L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

Double trouble for primary students
n Study in unsafe building
n School frequented by drug addicts
Anil Kumar

Ludhiana, April 24
For 80 students of Government Primary School at Islam Ganj near Chaura Bazaar here, learning comes at a heavy price. They risk their lives to learn the first alphabets of their life as the school is housed in an unsafe building with virtually no roof. To add to their woes, they study amidst drug addicts, who have made the building their haven.

The roofs of several rooms in the school gave way long time ago. The other parts of the building are also crumbling, but nobody seems to care. The building that is in ruins has packets of drugs and used syringes scattered all over.

The residents, who live in the neighbourhood, said the drug addicts stay on the school premises till midnight everyday, openly consume drugs and leave.

Requesting anonymity, a resident said: "It’s been over two years that youths of the locality have been consuming drugs inside the rooms of this primary school. They inject drugs in each other through syringes and throw them over there. A heap of used syringes and drugs was recovered inside rooms. Many a time, mischevious school students have been found playing with syringes and doing the same act the drug addicts do."

While talking about the dangerous structure of the school, he said, "What is left here is dangerous iron rods and weak walls without support that are a big threat to the life of the students."

Although aware that the walls seem too weak to support the iron girders, the school authorities are forced to conduct classes inside the rooms due to the bright sun outside.

A student Jatin said since the summer season had started, the students are in big trouble. "We study inside the rooms that lack roofs. We sit on the ground," he said.

Harpal Kaur District Education Officer (DEO) Primary, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune, said, "The school has been running since 1929, but currently it is in a pathetic condition.

We are not able to initiate any construction work as a local committee has lodged a court case. Two primary teachers and a Siksha Karamchari are teaching around 80 students."


One month after foreign visit
MC team fails to submit report
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
Just like all the other foreign trips of the Municipal Corporation (MC), the recent trip to Leicester city will also prove to be a leisure one only, as even after one month of the trip, the team, that had gone abroad to get technical knowledge, is yet to submit its observation report.

A five-member delegation, led by MC Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, had visited the Leicester city from March 6 to 15 to get technical experience from the city’s civic body regarding various fields.

Accompanied by Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal, finance and contract committee member Pal Singh Grewal, executive engineers Kamlesh Bansal and Mayor HC Salaria claimed that they would gain a lot from the visit.

Similarly, the Mayor had asserted that revolutionary changes would be seen in the patch work of the road, sewerage system, solid waste management and other fields, which would help in making Ludhiana a better place.

But all these claims of the Mayor are yet to see the light of the day, as nothing concrete has come out of the visit.

Even after one month of the visit, the team is yet to prepare a report regarding their visit.

Similarly, even the team has not held any formal interaction with officers of the civic body regarding the gains that the city could get from their much hyped visit.

The hollow claims of the team about the thorough research work was evitable from the fact that last month, during a meeting on solid waste management of the city, none of the team members had any point of view on the matter. In the same manner, the Congress and Akali councillors, who opposed the Mayor, had been alleging that the trip was a sheer wastage of funds and had done nothing for the benefit of the city.

A senior MC officer said nothing could be expected out of this visit, as they had just gone to enjoy there.

However, Senior Deputy Mayor Praveen Bansal said the report was in its final stages and would be presented soon before the MC officials. “The city will definitely gain from this trip, which is a historical achievement,” he added.

A tale of two cities

There is a striking difference between Leicester City and Ludhiana in terms of geographical area and population. The city which was recently visited by high-level delegation of MC has an area of about 73 km, whereas Ludhiana has area more than 159.37 km square. Similarly, Leicester City has total 22 wards, whereas Ludhiana has total 75 wards. Leicester City has a population of around two lakh, whereas Ludhiana has 10 times more population

Trips on public money

The past history of the MC proves that such visits, arranged on public money, had never benefited the city. Former Mayor had paid visit to three countries, including China, France and Canada for the same purpose. Out of these three, the MC had bore the cost of travelling of former Mayor in France and Canada, but it was of no use, as the MC had not submitted any report



When passport office made an applicant errand boy
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 24
A passport applicant, Malkeet Singh, of the Agwara Lopon locality on the outskirts of Jagraon has paid a heavy price for a mistake committed by the Passport Office Ludhiana.

Malkeet Singh, who had applied for a passport on January 24, was elated when he received an envelope on April 16 containing a passport. But his happiness turned sour when he opened the envelope to find that he had received the passport (number 6600279) of some other person named Robin Malhotra of Durgapuri in Haibowal Kalan, Ludhiana.

His problem did not end here. When he went to the Ludhiana passport office to return the wrongly sent passport to them, the officials at the Passport office, instead of taking that passport in their custody, asked Malkeet to deliver that passport to Robin Malhotra and also take back his own passport from Robin Malhotra which, according to them, was mistakenly sent to Robin Malhotra.

More interestingly, Malkeet reached the house of Robin Malhotra and gave him his passport. But when he asked Robin to return his passport, Malkeet was shocked to see that the passport (number 6600277) he got from Robin was of some other person named Iqbal Singh Grewal of Khanjarwal village.

Following this, Malkeet again went to the passport office and told officials what happened to him. But instead of realising their another mistake, the officials at the passport office asked Malkeet to visit Iqbal Singh Grewal at Khanjarwal village to give him his passport and take his own passport from him!

But instead of doing this, Malkeet asked the officials to give him the contact number of Iqbal Singh Grewal so that he could confirm that Iqbal Singh had his passport. But the officials refused to give him the number of Iqbal Singh, saying they could not do this as it was against rules.

When Malkeet threatened the officials that he would call media to the office and expose their mistake and irresponsible attitude, the officials themselves called Iqbal Singh and asked him about the passport.

But Iqbal Singh told them that he had not received any passport so far, which made the situation more complex. Following this, Malkeet Singh decided to bring the incident to the notice of media.

Fearing misuse of his passport, Malkeet said if something like this happens, the passport office would be responsible for that.

Meanwhile, the incident has put a serious question mark on the sincerity of passport office officials towards their work.



Schoolgirl falls unconscious, parents create ruckus
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
The controversy surrounding the vandalising of DAV School by the agitated relatives of a girl student who went into depression after the school authorities suspended her for carrying a mobile phone had not died down yet when another similar incident was reported in the city. The parents of a girl went up in arms against the teachers and school principal after the girl student fell unconscious in the class.

The incident took place yesterday morning when the girl student of Hemendra Model School located in Prem Nagar near Field Gunj fell unconscious. The school authorities further informed the parents about the incident, who further created ruckus on the school premises.

According to Shanti Prasad Bhatt, director of the school, Surinder Kumar, father of the girl along with his relatives, reached the school premises and manhandled the woman teachers. Lata Sharma, the principal of the school said, “The girl, a student of class X, had perhaps fallen unconscious due to low-blood pressure. Without wasting time we informed the parents and began the treatment of the girl.”

She further added that it was during the afternoon, girl’s father Surinder Kumar along with his accomplices, arrived at the school and manhandled the women teachers.

“Instead of taking their daughter to the hospital, the father of the girl created ruckus in the school. The accused even took my purse containing Rs 30,000 cash,” claimed Lata Sharma.

In the meantime, Division No 2 police has registered a case against the girl’s father and his accomplices and launched a manhunt to nab the accused. 

Mobile phone episode

Girl’s condition worsens: The condition of the girl, who was caught using mobile phone in DAV school, has worsened. According to the father of the girl, the condition of his daughter is serious and she is shivering continuously. Parents of students, who had been allegedly victimised by the school authorities earlier, had contacted the reporter on Sunday. A group of such parents were planning to form a body so that action could be taken against the school authorities.



Despite warning, colleges fail to record lecturers’ attendance
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
Despite being warned by department of higher education to maintain daily attendance record of lecturers in colleges, government colleges here fail to adhere to the recent directions.

The attendance registers kept in various departments and staffrooms are not taken “seriously” by authorities concerned and lecturers.

Though, the department had asked colleges to send attendance record from March, none of the colleges have bothered to send it to the higher-ups.

Talking to The Tribune, an employee of Government College for Women, said with the latest directions, lecturers had become more carefree than before in maintaining their attendance record.

Authorities have kept registers in the departments, where lecturers fill absenteeism as per their “convenience.”

A women college lecturer said: “The move was initiated to keep a check on lecturers, but it has become much easier to mark our attendance whenever it is convenient. I forgot to mark my attendance for several days, since register was kept in the department, I marked it myself just five minutes ago. We are teachers and not slaves. We cooperate with each other on the issue,” said the lecturer.

Jasbir Kaur Makkar, principal, SCD Government College, said colleges got the letter in the second week of April. Since then, exams were being held in colleges. “Some teachers have gone out on duties, while others are giving duties at different centres. In such circumstances, it was not possible to keep a record of lecturers. But we have taken the warning seriously. If any lecturer failed to mark his/her attendance in the register, he/she will be marked as absent on that day. The registers will be kept in staffrooms. Some lecturers have shown resentment over the directions, but they have been told to adhere to the norms,” said Makkar.

It may be mentioned here that Education Minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan had chaired a meeting in Chandigarh on April 5 in which he took serious note of the “carefree” attitude of the college lecturers while maintaining their attendance record. He had warned that a disciplinary action will be taken against “defaulters”, in case they refused to obey to the orders.



‘Mobiles causing marital discord’
Mohit Khanna
Tribune news Service

Ludhiana, April 24
Believe it or not. Mobile phone, the device meant with the sole purpose to establish better communications, has become a cause of increasing turmoil between newly married couples.

So much so that Gurdev Kaur Sangha, chairperson of the State Women Commission, said the overuse of mobile phone had become the common cause behind 90 per cent of marital dispute cases being received by the women commission.

"Like many other electronic gadgets, a mobile phone has become a necessary dowry item given to a bride at the time of her wedding. But instead of strengthening the bond of marriage, the device has become a cause of couple dispute. In a majority of cases, it’s the groom or his mother who complains that her daughter-in-law is misusing a mobile phone and spends most of her time speaking to her parents rather then helping the family with routine chores," said Sangha.

Even assistant police commissioner Nilambri Vijay Jagadale, who is also heading the women dispute redressal cell, admitted that she received several complaints of family disputes pertaining to use of cellphones.

She said the women cell was flooded with complaints in which family members of a husband and wife were at loggerheads over the ‘misuse’ of mobile phones.

While endorsing the comments of her senior officer, Gurpreet Kaur, SHO, women police station, said overuse of mobile phones by newlywed girls had resulted in rise in marital disputes and it was police who hadto mediate between the couple and sort out the misunderstanding.

Citing an example she said, "Recently, a couple approached me after their family members got embroiled in a major dispute over the use of a cellphone. The boy complained that by the time he arrived at his office, his mother-in-law came to know what kind of clothes he was wearing and what food items he had taken for lunch. The boy was agitated over the fact that his newly wed wife kept nothing confidential and told even personal matters to her mother. But the matter was amicably resolved after few counseling sessions at the women cell.”

Psychologists also said that cellphones are playing a major role in ruining interpersonal relations.

"It’s natural for parents of the girl to be over protective and that is the core reason they call their daughter more often and ask her about the treatment she is receiving at her new home," the psychologist said.

"The problem begins when the girl gives a brief commentary of everything that takes place in her new house. Accordingly, her mother passes her judgment and the girl follows the latter’s direction, which causes trouble between the couple,” the psychologists said.

Sangha believes, “Time subsides anger. Earlier, if any dispute between the bride and her mother-in-law or between the couple took place it used to get over by the evening. However, nowadays girls call up their parents in the heat of the moment. Further, parents - instead of pacifying the girl - add fuel to fire and aggravate the problem.”

She opined, “The tolerance level among people is declining, which is further aggravating the problem.”

Last year a husband set himself and his wife afire after pouring kerosene. The investigation revealed that the couple had dispute over the possession of the mobile phone. Vijay Kumar (25) and his wife Choti (22), residents of Nirankari Mohalla near Miller Gunj, had succumbed to serious burns injuries then.



Mayor supporters oppose room allotment to rival
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
Fresh battle lines have been drawn between Municipal Corporation (MC) Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura and his bete noire Simrejeet Singh Bains over the room allotted to the latter at the C zone, with the Mayor group adamant to get it closed.

After the recent arrest of MC Zonal Commissioner Amarjeet Singh Sekhon, employees and councillors of the MC, known to be close to Giaspura, had opposed the allocation the room to the Bains group at the C zone.

Leaders of the Mayor group levelled severe allegations against the Bains group with threatening employees while sitting at the office. Likewise some councillors, considered close to Mayor, had demanded that the room must be taken back from Bains and his fellow councillors so that such activities in the C zone could be stopped. Going a step ahead, Giaspura had, at a public rally, asked the MC staff to defy the orders of the Bains group and refrain from going in the room.

Sources revealed that MC employees and councillors of the Mayor group were adamant that the room must be taken back from Bains and his supporters so that their control in the zone could be checked.

Though no one, including the MC Mayor, was speaking on the matter as probably they wanted to keep the matter a secret, sources revealed the MC staff was likely to take a step regarding it on Monday. Meanwhile, the Bains group is also up in arms to prevent any sort of action by the MC staff.

Simerjeet Singh Bains said it was wrong to say that the room belonged to any particular group, as it was the room of elected representatives of the public. He said the basic purpose of the room was to give public a platform for redress of their grievances which is not being liked by some people who are in power. "We will certainly opposed to any such step that aims to curb the voice of people," he added.



Jagraon-Mallha link road
Axing of trees irks environmentalists
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 24
At a time when serious concerns are being raised over the issue of global warming and deteriorating environmental situation globally, particularly after occurrence of natural calamities like Tsunami, floods and increasing temperature level, the practice of illegal axing of trees is going unchecked in various areas surrounding Jagraon.

And this is happening despite tireless efforts of countless governmental as well as non -governmental organisations working to create awareness among the masses and convince them to make efforts for preserving the environment by planting more and more trees.

Notwithstanding the global apprehension on critical environmental situation, thousands of trees have been axed from various places particularly in the Sidhwan Bet belt, which has a huge forest area falling under it. Besides, a large number of trees have also been axed from various link roads connecting Jagraon to different villages.

According to the sources, these trees have been axed by the members of a timber mafia, which have been active in the area for some time now. The timber mafia sell the wood procured from axed trees to timber smugglers who further supply this wood in the markets of Punjab and some other nearby states through some intermediaries at hefty prices.

“On one side various environmental organisations and NGOs have been organising constant plantation drives in various educational institutions and other places to grow more trees to improve the environment, on the other side a large number of fully grown trees are being axed by some anti-social elements thus undermining the efforts of these organisations”, said environmentalist professor Rakesh Raman.

The most recent example of axing of trees is of Jagraon-Mallha link road from where hundreds of trees have been axed from the roadsides by unknown persons. Though the exact number of trees axed from there is not clear, but it is believed to be more than 1,000. The residents of villages falling along the road are under the impression that these trees were axed under the process of widening of Jagraon-Mallha link road, but the sources said that these trees too were axed by the members of the timber mafia.

According to Iqbal Singh Rasoolpuri of Universal Human Rights Organisation, the local officials of Punjab Mandi Board, the department assigned the work of widening and repairing of the Jagraon-Mallha link road, state that the trees along the Jagraon-Mallha link road were axed under the process of widening of the link road. “But when we enquired about as to whom the contract of axing of trees along this road was given and where the axed trees had been kept, they failed to give us any satisfactory answer”, said Rasoolpuri.

“They did not give us any information regarding the number of trees located on both the sides of this link road before they were axed, nor did they provide any information about the number of trees axed, which clearly indicates that there is something wrong”, he alleged.

He further informed that the Universal Human Rights Organisation had also sought detailed information about this matter from the forest department under the RTI Act. Besides, the organisation had also written to Zila Parishad as well as the Public Information Officer asking to investigate the whole matter. “We expect to get this information soon and hope that it will provide us the proper information and will make everything clear”, added Rasoolpuri.

Meanwhile, repeated efforts to contact district forest officer failed to yield any response. Darbara Singh, an official from the forest department, when contacted in this regard, expressed ignorance about the issue but said, “The matter of axing of trees along the Jagraon-Mallha link road falls under the jurisdiction of Zila Parishad and not the Forest Department”.



Court’s order on violations
Shopkeepers wind up from residential locality
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
The stern stand taken by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) regarding violations at Sant Ishar Nagar has started producing the desired results, as shopkeepers of the area have started shifting their belongings from the residential locality to some other places.

After the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the LIT authorities had issued notices to the erring residents, who had violated norms by making garages meant for parking vehicles in the residential locality.

After detecting more than 118 violations in the residential flats the LIT authorities had issued public notices to residents to rectify the violations after which public announcements in the area were also made.

Though LIT authorities don’t have the power of ceiling the buildings, they had announced that they would cancel the allotments of the violators if the infringements were not rectified. Likewise, for hearing the plea of residents, LIT authorities had fixed the personal hearing of all the violators on April 22.

Confirming the matter, JS Pandher, Superintendent Engineer (SE) of civic body, said they would give time to the residents for personal hearing so as to ensure that justice was done. He said the aim was to get the violations rectified as per the court’s orders.

Though LIT authorities are yet to give personal hearing to a sizeable number of occupants, but the fear of strict action has forced shopkeepers to close the commercial business in the area. According to sources, most shopkeepers have started shifting their belongings from the area. Flat owners are also pressurising the shopkeepers to leave the shops, as a result the commercial activity in this residential area has almost come to a halt. However, the sources in LIT said authorities in the civic body would be inspecting the area before taking any decision.



Children hunt for Easter eggs
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
Easter Sunday, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, was today celebrated by the Christian community here.

Prayers and worship services were held in almost all the churches. Catholic Church members finished their fast to celebrate Easter.

Other church denominations also celebrated the day by distributing Easter eggs, offered prayers, lit candles and worship services where tea and snacks were also distributed to mark the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Easter marks the end of Lent, a 40-day period of fasting, prayers and penance. The last week of the Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. Easter is followed by a 50-day Eastertide or the Easter Season, ending with Pentecost Sunday.

Easter customs vary across the Christian world, but decorating Easter eggs is a common motif. In the Western world, customs such as egg hunting and Easter Bunny extend from the domain of church, and often have a secular character.

The mere thought of relishing Easter eggs has made Rose and Mary excited. “On Easter we always wait for the delicious eggs. Mom bakes on Easter Sunday and later we sit together to dig into chocolate eggs,” the sister duo said.

Telling about the importance of eggs on Easter, B Nathaniel said: “The egg is a pagan symbol of the rebirth of Earth in celebrations of spring and was adopted by early Christians as a symbol of resurrection of Jesus. The egg is seen by followers of Christianity as a symbol of resurrection: while being dormant, it contains a new life sealed within it.”

Easter Bunny

On Easter Sunday, children wake up to see baskets of candy kept for them by Easter Bunny. He also hides eggs for them, which they decorate earlier that week. Children hunt for eggs all around the house, neighbourhood and organisations hold Easter egg hunting and the one who finds maximum number of eggs wins a prize. The Easter Bunny is a rabbit-spirit. Earlier, he was called the “Easter Hare”, hares and rabbits have frequent multiple births so they became a symbol of fertility. The custom of an Easter egg hunt began because children believed that hares laid eggs in the grass. The Romans believed that life comes from an egg. Christians consider eggs to be the seed of life and so they are symbolic of the resurrection of Jesus Christ



Wheat crop reduced to ashes
Mahesh Sharma

Mullanpur Dakha, April 24
Standing wheat crop on a 10 bighas of land, belonging to two farmers of Bhanohar Punjab village in Ludhiana district near here, was reduced to ashes today.

Though the reason behind the incident was yet to be ascertained, it is suspected that a burning cigarette or ‘biri’ ending might have been thrown unawares by some passersby might have sparkled the fire. Farmers have demanded compensation for their loss.

The wheat crop worth thousands in the fields of Baba Balwant, chairman, Block Samiti, Ludhiana, (7 bighas) and Ranjit Singh of Changhna village (3 bighas) was charred.

However, timely and coordinated action by residents of Bhanohar, Punjab, and surrounding villages saved the crops standing in hundreds of acres in the vicinity of the affected fields. Around a dozen tractors were pressed into service to stop the spreading of fire by ploughing the crops around the fields under fire.



Dispute over standing crop
Unidentified persons walk away with produce
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 24
While the deputy commissioner office at Sangrur is yet to guide the Amargarh police in connection with the harvesting rights on the wheat crop standing in the land measuring over 100 bighas at Burj Baghel Singh Wala village near here, some unidentified persons have walked away with the produce.

Claiming to be legal possessors of the land measuring over 500 bighas Dr Mohinderjit Kaur Teja, a sexagenarian widow and her partners have urged higher authorities, including Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, the director general of police, Punjab, and the chairman of the Punjab Human Rights Commission to impress upon the police to initiate action against the suspects who had tried to alienate the land in dispute and reaped the produce illegally. The defendants represented by Jabar Jang Singh of Chaprauda village, on the other hand maintained that they had the right over the crops as they were legal possessors of the land by virtue of sale deed and mutation registered with the revenue department.

According to Teja, she along with other members of her family had inherited a piece of land measuring over 500 bighas from her maternal grandmother. Consequent over claims lodged by Kanwaljit Singh of Dheri village and others, she had contested a number of legal cases. Pending legal fight, the Punjab and Haryana Court Judge LN Mittal restrained Kanwaljit Singh and others from alienating the suit land. But the land in question was disposed of to Jabar Jang Singh and his associates and mutation was also registered in favour of the purchasers.

The Amargarh police, headed by Bharpoor Singh found it sandwiched when the purchasers of land started harvesting the wheat crop growing in the suit land and Teja, claiming to be legal owner sought action against them.

Failing to arrive on conclusion regarding harvesting rights of the crop standing on a portion of the suit land, the Amargarh police, through the SSP, Sangrur, HS Bhullar, sought advice on the issue. Though the police had apprehended that situation might go out of control in the absence of exact information about ownership of the wheat crop that was sown by representatives of Teja undisputedly.

Sources at the deputy commissioner office said that the process had been initiated to confirm the status of suit land.



Panel to work out solution for wheat lifting
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April 24
In view of poor lifting of wheat at the Asia’s biggest grain market, Lakhvir Singh Kalal Majra held a meeting with officials of purchase agencies and commission agents here.

They decided to form a committee comprising representatives of purchase agencies, commission agents and contractors to work out a solution.

Meanwhile, heaps of wheat continued to lie in the grain market due to poor lifting.

Some commission agents, including Kamaljit Singh, Yadvinder Singh and Gurdeep Singh, alleged that tenders had been allotted to small contractors, who did not have proper arrangements for lifting the wheat.

A meeting was also held by the local SDM to settle the issue of lifting of wheat but the matter was still pending due to the poor working of contractors and the alleged non-cooperative behaviour of officials of purchase agencies.



Washing dirty linen in public...

Although belonging to the same party (SAD-B), city Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura and firebrand councillor Simarjit Singh Bains are archenemies is an open truth. And both of them never let any opportunity go to settle scores and show each other in poor light, even at the cost of the party image. The recent arrest of one of the zonal commissioner in a corruption case provided yet another chance to the duo to spew venom against each other. Since the zonal commissioner was in charge of the C zone, the area represented by Bains, the Mayor blamed his bete noire for framing the official purportedly because the latter had refused to oblige him for some work related to recovery of arrears of house tax. Known for not taking any such thing lying down, Bains hit back and launched a scathing attack against the Mayor saying he was in the habit of blaming him (Bains) for anything that went wrong. That the diatribe will have a serious political fall out is no body's concern, at least not for the time being.

The strange "buyer"!

A friend of mine has a boutique at Civil Lines and her designed clothes are often praised in party circles. She had got a good collection recently and all the stuff was well displayed in the boutique. A woman in her fifties, wearing a black hat, holding a stick entered the boutique and asked the attendant to call the owner. The friend came out and asked how could she help her. The "buyer" asked her to show latest suits with heavy embroideries. Within 15 minutes, the "buyer" asked friend to keep aside the selected pieces. She did so. And the woman asked her to prepare a bill. After giving 20 per cent discount, the friend handed-over a bill of Rs 22,800 to the woman. The woman looked at the bill and said, "See I am from Shimla. I have come here to buy good suits. Back in Shimla, I have to sell my furniture, which is worth Rs 50,000. After selling it, I will come again and pick-up the material". The friend was too shocked to understand anything. Suddenly, a driver came and asked his "madam" to come out. He pointed out since she was mentally disturbed, she often behaved like that!

Who cares!

With a call of strike against the arrest of Zonal Commissioner of the MC it was a holiday period for the officers who hardly did any worklast week. Though the class four employees of the civic body that put their whole efforts in demonstrations held against the Vigilance Bureau and top brass of the civic body was busy in getting the officer out of trap of the police. But the “Babus” and other officials enjoyed the holiday by doing their household works and most of them were seen sitting idle on the office chairs or roaming around in the city. The result of all of which was that the residents who had come to the office of the civic body to get their work done were not able to do so. But then who is bothered about the problems of people

Bald Mania

A mischievous player in a school football team suddenly came with a tonsured head. After going through the process, he thought as why not to get the entire team’s hair tonsured and his naughty brain started working. He targeted all his teammates with trimmed hair and one by one got of all them bald except three Sikh players and one very "smart" player. This particular "smart" player became very cautious whenever that particular team member approached him. But one day he too got in his trap and went out to party with him. Suddenly he asked him to accompany him to the barber’s shop as he had to get a shave done. But the victim was not aware of the big plan. While, entering the barber’ss shop, all other teammates joined hand forcing him to sit on the "hot seat". Soon he was also "ganja" and was fit in the eleven members team that took part in the inter schools football league after two days.

Go Green!

There are great ways to spend afternoons but research shows that a walk in the park is not only enjoyable, but good for your health! According to University of Illinois behaviour researcher Frances Ming Kuo, spending time in the park, forests or green open spaces is an essential component to ensure good health. Kuo said, "In greener settings, we find that people are more generous and more sociable. We find stronger social ties and greater sense of community, more mutual trust and willingness to help others. In less green environment, we find higher rates of aggression, violence, violent crime, and property crime - even after controlling for income and other differences. We also find more evidence of loneliness and more individuals reporting inadequate social support." Following this research people should "Go Green" which will not only help them inhale fresh air but also strengthen relationships, according to the study.

Contributions by: Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo, Manvinder Singh, Anil Kumar and Manav Mander 



Of speed, bikes & style
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
Three-day automobile extravaganza Auto Mall concluded here today. The exhibition managed to draw huge crowd from all walks of life. Youngsters admiring the bikes and SUVs were a common site during the Auto Mall.

Brands like Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Fiat, M&M, Skoda, Toyota, General Motors, Honda cars in addition to leading two-wheeler and automobile majors like Hero Honda, Mahindra, Bosch etc were crowd-pullers.

Skoda’s recently launched Yeti also managed to draw huge crowd during the three-day event. “The Ludhiana market has witnessed a tremendous growth in the past few years and it is one of the important markets for Skoda Auto India,” said spokesperson of Krishna Autos.

Vintage cars

Rajinder Sokhi and Mohan Singh displayed their four vintage cars which attracted everyone’s attention. Austin Seven England (1930), Ford Zodiac (1962) belongs to Sokhi, while Mazda MXS Roadster (1991) Volkswagen Beetle (1965) belongs to Mohan Singh. Sokhi bought his first vintage car in 1999, which was a Chevrolet Impala (1966). Besides these cars, Sokhi's collection consists of Ford Roadster (1930), Hindustan 14 (1951), Morristium-Tiger Series (1969) and Chevrolet Impala (1960) and Fiat Italian (1962). “Whenever I go out in my vintage cars they prove to be head turners. Whether a Mercedes is standing next to my car, eyeballs turn towards my cars,” said Sokhi.

Sports bike launched

Honda today released its much awaited global Road-Sport motorcycle “CBR 250R”. The motorcycle will be on Indian roads by May. CBR250R will have the largest engine displacement of any vehicle produced by HMSI. It will be available in - standard variant and C-ABS variant priced at ` 1.44 lakh and ` 1.70 lakh, respectively.



...And some flirt with danger
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
They believe in being one with the road and enjoy the ride called life. Style bikers from the city under the group name “Free Style Warriors” and other bikers from across the country performed some amazing stunts during the three-day Auto Mall, 2011.

Besides bikes, these boys also performed stunts on scooter and scooty.

One of the bikers Saurabh is also the winner of “Stunt Mania” on MTV. “I have always been fascinated by bikes and love to perform stunts on my bike. I went to Stunt Mania and won the title ‘the baap of biking’. Practise is the key word for riding a bike in free-style,” he said.

“I am head over heels in love with my bike. I started performing stunts and then joined this group. Today, I am comfortable riding bikes in different styles,” he added.

K Dass, a professional, said he keeps riding his bike in different styles, but safety is always his priority. “Sometimes we ride the bike as original and sometimes we modify it ourselves,” he said.

“Free styling is not possible till you practise. We do the same, sometimes it’s with a group of riders and sometimes alone. We are not bikers for the roads, so we prefer to practise in open spaces all by ourselves,” said Free Style Warriors.

Another biker Amarinder Kalsi said initially it was difficult for him to convince his parents, but seeing his passion they agreed. “Today I perform at events and want to adopt it as a full-time career,” he said.

There is always a possibility of risk, but one must keep mind and body in control. Giving an advice to youngsters, the group said they should not perform stunts or try free styling without proper guidance as it can be risky.



Residents cry foul over violations by developers
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 24
Slack enforcement and failure to take timely action by the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) against alleged violations of the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulations Act (PAPRA) and licensing rules made thereunder have led to a situation in the mega city where developers of approved colonies all around are turning a blind eye to genuine problems of residents, while also denying them the promised amenities and facilities.

There has been a spate of complaints with the regulating authority (read GLADA) against several promoters and developers of approved colonies that facilities and amenities promised to buyers at the time of the sale of plots, or built-up properties, remained unfulfilled, and repeated pleas made, both with the developers and the regulatory body, had failed to evoke any positive response.

An inquiry report submitted by the Superintending Engineer of GLADA to additional chief administrator (ACA) of the body in relation to complaints made by residents of GSB Apartments, an approved colony on Manakwal Road here, is a classic example of the manner in which rules and provisions of PAPRA are being flouted and residents are being short-changed by developers.

The report, a copy of which was obtained by residents under the Right to Information Act, pointedly says that the promoters were to construct six blocks of residential apartments, out of which only two blocks have been fully constructed, while the third one is still incomplete even after seven years of the grant of licence.

"Not only this, the front and one side of the boundary wall have been pulled down, 15 feet wide green belt in front of shops in A-block is earmarked for parking, area shown as balconies in the approved plan of flats has been merged with the residential portion, the open area meant to be left in front of the shops has been covered and even the common passage, adjoining staircases, has also been merged into the flats."

Further, the report points out that the disposal of water from the sewage treatment plant is not proper and the supply of drinking water to the residents is also inadequate.

The promoter has also been charged with partial development of the colony and carving out of an unauthorised colony in the rest of the area by way of selling plots instead of constructed flats as per the provisions of licence.

While the developer of the colony was not available for comments, GLADA officials said a show-cause notice had been issued to the developer.



Pardhan elected chief of CICU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
Inderjit Singh Pardhan has been elected as the president of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings for the 19th term, which was declared by presiding officer, Vishav Bandhu, director and general manager, District Industry Centre, Ludhiana, after the annual general meeting held today at the CICU Complex.

The name of Pardhan for president of CICU was proposed by Manjit Singh Khalsa, chairman, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturing Associationl. Due to no other nomination received, Pardhan was declared elected unopposed.



‘Inferior’ quality: Farmers worried over FCI’s rejection
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 24
Fifty farmers from Ayali Khurd and nearby villages are a worried lot, as FCI officials have reportedly denied buying their produce due to “inferior quality” at Ayali Focal Point Mandi here.

The worried farmers alleged that for the past few days they had been waiting to lift their crop, but FCI (the procuring agency) had rejected the produce on the pretext that it was not as per their (FCI) specifications.

Farmers have asked district administration to soon intervene and attach the mandi to other state procurement agency, so that the crop was lifted at the earliest and farmers were saved from huge losses.

Talking to The Tribune, Jaswinder Singh, a farmer from Ayali Khurd said he had come to the mandi with the produce about five days ago, but the FCI refused to purchase it. “It is PBW 17 variety advised by the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). Majority of farmers have sown this variety due to its rich taste, still FCI has been rejecting it. The FCI officials/inspectors are not lifting it and we are facing a lot of trouble. The inspectors say since grain was discoloured due to bad weather, FCI will not purchase it,” said Jaswinder.

Another farmer from Badewal, Sewak Singh said the variety was being purchased at other mandis by other procurement agencies, but the FCI was rejecting it. “Other farmers have already sold their produce, but we are still waiting for our turn. Neither the district administration nor the mandi officials are paying attention to solve the problem. Some officials from administration accompanied with local leaders had come yesterday and the FCI purchased about 6,000 bags, still 20,000 bags are lying here. As weather is unpredictable, if bags are kept here for long, the crop will get damaged,” he added.

The farmers have been staying in the mandi to look-after their produce. “We can’t leave the wheat-bags. No one will take care of the produce in our absence. We want administration to intervene soon, so that other procurement agencies are allowed to lift the produce. For the past four days, I have been camping here with mosquitoes all around,” said Baldev.

It may be mentioned here that two days ago, senior Congress leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal had visited the mandi and had asked agencies to listen to farmers’ grievances but to no avail. Farmers threatened if their produce was not lifted within two days, they will hold a massive protest against the FCI.

DC’s hopeful

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari said the FCI was not lifting the crop because they felt that it was not as per their specifications. Being Sunday today, I was unable to contact the officials concerned at Chandigarh. I will brief about the problem to director, food supplies, tomorrow. We hope that other agencies will lift the produce soon,” said Tewari.



Pankaj XI script 120-run win
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 24
Pankaj XI beat National XI by 110 runs in the two-day match of the Hot Weather Cricket Tournament (U-16) organised by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association (LDCA) at Satish Chander Dhawan Government College here today.

Three teams- Mahajan Juniors XI, Pankaj XI and National XI, including probables are taking part in the tournament. Their performance will be taken into consideration while selecting the Ludhiana team (U-16) for the Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Championship for the ML Markan Trophy to be held next month.

Yesterday, Pankaj XI made 246 runs in 58.2 overs with main contributions of Sumit Sood and Sher Bahadur, who scored 79 and 28 runs, respectively.

In reply, National XI were 116 runs for the loss of seven wickets at the draw of stumps and resuming their overnight score, they were bowled out for 136 runs.



T20: 20 players shortlisted
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 24
A total of 52 aspirants attended the trials conducted by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association here today at the Satish Chander Dhawan Government College to select the Ludhiana senior team for the Punjab State Inter-Distict T-20 Cricket Championship scheduled to start in the last week of May.

The selection panel of Chaman Lal Malhotra, Sham Lal, Dinesh Puri, Naveen Sharma, Pawan Kumar and Narewh Marwaha supervised these cricketers and selected 20 players for the preparatory camp for the upcoming tournament.

The names of the selected players are Ankur Kakkar (captain), Karan Goel (vice captain), Luv Abhlish, Baltej Singh, Bharat Malhotra, Rahul Singla, Nitin Goel, Deepak Bansal, Geetansh Khaira, Akhil Aggarwal, Tarun Passi, Chinton Sehgal, Ashish Kumar, Shivam Puri, Prabhjot Singh, Ajay Mehra, Jayant Batra, Himanshu, Ravi Kumar and Abhinav Bhatia.

The selected players have been asked to report at Arya College on April 28 at 5 pm.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |