L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Money makes the mare go in revenue department
‘Facilitation Fee’ success mantra to get work done quickly
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
The stand of the SAD-BJP government in support of Anna's corruption crusade notwithstanding, the revenue department of the city is ridden with corruption as the government has failed to check it.

“Facilitation fee” is the success mantra to get the work done quickly at Sub-Registrar offices situated in the city, or say anywhere in the state. And those who don’t want to be a part of this “system”, have to wait in scorching heat for hours together.

The “facilitation fee” at all Sub-Registrar offices starts from Rs 2,500 and can go up to as high as Rs 25,000. “The more stamp duty you evade, the more is the facilitation fee demanded by the Sub Registrar. Besides, for every sale deed, the visitor has to pay a fee of Rs 500 per sale deed to the Numberdar,” said an insider, praying anonymity.

The demand for bribe is so rampant in these offices that it has become a part of the system. No work is done without greasing the palm of the officials concerned. The issue was brought to the notice of senior functionaries of the government several times but to no avail.

“The moment I reached the Sub-Registrar office, my problems started and when I got my work done, I ended up paying several thousand rupees. I must say that bribe at Sub-Registrar offices is the order of the day, in fact everyday, ” is the common complaint of most of the city residents who visit Sub-Registrar offices for getting their work related to either sale or purchase of property done.

Out of all departments under the district administration, the revenue department is often allegedly dubbed as the “den of corruption”. City residents have often rued that the moment one enters the compound of any sub registrar office, they are welcomed by scores of agents who offer their “special services” to get work done.

Ironically, people have been making such complaints for many years, but neither the district administration nor the state government has made any efforts to check this menace for which social activist Anna Hazare has been fighting.

Paying of bribe is a common sight at these offices, where the agents offer their “services” shamefully to the people. “These days it’s not called bribe, but it’s facilitation fee. Look, if you pay money, you would not have to stand in a queue, would not have to get all papers prepared. I would manage all this for you,” an agent at Sub-Registrar office was heard saying this to a senior citizen, when this correspondent was also present there.

DC Rahul Tewari said people pay to agents because of the long and complicated process of either selling or purchasing property. “In foreign countries, the system of agents is official. There are firms where people go, pay commission and get their work done,” he said.

No graft plaints so far: DC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
While corruption in public offices is the common grouse of city residents, nobody came up to complain to Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari, who had made his cell phone number public, asking the residents to complain to him about any official seeking bribe.

Tewari, who had made his cell phone number 9988113236 public on Friday, told The Tribune that he had received calls but none of the residents said anything about corruption.

“All those calls that I received were related to routine cases complaining about delays.

He said the weekend may be one of the reasons as the residents did not have to go to any public office.

Though several city residents felt that since it was so difficult to get a work done from a public office, they were going ahead and greasing the palms to get their works done.

“The prevalence of corruption had its roots in the system. People now think that it is a wastage of time to get the work done in routine. So, it is better to pay money and get it done,” said Col JS Brar (retd), a local activist. 


Man who stole car from hotel parking lot held
Is a ‘drug addict’ and son of a local industrialist, say cops
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
The suspect who stole a car from the valet parking at a five-star city hotel located near the Bhai Bala Chowk on August 20 has been identified as Karanvir Singh, the son of a prominent local industrialist, Joginder Singh, who owns Chawla Steels on Gill Road. It was footage from the hotel parking lot’s CCTV camera, which showed him making off with the vehicle, that led the police to nab Karanvir, who the cops say is addicted to drugs.

The suspect was arrested by the police on Friday night near the Bharat Nagar Chowk and the very next day he was sent to jail after being produced in a local court. He had reportedly affixed fake registration plates bearing a Chandigarh temporary number on the stolen car to dodge the police. It was only after the cops checked the number with the vehicle documents that Karanvir was apprehended.

Police division no 5 Naveen Kumar said the suspect, who was a frequent visitor to the hotel, had befriended attendants at the parking lot. “On the day when the car was stolen Karanvir was having alcoholic drinks at the hotel. After a while he went outside and saw a swanky new car in the valet parking area. He took the car keys of the vehicle’s owner, Ajay Kumar Neb, from a box at the valet parking counter and took off in the car. After parking it at a distance he again returned to the hotel and took the key of his own car and fled the scene”, he added.

According to sources a “close aide” of Karanvir was also involved in the car theft. “Karanvir handed over the keys of the stolen vehicle to his friend who sped away in the vehicle. This friend is said to be the son of an influential businessmen and feigned ignorance about the theft. It is learnt he was let off after questioning”, the sources added. Karanvir had reportedly removed the car’s license plates and was planning to sell the vehicle to buy more drugs.



Drug menace plagues the affluent
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
The arrest of Karanvir, son of an iron trader who was caught for stealing a car from a five-star hotel, has again brought to the fore the fact that drugs are spreading their tentacles among the upper-class society of the city.

The increasing use of smack and habit-forming drugs has put the police in a tizzy. Smack that was commonly used in border areas of the state, including Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Ferozepore and Fazilka, was not used often used in the city.

But the menace is fast catching up and acquiring dangerous proportions.

According to psychologist Dr Rajiv Gupta, children as small as 12 years are getting treatment for drugs.

"Earlier opium and liquor were commonly used in the city, but in the last 10 years, the trend has changed and youngsters are increasingly using smack. The person who uses smack needs nearly Rs 500 to Rs 1,000, while those who use heroin squander Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. Recently, a youth visited my clinic who used to consume heroin worth Rs 50,000 every day. You can well imagine how he was arranging money out of it," said Gupta.

The effects of drugs like smack and heroin is so strong that the addicts fail to differentiate between right or wrong.

"What they need is money. And addicts often enter the world of crime. From selling jewellery of wife to use the school fee of the children to buy drugs, the addict does every unethical thing to generate money. Some drug addicts were also working as couriers of drug mafia," said Gupta.

According to the police, while unemployed, who are financially weak, are into habit-forming pharmaceutical drugs, smack is fast catching up amongst businessmen.

Interestingly, the trend of heroin and cocaine is increasing amongst the socialites.

Meanwhile, sources said Karanvir was heavily into drugs. The parent and wife of Karanvir were upset with him. It was after Karanvir stopped receiving money from home that that he planned to commit a theft.

Karanvir is not the only youth who has followed the path of crime. From snatchings to murders, addicts are into every kind of heinous activity.

On July 22, a youth, identified as Gaurav, stabbed his neighbour Saira Bano to death at her residence on the Tibba road. After stabbing the woman, Gaurav fled with cash and jewellery of the victim.



Double whammy for Pulse Polio round
NRHM stir, failure of markers hit campaign
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News service

Ludhiana, August 28
Following a deadlock between employees of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) and the health department, the Pulse Polio Migratory round of the health department started today amidst considerable hurdles. Health department officials as well as other employees remained on their toes to ensure timely start of the campaign.

Not only this, but at some places the markers, which are used to make sign on the finger of each child, were also not working.

Talking to the Tribune, Dr SK Saini, District Immunisation Officer, Ludhiana, said, "The NRHM employees strike affected our work. In the morning, we faced problems in distributing pulse polio kits at various centres where polio drops were to be administered to children of 0 to 5 years. And now in the evening we are facing problem in compiling our data, which includes as to how many houses were visited in a particular slum area and how many children were adminsitered polio drops in slums and sub slum areas."

Meanwhile, it has also been reported that markers which are used to make black sign on the left hand finger of each child after adminsitering the polio drops were not working. Following this, the staff on duty faced a lot of problems.

About this, Dr Saini said,"Yes, we also received complaint about it but we replaced these with the fresh ones. We got the complaints from the ESI dispensary Number 12. Actually these markers were supplied to us from Chandigarh and sometimes things donot turn out well in a packed box." Dr HS Bali, Chief Medical Officer, Ludhiana, said,"In the first day of Pulse Polio as many as 85,434 children were administered pulse polio drops and 1,62,408 houses were visited.



Ludhiana Rly station
Freshly cooked snacks to become thing of past
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 28
If the top brass of Northern Railway has its ways, freshly cooked snacks, food and hot beverages at the railway station will become a thing of the past from coming Wednesday. Instead people travelling in trains will get pre-cooked food items stored in hot cases, along with tea and coffee dispensed out of vending machines. At the same time, the outmoded pushcarts and vends at the railway platforms are also in for a makeover.

Senior railway officials were categorical in saying that August 30 has been given as the deadline to the railway catering contractors and venders to switchover to pre-cooked food and snacks, which should be stored in hot cases.

“After the cut off date, no cooking medium like LPG cylinders, cooking stoves or coal furnaces will be allowed to use at the railway platforms. The vendors will have to sell food packets, which will be kept hot in hot cases, while for hot beverages, vending machines would have to be installed,” said senior divisional commercial manager of Northern Railway MM Singh.

With the fresh cooking of snacks and food items being discontinued, the catering contractors and vendors had also been asked to replace their old-fashioned pushcarts and vends with modular structures, which ought to have provisions for keeping snacks and food items hot while also making arrangements for installation of tea and coffee vending machines.

After the work of catering at railway stations was taken away from Indian Rail Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) a couple of months ago and the Railways had taken the responsibility, the move for discontinuation of cooking facilities at railway stations was on, which, however, faced a stiff resistance from the vendors and contractors in the initial stage. It took several rounds of meetings and dialogue between railway officials and catering contractors that the latter agreed to switch over to selling pre-cooked food items.

A railway vendor when asked about the proposed restriction on cooking snacks and food at the railway platform from coming Wednesday said, “We shall abide by the instructions of the railway authorities and sell food and snacks in the manner they want us to.” The railway passengers, however, were not happy with the move. Ajay Kumar Singla, a railway passenger said, “The passengers will always miss freshly fried pakoras, pooris and other snacks. The pre-cooked food packets will do but the Railways will have to keep 
a strict vigil on the 
quality and hygiene of the packed food.”



Delusions grip many Anna campaigners: shrinks
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
Although the nationwide crusade for introduction of a 'Jan Lokpal' bill in Parliament launched by social activist Anna Hazare has came to an end on Sunday after he broke his “fast unto death”, the campaign has reportedly led to some of the participants exhibiting symptoms of “delusional” disorders. At least five people are said to have developed psychiatric problems during the stir.

Said Dr Rajiv Gupta, a consultant psychiatrist in the city: “I received three middle aged patients in my clinic, one of whom was a worker and two businessmen, residing in the Basti Jodhewal and Model Town localities. Their family members who brought them to me said they had remain glued to TV most of the time and kept discussing the campaign with neighbours, friends and even with relatives on the phone. They tried to force some of their friends to join the movement and, when they didn’t get a positive response, they became violent”.

“A few of them raised slogans from the rooftops against the government and even delivered speeches considering themselves to be Anna Hazare. According to their family members they used to listen to all the speeches made by Hazare and then delivered the same speeches at length - sometimes on the streets and sometimes from the rooftops”, he added.

Gupta said “patients suffering from these problems” are now under treatment. "Although their condition has improved they’ve yet to recover fully and are expected to return to normal by a week or so. We give them medicines to control their behaviour”, he added.

Dr AK Kala, a consultant psychiatrist and a member of the National Mental Health Policy, said he had received two young patients suffering from similar problems at his clinic. His wife, Dr Ravinder Kala, a clinical psychologist, stated: "The two youngsters recently came to my husband’s clinic. One of them was even wearing a cap with the inscription ‘Main Anna hoon’ (I am Anna) and also delivered a speech made by the social activist”.



Dyeing industry keen to get effluent treatment plant
Has to pay Rs 40,000 daily to state government for 32 acres
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
The dyeing industry in the city is now "desperate" to get the common effluent treatment plant (CETP) installed near Central Jail on the Tajpur road at the earliest.

The reason for this is that from day one (the lease deed was signed on August 26), the industry will have to pay Rs 40,000 as lease money everyday to the state government for the next 33 years. The dyeing association has been handed over 32 acres near Jail for setting up the CETP plant. The industry, comprising about 250 small and medium units, has already deposited the quarterly instalment to the state government.

The total cost of setting up the CETP in the city will be approximately Rs 427 crore. Had the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) not tightened the noose over the dyeing industry, which is mainly held responsible for polluting the Buddha Nullah, the much-awaited project could not become a reality. Several deadlines had been issued to the dyeing industry for the installation of the CETP so that pollution in Buddha Nullah could be curbed. As per the dyeing industrialists, it will take another year and a half to complete the project.

Bobby Jindal, secretary, Punjab Dyers Association, said it was a mega project for which no government had provided any financial assistance to the dyeing industry.

"Nearly 250 members of the association are putting in everything from their pockets. The monthly instalment of lease (land) alone will be Rs 12 lakh and the annual instalment will be Rs 1.44 crore. About Rs 2 crore has already been spent by us for getting the project report made, tendering process fee etc. Rs 40,000 is to be given to government daily even if we do not make any use of particular land," said Jindal, adding that a sewerage network of 67 km will be laid in which industrial discharge will be treated. Jindal also said that they were trying hard to get subsidies from Central/state government.

It may be mentioned here that big dyeing houses in the city have already got treatment plants installed on their premises, but small and medium units had shown their "helplessness" for setting up such a costly project. Even several Union ministers, MPs, CPCB representatives and environmentalists held the dyeing industry and state government responsible for not paying attention towards the rising levels of pollution generated by local industry.

Dyeing units held several rounds of meetings with the state government for providing the former land for setting up the CETP in which entire discharge could be treated. The 32 acres was at last provided to industry on lease on August 26 and the contract was signed for 33 years between the government and industry representatives. 



Jubilation marches mark Anna’s victory
Mahesh Sharma

Supporters celebrate Anna Hazare’s victory in Ludhiana.
Supporters celebrate Anna Hazare’s victory in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan 

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 28
Protest marches and demonstrations by supporters of the August Anna Hazare Kranti were replaced with thanks-giving lectures and jubilation marches by activists and office-bearers of various social and constitutional organisations at the local town and surrounding localities.

Those who sat on hunger strike and chain fast were presented juice and sweets to break their fast.

Office-bearers and activists of the CB Social Welfare Organisation led by Parvati Devi presented juice to Kamal Kumar Babla, who sat on fast unto death to show solidarity with Anna Hazare four days ago.

Patron Tarsem Garg thanked all those who extended support during the perpetuated chain fast organised by the organisation to show solidarity with the crusader against corruption.

The jubilant activists marched through the streets and raised slogans in favour of Anna Hazare and his supporters.

A victory rally was organised by activists of the SAD led by Jasbir Singh and Paramdeep Singh Deepa at Dehlon. Former minister and SAD leader Jagdish Singh Garcha and MLA Dakha Darshan Singh Shivalik thanked villagers for extending support during the torch rally.

Sikandar Singh Jartoli and Baldev Singh Latala, office-bearers of the CIP (M), led victory marches at Latala, Chhappar, Barundi, Ghundrana, Dhulkot and Kalakh villages.

Activists of the Government Teachers’ Union, Punjab, led by Harpreet Singh, Ashutosh Vinayak, former president Bhartia Yuva Morcha; Seeta Gogna, state committee member BYM; Ashok Verma, district vice-president BJP; former president BJP, Ramesh Ghaie; Daljit Singh and Dr Manoj led their respective jathas during celebrations organised here after Anna broke his fast today.



Victory of democracy
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, August 28
Doraha and Sahnewal seem to be in an over-jubilant mood over the ultimate victory of Anna Hazare, with the Parliament agreeing to his three major demands and thus preparing adequate ground for ending anti-corruption fast today.

A number of organisations and unions, including Youth Forum, Doraha; Bhartiya Yog Sansthan, Anti-Crime and Anti-Corruption Unit, Durga Parchar Sewa Samiti, today celebrated Anna’s victory.

“We support Anna’s move and are with him to make our country corruption free,” viewed Jaswant Singh Gill, secretary, Non-Government Colleges Management Federation.

“The victory of Anna Hazare is a sure lesson for thousands of young citizens who have the potential but still remain submissive in the wake of every exploitation and injustice. They have to be bold enough to say no to a wrong. If Anna can force the government to bow before the rights and privileges of the people, can the youth not initiate a similar war and that, too, in the most non-violent manner against the ills, which are ailing our society at present,” opined Tarlok Singh Jaggi.

Pawan Kumar Kaushal, state committee member MCPI (U) said, “His victory has given us every reason to be proud of. A feeling of being Indian and democratic in the true sense is what Anna has given us to celebrate. He has initiated a move which nobody else could do till date. Every Indian is so fed up of this evil of corruption that he would go all out to do whatever he can in support of the 
great leader.”



Father approaches panel for Scheduled Castes to seek justice
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, August 28
Deprived of justice by the police, the father of a youth, who had committed suicide after being allegedly insulted by residents of his village in May 2010, has now approached the National Commission for Scheduled Castes seeking justice and arrest of four persons booked for abetting his son to commit suicide.

In the complaint to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes, Tara Singh, father of the victim, a resident of Kot Umra village near Sidhwan Bet, said his son, Sukhdev Singh, had committed suicide on May 17 last year after being “repeatedly insulted” by four persons of the village.

The police had registered a case of abetting to suicide against Shankar Singh, Tara Singh, Ujagar Singh and Karam Singh of the same village at the Sidhwan Bet police station on the complaint of the victim’s mother Taro Bai. But till now the police has failed to arrest any of the accused.

Blaming the police, Tara Singh alleged that all accused are moving freely in the village and the police has not arrested them under pressure of a leader of the ruling party.

Tara Singh has also approached higher police officials, including DGP Punjab Police and DIG Ludhiana, in the case.

Besides, family members of the victim have also met SSP Ludhiana (rural), who, Tara Singh said had told him that he had already written to the SHO Sidhwan Bet to arrest the accused. But even after this, no action has been made by the Sidhwan Bet police and the accused are still moving freely and threatening his family members, he alleged.

Now Tara Singh has appealed to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes to intervene and provide him justice by arresting the accused at the earliest.

When contacted, Ludhiana (rural) police SSP Amar Singh Chahal said he was not in the position to comment on the issue, as he was not aware of the details of the case. But he assured that he would look into the matter and take an action as per the law.



Absence of gas agency has consumers fuming
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, August 28
It may sound strange but it’s true that a population of more than 25,000 has no gas agency to cater to their needs. With the cancellation of the licence of the sole supplier of LPG in Doraha, residents are facing a harrowing time.

“It has been five months now that Indian Oil Corporation had entrusted the work of supplying LPG to a supplier in Sahnewal, which due to increased demand and short supply is finding it difficult to cater to the rising needs. The residents have demanded that the petroleum minister should intervene and that, too, immediately, failing which they shall be forced to think otherwise.

“The residents irked over the presence of two gas agencies in Payal and Sahnewal, which have almost half of the population as of Doraha. Why has Doraha been abandoned? Why can’t the town, too, have two gas agencies? If the licence of one gets cancelled, we would always have another option open with us. The situation demands immediate intervention of the authorities concerned. If a single supplier is finding it difficult to cater to the needs of such a huge population, why not entrust another supplier with the same work, so that it may be shared and insured timely supply as per the demands of the consumers,” expressed a consumer.

“We are facing one of the toughest phases of our lives. Indian Oil Corporation and petroleum minister should intervene and make arrangements as soon as possible,” said Jandeep Kaushal, a social worker.

Food supplies inspector Narinder Singh expressed his inability to solve the problem. He said it was on the basis of complaints received by the IOC that sales officer investigated the matter and cancelled the licence of the local supplier. “We, on our part, have been asking owners to make amendments, but the problem is far from being solved. We have contacted the sales officer of IOC, too, but to no avail,” he said. When asked about the option of giving another gas agency to Doraha, he replied that it eludes their purview. The sales officer of IOC, however, could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.



Hangover of Anna’s victory continues

Now that Anna Hazare has ended his fast after reaching a broad agreement with the government on Jan Lokpal Bill and his supporters, in every part of the country, are celebrating the moment as a big victory in the war against corruption, skeptics are back to their business. Even as the millions of those who came out on the streets in the course of Anna’s crusade and made a beeline to hold fasts, rallies, candlelight processions to express solidarity, activists were still to come out of the hangover of scoring a win over the might of a stubborn government and the normally unaccommodating opposition. The devil’s advocates mince no words to assert that even the Jan Lokpal Bill will change nothing. “Until and unless the electoral system undergoes a radical change and political leaders do not need millions to contest and win elections, corruption, at least in high places, is there to stay,” is their point of view.

Annagiri zindabad!

The 12-day long fast of Anna Hazare, which forced the mighty politicians to bow before the common man has made the world believe that the non- violent mode of protest is more effective than the violent ones. The countries embroiled in civil war should take a cue from Annagiri. The crusade for Jan Lokpal Bill left residents glued to the television sets, as they were jubilant over the victory of the masses in the largest democracy of the world. A group of youngsters said the fast had given them a motive in life. “We were branded as nincompoops, but Annagiri showed us a new way of life.” “During the agitation, we were respected all over and people who earlier used to keep us at arms length, met us with open arms,” quipped the jubilant youngsters. Looking at their new-found enthusiasm, one hopes that such national movements would continue and the youth would also graduate to do constructive things rather than whiling away their time in an aimless manner. Amen!

Sick hospital

After waiting for long, a patient who was eagerly waiting for his turn to get examined said, “The foul smell at this hospital is suffocating everyone. One really feels helpless after coming here. When will this sick hospital get good health?”

Please help!

Pensioners of PAU, who are at the fag end of their life, have been demanding for an early release of their arrears, but neither the government nor the university authorities have tried to understand their plight. A retiree repeatedly calls up this correspondent for help, as he needed money urgently. When the correspondent told him that the newspaper could just highlight their plight and could try to bring it to the notice of higher ups, the man said, “No madam, you can do wonders. I am really perturbed. Please ask the PAU authorities and higher ups to listen to my grievances. I need monetary help. If they will release the arrears after my death, they will be of no use.” The correspondent had no answer to his genuine problem.

Awful necessity

Every time I get stuck in traffic, I always complain and blame black-smoke spitting auto-rickshaws for the traffic chaos in the city. But after coming back from the outstation, seeing an auto in the middle of the night when its raining heavily was a welcome relief. And this time, I couldn’t complain wondering when would the promised Metro, monorail and bus service projects would take off.

Contributed by Kuldip Bhatia, Mohit Khanna, Anupam Bhagria, Shivani Bhakoo and Gurvinder Singh.



Cycle makers’ body to hold elections on September 14
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
The United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association (UCPMA) will hold its elections on September 14.
Though big players in the cycle industry want that instead of “wasting” huge money in campaigning, there should be an unanimous decision. But those trying hard to “prove their worth” are leaving no stone unturned to woo voters.

Those in the industry for the past many decades said since China was giving a tough competition to India, instead of wasting money and energy on such things, the industry as a whole must accept the Chinese challenge and prove its mettle. But those into “politics” do not mind spending huge money to woo voters by throwing lavish parties.

Those in the industry for long said the UCPMA elections would cost around Rs 30 lakh.

KK Seth, MD, Neelam Cycles, while talking to Ludhiana Tribune, said, “We sincerely want that everyone must join hands to boost the cycle industry, which is passing through a rough phase due to the tough competition given by the Chinese market. Instead of wasting our energies in proving ourselves, we must come together to uplift the industry. But a number of candidates are not in favour of the unanimous decision,” said Seth.

Meanwhile, “major” groups in the fray claim to get support from other groups. Rounds of meetings have been going on in offices for the past many days to chalk out strategies.

Tarlochan Matharu from Partap Engineers said just 20 per cent of the cycle manufacturers were interested in going for unanimous decision, while the remaining wanted elections. “But we are trying our best to convince all to come together on a common platform to boost the industry,” said Matharu.

Earlier, there were four groups in the fray, but now one group has claimed to extend its “unconditional” support to another one. 



PAU pedals scheme fails to evoke desired response
Only 23 students submit forms to get bicycles
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
Tall claims of the “PAU pedals scheme” fall flat, as only 23 students came forward to get free bicycles to promote eco-friendly vehicles among students and faculty, the main objective of scheme. None of the faculty member reportedly opted for the scheme, while just two-three staff members came forward to get free bicycles.

August 26 was the last day for submission of forms and the authorities have received only 23 forms. Among 23, 13 are girl students of PAU. Though the university had distributed 40 application forms among students, faculty and staff for registration under the pedals scheme, the scheme failed to evoke the desired response.

One of the students of PAU boys’ hostel on the condition of anonymity disclosed that riding a bicycle was not their cup of tea. “Even if I want, I cannot opt for the scheme. The reason is that everyone will start making fun of me for coming on bicycle. The mindset of people needs to be changed first,” said the student.

Meanwhile, Dr DS Cheema, director students’ welfare when asked about low turnover said he would have to check the exact number of submitted forms with the office. He further added, “We may need to extend the date of the scheme. We are going to motivate students/faculty and staff about benefits of the scheme. It is within the campus, so there should not be any problem. We need to protect our environment and for that joint effort is needed,” said Dr Cheema.



Health officials raid clinic
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
Officials of the district health department yesterday raided Khushi Clinic at Kundan Puri.

Dr HS Bali, Chief Medical Officer, Ludhiana said, “The clinic was being run illegally by one Santokh Verma. As the clinic was found closed yesterday, so 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.”



City eves shine in fine arts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
Save two, city girls bagged all top 10 positions in the PU examinations of MA-II (fine arts).
A student of Khalsa College for Women (KCW), Mandeep Kaur bagged the first position in the university by securing 89.75 per cent marks.

The second and third position was secured by Ritika Gupta and Alisha from the Government College for Women (GCW), while fourth position went to Nidhi Jain of KCW. Fifth position was bagged by Tejinder Kaur of Ramgarhia Girls College (RGC), Namita Bhalla of KCW clinched the sixth position, while eighth, ninth and 10th position were captured by Amanpreet Kaur, Deepali Garg and Isha of GCW, respectively.

In MA-I (fine arts), RGC girls, Sandeep Kaur bagged the fifth position with 86.2 per cent marks, Harpreet Kaur stood seventh with 85.5 per cent marks.

Principal Gurminder Kaur congratulated the students.



Wadali Brothers enthral audience with Sufi kalaams
Tribune News Service

Wadali Brothers perform at the Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan in Ludhiana.
Wadali Brothers perform at the Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, August 28
There were smiles, claps, approving nods and sing-along among audience as Wadali Brothers spun music, energy and Sufi spirit together in the auditorium at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan last night.

The Wadali duo sang classical like “Jugni”, “Dama dam mast kalandar” and other Sufi songs with the air of spontaneity. Filled with references to the love for the Almighty and religious unity, the songs were received by the audience with smiles and applause.

The audience gave a standing ovation at the end of the show. Jasneet Kaur, a resident of BRS Nagar, said she was delighted to listen to Wadali Brothers. “They are great exponents of Sufi music. Their music has everything from calming beats to energetic pitch.”

The night was organised by the Shobhaniya Kala Kendra, Ludhiana, in collaboration with the Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh. The event opened with a dance performance of 60 children from Subhanya Kala Kendra. The children performed classical and contemporary dance.



Pvt garbage collectors protest against company
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
“For many years I have been collecting garbage from homes. So that is the only work I know. But I would not be able to do this work either,” rued 18-year-old Radhe Shyam, who lives in jhuggis near Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar.

He, along with thousands of other private garbage collectors have been protesting against a private company, A2Z Infrastructure Private Limited, which bagged the contract of solid waste management for the city. The same company would now be involved in the door-to-door collection of garbage from the city.

“I was earning at least Rs 7,000-8,000 per month, but now I have come to know that A2Z Infrastructure Private Limited would give us jobs. But the monthly salary, which they are offering is around Rs 3,600. Now it’s a practical thing that why would someone earning Rs 7,000 per month would join the company, which is paying half the amount? Will any person agree to it?” he questioned with anger writ large in his eyes.

Surinder Kalyan, chairman of the Valmiki Samaj Bachao Andolan, lamented that A2Z Infrastructure Private Limited would be generating power from solid waste collected from the city. “If company officials want to go ahead with the project, they can collect garbage from garbage dumps. Why are they (company officials) adamant on snatching jobs of thousands of private garbage collectors, who would not be able to raise their families with a salary of Rs 3,600?” questioned Surinder Kalyan.

On the other hand, Aniruddha Laskar, senior manager-PR, A2Z Infrastructure Private Limited, argued that the company is offering the monthly salary of Rs 4,200.

“After deducting provident fund and ESI, the employee would get Rs 3,665 in hand. We cannot pay more than this, as the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is paying a salary of Rs 3,750 to Class IV employees hired by them on DC rates. So this way, we are paying salary more than what the MC is offering,” said Laskar.

As this controversy continues, the city seems to be the worst sufferer as private garbage collectors have stopped taking their jobs seriously. This is evident from the fact that sometimes, they don’t visit their respective areas for garbage collection.

“We have started looking for other jobs, as we know that day would come when we would be told garbage collection is banned for us,” said a visibly sad, Radhe Shyam.

Thousands of private garbage collectors have been protesting against A2Z Infrastructure Private Limited as well as the MC for the last many days. 



73 contestants from district left in SGPC poll fray
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
With the last day for withdrawal of candidatures having gone, only 73 contestants have now been left in the fray in Ludhiana district for the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections scheduled for September 18. These candidates, from 13 constituencies, will be vying for a total of 18 seats in the district.

Those standing up for election in the Ludhiana (South) constituency include Balwinder Singh Bains of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) party, Darshan Singh of SAD (Amritsar), Balvir Singh of SAD (1920) and independent candidates Surinder Singh Ryait, Kashmir Kaur and Didar Singh.

In the Ludhiana North constituency Avtar Singh Saini of SAD (Amritsar), Kanwalinder Singh Thekedar of SAD(B), and independents Amandeep Singh, Jasdeep Singh Kaunke, Davinder Singh and Nirmal Singh will contest the polls.

In the Ludhiana Rural constituency Gurmel Singh of SAD (1920), Nazar Singh of SAD (Amritsar), Ranjit Singh of SAD (B) and an independent, Sukhdev Singh, will be pitted against each other.

In the Mullanpur Dakha (general) constituency the contestants are Surinderpal Singh of SAD(B), Harjap Singh of SAD (Amritsar) and Jatinder Singh of SAD (1920) besides three independents - Surat Singh, Davinder Singh and Parminder Kaur. In the Mullanpur Dakha (“scheduled caste”) constituency, Kewal Singh of SAD(B), Beant Singh of SAD (Amritsar), Mohinder Pal Singh of SAD (1920) and Bhola Singh, an independent, would be contesting the elections.

Gurcharan Singh Grewal of SAD(B), Tarlok Singh of SAD (Amritsar), Manjit Kaur of the All India Sikh Students Federation and Tehal Singh, an independent, will contest the polls in the Jagraon (general) constituency. In the Jagraon (“scheduled caste” women) constituency there are two candidates - Harbans Kaur of SAD(B) and Paramjit Kaur of SAD (Amritsar).

In the Sidhwan Bet constituency Harnek Singh of SAD (Amritsar), Jaswant Singh of SAD(B), and Gurbaksh Singh and Jagir Singh - both independents - will contest the elections. The candidates in the Raikot constituency are Jagjit Singh Talwandi of SAD(B), Sukhpal Singh of SAD (1920) and Daljit Singh, Parminder Singh and Rajwinder Singh, all independents.

Harpreet Singh Garcha of SAD(B), Manjit Singh of SAD (1920) and Ujagar Singh and Mohan Singh - both independents - will contest the polls in the Pakhowal constituency.

In the Payal constituency, Surjit Singh of SAD (Amritsar), Davinder Singh of SAD (Panch Pardhani), Mangat Rai Singh of SAD (1920) and Raghbir Singh of SAD(B) will contest the elections. Iqbal Singh of SAD (1920) and Harpal Singh of SAD(B) will be pitted against each other in the Doraha (“scheduled caste”) constituency, while in the Doraha (general) constituency Satwinder Singh of SAD (1920), Charan Singh Alamgir of SAD(B), Gurmel Singh (independent) and Baldev Singh of SAD (Amritsar) will be contesting.

Amrik Singh of SAD (1920), Sandeep Singh (independent), Jaswinder Singh of SAD (Amritsar) and Davinder Singh of SAD(B) would be contesting the polls in the Khanna constituency.

In the Samrala (general) constituency the candidates are Amarjit Singh of SAD (1920), Sarbans Singh of SAD(B) and Sujan Singh (independent).



Lok adalat settles 167 cases
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 28
The monthly lok adalat, which held sessions under the supervision of district and sessions judge-cum-chairman of District Legal Services Authority, SP Bangar here yesterday, settled 167 cases with mutual consent of the parties concerned, out of the total 375 presented before it. The settled cases entailed awards totalling Rs 1,73,80,029.

Giving more details, Bangar informed that 24 benches were set up for hearing of civil suits, rent cases, civil appeals, claim cases, marital disputes, bank loan defaults and compoundable criminal cases. According to Bangar, till date 359 lok adalats had been held in the city and nearly 2 lakh cases involving award of a little more than Rs 332 crore had been settled. “It is in the benefit of the litigants to get their pending cases settled in the lok adalats because court fee of settled cases is refunded and both parties save a lot of money and time by bringing their cases to the lok adalats for settlement,” he added.



Ludhiana-New Delhi Shatabadi likely after SGPC poll
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 28
The Ludhiana-New Delhi Shatabadi Express train is likely to start its commercial run after the conclusion of the elections of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabhandik Committee (SGPC).

Ludhiana MP and national spokesperson of the Indian National Congress Manish Tewari said this after a meeting with the Union Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi in New Delhi yesterday.

Tewari said all preparations had been finalised and the train could start anytime. However, due to the code of conduct in force because of the SGPC elections, the train could not be introduced till the election process does not conclude and the results are declared.

The MP said he had also raised some other important and long-pending issues with the Railway Minister. The completion of the new and broader footbridge towards the Civil Lines area is also going to be completed very soon. He added that Trivedi was kind enough to look into the demands and to order immediate follow-up action.



Tricycles given to differently abled persons
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 28
The Mother Teresa Institute for Medical Technology, Jagraon, organised a function to mark the birth anniversary of Mother Teresa yesterday. Students of the institution remembered Mother Teresa by lighting candles and taking an oath to work for the betterment of humanity to pay true tributes to Mother Teresa.

District president, Youth Akali Dal, Ludhiana, Kanwaljit Singh Mallha was the chief guest. He distributed tricycles among physically challenged persons on behalf of the institution. Addressing the students, Mallha inspired them to follow the path shown by Mother Teresa.

Medical check-up camp

The Gur Asis Charitable Trust at Lions Public School here organised a free medical check-up camp today. Around 500 patients suffering from eye, skin, ortho and other diseases were checked and provided medicines free of cost on the 

SGPC former chief Kirpal Singh Badungar during the inauguration said each social, political and religious organisation should work for the welfare of society. A team of doctors consisting of of Dr Aslam, Dr Rav Sharan, Dr Vipon Kumar, Dr Nidhi Bansal, Dr Arvind Sharma and Dr Rajan Sharma checked up the patients. 



4 booked for killing youth
Our Correspondent

Samrala August 28
Lakhvir Singh (23), a resident of Tandi Mand village, was allegedly murdered with a sharp-edged weapon by four persons of the same village last evening.
In a written statement to the police, Jarnail Singh, father of the deceased, stated that his son was playing volleyball on the village ground when Jarnail Singh, a resident of the village, came and threatened them not to play on the ground.

He also had altercation with Lakhvir, but others consoled them and the fight was averted.

According to him, Jarnail Singh came to their house later with his accomplice and started pelting stones at the house. When he and his son came out, Jarnail and his accomplice beat them. In the meantime, Jarnail Singh took out a kirch and stabbed Lakhvir Singh and fled from the spot. Lakhvir was rushed to the Civil Hospital, Machiwara, from where he was referred to the DMC, Ludhiana, where he succumbed to his injuries today. 



One killed, three hurt in car-tractor collision
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 28
One person was killed and two were seriously injured when a Hyundai Accent car collided with a tractor near Sidhwan Khurad village on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway last evening.

The deceased was identified as Chotu, driver of the tractor, hailing from Uttar Pradesh, while the injured persons are Arun Kumar and Taljinder Singh of Ludhiana. According to an eyewitness, the accident took place when the car driver lost control over the vehicle while overtaking the tractor after which the car rammed into the tractor. The car was at a high speed at the time of the accident, said another eyewitness.

Soon after the accident, a highway patrol vehicle reached the spot and rushed the victims to Jagraon Civil Hospital, where the doctors declared Chotu brought dead. The injured are said to be stable.

The tractor driver was working with a farmer Gurcharan Singh of Rakba village near Mullanpur and was going for the regular service of the tractor. The police impounded both vehicles. No case was registered till the filing of this report.



Man booked for land fraud

Ludhiana, August 28
The city police has booked Darshan Singh of Phase-II, Dugri, for allegedly pocketing Rs 45 lakh token amount from Aakash Mittal on the pretext of selling a piece of land to him. The case was registered after a three-month probe into the case by the economic offences wing.

Mittal, a resident of Durga Puri, alleged that he had struck a deal with the accused for a 440 sq yard plot at the rate of Rs 21,200 per sq yard. He paid a token amount of Rs 45 lakh to Darshan Singh. It was decided that on May 17 Darshan Singh would sell the land to Mittal and get the registration done in his name. Mittal kept waiting for the accused at the office of the Sub- Registrar, but he did not turn up. — TNS



IS Bindra XI earns 3 vital points
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
IS Bindra XI earned three vital points on the basis of their first innings lead of 185 runs over Chaman Lal Malhotra XI in the PCA Players’ Emerging Cricket Tournament being organised by the Ludhiana District Cricket Association at Punjab Agricultural University campus ground here today.

While cashing a mammoth total of 600 runs piled up by IS Binda XI, Chaman Lal Malhotra XI continued with their overnight score of 352 for the loss of seven wickets and further bowled out at 415 runs in 129 overs.

In the second innings, Bindra XI scored 221 in 49.3 overs.

Himanshu scored a quick fire 102, while Gurkirat chipped in with 36 runs.

Rahul Singla was the pick of the bowlers and he gave away 98 runs to earn five wickets.

In the second innings, Chaman Lal XI scored 27 runs without losing a wicket before closing of the final day of the match. The match ended in a draw, but it added another two points in the kitty of IS Bindra XI.

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): 415 all out in 129 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).

IS Bindra XI (IInd innings): 221 all out in 49.3 over (Himanshu 102, Gurkirat 36, Ravinder 23; Rahul Singla 5 for 98, Mohit Mohindra 2 for 41, Shivluv 3 for 48).

Chaman Lal XI (IInd innings): 27 for no loss in 4 overs.



City lad hogs limelight
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 28
Akshay Jain, a city shooter, won two gold medals at a shooting championship held in Pune recently.
A student of B Com-II DRV DAV College Phillaur, he also won more than six medals at national championship held in Delhi in January.

He won one of the gold by defeating Samresh Jung an, Arjun awardee and a gold medalist of Commonwealth Games held in 2006. He won another gold in the junior championship. The event was held between August 11 and August 16 in Pune.

Akshay, who has also participated in an international championship in Czech Republic, said, “My target is to win a gold medal in Olympics for my country and I am much confident of doing that."

He was ranked first in India and 19th in the world in International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Shooting Championship held at Munich in Germany last year in July.

He said, "I was also willing to participate in "World University Games" in China. I topped in the trials, but for reasons known to the authorities, I was not allowed to participate in the games."



MGMN cricket team felicitated
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 28
The under-19 cricket team of MGMN Senior Secondary School, runner-up of the District Cricket Tournament, was felicitated by office-bearers of the Ahmedgarh Vidya Parcharak Sabha at a function organised at the school yesterday.

School principal Pardeep Sharda said the team, captained by Mohammad Irfan, had played the final match with Malerkotla during the Annual Cricket Tournament organised by the education department at Malerkotla. The committee appreciated the role of Pawan Sharma in coaching the players.

Besides the team captain, Malrkotla SDM Bhupinder Mohan felicitated Yogesh and Sandeen.



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