L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bedlam on roads calls for radical measures
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 2
With a population of 35 lakh plus and perhaps the highest density of vehicles in the entire region, the situation on roads in the mega city has to be seen to be believed.Bumper-to-bumper traffic, honking motorists, haphazard parking, frequent traffic jams on all major roads virtually make these a madhouse.

The menace of blocking roads in the name of religious, cultural and social functions continues with impunity in Ludhiana.;A safai worker sits guard during a demonstration on a busy intersection in Ludhiana.File photos: Inderjeet Verma

As if this was not enough, rallies, processions, dharnas, religious congregations and shobha yatras taken out on roads every other day, add to the woes of road users, wreak havoc on the flow of traffic and make the life of the people miserable.

It is an admitted fact that the road network in the city is far too inadequate to cope with the number of vehicles, the volume of traffic and the mammoth number of other users on roads. But with roads being fully or partially blocked due to political rallies, processions or religious functions, the situation is further compounded.

To make matters worse, such blatant misuse of roads (blockade or taking out processions) is no longer a rarity, but has rather become a routine affair.

"The city roads and public streets seem to have become a private property of the people. Anyone can put up a shamiana or a stage right in the middle of the road to hold a social, religious or cultural function, or for that matter to hold a political rally, stage a dharna or protest. It is the toothless administration and lax enforcement of rules that has emboldened the people to encroach upon the roads and public streets and hold the entire city population to ransom," says Kultar Singh, a social activist.

Sher Singh, a retired railway official and president of Environmental Welfare Association, goes a step further and blames the authorities for the chaos prevailing on roads. "There are sufficient laws in place and blocking a road or holding up traffic is a cognisable offence. Then why don't the authorities, and specifically the police, act against the law breakers?" he asks in a disgusted tone.

Many others like him firmly believe that the solution to the madness prevailing on roads lies in imposing a complete ban on taking out processions, holding protests or dharnas or even organising religious shobha yatras on main roads, which lead to disruption of traffic. "Any one causing obstruction on roads or public street should be booked and prosecuted," they asserted.

A cross section of city residents whom The Tribune spoke to feel that biggest offenders of creating mess on the roads are the political parties. Every other day, groups of political activists or trade unions hold demonstrations or dharnas at busy intersections like Clock Tower or Bharat Nagar Chowk, holding up vehicular traffic for hours together. "While people are stuck in traffic jams, the police keeps diverting the traffic on alternative routes rather than acting against those blocking the roads," says Ashwani Sood, a city businessman.

Obstruction in the flow of traffic caused due to blatant misuse not only leads to traffic jams and delays to public transport vehicles which might make somebody miss an appointment or urgent meeting or a family function, but even ambulances or other vehicles carrying critically ill persons which could be life-threatening, he adds.

A large number of residents said the administration ought to earmark an open ground away from the city, where political rallies, protests, religious congregations and shobha yatras could be organised and no political, religious, social or cultural body should be allowed to make use of roads for such purposes.

Commenting on the issue, most of the officials appeared non-serious to the complexity of the problem. "We can't always use force on the protesters squatting in the middle of a road or blocking an intersection lest we should be charged with repression. Same goes for political or religious shows. If we allow one party to take out a rally and say no to another, we shall be termed partisan, and as far as religious congregations on the roads are concerned, we do not want to take the blame for hurting religious sentiments," said a middle-rung police official requesting not to be named.

‘Religious bodies should cooperate’

Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh says of late there have been very few instances when traffic jams were caused by protesters. "And in some cases, we have registered cases against the offenders. As far as religious congregations and shobha yatras are concerned, these cannot be prohibited. It is for the religious bodies to come forward, and if all of them agree, a place can be specified for this purpose so that the normal flow of traffic in city remains unaffected.

‘Evolve Consensus’

Senior deputy mayor Praveen Bansal agrees that the road network and infrastructure are inadequate to take the load of traffic and additional pressure put by processions and religious congregations on roads. He suggests that a consensus has to be evolved for shobha yatras to be taken out in early hours of the morning on city roads or at a specified open place so that such crowd-gathering events do not obstruct normal traffic.


Centre’s no to turning lab into PWD mini-secretariat 
Anshu Seth/TNS

The PWD regional research laboratory which was the chosen site for the PWD mini-secretariat.
The PWD regional research laboratory which was the chosen site for the PWD mini-secretariat.Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, January 2
The multi-crore project of the state government to bring divisional offices of the PWD, which are functional in Ludhiana, under one roof has suffered a setback as the Department of Forestry and Environment, Government of India, has “rejected” the proposal to convert the regional research laboratory of the PWD on the Ferozepur road into the PWD mini-secretariat.

The Centre’s denial has cost the state government an estimated loss of Rs 100 crore, as the project, after having been cleared in Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) empowered sub-committee meeting, was nearing completion.

The offices and the residences of the PWD are situated on the Rani Jhansi road, old DMC road, adjoining Arya College and Rakhbagh.

A clearance from the department of forestry and environment is a must to carry out any renovation/construction in the buildings erected on the forestland. The PWD regional research laboratory falls under the purview of the forest department.

Interestingly, the Punjab Forest Department had given clearance to the renovation project, but the case was rejected by the Department of Forestry and Environment, Government of India, in December 2010.

The offices and residences of the PWD are situated on the Rani Jhansi Road, old DMC road, adjoining Arya College and Rakhbagh and the estimated cost of every piece of land owned by the PWD runs in crores. Thus the state government had decided to auction land belonging to the PWD after making alternative arrangements for the offices and residences.

The matter was taken up in the Punjab Infrastructure Development Board (PIDB) empowered sub-committee meeting held in the first quarter of 2010, following which a go-ahead was given for the auctioning of the offices/residences. Also, the alternative sites for centralised office and residential colony were finalised.

Confusion on issue: XEN

XEN, provincial division, Gursewak Singh Sangha, said there was some confusion over the issue of “renovation” of the PWD regional research laboratory, adding “we are having a meeting with the officials of the forest department in the third week of January wherein we will give a fresh representation in the case”. The land for the PWD residential colony has already been acquired on the Dugri road, he went on to add



Tipsy city cop opens fire in Shimla
Mohit Khanna/TNS

Ludhiana, January 2
A tipsy cop has caused major embarrassment to the entire police department of the city after he was booked for firing shots in the air and creating panic at a resort, 22 km from Shimla in Himachal Pradesh.

Taking prompt action, the Shimla police booked sub-inspector Dilpreet Singh of the Ludhiana police and confiscated his service revolver.

According to sources, the incident took place after a minor altercation with some persons during the New Year party at the resort.

After being caught on the wrong foot, senior police officials maintained that Dilpreet Singh was presently on leave.

As per available information, Dilpreet Singh had gone to celebrate New Year at Shilon Bagh Resorts. He was reportedly accompanied by a woman.

It is learnt that an altercation took place when people were celebrating New Year and someone in the party made a nasty remark at the woman. Dilpreet pulled out his service revolver and fired in the air.

Following this, the police reached the spot and arrested the tipsy cop. The cops then registered a case.

Senior police officials were tight-lipped and refused to comment on the incident.

Highly placed sources said Dilpreet might face departmental action following the incident.



Youth nabbed for watchman’s murder
Mohit Khanna/TNS

Ludhiana, January 2
In a major breakthrough, the city police has claimed to have solved the blind murder case where a watchman Mann Bahadur of Nepal was bludgeoned to death following an altercation in Basant Avenue on October 26.

The police has nabbed a youth, identified as Gurmeet Singh, of Himmat Singh Nagar located near Basant Avenue in this connection.

The police arrested the accused following a tip-off from Phullanwal village. During the interrogation, Gurmeet Singh cracked soon and confessed to committing the murder of the watchman along with his accomplice Kulwinder Singh.

Assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Narinderpal Singh Ruby stated that the accused were chronic drug addicts and hooked to smack.

“It was like finding a needle from a stack of husk. During the course of investigation, we came to know that the accused were travelling in a Toyota Qualis. We started the search and came to know that Gurmeet of Himmat Singh Nagar was seen in the area during the night of the incident. He was asking for a Maruti Alto car from watchmen deployed in the area,” said Narinderpal Singh Ruby.

It turned out a be a crucial lead for the police. It started collecting evidence against Gurmeet and deployed cops in plain clothes to monitor the movements of the accused.

In police custody, Gurmeet narrated the entire murder episode. He told the police that he and Kulwinder consumed smack and drank liquor till late night on October 25.

The duo then decided to take a round of the area in their car. As soon as they reach Basant Avenue, their car collided with a Maruti Alto. The duo had an altercation with the man driving the Alto.

As the duo was drunk, the man driving the car sensed trouble and fled the scene. Gurmeet said they started chasing the vehicle and asked Mann Bahadur whether the latter had spotted an Alto car in the area.

“Kulwinder took up a fight with Mann Bahadur as well and bludgeoned the watchman with a baseball bat. We came to know next morning that the watchman died on the spot,” said Gurmeet Singh in police custody.

In the meantime, the police has launched a manhunt to nab the accused Kulwinder Singh of Chimenda village near Jodha. Both accused were working as private taxi drivers. The duo used to spend their entire earning on buying drugs.

Gurmeet Singh was booked under Sections 302, 307, 323, 341 and 506 of the IPC for murder. The accused was produced before the court later during the day. 

Evidence destroyed

The accused took the mobile phone of the watchman and burnt it to eliminate evidence. It is learnt that the watchman had reportedly clicked the photographs of the vehicle in which the accused were travelling.



Change in school timings
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
Keeping in view the harsh weather conditions prevailing in the region, district magistrate of Ludhiana Rahul Tiwari today passed an order directing all city schools to change their timings.

The schools, set to re-open tomorrow after the winter break, would function as per normal timings on Monday, but from Tuesday, the schools would start at 9 am, the order stated.



Transporters say no to online filing of tax
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
To simplify the things and avoid huge rush at barriers, the Excise and Taxation Department has made online filing mandatory for some categories instead of furnishing details at electronic information collection centre (EICC). However, transporters have refused to adopt the new system. Nearly 70 per cent of the transporters are against this system.

Transporters are facing problems to adopt this new system. The small transporters do not have computers and lack technical know-how to take on this system. They will have to employ computer operators to fill in the forms.

"Small transporters neither have computers at their offices nor are they familiar with its operations. They will have to employ data operators to fill the forms online. First, they will have to buy the device and then the monthly salary of the operator will be an extra burden on these small transporters," said Charan Singh Lohara, chairman of the Ludhiana Goods Transport Association.

He said it would not be fair on their part and the department should not make it compulsory for all. While handling the form to the department officials, every transporter has to deposit a fee of Rs 10 in case he is filing it online and Rs 15 if he is getting it filled from the officials.

"This fee is unjustified and should not be taken from the transporters. This fee is taken to raise the revenue collected from the state. The department is already collecting enough revenue from Punjab and this fee should be abolished which is only an extra burden on traders and transporters," added Lohara.

Gurmeet Singh, a small transporter, said filing forms online is beyond his capacity. "I do not have computer knowledge and will have to employ a data operator to do this work for me," he said.

Manohar Kaushal, press secretary of the Ludhiana Transporters Welfare Association said: “The department should not make it compulsory. Those who want to file it online can do that while other who are not capable of doing the same should not be forced." he said.

Kaushal added that nearly 70 per cent of transporters in the city were against the system. Since they are still required to pay of fee of Rs 10 after filing it online they do not mind paying Rs 15 and getting it filled from the officials. "In case there is some mistake in the form our consignment will be stranded till the error is not cleared, he added.

At present 30 per cent of the information is registered online but by March 31, nearly 75 per cent of traders will file their details online and the department has already issued 3,500 passwords in this regard. The Excise and Taxation Department had given a relaxation to the traders up to December 31 for furnishing the details online. 



Risking life on Ferozepur road
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
The Ferozepur road is increasingly becoming the most preferred destination of youths to perform daredevil stunts on motorcycle.A majority of the youths residing in villages falling near Ferozepur road are increasingly indulging into daredevil acts at the risk of their lives. The road has been witness to some of the tragic road accidents in the recent past. But youths seem to be oblivious about the tragedies and continue to perform motorcycle daredevils.

Recently, a motorcyclist was spotted performing daredevil stunts on Ferozepur road and his friends were recoding the video on their mobile phone. When asked, the youths said they would load the video on a video sharing website "you tube".

"I know, I will fall and receive injuries, but who cares. It is a very thrilling experience to perform daredevil stunts on motorcycle," said the youth, refusing to divulge his identity.

Kamaljit Soi, a road safety expert, said: "Such youths should be taken to the houses of people who have lost their kin in road accidents. What kind of thrill they get by putting their life at stake on the busy road."

Students of colleges located near Baddowal and Mullapur are also increasingly indulging in performing daredevil acts on Ferozepur road. In the absence of any check by traffic police, students could easily be spotted driving their vehicle at high speed.

Last year, a student sustained serious head injuries when he lost control over the motorcycle and rammed into a stationary truck near West End Mall. A few months back, four students travelling in a Toyota Innova car died in a head on collusion with a truck near Baddowal.

"The motorcycle daredevils being shown on the television channels has major role to play behind such incidents. The youth emulate what is being shown on television and put their lives at risk. The only way to tackle the menace is to ban such channels. The police should cancel the licence of such youths and confiscate their vehicle," said TD Singh, a physical education teacher of KVM School.



Improving financial position top priority: VC 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
Vice-Chancellor of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University Dr VK Taneja dedicated his extension to hard work put in by scientists, technicians, administrative and supporting staff and students which led to the growth of the university on all fronts.

Sharing his views on challenges ahead in 2011, Dr Taneja said the financial position of the varsity had to be made stronger. He said, “ Against a non-plan grant of Rs 25 crore per year, our annual expenditure on salary and pension alone is around Rs 41 crore. This was largely because of increase in salaries due to revision of pay scales. Grants received from the state are being used for salaries and pension alone. Financial position needs to be improved by generating resources through seeking funds from national and international organisations.”

Dr Taneja said though GADVASU had added and strengthened some of the academic and research infrastructure and laboratory facilities, but much more still needs to be done both in respect of infrastructure and research capacities/ capabilities and training for quality output including generation and dissemination of technologies.

Discussing the statistics of strength, he told that scientific staff strength at GADVASU was 177 (52 professors, 40 associate professors and 85 assistant professors). Of these 58 per cent were in academics, 33 per cent in research and 9 per cent in extension.

The normal ratio of professor, associate professor and assistant professor should be 1:2:5 while the proportion in teaching, research and extension should be around 30:55:15 per cent.

“We need to involve young colleagues to be equal partners and even encourage them to write grants as project leaders and submit to agencies which have some special programmes to support young scientists.

This shall greatly help in improving research capabilities and leadership at younger level.

Our research efforts should lead to owning and generating patents, products, processes and technologies of commercial value for increased productivity and profitability from livestock and fish farming,” he said. 



Seminar on effective interviewing skills
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
The Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU) conducted a one-day seminar on effective interviewing skills.

CICU general secretary Avtar Singh while speaking on the occasion said the seminar would provide a platform to learn implications of various important skills to facilitate and support MSMEs, industrial associations and other stakeholders.

Participants will learn to implement consistent face-to-face interviews that allow the organisation to make the right selection accurately.

Finance secretary Phuman Singh said this programme featured a special step-by-step process where the participants would walk through and learn the entire process of planning, recruiting, interviewing and hiring the right person for the right job.

CICU joint secretary Upkar Singh in his concluding remarks said consequent upon the increased globalisation of the Indian economy, MSME sector was facing new challenges. In the current competitive environment where lean organisations have the advantage, effective interviewing skills can not only help to hire the right candidates for the job but also ensure that such competent candidates directly contribute by way of top performance and productivity. The use of competency-based selection procedures for selecting high performing employees has become a standard practice for many organisations.

He further informed that this programme made valuable contribution in developing right skills to enhance the level of competence, especially in judging and selecting suitable candidates in short span of time, essential for the growth and prosperity of MSMEs.



Students undertake cleanliness drive
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 2
More than 100 volunteers of the National Service Scheme unit of Government Senior Secondary School, Kanganwal, undertook a cleanliness drive at the village and surrounding localities during the seven-day camp organised on the school campus.

Former chairman Sinder Singh Chahal was the chief guest at the inaugural function, which was presided over by Sukhdev Singh Khalsa, principal of the institute.

Convener Rajinder Kumar and programme officer Parminder Singh said 115 students of senior secondary classes had contributed in promotion of environment by undertaking massive cleanliness drive in the area. Besides clearing choked drains and littered streets, volunteers removed garbage from common places, including inns, play grounds and religious places.

A cultural programme was also presented during the inaugural session. Bhangra, choreography and folk items performed by the volunteers were well appreciated.

Dr Bhupinder Singh Bedi, former district ayurvedic officer, SP Sofat, president Rotary Club, Ahmedgarh, Dr Ravinder Sharma, former president, Kuldeep Kumar and Lakhbir Singh Kothala spoke on different topics during various sessions.

Causes and consequences of AIDS, role of students in preventing social evils, psychological preparedness of students and tips on first aid were among topics touched by various speakers.

Bhupinder Singh and Santokh Singh, office-bearers of the Chahal Sports Club, called upon the students to adopt sportsmanship as an element of lifestyle.



NSS camp concludes
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 2
A seven-day NSS camp organised by over 200 volunteers from Guru Har Krishan College, Phallewal, concluded at Jandali Khurad village near here today.

The function was presided over by Amarjit Singh Sidhu, while Amrik Singh Jandlai, chairman of the Market Committee, was the chief guest.

According to SP Sofat, convener of the event, the volunteers undertook various activities during the camp. Besides taking part in a cleanliness drive and promotion of environment, the volunteers contributed towards educating children and adults of the village.

A cultural programme was also presented. Bhangra, choreography and folk items performed by the volunteers were well appreciated.

Jandali urged the girl students to contribute their share in restructuring of society by focusing on achieving excellence in studies. He claimed that social evils, including female foeticide, drug addiction and dowry system could not be checked without active role of women.

Major Singh, Usha Jain principal, Rachna Sidhu principal and programme officers Maninder Kaur and Sukhraj Kaur stressed the role of social service organisation in personality development of students.



Lions Club organises ‘Bhaichara-2011’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
Members of the Lions Club, Ludhiana Greater, under the presidentship of PMJF Lion Balwant Singh Jandu, organised the Indo-Pak Lions’ meet ‘Bhaichara-2011’ at Wagah border yesterday.

In a release issued here today, secretary Rajeev Monga said the meet was organised to spread the message of peace and brotherhood. Monga along with past district governor KK Verma, who has recently attended a convention in Dubai, said members of the Lions District 321-F from India and Pakistan decided to welcome the New Year in a different way to spread the message of peace and brotherhood. "So we decided to meet at Wagha border on January 1, 2011. We raised peace slogans during the Retreat ceremony,” said Verma.

The members also distributed sweets and fruits among the BSF jawans. Before the meeting with their Pakistan counterparts, lions and their families visited Golden Temple to seek the blessings of the Almighty. 



MC fails to heal ailing Pindi Street
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
Pindi Street, said to be the second largest market of medicines in North India, is facing the apathy of the Municipal Corporation (MC) officials.The owners of 350 shops who conduct business worth around Rs 500 crore annually in this market contribute a handsome amount of money to the state exchequer, but unfortunately they are finding it hard to get even the basic amenities.

Like any other inner area of the city, residents face problems due to traffic mismanagement in the area. The narrow street and heavy flow of traffic on it makes it very difficult for the commuters to move in the bazaar. To add to the woes of shopkeepers, illegal parking in the area results in the choking of the traffic due to which even the pedestrians find it tough to cross roads. In the same manner, the illegal encroachments also halt the smooth flow of traffic in the area due to which the shopkeepers face a lot of problems.

The web of high voltage wires in the area further increases the problems of the shopkeepers, as every time there is a grave threat regarding mishaps occurring due to short-circuit. Though the shopkeepers have a number of times submitted written complaints to the officials of the electricity board, none of have them have ever bothered to find some solution to this problem due to which shopkeepers face a lot of inconvenience.

In the same manner, the lack of cleanliness and the scattered garbage in the area also create a lot of problems for the shopkeepers, but the MC authorities have never bothered to get the grievance of the shopkeepers addressed.

Similarly, irked at the lack of de-silting of sewerage system due to which the sewerage lines frequently get choked in the past, shopkeepers have now themselves laid down the new sewerage lines by spending money. But the problem of contaminated water supply in the area has no solution yet despite the fact that the shopkeepers have lodged a number of complaints regarding it to the civic body authorities. The poor maintenance of the streetlights and lack of the public toilets in the area are other prominent problems faced by the shopkeepers. Another major problem in the area is the presence of some old buildings that pose a serious threat to the life of the shopkeepers but action on them is also awaited. 

Shopkeepers’ view 



Onion prices fall as supply goes up
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
With more stocks arriving at the wholesale market, onion prices have started coming down. The basic ingredient of every household that was priced at Rs 70 per kilogram a few days back is now available at Rs 45 per kilogram.

With a ban on the export of onion, it is expected that the price of onion will stabilise in the coming days.

Tomato prices have also come down to Rs 35 per kg while the prices of other vegetables remain stagnant throughout the week. 



MC revises rates of maintaining parks
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
Bowing to park management committees (PMCs) pressure, the Municipal Corporation has finally decided to revise the rates for management of parks in the city.As per the new order, the MC will pay a consolidated amount of Rs 1,500 per month to the PMC for parks measuring up to 1,500 square yards and Rs 6,000 for parks measuring more than 1,500 square yards.

However, in its earlier decision, the MC had decided to pay Rs 1.50 per square yard to the PMCs maintaining parks measuring up to 4,000 square yards and Rs 1 per square yard to those maintaining parks more than 4,000 square yards.

This order did not go down well with the PMCs and representative of the committees lodged their protest under the banner of the Federation of Park Management Committees saying that a PMC maintaining a park of 4,000 square yards would get Rs 6,000, but another PMC maintaining a park measuring 4,500 square yards would get only Rs 4,500.

Even SS Chana, president of the federation, along with Congress councillor Hari Singh Brar had met MC Commissioner AK Sinha last month regarding the matter. Both of them had explained the Commissioner that there was a huge anomaly in the revised rates. After hearing their plea, Sinha had assured them that he would look into the matter. Subsequently, in a recent decision, the MC revised the rates and now the parks measuring more then 4,000 square yards would get a consolidated sum of Rs 6,000.

Expressing satisfaction, Chana said with the new rates, the management of the green lungs of the city could be done in a proper manner. He said with the revised rates, the PMCs would be able to maintain parks in a better manner. 



Thief caught on camera, cops yet to register case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
It has been over a month since a tractor belonging to Amritpal Singh of Payal was stolen from a patrol station located near National Highway (NH-1) at Focal Point, but the Kanganwal police is yet to register an FIR.

Amritpal said that even after the vehicle lifter was caught on a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera installed at the patrol station, the police had failed to register a case.

Amritpal said a thief fled with his tractor on December 2 night from a petrol station. He reported the matter to the police and later handed over the CCTV footage of the suspect, but the cops failed to register a case.

Despite repeated attempts, Pritpal Singh, in charge, Kanganwal police post, was not available for comments.

Amritpal said that munshi Gurbax Singh was handling the case. When contacted, Gurbax Singh said he was on leave for the last 10 days and was not aware of the case. 



Reckless driving claims life
Victim remains unattended for hours
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 2
The administration’s failure to check reckless driving and hesitation of people to rescue victims of road accidents cost a family of Nangal village dear.Chamkaur Singh lost his son Sumandeep Singh (17) who remained unattended for hours after being run over by a tempo on the Butahri-Nagal road four days ago.

Driver of the tempo had lost control over the vehicle while negotiating a turn on the potholed road.

Regrettably none of the passersby bothered to either stop the driver from running away or rescue profusely bleeding Sumandeep who was lying on the roadside.

The victim’s father works in a factory. As he could not afford the treatment at some modern multi-specialty hospital, the victim was shifted to an ESIC Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Jatinder Pal Singh, a teacher at Government Senior Secondary School, Guram, where Sumandeep was studying in Class XI, said villagers and teachers had met the authorities and demanded action against the driver whose negligence had caused death of a hardworking student.

Harvinder Singh Cheema, SHO, Dehlon police station, said a probe was on.



Rising prices of yarn worry hosiery industry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 2
Office-bearers and activists of various associations related to the hosiery industry have expressed anguish over mill owners’ manipulative tactics of increasing the prices at will even when there was no increase in the prices of the raw material.

They raised the concern during a meeting presided over by club president Vinod Thapar at the Knitwear Club office.

The members took stock of the situation in the face of increase in the prices 
of yarn.

“The prices of yarn have doubled during the year whereas the prices of fibre have not witnessed a proportionate increase. The unilateral rise in prices by monopolising houses creates uncertainty in the market. The worst sufferers are SME manufacturers who find it difficult to withstand the market pressures, as their buying capacity is badly hampered. Similarly, they find it difficult to sell their products as their customers cannot swallow the sudden and unbearable increase,” said Thapar.

As an only alternative, the manufacturers of hosiery goods will be forced to import yarn at a cheaper rate to ensure financial viability of their units, which is bound to have an adverse impact on the export-import equation of the country.

It was decided to draw the attention of the ministry of textile for its intervene.

The participants appealed to yarn producers to keep the prices of yarns under control and extricate the SME manufacturers out of the mess.

They also urged them to avoid the coterie (pool) approach followed for deciding the rates of the yarn.



Shop burgled

PHILLAUR: An electric shop was burgled at Rurrka-Khurad village in Phillaur sub-division on Saturday night. The burglars decamped with goods worth over Rs 1 lakh from the shop. Narinder Pahwa, owner of the shop, told the police that the burglars took away ceiling and table fans, besides recharge coupons from the shop.

The theft was noticed when he came to his shop on Sunday morning. The police has registered a case in this connection. — OC



Visually impaired sportspersons felicitated
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 2
Visually impaired sportspersons who represented Punjab and were position holders in the 17th National Sports for the Blinds, organised by the Indian Blinds Sports Association at Panchkula recently, were honoured here today.

The Punjab Sports Association for Blinds (PSAB) honoured these players at a function held at the Vocational Rehabilitation Training Centre, Haibowal. Industrialist Rajinder Nath Mahajan was the chief guest on the occasion. He gave cash assistance of Rs 31,000 to the PSAB to provide more facilities to these special’' sportspersons and assured more help to the association in future also.

Congratulating medal winners, Gurpreet Singh Machhiwara, president of the PSAB, urged the state government to provide adequate sports infrastructure to such players so that they could perform at state and national tournaments and bring laurels to the state.

"I along with other office-bearers of the association will soon call on the Deputy Chief Minister who holds the sports portfolio to urge him to extend the required assistance to the PSAB," said Singh.

He announced that sports events for the visually impaired players (U-14) would be held at Guru Nanak Stadium from April 14 to 16. The association would also organise national games for such players, added Gurpreet.

Those who were honoured for bringing fame to the state include Harmanpreet Kaur, Balwindre Noori, Tipritpal Singh, Harkirat Singh, Vishal, Harmeet, Shamsher Singh, Sandeep Kaur, Shubha, Poonam, Gurpreet Singh, Vivek Monga, Rajinder Johny, Hmant Kumar, Anuradha, Jaswinder Kaur, Anu Monga and Inderpreet Kaur.

BR Arora, chairman, PSAB, Anil Bharti, vice-president, Punjab Throwball Association, Parminder Singh Phullanwal, Makhan Singh Sahnewal, Darbara Singh Bhatti, Ramandeep Singh Walia, Joginder Singh, Gurdeep Kaur, Jagjeet Singh Jaggi and Sara Johnson, Director, Vocational Rehabilitation and Training Centre, Ludhiana were also present.



4 city players for national TT meet
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 2
Four players from the city-Yashi Sharma, Harnoor Singh, Jashandeep Singh and Aayush Sehgal have been selected to represent the state in the National Table Tennis Championship to be held in Indore next week.

These players gave a brilliant performance during the Punjab State Table Tennis Tournament in Jalandhar.

On the basis of their performance in Jalandhar, they found a place in the state squad.

Yashi, a nine-year-old student of Alpine International School, gave a stunning performance in the state meet by winning two titles. She romped home champion in the girl's cadets and junior girls sections, respectively. She also secured a bronze medal in the sub-junior girls category.

Another girl from Ludhiana, Nirdosh Sood came out triumphant to bag the title in the women’s section, while Harnoor Singh and Aayush Sehgal finished as runners-up in the sub-junior boys and cadet boys sections, respectively.

These players attended a coaching camp in Chandigarh prior to their departure yesterday for Indore to take part in the national championship. NS Kalsi and Fang Jenn Chiu, president and general secretary, respectively of the Ludhiana District Table Tennis Association, along with other office-bearers wished them good luck for the event.



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