L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


World Bank wings to MC plans
Officials hopeful of getting funds for water supply, sewerage projects
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 24
The mega city can hope to get funds for its ambitious canal-based water supply system and storm water sewerage network if the positive response from the World Bank team of urban development experts that visited the city today is any indication.

The team discussed the Buddha Nullah project with officials of the MC with the assurance that a detailed study would be conducted to finalise funding for all these projects.

MC Commissioner Rahul Tiwari told The Tribune that discussions with the team led by Srinivasan veered round core sectors like water supply, sewerage, storm water sewerage, roads, city bus service, Buddha Nullah and solid waste management.

“We apprised the team with various projects which were on the drawing board and the main thrust during the extended interaction remained on the 24x7 canal-based water supply system for the city for which a feasibility study had already been conducted and provision of storm water drainage network. The team members also evinced interest in the project for the cleaning of Buddha Nullah," he said. The MC Commissioner said the projects for the canal-based water supply and storm water drainage entailed an approximate expenditure of Rs 2,200 crore. “We are hopeful of a positive outcome of the visit of the World Bank team. Besides the water supply and storm water drainage projects, the MC will also seek funding for the Buddha Nullah project which continues to add to pollution and also poses a serious threat to public health," Tiwari added.

While two visits of the officials of the World Bank to the city during past two months have kindled the hopes of the MC top brass to receive funds for the mega infrastructure development projects, the exact position would be known only after the promised detailed study of these projects is conducted as promised by the team leader.


Civil Hospital gets a facelift ahead of health minister’s visit
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
The Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital has been spruced up ahead of the visit of state Health and Family Welfare Minister Surjit Kumar Jyani. The minister is scheduled to visit the hospital tomorrow.

The workers were busy whitewashing the newly constructed OPD section and the road leading to the trauma ward was being cleaned.

Suresh Kumar, a patient's attendant, said: "I thought that the building is being spruced up for Diwali. But later I came to know that the minister would be on his maiden visit to the hospital tomorrow."

Personal assistant of the Health Minister Rajesh Sehgal visited the hospital a few days ago and instructed the staff to spruce up the premises.

Senior Medical Officer Dr Raj Kumar Karkara said: "We have a few sanitation workers after the cancellation of the contract. We have hired safai sewaks on temporary basis. We are improving on certain things."

The Civil Surgeon said the minister was visiting the hospital to check if free services were being provided to patients. 



IT raids on Sportking
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
The investigation wing of the Income Tax Department today raided the premises of Sportking Group.

The raids were conducted on the group's units and offices located in Ludhiana, Delhi and Baddi under the supervision of Income Tax Director Harjit Singh Sohi.

Simultaneous raids were conducted on the units located on GT Road, Rahon Road and residence belonging top group officials on Mall Road. A guesthouse of the group at Greater Kailash and office at Karol Bagh, Delhi, were also raided.

Sources said the raiding team sealed the bank lockers and conducted stock verification. The team hopes to unearth large amount of undisclosed money.

The raids that started in the morning were still on till the filing of the report.

Crockery shops under scanner

The Excise and Taxation Department on Thursday conducted raids on three crockery dealers following a tip-off. The raids were conducted jointly by AETC Bhupinder Gupta and AETC Tejbir Singh Sidhu at Gupta Enterprises, Gupta Agencies and Sahil Enterprises, all located in Civil Lines.



Warrants against MC official
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 24
The Public Information Officer (PIO) of the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has earned the wrath of the State Information Commission, Punjab, for his failure to provide information within the stipulated time period under the Right to Information Act and non-appearance before the Commission in three hearings.

Taking up the appeal filed by Kuldeep Singh Khaira, president of the city-based NGO, Vigilance Citizens Forum, State Information Commissioner Narinderjit Singh issued non-bailable warrants against Isha Kalia, MC Additional Commissioner, and the designated PIO of the MC to effect her presence when the case comes up for hearing on December 5, 2013.

In the orders issued on October 17, 2013, the Commission observed that in the course of hearing of the appeal on July 18, 2013, and again on the last date of hearing on August 27, 2013, the PIO of the MC was directed to be present on the next date of hearing to provide written response to the objections raised by the appellant and to explain her absence from the hearing.

The PIO failed to appear before the Commission with the record relating to the complaint, noted the Commission. The orders said: "The PIO is not present at the hearing. In view of the continuous absence of the PIO, the Commission is constrained to issue bailable warrants against the PIO of the MC under Section 18 (3) of the RTI Act, 2005, to effect her presence at the next date of hearing."

A copy of the bailable warrants has been endorsed to the Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana.



Dengue: 33 more cases reported 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
Thirty-three more patients tested positive for dengue in the district today. The patients are undergoing treatment in city hospitals, Government Medical College, Patiala, and Gian sagar Medical College, Banur.

Twenty-nine patients belong to Ludhiana district while four are form Jammu and Kashmir.

With this, the number of patients suffering from dengue in the district has reached 477.

A team of the health department visited St Xavier’s School, Civil Line, and Ekjot Public School, Salim Tabri to spread awareness about dengue. The team distributed pamphlets among children.

The team also visited PWD Colony, Civil Lines, Raghubir Park Haibowal Kalan, New Tagore Nagar, Haibowal Kalan, Vill Bhora, Salim Tabri, and conducted 14 group meetings.

The team checked 75 coolers and 212 containers. Spray of pyrethrum was done in and around the houses of dengue patients. 



Excise dept heightens vigil at rly station
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
The State Excise and Taxation Department has intensified vigil at the city railway station ahead of Diwali.

Manufactured goods worth crores are sent out of the city and the department has geared up to check the goods being sent without the payment of taxes and invoices.

“Besides festive season, it’s the peak season for the hosiery industry. To check tax evasion, the department has deployed addition staff at the railway station,” said a senior official.

Peti mafia is a major challenge for the department even though its activities have been checked with the introduction of the e-trip system.

As the Sales Tax Department has heightened vigil at the railway station, peti mafia has started targeting smaller railway stations on the city’s periphery. Consignments can be seen lying in the open at these railway stations.

The department is finding it difficult to keep a check on peti mafia as small stations come under the Ambala and Sangrur divisions. Malerkotla and Gill railway stations fall under the Ambala division and the department has to take special permission from the Ambala headquarters before conducting raids.

Members of peti mafia collect goods from traders and manufacturers, arrange for their transportation to the parcel office and book and load packages on trains. They take fee per package. For incoming packages, the network provides similar facilities to consignees. 



Man held for rape bid

Ludhiana, October 24
The police has arrested a 30-year-old man for allegedly trying to rape a nine-year-old girl at New Hira Colony in the Jodhewal Basti area yesterday. The accused, identified as Mohd Salman, has confessed to the crime, the police said. He said he offered sweets to the girl and called her to his residence. The girl raised the alarm and her parents came to her rescue. The accused managed to flee, but was arrested today.

Youth killed in mishap

A 32-year-old motorcyclist died in a road accident near the Aggar Nagar area last night. The deceased was identified as Inderjit Singh, a resident of Sohali village.

He was heading home when a car, which was being driven by one Shriya Jain, hit his motorcycle. Inderjit was rushed to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. — TNS



CM to relaunch scheme for girls
1.5 lakh students to get free bicycles
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, October 24
The local administration has made elaborate security arrangements for Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's visit to Jagraon tomorrow.

The Chief Minister is visiting the town to restart the Mai Bhago Vidya Scheme for distribution of free bicycles among girls studying in Classes IX to XII. A large number of police personnel have been deployed at the venue and on all the roads leading to it.

Besides the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, Revenue and Public Relations Minister Bikramjeet Singh Majithia, state BJP chief Kamal Sharma and many cabinet ministers are expected to attend the state-level function, to be held on the premises of a closed sugar mill near Gurduwara Nanaksar on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway.

SAD leaders of Jagraon, Moga, Mullanpur Dakha, Ludhiana and other nearby constituencies have been trying to bring thousands of people to the venue.

The Social Securities, Women and Child Development Minister, Punjab, Surjit Kumar Jayani, said this year, the state government would distribute bicycles among 1,52,330 girl students studying in government schools. Jayani said Rs 41.9 crore have been released under the scheme.

"This initiative aims to minimise the dropout rate of girl students and motivate them to take up higher education,” said the Minister.

Threat of protests keeps administration on toes

The threats of demonstrations made by farmers and other organisations are keeping the administration on its toes. Farmers are irked by the slow procurement of paddy at the grain markets. The annoyed farmers had blocked the Barnala-Jalandhar and Ludhiana-Ferozepur highways for around two hours a couple of days back. If the procurement does not pick up, they have threatened to stage a protest during the Chief Minister's visit.

The action committee formed to get justice for a rape victim might also try to create disturbance during the function. The action committee has been pressing for the arrest of the sarpanch of Kothe Fatehdeen village, an Akali Dal member, who is accused of raping a minor girl of the village. The accused sarpanch has been absconding since the incident and the action committee has staged many protests to get him arrested.

The Sangharsh Committee constituted to push for the demand of promoting Jagraon as a district might also try to raise the issue during the Chief Minister's visit.

According to sources, the security agencies have been keeping a constant vigil on the organisations and individuals who might try to disturb the proceedings.

Jagraon MLA SR Kaler held a meeting with the officials of various departments and instructed them to make proper arrangements for the function. Later, Kaler and Sub-Divisional Magistrate Apneet Rayat visited the venue to take stock of the arrangements. The Superintendent of Police (Headquarters), Manohar Lal, and many other officials of the civil and police administration were also present. 



Officials take stock of damage
Gurminder S Grewal

Samrala/Khamano, October 24
A team from the Centre today visited the grain markets at Samrala and Khamano to assess the damage to paddy due to storm and rains.

The team comprised Dr Mahinder of the Ministry of Agriculture and SK Sinha, an official of the Food Corporation of India.

They took samples of discoloured paddy from the grain markets. The farmers at Samrala complained to the officials that they were being made to sell the crop at low prices. They also alleged that private millers and procurement officials were cheating them.

The team members directed the officials concerned to look into the matter.

Later, they told the media persons that the samples collected from the grain markets would be sent to a laboratory of the Food Corporation of India.

Karunesh Sharma, an official of the food and supply department, Punjab, was also present.



Volunteers raise voice against social ills
Lovleen Bains

Doraha, October 24
The National Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers of Guru Nanak National College, in collaboration with panchayats of Chankoian, Maksudra and Katana Sahib villages, took out an awareness rally.

Holding placards and shouting slogans on the streets, the volunteers pleaded for equal rights for women and eradication of evils such as female foeticide, eve-teasing and molestation of women.

The volunteers went door to door to make women aware of their rights. They stressed on the importance of education for improving the status of women. The volunteers also visited gurdwaras at the three villages.

Earlier, principal Dr Narinder Singh Sidhu asked the girls to raise their voice against various social evils affecting women.

The programme officer, too, advised the girls to become self reliant, besides elaborating the aims and objectives of the NSS.

A total of 80 volunteers participated in the seven-day camp.



Taking a shine to photography
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

A student takes a picture during the photography competition at Punjab Agricultural University on Thursday.
A student takes a picture during the photography competition at Punjab Agricultural University on Thursday. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, October 24
Facebook and other social networking sites are making youngsters take a keen interest in photography. With the easy availability of equipment and the appreciation for uploading interesting pictures on these websites, photography has become a favourite pastime.

This can be gauged from the fact that the youth festival at Punjab Agricultural University has seen an increase in the number of students participating in the photography event. In fact, the number of aspirants was so large that the four participating colleges had to conduct preliminary rounds to select students for the youth festival.

"At the College of Basic Sciences and Humanities, 15 students wanted to participate in the photography event. We conducted a competition to select two for the fest,” says Dr Mann Singh Toor, organiser, youth festival.

Dr Toor says PAU was the first University in the state to start a photography competition at the youth festival in 1983. With the passage of time, the quality of photography has improved. “Moreover, more students are taking part in it, with the advancement of technology,” says Dr Toor.

Tough competition on Day 4

The fourth day of the inter-college youth festival witnessed a tough competition during the photography event. Students exhibited their talent and creativity with great gusto. Shabad gayan, both group and solo, was also conducted. It was jointly coordinated by the university and Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle. The top three positions in various events were bagged by the following:


Anmol Toor (Home Science), Sukhpreet Kaur (Basic Sciences and Humanities), Lovepreet Singh (Agriculture Engineering and Technology)


Lovepreet Kaur (Home Science), Parmparteek Singh (Institute of Agriculture, Gurdaspur), Swopnil Kaur (Home Science)

Shabad Gayan (solo)

Sumita Bhalla (Home Science), Gurpreet Singh (Agricultural Engineering and Technology), Gurpreet Singh (Agricultural Engineering and Technology)

Shabad Gayan (group)

College of Home Science, College of Agriculture, College of Agriculture Engineering and Technology

Stage events from today

Various stage events will be inaugurated at the open air theatre tomorrow at 10.00 am. Creative dances, folk songs and music items will be presented throughout the day. Dr NS Malhi, Vice-Chancellor, Guru Kashi University, Talwandi Sabo, Bathinda, will be the chief guest of the inaugural session. During the evening session, Senior Superintendent of Police, Faridkot, Gurmit Singh Randhawa will be the chief guest. 



Beauties sashay down roads
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

A vintage Beetle has all eyes on it in Ludhiana.
Looks to die for: A vintage Beetle has all eyes on it in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Vintage and classic cars make an appearance on roads in Ludhiana on Thursday. Tribune photos: HImanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, October 24
These vintage and classic beauties make their appearances less frequently on roads, but when they do, they are real head-turners.

The most advanced, sophisticated vehicles hold no water before these stately old vintage and classic cars when it comes to catching one's eye.

The Vintage and Classic Car Club, Chandigarh, has brought about 12 of these beauties along with four motorcycles as a precursor to the three-day lifestyle exhibition Rose Veranda. The cars will be displayed at the exhibition. A vintage car rally was organised from Radisson Blu hotel to the venue for the exhibition. The cars have been 'darlings' of those who have tendered them for long and kept them in a good condition.

"It was on my way to Kishangarh with a friend about 10 years ago, when we saw a classic car being used as a drying wall for cow-dung cakes," says Brig JS Phoolka. That was sheer blasphemy for them and they decided to form a club for vintage cars. Many cars in the club were salvaged and restored by the group that started with five members as the Chandigarh Vintage Sand Classic Car Club starting about 10 years ago. Now, there is a collection of about 40 odd cars and the number of members in the club has also gone up to 20.

Many cars were restored and salvaged from virtually being reduced to junk. The club has displayed their vehicles at a number of places in Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.

Brig Phoolka, who owns 1932 Ford Tourer, said the cars held the charm. "The charm of the cars, of course, is the exclusivity. These cars are rare and only a few have the privilege of owning these." "Modern cars are all smooth and automatic, but these cars need care and the association with the owner and the vehicle is much deeper," said Capt Charanjit Singh Vohra, who owns a 1939 car. 

A class apart

"There is a distinction between vintage and classic cars," said Brig JS Phoolka. He said the production of cars had stopped during the World War II. The cars made before the World War II are termed as vintage cars. "There is no set definition for classic cars, but other old cars post-war are called classic cars," he said. 



Diwali: Shop till you drop
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
City residents are on a shopping spree. With Diwali nearing, they are flocking to gift stores. Markets in Ghumar Mandi, Sarabha Nagar, Civil Lines and Model Town are all decked up.

Decorative candles, idols of Luxmi-Ganesha, gift hampers, cookies, wine glasses and wind chimes are catching the fancy of buyers. People do not mind splurging during Diwali. Shopkeepers have announced discounts on merchandise.

Apart from decorative items, people also buy kitchenware and earthenware."From silver crystals to glassware, people are spoilt for choice," said Sachin, a salesman.

Buying silver and gold coins is considered auspicious during Diwali. "Silver utensils have paved way for coins. People prefer gifting coins to utensils nowadays," said Parkhit Singla, a jeweller from Sarafan Bazar.

As far as the kitchenware is concerned, one can choose from a wide variety of citrus juicer, electric kettle and blender, toasters, microwaves, ovens, dinner sets, steam irons, rice cookers, coffee makers, juicer-mixer-grinders and oven-toaster grillers (OTG). Bindiya, a resident of Sukhmani Enclave, said a basket full of goodies having some cakes and chocolates, cookies, traditional mithai, a bottle of wine, some designer candles, diyas and an idol of Goddess Luxmi, would bring a smile on anybody's face.

Turkish baklava, cakes, cookies and Belgian chocolates have replaced the traditional Indian "mithai". With increasing reports of adulteration, people have switched to dry fruit and chocolates. 

Silver shining

Silverware has been an all-time favourite, be it festive occasions or fine dining. And of course, the devotional aspects of silverware with the superbly crafted idols and God figures can be another good gifting idea.

Sparkling spirituality!

Ganesha and Goddess Luxmi statues in sterling silver are the first choice of buyers. These are purchased not only during Diwali but throughout the year for their perception as harbingers of good luck and wealth.

Magical crystal

Household items during Diwali always make for excellent gifting options. The silver-plated collection with crystal studded on it makes a perfect Diwali gift and it also caters to the price-conscious consumers.

Go green

Gifting green plants and fresh flowers is yet another idea that has clicked with the crème of society. The florists are flooded with orders. Bonsai, orchids and bamboo streaks are a hit with residents.



DAV students claim titles
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, October 24
Students of DAV Public School, Pakhowal Road, Sarabha Nagar Extension branch, annexed titles in the U-14 and U-19 categories in the Ludhiana Sahodaya School Complex Badminton Tournament which concluded at BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, Shastri Nagar, today.

In the boys' section, hosts BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School wrapped up the title in the U-14 category while Kundan Vidya Mandir, Civil Lines, clinched the title in the U-19 category.

In the girls' U-14 section, Kundan Vidya Mandir and Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, finished second and third, respectively, while Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, and BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School, secured second and third positions, respectively, in the girls U-19 category. Delhi Public School finished second in the boys' U-14 category and Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, had to satisfy themselves at the third position.

In the boys' section (U-19), Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, and BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School secured the second and third positions, respectively. 



Philatelists welcome stamp on Prof Sahni
Tribune News Service

RR Sahni was an eminent scientist and educationist.
RR Sahni was an eminent scientist and educationist. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, October 24
A postage stamp on eminent scientist and educationist Ruchi Ram Sahni was released by the postal department.

City-based philatelists are excited to make the stamp and the first day cover released along with it a part of their collection.

Prof Sahni, born in 1863, was the first Indian officer to join Indian Meteorological Department in 1885, after postgraduating in physics and chemistry.

Later, he moved to Lahore, becoming the first Indian science professor of Government College, Lahore. He served there till 1918. He published research papers on radioactivity while working at the laboratory of Ernt Rutherford in Manchester, according to the information brochure published by the postal department.

Prof Sahni was elected to Punjab Legislative Council as a member of the Swaraj party. He also served as the trustee of The Tribune from 1918, till his demise in 1948.

"I have been collecting postage stamps on great personalities from the pre-Independence era. Such people are a source of inspiration for today’s generation, as they worked for the development of the nation," says Mukesh, a city-based philatelist.

"In fact, I got to know about contributions made by many of these personalities after the postal department released a stamp on them,” says Mukesh.



Thieves decamp with LED, two laptops 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 24
Thieves struck at the office of a chemical trader in the Sherpur Chowk area and decamped with an LED and two laptops.

Sanjay Shukla, owner, said the thieves entered the office by breaking open the door on the roof.

Shukla said it was the third incident. A case has been registered.

Land dispute

The NRI police personnel helped one Raj Rani, a retired teacher, get her share of land.

Raj Rani, who is settled in Abu Dhabi, approached Beant Juneja, SHO, NRI police station, stating that her brother had usurped her property using fake documents.

The police found that an agreement was formulated by Raj Rani.

Raj Rani's brother had agreed to return her share of property, said SHO Beant Juneja.

Raj Rani said she was saved from the legal tangles as even after the registration of the case she had to fight a long battle to reclaim her share of property.

Foetus found

Panic spread in Janta Nagar when a foetus, suspected to be of a girl, was found lying near a house.

The five-month-old foetus was wrapped in a piece of cloth. A case has been registered in this connection.

Body found

Panic spread in BRS Nagar and surrounding areas after the body of a man was spotted floating on the surface of Sidhwan Canal. It was on Wednesday morning that passersby saw the body and raised the alarm.

The police fished out the body and sent it to the Civil Hospital for an autopsy.

The deceased is yet to be identified. There were injury marks on the body and the police has not ruled out a foul play.

Man hit by auto, dies

An auto-rickshaw ferrying hosiery goods hit a 31-year-old motorcyclist in the Madhopuri area of the city on Wednesday night. The deceased was identified as Charanjit Singh, a resident of Sardar Nagar in the Madhopuri area. Charanjit was returning home when the auto-rickshaw hit his motorcycle. He fell on the road and suffered serious injuries. He was rushed to a hospital where he was declared brought dead. 



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