L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Tow-away drive under scanner 
Contractor makes a quick buck as glaring irregularities in award of contract come to light 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
The much-appreciated endeavour of the city traffic police, the tow-away drive, has become a money-spinner for the contractor concerned.

Druing the first five months of the drive alone, from February 24 to July 31, the police has given nearly Rs 30 lakh to recovery vehicle contractor for towing away wrongly parked vehicles. The money has been paid in cash, instead of cheques.

The contract for the much-publicised tow-away drive has come under the scanner following an RTI report obtained by Kuldeep Singh Khaira, a city resident.

Information procured under the RTI Act has highlighted some glaring irregularities in the implementation of the tow-away drive, launched in the city in February this year using “jugad” vehicles.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between the Community Policing Resource Centre (CPRC) and the selected contractor, M/s Shunty Motor Store and Recovery Service, on February 13, 2012, while the tender notice in this regard was published on February 18, five days after the contract was awarded.

In the tender notice, it had been mentioned that the time period for the submission of tenders was form February 19 to February 24. While the contract had been allotted on February 13, the bid of the qualifying contractor bears the date 20.02.2012, which clearly shows that the entire exercise was just to complete the file. The handwriting in three of the five bids is the same, again indicating that there were manipulations, alleged Kuldeep Singh, while referring to the RTI information.

On February 13, a resolution was passed by the CPRC regarding hiring of cranes for lifting vehicles, which was subsequently cancelled on February 15 on the pretext that the February 13 resolution was passed at a meeting chaired by the secretary whereas the power of passing the order rests with the president of the CRPC.

“The signatories to the resolution are Amarjit , Rajiv Jain, Rakesh Bhandari, Pawan Malhotra, Harsh Thapar, Harinder Singh and Madan Mohan Singh (head clerk), Nirmal Singh (in charge of the CPRC) and the secretary, CPRC, Ludhiana. Except the designation of two officers, the status of the other signatories has not been mentioned on the resolution,” said Sarabjit Singh, an RTI activist.


Looking ahead 2013
City residents want more development, green cover
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
As city residents welcome the New Year, they feel there are several issues which need to be addressed for the all-round development of the city. Several ongoing projects in the city have been lingering on for years. Besides, the cost of several projects has doubled, courtesy the "apathetic attitude of government officials and contractors".

The residents feel the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has a lot to do. It needs to improve the infrastructure in the city like constructing wider and quality roads, enforce building bylaws so that there is adequate parking space, check encroachments on roads, restore green cover, build more overbridges, ensure proper lifting of garbage and check the menace of stray animals.

They say though solid waste management has been started in the city, the problem of garbage continues to exist. Heaps of garbage are a common sight in many parts of the city. 


My priority for the next year is getting roads cleared of encroachments. The green cover in the city will be increased and for the purpose, a massive tree plantation drive along roads and in other parts of the city is on the cards. The private company entrusted with the task of lifting garbage will be made accountable. The manual attendance system in MC offices will be replaced by the bio-metric system to ensure proper attendance — Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, Mayor 

What residents have to say 

For me, each day is special. A year for me is like a book containing 365 pages and I want to write only good things on each page so that I can enjoy the book. This is how every person should celebrate each single day of his or her life — Surjit Patar, Punjabi poet

I feel Ludhiana is developing at a fast pace, but the resources are inadequate. I want that in the New Year, the traffic situation in the city should improve — Manmeet Sodhia, educationist

In 2013, we should have a three-point programme for Ludhiana: Make it crime-free, ensure clean environment and introduce bicycle lanes — Ranjodh Singh, industrialist

I feel people should observe traffic discipline, the green cover and the garbage disposal system should be improved and roads should be of a good quality — SS Chana, retired bureaucrat

There is need for transformation of society, which seems directionless at the moment. Consumerism has taken centre stage as people think only of money and relations are getting affected. We have stooped to such an extent that a woman is looked upon as a commodity — Col JS Brar, president of Maha Sabha (NGO)



Police cracks whip, stops illegal parties 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
Cracking the whip on restaurants holding New Year parties without taking the mandatory permission, the police raided the Feroze Gandhi market and stopped parties in two restaurants near Nehru Sidhant Kendra on Pakhowal Road here tonight. The ACP–West said the restaurants were holding parties without taking permission.

One restaurant had even encroached upon land belonging to the municipal corporation. The police also conducted raids in the South City area and ordered restaurant owners to stop parties after they failed to produce no-objection certificates.

The action was taken close on the heels of a brawl that took place at a night club in Ghumar Mandi, in which the leg of AIG (Counter Intelligence) SS Mand was fractured. 



National Highway or death trap?
Pointed iron rods, trenches, lack of warning signboards on road pose threat to commuters
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, December 31
Commuting on the National Highway-1 seems to be dangerous during especially during these foggy winters due to the work of six-laning is being be carried out. The pointed iron rods and trenches and that too, without any security for the commuters, who ply at a fiery speed on the highway, are sure to send a chill in anybody’s spine, who come across them, all of a sudden.

“This is simply ridiculous. The road is a National Highway Number, which is generally used by those undertaking long distance journeys and in order to cover the distance, most of the commuters to move at high speed. In such a situation, the road should be flawless. But it is heartening to find big potholes dug up for road widening and that are left opened. Aren’t they sheer death traps for the commuters? Is it a necessary condition that at least one such mishap is essential to have taken place before the authorities ultimately spring to action?” questioned an angry commuter who, owing to the deep hole, had a miraculous escape on NH-1 the other day.

“The pointed iron rods, on the very road itself, apart from proving a source of inconvenience for all on the highway, are dangerous to the extent that if missed from sight, are sure to result in some fatal injury, especially for the cyclists and the two-wheelers. If the authorities try to put it on the ongoing project, it would be all the more ridiculous on their part. As far as the ongoing project is concerned and the slackened speed at which it is being pursued, no single soul can predict as to when it is finally going to be accomplished. Even if this is so, do these projects indicate that the widening should go on, be it at the cost of the lives of those, for whom they are being undertaken? You dig deep pits on National Highway and keep it naked, thus inviting every possible trouble for the road users. Then you get rid of every responsibility by fixing a frail ribbon around the pit indicating danger in the smallest possible hand,” rued another such commuter.

Still another road user shouted, “What does the authorities want to prove by throwing all security norms to winds? The incident of two brothers, falling into the trench dug-up for the purpose and meeting with accidental death, seemed to have become a forgotten tale for the contractors. Have they no sense of judgement on their own? If so callous is their attitude, we simply do not want any such facility.

They can arbitrarily impose toll tax, revise the rates at will and to top it all even put our precious lives at risk?” The Project Director of NHAI did not respond despite repeated phone calls and SMSes.



Power cuts cripple life 
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, December 31
Despite considerable decline in the power demand during the winters, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited continues to impose regular and prolonged power cuts in Jagraon area. As a result of these regular power cuts, the power consumers of Jagraon area have been facing a lot of troubles.

Though officials of power corporation had promised the consumers of Punjab several times for providing maximum power but they have failed miserably to fulfill their promise. The power cuts ranging from six to seven hours per day are being imposed in Jagraon.

The situation is worst in the rural areas. According to villagers, they have been facing power cuts for eight hours every day. These prolonged power cuts have disrupted the normal life badly.

"We have been facing a lot of troubles due to the unscheduled power cuts. We have been witnessing power cuts for seven to eight hours per day for past several months. The officials do not even inform the people before imposing the power cuts," said Joginder Singh, a resident of Jagraon.

The officials of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited attribute power cuts to frequent technical snags and shortage of the power to the current power crisis. Even though the consumption of power declines during winters yet there is still a huge difference in the demand and supply of the power which has forced the officials to impose regular power cuts.

According to the officials of power corporation, increase in demand for power supply from industry and farm sectors has also affected the power supply. Besides this, the shortage of power supply from various thermal plants of Punjab has worsened the situation.

Chetan Kumar, XEN, Punjab State Power Corporation Limited, Jagraon, said: "We are doing our best to supply maximum power to the consumers but the huge difference between the demand and supply of power has lead to the shortage of supply. The power supply is also affected due to frequent technical snags caused by heavy electricity load." 



Expert: Fruit, vegetable waste a nutritional diet for animals
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
Fruits and vegetables are highly perishable and prone to getting spoiled than cereals or other food crops. The losses in fruits and vegetables are to the tune of about 30 per cent, generating about 50 metric tonnes of waste per annum. But the efficient management of these wastes can help in preserving vital nutrients, produce value added products for livestock and poultry, make the processing units more viable.

On top of it, the pollution hazards can be minimised with the efficient management of eatables.

According to an estimate, in Punjab, about 5 per cent of the cultivable area was under fruits and vegetables production, yielding about 2.53 mt of vegetables and 0.83 mt of fruits per annum, resulting in the production of approximately 1.0 mt of fruit and vegetable waste.

Dr SS Sikka, Head of the Nutrition Department at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) here said that vegetables like sarson ka saag, vegetable waste (cauliflower, cabbage, pea-pods etc), tomato pomace, outer peels of baby corn etc, which were available in plenty in winters could become very good nutritional diet for the animals.

Dr Sikka said that sarson ka saag was highly nutritious, comparable to green fodder oats and superior to conventional green fodder. It was highly palatable and showed excellent on the health of animals. Besides, vegetable waste like cabbage leaves, cauliflower leaves and pea-pods provide lot of energy these can serve as excellent, economical source of nutrients for ruminants.

“Tomato pomace is another potential feed. It is a good source of lycopene a pigment that gives colour to meat and is a known antioxidant without any adverse effect,” said Dr Sikka further adding that these wastes could be very beneficial for animals.

The fruit and vegetable processing plants in organised sector in Punjab state leaves a huge quantity of residues/waste like empty pea pods, cauliflower leaves and stem, cabbage leaves and stem, tomato pomace, culled potato, citrus peels, citrus fruit juice waste, sarson saag waste, baby corn husk and lauki waste posing a big problem for their disposal besides threat to environment.

Among the various wastes evaluated pea pods, cauliflower leaves, cabbage leaves, sarson saag waste, baby cornhusk and tomato pomace (15 to 22 per cent crude protein) showed great potential as livestock feed.



Encroachments removed on New Year’s Eve
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
Even on the last day of the year, Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria carried out an anti-encroachment drive near Clock Tower, Lakkar Bridge and that of the Railway Station areas of the city. The drive started after Gohalwaria came out of the Zila Parishad building after checking the night shelter.

As it was the last day of year, shopkeepers were not expecting that the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation would carry out any anti-encroachment drive. But most of the shopkeepers of the above mentioned areas were surprised to see Mayor Gohalwaria accompanying the Tehbazaari Wing and getting encroachments cleared.

Gohalwaria got encroachments removed from the road, starting from Clock Tower Chowk towards Lakkar Bridge. He then removed the encroachment from the road starting from Clock Tower Chowk and going towards Jagraon Bridge.

While speaking to The Tribune, Gohalwaria said these roads are full of encroachments. The shopkeepers should understand that the roads are meant for moving vehicles and not for their purpose. Next time if we see the encroachments here, the goods would be confiscated,” said Gohalwaria.



Rly passengers at receiving end
Trains from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar running late by up to 15 hours
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 31
With the inclement weather in the region showing no signs of relenting, the movement of long-route trains continues to be affected. Most of the trains running to and from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar kept passengers waiting for up to 15 hours today.

The passengers have no other choice but to leave themselves to the mercy of the weather gods and keep praying for the arrival of their trains.

The disruption of rail traffic for more than two weeks now has upset travel plans of many people, and in many cases city residents, who had booked rail tickets for travel during Christmas and New Year vacations, had to change their travel plans at the last moment, to their great inconvenience and financial loss.

Kulbir Singh, a businessman, who was to travel with his family to Delhi and catch a flight from Goa on Sunday to celebrate New Year there, said he was not taking any chances keeping in view the delay in train arrivals by several hours. "We are going to Delhi by a car and take a flight from the Delhi airport. We have got the railway reservation cancelled," he said.

According to railway officials, the Jaipur-Amritsar Pooja Express was delayed by 8.50 hours, Tata Nagar-Jammu Tawi Express by six hours, Saharsa-Amritsar Jansewa Express by 12.10 hours, Saharsa-Amritsar Garib Rath by 2.15 hours, Howrah-Amritsar Mail by 8.25 hours, Amritsar-Saharsa Express by 6.30 hours, Indore-Jammu Tawi Malwa Express by 2 hours, Howrah-Jammu Tawi Himgiri Express by 17.15 hours, Katihar-Amritsar Amrapali Express by 4.50 hours, Sealdah-Amritsar Akal Takht Express by 7.30 hours, Saryu-Yamuna Express by 2.30 hours and Jannayak Express by 1.15 hours.



Mand’s attacker, too, has fractured leg
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
It is an eye for an eye and a leg for a leg for the Punjab police. Maninder Pal Singh Johar, alias Sunny Goodwill, who, along with his aides Rishi Banda, nephew Amand and certain bouncers of the night club, assaulted the Assistant Inspector Genera (AIG) Counter Intelligence, SS Mand on Monday night, also suffered an injury on the right leg.

An injured Sunny Goodwill was limping while he was being taken to The Hub, located in Ghumarmandi, for investigation.

Mand had suffered a fracture on the right leg in the assault. He was operated upon and at present is recuperating at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

Interestingly, Sunny Goodwill seems to have suffered an identical injury on the right leg. However, the severity of the injury is not known.

The police has not yet divulged the medical details of the injury. The city police maintains that Sunny Goodwill was handed over to them by the Mohali police. Sources in the Mohali police said Sunny Goodwill sustained injury on the right leg when he tried to escape on seeing the police.

“He slipped while he was trying to escape along with his close aide Rishi Banda, and sustained an injury,” said an officer of the Mohali police, requesting anonymity.

Mand had also maintained that he slipped on the stairs while coming out of the club and suffered a fracture on the right leg. The recording of a close circuit television (CCTV) camera installed outside the night club showed that Mand was assaulted by Goodwill and his men.

Incident was waiting to happen, say Residents

Residents of Model House, where Rishi Banda lives, said the trouble was waiting to happen. They said Rishi was in the habit of creating a fuss on petty issues. Rishi always wanted to become famous and joined the Youth Akali Dal (YAD) as its general secretary last year. Huge hoardings with his pictures have been installed at the key locations in the city.

Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh said: “I do not want to comment on the issue. The three accused were handed over to us by the Mohali police.”



Driving golf cart in market proves costly for youth
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
Scouting for a party destination on New Year’s Eve proved costly for a city youngster who was driving a golf cart in Sarabha Nagar.

The vehicle was impounded. The incident took place when residents spotted a youngster flaunting his newly bought golf cart in the posh Sarabha Nagar Market. One of the residents informed District Transport Officer (DTO) Manpreet Chhatwal about it.

Chhatwal immediately reached the spot. “I received a call from residents who said someone was driving a golf cart-like vehicle. The owner of the vehicle could not produce necessary documents, which authorise him to drive the vehicle on the road. The person was challaned under Section of 207 of the Motor Vehicle Act and the vehicle impounded,” said Chhatwal.

Chhatwal has appealed to the residents to directly contact him on his mobile number 9888446362 for lodging complaints. Earlier, Police Commissioner Ishwar Singh had made his mobile number 7837018501 public and appealed to women that they could directly contact him if they are subjected to eve-teasing or any kind of crime.

In view of New Year’s Eve, the police has banned the entry of vehicles in the Sarabha Nagar Market. Barricades have been put up on the street leading to Sarabha Nagar.



From colleges

NSS camp concludes

A week-long NSS camp concluded today at GCG, Ludhiana. Gurminder Kaur, principal of the college, was chief guest on this occasion. NSS in charge Sharanjit Parmar welcomed the chief guest at the function where various items were presented by three units of NSS.

GHG Harparkash College of Education for Women

A week-long NSS camp organised by the GHG Harparkash College of Education for Women, Sidhwan Khurd, concluded today. . Various kinds of activities, competitions and lectures on different issues were conducted during the seven-day-long camp. Dr Hardeep Singh Sur, former professor and scientist at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, was the chief guest on the valedictory ceremony.



Ludhiana scan

Handbook released

2013 handbook and calendar for Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University was released by the varsity Vice-Chancellor Dr VK Taneja. The diary has been published in English and Punjabi languages. It is a useful document for farmers as well as veterinarians, said a varsity press release issued here today. The diary and the calendar are available for the purchase of the public also.


During the annual general meeting of Offset Printers' Association, Parveen Aggarwal was unanimously chosen as the president for yet another term of two years viz 20113 and 2014. Aggarwal is the director of Bharat Industries Limited while Kamal Chopra was the unanimous choice as general secretary. Speaking on the occasion, Chopra said OPA is one of the most active printers' associations of India and is always the front-runner for any cause for the development of printing and packaging industry. 2013 being the 'Silver Jubilee Year' they will be planning various activities and seminars for the overall benefit of this key industry.

Hayder is block president

A meeting of Veer Abdul Hamid Foundation was held here on Monday. During the meeting, Mohd Abdul Hayder was unanimously elected as president of the youth wing of the foundation and has been made incharge of ward number 21, 22, 24, 25 and 33.

Cricket league

Cricket matches under Mera Shehar, Meri League will be held at Naresh Chander Stadium at Khanna. Matches will be held from December 31 to January 7. Teams, which will be participating in the league include Navjot USA Tigers, Nita Rockers, Dragon Gupta, Power House Gym Warriors, Durga Lions Cricket Club, Khosla Royals, Lali Fighters.

Sweaters distributed

Simranjit Singh Bains, MLA, distributed sweaters among the students of NCPL schools here on Monday. Speaking on the occasion, Bains said child labour is a black spot on the society. These schools are a good initiative to provide education.

Railway pensioners

The Railway Pensioners Welfare Association has asked the government to ensure that revised pension should not be lower than 50 per cent of the sum of the pay in the pay band and grade pay to the revised pay scale from which the pensioner had retired. Addressing to the AGM of the association, president KL Chitkara further demanded that dearness relief be merged with pension as it had gone beyond 50 per cent, or else pension be revised every five years. The meeting also called for five per cent additional old age pension and better facilities at sub divisional railway hospital with provision of super specialist doctors and diagnostic facilities.

Ludhiana leads in fish farming

District Ludhiana is one of the foremost districts in fish farming. In Ludhiana 913 hectare of land is under fish farming and from which 4,840 tonne fish will be produced, said Vidya Sagar, additional director, fish farming department in a release issued to the press. "To promote fish farming in the state, the government is providing training to the farmers and then also giving loans to carry out fish farming. Government is giving loan up to Rs 3 lakhs for the same," he said. — TNS

Two injured after car shocker explodes

Two labourers were injured after a shocker of a vehicle, which was set on fire, exploded at a scrap market near the Gill Road here this afternoon.

The labourers were reportedly setting the material on fire to beat the cold. It is learnt that one of the labourer threw a shocker in the fire and it exploded. Two labourers, who were sitting close to the fire place, suffered injuries.

The incident triggered rumours of an explosion in the area. Soon after receiving a complaint, the police reached the spot.



Man booked on molestation charge 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
A 34-year-old man was booked on charges of molestation and trespassing into a house.

The suspect, Gurmeet Singh, a resident of an LIG flat in Dugri, allegedly hurled nasty comments at a girl who was standing outside her house.

The girl ran inside the house. Gurmeet followed her and entered the house where he allegedly molested the girl.

When the girl raised the alarm, Gurmeet Singh fled. The girl’s father tried to overpower Gurmeet, but the suspect assaulted him and fled.

The victim informed the police, which registered a case. The suspect is at large. 



Over 1 kg heroin seized during 2012
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 31
There has been a huge rise in the consumption and peddling of heroin in Jagraon area during 2012 as a large number of youths are falling prey to the addiction of heroin. There has been a huge demand of heroin in Jagraon area. The youths who used to take drugs like opium and poppy husk are now getting hooked to heroin and smack.

The trend of consumption of heroin is clear from the fact that the Jagraon police has seized more than 1 kg heroin in different operations during 2102 which is hundreds times higher than the amount seized during 2011.

In 2011, the local police had seized only 7 gm of heroin but the amount of the heroin seized during 2012 has increased manifolds. As per the record of the Jagraon police, 1,061 gm of heroin was seized during 2012. Besides heroin, the police also seized 137 gm smack during 2012.

"Earlier the youths of the area used to consume drugs like opium, poppy husk and charas but now the youths are getting addicted to heroin,” said a police official.

Apart from heroin, the youths are also getting hooked to smack and opium. During first 11 months of 2012, the police seized 137 gm smack, 500 gm charas, 33 kg opium and more than 119 kg poppy husk from several drug peddlers.

A total of 273 cases of drug peddling were registered at various police stations under Ludhiana (rural) police district. 



Woman commits suicide

Khanna, December 31
A married woman, Kusum (25), committed suicide by hanging herself at her residence in Ram Nagar, Khanna. The deceased was identified as. She is survived with a minor son.

The incident came to light when a neighbour of thedeceased went to the her house. — OC



Thieves strike at shop
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 31
Thieves struck at a shop in Maligunj, near Old Sabzi Mandi, and decamped with 375gm of gold and Rs 20,000.

The incident came to light in the morning when Kuldeep Verma, the owner of the shop, found the shop ransacked.

He said the thieves entered the shop by breaking the rooftop. They entered the shop around 3 am and remained ther till 4.30 am. The thieves’ movement was recorded in a close circuit television camera installed in the shop.

Shop owner Kuldeep Verma said he had suffered a loss of nearly Rs 14 lakh in the theft.

The police has registered a case and started investigation into the theft.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |