L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Re-carpeting roads in a huff surprises people
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
With the Municipal Council elections round the corner, development in the city has taken the city residents by surprise. The civic officials seem in a hurry to lay and re-carpet roads in numerous areas of the city, but they are unmindful of the quality of material being used.

Due to this, Ishar Nagar main road, a road near the Tajpur Road, another in Sector 32 besides some others are facing municipal corporation’s apathy with no quality check on it. All these roads were either constructed or re-carpeted a few months ago.

Most of the councillors are busy carrying out “development” works in their respective wards. They fear that the day municipal elections are announced, the model code of conduct would come into force and they would not be able to carry out “development”.

Besides by carrying out this “development” the councillors are trying to impress upon the area residents and earn some brownie points.

In several parts of the city, municipal officials can be seen re-carpeting roads, installing direction boards and tube wells, besides carrying out other development works. Some of the roads were in a shambles for long, but once the municipal elections were announced, the councillors suddenly geared up to carry out development in their wards.

Several potholes appeared on the main road of Ishar Nagar, which was constructed in December 2011. Now, instead of summoning the contractor to repair the road, the corporation is repairing it on its own.

Executive Engineer H S Khosa said the main road of Ishar Nagar got damaged due to the leakage in the water supply line passing under it. “That is why we got it repaired.” When asked whether the contractor or the corporation is repairing this road, Khosa claimed that the road was being repaired by the contractor himself.

Kuldeep Singh Khaira, a resident of the area, alleged that the Ishar Nagar main road was constructed in December 2011. “Not even five months have passed and potholes have appeared on the road. The corporation should have checked the water supply line passing under the road before constructing it. This clearly shows that the corporation does not hesitate in wasting public money. When I asked the municipal staff present on the spot, they said the road was being repaired by the civic body and not the contractor,” claimed Khaira.


Beware of calls from +92, +9234
Swindlers cashing in on gullible people
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Are you receiving missed calls from unidentified numbers starting with +92? Feeling tempted to call back to see if it’s from someone you know? Think twice before you do that, as the calls might be from cheats in Pakistan.

First, residents of the city used to receive Nigerian emails promising money to people and duping them later on. Now, people are getting calls from Pakistan informing them of having won Rs 10 lakh or Rs 1 crore lotteries. The numbers from which these calls are made are +92 and +9234, which security agencies claim to be from Pakistan.

Jatin Alhuwalia, a private telecom subscriber, said he got a miss call from +923044433686. When he called back, person on the other end told him that he has won a lottery worth Rs 10 lakh and he needs to deposit Rs 15, 000 in the account number he would be giving to him. He said the amount was the processing charge for receiving the amount.

“Since all my colleagues in the office had received such calls in the past, I got alarmed and disconnected the call. To my utter surprise Rs 235 were deducted from my account for this call,” he added.

Although mobile phone companies had been alerting customers from time to time, but people are still falling into their trap. In the past, private players have been cautioning people not to respond to any unexpected calls from numbers starting with +92 or +375 country code.

Another subscriber Davinder Singh said: “My mother received a missed call today. When she called back on the same number +923340745302 they told her that she had won Rs 10 lakh. The person on the other end gave her lottery number as 055426 and the cheque number as 469009 and told her to call on 00923478869110. It took me hours to convince my mother that it was a fraudulent call. Mobile phone companies should do something on this issue,” he added.

Not only these, but a few are also getting calls that they have won lotteries through a television programme “Kaun Banega Crorepati”. “The caller told me that I have won lottery through KBC and need to deposit Rs 15,000 for getting Rs 10 lakh as prize money. They asked me to deposit the money through a KBC slip available in banks,” said Sheelam Bedi.

While enquiring from a few bank officials they denied any KBC slip available in their banks. “Such cases have been coming to our notice. I even tried to convince one of the senior citizens that no such slip exists, but he started arguing with me and in the end he got the money deposited through a normal slip in that account. I could not help him as he was not ready to listen to me that he had received a fraudulent call. 

Numbers being used

+923027471183, etc.



3 killed, 4 hurt in mishap
2 Mathura-based families were going to Vaishno Devi shrine
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna, May 9
The proposed visit of two Mathura-based families to a shrine turned sour when three persons, including two children and a woman, were killed and four injured in a road accident in the wee hours today.

The two families had left Mathura in a Safari and were on their way to Vaishno Devi shrine. They stopped the vehicle by the roadside near Khanna to answer the call of nature’s call. A speeding canter truck rammed into the vehicle from behind while they were alighting from the vehicle.

The accident was so fierce that no one was able to save himself. Two children-Kartik (2), son of Nishi Kant Sharma, and Radha (4), daughter of Rajesh Kumar- were killed on the spot.

Neetu (25), wife of Nishi Kant Sharma, was declared brought dead at the local Civil Hospital. Four persons, who sustained critical injures, are Archna, Gopal Shekhar, Rajesh and Shri Devi. They were admitted to the local Civil Hospital. They were referred to the PGI, Chandigarh, in critical condition.

The bodies and the injured were taken out of the mangled remains of the vehicle with great difficulty by police personal and passersby. SHO Sadar said a case had been registered against the Canter driver, who is absconding.

The construction work of an overbridge is going on snail’s pace. This has led to numerous fatal accidents. The deadline for constructing the overbridge by Soma Company has expired. But it was extended by the authorities. Senior Medical Officer of Khanna said the bodies were handed over to their guardians after post mortem.



Yet another girl duped by NRI
She lost Rs 26 lakh; now living with stigma of being dumped 
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, May 9
Even though the trend of sham marriages among Punjabis has ruined lives of several hundred girls in the state, still the lust for going abroad in search of greener pastures among the Punjabis does not seem to be dying down.

Jasvir Kaur (29), a graduate, who belongs to Khadoor village near Jodhan, has become the latest victim of the sham marriages. She not only suffered a huge economic loss, but is also living with a social stigma of being dumped by a honeymoon husband.

In fact, Jasvir Kaur has also been the victim of fake marriages by travel agents. The gang, which was involved in several fake marriages, was busted today. According to Jasvir Kaur, her parents had solemnized her paper marriage with a Canada-based NRI Kamaljit Singh Deol, who originally hails from Adampur village in the Jalandhar district, in May 2009, through a travel agent.

“Kamaljit arrived from Canada in May and contacted my parents through an agent Kulwant Singh while they were searching for a NRI boy for sending me abroad. After a couple of meetings, a deal was struck. Kamaljit accepted the contract marriage and then take me to Canada. In exchange of this, my parents agreed to pay Rs 26 lakh to him,” said Jasvir Kaur while narrating her tale to media persons during a press conference.

Following this, Kamaljit and Jasvir marriage was solemnized on May 5, 2009, at a marriage palace in Gurusar Sudhar near Mullanpur. As per the agreement, Jasvir’s family members paid Rs 26 lakh to Karamjit Singh. After this, Karamjit Singh spent about six months in India. He, then, left for Canada with an assurance to take Jasvir to Canada once her visa was arranged.

But he neither returned to India nor sent any visa to Jasvir. The family members of Jasvir lodged a complaint with the police and a case was registered against Karamjit Singh. According to Jasvir, her father had arranged this money by selling their agricultural land. Now, she and her family members were passing through a tough phase.

“Despite the fact that a large number of girls are being dumped by the NRI grooms every year, still a few families are searching for them,” said SSP Ludhiana (rural) Gurpreet Singh Toor.

He added that it was not possible for the police to eradicate the menace from society. The parents of the girls shall also think twice and verify credentials of the NRIs before getting their daughters to them.



What actually is it?
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
A sham or fake marriage is an “unwritten contract” in which huge amount of money exchange hands to send a boy or a girl abroad. The sham marriage is done to hoodwink immigration officials and abroad by gaining immigration rights for one of the spouses.

The trend of sham marriages picked up in the state following introduction of stricter immigration laws by the developed countries. Sham marriages have become a common method for allowing a foreigner to live and possibly gain citizenship, in the country desired by their spouse.

The couple marries with the knowledge that the marriage is solely for the purpose of obtaining the favorable immigration status.

The marriage is arranged as a business transaction (i.e.) a substantial amount of money is paid) and occurs more commonly when the Punjabi NRIs are visiting their country.

Cases of sham marriages:

However, no data is available about the number of dispute taking place in the state. SAD leader Balwant Singh Ramoowalia said his NGO, Dignity of Daughters, keeps receiving such cases of and on. He said: “The trend of fake marriages have picked up in the past five years. The economic down trend in Europe and western countries has also led to increase in sham marriages. Nearly 1000 contract marriages are taking place in the state every year. We receive nearly 110 such cases, which ultimately end in dispute.”

He further thanked Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenny for crack down on sham marriages. “According to the new law in Canada, the newlywed spouse would have to wait for nearly two years to get a permanent residency (PR). The spouse will have to wait for five years from the day they are granted PR status before they can, in turn, sponsor a new partner,” added Ramoowalia.

“The data collected so far indicates that Amanpal was a drug addict and he was here to make money by formulating contract marriages,” DIG Ludhiana range MF Farooqui said. 



NRI youths in Canada take to sham marriages
Jobless drug addicts lure innocent boys, girls to earn easy money
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Jagraon, May 9
Drug addiction and economic slowdown is prompting boys and girls of Indian origin settled in Canada to take the route of sham marriage. These NRIs are taking full advantage of Punjabis’ craze for greener pasture and ripping them off for lakh of rupees.

This startling revelation was made by DIG (Ludhiana Range) MF Farooqui, following the arrest of Karamjit Kaur, alias Kammo, Kulwant Singh and his relative Aman.

Kammo a resident of Sukhana village near Jagraon, and Bhinder Kaur of Mandi Ahmedgarh are the kingpins of the fake-marriage gang comprising 20 persons.

The DIG added that he would take up the matter with seniors to tighten the noose around fake-marriage gangs.

These three in connivance with hotel owner Gulshan Rai had stuffed the body of 22- year- old Canada-based NRI Amanpal in a suitcase and dumped it into a Sirhand feeder canal.

The police sources said the gang had pocketed a whopping Rs 10 crore by conducting nearly 25 such marriages.

A huge amount of money went into the pocket of the drug addicts from Canada, who were getting married to the local boys and girls.

The four other members of the gang have been identified as Gurcharan Kaur, her son Komal Singh of Gill village, Karamjit Singh of Sukhana village and Surinder Singh of Rajgarh village. They were nabbed by the Sadar police earlier this year. They allegedly confessed that Kammo and Bholi along with Kulwant Singh arranged nearly 25 illegal marriages in the past three years.

However, the city police could so far track down the details of eight illegal marriages that had taken place in Jagraon, Mullanpur, Moga and surrounding areas. The gang members have pocketed Rs 2.76 crore.

“There is a huge list of unregistered cases against the gang where the victim did not report the matter to the police fearing social embarrassment. Such agents have spread all across the state and authorities of a few marriage places in sub- urban areas are also operating as agents,” said DIG MF Farooqui.

Karamjit Kaur and Bhinder Kaur had earlier duped Amarjeet Singh of Gill village of Rs 35 lakh.

Narrating the incident Amarjeet Singh said a retired government school teacher Gurchar Kaur, her son Komal Singh and the latter’s wife Narinder Kaur, all members of the Kammo gang, visited his house on September 2008 and offered a marriage proposal for his son Parminder Singh (25) with a Canadian girl.

“Gurcharan Kaur, who frequently visits Canada, told me that a girl named Davinder Kaur Mann lives along with her daughter Anoop Kaur in Surrey, Canada. She told me to solemnize the marriage between Davinder Kaur and Parminder, so that my son could settle in Canada. Initially, I was reluctant but she managed to persuade me. Finally, I gave my nod and on October 2008, Davinder Kaur arrived in Punjab,” said Amarjit Singh.

Soon after the arrival of Davinder Kaur Mann, Canadian bride for sham marriage, Bhinder Kaur, the kingpin of the gang, who lives in Mandi Ahmedgarh, reached the house and struck a deal for Rs 35 lakh for sending Parminder Singh to Canada after marriage?

On October 18, 2008, the marriage was solemnized and the first installment was paid. Subsequently, the second installment was paid on October 23, 2008, when the marriage was registered. After staying with Parminder Singh for a few days the Davinder Kaur fled to Canada on October 29, 2008.

“The girl had no money, but she used to drink and smoke. She even used drugs. I don’t know from where she procured it,” said Parminder Singh, while recalling the time he spend with his “contract bride.”

Amarjit Singh, father of Parminder, came to know about the fraud when Canadian visa authorities denied visa to Parminder Singh. He lodged a complaint with the local police and was shocked to know that the he was not alone to be duped. The gang had duped several innocent families on the pretext of sending their wards abroad on the basis of sham marriages. The gang had recently affected a compromise with Amarjit Singh.

“They are quick to settle the issue. The gang member settle the issue by returning some part of the money,” DIG Farooqui.

Modus Operandi

The gang offered nearly ~10 lakh to the drug addict boys and girls for arranging sham marriages. The rest of the amount was distributed among the members of the gang. The agents identified as Sukhwinder Singh and Robin, both from Canada, are operating as conduit. They remain in touch with drug addict boys and girls in Canada, who are willing to arrange fake marriage for few hundred Canadian dollars. Most of the youths are jobless due to the economic slowdown and are living separately from the family. They find contract marriage as easy source for earning money. According to gang members, Davinder Kaur Mann of Surrey Canada was hired when she came in contact with them. She needed money to buy drugs and struck a deal with the gang. Similar was the story of Amanpal of Brampton, Canada, who allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself with a ceiling hook.

Money taken from residents

Gurnam Singh of Gurre village, who got married on August 28, 2008, spent Rs 28 lakh

Jagroop Singh of Bodhe Badni village in Moga, who got married on April 14, 2008, spent Rs 42 lakh.

yurwinder Singh Tussa village near Mullanpur, who got married on May 5, 2008, spent Rs 31 lakh

Sukhraj Singh of Kaind near Gill, who married on September 9, 2008, paid Rs 28 lakh.

Rajwinder Kaur of Sujapur village, who got married on October 23, 2010, paid Rs 20 lakh.

Amandeep Kaur of Bardeke village, who got married on May 7, 2007, paid Rs 25 lakh and 21 tola gold ornaments.

Maninder Kaur of Ceelo Anni spent Rs 33 lakh.



Routine work suffers
Acute staff shortage in district administration offices
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Due to acute staff shortage in the district administration, routine work seems to be suffering. Though officials maintain that it was a temporary phase and things will be streamlined once vacancies are filled, still the "over-burdened" officials maintain that it had become too difficult to take care of two-three departments together.

Many officials either have gone on a long leave or the posts are lying vacant in the administration. The officials, who have been given additional charge, feel that their own routine work was suffering, as they had to look after the works of others (who are on leave).

Starting from the top, Deputy Commisioner Rahul Tiwari has recently been given the charge of Chief Administrator (CA) GLADA, as KS Pannu (CA-GLADA) is away on a training. The Additional Deputy Commissioner (General) Rupanjli Kartik has been given the additional charge of ADC (D), as Pradeep Aggarwal, former ADC (D) got promoted as Deputy Commissioner, Rupnagar.

Similarly, SDM (East) Ajay Sood has to look after three departments. He has been given the additional charge as Joint Commissioner Municipal Corporation. Besides, Sood has been given the charge as Additional Chief Administrator (ACA) PUDA, as Jaswant Singh, former ACA, got retired.

Gurmit Singh, SDM, Jagraon, has to see the work as SDM Raikot, too, as the post is lying vacant. As KS Mahi, SDM (West) Ludhiana is on a long leave. Gurmit Singh has to look after the work as SDM (West) also.

SDM Khanna PS Sodhi has been given the additional charge as SDM Payal against a vacant post. SDM Samrala has been asked to work as Assistant Commissioner Grievances (additional charge). As if it was not enough, due to the acute shortage in the district administration, Superintendent to DC has to work as GA to DC too. The main IAS and PCS officers have been given double and triple charges of other departments due to staff shortage.

An official said due to the additional burden of other departments, their own routine work was suffering. "I have not been able to clear my files, as for two hours I sit in my own office, then I have to take care of other two departments," said the official.

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari said they had sent a request to the government to fill the vacancies. But we make sure that public does not suffer. This is a temporary phase, once we get the staff, things will be alright.



‘Tough times never last’
Physically challenged Parmanand is master of many arts
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Despite being impaired from powers of listening and speech Parmanand Punj is master of many skills. He could easily challenge any normal human being with his acts. A 32-year-old Parmanand is in pharmaceutical industry and running a medical store at Lohara village of Ludhiana. Apart form running the medical store, he is well versed in astrology. In the era of computer he is regular user of Internet and is active on face book and social networking sites.

According to doctors, he lost his ability to listen after drowning incident when at the age of seven. No hearing aid can help him. After the accident, Permanand denied to go to a special school because he did not want to be considered him as a deaf and dumb. He learnt Punjabi, English and Hindi languages while reading newspapers and other reading material available at home. Now he is able to read and write the three languages. He does not find it inconvenient while expressing his feelings. He uses mobile to keep in touch with their family members. Most of the time, he communicates through SMS. His younger brother Rajat said, "He cannot hear but perceive every single word by lip reading. We never feel any inconvenience form his side while communicating. He is running the chemist shop without taking anybody’s help. He is doing his job very carefully. Costumers give him doctors’ prescription and he gives the same and charge the print rate."

Communicating through SMS, Parmanand said, "I am happy that after being impaired from power of hearing and speech I can communicate without any hurdle. Sometimes, strangers confuse me but I take the help of lip reading and all goes well.''

Reading comics, historical books, religious hymns, religious books, playing cricket and surfing Internet are the hobbies of Paramanand. But astrology is his most favorite hobby.



Demolition drive, villagers block highway
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khamano May 9
Protesting against the demolition drive of the PWD department of houses and shops hundreds of villagers, today, blocked traffic on Ludhiana-Chandigarh road for about two hours at village Pohlo Majra. The traffic was opened only after the concerned officials assured that they will not demolish any structure and they will also access losses of the affected families. It is worthwhile to say that yesterday about 15 alleged illegal structures were razed by the PWD officials with the help of the JCB.

The protesters were raising slogans against the Punjab Government and against the concerned department. A large number of women of the area were also protesting with black flags in their hands. Due to traffic blockade the DSP Khamano and Tehsildar reached the scene but the villagers only ended the blockade after SDM Khamano Gurjit Singh assured that if any one has genuine claim then he should come to Tehsildar Khamano Friday with documents and he stopped the demolition today.



Blocked sewers bane of ward No. 9
Though the ward is in relatively better condition than other areas, it lacks parks
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
At the outset ward no. 9 councillor's claims that he has got the roads of the ward "reconditioned" seem to be true. The streets in the ward are in relatively better condition compared to some of the other wards in the area. But lack of parks, blocked sewers, irregularity in visits by sweepers remain are the residents' complaints in some of the colonies of the ward.

Guru Arjan Dev Nagar, one of the largest colonies in the ward, has issues of blocked sewers in parts of it. On the main road passing throug Guru Arjan Dev Nagar, garbage lies in heaps. Shopkeepers have even lodged complaints with the authorities concerned about accumulation of garbage in the market area, which affects their business. Heaps of dirt can be seen in some areas, including Beant Pura. The residents complain that sweepers clean the streets and leave the heaps on the roadside. Although the garbage is burnt or cleared, heaps of dirt keep mounting. The residents of Adarsh Nagar complain that no sweeper comes to the area. The residents of Vishwakarma Nagar are also dissatisfied with the poor upkeep of the streets.

Councillor Gurpreet Singh Gora contested as an independent in the last elections. The ward has been reserved for women for this term. He plans to contest for the next tenure from ward no. 7.

There are about 14 colonies in ward no, 9, including Vishwakarma Nagar, Guru Arjan Dev Nagar, Indra Colony, Indira Puri, LIG Flats, Kishore Nagar, Ravidas Pura, Jaswant Nagar, Beant Pura, Hargobind Pura, Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Nagar and Adarsh Nagar.

Councillor speak

I have spent Rs 4.5 crore on roads and got three tubewells sunk, sewers laid in the area. I got the roads widened and organised plantation drives. I have spent Rs 50 lakh on the pension scheme. The roads were reconditioned in the areas such as Vishwakarma Nagar, Guru Arjan Dev Nagar, Hargobind Nagar, Adarsh Nagar. Work is yet to resume in some of the areas, including Indra Puri and Ravidas Pura, as orders for the same have just been received. The roads have been cemented at a cost of Rs 10-15 lakh in some of the areas. — Gurpreet Singh Gora, Councillor

The residents dump all the garbage at the end of street no. 5. The street corner has become a breeding ground for mosquitoes, and causing diseases. Moreover, at least 30 households in the colony face an acute shortage of water. No sweeper visits the area. — Pratigya Gupta, a resident of Indira Colony

The parks of the area are poorly maintained. Because of this, there is no decent place for youngsters to play. Wires keep hanging loose in the area, posing a danger to residents' lives. — Mohit Chatterji, a resident of LIG Flats

There is no cleanliness in the locality. Sweepers are hardly to be seen. Even if they do come, they leave heaps of garbage in the streets that again get spread in the area. There is a need for proper upkeep of the area. — Jasbir Singh, a resident of Kishore Nagar

Blocked sewers and waterlogging is a common problem in some of the streets. Fruit and vegetable vendors gather near the area, block the traffic and encroach on the roads in the area, and cause noise pollution. — Darshan Kumar, another resident of LIG Flats

Sewer blockage in the area is a huge problem. Our life has become difficult, because there is no drainage for water, neither from our homes nor from the street. Despite several complaints, nothing is being done to solve this problem — Manjit Kaur, a resident of Guru Arjan Dev Nagar

Population: 60,000 
Voters: 18,000



Ward No. 10 better than others, but not all are satisfied here
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
The condition of roads, potable water supply, sanitation and sewerage in ward no. 10 is better than its adjoining wards. However, the residents and shopkeepers on the Kuliwal Road are the most unsatisfied section of the residents. Some of the new residential areas are deprived of potable water supply and sewerage whereas development work is going on in other areas. Sector 32-A is a posh area of the ward where roads are full of bumps and potholes.

However, Sukhdev Nagar, Guru Nanak Nagar and Mahajan Vihar are the well-maintained areas of the ward. Despite some development in Sanjay Gandhi Colony, the residents are still facing a number of problems due to the negligence of the civic body. However, the councillor claimed that Sanjay Gandhi Colony is one of the best colonies for BPL families.

Poor potable water supply and non-existent streetlights haunt residents in some areas of the ward. Vacant plots are the usual dumping grounds. The MC has failed to put up garbage bins in the area.

The major areas of the ward include Sector 32-A, Sector 33, police colony, MIG flats, Sukhdev Nagar, Mahajan Vihar, Gosain Colony, Unkar Vihar, New Sukhdev Nagar, New Guru Nanak Nagar, Guru Ramdas Nagar, Khurana Colony and Sanjay Gandhi Colony.

Population: 13,500 
Voters: 42,000

Councillor speak

I‘ve developed eight colonies by providing sewerage, clean potable water supply and carpeted roads there. Devolpment work in some unrecognised colonies is also going on. I have got the Kuliwal road carpeted twice during my tenure. First it was maintained in 2009 but after sewers were laid there it had to be recarpeted. A major chunk of the grants has been spent on developing Sanjay Gandhi Colony. Recently, I got a tubewell sunk in the colony. — Sakshi Julka, Councillor

The residents dump all the garbage at the end of street no. 5. The The MC staff started the carpeting of the Kuliwal Road one year ago but the work is still going on. Our business is suffering due the slow pace of work. Moreover, this dusty road is a health hazard. The MC should carpet it with premix as soon as possible — Gurjit Singh Ladi, owner of an food outlet

The residents dump all the garbage at the end of street no. 5. The The MC staff started the carpeting of the Kuliwal Road one year ago. The work is still going on. Our business is The condition of the main road is pathetic, which leads to accidents and inconvenience to commuters. During the monsoon, there is water logging on the road. Moreover, the dust makes things more difficult for the shopkeepers on the main road — Kamal Kumar, a resident of Sukhdev Nagar

The residents dump all the garbage at the end of street no. 5. The The MC staff started the carpeting of the Kuliwal Road one year ago. The work is still going on. Our business is Development of the ward is satisfactory but we are unhappy over the delay in the completion of some of the projects. The MC staff dig up roads for laying sewers but the work is complete no one cares to recarpet roads. This kind of negligence leads to inconvenience to commuters. The corporation officials and the councillor should be strict when it comes to meeting the deadlines of development projects — Gurmeet Singh, a resident

The councillor has done his job very well. There is no major problem in Sector 32. There are a number of areas in the ward which were earlier considered undeveloped but now those areas are models of development. Some streets are in bad shape in our area. We hope that the MC would also take care of these problems — Rajan, a resident of Sector 32A

Nothing is favourable in this area to live. There is no maintenance of streets. Most roads have not been carpeted. There are no parks in the area for children to play. People has encroached on the parks and MC is helpless to remove them from there. The roads turn muddy during the rains — Ashok Kumar, a resident of Sanjay Gandhi Colony



Differences between Sokhi and Bains to fore 
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
One can never imagine how the politics of the day will take a turn. Differences between municipal councillor Jagbir Singh Sokhi and MLA Simarjit Singh Bains have come out in the open with Sokhi suspecting that Bains is lobbying hard to get his ticket for the MC elections cancelled.

Both of them were like brothers till December last year, when Sokhi joined hands with former Cabinet Minister Hira Singh Gabria, an arch rival of the Bains brothers, MLAs Simarjit Singh Bains and Balwinder Singh Bains.

Though both Gabria and Bains are from the SAD, they are known political opponents and have been openly accusing each other in public as well as the media.

Sokhi was one of the closest aides of the Bains brothers but the problem started when Sokhi’s wife Sukhwinder Kaur, a member of the SGPC, was not given the party ticket during the last SGPC elections. Sokhi had discussed this matter with Bains and suspected that he did not make efforts to ticket for his wife. Though Sokhi was seen with Bains thereafter, he started distancing himself from the latter’s camp

Sukhwinder Kaur was later co-opted into the SGPC with Gabria’s efforts and this is believed to be the main reason for Sokhi leaving the Bains camp and joining hands with Gabria.

Even during the Vidhan Sabha elections, Sokhi could not support the Bains brothers, as they were contesting as independents and that is why, distance between them increased further.

Sources in the Akali Dal said as the Bains brothers have now re-joined the party, they are making efforts that Sokhi did not succeed in getting ticket this time. “They had raised this issue with the president of the Youth Akali Dal Bikram Singh Majithia and cabinet minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon during a party meeting held on the Punjab Agricultural University campus a few days ago,” said the sources.

Simarjit Singh Bains has said who is he to oppose ticket of any councillor? “It’s up to the party high command to allot tickets to aspirants. I have always advocated for those leaders who can win seats and not the ones who are either corrupt or are not attached with residents anymore. But, I would certainly recommend the names of suitable candidates to the party high command and would not support those who might lose this time, even if they are in our group or have been in our group at any point of time,” said Bains while speaking to The Tribune.

Jagbir Singh Sokhi, councillor from ward number 63, said he was a devoted party worker. “I have always remained in the party frame and have never left it for my own political gains. And my senior party leaders know this fact very well. I am a sitting councillor and have worked wholeheartedly for my ward. If some people think I cannot win from ward number 63, they are highly mistaken. Moreover, it's up to my party high command to allot me ticket,” said Sokhi.



Commission agent fined
Found filling wheat in bags without cleaning
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, May 9
An commission agent of the Jagraon Grain Market was found guilty of packing unclean wheat in the wheat bags by the officials of Market Committee Jagraon here yesterday.

Taking a serious note of this practice, the authorities of the local Market Committee imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on the said commission agent in this regard.

The market committee officials also issued strict warning to the said commission agent to not indulge in such kind of practice in future otherwise the license of his commission agency would be cancelled.

As per the information, the wheat crop was purchased by the government procurement agency Punsup through a commission agency at the local grain market on Monday.

When the employees of the commission agency were busy packing the bags with the wheat without cleaning it today afternoon, someone passed on this information to Punsup authorities who further complained to the local Market Committee officials about this practice.

After receiving a complaint regarding this practice from the procurement agency, a team of the local market committee officials led by Jagraon Market Committee secretary Manjit Singh arrived at the scene where the wheat was being packed into the bags without cleaning it.

When the team members examined the wheat bags already packed by the employees of this commission agency, the officials found as many as 32 bags of wheat packed without cleaning the wheat.

According to team members, this was done to increase the weight of 
the wheat bags to earn extra bucks.

Following which the owner of the trading company was called on the spot and questioned by the officials about the practice. But as the commission agent failed to give a satisfactory answer, the market committee officials imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on his agency.

Confirming the development, Market Committee, Jagraon, secretary Manjit Singh said that a fine has been imposed on the commission agency, which was found packing the bags without cleaning the wheat. He also issued a warning to all the commission agents of the local grain market not to indulge in such kind of practice or otherwise they should be ready to face a strict action.

Manjit further stated that the team members would keep conducting surprise raids on different commission agencies in the future also to keep a tab on such kind of activities.



Industrialists detained in China return
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
The three traders who were detained during the Anti-Prostitution raid by the Shanghai police on April 26, returned to the city here on Monday.

The cycle industrialists who had left for China with much pomp and show on April 25, made a hush-hush return to the city on Monday. Gurmeet Singh Kular, president of the United Cycle Parts and Manufacturers Association (UCPMA), confirmed the arrival of industrialists.

Kular firmly stood in support of the industrialists' trio and gave them clean chit. "The industrialists had not committed any offence. The issue was blown out of proportion by the rival group of cycle traders," said Kular.

The traders were detained after a woman massager lodged a complaint with the police in Shanghai.

"The three city based industrialist were wrongly detained. Rather it was a Turkish national who manhandled the woman. The police detained the trio on the basis of footage of close circuit television camera (CCTV), but later the industries turned out to be innocent," said Kular.

He said that the issue was exaggerated to tarnish the image of Indian traders visiting China.

While rest of the delegation returned to the city on May 2, UCPMA president Gurmeet Singh Kular and Manjinder Singh had stayed back in China. Kular further added that the visit to China was successful and the cycle manufacturers had placed several orders to import new machinery.



Violist performed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Johar Ali Khan, a noted violist, performed today at Partap Public School. He performed various ragas and compositions.

Starting with raga ahir bhairavi, he performed two compositions in teen taal. He belongs to Patiala Gharana of Rampur.

He also performed folk music of various states, including Punjab and Gujarat.

The performance concluded with an interaction with the students of the school.



Absent staff file reply to civil surgeon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
A majority of the employees of Civil Surgeon Office who were found absent from duty a few days ago during a random checking conducted by the Deputy Commsioner, Ludhiana, have filed their replies in writing.

Confirming this, the Civil Surgeon, Dr Subhash Batta, Chief Medical Officer, Ludhiana, said: "Many of the absent employees have filed their replies while a few are yet to do the same. After giving comments on their replies, I will send my report to the Deputy Commssioner for final actoin."

It was on April 27 when ther Deputy Commissioner conducted a random checking of government offices in the district and found 132 employees absent from duty. The maximum number of employees of the Civil Surgeon Office, i.e. 32, were found absent from duty.



Workshop on physiotherapy organised
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
The department of physical therapy and rehabilitation, DMCH, organised a two-day workshop on "Complete solutions for spinal disorders by neuro musculo skeletal manual approach" here recently.

Secretary of the DMCH Managing Society Prem K Gupta inaugurated the workshop. The workshop was attended by physical therapists from all over Punjab and was chaired by Dr Narkeesh Arumugam, an associate professor, Punjabi University.

He gave hands-on-practical training on various spinal disorders like cervical sponylosis, low back pain, Sciatica, Dysfunction etc.



Mothers, children chain creates record
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna May 9
It was a matter of pride for Khanna City when Radha Vatika Senior Secondary School, Khanna, got a place in the Limca Book Of Records when the school organised a biggest chain of mothers and children on the eve of Mothers day here yesterday.

It is pertinent to mention that not any record of a chain of mothers and children before this existed with Limca Book of Records. The numbers of mothers and children on the occasion were more than 3 thousand.

Marketing manager of Limca Book Of Records in India who was present at the occasion said that not any chain of mothers and children was ever recorded, while they have records of biggest human chains but not any chain of mothers and children before this. He claimed that it was the first event of its kind where the mothers came for up the boost of their children and create a record.

A big banner on which the children expressed their feelings for their mothers was also tagged on a wall. The numbers of messages goes up to in thousands.

School principal claimed that on the occasion more than 3 thousand mothers and children of their school registered their names for this.



Jewellers to offer 25 per cent discount
Bonanza to begin next week, would be valid for 10 days
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Encouraged by the excise duty rollback, domestic retailers of gold and diamond ornaments are considering offering a 25 per cent discount on making charges on all jewellery.

Set to begin next week, the first-of-its-kind uniform discount offer from all jewellers across the country would be valid for 10 days.

On Monday, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had announced the complete rollback of the excise duty levied on both branded and unbranded jewellery. In addition to this, the threshold limit on the cash purchase of jewellery worth Rs 2 lakh was extended to Rs 5 lakh.

The imposition of excise duty on unbranded jewellery in the budget 2012-13 had invited widespread protests from the industry resulting in a 21-day strike.

Unorganised sector players, organised sector and branded jewellery retailers are taking part in this special discount offer. “It is a good move to boost the overall sales during the ongoing lean season,” said a spokesperson of Gitanjali Gems.

Anand Sikri, president of Ludhiana Jewellers’ Association, said they had laid out their own strategy to boost sales during the current season. “Some of our offers may coincide with the current move. The organised sector may have some plans and since we belong to the unorganised sector, we will work out the things differently. But, yes if the discounts are being offered nationwide, we will definitely be a part of it,” he said.

“The offer is set to start next week to reward our loyal customers who supported us during the long 21-day strike. Though the duration of the period has not been decided, it will be approximately for 10 days at least,” added Jai Parkash, a jeweller at the Mall road.

According to another jeweller, Vinay Jain from Sarafan Bazar, “The excise rollback is a big moral boost to the industry. Many projects in manufacturing had gone on hold, but now will be on fast track.”



Problems of dairy farming discussed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Labour involved and infertility in animals are two major constraints, which restrict farmers for adopting dairy farming in a big way.

After attaining puberty or after calving, cows can exhibit estrus on any day and hence can calve on any day of the year, which warrants their daily observance for exhibition of estrus and thereafter for calving to take care of the dam and newborn.

Dr Parkash Singh Brar, head, veterinary gynaecology department of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), said trained personnel were required for detection of estrus/heat in dairy animals at least thrice a day and going for the insemination of the animals detected in estrus.

Similarly, daily observations were required near calving, which was a critical period in the life of cows and newborn, farmer may lose calf, dam or both if proper care was not taken at calving.



Exemption from excise duty sought

Ludhiana, May 9
After Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced excise duty rollback on jewellery, the Knitwear Club has shot a memorandum to the Finance Minister, requesting him to make the textile industry free from the excise tax regime.

“Since the excise duty on jewellery has been rolled back, we want the textile sector should also be made free from the duty. The cost of branded garments and made-up textile has gone up by 12 per cent by imposition of the excise duty. Readymade garments and made-up textile are currently under the excise duty regime,” said Vinod Thapar, president of the Knitwear Club. — TNS



200 donate blood
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
To mark the 21st International Thalassaemia Day and World Red Cross Day, the departments of transfusion medicine and paediatrics and Punjab Thalassaemics Welfare Society (PTWS) yesterday jointly organised the annual medicos voluntary blood donation camp at DMCH.

The camp started with an inaugural function, which was graced by chief guest Prem Gupta (secretary of managing society), principal, Dr Daljit Singh; dean academics, Dr Rajoo Singh Chhina; chief cardiologist, Dr GS Wander; and medical superintendent, Dr Sandeep Puri.

As many as 200 units of blood were collected on the occasion. Professor and head of transfusion medicine, Dr Amarjit Kaur, urged all healthy people to voluntarily donate blood for the children diagnosed with thalassaemia.



PAU canteen has no fans
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
With the summer season setting in and temperature touching 39 degrees Celsius each day, there are fans in the canteen at the student centre, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU).

PAU constructed the extension of the canteen a few months ago and it is well in use nowadays. Fortunately, weather conditions had been pleasant till May, so no such need of fans was felt. But with the mercury rising, it has become tough for students to sit at the canteen.

Apart for the students, contractor who is running the canteen is also disappointed because of the lower footfall of customers now.

PAU estate officer Jaskaran Singh said, “I am not aware about the status of the canteen. Whether the construction work has completed or not, I have to check the status.”



From schools

Schoolchildren visit railway station:
Tagore International Senior Secondary School, Sahnewal, organised a visit of schoolchildren to a railway station and a post office in order to impart knowledge to them along with six teachers. They were comprehended about the whole process in brief. The students were curious and thrilled about the visit.

Tagore Jayanti: On the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, Tagore International Senior Secondary School organised Tagore Jayanti. It started with a speech on Tagore’s life and his contribution towards the nation. The programme was followed by a fresher’s party for students of nursery. Principal Swati Aneja welcomed the students.

Tributes paid: Students of Drishti Dr RC Jain Innovative Public School paid tributes to Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore on his birth anniversary. The students sang “Aekla Chalo Re” and presented a classical dance on his poem “Janni tere karun Charan Kalyani”. They narrated his famous story, “Homecoming”, which described the plight of an adolescent who is away from his home.

Global Vote-12: About 2,000 students of BCM Arya Model School, Shastri Nagar, took part in the Global Vote 2012 for the World’s Children Prize for the Rights of the Child (WCPRC)-2012. WCPRC is based on the UN child convention and strengthens voices of children, connecting them together across countries and continents and helps them to demand respect for the rights of the child. It holds an annual vote for global candidates who have made magnificent contributions to protecting and promoting the rights of the children.

Tearing, pasting paper contest: Students of Green Land Convent School, Sector 32, participated in tearing and pasting paper contest. They were able to create various designs. School principal Vinita Sanan expressed that such activities develop the mental strength of the children.

Mother’s Day: A colorful function was organised at Ryan International School, Dugri, for mothers. The purpose of this function was to mark the Mother’s Day and salute motherhood. Students also presented self-prepared gifts to their mothers like hand-made purses and garlands.

Investiture ceremony: The newly elected school cabinet pledged to uphold the ideals and values at Sacred Heart School and act as a role model for fellow students in the investiture ceremony. Oath ceremony was held on the occasion.



From colleges

70 take part in personality development course:
Gujranwala Guru Nanak Institute of Vocational Studies organised a workshop on “Personality development, Motivation and IQ Enhancement” here on Wednesday. As many as 70 students of different postgraduate and undergraduate courses attended the workshop. Gaurav Sethia, a free lancer was the guest speaker.

Career cell inaugurated: Career guidance cell was inaugurated at Doraha Institute of Management and Technology here on Wednesday. Sukhpal Singh Dhindsa, chairman, DIMT, while speaking on the occasion said that the student should choose the career keeping into mind eligibility conditions as well as personal abilities. The job placement depends upon acquired skills, not only on what others choose. "The proper guidance can help especially the rural youth to shape their career as they possess the talent, but not the knowledge to harness it. The schoolteachers, parents and students attended the event. The cell will cater to needs of students seeking to build their career in management, computer applications, commerce, Bed and other educational streams," he said.



PAU notes

Training course held
: The PAU Directorate of Extension Education in collaboration with the department of microbiology is organising a training course on cultivation and processing of tropical mushrooms for farmers from May 15 to 17 at Kairon Kisan Ghar. Giving details the Director of Extension Education, Dr MS Gill said that the subject-matter-specialists of the university will educate farmers on the importance of mushrooms in Punjab, technology for spawn production, growing of paddy straw mushrooms and milky mushrooms.

Scotland delegation on visit to PAU: A five-member delegation of scientists from Scotland is on a two-day visit to the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) to have detailed deliberations on various aspects of solanaceous crops. The delegation members comprised professor Lesley Torrance, Ingo Hein, Ankush Prashar and Mark Taylor from The James Hutton Institute, Scotland and Prof. Alysow Tobin from University of St Andrews, United Kingdom (UK).

The delegates visited and interacted with the experts of electron microscopy and nanoscience (EMN) lab, pesticides residue and analysis lab of the department of entomology, school of agricultural biotechnology, museum and students” plant clinic of the department of plant pathology and field areas of vegetable Science.

The delegation member, professor Lesley stated that their visit to the PAU aims at discussing about the future collaborations with the university for exchange of the students and agricultural research. She added that the deliberations also pertain to vegetable crops such as tomato and potato, cereals and resistance to major prevalent crop diseases for agricultural sustainability.

Professor Lesley remarked that higher nutritional value and better quality of crops are the focus areas of the Scotland agriculture. She said that developing international linkages in terms of PhD students-exchange and research programmes would expand and widen the horizon of the students and benefit the researchers and scientists of the both the institutes.



Ludhiana scan

Pakistani Exhibition
: Nilibar at Mall Road is organising an exhibition of Pakistani garments. They are collaborating with Pakistani designers for the first time. Saif Mohammad, a Pakistani designer is also there for the exhibition. This was informed during a press meet organised here on Wednesday.

Book released
A book "Sikh Kaum: Hasti te Honi (existence and future and Sikhs)" was released at Punjabi Bhawan on May 6. The book, edited by Amolak Singh and prof Gurdial Bal is about writings of various writers on three books by noted writer Ajmer Singh.



Gang of snatchers busted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
With the arrest of three persons namely Hira Singh, alias Hardeep, a resident of Amritsar district, Balwinder Singh, a resident of Ludhiana, and Mandeep Singh, alias Raju, also a resident of Amritsar district, the city police claims to have got a major success, saying that the three were involved in more than 55 incidents of snatching. A countrymade 12-bore pistol, a cartridge, a knife, a motorcycle and gold chains and earrings were recovered from their possession.

Kulwinder Singh, ADCP (Zone III), said several cases were registered against the members of the gang at different police stations in Amritsar district and the police was also investigating whether the three were proclaimed offenders. On getting a tip-off, the police arrested the three suspects near Khalsa College, Ghumar Mandi.

"In Ludhiana alone, they were involved in about 55 incidents of snatching. They have admitted to several crimes committed by them in different areas," said the ADCP.



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