L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Trees that bear crores of rupees
 Punjab State Forest Corporation expected to earn Rs 10 crore from auction of trees
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Phillaur/ Ludhiana, September 27
The auction of trees turned out to be a money spinner for the Punjab State Forest Corporation. On Thursday, the corporation conducted the auction of standing trees at division forest office in Phillaur. The reserve price was fixed at Rs 6.21 crore.

The auction of trees under way at Phillaur.
The auction of trees under way at Phillaur. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Sources said the corporation was expected to pocket Rs 10 crore.

The auction is conducted every month and the corporation fetches crores of rupees. The proceedings were video-recorded, but when the officials were asked to give details of the profit, divisional manager Krishan Lal said, "Such details are not revealed by the department." The standing trees, including sisham, kikar, misc, drek and mesquite were sold. So far, 10 per cent of the bidding amount has been received by the corporation. It is yet to be seen if the corporation will be able to recover the entire amount from the contractors.

Ever since the vigilance initiated a probe into embezzlement cases, the working of the corporation is under scanner.

Sources in the corporation said such embezzlements were rampant across the state as the contractor-employee nexus was devouring the government money. The matter dates back to March 2010 when tenders were invited for axing 800 trees spread over 3 square km from Jalandhar bypass till Hardy's World, an amusement park.

The contractor only paid 10 per cent of the total amount when the contract was signed with him.

They did not deposit Rs 2.86 lakh for chopping off trees in lot number 492 and Rs 1.16 lakh for axing trees in lot number 285. The clause of the corporation shows that the terms and conditions have been violated and departmental action is just eyewash.

As per terms and conditions regarding the sale of the standing trees, a contractor has to pay lump sum in one instalment for trees valued at less than Rs 7 lakh. In 35 days, he has to cut the trees. The contractor can seek 20 days extension.

If a contract carries an amount between Rs 7 lakh and Rs 25 lakh, the contractor is given 50 days to axe the trees.

The amount can be paid in two instalments.

If a contract carries Rs 25 lakh, the amount is paid in three instalments and 80 days are given to axe the trees. The contractor is entitled to 40 days extension.

The corporation clause clearly states that the contract stands cancelled if the contractor fails to fulfil the terms and conditions. The axing of trees will be stopped with immediate effect and the remaining trees will be re-auctioned. 


Politics hots up over slapgate 
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
The incident in which the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation superintendent, Rajiv Bharadwaj, was slapped by two MC sweepers seems to have taken a political turn. Leaders of the Valmiki community are divided over the issue as some are supporting the superintendent while the others are supporting the sweepers.

Valmiki leaders raise slogans against MC superintendent Rajiv Bharadwaj at the MC Zone A office in Ludhiana on Friday.
Valmiki leaders raise slogans against MC superintendent Rajiv Bharadwaj at the MC Zone A office in Ludhiana on Friday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

A group led by Valmiki leaders Vijay Danav and Laxman Dravid have come out in support of the sweepers while Ashwani Sahota is supporting the MC superintendent.

The superintendent, Rajiv Bharadwaj, was slapped by two sweepers, Vicky and Raju, on Tuesday afternoon after which the matter was brought to the notice of the senior MC officials, Mayor, Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor. Later, both the parties reached a compromise. But things have taken a U-turn, with Bharadwaj alleging that he was forced to sign the compromise document.

"I was asked to sign the document and I didn't know what was written on it. I am going through a rough patch and will not want to live if justice is denied to me. How can a sweeper slap a superintendent and go scot-free?" he said.

Rajiv Bharadwaj stated that when all Valmiki leaders and senior MC officials, including Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, Senior Deputy Mayor Sunita Aggarwal and Deputy Mayor RD Sharma, had gathered in the Mayor's office on Tuesday, a Valmiki leader, Vijay Danav, and some others had threatened him that if he got an FIR lodged against the sweepers, they too would get an FIR lodged against him for hurting their religious sentiments. All this happened in front of the senior MC officials, but still none of them objected to it. "But I have decided to take all such persons head-on and will not give in to pressure," stated Bharadwaj.

Vijay Danav said they had already filed a complaint with the Commissioner of Police. "When the sweepers had apologised to Rajiv Bharadwaj, he should have buried the matter. We will meet the CM and press for the registration of an FIR against him," he said.

Ashwani Sahota, who is supporting Rajiv Bharadwaj, claimed that some Valmiki leaders were giving communal colour to the incident. "The dispute was between the MC employees and it should have been handled in a different manner. We will make sure that he gets justice," he said.

Vijay Danav and his supporters today submitted a memorandum to MC Additional Commissioner Isha Kalia demanding action against Rajiv Bharadwaj.

Panel formed
MC Commissioner Rahul Tewari said a three-member committee comprising MC Additional Commissioner Davinder Singh, Joint Commissioner AS Sekhon and superintending engineer Dharam Singh had been formed and they would submit a report within a week. 



Now, CBSE to grade schools
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
In a fix over selecting the best CBSE school for your child? Need not be. The board is soon going to introduce the grading system in schools. The board has already taken a decision but is not certain about its implementation.

Vineet Joshi, chairman, CBSE, said, "Grading will be carried out once in five years and rankings will be uploaded on the board's website. Parents and teachers can monitor the performance of schools and make the right choice."

Parents find it difficult to select a good school for their wards. The schools will be graded on parameters set by the CBSE. The grades will be made public.

This will prompt all schools to raise the standards of learning and improve their performance," said sources.

Parameters defined
All CBSE schools will be graded with respect to their standard in seven important domains or categories, including academics and infrastructure. The schools are expected to score a minimum 15 per cent in each of the categories they are assessed on. Also, the total score of the school should not be below 75 per cent. If any school fails to meet the criteria, it will be given a chance for improvement. But in case it fails to enhance its quality even after it is given a three-year extension, the CBSE will cancel its registration.



Jewellery worth Rs 8 lakh looted 
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, September 27
Unidentified youths robbed a jeweller of gold ornaments worth Rs 8 lakh and Rs 83,000 in cash at Sidhwan Bet last night. The victim, Jaswinder Singh, was on his way to Salempura village on his motorcycle.

He told the police that on reaching Salempura village, three youths snatched his bag. He said when he resisted, three more youths who were in a Toyota Innova forced him into the vehicle. "As the person driving the vehicle slowed down, I jumped off the vehicle," said Jaswinder, adding that he managed to note down the number of the SUV. Sidhwan Bet SHO Jangjit Singh said a case had been registered. The police said the registration number of the vehicle (PB-04L 8578) was allotted to a two-wheeler in Faridkot.



Fogging machines or display items?
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has only 15 fogging machines for a population of over 17 lakh. But the civic body claims that the machines are 'sufficient' as 75 hand operated fogging machines are also provided to councillors.

 "We can easily buy more fogging machines, but it is the machines' running cost which would put an extra financial burden on the MC," said a senior MC health branch officer.

Dengue cases are on the rise and the MC is making claims of carrying out fogging in the city. But the claims are far from reality as city residents keep asking the MC officials to carry out fogging in their areas.

RTI activist Kuldeep Singh Khaira said he had never seen a fogging machine in his area.

"The irony is that there are only 15 fogging machines with the MC," said Khaira.

As per MC schedule, fogging with the 15 machines (mounted on tractor-trailers) is carried out twice everyday (an hour each in morning and evening). "So in a way we cover parts of 30 wards in a day. But as the city is expanding, we may miss some areas. If a dengue case surfaces in an area, we intensify fogging in the areas," Dr Vipan Malhotra, municipal health officer.



It’s do or die on Jalandhar bypass
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
Jalandhar bypass turns into a battlefield as soon as bus conductors start calling out to passengers. Accidents and traffic jams are a common occurrence on the bypass, with the traffic police looking the other way. "Visiting the Jalandhar bypass and surrounding areas gives jitters.

In quest of hiring more and more passengers which often results in accidents, drivers park buses at will," said Darshan Lal, a vegetable vendor. While the police remains busy targeting commuters, particularly motorcycles, it turns its back on the clutter caused by the bus drivers.

Area residents said the menace was brought to the notice of the police in the past as well, but to no avail.

"If the police can book protesting teachers for blocking the road, why can't it act against bus drivers for violating the law and blocking the National Highway-I?" asked Joginder Singh, a harried commuter stuck in a traffic jam near Jalandhar bypass.

It is learnt that recently the Municipal Corporation authorities and the police found a way out and earmarked parking space a few meters away from the Jalandhar bypass.

For a few days, the traffic police diverted the buses, but soon things became chaotic again.

All eyes are on the new ACP (Traffic), Deepak Hilori, now. It is not going to be easy to check the menace as a majority of private buses are owned by politicians.

Action against bus drivers will ruffle feathers of politicians and officers concerned will have to face the consequences of their actions. 



Prostate cancer curable, say docs 
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
Enlargement of the prostate gland and its cancer is a part of ageing process. It is a walnut-sized male reproductive gland and prostate cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the prostate that form a lump (tumour).

If not treated, it might spread to other organs, particularly the bones and lymph nodes, which can be life threatening. This was stated by Dr Baldev Singh Aulakh, professor of urology and head of kidney transplant department, president of the Urological Society of India (North Zone), Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana.

He said: “The good news is that the current survival rate for prostate cancer is 97 per cent. A number of treatment options are available for this malignancy. Even in advanced stage, this cancer has best response to the treatment options. Androgen deprivation is type of treatment offered in this cancer. Prostate cancer can be a serious disease, but most men diagnosed with prostate cancer do not die from it.”

Dr Navdeep Singh, head of the cancer department, Global Heart and Super-Speciality Hospital, said: “Prostate cancer is amongst top five cancers in Punjab. It's still a prevalent misconception in the society that this cancer is incurable and the patients don't live a normal lifestyle after treatment."

Dr JS Sekhon of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital said: “About 70 per cent of all prostate cancers are diagnosed in men over the age of 65. It is still unclear why this increase with age occurs for prostate cancer but studies suggest that after 70, most men have some form of prostate cancer, though there may be no outward symptoms."


Dr Aulakh said: “As prostate cancer develops, symptoms can include the need to urinate frequently, particularly at night, sudden urges to urinate, difficulty in starting urine flow, a slow, interrupted flow and dribbling afterwards, pain during urination or blood in the urine or semen. Other symptoms can potentially develop during later stages of the disease. But it is important to mention here that these symptoms are not always signs of prostate cancer. They can also be symptoms of other common and non-life threatening prostate disorders. Men who experience these symptoms should see their doctor immediately, to determine the cause and best treatment."

Risk factors

The exact role of diet in prostate cancer is not clear, but several factors have been studied. Men who eat a lot of red meat or high-fat dairy products appear to have a slightly higher chance of getting prostate cancer. High consumption of dietary fats, deficiency of selenium and low levels of Vitamin D3 and E are also the risk factors. About 10-15% of patients have positive family history. Environmental and geographical factors also play some role.

Diagnose at an early stage

The screening tool is a simple blood test that detects levels of what's known as prostate specific antigen, or PSA. While small amounts in the blood are normal, higher levels could indicate cancer.

All such patients should undergo a Digital rectal examination (DRE) by a skilled urologist. The combination of a raised PSA and DRE best tells us about the presence of cancer. When the doubt persists we can get a biopsy of the prostate gland. High PSA levels can exist when no cancer is present or a tumour may be a type that doesn't spread to other parts of the body, so men can live normal lives for many years to come. A combination of both a DRE and PSA blood test is recommended. These tests should be considered as part of a general male health check annually from 50 years of age or 40 if there is a family history. 

treatment options
Stage treatment
* Localised disease
* Open radical prostatectomy
* Laparoscopic and robotic radical prostatectomy Advanced disease
* Hormone deprivation therapy like bilateral orchidectomy



Alternative front needed to revive economy: MCPI 
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, September 27
The Central Committee Meeting of the MCPI (U) today commenced under the presidentship of Gopi Kisan, a polit bureau member from Rajasthan.

A total of 35 members from Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Chandigarh, attended the meeting. Notable among them were, M Rajan from Kerela, M Gause and MV Reddy from Andhra Pradesh, VK Chaudhary from Bihar, Ashutosh Mandal from West Bengal, Vijay Shankar Jha from Rajasthan, Prem Singh Bhangu from Chandigarh, and Kuldip Singh and Kiranjit Singh Sekhon from Punjab.

Members of the polit bureau sympathised with the families who lost their near and dear ones in the Pakistan earthquake and in the killings at a Kenya mall and at a historic church in Pakistan and also paid tributes to the victims of communal violence in Muzaffar Nagar and other parts of the country.

Policies of the Congress as well as the BJP were also allegedly flayed by members. “Due to FDI in all sectors, the country is being de-industrialised, as a result of which, our export is decreasing and the dependency on import is increasing, which is the major reason behind the decrease in the value of rupee against the US dollar,” said Pawan Kumar Kaushal, Secretary, MCPI (U), Punjab. An alternate front, based on constructive economic policies, was demanded by the members of MCPI (U), which will decide what sort of polices should be adopted or discarded by the authorities concerned. This step is essential to save the country from falling into a state of economic destruction, said 
a member.



Illegal hoardings dot city ahead of Majithia’s rally
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
Supporters of Revenue and Public Relations Minister Bikram Singh Majithia have illegally erected hoardings in the city for his rally to be held on October 1. Some of these hoardings carry pictures of the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, BJP leader Rajinder Bhandari and even local Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria.

The worst affected are Ferozepur Road and Pakhowal Road, where posters of the leaders have been illegally pasted on unipoles that are erected for advertisements.

Congress councilor Balkar Singh Sandhu said, “Apart from unipoles, the Akali leaders have also pasted posters on sign boards. It is shameful that the Municipal Corporation has not taken action against the culprits for so many days.”

Mayor Harcharan Gohalwaria said he would immediately order the removal of all illegal hoardings installed by Akali leaders in the city. Action will be initiated at the earliest, said the Mayor.

“We all know that the Deputy Chief Minister is against erecting such illegal hoardings and I would make sure these are removed by tomorrow. I would also like to clarify that I did not authorise any authority to use my pictures on the posters.”



peace talks
IDPD, PDPD welcome decision

Ludhiana, September 27
The Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) and Pakistan Doctors for Peace and Development (PDPD) have welcomed the decision of the PMs of India and Pakistan on holding a dialogue to attain stability in the region.

We shall continue to encourage the respective governments to continue the process, said the officials. —TNS



misbehaviour with dean
Month on, PAU takes action against students
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) authorities have put two students on conduct for allegedly misbehaving with the Dean, College of Basic Sciences and Humanities, during the strike last month.

The president, Sharanbir Singh, and vice-president Karanvir Singh of Punjab Agricultural University Students Association (PAUSA) have also been fined Rs 3,000 besides being given a written warning for leading the striking students.

The students put on conduct include Rajveer Singh of the College of Agriculture and Gurpreet Singh of the College of Agriculture Engineering. They have been fined Rs 1,500 as well. They cannot reside in the university hostels. Another penalty may lead to their rustication.

The students’ association members said they were shocked over the action of the authorities that came after a compromise had been reached. The office-bearers, who find themselves in the soup after this decision, are already being blamed by the students for not extracting much from the university before calling of the 16-day strike on August 28.

The PAUSA leaders are now hoping that PAU Teachers Association (PAUTA) president Harmeet Kingra, who was the mediator between the authorities and students, will pull them out of this situation.

They said Kingra had promised them that the authorities would take no action against them for allegedly misbehaving with the official, as they had apologised for it.

Sharanbir Singh said they met the Vice-Chancellor as well. He gave a positive response, said Sharanbir. 



Home care for cancer patients
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
The Global Cancer Concern India (GCCI) has joined hands with Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) India for holistic Mobile Palliative Homecare Services for cancer patients in Ludhiana.

Disclosing this, Sukhdeep Singh Gill, deputy director, GCCI, said: “The GCCI is an NGO which is already providing free home nursing care to around 30 cancer patients on advanced stage at their doorsteps once a month with the help of a trained nurse and a project officer in Ludhiana. Now, we are going to hire a doctor to provide this service to more patients."

The aim of the homecare service is to provide psychological as well as nursing care to patients, thereby reducing the pain and ensuring their dignity besides helping their families cope with the disease.

Sukhdeep Singh said: “The number of cancer patients has multiplied in the past couple of years in Punjab. A door to door survey covering almost 98 per cent of the population conducted from October 2012 to December 2012 by the Health Department, Punjab, found that incidence of cancer in Punjab was higher than the national and international average. The Malwa region has emerged as an epicentre of the disease but it is also spreading in other parts of Punjab." 



Dances rule Day 3 at Doraha
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, September 27
Dances dominated the scene on the third day of the Panjab University Youth and Heritage Festival for the Ludhiana Zone-A colleges at Guru Nanak National College.

Member Parliament Sukhdev Singh Libra was the chief guest during the morning session, while Dr Arun Grover, Vice-Chancellor, Panjab Universiy, Chandigarh, presided over the afternoon session.

While addressing the students, the Vice-Chancellor said, “While academics should remain the first love of students, participation in extra-curricular activities should also be promoted. It is the participation of students in various activities that helps in developing their personality.”

The top positions in various events held on the third day went to the following:

Indian orchestra (group)

Guru Nanak National College, Doraha; AS College, Khanna

Indian orchestra (individual)

Iqbal Singh (Guru Nanak National College, Doraha), Pardeep Kumar Bali (AS College, Khanna)

Group dance (team)

Arya College, Ludhiana; SCD Government College, Ludhiana; AS College

Group dance (individual)

Inderjeet Singh (SCD Government College, Ludhiana), Shivani Sharma (AS College, Khanna), Amanpreet Kaur (Arya College, Ludhiana)


Shri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management, Ludhiana; SCD Government College, Ludhiana; Arya College, Ludhiana


Iqbal Singh (Guru Nanak National College, Doraha), Rattan Singh (Malwa College, Bondli Samrala), Gurpreet Singh (SCD Government College, Ludhiana)


Karam Singh (Malwa College, Bondli Samrala), Kulmeet Singh (Guru Nanak National College, Doraha), Mohit (SCD Government College, Ludhiana)

On-the-spot painting

Arun Nayar (SCD Government College, Ludhiana), Girish Manro (AS College, Khanna), Harsheen Kaur (Sri Atam Vallabh Jain College, Ludhiana)


Jashandeep Singh (GNN College, Doraha), Anil Kumar (GPC, Alour), Brahamdeep Singh (Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management, Ludhiana)

Collage making

Saloni Gupta (AS College, Khanna), Abhishek Malhotra (KLSD College, Ludhiana), Amrit Kaur (Malwa College, Bondli)

Clay modelling

Vipul Gupta (KLSD College, Ludhiana), Sumandeep Kaur (Arya College, Ludhiana), Rimpy Sharma (GNN College, Doraha)

Giddha (team)

Guru Nanak National College, Doraha; AS College, Khanna; SCD Government College, Ludhiana

Poster making

Rachita Gupta (Punjab University Regional Centre, Ludhiana), Parfulit Singla (Arya College, Ludhiana), Harsheen Kaur (Sri Atam Vallabh Jain College, Hussainpura)

Giddha (individual)

Manveer Kaur (AS College, Khanna), Amritpal Kaur (GNN College, Doraha), Manjot Kaur (SCD Government College, Ludhiana)


Gurmeet Kaur (AS College, Khanna), Suhani Verma (Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management, Ludhiana), Sushant Maini (Arya College, Ludhiana)


GNN College, Doraha; Government College, Karamsar; Sri Atam Vallabh Jain College, Hussainpura

Still life drawing

Mugdha Jain (Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management, Ludhiana), Ruksana (AS College, Khanna), Manmeet Kaur (Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management, Ludhiana)

Classical dance

Kusumpreet Kaur Pandher (Punjab University Regional Centre, Ludhiana), Shubham Sharma (SCD Government College, Ludhiana), Suhaila Seth (Sri Aurobindo College of Commerce and Management, Ludhiana)



Youth fest begins amid fanfare
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, September 27
The Panjab University Zonal Youth and Heritage Festival for the Ferozepur-Moga Zone-B colleges commenced amid much fanfare at the Khalsa College for Women, Sidhwan Khurd, near Jagraon today.

The Vice-Chancellor of Panjab University, Chandigarh, Dr Arun Kumar Grover, inaugurated the youth festival by lighting the ceremonial lamp.

"Youth festivals help in preserving our rich cultural heritage. Such competitions also play an important role in developing a sense of competitive spirit, cooperation and leadership among the students, which is the need of the hour,” he said.

Ten colleges from across the region are participating in the four-day fest. On the first day, students took part in a plethora of events.

In shabad/bhajan recital, the SD College for Women, Moga, bagged the first prize. Raikot-based Swami Ganga Giri Janta Girls College came second, while the DAV College for Women, Ferozepur Cantt., stood third.

The SD College for Women also won the geet/ghazal event. Swami Ganga Giri Janta Girls College once again had to be content with the second spot, while the hosts came third.

In quiz, students of the DAV College for Women clinched the first position, followed by the hosts and Sant Baba Bhag Singh Memorial Girls College, Sukhanand.

The DAV College for Women, Ferozepur Cantt, was declared winner in the classical vocal event.

In clay modelling, Rajwant Kaur of the SD College for Women, Moga, emerged victorious. Ramandeep Kaur and Amandeep Kaur of the Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College for Women, Kamalpura, and Sant Baba Bhag Singh Memorial Girls College, Sukhanand, respectively, won the second and third positions.

The DAV College for Women won the spot photography event. SDS College, Lopon, and Sant Baba Bhag Singh Memorial Girls College stood second and third respectively.

The SD College for Women, Moga, grabbed the top-two positions in spot painting, with the Guru Gobind Singh Khalsa College for Women, Kamalpura, coming third.

During the inaugural ceremony, the PU VC was accompanied by PU Youth Welfare Director Dr Nirmal Jaura besides principal of the host college Dr Paramjit Kaur.



KCW students bag 31 prizes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
Students of the Khalsa College for Women once again proved their mettle by winning the overall trophy at the Panjab University Zonal Youth and Heritage Festival for the Ludhiana Zone-B colleges that concluding yesterday.

Taking part in 46 events, the host college bagged 11 first prizes, an equal number of second prizes and nine third prizes. Dr Nirmal Jaura, director, youth welfare, Panjab University, Chandigarh, said as per the final tally the host college got 96 points. While the Government College for Girls stood second with 83 points, Ramgarhia Girls College and Guru Nanak College, Model Town, shared the third spot with 64 points.

Applauding the efforts of the co-ordinator, Mrs Baljinder Kaur, college principal Dr Varinder Kaur Thind said the students stood first in giddha, installation, story writing, photography, folk song, classical vocal, poster, cross stitch and mimicry events besides two individual prizes in the group categories. Students grabbed second prize in group dance, drama, collage making, Indian orchestra, poem recitation, elocution, pakhi making, collage making, cartooning and clay modeling, while the third prizes were won in classical dance, vaar singing, skit, group song, knitting, still life, folk instruments etc. 



Pedalling his way to Haj pilgrimage 
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, September 27
It was sheer grit, determination and commitment to his religious belief that made Sheikh Wasif, a resident of Kesharpur village in Cuttack district of Odisha to undertake a pilgrimage to Haj (Mecca in Saudi Arabia) on a bicycle.

Sheikh Wasif, who is on his way to Saudi Arab via Pakistan, Iran and Iraq, was accorded a warm welcome by Shahi Imam of Punjab Maulana Habib-ur-Rahman and other Muslim leaders at Jama Masjid here.

He was offered garlands and a memento while members of the Muslim community also prayed for his safe journey. The Imam also presented Rs 11,000 to Wasif.

Speaking at the occasion, the Shahi Imam said Sheikh Wasif had set an example for other to emulate by undertaking a taxing and arduous task of going for Haj pilgrimage on a bicycle. "Courage and religious commitment of Sheikh Wasif is commendable while it also shows that despite lack of resources one could realise one's dreams. We all wish that Wasif reaches Mecca safely and offers prayers for welfare of the entire humanity," the Imam said.

According to Wasif, it was his childhood dream to undertake Haj pilgrimage either on foot or on a bicycle. "The fellow residents of the village, my family members and the district administration of Cuttack had encouraged me in my endeavour and it was only due to their moral support that I have completed a substantial part of my pilgrimage," he remarked.

The father of two - a son and a daughter — 37-year-old Wasif is a driver by profession. He had set off from his village on May 3, 2013, and travelling at an average of 80 to 100 kilometres every day, had till now covered a distance of more than 3,000 kilometres. "With God's grace, I hope to reach my destination and fulfil my long cherished dream of the Haj pilgrimage in about three months," were his parting remarks. 



Lakkar Pul ROB to be completed by November
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
The railway overbridge (ROB) being constructed in place of Lakkar Pul will be complete by November this year. The work on the ROB was delayed as some part of it was to be constructed by the state government through the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation.

This was disclosed in a letter by the Union Railway Minister, Mallikarjun Kharge, to the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari, who had sought his personal intervention for the early completion of the overbridge.

The Railways were supposed to construct two spans, one straight and another curved, while the approach roads were to be completed by the Municipal Corporation.

The minister said, while the work on the straight span was expected to be completed by October this year, the work on the curved span would be completed by November this year.

The railway bridge portion consists of two separate legs in Y shape and each leg is of two road widths and another leg is on a curve having two spans. The foundation and the sub-structure of the straight span have been completed. The super structure girder for one span has been fabricated, tested and brought to the site for launching and the girder for another span has also been fabricated and is undergoing testing. The work on this span is expected to be completed by October 2013.

The foundation and sub-structure of the curved span has been completed while design of the pier cap is in progress and is expected to be completed by November this year. 



Playwright Gursharan Singh remembered 
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
As the death anniversary of playwright Gursharan Singh was observed today, people associated with him and those following in his footsteps remembered the man who stood tall for the cause of the masses.

Surinder Sharma, who has been one of the founder members of the Lok Kala Manch, Mullanpur, said he had come here from Himachal Pradesh just to study and had no intention to stay here after his education. But it was when he got in touch Gursharan Singh in the 80s and was influenced by him, he decided to work on the same lines to enlighten people through theatre. Since then, there has been no stopping, he says.

“I believe that theatre is instrumental in brining a social change for building a better society and not just a mere source of entertainment," he says.

“His plays and his life has been an inspiration for me. He remained indefatigable throughout his life, travelled a great deal and his never-say-die spirit still eggs us on to do something for society. Life must be is for the people and for the society. In 2007, we built Gursharan Kala Bhawan which was inaugurated by Gursharan Bhaji himself," he says.

Harkesh Chowdhary, another member of the Lok Kala Manch, said the perspective of his life changed after meeting and working with Gursharan Singh. "We have learnt that we all need to become contributing members of the society to make the society better, and not merely live for ourselves," he says.

Many of his plays, including Bhand Matka Chowk De, Nawan Janam, Toa, Jangi Ram Di Haveli, Dhamak Nagare Di, Kammiyan Da Vehra and Malooka have been staged by the Lok Kala Manch, says Sharma. 



Industry seeks formation of cluster
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
A meeting of the Ludhiana Electroplaters’ Association was held today during which problems related to the electroplating industry were discussed.

Speaking on the occasion, Joginder Kumar, president of the association, said the Punjab Pollution Control Board was going strict against the industry but it was not solving their problems.

“We have urged the department that the formation of the cluster is the only solution to the problem. The government should allot the land to the industry where cluster of electroplating industry can be formed and the water discharged by them can be collectively treated at one place. We have also sent this proposal to the chairman of the Punjab Pollution Control Board," he said. 



Cancer detection camp from today 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
The district health department will hold a two-day cancer detection awareness camp at Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital on September 28 and 29. Dr Subhash Batta, Civil Surgeon, said: “Experts from various hospitals will provide free of cost consultation to patients."

Assistant Civil Surgeon Dr Kaushal Saini said: “For proper screening of the suspected cancer patients, each district will be divided into two blocks. The preliminary tests include ultrasound, X-ray, punch buply and fine needle aspiration citology." 



Cyclist crushed to death
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
A 21-year-old cyclist was cursed to death by a pickup truck near Gyaspura today. The deceased was identified as Manjeet Singh, a resident of Dhandari. He worked as a mechanic at a service station. The incident took place this evening when he was on his way back home on his cycle.

Manjeet Singh died on the spot. The driver of the pickup truck appeared to be drunk as box of liquor was also found from his vehicle. 



Ludhiana Scan

Orthopaedics conference

Department of Orthopaedics will be organizing Punjab Orthopaedics Annual Conference (POACON-2013) under the aegis of Punjab Orthopaedic Association on September 29 in Dumra Auditorium. Organising chairman Dr Mohammad Yamin informed that eminent orthopaedic surgeons from all over the nation would be showcasing their latest advancements on the occasion. The organising secretary, Dr Rajnish Garg, who is also the secretary of the association, said the conference will be attended by more than 200 delegates from all over the region.

Revision of voter lists on Sept 29

Following instructions from the Election Commission, Divisional Commissioner-cum-roll observer, Patiala, AS Pannu will be supervising the work of making necessary changes in the voter lists on September 29. Announcing this, Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal on Friday said a meeting will also be held in this regard with representatives of political parties on the same day.

Cheque given

District Congress Committee (Urban) president Pawan Dewan presented a cheque of Rs 5 lakh to Ludhiana District Basketball Association. The cheque was granted from the Parliamentary quota of Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tiwari. “There is a need to promote sports among the youths, to save them from the menace of drugs. For this, sportsmen should be provided financial assistance,” said the minister.

Effigy burnt

Workers of Shiv Sena Hindustan burnt the effigy of Pakistan for attacks on the army and the police in Jammu and Kashmir. Krishan Sharma, Punjab head of Shiv Sena Hindustan, condemned the attack and alleged the Indian Government of adoptin a weak approach against terrorism. Strong approach should be adopted to avoid such attacks in future, said a worker.

Office-bearers elected

Bittu Gumbar was re-elected as the president of Shiv Welfare Society for the sixth time on Friday. Other appointments were also made during a meeting of the society. —TNS



Woman dies, husband, in-laws booked
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, September 27
A 28-year-old woman died under mysterious circumstances at her in-laws’ house at New Amar Nagar near the Daba area today. The victim has been identified as Sunita, a resident of Ambala. She was married to Pankaj, a electrician, three years ago.

The victim’s father, Sikandar Singh, a sub-inspector with the Ambala police, said he received a call from Pankaj this morning. “Pankaj said my daughter was not well and was rushed to a hospital for treatment. When I reached her in-laws’ house, I was told that my daughter had committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan. She has not committed suicide, instead she was strangled to death by her husband and in-laws," alleged Sikandar Singh.

He alleged that soon after the wedding, Pankaj and his parents started demanding dowry. Sikandar said they had given a car to Pankaj, but his demands kept on increasing.

He alleged that Pankaj, his sister Neelam, father-in-law Joginder and mother-in-law Asha used to physically torture her.

The Daba police has registered a case under Sector 304-B of the IPC against the accused.

Inspection of police station

The Commissioner of Police, Paramjit Singh Gill, and ADCP-I Nilambari Jagdale conducted a surprise inspection at the woman police station this evening.

The commissioner took stock of the working at the police station and even spoke to women complainants.

Interacting with the media, Jagdale said: “Our emphasis is to help women in distress and taking strict action against persons who indulge in any kind of violence against women.”

3 persons booked for fraud

The city police has booked three directors of a steel rolling mill for purchasing iron worth Rs 66.38 lakh and not making the payment to the supplier. The accused have been identified as Jaspreet Singh Khurana, Ajit Singh Khurana and Roop Kamal Khurana, directors Sudershan Steel Rolling Mill.

The case has been registered on the compliant of Sunny Gupta, working as manager in Amrit Lal Vinod Kumar, Overlock Road, near Millar Gunj.

The complainant said the accused purchased raw iron worth Rs 66.38 lakh but did not make the payment. A team consisting of ADCP-II Bhupinder Singh Sidhu and ADCP-III Joginder Singh probed the matter recommended registration of the case. The trio has been booked for fraud.

Laptop stolen from car

Some unidentified persons smashed the windscreen of a Toyota Fortuner and decamped with a laptop, two mobile phones and Rs 10,000. The case has been registered over a month after the incident. The incident took place on August 14 when Anirudh Gupta, a resident of DCM Complex, Ferozepur, was visiting the city to meet an architect and parked his vehicle outside his house.

He said that when he came out he was shocked to see the windscreen of his vehicle smashed and valuables missing.

Man booked

The city police had booked a man for concocting a fake robbery story. The accused has been identified as Janak Das, a resident of Bholla Colony. His employer Vipan said on September 24, he had sent Janak Das to encash two cheques for Rs 30,000. After a few hours, Janak informed Vipan on phone that he was kidnapped and robbers took way the entire money. The police suspected Janak as he kept changing his statements. On being interrogated, Janak cracked soon and confessed to have concocted the story. Janak was booked and arrested for committing fraud. 

60 LPG cylinders recovered

The police has booked two persons for pilfering liquid petroleum gas from domestic subsidised cylinders into commercial cylinders. The accused have been identified as Sonu and Ismail Meyan, both from Jiwan Nagar. The police arrested the accused and recovered 60 LPG cylinders from their possession. 



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