L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


A day of chaos and inconvenience
City witnesses traffic snarls as VVIPs attend functions in city; police efforts fail to provide respite to residents
Puneet Pal Singh Gill/ Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Traffic jam on a road in Ludhiana.
Traffic jam on a road in Ludhiana. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, December 14
Residents remained at the receiving end of the chaos on the roads as Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his Pakistan counterpart Shahbaz Sharif were in the city for the Kabaddi World Cup finals. Only one-way traffic was allowed on several roads while diversions were put up at other places.

Accompanied by Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, the Pakistan Punjab CM reached the city early in the morning. Though the three helicopters carrying them landed on the Punjab Agricultural University grounds, they had to attend various functions across the city.

Traffic on the Bharat Nagar chowk, Bhai Bala chowk, Jagraon bridge area and the Ferozepur road was the worst hit as the VVIP’s cavalcade, including SUVs and 
Mercedes cars, repeatedly passed through it. Every time the cavalcade passed, the Ferozepur road was closed to the city residents.

The Ferozepur road is one of the busiest roads of the city and it had been witnessed in the past that if it was closed for even a few minutes, traffic in the entire area got affected.

Pritam Singh, a resident of Ghumar Mandi, said the city had witnessed traffic snarls throughout the day. “Due to the closure of the Ferozepur road, traffic got diverted to the adjoining streets, most of which passed through residential areas. And in the evening, as a large number of people reached Guru Nanak Stadium, the city traffic was again affected,” he said.

In the evening, even roads, including Ferozepur road, Mall road, Cemetery road, College road, Rani Jhansi road, witnessed massive traffic jams.

“The traffic police failed miserably in managing traffic in the city. When the district administration knew that a large number of people would visit the city today, they should have made adequate arrangements,” said Sunita, a resident of Rani Jhansi Road.

“Before conducting mega events in the city, the government should take it into account that whether it has necessary infrastructure to host such events. There is only one major route to reach the other side of the city and that has been choked due to the world cup. I am stuck here and cannot even reverse my car," said Anirudh Gupta while helplessly sitting in his car.




Visitors to office harassed
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
While the district administration demonstrated to Shahbaz Sharif how convenient it is for people to get services at the office of the Sub-Registrar (West), visitors were made to wait for hours as services at the office were suspended to facilitate the Pakistan delegates’ visit.

More than 100 visitors had waited for about two hours as the VIPs reach late.

“I came here to register for a welfare scheme of the state. Earlier the officials told us that the VIPs were visit the office and we had to wait till 11:30 am. Then they locked the gates from inside and deputed a security guard there,” said Raman, a visitor.

Parking blues for students

The lane leading to Guru Nanak Bhawan from the Ferozepur road was closed to traffic as buses ferrying people to the stadium were parked there. Students and faculty of the INIFD, which is situated on the premises of Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan, had to park their vehicles in a paid parking lot on the Ferozepur road and walk down to the institute.

No respite for cops

Policemen were seen hard pressed due to the frequent VIP visits. "There is no respite for us. After the kabaddi cup, we will be deployed here on Sunday for providing security cover to the Rath Yatra," said a policeman.


Shahbaz Sharif for strengthening Indo-Pak trade ties
Tribune News Service

Shahbaz Sharif, Pakistan Punjab CM, during an interactive session.
Shahbaz Sharif, Pakistan Punjab CM, during an interactive session. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, December 14
In its endeavour to strengthen business ties between the entrepreneurial and agricultural communities of two Punjabs in India and Pakistan, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) today hosted a unique interactive session on "Punjab Cooperation between India and Pakistan" here.

The Chief Ministers of both Punjabs, Shahbaz Sharif and Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and Pakistan High Commissioner to India Salman Bashir shared their vision on how enhanced cooperation in diverse sectors such as education, skill development, agri mechanisation and value addition could help usher in a new era of peace and prosperity in the bilateral relations between the two nations, besides creating new avenues for the people on both sides of the border.

Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Co-Chairman, India Agriculture Task Force, CII, and Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Bharti Enterprises, requested the governments on both states to create an enabling environment, which would allow easier movement of goods and agri commodities. He also wanted that people-to-people contacts should be encouraged as it would help entrepreneurs, agriculturists, technocrats and academicians from both sides to interact more openly with each other and share their knowledge and skills for the larger good of the whole region.

Parkash Singh Badal recalled the memories of his college days in Lahore and shared how people of both Punjabs shared a common heritage, culture and language. He stressed the need for having a greater connect and cooperation between the two Punjabs through enhanced business, trade, sports and cultural exchange programmes. It would help in unlocking the tremendous opportunities and also bring peace in this region. Badal also laid stress on the need for removing the trade barriers between the two nations besides allowing business through the Hussainiwala border.

Shahbaz Sharif expressed his wish to have greater cooperation, especially in the fields of agri machinery and light engineering. He called upon the business community of both sides to explore avenues of mutual collaborations whereby the Indian entrepreneurs could help their Pakistani counterparts to establish agri machinery units manufacturing combines and harvesters and other machines in Pakistan.



VIP passes not much in demand
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
Talk of the World Cup Kabaddi finals and there is a lot of clamour for passes for the limited VIP seats. The craze is not just for the Kabaddi finals, but the elite of the city also want to watch Bollywood stars perform during closing ceremonies.

There was a lot of excitement about the performance of Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone and Chitrangda Singh during the closing ceremony of the mega event a couple of years ago and then about watching Katrina Kaif dance on peppy numbers last year. But people were not as excited about the performance of “Goliyon Ki Rasleela: Ramleela” star Ranveer Singh this time.

"After the performance of high-profile celebrities at the opening and closing ceremonies during the previous world cups, this time it was slightly bland. I am not a big Ranveer fan and as such I not very keen on watching the finals this time," says Saurav Sharma, a resident of the city.

A government official said earlier they used to get a lot of calls for passes for the World Cup finals, but this time the response us relatively tepid.

“People have watched the likes of Shah Rukh, Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif perform during the ceremonies but this time the Bollywood actor’s performance was a damp squib,” says Aman, another resident. Star power has become synonymous with the Kabaddi World Cup finals and opening ceremonies, so they should try to get bigger stars for maintaining the momentum they have built over the last couple of years, said Ashish.



Sub-Registrar’s Office visit wrapped up in just 5 minutes 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
Though the local authorities had been busy making preparations for Pakistan Punjab CM Shabaaz Sharif’s visit to the Sub-Registrar Office here for the past four days, the VVIP, along with his delegation, spent just about five minutes at the office on the Hambran road today.

As the entry of media was "strictly prohibited" inside the office, sources accompanying the delegation said Sharif and his team were briefed about the computerisation process by Supreet Gulhati, ACA, GLADA, at the office.

Sharif, accompanied with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal and Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia, enquired about the process of issuance of fard and asked if a photograph of the person concerned was also pasted on it. Sharif appreciated the digitisation of the revenue record. An official said: "The office was properly cleaned both inside and outside. The shanties outside the office were covered and the garbage scattered around the office was removed for the Pakistan delegation’s visit. In this whole process, even the routine work had suffered as the officials and the employees were busy doing all other works related to the VVIP’s visit," said the official. Among others accompanying the dignitaries were Financial Commissioner (Revenue) NS Kang, SK Sandhu, Commissioner of Police NS Dhillon, Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal.



Long rehearsals for kids irk parents 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
About 800 students from Classes VI, VII and VIII of a leading school at Sarabha Nagar, here, got an opportunity to perform at the closing ceremony of the World Kabaddi Cup here this evening. However, parents of wards were perturbed over the long schedule of rehearsals of their wards at the Guru Nanak Stadium. Many of them opted not to send their wards on the final day as they feared that in such a chaos, the children will get panicky.

The parents rued that they had to face difficulties while waiting outside the school as time was being given to them to pick-up their wards from the school campus but the latter reached the campus from the Guru Nanak Stadium, the venue, much late than the scheduled time.

Jyoti Anand (name changed), whose son is studying in Class VI of the school and participating in the event, said the programme disturbed her son's normal routine.

“I do not know what kind of refreshments is being given to students who are taking part in the event. They are made to sit for long for their rehearsal in the grounds. Last evening, we were told to pick-up wards around 7.30pm from the school but they reached after 9pm,” she said. She added that on Monday her son had to take two exams.

The circular of sending students to the mega event was sent by the District Education Officer and as per it, each participating student would be awarded an international participation certificate.

Sheetal, another parent, said since the participation of all wards was mandatory, she had sent her daughter for the rehearsals but on the final day, which was today, many of the parents decided not to send the children due to security reasons.

“I have decided not to send my daughter, who is studying in Class VII, for the event. Though our wards have been told that their marks will be deducted if they fail to take part in the programme, I am much worried about my daughter rather than her marks,” she said, adding that children would not be able to return before 10 pm tonight.

Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal, however, said no school was pressurized to take part in the event and they had volunteered for it. As far as the rehearsal schedule was concerned, the district administration had nothing to do with it but the event management company was taking care of the same. 



Pak players feel at home in city

Ludhiana, December 14
Players of the Pakistan Kabaddi team said they found no difference between the two countries while staying here.

Waqas Gujjar, who was playing for the second time during the world cup, said this time, the arrangements of their stay were better.

Another player said he was elated at visiting here.

Waqas said this time around, they had come with a better strategy to beat the Indian team and win the cup.

Mohsin Nasir, another player, said they were good at the circle-style Kabaddi as it was played across the border as well. Waqas said he hopes that the proposal by the Pakistan Punjab CM regarding co-hosting of the next Kabaddi World Cup by the two Punjabs would take shape. — TNS



PAU students bear the brunt as exams put off
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
Though the city has been on its toes for the Kabaddi World Cup final, Punjab Agricultural University students are a harried lot. The reason being that the final examinations of different courses were to end today and due to the visit of Pakistan Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif, these examinations have been postponed.

The examinations that were scheduled to take place today have now been postponed to December 17.

As the final examinations of several students were to end today, many of them had made plans for going home on vacation. But now, their plans were dashed out.

Karanvir Singh Sandhu, president, Punjab Agricultural University Students’ Association (PAUSA), confirmed that the examinations scheduled for today had been postponed to December 17.

The students rue that they were not informed well in advance it and came to know about the same only yesterday.

“By that time, we had already prepared for the exams. If the PAU authorities were to postpone the exams, they should have informed us in advance because the visit of Pakistan Punjab Chief Minister was planned well in advance,” rued a student.



Host of delicacies served to dignitaries
Manav Mander/Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
A host of delicacies were served today to the Pakistan delegates visiting Punjab to be a part of the Kabaddi World Cup closing ceremony. Lunch was served to them at a five star hotel after an interactive session with the industry.

Non-vegetarian dishes in the main course were murg lababdaar, Kashmiri ghosht, rogan josh, Amritsari fried fish while the vegetarian dishes included paneer ka pasanda and khumb matar masala.

“Murg ghosht and rogan josh are among the favourite dishes of people living in Pakistan Punjab,” said a source from the hotel.

Choco-walnut pudding, gajrela and kesari rasmalai were also enjoyed by the delegation. Both non-vegetarian and vegetarian food was appreciated by the dignitaries.

Samples collected

Food safety officers of the Health Department remained on their toes for collection of samples of eatables from the places where the Pakistan delegates along with Pakistan Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif visited today in the city.

The delegates reached the PAU campus around 10.15am where they were served breakfast at the Thapar Hall.

Mukul Gill, Food Safety Officer, Moga, said: “We collected samples of snacks and beverages that were served to them in breakfast.”

Later, they visited the Sub-Registrar Office (West) at Hambran Road from where samples of some eatables were collected.”

Food Safety Officer, Jalandhar, Sukhran Singh Minhas said: “We collected samples of as many as 19 eatables served during lunch at Raddison Blue hotel.”

Samples of foods items served during dinner were collected by Food Safety Officer, Ludhiana, Ravinder Garg, at Sterlin Manner hotel, Pakhowal Road.

Samples of various food items were also collected by Food Safety Officer Manoj Khosla at Guru Nanak Stadium. 



Stamp on 100 years of cinema yet to reach city post offices
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 14
A postage stamp on 100 years of Indian cinema that was released in May and was expected to reach post offices in June-July is yet to arrive in the post offices here.

Philatelists, who have been eagerly awaiting for the stamp, are complaining about the delay in its arrival.

Six miniature sheets comprising 50 personalities of the Indian Cinema were released by the Department of Posts on the occasion.

There are a few stamps that are eagerly awaited by the enthusiasts, but these have also failed to reach the post office.

“My friends and I had been eagerly awaiting for the postage stamps even before these were released, and now it’s been more than six months, and these are yet to arrive here,” said Mukesh, a city-based philatelist.

“We have been waiting for the postage stamps to arrive here as these carry pictures of several iconic Indian actors. I had promised to send some of these to my friends abroad. Now, they keep enquiring about the same," said another philatelist.

An official of the Department of Posts said philatelists had been coming to enquire about the same regularly, but these have not yet reached here.

Swaraj Kaur, senior postmaster at the head post office, said they had asked for the stamps that would be sent from the circle office and have now also given in written to get the same. It would arrive soon.



NSS camp begins at GHG college
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 14
A week-long NSS camp being organised at the GHG Harparkash College of Education for Women, Sidhwan Khurd, began today.

Dr Baljit Kaur Gill, principal of the college, inaugurated the camp. She urged the NSS volunteers to take active part in various social welfare services.

NSS unit in charge Bimaljit Kaur said a large number of NSS volunteers were taking part in the ongoing camp. Associate Professor Dr Amandeep Kaur gave a presentation on the importance of NSS camps.

“During this week-long NSS camp, the volunteers will clean the college and the surrounding areas. Awareness campaigns about various social evils will also be conducted during the camp,” said Yashpreet Kaur, camp coordinator.



Sikh bodies hold protest march
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 14
Office-bearers and activists of various Sikh organisations of the town and surrounding areas organised a march in support of Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa who has been on a fast at Ajit Garh.

Justifying demands raised by Gurbaksh and his associates, the protesters urged the government to impress upon the authorities concerned to release Sikh youths who had already spent their term in prison and had been languishing in jails across the country.

The protesters, led by president of the Peer Budhu Shah Sewa Society Gurpreet Singh, president of the Singh Sabha Gurdwara Committee Kanwaljit Singh Ubhi and vice- president of the Baba Banda Bahadur Welfare Society Rupinder Singh regretted that none of the political organisations have bothered to take steps for the release of Sikh youths languishing in jails illegally.

Police personnel, led by SHO Mandhir Singh, were present on the occasion to prevent any untoward incident.



Ludhiana Scan
First-aid room inaugurated

Nishi Singh, Chief Commissioner, Income Tax, inaugurated a first-aid room at the Rishi Nagar office. Emergency and first-aid facility for staff, visiting tax payers and tax professionals will be provided. “Since all major hospitals are nearly 5-6 km away from the office at Rishi Nagar, a first-aid room was the need of the hour,” said Nishi. Regular health camps would also be planned in the near future, said BK Singh, Additional Commissioner of Income Tax.

Candlelight march

A candlelight march was taken out on Saturday by the Rashtar Dharam and Jantatar Morcha in support of Anna Hazare, who is sitting on fast in favour of the Lokpal Bill.

President of the Punjabi Sahit Akademi Gurbhajan Singh Gill, along with others, at the book fair held at Punjabi Bhawan in Ludhiana.
President of the Punjabi Sahit Akademi Gurbhajan Singh Gill, along with others, at the book fair held at Punjabi Bhawan in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Book fair

A book fair was inaugurated at the Punjabi Bhawan on Saturday. While inaugurating the fair, Professor Gurbhajan Singh, president of the Sahit Akademi, said reading was a habit that should be inculcated in children. “With development in technology, books are lagging behind as everything is done with the click of the mouse. Establishing a library in every house should be made a custom,” he said.

Executive meeting

The Aam Aadmi Party held an executive meeting of Ludhiana district at the party office on Saturday. The meeting was presided over by district convener Ajay Mittal. The executive members expressed gratefulness to the people of Delhi for their overwhelming support to the party in the recently held elections. The members also met to discuss their future strategy for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls to be held in 2014. All issues, including strengthening the organisational structure, were discussed.

PRTC union poll

Elections to the Indian National Trade Union Congress affiliated with the PRTC Employees Union were held during which Jaspal Singh was elected as chairman and Ramesh Bhatti as president. — TNS



Gang of thieves busted, 3 arrested
Our Correspondent

Khanna, December 14
The Khanna police claimed to have solved six robbery cases in the city with the arrest of three members of a gang of thieves, including two minors.

The accused have been identified as Mangal, alias Ravi (17), of Uttar Pradesh, Sanju (14), also a resident of Uttar Pradesh, and Ajay Kumar, alias Bakolia, a resident of Bihar. At present, all of them were living in Khanna.

DSP (D) Ranvir Singh said the police had laid a naka on T-Point at Rahoun village. The police signalled the three to stop after finding their activities suspicious. After preliminary investigation, the trio confessed their involvement in several robbery cases in the city. The accused used to break open locks of shops with heavy iron rods and decamp with goods.

The DSP said they recovered three LCDs, some boxes of ghee and other items from their possession. The minors were sent to a juvenile jail in Ludhiana.

Two of the gang members, including the kingpin, were still at large. Raids were on to nab them, he said.



Youth run over by train
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 14
A 32-year-old youth was crushed to death under a train on Ludhiana-Ferozepur railway line this morning. The deceased has been identified as Balwant Singh of Galib Kalan village near Jagraon. Balwant used to work as a mason in Jagraon.

As per information, the incident took place this morning near the New Grain Market here when Balwant was coming to Jagraon from his village.

Bhupinder Singh, in charge of the Railway Police Chowki, Jagraon, said when Balwant was trying to cross the railway lines, he was crushed under Satluj Express.

“The youth died on the spot. The police handed over the body of the youth to his relatives after conducting a post-mortem examination at the Jagraon Civil Hospital. A case under Section 174 of the CrPC has been registered and further investigation is on,” said Bhupinder. 



5 held for illegal sand mining
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, December 14
The Sidhwan Bet police have arrested five persons for alleged illegal mining of sand from the Satluj. The accused were arrested during separate raids conducted by the joint teams of Mining Department officials and the Sidhwan Bet police during the past 24 hours.

The police also impounded five tractor trolleys and four trolleys laden with sand allegedly being used for illegal smuggling of sand.

The accused have been identified as Rajwinder Singh of Kokri Kalan village in Moga district, Gurnam Singh of Baghela village in Jalandhar district, Jagtar Singh of Channanwal village, Santokh Singh of Kamalpura village and Kulwant Singh of Khurshaidpura village near Jagraon.

Confirming the development, Sidhwan Bet police station SHO Satwinder Singh said the police arrested five persons and impounded five tractor trolleys being used for illegal sand smuggling in separate raids.

The Station House Officer said the police had registered cases against the accused under the Mining Act and further investigation was on.

“We have also confiscated five trolleys laden with sand. Efforts to trace the owners of these trolleys are on and suitable action will be taken against them, too,” said Satwinder.

All the accused were produced before a Jagraon court today, which send them to judicial remand. 



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