L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


2 GADVASU students attacked
Outsiders believed to be behind the incident on campus
Charanjit Singh Teja

Ludhiana, August 17
Two students of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) were reportedly injured when a group of outsiders attacked them on the veterinary campus itself. Both students are from B.S.Sc III year.

Gundeep Singh fractured his left arm while Pankaj received head injuries. Both were admitted to the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital and their condition was stated to be stable.

According to Harpal Singh, dean, College of Veterinary Sciences, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, the police had been informed about the incident and students were out of danger.

He said that investigations were on. The reason for the attack on students was not known.

Eye-witnesses said the incident took place at around 9:10 am today. Three outsiders in Fiat Punto Car drove inside the campus and attacked the two students while the latter were on their way to attend classes.

The attackers were holding iron rods and baseball bats. One of the security guards reportedly tried to come in-between but he was threatened by the attackers, who hit the students with rods.

It may be mentioned that such clashes are not new to the GADVASU/PAU campus. Earlier also students from both the varsities got injured on certain occasions by outsiders.

SHO PAU Police Station Beant Juneja said that statements of victims had already been recorded and a case under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code will be registered by evening against the four persons out of whom two were outsiders, while the two others were students of Veterinary College.

"There is some personal rivalry between both the groups. One of the student who got injured in today's incident had already been booked by the police earlier", said Juneja.

‘Limited Powers’

"We have limited powers. We are here just to prevent occurrence of thefts. Otherwise, at all the gates, PAU security is responsible for keeping a check on outsiders".

— Kuldeep Singh, Security officer, GADVASU


A regular occurrence 
Charanjit Singh Teja

Ludhiana, August 17
It is not the first time that the campus has witnessed a bloody clash. A number of such vindictive incidents have occurred in the past when students clashed to settle scores on the campus.

In January, seven students were booked in an attempt to murder case at the PAU police station following a clash. A youth had been thrashed by armed assailants on the PAU campus and later, on the statement of the victim, Gundeep Singh, a student of GADVASU, the assailants were booked. In April 2009, three students of GADAVSU had clashed with six outsiders, who allegedly entered their hostel room and manhandled them.

Also, in August 2009, two groups of students had clashed on the campus allegedly over the appointment of a fourth-year student of College of Veterinary Sciences as the president of Veterinary Students' Union.

"We are worried. In spite of security on the campus, such incidents continue to occur. No action has been taken by the security on the spot," said a student. She added that whatever may be the reason for such attacks, it creates a feeling of insecurity among the students.

Aman, another student from campus said, "Students are totally unsafe on the campus. There is no security check on arrivals. Today's incident exposed the security lapses. Security personnel inside is not able to communicate with security on the gate."

Ravinderpal Grewal, security officer, PAU, said, "We check the outsiders, but in this incident GADVASU students are also involved. It is difficult to prevent such incidents. GADVASU security failed to inform us on gates.” 



Dengue: Govt, private hospitals’ figures simply don’t match
Discrepancy due to health dept’s delay in confirming cases
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 17
Cases of dengue fever are being reported in various private hospitals and clinics in the city, but the figures provided by them are always at variance with those trotted out by district health officials. The ostensible reason behind this is the delay in confirming the cases by the health department.

It is surprising the figures given by health officials are invariably fewer by almost thrice as compared to those of private hospitals. Dr Kamal Masih, medical superintendent of the Christian Medical College & Hospital, told The Tribune: “During this (monsoon) season we received about 50 patients suffering from dengue, of which a significant number are from other districts."

According to sources, more than 60 dengue patients were admitted at Dayanand Medical College & Hospital. However, district health officer Dr Kulwinder Singh said: "There are only 25 dengue patients at that hospital." When asked why the figures varied, he replied: "Actually we provide the number of dengue patients after they undergo tests to confirm the disease, whereas private hospitals come up with the number only after a screening test. We on our part conduct the tests in line with government regulations."

However the story is other the way around. Said Masih: "We conduct test of dengue in our hospital laboratory and start treatment of dengue only after confirmation of the dengue positive. About this we also inform the health department and also keep a sample for the health department f the same patient for their own testing."

“The health department has given us instructions to us saying 'keep the samples with yourself and our employee will come and collect them'”, he added.

The health department had not collected blood samples of dengue patients at private hospitals for over a week. Kulwinder said: "We collect blood samples only of patients suspected to have contracted the disease."

150 dengue, 2 cholera cases reported

"Two cases of cholera were reported in Haibowal Kalan in Ludhiana district last Sunday. I’ve asked the officials concerned to ask residents of the area drink only boiled water and to give tips on hygiene to keep the disease at bay."

-- Deepak Bhatia, Project coordinator, state integrated disease surveillance project

"Till now 150 dengue cases have been reported in various districts of Punjab but there has not been any confirmed death due to the disease."

-- A state health department official 



Simarjit Bains back in saddle
Is prime accused in Tehsildar-cum-Executive Magistrate Major GS Benipal stripping and assault case
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, Aug 17
The prime accused in the Tehsildar-cum-Executive Magistrate Major (retd) GS Benipal stripping and assault case, Simarjit Singh Bains, was today retained as president of the district (urban) unit of the Youth Akali Dal (YAD) in the recast state body of the party announced by the state president Bikramjit Singh Majithia.

Bains, a sitting councillor, was named an accused in the Tehsildar case in June 2009 and remained behind bars for 11 months. The case is still in the court. Having remained upset with the party for a year for not bailing him out of the crisis, Bains was placated by the party's top leadership a few months ago after he expressed his displeasure publicly by staying away from YAD rallies. Speculation was rife that he would be dumped by the party.

But he was renamed the YAD president yet again. It may not have been an easy treading for YAD supremo, Bikram Singh Majithia as district unit of YAD had been marred by factionalism.

Party sources said in restructuring the state body the YAD chief Majithia had made an attempt to strike a balance between all factions and representation had been given to all prominent party leaders like cabinet minister Hira Singh Gabria, former members of Lok Sabha Sharanjit Singh Dhillon and Amrik Singh Aliwal, former minister Jagdish Singh Garcha, former deputy speaker of Lok Sabha Charanjit Singh Atwal.

The rural unit of the party has been bifurcated with Kamaljit Singh Mallah and Yaadwinder Singh Yaadu nominated as presidents of rural (Jagraon and Khanna) units.

The industrial and financial capital of the state finds a sizeable presence in the new state unit of the YAD with as many as five senior vice presidents, as many as seven general secretaries, one additional general secretary and four vice presidents.

Benipal disappointed

Major GS Benipal, who is now serving as Tehsildar (Vigilance) in Chandigarh, said he was disappointed with the government which seems to have extended its full support to Bains despite knowing that a case of stripping and assaulting a government servant was still in court. "I always knew the government was with him. But this does not deter me from continuing my fight against Bains and his accomplices even if he has the full backing of the government, ’’ he said.



MC officials set for another foreign ‘technical’ trip
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 17
Nero was fiddling while Rome was burning. This holds true for Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura who, along with a battery of senior Ludhiana Municipal Councillors, would be leaving for Abbotsford (Canada) for a week-long “technical trip”, starting August 22.

Ironically, the trip has been planned at a time when the city witnessed massive loss due to incessant rainfall on Friday and Saturday. These two days, the city witnessed 400 mm rainfall, which was a record of the last 40 years.

This would be the third time that MC officials would be visiting a foreign country, with the first trips carried out in March and June this year. On these two occasions, the officials had visited Leicester in the UK.

This time, city councillors have rued that at a time when the city needs attention of the civic body, Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura and other councillors and MC officials are leaving for a trip to Canada.

Sources in the MC informed that Giaspura would be accompanied by Deputy Mayor Sunita Aggarwal, councillors Gurdeep Singh Neetu from BJP, Parminder Mehta from Congress, Harbhajan Singh Dang from Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), Mandeep Kaur Sandhu from Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and Additional Commissioners Kuldip Singh and Amarjit Singh Sekhon.

But MC officials justified that every member of the delegation had been asked to pay for the expenses from their own pockets. “Be it visa fee, air ticket, boarding and lodging and other expenses. These would be paid by the delegation members themselves. And every member is expected to pay an amount of at least Rs 3 lakh for this trip,” informed a delegation member.

A senior MC official claimed that it (MC) received an invitation from the mayor of Abbotsford, they had asked all MC councillors to join the delegation. “Because every member is to pay from their own pocket, not many people came forward. Those who applied have paid for all the expenses,” claimed an official.

The delegation would reach Canada on August 22 and would stay there till August 28.

Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura was not available for comments despite repeated attempts.


Many councillors arwe critical that at a time when the city needs attention of the civic body after the recent heavy rainfall and the damage caused by it, it is pathetic to see Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, some councillors and other MC officials proceeding to Canada on a trip.

PA also onboard

Interestingly, Ashok Kumar, the personal assistant (PA) to the Mayor, will also be part of this delegation. Councillors critically observe that PAs of senior MC officials are now also becoming part of foreign delegations going on technical trips. “How would the city benefit from his visit?” asked a councillor while requesting anonymity.



‘Rain claimed 17 lives, cost Rs 88.32 cr in district’
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 17
Incessant rainfall on Friday and Saturday cost the district Rs 88.32 crore and a total of 17 lives. This was found in the report prepared by the Deputy Commissioner today and sent to Financial Commissioner (Revenue).

The maximum loss has been incurred by Punjab Mandi Board, which is Rs 39.96 crore, while PWD Division 1 and Division 2 have incurred a loss of Rs 19.32 crore and Rs 19.09 crore, respectively (see box).

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari said all lists were compiled and finalised this morning. “We have sent them to Financial Commissioner (Revenue), who would submit them to the state government, and accordingly the funds for repair work would come,” claimed the DC.

He further stated that as far as the loss of crops in villages is concerned not all SDMs have submitted their reports, but yes, SDM (West) has given report that rainwater is accumulated in around 1,200 acres of land. But we would be able to assess the loss only when the water recedes. So accordingly, we would compile another report by August 23 and send it to the state government for compensation.

The DC said that he is hopeful to get these funds within a month’s time and it would be with the help of these funds, that the repair work would be carried out in the district.



DC seeks Rs 1.7 crore to shore up eroding banks
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 17
The fluctuating water level of the Sutlej has put the entire administration on tenterhooks. Worried by the alarming situation and continuous erosion of its banks, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari today visited Chandigarh and demanded the release of Rs 1.70 crore from Financial Commissioner-Revenue (FCR) for the purchase of sand sacks and other material to erect fencing alongside sensitive points, identified by the administration, where the breach may occur.

“We are worried about the situation and keeping a constant tab on the water level. At the same time, there is no need to panic and the administration is on its toes to tackle the situation,” said Tiwari.

The water level of the Sutlej, which had risen to 87,000 cusecs on August 14, has receded considerably and today, the river was flowing at 17,000 cusecs.

As the water recedes, it erodes parts of the embankment.

An official of the administration, who has been keeping a close watch on the water level, said: “The water level may not harm the embankments as of now, but things may change rapidly if the river suddenly changes shape after the release of water from Bhakra Dam. It will be a cause for worry then.”

Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashish Chaudhry said PCR officers had been deployed along the riverbank to keep a watch and sound an alert. Further, local residents have been told to inform the police in case of a breach.

Tiwari said: “I met with the FCR and apprised him of the prevailing situation. I have demanded an immediate release of funds to strengthen vulnerable points.” 

Water level receding

The water level of the Sutlej, which had risen to 87,000 cusecs on August 14, has receded considerably. Today, the river was flowing at 17,000 cusecs. As the water recedes, it erodes parts of the embankment



Ludhianvis continue to fight the Anna way
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 17
Different organisations continued their unflinching support for the second day to social activist Anna Hazaare, the leader behind the Jan Lokpal Bill. Protests, dharnas and fast unto death marked the day along with candlelight marches.

Joining Anna in this struggle, 78-year-old Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa, president, Panth Khalsa Dal, who started his fast unto death in front of the Deputy Commissioner's Office yesterday said, "I am with Anna Hazaare who is fighting corruption tooth and nail. About two months ago I observed fast unto death with Anna and also conveyed my message to him through his representatives that he should get all the assurances in writing from the Central Government, so that this struggle ends here itself. But if we fail we will have to continue our struggle." Satnam Dhaliwal, founder chairman of the Universal Human Rights Organisation, said, "We are supporting Bapu Surat Singh for this cause."

While Vishal Jain, managing director, Shifaly International School, and one of the members of NGO Aandolan, said," Yesterday about 300 students of our school were out of station. So today we educated them about this campaign and also the residents of the colonies near Rahon road. We have also opened our facebook account in order to enroll more youngsters in the campaign."

However, the Hindu Sikh Jagriti Sena, another NGO, started the token strike today at the Jagraon Bridge to protest against MP Manish Tiwari’s defamatory statement on Anna Hazaare.

The National Anti-Corruption Council also held a special meeting at the Circuit House and discussed the issue of increasing corruption in India. Ramesh Nanchahal, national president of the organisation aid, "Today the issue of the Lokpal Bill is being discussed everywhere in the country, but question arises as to who will control the Lokpal even if the Prime Minister and the Judiciary is also brought under its ambit.?

At Guru Nanak Engineering College some students also held a candle march in support of the movement. Naval Chaudhary who has passed engineering from Thapar University, Patiala, said, "This movement is for all and we are supporting it through peaceful candlelight march."

BJP protests too

The Ludhiana disrict (urban) unit of the BJP also organised a protest march which was led by district president Rajiv Katna.

Planning Board (Punjab) Vice Chairman Rajinder Bhandari and state Health and Family Welfare Minister Satpal Gosain along with councillors and office bearers of wards and divisions also participated in the protest march and later handed a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari. The Ludhiana unit of the Shiv Sena (Hindustan) also held a protest and burnt an effigy of Lok Sabha MP Manish Tiwari near the Mohan Dai Cancer Hospital chowk.

PSU not directly backing Anna

Unlike many other organizations, the Punjab Students Union is not directly supporting Anna Hazare. Arun Kumar, the district president of Punjab Student Union, said, "We are not directly supporting Anna Hazare although his demand is genuine. But we want to bring a change in the system, which is corrupt. We work on the ideaology of Shaheed Bhagat Singh to have a socialist society. The movement of Anna Hazare is involving only the civil society but not the people who belong to the 70 per cent society of India. Labourers in factories and fields are still deprived of their rights."



Gandhi topi stages a comeback
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 17
The sale of Gandhi topis is up in the city in the wake of protests in support of Anna Hazare in different parts of the city. The topi that became a symbol of patriotism and nationalism during the struggle for Independence had almost disappeared from this region after the freedom movement.

"There is a sudden demand for Gandhi topis. We have already sold more than 100 topis since yesterday," says Gopal Krishan of Khadi Bhandar. "We got an order of 200 topis this morning, but we had to turn it down as we did not have the ready stock. Normally some topis are sold near the Independence Day or Republic Day for school functions to students. So we don't generally keep a large quantity in stock," he added.

Raman Dwivedi, who participated in a protest, wore the Gandhi topi with an imprint of "Main Anna Hu". "Anna wears Gandhi topi. By wearing it, I announce that I support him for the betterment of the nation," he said.

Amit, who participated in a protest rally through Chaura Bazaar said it was the first time he wore Gandhi topi.

Riding on the Anna wave, national flags, which usually disappear from the markets after Independence Day, are still selling.

Gandhi topi at Khadi Bhandar in Chaura Bazaar is selling at Rs 30 a piece.



Two unsafe buildings demolished
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 17
Wakling up from their slumber on the issue of unsafe buildings in the city, municipal corporation officials on Sunday ordered the demolition of two unsafe buildings in the Mali Ganj area, as these posed a threat to the lives of residents.

Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, accompanied by Congress councillor Parminder Mehta and other senior officials, made a round of the old city areas where most of these unsafe buildings are situated.

On Saturday, two boys - Ajay Kumar (15) and his younger brother Vipan Kumar (10) - were killed when a portion of the heritage Lodhi Fort fell on a house located in Qila Mohalla. Six others had sustained serious injuries in the incident.

“The MC will now take this issue seriously and prevent such deaths due to collapse of unsafe buildings. Most unsafe buildings are situated in the area represented by me and I have seen that people continue to live in unsafe buildings, which not only pose threat to their lives but also to those living in the vicinity,” said Parminder Mehta, councillor from ward No. 35.

Without having any effective mechanism in place to tackle the problem of unsafe buildings, the municipal corporation has kept its eyes closed for many years.

Most such buildings are located in the old city area and many have tenants living in them for decades.

The building branch officials of the corporation have claimed that in most cases, building owners are fighting cases in the court with tenants.

The corporation claims that they have already served demolition notices on occupants of these buildings, but they (occupants) approach the court and in some instances, even manage to get stay orders.

Referring to an unsafe building in in the Mali Ganj area, Mehta said: “I asked its owners to demolish it on their own, but they refused. I had to call the police to start the demolition with the help of experts.”



LIG flats joined to form 22-bed nursing home!
Residents approach GMADA to initiate action against doctor
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 17
In a classic example of how the undertaking on land use and building bylaws are violated, and rules and regulations governing the allotment of LIG flats by Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) flouted, a doctor has been running a 22-bed nursing home from a building that has been reconstructed by connecting at least five LIG flats in Sector 32 on the Chandigarh Road here.

According to a complaint filed by some residents of the locality with GLADA, Dr JS Kathuria had purchased five LIG flats (Nos 650, 653, 654, 726, 727) from allottees and carried out modifications to make them a single unit to set up his nursing home.

Under the rules governing the allotment of LIG flats made by GLADA, the dwelling units are meant exclusively for residential purposes. Further, the owners are not supposed to carry out structural changes or modifications in the flats, and nor are they permitted to cover the courtyard in the rear portion of the flats, which has been done in this case.

Information obtained under the Right to Information (RTI) Act by a complainant from GLADA reveals that the authorities are fully aware of the LIG flats having been unlawfully modified to make them a single unit in contravention of the rules of allotment.

They are also in the knowledge of commercial activity being carried out from the building, which is again a violation of the land use norms, and further the rear courtyard of the flats has been covered, which is also illegal.

The information provided by GLADA under the RTI to the complainants further says that as per the records available with the office, notices for carrying out commercial activity and violation of building bylaws has been issued to the original allottees, while further follow-up action is yet to be initiated.

The complainants have further alleged that not only has the building of the nursing home been constructed without an approved building plan, but the nursing home is also posing a serious health hazard to residents of the adjoining localities as its medical waste is being disposed of in an unsafe manner.

GLADA estate officer Jeet Ram confirmed that the matter of a nursing home being run in the LIG flats had been brought to their notice and that it was against the rules of allotment for these dwelling units.

“We have issued final notices to the allottees to close down the commercial activity, and also remove encroachment or illegal construction (if any). Further action as per the rules of allotment and provisions contained in the sale agreement will be initiated if the allottees fail to carry out the directions.”



‘Paying bribe is also a crime’
Mahesh Sharma

Dehlon, August 17
Activists of various social, religious and political organistions vowed not to give bribe to get their works done from government or non-government officials.

The oath was taken in response to a call made by former minister Jagdish Singh Garcha and legislator Darshan Singh Shivalik during the concluding session of a cultural programme organised here on Tuesday.

Acknowledging that paying bribe was also a crime, activists of various organisations led by Jasbir Singh Dehlon, Paramdeep Singh Deepa and Parminder Singh Rangian vowed not to get their works expedited by offering and paying bribe. The activists also announced to support the movement launched by Gandhian leader Anna Hazare.

Earlier, the speakers accused the UPA government of allegedly trying to curb voice of the people against corruption, unemployment and price hike.

The organisers presented plays and skits to educate masses about causes and consequences of social evils, including corruption, illiteracy, unemployment and drug addiction. GS Dhaliwal, president of the Private Educational Institutes Association, inaugurated plays directed by Jasbir Singh Barundi.



PCMSRU observes strike
Tribune News service

Ludhiana. August 17
On the call of all-India strike by the Federation of Medical and Sales Representative's Association today, the Punjab and Chandigarh Medical and Sales Representatives Union observed strike.

BS Shahi, unit secretary of the union, said, "We submitted a memorandum of 14 demands to the assistant labour commissioner, Ludhiana. We have demanded that a grievances committee for sales promotion employees under the Industrial disputes (Amendment) Act 2010 be set up immediately, wherever it does not exist. To take urgent step to amending section nine of SPE Act to incorporate "imprisonment" as punishment for violation of the Act; statutory working rules for sales promotion employees under the SPE Act, six months maternity leave for women sales promotion employees and preventing multinational companies' take over of Indian companies; publish 356 essential drug list, make all essential drugs available and stop banning well established products of Indian companies without substantial grounds and project jobs of workers.



NRHM Union protests over unfulfilled demands
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 17
Employees working under the National Rural Health Mission continued to protest today at the Civil Surgeon Office under the presidentship of Dinesh Gulati.

The agitated employees said that many times the health minister made promises to filfil their demands but all in vain.

The employees said,"We will hold a meeting with the health minister on August 18 and in case he failed to fulfil our demands, we will start a state-level protest at Chandigarh from August 19.

Representatives of three districts will sit on dharna there on day-to-day basis."

Rajinder Singh, spokesman of NRHM Union, Punjab, said, "The state governments of Bihar and Rajsthan have increased facilities and salaries of its employees. However, the Punjab government pays less salaries and send the money back to the Government of India by imposing un-necessary deductions on the salary of the employees. The other two states have doubled the salaries of its NRHM employees. 



20 erring dyeing units fall in line
Agree to comply with pollution board’s directions
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 17
The 20 dyeing units on the Bahadurke Road, which were served closure notices on July 21, have agreed to comply with the directions of the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) and assured that their common effluent treatment plant (CETP) will start functioning within the next three months.

This was stated by PPCB chairman Kahan Singh Pannu, who was in the city to attend a seminar.

“The owners of these 20 dyeing units have fallen in line and have produced documents related to the purchase of two acres of land for setting up a CETP, Rs 90 crore loan sanctioned by a bank and an order for machinery worth Rs 1.04 crore placed with a private company. They can run their units for three months and within this time, they will have to ensure that their CETP starts functioning, to which they have agreed. If they fail to comply with these directions, we will again initiate strict action against them,” claimed Pannu.

Earlier, these dyeing units were given a week’s extension by PPCB officials, who wanted them to purchase land for setting up the CETP and finalise the project within seven days or face closure.

On July 21, the erring dyeing units were asked to explain their position individually within 15 days as to why the board should not direct the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) authorities to disconnect their power connections without any further notice.

On August 5, they were again given a week’s extension. The CETP, based on zero liquid discharge technology, is being constructed by the Bahadurke Textile and Knitwear Association and is to start functioning from November 30.

Treatment plant

The 20 dyeing units that had been served notices by the PPCB have assured of starting their common effluent treatment plant (CETP) within the next three months



Traffic cops to be assigned new beats to stem graft
Action against those causing traffic jams due to ‘checking’ of vehicle documents
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 17
Traffic policemen who have for over a decade held on to relatively “lucrative” beats in the city, where they can apparently make extra money in bribes from commuters, will now be shifted to other locations.

The move comes in the wake of a “reality check” by police commissioner SS Chauhan who, after taking stock of the city’s traffic situation on Wednesday, said strict action would be taken against cops who unnecessary created traffic jams with the excuse of checking vehicle documents during peak hours.

"It doesn’t mean traffic violators will have a field day and will be let off even after jumping a red light. Traffic offenders will be dealt with an iron hand, but at the same time cops have been told to maintain some restraint during rush hours. They have to keep it in mind that while stopping a vehicle they shouldn’t create traffic chaos," Chauhan said.

He was speaking after visiting the city’s worst traffic bottlenecks in the morning to ascertain the main factors behind the snarlups.

The busy spots included Bharat Nagar Chowk, Jagraon Bridge, Partap Chowk and Samrala Chowk and the Jalandhar bypass.

"The major causes of traffic chaos are development projects under construction like the Partap Chowk flyover and the Lakkar bridge flyover, so the entire traffic load falls on the Jagraon Bridge. It’s very difficult to manage traffic in such a situation. We hope these projects will be completed soon to ease the traffic flow," he added.

Chauhan was particularly critical about the way traffic cops had been stationed at different locations in the city.

“There is a gross discrepancy in terms of the place of posting. At a round about where we need two cops there are eight cops and at the Samrala Chowk where even 10 traffic cops are not enough there are only four cops," he said.

Chauhan instructed the additional deputy police commissioner (II), who currently holds the additional charge of ADCP (traffic), to look into aberrations and deploy cops according to the traffic bottlenecks.

“Cops who were deployed at particular place for nearly a decade would be shifted to other places. It’s mandatory for every traffic cop to mark their attendance at the Police Lines and then visit their place of posting. We’ve to maintain discipline. The cops just wake up and go to their place of posting without reporting to their seniors. This is going to change and the cops who have been stationed at a particular location for years will now be moved elsewhere," he added.

Praise for some

Police commissioner SS Chauhan was all praise for Pritam Singh, the traffic in charge at Jagraon Bridge. “Pritam is aware about the factors behind the city’s traffic chaos and came up with some valuable suggestions about easing the situation. Other traffic cops should also show similar interest”.



Stores charging extra for plastic bags
Shoppers feel the pinch, say shopkeepers must offer an alternative
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 17
To “discourage” the practice of carrying plastic bags (of less than 40 microns), which create environmental degradation, various department stores, retail chains and shopkeepers in the city have started charging for these bags from consumers.

This has created a furore amongst residents, who are not in a mood to pay extra (between Re 1 and Rs 5) for a carry bag, which is otherwise provided by the seller free of cost.

Store managers and government representatives, on the other hand, maintain that the step has been taken to raise awareness among the masses about the environmental degradation caused by plastic bags.

A retail chain at Kailash Chowk has been charging Re 1 for a small plastic bag and Rs 2 for the larger one from its customers. Customers, however, aren’t happy and oppose such unnecessary burden on the common man.

Surinder Kumar, a customer, said: “A few days ago, I had purchased grocery items from the store but wasn’t charged for a plastic bag. Today, they have started asking us to pay extra for a bag. They are supposed to provide us with a substitute if the government has banned polyethylene bags.”

Several department stores in the city have been charging up to Rs 5 for a polythene bag from customers.

Sudha Miglani, a homemaker, says the step taken under the Punjab Plastic Bags (Manufacture, Usage and Disposal) Control Act for protecting environment is good but charging extra from customers is unjustified.

“Those who can buy plastic bags will continue to use these after paying extra. This means, companies or retail showrooms will provide bags to those who can afford to buy these. Where is the ban then? The ban should be absolute. Otherwise, the whole purpose of imposing a bag gets defeated,” she adds.

Karunesh Garg, senior environmental engineer, Punjab Pollution Control Board, Ludhiana, says customers are being asked to pay for bags to discourage its use.

“Consumers should not discard these on roads or marketplaces, which causes environmental degradation. They must carry a cloth bag while going for shopping. The practice of carrying plastic bags needs to be discouraged. Neighbouring states have already banned plastic bags, while we are gradually moving towards the effective implementation of the Act,” adds Garg.

Charging up to Rs 5 a bag!

Several department stores in the city have been charging up to Rs 5 for different sizes of polythene bags from customers. This has created a furore amongst residents, who are not in a mood to pay extra



Pol science students excel in PU exams
Tribune News Service

Doraha, August 17
Students of the Political Science Department of Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, have shown commendable results in the annual examinations conducted by Punjab University in April this year.

In B.A.III Political Science (Hons), Jaspreet Kaur stood first in the college with 69.5 per cent marks. Shreya and Parminder Kaur have been placed second and third with 68.3 per ent and 68.1 per cent marks respectively.

Similarly, in M.A Part-I, the students have secured 100 per cent result. A total of 19 students secured first division. Megha Sharma has come first in the class by securing 74 per cent marks while Manpreet Kaur is second with 72 per cent. Ranjodh Singh came third by securing 70 per cent marks. In M.A Part II, the students have secured 96.15 per cent result. A total of seven students secured first division. Jagvir Kaur has achieved 75 per cent marks while Sandeep Kaur and Kamaljit Kaur have secured second and third positions by securing a 74.5 per cent and 73.1 per cent marks respectively.

College management committee president Roop Brar, general secretary Harpartap Singh Brar, director Jaswant Singh Gill and Principal Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu congratulated the head of the department Prof Gursharan Kaur, other members of the staff and students who have put in their best possible efforts and brought laurels for the institution.



Students keen on ‘dummy’ admissions than going to regular schools
Gives them time to prepare for entrance examinations like IIT and PMT
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 17
Unable to "cope-up" with the dual stress (of school studies and preparing for entrance examinations for medical/non-medical) and in order to manage their time well, several students from classes XI and XII have started taking "dummy" admissions. While those running tutorials in the city believe that the trend was quite beneficial for students who were focussed and hard working but those having a carefree attitude towards studies could ruin their careers if they stopped going to regular schools.

Even the parents and those running coaching classes feel if the students were intelligent and hardworking, "dummy" admissions were most suited for them. They encourage students to be focussed and prepare well for entrance examinations while attending just the coaching classes.

Geeta Goel (name changed), a student taking coaching classes from different experts of physics, chemistry and math subjects said since her aim was to clear IIT, getting good results in XI was not required. "I have got a dummy admission at one of the school in Bathinda district. The school authorities have provided me the syllabus, I have got the books and study on my own. I will appear for the final exams. The daily attendance is not mandatory. Now I am focussed and preparing for my IIT exams, which is the ultimate aim. As far as results of Class XI are concerned, I don't expect more than 70 per cent marks", said Geeta.

A father of a boy preparing for medical entrance said that his son was studying at a reputed school in Sarabha Nagar and was doing fine. But he (son) needed six to eight hours of self-study, which was not possible if he attended a regular school. "School authorities are too strict to compromise with the attendance so we opted for a dummy admission at a city-based school. He can prepare well for the entrance examination. Neither does he waste time nor he feels exhausted due to dual pressure. The dummy admission is certainly advisable for students who are serious", said the father, who is also a doctor.

As many as three to four schools in the city are offering such kind of facility to students where attendance is not mandatory. The parents of students deposit a lump-sum amount with the schools and the students are required to sit for the exams only.

Sangram Kesari, manager at Aryabhatt Tutorials, here, said that the trend was catching up in the city, though they did not encourage it much. "We want students to cope up with stress in Class XI. They must know how to manage their time well for both the exams (schools/entrance). At times, students stop going to schools and become lethargic. The dummy admissions are good for students who are committed to clear IITs or medical entrance exams and not for students having non-serious attitude towards life", said Kesari.

To appear for final exams only

I have got a dummy admission at a school in Bathinda district. The school authorities have provided me the syllabus. I have got the books and study on my own. I will appear for the final exams. Daily attendance is not mandatory. I am now focusing on preparing for theIIT exams which is my ultimate aim. As far as rthe esults of Class XI are concerned, I don't expect more than 70 per cent marks. — A Student

Advisable for students who are serious

School authorities are too strict and do not compromise with the attendance. Hence, we opted for a dummy admission at a city-based school. He can now prepare well for the entrance exam. Neither does he waste time, nor does he feel exhausted due to dual pressure. A dummy admission is certainly advisable for students who are serious. — A father of student



PAU faculty comes forward to help
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 17
The Board of Management of Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) held its meeting at Chandigarh today. The routine matters were discussed by the BoM members. It was the first Board Meeting after PAU VC Dr B.S.Dhillon took over the charge.

Jang Bahadur, member of the Board, said that the board had appreciated the move to contribute for the PAUs Endowment Fund. "It is a welcome step that faculty has come forward to do something for the university. At least PAU is not going to beg from others, its own faculty has come forward to improve things", said the member. the PAU VC said that it was a routine meeting and several matters concerning confirmation of posts, rotation-wise promotions were discussed at the meeting.



Workshop on rabi crops from Aug 18

Ludhiana: Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) will organise a "Research and Extension Specialists Workshop on Rabi Crops" on August 18-19 in the Pal Auditorium. The PAU Vice- Chancellor, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, will be the chief guest on this occasion. In the inaugural session, the Director of Agriculture, Punjab, Dr BS Sidhu will share production targets and problems in Rabi crops. The Director of Research, PAU, Dr. SS Gosal will highlight salient research findings.

Officers of the Department of Agriculture, Punjab and extension functionaries of PAU working at its outstations, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and different departments at the main campus will participate in the workshop. The PAU subject matter specialists will share their findings from the angle of crop production, protection, post-harvest handling, mechanisation, marketing, etc. There will be three technical sessions on wheat and barley (session I), pulses, oilseeds, winter maize, forages and millets (session II) and agricultural engineering, forestry and economics (session III). The event will discuss new recommendations on rabi crops and gather feed back from the field -level functionaries as it helps to reorient research and technology transfer programmes at PAU. The new recommendations on rabi crops will be finalised for inclusion in the package of practices.

Tips on ornamental plant care

In August, ornamental plants need care.Giving tips for the same, PAU experts on floriculture and landscaping said that the plantation of ornamental trees, shrubs and creepers can be continued during the month as there is less mortality.

Dr Kushal Singh, head of the department of landscaping and floricuture, shared that rooted cuttings or emerging suckers of pot plants should be planted in the pots. He added that the overgrown pot plants should be pruned for proper shape. Repotting and potting should be done during the month. Discussing about the lawns, he said that grass could be planted in this month. Established lawns should be frequently mowed to have uniform compact growth.

"The time is apt for training the rooted cuttings of chrysanthemum already planted in pots, according to their types namely, standard and spray. In the large flowered standard-type varieties, the plants are pinched, if more than one branch is desired", said the experts. 



Industrialist killed in landslide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 17
City-based industrialist Rakesh Mehra died in a landslide at Joshi Math in Uttrakhand here today.

Giving details about the incident, Rajesh Mehra, younger brother of the victim, said the incident took place around 10.30 am when Rakesh (51) was inspecting his hydroelectric power plant.

Rakesh, along with a group of four technicians, was watching a turbine that had suddenly stopped working.

Suddenly a huge rock fell on him and he slipped into a gorge. He was rushed to hospital where he was declared dead. Rakesh, a resident of Model Town, was the managing director of Rajit Group of Companies. An active social worker, he is survived by his mother, wife and three children.



Woman’s gold chain snatched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 17
Meeting a relative proved costly for an Amritsar resident after a snatcher fled with her 20-gm gold chain here last night.

Surinder Kaur (40), a resident of Amritsar visiting her brother in the city, said: “I was on my way to catch a train for Amritsar but decided to meet my nephew, who plays badminton in Shastri Hall. While I was coming out of the stadium after meeting him, a youth approached me and asked for directions for the railway station. He suddenly slipped away with my gold chain,” said Surinder Kaur. When her children, who were seated in a car, asked her about the chain, she couldn’t find it, she said. Surinder’s brother later reported the matter to the police. 



Robbery at cycle unit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 17
Four armed robbers took away cycle parts worth Rs 2 lakh after taking the watchman of a cycle unit hostage in the Dhandari area last night.

According to the watchman, Kanta Prasad, who works at CR Rubber, four armed assailants barged into the unit last night and overpowered him.

“They tied me up with ropes and stuffed my mouth with a piece of cloth to prevent me from raising the alarm. The assailants assaulted me and fled with goods,” said Kanta Prasad.

Factory owner Arun Kumar said the robbers fled with cycle parts Rs 2 lakh.

The police has registered a case and started its investigation.



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