L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Fate plays cruel joke on family
Fire engulfs three siblings, another suffers 95 pc burns; battles for life at Patiala hospital
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
The fire incident that snuffed out the lives of three children at Gagandeep Colony near Bhattian village was destined to happen. It was learnt that the shanty was gutted twice in the past.

The deceased were identified as five-year-old Sonu, 14-month-old Kamna and three-year-old Payal. Seven-year-old Sonia was rushed to Rajindra Hospital in Patiala with serious burn injuries. Her chances of survival are said to be bleak as she suffered 95 per cent burns.

The deceased’s parents Kamal and Seema, who were inconsolable, said the incident took place around 2.30 am when they were sleeping.

Kamal said they felt suffocated and ran out of the shanty, but failed to rescue the children.

Their neighbour Aman Kaur said a table caught fire due to a candle and soon the shanty turned into a fireball.

She said it was not for the first time that fire broke out in Kamal's shanty.

Gurpreet Singh, SHO, Ladhowal, who gave Rs 8,500 to the victims’ father for buying medicines and food, said the shanty contained highly inflammable material.

"The shanty had a thatched roof. Cow dunk cakes and cotton quilts were also lying in the shanty," said Gurpreet.

A pal of gloom descended on the locality. Vinod Malhotra, sarpanch of the Hazoori Bagh colony, Habans Lal, block simiti member, and Nirmal Singh, a social worker were seen consoling the deceased’s parents.

The family had migrated from Rajasthan a few days ago.

Sonu could have survived but unfortunately his foot got stuck in a cycle and the thatched roof fell on him. He died on the spot.


58 two-wheelers impounded
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation’s tehbazaari wing today cleared encroachments from the service lane along Ferozepur Road. A total of 58 two-wheelers were impounded and 52 challans were issued to the violators.

As many as 29 two-wheelers were impounded from outside the Silver Arc shopping mall.

The MC has initiated anti-encroachment drives following the Punjab and Haryana High Court orders. A total of 50 two-wheelers, eight cars and 110 challans were issued during a similar drive in the service lane yesterday.

Superintendent of the tehbazaari wing Naveen Malhotra said 58 two-wheelers, including two brand new scooters, were impounded from outside the Honda showroom.

“They had parked brand new scooters in the service lane. Seven scooters each were impounded from outside the DC office, Pizza Hut and Aarti Chowk. Vehicles were also impounded from outside Ansal Plaza,” said Malhotra. The MC team could not impound the four-wheelers today as the tow away vehicle was not available.

Meanwhile, a city resident has written to the MC Commissioner suggesting ways to tackle the menace of encroachment. Dr SB Pandhi, vice-chairman of RAAHAT, an NGO for road safety, has written to MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma stating that such drives will not solve the purpose.

“Before declaring these areas as no-parking zones, we must create space for parking vehicles in the city. And if residents still park their vehicles in the service lane, they should be challaned,” said Pandhi. “Where should the residents park their vehicles?” he questioned.

The MC can develop new parking lots between the main road and the service lanes along Ferozepur Road starting from the Jagraon bridge to MBD Mall,” Dr SB Pandhi said.

Anti-encroachment drive

Seven scooters each from outside the DC office, Pizza Hut and Aarti Chowk were impounded. Vehicles were also impounded from outside Ansal Plaza



Comfortable train journey still a distant dream
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Rail passengers will have to pay more in the second class from tomorrow, but this does not mean that will have a comfortable journey. The Railways has failed to cope with the passenger rush.

Two women had a miraculous escape today when they were trying to board a train form the city railway station. A large number of passengers were boarding the Lohian Passenger train from the opposite side.

It has been observed there is no space for luggage and no seats are reserved for women and disabled in the compartments. Passengers could be seen sitting on small racks meant for luggage in the luggage coach.

Women become a ‘minority’ in their reserved compartment as males occupy most of the seats. The bogie reserved for the disabled is also occupied by general passengers.

Mohan Lal, a passenger, said," A religious fair is on in the Doaba region. A large number of passengers were waiting to board the Lohian Passenger train at the Ludhiana railway station. Around 200 passengers left the platform and stood on the tracks before the train arrived. They wanted to board the train to occupy seats. Meanwhile, a train from the Amritsar side came on the other track.

Ravinder Sharma, station superintendent, Ludhiana, said: "The city’s population increases by 8 per cent every year, but the infrastructure remains the same. The trains are not sufficient to accommodate the passengers. Passengers should not put their lives to risk.”



Liquor prices slashed, city goes hic, hic, hurray
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Bacchus lovers had a field day in the city today as liquor prices were slashed by 20-25 per cent to clear old stocks. The contract for the liquor vends expires on March 31.

Liquor contractors said they had no choice as huge stocks had to be cleared by March 31. The quota cannot be carried forward to the next year, they added.

Contractors who failed to get the contract this year slashed the prices to clear the stocks. Huge banners mentioning the rates of various brands of liquor were displayed outside the liquor vends.

Some contractors even hired drummers to attract customers. Bacchus lovers made a beeline for liquor vends since morning.

“Everybody wants to make the most of the slashed rates. Be it high or low class, people can be seen flocking at the liquor vends," said a salesman at a liquor vend on Ferozepur Road.

Kulwinder Singh, a businessman, said it was the best time to buy and stock liquor. "Parties are a regular feature at my place, so I always try to stock liquor cartons on March 31," he said.



35-yr-old woman ends life
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
A 35-year-old woman shot herself to death at Mehmoodpura village today. The incident came to light this evening when the victim, identified as Paramjit Kaur, was found dead at her house.

Investigating officer Davinder Singh said a licensed .32 bore revolver belonged to Gurmeet Singh, Paramjit's husband.

The family members maintained that Paramjit was under depression and in a fit of rage, she pulled out the revolver and shot herself in the head.

"We have started investigations," said the investigating officer.



Truck rams into police canopy, driver arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
A truck driver, reportedly in an inebriated condition, rammed his vehicle into a canopy of the traffic police at Bhai Bala chowk in Ludhiana today. The incident took place this evening when the traffic policemen were regulating traffic at the chowk.

The truck driver, identified as Ajit Singh of Moga, was arrested after he was found drunk. No one was injured in the accident.



LIT does not have a website!
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
It seems that the Ludhiana Improvement Trust is not taking the RTI Act seriously as it has failed to launch its website. The LIT may be one of the rarest public authorities in the state where there is no official website and no officer has been deputed to deal with the computerisation of the official LIT record.

Even after seven years of the implementation of the RTI Act (in 2005), there is no meeting or any other order, minutes of meeting or any other document available which means that no meeting has taken place regarding the computerisation of records as mandated under Section 4(1) of the RTI Act.

Not only this, but no specific officer has been appointed in LIT regarding the task of implementation of the RTI Act, including various obligations mentioned under the RTI Act.

These facts came to light when the LIT officials themselves admitted these discrepancies in their reply to an application filed under the RTI Act. This application was submitted by RTI activist Kuldeep Singh Khaira. Kuldeep Singh Khaira alleged that as per the RTI Act, a website has to be developed by any public authority within 120 days of the implementation of the Act. "At a time when even residents have their own websites, LIT, which is responsible for the development of city does not have a website," lamented Khaira.

The other two civic bodies, Ludhiana Municipal Corporation as well as Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA), have websites.

"The websites are very useful for the common man as one can easily know about the working of various branches," Khaira stated. In its reply to Khaira's application, though the list of public information officer (PIO) and assistant PIO was provided, their email addresses as well as mobile numbers were not provided, which is in violation of the RTI Act. MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma, who also heads the LIT, stated that he would look into the matter and would ensure that the Act was followed properly.



MC achieves house tax target
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation officials managed to achieve their house tax 
target today. They have also surpassed the target of Rs 90 crore by about Rs 2 crore. Till yesterday, the house tax branch was short of Rs 5 crore, but it recovered Rs 7 crore today.

When the house tax officials were contacted yesterday, they said they were hopeful of achieving the target by Sunday. “The pending work was completed in three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) as our offices remained open despite holidays,"said a senior house tax official.

As per information, city residents owe about Rs 105 crore as house tax to the MC and till Friday the civic body had managed to recover Rs 83 crore. It recovered Rs 2 crore by Saturday evening.

For speeding up the recovery drive, the MC Commissioner had asked the staff of the house tax branch to keep working on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

It was learnt that about Rs 7 crore was still pending as the residents were expecting that the state government would provide relief by waiving interest on pending house tax.MC Additional Commissioner Davinder Singh said even though they had achieved the target, about Rs 20 crore more was yet to be recovered from the city residents. “We will continue the drive. Besides, ‘non-recoverable’ house tax is also pending. For the recovery of this amount, we will get a survey conducted so that additional revenue is generated," stated Davinder Singh.

The recovery

As per information, city residents owe about Rs 105 crore as house tax to the MC and till Friday the civic body had managed to recover Rs 83 crore. It had recovered Rs 2 crore by Saturday evening.



Taxpayers keep officials busy
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
With the financial year drawing a close today, banks, government offices, chartered accountants, tax professionals, central excise and income tax officers were busy working even on a Sunday.

Taxpayers had delegated the task to tax consultants and chartered accountants while a few could be seen filing the returns themselves. Filing of income tax returns online has emerged as a better option and is becoming increasingly popular. "e-filing of return is easy, fast and secure. One can go to the Income Tax Department website incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in. Filing of return through the website is free of cost," said Jatinder Khurana, a tax professional.

Bank branches also remained open to facilitate tax collection. With a view to providing greater convenience to the taxpayers, the bank branches kept their counters open on March 29, 30 and 31, 2013.

Additional staff, including IRS (Customs and Central Excise) probationers was deployed.



Provide facilities to students, DGSE instructs schools
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Director General of Secondary Education (DGSE) Kahan Singh Pannu has asked the District Education Officers (DEOs) to ensure that students are provided with every facility before the merger of the schools in the district. The teaching fraternity feels that a number of schools are well-equipped and there is no need to merge them.

The instructions were issued on March 28. The DGSE said the schools which had all the facilities would be merged with institutions that lacked infrastructure.

He said some of these schools came under the Municipal Corporations while others were under the zila parishad or nagar councils.

Before the merger, it must be ensured that proper facilities are provided to the students and they don't have to go to far-off places to attend school.

For taking a decision on the issue, district-level committees have been formed by the department.

The committee members include District Education Officer (Elementary), Deputy District Education Officer (Elementary), Block Primary Education Officer and District Science Supervisor.

The Government School Teachers Union has hailed the department’s decision.

Parveen Kumar, general secretary of the union, said,"We are not against the rationalisation move, provided it should be done in a systematic manner, for the benefit of the students. The merger should be done for the betterment of the students and not to harass them by not providing the basic facilities."

  • The instructions were issued on March 28.
  • The teaching fraternity feels that a number of schools are well-equipped and there is no need to merge them.
  • As per the DGSE orders, before the merger, it must be ensured that proper facilities are provided to students and they don't have to go to far-off places to attend school



Christ Church land becomes bone of contention between two groups
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
It was gloomy Easter celebrations in Christ Church at Fountain Chowk when two groups of the Christian community came at loggerheads over managing the church. A member of the State Commission for Minorities, Government of Punjab, had to intervene following allegations that a group was to trying to take control over the church.

The administration had deployed heavy police force on Easter to avoid any untoward incident.

The Christ Church is located in the heart of the city at Fountain Chowk on 2.16 acres. From 1982, the church is being managed by Pankaj A Malik, vice-president, Punjab State BJP Minority Morcha. Malik and his wife are looking after the prime piece of land worth crores.

"I have been managing the affairs of the church for the past 30 years. My father-in-law was also a priest here. Now, some land grabbers want to get hold of the land and are continuously threatening me and my family. Unfortunately, the law enforcing agencies are doing little. The trespassers make rounds of the area till midnight and we don’t feel secure,” said Malik.

Gurav Gill, member of the rival group, denied the report of a dispute. He, however, said there was a problem at the management level.

Prem, another caretaker of the church land, said the church affairs were not being managed properly by Malik and his men.

Emmanuel Paul Gill, member, State Commission for Minorities, Government of Punjab, said: “Whenever there is some problem, I have to come from Chandigarh to provide security to Malik and his family.”



Punjabi actors come calling
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
"Punjabi films focus on various social evils and a number of good films have hit the screen in the past few years," said Preeti Jhangiani, Bollywood actor, who was in the city to promote her upcoming flick "Bikar Bai Sentimental".

Singer-turned-actor Jassi Jasraj said, "The movie is a must watch. It is a blend of love, drama, action and romance." The movie will be released in April. Talking about her character in the film, Preeti said, "She is playing the role of a woman who marries against the wishes of her parents. She is a pillar of strength for her husband."



Congress stands divided in Jagraon
Rat race on for block president post
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, March 31
The expected shuffling in the party leadership by the new chief of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Partap Singh Bajwa, has led to a rat race for the post of Jagraon Block Congress President. This has further widened divisions within the local unit of the Congress party.

The post of block president holds significance as the incumbent would play an important role in awarding party tickets to candidates for the forthcoming municipal council elections.

The local unit is mainly divided into three factions. All these factions are busy lobbying for the leader of their choice.

While the faction led by former local Congress MLA Gurdeep Singh Bhaini has been pushing for re-election of the current president, Gopal Sharma, the group led by former minister Darshan Singh Brar has been backing former municipal council president Davinder Kathuria for the post.

The third group led by Jagraon constituency in-charge Isher Singh Meharban has thrown its weight behind Congress Municipal Councillor Ravinder Kumar Sabharwal.

The Congress had reportedly lost the Jagraon seat in the state Assembly elections mainly due to divisions within the party.

The divisions once again became apparent during the inaugural ceremony of the new state Congress chief some days back, when leaders of the three fractions led separate caravans of their supporters in a show of strength to the party high command.

Moreover, current block Congress president Gopal Sharma and constituency in-charge Isher Singh Meharban have been openly speaking against one another.

Meharban blames Gopal Sharma for his defeat in the Assembly elections, while Gopal Sharma accuses Meharban of not being in touch with the local party workers.



Differences emerge within BJP unit too
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, March 31
Divisions among the Jagraon unit of Bharatiya Janta Party came to the fore when several leaders of the party remained absent from a party meeting on Friday, called to chalk out the programme for celebrating Foundation Day.

Although the meeting was presided over by state BJP vice-president Santosh Kalra, several local BJP leaders including some municipal councillors and senior leaders did not attend it.

A day after the meeting, block president Raj Verma shocked everyone by claiming that the BJP district president (rural), Dr Shirshti Garg asked him to come for the meeting without any party leader accompanying him.

BJP Councillor Sarita Katyal, who is the daughter-in-law of party founder in Jagraon Satpal Katyal, said she was not invited for the meeting. "I am a municipal councillor and an old party worker but nobody informed me about the visit of state vice-president Santosh Kalra. I came to know about it through newspapers a day after the meeting,” said Katyal.

Katyal said Dr Garg had hurt feelings of party workers by not inviting them for the meeting. “Dr Garg’s working style has demoralised the party workers,” she said. BJP leaders said the district president (rural) had been trying to divide the party.

Dr Garg, however, denied the allegations leveled against him by leaders of his own party. "I called several party leaders for the meeting. I asked them to call the remaining party workers,” said Dr Garg.

Dr Garg had angered party leaders earlier too when he used offensive language against Raj Verma during a function at Old Grain Market recently. Following this, the BJP leaders had boycotted him.



Good response to seed shop
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana March 31
The seed shop at Gate No 1 of Punjab Agricultural University has been receiving a good response from farmers. Farmers from across the state have been coming to buy new varieties of paddy seeds. Over 500 farmers visit the shop everyday.

Dr Harvarinder Singh Randhawa, director, seeds, said seeds of paddy varieties PR 122 and PR 121 have a high demand.

Earlier, farmers had to visit stores inside the campus to buy seeds. Due to security reasons, they were not allowed to take their vehicles inside the campus.

They had to walk for more than one kilometer to reach the stores.

Gurmail Singh, a farmer from Neelon, said, "I am here to buy seeds of newly introduced PR 122 variety. It is more convenient to buy seeds at the gate."



PAU installs electronic board at entrance
Displays availability of various seeds; farmers, staff welcome move
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Now farmers visiting Punjab Agricultural University will be able to get information about the availability of seeds and other products at the entrance gate. The authorities have installed an electronic display board at Gate No 1, informing visitors about the availability of different types of seeds of crops, vegetables and plants.

Earlier, farmers had to visit the extension education department to get the information.

The new electronic board is attracting farmers, and the seed shop staff feel relieved too as they do not have to answer queries of farmers anymore.

Jugraj Singh, a farmer said, "It looks good. It attracts the attention of farmers. Now we can read about the availability of seeds at the entrance itself, without visiting the department.”

A security guard at the university said, "Farmers who visit the university for buying seeds often ask us about the available varieties. Honestly, we don't know much about seeds. Now, it is more convenient for them to get all the information about the available varieties.”



Musical performances captivate audience
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
The 12th Shastriya Sangeet Sammelan in the memory of Tarsem Lal Sidhu was held today. Every year the event is organised by Guru Haridev Sangeet Kala Kender. The programme started with Saraswati Vandana.

It was followed by the performance of Guru Haridev. Later, Narinder Singh and Tejinder Singh came together for a jugalbandi on tabla, and Pardeep Sharma recited Raag Jaivanti. The audience was seen enjoying all the performances.



Karkara new Bar chief in Amloh
Our Correspondent

Amloh, March 31
Advocate Jatinder Kumar Karkara was elected as the president of the local Bar association. The nomination papers for different posts were filed on March 26. March 30 was the final date for withdrawal.

Though the election is scheduled April 5, returning officer RG Sharda declared Karakara elected unopposed. Others declared elected unopposed included joint secretary Gaurav Lutava and cashier Gurpreet Singh.

Now, Harinder Singh Randhawa and Robin Bansal will contest for the post of vice-president, while Mewa Singh Alipur and Munish Modi will contest for the post of secretary. As many as 55 members had been enrolled as voters.

Karkra has been elected unopposed for the third time. Earlier he was elected unopposed in 2008 and 2010.



With winter gone, green peas reach Rs 50 a kg
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
With winters bidding goodbye, the price of green peas has reached Rs 50 per kg. Earlier they was available for Rs 20. While prices of most of the other vegetables remained stable this week, prices of onions and tomatoes saw an increase of Rs 5 per kg. Onions are now priced at Rs 25 while tomatoes are available for Rs 30.

"Now that peas are coming from the hill states, their price has gone up. At present it gone up to Rs 50 per kg. It is expected to rise further to Rs 100 during summers," said Mohd Hussain, a vegetable vendor at Ghumar Mandi.




Marriages solemnised

Marriages of four girls from underprivileged families were solemnized by Ma Bhagwati Club, Dandi Swami Chowk, at Gurdwara Khalsa Istri Dal Shaheedan, Domiria Pull. The marriages were soleminised under the guidance of Sukhdev Thapar and Avinash Sikka. Many dignitaries including MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Simarjit Singh Nains, district president of BJP Parveen Bansal, Baba Kuwant Bhalla, Jagdish Bajaj, Amit Gosain and Vijay Danav blessed the newly weds. The newly weds were given household items. Club president Avinash Sikka said the noble cause will continue.

Installation of safety grills

Demanding the installation of safety grills on the dangerous curves of the elevated road, which has claimed several lives, members of Hindu Sikh Jagriti Sena burst crackers outside the residence of MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma. Commenting on the novel way of protesting, the members said the MC Commissioner was in a deep slumber and crackers were burst to wake him up before any other resident became a victim of the deadly curves. The protestors said if the safety grills were not installed soon, they would sit on an indefinite fast.

Blood donation

As many as 102 volunteers donated blood at a camp organised by New Aggarwala Peerkhana Trust, Kakowal Road, in coordination with the Zindagi Live Foundation, at Peerkhana Hall. A team from Dayanand Medical College and Hospital collected blood. All donors and volunteers were given badges and certificates. Anil Goel made special efforts in making the camp a success.

Development works

For the growth of country, ground-level development is necessary. This was stated by former minister Malkit Singh Dakha and district Congress president (urban) Pawan Dewan during a visit to Tibba village. They were there to issue a cheque for Rs 4 lakh from the MPLAD fund of local Member Parliament Manish Tewari. Rs 1.5 lakh were given for the development of the cremation ground, another Rs 1.5 lakh for stairs of the stadium and Rs 1 lakh for the community centre.

Calligraphy contest

As many as 20 students from different schools of the city participated in a calligraphy competition organised at New Kartar Nagar, Model Town Extension. These students had earlier attended a calligraphy classes. This not only improved their handwriting, but also helped in achieving better grades, said the organisers.

Women empowerment

KK Singla, chief judicial magistrate cum secretary, District Legal Services Authority, Ludhiana, presided over a seminar on the topic "Women Empowerment" at Vardhman Unit-2. Singla said self confidence was the key to success for women. "The fight for the rights of women is not directed towards men, but against the old customs of society," he said. Today women were marching ahead in every field and were no less than men, he said.

Coin exhibition

A coin exhibition was held in Ludhiana. Coins from the pre-independence period and from different countries were displayed during the exhibition. Visitors were delighted to see various coins.

Coins at display during an exhibition held in Ludhiana on Sunday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Coins at display during an exhibition held in Ludhiana on Sunday

Allegation against Aadhaar official

Charandass, president of DMCH Employees’ Union, has alleged that the official deputed for making Aadhaar cards at a school in Chander Nagar demanded Rs 200 per form. “When I asked for forms free-of-cost, the person on duty misbehaved with me and asked me to leave the premises,” Charandass said. The union president said the administration should take strict action against such employees who harass the public.


KR Tripathi has been appointed as the vice-president of the national front of the Indian Trade Unions. Dr Shiv Gupta will take over as the deputy general secretary.

Hola Mohalla

Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle celebrated Hola Mohalla in the Dugrai area. Different games including musical chair, drawing competition and tambola were organised. Students who got more than 80 per cent marks in classes X and XII were felicitated.


An awareness seminar on female foeticide was organised by Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. The mission has been launched by Anand Swami to spread the message "Save girl child and future generations". He warned the public against the skewed sex ratio and its consequences.


A meeting of Congress Sewa Dal was held under the chairmanship of Ludhiana (urban) president of the body Nirmal Kaura. During the meeting, Raj Rani was appointed as the secretary of the organisation. — TNS



reporters’ diary
Traffic violations during late hours a nuisance

Ludhiana: Traffic sense among the city residents is still a distant dream. It has been observed that at night people violate traffic rules especially at Bhai Wala Chowk. Many a time commuters coming from the Ghumar Mandi side halt on the wrong side while waiting for the green signal. They obstruct the smooth flow of traffic, harassing those who follow the traffic rules. Every time I come across such violators, I wish there was some system to check such violators at night too.

Provide parking space

The drive launched by the Municipal Corporation and the city traffic police to clear all service lanes along the main roads is laudable. The drastic change is already visible on many roads. At the same time, however, the city residents are upset, and justifiably so, because no alternative parking space has been made available to them. Visitors to the shopping malls in the city may park their vehicles in the paid parking lots at these places, but this is not the case for shoppers in other commercial hubs of different parts of the city where no designated parking areas have been provided. In the absence of such parking spots, people are forced to park their vehicles in the service lanes. The MC and the traffic police ought to address the problem of inadequate parking space all over the city so that their drive against encroachment and haphazard parking of vehicles can have the desired effect. And the sooner it is done, the better.

City traffic a great leveller

Although the city traffic is considered very chaotic and problematic, it is a “great leveller” as well. "Even if some of the residents spend lakhs of rupees to buy sports cars, equipped with multiple functionalities and capable of recording high speeds, they get stuck in the same traffic jam as the guy waiting next to their expensive car on his battered scooter," a resident says. The 'Mercedes Capital' ironically has some of the worst traffic snarl-ups as well as roads, he says. Although people own state-of-the-art property and get swanky cars, they share the same semi-metalled, pot-holed 'property' and hours of chaotic jams as slum dwellers, he says.

Striking a regular note

Some of the social organisations in the city are so regular in sending press notes that they should be awarded for this. There are a couple of people who send press releases day after day without a miss. Sometimes it concerns a function to be held; sometimes it is their reaction to any current issue; if nothing topical, they send a release condemning either the local authorities or the government. I am really surprised at their will to see their names in the newspaper everyday.

Surplus power!

The junior engineers and other staff of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) keep on visiting the industrialists to "update" them on the power scenario in the region, particularly in Ludhiana, which is the industrial hub. These "guests" provide industrialists with information on "plans" of the PSPCL and the state government in general. A local industrialist while entertaining an official asked him if Punjab was going to become a power-surplus state as claimed by the ruling party leaders. The official said, "Of course, it will happen very soon. The Punjab government is committed to close the industry. The regular shutdowns, unannounced power cuts, closure of units for a day, etc, are enough reasons for the industry to succumb under the pressure. As soon as the industry surrenders the state will automatically become power surplus!"

Contributed by Anupam Bhagria, Kuldip Bhatia, Gurvinder Singh, Manav Mander & Shivani Bhakoo



Four held with stolen mobile phones
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, March 31
With the arrest of four persons, the police has claimed to have busted a gang of thieves. The accused have been identified as Dharampal Singh of Malak village, Aniljeet Singh of Barsal village, Satnam Singh and Mohini of Jagraon.

The police has recovered 16 stolen mobile phones, 5 quintal of wheat, 46 bags of cement and cash worth Rs 3,000 from the accused.

While addressing a press conference today, Jagraon DSP Surinder Kumar said on receiving a tip-off that three youths were trying to sell mobile phones at a cheaper price outside Cheemna village near Jagraon, the police conducted a raid and nabbed the accused.

He said the accused confessed to have stolen the mobile phones from a shop at Malak village near Jagraon on the intervening night of March 20 and 21.

"Later, the police arrested another accomplice of the accused and impounded a Bolero," said the DSP.

The accused had stolen the cement from a shop in Ajitwal and 5 quintal of wheat from a shop at Moga, said the DSP.

A case has been registered at the Jagraon Sadar police station.

3 vehicle thieves held

Ludhiana: The police has nabbed three vehicle thieves and recovered a stolen motorcycle from their possession.

The accused have been identified as Daljit Singh, Vicky and Rakesh Kumar, residents of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar and surrounding areas.

The trio was nabbed during a naka at Jawala chowk.

On seeing the police, the trio tired to flee. The trio could not produce the papers of the motorcycle. On being interrogated, the accused confessed to the crime.

The police also arrested two persons in connection with a snatching incident that took place near the railway station three days ago.

The accused have been identified as Mani and Jagdeh. A case has been registered against the accused.



Two youths end life
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, March 31
Two persons committed suicide in different parts of the city today. A youth reportedly consumed some poisonous substance at his residence in the Basant Bihar area on Noor Wala road while another hanged himself from a ceiling fan at his shop in Subash Nagar.

Balwinder Singh, SHO, Jodhewal Basti, said the youth who committed suicide at Subash Nagar was identified as Amit Kumar, alias Sunny (26). He was under debt and took the extreme step. Another youth, Gaurav Chopra (28), a resident of Basant Vihar, consumed poisonous substance.

He was stated to be under depression.

The police said inquest proceeding under Section 174 of the CrPC had been initiated.



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