L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


For a generator & counter table, shopkeepers block Aarti Chowk
Leave thousands of commuters stranded for an hour on Ferozepur road
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Police officials try to pacify shopkeepers at Aarti Chowk.
Police officials try to pacify shopkeepers at Aarti Chowk.

Ludhiana, May 13
Commuters once again remained at the receiving end after a section of shopkeepers blocked the busy Aarti Chowk on Ferozepur road, here this evening. This blockade caused harassment to the commuters, who had no option but to remain stranded on the road for an hour.

The protesting shopkeepers rued that during the MC’s anti-encroachment drive on the Ferozepur Road service lane, officials allegedly damaged a generator set and a table counter.

Ferozepur Road is one of the busiest roads of the city with thousands of vehicles plying on it daily and Aarti Chowk is one of the busiest intersections on this road as Ghumar Mandi and other commercial establishments are in the vicinity.

For people coming from Jagraon side, the road also leads to Civil Hospital as well as Christian Medical College and Hospital. Not only this, but the same route is to be taken while leaving for the bus stand and railway station.

Due to the blockade, the traffic came to a standstill and the traffic was diverted to Pakhowal Road and other adjoining roads. Due to this diversion, these roads were also blocked due to traffic congestion.

A city resident, who was to drive out of Feroze Gandhi Market, rued that it took him 40 minutes to just drive out of the market. “Due to the blockade at Aarti Chowk, the Pakhowal Road was also blocked due to the traffic congestion. I wonder why people block roads for protests,” he questioned.

The protestors rued that the MC tehbazaari officials had damaged a generator set and had forcibly taken away a table counter during their anti-encroachment drive in the evening. However, the MC officials refuted these allegations as baseless and claimed that the shopkeepers were levelling allegations just “out of frustration”.

The problem started when the MC’s tehbazaari wing officials were clearing encroachments from the Ferozepur Road service lane. These encroachments were removed on the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

MC’s Take

‘Shopkeeper was given warning’

We had issued several warnings to the shopkeeper (whose generator was confiscated) to shift his generator on his own. But he did not bother to shift it. So on Monday when we lifted it with the help of a JCB machine, there could have been some damage. Had he listened to us and shifted the generator on his own, it would have never been damaged. Besides we have also confiscated another generator from outside a marriage palace adjoining Ansal Plaza~

‘Counter table was not taken forcibly’

We did not take the counter table forcibly. When we reached outside the shop, the person tried to pull the counter inside his shop. But we stopped him from doing so and confiscated it. We did not damage any goods. We instead had issued warnings to shopkeepers to clear the encroachments on their own. But they just don’t bother and when we confiscate their goods, they block roads. I have brought this matter to the notice of Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma as well as other MC and district administration officials ~

— Naveen Malhotra, superintendent (Zone D), Tehbazaari wing of MC

Shopkeeper’s take

I admit that blocking Aarti Chowk was a wrong decision. But we were forced to do so, as MC officials damaged a generator and forcibly took away a table counter from a shop~

— Ramesh Rattan, secretary, Aarti Chowk Shopkeepers Association

Shopkeepers to protest today

The shopkeepers from Bharat Nagar Chowk, Aarti Chowk and Aggar Nagar will hold a protest on Tuesday after which they will submit a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner. All shops on the Ferozepur Road will remain closed in protest.



Hookah bar raided, 22 youngsters arrested
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
The city police conducted a raid at hookah bar operating in the garb of a restaurant near Orient Cinema and nabbed 22 youngsters for consuming flavoured and alleged tobacco substance.

Ishwar Singh, Commissioner of Police, had recently imposed a ban on serving of hookah in the restaurants. Police officials said that the restaurant authorities were serving hookah to youngsters in violation of the orders.

The raid took place here this evening following a tip-off. The team lead by ACP Gurpreet Kaur Purewal and Deepak Helori, SHO, Sarabha Nagar, entered the restaurant and nabbed 22 youngsters, including the restaurant staff for serving hookah.

The restaurant manager was also held for violating the law. It is learnt, the owner of the hookah bar is a son of a highly-placed government official. There were several complaints against the restaurant authorities for serving hookah to the youngsters.

The health department officials also collected samples from the restaurant. It is not the first time that the police and Health Department had conducted raid at the restaurant. Nearly five months ago, the authorities had conducted a similar raid and nabbed the youngsters.

It is learnt that the youngsters nabbed during the raid belongs to influential families. Hectic activity was witnessed at the Sarabha Nagar police station, as politicians and high-ranked government officials started calling the police official concerned requesting them not to take action against the youngsters nabbed during the raid.

The area residents heaved a huge sigh of relief and welcomed the police crackdown on the hookah bar.

Sanjeev Sharma, a resident, said that youngsters after consuming hookah created ruckus in the area and caused a lot of inconvenience to the residents.

Owner, manager booked

The city police has booked restaurant owner Gurkaran Tinna and manager Rakesh Sharma under Section 188 IPC for disobedience to an order lawfully promulgated by a public servant. Gurkaran Tinna is the son of Gurdev Singh Tinna, District Attorney (prosecution) . ACP Gurpreet Kaur Purewal said, "The raid was conducted after a thorough planning. The accused used to bring down the shutters once all the customers entered the premises. They used to communicate with the customers personally through mobile phones".



Former staff of travel agency booked for causing financial loss
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
The city police has booked a former woman employee of a tourism agency for causing financial loss to her previous organisation.
The case under Section 66 of the IT Act was registered following a six-month long probe against Neha Kaushal. The complaint was lodged by Bhupesh Kumar of Pristine Holidays.

Bhupesh said Neha used to work in his company as online ticket booking executive. On May last year his company had booked two air tickets for their privileged customers. Bhupesh said he was in for a shock when his customers complaint that that the tickets, which were booked by his company, was subsequently cancelled.

Bhupesh said that it was Neha who cancelled the ticket in order to cause a financial loss to him.

Bhupesh said that the incident had dented the company's image.

Bhupesh said that in order to fulfill the commitment, he spent the money and purchased the air tickets at much higher rates.

When he investigated the matter, he found that Neha, who had left his company, hatched the conspiracy in connivance with the owner of another travel and tourism company, where she was hired on a higher salary.

The incident has yet again brought to fore the cutthroat competition among the travel and tourism companies that are not hesitant in odopting cheap means to hijack customers. 



Gold coins sell like hot cakes on Akshaya Tritiya
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
Gold coins and bars were today sold like hot cakes on the occasion of Akshaya Tritiya. Banks and post office witnessed a large number of customers throughout the day while it was not a very auspicious day for the jewellers, as people shy away from buying jewellery. But sadly banks were not accommodated to handle the rush as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked the banks to clamp down gold imports.

Officials at the head post office were busy throughout the day as the footfall of the customers increased 50 per cent due to the festival. The World Gold Council (WGC) in this relation had tied up with the India Post and Reliance Money and offered a 7 per cent discount to consumers for purchase of gold coins from the post offices to mark the auspicious occasion of Akshaya Tritiya.

"Though the offer is available till June 30, but people thronged the post office today since it was an auspicious day and buying gold is considered propitious. The coins sold at the post office are 99.9 percent pure, Swiss-manufactured in denominations of one gram, five grams, eight grams, 10 gram, 20 gram and 50 grams," said senior post master Swaraj Kaur.

Contrary to this, jewellers were not so happy with the response. Anand Sikri, president of Ludhiana Jewellers Association, said, “Given the trend of the last 20 days, we were very optimistic about the sales on Akshaya Tritiya but it proved a damp squib. We were expecting at least 35 or 40 per cent higher sales than what we registered on Akshaya Tritiya last year but it turned out to be a flop show," said he.

A bank official from a nationalised bank said that they received many customers today but they had to return empty handed as we were short of supply and the demand for gold coins was more. “Due to restrictions imposed by RBI we have lesser coins and customers returned empty handed. Coins of all denominations were not available with the banks,” he said.



MC to take modernisation route
To install radio frequency identification device in 3 lakh houses in city
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is all set to hit the modernisation mode. To keep a track on proper and effective garbage collection, A2Z Waste Management Ludhiana Ltd will be installing radio frequency identification device (RFID) on all three lakh houses and commercial establishments in the city.

This device will be like “bar coding” and once the garbage is lifted from outside a commercial or residential unit, the status will be uploaded directly into the records of A2Z as well as the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation.

Besides this, the civic body’s health and sanitation branch has also asked A2Z Waste Management Ludhiana Ltd officials to submit details regarding the amount of garbage collected from the city by 4 pm daily. Earlier, this report was being submitted the next day, but now the MC officials have asked the A2Z officials to pull up their socks.

Ludhiana city generates more than 900 tonnes of garbage daily and for solid waste management, the MC is having a contract with A2Z Waste Management Ludhiana Ltd, a private company.The common grievance of city residents is that the garbage is not lifted from their area on time.

Dr Sumit Jarangal, MC Additional Commissioner and in charge of MC’s health and sanitation branch, said the project of installing RFID was discussed at a meeting held with A2Z Waste Management Ludhiana Ltd officials today. “They have already worked on the project and they have plans to install RFID system outside all units (from where they are lifting garbage presently) by June end. It will not cost much, as RFID is installed in bulk, the cost will come out to be around Rs 3 per unit. This means if RFID is installed on all three lakh units in the city, the cost will not be more than Rs 9 lakh,” said Jarangal.

With the help of RFID, whenever the garbage is lifted from outside either a residential or commercial unit, the company employee will have to scan the device. “Once it is scanned, the A2Z company as well as the MC will know the exact details of the house from where the garbage is lifted or from where it has not been lifted. We expect that once this project starts, the grievances of the residents will come down considerably,” said Jarangal.



GLADA to make yet another bid
To sell chunk of commercial land adjacent to West End Mall on May 23
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, May 13
Desperate to mobilise funds for several of its ongoing major development projects in the city, the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) is making yet another bid to sell a chunk of prime commercial land adjacent to West End Mall on Ferozeour Road (a national highway) here on May 23, 2013.

A series of auctions held by GLADA last month has failed to yield the desired results, so far.

GLADA proposes to put under the hammer site 1-A (corner plot), measuring one acre at a reserve price of Rs 99,501 per square yards. In other words, the piece of land carries a reserve price tag of nearly Rs 48.16 crore and each of the intending bidders will have to deposit an eligibility fee of a little more than Rs 48.15 lakh.

Interestingly, GLADA had earlier made an unsuccessful attempt to sell the same site through public auction on March 14 last year when no bidder had turned up and the auction had to be cancelled. That GLADA is desperate to mop up resources is evident from the fact that the reserve price of the chunk of land has been slashed by almost 50 per cent. In March last year, the site was offered at a floor price of Rs 1,94,337 per square yard as against the forthcoming offer of Rs 99,501 per square yard.

Even though the real estate market is yet to look northward, but still such drastic reduction in the reserve price of prime land with a sound business potential is beyond comprehension. GLADA officials were, at best, evasive on this issue while asserting that the decision had been taken at a "higher" level.

In the past one year, the track record of GLADA in selling big chunks of commercial sites has not been good. The commercial site now proposed to be sold, along with another adjoining site, had found no takers in March 2012 and yet another commercial site, measuring 5506 square metres on 100-feet wide road in the Dugri locality had met a similar fate during the auction conducted in June 2012. Not that only the big chunks of commercial land with a high reserve price have failed to attract the buyers, but a public auction to sell even built up commercial properties, and residential flats/plots have also evoked luke-warm response from the buyers.

In April 2013, GLADA conducted a spate of public auctions to sell a large number of commercial sites, built up properties and residential plots/flats in Sector 32-A and 39-A on Chandigarh Road, Dugri Urban Estate Phase II and III, Dhandari Kalan Phase II and III. Out of total sites/properties with a total reserve price of Rs 74.50 crore, which were put under the hammer, a fraction of these was sold for just about Rs 21.61 crore. Sources in the market are not very upbeat on the GLADA offer for the commercial site, citing it as a very high value transaction with no scope for "unaccounted money", which is almost a norm for the property deals. "Only the institutional buyers or corporate sector will buy such a property only if GLADA is able to explore that particular segment," a leading realtor commented.



Cong leader, sister booked on sexual harassment charge
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
The city police has booked Congress leader Amarjit Singh Tikka and his sister Surinder Kaur for sexual harassment, indulging in obscene acts and wrongfully restraining a woman at a hospital.
The case has been registered on the complaint of a woman residing in Himmat Singh Nagar.

The woman claims herself to be the wife of Amarjit Tikka's brother Charanjit Singh Bindra. Charanjit Singh Bindra, who had suffered a brain haemorrhage last month, is currently undergoing treatment at the intensive care unit of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMC&H).

The incident took place yesterday when the woman was visiting the hospital along with her two sons (aged seven and 12) to check the status of her "husband's" health.

She said that when she reached the stroke unit, she was allegedly intercepted by her brother-in-law Amarjit Singh Tikka and sister-in-law Surinder Kaur.

She said that Amarjit Tikka and Surinder Kaur hurled abuses at her. She accused Amarjit Tikka of outraging her modesty. She claimed that Tikka told her to leave Charanjit Singh Bindra and start living with him. She stated in her complaint (to the police) that when she raised the alarm, the accused threatened her of dire consequences. Congress leader Amarjit Tikka said, "Yesterday, I along with my family and sister, went to check the line of treatment of my brother who is admitted to the ICU of DMC hospital. This woman arrived and started fighting with my sister. We had even reported the matter at the DMC police chowki, but instead of acting upon our complaint the police registered a case against us. I am 47-year-old. How can I sexually harass the woman in front of my sister and married daughter?" said Tikka.

He said that he had filed a complaint against the woman with the Commissioner of Police Ishwar Singh, but no action has been taken so far. 


Tikka cries foul

On the other hand, Congress leader Amarjit Tikka has cried foul and slammed the allegations levelled by the woman as baseless. Tikka said that the woman was not married to his brother. Rather she was married to one Pardeep Saini of Hoshiarpur and was in a live-in relationship with his brother, claimed Tikka.

Cases registered

A case under Section 354-A of the IPC (sexual harassment and advances), Section 294 of the IPC (obscenity), Section 323 of the IPC (voluntarily causing hurt), Section 341 of the IPC (Wrongfully restraining any person), Section 506 of the IPC (criminal intimidation) has been registered against Amarjit Tikka and Surinder Kaur. 



MC to auction 17 more SCOs
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
For generation of some revenue, the cash-strapped Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) will be auctioning its fourth lot of 17 Shop-cum-Offices (SCOs), located opposite Keys Hotel in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar area of the city, on May 21. This time also, the reserve price for these SCOs has been fixed at Rs 1.5 lakh per sq yard.

Earlier, the MC had auctioned 43 SCOs at the same place and this time, SCO number 44 to 60 would be auctioned.

Each SCO is 5.48 by 15.24 m (18 ft by 50 ft) in size and will have a covered area of 83.61 sq m (100 sq yards). The reserve price for these SCOs of 100 sq yard each is Rs 1.5 lakh per sq yard, which means each SCO will be sold for at least Rs 1.5 crore.

The auction of the SCOs started on November 26, when the civic body managed to auction 21 out of 30 SCOs for a value of around Rs 35 crore, while nine were left. At that time, the highest bid went to Rs 1.78 lakh per sq yard for a corner plot and the lowest bid was Rs 1.53 lakh.

When the auction of the remaining nine SCOs was organised on December 26, the highest bid was Rs 2.10 lakh per sq yard for a corner SCO and the average price was Rs 1.80 lakh per sq yard.

During the auction held on January 22, the civic officials managed to auction 14 out of 16 SCOs at the same site for an average price of Rs 1.85 lakh per sq yard.

The cash-strapped MC is in dire need of funds and that is why, such an auction, if successful, would act as a shot in the arm for the civic body.

Assistant Town Planner (Zone D) Rajinder Sharma said the successful bidder would be required to deposit 10 per cent of the total amount, after adjusting the eligibility fee of Rs 1.5 lakh, within 24 hours, another 15 per cent in 30 days from auction and the balance 75 per cent in six half-yearly instalments.

“This site is one of the prime locations of the city and we expect that the auction on May 21 would be a successful one,” informed the ATP.



Labourer commits suicide at Grain Market
Police books commission agent for abetting suicide
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, May 13
The local police has booked a local commission agent, Jeevan Jhanji, following suicide by a labourer working at his shop in the local grain market. The labourer, Chamkaur Singh, allegedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance outside his shop this evening.

Following the incident, the police registered a case of abetting suicide against accused Jeevan.

According to the sources, Chamkaur Singh was working at the shop of the accused at Jagraon Grain Market for the last many years. He took the extreme step when Jeevan accused him of theft and misbehaved with him.

After the death of the victim, the local police took his body into custody and sent it for postmortem. The police booked Jeevan on the statement of victim's wife and started the investigation.

Confirming the incident, Jagraon SHO Mohamad Jamil said a case had been registered against the accused, though he was absconding till the filing of this report.

"An investigation is underway into the incident and the actual cause of death would be revealed after the postmortem report of the victim. The accused has been absconding so far. We have also been conducting raids to nab him and he would be arrested very soon", SHO added.

The accused, commission agent Jeevan Jhanji, is the husband of Pushpa Jhanji, former Congress Municipal Councillor from Jagraon and a close relative of former chairman of Market Committee Sidhwan Bet Rajiv Kumar Jhanji. 



Tragedy averted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
A major tragedy was averted when fire broke out at a factory in Focal Point area of the city today afternoon. Short circuit is believed to be the reason behind the incident. Factory workers said if the fire brigade had not reached on time, the extent of loss would have been much more.

As per the information, fire broke out at KJ Forgings at around 3 pm today. Some goods lying in the factory caught fire and the panicked workers rushed to their safety. Some workers informed the fire brigade which reached the spot and doused the fire in around half an hour. One fire tender was pressed into service. 



Employees gherao yard master
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana May 13
Irked railway employees led by the Uttariya Railway Mazdoor Union (URMU) gheraoed the chief yard master at the railway station and forced him to revert his decisions.
Today, when the Uttariya Railway Mazdoor Union (URMU) held a dharna at railway station premises, they got mobilised against JL Verma, chief yard master, as some of the employees had complained against his decisions which had increased the work load on employees.

A large number of employees marched towards Verma’s office. The Union workers took him along for the negotiation at station superintendent's room. An altercation between the URMU leaders and Verma was witnessed at station superintendent's room.

The NRMU leaders said Verma used to deploy employees on different tasks against the rules. He used to depute the shunting staff on guard duty as there is a shortage of guards at the railway station and at the same time he deputed trained guards at the lobby.

“When there is shortage of guard staff then why chief yard master deputes guards in the lobby. They sit idle at lobby. This practice increases the work burden on shunting employees. Staff should be utilised properly. Today, we have forced chief yard master to cancel such orders,” said ML Prasher, Union leader of the URMU.



Residents feel the heat of MC, sewerage board tussle
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
Residents of Rajguru Nagar are a harried lot these days because of a tubewell that has been out of order for the past more than a week. But, instead of repairing it, both the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (MC) and the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board officials are passing the buck on each other.

As per the information, Rajguru Nagar was developed by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) and last month, the scheme was handed over to the MC.

Area residents said earlier whenever there was a problem, it was the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board that carried out the repair work. “But after the scheme was handed over to the MC, the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board officials are not paying any heed to our problem. They are neither repairing the tubewell nor presenting a clear picture. Due to the non-operational tubewell, water supply is very scarce and we are finding it really difficult to carry out day-to-day chores,” said Manav Inder Singh Guram, general secretary of the Area Residents Welfare Council.

Residents said due to the non-operational tubewell, they had to get up early in the morning to switch on their pumps so that whatever water was present in the pipes was sucked to their water tanks. “I either get up at 4 am or late at night to switch on our pump. Still, very less water is sucked by the pump and it takes ages for our water tank to fill up,” added another resident.

When contacted, Pritpal Singh, SDO, Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board, said the scheme had been handed over to the MC and the tubewell would be repaired by them. “If the MC promises to pay repair charges, we have no problem in repairing the tubewell,” he said.

Manjit Singh, Additional Commissioner (Technical), Operations and Maintenance Cell of MC, said he would ask his staff to visit the area and make sure the tubewell was repaired. “Had the residents informed us earlier, the tubewell would have been repaired by now,” he said.



Cycle manufacturers’ association ties up with Chinese counterpart
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
The United Cycles and Parts Manufacturers Association (UCPMA) has tied up with the China Bicycle Association (CBA) and the latter has assured to visit India for importing and exporting technology of bicycle and bicycle parts. Their team will visit India to upgrade technology of bicycle industry within two to three months.

Members of the UCPMA, led by Gurmeet Singh Kular, president, had gone to visit the 23rd China International Bicycle and Motor Fair 2013 and returned back today. The delegation was given a warm welcome by Ma Zhon Gchao, chairman, the CBA, at Shanghai and also thanked the delegation for participating in the show. The members of the delegation were shown new products involving new technology, manufactured by the CBA.

“The main focus of the show was the high end products like alloy frame and fork, carbon frame and fork, alloy suspension and coaster hubs. The delegation also visited Chun Zu Machinery Industry Company Ltd at Shanghai. In all, 23 countries participated in the show,” said Kular. 



Residents demand road
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
Residents of New Maya Nagar in Haibowal area have complained that the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is not constructing a street in the area, despite several requests. The residents said they had brought the matter to the notice of several senior Municipal Corporation officials but no action had been taken till date.

They said a road was to be constructed in the area and it was to connect New Maya Nagar with Chuharpur Road.

Dr KK Sharma, president of New Maya Nagar Sanitation Committee, said, “We have made several representations to different Municipal Corporation officials in the last 15 years but this part of the road is yet to be constructed. Due to such callous attitude of the Municipal Corporation, it is the residents who are suffering”.

Dharam Singh, Additional Commissioner (Technical) of Bridges and Roads Department, said if any road was to be constructed and was a part of the town planning scheme, Municipal Corporation would construct it. “The residents can come and meet me in the office on Monday and I would make sure their problem is redressed at the earliest,” he added.



Winter collection showcased at Shingora fashion show
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
The stoles waved along as models sashayed down the ramp. The light wool stoles for the fall winter collection'13 seemed to be a lively combination of lightness of a ‘dupatta’ and warmth of a ‘shawl’, as the stoles, scarves and wraps were showcased during the fashion show.

The show showcased stoles and scarves to be used by women, men and kids. The light wool can also be used for summers, as city-based firm has introduced the products to use wool for all seasons. A new range of designs were showcased for fall winter season.

“This collection in wool is for modern woman who is confident in dressing and follows trends,” said Amit Jain, CEO, Shingora Textiles. “Classic Shingora glossary has motifs like paisleys adorned with baroque florals, chains and horses,” he added.

Prominent designer Rajesh Pratap Singh has tied up with the city-based firm to design scarves and wraps.

Wool scarves made of light weight fine Merino would be used for summer collections which can also be used for all seasons. Innovative products like washable wool and a range of denim finish in wool promise to give summer and winter fashion a new dimension. Shingora also announced their luxury line in wool and other noble fibres to be launched in association with Rajesh.



Railway staff body demands cancellation of police cases
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
All five branches of Uttariya Railway Mazdoor Union (URMU) organised a protest in Railway premises here today. Irked workers of the URMU demanded cancellation of police cases which were registered against the Union workers for thrashing the Northern Railway Mazdoor Union (NRMU) workers on April 27 during elections at Ferozepur.

It was the first mass rally of the URMU after winning the Union elections. In the recent elections of Railway Unions, URMU and NRMU both succeeded to get recognition from the Railway Board. Earlier, the NRMU was the only Union which was recognised by the Railway Board.

A clash was reported among the activists of the NRMU and the URMU on April 27 in which five activists of the NRMU were injured.

The NRMU has conducted several rallies to pressurise the railway authorities to register case against the URMU workers who had allegedly thrashed the NRMU workers. Railway police has registered case against the 7 activists of the URMU under Section 307 IPC.

Manohar Prashar, district president, URMU, said: “NRMU leaders have registered cases against our activists by hiding the facts. Our workers were innocent and they did not attack the NRMU activists. They have blocked the trains to pressurise the authorities to register cases against our workers. We want Railway authorities to cancel the cases registered against our workers.”

“NRMU activists have delayed the trains by blocking the tracks. We demand to register a case against the leaders of the NRMU for blocking the track,” he added.



Latest printing technology discussed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
A seminar on CtM (Computer to Machine) technology was held as a part of soft intervention for printing cluster of the city. Technology is changing swiftly in printing industry, said Kamal Chopra, general secretary, Offset Printers’ Association. The seminar was a part of soft interventions going on for printing and packaging industry in Ludhiana.

Ambrish Pandey, lecturer, Guru Jhambheshwar University, Hisar, gave a presentation on the latest printing technology and changes it can bring about in the printing industry. Sukhminder Singh Rekhi, senior industrial promotion officer, DIC, Ludhiana and Kamal Chopra, were the key hosts for the seminar.

Chopra welcomed the members and printers. He announced the minutes from the previous seminar and the house approved them. He also gave a small presentation on the evolution of printing and how it developed over many centuries.

Pandey during his address provided information on the changes in technologies currently used by printers in India and how it can bring change in the style of working. 



Groundnut cultivation can reduce shortage of edible oil: Experts
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana May 13
“High yield potential, low water, fertiliser requirements and the increasing demand make the groundnut an important crop,” said the plant breeding and genetics (PBG) experts of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). More than half of the total edible oil demand of the country is met through imports. The experts observed that the cultivation of groundnut will certainly help in reducing the chronic shortage of the edible oil in the country.

They said: “Last week of April to mid-May is the most ideal time for sowing the groundnut crop under irrigated conditions. It can also be sown up to the end of May but with progressive reduction in pod yield and oil content due to short period available for growth. Under rainfed conditions, the crop should be sown with the onset of rains i.e. in end of June or early July.”

Highlighting the importance of groundnut crop, Dr Virender Sardana said it is a vital source of edible oil, protein and contains several minerals (phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, potassium) and vitamins (E, K and B). He said groundnut fits well in double and multiple cropping systems and benefits the succeeding crops by fixing atmospheric nitrogen. The current productivity of nearly seven quintals per acre of groundnut in the state is almost half of its potential, Sardana said, while emphasising on following the improved agronomic practices to obtain higher yield.

Students awarded

Two graduating students of the College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology (COAE&T) of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) Meetpal S Kukal and Rupinder K Sandhu, have been awarded "Graduate Research Assistantship" for pursuing higher education (Master of Science) in the discipline of soil and water engineering at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA. The PAU Vice-Chancellor, Baldev Singh Dhillon, congratulated both the students for their achievement and extended his best wishes for their prosperous career. Dr PPS Lubana, Dean, COAE&T, lauded the PAU farm engineers for working hard and putting in their best efforts for bringing laurels to their institution at the international level. He exhorted the students to make vital contribution to farm engineering in future as well. Both Meetpal and Rupinder, acknowledged the efforts of their institution and their parents in preparing them for achieving this professional recognition.

Former professor  writes book

A former professor of genetics and presently a visiting professor in the School of Agricultural Biotechnology (SAB) of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Dr Gurbachan S Miglani, has authored a textbook “Gene Regulation” for senior undergraduate and postgraduate students. The book will be of immense benefit to the students studying molecular genetics in any discipline of life sciences in conventional, agricultural and medical universities, colleges, schools across the globe, he said. "Gene Regulation" deals with the fundamental molecular mechanisms of regulation of gene expression in viruses, bacteria and eukaryotes; role of epigenetic modifications in gene regulation; molecular basis of development and evolution; modification and modulation of gene expression and exploitation of gene regulation, he added.

Course for farmers concludes

The Directorate of Extension Education and the Department of Processing and Food Engineering of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) conducted a five-day training course on “Starting small-scale agro-based industry”. Farmers from different parts of Punjab participated in the course which culminated here today. Giving details, Dr TS Riar, course coordinator, said the trainees were imparted theoretical as well as practical training in the processing of wheat, paddy, turmeric, chillies, mushrooms, honey, jaggery, milk, fruits and vegetables. Besides dwelling upon the scope and significance of agri-business in Punjab, and the management of fruits and vegetables, the experts gave useful tips on agro-processing with focus on the use of farm machinery. Riar said the farmers were also educated about agricultural marketing, and loan facilities offered by various banks. He said for practical experience, the trainees visited agro-industries at Landey village (Bagapurana) of Moga district. Dr Amarjit Singh and Dr Tarsem Chand, technical coordinators of the course, provided technical expertise and guidance to the participants on various aspects of agro-processing. — TNS



Rare hip replacement surgery

Dr NK Aggarwal extended medical help free of cost to one Rakesh Kumar (27), belonging to a financially challenged family. Aggarwal did not charge even a single penny for the treatment of Rakesh. The patient had gone to a few local private hospitals for treatment but he was told that the treatment would cost him lakhs. He was operated at N K Aggarwal Joints & Spine Centre by Aggarwal on May 1, where both his hip joints were replaced with new ceramic hips during the operation. It is extremely rare to do both hip replacements at the same time.

New Congress office-bearer

A meeting of the Congress workers was organised today under the presidentship of Vidhan Sabha (east segment) block president Sanjay Sharma and other leader Kanwardeep Singh Pappi. During the meeting, district Congress committee president Pawan Dewan appointed Chimandeep Singh Happy as vice-president of Congress Block-1 in addition to other appointments, according to a press release issued here. Dewan appealed to the Congress workers to start making preparations for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Obstetrics society elections

Elections for the governing body of Ludhiana Obstetrics and Gynaecological Society (LOGS) were held today under the guidance and supervision of Dr Maninder Ahuja, VP, FOGSI at the IMA House, Ludhiana. Following members were elected as office-bearers: President: Dr Neelam Sodhi; Vice-presidents: Dr Saroj Aggarwal and Dr Suman Puri; General secretary: Dr AS Rattan; Executive committee members: Dr Ginny Gupta, Dr Manu Singla, Dr Narjeet Kaur, Dr Baljeet Kaur Bagga, Dr Vidhu Moudgil. All LOGS members applauded the outgoing president Dr Vaneet Kaur for the work done during her tenure for the society.

Health workers meet

District level meeting of Multi-purpose Health Workers Union was held here today under the presidentship of Kiranjeet Kaur. Serious notice was taken of some anti-social elements who were trying to create a rift among the Union. It was also decided to intensify the struggle for getting permanent appointments. — TNS



From Schools
Model selected

A science model of Shreshtha Aggarwal, a student of Spring Dale School, was selected for a state-level exhibition. Avinash Kaur Walia, principal of the school, applauded the efforts of Shreshtha and congratulated her on the achievement.

Mother's Day celebrated

Mother's Day was celebrated with zeal and enthusiasm at Green Land Convent School, Dugri. Students of the pre-primary section showcased love for their mothers by making cards with limericks written on it. Students of classes I to V acknowledged the contribution of mother by presenting a cultural programme. A beautifully choreographed dance sequence was presented by the students of class II.

Cultural performances

Mother's Day Celebration was held at Don Bosco Global School. Students of the school performed in colourful attires to honour mothers. The students entertained all the mothers present in the gathering. Mothers walked the ramp and gave wonderful performances. The function came to an end with the performance of Bhangra.

Magic show

A magic show was organised on the premises of Green Land Convent School, Civil City, for the students of primary section, by the students of senior wing. They were dressed up as magicians and had prepared various magic tricks. They demonstrated their tricks in front of the students and invited them to participate along with them.

Dance show

Students of Ryan School, Dugri, participated in ‘Dancing Feet’ dance programme at Guru Nanak Bhawan. Many schools and dance academies became part of the show. It was a platform through which students could showcase their inner talent through group dance and solo dance.

Poem recitation

The Humanities Forum, Higher Section, Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, organised an Inter-House Poem Recitation Competition and a talk by Dhruman H Nimbale, ACP (Traffic), in the school auditorium today. Six teams participated in the event. After the poem recitation contest, Nimbale had a talk about "A glimpse in the life of an indifferent citizen." His talk made students aware about the importance of self discipline, fundamental duty, responsible attitude and nationalist approach.


Mothers celebrate their day at Police DAV Public School. (right) A girl participates in Sur Sangam, a singing competiotion, at KVM School
Mothers celebrate their day at Police DAV Public School. (right) A girl participates in Sur Sangam, a singing competiotion, at KVM School. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Singing competition

Sur Sangam, a singing competition, was organised at KVM School for classes LKG to XII. About 200 students reached the semifinals, out of which 54 were selected for the mega musical competition and the remaining 150 students presented a medley. Navita Puri, principal, addressed the audience and said music brings out latent talent and opens the door to meditation.



Printing of ballot papers going on smoothly in Ludhiana, Patiala
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
The printing of over 20 lakh ballot papers for the zila parishad and panchayat samiti elections is going on smoothly in Ludhiana and Patiala. Some of the returning officers are personally monitoring the printing process to avoid any errors. As many as 200 different types of ballot papers are to be published for the coming elections.

The concerned employees and nodal officials (for printing) have been asked to get the ballot papers printed by 9 am on May 15, as these are to be handed over to the returning officers concerned.

One of the employees working at the ADC (D) office, who is taking care of the printing process, said things were moving at the right pace and ballot papers would be ready well in time.

“For Ludhiana district, the papers are being printed at two different places. For the 12 block samitis, the ballot papers are being printed at a unit in the industrial area here, while the ballot papers for zila parishad polls are being printed at Patiala. A separate nodal officer has been appointed by the authorities, who is taking care of printing at Patiala,” said the employee.

One of the returning officers here said he had visited the printing press twice to ensure that things were going on smoothly and there were no errors. He said: “In the last meeting with the ROs, the Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Election Officer made it clear that the printing of ballot papers has to be in a proper format and in case of any error, the concerned RO will not be spared. As lakhs of ballot papers are to be printed, we are not taking any chances. The proof reading is being done over and over again to detect any minute error."

Rishipal Singh, ADC (D) and Assistant District Election Officer, said the printing was going on smoothly at both the places and they had not received any complaint of errors being committed. “We are hopeful to get a majority of ballot papers by May 14,” said Rishipal.



Knitwear industry expects 25% more orders than last year
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
The knitwear industry is expecting 25 per cent more orders as compared to the last year at the ongoing buyer-seller meet in the city. With the good response the traders got during the meet, they are mulling over making it an international event from the next year.

"With no stock in the pipeline, traders are booking orders for the coming winter season. During the meet nearly 30-35 per cent of the total orders for the coming season will be booked. Last year it was a bumper season, and the manufacturers are expecting the same from the coming season as well," said Sudershan Jain from the Knitwear and Apparel Manufacturers of Ludhiana.

He said the manufacturers were planning to make the event an international one. "Buyers from all parts of the country attend the meet. If all goes well, we plan to make it an international even from the next year. All the orders, national or international, will be booked under one roof," said Jain.

Another exhibitor Sanjay Kapoor said the meet had proved to be an excellent platform in the past six years. "Now we need not go to the buyers, but they come to us. All our orders for the coming winters are booked here," he said.

While producers are showcasing their collections for the upcoming winter season, retailers are placing their orders during the event. It is helping the producers in planning their production strategy for the season.

"The previous winter proved very lucky for us as it was an extended season. This year we are hoping for the same. We have no pending stock, and will start the production after getting the orders. Busy days lie ahead of us after the meet concludes," said another manufacturer.



Import duty hike on scrap sounds death knell for steel industry
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
The imposition of additional 2.5 per cent import duty on steel scrap has sounded the death knell for steel manufacturers. The duty was imposed by the Central Government on May 9.

Punjab steel manufacturers, particularly steel furnace plants, are in a huge crisis as 30 per cent of the plants have closed down. Those, which are still operating, have cut down their production by 50 per cent. In Mandi Gobindgarh, 20 per cent furnaces are on sale, but have no buyers.

“The crisis is aggravating as price of the local scrap has already gone up, due to its shortage. To meet the daily need of the industry it is imported from Europe and Middle East. With this move of the government, importing it will become costlier,” said Dev Gupta, general secretary of the Induction Furnace Association of North India.

The Punjab government is planning to change the VAT policy for steel furnace units, under which the tax will be imposed on electricity consumption per tonne. The policy is under criticism due to the absence of parameters for the electricity consumption, Gupta said.

To review the present situation, the association will organise a meeting to plan the further course of action, said Gupta.



85 independent symbols get nod
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
Besides giving approval to the symbols of the National Parties (Bahujan Samaj Party, Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Indian National Congress and Nationalist Congress Party) and Shiromani Akali Dal, Punjab State Election Commission has approved 85 symbols for those contesting independently in the coming zila parishad and panchayat samiti elections.

According to reliable sources, two of the free symbols were not approved by the commission. These included crown and water tap. An official said many candidates had opted for very interesting and eye-catching symbols. "Moreover, candidates have to choose a lot of symbols; so whatever comes to their mind easily, they try to get it,” said the official.

The election symbols included those of almirah, air-conditioner, auto-rickshaw, balloon, basket with fruits, bat, batsman, battery torch, belt, black board, bottle, bread, briefcase, broom, brush, bucket, cake, carrom board, carpet, carrot, cauliflower, ceiling fan, chess board, coat, coconut, cot, cup and saucer, cutting pliers, diesel pump, dish antenna, doli, electric pole, frock, frying pan, funnel, gas cylinder, gas stove, harmonium, hat, helmet, hockey and ball, ice cream, kite, lady purse, letter box, mixer, nail cutter, neck tie, pen stand, pencil sharpener, plate, pot, pressure cooker, razor, refrigerator, ring, saw, school bag, scissors, sewing machine, shuttle, slate, stethoscope, stool, table, table lamp, telephone, television, tent, toothbrush, walking stick, whistle, and window.



Akali leaders misusing police force: Punjab Congress committee chief
Gurminder S Grewal

Biza (Samrala), May 13
Accusing the Akali Dal leaders of misusing the Punjab Police in its own favour during the canvassing for the upcoming zila parishad and block samiti elections, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Partap Singh Bajwa has demanded the deployment of paramilitary forces to ensure free and fair elections.

Bajwa was here to support Congress candidate from Mutton Zone (zila parishad) Ajmer Singh Poorba. He said the Congress would not succumb to the pressure being exerted by the Akali Dal through the police department. He said his party will overcome it to win the elections in Punjab. He alleged that Congress candidates were being threatened to quit the elections. The police, on the directions of Akali Dal leaders, was threatening to register false cases against them, Bajwa said.

He said the misuse of police force during the elections would harm the democratic set up in the state, and people will lose faith in democracy. He demanded photography of the election process on the day of voting. He appealed to the people of Punjab to vote in favour of Congress candidates in order to teach a lesson to Akali Dal and BJP leaders who were indulging in corruption. Congress MLA of the area was also present on the occasion, besides other local leaders and party workers.

‘people will lose faith in democracy’

Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee president Partap Singh Bajwa alleged that Congress candidates were being threatened to quit the election race. The police, on the directions of Akali Dal leaders, was threatening to register false cases against them, he said. Bajwa said the misuse of police force during the elections would harm the democratic set up of the state, and people would lose faith in democracy.



Former MLA roots for Khirnia aspirant
Gurminder S Grewal

Samrala, May 13
Former MLA, Samrala, Jagivan Singh Khirnia is canvassing for Charanjit Singh Bijlipur, who is aspiring for a zila parishad seat from Khirnia.

Charanjit Singh, who is presently the sarpanch of Bijlipur village is pitted against Congress candidate Karam Singh Otallan, also a former sarpanch. This zila parishad zone has 46 villages, and the candidate is busy holding meetings in the villages with the help of senior Akali Dal leaders.

Today Khirnia visited Khattran, Ghulal and Dhande villages. In his address, Khirnia asked for votes on the basis of development, and said the Akali Dal was committed to the welfare of the people. He also flayed the Central Government for committing various scams.

He said the Congress deserved no votes as its leaders had committed excesses on the Sikh community during the 1984 riots.

While talking to The Tribune, Khirnia said there were some local issues such as the cleaning of village ponds which were to be addressed.

He said all ponds will be cleaned after the polls as the zila parishad had enough funds for the purpose. He appealed to the people to cast votes in favour of the Akali Dal for the all-round development of the area.

Candidate Charanjit Singh assured the gathering that he would serve the people of the area with full dedication. He said he would work for the development of the area.



Youth held for sodomising 3-yr-old boy

Ludhiana, May 13
An 18-year-old youth has been nabbed for sodomising a three-year-old boy at a vehra near Chet Singh Nagar in the Shimlapuri area here today.

The youth identified as Jagdish was nabbed by the area residents. He was thrashed before being handed over to the police.

The incident took place this afternoon. Residents got alarmed after they heard the cries of the boy coming from a room belonging to Jagdish. On opening the door, they saw Jagdish sodomising the three-year-old child. — TNS



Nine arrested for ferrying illegally mined sand
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 13
The police has booked nine persons for ferrying illegally mined sand in three different joint raids here last evening. The accused have been identified as Avtar Singh, a resident of Jalandhar; Satta, Rana, Lakha Singh, Balkar Singh, Harpal Singh, Manjit Singh and Manga Singh, all residents of Chuharpur village, and Rashid, a resident 
of Giaspura.

In the first raid, the police nabbed Avtar Singh from Kailash Chowk in Jodhewal Basti. The police asked Avtar to produce documents of the tipper-trolley. When he could produce none, the police impounded the vehicle and booked the accused under Section 379 of the IPC and 21 of the Mining Act.

In the second raid, police nabbed Satta, Rana, Lakha Singh and Balkar Singh. The police impounded one truck carrying illegally mined sand. In the third raid, Harpal Singh, Manjit Singh, Manga Singh and Rashid were arrested in Jamalpur Lally. The police impounded five tractor-trolleys from their possession.

One booked for theft

The Jodhewal police has booked a person for committing theft at a house in Rishi Nagar on Tibba Road. The accused has been identified as Gurmeet Singh, a resident of Vishal Nagar on Tibba Road. Karamjit Kaur, in her complaint, stated that the accused had allegedly threatened to strike at her house in her absence. According to her, when she was away to pay obeisance at Golden Temple in Amritsar on Saturday, she got a call from the accused at 8 pm. He threatened her that he would strike at her house, she said. Karamjit did not pay much attention to the call, but around 11 pm she got another call informing her that her house had been set on fire. When she returned home yesterday, she was shocked to find the house ransacked. The locks of the main door were broken. A television, two gas cylinders and other valuables were missing from the house, following which she filed a complaint.

Man dies of injuries

A 50-year-old man, who was injured after being hit by a speeding car on April 30, died at a local hospital here last evening. The victim has been identified as Manohar Lal, a resident of Giaspura. According to Paras, a friend of the victim, they were on their way home from Doraha on their cycles, when the accident occurred near Dhandari Kalan. A speeding car hit Manohar Lal from the rear side. He was rushed to Arora Neuro Hospital, where after struggling for almost fifteen days, he succumbed to his injuries. A case under Sections 279 and 304-A of the IPC has been registered against the unidentified car driver for reckless driving resulting to death.

3 pickpockets nabbed

The Ludhiana police arrested three pickpockets and recovered 13 mobile phones, 10 purses and 3 watches from their possession. The trio, identified as Raju, Saleem and Rajesh, was nabbed from Sufian Chowk here this evening. The accused used to steal wallets and mobile phones from busy market places of the city. 



Teams announced
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, May 13
Boys and girls who will be representing the state at the 31st Junior National Softball Championship from June 3 to 8 were shortlisted. The meet will be held at Lovely Professional University near Jalandhar. Coaching camp will be held on May 23 at the venue.

Selected players include Manpreet, Simranpret, Simrandeep, Japandeep, Sharanjeet, Arshdeep, Amanjot, Gursharan, Gurmeet, Bhawna, Simran, Arshdeep, Reva, Kamaljeet, Vasundra, Jasika, Gaganjot, and Simranjot from among girls, and Arun, Nitin, Aman, Anmol, Ravi Taj, Jasjot, Jagwinder, Chamkaur, Tarandeep, Dilpreet, Parsdeep, Sandeep, Sharukh, Lakhpreet, Nikka, Dimple, Tushar and Manbir from among boys.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |