L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Staff shortage cripples MC
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is facing acute staff shortage. A branch of the civic body is functioning with only two employees against the sanctioned strength of 22. The authorities have also failed to review the cadre strength since the mid-90s.

Topping the list are the bridges and roads (B&R), fire brigade, operations and Maintenance (O&M) branches.

Sources reveal that only two junior engineers are posted in the O&M branch. Their job is to maintain more than 700 tubewells, than 3,000 km of sewage line, 2,250 km of water supply line and overhead reservoirs. The branch has a sanctioned strength of 22 junior engineers.

The MC has 16 sub-zones, besides four zonal offices.

The O& M branch of the civic boy has eight SDOs against the sanctioned strength of 12. “The cadre strength should be reviewed,” said Sunil Kumar Sharma, general secretary of the Municipal Corporation Engineers’ Association.

The situation is no different in the B&R branch. The branch is functioning with 10 junior engineer and the same number of SDOs, against the sanctioned strength of 48 and 27, respectively. The MC is also short of 200 clerks and 83 inspectors.

The MC’s fire brigade branch has only 19 drivers for 30 fire engines. With poor infrastructure and only 77 employees, the fire brigade is ill-equipped to tackle a major fire incident. The staff include eight senior officials, 19 drivers and 50 firemen.

These 77 employees are deputed for the safety of more than 16 lakh city residents. 

Govt nod to recruit staff

Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria said talks were on with the state government to fill vacant posts. “The state government has given a green signal to fresh recruitment. Advertisements will be published in a day or two,” said the Mayor. 


City’s green lungs chopped down 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
More than 20 trees that stood tall alongside Pakhowal Road fell to indiscriminate axing by the Ludhiana MC.

The civic authorities have put the onus of felling on the traffic police. The trees were obstructing the traffic, said the traffic police authorities.

Peeved over the indiscriminate felling, Congress MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu said: How could the trees obstruct traffic. The industrial city is already plagued by water contamination, vehicle and industrial pollution. We should act responsibly and think about out future generations. How can we cut the green lungs of the city? Axing of trees is not an alternative," said Ashu.

“I contacted MC Additional Commissioner Isha Kalia who said the traffic police wanted the trees to be axed," said Ashu.

Rishi Punni of Lajpat Nagar said: “I do not think the trees were obstructing traffic. We have to preserve the city’s green cover.”

A bank employee, Gurmeet Singh Sondhi, said: “Area alongside Pakhowal Road is turning into a commercial hub. The axing of trees may benefit investors interested in buying commercial property.”

ADCP (Traffic) Gurdeep Singh was not available for comments. 



Home Dept for ban on Chinese strings
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
The Punjab Home Department has directed the district administration to impose a ban on the sale of Chinese strings.

A letter to all district chiefs of the state stated that plastic strings were dangerous to humans and birds. The district authorities were asked to ban its sale for six months.

The district administration and the police had recently seized rolls of Chinese strings duing raids on shops. Youngsters and commuters, especially, two-wheeler riders, had suffered injuries due to these strings.

Kite flyers use the synthetic string coated with a mixture of finely crushed glass and rice glue to cut the opponents string.

Gurinder Singh of Field Ganj said awareness was the key to the problem. “Shopkeepers act smart and keep the killer strings at their home. Kites flyers should also desist from using these strings,” he said.



2 killed, 3 hurt in mishap

Ludhiana, January 18
A three-year-old girl and her mother were killed while three others were injured after a Mahindra Scorpio hit a motorcycle before colliding with a car near Jodha village this evening.

The victims were identified as Binder Kaur and her daughter Simranjit Kaur.

Binder's husband also suffered injuries. The incident took place when Gurjit Singh was on his way to Daad village with Simranjit and Binder. A Scorpio coming from the opposite direction hit the motorcycle on Mansuran Road. The SUV rammed into the car before coming to a halt. Two occupants of the car also suffered injuries. Passers-by rushed the injured a hospital, where Binder and Simranjit were declared brought dead.

The driver of the Scorpio managed to flee.

3 booked for fraud

Three persons, including a woman, were booked for duping a man of Rs 8 lakh on the pretext of sending him abroad. The accused have been identified as Neel Kamal, her brother-in- law Sanjiv Kumar, and Naresh Kumar, all residents of Una in Himachal Pradesh.

Complainant Sanjiv Sharma said he came in contact with Neel Kamal after going through a classified in a vernacular daily. Neel Kamal told her that she has scored well in IELTS and would take him abroad after marrying him. Sanjiv said the trio took Rs 8 lakh from him.

The Division No 3 police have registered the case and fraud against the trio. — TNS



Earrings snatched
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 18
Two motorcycle-borne youths snatched earrings of an NRI woman in Jagraon on Friday evening. The incident took place outside a private hospital on Tehsil Road.

The woman, Saroj Rani, is a resident of Hargobindpura Mohalla, also suffered injuries. She said her earrings weighed eight grams.

Jagraon SHO Mohamad Jamil said the police have recorded the statement of the victim and efforts were on to nab the accused.

A video footage of a CCTV camera installed outside the hospital can be of help, said the SHO. 



Residents protest police inaction
Our Correspondent

Amloh, January 18
Residents of Anian Road staged a dharna in front of the Amloh Police Station against the alleged inaction of police in an assault case.

The protesters alleged that the police have not taken any action against the accused so far for assaulting Sarjit Singh, a senior citizen, on December 6 last year.

Victim Sarjit Singh in his complaint to the DSP, Amloh, stated that he had parked his scooter loaded with a cement bag in front of a dental clinic and was unloading it when he was suddenly attacked by three persons for parking his vehicle near their shop.

The victim also alleged caste discrimiantion as the attackers hurled abuses at him. “During the assault, my gold ring was lost and silver Karra was broken,” said the victim. The senior citizez was rushed to Civil Hospital, Amloh, from where he was referred to Rajindera Hospital, Patiala. In spite of the fact that, ASI Dharmpal had allegedly recorded his statement at the Amloh hospital, no action was taken against the alleged accused.

The dharna was lifted only after the SHO, Amloh, assured the protesters that he would take action in this regard within two days.

In case the police fail to take any action, we will sit on dharna for an indefinite period of time, said the protesters.



Aagman purab of 10th Sikh Guru celebrated

Ludhiana, January 18
The ‘aagman purab’ of the 10th Sikh Guru Shri Guru Gobind Singh was commemorated at Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women today.

Students of the music department recited hymns from the Gurubani on the occasion. Amandeep Kaur, Megha Jain, Anju and Amanjot Kaur apprised the gathering of the teachings of Guru Gobind Singh by reciting poems and delivering speeches.

During the occasion, Jaspreet Kaur was honoured for securing third position in Moral Science National-Level Examination. The examination was conducted by the Guru Gobind Singh Study Circle. —TNS 



Lawyers’ stir enters fifth day, litigants suffer
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 18
Lawyers' stir entered the fifth day today. They have been protesting against the Administration for not providing adequate parking space.

The shifting of 'malkhana' has been hanging fire. A number of officials visited the site, but nothing happened. The situation went from bad to worse each passing day. The Alternative Dispute Redressal Centre, which is under construction, has eaten up more than half of the parking space.

President of the District Bar Association Parupkar Ghumman said they would continue their agitation.

The lawyers closed the main entrance gate of the Mini-Secretariat. Judges had to park vehicles on the road leading to the Feroze Gandhi market.

Ghumman said meetings with the Deputy Commissioner and Police Commissioner had failed to tide over the problem.

He claimed that District and Sessions Judge GS Matharoo had written a letter to the Administration, but still nothing happened.

Lawyers brigade president Sanjiv Malhotra, secretary Sham Ahuja and Rakesh Sharda took a dig at the authorities.



Normal or nuts?
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
A cleanliness drive carried out by Government Model School, Cemetery Road, and an NGO snowballed into a controversy.

Some leaders called up mediapersons saying students were being made to work like labourers. Principal of the school asked students and teachers if they wanted to be a part of the school, to which they agreed.

The students and teachers were cleaning the campus when members of the Parents' Association happened to pass by. Without asking anything, they started video-recording the activity and contacted the mediapersons.

A student of Class IX said: "Nobody forced us to clean the school. I volunteered for it." Another student Satbir Singh said they joined the teachers out of their own wish as the NGO had given them paint to spruce up the school.

Principal speaks

School principal Anup Passi said the NGO had taken the initiative. "I had asked students If they wanted to be a part of the drive. Some people have the habit of dragging on the issue."

Parents’ Association members’ take

Rajinder Ghai, president of the Parents Association, said his children did not study in the school. "I was just passing by and saw students paint the walls of the school. I thought they were being forced to work. Later, when I learnt that they were carrying out a cleanliness drive, I left the place. They could have put a banner outside the school." 



Pictures speak a thousand words
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
A four-day exhibition began at Gallery Artmosphere today. Photographs clicked with point-and-shoot cameras are on display.

Over 30 pictures taken by Ranjodh Singh and Amarjeet Singh Batth are a sight to behold.

The photographs have been clicked on the PAU campus. "One should appreciate the bounty of nature there," they said. "Even shadows, clouds and trees can be fascinating. Morning shadows paint the canvas of ground," Ranjodh said.

"These photographs express the scenic beauty of the campus. If a photographer does not have a high-end camera, that does not mean he cannot follow his heart," he said.

Another picture had a peacock silhouetted against the Clock Tower of the university. "A nature lover knows what a parrot flying over the mustard field with a twig in its beak and a ground freshly laid with the falling yellow leaves of amaltas mean," Ranjodh said. 



Mega charity event begins
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
A mega charity event ‘Operation Walk III 2014’ began today as a part of the golden jubilee celebrations of Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH).

Under this project, free-of-cost hip and knee replacement surgeries will be performed on the underprivileged patients selected from Northern India.

The faculty of department of orthopaedics, in association with a team of doctors from Operation Walk Maryland, USA, led by Dr Paul Khanuja, will carry out the activity. The team, today, examined patients shortlisted for screening. More than 80 joint replacements will be carried out in the coming week.

Many young patients, who are unable to work due to arthritis, will also be operated upon. The secretary of the Managing Society, DMCH, Prem K Gupta, said the patients would get all the hospital services, latest imported implants, medicines and food totally free-of-cost. The post-operative treatment of patients in OPD and X-rays would also be free, said Gupta.



IELTS mobile app gains popularity
Gurvinder Singh

Ludhiana, January 18
Popularity of the IELTS preparation course is aiding the popularity of the mobile apps as well. Besides various institutes, a variety of IELTS preparation mobile apps are also available with all the major mobile operating systems now.

Apps by eminent publishers are also available on the app stores for free.

“Some of the apps definitely have an edge over the printed IELTS content. It is of a great help especially for preparing reading section,” said Rohit, an IELTS trainer.

“While I am traveling, or waiting for someone, rather than using social media or playing mobile games, I utilise the time improving my language by using the IELTS mobile apps,” said a student. 



Bankers take out awareness rally in Jagraon
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 18
The Jagraon Bank Employees Federation carried out a Chetna rally in Jagraon today. The rally was led by the president of the federation, Harjit Singh Mann.

Employees of different banks and students from various schools across the town participated in the rally and created awareness about anti-social elements such as drug abuse, dowry and female foeticide. Volunteers carried banners and placards and raised slogans against the alarming rise of drug addiction among youths. Representatives of various social organisations and members of some political parties also took part in the rally.

The rally started from Canara Bank, Jagraon, and concluded near the Oriental Bank of Commerce.

“Social evils such as drug addiction, corruption, dowry, female foeticide and child labour have tarnished the image of our society. We need to do something about it at the earliest,” said Harjit Singh Mann while addressing the participants. 



Traffic police should tighten its noose around defaulters

A lot is desired from the traffic police to bring in orderliness on roads. Horn honking has surpassed all acceptable levels. The traffic police should tighten its noose around the defaulters who honk unnecessarily, as honking at a loud volume not only irritates motorists and residents of the area, but also causes noise pollution. It is also quite frequently observed that vehicles, waiting to take a left or right turn, invariably line up on either side of the road and disrupt the smooth flow of traffic. Private buses and three-wheelers are to be blamed for the inconvenience. Display of functioning LED-based reverse time counters at every traffic signal is the need of the hour.

Manureet Singh, Ludhiana

Traffic chaos, poor sanitation a bane

The pace of the traffic proceeding towards Gulmohar Hotel on Ferozepur Road descending from Jagraon Bridge is of great concern for pedestrians as well as the commuters turning right from Rakh Bagh to Ferozepur Road. There is absolutely no control exercised by the traffic police on the traffic at Durga Mata Mandir junction. The 'killer junction' has already claimed many innocent lives. People must adhere to the traffic signal at the Durga Mata Mandir junction to prevent such accidents in future. The other issue that is tarnishing the image of our city is the poor maintenance of hygiene and sanitation. Heaps of garbage dumped astride the popular and widely used roads near Gulmohar Hotel, Aarti Chowk, Dholewal Chowk, Cemetry Road Petrol Pump and so on present the laidback attitude of the authorities concerned. The needful should be done at the earliest.

Surjit Seekree, Ludhiana



Kila Raipur wrap up matches, cruise ahead 
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 18
The match between Jarkhar Academy and SGPC XI, Amritsar, ended in a 5-5 draw during the 28th Coca Cola Jarkhar Sports Festival on the Ludhiana-Malerkotla road.

MP Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa was the chief guest today. He announced a grant of Rs 2 lakh for the the Mata Sahib Kaur Sports Club. The funds will be spent on upgrading infrastructure.

In the other matches (hockey), Kila Raipur wrapped up their both matches to move into the next round. They overwhelmed Dholan 9-6 and prevailed over Jagtar XI 6-5. However, in another encounter, Jagtar XI trounced Nabha Academy 11-5. In handball (boys), Ludhiana proved too good for Tarn Taran whom they drubbed in a one-sided affair 19-8. In basketball (girls), Jalandhar defeated Kapurthala 48-20, Ludhiana district outnumbered Kapurthala 41-12 and Jalandhar stunned Ludhiana Academy 48-22. Amarjit Singh proved too fast to finish ahead of others to lay his hands on the winners' trophy in cycling. Rubal Preet Singh secured the second position while Sandeep Kumar stood third. MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali, Youth Akali Dal leader Harpreet Singh Shivalik, councillor Daljit Singh Grewal, international cyclists Amarjit Singh, Jagdeep Singh Kahlon and Sukhjinder Singh, coach of the Indian cycling squad Harpinder Gaggi were present.


In handball (boys), Ludhiana proved too good for Tarn Taran whom they drubbed 19-8 in a one-sided affair.

In basketball (girls), Jalandhar defeated Kapurthala 48-20, Ludhiana district outnumbered Kapurthala 41-12 and Jalandhar stunned Ludhiana Academy 48-22.



Khalsa College annex title 
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, January 18
Students of the Khalsa College for Women (KCW), Civil Lines, Ludhiana, won the Panjab University

Inter-College Powerlifting Championship held in Chandigarh.

Sandeep Kaur, Kamalpreet Kaur and Amarjot Kaur clinched gold medals. Sandeep claimed the top slot in the below 52 kg category while Kamalpreet proved her class in the below 72 kg group. Amarjot proved mettle in the above 84 kg category.

Sandeep Kaur, along with Rajvir Kaur, competed in weightlifting discipline and won a silver medal each in the below 53 kg and above 75 kg categories, respectively. Harjinder Kaur secured a bronze medal in the below 48 kg section while Mandeep Kaur (below 63 kg) and Kawalpreet Kaur (below 69 kg) too bagged bronze medals.

Similarly, in the inter-college judo competition, students of the college brought laurels to their alma mater. In the open weight category, Sandeep Kaur clinched a gold medal and Preetika won a silver medal in the under 48 kg category while Kavita and Paminder Kaur secured bronze medals in the below 70 kg and below 78 kg categories, respectively.

Sandeep Kaur and Preetika have been selected for the preparatory camp. Dr Varinder Kaur Thind, principal, KCW, appreciated the students' effort. She congratulated them and their coaches along with Amarjit Kaur, head of the physical education department, on their achievement. 



They follow their passion
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 18
A five-member team of hockey players and officials from Afghanistan will be seen in action during the Jarkhar Sports Festival. The woman hockey team from Pakistan has just arrived in the city.

Jagroop Jarkhar, an organiser, said they came in touch through a social networking site.

Twenty players were to visit the country, but only seven could make it.

"The others did not have money. Our Cricket team have started participating at the international circuit. Soon our hockey team will also make its presence felt in such tournaments," said Mustafa, captain, Afghanistan hockey team.

Abdulla Noorstani, vice-president, Hockey Federation, Afghanistan, said they had visited Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran and Kazakhstan and watched hockey. "On return, we will share our experiences with youngsters," said Abdulla Noorstani.

Ashfak Khan, coach, said, "In our country, too, people watch Bollywood films. They just love hockey and cricket. Social networking sites have been of great help. These have helped strengthen ties between the two countries."

The women hockey team from Pakistan will have a face-off with their counterparts tomorrow.



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