L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


raids by officials
21 govt employees found missing from office
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Last raids were conducted in Jan

More than 400 officials/employees were found missing from duty during "surprise raids" carried out in almost 100 government offices across the district. The raids were conducted by teams headed by the ADC (development), ADC (general), SDMs and various senior officials in their respective sub-divisions.

Office ‘closed’

The office of quality control in the department of Industries was "closed" in response to which the deputy commissioner said he would write to the state director of industries. The raiding team had no clue about the number of officials/subordinate staff working in the office.

Ludhiana, February 14
Twenty-one employees working in government offices across Ludhiana were found missing from their duty during the surprise raids carried out today by the district administration.

This was the third round of raids wherein five teams comprising the senior administrative officials checked the offices of Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (LMC), senior town planner, superintending engineer PWD, Zila Parishad, Civil Surgeon, district sainik welfare board, Punjab Power Corporation Limited (PPCL), where 21 employees were absent from work.

However, the attendance of the staff at GLADA, deputy director animal husbandry, additional labour commissioner, SE Irrigation, Improvement Trust, divisional forest office, district agriculture officer, district food, civil supplies and consumer affairs (DFSC) was 100 per cent.

No official or subordinate staff was absent from duty and the registers were also complete.

The SDM Samrala Sukhdev Singh, assistant commissioner (general) JK Jain, SDM Khanna Inderjit Kaur, district revenue officer Balraj Kaur were heading the four raiding parties.

Ludhiana deputy commissioner Rahul Tewari was heading the fifth team that conducted the raids, who stated that a stern action would be taken against the erring employees.

"We are deducting a day's salary of the employees missing from their office during duty hours and the employees would be charge-sheeted for major penalty for willful absence from office,' the DC said.

Living up to their repute of playing truant from work, as many as 10 LMC employees were found absent from duty followed by absence of four staff members in the office of the civil surgeon and three from the district sainik welfare board.

The movement register was nowhere to be seen in the office of the assistant commercial engineer (AEE) in Punjab Power Corporation Limited (PPCL) and also the attendance register was locked in a closet. AEE Upinder Singh Gill has been given a show cause notice for the same.


Valentine’s turns out to be a damp squib
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Florists rake in moolah

Valentine’s Day brought cheer to many, especially florists who raked up an earning of about Rs 10 lakh across the city. The much sought after roses sold for anything between Rs 50 and Rs 100 per stem. Last year, the day of red roses fell on a Sunday which meant it was hard for many, especially girls, to sneak out of their houses. Florists were unable to push their wares. With V Day falling on a working day this year, confectioners, gift shop owners and florists were able to make considerable sales.

Ludhiana, February 14
An abundance of red roses and chocolates, pretty little gifts and the company of your beloved amid lavish sprinkling of feelings - what more can one ask for on Valentine’s Day? Just a hope that cops don’t come raiding. Unfortunately, city residents, especially youth, could not bask in the glory of this hope today as they celebrated Valentine’s Day in the fear of cops’ whip.

Heavy police deployment across the length and breadth of the city kept the lovers on their toes all day as they tried hard to look for a safe nest, away from the restricting gaze of the men in khaki.

All major hot spots across the city, including College Road, PAU and GADVASU campuses, Sarabha Nagar and Ghumar Mandi markets, Model Town, Civil Lines, Rakh Bagh, Rose Garden and Leisure Valley wore a quiet look, unlike previous years when love-struck youngsters could be seen enjoying the day to their hearts’ content. However, some daring couples, enjoying intimate moments here or there, did catch the onlookers’ attention.

Party spoilt: Disappointed youths gather near the Government College for Women in Ludhiana
Party spoilt:
Disappointed youths gather near the Government College for Women in Ludhiana on Monday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Far from maddening crowd: A couple having a ‘good time’ at Leisure Valley in Ludhiana
Far from maddening crowd:
A couple having a ‘good time’ at Leisure Valley in Ludhiana on Monday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

As the city remained fortified throughout today by heavy police presence, multiplexes were swarmed by youngsters, eager to express their love for each other with flowers, cards and gifts. Peripheral areas around the city, too, remained busy, with city residents celebrating Valentine’s away from intimidating cops.

"With so many cops around, it is difficult to even meet your friends from the opposite sex outside. So, we decided to go for a movie, followed by sumptuous lunch at Colonel’s Cabin," remarked college students Sahil Narula, adding that even the choice of the restaurant was deliberate to avoid unnecessary hassles.

"Meeting at a family restaurant is the safest bet," added Sahil’s friend Nitish.

Interestingly, all colleges, without exception, witnessed thin attendance, just like previous years.

A group of youngsters from Khalsa College, who were out on a fun group date, said: "Last year, Sunday spoilt the fun and this year, cops did it. So, we chose to hang out in a large group of friends, which includes our girlfriends as well."

"A young couple simply chatting on the roadside invites trouble, but a large group of friends hanging out at a shopping mall is considered harmless. So, here we are, in a group, enjoying our Valentine’s with our respective beloved as well as friends. It’s all the more fun," remarked college students Jatin and Sukhpreet.

There were many others who found yet another novel way to celebrate a hassle-free Valentine’s.

"Do we really need to say that we are bunking college?" chuckled a young couple, who elaborate their V-Day plans: "We are going for a long drive to Moga, away from these horrid khaki brigade and will first watch a movie, then have a sumptuous lunch followed by a nice evening in the blooming mustard fields."

While the heavy deployment in the city caused inconvenience to youngsters; married couples, on the other hand, did not face much problems.

"The ‘married’ tag is very helpful in such situations," laughed Sakshi and her husband Ritesh.

There was yet another category of lovers who chose to spend the day quietly over a romantic dinner.

"Many of the city’s restaurants are offering a special Valentine theme menu and candle-lit dinners. So, we have decided to make the most of the offer and visit at least three joints today - a coffee shop, a junk joint and a restaurant," said Preeti and her husband Subhash.

Meanwhile, the day passed off peacefully, with no reports of any untoward incident coming in till the filing of this report.



Cops keep hooligans at bay
Mohit Khanna
Triune News Service

Girls skip college

Several girl students skipped college to avoid an unpleasant experience, while many were ferried by their parents to colleges.

Providing safe passage

Unlike previous years, cops did not use moral policing against the couples sitting in parks. A group of cops, which was roaming in muftis in Rose Garden, said it had received instructions from the top not to disturb couples sitting together. “Instead, the people who disturb such couples would be taken to task,” said the cops.

Ludhiana, February 14
Foolproof security arrangements by the police, consisting of 100 nakas, foiled all plans of hooligans to create ruckus on city streets on Valentine’s Day. Heavy contingent of police force deployed at key sensitive points ensured that the lovers’ day passed off peacefully.

The police had pitched tents in public parks and outside girls’ colleges to discourage youngsters who were in a frenzy on Valentine's Day.

The strong police presence spoiled the plans of many social organisations, who were hunting for couples to express their anguish for this day.

A cop deputed in front a college said, "Ten years ago no one knew what Valentine’s Day was. But now around 100 nakas have been put up in order to maintain law and order."

The Sarabha Nagar market remained the epicentre of the Valentine buzz. Heavy police bandobast was made to keep miscreants at bay.

Mounted police, riot control vehicle and cops in mufti were deployed to nab the mischief mongers. Nearly 50 cops, including JS Sidhu Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP) and Dharampal SHO Sarabha Nagar Police Station, were seen manning the Sarabha Nagar area.

"We found it necessary to impose regulations in the light of certain experiences we have had in the past,” said ADCP JS Sidhu.

The cops cordoned the entire road outside Khalsa College and thwarted the plans of boys, who were out to propose girls in front of the latter’s college.

Several youths were spotted at a safe distance from the girls college. Some were seen waiting in narrow alleys close to the college to avoid police action. “What is the fun of going in front of a college as police lay seige outside the premises and challing vehicles,” said a youth hiding on the Sham Singh road.

A group of college girls appreciated the job of the police for keeping the anti-social elements away from the college.

At the same time, girls criticised the social organisations, who protested against the celebration of this day.

"These organisations, which are doing nothing for the improvement of society, use this day as a propaganda tool to earn petty publicity," opined the group of girls.

Police sources said cops roamed around in muftis in some famous public parks, including Rose Garden, Leisure Valley and Rakh Bagh, to keep a tab on the romancing couples.



Feroze Gandhi Market
Parking lot allotment draws a blank
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Perturbed over the implementation of strict traffic norms and unsatisfied by terms and conditions set by the Municipal Corporation for allotting a parking lot in Feroze Gandhi Market, no bidder turned up for getting the parking space of the most important commercial hub of the city.

The MC had called for bids from private parties to allot parking lot of Feroze Gandhi Market, for which the civic body had set reserve price of Rs 73.26 lakh in comparison to Rs 60 lakh kept last year. Last year, the parking was allotted at Rs 66.07 lakh, which was Rs 6 lakh more then reserve price. MC officers were expecting that in current year, they would fetch a handsome amount of money by auctioning the space. But their hopes were dashed when none of the bidders came forward to get the parking lot. This despite the fact that three parties had come to participate in the auction but none of them participated in the process.

Sources said as the MC had clearly told the participants that they would not be allowed to charge money from vehicle parked on roads of market so parties were upset. Similarly, MC officials had also told the participants that as traffic Police had demarcated yellow lines in the area adjoining the market, they would have to follow strict rules, else police officials would issue challan to vehicles parked in a haphazard manner. So the parties were reluctant to take part in the auction. In the same manner, the participants also opposed the reserve price fixed by the MC officials by asserting that it was very high due to which it would not be profitable for them.

They also demanded that instead of fixing the amount to be charged from vehicle according to hours, the MC should fix lump sum amount of money to be charged from vehicles. However, as the senior officials and politicians of the MC, including Additional Commissioner Kanwalpreet Kaur Brar, Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal and Councilor Pal Singh Grewal, expressed their inability to change the clauses of terms and conditions, auction was finally postponed without allotting parking site to anybody.



16-yr-old hosiery worker found dead
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
A teenaged hosiery worker was found dead in a vacant plot near his residence in Mundian Kalan here today. The victim was identified as Shiv Ram (16), a resident of Gonda district in Uttar Pradesh.

The incident came to light in the morning when the victim's father Sita Ram spotted his son's body and raised an alarm.

Investigating officer said Shiv Ram was working at a hosiery unit in the city and currently putting up with his father at the migrant quarters in Mundian Kalan.

The victim's father claimed that last night Shiv Ram was playing with his friends.

Sita Ram further added that he was in an inebriated condition and dosed off early, only to see his son's body in the morning.

The police is suspecting that the victim was strangulated, as there were nail marks on the neck of the victim.



PAU students’ strike ends as govt heeds to their demand
300 vacancies in agriculture dept to be filled in first phase
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Waking from its deep slumber after the student community put pressure on it, the state government finally decided to fill 300 vacancies in the agriculture department, Punjab, in the first phase. These posts will be a mixed bag of Agriculture Development Officers (ADOs), Horticulture Develoment Officers and Soil Conservation Officers as per ratio of vacancies.

Ironically, the state government did not even bother to look at the sorry state of affairs in the agriculture department, Punjab, where more than 1,000 posts were lying vacant. It was only after the strike of the PAU students that state government responded at last yesterday.

During the 21-day strike period of agriculture technocrats, Agriculture Minister Sucha Singh Langah, former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, BKU president BS Rajewal and various trade union leaders visited the students. Though they were given assurance, still students were adamant on their demand of meeting the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

The president of the Punjab Agriculture University Students’ Association, Ravinder Singh Randhawa told The Tribune that this information was given to them today by Chief Parliamentary Secretary Harish Rai Dhanda after Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal confirmed about it. The formal announcement would be made after the Cabinet’s meeting on February 18, said Randhawa.

Dhanda accompanied by PAU VC Dr MS Kang, director (students’ welfare) Dr PS Aulakh, along with several trade union leaders, went to agitating students in the morning and offered juice to students to put an end to their hunger strike.

Randhawa further informed that students had also been told by government representatives that many other posts in agriculture department would be filled on contractual basis besides these 300 regular posts.

After getting assurance from the Chief Minister and PAU authorities, the PAU students ended their strike. Rupinder Pal Singh, president, College of Agriculture, PAU, said students had fought for their rights.

“We had no intention to put the government or authorities to inconvenience, but we were left with no other choice. We have also been told that age limit for many other posts in the agriculture department will be decreased and fresh advertisement will be floated by the state government. With this step, the youngsters will get job opportunities,” said Ripunder Pal Singh.



Question mark on TB control programme
Dispensary number 5 in Dhandari Kalan sans medicine
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Poor employees denied treatment

There are 648 DOT centres in Ludhiana district, besides 48 microscopic centres, functional under the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, where sputum examination is conducted free of cost. The seven TB units have facilities for complete examination and treatment of patients suffering from tuberculosis.

MS explains

Dr Suresh Kohli, Medical Superintendent of the ESIC Model Hospital, said the patient had to be administered medicine at the nearest DOT centre, which in Rudhi Devi's case, is Dispensary Number 5. But if there is some problem, we can start the medicine at the DOT centre in the hospital, said Dr Kohli.

Ludhiana, February 14
The non-availability of the medicine for tuberculosis at the ESI dispensaries catering to the employees coming from economically weaker sections has put a question mark on the Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP).

Where on one side the Department of Health and Family Welfare Punjab is blaming private doctors for having failed to adopt Directly Observed Treatment (DOT) under the RNTCP, the ESI dispensary number 5 in Dhandari Kalan does not even have the medicine. The dispensary is functional under the Punjab Health Department.

Rudhi Devi, mother of Jivan Singh, an employee at JVR Forgings Ltd, having been examined at ESI dispensary number 5 in January last week, was referred to ESIC Model Hospital, Bharat Nagar Chowk.

Thereafter, Rudhi Devi was diagnosed with Bone TB and was asked to go to dispensary number 5 for treatment.

Much to the shock of Jivan Singh, the dispensary staff refused to give medicine, stating that they did not have the medicine for TB.

"There was no one at the dispensary on the first day , thus I took my mother to the dispensary again on the second day, but nobody attended us. For three days, we were just made to sit and wait. On the fourth day, an employee at the dispensary after having a look at the report, said the medicine was not available and sent us to the ESIC Model Hospital," said Jivan.

Harassed yet helpless, Jivan had no option but to miss his work for the fourth consecutive day and take his mother to the ESIC Model hospital. "But it was refusal from the hospital staff as they said that it was for the dispensary to dispense and administer medicine. Next day, I met a senior doctor who, after going through the report said the hospital had done the needful, adding that the treatment would be given at the dispensary and not at the ESIC Model Hospital," stated Jivan.

The patient’s condition is deteriorating, as she has some wounds on her upper legs but the apathetic attitude of the authorities at the ESIC Model hospital has deprived the poor woman of treatment and solace even after two weeks of her diagnosis.

Jivan Singh's employer has taken a strong notice of the "unethical" approach of the authorities at ESIC Model hospital, as BK Singh, the manager HR and Administration at Eastman Impex, the parent company of JVR Forgings, said, " We are paying ` 4 lakh per month as ESI contribution so as to ensure hassle-free treatment to our employees. We will complaint against the hospital's misconduct to the higher authorities, including the Punjab Health Minister Laxmikanta Chawla," said the manager.



Advt sub-committee
Members refuse to discuss agenda
Charge MC authorities with poor working
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Irked over the “poor” working of the Municipal Corporation (MC) authorities, members of the sub-committee of advertisement refused to discuss new agenda until the earlier agenda passed by them was not implemented.

The meeting of the sub-committee was held in the office of Additional Commissioner Mahinder Pal Gupta in which members, including Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal, councillors Pal Singh Grewal, Gurdeep Singh Neetu, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Hem Raj Aggarwal and Harbhajan Singh Dang, also took part. However, in an unprecedented action, all the committee members, irrespective of their party affiliations, refused to discuss the new agenda set by MC officials saying that it was of no use as the civic body authorities are not serious to implement the agenda passed by them.

Citing an example of agenda passed in last meeting held on January 7, the members said none of agenda passed by them had been implemented so far. Raising a question mark over the committee’s utility, they said if the agenda was not to be implemented, what was the need of discussing it. Caught in a sticky situation, Additional Commissioner Mahinder Pal Gupta tried to pacify the members saying that everything passed by the sub-committee would be implemented in the coming days. However, the defiant members said they would discuss the next agenda only after MC implements agenda of the earlier meeting.

Subsequently, it was decided that as per the agenda passed on January 7, MC officials would launch a drive to remove illegal advertisements installed on private buildings and overhead structures in the city. It was also decided that action would be taken against those who had installed digital advertisement boards in various parts of the city.

The sub-committee will again meet on February 22 to review the situation.



Jain group sweeps Lodhi Club poll
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Jagmohan Krishan Jain’s camp swept the Lodhi Club elections held here on Sunday by bagging seven out of 10 seats, defeating the opponents by a massive margin. The results of the poll were declared late last night.

The victory brought cheers to the Jain group, which bagged all major posts in the club barring that of the vice-president, cultural secretary and finance secretary, which went to the Manoj Gupta camp.

Out of 2,300 voters, only 1,671 cast their votes in the poll held to elect the club’s general secretary. With the victory, Jain managed to defeat not only his close competitor Manoj Gupta, but also others, including Capt AK Verma aka Roxy and Amrit Bhandari.

Interestingly, soon after the results were declared, all club members could be seen celebrating the election of the new executive council.

Jain, who bagged the coveted post of the vice-president, said his priority would be to upgrade the club’s sports activities.



‘Bharat Puttar’ award for Phallewal youth
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 14
Residents of Phallewal village in Sangrur district near here are jubilant as their son Gurdeep Singh Grewal, an NRI settled in Vancouver, has been conferred the “Bharat Puttar” (Son of India) Award by some organisations in Canada.

The award was conferred in recognition of Singh’s contributions in fostering trade and cultural relations among the residents of the two nations.

Council General of India in Canada Ashok Dass presented the award on behalf of organisations of Canada at a function held in Vancouver recently.

A former student of Government Primary School, Phallewal, Government High School, Akbarpur Chhanna, and Government College, Malerkotla, Gurdeep Singh had shifted to Canada in 1993. Like a majority of Punjabi settling on foreign shores, Singh had to do manual labour in Abbotsford City in British Columbia province of Canada for many years.

Besides being associated with a number of social and educational organisations in Canada, Singh has also been highlighting the problems of Indians in general and Punjabis in particular through columns in English and vernacular newspapers of Canada.



Animal fair ends
Farmers vow to bring white revolution
Mahesh Sharma

Conserving environment

  • In an effort to tackle problems of adverse soil and climatic conditions, some dairy farmers showed inclination to adopt hydroponics for producing fodder for their cattle
  • A working model of hydroponics farm installed at the PDFA fair by a private company remained the centre of attraction for those dairy farmers who had been facing scarcity of fodder
  • A demonstrator claimed that in contrast to conventional method of producing fodder in soil, hydroponics saved time energy and natural resources to a great extant. A plot measuring 225 square feet was required to install the equipment needed to produce fodder, which is grown in piece of land measuring 4,356 square feet conventionally. While it takes 30-45 days for the fodder crop to mature in fields, hydroponics gives equal yield within a week
  • Dr Ravinder Sharma, a diary owner of Ahmedgarh, said he had asked officials of the company to arrange demonstration of the plant at his farm.

Advantages of hydroponics

  • Environment friendly
  • Conservation of land
  • Conservation of water
  • Time saving
  • No contamination
  • Constant supply of fodder

Jagraon, February 14
The fifth Progressive Dairy Farmers’ International Animal Fair concluded here amid resolutions and promises to adopt latest technologies in animal husbandry for improvement of the livestock reared by dairy owners of the region.

While the organisers, led by Daljit Singh Saddopur, promised to facilitate members of the association upgrade their units, entrepreneurs vowed to contribute to bring white revolution in the state.

Executives of industrial houses manufacturing equipment used in dairy farming assured to impress upon their masters to provide special concessions on purchase of costly devices.

Even though dairy farmers continued pouring in till late in the evening, organisers of various stalls had started packing up hours before. Workers of various dairy farms of the region, who had been camping here for three days, were seen preparing for their return journey in the afternoon.

Sources revealed that companies dealing in nutrient concentrates and veterinary medicines made good business on the last day. Farmers who had visited the fair on first two days returned to make purchases on third day today.

Avtar Singh of Shankar village and Surinder Sharma of local Chhanna road said they had placed bulk order for cattle feed and veterinary medicines as executives of manufacturers had given special discount for purchased made during the fair.

Organisers claimed that large number dairy farmers from neighbouring states, including Haryana and Rajasthan, showed interest in enrolment as permanent members of the association.



Sexed semen straw for Rs 100
Mahesh Sharma

Jagraon, February 14
Dairy farmers of the state will be provided sexed semen of exotic breeds of cows and buffaloes at subsidized rate of Rs 100 per straw, said Finance Commissioner, Dairy Development, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Department, Gurinder Jit Singh Sandhu on the concluding ceremony of the fifth Progressive Dairy Farmers’ Association (PDFA) Animal Fair here today.

Claiming that one-lakh straws of semen of good quality bulls were earlier provided at the rate of Rs 200 per straw, Sandhu said 1.5 lakh more straws would be imported soon.

Appreciating the role played by the PDFA in spreading awareness about modern techniques of dairy technology, Sandhu said dairy farmers should make maximum use of facilities provided by the government.

Chairman of the Farmers Commission GS Kalkat and Commissioner, Animal Husbandry, Dr AS Nanda, emphasised the need for a progressive dairy farmers authority and nationalisation of the concepts adopted by the organisers.



MC’s double standard on encroachments exposed
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Indifferent authorities

Our business has been affected due to the illegal encroachments and the resultant traffic congestion here, but no one has ever bothered to do something about it. But the situation suddenly changes when any politician comes here. No one cares for the common people.

 — A shopkeeper in Fieldgunj area

Ludhiana, February 14
The widespread encroachments in the city’s Fieldgunj locality cause a lot of hassles for commuters every day but they suddenly seem to vanish whenever any “VVIP” visits the area. This clearly reflects the municipal corporation adopts completely different yardsticks for the common folk and politicians.

The locality’s main street, even though fairly wide, is invariably congested due to the multitude of temporary illegal structures erected in the area. The result is that traffic moves at snail's pace causing interminable bottlenecks. However, the surprising part is that civic officials have never bothered to do anything about the problem and provide any sort of relief to the common man. However the situation becomes entirely different when any “VVIP” politician comes to the area and the streets are wide open for smooth flow of traffic.

This was seen on Friday when top politicians, including Punjab assembly deputy speaker Satpal Gosain, state planning board deputy chairman Rajinder Bhandari, city mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura and other senior MC officials were scheduled to travel via Fieldgunj’s main street to attend some function. In order to avoid any sort of inconvenience to them the MC staff was vigilantly checking the street to ensure it was free of any encroachments. A police team was also deployed on the whole route to see to it that the politicians did not face any traffic problems.

Visibly irked, a shopkeeper in the area told The Tribune on condition of anonymity: “Our business has been affected due to the illegal encroachments and the resultant traffic congestion here, but no one has ever bothered to do something about it. But the situation suddenly changes when any politician comes here. No one cares for the common people”.

Congress party councillor Rakesh Prashar, who represents the area, said to have better traffic management in the area the MC must ensure encroachments are removed from the locality. "But unfortunately due to the MC staff’s lacklustre performance people are suffering,” he added.

When asked to comment on matter, senior deputy mayor Praveen Bansal said: “We’re already making efforts to find some solution to decongest traffic in this area. Also, the MC's ‘tehbazaari’ branch is already looking into the encroachments present here”.



A year after MC drive, illegal structures sprout again
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

70 in C zone alone

As per official records, over 70 illegal structures have been erected again in the city’s ‘C’ zone alone. Officials of ‘D’ zone said a few encroachments had come in their area but asserted they would be removed soon. On the other hand, officials of other two zones - ‘A’ and ‘B’ - claimed that no new encroachments had cropped up in their areas.

Ludhiana, February 14
The basic purpose of the drive against encroachments conducted by the municipal corporation in the past appears to have been defeated as civic officials have failed to check unauthorised structures cropping up again all over the city. This is evident from the details on new encroachments obtained under the Right to Information Act.

In his application submitted to the MC's building branch, “RTI activist” Rohit Sabharwal had asked for details on how many illegal encroachments had come up again in the city after the massive drive to remove them conducted by the civic body about a year ago. In the information provided to him the building branch clearly stated over 70 illegal structures had been erected again in the city’s ‘C’ zone alone. Officials of ‘D’ zone also admitted a few encroachments had come in their area but asserted they would be removed soon. On the other hand officials of other two zones - ‘A’ and ‘B’ - claimed that no new encroachments had cropped up in their areas.

Commenting on the development, Sabharwal said the details provided to him clearly showed the MC had failed to keep tabs on illegal encroachments mushrooming again all over the city. He also accused officials of some of the zones of not having given correct information and of misleading their bosses and even the high court, which have been regularly monitoring the issue.

“As the officials are not passing the right information to MC commissioner AK Sinha and the latter has been telling the court no new encroachments have come up in the city. Whereas the reality is that encroachments are cropping up all over the place due to the civic staff’s failure to keep a check,” he added.

Sabharwal, who is a member of the committee monitoring illegal encroachment set up on the Punjab & Haryana High Court’s directions, stated he had brought the matter to the notice of Sinha, who he said had reprimanded MC officials for their failure in checking the cropping up of encroachments again in various parts of the city. “I’ll also raise the matter in the committee’s meeting scheduled to take place in the coming days,” he added.



Discharge of effluents
MC moves PPCB against erring units
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Acting tough against big industrial units for discharging effluents in the Municipal Corporation’s sewerage system, the civic body has asked the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) authorities to take stern action against erring units.

According to information, officials of the MC Operation and Maintenance (O&M) branch have received reports from the field staff that some big industrial houses, mostly the dying units, were discharging untreated water in the sewerage system of the civic body, as a result of which the sewerage system of the MC was not working properly.

Most of the complaints are from Rahon Road, Focal Point and from near Sherpur Chowk where there is heavy concentration of dying units. Similarly, sewermen of the MC had also complained that in these areas, boiling water is thrown due to which they get burns while cleaning sewerage lines.

In a letter to PPCB authorities, Superintendent Engineer of the O&M branch VP Singh has demanded a strict action against the industrial units who are throwing untreated wastewater directly in the MC sewerage. In the letter, the official said untreated water leads to choking of the sewerage system apart from creating environmental hazard.

Sources in civic body also revealed that most of the dying units do not even have the sewerage connections.

When contacted, VP Singh confirmed that he had written to the PPCB. He, however, refused to divulge details.



Former sarpanch convicted in cheque bounce case
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 14
Judicial Magistrate Rajvinder Singh has convicted Rajinderpal Singh, former sarpanch of Bhutta village, and Satpal Singh, vice-president of Akhara Co-operative Society, to undergo one-year imprisonment in a cheque-bounce case.

Pronouncing the verdict, the court also directed the accused to pay fine of Rs 5,000 each. The orders came on a complaint moved by Gurnam Singh of Bhutta village, Ludhiana.

The complainant submitted that the accused approached him and allured that he could get more interest on his amount in case he gives a loan of Rs 2.45 lakh. So, he advanced loan of Rs 2.45 lakh.

It was alleged that the accused issued a cheque in order to discharge the liability. But, the cheque was dishonoured with remarks “not arranged for”.

However, accused Rajinder Pal Singh claimed innocence. He stated that he was not under any liability. He said the cheque was stolen his office.



Reporters' Diary
What a waste

The state government adopts strange policies. It has imposed two-days' power cut on industry in the city, which means the industry will go powerless on Sundays and Mondays. At the same time, streetlights in industrial area remain on throughout the day. What a novel way to save electricity. Those who are giving bread and butter to lakhs of people are asked to shut their establishments and incur losses, while the authorities hardly pay attention on wastage of power. Not just in the Industrial Area, streetlights remain on in several areas throughout the day Alas! someone could see this wastage, too.

— Shivani Bhakoo

Special treatment

Officials of the Municipal Corporation (MC) will get executive diaries this time. These will have necessary information regarding the civic body apart from a small baggage, which would cater to the needs of officials for keeping their cards in it. These attractive diaries might not bring any change in the working of civic body, but it would certainly be a privilege to carry them. This facility is only for top brass of the civic body. After all, officials need special treatment and privileges.

— Manvinder Singh

Women power

The BJP needs some real management for dealing with women within party as in the past last two years, two of its women councillors had threatened to resign by raising question marks over the MC’s working. First it was Ruchi Jain who had unfurled banner of revolt and now its Sakshi Julka who had threatened to resign following delay in developmental works in her area. Though none other BJP councillors had openly dared to put party leadership in a tight spot, but these women have proved their mettle by taking such tough decisions. It reflects that after all it's the women power that dominates.

— Manvinder Singh

‘Picture’ this!

The desire to see their pictures published in newspapers is no longer limited to grown ups. It seems to have rubbed off onto kids as well. This is what a recent visit to one of the city's slum schools revealed. When asked about what it was like to study on the footpath in the absence of a proper school building, a seven-year-old child agreed to give his "quote" provided he was assured that his picture would appear in the newspaper the next morning.

— Charu Chhibber

Strange question

My younger brother has a habit of popping up with strange queries. Yesterday, he quizzed my mother with very unusual question. He asked: "Why a mother feels jealous when her son shows respect and care for his wife, while at the same time when her son-in-law shows the same amount of love and compassion for her daughter, the mother feels overly happy and thank the man for bringing happiness in her daughter's life?" The question not only tricked my mother, but it also left me bemused as I am currently being tagged as the ‘yesman’ of my wife. Thank god, my mother had to answer this question.

— Mohit Khanna



From Schools

Silver jubilee

LUDHIANA: Scholars of Shifaly International School, Shifaly Public School and Helianthus School celebrated their silver jubilee function. Over 600 scholars of Shifaly and Helianthus Schools presented a musical dance drama “Jai Ho”. The show was based on the theme “Vision 2020”.

India’s glorious past was shown through the song “Aao aabho thuhian dekhayai jhanki Hidustan ki” and “Jab zero diya mere Bharat ne”. While explaining “Vision 2020”, Vishal Jain, director of musical drama, said: “There are two Indias in the country. One India hopes, other India creates. One India leads and the other India follows. While the world is not looking, a new, dynamic India is emerging.”

Eminent personalities distributed the prizes to Shifaly International, Shifaly Public and Helianthus School scholars on annual prize distribution function.

Lifetime achievement awards were given to Gita Mahajan, Kanchan and Madhu Jain from Shifaly Public School and Poonam Jindal, Parveen Jain from Helianthus School for serving society for the last three decades by Parmod Kumar and Usha Jain, managing director of Shifaly Group of Educational Institutes.

Principal Rosy Jain acknowledged the efforts of the entire team for creating, conveying and crystallising Vision 2020 to the masses.

Spelling competition

A spelling competition was held at Government Middle School, Salempur, on Monday under the English and the Social Studies project. Master trainer Amandeep Singh conducted the test in which all students of Classes VI-VIII participated.

The motive behind this competition was to create students’ interest in vocabulary. Amandeep Singh said these kinds of competition were being conducted in schools these days to evoke students’ interest in English. All students showed keen interest in the competition. Amandeep Singh shared some methods of improving vocabulary with them. The best students were given prizes. School in charge Paramjeet Kaur and Amandeep Singh distributed prizes to winning students.

Basant fest

With an aim to welcome the spring season and to soothe the stressed minds from the humdrum of life, a fete was organised at Guru Nanak Public School, Birmi. The fete was inaugurated by Rahul Tiwari, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana. The chief guest was escorted by Jasbir Singh, president of the school managing committee, Surinder Singh, general secretary of the school, and other members of the management.

The fete was organised as a fund raiser for the special children of Ek Prayas. It was a colourful bonanza depicting spring in different hues and colours. Thrilling games, including chocolate wheel, tambola, coins in the bucket, song on demand, hoopla and feeding the clown attracted the students as well as parents.

Main attraction was the kite-flying competition, which was not only enjoyed by the public but also by the guest of honour and other dignitaries.

Special personality tests were conducted to check the stress level of the pupils in the wake of the forthcoming final examination.

Instructions were given to the parents on good parenting. Mouth-watering delicacies at different stalls lured the public. This gala event concluded with a special attraction of a raffle draw which comprised of 10 exciting prizes and many more, the first being a laptop.

Basant Utsav

Tiny tots participate in a drawing competition during Basant Utsav at Bal Bharti Public School, Dugri, Phase II, in Ludhiana
Tiny tots participate in a drawing competition during Basant Utsav at Bal Bharti Public School, Dugri, Phase II, in Ludhiana on Monday. A Tribune photograph

The campus of Bal Bharati Public School, Dugri Phase-II, became the hub of fun and frolic when people from the vicinity joined the students and parents to enjoy a variety of activities at Basant Utsav on Monday.

The campus glittered with colour and excitement. Basant Utsav -- an endeavour to celebrate the onset of spring -- was inaugurated by the students and principal Punam Dogra with the release of balloons in the sky.

The children were attracted towards various game stalls like feed me, car race, chocolate wheel, hoopla, hit me lucky dip, ring the ducks, toy float etc. They won prizes and enjoyed various competitions.

The dance and kite flying competitions were the main attractions for kids while their mothers, aunts and sisters were glued to rangoli, vegetable and fruit salad competitions. Tiny tots competed with each other with glee at healthy baby contest.

The antakshri competition enticed the participants from all age groups, especially adults, who reminisced the songs of 80’s and 90’s. Punjabi songs remained popular among the youth. The participants were divided into four teams -- Bahaar, Saawan, Patjhad and Basant.

The Bahaar team, comprising Sujata Shaw, Nancy Sood, Sarika Sharma, Gurinder Makkar, defeated their closest contestants Saawan team by 20 points.

The participants of the dance competition were divided into five categories as per age groups. Harjot Singh and Khanak bagged the first prize, Uday and Sava stood second and Guramrit and Kriti got the third prize in the category of 3-6 years.

Samridhi was first, Romita came second and Navika and Ishika shared the third prize in the category of 6-10 years. In the category of 10-15 years, Ayushi and Arshjot got the first prize, Ekampreet and Chanpreet got the second prize and Anandita, Manuj stood third whereas Shivam and Nitesh were given special appreciation prize for their energetic performance.

Parnika and Khushi won the group dance competition while Sushma Batta was specially honoured for her wonderful dance performance that encouraged everyone to live with zeal and enthusiasm.

Kawalpreet Kaur, Sonia Gupta and Davinder Kaur won first, second and third prize respectively in vegetable and fruit salad contest. Amrit Kaur was declared first, Sandeep Kaur second and Jaspreet Kaur bagged the third prize in rangoli competition. Ishaan was given a special prize for being the youngest participant of the contest.

Over 200 participants competed for the first spot in different categories in art competition. Vishvajeet Singh stood first, Mehakpreet was second and Pahulpreet bagged the third place in group A. Prisha, Nadarpreet and Pranav bagged the first, second and third spots, respectively, in Group B.

Ayati was declared first, Dhriti Mahajan stood second and Nirrotam was placed third in group C. Jasraj Singh, Shrey Khanna and Kanishka bagged the first, second and third prize, respectively, in group D whereas in group E, Pranika Pandey was first, Ananya Khanna stood second and Ekjot was declared third.

In group F, Sumedha Pandey bagged the first prize, Emanpreet was declared second and Madhur stood third. The kite flying competition winners were Sanyam, Gurliv, Inderpreet Manraaj, Kunal and Ramneek.

Tiny tots between the age group of 0-6 years participated in healthy baby contest conducted by Homoeocare wherein expert homoeopathy doctors examined the participants and declared Prishi Aggarwal, Gursheen and Kush Ratra first, second and third, respectively, in age group of 0-1 years; Angel Mehra was first, Jiya Dua was second and Pari Sahni stood third in the age group of 1-2 years.

Angel bagged the first spot, Suhani was second and Aditi was third in the age group of 3-4 years. Manav Kapoor was declared first, Tanisha Kalra was second and Tehzeeb stood third in the age group of 4-6 years. In the end of the Basant Utsav, a raffle draw attracted the audience to stage. Rain showers failed to dampen their spirits.


The management, staff and students of Green Grove School organised “Fete-au-Revoir” to bid adieu to students of class XII. President of the school JPS Jolly, accompanied by chairperson Satinderjit Jolly, gave a traditional onset to the day by lighting the lamp.

Aastha and Varun of class XI anchored the show and touched upon the golden moments that they shared with the class XII students. A Western dance by the girls of class XI added colour to the occasion. This was followed by one-minute games, tongue-twisters and compliments that were showered on the outgoing students by their juniors.

Class teachers Ritu Batta and Lalit Sharma conveyed their greetings to the students. The outgoing students expressed their gratitude with a token gift to their beloved president, principal, vice-principal Ronald de Rozario and all staff members.

Mouth-watering snacks and delicious cuisine for lunch was a great treat to all Green Grovians. Jaspreet Singh Nagi and Oshine Sethi were adjudged Mr and Miss Green Grove. Sukhpal Singh was crowned Mr Farewell while Miss Farewell title went to Arshvir Kaur.

Mr Dedicated title was bestowed upon Amrinder Singh and Navneet Kaur was Miss Dedicated. Akhil Mittal was made Mr Sincere and Miss Sincere went to Chiranjeev Kaur. Jasminder Singh bagged the title of Mr Intelligent and Miss Intelligent title was given to Navpreet K. Sachin Verma and Nakashdeep Kaur were crowned Mr and Miss Charming, respectively.

A Punjabi folk dance presentation by Class XI students added grace to the entire show while the dance party in the end charged up the atmosphere.

Bidding adieu

Class XII students of GMT Public School were given a warm farewell on Sunday. The function started with a welcome speech followed by compliments given to the outgoing students. A modelling round was also conducted for them.

Dance performances by boys and girls of class XI were the main attractions. The musical chairs by students was enjoyed by all. Miss and Mr GMT titles were given to Harjot of class XII commerce and Pawandeep of class XII (non-medical), respectively.

Miss Beautiful Smile title was given to Anjali and Rajdeep got the Mr Handsome title. Mr Talent title was given to Jasman Singh Gill. The winners were given trophies and bouquets and were blessed by principal Amarjeet Dhaliwal. Directors of school KS Thind and JS Thind congratulated the students and wished them luck.

Kiddies Pandora

Showcasing a unique blend of cheer, enthusiasm and creativity, tiny tots of DCM Presidency School presented a cultural extravaganza ‘Kiddies Pandora’ which left an imprint on the hearts of hundreds of parents and guests who had gathered in the school auditorium to witness the spectacular show on Monday.

The function began on an auspicious note with a dance performance by the tiny tots with their hands folded in unison, praying to the lord for divine blessings and spreading the message of benevolence, harmony and togetherness. Thereafter, the tiny tots, dressed in their favourite cartoon characters from Disney Land, were welcomed with a huge applause by the audience. The function came to an end with the school song followed by the National Anthem. Principal Amita Mittal thanked the audience for their overwhelming support in making the function a success. — TNS



From Colleges


LUDHIANA: Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE) students’ chapter of Guru Nanak Institute of Management & Technology (GNIMT) organised a workshop for its MBA students. A warm welcome was accorded to the two resource persons on this occasion -- Col (Dr) GS Ahluwalia, a former Army officer, and Anshul Dhingra.

Both the resource persons have been certified by Arthur F Carmazzi, one of the leading motivation & leadership gurus of the world.

Delivering the workshop on “Directive Communication Psychology”, the resource persons stated, “Directive communication neuro linguistic programming and mind mapping are being introduced for the first time in India. It will help students, teachers, parents and professionals in unleashing the power of the human brain for true leadership and provide astounding results in every sphere of life.”

Dr Ahluwalia said, “Directive communication psychology has been accredited by American Institute of Business Psychology (AIOBP), one of the highest standards for programmes on psychology. After being highly successful in International Organisations like United Nations, Microsoft, Motorola etc, such powerful and path breaking training is being introduced in India for the first time.” Dr Col HS Singha, director and Dr Sandhya Mehta, deputy director of the institute, thanked the resource persons for their interactive session with the students.

Industrial visit

Final semester MBA students of Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College visited Kashmir Apiaries, the biggest honey exporter of India. The students had two interactive sessions with the management personnel of the company in which they were deliberated on the business model of the company and its future growth plans.

The company is mainly exporting its honey/honey-based products to 48 countries worldwide and has a turnover of Rs 300 crores, employing some 3,500 workers. In the recent past they have also forayed into the domestic market with the opening of their own retail outlets under the name “Little Bee” where the company sells its honey-based as well as non-honey-based products.


Dance Society of Govt College for Women organised a function on Monday. The function was presided over by College Principal Gurminder Kaur.

On this occasion, college principal said dance and music were important subjects. “It is always good for health and mind. Even great philosopher Plato has said that the children up to the age of 12 years must participate in dance and music activities.” She further said that this department got maximum number of prizes during inter-college PU Youth Festival.

Alumni meet

Ludhiana College of Engineering &Technology (LCET), Katani Kalan, organised its alumni meet on Sunday. LCETians welcomed the alumni with great enthusiasm. It was a mega reunion where the alumni gathered with their families and friends so that the rapprochement between the college and alumni could rejuvenate.

The function commenced with the formal address to the audience by Dr JS Sohal, director, LCET, followed by cultural items and games, which made the ambiance joyful. The alumni shared their experiences, achievements and goals. The mementoes were presented by Dr Pawan Kumar, principal, LCET, to alumni as a token of love and honour.

The college has established an alumni club and a website of the alumni association so that the pass out students can stay connected to each other and to the LCET.


Students of Ludhiana Group of Colleges (LGC), Chaukimann, organised a cultural programme “Uprise-2011”. They presented various cultural items. The highlight of the event was a fashion show. Students walked the ramp. The title of Miss LGC Fresher was given to Shilpa of BTech, while Kuljeet Singh Sekhon, a student of MCA, was declared Mr LGC. Kamalpreet Kaur from MBA stream won the title of Miss LGC Charming and Sudhakar Manhas, a BTech student, was named Mr LGC Personality. Vice-chairman Surinder Singh Sachdeva and Rajeev Gulati, general secretary, distributed the prizes. Dr MP Kaushal, principal of the college, congratulated the students.

Blood donation camp

The NCC unit, NSS unit and Central Students' Association of Ramgarhia Girls College organised a blood donation camp on Friday. More than 40 students donated blood. The camp was inaugurated by Rabinder Behra, chief regional manager, Indian Overseas Bank. The chief guest appreciated the efforts of students. Students of diploma in fashion designing presented an exhibition which was inaugurated by Rajinder Kaur. She was all praise for the wonderful combination of colours, embroideries and cuts. She wished the designers good luck. — TNS



Jails no bar for kingpins
Run gangs right under the nose of the jail staff
Mahesh Sharma

Mobiles as medium

Instead of taking the risk of getting caught again, the kingpins prefer to monitor illegal activities of their gangs with the help of mobile phones available inside the jails. While routine directions are given verbally, vital information about the details of suppliers and recipients are passed on through text messages

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 14
If revelations made by some suspected drug-peddlers and smugglers arrested by the police recently are to be believed then jails of the region are serving as nurseries for organising and promoting new gangs, with kingpins of notorious gangs running their illegal trade on mobile phones while sitting behind bars.

Fruits and vegetables are being used to send chips and mobile phones inside the jails. Addicts and unemployed youths are being exploited to transport banned materials from the wholesale market to various outlets located in the suburban and rural localities.

Investigations reveal that a majority of gangs involved in peddling and trafficking of narcotics and psychotropic drugs have been organised by their kingpins while sitting inside the jails.

Instead of taking the risk of getting caught again, the kingpins prefer to monitor illegal activities of their gangs with the help of mobile phones available inside the jails.

While routine directions are given verbally, vital information about the details of suppliers and recipients are passed on through text messaging.

Referring to information received from various accused arrested in connection with cases registered under various sections of the NDPS Act, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana, Narinder Singh Ruby says they (accused) have constantly been in touch with their “masters” sitting inside various jails of the region.

Kewal Singh of Dehlon village, arrested by a police team supervised by SHO Dehlon Harvinder Singh Cheema, admits to having developed links with kingpins of certain gangs during his confinement in connection with a case registered against him in 2009.

The gang members used bananas to conceal chips of mobile phones, he reveals.

Like many other detainees, Singh also used a mobile phone to interact with his friends and relatives during his stay in the jail.

The investigations further revealed that the illegal trade of peddlers and smugglers, who had been lodged in jails for a long period, flourished more than that of those who were yet to be caught. The accused did not hesitate using their residents to stock banned products and wards to shift materials from one place to another.



Thieves strike at grocery store
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 14
Thieves struck at a grocery store on Tagpur road and decamped with cash, dry fruits and desi ghee worth Rs 3 lakh. The incident came to light this morning when Bunty, owner of the store, opened the shop and was shocked to find it ransacked.

He raised the alarm and informed the police about the incident. In no time, the police reached the spot and started investigations.

The police said the thieves entered the shop by breaking the shutter on the rear side of the store. The police said the thieves arrived in an SUV and struck around midnight.

They laid their hands on uncounted cash, dry fruits, including almonds, cashew nuts, and raisins. The thieves also took over 20 tins of desi ghee and nearly 40 packs of refined oil.

The storeowner claimed that he suffered a loss of Rs 3 lakh. The police has registered a case against unidentified thieves and started investigations.



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