L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Houses develop cracks in BRS Nagar 
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
Residents of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar (BRS Nagar), E-block, alleged that cracks have developed in their houses due to the construction of a five-storeyed building in the area.

Ranjeev Arora, a resident of the area said the building was being constructed adjacent to his house.

"Cracks have appeared on the walls of my house and the floor has caved in from near the boundary wall. The owner of the five-storeyed building has put lives of the residents of the area at risk. The northern wall, which has caved in, is common between both the houses," said Arora, who has filed a complaint with the MC.

Col Jagdish Singh Brar, president of NGO Maha Sabha Ludhiana, alleged that the foundation of the five-storeyed building was weak. "The owner has converted the house into a commercial building and has given rooms on rent. If the MC fails to act on time, the building will collapse like a pack of cards," alleged Col Brar.

When contacted, Assistant Town Planner (Zone D) Rajinder Sharma claimed that after receiving a complaint, he visited the site. "The owner was trying to renovate a portion of the building. The construction has been stopped. We have asked him to submit documents of the building," he said.


Hospitals not immune from aedes larvae
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The presence of larvae of aedes aegypti mosquito in city hospitals has set the alarm bells ringing for the health department. In the past five days, larvae of the aedes mosquito were found in four hospitals in the city.

A team of the health department visited Mohan Dai Oswal Hospital today and checked 25 coolers and five water containers. The team found larvae in a cooler and a container outside the nursing hostel.

On August 8, larvae were found in five coolers in Doctors’ Hostel opposite Hero Heart Centre and in a container kept in the open in an under construction building. The team destroyed larvae by spraying temephos larvicide.

The team also visited the DMCH and found larvae in five containers which were also destroyed.

Dr Sandeep Puri, Medical Superintendent, DMCH, said: “We are trying to keep the premises clean. Regular sprays are being done to check the breeding of mosquitoes.”

On August 12, larvae were found in two more hospitals — BL Kapoor Hospital and Bhagwan Ram Charitable Hospital. The team checked 30 coolers and containers at BL Kapoor Hospital and found larvae in the three coolers. The team also visited Bhagwan Ram Charitable Hospital and checked 50 coolers and six containers. Larvae were found in 12 coolers and in all containers. District Epidemiologist Dr Anil Verma said the hospital authorities should empty coolers on their premises once a week. No container should be kept in the open. All containers should be covered, he added. Civil Surgeon, Ludhiana, Dr Subhash Batta said: “We have instructed hospitals, clinics and institutes to keep the premises clean to check the breeding of mosquitoes.”



Students boycott classes, stage dharna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana August 13
Perturbed at the rustication of engineering students, students of the College of Agriculture Engineering, Punjab Agricultural University, boycotted classes and held a protest against the authorities today.

The engineering students led by Punjab Agricultural University Students’ Association, staged a dharna in the corridor of the college for two hours. They also took out a rally from the College of Engineering to the School of Information Technology on the PAU campus.
Students of the College of Agricultural Engineering raise slogans against the university authorities on the PAU campus on Tuesday. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan
Students of the College of Agricultural Engineering raise slogans against the university authorities on the PAU campus on Tuesday. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

The students from all the batches of graduate and postgraduate classes, including BTech, MTech and MCA, boycotted the classes.

The protesting students raised slogans against the Dean, College of Agriculture, and the PAU Vice-Chancellor.

Sharanbir Singh, president of the students’ association, said: “It is injustice. The students were rusticated just because they were sleeping outside. The authorities should revoke their decision.”

Karanvir Singh Sandhu, vice-president of the association, said: “We will continue with our protest. The students will hold a rally tomorrow.”

The PAU authorities rusticated engineering students for allegedly lying alongside a road on the campus on July 21. While Dilpreet Singh Chahal, a fourth-year BTech student was rusticated, the admission of Harpreet Singh Brar and Jasandeep Singh to MTech was cancelled. 



Boy’s death sparks protest 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
Relatives of eight-year-old Nitesh, who died after coming in contact with a live wire while playing in a park at Jawahar Nagar yesterday, staged a dharna outside ESI Hospital today.

Hundreds of commuters had to face inconvenience as the protesters also blocked traffic at Bharat Nagar Chowk.

Children returning home from school and women who had gone to pick up their wards from school were the worst affected due to the blockade.

SDM Ajay Sood managed to pacify the protesters after an hour. He also announced Rs 1 lakh compensation to the family of the deceased.

However, administration's exercise of washing its hands off the responsibilities did not go down well with some residents of Jawahar Nagar.

“A life was lost and the administration was paying compensation. Is that the job of officials? Why the employees are not being held responsible for the lapse?” asked Ravinder, a resident of Jawahar Nagar. 

Not the first incident

Three youngsters, including a medical student, lost their lives in the past two month due to the dangling live wires.

On July 10, 17-year-old Mansimran Kaur, a resident of Model Town, was electrocuted after she fell off her scooter and came in contact with a power cable. She died on the spot.

On June 12, two youths were killed and another was injured after they came in contact with a power cable at Kot Mangal Singh. The deceased Sahil (22) and Sunny (22), both residents of Gopal Nagar, were riding a motorcycle along with their friend. 



Eating out in restaurants may cost more
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
Eating out in the restaurants and stay in hotels is going to become costlier if the Excise and Taxation Department's proposal to levy tax according to the seating capacity in restaurants and rooms in hotels is passed.

There can be an increase of 30 per cent in the charges if the tax is imposed according to the seating capacity in restaurants. At present 19.25 per cent VAT is imposed on food in restaurants. Hotels are paying luxury tax according to the rates charged by them.

Amarvir Singh, general secretary of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Punjab said the hotel industry was going through a rough patch and if the proposal was passed, it would be the last nail in the coffin for the industry.

“Punjab is not a tourist state and has budget hotels. If we have 20 rooms in a hotel that does not mean that all the rooms are occupied throughout the year. The proposal of the department is not practical. The hotel industry will launch a protest if the proposal is passed," he said..

Kulwinder Singh, a restaurateur, said: “Owners of dhabas are earning more than and are paying only Rs 50,000 as tax annually.”

"We are paying tax according to our sale and now the department's move to charge VAT according to the seating capacity is unjustified. All tables in the restaurant are not booked all the time,” he added.

Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner Rishpal Singh said: “The department is thinking on these lines but nothing has been finalised as yet. The department has come up with a proposal to collect VAT from restaurants according to their seating capacity and luxury tax from hotels according to the number of rooms. We will be observing the proposal from all angles before finalising it," said. 

‘Collection of luxury tax up’

The Excise and Taxation Department has decided to tighten noose around hotels and restaurants for the collection of luxury tax and value added tax.

Addressing a press conference in Ludhiana on Tuesday, Deputy Excise and Taxation Commissioner Rishipal Singh said the collection of luxury tax from hotels had gone up by 200 per cent. “We will act tough against hotels not paying luxury tax,” he said.

The department is also considering the proposal to collect luxury tax on the basis of rooms in a hotel and VAT on the basis of seating capacity in a restaurant. “The proposal is still in the pipeline,”  he said.

To curb the ‘peti’ mafia, the department has introduced lump sum tax on hosiery goods sent through trains, he said. The rates have been fixed at ~1,500 per case and ~2,500 for big bag. The receipt of the tax paid will be collected from the counter of the department at the railway station and the same will be pasted on the consignment, he added. 



Mayor spots open power cables
Promises to take action against erring Municipal Corporation official
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
After a man died due to lack of safety grills on the Elevated Road, recently, and residents protested against the municipal corporation, Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria visited the accident site on the Elevated Road today and found the cables on the electricity poles open, which could lead to any accident.

“I am shocked to see that all electricity cables were left open by the lights branch officials. It seems that these officers never visited the road to check whether the electricity cables were covered or not. I have ordered that all the MC officials concerned should be chargesheeted for this serious lapse,” Gohalwaria said while speaking to The Tribune.A 50-year-old man died recently on the curve of the Elevated Road on Sunday night. This incident took place even after a local NGO had got safety grills installed near the deadly curve in June.

The Mayor said, “Residents overspeed on the Elevated Road, as there is very less traffic here, which leads to such unfortunate accidents. But still we are in the process of getting safety grills installed near the deadly accident-prone curve on the road,” said Gohalwaria.

Meanwhile, the Hindu Sikh Jagriti Sena, the Active Anti Corruption Group, the Action Against Corruption and some other social organisations, today held a protest by blocking one portion of the road from Chand Cinema side in the morning. This road was blocked for more than 90 minutes and the protestors were demanding that safety grills be installed at the earliest and even a case be registered against the erring MC officers.When an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP)-level officer tried to persuade the protesters to lift the blockade, they demanded that their demands be met. “But Rakesh Kumar Verma, MC Commissioner, did not even bother to pick up the ACP’s phone despite repeated attempts. This clearly shows that the he is not bothered about the safety of residents,” claimed one of the protesters. It was later on the ACP’s assurance that the blockade was cleared.



City to have its own radio channel from August 16
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
Ludhiana has become the fifth city in the country after Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata to have its own FM Gold radio channel to be run by the country's public broadcaster, Prasar Bharti.

The radio channel will be launched by the Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Manish Tewari, on August 16. The channel, as it is called, will be available on 100.1 megahertz.

Initially, the programmes will be broadcast from FM Gold, New Delhi, with local variation. Despite being one of the largest cities in the North, the city did not have any FM radio channel.

Students’ Legal Literacy Club opened

Gobinder Singh, District Sessions Judge-cum-Chairman, District Legal Service Authority, and KK Singla, Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-Secretary, District Legal Service Authority, today inaugurated Students' Legal Literacy Club at the University Institute of Law, Panjab University Regional Centre (PURC), Ludhiana.

Gobinder Singh threw light on the objectives of the club.

Deepak Kapur, director, PURC, said legal literacy was the need of the hour. Neelam Batra, coordinator, Students' Legal Literacy Club, welcomed guests.

A large number of students attended the function.

The Punjab Legal Services Authority, Chandigarh, provides free legal services to the poor.

Singla said a person with an annual income of less than Rs 1 lakh, those belonging to the Scheduled Castes, victims of human trafficking, beggars and labourers can avail of the facility. 



Agency found overcharging, selling LPG cylinders alongside road
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
After an RTI activist, Arvind Sharma, complained against two gas agencies that were selling LPG cylinders on a tractor trailer alongside a road and overcharging consumers, the District Food and Civil Supply Officer (Payal) swung into action today and conducted raids at Sargodha Colony.

At 10 am when a five member team led by Geeta Bishambhu, District Food and Civil Supply Officer (Payal), raided Nirjag Gas Service, Sargodha Colony, Pakhowal Road. Talking to the Tribune Bishambhu said," We found that LPG cylinders of Nirjag Gas Agency were being delivered on a tractor- trailer at a distance of about one -and-half kilometer away from the gas agency on the Pakhowal Road. Two consumers complained to us that they were overcharging Rs 10 to 15 per cylinder. However, the stock of the gas agency was up to mark. After the raid, Jaswant Singh, manager, gas agency, instructed his deliverymen not to deliver cylinders alongside the road but deliver them at the houses of the consumers."Bishambhu further said that action would be taken against the agency owner under the Essential Commodities Act as it was illegal to ovsercharge and sell LPG cylinders alongside the road.The officers further said that at Monica Gas Agency near Shastri Nagar, a raid was conducted after receiving a complaint, but everything was fine and up to the mark there. The owner of the agency said that he was instructed not to deliver cylinder alongside the road.



Awareness through graffiti
Schoolchildren invited to paint boundary wall of police lines to spread patriotism 
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 13
The boundary wall of the police lines will no longer wear a gloomy look.

In an endeavour to inculcate patriotic spirit among residents, the police department has invited schoolchildren for painting graffiti on the boundary wall of the police lines.

A brainchild of Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Dhruman Nimbale, paintings of national heroes and patriotic slogans will catch the attention of commuters. He said the graffiti would serve dual purpose. "It will not only look colourful but will also spread the message of patriotism and traffic awareness," he said.

Dhruman, who is also an amateur photographer, thanked the students for making such a beautiful graffiti. Radhika, a student, said, "If we try to paint something on the wall of our house we are taken to task and here we are painting on the wall of the police lines. It is fun. Police officers encouraged us a lot."

Area residents also appreciated the move of the police department. "Earlier, the wall used to give a dull look, but today when I visited the area I was surprised to see graffiti of patriotic slogans and traffic awareness. The wall not only looked beautiful but also reminded me of my responsibilities," said Neeru Khullar, a resident of Udham Singh Nagar.

Dhruman said, "People are requested not to deface the wall as students have put in efforts to paint it. Strict action will be taken against miscreants." 



‘Drug addicts more prone to crime’ 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 13
Drug addiction has emerged out as a single major factor responsible for all socio-economic problems rising among the youths of any strata of society today. Social organisations led by the Rotary Club president, Pardeep Sethi, and the Lions Club president, Inder Pal Singh Walia, have announced to launch a coordinated movement to aware the youths about designated set of cultural and allied norms in already endangered demographic set up.

While smack, heroine and opium had ruined the lives of youths hailing from prosperous clans, intake of poppy husk, liquor, sedatives and tranquilizers engulfed breadwinners of poor families. Clans headed by bureaucrats, politicians and NRIs were also no exception to the emerging trend.

Assistant commissioner of Police, Gill, Gurpreet Singh Sikand, said, “Drug addiction is to be blamed for the majority of cases being registered under various sections of law at almost all rural police stations. Dowry death cases, eve teasing, crime against women, robberies and snatchings involved at least one or more drug addicts involved in the crime.” 



Worker dies in factory blast 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, August 13
A 25-year-old labour was killed in a blast at a factory in Mandi Gobindgarh today. The blast took place when the victim was working at a furnace mill in Guru Ki Nagri, M/s Taksis Steel Limited.

The deceased has been identified as Dhanarsu, from Pasti village, district Saharasa in Bihar. Dhararsu was employed as a glass cutter in the factory.

The explosion impact was so severe, that the body of the deceased was left beyond recognition.

Deputy Superintendent of Police, Amloh, Devinder Singh Barar and Station House Officer, Division No. 1, Rajpal Singh Gill visited the area of incident and said they would probe into the matter. 



CBSE to change assessment pattern

Ludhiana, August 13
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has decided to change the assessment pattern for classes IX and X. A circular has also been sent to schools stating that students from classes IX and X will have to appear for two summative assessments (SA) and score 25 per cent.

"As per the circular, students will have to appear for two SA exams and score at least 25 per cent in both the exams, in order to pass. For Class IX students, the orders will be implemented from 2013-14 academic year while for Class X students, the orders will be effective from 2014-15," said principal of a CBSE-affiliated school. As per rules, students of classes IX and X appear for four formative assessments (FA) and two SA exams. The FA is the school's responsibility, but question papers for two SA exams are sent by the board. While Class IX papers are checked in school, Class X papers are checked by the board. — TNS





Certificate courses: The department of farm machinery and power engineering (FMPE) and the department of soil and water engineering (SWE) of the PAU have invited applications from the unemployed youth of the state for three-month certificate courses. Giving details, Dr MS Gill, Director, Extension Education, said a certificate course on 'Repair and Maintenance of Tractors and Stationary Engines' will start from November 18, 2013, to February 17, 2014. The total number of seats for the course is 15. "The minimum qualification for the course is matriculation from a recognised board/equivalent and the course fee is Rs 15,000 per candidate," said Dr Gill. The last date for the receipt of applications is November 8, 2013, and the interview for the selection of candidates will be held on November 14, 2013. The selected candidates will have to deposit fee on the spot. Another certificate course on 'Installation and Maintenance of Micro-Irrigation System, Net-House and Poly House' will start from February 2014 to April 2014.

The total number of seats for the course is 20 and the minimum qualification for the course is matriculation or above. The fee is Rs 5,000 per candidate. Candidates can send their applications till December 2013. — TNS





Anti-ragging measure: In order to curb ragging, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) has issued instructions to Deans/Directors to take measures. Registrar of the university Dr PD Juyal said colleges affiliated to the university had formed anti-ragging committees and anti-ragging squads as directed by the Supreme Court. GADVASU is following the anti-ragging guidelines set by the University Grants Commission. Information regarding the committees and squads has been uploaded on the website of the university. Hostel wardens and counsellors have been asked to take an undertaking from student/parent/guardian. Dr SPS Sangha, DSW-cum-Estate Officer, GADVASU, stated that the university has uploaded a movie on anti-ragging on its website. The authorities said if a college fails to follow the rules, stern action would be taken against it. "The UGC can call for action against erring colleges/institutions, if the rules are violated. Students can call up at the helpline number, in case of a complaint. Anti-ragging posters and charts have been put up at different places," he said.— TNS





Preparations for the Independence Day have been completed, said Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari. The state-level function will be held at SCD Government College for Boys on 15 August. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal will unfurl the National Flag. People with extraordinary achievements in different fields will be honoured with state awards. Freedom fighters will also be awarded on the occasion.


Taxation Bar Association (TBA) met Chief Commissioner of Income Tax (CCIT) Nishi Singh to discuss about the refund and rectification related problems on Tuesday. During the meeting, CCIT informed that IT department is organising rectification and demand verification month from September 1 to 30. Members of Taxation Bar Association urged the Chief Commissioner of Income Tax to release the pending refunds of people at the earliest .

Green drive

The Ludhiana chapter of the Youth Akali Dal is launching ‘green drive’ in the city from Wednesday onwards. The programme, which is a part of the Green Drive Punjab, will be inaugurated by Punjab Revenue and Public Relations Minister Bikram Singh Majithia on Wednesday. The programme is being initiated under the guidance of the National vice-presidents of the Youth Akali Dal, Meet Pal Singh Dugri, Ravinder Pal Singh Minku and Prabhjot Singh Dhaliwal.



Eight LPU students arrested
Our Correspondent

Khanna, August 13
Eight youths, studying in Lovely Professional University, Jalandhar, were arrested by the Khanna police on a suspicion of committing loot and robberies in the region. The youths dressed in black innerwears were allegedly spotted by the villagers, performing ‘thikri pehras’, in Mandiala Kalan village and Kot Panaich late at night. Following the rumours of robberies by the Kala Kachha gang and the African gang, the villagers had initiated the practice of ‘thikri pehra’ to prevent thefts and loot.

The accused have been identified as Gautam Karni, a resident of Amritsar, Varun and Arun from Kathua, Navjot from Mukerian, Bhawani and Sikhar from Rajasthan, and Jaspreet and Akshay Tikar from Delhi.

A case under Sections 146, 151, 380, 511 of the IPC has been registered. A Bolero car used by the students was also impounded from the scene.

Tilak Raj, chowki incharge, Kottan, said, “The youths were trying to spread rumors and commit robberies in the area.” All the arrested youths have been sent to judicial custody for a period of 14 days.



Banned drug Finotel seized, one held 
Our Correspondent

Khamano August 13
Sanghol chowki police, falling under Khamano police station, has arrested a youth and seized intoxicants from his possession. Chowki incharge, Assistant Sub-Inspector Baljinder Singh said they had laid a naka on the Sanghol-Ranwan road and while inspecting a scooter, as many as 1200 tablets of a drug, Finotel, was recovered. The youth riding the scooter tried to flee, but the police team managed to get hold of him.

The accused has been identified as Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Dholan Majra village. The police has registered a case against the accused. Investigations are on.





Body in bed box: Case registered against unidentified person: The city police is groping in the dark and has registered a murder case against an unidentified person for killing a 50-year-old woman and dumping her body in a bed box. Lajrat Baksh, a resident of CMC colony and victim's brother, said his sister Dorothy was married to Sant Kumar, a resident of Mohar Singh Nagar. She was missing since August 9, but later was found dead in the bed box in her house. The police has recorded the statement of the victim's brother and started the investigation. Sources said that police had detained the victim's husband in this connection.

Three booked on theft charge: The city police has booked three persons for committing a theft at a shoe store. The accused have been identified as Amandeep Singh, Surinderpal Singh, alias Taini, and Jyoti, all residents of Dehon. The incident took place on August 9. The shoe store is situated at Ranjit Nagar. Prabhjit Singh, a resident of Gill road, said the trio entered his showroom and asked him to show shoes, in the process, he went to first floor to get them. In the meantime, the accused fled with some boxes of shoes and Rs 5,600 cash. Prabhjit reported the matter to the police.The police booked them under Sections 380 and 34 of the IPC.

One booked for stealing bus: The city police has booked one person for stealing a bus. The accused has been identified as Sunny, a resident of Giaspura. The accused was nabbed during a police checkpoint at Giaspura Chowk, yesterday. The police was informed a day before by the control room about the bus that was stolen from the Moga bus stand. The police spotted the bus driven by the accused heading towards Sherpur Chowk from Giaspura chowk and intercepted it. They asked the accused to produce the documents, but he could not show the documents. During questioning, he confessed to the police that he had stolen the bus.

NRI husband, family booked: Australia-based NRI and his relatives were booked for assaulting a newlywed for dowry. They even thrashed the victim due to which she suffered a miscarriage. The accused have been identified as Sandeep Vij, a resident of New Delhi, (currently residing in Australia), Pankaj Vij, Rakesh Jhanda and Chetan Wadehra, all residents of New Delhi. Complainant Vipan, a resident of Joshi Nagar, Haibowal Kalan, said that she got married to the accused in Feburary, 2013. The married accused befooled them and pretended to be a bachelor. Sandeep and his family took dowry from her family during the time of wedding. The accused took the victim to Australia and there he thrashed her so badly that she suffered a miscarriage. The police has recorded the statement of the victim and the investigation is on.

Watchman ends life: A 35-year-old watchman committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan in his house at Focal Point. The deceased has been identified as Nek Bahadur. The incident came to light this morning when his wife Jamuna Devi spotted the body of Nek Bahadur hanging from a ceiling fan.

Man dies in road accident: A 35-year-old man died in a road accident at Focal Point here today. The victim identified as Avdesh, a resident of Rajiv Gandhi Colony, was travelling towards Gyaspura Chowk, when he was mowed down by an unidentified truck. The police has recorded the statement of the victim's relatives and registered a case against the unidentified truck driver.



SAI to conduct trials again

Ludhiana, August 13
The Sports Authority of India (SAI) Training Centre, Ludhiana, will conduct trials again in two disciplines, judo and athletics, to shortlist talented players for their admission in the session 2013-14. The trials will be held here at Guru Nanak Stadium on August 16 and 17 to select aspirants between the age group of 12 and 18 years (athletics as well as judo) boys only under the residential scheme, besides boys and girls in the day boarding scheme.

SS Pannu, incharge of the SAI Centre, Ludhiana, said interested players have been asked to bring their age-proof certificates, sports achievement certificates in addition to three passport-size photographs. No travelling allowance, boarding and lodging facilities will be provided to the participants. — OC



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