L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bike-borne students thrash SHO
Were stopped by police at checkpost
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

‘Students got bewildered’

“All the students were studying for the MSc (agriculture) degree at PAU. Two of them belonged to Faridkot while the third was from Mansa district. They were on their way home after having dinner at Paranthan street. When they were stopped by police, all of them got confused and lost their balance as a result of which they knocked down the police station house officer. They didn’t do it intentionally. And no, they were not drunk. The cops can say anything now".

— RS Randhawa, President, PAU Students Association

Ludhiana, April 26
In a daring incident, three MSc students of Punjab Agricultural University riding a motorcycle assaulted and injured a police station house officer (SHO) when they were stopped by cops at a checkpost at the city’s Jagraon Bridge after midningt on Tuesday.

Kotwali police station SHO Nirmal Singh, who reportedly suffered a head injury and a fractured leg during the assault, was immediately rushed to Dayanand Medical College & Hospital where his condition is said to be out of danger.

The incident reportedly occurred at around 1:30 am when the three suspects, identified as Upinder Singh, Manjodh Singh and Gurlabh Singh, were reportedly on their way home after having dinner at an eating joint in the central Ghas Mandi area. When they were stopped at the checkpost they tried to speed away.

When Nirmal, who was on night duty, tried to stop the youths a few yards away from the checkpost, they ran over him, knocking him -down. Policemen in a jeep patrolling the area followed the suspects and nabbed all of them near the Jagraon Bridge chowk.

Kotwali police station additional SHO Rattanjeet Singh said all the students were drunk. "When stopped by the police at the checkpost they tried to flee. They then attacked and injured Nirmal", he added.

City police commissioner Ishwar Singh later said: “Checkposts are meant to ensure the safety of city residents. No one can take the law into his hands and the police won’t spare any offender”.


Molasses spill causes snarl-up for 4 hrs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Spilled molasses from an overloaded truck on the busy Gill Road gave commuters a tough time even as the administration failed to clear the road for four hours this morning.
(Left) Molasses spilled on the city’s busy Gill Road on Tuesday created problems for commuters, especially two-wheelers; and (right) it led to long queues of vehicles stuck in a traffic jam.
(Left) Molasses spilled on the city’s busy Gill Road on Tuesday created problems for commuters, especially two-wheelers; and (right) it led to long queues of vehicles stuck in a traffic jam. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Though traffic cops and the truck staff remained on their toes to control the situation, traffic remained held up for hours. Commuters were late to their destinations even as several two-wheelers slipped on the road.

The problem started when huge quantity of molasses from a truck moving towards Guru Nanak Engineering College spilled on the bridge at Sidhwan Canal and the sticky liquid created a lot of problem for the commuters.

Despite imposing diversions on the route, policemen could not do much as the commuters continued to move on the road. It took nearly four hours to clear the road manually.

A recovery van was called to tow away the truck from the bridge to ease the traffic. In charge of traffic police Gursharanjeet Singh said molasses had spilled on the road following some fault in a wheel of the truck. He said as soon as the traffic police got the information, the traffic was diverted. “As the truck was full with liquid, it took some time to get it removed from the spot,” he added.

“We suffered for four hours and the authorities just waited for the truck staff to handle the situation. It is shocking,” rued Darbara Singh, a commuter.



Use of inferior quality construction material
5 MC officials issued show-cause notice
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Irregularities, especially the use of inferior quality construction material, in the ongoing project of the covering of the drain from Gurudwara Dukh Niwaran to Shingar Cinema today prompted the Municipal Corporation (MC) officials to issue show-cause notices to five top officials of the buildings and roads (B&R) branch.

According to available information, MC Commissioner AK Sinha had inspected the work of the ongoing project of covering of the open drain worth Rs 23 crore in March. During the inspection, the top officer of the civic body had found a lot of irregularities in the project, which he had pointed out to the officers and contractor of the project concerned.

The Commissioner had examined the construction material being used by the contractor for carrying out the work and on finding that material used by the contractor was not as per the specifications approved by the civic body, he had asked the contractor and MC officials to submit the bills related to the purchase of such materials so that a documentary proof regarding the quality of material could be ascertained.

Similarly, he had directed the MC staff to get the poor quality of the stuff that was being used for the construction work to be removed from the site.

However, sources in the civic body revealed that despite stern directions by the top head of the civic body, the officials had not bothered to get the proper material utilised for the work. Even the sources revealed that directions of the Commissioner regarding the matter were also ignored by the staff.

Taking cognisance of the matter, the Commissioner has issued show-cause notice to erring officials, including Superintendent Engineer (SE) DP Singh and Arun Sharma, Executive Engineer (XEN) Brijpal Singh, Sub Divisional Officer (SDO) RP Gupta and Junior Engineer (JE) Arvind Kumar.

Sources also revealed that the Commissioner had asked to submit the reply regarding the matter, adding that further action would be taken after getting the reply in the matter.

However, officials of the civic body were tightlipped over the matter and neither MC Commissioner AK Sinha nor the Additional Commissioner in charge of B&R branch were available for comments on the matter.



Another IAF rocket falls in fields
Second incident in 11 days creates panic
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 26
A rocket, fired from an Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter aircraft stationed at Halwara Air Force Station, fell in the fields between Tappar and Ramghar Bhullar villages on Sidhwan Bet Road near Jagraon late Tuesday evening, triggering fear and terror in the minds of hundreds of residents of the area.

Farmers harvesting their wheat crop near the place where the incident took place said the rocket fell at about 5:45 pm today. The fields in which the rocket fell belonged to Gursharan Singh, a resident of Sawadi Kalan village.

Panicked farmers, harvesting their crop, immediately informed the police about the incident. Soon, the Galib Kalan police post in-charge, ASI Gurpreet Singh reached the spot. He further informed the Sadar Police Jagraon about the incident, following which a team from Sadar police station Jagraon, led by SHO Rachpal Singh Dhindsa, reached the spot and conveyed the information to SK Range officials.

According to the villagers, it took about an hour for the IAF team to reach the spot from SK Range, which is situated only 7-8 km from the place where the incident took place.

The IAF team reached the spot and took the rocket in its custody.

This is the second such incident in a space of only 11 days that a rocket has fallen near Jagraon that too near the same village where the rocket had fallen last time. Last time, a rocket had fallen between Ramghar Bhullar and Leelan Megh Singh villages on April 15. Though there was no loss of money or life during the incident, villagers rued it might have resulted in a tragic incident in case the rocket had fallen in a residential area.

Also, a government senior secondary school and a factory are situated close to the fields where the rocket was found today. Besides, a large number of farmers were busy harvesting their wheat crop in their farms when the incident took place.



Ganda Nullah project a cash cow for MC
Work stalled after Rs 2 crore goes down the drain
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Rather than providing any respite to city residents, the project to cover the open Ganda Nullah (drain) stretching from the Dukh Niwaran gurudwara to Shingar cinema appears to be another money making opportunity for civic officials. Even though Rs 2 crore has been spent the work remains incomplete with no accountability in place.

The drain has been a source of nuisance for area residents ever since the Rs 13 crore project to cover it was launched in 2005, only to be stalled later on the ground that it was not feasible. However, a report submitted by a former joint commissioner, Ashok Bajaj, on July 4, 2007 claimed the rules were ignored and the work was begun “The project was cleared by municipal corporation officials without bringing on record the complete design, drawing, feasibility and the economics of the project” it stated.

The report had highlighted how civic officials had gone out of their way to favour some contractors despite the fact that the Punjab Water Supply & Sewerage Board had told the MC it was feasible to cover the open drain, for which the civic body had prepared a cost estimate of Rs 13.02 crore. The report also stated the MC had approved execution of the project without following the statutory regulations laid down in the Punjab Municipal Works Rules and the Punjab Municipal Account Code.

The result of this faulty planning was that the five key officials supervising the project - retired superintendent engineer Ashok Kumar, retired executive engineer Kashmira Singh, superintendent engineer Dharam Singh, subdivisional officer PK Singla and junior engineer Kuldeep Singh - were issued charge sheets. However action against these officials is still awaited and no one has been made accountable for siphoning off Rs 2 crore from taxpayers’ money to pay the project contractor.

According to sources an official who was instrumental in preparing the design of project last time is also part of the present team that is undertaking the work.



Allopathic docs indulging in quackery
Prescribe ayurvedic formulations in violation of apex court order
Anshu Seth
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
In complete violation of the Supreme Court orders, allopathic doctors are openly prescribing Liv 52, Softalac, isapgol, B-Vax, Glucosamine and ayurvedic pharmacopoeiac herbs, which amounts to quackery as the above formulations can only be prescribed and dispensed by a qualified ayurvedic practitioner.

Interestingly, till date the fraternity of allopathic doctors had been alleging the ayurvedic practitioners of quackery for prescribing allopathic medicines but conveniently abstained from owning the responsibility of indulging in the "unethical practice" at their end.

Pointing towards the complications caused to patients who were prescribed ayurvedic formulations, a noted ayurvedic doctor said: "Ayurvedic medicines are not a subject taught to the allopaths in medical colleges. Thus they prescribe them without knowing the contraindications, as a result patients end up with complications."

A large number of gynaecologists are recommending ayurvedic syrups for gynae problems, which have shown adverse effects in patients as another ayurvedic practitioner referred to a formulation containing an herb "Ashok" which is given for regularisation of menstrual cycle. "But a large number of gynaecologists are prescribing the syrup to women with different problems. This has resulted in serious complications which are very difficult to reverse," observed another ayurvedic expert.

Softalac has an ingredient which when consumed in absence of recommendation of the expert causes dependence. The story is the same with the anti-obesity, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, analgesic and various other ayurvedic drugs.

‘No one above law’

Dr LS Chawla, former chairman of the PG committee and ethical committee of Medical Council of India (MCI), who was also the vice-chancellor of the Baba Farid University of Heath Sciences (BFUHS), referred to the Supreme Court verdict of 1994 against a homeopath for causing death of a typhoid patient by administering inadequate dose of allopathic medicine. “The Supreme Court had categorically stated that a person would only be permitted to practice the system of medicine in which he/she is trained and registered," said Dr Chawla. The orders apply to allopathic doctors, homeopaths and ayurvedic practitioners. He also negated the claims of some ayurvedic practitioners that they had been allowed to practice allopathic medicine. It had also been made clear by the Central Council of India Medicine (CCIM), the body that registers ayurvedic doctors.

‘Rules should be equal for all’

Any professional prescribing medicine out of the system in which he/she is registered is a quack. Allopaths are frequently prescribing isabgol, castor oil and various other formulations for gynaecological disorders, liver malfunctions, spermatogenesis, urinary stones, geriatrics and even eye drops, which are ayurvedic in formulation. If we talk of rules and propriety, these should apply equally to allopathic and ayurvedic doctors.

— Dr Ravinder Vatsyayan, guru at Rashtriya Ayurveda Vidyapeeth

‘Follow own system’

It is unjustified for a homeopath to prescribe or practice medicine outside his system and the same goes for an allopath and ayurvedic practitioner. The professionals should take pride in the system they are trained in while the guilty of violations should be punished as per law as it is not in the interest of patients.

— Dr Vishwanath Sood, homeopath



MC wants Sekhon back
Manvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Buckling under pressure from politicians and trade, municipal corporation officials led by city Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura has requested the Punjab government to consider the “reinstatement” of zonal commissioner Amarjeet Singh Sekhon who was arrested on April 19 by the vigilance bureau following allegations of accepting a bribe. The official was however released on bail two days later.

Sources said a letter making the request was forwarded to the government by civic officials on April 22 and a reply is still awaited. “Due to “technical reasons” the MC officials replaced additional commissioner Mahinder Pal Gupta with Sekhon. But by writing the letter to the state government the officials have shifted the onus of the decision to the government”, the sources added.

Confirming the development MC additional commissioner Kanwalpreet Kaur Brar said: “We had written to the state government for considering Sekhon’s reinstatement as he had remained in police custody. However we’ve yet to receive a reply”.

On the other hand, local bodies department additional director Ashok Bajaj, when contacted, said: “If MC officials have written a letter to the state government, then it reflects the official in question (Sekhon) must have spent over 48 hours in police or judicial custody. Point 4.2 of the Punjab Civil Service (Punishment & Appeal) Rules, 1970 envisages any official who has remained in police or judicial custody is deemed to be placed under suspension, which is to be revoked by the state government.”



GLADA Properties
14 shops to go under hammer on May 16
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 26
The Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) will sell 14 single storeyed shops in Green Park Enclave in Canal Colony on Pakhowal Road here through public auction on May 16.

The shops, with floor area ranging between 27.86 and 40.15 square metres, will have a reserve price of Rs 2,53,493 per square metre, while the corner shops will command a premium of 10 per cent.

GLADA officials said intending bidders would have to deposit an eligibility fee of Rs 50,000 for taking part in the auction. The amount will be refunded to unsuccessful bidders while for others, it will be adjusted towards 10 per cent of the total bid amount which would be payable on the spot after acceptance of the bid.

The successful bidders will be given possession of shops on payment of 25 per cent of the total bid amount - 10 percent on the spot and another 15 per cent after 30 days of the auction.

Information gathered by The Tribune indicate that of late, GLADA did not have much success with the sale of commercial properties while the sale of residential flats in different localities had evoked a mixed response.

Public auction of two commercial sites near West End Mall on the Ferozepur Road on March 14 this year failed to attract any buyers and the auction was called off. On March 17, GLADA received an overwhelming response to sale of 19 residential plots through an open auction in Sector 39-A on Samrala Road which fetched Rs 12.5 crore while 30 residential plots in Dhandari Kalan were sold for Rs 15.22 crore on March 22, 2011.

However, the public auction for sale of residential plots that followed on March 28 and April 7 in Sector 32-A on Samrala Road and Dugri Urban Estate Phase II, respectively, failed to evoke much response. On both the occasions, of 18 residential plots offered for sale, three each were auctioned at a marginal increase over the reserve price.

"The commercial properties being put under the hammer are strategically located on Pakhowal Road with vast business potential, all with presence of banks, insurance companies, offices of several multinational companies and reputed business establishments. We are expect a huge response to the public auction of single storeyed shops," said a GLADA official.



36-year-old woman crushed to death
Killer truck damages tractor-trailer and Innova suv
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 26
A woman was crushed to death while her younger brother had a miraculous escape in a road mishap at the railway overbridge on Tehsil Road in Jagraon today.

The deceased has been identified as 36-year-old Pawanpal Kaur of Chajjawal village, 10 km from here. The injured has been identified as Harbgah Singh of Malak village near Jagraon. Harbgah Singh was going to drop his sister Pawanpal Kaur on a motorcycle. As they reached the overbridge, the motorcycle (PB-25 C-6139), they were riding on collided head on with a truck (PAT 6662) coming from the opposite direction.

An eyewitness said the truck driver lost control over the vehicle while overtaking another vehicle and got it rammed into the motorcycle. The victims were rushed to the local civil hospital where Pawanpal was declared brought dead. Harbgah is still undergoing treatment and is said to be out of danger. The deceased is survived by her husband and two children.

The accident could have proved more fatal as after the accident, the driver of the truck jumped out of the moving truck. The truck kept moving on the bridge hitting whatever came in its way. The truck without the driver finally halted after some distance but only after hitting two other vehicles, including a Toyota Innova (PB-25-B-0404) parked in front of a bank and a tractor, which was coming from apposite direction. Both these vehicles were badly damaged. However, no one was injured. The driver of the tractor saved his life by jumping off his vehicle. The truck driver, who tried to flee, was caught and thrashed by passers-by before handing him to the police. The driver has been identified as Bawa Singh of Chownkimaan village. A case has been registered against him.



Shifting Of Bank Branch
PAU pensioners show displeasure
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
The PAU Pensioners' Association has expressed their displeasure over the "highhandedness" of the authorities in shifting of the bank for disbursement of pension to retirees. The retirees maintained since they were satisfied with the facilities being provided to them by the existing bank, there was no need to shift the accounts to another bank.

The general secretary of the Confederation of PAU Pensioners' Association, Sat Pal Gupta, said that the present arrangement for disbursement of pension should continue so that the pensioners did not suffer unnecessarily. Gupta said that a meeting of retirees was held in which the issue of shifting of the bank was discussed in detail.

"The authorities can not take one-sided decision. The existing bank i.e. the State Bank of India, PAU branch, has been offering best services for the past 20 years to the pensioners. There is no reason to open a new bank at PAU campus for only transferring the accounts of the pensioners against their wish. We have unanimously decided to boycott the Punjab National Bank and no pensioner will open his or her account there .The serving unions/associations are also supporting the cause of the pensioners for not shifting the bank", said Gupta.

Senior vice-president of the confederation, Jaswant Singh said that the pensioners condemned the behaviour of the PAU authorities for not releasing the pensionary benefits i.e. differences of revised gratuity, arrears of revised pension, and difference of additional commutation of pension. "The PAU follows the state government on such matters and the state government had already paid these benefits to the pensioners. The authorities had also held up the LTC dues from January 1, 2011. The PAU authorities are compelling senior citizens to come on the roads", alleged Jaswant Singh.



Staff body condemns govt for not releasing arrears
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
The Punjab Agricultural University Employees Union here condemned the state government for not releasing grant of 40 per cent (arrears) to PAU till date. A meeting of the employees union was held here under the presidentship of Harbans Singh Mundi, the president of union.

Mundi said that PAU seemed to be at last in the priority list of the state government. For getting the monthly salaries, pension for pensioners, the PAU employees had to struggle hard to get the grants. "Each department is releasing 40 per cent grant to the government employees but we are left without any arrears. An amount of Rs 11.38 crore is required to release the 40 per cent arrears but it has not been released to PAU. The pensioners are struggling hard to get the arrears at the fag end of their lives, the government is not bothered about the senior citizens, too", said Mundi adding if grants were not released early, the PAU Employees would resort to agitation.



From Schools
Fancy dress competition

Kids of Cheery Lane School participate in a fancy dress competition in Ludhiana.Ludhiana: Cherry Lane Play School conducted a fancy dress competition on the theme of fruits and vegetables. The purpose of the event was to educate the tiny tots about the recognition and identification of differently coloured fruits and vegetables. For many it was the first experience on stage. Teachers educated them about the importance of eating fruits and vegetables in their daily diet. Each child recited one rhyme related to the paritcular fruit and vegetable.
Kids of Cheery Lane School participate in a fancy dress competition in Ludhiana. A Tribune photograph

Polishing language skills

An English language workshop was conducted at DCM Presidency School by Meena Wood, Inspector of Schools, UK. All language teachers of the school attended the workshop and polished their teaching skills. This is Wood’s second visit to the school. Earlier, she had visited the school in October 2010. Today the workshop was primarily focussed on the importance of lesson planning and differential learning followed by evaluation. Wood emphasised on the fact that a class was heterogeneous in nature with different learning abilities and a teacher should take this fact into account while planning a lesson so that every child benefited.

Recitation contest

The primary wing of Guru Nanak Public School conducted recitation competition for its students. As many as 64 students of classes IV and V participated with zeal and enthusiasm. The students recited poems on various topics like 'Polybags', 'How green is my grass', 'I have too many hats' etc. Headmistress HK Dua appreciated the efforts of the participants and congratulated the winners.

The results are as follows:

Class IV:

Prathamjeet Singh I; Yashdeep Singh II; Shubreet Kaur III; Gungeet Kaur Consolation

Class V:

Jappanpreet Singh I; Rann Vijay II; Deeksha Sohal III; Ashveen Kaur Consolation

Prize laureate

The worldwide students of different schools are selecting their prize laureate in the global vote. DRV DAV Cent. Public School announcing the result of Global Vote Day today declared Monira Rahman as their Prize Laureate in the global vote. The results from all the schools in India will be sent to City Montessorie School, Lucknow, and finally one prize laureate will be selected from India and he or she will compete at the world level.

Pool party

At Saraswati Modern Senior Secondary School, tiny tots of nursery and LKG enjoyed a pool party. The children were filled with excitement and fervour. It was a hot day, so it was very relieving and soothing for the children. They played in water for an hour under the supervision of their teachers. It was a break for the little children from the routine.

Student brings laurels

Gagandeep Singh, student of class XII from B.C.M. School, Chandigarh Road, brought laurels to the institution by securing first rank in state in the 10th National Cyber Olympaid Foundation. He will be honoured by the foundation on May 7at Law Auditorium, Panjab University. — TNS



ATM inaugurated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 26
Punjab and Sind Bank's new ATM was inaugurated at Saban Bazar by Ravinder Gossain, general manager, local head office yesterday. Speaking on the occasion, Gossain said more ATMs were being opened at different offsite locations in the city.

VK Gupta, zonal manager, Ludhiana, stated that ATM cards were being offered to clients to make maximum use of the ATM.



Village children to be trained as golfers
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Mullanpur, April 26
Village kids today tried their hands at golf, a game known for its sophistication and leisure. The Imperial Golf Estates, located at Mullanpur started the first batch of The Prodigy Programme with 15 school-going children.

Students who showed interest in golf were randomly picked by a team of the Imperial Golf Estate from the three neighbouring villages of Talwandi, Khanjarwal and Kyalpur.

These kids will be given training for six months during which they will be provided kits, clothes, proper nutrition and will be put on daily exercise regime. Out of the 15 children, five, who will have real zeal for the game will be further given extensive training to become mainstream players. The golf estate will absorb the remaining players as caddies and in the hospitality industry.

A visibly excited Sarabjeet Singh of class VIII of Government School, Kyalpur, has found his new love in golf. "I am playing this game for the first time and I have found it really exciting. If selected, I will like to continue playing the game," he says. Sarabjeet’s aim in life is to become a fighter pilot.

Gurpreet Singh, a student of class VIII of Government Senior Secondary School, Mullanpur, had seen golf only in cartoons. "I didn’t know golf was an actual game until selectors came to our school and told us about the game. I am very excited about playing golf and hope to continue playing it in my later life too, when I will join the Indian Army," he beamed with joy.

Jasbir Singh, a class X student was so impressed with the game that he has decided to become a golf player. "I am enjoying the game and will put my heart and soul into it to receive extensive training and become a professional golf player. I have seen people playing this game on TV and playing it was an altogether different experience," he said. Joining him in the league are Gurcharan Singh, and Lakhbir Singh who too want to become professionals.

Vijay Chowdhry, director, Imperial Golf Estate, said, "We are approaching the schools through village panchayats. In this batch we have no girl students but we hope girls will also come forward in the coming batches," he said. Manav Chandna, manager, golf operation, said, "Since golf will be included in the Olympics in the coming games we are hopeful of sending at least three players trained by us in the 2016 Olympics".



Visually impaired sportsperson needs financial support

Khanna, April 26
Harmanpreet Kaur, who is blind and outstanding sportswoman of the area in athletics, is awaiting government help to take part in the Youth Sports Games For The Blind to be held at Colorado city in America. She has won medals at the international level several times.

She was awarded the state award by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at a function held at Ferozpur but till now the government has not come forward to help her. She needs financial help to participate in the youth games, which is to be held from July 12 to 18 July. Her father Gurpreet Singh is a resident of Jharaudi village and is unable to support her financially and he too is blind. He has appealed to the Punjab government and some other organization to come forward and help help her so that she is able to participate in youth games. — OC



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