L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Punjab Right to Service Act launched
67 services made time-bound
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 10
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal here today launched the "Punjab Right to Service Act-2011" (RTS), which makes the delivery of 67 services time-bound to the people as a matter of right.

Describing it as a historic moment for empowering citizens, Badal said the Act strikes at the root cause of corruption by taking away discretions of the government officials, besides binding them to deliver time-bound services.

Addressing a seminar and interactive session to disseminate information to the public, he claimed the RTS Act, coupled with governance reforms and IT-enabled services, besides e-governance, would make it the most successful model of governance.

Badal said elimination of affidavits, doing away with discretionary powers of tehsildars, allowing citizens for self-certification of certificates rather than by gazetted officers, self-certification of building plans were certain measures aimed at empowering the citizens.

Giving salient features of the Act, Badal said the Act was backed by statutory provisions, ensuring timely delivery of services and had definite scope for improvement.

He said the Act was a learning process and with due coursre, more services would be added in its scope.

Among the services which have been made time-bound are 12 services related to local government department, nine of transport department, eight of housing and urban development department, six of revenue department, four each of health and home departments, two of social security, one each of food and civil supplies and rural water supply departments, and a record 20 services of police department.

The Deputy Chief Minister said the computerisation of land records, smart card-based driving licence and RCs, e-tendering in all departments, e-gram centres and e-barriers for toll collection were certain citizen-centric steps that would make the life of citizens a lot more easier. He said 137 "fard kendras" had already started working and 17 more would become operational within one month.

Punjab Minister for Local Bodies and Industry Tikshan Sud and Punjab Chief Secretary SC Aggarwal spoke about the salient features of the Act while reiterating the commitment of the government to weed out corruption and provide efficient governance.





Dy CM’s self-praise disappoints audience
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal give power-point presentation in Ludhiana on Monday.
Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal give power-point presentation in Ludhiana on Monday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, October 10
The seminar-cum-interaction of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal with the public regarding the implementation of the Right To Service (RTS) Act turned out to be an occasion for self-glorification, as Sukhbir Badal went on to praise his government’s achievements, making many residents, who are facing bureaucratic hurdles in the implementation of the Act, leave the venue in a huff.

During the arrival of Badal junior at Guru Nanak Bhawan, it was told to the audience that after the power-point presentation, Sukhbir Badal would redress grievances of the residents, who were being harassed by bureaucrats.

But instead of listening to the plight of people, Sukhbir straight away went to the media section for interaction with journalists.

The residents who were pinning their hopes on the Deputy CM thinking that the latter would redress their grievances were left dejected.

“I wanted to bring to his notice that patwaris were reluctant to give information under RTS Act and instead they were seeking bribe. I was hoping that the Deputy CM would listen to our complaints, but he went straight to the media gallery,” said Tarlochan Singh, while leaving the venue in dejection.

While standing outside Guru Nanak Bhawan, Davinder Singh and Rajbir Singh said, “You are mistaken if you think that the leaders address the plight of people. He was here for self-praise and not to redress the plight of people. If he wants the RTS Act to be a success, he should visit every department and listen to people. Who are being harassed by Babus”

‘Provide service in a day’

Giving a power-point presentation, Badal taunted patwaris that they will now have to provide the service in one day under the RTS Act. “Bai Appna Koi Patwari Bhai Te Nahi Bhatheya. Hun ek din wich Farad di copy dani paini hai.” “Is there any Patwari brethren sitting in the hall? Now they have to issue the copy of a Farad in a day.”

No Akali ruckus on stage

Notorious for storming stage, the usually ‘enthusiastic’ Akali supporters were not allowed to create any ruckus on stage. The seminar on RTS Act
was conducted with relative decorum. Except for Local Body Minister Tikshan Sood, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari and Sukhbir Badal, no one was allowed to come
on stage.

Traffic goes for a toss

Sukhbir Badal’s visit to the Guru Nanak Stadium posed considerable inconvenience to commuters. Traffic was stopped at Bharat Nagar Chowk and the Mini-Secretariat, which resulted in long traffic jams and stranding of hundreds of commuters. Many commuters were seen arguing with traffic cops, while motorcyclists were seen crossing the dividers to reach the other side of the road.


Dept to act tough
Domestic gas misuse
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
To tighten its noose around those who misuse domestic gas in the city, especially during the festival days, the District Food and Supplies Department (DFSC) has started conducting raids on hotels, sweetmart shops and automobile workshops.

In the recently conducted raids at Dugri, the department seized 10 domestic cylinders from an auto-workshop, which prepared gas kits to be installed in cars in an illegal manner. The department is all set to conduct surprise raids on hotels, restaurants, gas agencies and consumers to check that domestic cylinders were not misused for commercial activities during the festival days.

Surinder K.Beri, Assistant Food and Supplies Controller, said during festivals, LPG misuse was rampant in the city as domestic cylinders were easily available at cheaper rates compared to commercial cylinders. The price of a commercial cylinder was Rs 1,300, while the domestic gas cylinder was available at Rs 420.

"Besides, these days domestic gas is being misused by the automobile workshops who prepare the gas kits through cylinders, which are fitted in cars. Compared to petrol, gas-kits are cheaper to run vehicles. But all this is being done in an illegal manner without getting the Registation Certificates (RCs) changed. Due to this practice, residents face shortage of domestic gas cylinders. And the shortage continues till winters," said the AFSC.

Apart from hotels, resturants, sweetmart shops, domestic cylinders are often used by marriage palace owners. A gas agency owner said that a gas mafia runs this practice. "Certain gas supply-boys are hand in glove with such people and the former provide domestic gas cylinders to them by taking money. During acute gas shortage, cylinders are easily avaliable on the black market. The department needs to act strictly against the violators so that residents do not suffer due to gas shortage in winters, marriage or the festival season," said the owner. 



Hospitals flooded with dengue patients
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
As the month of October is advancing, different hospitals of the city have been receiving more and more dengue patients from different cities and districts of the state.

According to Dr Sandeep Puri, Medical Superintendent of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital Ludhiana,"By now, we have received 1,160 patients who tested positive for dengue. Out of these, 13 have died. Among these, less than 50 per cent are from Ludhiana district." Christian Medical College and Hospital has received more than 280 patients. Confirming this, Dr Kanwal Maseeh, Medical Superintendent of CMCH, said,"We have received 282 patients by now. However, no causalty has been reported."

Dr Kapil Chib, Medical Superintendent of SPS Apollo Hospital, said,"We received 103 patients by now. Out of these, two died because earlier they were getting treatment in some other hospitals."

Dr Arun Attri, in charge of Blood Bank of Civil Hospital Ludhiana, said,"Samples of as many as 1,314 patients were received at Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital Ludhiana. Out of these, 784 have been tested by now." Due to half day, he could not tell as how many tested positive out of these.

At Mohan Dai Oswal Memorial Cancer Hospital, Dr Navdeep Shukla said,"In this season ,we received about 160 patients and no causalties have been reported so far."

Meanwhile, all eight blood banks being maintained by city hospitals have been witnessing rush of donors and attendants of the dengue patients, who need the transfusion of plasma platelets and plasma.

Dr Shukla said,"There is pressure on the blood bank staff, but the work is going on smoothly."

At the CMCH Blood bank also, Dr Kanwal Maseeh said,"We have one single donor platelet (SDP) machines and two random donor platelet (RDP) machines and all these machines are busy round the clock for segregating different components of blood."

At Apollo hospital also, the blood bank has been witnessing a busy schedule. Dr Chib of the hospital said,"We are managing it very well as we have enough machines with us."

‘Few SDP machines’

Dr G P Mangla, in charge of the Blood Bank of the Red Cross Society, said,"There are only eight SDP machines in different hospitals of the city. These are far less and the number should be almost double. People from different parts of the state are pouring in with their patients suffering from dengue and feel panicky as soon as they come to know that their platelets are decreasing. Platelets decrease in viral infections. Dengue is a viral infection, where the consumption of platelets increases and the balance gets disturbed. "

He said some doctors also create un-necessary panic for patients and keep asking them to get their plate counts morning and evening. But one needs platelets only when the number decrease to 20,000. He said,"We receive many patients who demand platelets although their platelet count is more than 40,000. People should keep their surroundings neat and clean. Spray of insecticides, mosquito repellants etc should be done to control dengue."




Many go in for ‘alternative cures’
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Kiwi fruit is believed to help dengue patients
Kiwi fruit is believed to help dengue patients

Ludhiana, October 10
As dengue cases are on the rise, so is the sale of kiwi fruit. Known for its value of having vitamin C, patients having dengue, are preferring to eat three to four kiwis a day.

Kavita Onial, whose husband suffered from dengue, said, "I gave my husband kiwi juice and juice of allovera (Kawar gandal)."

Umesh, an employee at a nursery, said,"We daily sell five to six plants of allovera. People take these for making medicines of dengue."

Leaves of papaya are also being used by residents for curing themselves from dengue. Kammo, a home-maker, said,"I have been told by one of my friends that juice of papaya leaves is very useful in controlling dengue. So I am in search of these for my neice, who is suffering from viral infection and her platelets are also down."

Meanwhile, the sale of mosquito repellants is also picking up.



City residents mourn loss of ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh
He had spent his early life in Ludhiana; ‘Was a jovial and very fine human being’ 
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jagjit Singh (left) with his wife Chitra Singh at a function held in Sangeet Cinema in 1976 during their visit to the city after their wedding; and (right) the maestro during his visit to the city in 1994.
Jagjit Singh (left) with his wife Chitra Singh at a function held in Sangeet Cinema in 1976 during their visit to the city after their wedding; and (right) the maestro during his visit to the city in 1994. File photographs

Ludhiana, October 10
Music industry and admirers of Jagjit Singh in the city are saddened at the demise of Jagjit Singh.

Jagjit Singh had spent initial years of his life in the city. Satosh Bhogal remembers that Jagjit Singh and her late husband HS Bhogal were very close friends. "We were like a family with him. It was when he sang a ghazal at a function organised by the Lions Club, when people from Bombay had come to the city in collaboration with Ajanta Arts group, that they said that Jagjit should come to Bombay. Later, my husband and I went to see him off to Bombay," she said.

“He was totally devoted to become a ghazal singer right from the beginning. He was focused and wanted to follow his passion," says NS Nanda, who has been a friend of Jagjit Singh from the initial years of his career. "I am deeply shocked at his demise. We were closely associated since the time when he used to sing ghazals and I used to play mandolin as part of the Ludhiana Amateur Club as a hobby in 1962. He was a jovial person and above all a very fine human being," he said.

Jasbir Jassi, who was in the city for the promotion of a movie, said it was a really sad moment for all lovers of music. He said he had known him personally for the last four years, but had come especially close to him in the last couple of years after meeting him during the shooting of the upcoming film “Khushiyaan” as Jagjit Singh sang a “shabad” in the movie. He said the ghazal maestro was a great inspiration. “His song ‘Hotho se chhoo lo tum’ was the only Hindi song I could sing when at the start of my career,” he reminisced.

Music director Ravinder Singh said it was a sad day for the music world as he was the finest ghazal singer ever. "He was one singer who had a style of his own, a soothing voice and he did not let the changing trends affect the refined quality of his original style and throughout sang poignant ghazals in that style.”

Photographer TPS Sandhu said that he became a friend of his after he came to Ludhiana in early 90s. “He used to come here and spent hours in the studio,” he remembers. I started listening to him early in my life, and still continue to sing his songs. “Artistes like Jagjit Singh do not pass away. He will continue to live through his music," he said.



Improvement trust fails to clear encroachments from street 
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October10
Despite a favourable verdict from the subordinate court, which was later upheld by the appellate court of the Additional District And Sessions Judge as well, the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) has taken no apparent steps to clear encroachments from part of a proposed 20-feet wide street in the Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar scheme.

The work for carpeting the proposed street has also been left midway in the face of stiff resistance from some of the residents who had allegedly encroached upon parts of green belt out of which the street is to be carved out.

It all started when LIT adopted a proposal for amendment in the lay out plan of the BRS Nagar scheme for construction of a 20-feet road from out of a portion of a park adjacent to house numbers 66 and 67 in A block of BRS Nagar to provide a way to plot nos 62 A, 62 AZ and 63 A. The proposal was sent to the state government and approved as per Section 43 of the Punjab Town Improvement Act.

As LIT authorities initiated action to carve out the 20-feet wide street to connect the inaccessible plots with 80-feet main road, a few area residents - who had allegedly encroached upon the vacant land of the Trust lying along side their houses, and had also developed a park for their personal use, raised opposition and brought pressure upon the LIT authorities to stall the work.

Some of the residents, including a leading transporter, filed an application in the court of Vikrant Kumar seeking a stay order against LIT action. The subordinate court dismissed the injunction application filed by Vinod Kumar Gupta and others on March 17, 2011. The petitioners went in appeal to the court of the additional district judge against the orders but the appellate court also upheld and affirmed the observations recorded by the trial court in its orders pronounced on September 5, 2011.

Even after the trial court and the appellate court observed that the LIT authorities were well within their rights to carve out the street, and the those residing along the park had no locus standi to interfere, the Trust had not been able to clear the temporary encroachments by a few residents in the area from where the street is to be constructed. While a stretch of some 15-20 feet length of the proposed street had been carpeted, further work was abandoned after the residents encroaching upon parts of the government land reportedly issued threats to the labourers working.

LIT Superintending Engineer AK Kansal, however, maintained that the work had not been abandoned, but had been delayed due to some other reasons. The executive engineer concerned and field staff had been directed to resume work for carving out the proposed street and lay premix carpet on the entire portion forthwith to provide open access to the affected residents.



Notification for land
Our correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 9
The Punjab Government has once again passed notification for acquiring land for the proposed grain market at the Jagera road here.

Though the move has kindled a ray of hope among farmers and commission agents, who had been suffering on account of degradation and shortage of food-grains, fear of application of model code of conduct in near future looms large in their minds.

Appreciating the role played by SAD legislator Iqbal Singh Jhoondan in getting notification done, the residents have urged him to impress upon Chief Minister Punjab Parkash Singh Badal to get all the formalities completed for starting work on the project before assembly elections are declared.

The residents apprehend the notification being third time might not become ineffective after commencement of process for assembly elections.

The process of selecting and acquiring land for laying foundation stone of the proposed grain market was started once again over a year ago. MLA Dhuri, Iqbal Singh Jhoondan, who is aspiring to contest assembly election from Amargarh constituency, had succeeded in inviting high power committee led by GK Singh, director, Land Acquisition Punjab Mandi Board and selecting suitable site for the project in month of December last year.

The committee had selected a site on the Jagera road and notification for the acquisition of land has issued the notification.

Non-construction of the grain market, even after five years of the laying of its foundation stone along the Jagera road, has emerged as a major issue among commission agents and farmers of the area.

The commission agents have been forced to hire plots to procure paddy. Besides, hitting their profit by way of rent, they suffered due to low quality of the produce. Farmers also suffered loss due to the deduction in prices for quality degradation and higher moisture content.

They had earlier urged the higher authorities, including the Chief Minister and the Punjab Mandi Board chairman to either get the project completed or remove the foundation stone laid by the then Mandi Board chairman Sukhwinder Singh Sarkaria, along with former parliamentary secretary, Razia Sultana, on December 26, 2006.



Firework traders in a tizzy over sale of crackers
Uncertainty grips due to raids of sale tax department last year 
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, October 10, 201
Most of the traders dealing in crackers have been left in a tizzy after the raids conducted by the sales tax department in the town last year before Diwali. Majority of the traders dealing in fireworks have been overcautious while selling the crackers. It is pertinent to mention here that the sales tax department teams had conducted raids on the some of the stores of Jagraon before Diwali last year.

After scanning the sale-purchase records, the department had detected anomalies in sale-purchase records of crackers. After the sales tax department teams left the city without taking any action, speculations were rife among the locals that the department officials had accepted bribes and reached a settlement with the traders in whose records anomalies had been detected.

Sources said certain media persons had also played a key role in helping out these traders reach the settlement with the department officials and in turn they too were ‘duly rewarded’ by the traders.

The whole of the matter came to limelight after various newspapers highlighted it. Taking a serious note of the whole incident, the senior officials of the sales tax department raided the stores of those traders and scrutinised the sale-purchase records of these traders once again.

This brought the anomalies detected in sale-purchase records of those traders once again following which the department imposed hefty fines on them and initiated departmental inquiry against the officials involved in previous raids.

Last year incident left such an impact on the minds of local traders that a sense of uncertainty and panic still prevails among most of the fireworks traders of the town and they fail to reach a conclusion on when to start selling of the crackers. Although the traders have stored huge stocks of crackers in their godowns but so far most of them have not even displayed the crackers in their stores till now due to last year incident. Some of the traders, though, have started selling the crackers to the customers through the back door but still they worry to sell openly.

However, the traders who have stored huge stocks of crackers in their stores, now fear of suffering heavy losses. The situation is such that if these traders fail to sell the crackers, they are bound to suffer heavy financial losses and if they try to sell the crackers openly, the fear of last year like action of sales tax department keep haunting them.



A day of debate, elocution, extempore, quiz
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
Brainstorming and fun-frolic events were exhibited today during the GADVASU Youth Festival here today.

The day was of debate, elocution, extempore, quiz, poetic recitation and “haas-ras” poetry.

Dr Darshan Singh Aulakh, organising secretary of festival, said that in the morning session debate, elocution, extempore competitions were held. As many as 10 students participated, among them five were girls. The topic for debate was “Whether the Development of any society causes deterioration or not” and the topic for elocution was “we are living Robotic life”.

The afternoon session was of quiz, poetic recitation and “haas-ras” poetry. Kuldeep Singh, Additional Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, was the chief guest on the session. In these competitions three colleges of university participated along with the School of Animal Biotechnology. GADVASU affiliated college- the Khalsa College of Veterniary and Animal Sciences, Amritsar, also participated in both the competition.

Dr PN Dwivedi convener of literary items committee said that the events in this category were over. The results of all competitions will be announced on the final day of youth festival. Tomorrow’s competitions will include creative writing and photography. The venue of these events will be Seminar Hall, Silver Jubilee Block and ground floor at GADVASU. 



Report out, auto-driver found guilty
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
The probe into the auto-rickshaw driver’s thrashing case has found him guilty of recording wrong statement.

The auto-rickshaw driver had shocked the city by claiming that he was thrashed for not paying bribe to the cops. The reports, the copy of which is with The Tribune, stated that the driver had himself smashed his head in the auto-rickshaw to frame the traffic cop in a false case.

The report further stated that the auto-rickshaw driver was also under the influence of drugs when the incident took place.

High drama was witnessed near the local bus stand on October 7, when a badly injured auto-rickshaw driver Gurjeet Singh levelled serious allegations against a traffic policeman and claimed that he was thrashed after he refused to pay the bribe.

The allegation caused major embarrassment to the cop. Perturbed at the incident, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (ADCP- Traffic) SS Cheema ordered a probe into the matter and had demanded the report in two days.

The responsibility of conducting the investigation was given to Inspector Jatinder Singh, who is know for having clean image and was even awarded with a bravery medal for busting several gangs.

Satish Kumar and Ashok Kumar, president and secretary, respectively, of the auto- rickshaw association, have blamed autorickshaw driver Gurjeet Singh for levelling false allegation of Head Constable Manjeet Singh.

The duo had stated that the auto-rickshaw driver parked his vehicle in the middle of the road and caused traffic jam.

When he was told to park the auto-rickshaw in corner he entered into an argument with the cop and smashed his head in the windscreen. “In the process a broken glass cut his throat, said Satish Kumar.

Head Constables, including Baldev Singh, Taranjit Singh and Rajbir Singh, also recorded the statement in favour of the cop identified as head constable Manjeet Singh.

Relatives of the auto-rickshaw driver have raised finger on the credibility of report.

“What can you expect, the probe is just an eye wash. It is certain that they will shield the cop. How can leaders of the auto-rickshaw association give statement against cops. Their entire business depends and is regulated by the cops. If the leaders give statement against the cops then their auto-rickshaws would be challaned,” said a family member of the auto-rickshaw driver. 

Manjeet chronic trouble maker

Traffic constable, Manjeet, is in the habit of remaning in controversies. He was at loggerheads with Amit Gosain, grandson of Health Minister Satpal Gosain and Akali councillor’s relatives, during his posting at the Bhai Bala Chowk. He was shifted to the bus stand and the Bharat Nagar Chowk following complaints.

Auto-rickshaw driver also to blame

Gurjeet Singh, auto-rickshaw driver, is addicted to habit-forming drugs. Even the police has stated in its report that the driver was under the influence of drugs when the incident took place. It is alleged that he used purchase habit-forming drugs from a medicine shop located near the bus stand. 



Slow, but paddy starts arriving in district
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
Though slow, but paddy has started arriving in the mandis (grain markets) of the Ludhiana district. The arrival has picked up in Khanna, Samrala, Machchiwara and Ludhiana mandis, while it is slow in Sidhwan Bet, Jagraon and the Raikot side. However, officials maintain that it will reach its peak within three to four days.

Rajpal Singh Dhaliwal, Deputy General Manager, Punjab Mandi Board, said about 92,324 metric tonnes of paddy had arrived in 102 mandis of the district till yesterday. Out of which 85,387 metric tonnes was sold while 6937 metric tonnes remained unsold. Various government agencies and private millers had already lifted about 30,000 metric tonnes of paddy so far.

Total of 38,979 metric tonnes of paddy had arrived in Khanna and 38,039 metric tonnes sold. About 940 metric tonnes was yet to be sold. In Samrala, 13,650 metric tonnes of paddy had arrived at various centres and 12,687 metric tonnes had already been sold. Whereas, 953 metric tonnes remains unsold. Similarly in Machchiwara 10,223 metric tonnes of paddy had arrived and 9403 metric tonnes sold. About 8565 metric tonnes of paddy had arrived in mandis in Ludhiana city and 7809 metric tonnes sold. Whereas 756 metric tonnes of paddy was still lying unsold.

Dhaliwal said about 15.56-lakh metric tonnes of paddy was procured in the district last year. It was expected to increase by 15.70 lakh metric tonnes. He said, “Raikot, Sidhwan Bet and Jagraon are bit slower in arrival, but we expect much more produce to come from these areas. We are expecting a bumper crop this season and quality of grain is also good.” 



Stone for southern bypass road to be laid today 
Our Correspondent

Doraha, October 10
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s visit to the town, nine months ago, had ended in a complete fiasco as amenity-starved townsmen failed to get anything out of it. People, once again, are eagerly looking forward to the junior Badal’s tomorrow visit. The Deputy Chief Minister is supposed to lay the foundation stone of a water treatment plant apart from inaugurating the southern bypass road tomorrow.

“At least four sites have been finalised for laying the foundation stone of the water-treatment plant. Two sites at Doraha and Satnam Nagar have been approved, while other two on the Jaipura and Arraichan roads are yet to be approved,” said municipal council chief Inderjit Singh Kala.

People are literally living in a hellish condition due to the lack of proper dumping ground. The council was left with no choice other than using the prime piece of land acquired for constructing an advanced training institute for disposing off the waste generated by the town. This had exposed residents to a serious health hazard.

The council, till date, used to accord less importance to health facilities. There is no civil dispensary in Doraha presently. It has been shifted to Araichan, a village, about 2 kilometers from the town. Thus, middle class, especially migrants (approximately 20,000 to 25,000 people), is at the mercy of private doctors.

Residents in unison said, “The dispensary could easily be shifted as huge piece of land is available with the government in the town. The registry of land on the railway road has been banned for the past several years. This has made sale and purchase of land almost difficult. We will put forth all our demands in front of him (Sukhbir Badal).” 



Textile processing unit gutted
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 10
A textile processing unit in Fateh Singh Nagar on the Chandigarh Road was destroyed in a fire that broke out today afternoon. Five fire tenders were pressed into service and it took more than three hours to douse the flames.

According to a spokesman of the fire brigade, the fire, suspected to be caused by electrical short circuit, broke out at around 2.20 pm in the ground floor of the processing unit.

Additional Divisional Fire Officer Kartar Singh said there was not fire fighting equipment in the processing unit.

The owner of the processing unit had his residence on the upper storey, which also suffered immense damage. 



Joint Employees front take out rally
Demand removal of contract system
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
A rally was taken out in front of the Mini Secretariat by members of the Joint Employees Front of the state against the state government yesterday.

Convener Bhupinder Singh Waraich and Jarmanjeet Singh criticised the state government and said that midday meal workers, Asha workers and part-time workers should not be kept on contract basis and more facilities should be provided to them. They said that people working under the NHRM, paramedical, SSA and RMSA teachers were not being regularised despite their struggle and protests.

The speakers said that the government was deceiving people by implementing the higher grades by the Pay Commission from October 1 rather than implementing them from January 1.

They demanded that the changed report by the Pay Commission should be implemented from January 1 of this year and medical wage of Rs 1,000 should be given every month. ACP in the fourth, ninth, 14th, 18th years should be given as given to higher designations, complete pension should be allotted after completion of 20 years of service, ASHA, midday and part-time workers should be given a monthly pay of Rs 4,160, DA installment should be given before Diwali, employees recruited after January 1 2004 should be given pensions according to the prior pension schemes, grades of library staff and grade four employees should be improved. They also appealed for the abolition of Section 11of the 73rd Amendment of the Constitution in addition to the abolition of education directorate under the Panchayati Raj.



Yashpal Bangia writes for senior citizens
Keen to write one book every year for them
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Dr Yashpal Bangia with his books.
Dr Yashpal Bangia with his books. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, October 10
Unlike many other retirees, Yashpal Bangia, a resident of Rishi Nagar, is a social activist and shares his life-long experiences with other senior citizens. He has found new ways to share his experiences with others by writing books.

With already eight books to his credit, recently, Bangia has come up with his ninth book, "Varishtth Nagrik Adbhut Anubhav". Retired from the postal department, Yashpal Bangia said,"I have decided to come up with one book every year for the senior citizens on the occasion of Senor Citizen Day, i.e. October 1. This is my third book focusing on the feelings and requirements of senior citizens. My first book on senior citizens was released in the year 2009 "Dhalti Umar, Badhte Kadam" and in 2010, I came up with my second book related to the subject. I am grateful to all for appreciating my efforts."

Earlier, when Bangia was working as a public relation officer, he wrote six books on stamps. Two were in Hindi, two in English and the another two in Punjabi.

He has also been the founder general secretary of the Punjab Hindi Parishad for the last 30 years and president of Ludhiana Philately Club for the past four years. For his social activities and his books he was awarded with the state award on August 15 last year by the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Known for his bindas attitude, Bangia says, "Till I am alive, I wish to serve the society".



Night sky watching at Kundan Vidya Mandir 

Ludhiana: Kundan Vidya Mandir in association with Pushpa Gujral Science City has organised a four-day Night Sky Watching programme from October 10 named -“Wonders of the Universe: Night Sky Watching Date with the Planets”. The students assembled in their classes at 6 pm. High-powered telescopes were installed and a team of experts was there to guide the students. Navita Puri, the school principal, said that it was like walking amid stars.

Valmiki Jayanti celebrations

Maharishi Valmiki Jayanti was celebrated at SDP School, in which students delivered speeches describing the teachings of Maharishi Valmiki. Some of students recited hymns of Lord Rama. Jasveer Singh Chauhan, addressing the students, said that the youth needed to study the life history of such personalities to derive inspiration from their achievements and preserve Indian tradition for the next generation.

Seminar on technology

The GGN Institute of Management and Technology (GGNIMT) organised a seminar on “Latest Technologies and Careers in IT” for the students of BCA and MCA . Ishvaneet Kaur, a Java programmer, highlighted the upcoming IT fields and associated skills to the budding IT professionals. She also discussed about cloud computing, grid computing, soa, enterprise solutions and advanced mobile applications. — OC



Earth House wins quiz contest at GN Model School
Our Correspondent

Doraha, October 10
In order to increase the general knowledge of students, Guru Nanak Model Senior Secondary School organised a social studies quiz competition today.

The students from classes V to VIII participated in it.

All four houses i.e the Mars, Jupiter, Saturn and Earth participated enthusiastically. There were eight rounds.

Earth House secured first position, Jupiter House was second while the third position went to Mars House.

Vice-president Harpartap Singh Brar, manager Tarlok Singh Jaggi and principal DP Thakur congratulated the winning team and asked the students to work harder next time to give a better performance.



Resident gets extortion calls again

Ludhiana, October 10
Rishi Sood (31), a resident of the city, who spent nearly six months in the jail after being booked in an alleged false rape case, was in for another shock last night when a girl repeatedly telephoned him to arrange Rs 25 lakh otherwise he would be booked in yet another rape case.

He rushed to the Division No 5 police station and requested a policeman to talk to the caller, who identified herself as Pinky. Following this, Rishi Sood lodged a complaint and demanded a case to be registered against the woman caller.

“I don’t want to take chances. I have lost precious years of my life after being booked in a false rape case,” said Rishi Sood. Sood was booked following a complaint lodged by Suman Paul, alias Dr Neha aka Parul Gupta.

Suman Paul has been in the news for extorting money from youths and filing false rape complaints against them. — TNS



PTU Dean awarded

Ludhiana, October 10
Professor VK Kapoor, principal, GHG Khalsa College of Pharmacy, Gurusar, Sudhar, has been awarded the prestigious Shri Bhojraj Panjamool Life Time Achievement Award 2011 instituted by the Association of Pharmaceutical Teachers of India for his contribution to pharmacy profession. Professor Kapoor is Dean of Pharmacy and Allied at Punjab Technical University, Jalandhar.

An eminent educationist and research scientist Professor Kapoor has earlier been awarded "Professor GP Srivastava Memorial Award 2004" and Fellowship of Indian Pharmaceutical Association, Mumbai in 2003. — OC



NSS camp at DIMT
Our Correspondent

Doraha, October 10
Doraha Institute of Management and Technology organised an NSS camp on the college campus here today. Dr Sandeep Sawhney, principal, Doraha College of Education, inaugurated the camp. He detailed the organisational structure of NSS, its motto, objectives and different activities to be undertaken by volunteers during the one and ten days’ camp. “Volunteers must be dedicated to a social cause and they should make sincere efforts to promote a vigorous and alert society,” he added.

At the camp issues like education for all, medical awareness, sanitation arrangements, literacy programmes, knowledge of the various government schemes, role of banking in savings and loans facilities for education will be discussed. NSS volunteers also planted saplings at historical fort “Mugal Sarai” at Doraha village.



Ludhiana Scan

Railway pensioners demand relief

The Railway Pensioners Welfare Association has urged the government to put an end to disparities of pension between those retired before January 2006 and after that. The annual general meeting of the body held at Pensioners Information Centre here, demanded that the disparity could be resolved by adapting one rank one-pension formula on the pattern of defence department. The meeting further called for revised pension as per recommendations of 6th pay commission, reduction of age limit of 80 years to 75 years for 20 per cent increase in pension, enhanced medical allowance of Rs 1,000 per month and exemption from income tax for pensioner wage.

Congress targets communal forces

Taking out a massive march in the course of the ongoing mass contact programme of congress party in Atam Nagar assembly segment, former president of district congress committee Krishan Kumar Bawa said he will reach out to each and every house hold in the area to mobilise public opinion against communal elements. He claimed that the overwhelming response to the "prabhat pheris" being taken out by the party proved that the people were fed from the SAD-BJP government, and were waiting for an opportunity to put congress back on the saddle.

Jagjit Singh's death mourned

Expressing a deep sense of grief and sorrow at the death of the noted singer and music director, Jagjit Singh, several cultural and social organisations paid rich tributes to him. Jagdev Singh Jassowal, president World Punjabi Academy, said a melodious voice which took the art of ghazal singing to new heights, had been silenced for ever.



2 yrs on, two booked for murdering youth
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
Two men were booked today for throwing a youth in front of an approaching train with an intention to kill him. The case has been registered two years after the incident took place. The duo was booked on the complaint of victim Sukhdev Singh’s sister Kirpal Kaur.

The accused identified as Gurpreet Singh and Gurpreet Singh are also facing life term for murdering four persons, including two women and a child in Doraha.

The Sahnewal SHO said the duo was having illicit relations with Sukhdev Singh’s mother Charanjit Kaur. When Sukhdev Singh objected, Charanjit Kaur along with Gopi and Manga hatched a conspiracy to killer her son.

They took Sukhdev Singh to Khanpur village and offered liquor laced with sedatives to him.

Sukhdev Singh fell unconscious after consuming the liquor and the duo threw him before the train near the Jassowal railway track.

Gopi and Manga along with Kulvinder Singh had also killed four persons, including Charanjit Kaur, her 12-year-old daughter Karamjit Kaur, 18-year-old nephew Jassa and four-year-old adopted son Navdeep in Satnam Nagar Doraha on August 21, 2010.

They confessed before the police that Charanjit Kaur used to blackmail them. This instigated them to eliminate her. Kirpal Kaur said she fled to Bangluru following the death of her mother. “I overheard the conversation Gopi and Manga had with my mother. I got scared and fled from the house,” she added.

She learnt about her mother and sister’s death on reaching the city. She also came to know that Gopi and Manga were arrested for killing her mother following which she reported the matter to the police. 



Doc booked 3 yrs after operating upon patient
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 10
An eye surgeon was booked for negligence three years after she performed a cataract operation following which the victim had lost sight of his left eye. Ironically, the case was registered nearly seven months after the death of the victim.

Narrating the tale Mandeep Singh, son of victim Swarn Singh said he had to fight against all odds for getting a case registered. "The entire health department was shielding the woman eye surgeon. I lost all hope and approached the State Human Right Commission (PHRC)."

The PHRC referred the case to the Ludhiana Commissioner for investigation. The city police then constituted a team of experts from the PGI, Chandigarh, to investigate the matter.

The PGI experts found the doctors guilty of negligence in performing the cataract operation. After receiving the report the police booked doctor Mandeep Pal Kaur.

Mandeep Singh stated that Mandeep Pal Kaur, who was then posted at the rural hospital in Mansura village, performed the cataract operation on the left eye of Swarn Singh. The operation took place in September 2007.

The operation went wrong and Swarn Sing lost sight of his left eye. Mandeep Singh had alleged that the hospital had no facility to conduct the operation. Mandeep Singh further added that before conducting the operation the doctor did not consult the senior doctor of the department and did not conduct any physical fitness test on Swarn Singh.



Punjab Women’s Games: Jalandhar eves corner glory
Anil Datt

Girls show medals they won in the 100-meter sprint.
Girls show medals they won in the 100-meter sprint. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, October 10
The Jalandhar district inched towards overall championship as players from the sports city continued to dominate the proceedings on the penultimate day of the 37th Punjab State Women’s Games being held at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

Jalandhar eves wrapped up gold medal in lawn tennis. In the final, they got the better of Patiala 2-0, while hosts Ludhiana recorded an identical victory (2-0) over Amritsar to secure bronze medal.

In badminton also, Jalandhar shuttlers stamped their superiority as they blanked the Ferozepur district 2-0 to lift the gold medal. Shehnaz beat Vasundra 21-6, 21-11 while the pair of Shehnaz and Jaspreet Kaur quelled a strong challenge from the Ferozepur duo of Vasundra and Rachita, who they overpowered 21-16, 14-21 and 21-17.

Jalandhar athletes kept their domain intact as they secured 83 points to clinch trophy in athletics while the second position holders, Ludhiana could gather only 25 points and Sangrur with 18 points finished third.

In kabaddi semifinals, Ludhiana managed to squeeze past Roopa Nagar with a wafer-thin margin of just one point (28-27) while Jalandhar overwhelmed Mansa 45-6 to set up the title clash.

In handball, Roop Nagar and hosts Ludhiana settle for the summit clash as they won their respective semifinal encounters. Roop Nagar defeated Patiala 17-7 and Ludhiana outplayed Jalandhar 16-10.

In hockey, the Kapurthala district beat the Amritsar district 5-2 to emerge as champions while Patiala came out triumphant 2-1 against Ludhiana to secure bronze medal.

In kho-kho, Sangrur outplayed the Ludhiana district by 8 points and the Jalandhar district outnumbered Roop Nagar by 10 points to secure berths in the final.

In the track and field events today, Bhumika Thakur of Ludhiana with a leap of 5.64m annexed the gold medal in the long-jump event.

Kulwinder Kaur from Sangrur won silver medal with a jump of 5.38m while Ludhiana’s Ramandeep Kaur had to content with bronze medal as she jumped to a distance of 5.27m.

In shot put, Suman Devi of Muktsar won gold while Amarbir Kaur of Amritsar and Neha Gaikwad of Patiala secured silver and bronze medal, respectively.



City shuttler wins bronze in Bulgaria
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, October 10
Local shuttler, Pranav Chopra, again hogged limelight as he won a bronze medal in an international badminton tournament held in Bulgaria.

Pranav Chopra, a trainee of the Ludhiana Badminton Academy (LBA), along with Akshay Dewalkar of Maharashtra bagged bronze medal in the Bulgaria International Badminton Tournament-2011 held at Sofia in Bulgaria.

The duo, on its way to semifinals, stunned top seeded pair of Marcus Ellis and Peter Mills of England 22-20, 21-19.

However, in the semifinal, Pranav and Akshay fought a spirited battle against their experienced pair of Jue Wei Linag and Kuan Hao Liao from Chinese Taipei.

The Indian pair went down fighting 18-21, 16-21 and had to content with bronze medal. Now, the Indian contingent will travel to Bern (Switzerland) and Amsterdam (Holland) to take part in tournaments to be played there.



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