L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


New power regulations
Power cuts turn up ‘heat’
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, August 6
The revised power regulations which came into effect on August 3, have left the city residents at their wits' end with their life completely thrown out of gear due to greater frequency and duration of unscheduled power cuts during the day. Although, the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has, till now, been able to provide the promised uninterrupted power supply to residential areas during night, but uncertainty about the power supply during the day has made life definitely tougher for the people.

While the PSPCL officials claim that the total outage in residential localities in the city during day time is not for more than six hours, the harassed residents assert otherwise.

"The power goes off at least six times during the day starting from as early as 8 am, and each power cut lasts for half-an-hour to two hours. Most of the times during the day we have to go without electricity and water supply, as inverters also stop functioning due to inadequate power supply for the batteries to be recharged," rued Poonam Malhotra, a home maker and a resident of Durgapuri (Haibowal).

Several residents of posh localities like Sarabha Nagar, BRS Nagar, Dugri as well as those in old city localities maintained that the revised power regulations were unimaginative, arbitrary and whimsical. "We have been left at the mercy of the PSPCL officials. Power cuts are imposed at will without taking into consideration the practical difficulties of the residents who have to face many problems due to frequent cuts of long durations," they complained.

It is not only the domestic consumers who feel strongly about the revised regulatory measures, but the commercial consumers (traders and shopkeepers) are the worst sufferers. Traders in several commercial hubs in different parts of the city claimed that uncertain schedule of power cuts of longer duration during the day time had escalated their overhead expenses as the generators had to be run for longer durations which cost many times more as compared to the power supply.

"Even otherwise, the business is sluggish due to rising prices and overall inflation. Now that the power supply during the day is uncertain, we have to spend more on power back-up which is further eroding our meagre margin of profit," said Parkash Chand, owner of a textile showroom in Chaura Bazar.

PSPCL officials, on the other hand, said that the revised power regulations were given effect on an experimental basis. "The schedule of power cuts will be reviewed in the next couple of days and we will try to minimise the element of uncertainty which is causing hardship to the people," said a senior power utility official.


PUNBUS strike leaves commuters stranded
Around 70 buses remained off-road affecting 60% of the operations
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
Commuters remained at the receiving end after contractual drivers and conductors of Punjab State Bus Stand Management Company Limited (PUNBUS) went on strike today. Due to the strike, around 70 buses of PUNBUS at the Ludhiana Depot did not ply on roads, leaving the commuters stranded.

The strike affected more than 60 per cent of the operations at the Ludhiana Bus Stand. And it were the private bus operators who made the most of the situation, as the commuters had no other option but to use their services, as the PUNBUS contractual drivers and conductors were on strike.

It is learnt that the state government depends largely on PUNBUS for providing inter-state as well as within the state transport to the residents. The new buses are with PUNBUS while the older ones are slowly being shifted to the Punjab Roadways. That is why, a majority of the state-run buses are of PUNBUS and today’s strike meant that the buses did not ply on most of the routes.

Commuters too were red faced over the strike. “If the drivers and conductors have some problem, they can hold a strike for few hours. They should keep the convenience of commuters in mind before taking such steps. Due to the strike, most of the government buses remained off the road and the private buses were full to their capacity. I had a tough time booking a seat for myself in a private bus as I was to reach Jalandhar,” rued Amrik Singh, a resident of the Kundanpuri area of the city.

The contractual drivers and conductors of PUNBUS are demanding permanent employment as well as a salary hike. “We have been working with PUNBUS for around five years. At the time we were hired, we were promised that our jobs would be regularised after three years, but nothing of this sort has happened till date. We are getting a monthly salary of just around Rs 4,000, which is lesser than what a labourer earns every month,” rued Gurwinder Singh, district president of the Punjab Roadways PUNBUS Contract Workers Union.

When contacted, RS Grewal, general manager, Punjab Roadways, Ludhiana, said that the state government was in contract with a private contractor and these drivers and conductors were employed by him.

“If they have any salary related issue, then they should raise it with the contractor because the state government has nothing to do with the matter. They should not harass the commuters by going on strike. When we tried to depute drivers and conductors of Punjab Roadways for driving the PUNBUS buses, which are owned by the state government, the striking drivers and conductors did not allow us to do the same. Some of them even lay down in front of the buses, after which we had to change the plan,”said Grewal.

The Punjab Roadways PUNBUS Contract Workers Union has announced that if their demands are not met, their strike would continue till August 9.



Youth beaten to death in Jagraon
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, August 6
A resident of Kamalpura village was reportedly beaten to death by four youths of the same village this afternoon. The deceased was identified as Sonu. Sources said Sonu was on his way home when four youths, identified as Vicky, Kalu, Bhupinder and Firozi started thrashing him.

When Sonu fell unconsciouses, they dumped him into a nearby drain. When Sonu tried to come out of the drain, one of the accused attacked him with a brick following which he died on the spot. The accused then fled the scene.

When the family members of Sonu and other villagers learnt about the incident, they reached the crime scene. One of the villagers informed the police about the incident. The police sent the body to the Civil Hospital for an autopsy.

A case against four persons of the same village including Vicky, Kalu, Bhupinder and Firozi on the statement of deceased's father Rulda Singh at Jagraon Sadar police station and the investigation is on. Though none of the accused has been arrested so far.

The police said the incident was a fallout of old rivalry between Sonu and Vicky. "

It is learnt that Vicky's sister had eloped with a youth. Vicky suspected that it was Sonu who incited the youth to elope with his sister and he wanted to settle scores with Sonu. The police stated that raids were on and it would nab the accused soon.

The deceased Sonu is survived by his wife and two children.



Garbage used to repair caved-in roads
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
Officials of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board (PWSSB) seem to be pushing for creating a record of sorts by “repairing” a road cave-in spot in Ishar Singh Nagar with garbage. Just to “play safe”, the PWSSB officials mixed sand with garbage for repairing the road.

This is not for the first time that some road has been repaired by a government department in a similar fashion. On August 25 last year, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation had repaired a road cave-in spot in Gobind Nagar by filling it with debris instead of sand. This was the same place where a truck driver had died due to road cave-in on August 12 last year.

The Ishar Nagar main road has caved-in three times since it was constructed in December last year. The reason behind these frequent cave-ins is that when the water supply lines under the road were laid, they were not checked for leakage (by connecting with a running tubewell). That is why whenever there is some leakage in the water supply line the road caves-in from a new spot.

The same road caved in again on Friday and a repair work was immediately started by the PWSSB officials. But instead of using sand to repair the road, they used garbage.

An area shopkeeper and RTI activist, Kuldeep Singh Khaira, alleged that he was shocked to see that garbage was being used to repair the road. “They literally filled garbage in the cave-in spot and later covered it with a layer of sand so that no one comes to know about their smart act. The road will be repaired only if it is filled with sand and not with garbage,” alleged Khaira.

When contacted, Gurtej Singh, Junior Engineer (JE), PWSSB, said that if garbage has been filled in the cave-in spot, he would ask his staff to repair it properly with sand, claimed Gurtej Singh.



Seven highway robbers arrested 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
With the arrest of seven persons, including a woman, the city police has claimed to have busted a gang of highway robbers, who were robbing vehicles of the residents, particularly taxi drivers, by sedating them.

The police was hunting for the notorious Totta gang that had fled with a Mahindra Xylo of a city resident on July 23, by sedating the driver.

The accused identified as Gurcharan Singh aka Totta, Sukhdev Singh alias Danna, Mandeep Singh, Sohna Masih, Raj Kumar alias Raju, Rajiv Kumar and Balwinder Kaur alias Seema were nabbed by the police following a tip off last night.

While the eighth accomplice Rajinder Parsad managed to escape.All the accused belong to Bathinda, Fazilka, Moga and Ludhiana respectively. The police recovered Mahindra Xylo and stolen motorcycle from the possession of the accused. The police said that more vehicles would be recovered during the course of investigation.

Giving details about the modus operandi ADCP- IV Sushil Kumar said Balwinder Kaur and Raj Kumar used to hire a taxi, preferably Toyota Innova or Mahindra Xylo on the pretext of attending a marriage function.On the way they used to befriend the taxi driver and used to offer cold drink laced with sedatives.

After consuming the cold drink the victim used to become unconscious and they used to flee in the stolen vehicle by throwing the victim out of the moving vehicle.

Police officials said the gang members further sold the robbed vehicles by changing its registration number plate. After selling the vehicle they used to distribute the booty among themselves.

Raj Kumar, SHO Division No 7, said Totta was wanted in several cases, including murderous assault, robbery and theft. Totta accomplices were also wanted in similar cases. It is not yet known how they formed the gang.

According to the police the gang was operating for the last six months.

Modus operandi
Balwinder Kaur and Raj Kumar used to hire a taxi, preferably Toyota Innova or Mahindra Xylo on the pretext of attending a marriage function. On the way they used to befriend the taxi driver and used to offer cold drink laced with sedatives. After consuming the cold drink the victim used to become unconscious and they used to flee in the stolen vehicle by throwing the victim out of the moving vehicle. The gang members further sold the robbed vehicles by changing its registration number plate. After selling the vehicle they used to distribute the booty among themselves.



Anti-industry policies bug traders
 Stage dharna; say will have to incur losses to the tune of Rs 30 lakh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
The Induction Furnace Association along with 36 other industrial and trade associations today organised a dharna at the Vishwakarma Chowk against the anti-industry policies of the Punjab government and the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission.

There are 200 induction furnaces in Punjab and these furnaces meet the 75 per cent demand of steel by the SME sector.

"PSERC has announced electricity tariff for the year 2012-13 on July 16 and implemented it from April 1. The decision is very harmful for the steel furnace industry. With the present back-dated hike almost every furnace unit will have to incur losses of Rs 30 lakh, which is very difficult to recover because our rates are determined by demand and supply and that also on a day-to-day basis. No industry can absorb any cost increase retrospectively. Electricity is one of the major inputs for making steel through the induction furnace process. It accounts for 40 per cent of the cost of conversion," said KK Garg, president of the Induction Furnace Association of North India.

Adding further, Dev Gupta, general secretary of the association, said, "Induction furnace industry faces major problems with the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission. From the beginning the Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission has been biased towards the Industry. It is now a general view of all the industries that PSERC has become an extension counter of PSPCL and above that the state government has say into the working of PSERC, so much so that the consumer’s interest has been totally ignored. All industrial associations’ petitions have been disposed of. All suggestions from industrial consumers have been ignored," he added.

Further, Badish Jindal, president of the Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association (FOPSIA), said the industry would be going on hunger strike from August 9 against the step-motherly treatment given by the government.

Satpal Gosain, former minister, BJP, PD Sharma, president, Apex Chamber of Commerce, Gurmeet Singh Kular, president, United Cycles and cycle Parts Association, Gursharn Singh, president, Federation of Jalandhar Small-Scale Industry, Sunil Mehra from Beopar Mandal, Badish Jindal, president, FOPSIA, Narinder Bharma from Fastner Manufacturers’ Association, Gurpargat Singh Kahlon, Auto Parts Manufacturers’ Association, SC Relhan, from Ludhiana Hand Tool Association, Vinod Thapar from Kint Wear Club, AS Bedi from Steels Rolling Mills Association also participated in the dharna.



‘Explosion’ turns out to be sonic boom
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
A mysterious “explosion”, which triggered all sorts of rumour in the city, was actually a sonic boom caused by a fighter jet when it broke the sound barrier. However, the experts at Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) Agro- Metrology suspected that the thunder and lightening could be the reason behind sound of explosion.

The explosion that was heard across the city shook the residents here today. Panic gripped residents rushed outside their houses and many were seen perching atop their house to spot the cloud of smoke caused by the explosion.

Anxious shopkeepers ran out of their shops on hearing the blast. The residents were seen frantically calling their friends and relatives to enquire about the blast that shattered even the windows. To them it seemed that it was a bomb blast.

There were people, who were relating the incident to the shootout took place at a gurdwara in California in America.

The rumour of bomb blast kept pouring in till the evening. While some said that the bomb blast took place near the Shaheed Sukhdev Inter-State Bus Terminus, there were others who claimed that that the explosion took place at Aarti Chowk, Ghumar Mandi, Model Town, Jalandhar Bypass and the BRS Nagar area.

The other rumour that kept doing the rounds was a cloud bust in Phillaur.

Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Agro-Metrologist KK Gill said that the explosion could have been thunder and lightening. She further added that the department did not have the equipment to record the phenomenon.

Police officials were in for a tough time as panic gripped residents were calling them and asking them about the explosion.

The police were also put on high alert to find out the source of explosion.

But the police too was clueless about the phenomenon and were trying to solve the riddle. It was later during the evening that police sources said that the explosion was a resultant of a sonic boom, caused by the fighter jet when it broke the sound barrier. 

What is Sonic Boom?
A sonic boom is the sound associated with the shock waves created by an object travelling through the air faster than the speed of sound. Sonic booms generate enormous amounts of sound energy, sounding much like an explosion.

CID enquires 7 hours after the incident
The CID woke up from slumber and enquired about the explosion seven hours late. Such is the state of the CID, that nearly seven hours after the "explosion" , a senior official from the CID called up The Tribune office to "enquire" about the explosion.



Rajanpartap still missing, mobile phone found
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
It has been over a day since 25-year-old Rajanpartap was swept away in the current of Sidhwan Canal, but there is not clue of the victim. As the time is ticking by, the hope of Rajan's possible survival is fading.

Rajanpartap was among the five persons who were travelling in a car that fell in the canal near the South City here yesterday.

While four persons, including car driver Sukhmani, Silky, Jashanpeet Singh and Inderpreet Kaur were rescued by the locals, Rajanpartap was swept away and was feared drowned.

The rescue operation continued even today, but it turned out to be a futile exercise. The water was diverted to bring down the water level but that too did not help.

The parents of Rajanpartap kept standing near the canal and were seen crying profusely. They refused to share any information.

"We have pressed more divers to locate Rajanpartap. Further the administration has also swung into action to help the police in locating the victim," said Gurpreet Purewal, ACP (West).

Today the police recovered the mobile phone of Rajanpartap that was kept in the car. It is learnt that Rajanpartap had managed to come out the car and sat on the rear end of the vehicle, but as the car sank in the water Rajanpartap was swept away by the current.



Choked sewerage a bane of Jagraon
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, August 6
There seems to be no relief for the residents of various localities in Jagraon who continue to grapple with the problem of choked sewerage. There are 
several residential localities in Jagraon where dirty water continues to flood streets due to choked sewerage system.

The residents of localities like Gandhi Nagar and Ajit Nagar situated on the Raikot Road, Bagh Kheta Ram on the Sherpur Road and some streets of the Kacha Malak Road have been forced to live in unhygienic conditions due to the constant negligence of the sanitation level of these localities by the local Municipal Council authorities. The streets of both these localities always remain flooded with sewage due to choked sewerage system, thus turning the lives of residents into a hell.

Besides, garbage scattered on the streets and lack of cleanliness have also been causing a lot of inconvenience to the residents of these localities.

The residents complained that sewage water collected in the streets of these localities due to choked sewerage often entered into their houses, but the local municipal council authorities were least bothered about this problem.

The residents of these localities said though they had taken up this matter with the local municipal council authorities a number of times, they had failed to find a permanent solution to this problem.

“We have been forced to live in such unhygienic conditions for a long time. We met Municipal Council president Baldev Krishan Dhir sometime ago and raised the issue with him. Though he assured to solve this problem on a priority basis, nothing has been done to drain out the sewage water,” said Tulsi Das, a resident of Bagh Kheta Ram locality.

Interestingly, this locality falls under the ward represented by none other than Municipal Council president Baldev Krishan Dhir. “If the situation is so bad in the ward represented by the Municipal Council president, one can imagine the situation in other localities,” said Jeevan Kumar, another resident.

Similar is the situation at Gandhi Nagar and Ajit Nagar localities situated on the Raikot Road.

Residents of both these localities said they were confronting with this problem for the past several years. The residents said they even held a number of protests against the Municipal Council, but that too failed to wake up the authorities.

During a visit to the area, it was found that both these localities were flooded with sewage water. Such kind of unhygienic conditions might cause various health hazards, particularly during the summer and rainy seasons.

The residents of these localities said many people had fallen ill during the past some days due to unhygienic conditions, but there had been no change in the attitude of Municipal Council officials.

Irked over the irresponsible attitude of the Municipal Council authorities, the residents of Bagh Kheta Ram locality held a protest against the MC president and blamed him for this attitude towards the problem.

MC president Baldev Krishan Dhir said the Municipal Council was doing its best to solve the problem.

“These localities are located on the lower areas which is the main reason behind choked sewerage. We often drain out sewage water with the help of a generator set, but it has stopped functioning some days ago and we have sent it for repair,” said Dhir.

“The generator set will be repaired in a couple of days and dirty water will be drained out from these localities,” he added.



Eight-month-old political drama ends at MC
 Ravinder Puri elected president, Manjit Devi vice-president
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedharh, August 6
An eight-month-old political drama at the local Municipal Council finally ended today with the unanimous election of Ravinder Puri and Manjit Devi, both Independent councillors, as the president and the vice-president of the civic body, respectively.

Political circles were astonished over the way the ousted president, along with her councillors, yielded and supported the candidates patronised by Iqbal Singh Jhoondan, MLA and an associate member of the council, instead of fielding her own candidates.

Rajesh Tripathi, SDM, Malerkotla, the convener of the meeting held to elect the officer-bearers, said Ravinder Puri and Manjit Devi were declared elected unanimously.

As soon as SAD councilor Baljit Kaur Karwal and BJP leader Bhag Singh Bhaga proposed the names of Ravinder Puri and Manjit Kaur, all, including Usha Sood, raised hands to give their consent to the proposal.

Usha was removed from the office of the president by the government on the basis of the outcome of a meeting held under the supervision of the then SDM Malerkotla Sonali Giri about eight months ago.

The resolution of no-confidence motion against Usha, the then president of the local civic body, was passed on November 17, 2011, when out of the 15 members, 13 had voted against her.

Usha was elected the chief of the civic body unanimously with the intervention of former minister Abdul Gaffar. Things went smoothly for some months after which a majority of the councillors felt that their suggestions regarding the development of the town were not being taken seriously. The situation took an ugly turn when the group led by Usha allegedly tried to pressurise some councillors.

Some councillors had earlier moved no-confidence motion against the president about a year ago, which was withdrawn with the intervention of the legislator, Iqbal Singh Jhoondan.

Though the factionalism among councillors cost dear for the legislator during his election campaign, he succeeded in motivating them to arrive on consensus on the election of the president and other office-bearers.

Kedar Kapila, Manjit Devi, Harbans Kaur Sekha, Bimal Sharma, Jiwan Singh, Khushi Mohammad, Bhag Singh Bhaga, Dilshad, Avtar Singh Jassal, Ravinder Puri, Rajnish Sharma, Usha Sood and Baljit Kaur Karwal voted in favour of the proposal.



Class XI, XII students share class
 Shortage of teachers, infrastructure has forced a govt school in Jawahar Nagar to take radical measures
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
Contrary to the claims made by the state government about providing quality education by launching job oriented vocational courses, schools neither have sufficient teachers nor infrastructure. Though the Punjab School Education Board has launched 14 new vocational courses, even the infrastructure for the courses currently being offered in government schools is inadequate.

The number of teachers of vocational courses is insufficient in the districts. Also, schools do not have adequate infrastructure. This can be confirmed at the Government Senior Secondary School, Jawahar Nagar, where two classes are taught in same room. The school has been accommodating the students in five vocational courses in class XI and XII. Auto mobile, knitting, garment making, textile and mechanical are the vocational courses being taught. However, there are only six rooms for 10 vocational classes in the school and the teachers have to manage accordingly.

"It is very difficult to teach two classes in one room by two teachers. Students of classes X and XII are being taught simultaneously in the same room. It is confusing for both teachers and students," said a teacher.

"We have to sit in the same room with juniors and we can't study properly. We should be provided separate classrooms," said a student of class XII.

"We have written to the authorities, but have got nothing so far. We need at least four more rooms to adjust classes independently. We also need better infrastructure," said principal Baljinder Kaur.



Road safety a compulsory subject from current session
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, August 6
As passed by the Senate of Panjab University, the nomenclature of the subject ‘Environment Education’ has been changed to ‘Environment Education and Road Safety’ from the current academic session ie 2012-13.

‘Environment Education’ was introduced as a compulsory qualifying subject. “As the students were getting increasingly unaware towards the conservation of the environment, it was felt that a course to provide them information about environmental protection would help. Even if the students do not feel like studying the subject, they would at least do it under the compulsion of clearing the exam,” informed Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu, principal, GNN College Doraha and Senator, Panjab University.

“Now the nomenclature of the subject has been changed from ‘Environment Education’ to ‘Environment Education and Road Safety’ as it is being felt that students are a little careless in following the road safety rules,” he added.

“The subject of Environment Education and Road safety shall be a compulsory subject of 70 marks. Environment education and road safety will be given a 50-20 weightage. The students would be required to attend 10 lectures in the college on the subject,” said Harpreet Dua, Senator, Panjab University.

SSP Khanna, Inderbir Singh, said: “Giving specific knowledge about road safety to the younger generation is essential. They need to be informed about the rules and the dangers of not following them."

“A majority of road accidents take place when the road users do not follow traffic and road safety rules. These days, the major problem we are encounter is that parents allow kids to drive all sorts of vehicles. There is a marked difference between the skill of an experienced driver and a novice,” he said.

“This is a good effort by the university. Apart from studying other subjects, if the youngsters are sensitised about such crucial issues, things can change for the better," the SSP said.



Changed office timings give traders tough time
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
The changed timings of government offices are giving a tough time to the public. The worst-affected are traders who are making rounds of the excise and taxation department to get their work done, but the work is getting delayed due to the "squeezed" timings of the offices.

"I have been visiting the excise department to get C forms, but sometimes the AETC is in the field and sometimes officials are busy at a meeting. By 2 pm, the office is closed," said Narinder Singh, a trader.

Gurnam Singh Thind, another trader, said recently the department had issued a notification to file online information for intra-state trade transactions. "I need a password from the department for it, but cannot meet the AETC concerned due to the 'limited' office timings. My consignment is getting delayed as I am unable to file the information online," he said.

Yet another trader, Sudesh Kumar, said he had been unable to get his VAT refunds and whenever he went to the department to enquire about it, he could not meet officials. "I have been visiting the department to enquire about my VAT refund, but to no avail," he added.

Power crisis
To cope with the acute power shortage in the state, the Punjab Government had announced a change in office timings from 8 am to 2 pm. It also imposed a ban on air-conditioners in all government offices from August 1. The government has issued instructions to the district administration to ensure necessary steps to curtail power consumption.



Police nabs 8 students for loitering in parks

Ludhiana, August 6
Cracking a whip on students who bunk school and keep loitering in public parks, the Division No 8 police today nabbed eight boys and girls who were roaming around in the Nehru Rose Garden.

There have been complaints that the children instead of attending schools, keep hanging out in public parks and fall prey to anti-social elements.

The police also picked up those who were indulging in eve- teasing at public parks. Pawan Kumar, incharge Ghumar Mandi police post, said the children were handed over to their parents after a warning. —TNS 



Burning of garbage goes unchecked
MC fails to rein in menace
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
Even as the Ludhiana municipal corporation has given contract of solid waste management to a private company, the burning of garbage in the city is going unchecked. It seems that the civic body as well as the private company, A2Z Waste Management Ludhiana Ltd, have chosen to remain mum over the issue.

But senior MC officials claimed that some unscrupulous elements set these garbage dumps on fire just because A2Z company was not able to lift garbage.

The door-to-door collection of garbage is with private contractors, while A2Z Waste Management Ludhiana Ltd lifts that garbage from garbage dumps. So once the garbage reaches the dump, it is set on fire by unscrupulous elements.

Residents of Sarabha Nagar, Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, Ghumar Mandi, Civil Lines, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar and almost all areas of the city lamented that the garbage dumps were set on fire, which resulted in air pollution. Stink emanating form the litter aggravated the problem.

Residents said garbage contained many harmful products, including plastic bottles, which emitted noxious fumes. It seems that the civic body officials are not interested in tiding over the problem as it has failed to find a solution to the problem so far.

It has been observed over the years that lower-rung municipal employees prefer to burn garbage on the spot itself, instead of taking it to the dump near Jamalpur village.

“But when a private company was awarded the contract for solid waste management of the city, they started burning garbage more often because they felt that the private company might snatch their jobs one day. Earlier, A2Z was awarded the contract for door-to-door collection of garbage as well, but after protests by private contractors and sanitation workers, the contract was altered. Now the private garbage collectors feel that if A2Z manages to make money out of the project, the MC might award them the contract for door-to-door collection as well,” stated a senior MC official.

When contacted, MC Joint Commissioner AS Sekhon claimed that some mischievous elements were involved in the burning of garbage at the dumping sites. “I will get it checked and ensure that no such incident takes place in future,” he claimed.



Industry wants exemption from penalties 
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
Circulars and notices by the Punjab State Power Corporation (PSPCL) are uploaded on its official website, but it seems that the industry is unaware of the same. Some do not have Internet facility; others do not check the site everyday while sometimes there are power pangs.

The industry has demanded that under Section 108 of the electricity Act instructions may be issued to PSPCL for not imposing such penalties on consumers for minor ignorance of such orders.

In July, the PSPCL had issued 19 telephonic circulars for power regulatory measures regarding scheduled offs and changes in peak load policies and supply to process industries.

"The PSPCL put these telephonic messages on its website and treat it as order of the corporation to follow that, whereas in Punjab a majority of industrialists don't have Internet or computer facility. Under such circumstances, it is too hard for the industrialists to follow the schedule of the PSPCL. Even during the power cuts it was difficult for the Industrialists to even check these notifications on the site of PSPCL," said Badish Jindal, president of Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association.

The industry in Punjab has already faced losses on account of shutdown of their factories due to power crises. Under such circumstances, it is even difficult to meet the minimum expenses and most of the factories are forced to shut down due to the scarcity of raw material and labour," added Vivek Dutta, another garment exporter.

"Even after its own worst performance, the PSPCL will impose huge penalties on the industrialists even for minor errors in following the schedule of cuts or peak loads issued by the PSPCL on its site," added Jindal.

The regulatory authority has given the powers to the PSPCL for imposing the power regulatory measures, but it has also been ordered to give proper information to consumes in time, he said.



Traders for direct flights to metropolitan cities
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
Industry wants the government to start direct flights to metropolitan cities like Bangaluru, Kolkata and Mumbai as they frequently visit these cities for business purposes. The Knitwear Club has even shot a letter to aviation minister in this regard.

"The industrialists have to catch flights from Chandigarh as it takes two hours to reach Chandigarh from Ludhiana. Same is the case with the people coming from these places as they have to land at Chandigarh first and it really affects the business," said Darshan Dawar, president, Knitwear Club.

"We request you to start the flights to different states from the Sahnewal airport for the convenience of travellers as it will help in generating more revenue and will also enhance the business, added Vinod Thapar, chairman of the club. 



Police refrains Cong activists from burning CM's effigy
 Party workers were protesting against the hike in power tariff and imposition of other taxes
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
High drama was witnessed when the police tried to stop the Congress workers, who were protesting against the state government, from burning an effigy of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at the Clock Tower here today.

A policeman clears a road of a burning effigy at the Clock Tower in Ludhiana on Monday
A policeman clears a road of a burning effigy at the Clock Tower in Ludhiana on Monday. Tribune photo: HImanshu Mahajan 

Ludhiana District Congress Committee president Pawan Dewan alleged that the workers were manhandled by the police when they (the workers) refused to lift the dharna at the Clock Tower. However, Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh, while dismissing the allegations of manhandling, said he had not received any complaint in this regard.

The Congress workers were protesting against the hike in power tariff and imposition of other taxes. They burnt the effigy of the CM, holding him responsible for the rising prices of essential commodities in the state and failure to deliver on the promises his party had made prior to the Assembly elections.

Dewan flayed the state government for increasing power tariff by 12 per cent. He claimed that during the past five years of the Akali rule, the power tariff in the state had increased by 50 per cent while the power supply had reduced by an equal percentage.

Announcing that the Congress would launch an agitation against the state government's proposal to impose additional taxes, he said the proposed taxes like the property tax and professional tax were a burden on the people of the state.

He also criticised the state government's proposal to increase the retirement age from 58 to 60 years, saying it would add to the problem of unemployment in the state.

Meanwhile, District Akali Jatha Ludhiana (Urban) president Hira Singh Gabria, while interacting with media persons today, defended the state government for its decision to hike the power tariff.

Blaming the deficient monsoon for power crisis in the state, he claimed that Punjab would be power surplus in next one and a half years.

He said the Centre had given special packages to hill states.

Gabria, who was chairing the meeting that had as its agenda the unity within the SAD, also condemned the shootout at a gurdwara in Wisconsin in the US.

Among those present in the meeting included Onkar Singh Thapar, national vice-president, SAD. 



Pvt schools flout RTE norms
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
As many as 300 private schools in the city have still not provided details regarding infrastructure available in their schools to the District Education Officer. It is now mandatory for every private school to register themselves with the state education department under the Right to Education Act (RTE).

Officials from the education department said, a number of well-known private schools were not interested in getting themselves registered with the education department as they claimed that they were already registered to different government bodies.

The education department had identified around 1,100 private schools in the city and sent a circular asking them to submit details by July 12. But only 834 schools have submitted the details to the department so far.

Education department officials said the department was going to extend the deadline for the schools. The Director-General of School Education said registration was must for every school. District Education Officer (primary) Ranjit Singh Malhi said, "More than 800 schools from the city have submitted their details, but 300 schools are yet to do so. According to the Right to Education Act, schools have to submit all details about the faculty and infrastructure to the government.



Rs 14 cr earmarked for healthcare
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
To provide better health facilities to villagers under various schemes launched by the National Rural Health Mission, Rs 14 crore will be spent in 2012-13. The aim of the mission is that no pregnant woman and child up to one year die in the absence of health facilities.

These views were expressed by Manpreet Singh Ayali, chairman, zila parishad, Ludhiana, while chairing a planning and review meeting conducted by the National Rural Health Mission here today.

Ayali said many schemes were there for the benefit of rural population, but there was a need to make the masses aware of the schemes and their benefits.

He said though the government was spending crores of rupees to provide better healthcare facilities to the rural masses, still the schemes were not being properly availed by the villagers due to ignorance.

Ayali added that due to Ambulance 108, the mortality rate among pregnant women and newborn child had decreased as these ambulances rushed the pregnant women to hospital and after the delivery, dropped them home.

Civil Surgeon Dr Subhash Batta said under the Mata Kaushalya Welfare Scheme, people had entrusted faith in government dispensaries and hospitals and the result was that less number of deliveries took place at homes. He added that under one such scheme, pregnant mothers were registered and their tests and examinations were conducted during the delivery period, which was very beneficial.



Missing girl found unconscious in train
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
A 24- year-old girl, who fled from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh after having a fight with her parents was rescued by the Railway Protection Force here today. The girl was found in an unconscious state in the train this afternoon and was rushed to hospital.

After regaining consciousness, she told the police that she fled from her house after fighting with her parents. She said that she did not eat anything for two- days and that was the reason why she fell unconscious. The girl has been kept under observation and her parents have been informed.



pau notes
Vegetables rich source of macro-minerals, say scientists 

Ludhiana: "Minerals are a vital and indispensable component of the human diet. They are integral constituents of bones, hair, nails, skin and other body tissues, and play a major role in body functions such as food digestion, energy production and wound healing. Therefore, a diet containing sufficient amount of vegetables will be able to fulfil the demand of the body for various essential minerals," said Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) vegetable scientists. 

According to health scientists, an adult should consume nearly 280gm of vegetables per day to get all the required nutrients for the body. Highlighting that vegetables are rich source of macro minerals, Dr Hira Singh said seven minerals - calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride and sulphur - constitute macro minerals. The body of an adult human contains more than 1 kg of calcium. It is present in large amounts in bones, he said, adding that vegetables like mustard, spinach, amaranth, okra, squash-melon, broccoli, turnip and various types of beans (french bean, cluster bean etc) are important sources of calcium. Informing that phosphorus is the second most vital macro mineral, Dr Neena Chawla said that french beans are the richest source of phosphorous in addition to spinach, carrot, pea and cauliflower.

Rice disease management

The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) will organise a brain storming session on "Recent developments in the management of rice diseases" on August 9 as a part of the golden jubilee celebrations. The PAU Department of Plant Pathology, under the auspices of the Indian Society of Plant Pathologists (INSOPP), will supervise the programme, which will be inaugurated by PAU Vice Chancellor Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon. —TNS



Workshop on breastfeeding held

Ludhiana, August 6
The Ludhiana Academy of Pediatrics organised a workshop on breastfeeding at the head office of HDFC Bank on the Mall Road here today. The workshop was attended by as many as 40 women employees of different branches of the bank.

Addressing the workshop, Dr AK Handa, Deputy Medical Commissioner, Ludhiana, and a former president of the Ludhiana Academy of Pediatrics, told the employees about the importance of breastfeeding and its various benefits.

Dr Handa said: "Mother's milk is always good for the health of the child as it has antibodies, anti-allergens, vitamins and minerals. It saves the child from various infections".

Dr Handa said: "Breastfeeding also saves a child from diseases like breast cancer and ovarian cancer". — TNS



Scooterist dies in mishap
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, August 6
A middle-aged man was killed when his scooter collided head-on with a car coming from the apposite direction at the Ludhiana-Ferozepur Highway last night. The deceased has been identified as Makkhan Singh, a resident of the Agwar Ladhai area, situated on the outskirts of Jagraon.

As per information, Makkhan had gone to Sidhwan Kalan village, situated about 6 km away from Jagraon, yesterday evening for some work. While he was returning to Jagraon at around 9 pm, his scooter collided head-on with a car coming from the Moga side near Sacred Heart Convent School situated on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur Highway.

According to sources, the accident took place when Makkhan’s scooter hit a bullock-cart while he was trying to overtake it and then it collided with a car coming from the other side.

Makkhan received critical injuries on his head and other parts of the body. The sources said the driver of the car fled from the spot, leaving behind his vehicle, after the accident.

Soon after the accident, Makkhan was rushed to the Civil Hospital, Jagraon, in an ambulance. The doctors at the Civil Hospital referred him to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, due to his critical injuries. He was declared brought dead by doctors at the Ludhiana hospital.

Meanwhile, the police had handed over the body of the deceased to his family members after conducting the postmortem.

Investigating officer Baldev Singh said a case had been registered against the unidentified person at the Jagraon Bus Stand police chowki and the efforts were on to trace the driver of the car.



From Schools
Teej celebration

Teej festival celebrated in OP Gupta SDP Model Senior Secondary School. From food to boliyan and gidha everything was organised in a traditional manner. Students participated in Miss Teej, gidha, folksongs, folk dance, mehandi and bangles competitions.


Monday was an eventful day for the students of ABC Montessori School as they received a red carpet welcome at the Sarabha Nagar police station and learnt about its functioning. For each and every kid, it was their first visit to a police station and they were thrilled as they sat in the room of SHO Inspector Manjinder Singh .Children were excited to see policemen dressed smartly in their uniform and felt proud to be a part of it. Manjinder Singh was stumped for a moment as the inquisitive little ones hurled questions at him regarding thieves, robbery, and crime. But gathering all his patience, he answered all the questions.

Saplings planted

SDP Senior Secondary School, Hazuri Road, celebrated 'Vanmohotsava' on its premises. Students planted plants to keep the environment green. Balraj Kumar Bhasin, president, encouraged the students to know the importance of trees in life and advised them to grow more and more trees. Principal Jasveer Singh Chauhan, along with teachers, planted nearly a hundred saplings and asked the children to take care of these plants. He also advised them to grow plants near to their residential areas to make Ludhiana clean and green. A chart-making competition was also organised on the occasion.

Students shine

A model on 'Mathematics and Everyday Life' made by students of class XI and XII of BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School has been selected to be presented at the CBSE national level exhibition to be held in September 2012 at New Delhi. The exhibits were judged by experts based on students' knowledge of the project, creativity, innovation, imagination, originality of the idea and the application if scientific principle.

Declamation contest

Kundan Vidya Mandir organised a 'Vedic Hindi Declamation Contest' in the school. The students of middle section participated in the declamation. The speeches delivered by the students motivated the young minds to value their tradition and culture. The function was presided over by the headmistress Namita Raj Singh. She encouraged the students to become responsible citizens to remain truthful in their lives and adopt self discipline.

Hiroshima Day

The students of Ram Lal Bhasin Public School paid homage to the victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki here today. Mehak a student of class VII delivered a speech in which she told the fellow students about the disaster.

Teej festival

Teej was celebrated with great fervour and gusto at Green Land Convent School here today. Students and teachers came attired in colourful Punjabi dresses. The school was decked up with flowers and balloons. A cultural show was also organised which added life to the colourful atmosphere. The students gave thrilling and vibrant performances.

Foundation day

Foundation day celebrations were started in Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School. Week long activities based on the theme 'Teej' will be conducted to celebrate the occasion. Starting the celebrations with the morning assembly, Baljeet of class X and Preety of IX delivered speeches. A 'Sawan Walk' was also organised for the students of pre-nursery to UKG. The tiny tots walked in colourful dresses, holding colourful umbrellas in their hands.

Monsoon welcomed

The students of Green Land Convent School, Dugri, welcomed the rainy season with gaiety and enthusiasm today. The students gave scintillating performance in a well programmed sequence "Aaya Sawan Jhoom Ke". The programme comprised of Rajasthani, Western and Punjabi songs and dances, all related to the monsoon season. The highlight of the function was Aasa Singh Mastaana's old classic song 'Saun Da Mahina Aa Gaya'.

Vanmahotsava celebration

"Each One Plant One" was the message conveyed by District Forest Officer Daljit Singh Brar on the occasion of Vanmahotsava at Saraswati Modern Senior Secondary School, Partap Singh Wala. The function began with the planting of a sapling by chief guest Brar. Kamla Jain, the founder and the president of the School, and Aneeta Kundra, the principal of the school were also present on the occasion. Students recited poems, presented a skit "Save Earth" and sang a Bengali folk song during the celebrations. —Tribune Reporters



Ludhiana Scan
Shootout at US gurdwara condemned

The Baba Banda Banda Bahadar International Foundation has condemned the shootout at a gurdwara in the US. Representatives of the organisation, in a letter written to US President 
Barrack Obama, demanded a high-level inquiry into the incident. They said the criminals involved in the incident should be given a strict punishment.

Symposium held

A state-level symposium was organised today at the Haibowal office by the Food and Nutrition Board. District programme officer Rupinder Kaur inaugurated the symposium. About 40 field supervisors from the Board took part in the symposium.

Teachers’ union meets DEO

Members of the Ludhiana unit of the Master Cadre Union, Punjab, met with the district education officer today. In the 
meeting, the issues of non-receipt of salaries were discussed. DEO Paramjit Kaur said the budget would be allotted to the school by the end of 
this week.

World Breastfeeding Week

Scientific research during the past few decades has clearly proved that breastfeeding provides both short-term and long-term health benefits to infants, mothers, families and society. It is also known that breastfeeding is an exceptionally cost-effective strategy for improving child survival and reducing the burden of childhood disease. Dr Rajinder Gulati, lactation consultant, said this during a state-level symposium on IYCF organised by the Community Food and Nutrition Extension Unit, Ludhiana, on the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week Celebrations. About 50 supervisors from the Department of Women and Child Development attended the symposium, which was inaugurated by district programme officer Rupinder Kaur.

Research paper presented

Dr Brijinder Sing Rana, an ophthalmologist, and chief eye surgeon of Eyesite Rana Hospital, presented his research paper on cataract surgery and was declared the best by the University of Seychelles-American Institute of Medicine, according to a press release issued here today. He claimed that his research on Limbal Stem Cell Transplantation in Corneal Burns would be of immense help to all industrial workers in Ludhiana who are prone to these types of chemical/thermal injuries.

Hiroshima Day observed

The Indian Doctors For Peace and Development (IDPD) observed Hiroshima Day at Shaheed Capt Manjeet Singh Gill Government School, Dhamot. Principal of the school Manjinder Kaur Gill said: “We should concentrate on the de-nuclearisation of the world”. She said the youth should be made aware of the merits and demerits of atomic bombs. Dr Jasvinder Singh, an active member of the IDPD, told about how Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed by the American forces by using nuclear bombs. He also showed the photographs of the after-effects on the victims of the nuclear bombing.

Dharna staged

Paramedical staff of the city staged a dharna outside the Civil Surgeon office. Staff members said their long-pending demands had not been met for a long time. One of the main demands was that they were not receiving their salaries on time. About 100 members of the staff, including multi-purpose health workers, both males and females, staged dharna for more than an hour. — TNS



Woman hires contract killers to eliminate husband
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
It was the wife who had hatched a murderous assault on her husband in the Model Town area. She even hired contract killers for the job. With the arrest of Kuldeep Kaur, second wife of industrialist Satpal Singh, the police has claimed that it was the woman who hired contract killers to eliminate her husband.

Satpal, who is undergoing treatment at a private hospital, was attacked five days ago by some unidentified assailants.

The assailants entered his house and thrashed him badly. They fled the scene thinking Satpal to be dead.

Kuldeep Kaur did this to usurp the latter's property.

She reportedly told the police that Satpal's first wife had committed suicide. Kuldeep Kaur said Satpal used to fight with her on petty issues.

So she decided to eliminate him. She said it was the servant who assaulted at Satpal Singh. She had promised to pay huge amount to her servant for killing Satpal. 



Mitaksh emerges badminton champ
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, August 6
Mitaksh Gandhi survived many anxious moments against Dhruv Vashisht before coming out champion in the boys' U-15 category during the Open Ludhiana District Badminton Championship organised by the District Badminton Association, Ludhiana, that concluded at Shastri Hall near Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

In the final, both the players dished out an excellent game, exhibiting deft foot work and powerful smashes. Each point scored was applauded by the gathering.

After initial hiccups, Mitaksh managed to wrap up the first set 21-18. The second set, too, saw a battle of nerves between two contenders and finally Mitaksh prevailed over 21-17 to fetch the title.

Later, in the boys doubles final (U-19), Preetinder Singh Grewal and Champreet Singh combined well to edge out the pair of Surya Goel and Divyansh Pruthi 21-18, 21-14 to lay their hands on the winners' trophy.

Bharat Bhushan Ashu, an MLA, was the chief guest at the prize distribution function. Parents of the players besides office-bearers of the district badminton body were present on the occasion.


Boys' singles (U-10): Aryan Gupta bt Jasmer Singh 21-15, 21-16; boys singles (U-13): Pranshu Madaan bt Agrim Kapila 21-19, 18-21 and 21-16; boys singles (U-17): Aditya Gupta bt Pranshu Seth 21-18, 21-14.

Boys singles (U-19): Puneetinder Singh bt Chanpreet Singh 21-15, 21-18; men's singles: Lakhwinder Singh bt Anand Tiwari 21-7, 19-10; veterans singles: Rakesh Batta bt Rajesh Goel 21-15, 17-21 and 21-17; girls singles (U-10): Archita bt Jiya Bansal 21-18, 21-12.

Girls singles (U-13): Simranjeet Kaur bt Prerna 21-18, 21-12; girls singles (U-15): Simranjeet Kaur bt Neha Rani 21-18, 21-12; girls singles (U-17): Aditi Mahajan bt Neha Rani 21-15, 21-10; women's singles: Harveen Kaur bt Aditi Mahajan 21-19, 15-21 and 23-21; boys doubles (U-10): Lakshay Sharma and Jasmer Singh bt Aashir and Chirag 21-18, 21-15.



Arrival of terrain vehicles cheers adventure enthusiasts
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 6
Owing to the rising number of adventure junkies in the district, the arrival of new vehicles draw eyeballs and get many a tongue wagging. The off-road and all terrain vehicles, rarely seen in this part of the state, not only impress the adventure enthusiasts, but agriculturists as well.

In Punjab, there is a huge potential for these vehicles, as these can be a great aid for agriculturists in the state. The fact that these are light as compared to tractors, having suspensions for all the four tyres, and possibility of driving on any terrain is a great advantage, said Sumesh Chadha, MD of a company.

Less air pressure in tyres gives the vehicles flexibility to move anywhere, in addition to being light weight causes no harm to crops and seeds sown, and makes them apt vehicle at the farmlands, said a farmer. High manoeuvrability makes these a great option.

RS Dhaliwal, a farmer and off-road enthusiast, said these vehicles were a great fun to drive. "These are very powerful touching the speed of 56 km per hour in 3.8 seconds. Although the Chinese variants of such vehicles have been there, but these are not of good quality and not durable," he said.

These vehicles have multiple applications and because of the ability to move on any terrain, these are being used in areas of defence, fire-fighting, agriculture, adventure-rallying, tourism, patrolling and police in many countries and the Army of 27 nations is using these," said Pankaj Dubey, MD, Polaris India.

"I always felt the constraint of having to drive on the road, and felt deprived of driving on the "playground" of fields, mud, sand, forest and rugged terrains. The availability of these vehicles in petrol, diesel and electric options is fantastic," said a resident.

"One doesn't require any licence to drive these vehicles and the starting range with lower horsepower can even be driven by children, or anyone with no experience at all," said another official. But driving these vehicles on road is not allowed in India, he said, so these were strictly to be used for off-road and other applications.

"I had only seen such vehicles on television and abroad, but it is great that these have finally arrived here," a resident said. 



Cricket trials

Ludhiana, August 6
The Ludhiana District Cricket Association (LDCA) will conduct trials to select the city senior team at the Arya College ground on August 10 from 8.30 am onwards. The selected players wlll represent the district in the Punjab Championship Inter-District Katoch Shield Cricket Tournament. — OC



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