L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rain leaves city roads waterlogged
Residents have a tough time as water enters houses, shops in the Old City area
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

A girl caught unawares by the rain  in Ludhiana on Wednesday
A girl caught unawares by the rain  in Ludhiana on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

A woman, along with her children, wades through a flooded street near the Rani Jhansi road
A woman, along with her children, wades through a flooded street near the Rani Jhansi road. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, July 24
The city received heavy rain today, which affected life in several areas. The worst affected was the Old City area where rainwater entered houses and shops and commuters had a tough time wading through waterlogged roads.

Every time the city gets heavy rain, life in several areas gets affected due to waterlogging, but the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has failed to take corrective measures.

The area opposite the Khalsa College for Women in Ghumar Mandi, Pakhowal Road, the old GT Road near the railway station, Clock Tower, the road outside the Deputy Commissioner's residence, Domoria Bridge, the stretch near Rotary Bhawan in Sarabha Nagar, the road near the telephone exchange in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar and parts of the service lane along the Ferozepur Road are among the areas which get severely affected.

At Domoria Bridge, the situation was bad as rainwater had accumulated there. Those on two-wheelers got stranded near this place as they could not cross Domoria Bridge. Even people travelling by four-wheelers had a tough time crossing the bridge.

Paramjit Singh, a resident of Guru Nanak Pura near Domoria Bridge, said every time it rained, water got accumulated near Domoria Bridge as it was a low-lying area. "Despite this, the MC has failed to find a permanent solution to the problem," he said.

Former Congress councillor Parminder Mehta said when storm sewer pipes were laid in the area, he had raised a hue and cry over the smaller width of the pipes. "MC officials did not pay any heed towards the issue. As a result, water gets accumulated there whenever it rains. The MC has wasted public money in the area. Had they laid pipes with a bigger diameter, the problem of water accumulation would have been solved forever," said Mehta, who is the spokesperson for Congress councillors in the MC.

A senior MC official said on condition of anonymity though water had accumulated on several roads due to the heavy rain, it receded after a few hours. If it rains heavily, the problem of water accumulation will always be there. However, the problem gets aggravated if the water remains accumulated for several hours," he said.


City gets 34.4 mm of rainfall
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
Heavy rain in the city provided respite to residents from the humid weather for some hours in the afternoon but the humidity level increased soon after the rain. The meteorology department of Punjab Agricultural University recorded 34.4 mm of rainfall in two hours and 96 per cent humidity in the evening. Strong winds before the rain led to the uprooting of some trees in the area.

According to weather experts, the city has received below average rain in July so far.

Dr Kulwinder Kaur Gill, Agrometerologist at PAU, said, "This year the monsoon has been erratic. We received more than average rainfall in June, but in July, the rainfall has been below average. The region receives 232 mm of rainfall on an average in July. However, this year we have recorded only 80 mm of rainfall so far."

"There has been a change in the humidity level also. During the past few days, the humidity level has been more than average," she said. According to weather experts, rain is likely on Friday and Saturday.

The rain came as a respite for city residents, who were reeling under hot and humid conditions for the past few days.

"We enjoyed the rain after many days. However, the relief was shortlived as the humidity level increased soon after the rain," said Parneet, a resident of Krishna Nagar.

"The rain affected life in the city. Rainwater entered houses at some placed due to a chocked sewerage. Commuters witnessed long traffic jams after the rain on city roads," said Raju Dhaliwal, a resident of Mehraj Nagar.



Parking contractors spar over illegal use of fire lane
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
The contractor of the Feroze Gandhi Market parking and that of the parking lot opposite the Mini-Secretariat had an altercation today over the parking of vehicles along the boundary wall of the Mini-Secretariat facing the Feroze Gandhi Market.

The bone of contention was a portion of a road (fire lane) where parking is not allowed. Contractors are also not allowed to use this portion for parking purposes.

Giving norms the go-by, motorists often park their vehicles on this stretch for several hours and officials of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation turn a blind eye to the violation.

The contractor of the Feroze Gandhi Market is allegedly using the streets surrounding this market for parking purposes illegally. The MC seems to be in deep slumber as this practice has been continuing for a long time. The contractor is allowing parking on the adjoining roads and even on footpaths.

Today, when the contractor of the Ferozepur Road parking lot tried to allow some residents to park their vehicles on the fire lane, the Feroze Gandhi Market contractor reached the spot and tried to stop him from doing so saying that it was his area. They had an altercation, after which MC officials reached the spot.

MC tehbazaari superintendent Naveen Malhotra said he had told both parking contractors not to use this particular stretch for parking vehicles. "This is a fire lane and is not to be used for parking," he said.

On vehicles being parked in this portion of the road, he said the MC conducted regular checks in the area. Following the intervention of the MC officials, the matter was resolved.

Temporary encroachments

MC Tehbazaari wing officials had to face opposition from shopkeepers when they went to the Ghumar Mandi area to remove temporary encroachments outside shops. The shopkeepers tried to stop the officials from clearing the encroachments. MC tehbazaari superintendent Naveen Malhotra said some shopkeepers tried to snatch the goods, which were confiscated from outside their shops. "With the help of the police, we managed to clear the encroachments from the area," he said



Industry points out shortcomings in e-trip system
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
Industry representatives today met the Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner to discuss the e-trip system and the difficulties being faced by them in this regard. A delegation of the United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association (UCPMA), the Ludhiana Hosiery Association and the Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertaking (CICU) met Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner Rishipal Singh.

The industrial associations demanded that the implementation of the e-trip system be suspended till it was made "mistake-proof and user friendly". The associations brought to the notice of the tax official various shortcomings in the e-trip system. The industry representatives said the transactions made in this manner could not be called foolproof. Anyone could know about the transaction of a trader since it would be uploaded on the website.

The second point raised during the meeting was regarding the VAT refund, which was lying pending with department for fourth-stage verification, which, they said, was totally wrong.

The industrialists requested that the fourth-stage verification should not be enforced by the Excise and Taxation Department.

Gurmeet Singh Kular, president of the UCPMA, suggested that a complete data of dealers registered with the department in the state should be uploaded on the website of the department so that businessmen could know about the party with whom they were planning to deal so that at a later stage they did not face any problems.

Upkar Singh, joint secretary of CICU, suggested that officials checking goods on roads should disclose their names and designations so that they could be contacted for further proceedings and industrialists did not have to run all over to get information about their impounded goods.

"It is not practically possible for small units to follow the e-trip system as most of these are not equipped with computers and the Internet facility," said Naveen Sood, president of the Ludhiana Hosiery Association.



Gold, mobiles recovered from snatchers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
Five snatchers, including a minor, who were arrested two days ago, have been found to be hardened criminals. During interrogation, the accused confessed to having committed nearly 35 snatchings in the city.

Besides three stolen motorcycles, the police today recovered 10 mobile phones, 100 gm of gold and a laptop from the accused's possession.

The accused have been identified as Baldeep Singh, alias Shanky and Himanshu, both residents of Dharampura, Avtar Singh, a resident of Ranjit Park, and Rajan Kumar, a resident of Tajgunj. The identity of the fifth accused has been withheld as he is a minor. They were arrested at a police naka in Sunet on Monday.

ADCP-III Joginder Singh said the arrest of the accused would help check snatching incidents in Sarabha Nagar and the surrounding areas.



Operators await payments
Had provided buses, mini-buses for ferrying polling parties
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
Bus operators whose vehicles were hired for ferrying polling parties during the zila parishad and panchayat elections have not yet received their payments. Reason: Two returning officers, who hold top posts in the district administration, signed empty logbooks.

Rubbing salt into the bus operators’ wounds, the administration has decided to make the payments as per instructions of the Election Commission and not as per the latest notification of the State Transport Department. Rs 3,750 will be paid for a district bus and the mini-bus operators will receive Rs 2,500 for each vehicle.

"As per the notification of the State Transport Department in 2012, an amount of Rs 4,500 has to be given for a district bus and Rs 3,000 for a mini-bus, in addition to the cost of lubricant and diesel. We are disappointed with the manner we are being treated with. If the officials failed to get the logbooks completed from their staff, why should we be penalised? If the books were incomplete, they could have taken strict action against the staff on duty that had to note the distance travelled by each vehicle,” said a bus operator.

The president of Mini-Bus Operators’ Association, Jaswinder Singh Grewal, said the way things were moving; it seemed they would not receive their payments anytime soon.

Additional Deputy Commissioner (D) Kanwalpreet Brar said the payments had been received and the lists had been sent for verification. She, however, said the money could not be disbursed till the logbooks were complete.

“The logbooks must be cleared by returning officers, before I can clear them. As far as the increased rates are concerned, I will have to consult with the Election Commission before commenting,” said Kanwalpreet Brar.

why are we being penalised?

If the officials failed to get logbooks completed from their staff, why should we be penalised? If the books were incomplete, they could have taken strict action against the staff on duty that had to note the distance travelled by each vehicle

— A bus operator



tribune impact
MC removes shutter of illegal shop
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
Two days after The Tribune reported that an illegal shop had come up in the residential area opposite the Sarabha Nagar main market, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation today demolished its shutter. The MC officials warned the owner against using the residential space for commercial activity.

Area building inspector Kuljit Singh said the owner was also made to give it in writing that he would not use the house for commercial activities. The house owner was told that in case of non-compliance, the structure would be demolished, he said.



MC caused me a loss of Rs 3 crore, alleges city-based businessman
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
A city-based businessman has accused the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation officials of highhandedness while demolishing a large portion of his building on Hambran Road that caused him a loss of over Rs 3 crore.

The MC officials, however, claimed the demolition was carried out on the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and that no rules were flouted.

A resident, Naresh Soni, had complained to the MC as well as the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the construction of a shopping plaza on Hambran Road. Soni had alleged that the construction was not been done as per rules.

While addressing a press conference here today, Harish Gupta, who is the owner of the demolished property, said the court had directed the MC to demolish only a small area.

“The MC officials, however, demolished much more, causing me a loss of over Rs 3 crore. I want a criminal case to be registered against the MC officials as well as the complainant,” he said.

Meanwhile, Naresh Soni’s representative said the High Court, on February 2, had directed the MC to demolish the violations within five months. “Still, the MC officials failed to comply with the directions. It was only after we wrote a letter to the MC stating if they failed to demolish the violation, we would file a contempt case against it, that the demolition was carried out yesterday. Harish Gupta is just trying to defame Naresh Soni,” he said.



Aided schools sans principals
Teachers to hold protest from August 5 outside DC’s office
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
Out of the total 484 aided-schools in the district, a majority of the schools are functioning without any principal/headmaster. The services of the headmasters are being rendered by the senior most teachers of a particular school.

Thanks to the apathetic attitude adopted by the state government as no staff has been recruited in the aided schools since 2003. Besides, teachers of these schools have threatened to go on an agitation from August 5 if the government failed to merge the schools with government schools.

While talking to The Tribune, Savinderjit Kaur, the president of the Punjab Aided Teachers and other Employee Union said the staff in the aided schools were facing a lot of problems.

"The teachers/staff have not getting salaries for the past five months. Besides, there are no principals/headmasters in the schools. In 1967, there were about 12,000 teachers in the aided schools in Punjab and now the strength of staff has drastically reduced to not more than 4,500. Moreover, the number of students has increased but there is an acute shortage of staff," said the president.

Meanwhile, during a meeting of the teachers here, it was decided that from August 5 to 8, protests will be held outside the Deputy Commissioners' offices in Punjab.

"A group of 21 teachers each will hold a protest dharna at all the district headquarters for three days. We are not justified in our demand. Government is already paying 95 per cent grants to these schools and just five per cent is being shared by the managements of the schools. Thousands of students, majority of them from poor families, are studying in these aided schools. But they can not be provided with quality education in the absence of sufficient number of staff. Despite our efforts, the government does not seem to be in any mood to listen to our grievances. How can we run our homes without the salaries for five months?" asked another teacher.



Anti-Corruption Group blames school for student’s failure
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
An Anti-Corruption Group has alleged that BCM School, Sector 32, here has "ruined" the career of a student as he had approached the court to get justice. Ramesh Bangar, from the group, said a student, Vishal, was a studying at BCM School, Sector 32. He secured less marks than the required passing marks.

His parents then moved to the court as the school authorities denied to give him passing marks, alleged Bangar. He further added that the court gave a three-week time to the school authorities to retake the exam of the student.

Bangar alleged: "The test was conducted 21 days before and the student was unnecessarily pressurised by the teachers as he had approached the court. He secured passing marks. But on the directions of the principal, his marks were deducted and he was declared failed. We have filed a complaint with DCP, Harsh Bansal, against the school for tempering with the records," alleged Bangar.

DCP, Harsh Bansal, said he had received the complaint about "tempering" of examination sheet and had marked an inquiry with the SHO Division Number 7.

Meanwhile, DP Gulerai, the principal of the school, said the student had got compartment in economics and he (the student) even failed to clear the compartment test. Then they moved to the court and on directions of which, the school authorities took his retest. "But he failed again. We asked him to take admission in Class XI again. But he took transfer certificate and left the school. Now again after three months, they are raising the issue. The student, along with some 50-60 persons, including his family members, came and threatened the teachers and staff with dire consequences. Rules are rules and the parents must understand this," said the principal.



Experts dwell on Down’s syndrome
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
A workshop on “Awareness about Down's Syndrome in children and its Early Intervention” was organised by a city-based NGO, Ashirwad. The programme was conducted in collaboration with the Down Syndrome Association of Tamil Nadu and Matharu Mandir.

Dr Neelam Sodhi from Ashirwad said genetic problem due to the presence of extra chromosome leads to down syndrome among children. Children having the syndrome are born with typical facial features condition known as mongolism, she said. They can be identified early, sometimes at birth, she said. Presence of an extra chromosome leads to heart problems, weak and soft muscles at birth, she said.

Such children are considered as mentally retarded. But they are not necessarily born mentally retarded, said Dr Rekha Ramachandran (co-founder and chairperson of the Down Syndrome Federation of India (Tamil Nadu Chapter). But because proper stimulus and response is not given to children, as they are considered mentally retarded, leads to retardation in the absence of proper care and stimulus by parents and people doesn't allow the brain to develop.

Dr Sodhi said training, inclusion and early intervention can enable such children lead a normal life and allows them to study in mainstream, and pursue higher studies and become members of the mainstream society.

The Down Syndrome Association of Tamil Nadu has started assisting parents in raising babies and infants with the down’s syndrome. This was started by Dr Rekha Ramachandran only because she had a baby (Babli) with the down syndrome in 1981. Babli is an adult today and she has managed to reach her potential with help of her parents, teachers and friends. Now she is a yoga teacher and is currently teaching to 16 people with down syndrome.

Dr Neelam Sodhi said early intervention unit for children with down syndrome would be created at the new centre of Ashirwad at Dugri.

Ashirwad is a unit of The North India Cerebral Palsy Association, (NICPA). It is a complete rehabilitation centre that provides physical, educational, vocational, training to children with developmental disabilities like cerebral palsy, mental retardation, down's syndrome, autism and multiple disabilities.



Health team destroys unhygienic eatables

Ludhiana, July 24
With an aim of preventing diseases during the rainy season, a team of the Health Department officials, led by Dr Parvinderpal Singh, Senior Medical Officer from the Community Health Centre, Sahnewal, conducted a visit at migrant dominated Dhandari Khurd area here today.

Dr Parvinderpal Singh Sidhu said, "During the visit, we have found that migrant labourers have been residing in pathetic conditions. They do not take care of their hygienic condition properly. We found that they kept the food items in highly unhygienic conditions."

"We appealed them to keep the food in hygienic conditions. Moreover, we will write to the Municipal Corporation to change the pipelines of those water connections which are in the contact of sewerage water," he added.

The health department has deployed a team at sub-centre Dhandari Khurd to provide the medicine and proper care to the patients. An awareness drive is also initiated to make the public aware about the use of chlorine.

Meanwhile, the team conducted an inspection in the same area and destroyed the eatables which were being sold in unhygienic conditions. The team members also destroyed the vegetables and fruits kept in the open by vendors and instructed them not to keep vegetables, fruits and other eatables in open.

Dr Parvinderpal Singh also appealed to the common people to keep their surroundings clean and prepare vegetables and other eatables in hygienic conditions to stay away from various water-borne diseases. — TNS



200 youths get jobs under CII programme
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
HS Kingra, Chairman and Managing Director of the National Scheduled Caste Finance Development Corporation, awarded CII certificates and job offers from various CII member companies to over 200 candidates from underprivileged section of the society.

These candidates belonged to the SC dominated districts in Punjab namely, Nawanshahar and Faridkot.

The CII and National Scheduled Caste finance Development Corporation (NSFDC) are jointly running this programme, under which they would train and provide jobs to as many as 500 candidates through the CII member companies in five districts namely Nawanshahar, Faridkot, Cooch Behar, Mednipur and Bagha.

Young SC candidates seemed extremely happy with the skill training and job offer letters in hand and were eager to make the best of the opportunity.

DP Singh, ex-chairman, CII Amritsar Zonal Council, shared that the CII is actively pursuing Affirmative Action Agenda for the benefit of youth from the backward classes.



Security given a miss at railway station
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana July 24
Despite railway authorities directing the Ludhiana railway station officials to strengthen their security arrangements, breaches are aplenty at the station. The major breach in security is in the form of multiple unmanned entrances.

A person can easily enter the station from any side. Visitors often enter through the goods godown, parcel office, cloakroom, union offices, ticket windows hall and several other entrances.

The scanning equipment installed at the main entrance, too, does not work properly. The number of security personnel at the railway station is also less than the requirement. There is, moreover, only one closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera at the station.

The station superintendent, Ravinder Sharma, said, "Even we are concerned about the security, and are aware that things are not going on in a proper manner. The higher officials often issue instructions; however, it will take time to strengthen the security at the station like that exists at metro stations.”



Sewerage project inaugurated in Sahnewal
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, July 24
The much awaited sewerage project for Ward Number 75 began today. The 16-inch sewer line was inaugurated by MLA Balwinder Singh Bains along with Sarabjit Singh Garcha, councillor of the ward.

Bains said the people of the area were demanding the installation of sewerage system for the past many years. Now, they will be relieved as the work would begin soon.

“In the meantime, we will try to remove all hitches which come in the way of the installation so that the sewerage facility is provided to the residents of the area at the earliest,” said Bains.

“The people of the ward are having a tough time in the absence of sewerage system. Although the work on sewerage installation began earlier, due to some technical hitches it had to be discontinued,” said councillor Sarabjit Singh Garcha.

“Now, another contractor has been deployed for the work. The installation will start from Makkar Colony in Dhandhari, will pass through Eastman factory and Jugiana, finally ending at Kanganwal village. The project is to be completed in five to six months,” he said.



traders’ bodies
Factionalism comes to the fore
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
Two major city-based industrial bodies stand divided over “petty” issues, while the industry is trying to put up a united stand against the e-trip system. Factionalism within Knitwear Club once again came to the fore after chairman Vinod Thapar shot a press note stating that the club president, Darshan Dawar, had organised a meeting without his consent.

Thapar also sent a letter to general secretary Narinder Miglani asking him to cancel the meeting.

Reacting to this development, Dawar said, "We had called an emergency meeting to discuss the e-trip issue. We need to be united at this hour, but some members are unnecessarily creating problems. We will carry on with the meeting which is scheduled in the evening and I am sure most of the members will attend it.”

All is not well with United Cycle and Parts Manufacturers Association (UCPMA) too. Association members Inderjit Singh Navyug and Pardeep Wadhawan released press notes stating that the UCPMA had sent an old photograph along with a press release regarding a meeting.

"The photograph shows us sitting next to the UCPMA president. We, however, are supporting Charanjit Singh Vishivkarma in the upcoming elections," they said.

Association president Gurmeet Singh Kular said, "Some members are playing dirty politics. We should together work for the interest of the cycle industry.”



‘My movies will always carry a message’
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
The director of National Award-winning Punjabi film Nabar, Rajeev Sharma, was in the city today. The Mumbai-based director, who hails from Jagraon, said his interest in cinema developed when he was a child. He was a member of the theatre group Lok Kala Manch in Mandi Mullanpur.

To hone his skills he took admission to the Department of Indian Theatre at Panjab University. He worked with the noted theatre personality Gursharan Singh, he says.

For a year, he also worked as a producer with City Cable in the city. After working with several television channels on senior positions, he decided to pursue his passion for making films. His short film Aatu Khoji was a pioneering work in Punjabi and won critical acclaim, he says.

Rajeev says he always wanted to make issue-based movies and create awareness about people’s struggles in the face of injustices.

Discounting the claims that the Punjabi audience did not want anything other than comedy, Rajeev says good cinema will always be appreciated. He says young filmmakers should make movies with conviction without worrying about the response. If the film is good, it will be appreciated, he says.

“People’s reaction cannot be judged on the basis of movies being made for the multiplex-going public, which is only around 20 per cent of the audiences. Although they, too, are a part of the audience watching my movies, I always try that my movies reach and touch the rest of the people as well,” says Rajeev.

The young director says there needs to be an alternate means of distribution. His short film Aatu Khoji was shown in villages through projector screens. “People contribute to the film-making with their ideas and reactions. Gursharan Bhaji, too, used to take reactions of the audiences into account while doing theatre,” he says.

Rajeev believes that the Punjabi cinema has a great potential. All that is required is looking for the talent, he says. "All the artistes in Nabar, except two, have done theatre. Rather than going for well-established actors, I worked hard to choose the actors who could do justice to their roles," he says.

Although he will make films from the commercial angle as well, his movies will always carry a message, says Rajeev.



Need to give a fillip to art in city, say artists
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
Ludhiana has been known for long as the industrial city, but as the city grows there is a need to develop and evolve its cultural side. The absence of a major art gallery, not only to promote the current talent in the city but also to provide a fillip to the art in the city, is conspicuous. There is no major art gallery in the city that provides accessible space to artists.

"Several art galleries, including a private art gallery Artmosphere, exist in the city, but these are not designed for exhibiting the art. An elegant, ample space for promotion and exhibiting the art is required in the city. An art centre can be started where artists hold workshops. There is concept of a art store," says Parveen Kumar, from the fine arts department of Government College for Girls, who started ARS Group of artists.

"There is a need of collaboration between writers and artists in the city for the promotion of the art and literature," he says.

A government college of arts can be started for the promotion of visual arts here, say some artists. "The government support is essential for the promotion of art and culture in the city. Colleges of arts should be started in the cities of the state, including Ludhiana," says Tejinder Ladi Singh, a city-based artist.

"I feel there is a need to develop the cultural heart of Punjab. The city has an immense potential for the promotion of the art. But city artists need the support of the government and cultural bodies to support and promote the art, which is missing presently," says Harpreet, an artist.

As the state government has been trying to promote tourism, development of art and crafts, and art galleries can go a long way for the promotion of both art and tourism in the state," says Sarabjit, an art enthusiast.



A false alarm
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
The city police today went in a tizzy after industrialist Minni Rayat's mobile phone got switched off soon after she left home in her Toyota car. The family members contacted senior bureaucrats and friends and informed them that Mini's mobile was not working. The police said the family suspected the driver who was fired from the job yesterday was responsible for the alleged disappearance.

High alert was sounded and police checkpoints were laid at all the entry and exit points of the city. The sleuths from the IT Department began tracking the last location of Minni’s mobile phone.

SHO, PAU police station, Paramdeep Singh said he had received an alert about industrialist Minni Rayat's disappearance. Later, however, it was found that she had kept her phone switched off, as she was attending some business conference, he said.

Mini Rayat is the managing director of Akal Springs located at Focal Point.



17 fined under tobacco Act
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
A team of the Community Health Centre, Sahnewal, has challaned 17 persons under the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Control Act. Dr Parvinder Pal Singh Sidhu, Senior Medical Officer of the centre, said 17 persons were challaned for smoking at public places at Dhandari and selling tobacco products. A fine of Rs 2,650 was collected from the violators.

The team included Health inspectors Dalbeer Singh and Satpal Singh, and multipurpose health worker Sukhbir Singh.



Youth Cong leaders hold protest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
The District Youth Congress staged a protest demanding an increase in the number of seats in various courses at government colleges here today and submitted a memorandum to the state government.

With the increase in population, there should have been a corresponding increase in the number of seats in various streams in government colleges, said the leaders.




Save-environment week

Ludhiana: Third day of week on “Save Environment” was filled with activities highlighting the importance of trees and clean environment at Green Land School here on Wednesday. The students of classes VI and VIII planted over 100 saplings on and around the premises.

Career counselling

Amrit Indo-Canadian Academy organised a career counseling session in its school. An expert was the resource person.

Poetry-recitation competition

An English poetry recitation competition was organised for the Kindergarten Section at KVM School here on Wednesday.

Plantation drive

Students of Ryan International School have undertaken a month-long plantation drive initiative. The students of the school went to a society of Sector32, Kidwai Nagar, Janakpuri, Rose Garden, here on Wednesday. They also went for plantation to Naulakha Garden near CMC Hospital.

Investiture ceremony

To mark the importance of discipline, a new Prefect Council was formed in KVM, City Campus, and a formal Investiture ceremony was organised to depute and honour the new members of the prefect council. — TNS





Master Cadre Punjab will be staging a dharna on August 10 at Sangrur. “Our long pending demands have still not been met and we are left with no other choice except staging a dharna. Our dearness allowance is pending, even the salary is not received on time and some posts are not sanctioned till now," said Dharamjit Singh Dhillon, president of Ludhiana wing.

e-trip system implementation

Sachin Tandon, president of the Nationalist Congress Party, alleged that the government is destroying the trader community. He said the industry would be finished after the implementation of e-trip in the state. “The government is only working for its own selfish interest and is not taking into consideration the general interest and welfare of the people,” he said.

Milaap Divas

A delegation of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur will be leaving from Ludhiana to visit Shree Hazur Sahib to celebrate Milaap Divas. The delegation will be leaving from the Ludhiana railway station on September 1 and will be travelling by the Jatha Sachkhand Express.

Medical camp

A medical camp was organised by Bhagwan Mahavir Sewa Sansthan at Guru Hargobind Nagar here on Wednesday. The camp was inaugurated by Janak Raj Gupta. Free sugar test and free lipid profile blood test were conducted. Heart and blood pressure of the patients was also monitored during the camp. Nearly 150 patients visited the camp.

Rally held

A rally to create awareness on prevention of cruelty towards birds and animals was held at the Sarabha Nagar market on Tuesday. It was carried out by Ishq-e-Ibadat House, an NGO working to prevent cruelty towards birds and animals. Students from RS Model School and Government Senior Secondary School, Sarabha Nagar, participated in the event.

Blood donation camp organised

A blood donation camp was organised by Sankara Eye Hospital in collaboration with Bhai Ghanaiya Ji Mission Sewa Society at Vaddi Haveli, near the hospital, on Wednesday. Taranjit Singh Nimana, society member, and Brig Mohan Singh Gujral from the hospital said the doctors and staff of the hospital donated blood during the camp.

Havan for world peace

A havan yajna was organised at Dukh Nivaran, Dhandra. The havan was organised for world peace, organisers of the yajna said. It was inaugurated by sarpanch Manmohan Singh Dhandra.

Tax-free screening

The Hindu Sikh Jagriti Manch sent a memorandum to the Punjab Government demanding tax-free screening of the film ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ in the state. They said the movie was an inspiration for youngsters and it should be shown to schoolchildren for free. The governments of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have already made the screening of the film tax-free in the respective states, members of the organisation said.


A meeting of Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha Desh Bhagat Yadgar Committee was presided over by Dev Sarabha, committee president. Committee members said, “The Punjab Government should declare Kartar Singh Sarabha as a national martyr.” The members said the move should be proposed in the Vidhan Sabha session and should further be sent to the Centre.

Pension disbursed

Representatives of the All-India Human Rights Association along with the beneficiaries at a pension distribution function in Jagraon on Wednesday
Representatives of the All-India Human Rights Association along with the beneficiaries at a pension distribution function in Jagraon on Wednesday. A Tribune photograph

JAGRAON: All India Human Rights Association, Jagraon, organised its 36th monthly pension distribution function at Shiwalik Public School on Wednesday. The representatives of the association distributed pensions among 16 elderly persons.

Association president Manjinderpal Singh Honey presided over the function dedicated to Sakshi Sharma, daughter of Shiwalik Public School’s director DK Sharma.

Binder Manila, Jagraon Truck Union president, was the chief guest. He applauded the efforts made by the association in the field of social welfare. Assuring the association members of providing best possible assistance by Jagraon Truck Union in the efforts for uplifting the lives of downtrodden people, Binder also appealed to the other non-governmental organisations to come forward for the welfare of the underprivileged people of the society.

— Tribune Reporters



A school dropout, 14-yr-old ‘graduates’ in crime
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, July 24
Although a school dropout, this 14-year-old boy has ‘graduated’ in crime. The story of a minor boy held in connection with a snatching incident is also a reflection of the degeneration of values in society. The minor's confession before the police also demonstrates how a troubled marriage can have an adverse effect on children.

The teenager, who is presently in the police custody, said he used to study in a school at Moti Nagar, where his schoolmates used to tease him, because his mother had remarried after divorcing her first husband.

"In a fit of rage, I smashed a brick on a classmate’s head. He received three stitches on his head, following which I was thrown out of the school," said the boy.

Sitting idle at home, he soon got fond of playing pool and also befriended Baldeep Singh, alias Shanky, who lived near his house in Dharampura.

"Shanky used to help me financially, as playing pool for an hour costs nearly Rs 50. Soon I tried smack with Shanky. As I was fond of riding motorcycles, Shanky once told me to drive one while he sat behind. He snatched a gold chain from a woman in Sector 32 near Chandigarh Road. Later, he gave me Rs 12,000. I was very happy, and spent the money on shopping,” said the boy.

committed crimes after getting high

The 14-year-old boy, who was arrested along with four others in connection with various snatching incidents, said women were their preferred targets. He said he used to commit the crime after getting high on drugs.



2 schoolgirls go missing in Khanna

Khanna, July 24
The police is still clueless about the whereabouts of two local girls who went missing on July 20. The girls had gone to attend school but did not return home. After searching for them the parents filed a complaint with the police.

The police said Jaswinder Kaur, a resident of Guru Teg Bahadar Nagar, reported that her 16-year-old girl, a student of Class VII Surkhab School, had gone to the school along with a 15-year-old friend, who resides at Gali No. 9. The mother alleged that the two girls could have been lured by some people. The police yesterday registered a case under Sections 363 and 366-A of the IPC. Station House Officer (City) Harjinder Singh said the police would find the girls soon. — OC



Woman’s body found
Our Correspondent

Doraha, July 24
An unidentified body of a woman was found dumped in a sack near a village pond at Rampur today. The police has registered a case of murder as they suspect that the victim was strangulated to death.

The police sources said the victim’s hands were found tied. She was wearing a blue shirt with black capri. The deceased was also wearing danglers in her ears due to which police suspects that she belonged to Nepal. The body seemed to be old by several days as none could trace it till it began emanating foul smell.

The body was found dumped in a sack near the village pond. As the villagers saw the sack, they suspected something suspicious and informed the Doraha police, which sent it for the postmortem examination.

Sources added that the deceased is yet to be identified and that it was too early to comment. The police officials said that since the features of the deceased seemed to be of a Nepalese, we investigated from some Nepalese workers of the nearby factories as well. She may be working in a nearby factory or may be she was brought from outside, strangulated and later dumped by some truck driver or so.

The police is presently working on several theories. It is, however, a decomposed body of at least four to five old. The police has registered a case under Section 302 of the IPC,” informed Amarjit Singh Ghuman, DSP, Payal.



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