L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Ludhiana most urbanised in state
59.14 pc population resides in cities, towns; agricultural land diminishing
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
Ludhiana has emerged as the most urbanised district in Punjab with a sizable population of 59.14 per cent residing in cities and towns.

However, residents feel that the district, especially the industrial city of Ludhiana, has paid heavy price for urbanisation as the green cover has depleted, pollution level has gone up and the agricultural land has been converted into commercial and residential complexes.

According to the figures released by the Punjab Directorate of Census Operations yesterday, 59.14 per cent of the district’s population lives in cities and towns. Every fifth (19.86 per cent) urban dweller in Punjab is from Ludhiana district. The figures also state that Ludhiana and Amritsar districts also account for the one-third (32.72 per cent) of the total urban population of the state. However, the urbanisation has taken toll on agricultural land in the district. Fertile land that since long has been feeding the hungry is fast disappearing with nearly 155 villages located in and around the city turning into a concrete jungle over the past decade.

Villages on all major approach roads and within a two-km radius of the city’s boundary have been turned into residential colonies even though the city continues to grapple with the problem of providing houses to many of the 50 lakh people residing here.

According to a survey conducted by the Punjab Remote Sensing Centre in Ludhiana, about 155 villages in and around the city’s periphery are fast getting urbanised and about 50 villages have completely become a part of the city. More than 100 villages in the city’s periphery are gradually turning into residential colonies.

Dr SP Singh, former Vice-Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, who is a resident of Rajguru Nagar, says that Ludhiana has paid heavy price for urbanisation.

“The fact that Ludhiana is the most urbanised district of the state looks good on paper, but when it comes to reality, its sad. Fertile agricultural land around the city is fast turning into residential colonies. Dakha, which is around 15 kilometres from the Sidhwan Canal, has almost become a part of the city as a large number of residential colonies have come up there. Same is the case with other nearby towns and villages,” he said.

He said: “Punjab’s economy is based on agriculture and if agricultural land is converted into residential colonies, one can very well understand the state of affairs. Besides, no big industry is coming to the state. This means that we are urbanising agricultural land, no industry is coming, so what would be the state economy like in the coming years?”


  • Ludhiana district population 34,87,882
  • City population 16,13,878 (male 8,74,726; female 7,39,105; eunuchs 47)
  • 2.15 lakh people added to city population during the last decade
  • 15 per cent population growth recorded in city
  • Ludhiana is the most urbanised district in Punjab. Every fifth (19.86%) urban dweller in Punjab lives in Ludhiana district
  • Ludhiana and Amritsar districts account for one-third (32.72%) of the total urban population of the state
  • 59 persons are added to the city’s population everyday


Three months on, Civil Hospital still to be upgraded
Gosain promised facelift when he took over as health minister
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
The tall claims made by the health and family welfare minister, Satpal Gosain, that the Civil Hospital will be upgraded to 300 beds seems to have fallen flat. Three months have passed since Gosain became the health minister and declared that the hospital would be upgraded. But there have been no changes in the hospital, which at present has 100 beds.

Sharwan Kumar, who often accompanies his father to the hospital for treatment, said: “I have not come across any changes. All one can see are big boards carrying details of various schemes along with photographs of Satpal Gosain and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.”

Dinkar Kumar, a patient, said: “One hardly gets any medicine at the government dispensary here except paracetamol.”

Shiv Ram Saroy, member of the Rogi Kalyan Samiti, claimed that the dispensary did not even have pain killers and cough syrups. “Patients at the burns ward or the paediatric ward have to arrange for bandages and cotton, besides medicines, on their own. There are only 100 beds and facilities are lacking,” he said.

Meanwhile, due to the ongoing staff crunch, specially of safai sewaks and staff nurses, patients are at the receiving end. An employee said: “It gets very difficult. One staff nurse has to cater to 50-odd patients.”

More promises

I am trying to improve things. It has been three months and nine days since I took over and I have introduced many changes in the department of ayurveda. Gradually, I hope to fulfill my promises. We will appoint 1,300 doctors. The Civil Hospital will also be upgraded to 300 beds.~

Satpal Gosain, Health and Family Welfare Minister



Damaged files bring smile to police officials!
Say they can now turn down RTI applications
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
The official files that were damaged due to rain have proved to be a blessing in disguise for police personnel. The drenched files were causing stress to the police until a few days ago, but have now become a source of joy to officials working in various branches of the police department located in the basement of the office of the Police Commissioner.

The police officials who would often remain burdened with right to information (RTI) applications are now relieved that they would not have to give information on the pretext that the files are damaged.

“Initially, we were nervous as the files that got damaged were very important. Several files pertaining to criminal cases and investigation were drenched in the rain. But now we can turn down RTI requests on the pretext that the files got damaged in rain,” an official said on the condition of anonymity.

Another police official quipped that earlier a lot of time was consumed in searching for criminal records demanded under RTI applications. But know we can tell the authorities that the files have been damaged.

The record of the police department was kept in the offices located in the basement of the office of the Police Commissioner, which was under 4 feet of water due to incessant rain on August 12. It took three day for officials to drain out rainwater from offices. Several important files and 20 computers were damaged.



Bambota reinstated
Corruption allegations baseless
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
Dr VK Bambota, a senior faculty of the Directorate of Extension Education, PAU, who had been suspended following allegations of corruption, was reinstated yesterday. Strangely, the university authorities had not even chargesheeted Dr Bambota during the suspension period.

As per information, Dr Bambota was falsely implicated in corruption charges due to his phone number, the connection of which was allotted to some other customer about a year ago. “The directory of the PAU mentioned the same number of Dr Bambota, which he had got cut last year. Since he was dealing with the allotment of stalls of farm machinery, people started contacting him on that number,” said a senior faculty member on the condition of anonymity.

The number now belongs to Sukhwinder Singh, a resident of Moga. He started getting calls from unknown people who asked for details of stalls and farm machinery. Sukhwinder Singh reportedly asked a caller to deposit money for getting a stall at the university. The caller reported the matter to the Vice-Chancellor, Dr BS Dhillon, following which Dr Bambota was suspended.

As per rules, Dr Bambota was to be chargesheeted within a week by the authorities, but it was not done. Dr Bambota reportedly brought the matter to the notice of the police, which investigated the matter.

Beant Juneja, Station House Officer (SHO) of the PAU police station, said a complaint was filed by Dr Bambota regarding the misuse of his previous phone number. “When we verified, we found that the number was issued to Sukhwinder Singh of Kot Isse Khan, Moga. He asked a person from Mandi Gobindgarh to deposit Rs 27,500 in his account for the stall. We are still looking into the matter,” he said.

Dr Dhillon said the suspension of Dr Bambota was revoked as no charges were framed against him.

Dr Bambota said: “I never spoke about the issue earlier and will not do so now. But I thank God that my image has not been tarnished.”



Quack gives health team the miss
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
For the third time in a row, a quack, running his clinic in Kundan Puri eluded the squad of district health department yet again, who had planned a raid at his premises here today.

Leaving the officials stunned, the Khushi Clinic was found locked even today although the residents living nearby said the quack has been operating in the area. Helpless, the health department officials lodged the complaint with the police today.

While the Chief Medical Officer, Dr H.S. Bali said they were foxed to find him missing for the third time, he allayed the suspicion of a “mole” within the health department, who could have been leaking the information to the quack. “There cannot be anybody. The information is provided only to senior officials. It may be a co-incidence or the quack may have already decided to shut down his clinic as he was asked for his degrees in the past,” said Dr Bali. He said: “The clinic was being run illegally by Santokh Verma. As the clinic was found closed even today, Dr Raj Karni, medical officer, lodged a complaint with the police.” The CMO said earlier also the clinic was found closed during a raid. Meanwhile, district drug inspector Dr Sanjeev Garg also conducted a raid at a medical store in Hedon village. Dr Garg said habit forming drugs, including 190 capsules, four cough syrups and 250 tablets were seized from Simran Medical Hall.”



Employee flees with Rs 4 lakh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
Trusting an employee proved costly for Brij Mohan, owner of a cloth manufacturing unit of Ladhowal, as the former fled with Rs 4 lakh, a mobile phone and a motorcycle belonging to his employer.

Brij Mohan said Raj, a native of Bihar, had been working in his factory for the past one year and fled with the cash. “After a few months of joining the unit, he won my trust. On August 25, I told him to deliver the cash to our head office in Purana Bazar. I gave him Rs 4 lakh. In the evening I received a call that he had not reached the office. We searched for him and went to his one-room quarter, but he was not there,” Brij Mohan said. His mobile phone was also switched off. A case has been registered.



partap chowk flyover
Civic body sets another deadline
Commissioner pulls up contractor, officials; says to be ready by Sept 20
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
There is some good news for city residents as the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) has said the Partap Chowk flyover would be functional by September 20.

If the deadline is met, it will bring a big relief to residents who have been facing traffic congestion in the area.

The foundation stone of the Rs 22.92-crore project was laid on May 25, 2010. The length of the flyover is 450 meters and the width is 16.5 meters.

The MC authorities had earlier claimed that the flyover would open to traffic by June 15, which was later extended to mid of July. Now, a fresh deadline has been fixed for September 20.

Officiating MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi visited the site today and pulled up the contractor as well as MC officials. “I have told them firmly that if they failed to complete the work by September 20, strict action would be initiated against them. I will personally review the progress of the project and will seek details from the officials concerned,” said Jaggi.

MC officials said the up ramp and the down ramp, which would be constructed at the point where the Gill flyover and the Partap Chowk flyover would meet, would be ready by September 3.“All the connecting roads and service lanes will also be ready by September 3. This would reduce the traffic congestion on the Jagraon Bridge,” added Jaggi.

Presently, the entry of heavy traffic has been restricted to the area following construction activity at Partap Chowk.

MC executive engineer HS Khosa, who is supervising the project, said the project would be complete by September 20. “All workers are working round the clock and we expect the project to be complete on time,” claimed Khosa.



Shunning sun may do more harm
Cosmetic companies promoting craze for fair skin
Gurvinder Singh

Ludhiana, August 27
Dressing up to battle the sun with gloves covering arms and a dupatta wrapped all around the face may actually cause more harm. It may save girls from getting a tan, but deficiency of vitamin D could land them in hospital with fragile bones.

Dr Harpal Singh Selhi, an orthopaedician at the DMCH, says: “People are increasingly suffering from the deficiency of vitamin D because they do not expose themselves to sunlight at all, resulting in weaker bones and other health problems.”

“It is astonishing to see girls covered up from head to toe, and using umbrellas and sunscreens even in mild sunlight. This fad started only seven-eight years ago. Girls all draped up can be seen moving around like mummies! It is a common sight now,” says Renuka Sharma, a resident.

“Tanning is actually good for the skin. It protects the skin from sunburns. Unless there’s some allergy to sunlight, there is no need to use sunscreen or cover up completely,” advises Dr Sunil Kumar Gupta, a dermatologist. “Sunscreens are required only in high-altitude areas or seaside. Direct rays in high-altitude areas or combination of seawater and sunlight can cause sunburns. White skin is more prone to them, not the Indian skin,” he adds.

“It is important to expose arms, legs and the back to direct sunlight from five to 30 minutes at least twice a week for the formation of vitamin D in the body. The right time for this is between 8 am and 3 pm during which the ultraviolet light (UVB) rays with a wavelength of 290-320 nm is present in the sunlight. Exposure of skin to the UVB rays during this time helps the synthesis of vitamin D. These rays do not penetrate sunscreen lotion, glass or clothes. So sitting in front of big windows won’t help,” says Dr Selhi.

Not only girls, people travelling in AC cars do not come out of their cars when it is sunny. “People park their cars right outside their workplaces and shopping malls so that they don’t have to walk in the sun,” says Kishor Dutta, a resident of Urban Estate.

“If humans were not meant to expose skin to sunlight, they would have had long hair all over their skin like animals do,” says Aditi Chopra, another resident. “I don’t let my daughters go out all covered like this. Misleading advertisements by cosmetic companies have made this generation go crazy for fair skin,” she adds.



RTI Act: Info panel serves notice on LIT
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
After the sub-registrar of Jagraon was fined Rs 7,000 by the State Information Commission, now a notice has been served on the Ludhiana Improvement Trust for failing to provide information under the Right to Information Act to Rohit Sabharwal, president, Council of RTI Activists.

He had sought list of violations and details of action taken against the violators from the Ludhiana Improvement Trust from January 1, 2000 till date.

“The complainant (Rohit Sabharwal) had filed an application for seeking some information, but the Public Information Officer (PIO) has failed to provide it even after three months. The PIO is directed to reply as to why information sought under the RTI Act has been delayed and why penalty be not imposed upon him. And why the complainant be not compensated for the harassment and financial loss suffered by him in getting the information,” the order passed by the State Information Commission read.

The LIT has been directed to file an affidavit before September 29 in this regard.



Congress grass a threat to environment, say experts
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
Parthenium hysterophorus, locally known as 'gajarbooti', congress grass or carrot weed, has become a threat to environment and biodiversity.

Pollen grains of this weed float in the air and cause several diseases like eczema, asthma, dermatitis and hay fever in human beings and animals. When animals eat the weed, their milk becomes bitter and its consumption for a longer period may cause death.

These deliberations were made during "Parthenium awareness and eradication campaign" jointly organised by the directorate of students welfare, department of agronomy and national service scheme unit of the PAU under the aegis of Directorate of Weed Science Research, Jabalpur, at the PAU here today.

Over 200 undergraduate students from constituent colleges of the PAU and 60 faculty members participated in the campaign. The campaign was started with practical demonstration on identification and control measures for management of this noxious weed. The students were given tips about the identification and adverse affects of parthenium and practical demonstration on different methods of control like hand pulling, biological control with zygogramma beetle, mechanical control and chemical methods were demonstrated and hands-on training were given to the students.

The experts said that parthenium plant was a native of Tropical America. It was believed to have entered India with imported food grains in the mid-1950s and was now considered as one of the most feared noxious weed species. The weed was first reported in Pune in 1956.

It has invaded 35 million hectares across the country, including farmland, wasteland and forest areas. Initially, the weed occupied largely non-farm areas like wasteland, open forests and roadsides. But now, it is fast spreading on the farmland.

The presence of parthenium in on farmland results in yield reduction up to 40 per cent and in grasslands it can cover up to 90 per cent of the area. It starts appearing in flushes in the end of February and continues to appear till October-November. One plant can produce 15,000 to 25,000 seeds.

PAU VC Dr BS Dhillon said a workable strategy to eradicate the noxious weed was required. He emphasised that a programme to create awareness about the ill-effects and the management strategy of the weed was required.



50 printers leave for exhibition in Bangkok

Ludhiana, August 27
More than 50 printers from the northern states of India are leaving for “Pack Print International 2011” to be held in Bangkok, Thailand.

The visit is being organised by the North India Printers’ Association (NIPA). The event will be held from August 31 to September 3. Besides visiting the exhibition, the group will exchange ideas with the printers’ associations of Thailand to explore joint ventures. The main focus of the exhibition will be on pre-press, pre-media, printing machinery, printing appliances and accessories, book binding, print finishing, paper converting, including packaging production.

Kamal Chopra, general secretary of the association, said members from Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Jammu, Karnal, Panipat, Baddi, Hisar, Jodhpur and Chandigarh will come to the exhibition. — TNS



From schools

Toppers honoured

Ludhiana: A class assembly was organised at Kundan Vidya Mandir with an objective of honouring toppers of Class X board exams (2010-2011). Students, who scored 10 and 9.8 CGPA respectively, were awarded a scholarship by the school. This followed a choreography highlighting the theme “Never to Quit”. Ashwani Kumar, manager of the school, motivated students to achieve their goal. He asked children to be honest in all their endeavours.


Twenty schools participated in an inter-school poetry competition held at BCM Arya Model School, Shastri Nagar. The competition was held in three categories. The first prize was won by Sat Paul Mittal School, BCM School, Chandigarh road, and GNPS, Sarabha Nagar.

Student council inducted

A formal ceremony to induct student council was held at GNPS, Mullanpur. Badges were given to school head boy, head girl, house captains, vice-captains and discipline in charges. — TNS



From colleges

Students shine in PU examination

Ludhiana: Students of Guru Nanak Girls College, Model Town, secured the top positions in PU examination. Kamalpreet Kaur (81.3 per cent), Ravneet Kaur (78 per cent) and Reetika stood (77 per cent) secured the first, second and third positions, respectively.

Workshop for MBA students

A workshop on financial literacy was organised at GNIMT. The workshop was attended by MBA final year students. — TNS



Cultural function
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
Sufi singers Wadali Brothers will be performing at a cultural function to be organised by Shobhaniya Kala Kendra at Guru Nanak Bhawan tomorrow. While addressing mediapersons today, Purva Puri, director of Shobhaniya Kala Kendra, said, “Students of Shobhaniya Kala Kendra will give a dance performance,” said Puri.

Minister for Health and Family Welfare Satpal Gosain will be the chief guest, while former MLA Harish Rai Dhanda will be the guest of honour.



Seminar for traders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 27
A seminar on “Quality Control” was held at the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings here today. Avtar Singh, general secretary, CICU, said the MSME sector was passing through a rough phase. The need was to upgrade skills, create awareness and strengthen competitiveness among these units.

DK Pandey gave a presentation. More than 60 participants attended the seminar. Issues like significant strategies for developing skills, efficiency and strengthening execution capabilities in organisations were discussed at length.



Scheduled drugs seized, 1 held
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 27
The Dehlon police has busted a gang allegedly involved in supplying scheduled pharmaceutical drugs among petty shopkeepers and retailers without valid licence.

Huge quantity of capsules of banned products and bottles of cough syrups were recovered from the possession of one of the suspects, who was nabbed by police party during a naka on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road today.

The accused has been identified as Mohammad Salim of Lassian Chowk area in Malerkotla. However, his accomplice Faruq Mohammad of Imli Chowk area in Malerkotla managed to flee.

According to Gurpreet Singh Sikand, Assistant Commissioner of Police, the suspects were nabbed by a police party supervised by Maninder Bedi, SHO, Dehlon, during a routine naka today. Around 1,000 capsules of scheduled pharmaceutical preparations and 200 bottles of Rexcof were seized from Mohammad Salim.

Investigations revealed that the suspects were members of a gang that had been allegedly involved in supplying banned drugs to petty shopkeepers and retailers without maintaining records of their purchase and sale.

The present consignment was procured from a wholesale dealer of drugs and medicines at Pindi Street in Ludhiana and was to be supplied in Malerkotla.



cricket tournament
Karan’s century in vain, Chaman Lal XI face follow on
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 27
Skipper Karan Goel’s century (117) went in vain as Chaman Lal Malhotra XI was facing follow on against IS Bindra XI on the penultimate day of the ongoing match in the PCA Players’ Emerging Cricket Tournament being organised by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association under the patronage of the Punjab Cricket Association at the Punjab Agricultural University here today.

In reply to IS Bindra XI’s first innings score of 600 for seven declared, Chaman Lal Malhotra XI was tottering at 352 for the loss of seven wickets thus needing 98 runs more to avoid follow on.

Chaman Lal Malhotra XI resumed their first innings at 61 for no loss and soon found themselves fighting against the wall. Last night’s not out batsmen, Jeewantjot Singh (31) and Shiv Love (30) were separated with scoreboard reading 66 as the latter left the ground after adding just one run to his score. Jeewanjot contributed 63 runs.

They lost two more wickets in quick succession but the pair of Anil Sihag and Karan Goel steadied the innings and the pair added 92 runs for the fourth wicket before Anil losing his wicket making 55 runs.

Karan and Mohit Mohindra shared 83 runs partnership for the sixth wicket in which Mohit made 43 runs. After Mohit’’ departure, Karan too seemed to loose his concentration as he gave a simple catch to a fielder at short leg.

Gurinder Singh was the most successful bowler for IS Bindra XI chipping in with four wickets for 97 runs while Varun Khullar, Taruvar Kohli and Barinder grabbed one wicket each.

Brief Scores:

IS Bindra XI (Ist Innings)- 600 for 7 declared after 127.3 overs (Manan Vohra 144, Gurkirat Singh 199, Taruvar Kohli 94, Ishan Malhotra 62, Himanshu 30, Geetansh Khera 28 not out, Gurinder 13; Rahul Singla 3 for 194, Amrinder 2 for 140, Mohit Mohindra 1 for 66 and Sidharth Kaul 1 for 67).

Chaman Lal Malhotra XI (Ist Innings)- 352 for 7 after 113 overs (Jeewanjot Singh 63, Siv Love 31, Mayank Sidhana 2, Karan Goel 117, Abhishek Gupta 17, Anil Sihag 55, Mohit Mohidnra 43; Barinder 1 for 45, Varun Khullar 1 for 43, Gurinder 4 for 97 and Taruvar Kohli 1 for 25).



IC Asian junior challenge
Jagraon girl to represent India
Our Correspondent

Jassowal (Jagraon), August 27
Rimpledeep Kaur, a trainee of Harvest Tennis Academy, Jassowal, Jagraon, has been selected to represent India at the IC Asian Junior Challenge 2011 to be held in Singapore from August 30 to September 2.

The Indian team will play in the IC World Junior Championship to be held in Australia in December 2011 if it qualifies in this championship. Rimpledeep Kaur, who is currently ranked No 2 in the country in the girls (under 16 age group), will have Tarranum Handa of Delhi as her partner.

Rimpledeep Kaur is the first girl from Punjab to play in the IC Cup Junior Challenge. “We are thrilled and hope Rimpledeep and the entire Indian team does well in the tournament,” said Hardeepak Singh, Director, Harvest Campus. Sponsored by Harvest Tennis Academy, Rimpledeep has been trained by Coach Todd Clark at the academy.

It has emerged as one of the finest tennis academies in the region and currently trains more than 75 from all over the world. It is the only academy in India, which boasts of three foreign coaches in addition to a fine domestic contingent of coaches, fitness trainers and a physiotherapist.

Hardeepak Singh said: “It is a matter of pride that one of the local talents, who was alien to the game of tennis till 2005, has been selected to represent the country.



Jalandhar, Mansa eves record victories
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 27
Girls (Under-16 category) Jalandhar district along with Khalsa Public School, Ludhiana, recorded victories in their respective encounters in the second edition of the Mahindra NBA Challenge Basketball League Season II being held at Guru Nanak Sports Complex here today.

Jalandhar district beat Patiala district 34-22 after leading 20-8 at half time while Khalsa School got the better of MGM Public School, Dugri Road, Ludhiana, 56-16 after establishing 27 points lead (31-4) at the end of the second quarter.

The match between the Jalandhar and Patiala districts began on a brisk pace with players of both sides weaving some good moves, threatening each other’s territory time and again but the former gained lead with Tanvi moving like a well-oiled machine.

Tanvi dropped 14 baskets to help her side to emerge victorious while Gurpreet Kaur excelled for the losing side, chipping in with 9 points.

In the second match (girls u-16), Khalsa Public School proved too good for MGM Public School (54-16). Anjali accounted for 16 points for the winners while Jashan, with 10 points fought a losing battle for MGM School.

In the girl’s under 13 section, Guru Nanak Club of Moga defeated Oxford School, BhaktBhai in Bathinda district 22-8; Mansa district beat Faridkot district 32-19; Faridkot district prevailed over Guru Nanak Club of Moga 19-6 and Mansa district drubbed Oxford School, BhaktBhai 29-3.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | E-mail |