L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Another revolt in SAD
After Bains brothers, 2 more to contest as independents
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 4
With the state assembly elections inching closer, there is yet another rebellion within the Shiromani Akali Dal. After Bains brothers, two more SAD leaders have announced that they would be contesting as independents from the Ludhiana West and Ludhiana Central constituencies.

The leaders, Jatinderpal Singh Saluja, former national general secretary of the Youth Akali Dal, and Ravinderpal Singh Khalsa, a former councillor, general council member of the SAD, said they took this decision in protest against the Akali leadership swapping the Ludhiana West seat with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and giving the Ludhiana Central to its coalition partner.

Addressing a press conference here today, Jatinderpal Singh Saluja said he had not even applied for the party ticket from the Ludhiana West constituency.

“We all know that SAD candidates like Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal and Harish Rai Dhanda had won from this seat and even this time, the Akali Dal would have easily won this seat. But I wonder why our senior party leaders swapped this seat with the BJP when we know that the BJP candidate cannot win from here,” said Saluja.

A few days ago, Saluja and his supporters had issued a four-day ultimatum to the SAD high command against allotting the Ludhiana Central and Ludhiana West tickets to the BJP and warned that in case of the non-acceptance of their demands, they would field their independent candidates from these constituencies.

“A large number of Sikh population resides in both Ludhiana West and Ludhiana Central constituencies and by including them in BJP quota, the SAD has done injustice to the Sikhs, especially the Akali workers in these constituencies,” said Ravinderpal Singh Khalsa.

Saluja said now that he had announced his candidature as an independent, he would stay firm on his stand. “Some parties have contacted me, but I have not decided which way to go. But one thing is sure that I would be contesting from here at any cost,” claimed Saluja while speaking to The Tribune.

On December 25, Youth Akali Dal district president Simarjit Singh Bains had announced his candidature as an independent against Hira Singh Gabria from the Atam Nagar constituency. After his expulsion from the party he, along with his elder brother Balwinder Singh Bains, an SGPC member, had announced that they would be contesting from the Atam Nagar and Ludhiana South constituencies respectively, besides fielding candidates from Gill, Ludhiana East and Ludhiana West constituencies.


Migrants a deciding factor in Assembly poll
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 4
Nearly 2 lakh migrants here with voting rights can be the deciding factor in certain constituencies in the coming Assembly elections.

Though migrants are scattered all over the city, there are a few pockets which are densely populated with migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

As per rough estimates (ward wise), three major constituencies, including South, East and Sahnewal, are very much dependent on migrant votes. If these estimates are to be believed, around 60,000 migrant voters are there in the Ludhiana South constituency. While in the East constituency, which includes areas including Noorwala Road, Jamalpur Area, Moti Nagar and Basti Jodhewal etc where a good number of migrants reside in several pockets, about 15,000 to 20,000 migrants have the voting rights. Similar number of migrants have the voting rights in the Sahnewal constituency.

Jaspal Singh Gyaspura, councillor, Ward Number 74, said in the South constituency alone, there were about 60,000 migrants who had the voting rights. "And these migrants can tilt the whole scenario. Much of the results depend on their votes. And these labourers/workers are much aware of their voting rights and they prefer to go by their own judgement, which is good," said the councillor.

Another councillor Gurpreet Singh Gora said in the East constituency, 15-20 election booths were entirely of migrant population. The pockets like EWS Colony, Friends Colony, Rajiv Gandhi Colony and Khokha Market are densely populated with migrants. "About 20,000 migrants from Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have the voting rights in the entitre East constituency. They can be the strong deciding factor here," said Gora.

Similarly, in the Sahnewal constituency, about 20,000 migrants are expected to have the voting rights, who can play a key role in government formation.

3 constituencies vital

}Three main constituencies, including South, Sahnewal and North, had 1.5 lakh migrant votes. As per our estimates, about 3.5 lakh migrants in Ludhiana district have voting rights. A majority of them are registered in these three constituencies, while others are scattered in other constituencies. — TR Mishra, chairman, Purvanchal Vikas Parishad



EO gets many frivolous complaints
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 4
The Election Office (EO) has received about 42 complaints till date, but a majority have no connection with the violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

The complaints have been coming to the Election Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari through fax, emails, post and messengers etc. An official said the EO had already got the replies from the Returning Officers concerned and most of the complaints had nothing to do with the violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

"The department has even got the replies of about 27 complaints out of a total of 42 complaints and a majority of these do not fall under the Model Code of Conduct. Some of the works are already underway, which

cannot be stopped. As far as Code of Conduct is concerned, new tenders can not be floated or fresh development works cannot be started," said the official, adding that certain complaints did mention about the violation of code of conduct, which were being taken care of. "About the serious violations, the Election Commission will be informed," said the official. These complaints have come from almost all constituencies and about 15 complaints are still pending with the Election Office.



Poll expenditure: Candidates tread cautiously
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 4
Instructions of the Election Commissioner (EC) are keeping candidates on their toes. As a candidate can spend only Rs 16 lakh in the Vidhan Sabha elections, candidates are trying to spend minimum amount on polling material.

Simranjeet Singh Dhillon who is busy campaigning for his father Sharanjeet Singh Dhillon, SAD candidate from the Sahnewal constituency, said ,"The instructions of EC are very strict this time. We are to spend a restricted amount on the polling material like flags, pamphlets etc. Earlier, we had decided to purchase polling material like cloth for flags from Rajasthan, but later we purchased it from here itself at a cheaper rate. We got the flags prepared on our own and used bamboo sticks for holding the flags."

As the Congress is yet to announce its candidates for the elections, printers and

migrants, who usually prepare the poll material, are eagerly waiting for it.

Jarnail Singh Zaila, a printer at Sahnewal, said,"Earlier political parties used to get the poll material ready in advance by two months. But this year, things have changed due to the strictness of the Chief Election Commissioner of India . Now when only 25 days are left for the elections, we are still making calls to the party workers and leaders of different political parties for getting their poll material from us."

Raja Ram, a migrant from Bihar said,"My brother called me up for getting the job of pasting the posters, but I suggested him not to come as there is no much work this time." Rakesh Pandey, who is expected to contest as Congress candidate from the Ludhiana North constituency, said,"As the list of candidates is yet to be finalised, we will plan about polling material afterwards. Of course, we will have to abide by the rules and regulations laid by the CEC."

Busy in holding public meetings, Parveen Bansal, the BJP candidate from the Ludhiana North constituency said,"Right now, we are holding meetings with the public. In a few days, we will start campaigning and go for the readymade polling material."



Post notices, liqour vends cover their boards
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 4
While the Excise and Taxation Department has issued notices to liquor vends to remove huge hoardings and posters displayed outside, tavern owners have devised an escape route and covered the boards with cloth and paper. Liquor vends on the Pakhowal Road, near railway station, Civil Lines and Maharaja Nagar have covered the boards temporarily.

Notices had been issued to the owners of all clusters to remove these hoardings by January 10. To save themselves from the eyes of the department, the tavern owners have covered the boards and posters with clothes. All those found guilty will be issued challans by the department.

A person working at a vend on the Pakhowal Road said they had covered the board with a cloth, as the owner had received a notice from the department. "It is not only we but every liquor shop displays huge boards and advertisements outside the vends. It is just a matter of time and after a few days everything will be back to normal," he added.

Senior citizen Surjeet Singh said the taverns were openly advertising liquor and various brands and the authorities seem to be least concerned about the same. Every liquor shop has displayed huge boards and banners outside their premises and neither of them mentions "drinking is injurious which is necessary to mention, he added. AETC Jaskaran Brar said they had issued notices to the owners of all clusters and asked them to remove the hoardings by January 10. Displaying huge boards and advertising liquor brands is against the excise policy. In addition, drinking is injurious to health should also be written outside vends. Those violating the norms will be taken to task, said Brar.

When asked if the department could issue a challan in case the board had been covered temporarily by a cloth or paper, he said I don't think the department would be able to take any action in this case.



Thieves decamp with Rs 1 lakh, drugs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 4
In yet another incident, thieves struck at a chemist shop in Salem Tabri area and decamped with Rs 1 lakh cash, medicines and recharge coupons worth Rs 30,000.

The incident came to light this morning when Harpreet Singh, owner of the shop, reached the spot and was shocked to see the shutter of the shop uprooted.

He immediately informed the police about the incident. The police and fingerprint experts reached the spot and started investigation.

According to investigating official, thieves struck the shop during midnight. Though, policemen have not ignored the involvement of an insider behind the incident. Harpreet said he had kept the cash in the shop and planned to deposit the money in the bank in the morning, but the thieves laid their hands on everything.

The police has registered a theft case against unidentified persons.

Snatching reported

In yet another snatching incident, two motorcycle-borne youths snatched Rs 1.09 lakh from a cloth merchant in the busy Ghaas Mandi area here today.

The incident took place around 5pm when Sandeep Kumar, a resident of Gandhi Nagar, was visiting the Ghas Mandi area to purchase readymade clothes.

According to Sandeep, two youths riding a motorcycle came from behind and snatched the bag containing Rs 1.09 lakh.

Sandeep claimed that he raised an alarm, but the youths managed to flee from the scene. However, the incident has raised eyebrows. The area is densely populated and it is very difficult for the snatchers to escape from the scene due to heavy rush.

The investigating officer said they had not yet registered any case. “We are investigating the case and recording the statement of the eyewitnesses.”



Excise & Taxation Dept
Website not upgraded for 5 months
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

The official website of the Excise and Taxation Department, which has not been upgraded
The official website of the Excise and Taxation Department, which has not been upgraded. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, January 4
Even as the Excise and Taxation Department is asking the trading community to go online so that all important details are filled online, the department's own website has not been upgraded for the last five months.

According to sources, nearly Rs 2 crore has been spent by the department to make every procedure online, but ironically it has forgotten to upgrade its own website.

The website still mentions the name of Parampal Singh as the District Excise and Taxation Commissioner (DETC) of Ludhiana, while he has retired. AETC Rishipal Singh was transferred to Patiala three months ago, but the website still shows him as the AETC in the Ludhiana division.

Not only Ludhiana division, but the names of officials Harbir Singh, HL Bansal and Gurtej Singh from other divisions have also been mentioned wrongly.

"How can the department ask us to go online when its won website is not furnishing the necessary details correctly? It is very dismal to see the name of the officials mentioned against their posts while they have been either retired or transferred," said B. Jindal, a businessman.

Another trader Harish Kapoor said what was the use of the website when it could not provide us the information correctly. I wanted some information regarding the new notification issued by the department and contacted one of the officials after finding his number from the website. To my utter shock, when I contacted him, he said he had retired from his post a few months ago and was not aware of the recent notification issued.

The department has been forcing the trade and industry to go online and furnish every detail on the web, but when it comes to its own house, it is ill-equipped.



‘Bid to occupy land forcibly’
Village delegation meets SDM, seeks action against SAD leaders
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, January 4, 2011
A delegation of the residents of Parjian Biharipur village near Sidhwan Bet held a meeting with the SDM Jagraon, Isha Kalia, in her office today. The delegation protested against certain leaders of the ruling party who tried to occupy the agricultural land forcibly at Parjian Biharipur village a few days ago.

The delegation comprising members of around 22 families of the village was led by People's Party of Punjab (PPP) leader and Jagraon municipal councilor Kulwinder Singh Kala, Jagdeep Singh and Harcharan Singh Toor.

The members of the delegation produced various documents related to the land before the SDM and apprised her about whole the incident.

The delegation members also informed the SDM that as many as 22 families of Parjian Biharipur village have been completely dependant on 42 acres of the agricultural land situated alongside the Satluj river for last 60 years. But certain leaders of the ruling party are now trying to get the land vacated forcibly from the families to start mining sand.

It is pertinent to mention here that a few days ago, some SAD leaders accompanied by a large police force had visited Parjian Biharipur village and started measuring the said land with a ‘motive of forcibly occupying the land’.

But they were forced to return empty handed following massive protest by the villagers. Moreover, a woman protesting against them had even attempted to commit suicide by consuming some poisonous substance in presence of the police.

The delegation members urged the SDM to investigate the whole matter through an independent official and take strict action against the persons who tried to get the land vacated forcibly from the villagers.

Giving the details of the meeting, delegation member Kulwinder Singh Kala said the SDM listened to the grievance of the villagers patiently and assured the delegation of conducting an impartial inquiry into the matter after the coming assembly elections.

“The SDM further assured us that a strict action would be taken against the persons who will be found involved in the bid of occupyign the land,” added Kala further.



Fissures galore in BJP
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 4
With the allocation of ticket, the fissures have begun to appear in the BJP. While the allocation of ticket brought a joy in the house of BJP leader Parveen Bansal, in striking contrast, a pall of gloom descended in the house of BJP councillor Satish Naggar, who was also vying for the ticket from the Ludhiana north constituency.

Naggar, who shocked everyone a few days ago by spreading the word that he would be getting the party ticket from Ludhiana north constituency, had further went on to claim that he would surrender his property and leave the city on losing the assembly elections.

Disgruntled by the allocation of ticket to Parveen Bansal, Naggar said he was upset over the fact that parachute candidate was preferred over true party workers.

“It seems that Janakpuri and Kadwai Nagar has become the hub of the BJP politics, as candidates from this particular area are preferred over the rest of the city. I have been attached with the party for nearly two decades. Right since my childhood, I was dedicatedly working for the party, but the party has not rewarded me for my loyalty,” said Naggar.

Naggar said 33 per cent quota for women proposed by the BJP only exists in paper. He had offered his wife Anrudha Naggar’s name as a contestant in the ensuing assembly elections.

While denying any indication of rebellion, Naggar said, “I would continue to support the party and would not contest the elections as an independent candidate. Though, my family wants me to fight as an independent candidate, I have yet to consider the option. If former transport minister Master Mohan Lal has been denied a ticket to make space for party president Ashwani Kumar than who am I to object on the party’s decision?”

Gloomy scenes were also witnessed in the house of former MLA Harish Bedi, but the minister refrained to comment on the party’s decision.

A day after the allocation of the ticket, Honey Bedi, son of MLA Harish Badi, welcomed the party’s decision and assured that Harish Bedi and his supporters would support Parveen Bansal in the upcoming assembly elections.



Assembly polls
Muktsari-style kurta pyjama a fad
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Tailors show Muktsari-style kurta pyjama in Ludhiana
Tailors show Muktsari-style kurta pyjama in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, January 4
At one time, it was Punjabi jutties for which the town of Muktsar was famous. But now it's Muktsari kurta pyjama that has caught the fancy of youngsters across the state.

Earlier, these kurta pyjamas were restricted to the youngsters in Muktsar area. When some politicians started wearing them, these became an instant hit among the young brigade of Punjab. And now, with the state Assembly elections just round the corner, tailors from across the state are flooded with orders of the Muktsari-style kurta pyjamas.

The Muktsari kurtas are snug with lapels on either side and the pyjamas are like well-fit slim pants. The kurta length is short and there's no pleating anywhere. Even the stitching charges are more than those for the traditional kurta pyjama.

“For a regular kurta pyjama, we charge Rs 300, but for the Muktsari kurta pyjama, the charges are Rs 400. Tailoring is my family vocation and I have seen many styles come and go, but this one is quite popular, especially amongst the youth. The popularity of this outfit has increased during this poll season," said master Ekram, owner of Chola Tailors, in the city.

SAD councillor Tanvir Singh Dhaliwal, who invariably wears the Muktsari kurta pyjama said he got his kurta pyjamas stitched from three different tailors, two in Muktsar and one in Kotkapura. "The trend of the Muktsari kurta pyjamas started after Youth Akali Dal president Bikram Singh Majithia started wearing them. Soon, the Youth Akali Dal workers, too, started donning the outfit. Now, when I visit my tailor for getting this dress stitched, the minimum waiting period is about two months,” he said.

Even youngsters associated with other political parties prefer the Muktsari kurta pyjamas. “During the elections, when the pressure of campaigning is high, you need a dress that is comfortable, neat and smart. In fact, the Muktsari kurta pyjamas make you look responsible and dependable,” said Amanjot Singh, a resident of Dugri, who is associated with the Youth Congress.



Hakam Singh gets ticket from Raikot
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 4
Manpreet Singh Badal led People’s Party of Punjab (PPP) has decided to field Hakam Singh as its candidate from the Raikot Assembly constituency (reserve) for the upcoming Assembly elections in Punjab, slated to be held on January 30.

The decision in this regard was taken after Hakam Singh, who was serving as an inspector with Cooperative Society, Raikot, resigned from his post yesterday and joined hands with Manpreet Singh Badal.

Welcoming Hakam Singh to the party folds, Manpreet presented a siropa to him and also declared him as a party candidate from the Raikot Assembly constituency.

Hakam Singh claimed that he has not joined politics for personal gains but in stead for serving the people of Punjab.



Student leaders missing from political scene
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 4
As the election fever is gripping the city, self-styled college union leaders are missing from the political scene. A few months ago, these leaders were in news for indulging in skirmishes to contest college election. It was observed that all of them were working to attain positions in student wings of the political parties.

Now, when the Assembly elections are around the corner, activities of these self-styled union leaders and student wings of the political parties are nowhere.

Harry, a student of SCD Government College, said, “From the past two months, I haven’t noted any activity of these leaders, who used to fight for the representation of the youth.” Another student, Rajesh, said, “Many of them are embroiled in the police cases due to their indulgence in skirmishes. Student politics has totally changed now. Moreover, they don’t have any base in the colleges.”

Dharminder Singh, a student union activist, said the student wings of the political parties did not have any concern with the issues of the students and they only serve their political bosses. Jaivijy Singh, an activist of the National Student Union of India (NSUI), said, “If someone is working to bring social and political change, he definitely wants reorganisation from any political party to serve society better.”



Residents told to deposit arms
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 4
Residents of Ludhiana district having arms licences and whose names appear in the lists approved by the screening committee have been instructed to deposit their arms immediately, according to district magistrate-cum-district election officer (DEO), Ludhiana, Rahul Tiwari.

Tiwari has issued a public notice as per the instructions of the Election Commission of India in this regard.

The screening committees had been formed for the identification of persons having arms and whose arms have to be deposited during the time of elections. The Ludhiana Commissioner of Police, SSP Khanna and SSP Ludhiana (rural) have prepared the lists of such persons, which have been approved by the screening committee. These lists are available for scrutiny at the office of the Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana; SSP Khanna; SSP Ludhiana (rural) and election tehsildar, Ludhiana.

Since the number of persons is large and they cannot be issued separate notices, therefore, the respective SHOs have also been instructed to approach these people to get their arms deposited through a public notice.



Industrialists welcome EC’s decision
Increase in limit of carrying cash from ~1 lakh to Rs 2,50,000
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 4
A meeting of industrialists was held under the leadership of Joginder Kumar, chairman, Ludhiana Focal Point Association, Phase IV-A.

The association welcomed the decision of the Election Commission (EC) to increase the limit of carrying cash from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2,50,000.

The industry leaders appreciated the intentions of the Election Commission to curb the payment/use of money in cash to political leaders and expressed their happiness over the matter, as the industrialists and traders will be protected from forcible demand, collection of election funds by almost all candidates. But they differed on the method of doing so and suggested that the vehicles of general public, particularly of industrialists and traders, should not be searched at all and should be allowed to go by showing their business card, as it causes unnecessary harassment to the business community.

Joginder Kumar stated that Ludhiana is one of the industrial hubs of the country and hundreds of businessmen or their representatives visit the city everyday. “They carry large amount of cash with them. It is difficult to give a proof or carry documents for each and every amount for showing to the police against cash being carried by them. Companies also draw a large amount of cash from the banks to make payments to truck drivers, staff,” he said.

Ashok Kumar Gupta feared that fake police nakas may also appear and adopt such practice and search people regarding carrying of cash without proper papers and will find it a an easy method to rob people.



Election officer to rescue of marriage party
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 4
Jagroop Singh’s happiness knew no bounds when election officer (EO) Rahul Tewari today assured him that he could continue with the marriage preparations of his daughter, to be held on January 15 at the Rotary Bhawan, Sarabha Nagar, and rehearsals of the staff for elections, which were also to be held on the same date at the Rotary Bhawan, would be shifted to another venue.

Jagroop Singh said the marriage ceremony of his daughter, Kamalpreet, was scheduled for January 15. But about four to five days ago, he came to know that the election officer had kept two dates i.e. January 8 and 15 for the rehearsal of the elections at the Rotary Bhawan.

“The family was, too, upset, as to whom to approach or what to do. Today, I along with my other family members went to the residence of the election officer and briefed him about our problem that cards had already been sent from both sides and the marriage venue could not be shifted either. The booking of the club was done in August 2011 by paying Rs 5,000 in advance. It was so good on his part that he listened to us patiently and assured us that he will get the rehearsal venue changed and we could continue with the marriage preparations,” said an elated father, adding that it was so difficult to contact about 600 guests, to whom the cards had already been sent.

When contacted, Rahul Tewari said the family had approached him this morning. “Their problem seems to be genuine as they have distributed the cards. On January 8, we will make announcement of the new venue so that there is no problem to anyone. The staff will come to know about the new venue on January 8,” said the EO.

Genuine problem

Their problem seems to be genuine as they have distributed the cards. On January 8, we will announce the new venue so that no problem is caused to anyone. The staff will come to know about the new venue on January 8. Rahul Tewari, Election officer 



Mild rainfall likely in next 24 hours
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 4
Weathermen have predicted mild rainfall in the next 24 hours in certain parts of the city. The maximum temperature was recorded at 18.2 degrees Celsius, while the minimum was recorded at 5.4 degrees Celsius today.

Dr KK Gill, an agro-meteorologist at Punjab Agricultural University, today said similar weather conditions would persist in the next 24 hours and it would be cleared by January 7. “Though the temperatures have not declined drastically, residents can still feel the chill due to the persistent weather conditions,” said Dr Gill, further adding that light rainfall will be beneficial for wheat and other vegetable crops.



Many schools closed due to fog
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 4
Keeping in mind the adverse weather conditions and dense fog that has engulfed the region, some of the schools announced the winter break from yesterday. The authorities of these schools that have reopened are at their wits’ end as the weather is now changing for the worse, with chilly winds sweeping the region.

Manjushaw Vinayak, principal, Shri Guru Harkrishan Public School, said, “Earlier, we had to close the school for juniors and seniors at the same time from January 8 to 15. But keeping in view the adverse weather conditions, we have closed the schools for the junior classes from yesterday.”

Swati Aneja, principal, Tagore International School, Sahnewal, said the school had already been closed for winter break from January 1 onwards. “We are to reopen our school on January 9. But, if the chilly weather persists, we shall have to extend the winter break,” she added.

“It has been a great relief that my child’s school has declared the winter break, as I was, too, concerned when he went to the school early in the morning,” expressed a parent whose kid is in class LKG at Shri Guru Harkrishan Public School.

But the schools which are yet to take a winter break are concerned about the safety and well-being of their children.“My child is in class VI and has to commute daily in a van from our place to his school which is half an hour run. He has still not been given any break by the school and it is proposed that the school shall break on January 6. But the dense fog has forced us to feel more concerned about the safety of our children,” said a mother concerned.

“Even if some of the schools were to break late for the winter vacation, it would be wise on their part to give holidays to the students, rather than keep on testing their capacity to endure in such inclement weather conditions,” said a parent.

As this correspondent talked to a local school student who was shivering while going to school early in the morning, he said, “I don’t know when our school is going to give us the winter break. In these cold conditions, it is really very difficult to go to school early in the morning and study. We cannot keep ourselves warm in the classrooms and in the playgrounds.”

“The schools should better relieve the students at least in adverse weather conditions. My child has already caught cold twice these winters for which he had to stay back from school,” said the mother of an LKG student.

In the wake of adverse weather conditions, parents and the guardians are demanding the immediate closure of schools. “With the cold wave sweeping the city, it is difficult for children to go to school,” said the father of a class VII student.



They handle bodies with care
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Dharampal and Pal (right) strike a pose in front of a mortuary of Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital in Ludhiana
Dharampal and Pal (right) strike a pose in front of a mortuary of Lord Mahavira Civil Hospital in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, January 4
Who does not like to stay away from a body which does not belong to the near and dear one? But here is a pair who has been handling these with care for years together.

Dharampal, known as Neelu, and his colleague Pal who joined him only three years ago as safai karamchari, are serving the dead in the mortuary of the Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital here.

Handling more than 10 bodies in a day as part of their duty, the duo sometimes feel emotionless. Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Dharampal said,”About 20 years ago when I started working in the mortuary, I used to feel very sad and emotional. I worked here for two to three years and left the job. But I joined it back considering it as part of my duty. And since then I am here in the service of dead.”

Ask them how do they feel now and they say, “It has become a routine affair. For lifting a body we get Rs 25.”

Recalling old times, Dharampal said, “Earlier I used to get only Rs 5 per body, but it was in the year 2010 that the amount was increased to Rs 25.” These safai karamcharies lift the bodies from the vehicle in which they are brought and keep them on the post-mortem table and remove them again to the vehicle in which these are taken away or in the freezer.

Either a body is stinking or not, they hand them with care. Dharampal said, “Bbeshak sharer mitti hai, par hai te ise insaan da na ji.”(Although the body is like soil after death but it belongs to a human being).

Asked about any demand from the government, Dharampal said like other employees of the health department who get one allowance or the other, the government should also provide them risk allowance as they pick up bodies which are sometimes full of harmful bacteria and maggot too.



Residents revel in floral bliss
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 4
Roses are in full bloom at this time of the year and residents are revelling in the floral bliss across the city. A variety of gladiolus are in full also bloom, painting gardens of houses, bouquet shops and florist stores with natural hues.

For a city with multitude of facets, flowers provide a respite from the visual chaos of the city to many residents.

“Flowers are perhaps one of the most beautiful gifts of nature. With their beauty and fragrance, these are beautiful gifts of the nature,” says Varinder Kaur.

Nisha Bansal, another resident of the area, said although she did not have enough space to maintain a garden at her house, roses planted in the flowerpots give her the visual delight. “The fragrance of blooming roses is unmatched,” she said.

“In India, we usually use flowers occasionally. But flowers can actually light up the mood with their beauty and fragrance,” said Taranjit Kaur, a resident of Sarabha Nagar.

Harminder Kaur, a resident of Gurdev Nagar, waits for this season in particular so that a variety of gladiolus colour her house with their beauty.

According to experts, dense fog, dirt and lack of sunlight can cause damage to flowers. Gladiolus, in particular, should be sprinkled with fungicide in this area.



School bus operators
Keep check on safety norms: Commissioner
Tribune News Service

Commissioner of Police Ishwar Chand addresses members of the traffic police in Ludhiana on Wednesday
Commissioner of Police Ishwar Chand addresses members of the traffic police in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, January 4
The Commissioner of Police, Ishwar Chand, today conducted a special meeting with traffic cops and directed them to see if buses, ferrying schoolchildren, were following safety norms.

The recent incident that happened in Ambala in which 11 students were killed has sent a shock wave around the city and now the police has cracked a whip around the offenders in the city.

“The life of schoolchildren cannot be put to risk and it becomes the duty of the police to see if the buses carrying them to the school follow all safety measures,” he added.

Chand instructed officials of the traffic police to visit every school, meet school management and bus drivers and made them aware about safety norms that should be followed.

SP (Traffic) SS Atwal, along with his team visited a few schools and met the school management and bus drivers. The bus operators were asked to follow all norms or face action.



Obscene posters cause of embarrassment
Tribune News Service

A few of the obscene posters displayed in open in Ludhiana
A few of the obscene posters displayed in open in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, January 4
Obscene posters of adult movies can be seen in the busy market areas near the Clock Tower. Pasted in public places, these posters are a cause of embarrassment for passersby. Pasting of posters in public places is against the law and to add to the misery, they are vulgar too. Explicit stills from movies are a cause of inconvenience and nuisance for passersby.

“I know these posters are vulgar. But what one can do about them?” said Rakesh Kumar, walking past the area where such posters are pasted.

“In the time when ‘exposing scenes’ were displayed everywhere in the media, Internet and movies, what relevance do these posters have? There is a need to remove such content from all mediums of the media,” said Kewal Nath, a resident of Kidwai Nagar.

The response of a few girls walking past these posters was evident when one of them said, “Sorry” and refused to comment. Another woman when asked said, “What can be done about them? Those pasting such posters don’t have families or respect for women.”

A dhaba owner near one of such cinema halls says women in particular do not come near the cinema hall, as they are, too, embarrassed to pass through that area.

A caretaker in such cinema hall near the Clock Tower professed ignorance about pasting of posters in public places as illegal. “Is it illegal to paste such posters?” he asked.

“Such posters are against our culture and degrade the dignity of a woman,” said a resident. “The administration should take a stern action against people who cross the boundaries of law and morality,” he said. According to Balkaur Singh Gill, a social activist, vulgarity should not be tolerated in society in any form. “Vulgarity disturbs everything. It corrupts youngsters and drains their energy,” he said.

“It unnecessarily incites sensuality, wastes time and energy,” he said, adding that instead of nation building, people get engaged in cheap entertainment and minutiae.



Lifestyle diseases on the rise
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 4
The winter season is in full swing and everyone tends to eat more and that, too, high calorie food, including pinnies, gajar ka halwa, saag with butter, makki ki roti and sometimes alcohol, too. But in the absence of lack of exercise, people are becoming an easy prey to lifestyle diseases, including heart problems, diabetes, arthritis, obesity, paralyses, etc.

Dr Aashish Ahuja, head of bariatric laproscopic surgery at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, said, “People eat a lot in winters and that, too, high calorie food. Moreover, they become undisciplined as far as exercise is concerned. As a result they tend to fall victims of various lifestyle diseases.”

Dr Ahuja further added, “People come to us for surgery in order to get extra fat on their bodies removed and to become slimmer.”

Citing an example of obesity, he said, “I have three patients from one family who underwent this bariatrict surgery, as they did not control their eating habits and were not willing to do exercise, so they opted for bariatric surgery.”

Dr Gaurav Sachdeva, chief of medicine and critical care at Ludhiana Medicity Hospital, said, “In the winter season, the number of persons suffering from heart attacks, paralytic strokes, etc, increases. Some people become diabetic.”

Eating jaggery, peanuts, dry fruits, alcohol and high calorie food at night have become an integral part of their routine in the winter season. Dr Sachdeva said, “This means to sleep over after consuming 2,400 to 2,500 calories at night, which will definitely play a havoc with the health.”

Dr HS Bedi, head, department of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, Christian Medical College and Hospital, said, “During the winter season, arteries get smaller in size, blood become thick and with hypertension blood pressure increases. So if we stop exercising and continue having high calorie food, risk of heart diseases increases.”



Ludhiana scan

BJP under fire

Ludhiana: The Shiromani Akali Da (Delhi) state secretary Balwinder Singh Bhullar has lambasted the BJP leadership for fielding all the "tainted" party leaders in the coming assembly elections. Addressing the party workers' meeting at Akal Market here, he said almost all those who were removed from the council of ministers for allegations of corruption, were named as party candidates in the elections. If the party had given those charged with corruption a clean chit, or else the party had taken an about turn from its vow to fight against corruption, he added.

Power shutdown

The 11 KV Bhadaur House Feeder, fed from the 66 KV GT Road sub-station will be shut down for maintenance work on January 5 from 10 am to 5 pm. During the period, power supply to Arya Mohalla, the GT Road, the Court Road, the Nhadaur House Market, Deepak Cinema Road, Nali Mohalla, Vikas Nagar, Clock Tower Chowk, Railway Complex, parts of Kotwali feeder and Nigar Mandi areas will be affected.

Madhopuri Feeder

The 11 KV Madhopuri Feeder, fed from the 66 KV GT Road sub-station will be shut down for urgent maintenance work on January 5 from 10 am to 5 pm. The power supply to Circular Road, New Bajwa Nagar, Ghati Jiwa Ram, Vakil Mohalla, Subhash Nagar and Kalyan Nagar areas will be affected during the period.

Civil Lines

Power supply to Guru Nanak Stadium, the DIG Office, the Cemetery Road, Patel Nagar, Green Park, Ram Nagar, Kailash Chowk areas will be shut down on January 5 from 10 am to 3 pm for the maintenance work.


Samrala: A meeting of Nambardar Association (R), Samrala, was held at Tehsil Complex, Samrala, under the chairmanship of state secretary, Dalip Singh Balion, in which the office bearers of Nambardar Asociation were elected unanimously for the next two years. Jaspal Singh of Sarwarpur village was elected as president of the block. — OC



Experts to dwell on trends in higher education
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 4
A national seminar on “Higher education in India: Where are we heading” will be organised at the Doraha College of Education, Doraha, Ludhiana, on January 21.

The seminar is being organised to discuss the ongoing trends in higher education. Stating this, Dr Sandeep Sawhney, principal Doraha College of Education, said academicians from Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh would be presenting their papers on various sub-themes like impact of globalisation on higher education, role of private sector in higher education, etc, during the seminar.



pau notes
PAU scientist bags commendation award

The Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers (ISAE) has selected Dr Anoop Dixit, research engineer, department of farm machinery and power engineering (FMPE), Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) for “Commendation Award 2011” in recognition with his outstanding contributions to the field of agricultural engineering. The award will be conferred upon him during the 46th ISAE annual convention to be held at Govind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, from February 27 to 29. Dr Dixit is working as a research engineer in “All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on Farm Implements and Machinery.” He has developed a number of new technologies which have been recommended by the university for utilising by the farmers. The technologies include walk behind type sprayer, paddy transplanter, mat type nursery sowing technique, paddy straw chopper, groundnut thresher, powered rotary weeder and multi crop planter.

Workshop on beekeeping

A state level training-cum-workshop for the members of Progressive Beekeepers' Association (PBKA) was organised here on Wednesday at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). The programme saw the participation of the beekeepers from across the state. Addressing the participants, Dr PK Chhuneja, in-charge, apiculture unit, urged the beekeepers to avoid unscientific ways of dividing the colonies for stock multiplication and queen bee rearing. Remarking that the university has been holding the training courses on beekeeping regularly for the benefit of the beekeepers, he addressed to various technical problems of the participants. Earlier, welcoming the trainees, Dr JS Bhalla, coordinator, PBKA, said that the PAU provides platform to the beekeepers to discuss their beekeeping problems, seek technical guidance from the university experts and get advice on specialised and advanced topics of apiculture.

Training on crop production

A three-month training course on “Crop Production,” organised by the directorate of extension education of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) for the rural youth, began here her Wednesday. The course involves the participation of 44 trainees from different parts of Punjab. Inaugurating the course, the chief guest Dr MS Gill, director of extension education, PAU, exhorted the youth to inculcate scientific spirit in life and become self-sufficient in agriculture. Asking the youth to make best use of the PAU expertise for equipping themselves with scientific knowledge, he encouraged them to contribute significantly to the field of agriculture and its allied sectors. Dr TS Riar, Course coordinator, said that during the training course, the subject experts will be brush up the knowledge of the young farmers on crop production, horticulture, animal husbandry, bee-keeping, mushroom cultivation, vegetables, their diseases and management and other farm related activities. The team of the experts included Dr Rupinder kaur, Dr TS Dhillon, Dr Rakesh Sharma, Dr JS Kular, Dr DS Bhatti, Dr SK Thind, Dr RS Jassal and Dr Nirmal Jaura.



City teacher represents country in Washington DC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 4
A city teacher, Sanjeev Kumar Taneja, was among the five teachers from India who represented the country in "2011 Partners in Learning Global Forum" recently organised by Microsoft in Washington DC. The event, the culmination of a year of local and regional competitions, brings together more than 750 of the most innovative teachers from across the world.

Sanjeev Kumar Taneja, a mathematics teacher, is presently working as district coordinator mathamatics, under the project "Quality Improvement in Maths and Development" run by Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan.

Sanjeev Kumar Taneja, started a pilot project named "Unified Communication in Mathematics Village" about fie months ago in which he covered nearly 20 schools and involved active participation of more than 600 students. The project was completely a web-based that provided online access to content anytime, anywhere at any place and on any device.

He used Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Lync and Microsoft Exchange softwares effectively to teach mathematics to the udents of class X. he project helped the students in improving teaching-learning process by teaching mathematics to students using digital contents with full of animation and innovation.

"The vision of the project was to make the future workforce ready to face the challenges of the 21st century.

The beauty of the project was that it could overcome the scarcity of teachers in remote areas," said Sanjeev Kumar Taneja.

He has also set up an internet community named ‘Mathematics Village’ with the help of his master trainers.

More than 2,000 people have joined ‘Mathematics Village’ and more than 500 documents have been uploaded on the community.



NSS volunteers vow to shun drugs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 4
During a NSS camp, volunteers organised a seminar on drug awareness at Government High School, Khassi Kalan, for villagers and students.

Dr Inderjit Singh, DN Kautnis Hospital, Ludhiana, was the resource person on the occasion. Dr Inderjit addressed the students, villagers and volunteers and made them aware about the ill effects of drugs.

Gurwinder Singh, a student, had appealed to the villagers to stop taking drugs and help making Punjab, a drug-free state. Manjit Kaur, programme official NSS, threw light on the ill effects of drug addiction.

Principal Jaspreet Kaur also presented her views and added that youngsters have a potential to change society. The NSS volunteers and students took a pledge to say no to drugs on the occasion.




Awareness on Election Laws

With Election Commission of India announcing the Punjab Assembly polls to be held in January 2012, it is the need of hour for people of Ludhiana to awake on election laws, as Ludhiana covers a vast area, huge population and several segments of voters. People of Ludhiana should have the awareness regarding the legal aspects of casting their vote by way of electronic machine and knowledge about the election laws that ultimately results to the output of genuine and legal vote rights. The Republic of India is socialist, secular and democratic sovereign. If the democracy is to flourish, elections to the Parliament must be voluntary, fair and free. In fact, the people have an enviable role in electing a political team and side by it, is the need of the hour for the people to show concern and attain the knowledge relating to the conduct of election rules. Lawyers who are also considered to play a key role as a part and parcel of the society today should have an obligation to spread the awareness to the commons regarding their inalienable fundamental right to vote. That will enable the public rekindle faith that casting a vote is a privilege for the people of and not an obligation. In this way, the locals can foresee governance of their make. The people should take a lesson from what is happening in the neighboring countries and endeavour to avoid spillover of the same to our country’s politics. The people also need to have awareness on the norms of election code enabling them to point out the wrong doings if done by political parties in the city.

Harpreet Sandhu, Advocate and former Additional-Advocate General
Ludhiana, Punjab



Youth caught for selling liquor illegally

Khanna, January 4
The Khanna police has arrested a youth for selling liquor illegally.

The arrested youth has been identified as Reet Inder Singh, 24. The police has also claimed to recover 41 bottles of liquor from his possession.

The Khanna police received an information on a tip off after which a team from the Sadar police station came into action.

On reaching the spot, the police overpowered the accused and recovered 41 bottles of liquor from his possession.

The police officials said that the youth was selling the liquor illegally in the area.

Reet Inder Singh is a resident of the Mandialan Kalan village. During his search, 27 bottles of Tiger XXX English wine and 14 bottles of Desi wine were recovered.

The police has registered a case against the youth and has started the investigation. —OC



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