L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


27 civic body vehicles plying without registration numbers
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 2
As many as 27 vehicles of the municipal corporation are plying without registration numbers. The MC has itself admitted that these 27 vehicles were never registered with the District Transport Office.

One such vehicle was also impounded by the traffic police from the Jagraon Bridge area on August 11 last year. Interestingly, when the tipper carrying “illegal” hoardings was stopped for checking, the traffic police too was shocked to know that it did not have a number plate as well as the vehicle’s registration documents. Even the front screen of the tipper was broken. Being without number plates means that the vehicles are without insurance and in case of any accident, the MC would not be able to seek any claim in this regard.

The facts came to light when a city resident sought details through the Right to Information Act. Although the MC had auctioned 82 vehicles for Rs 1.10 crore on March 25, the information regarding these 27 vehicles was provided until March 28, which means that these vehicles are still plying on the road.

According to the rules of the municipal corporation itself, no vehicle can run on roads beyond a period of nine years. However, a majority of them are running on the roads and a number of accidents are also reported every now and then. The vehicles are in poor condition and the civic body drivers drive rashly.

The 27 MC vehicles without registration numbers are three Tata 407 trucks, a sky lift, six tippers, two jetting machines used for cleaning sewers, two JCB machines and 13 tractors. Out of these vehicles, the oldest is a 1992 model and the latest one is a 2007 model jetting machine.

Two MC vehicles are standing with the police department for the last five years. As they have no registration numbers. “One of them is a jetting machine (deputed in operations and maintenance branch of Zone B) worth around Rs 35 lakh and the other is a tipper (deputed in bridges and roads branch in B4 zone of MC). Both the vehicles had met with accidents and that is why they were impounded by the police. Just because we did not get these two vehicles registered on our name, they are still in possession of the Ludhiana Police and we have not been able to take their
possession,” informed a senior MC official requesting anonymity.

Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria said that he would ensure that all MC vehicles get registered soon. “And the vehicles which have not been registered, we will start their registration process soon,” stated the Mayor.


Feroze Gandhi Market
New contractor using roadside, footpath for parking vehicles 
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Vehicles being parked alongside the road surrounding Feroze Gandhi Market in Ludhiana on Tuesday.
Vehicles being parked alongside the road surrounding Feroze Gandhi Market in Ludhiana on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, April 2
The new parking contractor at Feroze Gandhi Market is using road surrounding the market as a parking space for vehicles, which is illegal. So far, the MC has turned a blind eye to it.

The auction of the parking contract for Feroze Gandhi Market was allotted recently and the new contractor took over the charge just yesterday.

Like other contractors, he is also allowing parking of vehicles on adjoining roads and footpaths. The practice has been going on for a long time and it seems that the MC tehbazaari officials have closed their eyes to the problem.

Not only this, but the contractor is even indulging in overcharging and is demanding more than fixed fee from the residents. The problem of overcharging is prevalent in almost all the MC parking lots and the residents remain on the receiving end.

Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria said that he had warned the parking contractor not to overcharge or use roads for parking purposes. “I want to appeal to the residents that if the parking contractor asks them to park their vehicles along the roadside in Feroze Gandhi Market or anywhere in the city, they should object to it. Because if they park their vehicles, we will get them towed away and it will be the residents who will suffer instead of the parking contractor. Also whenever a resident parks his vehicle in Feroze Gandhi Market, he should ask for a proper parking space from the contractor because that’s what they are paying for,” stated the Mayor.

Parking rates

  • Bicycle Rs 5
  • Two-wheeler Rs 10
  • Car Rs  20



Criminals using parking lot to hide stolen vehicles, says police
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 2
Observing that criminals were using parking lots to hide stolen vehicles, the city police has asked the contractors of the parking lots to maintain proper record and install CCTV cameras in the parking area.

If a vehicle is found to be parked for a week or more, the contractor of the parking lot will have to inform the police immediately.

The communique issued by the Commissioner of Police stated that criminals and miscreants were using parking lots to hide stolen vehicles. "We have recovered 20 to 30 per cent of stolen vehicles from parking lots of the city," said the Police Commissioner.

“We have asked the contractors of parking lots to maintain a regular register. The record will maintain the type of vehicle, its number, engine and chassis number, owners name, address and photocopy of number/ identity proof will also be attached to the register. It will also include the time when the vehicle is parked and also when it leaves the parking lot”, said the Police Commissioner.

The contractors will ensure installation of a signboard about terms and conditions of the contract at the entrance of the parking lot. They will also install a CCTV camera in the parking lots.



Riot victims' body flays delay in allotment to eligible applicants
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 2
The Ludhiana Sikh Migrants Welfare Board has come down heavily on the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) for delay in allotment of residential flats to bona fide applicants, and ignoring claims of eligible riot victims in violation of the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

In a memorandum submitted to the Chief Administrator of GLADA, Kartar Singh Patna, chairman of the body, said that despite directions of the HC (in CWP 8411 of 2011), the GLADA authorities had not considered the claims of 145 petitioners for the allotment of MIG residential flats, whereas, the draw of lots for the allotment of LIG and MIG houses to other eligible applicants was proposed to be held today (which has now been postponed to May 15).

Citing the sequence of events, Patna said the 145 applicants (and also the petitioners in the said CWP) had applied for MIG houses in 2000, and their claims were approved by the authorities as per the policy of the state government. However, during the draw taken out on October 12, 2010, these riot victims were allotted EWS/LIG houses even when MIG flats were available with GLADA at that time.

The chairman of the Board asserted that since the claims of these 145 applicants were accepted for the allotment of MIG houses by the GLADA authorities on September 26, 2011, they should have been considered for the allotment on a priority basis before the claims of over 6,000 other eligible riot victims or their dependents were processed for the allotment of residential flats.



Classes on, govt school students sans textbooks
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 2
Classes for the new academic session have begun but government school students are yet to get text books, thanks to the delay in dispatching of books by the Punjab School Education Board. It sends textbooks only after receiving the list of students from schools.

Children are facing inconvenience as they don’t have the textbooks to study from. Parveen Kumar, general secretary, Government School Teacher Union, said that the day the results are declared or the child is admitted to the new class, the textbooks should be handed over to them. But as per practice, lists of students are sent to the board and accordingly the board sends the books as per the number of students. The whole procedure is cumbersome and a lot of time is wasted, said Kumar.

"The classes have started and students are without textbooks of many subjects. At the same time, in private schools, the textbooks are available to students on time. The problem lies only with the government schools. If the students will not get the books on time, their concepts will not be clear ", said Tarlochan Singh, another teacher.

Teachers said students’ concepts are not clear as they get the textbooks after a particular chapter is taught in class which leads to poor results and then the teachers are blamed for poor showing. A senior teacher at a government school said that many textbooks were still in the printing process. And at times, books reach schools after three to four months. And by that time, a lot of the syllabus is covered. "These textbooks should be made available to the students on the onset of the new session. If the private schools can manage to get books for their students then why can’t government schools?", asked the teacher.

Paramjit Kaur Chahal, DEO (S), said “The textbooks were being delivered in schools and some schools were yet to get them. But soon they will receive them.”



Robbery bid foiled, two held with arms
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 2
The city police nabbed two persons and foiled a robbery bid last night. Besides, the city police has also seized two .315 revolvers and two live cartridges from their possession. The accused have been identified as Ram Janam and Anuj Kumar, both residents of Janta Nagar. They were nabbed by the Division No 4 police.

The duo was nabbed from Sangam Palace Chowk. On suspicion, the police nabbed them and conducted a search. During the search of their belongings, two .315 bore revolvers and two live cartridges were found from their possession.

During the investigation, the accused confessed that they were planning to strike at the house of an industrialist and for the purpose they had purchased the weapons from Uttar Pradesh (UP). The name of the industrialist was withheld due to security reasons.

Sources said that J Elanchezhian, ACP (North), had got a tip off recently that some criminals had procured .315 from UP and were on their way to the city to commit crime. Elanchezhian mobilised the police team of the area and arrested Anuj and Ram Janam.

A case under the Arms Act has been registered against the duo.



3 die in accidents
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 2
Three persons lost their lives in separate accidents that took place in the city in the last 24 hours. While two persons died after being run over by a train last night, one person succumbed to injuries after being hit by an unidentified vehicle in the Jodhewal Basti area today.

In the first incident, Ramesh Kumar of Uttar Pradesh (UP), was run over by a train near the Gill-level crossing late last night. The Government Railway Police (GRP) said that suicide could be the reason behind the incident.

The second incident was reported in the wee hours when the body of a man was found lying close to a railway track near the New Sabzi Mandi area in Salem Tabri this morning. The commuters spotted the body and informed the police bout the incident. The victim is a middle-aged man and has not been identified yet. The third incident took place near the Jodhewal Basti area when a migrant was found dead near Nation Highway - I.

The police said the victim succumbed to injuries after being hit by a vehicle.



amloh-khanna road
Delay in road project affects commuters
Gurminder Singh Grewal

A notice board displaying information about the project.
A notice board displaying information about the project. Tribune photographs

Khanna, April 2
The Public Works Department (PWD), B and R, has claimed that work on the 10-km Amloh-Khanna road has started. But, a section of area residents are doubtful of the claims made by the authorities. A notice board installed regarding the work project also seconded the area residents' claims. This road falls under the Pardhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna project.

The notice board, installed at the entry point of the Khanna-Amloh road, revealed that work under the yojna was started on November 15, 2012, with its length stated as 10 km from Amloh to Khanna and cost put at Rs 478.52 lakh. 45 per cent portion of the road falls under the Khanna jurisdiction while the remaining portion falls in Amloh tehsil of Fatehgarh Sahib district.

A visit to the road, which was found broken at places, belies the claims. Rather, the entire stretch is in a bad shape.

Harsh Bhalla, a resident of the area, raised a question mark on the claims of the authorities as he alleged that during his visit to the road he never found any construction work being carried out along the road. However, he added that besides some patch work, he found nothing else. Bhalla alleged that the entire stretch should have been constructed afresh in place of patch work under the Pardhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna.

Shashi Bardhan, a social activist, alleged that they were demanding a fresh layer along the whole stretch, which has the Sabzi Mandi, educational institutions, a hospital and religious places on the way. He said due to its deplorable condition accidents had become a daily occurrence on the road. "Only a board is existing in the name of development, nothing else," he alleged.

Kamaljit Soi, vice-chairman, Punjab Road Safety Council, alleged that a delay in the work was due to corruption. In a similar case, the Doraha-Ropar stretch was under the scrutiny of the CBI for its being delayed for years. Soi also claimed that the installation of the board regarding any project meant that all the formalities regarding the project was completed. But in the case of Amloh-Khanna Road, over four months had passed, but the work was still not in progress. Soi claimed that as per the guidelines if any accident happened on the road under a project, the contractors would be held responsible for it. He also demanded a high-level enquiry into the delay of the project work.

Sohan Lal, SDO, PWD, claimed that the department concerned was responsible for laying pre-mixture material on the stretch. The SDO told that as per the guidelines the road would not be widened and no new construction would be done on the stretch. He claimed that only the pre-mixture material would be layed on the stretch and the work completed on time.



Math practical brings back lost interest in subject
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 2
The practical examination of mathematics, introduced for the students of Class X by the Punjab School Education Board for the first time, has managed to bring back the lost interest of students in the subject. Not just teachers, students too appreciate the initiative taken by the board. They say the practical exam has helped in clearing their basic concepts.

The students who were initially apprehensive about the 20-mark practical exam took the exam easily and said activity-based subjects always invoked their interest. Deepti, a Class X student of the Government Senior Secondary School for Girls, Jawahar Nagar Camp, said students were a bit scared before the exam, but after taking it they felt light and excited. "I was asked to differentiate between a cone, cylinder and cube. It was interesting to perform the activity,” said Deepti.

The state president of Math Teachers' Association, Gurbachan Singh Libra, said with the introduction of the practical exam, academic performance would improve as students liked the practical activities. Besides, the teachers would have to pay more attention on concepts, he said.

Meanwhile, the brain behind the step, Assistant State Project Director of Mathematics Nirmal said the present Director General Secondary Education, KS Pannu, encouraged everyone to provide quality education in schools.

"The activity will have a positive impact on students. Teachers, too, will be able to assess their understanding of concepts better. Mathematics, considered to be an abstract subject otherwise, will become interesting by including the activity part," said Nirmal.



Docs come to rescue of victim
Restore blood supply to injured leg
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 2
Five-year-old Chanpreet Singh, who was injured in the Jalandhar-Nakodar highway accident which claimed lives of 13 children while injuring nine others, was successfully operated at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

After the accident, Chanpreet was rushed to a hospital in Jalandhar where doctors detected that the blood supply to his left leg was affected.

He was further referred to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital in the city. Advanced investigations in the form of CT Scan angiography showed that the blood supply was totally cut off at the level of mid-thigh and the thigh bone was also badly damaged.

The immediate surgery was done by a team of doctors led by Dr Sanjeev Uppal (professor and head of plastic surgey) along with Dr Harpal Singh, Dr PL Gautam,Dr Puneet Aulakh Pooni, Dr Deepak Bhat and Dr Shireen Shah. "During the surgery, the 7.5 cms defect of the artery, which carries blood to the leg, was reconstructed using a vein graft and the blood supply to the leg was restored after 15 hours of injury. The bone was fixed through external fixation," informed Dr Sanjeev Uppal.



Gobindgarh MC passes Rs 4351.50 lakh Budget

Mandi Gobindgarh, April 2
The Mandi Gobindgarh Municipal Council, in a meeting chaired by its chief Harpal Singh Nasrali, today passed the budget (Rs 4351.50 lakh) for 2013-14.

Last year, the budget amount was Rs 4,072 lakh. The staff expenditure has been estimated at Rs 1536.54 lakh, which becomes 35 per cent of the total income. A provision has been made to appoint 25 gardeners, 100 sweepers, 50 sewer men, 5 fire drivers and 23 firemen for which Rs 109.20 have been allotted. It is necessary to mention here that the Mandi Gobindgarh MC is the only station in Fatehgarh Sahib district, which has the facility of fire brigade.

Executive Officer Sarabjit Singh, talking to mediapersons, said a tax amount of Rs 175 lakh has been proposed to be imposed on industrial, commercial and residential property while income from VAT is estimated to be around Rs 29.70 lakh. — TNS



MC budget approved unanimously
Rs 2.6 cr out of Rs 9,15,84,000 earmarked for development projects
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 2
The Municipal Council (MC) unanimously approved its annual budget here today. According to it, Rs 2,63,84,000 out of a total budget of Rs 9,15,84,000, would be spent on various development projects. The earmarked amount is in addition to grants to be received from the state government and funds worth Rs 40 lakh already reserved for the construction of roads and streets.

MC president Ravinder Puri said all councillors unanimously passed the budget presented by Executive Officer Chetan Sharma.

Being the last phase of the ensuing term of the body, an amount of over Rs 263 lakh has been earmarked for development works, while the remaining money will be spent on paying salaries to MC employees and officials.

Appreciating the role played by legislator Iqbal Singh Jhoondan in fetching grants for development projects, Puri maintained the cash-starved MC would have failed to provide basic amenities to residents without his help.

Little time left for execution of projects, say residents

Residents alleged that projects to be started with the earmarked funds would remain unfinished at the end of the ensuing term of the council for various reasons.

Meanwhile, Iqbal Singh Jhoondan and MC president Ravinder Puri inaugurated the construction work of Jandali Road at a function organised today. 



from school & colleges
Skits, folk dance mark prize distribution function

Ludhiana: The 'Annual Prize Distribution Function 2013' of Everest Punjab Senior Secondary School, Giaspuara, was held on Tuesday. Ranjeet Singh Malli, DEO (Elementary), was the chief guest. Kusum Lata, national awardee and Rajinder Sharma, president, Association of the Punjab School Education Board Affiliated Schools, Punjab (Regd.), Ludhiana, were the guests of honour. The programme started with "Ganesh vandana". The students presented a colourful programme on the occasion. They performed skits based on discipline and presented folk dances and folk songs.

Dheeraj Sharma, principal, welcomed the guest. Malli, while addressing the students lauded the remarkable progress made by the school in the field of education and sports. He advised the students to work hard to excel in every field. Childrn danced to the Rajasthani songs and performed 'Punjabi folk dance'. Bhangra and gidda impressed the audience.

Fashion show

The first-year fashion and interior design students of the Inter National Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD) organised a fashion show for children. The colourful and vibrant collection included frocks, jumpsuits, skirts, shirts and trousers for children aged between three and twelve. Named Anukriti, the event gave an opportunity to students to showcase garments designed during their academic projects 'Knock Off' and 'Anthropometry.' Around 70 students worked hard on these projects over a period of one month to make this show a success. Apart from developing garments, students were involved in making all the other arrangements for the show. The second-year students looked after the decorations and ramp setup.


The outgoing students of the Doraha Institute of Management and Technology were bade farewell by their juniors during a farewell party, Sayonara. Students presented an entertaining cultural programme comprising of several singing and dancing items. The programme started with the lighting of lamp followed by a prayer. Prayarna, a BBA student, mesmerised the audience with a Hindi song. Harleen Singh shared an emotionally stirring Punjabi song on the memorable moments of the college life. The outgoing students were given some unique titles. The highlight of the event was a fashion show in which students dressed as celebrity models.

International conferences

The PCTE Group of Institutes organised the 10th International Management Conference on Sustainability and Growth: Business Model for the future and the 9th International Conference on Upcoming Trends in IT. Anil Kumar, executive director and CEO, Shreyans Industries, was the guest of honour. Dr SK Singla, director, GNAIMT, Phagwara, and Dr SK Chadha, professor, University Business School, Chandigarh, were among the key speakers. Delegates from both the management and information technology fields presented their research papers on financial management, human resource management, production and operation management, customer relationship management, database issues, cloud computing, data structures and e-governance.

Dr KNS Kang, director general, PCTE Group of Institutes, said, ''We must hold such conferences so that people involved in these areas can share their knowledge and experience, and research scholars can get an opportunity to present their contributions.”

Sports day

The Gulzar Group of Institutes celebrated its sports day, Colors -- the Sports and Cultural Fest, comprising of an array of activities. The event provided students a chance to showcase their talent by overcoming hurdles and developing competitive spirit. Various athletics events including long jump, discuss throw, and races were organised. Sporting events such as basketball, volleyball and table tennis were also held during the day-long event. Gurkirat Singh, executive director, Gulzar Group of Institutes, congratulated students for their zeal and spirit.

Management fest

The Gujranwala Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology organised an intra-college management festival, MANZA-13. The event witnessed a huge participation of MBA, BBA, BCom and BSc students. The students demonstrated skills and competitive spirits in events such as just-a-minute, dumb charades, PowerPoint presentation, business quiz, business plan and Ad Mad show. Winners were given prizes. Gunwant Singh Dua, institute co-ordinator congratulated the winners for putting up a great show. — TNS



Chinks in Jagraon BJP unit widen 
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 2
The crisis-ridden Jagraon unit of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) received another blow when BJP district vice-president Jinderpal Dhiman openly accused district president (rural) Dr Shirshti Garg of trying to create divisions in the party. Alleging that the way Dr Garg functioned was like a dictator, Dhiman claimed that the party had been getting weak in the district only because of the stubborn attitude of Dr Garg.

The allegations levelled by Dhiman against his own party district president have further widened the divisions in the already divided Jagraon unit of the BJP. Dhiman is not the first leader of the local BJP who has openely criticised the working style of district president (rural) Dr Shirshti Garg. A couple of days ago, some other BJP leaders, including party municipal councillors, had also condemned him.

In fact, the divisions in Jagraon BJP leadership had come to fore during a party meeting called on Friday to chalk out a programme for celebrating the foundation day of the party. Though the meeting was presided over by state BJP vice-president Santosh Kalra, several leaders of Jagraon BJP remained absent from the meeting, exposing the differences among the different fractions of the local BJP.

A day after the meeting, BJP Jagraon block president Raj Verma shocked everyone when he claimed that when district president (rural) Dr Shirshti Garg asked me to not bring any other party leader in the meeting," Raj Verma claimed.

Besides Raj Verma, BJP Municipal Councillor Sarita Katyal, who is also the daughter-in-law of party founder in Jagraon Satpal Katyal had also said she was not invited to the meeting. "Apart from being a party municipal councillor, I belong to a family which played an important role for establishing the party in Jagraon. Despite this, nobody informed me about the meeting and visit of state vice-president Santosh Kalra. I came to know about this through newspapers a day after the meeting," Sarita Katyal claimed.

Apart from Raj Verma and Sarita Katyal, many other party leaders feel that the way of functioning of the district president had been weakening the party. These leaders rued that Dr Garg had demoralised the party workers who are feeling cheated at the hands of Dr Garg. Accusing Dr Garg of trying to divide the party, most of local BJP leaders had appealed to the party high command to sack Dr Garg from the post of district president to save the party from further ruin.

Terming the allegations levelled against him by the leaders of his own party as politically motivated, Dr Garg claimed that some party leaders were trying to tarnish his image. "All these claims are totally baseless and the fact is that the leaders who are blaming me are themselves harming the party for their personal gains," claimed Dr Garg.



Police cracks whip on violators
Eight buses impounded, seven other challaned in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 2
The city police impounded eight buses for having black films on their windows. Seven other vehicles were also challaned by the traffic police.

The drive was launched following the direction of Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh.

In a communication sent to the police officials, the Commissioner of Police had stated that all Station House Officers (SHOs) should obey the direction of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Strict action would be taken against officers if they showed any laxity in obeying the orders, the communication read.

Giving details about the drive, SHO (Traffic) Bulland Singh said buses belonging to the Punjab Roadways and some private buses were fined for plying without removing black films from windows.

He said the violators were challaned in the Jodhewal Basti area, Jalandhar Bypass and on the Chandigarh road.

The SHO said the drive would continue till black films were removed from all vehicles. The police would also spread awareness about the court orders among bus drivers, he said.



Kidnapping case: 5 years on, police announces Rs 50,000 reward
Tribune News Service

The poster released by the police in Ludhiana on Tuesday.
The poster released by the police in Ludhiana on Tuesday. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, April 2
Having failed to find any clue about the nine-year-old boy who was kidnapped five years ago by his uncle, the city police today announced a reward of Rs 50,000 for any information regarding the location of the boy and the kidnapper.

It was on February 27, 2008, that nine-year-old Vineet Kumar was kidnapped by his uncle Anant Ram from Neem Wala Chowk. Anant Ram, who is an elder brother of Vineet's father Vinod Kumar had demanded Rs 2 lakh for releasing the boy.

Anant had told Vinod to leave the extortion amount near Neelo Bridge. Vinod informed the police, following which a trap was laid to nab the accused. Anant, however, did not turn up at the designated place.

Today the police released a poster carrying photographs of Vineet and Anant and declaration of the reward.

"We appeal to residents to help us in locating the boy. If anyone has any information about his whereabouts they should inform the police at the earliest," said Brij Mohan, station house officer, Division No 3.



Staff crunch: Railways compromising with safety of passengers
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 2
After every major train mishap, the Union Railway Minister and the railway officials promise that safety of passengers will be ensured in future. The bitter truth, however, remains that due to a staff crunch, the Railways has been compromising with the safety of passengers.

Earlier, the Railways had launched an "economy drive" to control its expenses. According to the railway sources, the department had decided to downsize, i.e. manage its work with a lesser number of employees. Following this in the past few years, the Railways did not recruit the required number of employees.

There are reportedly 45 sanctioned posts of Goods Guard at the Ludhiana railway station, but the authorities have recruited only 27 guards. Due to this employees have been overburdened. Employees complain they had to work more than the normal working hours. As a result of this there is a lot of resentment among them.

"We have to perform various tasks due to the staff crunch. We have to work in double shifts. This is affecting our family and social life as well," said a Railways employee. This practice is also proving dangerous for the safety of passengers.

Station superintendent of the Ludhiana railway station Ravinder Sharma said: "It is true that we have been facing a staff crunch. It is hard to manage things with lesser employees. We have to make an extra effort and be more concerned about safety measures. But with the Railway Minister announcing the recruitment of 1.5 lakh employees in the Railway Budget, all is not lost. " 



Synthetic diamonds catch residents' eye
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 2
With the prices of pure diamonds soaring, synthetic or lab-made diamonds are gaining popularity.

The synthetic diamond market has captured 2 per cent of the overall diamond jewellery market. Jewellery made from synthetic diamonds is abundantly available in developed markets such as the US and Europe and is now fast catching up with the domestic market. The jewellery industry is concerned about the growing demand in this segment.

Synthetic diamonds were introduced two decades ago. Since then the market has been growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 25 per cent.

"Synthetic diamonds are 40 per cent cheaper, owing to its cost-effective nature of manufacturing. Therefore, its demand is increasing rapidly. As pure diamonds are beyond the reach of many, people are going in for synthetic diamonds," said Mukesh Chand, a jeweller from Ghumar Mandi.

Synthetic diamonds cannot be differentiated from the pure ones with a naked eye. Generally customers end up buying synthetic diamonds. "Being a smaller market currently, it is not a threat. But if its growth gains momentum, it will be a threat to the diamond jewellery industry. With the prices of pure diamonds going through the roof, people prefer buying synthetic ones," said Vallabh Jain, a jeweller at Sarafa Bazar.



Traders seek extra coaches in Shatabdi trains
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 2
Frequent travellers from the city to New Delhi, especially trades and industrialists, have urged the Union Railway Minister Pawan Kuman Bansal to provide at least two extra coaches in both the Shatabdi trains running between Amritsar and New Delhi to cope with the long waiting lists.

Badish K Jindal, national president of the Federation of Associations of Small Industries of India, and Mohinder Aggarwal, secretary of the district unit of the Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, said both the trains had a waiting list of around 150 to 250 passengers on any given day. With most of them failing to get a confirmed ticket, their travel plans went awry, they said.

Jindal said thousands of businessmen travelled daily to New Delhi for commercial purposes. He said it would become convenient for them to take a Metro train for their respective destinations within the National Capital if the Amritsar-New Delhi Shatabdi train was given a two-minute stoppage at the Sabzi Mandi railway station in New Delhi.

Several city residents expressed an urgent need to introduce a new Shatabdi or Jan Shatabdi on the Ludhiana-New Delhi route via Ambala, Karnal and Panipat. Most of them desired the new train to depart around 6 am, and on the return journey leave the New Delhi railway station around at 6.30 pm.

"Such a train will come as a big relief to frequent travellers to New Delhi, giving them more time to finish their work and travel back home on the same day," said Vipan Vinayak, a city-based businessman.

Residents also wanted the Railway Minister to keep his promise of upgrading the Ludhiana railway station to a model station. "We are keenly looking forward to all the promised facilities and amenities including a multi-level parking, escalators and a new foot overbridge connecting all platforms, besides a cleaner railway station," said a resident.



Ludhiana Scan
Punjabi Gazal Manch meeting

A monthly meeting of Punjabi Gazal Manch was held here today under the presidentship of Sardar Paanchi. It was announced during the meeting that Harmandir Koharwala will be given an award in memory of Ajiab Chitarkar. Gurdeep Dehradun will also be awarded with Dr Randhir Singh Chand award for his book "Vasal te Hijro Pare".

No long queues

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari said the district administration is committed to provide facilities to the public. "We will ensure that those visiting for their licenses or renewed licenses are not made to stand in long queues. They will be provided benches," said Tiwari.

Chetna march

A meeting of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur International Foundation was held here today. During the meeting Krishan Kumar Bawa said a Chetna March is being held from April 5-10. The march will start from Rohtak and will reach Ludhiana on April 9. A special felicitation function will be held in the city at Gurudwara Shaheedan, Dholewal Chowk.

Emergency preparedness

Ziqitza Health care-Dial 108 organised a first responder programme at Guru Nanak Dev Engineering College,Ludhiana, under the aegis of the NSS unit of the college. The programme was aimed at apprising students of medical emergencies, which can occur unexpectedly at any place. According to philosophy of the company, it is the person near the victim of an accident has power to help save his life.

The workshop was attended by over 70 students from the electrical engineer and civil engineering branches. The expert for the occasion was Rajneesh from the Chandigarh office of the organization along with Jagdeep Singh from the Ludhiana office. The interactive workshop gave students practical demonstrations on how to handle various kinds of medical emergencies like fractures, bleeding, strokes, seizures etc.

Shops to remain closed on Sunday

All the shops associated with the Cloth Merchant Association will remain closed on Sunday. According to a press release, Sanjay Arora, president the Cloth Merchant Association, Ludhiana, said that the association was now a registered body and this was the decision of the association that they would close the shops on Sunday.

International meet on sexual medicine

Dr Anil Kapoor, an ayurvedic practitioner and former member of the Central Council of Research in Ayurveda and Siddha, participated in the first International Congress of the South Asian Society for Sexual Medicine (SSASM) held in Bangalore on March 29-30. Dr Chris McMohan (Australia, president of International Society of Sexual Medicine) was the chief guest. Dr Kapoor was the only person who participated in a special interest group on male infertility. He explained the role of aphrodisiacs in male and female infertility, which is classified into drugs, which increase the quantity of semen or stimulate the production of semen.

Cheques distributed

Khanna: Ranjit Singh Talwandi, a former MLA, today distributed help cheques during a function among the family members of the farmers who lost their lives due to debt at the Grain Market, Khanna. At least 12 families of the area were presented a cheque for Rs 1 lakh each. On this occasion, Talwandi claimed that the Punjab Government was committed to the welfare of the farmer community. Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Khanna, Anand Sagar Sharma said they received 12 applications from the Khanna subdivision. The SDM revealed that a survey was conducted as per the guidelines of the state government and only the needy were called. The SDM said the beneficiaries included two from Faizgarh village, one from Bhamaddi, Bhadla, Rattan Heri and other villages. He said the remaining would also be handed over cheques soon. — Tribune Reporters



Two held for stealing mobiles
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 2
The city police has nabbed two employees of a courier company for stealing a parcel containing five mobile phones.

The accused, identified as Gurnam Singh and Pankaj Paswan, were nabbed from a police checkpoint at Kashmir Nagar Chowk.

The duo was arrested following tip-off that they were planning to sell the mobile phones.

Kapil Kumar, in charge of Dharampura Chowki, said Pankaj worked as a driver with the courier company and Gurnam was a delivery boy of the Clock Tower–based courier company.

The duo had stolen five mobile phones from the parcel sent from Delhi nearly a fortnight ago.

While they had already sold two mobile phones, they were trying to sell the remaining three mobile phones. 



Snatchers arrested

Ludhiana: The city police has nabbed two snatchers and recovered two mobile phones and a stolen motorcycle. The accused have been identified as Jagroop Singh and Gurpreet Singh, both residents of Subash Nagar. They were held last night while they were trying to escape after committing the crime.

2 held for illegal sand mining

The Ladhowal police has nabbed two persons for transporting illegally mined sand. The accused have been identified as Jaspal Singh, a resident of Khehra Bet, and Jarnail Singh of Valipur Kalan. The duo was nabbed from the Hambran chowk at a police checkpoint. On spotting the police, the accused tried to flee, but the police personnel caught them. The police impounded two tractors trolleys of the accused. A case under Section 379 of the IPC, and Sections 21 of the mining Act has been registered against the accused.

Motorcycle stolen

A motorcycle was stolen from outside the KP Complex. Gagandeep, a resident of Durgapuri, Haibowal Kalan, reported to the police that he had parked his motorcycle outside the complex before leaving for shopping on Sunday. When he returned he was shocked to find his vehicle missing, he stated in his complaint. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been registered. — TNS



Official apathy hits hockey stadium
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

The broken net of a goalpost

weeds abound the hockey stadium
(From top): The broken net of a goalpost; and weeds abound the hockey stadium at Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana. Tribune Photos: Himanshu Mahajan 

Ludhiana, April 2
India's first blue and pink AstroTurf stadium, Olympian Prithipal Singh Memorial Hockey Stadium, on the Punjab Agricultural University campus, presents a sorry picture of official apathy. Just after a year of completion, the stadium is in a state of neglect.

Within a year, the fence around the stadium has broken at different points. Miscreants broke the glass door of a control room some days ago. In its absence anyone can easily enter the room that controls floodlights.

Due to the neglect, the Congress grass and cannabis plants have grown on stairs. Disposable tea glasses, paper plates and garbage heaps can be seen littered on the premises.

A hockey player told this correspondent that leakage was also reported in the newly installed canopy of the stadium. The Punjab Mandi Board took several years to complete the construction of the stadium, but a boundary wall is still to be constructed. Players and residents who exercise on the PAU grounds use the urinals constructed inside the stadium. As the authorities have locked the urinals, visitors urinate outside the door, leading to an unhygienic and stinking environment.

Kartar Singh, district sports officer, said: "I visited the stadium today and found that things are not in order. The Punjab Mandi Board did not give us the charge of the stadium as it is still incomplete. I have asked the senior board officials to construct the boundary wall. The sports department has deputed two security guards at the stadium. We will cut weeds soon.”



Sports club extends a helping hand to judoka
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 2
The Avon Cycles Sports Club has extended a helping hand to a talented judoka, Gourav Kashyap, who is a son of a rickshaw puller, to enable him to travel to Malaysia to take part in a karate championship next month.

Gourav from Bathinda will participate in the Okinawa Goju-Ryu Open International Karate Championship 2013 at Perak Sports Complex, Malaysia, from May 3 to 5.

Last year, Gourav won a gold medal in the International Judo-Karate Championship at Bhutan. Then too the club had sponsored his visit.

Directors, Avon Cycles, Rishi Pahwa and Mandeep Pahwa said the club aimed at extending a helping hand to budding sportspersons from economically weaker families.



Basketball tourney from April 5
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 2
The inaugural edition of the Punjab State Three-on-Three Basketball Championship will be organised at Guru Nanak Stadium on April 5-6. Over 20 teams will be seen in action under various categories, including senior (men and women) and junior (boys and girls), during the two-day event.

Teja Singh Dhaliwal, honorary general secretary, Punjab Basketball Association, said matches in the senior category would be played on April 5, while those competing in the junior category would face each other on April 6.

Players born on or after January 1, 1995, are eligible to compete in the junior category. They must carry the date-of-birth certificates with them.

Squads for the Senior National Three-on-Three Basketball Championship would be finalised on the basis of performance in this championship, said Dhaliwal. The national-level tournament is scheduled on April 10-11 at New Delhi.



10-day coaching camp for budding skaters
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 2
The first phase of the coaching camp for budding skaters being organised by the Skaters’ Welfare Club began at Leisure Valley in Sarabha Nagar yesterday.

Over 20 skaters reported on the first day of the 10-day camp.

National roller skating coach Sri Kanta Rao from Mysore and JS Dhaliwal, senior coach with the Ludhiana District Roller Skating Association, have been engaged by the club to train the participants.

MLA Simarjit Singh Bains inaugurated the camp and wished the skaters good luck. He appreciated the organisers’ endeavour to provide best possible coaching facilities to roller skaters.

Aman Seth, a spokesperson of the organising club, said more aspirants were expected to turn up in the coming to avail of the opportunity to hone their skills. The second and third phase of the camp would be organised in August and November, respectively, said Seth.



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