L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Once fertile, now a concrete jungle
n 50 villages have become part of city
n Over 100 more turning into residential colonies
n People have even forgotten their names
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
Fertile land that since long has been feeding the hungry is fast disappearing with nearly 155 villages located in and around the city turning into a concrete jungle over the past one decade.

Villages on all major approach roads and within a 2 km radius of the city’s boundary have been turned into residential colonies even though the city continues to grapple with the problem of providing houses to many of the 50 lakh people residing here.

According to a survey conducted by Dr Ajay Mathur and his team of the Punjab Remote Sensing Centre in Ludhiana, about 155 villages in and around the city’s periphery are fast getting urbanised.

Their findings recorded in their project titled “National Urban Information System” reveals that on an average three to 13 villages located on 10 approach roads to the city have become a part of the city with agricultural land being sold off to colonisers. This has led to the mushrooming of residential colonies over the past several years.

About 50 villages have completely become a part of the city. People have forgotten their names even. More than 100 villages in the periphery are gradually turning into residential colonies.

With 13 villages bearing the brunt, Ferozepore road is the worst hit, followed by the Jalandhar road with 11 villages, Rahon and Pakhowal roads with nine each, Humbran road with eight, Chandigarh road with six, Sahnewal road with five, Southern bypass and Sidhwan Canal towards the South city side with four villages each and the Gill road with three villages.

Besides these, the Ferozepore, Pakhowal and the Jalandhar roads are other major ones, which have seen mushrooming of the colonies over past several the years.

While there is no official data of villages sacrificed for colonisation, villages within the municipal corporation’s limits like Sunet, Jodhewal, Kulliewal, Dhandra, Daba, Lohara, Bahadur Ke, Khwaje Ke besides several others have witnessed huge construction activity in the past.

As the land prices in and around Ludhiana have skyrocketed and touched a few lakhs per square yard, farmers have sold their agricultural land. ‘‘They never had it so good. They have hit a jackpot by selling their land. A few farmers, who sold their agricultural land falling in the city’s periphery, have made a moolah out of it. The huge money was preferred over agricultural land,” said Parminder Singh, a city-based real estate agent, who has been observing the urban growth over the years.

Gurmeet Singh Bassi, a resident of Lalton Kalan village on the Pakhowal road, sold his land for Rs 70 lakh per acre three years ago and purchased land worth Rs 17 lakh at Pamal, a village situated away from his village. He further added that the prices had further shot up to Rs 4 crore per acre in villages.

The colonisation has not stopped here. It is continuing further and fast consuming villages even as agricultural experts say the alarm bells are ringing. Recently, the land of Issewal, Detwal and Gahaur villages was purchased by a multi-national real estate company, which is developing a township on this piece of land. 

Concrete Jungles

  • Ferozepore road: Sunet, Threekay, Jhande, Baddowal, Husanpur, Rurka, Badewal, Ayali Kalan, Detwal, Gahaur, Dakha, Mullanpur and Talwandi.
  • Humbran road: Haibowal Khurd, Partappura, Baranhara, Ayali Khurd, Malikpur, Jainpur, Gaunspur and Humbran.
  • Pakhowal road: Jawaddi, Phullanwal, Daad, Thakkarwal, Lalton kalan, Mansooran, Jodhan, Dhapei and Sarabha.
  • Southern bypass (Sidhwan canal road towards Doraha): Jawaddi, Dugri, Loharan and Harnamdaspura.
  • Sidhwan canal towards South City: Jhamat, Birmi, Bains and Issewal.
  • Jalandhar road: Karabara, Sheikhewal, Bhatian, Jassian, Bhaura, Hussainpura, Manjh Phagguwal, Laddowal, Fatehpura, Talwandi and Kadian.
  • Ludhiana-Sahnewal road: Dholewal, Giaspura, Dhandari Kalan, Sahnewal and Gobindgarh.
  • Chandigarh road: Mundian Kalan, Rampur, Jandiali, Kohara, Mangarh and Mangli.
  • Gill road: Gill, Khanpur and Alamgir.
  • Rahon road: Bahadur Ke, Khwaje Ke, Seera, Bajjra, Boothgarh, Gaunsgarh, Mangat, Meharban and Sekhewal.

Municipal Limits

The area of the city will almost double if the municipal corporation extends its limits in the future. The survey conducted by scientists of the Punjab Remote Sensing Centre states that the existing 145 sq km area will soon expand to 275 sq km. The Municipal Corporation was ready to do so just after the delimitation process during the last Assembly elections. The proposal was, however, dropped due to political considerations.


Non-recovery of Rs 4.63 crore from rice millers
Role of FCI, civil supplies dept under scanner
Anshu Seth /Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
Non-recovery of ` 4.63 crore on account of short delivery of rice crop for the year 2008-09 from rice millers in Ludhiana district has brought the working of the Food Corporation Of Indian (FCI) and the district food, civil supplies and consumer affairs department under scanner.

A letter from the office of the director, commercial audit, Chandigarh, sent to the office of the FCI, Ludhiana, in June 2010 specifically points towards the objections raised in the audit report, which the FCI had failed to rectify even after the completion of financial year.

Rohit Sabharwal, president, Anti-Corruption and Crime Investigation Cell, had procured the latest external audit report from the FCI under the Right to Information Act.

The audit report reads that the director, Food and Civil Supplies, Punjab, specified that 75 per cent of the total rice manufactured out of paddy purchased by rice millers for Kharif 2008-09 and 2009-10 for delivery to the FCI was under levy. A scrutiny of the records of the FCI office in Ludhiana revealed that rice millers delivered 57,238 metric tonnes of rice grade ‘A’ against 70,464 metric tonnes of rice, which was due under levy during 2008-09 in contravention of the provisions of levy order. Thus the millers had short delivered 13,226 metric tonnes of levy rice during 2008-09.

Further holding the district food and civil supplies controller (DFSC) responsible for having failed to take action against the guilty millers, the audit report reads, “The levy orders were not enforced strictly for delivery of due levy rice and custom milling rice should be allotted to millers by controller only after depositing Rs 350 per quintal by them through demand draft in favour of Pungrain, but this wasn’t done.”

The fact as has been established in the details of the audit report points at the “undue favour” to the millers by the controller no action has been taken against the guilty millers till date.

But what is more shocking is the fact that the position regarding recovery of or other penal amount of Rs 4.63 crore by the controller was not available on records as till date no such amount was handed over to the FCI.



Finally, enumerators on job
MC Commissioner assigns wards to officials
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
Acting in the capacity of the citizens of the Democratic Republic, residents of the city indomitably knocked at doors of officials thereby bringing back the enumerators to their doorsteps to fill up their respective forms for the Census 2011.

The revision round that commenced on March 1, having taken a slow beginning, has picked up on the third day. People living in various localities, who were left out in the initial round, are ceaselessly making calls to newspaper offices and the officials in charge of the Census operations in Ludhiana district.

Written as well as verbal complaints are being forwarded to the officials, so as to ensure that the enumerators “visit/revisit” the respective areas assigned to them.

Residents of a few localities were shocked to find the “sticker” of Census 2011 pasted on their walls while their household was not visited by any enumerator. Therefore, the matter was immediately brought to the notice of the authorities, who made sure to send an enumerator to the household concerned. But they evaded the issue of taking action against the guilty enumerator. Going by the adage of “better late than never,” Commissioner, Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, who is the principal Census officer called upon those left out in the Census counting/information to make an immediate call to the official in charge of census in their respective area.

In complete paradox to the “incongruities” that have surfaced in the Census 2011 in Ludhiana district, the Commissioner of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has referred to the census operations as “complete”.

However, the second part of the statement issued by Commissioner SK Sinha refers to “revision round” wherein he has called upon city residents, who have not been covered in the Census to immediately contact the concerned officials in this regard. 

Joint Commissioners to look after wards

Residents left out in the Census in ward numbers 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 40, 41,42 and 43 should contact: Joint Commissioner (LMC) MS Jaggi on his mobile number: 97800-39112.

Residents of ward numbers 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, PAU and Military area (Sham Nagar) should contact: Joint Commissioner (LMC) on his mobile number: 97800-39401.

Residents of ward numbers 1,2, 3, 4, 19,20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 32, 33, 34, 26, 35, 36, 37, 38 and 39 should contact: Joint Commissioner (LMC) Vinod Kumar Sharda on his mobile number: 97800-39405

Residents of ward numbers 44, 45, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75 and Military area (Dholewal) should contact: Joint Commissioner AS Sekhon on his mobile number 97800-39535



Richie Riches of kabaddi
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
If captain of the Indian cricket team MS Dhoni is riding high on his “super bike” and Harbhajan flaunting his Hummer, our “desi heroes” kabaddi players are no different as a majority of them have put up their “style statements” on display during the kabaddi encounter during the ongoing Shaheed-E-Azam Punjab Games being played at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here today.

Life is not the same as it used to be five years ago, from receiving a tin of five litres “desi ghee” after winning the kabaddi match, these players are now getting thousands of rupees.

Nearly Rs 25,000 was given as prize money to the players during the semifinal match played between Ludhiana and Kapurthala today.

Life has certainly changed for these players. Till a few years ago they could barely afford a bicycle. But now, these grapplers are travelling on swanky sports utility vehicles (SUVs) ranging between Rs 7 lakh and 18 lakh.

With huge amount of money being pumped into the sport, kabaddi has virtually overshadowed the national game hockey here.

Sukha Pandal, member of the World Cup winner kabaddi team also feels the same.

At present, representing Kapurthala in the ongoing Shaheed-E-Azam, Punjab Games, Pandal, who is now working with the Punjab Mandi Board, remembers the time when winning Rs 500 used be considered a big achievement.

“Those were tough days. Our parents used to the scold us for not taking studies seriously. They used to fear that we will remain unemployed. We used to give our best for Rs 500 cash award. In the past five years kabaddi has witnessed a dramatic turn around and emerged as one of the biggest crowed puller. The politicians, too, have realised the potential of this sport as a platform to consolidate their vote bank. Further, the World Cup last year has also helped in promoting the game,” said Pandal, who now travels in an SUV. Dullah Surkhpuria, a senior kabaddi player and member of the World Cup kabaddi team, who is travelling overseas since 1999 to participate in kabaddi tournaments said: “Money is not a problem and we are popular like cricketers in rural parts of the state,” he added.


Money churners overseas

Kabaddi players who go abroad earn more than Rs 50 lakh a year. The kabaddi season overseas begins in March/ April and continues until September.

— Gurmail Pehalwan, president, Punjab Kabaddi Association



Sewing machine industry opposes excise duty
Threatens to launch agitation if govt fails to revoke its decision
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
Ludhiana, the largest cluster of sewing machine industry, has received a jolt after the Finance Minister proposed to bring this industry under the cover of the Central excise duty.

The industry, which is being run on the small-scale basis, is in for hard times following the announcement. In the Budget 2011, the Finance Minister has proposed to levy 1 per cent duty on sewing machines. Already facing tough competition from China, the Excise duty is another blow to the industry.

Distressed by the proposal, industry representatives want the withdrawal of the proposal to levy excise duty, failing which they will be forced to launch an agitation.

"The business in the sewing machine industry is mostly carried out by small shopkeepers who themselves assemble machines and then sell it in the market. They are not even aware of the simple tax and the Central excise duty is beyond their grasp. They will not be able to understand the technicalities of the duty," said Pankaj Arora, president of the Sewing Machine Dealers and Assemblers Association.

If the government does not withdraw the proposal, it will lead to closure of their businesses. Also, it will not be feasible for the Rs 3.5-billion industry to continue with the business if the duty is imposed.

"According to an estimate, the government will collect nearly Rs 4 crore annually as the Central excise duty from the entire country. The amount is not too big, but it will burden the sewing machine industry," added Arora.

DS Dhiman, president of the Sewing Machine Industries Association, said they would wear black badges till the government does not rollback the duty.

The duty will also lead to increase in the prices of sewing machines by Rs 25-30. Sewing machine is used by the weaker class and some are sustaining their families by stitching clothes. The government should re-consider its decision, said Dhiman.

Naresh Chawla, from the SMDAA, said the local industry was already facing tough competition from China and now the excise duty would prove as the death knell for them. "If the government wants the industry to survive, it should not levy duty on the small-scale industry," he added.



Favouring contractors
PAU acts tough against ‘tainted’ XEN
Removes him from post; orders probe
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
Acting tough against the “tainted” XEN working at Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), authorities have finally taken back the additional charge of XEN (C2) from the Assistant Professor, Civil branch. Not only this, but entire record kept in the XEN’s office has also been seized by the members of a committee constituted by the Vice-Chancellor to probe into the matter.

A few contractors working on several other projects of the PAU and numerous members of the PAU Employees Union have expressed “happiness” over the “removal” of the “tainted” XEN. A senior member of the Punjab Agriculture University Employees Union disclosed that the authorities should have taken this step much earlier as the “big-fish” involved in the “misappropriation of funds” could also be caught red-handed.

Contractors and union members of the PAU had levelled numerous charges against the XEN. The major allegation was that particular XEN gave major works to the “blue-eyed” contractors. Works worth Rs 13 crores, including construction of an auditorium, seed sale centre and international guest house were given to contractors close to the XEN and former estate officer of the PAU. Some of the works were given to contractors, without even floating the tenders in any section of media, which was against the Building Contracts Act.

Several written complaints were filed to the Chief Minister, Vice- Chancellor, member the board of management of the PAU, director (Vigilance) and the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) against the XEN by a few contractors.

“The tenders of many works were neither floated nor any approval taken from the Vice-Chancellor in this regard. Extensions were given to contractors for same works on higher rates”, said one of the contractors.

An employee of the union had publically spoken against the XEN and former estate officer (a retired PAU official) during one of the rallies in October-November last. But he was punished and sent to Balachaur. Later, the authorities revoked his transfer orders.

‘Blue-eyed’ Contractors

Contractors and union members of PAU had levelled numerous charges against the XEN. The major allegation was that a particular XEN awarded major works to “blue-eyed” contractors. Works worth ` 13 crores, including construction of an auditorium, seed sale centre and international guest house were allegedly given to contractors close to the XEN and former estate officer of PAU

PAU ‘Unaware’

But PAU authorities are tight-lipped on this issue. Dr PPS Lubana, who has been given additional charge of the estate office, said, “I am unaware about any such development as I was busy with the Indo-US workshop.” Ranjit Singh, draftsman, Circle Head, who is reportedly member of committee probing the XEN’s case, said he was not aware of any such development.



Farmers seek remittance of power bills
Gherao jail minister; accuse govt of adopting anti-farmer policies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
Representatives of 17 farmers' organisations "gheraoed" Minister for Jails Hira Singh Gabria here today. On the call given by several farmers' organisations to remit electricity bills of farmers, they submitted memorandums to several ministers in various districts of Punjab today.

The agitating farmers rued that the Badal government had not fulfilled its promise and had adopted "anti-farmer" policies. The government had not restored 200 free power units to farmers and the number was cut to 100 units by the Sukhbir-Kalia Committee in February 2009. Besides, Powercom should be dismantled and the board must behave as per the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB), said the protesters.

Farmers demanded that pending bills on motor/tubewells must be waived-off. The Electricity Act, 2003, must be cancelled and Powercom must start its operations as board. Organisations that took part in the protest included Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta), Jamhuri Kisan Ekta, Kirti Kisan Sabha and Pendu Mazdoor Union.

Those who spoke on the occasion included Hardev Singh Sandhu, Comrade Kuldeep Singh, Baldev Singh, Harjinder Singh and Mahinder Singh.



DAV girls mesmerise audience with folk instruments
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, March 3
Nine students of BBK DAV Girls College, Amritsar, who have formed a “Folk Orchestra” group, today gave a thundering performance by playing 80 musical instruments in their 25-minute performance.

They played folk instruments, including bean, algoze, sarangi, dhad, chimte, dhol (drum), dholki, nagara, khanjri, kato, vanjli, shankh and daria with such an ease that their group was named “culture savers” during the performance on impressive rhythms that enthralled the audiences.

They performed at the state-level National Youth Day organised by the Directorate of Youth Services, Punjab, at the Government College for Women (GCW) here on Thursday.

The team has won top positions in National Youth Festivals held at Udaipur and Pune. “The DAV group always gives us opportunity to perform in their annual programme in Delhi every year,” said Arjinder Kaur, a music lecturer, who accompanied the team, adding that “We performed on various platforms. Our team was especially called for a performance during the PTC award giving programme held in January.”

Ritu Sharma, head of music department at BBK DAV College, said the team of nine members played 80 instruments during their performance.

Famous anchor and cultural expert Nirmal Jaura said: “It’s a great effort of these girls, who have taken the charge of saving Punjabi culture.”

A confident Payal Gupta, who performed on dhol (drum), kato, chimta and vanjli said: “Have you ever seen girls playing orchestra like us? I have been performing since five years now.”

Gurpreet a BA (II) student, who performed on sarangi, bugchu and dough, was happy winning a shield after her performance. “I joined the group last year. I have got great recognition with this orchestra. We get training from our college teachers. I performed at national levels and won prizes. I hope the state as well as the nation will recognise our talent.”

Ritu described their performance as a total team work. She said the team practices for more than eight hours daily before competitions. “I hope our folk orchestra will gain more recognition in future,” she concludes.



Allotment of Chambers
Lawyers stage dharna
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 3
Controversy has deepened over the allotment of 40 chambers to lawyers in the Lawyers’ Chamber Complex, Part-II.

Alleging injustice, several lawyers who had applied for chambers in 2006 today staged dharna in front of the library at the district court complex.

Raising slogans, the lawyers demanded allotment of chambers on preferential basis.

These lawyers also criticised the present executive and all aspiring contestants of the coming annual District Bar Association election for allegedly not protecting their interest.

Later on, chief parliamentary secretary Harish Rai Dhanda met the lawyers sitting on the dharna.

He urged the DBA president to resolve the issue.

The dharna was called off later and these lawyers were called to the DBA office. The efforts were made to hold draw but it was not possible following stiff opposition from lawyers, who had applied recently.

There were heated arguments amongst the applicants, who were stated to have applied for chambers in 2006 and the lawyers who had applied recently.

Around 600 lawyers were staking claim for 40 chambers in the Lawyers’ Chamber Complex, Part-II.

A majority of them had applied recently.

They were stressing that the chambers be allotted by way of draw without giving preference to anyone. DBA joint secretary Jaspreet Singh Jassowal has raised demand for holding lucky draw of all applicants without giving preference to anyone.



LIT to auction 24 business hubs, four plots
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 3
Continuing with its drive to dispose of commercial properties- both built up units and sites- and residential plots that have not been allotted in different schemes, the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) is all set to auction 24 commercial properties and four residential plots on March 21.

After a gap of more than five years, the LIT had made an offer to sell its commercial properties and residential plots in November 2010 through an open auction, just after its new chairman, MM Vyas, assumed the office. Buoyed by the overwhelming response of buyers and investors to the auction, which had come after a considerable period, the LIT never looked back and went on to make similar offers in December 2010 and January 2011 as well.

Vyas said today that in all 48 units-commercial sites, constructed booths, double storied shops and residential plots- were sold in three auctions conducted from November 2010 onwards. As against the reserve price of these units, which stood at Rs 18.26 crore, the Trust had raised little more than Rs 25.67 crore (a premium of more than 40 per cent).

“Funds generated from the disposal of LIT properties are coming in handy for accelerating the pace of development works in various existing colonies and carrying out new development projects,” he added.

Now on offer in the auction slated for March 21 are four residential plots- two each of 100 square yards and 150 square yards at a reserve price of Rs 23,100 per square yard in 24 acre Dr Kitchlu Nagar scheme, four constructed booths in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, 17 constructed booths in Block D (Ring Road), Block D (near Libra workshop), Block A, Block C (near Powercom office) and three constructed booths near Gian Singh Rarewala Market. The booths of varying sizes in different schemes, to be sold in the open auction, carry the reserve price ranging between Rs 14.70 lakh (lowest) to Rs 26,73,500 (highest), the LIT chairman added.

To go under the hammer

  • Two residential plots each of 100 square yards and 150 square yards at a reserve price of Rs 23,100 per square yard in 24 acre Dr Kitchlu Nagar scheme.
  • Four constructed booths in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, 17 constructed booths in Block D (Ring Road), Block D (near Libra workshop), Block A, Block C (near Powercom office).
  • Three constructed booths near Gian Singh Rarewala Market are to be auctioned on March 21.
  • Booths of varying sizes in different schemes, to be sold in the open auction, carry the reserve price ranging between ` 14.70 lakh (lowest) to ` 26,73,500 (highest). 




Ludhiana, March 3
Pinnacle Institute of Fashion Technology organised a fashion designing workshop from February 24 to March 3 on the PIFT campus to encourage young and enthusiastic fashion designers.

Experienced professionals from the field of fashion designing, knitwear designing, merchandising and embroidery designing conducted the workshop, which was attended by over 60 students. — TNS



Truck catches fire
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
A truck ferrying household goods caught fire near Jalandhar bypass here yesterday.

This incident took place when the truck haired by Madan Joshi, a retired headmaster, who shifting the belonging of his son to Gurdaspur, caught fire.

Eyewitness said the truck caught fire as some inflammable material was kept in it.

A fire tender brought the fire under control. No lose of life has been reported so far.



Mixed Land Use Category
Traders resent non-inclusion of areas
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
Some areas have been left out of the mixed land use category in the master plan, which has created problems for the industrialist.

The non-inclusion of these areas in the mixed land use category has incapacitated the unit owners to deal with government departments, including the Pollution Control Board, the electricity department and the District Industry Centre for getting the entrepreneurs memorandum number and applications for the extension of load are also not entertained.

The affected areas include Bajwa Nagar, Kalyan Nagar, Circular Road, Guru Nanak Dev Nagar, Shivpuri (Basant Nagar, Jain Nagar), New Shivpuri, Sunder Nagar, New Madhopuri, Katra Naurian, Kailash Nagar, Basti Jodhewal, Guru Vihar (Rahon Road), Chandigarh Road, Hambran Road, Haibowal, Shivaji Nagar, New Shivaji Nagar, Hargobind Nagar, Chander Nagar, Guru Arjan Dev Nagar, Noorwala Road, Sai Nagar and Pakhowal Road.

The Knitwear Club has also written to Punjab Cabinet minister Hira Singh Gabria and apprised him of the problems being faced by these units. 



Stress on women education
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 3
Working Women Forum, Ludhiana, and Punjab Istri Sabha under the weeklong celebrations of International Women’s Day staged the first function at an educational institution on the Rahon road.

Dr Narjit Kaur, convener of the forum, while speaking on the importance of International Women’s Day said it was need of the hour to provide education to every woman so that she was able to protect her rights and performed her duties without any hindrance. Also, it is the right of the women to get due respect at home and at work place.

A woman should stand against female foeticide and female infanticide and should educate her daughter well, the doctor said.

She also invited all women to the mini-secretariat on March 8 at 9 am so that a delegation can meet the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner for giving a memorandum for vacating the working women hostel in BRS Nagar, Ludhiana, which is being used by the ITBP.



Petrol station employee robbed

Ludhiana, March 3
Two motorcyclists snatched Rs 8,000 from an employee of a patrol station located on the Hambran road here on Tuesday night.

Rakesh Kumar, an employee of the patrol station, said, “Two youths, with their faces muffled, arrived at the patrol station and requested him to fill the tank of their motorcycle. As soon as I reached near them they fled away with the money.”

The incident took place at around 9.30 pm. Rakesh Kumar said: “I had fortunately kept currency notes of bigger denominations in my pocket, otherwise they could have fled with the entire money.”

A case has been registered in this regard. — TNS



Punjab Games
ACHIEVER from City
Taking-off to better his own record
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, March 3
The “lord of jumps” is back and is hungry for breaking his own national record. This is the time for his rivals to gain more confidence to fight with the hungry lion.

One of the promising long jumpers of the country, Amritpal Singh, is set to give a tough time to the athletes in various national championships.

Amritpal, a resident of Raikot in Ludhiana district, started competing after taking a long rest after he suffered a hamstring injury. He won a silver medal in the Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh state games being held at Guru Nanak Stadium with a leap of 7.64 meters.

Talking to The Tribune, the star long jumper said: "I am preparing to break my own national record of 8.08 meters. This would facilitate me to qualify for the next Olympics to be held in London."

After leaping his best 8.08 meters (national record), Amrit had qualified for the Olympics in 2004, but due to a hamstring injury, he had to take his name back. "Unfortunately, after qualifying for the Olympics, I went to participate in the SAF Games held at Islamabad in 2004 where I injured my hamstring,” he said.

That was the most disappointing moment of my life. I am fit now. Slowly and steadily, I am touching my record," claims Amrit, adding that his coach Sanjeev Sharma was working hard on enhancing his performance.

"It’s a new beginning for me. I was as ecstatic when I broke the 30-year-old national record of TC Yohanan (8.07 meters) of Kerala in 2004. And I am happy with a silver medal in these games. I believe it has given a new start to my career,” said Amrit

Recalling the days when he started long jump professionally, Amrit said: "My father Bikramjit Singh motivated me adopting long jump. I also thank my coaches Sukhdev Singh Pannu and Sanjeev Sharma for working hard on enhancing my performance.”

He joined the Speed Fund Academy in 1999 and started clinching medals for the state. He bagged a silver medal during the under-19 School National (2000) and despite being a junior, he was selected to participate in the Senior Inter-State Athletics Championship where he recorded a jump of 7.63 meters.

In 2001, Amrit joined as a constable in the Punjab Police and became a national champion the following year with 7.73 meters jump. He also qualified for the Junior World Athletics Championship held at Kingston (Jamaica) and was placed 5th (7.59 meters).

His wife Navjot Kaur, who won a silver medal in the 100-meter race during the state games, motivates him to break his own national record. "He is fit now. Coach Sanjeev is working on him and we believe Amrit would definitely establish a new national record," hopes Navjot.


  • Bronze medal in the 2001 National Games
  • Bronze medal in Open India (national)
  • 5th in the 2002 Junior Asia games held at Bangkok (7.57 m).
  • Record in the All-India Police Games in 2003 (7.98-m)
  • Gold in the 2003 Federation Cup (7.79-m)
  • Gold in the 2003 Hyderabad National Games (7.73-m)
  • Qualified for the Olympics in 2004, present national record, (8.08-m)
  • Gold in Federation Cup in 2006 (7.68-m)
  • Gold in India Police Games 2007 (7.45-m)



Back-door entry in kabaddi
Organiser’s role under scanner
Mohit Khanna/TNS

Ludhiana, March 3
First they make rules and then they break rules. Gurdeep Singh Malhi, general secretary of the Punjab Kabaddi Association, Maluka Singh group and in charge of the Faridkot district team, was allegedly caught giving entry to two kabaddi players, who originally hail from Mansa and Moga and represented Faridkot team during the Shaheed-E-Azam Punjab Games being played at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).

Malhi, is among the officiating committee members that is organising kabaddi games. The development occurred last evening during a kabaddi encounter between Ropar and Faridkot.

Before the beginning of the event, Ropar coach Narinder Singh raised an objection stating that two outsiders were representing Faridkot kabaddi team. Narinder further added that Sukhminder Kaur Sukhi, a resident of Apala village, Mansa, was given a back-door entry to the Faridkot team.

Following the objection, Sukhminder Kaur Sukkhi was dropped from the team. However, another woman kabaddi player Virpal Kaur from Moga managed to play the game.

Narinder expressed disappointment over the illegal ways of the team officials to stake a claim on Rs 9 lakh cash award. “Strict action must be taken against Faridkot team so that no other team should employ illegal means to win the event,” he added.

Despite attempts, Gurdeep Singh Malhi was not available for comments. Balwinder Kuar, another officiating member, confirmed the development and stated that the girl was dropped from the team following the allegations.



Games on, no dope test conducted so far
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

A worker collects nails with the help of a magnet ahead of the kabaddi final match in Ludhiana on Thursday
ALL ALERT: A worker collects nails with the help of a magnet ahead of the kabaddi final match in Ludhiana on Thursday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, March 3
It seems like “friendly games” are in progress at Shaheed-E-Azam Punjab Games in Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Patiala, respectively, as even after three days of the grand beginning of the games no dope test have been conducted so far.

While kabaddi players have expressed a sigh of relief, coaches and sports lover were found unhappy with the department’s move of giving a free run to the players.

According to the sports director Pargat Singh, the National Anti-Doping Authority (NADA) would conduct nearly 100 dope tests during the course of event, but contrary to his claims no dope test has been conducted so far.

While majority of the athletics events have been over, the department’s move of not conducting dope tests has drawn flak from sports lovers.

While talking to The Tribune, Pargat Singh said: “I have not spoken to any NADA officials so far, but I came to know that they are going to collect the dope samples today. We have to conduct the dope test in order to keep the games clean.”

While Satpal Singh said: “We have not received any complaint against any player so far. Even sports associations have not lodged any protest. If any complaint will come to me, I will certainly conduct a dope test.”



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