L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


4 killed, 1 hurt in head-on collision
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
Wedding celebrations in Barewal village turned sour after a head-on collision late on Saturday night between a milk tanker and a car on the Barewal road left four people, including three members of a family in the village, dead and three others injured. The condition of one of the injured who was accompanying the accident victims was stated to be serious, while the tanker driver and his cleaner were discharged from a hospital after receiving first aid.

The incident took place at around 10 pm when the car in which five people headed for a wedding function, who were on their way to the South City area for shopping, had a collided head-on with a milk tanker near the Sukhmani Enclave locality. It is learnt all five had come to Barewal village to attend the ‘sangeet’ function of a relative who was to get married on Sunday.

The deceased have been identified as Daljit Singh, 25, a resident of Barewal, his brother-in-law Lakhvir Singh, 35, a resident of Sherpur, his relative Kuldeep Singh, 28, a resident of Guram village near Dehlon and Amit Kumar, 25, a resident of Barewal. The injured man has been identified as Balbir Singh, 30, a resident of Barewal He is presently undergoing treatment at Dayanand Medical College & Hospital and his condition is stated to be serious.

Family members of the deceased stated all five had gathered for the wedding function for Daljit's nephew. “At around 10 pm on Saturday they went towards South City side to make some purchases”, they added.

According to an eyewitness, the driver of the milk tanker (registration no: PB02 AS9761), Darshan Singh, lost control over the wheel and rammed into the Suzuki WagonR (PB10 BU8421).

The impact of the collision was such that all four of the car’s occupants died on the spot while one was seriously injured.

At the time of accident, Amit was driving the car. The WagonR car got so badly damaged that the cops had to cut the car to bring out the bodies of the accident victims.

The tanker’s driver, Darshan, and his cleaner, Kulwinder Singh, both residents of Husanpur village near Dakha, were on their way to a Verka milk plant situated on Ferozepur Road here for delivering milk.

PAU police station SHO Surinder Singh stated a case under section 304A of the IPC was later filed against Darshan and Kulwinder.

The bodies of the deceased were handed over to their family members after a postmortem was conducted at the city’s Civil Hospital.

Heart rendering scenes were witnessed at the hospital and all four bodies were cremated in their respective native places in the evening.

How it happened

Family members of the deceased said that all five had gathered for the wedding function for Daljit's nephew. Around 10 pm on Saturday they went towards South City side to make some purchases. An eyewitness said the driver of the milk tanker (registration no: PB 02 AS 9761), Darshan Singh, lost control of the wheel and rammed into their Suzuki WagonR


Future of 8 kids in dark
Mohit Khanna/TNS

Ludhiana, January 16
Heart-rending scenes were witnessed at the mortuary of the city’s Civil Hospital where the bodies of the four people who died in the road accident on Saturday night were brought for a postmortem examination.

The deaths of the young men came as bolt from the blue for their family members. The tragedy has put the future of eight children in the dark. Too little to understand the magnitude of their tragic loss, the innocent kids were seen wiping off the tears of their sobbing mothers.

Amar Singh, brother of one of the deceased, Lakhbir Singh, 35, was in a state of shock. "My brother was a truck driver and was living a happy life with his family. He was the family’s sole breadwinner and was looking after his three children, including a five-year-old girl and two infant boys”.

Gurwinder, brother of Kuldeep Singh, 30, another victim, has a similar tale to tell. Father of three children, including two daughters and a baby boy, he was employed as a security guard in Gurma village.

Daljit Singh, 26, who had invited all of them for the ‘sangeet’ ceremony of his nephew, was working as an electrician in a private firm. According to his relatives he was living a happily married life with his wife and two children. "But now everything’s lost. His children and wife will have to pay for the milk tanker driver’s mistake", said a relative of Daljit.

Amit was the only bachelor among the four who died. Trying to come to terms with his tragic loss, Vinod Joshi, a relative, stated: “Amit was a budding singer and won laurels for the city by winning several singing competitions.



Closure of level crossing
Irked residents obstruct rail track for 2 hrs
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 16
Hundreds of passengers aboard the 3LF Ludhiana-Ferozepur passenger train were stranded for more than two hours soon after the train departed from the Ludhiana railway station, as irate residents blocked the Ludhiana-Ferozepur railway track near the Lodhi Club this morning.

Residents of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Rajguru Nagar and several adjoining localities were protesting against the closure of manned level crossing for the last few days after commencement of construction work for the proposed railway under bridge (RUB) at the site. They alleged that the railway authorities had shown utter disregard to their demand for making an abandoned level crossing, located a little distance away from the site of RUB, functional till the construction work was in progress.

Finding themselves at the receiving end as the train was stuck near the Lodhi Club level crossing without any apparent reason, the passengers were on tenterhooks. Their persistent queries as to the reason for their ordeal failed to elicit any satisfactory reply from officials, who were occupied with the protesting residents.

Several passengers aboard the train lamented that stopping trains and holding commuters to ransom seemed to have become a favourite pastime of the people, who resort to such acts at the slightest pretext. “The authorities ought to deal with such miscreants with firm hands,” one of them remarked.

According to divisional traffic manager, Northern Railway, Parminder Singh, who arrived at the spot, along with station superintendent RK Sharma, the Ferozepur-bound passenger train was stopped at the level crossing near the Lodhi Club at around 10.10 am, as the protesting residents had blocked the railway track. It was after more than two hours (12.25 pm) that the protesters were persuaded to disperse and rail traffic on this section resumed.

Kulbir Singh and Raj Kumar, area residents, who were among those blocking the rail track, said they had taken up the matter with the Northern Railway authorities to make an unmanned railway traffic (now in disuse), located a little distance away from the site of proposed RUB, functional for the period the construction work was in progress, so as to save the residents from inconvenience of taking a detour for crossing the railway track. “But our genuine demand failed to evoke any positive response from the railway authorities.”

Prem Chand, SDM (West), who was instrumental in pacifying the irate protesters and making them clear the track, later told The Tribune that the demand of the residents had been conveyed to the Northern Railway authorities and the divisional railway manager had agreed in principle to provide an alternative level crossing in the vicinity to the affected residents.

It’s rail traffic now

As if blocking vehicular traffic on the slightest pretext and creating utter chaos on the city roads was not enough, people protesting over one or the other reason appear to be resorting to taking their ire on rail traffic, which is considered another soft target. It is not uncommon for about a mere half-a-dozen aggrieved persons belonging to political parties, trade unions, farmers’ organisations or even a sect or religious community to squat on railway tracks and disrupt railway traffic. “Irrespective of the issues involved, the protesting public should refrain from such unlawful acts that cause inconvenience to a large number of people as it also throws the rail traffic in disarray,” observed a senior railway official who requested anonymity.



Balancing her future with dexterity
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, January 16
Six-year-old Shhano is an epitome of utter poise as she balances herself on a wheel with the help of a long staff on the rope. She is neither crazy nor loves to perform such frightful acts for the sake of fun. “It is just for the sake of empty stomach,” she says.

What is a school and how it looks like? She neither has time nor money to ponder about. “What is the use of lamenting over such things which are out of ones reach? Moreover, I have been brought up like this. Penury has been my mother and wants my father. I have no relation, but with poverty and starvation. Pushed to work since infancy, I have neither known what childhood is and how it shall pass? I have been kept busy, by ill fate, in arranging food for my empty stomach,” she cries.

Asked whether she is aware that small children are not allowed to work, she quipped, “Yes, I have heard that child labour is banned. If it is so it is really unfortunate. If I am not allowed to work, what shall I do after all? Who would feed me? I would die of hunger. I have no one whom I can call my own.”

Lamenting over her adversity she uttered, “I daily find children of my age playing and going to school. How fortunate they are! God has really bestowed them with happiness- the love of their parents, a cozy home to live in, comforts to celebrate life and opportunities to shine and make life beautiful. I always curse God, who has given me nothing for making me so. Sometimes, when I am not able to earn enough and have to sleep empty stomach, I really feel I was not born on this earth. Here the people are hostile, they are heartless. They would watch the show and walk away. They are not even ready to pay for the hard work done by you. This show of mine demands dexterity and precision and you could go wrong only at the cost of your life. But a reward is seldom given in return. Most of the onlookers just watch the show and return to the work they were doing, least bothered about the labour and effort involved.” Spectators admitted that the task, which the tiny girl was performing, was in no way a simple one. Even the grown ups would think twice before engaging themselves in such tedious and risky endeavour, but the girl was doing it with such adroitness that everyone was left tongue tied.

“But this is a crime for which Shhano cannot be held responsible in any way. Rather it is the government, the policy makers and the administrators, who force the tiny souls to work and that too at the cost of their lives. No rules, whatsoever, can work in this direction till the government takes some solid steps to ban child labour. It is obligatory for the rulers to rescue millions of Shhanos, who are forced into work not because of choice but due to adverse circumstances,” a bystander said.

What is school like?

What is a school and how does it look like? She neither has money nor time to ponder. “What is the use of lamenting over things which are out of one’s reach? Moreover, I have been brought up like this. I live in poverty and starvation. Pushed to work since infancy, I have neither known what childhood is, nor do I know how it shall pass? I have spent my life so far meeting two ends meet. It has been struggle arranging food for my empty stomach,” she cries.



Experts stress on reformation of agricultural policy
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 16
Showing concern over urbanisation of villages and large-scale migration of peasant families to cities during the past decades, agricultural economists of the region have called for immediate reformation of the agricultural policy and provision for rescuing debt-ridden marginal and small farmers.

An appeal was made during the concluding session of seminar on “Agriculture and rural development” organised at Gobind National College, Narangwal, yesterday. Jasbir Singh Jassie, MLA Kilaraipur, presided over the session and Sardara Singh Johal, former Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, was the chief guest. Regretting that successive governments had failed to stop the migration of peasants from villages to cities, Jassie stressed on the need of revamping system, providing inputs to farmers of the state.

Maintaining that sensitisation of farmers about modern techniques of agriculture was the need of hour, Jassie said the focus on research and development in the field would boost economy of the state and nation.

In his keynote address, Dr Sucha Singh Gill lamented that development of villages was not on agenda of the government. While over 74 per cent people were dependent upon agriculture directly or indirectly, more emphasis was laid on development of infrastructure in urban areas. Gill said at times farmers could not realise even the cost of inputs by selling their produce. Blaming politicians for the present crisis in the agriculture sector of the state, Johal apprehended the problems would persist till “vote bank policy” continues.



Hosiery makers hit by illegal Chinese imports
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
Hosiery products illegally imported from China have become a cause of concern for the city’s industry. As items that enter the country through proper channels attract antidumping duty these do not pose at threat to local manufacturers. However hosiery products flooding the grey market are proving to be troublesome for them.

“Hosiery goods entering India coming legally are in no way a problem for local manufacture because, after taxes and duties, their prices at par with Indian products. But those entering the market illegally are definitely affecting the local companies since their prices are lower,” said Vinod K Thapar, president of the Knitwear Club.

He asserted the government should adopt strict measures to check the flow of Chinese goods illegally into India.

“The customs department should be more alert regarding such imports,” he added.

Rajeev Aggarwal, a city based hosiery manufacturer, said ‘Made in China’ hosiery garments are entering India through various routes. “Some are coming by road through Delhi. These goods are giving a tough competition to us since they cost less than locally manufactured items. For instance, as against a locally made coat priced between Rs 3,500 and 4,000 Chinese made coats imported illegally are sold by shopkeepers for Rs 1,800-2,000. This practice should be checked otherwise it will result in huge losses to small local manufacturers,” he added.

A shopkeeper in Ghumar Mandi said these goods were being procured from wholesalers.

“There’s great demand for these goods because they are available at up to half the price of those made locally. However, I’m not aware of the fact that they enter the country illegally. I get them from the wholesalers,” he added.

Manjeet Singh, who owns a factory that makes sweaters, said the illegal flow of hosiery goods into India should be checked before it was too late.

“The dragon is gulping the small hosiery manufacturers from the city and the government should take some steps urgently to save us,” he added.

Made in China’ hosiery garments are entering India through various routes. These goods are giving a tough competition to us since they cost less than locally manufactured items. For instance, as against a locally made coat priced between Rs 3,500 and 4,000, Chinese-made coats imported illegally are sold by shopkeepers for Rs 1,800-2,000.

— Rajeev Aggarwal, a city-based hosiery manufacturer



Feast for parantha lovers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
UEI Global College organised the two-day food festival “Parantha Fest” here today. The festival turned out to be a great feast for food lovers as paranthas from across the nation made way onto the tables on the premises of UEI Global College.

On display were rajma parantha and chhaman parantha from Jammu and Kashmir; chholi roti from Uttaranchal, matar ka parantha, chana dal ka parantha from New Delhi; nukti parantha and lehza-e-Lucknow, jalebi parantha, rabri parantha, barfi parantha, utle-tawe-ka-parantha, warqi parantha, Nizami parantha, parantha Asaf-ud-Daula from Uttar Pradesh; sat padi, thali peeth, pooran poli from Gujarat and Maharashtra; lal mirch no parantha, lasan no parantha from Rajasthan; pishauri parantha, koki roti, Mumtazi parantha from across the border.

Not only this, there were international paranthas as well like oriental parantha, Italian and Mexican paranthas, along with Lebanese paranthas from among the UEI Global specialties.

Talking about the fest, chef Mandeep Singh, head of the department of food production, said, “It was an activity to promote innovations and enhance the creativity of the budding chefs.”

Directors of UEI Global Navneet Chitkara and Shiv Nath said the fest was a grand success.



Keeping votes in mind

Though usually the speed of recovery in the first phase of the year, which incidentally is the last of the financial year, is very fast, the situation is entirely different this year as the officials seem to be going slow. Probably due to the assembly elections ahead the political leaders do not want to annoy the voters for which directions have been given to the officials to go slow for recovery. But if the budget targets are not met then how the municipal corporation would manage its budget? It is a million dollar question, but political leaders hardly think about it, especially keeping votes in mind.

Restless councillors

Elected councillors of municipal corporation are a worried lot these days. The reason being the election for the state assembly, which is due for 2012.

The Councillors from both the ruling alliance and opposition are struggling for getting the lion’s share of developmental works for their wards. But owing to the scarcity of funds the MC authorities are reluctant to pass the files related to the developmental works due to which restlessness is being witnessed amongst the Councillors.

This is the reason why the Councillors had opposed the decision of Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) to pass only few items of agenda of the meeting. In democracy the voice of people is heard only in the last years of power.

In company of the sun

Winters are the time when everybody likes to sit and enjoy the company of the sun. It is the time when college students enjoy the warm sunshine while sitting in the ground (see picture). During my college days, winters were the best time of the year to enjoy sun in the company of friends.

During free classes my gang of girls used to sit in the ground, enjoy sun while savouring hot samosas and endless cups of soups used to keep coming in.

Remembering my good old college days, I think those were the best years of my student life; no tension and always doing fun with friends!


A person, even if living abroad, always wants to know about his/her native land. This fact was proved yesterday when I met my friend presently living in the UK. To my surprise she was aware of each and every happening in the city and also discussed my stories reported in the paper.

She told me, “The moment I wake up the first thing I do is check “The Tribune” online. Reading the city edition is what I enjoy the most. Sometimes even my parents living in India are not aware of the news that I share with them over the phone. I feel connected to my country, my city through the newspaper.”

She is all thanks to the technology through which she feels connected with her city even while sitting thousands of miles away from it.

‘Designer’ counselling!

Possessing the perfect body is every dame’s dream and women around the world are known to have adopted every possible trick in books to look slim. Many times, in their obsession to look lean and fit, women go overboard, little realising their real worth.

Narrating one such incident, a fashion designer recalled how a hefty, “90 kg-something” woman walked into his boutique and asked for an outfit that would make her look “slim”. She went on from one dress to another, trying every outfit under the roof that fit her, and even the ones that did not fit her, in the hope of looking “slim”. Not satisfied with the results, she turned to the designer for “expert help”.

Faced with a classic situation, it took the patient designer some time to counsel his anxious client that asking for an XL-sized dress is “really OK” and that, “large is not to be loathed”.

To the great surprise of the young designer, his 15-minute counselling session worked wonders and he saw the woman leaving his boutique as a completely different person.

“She seemed to be at peace with herself, no longer obsessed with the ‘slim’ look,” remarked the proud designer.

He jokingly added that along with his designer outfits, he should also start promoting his “designer” counselling. “My ‘designer’ counselling might just prove to be a solution to the world’s obsession with size 0,” winked the chirpy young man.

Touts are here to stay

Despite tall claims of the district authorities of eliminating all agents and touts from government offices, especially the “suvidha centre” and district transport office, the touts are very much present, and they make their presence felt.

As far as settlement of traffic challans is concerned, the moment a person reaches the suvidha centre, the agents swarm around, making all kinds of enquiries like the kind of vehicle, the nature of offence and likely penalty.

Depending on the response of the person, the process of “roping in” commences. Offers are made to get the challan settled and get back the seized documents, of course for a consideration.

Once the deal is struck, the agent pockets the traffic challan document, takes the money, which of course includes his commission and the amount of penalty, and tells the person to come back at an appointed time to get back his documents. In case someone insists that their services are not required, the agents make all sorts of attempts to scare the person that he will have to waste a lot of time, made to go from one place to another and face all kinds of harassment in getting the challan settled at his own level.

Contributed by: Manvinder Singh, Manav Mander, Charu Chhibber and Kuldip Bhatia



From Schools
Saplings planted

Ludhiana: Keeping in mind the motto, “My Earth My Duty”, versatile NCC cadets, cubs and bulbuls of Ryan International, Chandigarh road, participated in a tree plantation drive on Saturday. Around 181 students planted saplings in and around the school.

Principal Gurpreet Kaur Sandhu said, “Motivated and guided by the noble vision of our chairman Dr AF Pinto, students at Ryan, Ludhiana, know the importance of a green and a clean surrounding and constantly undertake projects related to the conservation of environment.”


Sahodaya Folk Dance Competition was hosted by GMT Public School, Jalandhar bypass, on Saturday.

Eleven schools participated in the inter-school competition. Teams were accompanied by their mentors. The dance forms included Rajasthani, bhangra, giddha, Santhal, Haryanavi, dandiya and luddi. Judges of the competition were Hardeep Singh, Ravinder Ranguwal and Sanjivani from Panjab University. The first, second and third positions were grabbed by GNI Public School; DAV, BRS Nagar and BCM Arya Model, while the consolation prize was given to GMT Public School. Principal of the school Amarjit Dhaliwal congratulated the winning teams.

Sandwich making

Students of the middle section, Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, participated in an intra-class sandwich-making activity. Students of Class VI prepared a vegetable sandwich. They were told about the nutritive value of vegetables. Class VII prepared a cream cheese corn sandwich, while Class VIII students prepared a club sandwich. In short, there was a riot of colours in the middle section as children participated in the contest enthusiastically. In charge of the middle section Sonia Verma said the activity helped students exhibit their hidden culinary skills. It also taught them the value of healthy eating, said officiating principal Navita Puri.


An inter-class English/Hindi storytelling contest was organised at Kundan Vidya Mandir for students of classes I to II. The contest aimed at providing a platform to students where they could speak the languages expressively and confidently. The function was presided over by headmistress Namita Raj Singh.


Students of Guru Gobind Singh Public School, Pakhowal road, Daad, have bagged top positions in GK Olympiad organised in October by MIGS Institute of Hyderabad.

Simranjot Kaur and Ekampreet Singh topped the competition. The students were given trophies. The school bagged “Best School of 2010” trophy on the basis its students’ performance.

Principal of the school Manjit Kaur congratulated the toppers. She stressed on the importance and need of general knowledge in developing a career.

Lohri celebrated

To mark the Lohri celebrations, a huge bonfire was lit on the campus of Green Grove Public School. All students danced around the fire. They were given peanuts, rewaris and popcorns. It was fun and feasting time for both students and staff. A colourful cultural programme was enjoyed by all, which highlighted the Punjabi culture. A wonderful bhangra was performed by students of Class VI. Colourful charts wishing everyone “Happy Lohri” adorned the school campus. Tiny tots of kindergarten also participated in the festive occasion and presented Punjabi songs and dances. An inter-house Punjabi solo song contest was also organised. Among the seniors, Suhail from Gandhi House and Arshdeep from Nehru House were the winners. Balpreet of Class III, Savreen of Class VI and Jasmine of Class VI highlighted the importance of the day with their English and Punjabi speeches.

Atam Devi Niketan

Atam Devi Niketan, Kidwai Nagar, celebrated Lohri. Principal Mridhu Ablash, director Kamla Jain, teachers and students lit a bonfire and sang “Sunder Mundariye”. Senior students performed various cultural items. Students were given popcorns, rewaris, gachaks and other festive goodies. — TNS



From Colleges
Placement Drive

LUDHIANA: The Training and Placement Cell in collaboration with the Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE) Student’s Chapter of Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology (GNIMT) organised Campus Placement Drive by ICICI Securities for its MBA students here on Saturday. The ICICI Securities Limited, largest equity house in the country providing end-to-end solutions through the largest non-banking distribution channel selected six students for the post of relationships manager.

Rashtriya Urja Yatra

The Ludhiana college of Engineering and Technology (LCET) welcomed the Rashtriya Urja Yatra, which reached Ludhiana on LCET Campus here on Saturday. Urja Yatra was flagged off from four corners of India, namely Kolkata in the east, Rajkot in the west, Jammu in the north and Kanyakumari in the south, and will be converging at the Geographical Centre of India, Nagpur. This yatra, by energy icons of our country, will cover all major cities and villages on its way where it will be showcasing innovative models, success stories, latest technologies in renewable energy and energy efficiency, documentaries on related topics, energy conservation tips and guidelines for layman.

The yatra was taken to the historic Katana Sahib Gurudwara where the masses were motivated for the use of alternate energy sources like biodiesel. Two trucks full of the models of renewable energy equipment were displayed for the public. The principal of LCET , Dr Pawan Kumar, threw light on the work done by the students of the college related to the alternate energy resources. The delegates of the urja yatra planted seven shady trees on the college campus. Director Dr JS Sohal thanked the delegates of the Rashtriya Urja Jan-Jagriti Abhiyan. — TNS



Canada-America Kabaddi Cup
Stage for Gurdas Mann’s performance shifted
Mohit Khanna/ Anil Dutt
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
Intervention by representatives of various sports’ associations forced the Canada-America Kabaddi Cup organisers to shift the stage for the live performance of Punjabi singer and actor Gurdas Mann at the Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

The kabaddi cup is slated for tomorrow and the noted singer would perform following the kabaddi matches.

Till this morning, the organisers were busy setting up the stage in the play field of the football ground in the main stadium.

When the representatives got wind of this in the afternoon, they along with some sportspersons rushed to the stadium where they opposed the move.

The chief coordinator of the event, Inderjit Singh Mohi claimed that they had obtained prior permission to set up the stage in the football ground from the Director General of Police (DGP), Punjab, PS Gill, who will be the chief guest on the occasion.

This miffed Teja Singh Dhaliwal and Shivtar Singh Bajwa, general secretary, Punjab Basketball Association, and president of district football association, Ludhiana, respectively.

They demanded the copy of the permission, but Mohi failed to produce the same.

As the argument between the two factions started taking an ugly turn a day before the much-hyped event, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Yurinder Singh Hayer, who happens to be the president of the District Basketball Association, Ludhiana, reach the stadium to save the situation.

He intervened the matter and managed to draw out an amicable solution between the two groups who were at loggerheads since morning.

The organisers acceded to the demand of the representatives of the sports’ association and agreed to shift the stage on the rear side of the Shastri badminton hall.

Visibly relieved, Teja Singh Dhaliwal said, “We are not against organising any game, but our only concern is that the sanctity of the playground should be maintained.”

Hooliganism will not be tolerated: DCP

Taking serious note of the previous incident, where frenzied spectators broke security cordons and jumped over the fencing and vandalised the playing area, the Deputy Commissioner of Police Yurinder Singh Hayer said any repetition of such an incident will not be tolerated and serious action would be taken against hooliganism. More security will be deployed in the ground and outside the stadium to deal with any eventuality.



Retd principal translates Mahabharata into Punjabi
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
At this age, when majority of senior citizens prefer to lead a relaxed retired life, Dr Rajinderjit Kaur Dhindsa, a retired principal, has just completed a prestigious assignment to translate about 700 pages of “The Mahabharata -- An inquiry in the human mind” -- a book written by Dr Badrinath Chaturvedi, into Punjabi.

The project was given to Dr Rajinderjit Kaur and her daughter Manpreet Kaur Sahota, a lecturer in English at SCD Government College here, by Delhi Sahit Academy about six months back. The translated form has been submitted to the academy, which has sent it to different scholars for evaluation. Once the book is historically verified, it will be given for publication.

“It was indeed a tough and challenging task. Since the words used in English were quite difficult, my daughter Manpreet helped me a lot to accomplish the work. She is PhD in English while I did my doctorate way back in 1976. At 68, I feel good, keeping myself busy in constructive works, which give me energy and satisfaction,” said Dr Dhindsa adding that writing books was her passion. She has already written three books in Punjabi.

This translated book contains 17 chapters. In each chapter, various lessons in life have been portrayed by Dr Chaturvedi. Ego, importance of food and water according to Mahabharta, difference of spiritual and materialistic world, religion, the base of relationships, non-violence, truth, happiness/sadness in life and importance of relationships etc have been discussed in length as per Mahabharata -- the great epic.

“Certain words were too technical. The English written in chapters was not that easy, so my mother sought my help. It was so good doing this prestigious work. We learnt a lot about other religion. Presently, I am doing another work for National Book Trust of India. A Pakistani Children’s Story Book by Hasan Manzar is being translated by me into Punjabi from Hindi,” said Manpreet Sahota, adding that work of translation was interesting and challenging.



MC has no record of its project
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
It is strange but true that the municipal corporation undergoing a financial crunch, which has siphoned more than Rs 16 crore to a contractor for the incomplete project of constructing an indoor stadium at Pakhowal, does not has the required record regarding the project. This certainly raises many eyebrows on the working of the civic body.

Right to Information (RTI) Act activist Kuldeep Singh Khaira had sought the information from the MC under the Act regarding the documents pertaining to the record of the controversial project. However, even after pursuing the case for more than a year Khaira has not been able to get the whole information about the project. The reason being the MC officers do not have the required record about the project.

In the information provided to Khaira the MC officers have clearly written that they do not have the comparative statement of technical bids on the basis of which the project was allotted to the contractor who had undertaken the work to be left after wasting Rs 16 crore.

In his plea submitted recently to the State Information Commission, Khaira has alleged that similarly the technical bid submitted by the contractor is also not there in proper manner. Information regarding a large number of running bills have also not been provided to him, rued the social activist.

Besides, Khaira had also pointed out that though there had been delay in the project, the MC officers did not have record about the penalty imposed for delay in completion of work. He said the MC officers were claiming that no penalty was imposed whereas the contractor had requested the Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) to waive off the penalty imposed on him vide resolution number 9,144, dated March 3, 2007. He added that the MC officers were also silent on the extension given to the project after March 31, 2008.

Commenting on it Khaira said the MC officers were not providing the record as there were a lot of loopholes in it. He alleged that the officers and the contractor involved in the project have siphoned off a huge chunk of public money for which they must be made accountable. “They cannot escape their responsibility by simply claiming that they do not have the record,” he added.

In news for wrong reasons

The project initiated during the previous Congress regime had ofetn been in news for the wrong reasons with allegations of siphoning of public money often being raised by elected representatives of the people. Even the Chief Architect involved in the project had questioned the way the work was being done on the project. But MC officials, allegedly for the sake of benefiting a blue-eyed contractor, had been carrying out the work



Irrigation dept sits over arrears of rent for 30 years
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 16
Can a tenant continue to default in the payment of rent for over 20 years; and on the top of it, keep using electricity. water and sewerage facility for more that 30 years without paying a penny? If the case of an office of the canal lining division of the Irrigation Department, located in a part of the main office of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) here is any indication, the answer is yes.

The Punjab Irrigation department, which had rented out a part of the second floor of the LIT office way back in December 1980 on a monthly rent of Rs 3,850, has not paid arrears of rent from the year 1988-89. Not only this, the department had made no payment on account of electricity bill, water and sewerage charges ever since occupying the building.

Ironically, the LIT officials not only failed to initiate any action for the recovery of arrears of rent and utility charges which had accumulated to Rs 28.88 lakh during the past three decades, but also put off eviction proceedings against the defaulting tenant on one or the other pretext. This despite the fact that there is an acute shortage of office space for the LIT's own staff and many of the branches have been split and accommodated at two or more places in the same building.

Successive audit reports of the LIT conducted by Examiner, Local Fund Account, Punjab, right from the year 2004-05 to 2009-10 have pointed out this serious lapse on part of the LIT authorities.

A copy of the audit report for the year 2009-10, obtained by Council of RTI Activists under the Right to Information Act, reveals that once again the Examiner, Local Fund Account, Punjab, had raised objection to unpaid arrears of rent by the canal lining division amounting to Rs 1,54,037 along with accumulated electricity, water and sewer charges of Rs 27,34,218.

While forwarding a copy of the audit report to the Director, Local Government, Punjab, with a copy to the LIT chairman, the regional deputy director in the office of Examiner, Local Fund Account, Punjab, Chandigarh, has asked for immediate recovery of arrears of rent and utility charges from the Irrigation Department, and also start proceedings for getting the rented portion vacated by taking up the matter with the state government at the appropriate level. Compliance of these directions have been sought within a period of three months under relevant rules of the Municipal Account Code 1930.

LIT chairman MM Vyas said steps were afoot for the recovery of arrears of rent and utility charges. The matter of getting the rented portion was taken up with the government a couple of years ago without any positive response till now. "We shall soon take up the matter once again with the Local Government and the Irrigation department at the appropriate level."



Bagful of style
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
Gone are the days when your hand bag was just a utility item, carrying all that stationery that you never seem to use, along with the ‘must-have’ cash and cards, your favourite lip colour, that eye pencil you just cannot live without, your best friend-mirror, several keys and what not!

Over the years, the hand bag has come a long way, from being used for purely functional reasons to being a statement piece all on its own.

It hasn’t lost its functional abilities, but designers across the globe have managed to incorporate fashion and style to go with functionality. Today there are handbags designed to suit various occasions, using countless colours and styles to appease all tastes.

With 2011 here, the most popular and practical style remains the everyday bag that can hold almost anything. These bags, generally called “hobo bags”, are ever-popular and never go out of fashion.

Chain-strap bag and clutch is a great pick for those looking for a small piece to hold the simple necessities, though more for an evening or night out. They can be paired with a simple dress or even a pair of nice clean-cut trousers.

Another popular current trend is the patent leather handbag with short strings, in bold colours like pink, red or purple. No matter the outfit you pair it with, a bag like this will stand out. These bags are a hit in the prevailing weather conditions, with heavy woollens making it difficult to carry a shoulder bag.

While the hand bags are making quite a statement, the 90’s shoulder bags are back in vogue too, but in more contemporary styles. These “it” bags are a must-have for office goers for the simple reason that they are extremely comfortable, roomier, come in different styles that can be worn to the office and even on a casual day.

Cross-body bags are the essentials of all casual settings. These bags add a little sporty flavour and edge to your look. What more, their straps come in myriad variations such as chains and leather.

One-shoulder bags featuring long straps have also been revived and are claiming their space in 2011.

Another interesting trend that will continue to shine in the New Year is the buckle-front embellishment. These buckles come in elegant and chic designs and add an extra zing to almost any bag-big or small.

So go out, pick a bag that suits your personality and create a lasting impression.



Protest in support of mid-day meal staff
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
The Lok Sangharsh Committee, Punjab, and the NTUI members held a protest against rising inflation and in support of the mid-day meal workers at Chattar Singh Park here today. The protesters burnt the effigies of the Centre and Punjab Governments and raised slogans in support of the mid-day meal workers of the state who are facing numerous problems.

Addressing the gathering, NTUI president and former MLA Tarsem Jodha said the Centre was responsible for the rising prices of essential commodities. He also blamed the state government's policies for the problems being faced by the common man.

He informed that in support of the demands of the contractual staff, a rally would be held on February 27 in Ludhiana wherein action plan for the protest would be announced.

The protesters demanded that mid-day meal workers should be given Rs 10,000 as minimum wages. They also demanded that the state government should provide for the basic necessities required to prepare mid-day meal in schools, including gas stove and LPG cylinder, and mid-day meal workers be recommended for government jobs and given facilities accordingly.



Mystery shrouds undertrial’s death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
A 30-year-old undertrial died under mysterious circumstances at the Central Jail here on Friday. The deceased, Gurmeet Ram, a resident of Nawanshahr, was facing drug-peddling charges.

The incident took place in the wee hours when Gurmeet complained of severe chest pain. A medical officer was sent to examine the undertrial but the latter’s condition deteriorated.

He was shifted to the local Civil Hospital where he was declared brought dead. The cause of his death is still unknown.

The jail authorities said they would conduct an autopsy to substantiate the exact cause of the death. The division No 7 police is also planning to send the viscera of the deceased to a government laboratory.

Mohan Lal, father of the deceased, alleged foul play behind the incident. “Gurmeet Ram had been feeling lonely and depressed. He wanted to shift to the Jalandhar jail,” claimed Mohan Lal, who had met his son just two days ago.

Central Jail Superintendent SP Khanna said a magisterial probe had been ordered into the incident.



DMCH doctor awarded fellowship
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 16
Dr Suman Puri, associate professor in the department of obstetrics and gynaecology at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, was awarded the fellowship of the Indian College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and of the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India at the convocation held at Hyderabad.

The fellowship is given in recognition of the services rendered in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology in academics and patient care. The All-India Congress of Obstetrics and Gynaecology was held from January 5 to 9 at Hyderabad. Nearly 9,000 delegates from India and abroad attended the conference.

Dr Puri was also invited as a faculty where she chaired the session on enhancing infertility. She also presented a paper during the proceedings of the conference.



Makar sankranti celebrated with fervour
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 16
Sree Ayyappa Temple, Focal Point, Ludhiana, celebrated Makar sankranti with full fervour and enthusiasm.

The temple opened for darshan at 5 am, followed by Ganesh havan and other Vedic rituals.

The temple was beautifully decorated with flowers, lights and wore an amazing festive look.

To coincide with this religious festival, a colourful procession was also organised by the temple committee which started from the temple at 4.30 pm. Thousands of devotees from all parts of Punjab, along with city residents took part in the procession. The main attraction was “thalapoli”, in which 101 women and children wearing traditional dress of Kerala carry jyoti on decorated plates, followed by decorated deities, tableau and various temple-related art forms from Kerala. The procession also witnessed an enthralling performance by artistes from Kerala.



City girl bags laurels in seminar

Ludhiana, January 16
A city girl, Swastika Khosla, who is pursuing her final year of graduation in the Government College for Women made a mark at the three-day national seminar for young scholars to celebrate the anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. The seminar was organised by the Centre of Swami Vivekananda Studies in ICSSR Complex, PU, Chandigarh, from January 10-12.

Young scholars from all over the country presented their papers on “The concept of development in Indian tradition”. Swastika bagged the third prize for her paper in the seminar. Her paper emphasised on striking the right balance between spiritual, technological and economic development to achieve development in true sense and also that the Indian concept of development means to cultivate real knowledge. — TNS



12-yr RI for drug trafficking
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 16
KS Kang, Additional Sessions Judge, has sentenced Sarabjit Singh, a resident of Rajouri Garden, New Delhi, in a drug trafficking case. He was also sentenced to undergo 12-year rigorous imprisonment and pay Rs 1.5 lakh as fine.

Eight-kilogram heroin worth Rs 1 crore was recovered from the possession of accused after officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence laid the trap on April 20, 2007. Fake currency notes worth Rs 9.93 lakh and one 6.35 mm pistol of Brazil make were also recovered from his possession.

He was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for five years on the charges of possessing fake currency and pay Rs 20,000 as fine. However, both sentences shall run concurrently.

Delivering the verdict, the court held that the prosecution has successfully proved the charges levelled against the accused. The court declined the plea of leniency raised by the convict.

Maninder Singh, Special Public Prosecutor, said officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence were tipped off about narcotics being smuggled from Pathankot to Delhi in a grey coloured Esteem car (DL 9CD 8290).

Then Directorate of Revenue Intelligence from New Delhi along with counterparts in Ludhiana laid a trap near Doraha toll barrier on the Ludhiana-New Delhi road. As soon as the car of the accused reached the spot, the officials stopped it.

A zipper bag lying in the car’s boot and Indian currency worth Rs 1 lakh were seized. Another bag concealed below the carpet, in the rear boot of the car, was also seized. Fake currency notes, drugs and one 6.35 mm pistol of Brazil make was recovered from his possession.

The accused had pleaded that the officials of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence were inimical towards him. That’s why he has been falsely implicated; he added but failed to convince the court. Though the court acquitted the accused under the Arms Act, on the charges of possessing the pistol of Brazil make, for want of sanction from the District Magistrate, as required by the law.



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