L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Two feared drowned in Sutlej
Bodies yet to be recovered a day after they went missing
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 20
The bodies of two city residents who were feared to have drowned in the Sutlej river near Ladhowal village on Sunday evening have yet to be recovered almost 24 hours after they were reported missing. The two along with friends had gone fishing in the river when the tragedy struck.
Anxious Wait Ezikiel, father of Emmanuel, and (below) brother of Samuel Bhatti, who are feared to have drowned, wait on the banks of the Sutlej near Ladhowal village in Ludhiana on Monday
Anxious Wait Ezikiel, father of Emmanuel, and (below) brother of Samuel Bhatti, who are feared to have drowned, wait on the banks of the Sutlej near Ladhowal village in Ludhiana on Monday. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

The two men missing have been identified as Samuel Bhatti alias Babbi, 40, a resident of Issa Nagri, and Emmanuel, 27, a resident of Ajit Nagar. Both worked in different departments at the city’s Christian Medical College & Hospital. Their family members rushed to the scene but rescue operations could not be conducted due to the darkness. They again went there on Monday morning and, with the help of area residents, tried to search for the two men.

Ezekiel, Emmanuel’s father, said his son had left home at around 8 am on Sunday. "He told us he was going fishing in the Sutlej river, but I never knew I wouldn’t see him again," he added.

The others who had accompanied the missing men told the latter’s family members Bhatti climbed down into the river while all of them were sitting on its banks. "He soon lost balance and slipped into the deep waters. Emmanuel too jumped in to save his friend, but soon both were swept away by the strong river current. We’ve been searching for them since Sunday evening but fear both drowned as the river is in full spate," said Emmanuel's aunt, Manjeet Kaur, who had come from Chandigarh.

Ladhowal police station SHO Gurpreet Singh said the cops were assisting the families of both missing men in the search operation.

Meanwhile, deputy commissioner Rahul Tewari warned people against taking a dip in the Sutlej river that was in full spate.

Divers help in search operation

The fact that the district administration has not employed any divers for search and rescue operations in such incidents hampered search operations on Monday. The families of the two missing men are now depending on divers from nearby villages who volunteered to help in the efforts to locate the missing men.



Second incident in a week
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 20
This is the second incident of drowning in the Sutlej in the last one week. On June 12, three boys had drowned in the river near Jamalpur Leli village. The body of only one of them has been found yet.

A group of friends had left home to pay obeisance at a gurdwara situated at Noorwala village, but instead they went to the banks of the Sutlej river near Jamalpur Leli village.

Tarun Kaushal (19) and Varun Kaushal (21), both brothers, and their friend Varinder Singh (19) drowned in the river. The bodies of Tarun and Varinder are yet to be recovered.

Ravinder Behal, a family friend of Kaushals, said Varun was cremated on June 14 and his bhog would be held tomorrow. 



Tragedy leaves teenaged son, mother broken
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 20
Nineteen-year-old Biniabin Bhatti’s world appears to have collapsed after hearing the news that his father, Samuel Bhatti alias Babbi, 40, was one of the two men feared to have drowned in the swift current of the Sutlej river near Ladhowal village on Sunday evening. This is not the first tragedy for him - his mother died six years ago. "Now I’ve been left all alone and don't know what to do," he said with tears in his eyes.

Samuel’s father died about 30 years ago when he was just a 10 year-old boy. His mother, Harbans, somehow managed to raise her children but now this tragedy has left her totally shaken. "I lost my husband 30 years ago, my daughter-in-law six years ago and now my son is no more. Now I just have Biniabin left with me and has still to get settled in life," she said.

Heart rending scenes were witnessed on the banks of the Sutlej where Biniabin along with his family members could be seen desperately searching for his father, who worked as a painter at the city’s Christian Medical College and Hospital.

"I cant see him (Biniabin) like this - he’s still too young for all these things. He has become an orphan for no fault of his," said Emmanuel, Samuel's elder brother.

Says Biniabin, who works as a daily wage labourer: "Now I’m left with no one whom I can call mine in this world. My father, for whom I wanted to earn money, is no more. I lost my mother earlier and now my dad is feared dead. I really don't know what I’m going to do in life now”.

According to Harbans, Samuel left home on Sunday at around 8 am, telling her he was going “fishing” at Neelon.

"I even tried to stop him from going, but he assured me he’ come back soon. But instead of going to Neelon he went to the banks of the Sutlej river near Ladhowal. I’m totally shaken up with this news and now I’m praying I’ll at least get my son's body soon," she said.



Victim’s family was looking for prospective bride
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 20
For the past several months, his family had been searching eagerly for a prospective bride for him. For, they wanted him to marry soon and see him get settled in life. However, destiny had some other designs for him.

Emmanuel, alias Babu, (27) was working as a ward attendant at Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) and his friends remembered him as a hardworking lad.

His father Ezekiel works as a senior clerk in the same hospital, while his younger brother and sister also work in the hospital. Ezekiel said they had been looking for a prospective bride for his son for the past few months.

“We had even seen a few girls but things didn’t materialise. We never knew destiny had something else planned for him,” said the father.

His maternal uncle Nisar Sethi, who hails from Moga, said the family had asked him to find a prospective bride for their son. “I had been looking a girl for him for the past several months but it’s tragic that my nephew is feared to have drowned in the Sutlej. His friends told us that he jumped into the water to save his friend Samuel Bhatti,” said Sethi.

“This was the first time that he went fishing with his friends but we never knew that he would not come back. Had we known what was coming, we would have never let him leave the house,” lamented a family member.

Kin to hire divers

Nisar Sethi said they had contacted some private divers of the area, who demanded Rs 30,000 for the job. “They did not guarantee finding the bodies. Now we have learned that there are some divers in Neelon village who charge less and are more efficient. We will contact them tomorrow,” he added.



Over 40 trees axed to make way for parking lot
 Admn’s move raises environmentalists’ hackles
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 20
About 42 trees have reportedly been felled on the orders of the district administration to clear the site for a proposed Rs 9 crore multilevel parking lot inside the premises of the city’s mini secretariat, leaving environmentalists and social organizations fuming. Though administration officials claimed new saplings would be planted in place of the axed trees, this undertaking is most likely to remain only on paper.
Axed A tree being cut at the mini-secretariat to make way for parking in Ludhiana on Monday.
Axed A tree being cut at the mini-secretariat to make way for parking in Ludhiana on Monday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Arvind Sharma, a “social activist”, rued the city’s green cover was fast vanishing. "Now officials are axing trees in the name of development and the days aren’t far when people would pay for seeing greenery. People visiting the mini secretariat used to sit under the shade of these trees in the sprawling lawns as there’s no designated waiting area inside or outside the building. With lots of shady trees this area used to have a green look. The city is fast turning into a concrete jungle, which is sad," he said.

However, Gursewak Singh Sangha, executive engineer of the public works department, assured: “Now that the trees have been cut, we’ll plant new saplings in the space that is left after this multilevel parking lot is built. But we would surely plant tree saplings”.

Aside from cutting down trees to make way for the parking project, a statue and the aircraft of Param Vir Chakra awardee Flt Lt Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon will also be moved to a small park near the deputy commissioner's office. The three story parking lot that will include a basement will have a capacity for 400 cars. The project is expected to take 18 months to be completed.

Vanishing green cover

In 2010, after nearly 300,000 trees and plants were felled in the district for widening National Highway-I, the state government ordered the axing of nearly 10,000 trees for construction of a Rs 400-crore expressway on the southern bypass along Sidhwan Canal. Even 1,000 'neem' and eucalyptus trees along the city’s Gill Road and in Randhir Singh Nagar were cut down.

Again last May about 900 trees were axed for the eight-laning of the Ferozepur Road. As if to “compensate” the loss, the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority planted an equal number of tree saplings in Gurdaspur.



Gardener rescues 3 from canal
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 20
Swift action and courage displayed by a gardener proved to be a blessing for three persons travelling in a Tata Safari, which fell in the Sidhwan Canal near Ayali village here this evening.

The gardener, Bhanu, who works at a farmhouse nearby, was standing on the road at the time of the incident. He immediately jumped into the canal and rescued the trio.

An eyewitness said had Bhanu not acted promptly, it would have ended in a tragedy. “The moment a white Tata Safari fell into the canal, Bhanu, who was standing on the road, jumped into the canal and pulled out all three," the eyewitness said.

It is learnt that the SUV was being driven by a man in his mid-20s. He was accompanied by two girls of the same age.

Bhanu said it seemed the driver lost control. “I am thankful to God that all three of them are safe. They thanked me and later went away in another car," he said.

Gurpreet Singh, Station House Officer (SHO) of Ladhowal, said they were still to establish the identity of the persons travelling in the SUV. “The vehicle is submerged. Their identity will be established once we get the registration number of the SUV or when the owner approaches us," he said.



Senior citizen with green cause close to heart
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 20
He has found a judicious way of spending his hard-earned money. Instead of spending on other luxuries of life, Gurdish Singh Grewal (74), has been contributing a portion of his earnings for maintaining a park in the F block of the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar area.

Since 2008, when he took up this job, Grewal, who is a practising lawyer and treasurer of an educational society, Khalsa Dewan Civil Lines, Ludhiana, he has spent around Rs 80,000 on this park, which is now thronged by area residents in large numbers.

"I had purchased a plot in this area in 2008. At that time, the land where park stands now was a vacant piece of land having wild bushes. But it was in my mind that I would get a park made on that land so that the area gives a much cleaner look," said Grewal.

Initially, he was all alone for this job, but soon other area residents also pitched in. He took up this matter with senior improvement trust officials, who got a boundary wall made, grills installed, pavements made and benches installed.

But Grewal himself got plants, grass and other trees planted in the park. He even took the help of experts from Punjab Agricultural University and for purchasing plants and trees, he went to a private nursery in Baddowal village.

"As the saplings of trees and flowers were planted, I decided to purchase an electronic grass cutter machine, which cuts grass at an even level," informed Grewal, who purchased the machine for Rs 20,000.

Then the lights were installed, two gardeners hired for a salary of Rs 3,500 per month, the walls, grills, gates painted, water pipes purchased, and other such things.

"I don't even use the government electricity for operating the machines such as grass cutters. I have purchased a long wire, which is connected to a plug inside my house and so I pay from my own pocket for running the machines. Besides this, the cost of maintaining this park comes out to be around Rs 2,000-3,000 per month, which I pay myself," Grewal said.

Now that the park has been maintained, Gurdish Singh Grewal has shown a way to many others. "If one decides of doing anything on his own, no one can stop him from doing it," said Grewal.



RTI activist sends notice to Commissioner
Use of objectionable language in a reply
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 20
RTI activist Kuldip Khaira has served a legal notice to municipal corporation (MC) Additional Commissioner MS Jaggi for using “objectionable” language against him in a reply submitted to the state government.

Khaira had sought information under the RTI Act from the MC, after which M S Jaggi submitted his reply to the government, in which he had termed him as a “habitual complainant.”

Khaira stated that he had sought information under the RTI Act regarding the under-construction group housing and flats being constructed under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Rural Mission for providing basic services to the urban poor.

Section 0.5.2 for Civil Works, mandates that payment to the contractor can’t be made unless a contractor submits, with the concerned project engineer, the proper documentary proof of procurement of the total quantity of the materials listed in “list of approved brands and makes of material,” as and when these materials are brought on the site of work.

Khaira stated that in response to the RTI application, the APIO (projects), on behalf of the executive engineer (JNNURM), had filed, an affidavit dated July 27, 2010, before the Punjab Information Commission, admitting that “no bills for the materials received at the site are sought from contractors,” while the payment is made to the contractors on the basis of CSR (Common Scheduled Rate) of the items,” said Khaira.

After getting this information, Khaira complained to the Secretary, Ministry of Urban Development, after which Vivek Nangia, director (JNNURM), Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, who instructed the Punjab Government to submit comments to the ministry at the earliest.

“The State government kept slumbering on the issue for more than seven months and didn’t submit the demanded comments to the ministry despite reminders sent by the office of the directorate, JNNURM. During the hearing on June 9, Radesh Kalra, assistant general manager, Punjab Municipal Infrastructure Development, provided a certified copy of the comments sent by the MC, in which M S Jaggi termed me as a “habitual complainant.”

He also wrote: “I am raising the issue out of proportion. These comments are defamatory in nature,” Khaira alleged.



3,117 take BSc entrance test

Ludhiana, June 20
As many as 3,117 candidates took the entrance examination for admission to four-year BSc Agriculture (Honours) programme, which was conducted by Punjab Agricultural University here today. The total number of seats in the course is 90.

“All courses in the university are witnessing a good response. For admission to BSc Agriculture (Hons), the number of applicants was overwhelming,” said Dr Baldev Singh Sohal, PAU controller of examinations.

He said it was a record of its sorts that as many as 3,580 candidates were eligible for the entrance examination, of which 3,117 students appeared in the test. PAU Registrar, Dr RK Mahey said the overwhelming response of students from all over Punjab indicated that BSc Agriculture (Hons) was one of the preferred courses among masses. — TNS



Protest by education volunteers
 Want permanent job, minimum salary of Rs 10,000
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 20
Inclusive education volunteers today took out a protest rally against the non-fulfillment of their demands. The volunteers, today, started from Ludhiana to Chandigarh and will be protesting in front of the Vidhan Sabha.

The volunteers are protesting from May 12 and are sitting in front of the mini-secretariat, but nothing has been done to fulfil their demands.

Their demanded for a permanent job and minimal pay of Rs 10,000.

Volunteers, Rajinder Syal, general secretary of the Inclusive Education Volunteers Association, said they work in government primary schools in villages.

A cluster is formed comprising different villages. We teach at this centre where disabled students from various schools come to learn moral values.

“We teach these students how to be independent in life. Apart from making them independent we also go from house-to-house in villages and make them understand the ill-effects of drugs, dowry and female foeticide,” he added.

Though volunteers are performing hard tasks and work from 8 am to 2. 30 pm, still the salary given to them is just Rs 2,500. “We demand that we should be made permanent since we are on contract and besides, our salary should also be raised to Rs 10,000 at the earliest.



Deputy CM to open police suvidha centre 

Phillaur, June 20
Additional Director General of Police (HRD & CP) SK Sharma has said that at least 78-community police suvidha centres at the subdivisional or assembly constituency levels and 35 police stations outreach centres will start functioning from Wednesday (June 22) onwards to provide various facilities to people under one roof.

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal will inaugurate one of these centres at Mohali on June 22. Senior police officers will inaugurate such centres in various parts of the state on the same day.

Though the Punjab police is determined to set up such centres at the subdivision, assembly constituencies and police station levels, only 96-community police suvidha and 80 police station outreach centres could be readied in the next two months due to the fund crunch, he added.

“Community liaison committees” are being set up in all subdivisions, districts and state level to redress the grievances and problems of the people. Replying to a question about ‘self verification’ of the documents, Sharma said it could save the people from undue harassment and wastage of time and money. When asked whether self-verification would be allowed in procedures related to the passport, the ADGP said, “No, the procedure of preparing passports will continue as the guidelines laid down by the Union home and foreign ministries.”

These centres will deal with complaints like domestic violence, legal aid, resident welfare associations’ meetings, traffic regulation committees, economic offence wings and various other schemes like de-addiction and counseling for women, he added. These will also act as victim relief centres to focus on victims’ plight, their rights, requirements and expectations. 



Get ready for unique identification cards
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 20
At least 1,500 residents from various parts of the city enrolled themselves for getting unique identification cards, the work on which was started by the district food and supplies controllers here today. The food and supplies department, Punjab government, has been given the task of making unique identification cards those residing in the state.

Rakesh Bhaskar, district food and supplies controller, said about 50 machines had been installed in the district food and supplies controller’s office, Nauria Mal School, Bharat Nagar Chowk, Government High School, Sarabha Nagar, Gill Road and Punjab Agriculture University etc.

The forms are available free of cost at the offices of the district food and supplies and enrollment centres. Bhaskar said: “The procedure is simple. Residents will have to fill a form and submit their identity proofs. Rest of the work is done by machines, which will get the fingerprints and eye-colour of a person. More and more people will start enrolling themselves within four to five days.”

The government has appointed area councillors, panchayat secretaries, gazetted officers residing in particular area (retired as well) and college and schoolteachers as “verifiers” for carrying out the drive. These persons will verify and approve the residents for getting unique identification cards. Unique identification cards will be delivered on person’s address within 20 days of filling the forms.

“Though we have received 50 machines to start with, once the work picks up 250 more machines would be used. A few private agencies have been hired to do the task by the government. The state government wants to finish the entire process by the end of September,” Bhaskar added.

Residents have welcomed the move. “No two persons will match under this process, which means a unique identity will be provided to each resident. The police will find it easy to crack many cases through these,” Manjinder Singh, a resident of the Bharat Nagar Chowk, said.



reporters’ diary
Highway becomes ramp for models

Models crossed the busy Ferozepur highway to attend media interaction for Northern India Institute of Fashion Technology (Government of Punjab) in Ludhiana. These models preferred to walk as it takes nearly 20 minutes to reach on the other side of the road. Due to the on going development projects, the stretch near mini-secretariat has become the worst bottleneck of the city. Yesterday, a truck was stuck after the road caved in.

Traffic cops clueless

The city traffic police seems to be clueless on how to deal with chaotic traffic conditions caused due to inadequate parking spaces, lack of road sense among motorists and commuters and blatant violation of traffic rules in the mega city.

Measures like painting yellow lines on major roads and commercial hubs, deployment of traffic marshals and putting up no parking signs at several places in the city, have failed to yield the desired results, which brings to fore the fact that traffic police is not only ill-equipped and poorly trained for the gigantic task, the will to deliver is also lacking. Traffic chaos is evident from even a cursory look on several problematic places like Ghumar Mandi, Kailsah Cinema Chowk, Dandi Swami Chowk, Mall Road, Fountain Chowk, Pakhowal Road, Sarabha Nagar Market, and several other locations where the commuters go through an ordeal almost every day.

Innocence amazes visitors

A friend, along with her extended family, went to have lunch at Haveli, near Mullanpur, here. She was accompanied with her three-year-old daughter, who was excited to see the ambiance, the bullock-carts, huge traditional utensils and typical Punjabi decorative items and above all the huge statues of Punjabi women and men.

On one side, the statue of renowned Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is kept and the legend is holding and playing harmonium. The little one was excited to see all these unique products. While the family was enjoying the sumptuous lunch, the three-year-old went to the singer’s statue, sat in his lap and started playing the harmonium. The visitors were delighted to see the innocence of the child that they started clicking her pictures. Her mother had a tough time to make her come down from the singer’s lap.

Umbrella girl

Gone are the days when kids used to carry huge black umbrellas to keep themselves protected from the rain. Today, they want everything stylish. Yesterday, my niece asked me to accompany her to the market, as she wanted to buy an umbrella. I took her to several shops in Ghumar Mandi, but she didn’t like a single piece, as they were, too, simple and outdated.

She asked me to take her to a mall where she could buy some stylish stuff for herself. I was really surprised that she didn’t like anything here and was curious to see her choice. As soon we went to one of the shops in a mall, she instantly selected a delicate umbrella with lady bugs printed on it and embellished with laces and beads. “This looks stylish and will add a glam quotient to my personality. No one in my class carries such outdated stuff,” she said. No doubt kids these days know how to make smart choices and are well updated with fashion trends. Now, my little umbrella girl is happy flaunting her new found passion (umbrella).

Contributed by Mohit Khanna, Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo and Manav Mander



Health workers hold protest, seek regularisation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 20
Criticising the pick-and-choose policy of the state government in regularising workers, members of the Contract Multipurpose Heath Workers Union, Punjab, deployed in different civil hospitals of the state held a protest under their president Kiranjeet Kaur at the local Civil Hospital here yesterday.

The employees who were appointed on contract in 2006 under the National Rural Health Mission by the state government alleged that the government had been biased in its process of regularisation.

The employees who were planning to gherao the residence of health and family welfare minister Satpal Gosain had to drop their plan after the health minister came to meet them at the hospital and assured them of regularising all.

The minister also asked them to meet him on June 30 in Chandigarh for an amicable solution to their problem.

Talking to TNS, Kiranjeet Kaur said: “There are 2,000 female multipurpose health workers in the state getting wages of Rs 6,900 per month. In 2008, the department appointed some of the workers against the vacant posts under “2211 head”, a sub-component of the NRHM. They came directly under the Director, Health Services, Punjab, while remaining under the Managing Director, NRHM, Punjab.

“Recently, we learnt that the Director, Health Services, Punjab, was going to regularise those workers who were deputed against the vacant posts under the ‘2211 Head’. However, these workers are junior to us. We want the government to first regularise senior workers and give them all facilities on a par with permanent employees.”

The workers further alleged that on June 14, they held a meeting with Gosain in Chandigarh, but he hardly paid heed to their demands and asked them to meet Principal Secretary (Health) Satish Chandra. “The Principal Secretary also did not listen to us, so we staged a protest yesterday,” they added.



Dalit bodies start hunger strike

Ludhiana, June 20
Irked over the state government’s failure to initiate work on the construction of a community centre after Dr BR Ambedkar, even eight months after its announcement by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, 31 activists of Dalit organisations, led by Bahujan Samaj Party secretary Ramanjit Lally, commenced an indefinite hunger strike at Jalandhar bypass chowk here today.

Charging the Punjab government with backing out of its promise, Lally said the protest was started by activists of several Dalit organisations in the city to press for the demand of construction of a community centre on land measuring one acre on a vacant piece of land of Punjab Agro Industries Corporation near the Jalandhar bypass on September 27, 2010.

During a meeting with a deputation of Dalit bodies that met the Chief Minister in Chandigarh on October 2, 2010, the latter had given an assurance that work would be initiated within next two months to construct a community centre and that the government would provide a financial assistance of Rs 1 crore for the purpose. However, no follow-up action had so far been taken in this regard, he regretted.

Taking note of widespread resentment among members of the Dalit community over the indifference of the government, a Dalit “mahapanchayat”, convened here on June 12, had decided to serve a week’s ultimatum on the administration for the commencement of work on the project, Lally added.

A memorandum on the issue was also submitted to the Deputy Commissioner thereafter, but it elicited no response, which left the Dalit bodies with no alternative but to start the agitation. — OC



Admn tries to cut corners on road safety
 Balks at installing speed breakers on accident-prone stretch
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 20
Strange are the ways of the district administration that has spent nearly Rs 50 crore for widening the Ludhiana-Jagraon highway. But, when it comes to adopting traffic safety measures it invariably falls short of funds.

The administration’s penny-pinching tactics has again came to the fore after a project to install speed breakers on a 7-kilometer accident-prone stretch of the Ludhiana-Ferozepore highway was again put off because of the “high cost” entailed.

According to an estimate by the public works department installing cat’s eyes (retro-reflective safety devices used in road marking) and delineators as speed breakers would cost about Rs 12.5 lakh. However, according to sources, the administration, unwilling to spend over Rs 2.5 lakh, was seeking to rope in a few industrialists to pump in funds for the project.

“Unfortunately a funds crunch has come in the way of installing road safety equipment. The administration has identified the blind spot and even recommended immediate construction of speed breakers, but I fear the project will be shelved for an indefinite period,” said an administrative employee.

A survey to inspect the dark spots was conducted following a meeting headed by Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari, Senior Superintendent of Police (Ludhiana-rural) Gursharan Singh and ADCP (traffic) Sajjan Singh Cheema.

The officials were of the view that the 7-kilometer stretch of the Ludhiana-Ferozepore highway from Baddowal village to Hawali near Mullahpur was considered accident-prone, as several wedding banquet halls were located in this area. Mushrooming liquor vends, residential colonies and educational institutions had also added to the chaos, they felt.

District Transport Officer Ashwani Kumar said the speed breakers would be set up a few yards away from the approach roads leading to the highway. “The speed breakers will be installed on the highway as well. This will momentarily slow down the pace of vehicles and lessen the risk of collision,” he added.

“The latest models of cars and other vehicles are driven at very high speeds. Due to high acceleration level it becomes difficult for the driver to control the wheels in emergency situation. So it was very important to identify the accident- prone spots and install warning signs and speed breakers,” said Gursharan.

Meanwhile, Tiwari admitted the project had been delayed due to a fund constraint. “The estimated cost of installing the speed breakers has been stated to be Rs 12 to Rs 13 lakh. I have asked PWD officials to revise the cost. If the cost of the project is between Rs 5 to Rs 6 lakh then we will install the speed breakers by generating money from industrialists. Else we’ll have to seek the requisite funds for the project from the ministry concerned.” 

Killer stretch

The absence of road safety measures on an accident- prone stretch of the Ludhiana-Ferozepore highway from Baddowal village to Hawali near Mullahpur has resulted in 210 mishaps from January 2010 to March 2011 in which 153 people lost their lives. Over 60 people, including children, have been crippled and 135 sustained injuries in accidents during the past 15 months



flood preparedness
DC issues notice to five for skipping meeting
 Officials told not to go on leave from July to mid-Sept
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 20
Even as the Deputy Commissioner (DC), Rahul Tewari, convened a meeting of district officials to take stock of flood preparedness here today and called for round-the-clock vigil, two executive engineers (PWD), block development officers of Samrala and Raikot and naib tehsildar of Koom Kalan skipped the meeting. Taking note of the absenteeism, the DC has issued them show-cause notices. 

Tewari stressed the need for greater vigilance against floods in the wake of the heavy pre-monsoon rain and higher water level in dams. He asked officials of all departments to desist from going on leave from July till mid-September when the threat of flood was greater. He said no official would leave station without permission during this period.

As many as 14 places have been identified in the district which are flood prone.

Officials of the engineering wings of all departments concerned have been directed to prepare a list of machinery required for rescue and repair work in case of any exigency. The Sub-divisional Magistrates in the district have also been told to convene meetings in their respective areas and deploy officials for preventive measures. Asking officials of the drainage department to ensure vigil at sensitive places, Tewari issued instructions to the food and supplies department to identify routes and access points at sensitive places so that food and other essential items could be rushed to flood-affected areas without any delay. Similarly, the health department has also been told to remain alert and keep medical teams ready in the wake of an outbreak of diseases and provide assistance to people in flooded areas. The DC urged officials of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited to appoint nodal officers to coordinate power supply related matters in flood-prone areas and inform the district administration.



Coolest June in five years
 Max temp around 10 °C below normal
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 20
June, 2011, has been the coolest month in the past five years. The data available with the meteorological department, Chandigarh, revealed that this year’s June was the coolest month since 2006-07.

In the next 24 hours, rain and thundershowers at several places were also expected in the region. The minimum and maximum temperatures had come down to about 8-10 degrees below normal.

Surinder Paul, director weather department, Chandigarh, told Ludhiana Tribune that this year, temperature patters had definitely changed. June, this year, was much cooler as compared to previous few years when maximum temperatures hovered around 44 degrees Celsius or even more on certain days. But this time, June was the coolest. Both temperatures - maximum and minimum - had come down to almost 8-10 degrees below normal.

“The trends are different in terms of temperatures. But the length of the days is almost similar as compared to the previous years. This time in June, the average temperature is hovering around 30-32 degrees Celsius, while in June 2007-10, average maximum temperature hovered abound 40-42 degrees Celsius. There is much respite from the scorching heat this June. The minimum temperature has also seen a decline,” said Paul.

Even the city residents have expressed great relief from the sweltering heat in June this year. Raghav Sharma, working at a multinational bank, said in the starting of June, he planned holidays with the family to any hill station to escape the scorching heat, but he postponed the holidays, as the weather was “pleasant” in the city.

“For the past three to four days, it has been raining here with pleasant cool breeze blowing. At times, we don’t even find the need to switch on air conditioners. This is certainly the coolest June in all these years,” he said.



250 patients examined at medical camp
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, June 20
Desh Bhagat Ayurvedic College and Hospital, Mandi Gobindgarh, organised a free medical check-up camp at Kumbh village, near here, today.

College principal Dr Kanwaljit Singh Ahuja headed the team of doctors and examined 250 patients and provided them medicines free of cost.

Most of the patients were suffering from stomach disorders, hypertension, leucorrhea, low eye vision, skin disorders and anaemia, the principal said.



Ludhiana Scan
Programme on financial development

MSME Development Institute organised a five-day management development programme on financial management. A total of 29 entrepreneurs attended the programme and certificates were awarded to participants by SS Dhillon, director of the institute. The programme was organised in collaboration with Offset Printers’ Association. AK Gupta, chief manager, Punjab National Bank (PNB), Credit Circle Office, Ludhiana, talked about various schemes of PNB for the benefit of MSE circle. He also announced that entrepreneurs could get benefit from the CGT-MSE scheme of the PNB for non-collateral loan upto Rs 1 crore. SS Bedi, assistant director (hosiery) and co-coordinator of the programme informed about the need of organising such programmes for the benefit of the entrepreneurs. He said during the programme, information was provided on balance sheet, trading account, profit and loss statement, credit and creditors, preparation of project report, working capital and working cycles. Besides, entrepreneurs were also told about various government schemes.

Protest by Shiv Sena activists

Raising voice Members of the Shiv Sena protest against an alleged scam in the office of the ADC (Development) in Ludhiana on Monday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Members of Shiv Sena today held a protest against the scam in ADC development office. Rajiv Tandon, party in charge said fund allocated under 11 schemes by the government were misused in ADC (D) office. “Instead of using this amount for development, they distributed it among themselves. In this scam Varinder Kumar has been found guilty. We fail to understand why no action was taken against senior officials as Varinder, alone can’t have access to the amount under these schemes,” he added.

Presentation on cost mgmt

The annual general body meeting of the Ludhiana Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association was held under the chairmanship of its president Narinder Singh. General secretary Amarjit Singh Sagar introduced the new governing body, recently elected by the executive committee. Dr YP Sachdeva, head of department of management, PAU, gave a presentation on cost management. Vishav Bandhu, general manager, District Industries Centre, said machine tool cluster was the only one in Punjab, which was functioning at the desired time frame. — TNS



Kinapping: Cop shields wife, parades 12 women in defence
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 20
The alleged kidnapping and beating case of Amarjeet Kaur took a dramatic turn today with head constable, Malkit Singh, against whose wife allegations were levelled by the former, paraded more than 12 women, who had lent money to Amarjeet Kaur, in front of media.

According to Malkit Singh, Amarjeet Kaur (45) had come to meet his wife, Pinder Kaur, about three months ago. She told her that her (Amarjeet Kaur) husband had been afflicted with tuberculosis (TB) and she needed money for his treatment. Pinder lent Rs 7,000 to Amarjeet Kaur on sympathetic grounds, who promised to return the money by May 31. When his wife went to Amarjeet’s house to seek money, the latter said she was going to her sister’s house to get the money.

“She was available on telephone till 1.30 am. After that Amarjeet Kaur’s number remained busy till 4 am. She was regularly talking to someone,” Malkit Singh alleged. Meanwhile, Hardip Kaur, another woman present there, said Amarjeet had borrowed Rs 42,000 from her for constructing the house. “Amarjeet had promised to return the money but it has not been returned to date,” Hardeep Kaur added. 



Squall damages Jarkhar stadium
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, June 20
Squall followed by heavy rain that swept the region early Saturday morning caused heavy destruction at the Mata Sahib Kaur Stadium of Jarkhar village on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road, around 15 km from here.

Sheds at the main podium as well as those at the newly built-up AstroTurf stadium were blown away in the gust of wind. The wall on the rear side of the main stage was completely damaged. Besides, a major portion of the Sarpanch Major Singh Memorial Block also caved in, resulting in a loss of lakhs of rupees.

According to Jagroop Singh Jarkhar, chief organiser of the Jarkhar Hockey Academy, no one was hurt in the squall.

Sarpanch Dupinder Singh and academy president Paramjit Singh said though the weather had caused immense destruction, the ongoing Prithipal Singh Six-a-Side Hockey Festival would go on uninterrupted, as the floodlights at the stadium were safe and working.

Meanwhile, Punjab Cabinet Minister Hira Singh Gabria, zila parishad chairman Manpreet Singh Ayali, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar and SGPC member Gurmail Singh Sangowal have expressed concern over the damage to the stadium. They have assured assistance for its reconstruction.



Rajinder, Pushpa muscle to the top
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 20
Rajinder Kumar Mehndi of Punjab and L Pushpa Rani Devi from Manipur got the better of their respective competitors to emerge champion of champions in the men and women’s sections, respectively, in the 35h Arm Wrestling Championship that concluded at Nehru Sidhant Kendra here last evening.

Vashid Hussain from Punjab in the boys’ section and S Aruna of Manipur in the girls’ section bagged the top honours. Kerala wrapped up the men’s team championship while Punjab secured second place. Manipur participants proved their mettle by bagging team championship in the women’s section leaving Mizoram behind on the second spot.

In the handicap category, Chandan Kumar Behera was named the champion of champions.

Other results: Men (110kg): 1 Sameer VT (Kerala), 2 Snibu Ravi (Kerala) and 3 Nilim Akash Medhi (Assam). Men (100kg): 1 Shaju AV (Kerala), 2 Sunit Bijay Kashyap (Assam) and 3 Baldev Singh (Punjab). Men (+110kg): 1 Ismail TS (Tamil Nadu), 2 Jasvinder Singh (Assam) and 3 Vinod Kumar (Punjab). Boys (50kg): 1 Sajo Johnson (Kerala), 2 Girdari Lal (Punjab) and 3 Vinod Kumar (Delhi). Boys (55kg): 1 Babu Nayak (Orissa), 2 Ajit PR (Kerala) and 3 Eden Tharam (Mizoram). Girls (45kg): 1 A Parmila Devi (Manipur), 2 L Ranjita Devi and 3 Judy Lalrin (Mizoram). Kila Raipur MLA Jassi Khangura gave away prizes to the winners. Over 500 participants in different age and weight categories competed in the championship.



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