L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC negligence to the fore
19-yr-old girl on scooter hurt after falling into pit dug for laying sewerage
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
Negligence on part of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation officials proved costly for Drishti Sharma (19), who fell in a pit dug up for laying of sewerage in H Block of the Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar area early this morning.

The incident took place when the girl was going for her tuition classes on her scooter. On reaching near the community centre of H Block in BRS Nagar, she could not see the open pit and her scooter slipped into it, leaving her injured.

The contractor concerned had not installed any caution board for the commuters and the pit had been dug up in middle of the road.

The girl’s father, Rakesh Sharma, who is a resident of Rajauri Garden and works in an insurance company, said that due to this accident, his daughter had suffered fractures on hand, besides injuries on other parts of the body.

“Thankfully, my daughter did not suffer from serious injuries, but the way in which this pit has been dug up and not even a single caution board installed, I would not leave this matter here. That is why, I have submitted a written complaint against the MC contractor concerned at Sarabha Nagar Police Station. Even the MC should take this matter seriously as any person can get hurt in such incidents,” said Rakesh Sharma.

Drishti was going for her tuition classes on her scooter at around 6.15 am when the incident took place.

After coming to know of this incident, the MC officials immediately sprung into action and reached the spot.

Area residents said this was not the first time that such an incident had taken place in the area. “Earlier, iron bars were also lying near the same pit, due to which some people had got themselves injured. But after today’s incident, the MC officials got the iron bars moved from this place,” said an area resident.

Manjit Singh, Superintending Engineer of the Operations and Maintenance Cell of the MC, said the mud around the pit had got slippery due to rain last night. “I had personally visited the spot today and got the entire area cleared. We have also pulled up the contractor concerned and would be taking action against him so that such incidents are not repeated in the future,” claimed Manjit Singh.

When asked whether a caution board was installed near the pit, Manjit Singh said, “No, the contractor had not installed it. But we would make sure that at all places where construction activity is going on, the contractor should install such boards so that people could know about pits,” said Manjit Singh.

No caution board

The contractor concerned had not installed any caution board for the commuters and the pit had been dug up in middle of the road.


Gang of robbers busted
Five arrested, two robberies solved
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
In a major breakthrough, the police has busted a gang of robbers which was behind two sensational robbery incidents that rocked the city recently. The gang had robbed Rs 20 lakh from a businessman on the RK road on November 17 and had fled with Rs 1.3 lakh from the cash-collection office of a businessman in Chaura Bazar on November 21.

The police suspected that it was the same gang that had committed robbery of Rs 20 lakh near Kanganwal in September earlier this year.

The kingpin of the gang Rakhwinder Singh, alias Ricky, was wanted in connection with the Ninder murder case that took place in the packed court premises on May 29, 2007.

Ricky was provided shelter by a veterinary doctor, who is notorious for his anti-social activities. The police claimed that the vet doctor was using Ricky and his accomplices for land grabbing.

While Ricky, Damanpreet Singh, aka Damna, Neeraj Sharma, Mayank Sharma and Kapil Verma were nabbed from Phullanwal Bypass in BRS Nagar, Bramhdeep Singh of Sudhar and his friend Gaurav managed to flee from the scene.

The accused, who have been arrested and fled last night, are the face of crime, land grabbing and drug mafia thriving in the city. They were selling smack in the Haibowal and Dhollewal area. Soon after arresting the five accused, the police conducted a raid at their hideout and nabbed three drug addicts.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashish Chaudhry said, “All accused are chronic drug addicts. They were behind the two sensational robberies took place recently. We also suspect their involvement in Rs 20 lakh robbery Kanganwal took place in September. Beside murder, the accused were wanted in several other criminal cases and had been declared proclaimed offenders(POs).”

The DCP said the gang was well organised. “We were suspecting the involvement of an insider behind the robbery in Chaura Bazar. Mayank Sharma of Shivaji Nagar had recently left the job. We started the investigation and monitored his activities.”

During the investigation, it was found that Mayank, along with his friends Neeraj Sharma, alias Ashu, and Ricky had planned the robbery at Chaura Bazar.

After the robbery, the accused handed over the cash to Bramhdeep, who fled in a car. All accused then fled in different directions and later during the day they gathered at a common place where they divided the booty.

In the RK road robbery incident, they did not use one but two cars. He further added that more skeletons would tumble out of the closet during the course of the investigation.


  • One .32 pistol
  • One .12 rifle
  • Two live cartridges
  • Rs 3.30 lakh



Finally, flight lands at Sahnewal
Due to overnight rain, there was no visibility problem
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
The dry spell of flights at the Ludhiana airport finally ended as the lone flight operating between Delhi and Ludhiana reached the airport today. Due to visibility problems, no flight had operated from Ludhiana after November 17, but due to rain last night, there was no visibility related problem this afternoon.

The 46-seater Air India aircraft landed at Ludhiana in the afternoon. In the flight reaching the airport today, 23 passengers landed from Delhi, while a group of 13 city residents flew to Delhi in the same aircraft later.

The flights from the Ludhiana airport had started in April last year and since then, the airport authorities have been urging the government to upgrade the airport.

“Till the time work on installing the DVOR, a device helping in better visibility for the aircraft, starts, the flights would remain getting cancelled. But if this device is installed, we can expect the number of flights to increase,” said an airport official.

Pertaining to the frequent cancellation of flights, the Air India had changed the timings of flights operating from Ludhiana Airport from November 23. Instead of evening, the flight from the city airport now takes off in the afternoon. Now, the flight takes off from Ludhiana at 12.30 pm instead of 5 pm.

Amrik Singh, manager of Air India at Ludhiana Airport, said that due to rain last night, it was a clear day today. “That is why, there was no problem related to visibility today, because of which the flight landed as well as took off on time. Its good that we received a flight after November 17 and I expect frequent flights in the coming days as well,” said Amrik Singh.

DVOR requirement

Till the time the work on installing the DVOR, a device helping in better visibility for the aircraft, starts, the flights would remain getting cancelled. But if this device is installed, we can expect the number of flights to increase.

— An airport official

Flight Timings

Departure from Delhi 11:05 am

Arrival at Ludhiana 12:10 pm

Departure from Ludhiana 12:30 pm

Arrival at Delhi 1:35 pm



Removal of unipoles
MC panel on advts upset
‘Was not taken into confidence’
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
After the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation officials removed 50 advertising unipoles late on Monday night, members of the MC’s sub-committee on advertisements have rued that they were not taken into confidence before starting this massive drive.

The committee members said when Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura was to take decisions all by himself, what was the use of having a sub-committee for the same purpose?

Sub-committee members Bharat Bhushan Ashu, a Congress councillor, and Gurdeep Singh Neetu, a BJP councillor, have shown their displeasure over this drive and said that it looked as if the drive was carried out to settle some personal scores.

Councillor Ashu said he was not even aware of the fact that the MC would be uprooting 50 unipoles on Monday night.

“I came to know about this matter next morning when some other person told me about it. When I checked with other sub-committee members, even they said that they were not aware of any such drive. If Mayor or other MC officials are to take such decisions in this manner, I feel there was no need of having a sub-committee on advertisements. Moreover I am not supporting any advertising agency or contractor, as on earlier occasions also, our committee had got some of the unipoles of contractors removed,” rued Ashu, while adding, “Even the finance and contract committee (F&CC) had itself given a six-month extension to one of the two contractors, whose unipoles were removed, but the Mayor overruled his own decision for reasons best known to him.”

Gurdeep Singh Neetu said after coming to know about this drive, he had even taken up this issue with Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura. “The finance and contract committee had decided to give a six-month extension to a contractor. The issue was also discussed in the sub-committee, but now we feel that our sub-committee is meaningless. What is the use of sub committee in such circumstances?”

When contacted, Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura said he did not take this decision by himself. “The decision was taken after consultation with MC Commissioner as well as other senior officials. If any councillor has any objection to the drive, he should speak to the MC Commissioner,” said Giaspura.



Police chief injured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
Commissioner of Police Dr SS Chauhan has suffered injury and fractured his two ribs. The top cop, who was not attending his office for the past eight days, shared the information with Ludhiana Tribune today.

“I had suffered fracture on ribs and doctors have advised me rest for two weeks,” said Dr Chauhan. Although he did not reveal how he was injured, sources said the commissioner got injured after slipping from the staircase at his Chandigarh residence. He was rushed to hospital where the paramedics told him that he had suffered fracture on the ribcage.

In the absence of Dr Chauhan, DCP Ashish Chaudhary is addressing the complaints of residents.



Confusion prevails on seeking info
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
While the government is patting its back after the introduction of the Right To Service (RTS) Act, confusion prevails among residents as to how to seek information under thenewly introduced act.

In the absence of proper mechanism, a majority of the administrative employees and police officials do not even know the content and how to proceed or accept the application under the RTS Act.

To top it all, the residents complain that cops snub them if they seek information under the RTS Act.

Narrating the story, former MC employee Hari Singh Sondhi (70) said, “Two days ago, I went to Division No 5 police station seeking FIR details under the RTS Act from the thana munshi, but instead of giving me details, I was snubbed.”

Residents alleged that the government employees were deliberately withholding information about how to apply the RTS Act. The are not aware that in order to seek information, they have to write a letter and take receipt from the cop on a paper.

RTI expert Arvinder Sharma said, “There is complete ambiguity about the RTS Act. While residents have been made to listen the lecture on RTS, they are not told a simple thing as to how to seek RTS information. It is insane to think that after being snubbed by a cop, common man would complain the matter to a senior police official. No one wants to rub the cops the wrong way. ”

No data is available with the police as to how much information had been sought under the RTS Act and what were the method of seeking information under RTS.

When asked, station house officers (SHOs) said they had not received guidelines about the RTS Act and what would be the format.

“This is happening at such a time when out of 67 services under the RTS Act, 20 services are related to police,” said Sharma.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Ashish Chaudhry said he had not received any information about the refusal to give information under the RTS Act.

Procedure simple

The procedure is very simple. Write a letter stating that you (applicant) need information under the RTS Act and get the receipt on the letter from the employee or official concerned. If the latter denies information, bring the matter to the notice of senior officials.

— Rahul Tiwari, Deputy Commissioner



Snag in server triggers protest
Employees fail to get salaries
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
A snag in the computer server triggered a protest at Mini-Secretariat here as agitated government employees, including teachers and non-teaching staff, raised slogans outside the treasury office today.

The employees were angered after the treasury branch did not release their salary even today. The employees complained that the treasury authorities had assured them that their salary would be released today and it was later during the evening that the employees were informed that the computer server that stores the details of the employees had developed a snag and the salary would not be released today.

“The snag in the server was behind the protest outside the treasury branch. Ninety per cent employees did not receive salaries. First the salary was delayed due to the 12-day-long strike of magisterial employees and now due to the crashing of the server, the salaries have been withheld,” said Gurmail Singh, a teacher.



Race for ticket
Sitting BJP legislator from Ludhiana (North) faces axe
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 7
If winds of change are blowing for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in terms of renominating the sitting party MLAs all over the state, the Ludhiana North constituency here is under a virtual storm where the first-time legislator, Harish Bedi, is, in all likelihood, facing ouster.

Earlier, there were just murmurs that the BJP leadership might field the senior deputy mayor, Parveen Bansal, or the district president of the party, Rajiv Katna, to deal with the incumbency factor, but now the indications of change of the nominee are loud and clear.

Quoting the observations of the state president of the BJP, Ashwani Sharma, at a meeting of the state executive of the party here recently, that all sitting MLAs and also those who unsuccessfully contested the Assembly elections last time could not take their renomination for granted, sources in the party reiterated that more than two-third of the 18 sitting BJP legislators could be replaced.

Without being specific, the sources said the legislators with a poor track record in their respective constituencies, those facing allegations of corruption, or even those accused of any other wrongdoing, would be the first to be shown the door.

“In the wake of the humiliation and loss of face that the party has suffered after all BJP ministers in the state cabinet were replaced, the party leadership will choose candidates for the Assembly elections with utmost caution,” they added.

The sources said the first-time BJP legislator from Ludhiana North constituency had not done himself and the party any good by lending his support and patronage (albeit by proxy) to the hoarding mafia active in the city.

“Claims of reaching out to the people in the constituency and carrying out development projects during past four years, notwithstanding, Bedi’s general conduct after being elected has not been above board,” a senior BJP leader commented.

Bedi is also facing flak within and outside the party for allegations against his son who is known for bullying and using strong-arm tactics against “non-obliging” civic and government officials.

Bedi, however, said he had not been given any indication by the party leadership to this effect and, being the sitting MLA, he ought to be the the first choice of the party to be fielded from Ludhiana North for the second time.

He also claimed that his working in the constituency had been completely transparent and there were no complaints of any kind from any quarter.

Hoarding trouble

The first-time BJP legislator from Ludhiana North constituency, Harish Bedi, has not done himself and the party any good by lending his support and patronage (albeit by proxy) to the hoarding mafia active in the city



Outdated LPG cylinders in circulation
Reason: Lack of awareness, shortage
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh/Payal, December 7
Unaware of the risks and consequences of using outdated gas cylinders, consumers registered with various gas agencies of the region continue to use LPG cylinders beyond their expiry date.

Let alone the common men, even activists and office-bearers of organisations, claiming to have fought for consumers rights, are not aware of the laid down instructions about the expiry date of gas cylinders used in every household.

Claiming that no case of supply of expired refilled cylinders has ever been brought to their notice, Deepak Kumar and Jai Pal Singh, owners of different gas agencies, maintain that they have directed their employees to ensure that any such cylinder, if received due to oversight by officials of the companies supplying the LPG, should not be delivered to the consumers.

However in rare cases, outdated cylinders can creep up due to non-consumption of gas by families having more than one connections, argued the owners.

Investigations reveal that a majority of consumers of cooking gas is unaware of the fact that the cylinders bear an expiry date on the inside of one of the three collar strips. Consequently, they continue using cylinders without confirming the validity of the usage date.

Sources at various gas agencies explain that the month and the year of expiry are scribed on the white, yellow or blue background and the two-digit year pattern is preceded by a letter denoting the four quarters.

While A and B stand for quarters ending March 31 and June 30, C and D indicate the quarter ending September 30 and December 31 of the year written on the strip.

Investigations further reveal that some consumers have purchased cylinders from their friends and relatives living in other towns and cities and these refills have crossed their expiry date due to a delay in the consumption of the gas. In certain cases, the expiry date is not even legible.

Expressing ignorance about the concept and risks involved in the use of outdated cylinders, consumers, led by Vicky Tondon, vice-chairman of the Ahmedgarh Vikas Committee, say shortage of the commodity is also one of the key reasons behind the tendency.

“Though we have been fighting for consumers rights for many years, it has never come to our mind that the expiry date should also be confirmed before receiving the supply,” says Tondon, adding that a consumer will rather ignore the issue than go without a cylinder.

Where to find expiry date on cylinder?

A majority of consumers of cooking gas is unaware of the fact that the cylinders bear an expiry date on the inside of one of the three collar strips. The month and year of expiry are scribed on the white, yellow or blue background and the two-digit year pattern is preceded by a letter denoting the four quarters



Hit-&-run cases on the rise in city
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
The number of hit-and-run cases in the city has seen an increase in 2011, as per the data available with the police department. In the past 10 days alone, four persons have lost their lives in such incidents.

A senior police official, on the condition of anonymity, said though vehicles were traced by the police in a majority of cases, many others involved in accidents on the outskirts of the city remained untraceable.

In 2010, 24 persons were found guilty for the crime in the city, while 30 have been convicted by the court so far this year. Another 110 persons were acquitted in 2010, while 93 persons have so far been acquitted in hit-and-run cases this year.

The city police maintains that a little attention within the 8-km vicinity of any city can play a crucial role in reducing fatalities and number of such accidents.

“It becomes difficult to trace unidentified vehicles like SUVs or trucks involved in such accidents in the wee hours or at night. However, a majority of these accidents take place within the 7 to 8-km vicinity. If the traffic police becomes more vigilant, the number of such accidents can be curbed to an extent. Besides, we have found that rash driving is the main reason for such fatal accidents and the drivers are under the influence of liquor/drugs,” says the police official.

He further adds that the number of such accidents is not that high in Chandigarh because of strict measures adopted by the UT police.

“People from all strata of society, be it politicians, bureaucrats, VIPs or common man, have to follow the traffic rules religiously, otherwise the penalties are severe in Chandigarh. Everyone is bound to obey the traffic rules there. But here in Ludhiana, people refuse to listen to the police. If a police officer stops an offender for flouting the traffic norms, the latter uses clout to wriggle out of the predicament. And we find ourselves foolish,” rues the official.

Recent accidents

  • On December 6, a 60-year-old woman and her four-year-old old grandson were injured when a speeding motorcylist hit them
  • On December 5, Jaswant Kaur, a 65-year-old woman from Urban Estate, Focal Point, was killed when a vehicle hit her around 6 am
  • Two youths (cousins) died on the spot when an unidentified vehicle hit them from behind on the Pakhowal Road 10 days ago
  • A labourer was killed when a truck with an HP registration plate hit him from behind recently



GLADA drive on
Illegal structures at three more colonies razed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 7
The Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) continued its drive against development of unauthorised colonies on the periphery of the city by taking regulatory action at three other colonies near Kohara today.

According to the GLADA additional chief administrator (ACA) Jaswant Singh, who led the demolition operation along with the field and regulatory staff, structures and internal development works were removed in an unauthorised colony spread across an area of 15 acres on the left side of Kohara-Budhewal Road.

The GLADA team, thereafter, moved to another colony under development in an area of three acres on the right side of the Kohara-Paharuwal Road, and further to another adjoining colony coming up in an area of 30 acres, where again internal development works were demolished.

The additional chief administrator said while the demolition drive would continue against colonies being carved out without obtaining licence and fulfilling other provisions of the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act, the field and regulatory staff had been directed to keep a watch on the development of illegal colonies in their respective areas so that action could be taken at the initial stages against the developers, and people could be saved from being duped by unscrupulous developers and property developers.



IMA Poll: No papers filed yet
Nominations to be accepted till Dec 10
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
The pace for the filing of nomination papers for the elections to the Indian Medical Association, Ludhiana, is yet to pick up, as no one has come forward so far to file their papers for the various posts of office-bearers and executive members.

The last date for filing of nomination papers is December 10. The scrutiny of nomination papers will be held on December 11 at the IMA office at BRS Nagar. The nomination papers can be withdrawn till December 15.

Dr Bharti Uppal, member, election commission of the IMA, said: “No one has filed their nomination papers till today for these elections.”

In the elections to take place on December 31, office-bearers, including secretary, vice-president, joint secretary, finance secretary and executive members, will be elected. The president-elect for 2012, Dr DP Singh Arora, will replace current president Dr Kulwant Singh. In all, there are 738 members of the association.

While Dr GS Grewal is the chief election commissioner for the IMA Ludhiana, Dr Bharti Uppal and Dr JS Chugh are the commission members.



Motorists suffer as farmers block highway
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, December 7
A large number of activists of various farmers’ unions staged a dharna at Mullanpur Dakha today and blocked the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway for several hours. As a result, the traffic remained disrupted and motorists had a tough time reaching their destinations.

The dharna was held in protest against the arrest of a large number of farmers’ union activists yesterday. The police had arrested several union leaders from different parts of the state to prevent them from converging on Chandigarh to take part in a rally organised jointly by 17 farmer and labour unions seeking waiver of electricity bills for small farmers and labourers.

A large number of farmers started gathering at Mullanpur Dakha since early morning following instructions by union leaders to block highways and roads all over the state in protest against the arrest of a large number of union leaders.

Around 9 am today, over 250 farmers gathered at Mullanpur and blocked the highway with their vehicles. The activists also raised slogans against the state government for not accepting their demands.

The commuters, including servicemen, students, businessmen, etc. faced tough time reaching their destinations due to the blockade.

Though the police diverted the traffic through alternative roads, motorists got late in reaching their respective destinations.

Irked at the blockade, Ramandeep Singh Kainth, a Sudhar-based lecturer teaching in Ludhiana, said he was forced take a detour through link roads to reach the city. As a result, he got late by around 30 minutes for his college.

“It takes around 40 minutes for me to reach Ludhiana from my village. Today, it took me over an hour to reach the college, as I had to pass through different villages before reaching Ludhiana.”

Motorists were also seen caught in traffic jams on alternative roads, as heavy traffic was also diverted to these roads.

“The people who want to raise their voice should hold such protests outside politicians’ residences instead of disturbing the common man’s life. Such protests are not going to help anyone and these only cause inconvenience to public,” said Ankush Gupta of Jagraon, who owns a hosiery unit in Ludhiana.

Jagjit Singh, another daily commuter, said he was going to attend an urgent meeting in Ludhiana but got late by half an hour due to the blockade. “The client whom I had to meet had already left by then. I have suffered a huge loss on account of this,” he added.


Motorists were also seen caught in traffic jams on alternative roads as heavy traffic was diverted to these roads



Vidhan Sabha Polls
Jagraon may witness fight between 2 former bureaucrats
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, December 7
The Jagraon assembly constituency (reserve) might see a contest between two former bureaucrats in the upcoming Vidhan Sabha elections. Where on one hand, former ADC SR Kaler, who joined the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), is almost sure to contest the elections on the SAD ticket from Jagraon, on the other hand, former ADC Ajmer Singh Siwia has also applied for the Congress ticket from Jagraon constituency.

Though the Congress has not decided its candidate from Jagraon so far, Siwia has been claiming of getting a nod of the party high command for contesting the elections.

However, people will have to wait for some days to know whether it will be a contest between two former bureaucrats in the upcoming elections, as the Congress has not finalised its candidate from Jagraon so far.

While SR Kaler is almost sure to contest the elections on the SAD ticket, the situation is not same in the Congress. It is learnt that as many as 17 candidates, including former minister Ishar Singh Meharban, former ADC Ajmer Singh Siwia, Jagdarshan Kaur and Manpreet Kaur Dhaliwal, have applied for the Congress ticket from Jagraon constituency (reserve).

Though former ADC Ajmer Singh Siwia and his supporters have been claiming of getting the nod of the party high command to contest the elections, the supporters of Ishar Singh Meharban, too, claim that the party has assured him of giving the party ticket from Jagraon.

In such a scenario, when a large number of local Congress leaders led by MLA Gurdeep Singh Bhaini have been advocating for giving the party ticket to a local candidate instead of Meharban, there are bright chances that the party may field Ajmer Singh Siwia from Jagraon against SR Kaler.

And if it happens, it might be an interesting contest between two former bureaucrats.



Staff shortage plagues government schools
Bhushan Sood

Mandi Gobindgarh, December 7
Government Girls Senior Secondary School, Amloh, which is the only girls’ school in the town, has been facing an acute shortage of staff. The school also imparts education to 900 girl students from the nearby villages. Posts of one lecturer each in English and political science have been lying vacant. The master cadre posts of DPE, tailoring, science and math are also lying vacant in the school.

According to norms, there is a need to create the posts of one lecturer each in Punjabi, history, physical education, said the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) chairman Parshotam Dass Mittal. Pashotam added that two master cadre posts in mathematics and one in science need to be created.

The condition of Government Senior Secondary School (boys) is no better as it has also been facing the shortage of staff. The school is one of the top most schools of the district that has won distinctions in the field of education, sports, and cultural activities.

The posts of lecturers in various subjects, including commerce, political science, mathematics, physical education, are lying vacant.

The master cadre posts in mathematics, social studies, physical education are also lying vacant, as are the posts of senior lab attendant, vocational attendant, sweeper and gardener. The total strength of the students is around 1,100. The PTA chief Ram Saran Sood has urged the government to fill the posts in the school to save the future of students. He said the condition of the rural area schools is even worst than that of the urban area schools.

“The government claims of all-round development of the students through the policies framed by various committees of educationists constituted by the state government have not touched the ground realities faced by the students, their parents and the teachers,” said Hakam Rai, a retired teacher.

“The government often puts blame on the teachers for the poor health of education in government schools. Strict actions are taken against teachers if they are found to be late by five to ten minutes. But the government is running teacher-less schools. The students go to schools and return home without touching some subjects for years together and take the exams, with the help of tuitions which poor cannot afford,” he added.



Youth’s death in mishap triggers protest
Kin block highway over ‘police inaction’
Our Correspondent

Samrala, December 7
Enraged at police inaction over the 19-year-old youth’s death in a road accident, the deceased’s family members and residents of nearby Ghakhna village blocked traffic at the main chowk on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh Road here today.

They raised slogans against the police, demanding registration of murder case against the tractor driver, who fled the scene after the accident, and the owner of the tractor.

Jagjit Singh had come to the town on a motorcycle for some work but was hit by a speeding tractor-trailer around 11am today. He died on the spot.

The matter was reported to the police and the youth’s body was handed over to his guardians after a post-mortem.

Although police officials said they had registered a case in this regard, the villagers alleged inaction and blocked traffic till the driver was arrested around 6.45 pm. The protesters lifted the blockade after the driver’s arrest. The blockade led to long queues of vehicles on both sides of the main chowk, causing inconvenience to motorists.



No computers, data entry operators in education dept
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
While the state government claims to bring educational reforms in the state, the district education department presents a different picture altogether. In the present scenario of information technology, the district education department has no computers and data entry operators, which is ultimately affecting studies in government schools.

Instead of providing quality education to students, teachers were seen making a beeline outside the education department’s office to get their works completed.

The teachers standing in queues outside the DEO office alleged that due to “unprofessional” computer operators, the working of education department was suffering. On the post of data operator, the department is getting the works conducted by office clerks, typists and computer teachers from the government schools, due to which the working of the department is suffering.

A newly recruited vocational teacher on the condition of anonymity said, “I have to get my endorsement letter but have not been handed over the letter for the past three days,” said the teacher.

The teachers of government schools often visit the district education office for the assured career progression (ACP) and medical reimbursement claims. Moreover, general public approach the department to get rural area certificate.

Retired teachers, however, remain the worst sufferers. Some of them come regular for their retirement fund and pension claims.

“When the department deploy any computer teacher on deputation, it leads to loss of study. The department should create vacancies for computer and data operators for better efficiency,” said an employee of the education department.

“Clerks and typists are trained under the information and communication technology project, but only an IT professional can do the true justice to the job,” he added.

However, DEO Sudesh Bajaj said, “We have no shortage of staff. We have proper computer staff and all departmental work is going well.”

Teachers standing in queues outside the DEO office alleged that due to “unprofessional” computer operators, the working of education department was suffering. On the post of data entry operator, the department is getting the works conducted by office clerks, typists and computer teachers from government schools due to which working of the department is suffering.



Students want college name to be changed
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
An interesting question has been the hottest topic of discussion at the Government College for Women (GCW). Girl students of the college are in the favour of changing the name of the college and debating on the same.

Students feel that instead of the Government College for Women, the college name should be Government College for Girls, as they are not categorised as women yet.

Not only students but some of the teachers also feel the same. While others are not in its favour, as according to them, the name was given to the college before Partition and is quite popular at present.

Harpreet Kaur, a student of class XI, said, “At the time of admission, I was surprised to read the college name on the prospectus. I am just 18 years old, so I am a girl not a woman. The college name should be changed.”

“I remembered that some years back, Akali leader Prem Singh Chandumanjra visited the college. He also noticed the name of the college and suggested to change it. I am also in the favour of the change,” said Kuldeep Singh, a professor.

“I am not in the favour of changing the name. Sentiments of generations are attached with this name. I don’t think that there is any logic behind the change of the name,” said another teacher. Meanwhile, college principal Gurminder Kaur wants to go with the majority. She said, “If it is an issue then we will take feedback from students and teachers. I think changing name is not a matter. If the students and facility want to change the name of college then we will take the issue with the authorities concerned. Earlier Government College for Girls (GCG), Sector 11, Chandigarh, was also Government College for Women.”



Students apprised of symptoms of tuberculosis
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
To make children aware about tuberculosis (TB), its symptoms and cure, the District Tuberculosis Control Society conducted magic shows at Vardhman Mills, Transport Nagar and Channan Devi Senior Secondary School, Salem Tabri.

The shows were conducted under the guidance of Civil Surgeon, Dr Subhash Batta, and district TB officer, Dr Ashish Chawla.

The children were told if there was continuous coughing for two weeks accompanied with low degree fever, it could be symptoms of TB.

The organisers stressed that one should avail the facilities of tests, which were conducted free of cost at government hospitals and dispensaries. “This is an infectious diseases, which spreads rapidly and lungs are worst affected. In case the TB patient is a drug addict, then the speed of recovery is slow,” stressed the experts.



from schools
Dance performances leave audience awestruck
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
The chain of Green Land Schools organised an inter- branch group dance competition on the premises of Green Land Convent School, Civil City, here on Wednesday. Rajesh Rudhra, chairman of the chain of Green Land Schools, graced the occasion as the chief guest.

The students from Green Land School, Jalandhar Bypass, Chandigarh Road, New Subhash Nagar, Dugri and from the host school participated with full enthusiasm and vigour. The competition was divided into two categories, category A (Nursery-I) and category B (II-V). The performances were scintillating and left audience spellbound.

The first position was bagged by Green Land Convent School, Civil City. Second and third prizes were awarded to Green Land Convent School, Chandigarh Road, and Green Land Convent School, Dugri, respectively.

Consolation prizes were also given to Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar Bypass, and Green Land Convent School, New Subhash Nagar.

Rajesh Rudhra along with school principal Jyoti Pujara felicitated the winning teams.

Sports meet

Ryan International School organised Sahodaya Inter-School Table Tennis Tournament. The tournament was declared open by chief guest Harbans Singh, state sports coordinator, in charge SAI Centre, North Zone.

Results: U-14 boys: Ryan International School; Darshan Academy; Green Grove Public School, Khanna.

U-17: Darshan Academy, Bhamian Kalan, Ludhiana;

Ryan International School, Ludhiana; Sacred Heart Convent Sen Sec School, Khanna.

U-19: DAV Public School; Ryan International School, Ludhiana; Darshan Academy.

U-14 girls: Ryan International School, Ludhiana; CS International School; Sacred Heart Convent school, Khanna.

U-17: Darshan Academy; Ryan International School, Ludhiana; CS International School.

U-19: Ryan International School, Ludhiana; Sacred Heart Convent Sen Sec School, Khanna; CS International School.

‘Print Chetna’

A team of the Offset Printing Association (OPA) visited Government Senior Secondary School, Gobind Nagar, and made students of class X aware about printing industry. The visit was a part of the campaign “Print Chetna”.

The project not only aims at social awareness but is also a novel concept to spread knowledge about printing among youngsters. Under the project, it is decided to visit senior secondary-level schools to educate students about printing and to prompt them to adopt printing as a career. Students are being informed about various branches of the printing.



Help sought for sick patients
Tribune news Service

Ludhiana, December 7
Sandeep Kaur’ baby, born two months premature, was admitted with respiratory failure and sever infection to the paediatrics department of the Christian Medical College and Hospital here on November 30.

The baby requires further ICU care and support but his father, a priest at a gurdwara, is unable to bear the expenses of the treatment. The CMC authorities have urged people to extend help to the baby.

Another patient, Neelam, a 40-year-old woman, was admitted to the CMC hospital with breathing difficulty four days after a C-section at a local private hospital.

She has a severe chest infection and needs urgent ICU care. Her husband is a labourer and is finding it hard to incur the costs of medical treatment. He also has to support four children.

Donations for Sandeep’s baby and Neelam can be made through cheques in favour of “Christian Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana” and deposited with the medical superintendent office with “For Sandeep’s baby” and “For Neelam”, respectively, written on the rear side of the cheque.

For enquiry, one may contact Dr Gurmeet at 9915530453 (for Sandeep’s baby) and Dr Navjot Singh at 9815543708 (for Neelam).



A sigh of relief for homemakers
Fall in prices of vegetables brings cheer
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
Homemakers have every reason to cheer in the times of inflation, as prices of vegetables have come down drastically. While common man is relieved, those dealing in vegetable business (retailers and whole sellers) maintain that this was the “worst” time for them, as the veggies were being sold at “throw-away” prices.

A retailer at Dandi Swami area, Gurmeet Singh, said with the arrival of the new potato crop in the market, the prices of potato had come to as low as Rs 3 per kilogram in the wholesale market.

“But the retailers are selling it between Rs 8-10 per kg. It is not just the potatoes, which are cheap, but the prices of every vegetable have come down during this period,” said Gurmeet Singh.

Satwinder Singh, a homemaker at the Civil Lines area, said after a long time, the prices of veggies had come down. “This is certainly a sigh of relief. This is the season when all kinds of vegetables are available in the market and prices are also slashed, one can consume the maximum fresh vegetables during the winter,” she said.



Jasmine is Miss PTC Punjabi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 7
Jasmine Kaur, a student of MTech (biotechnology) brought laurels to the city as she won Miss PTC Punjabi contest. She represented Patiala district in the contest and outperformed 16 finalists.

Jasmine gave the credit of her success to her family.

Talking about her future plans, Jasmine said, “All options are open for me. I am interested in cinema, theatre and anchoring. So the future will decide my career.”

Another girl from the city, Bhavdep Kaur won two titles in the contest, which were Miss Beautiful Face and Miss Photogenic. Bhavdeep is pursuing BCom at the Government College for Women.



Thieves decamp with Rs 20,000
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 7
Some unidentified persons broke into a book shop and decamped with Rs 20,000 in cash and some important documents here last night. The theft took place at Saurav Book House, located near Kukkar Chowk.

According to sources, the thieves entered the shop after breaking the door of the stairs approaching the roof of the shop.

Shop owner Saurav Kumar said he came to know about the theft when he opened the shop this morning.

“As soon as I entered the shop, I found the lock of the chest broken and the cash missing. At least Rs 20,000, which I had to pay to a book publisher, were lying in the chest,” claimed the shop owner.

Besides, some important documents were also missing from the shop, he added.

Some shopkeepers complained to the police, following which a police team led by DSP Harpal Singh reached the scene and started the investigation.

Rejecting the possibility of an inside job, the shop owner said only one salesman had been working at his shop, that too, for the past several years.

This is the third theft in the past 15 days in the market.

Earlier, thieves had stolen cash and valuables from a grocery store and a readymade garments store in the market.

DSP Harpal Singh, who visited the scene after the theft, said the police had registered a case against unknown persons at the city police station and the investigation was on. He also assured the shopkeepers of the market of increasing police patrolling at night to prevent recurrence of such incidents in the future.



3 arrested with heroin worth Rs 25 lakh
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, December 7
The local police arrested three persons, identified as Ravinder Singh of Aujla village, Gurmukh Singh of Rasulpur village and Kamaldeep Singh of Nijjar village, for drug peddling and recovered 38 gm heroin worth Rs 25 lakh from their possession last night. DSP Rajbalwinder Singh said the contraband was meant to be sold to youngsters.

Also, the local police has arrested two persons for robbery. The two, identified as Sarabjit Singh and Gurjit Singh, have confessed to their involvement in committing a robbery at Kumar Filling Station in Phillaur sub-division a few days ago. The police has recovered Rs 32,500 from the two, the DSP added.



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