L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


City takes a dip in chaos
Tribune News Service

Devotees make a rangoli on the route of the Jagannath Rath Yatra. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, December 15
Traffic in the city went for a toss during the Jagannath Rath Yatra, which passed through various parts of the city today. If there was chaos on roads due to the final of World Cup Kabaddi on Saturday, commuters were again at the receiving end as vehicle remained stuck in traffic jam due to the Rath Yatra. Not only were the main roads clogged, long queues of vehicles also seen on alternative routes.

Tents pitched on the road to distribute eatables among devotees worsened the problem.

The routes from where the yatra passed were littered. Eatables and disposable cups and plates made the road slippery.

“The road was closed due to VIPs' visit for the kabaddi cup finals on Saturday and traffic was diverted today for the Rath Yatra. The commuters are always at the receiving end,” lamented Sunil Vinayak, a city resident.

Residents of the Ghumar Mandi area said the devotees eager to join the Rath Yatra parked their vehicle in front of houses.

Faith pulls Lord’s chariot

Though the police managed divert the traffic, complaints of missing wallets and ornaments kept pouring in till evening.

"We respect the religious sentiments, but it does not give anyone the right trouble others,” said owner of a restaurant.

Those coming from other cities were caught unawares and got stuck in the serpentine queues of vehicles. Long queues of vehicles were witnessed on the entire stretch, beginning from the Jagraon bridge.

Divine grace

A large number of devotees submerged in divine melodies during the Jagannath Rath Yatra which started from Shri Durga Mata Mandir, Jagraon Bridge, on Sunday. People from far flung places joined the yatra. The procession passed through Club Road, Fountain Chowk, Rani Jhansi Road, Ghumar Mandi, Aarti Chowk, Ferozepur Road and culminated at Durga Mata Mandir, Sarabha Nagar. Mukesh Ghai, an organiser, said, "Around 282 stalls of eatables were set up across the city." The route of the yatra was decorated with flowers. The devotees were seen chanting bhajans. Text: Anupam Bhagria

Some motorists didn’t follow traffic diversions and entered the route of the yatra. The problem was further compounded when a large number of women parked their cars in the middle of the road to take part in the yatra.


Elderly man axed to death at Nasrali
Three robbers strike at house, woman helps nab one of them
Our Correspondent

Khanna, December 15
The brave act of a woman helped nab a member of a robbers’ gang that struck at a house at Nasrali village and killed an elderly man with a sharp-edged weapon. The incident took place on the outskirts of the village at a farmhouse where three members of a family, including two women, were residing along with Karnail Singh, head of the family.

Beant Kaur, daughter-in-law of Karnail Singh, alerted her neighbors on mobile phone about the attack on her house. Three members of the robbers’ gang struck late in night attacked Karnail Singh with an axe. They also snatched cash and gold ornaments the women members of the house.

Addressing a press conference, SSP, Khanna, Sushil Kumar said the gang struck at the house of the Karnail Singh about 11.45 pm on Saturday after scaling the boundary wall of the house. The robbers attacked Karnail Singh and other members of the family rushed to rescue him. However, the robbers attacked him with the axe. He died on the spot, said the SSP.

Beant Kaur, daughter-in-law of Karnail Singh messaged the neighbours on their cellphone.

The mobile alerts worked and the villagers gathered outside Karnail’s house. They switched on the headlights of vehicles to see the robbers who were trying to flee from the house.

They managed to catch hold of one of the robbers and handed him over to the police. However, two members of the gang fled with Rs 7,000 and a gold chain weighting 2.5 tolas.

The SSP said arrested accused had been identified as Ravi, a resident of Balachaur. The other accused were identified as Gurpreet Singh, alias Gora, a resident of Nawanshahr, and Sunil Kumar of Jodhewal Basti in Ludhiana.

The SSP said the accused met in a jail sometime ago and formed a gang. He said the weapon used in the crime had been recovered and a case had been registered. Teams had been sent to nab the accused, he added.

Karnail Singh’s sons Karamjit Singh Ranjit Singh live in Canada.



Dy CM’s dream projects yet to take off
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation has failed to start work on two project launched by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on November 15. The projects include the eight-laning of Ferozepur Road from Sidhwan Canal to Jagraon bridge and starting of 25 new buses of the city bus service.

The reserve price of the eight-laning project was Rs 209 crore. However, two companies interested in the project quoted much higher price of Rs 243 crore and Rs 256 crore. As the quoted price was much higher than the reserve price, MC officials asked the Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) to reconsider the project.

“We had negotiations with Hyderabad-based Navyug Engineering Company Ltd which had quoted Rs 243 crore and it reduced the price to Rs 238 crore," said MC Commissioner Rahul Tewari.

It is learnt that RITES has asked the MC to accept the company’s bid of Rs 238 crore. "RITES stated that as the project had to be completed in 15 months, the work on it should begin immediately. Moreover, RITES stated that due to problem of sand and gravel in the state, we could accept the offer. I would write to the state government to form a committee so that we could go ahead with the project at the earliest. Once we get the permission from the state government, the work on the project would begin,” said Tewari.

Tagged as the dream project of Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, the foundation stone of the eight-laning project was laid on November 15. The Deputy CM had claimed that the project would be completed in 18 months.

Even 25 new buses under the centrally-sponsored JNNURM city bus service were flagged off by the Deputy CM the same day. But these buses are yet to hit the road as Ludhiana City Bus Service Ltd has not been able to get them registered.

Rahul Tewari claimed that some private bus operators of the state have filed a case in the Supreme Court challenging the licensing policy of the state transport department.



Organisers leave Guru Nanak Stadium littered
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
The closing ceremony of 4th edition of the World Cup Kabaddi turned Guru Nanak Stadium into a garbage dump. The event management company hired by the government returned without cleaning the garbage. The Sports Department, which is already facing shortage of staff, is sore over the indifferent attitude of the company.

Garlands, flowers, coloured papers, boxes, small pieces of wood and other material used to decorate the stadium are scattered on the ground. The stadium has been littered with disposable glasses, water bottles and paper plates. Galleries and stairs of the stadium have also been littered.

The wooden cabins installed for dance groups are lying dismantled on synthetic tracks.

The sports department wants the event management company to bear the expanses of cleaning the stadium.

"The event management company got Rs 6.5 crore from the Punjab Government for the closing ceremony. It is their duty to clean the stadium. Our players are unable to practice at the stadium," said a coach of the Sports Department.

Kartar Singh, District Sports Officer, said: "We have deputed workers to clean the stadium. Due to the shortage of employees, it will take two or three days to clean the place,"



Advance tax: Last date extended
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
The last date for the payment of the December installment of advance tax has been extended to December 17. “Since the banks remained closed on Sunday, December 15, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has extended the last date for the payment advance tax,” said a senior IT official.

Taxpayers will not be charged interest for payment of advance tax till December 17, he added.

“A taxpayer whose liability during the current financial year is more than Rs 10,000 after getting tax exemptions and deducting TDS is liable to pay advance tax. The department has shot off notices to taxpayers who have not paid their advance tax till now," said the official.

Those who do not pay advance tax on time will be required to pay interest. 30 per cent of advance tax will be paid in the first installment while the next 30 per cent have to be paid by December 15 while the remaining amount have to be paid by March 15, 2014.

Jatinder Khurana, taxation lawyer said according to the new amendments made in the law, was not mandatory to pay advance tax for senior citizens who do not have professional income or business.



City bus service resumes
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
There is good news for residents as Ludhiana City Bus Service Ltd (LCBSL) has resumed the service. Though only nine low-floor buses out of the 75 are on roads, officials of the LCBSL claim that soon all buses will ply on their routes.

The nine buses are operating on the lone Dugri-bus stand-Bharat Nagar Chowk-railway station-Jalandhar bypass route.

The drivers and conductors outsourced by the LCBSL were on strike for the past several days, due to which the LCBSL was suffering losses.

But with the city bus service resuming after a gap of five days, it is certainly a ray of hope for both the city residents as well as the LCBSL authorities.

"We have managed to convince nine conductors who were on strike. The new contractor gave us nine drivers. We have also recruited four conductors and they are undergoing training. Once their training completes in next four-five days, more buses will start plying on the city roads,” said Baljit Singh, manager of the LCBSL.

The city bus service was an instant success when it was launched in 2011. The city bus service has a fleet of 75 buses, out of which 25 are brand new.



With love from across the border

Players sweat it out during the final of the World Cup Kabaddi in Ludhiana. Tribune photos: Himanshu Mahajan

The final of the World Cup Kabaddi witnessed guests from across the border. Since the final was between India and Pakistan, spectators were quite excited. The guests were seen rooting for their favourite players. The tournament ended on a happy note, with Pakistan Punjab Chief Minister Sahabaz Sharif announcing that both the nations should host the next tournament.

A lavish event

The fourth edition of the World Cup Kabaddi was not a sporting event by any standards. The extravagant opening and concluding ceremonies, with singers, film stars, fireworks and what not, simply failed to merge with the spirit of rustic and down to earth (literally that is) game of kabaddi. There were voices of protest from the people belonging to various sections that rather than spending so lavishly on the opening and concluding functions, which achieved nothing, the government should have spent the money on genuine promotion of the game of kabaddi and the other events. Punjabi singer Jaspinder Narula, during her performance at the concluding function, perhaps aptly rendered a song "mela vekhan aiyan karmawalrian".

Noble gesture

Students and artistes worked hard to make the final of the World Kabaddi Cup a success. They practised for hours together at Guru Nanak Stadium. There was this artiste who did not get refreshments. When the students learnt that the artiste did not have money to buy food, they offered him their share. The gesture moved the artiste.

'Yatra' only for the affluent!

God exists only for the affluent! The hefty sum spent on 'Rath Yatra', where the 'so called religious contractors' were displaying their financial might, made one think that way. Looking at the mess that was left behind on roads following the yatra, one was forced to think that how many poor children could have benefited from the money that was spent senselessly in a few hours. This leaves one wondering if these are the same bunch of industrialists, who day in and day out, make a hue and cry over facing financial crunch and blaming the state government for levying undue taxes on them. Commuters waiting at traffic lights at several places in the city came across volunteers (wearing dhoties) selling religious books. However, it surprised many that these volunteers were approaching only those travelling in luxury cars while those riding motorcycles and scooters, were apparently, not their potential customers. When one of the motorcycle owners asked the reason for the 'discrimination', a volunteer replied: "Sir, own a car first and then think of God."

Contributed by Manav Mander, Kuldip Bhatia, Anupam Bhagria & Mohit Khanna



Ludhiana scan
Run for Unity Marathon

Activists of the BJP Yuva Morcha participated in the Run for Unity Marathon on Sunday. This marathon was organised on the death anniversary of Vallabhbhai Patel. Harsh Sharma, district president, BJP Yuva Morcha, said youngsters in large numbers took part in the marathon.

Bank employees to go on strike

The United Forum of Bank Unions will observe a strike on December 18. Dr Shiv Gupta, deputy general secretary, Indian National Bank Employees Congress, said they were protesting against the Central government for delaying the revision of wages. He said on December 18, more than 10 lakh bank employees across the country would observe the strike.

Bhog ceremony

The bhog ceremony of industrialist and social activist Darshan Singh Bedi was held at Gurdwara Kalgidhar Singh Sabha. Manish Tewari, Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, attended the ceremony. Tewari said Darshan Singh Bedi had contributed a lot to society. MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu, MLA Surinder Davar, MLA Balwainder Singh Bains and a number of councillors were present.

Books distributed

The Rashtra Dharma Organisation supported Anna Hazare's movement and condemned the political parties who were opposing the Jan Lokpal Bill. On the 67th birth anniversary Hira Singh Gabria, chairman, District Planning Board, a langar was organised. Akali councillor Pal Singh Garewal distributed pens, pencils and books among schoolchildren.


BetterThink conducted an event, BetterThink Champion. The event was held in Ludhiana and Jagraon. Over 250 students participated in the competition and eight were selected. The final was held at Sarabha Nagar on December 13. Four rounds were conducted. Simar Arora was declared the winner. Certificates were given to the semifinalists. — TNS



Dept starts drafting education policy
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 15
The education department has initiated the process of drafting the annual education policy for 2014-15. Officials are identifying children aged between 6 and 14 who have never been to school or are dropouts.

The authorities have been advised to certify that all children aged between 6 and 14 living in areas under their jurisdiction have been enrolled in some school or have been registered in compulsory education registers maintained at each school.

A door-to-door survey is to be conducted at all habitations, including wards of various towns, villages, brick kilns, railway stations, slums, labour colonies and farms.

Director General School Education Kumar Rahul has directed district education officers (elementary) to ensure that the door-to-door survey is conducted between December 16 and 26. Certificates about 100 per cent registration of all dropouts and non-enrolled 6-14 year age group children are to be submitted to the DEOs (E) by January 22.

Perusal of communication received at government primary and elementary schools from the DGSE revealed that teachers appointed at various localities would be conducting the survey to identify all such children who had never been to school. The data is to be uploaded online.

The survey is to be conducted before and after the school timings so that work is not interrupted in schools. The DEOs (Secondary) have been asked to depute teachers of respective senior secondary schools to undertake the survey in villages or localities where there are no primary or elementary schools.

The survey teams have also been advised to identify differently abled children and the reason for the disability is also to be noted.

To rule out any discrepancy, district education officer (E) or district special training coordinator have been asked to verify facts at least in case of 10 per cent identified children before January 18, 2014, by all means.



Rly authorities fail to plug the leak
With damaged uncovered water tank, residents forced to use contaminated potable water
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Contaminated potable water and poor water supply infrastructure is a major problem for residents of Railway colonies at the Ludhiana railway station. The residents are forced to drink and use the contaminated water. During a visit to the railway colony, it was observed that the damaged water tank was still in use, which led to contamination of water. The residents of these colonies only get two-hour water supply due to insufficient water storage tanks on the premises. There is an old iron water tank installed in the Railway Colony near the Civil Lines Area, which is damaged and leaks from various places.

Due to the damaged surface of the tank, water flows out of it round the clock. The residents have complained to the higher authorities several times but so far the problem has not been addressed.

"As the water tanks are not covered, we sometimes find waste of birds in the water that flows out from the tap. We are residing in a miserable condition. We pay for the accommodation so the Railways authorities should take care of these quarters", said Ram, a resident. Another resident of the Railway Colony, said, "The Railway authorities have failed to provide basic facilities in the colonies.

The employees’ unions have raised the matter, but all in vain.

Daljit Singh, divisional secretary, Northern Railways Men's Union, said," We have met the Divisional Railway Manager regarding the problem. He promised us that the tank will be repaired.

The higher authorities have promised that they will complete the work in scheduled time.

If the authorities again fail to complete the work we will protest".



Despite ban, sale of plastic strings goes unchecked
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

The banned plastic string that is being sold in Ludhiana. Ludhiana, December 15
It seems the directions of the Police Commissioner only exist on paper, this could be gauged from the fact that despite ban, the sale and storing of plastic string is going unabated. The large-scale sale of plastic strings for kite flying here is posing a threat not only to residents but also to birds.

In the last incident, Ashok Kumar, a resident of Ganesh Nagar near Janakpuri, sustained serious neck injury when a plastic string got entangled around his neck.

Social activists were levelling charges against the police that they were aware of the menace but they were deliberately not taking any action.

“Imposing a ban on the sale of plastic strings is actually working in favour of the police as it gives them the opportunity to seek bribe from kite traders. Many policemen make money during the kite season for allowing illegal sale of plastic string," said Komal Khanna, a Congress leader.

He said some people have set up factories where the plastic string was being manufactured and the police were looking the other way.

"They are playing with human life. Strict implementation of the ban is required for curbing the hazard caused by the use of plastic strings.

Police officers are aware about the places where the plastic strings are stored. They just need to keep their vested interest aside and work for the safety of the residents.

Issuing statement will not work. Impose harsher sections on people selling plastic strings. The sale will stop automatically," said Jaswant Singh, a social activist.

A kite trader said, plastic strings worth Rs 3 crore had been stocked across the city for the Lohri festival. The plastic thread has taken over the conventional cotton thread and the sale is catching up amongst the youngsters. The plastic thread is considered far stronger than the conventional cotton thread, which is disposable as well.

The thread, known as "Chinese Dor", is laced with razor-sharp glass powder, enough to cause harm to human life also. In 2010, two residents of Kadwai Nagar injured their hands while flying kites with the plastic thread. In 2011, a boy was electrocuted after coming in contact with the overhead high-tension wires. Later, it was found that the boy was flying a kite with the Chinese string. An employee of the power corporation said the thread usually got entangled around high-tension power cables and led to power snapping in various part of the city.



Tewari takes a dig at state government
Says it should work for public welfare than spending on kabaddi tourney
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Taking a dig at the Akali-BJP combine government in the state for exhausting all its resources and energies on the kabbadi tournament, the Union Information and Broadcasting Minister, Manish Tewari, today said that the government should also pay attention to development work and public welfare.

Addressing a public meeting at Dhandra village in the Gill Assembly segment after laying the foundation stone of a road to be constructed under the Prime Minister’s Gramin Saddak Yojana at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore, Tewari said, organising sports tournaments was a good thing, but exhausting all the resources and energies on a single event was something unusual.

He pointed out that the entire government had come to a standstill in the last two weeks as everybody right from the Chief Minister to the Deputy Commissioners and SHOs were busy holding kabbadi matches. “This only shows the government’s lack of concern for public welfare”, he observed, while referring to other pressing problems being faced by people, which the government had failed to address.Referring to the recently concluded “Investors’ Meet”, Tewari said, it would have been much better had the Punjab government also taken note of the problems being faced by the local industry. “While the state government is trying to invite the industry from outside, those inside Punjab are moving out as they have been finding it difficult to carry out their business here”, he said while pointing towards several industrial units leaving Ludhiana and Mandi Gobindgarh to other states in the country.

Among others present on the occasion included former minister Milkiat Singh Dakha, Pawan Dewan, Ranjit Mangat, Manjit Hambran, KK Bawa and others.



from schools
114 students honoured for performing well in exams

Doraha/ Sahnewal: Doraha Public School celebrated the founder's day. Kironjot Kaur, general secretary, SGPC, and member of the advisory committee, Jathedar Akal Takht, was the chief guest. Around 114 students were given cash prizes and trophies. Jasleen Kaur Pahwa was honoured for securing 93.6 per cent in medical stream. Piyush Sharma, who secured 90 per cent in non-medical, was also felicitated. Manjap, Charanpreet and Arshdeep were given prizes for scoring CGPA 10. Among teachers, Monika Sarwal, Inahat Preet Pant, Smriti Garg, Neelam Kaushal, Dashmeet Kaur, Sumanpreet and Devinder Singh were given cash prizes.

Cultural programme marks annual function

Saraswati Model Senior Secondary School held its annual function. Ghanshyam Thori, SDM, Payal, was the chief guest. Students presented colourful items. Shabad, giddha, bhangra, play and songs were presented by the students. The chief guest exhorted the students to become responsible citizens. Principal DS Gosain thanked the chief guest and appreciated the efforts of the students.

Play on female foeticide staged

Tagore International Senior Secondary School, Sahnewal, held its annual function 'Sargam'. RJ Khanderao, Regional Officer, CBSE, Panchkula, graced the function. The event commenced with the lightning of the lamp. Students gave a dance performance. A play on female foeticide was staged. Principal AP Singh read out the annual report of the school. Swati Aneja, managing director, proposed the vote of thanks. — TNS



Good response to government scheme
Our Correspondent

Dehlon, December 15
The government scheme for empowering women through dairy farming has received a good response. A large number of women in the 25-40 age group have started applying for loan and subsidy for establishing dairies under the scheme.

Kulwinder Singh, a deed writer at the local office of the sub-registrar, said a group of women had sought his help in filling in forms. Those who have studied till Class X and have 5 acres can avail of the benefit. Binder Kaur, a resident of Maherna village, said she had decided to set up a dairy. "My family will help me establish the dairy," she said.

Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal said a committee, headed by Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development) Baldev Singh, had been constituted to shortlist the loan seekers.

A15-day training programme was organised at government centres.

The government has announced a subsidy of 35 to 50 per cent on cost of mass milking machine, bulk milk chiller, fodder chopping machine and insurance chips. All applications received at the office of the deputy director, animal husbandry department, Ludhiana, will be processed and the final selection will be held on December 17.



Indian clothes a hit with Pak Punjab CM’s family
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Women from the family of Pakistan Punjab’s Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif today went out for shopping and visited Nilibar Store located on Mall Road. Nilibar is famous among people living across the border for its intricate designs and patterns.

“They stayed at the store for nearly 45 minutes and picked up stuff ranging from pashmina to chikan embroidery of Lucknow," said Sonu Nilibar, owner of the store.

The Chief Minister's wife, daughter, daughter-in-law and their granddaughter visited the store and liked the intricate hand embroideries. "Pashmina suits were also liked by them and in addition, they also picked up designer pieces ", he added.

Yesterday, The Chief Minister bought two black sarees. Though he did not personally visit the shop but some selected pieces from Nilibar was taken to the hotel where he was staying.



Tomato prices scale down
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 15
Much to the relief of residents, the prices of tomatoes have come down. Once the price had touched Rs 100 per kg, but now, they are being sold between Rs 30 and 40 per kg.

“It has come as a big relief to me. The price of vegetables along with tomatoes has come down. Priced between Rs 30 and 40, the tomatoes have become affordable now," said Ruchi Khanna, a resident.

Mian ji from Mian ji Fruit and Vegetable shop, Aggar Nagar, said that the price of vegetables had stabilized now, as the winter had arrived. Tomato price has also come down. The fresh arrival from the local market was priced at Rs 40 per kg while those arriving from other states were priced at Rs 30 per kg.

Another city resident, Ravneet, said now, that the price of tomatoes had come down she has started buying them again. “It was not possible for me to buy tomatoes at Rs 100 per kg and I had replaced them with either puree or tamarind,” she added.



Trophies of poor quality at World Cup Kabaddi
Anil Datt

Ludhiana, December 15
The Punjab Government has been spending a huge amount of money in organising the World Cup Kabaddi for the last four years, yet the qualities of trophies for the first three position holders in the mega sports event was not up to the mark.

The trophies for the winners, the runners up as well as for the third position holders in both the men and women sections were made of a low quality metal and that too of a very light weight.

The state government went all out to make the extravaganza a super hit by calling cine celebrities and other artistes to perform during the opening and closing ceremonies of the event. Not only this, the organisers want kabaddi to be the new entrant in Olympics in the near future.

They invited many teams from abroad to make a mark and get support in their endeavour in the international arena so that the game could be included in the Olympics. The winners in the men's section got a whopping amount of Rs 2 crore while the losing finalists became richer by Rs 1 crore. The best stopper and the best raider got a tractor each.

Similarly, the title winners in the women's section pocketed a cash prize of Rs 1 crore, followed by a cash prize of Rs 50 lakh for the team finishing second. The best raider and the best stopper of the tournament got an Alto car each. The sports organisers and sportspersons opined that the organisers spent lavishly for the kabaddi world cup but the trophies were found wanting in their quality.

The quality of the trophies should match the grandeur of the sports extravaganza, they added.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |