L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Bains, Giaspura men clash
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
The political scene is hotting up in the city. In the first incident of a clash, the supporters of SAD candidate from the Ludhiana South Constituency, Hakam Singh Giaspura, and the supporters of Independent candidate Balwinder Bains clashed at Nanaksar Mohalla in the Daba area here today.

The incident took place when the supporters of Bains were canvassing in the area. According to Bains, Giaspura’s supporters received information that his (Bains) supporters were campaigning in the area. Soon, a group of Giaspura’s supporters reached the spot and indulged in a clash with his men. The matter reached the police, but no action was taken, he alleged.

On the other hand, Giaspura’s supporters claimed that it was Bains’ supporters who “unnecessarily” indulged in a fight. “They are notorious for their anti-party activities. That is the reason why they have been sacked from the party,” alleged Lovely, one of Giaspura’s supporters.

Bains, an Independent candidate from the Ludhiana South constituency, who along with his brother Simarjit Bains was expelled from the SAD for anti-party activities, has demanded the transfer of the Shimlapuri SHO for openly supporting SAD supporters.

Bains said: “We request the election commission to transfer the SHO Shimlapuri, Amanpal Singh, with immediate effect and deploy an impartial police officer in the area.”

He alleged that the police was not initiating any action against SAD supporters, but his men were being harassed.


SAD sarpanch held for stocking liquor
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, January 8
The police has arrested Mohinderpal Kaur (SAD), sarpanch of Ramghar Bhullar village situated on the Jagraon-Sidhwan Bet road and seized 80 cartons of liquor from her house late this evening. The liquor was suspected to be distributed among voters to woo them.

She was arrested by a team of the Jagraon Sadar police station following a tip-off. The police seized 980 bottles of liquor from her house.

The police has also booked Mohinderpal Kaur’s son, Gurnek Singh. Raids are being conducted to nab him.

Sources said the liquor seized by the police was meant to be

distributed among the voters during the upcoming Assembly elections. “We do not deny the possibility that the liquor seized today was to be distributed among the voters during the elections, but it will be premature to arrive on that conclusion so early,” said Ludhiana (rural) police SSP Amar Singh Chahal.

The police has also informed the state election commission about the incident.

The sarpanch claimed that the liquor was kept in the house by her son to sell it to residents of the village. But denied that the liquor was meant to be distributed among the voters.



Poll officer to serve notices on absentees
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
District election officer Rahul Tewari will be serving notices on about 10 per cent staff who remained absent from rehearsal duty at various venues today.

Tewari said a criminal case should be registered against them. “These were the first rehearsals and about 10 per cent staff put on election duty from various departments did not report at several venues. We are preparing a list of the absentees and will serve notices on them in the next two-three days. Election duties have to be taken seriously by the employees,” he said.

Giving details about the first training today, he said a total of 12,008 employees were served training orders in the district. The training was undertaken at 14 venues by the returning officers through supervisors. As many as 215 electronic voting machines (EVMs) were deployed for the training today.

Meanwhile, employees on election duties have expressed satisfaction over the arrangements made by the election office.

The next rehearsals will be held on January 15.



Peddler held with 1 quintal marijuana
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
With the elections round the corner, the peddling of drugs has also begun. In the latest incident, the police has nabbed a drug peddler and claimed to have seized over one quintal of marijuana and 2 kg of charas from his possession.

Addressing a press conference, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mukhtiar Singh said the contraband was being ferried in an autorickshaw and was confiscated during a police checking at the grain market last night.

The accused has been identified as Rakesh Kumar. He had hidden the contraband under the passenger seat. The accused was nabbed following a tip-off. Amanpal Singh, SHO of the Shimlapuri police station, had received information that Rakesh Kumar was planning to sneak in drugs in the area for the ensuing elections.

A police team laid a trap and nabbed the accused. During the investigation, the accused confessed that he was peddling the drugs in the area for the upcoming elections. He did not reveal who he was going to hand over the contraband to.



ludhiana east
Cong, SAD feel the heat of revolt
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 8
It is not only the Congress that is facing fierce rebellion in several Assembly segments in the city, including Ludhiana East. But at least in this constituency, SAD nominee Ranjit Singh Dhillon is also sailing in the same boat with three of his party councillors raising the banner of revolt against his candidature.

The Assembly segment, till now represented by Sat Pal Gosain of the BJP, has been allocated to the SAD post delimitation as Gosain has shifted to the Ludhiana Central seat. Dhillon is pitted against Gurmel Singh Pehalwan of the Indian National Congress who had joined the party in 2007 after contesting the last Assembly elections on BSP ticket.

Daljit Singh Grewal, an SAD councillor who was in the race for ticket from this segment, has announced to contest the elections as an Independent against the official nominee. He has also been able to rope in other party councillors, Gurpreet Singh Gora and Randhir Singh Sibia, husband of SAD councillor from Ward No. 1, Ratanjit Kaur.

An unfazed Dhillon, however, claimed that his electoral prospects would not be affected much due to the rebellion from within his own party. “I have the solid support of party cadres and my team members are in place in the wards of the so-called rebel councillors,” he said.

On the other hand Grewal retorted that the party leadership had inflicted injustice on him by denying him ticket and choosing Dhillon. “As far as my information goes, I was on the top in surveys which were conducted by the party in terms of winning prospects and popularity,” he claimed. Asked if he apprehended disciplinary action by the party leadership, he quipped: “Hun sangat hi meri party hai (from now on the masses are my party).”

Dhillon can draw solace from the withdrawal of Madan Lal Bagga, another strong contender for ticket from the scene, albeit for the time being. Bagga maintained that he would extend support to the party nominee.

Another cheering factor for the SAD camp in this segment is voices of dissent against Congress candidate Gurmel Pehalwan. The loudest being that of former District Youth Congress president Dimple Rana, who said Pehalwan was an outsider and a defector (from the BSP).

He said a 24-hour ultimatum had been given to the party high command to replace the nominee with someone from among the youth or women, who had been completely ignored during selections.



773 accidents in district in 35 days
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
Dense fog, low visibility and drunk driving is proving fatal for commuters as 10 deaths and 773 accidents have been reported in the district in the last 35 days.

There has been a sudden spurt in the accidents since the beginning of the new year as nearly 120 road accidents were reported in the district in the last five days. A majority of the incidents took place due to drunk driving.

Jatin Kumar and Jagdeep Singh, cluster managers of Ludhiana 108 emergency ambulance service, said nearly 412 cases of accident had taken place in the district since the beginning of the new year.

In a majority of cases, vehicles (particularly four-wheelers) have collided with stationary vehicles parked along the road. In other cases, the four-wheelers knocked down motorcyclists and bicyclists.

Low visibility is proving fatal for pedestrians as they are increasingly becoming victims of speeding vehicles. “Six pedestrians have died in the last fortnight after being run over by speeding vehicles,” said Jagdeep Singh.

“For the last few days, there has been a steady rise in the accident cases and we are working on our toes,” he added.

Past incidents

January 5: Gagandeep Singh died after an autorickshaw overturned near Gill Chowk
December 20: A man was run over by a speeding vehicle near Cheema Chowk
December 17: A father and son run over by a speeding truck near Transport Nagar
December 11: Three workers run over by a speeding car on the Chandigarh road near Chabewal
December 4: Two children run over by a vehicle on the Pakhowal road



Excise dept does not have new VAT forms!
Issued notification regarding introduction a few day ago
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
To simplify the procedure of filing VAT, the Excise and Taxation Department has introduced new VAT forms.

Earlier, traders were required to fill in three forms, but now a single form will do the job.

A few weeks ago, notification regarding the same was issued by the department, but ironically it is not available with the department here. Even the traders don’t know anything about the new form.

Earlier, traders were required to fill in three forms VAT II, VAT II a and VAT II b. Now, a single form VAT II containing all necessary details has been introduced. It seems that the new form has been introduced in a rush as it is not available with the department and even traders are now looking for the same in the market.

“A few days ago, I came to know about the introduction of the new form from the department’s website, but when I went to the department for filing my VAT return, the department was unaware of the same. It did not have the new VAT form. I even enquired from the market but the new forms were not available there,” said Harwinder Banga, a trader.

While some lawyers associations are thinking of getting this form printed.

“We cannot ditch our clients and fill in old forms. They come to seek professional help from us. I am thinking of getting this form from the head office and getting it printed for my clients. Otherwise introducing a single form instead of three forms is a welcome step,” said Jatinder Khurana, president of the Young Lawyers’ Association.

The department’s website has updated the notification about the new form in November stating that the form would be introduced in January. But it seems that the department is not fully prepared for the same.

Sources said the department, for the past six months, had been trying to introduce the forms, but had failed to do it so far.


The department’s website has updated the notification about the new form in November stating that the form would be introduced in January. But it seems that the department is not fully prepared for the same.



Intelligence officer’s son abuses traffic policeman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
The son of a counter intelligence officer abused a traffic policeman near Jalandhar bypass today. The matter turned ugly as the counter intelligence officer, who was travelling along with his son in a car, picked up a fight with the traffic policemen.

Traffic policeman Baldev Singh stopped the car of a counter intelligence officer, Jaswinder Singh, and asked the latter’s son to show the licence. It is learnt that Jaswinder Singh showed his identity card, but the policeman started asking for other documents.

While Baldev was returning the licence, it fell on the road. Sources said Baldev also abused the boy and asked Jaswinder and his son to come out of the vehicle.

This led to a heated argument between the two policemen. The matter was resolved after the intervention of ACP Swapan Sharma.



Turban colours no longer reflect political leanings
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
Turban is no more a symbol that depicts political beliefs. There was a time when the colour of a turban was enough to predict political orientations of a person. But with the changing times, the colours of the turban have lost their ideological significance. One can now spot a leader of the SAD sporting a white turban and campaigning for the party and a Congress leader sporting a blue turban. Now, leaders choose their turbans as per fashion.

The commitment of the older generation of Punjab politicians with the colour of the turban was such that during the last Assembly elections, Akali leader Sukhdev Singh Libra, MP from Fathegharh Sahib, quit Akali Dal and contested on Congress ticket, but did not change the colour of his turban. When former Congress MP Gurcharn Singh Galib joined the Akali Dal, he did not sport a blue turban.

There was a time when the colour of the turbans of the Akalis earned a nomenclature of its own -- “Tahoura” colour, a shade of navy blue.

The younger generation of politicians seems more conscious of fashion than ideology. Most of the young candidates from all parties prefer “basnti” because of its resemblance to Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s pictorial turban.

‘Power the only ideology now’

Balkur Singh Gill, who has done vast research on Punjabi attire and culture, says: “Now, the political culture of all the parties is the same. They have a common mission to reach Chandigarh and attain power. So, what is the relevance of the colour of the turban now? There was a time when the colour of the turban was a matter of ideology. Both parties have the same political ideology now, which is to beat the people and loot them.”



A dull winter for hosiery industry
manav mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
Winters this time have proved a dull affair for the local hosiery industry. With the cold on its way out, companies are facing difficulty in even clearing their stocks. Nearly 15-20 per cent downfall in the sales has been observed compared to past years.

To clear backlog, companies are offering lucrative schemes. Some are offering 30-50 per cent discount while the others are luring customers through scratch and win offers. Production for the next season will not be possible if the backlog is not cleared.

“We are offering discounts so that the stock can be cleared. Only then will we be able to prepare for the next season,” said Harmohan, owner of a hosiery factory.

“Short winters have hit us hard. Over the past few years, the winter season has been getting shorter and the sale of woollens has seen a sharp decline. Even discounts and offers are not helping in boosting the sales,” said Surinder Singh, a salesman at a local store.

Meenu, a homemaker from Rajguru Nagar, said she generally bought only a few woollens due to shorter winters. “There was a time when winters started from November and lasted till March. But now it lasts only for a few weeks. The demand for woollens has gone down,” she said.

“Companies are seeing nearly 20 per cent decline in the sale of woollens,” said Rohit Jain, owner of a store dealing in various brands.



Tricky weather, exercise caution, warn experts
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
The cold wave which has gripped the city since last night is intensifying and affecting the health of many. Braving the chill, many people are careless about proper clothing and are exposed to sudden cold, resulting in heath problems.

Dr Rajinder Gulati, a paediatrician at the Civil Hospital, Raikot, said: “Newborns are more susceptible to changes in weather and are at a risk in such a weather. They should be kept warm. Breast-feeding saves babies from various infections. If infants are not given proper care, they could suffer from hypothermia where the body temperature falls due to exposure to cold. Their head and feet should be kept covered and if possible, room temperature should be kept between 20 to 30 degrees Celcius.”

Dr Valsa Verghese, Deputy Medical Superintendent of Christian Medical College and Hospital, said: “Such weather is crucial to health and everyone must take sufficient care. Children especially should keep their feet covered and should wear inners. The elderly should avoid direct exposure to cold.”

Dr Neelam Sodhi, a gynaecologist, stated: “One should remain active, but be protected in various layers of clothing. The air trapped within the layers of clothes will keep you warm. Dry fruits, specially almonds, dates, pista, walnuts and sometimes peanuts, should be consumed.”



Congress rebel councillors set to field Sanjay Talwar
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
Rebel Congress councillors seem to have made up their mind to protest against Surinder Dawar, a former MLA who has been given ticket from the Ludhiana Central Constituency. In an important development that took place today, about a dozen Congress councillors decided to field Sanjay Talwar as their candidate. He will contest as an Independent candidate from the Central Constituency if Dawar’s ticket was not cancelled.

Congress councillors including Parminder Mehta, Sham Sunder Malhotra, Sanjay Talwar, Ashok Magga, Anil Malhotra, Jasbir Singh Chaddha, Kailash Kapoor and Rajesh Kala Jain convened a meeting at Talwar’s office to discuss the next plan of action.

“We have given a deadline and have to wait for a reply. In case Dawar’s ticket is not cancelled, we will announce Talwar as our (Independent) candidate. We are going to announce it officially tomorrow,” said a senior councillor on the condition of anonymity.

Another councillor said a senior leader from Chandigarh had contacted them in the morning and had claimed that the All India Congress Committee (AICC) was planning to make changes in certain candidatures and the Central Constituency was on the list.

“It will be good if the party high command changes the candidature from the Central Constituency otherwise it will face the music,” said another councillor, adding that it had been decided in the meeting that Talwar would file his nomination on January 11.



Seniority ignored while assigning poll duties, claim teachers
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, January 8
Teachers of government and government-aided colleges lamented that their payscale, seniority and status had been ignored while assigning election duties to them.

Prof Manjit Singh Komal of GGN College, Ludhiana, said, “My basic salary at present is Rs 64,000 plus and I have been asked to perform the duty of the presiding officer while my juniors have been assigned the duties of master trainers and supervisors. A majority of teachers have been deployed as presiding officers, while the ones assigned the duty of superintendents and returning officers are drawing lesser salary. Under new scales, associate professors are drawing anything between Rs 37,400 and Rs 64,000 with grade pay of Rs 9,000.

“We shall be pleased to perform the election duties if these are assigned to us as per our payscale, seniority and status,” Prof Manjit added.

“It is a sheer violation of norms laid down by the Election Commission. Hence, the Election Office and Deputy Commissioners, to whom the representation was sent, should have looked into the matter as it concerned the entire teaching community,” said Prof Manjit Singh Chabbra, whose seniority and status, too, have been overlooked while assigning the election duty.

Prof Barinderji Singh Birdi, who, too, is annoyed with the Election Office, said, “The office should relook into the duties assigned and allocated to teachers whose pay band is far greater than the ones who have been deputed in higher places,” said the professor.

“First we are assigned duties ignoring our status and seniority, then we have to move to and fro to get them rectified which is in turn done not in a very smooth and easily

manner. Why can’t the Election Office keep such important things in mind while assigning duties?” asked Dr Bhupinder Singh.

“In the present case, too, if the duties are re-allocated as per our seniority and status only then we shall perform these,” said Prof Rajinder Singh and Prof Paramjit Singh.

Dr Kuldip, fellow, Panjab University, and professor in political science, Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, told this correspondent, “I had already written about the violation to the Chief Election Office, Punjab, in response to which the latter directed the district Election Officers to keep in mind the payscale, seniority and status of the staff while assigning them election duties in the coming elections.”

Prof Jaipal Singh, general secretary, Government College Teachers Union, said the Election Commission of India vide its letter number.61/PB-HP/96-11 dated September 21,1996, and Government of Punjab vide its letter number.18/41/97-GC(7)/124,dated January 17,1997, directed the Election Office to assign duties to college teachers on the basis of their status,seniority and payscale. It was stated that they should not be forced to perform any election. ADC (Development) Pardeep Aggarwal assured the teachers of doing the needful.



Congress activist’s ultimatum to party
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
Not only the Patiala’s Royal family, but the wave of the dissident against the allocation of party ticket to the handpicked men have rattled several Congress workers in the city.

Threatening to turn rebel, Bhupinder Singh Sidhu , a relative of Congress MLA Jassi Khangura, has given a 48-hour ultimatum to change the candidate of Ludhiana South constituency. With barely 22 days left for the elections, the threat has sparked a row in the party circle.

Openly criticising Ashok Prashar, alias Pappi Shahpuria’s, nomination as Congress candidate from the Ludhiana South constituency, Bhupinder Sidhu said , “Shahpuria is not aware of the problems faced by the area residents. They have not seen Shahpuria.”

Bhupinder, who displayed a show of strength with nearly 1,000 workers, including Congress block president Jarnial Singh Shimlapuri and local Congress leader Balwnat Singh, said, “By protesting against Shahpuria, I do not mean that I want to put myself into the poll fray. It is the party high command’s decision, but my submission is that the persons at the helm of affair should consider who has worked in the area and with whom the people can relate. Parachute candidates are not going to do any good.”

It is learnt that if the party will not reconsider its decision then Bhupinder Sidhu’s loyalists will help SAD contestant and Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura in the ensuing election. Refuting the allegation of Bhupinder Sidhu, Ashok Prashar, alias Pappi Shahpuria, said, ”I am not a parachute candidate. I have been brought up in the city. I know the city and I know problems of residents.”



Akali rebels reined in
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
The three SAD rebels of the city, who had earlier announced to contest the elections as Independent candidates from different constituencies, today decided to withdraw from the contest.

This announcement was made by rebels Charnjit Singh Saluja, general secretary of the Youth Akali Dal, Iqbal Singh and Ravinder Singh Khalsa.

They made the announcement in the presence of Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) president Avtar Singh Makkar and president of the district unit of the BJP, Rajiv Katna.

Makkar said: “To sort out this issue, I along with SAD president and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh intervened and amicably resolved the misunderstandings.”

The rebel leaders said they had realised that their previous stand would have indirectly helped the Congress, which they did not want.



Constituency Watch
Ludhiana West
Encroachments, traffic bottlenecks sum up Ludhiana West
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
The Ludhiana West constituency has a number of happening areas, including the two universities in Ludhiana, both government colleges and Ludhiana Stock Exchange. Several posh localities fall in the constituency. Yet, it’s a home to many slums too.

The constituency has been re-carved post-delimitation. Some areas of the Ludhiana Rural constituency and Dakha constituency have been added to it. Areas from Ludhiana Rural include Rajguru Nagar, BRS Nagar, Agar Nagar B and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Jawadi, Vishal Nagar and Vikas Nagar, while the areas from the Dakha constituency include Agar Nagar A, Barewal and some areas of Haibowal.

The constituency, which was represented by SAD MLA Harish Rai Dhanda till August, 2011, is dogged by problems like chaotic traffic, encroachments on roads, waterlogging. The controversial City Centre is another eyesore, which creates traffic problems, particularly in rainy season.

Fact file

n There are 1,49,952 voters in the constituency, including 77,998 men and 71,954 women.
n The total number of polling booths are 162, while the count of polling station stands at 139.

Politics wise

n Ludhiana West was represented by SAD-BJP candidate Harish Rai Dhanda. But this time the SAD-BJP has fielded former state BJP president Prof Rajinder Bhandari from the constituency.
n Bharat Bhushan Ashu is the Congress candidate.
n DP Maur, who was the president of the PAU Employees’ Union for 12 years, is contesting as the PPP candidate

Poll Buzz

Tall claims

A rebel said he was expectating party ticket as he was the president of Mohalla Sudhar Committee, general secretary of Jagrata Committee, cashier of truck union. The list went on. He was of the view that rather than an outsider losing ground, it was honourable for a local candidate to lose on his home turf.

Namesake woes

In the Raikot constituency, rumours abounded that Congress leader Hakam Singh had joined the People’s Party of Punjab(PPP) after he was denied party ticket by the Congress. But it was learnt that the candidate nominated by the PPP was his namesake. The Congress leader had to issue clarifications to many .

— Contributed by Gurvinder Singh, Charanjit Singh Teja

Candidates’ take
Congress candidate Bharat Bhushan Ashu

A graduate from Panjab University, he joined the mainstream politics in 1997. He is the Congress candidate from the constituency.

What are the major issues in your constituency?

Upgradation of infrastructure, with main focus on health and educational facilities in the constituency.

What is your poll plank?

Clean and corruption-free administration.

What are your poll promises?

My easy accessibility and availability.

What makes you better than others?

My performance in the last 15 years.

What are your chances of winning?

It depends upon the choice of voters. I am here to contest for the people for whom I have always remained available and I have full faith in them.

BJP candidate Prof Rajinder Bhandari

Prof Rajinder Bhandari has served as an associate professor of commerce at Arya College for Boys, Ludhiana. He was the secretary and state president of the BJP. He was also the vice-chairman of the Punjab State Planning Commission.

What are the major issues in your constituency?

To smoothen traffic bottlenecks at Ghumar Mandi, Fountain Chowk, Bharat Nagar Chowk, Jawahar Nagar, especially on the Pakhowal road. To provide security to people of the area. And to curb eve-teasing as many colleges fall in my constituency. I strongly feel that there is a dire need to cover Budha Nullah. Also, there is a need to provide one room apartments to jhuggi-dwellers.

What is your poll plank?

To make people aware of the Right to Service Act and ensure transparency in the functioning of departments, a helpline will be introduced.

What are your poll promises?

Providing people transparent, corruption-free and pollution-free environment and fulfilling promises made in the BJP manifesto.

What makes you better than others?

I have served the state in different capacities and as vice-chairman of the Punjab State Planning Board. I have suggested and followed up many developmental projects. I will also come up with projects related to rainwater harvesting. I am known for my honesty and integrity.

What are your chances of winning?

Educated people who know me and my way of functioning. They know my easy accessibility to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. Students, employees and my friends are my biggest support.

People's voice

Traffic jams are a routine affair at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar. Slum areas adjoining the controversial City Centre aggravate woes of residents. Power theft is common here. A 2-km stretch which connects the Southern bypass and Ferozepur road with the Pakhowal road is in a bad shape

— Dr Amarjeet Singh Hayer, former head of journalism, languages and culture department, Punjab Agricultural University

Generator sets installed at many diagnostic centres create noise pollution. With a number of youngsters frequenting Udham Singh Market, the place has become a den of anti-social elements. A number of brawls have taken place in the market

— Kanwar Parkash Singh Waraich, property evaluator and resident of Udham Singh Nagar

All old dairies fall in the constituency, but due to poor maintenance, these have become a blot on the city. Budha Nullah adjoining these dairies is another eyesore. Faulty sewerage system adds to the problems

— RS Grewal, resident of Haibowal Kalan

A leader should be accessible. We have no one to address our grievances. One can see a number of stray dogs roaming freely in the area. But the officials concerned have not done anything to check the menace

— Dr Sanjna Aggarwal, homoeopath and resident of Agar Nagar

Our constituency should be represented by a man who works and not by a man who only talks. A leader should be available throughout his tenure. We wish for a clean government and want Anna's Citizen Charter to be implemented

— Prem Lata Jindal, resident of Civil Lines

The traffic problem is of grave concern here. Almost every road in the constituency witnesses frequent traffic jams. Patrolling should be intensified in the area as snatching and theft incidents are on the rise here

— Sunil Bajaj, industrialist and resident of Mall Road

Although, I reside at Rishi Nagar, one of the posh localities of the city, the roads here are in a pitiable condition. After every two steps, one comes across potholes. Theft incidents are on the rise. People avoid venturing outdoors. Parks of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust have been encroached upon. We have been urging the authorities to open a community centre in the area, but nothing has been done so far

— Dr Mukesh Arora, professor and head of Hindi department, SCD Government College

Basic amenities have been provided to area residents. But there are no playgrounds. The area also lacks a community centre. Jhuggi-dwellers throw garbage in Sidhwan canal and no efforts have been made so far to stop them from doing so

— Dr NS Malhi, former director of Extension Education, PAU, and resident of Ashapuri



Younger brigade for playgrounds

Youngsters of the area want that there should be some playgrounds in the area. They said they should be allowed to play in parks.

Kanav Arora, a Class X student of Sacred heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, who lives in Gurdev Nagar said, “There are no playgrounds in the area. We have to play on roads and streets.

While supporting him Nitin Khurana, a serviceman, said traffic problem needs to be solved at the earliest. There should be playgrounds for the younger brigade.

Frequent road accidents are also a matter of worry for many. Robin Sidhu, a serviceman and resident of BR S Nagar, said a number of accidents occurred due to reckless driving. Violators should be challaned on the spot, specially in busy markets. Many a times, I have seen that streetlights do not work at night. These should be fixed to avoid accidents.

However, chipping in Navjot Kanchan, a Pizza trainer at Sarabha Nagar market, feels that traffic chaos usually occurs in the market during festive season. And sometimes incidents of eve-teasing are also reported. He said, “Police force should be deployed in the area to keep a check on miscreants.” Harshul Arora, a high school student and resident of Gurden Nagar said, “Traffic jams have become a bane of this area.

Gaurang Kochar, a businessman at Middha Chowk, wants a permanent solution to the problem created by private bus operators. He said these operators park vehicles at will. There are no public urinals in the market. And none of the leaders have ever paid heed to it.

It was Raman Bhagat, a banker who, said, “A leader should be easily approachable. efforts should be put in to keep the surrounding clean and green.



‘Election fund’ by traders
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
Big business groups and industrialists in the city have lined up with bags of cash to be disbursed as election fund to various political parties for the upcoming Vidhan Sabha elections. Nearly 80 to 90 per cent of the election funds come from the industry. Sources said Rs 1 crore would be spent by the industry during the elections.

While the big business houses are funding the political parties, small entrepreneurs are greasing the palms of politicians. Since there is no wave in favour of any party, the businessmen are playing safe

and giving election funds to two major parties contesting the elections.

Several top businessmen from the city revealed that they were giving equal proportion of election funds to the major parties as the result could go in favour of any of these.

A top business group's contribution to the two political parties, irrespective of their prospects in the elections runs into crores. "We have given Rs 50 lakh each to the parties. We wanted to play safe. Therefore, we decided to fund both the parties. Maintaining good rapport with politicians is very necessary if you want your business to run smoothly," said a top industrialist from the city.

"Giving funds during the elections has become indispensable. It is a practice to keep the political parties in good relation. We hope that politicians do something in the favour of trade and industry which is moving to other states,” said another industrialist from the city.

Since the Election Commission of India is acting strictly this time and restriction has been imposed on carrying more than Rs 2.5 lakh. The EC has already issued instructions to banks to report withdrawals of more than Rs 1 lakh. Besides, anyone with currency or jewellery costing more than Rs 1 lakh will have to prove the source of income.

Though the EC is acting strict but those who want to fund the parties will do it either this way or that.



Special children honoured
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
They were happy and applauded the songs their schoolmates sang despite not being able to see their fellow mates.

A function was organized at Vocational Rehabilitation Training Centre here today by Asian Club. During the function, blind children performing well in studies were given prizes.

Riya, Mukesh, Loverpreet Singh, Amrit Kaur, Lovepreet Singh, Shruti, Rajinder Kaur, Prabhjit Singh were honoured and given certificates. About 70 blind and handicapped children attended the function. Parents of some children were also present during the occasion.

Some of the blind students of the school sang songs that depicted their high spirits despite the disability to see and were encouraged by their fellow school mates with loud applause every time they sang.



Newly elected office-bearers of IMA assume charge
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
The new team of Indian Medical Association (IMA) introduced its office-bearers today.

The team also announced its agenda for 2012 at the IMA house.

All records and finance report of 2011 were handed over to the new team by former secretary Dr Karamvir Goyal and Dr Narjit Kaur. The plan of activities for 2012 was presented by Dr DP Singh Arora.

The agenda included implementing the Medicare Protection Bill, working out modalities for providing security to doctors in the event of mob violence, getting the IMA house vacated from illegal occupants and setting up a blood bank at the IMA house.

Dr Narjit Kaur said a general body meeting was held today.

Regular meetings will be organised this year to increase participation of members in all activities.



Block Cong chief to contest as an Independent
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana/Khanna, January 8
Block Congress president of Jagraon Rajesh Inder Sidhu today announced that he would contest as an independent candidate from the Jagraon Assembly constituency.

Expressing his unhappiness at the candidature of Ishar Singh Meharban from the constituency, he said he had decided to contest as an independent candidate as he was not 'happy' with the allotment of the Congress ticket from Jagraon to Meharban. He claimed that Meharban was an 'outsider'. Meharban, however, refuted the claim.

Meanwhile, at the Khanna Assembly constituency Bhalinder Singh Bhandal, former president of the District Congress Committee and loyalist of former PPCC president Shamsher Singh Dullo, announced his candidature as an independent candidate from Khanna. Gurkirat Singh Kotli is the Congress candidate from the Khanna Assembly constituency.



Mahira wins healthy baby contest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
“Baby’s Day Out” was organised at Bhartiya Vidya Mandir School, Udham Singh Nagar. A healthy baby contest and a fancy-dress competition were held. Mothers participated in 'My Mom-The Best Chef' contest, while fathers took part in wrestling.

Best dancers of the school were Harpreet, Priyanka, Rahul and Abhinav. Winners of the healthy baby contest were Mahira Bhandari and Samarveer Singh, while Fiza Dutta, Gurpriya, Kanika, Niharika won the fancy-dress competition. Krishma Jain was adjudged the “Best Chef”, while Ajay Dutta was declared the “Strongest Dad”. Principal Bandana Sethi thanked everyone for participation and support.



national school games
Govt schools told to spare 10 rooms for players
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
The government schools in the city have been instructed to spare about 10 rooms for the accommodating visiting students from other states.

Around 5,000 visitors from 30 states are expected to visit the city from January 18 to 23 for the 57th School Games Athletics Meet. Sources said principals of primary schools had been instructed to declare holidays during the meet in order to accommodate the visiting students and accompanying staff.

Principals of some government schools have been instructed to spare about 10 rooms while each room will be accommodating about 10 athletes for the week-long sporting event.

But many students are in a quandary as they are expecting their studies to take a further hit due to the upcoming sports meet and upcoming Assembly elections. "Our studies in the school this session have already been disturbed due to the SGPC poll and teachers training seminars and now teachers have again been assigned election duties. Now, with sports meet coming up, studies are further going to suffer," said a Class IX student of a government school.

A principal complained that the government was least bothered about studies as all primary schools had been told to suspend classes during the athletics meet in order to accommodate the visiting students. "Instead of accommodating students in schools, the government should rather have provided accommodation to visiting students in community-centres or marriage halls,” a school principal said.



Go green campaign by DPS students
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
On Saturday morning, when visitors in the posh market of Sarabha Nagar were busy enjoying snacks and shopping, a group of six students of Delhi Public School could be seen pursuing people for using eco friendly products.

Braving the chill, all six students of Class V were seen interacting with the passersby. Holding a paper glass in his hand, Manav, one of these students, said,"Sir please use these glasses whenever there is any function at your home. These are biodegradable. Do not use plastic."

While it was Harnoor Singh, who requested Prerna, a female visitor, “Please use thee jute bags instead of polybags. You know polybags are very harmful. One should use handcrafted items instead of artificial ones."

Sehaj, Sift, Lakshay, Sukhpreet and Sukhpreet apprised visitors of harmful gases released by polybags on burning. One of them said, “Now a days eco friendly paints are also available which do not have adverse effect on human beings and environment."

And MS Kahlon, Harnoor’s father, who was there to take care of these kids said,"They are on school project and I am just guiding them.”

While Lakshay said,"In Class V we were assigned different projects by our school like we planted saplings, told farmers not to burn stubble, got the garbage dumps cleaned. And now this is our fourth project of the series. Now before this session ends we will get the last project of the year and on the basis of our performance we will be awarded.”



Course for doctors
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 8
Dayanand Medical College and Hospital conducted an AHA accredited BLS & ACLS provider course for a batch of 35 doctors and nursing staff of SPS Apollo Hospital, Ludhiana, from january 6 to january 8.

Prem Kumar Gupta, secretary, Managing Society, DMCH, and Dr Daljit Singh, principal, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, stated that DMCH had taken a lead in regular training of medical professionals as per latest international norms.

The course was conducted by the team of DMCH-AHA training site instructors.



ludhiana calling
For once, let’s follow the rules

During a parent-teacher meeting at a leading school here on Saturday, a book exhibition was organised on the premises. As the weather was bad, everyone wanted to pay the bill first for the books they had purchased for their wards. Since there was just one attendant at the counter, the parents, a majority of them mothers, pushed one another to foot the bill.

The parents were not even in a queue and were creating chaos. Just then a woman stepped forward and remarked: “Look at the way we are behaving. What values will we inculcate in our children if we ourselves violate rules. We must make a queue and let us not panic.”

All the parents then made a queue and the attendant heaved a sigh of relief!

Diet plans go awry

Winter is the season when everyone wants to splurge on dry fruits, nuts, snacks and stuffed “paranthas”. Even regular dieters cannot resist from indulging in their favourite dishes during winter.

After the rain on Saturday, long queues were witnessed outside shops selling “samosas” and “pakoras”. People wanted to make most of the rain and indulge in lip-smacking hot and spicy snacks.

Two friends who hit the gym together and are particular about their diet landed at the same shop for buying “samosas”. Both of them avoided eye contact and quickly slipped out of the shop. The next day when they met in the gym, both exchanged a sheepish smile. The gym instructor, of course, would not have been amused.

Poll code for 5 years!

Politicians may feel constrained due to the implementation of the code of conduct, but the common man is relaxed as there are no hooters; less interference of politicians in government offices; and no traffic jams due to VIP visits and long fleet of vehicles.

A resident chuckled: “I wish the code of conduct remains in place for the next five years!”

Craze for ‘mandis’

Despite the arrival of malls and retail stores, the weekly “sabzi mandis” remain popular in the city. A resident said the “mandis” are a good leveller as these are visited by the well-off people as well.

Another resident said there was an old-world charm about the “mandis”.

Pleasing seniors!

With the election scene hotting up, several police nakas have been set up in different parts of the city. A policeman at a naka on the “geri route” near the Khalsa College for Women signalled a youth to stop for checking.

The youth immediately took out his mobile phone and urged the policeman to speak to a senior police official.

Due to the presence of some mediapersons at the spot, the policeman shied away from speaking on the phone, but when the mediamen got busy with some work, he wasted no time and was heard saying: “No problem, sir”.

The youth zoomed pass the naka and the policeman retorted: “What can we do when our seniors ask for something?”

— Contributed by Shivani Bhakoo, Manav Mander, Charanjit Singh Teja, Gurvinder Singh and Puneet Pal Singh Gill



One held with 1.5-kg opium

Khanna, January 8
The police arrested a youth with 1.5-kg opium and two weapons. The accused was identified as Gurdeep Singh Deepee(24), a resident of Basant Nagar, Khanna.

The police said the arrested youth was a member of Ladi gang. It added that the gang members were wanted in several cases. — OC



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