L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Govt splurges on oath-taking function
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
The state government has no money to pay salary to its employees, but when it comes to organising functions, it does not hesitate to open its coffers.

The generous government spent over Rs 40 lakh on the function to administer oath to the newly elected members of the zila parishad and block samitis at Grain Market today.

The government has not paid the salary to teachers of unaided schools for the past five months.

Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal administered the oath to 331 zila parishad and 2,700 block samiti members. The entire government machinery was on its toes for the past three days to make the event successful.

The block development officers were assigned the task to bring the elected representatives from their respective districts. The heads of about 20 departments, including health, police, district administration, mandi board and municipal corporation, spent sleepless nights for organising the function.

"The moment we were informed about the state-level function, we started the preparations by holding regular meetings. Of all the districts, Ludhiana was chosen and we had to prove ourselves,” said an official.

A large posse of police, including policewomen, were deputed at the venue. Policemen were also deputed from Punjab Agriculture University, where the Deputy CM’s chopper landed, to Grain Market.

Traffic diversions also kept the commuters guessing.

Only two ministers address gathering

SS Rakhra, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats, and Bhagat Chunni Lal, Minister for Local Bodies, spoke on the occasion. No other minister or an MLA was given a chance to address the gathering. Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal addressed the gathering before the oath-taking ceremony. 

Deputy CM skips lunch

A separate AC enclosure was set up at the venue where the Deputy CM was supposed to have his afternoon meal. However, Sukhbir did not join ministers and MLAs for lunch as he had to catch a flight to Delhi. An MLA said: “We could have interacted with the Deputy CM during lunch, but he must be having other important assignments.

Congress flays govt

Pawan Dewan, president of the District Congress Committee, flayed the state government for spending lakhs on the oath-taking ceremony. "Employees are not getting their salaries, but the state government is busy spending lakhs on such functions,” said Dewan. 


State panel pulls up LIT for lapses
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 19
The State Information Commission, Punjab, has pulled up the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) for its failure to take steps towards the implementation of the Right to Information Act, 2005.

In its orders, the Commissioner observed that several provisions of the Act with regard to the maintenance of records in a catalogued and indexed manner as well as computerisation of records were not being followed.

Disposing of an appeal filed by city-based RTI activist Kuldeep Singh Khaira, State Information Commissioner (SIC) Narinderjit Singh noted that as per Section 4(1) of the RTI Act, every public authority (under the RTI Act) shall maintain all its records duly catalogued and indexed in such a manner that it facilitates the Act. Further, it has to be ensured that all records that are appropriate to be computerised, are within a reasonable time and subject to availability of resources, computerised and connected through a network all over the country on different systems so that access to such records is facilitated.

In his orders, the SIC remarked that for the purposes of sub-sections (3) and (4) of the RTI Act, "disseminated" means making known or communicated the information to the public through notice boards, newspapers, public announcements, media broadcasts and Internet.

“Surprisingly, the Trust has not launched a web portal in the absence of which the information cannot be sent through a network all over the country on different systems so that access to such records is facilitated. Accordingly, the chairman, Ludhiana Improvement Trust, and the Department of Local Government, Punjab, are directed to take steps to ensure compliance of the provision of the Right to information Act within six months," the Commissioner ruled.

A copy of the orders has also been sent to the Principal Secretary to the Government of Punjab, Department of Local Government for compliance.

In his appeal filed before the Commission, Khaira had charged the LIT officials with failure to provide information desired under the Act within stipulated period and taking most of the provisions of the act lightly.

“The LIT has not been maintaining records of applications and information provided to the applicants under the Act. Besides, relevant records of the Trust are not computerised and no website has been launched even after seven years of the RTI Act coming into effect," he had contended. 



Contractor defies High Court orders
Fails to start e-ticketing at parking lot
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
The contractor of the paid parking lot on Ferozepur Road has failed to start the e-ticketing system. The parking lot was made operational on July 13 following the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Shopkeepers of the area said the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation was in a hurry to start paid parking, but it failed to abide by the orders of the High Court.

“The court had asked the MC to start e-ticketing in the parking lot as residents had to be charged on an hourly basis. However, the MC is giving more time to the contractor to buy the electronic machines, which is a violation of the High Court orders," said the shopkeeper.

Another shopkeeper said the e-ticketing machines would clock the actual time of parking. Any vehicle parked for more then two hours would be towed away by the traffic police.

MC superintendent Naveen Malhotra said the contractor had been asked to purchase e-ticketing machines. "We are abiding by the court orders and the contractor has promised to purchase the machines and issue e-tickets,” he said. 



Newspaper office torched
Objectionable pictures of Sikh Guru sparks protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
Supporters of various Sikh organisations vandalised the office of a vernacular daily on Gill Road today.

The protesters staged a dharna and demanded immediate arrest of its publisher Rajesh Sharma. They also set the office of the daily afire.

The incident took place when Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was in the city in connection with a state-level function. However, the police reached the spot and brought the situation under control.

An article and objectionable pictures of the first Sikh Guru published in the vernacular daily sparked protest. “The right to expression does not give anyone the right to hurt the religious sentiments of a community," said one of the protesters.

The SHO, Daba, said the situation was under brought control and legal action would be initiated against the publisher of the vernacular daily.

Rajesh Sharma had published a controversial picture of first Sikh Guru which is currently being circulated at Facebook and Twitter.

The police has booked Rajesh Sharma under Section 295 of the IPC for hurting the religious sentiments of a community. 



Snake sneaks into car
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
High drama was witnessed near Kaka Marriage Palace on Ferozepur Road after a six-foot-long snake sneaked into a car of a bank employee today.

Snake charmers managed to catch the snake after a struggle of five hours. The owner of the car Ravinder Arora, a senior manager with Yes Bank, said one of his colleagues saw the snake sneaking into the car. She raised the alarm and called security guards. The other employees also rushed out of the bank and were shocked to see the snake’s tail near the silencer of the car.

Initially, the security guards and some onlookers tried to scare away the reptile, but to no avail.

Finally, some snake charmers were called. They tried flute for nearly two hours, but the snake did not come out.

Ultimately, one of the snake charmers grabbed the snake and pulled it out of the car.

None of the employees from wildlife department came to rescue the reptile. 



Theft bid foiled
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
An alert watchman at the Civil Surgeon’s office foiled a theft attempt when he nabbed two suspects who sneaked into a godown where seized drugs had been kept. 

The two were taken to the Division No. 4 police station for questioning. SHO Vinod Kumar said they would start the investigations after receiving a formal complaint.



Residents a worried lot
Say dissolution may affect ongoing projects
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, July 19
A notification dissolving the municipal council has come as a matter of concern for residents who worry that it will affect the work on incomplete projects started by the council.

“This sudden notification would affect progress of the development work that had been started by the council. Repair of roads and strengthening of the sewage system in low-lying areas are some of the jobs still pending,” said Pawan Garg, a social activist.

Ravinder Puri, President of the Municipal Council, Mandi Ahmedgarh, said he has already taken up the issue with the sub divisional magistrate at Malerkotla, who will be taking charge as administrator of the council, and was assured by him that consideration will be given to suggestions put forward by the councillors while drafting development works.

He saidthat he would impress upon the administrator to continue the development works till the new council is constituted.

SAD legislator and a former associate member of the council, Iqbal Singh Jhoondan, assured the residents that recommendations and suggestions of their representatives and those of the office bearers of BJP and SAD would get due consideration in the drafting and execution of development projects.

"Work on all pending projects will continue under supervision of officials of the municipal council as usual," Jhoondan said. 



Projects worth Rs 124 cr cleared
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
With an eye on the Lok Sabha elections, the finance and contracts committee (F&CC) of Ludhiana Municipal Corporation today cleared 138 developmental works worth over Rs 124 crore. The meeting was held after a gap of over four months and ran for four-and-a-half hours.

Developmental projects worth Rs 79 crore were passed for the bridges and roads branch, Rs 33.82 crore for the operations and maintenance cell, Rs 4.5 crore for the lighting branch and projects worth Rs 4.18 crore were passed for the general branch.

Most of the projects pertained to the construction of new roads, installation of streetlights, installation of new sewer lines and cleaning of sewer lines using super suction machine.

While speaking to The Tribune, Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria said development proposals submitted by almost all the councillors had been cleared in the F&CC meeting.

"Cutting across party lines, we have cleared all projects which were beneficial for the city residents. We have also cleared the recruitment of safai karancharis in Rajguru Nagar and Rishi Nagar, the two Ludhiana Improvement Trust-developed localities which were recently taken over by the MC. A total of around 42 safai karamcharis would be recruited here. Very soon, we would also recruit safai karamcharis for the other two LIT colonies taken over by the MC," he said.

The issue of increasing the licence fee for commercial establishments was also discussed in detail. It was decided that this proposal be kept pending.

"I personally felt that the proposal of increasing the licence fee would put an additional burden on the city residents. The Additional Commissioner, therefore, has been asked to study the fee charges of other municipal corporations, compare them and then take a decision in this regard," said the Mayor.

An amount of Rs 2.60 crore has also been sanctioned for giving an ultra-modern look to the existing Suvidha Centres of Ludhiana Municipal Corporation. Of all the agendas presented before the F&CC, two were cancelled.

The meeting was attended by the Mayor, Senior Deputy Mayor Sunita Aggarwal, Deputy Mayor RD Sharma, Additional Commissioner Isha Kalia and other senior MC officials. MC Commissioner Rakesh Kumar Verma could not attend the meeting as he was in Delhi for attending a meeting of World Bank. "Before leaving, he had authorised Isha Kalia for attending the meeting on his behalf," said Inderjit Singh Gill, adviser to the Mayor.



Medical council member questions cancellation of doctor’s registration
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
Reacting to the cancellation of registration of fellow member Dr Sumit Sofat for being convicted in a criminal case, Dr GS Grewal, a member of Punjab Medical Council, has questioned the Registrar, Punjab Medical Council.

In a letter written to the registrar, Dr Grewal said: “I have not received a copy of the judgment convicting the doctor concerned, which might have been circulated to other members. Have you procured any list of doctors who have been convicted by the court of law from Director, Prosecution, Punjab?”

Dr Grewal said he did not understand the reasons for calling a second meeting of the council within a short period of two weeks on a Sunday (which is not a working day) unless it was absolutely necessary in case of an emergency. He said: “You are aware that the council had to pay a significant amount of money as TA/DA when a meeting was called. Moreover, the council office will remain open and the staff will get extra wages for working on a holiday.”



Parents heave sigh of relief
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
With the end of eight-day strike of school van and bus operators, parents have heaved a sigh of relief. The parents said it was very difficult to drop off and pick up their wards. Children too were relieved as the chaos created by the issue finally ended with the intervention of the Deputy Commissioner.

Buses and vans were seen ferrying students after over a week. Although there was a huge rush outside schools, traffic kept on moving slowly, and not many vehicles were seen parked wrongly outside schools.

Bus operators, too, expressed their satisfaction. They said they were worried as to how they would run their households if they were not allowed to ply their vehicles. Tejinder Singh, a driver, said they too believed that security of students was paramount and "jugadu" vehicles must be stopped. "Now when schools will take the responsibility, we too will be more cautious and complete our documents,” he said. 



Teachers meet DEO, flay rationalisation policy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
Several teachers belonging to the primary, middle and senior sections met the District Education Officer (Primary) to apprise him of irregularities surfacing under the garb of the rationalisation policy. The teachers said they were being unnecessarily harassed. The DEO assured them that a committee will be constituted to look into their grievances and a solution would be found soon.

Aided school teachers seek merger

The Punjab Aided School Teachers and other organisations have given an ultimatum to the state government while seeking the merger of their schools with government schools. The leaders of the union said if by July 31 their demands were not met, they would hold protests. Teachers will sit on a hunger strike and organise protests from August 5, the leaders said.


Master Cadre Union Punjab will hold its meeting on July 21 at Kohara. The teachers will discuss their problems including promotions of physically challenged, the final list of seniority and demand of pay grade since 2006.




Children prepare lemonade

Ludhiana: A lemonade-making activity was organised for the students of Mother's Pride School. Children enjoyed mixing the sweetness of sugar with the sourness of lemon, while following the instructions given by teachers. After preparing the drink, they all relished it.

Plantation drive

Ryan International School, Dugri, organised a plantation drive at the army flats in Dugri, Phase III. Students of Classes VII and VIII planted saplings along with Major Kuldeep, secretary of the army flats. Students of the Montessori wing enjoyed planting saplings on the school premises along with headmistress Ritu Syal.

Inter-house quiz

An inter-house English quiz was held at Green Land Convent School, Civil City, for the primary and secondary sections. Students from Classes IV to XI participated in the competition. There were four students in each team from each class. The competition not only made students more aware of correct vocabulary and pronunciation, but also instilled good leadership and teamwork qualities.

Pool party

Penguin Castle Preschool, Udham Singh Nagar, arranged a special pool party on the school premises. Children beat the heat while playing in the pool under the watchful eyes of teachers. Such playful activities were important for the all-round development of children, said the school director.

Rain dance

Cherubs The Preschool organised a rain dance party on the school premises at Dugri. They were all wearing colourful raincoats and held colourful umbrella. They splashed the water and danced to the music. It was a great opportunity for the children to beat the heat by getting drenched. After the party they were treated with their favorite snacks and juice. — TNS



Industry demands rollback of e-trip
Says providing online information about movement of goods not possible
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
Changes made in the e-trip system have not gone down well with the city-based industrialists. They have given a two-day ultimatum to the government for its rollback, failing which they will observe a strike and hold protest on Monday.

A meeting of Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal along with the yarn dealers’ association, hosiery manufacturers and edible and non-edible oil manufacturers was held today. Mohinder Aggarwal, president of Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal, said changes made in the e-trip system would completely ruin the industry. "We will be going on a strike against this system from Monday," he said.

The All Industries and Trade Forum too gave a seven days’ ultimatum to the department, failing which traders will sit on a hunger strike from July 26.

The Punjab Government has reintroduced the e-trip system; now applicable on only six commodities. The cost of bill, however, has been reduced to Rs 50,000.

Traders are required to submit online information of goods being transported within the state (e-trip) for cotton, yarn, mustard, plywood, iron and steel (excluding scrap) and vegetable oil (edible and non-edible).

"The re-imposition of e-trip for furnishing of information online regarding the movement of goods within the state and inter state is not possible; as most of the SME units are not equipped with computers and internet facilities, and they do not appoint full-time accountants. The SME sector is dependent on part-time carriers and they do not have a fixed time of lifting and transportation of goods," said Vinod Thapar, chairman of Knitwear Club.

"Most of the entrepreneurs are not computer savvy. They won't be able to comply with these norms; and the result will be a delay in deliveries, which will definitely affect the economy of the state," said Jatinder Khurana, a taxation professional.

Avtar Singh, general secretary of the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking, also condemned the compulsory e-billing of sales above Rs 50,000.

"e-billing is not applicable in the adjoining states of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Uttaranchal and Rajasthan; as a result, Punjab is likely to face shortage of raw material, and the sale of finished products will also be adversely affected," he added.

Upkar Singh, joint secretary, CICU, said “computer culture” had not yet developed in Punjab. “In e-trip many problems can arise and may take long to be rectified. This can create problems for traders and industrialists,” he said.

Gurmeet Singh Kular, president, United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association, also flayed the move of the department. He said, “It has been made mandatory for the industry to enter their sale and purchase detail on the department website. This shows the department is more interested in collecting revenue, while ignoring the demand of the industry for the refund of VAT."


Traders were required to give information regarding the intra-state movement of goods (within Punjab) and for making sales of Rs 3 lakh and above in a single transaction. For iron and steel, this threshold limit was Rs 2 lakh.


Traders are required to submit online information of goods being transported within the state (e-trip) for cotton, yarn, mustard, plywood, iron and steel (excluding scrap) and vegetable oil (edible and non-edible). They are to provide online information about the sale of goods with value above Rs 50,000.



One test positive for dengue, 2 for mild diarrhoea
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
One patient from the Koomkalan block reported positive for dengue. The patient is undergoing treatment at SPS Apollo Hospital.

Meanwhile, two cases of mild diarrhoea were reported during a medical camp near Gurdwara Sahib, Sherpur Kalan. A team of doctors from Community Health Centre, Sahnewal, checked up 29 patients from the adjoining areas.

Health teams from Slum Area Dispensary, Transport Nagar, and CHC, Sahnewal, also surveyed Muslim Colony and the Sherpur area. As many as 1,194 houses were visited.

Blood slides for the malaria test were also made. Chlorine tablets, oral rehydration aolution packets and pamphlets were distributed. No case of gastroenteritis was reported in these areas. 

Stay safe

Clean and dry desert coolers once a week.

Keep rooftops clear of water containers

Wear full-sleeve shirts and cover your feet in the morning and evening

Spray insecticides under tables and behind curtains



Alert industrialist foils robbery bid 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
An industrialist averted a robbery bid late last night, when he and his father managed to escape an attack by unknown men near Seehra village on the Rahon road.

Hitesh Tangri (26), a resident of Udham Singh Nagar, said while driving home, he and his father, Rajesh Tangari (58), were followed by six men in two cars. He said one of his employees had spotted the cars near their factory unit earlier that night.

"When we left our factory, a white car started following us and we decided to drive through the villages. When we were about to reach the main road, another car tried to block our way, but I managed to slip away just in time and reached the main road. Then one of the passengers hurled an axe at our car, which smashed the windshield. But, we managed to reach the Meharban police station," said Hitesh.

Hitesh said the police conducted a search in the area, but the suspects had left by then. The police has started the investigation.



Inspection cell inagurated in judicial complex
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, July 19
The District & Sessions Judge G S Matharoo, on Friday, inaugurated the new inspection cell, which was recently set up in the judicial complex.

Matharoo said the new cell would help lawyers in inspecting court files more efficiently and in a congenial atmosphere.

Talking to the Ludhiana Tribune, Matharoo said, "Whenever any lawyer will move an application for inspection of a court file, the file will be made available in the inspection cell on the day and time suitable to the lawyer."

The District Bar Association president, Parupkar Singh Ghumman, hailed the new initiative taken by the judiciary.

“Earlier the rooms for inspecting files were congested. We are hopeful that the new system will prove useful for the legal fraternity,” said Parupkar Singh Ghumman.

Additional Sessions Judge Sunil Arora, Judicial Magistrate Jasvir Singh and Court Manager Ankush Dhingra were also present during the inauguration. 




Knee replacement

SPS Apollo Hospital has introduced the latest knee replacement implant and surgical technique in the Dr Harpreet S Gill, head of orthopaedics and joint replacement, addresses a press conference on the latest knee replacement surgery introduced at SPS Apollo Hospital in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma world. This knee replacement surgery uses a fourth generation knee implant (PS 150). It has the advantage of near normal knee motion and lesser wear and tear. Dr Harpreet S Gill, senior consultant and head of orthopaedics and joint replacement at the hospital, explained the technology. He said the surgery ensured stability in the operated knee. Dr JL Briard from France visited the hospital to conduct a surgery.
Dr Harpreet S Gill, head of orthopaedics and joint replacement, addresses a press conference on the latest knee replacement surgery introduced at SPS Apollo Hospital in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Staff welcomes official

The regional office of the Central Bank of India organised a function at its Ferozepur Road branch to facilitate Gurbax Kumar Joshi, the newly appointed workman director of the bank on his first visit to Ludhiana. Staff from all the local branches participated in the function. Joshi said the business of the bank will be accelerated in the coming days.

Founder remembered

The management, doctors, faculty members and students of Dr BL Kapur Memorial Hospital held a havan to observe 44th death anniversary of Dr BL Kapur, founder of the hospital. Medical superintendent Dr Wahegurupal Singh paid tributes to the late gynaecologist and motivated the staff to follow in his footsteps.


The Ludhiana chapter of Institute of Company Secretaries of India will hold a seminar on limited liability partnerships (LLPs) and service tax on July 20. The seminar will be inaugurated by Dr Raj Singh, registrar of companies for the states of Punjab, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh. Seminar will discuss issues pertaining to LLPs, a unique platform of combination of partnership with the limited liability concept, ideal for professionals. — TNS



Two held for providing fake identity cards, police uniforms to accused
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
Barely three days after the arrest of Gur Arpan and Deepali for kidnapping a city-based industrialist, Manish Bharara, the police cracked whip on persons involved in making fake identity cards, licences and police uniforms for the accused.

They have been identified as Sarabjit Singh, a resident of Punjab Mata Nagar, and Krishan Gopal, a tailor who has his shop opposite the police lines near Dandi Swami Road.

Sarabjit Singh was booked following a tip-off. The police was informed that the accused was making fake licences and fake stamps of different government departments without any authorisation. Police seized a computer, a printer and several fake stamps of various departments during the raid. A case under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471, 472, 473 and 474 of the IPC has been registered against the accused.

The police nabbed Krishan Gpal from a store opposite the police lines, following a tip-off that the accused sold police uniforms and officers’ badges to Gur Arpan. The police seized two police uniforms. A case under Sections 471 and 120-B of the IPC has been registered against him. 



1 booked for kidnapping minor girl

Ludhiana, July 19
The Focal Point police has booked a person for kidnapping a 15-year-old girl on the pretext of marrying her.

The accused has been identified as Pardip Kumar, who hails from Uttar Pradesh and is currently residing as a tenant in Jawaddi. The victim's mother said that the incident took place on July 10.

She brought the matter to the notice of the police when her daughter did not return home till the evening. The police has registered a case under Section 363 and 366-A of the IPC. — TNS



Seven in police net for cruelty against animals
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 19
The Focal Point police has booked seven persons for cruelty against animals. The accused have been identified as Satvinder Singh of Patiala, Mohammad Iqbal and Sharid Iqbal of Saharanpur, Vijender Singh, Irfan Kapil and Anwar. They were ferrying buffaloes and calves to a slaughter house. They were asked to stop at a checkpoint at the Dholewal chowk, but sped away. The trucks were finally intercepted following a hot chase. The police impounded six trucks and released nearly 125 buffalos and calves. Following the incident, social organisations blocked traffic, demanding stern action against the accused.

Couple held for  stealing motorcycles

A man, along with his paramour, was nabbed for stealing motorcycles here last evening. The accused have been identified as Harjit Singh and Damanpreet Kaur, both residents of Machiwara. The police received a tip-off that the duo, along with the woman’s eight-year-old son, was visiting the city for selling a stolen motorcycle. The police laid a trap and nabbed the accused.

Tenant booked for fraud

The city police has booked a former tenant for fraud. The accused has been identified as Ajit Kumar of New Moti Nagar. The complainant, Rakesh Kumar, who resides in the same area, said earlier, the accused was residing as a tenant in their house. He prepared ration card, voter card and opened a bank account by furnishing Rakesh Kumar’s address. Rakesh said the accused did this to usurp his property. 

Man dies in road accident

A 32-year-old man from Mehlan village near Payal was crushed to death by an unidentified vehicle in the Jodhewal area on Thursday night. The victim has been identified as Kulwinder Singh. He was returning home on his motorcycle.



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