L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


3 booked for safai sewak’s death
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
The police has booked scrap dealer Manoj Kumar and Pardeep’s ‘friends’ Sumit and Kala after safai sewak Pardeep Kumar’s body was recovered from the sewerage treatment plant at Balloke village today.

A case under Sections 304-A (causing death due to negligence) of the IPC has been registered against Manoj Kumar, Sumit and Kala. Section 304-A of IPC states that whoever causes the death of any person by doing any rash or negligent act, not amounting to culpable homicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend up to two years or with fine or with both.

The case has been registered on the complaint of MC SDO Balwinder Singh. Even MC Joint Commissioner AS Sekhon had written to the Haibowal police for registering an FIR against Manoj Kumar, Sumit and Kala.

“In our complaint, we had written that owner of shop number 92 A, Street Number 3, Dairy Complex, Haibowal, and two other persons, identified as Sumit and Kala, had asked Pardeep Kumar to clean the sewer. This is a criminal negligent act following which Pardeep died,” said Sekhon.

The MC has already banned the opening of sewers by private persons in the city. This decision was taken in February last year, when two MC employees had died while they were trying to open a private sewer line in the Bhagwan Chowk area of the city. After the incident, the civic authorities had decided that an FIR would be got lodged against person who opens a manhole without the civic body’s permission.

“Manoj, Sumit and Kala were arrested and later released on bail,” said inspector Satinderpal Singh, SHO, Haibowal police station.


‘Friends’ did not try to save him
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
It was the inhuman act by contractual safai sewak Pardeep Kumar’s ‘friends’ which led to his death yesterday. When Pardeep fell into the sewerage line, his friends, identified as Sumit and Kala, allegedly put the manhole cover back and fled from the spot.

Pardeep’s body was recovered after 21 hours of the incident from the sewerage treatment plant (STP) at Balloke village, about 3 km from the spot where he fell into the sewerage line, around 10.30 am today. The incident took place near Dairy Complex at Haibowal on Tuesday.

The scrap dealer, who had hired Pardeep Kumar, has been identified as Manoj Kumar.

It is learnt that when Pardeep entered the sewerage line, Sumit and Kala were also present there along with Manoj Kumar. But when they saw Pardeep being swept away by a strong current of sewage water, Sumit and Kala fled from the spot after putting the cover back on the manhole.

MC Joint Commissioner AS Sekhon said: “Pardeep’s friends tried to hide the incident by putting back the manhole cover. It was scrap dealer Manoj Kumar who raised the alarm and informed the Haibowal Police about this incident. Had they tried to save Pardeep, he might have been alive today.”

Pardeep (36), a resident of Bank Colony, lost his life on Tuesday for mere Rs 200. Pardeep, a safai sewak, along with two of his friends had taken a private ‘contract’ of clearing the sewerage line near Dairy Complex in the Haibowal area. A scrap dealer had hired them for Rs 600 for the job. When Pardeep entered the manhole, the strong current of sewage swept him away.

Pardeep worked as a contractual safai sewak and was getting a monthly salary of around Rs 4,000.



‘Roasted’ cockroach found in patty at DMCH canteen
Health dept conducts raids, serves notices on contractor, bakery
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
A roasted cockroach has reportedly been found in a patty at the canteen of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

After ordering a patty at the canteen and giving it to his ailing son, a person said he was shocked to find the crushed, roasted cockroach waiting for his son’s next bite.

He immediately informed the district health department, following which a team of the health department collected samples of patties from the canteen.

On Saturday, a customer had found a worm in a burger at the KFC in the city.

Food Safety Officer Manoj Khosla said: “We collected samples of patties from the DMCH canteen which is run by a contractor, Hari Parshad. We observed that the employee of the canteen who was serving patties was having big dirty nails and the storage rack was not appropriate as it was wet. The overall condition was unhygienic. So, we also served him an improvement notice after collecting samples."

He said the canteen contractor bought these patties from Samrat Bakery, Prem Nagar. Khosla said: "We also raided Samrat Bakery and found eatables being prepared in unhygienic conditions. There were flies and cockroaches all around. We collected samples of patties from the bakery and issued a notice to the bakery owner."

The team of health department also collected two samples of cream chicken and sauce from Chawla Chicken, Aarti Chowk, where the food was being prepared in unhygienic conditions. The officials also issued improvement notice to the owner. The team collected two samples of milk cake and khoya burfi from Khushi Ram Sweets and served improvement notice to the owner here too as the employees were not wearing clean clothes.

District Health Officer Dr Kulwinder Singh said: "We also collected three samples from Lyalpur Sweets in Model Town.”

The team raided the eateries following the direction of Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, Dr Subhash Batta. The raiding team included Food Safety Officer Hapreet Kaur, Manoj Khosla and District Health Officer Dr Kulwinder Singh.

Official speak

Chief dietician of the DMCH Ritu Sudhakar said: “We condemn the incident. The DMCH has always been committed to provide quality eatables to people visiting the hospital canteen. The eatables sold in the canteen are supplied from authorised vendors so there is no compromise on the quality. The hospital will look in to the matter and strict action will be initiated against the erring vendor.”



Personal enmity reason behind murder, says police
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
The murder of 60-year-old Taranjit Kaur, who was hacked to death at her house in the Model Town area last night, was well orchestrated.

Sources said the investigating team today recreated the scene of crime and arrived at a conclusion that personal enmity and not robbery was the motive behind the murder.

The waste material lying in the house was scattered to hoodwink the police and to make it appear that some rag picker had killed the woman. The assailants gained entry into the house posing as rag pickers.

The assailants might have conducted a recce of the house and even visited the house on pervious occasions to gain an easy excess into the house.

The investigating officer suspects that the assailants were two in number. “Initially, only one man posing as rag picker used to visit the house to win the confidence of the woman and on the day of the murder assailants also accompanied him," an investigating officer while recreating the scene of crime.

One of the accused kept the victim busy and the other assailant might have come from behind to slit the neck of woman with a sharp knife, said the police.

The assailants came with a motive to kill. Investigating officer said if it was spontaneous outburst of anger by a robber, the assailants might have used the knife and other sharp-edged instruments lying in the house.

The gold jewellery the victim was wearing was not missing. Moreover, five knifes were lying near the scene of crime, but none of the knife was used for killing Taranjit Kaur, which substantiate that killer were carrying the weapon along with them, the police added.

The police has also recovered a Hindi newspaper lying near the crime scene and believes that the weapon was wrapped in the newspaper. The police arrived at this conclusion as no one in the family reads a Hindi newspaper.

Dark past comes to haunt family

The dark past of the victim's family has come to haunt it again. It was not the first time that the family has witnessed a killing. It was in June, 2008, that Harmohinder's daughter-in-law Amanpreet Kaur died under mysterious circumstances, barely six months after her wedding. While Harmohinder's family claimed that Amanpreet had committed suicide by hanging herself, her parents claimed that their daughter was strangulated to death. Amanpreet was married to Sukhdeep Singh, who used to run Adarsh International, an automobile spare parts manufacturing unit, in the Dholewal area. Sukhdeep was later arrested under Section 304-B of the IPC for allegedly murdering his wife. It was a love marriage between Sukhdeep and Amanpreet who worked at a bank in Millar Gunj. Both of them got married on January, 2008, and soon after the marriage Amanpreet came to know that Sukhdeep was a chronic drug addict. Harmohinder’s relatives stated that the revelation of Sukhdeep being a drug addict pushed Amanpreet into depression and she allegedly committed suicide. 



108 ambulance staff rescue 40-year-old
Attempted suicide in Sidhwan Canal 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
The crew members of 108 emergency ambulance services rescued a 40-year-old woman who had allegedly attempted to commit suicide by jumping into a canal in Shimlapuri area last night.

The incident took place around 10 pm when emergency medical technicians Jasdeep, Amanpreet Singh and driver of the vehicle Muhktiar Singh received a call about the incident.

Without wasting time, they reached the spot and started searching for the woman. They spotted the woman near Duri Railway Bridge on Sidhwan Canal and managed to pull her out of the water.

Area residents and commuters also helped the 108 emergency ambulance crew in the rescue operation.

"We took the help of residents who live in the shanties located close to the canal. They brought the fishing net and threw it on the woman. The woman got stuck in the net and was eventually pulled out," said Amanpreet Singh

The woman has been identified as Madhuri. She told the crew members that she was victim of domestic violence. Madhuri said her husband used to beat her up on petty issues and she decided to commit suicide. She was rushed to the Civil Hospital and was discharged after treatment.

It was not the first time the 108 ambulance crew members have conducted the rescue operation. Earlier also, the crew members of the 108 emergency ambulance rescued two persons who fell into Sirhind Canal near Neelon village on March 27. The two persons were travelling in a car that fell into the canal.



Unauthorised colonies: Revised policy for regularisation on anvil
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 1
After several rounds of talks between senior government functionaries and representatives of colonisers and developers on the crucial issue of regularisation of unauthorised colonies in the mega city and the state, the state government has initiated an exercise for revision of the existing policy.

A deputation of the developers that met Punjab Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia in Chandigarh on Monday was given an indication that a new policy aimed at providing relief to developers would be announced soon.

The Punjab Property Dealers and Colonisers Association president, who led the deputation of developers that had met the Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development , and later Cabinet Minister Majithia, told The Tribune that though some key issues related to compounding of the existing colonies were still to be addressed, the response from the government was positive.

"The government has apparently made up its mind to resolve the matter of unauthorised colonies by providing relief to developers as well as residents of unauthorised colonies," he said.

He said the major demand of the developers of unlicensed colonies that these be regularised on "as is where is basis" has found favour with the government. The only stumbling block, he added, was the onus of paying composition fee and external development charges (EDC). "While the government desired to recover the EDC from the developers, we have made a plea that these should be recovered from the plot holders or property owners in the unauthorised colonies.

He said the developers had pointed out that recovery of EDC from the colonisers, who had sold the plots at very cheap rates many years ago, was not a practical proposition. "Most of the developers of unauthorised colonies had either no stakes in the long ago carved out colonies, or had changed business. Some others had shifted base, and few of them had even expired. Moreover, the prices of land had appreciated many times since inception of these colonies and the plot or house owners will not mind paying a few hundred rupees per square yard in return for all basic amenities and external development works," he said.

Lending support to the demand for regularisation of existing colonies in a hassle-free manner, a prominent city-based realtor Gulshan Kumar of GK Group asserted that if the government comes out with a simplified and practical policy for regularisation of unauthorised colonies, it can virtually have a money-spinner which would come handy to tide over the financial crisis that the state is facing.

He said going by some 634 colonies listed on the GLADA website, the area covered by these colonies is roughly around 6,000 acres. "Taking the non-saleable area to be approximately 30 per cent, these colonies are spread over in some 4,200 acres or upward of two crore square yards. Even if the government fixes a composition fee of Rs 500 per square yard, just the listed 600 off colonies will yield a whopping amount of over Rs 1,000 crore."

Kumar further said the unauthorised colonies spread across the length and breadth of the state will fetch many times more by way of EDC even if one goes by the number of such colonies as per the government records which stand at 3500. "The market sources, however, peg the number of colonies at more than 15,000," he added.

Relief to developers, residents

The government has made up its mind to resolve the matter of unauthorised colonies by providing relief to developers as well as residents of unauthorised colonies. The demand of developers of unlicensed colonies that these be regularised on "as is where is basis" has found favour with the government.



Laddhar Kalan murder cracked
Target was victim's grandson n Canada-based woman hired killers to eliminate husband
Ashok Kaura

Phillaur, August 1
The case of murder of a old woman Pritam Kaur, wife of a former sub-inspector of the CRPF, in the nearby Laddhar Kalan village, took an ugly turn with police investigations indicating that it was a case of “supari killing”. A Canada-based NRI Balpreet Kaur had hired contract killers to eliminate her husband Gurpreet Singh. Pritam Kaur was shot dead by unidentified robbers during the night of April 11.

Clearing the mystery shrouding the case, Phillaur DSP Paramjit Singh Pannu told the media today that the police had arrested three persons, including Yusuf Khan, alias Manu of Rampura Phool, Sukhbir Singh of Musimble village in Haryana and Varinder Singh of Yamuna Nagar under sections 302/34/120B/148 and 149 of the IPC while four others, including the main accused woman, Balpreet Kaur, at present residing in Canada, Sandip Singh, Amit and Vikrant of Yamuna Nagar were at large.

Giving details of the case in which an old woman sacrificed her life to save her son, the DSP said woman Balpreet Kaur, a native of Badhni Kalan village in Moga district, remarried Gurpreet Singh after the death of her first husband, Harpreet Singh of Budhewal in Ludhiana district, and they settled in Canada. Gurpreet had an insurance policy worth Canadian $ 7 lakh and Balpreet was his nominee.

When Gurpreet came to India in February-end this year, Balpreet, along with a woman known to her, Meena, a resident of Rampura Phool, hatched a conspiracy to eliminate her husband. Meena allegedly deputed her son Yusuf, alias Manu, who first demanded Rs 25 lakh for the murder contract, but the deal was settled for Rs 12.5 lakh. And Rs 2 lakh was given as advance to Manu who allegedly hired five others to carry out the murder. They struck at NRI Gurpreet's house in Laddhar Kalan village and the old woman, Pritam Kaur, Gurpreet's grandmother, was killed during a scuffle with the assailants.

The DSP said the alleged that Balpreet was also involved in the death of her first husband Harpreet Singh. She allegedly killed Harpreet for the same motive, to grab his insurance money.



Youth Cong gheraos minister
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Health and Family Welfare Minister Madan Mohan Mittal offers sweets to safai sewaks who came to submit a memorandum to him in Ludhiana on Wednesday
Health and Family Welfare Minister Madan Mohan Mittal offers sweets to safai sewaks who came to submit a memorandum to him in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, August 1
Office-bearers and workers of the Ludhiana Youth Congress today gheraoed Health and Family Welfare Minister Madan Mohan Mittal at Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital when he reached there to inaugurate "Ek Umeed", a building of the Nikhil Singhal Noble Trust, a non-government organisation, which provides free medicines to poor and needy patients.

It was around 10:30 am when the workers and office-bearers of the Ludhiana Youth Congress, under the leadership of Sushil Kapoor, president of the Youth Congress (Ludhiana Central), reached the hospital premises to handover a memorandum to him.

The president of the Youth Congress said, "We wanted to handover a memorandum of our demands, related to illegal practices followed by the doctors of the Civil Hospital, to the minister. But, the minister refused to accept it in front of the media persons who were already there. After that we started raising slogans against the state government.''

The youth Congress workers who met the minister to handover the memorandum to him included Kamaljeet Singh Brar, Parminder Lapran and Deepak Khandoor.

Later, the minister addressed a gathering at the hospital. He said none would be spared if found indulging in adulteration. He issued instructions to the Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, Dr Subhash Batta, to take strict action against violators. Later, he also addressed a seminar organised by the Senior Citizens Welfare Association at the PAU.

Meanwhile, Madan Mohan Mittal said: "These office-bearers and workers of the Youth Congress started raising slogans without reason.They were more interested in publicity and getting photographed. I announced even from the stage that I always welcome if anyone wants to meet me but after the function."



Municipal corporation’s Public libraries in shambles
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
Not many people in this industrial city are aware about the existence of a public library of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC), which is surprising as well as shameful, given the fact that Ludhiana claims to be the educational hub of the region. The odd location and condition of the library could be the main reasons why nobody visits it.
The cieling of the library at the Children’s Traffic Training Park in poor condition; and (right) a few visitors at the library in Nehru Rose Garden in Ludhiana
The cieling of the library at the Children’s Traffic Training Park in poor condition; and (right) a few visitors at the library in Nehru Rose Garden in Ludhiana. Tribune photographs

To make matters worse, the MC has not purchased even a single book in the last five years, despite the fact that every year funds are allocated for this purpose.

The public library is located in the Zone-C office of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation located on the Gill road, while it’s having two branches, one in Nehru Rose Garden, Civil Lines, and another in Children’s Traffic Training Park, Model Town area.

The public libraries are opened for those who are fond of reading, but over the years, the number of readers has come down considerably, pointing fingers over the reading habits of the residents of the city as well as the MC, which needs to promote book culture.

The MC libraries are merely considered as stores for keeping books, as a few people visit these libraries nowadays because the books lying there have not been updated for years. Sadly, nothing has been done so far to improve the libraries, either by improving the collection of the books or providing facilities to the readers.

The books stocked in these libraries are not in a readable condition and even other infrastructure is in dire need of repair and need an overhaul with new books and creation of a comfortable atmosphere for the readers.

The public library in the Nehru Rose Garden dates back to 1988 and is having around 6,000 books with a majority of them being in Punjabi and Hindi, followed by English and Urdu books. Here the number of members is falling with each passing year.

“Last year, we had a membership of 48, but this year only 36 persons became our members,” informs Sunita Sharma, a library restorer of the MC.

The picture at the library in Children’s Traffic Training Park is no different. Here, the number of books is around 1,800 (mostly children literature) and membership just 41. This public library caters mostly to the children from Jammu Colony, Model Town and other adjoining localities. Ironically, even the upper section of the library, where about 53 dolls showcased traditional attires of the country, is home to pigeons now.

Urmil Jain, the restorer at the Children Library, informs that children are good readers. “Whenever it’s holiday time, a large number of children visit our library,” informed Jain. Ironically, this building is in dire need of repairs, as its ceiling is broken.

The city residents often accuse the MC of not doing anything for improving the public libraries in terms of collection of books as well as facilities or even the ambience of the libraries.

Manjit Singh Dhaliwal, secretary, MC and in charge of the public libraries, informs that the main library located on the Gill road is having around 8,000 books of different Indian languages. “I have been made the in charge of this department recently and my main aim now is to modernise them, so that the residents can avail this facility,” said Dhaliwal.

How to become member?

The annual fee of becoming a member of the MC public libraries on the Gill road and Nehru Rose Garden is Rs 15 with Rs 50 charged as the security deposit. At the Children Library, the annual fee is Rs 2, while the security deposit is Rs 10. Once you become the member of these libraries, a book is issued for 15 days, while a magazine is issued for a week.

Gill road library to be shifted

To ensure that a large number of residents visit the public library and for inculcating reading habits among the residents of the city, the MC is in the process of shifting its main library from the Gill road to Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan. The shifting process has almost been completed and the MC has taken a hall on the first floor of the bhawan on lease.

Staff shortage to blame

MC officials rue that the posts, which fell vacant after the retirement of employees managing the libraries, have not been filled. Even the post of librarian is lying vacant for several months now and junior librarians are now working at this post. Out of 17 posts of library restorers, around 10 are lying vacant.

Mobile library missing

For taking public library on the doorsteps of the residents and to promote the book culture among people, the MC had started a mobile library more than two decades ago. The mobile library, Indira Gandhi Mobile Library (IGML), however, is lying abandoned for more than six years now. The reason behind this library being non-functional is that the bus housing the mobile library developed some technical snag. Later, it was sent to the MC workshop for repair, but since then it is lying there for repair.



College libraries no longer attract students
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

A view of the library at SCD Government College for Boys in Ludhiana
A view of the library at SCD Government College for Boys in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, August 1
There was a time when college libraries used to be abuzz with students, but today due to the declining reading habits, only a few students make a casual visit to these libraries.

With everything available at the click of the mouse, the students avoid going to the libraries and resulted in the decline in the book-reading habits. “It is not that the students do not read books, but instead of flipping through the pages of a book, they browse the Internet now. The books are slowly losing their charm for the young generation,” said Deepika, a college lecturer.

The library, which figures in the list of one of the oldest libraries in the city, belongs to the SCD Government College for Boys, which houses more than 1,00,000 books on various topics like arts, commerce and science.

Meanwhile, the library of Government College for Women (GCW) is also among the oldest libraries and consists of more than 60,000 books on all subjects related to the curriculum.

“Not every student comes to the library but most of them do. Only the best students get admission in our college and make use of the library for reference books or study for competitive exams,” added Rani Harinder Kaur, a librarian at GCW.

Prerna Sharma, a graduation student, said she hardly visits library. “It is once in a while that I visit the college library for either reading magazines or a newspaper. As far as consulting the books for academics are concerned, all I have to do is ‘Google’. I do not want to waste my time in consulting books and making notes when everything is available at the Internet and I just need to get it printed,” she said.

“The diminishing number of visitors to the libraries is saddening. Earlier, the students use to read fiction, but now the demand for non-fiction, particularly career-oriented books are more. The students want to pass exams and get a secure job and have no time for reading books and literature,” added a librarian at a private college.



A repository of ancient books
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Anurag Singh at his library in Ludhiana
Anurag Singh at his library in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, August 1
With the collection exceeding 10,000 books, this library is a repository of some of the ancient, old and rare books. Anurag Singh took it over from his father, Dr Trilochan Singh, a renowned author and researcher on Sikhism.

Anurag Singh, a manager at a bank by profession and a researcher and an author by passion, is carrying on his father’s legacy, both in research in the religion and enriching the library.

The books are all well-maintained and taken care of. “My father visited various countries, including Burma, UK and the US, and brought several important religious books and authored many too,” he said. Anurag Singh has also travelled across India looking for special books and has been adding one book a day on an average to the library from the last 20 years.

Having written five books on Sikhism, 14 more books are going to be published, with the text and blueprint of many of them already completed. He has some of the rarest books and manuscripts as a part of the precious library.

Thousands of books on all religions, including Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Judasim, Sikhism, Gurbani, music and Gurbani music, are a part of his library and are placed section-wise. Sets of dictionaries of all Indian languages and encyclopaedias are also a part of the library. Many of the books are being digitalised and he would set up an online library as well.



Panjab University
BA students a harried lot
New English textbooks not yet printed, booksellers clearing old stocks
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, August 1
Although Panjab University, Chandigarh, has revised the syllabus of General English in BA Part-I, and General and Elective English in BA Part-II, booksellers in the town continue to sell old editions of books in order to clear their old stocks.

Prof Amit Narula, a member of the academic council and an English faculty at Gobindgarh Public College, Alour, said the textbooks of BA Part-I General, BA Part-II Elective, and BCom Part-I were not yet available. He said the booksellers took advantage of the situation and sold old edition of the textbook "English at Work" or BA Part-I to the students.

"As the students were asked to bring the textbook to the class, the booksellers took advantage of the situation and sold old editions to them, the title of the book being the same. Although some of the booksellers relented when the students asked them to replace the book when the new edition becomes available, the others refused," Prof Narula said.

"The bookseller refused to return the book and said that it is already a used one. The book cost me Rs 85, and now as four of the new chapters are not available in the old edition, I will have to shell out Rs 85 again," said a student who had recently taken admission in BA Part-I.

If the University had to revise the syllabus, it should have made the books available in time so that we were not duped by the shopkeepers, he said.

A local bookseller said since the title of the book was the same, he was not aware the book had been updated.

"How do we know what is the new syllabi and what all has been replaced? This is the job of the university. Since the syllabus was changed just last year, we thought it would be the same this year too," he said.

Prof Rana Nayar, former chairman of the department of English and cultural studies at Panjab University, said: "The textbook of BA Part-I will be available next week in the market. The delay is casued because a revised edition had to be printed afresh."

Do not blame us

How do we know what is the new syllabi and what all has been replaced? This is the job of the university. Since the syllabus was changed just last year, we thought it would be the same this year too. — A local bookseller



No retroactive penalty for polluting industries, says PPCB chief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
The Voluntary Disclosure Scheme (VDS) and exemption from the Site Appraisal Committee (SAC) for the industry announced by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) has given a big relief to the industry.

The VDS was announced for industries that are still not covered under pollution control Acts, including air, water and noise pollution. The announcement was made by Ravinder Singh, chairman of Punjab Pollution Control Board on his visit to the city to meet industry representatives.

"The industries that make the disclosure will not be penalised retroactively. The scheme will help in reducing pollution, and enhance the confidence of the people in the government," he said, while addressing a meeting at United Cycle Parts and Manufacturers Association.

Discussing the problems faced by the industry, Gurmeet Singh Kular, the association president, said the industry was going through recession and struggling to survive.

In order to facilitate a smooth functioning of the industry, the association gave some suggestions:

  • Exemption for all industries in designated and mixed land use area from the Site Appraisal Committee.
  • Exemption from obtaining a no-objection certificate for building plans from Punjab Pollution Control Board.
  • Industries situated in a mixed land use area that fulfill non-polluting norms be given consent to operate.
  • Industrial forgings and hammers that create excessive vibrations be covered under the pollution Act, as excess vibrations damaged the adjoining buildings.
  • Generators up to a capacity of 25 KVA in a mixed land use area and up to 62.5 KVA in a designated area be exempted from canopies, as cost of canopies exceeded the cost of the generator and was unviable for small entrepreneurs.
  • The mixed land use area be declared as Industrial Area-D.



Inmates of old-age home fight over trivial matter
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
A trivial matter triggered fight between two elderly people at an old age home recently. One of them had to be hospitalised as she went under depression following the fight.

The incident took place at the senior citizens home of Red Cross. Sarabjit Kaur, secretary, Red Cross, while talking to The Tribune said there is never any major problem among the people who are staying here. But sometimes even a slightest difference of opinion triggers fight. Being dejected and abandoned by their own kin they tend to vent their disappointment. "We try to sort out everything as soon as possible. We do understand their plight. We have to manage everything very cautiously," said Kaur.

A 70-year-old said, "We are at the fag end of our lives, dejected and frustrated. And we lose tempers, too. There are over 50 people living here. It is likely to have differences of opinion. The fights are like the way we fight with our children or family members. We sort out the differences later. Some people fight to get the newspapers while others fight to have a particular dish in lunch or dinner." Pappo Abnash Singh, a regular visitor at the old age home said the residents had to be tackled in an affectionate way.

"All of them adjust with each but sometimes it is not possible to adjust everything. We try to make them happy and if required we warn then too," said the NGO officials.

Doctor Speak

Dr Ravinder Kala, a city-based psychiatrist, said old age is a difficult time. "At the fag end of their lives they seek comfort which may not be available as per their expectations in the Community centres due to which they tend to become aggressive. We need to understand their psyche and treat them accordingly," said Dr Kala.

Official Speak

The president of the Red Cross, DC Rahul Tiwari said such cases were brought to his notice at times. "We try to give them a patient hearing and try to sort out their problems. To make them comfortable we will engage someone who can provide them meditation classes once or twice a week.



Complete documents by August 15: DC

Ludhiana, August 1
Deputy Commissioner (DC) Rahul Tiwari has asked officials from the revenue department to enter intekaal of the residents in their records by August 15. While conducting the monthly meeting of the revenue department today, Tiwari said the officials must enter the intekaal of the residents up to August 15.

Tiwari said, “The department must make sure that all documents regarding intekaal, recoveries and demarcation are completed by August 16, as on August 16 another meeting will be held on this issue.” He also asked the SDMs to conduct a review meeting with all revenue officials before the meeting on August 16.

The DC said it had brought to his notice that many officials in the revenue department had not entered the intekaals in the registers for long. He said it was the duty of the SDMs to fix responsibility and ensure that all pending work was completed. Tiwari said patwaris must sit at their work stations where construction had been completed. — TNS



New twist to Jagraon accident case
Student says he was being chased by kidnappers when mishap occurred
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, August 1
The accident, in which a two-wheeler rider, Laxman Kumar of Jagraon, died after his two-wheeler was hit by a car near the New Grain Market on Sherpur Road last afternoon, took a new twist today when Akwinder Singh, a student of class XI at GHG Academy, Jagraon told SSP Gurpreet Singh Toor that the accident took place because the vehicle which hit the two-wheeler was in fact chasing Akwinder for allegedly kidnapping him.

Akwinder Singh of Tihara village, near Sidhwan Bet, told the SSP that when he came out of the building after the school was over yesterday, some unidentified persons attempted to kidnap him but he managed to flee away on his motorcycle.

Akwinder claimed that the persons, who wanted to kidnap him, chased him in a Toyota Innova. "When I reached near the Sherpur Road, I quickly turned my bike towards the city and the Toyota Innova hit a two-wheeler rider. After the accident, I managed to reach the house of one of my relatives," said Akwinder.

Akwinder's father, Jagjit Singh said he had an old rivalry with another family of the village. He claimed that in the past too his rivals had tried to kidnap his son but they did not succeed in their efforts.

Meanwhile, Toor said the police had traced the Toyota Innova, which was involved in the accident, and the vehicle belonged to a person from Ramghar Bhullar village. "The police has also arrested three youngsters in this case and registered a case of negligence driving against them. During the investigation we have learnt that these youngsters have no connection with alleged kidnapping attempt," said Toor.



Gill elected Machhiwara council chief
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Machhiwara, August 1
showcasing coalition unity, eight Akali Dal and BJP councillors of the local Nagar Council today elected Daljit Singh Gill its president while Ashok Sood of the BJP was elected senior vice-president and Balvir Kaur Benipal vice-president.

The election was held at the office of the council under the supervision of presiding officer-cum-SDM of Khanna PS Sodhi, in which all the eight councillors of the Akali Dal and the BJP and five members of the Congress participated, apart from Congress MLA Amrik Singh Dhillon.

Five Congress councillors and the MLA walked out of the meeting.

During the election of president, councillor Rupinder Singh Benipal presented the name of Daljit Singh Gill and it was seconded by BJP councillor Ashok Sood, and Gill was elected president unanimously. The same way the senior vice-president and the vice-president were elected.



Book released
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service
Dr Achhru Singh
Dr Achhru Singh

Ludhiana, August 1
A book written by Dr Achhru Singh, "Jeevan De Rang" was released at GGN Khalsa College today in the presence of writers and teachers of the college. According to Dr Achhru, the book differs from the other didactic books in the way that it has a message the good ideals in life should be followed not for idealistic aspirations, but because these are highly practical and thus enrich our lives as well.

The points he makes in the 22 essays of the book are strictly on practical grounds, not ideological, he adds. My father used to say don't ever worry about working too hard, for sweat is the ink with which you write your destiny, he said. And this is what he had been following throughout his 36-year service as a professor of English at Government College, Mansa, and now serving as a teacher of personality development and communication skills at a technical college in Sirhind post-retirement.

President of the Punjabi Sahit Akademi, Prof Gurbhajan Singh Gill, said life is like a book, and it unleashes opportunities to learn. If one is observant he learns through experiences, and this book is based on these experiences. Prof Prem Singh Bajaj said he welcomed the book for it instils positive attitude among readers to lead life in high spirits and never give up.

Dr SP Singh, former vice-chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, was the chief guest on the occasion.



‘Introduce electronic transfer plan for scheme beneficiaries’
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
To streamline the process of providing shagun schemes and other benefits to government beneficiaries on the guidelines of the Reserve Bank of India, the state government has asked the district administration to look for the viability of introducing electronic transfer and financial inclusion plan (ETFIP) in villages.

According to information, till now these benefits are disbursed under various schemes to residents of the villages. These schemes include shagun schemes, widow pensions, schemes for pregnant women, shagun for girl child, benefits to physically challenged persons, etc. Presently, about 15 such schemes are going on in Punjab, under which the residents of the villages are getting the financial benefits.

But the beneficiaries’ accounts have opened in various banks in the villages or cities and they have to approach to different banks to get the benefits. Under the ETFIP, the government plans to introduce one nodal bank in each village or block from where all beneficiaries could get the benefits under the respective schemes by just swapping a card given to them.

This nodal bank will have the accounts of all beneficiaries (with different banks) and will disburse the amounts under one roof.

It is learnt that even the banks, officials in the finance department, Chandigarh, and district administration officials are taking the plan as good and beneficial for the residents of the villages as this will save a lot of time. At the same time, they feel that a lot many steps were involved before implementing the plan.

The ADC (D) has reportedly been made the nodal officer and given a month’s time to study the viability of the project and consult with the representatives of lead bank office here to get the feedback. The next meeting on this issue will be held on August 17 after which the report will be submitted to the state government.



Hand fans in vogue again, courtesy power cuts
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
Days of hand fans are returning, as residents can be seen searching for the hand fans from the old city areas. As invertors and other equipment installed at homes got dysfunctional due to the long power cuts, the demand of hand fans has increased.

Despite from attractive and modern hand fans, people still have faith in hand-made traditional pakhies. It is a common perception that these pakhies give more relief in humid and hot weather.

The Saban Bazaar is an area in the old city where hand fans used to sell in the wholesale market.

Devi Lal, a wholesaler, said, “We have been selling traditional pakhies from 50 years. I have seen days when we used to sell bundles of hand fans every day. The sale of manual fans decreased with the emergence of technology. But now after many years, people again started demanding these fans.”

Karan, another wholesaler at the Talab Mandir road, said, “It was an era when we used to display the hand fans outside the shop, but after the decrease in their demand, we started keeping them inside the shop. With the emergence of invertors, only rural costumers demand hand-made fans. But this time, we have sold at least 1,200 bundles. Now, we haven’t much hand fans in stock.”

Randeep Kaur from Dhandari Kalan said, “All thanks to the government to make us close to our tradition.”



Public prosecutors promoted
Rajneesh Lakhanpal
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 1
The Punjab government has promoted three Deputy District Attorneys to the rank of District Attorney and two Assistant District Attorneys to the rank of Deputy District Attorney.

On promotion, Ashwani Kumar Bedi has been appointed as the District Attorney (Legal), Ludhiana. He will work with the office of Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana.

Seema Arora, who was working as officiating District Attorney with the office of Commissioner of Police, has been transferred to the Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur, after being promotion as District Attorney.

Whereas, Promila Kumari Jain has been promoted to the post of District Attorney and posted in the office of Commissioner, vigilance enquiry, Punjab staste, at Chandigarh.

ML Bathla and SS Latala both have been promoted to the rank of Deputy District Attorneys. However, they will remain posted at the local district courts.



Knitwear club seeks rollback of excise duty
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
The Knitwear Club has written a letter to Finance Minister P Chidambaram regarding the excise duty.

“In the Union Budget 2011-12, the excise duty has again been implemented on all products of hosiery and textile industry. The introduction of excise duty has widened the harassment and unnecessary burden among industrialists, as our industry is a small-scale industry and already in financial crisis due to other taxes at different level and moreover it does not lead to much revenue collection for the government. Club members have requested him to consider this issue and rollback the excise duty to protect the industry to vanish.”

Meanwhile, during the meeting of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers’ Association (UCPMA), the issue of revised and increased power tariff was discussed.

“The cycle industry is already reeling under recession due to unscheduled power cuts, weekly offs, inflow of Chinese cycles and non-availability of manpower. While the neighbouring states are enjoying the status of tax holiday state, Punjab is burdened under taxes,” said UCPMA president Gurmeet Singh Kular.



Steel banned from commodity exchange, industry happy
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
The industry, finally, heaved a sigh of relief as the government of India has decided to ban steel from commodity trading up to December 31. With the state government increasing the power tariff and imposing weekly off on the industry and asking the intra-state traders to file the information online, the central government has given them something to cheer about.

Steel was traded through commodity exchange since 2005. The Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association (FOPSIA) has welcomed the decision of the government to ban steel from commodity trading. “This was the long standing demand of the industry. Since commodity trading of steel was done it resulted in fluctuations as the market was in the hands of artificial traders,” said Badish Jindal, president of FOPSIA.

“Banning steel from commodity exchange is a positive step taken by the government as it will bring down the prices of steel in future, and will help to maintain the stability of prices as steel will follow the actual principal of demand and supply. The fluctuations in the prices of steel will now stop and there will no longer be irrational increase in the prices,” added another industrialist Vipin Sehgal.



Actors visit city to promote movie
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 1
The lead pair of "Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai", Aaditya Samanta and Nazia Khan, was in the city to promote the movie which is set to release this Friday. Taking to the media, they said it was a love story in which they play characters belonging to warring Rajput families.

Although the storyline sounded threadbare at the outset, the movie is different and interesting, said Nazia. Shot in Poland and India, including Rajasthan where the story is set, the movie showcased tradition and family values, she said.

Nazia said it was better to start a career in the mainstream cinema with a love story, as audiences connected more with such movies. Nazia is a niece of Sanjay Dutt. She said although she hailed from a family of movie stars, it did not help her much in her career.

Nazia said she did not work in any commercials or television shows, because she was focused on movies.

"Although my first movie 'Say Yes to Love' turned out to be mediocre, I was well reviewed," said the actress. She said it was Salim Khan who encouraged her to perform.

Aaditya, who was accompanying his co-star, is son of director Ashim Samanta. He was the assistant director of the Govinda-Salman starrer "Partner", and also assisted his father in "Don Muthu Swami" and television series "Antariksh". He said despite his stints behind the camera, he was always keen on acting.

This Friday, "Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai" will open on the silver screen in the city along with "Jism-II", "From Sydney to Love", and an animated movie "Krishna aur Kans".



Schools notes

Rakhi celebrations

Ludhiana: The students of Saraswati School visited Nirdosh School for differently abled children and tied hand-made rakhis to them on Wednesday. The students also gave greeting cards and gifts to the differently abled children.
A girl ties a rakhi on the wrist of a differently abled boy at Rotary Bhawan in Ludhiana on Wednesday
A girl ties a rakhi on the wrist of a differently abled boy at Rotary Bhawan in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Bal Bharati Public

The students of Bal Bharati Public School resolved to save forests by making trees their brothers on Raksha Bandhan. They tied rakhis to the trees on the occasion. Children took a pledge to grow more trees to conserve the environment.

Shri Harkrishan Public

Raksha Bandhan was celebrated by the students of Shri Harkisan Sahib Public School on Wednesday. Students designed rakhis and tied them to each other.

Lovely Lotus Nursery

The teachers at Lovely Lotus Nursery School prepared rakhis adorned with cartoon characters for the students on Wednesday. Chocolates were also distributed to the kids.

Vajra Army

Rakhi-making competition was organised at Vajra Army School on Wednesday. Students exhibited their creativity while designing rakhis using different materials.

Don Bosco

The students of Don Bosco School celebrated Raksha Bandhan with great fervour. The students made colourful rakhis, greeting cards and decorated "thalis". The best-designed rakhis were selected from each class.

Spring Dale Public

Rakhi-making and card-making competitions were held at Spring Dale Public School on Wednesday. The students used beads, colourful threads and sparkles to design beautiful rachis. Greeting cards were also designed with messages about the festival.

St GDS Convent

The festivals of Teej and Raksha bandhan were celebrated on the premises of St GDS Convent School on Wednesday. The celebration started with a special morning assembly in which students were told about the importance of the two festivals.

Maple Bear Canadian Playway

The young kids at Maple Bear Canadian Playway celebrated Raksha Bandhan on Wednesday. The theme of the function was "Unity in Diversity". Children were dressed in traditional attires of different religions including Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam and Christianity. They tied rakhis to their classmates on the occasion.

First Step

The students of First Step School came dressed in traditional attires on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan. The teachers staged a play to teach them the importance of the festival.

Teej Celebration

Teej was celebrated at KVM, City Campus, on Wednesday. Students wearing traditional Punjabi dresses celebrated the festival on the school campus. Girls wore traditional jewellery to mark the occasion. They also applied mehandi on their hands at special stalls installed on the occasion. Traditional swings were also tied to the trees. — TNS



College notes

Convener appointed

Ludhiana: Dr Hargunjot Kaur of GGN Khalsa College, Ludhiana, has been appointed as the convener of the women wing of the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers' Union (PCCTU). The women wing looks after grievances and problems of women lecturers working in colleges affiliated to Panjab University. It is for the first time that a woman lecturer from a college in the city has become an office-bearer of the union. Dr Hargunjot Kaur said she would work for the welfare of her community. She appealed to the aggrieved to bring cases of highhandedness to her notice for a timely redressal.

Strike enters Day 11

Stay-in-strike at Kamla Lohtia SD College entered 11th day on Wednesday. Prof Bimlesh Gupta, head of Punjabi department, and Ram Kesh, a non-teaching staff member, observed a chain hunger strike on the campus. The teaching and non-teaching staffs of the college have been protesting against the college management. Prof Rohit Kumar, president of the local unit of PCCTU, said the elected staff representatives had never been called to attend any meeting of the managing committee for the last two years. The decision of suspending Prof Sunil Aggarwal, one of the contentious issues, was also taken in a managing committee meeting for which staff representatives were not called, he said. A representation regarding the issue had been sent to the president of the managing committee, principal of the college and the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Rohit Kumar said.

Students bring laurels

Simranjeet Kaur, a second year BSc Biotech (Hons) student at GHG Khalsa College, Gurusar Sadhar, has stood second in the district in the annual examinations. Simranjeet scored an aggregate of 77.5 per cent. Ravneet Kaur, with 70 per cent marks, stood second in the college. Earlier this month, Ramandip Kaur, a third year student pursuing the same course, made the college proud by clinching the second position in the district with 83 per cent marks. Paramjit Kaur Toor and Gagandip Kaur had scored 80 per cent marks to share the second position.

Guru Nanak Girls College

First year undergraduate students of fashion designing at Guru Nanak Girls College have made the college proud by securing five positions amongst the top-10 in the annual examinations conducted by Panjab University. Kajal Khanna stood third in the university with 84.25 per cent marks. Shweta Sharma (79.75 per cent), Harmeet Kaur (78.5 per cent), Mamta Rani (78.25 per cent), and Arshdeep Kaur (77.5 per cent) bagged fourth, sixth, eighth, and ninth positions respectively on the merit list, according to the college authorities.

GNN College

Doraha: Megha Sharma and Manpreet Kaur, students of MA Part-II (Political Science) at Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, have jointly grabbed the first position in the class by securing 71.12 per cent marks in the annual examinations conducted by Panjab University. In BA-III (Political Science (Hons)), Devinder Kaur stood first with 70.75 per cent marks. Kulwinder Kaur, MA Part-II (Punjabi) student, topped her class with 65.12 per cent marks. In MA Part-II (Sociology), Harjinder Kaur (69.92 per cent) stood first in the class. — TNS



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