L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Same old story: Rain, deluge, road cave-ins
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

The newly constructed Prof Mohan Singh Road which caved in Ludhiana on Monday.
The newly constructed Prof Mohan Singh Road which caved in Ludhiana on Monday.

Ludhiana, July 23
Barely three hours of rainfall led to a kind of deluge in many parts of the city today. Streets were flooded with knee-deep water and reports of caved-in roads were received from Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar as well as Prof Mohan Singh Road of the Civil Lines area.

Every time it rains and water accumulates on the roads, the MC blames it on nature’s fury. Instead of finding a permanent solution to this problem, MC officials claim that the water recedes after a few hours.

The rain started at around 9.30 am and continued till about 12.30 pm. Areas such as Domoria Bridge, Chaura Bazaar, Mata Rani Chowk, Dholewal Chowk, Janakpuri, Old GT Road, Bhadaur House, Gurdev Nagar, Sarabha Nagar, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Pakhowal Road, Sham Singh Road and Ghumar Mandi were flooded with rainwater.

Ravinder Singh of Shaheed Karnail Singh Nagar said: "I was on a scooter and was shocked to see water accumulated at Sarabha Nagar. The road looked like a stream of water. I was forced to take an alternative road to Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar. But when I reached the BSNL exchange of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, I again had to take a different route because the road was flooded. It took me almost 45 minutes to travel a stretch of 5 km, which usually takes 10 minutes,” he said.

Even at Domoria Bridge, commuters had to face a tough time while crossing over. As a large amount of water had accumulated on the left side of the bridge, the commuters had to use the right side only, which led to a traffic jam.

Water had even accumulated near the MC offices near Mata Rani Chowk as well as Sarabha Nagar.

PS Ghuman, MC Joint Commissioner and nodal officer for flood control measures, said water accumulated in some areas of the city since the rain was heavy. “But slowly the water receded,” he said.


Roads cave-in

  • A large portion of Prof Mohan Singh Road in Maharaj Nagar area of Civil Lines caved in. After a storm sewer was laid, the road was constructed a few days before the MC elections. A resident said for garnering votes, politicians as well as MC officials ignore rules and construct roads overnight. “They should have waited for the sand to settle down, but as the MC elections were nearing, the road was constructed and public money worth lakhs was wasted,” he said. Councillor Gurpreet Singh Gogi said Prof Mohan Singh Road was constructed a few days before the elections. “Perhaps the road was not constructed properly and that is why it caved in. But we have already started repairing it and by tomorrow, it will be repaired,” he claimed. A portion of Baba Balaknath Road in Ghumar Mandi also caved in.
  • A portion of the road near Adita Jaitly Chowk in Model Town also caved in creating problems for commuters. A small portion of the road near a hotel on Pakhowal Road also caved in.


Kerb of newly constructed road damaged
Kuldip Bhatia

A kerb along the main road in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar was damaged after a spell of heavy rain in Ludhiana on Monday.
A kerb along the main road in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar was damaged after a spell of heavy rain in Ludhiana on Monday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, July 23
The kerb of the main road adjoining the City Centre in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar locality was damaged following the rain today. The rain washed away a part of the consolidated sand underneath the road and a visible wedge was created between the edge of the road and the curbstones.

Residents of the houses located along the road said even as the damage caused to the road looked insignificant, it was dangerous as it was the same stretch where about 800 ft road length had caved in during heavy rains in August last year and craters about 20 ft to 40 ft had been created, posing grave threat to life and property.

The road has suffered damage just a couple of months after massive repair work and re-carpeting of the damaged portion was done at an expenditure of more than Rs 75 lakh, the residents said. They also suspect that substandard material and poor quality of workmanship might have gone into the work.

The LIT officials, however, claim that the damage caused to the road is minor and there is no cause for concern. Executive engineer SS Jakhar said: "The major problem with this particular stretch of the road is the dug-up portion within the boundary of the City Centre project which keeps eroding the consolidated sand under the road. We cannot carry out any work inside the boundary of the project as it is under prolonged litigation," he said.

Substandard work?

The road has suffered damage just a couple of months after massive repair work and re-carpeting of the damaged portion was done at an expenditure of more than Rs 75 lakh, the residents said. They also suspect that substandard material and poor quality of workmanship might have gone into the work.



Roof of veranda collapses at Civil Surgeon's office
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
A major tragedy was averted today when the roof over a veranda in the Civil Surgeon's office collapsed due to rain. When the incident took place, no person was standing under it. Only a few almirahs containing official records and some two-wheelers were parked under the veranda at the time of the collapse.

During the monsoon last year, a portion of the Civil Surgeon's office boundary wall had caved in. For the past several years, the Civil Surgeon’s office has been in a state of neglect, with many of its buildings considered unsafe. Ceilings are cracked, windowpanes broken, toilets sink and records are scattered all over.

The worsening condition of the veranda could be known from the fact that vegetation had started growing on the roof.

An employee working at the office said: “Whenever it rains, we are under constant threat that the building might collapse. It’s a very old building and the state government is not doing anything to either construct a new building or shift us to a safer place. The government is waiting for a tragedy to happen.”

The Civil Surgeon, Dr Subhash Batta, said a few almirahs with official records were kept in the veranda. “This is an old building and some people used to park their two-wheelers in the veranda. When it was raining, some people standing near the veranda noticed the plaster fall down. They were vigilant and maintained a safe distance from the veranda. And after a few minutes, the roof collapsed. No person was injured. The official records are safe,” claimed the Civil Surgeon.



Driver electrocuted; Rs 30 lakh sought from industrialist
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
The death of a 30-year-old driver who was electrocuted while chopping the branch of a tree when he came in contact with overhead power cables at the house of an industrialist in Barewal, turned out to be a "money-minting" exercise for some self-proclaimed leaders, who allegedly demanded Rs 30 lakh from the industrialist for not lodging a police complaint against him.

They allegedly instigated the victim's family members, who staged a protest against the police, leading to a traffic jam on the Ferozepur Road.

The victim identified as 30-year-old Mahinder was found dead in the lawn of the house belonging to hosiery industrialist Vijay Heera Bhai. Mahinder was chopping the branch of a tree when he came in contact with overhead power cables and got electrocuted.

"It was about 11.30 am that my son called up and informed me that Mahinder was lying unconscious. He called Mahinder's wife also. The victim was rushed to a private hospital where he was declared brought dead," said Vijay.

He said soon some men entered the hospital and accused him of killing Mahinder. "They threatened me to pay Rs 30 lakh or they would get a case registered against me. It was blatant blackmailing. I declined their offer, following which they tried to block the road," said Vijay. The leaders along with the family members of the deceased staged a dharna outside the hospital for nearly half-hour, causing a massive traffic jam. Vijay was detained and the "leaders" were asked to report at the PAU police station. In the meantime, the Congress MLA, Surinder Dawar, along with his aide Ishwarjot Cheema arrived at the police station to support the industrialist.

Interestingly, Mahinder's wife was kept out of the negotiation. The victim's parents said Mahinder was employed as a driver, but he was made to do odd jobs by the industrialist. It was a clear violation of labour laws. "My daughter-in-law lost her husband at the prime of her life and we lost our son at the fag end of our life. We want financial security for his children," said Bheema, Mahinder's father.



Six persons from Amritsar in police net for kidnap bid
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
The police has foiled a kidnap bid of a 22-year-old taxi driver with the arrest of six persons belonging to Amritsar.
The youth, identified as Sidharth, was operating a private taxi and was allegedly kidnapped by six men last evening.

The police sounded an alert and arrested the accused from Ladhowal around midnight.

Sub-Inspector Ratanjit Singh said: "It was about 6 pm that a woman identified as Seema called the police helpline and said her son Sidharth had been kidnapped by armed assailants from Rikhi Cinema road."

The police swung into action and sealed all the exit points of the city.

The accused were caught at the police check post in Ladhowal. The police rescued Sidharth and impounded two vehicles.

The accused have been identified as Manpreet Singh, Kuwar Pratap Singh, Vishal, Puneet, Kamaljit and Paramjit. The accused told the police that they were businessmen and claimed that they were duped by Sidharth's father.

Sidharth is also a native of Amritsar. The accused claimed that Rajan, Sidharth's father, was running a business of floor tiles.

The business ran into losses and Rajan along with his wife and son fled from Amritsar overnight and did not pay their money.

The accused told the police that they had received information about Sidharth operating a private taxi.

According to Sidharth, the accused laid a trap near the taxi stand and overpowered him last evening.

They were talking him to Amritsar when the police stopped the vehicle and nabbed the accused.

Police sources said the threat to Seema, the victim's mother, proved to be the undoing of the accused.

While they were taking Sidharth in the vehicle to Amritsar, the accused reportedly called Seema and told her to arrange for money if she wanted her son to be set free. But she informed the police.

The police has booked the accused under Section 365 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).



200 acres to be acquired to upgrade airport
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
Sahnewal Airport, which has virtually failed to provide much comfort to city residents, is going to get a new lease of life as the state government has asked the local authorities, including the district administration, to acquire 200 acres of the adjoining land to upgrade the airport.

According to sources, the naib-tehsildar of Sahnewal has already conducted a general survey on the proposal.

At present, the airport is situated on 164 acres of land and if 200 more acres are acquired by the government, bigger planes could use the airport. The Air Authority of India will study the feasibility of the proposal. Once it gets a nod, the airport will have access from the Chandigarh road. On the Delhi-Ludhiana GT Road, a track runs between Ludhiana and the airport due to which a lot of time gets consumed.

At present, just ATR (30-40 seater) planes land at the airport.

Apart from this, on the request made by the Punjab Government, the Airport Authority of India has also installed doppler very high frequency omni range (DVOR) on 5 acres at the airport. It provides the pilot visibility to land on the basis of seeing just 2 km of clear track. Test flights are already coming under this facility. By mid-August, this facility will become fully operational.

The state government has taken this initiative to provide a fresh lease of life to the airport as Ludhiana is the biggest industrial hub in the state and it has been a long-pending demand of the businessmen of the area to make it a better airport. Apart from three-four flights, the airport has not been able to provide much to the residents.



Bid to check spread of dengue
Civic body starts fogging in town following reports of suspected cases
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 23
Reacting to reports regarding suspected cases of diseases during rainy season in areas adjoining the town, the civic body has launched a massive fogging operation in sensitive areas of the town and surrounding localities.

The authorities claimed to have started intensive campaign to quell dengue and malaria. Besides directing officials of the sanitary department to be more cautious about stagnant water and choked sewerage, councillors impressed upon the authorities to do the needful to check an apprehended growth of pathogens and vectors for protozoa causing dengue and malaria.

Iqbal Singh Jhoondan, MLA, Amargarh, started the drive.

Officials of the sanitary department claimed that fogging was undertaken before the onset of rainy season every year.

Frequent choking of sewerage and overflowing of drains during rainy season had resulted in conditions favourable for growth of pathogens and vectors for dengue and malaria.

As the town is surrounded by some low-lying localities where the civic bodies do not carry out fogging operations, to kill larvae of aedes mosquitoes responsible for spreading dengue, the local municipal council has to put in extra efforts to fight the menace.

Dehliz Road, Jagera Road, Dhulkot Road, Jawahar Nagar, Railway Road, Amarpura Mohalla and Bajrang Akhara road were declared sensitive areas.

Ravinder Puri, councillor, said the legislator, who was also a member of the municipal council, had directed the civic body authorities to take preventive measures to check the spread of dengue and malaria. 



Transfer of teachers to border areas
Decision does not go down well with teaching fraternity
Lovleen Bains

Ludhiana/Doraha,July 23
The decision of the Punjab government to transfer all such teachers to border areas who have showed zero-40 pass percentage in the recently held examination, has not gone down well with the academicians, educationists, teaching community and the general public.

"It seems to be an unwise decision on the part of the education minister. This would be more of a punishment for the students of the border belt rather than the teachers who are to be transferred there. What will these teachers do on being transferred to those schools where proper infrastructure and facilities are not available. If such teachers show there incompetency even in those schools, students' career will be ruined," said Jaswant Singh Gill, former principal.

"The government should have thought of some other way of penalising the teachers. Those, who do not understand their responsibility as a teacher and have failed to make their students capable of getting through, deserve more severe punishment than the one decided for them. Despite the fact that these teachers are drawing huge salaries, they are not interested in teaching the students. What if a majority of students studying in government schools are financially poor, if guided and instructed properly, most of them have the capability to excel with their sharp brain," said Prof JR Prashar, who is presently working at RS D College, Ferozepur.

Sukhwant Singh Gill, former principal, Government College Gurdaspur, who is presently running an NGO, while expressing concern for the students of the border area, said, "The children studying in the schools of border areas, in a majority of cases, belong to those families, for whom sustenance is next to impossible. If the parents and guardians, even in absolute poverty, are somehow managing to send them to school, it means that they really want their children to get out of that hell which they themselves have been enduring for years together."

"I am a labourer and I am sending my three children to a nearby government school. I only know how I arranged money for their uniform, shoes and books," said a parent.

"It is good that the education minister is thinking in terms of reforms, but the students of border areas, who may be getting scores till now, may be surely hit by the crude decision. Such a decision may even sound a death knell to their education once and for all. Neither can they think of joining a private school nor do they have any resources to think of any other better option," said Prof Rajinder Singh Dhaliwal from Khalsa College Amritsar.



Synthetic milk hazardous to health: PAU experts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana July 23
"Milk is digestive, complete and balanced food for all age groups. Besides, providing immunity to the body, it is a rich source of protein, vitamins and minerals. We should be aware of the importance of clean milk production and consumption.

Synthetic milk, containing chemicals like urea, caustic soda, refined oil, maltose, glucose, paint, mobil oil and detergents, is hazardous to health," cautioned the PAU scientists of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Rupnagar (Ropar). Testing at home can detect whether milk is natural or synthetic, they advised.

Aparna, a scientist, said, "Milk, in which there is no visible contamination, has a typical aroma and is rich in nutrients. It has minimum microorganisms and has maximum shelf life. Milk, which does not contain any organisms is safe."

She said, "Chemical or synthetic milk does not differ as far as physical appearance and smell are concerned, but is different in taste. To conceal the taste, natural milk is added to the synthetic milk. It is prepared to contain 4.5 to 5 per cent fat and 9 per cent solid non-fat (SNF). It is harmful if consumed."

Alerting the public, Dr Preeti Sharma suggested tests for detection of adulterants in milk.

"For vanaspati, take 3 ml of milk in a test tube and add 10 drops of hydrochloric acid. Mix one teaspoonful of sugar and examine the mixture after five minutes. The red colouration indicates the presence of vanaspati in the milk," she said.

"Natural milk does not contain glucose/invert sugar, but if tests for glucose with urease strip (available in the medical stores) is found positive, that means milk is adulterated," she added. For the detection of elements of starch, these scientists advised to add a few drops of iodine solution.

"Formation of blue colour indicates the presence of starch. For urea, they suggested to take a teaspoon of milk in a test tube. Add a half teaspoon of soybean or arhar powder, mix the contents thoroughly by shaking the test tube and after five minutes, dip a red litmus paper in it," they said.

"Remove the paper after half a minute and a change in colour from red to blue indicates the presence of urea in the milk," they added.

By physical properties and chemical tests, one could differentiate between the synthetic and normal milk, they emphasised. 



Monsoon showers bring joy, also distress
The ill-preparedness of the Ludhiana MC to deal with the monsoon came to the fore yet again following a three-hour downpour. Most of the old city areas, besides several localities were inundated. Commuters faced a tough time wading through flooded roads.
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
Showers cheered residents of the city today. The city received 32 mm of rainfall. The sky turned dark at around 9 am and rainfall continued for almost three hours. There is more happiness in store for residents. The Met department has predicted more showers in the next 48 hours.

Dr KK Gill said, "Maximum temperature was 34 degrees Celsius while minimum was 29 .4 degrees Celsius.

But the level of humidity increased in the evening," Dr Gill said.

Ravinder Kaur, a resident of Gurdev Nagar, said the rain had provide the much-needed relief. 



Rain exposes claims of MC
Jaswant Shetra

Two boys running through a waterlogged road at Krishna Nagar, Ludhiana.
Two boys running through a waterlogged road at Krishna Nagar, Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Jagraon, July 23
As rain lashed the town, the local residents heaved a sigh of relief. The brief spell of rain provided the much-needed respite to the residents from the scorching heat, though this respite was short-lived as clouds vanished within half an hour and the climate became more unbearable due to a rise in the humidity level.

However, the brief spell which continued merely for maximum 10 minutes also exposed the tall claims of the local administration regarding its preparedness in handling the situation during heavy rainfall.

Rain played havoc in the city and most of the roads and residential localities were flooded with rainwater, thus making the lives of local residents much more difficult.

During a visit to various places of the town, it was found that the rainwater had got accumulated on roads and streets due to choked drains of the town. As a result, the residents had to face a lot of inconvenience. The worst hit were the students of various schools and colleges who had to cross the roads flooded with rainwater.

Even though the local municipal council had made tall claims that it was prepared to save the city from a flood-like situation, these claims fell flat during the very first rain of the monsoon season.

"The first showers exposed the ill-preparedness of the civic body," said Tony Verma, a member of an NGO.

The choked drain has not been cleaned up for long. The issue of the choked drain was highlighted in these columns on July 7 following which the municipal council had claimed to clean up the drain. But the brief spell of rain today washed away the claims of the civic body.

Municipal council president Baldev Krishan Dhir, when contacted, claimed that the municipal council had cleaned up the drain a fews days ago.

"The rainwater got accumulated in low-lying areas and it was difficult to drain out water from those areas," he added.



Humid weather affects health of animals: Experts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
"Hot and humid weather affect the health of animals," said Dr AL Saini, head of the department livestock production and management, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University. He said the suitable temperature for the livestock was 18-27 degrees Celsius.

Proper management was required to give animals a comfortable environment. Proper feeding of green fodder was also imperative in this season. "Silage may be a good option," said Dr Saini.

Dr Amarjeet Singh, head of the department, Animal Disease Research Centre (ADRC), said in dry weather, chances of accumulating toxic amounts of nitrate, prussic acid (cyanide) and oxalate increased in green fodder. "This may convert the nutritious fodder into poisonous stock for the farm animals and deaths may occur in livestock with the consumption of this fodder," he added.

Fodder should always be mixed with wheat straw and good-quality feed and water and be provided to the animals. "Never introduce new fodder to hungry animals. Start offering fodder in small amounts in the beginning whenever there is a change in the fodder," he added.

Another expert, Dr Pritam Kaur Sidhu, ADRC, stated that stressful growth conditions (drought and insect attack) might cause cyanide and nitrate to concentrate in plants like sorghum (chari, bajra). "Keep watering the fodder crops. Wilting increases the amount of nitrate and cyanide in plants," said Dr Sidhu.



MC postpones auction
Shops located under pedestrian underpass opposite Mini Secretariat attracts just one bidder
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation today failed to auction nine shops located under the pedestrian underpass (PUP) opposite the Mini Secretariat, here. The civic body had organised the auction of the shops, but since only one person turned up to participate in the auction, the MC officials had no other option but to postpone the auction.

The PUP is the first of its kind project of the state and is awaiting a formal opening despite the fact that it was complete almost a month ago. The MC authorities claim that once the shops under the PUP are auctioned, the project will be thrown open for the public immediately after that.

Under the PUP, a total of nine shops measuring 15.64-sq feet each have been constructed. The MC has kept a base price of Rs 18 lakh for auctioning these shops, which will be given on a 30-year lease.

In order to participate in the auction, the participants have to submit an earnest money of Rs 1 lakh, which will be adjusted later. Once any person manages to get a shop in auction, he has to submit 25 per cent of the money on the spot while the remaining 75 per cent within next 15 days.

The auction was to be held at 11am at the MC Zone D office located at Sarabha Nagar. The auction was to take place in the presence of Zonal Commissioners A S Sekhon and Ajay Sood, MC legal advisor KS Kahlon, superintendents Naveen Malhotra and Hartej Singh, besides other MC officials.

MC officials were expecting large participation by the people because the PUP is opposite the Mini Secretariat, which houses offices of senior district administration officials as well as the District Courts Complex.

“But we were surprised when only one woman turned up to participate in the auction. As per rules, the minimum quorum of three participants is required for going ahead with the auction. That is why, we have postponed the auction and Zonal Commissioner Ajay Sood has written a letter to the MC Commissioner for further action. The new date of auction will be announced soon and this time we hope that the number of participants will be more,” Naveen Malhotra said.

Another PUP is being constructed in the Aggar Nagar area, where a total of 16 shops are under construction. The shops will also be auctioned once the project is complete.



Now, open school centres to start in govt schools
Students will have an alternative to pursue their studies 
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana July 23
After several complaints of overcharging and harassing students by open school centres running in private schools, the education department has decided to establish open school centres in government schools. However, the department has still not closed those centres running in private schools.

This was decided at a meeting by the education secretary in Chandigarh, recently. The department gave directions to senior secondary and elementary schools to enroll maximum students in open schools.

According to orders, the secondary and elementary schools have to get registration done from the Depot Manager or the Secretary of the PSEB. The department will then seek reports from schools after admitting the students for open school examination.

According to the directions, the schools have to take care that while establishing the open school centre on the school pemises the schools have to be careful that the system does not affect the discipline and studies of the school. Moreover, the school authorities will have to make sure that no one is told to pay more than the fee.

Sukhdarshan Singh, from an anti-copying front said, "Open schools running in private schools have been charging more than the actual fee from students. Some of the schools guaranteed the students that they would provide all copying material during examinations. We welcome this move of the department, as now, the students have an alternative to choose from".

Not only overcharging, the open school system is more costly than private examinations. Earlier, the Punjab School Education Board used to conduct private examination by charging minimal examination fee.

"With the opening of these centres in government schools, now, the students have an alternative to pursue their study in open school centres. This move of the department will provide relaxation to students", Gurpreet, a teacher from a local school, said. 



Five injured as Tempo Traveller collides with car near Jagraon
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, July 23
As many as five persons were injured when two vehicles they were travelling in met with an accident this morning near Jagraon. The accident took place near Alighar village on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway when a Tempo Traveller collided head on with a Maruti Zen car coming from the opposite direction.

The injured persons have been identified as Suuny, Babbu and Tarsem of Moga and Yograj Singh and his wife Ninder Kaur of Talwandi village near Mullanpur Dakha. As per information, two persons, including a woman, were travelling in the Tempo Traveller while three youths were travelling in a Maruti Zen car.

The accident took place when Yograj Singh and his wife Nindar Kaur were coming from Ludhiana side to Jagraon. As soon as they reached near Alighar village on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway, the Tempo Traveller they were travelling in collided head on with the Maruti Zen car coming from apposite direction.

The Maruti Zen car involved in the accident was occupied by three youths including Suuny, Babbu and Tarsem, all residents of Moga. Sources said, all three youths were coming from Moga this morning and were heading towards Ludhiana for some urgent work.

Soon after the accident, all injured were rushed to the Jagraon Civil Hospital by the highway patrolling team with the help of some villagers. While Yoginder Singh and his wife were undergoing treatment at the Jagraon Civil Hospital, the youths travelling in the car were shifted to Moga Civil Hospital. The condition of all injured is stated to be out of danger.

Meanwhile, the Jagraon police has impounded both vehicles and started the investigation. No case was registered till the filing of this report.

Investigating officer Baldev Singh said, the police had recorded the statement of Yograj and his wife while a police team had been sent to record the statement of the youths undergoing treatment at Moga. "A case will be registered after recording the statement of both the sides and verifying all the facts,", said Baldev Singh. 



CII announces mega event
To revive investments in the eight states of northern India
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has announced a mega event to revive investments in the eight states of northern India. The CII Northern Region revealed that the first ever ‘Invest North’ conclave was being organised with the partnership of respective state governments in the national capital region (NCR) on November 3 and 4.

Planned as an initiative to showcase the investment potential in Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and UT Chandigarh, the CII said both overseas and domestic investors would participate in the conclave. This follows on the model of successful investor meets organised in other parts of India, such as ‘Emerging Kerala’, ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ and ‘Global Investors Meet Karnataka’.

According to the CII, Northern India is home to 7 per cent of the world’s population, contributes 25 per cent to India’s GDP and accounts for 31 per cent of India’s agricultural GDP. Five northern states and UT Chandigarh enjoy higher per capita income than the national average.

The potential sectors for investment in the north are infrastructure, manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture and agri-business, tourism, IT and ITeS.

Unveiling, Ajay S Shriram, vice-president, CII, chairman, Invest North 2012 and chairman and senior MD, DCM Shriram Consolidated Ltd, said ‘Invest North’ aims to showcase investment potential, enhance investment climate and attract investments in the eight northern states.

"The northern states are keen to seek fresh investments and forge new partnerships that will enable them to further leverage their growth potential and regain their competitiveness. ‘Invest North’ is an effort to create a platform for northern states to strengthen business and industry in the region," he added.

Malvinder Mohan Singh, chairman, CII, Northern Region, and executive chairman, Fortis Healthcare Ltd, stressed, “Though the northern states have vast potential and offer immense investment opportunities from traditional sectors like agro-products and textiles to emerging sectors like biotech and IT, they have lost their competitive edge in recent times to other more proactive states in the western and southern India”. 



Industry wants rehabilitation of units located in mixed and residential zones
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
Units located in mixed and residential zones are in a fix since according to the master plan of Ludhiana, the industry located in mixed and residential areas should shift to industrial areas by 2017.

Industry wants rehabilitation of units located in mixed and residential zones and availability of land for such units under the Land Bank Scheme. The quantum of such units in the city is more than 15,000, which is more than the number of units situated in the planned industrial areas.

These industries are working in these areas since the past 50 years and unaware of the master plan and went on expanding their industries by putting all their money and efforts.

"It has been learnt that the state government is planning for the Land Bank for Industries in Punjab, and recently it is notified by the Cabinet, but it is sad to state that the government is planning to give the land to corporates instead of micro and small units," said Badish Jindal, president of the Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association. Jindal has written a letter to the Chief Minister requesting that the units situated in the residential and mixed land -use areas must be given the land in upcoming land banks on a priority basis, so that in future it could be easy for the government to shift these industries into the planned areas."After the implementation of this master plan we are in a fix regarding our future, as the official deadline is fixed upto 2017 for the closure of units, as a result, units have stopped expanding further," said Hardev Singh, whose unit is also located in the residential zone. "The last focal point was developed by the government in 1996 and after that no new focal point was planned, under such circumstances how is it possible for these industries to shift to the industrial areas?" he asked. 

Master Plan of Ludhiana

  • The master plan of Ludhiana was notified on 18 July, 2007, and as per this master plan, a period of 10 years is given to the industries located in mixed and residential areas for shifting to the industrial areas.

Provides employment to more than 7 lakh people

  • The exodus of industries will shake the economy of Punjab, as these units are giving direct and indirect employment to more than seven lakh persons and contribute around 15 per cent to the total economy of Punjab. Under such circumstances the only option left with these units is either to close down or to shift to other state, as other states are giving more incentives and opportunities to the new enterprises.



400 vegetable, fruit vendors take to road
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna July 23
About 400 vegetable and fruit vendors of Khanna staged a dharna on the GT Road today. They alleged that the administration had removed their rehris forcibly and it had become difficult for them.

Deep singh, president of the Vegetable and Fruit Vendors’ Association, Khanna, said they staged a dharna to protest against the apathetic attitude of the authorities. He claimed that they had been selling vegetables on the GT Road for years.

He said they would intensify their agitation if the authorities failed to solve their problems. Khanna SDM said a deputation of the rehri owners association had met him and submitted a memorandum to him.



College teachers' stir continues
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
Members of the local unit of Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers' Union (PCCTU) at Kamla Lohtia S College continued their stay-in-strike without disturbing the functioning of the college. The teachers reported for duty in time, took stock of their assigned work and in-order to reiterate their democratic and lawful demands, participated observed the strike while taking care of admission process.

Prof Rohit Kumar, president, PCCTU, and Prof Dinesh Malik, general secretary, PCCTU, stated that the agitation would go on till the time the demands of the staff were met albeit in a peaceful manner. They appealed to the management to resolve the issue as early as possible so that the studies were not affected, but the management instead of listening to the teachers, served them with a legal notice trying to stifle their protest.

Rohit Kumar alleged that the president of the managing committee had given a notice in a newspaper threatening to invoke the principle of "No work, No pay" against the employees who participated in stay-in-strike thereby calling it illegal and unlawful. "The fact of the matter is that when the teachers are on stay-in-strike they are performing duty also from morning till their departures in evening. Invocation of "No work, No pay" is thus an unlawful, illegal threat," he added.

"In the light of this development, the non-teaching staff of the college also joined the teaching staff in their protest because they, too, have been served with a similar legal notice despite being on duty and not participating in any strike till date," added Rohit Kumar. 



School notes
'Blue Colour Day'

Students of Cherry Fields Nursery School, Atam Nagar, observe ‘Nature Care Week’ in Ludhiana.
Students of Cherry Fields Nursery School, Atam Nagar, observe ‘Nature Care Week’ in Ludhiana. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana: Blue Colour Day was celebrated in Cherubs The Preschool, Dugri. A thorough understanding of blue colour was given through different activities. Classrooms and corridors were beautifully decorated with blue-coloured objects, balloons, ribbons and soft toys. To mark the special day, students and teachers were dressed in blue.

Chess meet

Jesus' Sacred Heart School hosted LSSE (west) inter-school chess competition. About 35 teams participated in the contest. Vikas Sharma, president, Ludhiana District Chess Association (LDCA), and IK Kalia, senior vice-president of the association, adjudged the competition.


Ryan International School, Ludhiana, attended various workshops. Major Suyog Dave, Officer of 103 Air Defence Regiment, conducted a workshop on "Army a way of life". He also gave a PowerPoint presentation.

Declamation contest

An intra-school Punjabi declamation contest was organised at DAV, Pakhowal Road, for classes VII to X.

Ujjalpreet Kaur (VII) stood first, Tasmeen Sandhu (X) stood second while Karan Inderjeet Singh Gill secured the third position. Principal JK Sidhu gave away prizes and certificates to students.

Nature Care Week

Students of The Cherry Fields Nursery School, Atam Nagar, observed Nature Care Week. They came dressed as apples, mangoes, grapes, watermelons and rabbits. The were apprised of the importance of trees, animals and plants. A play was staged by teachers.

Painting contest

Pre-primary section of Don Bosco Global School organised an educational tour to Hypercity in MBD Mall. They were taken to a vegetable market and shown fruits and vegetables. A painting competition and talent hunt were organised for them. Aryan Palta, Kian Berry, Manraj Singh, Ripneet Kaur, Gurjot and Manta were adjudged winners of the talent hunt.

Teej celebrated

BVM celebrated the Festival of Swings on the school premises. Students came dressed in traditional attire. They applied mehandi on their palms.—TNS



PAU notes
Kisan Melas

Ludhiana: Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) will organise seven Kisan Melas in September as part of its golden jubilee celebrations. Dr MS Gill, director, Extension Education, said a series of melas would commence with a regional mela at Ballowal Saunkhri on September 4. At Faridkot, the mela will be held on September 7 while in Gurdaspur and Rauni, the melas will be held on September 11 and September 14, respectively. "Kisan Mela on the PAU campus will be held on September 21 and 22 while in Amritsar (Usman) and Bathinda, the events will be held on September 25 and 27, respectively.

Training course

A two-day training course on "Scope of aromatic and medicinal plants, their processing and marketing" which was supposed to take place on July 19 and 20, will now be held on July 26 and 27 at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). — TNS



Ludhiana scan
Prohibitory orders

To ensure a smooth conduct of compartment exams, Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh on Monday imposed Section 144 of the CrPC 1973 around all centres in the city.

Saplings planted

A plantation drive was carried out at at Shivpuri cremation ground here. Divisional forest officer DS Brar and Sandeep Kumar Jain, chief coordinator, CAPE-India and member, Animal Welfare Board of India, planted saplings.


Mandi Ahmedgarh: Education is the only way to create awareness among the masses. This was stated by academicians during a meeting held after a function of HARF College, Malerkotla, concluded.

Bullock cart race

Khanna: After the ban on bullock cart races was lifted, a race was held at Jargari village near Khanna.— OC



Goldsmith who stole gold worth Rs 8 lakh nabbed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
A goldsmith who fled with raw gold worth over Rs 8 lakh belonging to a jeweller in the Fountain Chowk area on June 26 was nabbed by the city police here last night.
The accused identified as Manoranjan Ghai was nabbed by the Division No 8 police following a tip off.

Manoranjan was working as a goldsmith at his workshop located on the top floor of the jewellery showroom.

Saurav Jain, owner of Palace Jeweller, had given gold articles to Manoranjan for preparing a designer ornament.

Jain claimed that the incident took place when he went to visit Kalka along with his family members.

In his absence, Manoranjan visited the workshop and fled with the gold worth Rs 8 lakh.

Ranjit Bhullar, SHO, Division No 8, said the police had registered a case under Section 408 of the IPC, against Manoranjan. The accused was produced before the court and further sent on a police remand till July 26. Bhullar said the police was yet to recover the stolen gold. 



Youth accused of killing former mother-in-law arrested along with driver
Alleges she was responsible for ruining his life
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, July 23
The Jagraon police has finally arrested the youth accused of killing his former mother-in-law. The police said, accused youth Gurpreet Singh was arrested near Nanaksar T-point along with Kashmir Singh, the driver of a Toyota Innova car, which was used by the assailants during the crime. The police has also impounded the vehicle used in the crime.

Gurpreet Singh accompanied by three other persons had allegedly attacked his former in-law’s house at the Kacha Malak Road area of Jagraon last Wednesday and allegedly shot his former mother-in-law Amarjit Kaur (48). At the time of incident, the deceased's husband Gursewak Singh was also present at home along with his children, but they saved their lives by locking themselves up in a room from inside after hearing the sound of fire shot. After committing the crime, the accused had fled from the scene.

After being arrested by the police, Gurpreet Singh of Bhodipur village in Sangrur district, showed no remorse for killing his former mother-in-law as he alleged she was responsible for ruining his married life. Gurpreet, who married Kirandeep Kaur in 2009 and then both left for Australia, claimed that he loved his wife Kirandeep very much, but his mother-in-law continued to provoke Kirandeep due to which she deserted him and gave him divorce after returning from Australia.

Gurpreet said, soon after his divorce his father suffered a heart attack and passed away. In the meantime, Kirandeep's parents remarried her someone else and all these things pushed him into deep depression and he began taking drugs.

Gurpreet revealed that it was on the death of his father that he decided to take revenge by killing his former Amarjit Kaur as he felt that she had spoilt his life and family.

The victim's husband Gursewak Singh, in his statement to the police after the incident, had claimed that Gurpreet Singh was accompanied by his two brothers and an unidentified person when he killed Amarjit Kaur. The police has arrested Gurpreet Singh and Kashmir Singh while his two brothers are still absconding. SSP Gurpreet Singh Toor said that the police was conducting raids to nab the remaining two accused.



Car stolen
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 23
Visiting a gurdwara on a car proved costly for a resident of BRS Nagar. According to Pritpal Singh (51), he along with his family visited the gurdwara in Model Town Extension, here, today.

"I parked my car and visited the gurdwara. After nearly an hour I came out of the gurdwara and was shocked to see my car missing. Without wasting time I reported the matter to the police. But there was no clue of my Tata Indica car (PB- 10-CS- 4040)," said Pritpal Singh.



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