L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Another rally spells chaos
LBP-SAD supporters hold traffic to ransom on Ferozepur Road
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
Motorists were once again at the receiving end of a political rally here today. Those travelling on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur Road had a harrowing time as they got caught up in a massive traffic jam near Detwal village.

Thousands of supporters of Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, president of the Lok Bhalai Party that merged with the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) today, had come to attend the rally on a vacant chunk of land adjoining the main Ferozepur Road.

The supporters had reached the venue in cavalcades of buses, trucks and cars and after the rally ended, a long traffic jam ensued.

Though traffic officials from the Ludhiana (rural) police were deputed at the scene, they had tough time managing the traffic, as the number of vehicles part of the rally ran into hundreds.

A traffic policeman deputed at the scene said most buses and trucks were parked near the rally venue.

“After the rally ended, people brought the buses and parked these on the Ferozepur Road for the ‘convenience’ of supporters. Vehicles were parked on both sides of the road, hampering the smooth flow of traffic. However, we are trying to keep the traffic moving,” said a woman sub-inspector of the traffic police present at the scene.

A motorist, who was going to Jagraon in his car, rued the fact that leaders earlier used to cause traffic jams within the city. However, the chaos is now being witnessed outside the city.

“Several policemen have been deputed to coordinate the traffic. But where is the rationale in allowing the buses and trucks to park on the Ferozepur Road? They have stopped the movement of traffic to enable the buses and trucks to come onto the road. Had these vehicles gone to the venue to pick up the supporters, this problem would not have arisen,” said another commuter.





A Field day for vendors
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

A vendor sells popcorns and other eatables at the rally venue near Ludhiana on Wednesday.
A vendor sells popcorns and other eatables at the rally venue near Ludhiana on Wednesday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, November 23
Vendors selling eatables did a brisk business at the venue of the rally organised by Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, whose Lok Bhalai Party merged with the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) today.

As the rally was organised on a vacant piece of land adjoining the main Ludhiana-Ferozepur road, supporters who attended the rally were literally at the mercy of these vendors, with not even a single shop located nearby.

Since morning, a large number of vendors had set up their stalls at the venue. From cane juice to groundnuts and popcorns, a large variety of eatables were sold on the spot.

The vendors said they were able to sell their items within a few hours. “The items, which we used to sell in the entire day on routine days, were sold within a few hours. I had brought 100 packets of popcorn, and luckily, I was able to sell them within the first couple of hours. As it was afternoon time, the demand of groundnuts was also high. Some of my friends selling groundnuts also made quick bucks,” said a vendor.

Another vendor said his first stock of groundnuts was sold in the first hour, when people were coming for the rally. “As the demand of groundnuts was high, I had to rush back to my room for bringing further stock of the groundnut. Now, only 10 packets are left and I have already sold close to 100.”

People attending the rally rued that the vendors were selling eatables at high price.

“A small packet of groundnuts was sold for Rs 10, while the vendors were charging Rs 20 for a packet of popcorns. As there was no shop near the rally venue, we had no option but to purchase eatables from them,” said Darshan Singh, a Ramoowalia supporter who had come from Jalandhar.



And, visitors harried at govt offices
Punjab ministerial employees’ strike hits work
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
The ongoing strike by the Punjab Ministerial Staff Union entered its second day today, leaving visitors to various government offices in the lurch.
The strike not only disrupted routine work but also affected revenue collection in different offices of the state government.

Many visitors who were not aware of the strike kept visiting the offices repeatedly only to return empty-handed.

Kulwant Singh and Muhammand Zameel, who had come from Khamano, said: “We had come to collect the documents of our vehicles from the District Transport Office but on reaching the office, we learned about the strike. We fail to understand the reason for harassing public in this way.”

Rajinder Singh from Samrala, who had come to collect his driver’s licence, said: “I had come especially to collect my licence and now they have told me to come on Monday.”

While Poonam and Munish, who had come to seek information about the voter’s ID, said: “The officers are present there, but the clerical staff are on strike.”

The work at other government offices also remained suspended due to the strike.

Harjeet Singh Grewal, district president of the union, said: “We will hold a state-level meeting in Ludhiana on November 26 and decide on the future course of action. So, there is still no surety of resumption of work in government offices on Monday.”

Meanwhile, the revenue collection from land registries and stamp duty alone in the city is estimated at over Rs 2 crore a day. The strike has put a severe dent into the collection of revenue by the government.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari could not be contacted.



MC core panel shoots down proposal
Annoyed, Dakha MLA hints at fireworks in general house
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
After the proposal to increase the limits of the Ludhiana municipal corporation was rejected during the MC’s core committee meeting today, the councillors are expecting some fireworks in the general house of the civic body to be held on November 25. Reason: Dakha MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik, who has been spearheading the cause, has threatened to raise the issue once again in the general house.

Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura said when the issue was raised at today’s meeting, both BJP as well as Congress councillors opposed it. “The proposal then was rejected,” said Giaspura.

For the past few months, Shivalik had been raising the issue of increasing the MC limits by 1 km so that around 3 lakh people living in residential colonies adjoining the MC limits can get facilities like better roads and sewerage connectivity.

However, some senior MC officials, including Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal, had been opposing the issue as it would put extra burden on the corporation, which is already short of funds.

“Moreover, if the sewerage lines of that area are attached to the existing ones, the city residents will suffer as the existing lines will choke. Our sewerage lines are several years old and over the years, the city population has increased considerably. So these lines are already overburdened and if more areas come within MC limits, one may well imagine the burden it will put of these lines,” Bansal had said earlier.

However, Shivalik claimed that some councillors were opposing the issue just to woo the urban voter.

“I wonder why some political leaders have a problem when it comes to development of the rural areas. After I brought this issue to the notice of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, he took it up with local bodies minister Tikshan Sud, who had assured to redress this issue. But if the core committee of MC has rejected this proposal, we will take it up in the general house on November 25. The leaders opposing the issue should get ready to face the heat during the meeting.”

Shivalik threatened that if the areas falling within the proposed MC limit are not included in the civic body, “we will block the sewerage lines passing through these areas. If people living in those areas are not benefited from the sewerage lines laid for the city, then why should we provide them with land for laying these pipes? And, we are very firm on our stand and will get it passed at any cost”.

The meeting was attended by Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, MC Commissioner AK Sinha, Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal, Deputy Mayor Sunita Aggarwal, finance and contract committee members, besides others.

Works worth Rs 50 cr passed

During a finance and contract committee meeting, all 236 files related to different works related to development worth around Rs 50 crore were passed without any objection. It was also decided that residents of all areas falling in existing and already implemented town planning schemes would not have to pay the development charges, which were levied on them last year.



Freebies that weren’t!
Kabaddi players, coaches took liquor, snacks for complementary items
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Services

Ludhiana, November 23
It was the downing of liquor, chocolates, cold drinks and snacks that led to the hotel bill controversy on Monday.
The incident caused major embarrassment to the sports department, as the Indian women kabaddi team — winners of the Kabaddi World Cup — was prevented from checking out of the hotel for their failure to clear unpaid bills amounting to around Rs 22,000.

A day after the incident, it was learned that the women’s team of coach Jaskaran Kaur along with her husband Kulwinder Singh was not aware of the fact that the fruits, drinks and chocolates lying in their room were not complementary.

They realised their mistake when they were asked to pay up for the consumption of knick-knacks as they tried to check out of the hotel.

Meanwhile, a member of the organising committee said the organisers had borne the expenses incurred on food and stay of the players. The bill of Rs 22,000 that the team was asked to pay was for liquor, chocolates, fruits and snacks consumed by them.

“The coach and her husband are at fault. Instead of paying the bill, the two tried to put it on the organisers. If the kabaddi cup organisers had already paid for the board and lodging, we were under no obligation to pay for the liquor, chocolates and snacks consumed by them,” said the member of the organising committee.

Members of the Canadian team as well as the Indian men kabaddi team were also caught arguing with the authorities on the issue of liquor bill. However, they cleared their dues and left the hotel.

On Monday, the Indian women team was in for a shock when the hotel, where they had stayed, prevented them from checking out and told them to pay around Rs 22,000 for consuming items kept in the rooms, including hard drinks.

While the coach and her husband indulged in heated arguments with the hotel staff over “inflated bills” till the afternoon, the Indian kabaddi players were seen gulping glasses of water to beat their hunger.

The players claimed that they had celebrated into the night after the match and did not consume food.

In the morning, they were made to sit at the reception after the hotel staff prevented them from leaving the hotel until the bills were cleared. The matter was resolved following the intervention of Surjan Chatha, president, North India Kabaddi Association.

While the stay and the food was for free, the hotel had only charged for beverages, snacks and hard drinks. The bill suggested that hard drinks worth Rs 5,000 were consumed.

Jaskaran Kaur’s husband Kulwinder Singh, coach of Mai Bhago Kabaddi Academy, Nawanshahr, was allowed to accompany the team, as a majority of players who were part of the Indian kabaddi team belonged to the academy.

Kulwinder claimed that he did not spend a single night at the hotel, as he had accompanied the team only till the evening.

Kulwinder added that some confusion might have led the hotel staff to issue the “inflated” bill.

“Yes, I had consumed some liquor but I had paid for it. I was shocked to see such a huge bill,” said Kulwinder.

Jaskaran Kaur said the girls were not aware that things lying in the hotel were not for free.

“Most kabaddi players are from a humble background and have never stayed in a five-star hotel. They were not aware that the chocolates, cold drinks and fruits were chargeable,” said Jaskaran Kaur.



MC razes thirteen shops
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
A team of the municipal corporation razed 13 shops, a day after three workers received electrical shocks while working at an under-construction building on the Brota road, near Shimlapuri.Assistant Town Planner (ATP) Harpreet Gahi said: “We have razed 13 shops where the worker had received electrical shocks yesterday. Further, we have demolished a shop that was constructed in a park.” He said the 13 shops were constructed in violation of building bylaws.



Delayed winter to railways’ rescue
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 23
Unlike the beginning of winter season last year, when there was a huge backlog of outward-bound parcels of hosiery goods at the local railway station and the shortage of parcel wagons had slowed down the movement of goods, much to the discomfort of hosiery manufacturers and traders, this time the delayed winters and easy availability of railway wagons have made things easier for the railway authorities.

Although the pace of booking of parcels is yet to pick up, with mercury expected to dip further in the next few days, the backlog is mounting, albeit slowly, even after clearance of around 1,000 parcels every day.

However, the saving grace this time around has been that the railway authorities have provided the promised additional railway wagons to cope with the rush of parcels during the peak hosiery season.

Having burnt their fingers last year, with their goods reaching the desired destinations late, thereby causing loss of business and goodwill, quite a few hosiery manufacturers and traders have this year switched to road transport to ship their goods, as it was comparatively more dependable and faster.

Another reason attributed to this trend is the tightening of noose by the excise and taxation department around tax evaders and those transporting hosiery goods without proper invoices, say insiders in the hosiery trade.

Maintaining that most hosiery manufacturers and traders who had suffered losses last year due to delay in transportation of goods by the railways had shifted to road transport, sources asserted that even a slight delay in delivery of woollen hosiery at the destination was not acceptable to the buyers because once the peak winter season was over, the hosiery goods became redundant.

“In such circumstances, our payments are delayed for months together and the goods have to be sold at discounted prices in off-season,” remarked a hosiery trader.

Even though the railway officials claim that the movement of parcels is going on smoothly and only around 500-700 parcels are awaiting clearance, the handling and clearing agents assert that they have to seek the help of touts, railway loaders and lease holders of railway wagons for timely clearance of parcels bound for Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, North-Eastern states and other far-off places.

“We have to keep all those concerned with booking and loading of parcels in railway wagons in good humour,” confided a handling agent at the railway station.



Robbery case heads for a U-turn?
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
The case involving the robbery of Rs 2 lakh in the Chaura Bazar area on Monday seems to be heading for a U-turn.

After receiving conflicting versions of the incident, the police has further recorded the statements of over 10 persons present in the Old Kotwali area at the time of the alleged robbery.

Station house officer (SHO) Raj Kumar today said: “We are investigating the matter from all angles, as it is very difficult for the accused to escape from one of the busiest markets of the city. I wonder how the robbers escaped without getting noticed.”

Police sources said a suspect had also been detained for questioning in connection with the robbery case.

Sources in the police department said a monetary dispute could have taken an ugly turn, prompting the employees to lodge a  complaint of robbery.

However, employees’ owner is tightlipped over the issue and has refused to share any details.

“At the time of the incident, over Rs 10 lakh were lying in the office. However, the robbers only took away Rs 2 lakh. Why did they leave the rest of the amount?” said another police officer.

Four armed assailants had robbed a hosiery dealer of Rs 2 lakh at gunpoint in old city’s Chaura Bazar on November 21.

The incident took place in the evening when four armed assailants entered the office of Shri Ram Fabrics located on the first floor in Old Kotwali.

Shashi, a manager, claimed that he along with his accountant was counting cash in the office when three men entered the premises and took them hostage before fleeing with the cash.

Rakesh Kumar, owner of Shri Ram Fabrics, was not present at the scene when the incident occurred.

SHO Raj Kumar has not ruled out the possibility of an inside job. “We will crack the case soon,” he added.



Farmers exhorted to take to animal husbandry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
The department of livestock products technology, College of Veterinary Sciences, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences (GADVASU), organised a two-day' hands-on-training programme "Awareness on production of safe meat and value added meat products", which concluded here today.

The training programme was organised for farmers and small entrepreneurs. Dr SS Randhawa, director of research, inaugurated the training and impressed upon the participants that they should adopt the animal husbandry as a profession and can increase their income through the sale of value added meat products. He also raised the issue of unhygienic conditions in meat slaughtering and dressing which could lead to various diseases to the consumers.

Dr Jhari Sahoo, head of the department, told the participants that meat production in India was increasing at the rate of 10 per cent and the demand for the ready-to-eat meat products such as meat koftas, meat patties, sausages etc was increasing due to urbanisation. Dr Manish Kumar Chatli told the participants that they could adopt it as a small venture for good earning and the university will provide them free consultancy services. He added that various financial institutions were providing soft loans for starting such kinds of ventures.

Besides, the department would also organise training on “Value added milk products with special emphasis on mozzarella cheese" from December 1 to 2.



Work hit as subcontractors demand dues
Six-laning of Panipat-Jalandhar road
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna, November 23
Local residents and motorists will have to wait longer for the completion of the ongoing construction of the six-lane Panipat-Jalandhar road, as the subcontractors, especially truckers, have stalled the work due to non-payment of their dues.

With this, the construction work, which is already going on at snail’s pace, is unlikely to be completed on time.

The contract of this work is with SOMA Enterprises and due to non-payment to subcontractors by the company, the work has come to a grinding halt.

Fed up with the “false assurances”, the contractors yesterday blocked access to the main office of the company at Manji Sahib by parking their vehicles in front of the gate.

The protesters led by Ravinder Singh Ravi and some other truckers sat on a dharna and raised slogans against the company.

They alleged that their dues running into crores of rupees had been pending with the company for the past over six months and they had been forced to continue the work without receiving the payment.

While the subcontractors had been urging the company officials to clear their dues for some time, the latter had been dilly-dallying on the payment by making false assurances, they alleged.

They have threatened to prevent the resumption of work till their dues 
are cleared.

Jatinder Singh of Regal Enterprises, Harjinder Singh of Satkar company and Pirtatpal Singh of Libra, whom have been subcontracted the work, alleged that they had been working without getting a single penny from the company. Also, their labour was on the verge of starvation due to non-payment of dues by the company, the claimed.

The protesting subcontractors were also joined by drivers and labourers.

The subcontractors alleged that their dues, estimated at Rs 100 crore, for material, cartage, transport and labour were pending with the company.

Murti, project manager, SOMA’s GT road office, Manji Sahib, refuted the allegations and termed the strike illegal.

He said dues for around three months were pending and these would be cleared soon.



Finally, 159 beneficiaries get money
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, November 23
The long wait of as many as 159 beneficiaries of the Shagun Scheme, undertaken by the state government for girls belonging to below poverty line (BPL) category, finally ended with the public welfare department of Punjab government distributing cheques of the scheme money to these beneficiaries during a function held at the tehsil public welfare office here today.

Public welfare official Manjit Singh Badal distributed the cheques among these beneficiaries in the presence of Iqbal Singh Rasoolpur, general secretary of Universal Human Rights’ Organisation, on whose petition the Punjab and Haryana High Court had instructed the state government to release the Shagun Scheme money to the beneficiaries.

According to Iqbal Singh Rasoolpur, the total amount of the scheme, which was paid to 159 beneficiaries today, accounted for around Rs 8 lakh.

However, it took about 10 years of wait and year long legal battle by the Universal Human Rights Organisation for providing the Shagun Scheme money to the beneficiaries. The girls who received the money today had been waiting for the release of the money since 2001 when they got married.

It was only after the orders of the High Court that the money has been provided to the beneficiaries.

In fact, the HC had issued these instructions to the public welfare department of the state government following a petition filed by the Iqbal Singh Rasoolpur in February 2011.

In his petition, Rasoolpur had informed the court that the state government has failed to provide the Shagun Scheme money to 159 brides belonging to BPL category of various villages falling under Jagraon tehsil. He had also demanded from the court to instruct the state government to release the money to the beneficiaries.

The court in the instruction issued to the department has strictly asked the department to release the money to these 159 beneficiaries at the earliest.



Students raise awareness on social evils
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, November 23
NCC cadets of the Khalsa College for Women, Sidhwan Khurd, near Jagraon conducted an awareness rally at Sidhwan Kalan village today.

College principal Dr Paramjeet Kaur inaugurated the rally, which began with a plantation drive on the college premises.

The rally based on the theme “national integration” aimed at spreading awareness among residents of the village regarding social evils like dowry, female foeticide, drug addiction, etc.

While passing through the streets of the village, the NCC cadets raised slogans against drug addiction, dowry and female foeticide to motivate the residents to come forward and eradicate social evils from society. The cadets also met the residents and village sarpanch and exhorted them to shun the evils.

Following this, the cadets taught drill and PT to students of Government Primary School, Sidhwan Kalan, with an aim to imbibe in them the traits of discipline, unity and national integration. The residents appreciated the efforts of the NCC cadets. NCC in charge, Prof Seema Rani and Col Prithipal Singh, CO, 5 Pb NCC Girls Bn, Moga, were also present on the occasion.



Souvenir released
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
A three-day annual convention of Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle (GGSSC) concluded here today. MP Sukhdev 
Singh Dhindhsa was the chief guest on the concluding day.

Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle principal Ram Singh Kular said due to the efforts of all members of the organisation, we were running it in good way. Organising convener Satnam Singh Sallopuri shared the motto of GGSSC with audience.

Earlier yesterday, birth centenary of Dr Inderjeet Singh was celebrated by holding cultural programme and seminar. The souvenir of GGSSC was also released. Office-bearers and members from all over India participated the convention.



FROM schools
Manasvi, Arnav shine in paper-reading contest

Ludhiana, November 23
“Reading is to mind, what exercise is to body”. Keeping this in mind and to enhance the reading skills, Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, organised an English paper reading competition for students of classes I and II. Principal Navita Puri presided over the function.

Results: Class I: 1 Manasvi Singh, 2 Pranika, 3 Ameen Arora. Class II: 1 Arnav Arora, 2 Maleeza Thakur, 3 Tashmeen Kaur.


The annual prize distribution function “Viraasat 2011’ of Guru Gobind Singh Public School, Pakhowal road, Daad, was organised at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan here. Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, president, Punjab Olympics Association and member Parliament, graced the occasion as the chief guest, while Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, chairman, Punjab Agro Industries Corporation, was the guest of honour. The function was presided over by former regional director, CBSE, DR Yadav. The function commenced with the shabad recitation. The kindergarten students delivered the message of shunning junk food while the problem of farmers’ suicides because of low income and high expenses in agriculture was highlighted through a mime. The grave problems of drugs were highlighted with a horror show depicting the evil effects of these bad habits. Varied cultures of India were exhibited through a Rajasthani dance, a Haryanavi dance, a giddha and bhangra.

Martyrdom day

The martyrdom day of the ninth Guru Sri Guru Teg Bahadur was observed at Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar bypass. The students sang shabads to express their devotion. The students were told about the life of the Guru through speeches and poems. Chairman-cum-director Rajesh Rudhra exhorted the students to imbibe the great thoughts and teachings of Sri Guru Teg Bahadur to lead a meaningful life. Principal Baldeep Pandher highlighted the spirit of sacrifice, which made him a martyr. — TNS



Training on precision farming ends

Ludhiana, November 23
The 10-day national training sponsored by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) under the aegis of National Agricultural Innovation Project (NAIP) on “Enhancing the input application efficiency by using precision farm machines, remote and ground sensor” concluded at the College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, PAU, today.

Dr KD Kokate, deputy director general (agriculture extension), ICAR, was the chief guest. He said the training would accelerate collaborative development and application of agricultural innovation between public research organisations, farmers, private sector and other stakeholders. He also told use of innovative technologies to produce food and fibre in farming systems were operational in the country and recommendation of some technologies for the farmers use were already there.

He further added the leaf colour chart and tensiometer developed by the university were useful precision tools for saving of precious input water and nitrogen for the crops.

Dr PPS Lubana, dean of College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, welcome the guests and delegates. He appreciated the organisers and said the training would give guidelines for the future direction of the precision farming in India. — TNS



Boon for migrant labourers, bane for industry
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
It is perhaps the lifetime opportunity for migrant labourers to get their “aadhar” cards made here, which will be helpful for them to get benefits given to them by the state government at later stage.

But for the local industry, it seems to have become a “headache”, as almost every second migrant worker working in their factory, has been asking for a leave. The industrialists maintain that it was not that their work was suffering, but those working on daily wages, too, had to suffer, as their wages were cut if they took full-day leave.

“It is good that they are getting their identity after working here for so long. But the authorities must do something so that there is no production loss in the factories. Eight of our workers have gone to get their cards made at the Tajjpur road today. Peon, gatekeeper, all have gone to submit the form. And we have to allow them to go as these cards will be beneficial for them in future,” said Prabhjit Singh, a hosiery manufacturer near Sufi Chowk, Industrial Area.

As per the guidelines, any person by showing the proof of residence and any identity proof could get his/her card made by the state government. Rajesh, working at a hosiery unit here, said ever since he came to know that by showing the bank statement or the residence proof, he could get the aadhar card made, he felt, too, happy.

“We are far from our native villages and serving the industry for the past many years here. It is good that at last we are being given an identity. We all have our bank accounts here, so our cards can be made. The employer must realise this and should not stop us for going to the respective centres. Even if our daily wages are cut for one or two days, it will not matter much,” said Rajesh.

A majority of the migrants have been going to the Tajpur road to get their cards made by the government. But the industrialists feel that for the facility of workers, the authorities should put up more such camps at small distances in the Industrial Area, Focal Point, Tajpur road, Sunder Nagar, etc. Besides, Saturdays and Sundays must be dedicated to the migrants alone so that they could report at their workplace on all working days.



Powerless, patients grope in dark
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
For more than two hours, patients admitted to Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital groped in dark last evening and were left with no option than to lit up candles.

It was around 6 pm when the transformer that supplies electricity to the Civil Hospital got defunct and power supply to the hospital got disrupted. Suneel Kumar, an attendant said, “It was pitch dark. Everybody got confused for a few moments and after a few minutes an employee asked us to buy candles.”

While Sudesh Rani, who went there to serve meals to one of her relatives, said, “I fell down in the staircase as there was no light.”

While the employees who were catering to the patients had a tough time in the absence of light. It was around 8 pm when the electricity was resumed.

Senior Medical Officer Dr Karamveer Goel when contacted said, “We have inverters attached to the trauma wards and OPD wing, but not in the remaining building. It is indeed a big problem. Today, I discussed it with higher officials of the health department at a meeting at Chandigarh and have requested them to arrange a generator for the hospital, which can supply electricity to the whole hospital.”



Punjabi movies, a hit with youths
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana November 23
Punjabi movies are a hot favourite with city youth, whereas Bollywood comes a distant second in popularity. City colleges are abuzz with discussions on Punjabi films.

The youngsters opined that they could relate to characters of Punjabi movies. “The character of Jat Tinka in the movie ‘Yaar Anmule’ was an endearing one. He could have been one among us,” said Gurpreet Singh, a student. He further added, “Unlike Bollywood films, Punjabi movies portray real-life situations.”

Punjabi movies are more realistic, quipped Karamjit Singh. “The storylines are gripping. Punjabi films are no longer the poor cousins of Hindi films. “Kuri Punjab Di”, “Mitti”, “Jine Mera Dil Luteya” are a few of 
the movies with a good 

“Earlier the budget and profit of Punjabi films were in lakhs but now producers are spending crores only on locations,” adds another undergraduate student.

Singer-turned actors are major crowd puller. Babbu Mann, Diljit, Gippi Garewal are the hot choice of Punjabi youth, said Manvinder, a student of Government College.

“The campus lingo, too, is influenced by Punjabi movies,” said another student of Government College for Women.

The verdict is clear: It’s not only Bollywood, which attracts the city youth to the cinema halls. These days, with a large number of Punjabi movies being released, the city youth seems enthusiastic.



‘Homes for special children in 3 districts soon’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
Social Security Minister Luxmi Kanta Chawla today said home for special children would be opened at three places in Punjab i.e. Ludhiana, Rajpura and Amritsar soon.

An amount of Rs 33 lakh will be spent on the contruction of each home. She disclosed this while laying the foundation stone of the Home for Special Children at the Blind Institute, Jamalpur.

She further said for the orphan and destitute children, a Bal Ghar would be established in seven districts, including Tarn Taran, Ludhiana, Sangrur, Fatehgarh Sahib, Mansa, Ferozeour and Amritsar. Chawla said, “At present widows, senior citizens and physically challenged persons get monthly pension of Rs 250 each. I have requested the Chief Minister to increase the amount.”



Degrees conferred on students
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) held its 37th convocation at Pal Auditorium here today. Dr S Ayyappan, secretary, department of agricultural research and education and director-general ICAR, Government of India, was the chief guest on the occasion.

Welcoming the chief guest, Dr BS Dhillon, PAU Vice-Chancellor, said Dr Ayyappan had made immense contributions to administration and research management of the national agriculture research system. He was an accomplished scientist who rose through the ranks of ICAR to this coveted position in January 2010.

Dr Dhillon presented the annual report of the varsity. He said many scientists, teachers and research scholars had won various distinguished awards. Dr Dhillon appreciated the efforts made by students in getting prizes in both academic and sports fields. He said Deepika Narang, a student of the university, had won American scholarship of 7500$, while Amandeep Kaur Sandhu had won Borlaug International Scholarship.

Dr Dhillon said besides crops, vegetables and fruits, PAU was able to introduce about 700 varieties of flowers. In the mushroom cultivation, PAU was putting its 
maximum share in the country.

University Registrar, Dr RK Mahay said 45 PhD students, 57 MBA students, 29 students of agri-business management, 212 students of MSc (Agri) and 17 students of MTech were awarded degrees on this occasion. Apart from that 49 students were given merit certificates.

Among others present on the occasion were Sucha Singh Langah, minister for agriculture, former Vice-Chancellors, Dr KS Aulakh and Dr MS Kang, former dean Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Dr Beant Ahluwalia, Dr Jaspinder Kular, Jang Bahadur Sangha and Hardev Riar.



ludhiana scan
Power shutdown

Ludhiana: 11 KV Subhani Kothi fed from 66 KV GT Road sub station will be closed for repair and maintenance on November 25 from 9 am to 3 pm. During the period power supply to areas including Mandi Bute Shah, Saban Bazar, Gur Mandi, Trunk Bazar, Gulchaman Gali, Bagru Mohalla, Iqbal Ganj, Khud Mohalla, Sangla Shivala and Satta Mandi will be affected. On the same day, power supply to areas including Brown, Kalgidhar Road, Mohalla Bhatrian, Subhani Kothi, Mochpura Bazar, Nawan Mohalla and Karimpura will remain shut down from 9 am to 5 am for repair and maintenance work of 11 KV Central feeder.

Congress all set for polls

In the Punjab Bachao Yatra by the PPCC president Captain Amarinder Singh, during addressing a party workers meeting in Atam Nagar here, former DCC president Krishan Kumar Bawa said the party cadres in Ludhiana were carrying the massage of AICC president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to the masses to mobilise for the coming assembly elections.

Shoba yatra

Amloh: The followers of Sant Hari Har Maharaj decided in a meeting held here today, to install an idol of Acharya Jagdish Muni after a two-day function on November 29.

A Shoba-Yatra will start on November 28 from Khanian village and cover Amloh town Chehallan and Dharamgarh villages.

Amloh school bags first position

Mandi Gobindgarh: Punjab School Games of Fatehgarh Sahib district, Roller Skating Tournament was held at Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Jalalpur, Mandi Gobindgarh. Deputy district education officer, Gian Singh Bhangu, had inaugurated the tournament. Amloh and Fatehgarh Sahib Zones bagged the first and second prizes, respectively, at the Roller Skating Tournament. — Tribune Reporters



Gang of bike thieves busted, 4 held
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, November 23
The Ludhiana (rural) police has claimed of busting a gang of bike thieves with the arrest of four youths from Jagraon last evening.
The accused have been identified as Sunny Kumar, Kuldip, alias Kala, Veeru and Babbi.

All accused hail from Jagraon and are in the age group of 20-25 years. According to sources, the accused are chronic drug addicts and started stealing bikes and scooters for earning money to buy drugs.

As per information given by SHO (city) Gurpreet Singh, a police team led by ASI Tilak Raj arrested the accused from near the railway crossing near New Grain Market, Jagraon, last evening following a tip-off.

ASI Tilak Raj said he had received secret information that some bike thieves were going to sell the stolen vehicles at Moga. Following this, the police put up a naka near the railway crossing. The police saw four youths coming on two different vehicles.

The police party stopped them and asked to show the papers of the vehicles, which they failed to do. Following this, the police arrested them and took them to the police station where they admitted that they have been indulging in vehicle thefts since one year.

Interestingly, they even did not spare their own families and Veeru and Bubby stole a scooter of their uncle from his house and sold it in Moga.

The police has registered a case against the accused and started the investigation.

During the initial investigation, the accused have admitted of stealing more than five two-wheelers from the town and surrounding areas. Most of the two-wheelers were stolen from outside the religious places.

All accused were produced before a court this morning from where they were sent on a one-day police remand. The police has also recovered three vehicles stolen by them from different places.



Snatchers target 58-year-old
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
A 58-year-old woman was targeted by two motorcycle-borne youths who snatched her purse in Model Town.
The incident took place in the afternoon, when the victime, identified as Veena Sikri was visiting a tailor to make some payments.

Veena said, two youths on motorcycle came from behind and intercepted her near Punjab National Bank in Model Town.

“Before I could react, the pillion rider snatched my purse. I raised alarm but they had fled the scene,” said Veena. The purse contained Rs 9000 and some important documents, she added.

Model Town area a den of snatchers
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 23
There seems to be no stopping of snatching incidents in Model Town area. With three snatchings in a fortnight at the Model Town area, the city's favourite shopping destination has turned into a den for snatchers.

While police officials are busy pleasing political bosses, the snatchers have a field day.

Rattled with the spate of robberies and snatching incidents, the Commissioner of the Police, Dr SS Chauhan conducted a special meeting with all Additional Deputy Commissioners of the Police (ADCP) to discuss the issue.

“We had called an emergency meeting with all ADCPs and discussed the recent incidents of snatching and robberies. We have conducted a mapping of crime. Special teams have been constituted to tackle the prevailing crime trends in various parts of the city. We would convene the next meeting after a fortnight to discuss the success rate,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashish Chaudhry.



GHG eves win laurels in athletics
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 23
The GHG Harparkash College of Education for Women, Sidhwan Khurd, won the overall championship in Punjab University Inter-College Annual Athletics Meet 2011-12 held at the university Campus.

Navdeep Sandhu from the college clinched a gold medal in javelin throw and shot put. Manpreet Kaur also won a gold medal in high jump event. Gagandeep Kaur, Harkamalpreet Kaur and Ramanpreet Kaur bagged silver medals in discus throw, shot 
put and 200m race, respectively.

Manpreet Kaur won a bronze medal in 100m sprint. The college relay quartet finished ahead of others and won a gold medal in 4x100 metre relay race. College principal, Dr Baljeet Kaur Gill congratulated the winners for the achievements and bringing laurels to the college.



Spring Dale win 6 gold medals
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 23
Taek-won-do players of Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School, Sherpur, won six gold, five silver and six bronze medals in the Ludhiana Sahodaya Schools Complex Tae kwon do Championship held at BCM Senior Secondary School here.

Founder principal Avinash Kaur Walia, director Mandeep Singh and principal Kamalpreet Kaur congratulated the winners who brought laurels to the school.

The winners:

Girls: Shreya Sharma, Diksha Kamal, Navdeep Kaur, Jaspreet Kaur, Reema Jangra, Fiza Sidduqui, Simran Kaur, Jashita, Taranveer Kaur.

Boys: Neeraj Gautam, Simranjeet Singh, Harsimrandeep Singh, Akshit Chandel, Pawan Kumar, Kartik Sharma, Sachin Kaushal, Shivam Sharma.



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