L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Chemists’ strike hits patients hard
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
The chemists' strike on Saturday hit the patients and their attendants hard. All medical stores remained closed for more than six hours following detention of owners of medical stores by the police.

The chemists opened their shops at 6 pm after an assurance by Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh that he had deputed a police officer to review the cases against the medical store owners.

A senior citizen, Suresh Kumar Jain, said: "My doctor changed my medicine today. I visited many medical stores but all were closed.”

A city resident, Seema Rattan, said: “I had to buy medicines for my daughter who has been suffering from stomach infection. But all medical stores were closed.”

Aman Ahuja, president of the Ludhiana Retail Chemists’ Association, said: "We are feeling bad for patients who had to suffer due to the protest."

It was 11.15 am when chemists of Dugri area closed their shops in protest against the detention of owners of two medical stores. GS Chawla, general secretary of the Ludhiana District Chemists’ Association, alleged: "Last night, the police detained owners of medical stores in the Dugri area on the plea that there was no pharmacist in their shops.”

The chemists went to the Civil Surgeon’s office to meet the drug controller, Punjab, Ajay Singla. The drug controller said the matter was related to the police department and asked us to approach them."

Meanwhile, chemists of other areas also closed their shops and gathered at Bharat Nagar Chowk.

Chawla said: "The Commissioner of Police assured us that he had deputed a police officer to look into the matter."

Drugs seized

A team of the health department and the police seized medicines from Maha Laxmi Medicos on 33 Foota Road, Mundiyan Kalan, Jamalpur. Drug inspector Sukhbir Chand said: "The chemist was not having a valid drug licence. He also failed to show the purchase record of medicines.”


14-year-old girl abducted, traced
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
A 14-year-old girl was allegedly abducted by three youngsters in a car at New Subhash Nagar in the Basti Jodhwal area, when she was on her way to school. Later, the girl was traced and the main accused, identified as 22-year-old Gurjeet Singh, a resident of Bajwa Nagar, was arrested. His two accomplices are still at large.

The incident came to light at 9 am when the school authorities informed the girl’s parents that their daughter did not come to the school today. Her parents informed the police suspecting that she had been kidnapped.

The victim is a student of Class IX. The victim’s maternal grandfather said she left for the school at 8.30 am. The school authorities informed the parents at 9 am that she had not reached the school.

"We started looking for her. Someone informed us that three youngster who were in a Maruti Ritz car abducted the girl. The accused dropped her near the school around 12.30 pm. After three hours, we found her in the New Subhash Nagar area."

Satnam Singh, additional SHO, Basti Jodhewal police station, said: "The victim was taken to the Civil Hospital for medical examination. A case under Sections 363 and 366 of the IPC has been registered against three accused."



Youth killed, 13 injured as mini-bus overturns in Jagraon
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 20
A teenager was killed and 13 others were injured when a mini-bus they were travelling in overturned near Kothe Rahlan village, 5 km from Jagraon, this morning. The incident took place around 8.30 am on a link road connecting Jagraon and Hathur.

The deceased has been identified as 18-year-old Gauravdeep Singh, a resident of Deharka village. The injured included Sukhminder Singh, Darshan Singh, both residents of Deharka village, and the bus driver Dalwinder Singh, a resident of Hathur. Besides, 10 more passengers, including women and children, also received minor injuries during the incident. Most of the victims hailed from Deharka village.

The ill-fated mini-bus belonging to a private transport company was on its way to Jagraon from Hathur. Sources said there were more than 50 passengers on board when the bus overturned. The accident took place due to a technical snag.

“Gauravdeep Singh was standing near the rear door of the bus. When th bus overturned, he fell and was crushed under it. The injured were pulled out of the bus by residents of the area,” said Gora, a passenger.

The injured were rushed to the Jagraon Civil Hospital where Gauravdeep Singh was declared brought dead. The bus driver, Dalwinder Singh, was also admitted to the hospital, but he managed to escape.

Heart-rendering scenes were witnessed at the Civil Hospital when the deceased’s body was brought for the post-mortem.

The police has registered a case against the bus driver at the Jagraon City police station. "The bus driver escaped from the hospital. Raids are on to nab him,” said investigating officer Satpal Singh.

Some college students, who were going to take their exams, also helped the residents of the area in pulling the injured out of the bus.



Multi-level parking to go under hammer
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 20
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation will allot the multi-level parking near its head office on Mata Rani Road through public auction on April 25. The MC has fixed the reserve price at Rs 37.44 lakh. Last year, the parking lot was given on annual lease money of Rs 25.87 lakh.

MC officials said the reserve price had been increased as other parking lots in the city were fetching much more revenue as compared to the multi-storeyed parking.

The parking fee has also been revised. After the new contractor takes over, the parking fee for a tempo or LTV will be Rs 80, for car and jeep Rs 20, for two-wheelers Rs 10 and for bicycles Rs 5.

The term of the contractor running the parking lot had expired on March 28, but the MC could not conduct the auction on time. Taking advantage of the situation, the contractor got his term extended for a month on a payment of Rs 2.15 lakh on pro-rata basis.

The extension to the contractor had sparked a row as Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria was not taken into confidence and he felt that the move was tantamount to undermining his authority. He instructed the staff to get the parking lot vacated and take immediate action to hold the auction.

However, the contractor, who had already deposited money for a month, refused to hand over the possession before April 28 and the MC staff had to beat a retreat.

The auction of the parking lot will be held on April 25 and the new arrangements will be in place from April 29. However, in case of some procedural delay, the MC staff will operate the parking lot for a couple of days.

The maintenance wing of the civic body, it is learnt, has sent a report of the repair work of urgent nature required to be carried out at the parking lot and the engineering branch is expected to carry out the repairs in the next few days, said an MC official.



Schools defy MC orders
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
Defying the orders of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation, schools are still allowing students to park their vehicles on roads. Two-wheelers can still be seen parked along the boundary walls of schools.

The MC had warned all educational institutions not to allow students to park their vehicles on roads outside schools. The orders were issued following reports of traffic congestion outside schools. A visit to some of the prestigious schools in the city revealed that vehicles were parked on roads. Tehbazaari superintendent Naveen Malhotra said the MC had given ample time to the school authorities for making provisions for parking of vehicles. “The vehicles parked outside the schools will be impounded and a fine will be imposed on schools. From Monday onwards, we would be visiting all schools to see if two-wheelers are parked along the road,” said Malhotra.



Sterilisation drive only on paper
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation keeps launching projects and drives, but when it comes to executing the same, it chooses to look the other way. The civic body had announced that a sterilisation drive would be started in city soon, but even after three months, it has failed to get the proposal approved.

The Finance and Contracts Committee on January 30 had passed a proposal regarding the sterilisation of stray dogs, but the project is yet to take off. Stray dogs can be seen in almost every nook and corner of the city.

The F&CC had stated that tenders would be floated and under the project 25,000 stray dogs would be sterilised. It had earmarked Rs 2 crore for the project.

Earlier, a Rs 1.5 crore sterilisation project was started by the MC in May 2010, but after sterilising 3,000 dogs, the project hit a roadblock.

A private company was entrusted with the job. It was to sterilise 750 stray dogs every month. For the sterilisation of a male dog, the MC paid Rs 550 while for a female dog, it paid Rs 650.

The project was stalled in 2011 and the civic body started looking for another company.

The MC had floated the tenders also, but the Animal Welfare Board of India objected to the technique that the MC was planning to adopt for the purpose.

Dr Rajwinder Kaur, an animal lover and a researcher, department of plant pathology, Punjab Agricultural University, stated that the MC should adopt such a technique in which the dogs were not injured. "We have seen over the years that whenever such drives are carried out, several stray dogs die because of poor post operative care. Stray dogs have a right to live too as they can feel pain, pleasure, fear, frustration, loneliness and motherly care," she asserted. The MC had also decided to set up its own operation theatre, but it required around Rs 60 lakh, therefore, the plan was shelved. Several incidents of dog bite have been reported in the past. Last year, a five-year-old child became a victim of stray dogs outside her house in the Kailash Nagar area.

Official's take

MC Joint Commissioner AS Sekhon said the proposal had been sent to the MC Commissioner for approval. "Once it is approved, tenders will be floated. The work will be started next month," he claimed.



City roads fast turning into a deathtrap
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
Roads in the city are fast turning into a deathtrap. It's not that these potholes have appeared recently, these have been there for long. The bus stop near Bhai Bala Chowk, the stretch leading to Sunet village near the BSNL exchange in E Block of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, the slip road in Old Courts Chowk, Pakhowal Road, Dugri Road, and the road opposite the Civil Hospital are all full of potholes.

It becomes difficult for those riding two-wheelers to commute on the roads at night. While carrying out the patchwork, the MC forgot to level the roads.

"Heavy showers wash away the claims of the civic body. I fail to understand why the officials have turned a blind eye to the problem. Why can't they use good quality material while constructing the roads," lamented a city resident.Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria stated that he had already asked the MC staff to survey the city and repair the roads before monsoon. "I have also asked the staff to construct water recharging wells on low-lying points, where rain water accumulates. Once such recharging wells are constructed, the problem will be sorted out," he said.



Aided schools seek merger with government schools
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
The state government claims of bringing rationalisation in the education system by creating several changes. Resultantly, the aided school employees, Punjab, have requested the government to take over the aided schools.

They believe that by providing sense of security to the aided schools' employees, the standards of education can be uplifted in a far better way. Perturbed over the unnecessary delay in releasing the salaries by the state government, the aided schools’ representatives maintain that since 95 per cent grant is being given by the government alone, the latter must takeover the schools.

One of the senior members of the Aided Schools' Association, Devinder Kumar said that till date their last three months' salaries were still pending as government had not deposited the grants with the managements of many schools.

"We are sore over the manner we are being treated. First, the government doesn't release the grants on time and then the local authorities fail to get the salaries deposited in the school accounts. How can they expect the employees to live without salaries of three months? Ironically, crores of rupees are being spent by the government on grants but our hands our still empty. It is better that they merge or takeover the aided schools so that we do not face unnecessary harassment", said Devinder Kumar.

Meanwhile, in a letter written to the Principal Secretary School Education, Anjali Bhawra, the employees said that by doing so, state would get several benefits. As many as 150 employees in the Education Department were working just under aided schools.

If the government took over the aided schools, the employees could be utilised elsewhere. Besides, government had been providing huge grants to the aided schools. The total budget for government aided schools was Rs 200 crores for the year 2012-13. And similar amount was being spent on providing mid-day meals, computers, books, stipends etc, it would be better if they took over the aided schools completely.

"Paucity of funds is one of the reasons for the bad condition of aided schools. Temporary teachers are hired for important subjects which hampers the standards of education. Without an appropriate source of income even the school managements becomes helpless when it comes to salaries to these teachers. Besides, the maintenance of schools is not being done properly. Taking a note of all such problems, government must give a serious thought to merge the aided schools with the government schools or takeover the schools", said Ajay Chauhan, member State Action Committee for Aided-Schools.



self-financed courses
Pvt colleges score over govt institutes
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
Self-financed courses in private colleges prove to be more beneficial than those being offered by government colleges. Teachers in government colleges feel that if the authorities are given the liberty to start a course, it would be more beneficial for students.

Prof Jaipal Singh, president, Punjab Government College Teachers' Association, said the courses had got an affiliation from Panjab University, Chandigarh. "We are doing pretty well, but the inspection team of the university wants regular teachers for these courses, which is not our prerogative. The government/ Punjab Public Service Commission has to appoint the regular staff, we can hire the services of ad hoc faculty only," said Professor Jaipal.

Another senior teacher from the Government College for Girls said government colleges were not making any profit through the courses as they were charging 30 per cent less fee.

"We are planning to start postgraduate diploma in communication and advertising from the coming academic session, which is an indication that we are doing good. But we want the government departments to cooperate with us. We must be given the liberty to start new courses and there should be no tedious formalities to get no objections by the department. Colleges generate funds through these courses, besides imparting quality education to students at a reasonable fee structure. The education department's interference defeat the purpose," lamented the teacher.



Sacred Heart school claim top spot in athletics meet
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, April 20
Sacred Heart Convent School, Sahnewal, secured the first position in the recently held zonal-level ASISC athletics meet held at Sacred Heart Convent School, Jamalpur. The athletes bagged 13 gold medals, five silver medals and four bronze medals. Seven schools participated in the tournament.

The students who won gold medals are Gurlalpreet Singh (200m, 400m, discus throw), Saloni Jassar (100m, 200m), Ranjeet Singh (long jump, 1,500m), Pardeep Kaur (long jump), Banita (discus throw), Pallavi (3-km walk), Savneet Kaur (400 m), Neha Dhaka (javelin throw), Anmolpreet Kaur, Saloni Jassar, Pallavi, and Ishwinder Kaur (4x100m). Gurlalpreet Singh clinched three gold medals and one silver medal while Salony Jassar claimed three gold medals, Ranjeet Singh two gold medals, Anmolpreet Kaur one gold medal, one silver medal and two bronze medals, Pallavi two gold medals, Banita, Pardeep, Savneet, Neha Dhaka one gold medal each. Kiranpreet Kaur, Gurkomal Singh, Kismat Kumar and Digvijay bagged one silver medal each, Ishwinder Kaur claimed one gold medal and one silver medal while Parneet Kaur clinched one bronze medal.

Sister Pavitra,principal of the school, congratulated the winners on their achievement.



Printing and Packaging
Website launched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
A website for printing and packaging cluster, Ludhiana, was launched by SS Dhillon, Director, MSME-DI, Ludhiana in the presence of SS Rekhi, senior industrial promotion official, DIC, Ludhiana.

Speaking on the occasion, Parveen Aggarwal, president, OPA, said this website would work as a platform for the printing and packaging entrepreneurs of Ludhiana to put forward their requirements and problems. “At the same time, we would update the available schemes and policies of the various state and central government departments, for an overall knowledge of the entrepreneurs.” he said.

It is noticeable that this website is a part of soft interventions for the printing and packaging cluster at Ludhiana. This portal, www.ppcludhiana.com, provides complete details on process of cluster formation, trade and industry news, details about upcoming events and proceedings of the meetings held. While the general secretary, Kamal Chopra explained the working of the website and presentation in details to the members present at the meeting. He said that each and every step of cluster formation is present on website.



At Rs 80 per kg, peas gets dearer
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
The prices of vegetables remained stable during this week with an exception of peas. King of fruits, mango, has arrived in the market. The price of peas has started shooting up. From Rs 20 per kg, the price has shot up to Rs 80 per kg.

To tackle the situation, some homemakers have started freezing the peas as further price rise is expected during the coming days.

"Peas are generally liked by everyone and can be used in various ways. But since the prices are soaring high, I have started preserving them," said Ruhi, a resident of Karnail Singh Nagar.

Mangoes have finally arrived in the market. Mango shake, aam panna, mango ice-cream. There are many ways in which people enjoy mangoes. Priced between Rs 60-100, people do not hesitate to buymangoes, even if priced highly.

"Mango is an irresistible fruit. I have already started making mango shake. In the coming days, the price will surely come down, once the supply normalises." said Sukhjeet, a resident of SBS Nagar.



Colonisers demand representation in committee
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
The colonisers and property dealers of the state have demanded that the state government should include their representatives in the committee, created for framing a policy regarding regularisation of illegal colonies in the state.

This demand was put forward during the general body meeting of Punjab Colonizer and Property Dealer Association, held here today. Kultar Singh Jogi, president of Punjab Colonisers and Property Dealers' Association, stated that if their representatives became part of the said committee, it would help the state government in framing a healthy policy.



Hotel association releases directory
Tribune News Service

Ludiana, April 20
The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Punjab released its directory here. Garish Oberoi, president of Hotel and Restaurnat Association of Northern India was also present on the occasion.

Oberoi said that the association was playing a vital role in increasing the tourism activities and releasing a directory was their first step. This way all the telephone numbers of the hotels of Ludhiana would be available in one directory.

Amarvir Singh, general secretary of the association said directory would also be available at railway station, bus stand so that people coming to the city could make best use of it.




Ram Navmi

Vajra Army School endeavours to motivate its students from the legendary lives and crucial messages conveyed by Lord Rama, on the occasion of Ram Navmi. On this occasion the students were taught about the relevance of Indian festivals.

Special morning assembly was thus held in the school, wherein the staff and students were highlighted the message of tolerance, generosity, simple and truthful life as conveyed by Lord Rama. The teachers and the students jointly chanted hymns melodiously and also pledged to tread on the path shown by Lord Rama.

Earth Day

SDP Senior Secondary Sechool, Hazuri Road, celebrated the World Earth Day on the school campus. On this occasion chart making and essay writing competition were held. As many as 30 students participated in it. The students were taught about the wise utilisation of the treasures held by earth. On this occasion, Jasveer Singh Chauhan motivated the students to inculcate competitive spirit for the progress of the nation.

Parent orientation programme

As many as 150 parents of class I students attended Parent Orientation Programme at Nankana Sahib Public School, Gill Park here. The parents were given information on eight kinds of intelligences and how to analyse the intelligence of a child. They were further told about how to cope with the problems faced by the children. The motive behind this orientation programme was to know their child, so that a holistic development could take place.The principal, Harmeet Kaur gave useful tips to the parents regarding good parenting and also insisted the parents not to compare their children with others. The parents appreciated the efforts put by the school staff and said that the programme was very fruitful as they learnt a lot of things.

Red Day

Red Day was celebrated in Shri Harkrishan Sahib Public Senior Secondary School, Daba Road. On this occasion all the students and teachers were dressed in red and even ate red food like apples, cherries, strawberries, pomegranates etc. The celebration of the Red Day was organised to teach students about the importance colour red.

Paper reading competition

Education plays a vital role in developing all round personality of students. Competitions at any level promote practical understanding and develop strong will among children as they strive to perform better at different levels. To hone the reading skills of students, a paper reading competition was organised for class IV and V students of GNPS, Model Town Extension. As many as 64 students participated in this competition. A wide range of reading material was provided to the students. — TNS




Lifting of wheat begins

Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari said that the lifting of wheat had started in the mandis. He said till April 19, the district had received 2.51 lakh metric tonnes of wheat in the mandis out of which about 2.30 lakh MT had already been purchased by various agencies. Tiwari instructed the Managers of the procurement agencies to make sure that wheat was lifted within 72 hours of purchase and farmers be given their payments within 48 hours.

Identification programme

All India State Bank of Patiala Employees' Federation is holding Social Identification Programmes at all the zones of the bank to celebrate the Founding Day of All India Bank Employees' Association (AIBEA). The social identification programme of Ludhiana zone was held today by organising a blood donation camp at Punjab Trade Centre. As many as 150 bank employees donated the blood.

Free ration distributed

NGO Thandi Chha members distributed free ration to the needy women during a monthly programme. As many as 31 needy women were given things of daily use during the event, while Leena Taparia, highlighted all the works done by the organisation so far.

Legal literacy camp

District Legal Services Authority, Ludhiana organised a Legal Literacy Camp at Central Jail Ludhiana. KK Singla, Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-Secretary District Legal Services Authority gave training to para-legal volunteers to accomplish the Legal Aid Clinic scheme of the National Legal Services Authority. The volunteers were told that they should work towards making people aware about their legal rights.

Surgery performed

Dr JL Bassi and Dr Dhiren Bassi of Dr JL Bassi Hospital performed a knee replacement procedure using the latest surgery navigation machine called Orthopilot. They operated upon a patient suffering from grade 4 osteo arthritis in the right knee. The patient was discharged on the fourth day after operation. — TNS



Doctor’s death: Seven booked for abetment to suicide
Tribune reporters

Jagraon, April 20
A day after a senior doctor at the Jagraon Civil Hospital committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance, the police today registered a case against seven persons.

Investigating officer ASI Hari Mittar said Sukhdev Singh, Surjit Singh and five unidentified persons were booked in an abetmet to suicide case on the basis of a suicide note found from the room of the doctor.

No arrest has been made so far. Dr Vijay Kumar was found dead in his room on the hospital premises.

The police had recovered a bottle containing some poisonous substance and a suicide note.

The deceased was a resident of Ludhiana.

Sources said he had slipped into depression after a case was registered against him.

He had hit a cyclist who died on the spot near Baddowa. His suicide note stated that after the accident, some persons started harassing him.

The note read, "Sukhdev Singh, Surjit Singh and some other persons used to threaten him.

They even took money from him and demanded a hefty amount from him to settle the case," said the ASI. The body was handed over to the family after post-mortem.

Youth threatens girl

Mandi Gobindgarh: A girl residing in Surjit Nagar accused a youth of threatening her. The youth has been identified as Kamaljit Singh, alias Vicky, a local resident. A case under Sections 354A, 294, 506 of the IPC has been registered.

2 held with stolen iron

The police arrested two persons and recovered 15 quintal of iron from them.

The two have been identified as Satnam Singh, a resident of Naktey district, Sangrur, and Varinder Singh, alias Lal, a resident of Mandi Gobindgarh. A case under Sections 379, 411 and 120B of the IPC has been registered.

Man booked

The police today booked a resident of Shanti Nagar under the Arms Act. It recovered a sharp-edged weapon from him.

Group clash leaves one injured

Ludhiana: Two groups of bus operators clashed at the local bus stand. A conductor suffered injuries after he was attacked with sharp-edged weapons. Eyewitnesses said the the bus operators entered into scuffle over the timings issue. The police has denied having received any complaint in this regard.

One held with 300-gm opium

The police has arrested a resident of Urban Estate, Phase II, Dugri area and recovered 300 gm of opium from him.The accused has been identified as Subash Chander. In another case, one Ramanjeet Singh was arrested with

5 gm of heroine and Swaran Singh, a resident of Khanpur village, was nabbed with with 5 kg of poppy husk. Palwinder Singh, a resident Kehre village, was arrested with 9 kg of poppy husk.

2 booked for embezzlement

Ludhiana: The police has booked two roadways conductors for embezzling Rs 5.40 lakh at the advance booking counter at the bus stand.

The accused have been identified as Ram Singh and Jaspreet Singh.

RS Grewal, general manager of the roadways, said the duo embezzled the amount during March 2-April 11. RS Grewal said, "We have checked the records and found the two guilty." The accused confessed to have embezzled the amount.



Man ‘robbed’ of Rs 27 lakh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 20
Four motorcycle-borne youths allegedly robbed a Mohali-based cash collecting employee of Rs 27 lakh near Fountain Chowk this afternoon. The complainant, Lovneet Singh, told the police that he had to deposit the cash in a bank.

He was accompanied by his co-worker Ravi Kumar, a gunman and a driver. He went inside the bank alone.

He alleged that the bank officials refused to deposit the cash, saying it was their closing time.

Then he went to another bank situated at Mall Road. "As I reached Fountain Chowk, four youths who were on a motorcycle came and snatched the bag containing cash."

However, the police is suspecting it to be a concocted story. ACP (West) Gurpreet Kaur Purewal said, "The CCTV footage tells a different story. After coming out of the bank, why did Loveneet take the lonely street? Why didn't he call up his co-worker and gunman? There are several unanswered questions."

ADCP Joginder Singh said, "We are investigating the matter, it seems that the complainant has made up the robbery story."



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