L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC, PWD officials booked for truck driver’s death
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
The local police has filed a case against municipal corporation and Public Works Department officials for causing death by negligence after a truck driver was killed when his vehicle fell into a large crater caused by road collapse near Ferozepur Road on Friday evening.

The case was registered on Saturday under section 304A of the Indian Penal Code following a complaint by the truck’s owner, Rajesh Dhawan, a resident of Mandi Gobindgarh in Fatehgarh Sahib district, according to division no 5 police station officer inspector Naveen Kumar.

In his complaint Dhawan stated he owned Abhishek Transport Co. “Sonu, the driver of the truck (registration no: PB10 AK9802) and his helper, Dullu, parked the vehicle in Gobind Nagar on Friday evening. While they were still inside the truck it slipped into the crater that was formed after part of a road caved in. Sonu died while Dullu is still undergoing treatment at Dayanand Medical College & Hospital. This incident clearly shows it occurred due to sheer negligence on the part of MC and PWD officials,” the complaint said.


Incessant rain leads to shifting of Independence Day venue
Now, function to be held at Guru Nanak Stadium
Mohit Khanna
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, August 14
Incessant rain, which wreaked havoc and resulted in the death of 11 persons in different parts of the city yesterday, has forced the administration to shift the venue for the Independence Day function.

The celebrations were to be held at SCD Government College, but now the venue will be Guru Nanak Stadium. The venue was shifted after the college was inundated with rainwater.

“We had no option, but to shift the venue at the last minute. We tried to drain out the water, but it was a futile exercise due to the downpour,” said the Deputy Commissioner, Rahul Tiwari.

The last-minute switch of the venue has left administrative officials in a tizzy. They were scene frantically calling up politicians, freedom fighters and other dignitaries to tell them about the shifting of the venue.

“Three employees of the administration will be deputed at the earlier venue to direct people to Guru Nanak Stadium,” the Deputy Commissioner said.

Chairs, tents and the stage were submerged at the college. “It took us nearly a fortnight to erect the stage and now we have to dismantle it at the last moment due to rain. It is disappointing,” said workers. 

‘Rehearse unfurling’

The Deputy Commissioner has told department employees to conduct a trial run of the unfurling of the Tricolour. On several occasions in the past, the flag had got stuck causing embarrassment.

Function to begin at 8.30 am

The state revenue minister, Ajit Singh Kohar, will unfurl the National Flag at 9 am. Over 400 students, Punjab Police personnel and other employees will perform to mark the Independence Day celebrations.



Rain havoc: The reckoning begins
MC tells dept officials to assess losses
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
The municipal corporation has ordered an assessment of the losses incurred due to the heavy rain that lashed the city on Saturday. According to sources close to the MC, the civic body suffered a loss of at least Rs 50 lakh but the precise figure will only be known by Tuesday morning when its officials submit their reports to deputy commissioner Rahul Tewari.

With the city receiving 400 mm of rainfall a large number of streets were damaged with several instances of large parts of roads caving in reported. Civic officials have termed the latest spell of rain as one of the worst “natural disasters” during the past two decades.

The Punjab government has asked the deputy commissioner to get reports from all departments about the loss incurred during the heavy showers on Friday evening and Saturday.

"All government departments will be submitting their reports to me by 9 am on Tuesday. I will then compile these reports and forward them to the financial commissioner (revenue), who would then submit them to the state government. The government is expected to sanction us funds that would be used for undertaking repair work in the city," Tewari stated.

Following the MC’s instructions all department heads concerned were busy throughout the day preparing reports of losses despite it being a holiday.

A senior MC official said: "We have been on duty since Saturday evening as we have to submit a detailed report on the losses incurred by all MC departments. This report has to be submitted by 9 am on Tuesday and that is why we are working overnight to prepare it”.

MC additional commissioner MS Jaggi informed all officials concerned had been asked to prepare a detailed list of losses. "The major losses relate to roads and in some parts we’ll have to get patch work done, while in the case of road cave-ins we will begin repairs at the earliest”.



Vigilance team inspects site
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
A five-member local bodies department team headed by its chief vigilance officer VP Singh on Sunday visited the scene where a truck driver was killed after his vehicle fell into a large crater caused by road collapse near Ferozepur Road on Friday evening. Earlier the Punjab chief minister’s principle secretary, Darbara Singh Guru, had issued instructions to department officials to undertake an inspection of the accident site.

A truck full of iron rods had slipped into the crater that was formed after part of a street caved in near the Kaka Marriage Palace. The driver, a native of Bihar, died while his helper sustained serious injuries.

This is not the first time a vehicle fell into a crater. On September 2, 2006 a car driver was injured when his vehicle slipped into a ditch that was formed after a large part of a street near BCM School in Shastri Nagar collapsed in the wake of heavy rain and leaking sewage.

The crater near the wedding banquet hall near Ferozepore Road was formed in the middle of the street and was almost five metres deep and 10 metres wide.

Singh, said: “I will prepare a report about the incident and submit it to the director and secretary of the local bodies department within five days”. MC additional commissioner M S Jaggi said: “If the CVO finds any discrepancies, we will take action against officials found responsible for the tragedy”.

Past road cave-ins

l June 26: A large portion of a road near Lodhi Club caved in. A road behind Westend Mall also caved in at three places.

l June 17: A large portion of a road near a hotel on Ferozepur Road caved in.

l June 18: A portion of a road near Sunder Nagar caved in and a portion of a bridge near Kidwai Nagar was washed away.

l June 14: A portion of the recently re-carpeted service lane near the mini-secretariat caved in.

l January 3: A portion of the road caved in opposite the Red Cross building.



DC comes to the rescue of schoolchildren
Asks officials to ensure refreshments at I-Day function
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
If the ‘babus’ had their way hundreds of students who would be participating in a cultural programme at the Independence Day function would have returned with empty bellies. Except ‘laddoos’ (a sweetmeat) the district administration had not made any arrangements for refreshments for the children.

The issue came up hours before a meeting of administration officials in which the district ‘mandi’ board functionary said they would not be distributing any kind of refreshments to the schoolchildren. “The food & civil supplies department would distribute ‘laddoos’ among the students”, he added.

This reportedly angered deputy commissioner Rahul Tiwari who instructed the district ‘mandi’ board to make arrangements for 2,000 biscuits packets for distribution among the children after their performance. "Have heart - they are also children of someone.

Why leave them hungry in the sultry weather? Kindly arrange biscuits packets for the school students," he said.

It was only after The Tribune had highlighted the plight of school children who were being distributed one banana a day after the Independence Day rehearsal that every child began receiving two bananas and a biscuit pack.

"Everyone wants to pass the buck on to someone else - no one wants to take responsibility for any work.

Look at them - they are a bunch of disappointed employees who feel they have been forced to celebrate Independence Day” remarked a senior citizen.



Chances of fuel shortage today
No supply due to Independence Day
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
Petrol stations in the city witnessed about 30 per cent increase in the sale on Rakhi. Due to more consumption by consumers yesterday and non-supply of petrol and diesel by one of the terminals of Hindustan Petroleum (HP), several petrol stations of HP in the city got dried.

Petrol dealers in the city feel that there were chances of shortage of fuel tomorrow, as there will be no supply of petrol/diesel due to the Independence Day. Ludhiana Petrol Pump Dealers’ Association’s general secretary Ashok Sachdeva said there was no problem with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPC) and their supply was regular, but there was no supply of petrol/diesel from the Jalandhar terminal of HP yesterday due to heavy rains and damaged roads.

“The Bathinda terminal of HP supplied products but not their Jalandhar terminal, with the result many HP petrol stations in the city got dried today. As there will be no supply by oil companies tomorrow, too, there can be a shortage of petrol/diesel tomorrow. At the same time, there is no need to panic, as by Tuesday evening, oil companies will send their oil tankers,” said Sachdeva, further adding that the petrol stations’ sales were up by about 30 per cent on Rakhi.

Gurinder Singh, a consumer, said he had to visit three petrol stations to get diesel filled in his car. “Though there was no problem with petrol but diesel was not available due to the increased demand. The petrol stations had put up small boards of diesel out of order at the stations,” said Gurinder Singh.

Rain hits supply

There is no problem in the supply of petrol/diesel by the Indian Oil Corporation and Bharat Petroleum Corporation. But there was no supply of fuel from the HP’s Jalandhar terminal on Saturday due to heavy rain and damaged roads.



Patriotism losing sheen among youth?
Hemdeep Kaur

Ludhiana, August 14
Patriotism is losing its sheen, as young generation does not know the importance of the Independence Day.
It is difficult to digest that the enthusiasm and zeal to celebrate the Independence Day is to the minimum among youngsters and even shopping malls and other shops in the market are not offering special accessories for the day.

Surprisingly, there are no celebrations of the Independence Day in the market. Accessories, which represent the joy of independence like T-shirts, hand bands, caps, etc, in the Tricolour are not available in the market.

Some years ago, shops used to be flooded with Indian flags and other things that symbolise patriotism of countrymen. But now the trend has entirely changed, as youngsters are only ready to spend on things that mean classy to them. Sumit Malhotra, a city resident, said, “Many years ago, shopkeepers used to offer things on the Independence Day, but now they hardly offer any stuff. The reason is that a few buy such things from them.”

It seems that the young generation concentrates only to be fashion divas, they have forgotten or do not know the sacrifices made by our martyrs for the freedom that we enjoy now. This may be the reason that the shopkeepers in Ghumar Mandi and shopping malls are offering discounts, but have not displayed anything specific related to the Independence Day.

Rohit Chawla, a city resident, said, “I do not think that only wearing Tri-coloured clothes mean that I am a patriot. I am thankful to our martyrs but I do not prefer to buy such stuff because after the Independence Day one cannot wear them.”

One of the shopkeepers at Ghumar Mandi said, “We are not selling the Independence Day special stuff because no one buys it. Every time we cannot bear the loss. About six to seven years ago, people used to buy flags and hand bands but now nobody asks for it.”

The reason may be trend or high prices but it is clear that today youth is far away from the sense of patriotism.



For once, freedom fighters to get VIP treatment
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
Learning a lesson from their unpleasant experience after the freedom fighters left the Independence Day venue in a huff last year, the district administration is taking a special measure for their cozy reception. The babus would make sure that freedom fighters get a VIP treatment.

Last year freedom fighters left the venue to mark their protest after they were not even offered a glass of water by the administration employees. The freedom fighters further had a spat with employees of the administration for the shoddy treatment.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari has ordered

the employees to make adequate sitting and refreshment arrangements for the freedom fighters this time.

“I do not want that the freedom fighters to be ignored during the function. They should get the best treatment. I would not tolerate any laxity. If there is some problem the employees are free to approach me. No one would talk back to the freedom fighters,” said the DC.

He has also ordered the assistant district transport officer to provide bus service to drop the freedom fighters to the bus stand and other parts of the city.



Education board takes liberty with Sarabha’s verse
Lines from ‘Hind Vasian Nu Antim Sandesh’ omitted in latest edition
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, August 14
When India is exulting in the Independence Day celebrations, the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) could at least do the minimum by opening its latest edition of Punjabi Pustak-5 (Pehli Bhasha), a book prescribed by PSEB to Class V students, only to find the vital lines omitted once again from the celebrated verse of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha named “Hind Vasian Nu Antim Sandesh.”

The PSEB seems to be bent upon insulting martyrs, especially Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha, whose verse despite being brought to notice still stands incorrect in the latest edition also i.e. 2011. Hence the students are forced to read “incorrect”, one of the significant poems composed by the great martyr.

The rhyme “Hind Vasian Nu Antim Sandesh” prescribed in the syllabus for Class V students has been dedicated by the great martyr, Kartar Singh Sarabha to his countrymen in which apart from biding final adieu to them, he instructs them not to forget the sacrifices made by freedom fighters rather, if need arises, fight and sacrifice their lives for the preservation of their country’s honour and shun the idea of indulging in any sort of corrupt practices that can prove to be a black spot for the nation’s reputation.

Astonishingly, two crucial lines have been discovered to be missing in the poem and the students are most ignorantly forced to read the poem as printed in the book. The omitted lines are:

“Hunde fail bahute te pass thore (there are more of failures and less who clear out) Vatan vaaseeo dil na dhah jana (countrymen should not lose heart)”.

“It is a severe slip on the part of the board, as the poem is in no way an ordinary one. The poem is an inspiration for those who today have nearly forgotten the freedom fighters and negated the sacrifices of the martyrs.” commented Abhay Sandhu, a nephew of Shaheed Bhagat Singh.

“The missing lines are especially central in the sense that they bear a good lesson, especially for those students who lose heart on being unsuccessful in their studies and sometimes take extreme decisions in their lives. Moreover, distortion of even a word, page or a line related to the national movement is in any way a serious lapse on the part of the PSEB,” said Jaswant Singh Gill, director GNN College Doraha.

The PSEB chairman, however, could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.



This freedom fighter wants the corrupt to be arrested, hanged
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri
Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri

Ludhiana, August 14
At the age of 94, Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri, a city-based freedom fighter, who has seen India passing from various stages, strongly feels that if the country's leadership comes in his hands, he will hang corrupt people.

On the eve of the Independence Day, Jagjit Singh Lyallpuri said, “My first priority will be to arrest and hang corrupt persons, as they are murderers, who deny food to millions of people. The present India is not what we dreamt of before Independence.”

He further said he always wanted that in the independent India, all should have decent life and should have full freedom to express views regarding government. He said, “But what we find today is contrary.”

The freedom fighter, who is the only one surviving, out of 14 founder members of CPM says, “The rule should be in hands of people. There should be socialist society. It was also stated once by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru. All natural resources should be managed by people .”

On asking as what is the solution to all this, he said, “People will have to launch a new freedom struggle against their own Indian rulers, as India is being ruled by capitalists and politicians. Anna Hazare is trying to achieve this with the help of a few civil rights activists.”

Why dreams failed?

Jagjit Singh, who graduated in law from Lahore, joined the freedom struggle when he was a student in 1936. He joined the Congress movement and Kirti Kisan Party of Punjab, which later merged with the CPI. In 1962, he became one of the founder members of the CPM after a split in the CPI. Asked why their dreams for India could not be fulfilled, he said, “The freedom fighters failed after independence. The Congress belonged to the people. Freedom fighters also had faith in it, but the Congress betrayed their faith.”



Child labour goes unchecked in mini-secretariat
Charanjit Singh Teja

Ludhiana, August 14
The Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana often conducts surprise checks to ensure proper implementation of law and order. However, it is surprising that he failed to notice the practice of child labour on his office premises.

The Tribune team spotted two children working in a canteen outside the Suvidha Centre. One of the children was seen working at the DC office, while another was serving tea at the police resource centre in the mini secretariat.

When asked about their age, they claimed that they are 18-year-old. However, it was easy to judge their actual age from their physique.

There are many other children working around the government offices, besides these two.

When Assistant Labour Commissioner Mona Puri was asked about the practice of child labour, she said, “I have joined recently. Tuesday is the next working day and I will check the DC complex that day. If this malpractice is going on, then we will act.”

“I have seen that children are working in the mini secretariat. It’s the failure on the part of authorities. Only the labour department cannot be blamed if children are working in the DC office. In fact, the whole bureaucracy working in the building should be guilty for such practice,” said, Sarbjit Singh Dhaliwal, a human rights activist.



Uncertainty over unfurling of Tricolour
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 14
At a meeting called by president of the civic body to discuss the flag-hoisting ceremony on Independence Day and other important issues, only four out of the total 16 members gave consent to unfurling of the National Flag by the civic body chief.

While others said the Tricolour should be hoisted by some Dalit councillor. It was resolved that Bhag Singh Bhagga, president of the Dalit Wing of the BJP, would hoist the National Flag.

While Manjit Kaur, Surinder Kumar and Rajnish Sharma supported protocol to get the National Flag hoisted by president Usha Sood; all others present in the meeting, said the Tricolour should be hoisted by some Dalit councillor.

Councillors Ravinder Puri, Dilshad Khan, Kedar Kapila, Bimal Sharma, Harbans Kaur Sekha, Gurpreet Kaur Jaggie, Khushi Mohammad and Jiwan Singh proposed that Bhag Singh Bhagga, councillor from ward number 5, should unfurl the Tricolour during a function to be held by the municipal council.

While the council had proposed to purchase an SUV for the office by selling a piece of land measuring about 170 biswas during its earlier meeting, the opposition councillors opposed the move and the ruling group members had also voted in favour of their demand. Officials of the civic body said minutes of the meeting had been forwarded to the higher authorities for necessary approval. 



Students trip over National Anthem
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
The National Anthem, right now! Can you? Many of the city youngsters in schools and colleges were not able to pass the test well. Most of them started singing the National Anthem with enthusiasm but stopped midway.

In a random survey of more than 30 students from government schools at PAU, Cemetery Road, BCM Arya, RS Model, Ryan International, Sat Paul Mittal, SCD Government, Khalsa College and GNIMT, most of the students sang the National Anthem with respect attentively. But many of them sang “nayak jaya he” as “dayak” and a couple of them got stuck after “taranga”.

A student from Ryan International School even pointed out to this reporter to stand in the appropriate position during the recitation of the National Anthem.

Some of them floundered at the KG-level questions. Response from nearly 80 per cent of the students about who composed the National Anthem was right, though some confused it with Bankim Chander Chatterjee. Nearly one-fifth of the students had confusion about the number of states in India.

One-fifth of the students could not tell the significance of celebrating Republic Day. Some got confused that some act came into place on this day. One said India got independence on this day.

Devraj, a student of Class X of Government Secondary School, Cemetery Road, told about Gujarat earthquake in addition to the Constitution coming into force.

Though more students were able to sing the National Anthem than answering questions related to the important dates of the country.



State award for seven residents
Charanjit Singh Teja

Ludhiana, August 14
Seven persons from the city will be awarded during the state-level function at the Independence Day celebrations in Amritsar tomorrow.

Two prominent Sikh preachers are named in the list. Famous Ragi Bhai Harjinder Singh Srinagar will be honoured with the state award. Another Sikh preacher from Ludhiana, Bhai Pinderpal Singh is also among those who would be honoured. Bhai Harjinder Singh Srinagar said, “I am happy that the government has recognised my services.”

For the first time, the government has announced the state bravery award, which is to be given to the vice-president of Punjab State Road Safety Council, Dr Kamaljit Sohi, who rescued 11 persons, involved in a road accident. Rachna Sharma, a social worker from the city, who has been providing education to the underprivileged children for the last 20 years will also be awarded. A student from the city, Rahul Duggal, will also be awarded. Sandip Rayat, a businesswoman, who makes suspension of trucks and made it big after her father’s death is also one of the awardees. Another resident, SK Sharma, too, will be awarded for his services towards the community.



Making public wait for hours
Independence Day rehearsals are under way at various schools in Ludhiana.
Independence Day rehearsals are under way at various schools in Ludhiana. Tribune photo Himanshu Mahajan

Ministers and other VIPs are known to be in the habit of keeping public waiting for hours when they are invited as chief guests at functions. The irksome habit might have been the result of a misconception that the longer you make the people wait; it shows that you wield more power. The other day, newly elected president of the Youth Akali Dal, Bikramjit Singh Majithia was to address a meeting of the industry scheduled between 12 noon and 3 pm.

In other words, the meeting was supposed to end at 3 pm for lunch, which was to follow. As members of the industry and representatives of various industrial associations, including the host body, kept waiting, there was no sign of the chief guest for over two-and-a-half hour. By the time (precisely at 2.45 pm) Majithia, along with his entourage arrived, many people had left, while others were also getting impatient. As if making the guests wait for over two-and-a-half hour was nothing for him, all smiles Majithia took his seat at the stage without even bothering to express regret or give out a tangible excuse for the delay.

Auto-rickshaws can make you laugh

No doubt Ludhiana is such a city that can lead anyone towards depression. Pollution and traffic makes you impatient. But it is amazing that when you are stuck in a traffic jam, auto rickshaws, which are polluting the city more than any other vehicle could make you laugh. Today when I was stuck in a traffic jam and getting irritated from an auto- rickshaw driver because of it’s zig-zag movements, it made me laugh. It was carrying a possessive message on its back “Jo v mainu nazar laye ga CMC jaye ga”, meaning, “An evil eye will go to CMC”. When I read this message I thought that why CMC, DMC is also good. This strong message made me think that the driver of this auto rickshaw must be a don or this auto rickshaw is a two-in-one auto rickshaw providing the facility of an ambulance, too.

I’ll become ‘gay’!

At a party at one of my friend’s house, everyone was having fun. Parents and children were enjoying and interacting with each other over dinner. Couples were asking wards of their friends about their aims and ambitions, to which kids said they wanted to become doctors, engineers, civil servants and chartered accountants. I asked my friend’s 10-year-old son about his aim in life. He said, “Aunty, I will become a gay, it is really in fashion”. Everyone burst into laughter. His mother was, too, shocked to hear the ‘mission’ of her son. Poor mother said, “He doesn’t even know the meaning of gay. TV channels show programmes on them and he must have got an idea from there!.”

Managing traffic

On Friday evening, everyone passing from the Bhai Bala Chowk was taken by surprise when a drunkard man standing amidst the chowk was trying to control traffic with his uncontrolled mind. Holding a fruit bag in his hand, he was making signs for people to pass, while at times he was making a gesture to “stop”. Commenting on this, a passerby said, “The city traffic is so bad that an uncontrollable man seems to be fit for controlling it.”

Contributed by Kuldip Bhatia, Hemdeep Kaur, Shivani Bhakoo, Anupam Bhagria.



Rain hits roadside vendors hard
Hemdeep Kaur

Ludhiana, August 14
Heavy rain has caused a major loss to roadside vendors who support their families on the money they earn on a day-to-day basis.
They have been the worst-affected as they could not bring their vends due to the rainwater that had accumulated on the roads. Besides, the heavy rain yesterday damaged all of their stuff.

Prempal, a roadside vendor at Ghumar Mandi, said: “It has been raining for the past two days and I have not been able to sell anything. It is very difficult for me to manage as my family depends on my income. I have borrowed money to purchase ration.”

Houses and shops in many areas were flooded and the business of shopkeepers was also affected. But the shopkeepers are not hit as hard as the roadside vendors since they can hold out for longer if their products do not sell for a few days.

Heavy rain has adversely affected people whose livelihood depends on daily wages. Dinesh, a roadside vendor near Clock Tower, said: “I have not been able to feed my family for the past few days. If someone purchases groundnuts from me today, I will be able to buy food for my daughter.”



Police ‘detains’ gym sales executive
Had refused to divulge phone number of owner 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, August 14
Not allowing “free” membership to certain policemen cost a sales executive of a fitness club dear as he was allegedly made to sit in the Model Town police station for nearly four hours for refusing to give the contact number of the franchise owner of the health club.

Narrating the incident, Manvinder Singh, who owns a franchise of a gymnasium, said: “Ever since we began our operations, we had been receiving calls from the policemen who wanted a free membership to the fitness club. I was informed that today a few police personnel came to the club office and asked for my mobile number from Parminder Singh, a sales executive. When he refused to give the number, Parminder was taken to the police station and was made to sit there for nearly four hours.”

He alleged that while senior police officials paid membership fee, it was the lower-rung police officials who were creating problems and demanding free membership.

He claimed that it was after the intervention of senior officials that he managed to get his men freed.

However, the Station House Officer (SHO) of the Model Town, Navreet Singh, has slammed the allegations as baseless. “It was only after the executive of the gymnasium refused to provide the phone number and name of the owner that he was asked to visit the police station. The gym owner is levelling false allegations,” he claimed. 

Cops were ‘embarrassed’

It is learnt that the cops who went to the gymnasium were embarrassed after the sales executive refused to divulge the details about the owner of the gym. Apprehending that they would have to cut a sorry figure in front of senior police official for not being able to get a phone number, the cops took such a step. Sources said a Superintendent of Police had sought the number of the gym instructor.



City students hail SC’s verdict
Can now satisfy themselves by seeing their answersheets 
Charanjit Singh Teja

Ludhiana, August 14
The Supreme Court of India’s decision that students can see their answersheets by filing an application under the Right to Information Act (RTI Act) has brought a smile on the faces of city students. They have hailed the SC’s verdict.

Amrit Kaur Batth, MTech Ist year student of Guru Nanak Girls College, said, “When I was in Class XII, Punjab School Education Board, Mohali, gave me only 24 marks in physics. I was expecting 70 marks, but the result disappointed me. As there was no law at that time, I had to appear in the exam again and scored 60 marks out of 75.”

While Chander Shekhar, a BA IInd year student of SCD Government College, was of the opinion, “Earlier only re-evaluation of marks was possible. Universities charge a lot for re-evaluation. Now the process of evaluation has become easy and transparent. It will help those students who are not satisfied with the marking.”

Neha, a student of MA-I geography of the same college, said, “I am a victim of the university rules. Only five students were passed, out of 30 when the university declared our PGDCA result. We were shocked. After re-evaluation, the university had passed 20 students. But I am happy now that none will suffer like us.”

Amandeep Singh, who has appeared in CDS exam, said, “I appeared in the CDS test last year. I expected good rank but I got upset when saw my result. I was unable to check my answersheet. But the new rule of the SC will at least provide opportunity to students for satisfaction.”



‘Nutrients help prevent digestive disorders’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
Rajoo Singh Chhina, Dean, academics, DMCH, and executive member of the Nutritional Society of India, recently delivered a lecture on the “Role of Nutrition in Gastrointestinal Diseases” at Punjab Agricultural University. The lecture was jointly organised by the local chapter of Nutrition Society of India (NSI) and Indian Dietetic Association (IDA).

Dr Chhina said digestive disorders caused abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal cramping, nausea and vomiting.

Although all these conditions might not be seen in an individual, the symptoms were quite common, he added. There are certain health conditions that lead to discomfort and the common ones are irritable bowel syndrome, gastritis, gallstones, stomach ulcer and inflammatory bowel disease. Besides having medical treatment for all these disorders, the option of using nutrients is gaining popularity.

Proper intake of nutrition from food plays a supportive and as well as a therapeutic role in the management of chronic gastrointestinal diseases. With the development of modern techniques of nutritional support, the morbidity and mortality associated with chronic GI disease can be reduced. On the other hand, dietary modification may be used to treat and prevent specific GI disorders such as coeliac disease, functional bowel disease and colonic neoplasia.

It was stressed that dietary habits and specific food types played a significant role in the treatment and prevention of many gastrointestinal disorders. While elaborating on nutritional guidelines for GI disorders, Dr Chhina suggested that people having complaint of peptic ulcer and diarrhoea should take a low-fibre diet. He said unbalanced and excessive use of supplements often caused diseases, especially in youngsters going to gyms and fitness centres.



Industry opposes commercial tax
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 14
representatives today urged the state government to withdraw the commercial tax imposed on industrial units and other commercial establishments located outside the city limits, terming it as an ill-conceived and regressive move.

Addressing a meeting of the Ludhiana Spinners Association (LSA) where president of the youth wing of the SAD, Bikramjit Singh Majithia, was the chief guest, representatives of the industry said the commercial tax of Rs 1 per square foot of the total built-up area was unjustified as no basic infrastructure like water supply, sewerage and sanitation were available outside the municipal limits.

Satish Dhanda, vice-chairman of the Punjab State Medium Industries Board, tried to justify the commercial tax saying the decision had been taken after studying different models of taxation in various states. But Prem Garg, general secretary of LSA, and Vinod Thapar, president of Knitwear Club, opposed the additional burden on the industry which was already reeling under recessionary trends.

“The industrial units located outside the municipal limits are made to pay heavy amount by way of external development charges in addition to making provisions for all basic infrastructure at their own level. When the government does not provide any amenity or facility to them, what is the justification of charging commercial tax which is just another form of house tax collected from the industry and commercial establishments within the city limits,” they said.

Admitting that the issue raised by the industry was genuine, Majithia said a meeting with the minister concerned would be arranged to discuss the new tax measure.



‘Awareness must to avoid painful complications’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
Breast cancer is the most common cancer. The most recent data shows that the disease accounts for 28 per cent to 35 per cent of all cancers in women in big cities. Mammography helps diagnose the disease, but according to experts it should not be taken as a surefire “fix”.

In a press release, Dr Jagdev Singh Sekhon, a cancer specialist and head of the department of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, said, “No matter what mammogram schedule women follow, they should be on a lookout for any changes in their breast that suggest trouble. Globally the fact is, half of all breast cancer patients spot their own tumours through self-breast examination.”

He said even if women abide by recent guidelines issued by the American Cancer Society (ACS) to get a mammography done at the age of 40, it was still late for steps to be taken to prevent the deadly cancer.

There are a number of factors which can help prevent the cancer.

Women should be aware of the risk factors. Late marriage, first pregnancy after the age of 30 years and not doing breast feeding are the three most important risk factors. Smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity are another three reasons that can lead to the cancer. Mammography is not a substitute. Regular self-breast examination can help diagnose breast cancer in early stages as well as aggressive form of breast cancer that can happen in between scheduled mammography timings.

Dr Sekhon says, “There is an age shift and the average age of developing breast cancer has shifted from 50-70 years to 30-50 years. Though scientific advances have made it possible to improve cure and survival rates, it is imperative to be self aware in order to avoid late diagnosis and painful complications.”



Sutlej recedes, worry persists
Minna Zutshi

Ludhiana, August 14
Villagers of Garhi Fazil and Garhi Togar in Mattewara area are keeping their fingers crossed. The water level of the Sutlej that had risen to 87,000 cusecs last night started receding in the later part of the day. But it did not mark the end of the villagers' worries.

“As the water recedes, it erodes parts of the embankment,” said Amrik Singh, a resident of Garhi Fazil. He added, “We are cutting trees and using them as barriers to slow down the flow of water.”

Some villagers had pitched in with their tractors to help the authorities ferry these trees. Last year also when the water level had risen, the villagers had lent helping hand for which they later received monetary compensation from the authorities.

“We have come here to take stock of the situation. We don’t want to be caught unaware,” said Jasbir Singh, who had come from Hawas village, which is about 5 km from Mattewara.

According to officials present on the site, three areas had been identified as vulnerable. “We are keeping a close watch. On our part, we are prepared to meet all exigencies. But we cannot be sure about the river. Sometimes, within a few minutes, the seemingly peaceful river erodes a large chunk of embankment,” said an official, requesting anonymity.

At Kasabad village, the officials keeping the vigil said there was no need to panic. In such cases, it is the suddenness that is alarming. Had the water receded suddenly, it would have been a cause of alarm. It is hoped that by tomorrow, the situation would be normalised, they added.

“At the Phillaur Bridge, the discharge of 83,800 cusecs of water was recorded at 12 noon today. Around 2 pm, it had receded to 77,800 cusecs. We are keeping an hourly tab on this,” said SDO (drainage) SL Bhanot. He reiterated that there was no need to panic.

Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari said the discharge of 90,000 cusecs of water in the Sutlej was not from the Bhakra Dam. This discharge originated from the flashfloods in the Swan River in Himachal Pradesh. “Though 90,000 cusecs of water was a risky discharge, everything is under control now,” said Tewari. He added that there was no breach at any point on the Dhussi Bandh.



Rain damages 80 luxury cars
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

A view of the badly damaged cars caused due to incessant rain in Ludhiana.
A view of the badly damaged cars caused due to incessant rain in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, August 14
More than 80 luxury cars were damaged due to rain in Swami Vivekanand Vihar near Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar. The area residents lamented that as the area was at a lower level, water got accumulated there, leaving luxury cars damaged.

The residents added that they had been without power since Friday evening, as water had entered the room, where electricity meters of the locality were installed.

The residents of HIG flats in Dugri vented their ire on area councillor.

SP Karkara, a senior citizen, and a resident of Swami Vivekanand Vihar, said his Maruti Dzire was damaged in the rain.

“There was six feet water in our residential complex, which submerged all cars parked in the parking lot. The area had witnessed a similar problem in 2003. On Friday night, water entered our houses and we could not do anything to stop it,” lamented Karkara.

He said the area councillor as well as the senior Ludhiana municipal corporation officials had been apprised of the problem of waterlogging a number of times. “But the officials concerned never fulfil their promises,” he said.

Ashok Soni, president of the Swami Vivekanand Vihar Welfare Society, alleged that when the entire area was under six feet water, they kept calling up the MC officials, but no one responded. “We didn’t receive any support from the civic body, due to which since Friday evening, we have been without power and water. The MC officials sent two machines to pump out water from the area, but those were too small for the job. Then we had to hire private people, who came to our rescue. I wonder as to why after apprising the MC of the problem, it has never tried to solve it,” said Soni.

In HIG flats of Dugri, residents faced a lot of problem, as water entered their houses yesterday.

Swaranjit Singh, an area resident, said the area was under four feet water, due to which furniture was damaged. “Area councillor Tehal Singh had to face ire of the area residents, including women. The MC officials claim that ours is a posh locality, and if this is what a posh locality looks like, then the officials are highly mistaken,” Swaranjit Singh added.

Tehal Singh could not be contacted despite several attempts.



Ground water up by 8 ft
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, August 14
Fury of the rain that lashed this part of the region in the last 24 hours may have brought misery to many, but there has been a positive outcome too. Due to the heavy and continuous rain in many parts of Punjab, the water table has risen between 6-8 feet. Agricultural scientists say that after 1988, it is for the first time that the city has witnessed such heavy rainfall, that too in just 12 hours.

In the months of June, July and August, 60 cm of rainfall is normally recorded in the city, but this monsoon, Ludhiana has already witnessed over 100 cm of rainfall.

Dr GS Hira, an agricultural scientist, said the depleting water table in Punjab was a major concern. “It is depleting at an alarming proportion due to paddy cultivation and installation of submersible pumps. Ground water levels had gone down to over 25 ft. But this time, monsoon has been good. The rainwater has seeped in the earth and the water table is up,” he said.

The president of the Bharti Kisan Union, Ludhiana, Avtar Singh Mehlon, said rainwater was very good for paddy and other crops, but had damaged maize and millet in low-level fields. “The recent rains have wreaked havoc in cities, but in villages there has not been any serious problem. The rain has been very good for the soil. In Punjab, the maximum number of farmers are into wheat-paddy rotation so such rains are beneficial for the quality of the soil,” he said.



Fields submerge as drain blocked
Paddy crop in about 25 acres of land affected, making it difficult for farmers
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, August 14
Alhough heavy rains during the last two days in the region have given some relief to common people from the hot and humid weather, it has also brought trouble for many.

Businessmen and shopkeepers of the city have incurred heavy losses when rainwater flooded into their shops and godowns situated at the Old Grain Market, which was almost submerged in water due to improper water drainage, thus causing damage to goods worth lakhs.

The shopkeepers, who suffered losses, hold the Municipal Council (MC) authorities responsible. Shopkeepers say that had MC officials taken timely preventive measures to drain the rainwater, the heavy financial losses incurred by them could have been averted. “Altough we had taken up the matter with the MC president almost a month ago and requested him for take up necessary steps to prevent such kind of situation, all our appeals fell on deaf ears and nothing concrete was done to avoid the situation,” said a local shopkeeper blaming the reckless attitude of the MC authorities for the trouble.

Another shopkeeper lamented that the MC had done nothing to prevent the situation. It seems that the MC officials and representatives are not serious about the problem.

On the other hand, fields of a large number of farmers of Galib Kalan and Kaler villages have been flooded as drains running alongside their fields have got blocked. As a result, the paddy crop planted in about 25 acres of land have got submerged under three to four feet of water. “I called up the drainage department Junior Engineer Kuldip Singh and informed him about the situation. He asked me to purchase two trolleys of soil and block the breach in the drain from where the water was entering our fields and said the department would later foot the bill,”said Rajwant Kaur, a widow of a farmer.

Another farmer, Rajinder Singh said his crop in as many as 18 acres of land would be destroyed if the water was not drained out. He also rued that drainage department officials did not give him a satisfactory answer when he asked them to address his problem.

Kuldip Singh, however, denied that he had asked the farmer’s widow to purchase soil to block the breach. He also said he was unable to inspect the site since he is busy in Independence Day preparations. Meanwhile, Sub Divisional Officer Surinder Singh could not be reached for his comments despite repeated calls .



Faulty planning by MC leaves residents fuming
Gurvinder Singh

Ludhiana, August 14
Sights of collapsed furniture, refrigerators submerged, kitchen gas-cylinders floating on dirty water in some of the homes at HIG flats, Urban Estate, Dugri Road, are common in every monsoon. This year things are worse in the area thanks to a defective solution by the Municipal Corporation.

More than 20 households in the locality have been badly affected for years due to the faulty incline in the area. Heavy showers on Friday night left the area flooded with water rising above 5 feet.

Heavy rains lasting only a couple of hours swamped the area causing the water to enter houses. “Monsoon is the season of nightmares for us,” says Ashwini Walia, a resident of the locality. “We can’t sleep a moment when it rains and when water enters the house. The rain water causes so much damage to household goods.”

“We can’t afford to go out of town even if something important comes up during the rainy season as we have to check the entry of rainwater in our house,” says Kamini, also a resident of the area.

After complaints by the residents about the perennial problem the Municipal Corporation had installed storm-sewers in the low-lying area, connecting with the ones that were at a higher level, which are causing backward flow of water and exacerbating the problem.

Earlier the water level used to be at 3-4 feet, but now with installation of sewer-storms, without proper planning, is causing the water to rise more than 5 feet during heavy showers. Not only does the water rises higher now, but also takes longer to clear away. The roads were left uncarpeted after the installation causing clogging of sewers. “The level of roads needs to be raised,” says Ashok Kumar, another resident of the area. “The MC should also have some rainwater harvesting wells in the area, so that the water collected can be used.”



Finally, MC swings into action
Sends JCB machine to uproot wild growth of weeds
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 14
Finally the Municipal Corporation of Ludhiana swung into action and started a cleanliness campaign on the premises of Civil Hospital where wild plants and weed had mushroomed and was causing a big obstacle in cross ventilation. A JCB machine was put into action to uproot these wild plants and bushes this afternoon.

It was on August 11 when the Tribune highlighted about this in the news “Wild growth, filth dot hospital premises”.

Shiv Ram Saroy, founder chairman of an NGO, Ann Jal Sewa said, “On August 1, we planned to clean these weeds so that patients could breathe in fresh air. But it was not easy for us manually. So we made a request to the district administration to provide us the support of the department concerned in this campaign. But it is sorry to say that everyone passed the buck to the other and the campaign came to a halt. But today we are happy that the administration finally paid heed to our request after the Tribune highlighted it.” He further said the NGO would also give its support to the district administration in this weeklong cleanliness campaign through its volunteers.



GTB Dakha overpower DAV eves
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, August 14
Guru Teg Bahadur School, Dakha, overwhelmed DAV Public School, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar branch, Ludhiana, 31-7 to record an easy victory in the girls’ under 16 section in the Mahindra NBA Challenge Basketball League Season II being held at Guru Nanak Sports Complex here today.

The winners were leading 9-0 at the end of the second quarter. Kirandeep Kaur and Gurpreet Kaur accounted for 13 and 8 points, respectively, to steer Dakha to a comfortable victory.

In another match (girls’ u-16), Government Model Senior Secondary School, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, blanked Gymkhana Club, Ludhiana, 45-0 in which the main contributions were made by Jaskiran Kaur (20) and Pawandeep Kaur (9).

In the third match in the age group, Delhi Public School, Ludhiana, outnumbered Doraha Public School 20-8 after leading 8-7 at half time.

For the winning side, Apoorva netted eight baskets which helped them to wrap up the issue.

In the boys’ section (u-16), Mansa district proved too good for Government Senior Secondary School, Civil Lines, Ludhiana, whom they drubbed 62-26.

In the boys’ (u-13) section, BCM Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar branch, beat DAV Public School, BRS Nagar branch, 18-5 in which Vinayak excelled with 10 points.

In the second match (boys’ u-13), BCM Senior Secondary School, Chandigarh Road branch, Ludhiana, outclassed Guru Nanak Club, Moga, 15-9 with Prabhsimran chipping in with 9 points for the winning side.

The third match played between Doraha Public School and Green Land Public School, Ludhiana, turned out to be a one-sided affair in which the former came out triumphant without being challenged 27-6. Navpreet Singh scored 13 points which enabled Doraha lads to emerge victorious.



PAU Zone emerge winners
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, August 14
Students of Green Land Senior Secondary School, Jalandhar bypass branch, gave a fine performance to help PAU Zone emerge winners in the boys U-17 category during the Ludhiana District Inter-Zonal Basketball Tournament organised by the Punjab Education Department at Government Model Senior Secondary School of Punjab Agricultural University campus here yesterday.

Akashdeep, Gaurav Sahota and Tapinder Singh represented PAU Zone in the championship and contributed valuable points to steer PAU Zone to victory.

In the first match, PAU Zone defeated Khanna Zone 40-15 in which Akashdeep contributed as many as 25 points and in the second encounter, PAU Zone routed Sahnewal Zone 43-17. Again, Akashdeep gave a stupendous performance.



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