L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Celebrations turn sour
Tribune Reporters

Samrala, January 1
New Year celebrations turned sour for the family of a Samrala youth who died in a road accident last night.

The deceased, who married about six months ago, was identified as 25-year-old Ankush Kumar Gupta, the only son of a local BJP leader.

The accident took place on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road when Ankush was on his way to attend a New Year party in his car. A speeding truck hit his car.

The truck then rammed into trees alongside the road and overturned.

The youth was stuck in the car and was pulled out of the vehicle after cutting the roof of the vehicle.

He was rushed to the Samrala Civil Hospital where he died. The deceased was the only son of BJP leader Ajit Kumar Gupta.

A pall of gloom descended on Samrala after Ankush’s death. Most of the programmes on the New Year’s Eve were cancelled.

The driver of the truck, identified as Harish Kumar, a resident of Samrala, also suffered injuries and was admitted to the Civil Hospital. SHO Surjit Singh said a case was registered against the truck driver.

Labourer dies

Ludhiana: A migrant labourer was killed when a truck hit the cycle he was riding on Hambra Road on Wednesday. The deceased was identified as 37-year-old Raju Singh, a native of Bihar. He was working at a plywood factory on Hambra Road. The police have registered a case against the driver of the truck, Balbir Singh, under Section 304 of the IPC.

2 persons commit suicide

Two persons committed suicide in different parts of the city. Both of them were stated to be reeling under financial crisis.

In the first case, Purshottam Lal (40), a resident of Subhash Nagar, committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan at his residence. His relatives said Purshottam Lal was suffering from kidney problem. Unable to bear medical expenses, he ended his life.

In the second case, Amit Kumar (33), a resident of Tibba Road, committed suicide by hanging himself from a ceiling fan. Amit was jobless. On Wednesday morning, he was found hanging from the fan. The bodies were handed over to the families after the autopsy.


MC gets tech-savvy, does away with paperwork
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation will make payments online instead of issuing cheques.

This will save a lot of time and paperwork, besides the beneficiaries will get payment on time. Funds and salaries will now be directly transferred to the accounts of beneficiaries.

This service was launched by Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria in the MC Zone A office today. “Cheques issued by the civic body had to be signed by a number of officials, which was a time-consuming exercise,” said MC Additional Commissioner Dr Sumit Jarangal, who is also head of the accounts branch.

Cheques issued by the MC to councillors and park management committees were often dishonoured due to shortage of funds.

"But now this problem will be solved as the funds would be transferred directly to the bank account,” said Dr Sumit. Class IV employees as well as safai karamcharies will also benefit from the new system. Their salaries will now be deposited in their bank account. Earlier, their salaries were disbursed through the Executive Engineers (XENs) and councillors, respectively. The cheques were earlier prepared in the name of the XEN concerned or the area councillor, who use to disburse salaries to employees.

Some employees used to complain that they were not given fu salary.

Dr Sumit Jarangal said thee would be more transparency in the functioning of accounts branch. 



Chill was no dampener for revellers 
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
Residents went all out to celebrate the arrival of the New Year last night. They were out on the roads, amid flashing lights of the police personnel who were forced to stand in the middle of the night to control the flow of traffic as the cars were moving bumper to bumper at various places in the city. Even after midnight, the roads were busy than they would be during the day.

The dipping mercury seemed to have no effect on the enthusiasm of the residents who were braving the cold temperatures to celebrate out in the open. All the clubs, discotheques, restaurants, pubs and hotels were decked up for the occasion. The dance floors in the hotels were jam packed. Despite the cold weather, many youngsters were out on their motorbikes and some were standing out from the sunroof of their cars and others were simply cheering one and all.

Couples were thronging the party places across the city as at many venues only couples were allowed.

The roads were busy till the wee hours today as people were returning from the parties that went on till early morning. At pubs and bars, including 148, Geoffreys, Fahrenheit, Brewmaster etc the dancing went on amid music bands, even professional dancers regaled the audience. Lavish dinner, elaborate buffets were all open to the residents at city hotels including Radisson Blu, Park Plaza, Hotel A, Keys Hotel etc. Russian dancers performed at some of the places in the city.

There was cheer, laughter and greetings as the clock struck 12. Messages and phone calls were exchanged across the city. "It was a super day for us and we didn't sleep the whole night. This is a new day and a new year and we celebrated it in a big day," says Varun, a resident.

At the Sutlej Club and Lodhi Club, the open area of the lawns had been covered to prevent the rain and cold weather from playing the spoilsport. At Sutlej Club Dilbagh Singh, a singer from Delhi, was belting out music tracks and hundreds of club members were dancing amid laser lights and dancing lights. Similar sights were witnessed at the Lodhi Club where signers Rana Shad and Shivani performed to the cheer and dance of the club members gathered there.



Activists threaten stir 
Demand plying of private and state-owned buses via local bus stand
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 1
The activists and office-bearers of social and political organisations have threatened to launch a protest in case corrective steps are not taken by the government to make the drivers of private and state transport buses ply upto the local bus stand.

Acknowledging the problem, legislator Amargarh Iqbal Singh Jhoondan said he had already taken up the matter with senior functionaries of the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC), the organisation managing the local bus stand.

“When we took up the issue with the PRTC officials, Surinder Singh, general manager (operations), assured us that corporation buses running on at least 28 routes will reach the local bus stop daily by all means,” said Jhoondan maintaining that the drivers of private buses and other state-owned depots would be made to ply upto bus stand in the next phase.

Residents alleged that travelling by bus had become more expensive and troublesome after the opening of the four-lane Ludhiana-Malerkotla road.

They were forced to cover an extra distance of about 4 km to board a bus. Besides, spending more money on auto-rickshaws or private vehicles, they also end up wasting a lot of time.

Things went smoothly for about 10 years, after which a majority of the bus-drivers, plying between Ludhiana and Malerkotla, stopped coming to the bus stand

Promises fall flat

The PRTC Managing Director, DPS Kharbanda, during a public function held about six months ago, had announced to ensure that all buses plying on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road will reach the town instead of returning from Pohir. The situation became even worse as buses started dropping passengers near Lehra Chowk on the highway.



Ayali pledges to make Dakha drug-free 
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, January 1
Taking a serious note of the increasing number of youths getting addicted to killer drugs such as smack, heroin and opium, SAD legislator from Mullanpur Dakha Manpreet Singh Ayali has taken a pledge to eradicate the menace of drug addiction and make his constituency drug-free in 2014.

He has declared to hold a public convention against drug abuse at the Grain Market, Dakha, on January 6. Residents and panchayat members of all the 108 villages falling in Dakha constituency have been invited to attend the convention.

According to Manpreet Ayali, the menace of drug addiction has reached an alarming proportions and it is high time to do away with this menace. “Today more and more youths are getting hooked to drugs like smack and heroin. The menace of drug addiction not only ruins the lives of drug addicts but devastates their families also. Moreover, the graph of crime has also been increasing,” said Ayali.

Ayali informed that a three-phased plan has been finalised under this initiative to do away with the menace of drug addiction. “In the first phase, a massive police drive would be initiated against the drug peddlers. In the second phase, seminars and awareness campaigns would be organised in educational institutes and finally in the third phase a trust would be formed to rehabilitate the drug addicts with the help of medical experts,” he said.



Hope gets wings, rings in joy
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
On October 12, Bhawna Goyal gave birth to twins, Naina and Ishana, at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital. Smiling away her pain, the babies gave her the feeling of wholeness. But to her dismay, the babies weighed less than a loaf of bread. Naina weighed 480 grams and Ishana 780 grams whereas the average weight of a newborn should be 3 kg.

The Caesarean section was performed by Dr Ashima Taneja, professor, department of obstetrics and gynaecology.

Born out of an IVF twin pregnancy to a couple married for eight years, the babies were the family's only hope. Bhavna Goyal a resident of Fauji Chowk, went to the hospital after 22 weeks of gestation with pains and aches. Into 27 weeks of her pregnancy (six-and-a-half months) when the ultrasonography revealed the reversal of blood flow.

"The blood was reaching the babies which is why she opted for the Caesarean section," said Dr Ashima Taneja.

Bhawna said she was shocked to see the low birth weight babies. Her husband Pradeep Goyal (30) is a businessman.

Neonatologist Dr Kamal Arora said, "She was wired with machines in the neonatal ICU. We had given up on our hopes, but Naina turned to be a fighter and survived." Naina might be the country's smallest surviving baby, claimed the hospital authorities.

Initially, her weight dropped to 420 grams. Saving her was a challenge, said Dr Kamal Arora, DM, neonatologist, DMCH.

As per reports, a baby born on April 21, 2012, at Mohali weighed 450 grams. Arora said there was this baby in Pune who weighed 495 grams. The baby was put on an advanced respiratory support, the bubble CPAP system. The chances of her survival were bleak. Arora calls it a miracle. He said: "Her brain had no structural damage, she didn't need artificial oxygen for long and her eyes did not develop any retinopathy of prematurity (an eye disease of premature babies). At present, her weight is 1,100 grams."

Dr Harmesh Singh Bains, professor and head of pediatrics, said the DMCH had the state-of-art neonatal ICU with the best medical technology and infrastructure. "Here medical expertise and advanced technology go hand in hand," Bains said.

"Low birth weight babies have extremely poor function of all body organs and support is needed for the survival of the child. Here comes the expertise and skill of a dedicated neonatologist to identify and prevent the problems as the margin of error in such babies is close to none," said Dr Daljit Singh, Principal DMCH.

Prem Kumar Gupta, secretary, DMCH, managing society and neonatology team of the DMCH, gave a warm send-off to Naina and her sister Ishana.



The blessed revellers
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
New year ushered in happiness for many couples. Senior Medical Officer Dr RK Karkara said,"Five couples have been blessed with babies at Lord Mahavir Civil Hospital, Ludhiana. Of the five, three are baby girls."

Harpreet Kaur, a resident of Bachittar Nagar, Gill Road, gave birth to twins (baby boys) at the SAS Grewal Multi-Speciality Hospital, Gurdev Nagar, said Dr GS Grewal.

At Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, three couples were blessed with baby girls.

At Christian Medical College and Hospital, six babies were born. Of them, three are baby boys.

Archana gave birth to a baby girl at 7 am at the CMCH. Dr Manpreet Kaur, head of gynaecology department, Deep Hospital, said,"We conducted four deliveries today. Three are baby boys and one is baby girl. Nisha from Raikot gave birth to a baby boy at 1 am. The other three babies were delivered through C-section."

Three baby girls were born at the Community Health Centre, Koomkalan, while three others were born at Chawla Nursing Home.



Prices of finished steel products set to rise
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
With the cost of production of steel companies rising, the prices of finished products are all set to increase next month which has become a cause of concern for the local industry.

An increase in the domestic iron ore prices by Rs 200-300 a tonne, rise in coke prices and freight rates have taken up the cost of production for steel producers due to which the companies have decided to increase the prices of steel from January.In the local market, the prices of scrap are increasing after the increase in the electricity rates. "We cannot absorb the price hike but have to pass it on to the consumers. Steel prices are on the rise and there is import of scrap right now. The price of scrap in the local market is on the increase hence," said Lalit Garg, a furnace owner.

"There is no other option left for the steel companies. The cost of production has risen so much that they have to pass it on. Some companies are yet to decide the quantum of price increase to begin with. The prices will definitely rise by a minimal amount. To start with, the prices will be increased by at least Rs 500 per metric tonne," said Satish Aggarwal, an industrialist.

Analysts are of the view that the steel producers are increasing prices only to test the market appetite, which generally increases in the final quarter of a financial year because of inventory build-up activity.

Some of the secondary steel mills have shutdown their shop over the past few months, as they could not maintain margins in the dull demand scenario. Due to this, consumers of the secondary steel have turned into integrated steel producers to meet their requirement and, therefore, there is a demand in the domestic market, said dealers. With no one knowing how long the demand will last, the companies are trying to take advantage of the current demand spurt by hiking prices, the dealers said. 



Local girl does city proud, tops all 4 Profs of MBBS 
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
Rinnie Brar, hailing from Khanna and studying at Lady Harding Medical College, has topped all the four Profs of MBBS in the college and has secured the second position in the Delhi University for the fourth Prof.

She topped Khanna district in the CBSE PMT examination securing 68th rank at the All-India level after which she went to Lady Harding. She even bagged a scholarship. She says, “My success mantra is staying confident and studying throughout the academic terms even while there is no ‘pressure-cooker situation’ and staying relaxed during the hectic days.”

Rinnie likes to read, dance and do skating as well and has performed Jazz at a state-level show at the Talkatora Stadium recently.

She says, “I took up this profession for serving people and I am disheartened to know that the profession is getting a bad name because of some corrupt doctors.” She says that the malpractices need to be stopped and for the purpose she was campaigning for the introduction of medical ethics throughout the academic course.

“Medical ethics are becoming a necessity in profession of medicine as anybody can lose conscience, but a mentorship programme for medical ethics should be introduced to train the students to stick to the values of this noble profession,” Rinnie says.

The aspiring doctor is an all-rounder as she has been excelling both in academics as well as co-curricar activities.



Poll fever at its peak at PAUCharanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
The election fever is on its peak at Punjab Agricultural University. The election of Non-teaching employees is scheduled for January 10 and the first mass rally was organised by the PAU Employees United Front led by Harbans Singh Mundi, President, PAU Employees Front, here today.

Many supporters of the Mundi Group gathered outside the Thapar Hall. Mundi alleged that the PAU Employees Form led by Paramjeet Singh Gill failed to fulfil the demands of the PAU employees.

"The ruling group failed to protect the rights of the employees. The board of management of the PAU cancelled the participation of the non-teaching employees in the board meetings. The allowances are still unpaid. The hike in grade pay is pending. The employees did not receive 40 per cent arrear. If we win the elections, we will fulfil all the demands of the employees", said Mundi.

Lakhwinder Singh Sandhu, a senior leader of the PAU Employees United Front, said, "The ruling group is not sincere about the issues of the employees. The government never releases the salaries of the employees on time, but the union leaders failed to pressurise the government in the last tenure".

Meanwhile, the Car-Jeep Association, PAU, and the Nursery Staff Association support the Mundi group. The Punjab Agricultural University Employees’ Democratic Front and the PAU Employees Form also held their meetings.



Ludhiana scan



Ludhiana: Sain Bhawan constructed near Grain Market (Jalandhar Bypass) will be inaugurated on January 5. Thousands of devotees and followers of Sain Bhagat will take part in the ceremony. Chairman of the trust Jeet Kumar and other office-bearers said during the past one year, the trust had arranged marriages of more than two dozen girls belonging to poor families. In addition, financial assistance was provided for education to 70 schoolchildren and for the treatment of 70 critically ill persons.

Industrial meet

To promote industry in Punjab the state government is trying its best. This was stated by Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, PWD Minister, Punjab, at an industrial meet organised by Industries Welfare Association, Focal Point. Dhillon informed that the big industrial houses from other states and abroad are making huge investments in Punjab. Dhillon announced that all highways in the state of Punjab shall be four and six lanned to ease the traffic chaos. Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, Mayor Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, announced that LMC would contribute in the development of focal points and industrial areas here. Gohalwaria informed that the payments of all the old works completed by the contractors had been cleared and the funds would also be released for the new works.

Memorandum submitted

Transporters of Ludhiana submitted a memorandum to Madan Mohan Mittal in Chandigarh and discussed problems being faced by the transport sector. The delegation included members of the Ludhiana Transport Welfare Association, including Mohan Singh Gill, Janakraj Goyal, Prithviraj Sharma, Manohar Kaushal and Chaudhary Harikrishan said transport sector was the spine of business and commerce, but was facing crises for not being given the status of an ‘industry’.

Sammelan samaroh

Prof Pooran Singh Dhami Yadgaari Sanmaan Samaroh was organised by the Alag Shabad Yag International Charitable Trust at Punjabi Bhawan on Wednesday. Giani Mal Singh, Jathedar of Takhat Keshgarh Sahib; Giani Jagtar Singh, Additional Mukh Granthi, Sri Darbar Sahib; Harcharan Singh Tonk; Bhagwan Singh; principal Harjinder Kaur; Pritpal Singh, president, Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib; Mandeep Singh Sidhu; ASP Sangrur; Inderjeet Sharma; Dr TP Singh; Harinder Singh Sandhu and Interjeet Singh Khalsa were honoured on the occasion. — TNS



Four gangs of criminals busted, 14 arrested 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
The city police claim to have busted four gangs involved in robberies and drug peddling.

The police have arrested 14 persons and claim to have cracked two cases of robbery. Weapons and cash have also been recovered from the accused.

ACP (Crime) GS Bains said five members of the notorious Jaggi gang that was behind a series of robberies in Jalandhar and Ludhiana were arrested from New Dana Mandi near the Kohara road last night.

The accused have been identified as Jagdeep Singh Jaggi of Machhiwara, Jaswinder Singh Jassi of Ajnour, Inderjit Singh Laddi of Sahnewal, Davinder Singh of Bilga and Jagjit Singh.

The police have recovered a pistol, 1 kg of opium, 1,500 bottles cough syrups, three cartridges and two knifes from the possession of the accused.

Bains said one of the accused had snatched money from a businessman in the Focal Point area on June 26 last year.

The Shimlapuri police claimed that they had cracked a robbery case that took place a week ago with the arrest of five persons.

The accused have been identified as Akash, Jagjit Singh Shanty, Vikas, Lucky and Sunil. The accused committed robbery at Chet Singh Nagar in Shimlapuri and decamped with cash, gold ornaments and valuables by taking a family hostage. The police have recovered Rs 1.5 lakh, gold ornaments, cellphones, a camera, a country-made pistol, six cartridges and sharp-edged weapons from the possession of the accused. ADCP (IV) Swapan Sharma said a team of police officials nabbed two drug peddlers. The accused have been identified as Rammu and Chander of Uttar Pradesh.

The police have arrested the duo and recovered 1 kg opium which was hidden in their shoes. They were nabbed from New Basant Vihar Colony on Noor Wala Road.The police also arrested two persons of Nawanshahar who were involved in a series of thefts in the city. 



40-yr-old shot dead
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
A 40-year-old woman was shot dead following a petty quarrel at Guru Arjan Dev Nagar near Samrala Chowk today.

The deceased was identified as Sonia. She was shot at from a point blank range by a youth living in her neighbourhood.

Swapan Shamra (ADCP- IV) said the accused, identified as Parminder Singh, was arrested from Tajpur Road and confessed to have committed the offence.

The incident took place this evening when Parminder's mother and the victim had a heated argument.

It is learnt that Parminder tried resolving the fight, but Sonia dragged him as well. In a fit of rage, he pulled out his pistol and shot the woman. The victim died on the spot. The incident caused panic.

Parminder managed to flee the scene. The police are on the lookout for him.

The body was taken to the Civil Hospital. The postmortem will be conducted tomorrow.

Parminder's parents locked the house and fled the scene. Police personnel have been deployed in the area to prevent any untoward incident.



Police impound 4 tractors, 15 trailers 
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 1
The Sidhwan Bet police have confiscated four tractors and 15 trolleys allegedly used for illegal mining and smuggling of sand from Satluj River. All the vehicles were confiscated from river bed near Akuwal village during a raid conducted by the Sidhwan Bet police following a tip off late last night.

Though, no arrest was made during the raid. However, the police have registered a case against unidentified persons under the Mining Act at the Sidhwan Bet police station.

Giving the details of the incident, Sidhwan Bet police station SHO Satwinder Singh Virk said an informer had passed on the information to the police that some unidentified persons had been excavating sand from Satluj River near Akuwal village illegally.

“Following this, we immediately conducted a raid at the place and impounded 4 tractors and 15 trolleys laden with sand. The drivers of these vehicles managed to escape taking advantage of the darkness,” said SHO Satwinder Singh Virk.

Virk said the efforts to trace the owners and drivers of the confiscated vehicles were already on and the accused would be arrested soon.

SHO Virk said the police crackdown against illegal sand miners would continue in the coming days too and nobody would be allowed to excavate sand from the river bed without due permission.



Sportspersons initiate fight against drug trafficking
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
Sportspersons welcomed New Year in a special way at Guru Nanak Stadium by initiating a fight against drug trafficking.

The Punjab Basketball Academy's hostellers and Punjab Basketball Association (PBA) organised a prayer at the Basketball Indoor Hall today. A number of players from various sports were a part of the prayer.

JP Singh, SDM, Samrala, who is also the vice-president of PBA and Teja Singh Dhaliwal, secretary of the PBA, joined in the signature campaign against drugs’ trade and trafficking in Punjab, during the event.

Brij Goyal, organising secretary of the Mahatma Gandhi Peace Mission, also visited and motivated the players to join the campaign.

Inspired by the efforts of the mission, the inmates of the basketball academy made a beeline along with their coaches and officials of the Punjab Basketball Association in a signature campaign on the banners put up for the purpose.

"Parents remain worried about their wards lest they fall prey to drugs traffickers in Punjab. The youth in the state is way behind as compared to other states (even poor states like Bihar) in sports. Such campaigns will be held regularly by involving the youths at public places, in colleges and schools to prevail upon them to shun drugs", said Goyal.

Dhaliwal said, "All sportspersons were a part of the prayer and wanted to promote peace and harmony.”



Budding athlete wins 2 medals
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
Athlete Sukhveer Kaur is on cloud nine as she won two medals in the recently held state-level athletics meet. Sukhveer has been selected for the National School Games to be organised at Ranchi on January 8.

She won a gold medal in the 800 meter track event and a silver medal in 4x400 relay events in the under-19 age group.

Sukhveer Kaur, a student of class XII, began her career as an athlete a year ago and got selected for the National Games. Sanjeev Sharma, Sukhveer’s coach, said she was a dedicated athlete and did not meet her practices. She is a resident of Pandori village." The physical trainer at my school motivated me to take part in athletics. I had begun taking part a year ago. My coach Sanjeev Sharma played a vital role in improving my skills", said Sukhveer.

"I am happy with my recent achievement. Its the first time, when I am going to participate in any national event so I am quite nervous. I have been practicing hard for the National Games. I will try my best and hopefully win a medal there", she added.

Sharma said, "Sukhveer is one of the best trainees in our wing. She is a very committed athlete. She picked up very soon so we hope that she will achieve more in future. Sukhveer will get tough competition at the National Games So she needs more practice.” 



City doesn’t have an indoor pool
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 1
Despite poor infrastructure, swimmers in the city are performing well as compared to other sports in the district. The city has two public and two private swimming pools in the city, but none of the pools provide an all-season practice facility to the swimmers.

The municipal corporation had initiated the construction of an all-season swimming pool at Rakh Baag some years ago, but the construction work was never completed. The project has been hanging fire for the past several years.

In the absence of indoor swimming pools, the swimmers have to stop their practice in winters. It has been a long pending demand of the swimmers and swimming coaches to provide an indoor pool to get better results. The MC pool at Rakh Baag and another on the PAU campus are used by swimmers during summers.

Meanwhile, Satnam Singh Bal, a veteran sportsperson, constructed his own swimming pool in Iyali village and a number of budding swimmers practice in that pool.

Most of the swimmers in the city feel that if the government provides them with an indoor pool with modern facilities, they can excel.

Bal said, "it is not a big deal for the government to construct an indoor swimming pool. But for an individual it is quite tough. We can't send our players to southern states for practice. An indoor swimming pool is the need of the hour". Visakha Singh, swimming coach, said, "The MC had started constructing the swimming pool some years ago, but they failed to complete the project. If we get an all-season indoor pool, then our swimmers can achieve more at the national and international level". 



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