L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC tightens noose on tax defaulters
 Seals shops located in Ansal Plaza; removes seals after shopkeepers agree to pay dues
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation seems to be in the driving seat when it comes to recovering dues from residents. The civic body officials are finalising a list of defaulters from whom dues in the form of house tax and other taxes are to be recovered. This list is expected to be finalised in a week after which a massive drive will be launched.

The MC officials say the development in the city is suffering due to a shortage of funds. Due worth crores are yet to be recovered by the MC from residents and shopkeepers and that is why the MC officials decided to start this drive than taking loan for carrying out development works in the city.

Moving forward in this regard, an MC team had "sealed" the premises of a few shops located in Ansal Plaza on the Ferozepur Road here yesterday. Certain shop owners have defaulted on payment of house tax worth a whopping Rs 2.92 crore. However, after getting assurance from the defaulters that the outstanding house tax will be paid by Friday, the MC team broke the seals.

"We had sent them notices and still they did not bother to pay house tax dues. That is why we were forced to seal the premises of some of the shops. But now all the defaulters running business at Ansal Plaza have agreed in writing to pay up the outstanding amount by Friday. Even the owners of Ansal Plaza will be paying his dues by Friday," said Hartej Singh, superintendent, Zone D office of the MC.

Last week, the MC had recovered Rs 39.25 lakh as pending house tax from a retail chain, Best Price, which is running its operations in the city. An MC team, comprising Additional Commissioner Davinder Singh, Zonal Commissioner Kamlesh Bansal, Additional Commissioner (Technical) Manjit Singh and other officials, had visited the office of Best Price and recovered outstanding house tax worth Rs 39.25 lakh.

It’s not only dues, but the MC is even going strict on those malls, which are violating rules. The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation had imposed a penalty of Rs 4.94 lakh on MBD Neopolis, a shopping mall-cum-multiplex on the Ferozepur Road, for carrying out illegal construction on its premises. The violation of the building bylaws were detected in the construction of a banquet hall in the mall when the MC authorities visited the mall after they received a complaint in this regard.

Superintendent, MC, Hartej Singh has appealed to all the defaulters to pay their dues else action will be taken against them. "If the defaulters want that they should not get harassed due to the sealing of their premises, they should pay their outstanding amounts. And if anyone still fails to pay his dues, we will not hesitate to seal his premises," warned Hartej Singh.


Carjackers flee with Rs 44 lakh Volvo car
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
Three carjackers, posing as kin of an eminent industrialist, fled with a Volvo car worth Rs 44 lakh by throwing red chilly powder into the eyes of two employees of a car company on the Ferozepur Road here today.

Pankaj, the sales executive of the car company, said the carjackers took the car towards the Ferozepur Road on the pretext test drive. Pankaj said when they reached near Baddowal, the trio threw red chilly powder into the eyes of Pankaj and Rupinder. They pushed Rupinder and Pankaj out of the moving vehicle and fled with it.

The employees informed the police about the incident. A high alert was sounded and the DIG, Ludhiana Range, MF Farooqui, and SSP Ashish Choudhary constituted special teams to nab the carjackers.

Pankaj said the carjackers went towards Moga. The mobile phone number, on which the carjackers were communicating with the car company, was also not working.

It was not the first time that a luxury car has been taken away by carjackers. Earlier, a Volkswagen was taken away by carjackers in a similar manner. Later,

a college student, who became debt-ridden because of his habit of gambling, was arrested with his two friends for their alleged involvement in the carjacking.



People witness victory of good over evil
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

A view of Ram Darbar; security personnel control crowd; and (extreme right) the effigy of Ravana burns in Ludhiana on Wednesday.
A view of Ram Darbar; security personnel control crowd; and (extreme right) the effigy of Ravana burns in Ludhiana on Wednesday. photos: Inderjeet verma

Ludhiana, October 24
Daresi Grounds in the old city celebrated the festival of “Vijay Dashmi” or Dasehra by organising a huge fair every year. If sources are to be believed then this fair has been organised regularly in the grounds for the past more than 100 years.

The main attraction in the fair has always been the effigy of Ravana. This time about 90 feet tall effigy of Ravana was burnt amidst huge crowds to celebrate the victory of good over evil.

Thousands of visitors thronged Daresi Grounds to witness the burning of the effigy of Ravana, which was stuffed with fire-crackers worth several lakhs of rupees. To make it more convenient to the visitors, the organisers, Shri Ram Lila Committee, this time had arranged for the LED screens in the grounds to help the visitors to watch the celebrations with better visibility.

The visitors had gathered not only from the city but also from nearby villages as well. The stalls of eatables, various kinds of swings etc caught the attention of the kids, who accompanied their parents to witness the fun-filled event. Due to the huge rush of visitors the police had to make tight security arrangements and even the CCTV cameras were installed in the ground.

As soon as the effigy of Ravana was burnt, there were screams and excitement all around. The youngsters started blowing whistles to witness the victory of good over evil. Crackers filled in Ravana's effigy were burst continuously for more than 20-25 minutes, giving the crowds every reason to cheer.

Ram Nath, an octogenarian, while sharing the nostalgic moments said, "I have been witnessing this fair for more than 60 years now. We used to come with friends to enjoy the celebrations. Daresi Ground has also witnessed the Indian Freedom Struggle. It is one of the largest open spaces in this Industrial city.

At one point of time, the ground used to be a beautiful park with greenery all around but now it is a thing of past. Such celebrations refresh the memories", said the octogenarian.

Krishan Lal Bajaj, the chairman of the committee told The Tribune that Dasehra fair is being organised here for the last 100 years. "It has always been an attraction in the city and political leaders from various parties, too take part in the celebrations every year,” said Bajaj.



Saplings die without water as colleges, Forest Department pass buck
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
Photographs showing VIPs and other dignitaries planting saplings with much fanfare on different occasions are a usual thing, but it is very rare that someone goes an extra mile to nurture the plants and ensure that these do survive.
A dead plant at the Government College for Women in Ludhiana.
A dead plant at the Government College for Women in Ludhiana. Photo: inderjeet verma

A recent example of the wasted effort which went into tree plantation is the huge number of saplings planted by the Forest Department in government colleges here last year, which met a premature death due to a lack of care by the authorities. The Forest Department had claimed to have planted 5,000 saplings at SCD Government College and another 2,000 at the Government College for Women in September last year.

A visit to both the colleges for a reality check revealed that a majority of the plants were dead and the reason being cited by the college authorities was unavailability of water to irrigate the plants. Ironically, even the basic task of watering the plants is a bone of contention between the Forest Department and the college authorities.

A grant was provided to the Government College for Women for the installation of a submersible pump in the college to irrigate the plants, but the pump is still non-operational.

Gurminder Kaur, Principal of the Government College for Women, said: "Earlier, we did not have any source of water but now we have received the grant for the installation of a water pump on the ground of the college. The installation work has been completed and the pump will become functional soon."

She was of the view that the Forest Department ought to take the responsibility of nurturing the plants.

Daljit Singh Brar, District Forest officer, however, has a different opinion. He said: "It is the responsibility of the college authorities to take proper care of the saplings. But, if they are not able to do this, the college authorities should inform us so that we can make alternative arrangements to ensure that the saplings remain in good health."

The dead plants will be replaced with new ones very soon, he added.



Warning boards outside liquor vends missing
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
Busy earning money, the owners of liquor vends have forgotten their moral duty of displaying the statutory warning outside their vends. The Excise and Taxation Department has issued instructions for displaying the warning, "Drinking is injurious to health", outside the vends, but a majority of the liquor vends in the city have failed to follow the instructions.

"We are not aware of any such instructions. Putting up the warning outside vends will hardly make a difference," said a salesman at a liquor vend on the Ferozepur Road.

Instead of putting up a warning, liquor vends are promoting the sale of liquor by putting up huge display boards. This practice should be checked. The department concerned should even fine those who fail to put up a warning outside their vends, said Sukjinder Singh, a senior citizen.

"Sometimes such warnings play a major role. The warning sometime pricks the conscious of a person. So vends should put up the warning outside," said Gurkirat, a member of an NGO.

"It is an ethical duty of the owners of liquor vends to put up a warning outside the vend and we have even issued instructions regarding the same. It is a moral duty and we are not imposing fines if somebody fails to do so," Kanwalpreet Brar, DETC.



Misconceptions about dengue make patients feel panicky
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
With more and more dengue cases being reported, people have started feeling panicky even if they suffer from any other simple fever.

There are many misconceptions about dengue. Whenever any patient, suffering from fever, comes to know about a fall in the platelet level, he and his family start feeling panicky.

Manjit Saini, president of Salaam Zindagi, said: "I receive many calls from people who keep asking me to arrange single donor platelet (SDP) on the plea that their patient's platelet count has gone down. However, we have to tell them time and again not to feel panicky and do what physician says."

Dr Sandeep Puri, Medical Superintendent of the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, said: "According to the World Health Organisation, there are two types of dengue fever. One is simple dengue fever while the other is dengue haemorrhagic fever. The dengue haemorrhagic fever has four categories. In grade-I patient suffers from fever with platelet count being more than 1 lakh. In grade -II the platelets are less than one lakh and the patient witnesses petechial haemmorhage (red bluish patches appear on the skin when the patient undergoes tourniquet test). In grade III there is fever along with bleeding in any of the body parts and in grade IV there is multiple organ failure due to dengue virus.

He said we usually recommend admission to hospital only when patient suffers from grade III or grade IV dengue, which is of course very serious grade.

Dr Hardeep Singh, president of the PCMS Association, Punjab, said: "These days there are a lot of cases of viral fever. But, all viral fever cases are not of dengue. This year the number of dengue cases is far less compared to last year."

The Symptoms

Sudden and high fever

Severe headaches

Pain behind the eyes

Severe joint and muscle pain

Nausea, vomiting

Skin rash, which appears three or four days after the onset of fever

Mild bleeding (such as nose bleed, bleeding gums or easy bruising)

The symptoms of dengue usually begin four or six days after infection and last for up to 10 days.

Control room

The Health Department has established a control room, the number of which is 0161 2444193. District Epidemiologit Anil verma said: "We conduct dengue test free of cost. Anyone suspicious of suffering from dengue should contact us at this number."



Eleven more test positive
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
Eleven more positive cases of dengue were reported here today. Of these patients, six belong to Ludhiana while three are from Fatehgarh Sahib and one each from Moga and Himachal Pradesh.

The District Epidemiologist, Dr Anil Verma, said: "With these fresh cases, Ludhiana district has received 109 cases of dengue this season so far."

Dr Verma said the machine for testing samples of dengue at the Lord Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital was now working properly. This test is conducted free of cost at the Civil Hospital, he added.

Dos and Don'ts

* Clean and keep coolers dry once a week

*  Don’t store containers/tyres on rooftops

*  Wear full-sleeve shirts and cover your feet in the morning and evening

*  Spray insecticides under tables and behind curtains

*  Use anti-mosquito nets to prevent dengue and malaria.



Improvement trusts
No decision on top posts for now
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 24
The Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) has been revived by the Punjab Government and the administrator appointed after the dissolution of the trust, along with 27 others in the state on July 11, 2012, has been redesignated as chairman or chairperson. A notification to this effect was issued by the Local Government Department, Punjab, on October 5, 2012.

Political observers here are of the view that if right now the government is not in a mood to nominate political persons as chairmen of the trusts all over the state, the next logical step would be to appoint certain government officials as trustees. Simply reviving the trust and redesignating the administrator as chairman will not serve the purpose because quite a few policy decisions of the Trust have to be taken by convening a meeting of the body which is not possible in the absence of trustees.

The decision (to revive the Trusts) with bureaucrats continuing as heads of the bodies, albeit without the trustees for the time being, has come as a dampener for those who were expecting political appointments to the posts of chairman and as trustees. Especially, those in the SAD and the BJP eyeing the coveted posts of chairman seem to be a dejected lot.

Although quite a few names were doing rounds for the post of LIT chairman, and party insiders were even claiming that a panel of two names had been sent by the state party leaders to the high command, sources in the BJP said a decision to nominate the chairmen of the Trusts allocated to the party would be taken only after the assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh are over. Because the in charge of party affairs in Punjab, Shanta Kumar, is busy with the elections in his home state.

Local BJP leaders, however, maintain that no such panel of two names exists and the rumour has been circulated by certain vested interests.

The party sources maintained that several BJP leaders, including former state president Rajinder Bhandari and former district president Parveen Bansal, both of whom unsuccessfully contested the assembly elections from Ludhiana, were among the main contenders for the post of chairman.



Expressway project to miss deadline
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
The company, constructing the Sidhwan Canal Expressway project is hoping that one side of the Sidhwan canal bridge on Ferozepur road will be closed for road traffic from October 26. This side has to be closed for three months to construct an underpass.The officials of Supreme Infrastructure said the district administration had assured to close one side of the bridge from October 26.

However, the company officials have admitted that due to delay in closing the one side of the bridge, they will not be able to complete this project on time. The project was to be completed by March 2013. They said due to "delay", the project would get late by a couple of months.

Earlier, one side of the bridge was to be closed in August but a sewerage line had got damaged near the bridge and it took almost a month for the MC to repair it. Later, the traffic police had decided that one bridge will be used for traffic and right side of the Ferozepur Road was widened so that it could accommodate the traffic, which resulted in the wastage of time.

When contacted, Pardeep Kumar, project manager of Supreme Infrastructure, said the district administration had assured that one side of the bridge would be closed from October 26.

"We will not be able to complete the project by March 2013 and there will be a delay of one or two months. Even two rail overbridges could not be constructed constructed on the expressway and the Railways Department has not submitted the drawings for rail overbridges," Pardeep Kumar said.

The foundation stone of the Rs 318-crore Sidhwan Canal four-lane expressway project was laid in 2009. The project has a total of nine bridges, including five canal bridges, two rail overbridges and two flyovers.

Meanwhile, the supply of water to the Sirhind canal will not resume by October 24. The water supply to the canal will remain suspended till october 30 instead of October 24. The supply has been stopped due to the construction of the Sidhwan Canal Expressway project.



Showers bring cheer to hosiery industry

Ludhiana, October 24
Light showers on Tuesday evening has brought cheers to hosiery manufacturers. They are hopeful of bright season ahead. "For the last couple of years hosiery industry has not been having good business as winter season has shorten. We are hopeful of a good season this year," said Gurinder Pahwa, a trader.

“We are keeping our fingers crossed and are hopeful of chilly winters ahead and showers are a positive sign," Lalit Sood, a trader, said. Rajan Jain, a shawl exporter said," Whenever winter season sets in early, our sales increase immensely and the trend continues for the subsequent year too. The rains increase our sales. — TNS



School notes 
Schoolchildren celebrate Dasehra with fervour

Students of ABC Montessori enact a ramlila scene in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Dasehra was celebrated by the students of Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, Doraha, on Wednesday . A colourful cultural programme was presented by the students. Purvi Mehta, art teacher of the school, burnt the effigy of Ravana.

Students of ABC Montessori enact a ramlila scene in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Tribune Photo: Inderjeet Verma.

Cherrylane Play School

Cherrylane Play School students visited a nearby temple to celebrate Dasehra. The children paid obeisance and prayed for victory of good over evil. They along with teachers performed dandiya dance in the school.Teachers told them about the importance of doing good in life.

ABC Montessori

ABC Montessori celebrated Dasehra at ABC Montessori School on Wednesday. The function started with prayers and bhajans of Lord Rama. The effigy of Ravana was burnt on the school premises. All the children wore new clothes and sweets were distributed among them .The school was decorated with flowers and rangoli on the occasion.

Penguin Castle

Penguin Castle, Udham Singh Nagar, celebrated the victory of good over evil at the school on Wednesday. The classes were decorated according to the occasion and students palyed different characters of Ramayana. While Devesh was dressed up as Rama, Arpit looked beautiful as Sita and Deven looked quite impressive as Lakshman. Medhansh looked really cute as Hanuman while Love-Kush were represented by Mridul and Sanchit. Director Kamal Preet Kaur highlighted the importance of Dasehra. The effigy of Ravana was burnt in the school ground. The celebrations concluded with the distribution of sweets to all the students.

Bhartiya Vidya Mandir

While spreading the message of Puranas and highlighting the ancient traditions, Dasehra was celebrated at Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, Udham Singh Nagar, with gaiety and fervour. The children wore the outfits, depicting the different characters of Ramayana. The children showcased their talents. It was delightful to see the children during the occasion.

Green Land Convent School

To mark the triumph of good over evil, the festival was celebrated at Green Land Convent School with great excitement. The whole campus was decked up with flowers. An Inter- House Play Competition was organised, which remained for two days. Each house staged scenes from the Ramayana. School principal asked the students about the importance of the festival and the teachings that Ramayana gave to all human beings. She also appreciated the spectacular show presented by the students under the able guidance of their house incharges.

Jesus' Sacred Heart Schoo

Jesus' Sacred Heart School organised Dasehra celebrations at the school on Wednesday. The students were apprised of deep-rooted cultural and religious significance of the festival. Besides, masks of Ravana were made and and a tear and paste activity was also held to make the effigy of Ravana. The students beautifully portrayed ten social evils prevalent in society and stressed on their resolutions for an evil -free society. — TNS



Folk singer mesmerises spectators at Khanna
Our Correspondent

Khanna October 24
Dasehra was celebrated at the Army ground, GT road, Khanna, with great enthusiasm and fervor by Dasehra Committee. Chief guest of the function Ranjit Singh Talwandi former MLA lit the flame to burn the effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkaran and Meghnath in the presence of big gathering.

Folk singer Geeta Zaildar presented his famous songs and enthralled the audience at this occasion.

Dasehra was also celebrated at Samrala, Machiwara. SPD Khanna when contacted said that Dasehra passed of peacefully in the police district Khanna and to untoward incident was reported from anywhere.



Education loans to go cheap
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
All those seeking education loans have something to cheer about as interest rates on these are likely to drop and banks will no longer turn away students seeking loans for lack of collateral or a guarantor.

At present, a student can apply for an education loan up to Rs 4 lakh without any collateral or guarantor, while loans up to Rs 7.5 lakh can be had without providing collateral (but a guarantor is required). Since there is little provision of recovery in the event of default, banks, especially private ones, are hesitant to give education loans.

And, because of the ‘risk’ nature of such loans, the interest rates are usually kept higher than that on others such as car loans.

To change this anomaly and to persuade banks to offer more education loans, the finance ministry will soon set up a Credit Guarantee Fund by December, which will allow public sector and private banks to extend advances of up to Rs 10,000 crore on education loans up to Rs 7.5 lakh.

The fund will be on the lines of the funds set up for the housing sector and small and medium enterprises. The government is also planning to appoint a common technical body for all the three funds, to ensure their processes are streamlined.

“The government will guarantee 75 per cent of the loan amount, while the bank will have to take a hit of 25 per cent of the loan in the event of default. This has been done to ensure that banks give the loans after proper assessment;” said a senior bank official. It is an irony that car and housing loans today are cheaper than education loans.

Many banks are reluctant to give education loans, said he.

All banks will have to contribute one per cent of the sanctioned loan amount to the fund every year. For example, if the loan is extended to a student at 12 per cent, another one per cent will be charged as fee towards the guarantee fund.

This may neutralise the gains from reduction in interest rates initially, but the finance ministry is confident that education loans will eventually become cheaper.

Under the new scheme, banks can claim up to 75 of the loan amount from the credit guarantee fund in case of default.



Make ration cards on doorstep, says CPI
Kuldip Bhatia
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 24
The Communist Party of India (CPI) has urged the district administration to launch a drive for making ration cards by going from door to door of the people in the city.

A deputation of the party, led by city secretary of CPI, Ramesh Rattan, met the District Food and Supply Controller (DFSC), Lokesh Sharma, in this regard.

The party activists pleaded that it had been for more than 20 years now that the ration cards were made.

"The population of city, in the meantime, has increased manifold and a sizeable number of people had come from other cities and states to settle down in the city in search of employment. Similarly, many more new families have emerged as a result of growth in the existing family during this period,” they said while adding that a large portion of the city population did not have rations cards at present. Ram Rattan and other party leaders pointed out that in the absence of ration card, which is a proof of residence, the city residents have to face many difficulties in their day-to-day life.

They further said it was not possible for most of the people to visit the office of food and civil supplies department to get a ration card made. “In these circumstances, the best course of action is to launch a programme for making new ration cards by going from door-to-door for extensive coverage,” the CPI leaders asserted.

The DFSC, while agreeing with the demand of the party, assured them that the proposal would be favourably considered and necessary follow up action will be taken in this regard very soon.



Proposal to make bids for vanity numbers online
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
The bidding of fancy numbers has always been a craze, especially among the cash-rich society of Ludhiana and the auction has also generated huge amount of money to the state exchequer. To make the bidding of fancy numbers more attractive, transparent and to generate more money, transport department has recently meted-out proposal to make the bidding process online.

A meeting of all the District Transport Officers along with other higher officials in the department was recently held at Chandigarh on this issue and the online bidding proposal was appreciated by majority of the officials. A highly placed official in the department in Chandigarh said that the fancy numbers would also be minimised as there were no takers for many numbers.

“These are all proposals, government has to decide on them. Number 0001 has always been in demand but during bidding procedure, there are often pressure of political bigwigs on the DTOs and state government wants to curb such obligations. So we have proposed that the particular number be given to the interested person at Rs 10 lakh and that too on first come first serve basis. Besides, Numbers 0002-0010 should be sold online between Rs 3-5 lakh. This will not only minimise our headache but the state government will also generate more amount. The department will give certain days to apply for the same,” said the official wishing not to be quoted.

But different District Transport Officials exchanged different views on the proposals. While there was no problem for the cities like Mohali, Ludhiana, Patiala, Amritsar etc on the online procedure, there were chances that the revenue generation from other districts like Ferozpur, Faridkot would fall with the move as people might not spent such huge amount to get attractive numbers.

It may be mentioned here that in Ludhiana, bidding of fancy numbers has always been a craze among Ludhianvis who do not mind spending lakhs of rupees to get a desired number for their luxury vehicles.



Pension, gratuity scheme not implemented even after HC directions
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
Punjab Non-Government Aided College Employees (retd) Association has condemned the state government for not implementing the pension and gratuity scheme even when the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed it (the government) to enforce the implementation of 1996 Pension and Gratuity Scheme in a positive manner.

The president of the association, SS Hundal said that Punjab Government, under the leadership of Parkash Singh Badal, had adopted the Pension and Gratuity Bill in the Punjab Legislative Assembly Unanimously and also had notified the Act. Hundal further said the “Statement of objects and reasons" presented in Vidhan Sabha in 1999 clearly stated that the Pension and Gratuity Scheme will be implemented on the pattern of Privately Aided Schools.

The Punjab Governor gave his assent in 1999 and after getting notified in the gazette, it became the Law of the land.

“The most violent and illegal, blatantly unjust onslaught was made by the issuance of Regulations in 2002, which somersaulted the government scheme into a private venture. This document was utter violation of the act enacted by the state government and was publically burnt by the employees to express their resentment,” said Hundal further adding that the government had now issued notification in January 2012, whereby the rules mentioned in 2002 had been repealed.

“The employees, most of them are in their 70s, demand urgent action by the Chief Minister to implement the Pension and Gratuity Scheme as per Punjab and Haryana High Court Order,” said Hundal.



Commissioner visits paddy mandis

Ludhiana, October 24
Ajit Singh Pannu, Commissioner, Patiala Division, visited the mandis in Mullanpur and Jagraon today to get feedback from the farmers. Prior to the visit, Pannu interacted with the senior officials of district administration here.

He asked the officials to ensure that in the entire paddy procurement process, farmers did not face any problem and paddy must be lifted at the earliest. Pannu said in Ludhiana district, paddy was being procured at about 103 mandis/markets and the farmers were being getting payments within 48 hours. — TNS



Where King of Lanka is worshipped
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, October 24
Dubey family of Payal can never think in terms of burning the effigy of Ravana even in their dreams. The reason being that they regard that it is Ravana, the mighty King, who protects them throughout the year. Despite criticism and disapproval, they continue to offer prayers to the King of Lanka as they feel that none but they alone can realise what indispensable place of reverence does the King of Lanka occupy in their hearts.
A statue of Ravana who is worshipped by people at Payal town.
A statue of Ravana who is worshipped by people at Payal town. photo by writer

Even as others burnt the effigy of Ravana to celebrate Dasehra today, the residents of Payal, especially the Dubey family, offered their prayers to the ‘mighty’ King of Lanka. The mighty style in which the embellished idol of Ravana stands and the high esteem in which it is placed, not only in the temple premises but also in the minds of the townsters defeats the very purpose of celebrating Dasehra, the way it is originally done. Ravana, according to them, was a great scholar and a capable ruler. One of the members of Dubey family shared that their ancestors were issueless. “It was only when a saint guided them to worship the mighty king Ravana that they were blessed with children and restored to happiness and prosperity. Since then, they have been celebrating the

Navratras and the festival of Dasehra in their own unique way.”

“Actually we have to face a lot of disapproval from the people all around. They would not allow us to worship Ravana in any way and the paper statue made by us, to worship Ravana was torn by them. So we had to erect a permanent idol so that we could offer our prayers to him year after year” he informed.

Laughing and enjoying while the effigy of Ravana is being burnt is a spectacle, which the people of Payal especially the Dubey family cannot bear. Though they may be holding Lord Rama in high esteem but the Demon King has no lesser place of acceptance. The localities do not despise the concept of the symbolic significance of this grand festival but at the same time they cannot afford to laugh at the cost of the ten headed Ravana.

As Dubey’s aver “People should show reverence towards this grand figure rather than looking at him with a prejudiced eye. He was no doubt a mighty scholar. We place some crackers on his head and offer at the same time liquor and goats blood to this mighty statue.”

The Dubey family has now extended in different towns and cities but Dashera is one such occasion that binds them once again as they gather to offer prayers to their mighty king at Payal. “We think that this festival brings us closer. Hence, it is all the more auspicious for us. Otherwise we may have been separated forever but this festival has the immense power to keep us intact and get closer with every passing year. For this we again owe our thanks to the Mighty King of Lanka,” they said.

“It was once that they missed their worship and that year proved the heaviest for all of them. They had to encounter various problems and face odd moments that year. Since that fatal year, we have never missed the worship of the mighty lord even for once,” added one of them.



Celebrations amid tight security
Ashok Kaura

Phillaur, October 24
The festival symbolising victory of good over evil, Dasehra, was celebrated in Phagwara, Goraya, Phillaur, Nakodar, Noormahal with religious fervor and gaiety.

A large number of people thronged the different Dasehra grounds to see the grand events. People had gathered much before the programme started. The event started with the bursting of crackers, which thrilled the crowd. Artistes performed major characters of the Ramayana, including Rama, Lakshmana, Ravana and others.

Later, Rama one by one burnt the effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkarna and Meghnath.

The police had also made elaborate arrangements to avoid any untoward incident. A large number of police personnel, besides a dog squad and anti-bomb squad were also deployed at the venue. A few fire tenders were also present on the spot.

The day began with people worshiping Lord Rama in temples and at homes. This was the day when Rawan was killed by Lord Rama.

The different roads presented a panoramic view of roadside mela shops selling watches, toys, bead strings, etc. Shops selling jalebis and pakoras were also doing brisk business. As the day progressed, more and more people came out on the streets and by evening the crowd had swelled to such an extent that it was difficult to walk on the road.

The policemen deployed on duty were having a tough time controlling the crowds. The area around JCT Mills, was full of migrants who displayed more fervour than that of the locals. Dasehra fair was in full swing at Hanuman Garrhi, Hadiabad, JCT Mills, Hoshiarpur Road and Baba Gadhia. Effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkarana and Meghnad dominated the scene.

Different Shri Ramlila Committees celebrated Dusshera at their respective venues in the city. People were seen in joyous and cheerful mood and started raising slogans “Jair Sia Ram” and “Sia-Pati Ram Chander Ki Jai” as soon as the effigies of Rawana Megnaad and Kumbhkaran were set ablaze amidst a big gathering of crowd, the crackers were burst.



Streets packed with crowds
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 24
The town and surrounding localities today boomed with the sounds of exploding crackers marking the conquest of good over evil.

Effigies of Ravana, Meghnath and Kumbhakarna were burnt at MGMN Senior Secondary School here, and at Dehlon, Payal, Malaudh, Kup Sudhar, Pakhowal and Sanduar villages.

In the evening, the roads were full of people making their way to these venues. The roads leading to the venues were lined with vendors selling bows and arrows and other items. The police had to make additional arrangements to prevent apprehended eve teasing and pick pocketing.

A function organised by the Trimurti Ram Lila Club at MGMN Senior Secondary School was presided over by municipal council president Ravinder Puri, while MLA Amargarh Iqbal Singh Jhoondan was the chief guest.

Executive magistrate Manmohan Singh and SHO city Jasbir Singh supervised arrangements. The Ram Lila and Dasehra Committee and Punjab Mahavir Dal led by councillor Bimal Sharma organised an elaborate cultural programme on the occasion.



Thieves break into garment showroom at Jagraon
Decamp with goods worth Rs 4 lakh
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, October 24
Some unidentified thieves broke into a garment showroom situated at Old Sabzi Mandi Road, Jagraon, last night and decamped with the goods worth lakhs.

Forensic experts collect fingerprints from a showroom at Jagraon on Wednesday.
Forensic experts collect fingerprints from a showroom at Jagraon on Wednesday. A tribune photograph 

The incident came to light today morning when the shop owner, Lucky, reached there to open the shop. But he was shocked to see the broken gate of the shop. Immediately, the shopkeepers of the market informed the local police about the incident following which a police team led by SHO City police station Mohammad Jamil arrived the crime scene and started the investigation.

DSP Jagraon City, Surinder Kumar, also visited the crime scene to take account of the situation. Soon, a team of forensic experts was called, which collected fingerprints of the suspects and some other evidences, which can play a crucial role in further investigation of the case.

The showroom owner said, there were many jeans, shirts, sweaters, T-shirts laying in the showroom which he had stored keeping in view the festival and winter season. “The thieves decamped with the garments of around Rs 4 lakh. They did not even spare cash which had Rs 3,500 in the safe of the showroom," added Lucky.

“It seems that it was the work of some highly professional criminals, the way the theft was executed, " said a police official present during the occasion.

When contacted, SHO Mohammad Jamil said the police has registered a case against unidentified thieves under appropriate sections of the IPC and the investigation has been launched in this regard. "We have found some crucial evidences in this case which might help us tracing the thieves behind this theft and we hope to solve this case as soon as possible," he added.



1 held for transporter’s murder
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
Vicky, one of the two accused who had shot a transporter in Model Town in June, who tried to save a woman from falling victim to eve-teasers, was arrested by the city police today.

Vicky and Sukha of Baddowal had shot transporter Jagdeep Singh Chahal.

Jagdeep Singh Chahal was rushed to a hospital for treatment where in a statement to the police he said the accused were creating problem for a couple and indulged in eve- teasing.

"The accused were also fighting with the man, who was accompanying the woman. I thought that I should intervene but one of the accused pulled out a pistol and shot at me," Chahal reportedly stated to  the police.

The police had received the information that the accused was spotted in the city and it laid a trap and nabbed Vicky. Earlier, other accused Sukha was arrested by the police.



Tiwari appreciates council for organising hockey tournament
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 24
Manish Tiwari, Member of Parliament from Ludhiana and national spokesperson of the Indian National Congress, appreciated the Sports Council of Ludhiana (SCL) for organising the All India Sahibzada Ajit Singh Hockey Champions Trophy-2012.

Tiwari was the chief guest of the event being held at Olympian Prithipal Singh Memorial AstroTurf Stadium of the Punjab Agricultural University.

Eight top hockey teams in the men's section and four in the women's section are vying for top honours in this week-long tournament in which cash prize worth rupees around eight lakh are at stake.

Speaking on the occasion, Tiwari urged upon the players to concentrate on their game in a disciplined way to redeem the lost glory of hockey in which India once dominated.

The organisers of this tournament honoured Manish Tiwari and presented a memento. Prof Gurbhajan Singh Gill, president of Punjab Sahit Academy, Pavittar Singh Gujjarwal, Satwinder Singh Jawaddi, BK Rampal, Bhupinder Singh Bhuppa, Baljinder Singh Bunty, Inderjeet Tony, Kulwant Singh, Major Singh Mullanpuri, Davinder Singh Kahal, Sony Kainth and GS Mand were among others present there.



GNN College lift T10 tourney title
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, October 24
Guru Nanak National College, Doraha, won the Inter-college Cricket T-10 contest, DIMT CUP, organised at Cricket ground of Doraha Institute of Management and Technology, Doraha. In this tournament with 10 overs a side, 16 teams participated from various colleges of Punjab and Haryana.

The tournament was organised for five days with the help NSS unit of DIMT in order to enhance the personality of the students in the field of sports. In the first semifinals, Guru Nanak National College (GNN), Doraha, boys defeated the team of Desh Bhagat Group of institutes, Mandi Gobindgarh, in a close fight. Kamla Lohtia Sanatan Dharam (KLSD) College, Ludhiana, defeated Al Fala School of Engineering and Technology, Faridabad, in a very tough match where fortunes swinged regularly on either side. The league matches among 16 teams were played over a period of five days. In the final match for DIMT Cup, KLSD team won the toss and decided to bat first on a bouncy track. Aggressive and decisive batting by the GNN team won the match with 8 balls remaining to be bowled.

The man of the tournament award was won by Parminder Singh of GNN College, Doraha, for his all round performance. He also received the trophy of man of the final match. Manveer Singh of GNN College bagged the best fielder trophy whereas Azam Khan of Al Fala School of Engineering, Faridabad, was capped the best batsman of the tournament. He scored 17 sixes in the tournament. The best catch award was given to Nitish of Surya Group of Institutes, Rajpura for very extraordinary catch.

While distributing awards to the winners, Sukhpal Singh, chairman, Doraha Group of Institutes said that all round development of a student should depend upon the comprehensive curriculum.



Ludhiana to host inter-state bridge tourney from November 1
Anil Datt
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 24
The Punjab Bridge Association (PBA) under the aegis of Bridge Federation of India will be organising the National Inter-State Bridge Championship at Sutlej Club here from November 1 to 4.

Giving this information, Dinesh Gogna, finance secretary, PBA, said during this four-day sports extravaganza, an open team event, one-day junior (up to 25 years) team event and one-day junior pairs events will be organised.

Besides, the flagship event of the tourney 'Open Team' in which around 40 teams will participate according to individual state quota allotted by the BFI as per their registered number of players in addition to the teams from Indian Railways, Petroleum Board and other Public Sector Undertakings will be seen in action in this championship in which the total prize money is Rs 2.75 lakh, informed Gogna.

“All the important matches will be broadcast live in BBO website for the benefit of interested viewers in all over the World,” added Gogna.



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