L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Political rivalry touches a new low
Groups of MLA, councillor fight over road work inauguration; seven suffered injuries
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
A major clash took place between the supporters of SAD MLA Ranjit Singh Dhillon and independent councillor of ward number 8 Daljit Singh Grewal at New Shakti Nagar in the Basti Jodhewal area this morning. Two persons were seriously injured while five persons suffered minor injuries. There was tension in the are after the firing of gunshots into the air and stone pelting during the clash. The police had to resort to cane charge to control the situation.

The police has registered a case against Councillor Daljit Singh Grewal and his 12 associates for attempt to murder.

According to information, the clash happened over the issue of inauguration of a development work at New Shakti Nagar. Daljit Singh Grewal, independent councillor of ward number 8, alleged that his supporters and the local workers gathered at the spot as they were supposed to inaugurate the a road-laying work in New Shakti Nagar. When they reached the venue, Akali MLA Ranjit Singh Dhillon's supporters also reached there.

According to eyewitnesses, a minor scuffle soon turned into a clash and both the groups started pelting one another with stones. Shots were fired into the air. The windowpanes of three cars were damaged in stone pelting.

A team of police officials, including ACP Satish Malhotra, ACP Dhruman Nimbale and Balwinder Singh, SHO of the Jodhewal police station, reached the spot and deployed a large number of police personnel in the area. They lathicharged the fighting leaders and their supporters.

Daljit Singh Grewal claimed that the development work had been passed by the MC House with his efforts and he had right to inaugurate it. "When the premix-laying machine was started, MLA Ranjit Dhillon's supporters stopped it and attacked us," he said.

Meanwhile, Dhillon claimed that the project had been passed due to his efforts but councillor Daljit Grewal wanted to take credit by inaugurating the road-laying work. Both the groups have lodged their complaints with the Basti Jodhewal police.

Both groups blame each other for firing

Satish Malhotra, Assistant Commissioner of Police, said they were investing the matter. It is not yet confirmed that which group fired gunshots into the air. On Ranjit Singh Dhillon's complaint, they have registered a case against Councillor Daljit Singh Grewal and his associates.

Always at loggerheads

Independent councillor Daljit Singh Grewal and Akali MLA Ranjit Singh Dhillon have been at loggerheads for a long time and their supporters have clashed in the past as well. Whenever both of them are in news together, it's always over staking claim to some development project.

On March 16, Daljit Singh Grewal and Akali Dal councillor Sukhdev Singh Gill had a heated argument at the Mayor's office. Timely intervention by the other councillors and the Mayor brought the situation under control. The incident took place in the presence of Akali MLA Ranjit Singh Dhillon and Congress MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu.

Speaking to The Tribune, Ranjit Singh Dhillon said he had got the project of construction of 18 streets in the New Shakti Nagar area approved. “When we were to inaugurate the project, Daljit Singh Grewal and his supporters reached the venue and started misbehaving with my supporters. Everyone in the area knows who actually got this project sanctioned,” he claimed.

Meanwhile, Daljit Singh Grewal said he just went to the New Shakti Nagar area because MLA Ranjit Singh Dhillon was trying to fool people by staking claim to a development project, which is not under his purview. “When we objected to it, his supporters opened fire at us,” he rued.

They have been at loggerheads since the state assembly elections in which Ranjit Singh Dhillon was an Akali Dal candidate and Grewal was contesting as an Independent from the Ludhiana (East) constituency. While Dhillon won the election, Grewal, too, managed to secure around 22,000 votes.


Bid to disrupt Ambulance 108 service
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
Demanding the reinstatement of an employee of the Ambulance 108 service, his fellow employees tried to create hurdles in the emergency service.
Sources said: "These employees decided to stay away from work today, demanding the reinstatement of their fellow employee. One of them also informed the health authorities about their agitation."

Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, Subhash Batta said: "I got a call from one of these employees about their agitation. Following which I issued instructions to my staff to make alternative arrangements so that patients may not be harassed."

The sources revealed that one of the drivers even locked an ambulance and took away the keys with him. However, after some time, he returned the keys to another employee, saying that he took away the keys by mistake.



LIT under fire for failure to provide info
Appellate authority asks the SIC to initiate action against erring staff
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 23
It seems the Right to Information Act (RTI) is not going down well with the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), which has been drawing flak from various quarters for its failure to provide information to the applicants within the stipulated period, or for that matter the implementation of other provisions of the Act in letter and in spirit.

After being repeatedly rapped on the knuckles by the State Information Commission for its lackadaisical attitude towards the RTI, the Trust is now in the firing line of the first appellate authority, the Deputy Director, Urban Local Bodies, Ludhiana, who has made a complaint to the State Information Commission (SIC), Punjab, against the LIT, seeking action against its officials for negligence and evasive attitude towards applications filed under the RTI.

The first appellate authority, vide its memo No. 4997-5002 dated June 13, 2013 (a copy of which is with the Tribune), has brought to the notice of the SIC that the officials and staff of the LIT were not providing information to the applicants under the RTI Act.

"Many applicants have filed appeals with the first appellate authority. However, these are also pending for disposal as neither the Trust officials are making available the relevant record, nor do they appear at the hearings," the Deputy Director, Urban Local Bodies, has maintained.

In this context, the appellate authority has cited pending cases of Arvind Sharma, who has filed three appeals with the first appellate authority, Rohit Sabharwal (two appeals), JC Dogra, Harish Chander Kapoor and Vivek Kapoor (one appeal each).

The appellate authority has asked the SIC to initiate action against the erring officials/staff of the Trust under the relevant provisions of the RTI so that the required information could be provided to applicants within the stipulated period in the future and the pending appeals with the appellate authority could also be decided on time.



People mobilise help for U'khand flood-hit
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
In this hour of crisis, the residents of the city are coming forward to help the victims of flash floods in Uttarakhand. They are sending cash and relief materials to the rain-ravaged state.

A truck carrying relief material, including packaged water, dry milk, medicines, blankets, pulses, rice and biscuits, was sent to Uttarakhand by Guru Gobind Singh Charitable Trust. Amandeep Singh and Kamaldeep Singh from the Trust said everybody must come forward to help the victims.

Members of the Ludhiana Sewa Samiti also sent a truck carrying the things of everyday need. Gaurav Mahendru said donations were being collected by the organisation and the money would be deposited in the Prime Minister Relief Fund. Ashok Makkar and Ghanshyam Lotey appealed to the industrialists to come forward for the flood-victims' help.

Rauniq Nirula and Harjinder Kukreja have set up a booth in the Sarabha Nagar market to collect clothes and the things of everyday use for the victims. "We will send the charity money and products to an NGO in Delhi, which will further send the things to the disaster victims in Uttarakhand," he said.

"I will be sending clothes and other things to the flood victims. I am sending sweaters as well. It is a difficult time for the people of Uttarakhand and we must help them as much as we can," says Payal Jain, a resident.

Aman Ahuja, from Retail Chemist Association, and other members of the association sent medicines, toiletries for the relief of the victims. "It is a terrible time for the people stranded in Uttarakhand. We must help them for the sake of humanity," he said.



MC apathetic to rainwater harvesting
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
It seems that the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation as well as the city residents are not concerned about the decreasing water table in the city. This could be known from the fact that owing to the non-implementation of the laid down rules, not many people are coming forward for the installation of rainwater harvesting systems on their premises.

It is mandatory for any commercial establishment having an area more than 500 sq yards to get rainwater harvesting systems installed on its premises.

An official of the building branch said the cost of installing one such system was around Rs 25,000. At the time of getting building plans sanctioned, it is mandatory for the applicant to deposit Rs 50,000 as security. This security deposit is kept by the MC till the time the rainwater system is installed on the applicant’s premises. The security deposit is returned to the applicant following an inspection of the installed system by the MC officials.

But, a majority of applicants never get these systems installed and instead never return to collect their security deposits from the MC.

A businessman said neither did people get these systems installed nor did they prefer to collect the security amount because they think if any building branch official came to their premises for inspection, he might point out other violations.

“So in a way, they end up not collecting the security amount even if they have installed the rainwater harvesting system,” he said. A senior building branch official said they carried out checks on the premises of commercial establishments on regular intervals.

“We can only forfeit the security amount of Rs 50,000 in case a person fails to install the system. But, we still appeal to the residents to get these systems installed on their premises as it will help in contributing to the restoration of the decreasing water table,” he claimed.



Raise in scholarship for SC category students sought
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, June 23
A joint delegation of the office-bearers of the Dr Ambedkar Welfare Trust, Jagraon, and the Universal Human Rights Organisation held a meeting with Punjab State Scheduled Castes Commission chairman Rajesh Bagha at his office.

The delegation comprising Dr Ambedkar Welfare Trust vice-president Ranjit Singh Hathur, Universal Human Rights Organisation general secretary Iqbal Singh Rasoolpur and others handed over a memorandum to the chairman of the commission.

As per information given by Ranjit Singh Hathur during a press conference here, the delegations raised the issue of increasing scholarship for the students belonging to the Scheduled Castes (SC) category.

“Presently, the government has been giving a meagre scholarship of Rs 30 to Rs 40 per month to the students of the SC category. It is almost impossible for the families of such students to educate them with such low scholarship. Under these circumstances, several intelligent and talented students fail to get higher education,” said Ranjit.

He said the delegation had demanded an increase in the scholarship up to Rs 500 per month so that poor students could exhibit their talents and raise their living standards.

“Currently, only those students can obtain the scholarship for higher studies whose parents' annual income is less than Rs 2.5 lakh. We have also demanded from the commission to recommend the government to increase this income up to Rs 10 lakh per annum so that the children of such parents can get higher education,” said Iqbal Singh Rasoolpur.

The delegation members said the Punjab State Schedule Caste Commission chairman listened to their demands patiently and also assured them of taking up the issue with the government so that the students belonging to the SC category could pursue higher studies.



Phallewal lad brings laurels
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 23
Residents of Phallewal village in Sangrur district feel proud of Harjit Singh Grewal, who has been felicitated with the Best Youth Award by the British Columbia Government in Canada recently.

The citation and the award were presented by British Columbia Finance Minister Michel De Jong at a function organised at his office in Canada.

The villagers led by social activist Yadwinder Singh Phallewal said Grewal had brought laurels to his family and the village by associating with various social organisations in India and Canada.

A Class X student and an outstanding soccer player, Harjit Singh Grewal was earlier felicitated by the Abbey Fest Multi-Cultural Society of British Columbia for his outstanding contribution in helping students and the youth visiting Canada.

Grewal played an important role in organising medical and eye care camps at his native village and helping poor students in pursuing education.

His involvement in electoral process for the 2013 general elections of British Columbia was also appreciated. 



‘Uttarakhand disaster result of deforestation’
Tribune News Service

A sapling being planted during the environment awareness campaign organised by the Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha in Ludhiana on Sunday.
A sapling being planted during the environment awareness campaign organised by the Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha in Ludhiana on Sunday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, June 23
The Bharat Jan Gyan Vigyan Jatha today organised an environment awareness campaign at the Nehru Rose Garden. The campaign was organised in order to make people aware of the consequences of disrupting the environment.

“The Uttarakhand disaster is the result of deforestation and not caring about the environment,” said Dr Arun Mitra, general secretary of the organisation.

Dr Arun said the party would submit a memorandum to the city administration. He said there was a need to change rusted water supply pipes in order to prevent water contamination.

He said CCTV cameras should be installed to check traffic violations. There should be a proper disposal of hazardous waste by the city administration. The waste should be separated and could be used as a fuel.

He said the district administration was cutting trees with impunity. The administration should plant three times the number of trees as were cut by them. 



Enquiry panel meeting today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
The Enquiry Committee probing the embezzlement of Rs 1 crore in Ludhiana Stock Exchange Securities Limited will hold its meeting tomorrow in which Vishal Gumbar will also be present.

Meanwhile, Gumbar resigned from the post of chairman of LSE Securities Limited after the fraud came into light. Statements of Gumbar will be recorded by the committee, headed by Ajay Chaudhary.

The committee had already recorded the statements of three suspended employees, which include the general manager, accounts head and clerk. Some members of the company had alleged that the said amount was transferred to Gumbar’s bank account.

VP Gaur, chairman of the Ludhiana Stock Exchange, the parent company, said: “The committee is probing the matter and Vishal Gumbar will be questioned tomorrow. We hope the committee will submit its report soon. However, no formal police complaint has been lodged in this regard”.

"On one side, the Ludhiana Stock Exchange (LSE) is fighting for its existence, while on the other side such scams are taking place inside. We are trying hard to save the LSE from closure and such scams bring a bad name to the company,” said Gaur.

While the fate of the LSE is still hanging in the balance, the scams are rocking the exchange. Though it got an extension for another year as its licence was due to expire on April 27, its fate is still uncertain with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) laying down two conditions for it to continue working as a stock exchange.

The conditions laid down for all regional stock exchanges include an annual turnover of Rs 1,000 crore and a net worth of Rs 100 crore.

At present, only two options are left with the LSE. The first is to opt for a voluntary exit and the second is to go for the consolidation model of Calcutta Stock Exchange, which meets both conditions.



Recent changes in income tax provisions discussed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
The Taxation Bar Association (TBA) organised a seminar on recent changes in the income tax provisions.
Nishi Singh, Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, was the chief guest on the occasion.

Tax professionals BR Kaushal and Rajpal Gupta were the key speakers. They elaborated on the recent changes in income tax provisions.

TBA president Balbir Khanna and general secretary Jatinder Khurana pointed out that there was a statutory requirement under Section 139-A of the Income Tax Act read 
with rule 114-B of the Income-tax Rules to quote Permanent Account Number (PAN) in documents pertaining to purchase or sale of immovable property for value of Rs 5 lakh or more.

On this occasion, TBA members honoured the newly appointed Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Nishi Singh.

Commissioner of Income Tax Jagdeep Goel, Commissioner of Income Tax Binod Kumar, Joint Commissioner of Income Tax BK Singh, vice-president Ravinder Garg, Harminderjit Singh, secretary Vishal Sharma, Navinder Kumar, Dharam Pal Bindra, Tarlok Bhalla and other members were also present.



With help, came exploitation
Were forced to buy food, water at exorbitant rates, say survivors
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 23
Two families that reached the town after facing the most horrifying experience of their life during a pilgrimage to shrines situated in Uttarakhand carried mixed feelings for the natives of the state.
While some of them tried to accommodate them, the others exploited their helplessness.

However, they prayed for the welfare of all as services provided by them had no alternative and played an important role in their safe return.

Rajesh Joshi and Sanjay Mittal were among those whose families remained stranded at Chitti Kutia in Uttarakhand for four days and a hotel owner had continued providing services to them for all these days without charging any extra money. "Despite depletion of stocks of eatables and fuel, he continued providing us facilities at normal expenses. Except conservative use of limited resources, we were not asked to pay anything extra," said Joshi and Mittal regretting that some locals had tried to exploit devotees even in the presence of government officials. Citing examples, Joshi and Mittal said they had to shell out four to five times the normal cost of essential goods outside the hotel. Like other groups of pilgrims, the families had to pay Rs 60-100 for a packaged water bottle, Rs 20- 30 for a cup of tea and Rs 20-30 for a chapati at mobile vends. Simple umbrellas, which the devotees could have bought for less than 80 bucks were purchased by them for Rs 150-200. Rates of odd items were even more exorbitant.

Paying gratitude to certain natives of the region, Joshi and Mittal maintained that their woes could have compounded, had they (locals) not helped them in crossing damaged roads and katcha paths. "They acted as a cover while we crossed dangerous paths. They are saviours," said Joshi, maintaining that a majority of the locals had declined to accept money offered by us. 



Shaheed Sukhdev bus terminal faces neglect
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
Shaheed Sukhdev Inter-State Bus Terminal, which caters to thousands of passengers every day, is in a state of neglect.
The bus terminal, though one of the biggest in state, is in a miserable condition with no facility of drinking water for the passengers.

Stink keeps emanating from heaps of garbage lying near the counters.

During a visit to the bus terminal, it was found that water coolers, installed at four places, did not have chilled water.

The passengers in this scorching heat have to quench thirst with warm water. "I reside in Payal and come to the city everyday. Garbage remains scattered all around. Sanitation workers do not lift the litter on a regular basis," said Paramjit Singh, who is employed with a private firm in the city. As there is no security at the bus stand, thieves make hay. JS Grewal, president, Mini-Bus Operators Association, said they had brought the matter to the notice of the police, but to no avail. "They take Rs 50 per bus as holding charges (the buses parked at the bus stand at night). There are a few who consume liquor after 5 pm and pick up fights with people," said Grewal. There are about 38 counters at the bus terminal and every two minutes one bus comes and the other leaves. This continues till late evening, thousands of passengers visit the terminal each day. Even the ceiling fans at the terminal are lying defunct. An employee said they had taken up the problems with the authorities a number of times, but they had failed to do the needful. Despite repeated attempts, Raj Shekhar Tiwari, manager, Bus-stand Operating Company, could not be contacted.



Residents want MC to intensify fogging in city
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
The monsoon has set in but the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is yet to carry out fogging in the city.
To check the spread of dengue, the MC had purchased 75 hand-held fogging machines from Germany by spending Rs 50 lakh in April 2011. Later, these machines were handed over to councillors.

MC officials claimed that they were carrying out fogging on a regular basis. But residents said they had never seen any fogging machine in their areas.

Deep Inder Singh Grewal, a resident of the Citizen Enclave on Barewal Road, said the MC had failed to get wild growth removed from vacant plots in the area. The officials should start carrying out fogging.

Mishu Badesha, a resident of Civil Lines, said she had never seen the MC officials carrying out fogging in the area. "In the absence of fogging, residents can fall prey to several diseases," she said.

Dr Vipin Malhotra, municipal health officer, said they carried out fogging for one hour everyday.

"We have already distributed hand-held fogging machines among all councillors. These machines are operated by our sanitary inspectors. We have an adequate stock of medicines and we plan to carry out fogging in the entire,"he said.



Farm work takes a backseat
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 23
The battle of ballot is gradually turning fierce even while the agricultural chores related to paddy sowing have not been finished yet.
The candidates for the posts of sarpanch and panch are leaving no stone unturned.

Jagroop Singh, a supporter, said as far as paddy sowing was concerned, they had left everything to workers.

A resident of Gopalpur village, Ludhiana district, said a candidate undergoing treatment at a hospital requested doctors to discharge him before the last date of filing nominations.

"The candidate asked his supporters to meet him at the block development office at Dehlon where he was to file his papers," said the resident.

Campaigning has picked up in the town, with candidates making tall promises. Camps are being held and the elderly, too, are campaigning for the candidates. 



Floods fail to dampen devotees’ spirit
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, June 23
The flood fury in Uttarakhand has failed to deter devotees from going on Amarnath Yatra, the famous shrine of Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir.
Despite hundreds of tourists and pilgrims losing lives in Uttarakhand due to flash floods, cloudbursts and landslides, the devotees planning to visit Amarnath shrine are adamant to go on the pilgrimage.

Threats issued by terrorist outfits have failed to dampen the spirits of the devotees.

"Hundreds of devotees who had gone to pay obeisance at shrines in Uttarakhand lost their lives, but such an incident cannot dampen the spirit of devotees," said local Congress leader and former councillor Purshotam Lal Khalifa.

"We were shocked when we learnt about the destruction caused by heavy rain in Uttarakhand, but this cannot force us to put off our plan," he added.

Residents, who want to go to Hemkunt Sahib, said they would go on the pilgrimage once the situation improved.

any other local residents who wish to go on Amarnath Yatra echoed the similar views.

"We got to Hemkunt Sahib every year. For now, we have postponed the travel plan. We will leave for the gurdwara as soon as the yatra resumes,"said Bhagwant Singh, a resident of Sherpur village near Jagraon. 



He went through virtual hell
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Ravinder Babbu
Ravinder Babbu

Khanna, June 23
After having a brush with death, Ravinder Singh Babbu, a resident of Krishna Nagar, Khanna, returned home after battling for life for six days.
Ravinder left for Hemkunt Sahib on June 12. He, along with nine pilgrims, was returning from the gurdwara when all hell broke loose at Gobind Dham. They saw hotels and dhabas being washed away and to save their lives ran towards a forest. Ravinder said they had to spend two days and two nights without food.

A helicopter a few metres away triggered hope. But when the pilot asked them for 500 each, all hopes were dashed to the ground.

Two of them boarded the helicopter as they had money. Ravinder said despite several requests, the pilot did not allow them to board the helicopter. They somehow managed to reach Gurdwara Gobind Ghat, but as there was no road connectivity, they had to wait for help.

Finally, help arrived, they were rescued by the Army personnel. Ravinder said they saw thousands of dead bodies on their way.

At Rudarprayag, they partook of langar and left for Haridwar, where some good samaritans gave them money. He said it was the most horrifying experience of his life.

13 pilgrims return to city

Thirteen pilgrims returned to the city this evening. Prabhjit Singh (25), who had gone on a pilgrimage to Hemkunt Sahib with his family, said his mother had a narrow escape when a bridge she was about to step on collapsed. "We had to battle hunger, pain and fatigue. I had to walk down from Govind Dham to Joshimath where we boarded a bus. A number of pilgrims are still stuck there. 



Perform election duty diligently, ADC tells staff
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
Officials of the district administration said they were left with no other option but to put the entire staff on election duty.
Assistant district election officer-cum-ADC (D) Kamalpreet Brar asked, "When the officials can work for more than 12 hours, why can't the staff? Brar said, "We have received representations stating that women should not be put on election duty.

When I can work round the clock, why can't they."

"We require at least 10,000 employees for the smooth conduct of the elections," said Brar. "Recently, a delegation of teachers met the officials at Mini-Secretariat. They requested the officials not to send them to far-off places during the elections. A few others lamented that they were being disturbed during vacation," Brar said.

Ramanjit Sandhu, president, Democratic Teachers Front, said their delegation had met the officials to raise some issues. "As per duty charts, junior teachers have been made the presiding officers while senior teachers having an experience of over 20 years have been asked to report to them, which is not justified. The teachers should not be sent to far-off places. Sending a resident of Jagraon to Payal on election duty is uncalled for," said Sandhu. Brar said, Trivial issues should not be raised and we all should perform our duties diligently."

BSP eyes Dalit vote bank

The BSP has decided to field candidates from Bahadurke and eight other wards for the gram panchayat elections to be held on July 3.

BSP leader Ramanjit Lali said Dr BR Ambedkar had always wanted the Dalits to come forward.

"Those in power, never let Dalits come forward," he said.

He said despite the fact that 80 per cent of the population was of Dalits at Bahadurke, the government had failed to reserve a seat for the community.



Expert dwells on therapies in advanced tumour
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
Dr Baldev Singh Aulakh, Professor of Urology, and chief of kidney transplant, Department of Urology, at Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana, and president, North Zone Urological Society of India, inaugurated a conference on recent advances in kidney cancer, which was held at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. A large number of urologists and cancer surgeons attended the conference.

Dr Aulakh has pioneered minimally invasive treatment for kidney cancer in Punjab. In his presidential address Dr Aulakh said: “Renal cell carcinoma is not a single entity, but a spectrum of diseases with varying histology, genetic predisposition, profile proneness, prognosis and treatment. Apart from new surgical techniques like laparoscopic, robotic, elective nephron-sparing surgeries, there are many drug therapies in advanced tumour, which have changed the dismal scenario in these malignancies. This is a momentous time for cancer research”.

"It is critical that we continue to strive for innovation in basic science and the rapid translation of this knowledge to our clinics. At the same time, we must work to overcome funding and other challenges," he said.



Veggie prices shoot up due to rain
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
Incessant rain has led to an increase in the prices of vegetables. The prices have doubled and are expected to see an upward trend in the coming week. Tomatoes have gone up to Rs 40 a kg, while the one that are generally priced at Rs 15 per kg are now being sold at Rs 30.

“The rain has disrupted the supply of vegetables. Floods have hit Delhi, Mumbai and Uttarakhand, which in turn have affected the transportation of vegetables. The prices will increase more in days to come,” said Mohd Hussain, a vegetable vendor at Civil Lines.

"With the prices of tomatoes, ginger and garlic touching skies, I have started opting for ready-made pastes available in the market. These prove to be an economical option when the prices are too high,” said Rajini, a homemaker.



Reporters’ Diary
Rain pain: No lessons learnt

The Municipal Corporation, it seems, has not learnt any lesson from its past failures if the manner in which the entire city was inundated during the heavy pre-monsoon rain in the second week of this month. At several places, roads caved in, vehicles were stuck under water and the residents had to undergo harrowing times due to the overflowing sewers and choked drains. Rather than admitting that it had failed to carry out necessary preventive action well in time against water logging, which includes thorough cleaning of sewer lines and several nullahs flowing in various parts of the city, the MC chose to close its eyes to the harsh reality. That the civic administration has not realised the gravity of the situation necessitated by the rainy season, which is close at hand, is evident from the much delayed work for the widening of nullah flowing from Bhadaur House to Niggar Mandi. It has been taken in hand just two days ago. The nullah was partially closed due to a pillar of the elevated road coming in the way leading to obstructed outflow and accumulation of water on the GT Road all around the Clock Tower Chowk and the Mata Rani Chowk in the Old City.

‘Lip-smacking’ langar

Various associations in the city organised langars on the martyrdom day of Guru Arjuna Dev Ji and also sent releases for publication. While I was going through the press releases, I came across an interesting release that had mentioned in detail the menu of the langar. It went like this....langar was also served to the public. It included nutri kulcha, amritsari naan, kaabli channe and dry fruit kheer. I was really amused how one has mentioned the dishes included in the langar. It seems some food lover has prepared the press release.

‘Sacred bell’

You may call it as a matter of faith or feelings but one always gets some kind of vibes when one passes by any educational institute where he or she had studied. And same happened with me. A few days ago, when I visited SCD Government College for Boys, suddenly my eyes stopped at that age-old “college bell” installed on the huge building of the college. As it ranged up, it reminded me the days when we used to change our classroom after listening to the bell for the next period. In the vacant time, being students of literature we used to discuss about “What this bell symbolises?” Some used to call it “bell of a religious place” while others called it a “sacred bell” and some “an antique piece of Britishers’ times”. However, a few called it “a bell of peace”. But collectively, we all love its sound which sometimes alerted us and sometimes boosted our morale. I wish this bell of my alma mater keeps ringing forever!

Hatred towards ‘beasts’

The recent floods in Uttarakhand have shaken the nation. Though the Army, the Uttarakhand Government, NGOs and other organisations have been trying their best to rescue the stranded passengers, many are still stuck, hoping to be with their families soon. While those having hearts, can feel the pain, they have been praying to God to save the precious lives, the "heartless" are not wasting any opportunity to make the best out of worst conditions! The tales of woes of those who returned safe are horrifying. Many of the passengers alleged that they were denied food and water by the local residents, while some others said since they were hungry for 3-4 days and had left little money with them, they were asked to pay huge to get a bowl of rice or chapati. How can a human being become a beast at the time when humanity is much needed?

(Contributed by Kuldip Bhatia, Manav Mander, Anupam Bhagria, Shivani Bhakoo)



Ludhiana scan
Workers’ meet

Pawan Dewan, president of the District Congress Committee (urban), while addressing a meeting of workers at Sarabha Nagar said in the coming Lok Sabha elections, the Congress would win with thumping majority and they were surely going to sweep the SAD-BJP alliance. On the occasion, Rajneesh Tandon was appointed as the vice-president of the District Congress Committee (urban). He said the workers of the party were the backbone of the party and he expects them to work hard and take the party forward on the path of progress.

Narendra Modi’s rally

BJP workers in huge numbers under the leadership of district BJP president Parveen Bansal today left for Madhopur to take part in Narendra Modi’s rally. Bansal said after the appointment of Modi, the party was in an upbeat mood and they were sure to win the coming Lok Sabha elections.

Max Bupa

Max Bupa Health Insurance Company has completed three successful years of business operations and recorded year-on-year growth of 109 per cent in its gross premium, driven by its strong focus on product and technological innovation. It has witnessed phenomenal growth on all parameters from customers, products, network of quality hospitals and channels of sales and distribution. Max Bupa’s customer base has increased threefold in the past one year and for now exceeds 1.2 million. The total GWP in FY 2012-13 grew to Rs 207 crore from Rs 99 crore. The company’s product portfolio consists of comprehensive products in both retail and group, including Heartbeat, Health Companion, Health@Companion, Health Assurance, Employee First, SwasthyaPratham and SwasthParivar. Max Bupa has 21 branch offices in 13 cities and a network of 2,000 quality hospitals across the country.

Appeal for the flood-hit

Pawan Dewan, president of the District Congress Committee (urban), has appealed to the people to make maximum contributions for the flood-hit areas of Uttarakhand. He appreciated the efforts of the Army, the ITBP and the local administration in evacuating the people from the flood-hit areas. He said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced a relief package of Rs 1,000 crore for the flood-hit areas, and its first instalment of Rs 145 crore had already been released.

Delegation meets MC Commissioner

A delegation of the United Cycle & Parts Manufacturers Association (UCPMA) had a meeting with MC Commissioner Rakesh Verma under the leadership of Gurmeet Singh Kular, president, UCPMA, along with Jagatvir Singh, regarding the infrastructure in Focal Point and property tax being imposed by the state. The delegation discussed about poor infrastructure, including roads, sewerage, etc, in the Focal Point area. They requested the commissioner that the infrastructure should be up to date. The delegation members also requested the commissioner to arrange a seminar in the association for the awareness of the members as well as the industry regarding the property tax.

Medical camp

About 250 patients were examined at a free heart and medical camp organised here today at Nanaksar Gurdwara Hospital, Jagraon. Dr GS Wander, chief cardiologist and coordinator, HDHI, led the team of doctors and technicians from Hero DMC Heart Institute, which also included attending physician Dr Rohit Tandon and Dr Rakendra Singh at Nanaksar Gurdwara Hospital. The medical camp included free echo cardiogram for people suspected to have cardiac disease, and distribution of free medicine and blood tests for those who can not afford to continue their medications. - TNS



Manager, 2 others booked
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Samrala, June 23
The body of Harjit Singh, a factory worker of Bhaini Saheb village, who was allegedly beaten to death by some workers yesterday, was consigned to flames at his native village today.
Earlier, his body was handed over to the family members after conducting a postmortem examination at the Civil Hospital, Samrala.

Perturbed over his death, a number of persons of Namdhari Sect of Bhaini Sahib yesterday blocked traffic on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh Road in front of the factory premises between Neelon and Katani villages for about an hour. The protesters opened the road for traffic only when the police swung into action and rounded up the manager of the factory and two others for questioning.

As per information, a brawl took place between two migrant labourers and the deceased on June 13 at the factory situated at Neelon. However, the manager of the factory wrapped up the matter and suspended Harjit, who was working as a labourer here for the past four years. In order to get his dues, Harjit visited the factory yesterday and demanded the dues.

According to his family members, Harjit was again allegedly beaten up at the factory on the instance of the manager. Harjit came back to his house, and in the morning hours he complained of pain in his stomach. He was immediately rushed to a private hospital at Doraha, where doctors declared him brought dead.

Angry over his death, several persons of Namdhari Sect led by Sewak Rashpal Singh and Harpal Singh reached there and kept the body of the deceased on the road and blocked traffic for about an hour. The Samrala police reached the spot and higher officials were informed about the incident.

SPD Khanna Bhupinder Singh also reached the spot and pacified the agitators. He assured the protesters of stringent action against the guilty and a probe in this matter. The blockade was lifted only after his assurance.

The police on the demand of the protesters registered a case of murder against the manager of the factory and two migrant labourers and was enquiring the matter.



Thieves decamp with cash, jewellery
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
In a broad daylight theft incident, thieves decamped with Rs 40,000 and gold jewellery from a house at Civil City on June 21.
Ashwani Kumar filed a complaint against unidentified persons at the Police Station Division No. 4.

Ashwani said he left his house at 1.15 pm to purchase some medicines from the market. When he returned at 2 pm, he found the cash and jewellery missing.



Proclaimed offenders held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 23
The police arrested three proclaimed offenders on Friday. The accused have been identified as Jaspal Singh, alias Jassa, a resident of Goraya village, Jorawar, alias Sunny, and Lakhbir, a resident of Selkiana village, Phillaur. The police recovered 640 gm of drug powder and a stolen motorcycle from their possession.

Man held on charge of abducting minor

The police has booked a resident of Giaspura for abducting a 16-year-old girl. The accused has been identified as Gargesh. The girl's father, Ram Narayan, lodged a complaint with the police.

Theft at shop

Thieves struck at a shop and decamped with mobile phones, recharge coupons, mobile batteries and other accessories on the intervening night of 18 and 9. A case has been registered.

Drug-peddlers held

The police arrested two drug-peddlers yesterday. The accused, Vinod Kumar, a resident of Kanpur, was arrested with 200 gm of charas while Sukvinder Sing, a resident of Hambra, was held with 5 gm of smack.

Granthi booked for assault

The police has booked a granthi for assaulting a migrant. Umesh Kumar reported to the police that Baba Bhinda Singh beat him up when he asked for wages. 



Pankaj Club scrape past Teji Club in cricket tournament
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 23
In a cut throat competition, Pankaj Club managed to scramble past Teji Club by just one run on the fourth day of the 18th Chaman Lal Malhotra Cricket Cup Tournament (U-15) being played at SCD Government College today.

Batting first, Pankaj Club scored 164 runs after losing nine wickets in the allotted 30 overs. Varun was the highest run-getter who made 33 runs. Naman and Nikhil chipped in with 18 and 16 runs, respectively, while Navkirat contributed 17 runs. Akshit Luthra scored 10 runs.

For Teji Club, Aman and Pursharth were the main wicket takers. Aman grabbed four wickets for 27 runs while Pursharth accounted for three wickets, giving away 29 runs.

Teji Club began their chase on a positive note as Aman and Gurbir seemed to be in their grooves. Aman played a fine innings of 52 runs while Gurbir contributed 22 runs. Tushar and Pursharth also made useful contributions of 18 and 15 runs, respectively.

Naman (3 for 25) and Akash (3 for 29) of Pankaj Club went through Teji Club's batting line-up.

They shared six wickets between them as Teji Club tumbled at the last hurdle, losing the cliff hanger on the penultimate ball of the match. Teji Club's chase culminated at 163 runs with one ball to spare. Keshav and Nikhil captured two wickets and one wicket, respectively, to help Pankaj Club win the battle of nerves. In the second match played between Mahajan Juniors and Government Model Senior Secondary School, PAU, the former came out triumphant by 67 runs. Mahajan Juniors made 149 for 6 in 30 overs in which the main contributors were Devam (36), Lovish (24), Gokul (23), Harman (15) and Vaibhav (15) while Tanroop remained unbetean on 9.



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