L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Cops use force against jobless teachers
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
Two unemployed teachers were injured when the local police had to use mild force to stop them from blocking the main GT road near Karabara Chowk here today. During this mild use of force, two members of the teachers' union suffered minor injuries. Kuldeep Singh of Sangrur was injured on the head while Jaswinder Kaur of Kapurthala suffered injuries on the arm.

Traffic chaos on a city road in Ludhiana
Traffic chaos on a city road in Ludhiana.

Hundreds of members of the TET Pass Unemployed Teachers' Union of Punjab had gathered at the grain market here to protest against the state government’s alleged “non-commitment” to providing them employment.

Despite “good” arrangements made by the Ludhiana police from stopping the union members from blocking the road, the protesters managed to block the main GT road for over three hours (from 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm).
Kuldeep Singh who suffered a minor injury during the use of police force
Kuldeep Singh who suffered a minor injury during the use of police force

This not only led to a traffic jam on the road, but also caused inconvenience to commuters. Policemen had a tough time managing traffic as being the main GT road, thousands of vehicles daily ply on it.

To make sure that commuters don’t get stranded on the road due to this protest, the police had diverted traffic to alternative roads.

Amandeep Singh Phool, state president of the union, said they had organised a state-level rally at the grain market to discuss their demands.

“After the rally, our members wanted to hold a protest by blocking the Jalandhar bypass but the police stopped us from going towards the road. Holding a protest is our democratic right and the police cannot stop us from doing so. But, when our members reminded the policemen of our democratic rights, the lathicharged us. By that time our members had reached the road and blocked it,” he said while speaking to The Tribune.

Raghvir Singh Bhavanigarh, general secretary of the union, said the state government had inserted an advertisement in newspapers regarding the filling of 5,178 posts of teacher today. “In the advertisement inserted by the state government, the number of posts is very few. Roughly, these posts will accommodate only 40 per cent of the youth and 60 per cent will still remain unemployed. So this will not serve any purpose. Even those persons, who had appeared for counselling more than an year ago, are yet to get appointment letters,” alleged Raghvir Singh.

The dharna was lifted at around 5.30 pm when Deputy Commissioner of Police Gurpreet Singh Toor reached the spot and assured the protesters that a meeting in this regard would be organised between them and the state government.

Toor claimed that the protesters were not lathicharged. “I went there to listen to their grievances and wanted them to lift their dharna because the commuters were facing problems because of it. We have got a meeting fixed between the union members and SK Sandhu, Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister, on September 11,” he added.

The members of the union said after the meeting on Tuesday, they would be holding their own meetings at the district level on September 16. “If our demands are not met, we will again hold a state-level protest rally at the grain market here on September 23 and block the Jalandhar bypass. We don’t want to harass commuters and the local residents, but the state government is forcing us to take such steps,” stated Raghvir Singh Bhavanigarh.

Women agitators come in large numbers
Today’s rally witnessed participation by a large number of women. Certain members of the union had also brought their children along with them. Woman police was also deployed at the site. To stop the protesters from blocking the main GT Road, the police had placed barricades near the rally venue, but these were of no use as the protesters managed to block the road for over three hours.


24 gastro cases reported from Jawahar Nagar
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
More than two dozen cases of gastroenteritis have been reported from the Jawahar Nagar camp area in the last four days. Of these 18 patients are still under treatment at two hospitals. The district health department has deployed two vehicles in the area for carrying any patient to the nearby hospitals in case of emergency.

The Medical Superintendent of Guru Teg Bahadur Charitable Hospital, Dr RS Sodhi, said: "We have received as many as seven patients suffering from gastroenteritis. Three of them are in emergency, three in wards and one in the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital."

Dr Mamta Watts, Emergency Medial Officer of the Krishna Charitable Hospital, said, "There are 15 or 20 patients of gastroenteritis admitted to our hospital and a majority of them are from the Jawahar Nagar area. We have receiving these patients over a week. All of them suffered from vomiting and diarrhoea."

Meanwhile, Baljinder Singh Bunti, who had contested the elections to the Municipal Corporation as a candidate of the Congress, alleged, "The problem of garbage and polluted water has been getting nastier day by day. We also informed the officers concerned about it but none took our complaints seriously. After the recent spell of rain, the situation deteriorated and people started taking ill due to gastroenteritis. One of the patients of gastroenteritis had died."

President of the Congress District Committee (Urban) Pawan Dewan has demanded that the district administration and district health department should hold a medical camp in the area.

About one and a half month ago personnel of the District Health Department had collected samples of water from the Jawahar Nagar area.

The District Health Officer, Luhdiana, Dr Kulwinder Singh, said, "There are six patients at Guru Teg Bahadur Charitable Hospital. I have deployed two ambulances of the Health Department in this area, so that in case of an emergency a patient can be immediately shifted to the nearby hospital."

When asked if any of the residents contacted the health department about gastro cases in the area, he said, "No, none contacted us."

Ruling out it is an outbreak, the DHO said, "As the patients are coming in clusters but from different streets, so it will be too early to call it an outbreak. Today, we collected 10 samples of water from the Jawahar Nagar area to know the exact cause of gastroenteritis."

The District Epidemiologist, Dr Puneet Juneja, said, "At Krishna Charitable Hospital there are 11 patients of gastroenteritis from the Jawahar Nagar area. I have just met all the patients and all are stable."

Dr Juenja dispelled the rumour that a woman of the area died of gastroenteritis. He said, "As far as the death of an old woman at this hospital is concerned, it was not due to gastroenteritis. I have checked the hospital record and found that she died of acute renal failure."



Drive against illegal autos on
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
Continuing with its drive against unregistered auto-rickshaws, the traffic police today challaned 20 auto-rickshaws in the city. The traffic police has impounded a total of 362 auto-rickshaws in the last eight days. According to the officials, the police has challaned around 900 auto-rickshaws during this drive while around 8,000 illegal autos have stayed off the roads of the city since the drive was launched.

The police has set up special nakas at the main bazars but now the police is planning to keep a tab on illegal auto-rickshaws plying in the inner areas of the city.

Beant Juneja, SHO, Traffic Police Station, said, "We found that certain drivers have started operating illegal auto-rickshaws in the inner parts of the city. These auto-rickshaws have been plying in the areas like Shimlapuri, Tajpur road and Tibba road. We will also set up nakas in these areas"."We also have information that certain drivers have started plying their auto-rickshaws during late night hours and early in the morning. So the police has planned to keep a tab on these during the night," added Juneja.

Appreciation messages of Facebook
The police has received appreciation messages from residents on the official Facebook page. "A rarity in Ludhiana is becoming a reality. Thanks to the traffic police for making the city roads free from unsafe illegal auto-rickshaws," SK Sharma posted on Facebook.

Teachers’ stir hits drive
The department has impounded 60 auto-rickshaws and challaned another 120 on the first day of drive on Saturday. "Today, we were busy due to a protest of the TET Teachers' Union on the Jalandhar bypass, and that is why we were able to challan only 20 auto-rickshaws," said Beant Juneja, SHO, Traffic Police.



Woman 'slaps' ex-MLA's son
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
High drama took place at Cheema Chowk here this evening after a car driven by a former MLA's son rammed into a woman's vehicle. According to reports, the woman alighted from the vehicle and allegedly slapped the former MLA's son.

Witnessing heated arguments between the two, a huge crowed gathered at the spot. While the woman claimed that the politician's son was chasing her from a distance, the latter termed the allegation as baseless and stated that it was just a small accident which had been given a political colour to tarnish his image.

He said he was not manhandled at Cheema Chowk.



Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar stinks
 Sewage enters houses in area after sewer line was plugged for repairs
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
“If a posh locality looks like this, then I should either change my mindset towards posh localities or better buy a house in some other area of the city,” said Satnam Singh, a resident of B Block in the Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar area. He is perturbed over the sewage entering houses at his block for the last two days.

Due to the ongoing repair of the broken sewer line near the Sidhwan Canal bridge on Ferozepur Road, the disposal of sewage from various localities, including Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Rajguru Nagar, Aggar Nagar, Barewal Road and Asha Puri, has been affected.

This sewer line had got damaged on August 17 when the digging work for the Sidhwan Canal Expressway project was being carried out by a private company, which is constructing the expressway project. The MC officials came to know about this damage the next morning (on August 18). The personnel of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation’s Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Branch have been trying to fix it since then.

The repair work is getting delayed for one reason or the other and it seems that the MC is unable to repair it and the job is getting unending.

It is learnt that due to this repair work, the sewer line was plugged for some time on Thursday, which led to sewage getting accumulated near DAV Public School in the Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar area here. All these days, the area residents had a tough time with sewage entering houses. The tink was unbearable. The MC managed to solve this problem after more than 48 hours.

A resident, Dr Narinderpal Singh, said they were shocked to find their area literally flooded with sewage on Friday morning. “We made several calls to the MC officials but to no avail. It was only today afternoon that the sewage receded. I fail to understand why the MC took so long to solve this problem,” he added.

Another resident said if the MC had not been able to repair a single sewer line (near the Sidhwan Canal bridge) for more than three weeks, “how will it manage when work on the Metro rail project starts? We all know that a lot of digging has to be done for this project and what if any sewer line gets damaged? I think the MC will waste public money as well as precious time, the same way it has been doing at the damaged sewer line since August 17,” said the resident.

It’s not only sewage, but this part of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar looks more like hell whenever it rains heavily. The whole area gets submerged in knee-deep water, which takes hours to recede.

Rakesh Kumar Verma OFFICIAL SPEAK
Commissioner of the MC Rakesh Kumar Verma admitted that there had been some problem in the Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar area for two days. “Our O&M personnel had plugged the sewer line for some time, due to which there was no outlet for sewage. Even they are having problems while repairing the sewer line because they have not carried such work for several years. I assure the residents that the sewer line will be repaired soon,” claimed Verma.

"How will the MC manage when work on the Metro rail project starts? We all know that a lot of digging has to be done for this project and what if any sewer line gets damaged? I think the MC will waste public money as well as precious time, the same way it has been doing at the damaged sewer line since August 17." — A resident



reporter’s diary
Nachos are from Nagpur

Yesterday, I went to a departmental store. While I was standing near the counter, a man came and asked for “Nagpur chips”. The man at the counter and salesman were astonished to hear the name of such chips. Even I was amazed to know that such chips exist. The man who had asked for the chips for talking to someone over the phone and when the shopkeeper failed to understand what he was asking for he handed over the phone to the person at the counter. After talking over the phone the shopkeeper asked the salesman to give a pack of “Nachos”. I could not stop laughing at “Nagpur Chips”. After coming back from the shop, I shared the incident with my husband and a fact too that the person demanding the chips belonged to a rural backdrop and he was not at all ashamed that he pronounced the name of the chips wrongly. Rural people are simple and speak what is in their mind while urbane are sophisticated. If in case the person from the city wanted the chips and was not sure of the name, he would have said, he wanted the newly launched chips…..the name of which starts from “N” or something like this.

Stop this nuisance
It seems to have become a fashion by all and sundry to block the busy roads in the city to hold processions, dharnas, religious functions or even social gathering. Every other day some one holds a protest or dharna at one or the other intersection, disrupt the entire vehicular traffic passing from that particular area, and hold commuters and other road users to ransom. Even rail passengers are not spared by these so called protesters, who look out for soft targets and create nuisance to draw attention towards their genuine or imaginary grudges against the government. Last week, the Ludhianvis had to bear the brunt of a dharna at Bharat Nagar Chowk, a protest by Congress party against fresh taxes and a “rail roko” by farmers' organisations. With ever increasing number of disruption on roads and rail traffic, the authorities would have to find out effective ways and means to deal with this menace. And sooner the powers that be do this the better.

As mobile phones have become exceedingly sophisticated and complex in the past six to seven years. The phone are performing and taking over functions of many other devices, including camera, watches, computers, cinema, music, navigation and now even projectors. It is hard to imagine what the devices would become in 10 years from now, a resident said. Now even applications can be downloaded on phones to locate your parked vehicle and even keeping the mice away, he chuckled. Drawing, planning, scanning can be done on these devices. The pace at which these devices are evolving is amazing and perhaps these would be only things that human beings would require, after a few years. The way things are, the schools and the universities in future would be the phones, perhaps called mob-varsities and the various subjects also become the functions and apps of these phones only, he laughed.

Taking care of dead ones
It was on Friday when I was at Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, for covering a story. I was interacting with attendants of a patient while standing near emergency ward. Suddenly, we heard wailing of the dogs, which interrupted our conversation. For a moment we kept quiet and when the dogs continued with making noise, I asked an NGO volunteer as to what had happened to these dogs. The person immediately said, “Nothing madam, these stray dogs are taking care of dead ones lying in the hospital mortuary. At night these dogs do not allow the dead bodies to leave the mortuary.”

Contributed by Manav Mander, Kuldip Bhatia, Gurvinder Singh, Anupam Bhagria



Potholed roads welcome visitors at PAU
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Pathetic condition of roads at Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana
Pathetic condition of roads at Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, September 9
Though the monsoon season has brought smiles to the faces of farmers of the state, the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) is facing its brunt. Potholes have appeared in most of the roads on the PAU campus and commuters are having a harrowing time due to these potholes.

Ironically, downpour in the last few weeks has made the conditions of roads worst.

It seems that instead of repairing these roads, the PAU authorities have left them to the mercy of the Almighty and no arrangements have been made to either repair or take notice of them till date.

Around three month ago, officials of PAU had informed that they are all set for re-carpeting of roads, as the Punjab Mandi Board has sanctioned grant for their re-carpeting.

“During rain, rainwater gets accumulated in front of the hostel gate. We have to put bricks in order to reach the gate. This road should be re-carpeted on the priority,” said a hostel inmate.

One of the officials of PAU said, “All formalities were done with the Punjab Mandi Board, but we don't know why they have delayed the re-carpeting project. The roads should be carpeted soon.”

Meanwhile, estate officer, Dr Jaskarn Singh, was not available for comment.



City food culture changing
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
Outlets of multinational food joint chains seem to be becoming ubiquitous in the city. These seem to be present everywhere with their exclusive outlets, be it malls, markets or roadside. And these, as a result, are changing food habits in the city.

Residents of Ludhiana have always been known for their love for food and these multinational food joints are cashing in on this penchant for food. McDonalds has its outlet in most of the malls in the city.

Domino’s has outlets at various places in the city, including the ones at Sarabha Nagar, Dugri, Silver Arc Mall, Chandigarh road.

Subway also has its presence in Sarabha Nagar, Rani Jhansi Road, Dugri, etc.

Pizza Hut also has several outlets in the city now. These brands have come and spread in a span of about a decade and have become a part of the city’s food culture.

The city that yearned for butter chicken and aloo parathas, now has a big appetite for pizzas and burgers, said Subhash, a resident of Sarabha Nagar. Samosa and pakoras in the evening are often replaced with pizzas, burgers and garlic breads, said another resident.

With efficient home delivery systems in place, these have also changed the way people eat.

“With the delivery system, food reaches home, all nicely packed, hygienic, fresh and warm in a short time and one often succumbs to the desire of staying home, rather than eating out when you don’t have time,” says Maneet, a resident.

These have also found favour with children in particular due to child-centric advertising campaigns, says Aman, a resident.



400 turn up at yoga camp
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
Bhartiya Yog Sansthan, Ludhiana, organised a district-level programme on yog and spinal disorder at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar today.

Participants perform yoga during a camp organised by Bhartiya Yoga Sansthan at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar in Ludhiana on Sunday.
Participants perform yoga during a camp organised by Bhartiya Yoga Sansthan at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar in Ludhiana on Sunday. A Tribune photograph

About 400 sadhaks of the district performed the different yogic spinal Kriyas and practice of asans especially ushtraasan, bhujangasan, Shalabhasan, and different stages of Makarasan. Kundan Lal Varmani guided the sadhaks through pranayam and told them that practice of deep and long breathing, anulom-vilom and bhramari cure the problems of spine. He also suggested to include yoga in your daily routine and accept it as a life style. Yog has preventive and promotive health potentialities.

Addressing the gathering Dr Dharam Singh district secretary gave a detailed account of the problems of the disorder of the spinal cord. He said this problem is due to sedentary life style, lack of exercise, bad sitting/sleeping posture, bad diet, accident, heavy muscular work, obesity, constipation and among most of the women this is due to wearing of pencil heel shoes and over weight.”

He said the human spine has a double shape and consists of 33 vertebrae sits one on top of another to form the vertebral column but as we age, natural fusion occurs leaving us with 26 articulating segments. Between each vertebral pair are shock absorbing spinal discs. The spinal disc help in normal movement of the spine, and provide cushioning support during regular weight bearing.

The spinal discs are also sensitive to excessive loads, repetitive stresses and abnormal movement of the vertebrae.



250 attend homoeopathy seminar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
A homoeopathic medicines manufacturing company conducted a seminar here today at hotel Park Plaza on the subject “Multifaceted Approach In Homoeopathic Practice”. Over 250 homoeopathic doctors attended the seminar.

The seminar was inaugurated by Dr Ravinder Kochhar, principal, Lord Mahavira Homoeopathic Medical College andHospital.

Dr Arun Satija, a renowned homoeopathic practitioner spoke on the topic “Strength and Limitations of Homoeopathy”. Prof LM Khan from NIH, Kolkata, spoke about the “Exposition of Allen's Keynotes”.

All the doctors emphasised that homoeopathy can be of great help in chronic cases like asthma, menopause and renal calculus where all other systems of medicines have been unsuccessful.



Blessing in disguise for youngsters
 Suicide by Shivali at Jalandhar triggers debate on moral policing and works in favour of boys, girls
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
Death of a Jalandhar-based girl, Shivali, who committed suicide by jumping in front of an approaching train on August 30, turned out to be a blessing in disguise for boys and girl, who used to fall easy prey to moral policing.

The death of a 22-year-old girl, which triggered a nationwide debate and led to registration of a case against a woman constable and two lens men, worked in favour of young boys and girl.

Fearing a repeat of Jalandhar incident, the policemen are turning their back to such young boys and girls, who could be easily spotted sitting in a public park. Police sources said instructions have come from the top and the policemen have been told not to target young couple in the public parks.

The instruction further reads, “If youngsters are found sitting in a car, they should rather be shooed away and at no point, they should be made victims of public humiliation.”

However, softening of stance by the police has not gone down well with residents, who complain that these young boys and girl spread obscenity and cause nightmare for women and senior citizens, who visit the public parks with their children.

“We are against the moral policing, but we are equally against obscenity in the public parks as well. Something needs to be done at some level,” said Shiv Soni, a businessman and a member of a social organisation.

On the other hand, SP Sharma, an industrialist, said, “It is the time that the government should frame some policy. We welcome the government’s move of tightening its noose on moral policing. Similar steps need to be taken against public display of obscenity by the youngsters also.”

Narrating one such incident, Gurmeet Singh Sondhi, said, “Two days ago, an over speeding sports utility vehicle (SUV) rammed into my motorcycle.

I lost control over the vehicle and fell on the road. I spotted a young boy and a girl sitting in the SUV. The girl appeared to be a college student. The girl got panicky on seeing the policeman. I told the episode to the policeman. But instead of helping me, the policeman told the boy and girl to leave the scene as soon as possible.”



Rly pensioners flay Metro project
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 9
The Northern Railway Pensioners’ Welfare Association has criticised the state government for proposed Metro rail project and imposition of fresh taxes, which would put an unbearable burden on people.

Addressing the monthly meeting of the body, chairman Sher Singh termed the Metro rail project as ill-conceived for a city like Ludhiana. The traffic situation has already attained unmanageable proportions in the city and pillars to be erected for elevated portion of Metro rail would further squeeze the space available for vehicular traffic on busy and congested roads.

He said if at all the metro rail was to be run in the city, it ought to be a completely underground project, which would cause minimal or no displacement to the residents and business community, while also leaving the roads alone.

Sher Singh came down heavily upon the government for hike in the rate of value added tax (VAT), increase in power tariff and imposition of property tax.

He said the government had delayed these decisions due to the political compulsions, including municipal elections. “Had it not been so, the new tax proposals ought to have been brought in the budget and discussed in the Assembly before being given effect,” he added.



Prices of veggies remain stable

Ludhiana, September 9
The prices of vegetables and fruits remain stable during the week and much to the relief of people no further increase has been witnessed in the prices. The prices of tomatoes came down from Rs 40 to Rs 30 per kg.

The prices of other vegetables were same as last week. “Tomatoes have finally came town to Rs 30 per kg.

Shelling out Rs 100 for one kilogram of tomatoes was too much. I hope the prices will not move upward in the coming weeks,” said Gagan, a homemaker.

“The prices of vegetables depend upon weather. Now that the weather is normal, we are hopeful that the prices of vegetables will also remain stable. The prices of tomatoes have come down, whereas peas are sold at Rs 100 per kg, as they are being brought from the hill states. For now, the vegetable prices are stable,” added Mian from a grocery shop at Aggar Nagar. — TNS



Undertrial dies in hospital
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
A 30-year-old undertrial died at the Civil Hospital today. The deceased has been identified as Jatinder Singh, a resident of Goh village near Khanna. He was under treatment at the jail hospital for last 25 days and his condition was critical.

When jail officials found that he is critical, they shifted him to the Civil Hospital at 3 this morning and doctors declared him dead after sometime.

According to jail officials, he was a drug addict and the Khanna police had recovered heroine from his possession two months ago. He was in the jail as an undertrial.

According to the jail record, Jatinder was facing a case under Sections 21, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act, as the Khanna police had recovered heroine from his possession.

The body was handed over to his parents after conducting a postmortem at the Civil Hospital.



Abandoned infant found
Ashok Kaura

Phillaur, September 9
In a second such incident in Doaba after Chokha village, where a two-day-old girl was found in shrubs on Friday, now a newly born infant girl was found abandoned in the fields near sarpanch Manohar Lakha’s house in Paddi-Jagir village yesterday.

Children playing near the fields noticed the infant after hearing her weeping voices and informed the sarpanch, who immediately informed the police and brought the infant to a nearby hospital.

The police is investigating the matter. Some midwives and staff of nursing homes is also being questioned.



Lessons learnt from past
 Organisations say no to crackers, to educate masses on risks
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, Sept 9
Upset over news of death of over 50 persons in a cracker factory fire at Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu recently, many educational, religious and social organisations of the town have launched 'say no to crackers' movement during ensuing festival season.

Besides observing cracker free Diwali at their homes and establishments constituents of these organisations will educate masses about risks involved with unsafe storage transportation and bursting of fireworks and adverse affects on human life.

After paying tributes to hundreds of persons who lost lives in scores of fires at crackers godowns and factories during past two decades, office-bearers and activists of various organisations announced to launch a coordinated movement to say no to crackers during Diwali this year.

Regretting that no organised step had been taken to prevent havocs in the past, the organisers said a task force would be constituted to keep an eye on unauthorised and unsafe storage of crackers and fireworks during the festival season.

Special teams of speakers, constituting doctors, government officials and teachers will be visiting various educational institutes for persuading students to observe pollution free Diwali. Those who have already suffered due to cracker fires will be asked to accompany these teams during awareness derive.

The organisers reminded that besides claiming a large number of human lives the fires involving crackers had charred property worth crores to ashes during past two decades. Over 50 persons were reportedly died in a major fire that broke out at a cracker factory at Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu three days ago. In October 2009, 32 persons, most of them Diwali shoppers, were killed at a cracker godown fire in Pallipattu in Tiruvallur district in the south India.

Over 80 persons lost lives during cracker fires in Ludhiana in the past. While over 70 people had died in a fire caused by improper storing of crackers in Gur Mandi in the early 90s, four persons were killed in Jawahar Nagar Main Market, Ludhiana, in 2001.

Meanwhile, students of certain schools including MGMN Senior Secondary School, Government Senior Secondary School Dehlon, Victoria High School Lehra and Guru Har Krishan Public School vowed to observe cracker free Diwali.



Owners of marriage palaces, hotels face tough times
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
Charges for change of land use, an increase in VAT rate and luxury tax have proved to be the death knell for marriage palaces and hotels. The owners of these buildings feel if the rate of increase in taxes continues to be the same they will be left with no other option but to switch to some other business.

A meeting of the owners of marriage palaces was held here today where the matter of freshly levied taxes was discussed. Amarjeet Singh, president of the Ludhiana Marriage Palace Owners Association, said the change of land use (CLU) charges were introduced in 2007 but even those marriage palaces that were built before 2007 are now being asked to get the CLU certificate, which is not fair.

"Since the CLU charges were introduced in 2007, the government should not ask the marriage palaces that were built in the nineties to get the CLU certificate. Only those marriage palaces and resorts that were constructed in 2007 and onwards should be asked to get the CLU certificate," said Amarjeet.

In addition to this, an increase in VAT by 0.5 per cent is also giving tough times to this industry. "The prices of essential commodities are already sky-rocketing and it is not in a position to handle an additional burden of increased VAT," added another member.

Meanwhile, the hike in luxury tax from 4 to 8 per cent has also not gone down well with the local hotel industry.

"Since Punjab is not even a tourist place, the hike in luxury tax is not justifiable. Even Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, which are tourist destinations, levy luxury tax at the rate of 7.16 and 4 per cent, respectively. There is no point levying 8 per cent luxury tax on hotel stay in Punjab. We have very small profit margins and the additional burden will ruin the hotel industry," added Amarvir Singh, honorary secretary of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Punjab.

Now, a person staying in a hotel will have to shell out 30.74 per cent as taxes in addition to the bill which includes 13.75 per cent VAT, 6.18 per cent service tax and 8 per cent luxury tax besides service charges at the rate of 5.15 per cent charged by some hotels.



Non-invasive procedures more safe for skin, say experts
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
Patients are confused as to whom to consult, as there are a number of dermatologists and plastic surgeons in the city.

Dr Alka Dogra, professor and head, department of skin and venereal diseases, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, said, "First of all there are certain invasive procedures and certain non-invasive procedures. Invasive procedures produce lot of clinical results but at the same time the side-effect profile is high. The non-invasive procedures are safe even if clinical results are not very dramatic. So one should always go for non-invasive procedures first.

These days we have chemical peels (face and body), radiofrequency (ablative and non-ablative), cryotherapy, lasers, IPL (intense pulsed light), UV therapies (PUVA,NB — UVB), mesotherapy, liposuction, botox, fillers and hair restoration techniques."

She further said, “One should always go to a clinic where qualified doctors are working. This is of utmost importance.

First, talk to the doctor and understand the percentages of clinical results and side effects. There are no miracle cures.

Spending huge sum of money does not necessarily mean guaranteed results .So much depends on one’s skin texture, colour, environment, genes, sun protection etc.

As far as laser hair removal is concerned, people with fair skin and dark coarse hair get better results than people with dark skin and brown hair. So one cannot generalise”.

“No procedure is without pain, especially the invasive ones, so one should understand this. Yes, there are techniques to reduce or dull the pain. Pain threshold is different for different people. Anxiety lowers the pain threshold,” she said.

When choosing a clinic, look for the clinic which follows ethics, where all safety precautions are taken and aseptic techniques are used. City based gynaecologist Dr Neelam Sodhi said," Some pregnant women develop chloasma during pregancy (hyper pigmentation). These are related to hormones.

So general creams do not have effect on them.

These get lightend after delivery. Correction of anaemia and good diet helps in achieving glowing skin."



From Colleges

Three teachers awarded
Ludhiana: To commemorate the services of teachers, BCM College of Education conferred three city teachers Swami Dayanand Teacher Award here on Sunday. It is an annual ritual of the college to honour best teachers from different schools of the city.

The awardees including Smriti Bhargav, headmistress, Government High School, Kot Mangal Singh, Ludhiana, Neelam Behl, Senior Faculty, BCM Senior Secondary School, Focal Point, Ludhiana.

One-day NSS camp
The volunteers of the NSS unit planted saplings to develop a sense of belongingness and association among the students for their alma mater. Col PS Choudhry, director education inspired the NSS volunteers to carry out this drive and urged them to come forward to work for the cause of environment protection as a token of gratitude. — TNS



Ludhiana Scan

Run for fun
Ludhiana: A run for fun for drug free society was organised by Prime Bodies health club here on Sunday. The 5-km run was organised from Shastri Nagar and to Ferozepur Road and back to the starting point. Participants ran to promote health and create awareness about drugs.

Congress recruitment
Youth Congress Committee started recruitment campaign in the Ludhiana East constituency. The campaign was led by president of the party committee in the costituency Anurag Taparia.

Nepalese celebrate Teej
Citizens of Nepal celebrated teej festival at Pushpa Devi Dharamshala, Tagore Nagar here on Sunday. The programme was organised by Nepal Jan Sampark Samiti and Nepali Mahila Sangh together. They performed Nepali Ntritya, folk dance of Nepal.

A meeting of Vishav Punjabi Sahit Vichar Manch was organised at Punjabi Bhawan here on Sunday. Members recited their literary and poetic works. Discussion on various topics was organised and suggestions were given by members during the meeting. — TNS



aerobics meet
Simranjit, Ashima, Satvir hog limelight
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 9
Simranjit Singh, Satvir Singh and Ashima Suri of Guru Harkrishan Senior Secondary Public School, Phallewal Khurd, emerged winners during the 7th National Sports Aerobics and Fitness Championship that concluded at Phallewal village today.

Participants perform at the National Sports Aerobics and Fitness Championship at Phallewal village near Ahmedgarh on Sunday
Participants perform at the National Sports Aerobics and Fitness Championship at Phallewal village near Ahmedgarh on Sunday. Photo by writer

The border state, Punjab, was declared the overall champion in the event, while Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh bagged second and third positions, respectively.

The concluding session of the three-day event jointly organised by the Sports Aerobics and Fitness Association and Indian Sports Aerobics and Fitness Federation was presided over by Labh Singh Ahluwalia, chairman of GHK Educational Trust, and Vishal Garg, director Cooperative Bank, was the chief guest. President Sukhdev Singh Walia and organiser Ravinder Singh Ravi, Sports and Games, Punjab education department, felicitated winners.

Event convener Gurmat Pal Singh Walia said more than 400 players from 20 states had exhibited their skills in aerobics and flexibility during various events held during the championship.

Sports aerobics, fitness aerobics, step aerobics and hip hop were the major events, which fascinated sports lovers from this rural part of Malwa.

Institute director Ritu Thakur thanked the guests and participants.



basketball meet
Ludhiana Academy lads romp home
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
The Ludhiana Academy hogged the limelight on the final day of the Mahindra NBA Challenge, as they swept both under-16 and under-18 boys’ titles at the Guru Nanak Stadium today.

Having entered both finals as the strong favourite, there was no twist in the script.

In the first final of the day, the under-16 lads of the academy produced a sparkling team effort to cruise to an 87-52 win over Multipurpose School, Patiala.

Later in the day, their under-18 counterparts ensured another title for the institute to celebrate, as Khushmeet’s 23 points spurred academy to a 74-59 win over Patiala.

Two other finals were played on the final day of the seven-weeklong event, which has been held in collaboration with the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) and Punjab Basketball Association.

Government College, Ludhiana, clinched the senior women’s crown after overcoming fancied Kapurthala 73-59, thanks to an outstanding performance by Kiranjeet who finished with a 35-point haul. Meanwhile, the senior men final saw Punjab Police beat BSF, Jalandhar 82-66.

Result (final):

U-16 boys: Ludhiana Academy bt Multipurpose School, Patiala 87-52.

Senior women: Government College, Ludhiana, bt Kapurthala 73-59.

Senior men: Punjab Police bt BSF, Jalandhar, 82-66.

U-18 boys: Ludhiana Academy bt Patiala 74-59.



Payers hail I-T dept’s decision
 Refund of tax in three months
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 9
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) decision to reduce the time period for tax refunds to three months has brought cheers on the faces of payers of income tax. Now, the income tax department would take steps to release the payment of arrears as soon as possible.

“The time for refund has also been reduced. Timing of rectification at the Central Processing Centre (CPC) level has been brought down to three months,” added a senior IT official. Arrears are going to be released from September 3.

The payers of income tax are happy over the department’s move for disbursing refunds within three months. In case of bank facility, the refund directly goes to account of assessee concerned.

“The move by the department is welcomed and we wish to get the refunds as soon as possible. Earlier, sometimes my refund use to come after a year or so. But now that the department has announced to release the refunds within three months, it is a positive step,” added Ravinder Singh, a tax payer.

Tax professional Gautam Mehta also hailed the department’s decision and said every tax payer was liable for getting refunds and the department’s decision to give refunds within a three-month time is a positive step.



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