L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


SAD-BJP gheraoes Tewari’s house
Alleges discrimination by Centre against state over industrial package
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
The prevailing VVIP culture in the state came to the fore during a protest by the SAD-BJP alliance outside Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari's house where former Cabinet Minister Satpal Gosain did not get off his SUV, donning a red beacon.

The BJP leadership, along with former Cabinet Minister Heera Singh Gabria and Ranjit Singh Dhillon, MLA, staged a protest outside Tewari’s house, alleging discrimination against the state by the UPA-led Central Government on the issue of industrial package.

Akali leader Gabria and district president of the BJP Parveen Bansal addressed the protesters while Gosain preferred to sit in the SUV.

Asked why he preferred to sit in the vehicle, Gosain said, “I am also part of the protest. I will alight from the vehicle and join the workers in case the police resort to a lathicharge. I am ready to get lathicharged."

More than 300 protesters, led by Akali and BJP leaders, gheraoed Tewari's house for half an hour. The protesters raised slogans against Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Tewari.

Bansal said, “The Centre has been discriminating against Punjab on every front. The UPA-led Central Government did not give any industrial package to the state. The Punjab Government recently managed an investment of Rs 65,000 crore in the state, but the Centre wants to spoil the industry of Punjab by giving industrial packages to neighbouring states.”

The Centre recently extended the industrial package of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand by three years. “Tewari is a powerful minister in the UPA government, but he failed to provide any relaxation to industrialists of Punjab,” said Bansal.

The Mahila Morcha of the BJP also participated in the protest. Its district unit general secretary Kiran Sharma took part in it. 


Minister hits back, says Sukhbir Badal to blame
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Having a dig at the Akali-BJP leaders who staged a demonstration outside his house here today against the extension of the special industrial package to hill states, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari advised them to protest in front of Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal's residence who was the Union Minister of State for Industries in the Vajpayee government when this package was originally announced.

In a statement issued here today, Tewari said rather the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre tried to rationalise the incentives by curtailing the scheme in 2007, withdrawing the incentive on central excise to these states in 2010 and the incentive on income tax in 2012.

The Ludhiana MP said he or the UPA government did not need a certificate from the Akali-BJP leaders for the contribution and help provided to the Ludhiana industry in terms of excise and other relief, and other incentives. “Everybody in Ludhiana knows our contribution towards helping the industry in various ways and I really don’t need any certificate for that, more so from the Akalis or the BJP, who have pushed the industry to the brink,” he said.

The minister said he understood the frustration of the Akali-BJP leadership in Punjab for its "continuous and consistent failure" to retrieve the economy. “Since they do not have the moral courage to admit to their failures and accept that there is a policy paralysis in Punjab that has led to this state of affairs when Punjab is at the brink of bankruptcy, they have to blame someone else and hence decided to stage a demonstration against me,” he said.

Emphasising that it was the failure of the Punjab Government that had led to the industrial decline in the state, the Ludhiana MP pointed out that there were several other states which had done well without any incentives. “If the industry is shutting down in Punjab, it is not because of the incentives to other states but only because of the failure of the state government,” he said, adding that “our industry is not moving to the hill states, but other states which do not have any incentives”.



Police suspect personal enmity behind Rahul Verma’s murder
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
In a new twist to the murder case of 25-year-old Rahul Verma, who was killed at his house in South City on January 12, the police are now suspecting personal enmity to be the reason behind the killing.

Rahul's sister Priyanka, who was injured by the assailants, has regained consciousness. She was undergoing treatment at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital.

Amarjit Singh, SHO of the Haibowal police station, said though Priyanka had regained consciousness, she was not in a position to record her statement.

Police sources said Priyanka, whose wedding was scheduled for this month, could provide a crucial lead in the case as she had seen the attackers, who killed her brother and left her thinking that she had also died.

One of her relatives said Priyanka was in a state of trauma. SHO Amarjit Singh said, "No person by the name Happy is involved in the murder case as suspected earlier."

Rahul, before succumbing to his injuries, was taking the name of Happy, following which the police had rounded up five persons with the same name and questioned them in connection with the murder case.

The SHO said from the injuries inflicted upon Rahul and Priyanka, it appeared the assailants had personal enmity with Rahul as he received more grievous injuries as compared to his sister. The police have not ruled out financial bungling behind the attack.

"We are working on this angle. As Priyanka was not the target of the assailants, we are gathering information on whether Rahul had a monetary dispute with someone, which led to the killing," said the SHO.

Monetary dispute?

Insiders said the police had started working on the angle of a monetary dispute after receiving crucial information.



Prisoner alleges torture at jail official's behest
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
High drama took place at the District Courts Complex when an undertrial, facing charges of drug peddling, alleged that he was being tortured by fellow prisoners at the behest of a prison official.

Showing his injuries, Munish Rai said inmates tortured him on the directions of Amrik Singh, Deputy Superintendent, Central Jail.

Terming the undertrial's allegation baseless, Amrik Singh said Munish was levelling baseless allegations.

He said Munish was arrested in September last year on charges of drug peddling.

"A few days ago, Munish, who returned to the jail after attending a hearing, was caught sneaking drugs inside the jail. He was booked in another case," said Amrik Singh. The jail official said Munish fought with his fellow prisoners last night.

Jail Superintendent SP Khanna has ordered a probe into the matter.

"We are recording the statements of prisoners and the jail officer. Action will be taken after the completion of the probe," said Khanna.

Balwant Rai, Munish's father, fears a threat to his son's life.



MC employees call off strike
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
After getting an assurance from the Mayor and following the advertising of posts by the state government, MC employees called off their strike today. However, the employees maintained that they would again go on strike if the government fails to fill the vacant posts on time.

For the past several days, the MC staff were on strike demanding that an FIR against their colleagues be cancelled and the vacant posts filled. Due to the strike, the MC functioning had come to a standstill.

The MC employees, under the aegis of the Municipal Corporation Engineers Association, Punjab, had organised a rally in the Zone D office of the MC here today. Members of the Sanitary Inspectors Union, the Punjab Fire Service Officers Association and the Drivers Union also attended the rally.

On January 11, a sewer man, Surinder Kumar, died while clearing a choked sewer in the Abdullapur Basti area of the city. After the incident, a case under Section 304-A of the IPC was registered against MC Junior Engineer Surjit Singh and SDO Ranjit Singh. After that, employees of the B&R branch and the O&M branch went on strike. Later, the ministerial staff, too, joined the strike.

The protesters were demanding that the FIR be cancelled and vacant posts of both technical and ministerial staff be filled soon as it was affecting their functioning.

Sunil Kumar Sharma, general secretary of the Municipal Corporation Engineers Association, Punjab, said they had called off their strike after an advertisement regarding filling of posts was published. “However, we want to make it clear that we have just postponed our strike and will again launch an agitation if the posts are not filled at the earliest,” he said.

The MC employees also announced a monetary assistance of Rs 1 lakh for Surinder Kumar's family and Rs 21,000 to an MC employee who saved the lives of two others involved in the same incident on January 11.

Mayor Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, district president of the BJP Parveen Bansal and councillor Narinder Sharma also attended the rally.



Trade union activists hit out at govt over ‘lawlessness’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 20
Led by activists of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), hundreds of workers today held a rally at Chhatar Singh Park and later marched in procession to the Mini-Secretariat to stage a dharna against the "increasing lawlessness in Punjab, spiralling prices and rampant unemployment".

Addressing the rally, CITU vice-president Chander Shekhar and former legislator Tarsem Jodhan alleged that with the police having been politicised, the rule of law no longer existed in the state. “Under pressure from the ruling coalition, the police were unable to act against smugglers, murderers and other anti-social elements with the result that the law and order situation was deteriorating with each passing day,” they said.

The trade union leaders said while the ruling party and the Congress were indulging in a slanging match, both of them had lost focus on the real issues concerning the people.

“Due to the anti-people and anti-poor policies of the Centre and the state government, inflation has touched an all-time high and employment opportunities are shrinking. To make matters worse, artificial scarcity of sand and gravel created by vested interests has adversely affected the construction and related business which has sparked off unemployment among the construction labour,” said Chander Shekhar and Jodhan.

Charging the government with going soft on the drug mafia, they demanded that a CBI probe be ordered into the allegations of a nexus between drug peddlers, political leaders and police officials. They also called for a reduction in the electricity bills by 50 per cent on the Delhi pattern and withdrawal of property tax and regularisation fee for unauthorised colonies.

District president of CITU Jatinderpal Singh alleged blatant irregularities and misappropriation of funds in the implementation of the MGNREGA scheme. He called for scrupulous implementation of labour laws and effective steps to check corruption in government departments.



Robbers’ gang busted, 5 arrested
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
With the arrest of five persons, the police claims to have busted a gang of robbers who were planning to strike at a factory in the Jodhewal Basti area here.

The robbers, identified as Sunny Kumar, Pardeep Kumar, Amit Kumar, Amit Chand and Babu Alam, were arrested from a vacant plot in the Madhopuri area here last night.

The police recovered two iron rods and two daggers from their possession.

ACP (South) Satish Malhotra said the police received a tip-off that the robbers had assembled at a vacant plot in Madhopuri and were planning to commit a robbery at a factory.

The police have arrested the accused under Sections 399 and 402 of the IPC for planning a robbery. 

were planning to commit a robbery

ACP (South) Satish Malhotra said the police received a tip-off that the robbers were planning to commit a robbery at a factory.



Voltage fluctuation damages equipment
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 20
A large number of electrical equipment of several houses and shops were damaged due to voltage fluctuation in the Old Grain Market area here last evening.

Residents and shopkeepers of the area said the incident took place last evening when some uncovered power cables installed unevenly in the Old Grain Market area got connected to each other, thus resulting in voltage fluctuation.

According to the residents, the voltage fluctuation, which occurred due to naked power cables installed in an uneven manner, caused damage to several electrical equipment worth lakhs.

"Electrical equipment, including television sets, refrigerators, RO systems, fans, pump sets, computers and other appliances of several houses and shops were damaged," said Vikas Kapoor, a resident.

The residents said this was not the first such incident in the area. Such incidents occurred in the past too.

“Power cables in the Old Grain Market area are too old. These cables, which are installed in an uneven manner, have been in a bad shape for the past sometime. Though we have brought the issue into the notice of Punjab State Power Corporation Limited many times, the authorities had failed to check it,” rued Mohit Jain, another resident.

A delegation of area residents, led by representatives of the Mandi Sudhar Committee, met the SDO, Jagraon, and informed him about the incident.

They demanded to replace the old power cables with the new ones to avoid such incidents.

The SDO, Jagraon, Avtar Singh, said he was aware of the issue being faced by the residents.

"We have already issued instructions to examine the power cables in the Old Grain Market area. The old cables would be replaced if needed," the SDO added.



Poetry is his first love
 Has got published debut pocketbook containing 12 poems
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Meet Anmol, a budding poet from the city, has expressed his feelings in a pocketbook. Meet, a resident of the Jodhewal area, got published his debut book ‘Meet Praga’ of 16 pages in which he penned his 12 poems.
Meet Anmol with his pocketbook 'Meet Praga' in Ludhiana.
Meet Anmol with his pocketbook 'Meet Praga' in Ludhiana. A Tribune photograph

According to the publisher of the book, Janmeja Singh Johal, who is a literary personality, it will cost only Rs 2.

Poetry is Meet’s first love as he has been writing poems since Class VIII.

“When I was in Class IX, I had wrote over 100 poems. I met a renowned publisher of Ludhiana as I had a dream about getting published a book. The publishers did not take me seriously and denied to publish my poems. After that, I used to post my poems on social networking sites. People appreciated my poetry and encouraged me to publish a book,” said Meet.

“I was pursuing BSc IT and left studies midway due to a financial crisis at my home. I still cannot afford to publish the book. Hence, I have discussed the matter with Janmeja Singh Johal and decided to get publish this booklet which is less expensive. Now, we will present it to all prominent poets, literary personalities and book-lovers for review and criticism. If they recognise my pottery, I will think to get publish a full-size book” he added.

Ravinder Ravi, a poet, said: “It is the best and economical way to show your creativity and talent to others. People often buy books of established poets so it is a good idea to not spend much in a debut book.”



ADC holds surprise check at offices
Our Correspondent

Machhiwara, January 20
Gurmeet Singh, ADC, Khanna, today conducted a surprise check at some government offices of the Machhiwara block and said action would be taken against the erring officials.

He checked the BDPO office where he found three employees absent from duty. The ADC said a departmental probe would be initiated against these staff. Later, he visited the sub-tehsil, Machhiwara, where all employees were present.

While talking to mediapersons, the ADC said those employees who would not perform their duty properly would be dealt with strictly. He appealed the employees and officials to remain present in their respective offices so that people should not face difficulties in getting done their routine works.



PPP demands Revenue Minister’s resignation
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, January 20
The People's Party of Punjab (PPP) today sought resignation of Punjab Revenue and Public Relations Minister Bikram Singh Majithia for his alleged involvement in the international drug trafficking racket operating in the state.

The PPP also criticised the state Congress leadership for causing inconvenience to people by blocking the vehicular traffic on all major highways across Punjab during a state-level chakka jam in protest against the state government.

PPP vice-president Jagdeep Singh Gill said: "Majithia should resign from his post with immediate effect as he has no moral right to stay in the Cabinet after being openly accused of operating the drug racket in the state by notorious international druglord Jagdish Singh Bhola recently."

"Congress leaders shall dare to gherao Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to demand the arrest of Majithia or raise the issue in the state Assembly instead of blocking the traffic," Gill said.

Taking a dig at the ruling SAD leadership for holding protests against state Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa alleging his connection with drug and weapon peddling mafia, the PPP leader said it was the first time in the history of Punjab that the ruling party leaders have been holding protests against the opposition leader.

"Instead of holding protests, it should register a police case against Bajwa and arrest him if it has any proof against him," said Gill while terming the protests by SAD leaders as "ridiculous".

Accusing Sukhbir, who also holds the Home Department, of trying to shield his brother-in-law Majithia, Gill demanded to hand over the drug case to the CBI for an impartial probe.



Row over control of truckers’ union ends
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 20
Row over the control of the Truck Operators’ Union at Jandali ended with the continuation of the chair by Himmat Singh Jandali consecutively for the third time. He defeated his rival Baljit Singh Dhaler by 33 votes in the election held today.

The issue had become a bone of contention between two factions of the SAD as both were claiming support of Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, MP, and secretary general of the party.

In all, 310 members cast their vote, with 170 in favour of Himmat Singh and Baljit Singh pocketing 137. Three ballets were cancelled on technical grounds.

Investigations revealed that two factions of the SAD were at loggerheads over the control of the union.

Supporters of Himmat Singh, a confidant of Dhindsa, were on their heels to enable Jandali retain control of the organisation.

On the other hand, supporters of Dhaler, had been impressing upon the administration to hold the election to the post through a secret ballot.

Sources in the party said Dhindsa, who did not want to offend any of the factions, had been trying to evade embarrassment by bridging the gap between them.

However, both groups remained adamant on the issue. It is learnt that Dhindsa had asked both groups to test their strength in the election.



PAU staff to strike work today
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
On the call given by the newly elected Punjab Agricultural University Employees Union, tomorrow the university staff will strike work against the Punjab government’s failure to release their salaries. The employees will be protesting in front of the Vice-Chancellor’s office at Thapar Hall. The PAU Teachers Association and PAU Fourth Class Workers Union have also lent their support to the union.

“We are facing hardships because of the government’s failure to release our salaries on time. I bought a scooter and have to pay its monthly installment in the second week of every month. As the government did not release my salary, I have no way of making the payment,” said an employee.

Union president Harbans Singh Mundi said, “The delay in disbursing salaries has become a routine. We will not stay mum. We will pressurise the government to release the salaries. The union will also work to find a permanent solution to this problem.”

Senior vice-president of the union Lakhwinder Singh Sandhu said, “The government releases our salaries in the form of grant-in-aid. It is our long-pending demand that the government releases the salaries from the treasury. We are left with no option but to intensify our agitation.”

Shiv Ram, president of the Fourth Class Workers Union said, “We are unable to fill our domestic gas cylinders due to the delay. The government should release our salaries in the first week of the month.”



teachers to accompany students on buses
CBSE’s directions not viable, say schools
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
In the absence of strict action against school managements for not following instructions issued by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) from time to time, several such directions remain just on paper.

Recently, the CBSE had instructed the schools to ensure that teachers accompanied students in school buses and vans. School managements, however, say follow such instructions was not viable.

KVM School principal Navita Puri said how could the school authorities force the teachers to accompany the students? She said there were around 24 school vans, which meant 24 teachers would have to accompany the students in the morning and the same number in the evening.

"Ïs this possible? For the safety of students, one driver and one conductor have been hired by the school authorities. If we start following the CBSE’s instructions, teachers will reach home late. Moreover, why would teachers adhere to the directions? They are not being paid extra to do the job,” said Puri.

The principal-director of Nankana Schools Complex, Harmeet Kaur, said the directions issued by the education board were not mandatory.

"No school follows the instructions as it is not possible to send teachers with the students. Teachers cannot be held responsible for dropping and picking up students,” she said.

Tarlochan Singh, a parent, however, said if instructions were not to be followed and no action was to be taken against the violating schools, there was no point in issuing these instructions.



PAU students’ home
Beautification work goes on at a snail’s pace
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Even as the winter vacations got over, the Punjab Agricultural University authorities have failed to complete the ongoing beautification of the Students’ Home area.

The Students’ Home area in a neglected state at Punjab Agricultural University.
The Students’ Home area in a neglected state at Punjab Agricultural University. A file photo

Before the vacations, the officials concerned had claimed that when the students would return to get themselves registered for the new semester on January 20, they will be welcomed by a revamped area.

Contrary to the claims, students witnessed heaps of clay and sand in the park, as the work was still going on at snail’s pace.

Beautification of the Students’ Home is a long-pending demand of the students. Punjab Agricultural University Students Association has been time and again raising the issue during various protests and strikes against the authorities.

The PAU authorities initiated the beautification work in June 2013. In past six months, the authorities repaired the outer grills, installed a few benches and carpeted a lane connecting the home to the café and canteen.

“We were expecting much more to be done during the vacations, but there is very little change in the Student’s Home area. It is still in a bad condition,” said a student.

Karanveer Singh, president of the students’ association said: “The authorities told us before the vacations that the work would be completed soon. Today, however, we found there was no progress in the work. We will again meet the official concerned.”

Dr Ravinder Kaur Dhaliwal, Dean, Students’ Welfare, said the work was on in full swing till the January 2 and was expected to be completed by this week.

“However, the varsity hosted the National Youth Festival last week. So the work had to be halted. There is no other reason for this delay. The work will be completed within 10 days,” he said.



A turban tale: For faith and fashion
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Turbans in endless hues and colours, tied in different styles, not only reflect the love for and prestige in one’s faith, but are also a fashion statement.

Over the past couple of decades, young Punjabis have been wearing turbans in different styles; the one called Patiala Shahi is the “in-thing” these days.

"The Patiala Shahi style of wearing turban has become very popular among the Sikh youth these days," says Charandeep Singh, a student.

"Unlike other styles, this turban looks as elegant from the rear as it does from the front," he says.

"It is worn with a slight slant that makes it interesting and fashionable," says another youngster.

A few years back, the style of wearing turban as tied by singer Inderjeet Singh Nikku became very popular.

"Nikku's style became very popular, and it seemed his turban had a bigger fan following than his singing. Most of the outlets selling turbans used to have his pictures hanging on their walls," says Harneet, a resident.

Like other passing fads, Nikku’s style has now been replaced by Patiala Shahi.

"The Patiala Shahi style first came into vogue after Captain Amarinder Singh became the Chief Minister. Over the years, the style has improved," says another student.



Trust your subordinates, expert tells executives
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
The Ludhiana Management Association (LMA) organised an in-house executive development programme on creating business leadership today. Around 35 executives from various units of Shingora Shawls attended the talk delivered by Sachit Jain, executive director of Vardhman Textiles.

Jain highlighted the role of a leader in creating successful organisations. He said leaders should create enabling and positive environment for subordinates to perform to their fullest capacity. He shared a lot of anecdotes from his career, asking the leaders to listen, communicate, involve and connect with the subordinates in order to motivate them.

“Trust on the subordinates is the backbone of any successful organisation,” said Jain.

The talk was followed by a question and answer session. The association started this new series of in-house programmes last month to develop the training and development culture among its members.



Controversy over nominations to AAP district unit
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
The district unit of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) got a taste of political wrangling when some office-bearers, including the AAP district general secretary, issued a statement that the nominations made by a “former district convener of the AAP” were in contravention of the party rules. The latter, however, maintained that he was officially still the district convener of AAP.

The strongly worded statement, written on the official letterhead of AAP and issued by AAP district general secretary Balbeer Aggarwal and district spokesperson Sandeep Mishra, read: “The nominations made by the former district convener Ramesh Singla are not valid. We urge such people (like Singla) to desist from such activities. We appeal to the public not to follow these ‘fake’ people. Any information about the AAP membership or the party agenda should be sought from the party helpline.”

Aggarwal, accusing the former district convener of “taking interest” in the party only after its win in the Delhi Assembly elections, said Ajay Mittal was the AAP district convener.

According to the AAP district spokesperson, Mittal was announced the convener of the Ludhiana unit of the party during the “Mein Hun Aam Aadmi” campaign launched in Jalandhar recently.

However, Singla claimed that the party website still carried his name as the AAP Ludhiana district convener. “In the official records, I’m still the district convener. The Delhi office is in regular touch with me on the issue of the membership campaign,” he added.

However, Singla also said he would go by whatever was conveyed to him by the party leaders. “As an AAP member, I will keep working for the party,” he added.



Sewa Dal threatens ‘chakka jam’ over A2Z contract
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
The Bharatiya Valmiki Sewa Dal (BVSD) has threatened a “chakka jam” after seven days if the MC fails to cancel the contract of A2Z Waste Management Ludhiana Ltd and regularise the services of contractual sewer men and those working on DC rates.

Meanwhile, members of the Municipal Karamchari Dal (Punjab) have demanded that MC superintendent Rajiv Bharadwaj, the victim in the slapgate incident, be stopped from carrying out public dealings, the contractual employees be regularised.

The BVSD and the Municipal Karamchari Dal held two protests on the Jagraon bridge and at the MC Zone A office, near Mata Rani Chowk, respectively. Surinder Kalyan, chairman, BVSD, stated that if their demands were not met, they would hold a “chakka jam” in the city after seven days. “This is the last time we are putting forth our demand for the cancellation of the contract of A2Z Waste Management Ludhiana Ltd, the private company involved in the solid waste management in the city. We also demand that the services of the contractual employees be regularised,” said Kalyan.

Laxman Dravid, president, Municipal Karamchari Dal, said: “Rehri and farhi vendors had submitted 17 affidavits, alleging that Bharadwaj has been demanding illegal protection money from them. But the MC authorities have failed to initiate an inquiry into the matter,” he said. Members of the Municipal Karamchari Dal also submitted a memorandum to the MC Commissioner.



Now, shopkeepers oppose widening of Ferozepur Road
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Day after traffic experts, environmentalists and a councillor showed concern over the government's move of widening the road from the Sidhwan canal to the Jagraon bridge, the presidents of all three shopkeepers' associations of the Bharat Nagar chowk, Ferozepur Road area and the Aarti Cinema chowk also echoed the same sentiments.

Deepak Badyal, president of the Ferozepur Road Association, said the widening of the Ferozepur road would not only destroy the green cover but also ruin the business of shopkeepers. "Instead of spending Rs 250 crore on the widening of the road, the authorities should spend a few lakhs on the construction of slipways. Slipways will ease the traffic problem to a great extent," feels Badyal.

Yesterday, Congress councillor Narinder Sharma had claimed that the road was being widened to jack up the price of the Irrigation Department property located opposite the mini-secretariat. The department will auction it soon.

He claimed some influential politicians of the state were eyeing the property. They want to construct shopping malls and hotels on the property.

"The confidants of these politicians have already started buying houses located close to the property," said Narinder Sharma.

Pawan Puri, president of the Aarti Chowk Shopkeepers Association, said: "Already, the shopkeepers are facing problems due to the parking norms. If the eight-laning of the road is initiated, then it will finish their businesses. To me, the Bharat Nagar chowk and the Bhai Bala chowk are the problem areas and the authorities should construct flyovers at these points."

Rajan Shukla, president of the Bharat Nagar Shopkeepers Association, feels proper planning is very important before the execution of a project. "We already know the status of the pending projects. The Lakkar Bridge flyover was started nearly 13 years ago and it is still incomplete. Similar is the fate of other projects". 



Labour pangs for industry
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
The local industry has been facing the labour crunch, which has worsened over the years. Due to the shortage of casual and skilled labour, the cost of production has gone up.

Santosh Aggarwal, owner of a hosiery unit, said on the one hand there was labour shortage while on the other the input cost has increased. The prices of yarn and power charges are also giving us a tough time, he said.

Farmers in Punjab faced an acute shortage of migrant labour during paddy season. But now the same problem is being faced by the industrial sector.

The launch of schemes under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is also a reason behind the crisis, observe the industry.

"Earlier, labour used to come from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal and Orissa. Now, as the employment guarantee scheme has created opportunities for them in their home states, casual labour that worked on daily wages has stopped moving to Punjab,” said Rupinder Singh, a cycle parts manufacturer.

Vinod Thapar, chairman of the Knitwear Club, said skilled labour was the backbone of the Ludhiana hosiery industry. “Its shortage is affecting the industry and we have to depend on machines. The industry is now switching to automation to overcome the problem of labour shortage. We are importing machines from China," he added.

The plywood industry is also facing the problem of raw material and labour shortage. As farmers have stopped growing poplar, the basic raw material for manufacturing plywood, its cost has gone up rapidly. The shortage of labour has increased the manufacturing cost, added a plywood manufacturer.



Lawyers end stir, Maalkhana shifted
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 20
Lawyers of the city today called off their strike. They had been on strike for the last five days to press for the shifting of Malkhana, to which the authorities agreed today.

The administration told the lawyers yesterday that a solution to the problem had been found but the lawyers were not satisfied. They lifted the dharna after Commissioner of Police Nirmal Singh Dhillon reached the spot and two JCB machines were pressed into service to shift the vehicles to the industrial area.

The president of the District Bar Association, Parupkar Singh Ghumman, vice-president Gurdeep Singh Salh and its secretary Rustam Pal Singh have termed the shifting of the Malkhana their victory.

Earlier, the advocates had not let any four-wheeler or two-wheeler enter the premises of the mini-secretariat since morning despite the orders of Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal to shift the Malkhana.

Rajiv Kumar, a visitor, who had to get some information from the Suvidha Centre, said: “I tried to convince them but they refused to listen to me. I returned without visiting the Suvidha Centre," he said. 



Better Ludhiana

Joint efforts needed, feel residents
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 20
Ludhiana is considered the most polluted city of Punjab where the pollution levels have increased to alarming proportions. Though the NGOs, social organisations, educational institutions have been trying to make the city clean and green, a majority of residents feel unless a joint effort is made by the Municipal Corporation, NGOs and residents, the change could not be brought about in the city.

"I believe the only way to improve the sanitary conditions in the city is by involving people. The residents have to be made responsible for the cleanliness of the surroundings of their houses or commercial establishments, at least. Besides, it is high time the removal of garbage and maintenance of the roadsides is given to some experienced private firms and strict action should be taken against the contractor for adopting a dilly-dallying attitude." 

Dr Vivek Saggar, dentist

"When we go abroad, the real difference is felt. The citizens of European countries are so concerned about cleanliness that they will hold tissue papers in their hands and in case their pets dirty roads, they immediately clean it. But here residents let their pets out to be relieved. We need to share the responsibility to make the city clean. Only then we can make a difference here."

Sudershan Sood, homemaker

"We must blame the authorities for not providing proper sanitation to the residents. At the same time, we have to be responsible enough to share our responsibilities. If we are holding wrappers of biscuits or other eatables, we will not think twice before throwing these on roads. I do not think residents like to live in unhygienic conditions but at the same time we ourselves are not bothered to maintain hygiene."

Sunita, manager at a salon

"I feel the authorities concerned should start imposing a penalty on residents for throwing garbage on roads and outside their houses or business establishments. In the absence of strict action against defaulters, nobody will become a responsible citizen."

Jatinder Khurana, lawyer

"We start educating our children to keep their surroundings clean right from childhood. When they grow up they will be responsible enough not to litter roads and public places. Awareness programmes of cleanliness should be made part of the syllabus so that students realise the importance of hygiene."

Deepshikha, who runs a playway

"Heaps of garbage dotting streets and public places give a very bad impression of the city. These should be lifted immediately by the staff so there is no breeding of mosquitoes and flies. Besides, we need to chip in to bring about improvement in sanitation in this industrial hub."

Gaganpreet Singh, advocate

"Ludhiana is the industrial hub of the state and importers from all over the world visit the city for business purposes. But garbage scattered on roads, potholed roads and open manholes give a very bad impression of the city. We need to extend our cooperation to the authorities to make Ludhiana a better place to live."

Shoban Soi, director of a school



Lopon college shines at cultural meet
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, January 20
Sri Ram College Dalla hosted an inter-college contest here today. Over 100 students from various colleges and schools took part in various events—story writing, poetry recitation, still life painting, spot painting, folk song singing, ghazal singing—in senior and junior categories.

The SDS College for Education, Lopon, lifted the overall trophy in the senior category. In the junior category, Government Senior Secondary School, Dalla, emerged victorious.

Manpreet Kaur and Rimpy brought laurels to the host college in story writing and essay writing competitions.



Pharmacy institute awarded

Ludhiana: The PCTE Institute of Pharmacy has received the Punjab Technical University’s Best Pharmacy College 2013 Award. The award was received by Prof Vikrant Saluja at Jalandhar. The award is in recognition of leadership, development and innovative pedagogies. The institute that started in August 2007 has alumni placed in companies such as Nestle, Micro Labs, GlaxoSmithKline and Apollo Hospitals. Director General, PCTE Group of Institutes, Dr KNS Kang congratulated the students and faculty.
Schoolchildren rehearse for the Republic Day function at the SCD College for Boys in Ludhiana on Monday.
Schoolchildren rehearse for the Republic Day function at the SCD College for Boys in Ludhiana on Monday. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Healthy eating habits

A Seminar on fast food and drug abuse was conducted at Gujranwala Guru Nanak Khalsa College of Pharmacy. Dr Harinder Singh, senior paediatrician, GTB Hospital, and paediatrician Dr SS Luthra were the resource persons. Dr Harinder Singh told the students though fast food was tempting, it was not nutritionally balanced. Giving an example, he said a single burger would provide around 770 calories against the requirement of only 440 calories. It also lacked essential vitamins and nutrients. He also said the packed fruit juices, which were very popular these days, were not as good as fruits, as they contained less than 30 per cent of the real nutrients, the remaining being sugar. Dr Luthra, while speaking about drug abuse, said lack of awareness, unemployment among youth and peer pressure was fuelling drug menace in the state.

Legal literacy

Samrala: A Legal Literacy Club was set up at Government Senior Secondary School to provide free legal aid to the needy. Lecturer Balraj Singh was nominated the in-charge and 25 students were selected as members of the club. Chief Judicial Magistrate KK Singla was the chief guest on the occasion. He said 250 such clubs have been set up across the district schools. He told the gathering that under the legal aid services, advocate, stamp papers and consultation will be provided free of cost. Later, another club was opened by Justice Singla at Nankana Sahib Public School.

Induction programme

Mandi Gobindgarh: RIMT Maharaja Aggrasen Engineering College organised a faculty development programme under the aegis of Ministry of Human Resource Development, New Delhi. As many as 30 faculty members from various institutes attended the programme. Principal Dr Sushil Garg inaugurated the event. Dr MP Poonia, director, National Institute of Technical Teachers Training and Research, and Dr SS Patnayak, eminent academician and researcher, were the keynote speakers. The programme trained the faculty in effective curriculum implementation in order to enhance the quality of teaching.

— Tribune Reporters

Saving the namesake

Penguin Castle Preschool, Udham Singh Nagar, held a special programme on Penguin Awareness Day, which is commemorated throughout the world on January 20. The school celebrates the day every year to raise awareness about the danger posed to penguins, flightless birds found in Antarctica. The tiny tots came dressed in penguin colours, i.e. black, white and yellow. The children were shown “Happy Feet”, an animation on penguins. 



Ludhiana Scan

Pulse polio campaign

The pulse polio drive entered the second day on Monday. The teams visited 3,38,715 houses and 1,31,329 were immunised on Monday. The pulse polio campaign at Bhanaur was supervised by SDM KS Mahi and senior medical officer Parvinderpal Singh Sidhu. The SDM also offered sweets and chocolates to the children who administered pulse polio drops. He asked mothers of children in the age group of 0-5 years to provide the same for their children.

Medical camp

Around 100 patients benefitted during a free multi-specialty medical camp organised by the Indian Medical Association in collaboration with the district administration and Civil Surgeon office at the IMA House. Doctors of different specialties like neurosurgery, cardiology, medicine, general surgery, orthopaedics, paediatrics, eye and ENT examined the patients. Free ECG and laboratory test were also done. Medicines were distributed free of cost by the Punjab Medical Representative Association. Dr Neeru Katyal, ADC, Ludhiana, visited the camp and supervised the arrangements. She promised to extend every possible help of the administration in organising such camps. It was announced that this camp would be held on the third Sunday of every month.


The Action Against Corruption on Monday honoured Sukhwinder Singh Babbi Badal, president of the Youth Akali Dal, for his role in eradicating drug menace and extending other social services to society.

Root canal procedure

Axiss Dental has introduced a single-sitting root canal procedure that takes about half an hour per tooth depending on the number of canals present. Dr Sandeep Dev, regional head, Axiss Dental, said: "Rubber dam acts as a barrier between tooth and saliva to prevent re-infection in the canal during the procedure. Single-sitting root canal treatment is as comfortable and effective as multiple-visit root canal treatment."

Construction work begins

An NGO, Round Table, Ludhiana, and Ladies Circle, Ludhiana, on Monday got the construction work started for building three additional rooms at Government Middle School, Giaspura. At present students were forced to study in eight rooms. — TNS



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 |