L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


60-yr-old rapes toddler
Mohit Khanna
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, November 28
She is too small to realise her gender, too small to understand that an old drunk man had used her like an object and the implications. For the two-year-old girl, who was raped by a 60-year-old man, life may never be the same again.

The girl refuses to get down from her mother’s lap as she narrates the traumatic experience, interspersed with cries of pain that reverberate in the emergency of the Civil Hospital.

“She was bleeding when she was brought here. We have given her a painkiller and put her under observation,” a paramedic said.

It was around 2.30 pm that the girl was playing outside her one-room home located in a “vehra” at Gyaspura and caught the attention of 60-year-old Shivji, a welder and an alcoholic who had been kicked out from several factories due to his habit. He was living alone in an adjacent room in the “vehra”.

Shivji lured the girl to his room and raped her. When she started bleeding, he panicked and handed over the child to her mother.

“I was frantically searching for her when Shivji stepped out of his room and gave me my girl. He was drunk and returned to the room. I was shocked to see her bleeding,” she said, trying hard to control her tears.

She locked Shivji in the room so he could not escape and raised the alarm. The police and an ambulance reached the spot. The girl was rushed to hospital and the man was nabbed.

“My whole world has crashed. I was working day and night in this city for a better future for my two daughters and a son. We treat a girl like a goddess and then commit such a heinous crime. I am worried about the future of my daughter. I pray she does not suffer any medical complication. I do not have the money for the treatment,” her father said.

Dalip Singh, in charge of the Sherpur police post, said: “We are conducting the investigation and will register a case after receiving the medical report.”

‘Vehras’ unsafe

With 50-odd people stuffed like sardines on a 150 sq yd piece of land, the ‘vehras’ in the city are increasingly becoming a safe haven for anti-social elements. Neither the police nor the ‘vehra’ owners bother to get the verification of the inhabitants done.


MC limit extension divides House
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, November 28
The issue of increasing the limits of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) by a kilometre rocked the MC General House meeting here today. While Health Minister Sat Pal Gosain, Dakha MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik and the Akali councillors were in favour of passing the proposal, but Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal, who is from the BJP, and Congress councillors were against it.

The councillors kept arguing for over 30 minutes and finally came to the conclusion that the proposal would be put up again in the next core committee meeting of the civic body.

Darshan Singh Shivalik has been raising the issue often on the plea that the MC should provide basic amenities to residents of colonies located on the periphery, which is not within the MC limits.

The proposal was put up in the MC core committee meeting held on November 23, but was rejected by the Senior Deputy Mayor as well as the Congress councillors.

When Joint Commissioner AS Sekhon started reading agenda items and reached the agenda related to extending the MC limits by a kilometre, Bansal, accompanied by Congress councillors Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Gurpreet Singh Gogi, and others started objecting it, claiming that the proposal had already been rejected in the core committee meeting.

Shivalik said if the proposal was not accepted, villagers might block sewerage lines passing from their villages. Reacting to it, Bharat Bhushan Ashu said if a proposal was passed based on such “tactics”, the villagers might snap power lines and roads passing from their areas. “This is not the way of doing anything,” said Ashu.

Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura tried to persuade the councillors to listen to Shivalik, but by that time, the councillors opposing the proposal, came near the Mayor’s seat and strongly objected to it.

Bansal said: “With the existing sewerage network, we are unable to meet the needs of city residents and if the MC limits are increased, it would put extra burden on the network, resulting in problems.”

Akali councillors Simarjit Singh Bains, Kamaljit Singh Karwal, Jagbir Singh Sokhi and Tanvir Singh Dhaliwal said the proposal should be accepted on humanitarian grounds, but the councillors opposing it were in no mood to accept it.

Some councillors suggested voting on the issue, but the opponents were firm on their stand that since the core committee had rejected it, the proposal should not even be considered.

The Health Minister said: “If we don’t provide basic amenities to people living in those areas, it would not be good on our part. I want that this proposal should be accepted.” When the councillors did not pay heed to Gosain, he remarked: “If you are going to act in such a manner, you should not have called me here. Now that I am here, I want this proposal to be passed.”

Some councillors then said all undeclared areas within the MC limits should first be provided with proper facilities and then the civic body should think about providing facilities to other areas.

Gosain takes a dig

After heated arguments, Health Minister Sat Pal Gosain said it was unfortunate that some BJP leaders (hinting towards Bansal) were siding with the Congress over important issues. “Such leaders should leave the party and join some other party if they want to behave in such a manner. Maybe they are working on some hidden agenda,” he said. Both Bansal and Gosain are opponents and have been opposing each other on several issues.



Assembly elections
Fundraisers give industrialists in city sleepless nights
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 28
Even as the Assembly elections to be held early next year are drawing close, major political parties have started gearing up to raise funds for the electoral battle. Being the industrial hub of the state, the focus has shifted to the mega city which is known for contributing, willingly or otherwise, the lion’s share to the parties.

With the state president of the BJP, Ashwani Sharma, going public in a meeting of the state executive committee at Jalandhar yesterday that the district unit of Ludhiana, along with those of Jalandhar and Amritsar, would contribute Rs 1 crore for the party election fund, the process of fund-raising has formally commenced.

If past instances of the election fund-raising are any indication, major political parties are always in a rush to be the first to reach potential contributors (big businessmen and leaders of the industry) so as to be able to get maximum contribution as after having obliged one or two fundraisers, businessmen and industrialists tend to avoid political contacts and refuse to shell out more money for politicians.

Being a regular contributor to various political parties, albeit in proportion to their stature (ruling or opposition, or expected to gain power), a leading city-based industrialist said once the political leaders start asking for funds, there was no end to it.

“To top it all, it is not one leader from a particular political party who will ask for funds, but many others from state functionaries and district presidents down to legislators, former legislators, councillors, potential candidates and even block and ward presidents. And even if we find it difficult, at times, to spare liquid cash from our working capital, we cannot afford to displease anybody, so each one of them gets something,” he said. A prominent realtor, who had to shell out a sizeable amount by way of election fund during the last Lok Sabha elections, said even after paying huge sums of money to finance the elections, “no politician helps you when you need them”. “To get things done at the government level, you are supposed to pay under the table to political leaders and bureaucrats. The contribution made by way of election fund is conveniently forgotten at such times,” he added. A real estate developer said the moment these fundraisers get down to business, he would replace the SIM card of his mobile phone with a new number. “When I have to pay each time for some work to be done, why should I oblige political leaders by funding the elections?” he asked.

Ungrateful act

I had to shell out a sizeable amount of money as poll fund during the last Lok Sabha elections. But no politician helps you when you need them. To get things done at the government level, you are still supposed to bribe political leaders and bureaucrats. The contribution made by way of election fund is conveniently forgotten at such times.

— A realtor



Bank gives kisan credit cards to 130 beneficiaries
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, November 28
Punjab National Bank (PNB), Ludhiana circle, organised a special kisan credit card (KCC) distribution mela at Old Grain Market, Jagraon, today.

Credit cards worth Rs 9 crore were distributed to more than 130 beneficiaries of nearby 12 branches of the area.

Mohammed Latif Mir, assistant general manager, CO Ludhiana, was the chief guest and distributed the credit cards to the beneficiaries. More than 200 customers as well as invitees and bank officials were present on the occasion. Mohammed Latif Mir briefed them about various deposit and loan schemes and products of the bank. He also told Punjab National Bank is well equipped with latest world-level banking technologies. He also answered various queries made by farmers present.

Mir also asked the farmers to come forward to avail various banking facilities and get benefited by the latest banking technology of the bank, as PNB has been the forerunner adopting the same. He also informed about the Kisan Gold Scheme floated by the bank recently, which has provision for allowing farmers to avail loans against their single mortgage of land for farming needs, allied farming, housing needs, educational needs and other consumer expenditures to be met by farmers. He urged the farmers to be judicious in use of credit facilities provided by the bank. He advised farmers to keep their accounts regular to avail benefit of RBI subsidy in interest rates up to Rs 3 lakh.

A detailed interactive session was also organised to know the views of the customers about the services and various products of the bank.



Roadways strike leaves commuters stranded
Private bus operators benefit
Mohit Khanna
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, November 28
Hundreds of commuters were left stranded as activists of the Punjab Roadways and Punbus Contract Workers Union dismantled a railway pole at the level crossing on the Morinda bypass, causing a massive traffic jam.

In Ludhiana, the activists blocked the road by putting boulders. An accident involving a truck laden with rice husk also led to chaos on the Chandigarh Road here today.

“Why do the agitators harass the common man? If they have grievances against the government, they should stage a protest outside the house of the Chief Minister. Why put the commuters to inconvenience?” said Arvinder Singh, a bank employee who was caught in a jam while commuting from Chandigarh.

The strike of contract workers, however, benefited private operators as commuters opted for private buses and paid more fares to reach their destination. But all the effort to make the strike successful bore no fruit.

Commuters complained that they had no prior information about the strike and it was only in the morning did they came to know that a majority of government buses would remain off the road.

“It makes a dent in the pocket of a common man. Instead of paying Rs 70, I had to pay Rs 130 for going to Ludhiana in a private bus from Chandigarh. Though the bus was air-conditioned, who needs AC in the November?” Rohit Chopra, who works in a telecom company, said.

Surinder Singh, a conductor with a private operator, said: “Today, we did not have to persuade passengers to board the buses as they had no option.”

The agitating contractual employees are protesting against the government over alleged disparity. They complained that while regular employees are being paid Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000 per month, the contractual employees were being hired for a mere Rs 3,500 to Rs 5,000.



Shortage of LPG belies claims
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 28
Tall claims of the food and supplies department of providing domestic gas cylinders to consumers within stipulated time fall flat, as most of the agencies take at least eight to 10 days to provide cylinder to the residents here.

Neither department officials nor sales officials of gas agencies have taken any step to ensure regular supply of LPG cylinders to the consumers. As if this was not enough, marriage palaces, hotels, clubs and even at district court complex, domestic cylinders were being used openly for commercial purposes, as the authorities find no time to conduct regular raids on defaulters.

A retired employee at the district food and supplies department on the condition of anonymity disclosed that the residents who were aware kept on calling at the office about the misuse of domestic cylinders by commercial users, but the authorities hardly conduct regular raids.

“The residents lodge their complaints about misuse of domestic cylinders but the authorities are not much bothered. With the result, commercial users blatantly violate all rules by using domestic gas cylinders for commercial purposes. If the department starts conducting surprise raids or checks, there will no shortage of domestic gas cylinders for consumers in the city. It is due to their lackadaisical attitude that common man suffers the most,” said the retired employee.

A homemaker, Chander Maini said she had got cylinders from Bharat and Hindustan Petroleum but none of the agencies supplied the refilled cylinders before 10-15 days. “At times you really get upset with the useless answers the attendants give. Even if we tell them that we will complain against them, they are not bothered. We are at their mercy, waiting for our turn to get a cylinder,” said Maini. A regular supplier of domestic gas cylinders (Bharat Petroleum) in Civil Lines area said due to the “shortage”, gas was not being delivered to consumers before 10 days. “There was no supply by the company in the last two to three days, so there is huge backlog. Consumers curse us for not supplying cylinders on time, but we are helpless,” he said.



Ongoing strike by ministerial staff hits work
Tribune news service

Ludhiana, November 28
Strike by the ministerial staff for the past one week is not only causing disruption of work and functioning of various departments but is also causing major inconvenience to the public at large.

People coming to the mini-secretariat are feeling disappointed at seeing vacant chairs and returning angry and frustrated.

Forms are being accepted at the suvidha centre but the processing is stalled.

Surinder Kaur from Raikot was sitting in an unpleasant mood on a stool outside the tehsildar’s office. She is worried about the future of her newly married daughter as the authorities were unable to issue marriage certificate due to ongoing ministerial staff strike.

A few teachers from 7654 Teachers’ Front were feeling dejected, as they had got the jobs after a long struggle and painstaking wait of two years. But they are not receiving their letters of joining because of this strike.

An ex-serviceman from Mullanpur suffering from joint pain was feeling upset while climbing the stairs. “I required my salary certificate for the pension and retirement funds. I have been coming here from last Wednesday but no one is here to issue my salary certificate.”

Meanwhile, a few stamp vendors have been enjoying their luck. The vendors who have a stock of stamps are selling them at high prices. Others who don’t have the stamp papers are sitting free cursing their luck.

A staff nurse rued, “After six years of contractual job, now I got a chance from the health department to regularise the job. My domicile certificate is needed for the interview. I have been struggling to get the certificate, as tomorrow is the last day for submission of certificates. I am in a fix due to ministerial strike.”



Yet another deadline for Lakkar Bridge project
Construction work to be completed by February 15

Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 28
The city has got yet another “deadline” for the completion of much-awaited Lakkar Bridge project. During the Municipal Corporation General House meeting held today, MC Commissioner AK Sinha told councillors that the project would be completed by February 15 next year.

“I am in touch with the chief engineer of the Railways regarding this project and he has assured me that the project would get completed by February 15,” claimed Sinha.

The much-hyped 933.162-m long Lakkar Bridge project is hanging fire since 1997. At that time, the civic body had claimed that the over bridge would provide easier access from the old city with newly developed areas and announced the project would be completed within two years.

It is a clear reflection of the sad state of affairs in the MC as well as Railways that even after 14 years, a civic project that was aimed at reducing traffic congestion in the city remains incomplete.

Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura and the then Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) chairman Ashok Juneja had inaugurated the stalled Lakkar Bridge project on November 29, 2009, and at that time, they had claimed that it would be completed by June this year. Later, a deadline of August was fixed, which was extended to October and later to December.

Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal, in September, had announced that the project would be completed by December end and had said it would be like a New Year gift for the residents.

But now, MC Commissioner Sinha had announced a further deadline of February 15 next year. “The work is going on in full swing and this time, the deadline would be met at any cost because I am supervising the progress on weekly basis,” Sinha told the MC house today.

Ever since this project was started, a large amount of public money has been wasted due to several delays. The cost of this project has escalated more than four times as when the project was initiated, its estimated cost was Rs 13 crore, which has now skyrocketed to around Rs 58 crore.

Even though the up ramps from both Civil Lines side as well as Reikhy Cinema side have been constructed, the portion to be constructed by the Railways department is still under construction. However, owing to technical glitches in planning, the project remained stalled for over a decade and work restarted on November 27, 2009.



Councillors train their gun on civic body officials
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 28
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) officials were on the receiving end as most of the councillors accused them of siding with contractors for their own petty benefits. “It seems that instead of officials, the contractors are running the show in the civic body, which is resulting in poor quality of work,” claimed most of the councillors during the MC General House meeting held here today.

Congress councillor Sanjay Talwar said some of the executive engineers were seen “pleading” the contractors to gett MC work done. “We pay the contractors, but even then we plead in front of them. Still, the work is not done properly. It is shameful,” Talwar said.

Taking note of it, MC Commissioner AK Sinha sought feedback from the executive engineer concerned, who confirmed that some contractors did not listen to them. “If they do not listen to you, why don’t you take strict action against them? Once you take action, all contractors would fall in line,” said Sinha.

Talwar also said when roads were being constructed, no official visited the spot, which resulted in poor quality roads and wastage of public money.

Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal said some contractors were running the show in the MC. After Bansal, Akali councillor Kamaljit Singh Karwal alleged that officials failed to take any action against the contractors as they themselves were corrupt and took money from them.

Bansal suggested that action should be taken against such contractors. Congress councillor Parminder Mehta, while addressing Bansal, said: “What have you done to check the menace in the last four years? You have always sided with such people and now you are yourself raising this issue.”

Congress councillor Rakesh Prashar alleged that the tehbazaari wing of the MC was the most corrupt. “One can see ‘rehris’ in all parts of the city. While some of the shops in Field Ganj were demolished by the building branch a few months ago, about 10 shops are still standing on encroached land. When I asked the building branch officials about it, they said Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura had told them not to take any action against them,” alleged Prashar. Giaspura denied the allegation and asked him to name the officials.

Addressing MC officials, Sinha said: “You should be ashamed that several councillors are accusing you all of being corrupt. You must mend your ways, else I would have to take action against you.”


  • The meeting, held after almost five months, began at 9 am and went on for three-and-a-half hours.
  • The MC Commissioner got irritated at the disturbance in the cordless microphone. “Why do you take this equipment on rent from a single person? If he is not providing good quality microphones, change the person,” Sinha told the superintending engineer.
  • The issue of foreign trips was discussed several times as councillors were seen smiling when their colleagues asked them about their experiences there.
  • When councillor Pritpal Singh Ghayal raised the issue of relocating “khokha” owners, the Mayor quipped: “I know Ghayal sahib you have 700 votes in that area!”
  • Stray dog menace was taken up by some councillors. Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal said there was some problem with the company which was allotted the work related to dog sterilisation. Some stray dogs were seen sitting outside the MC office throughout the day.
  • Sinha was driving his personal car yesterday and witnessed traffic problem near Aggar Nagar. “Work on the public under-pass is going on, but the contractor should ensure that traffic diversions are maintained properly. I want smooth flow of traffic on the Ferozepur Road,” Sinha told the executive engineer concerned.
  • It was decided that the MC should conduct a survey related to house tax in all hotels and hospitals. Councillors said some charitable hospitals were minting crores of rupees and not paying the house tax.
  • Sinha said a five-year maintenance clause would be added while allotting tenders related to re-carpeting or construction of roads.
  • Councillor Parminder Mehta alleged that a shopping complex had come up on government land near the books market. Sinha told the Municipal Town Planner to visit the area and look into the matter.
  • Sinha announced that the Ferozepur Road, starting from the Sidhwan Canal bridge till Durga Mata Mandir, would be eight-laned.
  • Sinha by December-end, solid waste management would be launched in all 75 wards of the city.



Minister’s order on pledge not implemented
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana / Mandi Ahmedgarh, November 28
While Sewa Singh Sekhwan, Education Minister of Punjab, said that students of all schools in the state should swear to be an honest, truthful and diligent citizen, a majority of the students are yet to receive copy of the pledge to be taken by them every morning.

Though the authorities in the Education Department had conveyed the wishes of the minister to all district education officers and heads of the schools falling under their jurisdiction, immediately after receiving a fax message from the office of the Ministry of Education on November 14, Children’s Day, none of the government or private schools of the area was reported to have implemented his orders.

Acknowledging the receipt of copy of the pledge on the website of the Sarav Sikhya Abhiyan, heads of various schools of this region falling under Sangrur and Ludhiana districts said appropriate action would be initiated after receiving orders of their respective DEOs.

Sudesh Bajaj, district education officer (secondary) Ludhiana, on the other hand claimed that heads of all schools falling under her jurisdiction had already been directed to implement the order in letter and spirit. However, she was yet to verify if the students had started reading the oath daily.

Investigations revealed that the office of the Education Minister of the Punjab Government had faxed copy of the pledge to the offices of the director general (school education), Sarav Sikhiya Abhyan, DPI (SE) and the chairman Punjab School Education Board on the eve of the birth anniversary of first Prime Minister of India, Jawahar Lal Nehru. In the communication, the minister had said that students of all schools of the state should take the pledge every morning.

Though the minister had directed the authorities to ensure that students started taking the pledge from the following day, no organised step was taken to get his orders implemented. The only action taken on the minister’s orders was that the copy of the pledge was uploaded on the website of the SSA, which students rarely see.



Ludhiana-Moga highway a death trap
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, November 28
The Ludhiana-Moga Highway is literally turning into a death trap. More than 30 persons have lost their lives so far this year in various road accidents, which took place between about 40-km long stretch from Ludhiana to Nanaksar. Besides, more than 70 persons have been injured, many of them critically, during the same time period.

A 2-km long road stretch between Sidhwan Khurd to Chaunkiman villages and another 5-km long stretch from Jagraon to Nanaksar on the said highway have emerged as the most vulnerable points for accidents.

Though most of accidents have taken place near these points during the recent past, the administration has not installed any board signaling accident-prone area near these points.

However, heavy flow of traffic, blatant violation of traffic norms, over speeding, drunken driving, presence of a large number of stray animals on the highway, absence of reflectors on road dividers and roadsides, reckless driving by drivers of the heavy vehicles, particularly private buses, etc, are some of the reasons, which are considered responsible for most of the accidents.

The presence of a large number of stray animals on this highway is also one of the major factors behind the road accidents. The situation became dangerous during the night, as drivers often fail to notice an animal on the road.

Being a national highway, there has been always a heavy vehicular traffic and this traffic has increased manifolds during the last couple of years due to increase in the number of vehicles, but the road has not been widened.

The residents of towns and villages situated near this road have been demanding for turning this road into a four-lane road and though the governments have assured of fulfilling this long pending demand of the people, nothing concrete has been done.

Previous incidents

  • January 8: 10-year-old girl Reshma crushed to death by a speeding tempo near Chaunkiman village.
  • January 14: An NRI, Ranjot Singh (42) of Gurusar village died while his friends, Jagroop Singh and Harpreet Singh, were injured when the car they were travelling in collided with an unidentified vehicle.
  • February 1: Harjit Singh (40) of Akalgarh village near Gurusar Sudhar died while his brother Harpreet Singh and Hitesh Kumar and Mohit Kumar of Ludhiana were injured.
  • February 13: Five persons were seriously injured when two cars collided head-on near the Malak road, Jagraon.
  • February 18: Six persons were critically injured in a road accident involving two cars and a Mahindra Maximo delivery van near Gahaur village.
  • February 19: Kuldip Singh (28), his wife Jaswinder Kaur (25) and their three-month-old son were crushed to death by a speeding canter near Nanaksar
  • March 15: Harwinder Singh of Aligarh village died when the bike he was riding on collided with an unidentified vehicle near Alighar.
  • March 22: 4 persons, including a woman, were killed and 8 seriously injured in a collision of a private bus with a three-wheeler.
  • April 6: Two teenager boys, Honey Verma (19) and his cousin Sunil Verma, alias Vicky (26) of Jagraon, died when their car collided head-on with SUV. Seven others were injured.
  • April 7: An NRI, Manjit Singh, alias Bablu (30) of Sangatpura village near Jagraon was killed in a road accident near Sawadi Khurad village.
  • April 11: Raj Kumar of Baddowal and Gumukh Singh of Gayaspura died while three others were seriously injured in a collision involving 4 vehicles near Shekhupura village
  • May 21: Jaskaran Singh (29) of Suner village near Jeera died on spot when his car rammed into 
    a tree.
  • June 14: Gurmel Singh (55) and Sukhpreet Kaur (20) of Sahoke village in Moga district died while three others seriously injured when a car collided head on with a truck near Galib village.
  • June 16: Jagjit Singh, alias Sonu (22) of Jagraon crushed to death by unidentified vehicle.
  • August 1: Ramandeep Kaur (21) of Bathinda and Amanpreet Kaur (23) of Ludhiana died while three others injured when their speeding car rammed into a tree near Chaunkiman
  • August 2: Mohinder Singh (70) of Daudhar village in Moga district died, while two others injured near Sawadi Kalan.
  • August 16: Jatinder Singh of Ajitwal village died, while 4 others critically injured when two buses collided head on near Nanaksar.
  • August 27: Chotu, a migrant from UP, died while Arun Kumar and Taljinder Singh of Ludhiana seriously injured
  • September 17: 5 persons were injured in an accident involving three vehicles, including a Punjab Roadways bus and two Mahindra jeeps near Mullanpur Dakha bus stand.
  • Besides 28 students, including teachers of Sacred Heart Convent School, Jagraon, were injured when school bus overturns near Sohian village.


  • SSP Ludhiana (rural) Amar Singh Chahal feels that there is a need of creating awareness among people about traffic rules. Asserting that a large number of accidents are taking place due to heavy flow of traffic and violation of traffic norms on the highway, he said the public should abide to the traffic rules. “We are doing our best to control accidents. We are organising traffic rules awareness camps and appealing to people to obey the rules. But we cannot depute police personnel at every kilometer to check traffic violations. People shall realise that it is their duty to follow the traffic rules.”



Playground to come up at Jawaddi village
Puneet Pal Singh Gill

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 28
In the coming days children will have ample space for playing their favourite sports. That is why, instead of coming up with a park, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) has decided to construct a children’s playground at Jawaddi village. The reason being children are not allowed to play their favourite sports in city parks managed by different Park Management Committees (PMC’s) on the pretext that the flowers and plants will get damaged.

In MC’s general house meeting held today, a proposal of setting up of a playground for children at Jawaddi village was approved. MC Commissioner AK Sinha said that the civic body would not construct a park on that particular piece of land because the children are not allowed to use parks as playgrounds in the city.

Around one acre of land, owned by the MC, is lying vacant in Jawaddi village, which will soon be converted into a children playground.

“It is on a prime location and MC can earn lakhs by selling it off or by putting it to commercial use, but it is our first priority to leave vacant space in areas such as Jawaddi, where there is no playground for children. I have seen that when a park comes up in any area, most of the PMCs don’t allow children to use them for sports purposes,” said the MC Commissioner while addressing a general house meeting of the MC today.

But this proposal was objected by Congress councillors Amrit Varsha Rampal and Gurpreet Singh Gogi, who were of the view that the MC should earn money by selling this piece of land.

Supporting this proposal, Akali councillor Tanvir Singh Dhaliwal argued that instead of thinking about money, the councillors should also think of promoting sports. “Think of children living in Jawaddi, who don’t have proper place as playground,” said Dhaliwal.

The Congress councillors then started arguing with Sinha by claiming that even the Senior Town Planner had given his report against the construction of a park on this piece of land.

Sinha told the Congress councillors that he had all powers to reject STP’s report and said, “I have all powers to approve this proposal.”



From schools
Reading together

Ludhiana: Students and teachers of GN International Public School, Model Town, celebrated 'One Nation Reading Together' by devoting 30 minutes to reading.Students of class III to V made 'Book marks' while senior students made a 'Book Jacket' for their favourite books by using their varied creative skills. The students of class IX to XII wrote a book review on any of the books they had read.

Inculcating reading habit

DRV DAV Centenary Public School, Phillaur, celebrated Reading day to inculcate reading habits among students. In'One Nation Reading Together'. Students from nursery to class XII participated in it and read out magazines, poems, plays stories, fiction. Yogesh Gambhir, principal of the school, advised the students to read other books also with their syllabus books.

Showcasing talent

Students of DAV Public School, Pakhowal Road, celebrated their annual function. Welcome song was sung by students of the kintergarten section. A fashion show with its beautiful plumage of colours was held. "Old is Gold" and Western couple dances were also performed. The students showcased culture of Punjab by performing Punjabi folk songs.

Student shines

Apaar Kaur Grewal, student of Nankana Sahib Public School, brought laurels to the school in the Punjab state-level and open state-level roller skating tournament. She secured first position in 500m race and second position in 300m and 1,000m race. She has been selected for the national-level championships to be held at Banglore and New Delhi . In the state-level roller skating championship, which was held at Leisure Valley, she won two silver medals one in Rink III (300 mts) and one in Rink V (1000 mts).

Cultural event

Synetic Business School organised inter-school cultural event "Synergy" from November 25 to November 28.As many as 37 schools participated in events like salad making, collage making, rangoli, henna, face painting, bhangra, giddha, solo dance and skit. More than 600 students participated in the event. Karan Sembhi of Voice of Punjab fame sang to entertain the audience. The event was also attended by the sarpanches of villages, Ramgarh, Sudawal, Kakkowal and Kohara. Shifaly International School won 12 trophies in different events, including solo dance, salad making, collage making, face painting and giddha. In bhangra Ramgariha School bagged the title.

Cycle rally

The week-long NCC celebrations culminated with grand “Cycle Rally” wherein nearly 100 NCC cadets took part with a message to 'Save Environment'. Lt Col V.K. Singh flagged off the rally from BCM Arya Model School. The rally encompassing more than 100 students passed from Main Market, Model Town, via Ishmeet Chowk, Krishna Mandir and finally culminated by returning at the starting point. The young cyclists were carrying posters and placards on their bicycles and spreading the message to "Save environment and save human life". The rally also conveyed the message to check air pollution and promote use of cycles for healthy and cleaner environment.

Science Congress

Doraha: The team of Government School, Rampur, stood first in the district-level Science Congress. The congress was especially organised for the junior and senior categories of rural students in which the team of Government School, Rampur, comprising Rupinder Singh, Devinder Singh, Ranjodh Singh and Lovlepreet Singh under the guidance of science teacher Pal Rani Kaur secured the first place and brought laurels to the school. These students prepared a project on the topic "Effect of Human Activities on Soil”. The team will now represent the district in the state-level competitions, which would be organised shortly. Principal Kawaljit Singh, Pal Rani Kaur, mathematics teacher Hartej Singh congratulated the students .

Annual day

Saraswati Model Senior Secondary School, Doraha, celebrated its annual prize distribution function today. Suresh Tandon, vice- chairman, Punjab School of Education Board, was the chief guest on the occasion. The function began with Saraswati vandana. bhangra, giddha, choreography, Rajasthani dance, Haryanavi dance, Uttranchali dance, Shabad, kali and kavishari were performed by the students. Bhangra and giddha were the main attractions of the day. Principal DS Gosian read out the annual report. The chief guest gave away the academic prizes and appreciated the performance of the students. The vote of thanks was extended by the principal of the school towards the culmination of the programme

Athletics meet

The 12th Annual Athletics Meet of Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, Doraha, was organised on the school grounds on Monday. Love Ablish, a cricketer from Punjab team, resident of Doraha, inaugurated the meet by unfurling the flag. Principal Manjushaw Vinayak delivered her welcome speech. March past was presented by students. Various events for boys and girls like races, high jump, long jump, sack race, shot put, slow cycling, tug of war were organised. The chief guest for the prize distribution was Mandeep Singh Sidhu, SSP, Khanna, while Ratan Singh Brar, DSP, Payal, was the guest of honour. A cultural programme was organised at the closing ceremony in which patriotic song, gatka and dance on Punjabi songs was presented. Gaganpreet Kaur of class IX and Saurav Bhatia of class X were declared the best athletes from the senior group. Bhupesh Kumar of class VI and Gurinder Kaur of class V were the best athletes in the junior group. The trophy for the best house in march past was won by Ravi House and overall trophy for the athletic meet was won by Satluj House. -Tribune Reporters



From colleges
Female foeticide

Ludhiana: A seminar on female foeticide was conducted by the NCC unit of Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women on the last day of the NCC week at the college. Students as well as the teachers took an active part in the seminar and expressed their views regarding the same.


A breast cancer awareness programme was organised at Government College for Women. Dr Amit Dhiman, an oncologist, discussed the risk factors of developing breast cancer that increased with age, family history where one or more close relations have had breast cancer. The main cause of it is early onset of menstrual period before the age of 12 and late menopause after age of 55. Breast cancer usually manifests itself as a lump. Pain is not a common symptom especially is early stages and talked about different signs of cancer. With the help of visual aid, breast-self Examination (BSE) was explained. Students were told clinically to visit there doctor regularly at least every two to three years beginning at the age of 20 years. — TNS



FDI generates controversy
As farmers’ body welcomed the move, Swadeshi Jagran Manch rejected it and gave bandh call for Dec 1

Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 28
Ever since the Central government has decided to permit foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail sector, the topic has generated controversy. As various farmer organisations and even Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal have welcomed the move, the Swadeshi Jagran Manch has “rejected” the move taken by the Central government.

At a meeting held here today, Swadeshi Jagran Manch announces for a “bandh call” on December 1.

Manch coordinator Parveen Kumar Bansal said the step announced by the Central government was drastic for small traders and entrepreneurs.

“The multinational companies will spread their network all around and we will act as puppets in their hands, which the government is not realising. With the arrival of these multinational companies, about 5 crores of population will become unemployed,” said Bansal.

He further added that these companies will not be bound to purchase each and every product from India. Instead, they will buy cheaper products from any part of the world, said Bansal.

“Against this move, many other political parties will jointly organise a nationwide bandh on December 1. This move will ruin the traders and small entrepreneurs,” said Bansal.

But welcoming the decision, Farmers Forum, Punjab, chairman Jagjit Singh Ghungrana said for Punjab, which was dependent on agriculture for the livelihood of farmers, this was a great step.

“We are happy that the state government has supported this move as this will offer major benefits to the farmers as well as unemployed youth in the state,” said Ghungrana adding that various farm products such as rice, wheat and pulses actually get destroyed because they are stored in the open as there is no storage facility.



Reporters’ dairy
Elusive police officials!

Top officials in the district administration or other departments like Municipal Corporation make it a point to call back reporters if they are busy when called or cannot take the call that very moment. But in contrast, police officials hardly respond to the repeated calls made by reporters. The excuse that they are often busy and over burdened with routine policing work does not hold water if the spurt in criminal activities in the mega city is any indication. Rather than issuing rejoinders and clarifications after publication of the news items, the police top brass will do well to brief the reporters on time and attend to their queries for correct reporting of the crime spots. Is anyone listening?

Breaking rules in ‘khaki’

Traffic rules, or other laws for that matter, it seems are for common man since those in power or administrative machinery, including policemen, are often seen flouting laws with impunity. The other day, a non-gazetted police official, riding a two-wheeler jumped the traffic red light at gate number 4 of Punjab Agricultural University, as others in the lane were waiting for the light to turn green. As if violation of the traffic rules blatantly was not enough, the registration number on the number plate on the rear of his motorbike was written in hand, which is again a violation of the Motor Vehicles Act. This much for the so called “law enforcement machinery.”

‘Heavy workout’

At a recent fashion show, some of the dresses were so heavily endowed with embroidery and stonework, that the weight of the dress was in kilograms and models were finding it difficult to carry such heavy outfits. One of the visitors laughed that it's perfect for overweight women. “These kind of dresses are definitely going to give a good workout to the women who wear them. They don’t need to go to gym for weight training,” he laughed. “Yeah, you can look stunning wearing the dazzling dresses and keep on doing the secret workout,” said another person.

Mother’s pet name

A few newly recruited police jawans were discussing about their first salary. One of them told an unpleasant story to his buddies. “I am not receiving my salary for this month.” “Why?” asked others. “I mentioned wrong name of my mother in bank forms. “Does it mean, you don't know your mother's name?" asked another in anxious manner. “No, I know only the name of my mother by which people call her. I mentioned my mother’s pet name ‘Shero’ in bank forms instead of Kashmir Kaur, which is the real name,” he grinned.

Going ‘immobile’

In today’s fast moving world, cell phone has become a necessity. But fed up from frequent calls of officials, a female worker in one of the government departments, has made her mobile “immobile”, means she does not use her cell phone at all during office hours. When asked the reason behind it, she said, “I have three cell phone numbers at my name, but have not given any of these to my officials. Earlier one of my numbers, which I used to carry along in the office, was known to all officers. They used to call me up and kept deploying me for duty at different places. It really made my schedule upset. So to get rid of this, I have stopped brining my cell phone to office now and feel relaxed. When I reach back home, I switched it on.” She said, “After all phone is for my convenience and not for my headache.”

Contributed by Shivani Bhakoo, Kuldip Bhatia, Gurvinder Singh, Charanjit Singh Teja, Anupam Bhagria



Residents face tough times due to traffic jams
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, November 28
Residents as well as a few shopkeepers of the local Main Bazar area have been facing a tough time due to frequent traffic jams on this road. The already narrow roads of the market have got more congested due to illegal encroachments by shopkeepers of the market on both sides of the road.

Even the efforts of traffic police to smooth the traffic flow in the market seem to be not working and the situation is getting bad to worse with each passing day.

The traffic problem is not new and the residents have been facing this problem from a quite long time.

One of the main reasons responsible for the traffic chaos in the market is illegal encroachment by the shopkeepers of the market. Most of the shopkeepers have encroached upon the roadsides and displayed their items due to which the road gets more congested and even two-wheeler riders find it difficult to get through this market.

Though the traffic police, with the motive of smoothing the flow of traffic, had banned the entry of four-wheelers to the market from one way, the traffic police deputed a cop near Kukkar Bazzar area to check the entry of the vehicles in no entry zone.

As a result of this, the situation improved up to some extent but the cop deployed there disappeared after three-four days and the situation once again turned chaotic.

Sunny Arora, a shopkeeper at Kukkar Bazzar said, “When the police deployed an employee here some days back, the situation became somewhat good. But the cop deployed here did not arrive here since yesterday and the things came back to square one.”

Another shopkeeper, Jagroop Singh Dhaliwal said the main reason behind the traffic chaos is illegal encroachments by the shopkeepers and municipal council should act strictly against such people to solve the problem.

“A large number of shopkeepers have encroached upon the roadsides, thus congesting the market further. Due to traffic problem, customers are hesitating from visiting this market and if the situation remains same, we are bound to suffer loses,” he said, while demanding the MC to remove the encroachments.

Interestingly, the city police station is also situated in this area and even the cops have to face tough time, while going to the police station everyday. They, however, manage to get out of the traffic jams with force.

Police officials say they have been appealing to the shopkeepers to remove the encroachments, but to no affect. “Moreover, the Municipal Council, too, does not bother to remove these encroachments. The municipal councillors often come to the rescue of such shopkeepers when the officials initiate action to remove the encroachments,” said a police official though requesting anonymity.

Jagraon police traffic in charge Gurcharan Singh when contacted said the police had deputed a police employee at the starting point of the market to stop the entry of four-wheelers in the market. But when told there is no cop present at the market, he said he would look into the matter and take strict action if any employee is found neglecting his duty.



Spread of dengue
Gosain holds MC responsible
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 28
Punjab Health Minister Sat Pal Gosain today charged the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) of being responsible for the spread of dengue fever in the city. He said even though the health department, which he heads in the state, was also responsible for this disease. “But had you all in MC acted on time, several lives could have been saved,” said Gosain, while addressing the MC General House meeting here today.

Gosain said the MC started fogging late and by that time, it was already, too, late. “It was at much later stage that MC officials started fogging in the city. Maybe you got late while waking up from slumber,” accused Gosain.

A senior MC official, while requesting anonymity, rued that the MC was doing its part of the job with utmost devotion. “It’s easy for Gosain to blame the MC because he knows that being a cabinet minister no government official would speak against him. But our seniors know that when dengue cases were on the rise, we worked round the clock and did whatever we could,” said the MC official.

This year, due to the spread of dengue fever, several people lost their lives. The spread of this disease was so high that the city hospitals were full to their capacity. The situation was such that even the machines engaged in the extraction of SDP (single donor platelets) and RDP (random donor platelets) were working round the clock and so was the staff.

With high costs of transfusion of platelets, plasma and cells, patients, especially those coming from the lower strata of society, found it difficult to combat the disease. Thankfully, with the recent dip in mercury, there is a respite to people from dengue cases.



Construction of effluent treatment plant begins
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 28
With the “bhoomi poojan” ceremony performed by Punjab Health Minister Sat Pal Gosain, the work got underway today for the construction of a common effluent treatment plant (CETP) being installed by the Bahadur-ke Road Textile and Knitwear Association (BKTK) here.

The much awaited Rs 158 crore CETP with biomass thermal power plant and steam distribution system, to be erected by a well known and experienced firm specialising in effluent treatment plants - JBR Power Technologies Pvt Ltd, will become partly operational in about six months and would serve around 24 textile and knitwear units located in the cluster on the Bahadur-ke Road.

BKTK chairman Tarun Jain Bawa told four-acre land was purchased two months ago and after receiving technical and financial bids, the CETP project was given out to JBR Technologies. He added that the effluent from the member industries would be collected with the help of underground pipelines.

With generation of electricity at the biomass thermal power plant, the member units would have an added advantage of receiving uninterrupted power supply.

“The steam will also be made available to the member units directly for their dyeing and processing operations. This will save space and cost of boilers and generator sets to members. Above all, this will save the groundwater by re-using the treated water,” he remarked while claiming that this would be first-of-its-kind CETP in the country.

Rajinder Singh of JBR Power Technologies Power Ltd said the firm had already constructed the boundary wall of the project and were in the process of manufacturing and installation of mechanical equipment for the project, some of which had already arrived at the site of the project.

The work will be completed in three stages - installation of the CETP, biomass thermal power plant and finally steam distribution system.



10,000 youths vie for 400 posts of constable
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 28
As many as 10,000 youths from across the state vied for around 400 posts of constables in the police department, the physical tests of which were conducted at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here today.

A youth participates in a long jump trial; and (right) a cop measures the height of a candidate during a police recruitment drive in Ludhiana on Monday. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

According to available information, nearly 3000 youths attended the physical fitness trials on the first day of the recruitment rally.

"The candidates who have done post graduation have better chances of getting selected as the merit is largely based on educational qualifications and physical fitness. Only a few marks are alloted for the interview and that would not make much of a difference in the selection of the candidate," said the officer conducting the trials. He added that the selection procedure was transparent and that there was no room for favouritism.

The trials were video recorded and cops in muftis kept a vigil around the venue to nab any middleman trying to con innocent youths on the pretext of getting them selected. The results about the candidates who cleared the fitness trials on the first day of the recruitment rally would be available tomorrow.



Neuroscience quiz
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana November 28
The department of Neurology, DMCH on Saturday organised second Ludhiana Regional Brain Bee neurosciences quiz. The function was inaugurated by vice-president of the DMCH managing society. Secretary Prem Kumar Gupta and Principal Daljit Singh gave away prizes to the winning and participating teams.

Talking about the programme, professor and head of neurology Dr Gagandeep Singh said Brain Bee quiz competition on neurosciences was held for the students who have exceptional credentials in biology and have an interest to pursue careers in healthcare.

The contest is conducted on a regional level and subsequently at national level and international level. The International Brain Bee (IBB) was founded and directed by prof Norbert Myslinski.



Bus drivers challaned for using pressure horns
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 28
The traffic police had a tough time challaning drivers of private bus operators for using pressure horns. A high drama was witnessed at the bus stand here this morning when a team of traffic police started challaning private bus drivers for using pressure horns.

But the challan drive led to a heated argument between the police and bus drivers. According to eyewitness, instead of receiving the challan slip, drivers were compelling cops to speak to bus owners.

“They were seen offering mobile phone and requesting the cops to speak to the bus owners. While a few get away, lot of drivers were challaned for violating the law,” said Tanranjit Singh, a commuter.

Kamaljit Soi, a traffic expert, had been campaigning against the use of pressure horns and demanded a stern action against the drivers of these buses. “These pressure horns are a nuisance. There have been incidents in the past when motorists, especially two-wheeler drivers, lost control over their vehicle and met with an accident due to the sudden blowing of pressure horn. I appreciate the effort of the police. They should crack a whip on such menace,” said Soi.



Three Wadalis in one album
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 28
Wadali Brothers have teamed up with Lakhwinder Wadali to bring out a new album “Naina De Buhe”.

It is the first time, all three Wadalis have sung together in a composition of their own. “We had done a song together four years ago as well but it is for the first time, we have sung on a composition of our own,” said Lakhwinder Wadali. The uniqueness of the album would be a fusion of sufi and Punjabi music, which is an outcome of the joint venture of Puranchand Wadali and Pyarelal Wadali with Lakhwinder Wadali. The album has 10 tracks in all. One track has been sung by all the three of them while other nine have been sung by Lakhwinder Wadali.



Green Land pocket cricket title
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 28
Saraswati Modern School organised the Ludhiana Sahodaya School Complex (Central) Inter-School Cricket Tournament for U-19 here. A total of 22 teams participated in the tournament. The final match was played between Green Land Public School, Jalandhar bypass, and BCM School, Chandigarh road and Greenland School won the tournament.

Basketball trophy

Green Land Public School, Jalandhar bypass, bagged the basketball trophy in the Ludhiana Sahodaya Schools Complex Basketball Tournament (U-19 boys) held at MGM Public School, Dugri. Green Land got the better of Delhi Public School by seven points. Akashdeep scored the highest 25 points in the match, followed by Himmat Sahota scoring 14 points.



Ludhiana scan
Scholarship exams

1,200 students appeared for the first stage of Aakash National Talent Hunt Exam-2011 organised by the Aakash Institute for Preparatory Coaching for Medical and Engineering Entrance Exams. The selected students will be given a scholarship by the institute.

Open day

Jaguar Land Rover's dealership conducted an open day during which customers were given the opportunity to see the full range of Jaguar and Land Rover products. The Range Rover Evoque is the most exciting vehicle. Prices for the all new Range Rover Evoque start at Rs 44.5 lakh (ex-showroom price in Ludhiana)," said Rishi Dada. — TNS



Woman dies of burn injuries

Phillaur: A married woman, Kuldip Kaur, died of burn injuries in her in-laws’ house in Bathkalan village on Sunday. The victim was immediately admitted to a nearby hospital but died later.

In another incident, Somo, wife of a Gyan Singh of Kandolan Kalan Village was killed on the spot when a speeding scooter hit her near the village. The scooterist, however, managed to flee, the police said. — OC



13-year-old boy goes missing
Our Correspondent

Khamano November 28
Sahil Kalra (13) of Ward No 4, Khamano, who went missing since yesterday evening under mysterious circumstances is yet to be traced.

Sunil Kalra, father of the missing boy, in a statement to the police said that his son left his home yesterday evening at about 4.30pm on the pretext of getting his hair cut from a shop in the main bazaar. His mother gave him Rs 50. Late in the evening when the boy did not return home, his parents became worried and searched for him. His cycle was spotted near a cycle shop that was shut as it was a Sunday.

According to Sunil Kalra, his son is studying in Sarvhitkari Vidya Mandir School in class VIII and did not return even late in the night. He said that they had searched every where but he is yet to be traced. Khamano SHO Rajwinder Singh said that they had received a complaint in this regard and they were inspecting all options to trace the missing boy.



2 runaway undertrials held
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Samrala, November 28
Two notorious undertrials, who had escaped from the custody of the Hoshiarpur police at Samrala on November 11 were arrested by policemen of the Nagor police station in Rajasthan with a stolen vehicle.

Samrala SHO Gurinder Singh Bal confirmed this and said that a police party from Samrala was deputed to Rajasthan to bring the said accused but due to a case pending there against them they could not be brought by the police party and said that after few days they will be brought on production warrants after completing formalities.

He said both the said accused tried to mislead the Rajasthan police by false names but their real identity was established. They were identified as Amritpal Singh and Daljit Singh who escaped from the police custody on November 11 at Samrala.

Both the said accused had escaped from the police custody near Ottalan village after they were produced in a court at Patiala and were back to Hoshiarpur via Samrala when they escaped.

The policemen who were escorting them were booked for negligence by the Samrala police. Around 45 cases of different type are pending against both the persons at different police stations in the state.



Gang of snatchers busted, nine arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 28
In a major breakthrough, the Kotwali police has busted a gang of nine members who were behind several snatchings and pickpocket incidents that happened in the recent past. The gang was nabbed following a tip-off from Chaura Bazar area. Station house officer (SHO) Amandeep Singh Brar confirmed the development.

He said the gang was operating in and around the railway station and Chaura Bazar. The gang members were planning to commit a big strike when they landed in the police net. With the arrest of nine accused, the police has claimed to solve many scores of snatching incidents.



Pak wakaf chief visits varsity

Ludhiana: Syed Asif Hashmi, chairman of the Pakistan Wakaf, visited Gujranwala Guru Nanak College, Model Town, here, on Monday. He said that Guru Nanak Dev International University would be set up in Pakistan and the foundation stone for the same would be laid in December this year. — TNS



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