L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rail traffic not on track yet
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 28
The adverse effect of inclement weather on the train schedule for more than a week has hit thousands of Delhi-bound passengers hard as at least half-a-dozen trains running to the national capital or beyond are running late by hours.

A majority of the passengers who had booked their tickets in advance were forced to shelve or alter their plans.

The 14682 Jalandhar-New Delhi Intercity Express and the Amritsar-New Delhi Intercity Express were running late by 10 hours and 9.50 hours respectively. The Amritsar-Nanded Sachkhand Express was delayed by 8.20 hours. Similarly, a pair of the Shaheed Express running between Amritsar-Jaynagar-Amritsar via Delhi was also running behind schedule between 2.30 and 3 hours.

Among other trains running late were the Jaipur-Amritsar Pooja Express by 9.50 hours, the Chhattisgarh Express by 7 hrs, the Andaman Express by 5.40 hours, the Amarnath Express by 11.20 hours, the Amrapali Express by 7.17 hours, the Amritsar-Saharsa Jansewa Express by 3 hours, the Mumbai-Jammu Tawi Swaraj Express by 3 hours, the Jansewa Express by 6.10 hours and the 12203 Saharsa-Amritsar Garib Rath by 2.30 hours.

The New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi Express as well as the New Delhi-Ludhiana Shatabdi Express also arrived 55 minutes and 35 minutes late at Ludhiana.

The reservation counters at the city railway station witnessed a heavy rush of intending travellers, who wanted to cancel their tickets. "As most of the trains are running late, a reasonable margin has to be given if one has to make it to important meetings, business conferences or else has to catch connecting trains or flights for onward journey," said Satinder Singh, a college teacher who wanted to advance his travel to Delhi. 


Installed and forgotten
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
Even though the state government as well as the politicians are often seen "recommending" installation of statues of national heroes and other such personalities, it has been observed that once these statues are installed, neither the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation nor the district administration maintains these properly.

The condition of these statues is such that some of them are surrounded by heaps of garbage. But it seems that the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has finally woken up from a slumber and has decided to maintain and beautify the areas around these statues.

To start with, the MC has installed new spot lights on statues of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Shaheed Rajguru and Shaheed Sukhdev installed on the Jagraon bridge.

A brainchild of Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, the decision is likely to get a good response from the city residents.

The statue of Major Bhupinder Singh, which is located near Bharat Nagar Chowk, here stands amid heaps of garbage. Even the green belt where the statue is installed is in a state of neglect.

Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria claimed that the statues would be developed properly and the areas around them would be beautified. "To start with, we have first decided to install spot lights on all these statues so that people can see these at night as well. Besides, once these lights are installed, the statues will look good. The areas around the statues will be beautified. If there is garbage around the statue of any martyr or national hero, it will be lifted tomorrow," he added.



VIP visits kept teachers, students preoccupied
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
Farm University (PAU)
Punjab Agricultural University's golden jubilee celebrations started on January 2. Former PAU vice-chancellors, Dr SS Johl, Dr KS Gill, Dr AS Khera, Dr GS Kalkat, and Dr KS Aulakh and Vice-Chancellor Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon released seven books on farm literature. President of India Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the three-day international conference on "Sustainable Agriculture for Food and Livelihood Security" on November 27, 2012, at the PAU.

On December 8, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal were conferred the honourable degree of doctor of science by Punjab Governor and Chancellor of the university Shivraj V Patil.

The seventh national conference on "Krishi Vigyan Kendra-2012" based on the theme "Integrating Technologies and Best Practices" was inaugurated by Sharad Pawar, Union Minister of Agriculture and Food Processing Industries, on November 20, 2012.

The first alumni meet of the PAU and the 50th meet of College of Agriculture's Alumni Association was held on December 20-21, 2012.

Malik Ahmad A Aulakh, Minister of Agriculture, Punjab (Pakistan), was the chief guest, and was accompanied by Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, Vice-Chancellor, University of Agriculture (UAF), Faisalabad; and Dr HA Qayyum, the oldest alumnus of the UAF, Pakistan.

New crop varieties

During the year, 10 new varieties of wheat were introduced. The varieties include wheat (PBW 644, WHD 943, HD 2967), kabuli chickpea (GLK 25104), sunflower (PSH 996), toria (TL 17), cotton (FDK 124) and aonla (Balwant, Neelam and Kanchan). Eleven varieties/hybrids have been identified at the national level.

Awards and MoUs

Former PAU student, Dr Surjit Patar, a noted Punjabi poet, and Dr KL Chadha, former DDG (horticulture), ICAR, were conferred Padma Shri awards. Another alumnus,

Dr Gurdev Singh Khush, was decorated with "Krishi Shriomani Samman" during the Mahindra Samriddhi India Agri Awards-2012 for his contribution to the field of agriculture. The PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon was honoured with the coveted

"Dr Harbhajan Singh Memorial Award" by the Indian Society of Plant Genetic Resources (ISPGR). He was also conferred "Punjab Rattan," a Punjab sate intellectuals' honour, during the "All-India Conference of Intellectuals" held on November 18.

During the year, the university signed 11 MoUs with institutions/organisations in India and abroad.

The sate government increased the plan, non-plan budget from Rs 93 crore to Rs 190 crore.


GCW is now GCG

The name of Government College for Women was changed to Government College for Girls in November. Education Minister Sikander Singh Maluka put in efforts to change the name.

Senate elections

Panjab University Senate elections were held on September 23. Twelve candidates from Ludhiana district contested the elections. Dr Parveen Kaur Chawla, from Master Tara Singh Memorial College, was elected from the Principal constituency while Mukesh Gutem, Harpreet Dua, Prof Kuldeep, Satish Sharma and Jagpal were elected from the Lecturers constituency.

Posts of professor created

The posts of professor was created in government colleges. The Punjab government has created 84 posts of professor. Eleven lecturers from the city were found eligible for the post.


Teachers' protests

Various teacher unions blocked the highways in support of their demands. The SSA-RMSA Teachers Union blocked the highway on August 5, teacher eligibility test (TET) passed teachers blocked the NH1 on September 9. The police lathicharged 7,654 teachers on September 14. Special trainer teachers also blocked the highway in October.

District education officers transferred thrice

Sudesh Bajaj was appointed as the District Education Officer in January. She was transferred to Government Senior Secondary School, Sidhawan Bet. Leela Rani, principal of Government Senior Secondary School, Jagraon bridge, was appointed the District Education Officer in April, but due some problem with Akali MLA Ranjit Singh Dhillon, she was again transferred on May 11. Paramjit Kaur was appointed the District Education Officer after Leela Rani.

Scam at PSEB book depot

A scam to the tune of Rs 1 crore at the PSEB book depot was unearthed. The PSEB took action against three employees and suspended the depot manager, Anil Sharma. The probe is still on.

PSEB does away with semester system

The board did away with the semester system on June 15.

Mid-day meal

The Punjab government released over Rs 9 crore for the midday meal. After a long struggle, midday meal workers received their salary. The preparation and distribution of the meal was handed over to the Central Kitchen, an NGO, in October.

RTE implementation

For the implementation of the Right to Education Act, private schools submitted details to the District Education Officer (Primary). Meanwhile, the CBSE schools of the city constituted a body, Association of Private Unaided Schools, to protest against the 25 per cent reservation.

Drunk teachers

Director General of School Education issued a circular on October 8 stating that teachers consuming liquor on duty would be punished. A teacher was suspended in October for consuming liquor.



No check on illegal colonies 
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 28
The year has been a mixed bag for the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA).While work was fully or partially completed on many infrastructure development projects, and some 550 residential flats were constructed in Dugri and Sector 40 on the Chandigarh Road, the proliferation of unauthorised colonies on the periphery stood out like a sore thumb which defied all regulatory and enforcement measures initiated against them.

Changes in administrative set-up

Top administrative set up in GLADA witnessed several changes during the first half of the year. Chief Administrator (CA) AK Sinha was shifted and Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari held the additional charge for some time till Shruti Singh was appointed the new CA in August 2012. Similarly, Additional Chief Administrator Jaswant Singh retired on achieving the age of superannuation, and he was replaced by Baldev Singh who took over in July 2012. Estate Officer Jeet Ram also retired.

Beautification of entry points to city

GLADA executed a project for beautification of entry points to the city during the year. A Rs-22 crore project for eight-laning of Ferozepur Road (a national highway) from Sidhwan Canal to Octroi Post is nearing completion. GLADA allotted work to a construction agency for a Rs-40 crore railway under bridge on Lodhi Club Road and got a technical approval from the Northern Railway authorities for the construction of a railway over bridge near

Unauthorised colonies

When it came to dealing with the menace of mushrooming growth of unauthorised colonies, the GLADA regulatory mechanism was found wanting. Even though GLADA adopted tough measures against unregulated development by carrying out demolition drives at regular intervals, unscrupulous developers continued with their nefarious activities, in many cases, with the collusion of the field staff of the regulatory body. In some cases, even the developers of licensed colonies were found to be shortchanging the buyers by denial of promised amenities and facilities in their respective colonies, and GLADA had to initiate penal proceedings against them.

Promises not fulfilled

The promised new policy for regularisation of existing unauthorised colonies was not announced by the Punjab government even though several dates were given by the senior functionaries of the government for the purpose.

Policy on marriage palaces

However, the government did announce a policy for marriage palaces and GLADA has set the process in motion for regularisation of marriage palaces after conducting a physical survey to determine the change of land use (CLU) charges for each of some 100 plus marriage palaces. 



Hand-knitted woollens still in demand
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
Nothing matches the warmth of a hand-knitted pullover. Famous for its wool, Mochpura Bazar is the favourite destination of residents during winter.

"It is during this time of the year that the bazaar is abuzz with activity. Hand-knitted woollens are never out of fashion and this is the reason why people keep coming back to buy wool," added Ramesh Kullar, a shopkeeper at Mochpura bazaar.

Harinder Kaur was busy selecting wool and wanted to ensure that the wool she bought kept her grandson warm. "I love knitting and initially I used to knit for my children and now I do it for my grandchildren," she added.

Manjeet Kaur, a resident, said, "The traffic should be regulated in a proper manner in the old city areas. It is difficult to even cross a road here. Since the premium quality wool is available only here and the variety is unlimited, I keep coming here despite the traffic chaos."



Clubs under excise dept scanner
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
With New Year round the corner, the Excise and Taxation Department is keeping an eye on hotels and clubs organising hosting parties. Special teams are conducting checks for the violation of 25 per cent entertainment tax.

It’s the responsibility of hotels and clubs to inform the department about New Year eve parties, but none of these have intimated the department so far.

"Nobody informed the department about the New Year parties. Teams are being sent for inspection and we managed to collect tax from some establishments in advance. The actual amount of the entertainment tax collected from the parties will be known after all hotels and clubs deposit the tax," said Kanwalpreet Brar, Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner.

Sources in the department said owners of some clubs had said that they were not charging any entry fee for the party, so they do not come under the preview of the entry tax, but they would pay VAT levied on catering during the party. 



25 trucks impounded 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
The police impounded 25 trucks during a raid at Rasoolpur village today. The persons who were involved in sand mining managed to escape.

The Ladhowal police raided a sand mine on Friday afternoon in Rasoolpur village and found that the illegal practice was going unchecked.

Gurpreet Singh, SHO, Ladhowal police station, said: “Some persons had made illegal mining as their profession and are making money by selling sand.”

“Those involved in sand mining managed to flee. The police impounded 25 trucks. We have registered a case under Mineral and Mining Act,” he said. 



4 of vehicle lifters’ gang held 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 28
The city police claimed to have busted a vehicle lifters’ with the arrest of four persons. The gang was also involved in snatching incidents. The police has recovered six motorcycles, jewellery worth Rs 3 lakh and 500 grams of drugs from their possession.

The accused have been identified as Gurdeep Singh and Anil Kumar, both residents of Guru Arjan Dev Nagar, Prem Singh, a resident of Vishvakarma Nagar, and Balpreet Singh of Burj Hari Singh. All accused are in the age group of 20 to 25 years. Two members of the gang have good educational qualification.

Jagjeet Singh, SHO, Moti Nagar, said: "We got information that some anti-social elements were active in the area who had vehicles with fake registration numbers. 



Colourful start to tourney
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, December 28
The 63rd edition of the IMG Reliance Senior National Basketball Championship for Men and Women being organised by the Punjab Basketball Association (PBA) under the aegis of the Basketball Federation of India got off to a colourful start at Guru Nanak Stadium here this evening.

Though the matches started in the morning, it was formally declared open in the afternoon by former Mr Universe Prem Chand Degra.

He took the salute from the participating teams at an impressive march past.

Over 900 cagers comprising 25 contingents in the men's section and 21 squads in the women's section, including a number of star players of international repute will be seen in action during the championship which will culminate on January 4.

International star and skipper of Punjab men contingent Talwinderjit Singh Sahi took oath on behalf of the players to play in the true spirit of the game.

A total of 125 matches will be conducted during the course of the week-long event to be played on the league-cum-knock out basis for which four courts, including two indoors, will be used.

This is the eighth time that Ludhiana is hosting the senior national championship.

It was in 1951 when the city played host for the first time.

Hosts Punjab is the defending champions in the men's section, while Indian Railways are the title holders in the women's section.

MF Farooqui, DIG, Punjab Police, Ludhiana range, along with office-bearers of the BFI, including its CEO, Roopam Sharma, president Rajdeep Singh Gill and PBA members were present there at the stadium.

The PBA honoured 10 players for excelling in the first South Asian Beach Games held in Sri Lanka and the third Asian Beach Games conducted in Haiyang (China).

They include Jagdeep Singh, Talwinderjit Singh, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, Yadwinder Singh, Geethu Anna Jose, Anitha Pauldurai, Raspreet Sidhu, Prashnati Singh, Kiranjit Kaur and Shireen Vijay Limaye.

The organisers also felicitated national referees on the occasion.

Low turnout at inaugural ceremony

Though the organisers (PBA) had made arrangements for the grand opening of the national championship and decorated the venue tastefully with balloons and flags, a handful of spectators turned out to witness the inaugural ceremony. “Bazigars” performed some rare feats, while a group of “nihangs” exhibited breath-taking martial art acts. Other highlights was “gidha” by college girls and dare-devil acts by the recruits of the Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur. Teja Singh Dhaliwal, general secretary, PBA, attributed the low turnout of audience to the chilly weather.



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