L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Census: Residents too busy, enumerators too lazy
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
Ten minutes at the tall gates, another five minutes with the watchman or domestic help and just a minute with the mademoiselle, rushing to her kitty party; this sums up the experience of enumerators going to posh localities in the city to fill in the forms for Census 2011.

With no visibility of banners, pamphlets and advertisements, residents are ignorant of the significance of the ongoing Census. The amount of ` 50,000 was sanctioned for the banners, which were nowhere to be seen.

Coming to the other side of the story, enumerators, in the absence of any vigil from officials concerned, have engaged touts to perform their Census duties.

Each enumerator has been given the target of getting at least 800 forms filled in between February 9 and 28. Every form contains 29 columns, to be filled correctly.

However, a large number of enumerators have hired the unemployed by offering them between ` 30 and ` 50 per form.

Requesting anonymity, an employee with the department of health and family welfare said, “It is not possible for us to carry out the Census duties as we are already hard-pressed for time while dealing with our day-to-day chores.”

As against the elaborate training given to the enumerators, an enumerator refused to step inside a house on the Pakhowal road, stating that she had no time and she had to reach home before 3 pm.To this, the resident concerned said, “It is not possible to give all details to enumerators who just stand at the doorstep as it takes a minimum of 10 minutes for the whole exercise.”

Terming the training of enumerators as nothing more than an eyewash, an activist of the NGO Ashirwad said the enumerator at the Model Town Extension had incomplete information about the subjects mentioned. At least 3,323 enumerators, 533 supervisors and 75 trainers had been appointed in Ludhiana district alone.


Coming up, an exclusive Shatabdi
Also, an upgrade to ‘adarsh’ station
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 25
The Railway Budget has given Ludhianvis reason to cheer. The industrial hub of the state will have a new Shatabdi to the National Capital.The railway station is also to be upgraded to the status of an ‘adarsh’ station, with better amenities and facilities for rail passengers.

A new express train, named after Swami Vivekananda, between Jammu and Bandra (Mumbai) will provide yet another link to city residents on the Ludhiana-Jammu and Ludhiana-Bandra sections.

Though modalities and details of the new facilities to be provided at the upgraded railway station are yet to be worked out, those will be on the lines of other world class railway stations, which have escalators, multi-level parking lots, better access to platforms through bigger and wider overbridges, extension of railway platforms, renovation and improvement of waiting areas, booking counters and reservation centres, and a comprehensive security system with CCTV cameras.

In introducing a new Shatabdi on the Ludhiana-New Delhi route, Union Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has fulfilled a long-standing demand of city residents.

In fact, the Railways did have a trial run of a Shatabdi on this section from December, 2008, to January, 2009. The train fell victim to the vagaries of the weather, had an erratic run, with inadequate passenger traffic, and was discontinued despite a demand for its continuation with a revised schedule.

Frequent travellers felt that giving just one elite train to the industrial capital was not enough. The city, with a population of over 40 lakh and a sizeable presence of migrants from different parts of the country, ought to have more trains connecting it to major towns of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, while also providing connectivity to major cities like Hyderabad and Bengaluru, which it did not have at present.

Railways off-track on facilities at station
Kuldip Bhatia

Passengers cross tracks at the Ludhiana railway station.
OPEN TO RISK: Passengers cross tracks at the Ludhiana railway station. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, February 25
The introduction of new trains and the proposal to provide better infrastructural facilities at the upgraded railway station notwithstanding, rail passengers here are having a tough time.

There are overcrowded and delayed trains, poor upkeep of railway premises, heavy rush at advance reservation and current booking counters, railway staff, touts and police fleecing passengers, especially migrant workers, and hordes of luggage and parcels scattered all around the railway platforms due to acute shortage of parcel vans, making the movement of people difficult, if not impossible.

It is not only that amenities and facilities elude the travelling public at the railway station, there are many other problems that worry the passengers.

With the issue of catering at the railway station being taken over by the Railways from the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation still in the process of being completed, rail passengers frequently complain of being overcharged for eatables of such quality that leaves room for improvement.

Adequate number of porters are not available to carry heavy luggage. Trains on certain sections, especially major towns of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, are too few and overcrowded. The sanitation level in the railway premises, including platforms, waiting rooms, areas along the railway tracks and public conveniences, is pathetic, to say the least.

Another major problem which has been tormenting the business, trade and industrial community here is the slow movement of outward-bound goods, which becomes worse in the peak season of certain specific sectors, like knitwear and hosiery.

Parcels are dumped at the goods office or railway platforms for weeks together due to shortage of parcel wagons, with the railway authorities turning a blind eye to the plight of traders and manufacturers.

Far from taking up new projects for infrastructural development, many of those announced much earlier and taken in hand for quite some time have still to go along way. There is no foot overbridge linking all seven railway platforms and the proposed wider, foot overbridge is still to see the light of the day.

There is a strong feeling among the residents that the railway authorities are not only found wanting as far as providing better infrastructure and facilities to the passengers at the railway station are concerned, but projects like rail overbridges and underpasses, crucial to the movement of traffic in the mega-city, are also, most often, delayed because of procedural wrangles at the railway headquarters.

Till date, four such railway projects await clearance from the Railways at different levels. One in the advanced stage of completion, a motorable flyover in place of a foot overbridge (Lakkar Pul) is also running much behind schedule due to the delay caused by the Railways.



Murder Case
Cops send SOS to US firm
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
For the first time, the Ludhiana police is seeking Uncle Sam’s help in solving a murder case. It has sought the assistance of an American software company to lift images of assailants who were caught on close circuit television (CCTV) cameras while shooting victim Shiv Sharma, a 38-year-old iron trader, in the Dugri area on the night of August 12, 2010.

According to the police, the images of two persons involved in the trader's killing had been grabbed by the CCTV installed outside a house located in the area. Due to the blur images the accused could not be identified.

"We have often witnessed these problems. Though, people have installed CCTVs but majority of these cameras are not maintained properly. These CCTVs are either gathering dust or spider has created a web in front of the cameras," said Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh.

A few unidentified assailants had shot Sharma in the Dugri Phase- II area, while he was returning home from his office located on Gill Road. The trader was shot twice from a point blank range. While the first bullet hit his back, the second pierced Sharma’s chest. This ultimately led to his death.

So far, the killing has remained a mystery for the police. First the police approached some city based software professional to lift the images of the to assailants. After the local professionals expressed helplessness to clear the images, the footages were sent to Chennai. But even there the images could not be lifted.

Following this, the city police roped in an American firm, hoping that this time they would meet with some success and manage to nab the accused persons who have been eluding arrest for over six months.

Confirming the development, Ishwar Singh said that an American profession was approached to buff up the CCTV footages of the assailants.

“We are committed to curb the crime in the city for which we will not leave any stone unturned to ensure that the accused are sent behind bars,” said Ishwar Singh.

It is learnt that owners of these houses had informed the police about the images. The CCTVs installed outside these houses are equipped with night vision cameras, which could grab the images in low visibility as well.



15 yrs on, still no vocational teacher in school
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, February 25
Vocational building of Government Senior Secondary School has been locked for the past 15 years.Lakhs of rupees were spent on the construction of the building which was meant for imparting vocational training to girl students.

The building was constructed by the PWD in 1994 at Government Senior Secondary School for Girls.

Every year students are asked to choose one vocational subject. They fill in forms, sit in the class, but unfortunately no teacher turns up.

The Parents Teachers Association has demanded a teacher who can teach vocational subjects to students.

“Most of the students are keen enough to acquire vocational know-how. But it’s sad that they are deprived of the same. Despite the fact that the infrastructure is all available, the government does not bother to recruit a teacher,” said members of the association.

“Students are keen on knowing about such
courses, as these provide them with the technical know-how, but in the absence of a teacher, we are left with no other option, but to ask them to opt for another subject,” a senior teacher said.

The vocational subjects which are being taught in other government schools include agricultural trade and agricultural services, business and commerce, book keeping and accountancy, home science, commercial garment making, knitting technology, textile craft (weaving), textile designing, engineering and technology.



Punjabi actors converge on city
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

 Daljit Dosanjh and Pooja Tandon in Ludhiana.
ROARING PAIR: Daljit Dosanjh and Pooja Tandon in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan 

Ludhiana, February 25
Making a Punjabi movie is like a dream come true for Guddu Dhanoa. “It was my long cherished desire to make a Punjabi movie. When one of my cousins Vijay Dhanoa asked me to make a movie, I started searching for a subject and actors,” said Guddu who belongs to Punjab.

Director Guddu Dhanoa was in the city to attend the premier of his film “The Lion of Punjab” at Waves last evening.

“The movie revolves around a village and its problems. The panchayat selects Avtar Singh and Babli as their representatives to take up the villagers’ problems with a minister,” he said.

“After deciding the subject, I then started looking for a fresh face. While scrolling through the music channels, I came across singer Daljit Dosanjh. Usually heroes are clean-shaven, but I decided to take a turbaned guy who truly justifies the role,” he added.

Daljit Dosanjh said he was really excited about the movie and hoped that audience would like his movie.

Visibly excited Pooja Tandon said she loved coming back to the city. “Dal makhani and paneer are my favourite dishes that I dig into whenever I am in the city,” she added.



PAU’s Flower Show Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
Sensing the business potential of the flower show organised at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), which has become a major crowd puller over the years, private gardening tool manufacturer companies and florists made the most of the two-day Dr MS Randhawa Flower Show and Competition that concluded here today.

Encouraged by the response, the PAU authorities are planning to extend the flower show to three days from next year.

The show that witnessed over 3,000 visitors from all walks of life was organised by the department of floriculture and landscaping (DFL) in association with the department of family and resource management, College of Home Science, PAU.

With 2,500 entries, the show received an overwhelming response from the public.

Dr Kushal Singh, head, department of floriculture and landscaping, PAU said, “As the show has become a crowd puller, we are feeling that we should organise a three-day exhibition.”

Chief guest Dr MS Gill, director, Extension Education, PAU, appreciated the efforts put in by participants.

A representative of Namdhari Seed and Expression Florist said the flower show had helped flourish their business.

The PAU authorities claimed that eight companies were provided space to exhibit their products.

Dr Kushal Singh added that nine varieties of gladiolus and four of hybrids were displayed at the show. Flowers, arranged in the shape of a peacock, Indian map, were the main attraction of the show. Various city schools and colleges, including DAV Public School, BCM School, Sacred Heart Convent School, Guru Nanak Public School, Greenland Public School, Government College for Women, Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Guru Nanak Girls College and the university students participated in the event.

Maximum prizes were won by BCM School, Shastri Nagar, and DAV School, BRS Nagar.a big draw



From Schools
Talent show

Ludhiana: Lovely Lotus School organised an annual talent show for its students. Students introduced themselves beautifully and recited rhymes of their choice. They also gave a dance performance. Participants were given colourful story books and chocolates.

Flower show

Maple Bear Canadian Play Way and Nursery School, Udham Singh Nagar, organised a baby flower show “Spring time in PAU” at the PAU today. Flowering trees, marigold, petunia, lilacs, roses, dehlias and borders of lavender greeted everyone. Kids came in colourful dresses and bands on their heads, looking like flowers. Principal Veena Aggarawal told the kids that they should also spread fragrance like flowers. She also praised all growers at the PAU, who made the show a success.

Founder’s Day

Doraha Public School celebrated its Founder’s Day. Students paid tributes to Sant Kartar Singhji Kamalia Wale. A prize distribution ceremony for the achievers of the session 2009-10 was also held. Dr DJ Singh, joint director, and founder dean, Police Academy, Phillaur, was the chief guest. Students were also awarded for other meritorious achievements in various activities.

Principal of the school Jitender Kaur Gupta read out the annual report and highlighted achievements of the school.

Farewell party

New Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar, organised a farewell party for the outgoing students of Class XII. The programme started with a prayer by school principal Samuel. Shagufta of Class XI welcomed the principal, teachers and students. — TNS

From Colleges
Annual day

Ludhiana: Baba Jaswant Singh Dental College, Hospital and Research Institute, Ludhiana, held its annual day. A prize distribution ceremony was also organised. Winners of Sardar Jawala Singh Memorial Annual Sports Meet 2011 were felicitated.

College chairman Baba Jaswant Singh in his inaugural speech applauded the commitment and hard work of management, faculty and students for bringing laurels to the institution in the field of health care and education. He exhorted them to work diligently towards the attainment of excellence. — TNS 



200 students felicitated

Mandi Ahmedgarh,February 25
Around 200 students of Government High School at Sarinh have been felicitated for their performance in academics, sports and co-curricular activities. The function was presided over by Ravinder Kaur, principal, while Darshan Singh Shivalik, Dakha, MLA, was the chief guest. A cultural programme was also presented by students.

Appreciating the role of teachers and office-bearers of various social organisations, Shivalik announced a grant of Rs 10 lakh. While Rs 5 lakh has been earmarked for upgrading facilities at the school, rest will be spent on the construction and re-carpeting of roads. He said he would continue to support student welfare programmes in future as well.

Jaspal Singh , Charandeep Singh, Jagroop Singh, Pardeep Singh, Balbir Singh, Nirmal Singh, Manpreet Kaur, Mandeep Kaur, Inder Preet Kaur, Abida Khatoon and Amandeep Kaur were felicitated. — OC



Candidates videographed during trials
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
Leaving nothing to chance, the city police videographed the physical fitness test of 498 candidates who appeared on the first day of the recruitment drive at SCD Government College here today.Around 4,700 candidates have applied for the posts of 534 constable.

The drive will go on for eight days and the selected candidates will further appear for four rounds of interviews.

Learning from their past experience, where candidates appeared twice after failing to clear the fitness test in the first attempt and even levelled allegations of nepotism against officials for selecting their candidates during the physical fitness test, the authorities set up three cameras to videograph every candidate and his performance.

Further, a giant LCD was installed for the officer concerned to view the trial proceedings and disqualify any candidate for violation of rules.

“The video recording will be saved and produced as evidence, if required,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Yurinder Singh.

Three coaches of national repute were also invited to observe the trial proceeding. Table-tennis coach Lakhwinder Singh, basketball coach SS Dhindsa and athletics coach SS Pannu counselled candidates on how to prevent injuries during the trials.

Bansal said: “The aim of inviting them is to utilise their experience. They have been conducting physical fitness trials for several years and their presence has been of great help,” said Harsh Bansal, while overseeing the proceedings.

In another innovative move, policemen were deployed at every 100 m during the 1600-meter time trial race. It was done to encourage the youths participating in the trials and also to keep an eye on the candidates in case they opted for a short cut during the race.

236 clear fitness test

236 out of 498 candidates passed the physical fitness test on the first day of the trials. Pleased with the performance of the candidates, the officials said they would be spoilt for choice while picking 500 candidates.



Cong councillors burn Majithia’s effigy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 25
Irked over the statement issued by Akali MLA Bikram Singh Majithia against former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, Congress Councillors, including Sanjay Talwar, Rakesh Prashar, Ashok Bagga, Pritpal Singh Ghayal and former councillors Jasbir Singh Chadha and Kailash Kapoor lodged their protest by burning an effigy of the Akali leader.

However, giving a new twist to the ongoing debate over the 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims, in which Congress is being targeted by the Akai Dal, the Congress councillors accused the Akali Dal of ignoring Hindu families and officers who had laid down their life during the days of terrorism.

In a pres release issued later, the councillors said that the Akali government had never done anything for these Hindu martyrs but have allegedly encouraged those who have assassinated Hindus. Eyeing major vote bank of the Hindus in city they also said that Akalis had been attending the religious ceremonies after death of terrorists but they had never minced any word for killings of Hindus. 



Hero’s welcome for national champions
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 25
The members of the Punjab basketball team (men) who emerged champions in the 34th National Games at Ranchi were accorded a warm reception on their arrival here today.

Officer-bearers of the Punjab Basketball Association (PBA) along with members of the Ludhiana District Basketball Association were present to receive the players and coach Dr S Subramanian at Guru Nanak Stadium.

The men’s final between Punjab and Uttarakhand turned out to be a mismatch, as the former came out triumphant with ease (97-57).

On their way to the title clash, Punjab cagers defeated Services 71-62, thrashed Andhra Pradesh 112-40 and overwhelmed Jharkhand 80-47 to secure a berth in the final.

In the past 20 years, Punjab men have won the title thrice in the National Games i.e. 1997 at Bangalore and 2001 at Ludhiana.

Captain Jagdeep Singh and international Talwinderjit Singh contributed 28 and 20 points, respectively, while Yadwinder Singh and Arjun Singh chipped in with 19 and 15 points, respectively, to help Punjab emerge victorious.

Dr S Subramanian, former director, NIS, Patiala, coached the squad. Services won the bronze medal, beating Tamil Nadu 81-68 in the match to decide the third place.

Punjab had finished runners-up twice at Manipur (1999) and Hyderabad (2002) and also secured third position twice at Pune (1994) and Guwahati (2007).

The women’s final was won by Tamil Nadu as they defeated Chhattisgarh 79-48. Delhi won the third place, defeating Maharashtra 79-59.

RS Gill, president, Punjab Basketball Association, Teja Singh Dhaliwal, secretary general (PBA), Ishwar Singh, Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana, Yurinder Singh, vice-president, Sajjan Singh Cheema vice-president and Arjuna awardee Suman Sharma congratulated the team and coach on the success.



Organisers urged to uphold standards
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh,February 25
Showing concern over alleged commercialisation and degradation of standard of kabaddi, sports enthusiasts and promoters have called upon organisers of kabaddi cups to consolidate their plans to save cachet of the rural sport.

The call was made during a meeting of sports enthusiasts at Dhulkot village, near here, today. Malkit Singh Grewal, former sarpanch, presided over the meeting. Prominent sports promoters were felicitated. Regretting that the elegance of kabaddi tournaments had faded with commercialisation and politicisation of the game, enthusiasts led by Toni Kalakh, president of the Punjab Kabaddi Academy Association, and Zabar Singh Grewal urged the organisers to consolidate their ventures and maintain the standard of the event. This, besides saving reputation of the game, will revive diminishing enthusiasm among sports lovers.

Estimating minimum budget of a kabaddi tournament at Rs 10 lakh, the enthusiasts maintained that around 200 contests were organised during the first quarter of the year.

Referring to calendar of major events, Toni Kalakh asserted that no date from January 7 to March 29 was free with kabaddi enthusiasts of the state. On certain days, they had to attend two to three tournaments being organised simultaneously. Zabar Singh Grewal and Randhir Singh Dheera, NRIs who had been contributing towards the organisation of kabaddi cups, apprehended that the alleged degradation of standard of performance would discourage prospective promoters from contributing in the organisation of sports fairs in the state.

Investigations revealed that factionalism among organisers of rural sports fairs had resulted in a situation wherein petty groups had started organising kabaddi cups.



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