L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


BSNL Refund
LIT bears big cost for delay
It took 9 years, Rs 15.28 lakh to settle dispute over a piece of land
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 6
Officials of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) kept sitting over Rs 10, 82,672, which was to be refunded to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), for almost nine years. It ultimately ended up paying additional Rs 15, 28,103 as interest, penalty and the cost of litigation to the BSNL.

This huge financial loss suffered by the LIT was revealed in the internal and external audit report for 2010-11, a copy of which was obtained under the Right to Information Act 2005 by Arvind Sharma, secretary, Council of RTI Activists.

The audit report observed that the BSNL had deposited Rs 51.20 lakh with the Trust for allotting 4266.66 square yard for its telephone exchange at Maharishi Valmiki Nagar in July 1994. The LIT allotted 3364.64 square yards in November 1996. The excess amount of Rs 10, 82,672 was to be refunded to the BSNL.

When the LIT authorities failed to respond to repeated reminders sent by the BSNL for more than five years, the BSNL management served a legal notice on the LIT in August 2001 for refund of the excess amount paid by them towards the cost of the piece of land without any response. The auditors noted that no action had apparently been taken on the file after August 21, 2001, which forced the BSNL to file a complaint with the Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on April 23, 2002.

According to the audit report, the Commission, in its order pronounced on June 13, 2005, directed the LIT to refund the excess amount deposited by the BSNL, along with 12 percent interest from August 1, 1994, to November 18, 2005, (or penal interest at the rate of 15 per cent if refund is made after the stipulated date). In addition to this, a penalty of Rs 50,000 was slapped on the LIT and it was also asked to pay Rs 10,000 as the cost of litigation to the complainant. The audit team came down heavily upon the then LIT officials for their failure to refund the amount to the BSNL on time, which could have saved the avoidable financial burden of Rs 15,28,103 on the Trust. The report further recorded that the LIT officials, while seeking approval of the refund amount to be paid to BSNL, had given an assurance that a committee would be set up to fix the responsibility for the said financial loss to the body, and recovery would also be made if warranted. “But no action seemed to have been taken by the LIT authorities towards this end,” the report stated.


Dept destroys rotten fruits, vegetables
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
To prevent the outbreak of diseases of summers and rainy season like cholera, gastroenteritis and other stomach-related ailments, a Health Department team destroyed about 10 quintals of rotten fruits and vegetables at different places in the city today.

Following the directions of the Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, Dr Subhash Batta, a team of the health department comprising Bhinder Singh, health inspector Prem Singh, multi-purpose health worker Rupinder Pal, Balbeer Singh, Balwant Singh, Jagat Ram etc visited areas like Domoriya Pul, New Sabji Mandi, Salem Tabri, Field Ganj etc and destroyed rotten fruits and vegetables being sold on rehris . The fruits which were destroyed included water melons, melons, papayas, mangoes, bananas and apples etc. The team also instructed the rehri owners to sell fresh fruits and vegetables.

District Health Officer Dr Kulwinder Singh appealed to the people to save themselves from different diseases in this season. One should always eat fresh and hot food, drink clean water or water should be consumed after boiling and cooling it down. He also appealed to the people to keep their surrounding areas clean and wash hands properly before eating anything and after going to toilet.



Another bomb-like object found at Maherna Kalan
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 6
Barely four days after the Ludhiana Rural Police recovered 11 hand grenades and two cartridges from fields at Maherna Kalan, residents of Maherna Khurd were shocked to find another bomb-like object in fields situated near a water tank at Maherna Khurd village early morning today.

The Sadar police kept on corroborating the recovery with the arms and ammunition suspected to be buried by sympathisers of some radical organisation during the terrorism days.

The news spread like a wildfire fire and people started gathering near the spot. A police team swooped into action and cordoned off the area. A bomb disposal squad of the Army unit based at Sangrur was consulted and SHO Shubegh Singh was directed to shift the object safely to a laboratory.

The SHO said the Army experts had declared the object as harmless as there was no explosive in the shell.

Rusted condition of the object suggested that it had been buried under the earth for more than two decades. Though no case has been registered, circle officer at Ahmedgarh Davinder Singh Brar directed the SHO to continue investigation to rule out the involvement of some mischievous elements.

Meanwhile, the DSP has urged residents no to panic. The police has already upped the vigil in the area with intent to check anti- social activities of miscreants.

Buried for two decades

Rusted condition of the object suggested that it had been buried under the earth for more than two decades. Though no case has been registered, circle officer at Ahmedgarh Davinder Singh Brar directed the SHO to continue investigation to rule out the involvement of some mischievous elements.



2 court clerks booked for stealing records
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
The city police has booked two court clerks for stealing court records. The case has been registered following the direction of Dr Balwinder Kumar, Civil Judge, Senior Division.

The accused clerks, identified as Darshan Singh and Dharma Pal, residents of village Jassowal and Phagwara, respectively, had stolen court records, including case files.

The investigating officer said the accused were booked following a year-long probe. In the meantime, Darshan Singh, got retired, while Dharam Pal was transferred to Gurdaspur.

The investigating officer said nearly 25 case files were missing from the record room.

The matter was brought to the notice of Judge Dr Balwinder Kumar, who ordered an internal probe in the issue of missing records.

The probe report found that Darshan and Daram Pal had stolen the files from court to benefit the offenders.

Soon after receiving the report, Judge Dr Balwinder Kumar directed the police to register a case against the two clerks.

The accused have been booked under Sections 177,381, 409 of the IPC.

The judge had recently ordered the banning of litigants who used to frequent the copy agency of the district court complex.



SIT to probe poster war
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
The day after a bloody clash between BJP leader Satish Nagar and independent candidate's husband Krishan Kharbanda in Chawni Mohalla, which left nearly 12 supporters of both the groups injured, the police today formed a special investigating team (SIT) to probe the incident. The police has also booked Nagar, Kharbanda and their supporters in an attempt-to-murder case.

Ashish Choudhary, DCP, would head SIT. Swapan Sharma, ACP, the ACP- North and the SHO of the Salem Tabri station would conduct an in-depth probe into the incident and find out the real culprit behind the poster war that took place at Chawni Mohalla.



Illegal sand mining: Villagers protest outside SSP's office
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, June 6
The action taken by the local administration against those involved in illegal sand mining from the Sutlej beds a few days ago took a new twist today when a large number of villagers residing in the Sidhwan Bet area staged a protest in front of the office of SSP Gurpreet Singh Toor.

The protesters led by CPI’s district secretary Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon were protesting against the police for taking action against a few who according to them have nothing to do with the illegal sand mining. Terming those booked in this regard as innocent, they claimed that the police action against the illegal sand miners was merely an eyewash.

According to protestors, the police has booked these persons for shielding the kingpin of the sand mafia, who belongs to an influential leader of the ruling party. “The administration has taken no action against the kingpin under political pressure. The police, instead, booked them,” the protestors added.

The protesting villagers dared the administration to take strict action against such leaders who they claim were involved in the illegal practice of sand mining if it is serious about the issue. Later on, a delegation of the villagers also met SSP Jagraon Gurpreet Singh Toor and urged him to conduct an impartial investigation into this matter and expose those involved. The SSP assured the delegation members to conduct an impartial inquiry into this matter.

The SSP said the entire operation was held under the supervision of Deputy Commissioner Ludhiana and the police arrested the people involved in sand mining red handed. Asked about the involvement of certain leaders of ruling party in illegal sand mining he assured, “the police has been investigating into the matter and whoever is found guilty, the police will take appropriate action against him.”



Steel industry rejects ISI notification
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
The recently issued notification by the Central Government, asking the steel-producing units to get ISI marking, has evoked ire from the steel industry. The notification was also issued in 2008 but had to be rolled back after the industry protested against the same.

Since the units based in Punjab are generally secondary producers of steel, they are finding it difficult to follow the standards laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The raw material used in the production of steel is not standardised and is used only for repairs or secondary construction processes. The traders have been asked to sale only that material which bears the ISI marking.

"The steel produced in the local units is used for the secondary construction process or repair purposes. While the companies are already using ISI-marked steel in the primary construction activities, it will not be possible for the units based in Punjab to follow the norms laid down by BIS as the steel here is produced from scrap. The notification has proved to be a setback for the steel units and it should be rolled back as was done in 2008," said Badish Jindal, president, Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association (FOPSIA).

The steel produced by primary producers is priced at Rs 52,000 per metric tonne while the steel produced by secondary producers, as in Punjab, is priced at Rs 43,000 per metric tonne.

"There is a wide gap between the prices of both the steel products. The steel produced by units in Punjab is priced at the relatively lower side for it is a secondary product in nature and due to this reason we are urging the Central Government to roll back the notification as it will sound the death knell for the local industry," he added.

Difficult choice

The units based in Punjab are generally secondary producers of steel and they are finding it difficult to follow the standards laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)



BSNL employees stage dharna
Want interim dearness allowance merger with pay, threaten to go on strike on June 13
Kuldip Bhatia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, June 6
In response to a call given by the Forum of BSNL Unions and Associations, employees of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) staged a day-long dharna in front of the office of the General Manager (Telecom) at the Bharat Nagar Chowk today to press for their long-pending demands.

Addressing the rally, the activists of the trade union asserted that the employees had been forced to adopt path of agitation to protest against abnormal delay in grant of 78.2 per cent interim dearness allowance merger with pay with effect from January 2007 despite orders issued by the government, which were agreed to by the BSNL management.

“Not only this, the BSNL management has also withdrawn the facilities of medical allowance, LTC and leave encashment on the pretext of financial crisis. But on the other hand, the management has granted 15 allowances to the ITS-rank officers, who are on deputation to the BSNL for the past 12 years. This will put an additional burden of crores of rupees on the BSNL,” the speakers said while adding that if the government persisted with its callous attitude, the entire work force of the BSNL would go on an indefinite strike on June 13. Condemning the dual and discriminatory policies of the BSNL management, trade union leaders including Jasvir Singh, member, central working committee, Punjab circle of Sanchar Nigam Employees Association, and Balwinder Singh, district secretary, BSNL Employees Union, said bestowing largess on the ITS officials went on to prove that the excuse of financial crunch given by the BSNL authorities was far from being true and the management was simply being vindictive in denying the employees their due.

Among other speakers at the rally were Raj Kumar, district secretary, SNEA, Baljinder Singh Khalsa, district secretary, AIBSNLEA, Gurpreet Singh, Hari Narayan Singh, Sikander Singh, Paramjit Singh, Rajiv Sharma, Surinder Singh, Rajender Singh, Bijender Singh, Darshan Singh, Jaswant Singh, Surjit Singh Raikot, Sohan Lal Khanna, Bhagwant Singh Jagraon, Sudesh Joshi, Amrik Singh, Prem Singh and Saroop Singh.



Milk, ‘daal’ samples fail purity test
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
District Health Officer Dr Kulwinder Singh has stated that the samples of milk and “moong daal” collected from Kashmir Karyana Store in Ishar Nagar have failed purity test. The “daal” was found to be sub standard.

Food Safety Officer Dr Harpreet Kaur said: “Another milk sample, which was collected from the Tajpur road in April, has also failed the purity test. Usually standard value of the milk is 8.5, but in this case it was 7.5.”

The health department collected about 40 samples of eatables in May, out of which 17 passed. The result of remaining is still awaited. However, about 56 samples were collected in April and out of these 45 passed the purity test.



Adding wings to schoolchildren's creativity
A school in Phillaur gives boost to letter writing among children
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
You might have observed children lost in their own world, but here is book in which students of Des Raj Vedhara DAV Centenary Public School, Phillaur, have woven their dreams through creativity.

To showcase the children's creativity, the school has come up with a unique book "Letter to" - a compilation of letters, addressed by students on different subjects like "Faith", "Tears", Mirror", "Burger", "Nano", "Evil of Dowry", "Aamir Khan" and "Sachin Tendulkar" etc. Not only students, teachers have also joined hands with little angels by addressing their letters to "Journey to life", "Nature", "Ganga" etc.

This is the second consecutive year when school did this effort. Last year, it was compiled on the basis of letters by students addressed only on subjects like music, chocolate etc, but this year, there is a variety in subjects.

The well-designed book is the dreamchild of Yogesh Gambhir, principal of Des Raj Vedhara, DAV Centenary Public School, Phillaur, but he owes credit of this to all by saying,"I gave the skeleton. Students and teachers filled it with flesh and blood. So, it is like "immortal piece" of art for us."

Gambhir said,"With digital age and advent of postman, the art of letter writing is disappearing. To revive this art, I exhorted my students to pen down letters to any person or things of their choice. I am happy that it added wings to their creative genius and they could express their inner feelings without restraint."

And the book starts with a very confident note by Rishabh Chanan, a class XII student, who writes a letter to "sky"and ends with "Aasman ko zid hai, jahan bijliyan girane ki, hamein bhi jid hai vahin aashiyan banana ki" .There are more than 90 different subjects from abstract to concrete on which students from class I to XII have written letters."

Beautiful designing with theme-based pictures on each page not only adds to the beauty of each page, but also break the monotony of the book.

The principal said,"The editing of the whole book has been done by our senior teacher Rita Kalia. The school has provided this book to all the students on a no-profit-no-loss basis, as we just charged Rs 100 from each child. We handed over the books to students by putting each one of these in an envelope of "letter box" shape with the hope that despite modern facilities, they will maintain art of letter-writing forever."



Dhanda, SAD's mayoral face likely
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 5
Harish Rai Dhanda, a former Chief Parliamentary Secretary, who is contesting the Municipal Corporation elections from ward number 28 of the city, is one of the top contenders for the post of the Mayor. Sources within the SAD said he decided to contest the elections after getting a go-ahead from the party high command, which would also like him to become first citizen of the city.

The SAD, which released its first list on May 23, decided to give him ticket. He is pitted against Maharaj Singh Raji, a Congress candidate, from ward number 28 of the city.

Dhanda, a lawyer, who has remained the SAD spokesperson, won 2007 Vidhan Sabha elections from the Ludhiana (West) constituency and also remained the chairman of the Bar Council of Punjab and Haryana earlier.

He resigned from the Vidhan Sabha on July 6, 2011, to set into motion the process of his appointment as the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC) chairman. For this, he even surrendered his enrolment licence as an advocate.

But everything didn’t go the way Dhanda and the Akali Dal wanted as the Punjab and Haryana High Court, on August 17, 2011, rejected his candidature for the post of the PPSC chairman. And he could not contest his Ludhiana (West) seat because the Akali Dal swapped it with it’s the BJP.

A senior Akali Dal leader said, “Dhanda was practically rendered ‘jobless’ and that is why party wanted to compensate him. He is likely to be announced as the Mayoral candidate after the elections because the party wants a Hindu face for this job and Dhanda is the best option the party has. He is having political as well as administrative experience,” said the leader.

But Harish Rai Dhanda evades this query and says, “I am a dedicated party worker and would abide by whatever decision the party takes. I have been serving people of this city for several years and would continue to so whether I become Mayor or not,” he said while releasing his election manifesto, here today.

“My emphasis would be on cleaning of Budha Nullah. I plan to get concrete boundary walls made on both sides of the Nullah and roads, too, would be constructed. I would also work to get a dedicated helpline for civic issues started in the city, so that people could directly get their problems sorted out,” he added.



Depute paramilitary forces for fair polling: Congress
Ashok Kaura

Phillaur, June 6
All 13 Congress candidates contesting the Goraya Nagar Panchayat elections, besides former Congress minister Santokh Singh have urged the Election Commission of Punjab to depute paramilitary forces to conduct fair and free polling. They have also lodged a written complaint before the electoral officer against SAD leaders and MLA from Phillaur and alleged that the Goraya police was working on the behest of ruling party and police personnel had been deputed before residences of the Congress candidates and their supporters were being unduly harassed by the police.

They alleged that Phillaur MLA Avinash Chander is threatening and intimidating the Congress workers and supporters of dire consequences for voting in favour of the Congress candidates. Santokh Singh said the Congress supporters were unduly called at the police station and being threatened to implicate them in false cases and even some traders and industrialists were being threatened to harass them through the sales tax department.

He said seven, out of 13 wards in Goraya, were considered very sensitive. Santokh Singh added that similar situation could be observed in ward number 2 also.

Meanwhile, chief parliamentary secretary-cum-Phillaur MLA Avinash Chander has strongly denied the allegations of the Congress candidates and described it as purely frustration of the Congress. Avinash Chander said the Congress was levelling false allegations. He asked the Congress men to prove a single case of pressurising anyone.



Candidates turn ‘innovative’ to heat up campaign
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
With temperature soaring, those contesting the municipal corporation elections have come out with “innovative” ideas to beat the heat. While a few prefer door-to-door campaigning in the morning and evening hours, others are going online or are making calls and sending SMSes to respective voters.

The candidates are also cautious about their diet in the sweltering heat. Not only this, they are eating limewater, watermelon, fruits and “sattu” to keep themselves fit.

The candidates claim that it isn’t easy to visit all houses in the area due to the sweltering heat. Thus, they post their day today activities on social networking sites like Facebook and Youtube when people are either indoors or in offices. A large number of candidates had successfully carried out their online campaign through these social networking sites in the recently concluded Vidhan Sabha elections.

Congress candidate from ward number 57, Priyanka Basant, said: “I go for door-to-door campaigning in the morning and evening hours. I meet my supporters in the afternoon and update my Facebook account by uploading my day today activities for residents of my ward to see.”

Another candidate, Bhupinder Singh Bhinda, who is contesting on SAD-BJP ticket from ward number 56, created his Facebook account recently.

“This is probably the best way to come closer to my supporters and those residing in the ward. I keep myself busy with door-to-door campaigning and meetings since early morning till late night and my activities is regularly updated on my Facebook profile. Not only this, to stay fit in such scorching heat, I take special diet and consume large amount of water,” he added.

But a few prefer to campaign even during afternoon. An Independent candidate from the Civil Lines area was seen doing door-to-door campaigning in the afternoon.

Whereas a few feel that afternoon is not the right time to campaign in their respective wards. “Most of the residents are either taking rest or out to work. If we ring a person’s door bell in the afternoon, he might get irritated. These are municipal elections and every vote counts. We don’t want to irritate any voter,” another candidate said.



ward no. 74
Choked sewerage major problem
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service
A street of ward no. 74 in Ludhiana
A street of ward no. 74 in Ludhiana. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, June 6

Major Issues

  • The roads in a major part of the ward are in a bad condition. Many of them are uncarpeted.
  • Manholes are without lids, jeopardising people's lives.
  • Blockage of sewerage is a major problem.
  • Water supplied by the MC is dirty as sewage gets mixed with potable water due to leaking supply lines.

Most roads in the ward are uncarpeted.
Most roads in the ward are uncarpeted
An uncovered manhole
An uncovered manhole.

Major areas: Ambedkar Nagar, New Ambedkar Nagar, Swami Vivekanand Nagar, Ram Nagar, New Ram Nagar, Mahavir Nagar, Surjit Nagar and Makkar Colony.

Voters: 10,000

Population: 25,000


Sewerage was a major issue in the area when I took over as councillor. I got sewers laid in 70 per cent area. Besides, I got 8 or 9 tubewells sunk in the area. About 80 per cent streets in the ward have been cemented. An amount of about Rs 10 crore was spent on the overall development of the ward. As the ward has now been reserved for woman, I won't be contesting the elections this time. — Jaspal Singh Giaspura, Councillor


  • Roads are all dug up and the work has been left midway. If the councillor had been serious about development in the ward, the work would have been started earlier. Sewerage remains choked in the ward. There are a host of other problems too. — Ram Achal Pal, a resident of the ward
  • Sewerage blockage is a huge problem in the ward. Garbage lies strewn across the area. Roads have not constructed in many parts. Streetlights are non-existent. As a result of this, business is affected. Clients avoid coming to the area. There is no business growth here because of the bad condition of the area. — Rajpal Saluja, a factory owner



IPO anomaly comes to light
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

IPOs with old commission rates are still available at post offices
IPOs with old commission rates are still available at post offices.

Ludhiana, June 6
Even 13 years after the orders for an increase in the commission rate on Indian Postal Orders (IPOs) from 5 per cent to 10 per cent, the IPOs with '5 per cent commission' printed on them are still available, though 10 per cent commission is charged by the staff. This anomaly has raised many an eyebrow. People ask why the IPOs with '5 per cent commission' printed on them are being sold at post offices.

This anomaly came to light when Varinder Singh, an RTI activist, filed an RTI application to know when the current rate of commission on IPO became effective.

According to the reply to filed by the senior postmaster, Head Post Office, "The current rate of commission is printed on the IPOs is 5 per cent but the commission is charged at the rate of 10 per cent. The current rate of commission became effective from 26 May, 1999."

The IPO in denominations of Rs 1, 2, 5, 7, 10, 20, 50 and 100 are sold at post offices, according to the reply.

Varinder Singh said when nobody can sell any product for a price more than the MRP, why should the post offices charge more than the commission rate printed on an IPO.

However, PC Pal, Superintendent, Post Offices (Mufassil Division), said the IPOs continue to be in use in some of the post offices because there is no provision and no orders for the disposal of these IPOs, which are either in stock or being supplied to the post offices.



PAU staff suspend strike
Irrigation minister gives assurance that their demands will be met soon
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
Employees of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), who were on strike since May 8, today took off their agitation when Irrigation Minister, Punjab, Janmeja Singh Sekhon, assured the employees that their demands will be met soon.

Accompanied by Manpreet Ayali, Sekhon visited the farm varsity and assured the employees that from now, they will be paid their salaries on time. Not just that, he gave yet another assurance to the employees that he will request the state government to pass the budget of the PAU, which is to the tune of Rs 180 crore.

Though the employees have suspended their strike following the assurances given by Sekhon and Ayali, at the same time, they feel that such assurances have already been given to them earlier also. “Unless a permanent solution is provided by the government, such assurances will be of no use,” rued an employee.

The senior vice-president of PAU Employees’ Union, Lakhwinder Singh Sandhu, said the employees had suspended the strike for the time being, as the minister had assured that the pending arrears of the employees would be released within two months. Besides, the minister also assured that the monthly salaries of the employees at the PAU will be disbursed on time, said Sandhu.

“The expenditure of PAU is about Rs 180 crore, while the government provides Rs 93.6 crore to the farm varsity. These things will be repeated till the PAU is allocated total proposed budget. We were on strike since May 8, as the salary for April was released by the government on May 30. We have been given assurances earlier, too, but that serves no purpose,” said Sandhu.

It may be mentioned that there were over 3,000 employees working at the farm university. Due to the financial crunch for the past several months, the salaries and pensions to the employees and retirees often get delayed and having no other option, the employees resort to agitations, protest rallies and strikes. The government has still not provided any permanent solution to the existing problem of the financial crunch being faced by the PAU.



Pensioners protest against VC, comptroller
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
The PAU Pensioners’ Welfare Association has expressed anguish over the “step-motherly” treatment being meted out to them by the Vice-Chancellor and comptroller, PAU.

The association condemned that the authorities withheld their pension for the month of April, which was later paid on June 4. The PAU pensioners rued that the pension for May was still pending.

Sat Pal Gupta, general secretary of the association, said the VC was acting against the rules, as funds from the rural development fund were released to the university for making payment of pension only. Instead of paying pension, the VC paid salary to the working employees for the months of April and May, aleged Gupta.

Further, Gupta said the VC’s attitude towards senior citizens was not tolerable and the pensioners would be compelled to take stern action. Jaswant Singh Jirakh, vice-president of the association, warned the VC and comptroller against their biased attitude towards the pensioners. The pensioners took out a protest march raising slogans against the “inefficient” and “incompetent” officials at the PAU.



Railways hike parcel charges by 25 per cent
Local business community feels the heat
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
Local business community is up against the 25 per cent hike in parcel and luggage charges by the Railways, as it sends parcels comprising hosiery goods, tyres, pharmaceuticals, flour and pulses in abundance to various parts of the country.

“Twenty five percent hike in one go is too much. The input cost is already going up and on top of it the freight charges will put an extra burden on hosiery manufacturers. We are already bearing huge losses as parcels are reaching their respective destinations late. Now, we will have to pay 25 per cent extra,” said Vinod Thapar, chairman, Knitwear Club.

Aadesh Singla, who regularly receives tyres and other goods for his company from Bangalore, said companies sending the parcels would pass the increased cost to the customers now. “The government should have done it in installments rather than increasing it at one go,” he added.

However, the hike will not be applicable to 19 special parcel trains. There are three types of parcel rates-Standard, Premium and Rajdhani. Standard rates are applicable on goods booked in parcel service of non-express trains while Premium rates are charged in express and mail trains. Goods booked in Rajdhani and Shatabdi are charged Rajdhani rate.

Earlier, Standard rate was Rs 1.31 per 10 kg for 50 kilometer and now it has become Rs 1.61 for the same weight and distance after the hike. Premium rate was hiked from Rs 2.63 per 10 kilogram for 50 kilometer to Rs 3.28 while Rajdhani rate was Rs 3.93 kilometer which has been increased to Rs 4.92 for the same category of distance and weight.

Revenue Generated

The Railways plans to mop up Rs 370 crore as additional revenue in the current fiscal. The Railways have earned Rs 1,600 crore from parcel and luggage in 2011-12. The rates of parcel and luggage have been revised after six years.



Deceased's family stages dharna

Ludhiana, June 6
The members of deceased Sukhwinder Singh's family today staged a dharna outside the office of the Commissioner of Police. Sukhwinder was found dead under mysterious circumstances in the Sunder Nagar area in July last year.

Parvinder Singh, the victim's brother, alleged that a leader and his close friend were involved in Sukhwinder's killing. — TNS



Cakes with edible photos popular
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
Celebrations and parties are becoming more "photographically" sweet now. Cakes with pictures are becoming favourite with residents, who want to make moments of happiness all the more special. Although cakes with edible photographs have been there in the markets for the past few years, it is only now that these are gaining popularity.

These are particularly popular among children. "We have ordered the cake once, and now little children at our house demand this cake only every time we have some celebrations at home," says Rahat, a resident of Model Town.

Harinder, a resident of Model Town Extension, said: "The picture looks so beautiful, all decorated with cake. I was surprised when I got the cake on my marriage anniversary," she says.

"Although, we used to have doubts about how it is created, and if the edible photographs are good for health," says Rahul, a resident, adding "but when we learnt that these are all edible and safe, we now order only this type of cakes on occasions."

Any photograph can be printed on an edible sheet of sugar and the colours used are totally edible and non-harmful, says Harjinder Singh from a bakery in Sarabha Nagar.

"As more and more people are becoming aware of the photograph cakes, the demand for these is on the increase. We receive three or four orders for such cakes every day," he says.



‘Make Khanna a district’
Our Correspondent

Khanna, June 6
The ongoing struggle of residents of Khanna to make the town a district is gaining momentum day by day, as several organisations of the area has decided to submit a memorandum in this regard to the SDM on June 8.

Dharna continued for the 24th day today under the command of Karnail Singh Ikolaha, national president of the Hindustan National Party (HNP), who has initiated the struggle. Apart from the HNP, several more organisations have come forward in support of making Khanna a district.

Several organisations have extended their support and said they would widen this struggle in the coming days.



Drinking in Open
Police to crack whip on vends
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
The Division No. 8 police cracked whip on the owners of liquor vends for serving drinks and snacks to boozers on the street near the Fountain Chowk.

The police crack down took place this evening when J Elanchezhian, an IPS officer, along with his team, was visiting the area to keep a check on anti-social elements ahead of the municipal corporation (MC) elections.

"I spotted that liquor and snacks were being served to tipplers in their cars. Some boozers were standing on the road and creating a nuisance for the commuters, including woman and children, by consuming drinks. The area was cleared and the owner of the liquor vend told to report at the police station. Such activities would not be tolerated," said J Elanchezhian.



An avid collector of LP, vinyl records
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
Sanjeev Puri is an avid collector of old LP and vinyl records, gramophones and radio grams. Some of his LP records are almost a century old and gramophones are of the twenties. Sanjeev Puri got hooked to this passion in 1995. A resident of Punjab Mata Nagar, he has 14,000 LP and vinyl records with the oldest record being that of 1905. He inherited the passion and some of the collection from his father Bhagwant Kishore Puri.

The records are of Punjabi, Hindi and English songs and some even of other languages, including Tamil and foreign languages French and Russian, he says. He pulls out a folding record player. He also has folding vinyl records as well. Although he himself doesn't understand the language, the music is beautiful, he says. Not only gramophones, he also has a big radio gram that has a radio as well as a gramophone.

The old brands like Bush, Brad, Grad that have almost faded into oblivion are part of his prized collection. The 32-year-old man inherited some part of the collection from his father who had got the old collection from his father. When he understood the importance of music, he earnestly went about scouring through the old music shops.

Sanjeev is proud to hail from the town of Kartar Singh Sarabha, and insists that his family should be called Puri Sarabhe Wale, as they are known, he says. With a sense of pride, he almost boasts of having the likes of Surinder Kaur, Kuldeep Manak, Jagat Singh Jagga, Ajit Kaur, Parkash Kaur, Mohammad Siddique, Jaswant Gill, Parminder Sandhu, Jagmohan Kaur, Mohammad Rafi in his collection apart from some other towering figures in the field of music.

"There is something magical about playing records on gramophone," he says. "Now, storing scores of songs in tiny devices is like almost disrespect to music, as in the days of yore, listening to music was as refined as the way in which it was played. That is the reason why it was a sign of opulence and sublimity," he says. Gramophones were much more beautiful, classy and all these needed were winding up to play fantastic music.

Many people have offered good prices to purchase some of my gramophones and records, he says, but these have been collected with efforts for preservation, not for giving them away.



New breed of writers in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
They are young and are writers. Youngsters in the city are penning their experiences, imaginations, advices and getting these published in the form of books.

Blogging is encouraging many to write. Amish Bedi (14) saw a young writer being interviewed on the TV and that perhaps inspired him. For Paras Bandha, who released his first novel “One salty Soda N Two Salty Drinks”, inspiration came from artists, he is in touch with, he says. After completing B.Com IInd year, I read novels of Chetan Bhagat, Khushwant Singh, during holidays say 21-year-old Harminder Singh.

They are facing challenges like finding publishers. But being online, it was comparatively easier. “It is tougher than writing a novel,” says Paras. For Amish, who studies in Class X, his book “Burning the Midnight Oil” is about time management. “I was always asked how I managed to take time out for music, sports, studies and do well in all,” he added. Although the book would help students, but it would be relevant to one and all as time management and multi-tasking is important for all.

“It augurs well for city and is great to see young scribes emerging from the city. Although, it is a city of Surjit Patar and Sahir Ludhianvi, more youngsters need to emerge from there as poets and writers,” said a resident.

“If one can write a book as a student, chances are that one can emerge as a very good writer in future,” said a schoolteacher. “Apart from that, youngsters can inspire their peers to write, so a culture of writers can develop. Schools and colleges in particular should inspire students to write,” he said.



Book released
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
Dr Kulwinder Kaur Minhas has written a new book “Te Ganga Vagdi Rahi” that is being released at the Punjabi Bhawan on Sunday. The novel brings home the message that spiritual leaders should be like lighthouses, guiding people, whereas in reality, some often get involved in corrupt and immoral indulgences.

Dr Minhas began her career on an academic note - her first book being a thesis on life in villages and cities in the novels of Dilip Kaur Tiwana in 2000. This was followed by “Jinhi Chakhya Prem Ras”, a book of essays.



Awareness workshop

Ludhiana, June 6
The SGC Celebrate Life, an NGO, organised an awareness and welfare workshop for adolescents at CFC School.

Management head Vaibhav Chhabra said, “We are covering major factors that causes distraction in this age through a lecture and demonstration. The main contents are peer pressure, drug abuse, values, ladder of success, career guidance, life skills, stress management, time management, etc.” — TNS



Two-day trip for faculty members
Tribune News Service

Faculty members of GMT Public School during a trip to Dalhousie
Faculty members of GMT Public School during a trip to Dalhousie. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, June 6
A two-day trip was organised for faculty members of GMT Public School to Dalhousie. During this trip, they visited Khajiar and several other tourist spots. A group of 30 teachers, along with principal Amarjit Dhaliwal, enjoyed the trip.

‘Summer Splash’

“Summer Splash” was organised at BCM Dugri. Professionals guided students in various disciplines like arts, western and classical dance, personality development, cooking, table tennis, gymnastics, martial arts, etc. Special dance training by Remo Dance Institute was also organised. Students produced useful and decorative products like photo frames, paper weights, wall hangings and flower vases. Various cuisines were taught in the cooking class.

Camp ends

A summer camp at the Guru Ram Das Academy concluded on Wednesday. The 10-day summer camp was organised in the campus. Children participated in different creative spheres like dance, art, music, cooking and sports.



BCom Admissions
Students to get dateline for joint counselling soon
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
Students aspiring for BCom will shortly get a dateline for the joint counselling process. If going by the previous year’s precedent, admissions to BCom, one of the most sought-after courses in the city colleges, which is conducted online by Panjab University (PU) via a centralised process, is delayed this year, while it should have been initiated by the middle of last month.

Commerce faculty of Panjab University, along with principals of affiliated colleges will be meeting tomorrow to work out modalities for the BCom admissions.

According to sources, the tentative date for starting filling forms online will be June 14.

While last year, the admission process for BCom was initiated in the third week of May and the application forms were made available from June 1.

During the meeting, the officials and faculty members from PU and principals of the affiliated colleges will be discussing loopholes in the admission process last year and will also suggest measures to overcome these during the admission process this year.

Since 2010, a joint admission process for the BCom admissions are being carried out for all PU affiliated colleges. However, admissions for Hoshiarpur colleges affiliated to PU will, however, be done by respective colleges this time.



from colleges
Job fair at GGNIVS
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
The Gujranwala Guru Nanak Institute of Vocational Studies (GGNIVS) organised a job fair for its undergraduate and postgraduate students on its premises today.

Nearly 150 students appeared for interview with reputed companies like Maruti, White Pixels Solution, Immix Info, eQuasar, Auritas and 3dee Technologies for different posts of SEOs, developers, tele-callers, programmers, field managers, data entry operators, marketing sales, operations, etc. Institute coordinator Manjit Singh Chhabra said, “It is indeed a proud occasion for our institute to have such reputed companies in our institute for placement. Organising campus placement has been our top most priority, as it offers the students a platform to get selected in reputed company and to have jobs even before they pass out with their degrees.”



ludhiana scan
Students win laurels

Students of the Sangita’s Studio of Performing Arts won the national championship in dancing organised by the All-India Dance Sports Federation (AIDSF) held in Patna. Angad (5) and Bani (6) represented the Punjab Dance Sports Association and were the sole winners for the state. They were the youngest participants and had to compete in the age category of 8 to 14 years, as they had no competition in their own category.


A meeting of technical advisory committee at Ishmeet Singh Music Institute (ISMI) was held. Prof Amarjit Singh from the USA, a noted musicologist and consultant for voice culture, chaired the meeting. He emphasised the need of implementing voice culture techniques for the benefit of the students of ISMI. A number of distinct courses were finalised where special emphasis will be laid on singing physiology and controlling applicable acoustics.

Delegation meets MLA

A delegation of the Ludhiana unit of SSA/RMSA/CSS teachers’ union met MLA Manpreet Singh Iyali. He was informed by the union representatives that the union was promised about raising their salaries by the government before the Assembly elections, but nothing has been done about the issue so far.

Grief expressed

The Punjab Sahit Akademi, Ludhiana, commiserated the demise of poet Harbhajan Singh Renu. Prof Gurbhajan Singh Gill, president of the academy, said the poet struggled with cancer. -- Tribune Reporters



NRI's purse snatched
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
There seems to no stopping to snatching incidents in the city.

In the latest case, two motorcycle-borne youths snatched the purse from an NRI from Norway while she was travelling on a rickshaw in the Ghumar Mandi area here today.

The snatchers fled with the purse containing 30-tola gold ornaments, 300-gram silver ornaments, two passports, an apple I-Phone 4s, Krone 75,000 (Norwegian currency), a cheque book and credit cards.

According to the victim, Kulwant Kaur Grewal (58) she, along with her three relatives, was visiting Ghumar Mandi.

After shopping, four of them decided to return home on two rickshaws. Kulwant Kaur said when the rickshaw reached near the Sabzi Mandi area, two clean-shaven youths, riding a motorcycle, came close to her and in no time, the youth sitting pillion snatched her purse.

She raised an alarm, but the snatcher managed to escape from the place. The matter was to brought to the notice of the Division No 8 police station, but the long list of ornaments and cash has put the police in a tizzy.

The police has registered a case and started the investigation.



Woman found hanging
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 6
A 33-year-old woman was found hanging from a ceiling fan in the Preet Nagar area in Shimlapuri here this afternoon.

The victim, who has been identified as Jaspal Kaur, got married to Dilraj Singh nearly four years ago. The couple often indulged in domestic quarrels as they had no child.

The incident came to light, when the in-laws informed the police about the death. Soon the local residents gathered at the house. They told the police that frequent fights took place between the husband and the wife.

According to investigating officer Joginder Singh, the police was probing the case from all angles to find out whether the woman committed suicide or she was killed and later hanged from a ceiling fan to make it appear like a suicide.

The police took the body in its possession and sent it to the civil hospital. Joginder Singh said a case would be registered after receiving the postmortem report.



Cricket Tournament
Ludhiana gains first innings lead
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, June 6
Anil Siag (148) and Himanshu Shelly (71) today helped Ludhiana to gain a vital 58-run lead against Amritsar in the first innings on the penultimate day of the four-day match in the Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Tournament (u-22) being played at the Gandhi ground, Amritsar.

Ludhiana skipper Geetansh Khera's decision to invite the hosts to bat first appeared to be a miscalculated one as Amritsar were heading towards a mammoth score, making 326 runs for the loss of just three wickets on the first day.

However, on the second day, Amritpal Singh and Anil Siag enabled Ludhiana to make a comeback into the game restricting them to 378 runs in their first innings.

Amritpal claimed five wickets for 81 runs in 25 overs while Anil sent down 25.1 overs and chipped in with two wickets after conceeding 72 runs.

Ludhiana replied in a style, overhauling Amritsar's score and gained a crucial 58-run lead. Their first essay culminated at 436 runs after 151.2 overs.

Facing a deficit of 58 runs, Amritsar, again found themselves struggling against the wall. At draw of stumps on the third day, the hosts, in their second innings were 32 for two after 15 overs. Both the wickets were taken by Sukhjinder Singh.

Brief scores: Amritsar (first innings)- 378 all out in 119.1 overs (Rohan Marwaha 74, Karan Sharma 53, Aman Bawa 104, Abhinav Sharma 52 and Mohit Handa 32; Amritpal Singh 5 for 81, Anil Siag 2 for 72, Himanshu Shelly 1 for 62 and Ashish 1 for 60).

Ludhiana (first innings)- 436 all out in 151.2 overs ( Akhil Aggarwal 50, Ashish 19, Geetansh Khera 25, Anil Siag 148, Gurinder Hara 25, Himanshu Shelly 72 and Sandeep Singh 56; Abhishek 1 for 59, Vinay Chowdhary 2 for 98, Rahul Kanojia 3 for 111 and Sunny 3 for 69).

Amritsar (second innings)- 32 for 2 in 15 overs (Sukhjinder Singh 2 for 15).



Sports promoters felicitated
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, June 6
The Mata Sahib Kaur Hockey Academy, Jarkhar, and Ludhiana Sports Welfare Association that organised the annual hockey festival in memory of hockey legend Prithipal Singh at the Mata Surjit Kaur AstroTurf Stadium of Jarkhar village on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road honoured six persons who had contributed in the promotion of sports in the region.

These persons include Daljeet Singh, Harinder Singh Bhullar, advocate Sawinder Singh Saini, Paramjit Singh Grewal, Master Iqbal Singh and Prof Rajinder Singh. They were felicitated at the prize distribution function of the hockey festival yesterday.

Harsukhinder Singh Babbi Badal handed over momentoes to them.

Daljeet Singh Grewal has retired as deputy general manager, rail coach factory, Kapurthala. He is the contemporary of Prithipal Singh. He also served as a member of the executive committee of the Indian Hockey Federation, besides chairman, selection committees (men and women).

Harinder Singh Bhullar has retired as assistant director, physical education, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana. A diploma holder from NIS, Patiala, Bhullar took part in many national and interntional hockey tournaments and also coached players who represented the national hockey team. A trainee of Prithipal Singh, Harinder Singh imparted coaching to players that include Rajwinder Singh, Lata Mahajan, CP Chengappa, Balraj Sohi, Hirdaypal Kaur, Olympian Ramandeep Singh Grewal and Yadwinder Singh Sherry.

Sawinder Singh Saini (advocate) is one of the pioneers who started the Ropar Hawks Hockey Club, which is a well-known outfit of this region. He remained as a member of the national hockey team selection committee, an observer and a manager for a quite long period.

Paramjit Singh Grewal has been the general secretary of the Grewal Sports Association that organises the Kila Raipur Games, best known as the Rural Olympics across the globe. He has retired recently as the hockey coach from the sports department, Punjab.

Though Master Iqbal Singh has retired as a lecturer from the education department after putting in more than 25 years of service, he is best known as Master Iqbal Singh hockey wale.



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