L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Detonation exercise
Villagers stay put, refuse to move out into cold
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
In what could be taken as the first sign of revolt against the army’s ongoing drive to defuse undetonated explosives, residents of Sekhewal, Kalewal and Haider Nagar turned down the police’s order to vacate the villages due to the bone chilling cold.

The development took place today morning when police personnel arrived at the three villages and told the residents to shift to other areas. However, the latter, led by women, refused because of the bad weather.

“It’s freezing cold outside and we’re huddling in our houses to save ourselves from the chill. The cops, as if adding to our misery, told us in the morning to leave our houses and go to the banks of a river nearby. Are they human? We’ve refused to vacate our homes till the time the weather conditions return to normal. Already we’ve lost a child and we don’t want that out kids should succumb to the icy cold,” said Sher Singh, ‘sarpanch’ (head) of Sekhewal village.

It is learnt the police was caught on the wrong foot when they reportedly started getting the houses of villagers vacated without receiving orders from army officials.

Vinod Bhatt, officer in command who is looking after the operation to defuse latent ammunition and explosives, said: “We told the cops that we would first check the condition and give the go ahead order at 12:30 noon. But on seeing the weather condition we decided to cancel the detonation of explosives.”

The cops reportedly arrived the villagers’ houses at 10 in the morning and told the residents to move out, which led to the trouble.

Some villagers stated they brought the matter to the notice of Bhatt, who canceled the drive for today. “Keep in the mind the health risk, due to bad weather, we are not conducting the detonation of explosive for last five days. Safety of the residents is of paramount importance to us”, he said.

On the other hand the villagers have sought deputy commissioner Rahul Tewari’s intervention in the matter. Kashmir Singh, a resident of Sekhewal village, said, “We have urged the administration to hold up the detonation exercise for some time. Once the weather is clear the operation could resume. Please treat us as human beings.”

Meanwhile, the villagers who are braving the elements due to the ongoing detonation drive, expressed their gratitude to Tewari for providing them woollens.

No lesson learnt

It appears the district administration has learnt no lesson even after a seven-month-old girl died after being exposed to the severe cold. Health experts have expressed fear that spending a day in the open in this weather could prove fatal for small children and the elderly residents of the villages.


Students brave chill as schools re-open
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Tinytots brave the early morning chill en route to school in Ludhiana on Monday.
WINTRY WALLOP: Tinytots brave the early morning chill en route to school in Ludhiana on Monday. Tribune photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, January 3
Dipping temperatures have thrown normal life out of gear, but children are forced to brave the chill as majority of city schools re-opened today after the winter break.

Shivering and braving the icy winds blowing in their faces, city’s schoolchildren hit the road early in the morning, huddled together in buses, vans, cars and rickshaws to reach their destinations even as their parents shrivelled at the sight. Many others, who could not afford the luxury of a bus or car, walked to school in the bone-chilling conditions.

The district administration has called for change in school timings from tomorrow till January 18, keeping in view the cold wave sweeping across the region.

Voicing concern over their wards’ health, parents lamented the schools’ decision to stick to their winter break schedule. “They (authorities) have not any learnt any lesson from the past. Every year, extreme chill only sets in around this time of the year. Why do the schools not plan their winter vacations around the first week of January instead of December?” questioned Suhasni Reikhy, mother of two school students.

Another parent, Harneet Sandhu, adds: “December cold is bearable, but January chill is too much to handle for children. Moreover, there is no arrangement of heaters or blowers in classrooms, which get so cold and dark in such weather.” Parents fear that in the coming days, fog might make things worse. “I remember driving my son to school at 8 am in thick fog last year. The visibility was so poor that we could not look across the street and traffic situation was at its worst. Considering the weather conditions, foggy days might just be round the corner and I shudder at the thought of sending my child out in such poor visibility,” rued Shashi Nanda.

Lessons from past

The decision of some city schools to reschedule the winter break from December to January has proved to be the correct decision. While rest of the schools re-opened today amid severe weather conditions, students of those schools which closed for winter break either on January 1 or were scheduled to close in the first week of January have been spared the ordeal of morning exposure to the cold. Bal Bharti Public School, DAV, DPS, BCM Arya had delayed their winter vacations keeping in view the previous years’ experience



Body goes unnoticed for 3 days at Civil Hospital
Parts bitten off by dogs, rats
Mohit Khanna/TNS

Ludhiana, January 3
In a shocking incident, the mutilated body of a middle-aged man was found three days after it had been lying in a room adjacent to the OPD of the local Civil Hospital here today. The matter came to light when a stray dog was found running away with a part of the body in its mouth. Parts of the body had been devoured by rats and dogs.

The victim had apparently come to the hospital to receive treatment, as his body bore injury marks. One of the legs was found bandaged.

Callousness on part of the authorities concerned could be gauged from the fact that the body went unnoticed for over three days in spite of the foul smell emanating from it.

The authorities claimed that the body went unnoticed as the OPDs were closed on Saturday and Sunday. This in spite of the fact that the hospital has round-the-clock security, besides a police post.

Investigating officer said the victim might have died of cold a few days ago but the body went unnoticed.

Division No 2 police station SHO Surinder Mohan said the body was decomposed and animals, particularly rats, had bitten off parts of fingers and toes.

According to the police, the victim appeared to be a migrant and had been been suffering from a leg injury.

Sources said the body was spotted by hospital employees as they tried to clean the area near the OPD. The employees said foul smell had been emanating from a dingy area.

Civil Hospital’s Senior Medical Officer US Soch confirmed the development.



MC belatedly fixes caved-in part of Mall Road
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
That municipal corporation employees get back into action only after pressure is put on them appears to be evident from the fact that, after sleeping over it the whole day, the staff eventually got to work on repairing the caved-in section of the busy Mall Road. This was after The Tribune made enquiries with civic officials about the matter.

In a testimony to the MC’s poor workmanship, an over five foot long portion of the road caved in opposite the Red Cross building on Monday morning, leading to a lot of inconvenience to commuters and pedestrians. To add to their woes civic officials, though aware about the problem, had not bothered to install any caution board at the site to prevent any mishap. This despite the fact that most top officials of various MC departments have their houses along the road itself or in adjoining Rakh Bagh.

When contacted Brij Pal Singh, executive engineer of the MC’s buildings & roads branch, said the portion of Mall Road that caved in was dug by cable operators a few days ago, adding it would be repaired soon. When asked why no caution board had been put up at the site, he merely said he would “look into the matter”.

The MC staff later swung into action and repaired the caved-in part of the road, with Brij Pal himself confirming it had been fixed.

But the people working at various offices on Mall Road criticized the poor working of the civic body. Sushant, who works in an insurance firm that has its office on the road, observed: “The civic body has never bothered to construct this road properly, which leads to such incidents. It’s only due to the media’s intervention that the problem was resolved today”.

“The fact that a stretch of such a busy road caved in proves MC officials never bother about checking the quality of roads constructed by them”, said Amit, a bank employee.



Bomb Hoax: Massive search at rly station
Mohit Khanna/TNS

Ludhiana, January 3
Tension gripped the city today following the arrest of Sikh hardliner Baljit Singh Daduwal from Mansa. Daduwal and his 60 supporters were arrested following a clash with the police at Bhikhi village in Moga yesterday.

Sikh hardliners staged a protest against the arrest of Daduwal and burnt the effigy of the Punjab Government at Clock Tower here today.

Meanwhile, the police was on toes and a massive search operation was conducted at the railway station and surrounding areas this afternoon.

Over 30 cops, led by additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP-1) Harsh Bansal, conducted a security check and searched bags of passengers.

Equipped with metal detectors, the cops also searched empty trains at the railway station. The RPF and the GRP personnel also accompanied the ADCP during the search operation.

Police sources claimed that the search was conducted following a hoax bomb call. On the other hand ADCP- I Harsh Bansal stated that the police did not receive any hoax bomb call. "It was a routine check and there is not need to panic," said ADCP- I Harsh Bansal.

A heavy police posse was seen in the Clock Tower area, where the Sikh hardliners were lodging their protest against the state government for arresting Daduwal.

The city police, which had witnessed one of the bloodiest Sikh protests last year during the discourse of Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan chief Swami Ashutosh, appeared to be in no mood to take the things lightly this time.

According to highly placed sources, intelligence officials have been put on high alert and cops in muftis were deployed at some of the communally sensitive areas of the city to check the activities of hardliners.

Security outside Dera tightened

The city police has tightened security outside the Dera of Gurmit Ram Raheem, chief of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda, located near Badowal village on Ferozepur road. The police was deployed following the clash and subsequent arrest of Daduwal from Bhikhi village in Mansa. 



City colder than Shimla
Shivani Bhakoo/TNS

Ludhiana, January 3
The maximum temperature in the city came down to 10.9°C here today, less than Shimla (14.9°C), forcing residents to layer themselves with warm woollen clothes. Though the minimum temperature did not see major downfall (8.9°C), the difference between the minimum and maximum temperatures has been reduced during the past three-four days. Weather experts predict that dry
cold wave conditions were likely to prevail in the region and sky will remain partially cloudy. Residents will not get respite from the biting cold as no sunshine is forcast by weather experts in the coming 24 hours.

The potato growers in the region have raised concern over the cloudy weather and rains, as there are chances that their crop might get damaged in the prevailing cold conditions.

President of BKU Rajewal, Balbir Singh Rajewal, told Ludhiana Tribune that the prevailing conditions could be very harmful to potato crop, and farmers were praying for bright sunny days ahead. “Though everything is in control, if this weather continues for another four-five days, crops will be damaged due to blight. The humidity levels have been increased and virus can go deep into the roots. Potato is in danger zone,” said Rajewal, adding that there was a lot of resistance in wheat. It could tolerate the prevailing weather conditions for another couple of days.

Due to the chilly weather, the city roads, which otherwise are always congested with traffic jams, gave a deserted look till 11 am in the morning today. Residents confined themselves to the four walls of their homes and got warmth through room-heaters and blowers. In many private and public sector offices, employees were seen sipping tea and coffee to beat the chill.

The worst-affected were the daily wagers, who had to brave the chill throughout the day in the open. Narayan, a daily wager from Uttar Pradesh, said: “Good or bad weather hardly makes any difference. To fill our stomachs, we have to work. Only after day’s hardwork, we earn the daily bread. But to beat the chill, we make small bonfires, which provides warmth.”



Woollens’ sale spurts
Manav Mander/TNS

Ludhiana, January 3
With cold wave sweeping the city and mercury dipping further, the sale of caps, gloves and mufflers has seen a sudden boost. Apart from protecting one from the chilling winds, these also add a zing of glamour to the winter wear. Be it a formal, routine or office outfit, they add a touch of élan to it.

“Caps, mufflers and gloves of various shades and styles are adorning the shelves of stores, big as well as small ones. Mufflers in tweed with checks are in great demand these days. Caps, be it fur or woollen, are sold the moment they land into the stores,” said Gurmeet Singh, a shopkeeper from Model Town.

These fashion accessories, which were till now utility items, are especially a hit with the younger crowd, who love to flaunt the dash of colour these lend to dull, heavy woollens. Scarves, caps and mufflers in various colours and styles have now become must-haves for every style-conscious individual.

“Caps, gloves, mufflers and scarves are selling like hot cakes these days so much so that almost 90 per cent of the day's sale comes from them,” remarked Santosh Sharma, who runs a hosiery shop in the Ghumar Mandi market.

He added that during the past three days, as much as 80 per cent of the season’s stock had been exhausted. “And if the weather conditions remain the same, the entire stock will be gone in the next two days.”

Agreeing, another hosiery retailer from the city said the stock he bought at the onset of the winters had exhausted now. “It seems I will need more stock of caps and mufflers. Seeing the weather the demand is going to increase in the coming days,” he said.

“The best way to make a style statement during winters is to wear matching scarves, mufflers, caps and gloves. They add a style quotient to the entire dress. Apart from keeping you warm, they look chic and stylish," adds Bhavana, a student of fashion designing.

She added that the present weather conditions are best suited to flaunt her collection of these accessories. “I have bought five new pieces this year,” she said.



Teen dies after setting himself afire
Mohit Khanna/TNS

Ludhiana, January 3
A 16-year-old boy was suspected of have committed suicide today by setting himself ablaze after pouring kerosene on himself at his home in the city’s Dugi (phase V) locality.

The incident occurred in the afternoon when the boy, following a quarrel with his parents, got hold of a kerosene stove and locked himself in the kitchen. He then poured the kerosene over himself and set himself afire. However, his parents managed to douse the flames and rushed him to a hospital where doctors declared him brought dead.

According to additional deputy police commissioner -II Sushil Kumar, the Parminder was a chronic drug addict. It is learnt the altercation with his parents took place when the latter refused to give him money for buying drugs.



Land allotment for police
Shopkeepers meet Mayor
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
In order to lodge their protest against the allotment of land to the Police Department by the Municipal Corporation (MC) for the construction of the former's building, shopkeepers of the Sukhdev market met the Mayor to reconsider this decision.

In a recent decision, the MC authorities had decided to transfer a prime piece of its land to the Police Department for the construction of its police station and other buildings. The land, which already has building of Police Division Number 4 also, has more than 20 shops, the owners of which have been paying rent to the civic body authorities for the past more than two decades.

Sensing a threat to their livelihood, the shopkeepers, under the banner of the Sukhdev Market Shopkeepers Association, met the MC Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura in his office today. The shopkeepers, led by Kartar Singh, Ashwani Sood and Rakesh Bhagotra, asserted that they had been the bona fide tenants of the MC, as all of them had been paying their rent regularly to the civic body. But they rued that by transferring the land, where they were having shops, to the Police Department, the MC had done a grave injustice to them. They said at least the MC authorities should have taken the shopkeepers into confidence. Even they rued that if at all the MC had to take this decision under some pressure, they must have relocated the shopkeepers by allotting some other land.

The shopkeepers asked the Mayor to either relocate them at a vacant land near the petrol pump or cancel the agreement done with the Police Department and allot them some other piece of land.

Meanwhile, after hearing their plea, Giaspura asked the Assistant Town Planner (ATP) of D zone SS Bindra to submit a report regarding the matter. The Mayor also assured the delegation that they would genuinely look into the demand of the shopkeepers and take the right decision regarding it.



Broken electricity poles not replaced
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 3
Contrary to the expectations of residents in general and consumers in particular, officials undertaking installation and maintenance of paraphernalia used in transmission of electricity have failed to become serious about the safety of public even after the constitution of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (Powercom).

What to talk of reviving the practice of providing protective devices, including galvanised conductor to serve as earth, the authorities have failed to get broken poles, conductors and transformers replaced with proper devices.

Showing ignorance about alleged discrepancies, the authorities at Powercom office maintained that necessary rectifications for the maintenance and renovation of the infrastructure are approved.

Besides being hazardous for life and property of the public, the tendency has resulted in erratic power supply, thus making life miserable for local residents. It has also affected the capacity of many manufacturing units of the area.

Investigations by the Ludhiana Tribune revealed that the officials of Powercom were not even serious about the safety of the consumers. It was noticed that the practice of providing galvanised iron wire as an earth wire had been stopped. Besides loose connections in low-height transformers and installations, the metallic conductors were prone to break and fall to the earth level, causing danger to the life and property of residents. Though the connection-seekers were told that some conductors of specific rating were not available in the storehouses, conductors bearing board stamps could easily be bought in the open market.

Apparently, the norms prescribed in the Indian Electricity Rules were being flouted without any hesitation. An official disclosed that the practice of providing earth wire to the consumers had been stopped. Besides providing galvanised iron wire (earth wire) to protect the life and property of the consumer, every fourth pole had to be provided earth connection. However, no such wire was seen with most of the poles.

Similarly, cage guard, earlier installed to check the conductor fall on the earth, was conspicuous by its absence. Even the cradle guard to be fixed at intervals does not find its desired position for obvious reasons.

The investigations further revealed that a number of poles damaged in accidents were posing threat to life of passersby. Instead of replacing broken poles, the authorities had tried to keep them erect by affixing additional supports.



Grandmother — a friend, guide

Grandmothers can be a friend, philosopher and a guide. While we see things scientifically, they see them through their experience. While children in the family were shivering with cold and their mothers were suggesting ways like using heaters and blowers to keep them warm, the grandmother of the family said the solution was very simple. “There was no need to use these electric equipment. Just eat foods that will keep you warm,” said the grandmother.

First the family members took her lightly, but when they really adopted such foods in their daily diet it really worked wonders for them and they did not require any equipment to keep them warm in the shivering cold. While the family used to relish fried foods during winters, grandma asked them to avoid these.

Citing a reason she said, “If instead of having the right foods, we pick up stimulants and foods that take too long to digest -- tea, coffee, fried food, sweets, etc -- the body ends up spending most of its energy to digest these heavy foods, making us feel colder and slowing down growth and repair. Instead, opt for vibrantly coloured, anti-oxidant rich, bio-flavonoid rich herbs, spices, fruits, nuts and vegetables, which are sure to drive away the winter aches.”

Beat the chill

Chilly weather has disrupted the normal life. In an attempt to keep themselves warm, people adopt one method or another. While some get warmth by switching on room-heaters and blowers, others resort to hot-water bottles. Bonfires are perhaps the best option for those having no shelters.

The poor and needy are seen collecting waste paper and wood for lighting fire to survive the chilly weather. A poor man, who usually asked for money from a reporter friend of mine, stopped her. As usual, she opened the purse to give him Rs 10. But the man interrupted and asked, “I know you are working here in a newspaper company. Don’t give me money. Instead, bring some waste papers from home, which are of no use to you. I will make arrangement for fire, which will keep me warm in this biting cold.”

Another year gone

The year 2010 is gone, leaving the Ludhianvis to keep grappling with the same old problems of poor infrastructure, chaotic traffic, choked sewerages, frequent power failures, inadequate parking spaces, pathetic civic amenities and on, besides insensitive administration.

On introspection, if we ask ourselves whether the city has become a wee bit better place to live in, or whether the administration has fared slightly better in regulation, enforcement or delivery of services -- the answer is a big no. But to just blame the authorities for all the mess that the city residents find themselves in, would be unfair.

We, the city residents, also failed in our duty to improve things. People still take sadistic pleasure in jumping red lights, and breaking other traffic rules, parking their vehicles where these would obstruct the flow of traffic, throw litter on roads and streets, think it below their dignity to stand in queues and if caught, try to bribe our way out.

Let us hope that the New Year brings some semblance of order in the city, civic and road sense among the people and accountability among the administrators.

Wake-up call

With only a few months left for the end of the financial year, the various branches of the municipal corporation have geared up for meeting the budgetary target set by the civic body authorities. Though the operation and maintenance branch has already launched its drive to collect the pending arrears and the current budgetary target, the other branches had been quite slow in it.

However, in the New Year the woes of public might increase as now all branches are set to launch a major drive for getting the pending dues. After all it is the tax payer’s money that would be utilised for the developmental works in the city.

Spoken English

Bowled over by the mannerism of European, American and Australian communities, the Punjabi youth has been unsuccessful in getting over “English-speaking mania”. Irrespective of their medium of instruction in schools, every Punjabi boy and girl from a semi-urban and rural area aspires to acquire best English speaking skills.

In the process, they end up joining “English speaking courses”, which instead of adding to their fluency add to the imprecision of the word formation.

A group of Punjabi boys, having flown back from Canada while travelling on an Indo- Canadian bus to Jalandhar, could not resist the temptation to share their experiences with fellow passengers.

Hence, the youngest in the group, in order to start the dialogue with his friend sitting in the next row, said: “Flightan were many and the aeroplane was going round and round on Delhi’s head”, which factually meant: due to congestion in air traffic, the flight could not be landed and the plane flew over Delhi for sometime.

Another young man shared, “My car’s ‘brekan’ were not down and the cheekhan of tiers were loud”, which meant: the tiers of my car made loud screeching sound as I was driving my car without pushing down the hand breaks.

But the best being from the team leader who said, “Please empty your bag as my ‘dollan’ for ‘neican’ are there,” the connotation being: please open up your bag and give me the dolls I purchased for my nieces.

Contributed by: Manav Mander, Shivani Bhakoo, Kuldip Bhatia, Manvinder Singh and Anshu Seth



From Schools
Annual function

LUDHIANA: The Amrit-Indo Canadian Academy was abuzz with activity throughout the day, as it celebrated its annual function, along with the martyrdom of sahibzadas and their grandmother Mata Gujri here on Monday. The congregation began with the recitation of shabads, kavishri and poems by students of various classes in the presence of Guru Granth Sahib.

The participants won applause for their marvelous performance. Principal Jaskiran Kaur Poonam gave a warm welcome to chief guest Raghbir Singh from UK and apprised the gathering about the achievements of the students and emphasised the importance of education in life. The chief guest enlightened the audience about the rudiments of religion. The congregational participation was followed by a prize distribution function wherein meritorious students were honoured.

New Year celebrated

Tiny tots of Lovely Lotus celebrated New Year and birth anniversary of Guru Gobind Singh here on Monday. Panj Pyaras of Guru Gobind Singh were present, too, to represent his bravery. — TNS



A Salman fan to the core
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service


Ludhiana, January 3
Nineteen-year-old Sagar is a big fan of Bollywood star Salman Khan. But not just another fan - he dresses up like the “Dabanng” Khan, walks like him, talks like him and even believes that he is the superstar’s biggest fan.

Sagar, who hails from Nepal, has been “living like Salman Khan” for the last seven years and dreams of meeting his idol one day.

“It all started when I watched Salman's movie ‘Mujhse Shaadi Karogi’ seven years ago. I was mesmerised with the star,” Sagar tells you about how his Salman-fixation started.

The young man, who works for a local chartered accountant, makes sure to watch every Salman Khan film that too first day, first show.

"I spend money from own pocket and take all my friends along to watch his movies. Sometimes they laugh at me, but I don't care. I love everything about Salman bhai, especially the way he supports the cause of the downtrodden and needy," Sagar says, adding that Salman is a complete man and his qualities of the heart make him all the more endearing.

Not only this, Sagar even follows Salman's ever-changing look closely and makes sure he gets a similar one for himself - be it clothes, hairstyle, sun glasses or shoes. "I save my salary and buy clothes like Salman," he remarks.

Sagar has thousands of Salman Khan's photographs and posters, collected from newspapers, magazines, internet and other media.

"But posters and albums do not suffice for me. Every year, I celebrate Salman's birthday on December 27. Right from blowing out candles, cutting the cake, getting everyone to sing "Happy Birthday to Salman", taking my friends out for a treat - I do everything to make his birthday a success," remarks Sagar, adding that he does not celebrate his own birthday in order to cut expenses and save money for "Salman bhai's birthday."

Sagar has written several hundred letters and e-mails to Salman and is awaiting reply to some of them. His own e-mail ID is also named after his Bollywood icon.

The star-struck youth concedes that he has often picked up fights with people who speak negative about his 'hero'. "I can't tolerate anything against bhai," he grins.

So crazy is Sagar for Salman Khan that he even refused to work for action hero Akshay Kumar.

Narrating the incident Sagar says, "Soon after I came to India some seven years ago, my mentor offered to get me the job of Akshay Kumar's boy. But since my loyalties have always been with Salman bhai, my conscience did not allow me to work for any other actor, especially when the latter is his professional rival. If God would want, I would get a chance to work for my idol."

Sagar says his only dream is to meet Salman and shake hands with him. "I will also get a photograph clicked with him and tell him how much I adore him," says a starry-eyed Sagar.



DC asks officials to redress public grievances
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 3
Taking cognizance of reports of alleged inconvenience and harassment caused to the public due to encroachment of roads and diversion of domestic supply of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for commercial purposes, the Deputy Commissioner (DC), Sangrur, has directed officials concerned to take necessary action to redress grievances of the public.

Orders under Section 144 of the CrPC will be promulgated in the region in case the SDM, Malerkotla, and DSP, Amargarh, feel necessary.

The district food supply controller has been asked to constitute special teams to streamline the supply of LPG cylinders to domestic consumers.

Responding to representations made by office-bearers of the social welfare organisation, Deputy Commissioner Harkesh Singh Sidhu directed SDM Malerkotla Gurlovleen Singh Sidhu and SDM Amargarh Gurpreet Singh Sikand to remove the encroachment of roads and streets by certain shopkeepers that had resulted in persistent problem of traffic congestion.

Influx of heavy vehicles belonging to traders and certain industrialists had further compounded the problem.

Realising the setback caused to business at the town and inconvenience caused to residents, the Deputy Commissioner has directed the officials at the sub-division level to take necessary action to redress the grievance.

“Strive to solve the traffic problem and submit a report in case promulgation of orders under Section 144 of the CrPC is required,” reads a communication received by the sub-divisional officials.

Meanwhile, the SDM and DSP have urged the office-bearers of various social, constitutional and religious organisations of the area to impress upon owners of business and professional organisations to remove all encroachments before administrative steps are taken.

The administration has also taken notice of undue delay in supply of LPG cylinders to the domestic consumers.

As a large number of consumers from surrounding villages are also registered with the only gas agency in the town, scarcity of this essential commodity is experienced every winter.



Encroachment outside MC office
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
Though the municipal corporation authorities are claiming to remove the encroachments, a religious organisation today constructed a gate towards the compound of the civic body headquarters at Mata Rani Chowk.

Officers of the civic body noticed this morning that the temple authorities were carving out a way towards the MC complex by fixing a gate towards the compounding wall of the civic body parking.

As the site of the gate was just a few feet away from the MC head office, the building branch officials, led by Assistant Town Planner (ATP) Kanwaljeet Kaur, swung into action and reached on the spot along with the police and asked the temple management to stop the construction work.

The ATP told the management that they were fixing the gate towards MC boundary, which was illegal, so they should stop the work. However, the office bearers of the management argued with the ATP that it was not illegal as they had got the permission for the construction.

They even told the ATP that the design was already approved by the civic body authorities. The ATP then approached MC Additional Commissioner Kuldeep Singh, who is the in charge of the building branch, to apprise him about the matter.

Sensing the gravity of the situation, the Additional Commissioner called the office bearers of the temple management in his office and told them to stop the construction activity. The temple management assured him that they would not conduct the construction activity. Meanwhile, sources revealed that the MC had asked its staff to remain vigilant.



‘Kirat Carnival’ to promote work culture among youth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
The Sukrit Trust has initiated a movement to promote work culture among the youth of Punjab under the banner “Kirat Carnival 2011” to commemorate the birth centenary of Dr Inderjeet Singh, former chairman, Punjab and Sind Bank.

Eminent Sikh scholar, theologian and historian Anurag Singh released the brochure of Kirat Carnival amid delegates here today.

Addressing a gathering of representatives from various NGOs, Anurag Singh stated that Dr Inderjeet Singh was a legendary banker in the history of modern India, who pioneered in small lending and agricultural loans. He provided employment to over 18,000 people and focused on opening the bank’s branches in rural areas of Punjab.

According to Urwinder Singh, coordinator of Punjab State Sukrit Trust, 100 seminars would be organised all over the world on the issues of hard and smart work. More than two lakh students are expected to benefit from this carnival, he said.

Seven competitions, including essay writing, poetry, slogans, dialogue, sketch, poster and painting would be organised as a part of the carnival.

Among those who graced the occasion were Devinder Singh of Kesh Sambhal Prachar Sanstha, Ranjit Singh of Gur Shabad Prachar Muhim and Gurinder Singh of Bhai Daya Singh Society.



Elephant killed in road mishap
Was being ‘illegally’ taken to UP
Shivani Bhakoo/TNS

Ludhiana, January 3
A female elephant was killed in a road accident when a speeding truck hit it near Radoaur (Haryana) while it was being "illegally" taken to Uttar Pradesh (UP) by a “mahout”. Kamruddin, the person who was taking it to UP from Haryana, was also injured in the accident and was admitted to hospital.

Giving details about the elephant’s death, Dr Sandeep Jain, president, People for Animals (PFA), told Ludhiana Tribune that the elephant belonged to Banwari Lal, living near Industrial Area here. Its micro-chipping had already been done by the Chief Wildlife Warden and proper number had been given to it.

According to him, such animals can neither be resold nor be taken to other state without transit permit. "Actually the elephants cannot be resold or replaced by the owners. Micro-chipping means that an identity number is given to the captive animal, which cannot be re-sold. There are about 18 elephants in Punjab, out of which six are in Chhatbir Zoo, while 12 are in Ludhiana. The killed female elephant was one of those 12. We have asked the authorities to summon the owner, who sold it in an illegal manner. And in case, the animal has to be shifted to other state, a transit permit has to be taken by Chief Wildlife Warden," said Dr Jain.

He further added that these animals were being ill-treated by certain sections of people under the garb of religion.



Developmental works inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
In order to find a solution to the long pending problem of sewerage on the Naulakha Cinema road, municipal corporation (MC) councillor from ward number 35, Parminder Mehta inaugurated the work of laying sewerage lines in the area.

While addressing the gathering, he said the residents had been suffering due to the frequent choking of sewerage in the area due to which the work had been necessitated.

He said to find the solution for the problem, they would lay down the sewerage line from the Kesar Ganj Mandi chowk to GT road in an expedite manner.

Mehta also asserted that along with it, the work of laying down of the road at the Maharaja Agar Sen Marg from GT Road to Sangla Shivala would also be started soon.

The councillor accompanied by a large number of MC officials also asked the residents to cooperate with the civic body in conducting the developmental work adding that they should get the connections of sewerage connected with the main connections.



Govt failed on all fronts: DYC chief
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 3
District Youth Congress (DYC) president Dimple Rana today exhorted the party cadres to mobilise people against “misgovernance” and “failures” of the state government.

Addressing a meeting of the party workers here, he said the SAD-BJP government had failed on all fronts. “With the dawn of new year, unscheduled power cuts have been re-imposed in the city and elsewhere and the people have been left to fend for themselves in the freezing weather.”

Rana was especially critical of the government for granting extension (re-employment on contract basis) to nearly 200 senior administrative officers of PCS cadre, which he termed as snatching away as many employment opportunities from educated and eligible youth.



New IMA team installed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
The IMA team-2010 organised the installation ceremony of the new team of IMA, Ludhiana, yesterday at the IMA house in BRS Nagar.

The new team took charge under the leadership of IMA, Ludhiana president, Dr Kulwant Singh.

Dr Narotam Dewan, the outgoing president, welcomed the new team and elaborated upon the works done by his team. "This responsibility will give the new team an opportunity to serve the medical fraternity and the society at large," said Dr Dewan.

Dr Dewam said the work of 2010 bore fruits in the form of three awards that the IMA, Ludhiana, branch received. The awards included "Best Branch Award- 2010” given by Punjab State IMA, “Best President of local branch in India Award -2010” Community Service Award 2010 given by the national IMA headquarters.

Dr Hardeep Singh, the outgoing honorary secretary, also welcomed the new team and installed Dr Karamveer Goyal as new honorary secretary of the IMA, Ludhiana. He said: “All our outgoing office-bearers are handing over their respective charges to the respective incoming counterpart office-bearers of IMA, Ludhiana 2011.”

Dr Kulwant Singh, the new president of IMA, appreciated the work done by outgoing team and promised to work hard for IMA for the sake of profession and for human service.



Camp to educate cadets on social evils ends
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
A 10-day ATC camp at the Khalsa College for Women, which started here on December 26 under the guidance of Commandant Lt Col Subhash Sehgal, concluded here today.

The aim of the camp was to create awareness among cadets regarding diverse cultural heritage of the country by organising talks, discussions and highlighting the aspects of unity in diversity, to give exposure to cadets on employment opportunities and make them aware about social evils like female foeticide, drug abuse, etc.

Col GPS Sawney, Group Commander of NCC, Ludhiana, was the chief guest on the closing ceremony of the camp. The cadets performed various items, including songs, solo dance, group dance, etc. Giddha was also presented by cadets of the 3 Pb Girls Bn.

During the camp, the cadets were taught drill, firing and indoor theory classes for disaster management, first aid and hygiene and prevention of communicable diseases, map reading, etc. A rally against drug abuse was also organised by the cadets during the camp. Various guest lectures like traffic management, naturopathy, hygiene and sanitation, civil defence, etc., were also organised for the volunteers.



PAU Notes
Training for beekeepers

LUDHIANA: The Directorate of Extension Education, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), will hold a state-level training-cum-workshop on January 5 at the Kairon Kisan Ghar for members of Progressive Beekeepers’ Association (PBA) of Punjab. Briefing about the programme, Dr MS Gill, director of extension education, PAU, said registration of the event would be held at 10 am at the venue of the programme. He added that the programme will have discussions by experts wherein they will highlight the leading role and vision of PAU in holistic development of apiculture in India, role of national-level administrative, research and product quality organisations toward the development of beekeeping in the country and organisation of honey festival-cum-experience exchange workshop, which is slated to be held at PAU from February 22-24. An interactive session will be organised where queries of the participants will be responded by the subject experts, said Dr Gill.


The PAU directorate of extension education has taken steps to revamp the mechanism of gathering feedback from farmers and to pass on the same to research and related departments in order to ensure quick redressal of the problem. This was stated by the director of extension education, Dr MS Gill while addressing the state-level meeting of extension personnel from Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Farm Advisory Service Scheme and different departments of PAU.

Dr Gill said efforts were being made to undertake the campaign for promoting rational use of fertilisers in different crops, vegetables and fruits. He mentioned that for economical crop production programmes, the use of eco-friendly and efficient machinery would be emphasised. He shared that PAU crop pathologists had worked on the development of bio-climatic norms for the late blight of potato. Dr TS Thind, head, department of plant pathology, shared that district-wise surveys had been planned to map the development of late blight of potato in addition to suggesting means as to how the disease can be managed with rational and need-based use of fungicides. — TNS



Unfulfilled promises put off residents
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
A recent survey conducted by the management section of Ludhiana Group of Colleges has revealed that the list of unfulfilled promises made by leaders was quite long.

Prof Harpreet Singh, head, management section at Ludhiana Group of Colleges said the survey was conducted keeping in mind housewives, elderly citizens and people associated with industry, education.

Corruption continued to bother the city residents. The survey found that the year 2010 had not seen lesser corruption than the previous years. “Residents feel that corruption will remain the top most problem in 2011 as well,” said Prof Harpreet Singh.

Besides, residents feel that “pollution control” was the second biggest promise which every government and democratically elected representative had made. According to the study, roadside encroachments and failure of the municipal corporation and forestry department to make the city green were largely responsible for the unchecked pollution levels.

Failure to curb crime was ranked third serious "unfulfilled promise”. “Professionalism in the police department may be on the rise, still there were incidents of murder, snatching and theft in 2010. There was no respite from crime as well,” says the study.

Another biggest promise was making rail link of the city operational. Prof Harpreet Singh said Ludhiana had not witnessed any infrastructural development as it deserved being a metro city of national importance. Smaller cities in the country had bigger airports than Ludhiana.

“Though the outgoing year has kept the promise of an airport in the city, yet the satisfaction level is as good as nothing because of the poor air connectivity,” quotes the study.

Educationists felt that Ludhiana should have institutes like Indian Institute of Management and Indian Institute of Science.



Republic Day
Cultural committee constituted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
With an aim to put up a good show on the Republic Day, Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari constituted a special cultural committee, which would be headed by Additional Deputy Commissioner SR Kaler.

The Republic Day celebrations will be held at SCD Government College, Ludhiana.

The DC while addressing officials from the government departments during the celebrations stated that a marchpast will be taken out by the Punjab Police, traffic police, Punjab home guard, NCC, ex-servicemen, scout and girls’ guide contingents.

Other members in the committee included sub-divisional magistrate (East) MS Chattwal, district public relation officer Subhash Gupta and district education officer (S) Harbhajan Ram.

The final dress rehearsal will be carried out at SCD Government College on January 24. Additional Deputy Commissioner (D) Pradeep Aggarwal has been given the charge of the “tableau show” wherein tableaus from various departments will give an insight into their achievements.



VC overviews varsity’s accomplishments
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Vice-Chancellor, Dr Manjit Singh Kang at a meeting with deans, directors and other officials of the university had an overview of the accomplishments of PAU in agricultural research, education and transfer of technology during 2010.

While appreciating the efforts made by faculty, employees and students by working as a team to steer the ongoing programmes of the university and thereby serving the cause of farming community and farming in Punjab, Dr Kang asked all those present at the meeting to be pro-active in their activities and to plan their approaches in a demand-driven manner.

Dr Kang said the New Year was an occasion of self-introspection and to decide about future plans. He added that farm scientists had a special responsibility to address the issues concerning food production to cope with the needs of masses.

He said since its inception, PAU had delivered remarkable output for making the country self sufficient on the food front. The participating officials discussed the new programmes and resolutions to improve the functioning of the university.



Expert dwells on advances in robotic surgery
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
Dr Inderbir Singh Gill, professor and head of laparoscopic and robotics surgery from Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, USA, delivered a lecture on “Recent advances in robotics and laparoscopic surgery” at DMCH yesterday.

Emphasising on robotic surgery, which is a computer-assisted surgery, Dr Gill said it was actually developed to overcome limitations of minimally invasive surgery. Instead of directly moving the instruments, surgeon uses a computer console to manipulate the instruments attached to multiple robot arms.

Some major advantages of the robotic surgery are precision, miniaturisation, smaller incisions, decreased blood loss, less pain and quicker healing time. Further advantages are articulation beyond normal manipulation and three-dimensional magnification, resulting in improved ergonomics, the expert went on to add.

Robotic techniques are also associated with reduced duration of hospital stays, blood loss, transfusions and use of pain medication.

Dr Jaspal Singh, professor and head of surgery, and Dr Arvind Goyal, an urologist, also discussed newer innovations in robotic surgery with the expert.



Seminar on de-addiction

Ludhiana, January 3
A special seminar on de-addiction was organised yesterday at Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle (GGSSC) on the foundation day celebrations of the circle.

A cultural function was also held on the premises of GGSSC to mark the occasion in Model Town Extension.

SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar was the chief guest on the occasion, who appreciated the work done by GGSSC in the field of creating awareness against drug addiction. GGSSC chief organiser principal Prem Singh while apprising the guests about the forthcoming programmes of the circle said, “We plan to take the de-addiction programmes to new heights with the help of the government, organisations and individuals.”

The individuals who have successfully completed the de-addiction programme were also honoured on the occasion. — TNS



Akali Dal (Delhi) burns govt’s effigy
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 3
Led by Jaswinder Singh Balliewal, Gurmeet Singh Mundian, Gurdeep Singh Gosha and Balwinder Singh Bhullar, activists of Akali Dal (Delhi) today held a protest demonstration and burnt an effigy of the Punjab government at the Clock Tower Chowk here.

The Akali leaders alleged the government of snatching the freedom of the Sikh community and promotion of “derawad” in the state under the influence of RSS and followers of Dera Sacha Sauda.

They said arrest of Sikh priest Baba Baljit Singh Daduwal at Bhikhi and the police repression against his followers had exposed the real face of the government.



Vet varsity cancels youth festival
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
The Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana, has cancelled the youth festival, which was scheduled in the first week of January. The decision was taken due to the sad demise of Amanpreet Singh, a student of fourth year of BVSc & AH Programme. It was decided at the meeting of director students’ welfare, dean, College of Veterinary Science, presidents of dance, drama, music clubs and students’ representatives of different colleges that students and teachers were in a state of shock due to the untimely and unfortunate death of Amanpreet, so the festival was cancelled.

A condolence meeting was held at the College of Veterinary Science to pay homage to the departed soul. Vice-Chancellor, Dr VK Taneja, along with teachers, employees and students pay their obeisance to Amanpreet Singh by observing two-minute silence.



PCTE students bring laurels
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
Ragini Khanna, a student of MBA of the Punjab College of Technical Education (PCTE), Ludhiana, has bagged gold medal and Shikha Goyal of the same batch has bagged the overall bronze medal in the university examinations conducted by Punjab Technical University (PTU), Jalandhar.

Ragini Khanna topped the university with 91.16 per cent, whereas Shikha Goyal secured the overall third position in the university by obtaining 2,871 marks out of 3,200.



40 families get ‘Shagan scheme’ cheque
Our Correspondent

Amloh, January 3
Forty beneficiaries of the Amloh block were given the “Shagan scheme” cheque of Rs 15,000 today..

Block samiti vice-chairman Paramjit Singh Khanian expressed concern over the long delay of payment of these cheques since 2006 to the families concerned.



Lukewarm response to trials
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 3
A small number of aspirants turned out to attend the first day of the trials being held at different venues here today. These trials are being conducted by the sports department, Ludhiana, to select the district teams for men and women for the forthcoming Shaheed-e-Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh Punjab State Games to be held in February.

The two-day trials started today in athletics, basketball, football and weightlifting at the Guru Nanak Stadium, Ludhiana; boxing at Naresh Chander Stadium, Khanna; and Arya College, Ludhiana; hockey and kabaddi at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana; shooting at Satish Chander Dhawan Government College, Ludhiana; volleyball and wrestling at Multipurpose Indoor Hall of Guru Nanak Sports Complex, Ludhiana.

Except for hockey, no other discipline received notable participation during the trials. Around 50 hockey players (men and women) registered their names for the trials.

Meanwhile, men’s kabaddi team was finalised today, whereas the eves squad would be selected tomorrow, informed chairman of the selection committee and former international kabaddi star, Devi Dyal.

Sat Paul Singh, district sports officer, Ludhiana, told The Tribune that bad weather might be the reason for poor turnout at the trials. “As some aspiring sportspersons are busy taking part in the tournaments across the state and are expected to be present tomorrow,” he added.



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