L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


MC in modernisation mode
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation seems to be in the modernisation mode. In the first Finance and Contract Committee (F&CC) meeting today, several development works were cleared.

The MC will now have a financial adviser. He will find out new ways to generate funds. A multi-level parking will be constructed in the Feroze Gandhi market, a rail overbridge will be constructed on Pakhowal Road, the maintenance of water supply and sewerage system will be outsourced to a private company, besides a feasibility study will be conducted for the supply of Sidhwan Canal water for drinking purpose.

These projects and proposals were cleared in the first F&CC meeting held at the Mayor camp office this morning. This meeting was attended by Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, Senior Deputy Mayor Sunita Aggarwal, Deputy Mayor Ripu Daman Sharma and MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma.

A new agency will be hired for updating the Comprehensive Mobility Plan (CMP) for the city as the first CMP was prepared in 2006.

As the Feroze Gandhi market has emerged as a major business and financial hub, the MC has approved the construction of a multi-level parking on public-private partnership (PPP) model.

The MC will be hiring MBA graduates as in-house management professionals on contractual basis for planning, co-ordination and management of various ongoing and other development projects. These MBA graduates should possess a valid degree with four years of experience. These professional managers will be hired on a monthly salary of Rs 35,000 and to start with, four managers will be hired.

The MC will construct roads along Budha Nullah for which a detailed project report (DPR) will be prepared. A retaining wall will be raised along the nullah and the road will be 40 feet wide. The MC will also hire a consultant for preparing the master plan and the DPR.

The F&CC also decided to raise a loan of Rs 100 crore from financial institutions and banks to complete the ongoing development works.

Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria said he would also urge big industrial houses of the city to develop and maintain roundabouts, greenbelts and parks of the city. “Earlier, industrial houses used to maintain them, but now we want them to develop them as well. Besides, we have cleared a proposal where all greenbelts and parks will be developed by a private company," he added.


The indoor stadium on Pakhowal Road will be handed over to a private company under the PPP model so that it can be completed at the earliest. The work on the project started in 2004, but the contractor even failed to complete the first phase of it. The estimated cost of the project has escalated to ~25.89 crore.


The civic body will collect 100 samples of water, 25 from each zone. These will be sent for testing to a government certified laboratory. Each sample will cost Rs 13,303
The feasibility study for supplying canal water to residents will be conducted by experts from IIT, Roorkee. As the groundwater level in the city is depleting, the MC is making efforts for adopting the canal-based water supply system
The work for the maintenance of tubewells, water supply and sewerage system will be outsourced to a private company
The feasibility study for getting a storm sewer laid in the city will be conducted. Only 11 per cent of the area in the city is under the storm sewer network
Five GIS labs will be set up in all four zones and at the headquarters of the MC


The MC will set up a fully computerised complaint centre. A customer relationship management software will be developed and a call centre will also be set up.


BRS Nagar residents may have to go without water
LIT fails to clear arrears of Punjab water supply board
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, November 1
Residents of several localities in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (SBS Nagar) , a 475 acre colony developed by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), are once again facing the threat of disconnection of water and sewerage as the trust has failed to clear arrears of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board (PWSSB) towards operation and maintenance charges.

About two months ago, in August 2012, the PWSSB authorities had made an announcement through a public address system that due to the non-payment of operation and maintenance charges by the LIT, the facility of water supply and sewerage would be withdrawn from the colony.

Following protests by residents, the LIT officials had made the partial payment to the PWSSB with the assurance that arrears would be cleared immediately after the statutory approval from the Local Government Department.

Residents of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar said the PWSSB officials were in the process of disconnecting water supply and stop the maintenance work of sewerage network in next couple of days as they had given a deadline of October 30 to the LIT authorities for the payment of outstanding amount.

"As the LIT, despite giving an assurance, has failed to clear the arrears of O and M charges, which stand at more than Rs 80 lakh till August 2012, the PWSSB might cut off the water supply to the colony any day now," said several area residents.

Information obtained under the Right to Information Act from the PWSSB by the Council of RTI Activists says that Rs 86.60 lakh is outstanding against the LIT towards O and M charges of water supply and sewerage in various colonies till August 2012. Of the total arrears, Rs 18.36 lakh pertains to the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar colony, the PWSSB authorities said.

While officials of the PWSSB claimed that the LIT authorities owed them some Rs 55 lakh for 2011-12 and another Rs 199.63 lakh for the current financial year, the LIT officials stoutly contested the assertion.

LIT Engineer SS Jakhar said the amount being claimed by the PWSSB was grossly inflated. He claimed that the O and M charges for 2011-12 were almost paid in full if the electricity bills paid by trust during the year were taken into account.

"For the current financial year, the estimates of Rs 199.63 lakh were submitted by the PWSSB in August 2012 and technical approval for the same was still to be accorded by the PWSSB headquarters. He said the trust had adopted resolutions for payment of arrears and once these were approved by the Local Government Department, the balance payment would also be made," Jakhar said, adding that it would be wrong on the part of the PWSSB to disconnect water supply to the colony.

Rohit Sabharwal, president and Arvind Sharma, secretary of the Council of RTI Activists, said a complaint had been filed before the Punjab Human Rights Commission to take cognisance of the matter and take strict action against officials who had issued threats to shutdown water supply to the locality where the residents were paying user charges to the LIT.

LIT owes PWSSB Rs 86.60 lakh

Information obtained under the Right to Information Act from the PWSSB reveals that Rs 86.60 lakh is outstanding against the LIT towards operation and maintenance charges of water supply and sewerage in various colonies till August 2012. Of the total arrears, Rs 18.36 lakh pertains to the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar colony



it survey
Rs 17.60 crore surrendered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
A whopping Rs 17.60 crore was surrendered during the surveys conducted by the Income Tax Department.

Bhandari Hosiery Group on Rahon Road surrendered Rs 3 crore while Bestley Enterprises at Focal Point surrendered Rs 4 crore during the survey conducted by the IT department's team from Range I.

Surveys were also conducted on three groups by the Range V officials. RS Fasteners at Doraha surrendered Rs 2.50 crore, Kartar Agro Group on GT Road surrendered Rs 6.10 crore and Om Steels at Dhandari Kalan surrendered Rs 2 crore.

The IT department seized Rs 24 lakhs and sealed a bank locker during a raid on Palace Jewellers. Additional Commissioner (IT) Munish Gupta said important papers were seized during the raid and a bank locker was also sealed,” he said.



Residents spoilt for choice this Divali
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
Divali is round the corner and markets are full to the brim with gifts. Customers are spoilt for choice with market loaded with a variety of gifts. This year, people are buying gifts online.

This Divali be different from the league and gift aromatic candles, reed diffusers and oils.

Or this Divali you can gift the most unique diyas with exclusive products that can be used to light up the house throughout the year.

Prithvi Raj Tejavath, founder, BuynBrag, an online shopping site, said,"We believe that e-commerce in India is now at a stage where urban consumers are increasingly more comfortable with the concept of online shopping."

"The collection on BuynBrag has been carefully selected using the keen eye of the team to ensure a story in every product," he added.

While newly launched Philips DJ Party Machine lets you be your own party music mixer, thanks to innovative features like the dual rotatable dock, max sound and dynamic lighting. ADA Ratnam, president, Consumer Lifestyle, Philips, India, said, "The Philips DJ Party Machine is the perfect blend of Philips' obsession with sound and our passion for innovation. It is designed with the fast-evolving entertainment needs of the young Indian consumer in mind."

This Divali you can also gift your loved ones exquisite jewellery or leather goods. You can choose from an exciting range of Red Gold teardrop stud earring and leather bags, wallets or purse for women. You could also pick Montblanc's StarWalker Red Gold Metal pen or classic cufflinks in stainless steel with red gold coloured and black titanium.

Going the traditional way the best gift considered during the festival are the idols of Laxmi-Ganesh. While some are buying them in gold and silver, others prefer rexin-made idols. Embedded with stones and jarkans the price of these idols start from Rs 500 onwards.

Artistically gold-painted gods on glass cost anything between Rs 300 and 500 a picture.



Company fails to learn lesson
Dumps construction material on road outside mall where a labourer died
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
Over a month after the scaffolding of under-construction Bharti Pavilion Mall near Fountain Chowk collapsed leaving a worker dead and two others injured, learning no lesson from the past, the construction staff has encroached upon the road by dumping construction material.

The city police that is quick to register cases against residents for encroachment seems reluctant to take action against the big fish.

Interestingly, all violations are taking place barely a few meters away from the official colony where the Police Commissioner and Judicial Magistrates reside.

"The municipal corporation employees should equally share the blame. To be honest the MC authorities are more at fault. We cannot blame the police for everything. The civic authorities have the mechanism to deal with violations caused by the construction company, but their inaction indicates that they have no objections to the defiance of rules," RTI activist Arvind Sharma.

The construction material, which is lying on the road, causes inconvenience to commuters.

The pavement meant for the pedestrian has been encroached upon. The construction material lying outside the mall hinders traffic flow as well.

Labourers are still ferried to the construction site in a pick-up truck like sardines, posing a threat to their lives.

"Someone has rightly said the rich can get away with anything. While the police was quick to register a case against a man who caused traffic inconvenience near the Domoria bridge area by dumping construction material on a road, no action has been taken against the contractor concerned for committing the similar offence," said Prof KBS Sodhi.

It was on October 1 that one worker identified as Kundan from Bihar died and two others were injured while they were working at the scaffolding on the eighth floor of the mall.



Bid to sensitise youth against social evils
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, November 1
Judiciary is all set to sensitise the youth against social evils.

"The Punjab Legal Services Authority has chalked out a special plan for the purpose," stated Gobinder Singh, Sessions Judge-cum-Chairman of the Legal Services Authority, while addressing mediapersons at the district courts today.

He said in the first phase, youth festivals would be organised in colleges of all districts of the state.

The topics selected for discussion and competition are drug addiction, corruption, anti-ragging, legal literacy as an instrument of social change, rights of women/children, cruelty against women, female foeticide, environment protection, fundamental rights, child labour, rights of senior citizens, degradation in moral values.

The Sessions Judge said a youth festival would be organised at Government College for Boys in Ludhiana on November 7 and 8. About 350 students from 24 colleges will be participating in the festival.

Thereafter, the competitions will be held at the zonal level and state level. The Chief Justice of India will be the chief guest.

Legal literacy among the youth will prove to be an important tool for bringing social change in the larger interest of society.

Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-Secretary of the District Legal Services Authority KK Singla said the authority was providing free legal services to women, a person having income less than Rs 1 lakh per annum, a person belonging to Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe and differently abled.



festive season
Security stepped up
Our Correspondent

Dehlon, November 1
In order to prevent incidents of robbery and snatching during the festive season, the police has cautioned staff at various branches of commercial banks, commission agents and owners of business houses.

Installation of CCTV cameras, adherence to scheduled working hours and deployment of security guards during transfer and retention of huge cash, were cited as preventive measures to be taken by the managements of commercial organisations.

Gill Assistant Commissioner of Police Gurpreet Singh Sikand said police officials were deployed at major commercial establishments, including banks and petrol stations.

Checks were conducted at the branches of commercial banks.



MC water tanker hits girl, injured
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
A 15-year-old girl sustained serious injuries after she was hit by a overspeeding Municipal Corporation (MC) water tanker near the MC Zone- D office in the Sarabha Nagar area here today.

The incident took place this evening when the victim identified as Amrita of BRS Nagar was cycling her way to her friend’s house.

An eyewitness said, the driver of the tanker lost control over the vehicle and hit Amrita’s cycle.

The victim sustained serious injuries on the head, arms and legs. She was immediately rushed to a nearby multi-speciality hospital for treatment. Her condition was stated to be serious.

The driver managed to escape from the spot. Sources said, Amrita parents lived in a shanty located at BRS Nagar and did odd jobs to earn their living.

It is learnt that out of a total of 263 vehicles which the MC owns, 200 are outdated, but continue to ply freely on the city roads.

As many as 152 vehicles are being driven by those who have not been appointed as drivers.

The police was verifying whether the water tanker driver was having a license to ferry the truck or not.

Investigations or on an efforts are being made to nab the driver.

previous incidents

August 23, 2012: 50-year-old Satvir Singh and 40-year-old Nand Lal were crashed by a garbage truck
August 6, 2011: An MC truck claimed the life of 18-year-old Akhilesh Maingi.
October 30, 2010: Dr Sunil Kumar, a resident of Abhor, was crushed by an MC truck near Issa Nagari
August 21, 2010: Mayank Jain, a Class X student of Sacred Heart Convent School, was run over by a speeding MC garbage truck
March 13, 2010: Two students - Rajinder Verma and Rajnish Patel - were run over by an MC truck
March 22, 2010: A 19-year-old woman was crashed to death on Tajpur Road



Henna artists doing brisk business
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
Karva Chauth festivities are in full swing in the city. Last night, markets were abuzz with the festive spirit. City women were seen making a beeline for much-in-demand mehandi walas who charged hefty sums for weaving "special" mehandi patterns. The roads at Ghumar Mandi and Sarabha Nagar were chock-a-bloc with swanky cars even as the mehandi walas did a brisk business sitting under the canopies in the well-lit markets.

"Time seemed to run at a break-neck speed. By the time, my cousin and I had got our mehandi work done, my watch showed 3 am," said Kanika, a city-based woman.

The festive fervour was all too visible as the women continued to get henna patterns done on their hands till early morning today, said a mehandi artist in Sarabha Nagar.

"I, along with my husband, had gone to the market late in the evening, thinking that in the evening the mehandi artists would have relatively less work load. But my turn came at 1.30 am, and that too after going to Ghumar Mandi as none of the mehandi artists in Sarabha Nagar was 'free' to attend to me," said another woman. "But I am not complaining. My mehandi design has come out very well. Besides, we had some snacks too at night," she added.

The festival of Karva Chauth has centuries of tradition to it, but these days the fun element has become a "tradition" in its own right, said Preeti, a young woman.

Although women are supposed to observe the fast on the festival, some men too observe the fast for their spouse. Some of them have to go through their own "trials" during the mehandi sessions of their spouse. "I had to babysit my daughter as my wife was getting intricate mehandi patterns done on her hands. Later, I had to do household chores too as my wife's hands were covered with henna," said a young husband. 



Sample of sweets collected
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
Officials of the Health Department, led by DHO Dr Kulwinder Singh, collected four samples of sweets from various shops of the city.

“A sample of “barfi” was collected from Jagdamba Sweets at Nanak Nagar, while samples of barfi and “rasgulla” were taken from Meshi Sweets located in the same area.

A sample of “ghee” was also collected from Tulsi Ram Rakha Ram on the Jalandhar Bypass, said Ravinder Garg, Food Safety Office, who was a part of the team. 



Murder accused in police net
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 1
A murder accused, who was evading arrest for the past two years, landed in police net here today.

The accused indentified as Rajinder Singh, alias Bobby, was wanted in a murder case since August 2010.

Rajinder along with his paramour Puja and accomplices Sukjeet Singh and Amarpreet Singh had killed Puja’s husband Jatinder Singh in the latter’s house in Joshi Nagar and dumped his body in Sidhwan canal.

While Puja, Amarpreet Singh and Sukhpreet Singh were arrested, Rajinder was evading arrest.

The Haibowal police said the accused was arrested following a tip-off.



Basketball: Amritsar eves score third victory
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, November 1
Continuing with their winning streak, Amritsar district scored third consecutive victory in the women's section in the ongoing 22nd Punjab Basketball League being held in the memory of Arjuna award winner, Gurdial Singh Malhi, at Gure village in Ludhiana district today.

Earlier, Amritsar eves outplayed Jalandhar district and also got the better of GTB College, Dasuya in Hoshiarpur district.

Today, in the first match of the day, Amritsar defeated Sangrur 53-27 and Mamta contributed the most with 17 baskets. For the losers, Preeti scored 9 points.

In the second match (women), Ludhiana Academy outwitted Hoshiarpur district 43-22. Kiranjit Kaur played the pivot role for the winning side and chipped in with 22 points while Alka accounted for 16 points for Hoshiarpur district.

Later in the day, Ludhiana Academy scripted another win over Sangrur district 61-20 in the women's section in which Kiranjit Kaur again scored 29 points.

In the fourth match, Ludhiana district outplayed Hoshiarpur district 49-28. For the winners, Dipali was the main scorer with 19 points and Alka with 12 points, played well for the losers.

In the men's section, Border Security Force (BSF), Jalandhar beat Rest of Punjab XI 65-31. Vinod played the anchor's role for BSF who scored 26 points while Charanjit (13 points) fought well for the losing side.



Involvement of footballer in rape case shocks sports fraternity in city
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, November 1
The alleged involvement of a city-based National-level footballer currently playing as midfielder for the premier soccer outfit, East Bengal, in a rape case has come as a rude shock for the sports fraternity.

The football aficionados as well as officials have expressed their resentment over the gory incident which has tarnished the image of football in the state.

Jagpreet Singh of Jangpura village in Mullanpur near Ludhiana along with two other players from Punjab (Baldeep Junior and Jaspal, both from Pajora village in Nawanshahr District) was accused of raping a minor girl in Kolkata.

However, some officials are of the view that the trio have been falsely implicated as they are well established players and never been involved in any controversy.

"It is hard to believe that players of such repute and stature have been caught for such a heinous crime. While Baldeep Junior has represented the country in an international football tournament held recently, Jaspal too has participated in a number of events, including the National League.

There has been no complaint from Jagpeet as well. The news is shocking. We are in constant touch with the football officials in Kolkota," said Shivtar Singh Bajwa, chairman, Disciplinary Committee, Punjab Football Association.

Despite repeated attempts Inder Singh, president of the Punjab Football Association was not available for comments.

mixed response

The football fraternity has expressed its resentment over the gory incident which has tarnished the image of football in the state. However, some officials are of the view that the trio have been falsely implicated as they are well established players and never been involved in any controversy.



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