L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


death of students
School tragedy was waiting to happen
Many vehicles had rammed into the school wall earlier
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

The mother of an injured child, who has been admitted to the CMCH, wipes her tears.
The mother of an injured child, who has been admitted to the CMCH, wipes her tears. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, March 15
The tragedy in which two schoolchildren died after a truck rammed into a school wall today was waiting to happen. The school is located on a curve and fast-moving vehicles often hit its wall.

Cars ramming into the school wall had become a routine affair. "Last month, a car rammed into the school wall and a part of it collapsed. Accidents have become a routine here," said Malkit Singh, a member of a committee of the school.

He recalled how residents of a nearby village collected funds to raise the school boundary wall.

"Sensing danger, we had constructed the concrete wall as a protection measure. Who knew that a truck would crash into the school boundary wall, resulting in the death of students," said Malkit Singh.

It is learnt that recently ACP (Traffic) Dhruman Nimbale visited the spot and inspected the site.

The police and the administration were planning to install signboards and speed humps on both sides of the road to prevent accidents.

The ACP said driver Lakhvir Singh was also to be blamed for the tragedy.

"Whether the driver dozed off or whether he was under the influence of drugs is being investigated. But he was definitely overspeeding. The truck run over the divider and crashed into the wall.

Kamaljit Soi, a road-safety expert, said repeated requests to install speed governors on heavy vehicles had fallen on deaf ears of the government.

"We seem to have given these truck drivers a licence to kill. I do not know how many more children will we lose before the government wakes up from its slumber," said Kamaljit Soi, vice-chairman of the Punjab Road Safety Council. 

Driver, cleaner booked
The police has booked the driver and the cleaner of the truck on a charge of murder under Sections 302 and 304-A of the IPC.


Sleepy village mourns its loss
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
The sleepy village of Jandiali was shattered by the tragedy in which a truck crashed into a school boundary wall, killing two students and injuring five others. A pall of gloom descended on the small village. The poor parents of Kulveer Kuar and Sukhdeep Kaur, who died in the accident, are trying to come to terms with the death of their daughters. Anxious-ridden relativies of those injured were seen rushing to the hospital.

The entire village was mourning the tragedy. Village elders were seen looking at the mangled remains of the truck that caused the death of their loved ones.

Balwinder Singh, who lost his 11-year-old daughter Kulveer Kaur, was in deep shock.

A father of two daughters, he works in a factory unit. “Both my daughters used to love me a lot. I never felt that I needed a son,” he said.

“I had gone to work in the morning. My brother, Hardeep, took my daughter to the CMCH, where she was declared brought dead. I don’t know why God has been so cruel to me," said Balwinder Singh.

Jagvir Singh was shattered to see the body of his 11-year-old daughter. A cobbler, he had only Rs 10 in his pocket when he learnt about his daughter’s death. Gurpreet, who lives in the same village, offered him some money. Jagvir rushed to the hospital where he was told that his daughter had died.

"My daughter used to stand first in the class. Yesterday, she visited a shrine so that she could score well in the exams that were to start tomorrow. But destiny had some other plans," said Jagvir Singh.

Both Balwinder Singh and Jagvir Singh were waiting outside the mortuary waiting for the postmortem to be over.

A middle-aged couple, Bindu Pandey and Hemant Pandey, were consoling each other outside the ICU of the CMCH where their son Anmol is battling for life.

The couple has a son and three daughters. Anmol's elder sister Shikha was a witness to the incident.

"I rushed outside on seeing the accident and was shocked to see my brother lying unconscious in a pool of blood," said Shikha.

Shivani, mother of an injured student, Aarti, was going through some anxious moments at the Civil Hospital in Ludhiana. Shivani has received serious injuries on her legs.

Panic gripped students who sitting in their classrooms after they came to know about the accident.

Victim’s father had just Rs 10 with him
Jagvir Singh was shattered to see the body of his 11-year-old daughter. A cobbler, he only had Rs 10 in his pocket when he learnt about his daughter’s death. Gurpreet, who lives in the same village, offered him some money



GLADA fails to find bidders for commercial site
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 15
The Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) today made yet another unsuccessful bid to sell a commercial site in the fully developed Dugri Urban Estate, Phase I, locality. There were no bidders for the property. After waiting for nearly three hours, GLADA officials called off the auction.

On offer was a freehold multiplex/shopping mall site, located alongside a 100-foot road in Dugri with an area of 1.46 acres and a reserve price of nearly Rs 42.40 crore at the rate of Rs 60,000 per sq yard. According to the building norms fixed by GLADA, the site had an FAR of 1:3 with permission to construct a basement and a maximum ground coverage of 40 per cent. There was to be no restriction on the height of the building subject to permission from the Indian Air Force authorities.

According to GLADA Estate Officer Anand Sagar Sharma, who was to conduct the auction with Additional Chief Administrator Baldev Singh, no one deposited the eligibility fee of Rs 42,39,840 to participate in the bidding process.

The public auction to sell a big chunk of land today was, in fact, the third unsuccessful bid by GLADA in a span of less than a month to dispose of prime commercial sites in fully developed residential areas and commercial hubs of the city.

The auction conducted last month for the sale of a hotel site in Sector 32-A on Chandigarh Road with an area of 8,615 sq yards and a floor price of Rs 51.69 crore failed to attract a single buyer. Similarly, another bid by GLADA to sell two chunks of land, measuring 12,826 and 12,196 sq yards in Sector 40 on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road with price tags of Rs 25.68 crore and Rs 24.39 crore, respectively, also met with the same fate.

Going by the reserve price alone, the four chunks of land which failed to evoke any interest among property developers or investors, could have yielded the cash-strapped GLADA more than Rs 144 crore if even a marginal premium over the floor price is not taken into account. The funds could have come in handy for several ongoing development projects of GLADA and many other agencies which, at times, seek funding for development works from it.

Although the GLADA top brass does not admit it, the persistent failure to sell high-value commercial property is giving them sleepless nights since the long-term development map drawn for the city and its periphery requires huge funds, which were to be raised through the sale of land and commercial sites.



Six more stolen cars recovered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
A day after the recovery of four SUVs, the city police made further inroads into the case and recovered six more cars. Two more suspects have also been arrested in this connection.

Jaswinder Singh, a resident of the Labour Colony near Gill Chowk, and Ashok Kumar, a resident of Piru Banda in Salem Tabri, who used to sell stolen cars, were arrested on a tip-off provided by Shejad, who was arrested yesterday.

“Shejad and Babblu Kumar used to steal cars from Ghaziabad in UP. These were further sold by Jaswinder and Anil Kumar by exchanging chassis and engines of stolen cars,” said ADCP-1 Nilambri Jagdale.

“We have recovered six more cars. Four cars were earlier recovered from Shhejad. These six cars were sold and we have recovered the cars from various districts in the state from the buyers,” she said.

Shejad is facing five criminal cases in Ghaziabad, while Jaswinder is facing two cases. Among the cars recovered are a Swift Dzire, a Tata Indigo, a Tata Indica, a Hyundai Verna and an Accent. The kingpin of the gang, Bablu Khan, is still at large.

What did the thieves in
Jaswinder Singh, a resident of the Labour Colony near Gill Chowk, and Ashok Kumar, a resident of Piru Banda in Salem Tabri, who used to sell stolen cars, were arrested on a tip-off provided by Shejad, who was arrested on Thursday.



Two injured seriously as bus, truck collide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
The driver and conductor of a bus were seriously injured after the vehicle collided head-on with a mini-truck near Heeran village on Chandigarh Road here this evening. The bus was on the way to Chandigarh.

According to eyewitnesses, the incident occurred when the bus driver was overtaking a vehicle. The truck was coming from the opposite direction.

The injured are Daljit Singh and Dilbag Singh. They were taken to the DMCH in a critical condition.

Ten passengers also received minor injuries in the accident. They were discharged after being given first aid.

The truck driver, Inderjit, was also injured. 



Seeds worth Rs 1.5 crore sold at Kisan Mela
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
A two-day Kisan Mela began today at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) campus amidst massive gathering of farmers from across the state. There was brisk sale of seeds of paddy varieties like PUSA Basmati Punjab 1509 and PR-122 non Basmati varieties. Seeds worth Rs 1.5 crores were sold at the mela Dr Harvarinder Singh Randhawa, Director, Seeds, informed.

Chief guest Dr GS Kalkat, chairman, Punjab State Farmers' Commission, expressed concern over the depleting underground water table in the state. Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, impressed upon the farmers to diversify their farms, and make judicious use of water, pesticides and fertilisers for good economic returns, conservation of natural resources, and for saving environment.

Poor participation by women farmers
Recently, the talk to include women as a productive workforce in the development of the state has gained momentum, yet only a few women farmers were seen with their male counterparts participating at the fair.

Italian farm machinery sought after
Around 20 Italian farm machinery manufacturers have come to demonstrate their equipment here. Many farmers and local manufacturers were seen taking keen interest in seeing the live demonstration of the machines.

Food joint a hot spot
Kisan Mela at PAU is popular, and so is the food joint of Giani Tarlochan Singh, where farmers have food and snacks during the mela. "I have been coming to the university to attend the mela for the past 12 years, and I always have my lunch here ," a farmer said.



Pashu palan mela
Diversification need of the hour: Expert
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, inaugurated its 14th Pashu Palan Mela with the theme "Kheti Vibhinnta da eh uttam badal, Chitey ,Neeley inqlab nu karo safal." (Develop livestock professions and fisheries for agriculture diversification). Dr GS Kalkat, chairman, Punjab State Farmers Commission inaugurated the mela.

Various departments of College of Vet Science put up their stall in the mela to transfer their inputs and recommendations to the farmers.

The germplasm of the university such as cows, buffaloes, goats, pigs, poultry, emu and quails were demonstrated to the livestock farmers.

Dr VK Taneja, Vice-Chancellor, GADVASU, said that diversification within the livestock professions was the need of the hour.

Not only dairy farming, but fisheries, poultry, piggery and goat farming were fine diversification options in livestock.

Turkey bird promotion
Turkeys were displayed for promotion in the poultry bird section by the Punjab Animal Husbandry Department. Meat and eggs from the bird are considered healthier than that of chicken as it contains less cholesterol, Paramjit Singh Mann from Government Poultry Centre, Ludhiana, said.



Now, admn to keep tabs on expectant women
Bid to check female foeticide
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
Now, couples expecting a child in Ludhiana will receive letters followed by regular calls and SMS from the DC office inquiring about the wellbeing of the mother and any missing link will immediately be followed up.

A dedicated staff has been entrusted with the job at the District Red Cross Society. The district administration has taken the step to check the menace of sex-selective abortions in the district.

At a meeting of various district officials chaired by Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari, it was decided to put this system in place to monitor the status of pregnant women in the district along with various other measures. This would help check female foeticide.

The data of all pregnant women collected regularly by the Civil Surgeon office will be used to monitor the pregnancies.

Tiwari said that a toll-free number would soon become functional and anybody having any information on any suspected case of female foeticide could inform the administration on the number. This would help in checking the malpractice. Similar information can also be provided at the website www.sadibeti.com .

It will become mandatory for cinema halls in the city to screen short films on female foeticide before regular shows. 



Civic body to propose Rs 631-crore Budget
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma is all set to present the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation's annual Budget for 2013-14 at MC's Zone A office at Mata Rani Chowk, here tomorrow.

It is learnt that this time, the annual budget proposed is around Rs 631 crore, which is Rs 110 crore less than that of previous year (Rs 741 crore).

This year's Budget is Rs 110 crore less than that of the previous year because it does not include the income from property tax and house tax as the survey regarding property tax is still going on. As the property tax would replace the house tax, income estimates from it have not been added to it.

Besides this, this is for the first time that the MC has made the record of its liabilities public.

As per their own record, the civic body owes Rs 281.68 crore as liability for different projects.

MC owes Rs 90.42 crore for works related to buildings and roads (B&R) branch, Rs 1.63 crore for central store, Rs 93.72 lakh for works related to hotmix plant and Rs 71.19 crore as liability for works related to different projects.



mc meeting
MC officials pulled up for failed demolition drive
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
Ludhiana Municipal Corporation officials once again remained at the receiving end during the civic body's monitoring committee meeting, which was 'finally' organised after almost a gap of seven months.

Today's meeting was attended by its four members, namely Col Jagdish Singh Brar, Rohit Sabharwal, Darshan Arora and Pran Nath Bhatia.

It was the issue of MC officials returning empty handed from the failed demolition drive of Gur Mandi, which was discussed in detail.

MC Additional Commissioner Isha Kalia claimed that the drive was called off because the issue turned into a religious matter.Members of the Mahavir Mandir Trust, Gur Mandi, have written a letter to the the Chief Minister demanding that the MC should be stopped from demolishing the 30 shops, which are located on 'their' land.They had a delailed discussion on the issue.



Minor fire breaks out at eatery in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
A minor fire incident was reported at “Basant Vegetarian” at Fountain Chowk, here this evening.

As per information, the fire broke out due to short circuit in a chimney installed in kitchen. Bhupinder Singh Basant, owner of the restaurant, informed that their staff could not douse the flames because the chimney was oily.

"With the help of the fire brigade we were able to douse the fire. There was no major loss," he said.



Class V exams begin today; govt school students clueless about date sheet
Gurminder Grewal

Machhiwara, March 15
Today the students' of various government senior secondary schools will appear for their Class V examination but at the Government Senior Secondary School at Rahimabad village the scene is different.

The students of this school are clueless about the date sheet. Besides, they have not been able to complete the lessons listed in their syllabus as the lone teacher posted at the school is on a maternity leave.

A woman who cooks meals at the school has been filling in for the teacher from last one month.

"The school is playing with our children's future. We had tried to bring the problem to the notice of the authorities concerned, but our pleas fell on deaf ears," complained a parent.

The angry parents today raised slogans against the apathetic attitude of the school and government authorities. The village sarpanch, Kishan Singh, said after the lone teacher had gone on maternity leave. The students had to study sans a teacher.

Block Development and Panchayat officer Gurpreet Singh assured that he would make arrangement for a teacher to be posted at the school.

The Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, Rahul Tiwari, said he would look into the matter and make arrangement for the smooth conduct of the examination. 



Special children give scintillating performance at annual function
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
Children with special abilities of Nirdosh School, being run by Inner Wheel Club, today gave a scintillating performance during their annual day function.

SPS Oberoi, a Dubai based NRI, was the chief guest on the occasion. He is a philanthropist and a hotelier who helped in release of 17 Indian youths from Sharjah jail by paying off their blood money. He promised to give Rs 25,000 every month for running this school of special children. He said people should come forward for such a noble cause.

He hails from Patiala and is settled in Dubai. He is also running an Old Age Home at Patiala and a school for special child at Patiala.

Sushma Gupta, president, Inner Wheel Club, Ludhiana, welcomed the chief guest on the occasion.

MS Gujral, CEO, Shankra Eye Hospital, was the guest of honour. The children presented dances on Hindi and Punjabi songs. 



Degrees conferred on 96 nursing students
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
The Mata Mohandai Oswal College of Nursing organised its annual convocation and prize distribution function today.

Dr AS Thind, Joint Director, Directorate of Research and Medical Education, Chandigarh, was the chief guest . He conferred degrees on 96 nursing students. On the occasion, College Principal Dr Rajinder Kaur Mahal read out the annual report of the college. BN Gupta, general manager of the hospital, highlighted the achievements of the hospital.



Undertrial’s death: Kin block highway
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 15
Relatives of an under trial facing murder charges today staged a dharna at Ludhiana-Jalandhar NH1 near Amaltas village.

The undertrail, Avtar Singh, had died following a prolonged ailment and his medical bill was a huge amount. The relatives staged dharna to press the hospital authorities for releasing the body as the hospital authorites had refused to hand over the body till the bills were cleared.

The national highway remained blocked for about 50 minutes.

Dharna was lifted after ACP J Elinchazian reached the spot and assured them of handing over the body after post mortem.

Avtar Singh (31), a resident of Gagandep Colony in Bhattian village, was lodged in central jail on murder charges. The family of the deceased had filed an application in the court pleading that Avtar Singh was not treated properly by the doctors of the jail hospital and they requested the court to shift him to civil hospital on Febrary 25, 2013. Avtar died at DMCH in the wee hours on Friday. The hospital authorities demanded the payment of medical expense for releasing the body.

"As per law, the expenditures of the treatment will be paid by the family members and we are not liable to pay even a single penny," said the superintendent of the jail.



from schools
Industrial visit

To accentuate the knowledge of students, a visit to a factory was organised for the students of Class I-IV by Ryan International School, Dugri. Students visited the Asian Cranes Company, located at Gill village. Students were made aware about the functioning of different parts of the crane. They worked on the cranes to get first hand knowledge about it. The visit was organised under the guidance of Augustine F Pinto.

Theme party

A theme party was organised on the premises of Small Wonders School on Friday. Children came dressed up in night suits and slippers with teddies in their hands. Teachers narrated various stories to the tiny-tots. On the occasion, a teddy making activity was also performed. —TNS



from colleges
Session on entrepreneurship

Punjab Technical University and the Indus Entrepreneurs sponsored a one-day session on entrepreneurship. It was organised at RIMT-Institute of Engineering and Technology. As many as 120 students from different engineering and management branches participated in the event.


The atmosphere at Ramgarhia Girls College, Miller Ganj, turned nostalgic on Friday. The students from the Department of Commerce bade adieu to its outgoing batch of BCom (2012-2103). An event was organised by the students of BCom-II to wish their seniors a successful and happy future ahead. The students presented bhangra and western dance on the occasion.

Gobindgarh Public College

Students of BA-II of Gobindgarh Public College, Alour (Khanna), gave farewell to their seniors at a party hosted on the college premises. College Principal Dr Neena Seth Pajni was the chief guest on the occasion. The function comprised of various dances, skits and song items. Principal Dr Neena Seth Pajni exhorted the out going batch to develop a positive attitude towards life and prove an asset to their family, society and the country.

A girl walks down the ramp during a farewell party at the Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women,on the  Gujarkhan campus.
A girl walks down the ramp during a farewell party at the Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women,on the Gujarkhan campus. photo: INDERJEET VERMA

Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women

Students of the Guru Nanak Khalsa College for Women, Gujarkhan, organised a farewell party for their seniors. The beauty pageant was the main highlight of the event. Ramneet was crowned as Miss Farewell. Priya and Nikita were adjudged as first and second runners-up, respectively. The other titles given were Miss Attire-Jasmine, Miss Elegant Ramanpuneet and Best Smile-Rose George.

Degrees conferred

Annual convocation and a prize distribution function were held at the BCM college of Education. The event was graced by Prof Arun Kumar Grover, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab University, Chandigarh. On the occasion, 35 MEd and 272 BEd students received degrees. Delivering the convocation address, Prof Arun Kumar Grover congratulated the young degree holders.

Seminar on financial sector

The Department of Commerce of the SDP College for Women organised a one-day UGC sponsored national seminar on “Financial Sector in India” on the college campus. Dr Deepak Kapoor, Director, Panjab University, Regional Center, was the chief guest at the inaugural session of the seminar. Neel Kamal, Head Department of Commerce, introduced the major thrust area of the financial sector in India. —TNS



Legal-aid camp

Ludhiana: The judiciary came forward to literate the people belonging to villages who came from different parts of Punjab. Para-legal volunteers organised a free legal-aid camp. “Purpose of the camp was to tell people that that nobody can be denied justice and people belonging to poor section can avail free legal aid,” said Chief Judicial Magistrate KK Singla. He said as many as 500 persons were given information and advice on various issues, including property disputes, matrimonial disputes and service matters. Singla said, “all are equal before law, so the Punjab State Legal Authority is providing free legal-aid to people who cannot afford legal services.”

Cycle rally

In order to create awareness about eco-friendly environment, city lawyers today organised a cycle rally from district courts complex to old district court chowk. Sessions Judge GS Matharoo flagged off the rally from the district courts complex. District Bar Association President Jagmohan Singh Warraich, Secretary GS Sodhi, Vice-President Ashok Sharma, Finance Secretary Gurjinder Sahni led the cycle rally.

Oration award

Dr NK Aggarwal has been awarded the prestigious Dr TP Srivastava Oration award by the UP Orthopaedic Association this year. This awarded is given every year to a surgeon who performs well in clinical work, teaching and research.

VAT-related problems discussed

A deputation of the Punjab Tax Association met Excise and Taxation Commissioner Anurag Verma to discuss the problems related to filing of returns and VAT. Verma assured that steps would be taken to eradicate grievances related to the VAT forms 15, 18, 19, 23 and 24. Ashok Juneja, president of the Punjab Tax Association, said: “We will submit a memorandum of suggestions for solving difficulties and improvement in the working system of department.” Lawyers said, “pending returns can be filed only if networking system works smoothly and help desks are installed to guide bars for increase in tax collection.”


The elections for the Class IV Government Employees Union were organised on Friday. Surinder Singh Bains was elected as the president, Hakam Singh as cashier, Ram Karan as secretary, Vidya Devi as vice-president and Ram Milan was chosen as press secretary of the organisation.

Training camp concludes

Training of the State Disaster Rescue Force concluded on Friday at the Police Complex at Ladowal Seed Farm. The course started on January 29. 40 jawans from the armed wing were trained to combat and carry out rescue operations during natural disasters like flood and fire.

Auction of canteen

SDM Ajay Sood said auction of the canteen of Transport Nagar would be organised on March 22 at 11 am at SDM office, located at Mini Secretariat. Rs 50,000 is the registration fee. — TNS



Man held with 9 kg of opium
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, March 15
The Machhiwara police has seized 9 kg of opium from a car and arrested a person in this connection.

Khanna SPD Bhupinder Singh said a police team led by Samrala DSP JS Cheema and Machiwara SHO Harjinder Singh had laid a naka on Kohara-Machiwara road near Adiana village yesterday in the evening. When the police party signaled the car to stop, the driver of the car tried to escape the naka. After a short chase, the car was stopped and the car was searched. During the search operation, a plastic bag containing 9 kg opium was found.

The arrested person has been identified as Rajwinder Singh (45), a resident of Jaipura village.



2 grain thieves arrested
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 15
The Jagraon police has arrested two members of a grain thieves' gang. The police had been searching for these members of the grain thieves' gang since it was busted last week and arrested mastermind Meena Ram and his accomplice Mohamad Anwar.

The two gang members have been identified as Veeru and Bhola. Both the accused were arrested during a routine checking by the police near the Grain Market. The police has also recovered two bags of rice stolen by the accused.

Investigating Officer ASI Hari Mittar said a police party had set up a check post near the Grain Market. “After some time, we saw two youths coming from Ludhiana-Moga highway. On seeing the police, they turned back which made us suspicious. We gave them a chase and nabbed them at some distance,” said ASI Hari Mittar.

He said during the preliminary investigation, the accused confessed to their crimes. The police has also recovered two bags of rice from the house of the accused.

The police today produced both the accused before a local court where they were awarded two-day police remand of the accused.



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