L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Man tricked, duped of Rs 8 lakh
Gang collects cheque for Rs 105 on pretext of credit card and extends digits
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
If a sweet-voiced girl goes gaga about your financial track record with the bank and offers a credit card of financial institution and demands a cheque for Rs 105, be wary as it could be a trap set up by an organised gang that would collect the cheque and rip-off your savings by extending the digits in the cheque with the help of a scanner.

In the latest incident, Tanvir Singh, a cycle parts manufacturer, was duped of Rs 8.1 lakh in a similar manner.

The victim, who run a unit in Focal Point, said on June 4 he received a call from a woman, saying that considering his bank deposits and good track record, they had decided to offer him a credit card.

“She told me to prepare a cheque for Rs 105 along with some identity proof. The next day, two youths claiming to be the executives of a financial institution, came to my office and collected the cheque and the documents. I signed on the cheque while one of the youths filled the amount,” he said.

For nearly 12 days, he did not receive any call. “The amount was just Rs 105, so I did not suspect any foul play. But I got a shock on June 16 when I received a mobile alert saying Rs 8,10,500 had been withdrawn from my account. I rushed to the bank, but the con men had fled.”

He later learnt that it was a bogus financial institution that was offering him a credit card and the mobile number used by the accused was also procured through fake documents.

The police has registered a case under Sections 420, 465, 467 and 468 of the IPC against the unidentified accused. The police is suspecting the involvement of bank employees behind the incident.


'Munshis' banned from public dealing
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
"Special powers" of public dealing at police stations have been withdrawn from "munshis". The move has been taken to strengthen the newly built Community Police Resource Centres or Suvidha Centres.

The "munshis" have often been blamed for "wrecking" the project. "It has been seen that while the Suvidha Centre staff was seeking time of about a week to provide details in certain cases, 'munshis' at police stations were providing services on the spot and seeking a bribe ranging from Rs 200 to Rs 1,000," a police official stated.

A circular issued from the office of the Commissioner of Police on June 23 has withdrawn the "munshis" from public dealing with immediate effect.

The order states that only the investigating officer and Station House Officer (SHO) would deal with the public and the job of the "munshis" would be to prepare files and other documents.

If any "munshi" was found deployed for public dealing, strict action would be taken, the order says.

Sources said the "munshi nexus" proved to be the biggest hindrance in the successful launch of the Right to Service (RTS) Act in the state.

A "munshi" requesting anonymity said: "While SHOs remain busy with investigations, VIP duties and court hearings, it is the 'munshi' who handles police stations in their absence. If we take money from people, we are also spending it. So many VIPs and people close to SHOs visit police stations during the day.

“We attend to all of them and provide information immediately. We have to pay from our own pocket even for a cup of tea. And now we are being accused of corruption."



Fire dept ill-equipped to tackle major mishaps
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
With poor infrastructure and only 65 employees in the fire brigade, the city’s fire brigade is ill equipped to tackle any major fire incident in the city.

The fire department, which should be the most advanced and up-to-date department of the city is sadly one of the neglected ones of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation.

Ironically, for a city having a population of 16, 3, 878, there are just 65 employees, including drivers, with the fire department. Besides this, the employees are ill-equipped to the extent that they don’t even have masks to cover their faces, leave aside any other safety equipment. Even the fire-fighting vehicles, which are about 33 in number, are very old and the civic body gets them repaired regularly to ensure that there is no shortage of vehicles. According to experts, the life of a fire engine is only 10 years and the department is still working with 1980s models. Only 10 new models have been inducted into the fleet since 2002.

Not only drivers of fire engines, there is an acute shortage of firemen in the department. Presently, the department is working with just three leading firemen and 42 firemen.

The employees say that the MC had got the green signal to employ staff in the fire department, but due to some political reasons, the matter got delayed. “Instead of an eight-hour shift, we are working for 12 hours everyday for the past many years. I wonder why no official is giving preference to fire fighting arrangements for our city,” rued a fire brigade official.

Due to shortage of staff, there is resentment amongst the employees, who rue that they are forced to work overtime, which is also affecting their personal life. While the MC has been “preaching” for a long time that they are in the process of recruiting new employees, but in reality, no fresh appointments have been made.

Firefighters say that sometimes smoke in the buildings is so thick that they are forced to use cloth to cover their faces. “Even in such conditions, we operate without hesitation because it’s our duty to save lives. We have been told that the firefighters in Western countries are highly paid and get the best of facilities. While in Ludhiana, all we get are assurances and false promises,” a firefighter rued.

Senior Deputy Mayor Parveen Bansal claimed that the process of recruiting firemen was already under process. “Very soon we will recruit firemen and the entire department will be modernised with the best of fire-fighting facilities and safety equipment,” he claimed.


For a population of 16,13,878 in city, only 48 firefighters, as against a sanctioned strength of 86.
Only 11 drivers for 33 fire-fighting vehicles.
Department manages with just three leading firemen
No 54-metre ladders to control fire in a multistoreyed building
About 40 more firemen needed.
No hydraulic ladder.



Crusher ban pushes flyover deadline
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
The ban on crushers in the state is taking a toll on ongoing development projects. Due to non-availability of construction material the Gill Road flyover along the Sidhwan Canal expressway is yet to be completed. Public works department (PWD) minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon had announced in March that the flyover would be opened to traffic by May 30.

Even though the deadline has passed, the bridge is yet to be completed. Earlier, PWD officials had claimed that the flyover got delayed due to the imposition of the model code of conduct in view of the Municipal Corporation elections, but now they say that it got delayed due to the non-availability of construction material.

The area witnesses traffic congestion and the traffic police has placed boulders to divert traffic on Gill Road. On June 2, Dhillon had claimed that the project was almost ready. "Only a layer of bitumen is to be laid on the bridge and it would soon be opened to traffic. The bridge is likely to be opened to traffic on June 11," he had claimed.

But when The Tribune team visited the spot, workers were still laying the layer of bitumen. Angrej Singh, executive engineer, said the delay in the completion of the project was due to the non-availability of construction material. "We are unable to get proper quantity of material as crushers have been banned in Punjab and that is why there is a delay. We are trying our best to complete the project by June 30," he stated.



Heat wave takes toll, milk yield down to 40 pc
Fearing losses, dairy farmers want milk companies to hike prices from July 1
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
Due to the persistent hot, sultry and humid weather, milk production at dairy farms has come down to about 40 per cent. Worried, dairy farmers maintained that despite giving the best diet and a cool environment, the milk production of cows and buffaloes had drastically decreased in the last about two months. The dairy farmers have asked companies to increase the rates of milk from July 1 to save them from losses.

The joint secretary of the Progressive Dairy Farmers' Association, Punjab, Rajpal Singh, said the milk production had come down due to the severe weather conditions. On the one hand the production had decreased while on the other hand, the input cost of farmers had increased manifold.

"The cattle have to be provided with coolers in the severe heat wave conditions. The amount of electricity bills has increased. Besides, due to long unannounced power cuts, we purchase diesel in bulk to run generators so that the cattle do not fall sick. We need to provide them with a very balanced diet. But we are not getting sufficient returns as compared to the cost of input," he claimed.

He said the association members had met the authorities concerned over the issue and they were hoping that milk rates would be increased by companies from July 1.

Balkar Singh, a dairy farmer, said on an average a cow gave about 20 litres of milk in a day, but in the severe hot and humid conditions, the production comes down to about 12-13 litres a day. "But the demand for milk and milk products has increased. People like to have buttermilk and curd to beat the heat. Some private dairy owners are selling milk at Rs 43 per litre, but we, the main suppliers to Milkfed, are getting much less. The government should increase the rates of milk from July 1 or we will incur huge losses," he said.



CBSE guidelines for schools on buses
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
Overcrowded school buses, novice drivers and "irresponsible" attitude of school authorities and bus operators are a major threat to students who commute in school buses everyday. For the safety of students, the Central Board Secondary Education (CBSE) has issued new guidelines for schools, drivers and bus operators following the orders of the Supreme Court.

According to a circular sent to the schools, every school affiliated to the CBSE has to submit a certificate issued by the transport department about their transportation arrangements to the CBSE. The certificate should be renewed after five years.

Schools usually blamed private bus operators in case of any irregularity or an accident. Now, the schools would be responsible for any such incident.

The CBSE has issued the guidelines under various columns for schools and drivers/operators.

Navita Puri, principal of KVM School, said: "The decision of the board is appreciable. The safety of students is the responsibility of the school authorities. We do not have any problem in obeying the new guidelines because we are already following the norms."

Gurmant Kaur Gill, principal of Guru Nanak International School, said: "We welcome the move. But not only the school authorities, but also parents should take care of the safety of their children. We have our own buses, but sometime parents hire a van or auto operators as they charge less."

instructions to schools

Schools authorities have to submit a certificate issued by the transport department about their transportation arrangements to the board. The certificate should be renewed after five years.
Schools should have parking space for buses. If not, they have to make arrangements so that traffic is not disturbed on roads.

Rules for bus operators

Buses should be painted yellow and "school bus" must be written on the vehicle's rear and front. If a school hires a bus, "on school duty" should be written on it.
It should have a first aid box and a fire extinguisher.
Speed limit should not exceed 40 km.
Its doors should have secured locks and windows must have horizontal grills
School's name and telephone number must be written on the bus and there should be space under the seats for bags.
Numbers should be written on the seats and the bus should not be overcrowded.
The driver should have at least five years of experience of driving heavy vehicles, besides a driver's licence.



Residents get no respite from sizzling summer
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
There is no respite for residents from sweltering heat, as the monsoon is delayed and pre-monsoon winds have not yet started blowing. The mercury level is rising day by day making lives of the residents miserable, as there are extended power cuts. The meteorology department has predicted that there would be delayed monsoon.

The meteorologists said that there was no sign of monsoon in north India so there would be no relief for the residents for the next few days.

Dr KK Gill, agro-meteorologist from Punjab Agricultural University, said, "Monsoon has not yet arrived in Uttar Pradesh (UP). It was expected to hit the state on June 15. So according to predictions, if the pre-monsoon was to arrive in Punjab by June 27-28, then the monsoon was expected to hit the state by July 7-8".

"The monsoon also depends on local conditions,” she added.

"I was thinking that we will get relief from the scorching heat after the arrival of monsoon but according to new reports we have to wait more", Gurleen, a local resident, said.

"The days are miserable, as it is tough to go outside in the scorching heat and to top it all there are long power cuts", Ravi, another resident, said.



Fire safety series-part v
Safety norms thrown to the winds in markets
Congested lanes, overcrowded markets, open electric wires make them more prone to accidents
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

The congested bylanes of a city bazar
The congested bylanes of a city bazar

Ludhiana, June 24
It seems the city has failed to learn any lessons from the fire incidents it witnessed few years ago at Gur Mandi and Khud Mohalla killing scores of people and is waiting for another tragedy to happen.

Ludhiana is known as a business hub and people from across the state come here to shop for hosiery and other products, but the markets, bazaars and exhibition halls in the city lack adequate safety measures.

The safety norms continue to be flouted in the markets with impunity. Owing to the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities concerned nearly 80 per cent of the city's markets and bazaars are unsafe. Most of them do not have adequate fire-safety arrangements.

A survey by Ludhiana Tribune of the China Bazaars at various places across the city, including crowded markets like Ghumar Mandi, Bharat Nagar Chowk and Civil Lines, revealed these markets are sans fire-safety equipment. Most of these places remain jampacked with shoppers throughout the day, putting thousands of lives at risk.

A fire-fighting device lying unused at Sarafa Bazaar.
A fire-fighting device lying unused at Sarafa Bazaar.

The worst are the old city bazaars where it is impossible for the fire tenders to reach or douse flames in case of emergency. Old city bazaars like Gur Mandi, Pindi street, Chuara Bazaar, Purana Bazar, Meena Bazar, Basati Bazar, Mochpra Bazar Akalgarh Market are inaccessible in case of emergency.

Generally, it is seen that electric short-circuit is the main cause of fire incidents as the heavy load of electric appliances like generators and ACs are suspected to spark off fire. The web of intertwining electric wires hung haphazardly around buildings in the city is an open invitation to a tragedy. A shop in Ghumar recently caught fire due to short circuit.

China bazaars and exhibitions are held in the city san the fire-fighting arrangements. In most of the China bazaars, the shopkeepers display their items in the open and there is only one exit and that too has no fire extinguishers. It seems that the shopkeepers are waiting for a tragedy to happen to follow the necessary fire-fighting norms.

"The memories of the Gur Mandi fire incident are still etched in our minds, but people still try to turn a blind eye towards fire-safety norms. In case of any mishap at places like Chaura Bazaar or Basati Bazar, the situation will go out of control, as there are no safety measures in the market which is always over-crowded. In case of fire, the entire market will be gutted as the lanes are very narrow and no vehicle or fire tender can enter the market," said Satish Kumar, a shopkeeper at Basati Bazar.

Guidelines for fire safety at commercial establishments

Maintenance of proper fire exits and proper exit signage (e.g., exit signs pointing to them that can function in a power failure)
Placement and maintenance of fire extinguishers in easily accessible places.
Proper storage/usage of, hazardous materials that may be needed inside the building for storage or operational requirement (such as solvents in spray booths).
Prohibition of flammable materials in certain areas of the facility.
Periodical inspection of buildings for violations, issuance of orders to comply and, potentially, prosecute or close buildings that are not in compliance, until the deficiencies are corrected or condemned in extreme cases.
Maintenance of fire alarm systems for detection and warning of fire.
Maintenance of complete inventory of fire stops.
Ensure that spray fireproofing remains undamaged.
Training and awareness of occupants and users of the building to avoid obvious mistakes, such as the propping open of fire doors.
Conduct fire drills at regular intervals throughout the year



Bus stand buys two coolers for night shelter
Charanjit Singh Teja /TNS

Ludhiana, June 24
Finally, the authorities of the Saheed Sukhdev Inter -State Bus Stand swung into action and provided coolers for commuters who stay in "night shelter" at the bus stand.One new water cooler is also installed on the bus stand premises. Earlier, The Tribune highlighted the miserable condition of the night shelter on June 18.

Rajinder Bhati, manager, Bus Stand Operating Company, said , "We decided to install the coolers in the night shelter when we found that shelter was not comfortable for the commuters in summers. The fans were not enough to beat the scorching heat. So we decided to install new coolers in the hall."

He further said We face problems when there are long power cuts", he added.

Appreciating the gesture of the bus stand authorities, Rajan, a commuter at the bus stand said, "It is a good initiative by the authorities that they are going to install coolers in night shelter room."



Village residents resolve to rationalise social functions
Mahesh Sharma

Andloo (Raekot), June 24
Setting an example for other localities, office-bearers and activists of all social, religious, political and constitutional organisations in the village, with intent to fight uncontrolled price rise, have resolved to rationalise social and religious functions.

Office-bearers led by the village sarpanch Gurmel Singh Andloo had launched a social reform movement that discouraged extravagance during social and religious functions being organised in the locality.

Realising that the restrictions would affect the lifestyle of all villagers, heads of all families and clans, irrespective of their political and social allegiance, vowed to support the movement.

Appreciating the role of leaders of all communities, Gurmel Singh Andloo said efforts were on to rationalise level and profile of functions according to traditional and changed social environment.

“Our main objective is to check extravagance during social and religious functions. 



coaches held on rape charge
‘Don’t spare them if guilty’
Shocked sports fraternity demands action against trainers
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
As two coaches have been booked on the charges of raping their pupils in the past 10 days, the shocked sports fraternity is demanding that "if found guilty" then strict action should be taken against the trainers for bringing a bad name to the sacred profession of sports.

Interestingly, both coachs, who are facing rape charges, are living in the Railway Colony located near the Guru Nanak Stadium.

It was on June 15 that the athletic coach with the Northern- Railway and an Assistant Sub- Inspector (ASI) with the Punjab police were booked for raping a 24- year- old former national-level athlete on the pretext of giving her a job in the Railways.

The accused have been identified Prem Singh, a resident of Sangrur, and former office-bearer of theLudhiana District Athletic Association (LDAA) and ASI Balwinder Singh, who is under suspension in connection with a graft case.

The victim stated that Prem Singh and Balwinder beguiled her on the pretext of getting a job for her in the Railways.

On June 14 last year, Prem Singh took her to the railway residential quarters located near Guru Nanak Stadium, where he along with ASI Balwinder Singh raped her.

She said after establishing sexual relations, the duo backtracked from their promise. Feeling cheated she reported the matter to the police.

But instead of registering an FIR, the investigating office quashed her complaint following an inquiry.

With no option left, she filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The court further directed the police to investigate the case.

However, the case has been registered but both the accused are still on the run.

In the second case, a self- proclaimed gymnastic teacher Nitish Kumar has been booked for forcibly establishing physical relations with a 15- year-old pupil.

Nitish Kumar has been arrested and the girl has been rescued. It is learnt that Nitish beguiled the girl and latter fell in his trap hoping that Nitish would teach her more and she would make a name in the field of gymnastic.



Outages throw life out of gear
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, June 24
Residents of the town have been reeling under scheduled and unscheduled power cuts. Apart from unscheduled power cuts, a seven-hour cut is imposed everyday.

When asked about the power supply to the area, a resident, Arun Bector, said, "Better ask about the power cuts. There are cuts and cuts. The supply is just at times and that, too, incidental. At night,too, there is no respite from these cuts and the worst sufferers are the children and elderly people who fail to get any rest during the day and have to endure a hellish night ahead.”

Dr Gagandeep Kaushal, “The situation becomes all the more grim when the power is restored after a gap of nearly four to five hours and goes off again in not more than 10 minutes due to overloading. By the time the fault is rectified, the time for scheduled or for that matter an unscheduled cut begins."

“Our work literally comes to a halt in the wake of such conditions. The power crisis has aggravated the problems of the shopkeepers as they prefer to stay back rather than invite the wrath of the weather in such telling conditions,” lamented Joginder Kirti, a bookshop owner.

The farmers, too, apart from facing the heat of the sizzling weather are wobbling under the load of cuts . “It is the peak season when paddy is to be sown and water is required to the maximum but in the wake of such telling ‘power’ conditions, what can the poor farmer do but to sit back and lament. Power cuts were imposed in the past too but this particular summer has been awful. Further, no cut on VAT has complicated the situation all the more. All promises of the existing government to make Punjab power surplus , it seems, have ended up in a fiasco and we have to regret for the next five years,” said Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill.

Amritvir Singh , another farmer, complained, “We have explained our position to the power corporation several times, but to no avail. Neither do we have any assurance of power supply during the day nor at night. We want power in continuity otherwise we shall be ruined. The government made tall promises of thinking about the farmers of Punjab, but when it comes to actual implementation, it backs out completely."

An official of the Punjab State Power Corporation said cuts could be finally relaxed only after rain. As far as unscheduled cuts are concerned , these are imposed only when there is some sudden fault or some traffic disruption. Otherwise we try to do the maintenance, too, even during the hours when scheduled cuts are imposed,” the official added.



Drums, guitars rock city
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
The new generation is embracing the winds of change. They are done with soft mellow melodious music and grabbing the sticks, whipping up passion, electrifying the ambiance, exploding with bass, creating music from the rugged rebellion, adventure and fury. The sham jewellery, shrieking noise, long hair, tattoos, bandannas, abandon - the rock has arrived in the city and the music of the fast and furious, and rumble of the drums and electric guitars can be heard in colleges, schools and homes.

Karmasa, Wasted, Elements, Distortion Crew, Syndrome, Chronic Reign, Rash are some of the city-based bands, comprising college and school students.

Colleges and schools have started allowing their rock bands. "Awareness and interest in the genre of music is certainly on the rise," says Gagan Behl, drummer of Karmasa band.

Ludhiana Rock Community on Facebook has increasingly been gaining audience. Concerts and rock music events in the city have started to pick up, like once in a couple of months. Although the rock culture of the city is far from metro cities and Chandigarh, but the wave of rock fans is certainly sweeping the younger generation. Because the music is still at the relatively nascent stage, soft and pop rock are popular genres that are easier to begin with.

Rock music not only requires expertise in vocal, but also is challenging when it comes to mastering the instrumental music, says Gagan, as people have to spend years to create the electrifying music.

The fact that rock music is gaining popularity is good, and it has started emerging from schools and colleges, says Bhavya Dawar, pursuing BArch. He is the lead guitarist in his four-member band Elements. It is good that the music is getting encouragement in the city as well, he says.

"We started our band about four years ago," says Kanwar Dhami, a medical student and member of a band named Syndrome. The interest and popularity of music has been more than what we'd expected," he says.



Exhibiting art in style
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
A sea of newspapers with fish made of newspapers in the middle welcome you to this art exhibition by artists and students from Maharashtra.

Newspapers represent all aspects of life and the fish which apparently are out of water, represent human life, which is facing the trials and tribulations in the modern times. People are touched, piqued, moved, pained by the multitude of happenings taking place in the world, says Kedar Nande from JJ School of Fine Arts, Mumbai.

The newspapers and fish bind represent the theme of the exhibition, he says, as our paintings, too, represent various facets of life.

The week-long exhibition, New Vision, has been put up by nine artists and students.

The artists have used oils, knife, water colour, enamel in their paintings, drawings, graphic art, sculpture, and all have their own themes to go with.

Anmol Satre, a BFA student, represented the city life showing the traffic and construction scene in a symbolic and aesthetic manner while Mangesh Kapse's paintings represented the constraints of living in a big city like Mumbai. Nitashri Dadwe's paintings symbolically depict the state of women in the male-dominated society while Sooraj Bansor's captured the school life of children using the wood cut technique.

Visitors said these paintings artistically captured various aspects and facets that touched everyone's lives and all artists had their own style and theme. 



CA students' convention

Ludhiana, June 24
Ludhiana branch of the Institute of Chartered Accounts of India representing more than 1,400 members and 4,000 students hosted the first day of national CA students' convention in Ludhiana. The theme of the convention was "Evolution Through Innovation Be The Change You Wish To See In The World".

Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, PWD minister, was the chief guest. Rajeev K Sharma in his inaugural address appreciated the fact that more than 1,000 CAs from 20 cities all over India had joined the convention. He promised the participants that the convention would help enhance their knowledge, skills and will take them to new horizons. Sharanjit Singh Dhillon encouraged the students to play an important role in nation's economy by sticking to the highest standards of performance and ethics, the profession enjoyed. He said society relied completely only on the financial statements certified by CAs. — TNS



Don’t air grievances in media: Shanta Kumar
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
The BJP has "requested" both BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu and Akali Cabinet Minister Bikram Singh Majithia to refrain from using the Press as a platform to air their grievances. Talking to The Tribune, BJP state in charge and national vice-president Shanta Kumar said this on his visit to the city today.

Clarifying that the suggestion to the two leaders to desist from issuing statements to the media was not any party diktat, he said the BJP leaders, in consultation with Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, would resolve the matter.

He dismissed the SAD-BJP rift on Amritsar Mayor's appointment as a "minor issue" that the parties would sort out amicably.

As the party's national vice-president, Kumar also claimed that there were no chinks in the BJP-led NDA.

Asked about the "rift" in the NDA on the issue of presidential candidate, he asserted that the NDA was united, though the matter related to the presidential candidate could have been handled more deftly.

Emphasising that it was the era of coalition rule at the Centre, he said the two-party political system was no longer feasible. It was the age of alliances - the alliances led by two major political parties, the Congress and the BJP, he added.

Dismissing any possibility of the emergence of a successful third front, he said the third front experiment had failed in the past also.

Maintaining that post-presidential polls, there was a possibility of political realignments, he claimed that more regional parties were likely to join the NDA.



45-year-old undertrial dies under mysterious circumstances
Was booked under the NDPS Act
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
A 45- year- old undertrial, who was sent to central jail three days ago after being booked in a NDPS case, died under mysterious circumstances here today.

The deceased has been identified as Harbir Singh of Dugri, learnt to have complained of chest pain after which he was sent to the civil hospital.

According to the officials, Harbir's condition worsened and he died soon after reaching the hospital. Harbir's postmortem will be conducted tomorrow and his viscera will be sent to the special laboratory for chemical examination to find out the exact cause of death. 



No stopping illegal encroachments
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, June 24
Illegal encroachments dot the Old Grain Market in Jagraon. Shopkeepers have encroached upon the civic body land. The state of affairs is such that a large number of shopkeepers have extended corridors of their shops up to 10m.

It seems that the MC authorities are not interested in checking the menace as they have turned a blind eye to the violation.

Shopkeepers have further narrowed the already congested Old Grain Market due to which people visiting the market have to face a lot of inconvenience. Besides, these illegal encroachments have also been causing revenue loss to the local civic body.

Sources said the main reason behind the mushrooming of these illegal encroachments was the lack of determination and willpower among the local municipal council authorities to take action against such violators.

Even though some municipal councillors had raised the issue during the house meetings, nothing has been done to remove these encroachments from the market so far. Raising the issue in the recently held house meeting, councillors, including Kulwinder Singh Kala, and Independent councillor Jatinderpal Rana had alleged that these shopkeepers had encroached upon municipal council land in connivance with some representatives of the municipal council.

Moreover, Kamlesh Sabharwal, a former councillor, had even written to the higher authorities of the local bodies department complaining about the illegal encroachments in the Old Grain Market. Following which a vigilance team had also raided the market to take account of the situation, but till now no action has been taken.

MC president Baldev Krishan Dhir, when contacted, admitted that there were a lot of illegal encroachments in the Old Grain Market but lamented that some councillors had been shielding the violators.

"Whenever we launch a drive to remove these encroachments, councillors come to the rescue of the shopkeepers," stated Dhir. He, however, assured that the municipal council would soon start a special drive to remove these illegal encroachments after taking the councillors into confidence.



OPDs to remain closed today
Protest by docs against the proposed implementation of Clinical Bill
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, june 24
Overcautious patients kept physicians and practitioners busy on Sunday due to the nationwide call given by the Indian Medical Association and associated organisations to keep OPDs closed on Monday to lodge protest against the proposed introduction of National Council for Human Resources in Health Bill NCHRH, 2011, through the implementation of the Clinical Establishment (Registration and regulation) Act.

As the news about scheduled closure of OPDs at the local town and surrounding localities spread, patients undergoing treatment at local clinics and hospitals started contacting their respective doctors.

Though a majority of doctors keep their OPDs closed on Sundays, they had to attend to their regular patients for the whole day today.

“Though normally we keep our OPDs closed on Sundays, today our doctors remained busy till late in the afternoon as patients were worried about the delay in their follow-up due to the closure of departments tomorrow,” said Dr Sunit, chairman, Hind Hospital.

Maintaining that all OPDs at their hospital will remain closed tomorrow, Dr Puneet Dhawan and Dr Narinder Kumar said almost all patients who had fixed appointments for Monday had visited the medical centre for examination and follow-up today.

Office-bearers of the local unit of Indian Medical Association told the Tribune that all members of the organisation had been asked to keep their OPDs closed on Monday to show solidarity with the protesting professionals.

Call for the closure was given by the state body of the organisation to protest against the proposed introduction of the NCHRH and the Clinical Establishment Bill.

“As medical profession is already governed by a number of acts and regulations, there is no need of thrusting more acts and rules on the noble profession. This besides promoting inspector and licence administration will lead to the closure of single doctor clinics and small medical establishments,” said Dr Nirmal Singh, secretary of the local unit of the IMA.



An eager wait for college results
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, June 24
While schoolchildren are enjoying their summer vacation, those studying in colleges are waiting for their results. Satish,a Class VII student, heaving a sigh of relief shared, "Life seems to be worth living only during holidays. Although, the weather is unfavourable and we can move out only in the mornings and evenings, still we are relaxed. We don't have to get up early in the morning. Since my first terminals are already over, my mother has no reason to pressurise me for studies."

A college student said, "Although we, too, are having vacation, the sword of Damocles hangs on our heads. The shocking dreams of having faired badly and resultantly facing similar results always weigh heavy on our minds. It was my first year and my parents have great hopes from me. Although, my exams went fairly well but every time I think about my results, chill runs through my spine."

"How awful time it is! One has to wait for one's performance and that, too, for such a long time," lamented Reena, a BA student.

A student who flunked said, " Let it be! I still have another year to prove my worth and can always try harder next time," said Sushma, a BCom second year student.

"It's my final year and all my expectations of joining a future course rest on my score of this class," said Deepika, a BA final year student.



Government to do away with multi-level TDS, software industry hails decision
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 24
The government’s decision to do away with the complex multi-level system of tax deduction at source (TDS) from July 1 has been hailed by the software industry.

"No deduction of tax shall be made on the payment by a person (transferee) for acquisition of software from another person (transferor), being a resident," said a senior IT official. The provisions will come into force from July 1, 2012.

Under the current structure, TDS of 10 per cent is levied at every level of software distribution chain right from master distributor to retailer and then to the final consumer.

Responding to the long-standing demand of the software sector, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had last week stated that Section 194J of the Income Tax Act, 1961, would be amended so as to avoid multi-level TDS on information technology sector.

Section 194(J) of the I-T Act deals with fee for professional and technical services and covers royalty and

non-compete fee. The exemption from multi-level TDS will be applicable in case where the software is acquired in a subsequent transfer, without any modification.

The software industry had been demanding, for long, the removal of the multi-level TDS on software arguing that such a decision would improve finances of the IT sector. “The TDS model was leading to an unsustainable model for software distributors who operate on very low margins. This is a welcome step of the government and we hope our profit margins will increase after this,” said Praveen Kumar, a software consultant.



Reporters' diary
Making the most of every opportunity

The ongoing protest against the traffic police by a group of local Congress leaders and councillors has left a bad taste while also exposing vested interests of politicians. It was a simple act of blocking a few cuts on a road divider on the Hambran Road by a joint team of traffic police and the municipal corporation with the sole objective of removing bottlenecks and improving flow of vehicular traffic on some of the most congested roads in the city. For politicians, the matter came as a god-sent opportunity to win popular support. In taking the matter to streets, the leaders chose to forget that some price (in the form of a little inconvenience) has to be paid for overall betterment of the city.

Everything fair in "politics"

Recently, the Congress councillors raised a lot of hue and cry over the way the police treated them. While talking to mediapersons, the councillors said the police was "inhumane" towards them. The agitated councillors also alleged that they were being dragged and thrashed. When they were brought to the Deputy Commissioner of Police's office, they said the incident was "politically motivated". During the meeting with the police, the councillors were reportedly given a patient hearing by the DCP, who also offered tea to them. While coming out, they all looked "pretty satisfied". When this reporter asked the councillors about the outcome of the meeting, before they could reply, one of their supporters said, "Strange hai ji, pehlon kutt de han te phir chai peyande han!"

Narrow corridor

The narrow corridor of the Civil Surgeon's office which has a number of cupboards that contain records of the health department hardly leaves any space for walking. A visitor to the office said, "It reminds me of the "narrow gauge" of the Kalka-Shimla railway line where only one train can pass at a time. It looks like a tunnel.

Teaching a lesson

Traffic policemen have tightened noose around traffic rule violators. Traffic personnel towing away cars standing beyond the yellow line is a common site these days. Today, I came across a man who was trying to convince the traffic policemen for not taking away his car. The official on duty said, "You will never learn to park your vehicle unless your vehicle in taken away. You will form an opinion that one can go away with the laws just by requesting the official. I want to teach you a lesson and learn abide by the traffic laws. I am towing away your car and you will have to come to the police station to get your car back."

Gendered politics

Most of the political meets organised by political parties are men-only affair. A woman reporter attending the meet is either seen as an anomaly or not seen at all. At one such meet organised by a vice-president of a regional political party, the party workers kept addressing mediapersons as "dear brothers", maintaining the eye-contact only with the male reporters. The poor woman reporter sitting right in the front row wondered if she had suddenly become invisible or she looked masculine enough to pass as a man.

— Contributed by Shivani Bhakoo, Anupam Bhagria, Manav Mander and Minna Zutshi.



ludhiana scan
Rotarians felicitated

The annual award function of Rotary District 3070 was held here on Sunday. Shanta Kumar, former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, was the chief guest. He applauded the achievements of the rotary district. He added that India had been made polio free and the credit went to the Rotary Club. Meanwhile, more than 400 Rotarians from Rotary District 3090 comprising parts of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, including 160 Paul Harris Fellows were felicitated during an annual award function "Nazrana" on Sunday. Amjad Ali, district governor, presided over the function and LK Yadav, Deputy Inspector General, Patiala, and Dr Indu, Additional Deputy Commissioner were chief guest and guest of honour, respectively. Acknowledging role of members of over 70 units of the district in serving various sections of society, speakers including Yadav and Indu, said volunteers of the global organisations had come to the rescue of the administration, where government machinery became ineffective to meet the expectations of the public.

Prize distribution function

Speaker of Punjab Assembly Charanjit Singh Atwal was at Malhipur village to attend a prize distribution function organised by the Malipur Sports and Welfare Club. He distributed prizes among winners. Atwal said to uplift the sports infrastructure in state, the Punjab Government would construct sports ground (stadiums) in all new districts, Fazilka, Pathankot, Barnala and Navan Sehar.

Punjabi singer passes away

Renowned Punjabi singer Karnail Gill died at his native village Jamalpur Awana on Sunday. Gill (71) was suffering from cancer. Jagdev Singh Jasowal, chairman professor, Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation, and other personalities from the field of art paid tribute to him.

— Tribune Reporters



Man booked for shooting at grandson
Mahesh Sharma

Dehlon, june 24
The Dehlon police has booked a former health department official of Pohir under Section 307 of IPC and 27/54/59 of Arms Act for allegedly shooting at his grandson with an intention to kill him last night.

Family dispute over property is reported to be the reason behind the attack. Gurdial Singh Samra, a resident of Pohir village, and former employee of the state health department, was booked for allegedly attempting to

murder his grandson Prabhjot Singh by calling him to his house at about 9.30 pm on Saturday.

Gurdial Singh entered into heated arguments with his son Sukhwant Singh, when he (Sukhwant) had come to ask about his well being last night. While Sukhwant Singh wanted that a new maid be hired, Gurdial Singh did not like the idea and wanted top make do with the old staff.

Gurdial Singh allegedly lost temper during the altercation and threatened to kill his son. When Gurdial Singh went to bring his gun from his room Sukhwant Singh ran away.

It was after Sukhwant left the house that Gurdial Singh allegedly called the victim Prabhjot Singh to his place and fired two shots at him.

One of the bullets injured his left arm and profusely bleeding Prabhjot was shifted to a hospital at Ludhiana. Though the police was informed shortly after the incident, a case was registered only after the victim was declared fit for statement by doctors.

A police team led by ASI Pargat Singh arrested the suspect when he was trying to leave the area this afternoon.

During preliminary investigations, the suspect while refuting allegations maintained that he had fired shots to scare his son who according to him had threatened to kill him earlier.



Man dies of heatstroke
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, June 24
A man identified as Dharam Pal of Miowal village died of heatstroke while working in the fields yesterday. The police has sent the body to the Civil Hospital, Phagwara, for an autopsy.

Boy commits suicide

A boy reportedly committed suicide by jumping before the Amritsar-bound Katihar Express near Mauli village on the Jalandhar-Ludhiana rail section last night. GRP has kept the body in the Civil Hospital for identification.

Armed robbers take away car

Unidentified armed robbers took away a Lancer car and snatched Rs 20,000 and a mobile phone from a trader hailing from Amritsar, Sanjay Khanna, near Baba Balak Nath Mandir on the national highway in Goraya last night. He was on his way to New Delhi, when the robbers stopped his car and asked the driver, Mehar Singh, to get down. They then took away the car. A case has been registered. In another incident, a parked truck was stolen from Rishi Transport Co in Goraya last night.



cricket tourney
Mahajan Juniors, FC Chopra XI set up title clash
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, June 24
Mahajan Juniors XI and Prof FC Chopra XI wrapped up their semifinal encounters to set up the title clash in the 17th Chaman Lal Malhotra Cup Cricket Tournament (u-14) being organised at the Arya College ground here today.

Mahajan juniors scripted an easy 99-run victory over Ashok Jain XI while Prof FC Chopra XI got the better of Dr Iqbal Singh XI by 35 runs to settle for the summit clash.

In the first semifinal, Mahajan Juniors XI scored 249 runs after losing three wickets in the allotted 25 overs.

The main contributions came through Anmol and Gokul who chipped in with 91 and 41 runs, respectively. Other notable run getters were Harman (39), Ravi (21) and Joy 12.

For Ashok Jain XI, Keshav and Tushar shared one wicket each. They sent down five overs each and conceded 37 and 50 runs, respectively.

Chasing the daunting task, Ashok Jain XI could muster 150 runs losing seven wickets as they fell short of overs.

The main architect of their innings was Vaibhav who scored 68 runs. Naman made 28 runs while Rahul and Shaurya scored 28 and 13 runs, respectively.

For the winners, Anmol was the most successful bowler who captured three wickets for 10 runs in his quota of five overs. Gokul, Harman and Abhinav scalped one victim each to enable their side to contain the opponents below the two-hundred mark.

However, the second semifinal played between Prof FC Chopra XI and Dr Iqbal Singh XI turned out to be a well contested affair in which the former came out triumphant.

Batting first, Prof FC Chopra XI scored 186 runs for the loss of nine wickets in the stipuated 25 overs. Bhuvnesh top scored with 77 runs, followed by Akash (36), Lovish (29) and Harsh (17).

For Dr Iqbal Singh XI, Vishwas, Nihal and Parth accounted for two wickets each while Aman grabbed one wicket.Needing 187 runs to win, Dr Iqbal Singh XI's innings folded at 151 runs in 23 overs.

Mohit scored 47 runs while Aman contributed 26 runs. Parth and Nihal made 20 and 13 runs, respectively but that was not enough to achieve the target.

For the winning side, Akash took three wickets for 21 runs while Rupan, Prashant and Kunal claimed one wicket each to skittle Dr Iqbal Singh XI to 151 runs with two overs to spare.



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