L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Phone services hit in city
BSNL stays cut off from private operators
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
About 170,000 landline telephone subscribers of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd in the city have been adversely affected after the state-owned telecom utility cut off services to five major private operators over payment of interconnectivity charges. Apart from BSNL customers, hundreds of thousands of subscribers of Vodafone, Reliance, Tata, Idea and Airtel in the city have not been able to connect with BSNL phones as the deadlock continues.

It has been about a week that both landline and cellular subscribers of BSNL and the private telecom service providers have not been able to connect with each other.

"Most residents use BSNL landline connections at home. In the absence of connectivity with other subscribers of other operators we’ve been paralysed. BSNL subscribers can only dial on BSNL numbers. If I have to make some important call I borrow my son's cellphone. This is harassment of consumers. In this tussle between BSNL and private operators why are we being made to suffer?" asked Nand Kishor, a senior citizen.

According to reports all private telecom firms had to pay about Rs 13 crore to BSNL (in Punjab). As this amount was overdue the state-owned utility cut off connectivity to the former’s subscribers about a week back. Even the emergency helpline numbers (police, ambulance, fire station, etc) could not be dialed due to the disconnection.

When contacted BSNL senior general manager Chander Shekhar said: "We had received instructions to resume connectivity with two operators, Reliance and Tata, and this has already been done. But as far as the three other private service providers - Idea, Airtel, Vodafone - are concerned we haven’t got any instructions from the circle office yet and soon as we get them we’ll resume connectivity to their users”.


Health dept’s efforts to stamp out drug abuse a big failure
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Youths gather around a chemist shop near the bus stand in Ludhiana; a youth conceals a bottle of cough syrup in his socks; and empty cough syrup bottles lie strewn in a park near the bus stand.
Youths gather around a chemist shop near the bus stand in Ludhiana; a youth conceals a bottle of cough syrup in his socks; and empty cough syrup bottles lie strewn in a park near the bus stand. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, October 3
Since the day he was appointed Punjab sports minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal has been claiming he has initiated several steps to promote sports with the aim of fighting the growing drug addiction among youth. However, the ground reality is that the government has failed to make any headway in breaking up the network of drug dealers in the state.

Hundreds of young people who come to city from nearby villages to prepare for the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test and various academic courses, but their journey of many ends at the city’s chemists shops.

The sale of psychotropic drugs is continues unrestricted near the city’s bus station, where anyone can easily buy Recodex and other cough syrups from a drugstore located only 100 metres away. At the Chatar Singh park, which has also become a haunt of addicted youths, hundreds of 100ml bottles of cough syrup can be seen scattered around.

A student of the English Learning School, who is from Raikot, said: “The Chatar Singh park is the most secure place to take narcotic substances. I’m not addicted to drugs but I do take them when I feel depressed. Youngsters from villages who are addicted prefer to go to the city’s bus station because drugs are easily available there. Buying drugs is very easy - just say 'seeshi' (a code word for cough syrup) to a chemist and he’ll understand what you’re looking for”.

Though the printed price of Recodex and Corex (both cough syrups) is Rs 68 and Rs 70, respectively, their selling prices often fluctuate.

“Rates of these drugs are a complex matter. When the police or the health department seizes drugs in a large quantity, it affect the rates. Sometimes, a 100 ml bottle goes for Rs 90 to Rs 100,” said an addict from Dharmkot village.

Most buyers are from the periphery areas of Ludhiana who come here to prepare for IELTS with the dream of going abroad. A majority of them are in the age group of 17-25 years. Talking to The Tribune, a number of addicted boys admitted that cough syrup was an alternative to opium. “We consume it because it gives us a high,” they said.

“Please do not publish it in the newspaper as it will create problems for us. Chemists will increase the rates after raid,” a boy pleaded.



Waiter arrested for making hoax bomb call 
Shivani Bhakoo
tribune news service

Ludhiana, October 3
The police has nabbed the hoax caller who had put it on tenterhooks yesterday after claiming that bombs had been planted at two places in the city. The police arrested 21-year-old Sukhwinder Singh in the wee hours and said it would also arrest those involved in making a bogus ID card for him.

ADCP (Crime) Harjinder Singh said the police had received a call from the telephone number 8528938188 yesterday and the caller claimed that he had planted a bomb each at Daresi grounds and a marriage palace on the Chandigarh road. Thorough investigations were made and the police found out that the number was issued in the name of Dharamvir, a resident of New Vasant Vihar, and an FIR was registered.

The police said several calls were made from that particular number on two-three other phones too. One of the numbers on which the calls were made from the above number was of Pawan Kumar Bilga. When he was contacted, he told the police that the number was being used by Sukhwinder Singh, son of Kamaljit Singh, a resident of Jamalpur, who worked as a waiter in a resort.

“A raid was conducted by the police in the wee hours and Sukhwinder Singh was arrested. Investigations are being held to identify those involved in making a fake ID for him,”said the ADCP.

An SHO said on the condition of anonymity that the hoax caller liked a girl who was getting married at the particular marriage palace yesterday. “It was a one-sided affair and he wanted to disrupt the ceremony,” he said.

Accused’s father SPO

Kamaljit Singh, father of the accused Sukhwinder Singh, is a Home Guard and is working as a Special Police Officer (SPO). Kamaljit remarried after Sukhwinder’s mother died a few years ago. Since then, Sukhwinder has not been in regular touch with his father, CIA in charge Gunwant Singh said.



Nehru Planetarium to get new look
Rs 95 lakh to be spent on its makeover
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
tribune news service

Ludhiana, October 3
The planetarium at Rose Garden here is all set to get a makeover. The Municipal Corporation (MC) has decided to spend Rs 25 lakh on the planetarium in the first phase while Rs 70 lakh more would be spent in the second phase.

The planetarium at Rose Garden is in disarray.
The planetarium at Rose Garden is in disarray. A Tribune photograph

Nehru Planetarium was set up in 1987 with an aim to developing a scientific temper among people, particularly students, by unravelling various astronomical phenomena and scientific processes. Located at the Rose Garden, the planetarium, which was initially an asset to the city, is now a blot on the face of Ludhiana tourism. With a seating capacity of 80, the planetarium is a picture of neglect.

Lack of maintenance has ailed the planetarium to such an extent that it hardly gets any visitors these days. It needs to be renovated as the structure and furniture are in a disarray.

Officiating Mayor Parveen Bansal, who visited the planetarium today, said: “I, along with other MC officials, saw a show here and it was impressive.

“I must admit that the planetarium is not in the best of condition as hardly anyone visits it. I have decided that the structure should be given a makeover to develop it as a major tourist attraction as also for city residents,” he said.

“I promise the residents that in the next few months, the planetarium will regain its lost glory,” Bansal added.



Poor coordination delays civic projects
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
The virtual absence of coordination between the municipal corporation’s bridges & roads (B&R) and operations & maintenance (O&M) branches has affected the quality of development work in the city, observed officiating mayor Parveen Bansal after he took a round of some of the ongoing civic projects in the MC’s Zone A on Monday afternoon.

“There’s hardly any coordination between these two departments, which are the most important of the civic body. I’ve told them if a new road is being built officials of the O&M branch should also visit the site to ensure storm drains and other infrastructure wouldn’t be affected,” said Bansal, who was accompanied by the zone’s executive engineers from both departments.

Bansal observed officials above the rank of executive engineers of seldom visited the sites where work on civic projects was under way. “Almost all of these officials either depend on subdivisional officers or junior engineers reporting to them and keep sitting in their offices. I’ve told them if the government was spending on development they should ensure only good quality work is done. They should come out of their offices and start visiting the project sites and I’ve issued the necessary instructions to them in writing today,” he added.

Bansal said he had told B&R branch executive engineers Parmod Chadha, who was accompanying him, to take him to the ongoing projects in Zone A. “Sadly Chadha knew only half the areas where these works are going on, as he had himself never visited the other sites. I have told him that from now on, he and all other executive engineers from the MC’s four zones should visit all the project sites in their respective areas. I won’t tolerate any kind of indiscipline,” he averred.



Losing cool at police station costs Armyman dear
Mahesh Sharma

Mullanpur Dakha, October 3
Losing cool during investigation and arbitration meeting at the police station and attacking a cop cost an Armyman dear, who will now be facing a departmental inquiry at his unit, after being booked under Sections 323, 353, 294 and 186 of 
the IPC.

The case was registered on the complaint of SHO Prem Singh, while Lakshami, alias Lacchi, lodged a complaint against him for allegedly attempting to exploit her modesty when she was alone at home on Saturday.

The police has also sent copies of FIRs to the unit of the Armyman for further action by his seniors.

The accused, Jasbir Singh Nikka, who is presently posted in Jalandhar, came with his father Harbans Singh for a meeting called at the police station in connection with a dispute going on with Gurdeep Singh and Hardeep Singh.

Though the warring parties had reached a compromise, Jasbir Singh lost his cool when the suspects asked some more time for implementing the decision taken by social leaders.

On being asked to mend his behaviour, Jasbir allegedly misbehaved with the SHO and assaulted him causing injuries. This infuriated cops at the police station, who allegedly tried to ‘teach him a lesson’ after closing the main gate.

Social leaders, including councillors of the area, tried to ‘resolve’ the issue, but the police ultimately booked two separate cases against Jasbir yesterday.

In the first case, Prem Singh, SHO, accused the suspect of interrupting him from performing official duty besides assaulting him. An MLR was attached with the case to support his allegations.

In the second case, Lachhi accused Jasbir Singh of trying to exploit her modesty after entering her home when she was alone on Saturday. The police said Lachhi, along with residents had come to lodge a complaint against Jasbir Singh when the unsavoury incident took place on Saturday.

On the other hand parents of Jasbir Singh accused the police of acting under political pressure and allegedly beating him up mercilessly on Saturday.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Ludhiana (rural), Amar Singh Chahal said he had directed SP (D) to verify allegations levelled against the Armyman before proceeding further.



Security up ahead of festive season 
Mahesh Sharma

Dehlon/Mandi Ahmedgarh/Payal, October 3
The police has beefed up security in localities falling under Ludhiana and Sangrur districts ahead of the festive season. Specially constituted anti-sabotage teams have been directed to enhance vigil in front of the religious places, besides undertaking combing operations to keep a check on strangers and anti-social elements who might slip into the area under the garb of visitors and relatives of natives.

Besides stepping up the night vigil, the police has installed special checkpoints and intensified patrolling throughout the area. The police personnel have been asked to keep in touch with the authorities in fire department and health officials so that rescue operation could be started without delay.

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Dakha, Gurpreet Singh Sikand, DSP, Amargarh, Narinder Singh Ruby and DSP, Payal, Rattan Singh Brar enhanced the vigil in and around religious places, educational institutes and busy markets of their respective regions. Teams of cops supervised by Maninder Singh Bedi, SHO, Dehlon, undertook combing operations in Dehlon, Sarinh, Pohir, Kilaraipur, Lohgarh, Lehra, Bhutta, Ghabadi and Guram villages last night. Abodes of those people who had tried to defend terrorists and their sympathisers during dark days of extremism were searched.

Maintaining that the exercise was done to boost the morale of residents and ensure their safety during the festival season, Gurpreet Singh Sikand said the beat officers have been directed to ensure that no stranger sneaks into the area under the guise of a relative or a friend of locals.

The decision to beef up the security was taken during a meeting chaired by Police Commissioner, Ludhiana, Dr Sharad Satya Chauhan. He had directed the police officials to deal strictly with organised perpetrators of crime.

In view of terrorist attacks on religious places during the festival season in the past, security of residents of this belt of Malwa remains a litmus test for the police as a large number of religious places are situated in this area. A large number of activists of radical organisations of various communities have also been active in this region.

Being the intersection of at least five police districts, including Ludhiana, Ludhiana (Rural), Khanna, Sangrur and Barnala, criminals have been striking at one place and then taking shelter in surrounding beats. 



Ailing boy needs help

Ludhiana, October 3
Master Aniket, an 11-year-old boy (unit no: C7153608) from the city, has been on dialysis for the past two years. He is undergoing treatment at Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) here. He was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (stage 5) and developed recurrent episodes of peritonitis due to which his peritoneal dialysis catheter had to be removed.

The CMCH has made an earnest appeal for financial assistance to Aniket and his hapless family. Philanthropists can help this poor patient by sending in their contribution to the Medical Superintendent, CMCH, by a crossed cheque in favour of "CMC Ludhiana Society" with Aniket's name mentioned at the back of the cheque.

For further details or enquiry, please contact Dr Timothy Rajamanickam (M- 09646500156). — OC



CME on echocardiography
Our correspondent

Ludhiana, October 3
To mark the successful completion of 10 years of service to suffering people, Hero DMC Heart Institute (HDHI) here is organising a CME and workshop on echocardiography on October 5, 2011.

Dr Navin C Nanda, director of echocardiography laboratories, The Kirklin Clinic, University of Alabama Health Services Foundation, Birmingham, Alabama, the USA, will be the course director.

HDHI chief cardiologist Dr GS Wander said Dr Nanda was a pioneer in the field of echocardiography and had written the most popular “Text book of Echocardiography”. Live cases of echocardiography would be shown for the benefit of physicians during the CME, he added.

Dr Inder S Anand, director, heart failure programme, VA Medical Centre, Minneapolis (USA),will deliver a talk on heart failure and new developments, while Dr Anil K Mehra, USC division of cardiology, Los Angeles, the USA, will deliberate on transesophgeal echo which is a new modality.

Dr Rajendra N Seth, professor of medicine, Hahnemenn Medical College, Pennsylvaniia, Dr S Radha Krishnan from Escorts, New Delhi, Dr Rakesh Gupta from JROP Centre, New Delhi, and Dr Rohit Manoj from the PGIMER, Chandigarh, will also share their professional experiences with delegates.

Dr Wander said a number of cardiologists were expected to attend the CME. “The institute has a non-invasive testing centre with five echocardiography machines, including a high-end 3D/4D machine.”

Secretary of the managing society of the institution Prem Gupta said the HDHI was keen on bringing the latest technology to the region so that patients could benefit from the newer advancement. “More emphasis is being laid on interactive CME programmes,” he added.



Staying connected not easy anymore
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, October 3
Private operators, in case of any emergency, cannot call the police, fire brigade or hospital, as the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited has cut off services to the former. The problem has been persisting for a good number of days.

The inter-connectivity of private operators and BSNL operators has been snapped, the reason being that the access charges of BSNL are pending against the private companies. But all this has put consumers to inconvenience. A majority of the consumers having BSNL landline connections at their homes are now in a fix.

“On Saturday, one of our relatives met with an accident on the highway. As I tried to dial 108 from my Airtel connection, it did not get through. I had to then make all arrangements of taking the injured and admitting him to hospital on my own. This is the worst thing that these operators can do. Why is the common man like us made to suffer in this manner? Are we not paying them regularly. When the fault is not on our part, why are the consumers being harassed?” said a townster.

“I am having a BSNL landline at home. I am really facing a tough situation at present. I move out of my house at 7 in the morning, leaving my elderly mother-in-law back home. As she is quite old and does not keep in good health, I have to remain in constant touch with her. But for the past three to four days, I am not able to get through with her on my Idea network and my attention remains diverted,” said a schoolteacher.

“These days when murders and robberies are common. One has to remain on tenterhooks always. I keep myself satisfied by ringing up at my home every now and then, but for the past few days, so grave is the problem that I am not able to get in touch with my children, who return from their school in my absence. It has become difficult and I have to go to a PCO to make a call,” opined another working mother.

“What will a person do in case of emergency? The matter should have been resolved without the snapping of connections. Should the paying or the delayed paying or for that matter the non-paying of inter connectivity charges between the private companies and the BSNL matter to the consumers at all?” asked Jaswant Singh Gill, director, GNN College.

“Every time we get a response that the matter is being looked into and the resolution is trying to be sought. But neither the BSNL nor these operators are giving even a slightest thought to what if a person is caught up somewhere and has to call in case of emergency?” asked Jandeep Kaushal, a social worker.

This correspondent, too, failed to register the statement of general manager, BSNL, Ludhiana, as there was no connectivity available from her Vodafone cell connection or for that matter Tata Indicom landline connection.



gadvasu notes 
Training course in computerised radiography begins
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
The department of veterinary surgery and radiology at GADVASU is organising the 24th national-level advanced training course on “computerised radiography and interventional diagnostic and surgical procedures for veterinary patients" under the aegis of the Centre of Advanced Faculty Training (CAFT), ICAR.

The Centre of Advanced Studies was established in the department in 1994. In 2009, the centre was renamed as the Centre of Advanced Faculty Training by the ICAR. Till date, the department has conducted 23 advanced training courses on various topics and over 280 surgeons and clinicians from various state veterinary universities, agricultural universities and ICAR institutes have been trained.

Dr NS Saini, director, CAFT, and professor-cum-head of the department said 29 applications were received for the course. Twenty scientists and teachers from 10 states are attending the training course. Hands-on training will be provided to the participants on the latest techniques in veterinary practice like computerised radiography, ultrasonographic and ultrasound guided biopsy procedures for small and large animal patients, diagnosis and surgical management of reticular diaphragmatic hernia in cows and buffaloes, interlocking nailing in small and large animal fracture patients, bone plating in small and large animals, surgery of persistent right aortic arch in dogs, laparoscopy, urolithiasis in dogs and cattle.

Dr SPS Sangha, director student welfare, GADVASU, was the chief guest and inaugurated training programme. Dr Sangha congratulated the faculty members for organising the event and encouraged the faculty for the excellent work being done in the field of veterinary surgery and radiology. 



Textile workers’ strike enters Day 12 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
Hundreds of workers representing the Textile Mazdoor Union today gathered outside the office of labour department and raised slogans to register their protest against the department officials for failing to end the deadlock between textile workers and manufacturers even as the strike of workers entered 12th day today.

The union workers held the department responsible for delaying the implementation of labour laws in factories.

“We have no rights. Our IDs have not been made, we are yet to get the ESI cards, there is no bonus, wages are not being increased. Besides, we are not given leave. The employers have been exploiting us at every step but department is doing nothing. We have boycotted the factories for the past 10 to 12 days and we have not earned a penny, still nobody is bothered to listen to our problems. We are going to intensify our agitation in coming days,” said Rajwinder, convener, Textile Mazdoor Union.

The workers said though they had met Raj Kumar Garg, Assistant Labour Commissioner, today, nothing had happened. “The officials are giving us mere assurances. They have every right to settle issues, perhaps they are not bothered to do so,” said the convener.

Raj Kumar Garg, Assistant Labour Commissioner, when contacted said he could not comment on the issue as he was in a meeting. 



Quinquennial review team visits farm varsity
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
A quinquennial review team (QRT) of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi, visited Punjab Agricultural University today. The team led by Dr KM Bujarbaruah, Vice-Chancellor, Assam Agricultural University, met PAU Vice-Chancellor, Deans, directors and senior research/extension scientists of the university at Farmers’ Service Centre.

Dr Bujarbaruah said market-led extension programmes were the need of the hour to address the key issues. He complimented Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) for doing good work for the betterment of rural population.

Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said adequate planning and targets needed to be fixed in the coming five year plan, so as to meet the needs of ever-increasing population. The team is visiting the North Zone of India to overview the research and development work being done in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi, especially the functioning of KVKs in these areas. The team congratulated PAU on getting the prestigious “Krishi Karman” Award and also appreciated the good work done by Ludhiana, KVK. The other members in the QRT included Dr TS Sohal, former principal scientist, and head, dairy extension division, National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, Dr UB Pandey and Dr AM Narula, zonal project directors. 



11 years on, MC yet to recoup Rs 1.8 cr in fines
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
The otherwise “strict” officials of the municipal corporation’s building branch, which regularly conducts drives to raze encroachments in the city, appear to have slipped when it comes to collecting fines from residents. As per details procured under the Right to Information Act, the civic body is yet to recover Rs 1.78 crore in various fines imposed since 2000 from 1,245 residents. Moreover, this amount pertains to only two MC zones - A and B- and has been pending since 2000.

There are 392 defaulters in Zone A alone. They have to pay Rs 74.45 lakh in penalties to the municipal corporation. There are 853 defaulters in Zone B. They have to cough up Rs 1.03 crore in fines.

If this much money is realized in fines, people feel the municipal corporation could undertake several development projects. However, civic officials do not appear to be bothered about realising the arrears.

Rohit Sabharwal, president, Council of RTI Activists, who obtained these details under the RTI Act, said the number of those who had defaulted on payment of fines since 2000 was huge. “The municipal corporation has failed to recover these dues even after 11 years from them,” he added.

Officiating Municipal Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi said the civic body had planned to launch a “special drive” to recover the dues from residents outstanding fines from the residents soon. “We are in the process of giving them notices and once the outstanding amount is recovered, it will be spent on development of the city,” he added.



Playwright Gursharan Singh’s ashes to be immersed in Sutlej river
 Father way ahead of his times, says daughter
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
It’s not easy to remain objective when it comes to your father. Somewhere, the subjectivity creeps in. More so when you are grieving over his death. But for playwright Gursharan Singh’s daughter, Navsharan Singh, the private moment of grief never came. “Since the night we lost him, it has been a very public affair,” she says. But she understands it and respects it in deference to the wishes of her father’s admirers.
Punjabi poet Dr Surjit Pattar grieves the demise of the playwright in Ludhiana on Monday.
Punjabi poet Dr Surjit Pattar grieves the demise of the playwright in Ludhiana on Monday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

“My father was so full of life that it took us time to realise that he had actually crossed over to the other side,” she added.

Navsharan would often accompany her father to the villages where his troupe performed soul-stirring plays. She would have long drawn out discussions with him on women's issues. Once when he talked about women's problems, she retorted—it's incorrect to say “women's problems”. Most of the problems related to women have more to do with the issues that men have about women's role and position. He took her suggestion in all seriousness.

Theatre was, for him, a message. Whenever he and his troupe went to any village to perform, he would ensure that the women watched his plays. “My father will say categorically to the villagers that if the women were denied the right to watch the play, he would prefer to skip the village and perform it elsewhere."

He knew, almost instinctively, where to blur the public and the private distinction. She still remembers the day her father announced, seemingly without any provocation, during a performance in a village that the man who was in the habit of beating his wife should quit the gathering. He also spoke at length on the issue of wife beating. Later, the troupe learnt that a woman had complained to him about being ill-treated by her husband.

The daughter feels that her father was much ahead of his times. “He took up issues that we often gloss over.”

Navsharan and her mother Kailash Kaur, along with other relatives and friends, stopped over briefly at Punjabi Bhawan in Ludhiana en route to Hussainiwala in the Ferozepore district. Gursharan Singh's ashes were taken to Hussainiwala for immersion today.

At Punjabi Bhawan here, tributes were paid to the playwright. Poet Surjit Patar and playwright Dr SN Sewak were present on the occassion. Members of the Bharti Kisan Union and the Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union also paid their tributes to “Bhaji”. 



Rs 2 lakh for info under RTI Act!
 Govt bends rules to hide official records
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, October 3
A perfect example of how government officials bend norms to hide or misrepresent official records while providing information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has come to light.

Replying to an application filed by an RTI activist to obtain abstracts of numeration done by the forest department from 1999 to 2005, the Sangrur Forest Range Officer has sought whopping Rs 2,18,904 from the activist for providing the information.

Giving details to mediapersons during a press conference, Universal Human Rights Organisation’s general secretary Iqbal Singh Rasoolpur and legal adviser Satkaran Singh said the organisation had filed an application under the Act.

“The official, with the motive to avoid providing the information, asked the applicant in his reply to deposit Rs 2,18,904 with the department for photocopies of the record, running into approximately 1,09,452 pages,” said Rasoolpur.

After getting the reply, the organisation had approached the Punjab State Information Commission and brought the issue to its notice, following which the commission summoned the official on March 4, 2011, he added.

When the official appeared before the commission, he took senior assistant Davinder Kumar, junior assistant Surinder Kaur and peon Ranjit Kaur with him, along with photocopies of the record, in a government vehicle, he stated.

Following this, he submitted another application, seeking information about the money spent on the visit, said Rasoolpur. In reply, the official informed him that the department claimed Rs 1,942 as cost of fuel, fee of driver, travel allowance of the four employees and cost of photocopies, he added. Rasoolpur said Punjab Information Commissioner PK Verma had rebuked the official for spending such a huge amount of government money.

Terming it misuse of government money, the organisation has sought a probe into the matter. “If an impartial inquiry is conducted, a large number of irregularities will come to the fore,” said Rasoolpur.



Trade unions stage dharna, seek hike in wages 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 3
Activists of the Central trade unions-All-India Trade Union Congress, Centre of Indian Trade Unions, Hind Mazdoor Sangh, Centre of Trade Unions, Punjab and the Indian National Trade Union Congress- staged a dharna in front of the mini-secretariat today. They were protesting under the banner of a joint coordination committee to press for the pending demands of workers, which include among others, immediate hike in minimum wages of skilled and unskilled workers.

Addressing the protesters, state leaders of the trade unions-Bant Singh Brar (AITUC), Chander Shekhar (CITU), Swarn Singh (INTUC) and Inderjit Singh Grewal (CTU, Punjab)-called upon the government to regularise the services of ad hoc and contractual workers, ensure scrupulous implementation of labour laws, scrap black and repressive laws and accept demands of agitating ASHA and mid-day meal workers.

Making a strong case for increasing the minimum wages of the workers in the wake of unprecedented rise in prices of essential items, the leaders of various trade unions asked the government to hike the minimum wages of unskilled workers to Rs 10,000, semi-skilled to Rs 15,000 and skilled to Rs 20,000 per month. They regretted that the state government had slided to the 18th place in the country.

Charging the state government with betraying the working class, the trade union functionaries said Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had already rejected the benchmark of poverty at Rs 26 per day for rural people and Rs 32 for the urban population. “Then why the workers are not being paid what is due to them,” they asked.

Other speakers like Tarsem Jodhan, Jatinderpal Singh, Jagdish Chander, OP Mehta, Kewal Krishan, Paramjit Singh, Raja Ram, Gurjit Singh, Jagpal, SK Tiwari and Suresh Sood slammed the government for letting loose reign of terror against workers agitating peacefully. 



Traders ponder over Industrial Facilitation Act
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 3
Representatives from hosiery, cycle, auto parts, fasteners etc attended a meeting called by officials of various departments to discuss the problems related to the Industrial Facilitation Act, held at Bachat Bhawan here today.

Additional Deputy Commissioner Pradeep Aggarwal addressed the meeting. As per available information, if the industry withdraws its electricity connection, without giving any payment, the particular connection could now be reinstalled. This issue was pending since long and was addressed today. Besides this, the Powercom has been asked to clear the pendency of the power-connections within three months.

Officiating Municipal Commissioner MS Jaggi said a grant of Rs 50 crore had been received for the development of Focal Points in the city. He promised to start the development projects at the earliest. Apart from this, the industrialists got a major reprieve as they will no longer be asked to produce the completion certificate (building plan) by the Pollution Control Board.

The industrialists raised their concern that the Machchiwara-Kohara Industrial Area be attached with Ludhiana instead of Ropar. The business community said it was so difficult to go to Ropar for getting the important documents etc. The officials asked industry that particular issue could be raised during next meeting.



Farmers suffer due to admn’s apathy
Our Correspondent

Khanna October 3
Although the state government claims to have purchased paddy without any delay, but it could not started officially on the second day also. Pungrain purchased quintals of paddy from the local grain market due to the strike by officials of various procurement agencies. 

The farmers continue to suffer the apathy of procurement agencies and others as they are forced to sit in the mandi. Bahadar Singh, a farmer, who is sitting in the mandi for the past two days said the government had done nothing despite tall promises made by it in this regard. 



Jobless vets continue stir

Ludhiana, October 3
On the third day of their hunger strike, jobless veterinary doctors Amandeep Singh and Dharminder Nayyar observed a fast outside the veterinary clinic gate on the GADVASU campus. They demanded that vacant posts of rural veterinary officers be filled at the earliest. A march was also taken out from the PAU gurdwara to Kipps market in the evening. — TNS



No tightrope walk this, circus still a hit 

The circus show in the city promises entertainment for all age groups. Right from acrobats performing daredevil stunts to clowns who keep the audience in splits, the entertainment quotient of the show is high. For the Internet generation, the circus show is a delightful reminder of a near bygone era.

Circus has still not lost its charm, at least in the industrial city as artistes of a circus regale spectators by performing challenging stunts on the Chandigarh road in Ludhiana.
Circus has still not lost its charm, at least in the industrial city as artistes of a circus regale spectators by performing challenging stunts on the Chandigarh road in Ludhiana. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan



From  schools 
Industrial visit

Ludhiana: Students of classes V to VII of Guru Nanak Public School, Birmi, visited Verka Milk Plant in Ludhiana. AS Dhillon, production manager, Verka, introduced students to the technical aspects of working in plant and other technological facts. Students closely observed various features of the process with enthusiasm and were impressed with the excellent management of the plant.

Annual day

BCM Senior Secondary School, Sector 32-A, Chandigarh road, celebrated its annual day “Lehrein” at Mata Thakur Devi School auditorium. Chief guest Rama Munjal graced the occasion, while Santosh Mehta presided over. The kids were dressed in colourful attire. — TNS



Ludhiana scan
Dr Jairath elected to dental council

Dr Rajan Jairath, a city-based dental surgeon, has been elected to the Punjab Dental Council. He defeated his opponent by over 600 votes. He is the only dental professional from the city to make it to the state body while other three members were elected from Jalandhar. Dr Jairath secured 1,350 votes out of a total of 1,700 valid votes. Dr Jairath has earlier served as the president of the local chapter of the Indian Dental Association, a member of the state executive of the body and has represented Punjab as a member of the central council of the IDA at the national level for the past five years. - OC

Publication of electoral rolls

The Election Commission has issued the detailed programme for amendment and publication of photo electoral rolls. District election officer Rahul Tiwari said the draft publication of rolls would be made on October 4, 2011. Claims and objections can be filed from October 4 to 20. In the intervening period - from October 7 to 10, 2011 - the names of voters will be authenticated by the village panchayats concerned and the local bodies. The disposal of claims and objections will be made till November 19, 2011, while the work for updating database and control tables, merging of photographs and printing of supplements will be done from November 19 to December 26, 2011. The final publication of electoral rolls will be made on January 2, 2012.

Mass contact programme

PPCC delegate from Ludhiana (South) Bhupinder Sidhu has launched a mass contact programme in the assembly segment to have the first-hand knowledge of the problems being faced by the people. While interacting with residents, he will take the message of the Congress and PPCC president Captain Amarinder Singh to every household of his area. The programme was flagged off on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti by the District Congress Committee (Urban) president Pawan Dewan from Lohara village.

Minister meets senior citizens

Punjab Minister for Jails, Tourism and Cultural Affairs Hira Singh Gabria claimed that the state government had undertaken a number of development projects in the city, which would change the face of the industrial capital of the state. Addressing the general body meeting of the Rajguru Nagar Senior Citizens’ Welfare Association, he said several flyovers, now under construction in the city, would be ready soon. He said the senior citizens could make their contribution in serving the society with their experience of life. — OC



Gang of drug peddlers busted, 1 held
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 3
The Jodhan police has busted a gang of drug peddlers with the arrest of one of the suspects, while two of his accomplices managed to dodge the police. The gang has been active in the region for the past several months.

About 15 bags of poppy husk, weighing 510 kg and a Sumo (HR 26 8867) were seized from the possession of the accused. He has been identified as Bhagwant Singh, a resident of Lalton village in the Ludhiana district. Those absconding have been identified as Resham Singh, a resident of Buraj Hathan village under the Bilga police station and Charanjit Singh, a resident of Kapurthala.

Ludhiana (Rural) SSP Amar Singh Chahal said the police was tipped off that a gang of drug peddlers was distributing drugs and narcotics among youth and farmers of the area for the past several months.

A police team barricaded the Gujjarwal- Ballowal road and succeeded in nabbing the kingpin of the gang identified as Bhanta, a resident of Lalton village.

Dakha DSP Joginder Singh said a manhunt had been launched to nab those absconding. 



Kabaddi world cup
140 aspirants attend trials 
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, October 3
At least 140 aspirants attended the three-day trials being conducted by the Punjab Sports Department at Guru Nanak Stadium here today. These trials are being held to choose the Indian kabaddi team for the forthcoming IInd World Kabaddi Cup to be organised at different venues across the state from November 1 to 20. 

According to Director (Sports), Punjab, Pargat Singh, an eight-member selection panel has been constituted to conduct the trials. Shivdev Singh, Gurdeep Singh Malhi, Harpreet Singh Baba, Balwinder Singh Didu, Balbir Singh Bittu, Devi Dyal Sharma, Sarwan Singh Dudike and Jigeshwar Yadav are in the panel. 

At least 16 teams from across the world are expected to take part in the second edition of the mega event. Organisers have extended the deadline for registration of aspirants till 12 noon on October 4, said Surjit Singh Sandhu, District Sports Officer, Ludhiana, who is coordinating the trials.



Basketball meet
LBA lads go down against Punjab Police 
Our Sports Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 3
The Ludhiana Basketball Academy (LBA) fought it tooth and nail against the Punjab Police, Jalandhar, before going down with a narrow margin of three points (65-68) in the annual Arjuna Awardee Gurdial Singh Malhi Memorial Punjab Basketball League being held at Gure village here today.

The LBA with three internationals in its ranks gained lead and were comfortably placed (35-26) at the end of second quarter. But, Punjab Police players reorganised themselves and bounced back into the game during the third quarter. They wiped out the lead and the score board read 45-44.

In the deciding quarter, Gurkirpal Singh of the Punjab Police was right on the target and scored three points consecutively that helped his team to earn 7-point lead.

In the last three minutes, LBA lads pressed hard to level the score but luck eluded them as they muffed the chances which came their way. Eventually, PP, Jalandhar emerged victors 68-65.

In the second match (women), Ludhiana district beat Amritsar district 62-51. The winners were trailing 22-27 at half time. Chandeep and Kiranjit Kaur netted 16 points each which saw Ludhiana to warp up the issue 62-51.

Other results: DMW, Patiala beat PSEB, Bathinda 74-48; Ludhiana Basketball Academy defeated PSEB 81-57; DMW, Patiala outplayed Punjab Juniors 52-36; Punjab Juniors overpowered PSEB 64-60 and Toronto Academy outclassed Jalandhar (Red) 53-23.



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