L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Audit dept rap for GLADA on Rs 24.48-cr dues
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 9
The audit department has pulled up the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) for not recovering dues worth Rs 24.48 crore from allottees of residential, commercial and institutional properties, a major portion of which pertains to the period prior to March 2007.

A copy of the internal and external audit report of GLADA for the year 2010-11 obtained under the RTI Act by the Council of RTI Activists states that the estate office failed to take timely and effective steps to recover the dues against residential, commercial and institutional sites allotted in various schemes developed by PUDA/GLADA.

The report noted that the outstanding amount against the allotment of houses of various categories at the end of March 2011 was Rs 1,456.85 lakh and Rs 328.40 lakh against residential plots. Default amount against commercial properties was Rs 272.42 lakh while allottees of institutional sites owed GLADA Rs 101.53 lakh. Under the sites allotted or sold under the “optimum use of vacant government land scheme”, the outstanding amount was Rs 287.40 lakh.

While the outstanding amount under the allotment of houses and sale of residential and commercial plots had recorded a slight decrease as compared to the previous financial year, it had gone up in cases of allotment of institutional sites and land sold under the OUVGL scheme.

The audit report had made an observation that as per the general terms and conditions of allotment of houses and plots, the allottees had to deposit 25 per cent of the total cost (including earnest money) within 30 days of allotment while the balance 75 per cent was required to be paid in instalments along with the interest.

In an interim reply to the audit objection, the GLADA authorities have stated that efforts were being made to recover the dues. “Notices as per the terms and conditions of the sale or allotment of the sites have been issued to the defaulting allottees and the process for the recovery of the dues is on,” officials maintained.

A long list

The report noted that the outstanding amount against the allotment of houses of various categories at the end of March 2011 was ~1,456.85 lakh and ~328.40 lakh against residential plots. Default amount against commercial properties was ~272.42 lakh while allottees of institutional sites owed GLADA ~101.53 lakh. Under the sites allotted or sold under the “optimum use of vacant government land scheme”, the outstanding amount was Rs 287.40 lakh.



DC reprimands revenue officials 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 9
Taking suo motu action over the reported harassment faced by the public due to some officials coming late on duty at the Sub-Registrar’s office yesterday, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari today reprimanded revenue officials for dereliction of duty.

The Deputy Commissioner said: “Negligence in duty will not be tolerated. Either the tehsildar or the naib-tehsildar should have reported on duty on time so that hundreds of people coming from far-off areas for getting their land deals registered were not caused inconvenience unnecessarily.”

In a report published yesterday, The Tribune had highlighted that hundreds of people who had visited the Sub-Registrar’s office had to face inconvenience as both the tehsildar and naib-tehsildar reached the office two hours late.

The other staff members at the office also refused to provide them with tokens for queues.



Board orders CCTVs at exam centres
But most schools don’t have funds to incur such expenses
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 9
To curb cheating, the Punjab School education Board (PSEB) has decided to install close-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) at examination centres during the second semester examinations.

But the decision is a matter of concern for school heads and teachers since they are unclear from where would the funds come to execute the decision as the government is already finding it hard to manage the day-to-day expenses.

“It is a good decision to install the cameras. It will help to prevent copying. But we are surprised that the board is instructing that the cameras should be installed in all the examination halls. It is a very expensive project. How will the schools manage?” asked the principal of a local government school.

President of the anti-copying teachers’ front, Sukhdarshan Singh, said: “It is a wise decision. But school heads are in a state of confusion as they can’t afford to buy the cameras. A number of teacher unions are protesting against the delay in the release of their salaries. Schools are facing acute shortage of funds. It sounds nice, but whether it could be implemented remains to be seen.”

The District Education Officer (DEO) is also not aware who will pay for the cameras.

No instructions

We have not received any instructions from the board on who will pay for the cameras. The Punjab school education department has given these instructions directly to the schools. So, we do not know who will bear the expenses of the cameras. — Sudesh Bajaj, District Education Officer

Move opposed

Recognised and affiliated schools are opposing the decision of the board. There are about 327 examination centres in the district and 103 are affiliated schools. Surjit Kaushal, president of the recognised and affiliated schools association said they could not afford the cameras. “If the board pays, we have no problem. It will be hard for affiliated schools to bear such expenses. The government should install cameras only in examination centres which do not have a good record.”


Kila Raipur games
Bullock-cart races banned
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 9
Jumping in the controversy of imposing a ban on bullock-cart races, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana, said strict action would be taken against those found using bulls during any event at the Kila Raipur rural games.

A communique issued by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Ashish Choudhary, read: “It has come to my notice that in the periphery of the Police Commissionerate Ludhiana, bullock-cart races are held during the rural sports at Kila Raipur and the animals suffer much cruelty. The Government of India has already banned it by issuing a gazetted notification in July 2011.”

Meanwhile, in response to the bull races planned to be held at the Rural Olympics in Kila Raipur from February 9 to 12, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India has sent letters to the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, and Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana, for imposing a ban on bullock-cart races.

Blow to bull-rearing

“Nurturing, and not cruelty on bullocks, has been banned by the administration,” said participants who were upset at the decision of the administration to ban bullock-cart races, which the rural folks have enjoyed since 1933. “The decision will darken the future of hundreds of families engaged in the rearing and selling of bullocks. P3



Day One a flop show
Mahesh Sharma

Kila Raipur, February 9
The 76th edition of the Kila Raipur Rural Sports, also known as the Mini-Olympics, kicked off today, but no event was organised.

As the bullock cart races were not held, participants and spectators were disappointed. Owners of bullock carts and spectators started pouring in at the Grewal sports stadium.

The organisers were not allowed to hold the event owing to a ban by the Animal Welfare Board of India, Ministry of Environment and Forests.

The stadium turned into a cantonment in the afternoon, when a large number of bullock carts started gathering near the stadium on the assurance of organisers.

Irate owners of bullock carts had, at one stage, threatened a protest ‘dharna’ against the administration, which according to them, had been acting under political pressure.

Had Assistant Commissioner of Police Gurpreet Singh not pacified spectators and bullock cart owners, the situation could have gone out of control.

Paramjit Singh Grewal, secretary of the organisation, said they had received a formal notice, banning the event, at the last moment.

He added that they were left with no alternative but to seek court intervention. Other events like horse races, athletics, hockey, kabbadi and tug-of-war would continue.



Department stores not displaying rate list
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 9
Department stores in the city are flouting norms by not displaying the rate list of essential commodities outside their stores. Some big stores selling general goods also refuse to sell small quantities of items like pulses and oil.

A survey in the city revealed that a majority of retail department stores do not display the rate list. As a result, the shops are selling goods at varying prices.

The district food and civil supply department seems to have turned a blind eye to this practise. Jagtar Singh, a resident of Kabir Colony, said although it was mandatory to exhibit a rate list of essential commodities like pulses, rice, sugar, ghee and tea, most shopkeepers were not doing so. Even the authorities were not taking any action against them.

Some shops are not selling loose commodities as they are packed.

“I went to a shop to buy 250 gm of rice, but I was told that they do not sell it loose and have a packing of 1 kg, 2 kg and 5 kg rice. I earn less and cannot afford to buy large quantities of rice. I have to buy ration from shops located in other areas. Shops in posh localities do not sell commodities loose,” said Deena Nath, a daily wage earner.

“The prices should be pasted outside the shops and the department should regularly check the list,” said Balbir Kaur, a resident.

Shopkeepers violating consumer rights

Shopkeepers are supposed to display the prices of essential commodities on boards outside their shops. They cannot refuse to sell a particular quantity of any item. It is a violation of consumer rights. Some shops do display the rate list. We will undertake a check and offenders will be issued notices. — Rajnish Kumari, District Food and Supplies Controller



Speedy disposal of I-T refunds 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 9
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has issued a notification regarding the speedy disposal of income tax refunds. A notification issued by the CBDT lists steps to clear the backlog.

An official from the department said in all returns (ITR-1 to ITR-6), where the difference between the tax deduction at source (TDS) claim and matching TDS amount reported in Form No. 26 (AS) data did not exceed Rs 1 lakh, the TDS claim might be accepted without verification. If the TDS did not match the claim of the assesse, the credit shall be allowed only after verification. However, in case of returns of ITR-1 and ITR-2 forms, credit might be allowed in full, even if there was zero matching if the total TDS claimed was Rs 5,000 or lower.

But if there were TDS claims with invalid TAN, TDS credit would not be allowed. 



No stopping overloaded autos, school vans
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 9
Cocking a snook at the orders issued by Commissioner of Police Ishwar Chander, prohibiting the overloading of vehicles ferrying schoolchildren, several auto-rickshaw drivers and school vans continue to carry children much beyond the stipulated seating capacity.

Even the death of Gagandeep Singh, who died on January 6 after falling from an overloaded auto-rickshaw, has failed to change things. More than a month after the incident, the practise of overloading carries on unchecked.

Thirtyfive children travelling in a school van were injured in an accident near the jail road on December 22.

The High Court ruling that auto-rickshaws can ferry only six children at a time is being violated blatantly. An average auto-rickshaw has a seating capacity of seven to eight children, but often, as many as 15 children are seen in the three-wheelers.

Several ingenious drivers have created extra room for children by making them sit where luggage is supposed to be kept. Some others make small children sit in the laps of bigger students or make them sit on a narrow board on the side, forcing them to hang out of the vehicle. Such children face serious risk due to heavy traffic on the city roads.

It is not just overloading, but also rash driving that makes the journey of the schoolchildren unsafe. In summer, it becomes suffocating for tiny tots who return home in stuffed vans.

Such vehicles can be seen passing the mini secretariat, Police Lines, Fountain Chowk and Clock Tower. But the police present at these intersections does not take action against the auto-rickshaw drivers and school vans.



Parking banned, but nobody cares
Two signboards put up, Ludhiana (rural) SSP’s order not enforced
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, February 9
The practice of parking vehicles on the tehsil road is going on unchecked despite the order of Ludhiana (rural) SSP Amar Singh Chahal, barring the practice.

Though there are two signboards installed on this road, instructing commuters not to park vehicles on the roadside, there seems to be no effect on people.

A large number of vehicles can often be seen parked near the signboards. The road has been witnessing the problem of traffic jams frequently.

As haphazard parking of vehicles is one of the main reasons, the local police has installed the signboards some time back.

One of the signboards has been installed near the local branch of the HDFC Bank and the other near the office of the Jagraon DSP.

Despite the presence of these signboards, clearly saying ‘do not park your vehicle here’, the practice continues and the signboards are proving a formality.

“If the practice of parking vehicles is going on undeterred at the places where the police has installed ‘no parking’ signboards, you can easily imagine the situation at other places. This practice clearly shows that no one cares for traffic norms and the instructions of the police,” Nishant Kumar, a local resident, has said.

The places where these signboards have been installed are situated only a few metres from the office of the Ludhiana (rural) SSP.

Among those who park their vehicles in the area are many police personnel visiting the offices of senior police officials.

Commuters rue that they have no option but to park their vehicles on the roadside as these is no proper arrangement for parking.

“Before banning the parking of vehicles on the roadsides, the administration should make proper arrangements for parking. When there is no other space for the parking, where will we park our vehicles,” a commuter has asked.

DSP Harpal Singh has said the police has installed the signboards to stop people from parking their vehicles on the roadside, which often leads to traffic jams.

“We do not wish to cause unnecessary harassment to the common man by way of fine. If people do no stop parking their vehicles at points where it is banned, we will be forced to take strict action against them,” he has warned.



Railway pensioners complain to FM
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 9
The North Railway Pensioners Welfare Association has alleged that banks in the city do not have senior citizens’ windows and are generally short of staff. The association has written to Pranab Mukherjee, Finance Minister, in this regard.

Sher Singh, chairman of the association, alleged that banks did not have senior citizens’ windows.

“What is the use of showing profit annually when banks cannot give quick and efficient service to customers? Banks should sanction more posts for opening more counters or display ‘preference to senior citizens’ on every window,” he said.

In the communique to the minister, the association has written that the Railway Ministry and the board have sanctioned fixed medical allowance of Rs 100 per month since 1999, which has now it has been enhanced to Rs 300.



BJP protests attack on leader
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 9
Workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party, led by district president Rajeev Katna, organised a dharna at the Jagraon Bridge here today.

Addressing the protesters, Health and Family Welfare minister Satpal Gosain demanded the arrest of those who attacked district vice-president Sanjay Kapoor on January 30 during elections.

Katna said if the administration failed to do so, they would discuss the issue with the party high command and chalk out the future course of action.



12-day Saras mela from March 10
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 9
In an attempt to promote artisans, the Union Ministry of Rural Development will organise the 12-day Saras mela at the Government College For Women from March 10.

Artisans from about 28 states will take part in the event and exhibit their products while artistes from the North Zone Cultural Centre will present cultural items.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari convened a preparatory meeting with officials at the Bachat Bhavan today.

He said Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) Pradeep Aggarwal would be the regional mela officer and SDM (East) Ajay Sood the assistant regional mela officer.

Tewari said, “Announcements are being made through various channels so that people from rural areas come to witness the event.”

He added, “The administration is making arrangements for the stay and security of artisans. Departments have been entrusted duties to make the event successful.”

Aggarwal said stalls of eatables from various states and swings for children would be put up during the mela.



From colleges

A student with the dance department performs during the annual fashion show at the Ramgarhia Girls College in Ludhiana on Thursday. photo: inderjeet verma

Fashion show
The department of dance, home science, fashion designing and cosmetology, Ramgarhia Girls College, Miller Ganj, organised the annual fashion show here today. Students of the department performed to enthral the audience. Principal Narinder Sandhu extended a warm welcome to guests.

Two-day workshop
A two-day workshop on various techniques of water and acrylic colours was started for undergraduate fine arts students at the Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Gujarkhan Campus, here today. Rakesh Kumar Sen from the Lucknow Fine Arts College enthused students to involve deeply into art of life and life of art. Highlighting the importance of art he guided the students about various branches of fine arts. — TNS




‘Book fairs best places to seek real knowledge’
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 9
The book fair organised at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) is attracting a number of students.

Students are flocking to sections comprising books pertaining to technical subjects like nanotechnology, biotechnology, and genetic cyber crime and other in future technologies. Many students and bibliophiles admitted that, book fairs are the best places to seek real knowledge.

Avreet Kaur, a student of PAU, said: “I have attended a number of book fairs but I am surprised to see the collection of books here. Book sellers from across the country are selling books on various stalls. A good collection of advanced technology books is attracting researchers.”

“Foreign editions of some special books are good. These books are not easily available in the market,” said Harmeet Singh, another student.

“Though one can browse through online content and journals, but the experience of book fairs is unique. Good books in paper form are the best for doing study and research for long than browsing online,” says Radhika.

Dr JK Sangha, Librarian, PAU, said, “Such an occasion is always looked forward by the academic community and book lovers. Books on subjects such as food processing, organic farming, mass communication, food and environment security, business management and engineering have been displayed in the fair.

Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman, Additional Director Communication, said the PAU publications, including “Changi Kheti”, Progressive Farming and other farm literature, are also available in the fair.



Budding scientists exhibit talent
Our Correspondent

Doraha, February 9
To encourage the efforts put in by students of Green Grove Public School and promote their talents, an exhibition was organised at the school today.

Students showcased their projects and models for parents. The budding scientists presented creative ideas.

Various informative models, charts and projects were prepared. The visitors were absorbed in the creative and attractive working models of science.

These included ‘Modern Method of Irrigation’, ‘Burglar Alarm’, ‘Solar Cooker, Water Level Indicator’, ‘Congruence of Triangles, ‘Quadrilaterals’, ‘Prime Numbers’, ‘Highways of India’ and ‘Soil Profile’.

There were other interesting projects like ‘The Journey of English Language’ and stories depicting ‘Fox and the Grapes’ and ‘The Thirsty Crow’.

The art exhibits included ‘Glass Painting’, ‘Tile and Clay Work’ and ‘Doll House with Ice-Cream Sticks’.



Ectopia-2012 kicks off at DMCH
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 9
The three-day annual cultural event ‘Ectopia-2012’ kicked off at the Dumra auditorium of the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) 
here today.

During the festival, undergraduate medical students would participate in various talent hunt competitions.

The first day witnessed competitions in painting on the theme ‘Fantasy’ and face-painting. The students were seen enthusiastic about the event.

They came up with vibrant ideas on the theme. The preliminary round of a quiz was also organised. The cultural programme would conclude on February 11.

Results: painting: Harmandeep 1, Jaskaran 2, Rishab Garg and Anita 3; face-painting: Jaskaran 1, Gurkanwal 2, Paramveer 3.



Film team visits college

Ludhiana, February 9
The cast of the movie ‘Pata Ni Rabb Kehdeyan Rangan Ch Raazi’ was in the city today.

Actress Neeru Bajwa, producer Amandeep Singh and promoter Shubham Chandrachur visited Guru Nanak Girls College for the promotion of the movie.

Talking to students, Amandeep said the future of Punjabi cinema was bright and a number of good films were in the pipeline. Principal Charanjit Mahal extended a warm welcome to the team. — TNS



Youth killed in road accident
Another injured, but out of danger; case registered
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, February 9
A youth was killed and another injured when the car they were travelling in rammed into an another vehicle on the Sidhwan Bet Road, near here, past night.

The deceased was identified as Ashu Kohli (25) and the injured as Nitin Goel, both residents of Jagraon.

The accident took place near the Celebration Garden, a marriage palace about six kilometres from here, around 9 pm.

According to the family of the deceased, the youths went to Banga in Shaheed Bhagat Singh district past evening and the accident took place on the way back.

When they reached near the Celebration Garden, the Maruti Alto they were travelling in rammed into the other vehicle from the rear. Ashu died on the spot.

The family of the deceased came to know about the accident when a passerby called them up. They reached the spot within minutes and rushed them to the Civil Hospital at Jagraon, said Rishu Kohli, younger brother of the deceased.

“Ashu was declared brought dead and Nitin was referred to the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital at Ludhiana due to his critical condition,” he said. The condition of Nitin was stated to be out of danger.

A case was registered at the Jagraon bus stand police post and an investigation was on. The police handed over the body of the deceased to his family after post-mortem examination at the Civil Hospital here this morning.

The deceased was survived by his wife, who was pregnant. His wedding took place only seven months back. The deceased was cremated here this afternoon.



Thieves strike at sanitary shop
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 9
Thieves struck at a sanitary shop located in the Saelm Tabri area and fled with sanitary goods, cash, mobile phones and recharge coupons worth Rs 2 lakh.

The incident came to light here this morning when Bharti Sood, owner of Model Sanitary Shop, opened the shop and was shocked to find it ransacked.

He further informed the police about the incident. In his complaint, Bharti stated that the thieves trespassed into the shop by breaking the door located on the rooftop and fled with goods.



Theft at gurdwara near Central Jail 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 9
Thieves struck at a gurdwara located on the premises of jail guards residential quarters near Central Jail on the Tajpur road here today.

The theft came to light in the morning when jail officials visited the gurdwara before a change of duty.

Dilbag Singh, president of the Punjab Jail Guard Association, said the thieves entered the gurdwara after breaking the locks. They fled with cash after breaking open the donation box at the gurdwara.

Dilbag Singh said the loss could have been more if the thieves had struck on Monday.

“We had collected the cash lying in the donation box on Tuesday. The thieves might have got away with only a few hundred rupees,” he said.

The incident has again brought to the fore the fact that the area surrounding the jail is unsafe and infested with anti-social elements.



Woman commits suicide
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, February 9
Manjit Kaur allegedly committed suicide by consuming poison at her in-laws’ house in Mau-Sahib village past night. Sukhdev Singh, her brother, alleged that her sister was being tortured physically and mentally by her husband for dowry. Her husband Amrik Singh refuted the charge.

The police registered a case under Sections 306 and 34 of the IPC. It sent the body for post-mortem examination.

Dowry case

On the complaint of Gurpreet Kaur, the police registered a case under the anti-dowry Act against her NRI husband Balbir Singh, father-in-law Gurcharan Singh and mother-in-law Nashattar Kaur, hailing from of Mau-Sahib village.

The complainant alleged that her-in-laws were harassing her to bring more dowry in the absence of her husband, who went to the US without telling her.

1 crushed to death

An unidentified middle-aged man was run over under the wheels of the Jan Sewa Express near Dosanjh Khurad village.

The GRP sent the body for post-mortem examination, but it could not be ascertained whether it was a case of suicide or accident.



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