L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


bed crunch at maternity ward of Civil Hospital
Pregnant, postpartum women forced to share bed
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
Due to the acute shortage of beds in the maternity ward of the city’s Civil Hospital, almost each bed is shared by two pregnant or postpartum women along with their infants. The ward reportedly has about nine beds though over 18 to 20 patients at an advanced stage of pregnancy or near delivery visit the hospital every day.

Civil Surgeon Dr HS Bali, who visited the hospital on Thursday to distribute Rs 1,000 cheques to women who had undergone delivery under the Mata Kaushalya Yojna scheme, observed virtually every bed was being shared by two patents with newborn babies also lying on the bed. He noticed patients’ attendants had kept the latter’s belongings either under the beds or on the floor in a corner since there were no closets.

When contacted Bali said: “Sometimes the hospital gets more patients than it can handle and faces a shortage of beds in the maternity ward. However, this problem will soon be resolved."


Riding with muffled face can land you in a spot!
Traffic police launches drive
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
Riding a motorcycle or scooter with a muffled face might land you in a soup. Following several incidents of snatching, the police has launched a drive to stop youths riding a motorcycle with their faces covered.

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP-Traffic) Sajjan Singh Cheema said: “We have launched a drive to check the credentials of youths found riding a bike with a muffled face. The drive has been launched purely for security purposes.”

Girls, who cover their faces with cloth, will also be under the scanner. They would have to show their documents to traffic policemen.

However, the order has not gone down well with the youth. “We cover our faces to protect ourselves from dust, pollution and scorching heat,” some youths said.

“Officers issue orders sitting in their air-conditioned offices. We are the ones to suffer the dust and pollution. We cover our faces to protect ourselves from the sun and not for committing some illegal activity. Now the traffic police will have another reason to challan us,” said Sukhmandeep Singh, a student.

Traffic experts, however, have appreciated the move. They feel that such steps will create traffic awareness among residents. Traffic experts Kamaljit Soi and Darshan Arora said the stringent steps taken by the police would not only decrease incidents of snatching, but also force the youth to wear helmet. “A good quality helmet also protects from dust and pollution. Youngsters don’t have to cover their face,” said Soi.



Mata Kaushalya Yojna
Finally, health dept distributes cheques
Anupam Bhagria

Ludhiana, June 23
The district health department seems to have finally woken up from slumber. Today, it distributed cheques for Rs 1,000 each under “Mata Kaushalya Yojna” to four women who underwent deliveries in the civil hospital on Wednesday.

The state health department launched this scheme on June 20. Any woman who will deliver a child at a government hospital will be honored with a cheque for Rs 1, 000. But, the local civil hospital failed to start the scheme and distribute the cheques till June 22. This issue was highlighted by The Tribune in it June 22 edition titled “Mata Kaushalya yojna alive but not kicking”.

Ludhiana Civil Surgeon Dr HS Bali said: “We have distributed these cheques for the first time. We will try to make public aware of this project.”

The Civil Surgeon added, “As the scheme has been implemented from April 1, so we will handover the cheque for Rs 1,000S each to all those who underwent delivery at the civil hospital.”



Metro corridors can’t meet future needs: Experts
Say Mullanpur, Kohara should have been included
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
After the Punjab Cabinet gave its approval for the metro rail project for the city, experts feel that though the two proposed corridors will serve the purpose for now, the government should have looked ahead and considered the needs that would arise after 20 years before coming up with such a project.

They feel that the corridors should have been extended by some more kilometres in order to benefit people living in the rural areas.

“Besides, two major roads of the city — Pakhowal Road and Hambran Road — have been ignored. A large number of people use these roads daily and traffic congestion is widely witnessed on these roads. I don’t understand why Ferozepur Road was picked up for constructing one of the corridors as it is already wide,” said Sanjay Goel, a city-based architect.

He said the government was already widening Ferozepur Road, which was a commercial area. “The middle class, which will ultimately use the metro, lives on Hambran Road, Pakhowal Road and other such areas, some of which fall along either of the two corridors. When the Ludhiana City Centre project begins, traffic congestion on Pakhowal Road will increase further,” he said.

Dr SP Singh, former Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, shares similar views. “The metro rail service in Delhi had to be extended till Noida, Gurgaon and other neighbouring cities. The city corridor, which will start from Ayali village, should have been extended till Mullanpur. The BBMB power house on Chandigarh Road should have been stretched till Kohara,” he said.

“Ferozepur Road is already very wide. The government should have focused on other roads which need such projects,” he added.

Vital facts

  • The metro will be 29 km long, with the corridors measuring 15.79 km and 13.03 km
  • 11.5 km will be underground
  • Corridor I will have four underground stations out of a total of 14 while Corridor II will have seven underground stations out of 13
  • Corridors will be elevated as the metro will run nearly 22 ft above the ground
  • The per km cost for construction will be Rs 175 crore for the elevated track and Rs 325 crore for the underground one. The average cost per km will be around Rs 300 crore



Teenager handcuffed, detained in New York
City-based uncle wants Indian govt to intervene
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
A city-based man, who holds the record for donating blood umpteen times, is miffed with the New York police for arresting and handcuffing his nephew on June 21. The teenager was arrested while he was trying to rescue his mother from a Chinese, who harassed and spitted on her in the Flushing area of Queens in the USA.

Sudhir Mudgal, who has donated blood 106 times, was shocked that his 17-year-old Indian- American nephew Sorab Thukral was kept under detention for four hours, was fingerprinted and released after a US-based social activist intervened.

In a clarion call to the Indian consulate in the USA, Mudgal has urged that the matter be taken up with the US authorities, as the teenager was upset over being treated shabbily by the police. “‘We keep disparaging our police, but look at the way they have treated a minor in the USA. He was handcuffed and arrested for no fault of his,” Mudgal added.

While narrating the incident to The Tribune over the phone from the USA, Sushma Thukral, Sorab’s mother, said a pedestrian of Chinese origin came in front of her car when she was driving on the Kissena Boulevard-Beach Avenue intersection and refused to move.

‘‘I waited for a few minutes and then honked at him to move. The Chinese man came near me, spit on my face and abused me,” said Sushma, who immigrated to the USA 16 years ago and runs Asian Foods store in Flushing, a pre-dominant Chinese neighborhood.

Sorab, who was seated beside her, got down from the car after her mother stopped it in a sidewalk near her store.

“Since it is predominantly a Chinese area, Sorab got scared of a backlash and started downing the shutters using an iron rod. Meanwhile, Sushma informed the police. Shockingly, the police also took Sorab along with the Chinese pedestrian away as the latter complained that Sorab attempted to hit him. All this happened even as Sorab pleaded not guilty,” she said.

The teenager remained in custody for over four hours and was released only at the intervention of James J Trikas, vice-president, Democratic Club of Flushing and a community activist.

“He is a law abiding citizen, but was treated like a criminal,” said his uncle, Sudhir, who is knocking at the doors of various leaders to take up his case with the US government.



MC officials to inspect Budha Nullah
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
In wake of the upcoming monsoon season, the top Municipal Corporation (MC) brass, led by MC Commissioner A K Sinha will be taking a round of the Budha Nullah tomorrow.

A special meeting in this regard has already been scheduled for tomorrow. The meeting will be held at the MC Commissioner’s office.

During the monsoon season, it is seen that due to throwing of garbage in Budha Nullah, the water body gets clogged and choked from various points and sometimes it even overflows.

During every monsoon season, it is seen that the nullah overflows. The drainage department of the Municipal Corporation is always accused of not desilting the nullah on time, which results in such incidents.

Even in July last year, the Budha Nullah had over flown from one point and the water had accumulated in areas along the Tajpur road.

People living along the nullah complain that when the monsoon season starts, it brings a lot of vegetation and other such things along with the water. “That is why, such things get clogged under the bridges on the nullah that result in overflow,” said a resident.

It is learnt that there are 22 small bridges, along the Budha Nullah, within the city limits due to which residents had to face a flood-like situation with the onset of monsoon soon.

In June 2009, the MC had started a cleanliness drive, but cleaned only 14 km stretch within the MC limits, while rest of the 17 km stretch was left undone despite the fact that drain was chocked completely.

Residents of the areas along the nullah rue that it’s the same story every year. They alleged that the authorities are least bothered about its proper cleaning, though it overflows year after year.

MC Commissioner AK Sinha said: “He had called for a meeting of all the officials concerned tomorrow. After the meeting, I will take a round of the nullah and will see that works such as desilting, strengthening of banks and cleaning are going on as per schedule.”



Protest rally by employees in support of demands
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 23
Class III and IV government employees organised a rally to highlight the anti-employees policies of the government under the banner of Employees’ Joint Action Committee and Punjab State Subordinate Services Federation (PSSSF), as also focus on their pending demands at the mini secretariat here yesterday.

The rally also marked the conclusion of chain hunger strike by five members of the action committee.

Speakers at the rally, including Gurmel Singh Maldey, Harpal Singh Dago, Charan Singh Sarabha, Bhan Singh Mansooran and Pardeep Kumar slammed the state government for turning a blind eye to the burning demands like removal of anomalies in recommendations of pay commission, expansion of pay band, implementation of revised formula for promotion and restoration of increment at the rate of 4 per cent.

Reiterating other demands, the trade union leaders stressed for grant of 15 per cent house rent allowance in notified towns also on the pattern of rural areas, promotion of Class IV employees to Class III, revival of old time scale of 4-9-14, regularisation of contractual employees and withdrawal of circular letter dated April 5, 2011 in this connection.

They further called for regular recruitment of Asha workers, midday meal workers, daily paid workers in forest department, part time workers in schools, computer operators working in societies, zila parishads, suvidha centres, excise and taxation, revenue departments as also in the National Rural Health Mission.

Emphasising the need to address the grievances of the employees on priority basis, the PSSSF functionaries asked the government to fill up all Class III and IV vacant posts, recruit teachers in government schools and ensure that already over burdened employees were not made to do any work other than their duty.



Hoax call of bus falling into canal keeps police on toes
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, June 23
A hoax call regarding a bus falling into the Abohar branch canal near Akhara village on Raikot road kept the police officials on their toes for several hours.

Soon after receiving the call, a large number of policemen, including some senior police officials reached the spot and started the investigation. Besides, some officials from health department also reached the spot with ambulances. But the police and health department officials found nothing there.

The police remained on the canal bridge for more than two hours to look for the bus, but they didn’t find anything there.

Besides, some nearby shopkeepers also denied of having any information regarding a bus falling into the canal following which the police went back.

In the meantime, this news spread in the area and a large number of people from Jagraon and surrounding areas also started gathering on the spot resulting in a traffic jam on both the sides of the bridge.

Meanwhile, Jagraon city SHO Inderjit Singh said the police was trying to trace the person, who had made the hoax call.

It is learnt that the hoax call was not made from any local number. Instead, it was made by someone from Canada. Moreover, the person who made this call also informed the police that there were more than 50 passengers in the bus that fell into the canal.

SPD Ludhiana (rural) police Paramjit Singh Goraya said the hoax call was received from a Canada number. “The police is trying to trace the person. Besides, we are also trying to find out the exact motive behind the call,” he added.



Govt relaxes norms for 1984 riot-hit families
Eligible ones to get red cards on production of proof
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 23
In a significant decision, the Punjab government has lifted the ban on issuance of red cards to eligible victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots, while also granting yet another opportunity to them to get their applications processed on production of required documentary evidence.

A circular sent to all deputy commissioners by the Revenue, Resettlement and Disaster Management Department states that in an amendment to existing instructions with regard to issuing red cards to victims of 1984 riot victims, it has been decided to continue the process. The offices of respective deputy commissioners should accept fresh applications and issue red cards to eligible persons if they fulfill the conditions laid down for this purpose.

The government has further directed the deputy commissioners not to link the fresh applications for red cards with the resettlement grant.

Surjit Singh, president, Dangapeerit Welfare Society, told media persons today that the state government had also made it clear that an opportunity be given to all eligible riot victims to get their pending applications for issuing red cards processed after providing required documents. The deputy commissioners had also been directed to even reconsider the rejected applications if the applicants were able to provide eligibility proofs.

Expressing their gratitude to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for accepting a just demand of the thousands of riot-affected families, Surjit Singh and other functionaries of the society also warned the government officials to scrupulously carry out the directions.

Pointing an accusing finger towards the senior officials of Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority, he said they had failed to extend the intended relief to the riot victims with the result that a large number of eligible applicants could not avail the central resettlement grant and other benefits.

In an apparent bid to distance himself from the elements charged with unlawfully occupying vacant flats and other government properties in the city, Surjit Singh said a few self-styled leaders had unsuccessfully tried to take possessions of PUDA flats in Dugri Phase II. “They ought to desist from their nefarious activities failing which the body of riot victims will take stern action against them,” he warned.



3 suicides in one day
Our Correspondent

Samrala, June 23
It was a day of suicides here when three suicides were reported in the past 24 hours, out of which two were students, including a girl who committed suicide due to failure in examination.

In the first incident, Munish Singla, a student of BSC (IT), who was a resident of Khamano, consumed some poisonous substance after he failed in examination. He was rushed to CMC, Ludhiana, but he died on the way near Samrala last night.

He was also running a shop at Samrala. The body was handed over to his guardians after the autopsy.

In another incident, a girl student of Bardhalan village, Class X, committed suicide after she failed in exams.

She was taken to a hospital in Ludhiana but she died. The body was handed over to his guardians after conducting the post-mortem at Samrala Civil Hospital.

No case was registered in this regard. Another person Jagdeep Singh (30) of Nagra village, died after he consumed some poisonous substance by chance.



Spreading awareness on green environment
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 23
Dr Rajwant Singh, president of “EcoSikh”, an NGO working with UN and with other international bodies on issues related to climate change and nature preservation from Washington, is on a three-week visit to Punjab.

He plans to meet prominent Sikh political and religious leaders and conduct several consultative sessions and planning exercises with various organisations to focus on Punjab’s current environmental issues.

He intends to launch “green gurdwara campaign” during his visit to involve religious institutes and members of public for environment consciousness.

He said: “Besides environmental issues, the NGO provides scholarships to the needy students for higher education. This body has funded over 1,800 scholarships to students in the North.”

An environmentalist to the core, Dr Rajwant stressed upon the need for a clean, green and safe environment.



4 PAU pupils trained in Moscow varsity
Students’ exchange programme
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
Four students, namely Manpreet Singh, Angpal Singh Virk, Kanav Sehgal and Gagandeep Cheetu, from the College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology (COAE&T), Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), are undergoing practical training at the Moscow State University of Environmental Engineering (MSUEE), Moscow, from June 19 to July 3.

Dr PPS Lubana, dean, COAE&T, said the visit had been planned under the students’ exchange programme as per the memorandum of understanding signed between PAU and MSUEE for the students pursuing agricultural engineering at the agricultural university.

He told Dr Sarabjit Singh was the in charge of the group, whereas Dr Satish Kumar Gupta, in charge of training unit, had coordinated the visit with A Sorokin, vice-rector, MSUEE, Moscow.

Highlighting that such international linkages would help the students in enhancing their professional skills, Dr Lubana said the students would be imparted practical training in the discipline of agriculture engineering in Russia.



Industrialists discuss need for safe environment
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
Leaders of all major industries and business houses of Ludhiana had an interactive session on environment and made a commitment to alter ways to contain environmental degradation and to promote green action.

Dr Rajwant Singh, president of EcoSikh from Washington, was also present during a seminar on “Individual and social contribution to safe environment” by the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU).

Dr Rajwant Singh emphasised the need for a clean, green and safe environment, which is important for a sustainable future of Punjab.

Dr Singh also emphasised on increasing the awareness of environmental issues in communities through education programmes and proper provision for waste reduction and recycling. Renewable or “greener” energy was also discussed.

Avtar Singh, general secretary, CICU, highlighted that a lot of environmental consciousness can be seen in Ludhiana industries and business and they always welcome new ideas. Every individual should make a pledge that they will try to save the environment than to damage it. This will make Ludhiana a better place for all of us to live in.

Upkar Singh Ahuja, joint secretary, CICU, who organised the event jointly with Ranjodh Singh, CEO, GS Radiators, said we understood that water was our generational necessity and we stood for water conservation via rainwater harvesting schemes, but there was a lot of potential to achieve and to make Punjab sustainable for future.



Ludhiana scan

Footwear launched

Timberland, a footwear and apparel brand, has come up with “Repel Wet Series”. Timberland has incorporated the ion-mask technology along their bionic canvas to launch “Repel Wet” series of footwear and apparel. — TNS

Healing mantras

Connect today launched “Mantras”, a new value added service to add to its rich VAS portfolio. This offer is a deliberate initiative from Connect to help bring holistic well-being to the society. Connect “Mantras” is designed to bring peace and well-being to the users. Depending on the purpose, a user may choose from a variety of mantras such as mantras for prosperity, mantras for peace, mantras for good luck, mantras for better health, mantras for better relations, healing mantras, mantras for better education and navgrah mantras. — TNS

SMS health packs

Bharti Airtel today announced the launch of its 14 SMS-based health packs that will provide subscribers with information and content on a variety of health related topics, thereby giving them daily access to tips to lead a healthier life. Airtel’s SMS-based health packs are available in several categories relevant for customers and priced at Rs 30 per month or Re 1 per day. To subscribe, Airtel mobile customers can SMS “Health” to 54444 (toll free) to select a desired pack and start receiving daily updates towards a healthier lifestyle. — TNS

Protest by bank employees

On the call given by the United Forum of Bank Unions, All-India Bank Employees’ Association will observe a one-day strike on July 7 to protest against various issues, including privatisation of public sector banks, reduction of government equity in public sector banks, merger of associate banks with State Bank of India, unrestricted entry of foreign capital in banking sector. Punjab Bank Employees’ Federation will hold a demonstration in this regard in front of the Punjab National Bank, Industrial Area, on July 7. — TNS

One-way traffic

One-way traffic imposed by Ludhiana traffic police received an overwhelming response from the residents and daily commuters of Green Park extension. Traffic chaos in the locality has come to an end and the scenario has changed to driving comfort. The decision of the enforcement of one-way traffic at Prince Hostel Lane by Ludhiana Traffic Police has been welcomed by daily commuters living in the adjoining localities, including Tagore Nagar, Kitchloo Nagar and Rishi Nagar.

An independent survey carried out by residents shows that one-way traffic has been appreciated by more than 90 per cent commuters. Residents hope that this may be a beginning of the new era. It has been observed that a little thing has gone a long way in solving such a problem and saving time for motorists. — TNS

Sewing machine common brand

To compete with the popular 5550 sewing machine model used by textile and hosiery industry, the sewing machine cluster will be launching its common brand. The common brand will give direct competition to the Chinese 5550 model. For decades, the local industry is manufacturing 15ND model. With the technology upgradation the new common brand will help the sewing machine industry to rise out of slumber.

The common brand will be developed at common brand development cluster at Raikot. — TNS

Tata Venture launched

Tata Motors today announced the launch of Tata Venture in Ludhiana. Tata Venture is a multi-purpose vehicle with the footprint and maneuverability of a hatchback car, but the interior space of a utility car.

Less than four meter long Tata Venture can accommodate eight passengers in three front facing rows and has ample space luggage as well.

It is powered by a 1.4 litre turbo diesel engine, delivering 71 PS power. It will be available in five, seven and eight seater options. It is priced between Rs 4.16 lakh and Rs 5/18. — TNS

Dealership award

JAGRAON: The local dealer of Hero Honda two-wheelers AS Automobiles has been awarded with the best dealership award by the company for its valuable contribution in increasing the sales of the company. According to sources in company, the company will soon launch a new motorcycle model. Zonal manager Ranjan Mittal, assistant zonal manager Kamal Kumar, manager services Sunil Verma, senior area manager (sale) Gurwinder Singh Rana and area manager services Amit Bhatt were also present. — OC

63 injured in separate accidents

A total of 63, including 45 pilgrims sustained injuries in two separate road mishaps at Phillaur sub-division on Thursday. In the first accident, 45 pilgrims were injured when a Tata-407, carrying them from Mazara Dhingrian to Dera Jhandi Peer Kandiana, overturned near Masani village.

The accident occurred when the driver lost his control after bursting of one of the tires of the vehicle. The injured were admitted to hospitals of nearby villages, including Apra, Mukandpur, Rehpa, Phillaur, Nawanshahar and Ludhiana. — OC

18 hurt in bus mishap

In another mishap, more than 18 bus passengers, including five women and two children sustained injuries when a Ludhiana-bound private bus overturned near Goraya on the national highway on Thursday. The accident occurred when the bus driver tried to overtake and lost his control. The injured were admitted to private hospitals of Goraya, the police said. — OC



MCom entrance test on July 17
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
SCD Government College, Ludhiana, will hold an entrance test for admission to MCom business innovations (a UGC innovative programme) on July 17 here.

While giving details of the programme, college principal Jasbir Kaur Makkar said prospectus-cum-application form for entrance examination will be available at the college from June 27 and forms can be submitted till July 7.

She said Masters’ in commerce (business innovations) programme is designed for students, who want to broaden their knowledge of business.

After passing the course, students will not only be eligible to teach commerce and management courses, but will also serve the purpose of industry that requires efficient human resources to manage different functional areas of management.

Makkar said M Com business innovations programme is a two-year postgraduate degree programme divided in four semesters, which is designed in consultation with industry experts.

The result of the entrance test will be declared on July 20. Admission counselling will be done on July 21.

Details about the programme have also been put on the college website.



‘Free-ride’ gang on the prowl again?
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, June 23
The “free ride” gang comprising women robbers is active again. It has been stalking the elderly and robs them of their jewellery after offering them a ride.

The gang, which remained underground for nearly a month, surfaced again yesterday when it robbed a woman near Atam Nagar on the pretext of offering her a ride.

The police, however, maintains that the gang was recently busted by the Phillaur police and the latest incident might be the handiwork of members of the gang who are on the run.

Station House Officer (Phillaur) Harjinder Singh said the gang was responsible for several incidents of snatching across the state.


  • April 21: Harbhajan Kaur, an elderly resident of Model Town, robbed of her gold jewellery after she was “forced” to sit in a car by the gang claiming to be her relatives
  • April 29: Another elderly woman was robbed of a gold bangle valued at Rs 50,000 in the Model Town area. She was persuaded to take a ride in a car
  • May 3: Sneh Lata Singla and her husband Satpal (61) of Bhattian village were robbed of a gold bangle near the Jalandhar bypass
  • May 5: 70-year-old Jaswant Kaur of Dugri was robbed near a gurdwara
  • June 23: The gang snatched two bangles from a woman on the pretext of offering her lift at Atam Nagar



Misleading signboard near Bharat Nagar Chowk upsets residents
Passport seva kendra projected as regional passport office
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
City residents are miffed with the municipal corporation for wrongly mentioning passport seva kendra as the regional passport office in a signboard near the Bharat Nagar Chowk. The regional passport office is actually situated in Chandigarh and Jalandhar. “It’s like calling a police station, police commissioner’s office,” said Balwant Singh Saini, a resident of Punjab Mata Nagar.

“Ever since the passport seva Kendra started functioning, the signboard had been projecting the kendra as the regional passport office. A large number of people from rural areas still feel that the regional passport office is in Ludhiana,” said Saini.

Municipal Commissioner AK Sinha promised to get the direction board corrected at the earliest.



LPG Price Hike
BSNL union stages protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
The BSNL Employees’ Union today held a demonstration in front of the General Manager (Telecom) office at the Bharat Nagar Chowk to protest against the hike in petrol prices and the government’s move to hike the prices of diesel, kerosene and LPG.

Balwinder Singh, district secretary, BSNL Employees’ Union, Ludhiana said the hike in prices of essential commodities had made the lives of the poor miserable. The hike in prices of petrol and diesel will further worsen the common man’s condition.

A massive rally was also taken out in front of the State Bank of Patiala’s head office by AITUC, INTUC, CITU and other trade unions. The protesters blocked the road for two hours.

NK Gaur, vice-president, AIBEA, urged the Central government to withdraw the recent hike in petrol prices and also urged the Punjab government to reduce the VAT levied on petrol.

Nirmal Singh Dhaliwal, state president, AITUC, said all Central Trade Unions today organised a countrywide “chakka jam” to protest against the LPG policies, violations of labour laws, abolishing of contractual and outsourcing system and repression of trade unions.



Book on kitchen garden out
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
His passion for photography made him a writer. Amarjeet Singh Bath, a city-based author, has recently come up with revised edition of his book Indian Garden Flowers-a guide to home gardeners. First edition of the book was published in 2007. The readers liked it a lot. In the revised edition I have incorporated all that feedback.”

After completing his post graduation in public administration from Panjab University, Chandigarh, Amarjeet Singh Bath served as the short service commission officer in the Armoured Corps (VII cavalry) of the Army. He said, “ I love taking photographs of flowers, natural scenes etc. People told me to publish my photographs in a book form. I collected all the information about seasonal flowers and presented it in a form of the book. I have given tips about seasonal flowers to a home gardener in it.”

Bath, who has also exhibited his photographs by holding exhibitions all over Punjab, said, “My next book will be published by September. It’s on cultural heritage of Punjab.”



PSPCL promises a cool summer this time
Infrastructure upgraded, distribution network strengthened
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 23
Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has made elaborate arrangements to provide uninterrupted power supply to city residents during the peak summer season, all with upgradation of infrastructure and distribution network, as well as strengthening of the fault rectification mechanism. At the same time, eight-hour supply is also being provided to farmers for the paddy season.

Claiming this here today, the chief engineer (central zone), KL Sharma, said there was no shortage of power. “At the local level, we have strengthened the supply and distribution network. New substations have been set up and the existing ones have been upgraded. The redistribution of load has been carried out on overloaded transformers,” he said.

He said the PSPCL had set up more complaint centres in City East and City West circles at the divisional levels for immediate booking of complaints and rectification of fault in supply.

“In addition, a centralised control room has been set up for those complaints which are not attended to within two hours of booking. Such consumers can contact the central control room at phone numbers 9646114703 and 0161-2450689,” he said.



Despite MC claims, many councillors still to get foggers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
Notwithstanding civic officials’ assertions that handheld fogging machines procured by the municipal corporation last April had been distributed to all city councillors, the reality appears to be otherwise. A random check by The Tribune revealed many councillors have yet to get the machines despite repeated requests.

Gurpreet Singh Gogi, Congress party councillor from ward no 53, said he had not got a fogging machine despite several reminders and requests to civic officials. "I fail to understand as to why they aren’t distributing the machines despite the fact that my area requires fogging as soon as possible," he added.

Jaspal Singh Sandhu, councillor from ward no 62, confirmed he had not been given a fogging machine yet. "I’ve been told it would take another couple of days for MC officials to distribute the machines," he said. Another councillor, Tanvir Singh Dhaliwal, from ward no 59, also said he had not received a machine till date.

MC Health officer Charanjit Uppal stated the civic body had begun distributing the fogging machines and all councillors would get one soon.



Safai Karamcharis stage protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
Safai karamcharis, who are working on contractual basis, staged a protest at the local civil hospital. They were demanding hike in their wages. Bhagwati Parsad, one of the safai karamcharis, said, “We get only Rs 2,300 per month as salary. And, it becomes difficult for us to make both ends meet.” Among others who joined the protest included Rajpal, Charanjeet Kaur, Karamjit kaur, Akash and Vishal.

Dr HS Bali, Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, promised to take up their issue with higher authorities.



Dr Sooch reinstated
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
Senior Medical Officer Dr US Sooch, who was under suspension since June 9 by the health department, was reinstated today. Dr Sooch was placed under suspension for the unhygienic conditions prevailing on the premises of the civil hospital.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Satpal Gosain said: “Dr Sooch has been reinstated on the compassionate ground as his retirement is due on June 30.”

Dr Sooch said: “I am thankful to the health minister for reinstating me.”

Minister for health and family welfare Satpal Gosain had on May 27 inspected the civil hospital after The Tribune had highlighted the plight of patients and unhygienic conditions prevailing in the hospital. Following this, Gosain asked SMOs of Samrala and Machhiwara to probe into the matter. Dr Sooch was put under suspension on June 9. He wasn’t issued any show cause notice or charge sheeted on the basis of an inquiry report.



Man stabbed to death
Our Correspondent

Samrala, June 23
Three persons stabbed a farmer in the chest with a sharp-edged weapon last night. The man has been identified as Darshan Singh, a resident of Balion village, and a farmer by profession.

The three suspects knocked at the door of Darshan Singh’s house. Harjinder Singh (36), Darshan Singh’s son, who was also at home opened the door. As soon as he came out three persons waiting outside the house stabbed him in the chest with the sharp-edged weapon.

Harjinder Singh cried for help. His uncle, who was at some distance tried to stop the attackers, but they escaped on a motorcycle. Family members and a few villagers took Harjinder Singh, who had sustained serious injuries to the Civil Hospital but doctors declared him brought dead.

The Samrala police has registered a case under Sections 302, 452, 506 and 34 of the IPC against Gurvinder Singh, Partap Singh and Parduman Singh of the same village in this regard.

Personal enmity is said to be the reason behind Harjinder’s murder. The police has launched a manhunt to nab these accused.



Kingpin of ‘Bhattian burnt alive’ case held
Our Correspondent

Khanna, June 23
After toiling hard for about two months, the police claimed to have arrested the kingpin of the “Bhattian burnt alive” case Jeet Khan Goria.

He was absconding after the heinous crime in which a man Som Singh Bhatti and a woman Manjit Kaur were set on fire by pouring kerosene on them.

Som Singh Bhatti was rushed to the PGI in a serious condition, but he succumbed to his injuries on April 28, whereas Manjit is still fighting for life in the hospital.

A case was registered in this regard against Jeet and some other persons under Sections 302, 307, 148 and 149 of the IPC, but Jeet was eluding his arrest by then, while some other persons were nabbed by the police.

Jeet was a bone of contention for the Khanna Police, as villagers had protested against his arrest, but after a long wait he was arrested by a police party on secret information.

According to SSP Ranbir Singh Khattra, he was presented in a court from where he was remanded in police custody for two days.



Bank employee booked for Rs 30-lakh fraud
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
The police has booked a bank officer for allegedly pocketing Rs 30 lakh belonging to the bank by transferring the money from dead accounts.

The accused, Harmeet Singh of Indian Overseas Bank, transferred the amounts of the dead accounts to his personal account.

The fraud came to light during the audit conducted by the bank. The bank authorities informed the police about the incident. Following an inquiry, the division number 3 police booked the accused under Section 409 of the IPC for criminal breach of trust.



Flesh trade racket busted

Ludhiana, June 23
Twelve persons, including eight women, were arrested for allegedly running a flesh trade racket after raids were conducted by the police.

While one such racket was being run from the house of an NRI on Tajpur Road, the other was being run by a couple in Ashok Nagar in the garb of a grocery store. The Kotwali SHO Swapan Sharma had received a tip-off about the these centres. — TNS



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