L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


City residents welcome new train
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
Excitement was writ large on the faces of passengers arriving from Chandigarh aboard the Amritsar-Chandigarh Superfast Express on the first day.

The train was late by 32 minutes. Expected to arrive at 7.05 pm, the train reached at the Ludhiana railway station at 7.37 pm.

While some showed excitement, others were just too relieved that the train had finally started.

Sukhwinderbir, a retired employee from a city college, came especially to see the train. Elated, he said the train has started after years of wait. "I am too excited and like a child just came here to see the train I have been waiting to start for years," he said.

Sandeep Kumar, a businessman from Chandigarh, had come with his young daughters Sannati and Vinnati to travel by the train on its maiden journey.

Aniket, who works in Chandigarh, said he would now settle here, in his hometown, and would now be able to commute to and from the tricity. "I will be able to stay with my family," he said.

"It is not practical to commute daily by road. So, starting of train is a huge relief for me as the train timings suit my office hours in Chandigarh," he said.

But the late arrival of the train did draw complaints from some residents. "The train should have arrived on time at least on the first day," said a resident boarding the train for Amritsar.


ATMs spew torn, soiled notes 
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

ATMs dispensing damaged notes giving a tough time to bank customers.
ATMs dispensing damaged notes giving a tough time to bank customers. Tribune photo: Inderjeet Verma 

Ludhiana, April 19
Easy cash is in a big trouble. If ATMs spewing counterfeit money across the country weren’t enough, damaged currency notes have made their way to ATMs in the industrial city.

And what is worse, banks refuse to accept torn notes dispensed by machines installed by them as transaction slips don’t provide any proof of their ATM dispensing the same.

Customers complain of getting torn, mutilated, burnt, cut and pasted notes from ATMs.

Avtar Singh, a city resident, had withdrawn cash from an ATM. When he was counting the notes, he was shocked to see a torn note with a tape on it. His woes did not end here. When he contacted an official of the bank concerned, he refused to change the note saying there was no proof that the note was dispensed to him by their ATM.

He said it was a serious matter and the RBI should take strict action against banks circulating damaged notes. The damaged notes should be replaced by the bank concerned, he said.

“Recently, when I withdrew money from an ATM, I noticed that two notes were torn and one was fixed with a tape. When I approached the bank, officials there expressed their helplessness in replacing the notes,” said Gagan, a teacher.

Enquiries revealed that despite specific instructions from the RBI, some banks, due to outsourcing and shortage of manpower, are not ensuring that all notes issued by them are authentic. They resort to random tests on cash sorting machines.

A senior official from a private bank said: “Since a person has no proof that the specific note was withdrawn from our ATM, we are unable to replace it. The bank replaces soiled and tear notes by cutting a specific amount and customers can get their notes replaced.” 



Doctor commits suicide
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 19
A senior doctor deployed at the Jagraon Civil Hospital reportedly committed suicide under mysterious circumstances by consuming some poisonous substance today.

The deceased has been identified as Dr Vijay Kumar, who had been serving at the Civil Hospital since his appointment some months ago. He is survived by his wife and a son.

The incident came to light this afternoon when Dr Vijay did not report on duty in the hospital till noon and a staff member saw him lying on a bed in his room.

SMO, Jagraon Civil Hospital, Dr Raj Karkara said a staff member of the hospital was sent to the residence of Dr Vijay to call him after he did not report to duty. He saw Dr Vijay lying on the bed and he informed us. We rushed to his room, but it was too late," said Dr Karkara.

A police team led by SHO Kanwarpal Singh arrived at the scene. The police found a suicide note in the room. A bottle of some poisonous substance was also found. The police has sent the body for post-mortem.

The police will register a case after the post-mortem report.



City bus service suffers loss of Rs 3 lakh
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
The Ludhiana City Bus Service Ltd suffered a loss of more than Rs 3 lakh after 30 of its low-floor buses remained off road for two days. The contractual drivers of these buses had gone on a strike alleging that the contractors were paying them good salaries.

The city bus service has a fleet of 50 low-floor non-AC buses, out of which 20 are managed by the city bus service authorities. The remaining 30 buses have been given to contractors.

As per the contract, the city bus service authorities pay Rs 3.19 per km to drivers and Rs 2.75 per km to conductors through the contractor. The contractor deducts provident fund, ESI, income tax and his own profit before making the payment to drivers and conductors.

The drivers and conductors rued they were not getting what was promised to them. “We were promised at least Rs 8,000 per month, but the contractor is paying us Rs 6,000,” said one of the drivers.

Initially, the drivers and conductors were not willing to call off their strike, but with the efforts of the city bus service authorities, they ended their strike last evening and the bus service finally resumed today.

Baljit Singh, manager, city bus service, said: “Someone has misguided the drivers and conductors about the salaries. But held a meeting with them cleared their doubts.”

Initially, the authorities had planned to recruit drivers and conductors on their own as the department. Even the recruitment process was over and the candidates were expecting appointment letters, when senior officials decided to scrap the entire recruitment and go in for outsourcing.

This plan of outsourcing of drivers and conductors was formulated because the LCBSL authorities felt that at a later stage, the contractual employees might ask for permanent employment. 



Textbooks not available, students suffer
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
The decision of the Education Department to prohibit students from taking any assistance from the guides available in the markets, has been widely appreciated. This decision actually requires the teacher to put extra effort and teach students through the textbooks. Ironically, Punjab School Education Board has failed to provide the textbooks of all the subjects to the students in schools even though the session has already been started. And the teachers feel that late availability of text-books is not only hampering the studies but it is also difficult for teachers to teach students without textbooks.

As for class XI, the board has provided text books only for the subjects of computer and Punjabi grammar. And as for class XII students, text books are available only for science, mathematics and English reader. They have not been provided the text books of Hindi, Punjabi and other subjects. Similarly, the students of class IX and X have still not been provided textbooks of many of their subjects.

The president of the Government School Teachers' Union, Balkar Singh Baltoha from Amritsar said that such a practice was routine and students were never provided the text-books on time. "How can we teach the students when they do not have the text-books. The board must provide the course books to students on time", said the president.

One of the Board officials, wishing not to be quoted, said that many books were still under the printing process and it would take another month for the books to reach the schools. The vice-president of Government School Teachers' Union Parveen Kumar said that teachers of many schools were pleading to the senior students to lend their books to juniors. "But without the textbooks, we cannot provide quality education", he said.

Minister speak

Sikandar Singh Maluka, Education Minister said that it was unfortunate that students were not able to get all their textbooks by now. "It is a negligence on behalf of the board officials and Director General, Secondary Education Department that books are still under the printing process. If within few days, textbooks will not be made available then department will take strict action against those responsible", said Maluka.



J&K showcased on canvas
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
An art exhibition titled “Ethereal Beauty” was organised at Gallery Artmosphere today. Paintings and photographs by Navpreet Grewal Dhillon, Dr Kanwalpreet Kaur and Himmat Singh Dhillon were showcased.

Various sights and scenes of nature in Jammu and Kashmir are depicted in the paintings. Navpreet, who belongs to Ludhiana, is currently settled in the valley. The paintings on oil on canvass and pastels on paper and canvass depict the scenes of nature in the valley. She has been painting for more than 10 years now and did her masters in fine arts from Khalsa College for Women here.

Photographs of the Valley by her husband Himman Singh Dhillon were also displayed. These depict the life of people in the Valley. 



PSA seeks amendment in Punjab Bhasha Act
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
Punjabi Sahit Akademi (PSA) seeks a strict action against those schools, which punish the student for talking in Punjabi. In its executive meeting, PSA decided to approach the government to amend Punjabi Bhasha Act to prohibit such tendencies in schools run under CBSE and ICSE boards.

Gurbhajan Singh Gill, president Punjabi Sahit Akademi said, "Such incidents have been reported in past in which school teachers marked "black star" on the report of student for talking in Punjabi. It is a democratic right of every citizen to talk in its mother tongue. No one can prohibit his right in the name of education".

Punjabi Sahit Akademi also passed a resolution, demanding that cultural and language affairs should be attached with Education Ministry of the state. 



Two-day kavita mela begins
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
Two-day Kavita Mela-2013 began at Punjabi Bhawan today. The event saw participation of old and new poets. It was attended by noted poets, including Surjit Patar. Young poets and readers from different parts of the city attended the event.

Patar said that it was satisfying to see that poetry was popular online, through internet and social media. The emerging poets have established it, he said. He said poetry was the deepest voice of humanity, and several secrets of life were lying in the lines.

The event was organised by the Shabd Lok in collaboration with Punjabi Sahit Akademi. There were discussions on emerging trends in poetry.Dr Jagjit Singh said that poets of today touched bigger issues.

Gurbhajan Singh Gill, president of the Punjabi Sahit Akademi, said the event was a platform to interact. Dr Mohanjit, Parminderjit, S Tarsem, Sukhwinder Amrit, ghazal writer Vijay Vivek were also present. 

Artist and a lover of poetry

An avid lover of poetry, Saili Balwinder from Chandigarh, was here to attend Kavita Mela. His passion for poetry can be seen in his sketches, which are based on Punjabi poetry. He has merged lines of poetry with the sketches typographically. He has also made portraits of poets, including Shiv Kumar Batalwai, Amrita Preetam and Surjit Patar. Now, leading a retired life, he said that he was passionate about poetry since the beginning. 



Police set to launch women PCR fleet

Ludhiana, April 19
The move to launch women PCR fleet was felt, following the rise of crime against women. The woman PCR officials have been given scooters for patrolling, unlike motorcycles given to their male counterparts and two woman cops would travel on one PCR scooter.

The women cops would be given wireless sets baton for patrolling. These woman cops would be directly contacted with the police control room for quick response. The women cops would be deployed outside the girls' colleges and market places, where women visit frequently. — TNS



Swindlers dupe finance company
Take loan of Rs 1.55 lakh by mortgaging fake gold
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
A woman in connivance with two employees of a finance company procured a loan of Rs 1.55 lakh by mortgaging fake gold with the company.

According to information, Ashok Kumar, manager of Munarpuram Finance in Ludhiana had complained at the Division No. 1 police station that a woman and two employees procured a loan by mortgaging fake gold and the police registered a case after investigations.

The accused employees have been identified as Akhilesh from Samastipur and Om Parkash from UP while woman has been identified as Sashi, resident of New Kundan Puri in Ludhiana.In his complaint to the police, Ashok said, “Sashi had mortgaged gold weighing 70.20 gm with our company and procured a loan worth Rs 1.55 lakh against the gold. After few months, woman stopped submitting her installments on the loan taken. When we contacted her, she refused to pay further installments. Finally, we sent the gold for testing to a laboratory and it was found to be fake”, he added in his statement. Investigation officer Ajit Singh said, the police found that employees of the company were also involved in the forgery.



Ludhiana Scan
Date for VAT return extended

THe Excise and Taxation Department has extended the last date for submitting tax and e-filing of VAT for the fourth quarter of FY 2012-13 till May 9. The VAT 15 e-filing service for the fourth quarter of FY 2012-13 had started from 9 April 2013. While no changes have been made in the dates for submitting the tax and it remains as 20 April 2013 for submitting tax through cheque and 30 April 2013 for submitting by cash.

Wheat arrival

The Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari said that 1,68,414 MT wheat had arrived in mandis of the district till April 18, which had been purchased by traders and procurement agencies. Last year just about 68,000 MT wheat had arrived during the corresponding period. He said all district managers of the procurement agencies had been directed to ensure that purchased wheat was lifted within 72 hours and payment was made to the farmers within 48 hours. Further, the respective SDM's would keep an eye on procurement of wheat in the mandis under their jurisdiction and officials of the Punjab Mandi Board had been asked to provide all necessary facilities to the farmers.

Liquor vends to remain closed

The Additional District Magistrate, Neeru Katyal Gupta has ordered that all liquor vends and the shops selling meat, eggs as well as the slaughter houses will remain closed in the Jagraon, Samrala, Khanna, Payal and Raikot sub-divisions in Ludhiana district on April 24 on account of Mahavir Jayanti. Under the orders issued under Section 144 of the CrPC, the ban has also been imposed on cooking and selling non-vegetarian dishes in dhabas, restaurants and other eateries.

Drive against drug abuse

Shaheed Memorial Sewa Society has launched a drive against drug abuse. The society will be holding seminars in schools and educate the young generation about the bad effects of drugs. "Youth is the future of our country and can progress only if it's young generation is healthy and working towards the development of the country," said Vajinder Singh, secretary of Shaheed Memorial Sewa Society.

Annual day

The Trident Group celebrated its annual day at the Sanghera Plant with participation from the members of the entire organisation, their families, as well as business associates. The celebrations were coupled with power packed performances by renowned Punjabi singer Sharry Mann and well known stand up comedian and actor Sudesh Lehri. Rajinder Gupta, chairman, Trident Group reiterated the commitment of the company to carry forward the TPM (total productive maintenance) initiatives, which were unfolded last year as these had accentuated on improved business gains, market capitalisation and augmented customer satisfaction.

Students honoured

Dr Ambedkar Bhalai Manch will hold a "sikhya sanman smaroh" at Baba Balak Nath Dharamshala in Prem Nagar (ward no 53), in which around 200 meritorious students of class I to IX will be felicitated. According to Surinder Bali, chairman of the manch, several dignitaries, including Maheshinder Singh Grewal, advisor to Chief Minister, Punjab, Rajinder Bhandari, former state president of BJP, Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Simarjit Singh Bains, both MLAs, Parveen Bansal, district president of BJP, Harish Rai Dhanda, former MLA, Lakshman Dravid and Naresh Dhingan will attend the function.

Ram Navmi celebrated

Urban Estate Ram Lila Dushera Committee, Dugri and Punjab Pradesh Maharaja Aggarsen Aggarwal Sabha jointly celebrated Ram Navmi at Shiv Mandir, Labour Colony. Dr Shiv Gupta, president of the Urban Estate Ramlila Dushera Committee said that we should follow the teachings of Lord Rama in our lives.

Stationary distributed

Stationery material was today distributed among the students studying in National Child Labour Project (NCLP) school. Neelam Kapoor from an NGO Jago, appreciated the government's project of providing education to children working as labour. "At present twenty NCLP schools have been opened in the city, which are providing education to children,” said Neelam. — TNS



2 die in separate road accidents 
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 19
A youth and a woman were killed in two separate road accidents that took place on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur Highway in the past 24 hours. As per information, the first accident took place near Mullanpur Dakha last night while the second one took place near Bhanor Punjab today.

The youth who was killed in the first accident has been identified as Gurmit Singh, a resident of Kular village near Gurusar Sudhar while the woman who was killed in the second accident has been identified as Sharanjit Kaur (33), a resident of Akalghar village.

Sources said, Gurmit Singh was returning to his village on his motorcycle from Jagraon and when he reached near Mullanpur Dakha, he lost control over the motorcycle he was riding on and smashed it into a roadside tree.He was rushed to a Ludhiana Hospital where he was declared brought dead. Investigating Officer ASI Bikkar Singh said the police had registered a case in this regard at the Mullanpur Dakha police station. The second accident took place near Bhanor Punjab, on the same highway when a woman Sharanjit Kaur and her husband Jagroop Singh were going on a motorcycle towards Ludhiana from Jagraon side. The source said when the husband-wife duo reached near Bhanor Punjab, the woman fell from the motorcycle on the highway and was crushed to death under a canter coming from behind. The woman died on the spot while the driver of the canter fled from the spot along with the vehicle. The police sent the body for postmortem. A case was registered against the unidentified canter driver on the basis of the statement of victim's husband Jagroop Singh. 



Woman undertrial sets herself afire
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
A few days after a man had set himself afire in police lockup at the Salem Tabri police station, a woman undertrial set herself ablaze at the woman jail on Tajpur Road yesterday.

She has been booked under Section 309 of IPC for an attempt to suicide at the Division Number 7 police station. She was rushed to the Civil Hospital. Eyewitnesses said the undertrial went to the bathroom and set herself afire by using a matchbox.

The undertrial has been identified as Kuldeep Kaur, a resident of Ludhiana. She is lodged in the jail for past six months in a case of attempt to murder. The woman received minor injuries and was discharged from the hospital following treatment. 



Four held with poppy husk
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
Four persons were held for carrying poppy husk in different joint raids, yesterday. The accused have been identified as Charanjit Singh, a resident of Karnail Singh Nagar, Rimpy, a resident of Chandigarh road, Sukhwinder Singh of Kumkalan and Baljeet Singh of Basti Abdullah Pur.

In the first raid police nabbed Charanjit Singh from Daad village. On spotting the police at the checkpoint he tried to escape, but he was caught. During the search of his belongings 6.5-kg of poppy husk found from his possession.In the second raid, Rimpy was nabbed from Katani Kalan with10kg of poppy husk.

In the third raid, Sukhwinder Singh was nabbed from Miani village with 8kg of poppy husk.

While Baljeet was nabbed from Mundian Kalan. with 10kg of poppy husk.A case under the NDPS Act has been registered against the accused.



Widow ends life
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
A 35-year-old widow committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan in her house at Joshi Nagar of Basti Haibowal here today.

The deceased has been identified as Saroj Rani. The incident came to light when a neighbour opened the door and was shocked to see the body of the woman hanging from a ceiling fan. It was learnt that she used to remain depressed after her husband death. The body was sent to Civil Hospital for postmortem examination.



Alert bank employees foil fraud attempt
Save transfer of Rs 1.05 crore from Ludhiana-based industrialist’s account
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
The city police has registered a case against unidentified persons for an attempt to transfer Rs 1.05 crore from a bank account of a city-based industrialist by opening a fake bank account on forged documents.

The police said the fraudsters posed as industrialist Munish Kumar, resident of the Sarabha Nagar area, and opened a bank account at Beas in Amritsar district using forged documents in the name of Munish.

Recently, Munish’s insurance policy had matured and an amount of Rs 1.05 crore was transferred in his existing account.

Swindlers knew about it and opened a bank account in Munish’s name in Beas and then requested the bank to transfer the money in the fake account.

Seeing that bank officials were delaying in checking the documents, the miscreant offered cash commission to the bank employees.

The bank employees smelled a rat and informed the senior officials, who investigated the matter. Industrialist Munish was called to the bank and he was shocked to know that somebody had opened a bank account in his name and was trying to take ot Rs 1.05 crore from his existing account.

Joginder Singh, ADCP-III, said that when they investigated the matter it was found that the fraudsters knew about Munish’s LIC insurance policy.



Habit-forming drugs seized

Ludhiana, April 19
The police nabbed three persons during different joint raids and seized huge quantity of pharmaceutical drugs from their possession, yesterday.

The accused tried to escape. but the police caught them. On searching their belongings a huge quantity on psychotropic drugs, including injections, cough syrups and tablets were found.—TNS



Majha region sans sports facilities
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
Due to lack of infrastructure in the Majha region of Punjab, budding players from Gurdaspur and Amritsar districts prefer to move to Ludhiana for training as the city provides better facilities to them.

Players from both the districts have always been in a majority at the training centre of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) for the past 20 years. A large number of players from Gurdaspur and Amritsar district are being trained at the sports wing of the Punjab Sports Department.

Department officials said the reason behind migration of players is the lack of infrastructure in the border districts of the state. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) does not have a single training centre at Gurdaspur, Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts. The nearest SAI centre for these players is at Jalandhar. They have to get training from Jalandhar or Ludhiana. SAI has four centres in the Malwa region, including one training centre for girls at Badal village in Muktsar.

SS Pannu, in-charge, training centre, SAI, said, "I have been associated with the SAI centre, Ludhiana, since 1995. Players from Gurdaspur and Amritsar districts are always in a majority in Ludhiana. I have heard from a number of coaches that players from the Majha region are more efficient "."Earlier, Sports College, Jalandhar, had a good reputation and players used to work hard to get admission there. But with the passage of time, the SAI training centre has emerged as the best centre in the state. So players from Amritsar and Gurdaspur now prefer to join it," a coach from the sports department said.

A large number of players from both the border districts are forced to represent Ludhiana at various events. District Sports Officer Kartar Singh said, " The government must provide similar infrastructure in all districts to uplift sports uniformly throughout the state."



Punjab lads emerge champs
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, April 19
Punjab and Chhattisgarh created history as they emerged champions in the boys' and girls' sections, respectively in the inaugural edition of the Junior National Three-on-Three Basketball Championship (U-18) which concluded at Guru Nanak Stadium here today.

In the boys’ category, Punjab survived many anxious moments against their neighbour Haryana before romping home victorious with a narrow margin of two just points (18-16). Loveneet Singh, Gurvinder Singh and Khushneet Singh sank in six baskets each to complete the tally while main scorers for the losers were Himanshu and Rahul who accounted for seven and five points, respectively.

In the girls’ final, Chhattisgarh overpowered Maharashtra to win the trophy.



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