L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Speeding schoolbus rams into car, 1 seriously hurt
Driver, alleged to be drunk, held while trying to flee
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
Barely a week after 26 students and two teachers were injured in Jagraon after an overspeeding school bus overturned while negotiating a sharp turn near Sohian village on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway, another school bus collided with a car in the city’s BRS Nagar locality on Monday.

Soon after accident the bus driver abandoned the vehicle and tried to flee the scene but area residents overpowered him and handed him over to the police.

The incident took place in the afternoon when the overspeeding bus, belonging to Ryan International School, was dropping off students in BRS Nagar. However, only one student was in the bus when the mishap occurred.

Residents claimed the bus driver, Ranjit Singh, was drunk and driving the vehicle recklessly. According to an eyewitness, when the bus reached E block in BRS Nagar the driver lost control over the wheel and the vehicle collided with a Honda City car.

According to the car owner, Naveen Kumar, the bus collided with his vehicle on its left side. "Though he (Ranjit) saw my car from a distance he didn’t apply the brakes and rammed into my vehicle. Fortunately I was safe but my car got badly damaged," he added.

The impact was so strong that the conductor of the bus, Sukhwinder Singh, who had the task of opening and closing the vehicle’s door, was tossed out of the bus and fell on the street. He sustained injuries and was rushed to a hospital where his condition was stated to be serious.

The lone student who was in the bus sustained minor injures. His parents soon arrived at the scene and took the child home.

When the bus driver tried to flee Rohit Sabharwal, a “social activist” gave him chase and overpowered him.

"The school authorities should take stringent measures before hiring a bus driver, but unfortunately they are not concerned about the safety of their students. People who can barely drive a bicycle are hired as bus drivers. The incident could have been tragic had more students been in the bus," said Sabharwal.

Meanwhile, the Sarabha Nagar police has detained the bus driver and started investigations into the incident.

It is learnt that the conductor of the bus, Sukhwinder Singh, had often urged Ranjit to drive slowly but the latter did not heed his advice.

Despite repeated attempts officials of the school could not be contacted for comment.

Previous incidents

January 21: Six persons, including four students and two school teachers, were injured. A school van, carrying more than 50 schoolchildren, collided with a parked truck on the Mullanpur-Janghpur road near Mullanpur.

May 11: Mandesh (11) was run over by an overspeeding schoolbus on Jassian road.

July 23: Twenty-eight students, including two teachers, of Sacred Heart School Jagraon, were injured after an overspeeding school bus, overturned while negotiating a sharp turn near Sohian village on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway.


Where’s the helpline?
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
It has been over two months since the city police had resolved to take stringent steps to ensure smooth ride for schoolchildren and proposed to float a helpline to keep a tab on reckless driving of school buses. But the proposal of the then Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh has yet to see the light of the day.

According to the plan, the police was going to float a helpline number, which was to be pasted on the back of the schoolbus or an auto-rickshaw ferrying schoolchildren.

Residents could register their complaints on this helpline number if they spotted a schoolbus driver driving recklessly.

If someone found a school van, a bus or an auto-rickshaw ferrying children over the permissible speed limit, he or she could dial the helpline number and lodge their complaint.

It was also planned that the police party would visit a school once in a month to check the credentials and norms followed by the schoolbus drivers.

The police official had said that the pasting of the helpline number would generate a sense of fear and accountability in the mind of a driver and he would then drive carefully.

It may be mentioned here that whenever the police has launched a challan drive against the schoolbus drivers, the school bus operators go on mass strike, resulting in chaos and mismanagement. The parents have to pay the price and they also blame the authorities for unnecessary harassment.

"It is unfortunate that whenever the police has started the challan drive, it did not receive support from the parents. After all, it is for the safety of their children that the police opts to challan a vehicle," said the officer.

No headway in unidentified auto-rickshaw driver case

It was not the first incident when students fell victim to reckless driving of auto-rickshaw drivers. In November last year, Harpreet Singh, a class VII student of Shifali Public School, sustained multiple fractures after an overspeeding auto-rickshaw hit him. The driver was booked after five months of the incident. But nearly a year later, there is no headway in the case.



2 girls die, 3 hurt as car rams into tree
All were students of a dental college
Jaswant Shetra

Mangled remains of the car which rammed into a tree near Chaunkiman on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway
Mangled remains of the car which rammed into a tree near Chaunkiman on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway. Photo: Jaswant Shetra

Chaunkiman (Jagraon), August 1
Two girls in their twenties died while three others were seriously injured when a car they were travelling in rammed into a tree near Chaunkiman village on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway today morning. These five girls were students of Dashmesh Dental College, Faridkot. They were on their way to the college when the accident took place at around 7 am today morning.

The deceased have been identified as Ramandeep Kaur (21), daughter of Baldev Singh, a resident of Bathinda, and Amanpreet Kaur (23), wife of Hartesh Singh, a resident of Model Town, Ludhiana. Those injured have been identified as Sirjana, daughter of Kamaljit Singh, a resident of Dugri, Ludhiana; Rohini, daughter of Dr Ashok Kumar, a resident of Hoshiarpur, and Jyotika Sharma, daughter of Rakesh Sharma, a resident of Kitchlu Nagar, Ludhiana.

These girls were on their way to the college after spending weekend holidays at their respective places. They boarded a car (PB03W-8859) from Ludhiana and were on their way to Dashmesh Dental College, Faridkot.

An eyewitness said the car was being driven at breakneck speed when it met with an accident. Ramandeep Kaur was driving the car while Amanpreet Kaur, who was sitting on the front seat, was working on a laptop when the accident took place.

Ramandeep, who was driving the car, lost control over it while overtaking a truck and the car rammed into a tree situated on the other side of the road near Chaunkiman at around 7pm.

The impact of the accident was such that the mangled remains of the car could be seen scattered on the roadside. Some parts of the car were found lying 10-meter from the place of accident.

Ramandeep Kaur, who was driving the car, died on the spot. Amanpreet Kaur was declared brought dead at the local Civil Hospital. The three other girls sustained critical injuries in the accident.

A large number of people from nearby villages assembled on the spot and launched a rescue operation. The injured were pulled out of the mangled car with great difficulty.

The injured were rushed to various hospitals in two ambulances owned by a charitable society. While Ramandeep Kaur and Amanpreet Kaur were taken to the local Civil Hospital; Sirjana, Rohini and Jyotika were admitted to a private hospital near Mullanpur from where Rohini was referred to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), Ludhiana, due to her critical condition.

Rohini, whose both legs and one arm were fractured in the accident was operated upon at the DMCH. Her condition is stated to be critical. Sirjana and Jyotika, who too received serious injuries, were stated to be out of danger.

One of the deceased Amanpreet Kaur had got married four months ago to Hartesh Singh, a resident of Model Town, Ludhiana.

Meanwhile, the police has conducted the post-mortem examination and handed over the bodies to their family members. The police has also impounded the car, which met with accident.

No case was registered in this case till the filing of this report. Karamjit Singh, in charge, Chaunkiman police post, said, “We could not record the statements of the injured girls as they were unable to speak. A case will be registered and appropriate action taken only after recording the statements of the injured girls.”



Cop’s threat proves fatal for driver
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
The sight of a cop threatening to shoot a car driver proved fatal for the latter, as he lost control over the vehicle, resulting in its fall into the Abohar branch canal yesterday.

While the two persons, who were travelling along with driver, managed to swim to the canal bank, the driver could not manage to come out of the car and was drowned. The victim was identified as Labh Singh (60) of Dehlon village.

The Punjab Police head constable Desa Singh has been booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Jagdev Singh of Seelo village, one of the persons who managed to swim out of the canal, said he, along with his father-in-law Labh Singh, and Bhagh Singh were travelling to Kabaddi village.

Labh Singh was driving the vehicle when suddenly head constable Desa Singh, who was travelling in another vehicle along with Avtar Singh, Charanjit Singh, Sukhi and Bhinder, told the trio to stop the vehicle.

In no time, Desa Singh pulled out a pistol and trained it at Labh Singh, threatening to shoot him.

Labh Singh got panicky and lost control over the vehicle. The police has booked Desa Singh, Avtar Singh, Charanjit Singh, Sukhi and Bhinder.



Traders cry foul over coin shortage
Banks claim the shortage has been artificially created
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
Shopkeepers and owners of department stores have been raising a hue and cry over the "refusal" of banks to provide them Rs 2 and Rs 5 coins in the absence of which the former have often been cutting a sorry figure to their customers. Traders ask why there is a shortage in banks alone when these are easily available in the "black-market"? While banks claim there is no dearth of change in their currency chest as the RBI regularly distributes change, the shortage by traders is being deliberately "created" to befool customers.

Viney Gupta, an owner of a karyana shop at Ghumar Mandi, said that despite making rounds of banks, they were not being given the change of Rs 2 and Rs 5. "Last time, when I needed the change, I had to get it from the black market Clock Tower area. For getting the change of Rs 500, I had to pay Rs 560, which makes about 12 per cent (additional Rs 60). When the facility is being provided by the government, why should we get coins from the black market?", asked Gupta.

Another shopkeeper Ajay Kumar said that banks provided change to the person who was influential or well connected. "They will never entertain me. At the same time if someone gives reference of any political leader or a councillor, the bank authorities readily provide the change. While for any other trader or shopkeeper, coins are always out of stock", rued Ajay.

One such "supplier" of coins and small denominations' notes at Clock Tower, on condition of anonymity disclosed that there was a lobby of big suppliers in various banks due to which they (big suppliers) managed to get the coins and notes easily. "We pay them the premium and lift the coins to distribute it to the traders/retailers in the city. We do get our share", he said.

While, a manager at the State Bank of India, Civil Lines, wishing not to be quoted said that there were several banks in the city, which had currency chest. They had been supplying new currency notes and coins on first-come-first-serve basis depending on the availability of currency.

"The RBI sends currency from time to time. Traders visit us and get the coins. Still many shopkeepers/departmental storeowners prefer to handover sweets (toffees) to customers instead of giving them the change of Re 1 or Rs 2. They do have the change but prefer to sell their sweets and majority of customers are not fussy and take the sweet", said the branch manager.



2 months on, probe on road work still stalled
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
When it comes to “saving the skin” of its employees, state government departments should take a cue from the municipal corporation. Even two months after irregularities in construction of a portion of Pakhowal Road were detected, MC additional commissioner Kuldip Singh has yet to submit the report of a probe ordered into the matter.

On May 31 MC commissioner AK Sinha had marked an inquiry in to matter and Kuldip Singh was supposed to submit the report within 15 days. However, the probe appears to be proceeding at a snail’s pace.

The complainant in the case, Kuldeep Singh Khaira, an “RTI activist”, stated: “I had procured information about anomalies during the recarpeting of Pakhowal Road from Sidhwan Canal to the MC limit amounting Rs 1.49 crore, which was awarded to a contractor, SS Singla, on February 28, 2009 without analyzing his technical bid.”

“According to the norms, in every project of over Rs 1 crore the contract is awarded only after analyzing all technical bids. In this case the contractor delayed work for over a year after which the contracted agency was debarred for two years by members of the MC’s finance & contracts committee vide resolution dated October 7, 2010. Despite this the final payment amounting to Rs 1.60 crore was made to the contractor on December 6, 2010 without the committee’s prior approval”, Khaira said.

“MC additional commissioner Kuldip Singh has failed to submit the report because the mayor’s name has been linked to this controversy. It was mayor Giaspura who had recommended the work to be given to the contractor, who was blacklisted by the MC’s F&CC panel,” alleged Khaira.



Door-to-door garbage collection from Aug 15
First phase to cover ward 56 or 57 in MC’s D zone
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
There is some good news for city residents. The firm that bagged the contract for door-to-door collection of household garbage in Ludhiana will commence work from August 15, beginning with either ward no 56 or 57, situated in zone D, in the first phase.

Ward 56 includes Sarabha Nagar and adjoining areas while ward 57 consists of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar and other localities. The company is now conducting a survey of these areas, considered “posh”.

Alok Prakash, deputy general manager & project in charge of A2Z Infrastructure Pvt Ltd, which was awarded the contract, said the firm was is in the process of recruiting staff to be deployed for the job of door to door collection of solid waste.

“In the first phase we’ll start collection of household garbage from either ward no 56 or 57 from August 15. We’re already in the process of counting the total number of houses in these wards and, accordingly, employees would be deputed for the task. And, if the survey of both these wards is completed by August 15, we’ll commence work in both these wards,” Prakash stated.

The municipal corporation, which had earlier awarded the contract, hopes by October 1 the facility of door to door collection of household garbage would be in place in the entire city, which generates an estimated 900 metric tonnes of solid waste every day - the highest in Punjab.

A garbage processing plant at which the firm plans to be generate power will be set up under the build, own, operate & transfer (BOOT) system. A vacant piece of MC land in Jamalpur village will be allocated to the company for setting up the plant.

How the system will work

  • Collection of household garbage at doorstep
  • The contracted firm will transport garbage to a site allocated by MC
  • Segregation of collected waste by firm
  • Power generation or production of residue derived fuel from garbage by firm



Category-A1 rly station offers third-class facilities
Has non-functional metal detector, just 4 CCTV cameras, filthy surroundings, inadequate seating arrangement
Hemdeep Kaur

Ludhiana, August 1
The Ludhiana railway station, a category ‘A1’ facility catering to a population of over 30 lakh, is in a shambles. Security is a casualty right at doorstep of the station, as the metal detector placed to screen passengers is out of order.

Besides, the entire railway station has just four CCTV cameras installed to keep an eye on the activities of passengers at platforms, enquiry office, entrance and exit points, etc. And to make the matter worse, there is no facility to record the footage provided by these cameras.

To top it all, there is no one to monitor the footage provided by the CCTV cameras. The control room is devoid of staff to scan the footage.

Baljit Singh, a head constable deployed at the railway station, says: “The railway station has just four cameras and there is no facility to record the footage provided by these cameras. These cameras are of no use without the recording facility.”

In case of a mishap, the authorities are ill-prepared to get the desired information without CCTV footage, says an employee at the booking window.

Piles of garbage littered all around welcome the passengers as soon as they reach the railway station.

The passengers/visitors, including senior citizens, women and children, are forced to stand on the platform in the absence of adequate seating arrangement. A number of persons can be seen waiting for trains seated on the floor.

Also, in the absence of any check by the authorities, people have converted the station into a bathing area.

A passenger, Viranjit Kaur, says: “Tracks are full of filth and flies. One cannot bear the stench emanating from the tracks. Moreover, announcements made on the public address system are inaudible at platform Nos. 2, 3 and 4. There is not enough seating arrangement for passengers.”

‘Can’t do anything. Govt procedure very slow’

According to the volume of traffic, the Ludhiana railway station comes under the “A1” category. However, things are not in order as we are awaiting the appointment of a new contractor. The last contractor completed his tenure on June 15. We have requested the higher authorities to appoint the new contractor. I cannot do anything, as the government procedure is very slow.

— RK Sharma, Station Superintendent



Industry faces more curbs as power crisis deepens
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 1
With the threat of overloading and collapse looming large on the northern power grid, in addition to the widening gap between the total availability of power and demand in the state, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has imposed harsh restrictions on the industry.

The industrial units fed from category-II feeders will, henceforth, observe one weekly off, whereas arc induction furnaces and rolling mills will have three compulsory weekly off days (CWODs) till further notice.

Also, the large-supply consumers have also been directed not to run their units of CWODs even with power purchased under the open access system, and further that power procured from other sources will not exceed 50 per cent of their total demand.

Sources in the PSPCL assert that the state is facing 20 per cent shortfall in power after the demand shot up due to scanty rainfall during July, and the PSPCL has been left with no other choice but to impose further restrictions on the industry as well as resorting to unscheduled outages on other categories of consumers.

However, unabashed officials of the power utility claim that the state has adequate power to meet the demands of industry, agriculture and other sectors but restrictions have been forced by the Northern Region Load Dispatch Centre due to persistent problem of overloading and low frequency, which can lead to collapse of the northern grid.

The industry has not taken kindly to the manner in which the PSPCL top brass has been claiming that the state has enough power, making the consumers, specifically the industry, suffer due to harsh regulatory measures in power supply.

“The top management of the PSPCL is apparently playing to the gallery in a bid to appease the state’s political leadership, which is hell-bent on misleading people by creating an impression that there is no shortfall in power,” says Badish Jindal, president, Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association.

He says the PSPCL has been unable to meet the demand of power by the industrial community. And as if to rub salt into the wounds of the crippled industrial sector, they are being subject to harsher restrictions like increase in weekly off days.

Scanty rainfall

The state is facing 20 per cent shortfall in power after the demand shot up due to scanty rainfall during July, leaving the PSPCL with no other choice but to impose further restrictions on the industry as well as resorting to unscheduled outages on other categories of consumers



Rainwater Harvesting
Rajguru Nagar residents go green, Dig 22 wells
Society constructs wells after MC fails to act

Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
People residing in various residential colonies are coming forward to install rainwater-harvesting systems on their premises in a bid to conserve natural resources. The Rajguru Nagar Welfare Society has dug up 22 wells in its area for recharging groundwater in this regard.

Members of the society had submitted a proposal in this regard to the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) a few months ago. Rajbir Singh Aujla, President, Rajguru Nagar Welfare Society, said, “LIT officials wasted no time in accepting our proposal. We have constructed 22 rainwater-harvesting wells in Rajguru Nagar and we will soon be laying interlocking tiles along the roads.”

“The plan was mooted when the office-bearers of the society decided to do away with the problem of water logging in the area. Thus we decided to find a permanent solution to this problem,” Aujla added.

Canal View Apartments, another residential colony located in BRS Nagar, a few months ago, showed the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation the way to check rainwater recharge, which, for a moment, does not seem to be the civic body’s main concern.

Each resident put Rs 1.5 lakh in the kitty for installing grass paver tiles around the park. These tiles, it is believed, help recharge the rainwater, which is considered to be the purest form of water. Besides, they have also constructed rainwater-harvesting wells on their premises.

The building byelaws of the municipal corporation state that every commercial establishment, which is more than 200 sq yards, should install rainwater-harvesting system on its premises. However, a large number of people are violating this byelaw due to the shortage of staff and interference of councillors.

Residents’ kitty

Each resident has put Rs 1.5 lakh in the kitty for installing grass paver tiles around the park. These tiles, it is believed, will help in recharging the rainwater, which is considered to be the purest form of water. This has been done to check the problem of water logging in the area.



With Chawla gone, PCMS docs rule the roost
Most of them found working as private practitioners
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
PCMS doctors who were pulled up by former Health and Family Welfare Minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla have once again started working as private practitioners. However, present Health and Family Welfare Minister Satpal Gosain is of the view that one should serve with utmost honesty and dedication during duty hours. And shouldn’t bother about what they do after office hours.

Talking about government doctors working as private practitioners, Gosain said: “I want honest and dedicated doctors to serve in government hospitals. I have nothing to do with what they do after office hours.” When asked whether he approves of government doctors working as private practitioners, he backtracked from his earlier statement and said, “No, I don’t approve it.”

Sources revealed that a few doctors in the Ludhiana district as well as in adjoining towns were either running their own hospitals or visiting clinics and hospitals of their friends and relatives as consultants.

Gosain added: “As far as the local Civil Hospital is concerned, a doctor told me that his wife basically runs a hospital. But, he, too, sits there sometimes. Another said his brother runs a hospital and he sits along with him. I appointed these doctors in the local Civil Hospital after they assured me they won’t be working as private practitioners in future.”

Gosain’s predecessor Laxmi Kanta Chawla had pulled up numerous government doctors for working as private practitioners. For this, she also faced the wrath of these doctors, but all felt relaxed after Gosain took over as the health minister.

The former Health and Family Welfare Minister had while talking to The Tribune on May 19 said, “ Ninety per cent of PCMS doctors in Punjab are also working as private practitioners. We will find plenty of them in Ludhiana alone. There are 38 PCMS doctors out of which 34 were working as private practitioners. They felt the pinch when I acted against them. These PCMS doctors mostly want to serve in their hometowns or in adjoining towns. Doctors attached to VIPS rule the roost.”

Nothing deters them

}Ninety per cent of PCMS doctors in Punjab are working as private practitioners. We will find plenty of them in Ludhiana alone. There are 38 PCMS doctors out of which 34 are working as private practitioners. They felt the pinch when I acted against them. These PCMS doctors mostly want to serve in their hometowns or in adjoining towns.~

Laxmi Kanta Chawla, former Health and Family Welfare Minister



Leicester council delegation to meet MC officials
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
Two delegations from the United Kingdom would be visiting the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation for a series of meetings with its officials. The first delegation from Leicester will reach the city today, while another delegation from London would reach within a few days.

Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal along with councillors and municipal officials had visited Leicester twice in March and June this year for technical coolaboration.

Now, a five member delegation of officials from Leicester Council would be visiting Ludhiana.

Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal said three members of this delegation would reach today, while the other two would reach on Wednesday.

“Three members of the technical wing of the Leicester council comprising Satish Shah, Sarabjit Singh and Darsh Chauhan will reach the city today. We will hold series of meetings with them from tomorrow onwards,” Bansal added.

The delegation members would also be visiting places where various development works are undergoing. “We will show them how work is done here and take valuable suggestions from them. Leicester and Ludhiana are sister cities and this visit is part of our partnership. We have already visited Leicester twice this year and now, their officials will be visiting us,” Bansal added.

Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura said another delegation from the London Council would visit the city. “As a large number of development projects are already going on in the city and we will be showing all these to the delegation members.”

However, the past records of the municipal corporation has amply demonstrated that such visits, either by the municipal officials to foreign countries or the visit of foreign delegations here, have always proved futile for the city. In some cases, the officials of the municipal corporation have even failed to come out with a project report describing their experiences.

A few officials of the municipal corporation are also planning to visit Canada and China.



Clerical staff of health dept go on flash strike
Were protesting against direct recruitment for promotional posts
Kuldip Bhatia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 1
Protesting against direct recruitment for the promotional posts of clerical and statistical employees of the health and family welfare department, the clerical staff of the department went on a flash indefinite strike with the result that all routine work was disrupted. The call for strike was given by the Punjab Health Department Subordinate Offices Clerical Association.

Addressing the workers, state president of the association Sukhwinder Singh said, the government was out to directly recruit 60 accountants, one statistical officer, three statistical superintendents, 15 statistical assistants and 8 junior statistical assistants. This move had come as a rude shock to clerical staff in the department, working for the past 25 to 30 years without having been promoted to the rank of senior assistants and statistical assistants.

Opposing the filling up of these posts through direct recruitment, Sukhwinder Singh and other functionaries of the association said the promotion channels for the serving employees would be completely blocked. The decision was also a violation of the constitutional right of equal opportunities for the purpose of promotion, he added.

The trade union leaders came down heavily upon the government for its persistent failure to fill up 175 vacant posts of computer operators and another 200 of the clerks in the department, which, they alleged, was badly hampering the working of the department.

The state president of the body claimed that the clerical staff right from block to the district headquarters and even those working with the local bodies had struck work. If the government failed to revoke the decision of direct recruitment, the agitation would be further intensified, he cautioned.



Auto-rickshaw drivers allege harassment
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
Members of the Clock Tower Auto-Rickshaw Union met with the Deputy Commissioner and the Commissioner of Police to air their grievances here today. The union members alleged that the police had been harassing them for no apparent reason. Briefing the officials, the drivers alleged that a head constable with the Punjab Police had been harassing auto-rickshaw drivers by unnecessarily issuing challans.

Union president Madan Lal said they had been parking their vehicles at a stand near Bhadaur House for the past 20 years, but the head constable had suddenly started challaning drivers.

“In the absence of a proper parking space for auto-rickshaws, the drivers are finding it difficult to park their vehicles. Besides, the municipal corporation has declared the entire city a ‘no parking zone’. Where should we go then?” said the president.

He added that at least 100 parking sites were lying vacant in the city but the authorities concerned were not ready to listen to their plight.

The members added that with rising prices of essential commodities and burgeoning costs of fuel, it was becoming increasingly difficult for them to pay regular penalties while getting back their documents from the authorities.

They sought an immediate transfer of the head constable concerned and an end to their unnecessary harassment.

“We may also be allotted parking spaces at Bharat Nagar chowk, Habowal chowk and other areas in the city,” said Ajay Prasad, vice-president of the union.



vocational courses
Education dept’s decision upset parents, students
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana/Dehlon, August 1
Students of villages falling in this region were reaping the harvest of vocational streams with excellent results, good employment opportunities and a formal education certificate. However, the recent decision of the education department to withdraw most of sought-after vocational courses offered at the senior secondary level has upset their applecart.

Though, NABARD will start a few new courses under its school scheme, the closure of existing streams is beyond the comprehension of students and their parents.

Taking up the lead on behalf of those interested in vocational education being imparted at government schools, office-bearers of various social and civic bodies have urged the government to reconsider its decision of doing away with these courses.

Pleading that the demand for such courses is on the rise as more and more students want to acquire skill rather than following the beaten track of routine academics, the residents have approached higher authorities in the education department against ruining a “successful educational model.” Higher authorities in the education department have recently decided to withdraw vocational courses offered at government schools adopted by NABARD.

All district education officers of the state have been advised to submit details of posts of vocational teachers at such schools so that these could be declared surplus. Parents of students pursuing skill-based vocational courses at Government Senior Secondary School, Dehlon; GSSS, Hathur; GSSS, Sarabha, and GSSS, Mangat, have urged legislators of their respective area to impress upon the authorities to review their decision and allow these courses to continue along with the new ones.

Though this decision has been staggered for the time being, the director, education department (senior secondary), Punjab, has once again initiated the process to close workshops training the students and shift the posts to other schools. Residents led by Jagdeep Singh Bittu, director, Jasbir Singh Dehlon, Paramdeep Singh Deepa and Parminder Singh, sarpanch, Rangian, have threatened to launch coordinated movement in case the decision was not staggered in the interest of students.



Freshers welcomed at DMCH
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 1
In order to welcome the 2011 batch of MBBS students at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), an introductory function was organised here today. It was attended by freshers along with their parents, faculty members and members of the managing society.

The assistant dean, academics, Dr Sandeep Kaushal extended a warm welcome to the students and their parents.

In his address, dean, academics, Dr Rajoo Singh Chhina, traced the history of the college and its contribution in the academics and quality-health care in the region.

During the session, all the fresher students introduced themselves personally to the audience.

On the inauguration of the new academic session, the DMCH principal,Dr Daljit Singh, said that to strive and deliver the best medical services to the people, doctors should adopt a role model and work with dedication. He exhorted the new batch of MBBS students to focus on intellectual development and join the profession with an aim to serve the ailing humanity.

"Being a good doctor needs more than academic excellence and also involves a right attitude, aptitude, character, commitment and above all, a heart of service," he remarked.

Among others present on the occasion were DMCH managing society vice-president Amrit Nagpal, vice-principal Dr Jagdeep Whig, chief cardiologist Dr GS Wander, medical superintendents Dr Sandeep Puri, Dr BS Shah and Dr Ashwani Chaudhary.



Constitute anti-ragging panels, says administration to colleges
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
Giving a strict message that ragging in educational institutions will never be tolerated at any cost, the district administration has asked the college managements to send the list of their anti-ragging committees at the earliest.

Chairing a meeting with the representatives from different institutions from the district at Bachhat Bhawan here today, additional deputy commissioner SR Kler said that educational institutions must constitute their anti-ragging committees in which students, non-teaching staff members, faculty members and members from disciplinary committee could be taken.

"Barring a few, majority of institutes had not even constituted their anti-ragging committees.

A meeting of anti-ragging committee must be convened in the colleges and the progress report must be sent to the district administration from now onwards", stressed Kler.



pau notes
Award for reserch paper

Ludhiana: The research paper "Indigenous technical knowledge and farmers' participation approach for sustainable agriculture and bio-diversity conservation" by Dilbag Singh of the department of Vegetable Crops, presented in the national symposium on "Innovative and modern technology for agricultural productivity, food security and environmental management" at Bangalore recently was rated as the best paper.

Strengthen rapport with farmers, say experts

To collect feedback from field areas reported by extension specialists of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) working in different Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), Regional Stations, Farm Advisory Service Scheme (FASS) located in different agro-climatic zones of the state, a meeting was held at the Farmers Service Centre in the Directorate of Extension Education of PAU, here, on Monday.

The director of extension education, Dr MS Gill, highlighted that PAU had a rapport with the farmers and added that this needed to be further strengthened.

The participating experts shared that at different places in Punjab, the condition of paddy crop was generally very good.

They discussed their observations on different field operations that the farmers had innovated. The extension specialists from different districts reported the crop condition of paddy, basmati rice, cotton and other crops. — TNS



from schools
Investiture Ceremony

Ludhiana: Investiture ceremony of the students council was organised at Saraswati Modern School. The oath of office was administered to the newly-appointed members of the council. Sashes, badges and flags were given to them. Shubham Malik was chosen as head boy and Neha Tokhi was chosen as the head girl.

'Adn-in Bloom' exhibition

An exhibition by the name of 'Adn-in Bloom' was organised at Atam Devki Niketan, Kidwai Nagar. Students prepared models and charts on various subjects including saving the environment, methods of calculations, literature and traditions.

Students and teachers of DAV Public School take out an environment rally in Ludhiana on Monday
Students and teachers of DAV Public School take out an environment rally in Ludhiana on Monday. A tribune photograph

Saving environment

Procession on saving the environment was held at DAV Public School, Pakhowal Road. More than 200 students participated in the procession. To send out a message for saving oil, more than 40 student rode on bicycles and 165 students participated on foot. They carried banners and placards with messages for saving water, electricity, trees and reduce the usage of polythene.

Teej celebrations

Teej was celebrated at Sacred Soul Convent School, Dugri Road. The theme of the festival was on saving the environment and the girl child. The students were motivated to save environment. They were also made aware of the social evil of female foeticide.

Students visit old-age home

Students of Prarth Club of Kundan Vidya Mandir visited an old-age home at Model Town. Students served items of daily use and interacted with the inmates. The students took an oath that they would take care of their parents.

Sawan function

Children of Lovely Lotus celebrated the advent of sawan with a dramatic play. The children were dressed as Lord Shiv, the dark clouds, the sun, the rainbow princess, and the little frogs. — TNS



ludhiana scan
CMC city centre opens

The Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) has opened a city center at Sirish Hospital in Ghumar Mandi here to save the city people from the hassle of reaching the CMCH due to traffic congestion at Ferozepore Road, Jagraon Bridge, and Brown Road. Inaugurating the facility, the CMCH director, Dr AG Thomas, said it would become a convenient centre for consultation with the senior doctors of the institution. The centre will function from 4.30 pm to 8pm on all week days while on Saturdays, it would be open to patients from 3pm to 5.30 pm. The facility for all basic investigations will be available from 8am to 8pm from Mondays to Saturdays.

Painting competition

A painting competition "paint your dream car" was organised at Stan Autos - a Maruti Suzuki cars dealership here. About 120 participants, along with their parents, attended the programme and reflected their trust towards the brand name - Maruti, which was the market leader for so many years. The winners of the contest were Aryan Gupta of DAV School (first), Gurmanpreet Singh of Springdale School (second) and Ritisha Punni of DAV School (third).

Shop-and-win offer

To mark the second year of its operations, VIVA, a growing pharmacy chain in India, has launched a 3-month long "shop and win" offer. Sanjay Grover, vice-president, strategy and operations at Surya Healthcare Ltd said, "At VIVA, we are customer-centric and believe in offering regular schemes, which add value to everyday buying.

Workers support farmers' stir

Several trade unions representing industrial workers have lent support to the farmers agitating against forcible acquisition of their fertile agricultural land for setting up a thermal power plant in Hargobindpura in Mansa district. In a statement, the Moulder and Steel Workers Union, Lok Ekta Sangathan, Hosiery Workers Union, Lok Sangharsh Committee and Mazdoor Union alleged that under the garb of new economic policies and "development", the government was out to snatch fertile and productive land of the farmers, and further pushing them towards debt traps and suicides. Not only this, the rights of workers to the labour laws and other facilities was being denied, the fundamental rights were being trampled over and policy of hiring workers on contract basis was posing a threat to regular employees and their security of service. — TNS



Deserted by husband, girl commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
A 19-year-old girl committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan at her one-room tenement in the Shimlapuri area here today. Ranju Devi, who was suspected to be pregnant, was spotted dead by her neighbours in the morning.

Residents said Ranju Devi had been deserted by her husband, Subash Panday of Bihar. Panday had recently eloped with a woman living in the locality. Following the incident, Ranju had slipped into depression.

Residents said when her parents learnt about her pregnancy, they also abandoned her. Left with no option, the girl ended her life.



Man’s body found on road
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
Panic gripped the Sunder Nagar area after a man was found dead on a road here late last night. The deceased has been identified as Sukhwinder Singh (45). The deceased’s body was spotted by a passerby, who informed the police about the incident.

The deceased’s brother, Parminder Singh, alleged that Sukhwinder had been poisoned to death by his wife, who later dumped the body on the road.

On the other hand, Sukhwinder’s wife denied the allegations, terming these baseless.

The Jodhewal police station SHO said a case would be registered after the police received the autopsy report.



Man commits suicide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
A 37-year-old man allegedly committed suicide at Jaspal Bangar village here today. The deceased has been identified as Ram Niwas. He was found hanging with a ceiling fan’s hook in one-room tenement at Jaspal Bangar village.

According to the Sadar police, the victim might have been suffering from depression.

The incident came to light when Ram Niwas failed to report for work. The factory employee came to the quarter to enquire about Ram Niwas health. But he found the door locked from inside. He broke open the door and was shocked to see the body of Ram Niwas.

The worker informed the police about the incident. A case has been registered in this regard.



Canteen worker thrashed by policemen, allege kin
Falsely charged for stealing mobile phone, DSP promises to act
Our Correspondent

Bahadar Singh shows bruises on his back
Bahadar Singh shows bruises on his back. Photo: Gurminder Singh

Samrala, August 1
Bahadar Singh, a resident of Chahilan village, who was admitted to the local civil hospital, alleged that he was taken into custody and mercilessly beaten up by a few policemen in the Samrala Police Station.

Bahadar Singh, who works in a canteen on the premises of the local court complex, said he was picked up from his home and taken to the police station on a motorcycle by two policemen.

Three policemen with sticks, baton and plastic wires mercilessly beat him up. He became unconscious and when he regained he found himself in a hospital bed.

Bahadar Singh’s father Wilaiti Ram said,“ I along with other family members reached the police station only to find our son in battered condition and unconscious. Instead of releasing my son, the cops forced us to pick up bricks and throw them at some other place. We were allowed to leave along with my son only after finishing the Work. We rushed Bahadar Singh to the local civil hospital as he failed to regain consciousness.”

Bahadar Singh said he was charged for stealing a mobile phone of a person lying on the road.

He was taken to the police station and beaten up without being allowed to speak.

The DSP Samrala said senior officials had been informed about the incident and action would be taken against an ASI and Havildar if found guilty.



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