L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Pedestrian underpass
MC fails to auction shops yet again
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
The auction of nine shops in the Pedestrian Underpass opposite the Mini-Secretariat failed for the third time in a row today as only two persons turned up for the auction. This time, the reserve price was reduced by Rs 3.68 lakh, but despite this, the MC failed to auction the shops.

Earlier, the auction was organised on July 23 and October 10 last year. On July 23, only one person had turned up, while on October 10, no one came to attend the auction, due to which it had to be postponed yet again.

MC officials were hoping that a large number of people would turn up for the auction since the underpass is located opposite the Mini-Secretariat, which houses offices of senior district administration officials as well as the District Court Complex.

The auction had to be postponed today due to the absence of a minimum quorum of three participants as only two applicants had deposited the earnest money of Rs 1 lakh. This time, the MC had kept the reserve price at Rs 14.32 lakh, Rs 3.68 lakh less than the earlier reserve price of Rs 18 lakh.

Though the underpass has been opened for residents for around five months now, the MC has not been able to auction nine shops located in the underpass.

In the underpass, nine shops, measuring 15.64 sq ft each, have been constructed. The MC has fixed the reserve price at Rs 14,32,272 for these shops, which will be given on a 30-year lease. To participate in the auction, the bidders had to submit an earnest money of Rs 1 lakh.

Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria confirmed that the auction had to be postponed in the absence of a quorum. “I will discuss the matter with the MC Commissioner. Before scheduling the fourth auction, we need to advertise the project in a better way,” he said.


0001 fails to find any takers
Auction of vanity numbers in the PB 10 DK series fetches Rs 30 lakh for District Transport Office
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
It seems the craze for vanity registration numbers for vehicles is dying down slowly. During an auction of vanity numbers by the District Transport Office today, no person applied for the 0001 number, which used to be a hot favourite earlier.

Last month, the DTO had auctioned the 0001 number in the PB 10 DJ series for Rs 4.10 lakh, while today, the number PB 10 DK 0001 could not be auctioned as no person showed interest in it. During an auction held on January 11, the PB 10 DH 0001 number was auctioned for Rs 5 lakh.

Besides the PB 10 DK 0001, there were 34 other vanity numbers in the PB 10 DK series which could not be auctioned as there were no applicants. The costliest vanity number auctioned today was PB 10 DK 0003 for Rs 1.61 lakh, followed by 0007 for Rs 1.56 lakh.

DTO Anil Garg said there were a total of 220 vanity numbers in the PB 10 DK series.

“The registration number 0002 was auctioned for Rs 1.5 lakh, 0003 for Rs 1.61 lakh, 0004 for Rs 1.17 lakh, 0005 for Rs 1.55 lakh, 0006 for Rs 32,000, 0007 for Rs 1.56 lakh, 0008 for Rs 99,000, 0009 for Rs 1 lakh and 0010 for Rs 33,000. We have managed to earn a revenue of around Rs 30 lakh from the auction of vanity registration numbers in the PB 10 DK series while a revenue of Rs 6.63 lakh was generated through the auction of the remaining numbers in the PB 10 DJ series,” Garg said.

No bidders

Besides the PB 10 DK 0001 number, there were 34 other vanity numbers in the PB 10 DK series which could not be auctioned as there were no applicants



Bookies make a killing
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 12
Ever since the beginning of the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) T-20 tournament, it is raining money for bookies involved in betting on cricket matches. According to an estimate, those involved in betting have been winning or losing several lakhs of rupees on every IPL match.

Though betting on IPL matches is not new, the amount of money being spent on betting has increased manifold in the current edition.

According to sources, bookies are active in the Jagraon area and have been earning lakhs of rupees by betting on cricket matches. The bookies reportedly operate their "business" from other cities to avoid police action.

The sources said the bookies had been operating through mobile phones. "The bookies keep changing their mobile numbers frequently to avoid being traced by the police. They use mobile numbers purchased on fake identity, due to which the police finds it difficult to trace them," the sources said.

The sources said at least six bookies were active in the Jagraon area and had connections with major bookies in cities like New Delhi and Mumbai. "These bookies act through some middlemen, who are given 2 per cent commission irrespective of the fact whether the person who bets loses or wins," the sources said.

What the DSP says

Jagraon DSP Surinder Kumar said the police was keeping a close watch on betting during the IPL. "We have instructed all police officials in the area to be extra vigilant during the IPL. As people involved in betting keep changing their mobile numbers on a regular basis to dodge the police, we have instructed mobile phone dealers and distributors of various telecom companies to check the documents properly before issuing SIM cards and keep a proper record of phone numbers being issued by them", said the DSP.



IPL: Betting racket unearthed, 8 arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
Even as the IPL fever has gripped the entire nation, the menace of betting on IPL matches has kept the city police on its toes. In a major breakthrough, the crime investigation agency (CIA-1) of the Ludhiana police has arrested eight members of an inter-state gang of bookies from Manakwal village last night.

The accused have been identified as Puneet Vadera, a resident of New Delhi, Parvesh Kumar, Hari Krishan, Jatinder Kumar, Tilak Kumar, Ramesh Kumar, Sonu Arora, residents of Hisar in Haryana, and Pardeep Singh, a resident of Malout in Muktsar, Punjab. The police has seized 27 mobile phones, a TV set, Rs 11,000 and a laptop from the possession of the gang members.

The accused were produced in a court, which remanded them in police custody for two days.

In charge of the CIA-1 Harpal Singh Garewal said the accused were arrested on a tip-off last night from a house in the village. The accused had taken the house on rent two days before the beginning of the IPL matches.

Garewal said the kingpin of the gang had been running a betting racket across the country. Money for the racket was transferred through netbanking. The arrested gang members had appointed agents who were in contact with clients.



Civic body employees seize rehris, clear roads
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
Officials of the Tehbazari wing of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation today confiscated over 50 farhis and two-wheelers from various roads in the city. Encroachments were cleared from the Mall Road, Satsang Road, the Ferozepur Road service lane and the Shastri Nagar area in the city.

An official of the municipal corporation said seven generator sets were shifted from a private building on the Mall Road to another location. The generator sets were shifted following orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Naveen Malhotra, Superintendent of the Tehbazari wing of the MC, said 22 suitcases and bags were confiscated from outside shops on Satsang Road. Two rehris and advertising boards were confiscated from the Mall Road, while seven rehris and 28 farhis were confiscated from the Ferozepur Road service lane outside the Mini-Secretariat.

Malhotra said four two-wheelers and rehris were also confiscated from near BCM School in Shastri Nagar.



Minister opens 220 kV sub-station
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 12
Punjab PWD Minister, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, today inaugurated the 220kV sub-station at Gaunsgarh village, which will provide better power supply to more than 40 villages in the area during the coming paddy season. In addition, several urban localities and industrial units located on the Rahon Road will also get abundant and uninterrupted power supply from now onward.

Speaking on the occasion, Dhillon said over 10,000 general consumers and nearly 3,000 agricultural consumers will get direct benefit from the upgradation of the Gaunsgarh sub-station from 66 kV to 220 kV.

The minister said the Punjab State Transmission Corporation Limited (PSTCL) had upgraded seven other sub-stations from 66 to 220 kV during the current year. Further, to meet the increased demand for power supply during the paddy season, transmission capacity of 15 existing sub-stations have been enhanced by providing additional 100/160 MVA transformers.

Focusing on other measures undertaken by the PSTCL to bring about qualitative improvement in power supply and distribution, Dhillon said a number of new 220kV transmission lines have been laid to ensure regular and uninterrupted power supply. "The prestigious 400 kV ring main system of Punjab is also at an advanced stage of completion which shall form a robust and dependable power infrastructure."

Shashi Prabha, chief engineer, PSTCL, said five acres of land on the Ludhiana-Rahon main road was provided by the village panchayat for upgradation of Gaunsgarh sub-station. The work has been carried out with the installation of a 100MVA 220/66kV power transformer and construction of 11.6 km long 220kV double circuit line at a total cost of Rs 11 crore. She said work was also in progress for enhancement of the capacity of 220 kV sub-station at Jagraon, Nabha and Malerkotla before the paddy season.

In addition, 66 kV sub-station at villages Chhajli, Devigarh, Bangan, Banur and Talwandi Sabo were also in the process of being upgraded to 220 kV capacity.



CPI backs Odisha farmers
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 12
Expressing solidarity with Odisha farmers' struggle against the Centre and state governments for handing over 4,000 acres of fertile farm land to a South Korean company for setting up a steel plant, the state unit of the Communist Party of India (CPI) today held a rally here today.

Activists of the district unit of the party raised condemned the move to acquire the land in Jagatsinghpur district, near Paradeep Port, Odisha, where the South Korean transnational firm, POSCO, intends to set up a steel plant. They said the decision would displace several thousand families, including a large number of farmers, who have been cultivating the land for more than a century.

Flaying the repression of the peaceful agitators by the state government, district secretary of the CPI Kartar Singh Bowani demanded the cancellation of false cases registered against national council member of the party Abhay Sahu and others, suitable payment to those killed and injured in police action, eviction of people from the area, proper compensation to the land owners and adherence of the environment considerations and obligations while setting up the plant.

Dr Arun Mitra, assistant secretary, CPI, said the recent liberal economic policies pursued by the governments had led to widening gaps in society with the net income of a majority of the population falling down continuously. "An increase in the prices of essential commodities is the result of these policies," he asserted while condemning the hike in power tariff by the Punjab government, terming it a move that will aggravate people’s problems.

Assistant secretary of the CPI DP Maur said the people's resentment against the wrong policies of the government had been amply reflected in the two-day trade union strike on February 20 and 21 this year.



From schools
Baisakhi celebrated at GMT Public School

Ludhiana: GMT Public School celebrated the festival of Baisakhi in the morning assembly. After the prayer, a folk songs competition was organised in which many students took part and performed dances. The school organised Inter House Board decoration competition in which Tagore House won the first position while the second and third positions were bagged by Bhagat and Subhash Houses, respectively. A turban-tying competition was also organised for the students of classes VIII to XII. Certificates and prizes were given to the winners.

Maple Bear Canadian Play School

Students of Maple Bear, a playway school, celebrate Baisakhi in Ludhiana on Friday. Maple Bear Canadian Play Way & Nursery School, Udham Singh Nagar, celebrated Baisakhi with great fanfare and enthusiasm. Children wearing Punjabi attires celebrated Baisakhi by singing and dancing. "Jatta Aai Baisakhi" reverberated the atmosphere and children did bhangra and giddha to express their joy.

Adding colour to festivities: Students of Maple Bear, a playway school, celebrate Baisakhi in Ludhiana on Friday. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

HVM Convent Sr Sec School

HVM Convent Senior Secondary School celebrated Baisakhi on the premises. There was a festive atmosphere. Students were wearing colourful Punjabi dresses. Various cultural activities were presented on the occasion. A fancy dress competition was held. Those wearing best Punjabi dresses were awarded prizes and certificates.

Little Star Playway

Baisakhi was celebrated at Little Star Playway, Upkar Nagar, with lots of fun and colourful mood. Children were dressed up in traditional attires.Tiny tots (male) in colourful Punjabi dresses looked like Gabrus and girls mutiyaars. Children and teachers performed bhangra and giddha.

BCM Kindergarten

Tiny tots of BCM Kindergarten celebrated Baisakhi with a great zeal and fervour. On the occasion, children, attired in colourful Punjabi dresses, danced to the tunes of Punjabi songs. Students also paid a tribute to the Jallianwala Bagh martyrs in the form of a patriotic song. "Such types of activities must be organised in the school to acquaint the young with their cultural heritage," remarked Dr Vandna Shahi, head of the institute. — TNS



Baisakhi losing charm in cities
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
The beats of dhols and songs of joy associated with the Baisakhi celebrations seem to be fading into the oblivion these days. The festival has become less relevant in cities. City youngsters say they don not celebrate the festival at all.

"Any festival is celebrated in the true sense, if there are some traditions and rituals to be performed. My forefathers used to exchange their wheat produce on the festival in villages, but no such tradition is followed nowadays," says Lavpreet Singh, a student of SCD Government College. He, however, says: "I celebrate the day by going to a gurdwara".

Navneet Singh, a student at INIFD, said he visits a gurdwara on the occasion of Baisakhi. At the most, he takes his grandparents to his native village, but there are no celebrations beyond that.

Although the festival is still celebrated with fervour is some parts of the state, particularly in the rural areas, not many people celebrate the festival in cities, says another student.

Rajvi, a student from Moothgarh in the Rahon Road area, says Baisakhi is a big event at their village. However, the fervour is more restricted to advertisements and product promotions only in cities, he said.

"I think it's time more cultural bodies are set up to celebrate the festival together in the cities as well, so that the Punjabis can celebrate the day and the new generations can understand its relevance," says Abhishek, a resident.



Samples taken from dyeing units
Owners accuse PPCB officials of flouting norms
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
The owners of dyeing units of the focal point area protested against the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) officials for not following the norms while collecting water samples from the units.

Officials from the PPCB conducted a surprise visit and collected samples from nearly 11 dyeing units located in the focal point and Tajpur areas last night.

Vijay Dhawan, proprietor of Dhawan Dyeing, alleged that the water samples taken from his unit were collected from a machine rather than the effluent treatment plant. "We have an effluent treatment plant at our unit but the team took samples from the machine rather than the ETP," said Dhawan.

Dhawan said he had complained to the PPCB Chairman and the Principal Secretary in this regard.

Sandeep Behl, XEN, PPCB, who was heading the team said: "No doubt the ETP was there at the Dhawan Dyeing but it was not operational at that time. The doors of the unit were opened to us after nearly 25 minutes and black water was coming out of the unit, the sample of which was collected by the team".

He said the department had nothing personal against any unit. "Jarnail Dyeing, which was located just opposite Dhawan Dyeing, had its treatment plant operational and we had no problem in collecting samples," he added.



Ludhiana scan
Protest against power hike

Congress workers staged a massive protest demonstration against the recent hike in the power tariff here on Friday. They sought withdrawal of the hike and submitted a memorandum to the Governor Shivraj Patil through the local Deputy Commissioner. The protestors staged a dharna in the Mini-Secretariat before handing over the memorandum to the DC. District president Congress Committee said, the hike in the power tariff had put an extra burden of Rs 1,800 crores on the common Punjabis. He said, when there was no power the state government does not have any right to increase the tariff. The DCC president criticised saying that the economy was in a mess while pointing out that 3.50 lakh employees were yet to be paid their salaries.

Marxist Communist Party of India (MCPI) state committee has strongly opposed sharp increase in power tariff terming it as an unbearable burden and a big blow to the people of Punjab. The state secretary of the party Kuldip Singh said power tariff hike will further fuel inflation and lead to the prices of essential items going out of reach of the common man. — TNS



Students fall ill after consuming iron tablets
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 12
Nearly five students of the government school were taken ill yesterday after they consumed iron tablets supplied by the Health Department. However, the students have recovered and even attended their school today.

Dr Gurmeet Singh, in charge, school health programme, said: "All the students had recovered fully and even attended their school. Sometimes iron pills do not suit some people or the students might have not eaten anything before coming to school, which led to this problem. Iron generally does not suit every individual and can result in stomach ache or loose motions," he said.



Punjabi film starcast visits city
Tribune News Service

Singer-cum-actor Gippy Grewal poses for a photograph in Ludhiana on Friday. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, April 12
The starcast of the upcoming Punjabi movie 'Lucky Di Unlucky Story' was in the city today. Gippy Grewal, who is playing the lead role in the movie, said it is a complete comedy.

Surveen Chawla is playing the female lead. Jackie Shroff is debuting in Punjabi cinema with this movie.

Talking about the movie, he said this is a movie about a man who always tells the truth, which gets him in trouble many a time, but ultimately, speaking the truth stands him in good stead.

Talking about the ban on “Sadda Haq”, he said he already commented online that people here should be given a chance to see the movie.

People overseas have appreciated the movie, where it was released. "I haven't seen the movie though and so can't say why it might have been banned," he said.



Vigilance raid rumour leaves staff panicky

Ludhiana, April 12
High drama was witnessed when the employees of the office of the Sub- Registrar (Central) fled the office amid the rumour of a vigilance raid here today.

In the morning, the word spread that the vigilance sleuths have conducted a raid at Patwarkhana located in Gill village. The news of a vigilance raid spread like wildfire. The rumour was that the Vigilance will conducted a raid on the office of the Sub-Registrar (Central). The rumour led to a panic among the employees and they left their offices leaving the residents high and dry. They did not switch off their computers before leaving the office.

In the meantime, Satinder Singh, SSP (Vigilance), denied any raid being conducted by his team. — TNS



Health Dept collects 8 food samples

Ludhiana, April 12
A team of the Health Department today collected samples of eight different eatables from different places.

District Health Officer, Ludhiana, Dr Avinash, said, "Due to baisakhi tomorrow, we have collected majority of samples of sweets. We collected sample of gulab jamun from New Model Town, barfi and rasgulla from Shimla puri, milk cake and rasgulla from Soofian Chowk, milk cake and dhoda from Gill Road, salt and biscuit from Kidwai Nagar." Food Safety Officer, Harpreet, said, "We also inspected golgapa vendors at Soofian chowk and at Jawahar Nagar camp area. — TNS



Gang of vehicle thieves busted, two arrested
Tribune news Service

Ludhiana, April 12
The city police has arrested two persons and recovered seven stolen vehicles from their possession. The accused had further sold these stolen vehicles to people by forging the documents.

The accused has been identified as Kamaljeet Singh, alias Kamal, a resident of Kahma village in Nawanshehar district and his brother-in-law, Varinder Kumar, a resident of Baal Singh Nagar.

The police sources said that Kamaljeet is a drug addict and his father had disowned him. He involved his brother-in-law in the practice, who is also addicted to drugs.

The duo was nabbed after they stole a Honda active from outside a religious place at Basti Jodhewal chowk on January 10, 2013, which was parked by owner of the vehicle Mool Chand Lalvani, a resident of Atal Nagar.

After receiving complaint, SHO Basti Jodhewal Balwinder Singh laid a trap and the duo was trapped finally today.

“We have recovered seven vehicles including three Honda Activa scooters, three motorcycles and a scooter, from various areas of the state,” said SHO Basti Jodhewal.



Robbery bid foiled

Ludhiana, April 12
A man foiled a robbery attempt in Majhphajuwal village here today. The incident took place this afternoon when three youths riding on a motorcycle snatched the purse of woman collection agent of a financial firm. Narrating the incident Timmy, said he was travelling in a car when he saw robbers fleeing with bag from a woman. He gave the motorcycle-borne a chase and rammed his car in them. Due to the collusion the car came to a halt. In the meantime, the trio tried to attack Timmy, but the latter raised alarm and the robbers fled from the scene.

58-year-old dies in road accident

A 58-year-old man died in a road mishap. The victim was identified as Krishan. He went out after finishing his work when a vehicle hit him on the road. Krishan Lal was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead. — TNS



Five arrested with weapons

Mandi Gobindgarh, April 12
The CIA staff of Mandi Gobindgarh police has arrested five persons along with arms from Bir of Kumbhra village. The district police chief, Hardyal Singh Mann, said five persons were arrested while one of the accomplices escaped.

The police claimed to have recovered one country made revolver with two bullets, one air pistol, one knife, and one Truck loaded iron. The police sources said that this gang used to install bogus registration number on trucks and used the trucks for transportation through the companies on bogus registration numbers and sold the goods themselves. The police has registered a case agaisnt all the accused. — OC



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