L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Expressway drags on
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
The much-awaited Sidhwan Canal expressway project, which is already running behind schedule, has got yet another deadline. The state government has now announced that the project would be ready in next seven months, which means by October this year. The last government had set a deadline of February for the completion of this project, which has now been extended.

Besides, the flyover on Gill Road Bridge would be opened to vehicular traffic on May 30.

The foundation stone of this project was laid in the year 2009. The Rs 318-crore expressway project, with carriageway on each side from the medium of Doraha to Ludhiana-Ferozepur Road, will provide a bypass for traffic going to Ferozepur. This project has a total of nine bridges, which include five canal bridges, two rail overbridges (ROBs) and two flyovers.

Due to lack of coordination among several government departments, the project has got delayed for one reason or the other. A review meeting for this Rs 416-crore project was also held in Chandigarh on July 18 last year, which was presided over by Sukhbir Singh Badal himself. The Deputy CM had then announced that the project would be opened to vehicular traffic on October 1 last year.

The two-lane road of this project was “inaugurated” by Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal on December 17, a week before the model code of conduct came into force for the Vidhan Sabha elections.

After the new state government has been formed in Punjab and PWD minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon being resident of this city, the residents can expect this project to be complete within the October deadline.

Dhillon today announced that he had visited the project along with the PWD officials, contractor and other staff concerned.

“I have told the officials that by hook or by crook, I need the project to be complete by October at any cost. Besides, we would be installing fountains and decorative lights in some parts of the project and the area starting from Gill Road bridge till Ferozepur Road Bridge would also be beautified,” claimed Dhillon.

The PWD minister has also issued directions that the Chief Engineer of PWD would visit this project once every 10 days, Superintending Engineer thrice a week and the Executive Engineer, SDOs and Junior Engineers would remain on the spot 24X7.

“Earlier they used to visit this project very less, maybe just once in six months. That is why this project got delayed. But now I would not tolerate any such thing,” warned Sharanjit Singh Dhillon.


Police shows man at 2 places at same time!
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
The Punjab Police can perform miracles! It can show a man at two places at the same time.
Jagshir Singh, who languished behind bars for nearly seven months after being booked in a fraud case that turned out to be "motivated" during the course of the trial, has a proof of the anomaly.

Jagshir was booked in a fraud case after he lodged a complaint against his employers for not paying him salary and for making castiest comments.

Had it not been the powerful tool of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, Jagshir could never prove his innocence.

Showing an RTI report to prove his point, Jagshir said, "On March 17, 2011, as per the entry No 12 in Rojnamcha (police records), I was stated to be confined in a lock-up of police station Division No 8 from 1:20 pm till 2:20 pm. And as per entry No 13, I was taken out of police station at 2:20 pm for being produced before the court. Shockingly as per the medical record of civil hospital I was examined at 1: 45 pm. If I was in police lock-up, whose medical test was conducted by the police at Civil Hospital? It could either be someone else or it could be a ghost. Well the police could better answer on it."

There is no record available with the police, which could prove that the medical was conducted in the lock-up.

"I tell you the real story. I was kept in lock-up and was forcibly made to sign on a paper to seek police remand from court. Later during the day, I was produced at the house of the judicial magistrate for seeking further police remand," said Jagshir.

The anomaly does not end here. Valuables, including bill books, Rs 15,000 cash and four top sheets that were shown as recoveries, have no mention in the police Malkhana register.

If that is not all, sample this, the recoveries, including mobile phone, personal diary and cash made during personal search of Jagshir, has no mention in the malkhana register.

Jagshir pleaded before the court that the police had usurped his mobile phone, cash and personal diary as it contained important numbers and details, which could prove his innocence.

"But shockingly during my hearing in the court in February 3, the police claimed before the court that the mobile was found from the rubble in malkhana. However, I refused to accept the mobile phone, as it was not mine and further brought the matter to the notice of Commissioner of Police," said Jagshir. 

RTI info to aid

}According to an RTI report, on March 17, 2011, as per the entry No 12 in Rojnamcha (police records), I was stated to be confined in a lock-up of police station Division No 8 from 1:20 pm till 2:20 pm. And as per entry No 13, I was taken out of police station at 2:20 pm for being produced before the court. Shockingly as per the medical record of civil hospital I was examined at 1: 45 pm. If I was in police lock-up, whose medical test was conducted by the police at Civil Hospital? It could either be someone else or it could be a ghost. Well the police could better answer on it.

— Jagshir, who languished behind bars for nearly seven months

Police works at lightning speed?

According to Jagshir Singh, as per entry No 12 on March 18, 2011, sub-inspector (SI) Navneen Kumar, head constable (HC) Kewal Krishan and HC Narang Singh left for Rajasthan along with me for the recovery raid at 3:10 pm. But according to entry No 13 HC Kewal Krishan was deputed at a naka along with SHO Maninder Bedi at the PAU. If HC Kewal Krishan was on a journey to Rajasthan, how could he accompany SHO Maninder Bedi?



PSEB to hold maths practical exam
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News service

Ludhiana, March 31
From this session, the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB), Mohali, will conduct Practical examination of mathematics. In a circular issued by the board, it has been mentioned that marks of the practical examination would also included in the total marks.

According to the directions, "Fifteen marks will be included for the practical exams from class VIth to VIIIth and 25 marks would be reserved for the practical exams of maths for class IX and class Xth. It was a long-pending demand of mathematics teachers to start the practical examination of mathematics for good performance of students in subject."

Gurbeer Singh Alamgeer, a maths , said, "It is very appreciable decision of the PSEB. We welcome it, as it will improve the proficiency of students in mathematics. The pass percentage will increase because now teachers can explain the mathematical terms in a practical way."

Jaswinder Singh Jhabelwali, state president, Math Teachers Association, said, "When we constituted our association to improve the results of mathematics in government schools, this was one of the major demands. Maths is basically a practical subject. When we try to understand it in a theoretical way, it becomes uninteresting. It was the main reason for the bad results".

Maths is a boring subject. It would be more interesting if we understand mathematical terms by doing some activites. This practice will be very helpful to improve our skills, said Harpreet Singh, a student.



40-yr-old woman ‘set on fire’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Four persons, including two women, have been booked for allegedly setting a 40-year-old woman on fire following a quarrel at the Old Court area here today.
The victim, identified as Aarti, was visiting her sister's house for the past few days.

It is learnt that Aarti and her sister Tafla had a heated argument with Sonu, Laxmi, Khaniya and Anjli last night.

Aarti said that the four accused surrounded her in the morning and set her ablaze after pouring kerosene on her. She was rushed to Civil Hospital for treatment and her condition was stated to be stable. After recording the complaint, the police has registered an attempt to murder case under Section 307 of the IPC against the accused.

Meanwhile, the four accused claimed that Aarti had set herself on fire to settle a score with them. They further alleged that Aarti was a chronic alcoholic and used to create ruckus in the area.



City observes Earth Hour
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
As the Earth Hour was celebrated today across the world, some of the residents were all agog to celebrate the hour for the cause of the environment. Although not many groups or organisations in the city were gung-ho about the hour.

The Earth Hour is celebrated from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm every year to create a movement and awareness about the environmental issues and global warming by switching off lights. "Although in our city, there hasn't been a movement about the day, I really love the concept. Imagine how much impact it would have if it is celebrated together and can go a long way about creating awareness on global warming," said Satish Verma, a resident.

Environmental activist and retired IFS officer SS Channa says he and his family have been celebrating the day for the past four years. "It is a great opportunity to participate together to create awareness about environmental issues," he said. "I particularly take care that my grandchildren participate in this," he said. I think everybody should observe such days and take steps to save the environment, otherwise the future for the next generations is doomed," he said. "We should not be so self-centred," he added.

Lights were switched off at 8.30 pm at a restaurant in the Sarabha Nagar market for an hour and candles were used. "We revere Mother Earth and this is just a small tribute to this planet to which we owe our existence and prosperity," said Harjinder Singh, at the restaurant.

"We are living in the most polluted city in India. It is high time, we took up initiatives to create the awareness about saving the environment," said Asha Gupta, another resident. 



Members allege malpractices
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Even as the newly elected team of the Sutlej Club is to take over tomorrow, a couple of members have alleged foul play during the elections.

Navtej Singh Natt, who contested for the position of bar secretary, has taken the matter to the court, saying that the elections were held early not following the bylaws and the constitution of the club. In a submission to the Deputy Commissioner, it is also mentioned that recounting of votes for the position of Bar Secretary should be done as there were some missing votes.

One of the submissions say: "The missing votes tantamount to corrupt practices as per the election procedure."

According to sources, another member, Sanjiv Dhanda, who contested the elections, also went to court, alleging malpractice.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari said there had been no notification from the court so far about the cases, but if it is received, an appropriate reply would be filed in the court. 



The day of little girls
Ashtmi Pooja celebrated with fervour in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Ashtmi Pooja was celebrated with fervour across the city as Navratras came to an end today. Little girls were well-attired as "kanjaks" and were worshipped as the nine personas of Devi Durga.

Many of the little girls were eagerly awaiting for the day and woke up early and got ready for celebrating the day and so did the residents who invited the little kanjaks from their neighbourhoods for ‘Ashtmi poojan’.

Some of the girls were excited about having to relish delicious puri-chhole and halwa, while others were happy about receiving gifts. "I received a pencil box, a tiffin and many chocolates," said an elated girl.

"I love the day and we are treated like princesses on the day and everybody takes blessings from me and my friends in the neighbourhood," said nine-year-old Divya.

"I invited the pious "kanjaks" to my house today and performed pooja so as to have the good and propitious blessings from Matarani," said a resident of Kitchlu Nagar. "My own daughter went to several houses in our neighbourhood," she said.

Some of the residents, however, said it was a trouble finding little girls for worshipping them as "kanjaks". "I had a hard time finding little girls in our vicinity, so I had to call up my friend who lives quite farther from here, and then she came to our house with her daughter," said another resident. 



Lok Adalat settles 220 cases
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 31
As many as 220 cases were settled at the monthly Lok Adalat held here today under the supervision of Karamjit Singh Kang, in charge Sessions Judge-cum-Chairman of the District Legal Services Authority.

Assistant District Attorney Ritu Jain said 345 cases were placed before the different benches of the Lok Adalat. Disputes involving an amount of Rs 5,67,21,467 were resolved by amicable settlement between the parties.

A member of the State Legal Services Authority Pappu Abinash Singh inspected the working of 16 benches of the Lok Adalat.

Civil cases, rent cases, matrimonial disputes, motor accident-claim cases, bank-loan disputes were settled. 



DC writes to railways
Wants it to finish the Lakkar Bridge work at the earliest
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Perturbed at the delay in completion of the Lakkar Bridge, the Deputy Commissioner has today sent a demi official (DO) letter to the Chief Engineer of the Northern Railways asking them to speed up the work, else they would be held responsible for the delay.

The much-hyped project is hanging fire since 1997. It is a clear reflection of the sad state of affairs in the state government as well as the Railways that even after 15 years a project aimed at reducing traffic congestion in the city remains incomplete. The work restarted on November 27, 2009.

Even as the up and down ramps on both side of the bridge were completed within stipulated timeframe, the portion to be constructed on top of railway tracks has been hanging fire.

Even though the railway officials have been claiming that the project would be ready by March 31, but the contractor claimed that he was yet to receive the main drawings of one of the two bridges to be constructed on railway tracks.

Tewari today blamed the Northern Railways for the delay. “For eight months, they were not able to even finalise the drawings of portion to be constructed on top of railway tracks and that is why, the work has not even moved an inch. The work of this project was restarted on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. But the Northern Railway has not been able to finalise the drawings whereas the PWD has already completed its part of the project. I have written that if there is any contempt of court, then the Northern Railways would be responsible for it,” Tewari added. 



Level crossing a headache for commuters
Remains closed due to technical snag, people forced to take alternate routes
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, March 31
A level crossing of Rampur, which remains closed most of the time, has become a headache for commuters. Of late, the level crossing has started remaining closed due to technical snag. The commuters are forced to look for alternate routes through surrounding villages.

“The level crossing remains closed most of the time. We have to plan our day at least an hour ahead. The closed level crossing has almost become a part of our daily routine. The situation goes out of control when there is an emergency,” said Prof Gagandeep Sharma, a resident of Rampur village.

“One day at least three trains passed after a gap of 15 minutes each while I waiting for it to be lifted. The level crossing could have been easily lifted during these intervals, but nobody bothered. I decided to take a long alternate route,” a resident of the town added.

“I belong to Katani Kalan and have to reach the college by 9.20 am. My village is 4 kilometers from the town and it takes just 15 minutes to reach it. But I have to start an hour early from my house. Otherwise, I have to face the wrath of teachers in the first period itself,” said a student of Guru Nanak National College.

“The commuters wait endlessly on both sides. Sometimes four to five trains pass at a stretch. Once the level crossing is lifted, the traffic chaos is beyond comprehension. Moreover, the vehicles, instead of following a particular line, make four to five lines, thus creating a situation that is no less dangerous as the road moves along the canal. As every driver is in a hurry, the situation, at times, becomes tense” rued Sukhpal Singh, superintendent, Guru Nanak National College, Doraha.

Dr Nirlep Kaur, who teaches in a local college, finds her precious time always wasted at the level crossing. “I really get upset when I find the level crossing closed. I don’t wish to attend the college anymore lest I should be reprimanded for coming late,” she said in a frustrated tone.

The commuters allege that there have been frequent scuffles with the gate man on duty, as he seems to be in no hurry to open the gates.

Inderjit Singh, Executive Engineer, PWD, Roop Nagar, said, “ Plan is afoot to construct a railway overbridge. The amount has already been deposited for the erection of the bridge and the joint inspection conducted by the Railways. Once the design is finalised, we shall start the work immediately after getting approval of the forest department”.



Tiwari meets agitating jewellers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Local MP, Manish Tiwari, today assured agitating jewellers to take up their case with the Union Finance Minister. Tewari today went to meet the protesting jewellers, who were staging a dharna near the Fountain Chowk, against the excise duty imposed in the recent Budget.

President of the District Congress Committee, Ludhiana (Urban) Pawan Dewan, local MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Gurmail Pehalwan, councillor Balkar Sandhu and 
others were present on 
the occasion.

Anand Sikri, president, Ludhiana Jewellers’ Association, said Tiwari had assured them to fix meeting with the Finance Minister in this regard.

“Tiwari asked us to stop protesting and open their shops. But we have decided to open our shops only after the duties are rolled back,” he added. 



Councillor accused of not paying proper house tax
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
As the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation elections are nearing, the politics of allegations and counter-allegations have started. A local resident has accused a BJP councillor and her husband of causing loss to the civic body by not paying proper house tax.

Balbir Aggarwal, joint secretary of the RTI Activists Federation Punjab-Chandigarh, had filed a written complaint with MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi against BJP councillor Sunita Fanta and her husband Harbans Lal Fanta. The MC Commissioner has asked its staff to conduct an inquiry into the matter.

In his complaint, Aggarwal alleged that the house tax of building number 2583, Jagat Nagar, Basti Jodhewal was owned by Harbans Lal Fanta and he had rented it to a bank.

“According to documents procured through the Right to Information Act and provided by the Public Information Officer of the bank, the monthly rent is Rs 24,000. But according to documents procured through the RTI Act provided by Zone B of the MC, the monthly rent of the same property is shown as Rs 9,282 per month. This clearly shows that the property owner Harbans Lal Fanta caused loss to the MC by concealing the exact amount of the rent,” alleged Balbir Aggarwal.

When contacted, BJP councillor Sunita Fanta’s husband Harbans Lal Fanta rubbished these allegations as baseless. “I had purchased this property, where this bank is situated, around two years back. After getting complaint from Balbir Aggarwal, the MC has sent a notice to the bank, which they would reply themselves. Moreover, if the MC finds that I have not paid proper house tax, I am ready to pay it. But the MC should conduct House Tax survey of all other properties in the city because I know more than 90 percent people don’t pay proper house tax,” claimed Fanta.



100 file nominations
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Today was the last day for filing nominations for the honorary posts of office-bearers of the Punjab Sahit Akademi. The nominations were opened on March 26. According to sources, 100 nominations have been filed so far. These would be scrutinised tomorrow and candidates would be allowed to withdraw their candidatures till April 5. The election would be held on April 15.

The elections would be held for the posts of president, senior vice-president, five posts of vice-president, including one from outside Punjab and Chandigarh, a general secretary and 15 executive members.

An incumbent for a position serves for two years and can continue at the position no longer than three consecutive terms.

The akademi was set up in 1954 and has seen nine presidents so far, including Bhai Jodh Singh, MS Randhawa, Prof Preetam Singh (acting), Giani Lal Singh, SS Johl, Amrik Singh Pooni, Padam Shri Surjit Singh Patar, Dilip Kaur Tiwana and the current president Prof Gurbhajan Singh Gill. Dilip Kaur Tiwana has been the only woman to be elected as president. The academy has about 1,450 members and 150 patrons. 



From school
Students felicitated

Ludhiana: Bal Bharati Public School on Saturday felicitated its outstanding students. The glitzy and gala function, which was studded with scintillating dance performances, had been conducted on two consecutive days and was enjoyed by a gathering of about a thousand spectators.

Principal Punam Dogra, in her address to the parents, emphasised that Bal Bharati aimed at making its students perpetual learners as “Learning is an ongoing process”. She asserted that positive learning was possible only by ongoing interaction and encouragement.

The guest of honour for the second day, Gurman Sandhu (special educator in Chandigarh), spoke at length on the art of parenting. She advised the parents to treat their children as an individual and not as a source to fulfil their own aspirations.

A serene presentation of 'Sufi Kalam' made the whole atmosphere spiritual The students who had proved their excellence in the scholastic and co-scholastic arenas were appreciated and awarded.

Prizes distributed

Result of non-board classes of Sri Om Parkasd Gupta ADP Modal Senior Secondary School was announced here on Saturday. According to the school authorities, all the students have perform well in the examination. Principal Sanjeev Bindra congratulated the students. Prizes were distribute to meritorious students. — TNS



From colleges
Degrees conferred on 499

Ludhiana: The annual convocation of Arya College was held for the academic session 2010-11 at Bharti Auditorium here today. Degrees were conferred upon 499 postgraduates and graduates of the MA, MCom, MSc (IT), PGDCA, BCom and BBA courses. Prof Swatantar Kumar, Vice-Chancellor, Gurukul Kangri University, Haridwar, was the chief guest.

The Principal, Dr TL Joshi, highlighted the academic achievements of the students. Rajesh Sharma, president, Arya College Managing Committee, appreciated the efforts of the Principal and entire staff of the college in making the occasion a grand success.

Govt College for Women

Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker, Vidhan Sabha, at the convocation of GCW in Ludhiana on Saturday.
Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker, Vidhan Sabha, at the convocation of GCW in Ludhiana on Saturday. A Tribune photo

Meanwhile, at the annual convocation of the Government College for Women, as many as 860 graduates and postgraduates were conferred degrees in the streams of arts, science and commerce, including honours degrees in arts and commerce Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, was the chief guest. While Santa Singh Umedpur, Chairman, Subordinate Services Selection Board, Punjab, presided over the function.

Principal Gurminder Kaur read out the annual report of the college for the session 2011-12. The students were also honoured with Roll of Honour, College Colours and merit certificates.

In his address, Atwal, while motivating the students, quoted Bhai Kanhaya, Bhagat Puran Singh, Guru Amar Dass and Mother Teresa and said they should be their idols.

Students bring laurels

Students of AS College excelled in the Panjab University first semester examination of MA (political science). Kirandeep Kaur stood first in the college with 72.25 per cent marks. Rajandeep Kaur was second with 70.75 per cent marks while Monica stood third with 68.25 per cent marks.

Dr RS Jhanji, Principal of the college, and the management congratulated the students and the faculty for the achievement. — TNS



Yet another car stolen in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Parking a car outside a house proved to be costly for a city resident. The incident came to light today when Mahinder Singh came out of the house and found his Maruti Swift Deszire (PB 10 CY 4664) missing.

Mahinder Singh, a resident of Sham Singh Road, claimed that vehicle thieves took away his car parked outside his house.

The Sham Singh Road resident informed the police about the incident. A case has been registered against an unidentified vehicle thief in this regard. 



HC Judge Gupta visits courts complex
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 31
Justice Hemant Gupta, a Judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, today visited the city courts. He was accorded a warm welcome by the judges and lawyers.
A contingent of the Punjab police presented a guard of honour to him.

In charge Sessions Judge KS Kang, Civil Judge, Senior Division, Balwinder Kumar Sharma, Chief Judicial Magistrate Muneesh Arora, former Bar council chairman BK Goel, former president of the  DBA KR Sikri, AK Jindal were especially present on the occasion.

Later, he held meeting with the judges but could not get time to have an interaction with the lawyers.

Justice Gupta is stated to have visited Khanna, Samrala, Jagraon courts for inspection being the administrative Judge of the Ludhiana district. 



City girl on cloud nine
Sunaina has won gold in senior national
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News service

Ludhiana, March 31
Sunaina, a city-based girl, is on cloud nine after achieving success in senior national Kurash championship held here recently. She won gold medal in minus 57-kilogram category. Sunaina, a resident of Baba Namdev Colony, said she had been playing Kurash under the coaching of Praveen Thakur since 2009.

“It is a great moment. I have won gold medal in my home city,” added Sunaina. I have been practicing judo for the past eight years. Kurash is quite similar to judo so I started playing it as well. I practice both judo and Kurash for 5 hours daily,” she added.

My elder sister Manju and I had fascination for both games since childhood. She being a judo player used to inspire and motivate me. I am practicing judo under coach Rakesh Singh and have won many national and state-level medals in judo as well.

Sunaina wishes to represent the country in the international Kurash competition and dreams of joining the police force.

She said, “Sunaina’s coach, Praveen Thakur, said, “I am happy that she has performed well in the national meet.” 



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