L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Soon, policy to check encroachments 
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation seems to be in a mood to find a permanent solution to the menace of rehris and farhis prevalent on city roads.

Thousands of rehris and farhis can be seen parked on the roads in blatant violation of rules. Even as the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has been carrying out drives to clear such encroachments, there seems to be no end to the menace.

It is commonly observed that in many parts of the city, apni mandis as well as rehris operate from the road under the “silent patronage” of either area councillor or some other senior MC official. As they say, there is nothing like free lunch, those who provide patronage also charge “protection fee”, which varies between Rs 50 and Rs 100 per day, depending on the area and the road, the rehri and farhi is operating from.

But now, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has decided to set the house in order by formulating a uniform policy to be made applicable in all wards of the city. Under the policy, the MC will form rehri and farhi zones, where the owners can sell their products by registering themselves with the MC.

For the purpose, the civic body is also planning to rope in private partners, who will manage the affairs in such zones and later on they might even be made the licensees.

The plan was discussed during a meeting chaired by Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria with the BJP councillors in the Mayor’s camp office in the evening. “The MC does not want to harass the poor who own rehris or farhis. We just want that they should not encroach upon roads for running their business and get registered with the MC,” stated the Mayor while speaking to The Tribune.

As per rules, every rehri or farhi owner has to get registered with the MC before setting up his shop in the city. But over the years, it has been observed that many rehri or farhi owners are operating without getting registered, which causes loss to the civic body.

“If all rehri and farhi owners get registered with us, we will be able to generate extra income. Besides, when the zones are set up, these people will not be harassed by our officials and in the end, these people will end up saving more as they will have a proper place to sell their produce,” said the Mayor.

It has also been observed that some shopkeepers in prominent markets allow rehris to operate from outside their shops and even an illegal electricity connection is provided to them. However, when the MC’s tehbazaari wing carries out a drive to remove the encroachments, the shopkeepers don’t face any action and go scot-free.

But under the new plan, there will be a provision under which the shopkeepers will also be penalised for sheltering the encroachers. Besides, the Mayor also plans to bring in a proposal in the MC general house meeting, under which if any rehri is confiscated more than two times, it will be confiscated permanently.

“I am very clear on my stand when it comes to illegal menace of rehris and farhis. The roads are meant for moving vehicles and I will not let any person encroach upon it. And if people continue to ignore the fact, I will even get an FIR registered against them,” warned the Mayor.

RITES holds meeting with Mayor

For discussing the comprehensive mobility plan 2031 prepared for Ludhiana by RITES company, the general manager of RITES, YP Sachdeva, held a meeting with the Mayor on Friday evening. The meeting continued for more than an hour and issues regarding the comprehensive mobility plan were discussed.


MC clears air on TS1 certificate 
To prepare list of areas exempted from paying charges 
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
After several days of confusion regarding fresh guidelines issued by the MC Commissioner for getting a TS1 certificate, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has cleared the air.

The MC Commissioner had ordered that residents would have to pay development charges and composition charges (see box), clear water supply and sewerage dues and take no objection certificate from the departments concerned. These charges have to be paid on buildings which were constructed five years ago and fall in the non-scheme areas.

A TS1 certificate means a tax superintendent register number 1. It is a certificate which proves that all charges like water supply, sewerage and development charges are cleared. For getting this certificate, residents also have to take NOC from the departments concerned. The MC has decided that the building branch will prepare a list of all areas that are exempted from paying the charges and mark them on maps that will be displayed in all MC offices. The non-scheme areas are either illegal colonies or those areas that have not been developed by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust, Punjab Urban Development Authority and the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority, or are part of the town planning scheme or fall on revenue roads. However, as these orders were issued for only non-scheme areas, but some MC officials interpreted it in a different manner. When the residents of exempted areas were also asked to clear their dues before taking a TS1 certificate, it led to resentment among councillors. Even the number of TS1 certificates prepared in the MC went down drastically. MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma said the matter was discussed at a meeting held between the Mayor and the BJP councillors.

“We will be earmarking areas where the residents will have to pay these charges before taking the certificate. These areas will be marked on maps that would be displayed in all MC offices,” said the MC Commissioner.

The Mayor said residents of areas exempted under an MC House resolution would not have to pay charges. “These areas include those developed by the LIT, PUDA, GLADA or are part of the town planning scheme or fall on revenue roads. In 2010, the MC had passed a resolution that residents of above mentioned areas will be exempted from paying any development charges or composition fee,” said the Mayor.



143 suspected cases of cancer found in district
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
Volunteers of health department came across 143 suspected cancer patients during the cancer awareness campaign which kicked off today in the district.

Assistant civil surgeon, Ludhana, Dr Kaushal Saini said: "We have deployed 3,787 volunteers for the campaign. Today, these volunteers visited 25,324 houses and covered a population of 1,44,347. Out of these, they came across 143 suspected cancer patients."

He said the volunteers would go to houses and note down the details of suspected cancer patients or the persons who died with cancer in the past five years. The volunteers will also make people aware about the symptoms of cancer. After the campaign, the ANMs will contact the suspected patients and guide them as where should they go for further consultation."

Earlier, the campaign was flagged off by civil surgeon, Ludhiana, Dr Subhash Batta from government dispensary, Haibowal Kalan. 

Health dept keeps media guessing

The health department had been preparing for the campaign for the past many days. However, the mass media wing did not inform the media about the changed venue. On Friday evening, the deputy mass media officer of the health department, Jagat Ram, said the cancer awareness campaign would be flagged off from the Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, by Health and Family Welfare Minister Madan Mohan Mittal on December 1 at 9 am. Following this, mediapersons reached the venue and kept waiting for more than half-an-hour. At around 10 am, The Tribune team called up the official concerned who said the venue had been changed. 



Fish market lying defunct, govt plans another in city
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
Though the state government is coming up with the state-of-the-art fish market at a cost of about Rs 3 crore in the city, the existing fish market near Chand Cinema is lying defunct for the past over two decades.

The fish market has become a safe haven for gamblers and drug addicts. The market was constructed in 1998 with a cost of about Rs 28 lakh by the Department of Fisheries.

The then Chief Minister, Beant Singh, had laid the foundation stone of a cold storage at the site in 1994, but the plan was changed and it was decided to construct a fish market near Chand Cinema. The funds, which had come for the cold storage, were used to set up the fish market.

The market has 21 shops, which were never given on rent or sold. Sources said since there was no sewerage, water and electricity connection, the shops could not be rented out.

Surinder Singh, a city resident, said: "Now gamblers play cards here in absence of any check by the authorities. Lakhs of rupees have been wasted by the government on constructing the market.”

Kanwarjit Singh, member, Planning Commission Group for Development of Fisheries, said they had taken up the matter with officials in Chandigarh, but to no avail. “The state government is coming up with yet another fish market for which funds have been provided by the National Board for Fisheries. But this is public money, which should not go waste. The space should be utilised, but for that sewerage, water and electricity connections are required, he said. 



Cop booked on rape charges

Ludhiana, December 1
A policeman serving in the intelligence department has been booked for allegedly raping a woman. A case has been registered against Dilpreet Singh at the Sahnewal police station.

The complainant said she got a divorce from her husband in 2009 and developed relations with Dilpreet Singh following a promise that he would marry her. The complainant alleged that later she came to know that Dilpreet had an affair with some other woman. She added that a few days ago, Dilpreet called her at Zimidara Dhaba near Sahnewal and raped her. — TNS



PAU decked up once again
PM Dr Manmohan Singh to visit campus on December 8
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
Punjab Agricultural University is again being decked up, this time for Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, who is to visit the city on December 8. The Prime Minister will confer degrees on the students of the university during a convocation.

Not only the PAU staff, but the police and the administration officials are also on toes, leaving no stone unturned.

The security has been stepped up on the campus.

The police officials are not letting morning and evening walkers enter the university. Meanwhile, the public works department has also resumed the work of re-carpeting the PAU roads.

The PWD officials had started the carpeting work a month ago after learning about the visit of the President of India.

The re-carpeting of main roads was completed, but a number of link roads still needed repairs.

Police personnel have been deployed at every gate. Only one gate will remain open to visitors and students.

"The university is being spruced up and roads being re-carpeted for the visit of prominent political personalities, but one has to face a lot of inconvenience during such visits as all gates remain closed on the campus," said a student. 



Textile industry worried over delay in signing of FTA with EU
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
The textile industry has expressed concern over the delay in signing of Free trade agreement (FTA) with the European Union (EU). The agreement was expected to be signed in October-November this year, but now it has been postponed to the first quarter of next year.

As a result, exporters have seen a fall of 10 per cent in the export orders. Value-wise, the difference between this year and last year's exports has narrowed down also because the rupee has weakened against the dollar.

Garment exporter Chanderpal Singh said, "Exports to the EU attracts an import duty of 12 per cent and are costlier than those from Bangladesh." There is no duty on EU imports from Bangladesh, which has emerged as one of our biggest competitors in the world markets," he said.

Adding he said the India-EU, FTA should come soon, because the EU is one of the biggest markets and the textile sector will benefit from this. "Orders are slow particularly from Greece, Spain and Italy and we are being hopeful that things will improve once the FTA is signed," said Chanderpal Singh.

Everybody is waiting for the FTA to be signed and as a result even export orders have seen a downfall of nearly 10-12 per cent. "We are hopeful that the FTA is signed in the first quarter of next year and export orders from the EU also see an upward trend," said Vikas Khanna, a garment manufacturer.

Further another apparel exporter Kundan Lal said, "Even the European importers were keen that India signs the FTA. India has ample raw material so, why should we remain behind Bangladesh, which enjoys duty-free access to the European Union (EU), Australia and the USA," he said. 



PM’s photo on Ambulance 108 irks health minister
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
Congress workers have put Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in awkward position by pasting his photo on ambulances, said Heath and Family Welfare Minister Madan Mohan Mittal.

Mittal said: “It is the right of the state government to paste the photo of the Punjab Chief Minister on the ambulances running under 108 scheme as this scheme is the brainchild of the state government and not the Centre government, although centre has funded the scheme. I am also entitled to get my photo pasted on ambulances along with the photo of the Chief Minister."

When asked as what could have been his stand for the photo of the PM on ambulances if ambulances had been launched in the state during the BJP's leadership at the Centre, he said: “A BJP Prime Minister would never have desired for it."

It needs to be mentioned here that for last two days, there are reports from different areas of the state that workers of the Youth Congress have been pasting the photo of Prime Minister on the ambulance 108. 



Traffic jams a bane of Jagraon
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, December 1
There seems to be no relief for residents of Jagraon from traffic jams. Residents have been facing a tough time due to frequent traffic jams on various city roads. Though the problem is not new to the residents, the increasing number of vehicles has worsen the situation.

Even though the traffic police has been putting in efforts to regulate the traffic, the failure of municipal council authorities in removing the illegal encroachments has been proving a major deterrent.

During a survey of the town, it was observed that wrong parking of vehicles and illegal encroachments in front of shops resulted in the problem.

Most of the shopkeepers have encroached upon the roadsides and displayed their items as a result of which the already narrow roads of the town have become more congested. Besides, the presence of a large number of rehris makes the situation more complex.

The worst affected are the areas such as Lajpat Rai Road, Tehsil Road, Raikot Road, Sadan Market, Old City, Old Sabzi Mandi Road, Railway Road and College Road.

"The main reason behind the traffic jams is the illegal encroachments by shopkeepers. The municipal council should act strictly against such violators," said Pawandeep Singh, a resident.

Jagraon DSP Surinder Kumar said, "We are doing every possible thing to prevent traffic jams in the town. We have deployed police personnel at all major roundabouts but neither the visitors follow the traffic norms nor the local municipal council officials remove the illegal encroachments."

MC president Baldev Krishan Dhir claimed that the municipal council kept carrying out anti-encroachment drives.

"We have removed several illegal encroachments from various roads and have issued warnings to shopkeepers," said Dhir. 



Their hard work has paid off
135 students of Government College for Girls get scholarship of ~5 lakh
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana December 1
With more than 100 students of the Government College for Girls (GCG) getting a scholarship from the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan every year, the college is being termed as "Sanskrit Pathshala".

The college offers Sanskrit as an elective subject in graduation and every year more than 100 students get themselves enrolled in the course.

As per information, due to lack of interest of students in the subject, the Punjab government abolished 15 posts of Sanskrit lecturers in government colleges of the state in 2008.

The Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan is a deemed university and is being run under the Ministry of Human Resource Development. It gives scholarship to those students who make extra efforts to learn Sanskrit. The sansthan gives Rs 4,000 to a student scoring more than 80 per cent. This year, 135 students of the Government College for Girls got a scholarship of Rs 5 lakh.

Pawan Kumar, a Sanskrit lecturer at the GCG, said, "We teach basics to students in the first semester. Students achieve good results with their hard work and dedication."

"It is the only college in Punjab to have such a large number of students. After graduation, there are not many options for students in the city. It is a good subject for those who want to study history, Indian philosophy and want to make their career in language teaching," added Dr Pawan Kumar.

Pawan Kumar said some more interesting topics should be included in the syllabi.



Schools get peanuts in the name of grant
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
Even as the prices of essential commodities are going through the roof, government schools are getting a grant of only Rs 400 for the purchase of uniforms.

The grant is given to the school management committees as per the number of students. "It is difficult to purchase a shirt for Rs 400 and the government expects us to buy complete uniform," lamented a government school principal. "The budget is too low," he added.

"Government schools with a larger strength of students can bargain," said another school principal.

Ironically, the same grant is given to a student from Class I to Class VIII. "This is incredibly "naïve" on the part of the government to think that the cost of clothes for toddlers and teenagers would be the same," said a government schoolteacher.

Director-general (school education) Kahn Singh Pannu said, "This being an Government of India scheme, we have already appealed to the government to give the grant according to the region," he said. 



Irrational steel prices worry traders
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 1
Steel is vital for the economy, but unfortunately the commodity is being managed so casually that the exports are suffering due to irrational steel prices which are fixed arbitrarily.

The secondary steel producers are facing another hurdle as the steel ministry has enforced steel quality control order under which the steel produced has to pass prescribed tests.

Surprisingly, BIS, which is the main body in the country to enforce prescribed tests, has refused to enforce steel quality control order.

PD Sharma, president of the Apex Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has urged upon the Prime Minister to ask the steel ministry to withdraw the provision. He has also urged the Finance Minister to reduce the import duty of 7.5 per cent on the steel imports to 5 per cent. The fluctuations in the exchange rates tend to make the import of steel costlier.

The chamber has also urged the Central government to ensure the smooth implementation of the steel mining policy. 



Body of councillor identified

Ludhiana, December 1
The body kept at the mortuary of the Civil Hospital has been identified as that of former Congress Councillor AS Matharu. The body was kept in the mortuary by the police following a hit and run accident that took place on Thursday night near Partap chowk in the Shimlapuri area.

According to available information, the deceased was about 42 years of age and a resident of Dashmesh Nagar. The family members of Matharu were looking for him as he was missing since Thursday. They came to know that a body had been kept at the mortuary of the Civil Hospital. The deceased was identified from the clothes by the family members. — TNS



Jogeshwar, Mannat adjudged best athletes at GNPS sports meet
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, December 1
Jogeshwar Singh and Mannat were declared the best athletes among boys and girls (U-14) respectively in the 36th Annual Athletics Meet of Guru Nanak Public School (GNPS), Sarabha Nagar, which concluded here today.

In the (under-17) category, Nikita Ryait and Ishupal Singh were adjudged the best athletes in the girls and boys sections, respectively while the honour in the (under-19) category was shared by Sahibpreet Singh and Gurmanpreet Singh.

Rakesh Pandey, MLA, Ludhiana North constituency, gave away prizes to the winners. He congratulated the students on their achievements.

Students representing different houses, namely Prof Mohan Singh House, Shaheed Bhagat Singh House, Maharaja Ranjit Singh House and Bhai Veer Singh House competed in various sports events and fun games during the three-day meet.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh House secured more points than other houses to bag the overall trophy. Jasbir Singh and Surinder Singh, president and general secretary, respectively of the school managing committee along with other members, faculty and a large number of students were present at the prize distribution function.

Third day's results

Boys (U-19) 4x100m relay: Prof Mohan Singh House 1st, Maharaja Ranjit Singh House 2nd and Shaheed Bhagat Singh House 3rd.

Boys (U-19) Discus throw: Gurmanpreet Singh 1st, Bhawneet Singh 2nd and Vedant Kar 3rd;

400m race: Rishab Sood 1st, Jaspinder Singh 2nd and Harjot Singh 3rd;

High jump: Pawandeep Singh 1st, Vedant Kar 2nd and Jagatjeet Singh 3rd.

Boys (U-17) High jump: Waheguru Pal Singh 1st, Jasjot Singh 2nd and Gurjot Singh 3rd.

Boys (U-14) 800m race: Navrattan Singh 1st, Harjot Singh 2nd and Amritpal Singh 3rd;

Shot put: Harkirat Singh 1st, Paramvir Singh 2nd and Jasmeet Singh 3rd.

Girls (U-14) 4x100m relay: Prof Mohan Singh House 1st, Maharaja Ranjit Singh House 2nd and Bhai Veer Singh House 3rd.

Girls (U-14) 600m race: Mandeep Kaur 1st, Gursimar Kaur 2nd and Harmanik Kaur 3rd;

200m race: Mandeep Kaur 1st, Mannat 2nd and Manpreet Kaur 3rd;

400m race: Gurpreet Kaur 1st, Simranjot Kaur 2nd and Manisha 3rd.

Class VI (girls) 50m race: Ramaninder Kaur 1st, Charanjot Kaur 2nd and Diljot Kaur 3rd;

Class I 50m race: Harkeerat Kaur 1st, Harshnoor Kaur 2nd and Divnoor Kaur 3rd;

100m race: Navreen Kaur 1st, Onkarpreet Kaur 2nd and Gurleen Kaur 3rd.



Kabbadi organisers in a fix
Malaysian players staying in India on work permit
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana December 1
Presence of three players in the Malaysian women kabaddi team, holding work permits, has landed the organisers of the event in an awkward position.

It is learnt that three players in the 14-member Malaysia contingent, Harpreet Kaur, Kirandeep Kaur and Harpreet Kaur are holding work permit to stay abroad.

Daljinder Kaur, liaison officer of the visiting team, disclosed that on verification of passports of women players it was found that three of them were staying in Malaysia on work permit.

According to rules set by the sports department, those who have citizenship and permanent residence status are eligible to take part in the event.

"We told the players that they could not be a part of the team. Meanwhile, we have brought this to the notice of senior officials of the sports department", said Daljinder Kaur.

Now, in the Malaysian kabaddi team there are eight members with permanent residence status and three are citizens of the country.

The sports officials said, even then the Malaysian team is qualified to compete in the event with 11 members.

The sports department called all the teams to report on December 3 and arranged the hotels in various cities as per their convinence. The first match of in women section is scheduled for December 6 at Muktsar between India and England.



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