC had advertised the posts of fireman and driver early this year and around 350 candidates had applied. However, after conducting the physical test of the candidates, the MC stopped the drive as Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura had objected to the starting of the recruitment drive without his approval. This despite the fact that the high-powered finance and contract committee (F&CC) had already approved it.

However, keeping in view the objection by the Mayor, the MC officials recalled the applications for the post in November and received 70 fresh applications.

It was decided that fresh recruitment would take place. Sources said though the MC had earlier kept 80 per cent marks for physical test and 20 for the written, but after the Mayor’s objection, it was altered to 50 per cent each.

Though the Mayor was not available for comments, MC Additional Commissioner Mahinder Pal Gupta, who is also the in charge of the fire brigade, said the recruitment would start soon. Asked about the reason for the delay, Gupta said they had sent the proposal regarding the criteria to the Mayor for his approval.



IMA Polls
Muckraking gets uglier
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Dr Hardeep Singh, contesting elections for the post of IMA district president, at a press conference in Ludhiana on Wednesday
Dr Hardeep Singh, contesting elections for the post of IMA district president, at a press conference in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, December 15
With just five days to go for the district IMA elections, the doctors contesting for the seven posts have declared a “war of words” against one another.

In violation of the code of conduct, the rival groups are sending derogatory messages and are organising press conferences under the veil of sharing their success stories.

The groups headed by Dr Kulwant Singh and Dr Hardeep Singh (both contesting for the post of president) today called press meets and spewed venom against each other.

One group even mentioned its rivals as “habitual malicious propagandists”.

Supported by Dr Manoj K Sobti, secretary of the state IMA, the group headed by

Dr Kulwant Singh demanded an apology from the doctors of rival group for accusing Dr DPS Arora of embezzlement during his last tenure.

A written statement was issued which pointed out that the CME conducted by Dr Hardeep Singh’s group was a way to project their office-bearers and woo voters.

On the contrary, the opposition group headed by Dr Hardeep Singh said they had proof against the withdrawal of Rs 66,000 by Dr Arora without anybody’s consent.

“If the state IMA and national body of the IMA can organise functions during their elections, so can we. Moreover, we had taken permission from the chief election commissioner,” said Dr Hardeep Singh.

Besides, the groups are violating the code of conduct by listing their achievements, coming out in the media against each other and holding dinners.

Senior doctors condemned the conduct of the professionals and “petty politics”. They claimed that no concrete work had been done in the past two years. The executives, despite the promises, did not use funds and donations worth Rs 15 lakh to set up a dispensary and start an ambulance service, another doctor pointed out.

Observers Appeal

The observers for the elections made an appeal to the doctors that read: “The achievements of the IMA should be highlighted more than individual achievement. People say doctors are next to God. Let us not degrade ourselves in the eyes of the public. We hope the elections will be meaningful and peaceful.”



Qualified English teachers needed
50 pc undergraduates don’t score in the language
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Latest data and records with college managements show that about 50 per cent of undergraduates perform miserably in English, a compulsory subject in colleges.

The state government has enforced a ban on fresh recruitment of teachers, needed to teach the subject, to colleges on a permanent basis.

Those who have cleared the UGC-NET examination or with a PhD degree prefer not to work in colleges due to the poor pay packages offered there.

College managements have started hiring ad hoc teachers who are not well-qualified for the job, due to which the standard of higher education is falling.

A life member of the Indian Association of English Studies, Prof KBS Sodhi, said he had come across a number of ad hoc teachers who just had a master’s degree.

“A cutter or a tailor, not even a matriculate, earns between Rs 10,000 and Rs 12,000 a month. An ad hoc lecturer or guest faculty with MPhil or master’s degree gets only between Rs 7,000 and Rs 8,000 per month,” he stated.

“I fail to understand why we are spoiling the future of the next generation by not providing it standard education. When qualified teachers do not show interest, college managements hire MA-pass teachers. Students become the lone sufferers,” he rued.

“The ban on recruitment should be lifted for the betterment of students. Recruitment of well-qualified teachers should be made for quality education to students,” he said.

Kamalpreet Kaur (name changed), a student of BA-I, said she was shocked to see that her teacher did not know the spelling of the word grammar.

“She wrote gramar instead. How can you expect us to score in English? I knew the spelling and made the correction. Students from rural backgrounds copied the word as it is,” she said.



Woman braves elements, blames property mafia
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
A 58-year-old widow has been braving the elements here for the past five days. She sits outside ‘her plot’ during the day and leaves in the evening.

She claims that a property mafia has grabbed her 200-square-yard plot at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar here.

Paramjit Kaur, who lost her son last year, had been staying with her daughter in Canada. She was told there that some men belonging to the property mafia here had occupied her property.

She said the property was in the name of her husband, who was a Markfed employee. Her husband died a few years ago and she was looking after the property ever since.

She alleged that she had constructed a room and hired a woman as caretaker of the property, but the land grabbers forced the caretaker to vacate the room.

Paramjit Kaur said she was in possession of the power of attorney of the plot, adding that she was yet to get it registered.

It was not the first incident of someone trying to occupy her property. Earlier this year, she had accused her daughter-in-law of trying to grab the property.



MC launches cleanliness drive
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
In a much-awaited relief for city residents, the ill-equipped municipal corporation (MC) started a ward-wise cleanliness drive here today.

After getting directions from the state government, the civic body launched the drive from Dhaka Colony.

MC Additional Commissioner Kuldeep Singh along with chief health officer Dr Charanjeet Uppal and a battery of other officials supervised the drive to ensure that the work of lifting of garbage was carried out properly. The officers asked the MC staff to ensure that the work was done properly and that residents did not face any inconvenience.

While the MC has initiated the drive with gusto, it is faced with problem of lack of proper vehicles and machinery to collecting garbage.

However, Kuldeep Singh said though there were a few problems, they would ensure that city residents got clean roads and surroundings.

He asserted that he would talk to the MC Commissioner about the need of vehicles and subsequently the infrastructure would be upgraded. “If needed, we will hire machinery from private firms,” he added.



Violation of fiscal norms
Probe sought into transactions of private colleges
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 15
Accusing the management committee of private colleges functioning under the Arya Pratinidhi Sabha of allegedly violating fiscal norms laid down by the governing universities and the University Grant Commission, besides the government, activists and office-bearers of the Teachers’ Union Arya Pratinidhi Sabha Colleges Punjab and the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers’ Union have demanded probe into financial transactions of institutes concerned.

To impress upon the authorities to initiate action against erring institute, a protest march and rally will be organised at Nawanshahr on Friday, said the office-bearers. PCCTU president Dr Jagwant Singh and general secretary HS Walia will lead the protesters.

Accusing the outfits of using pressure tactics, office-bearers of management committees of colleges of the area have denied any violations.

Referring to information received from union office-bearers at various colleges of the state, PCCTU finance secretary Vinay Sofat and area secretary Jatinder Pal Sharma alleged that a majority of management committees of private colleges affiliated with the sabha had been violating fiscal norms laid down by the universities and the UGC for many years.

Non-contribution of provident fund, inconsistent criteria for payment of dearness allowance and contributory provident fund, besides illegal deduction in salary of lecturers were the most common violations, according to the office-bearers.

Maintaining that management committees were earning huge revenues as interest on crores of rupees deposited in banks, the union leaders regretted that salaries of teachers were not paid for many years.

The management committees of these colleges have not implemented revised pay scales according to latest notification of the UGC.

Investigations revealed that lecturers of private colleges of the state in general and those governed by the sabha in particular had been on warpath for several months to get their demands implemented.

Those leading the agitation were allegedly victimised by management committees of their respective institutes. The outfits have now decided to intensify the stir.



More LIT properties to be auctioned on Dec 29
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 15
Close on the heels of holding the first-ever auction of commercial and residential properties on November 30, which came after a gap of more than five years, and yielded Rs 9.8 crore, the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) is set to put 29 more commercial and residential properties under the hammer on December 29.

The LIT seems to have suddenly gone in an overdrive mode. The properties now put on offer include four constructed booths in Block D (Ring Road) and another four booths in Block D at the Model Town extension scheme, four double-storeyed built-up shops in Rajguru Nagar, two built-up shop-cum-flats in Bharat Nagar extension scheme, four built-up booths in the same scheme, two constructed booths and two other booth sites in Maharishi Valmiki Nagar, four built-up booths in Block F of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar and four residential plots measuring 100 sq yards each in a 24-acre scheme.

Keeping in view the auction of commercial properties and residential plots last month which fetched between 30 to 80 per cent more than the reserve price, the LIT was upbeat on the outcome of the new offer. “A lot many people have evinced interest in the properties and we hope to do even better this time,” stated an official, requesting not to be identified.

In addition to genuine buyers, a number of property dealers and investors were also said to be keen to purchase some of the LIT properties and sell them at a high premium once the real estate market revives fully, sources in the realty sector remarked.



MC to keep eye on manhole covers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Shaken up from its slumber by public outrage following the death of a man due to the absence of a manhole cover in the city recently, the municipal corporation has asked its patrol staff to give daily report on the status of manhole covers.

In a press release issued here today, VP Singh, superintendent engineer of the operation and maintenance (O&M) branch, said immediate action would follow if any manhole cover was found missing.

He added that complaints being received by the zonal offices regarding the supply of water and sewerage blockage were being redressed immediately so that residents did not face problem.

He said the pipes supplying water to the inner areas of the city that had outlived their life would also be replaced soon. For the purpose, the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board had been assigned the work.

He released phone numbers of key officers for general public to register their complaints.



‘Bus on road, everyone beware!’
Most dangerously driven vehicle, says study
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Going by a study of the movement of different types of vehicles on the Ferozpur road for over a month, it has been found that buses are driven the most dangerously.

The recent study was conducted by a faculty team of the department of management, Ludhiana Group of Colleges, Chaukimaan, under the guidance of Prof Harpreet Singh.

In the study, 25 vehicles each of various types, including cars, trucks, buses, tractor-trolleys, two-wheelers, cattle-pulled carts and jeeps, were studied for over a month.

The driving style was observed on the basis of speed, overtaking and parking styles, especially mornings and evenings, which were peak hours.

Harpreet said, “Bus drivers take maximum risk. They drive at high speed and slow down abruptly. Of the 25 buses, 12 were found overtaking on the extreme right side of the road. Four buses even went off the road on the right side while overtaking.”

The study found five buses competing with other vehicles for space. No bus was parked off the road at regular bus stops. Two drivers were seen talking on phone while driving.

The buses occupied a major portion of the road, causing inconvenience. Bus drivers used pressure horns, not only causing noise pollution, but also distracting others.

Cars, especially luxury ones, stood second in the dangerous-driving category, the major offence being overspeeding.

At least 10 cars were found being driven recklessly. A majority of drivers were seen using the phone while driving.

Trucks came in third, their problem being slow movement in the middle of the road. Such trucks posed a threat as it was difficult to overtake those.

The problem with tractor-trolleys was similar. Seventeen of those were found to be overloaded, making it impossible for the driver to have a rear view.

In terms of crossing the road, two-wheelers were the major defaulters. Seven two-wheelers were observed overtaking heavy vehicles, six were found being driven by underage students and five being driven while talking on phone.

Harpreet added that speed governors on buses would be a solution to reckless driving. Drivers of all vehicles should be stopped for tests of intoxicant consumption. Such drivers should be challaned and fined, he added.



Phoren competition for desi title
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
With just three days to go for the finals of the 11th World Miss Panjaban, contestants are keeping their their fingers crossed.

Damsels from Italy, the US, Canada, New Zealand, Delhi, Haryana, and all over Punjab are putting their their best foot forward to win the title.

The competition will see doli round, solo dance, heritage quiz and gidha round.

Offshore contestants are confident of giving their counterparts a run for their money.

Harsimran Multani (18) from Spain has done her homework. “I am confident of a smooth sailing in the ‘heritage quiz round’. I have gathered all necessary information from my mother and grandmother. Besides, I have taken the help of the Internet. Born in Germany, Harsimran is currently living in Spain. I frequent to India and miss the vibrant culture and sumptuous Punjabi flavour back in Spain. ‘Dal makhani’ is my favourite Punjabi dish.”

Arshdip Kaur Gosal (18) from Canada is visiting Punjab for the second time. Studying in first year at university, Arship is excited about the contest. “The contest is tough as all girls are very proficient. I have tried to gather all necessary information regarding the Punjabi culture from my grandparents,” she quips.

Madhuri Dixit is her favourite Bollywood actress and loves to watch her movies whenever she is free.

Monica Singh (17) from Italy visits India every year. A high school student, Monica got inspired from Japji Khaira when she became Miss World Panjaban.

“When I saw this girl, I always wanted to become like her and today I am here,” she says.

Monica loves the closeness and warmth shared by the people here. “Golgappe” is what she is really fond of and misses them back in Italy. Her cousin is the choreographer for her “solo dance round”.

Navreet Kaur Sandhu (21), a nursing student from the US, is visiting India for the second time. “People, dresses, food, I am loving it all. I plan to visit India as early as possible again. Since none of my grandparents is alive, it is my dad who has helped me out and given me tips for the ‘heritage quiz round’. I love the colourful dresses here and will take a few along,” she adds.

Karampal Kaur Mand (21) also from the US is these days busy reading books on Punjabi heritage and culture.

A student of BSc biology, Mand is visiting India after many years.

It is the traditional dresses that have charmed this US girl and after the contest she will be on a shopping spree to buy the same.

“I do not want to get disappointed so I have not planned anything after winning the title,” she says.



Fraudsters improvise to bait unsuspecting victims
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 15
After failing to allure intended victims to claim huge amounts of money that, according to the senders of unsolicited email messages, had been lying unclaimed in accounts of deceased rich persons, tricksters have started hunting for those who give their consent to accept their share in pocketed fortune, purportedly running into billions of dollars.

Though most of those who receive such mails do not respond to the offers, some do fall prey to the schemes and end up losing a few thousand rupees in the name of “processing charges” for transfer of funds to their accounts.

“I am obliged to inform you that I have succeeded in receiving the funds with the help of a new partner from Paraguay, Fernando Alvaro Gomez. Everything was perfectly done because we struck a deal with one of the lady accountants who works with the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMF), and she rendered a tremendous help to us. My new partner initiated this idea and everything worked out successfully,” reads an email informing a local doctor that his (doctor’s) earlier assistance (which he never did) had proven futile for the sender of the email posing as Frank Mensah, director, Ghana Gold Mines.

“But in appreciation of your earlier assistance to me in receiving the funds, I have decided to compensate you with the sum of $ 1.5 m. This is from my own share and I did this simply to show appreciation to you for your kind support and assistance in the time past, even though we could not succeed due to some circumstances and reason,” the sender of the email says, asking the recipient to contact “David Johnson” to transfer an amount in the bank, account details of which have been sought.

The doctor called up the phone number mentioned in the e-mail after responding to it. He became suspicious when the sender of the message asked him to keep an amount of Rs 1 lakh ready for deposit.

“Full name, home address, mobile phone number and bank account number” are the heads under which information is sought from e-mail recipients who want to accept the gesture by the sender.

Pretending to be writing on behalf of the Secretary General of United Nations, Bank Compensation Unit, Dr Juan Lee sent an email to a schoolteacher that he had been authorised to send him huge funds as compensation from unclaimed funds lying with the organisation.

The teacher has already spent thousands of rupees in efforts to contact “Lisa WU” who, according to the sender of the message, is a representative of an international organisation and is working in paying center.

Now, he has been informed that an agent of the company will hand over bank draft for the amount in India.

Though some mails are accompanied with alerts, warning the recipients of consequences of providing personal details to unidentified persons, the lure of riches prompt them to take the risk.



Research on grape peel in bakery products
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
“Work on introduction and evaluation of grape varieties suitable for agro-climatic conditions of Punjab is currently under way at Punjab Agricultural University,” said Dr SS Gosal, director of research, PAU.

Under the project, a seeded variety of coloured grapes “Punjab Purple” has been released by the university on the basis of its processing suitability into juice, nectar, RTS beverage. After extraction of juice, a good amount of residue in the form of peel and seeds is left, which is rich in fiber and phytonutrients i.e. anthocyanins, tannins, and ascorbic acid, he added.

Dr KS Minhas, head, department of food science and technology, stated PAU scientists Dr Poonam Aggarwal and Dr Amarjeet Kaur of the same department were working on the project.

He added that the aim was to utilise the industrial waste by transforming it into useful bakery products and reap health benefits due to the presence of phytochemicals. Also, the shelf life of products would be assessed.

Dr Aggarwal and Dr Kaur said bakery products, especially bread and muffins, were included in the daily diet of an average Indian and those living abroad. They were considered safe foods due to high temperature used during baking.

They remarked that grape juice residue i.e. peel and seeds were utilised in bread and muffins, which were rich in total phenolic compounds, anthocyanins and ascorbic acid. These compounds were known to reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer, coronary heart diseases, stroke and Alzheimer’s.

They were rich in anti-oxidants, protected eyes from degenerative diseases and acted as anti-aging compounds.

The addition of grape peel and seed powder to the bread at 2 per cent and 4 per cent each marked an increase in weight and volume of the bread.

The appearance, colour, texture and taste of bread with grape peel and seed powder was more appealing to the eye than plain bread.



Stress on sharpening communication skills
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
BCM College of Education organised a seminar on “Boosting the Communication Skills of the Teachers”.

Inaugurating the seminar with his keynote address, Prof SK Sharma, director, youth welfare, Punjabi University Patiala, stressed the need for having language of cultures and nonverbal communication.

In his presentation, Dr BS Malik, former professor, Ranchi University, stressed the importance of reading skills for effective communication. He suggested teachers and students to study literature, novels and newspapers, etc. to master the skill of communication.

Rashmi Khurana, senior programmer, All India Radio, Jalandhar, in her presentation said communication was easily overlooked but the ability to communicate effectively was necessary to carry forwards the thoughts and visions of an organisation to the people.

The importance of speech and words, whether through a paper or a voice, was a communication medium to convey directions and provide synchronisation.

Without communication, there was no way to express thoughts, ideas and feelings, she stressed.

Jasjit Kalra, an English lecturer, underlined the importance of good communication skills for teachers. She said teachers, especially those of languages, were expected to have a good command of the language and possess excellent communication skills.

She exhorted students to have effective communication skills. Pallavi of department of English, BCM School, Shastri Nagar, highlighted the components of an effective communication i.e. positive motivation, effective body language, sense of humour and interpersonal skills.



GNPS classes go 3D
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Guru Nanak Public School has become the first institution in North India to introduce stereoscopic three dimensional (3D) content for its students. The content has been introduced for both junior and senior classes. School principal Mona Singh said stereoscopic 3D is a revolutionary teaching aid that gives 400 per cent more information as compared to ordinary 2D.

“This innovative method of delivering lessons has revolutionised teaching in schools across the world,” she remarked. The principal added that children’s attention span lasted a lot longer when viewing stereoscopic 3D images. Hence, it was a highly beneficial aid for them and would help enhance their performance.



Meetings by staff ahead of union poll
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
The BSNL Employees’ Union started its series of meetings at branch level from today. These meetings are being held in connection with the forthcoming elections to elect non-executive representatives to the union in the BSNL.

Addressing workers at Mata Rani Chowk exchange here today, district secretary Balwinder Singh said the main agenda of thee union during these elections was to strengthen and save the BSNL.

He said the BSNL had gone into losses and all due to anti-public sector policies of the UPA government.

“The BSNL has been saved from disinvestment and its workers from retrenchment due to the consistent struggle of the BSNL employees union,” he said.

Similar meetings were held at Raikot and Sudhar telephone exchanges which were addressed by Avtar Singh Jhande and Mohinder Choudhery.



No biz on MC land, firm told
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Taking note of violation of agreement by a private company by setting up a commercial venture along with public toilets at the Rose Garden here, the municipal corporation (MC) authorities have asked the company to shut all commercial activity on its land.

According to information available, the MC had allotted a prime piece of land to the company a few years back for constructing public toilets and water-vending kiosks.

In order to provide public utilities to residents, the Building and Roads (B&R) branch of the civic body had entered into an agreement with the company.

The company had allegedly flouted norms by opening an eating joint at the place, but public toilets were not functional.

After the matter was raised by some residents, MC Commissioner AK Sinha had asked MC Additional Commissioner Kanwalpreet Kaur Brar to enquire the matter and take action against the company.

Brar called a meeting of officials of the B&R branch and representatives of the company at her office today. Company officials tried to convince MC officials that they had not violated any clause and the eating joint was as per the agreement.

Dissatisfied, she told them that the commercial activity being carried on MC land was violative of the agreement and they should stop it, failing which action would be taken against them.

Brar confirmed that she told representatives of the company to stop the commercial activity. Asked why the MC had been lenient against the violator in the past, she said there was a lapse and she asked B&R officials to submit a report in this regard.



Flouting of road construction norms
Resident files complaint against LIT
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Irked over the construction of road by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) despite low temperature, a resident of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar has sent a compliant regarding this to the chairman of the LIT and the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC).

In his complaint, the resident and social activist Arvind Sharma has alleged that the road was built by ignoring the prescribed norms laid down for constructing the road. He had even attached a copy of The Tribune which had highlighted the issue on Saturday and demanded that the samples of the road must be taken and sent for laboratory check up.

Asserting that the LIT officers had deliberately misused their authority to favour a contractor, he had demanded that a stern action must be initiated against all those who were involved in the mess.



Three more shops demolished
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Acting against violators of building bylaws, the Municipal Corporation (MC) razed three shops here today. A team of the building branch of zone D razed two shops near Rakh Bagh as these were built on public land.

Another shop was demolished at Sham Nagar.

ATP SS Bindra said though there were 14 shops in the locality that violated the law but the MC had already demolished seven of them during the drive conducted a few days ago.

However, he said shopkeepers had sought some more time from the MC but as they had not removed the infringement, the MC demolished a shop. “The shopkeepers have asked for time till Thursday, so we have given it to them,” he added.



Master plan gives industry sleepless nights
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna, December 15
The proposed Khanna master plan has caused resentment among local industrialists, who fear their businesses would be severely hit if implemented.

According to the proposed master plan, several areas having industrial units will fall either in mixed or residential zone.

If this plan is implemented, industrial units are set to face great difficulties and financial losses.

Sometime ago, owners of around 30 units had registered their objection with the Chief Town Planner, Punjab, and sent copies to the District Town Planner, Ludhiana, the Khanna Improvement Trust chairman and the nagar council president for consideration.

The Improvement Trust chairman had also favoured their demand and sent a letter to the department concerned.

According to the draft of the master plan, the area on the Khanna-Gobindgarh road i.e. from Manku Steel Industries up to Alaour village has been proposed to be included in the mixed zone.

The area up to Bhadla and near Mughal Majra has been made part of the industrial zone.

The area of Bulepur village on the GT road, near Khanna, having certain industrial units has been included in the residential zone.

Similarly, the area along the Khanna-Samrala road and Khanna-Khamano road, where several industrial units are present, is proposed to be part of residential zone.

The aggrieved industrialists had met with the the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner along with officials of other departments concerned in this regard but to no avail.

However, the area having industrial units was included in the residential zone through an advertisement, giving industrialists sleepless nights.

Improvement Trust chairman Rajesh Dali said he was aware of the problem of industrialists and that he would take up the matter with the minister concerned to save the industry from dying.



F&CC meeting on Dec 18
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
In a bid to woo urban voters before the Assembly elections of 2012, the finance and contracts committee (F&CC) of the municipal corporation is all set to pass a 322-point agenda to initiate a large number of development works in the city.

According to sources, the committee meeting comprising senior leaders of the Akali-BJP alliance and corporation’s top officials would meet on December 18 to discuss the agenda, comprising largely of development works.

The sources said as the state government had repeatedly been laying stress on ensuring proper civic amenities to residents, the MC officers had set the agenda in compliance with the guidelines of the state government.

They added that the agenda that had been circulated to the committee members was dominated by the works of the operation and maintenance (O&M) branch, which included laying of water and sewerage pipes in various localities of the city.

Also, construction work on roads and repair of the existing ones was also on the agenda. The purchase of new machinery to update the existing infrastructure of the MC too figured on the agenda.

The sources added that as Deputy Chief Minster Sukhbir Singh Badal had assured a grant of Rs 100 crore to MC Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, the civic body authorities were planning to initiate development works by spending crores of rupees.

Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal confirmed that the F&CC meeting would take place on December 18.

However, he said the agenda had not been set keeping in view political reasons but they would ensure that proper development of the city took place.



Henna artist crushed to death

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 15
A youth was run over by several vehicles after he allegedly fell from a moving bus on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road, near Gopalur village, last evening. The Dehlon police has registered a case under Sections 304 of the IPC against the owner and staff of the unknown bus.

The victim, Gaurie Shankar, of local the Ambedkar Nagar area was returning home after meeting a client in Ludhiana.

He was a henna artist and used to design and apply patterns to the hands of brides.

Around 7 pm, his mobile phone went out of order. In the meantime, the Dehlon police received information that a youth had been run over by several vehicles near Gopalpur. As documents and the mobile phone of the deceased were destroyed in the incident, the police used the mobile SIM card to identify the victim. The police handed over the mutilated body of the victim to his relatives after a post-mortem examination. — OC



Signature drive against Zonal Commissioner
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Intensifying his campaign to get the municipal corporation Zonal Commissioner transferred, Harbhajan Singh Dang, leader of group of SAD councillors, initiated a signature campaign here today.

For the past one week, Dang has been pressing for the transfer of Joint Commissioner BK Gupta from zone B, accusing him of creating undue hurdles in the way of executing public works.

Dang has accused the officer of regularly ignoring the interest of public. His attitude towards elected representatives was also not satisfactory, he claims.

Dang had even met MC Commissioner AK Sinha yesterday, urging him to transfer the Joint Commissioner, who is also the Zonal Commissioner of zone D.

While Sinha assured Dang of looking into the matter, the latter started a signature campaign against Gupta to garner support.

He asserted that he had the support of a sizeable section of councillors, who were also fed up with the working of the officer.

Dang added that though he was being pressured by a large number of people to strike truce with the officer, he would continue his fight against “indifferent” officers for the interest of residents.

The agitating councillor also got unexpected support from his party colleague and Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, who asserted that the feelings of the councillors must be respected and erring officers must respect their work.

During his meeting with Dang, in which the councillor apprised him of the issue, Mayor assured him of looking into the matter.



Govt rapped for fuel price hike
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 15
The Marxist Communist Party of India (MCPI) has criticised the Punjab government for bus fare hike, terming it an anti-people step that would benefit only the transporters.

Demanding immediate rollback of the increase in the bus fares in a statement here today, party’s state secretary Kuldip Singh observed that the sharp increase in bus fares would put an additional burden on people, who were already reeling under the weight of unprecedented price rise of all essential commodities. Calling upon the government not to bow to the pressure of the powerful transport lobby, the MCPI urged the government to review the decision and withdraw the increase in bus fares.



5 get RI for life in murder case
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 15
The court of Additional Sessions Judge Mandeep Pannu has convicted five persons on the charges of killing Gurjit Kaur of Mangat village, Ludhiana. All have been sentenced to undergo rigorous life imprisonment. A fine of Rs 10,500 each was imposed on the accused.

Those convicted are Soma of Mangat village, and Shamshad Khan, alias Gaffar, and Sandeep Singh, residents of Sangrur, and Hardeep Singh, alias Laddi, and Lakhwinder Singh of Rosiana village in Payal.

The court held that the prosecution had proved that the accused had murdered Gurjit Kaur following a conspiracy hatched by Soma.

The court also sentenced the accused to undergo imprisonment for one year on the charges of injuring Paramjit Kaur, the victim’s sister, when she tried to save Gurjit Kaur.

A case under was registered against the accused at the Basti Jodhewal police station in 2008 on the complaint of Paramjit Kaur.

The complainant had told the police that she had got her younger sister married to her husband’s brother. But her aunt, Soma, who stayed in the adjoining house, did not like it and was against the marriage.

Soma hatched a conspiracy and got the victim killed. On the fateful day, all the accused, except Soma, entered their house armed with weapons and inflicted injuries on her sister. When she tried to intervene, she was also beaten up. Her sister sustained severe injuries and died.



Gurdaspur athletes lead the pack
Our Sports Reporter

A pole vaulter in action on the final day of the 56th Punjab State Schools Athletics Meet held in Ludhiana on Wednesday
A pole vaulter in action on the final day of the 56th Punjab State Schools Athletics Meet held in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, December 15
Participants from Gurdaspur gave a good account of themselves and won most of the titles which were at stake on the final day of the 56th Punjab State Schools Athletics Meet, organised by the Punjab Education Department, which concluded at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

Results: 400m hurdles (boys u-19): 1 Jagdep Singh of Tarn Taran, 2 Arshdeep Singh of Amritsar, 3 Amarjeet Singh of Sangrur; 400m hurdles (girls u-19): 1 Amandeep Kaur of Tarn Taran, 2 Kirandeep Kaur of Jalandhar, 3 Amandep Kaur of Sangrur; triple jump (girls u-19): 1 Karanjeet Kaur of Jalandhar, 2 Vipanjot Kaur of Patiala, 3 Arwinder Kaur of Ludhiana; triple jump (girls u-17): 1 Bhumika Thakur of Gurdaspur, 2 Harpreet Kaur of Sangrur, 3 Sandeep Kaur of Patiala; javelin throw (girls u-19): 1 Harpreet Kaur of Patiala, 2 Harmanpreet Kaur of Tarn Taran, 3 Amandeep Kaur of Muktsar; 200m (girls u-14): 1 Navneet Kaur of Gurdaspur, 2 Manpret Kaur of Sangrur, 3 Kiran Bala of Faridkot; 200m (girls u-17): 1 Kamal Kaur of Sangrur, 2 Harman Kaur of Jalandhar, 3 Kulbir Kaur of Gurdaspur; 200m (girls u-19): 1 Manpreet Kaur of Kairon, 2 Kirandeep Kaur of Jalandhar, 3 Simran Kaur of Sangrur; 200m (boys u-14): 1 Simranjeet Singh of Gurdaspur, 2 Rahul Sharma of Mohali, 3 Sneh Lata of Patiala; 200m (boys u-19): 1 Harjinder Singh of Gurdaspur, 2 Sandep Singh of Ludhiana, 3 Shubham of Jalandhar; 200m (boys u-17): 1 Jatin Jain of Patiala, 2 Kanwar Pal Singh of Tarn Taran, 3 Gurdial Singh of Gurdaspur; javelin throw (girls u-17): 1 Balwinder Kaur of Ludhiana, 2 Veerpal Kaur of Ferozepur, 3 Roshna Bai of Ferozepur; hammer throw (boys u-19): 1 Jagdeep Singh of Ludhiana, 2 Kulwinder Singh of Sangrur, 3 Karkamal of Sangrur; hammer throw (boys u-17): 1 Gurmeet Singh of Gurdaspur, 2 Rupinder Singh of Gurdaspur, 3 Mohd Anwar of Fatehgarh Sahib.



Karatekas accorded warm welcome
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 15
Karatekas from the city who represented the nation in the Asian Karate Championship held in Malaysia from December 9 to 11 returned home this evening. These martial arts players performed exceedingly well and made their presence felt in the meet.

Over 800 boys and girls from different countries competed in the meet and those from the city, including students of Guru Gobind Singh Public School and Bal Bharti Public School — Gursimaran Singh, Amarpreet Singh, Rubal Kumar, Arshjot Singh, Taranjot Singh and Shivani — finished among the first six position holders in their respective age groups.

They were accorded a warm reception on their arrival at the railway station here this evening.

Officer-bearers of the Ludhiana District Karate-Do Association, parents and teachers were present to receive them.



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