L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


GLADA in tight spot
Poor recovery of user charges lands development body in trouble with audit team
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, July 21
Mounting arrears of user charges of more than Rs one crore have landed the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) in trouble with the audit team raising serious objections to poor recovery over the last several years.

GLADA, it seems, is no better than the municipal corporation when it comes to recovery of water and sewerage charges from residents of the colonies developed and maintained by it.

The audit report of GLADA for 2011-12 procured by Rohit Sabharwal and Arvind Sharma, president and secretary, respectively, of the Council of RTI Activists under the Right to Information Act, reveals that the user charges of Rs 1,07,21,993 were outstanding on account of water supply and sewerage in various colonies developed by GLADA.

The audit conducted by a team from the office of the Auditor General, Punjab, noted that an amount of Rs 32,26,106 was outstanding against the residents of the Urban Estate, Phase I to IV, Sectors 32, 28, 39 and Samrala Road, while arrears of user charges against the residents of Phase I and II on Dugri Road stood at Rs 34,86,217. Interestingly, these colonies have long ago (in May 2001) been transferred to the municipal corporation for maintenance.

According to the report, in many other colonies such as the Urban Estate, Phase III, Sectors 32-A, 40, Sanjay Gandhi Colony and 200 feet road in Dugri, that are still being maintained by GLADA, user charges worth Rs 40,09,670 are unpaid by the residents with no apparent action being taken by the GLADA authorities to realise the arrears and deposit the funds in appropriate head.

Quoting relevant financial rules, the auditors commented that dues which were to be realised from the public must be collected at the earliest possible and deposited into proper head of account immediately.

In reply to the audit note, the GLADA officials made a submission that efforts were being made to recover the outstanding water/sewerage charges and reply to the audit objection would be filed in due course.

no action taken

According to the audit report, in many colonies such as the Urban Estate, Phase III, Sectors 32-A, 40, Sanjay Gandhi Colony and 200 feet road in Dugri, that are still being maintained by GLADA, user charges worth Rs 40,09,670 are unpaid by the residents with no apparent action being taken by the GLADA authorities to realise the arrears and deposit the funds in appropriate head.


Onion prices skyrocket to Rs 40
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
Spiralling onion prices are making residents cry. The middle class, already reeling under the burden of increased fuel prices, is finding it tough to buy onions priced at Rs 40 per kilogram. The prices are expected to shoot up further as the demand remains high during Ramadan.

With the prices of vegetables, especially tomato, ginger and garlic causing much anguish in the past few days, the shortage of onions is likely to be another irritant in the budget of homemakers.

"Prices have been going up steadily for the past one month due to the shortage of produce. No respite is expected anytime soon. We are expecting the prices to go up further by the end of this week, "said Mohammad Hussain, a vegetable vendor at Ghumar Mandi.

Wholesaler Manjit Singh said, "The prices have gone up due to rains in the southern part of the country and the crop has stopped coming from there. This has led to the shortage of the produce and the prices have gone up. In August, the situation will be much better," he said.

Meanwhile, another wholesaler Kunti Lal said the other major reason for onions not being available in large quantity was an increase in the onion export to Pakistan. The situation might improve in another one or two months once fresh crop from Karnataka begin to come in. This will be followed by crop from Maharashtra and then from Alwar in October, he added.

Housewives have cut down on the use of onions. "I have minimised the use of onions in the food I prepare. The budget of my kitchen has been affected, as the prices of fruits and vegetables are rising day by day, added Suman Gupta, a homemaker.

Owners of eateries and restaurants have also told their staff to cut down on wastage and avoid excessive use of onions. In salads, cabbage and capsicum have replaced onions.



After quarrelling with wife, man sets himself afire 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
In a shocking incident, a 29-year-old man set himself afire at the Civil Hospital, following a heated argument with his wife. The incident took place this evening when Vijay Kumar set himself afire after pouring kerosene on himself in the middle of a park at the Civil Hospital. The onlooker rushed to help him and doused the fire.

The paramedical staff here said that Vijay Kumar had sustained 35 per cent burns. His condition was stated to be serious. He stated to the police that his wife's maternal grandmother Mukhtiar Kaur was admitted to the Civil Hospital. Vijay said he had come to take her home, but instead of going with him she began quarrelling with him. Exasperated, he left the hospital, purchased kerosene oil and set himself afire.

While Vijay's wife, Jyoti, was not available for comments, her maternal grandmother Mukhtiar Kaur said she was admitted to the Civil Hospital for the past eight days.

Mukhtiar Kaur further added that Vijay had thrashed Jyoti, following which she left her husband and came to live with her parents.

Mukhtiar Kaur said that Vijay had come drunk to the hospital and started fighting with Jyoti, but when Jyoti refused to accompany Vijay, he set himself afire in the park.

The police has recorded the statement of both the groups and started the investigation. 



E-trip system
Hosiery, plywood manufacturers to go on strike today 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
The industry will put their shutters down tomorrow against the changes made in the e-trip system by the Excise And Taxation Department. The hosiery industry will be putting its shutters down tomorrow, whereas, the Plywood Manufacturers Association has also extended their support. The Punjab Pradesh Beopar Mandal will also be going on strike on July 22 and the All Industries Trade Forum will be starting their hunger strike from July 26 onwards.

As per the new notification, the limit of e-trip has been reduced to Rs.50,000 from Rs 2 to 3 lakh on six items.

Due to this, the industry is going to face inconvenience, as Rs.50,000 is a meager amount and due to high inflation the prices of steel, yarn and oil are very high.

The hosiery industrialists will hold a protest march from Madhopuri Chowk to Vaishno Devi Chowk following the “Gandhi Giri way” and pray to God to save the industry from the department and the present Government.

"Ours is a small-scale cottage industry and most of us run the hosiery business from our houses with the help of family members. Most of the hosiery goods are sold to small traders like Tibetan refugees and others who run their business on foothpath. Hosiery owners are not so educated to maintain computers or Internet facility," said Jagan Nath Chopra, president of the Hazuri Road Hosiery Association.

The hosiery industry is already facing crisis due to shortage of labour, power, taxes. We appeal to the government to withdraw this notification or we will be compelled to commit suicide like the farmers, added Rajiv Jain Bitta, president, Purana Bazar Hosiery Association.

Joining in the league of protests against the e-trip system is the Plywood Manufacturers Association. The plywood industry has decided to remain shut from July 22-24 against the changes made in the e-trip system. The industry is also of the opinion that the smallest of the trader or manufacturer will have to maintain the infrastructure for the implementation of the Act. The infrastructure includes a full-time accountant with the knowledge of computer, computer and the Internet.

The Punjab Plywood Manufacturers’ Association has also asked the state government to declare the plywood and ply board manufacturing industry as agro-based industry.

Representatives of the association said the industry used 80 per cent poplar and safeda agro-wood for processing and manufacturing plywood and ply board and added value to the agricultural produce. It, therefore, comes within the definition of agro-based industry as defined in the Industrial Policy, 2009, of the state, they said.



Vehicle underpasses becoming dens of criminals
Mohit Khanna
Turbine News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
Vehicle underpasses constructed on National Highway I (NH-I) are turning into a perfect hiding point for criminals to commit crimes. So far, city residents were unaware that the vehicle underpasses on NHI- I could be used by criminals to trap or intercept victims unaware.

Gur Arpan, the mastermind of industrialist Manish Bharara kidnapping case, made full use of the underpass located near the factory unit of Manish Bharara.

During the interrogation, he confessed before the police that they deliberately hid near the underpass.

"Gur Arpan and his accomplices were posing as policemen and if they had laid a naka on the main NH-I, they could have been noticed and arrested. Further, Manish Bharara was travelling in his BMW car.

The underpass was the only place where the vehicle would be slow and it was easy to intercept his vehicle and kidnap him," said the investigating officer.

It was not the first time that a crime had taken place near these underpasses on NH-I. The irony is that those who fell victim were poor and their complaints fell on deaf ears of the Police Department.

The residents said that drug addicts usually operated near these underpasses and committed crime by intercepting innocent migrant workers and villagers.

The residents of villages falling near Dhandari, Sahnewal and Doraha lamented that these underpasses were serving as a perfect hideout for snatchers, as the police hardly patrolled in these areas.

Since the speed of the vehicle remains slow while crossing the underpass, it becomes easy for criminals to intercept the vehicle.

During the night, the commuters become more vulnerable due the negligible human presence.

"The sad part is that the police takes action only in the cases when rich fall victims to criminals, while the cases occurring with poor people goes unnoticed. The underpasses constructed on NH-I and the Ludhiana- Chandigarh train route are den of criminals. You visit the villages and see for yourself how much the residents are terrified with the repeated incidents. Before going ahead with the project, the authorities should ensure security of residents," said Hardeep Singh, who runs a Dhaba in Doraha.

drug addicts active

Residents said that drug addicts usually operated near these underpasses and committed crime by intercepting innocent migrant workers and villagers.The residents of villages falling near Dhandari, Sahnewal and Doraha lamented that these underpasses were serving as a perfect hideout for snatchers, as the police hardly patrolled in these areas.



Petrol pump operators exploit customers
Find a smarter way to swindle customers in Jagraon town
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, July 21
Despite strict guidelines issued by the government and random inspections carried out by the authorities concerned on a regular basis to stop exploitation of consumers at the petrol pumps, several petrol pump operators of the Jagraon area allegedly continue to indulge in cheating consumers.

While swindling the consumers, the petrol pump operators also manage to dodge the inspection teams, all thanks to the modern technology. Earlier, the petrol pump operators used to cheat the consumers by tempering with the meter that displays the reading of the price and quantity of the fuel purchased by the people, though it involved a lot of risk of being caught by the authorities.

The modern technology has solved this problem by offering several options to the petrol pump operators. The latest techniques are proving quite handy for the pump operators to cheat the consumer without any fear of being noticed by the authorities concerned.

According to sources, most of the petrol pumps in Jagraon area have been indulged in the practice of swindling the consumers. There are several residents of Jagraon and surrounding villages who have complained of being swindled by the petrol pump operators.

“Recently, I went to get petrol filled in my bike. There was a signboard signaling the consumers to check the meter reading before and after filling in the fuel but I was surprised to see a worker of the petrol pump who started filling petrol in my bike manually. When I asked him about the meter reading, he replied the meter is not working,” said Jagtar Singh, a resident of Sherpur Road, Jagraon.

The petrol pump operators have attached micro chips with the meters which help them in swindling and also dodge the inspection teams. “It is not easy to detect the fuel theft at the petrol pumps and the practice goes unnoticed due to the new techniques. The controls of the micro chips installed to temper the meter lie with the workers and whenever there is any inspection, the workers easily switch off the chips,” said a worker employed at a local petrol pump.

SK Beri, DFSO Jagraon, said he was not aware of the practice. "We carry out inspections on regular intervals at all the petrol pumps of the area. We have neither noticed any case of tempering with the meter nor have we received any complaint regarding this so far. If someone comes up with a complaint we will take appropriate action against the petrol pump which is found involved in the practice,” said Beri.



Indifference towards education discussed

Ludhiana, July 21
A seminar on "Indifference towards Education" was organised by the Aad Dharam Samaj and Valmiki Ambedkar Foundation at Pal Auditorium, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), here today.

Dr Yoginder Yadav, member of the University Grant Commission (UGC), who was the main speaker at the seminar, said, “The education system in India supports and promotes inequality, thralldom and hate in society.”

He said, “Education has become a business and colleges and universities have been selling degrees. Rich parents can pay for the education of their children, while poor can’t. So, education has become a base of inequality in our society." —TNS



Auction of 9 parking lots on July 26
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
After two consecutive failed auctions, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has now fixed July 26 as the next date on which nine parking lots along the Ferozepur Road will be auctioned.

During the auction of these lots held on July 18, MC was not able to auction them as no bidder had shown interest.

During the first auction of parking sites along the Ferozepur Road on June 26, the MC had managed to auction only four out of the total 13 sites. In the remaining nine sites, no bidder had showed interest owing to high reserve price. Through the auction of these four parking sites, MC was able to earn revenue of Rs 83.40 lakh.

But before the auction held on July 18, MC had reduced the reserve price of these parking lots, but still they failed to auction them as the bidders again cited high reserve price. Only seven persons had participated in the auction, which was organised at MC's Zone D in Sarabha Nagar, here. And out of seven persons, only two persons deposited the earnest money.

The auction of parking sites along the Ferozepur Road was carried on the orders of Punjab and Haryana High Court. The Court had directed the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation to auction these parking zones so that the Ferozepur Road is not encroached on again.

MC Additional Commissioner Isha Kalia said the reserve price has already been reduced from the initial one. "The bidders must understand that the reserve price will not be lowered any further. But we are hopeful that on July 26, we will be able to auction the nine parking lots," she said.



Power snag hits residents hard in Dakha
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, July 21
The residents of more many villages falling under Dakha Sub-Urban Sub-Division of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PowerCom) are facing a tough time due to the non-availability of power supply. The power supply was disrupted due to some major technical snag in the lines supplying power to these villages.

As per the information, the power supply was disrupted in Jangpur, Dakha, Isewal, Hasanpur, Gahaur, Detwal, Kailpur, Braich, Dhothar, Bharowal Kalan, Mandiani, Dhatt, Talwandi Kalan, Talwandi Khurd, More Kareema, Pandori, Shekhupura, Mullanpur Dakha Town and some other villages.

According to sources, the power supply was disrupted due to a major technical snag in the power supply lines of 66KV Power Grid at Sudhar-Dakha which supplies power to the affected villages. Following repeated complaints by the villagers, the employees of PowerCom reached different villages today morning to examine the power supply lines but they failed to restore power.

Following this, a huge PowerCom team, comprising 70 employees, 3 Xens, 5 SDOs and many Junior Engineers started the repair work with the help of villagers under the supervision of PowerCom Deputy Chief Engineer NP Singh who was also present on the spot to supervise the repair work.

"We have been working round the clock to resume the power supply. Most of the repair work has been accomplished and the power will be resumed very soon," said the Deputy Chief Engineer NP Singh. 



Health dept to hold cancer detection camps 

Ludhiana, July 21
Health Department in collaboration with Max Health Care is going to hold cancer detection camps all over the state in September.

Dr Manjeet Singh, Senior Medical Officer, Eye Mobile, said: "A two-day cancer detection and consultation camps will be held on September 28 and 29 at all the district-level government hospitals. Cancer experts from the Max Hospital will check up the patients during these camps."

He said, "A few days ago a team of Max Health Care visited Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital, Ludhiana, where a district-level camp will be organised."—TNS



44 years of nationalisation 
Call to strengthen public sector banks

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
The Punjab Bank Employees Federation today organised a seminar on the completion of 44 years of the bank nationalisation. Rajen Nagar, president of the All-India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), said: “The progress made by the nationalised banks in the last four and half decades is unmatched and unparallel.”

Naresh gaur, general secretary, said: “The wage settlement of bank employees is due from November 1, 2012. The central committee of the AIBEA is going to meet in Allahabad on July 29 and 30 to take stock of the situation.”

“The occasion warrants not only celebration and hailing but also a strong resolve to resist and repulse the retrograde banking reforms. The need of the hour is to reiterate our pledge to strengthen public sector banks. Inside the banks we should improve customer services and improve our efficiency to work for the progress of our banks,” said Dr Arun Kumar, professor, Jawahar Lal Nehru University. 



crop diversification
Maize crop cultivated on 3,300 acres of land 
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
In a positive development under the crop diversification scheme of the state government, the Agricultural Department, Punjab, has succeeded in getting 3,300 acres maize crop cultivated in the district.

The Agriculture department has distributed 62 metric tonnes of maize seeds to the farmers to encourage the maize cultivation to reduce the area under paddy. As per the officials of the Agriculture Department, there was 1,500 acre area under maize crop last year.

The state government has a contract with two private companies to get the maize cultivated in 40,000 acres. The companies provided maize seed to farmers on 75 per cent subsidy in the collaboration with the Agriculture Department.

Bakshish Singh Chahal, Chief Agriculture Officer, Ludhiana said: “It is a major achievement for our extension workers as now we have doubled the area under maize as compare to the last year. This will help in conserving the depleting ground water.”

According to experts, the paddy crop requires an average of 175 lakh litre water/ per hectare cultivation. Meanwhile, the maize crop can be cultivated with average 40 lakh litre water per hectare.

However, the state government did not address the major challenge of maize crop, which is marketing. “We did not get any specific instruction about marketing of the crop but the higher officials of the state government assured that the farmer will not face any problem for marketing of the crop,” said Chahal. 



Young women sell apparel on long-distance trains
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
Passengers wake up early morning and a young woman turns up with a variety of men's T-shirts and lowers where men are sitting in the train bogey. She shows off the T-shirts to the men, they try the different sizes, as she tries accommodating all the requests, smiling politely.

Young women like her sell inexpensive men's T-shirts, lowers to passengers aboard trains these days.

Women from Pathankot, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and other areas can be seen on trains, selling such products in the wee hours. They pick up the T-shirts at wholesale prices from Ludhiana markets, and sell them off on trains.

Women in a group of about eight, board the train early in the morning. They usually choose the long-distance trains in particular. Most of them start the job as early as 4 am, when people are waking up and don't mind wearing inexpensive T-shirts and lowers. Another benefit of selling in the morning is that they are free to go home later in the morning for the household work, says a woman.

Some of the women from the city belong to areas like Habib Ganj, Sehsi Mohalla at the back of Kuchas of Field Ganj. “Earlier some of us used to beg aboard trains, but we got to know about this better way of making a living. We used to sell off vests, handkerchiefs, socks etc earlier, but now we sell T-shirts, lowers and earn higher margins,” said Rashmi (name changed).

“Most of us are married,” she said. “Some unmarried girls are also working with us,” she added. Although they sell in different compartments, yet they board a train in a group, for a sense of security. At times they have to face stares, indirect and sometimes lewd remarks from men, but they have to earn a living,” they say. “We have to bring our children up, provide for our family so have to earn,” she said.

“It is tough life for us. Sometimes, policemen aboard or on the station simply take away all the day's earnings,” rued another woman.



Political hoardings still dot city roads
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
Even as the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation cracked down on illegal political hoardings in the city on July 15, still several such hoardings dot the city roads. Most of these hoardings are of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) leaders. Maybe that is why, MC officials have failed to take any action against them.

As per the new advertising policy, no such hoardings could be installed on the roads. Though these hoardings have been installed on the unipoles, still they are illegal. The contract of the advertising company, which had installed these unipoles, has already expired and the MC cannot grant permission for the installation of these hoardings.

On July 15, the Tehbazaari Wing of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation had removed illegal hoardings installed by the Congress as well as the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) from different parts of the city. These hoardings even had pictures of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal.

As per the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the new advertising policy, no person can install hoardings without taking permission from the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation. But over the years, it has been observed that politicians never take any permission and install hoardings in the city.

Congress MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu said it’s sad that illegal hoardings dot the city roads without any check.

“A few days ago, such hoardings of the Congress as well as the Akali Dal were removed by the MC officials. At that time, the Mayor, who claims to be an honest and upright politician, had claimed that these hoardings were removed on the orders of Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal. But, the hoardings again surfaced the next day and have still not been removed. I wonder why the Mayor is not taking any action against such illegal hoardings. Maybe it is due to political compulsions as these hoardings carry pictures of his political masters as well as his own pictures,” said MLA Ashu, who represents the Ludhiana West Constituency.

Most of these hoardings have been installed along the Ferozepur Road and three such hoardings are installed right opposite the main gate of the Deputy Commissioner’s office.

MC Additional Commissioner Isha Kalia, who heads the advertising branch of the MC, showed ignorance over these illegal hoardings. “If any such hoardings exist in the city, I will certainly get them removed,” she said.



UPA government committed to development: Minister
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari has said the UPA Government is committed to the development and strengthening of infrastructure in the country.

Addressing a public meeting at Dangian village in Ludhiana district today after laying the foundation stone of a road under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY), he said equal attention was being given to the rural infrastructure also.

Tewari said more than 2 lakh km of new rural roads had been added to the rural road network in the past eight years. More than 20,100 km all-weather roads had been constructed and upgraded with an expenditure of over Rs 6,450 crore in the past fiscal year.

He said Rs 1,000 crore was being provided annually to Punjab for various welfare and development schemes.

He alleged that the amount was not being fully utilised. Referring to the National Food Security Ordinance, Tewari said the beneficiaries would get rice, wheat and coarse grain at Rs 3, Rs 2 and Re 1, respectively, and this would cover the 81 crore population of the country.

He hoped that the National Food Security Ordinance would get the nod of the Parliament during the forthcoming monsoon session.

On this occasion, Tewari was honoured by the Panchayat of Dangian. He laid the foundation stone of the road from Dangian to Kaunke Kalan, which is to be constructed at Rs 4.48 crore. He said the 8-km road would be completed within nine months. Earlier, the Minister inaugurated the newly constructed rooms of Government High School at Dangian.

Tewari also announced a grant of over Rs 50 lakh for various panchayats in the Jagraon Assembly segment. He honoured panchs and sarpanchs of different villages at various functions held across the constituency. He was accompanied by former Minister Isher Singh Meharban and other leaders, including Darshan Lakha, Pritam Akhara, Kaka Grewal.

Addressing the meetings after honouring the panchs and sarpanchs at Dangian, Chakkar, Bhammipur Kalan, Sidhwan Kalan, Sidhwan Khurd, Lamme, Akhara and Bardeke villages, Tewari also asked the panchayats of these villages to prepare the development projects for their villages so that he could get developmental grants from various Central Ministries.

Announcing over Rs 50 lakh grant from his MP Discretionary Fund, Tewari said since all demands could not be met from the MP’s Local Area Development Fund, it would be better if the villages submitted detailed proposals so that he could get development grants sanctioned from various ministries.



Patients examined at medical camps
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
The city witnessed four medical camps today. One free medical camp was organised by Hero DMC Heart Institute at Government Senior Secondary School, Hambran.

Doctors examine patients at a medical check-up camp organised by the Rama Charitable Trust at the Kochhar Market in Ludhiana.
Doctors examine patients at a medical check-up camp organised by the Rama Charitable Trust at the Kochhar Market in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Dr Naved Aslam, cardiologist at Hero DMC Heart Institute (HDHI), led the team of doctors and technicians from Hero DMC Heart Institute.

Apart from HDHI, doctors from various other hospitals were also present at the moment for examining the patients.

Dr Naved Aslam, cardiologist at HDHI, said: “We believe that prevention is better than cure and we look forward to treating more patients at our next medical camp venture.”

At the camp, free echocardiography and blood sugar test was done. Medicines were also distributed free of cost among the patients.

The Rama Charitable Trust organised a medical check-up camp at the Kochhar Market. A team of doctors examined the patients free of cost.

The National Integrated Medical Association (NIMA), Ludhiana, and Doctors Free World (DFW) organised a free medical check-up camp here today at Shiv Puri. More than 260 patients visited the camp for free consultation regarding diabetes and thyroid disorders. Dr Surinder Gupta led the NIMA Ludhiana team.

A dental and free medical check-up camp was organised at Krishna's Dental Clinic and Implant Centre, Rish Nagar. Bharat Bhushan Ashu, MLA, Ludhiana West, along with Balkar Singh Sandhu, councillor of Ward Number 55, inaugurated the camp. Dr Ankur Gupta and Dr Jasdeep examined as many as 213 patients.

Dr Satish Thaman, chairman, Rishi Nagar F-Block, and Davinder Sharma, president, Mandeep Nagar Welfare Society, were also present on the occasion.



Residents clash at church
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
Residents living in the church premises located near the Fountain Chowk had an altercation during the prayer time. The provocation that led to the tussle was not known yet, but the police reached the spot on time and saved the situation from taking an ugly turn.

The church was recently locked by the police following a clash between the residents living in the premises.



Book of poems, songs released
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana June 21
A book of poems and songs "Raag Muhabbat" written by Kuljeet Ghazal was released today by eminent poet Dr Surjit Patar and Ustad Sardar Panchi. Kuljeet Ghazal generally pens down poems on different aspects of love.

She wrote her first book of Ghazals in 2006. According to the Kuljeet, the ghazals written by her in first book was the experience of her love, attitude of society toward a young girl, the problems faced by the growing young girls and the life when girls are bounded to stay at the house.

"I have started opposing the attitude and acts of our traditional society toward the girls in my poems. When my first book was published I got a good response from the readers," said Kuljeet.

"Upset from the system, I moved to Australia in 2007 and got married in 2010. I have all the comforts over there but soon I realized that one cannot stay happy while staying away from the homeland," said Ghajal.

Native of village Talwandi Khuman, Kuljeet said, "I love my village, culture and Punjabi life style too much. My husband Michael Robison helped me a lot to bring me out of this problem. To keep in touch with Punjab I again start the literary activities and my roots pulled me back."



reporters’ diary
Follow the hill state

The local administration seems to be fighting a losing battle against the use of polythene bags in the city. It seems that the ban is just on paper because polythene bags are still being handed over to shoppers all over the city without any hesitation. Whether it is up market shopping areas or less glamorous local markets, the ban is being flouted with impunity. The city should take an example from Himachal Pradesh where polythene is completely banned. Jasmeen, a Class X student, after her recent visit to Dharamshala, is practising a ban on polythene in her life. She has succeeded in that and is now encouraging the people around her to do so.

Good riddance to the menace

The proposal mooted by the district administration on the behest of the state government to earmark a specific area for staging protests and dharnas is a welcome step. The step is being taken in order to effectively tackle the menace of blockage of roads and busy intersections by protesters of all hues in the industrial city. This should have been done a lot earlier as the city residents have been undergoing the ordeal of traffic jams and inordinate delays caused by protests, dharnas and demonstrations staged on the roads for quite some time now. In fact, the administration ought to go one step further and provide one or more open areas with easy access for religious congregations, shobha yatras and nagar kirtans, which also cause major obstruction in the flow of traffic on the city roads frequently. However, this is easier said than done because people tend to become oversensitive on religious issues. In any case, there is a need to start a dialogue with the groups of various communities and create a consensus.

Biomedical waste alongside road

Despite repeated instructions, some clinics and hospitals of the city do not seem to be bothered about the proper disposal of biomedical waste. A few days ago while passing from a city road I came across two school going children. They were standing alongside a heap of garbage and were trying to adjust their hands in the gloves used for some medical purpose. They hardly knew that the gloves were full of infections and could have been dangerous for their health. I stopped there and asked them not to wear those. Listening to my suggestions, the little girl said, “I will carry the gloves to my house as these will save my hands in winters.” It took me a few minutes to make them understand as why they should not touch those. I wish any of the clinics or hospitals who have disposed of those gloves in the open may not repeat it and even the schools should also make children aware about the ill-effects of all the things.

Safety equipment for sewer men

Though the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation claims that it has provided all kinds of safety equipment to its sewer men, the truth is far from reality. This could be known from the fact that every year many sewer men lose their lives while on duty because they are not provided any safety equipment. A few days ago, sewer men were assigned to clean the sewer line near Raikhy Cinema. In the absence of any safety equipment for entering manholes, the sewer men found an innovative way for the exhaust of poisonous gases from the sewer line. They placed a table fan on the manhole so that gases could come out from the other side. "We cannot risk our lives just because the MC officials do not provide us with the safety equipment," rued a sewer man.

(Contributed by Manav Mander, Kuldip Bhatia, Anupam Bhagria and Puneet Pal Singh Gill) 



from schools
Investiture ceremony

Ludhiana: Ryan International School, Dugri, on Sunday conducted an Investiture ceremony. Ghuman Singh, president of District Bar Association, Ludhiana, was the guest of honor on the occasion. Parliament of a school is a group of members who join hands to accomplish a given task. Each member of the parliament is assigned a job connected with a particular portfolio. They are also called cabinet ministers or council members. Ghuman honored all council members by pinning a badge. An oath-taking ceremony by the students was also held. Students of Classes I and II had a fancy dress competition on the theme ‘save environment’.

Plantation month celebrated
Students of Ryan School plant a sapling on the school campus in Ludhiana.
Students of Ryan School plant a sapling on the school campus in Ludhiana. Tribune Photo: Inderjeet Verma

July is being celebrated as the 'Plantation Month ' at Ryan International School in Ludhiana. Students carried out plantation drives at the Urban Estate, Phase II, Friends Park, Jewan Nagar Park, GRD Colony, PHB Colony, GK Estate, Urban Estate, Dugri, Mundian khurd, Mini Rose Garden, Kitchlu Nagar, Muncipal Ground, Ramgarh and Nawlakha Colony. A large number of saplings were planted on the ocassion. The society heads and other guests appreciated the efforts of the Ryanites and motivated them to plant more and more saplings to make the environment greener. They advised the students to spread awareness about such plantation drives.

Poster-making competition

A poster-making competition on 'Global Warming' was held on Saturday at Harsh Vidya Mandir School, New Subhash Nagar. Students of Classes VI and VII participated in the competition. Director DP Sharma and principal Meena Sharma inspired the participants, while giving them lectures on global warming and distributed prizes among the students who secured the first position in the competition. The competition was organised by Veena Dogra and Rajni Sharma, chairperson of the SUPW Council. Harmeet Kaur, Sukhdeep Kaur, Prachi and Jessica from Class VI, Bhavna, Kartikay, Jaskaran, Ruchi and Gurwinder from Class VII secured the first position in the competition.

Self-empowerment Workshop

Science teachers from various CBSE schools under the Ludhiana Sahodaya Schools Complex (LSSC) participated in the Science Self-empowerment Workshop organised by Nankana Sahib Public School. Harmeet Kaur Waraich, principal of the school, delivered a speech on changing paradigms in education. There were sessions regarding innovative and interesting techniques used during classroom teaching and common problems faced by the teachers or students in the classroom. There was also a discussion on CCE data maintenance of science.

Rote learning

With an objective to discourage rote learning among schoolchildren and to make an effort to relate social studies teaching and learning at school with the outside world, 70 teachers from 21 different schools of the city participated in the Self Empowerment Workshop for middle school teachers at Drishti Dr RC Jain Innovative Senior Secondary Public School, Narangwal, on Saturday. Sharanjit Singh from KVM shared his valuable techniques of quick and effective learning. The teachers were told various ideas to develop the interest of the students for factual learning. They discussed the techniques of preparing rubrics for retention and comfortable learning.

Mathematics workshop

Kundan Vidya Mandir organised an activity-based Mathematics Workshop for the teachers of Sahodaya Schools. As many as 83 teachers teaching Classes VI to VIII from various schools attended the workshop. Rekha Goyal and Abhaya Dixit, maths teachers from the senior section, were the resource persons. They discussed about the skills to make teaching of maths more effective and interesting. Vinay Syal, incharge, senior section, talked about the phobia of maths among students and its importance in daily life. The activities based on integers and mensuration were carried out. The tricks for multiplication, division and finding square roots engrossed the participants. Navita Puri, principal of the school, said teachers must update their knowledge from time-to-time and such workshops served this purpose perfectly. — TNS



Ludhiana Scan 

Cong leaders flay Akali policies

Ludhiana: Congress MLA Rakesh Pandey and senior Congress leader Parminder Mehta, in a meeting organised at the office of Youth Congress leader Himanshu Walia flayed the Akalis for their "anti-people policies". Congress leaders claimed that from the statements issued by the BJP leaders it seemed that the Akali Dal had not taken the BJP, its junior coalition partner, into confidence on many important issues. Pandey criticised Sukhbir Badal's "Mission Ludhiana" as an election ploy. "The state government is creating an unnecessary hype about it," he said.

Mango festival

Govind Go Dham, Hambraon road, organised a mango festival on Sunday. Mangoes of as many as 11 different varieties were displayed on the occasion. "Large number of devotees thronged the temple and offered bhog of mangos to the Lord Krishna and Radha. In the evening bhajan snadhya was held," said S D Dhamija, founder of Govind Go Dham.

Medical camp

A medical camp was held near Gurudwara Sahib, Sherpur Kalan Ludhiana by Team from CHC Sahnewal. Patients belonging to adjoining areas were examined. No cases of diarrhoea were reported. Health teams from the CHC, Sahnewal, surveyed Sherpur area. As many as 470 houses were visited. No case of gastroenteritis was reported.

Tree plantation drive

Rotary Club, Ludhiana, organised a tree plantation drive on Sunday at Rishi Nagar. President of the club Dr Harvinder Singh inaugurated the drive. On the occasion, all the members of the club participated in the drive and planted more than 100 saplings. Other members of the society were also present to grace the occasion.

Seminar on service tax

The Ludhiana Chapter of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India held a seminar on LLPs and service tax. The seminar was inaugurated by Dr Raj Singh, Registrar of Companies (Ministry of Corporate Affairs) for the States of Punjab, Chandigarh and HP. Speaking on the occasion, Dr Singh said service tax over the years has become a major source of revenue for the government. Its coverage has been increased manifold by expanding its ambit of services/areas by the Union Governments. The Central Government has too introduced VCES (Voluntary Compliance Encouragement Scheme) to encourage defaulters to pay service tax voluntarily without any penalty, interest and prosecution.

Protest against police inaction

The Hindu Utahan Perished staged a protest rally from Talab Mandir to clock Tower Chowk against the Punjab government for not arresting the accused of cow slaughter case. Vinod Jain, president of the Hindu Utahan Perished, alleged that the city police has failed to arrest the accused of cow slaughter a week after the incident. The activists of Hindu Utahan Perished expressed their worry about the rising cases of cow slaughter cases in the state. They demanded the arrest of accused soon.—TNS



Swindlers, snatchers have a field day as police remains elusive 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
As the police remained elusive, swindlers and snatchers had a field day on Sunday evening. In the first incident, swindlers posing as customers stole around Rs 70,000 from a stall of home decorator during an exhibition at Hotel Maharaja Regency on the Ferozepur Road.

Narrating the incident, SS Teer, home decorator from the Model Town Road in Jalandhar, said a group of persons thronged at his stall and asked for bed sheets and quilts.

As he was busy showing the products, the swindler sneaked away with whatever sale they had in two days at the exhibition.

SS Teer said the loss was nearly Rs 70,000. His wife Sarita Teer said they were about to wrap up their display items and were planning to return Jalandhar.

SS Teer also checked CCTV footage, but failed to find any clue. “The CCTV installed in the hall could not cover the area where my stall was located,” said Teer.

In the second incident, two youths on a motorcycle snatched the purse from a woman at the Sham Singh Road near the Mall Road.

The incident took place around 9 pm when Sarita Madan from Yumanna Nagar was returning to Simiti Kendra at Sham Singh after attending a discourse on Ram Sharnam in Haibowal.

She said when she was a few meters away from Simiti Kendra, two youths riding on a motorcycle snatched his purse containing Rs 35,000 and important documents and the keys of the house.

The woman raised the alarm following which residents of the locality came out of their house. Some residents also tried to chase the snatchers, but all in vain as they vanished from the scene.

The residents said snatching incident had become a routine on the Sham Shinghar Road and there was no police patrolling on the road. 

complainant’s plea goes unheard

Gaurav Bhakoo, a city resident, called at helpline 100 and sought immediate action, but instead of alerting the cops at the respective police station, the policemen sitting on the helpline 100 started giving lessons to Gaurav Bhakoo. “The police officer sitting on the helpline 100 told me that the victim should have looked for the number plate of the motorcycle. How a 60-year-old woman can read the number plate of the fleeing criminals’ motorcycle in pitch dark condition. Why don’t police officers tighten security to prevent such incidents,” said Gaurav.



Miscreants smash windshields of two vehicles at Raj Guru Nagar
Turbine News Service

Ludhiana, July 21
Miscreants smashed windshields of two vehicles belonging to a school principal at Raj Guru Nagar. The incident came to light today morning when Gurvinder Kaur, principal of Government Model Senior Secondary School, Miller Gunj, came out of his house and was shocked to find the windshields of her two vehicles smashed.

She raised the alarm and the residents of the locality gathered at the place. The police also reached the spot and recorded Gurvinder Kaur’s statements.

“I parked the vehicles in front of my house and went to sleep. In the morning when I went outside the house, I was shocked to find the windshields smashed,” said Gurvinder Kaur.

The police has not ruled out the possibility that some students of the school, where Gurvinder Kaur is serving as the principal, could be behind the mischief.

Only vehicles belonging to Gurvinder Kaur had been smashed. 



Thieves strike at temple, decamp with ornaments

Ludhiana, July 21
The city police has registered a case against unidentified persons for stealing ornaments from the idols installed in the temple. The incident took place in the wee hours on July 12. Chander Mohan, priest of the temple, said he opened the door of the temple at 5 am and found that some unidentified persons had decamped with gold and silver ornaments from the idols installed in the temple. The police has recorded the priest's statements.

Five booked for assaulting man

The Division No 6 has registered a case against five persons, including two women, for assaulting a man and vandalising his house. The accused have been identified as Sony, Raju, Kavi, Kajal and Meera, all residents of Janakpuri. The incident took place on Saturday. Rujid Alam, a resident of a migrant quarter at Janakpuri, said the accused persons, who reside in their ‘vehra’, barged into his house and thrashed him and his wife. The police has recorded the victim's statements and has started investigations.

Husband, in-laws booked

The city police has booked a man and his parents for thrashing and kidnapping his wife. The accused have been identified as Satvinder Singh, his father, Charanjit Singh, and his mother, Jatinder Kaur, all residents of Shimlapuri. The incident took place of July 6. Guni Ram, a resident of Sangrur, said his niece got married to Satvinder Singh. On July 6, the accused thrashed his niece and she was missing since then. The police has registered a case of kidnapping against the accused on the victim's statement.— TNS



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