L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Cold tightens its grip on region
Maximum temperature dips 7 degrees below normal, homeless suffer
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
Cold tightened its grip in the region with the city recording a maximum temperature of 12.8 degrees Celsius today, 7 degrees below normal.

The Met department said the cold wave conditions would continue for the next couple of days. The weather is likely to improve after two days, said experts.

While the severe cold wave conditions are prevailing in the region, those blessed had started using heaters, hot-water bottles and electric blankets to beat the chill. But the underprivileged have no option but to face the vagaries of harsh weather. In absence of any shelter homes in the mega city, where population crossed about 18 lakh mark, the not-so-lucky population is at the receiving end. Beggars and rickshaw-pullers are forced to brave the chill under bridges, on footpaths or in bus stop shelters.

Santosh Kumar, a rickshaw-puller, said it was difficult to make ends meet in winters as a few hire a rickshaw. "I have come from Uttar Pradesh and have a large family back home. When there are no passengers, I hardly earn my livelihood. These two months are nothing but a curse,” rued the rickshaw-puller.

Bonfires remain the only option for the poor. Beggars and rickshaw-pullers can be seen sitting around bonfires in various parts of the city. "When the chill becomes unbearable, we get the warmth by burning wood and other waste material,” said a beggar at Dandi-Swami.


Air India flight fails to take off

Ludhiana, December 26
The lone flight of Air India from the city airport got cancelled on Saturday and Tuesday due to the foggy weather. Though the authorities have installed the DVOR, a navigation device, at the airport, it is yet to become functional.

Air India had changed the schedule of the flight operating between Ludhiana and Delhi from December 4. The flight operates thrice a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. This schedule was changed keeping in mind the weather conditions.

Amrik Singh, manager, Air India, said due to thefoggy weather, the flight on Saturday and Tuesday had to be cancelled. — TNS



Trains continue to run behind schedule
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 26
Train services remained affected for the fifth consecutive day today due to poor visibility. Most of the long route trains were running behind schedule.

A city-based businessman had to hire a cab to Delhi to catch an evening flight to Chennai. Ravi Bajaj, who was to travel to Delhi by the Amritsar-New Delhi Intercity Express, was shocked when he learnt that the train that was to depart from Ludhiana at 8.45 am had not even started its journey from Amritsar. The train was delayed by about nine hours and reached the Ludhiana railway station at around 5 pm. There were many others like Bajaj who were waiting at the railway platforms for hours together to board their trains. Ram Kumar, a migrant worker, had to wait for more than five hours to receive his relatives aboard the Jansewa Express, which was delayed by some seven hours. Even those deployed at the railway enquiry counter were a harried lot as they had to face the passengers’ ire who wanted to know the status of their trains.

The trains that were running late include the Anadaman Express (7.20 hours), the Archna Express (7.50 hours), the Jamnagar-Jammu Tawi Express (6.50 hours), the Jansewa Express (7 hours), the Durg-Jammu Superfast Express (2.20 hours), the Pashchim Express (50 minutes), the Tatanagar-Jammu Tawi Express (11.25 hours), the Amritsar-New Delhi Intercity Express (9.10 hours), the Malwa Express (4.45 hours), Mumbai-Pathankot Express (2.30 hours), the Saryu-Yamuna Express (2.50 hours), the Indore-Amritsar Weekly Express (2.30 hours) and the Jannayak Express (40 minutes).



Rules bent for Hub
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
Rules were bent at every level for the opening of a night club, The Hub, in the busy Ghumar Mandi area.

The authorities allowed the owners run the business without having the mandatory parking provision. The authorities of the night club were serving hookah, liquor and organising late-night parties. Though the police raided the place, the club authorities were let-off after a warning. It is being debated how the night club authorities managed to get a licence to serve liquor.

Sources say getting a mandatory permission was easy since Maninder Pal Singh Johar, alias Sunny Goodwill, facing attempt to murder charge for breaking the leg of AIG, Counter Intelligence, SS Mand, enjoyed considerable political patronage.

“Top brass of the police, bureaucrats and politicians used to visit the place. In no time it became an interaction centre between businessmen and government officials. That was one of the bigger reasons that no action was taken against the night club,” said a police official.

A day after the incident, shopkeepers of Ghumar Mandi and the staff of the nursing home located near Hub night club was heaving a sigh of relief.

“It was a hell and hooliganism was at its peak. As it used to turn dark, the loud music used to quiver the windowpane of our nursing home. This used to cause inconvenience to patients. We had informed the police about the menace, but no action was ever taken against the night club,” said a nurse, requesting anonymity.

Shopkeepers said young boys and girls used to throng the place throughout the day as hookah was offered here.

“As police had tightened its noose on serving hookah, it was served to the selected few. There have been reports that drugs suppliers were also making hay and selling contraband to addicts in the night club,” said a shopkeeper of Ghumar Mandi.

Questions are being raised on the functioning of the police. Why rules were bent for the night club. How the night club authorities were allowed to conduct late-night parties that used to last till wee hours.

Addressing a press conference yesterday, ADGP Hardeep Dhillon had said that the incident took place at 12.30 am. The statement is a testimony to the fact that rules were bent and late-night parties were being organised in violation of rules.



Chief vigilance officer pulls up MC officials
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
Following complaints of irregularities in the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, the chief vigilance officer (CVO) of the Local Bodies Department today visited the city and checked the civic body’s record.

It is learnt that the CVO also held a meeting with the MC Commissioner and also pulled up the MC staff.

A senior Akali leader had complained about an under-construction building in Zone C of the city, while a city resident had complained about the non-assessment of challans in the MC’s building branch.

A city resident, Rohit Sabharwal, had complained that the building branch officials had not assessed more than 3,500 challans since 2000, which has caused loss to the MC.

Speaking to The Tribune, CVO VP Singh said that following complaints, he had come to the city. “I have checked all the alleged irregularities and have asked the MC Commissioner to submit a report within 10 days. Action will be initiated against officials found guilty,” claimed the CVO. 



MC auctions 9 SCOs, likely to get Rs 15 crore
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
It was a good day for the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation as it managed to auction nine SCOs opposite Keys Hotel in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar on Pakhowal Road at an average price of around Rs 1.80 lakh per sq yard.

The reserve price for the SCOs was Rs 1.5 lakh per sq yard and the highest bid was Rs 2.10 lakh per sq yard for a corner SCO.

On November 26, the civic body managed to auction 21 SCOs for Rs 35 crore. The auction of the remaining nine SCOs was held today. Last time, the highest bid was Rs 1.62 lakh per sq yard.

Before the start of today’s auction, 39 bidders deposited the earnest money of Rs 1.5 lakh.

As the MC was about to start the auction process, some bidders tried to form a pool. Some of them were seem discussing outside the auction venue that they would not bid more than Rs 1.55 lakh per sq yard.

“Why should we give money to the MC? Lets make a promise that no one would bid more than Rs 1.55 lakh and later on, we would all sit together at a common place and would re-auction these SCOs amongst ourselves,” a person was heard telling other bidders in the presence of The Tribune team. The situation was such that some bidders even handed over their earnest money receipts to that person so the pool could become a reality.

To counter the pool, MC Additional Commissioner Davinder Singh and Assistant Town Planner Surinder Singh Bindra decided that the minimum increase in each bid would be of Rs 500.

As the auction started, a leading city doctor bid for Rs 1.55 lakh per sq yard, which was increased to Rs 1.6 lakh by another person and within minutes, the bid went to as high as Rs 1.96 lakh per sq yard. Similarly, the other SCOs were auctioned for an average price of Rs 1.80 lakh per sq yard. SCO number 30, which is a corner plot, was auctioned for Rs 2.10 lakh per sq yard, which included 10 per cent extra.

ATP Surinder Singh Bindra said the nine SCOs would fetch around Rs 15 crore to the civic body.



An eventful year for MC
Lows: Violence during poll; MC Commissioner suspended; short of funds
Highs: 10 buses added to fleet, DPR of metro finalised; bio-remediation project starts
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (LMC) witnessed several ups and downs during the year. The new MC House was elected, an MC Commissioner was suspended following allegations by a vegetable vendor, several development projects remained incomplete, besides several other activities.

Violence during elections

Amidst violence, the city witnessed elections of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation on June 10. Gurvinder Singh Bajwa, former sarpanch of Bahadurke village, was shot dead following a clash with some Akali leaders. However, the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) managed to win 27 seats, BJP 12, Congress 19 and Independents 17.

Gohalwaria takes over as Mayor

Senior Akali leader Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria was elected as the fifth Mayor of the city. He has been leading from the front by checking attendance of MC officials and himself accompanying the MC teams during the ant-encroachment drives in the city.

MC Commissioner suspended

On July 17, Malwinder Singh Jaggi, a PCS officer, was suspended after an inquiry found him guilty of gross misuse of power in demolishing the shop of a vegetable vendor who did not “attend to his wife properly”. However, later on Jaggi was given a clean chit by the state government.

10 low-floor buses added to fleet

As many as 10 low-floor buses were added to the fleet of buses plying under the City Bus Service project. The buses were deputed on the Ferozepur Road route. Very soon, another 11 buses is expected to reach the city.

Bio-remediation project starts

After remaining on paper for more than 20 months, the bio-remediation project to clean the Budha Nullah finally began inDecember. About 70 tonnes of microbial culture were released into the drain near Jainpur village and first of the five "green bridges" has been constructed.

Work on Lakkar Bridge, indoor stadium remains incomplete

Despite several claims of speedy work, the work on the Lakkar Bridge as well as the indoor stadium on the Pakhowal Road remained incomplete. Both the projects have been lying incomplete for several years now, and crores of public money has been wasted due to the delay because over the years, the construction costs have escalated.

Shortage of funds

This year, the MC witnessed one of the worst cash crunches of all times. At present, the MC is needs funds, which is affecting the ongoing development works. In order to generate funds, the civic body is selling off its properties.

DPR of Ludhiana metro finalised

The detailed project report (DPR) of the Ludhiana Metro Rail project was finalised this year. The state cabinet approved it and submitted it to the Central government.

Four MC councillors elected MLAs

Four councillors, Simarjit Singh Bains, Ranjit Singh Dhillon, Bharat Bhushan Ashu and Prem Mittal were elected as MLAs from Atam Nagar, Ludhiana East, Ludhiana West and Mansa constituencies respectively.



Allotment of plots to 124 persons the only silver lining
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 26
It was a rather uneventful year for Ludhiana Improvement Trust, especially the second half of the year when in place of a political nominee, the LIT was headed by a career bureaucrat. Once the Trust was dissolved in July 2012, and the political nominee as well as the trustees was removed, the body almost went into hibernation.

A draw of lots being conducted for the allotment of residential plot to eligible applicants at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar in Ludhiana.
A draw of lots being conducted for the allotment of residential plot to eligible applicants at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar in Ludhiana. A file photo

Only maintenance was carried out

In the name of development, no worthwhile activity was undertaken, and LIT continued only with routine maintenance works in its existing half-a-dozen odd colonies. The LIT officials had to face embarrassment when more than once the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board authorities threatened to discontinue water supply and disconnect sewerage lines in the Trust colonies for non-payment of charges on account of maintenance of these services.

Sharp decline in sale of plots

The sale of residential plots, commercial sites and built up properties also witnessed a sharp decline. Firstly, the decline was due to persistent slow down in the real estate market, and secondly due to change of guard almost in the middle of year when a couple of bureaucrats were given additional charges of LIT, and then Shruti Singh, who is also the chief administrator of the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority, took over as the its chairperson.

Allotted plots to 124 persons after 30 yrs

Even though the LIT moved in response to directions of the court, but it could still claim credit for taking out draw of lots for allotment of plots to 124 persons, who were waiting to get possessions of their plots for more than 30 years as some part of the land, earmarked for residential plots in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, was diverted to the City Centre projects, which also stands shelved for the time being.

Failed to provide info under RTI Act

The Right to Information Act (RTI) remained like a permanent thorn in the flesh of the LIT officials as failure to provide complete information, or else delay in providing information led to the officials concerned being reprimanded on regular intervals at various levels. In several cases, the State Information Commission issued show-cause notices to the officials, and in one case bailable warrants were issued to ensure personal presence of the Public Information Officer in one of the complaints on non-compliance with the provisions of the RTI.



NRIs throng city during holidays, boost sales of garment shops
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
The holiday season is seeing many non-resident Indians coming home; and when at home they do not miss the chance to shop at their favourite outlets.

Girls wearing long coats, gum boots and carrying sling bags, can be seen curiously looking at various suits and sarees on display in the city markets.

"70 per cent of our customers are NRIs. Some also order the outfits online, but majority of them want to have a look before buying. Some also tell there local relatives to check the dresses before ordering online,” said Sonu, owner of a garment store on Mall Road.

Sharing an interesting anecdote, he further said, “Recently an NRI came to the shop select a dress for his fiancée. He shortlisted four dresses, took their pictures and sent them to his fiancée in Canada through an iPad. She made the final selection.”

Neena Grewal, a Canada-based NRI, who was busy searching for a lehenga for her forthcoming wedding, said nothing matched Indian outfits when it came to special occasions like wedding. "Though we have Indian-style boutiques in Canada, they are too expensive; so families prefer to visit India for buying traditional outfits," she said.

Another garment shop owner in Ghumar Mandi said this was the best time of the year for his business as NRIs came in huge numbers.



Contractual teachers demand salaries
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
Government teachers, who are working on contractual basis, today held a statewide protest in the city. They said their salaries had not been released for the last nine months.

Addressing the gathering, Didar Singh, president of Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan Teachers’ Union said: "While the notification to make our salaries equivalent to those working on regular basis has been has been issued, nothing has been done further in this regard.”

He said, “The funds are supposed to be released by the Central Government, but the state government has failed to demand the funds.”



delhi gang rape
Samrala residents take out solidarity march
Our Correspondent

Samrala, December 26
On the call given by Sapna Foundation, a march was organised from Gurudwara Shri Guru Gobind Singh to the SDM office to create awareness about the safety of girls.

The demonstrators demanded stern action against the Delhi gang rape culprits. The protestors presented a memorandum to Tehsildar Gurjit Singh and the SHO, Samrala. They demanded action be taken against miscreants outside schools and colleges.

The SHO assured that the police will not spare any such miscreants and will ensure the safety of girls in the city. The workers of several organisations of the area, including the Hockey Club, Young Sports Club, Otalan, Rangla Punjab Sabhycharak Club, Khattran, Yuvak Sevawan Club, Master Mind Institute, and Akas Rang Manch, participated in the march.



from schools
Students stage Ramayana

Ludhiana: ‘Shaam-e-Saalana’, the annual function of Partap Public School witnessed students showcasing their various talent. The function kept the audience enthused with rich and varied performances. The function commenced with Saraswati Vandana. While “Pyaar hua ikraar hua” saw the pre-school students dancing to the yesteryear’s melody, the choreography on “Ei mere watan ke logo” stirred patriotic emotions in those present. The enactment of Ramayana, meanwhile, offered the audience profundity of the message given by the epic and the richness of the acting talent of the students.

Students demand justice for rape victim

The volunteers of Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School came together for a candle light vigil on the school premises in protest against the Delhi gang rape case. Managing director Avinash Kaur Walia, principal Sandeep Raikhi and headmistress Kamalpreet Kaur condemned this incident. They said that parents and teachers played a vital role in inculcating moral values among children. They should guide and teach them to choose the right path, they said. All the attendees demanded stringent punishment for the culprits.

Tilak House wins carol singing competition

The staff and students of Green Grove School spread the message of love and peace during the Christmas celebrations. The function was presided over by school president JPS Jolly accompanied by chairperson Satinderjit Kaur Jolly and principal S George. An inter-house carol singing competition was also organised. The Tagore House students sang 'Long ago in Bethlehem', followed by the Tilak House students spreading the joy of Christ’s birth through the carol 'Joy to the world'. While Gandhi House sang 'While shepherds watched their flocks' and Nehru House 'We three kings of orient', Shastri House brought the competition to an end with ‘Jingle Bells’. Tilak House bagged the first prize.

Christmas spirit wafts through GGSPS

Christmas was celebrated as a festival of peace and harmony at Guru Gobind Singh Public School. Students dressed as Santa Claus distributed candies among their peers on the occasion. The kindergarten section was decorated beautifully. Students danced to the tunes of carols such as 'Jingle Bells'.

Cultural programme marks celebrations

Phillaur: Students of DRV DAV Centenary Public School celebrated Christmas with zeal and enthusiasm. Students presented a cultural programmes showcasing skits, songs and Christmas carols. Students came dressed as Santa Claus and fairies. Gifts and sweets were distributed among the students. School principal Yogesh Gambhir wished the students on the occasion and advised them to spread the message of peace and brotherhood in the world. — TNS



pau notes
Training course on handling machinery

Ludhiana: A two-week hand-on-training course on "Operation and Programming of Computerized Numerically Controlled (CNC) Machines" commenced at Punjab Agricultural University recently.

The course has been jointly organised by the Department of Farm Machinery and Power Engineering (FMPE) and the Department of Mechanical Engineering, PAU. The employees of farm machinery manufacturers, ITI pass-outs and rural youth of Punjab are participating in the course, which will conclude on January 7. Dr PPS Lubana, Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, said that the training will be useful in enhancing the skills of the agricultural machinery manufacturers and will provide more employment opportunities to the rural youth in production and manufacturing units. Dr Gursahib Singh Manes, head, department of FMPE, said that the trainees will receive training in CNC lathe, CNC milling and CNC drilling in addition to the electrical discharge machining (EDM) installed in a newly developed laboratory and latest technologies used for manufacturing. — TNS



from colleges
Weapons training

Ludhiana: A combined annual training camp of 3 Pb Girls Bn NCC Ludhiana is in progress at the Government College for Girls. Around 370 girl cadets are participating in the camp. On the fourth day of the camp, rifle drill was conducted to inculcate discipline and develop self confidence and coordination among students. Cadet Manpreet Kaur from Ramgharia Girls College excelled in firing by securing a group of 1.5 cm. Cadets also shared their views on the role of girls in eradicating social evils.

Christmas celebrations

Students of Doraha Institute of Management and Technology celebrated Christmas with fervour and enthusiasm. A special assembly was organised in which the students sang various Christmas carols and songs. The students and some teachers spoke in detail about the festival. The students decorated the campus with handmade paper decorations like Christmas trees. The students distributed sweets and candies.

100 students attend NSS camp

Around 100 students of BCM College took part in a seven-day NSS Camp at Khasi Kalan village.The camp was held on the theme “Healthy Public Sanitation and Personal Hygiene”. Dr HS Gosal delivered the valedictory address. He said: “NSS provides training in leadership and service opportunities to the members. It effectively channels the energy and interest of the students in social, cultural and community development.”

Lecture on healthy lifestyle

The NSS Unit of Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Gujarkhan Campus, is organising a seven-day camp. College principal Kawaljit Kaur and Dr Jaineet Sachdeva, oncologist at CMC Hospital, inaugurated the camp. Dr Sachdeva delivered a lecture on breast cancer on the occasion. Dr Neelam Sodhi, gynaecologist, GTB Hospital, interacted with NSS volunteers and delivered a lecture on health and personality. She motivated the volunteers to live a healthy life.

Science camp

Khanna: AS College organised five-day INSPIRE internship science camp, sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology, to inculcate scientific temperament among the outstanding students of the region. More than 200 students from 20 schools of the area participated in this camp. On the last day of the camp, singer Kamaljeet Neelon presented a song "We want 20 more CV Ramans", which was highly appreciated. Students enthusiastically participated in various laboratory activities and computer hardware workshop. Students enjoyed the water rocket flying and telescope viewing. The light aircraft model made by Dr Charn Kumar and the three-dimensional DNA and diamond models were also appreciated by students and guests.

NSS volunteers visit leprosy home

NSS volunteers of Gobindgarh Public College, Alour, visited the Kusht Ashram and presented a cultural programme. They distributed woolen clothes, packages of cotton, bandages and savlon among the residents.

Fete-cum-raffle draw

Phillaur: Des Raj Vedhara DAV College organised a fete-cum-raffle draw. Various stalls were installed on the college grounds offering various games. The chief guest, ACP, Jalandhar West, Ravinder Pal Singh, dwelt upon the relevance and significance of such festivals and exhorted the students to maintain a balance in their life. He further added that such festivals strengthen the bonds of love and friendship among the people. Prizes were given away to the lucky winners. — TNS



Ludhiana scan
Protests against Delhi gang rape

Various organisations under the banner of Inkalabi Kendra, Punjab, staged a protest against the recent Delhi gang rape incident at Bhai Bala Chowk on Wednesday. Members from Lok Morcha, Punjab; Moulder and Steel Worker Union; Jamhuri Adhikar Sabha; Democratic Front and other organisations said that crime against women was on a rise in the country and government should provide justice to the victim and the victim. Meanwhile, a signature campaign was also organised in solidarity with the victim and against crime against women at Kipps Market. A number of people came forward to raise their voice against the inhumane crime.

Sahit akademi members meet

Executive members of the Punjabi Sahit Akademi met under the presidentship of Gurbhajan Gill on Wednesday. The members welcomed the nomination of Janmeja Singh Johal to the academy. Tributes were also paid to the members who died recently. Many problems being faced by the academy were discussed on the occasion.

Writer honoured

Janab Asif Sayyad Shahkar, a prominent writer, was honoured by Prof Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation on Wednesday. Jagdev Singh Jassowal, president of the foundation, felicitated the writer. Many dignitaries were present at the Punjabi Virasat Bhavan, where the function was held. The members said that the poet had promoted Punjabi language and culture, even while living in Sweden.

Christmas celebrations

Ann Jal Sewa Trust, a non-governmental organization, celebrated Christmas at Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital. Dr Karamvir Goyal, SMO, and Shiv Ram Saroay, founder president of the trust, cut a cake. Eatables and cake were distributed among the patients and attendants. On the occasion, warm clothes and shoes were also distributed among the underprivileged. Workers of District Youth Congress Vidhan Sabha (Central) celebrated Christmas with the children living at Mother Teresa Home at Jalandhar bypass. Sweets, fruits and gifts were distributed among the children. In another function, Faith Welfare Society held celebrations at Dholewal Chowk. Mayor of Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, HS Gohalwaria, was present on the occasion. In a function organised at Sadhu Sunder Singh Memorial Church, Rampur village, Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Charanjeet Singh Atwal said that there was a need to follow the path shown by Jesus Christ.

Office-bearers elected

Executive members of the State Development Forum held a meeting under the presidentship of JS Dhiwan. The members discussed all the works done by the forum in the recent times. Five new office-bearers were elected on this occasion. The president handed over letters to all the newly appointed office-bearers, and the members pledged to put in their best efforts for the social cause.


Gurmeet Singh Kular, president of United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, has been nominated as the Director of Punjab State Board of Technical Education and Industrial Training from 2013 to 2015. Onkar Singh Pahwa, MD, Avon Cycles, congratulated Kular on the nomination. He said it was a great achievement for the city’s cycle industry.

Free medical camps

Non-resident Indians from the Payal constituency have decided to hold free medical camps under the Curb Cancer project. Camps will be held in various villages falling within the constituency limits. Apart from giving medication for cancer, patients will also be medicated for diabetes and blood pressure, besides free eye check-up. A team of doctors from England will be visiting the villages to conduct the camps.

Awareness on female foeticide

The Lion's Club organised a project on female foeticide at the Institute of Nursing Education, Guru Teg Bahadur Sahib Hospital. There was a poster-making competition on the theme and the best posters were awarded. There was also a debate on how to make people aware of female foeticide and what measures can be taken to stop it. GK Walia, college principal, was the project director.

Transporters meeting

A meeting of All Tempo and Mini Truck Operator Union, Punjab, was held here under the presidenship of Kirpal Singh Sandhu, member, State Transport Committee. He appealed to all the attendees to take precautions in the foggy weather to prevent loss of precious lives in accidents on the highways. Sandhu asked the gathering to install reflectors on their vehicles.

Book festival

A book festival was organised by Punjab Roadways Employees Union at the local bus stand. Tributes were paid to all those who served for the cause of transport workers. On this occasion, Punjabi singers entertained the workers with the rendition of some Punjabi revolutionary songs. — TNS



Youth drives car into canal
Family says depression led to suicide; body recovered
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 26
A youth in his twenties reportedly committed suicide by driving his car into the Abohar branch of Sirhind Feeder Canal near here today. The incident took place near the bridge over Sirhind Feeder Canal near Akhara village around 5 kms from here.

The deceased youth has been identified as Pawandeep Singh, a resident of Roomi village, situated on the Jagraon-Raikot road.

The police said the youth drove his Maruti Swift car into the canal. Soon after the incident, some residents informed the Jagraon police.

The police team immediately launched a search operation to locate the youth. The police officials managed to recover his body from the canal with the help of some divers after half an hour of search operation. Later on, the police also pulled out the car from the canal.

Pawandeep had got married two years ago. He was reportedly suffering from depression and often used to quarrel with his family members on petty issues.

He also had a heated argument with his family members this morning, added the sources.

After recovering the body, the police sent it for a postmortem at the local civil hospital.

Later on, the police handed over the body to his family members. SHO Mohammad Jamil said the police had registered a case and was further investigating the case.



Travel agent booked for duping man of Rs 11 lakh
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 26
The Mullanpur Dakha police has registered a case against a travel agent for allegedly duping a person of Rs 11 lakh on the pretext of sending the victim’s son to Canada. The accused has been identified as Davinder Singh, a resident of Gure village near here. He is absconding.

The police registered this case on a complaint filed by one Darbara Singh, a resident of Hans Kalan village on the Jagraon-Raikot road. In his complaint, Darbara Singh stated that he was willing to send his son to Canada for better employment opportunities.

"Davinder Singh told me that he was running a travel agency. He claimed that he could easily obtain the visa for Canada for my son and demanded Rs 11 lakh for this purpose,” alleged Darbara Singh.

He paid the amount in two installments in May this year.

"Two weeks after this, Davinder Singh sent my son to Singapore, claiming that he would be shifted to Canada from there. He kept my son there for around one month but failed to obtain the visa, following which my son returned to India. When I asked Davinder Singh to return my money, he refused to do so,” Darbara Singh alleged in his complainant.

Investigation officer ASI Jaspal Singh said the police had registered a case against Davinder Singh after verifying various aspects of the complaint. "The accused has been absconding and we are conducting raids to nab him," added the investigating officer.



Peddlers held with 12,000-ml cough syrup
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 26
The Sudhar police has nabbed two members of a gang that has been involved in distribution of hbit-forming substances among youths.

12,000 ml of a cough syrup and a motorcycle used in the crime were seized from their possession. The accused were identified as Pawandeep Singh alias Pamma of Hathur village and Tejinder Singh alias Golu of Cheeni Wala Khurad.

A police party supervised by Rajesh Sharma, SHO, Sudhar police station, nabbed the accused at Sarabha Chowk on the Ludhiana-Pakhowal road near here today.

The accused used to purchase scheduled drugs from Pindi street market in Ludhiana and supply the same to youths including school and college students.



Shooting can’t come on par with cricket, says ace shooter Bindra
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 26
It is a fact that the shooting sport will never come on par with cricket or football in the country, but the youngsters have been showing interest in the sport in the past few years. These views were expressed by Abhinav Bindra, the ace-shooter and the gold-medal winner in the Olympic Games. Bindra was here at Kundan Vidya Mandir as the chief guest at the school's 68th sports meet, here today.

On being asked that India was a country with one of the largest population in the world and there was no dearth of talent, still the sports were lagging behind, Bindra replied that people needed to adopt sports as part of their culture. Sports needed to become a social activity. "Here, people prefer to go for a movie or an outing during leisure time with their families, but in countries like US or UK, people go and watch games. Sports is a part of their lifestyle and it leads to growth there", said Bindra.

Bindra said that shooting was gaining popularity now in India as a number of people, especially the youngsters, were taking to the game.

When one of the student of KVM asked the ace-shooter as to how he tackled his stress-level, Bindra said one needed to be calm and adopt a focussed approach. "Though stress element is always there, but it must not overpower you", he said. At the same time, Bindra admitted that the talented players were not getting enough opportunities in the country.

Navita Puri, principa,l in her address welcomed Bindra and said that his presence was a great motivation for all the students.



guru nanak stadium
Renovation of multi-purpose hall still not complete
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana December 26
Renovation work is still pending at the multipurpose hall of Guru Nanak stadium, where eight matches of the 63rd Senior National Basketball Championship are scheduled to start from December 28. The renovation work was assigned to the Punjab Mandi Board by the state government several months ago, but the Mandi board official mainly focussed on the stadium where the World Kabaddi Cup was to be organised. The contractor of the Mandi board did not even start the work in the multipurpose stadium till the World Kabaddi Cup.

The Senior National Basketball Championship for men and women which will start on December 28 and will conclude on January 4 in the Sports Complex. The multipurpose hall is also a venue for the some of the basketball matches.

The sports department had demanded Rs 50 lakh for the renovation work of this hall, but only Rs15 lakh were sanctioned by the government.

Broken pieces of wooden floor, beat of birds shit on stairs, stinking urinals and weeds and plants on the roof top makes the hall look shabby. The Mandi board was to complete the re-carpeting of the hall floor, replace the side canopies of the hall and renovate the stairs and washrooms in the contract. No development work has been carried out in past some months.

Now, the Punjab Basketball Association (PBA), the organiser of the championship, is making temporary arrangements for the mega sports event.

District Sports Officer Kartar Singh said, "We have written to the Mandi board to speed up the renovation work. For now, we have made temporary arrangements for the National Basketball Championship. We hope that all the work will be completed by December 27."



B’ball nationals to begin tomorrow

Ludhiana December 26
The Punjab Basketball Association is going to organise the 63rd Senior National Basketball Championship for Men and Women from December 28 to January 4 at Guru Nanak Stadium, Ludhiana .The meeting of the organising committee was held recently.

Giving details about the event, MF Farooqui said that it was a proud moment for the city as it hosted the first ever Senior National Basketball Championship of the country in 1951 and now, it was hosting the championship for the record eighth time. As many 25 teams in the men section and 21 teams in the women section will be participating. — TNS



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