L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Security derailed at city railway station 
 Multiple illegal entrances, ill-equipped scanning equipment, inadequate security personnel to blame 
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 19
The Ludhiana railway station continues to be in a state of low preparedness to counter terror threats. Reason: Multiple unmanned entrances, ill-equipped scanning equipment and lack of adequate security personnel.

Passengers scramble for boarding a train
Passengers scramble for boarding a train. 
Due to inadequate seating arrangement, passengers forced to sit on a platform
Due to inadequate seating arrangement, passengers forced to sit on a platform. 
Obsolete surveillance equipment in the CCTV room at the Ludhiana railway station
Obsolete surveillance equipment in the CCTV room at the Ludhiana railway station. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan 

A total of 40 trains carrying thousands of people arrive or depart from the city railway station and the daily passenger traffic is about 60,000 people on an average. But are the passengers safe? Consider this: The number of security personnel at the city railway station is not more 15. And there are not more than five to six security personnel at a given point of time at the station despite the increase in the number of trains and passengers. Surprisingly, not even a single policeman was there at the main entrance of the railway station today.

There are no security checks at the entry and exit points at the railway station. Anyone can easily enter the railway station complex. A small obsolete dysfunctional piece of equipment lies at the rear entrance of the railway station in a suitcase. This is being used as metal detector.

There is only one CCTV camera at the railway station and it covers four locations, said a Government Railway Police official. The screen on which the footage is seen is of a small size and viewing three-four shots simultaneously is not possible. The CCTV footage is not being recorded. A policeman admitted that the footage of at least past week should be kept and recorded.

"There is little in the name of security here. Anybody can come without any checks," said Ram Sharan, a daily commuter. "We are talking about world-class facilities like Metro in the city, but hardly any attention is being paid to improve the existing infrastructure at the railway station," he added.

"The security at the railway station is beefed up whenever some untoward incident takes place, but things are back to square one after some days. One can hardy see a security personnel at the railway station," said Amarjit Singh, a commuter.

"The metal detector and safety equipment have been sent for repair and would be installed shortly," said SHO Piara Singh.

"Often, people are run over by trains. The multiple entry points to the station make it impossible to restrict crossing of tracks. Though it's an offence, the practice continues unabated," said a police official.

"We are in the process of installing more CCTV cameras. New security equipment will also be in place soon," added a railway official. 

Mad scramble for boarding train

There are no security personnel to prevent the mad scramble by passengers for boarding a train. There should be someone to make the passengers board the train in a proper queue, said a passenger.

Limited seating arrangement

Inadequate seating arrangements continue to be pain for passengers waiting for trains. Passengers are forced to sit on the platform. "We have no choice. Sometimes trains get late by hours, but there is little space to sit. Some of the seats remain full and we have no choice but to stand and wait," said Nitin, a city resident. 


Brace for total shutdown, nationwide strike to cripple normal life today 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 19
The opposition National Democratic Alliance's (NDA) call for a nationwide bandh on Thursday has left the city residents and traders jittery.

The shutdown is expected to hit residents badly. The NDA has appealed to farmers, workers, transporters, shopkeepers and traders' organisations to join the bandh and protest the "anti-people measures" of the Union government.

The bandh is being taking seriously by a section of society while industrialists in Ludhiana feel since the call was politically motivated, they will not be a part of it.

Keeping in mind the call for bandh tomorrow, many private schools and colleges have already declared a holiday on September 20, while those running the government educational institutes maintain that since the colleges and schools could not be closed officially, the attendance of students will definitely be thin. Many the private schools, where exams are on these days, had advanced the exam schedule.

Mini buses to remain off road today

The commuters will be the worst affected due to Thursday's shutdown as the Mini-Bus Operators' Association, Punjab, has already declared to support the bandh call. The mini-bus operators feel that they were against the price hike of diesel by the Central Government, but they would also protest against the state government for not implementing their long-pending demands of increasing the route length of mini-buses, reducing the adda fee and the reduction in the Motor Vehicle Tax.

Talking to The Tribune, JS Grewal, president of the Mini-Bus Operators' Association, Punjab, said that with the bandh call, about 5,500 buses in the state would remain off the road. Thousands of commuters will suffer due to the protest. Grewal said that inflation had increased manifold in the past two years. He said: "The cost of the chassis and body of the bus has increased up to 40 per cent. Two years ago also, the mini bus operators were getting 66 paise per kilometre from passengers and today also, the bus fare is the same. But the cost of maintenance, repair, operation and diesel etc have increased manifolds. In such circumstances, how can we run our buses?" 

Banking services likely to be hit
Though the banks have not come forward in support of Thursday's bandh, officials feel if they are asked to shut the premises, they will have to do so. A manager with the State Bank of India said they were not authorised to close the bank, but if protesters forced them to shut the premises, they would have no other option but to close the bank. "Otherwise also, we expect a thin presence of customers on Thursday and transactions will be affected," he added. 

Truckers join protest
The All-India Motor Transport Congress has also declared to support the bandh on Thursday. Former president of the Congress Charanjit Singh Lohara said the trucks would not run all over India. Following increase in the price of diesel, the running cost of a truck has increased up to 10 per cent, which is unjustified, he added. 



Etiquette lessons for newly recruited constables
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 19
In the near future, you can expect the stick-yielding policemen to greet people with a polite hello when they visit a police station or meet a policeman on a road.

In an attempt to change its image of harsh and impolite force, the police authorities have decided to impart etiquette training to around 600 newly recruited constables of the Punjab Police.

These youngsters, a majority of them matriculate or senior secondary pass outs with a monthly salary of Rs 27,000, were selected as constables and are currently undergoing training in the police lines.

As most of them hail from villages, they lack etiquette and often use harsh language while dealing with people.

The lesson on mannerism would be taken by the Police Commissioner, representatives of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), senior journalists, professors, doctors and industrialists. The experts would interact with young policemen and would tell them about the importance of good behaviour in public life.

Ever since they have been put on duty, there have been reports of these newly recruited constables entering into heated arguments with residents. They use crass language with a mix of abuses.

"I was travelling in a car in Ghumar Mandi, unaware of the traffic regulation. Suddenly, a young policeman jumped in front my vehicle from nowhere and hurled an abuse. I told him to speak politely, but he was rude. It was an unpleasant experience," said Monica Gupta, a resident of the Cemetery Road area.

Be it triple riding on a motorcycle or ogling at women and forcibly taking the keys out of the vehicles at a police naka, these freshly recruited constables are indulging in typical youth behaviour, forgetting that with uniform comes a huge responsibility.

"The problem is the culture shock. It is just the same when a boy from a rustic village of Moga lands straight in Melbourne. What is natural behaviour for them, for us it is offensive. It will take some time for them to adapt to the situation, but at the same time, it is important to tell them about the benefits of polite behaviour in public life. By referring a village, I do not mean to hurt their sentiments. I am referring to the power that runs to the head after these youngsters are selected in the police," said retired professor KBS Sodhi.

The class of polite behaviour would be conducted under the supervision of legendry volleyball player Sukhpal Singh Brar, who is the ADCP (Headquarters) in the city.

Brar is considered to be the right man for the job as he has represented the Indian volleyball team for more than a decade. A recipient of Arjuna Award, he would share his experience with the young constables.

Dr Rajiv Gupta, a city based psychologist, also believes that the power job and culture shock are adding to conflict. "Being selected in the police is considered to be a huge achievement in villages. Beside, the selection of child in police department brings lot of respect for the people living in village. This fills these youngsters with a sense of pride and the youth who is in his early 20s starts feeling himself above the law. When these youngsters come to the city for duty they find themselves misfit. They do not get the kind of respect which they command in villages. This leads to the public display of anger and causes strife," said Dr Rajiv Gupta. 



Traffic police acts tough 
 District Revenue Officer's vehicle challaned
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 19
Giving a clear signal that violating traffic rules will not be tolerated in the city, the traffic police today challaned the official vehicle (with the blue beacon) of the District Revenue Officer at the Mini-Secretariat here today for wrong parking.

Besides, the traffic police towed away five more vehicles and challaned eight vehicles, including that of the DRO, at the Mini-Secretariat. The driver of the DRO Gurmeet Singh had wrongly parked the vehicle outside the Deputy Commissioner's office. When the traffic policemen came to tow away the Bolero with a blue beacon, the driver immediately removed the vehicle. But this did not stop the policemen to issue a challan.

Talking to The Tribune, traffic in charge Beant Juneja said rules were for everyone and everyone should follow rules. "We saw the official vehicle parked wrongly at the Mini-Secretariat at around 2.30 pm. We issued a challan. Besides, we challaned other seven vehicles, which were wrongly parked at the Mini-Secretariat. Besides, five vehicles were towed away," said Juneja. 



Reaching Mela Chhapar, a hassle
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, September 19
Mela Chhapar, which commences on September 28, has been witnessing huge gatherings of devotees from across Punjab and the neighbouring states for decades; however, the authorities have made no arrangements for recarpeting various approach roads to the site. The residents claim that since dignitaries visit the fair on helicopters, the authorities do not bother to address the woes of the common man.

None of the roads connecting the site of the Mela Chhapar with Ludhiana, Raikot, Malerkotla, Mullanpur, Sandaur, Dehlon and Payal are in a motorable condition.

Residents claimed that two decades ago all the approach roads leading to the venue of Mela Chhapar used to be repaired at least once a year as dignitaries visited this place by road. They wished the Chief Minister and the PWD Minister reached the site in cars instead of helicopters to know the plight of the residents.

“This will either force the officials concerned to arrange for recarpeting of roads before the visit of ministers, or the Chief Minister and his colleagues will come to know about the dilapidated condition of roads and do the needful,” a resident said.

The condition of link roads including the Dhulkot road, Jandali road, Dehliz road and Kalakh-Majri road is worse than others. Use of these roads by heavyweight vehicles bound for New Delhi, Rajasthan and parts of Haryana has further compounded the problem. Diversion of vehicles to these roads in order to avoid toll barriers on the national highway has also added to the pressure on these roads. The zig-zag driving by drivers to avoid potholes on the roads has also led to many fatal accidents in the past.

The road along the bank of the Bathinda branch of the Sirhind canal is also in a bad condition. Interruption to the flow of traffic due to defective planning of the newly constructed bridge on the Sirhind canal near Jagera village has given rise to chaotic traffic on the four-laned Ludhiana-Malerkotla road.

Although the stretch between Payal and the Jagera bridge has been reconstructed recently, erosion of canal banks and road edges has been posing risk to lives of commuters plying on this road.

The journey on the approach roads from Mulanpur, Sandaur and Raekote is also bumpy. The situation becomes worse during the rainy season.



Need for restraint on social networking sites
Ludhiana Police Facebook page a mixed bag
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 19
Chandigarh woman's reportedly less-than-charitable comments against the Chandigarh Traffic Police, on the Facebook may have stirred up a controversy, sparking off a debate on the need for restraint on social networking sites. However, the Facebook page of the Ludhiana Police continues to be a mixed bag of observations on the police.

If there's a note congratulating the police for initiating a drive against illegal auto-rickshaws, there's also another post urging the department not to harass "innocent" auto-drivers whose documents are in order.

Another visitor writes on the Facebook wall that buses with black film are plying on the city roads. Why these buses are allowed to use the black film, questions the visitor.

There are some interesting queries like the one on noise pollution. What if someone's religious sentiments spill over to streets and the religiosity translates into loud singing that disturbs the people in the vicinity? "You may contact Police Control Room at 100 number" is the reply posted by the Ludhiana Police.

Many posts deal with complaints, including the demand for a bribe for police verification of a passport.

There are congratulatory posts too. "For the first time in my life today, I witnessed the traffic outside Sacred Heart Convent School being managed so meticulously. All traffic and police personnel were hands on the situation (sic) and managed it very well. Congratulations! and appreciation for good work" reads a message posted in the month of May.

A visitor to the Ludhiana Traffic Police Facebook page has a constructive suggestion to offer: The police should participate in the Kisan Mela (at PAU) on September 21 to educate tractor-trailer drivers on the importance of reflectors.

When contacted, Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh said he welcomed the feedback posted on the Facebook. "We believe that the people should be partners in policing. We take action on the basis of the people's suggestions and rectify whatever needs rectification."

He added, "Though social media is a mixed bag, we appreciate the public feedback. We request the people to provide us information on drugs and other criminal activities too."



New constables deployed on field duty

Ludhiana, September 19
In order to keep a tab on the security scenario in the city, the police has intensified vigil and deployed newly recruited constables at various police stations across the city.

Nearly 600 constables, who were recruited recently, are undergoing training at the police lines and will soon join the force.

Sukhpal Singh Brar, ADCP (headquarters), said the newly recruited policemen would be deployed on field duties and they would lay morning and evening naka at key locations of the city.

He said that the move had been made to keep the anti- social elements at bay.

"The presence of a man in “khakhi” makes a lot of difference. We also wanted to give the newly recruited constables a first-hand experience as they will be looking after the city in future," said Brar. — TNS



Railway platforms get sheds
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 19
Daily commuters have finally heaved a sigh of relief as new corrugated sheds are being erected at Railway Platforms Number 3, 6 and 7 for the last couple of days. “Even though the structure had been set up for a long time, the work of covering it with the corrugated sheets have finally begun. It had become very difficult to commute during the rainy season, said," a commuter.

Workers who were placing these sheets on the top of the structures were not wearing any safety gear. An official said that the work had been outsourced to private contractors and it was their responsibility to look into the safety measures. Another official said that only those firms abiding by all safety norms should be given the contracts.



mayoral polls
Lobbying on in Chandigarh
 Aspirants busy ‘pleasing’ political bosses to make the cut
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 19
Chandigarh seems to be the hot destination for mayoral aspirants. With just two days left for the mayoral election, hectic lobbying is on amongst all mayoral aspirants to “please” their political bosses. Some of them have been visiting Chandigarh regularly for the past many days.
Ahead of the mayoral election, a signboard being redone near the MC Zone-A office in Ludhiana on Wednesday.
Ahead of the mayoral election, a signboard being redone near the MC Zone-A office in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

To make a last-ditch effort, two senior municipal councillors, Pal Singh Grewal and outgoing Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura even met Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at his office at the Punjab Civil Secretariat today. Some other aspirants also visited Chandigarh today.

However, Pal Singh Grewal confirmed that he visited Chandigarh, but Hakam Singh Giaspura claimed that he did not go there. Another councilor, who visited Chandigarh to meet the Chief Minister stated, “We don’t want to waste time. I don’t want to leave anything to chance, and that is why, I along with some of my supporters visited Chandigarh to meet Parkash Singh Badal,” he claimed while requesting anonymity.

Even cabinet minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon, who has been made an observer of the mayoral election, will arrive in the city tomorrow. “He will remain present in the committee room of the MC’s Zone-A office at the time the election. He is expected to reach the city tomorrow evening and will keep a close watch on the activities of the party councillors,” said a senior party leader.

Being the richest civic body of the state, the post of Ludhiana Mayor is considered a prestigious one in the state.

The names making the rounds for the post of Mayor are three-time councillor Pal Singh Grewal, outgoing Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura, two-time councillor Kamaljit Singh Karwal, two-time councillor Jagbir Singh Sokhi and two-time councillor Paramjit Kaur Shivalik.

On September 21, Ajit Singh Pannu, Divisional Commissioner, Patiala, will administer oath to the newly elected councillors at 11 am in the Committee Room of the MC’s Zone-A office located near Mata Rani Chowk, here. Once the councillors are administered oath, there will be a short break, after which the election of Mayor, Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor will be held.

Last-ditch effort
To make a last-ditch effort, two senior municipal councillors, Pal Singh Grewal and outgoing Mayor Hakam Singh Giaspura even met Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal at his office at the Punjab Civil Secretariat today. Some other aspirants also visited Chandigarh on Wednesday




Renovation of new MC headquarters in full swing
 Seven senior officials to be shifted to the building
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 19
Work on converting the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation’s Zone A building, near the Mata Rani Chowk, into the headquarters is going on in full swing. The work also involves increasing the size of the rooms and renovating them for senior officials.

MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma has started sitting in the Zone A office on all the working days. His predecessors used to sit in the Zone A office only on Mondays, while on the remaining working days of the week, they used to sit in the Zone D office at Sarabha Nagar.

Orders have also been issued for seven senior MC officials, who presently sit in the Zone C and Zone D offices, to shift to the Zone A office.

These officers include H S Khosa, A K Singla and Dharam Singh, all three Additional Commissioner (Technical) of the bridges and roads branch; Manjit Singh, Additional Commissioner (Technical) of the operations and maintenance branch; Dr Charanjit Uppal and Dr Vipin Malhotra, both Municipal Health Officers; and Surinder Kumar, Executive Engineer of the horticulture branch.

The MC Commissioner reportedly holds several meetings with these officials on a daily basis. As they presently sit in offices located in other branches, whenever they come for a meeting to the Zone A office, it leads to wastage of a lot of time.

MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma said: “Only these seven officials had offices in other zones. I have decided, therefore, to shift them to the Zone A office building that is being converted into the MC headquarter. Besides, I have also asked my staff to renovate the existing rooms into big halls so that more people can be accommodated here. We are trying to make the best use of the available space.”

Sources within the civic body informed that the basement of the Zone A building might be used to open a Suvidha centre, where counters will be set up for providing services under the Right to Service Act. The ground floor of the building might also be converted into offices only for the working of the Zone A, while the remaining three floors will house the seven senior officers.

Even the rooms located on the left side of the entry gate have been converted into a big hall. Ever since the decision on converting the Zone A building into the MC headquarter was taken earlier this month, the process of shifting of important files and records is also going on.



encroachments in F-block market
LIT, MC busy passing the buck
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 19
Despite the fact that the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) to clear encroachments in the form of jhuggis at the F-block market adjoining Orient Cinema in the Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar area, here, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation and LIT officials are busy passing the buck.

With no check either by the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation or the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, a large area of the parking lot meant for F-block market has been encroached upon. Some people have constructed jhuggis in the parking area and instead of clearing them the officials of both the civic bodies are passing the buck.

While speaking to The Tribune, Col Jagdish Singh Brar, president of NGO Maha Sabha, Ludhiana, claimed that the MC Commissioner had given an undertaking in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on March 28, 2011, that the parking would be made functional after rehabilitation of slum dwellers within a period of four months. But nothing has been done so far. As per the undertaking, the encroachments were to be removed by August 30, but the deadline had already passed and instead of removing the encroachments, the MC was passing the buck to LIT,” alleged Col Brar.

While the MC building branch officials claim that a government letter (number 11/8/2011- 2SS2/418 and dated February 23) clearly stated that the responsibility of clearing the encroachments from any property of LIT that was not sold, remained with LIT even if it had been handed over to the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation.

“We have already written a letter regarding the same to LIT on August 6 and have asked them to clear all such encroachments themselves,” claimed the Assistant Town Planner of Zone D, in his letter written to the NGO.

Sukhbir Singh Jakhar, trust engineer, LIT, claimed that the shop-cum-offices (SCOs) were fully developed and sold by them many years ago. “Now if any encroachment has come up on them, it becomes the duty of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation to clear them. As per the MC claims, our duty to remove the encroachments is only on that property which is unsold, whereas this market is already sold and the jhuggis have come up in the parking area” he claimed.

MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma assured that he would certainly look into the matter. “If there are any encroachments in the market’s parking area, they will be removed,” he assured.

“As both LIT and the MC are busy in their blame game, it is the shopkeepers and the area residents, who are at the receiving end,” rued Col Brar.



New voters to be enrolled from Oct1, says DC
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 19
The new voters in the district will be enrolled between October 1 and 31. This was stated by Ludhiana Deputy Commissoner Rahul Tiwari, here today. The DC was chairing a meeting of election officers, assistant election officers and master trainers held at Bachat Bhawan in the Mini Secretariat.

All booth-level officers across the district will read out the names in the voters list of all the wards on October 6 and 9, respectively and these officers will be available on October 7, 17 and 21 in their offices and prepare the new votes of those competing 18 years on January 1, 2013, said Tiwari.

Tiwari further said that an objective type test would be conducted for all the election registration officers, assistant election registration officers and master trainers at Bachat Bhawan on September 26. Similarly, a test will be held for all booth-level officers at the same venue.



Industry not to support bandh
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 19
The local industry has decided not to support the Bharat Bandh call given by the Bhartiya Janata Party with its allied parties tomorrow. Industrialists said that they too were against the price hike of diesel, the foreign direct investment (FDI) and the limitation put on the usage of domestic gas-cylinders but the Akali/BJP government ruling in Punjab, too, had not given them any respite to the industry. Since the call is totally "politically motivated", the industry will not support it. But if the Punjab Government announces to reduce or exempt VAT, the industry will definitely stand by them.

Talking to The Tribune, Badish K.Jindal, president, Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association (FOPSIA), said that the industry was against all the three decisions taken by the state government. "Tomorrow's bandh is politically motivated, and we can not be serving the interests of various political parties. Since the BJP has given the call and they are a part of the ruling government in Punjab, they have hardly done anything for the progress of the industry despite our repeated requests and threats. So why should we be a puppet in their hands?", asked Jindal.

Rajesh Kumar, a hosiery manufacturer in Sunder Nagar, said that they were in no mood to shutdown the factories tomorrow. "We are already disturbed by the step-motherly treatment being meted out to us by the state government. Even the Central Government is no exception. We will not close the units to make the bandh a success for a particular political party. We are not ready to bear losses by shutting our units", he said.



SAD-BJP workers to gather near Clock Tower Chowk
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 19
The SAD (B) - BJP party workers will congregate near the Clock Tower Chowk in the city to participate in the Bharat Bandh against the Congress-led UPA Government. The bandh call has been given in protest against the hike in diesel price, the FDI in the multi-brand retail and the cap on the number of subsidised LPG cylinders.

The District BJP Chief Parveen Bansal and the District Akali Jatha Ludhiana (Urban) president Hira Singh Gabria said this, while interacting with media persons at the Circuit House this evening.

Flaying what he termed as "anti-people" policies of the UPA Government, Bansal claimed that the hike in diesel price would have a spiralling effect on the prices of essential commodities. "The FDI in the multi-brand retail will hit small-time retailers who will be rendered jobless," he added.

Meanwhile, Gabria alleged that the UPA Government's economic policies were geared towards benefitting bigwigs. He condemned the restriction on the number of subsidised LPG cylinders. He also claimed that fuel prices had been increased six times in a year, which had overburdened the people financially.

Criticising the Congress on the issue of "Coalgate", he justified the stalling of Parliament in the monsoon session by the BJP.



Marriage palaces to follow norms for regularisation
 Only seven have got NOC from GLADA so far 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 19
In its orders on September 4, the Punjab and Haryana High Court said that marriage palace owners, who wanted their premises to be regularised, needed to apply to the authorities concerned (in the district) and follow a draft policy framed by the Chief Administrators of all the development authorities and the Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development, Punjab.

On all major issues regarding the construction and running of the marriage palaces, the owners will have to follow instructions/orders/notifications from time -to-time. On the availability of the parking space, the marriage palace owners need to follow the criteria framed in the policy, said the court.

Meanwhile, the marriage palace owners will now apply to the district wise committees for regularising their marriage palaces. The committee members will include the Chief Administrator, GLADA, as the chairman with the representatives each from the Deputy Commissioner, PSPCL (Senior Engineer), PWD (Senior Engineer), in charge of the schedule road, Environment Engineer PPCB, District Forest Officer, a representative from the fire department and the District Town Planner.

Baldev Singh, Additional Chief Administrator, GLADA, recently informed the Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, that just seven marriage palace owners out of the total 219 in the district had obtained the no objection certificate (NOC) from GLADA. Those with NOC include Harsheela Resorts, Regency Garden, Overseven Seas marriage palace (all on Ferozpur Road), Mater Palace Pakhowal Road, Riviera Resorts, Pakhowal Road, Southend Garden, Pakhowal Road and Karan Marriage Palace on the Ferozpur Road. Baldev Singh further added that these had NOC by GLADA. “We can not comment whether they have obtained NOCs from other departments. It will have to be checked by the departments concerned. We have issued a notice on the issue through various sections of the media that the marriage palace owners can apply for regularisation of their premises within one month”, said the ACA.



Mystery shrouds woman’s death

Ludhiana, September 19
A 27-year-old wife of an Army man died under mysterious circumstances on her way to the Civil Hospital here today. The deceased has been identified as Vijay Laxmi of Odisha, who is the wife of Akshay Kumar, a soldier.

According to available information, Vijay Laxmi complained of stomach pain this morning. She was rushed to the hospital where she was declared brought dead. The police recorded the statement of Akshay Kumar and took the body in its possession.

The investigating officer said that Vijay Laxmi's parents had been informed about her death. The police will conduct a postmortem examination tomorrow and viscera will be sent to the chemical lab to ascertain the reason behind her death, he said. — TNS



Children relish laddoos on Ganesh Chaturthi

ludhiana, September 19
The birth of Lord Ganesha was celebrated with great pomp and show at the ABC Montessori School, BRS Nagar here today. 

The whole campus was decorated with flowers, bulbs and ribbons on the occasion. of Parvati, Ganesh and Shiva and moved the audience with their spontaneous dialogues. This was followed by a dance performance on a prayer by the LKG students. Children also relished “laddoos” and other sweets on the occasion. – TNS



Roadways employees stage protest
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 19
The members of Punjab Roadways Employees' Union held a gate rally at Punjab Roadways Depot here today. The union members raised slogans against the state government for not fulfilling various pending demands of the roadways employees.

While addressing the union members during the rally, union leader Amreek Singh Meeka stated that while on one side the state government had been making tall claims of pulling the Punjab Roadways out of a financial deficit, on the other side it had discontinued the AC bus service to the Delhi Airport from various stations.

The union leader further alleged that this had been done to benefit the private bus services in the state, mostly owned by leaders of the ruling party. The union members threatened to intensify their struggle if the state government failed to fulfill their various pending demands. 



Interlocking tiles dislocate within 2 months
 Residents accuse contractor of using substandard material
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, September 18
The interlocking tiles laid out on some streets of Ahata Sujapuria in Ward Number 2 of Jagraon Municipal Council have started to dislocate from various places within two months of installation.
Residents show a dislocated portion of interlocking tiles at Ahata Sujapuria in Jagraon.
Residents show a dislocated portion of interlocking tiles at Ahata Sujapuria in Jagraon. A tribune photograph

"The interlocking tiles were laid out in our locality only about two months back, but these tiles have already started to dislocate," said Pardeep Kumar, who lives on the Street Number 4 of this locality.

The residents blamed the substandard material used by the contractor while installing these interlocking tiles in the locality for this situation.

"The workers hired by the contractor did not use material of good quality. Besides, they did not even level the ground properly before fixing the interlocking tiles, as a result of which the tiles have started to dislocate so early. Although we had informed the area councillor about the substandard material being used by the contractor, the municipal council did not pay any heed to the concerns raised by us," rued Purshotam Lal, another resident.

Bringing to light the gravity of the situation, another resident Pyara Singh said a school bus got stuck in a huge pit formed due to the dislocation of tiles in the locality yesterday morning. “It was after a lot of trouble that the school bus was pulled out of the pit," he said.

This is not for the first time that the interlocking tiles have started dislocating within such a short period of time. Similar reports had poured in from various areas including College Road, Lajpat Rai Road, Shastri Nagar and Geeta Colony in the past. Residents of these localities had also alleged the use of substandard material by the contractors.

The residents are demanded the civic body authorities to conduct an inquiry into the matter.

MC president Baldev Krishan Dhir, however, said he was not aware of the interlocking tiles being dislocated in Ahata Sujapuria. He assured that the contractor would be asked to fix the problem.

"We recently decided to fix the responsibility of doing the repair work on contractors if the interlocking tiles started to dislocate within one year,” he said.



college notes
Students told ways to lead stress-free life
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 19
A seminar on the art of mind management under the banner of the “Art of Living” was organised on the premises of Kamla Lohtia SD College on Wednesday. The Art of Living is a non-governmental organisation working with the purpose of creation of a stress-free and violence-free society. Sumit Mahajan accompanied by other faculty members of the NGO discussed various relevant issues like mind management, stress management and the ways to lead a happy and successful life. They highlighted the importance of meditation for a stress-free mind and a healthy body.

170 showcase their talent
Over 170 BEd and MEd students of the GHG Khalsa College of Education, Gurusar Sadhar, participated in a talent search programme on the college campus on Wednesday. The programme started with the recitation of the college “shabad”. Students took part in various activities on the occasion. The chief guest appreciated all the participants and encouraged them to harness their talents.

Students augment their knowledge about corporate sector
Doraha: Doraha Institute of Management and Technology (DIMT) organised an event to make students aware of various companies. Students of MBA, BBA, BCA and BCom professional streams participated in competition with the theme ‘Know the companies’ during the event. The students were divided into 14 teams and were asked to explain company profile, product range, special features, strengths and weaknesses of various companies using PowerPoint presentations. Students gave presentations on Indian as well as multinational corporations in which they discussed historical developments and the present status of various companies in the Indian market. The event was held with the aim of developing business aptitude and personality of students to make them employable in the corporate sector. Such activities augment their career prospects by supplementing their knowledge 
and confidence, said Prof Harpreet Singh, principal, DIMT. 



ludhiana scan
Akal Market to be closed

To support the bandh call, the Akal Market and other nearby markets in the city will remain closed on Thursday. Balwinder Singh Bhullar, spokesperson of the market committee, said the shopkeepers will also burn the effigy of the Central Government to protest against the "anti-people" policies. The shopkeepers said that government had made a wrong decision against which market associations will support the bandh call.

SHGs to make poor self-reliant
Self help groups will be formed to provide an opportunity to the poor and needy to become self-reliant under the Swarn Jayanti Self-Employment scheme. These views were expressed by ADC (D) Rishipal Singh while addressing a camp at Dholanwal village. The camp was organised by the District Rural Development Agency in association with Lead Bank. Jeet Singh, lead bank manager, provided instructions to the BPL families about the various schemes being run by the government for their benefit. He encouraged the youngsters to take part in such schemes and become self-reliant.

Legal-aid clinic opened
A legal aid clinic was opened at Rampur village for providing assistance to the poor and needy. Providing details about the clinic, KK Singla, Chief Judicial Magistrate cum Secretary District Legal Services Authority, said legal cells were being opened following the directions of the Supreme Court and High Courts. He added that members of scheduled castes and backward class, victims of natural calamities, industrial workers, women and children in jails, whose annual income was less than Rs 1 lakh per annum were entitled to get free legal services. He said that those interested could apply to the authorities concerned for claiming these facilities. He also said that a mega Lok Adalat will be held on December 1 at the New Court Complex here and people must come to get their grievances addressed.

Farmers call for Punjab bandh
Phillaur: All 17 farmers’ organisations have again have given a call for Punjab Bandh on October 5 in protest against the unexpected increase in the prices of essential commodities including diesel. This was announced by CPI(M) leader Mangat Ram Pasla while addressing a social gathering in Kanna Dhesian village on Wednesday. While criticising the policies of the government, he appealed to the people to make Punjab bandh a success.

Special blood screening test
Individual Donor Nucleic Acid Amplification Testing (ID-NAT) for blood screening was introduced at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital. It has been introduced for the first time in the state, claimed the hospital authorities. The ID-NAT lab at the DMCH was inaugurated by secretary of DMCH managing society Prem Kumar Gupta along with principal Dr Daljit Singh. Gupta said this was an international standard blood screening test and had caught many cases of HIV, HCV and HBV infections that were missed by regular tests.

LPG suppliers say no to delivery
During a meeting of the north-west region of the LPG Federation, the members demanded a single price policy for the delivery of LPG cylinders. They said they would not make delivery of subsidised cylinders to homes for the rest of the year. They also demanded that 15 per cent commission should be paid to them for commercial LPG cylinders, Ravjot Singh, a member of the federation, informed. — TNS



Imposter held
 Was posing as food, civil supplies inspector 
Our Correspondent

Phillaur, September 19
The Phillaur police has succeeded to nab an imposter who was posing to be an inspector of food and civil supplies department. The accused, identified as Mohit Gupta of Gurdaspur, used to demand bribe from people to issue ration cards, gas connection, and ration depot allotment. 

SHO, Phillaur, Gulshan Lal said the imposter was nabbed after Thala village sarpanch informed the police about him. Gupta had offered the sarpanch a deal of allotting a ration depot, following which the sarpanch contacted the police. SHO Gulshan Lal said the accused was charging Rs 1,000 for a ration card, Rs 4,100 for an LPG connection and Rs 60,000 for a ration depot.

Gupta has been held under Section 420/170 of the IPC and would be produced before the local judicial magistrate tomorrow, added SHO.



70 sacks of poppy husk recovered, one arrested
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, September 19
The Jagraon police has arrested one person and seized 70 sacks of poppy husk from the truck being driven by him at a checkpost set up near Ramghar Bhullar village on the Jagraon-Sidhwan Bet Road today afternoon. The accused has been identified as Anil Kumar, a resident of Uttar Pradesh.

The police has registered a case against the accused under various sections of the NDPS Act at Jagraon Sadar police station. The police has also impounded the truck in which the contraband was being smuggled.

DSP Surinder Kumar said a police party lead by Jagraon narcotics cell in charge officer ASI Gurpreet Singh had set up a checkpost near Ramghar Bhullar village today.

"The police was searching vehicles at the ‘naka’ when a truck coming from the Sidhwan Bet side was stopped. Upon searching it, the police recovered 70 sacks of poppy husk. Following this, the police arrested the truck driver and took the contraband in its custody. The police has also impounded the truck in which the drug was being smuggled,” said the DSP.

Later on, the accused was produced before a local court which awarded him a three-day police remand.

This is the second incident of a huge quantity of poppy husk being seized by the local police in the last three days.

Two days back, the local police had arrested two persons and seized 25 sacks of poppy husk from a truck they were traveling in. They were bringing the contraband from a neighbouring state.



Man crushed to death
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, September 19
A 70-year-oldman was crushed to death at Jamalpur Chowk on Chandigarh Road here today. The victim identified as Chander Bhushan was travelling on a moped when a pickup truck from behind hit the rear end of the vehicle.

Chander Bhushan lost control and fell on the road. Before he could regain control the truck ran over him.

The commuters rushed him to the hospital, but he was declared brought dead.

The police has sent the body to the Civil Hospital for postmortem examination and registered a case against the truck driver for reckless driving resulting in death.

NRI youth killed in accident
Phillaur: A 25-year-old non-resident Indian was killed after the motorcycle he was riding on hit a speeding heavyweight vehicle on the Phillaur-Noormahal road last night. The deceased, identified as Sarabjit Singh of village Uppal Jagir, reportedly died on the spot after the accident. 



Attempt to murder case Nine get 7-year term
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 19
Additional Sessions Judge HS Grewal today sentenced nine persons to undergo rigorous imprisonment for seven years each, in an attempt to murder case.

Those convicted include: Manjit Singh, Mohd Ibrahim, Ashok Kumar Pandey, Hari Nath Parshad, Chakarpal Singh, Tej Bahadur, Ashok Kumar and Virinder Singh of Railway Colony, Charbagh, Lucknow.

All the accused were booked under Sections 307 and 120-B of the IPC and 25 of Arms Act at Police Station Division No: 5, following the complaint of Bipin Sharma of Ludhiana, a union leader of the Northern Railways. As per prosecution, all accused entered into criminal conspiracy to kill the complainant. 



fake snatching incident
One arrested, money recovered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 19
The Ludhiana Police has arrested Davinder Singh, who posed as a snatcher and fled with a bag containing cash worth Rs 18 lakh being carried by complainant Rahul, from Feroze Gandhi Market on Monday. The police has also reportedly recovered the money from him. The second accused, Gurpreet Singh alias Goi, is yet to be arrested.

Rahul, who was working for a share broker RK Verma for the last three year, created furore in the busy Feroze Gandhi Market on Monday when he claimed that two unidentified motorcycle-borne men snatched a bag containing Rs 18 lakh from him. On being questioned by the police, Rahul confessed of hatching a fictitious snatching story to usurp the money of his employer. He had involved Davinder and Gurpreet in his plan. As per the plan, Davinder and Gurpreet intercepted Rahul near a bank where he was supposed to deposit the money. After snatching his bag, the duo fled from the scene. Rahul pretended to give the snatchers a chase and also got hurt in the process. 



Food and supplies controller gets bail
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, September 19
Additional Sessions Judge AS Virk yesterday granted anticipatory bail to Amritpal Singh, District Food and Supplies Controller, Pathankot. He was booked by the local police on a complaint filed by his wife Paramjit Kaur, a resident of HIG Flats, Rajguru Nagar, here. The case was registered at the Sarabha Nagar Police Station on September 1, 2012.

Complainant Paramjit Kaur had alleged that she was being mentally and physically tortured by her husband ever since she got married in 1995. Since 2008, the couple has been living separately.

The DFSC had denied the allegations levelled by his wife. He had submitted that he was falsely implicated in the case.



inter-school football
BVM eves lose a thriller to Dakha 
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, September 19
Bhartiya Vidya Mandir (BVM) Senior Secondary School, Kitchlu Nagar branch, waged a spirited battle before losing a thriller 3-4 and the title to Government Girls High School, Dakha, in the Inter-School Zonal Football Tournament (girls U-19) organised by the District Education Department at BVM, Kitchlu Nagar, here today.

The final was decided via a tie-breaker as the regular period and extra time failed to produce any result. It was the Government School, Dakha, girls who went into an early lead when Manjeet Kaur sent a grounder into the net in the seventh minute.

However, their joys were short lived as BVM scored the equaliser five minutes later through Ravjot Kaur (1-1).

After changing ends, players of both the teams weaved good moves but the desired result eluded them. Both the outfits missed a couple of sitters and the tie remained unresolved in the stipulated time.

Then, the extra time rule was applied during which the two teams pressed hard to score the decider, but fumbled at crucial stages and the match ended in a one-all draw.

In the tie breaker, Government Girls High School, Dakha, scored three goals through Jaswinder Kaur, Kamal and Sandeep Kaur, while hosts BVM could convert two penalty kicks into goals (Kritika and Shruti Dubey), which sealed their fate 3-4.

In a match played in the girls’ under-14 category, between Satlul Public School, Rahon road, and Government Girls High School, Dakha, the former came out triumphant 2-0.

Simran Kaur scored one goal in each half to help her team to romp home victors.a Earlier, OP Sabharwal, manager, BVM, Kitchlu Nagar, declared the tournament open. Principal Santosh Mehra and Baljeet Singh Gill, director (sports), BVM School, along with faculty members were present at the inaugural ceremony.



baseball meet
Ludhiana team selected
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, September 19
The following players have been selected to represent Ludhiana district in the sixth Punjab State Baseball Championship for Women to be held at Saahi Sports College, Samrala, on September 20 and 21, coach Harbir Singh Gill said.

Selected players

Sukhjit, Navdeep, Amanjit, Amanjot, Sandeep, Nirmaljit, Veerpal, Sukhpreet, Arshi, Raj Rani, Mandeep, Arshdeep, Amandeep, Jaganjeet, Veerpal Kaur and Ramandeep Kaur



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