L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Demolition drive: MC under fire
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

An official of a car dealer argues with police officials during the demolition drive on the main GT Road
An official of a car dealer argues with police officials during the demolition drive on the main GT Road.

Ludhiana, March 20
Amid allegations of adopting a pick and choose policy, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation officials today carried out a demolition drive on the main GT Road here. A total of 16 buildings were demolished for bylaw violations during this drive, which started from near the Octroi post on the main GT Road and ended near the Sherpur Chowk.

This drive was carried on the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which, in a civil writ petition 4559 of 2007, had directed the MC to clear all the violations (encroachments), which have come up after 1995 and are within 5 metres or 16.5 feet from the scheduled roads.

Following these orders, the MC had carried out a survey on the road and put red markings on the structures raised violating building bylaws. A similar drive was also carried on Chandigarh Road on March 8.

An MC team, led by Assistant Town Planner Banke Bihari, started the drive in the morning. A few demolished structures belonged to leading industrial houses.

As the drive was under way, the local residents accused the MC officials of adopting a pick and choose policy. “Around six properties, including a structure belonging to a prominent car dealership on the road, was spared for reasons best known to the building branch officials. These properties have also come up after 1995 and should have been demolished,” said a resident.

Banke Bihari refuted these allegations as baseless. “We have not spared any property for any reason. The owners of certain properties had submitted some documents claiming that their properties were constructed before 1995. As the documents were submitted last evening, it was not possible for me to get them verified so soon. We will now study those documents. And if we find that the property owners have tried to misguide us, we will demolish them,” he claimed.

Pick and choose policy

Around six properties, including a structure belonging to a prominent car dealer on the road, was spared for reasons best known to the building branch officials. These properties have also come up after 1995 and should have been demolished. — A resident


Despite opposition from temple committee, MC remains steadfast
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
Although the management committee of a temple situated in Talaab Bazaar has announced it would not allow the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation to carry out a demolition drive scheduled tomorrow, the MC officials are steadfast on the issue.

The MC officials, reportedly, have requested the Ludhiana Police to provide 150 personnel and the district administration depute a district magistrate for the drive.

As per the action plan prepared by the MC, a total of 22 shops are to be demolished in the Talaab Bazaar area. The action plan was prepared after the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed the MC to demolish all illegal constructions in Ludhiana.

The drive, however, is being objected by the temple committee. Its office-bearers claim that shops were constructed on the land owned by the temple. The MC, however, contends that the shops are constructed above a ganda nullah passing through the area.

The committee members, too, admit that these shops were constructed above a ganda nullah. “Around 40 years back, the then MC Commissioner and area MLA had allotted this land to the temple committee for the construction of shops,” said Vinod Jain, president, Talaab Mandir Committee.

The committee, however, has no documents to support the claim. “The MC officials have those documents. We have requested them several times to give us documents regarding the shops, but they refuse for reasons best known to them,” claimed Jain, adding, “We would not let them demolish the shops at any cost.”

When the MC officials had gone to demolish 30 such shops in the Gur Mandi area, they had to face a similar situation because the shopkeepers claimed shops were part of another temple.

Assistant Town Planner Kamaljit Kaur said, “We are just following the Punjab and Haryana High Court orders and if any person tries to interrupt the drive, the court can also initiate contempt proceedings against that person.”



state budget
Local industry feels ignored
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
The Budget announced by state Finance Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa has left the local industry high and dry. Nothing was announced for the industrial sector, which, in actual, is the backbone of the state. The long-pending demands of setting up an exhibition centre in the city and the abolition of VAT on cycles have not been met.

Avtar Singh and Upkar Singh, general secretary and joint secretary, respectively, of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking, appreciated Punjab Budget 2013-14 for abolishing VAT on stationery items but at the same time condemned the government for not abolishing VAT on cycle, which is also used by schoolchildren.

"Eco-friendly bicycles are used by the weaker sections of society and we have requested the Finance Minister for a reduction of VAT on cycles and their parts from 6.5 per cent to 2 per cent," he said

"We regret to learn that the Finance Minister has provided an exhibition hall to Mohali in the Budget 2013-14 presented today. Ludhiana, being a hub of industry established more than 100 years ago, had also been demanding an exhibition hall for a long time," added Vinod Thapar, chairman of the Knitwear Club.

Badish Jindal, president of the Federation of Punjab Small Industries Association, said an increase in the VAT-collection target by 25 per cent was not a positive step when industry was already at receiving end due to heavy taxes.

What Ludhiana gets

  • The Ludhiana Airport will be expanded by increasing the length of the runway from 4800 ft to 7500 ft to facilitate landing by bigger Boeing and cargo planes.
  • Amritsar and Ludhiana will be covered under the 'Safe City' project in 2013-14.

Senior citizens elated

Senior citizens will be benefited from the Budget as the existing 5.5 per cent VAT has been abolished on hearing aids, intraocular lenses, sticks and other walking supports, mostly used by senior citizens.

Relief for poor

The existing 5.5 per cent VAT on madhani, lemon squeezer, "chakla belan" (roller and rolling pins), mats, brooms, pawa, comb, hair pin, hair clips, "doona" and "pattal" (cup and plates made of dry leaves) has been abolished.



Budget bonanza for students
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
With the state Finance Minister abolishing the value added tax (VAT) on items used by children and announcing various schemes for them, including free tablets for Class XI students, it was a welcome budget for them.

The existing 5.5 per cent VAT has been abolished on school bags, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, geometry boxes, colours, crayons, water bottles and nipples.

"As per the new Budget, the senior secondary students in government schools who secure 80 per cent or above marks will get an annual scholarship of Rs 30,000 under the new Dr Hargobind Khurana Scholarship Scheme. This is a good initiative taken by the government to inculcate the spirit of competition among students," said Jaskirat Kaur, a government school teacher from Raikot.

Another proposal of the government which has been well-received is free professional education for girls at all the government ITIs in the state. The initiative also covers a subsidy of Rs 17,500 per cattle for women dairy entrepreneurs, added Jaskirat.

A world-class Shaheed Baba Deep Singh Center for Excellence in Sports will be set up at Mohali with four regional campuses at Bathinda, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Amritsar for promotion of 10 important sporting disciplines. Sportspersons will receive free coaching from the international-level coaches, with free boarding and lodging facilities.

Announcements for education sector

  • Proposal to set up 1,000 model schools through public-private partnership
  • A two-year scholarship of ~30,000 per annum for the senior secondary students of government schools who secure 80 per cent or above marks in the matriculation examination
  • Rs 20 crore for furniture in all primary schools
  • Proposal to set up 2,500 skill development centres in the state. 250 to be set up in coming financial year



Soft drinks to burn a hole in pocket
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
Sipping a bottle of soft drink or puffing a cigarette will now cost more as the value added tax (VAT) has been increased on soft drinks from 13 per cent to 20.5 percent and on cigarettes from 20.5 percent to 50 per cent, with an additional 10 per cent charge.

"In the Union Budget, the service tax levied on restaurants was increased, and now the state government has increased VAT on cold drinks. Eating out has already become costlier, and now it seems enjoying a cold drink at the school or college canteen will also become unaffordable," said Gunjan Sethi, a student of 
Class XII.

Another city resident Munish Singla said there was a time when a soft drink was available for just Rs 2 a bottle.

“The government should not increase taxes on eatables. During summers, cold drinks help in quenching thirst, and now it seems it will become out of the reach of people with meager resources,”  he said.

Welcoming the increased VAT on cigarettes, Harbans Singh, a senior citizen, said it act as a deterrent for youth to take up smoking. Liquor and cigarettes, which result in addiction, should be expensive to keep  them out of the reach of youngsters.

A city-based doctor too called it a positive step. He said the increase in price of cigarettes may pull away those in the habit  of smoking.



safe city project
City to have dedicated night police
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
The city police has a reason to rejoice as the state government has given the go-ahead for the Safe City project to be initiated in the city. The state government, in its annual Budget announced today, aims to spend Rs 135 crore on this project.

Under this project, a dedicated force for night policing would be deployed in various police stations of the city.

The initiative would make Punjab the first state in the country to have a dedicated force for night policing.

The presence of a dedicated force for night policing would ease pressure on policemen, who are suffering from various ailments due to the work pressure.

The security in the city will also be beefed up with the installation of more than 800 CCTV cameras, zoom cameras on mobile vans, various types of sensors and automatic number plate readers and other gadgets.

The project also includes the Vahan and Sarthi projects, which have been planned to keep a check on vehicle thieves.

Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh said the city had the highest per capita vehicles in the country (more than 11, 67,904) and it also had the largest number of migrant labourers in the state. So it was imperative to have a safe city project in the city.



GLADA auctions 6 residential plots for Rs 4.45 crore
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, March 20
The Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) today sold through public auction six residential plots in Dugri Phase II for Rs 4,45,65,000 at a premium of around 26 per cent over the reserve price of Rs 3.54 crore.

According to GLADA Estate Officer RK Popli, who conducted the auction along with Additional Chief Administrator Baldev Singh, around 36 intending buyers participated in bidding after depositing an eligibility fee of Rs 50,000 each.

The highest bid was offered for a plot measuring 200 square yards, which was sold for Rs 50,200 per square yard against its reserve price of Rs 37,321 per square yard. This particular plot was sold for a little more than Rs 1 crore against its floor price of Rs 74.64 lakh. The lowest successful bid of Rs 39,500 per square yard was offered for a plot measuring 100 square yards.

The GLADA was to put under the hammer a total of 10 plots, four with an area of 100 square yards each, two measuring 125 square yards, one plot of 150 square yards and three plots with an area of 200 square yards each.

However, in the wake of lower bids being offered for some of the plots, the auction of two plots measuring 100 square yards each and two others with an area of 125 square yards was withdrawn.

The successful bidders were required to pay 10 per cent of the total cost of the plot at the fall of the hammer and another 15 per cent within 30 days of the date of auction, failing which the 10 per cent earnest money deposited by the buyers would be forfeited. The balance payment could be made either in lump sum within 60 days of the issue of allotment letter with a rebate of 5 per cent or in six half-yearly instalments along with 12 per cent interest.



Acid thrown on two women
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
A jilted lover threw acid on a woman after she objected to his visit to her house. The woman's maid also suffered burn injuries in the incident. The duo was rushed to the Civil Hospital. They have suffered burns on the face, neck and hands.

The incident took place on the Dhandra road this afternoon when the victim, identified as Ranjit Kaur (40), a resident of Baba Deep Singh Nagar in the Dugri area and mother of four children, was going somewhere on a rickshaw along with her maid Puja (19).

A man, identified as Sandeep Kumar, alias Sonu, a resident of Janda Singh village in Jalandhar, came close to the rickshaw and threw acid on her.

The incident caused a panic on the road as both the women were crying with pain. Passersby rushed them to a hospital.

According to Satinder Singh Virk, SHO of the Dugri police station, Ranjit Kaur's husband died nearly eight years ago. Sandeep was a friend of Ranjit's husband. Following the death of Ranjit's husband, Sandeep increased proximity with her. He began to visit Ranjit's house frequently. But Ranjit Kaur objected to Sandeep's visit and told him not to visit her house. This annoyed Sandeep and he planned to teach her a lesson. Today, when Ranjit was going somewhere along with her maid Puja, Sandeep who was hiding in the area, threw acid on her and fled the scene.

After recording the statements of Ranjit Kaur and Puja, the police booked Sandeep in an attempt to murder case under section 307 of the IPC and started investigation.

Meanwhile, Sandeep Kumar was arrested late in the evening.



Visitors harassed as ministerial staff go on strike
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
Visitors to the offices of the Deputy Commissioner, SDMs, Sub-Registrars and Tehsil were a harassed lot as the ministerial staff at all these offices went on three-days' pen-down strike today. Unaware about the strike, the visitors returned disappointed as no paper work was done by the staff.

Though the officials claimed that they listened to the visitors' problems, no file was moved and there was no disposal of cases. Gurdit Singh, a visitor to the office of the Sub-Registrar (West), said he came to the office in the morning to get a token number. "But, I came to know that there can be no registration of land deals due to a strike by the staff. I had to get a land registered in my name and had taken off from my office. The off has gone wasted," he said.

Another visitor said he had purchased a big chunk of land and had come to get it registered. It could not be done due to the strike. "Besides, we have come to know that from March 25 to 31, the staff is again going on strike. It is learnt that from April 1, the collector rates will be increased too. In such circumstances, we will have to shell out a few lakhs more to get our land registered. It is a pathetic state of affairs and the common man has to bear the brunt every time," said the visitor.

Neeru Katyal Gupta, ADC (General), said they were meeting the visitors, still the file work could not be accomplished due to the strike.

Meanwhile, the leaders representing the Punjab State District (DC) Offices Employees Union maintained though their demands were conceded, these were not being implemented by the officials concerned. The president of the union, Sukhraj Singh Sandhu, said although superintendents' promotions were to be carried out by the Divisional Commissioners in a few cases, the directions of the FCR, Punjab, were not being complied with by the Commissioners of Patiala, Ferozepur and Faridkot divisions.

He added: "The promotion cases of DRAs/senior assistant as naib tehsildars are not being finalised at the level of the government and the proposals of the Revenue Department, Punjab, submitted to the Finance Department are not being accepted and the matter is being delayed unnecessarily. The whole situation has been explained in a notice sent to the Government of Punjab, which has compelled us to resort to the pen-down strike," Sandhu said.



surprise check
6 MC officials found absent
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
Six Ludhiana Municipal Corporation officials were found absent when Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria conducted a surprise check on the premises of the Zone-C office of the civic body on Gill Road this morning.

The Mayor marked them absent and issued a letter for taking departmental action against them.

Gohalwaria said, “The MC officials should understand that if they report late on duty, it’s the city residents who suffer.”

Mayor meets Deputy CM

The Mayor, accompanied by MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma and Additional Commissioner Isha Kalia, held a meeting with Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in Chandigarh this evening. Gohalwaria said the Deputy CM wanted to know about the progress of the ongoing development projects and those in the pipeline. The Deputy CM would hold a monthly review meeting regarding various projects in the city, he said.

JNNURM team visits city

A team of officials from the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) today held a meeting with MC Additional Commissioner Dr Sumit Jarangal. The team was here to see the progress of ongoing development projects that are being funded under the scheme.



PAU hails rise in annual grant
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU has expressed its gratitude to the state government for raising its annual grant from Rs 270 crore in 2012-13 to Rs 300 crore this fiscal.

Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice Chancellor, hailed the allocation of Rs 100 crore for the National Horticulture Mission and Rs 85 crore for encouraging the cultivation of pulses, cotton and oilseeds. He also appreciated the government's concern for the border area farmers.

Dr Mohinder Singh Sidhu, Head, Economics Department, said: "The enhanced allocation will strengthen ongoing research, teaching and extension work. "

However, Dr Jagroop Singh Sidhu, senior economist, said: "The allocation is insufficient to meet the university requirements. The government has increased the grant by 11.11 per cent whereas in the past one year, salaries of the staff have increased by 17 per cent. This includes 14 per cent dearness allowances and 3 per cent increment. The grant may not be sufficient to cover the staff salary".

The university employees welcomed the government decision to pay arrears to the employees during the first quarter of 2013-14.



world poetry day
Haiku catching fancy of Punjabis
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
An interaction between haiku writers and lovers was organised at Punjabi Bhavan today. Haiku, a form of Japanese poetry, is now becoming popular among Punjabis. Renowned Punjabi haiku writer Amarjit Sathi and poet Sukh Sidhu interacted with haiku lovers.

Sathi said Rabinder Nath Tagore was the first Indian to write haiku in Bengali language. Haiku was introduced in Indian literature around 100 years ago, but has been popularised in Punjabi literature a few decades back.

Punjabi poets, who write Haiku, say Punjabi is the most conducive for this form of writing amongst all the Indian languages.

"A haiku is a short poem that uses imagistic language to convey the essence of an experience of nature or a season intuitively linked to the human condition. Haiku takes us to realms that mere thought cannot reach. It provides you with a different vision to see things around you,” said Sathi.

Janmeja Singh Johl, organiser of the interaction, said there were around 250 persons writing haiku on Punjabi blogs, websites and social networking sites around the world.

Some litterateurs, however, criticise the practice as they feel Punjabi is a rich language having several genres of poetry, and writing in any foreign poetry genre is not worthwhile.

Literary critic Mann Singh Toor said, "We do not need such forms of foreign poetry in Punjabi as we have more beautiful genres like tappe, mahiya, do bole, dohe, boli" and saloks in our language. Poets can express their feelings in a better way in these forms of poetry.”

"We have adopted a number of foreign genres like ghazal and rubai in Punjabi poetry. So this is not new. We can express different types of feelings through haiku,” said Sathi.

Poets Ravinder Ravi, Jagdish Kaur and Harleen Sona, and ghazal singer Tarlochan Lochi were also present on the occasion.



Facebook gives fillip to Punjabi poetry

Ludhiana, March 20
Although poetry as a form of literature has not been very popular among the youth but Facebook is giving a fillip to Punjabi poetry. Many young Punjabi poets are using this social networking site for publishing their poetry online.

Janmeja Singh Johl from Punjabi Sahit Akademi says Facebook and the other online media are bringing to the fore great talent, both in quality and numbers. The old generation of litterateurs are lagging behind, as they have not adapted to the new technology and have failed to use these platforms to reach out to a wider audience, he says.

He says litterateurs used to form hierarchical organisations, but online all are equal. This is allowing good writers and poets to emerge, he says.

"I came to know about the richness of Punjabi poetry through Facebook. Earlier I used to read only English poetry and literature. After reading Punjabi poetry, I realised it is much more profound that English poetry," says Rohit, an amateur poet. "A lot of my friends now read and write poetry on Facebook," he says.

"Punjabis residing overseas have been able to connect to their roots through Punjabi poetry on Facebook," says Tarlochan Lochi, a poet. This is encouraging many poets to write without worrying about publishers, he says. — TNS



Govt frames rules for panchayat poll
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
All ‘calculations’ made by the political leaders have fallen flat with the government framing rules for the reservation of seats during the upcoming panchayat elections in the state.

As many as 912 panchayats in Ludhiana district will go to poll in May/June. An official said till the last election leaders used to "adjust" their favoured candidates in villages as there were no set rules.

As per the new rules, sarpanches will be chosen under four categories. Around 450 village panchayats will have male sarpanches from the general category, while 225 will be headed by female sarpanches from the general category. Besides, in 150 villages, there will be sarpanches from SC/BC (male) category and 70 villages will have SC/BC female sarpanches.

A sarpanch of a village near Jagraon said: "The leaders will still put pressure on officials. Now it depends on the officials whether they bend the rules or not.”



Tributes paid to Bhagat Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
To commemorate the martyrdom day Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, an inter-college declamation and poster-making contest was organised in Dumra auditorium by Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) in association with the Rotaract Club of Ludhiana Medicos, here.

Principal Dr Daljit Singh along with Dean Academics Dr Rajoo Singh Chhina presided over the function as the chief guest.Those who addressed the gathering inclued Dr Sanjeev Uppal, Dr Bharti Uppal, professor SP Singh from SRS Government Polytechnic College, Ludhiana, and historian professor Vinay Sofat from Arya College, Nawan Shaher.

Professor Vinay Sofat said that the epoch making personalities of these young revolutionaries shook the roots of the seemingly invincible British empire. The essence of their ideology should not be forgotten by the young generations. In the declamation contest, first prize was bagged by Shristi Arora of DMCH while second and third prizes were won by Charnpreet Kaur and Smridhi, respectively, of BJS Dental College, Ludhiana. Roopleen Kaur from BJS Dental College, Ludhiana, won the first prize in poster competition and second and third prizes, in poster competion, were given to Preeti Shahi and Hrajot kaur, respectively, from College of Nursing, DMCH.



Khanna to have ADC

Ludhiana, March 20
From now onwards, the Khanna Sub-Division will get an Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) from now onwards. The new post of ADC has recently been created by the state government.

Premchand, SDM Khamano, will join as ADC Khanna on March 22. Premchand has already served as SDM Ludhiana (East and West). He said that the new posts of ADCs were created at Khanna and Phagwara respectively by the state government. — TNS



Four fined for food adulteration
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
Additional Deputy Commissioner (General), Ludhiana has decided four cases related to food adulteration, here. According to the District Health Officer, Luhdiana, Dr Avinash Kumar,"Samples of Barfi, collected from Anju Sweet Shop of Issru, Khanna, found to be substandard due to added starch. The owner was fined Rs10,000.

The mustard oil sample collected from Amandeep Kumar of Aman Oil Mills, Gokul Road, was found with misleading statement and accordingly he was fined Rs 20,000. While mustard oil sample collected from Rajan Garg, Oil mills Ludhiana, was also found with misleading statement and was fined Rs 20,000.

The sample of skimmed-milk powder collected from Gurjit Singh of village Boparai Kalan found to be sub-standard and was fined Rs 10,000."



Musical show held to raise funds
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
A play "A broadway musical, family style-The Addams Family" was staged as the 18th Production of the Music and Theatre workshop by Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMCH) at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan, here.

Around 110 students from CMCH participated in various capacities for the last two months in addition to their regular classes and hospital duties. The proceeds from the musical will go towards the treatment of poor patients. The musical is organised by students and doctors of the college. Maria Jacob, MBBS student, is director of the play, Dr Jerin Kuruvlia, medical intern, is the music director while the production being jointly managed by the Dr.Sajin Sunny Mathew and Angelo Christopher of MMBS.

This three-day music and theatre workshop is being held at Guru nanak Dev Bhawan under the patronage of Director, Dr Abraham G Thomas. It is a means of raising funds for financial aid of poor patients. Dr Nitin Batra Deputy Medical Superintendent has been the faculty adviser.

With a demanding script, dazzling stage settings, enchanting melodies and special effects, this highly innovative production is a treat to eyes. It will also be staged on March 21 and 22 at the same venue.



20 companies take part in business meeting
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
A Bussiness to Bussiness (B2B) meet was organised at Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) by All India Association of Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers (AMMA) in coordination with Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce, New Delhi, and Punjab Agricultural University.

As many as 20 Italian companies and a number of Indian industrialists, traders and businessmen took part in this B2B meeting. They shared their future trade, business and joint venture relationships. After the B2B Meet, Indian Agriculture Machinery Manufacturers observed that Italian farming implements were better than Indian machinery.



DBA Elections
Nine more file papers
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, March 20
Nine more aspiring contestants today filed the nomination papers for the annual elections of the District Bar Association(DBA), going to be held on April 5, 2013. Among them former president of DBA Hemant Kalia also jumped in race for the post of president.

Earlier, he had held this post twice and also served as secretary of the association. Further, former Bar Council Chairman B K Goel, DBA's sitting secretary G S Sodhi, Rajneesh Gupta, Ashok Jain, K R Sikri, Ashok Mittal (ex-presidents), Stevon Soni are backing his candidature. For the post of vice-president Gurdeep Singh Salh accompanied with supporters Rakesh Gandhi, R D Choudhary, K P Singh filed the nomination papers.



road mishap
3 more cops discharged

Khamano, March 20
Three out of 11 Police personnel, who got injured in a road accident on Sanghol-Bassi Pathana road on March 18 were discharged from the hospitals, today, while four were discharged yesterday.

However, four other seriously injured policemen are still recovering at PGI, Chandigarh, though they have been stated to be out of danger as per SSP Hardial Singh Mann claimed. He further said that as the injured were resting in their house and more policemen would be deputed to Khamano police station if be needed. He however claimed that the situation was coming back to normal and the district police would look after the families of those six police personnel who got killed in the accident and assured that their families would be provided full benefits as per norms of police force. — OC



Majithia inaugurates 1.20 MW hydel project
Our Correspondent

Doraha, March 20
Punjab Revenue and Public Relations Minister Bikram Singh Majithia today inaugurated Rs 15 crore hydel power project of 1.20 MW capacity near Bowani village.

Majithia said, “A total of 18 more hydel projects with a joint capacity of 28 MW were all set to be completed by March 2014. The Bowani project has been completed in a record time of 10 months instead of its stipulated time of two years.”

He said the Punjab government’s new Non-Renewal Energy Policy of 2012 aimed at harnessing the traditional sources of energy like solar, hydel, wind and biomass.

He said the government aimed at harnessing solar energy by setting up solar power plants on roofs of all government buildings. In the beginning these would be installed on 946 buildings identified in the three border districts, he said. “The problem of pollution will be solved with the help of biomass-based power plants,” he said.



One more dies of swine flu

Ludhiana, March 20
A Jalandhar-based patient suffering from swine flu died at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, taking the toll to seven.

Meanwhile, two patients, tested positive for the flu, taking the total number of cases in Ludhiana to 25. — TNS



High drama in Dresi area
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 20
High drama was witnessed in the Dresi area here this evening after a mentally challenged man climbed a water tank and started shouting.

The man was reportedly deserted by his family. Residents gathered around the tank and tried to convince him to come down.

The drama continued for nearly an hour after which the man was persuaded to come down.

As soon as he came down, residents overpowered him and took him away from the place.



from SCHOOls
Picnic organised
Children of Ryan International School enjoy a picnic at the Leisure Valley in Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana
Children of Ryan International School enjoy a picnic at the Leisure Valley in Sarabha Nagar, Ludhiana. A Tribune photograph

LUDHIANA: With a purpose to giving joyous retreat to the students, a picnic was organised by Ryan International School, Dugri. The picnic was held at Leisure Valley, Sarabha Nagar, for the students of montessori wing & students of class I to IV. All the students cheerfully enjoyed the picnic as they played games with their friends and had lunch under the shade. Later they were educated about the importance of neat & clean surroundings. The picnic was organised under the vision, 'Sports, leisure & recreation', of Chairman Dr Augustine F Pinto. The headmistress of the school Ritu Syal said that such trips increased the awareness of students regarding their environment & developed noble values in them.

Athletics meet
Students perform during the annual function of DAV Centenary Public School in Jagraon
Students perform during the annual function of DAV Centenary Public School in Jagraon. A Tribune Photograph

The students were full of enthusiasm on the grounds of Saraswati Modern Senior Secondary School, Pratap Singh Wala, where Annual Athletics Meet for the primary section was organised. The event commenced with lighting of baton by the chief guest, Kamla Jain, founder and president of the school. Jain opened the meet by releasing the balloons. Various cultural programmes were presented by tiny tots for the entertainment of the visitors. The students participated in different types of events like mango race, biscuit race, bangle race, sack race, thread & needle race and long jump etc. Later, medals & certificates were distributed to the winners. The best Boy athlete prize was given to Karamvir and best girl athlete prize was given to Muskan Sharma of Class V. Manager S C Saxena educated the students about the importance of games in life. — TNS



Minors raped by uncle

Ludhiana, March 20
Two sisters were rapped by their uncle (father's younger brother) in Ranike village in the Dehlon area.

The incident came to light when the two girls, aged seven and nine, respectively, narrated the gory incident to their parents, who returned home from a pilgrimage this evening.

The parents got a rape complaint registered against Shiv Kumar (30) of Maharajgunj, UP. The two children were taken to the Civil Hospital for a medical examination.

The victims' parents said Shiv Kumar recently came from their native village and started living with them. They left the girls with Shiv Kumar thinking that he would take care of them. Shiv Ram has absconded. — TNS

80-yr-old woman looted, killed

PHILLAUR: One 80-year-old woman identified as Gurmit Kaur of Dhaleta vi lage was reportedly attacked, robbed of her valuables and killed by three unidentified scooterists armed robbers near Dosanjh Kalan village in Phillaur sub-division last evening.

The woman was returning from Sarhal Ranua village along with her grandson on a bike when the robbers stopped them. The woman asked her grandson to sped away and raised alarm to get help, but all in vain.

The woman was found unconscious lying on the road with multiple injuries. Her gold earrings and cash of Rs 3,000 were missing.

The robbers succeeded fleeing along with robbed articles. The injured woman was first brought to Goraya Hospital, then refered to Phagwara , where she succumbed to her injuries later. The Police has registered case.

Flesh trade racket

LUDHIANA: The city police has busted a flesh trade racket and arrested five persons, including three women, from Focal Point area. The accused identified as Seema, Seema Kumari, Anjali, Ram and Babbu were arrested following a raid. The police received a tip-off that Seema was operating a brothel at Focal Point area near Aarti Steels. Thereafter the police conducted a raid last evening and nabbed the five suspects.

One booked for forgery

A city resident was booked for obtaining two passports on fake documents. The accused identified as Ajmer Singh, a resident of New Aakash Nagar, was booked after his first wife lodged a complaint in the regional passport department and told the police that how Ajmer Singh managed to obtain two passports by providing separate addresses. In both the passports the wives names were also different. The police and passport department carried out an investigation and booked Ajmer Singh and his wife Charanjit Kaur.

Two snatchers nabbed

The city police arrested two snatchers, who had snatched a mobile phone from a city resident last evening.

The accused identified as Jaspal Singh, Deepak Kumar, residents of Bharti Colony were nabbed after they fled with the mobile phones of Rajiv Kumar, a resident of Santokh Nagar. Rajiv Kumar said that the incident took place last evening when he was returning home after taking obeisance at Shiv Mandir located in Daresi. Rajiv further said that when he reached on Shivpuri road, the duo who was riding a motorcycle came from behind and snatched the mobile phone from him. Rajiv soon informed the police about the incident. The cops swooped into action and nabbed the duo and recovered the mobile phones.

Drug paddler held

The city police has nabbed a drug paddler and recovered six grams of heroin from his possession. The accused identified as Manpreet Singh, a resident of Daad village, was nabbed from a police check point in Phullanwal village. The accused who was walking towards Daad village tried to escape on seeing the police. The policemen chased him and nabbed him. During the search police seized six grams of heroin. — Tribune reporters



Foetus recovered in Jagraon
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 20
The foetus of a girl was recovered from Ghah Mandi, Jagraon, this morning. It was found lying near a drainage area. A feeling of chaos prevailed among the residents on seeing the foetus in their locality.

Soon after, the residents informed the local police about the incident following which a police team arrived at the scene. Later on, the police sent the foetus for a medical examination.

As per the information given by investigating officer ASI Mukhtiar Singh, police received information from some local residents. Though, ASI Mukhtiar Singh maintained that the gender of the foetus had not been established so far. "The gender of the foetus would be confirmed only after the medical examination", added the ASI. He also denied the allegations of arriving late on the spot.

"As soon as we received the information about the incident we rushed to the spot and took the foetus in our custody. We have registered a case in this regard and further investigation is being conducted", added the ASI.

However, Satish Kumar, a local resident said, "We informed the police about the incident but no police official visited the spot even after two hours." Ironically, a foetus was recovered by the police in the same locality around one and half years.



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