L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


‘Vahan’ to help police nab thieves
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
Now tracking the ownership of a vehicle will be only an SMS away for the police as the road transport and highways ministry and the National Informatics Centre (NIC) have launched web portal schemes. Barely a week after the launch of the schemes, the police has started using the facility to nab vehicle thieves and fake licence holders.

Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh said the schemes -- Sarathi for licence details and Vahan for vehicle registration -- would be of great help to the police in tracking stolen vehicles and nabbing fake licence holders.

Limited departments would have access to the web portals that would contain details of all licences issued and vehicles registered across the country including the place of registration, name(s) of the owner(s), make of the vehicle, type of vehicle, registration and fitness certificate expiry date.

Inspectors and Sub-Inspectors could avail of the facility to access driver's licence, registration certificate and traffic violation data available on the National Register.

The Ludhiana Police Commissionerate is committed to tighten its noose on vehicle thieves and fake licence holders and the new technology will be of great help in tackling the menace," the Commissioner of Police said.



Interstate gang of vehicle thieves busted, 3 arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
The city police has claimed to have busted an interstate gang of vehicle thieves with the arrest of three persons and recovered five stolen motorcycles from their possession.
Vehicle thieves in the custody of Ludhiana police on Wednesday
Vehicle thieves in the custody of Ludhiana police on Wednesday. Tribune photo: HimanshU mahajan

The accused, who have been identified as Kulwinder Singh, alias Manni, Prince Kumar and Vinod Kumar, residents of Azad Nagar in Daba area, were nabbed following a tip-off today.

The accused had stolen two motorcycles from the city, two from Gobindgarh Mandi, and one from a bus stand in Jalandhar.

ADCP (II) Bhupinder said the accused were drug addicts. The dream of becoming rich overnight drove them to the world of crime. They started from petty crime and went on to steal vehicles.

Prince and Kulwinder had earlier been booked by the Model Town police in connection with a case of snatching.



Man nabbed with pistol
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
The city police today nabbed a man for allegedly possessing a countrymade weapon. It was learnt that the accused identified as Jagjit Singh had purchased the countrymade weapon from a local illegal arms dealer and was reportedly planning to kill the personal assistant of a SAD councillor.

Jagjit Singh, a resident of Alamgir village, told the police that he wanted to settle score with Harbant Singh, alias Raju. Dispute over money and drugs are suspected to be the reason behind the murder bid.

Jagjit purchased the pistol for Rs 20,000 a few days ago and was allegedly looking for an opportunity to kill Raju. The police received a tip-off and nabbed the accused during a search operation in the Shimlapuri area.

Jagjit is a property dealer and has been booked in criminal assault cases in the past as well. 



Writ in HC made national database possible
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
The Minister of Road and Transport took the initiative to set up a centralised database to curb the menace of fake driving licences after a writ petition was filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. The court had expressed its concern over the issuance of fake licences and stolen vehicles being driven on fake number plates.

The road transport ministry recently sent a letter to the state police department, highlighting the concern of the court over the issue.

The letter states that the menace of fake licences had serious implications not only on the safety of the holder of the fake driver's licence themselves, but also for all other road users.

The letter states the fact that fake licences have been issued and renewed by certain licensing authorities shows that there might have been laxity, intentional or otherwise on the part of certain officials concerned.

The letter said action should be taken not only against the holder of the fake licence, but if any transport department official is found involved, strict action should be taken. Also, if any licence is found to be fake at the time of verification by the police, entry against the fake licence holder would be recorded in the database of the National Register and the offender would be blacklisted for the issuance of a new licence.

Uniform licence
"Within a month, a gazette notification will be issued to make it mandatory for all new licences to look similar and be issued as an Indian Union Driving Licence. This will help in detecting people with multiple driving licences.~" —
an official at the road transport ministry



Civic body in passive mode
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
Over the last few days, several incidents of road cave-ins have been reported in the city. But instead of taking any action against the contractors concerned, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has not even ordered an inquiry into the matter.

On Monday several roads had caved in after the rain. These included a large portion of the newly constructed Prof Mohan Singh Road in Maharaj Nagar area of Civil Lines, a portion of Baba Balaknath Road in Ghumar Mandi, a road adjoining the pedestrian underpass opposite Mini Secretariat, a portion of the road near Aditya Jaitly Chowk in Model Town, a stretch of road near Ludhiana City Centre in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar area and a road near a hotel on the Pakhowal Road.

But instead of ordering an inquiry, the MC repaired the roads themselves. This despite the fact that some of the roads were constructed recently.

In the first week of July, a road in Bal Singh Nagar area of Basti Jodhewal had caved in. The road was constructed a few days before the Municipal Corporation elections and residents alleged that substandard material must have been used.

On May 14, a large portion of the old GT Road near Clock Tower caved in. The MC slept for 19 days on a complaint submitted by a local resident regarding the cave-in and instead of repairing it, the MC installed concrete slabs around it. On May 14, the road caved in completely.

On April 17, a major tragedy was averted when a portion of the road at Ishmeet Chowk in the Shastri Nagar area caved-in. It was the second time that the road had caved in at the same spot, with the earlier incident having taken place on September 2, 2006. At that time, a car had fallen into the crater, injuring the driver.

On February 24, a truck laden with plywood had got stuck at the cave-in sight.

MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma said he would ensure such things did not happen in the future. "My main aim is to bring in more transparency in the working of the MC," he stated.



Montgomery Chowk road develops crater
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
The frequent road cave-ins seem to be giving the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation sleepless nights as the quality of roads is under question. In the latest incident, a big crater was formed when a large portion of the road at Montgomery Chowk caved in this afternoon. After the incident, MC officials claimed that the road had caved in due to seepage of water as a sewerage line as well as telephone cables passed under it.

It was around 1.30 pm when a large portion of the road caved in, making it look like a crater. The Ludhiana MC was informed and SDO Hakam Singh reached the spot. The spot was cordoned off by placing drums around it. The operations and maintenance branch officials were also called.

The SDO said they suspected that the sand under the road had not settled properly.

"Sometimes when cables are laid under the road by several government departments or private companies, they don't take permission from the MC. They also don't let the sand settle properly. That is why such incidents take place. But residents feel that cave-ins take place due to the use of poor quality material during the construction of these roads," he said.

A ditch machine was called to fill the crater with sand. "In a day or two, when the sand gets settled properly, we will fill it with stones so that no such incident takes place in the near future," he said.



Rain damages ceiling of gymnasium at mall
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

The ceiling of the gym which was damaged following rain on Monday. The matter came to light only on Wednesday.
The ceiling of the gym which was damaged following rain on Monday. The matter came to light only on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, July 25
The ceiling of a gymnasium located in a shopping mall on the Ferozepur Road has been damaged due to rain. Though the ceiling was damaged on Monday, it came to light only today when members of the gymnasium complained that since maintenance was in progress, they were unable to exercise for the past three days. They said the ceiling collapsed due to rain.

An employee at the mall, requesting anonymity, said the leaking water from the rooftop fell on the ceiling and damaged it. The gymnasium employees did not divulge any details regarding the loss caused to the gym machines.

There was no report of any member getting injured due to the “falling” of the gym ceiling.




Accounts manager robbed of Rs 1.4 lakh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
Two motorcycle-borne youths reportedly snatched a bag containing Rs 1.41 lakh from an accounts manager of a chemical company in the BRS Nagar area today. The incident took place near Lodhi Club road this morning when the victim, identified as Pardeep Gandhi, was heading from Rajguru Nagar towards BRS Nagar Chowk to catch a bus for Barnala.

Gandhi said he was about to scale a small wall to reach the main road, when a youth came from behind and snatched the bag from him.

Before he could realise, the youth threw the bag towards his accomplice, who was sitting on the motorcycle. In no time, the youths fled on the bike.

Onlookers informed the police about the incident. Though the police has started investigation, it is probing the case with a shadow of doubt. It has not ruled out foul play behind the whole incident. The police is suspecting that the snatching may have been stage-managed.

The police has questioned the owner of the chemical unit in this connection. SHO Manjinder Singh said employees of the unit could also be called for questioning during the course of investigation.

Gandhi said he had been working as an accountant at Dhandari for over five years. He said the owner of the company gave him the cash and told him to hand it over to a trader in Barnala.

He kept the amount in his bag and returned to his house in Raj Guru Nagar. He said except for a few employees at the unit, no one else knew that he was carrying cash in the bag.



9 out of 10 water samples fail purity test
Anupam Bhagria
tribune news service

Ludhiana, July 25
Nine out of 10 water samples collected by the health department in the Dhandari area have failed test. The samples were collected some days ago on the instructions of the Civil Surgeon, Dr Subhash Batta.

The Senior Medical Officer of Community Health Centre Sahnewal, Dr Parvinder Pal Singh Sidhu, said: "The team recently collected 10 samples of water from colonies and various areas of Dhanadri Khurd. Out of these, nine samples have failed. The samples were of water coming from submersible pumps and tap water of the Municipal Corporation."

The department of water and sewerage had been briefed about it and it had assured of suitable action. About two weeks ago, the same team of the health department had gone to some areas in Dhandari and informed the water and sanitation department of the MC about illegal water connections.

The team also came across water pipes submerged in the drainage system. The MC disconnected 15 such connections. But during a visit to the area today, it was found that the illegal connections had surfaced again.

The SMO said: "We found some water connections that were disconnected in 'vehras' had been restored in Durga Colony and Bakra Colony."

An employee requesting anonymity said: "The 'vehras' and illegal connections exist with political patronage. The health department and the MC do their bit, but it is futile."

Meanwhile, the health department has distributed 1,200 tablets of chlorine in these localities. Health inspector Satpal Singh said: "We instructed people to use chlorine tablets. They were also told to drink chlorinated or boiled water and to keep their surroundings clean."

Plastic bags main hazard

The health department team said plastic bags were blocking sewerage. "Plastic bags are the main cause of blockage of sewers and drains. During rains, drains overflow and the water mixes with refuse dumps nearby. It is the sole reason for gastroenteritis, cholera, dengue, malaria and skin diseases." officials said.



Regularisation of illegal colonies
Developers get another chance
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 25
The Greater Ludhiana Area Development Agency (GLADA) today gave yet another opportunity to the developers of unauthorised colonies to get their colonies regularised after fulfilling the provisions and payment of stipulated fee along with development charges stated in the policy framed for the purpose by the Punjab government.

GLADA Chief Administrator Rahul Tiwari in a review meeting conducted here today, said that cases of identified unauthorised colonies would be reviewed again next month and action as per the provisions of prevailing law would be taken against those colonisers and developers who fail to come forward to get their colonies regularised.

Taking a serious view of the failure on the part of developers of approved colonies to deposit arrears of license fee and external development charges (EDCs), Tiwari directed that notices be issued to the defaulting licensees for making balance payments without any further delay.

"Persistent default by developers will attract criminal action and GLADA will also take up the matter with the revenue department for stoppage of registration of sale deeds in such colonies where the developers have failed to clear their dues," the GLADA Chief Administrator said.

The progress of some 30 ongoing development projects, including eight-laning of Ferozepur Road from Sidhwan Canal to Octroi Post was reviewed in the meeting and Tiwari asked the supervisory officials to ensure that all projects were completed as per schedule.

The newly appointed Additional Chief Administrator (ACA) of GLADA Baldev Singh, who had assumed charge of the office today only, was also present at the meeting.

Tiwari said, the GLADA ACA would attend to official work in the GLADA office in the forenoon, while he would be available in the office of the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) in the afternoon for public dealing. Tiwari, who also holds additional charge of the administrator of the LIT, said an office order had been issued under which the GLADA ACA would meet the public in theTrust offices and would also forward official files to him for final orders.

cases to be reviewed in august

Cases of identified unauthorised colonies will be reviewed again in August and action as per the provisions of the prevailing law will be taken against those colonisers and developers who fail to come forward to get their colonies regularised



Ludhiana-Malerkotla  highway
Miraculous escape for many
 Speeding tempo overturns on road
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 25
Residents standing outsidetheir respective houses situated along the Ludhiana-Malerkotla highway and occupants of vehicles running on the road at Dehlon escaped miraculously today, when a driver of a tempo lost control over his vehicle while saving a scooterist and overturned after crossing the central verge. However, the driver of the tempo, identified as Mohammad Salim of Malerkotla, received minor injuries in the incident.

No case was registered as no formal complaint was made. The driver of a tempo that was heading towards Ludhiana from Malerkotla allegedly lost control over the vehicle, while saving a scooterist near Dehlon. The tempo was running at a high speed and after crossing the central verge, it overturned. The pedestrians managed to escape, while drivers of vehicles, running on both sides of the road applied sudden breaks to prevent probable collision. A police team reached the spot and rescued the driver.



rampur level-crossing
Commuters suffer due to frequent technical snag 
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, July 25
Commuters taking the Doraha-Neelon road along the canal are a harried lot as the Rampur-level crossing has been developing frequent technical snags and the commuters are forced to take alternate routes via surrounding villages.

“We are already fed up of waiting at the level crossing which is closed for an hour every day. Now, to make matters worse, the frequent technical snag in the level crossing has made the situation even worse. Yesterday, the commuters had to face inconvenience due to a snag in the level crossing. From noon till late in the night the technical sang at the level crossing could not be fixed and commuters had a tough time taking divergent routes to reach their destinations”, shared professor Karamjit Singh of Doraha College.

“I was going from Neelon to Doraha and when I reached the crossing, I was informed that it had developed a snag and I should go back and follow the divergent route via Rampur or Begowal. The traffic following me had to return and take alternative routes. On the other side too, the situation was the same. The fault could not even be cleared for a long time, I am astonished as to what is the technical staff was doing at the time? Is there no authority to check into this flaw which has now become a routine day affair? We have talked about the issue to the station master but he too seems to be helpless in this regard”, complained Dr Nirlep Deol, who commutes from Nawa Shahar to Doraha.

“Just imagine the plight of school and college-going students and staff. They are already short of time in the morning and if they suddenly find that the crossing has developed a snag and they have to take an alternate route at the nick of time, they definitely cannot escape the wrath of their teachers apart from lagging behind in studies”, said Dr Gagandeep Sharma,a college professor.

“I have an English in the first period and I often get late due to the closed level crossing,” rued Santa Singh, a college student, who commutes from Bhaini Sahib to Doraha daily.

Senior Section Engineer Jasmair Singh said,“The density of traffic has increased manifold. A total of seven lakh vehicles pass through the level crossing per day. The movement of the trains has increased and after every three to four minutes there is a train pasing .Frequent opening and closing also leads to technical snags, but the more serious problem at present is that of heavy vehicles, especially trucks, instead of stopping at the crossing when it is being closed, they try to cross it, thereby, breaking them every time. We try to clear the snag as soon as possible, but if the commuters don’t cooperate then we are helpless.”



Man run over by train
Ashok Kaura

Phillaur, July 25
An unidentified person was run over by a train near Gobindpura Railway Crossing, near here, last night. The deceased was crossing the railway lines when the mishap occurred. The railway police has registered a case and sent the body to the civil hospital for a post-mortem examination. In another mishap, a woman, Manjinder Kaur, was killed when a car hit her near Chack-Hakim Village on the national highway here today. 

The victim had gone for her treatment to a doctor in the village. The car driver managed to flee after hitting the women who was critically injured and sent to a hospital. She later succumbed to her injuries.

In the third incident, a man was crushed under the wheels of a train near Ladhowal last night. 



Girl hostellers hold protest
 Question reallocation of accommodation and paucity of space
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
Demanding that they be allowed to stay in the rooms in which they were residing earlier, the girl hostellers of Punjab Agricultural University protested against the re-allocation of girls' hostels at the university today.

Parminder Gujjar, president of the PAU Students Association said: "Girls protested against the department-wise re-allocation of the rooms at the university hostels."

Earlier, there was no distinction of hostels according to the departments. Now Blocks A and B have been allocated to girl students of home science, Blocks C and D have been given to students pursuing BSc Agriculture, Block E has been given to biotechnology, Block F to food technology, and Block G has been allocated to the sixth year students of BSc Agriculture, Gujjar said.

Students are also miffed due to paucity of space in the hostels.

"Not only reallocation, but now four girls are being asked to stay in one room, which is very difficult. The university is starting new courses, but no progress has been made towards construction of new hostels, except laying the foundation stone. The university is utilising funds for research and other projects, but hostels which are the most important need of students are not being built," said a girl student.

Students said they should be allowed to continue to stay in their existing rooms, and new students should be accommodated according to availability of rooms in any hostel, irrespective of the academic departments.

Dr Davinder Singh Cheema, dean student welfare at the PAU, refused to comment, saying, "The issue is still being discussed at the management level." 



Research centre status for women college
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
The Malwa Central College of Education for Women can now carry out research work leading to a PhD degree in the subject of education. Panjab University, Chandigarh, has recognised the college as a research centre through a notification issued by the registrar of the university. The research scholars can undertake a six-month pre-PhD course work in the college which was earlier offered on the university campus.

"The college has earned this distinction after the visit of an expert committee constituted by Panjab University. The committee assessed the college on different parameters such as infrastructure, library and research facilities available, and number of teachers already supervising research at the PhD level," said the college principal, Dr Ravinder Kaur.

The college is one of the oldest colleges in the region, and it also published a research-based journal titled "Malwa Journal of Education", she further added.

The college is planning to start its first pre-PhD course in January 2013. Enquiries about the forthcoming course had already started to pour in from prospective researchers, said the principal. Dr Tarlok Bandhu has been appointed as the coordinator of the research centre, while Dr Avninderpreet Singh would act as the deputy coordinator.



Saplings planted

Khanna, July 25
Khanna SSP Inderbir Singh today inaugurated Haryaval Lehar in Khanna by planting saplings at the police line.

He said that a number of saplings will be planted at all the police stations of the district and at some other places with the help of social organisations. He stressed the need to plant saplings at a mass level to save the environment from pollution. He also distributed some saplings to the people for plantation. — OC



Form anti-ragging squads: ADC
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
Colleges, universities and other higher educational institutions in Ludhiana district should form anti-ragging committees and squads, and the list of these committees should be displayed on the main notice board of the institute, said Dr Neeru Katyal Gupta, ADC(D).

The announcement was made by the ADC during a meeting with the heads of different educational institutions in the district. The meeting was called to discuss measures to put a check on ragging in the new academic session.

"New session in the colleges has just begun and ragging in any form will not be tolerated. These anti-ragging committees and squads should conduct surprise checks in the college hostels as well," she said.

Dr Neeru Katyal Gupta further directed all the institute heads to submit a detailed report on the display of the list of anti-ragging committees and squads, surprise checks conducted, complaint by any student, and how the matter was addressed. 



SD College
Strike enters day four
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
The stay-in-strike of the teaching and non-teaching staff of Kamla Lohtia SD College entered the fourth day today. The staff is protesting against the "anti-employee and anti-education, adamant and undemocratic attitude" of the college managing committee towards the "legitimate and rightful demands" of the staff.

Prof Rohit Kumar, president of the local unit of Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union, said the staff wanted to be on work and not on the stay-in-strike; however, the slapping of “no work no pay" had moved them out of classes and offices.

He further blamed the vice-president of the college managing committee, Sandeep Aggarwal, for issuing a notice in newspapers that the staff wanted to hold talks after the implementation of the "no work no pay" policy. Such irresponsible statements not only dried up any hope of a settlement, but also made it clear that the management was not interested in a smooth conduct of proceedings of the college, alleged Prof Kumar.

He appealed to the members of the managing committee to desist from such statements as it might further spoil the academic atmosphere of the college, since students were also getting restive.

Prof Kumar said it was the management that was driving the staff away from performing their duties, and then putting the blame on them for staying away from work.



Prayers mark new session

Ludhiana, July 25
Marking the beginning of the new academic session, "Akhand Path" of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji was organized at Guru Nanak Girls College today. Students of the music department recited "shabads" on the occasion.

Principal Dr Charanjit Mahal appreciated the hard work and achievements of meritorious students. She motivated the students to participate in curricular and cocurricular activities. — TNS



VAT levied on sugar, cell phones
 Sugar traders on strike from today, RCs must for exclusive sugar dealers
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
Five per cent VAT was levied on sugar from today, with traders up in arms against this decision. They decided to go on strike from tomorrow. In addition, 8.8 per cent VAT, including surcharge, was levied on cell phones and their parts and accessories.

Wholesale Sugar and Banaspati Dealers Association president Jagjit Singh said they would go on a statewide strike from tomorrow.

"The government should devise methods to put a tab on inflation, but it is imposing new taxes. There is no tax on sugar in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chandigarh," he added.

"Why is the state government imposing VAT on sugar? We requested the government to roll back the decision, but to no avail. We will go on strike against this move from tomorrow," he further said.

Wholesale karyana and tea merchants' body president Kanwaljeet Singh Sibbal said, "It will result in an increase in prices. Prices of all essential commodities are skyrocketing and VAT on sugar will add to the woes of the people."

Sugar trader Bishan Singh said he was a simple trader and did not understand the complexities of VAT. "I wonder how will I manage things without having to take professional help," he asked.

Cell phone dealer Satish Jain said, "Cell phones and accessories will get costlier with VAT. The government has imposed VAT even on simple accessories like ear phone, mobile holder and mobile cover, which will shoot prices further up."

Those dealing exclusively in sugar and not having registration certificates under the PVAT Act, 2005, or the Central Sales Tax Act, 1956, would now be required to take registration certificates immediately from the district authorities concerned.

"All persons who are into the sale of sugar are directed to charge and collect VAT on sugar and deposit it with the treasury," said a senior excise and taxation official.

VAT from July 25

* 5 per cent on sugar, including 'khandasari'

* 8.8 per cent, including surcharge, on cell phone, head phone, data cable, mobile charger, memory card, ear phone, audio device, mobile cover, mobile battery, mobile holder, Bluetooth and other parts and accessories




Youth aims to win ‘boliyan’ contest
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
A youth is practising Punjabi "boliyan" at his village to win the "boliyan" contest, held as part of the reality show 'Big Boli Superstar' on Spark Punjabi and Big FM. Hailing from Sujatwal village in the district, Harpreet Singh is busy preparing and learning more "boliyan". He says each word must be correct and pronounced in a typical manner.

Talking about the contest, he says the show has come as a good surprise in times when the art of "boliyan" is getting relegated with the influx of modern music.

A student of the GGN Khalsa College, Hapreet has been regularly participating in youth festivals and performing on folk music.

He says he has been performing at college functions and family functions of friends and relatives, with this inclination of singing and performing standing him in good stead.

The 23-year-old youth has reached the final round of the contest, where he will compete with four other contestants.

"Boliyan" are not only interesting and powerful, but also deeply connected to Punjabi culture and are a beautiful facet of our culture, he says.

He says although "boliyan" are derived from heritage, new "bolis" have to be improvised to show ingenuity during the contest.

He says contests like this should be promoted as many youngsters, although born in Punjab, are not even aware of such beautiful facets of our culture.

He has learnt new things during the show, he says. He says it will be a close competition in the final on July 27.



Bank scheme for pensioners

Ludhiana, July 25
The State Bank of Patiala has launched "Sanjeevan", a savings bank scheme catering to the needs of pensioners. The bank is offering additional facilities which include zero balance account-opening facility, waiver of annual ATM charges, unlimited number of ATM transactions per day, free cheque-collection facility and unlimited number of debits in account.

The account comes with pre-approved credit facility as per eligibility of pensioner. The other free facilities are SMS alert, Internet banking, mobile banking, multi-city chequebook and penalty waiver for non-maintenance of minimum balance.

Achal Kumar Gupta, managing director, has said the new scheme will go a long way in meeting the requirements of pensioners, which include pre-approved loan facility. — TNS



State Information Commission summons MC Commissioner
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
The delay in providing information under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has proved costly as the state Information Commission has summoned the MC Commissioner for personal appearance before it commission on August 23.

RTI activist Kuldeep Singh Khaira of the Vigilance Citizen Forum had sought the service record of assistant town planner (ATP) Nirmal Preet Singh, now posted in Patiala. Even after more than 10 months, he has failed to get the information.

Khaira had sought details of Nirmal’s assets and liabilities at the time of joining service, copy of annual income tax returns, details of assets of Rs 10,000 and above purchased during service period, salary slips, list of movable and immovable assets on official records, details of posting records from the date of joining duty, details of promotions, charge sheets against him, copy of his service book, details of complaints received against him throughout his career, action taken on those complaints and file notings, statements or evidence recorded and reports, opinions and advice generated in relation to the complaints.

After Khaira failed to get the information, he had approached the Information Commission. “The appellant states that he filed an application on September 28 last year, but after a lapse of 10 months, no information has been provided. The first appellate authority-cum-MC Commissioner, PIO at office of Director, Local Bodies, and PIO at office of Director, local government branch-I, are directed to be present on the next date of hearing, along with the information as sought, failing which action will be initiated,” read the order issued by Information Commissioner Harinder Pal Singh Mann. The case was adjourned to 11 am on August 23 for further proceedings.



Drug addicts attack 6-year-old, mother
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
A six-year-old boy and his mother were attacked by two drug-addict cousins following a heated argument at the Tibba road here today. Prabhjot Singh suffered a serious injury on the neck, inflicted with a sharp-edged weapon. He was rushed to the CMCH, where he was operated upon and was stated to be out of danger.

Prabhjot's mother Gagandeep Kaur also sustained serious injuries and was also admitted to the hospital.

The exact cause of the attack was not known yet. According to information available, the youths attacked them in a fit of rage as they could not buy drugs.

The incident took place this afternoon when the duo, identified Sunny and Tannu, entered the house of their paternal aunt and asked for money, but she refused.

She told them to leave the house. This led to a heated argument. Sunny and Tannu attacked their paternal aunt and her son.

The police registered an attempt-to-murder case under Section 307 of the IPC. A search to nab them was on.



Official language panel meets

Ludhiana, July 25
The Bharatiya Khadya Nigam organised the 62nd meeting of the Town Official Language Implementation Committee at the Circuit House here today. Income Tax Commissioner Kuldeep Singh said the committee had played an important role.

The main purposes of setting up the committee was to review and promote implementation of the official language policy, discuss difficulties in implementation and coordinate activities regarding the official language at offices. — TNS



Meeting on water supply schemes
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
To emphasise the necessity of sustainable water supply schemes and services in villages, a state-level meeting of officials of the department of water supply and sanitation and NGOs was held at the zila parishad office here today.

AK Soni, chief engineer (central), who presided over the meeting-cum-workshop, said the department had commissioned 2,229 water supply schemes in Punjab and 3,015 schemes would be commissioned by December next year.

He said NGOs played an important role for social development intervention and coordination between NGOs and the department was important.

Manpreet Ayali, zila parishad chairman, said the total cost of the project of providing safe drinking water in villages was Rs 1,280 crore, of which the World Bank had sanctioned Rs 750 crore, the Centre Rs 276 crore and the state government Rs 201 crore.

He said only about 25 villages in Ludhiana district were not doing satisfactory work under the schemes while residents of other villages were getting the benefits under the schemes. They were requesting NGOs to come forward and help them reach the 25 villages so that the schemes were restarted, he added.

Priya Ojha, senior community mobilisation specialist, said the workshop would pave a better way to achieve the desired self-sustainability of schemes in coordination and cooperation with NGOs. Others said the project would deliver safe and potable water to each doorstep in villages.



Master plan discussed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
A meeting was held today between the general manager of the district industries centre and representatives of various industrial organisations to discuss the implementation of new master plan.

The representatives put forward their suggestions for the implementation of the master plan.

It was suggested that mixed industrial zones be given the status of industrial zones.

Residential areas like Shimplapuri, Janta Nagar and Sunder Nagar, where industries were currently operating, be given the status of industrial zones, they added.

It was also suggested that pollution levels for Focal Point and industrial areas be the same and industries located in red categories be allowed to continue and expand as the government had no provision to shift those at this point of time.



From Schools

Students of Green Land Senior Secondary Public School celebrate Teej in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Teej celebration
Ludhiana: "Teej" was celebrated amidst Punjabi folk songs and dance at the kindergarten wing of Green Land Public School, Jalandhar Bye Pass, on Wednesday. The school campus wore the look of a Punjabi village and was decorated with "phulkaris" and flowers. The young kids took swings and relished "malpuas" and "kheer".

Students of Green Land Senior Secondary Public School celebrate Teej in Ludhiana on Wednesday. A tribune photograph

Rajindra Model School
Girl students of Classes IX-XII participated in the "Teej" celebration at Rajindra Model School. Girls, clad in colourful dresses, sang and danced on Punjabi songs.

Jesus Sacred Heart School
"Teej" was celebrated with great zeal at Jesus Sacred Heart School. Children dressed up in traditional Punjabi attires danced on the tunes of Teej songs. Mr and Miss Teej were selected from amongst the students of the pre-primary section. Senior students organised inter-house "mehandi" designing competition for girls and tattoo-making compettion for boys.

Tagore Public School
Students of the kindergarten section of Tagore Public School, dressed in traditional attires embellished with ornaments and accessories, celebrated "Teej". Swings were adorned with flowers.

Traffic police officer addresses students at Sargodha Public School in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Traffic seminar
A seminar to make students aware about traffic rules was organised at Sargodha Public School. Students were told about different aspects of traffic including road signs, zebra crossing, and traffic signals. Children were told to drive only after attaining the right age and acquiring proper training and license.

Traffic police officer addresses students at Sargodha Public School in Ludhiana on Wednesday. photo: Inderjeet verma

Go Green Week
Atam Devki Niketan celebrated "Go Green Week" on its campus. Throughout the week, various activities were organised including interaction with students on environmental issues, sapling plantation, framing stories and poems on trees and enacting them, best out of waste and visit to a park to make them aware about taking care of our environment. "Teej" was also celebrated in this week. All the primary section students were dressed in Punjabi attire. Students enjoyed swings, and various designs of "mehandi" were applied on their hand. Students sang various Punjabi folk songs and danced on the beats of "giddha" and "bhangra" songs. After the celebration, "kheer" and "puras" were distributed to students.

Children at a rhyme recitation competition in Ryan International School, Dugri. Rhyme recitation
Ryan International School, Dugri, conducted a rhyme recitation competition. Students came dressed in dresses depicting the theme of their respective rhymes. Students recited various rhymes using props to showcase their talent.

Children at a rhyme recitation competition in Ryan International School, Dugri. A tribune photograph

Environment conservation
"Eco Club" and "Gardening Club" members of BCM Senior Secondary School, Sector 32A, organised various activities to promote awareness about the conservation of the environment among the students. "Eco Club" members planted different saplings on the school premises and took an oath to plant more trees in their surroundings. "Gardening Club" members conducted a collage-making activity on the topic "Save Trees Save Earth", in which many students displayed their creative skills.

A four-day "vanmahotsav" -- festival of forests -- was organised at Green Land Convent School, Civil City, Ludhiana to create awareness among students about conservation of nature. The event also tried to instill in the students love and care for nature and taught them to live in harmony with nature. On the first day, inter-house poster making competition was organised. The students enthusiastically participated in the competition and displayed their creative skills in painting environment-related posters in multiple colours.

Talent search
Sub Junior Humanities Forum organised a talent search contest for the students of Classes III-V at Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, on Wednsday. The contest was divided into various categories including dance, instrumental music, duet song and mime. The participants enthralled the audience with their performances.

Splash pool party
Jovial smiles and high spirits marked the splash pool party "Fun under the Sun" at "Cherubs The Preschool", Dugri. Kids wearing swimming costumes were taught how to float on water. Children had fun splashing water on each other in the pool.

GRD Academy
A splash pool party was organised at the GRD Academy for children of nursery and lower kindergarten. Children wore colourful swimmming suits and played with colourful balls and rings, and danced on music. A fruit party was also organised for them.

Mental ability marathon
Ram Lal Bhasin Public School organised "Mental Ability Marathon" for the students of Classes VI-X. The aim of the event was to check the accuracy, mental ability and speed of the students in solving an hour-long test. 



PAU Notes

4,200 students appear for entrance test
Ludhiana: Over 4,200 students appeared for the Common Entrance Test for admission to 226 seats in various undergraduate programmes at Panjab Agricultural University.

The PAU Controller of Examinations, Dr Baldev Singh Sohal, said 4,232 students including 2,700 boys and 1,532 girls, from medical, non-medical and agriculture streams, took the CET this year.

The courses that were a big attraction among the applicants included BSc Agriculture (Hons), BSc Biotechnology, BTech Food Technology (Hons), and the integrated MSc programmes in biochemistry, botany, agriculture economics, sociology, microbiology and zoology, he added.

Monthly training camp
The monthly training camp of women's wing of the Punjab Agricultural University Kisan Club will be held on August 3, instead of August 2, due to "Raksha Bandhan".

The coordinator of the women's wing, Dr Rupinder Kaur, said the camp would be held at the farm of AS Grewal, a progressive farmer, in village Narangwal.

The farm women would be imparted training in the preparation of crispy food items. Besides, a competition in agriculture and Punjabi folklore would also be organised during the camp, she said.

The bus would leave for the venue from the PAU Kairon Kisan Ghar at 9 am. — TNS



9 booked for selling NRI's property on forged documents
 Akali leader, former municipal councillor among accused
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, July 25
The Jagraon police has booked nine persons, including an Akali Dal leader, and a former councillor of Jagraon Municipal Council for allegedly cheating an NRI and selling his property on the basis of forged documents.

The accused have been identified as Gurchin Singh, Amarnath, Nirmal Singh, Jagjeevan Singh, Baljit Singh, Gurdev Singh, Arjun Singh, Charanjit Kaur and Binder.

While one of the accused Gurchin Singh has been arrested by the police, the remaining accused are still absconding. Among the accused, one is allegedly an Akali leader while another is an ex-municipal councillor of the Jagraon Municipal Council.

As per information, the accused had allegedly sold a brick factory built in three acres of land by one Balaur Singh of Dholan village at Sherpur Kalan village near Jagraon on the basis of forged documents.

In fact, Balaur Singh had started a brick factory in three acres of land at Sherpur Kalan village some years ago. However, after some time Balaur Singh moved to Germany, but before going to Germany he gave his brick factory to Gurchin Singh on lease for 10 years in 2002.

After Balaur Singh migrated to Germany, the accused allegedly managed to prepare a duplicate power of attorney in connivance with Vasika Nawees, working at Jagraon Tehsil, and then sold the property on the basis of that power of attorney.

The matter came to light when Deepak Kumar, a friend of Balaur Singh, came to know about the development and he informed Balaur Singh about it. After learning this, Balaur Singh returned from Germany and got a complaint registered regarding this with the local police. Following this, the police investigated the matter and after verifying the facts, the police registered a case against these persons at the Jagraon police station.

Confirming the development, SHO Jagraon Surinder Singh said that the police had registered a case against Gurchin Singh of Rattowal village near Sudhar, Amarnath and Nirmal Singh of Jagraon, Jagjeevan Singh, Baljit Singh, Gurdev Singh, Arjun Singh and Charanjit Kaur of Sherpur Kalan village and Vasika Nawees Binder.

"We have arrested Gurchin Singh while the other accused are absconding so far. We are conducting raids to nab the rest of the accused," added SHO Surinder Singh. Later on, the police produced Gurchin Singh before a local court, which sent him to one-day police remand.



Habit-forming drugs seized
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
Jail guards have nabbed an undertrial in a murder case with 2,000 habit-forming tablets from his possession. The accused, identified as Varinder Singh, a resident of Hoshiarpur, had returned to jail after spending four months on parole.

Jail officials stated that the jail guards found the tablets during the checking of valuables of the accused.

After they spotted the drugs, they informed the Division No. 7 police, which registered a case and started an investigation.



Husband, in-laws convicted in dowry harassment case
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, July 25
Judicial magistrate Vikrant Kumar Garg has convicted a husband and his parents, hailing from Chandigarh, in a dowry harassment case. They were ordered to undergo imprisonment for one year each. A fine of Rs 2,000 each was also slapped on them.

The convicted, husband Lucky, mother-in-law Bimla and father-in-law Dharampal, resided at Hallo Majra in Chandigarh.

The court acquitted Lucky's brother Amrit, his sister Sonia, her husband Ajay and mediators Sushil Kumar and his wife Renu on finding no convincing evidence.

A case was registered at the Division No. 6 police station on August 31, 2006, following the complaint of Sangeeta of Ambedkar Colony at Industrial Area here.

She had stated that she got married on December 31, 2004. She had alleged the demands of a motorcycle and Rs 50,000, along with being beaten up.



1 acquitted of assault charges
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, July 25
Judicial magistrate Monika Sharma has acquitted Tarsem Singh Banga, president of the Bhartiya Bhalai Morcha, residing at the Daba road here, of charges of assaulting a home guard jawan at a police post.

The court held that the prosecution had failed to prove the charges.

A case was registered on April 9, 2007, on the complaint of home guard jawan Aroor Singh.

The complainant had alleged that the accused came to the police post and insisted on searching for a person at the police post.

The complainant had stated that when he told him that no such person was detained at the police post, Banga got annoyed and used foul words.

The complainant had claimed that Banga assaulted him, stopped him from performing duty and tried to snatch the official rifle.



Little buzz about Olympics in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 25
Despite the start of the London Olympics around the corner, there is little buzz about the games in the city. Markets are flooded with cricket accessories, games and posters of cricket. There is a conspicuous quietness about the Olympics.

Olympics-related merchandise, stationery and stickers are absent in markets. Hardly any clothing is available. "It is hard to spot a logo of the games," says Chintesh, 
a student.

"Stationery for children is flooded with cartoon characters, but nothing is available about the Olympics," says Sukhbir Singh.

Companies should make accessories and merchandise to promote the Games so that children can look up to rising athletes as stars and idols they can emulate, he says.

But if the government, the administration and corporates shy away from the responsibility, who will promote the culture of sports in the country, he asks.

T-shirts and accessories related to European soccer clubs can be seen in markets, but there is nothing when it comes to the Olympics, says another resident.

Mani, a sports store owner, explains that there is a reason for the hush about the Olympics as people here are only interested in cricket and manufacturers are not keen on investing in the promotion of Olympics.

Sports experts say this can be attributed to the lack of sports culture in the city and not much being done by the government to encourage and popularise sports.

Hardeep Singh Grewal says the lack of sports culture is the reason for the less popularity and enthusiasm about the Olympics and sports in general in the city.

The government should help popularise sports among the youth and there should be prizes for participating in the Olympics.



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