L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


HC seeks report on ‘education shops’
Asks Ludhiana Senior Superintendent of Police to probe functioning of Astha Education
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 22
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked Ludhiana Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) to see if “shops selling education to gullible students are functioning in the area”.

Justice Rajesh Bindal has also sought a report from the SSP on the functioning of the Ludhiana-based Astha Education and the institutes, boards and universities through which it was imparting education to students in the area.

“The report should suggest whether or not these institutes are recognised and the modus operandi adopted by it. It should be found out if there are other such shops in the city,” Justice Bindal said.

The directions came on a petition filed by Tejinder Singh against the State of Punjab and other respondents. Appointed as ETT teacher under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, he had challenged an order dated July 5, 2011, whereby his services were terminated.

Going into the background, his counsel had claimed that the petitioner passed the ETT examination from the Bihar Pradesh Shiksha Parishad, Sri Palpur, Patna, before applying for the post. He joined duty in January 2009. While in service, he was told the ETT certificate produced by him had been found to be forged.

The respondents, on the other hand, contented that “no institute in the name of the Bihar Pradesh Shiksha Parishad, from where the petitioner claims to have passed his ETT examination, existed.

A team of officers also found that the Bihar Pradesh Shiksha Parishad did not exist after it went to Patna on the directions of the High Court to verify the genuineness of the certificates once again.

Taking up the matter, Justice Bindal observed: “It is mentioned in the report that local residents of Palpur village informed the members of the committee that long ago a person, the late Satish Chander Mishra, was running his business through a 'suitcase-type shop' and sold fake certificates. The police was after him….

“From the report of the committee, which visited the place from where the petitioner had passed his ETT examination, it was found that the institute did not exist. Hence, there is no illegality in the findings recorded that the certificate produced by the petitioner was forged. Therefore, there is nothing wrong in terminating the services of the petitioner by the competent authority…

“To ensure that no other innocent person is cheated by such shops and considering the claim of the petitioner that he got education and the certificate through Astha Education, Ludhiana, Punjab Additional Advocate General Inder Pal Goyat is requested to get a report from the Ludhiana SSP," the Judge said.

Court observation

Considering the claim of the petitioner that he got education and a certificate through Astha Education, Ludhiana, Punjab Additional Advocate General Inder Pal Goyat is requested to get a report from the Ludhiana SSP

Justice Rajesh Bindal, HC Judge


Motorists suffer as rain leaves roads waterlogged
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

A man tries to open a choked drain near Bhai Bala Chowk
A man tries to open a choked drain near Bhai Bala Chowk. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, January 22
Residents remained at the receiving end for yet another day today as it rained heavily in the city. Due to heavy spells of rain today and yesterday, several areas got waterlogged, making it difficult for motorists, especially those on two-wheelers, to commute in the city.

The worst hit were low-lying areas of Old City and some posh localities in Sarabha Nagar, Rani Jhansi Road, Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar, Model Town, Pakhowal Road an the Civil Lines. Rainwater accumulated in several parts of the GT Road, under the elevated road, Bhadaur House, Domoria Bridge and Dandi Swami Road. Only 9 per cent of the city area has the storm sewer facility.

“Had the entire city got the storm sewer facility, the rainwater could have helped recharge groundwater. Unfortunately, this water is getting mixed with the polluted waters of Buddha Nullah and is not contributing to the depleting groundwater table in any way,” said Manjit Singh, a former professor and resident of Model Town.

Another city resident, Resham Singh, said his bike got stuck on a waterlogged street near BSNL Exchange in E Block of Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar. “There is a particular spot near the exchange which which gets waterlogged each time it rains. I fail to understand why the MC is not constructing a rainwater harvesting well. The accumulated water causes damage to the road here. The MC keeps on wasting public money by getting this road re-carpeted time and again. Lakhs of rupees can be saved if a rainwater harvesting well is constructed at this place,” he said.

MC Commissioner Rahul Tiwari said the MC was in talks with World Bank regarding a project related to the laying of storm sewer pipes. “We have also identified several areas in the city to construct rainwater harvesting wells,” said Tiwari.



Illegal colonies: Realtors taking advantage of ‘flawed policy’
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, January 22
While the Punjab Government claims to have banned illegal colonies in the state, and a policy for the regularisation of existing unlicensed colonies is already in place, the ground reality is different.

Realtors are reportedly taking undue advantage of certain clauses in the policy and the lucrative business of carving out illegal colonies is still flourishing in the city and other parts of Punjab.

According to officials of the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA), around 900 developers have filed applications for the regularisation of colonies under the revised policy. However, not even a single no-objection certificate (NOC) has been issued so far since the new policy took effect.

Several developers have submitted applications for the regularisation of their colonies by submitting incomplete documents in a bid to evade penal action under the Punjab Apartment and Property Regulation Act.

Sources said many developers were taking advantage of the unmarked boundaries of the existing unlicensed colonies which were under the process of regularisation.

“Agreements to sell plots/property in unauthorised colonies are being made on back-dated stamp papers, which are easily available from unscrupulous vendors at a premium. This racket of extension of existing colonies and carving out new colonies without a licence is continuing with impunity,” the sources said.

GLADA officials admit that repeated extensions being given for the submission of applications for the regularisation of colonies and plots/properties in unauthorised colonies were spoiling their plans. Through a recent public notice, the government had extended the last date for the submission of applications to January 31, 2014, along with a penalty of 20 per cent for property owners and 50 per cent for developers.

“Most people (developers and property owners) still believe that the state government will continue granting further extension, and there is no need to hurry with the applications for regularisation,” said an official.

There is a strong feeling among a section of the colonisers, especially those running their business in a legal way, that the applications for the regularisation of plots/properties in unlicensed colonies should be accepted only on the basis of registered documents like sale deeds and the general power of attorney and not on the basis of a sale agreement, which can be fabricated with the help of back-dated stamp papers.

“This seems to be the only way out to plug the loopholes in the policy, which is being misused by unscrupulous developers,” said Rajeev Sethi, a property developer.

What some developers say

There is a strong feeling among a section of the colonisers, especially those doing business in a legal way, that the applications for the regularisation of plots/properties in unlicensed colonies should be accepted only on the basis of registered documents like sale deeds and the general power of attorney and not on the basis of a sale agreement, which can be fabricated with the help of back-dated stamp papers.



Fake driving licence racket busted, 2 held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
With the arrest of two persons, the city police claim to have busted a gang involved in a fake driving licence racket. Those arrested have been identified as Anand Kumar of Garhwal in Uttarakhand and Dharam Singh of Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh.

The Sadar police have seized a large number of fake licences and other documents from their possession.

Amandeep Singh, SHO of the Sadar police station, said the duo was nabbed from Gill village following a tip-off.



Bringing stars nearer to you!
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Christ Pal Singh with his telescope in Ludhiana
Christ Pal Singh with his telescope in Ludhiana. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, January 22
If you visit the Sarabha Nagar market in the evenings, you will, in all likelihood, come across a youth carrying a backpack and having a machine alongside him. He is Christ Pal Singh and the machine is his automatic telescope.

Not only his name different, 24-year-old Christ Pal Singh's mission in life is also to do something different. He has ventured out to promote astronomy and generate interest among residents regarding it. Equipped with a powerful telescope, he is allowing the residents to gaze at the celestial bodies with awe and wonder. He sets up his telescope in the Sarabha Nagar market every evening and people keep coming to him well beyond midnight, he says.

Seeing his passion for astronomy, the powerful telescope was gifted to him by his aunt in the US. However, he is not content just seeing the stars. He wants to spread the knowledge he has acquired while pursuing his passion.

Different spatial bodies are visible at different times of the year, he says. "The biggest planet of the solar system, Jupiter, is 92 crore km away from the earth and the spots that are seen around it are some of its moons. The lines on the planet are formed because of constant storms," he told a child who was peeping through the telescope.

"People come to watch the moon and constellations. Some people come regularly as they are interested in different positions of the moon," he says. He says the telescope is fitted with an advanced GPS and can position itself automatically according to the star positions.



8-laning of road
Sanctioned amount not enough: Bidders
File sent back to govt for approval; three-member panel to decide on issue soon
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
The file pertaining to the eight-laning of Ferozpur Road, for which Rs 200 crore was sanctioned by the state government, has again been sent to the higher-ups for approval as the bidders have expressed their inability to accomplish the work with the funds sanctioned by the government.

The eight-laning was to be completed within one and a half years and Rs 200 crore was sanctioned for the project. After the tenders were floated, two bidders had shown their interest in the work -- Singla Constructions and Navyug Contructions.

While Singla Constructions quoted a price of Rs 256 crore for the work, Navyug Constructions quoted Rs 243 crore. After getting the quotations, which were too high as compared to the sanctioned amount, the MC sought an opinion from RITES, a consultation agency.

RITES suggested that negotiations should be held with the bidder who quoted the lesser amount.

However, the negotiations did not bear the desired results as Navyug Constructions only agreed to do the work for Rs 238 crore. The company said since Ferozepur Road was one of the busiest roads, huge material and labour would be required for the purpose. It said the cost of the project could not be brought down further. The reply was justified by RITES, following which the file was sent to the state government again for final approval.

MC Commissioner Rahul Tiwari said the state government had constituted a three-member committee (all Chief Engineers) to decide on the issue and a decision was expected soon. "Either the tenders will be floated again or the contract will be given to the bidder who has quoted the lowest price," said Tiwari.

Benefits of eight-laning

  • Commuters will not be stopped anywhere from the Jagraon bridge to the Sidhwan Canal bridge
  • There will be two side lanes, which will connect with other roads
  • No red lights for commuters going straight towards the Sidhwan Canal bridge



Illegal parking by hotels continues
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
The Municipal Corporation may be trying hard to remove encroachments from the city to create enough space for parking, still, in the absence of strict action against hotel and restaurant owners, "illegal" valet parking on roads and streets has been going on in many areas.

Most restaurants and eating joints do not have enough parking space of their own as a majority of these are located in the posh areas. To lure their customers, these restaurants offer valet parking facility. However, their valets park customers’ vehicles on roads and streets, putting commuters to inconvenience.

Between 11 am and 2 pm, when many women attend their kitty parties at these restaurants, the valets park their vehicles on the nearby roads and congested streets in a haphazard manner. Such violations can be seen in most busy market areas, including Ghumar Mandi, Malhar Road, Mall Road, National Road, Ferozepur Road and Sarabha Nagar.

A retired Army officer, who owns a house on National Road, said he was fed up with the haphazard parking of vehicles outside his house. "This is a routine affair. The staff of a famous restaurant at Ghumar Mandi park the vehicles of their customers outside my house and we face a tough time moving our vehicles out. A heavy penalty must be imposed on defaulters," said a senior citizen of the area.

Officer's take

The Additional Commissioner, Isha Kalia, said the MC, along with the Traffic Police, convened meetings on the issue from time to time. "The public must not be harassed unnecessarily. Soon, we are going to take action against the violators," she added.



inspections by PPCB
Electroplating industry seeks permanent solution
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
In the wake of the sealing of electroplating units by the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB), the Ludhiana Electroplating Association has condemned PPCB action and alleged that the board officials were harassing them over minor “irregularities”.

Joginder Kumar, president, the Ludhiana Electroplating Association, said the association was against water pollution and sought strict action against violators. But the PPCB officials had recently started targeting industrialists over minor issues.

He said: “Most electroplating units associated with our association have been using the Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) and no hazardous waste is generated by these. On the contrary, unidentified units have been running under the patronage of certain officials of the PPCB. If officials found any discrepancy at a unit, they have to issue a notice, asking the unit owner to remove the discrepancy. Instead of issuing a warning, they seal the unit, which is not the solution”.

According to the office-bearers of the Ludhiana Electroplating Association, there are around 900 electroplating units, which provide employment to more than 1.5 lakh people in the city.

“We need a permanent solution. It is our long-pending demand that the government relocate the electroplating industry. We suggest immediate steps should be taken by the government to reserve land for the relocation of the industrial units in the mix-land-use residential areas. These units fall under the red category,” added Joginder.



Respite from chill today: Weather experts
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
From tomorrow, the residents are expected to get some respite from the chill caused by the heavy rainfall in the last two days. Even the maximum temperature is likely to go up by a few degrees. The city had received good rain yesterday and today.

The weather experts at Punjab Agricultural University said there would be no rain tomorrow and the minimum temperature would also increase. The city received 29 mm rainfall between 8:30 am and 5:30 pm today.

Speaking to The Tribune, Dr KK Gill, Assistant Professor, School of Climate Change and Agricultural Meteorology, said: "The normal rainfall in January is 25.4 mm and by January 21, 26 mm rainfall has been recorded. With today's rainfall of 29 mm, the city has received 55 mm rainfall this month, which is almost double the normal. But, we are expecting clear weather in the next 24 hours. This rain is neither good nor bad for the wheat crop".



r-day function
Rain obstructs rehearsals
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Rain obstructed the ongoing rehearsals for the Republic Day function today. As rainwater accumulated on the playground of SCD Government College, where school students are preparing for the function, the venue had to be shifted.

The children, who could be seen shivering in cold, were ferried to the new venue, the multipurpose hall of Guru Nanak Stadium, on auto-rickshaws.

SCD Government College will be hosting the Republic Day function. There are around 3,000 students from 58 schools who will participate in the function on January 26. A full dress rehearsal will be held on January 24.

Today, police personnel, too, practiced at the venue.



FIEO committed to exporters' benefit: Regional head
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
The Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO) is committed to doing numerous activities for the benefit of exporters. Stating this, SC Ralhan, regional chairman (northern region), FIEO, invited feedback from exporters who had gathered to attend a workshop here.

The session, held in association with the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), aimed at informing the MSME export sector of the availability of External Commercial Borrowings (ECB) window in the absence of easy availability of foreign currency loans at competitive rates from banks.

Ralhan said the organisation would invite experts to apprise the industrialists of matters related to customs, excise, banking and marketing.

He also advised the exporters to become a part of the FIEO to benefit from the numerous trade-promotion activities being organised by the organisation at both domestic and international level.

V Sridhar, general manager, SIDBI, informed the gathering about various financing schemes in niche areas such as energy-saving schemes and cleaner-production norms.

P Krishnamurthy, former chief general manager, RBI, was also present at the workshop.



Ads on MC poles: Short-term tenders discussed
Tribunre News Service

Ludhana, January 22
A meeting to discuss the terms and conditions of short-term tenders for advertisements on the MC poles was held here today. The meeting, chaired by Additional Commissioner Isha Kalia, was attended by members of the committee constituted for the purpose.

Kalia said the terms and conditions for floating short-term tenders for six months were discussed. The procedure had been kept simple but it would be implemented after getting approval from the state government. "There will be e-tendering. Though the Finance and Contract Committee and the MC House have approved it, the poles will be allocated to bidders after getting approval from the state government," said Kalia.

Chairman of the committee and BJP councillor Inder Aggarwal said it would be a transparent process and anyone could bid for these poles. "Tenders to install 120 poles at the prime locations in the city will be invited from January 23. A pre-bid meeting will be held on February 5, followed by the submission of bidding documents on February 14. The bids will be opened on the same day. We are trying to bring transparency in the bidding process," said Aggarwal.



Atwal flays Centre over education policy
Our Correspondent

Ghudani Kalan (Khanna), January 22
The Central Government should upgrade the education system and come up with a common syllabus for all students. This was stated by the Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Charanjit Singh Atwal, while distributing as many as 89 cycles among the girl students at Senior Secondary School, Ghudani Kalan, under the Mai Bhago Scheme of the Punjab government.

Atwal flayed the education policy of the Centre on the occasion and said the new policy would make students incompetent to face the competition on a larger scale. As per the new policy, the Centre has directed the authorities concerned to not to fail any student up to Class IX.

The Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Charanjit Singh Atwal, said education plays a very important role for both boys and girls. He said by distributing cycles among girls, the Punjab government is encouraging girls to come to schools.

Atwal claimed that Punjab is the first state to have introduced such a scheme.

A grant of Rs 4.5 lakh was also announced, on the occasion, for the village panchayat to carry out development works in the area.

School principal Major Singh welcomed the chief guest and others during the function held on the school premises.

The SGPC member, Raghbir Singh Saharan Majra, and some other prominent leaders of parties including Akali Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were also present on the occasion.



NGO seeks check on commercial use of domestic LPG cylinders
Our Correspondent

Khanna, January 22
A deputation of NGO Lok Sewa Club, Khanna, met the Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC)-cum-chairman of the Improvement Trust, Khanna, and demanded legal action against defaulters for allegedly using domestic LPG for commercial purposes.

The president of the club, PD Bansal, apprised the ADC of facing innumerous problems while availing the facility. Bansal alleged that late delivery of gas cylinders, less weightage of cylinders, overcharging while applying for a new gas connection and forcibly selling of non-authorised items such as plastic apron, hot plate and gas lighter are some of the routine problems that consumers encounter.

Sales officers appointed to solve consumer-related problems are also unapproachable, alleged the president of the club. The club demanded regular raids by the Food and Civil Supply Department.

The ADC assured the NGO that an immediate action would be taken in this regard at the earliest.



accidents due to fog
Organisations launch awareness drive
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 22
Taking cognisance of increasing number of accidents due to foggy season, social organisations of the region have launched a coordinated movement to spread awareness about the prevention of vehicular accidents due to negligence.

Appreciating the gesture, the Administration has also strengthened the preventive measures already taken in this regard.

Office-bearers and activists of organisations such as the Punjab Road Safety Council, Rotary Club, Lions Club and Social Welfare Organisation have launched the coordinated movement to spread awareness about the causes and consequences of vehicular accidents.

Social activists led by the Rotary Club president, Pardeep Sethi, Lions Club president Inderpal Singh Walia, SWO patron Tarsem Garg, and Truck Operators Union president Himmat Singh Jandali said volunteers had already started organising camps and seminars to educate drivers and owners of vehicles about causes and consequences of vehicular accidents.

Pamphlets, posters, banners and educative messages through mobile phones are also being circulated to raise awareness on the issue.

Reflectors were being fixed onto the blind and sharp turns, besides vehicles including tractors trolleys and carts.

Acknowledging that poor visibility due to fog had multiplied risks on roads, the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Gill, Gurpreet Singh Sikand, said teams led by the Station House Officer (SHO), Dehlon, Inderjit Singh Boparai and SHO, Sadar, Amandeep Brar had been organising awareness camps at schools, colleges and offices of truck and tempo unions.

Beat officers have been advised to display messages about preventive measures at prominent and vulnerable points.

Tips such as drive slow, drive along the road markings, use low beam, use defogger and fog lights and keep a distance between vehicles, were given by the Punjab Road Safety Council to avoid accidents during foggy season.



MCPI (U) to hold protests from Feb 10
Our Correspondent

Doraha, January 22
The State Committee of MCPI (U) will hold protests and stage dharnas against the anti-people policies of the state as well as the Central Government from February 10 to 13. The protests, across the state, will be held at tehsil levels on the decided dates.

The meeting in this regard was presided over by Ajaib Singh Bhangu at KK Kaushal Memorial Hall. Members from Chandigarh, Patiala, Sangrur, Ludhiana and Mohali attended the meet. Members of the Polit Bureau and Central Committee also attended the meet.

The national secretary of the MCPI (U), Kuldip Singh Grewal, exhorted the members to prepare an action plan considering the present scenario.

The state secretary of the MCPI (U), Punjab, Pawan Kumar Kaushal, appealed to the ‘likeminded’ parties and groups in the state to combat the anti-people elements collectively.

The State Committee passed resolutions against price rise, unemployment and corruption and urged the state government and Electricity Department to cut down the power rates in the state, like it has been done in Delhi and Haryana.

In a special resolution, State Committee of MCPI (U) urged the state government to return the surplus and unutilised land of Siel Chemicals near Rajpura to the owners.

It also supported the struggle of farmers of as many as 33 villages against the alleged forcible acquisition of their lands.

The committee expressed serious concern over drug trade in which politicians of the ruling classes and police officials were also allegedly involved. The committee demanded an independent judicial enquiry into the nexus of police-bureaucrats and politicians of the state.



Despite orders, no end to burning of garbage on PAU campus
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Burning of garbage goes on unchecked at Punjab Agricultural University. The refuse lying in a dump near New Orchard on the campus was once again set on fire today, despite the PAU Estate Officer’s written directions forbidding the staff concerned from doing so.

The garbage often contains plastic bottles and other harmful waste that emit noxious fumes on being burnt.

A PAU scientist said whenever he worked in the fields nearby, smoke emitted from the burning garbage made it difficult for him to breathe.

“It becomes even worse during winters. Despite several requests, the garbage collectors continue to burn the refuse,” he said.

Estate Officer Jaskaran Singh, on being contacted on the issues, said someone might have set the garbage lying near New Orchard on fire accidentally.

“I have already issued clear instructions against burning of garbage. I will look into the matter and ensure such an incident is not repeated,” he said.



Govt trying to sabotage rally: Teachers’ union
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
The ETT Teachers Union has accused the Punjab government of trying to sabotage the proposed “Nibhera Karo Rally” at Bathinda. Harbans Singh, district president of the union, said the government wanted to suppress their voice as they planned to expose the anti-education policies of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal at the rally.

Harbans Singh said in order to deter them, the Zila Parishad chairman at Bathinda, Gurpreet Singh Maluka, had inspected union leader Jagseeer Singh Sahota’s school.

“We will not budge without getting our rights. The CM had promised us that teachers along with the administration of schools would be shifted from under Zilla Parishads’ control to the Education Department’s. Despite several meetings with him and the Deputy CM, the government failed to fulfil this promise. Now, we will hold a chain protest at Bathinda,” said Harbans Singh.

Another union member Jagseer Singh Sahota said, “The Akali government will not be successful in silencing us. Over 13,000 teachers serving in Zila Parishad schools under pathetic conditions are united against the government. We will announce the dates for holding the rally at Bathinda soon.”

Deputy CM’s wife Harsimrat Kaur Badal is to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from the Bathinda constituency.



Kisan melas across state in March
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) will organise kisan melas in various parts of the state in the month of March. The Director of Extension Education, Dr HS Dhaliwal, said the first regional mela will be held at Faridkot on March 4.

On March 6, the fair will be organised at Nagkalan-Jahangir in Amritsar, followed by at Ballowal Saunkhri (Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar district) on March 10 and at Gurdaspur on March 12.

The two-day Kisan Mela at the PAU campus will be held on March 14 and 15.

On March 19 and 21, the fairs will be held at Rauni in Patiala and Bathinda respectively.



Jackets to help traffic cops ward off cold
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Commissioner of Police Nirmal Singh Dhillon today distributed jackets among the Traffic Police staff. The jackets were distributed following complaints that policemen were finding it tough to perform their duty in the prevailing harsh cold.

Traffic policemen were even taken ill as they were not allowed to wear coloured jackets on duty.

The Commissioner said the job of the traffic policemen was very challenging. "It is our duty to look after our subordinate staff," said the Commissioner.



68K children immunised
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Around 68,000 children were immunised on the fourth day of the Pulse Polio drive here today. Giving this information, District Immunisation Officer Dr Hans said as many as 1,52,104 houses were visited by various teams of volunteers.

Dr Hans asked residents to get polio drops administered to all children under the age of five years.



Story telling

Ludhiana: To encourage students to speak English an inter-class story-telling competition was organised for students of Classes I and II at Kundan Vidya Mandir, City Campus. Students narrated stories with good moral values in English. The competition was presided over by the headmistress, Namita Raj Singh. She motivated the students to participate in such competitions. Maninder Kaur and Pooja Nagpal were the judges. The Kindergarten children of Guru Nanak Public School, Model Town Extension, also took part in a story-telling competition on the school premises. Students narrated stories keeping in mind the expression and pronunciation.

Hindi declamation

Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School hosted the Sahodaya Schools Hindi Declamation Contest on Wednesday. As many as 26 schools from all over Ludhiana participated in the event. Students threw light on various social issues such as female foeticide and corruption. Bableen Kaur, a student of the host school, won the first prize. The second prize was bagged by Rishab Aggarwal of Kundan Vidya Mandir, while Jaskiratpal of Green Land School and Chetan Jain of DAV School shared the third prize. The consolation prizes went to Shubham Dua of Spring Dale School and Samridhi Sharma of KVM. School managing director Avinash Kaur Walia was the chief guest.

Annual function

Mandi Ahmedgarh: As many as 400 students were felicitated during the annual function at Victoria Public High School, Lehra. Former ADM, Punjab Roadways, Dev Raj Sofat presided over the function and the Superintendent of Police, Malerkotla, Jaswinder Singh, was the chief guest. The guests called upon the residents of rural areas to educate their wards. A cultural programme was also held in which students presented various items. Principal Samrat Pal read the annual report.

— Tribune Reporters



Increasing ‘khas aadmi’ culture eating into city ethos
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
The January 16 incident, where a 62-year-old former bank employee was allegedly slapped by a police officer at Fountain Chowk, has yet again triggered a debate of “khas aadmi” culture in Ludhiana.

The former banker, BB Goyal, was slapped as he spoke loudly on behalf of the harassed commuters who were held up in a traffic jam caused by the visit of Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal.

People from a cross section of society have expressed resentment over growing VIP culture in the city.

The police top the list of those spreading VIP culture. The incident, where a retired bank employee was slapped by a police officer on VIP duty, has yet again proved how low the police stoop to please their political bosses. I have seen a majority of policemen moving in vehicles with black film on their windowpanes, flouting the guidelines of the Supreme Court.

Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Congress MLA

Not too long ago, a confrontation between a doctor from a local hospital and a cook from the DC's residence was reported in the newspapers. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure out who was the ultimate winner. Khas admi culture is blatantly exhibited everywhere and everyday, irrespective of which government office you visit. Regardless of how serious a grievance is, one call from a ‘khas aadmi’ will swing the case in favour of the offender.

Sarabjit Singh Kahlon, RTI activist

It is a timely intervention by Ludhiana Tribune, giving a call to all enlightened citizens to protect their self-respect in society. The city has definitely been plagued by ‘khas aadmi’ culture, which has led to depravity. The pristine golden standards in civility, honesty, discipline and decorum have been forgotten. Though Ludhiana is the revenue capital of the state and its residents have amassed a huge wealth, it has come at the cost of higher values of life.

Prof (retd) KBS Sodhi

There seem to be a rat race to become a ‘khas aadmi’. Whether you are standing in a queue or stuck up at a toll barrier, you will find there is always a VIP enclosure for the ‘khas aadmi’. This VIP encourages ‘khas aadmi’ culture. When everyone is stuck in a traffic jam, policemen, bureaucrats and politicians are given a preferential treatment. We need to end this menace.

Joginder Singh, social activists

Everyone wants to fit into the illustrious league of VIPs. Whether it is a club, an office or a religious place, everyone wants special treatment. No one wants to wait for a second. Money helps forge relationships with bureaucrats and politicians, which, in turn, makes them (Ludhianavis) VVIPs.~

Dr Vipan Gupta

I have seen youngsters shelling out money for securing the post of ward president in parties. I once talked to a youth, who had recently joined politics to raise the issue of choked sewerage. The young politician said he had joined politics just to make his importance felt among his friends and family.

Jaswant Singh Thandal, philanthropist

It is shocking to see the deplorable lengths of opulence to which people are going to prove themselves to be ‘khas aadmis’ in their immediate circle. I am of the view that people need to divert their energies in positive directions and make Ludhiana a better place.

Paramvir Bhogal, industrialist

Khas aadmi culture is leading to the formation of small groups where some are self-proclaimed bosses. These ‘bosses’ display their strength and try to scare others. We have seen some petty politicians indulging in blackmailing. This culture is ruining the ethos of the city.

Munish Purang, Advocate




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Rusharth, Inayat shine in roller skating
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 22
Bal Bharati Public School organised an inter-house roller skating competition for Classes I to V. Thirty-two students competed for the top honours in the final round. In boys’ category, Rusharth Katyal (Class III-D) of Mars House bagged the first position.

Bhargava Singla (IV-A) of Mercury House stood second and Jasraj Singh (V-B) of Mars House bagged the third prize.

In girls’ category, Inayat Panesar (IV-B) and Dhriti Mahajan (III-D) brought laurels to Mercury House by bagging the first and second position respectively. Vanshika Singh (III-A) of Mars House stood third.



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