L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Mishaps claim three lives
Fog-related incidents: Two killed, 20 injured in pile-up
Tribune Reporters

Doraha, January 3
A resident of Ajloud village near Doraha was killed on the spot when the Innova car in which he was travelling from his village to Ludhiana bumped into a truck (HR 55-G 4347), going ahead of it at the Kanech cut early this morning.

The police has registered a case against the truck driver, who ran away from the accidental spot.

Gurmukh Singh (35), son of Jang Singh, was in his silver Innnova (CH 04-3832) when the accident took place. Onlookers said due to poor visibility, Gurmukh was going at his own smooth pace when the truck took a sudden turn, resulting in the mishap.

Gurmukh was declared brought dead at a nearby private hospital, while the truck driver managed to escape from the spot. ASI Devinder Singh, in charge, Sahnewal police, said a case had been registered against the truck driver and search was on for him.

Jagraon: A youth in his twenties died while two other sustained serious injuries when their motorcycle collided with a private bus on the Jagraon Sidhwan Bet road in dense fog last night.

The accident occurred near Tappar village on the Jagraon-Sidhwan Bet road. Another motorcyclist identified as Gagandeep Singh also collided with the first motorcycle.

The deceased was identified as Harjinder Singh of Galib village, Jagraon, while the injured were Lovepreet Singh of Galib village and Gagandeep Singh of Sidhwan Bet. They were admitted at the Civil Hospital, Jagraon, where their condition is stated to be stable.

Within a few seconds, another accident occurred.

The bus driver fled from the scene soon after the accident. Meanwhile, the police has registered a case against the driver. The body was handed over to the family after an autopsy.

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Occupants of five vehicles escaped with minor injuries when an overloaded truck on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla highway took a sudden turn on a link road near Alamgir village without caring for the heavy traffic behind, resulting in a pile-up on a foggy morning here today.

The injured, estimated to be 20, were shifted to various hospitals and clinics by passersby and ambulances of various medical centres.

The injured driver of a tempo, who was shifted by the police, was yet to be identified. The police had to take the help of other vehicle drivers to break open windows of the tempo that was damaged badly.

As none of the victims came forward to complain against the alleged erring driver of the truck, no case was registered by the Dehlon police.

The driver of the truck (PB 11 AS 8330), who was coming from the Ludhiana side, had suddenly tried to cross the road to turn towards Alamgir when a tempo loaded with potatoes collided with it. The sudden blockade of the road due to the collision prompted drivers of other vehicles following it to apply brakes.

Three other vehicles, including a milk tanker, a truck carrying brick and unloaded tempo collided with each other and had a narrow escape when it stopped after hitting the central verge and an electric pole.

The owners and drivers of some cars preferred to take away their damaged vehicles without informing the police.

Satnam Singh, an official posted at the Dehlon police station, said more vehicles could have collided had his team not cleared the road after the pile-up.


School buses overlook apex court guidelines
Lack safety tools; children packed like sardines
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
Packed to capacity, most school buses in the city can be seen openly flouting the Supreme Court (SC) strictures against the overloading of school buses and other vehicles. These vehicles are generally filled three times their capacity.

An overloaded auto-rickshaw ferries children to school in Ludhiana.
An overloaded auto-rickshaw ferries children to school in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

A number of accidents in the past and yesterday's tragedy at Ambala in which 11 students were killed are a pointer to the lack of seriousness on the part of the authorities as well as drivers towards the overcrowding issue. Even parents find no other option but to keep faith in these and the almighty.

Besides, the absence of first-aid boxes, safety grills, fire extinguishers, adequate staff, etc make school buses and autos defenceless on roads.

It is also observed that generally drivers and conductors are not in uniform.

Many buses ferrying schoolchildren are without the names of the schools painted on them. Reckless driving is also a matter of concern. In most cases, the drivers do not even possess a driving licence.

A mother of two school-going children, Minnie said she often found that the drivers of the school buses are under-age, but neither the school authorities nor the administration takes any action against them.

"Yesterday's incident at Ambala has shocked me. It is high time the administration strictly acted against the violators. These overloaded vehicles with students dangerously standing on the exit and entry doors could easily be spotted on the city roads, violating the norms with impunity," she said.

Though the SC had directed that the school buses should not be allowed to exceed a speed limit of 40 km per hour, little has been done by the police and the transport authorities to check overspeeding and other violations.

Sarabha Nagar resident Sukhmani said she had always seen the bus in which her child travelled to school overloaded. My complaints about overloading had not been heeded by the driver. "Neither the school authorities nor the driver seemed to be concerned about the rules, so I have started dropping and picking up my child myself," 
she added.

Strict action should be taken to check violations, but I have never seen it here and no one seems to be concerned about the rules.

"Though the police had started a drive to challan bus drivers a few days ago, it did not prove successful as the students were dropped far away from their school and the buses went out of the reach of the police teams," added Bhupinder Singh, a parent whose kid studies at Guru Nanak Public School.

Guidelines for school buses set up by SC

n Buses should be painted yellow and "School Bus" must be written on the vehicle's rear and front.

n It should have a first-aid box.

n Must be fitted with a speed governor.

n Windows must have horizontal grills.

n It should have a fire extinguisher.

n School name and telephone number must be written on it and its doors should be fitted with secure locks.

n There should be space under the seats for school bags.

n There must be an attendant in the bus.

n Driver should have at least five years’ experience of driving heavy vehicles.

n A driver who has been challaned more than twice a year for offences like red-light jumping, violation of lane discipline or allowing an unauthorised person to drive cannot be employed as per Section 2(47) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.



Labourer dies in freak accident
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
Sham Lal, aged 25, son of Raja Ram, hailing from Hargupur, Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh, was killed in a freak accident near Cinema Road here today.

Ashwani Kumar, SHO, Kotwali, said the man had been working as a wood-cutter at a shop for the past four-five months. Today, while cutting a log in the saw-mill, his muffler around the neck got stuck in the machine and he died on the spot.

Two workers worked on two saw-mills in the unit. The other person had gone upstairs to have lunch. At the time of accident, Sham Lal was alone. When the other worker came, he saw Sham Lal lying dead.

The SHO further added that the accident took place at around 4 pm. Sham Lal had got married about seven-eight months back and had brought his wife here about five months ago. The wife has been informed about the death. Sham Lal lived in Quarter Number 9, Railway Colony Number 4 here.



Poll code violation by Gabria, Giaspura alleged
Both from Ludhiana South constituency
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
Rebel Akali leaders Balwinder Singh Bains and Simarjit Singh Bains, both brothers, have submitted complaints to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), stating that Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, who is the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) candidate from the Ludhiana South constituency, and Cabinet Minister Hira Singh Gabria, a SAD (B) candidate from Atam Nagar, are flouting the model code of conduct.

They have alleged that while Giaspura is using his official car and gypsy, besides taking the services of other Municipal Corporation employees, Surinder Kaur Dyal, headmistress of Government High School in Khandoor village of the district is actively campaigning for Hira Singh Gabria.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Balwinder Singh Bains alleged that despite the imposition of the poll code, Hakam Singh Giaspura was using his official vehicles as well as taking the services of police officials, clerks, junior engineers and other MC officials.

“Maybe he has forgotten that besides being the city Mayor, he is also SAD (B) candidate from the Ludhiana South constituency. So despite the imposition of the poll code, Giaspura continues to flout rules and the CEO, Punjab, should take strict action against him,” said Balwinder Singh Bains, who would be contesting as an independent from this constituency.

On the other hand, Simarjit Singh Bains, who would be contesting as an independent from the Atam Nagar constituency, has alleged that a government headmistress is actively campaigning for Gabria.

“Surinder Kaur Dyal is not only the headmistress of Government High School, Khandoor, but also district president of the Istri Akali Dal. I have brought the matter to the notice of the CEO and have demanded strict action against her,” alleged Simarjit Singh Bains.

When contacted, CEO, Punjab, Kusumjit Sidhu said she had not received the complaint yet. “If the charges are found to be true, we would certainly take action against both the candidates as well as government officials,” she said.

Both Hira Singh Gabria and Hakam Singh Giaspura could not be contacted despite repeated attempts, as the person answering their phones claimed that both leaders were busy in campaigning.



‘Campaigning’ at gurdwara
DC asks RO to look into complaint
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Election Officer Rahul Tewari has asked the Returning Officer to submit a report on the complaint filed by an RTI activist against the councillor of ward number 62, for allegedly asking devotees at a gurdwara to support Hakam Singh Gyaspura, a SAD (B) candidate from the Ludhiana South constituency, recently.

When asked if the Election Office had received a complaint in this connection, Tewari said, “I have already marked the complaint to the official concerned. He will report back.”

Kuldip Singh Khera, an RTI activist, had submitted a complaint against the councillor of ward number 62 of the Ludhiana municipal corporation for asking those present at Ishar Nagar Gurudwara Sahib to support Hakam Singh Gyaspura, whose candidature from Ludhiana South had already been cleared by SAD.

Khera said the Election Commission had made it clear that educational institutions or religious places could not be used for any political activity/speech. But the councillor openly asked devotees to support Gyaspura on the occasion of Gurpurb. The councillor in his speech said, “Badal sahib de disha nirdeshan te Mayor sahib ne apne backward area nu funds di koi kami nahi aun diti, hun apna sarean da farz banda hai ki asin ohna di dendari moriye.” (Under the guidance of Badal, the Mayor had arranged enough funds for the area and now it is our turn to pay him back). “It is a blatant violation of the code of conduct,” added Khera.



Improper maintenance of records
Notice issued to four gas agencies
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
Cracking its whip on the gas agencies violating various norms, the District Food and Supplies Office here has served notices to four gas agencies for not maintaining proper records.

The department is waiting for their replies, after which notices will be served to their parent oil companies for necessary action. The department has also received complaints that a majority of commercial gas-users were using domestic gas cylinders at their commercial establishments. The gas agencies have been asked to provide all details of their commercial users so that the diversion of domestic gas cylinders to commercial users could be stopped.

District Food and Supplies Controller Rajat Oberoi said four gas agencies in the district had been served notices for not maintaining their records. "One gas agency of Bharat Petroleum has done serious violations. We are going to ask the parent company to take action against the agency. Besides, we are waiting for replies from other three agencies as well and after that, if required, notices will be sent to the parent companies. Records have to be maintained by the agencies," said Oberoi.

He added that the department was getting on an average five-eight complaints on the telephone number 2454202 (for complaints), which has seen a decline. Earlier, the number of regular complaints was 10-15. "The situation has improved in the past one month. We try to redress the complaints within 48 hours," said Oberoi.

Earlier, the gas supply was from the Jalandhar plant, but now the supply was also coming from the Nabha filling station. "Now we are going to take action against the commercial users, who use domestic gas cylinders on their premises. The gas agencies have been asked to provide all details of their commercial consumers so that we keep a check on their usage. As per our information, commercial users prefer to get domestic cylinders as these are cheaper. This diversion is the main reason for the shortage of domestic gas cylinders. Strict action will be taken against the defaulters," he said.



Assembly poll 
Report any violation to EC officials, DSP tells residents
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, January 3
Following the instructions of Election Commission of India, the Ludhiana (rural) police has formed different teams, including a flying squad, to keep a strict vigil on the misuse of money, liquor and drugs by politicians during the Assembly elections slated to be held on January 30. The flying squad of the police will keep a check on the supporters of candidates of different political parties as well as voters.

Besides, the local police has also been holding awareness camps at various places. It has also been appealing to voters to not accept money, drugs or any other kind of gifts from those contesting the elections.

So far, the police has conducted a number of awareness camps in various localities of the town as well as different villages surrounding Jagraon. While addressing a gathering at Parjian Gorsian village near Sidhwan Bet today, Jagraon DSP Harpal Singh asked the voters to refrain from accepting money and other gifts from political leaders ahead of the elections.

Harpal Singh also told the villagers that if any voter was found accepting money, drugs or any other kind of gift from any candidate or his or her supporters, action would be taken against him or her by the police. “If a voter accepts money, drugs, he or she will be held equally responsible for indulging in unfair activities,” said Harpal Singh.

The police has also issued two helpline numbers and appealed to the general public to inform the police or Election Commission officials if they found a political leader or his or her supporters distributing money, liquor, drugs or anything else to lure voters.

“The helpline numbers are 223253 or 94653-50505,” Harpal Singh added.

Harpal Singh said ASI Satpal Singh was appointed in-charge officer of the flying squad. The police would continue to organise such camps, he added.

Meanwhile, Jagraon SDM Isha Kalia said teams had been formed to keep a strict vigil on misuse of money and drugs during the elections.

She said no worker of any political party would be allowed to distribute election slips among voters. Instead, special officials appointed by the Election Commission would be distributing election slips this time, the SDM added while appealing to residents of various villages to inform the officials if they found any violation by workers of political parties.



Powercom’s demand quashed

Ludhiana, January 3
The Permanent Lok Adalat (PLA) has quashed the demand of Rs 1,39,659 raised by Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) to a consumer on the charges of theft of energy with the observation that the charges could not be proved. Chairman of the PLA RS Khokhar and its member Nand Lal pronounced the order while deciding the complaint moved by Satish Thapar of Harpal Nagar, near Gulmohar Hotel, Ludhiana.

PSPCL was also burdened with costs of Rs 1,000. The PLA also directed the PSPCL to refund the amount of Rs 69,830 deposited by the complainant in compliance of PLA's interim order. The complainant had submitted that he was issued a bill of Rs 1,39,659 with false allegations of theft of electricity. Whereas, he never committed the theft. On the other hand, the PSPCL stated that the complainant was controlling the energy by making a hole in the electricity meter. But the PLA did not find the version of PSPCL correct. — OC



‘ESIC not providing proper medical care to workers’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
While the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Hospitals are supposed to provide quality medical services to those working in an organised sector, proper medical care is not being provided to the latter.

Avtar Singh, general secretary of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking , said a majority of the industrial workers lamented that they were not receiving required medical care at the ESIC dispensaries and model hospitals.

In case of a sudden accident, these workers have to incur an additional cost for getting emergency treatment at other hospital, as there is no facility for the same at the ESIC dispensaries and model hospitals after 5.30 pm on all working days as well as on Saturdays and Sundays.

The system of getting treatment under tie-up scheme is cumbersome as the formalities cannot be completed till a patient is discharged.

Upkar Singh, joint secretary, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking, said though employers and workers contributed 6.50 per cent of their wages to the ESIC, a majority of dispensaries functioning in Punjab had been reeling under staff crunch.

“It appears that specific systems have been introduced to save expenditure of the corporation at the cost of providing required treatment to beneficiaries. ESIC belongs to workers and various problems confronting them should be solved quickly,” added Upkar Singh.

The chamber has urged the Minister for Labour and Employment, Director General, ESIC, and Senior State Medical Commissioner, ESIC, Punjab, to take appropriate measures for solving workers’ problems, otherwise they would be compelled to launch an agitation.

“The corporation needs to seriously introspect its working, start improving immediately and become worker friendly, so as to restore confidence among the industrial workforce, which is the backbone of Punjab industrial economy,” Singh added. 



Expert dwells on techniques to raise food production 
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
Renowned wheat breeder Dr Harpinder Singh Randhawa from Agriculture Agri Food Institute, Canada, has suggested concrete policies and government initiatives to meet the required food production in India.

Dr Randhawa belongs to Kala Afgana village in Gurdaspur. He passed his M.Sc from PAU and went to Canada for the doctorate. Now he is serving in the federal government Programme Agriculture Agri Food Canada. Worried about the declining production of food, Harpinder said, "Our population is growing, but food production is decreasing. So, to meet the requirement our government should revise the agriculture policies. The government should increase the funds for researches."

Giving a comparative analysis of Canadian and Indian agricultural infrastructure, he stated, "The current technology is not in use in Indian universities. Domestic universities are providing all the techniques to breeders, which Canadian universities do, but Indian universities lack on the part of implementation. The major reason for this is less funding. Universities reserve very less funds for research works".

Dr Randhawa said, "Agriculture is a business for Canadian farmers. They give voluntary funds for research work and hire crop consultants for the good results. The more invest on expert consultation in food production, the more we earn."



Underage driving goes unchecked in city
Tribune News Service

Schoolchildren blatantly defy driving regulations right under the nose of the Ludhiana administration.
Schoolchildren blatantly defy driving regulations right under the nose of the Ludhiana administration. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, January 3
“I got this superbike as a birthday gift,” says Gaurav, studying in Class X while showing his swanky expensive motorbike. “It can zoom to 60km an hour in 3 seconds,” he said. Ask him his age, and he reluctantly reveals, he’s 16.

Schoolchildren can be seen driving motor vehicles in the city with abandon, resulting in accidents, traffic indiscipline and chaos on roads.

As they don’t know about traffic rules, they land themselves and others in trouble. As novices to driving, most of them are without a driver’s licence. As a result, the administration, schools and parents blame one another when any mishap occurs.

City schools, however, are divided on the issue, as they shrug the responsibility saying they allowed only those students to drive, who had a driver’s licence. “It is not possible to check each and every student if she or he has a driver’s licence or not,” said a school principal.

“Parking tokens are only given to those students who have a driver’s license. We regularly check vehicles which are parked outside schools or nearby markets to prevent any underage students commuting to school on personal motor vehicles,” said Bandana Sethi, principal, Bharitiya Vidya Mandir School. “Parents should cooperate with the school authorities to prevent underage driving,” she said.

Parents, on the other hand, cite their own reasons. “My sons have to go to tuitions right after the school gets over. So they cannot use school transport system. And you know the state of public transport in the city. So we are left with no other option,” said Harpreet Kaur, a resident of Civil Lines.



PAU notes
Training camps for progressive beekeepers

Ludhiana: The Directorate of Extension Education of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) will organise two training camps for the members of Progressive Beekeepers Association (PBKA) and PAU Kisan Club.

A state-level training-cum-workshop for PBKA members will be held on January 4 at Kairon Kisan Ghar (located on-campus), whereas the monthly training camp for the PAU Kisan Club members will be organised on January 5 at Dr Borlaug Wheat Auditorium of the university.

Dr MS Gill, director, Extension Education, PAU, said the training course for PBKA would shed light on colony multiplication and mass queen bee rearing. President and secretary of the PBKA Gurnek Singh and Ranjit Singh will give a review of the last meeting and hold an interactive session with progressive beekeepers, wherein all queries of the trainees will be taken up by experts. The registration for the event will be held at 10 am.

Dr Gill said during the monthly training camp for members of the PAU Kisan Club, experts would dwell on care and management of honey bee colonies during winter, importance and use of green leafy vegetables in daily diet, value addition technologies for food crops developed by the PAU for commercialisation, scope of agri-tourism in Punjab and management of dairy animals during winter. Besides, president of the club PPS Pangli will speak on the arrangements for annual function. Dr TS Riar and Dr Rupinder Kaur will be the programme coordinators.

‘Yellow rust threatening wheat cultivation’

Yellow rust is one of the serious diseases threatening wheat cultivation in the state. This was stated by Dr TS Thind, head, department of plant pathology, PAU. He added that the disease appeared in wheat crop in sub-mountainous districts of Punjab during the last couple of years.

“From the recent surveys carried out by the PAU in different parts of Punjab and adjoining areas of Himachal Pradesh, it has become evident that the disease has established in areas like Una (Himachal Pradesh) and Ropar of Punjab,” he added.

Dr Thind said the disease had been progressing at Sunehra village (Una) and Patti and Dher (Ropar). — TNS 



school  notes
Talent blossoms

Ludhiana: Students of Maple Bear, Canadian Playway and Nursery School, Udham Singh Nagar, participated in a fashion show. Flower modelling was presented by students of pre-nursery.

New Year celebrated

New Year was celebrated at Green Land Public School, Jalandhar Bypass. The students danced to the tune of Punjabi folk songs. A solo dance competition was organised on the occasion. They were told to remain in touch with old traditions and heritage while remaining focused on goals. — TNS



Staff crunch in schools takes toll on studies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
In an aided school in the city, there are only five teachers against the sanctioned posts of 10, while the number of students is 2,200, while in another one, there are only 10 teachers.

The ban imposed by the state government on fresh recruitments in 2003 has become problematic for aided schools as the shortage of teaching staff is affecting studies and creating problems in maintaining the quality of education.

There are about 58 aided schools in the district. Out of these, 10 are primary schools. Employees of these schools don’t receive salary regularly.

“I received salary nine months ago. It has become difficult for me to run my household,” said a teacher.

“A number of schools closed down for want of funds, while some others are on the verge of closing,” said a principal.

The worst sufferers are the students of these schools. Gurpreet Kaur, a student of Class VII, said there was no one to teach social studies to them, while teachers of other subjects kept changing every three months. “Studying without teachers is not easy. Adjusting to the teaching style of new teachers frequently also disturbs studies,” she lamented.

“It is difficult to envisage a good future of education in the state, as the government is doing nothing to fill the vacant posts. About 50 per cent of the posts in aided schools are lying vacant,” said Chamkaur Singh, general secretary, Aided School Management Association.

As the government doesn’t allow schools to take fee from students till Class VIII, these schools are dependent on private donations and grants.

“Because the government is not allowing fresh recruitments, we have to appoint ad-hoc teachers, who quit whenever they get better opportunities,” said another principal.



Book fair
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 3
Readers and book lovers of the area purchased books worth Rs 1.50 during a book fair organised by the National Book Trust and Bhayee Ghanayia Ji Trust at Pakhowal village. Seven books were released during the fair.

More than 150 writers and readers turned up at the event.



Visually impaired gets new lease of life
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
Poonam Bakshi, a 33-year-old visually impaired teacher, was sitting comfortably in a bed at Christian Medical College and Hospital after a marathon surgery of her heart was done.

Her first reaction was, “As I have got a new lease of life, I am looking forward to do something good for society.”

Earlier, serving as a teacher at Ujjawal Blind School being run by the District Red Cross Society at Fardikot, Poonam said, “I will rest for a few days at my parents’ place. My husband is also visually impaired. He works at the Civil Hospital, Kapurthala.”

Poonam, who hails from Kuldeep Nagar Basti Jodhewal, Ludhiana, lost eyesight when she was two-and-half-year-old. She suffered from typhoid and lost sight, while her husband lost it at the age of six after suffering from fever.



Many councillors in fray for Assembly poll
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
Apart from Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura and Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal, who got tickets from the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and Bharatiya Janta Party, respectively, for the upcoming assembly polls, there are several other councillors who are in fray for elections this time.

A rebel Akali councillor Simarjit Singh Bains has already announced his candidature as an independent, while another Congress councillor from Ludhiana (West) constituency is all set to contest as an independent if not given party ticket.

With the state assembly elections not even a month away, more than dozen odd municipal councillors of the city have also applied for getting tickets from their respective political parties. The councillors claim that they should be considered for the party ticket, as they are more close to the residents than anyone else.

Councillors Gurpreet Gogi, Amrit Varsha Rampal, Bharat Bhushan Ashu and former councillor Sukhchain Bassi and Satwinder Singh Jawaddi have applied with the Congress for tickets from Ludhiana West constituency. However, the BJP has already announced Rajinder Bhandari as its candidate from there.

From the Ludhiana Central constituency, not only Parminder Mehta, but even Congress councillors Sham Sunder Malhotra, Sanjay Talwar, Anil Kumar Malhotra, Jasbir Singh Chadha and former Deputy Mayor Sushila Gupta have applied for the party ticket. Health Minister Satpal Gosain is the sitting MLA from this constituency and he had defeated Surinder Dawar in the last assembly elections.

However, the BJP has allotted ticket to Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal from the Ludhiana North constituency, but from the Congress, Hem Raj Aggarwal, who is leader of Congress councillors in the MC house and Sushil Raju Thapar, also a Congress councillor, have applied for tickets.

In the Atam Nagar constituency, Simarjit Singh Bains has already announced his candidature as an independent against Cabinet Minister Hira Singh Gabria. From the Congress party, councillors Amrit Varsha Rampal, Gurdeep Kaur Kaka, former councillor Palwinder Singh Taggar and even Manjit Singh Jawaddi father of former councillor Satwinder Singh Jawaddi have applied for party tickets.

From the Ludhiana East constituency, Akali councillors Ranjit Singh Dhillon, Pal Singh Grewal and Daljit Singh Grewal are lobbying for a ticket, while former councillor Sukhchain Bassi and Asha Garg are learnt to have applied with the Congress. Both parties are yet to announce their candidates from here.

In the Ludhiana South constituency, rebel Akali leader and SGPC member Balwinder Singh Bains, elder brother of Simarjit Singh Bains, has announced his candidature as an independent. Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura is the SAD (B) candidate from here, while the Congress is yet to announce its candidate.



assembly poll
BJP city list springs no surprises
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 3
Fielding former state president Rajinder Bhandari from Ludhiana West, the newly bartered seat, and replacing sitting party legislator from Ludhiana North Harish Bedi with the Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal by the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) has hardly come as a surprise in the political circles here.

Similarly, nominating Health and Family Welfare Minister Sat Pal Gosain from Ludhiana Central was also a forgone conclusion.

Even before the assembly elections in the state were announced, the BJP and SAD-B, the two coalition partners, had been holding discussions on the bartering of a couple of assembly seats which had been necessitated by the delimitation and reorganisation of several assembly segments. And Ludhiana West, till now held by Harish Dhanda of the SAD-B, was on the top of the list of seats that the BJP wanted to contest.

Sources in the BJP rather go to the extent of claiming that it was personal rapport of Bhandari with the top leadership of the SAD-B which made it possible for the BJP to claim Ludhiana West seat from its senior alliance partner. In these circumstances, Bhandari was the first natural choice of the party leadership for this particular seat.

That sitting BJP MLA from Ludhiana North Harish Bedi would be axed was also on the cards in the wake of poor performance and other alleged acts of omission and commission by the first-time legislator. With his comparatively cleaner image and track record as Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal will, in all probability, turn out to be a tough adversary for the Congress candidate who is yet to be announced.

Sat Pal Gosain, the BJP candidate from Ludhiana Central, has shifted from Ludhiana East, which has now gone in the kitty of the SAD-B due to delimitation. Having been deputy speaker of the Punjab Assembly earlier, and later being a senior member of the council of ministers, Gosain will have to bear the brunt of incumbency factor the most, while other nominees of the ruling combine will also be held answerable by the electorate for the good or bad governance.

Meanwhile, all three BJP candidates, Gosain, Bhandari and Bansal, today attended a party workers' meeting at the BJP office here. District president Rajiv Katna, while expressing his gratitude to the party leadership for nominating honest, hard working, affable and accessible persons as party candidates, claimed that not only the three BJP nominees, but SAD-B candidates on the remaining three seats in the city would attain resounding wins and the ruling coalition would form the next government.



ban on smoking
Only 102 violators challaned in 2011
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
Though the Anti-Tobacco Act, 2008, was implemented three years ago, still one can be seen violating the law with impunity in the city, where only 102 challans were issued in 2011.

However, the health authorities said the figures of the whole district were yet to be compiled.

“For the proper implementation of the Act, the health department is pinning hopes on the decision of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh,” said Dr Jasbeer Singh, district epidemiologist.

He said, “This year, the Punjab and Haryana High Court will issue a notification related to the Act and we will be able to get detailed guidelines about its implementation. A violator pays Rs 100 as fine and walks away.”

It has been observed that city residents love to smoke at public places.

Dr Jasbeer Singh, district epidemiologist, said, “Around 102 violators were challaned in 2011. We have issued challan books to Primary Health Centres and tehsil-level hospitals. We are yet to compile the data of challans issued last year.”

He added that raids were conducted by the Anti-Tobacco Task Force, including representatives of DC’s office, District Attorney’s office, NGO, police department and health department. 



Police chief for revival of economic offense wing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
Ishwar Chander, Commissioner of Police, has stressed on the revival of two important wings, economic offense wing and crime against woman and child wing. In a press statement issued here today, complainants had to be filed with the particular wings.

If the complaints were settled in respective areas under the able guidance of Additional Deputy Commissioner Police or Assistant Commissioner Police, it would be more beneficial.

He instructed the ADCPs and ACPs to settle complaints of such nature in their respective areas so that time of complainants could be saved.



MC contractors to work only after dues get cleared
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation Contractors Association has decided that till the time it is made payments for development works carried out by it, it would not start any new work. The decision was taken in a meeting held by the association members here today.

The members claimed that the MC was delaying payments of development works that had already been completed.

“MC has not made any payment to the contractors for the past two months. The bills which are to be cleared are of works completed four months ago. The situation is such that the contractors are not even able to make payment to its labour. When we met MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi last week, he assured us that the payments would be made within a week.

We again met Jaggi yesterday, and this time he assured that payment would be made in next 24 hours.

But no payments have been made to us, which is why, we have decided to stop all development works till the time payments are made to us,” said the contractors.

MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi claimed that payments would be cleared in a week. “I have already spoken to the contractors. But I wonder why some of them are making an issue out of it,” claimed Jaggi.



post office
Savings account holders to pay tax on interest income
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 3
If you have a savings account in a post office, from this fiscal year you will have to pay tax on the interest income if it exceeds Rs 3,500. Taxpayers need to show this in their income tax return from now onwards.

The idea behind bringing the interest income under the tax net is to eventually remove the cap on the limit of deposit in these savings accounts, stated the notification issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes.

Presently, one can open a post office savings account with a minimum contribution of Rs 50 and a maximum contribution of Rs 1 lakh if one has a single account. In case of joint accounts, the maximum that one can deposit is Rs 2 lakh.

“Taxpayers, who now invest in the post office saving accounts schemes will now have to show the interest earned on this scheme while filing their income tax returns. Interest up to Rs 3,500, in case of single accounts and Rs 7,000 in case of joint accounts, is exempted,” a senior I-T official said.

But going ahead, the department of post has recommended that caps be removed on the amount of deposits. While now an individual will be able to deposit more than Rs 1 lakh, his tax exemption limit will remain the same at Rs 3,500. In case of a joint account, it will be Rs 7,000.

The notification issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes is in the direction of minimising deductions and exemptions. It also offers a level playing field for savings bank accounts that don’t enjoy any tax exemption. Also, removing the cap will also ensure that an individual does not open multiple accounts in order to enjoy tax benefits. One can’t open a group account, institutional account or any other account such as security deposit account or any account in official capacity.



BVM athletes annex titles
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, January 3
Athletes from Bhartiya Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Kitchlu Nagar branch, stamped their superiority over others by clinching maximum titles which were at stake in the two-day BVM Schools Inter-Branch Annual Athletics Meet that concluded on its Kitchlu Nagar branch campus here today.

Participants from all four branches of the BVM School, Kitchlu Nagar, Shaheed Udham Singh Nagar, Dugri and Chandigarh road, competed in various sports disciplines and those from the Kitchlu Nagar branch romped home champions in the boys U-11 and girls U-11 and 19 years categories to prove their mettle.

District Sports Officer of Ludhiana Surjit Singh Sandhu was the chief guest. He gave away prizes to winners. Members of the BVM Trust, along with a large number of students of all four branches, were present at the prize distribution function.


Girls (U-14) 400m race: Shiana 1, Palak 2 and Mona 3, all from Kitchlu Nagar branch.

Boys (U-14) 400m race: Karanbir Singh of Udham Singh Nagar branch 1, Vishwas of Kitchlu Nagar 2 and Pratap of Udham Singh Nagar 3.

Boys (U-17) 400m race: Deepanshu of Udham Singh Nagar 1, Keshav of Kitchlu Nagar branch 2 and Ronit of Kitchlu Nagar branch 3.

Boys (U-19) 1,500m race: Sahil Chaudhary of Kitchlu Nagar 1, Chetan of Udham Singh Nagar branch 2 and Karan Soni of Kitchlu Nagar branch 3.

Boys (U-19) 3,000m race: Sahil 1.

Girls (U-17) 1,500m race: Abhiti of Kitchlu Nagar branch 1, Srishti of Kitchlu Nagar branch 2 and Shiwali of Udham Singh Nagar branch 3.

Boys (U-14) 100m race: Sourabh of Chandigarh road branch 1, Karanbir Singh of Udham Singh Nagar 2 and Satish of Udham Singh Nagar branch 3.

Boys (U-17) discus throw: Krit 1, Shubham 2 and Puru 3, all from Kitchlu Nagar branch.

Boys (U-17) long jump: Nakul of Chandigarh road branch 1, Saurabh of Chandigarh road branch 2 and Paras of Kitchlu Nagar branch 3.

Girls (U-19) discus throw: Mehak of Kitchlu Nagar 1, Manisha of Kitchlu Nagar branch 2 and Harpreet of Udham Singh Nagar branch 3.

Girls (U-11) shot put: Aarushi of Kitchlu Nagar branch 1, Lovepreet of Chandigarh road branch 2 and Aishwarya of Kitchlu Nagar branch 3.

Girls (U-17) 100m race: Malika of Kitchlu Nagar 1, Nitika of Kitchlu Nagar branch and Priyanka of Udham Singh Nagar branch 2.

Girls (U-9) long jump: Shweta of Dugri branch 1, Gajal of Kitchlu Nagar branch 2 and Shivani of Dugri branch 3.



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