L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Indoor stadium work lingers on
Project completion likely to surpass another deadline of August ‘fixed’ by the Municipal Corporation
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
The completion of the under-construction indoor stadium on the Pakhowal road is likely to surpass another 'deadline' fixed by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation. The civic body had claimed that this project would be ready by August.

A visit to the project reveals that leave aside the completion of this project, the construction work to be carried out by the first contractor has not been completed yet. Once he finishes his work, around half dozen other contractors would be assigned various works before the project gets completed.

The construction of the indoor stadium on a piece of land (playground of a government school) started in 2004 when senior IAS officer Sukhbir Singh Sandhu was posted here as MC Commissioner. At that time its cost was pegged at Rs 16 crore. Construction was stalled in 2007, only to resume in May, 2010.

The delay in the completion of the project has raised its estimated cost from Rs 16 crore to Rs 25.89 crore. Though Deepak Singal, contractor, had claimed that he would finish the work awarded to him by November, 2011, the target for the completion of this project was extended to August this year.

A large portion of the project still remains incomplete for reasons best known either to the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation or the contractor himself.

The indoor stadium project appeared to be jinxed as it could never see the light of day due to a poor planning and its slow execution by the civic body. When the project was floated, the Sports Authority of India had made it clear that the no-objection certificate (NOC) could not be issued as it did not fulfil the required specifications. But, the civic body still decided to go ahead with the project.

Perturbed over the poor quality work carried out on the project, Sunil Kumar Dey, chief consultant architect of the consultancy firm for this project, had even written to a former MC Commissioner a few years ago. "This style of functioning is very unique and against the universally accepted norms of the work. Nobody wears underwear over trousers except at fancy-dress shows," Dey had written while commenting on the quality of work carried out on the indoor stadium project.

One of the reasons for the delay in the completion of this project is that the MC could not get the designs for the roof completed in time.

Commissioner of the MC Rakesh Kumar Verma visited the project today. While speaking to The Tribune, Verma confirmed that there has been some delay in the execution of the project. "I admit that the contractor has not been able to complete the project on time, but I have also come to know that there was some lapse atx our end regarding making payments. Today I visited the project and I hope that it would be completed soon," claimed Verma.



Underpass awaits inauguration for 3 months
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana Municipal Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma inspects construction work at a pedestrian underpass at Aggar Nagar in Ludhiana
Ludhiana Municipal Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma inspects construction work at a pedestrian underpass at Aggar Nagar in Ludhiana on Sunday. 

Ludhiana, July 29
Even as municipal corporation Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma supervised the construction work of pedestrian underpass (PUP) in Aggar Nagar area today, the PUP opposite the mini-secretariat is awaiting inauguration for almost three months when it was completed.

The PUP has literally turned into a white elephant for the civic body because even after getting it completed for more than three months, it remains locked for residents of the city, as the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation awaits some VVIP to come and inaugurate this Rs 3.5 crore project.

Even the newly constructed road adjoining the project had caved in due to rainfall on July 22, raising questions on the quality of material used. On July 23, the MC had decided to auction nine shops located under the PUP, but this auction had to be postponed, as only one person came to attend it.

Ironically, the project was completed in April, but due to some tiff between contractor and then MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi, the project was kept incomplete” on paper.

Sources within the MC informed that the locks have been placed on both sides of the PUP, so that it does not get dirty before its formal inauguration.

Earlier, the MC officials were seeking appointment from a top leader of the Akali Dal, but as he was busy in preparations for the MC elections, the project could not be inaugurated, said a senior MC official.

The same contractor is constructing the PUP in Aggar Nagar area, which was visited by newly appointed MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma this morning.

Verma said the contractor had assured that the project would be ready in the coming three months. The construction of this project is going on at good pace and soon the residents would be able to use this PUP, claimed Rakesh Kumar Verma.

When asked that the PUP opposite the mini-secretariat is locked, Verma said as he had recently joined, he would look into the matter. We would try to open it for public soon, assured Verma.

Besides visiting the PUP, Verma also visited under construction sewerage laying project on the Hambran road, sewerage treatment plant in Balloke, MC workshop, slaughter house and hot mix plant, Lakkar Bridge project, indoor stadium on the Pakhowal road and areas such as Giaspura, Shanti Nagar, Makkar Colony and flats for urban poor funded under the Jawahar Lal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) in Giaspura.

"Right now, I am just observing all ongoing projects and I assure the residents that all these projects would be ready soon," claimed the MC Commissioner.



Stray dog causes accident, man dies
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
A 26-year-old medical representative was killed and three persons were seriously injured after the car they were travelling in collided with a tree near Neelon Bridge near here during the wee hours today. The driver of the car rammed it into the tree while trying to save a dog that abruptly came in front of the vehicle.

Ashwani Kumar (26) died instantly. The injured, Manu Sharma (35) from Amritsar, Deepesh Sethi (32) and Jagga (32), both from Ludhiana, were first rushed to the civil hospital in Samrala and later shifted to the DMC Hospital.

Manu was stated to be serious while Deepesh and Jagga have suffered multiple fractures.

Deepesh told the police that they were going to Chandigarh to attend a medical conference that was scheduled to be held in the morning. When they reached near Neelon Bridge, a stray dog came in front of the car and to save it he took a sharp turn and the car rammed into a tree.

Ambulance crew secures valuables

The members of the victims' families thanked emergency medical technicians Arvind Chauhan, Sandeep Singh and the driver of the 108 ambulance Amanpreet Singh for securing the gold ornaments, cash, mobile phones and the credit/ATM cards of the injured. Sandeep said the victims were unconscious and bleeding profusely and the local residents gathered around the vehicles. They put the gold ornament and other valuables of the victims into a bag and informed their relatives about the incident. On reaching the hospital, the crew handed the cash and valuables to the members of their families.



Taxpayers left high and dry
Face problem in uploading returns on dept website due to some 'snag'
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
With millions of taxpayers trying to log in to the website of the Income Tax Department for the filing of their returns online, the website has developed a snag.
Since the last date for the filing of income tax return is fast approaching on July 31, everyone is in a hurry to file returns to avoid penalty. Assesses are facing problems with online data entry due to the rush of taxpayers filing returns online.

It has been made mandatory for all those who earn over Rs 10 lakh per annum to file their returns online.

Rajiv Sood, a tax professional, said, “It is obligatory to file return by July 31 for those who owe tax, as they will have to pay interest if they fail to do so by this date. But those who have no taxes due to the department may file their returns after July 31”.

Suman Malhotra, a tax payer, said, “I have been trying to upload my return for the past two days but have remained unsuccessful. In case I am unable to do so, then I will have to pay interest. I hope my return will be uploaded and I do not have to pay additional amount as interest".

Aarnav Sood, a chartered accountant, said, “My clients are visiting my office every day to get their returns uploaded but I have failed to do so due to the technical snag. People are in the habit of doing their work at the last minute, which is creating problems. It takes nearly a couple of hours to get one return uploaded and as the last date is approaching fast, the rush of people filing returns online will only increase further,” he addd.

Meanwhile, a senior IT official said the website was working and tht too in a speedy manner. “There must be some problem with the Internet. No glitch or snag has developed in the department’s website,” he added.




Ultrasound machine sealed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
A team of the health department sealed an ultrasound machine at Sachdeva Hospital near Basti Jodhewal yesterday.
According to Dr AK Handa, deputy medical commissioner, Ludhiana, “The machine was sealed, as the radiologist was not coming there from last 10 days. The medical officer in charge, Dugri (urban) dispensary, was a member of the checking team.”

While three more ultrasound centres were checked and found functioning according to the rules. These included Kalgidhar Gurdwara Charitable Centre, Jain Hospital in Sunder Nagar and ultrasound centre at Durga Mata Mandir.



Industry to go on indefinite stir
Opposes notification on furnishing of online data of goods
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
Industry is going on an indefinite hunger strike from August 9 against the recent notification issued by the Excise and Taxation Department regarding the furnishing of online data of goods that are delivered even within the state. A meeting of Punjab Pardesh Beopar Mandal was held at which different industrial associations participated. They decided to boycott the new notification. Former health minister Stapal Gosain has extended his full support to the agitating industrialists.

Badish Jindal, co-convener of the All-Industries and Trade Forum, said: "A majority of trade and industry falls in the micro category and only 30 per cent units have computer systems, only 20 per cent have the Internet facility and just 10 per cent have full-time accountants. Under such circumstances it is not possible for all the traders and industrialists to file details of the invoices online. The condition of the website of the department is so worst that it's difficult to file returns online, which we just file once in three months," said Jindal.

Narinder Bhamra, convener of the All-Industries and Trade Forum, said the notification was against the interest of the trade and industry. "In case one is not able to file the required information online due to some technical snag it will result in the late delivery of goods," he said.

Members of the Knitwear Club have written to the Chief Minister, asking him to withdraw the notification. "It is not practically possible as most of SME units are not equipped with computers and the Internet facility, nor they have full-time accountants. Most of the entrepreneurs are not computer savvy. They won’t be able to comply with these norms and the result will be the delay in deliveries and it will definitely affect the economy of the state," said Vinod Thapar, chairman of the Knitwear Club.

What does the notification says?

Information regarding intra-state movement of goods (within Punjab) has to be furnished by all persons posting sales worth Rs 3 lakh or above in a single transaction except in the case of the iron and steel where this threshold shall be Rs 2 lakh. The has been made applicable from August 10.



Vacant plots in residential areas a health hazard
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
Despite the fact that the local Municipal Corporation has hired A2Z Company for the lifting of garbage from garbage dumps, there are many residents who still prefer to throw garbage in the nearby empty plots. Little do they realise that by following this unhygienic practice, they make these places breeding grounds for mosquitoes and flies that spread diseases. The risk of an epidemic breaking out remains high during the monsoon when virus and bacteria multiply very fast. A majority of the owners have purchased these plots to make profits after selling them during peak real estate time, and they don't bother about what is going on there.

Talking to The Tribune, Jagir Singh Sandhu, a resident of Haibowal, said: "A few days ago a team of the Health Department came to our place and asked us as who threw garbage in the empty plot adjoining my house. I said I am not aware of it, as we throw trash in the nearby garbage dump. I questioned them as to why they don't ask this question to the owner of the plot who has kept it empty for years".

Some people have become habitual and wherever come across any empty plot, they turn it into a garbage dump. Sushmit Kumar, a resident of Agar Nagar, said, "From building material to all household waste, garbage is thrown in the empty plots by people. I really wonder their civic sense."

It has been observed that at many places, jhuggi dwellers, who live near such empty plots, become an easy prey to infectious diseases.

Diarrhoea case reported

District Epidemiologist Puneet Juneja has said one more resident of Geeta Nagar has been reported to be suffering from diarrhoea. Now, a total of five patients are suffering from diarrhoea. No death due to the disease has been reported so far.



Police feels burdened
Lower-rung staff say it is the work of health department
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
Difference of opinion galore during a de-addiction camp organised at Kundan Vidya Mandir (KVM) School in Civil Lines, here today.
While the senior police officers consider drug-addiction to be the root cause behind increasing crime and emphasise on the fact that by conducting such camps they could decrease the incidents of snatchings and drastically. The lower rung police thought otherwise. They feel burdened by non-policing jobs.

"Why is the police organising de-addiction camps, which ethically, is the job of the health department? Why extra burden has been put on the shoulder of city police that is already grappling with acute staff shortage," were some of the questions 
that were doing the rounds amongst that lower 
rung police during the de-addiction camp organised by police.

Nearly 800 drug-addicts visited the de-addiction camps. Besides, doctors of the health department, psychiatrists too attended the de-addiction camp to motivate addicts to leave drugs.

"For nearly four days we are running around to make arrangements for de-addiction camp. While we organise the de-addiction camp, it is the doctors who takes the credit," said an official requesting anonymity.

Self-styled leaders had their say during the drug de-addiction camp. They were the ones who brought the drug addicts in hordes. Many such leaders were seen visiting the drug de-addiction centres during the day, leading a group of 50 to 100 drugs addicts.

"What do you think, gathering 800 drug addicts is an easy task? It is curtsy to these "Mohalla Pardhans" that we managed to bring so man drug addicts here. Officer passes the orders and we have to obey it anyhow," said a cop deputed at the hall where de- addiction camp was being conducted.



Performance rider irks maths teachers
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
Math teachers of Government Senior Secondary Schools are unhappy with the condition of Director General of School Education (DGSE) that the department would transfer the teachers on the basis of their performance.

According to the DGSE orders, teachers having poor results would be transferred to border and Kandi Area.

Now math teachers claim that they are most effected section under this criterion and demanded reconsideration of the measures from the department.

According to the math teachers, students score less in mathematics due to the wrong policies of department but teachers are targeted for the poor results.

Gurbachan Singh Libra, President, Math Teachers Association said, “We appealed to the education minister to change the policy of transfers as they are responsible for the week results. There is not a single post for maths teacher in the middle schools of the state. Students do not have basic knowledge of maths when we enroll them in secondary classes. Maths teachers work hard for results but students take time to understand the fundamentals."

Meanwhile, Gurbeer Singh, secretary, Math Teachers Association said, the department has been demanding the results of the last four years for the transfers. But by adopting these measures majority of math teachers would be transferred."

"If government wants good results from the teachers it has to change the policy. A number of posts of maths teachers are vacant in the government schools. Teachers have to do non-teaching works. Moreover, earlier the department was lenient for maths as scoring pass percentage was not mandatory. This practice has changed the mindset of students toward maths.



‘Reject bogus parameters of poverty line’
Left parties to stage 5-day dharna at Parliament House
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 29
In a bid to mobilise strong public opinion in favour of the long pending Food Security Bill, the four left parties; the Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India - Marxists (CPI-M), Forward Block and the Revolutionary Socialist Party will stage a 5-day dharna at the Parliament House in the national capital from July 30 to August 3, 2012.

Stating this, Satpal Bharti, president and Tarsem Jodhan, secretary of Lal Jhanda Bhatha Mazdoor Union, said here today, that a large number of brick kiln workers from all over the state of Punjab would participate in the protest on August 2.

Talking to media persons, after undertaking a tour of the several districts including Ludhiana, Sangrur, Moga, Faridkot, Bathinda, Patiala and Fatehgarh Sahib to review the preparations for the proposed dharna, the activists of the union claimed that the there was widespread resentment among the masses over spiralling prices of food grain and other essential daily need items.

According to Bharti and Jodhan, prices of wheat flour, pulses, sugar, petrol, electricity, and cloth were persistently rising, making these items beyond the reach of the common man. "But the SAD-BJP government in Punjab and the Congress-led UPA government at centre seems to have closed their eyes to the pathetic plight of the poor people who are grappling with the demon of inflation."

Making a strong plea for bringing the Food Security Bill, in the coming session of Parliament, the union leaders demanded that the public distribution system should be scrupulously implemented and each of the poor family be given 35 kilograms of food grain at Rs 2 per kg every month. They further asked the government to reject the bogus parameters of poverty line prepared by the Planning Commission of India.

They also criticised the government for its stubborn attitude against distribution of massive stocks of food grain rotting in the godowns among the poor at low price despite having been reprimanded by the Apex court on this issue.



Membership drive
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
A meeting on the membership drive of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) was held at the Circuit House on Sunday.
Yuva Morcha general secretary Malwinder Singh Kang and in charge of the state membership, Jeevan Gupta, attended the meeting.

According to BJP Ludhiana district president Parveen Bansal, the response to the membership drive in the city has been good.



Green drive: Forest department fails to meet sapling demand
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
The Principal Secretary for Forests asked the authorities concerned in a recent communication to plant more saplings in all districts of Punjab.
At the same time, the government also asked the district administration to take the plantation campaign seriously by encouraging departments to grow more saplings.

The exercise seemed to be futile as the forest department here expressed helplessness in providing five lakh saplings, which was the demand of departments in the district.

According to sources, the district administration had convened a couple of meetings with representatives of the education and health departments and the Punjab Agriculture University to ask how many saplings were needed.

"As Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was taking keen interest in the drive, he wanted the maximum plantation in July and August. This was conveyed by district administration officials. We gave them our demand," said an official with the education department.

The sources added that the demand of about 5 lakh saplings was raised by the administration, but the forest department expressed helplessness to provide such huge quantity as it had about 2.5 lakh saplings available.

This was brought to the notice of the Principal Secretary for Forests. He asked the local authorities to try to get saplings from other districts.

Since other districts planted saplings as per their own requirements, extra saplings could not be arranged for Ludhiana district.

The forest department here had assured them to provide the remaining 2.5 lakh saplings by February or March, the next plantation season.

"The forest department should have planted more saplings. Meetings will not serve much purpose until enough saplings are provided," said an official.



Car falls off overbridge near gurdwara, 5 injured
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, July 29
Five occupants of a car were reportedly injured when the car fell from an overbridge in front of Gurdwara Manji Sahib, Kottan, early morning today. The Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire (DL8CAN-4168) was on its way to Pathankot. The occupants were bringing the body of a relative in an ambulance from New Delhi.

Five out of the six occupants of the car, identified as Ritika (22 yrs), Yuvraj (6 yrs), Supriya (30 yrs), Reema (46 yrs) and Anupam (43 yrs), sustained injuries, while the driver of the car, escaped unscathed. The accident reportedly took place as the driver dozed off.

The injured were taken to the civil hospital at Khanna. They are reported to be out of danger.



College ground will not be acquired, says Education Minister
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
Coming as a big relief to the authorities and students of Government College for Women, State Education Minister Sikander Singh Maluka said the government would not acquire the sports ground of the college for any purpose.

While responding to an appeal made by Principal Gurminder Kaur, Education Minister said no one would acquire the land from the college. He said, however, if the administration required some land to widen the adjacent road, then the government would have to allow it, because widening of roads was equally important.

The college authorities welcomed the announcement. Earlier, management committee of a nearby temple had approached the district administration with a request to acquire the sports ground of the college for constructing parking space for the vehicles of the devotees coming to the temple.

The college authorities and students had opposed the demand. 



Industry opposes decision
Power corporation announcement to impose weekly offs
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) announcement to impose four weekly offs on induction/arc furnace and three weekly offs on general industry falling under Cat-2 and Cat-3 has proved a death knell for the industry.

The industry, which is facing labour shortage and is passing through recession and working hard to sustain its existence, has been badly hit by the acute power shortage. This move of PSPCL is strongly opposed, which is against the industry.

PSPSL has increased tariff of electricity by 12.08 per cent, which is too high and that to with effect from April 1, which will result in closure and migration industry to other states, said Rajiv Jain, president of Laghu Udyog Bharti.

PSPCL must tell the industry to shut down rather than imposing compulsory weekly offs for four days. How will the industry survive under such circumstances? We are bearing huge losses and left with no other option, but to shift our base. PSPCL chairman must resign, said Badish Jindal, president of Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association.

Further power generator sets are used to produce electricity by the industry. Huge quantity of diesel is used for running generators, which act as direct cost in production. The government does not refund VAT on the use of diesel in the industry, which is another killing effect, whereas restrictions are imposed in producing power and insist the industry to use mandatory sound proof canopies on gensets in designated industrial areas as well, which add huge cost and burden on the entrepreneurs, added Gurmeet Singh Kular, president of United Cycle Parts Association.

We request the government to have industry positive attitude and to take immigrate measures to give relief to the industry for its existence, as the economy of Punjab greatly depends upon the industry, added Kular.



Power cuts throw life out of gear
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
The entire life has been thrown out of gear because of frequent scheduled and unscheduled power cuts, pestering the public day in and day out. Instead of asking for the well being of each other, the frequently asked question is, “Do you have electricity in your house?”

From children to senior citizens, all are feeling the pinch of power cuts and keep cursing the situation and staring towards ceiling fans with a hope that its wings will move the next moment, but all in vain. All feel that the work efficiency is getting affected with the power cuts. A school teacher, Aarti Dhir, said, “It becomes difficult to teach students when there is no electricity, as due to hot and humid weather, they keep asking for drinking water and complain of suffocation. But we have no option but to teach.”

Veenu Chopra, a homemaker of Dhandhra Road, said, “Life has become like a living hell these days. If I load the washing machine, it stops in between due to the power cut. One cannot use anything like blender and microwave to prepare any dish in this scorching heat. It has been more than two months now that we get chapattis from a dhaba when there is no light.”

The power cuts also affect water supply. Ankur Sharma, a serviceman and a resident of Prem Nagar said, “Power and water supply do not come simultaneously. We have to stay at home throughout the evening just to fill our water tank.”

On the contrary, dhaba and restaurant owners are earning a good amount these days. A dhaba owner said, “Our customers have increased by 40 per cent.” Requesting anonymity, an employee of a government department said, “My window always remained crowded with people and when there is no power supply, I feel as if I am getting choked here. The government should come up with a permanent solution of power supply.”



Youngsters falling prey to drug menace: SC Judge
Rajneesh Lakhanpal

Ludhiana, July 29
"Punjab is emerging as a leading state of drugs consumption. It's a matter of concern that thousands of youngsters are falling a prey to the menace," stated Justice Swatantar Kumar of the Supreme Court of India while addressing a gathering during a seminar on "Drug abuses " held by the District Bar Association.

Justice Kumar said the government and NGOs should take remedial steps.

"I am proud to be a Punjabi, but really concerned over the prevalent trend of drug addiction. We should say no to drugs."

Acting Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Jasbir Singh appealed to the legal fraternity not to defend the smugglers of narcotics. Lawyers should commit themselves for this pious cause.

Earlier, all dignitaries were accorded a warm welcome by the District Bar Association president, Jagmohan Singh Warraich, secretary, GS Sodhi, vice-president Ashok Sharma, Aman Sharma, and senior lawyers of the city.

Justice PS Gill of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Sessions Judge GS Matharoo, senior lawyer AK Jindal, Sukhpat Rai Wadhera, Trilok Singh Sood, former DBA president KR Sikri, Civil Judge (Senior Division) BK Sharma, CJM Muneesh Arora, Additional Civil Judge (Senior Division) KK Singla and other judges were also present on the occasion.



17-yr-old ends life

Ludhiana, July 29
A 17-year-old youth, allegedly a drug addict, committed suicide by hanging himself with a ceiling fan at his house in Jamalpur road.
The victim, identified as Vijay Kumar, who had reportedly stopped going to school after being addicted to drugs.

The incident came to light this morning when Vijay’s mother opened his room and fell unconscious in seeing her son’s body hanging with a ceiling fan.

According to the family, Vijay was battling to shun drugs. He was disappointed, as he failed to leave dugs despite his efforts. — TNS



Govt teachers to be recruited soon: Maluka
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
For better implementation of the Right to Education Act, the state government would fill 98 per cent vacancies of teachers in government schools within three months, said Education Minister Sikander Singh Maluka.

Stating his commitment to education reforms in the state, Maluka said he was taking steps towards the improvement of the system. The education department would recruit 12,000 permanent teachers during the coming few days, he said.

While emphasising on vocational courses, Maluka said, "The ongoing system of '10+2+3' for graduation seems irrelevant and not meeting today's requirements. So we are deciding to introduce vocational certificate courses in schools to provide easy employment to the youth."

On the issue of high fees being charged by private schools, the minister said that the department would constitute a regulatory body for private schools. 



10 days on, 10 arrested
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 29
The Sudhar police has arrested ten out of the twelve youths who had allegedly beaten three youths of the Rajgarh village on July 19.
MMS's of the incident were allegedly recorded before the victims — Gurwinder Singh, Satwinder Singh and Jagtar Singh — were released by the alleged accused.

Raman Singh, Kulwant Singh, Raman Singh, Tarandeep Singh, Manvir Singh Mani, Vicky, Harmesh Singh, Mani Singh, Ramandeep Singh Rammi, Kirandeep Singh, Sandeep Singh, Pappa Singh, and Harmel Singh were booked under various sections of law for allegedly discriminating against the victims on caste basis and committing inhumane behaviour.

Sources revealed that the alleged accused had suspected the victims of teasing some girls of their village who were studying at a government school in a neighbouring village.

The suspects allegedly intercepted the victims when they were going through the village, and took them to the Government Middle School.

The victims were allegedly stripped before being hanged from the branches of a banyan tree for some time. Some of the suspects also prepared MMS's of the whole incident with intent to blackmail the victims.

Kulwant Kaur and Gurmit Kaur, mothers of two of the victims, brought the matter to the notice of some social leaders in the area.

Though the police registered an FIR on the following day, the activists, led by Sarpanch Captain Balwant Singh, had to impress upon higher authorities for getting the suspects nabbed.

Bhagat Ram, investigation officer, said ten suspects were nabbed from various places yesterday by various raiding parties, and the remaining accused would be arrested soon.



School Notes
Sapling plantation

Ludhiana: The students of Tagore International Senior Secondary School planted saplings of decorative plants and other shrubs on the school premises as part of the Green Plantation Day. A quiz contest on environment was also held on the occasion. Nursery classes were educated about the difference between junk food and healthy food at the school canteen.

Declamation contest

Doraha: Doraha Public School organised a science declamation competition for the students of Classes IX and X. The students spoke on various topics for 4-6 minutes. Harleen Kaur of Class IX bagged the first position, while the second and third positions were claimed by Prathit Sahni (Class IX) and Gagandeep Kaur (Class X) respectively. — TNS



Reporters’ Diary
Journalists or yellow pages?

With the press easily accessible and more and more people becoming aware of the reach of the fourth estate, there are occasions when journalists get calls from the readers for odd tasks. One such call was made to one of my colleagues at midnight asking him to get the sewerage of his colony cleared. When my colleague told him that it is not his job, the person at the other end started arguing and said it was the duty of the press to solve the problems faced by the people. Not only this, newspaper offices generally get calls from the people enquiring about weather forecast or telephone numbers of particular officials. Some even enquire if tomorrow is a holiday in the offices. It appears we are not journalists but directories sitting to answer public queries.

All is fair in politics

With the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation elections over and the new general house yet to come into being, one-upmanship is on over taking the credit for developmental works between the sitting councillors, many of whom have been either defeated or those who are yet to be administered an oath of office. In desperation, those who have been made to lick the dust by voters are either out to take the credit for the development projects with which they had nothing to do, or are creating all kinds of hurdles in the ongoing projects lest their political opponent takes the credit for the same. Some of the newly elected overzealous councillors are in such a hurry to reward their close supporters that one of them got a booster pump installed with a "kundi" connection to augment water supply in a locality. That the civic body had to face the humiliation of being booked in a case of power theft seems to be least of the concerns of the councillor, who probably believes that all is fair in politics.

Doctor's advice!

One of my friends fell sick recently; she had a high fever and stomach infection. Her doctor suggested taking a bland diet in the four months of June to September at least. The doctor said, "I have asked my family members not to have anything to eat from eating joints or restaurants and hotels, as it can be very risky". My friend took the advice seriously and did not eat anything from outside eateries. It being a Sunday, her husband today suggested to go and have "puris" at a leading shop here, but my friend out rightly rejected the idea. Since both her kids were keen to have "puris" too, they requested my friend to at least accompany them, as it had been long since they had eaten from that particular shop. My friend had to bow down to their pressure tactics. She got a shock of her life to see the particular doctor and his family having the sumptuous "puris" from the same shop! "Some things are beyond your control," said her husband.

Ill-effects of 'bhindi'

After a senior Ludhiana Municipal Corporation official was suspended by the state government over an issue related to the "bhindi" (ladyfinger) vegetable, the "bhindi" joke has been making rounds in the civic body ever since. From the junior most to the senior most officials of the MC, "bhindi" is discussed by nearly all of them during lunch. A senior bureaucrat who had joined the civic body only a few days back was seen talking about the "ill-effects" of "bhindi" with a colleague. "While working in Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, a person should hesitate from eating "bhindi" because it can cost you your job," he told a colleague. Even a group of other MC officials was seen discussing it while having lunch. "I have stopped bringing 'bhindi' for lunch now," he said jokingly. So while having an informal chat with any of the MC officials, there is no chance that the official would miss sharing the "bhindi" joke.

Malls, MNCs spreading monoculture

A few non-resident Indian children having burgers at a McDonalds outlet were disappointed last night. Not unhappy of the outlet, but because they had come here to visit Punjab. "Having come to the city, we have had pizzas, visited malls and multiplexes, and bought branded clothes; it is highly unfortunate that the people here are not aware of and attuned to their own culture," said the father. People are becoming targets of globalisation here, and a monoculture is being spread by the MNC's to sell their products. In the process, we are losing our own cultural identity while trying to clone westerners, he added. What we found here can be found in the Western countries as well; we are disappointed to find very little of the real "Punjab" and its culture in the city, he said.

Contributed by Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo, Manav Mander, Puneet Pal Singh Gill and Gurvinder Singh



ludhiana scan
‘Punjab will become self-reliant’

Mandi Ahmedgarh: Vidhan Sabha Speaker, Charanjit Singh Atwal, claimed that the state would become self-reliant in power sector after commissioning of three thermal plants at Rajpura, Talwandi Sabo and Goindwal, work on which was going on war footing. While talking to the Tribune, after addressing a function organised to observe Birth Anniversary of Guru Hargobind Sahib at Sudhar village near here on Saturday. Atwal said the state government was poised to reciprocate gesture shown by people of the state by bringing unprecedented development in the consecutively for the second term.


A local organisation stages dharna in support of Anna Hazare on the Ferozepur road in Ludhiana on Sunday.
A local organisation stages dharna in support of Anna Hazare on the Ferozepur road in Ludhiana on Sunday. Photo: Inderjit Verma

Various local organisations staged a dharna in support of Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev near Global Heart Hospital Ferozpur Road. Residents of Aman Park, Lal Bagh colony, Jagjit Nagar, New Raj Guru Nagar, Ex-servicemen Welfare Society were participated in this Dharna. "This movement is second freedom movement and war against corruption," said Gurnam Singh Gill Lal Baag.


Akhil Bhartiya TeraPanth Yuvak Parishad organised a programme here on Sunday. A large number of devotees were present on the occasion. The issue of "How to have good relationship in families" was discussed.

‘Education sector ignored’

Accusing successive governments of ignoring the education sector, speakers including Tirlochan Singh Rana, Sukhdev Singh Bari, Harbans Singh Aulakh, Sikandar Singh Jartauli and Baldev Singh Latala, office bearers of various social and educational and political organisations regretted that weakening of organisational setup of government school teachers had resulted in a situation wherein a lot of time and energy of teachers was wasted in getting their petty demands met. Referring to information received from various schools of the area, speakers lamented that teachers had not received their salaries for months together and they had to shuttle between governing offices and their schools to get their salaries credited in their accounts.

Lions Club

21st District Cabinet Installation of Lions Club International, Distrct 321 F under the chairmanship of MPJF Harish Dua, District Governor was held at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan on July 29. More than 1,000 lion members and guests from various clubs of the district spread over 12 geographical areas and Chandigarh took part in the ceremony, wherein newly designated cabinet members were installed. Dr Jagdish Gulati said that the organisation adopted projects to help improvement of society.


A new centre of cutting, tailoring and computer centre at community centre, Passi Nagar was inaugurated here on Sunday. Primarily girls would be provided cutting and tailoring training and computer training would be provided to everyone. The centre has the capacity of about 25 students at one time, according to a representative of the organisation. — TNS



Sports dept lacks coaches
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 29
The Punjab government might be pretending that it is working hard to promote the sports culture in the state, but it is a harsh reality that there is an acute shortage of coaching staff to shape the sporting skills of budding players in the department.

The sports department has only 45 permanent coaches throughout the state. Out of theses, the department deputes 22 coaches as the district sports officers. There are districts like Moga, Faridkot, Muktsar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Fazilka, Mohali, Mansa, Pathankot and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar where not even a single coach is available. According to sources, a majority of coaches will retire till 2015. The department has recruited about 150 coaches on contractual basis in 2008, but some of them left the job, as the government is paying minimal salaries for this job.

Meanwhile, the permanent coaches are also unsatisfied, as the grade pay of district sports officer is at par with the sports instructors in schools.

Kartar Singh, district sports officer, said, “We met the Deputy Chief Minister and apprised him about the problems we face. The Deputy Chief Minister had instructed the then director to address to our demands, but we did not receive any further communication from the department.”

“No doubt, the department’s work has been suffering due to staff shortage,” he added.



Ludhiana to host World Kabaddi Cup final
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana July 29
"We are set to organise the third World Kabaddi Cup and the final will be organised in Ludhiana," said Punjab Kabaddi Association organising secretary Sikandar Singh Maluka.
He said negotiations with kabaddi teams of various countries were going on. African teams would be the centre of attraction, he added.

Six girls' teams of different nations would also participate, he further said.Talking about dope tests, he said, "We are organising it to motivate the youth. If any player consumes a drug, we will impose a ban. Players will be allowed only after dope tests."



Honey Grewal’s bullocks emerge fastest pair
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 29
Bullocks belonging to Honey Grewal of Kila Raipur and Sukhchain Singh Dheengee emerged the fastest runners at the bullock cart race organised as the supplementary session of the Kila Raipur Rural Sports at Kila Raipur today. The winner and runners-up pairs of bullocks completed the race on a kutcha road in 24.53 and 25.18 seconds, respectively.

Satish Kumar Sharma, president of the Gau Raksha Dal, Punjab, inaugurated the event, which had earlier been banned and the Punjab and Haryana High Court had lifted the ban recently.

According to Paramjit Singh Grewal, secretary of Grewal Sports Association, 11 pairs of bullocks had been chosen for cash awards of worth Rs 1 lakh.

Harash Narangwal (25.50 sec), Lala Latala (25.53 sec) and Kesar Thakarwal (25.6 sec) were also among the winners.



Ludhiana cagers record victory
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, July 29
The Ludhiana academy lads continued with their winning streak, scripting another easy victory 118-4 over Green Land Model Senior Secondary School on the second day of the ongoing 3rd Mahindra NBA Challenge Basketball League being held at the Guru Nanak Stadium today.

In the boys’ section (youth) yesterday, the academy players routed Khalsa National Pothohar School 102-15 to start their campaign on a sound note.

Today, the academy’s domination was clear from the fact that Green Land School players failed to open the account till the end of the second quarter. Eventually, Green Land cagers could fetch face saving four points.

In another match (youth boys), Sangrur district recorded 57-19 victory against Khalsa National Pothohar School after leading 20-2 at the breather. Jaskaran (20) was the main contributor for the winning side.

In the third match, Patiala district got the better of Guru Nanak International Public School, Ludhiana, 90-19. The winners were leading 39-13 at lemon break.

In the junior girls’ section, Mansa district defeated Kurali 62-2 with the main contribution coming through Navdeep Kaur who netted 20 baskets.

Other results:

Youth boys: Muktsar bt Government Model Senior Secondary School, Ludhiana 58-30; Amritsar bt Sports School, Jalandhar, 60-54; Faridkot bt Kundan Vidya Mandir, Ludhiana, 84-11; Bathinda bt Delhi Public School, Ludhiana, 63-43; Muktsar bt Amritsar 74-72; Police Lines Club, Ludhiana, bt Dr RC Jain International School 37-34; Nav Bharti Public School, Ludhiana, bt Gymkhana Club 46-28.

Junior girls: Mansa bt Kurali 62-2; Amritsar bt Muktsar 41-17.



Green Land paddlers hog limelight
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, July 29
Paddlers from Green Land School branches proved their mettle by bagging five out of six titles in the Ludhiana Sahodaya Schools Complex (LSSC) Table Tennis Tournament that concluded at DCM Presidency School, Urban Estate, Chandigarh road, today. The sixth title at stake was won by DAV Public School, BRS Nagar branch.

In the boys’ under-14 category, Green Land Public School, Chandigarh road branch, quelled a stiff resistance from the hosts DCM Presidency School before coming out victorious 3-2.

Green Land Public School, Dugri branch, managed to squeeze past GMT Public School, Jalandhar bypass branch, 3-2 to emerge as champions in the boys’ under-16 category.

Similarly, in the boys’ under-19 section, Green Land Public School, Jalandhar bypass branch, came out winners, as they blanked BCM Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar branch, 3-0.

In the girls’ section (U-14), Green Land Public School, Chandigarh road branch, outplayed BCM Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar branch, 3-0 to clinch the title and in the under-19 group, Green Land Public School, Jalandhar bypass branch, beat BCM Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, 3-0 to lay their hands on the winner’s trophy.

However, in the girls’ U-16 category, Green Land Public School, Jalandhar bypass branch, went down against DAV Public School, BRS Nagar branch, 0-3 and had to content with the runners-up trophy.

Anirudh Gupta, CEO, DCM Group of Schools, distributed prizes among the winners.



Arnav, Ankit enter third round
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, July 29
Arnav Jain and Ankit survived many anxious moments before overcoming their opponents to advance into the third round in the ongoing Open Ludhiana District Badminton Championship being held here at the Shastri Hall near the Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

In the boys’ (U-10) singles category, Arnav Jain toiled hard to outplay Ishaan Garg 21-16 and 21-16, while Ankit, too, faced stiff challenge from his rival, Harsh Seth, whom he pipped 21-15, 23-21.

In other matches in the same category, Shobhya Khaira outnumbered Abhitej Singh 21-7, 21-14; Jasmer Singh toyed with Chirag Bhardwaj 21-1, 21-9; Lakshay Sharma beat Sarthak Jain 21-7, 21-8; Ayan Gupta defeated Rajveer Khurana 21-10, 21-7; Ranbir Khurana prevailed over Harjot Singh and Aashir Chopra outclassed Sajal Jain 21-6, 21-5.

The matches remained suspended in the afternoon for over one hour today, as the power generator set arranged by the District Badminton Association, Ludhiana, in case of power cut, caught fire.

The organisers swung in action to douse the fire, which averted a major accident. The tournament could be resumed in the evening and the scheduled matches for the day were not held.



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