L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Frequent road cave-ins indicate shoddy work
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Another road caves in

A portion of a road in the Montgomery Chowk area of Model Town gave way on Saturday, second time in past 10 days. A large portion of this chowk had caved in on July 25 and today, another crater was formed on the road.

Ludhiana, August 4
Frequent cave-ins of a road in Ishar Nagar over the water and sewerage pipelines have once again exposed the use of sub-standard material in construction of road, besides lack of coordination between the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board and the Municipal Corporation authorities.

Surprisingly, neither the PWSSB nor the MC is willing to take the responsibility of the frequent cave-ins of the road. The road caved in for the third time yesterday since it was laid over the water supply and sewerage line.

The PWSSB did not check the leakage after the water supply line was laid. Besides, the PWSSB has failed to connect the newly laid sewerage line with the main line. The road gullies connected with the sewerage line on the Ishar Nagar road are left open leading to accumulation of rainwater.

When PWSSB laid the sewerage line, the MC engineers did not conduct the mandatory soil tests. Resident of the area said the MC has failed to resolve the issue despite repeated complaints.

RTI activist Kuldeep Singh Khaira had written letters to three MC officials, but nothing was done to check the quality of work. “On August 16, 2011, I had written to HS Khosa, Executive Engineer (B&R), on December 21, 2011, to Rupanjali Kartik, who at that time was posted as the Zonal Commissioner in Zone C and on March 26, to the then MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi to check the discrepancies, but to no avail,” said Khaira.

Official speak

The PWSSB has recently laid a sewerage line in Ishar Nagar. When the work of laying the water supply line was on, the MC tubewell was not in working condition and it was not possible to check leakage. Now the road caves in when there is a leakage. About four months ago, we had written to the Municipal Corporation that we are ready to handover the road to the civic body, but we have not received any reply to date. We can only repair the road and hope it does not cave in again.~

— Gurtej Singh, Junior Engineer, PWSSB

We have not received any communiqué from the PWSSB. They are trying to befool everyone by making such claims. We would have replied to the letter had we received it.

— Manjit Singh, Additional Commissioner (Technical), O&M

Guilty will not be spared

We will order an inquiry. I will ask my staff to look into the matter so that action could be taken against the guilty.

— Rakesh Kumar Verma, MC Commissioner


MC’s drive on, but saplings continue to die young
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 4
Even as the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) has started vanamahotsava in the city, the fact is that several newly planted saplings and other plants are drying up due to the absence of proper care. Even the already existing greenbelts are in dire need of maintenance with some of them looking more like a garbage dump than a greenbelt.

The recent example of this is that the green belt along the Sidhwan Canal in Model Town extension area had literally been turned into a dumping ground used by private contractors to dispose debris. And instead of clearing the debris, the MC horticulture wing is shrugging off the responsibility by claiming that the debris has to be removed by the bridges and roads department and vice-versa.

Sadly, all this is happening at a time when the city is fast turning into a concrete jungle due to haphazard growth in and around the city.

A broken tree guard on a divider.
A broken tree guard on a divider.

A dried up sapling in Ludhiana.
A dried up sapling in Ludhiana. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

This could be known from the fact that several parks in the city have turned shabby with the MC turning a blind eye towards such parks. Even most of the saplings that were planted on the dividers on the roads a few months ago have dried up and that, too, when the monsoon season is on.

The MC plans to celebrate vanamahotsava may provide a temporary soothing effect to the residents, but the residents say until and unless the MC maintains them, there is no need to organise such events.

Some even feel that such efforts only appear to be eyewash, as civic officials have hardly done anything to maintain the green lungs of the state’s industrial hub.

The apathy of MC officials in maintaining the city’s green cover can be judged from the fact that except for some of the bigger ones or the ones maintained by the park management committees, almost all parks are in a shambles.

Even the trees that are cut for widening of roads or are coming in way of some development projects are not planted in the city. Instead, in lieu of such trees, they are either planted in Gurdaspur or some other district of the state. The reason behind this fact is that the MC has to plant a sapling for every tree cut. And because land prices in districts like Gurdaspur are less, MC officials prefer to purchase land there and plant the saplings.

When contacted, MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma said all these matters were into his notice. “I am aware of this fact and soon the city would present a greener picture. Even the debris would be removed from the Model Town extension,” claimed the Commissioner.



3 more test positive for dengue
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 4
Three more patients, undergoing treatment at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, have tested positive for dengue. District epidemiologist Dr Puneet Juneja said: “Three patients have been tested positive for dengue. One of these patients is Satwinder Singh (49) is from Jammu, while Vivek Kumar Mishra (14) is from Barnala and Suman (27) is from Tibba Road in Ludhiana."

With this, the total number dengue cases in the district have reached 11.

Meanwhile, Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, Dr Subhash Batta held a meeting with medical officers yesterday and directed them to step up surveillance in their respective areas to check the outbreak of water and vector-borne diseases."

Preventive measures

  • Dengue spreads through mosquito bite during daytime
  • Mosquitoes breed in containers having fresh water like flower pots, water coolers, water tanks etc
  • Clean and dry the coolers once a week
  • Keep rooftops clear of containers, tyres and protect your family from dengue
  • Wear full sleeves and cover your feet in the morning and evening
  • Spray insecticides under tables, behind curtains
  • Use anti-mosquito nets
  • Drink boiled water



Road tiles dislocate
Substandard material used: Residents
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, August 4
The interlocking tiles at various areas, including Shastri Nagar, College Road, Bagh Kheta Ram locality situated on Sherpur Road, Jagraon, have started coming out within a couple of months after being placed.

Certain portions of these roads have caved in thus raising serious questions on the quality of material used by the contractor. Residents said substandard materials were used by the contractor while laying the road.

The residents said though they have informed Jagraon Municipal Council president Baldev Krishan Dhir about the use of substandard materials but the president did not take it seriously.

"When the work of fixing tiles was going on, we had noticed the ground was not levelled before laying the tiles. Besides, the materials were substandard too. Though, we brought the matter to the notice of MC president but nobody paid any attention,” said Ram Lubhaya, a resident of College Road. "The labourers hired by the contractor neither levelled the ground nor did they use the required amount of cement. The result is infront of us," said Jeevan Kumar, a resident at Bagh Kheta Ram locality.

The said locality falls under the ward represented by the MC president. However, this is not the first incident when the interlocking tiles have dislocated after soon after its installation.

The MC president said, "Some residents have told me that the interlocking tiles have dislocated after the rains a few days back. We will repair the roads soon.”

Interestingly, there has been only one spell of rain in Jagraon that lasted for 15 to 20 minutes.



Unable to breastfeed: Psychological barrier to blame
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 4
Some mothers of infants complain that they failed to produce feed for their babies and so they brought up their baby on bottle feed since day one. But this is nothing but a psychological barrier in the minds of mothers of newly born.

Dr Iqbal Ahuja, a renowned gynaecologist of the city said, “About 20 per cent women whose milk let down gets delayed by one or two days have psychological barrier that they cannot go for breastfeeding. And they immediately start feeding their infant with bottle feed. And after some days, when they get breastfeed, the child becomes habitual of bottle feed. The child should be put to mother’s breast within one hour of the delivery, as sucking stimulates hormone responsible for production of breast milk.”

But this problem can be tackled with motivation. Dr Neelam Sodhi, another gynaecologist, said, “In case the mother feed does not come within two to three days, she does not make attempt to feed the baby afterwards, too, and thus deprived their baby from mother feed. In such a case, female relatives of the mother, along with doctors and nurses should play motivational role and help the mother to give her own feed to the baby.”

Sometimes it happens that if feed comes less, the mother starts feeling that the baby is not having stomach-full of feed and even if the child cries due to any reason, the mother feels that it is due to less feed.

Dr Rajinder Gulati, a lactation consultant and paediatrician at the Civil Hospital, Raikot, said, “There are two ways to access the child. If a child who is on mother’s feed passes urine minimum for six times and more than six times in a day, it means he is not getting starved with mother’s feed. Secondly, if an infant who is on the mother’s feed gains weight by 125 gram daily or 500 grams in a month, it means he is not having any problem due to the mother’s feed.”



Residents reel under power cuts

Jagraon, August 4
Notwithstanding with the instructions of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited has failed to provide sufficient power supply to the domestic sector even in the night hours.

Not only in the day, residents of this area have been witnessing four-five hours power cuts during the night also which have made their lives more difficult in such a hot and humid weather.

It has been a tough time for thousands of residents of various localities of Jagraon and surrounding areas due to prolonged unscheduled power cuts being imposed in the area by the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited.

The power supply kept playing hide and seeks with residents yesterday and even in the night they had to face a tough time due to long power cut imposed by the Powercom.

The electricity was cut off around 5 pm yesterday and was resumed after midnight thus causing a huge inconvenience to residents. They complained that even the invertors were not getting charged due to limited power supply in the area for the past some days.

Today again, residents witnessed unscheduled power cuts for around seven hours till the filing of this report.

On the other side, the nature too seems to show no mercy on them as rain continues to evade this area. Since the begining of the monsoon, there has been only a single and brief spell of rain in Jagraon and surrounding areas. Though the people are praying for the rain for the past many days but the God of rain does not seem to be listening to their prayers.

The rural areas too are also affected by this situation. Farmers also complain of limited power supply therefore they have to depend upon generator sets for irrigating paddy crops. — OC



City witnesses spurt in sale of inverters
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 4
As the city continues to reel under scheduled and unscheduled power cuts, the sale of inverters has gone up in h city. Dealers in the city are expecting the sale of inverters to go up by 50 per cent in the coming month due to hot and humid weather conditions prevailing in the country.

The sale of inverters got a boost after failure of Northern Grid followed by the collapse of Northern, Eastern and Northeastern Grids a few days ago.

“We avoided buying an inverter earlier. But the failure of the Northern Grid and frequent power cuts, both scheduled and unscheduled, forced us to by an inverter”€¯ said Sakshi, a resident of Rishi Nagar.

Many residents also replaced their old inverters and some purchased inverters of higher capacity for more power backup. “It is very difficult for children to do without fans in hot and humid weather conditions. We were left with no choice but to go for an inverter with higher power having more backup,”€¯ said Harinder, a resident of Shastri Nagar.

Owing to less rain, high humidity and soaring temperature coupled with long and frequent power cuts, the demand for inverters is inevitable, said an official of an inverter manufacturing company. Bharat Malik, sales manager, Exide, there has been 70 per cent increase in the demand for invertors. Companies are finding it hard to meet the demand.



Victim of domestic violence in ICU
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 4
Janvi, a 27-year-old woman from Noorwala, was hospitalised today after she was allegedly beaten up by her husband today. Sources said the woman was given poison. The SHO Balwinder Singh said no case has been registered so far and the investigating officer has gone to record the statements of the victim.

Ashok Kumar, the father of the victim, said when he was going for his work today morning his wife informed that Janvi was beaten up by her husband.

On reaching Janvi's place, the parents found her in an unconscious state. They took her to a hospital in a rickshaw. She is now in ICU. The IO visited the hospital to record the statements of the victim but she was not in the position to say anything.

"We have sent the IO again to record the statement of Janvi and her parents. We are not sure whether she was beaten up or was given poison by her husband. Once we record the statements, we will register a case accordingly," said the SHO.



Teachers fear about ACRs' upkeep
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana August 4
Master cadre teachers of the Education Department are worried about their Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) which they had submitted a year ago at the DEO office to seek promotions. Teachers want these reports back as they feel that their important documents are not safe in the education office. Teachers alleged that ACRs were not properly kept at the District Education Office so these should be given back to the school heads.

Meanwhile, the District Education Officer, Paramjit Kaur, said that as per the rules, teachers could not get ACRs because these were their confidential reports. Only school heads could keep the ACRs.

Leaders of the Master Cadre Union are in favour of an effective policy in this regard as teachers claim that every year, many ACRs misplaced due to negligence of the department officials.

Last year, ACRs of some employees of the police department got wet due to water-logging in the records' room.

Jagjit Singh, district president of the union, Punjab, said, "The department doesn't have any concrete policy for ACRs. According to the rules, ACRs of teachers should be kept at the principal or headmaster's office."

"A teacher suffers a lot when his or her ACR misplaces from the department's office. So, we want a permanent solution of this problem," said Jagjit Singh.

Sukhdarshan Singh, a teacher, said, "People are well aware of the fact that how ACRs of teachers are being treated at the education office. So, it would be better to give the ACRs to school heads."



Rs 63,000 snatched
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, August 4 
Two unidentified motorcyclists snatched a bag containing cash worth Rs 63,450 from a peon of DAV College, Phillaur, on National Highways last evening.

Lal Chand, the victim, said he was returning from a bank when the robbers attacked him. The snatcher also took the detailed marks certificates of the students . The college principal Ravinder Kalia said he has lodged a written complaint to the police. Phillaur DSP Paramjit Singh Pannu said the police was investigating the matter.



Ludhiana, Amritsar register win
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, August 4
The Ludhiana Academy in the boys’ section, while Amritsar in the girls’ section registered victories without being challenged in the ongoing third Mahindra NBA Challenge Basketball League held at the Guru Nanak Stadium today. In the boys’ under-18 category, Ludhiana Academy that had already stamped its authority by winning both matches last week, continued from where they left last Sunday.

Today, they score an overwhelming 132-29 win against Green Land Public School, Ludhiana.

The academy trainees were so dominating that they appeared good for Green Land players and wrapped up the issue hands down (132-29).

In the girls’ section (U-18), Amritsar trounced Delhi Public School, Ludhiana, 50-0, in which Navdeep Kaur dropped maximum baskets to help her team to clinch the issue.

Their counterparts in the boys’ section played two matches today and came out victorious in both ties.

In the first encounter, Amritsar lads routed BCM Senior Secondary School, Dugri branch, 65-13 and in the second outing, they got the better of Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, Ludhiana, 78-23.

Jalandhar (girls), too, scored an emphatic 58-7 win over Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Ludhiana, 58-7 with Ishanpreet Kaur playing the pivot role.

In other matches (boys), Kapurthala district bat BCM Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, Ludhiana 56-22; Faridkot district outnumbered Doraha Public School, Doraha 63-40; Patiala district outplayed Abohar 84-42; Faridkot district defeated BCM Senior Secondary School, Shasti Nagar, Ludhiana 63-8; Police Lines Club, Ludhiana, prevailed over Doraha Public School, Doraha 28-20; and Gymkhana Club outclassed AS Model School, Khanna, 48-12.



PAU zone eves lift football trophy
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, August 4
The PAU zone quelled a strong challenge from Khanna zone before romping home victorious with a narrow margin 1-0 in the final of the Inter-Zone District Football Championship for Girls U-17 organised by the district education department under the patronage of the Punjab School Education Board held at Bhartiya Vidya Mandir Senior Secondary School, Kitchlu Nagar branch ground, today.

The final started at a brisk pace with players of both teams making repeated forays into each others’ territory, but the success eluded them.

The players of the PAU zone continued with their aggressive tactics, whereas girl players from the Khanna zone went on back foot to safeguard their citadel. This proved fatal for the Khanna zone, as they conceded a goal in the 10th minute of the title encounter.

The all important goal came through Lovepreet Kaur who received a parallel pass from Guneet Kaur.

The Khanna zone pressed hard for the equaliser and threatened rival’s area time and again, but the agile custodian of PAU zone besides its defense thwarted all attempts and managed to hang on to the slender lead till the long whistle (1-0).

Earlier in the day, in the first semifinal, PAU zone warded off stiff resistance from Kila Raipur zone whom they outplayed 3-2 after leading 1-0 at half time.

For the winning side, Guneet Kaur, Manpreet Kaur and Lovepreet Kaur scored one goal each, while the lone goal for the losers came through Navpreet Kaur.

In the second semifinal, Khanna zone outwitted Ludhiana zone II 2-0. Both goals were scored in the second session. Ishanpreet Kaur and Jaspreet Kaur scored in quick succession to help their side to romp home winners and set up the title clash with the PAU zone.

In the match for the hard-line cup, Kila Raipur zone overpowered Ludhiana zone II (1-0) to finish at the third spot.

OP Sabharwal, manager, Bhartiya Vidya Mandir Trust, distributed the prizes. BVM principal Santosh Mehra, Kitchlu Nagar, congratulated the position holders. Jagroop Singh, general secretary (conduct), district tournament committee, appreciated the BVM management committee and its director of sports, Baljeet Singh Gill, for providing infrastructure to organise the tournament.



Pugilists bring laurels to academy
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, August 4
Two budding trainees of the Sher-e-Punjab Sports Academy, Chakar, near Jagraon brought laurels for Chakar village as well as Ludhiana when they clinched two bronze medals at the fourth edition of the Inter-Zonal Women Boxing Championship held at Vishakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh recently.

According to principal Balwant Singh Sandhu, chief administrator of the academy, two girl trainees of the Sher-e-Punjab Academy, namely Shavinder Kaur and Simranjit Kaur, took part in the Senior Inter-Zonal Boxing Championship and both won the bronze medals at the championship.

According to Balwant Singh Sandhu, both Shavinder and Simranjit were selected for the national boxing training camp held at Vishakhapatnam.

“Later, both played at the senior level and while playing in the team selected during the boxing camp and each of them won bronze medal,” added Sandhu.



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