L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Iron hand in velvet glove 
MC demolishes 12 illegal structures, residents say drive 'selective' 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

(From left): Policemen drag a protester during a demolition drive at Ambedkar Nagar; an earthmoving machine razes structures and a woman protests against the MC authorities at Bharti Colony. Tribune Photos: Himanshu Mahajan

Ludhiana, January 31
The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation today demolished about a dozen illegal structures in the city.

The MC swung into action 11 days ahead of the hearing of a petition on encroachments in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

With huge paraphernalia of over 300 policemen, more than 50 officials and employees of the MC, earthmoving machines, the civic body conducted the demolition drive in Bharti Colony, Daresi, Jawaddi and Ambedkar Nagar.

Looking at the huge police force and teams of MC officials, it was expected that it would be a massive demolition drive, but the civic body ended up removing about a dozen illegal structures.

Apart from Ambedkar Colony, the drive went off peacefully. Residents who were served notices three days ago were seen demolishing illegal structures on their own in some areas.

Terming it a ‘selective’ demolition drive, Vasdev, a middle-aged man, said he was fed up of making the rounds of the MC office to know whether the public road was 16 feet or 20 feet wide. "This is for the third time I am at the receiving end. At times they say the road is 20 feet wide and at times the authorities claim that it is 16 feet wide. The MC should have demolished other illegal structures on the road,” rued Vasdev, a daily-wage earner, adding that he could not bear the losses as he had to feed his family of 10.

On being asked why the other illegal buildings were not razed, Assistant Town Planner (ATP) Harpreet Ghai cut short the conversation saying: "These were undeclared.”

Six illegal structures were demolished at Bharti Colony.

At Daresi, the authorities razed two shops while in Jawaddi area, four structures were removed. At Ambedkar Nagar, situation became tense but was brought under control when authorities tried to remove a religious structure.

Residents tried to oppose the drive, but kept mum seeing a huge police force.

ATP (Headquarters) Kamaljeet Kaur said: “The drive in Pavittar Nagar failed last time as we had a few policemen to assist us. This time, we took a huge police force with us to accomplish the drive.”

MC not selective: Tiwari

MC Commissioner Rahul Tiwari said the civic body was not selective in razing the illegal structures. “We are adhering to the High Court orders. Residents can still file their complaints. We are here to redress their grievances,” added Tiwari. 

6,500 structures illegal

In 2003, the MC had submitted a list of 6,500 illegal structures to the High Court. Of these, 2,000 structures were demolished during the tenure of former Commissioner AK Sinha. The MC razed more than 50 such structures during RK Verma’s tenure from the Jawahar Nagar Camp area. There are still over 4,400 illegal structures in the city. The MC has urged the court to re-consider its decision on 3,200 such structures. The MC is yet to demolish the remaining 1,200 illegal buildings. 


GLADA nets Rs 11.30 crore
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 31
The Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) today sold 12 residential plots and seven commercial sites in Urban Estate, Sector 32-A, on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh Road for Rs 11.30 crore.

The properties were sold at a premium of 37 per cent over the reserve price of Rs 8.20 crore.

In all, 14 residential plots and 28 commercial sites for SCOs, SCFs and booths were to be put under the hammer. However, two residential plots measuring 400 square yards, three SCO sites, five SCF sites and 13 booths failed to find buyers.

GLADA Estate Officer RK Popli said the residential plots measuring 100 sq yards each were sold against the highest bid of Rs 60,000 per square yard while the minimum successful bid was Rs 40,000 per sq yard against the reserve price of Rs 22,582 per sq yard. Similarly, for plots measuring 300 sq yards each, the highest and lowest successful bids were Rs 34,000 and Rs 26,200 per sq yard, respectively. Seven booth sites, measuring 22.69 sq yards each with a floor price of Rs 1,36,112 per sq yard each were sold at between Rs 2,02,300 (highest) and Rs 1,78,000 (lowest) per sq yard.

In all, 89 bidders participated in the auction of residential and commercial properties with each one of them deposited the eligibility fee of Rs 50,000 for residential plots and booth sites and Rs One lakh for SCO/SCF sites.

As per the terms and conditions of sale, the successful bidders were required to pay 10 per cent of the total cost of the property along with 2 per cent cess under the Punjab State Cancer and Drug Addiction Treatment Infrastructure Fund Act, 2013, at the fall of hammer, and another 15 per cent within 30 days of the date of auction. The buyers would have the option to make the balance 75 per cent payment in lump sum with a rebate of 5 per cent or in four (for commercial sites) or six (for residential plots) half yearly instalments with 12 per cent interest. 



Fog continues to hit rail traffic 
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 31
With the weather showing no signs of improvement and the visibility continuing to be poor due to thick cover of fog in the region, most of the long route trains were running behind schedule by several hours.

Passengers remained at the receiving end due to erratic schedule of trains and poor amenities at the railway station.

Rail traffic on the New Delhi-Ludhiana-Amritsar route, however, improved a wee bit with the New Delhi-Amritsar and the New Delhi-Ludhiana Shatabdi trains arriving late by 1.05 hours and 1.10 hours. The Shan-e-Punjab trains running between New Delhi and Amritsar were late by more than 30 minutes while a pair of New Delhi-Amrtisar intercity Express trains was late by two hours.

Railway officials said among other long route trains running behind schedule were the Chennai-Jammu Andaman Express (12.15 hours), Katihar-Amritsar Amrapali express (10.25 hours), the Tatanagar-Jammu Muri Express (8.20 hours), Guwahati-Jammu Amarnath Express (7.35 hours), Amritsar-New Jalpaiguri Karambhoomi Express (7.15 hours), Indore-Jammu Malwa Express (4.25 hours), Amritsar-Jaynagar Shaheed Express (4.10 hours), Jaynagar-Amritsar Shaeed Express (3.25 hours) and Nanded-Amritsar Saxhkhand Express (2.45 hours).

Railway officials said other trains, including, mail, express and passenger, were running late.

Harassed passengers waiting at the railway station here were up in arms against railway authorities for their failure to provide information about the expected time of the arrival and departure of delayed trains.

Rameshwar Prasad, who was to go to Bihar, said the communication network of the Railways left a lot to be desired. “After every 15 minutes to 30 minutes, the signboard displayed at the enquiry counter gives the different duration of the delay for a particular train,” he said.

Officials, however, defended their action saying they had to go by whatever information was provided by the operating wing of the Railways. 



Animal board hounds dog race organisers 
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Kila Raipur, January 31
The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has raised questions over greyhound races being organised by the Grewal Sports Association during Kila Raipur Sports Festival.

Members of the board said greyhound races are being conducted without the district administration's permission.

Representatives of the Grewal Sports Association, however, dismissed the claims of the board.

Dr Sandeep Jain, a representative of the AWBI, alleged: "Such races are a violation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, Performing Animals (Registration) Rules, 2001, Dog Birth Control Rules, 2001, and conditions related to breeding, upkeep, maintenance of dog kennels of greyhounds, their medical and rehabilitation facilities."

"Greyhound races were cancelled at the state-level livestock show in Muktsar, last year after the AWBI's intervention. As per the notification dated November 25, 2013, the organisers have to take permission from the district administration and the Animal Husbandry Department for organising such races," said Dr Jain.

Paramjit Singh Grewal, former secretary, Grewal Sports Association, Kila Raipur, claimed that they had spoken to Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal this morning and sought permission for organising greyhound races.

"The DC told us to apply to the Animal Husbandry Department, which we already did as the team of the department was at the venue. We are not doing anything which is against the law and if any person has any problem, he can contact us," said Grewal.

No permission

Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal said the Grewal Sports Association had not been given permission to hold greyhound races. "I will check whether they have applied for permission. I have asked Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry, to look into the matter," said the DC.



Youth claims attack by BJP councillor's son 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 31
A 22-year-old youth has levelled an allegation that BJP councillor Gurdeep Singh Neetu's son along with the latter's accomplice attacked the former with swords.

On the other hand, the BJP councillor has called the allegations as baseless.

The councillor claimed that the police were probing the case and the actual story behind the attack would come out soon.The youth identified as Kamalpreet Singh Bunty was admitted to a hospital with deep cut on his hand. He claimed that Neetu's son Jaspreet Singh Mani, along with his accomplices, had attacked him with swords in the Kadwai Nagar area.Kamalpreet Singh said Mani attacked him out of jealousy as he (Kamalpreet) was gaining popularity due to his social work.In the meantime, the police have registered a case and started the investigation.



MC recovery teams told to expedite collection of taxes 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 31
Isha Kalia, the Additional Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, has asked all recovery teams in four blocks to pull up their socks and start collecting the revenue at a faster pace.

Last year, the civil body was able to collect the house tax worth Rs 100 crore. Through property tax, the MC has been able to generate just about Rs 52.5 lakh till date starting from October, when the property tax was imposed.

Kalia asked officials to keep a check on the big payers. "The big tax payers are on our radar. Till now, it were the residents, who approached the authorities for paying taxes but now, our officials will go, make announcements, organise camps to make the recoveries so that financial position of the civic body is strengthened", said Kalia.

Through water and sewerage bills, the MC collects about Rs 25 crore annually, but the authorities have asked the recovery officials to tighten noose over defaulters and warn them that their connections would be cut if they failed to deposit the water bills to the MC.

"The financial year is going to end soon and we want that the civic body generates enough resources through collection of all taxes. We are going to adopt an aggressive approach for collection of taxes", said Kalia. 



Kejriwal has no right to target politicians: CM
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 31
Reacting on the list of corrupt politicians issued by the Aam Aadmi Party Chief, Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said, “Kejriwal don't have any constitutional right to issue such list.” He even asked from reporters that did he mention his name in the list.

The CM today visited four government schools in the city to address the problems of school managements.

Badal stated that he had no problem with the membership campaign of AAP..

He stated that the Punjab Government would come with an act to curb adulteration in milk, food items and animal feed. “We will make the provision of strict action against the people responsible for adulteration,” he said. The CM also denied the possibility of hike in the electricity tariffs.

While visiting to Government Senior Secondary Model School, PAU, Parkash Singh Badal asked the government school managements, district administration and local leaders to arrange donation from industrialists to run the schools. Badal told that NRI’s did not donate much for schools of the state under the ‘Name after Scheme’, which was launched to generate the funds for government schools.



‘Poor’ govt asks schools to generate funds from donors
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, January 31
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal asked government schools to collect some money (funds) from the students to pay the routine expenses of schools. He also asked Deputy Commissioner, District Education Officer and school administration to seek aid from industrialists to pay the daily expenses of schools.

It is contrary to the RTE Act which aims to provide free education till Class VIII under Sarav Shiksha Abhiyan.

Chief Minister was in city, to visit four government schools, including Government Senior Secondary Model School, PAU, Government Senior Secondary School, Cemetery Road, Government Senior Secondary School, Haibowal Khurd, and Government Senior Secondary School, Model Town. The visit of Chief Minister was scheduled on February 1 but he came a day earlier without informing the authorities. Ironically, the CM visited the schools after the working hours.

During the visit to Government Senior Secondary Model School, PAU, he stressed upon generating funds to run the schools. Principal Sanjiv Thapar informed the CM that they cannot collect funds from students as it is against the policy. Chief Minister then asked them to find some donors, construct shops to earn rent and make arrangements to hire the class IV staff. CM denied to recruit the class IV staff and advised schools to arrange the staff from “self-generated” funds.

Badal announced to give Rs 3 crore to PAU schools in three annual installments to construct 23 rooms and a multipurpose hall for indoor sports events. He ordered to install a Verka milk booth inside the school premises. He also announced construction of 10 rooms in GSSS, Cemetery Road and 8 rooms in GSSS, Haibowal.

Construct buildings yourself

Badal told the school authorities to construct the building on their own instead of Public Work Department (PWD). Principal of GSSMS, PAU, presented the estimate of constructing the building, made by PWD, to him. Expressing his dislike, Badal rejected the estimate and plan given PWD. He said the plans of PWD will make the project three times costlier.



Relatives of accused demand cancellation of case 
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, January 31
The kin of the alleged accused has demanded the cancellation of case against his father and brother, who according to him has been falsely implicated in a murder case.

Handicapped Gurpreet Singh, son of Ram Murati of Pawa Khagat village, who is sitting on a hunger strike from the past six days, shared that they had been running from pillar to post since August last year but to no avail.

Narrating the sequence of events, Gurpreet said, “On the fateful day of August 18, 2013, my grandmother’s cremation was supposed to take place on the cremation ground in the village but Jawala Singh, a resident of the same village, stopped us from doing so. We informed the police and the cremation was done under police protection. But Jawala Singh refused to sit calmly. A few days later, Amrik Singh Meeka, a relative of Jawala Singh, who was already sick, fell down and breathed his last. His relatives immediately took him to a private hospital in Doraha where he was declared brought dead. The relatives then took the body to the Civil Hospital, Sahnewal.”

“The report of the private hospital stated that no injury was found on the body while that of the Civil Hospital stated that death was due to a shock as a result of myocardial infarction,” Gurpreet Singh said.

He added, “Jawala Singh and his relatives then alleged that the deceased was attacked by my father and brother. So, a case under Section 302 of IPC was registered against them along with Sikander Singh who has been sent to jail.”

“The police at that time assured that the facts would be verified and the case would stand cancelled but nothing has happened till date. I do not understand, when all the facts are available, what is the reason behind the delay in the cancellation of the case,” shared Kulvir Singh, son of Sikander Singh.

“We urge CM and the higher officials to look into the matter and to cancel the false case, failing which we shall continue with our hunger strike,” Kulvir Singh added.

ACP Lakhvir Singh Tiwana said, “As far as the demand of the cancellation is concerned, no such thing has been assured to them. The case has been verified first by SHO then by me and lastly by ADCP Swapan Sharma.”



2 car robbers held
Our Correspondent

Samrala, January 31
The Samrala police arrested two car robbers when they were trying to rob another car near Samrala.

A few days ago, the robbers snatched a car at gun point from a son of a session judge near Badowal village. The arrested youths were identified as Harjinder Singh (22), a resident of Nihal Singh Wala and Navdeep Singh (21), a resident of Nathuke village.

SHO Samrala Rajnish Sood said the robbers, who were riding a Swift car, were overpowered by the police and were arrested. They were following a Ford Fiesta car of an employee of a Cotex Mill near Sarwarpur village.

The SHO said they received information from some sources in this regard last night.

As per the SHO, the robbers had snatched a Swift Car on the night of January 12 from Paramvir Singh, son of District Session Judge Harcharn Singh Dhaliwal, when he was travelling near Badowal village.

He said the robbers used to roam in the stolen cars with fake number plates.

A case has been registered against the two accused at Samrala.

They were then presented in a court today and were later sent to judicial custody in Ludhiana Jail.



Youth held with smack 
Our Correspondent

AI Baljinder Singh along with a police party arrested a man near canal rest house here last evening. The police claimed to have recovered 10 gm of smack from his possession.

The accused has been identified as Ranjit Singh (20), son of Lakhwinder Singh, a resident of Jalalpur village.

The police have registered an FIR under Sections 21, 61 and 85 of the NDPS Act against Ranjeet Singh.



Crime briefs


Purse, cash, ornaments stolen from car Tribune News Service

A purse containing gold ornaments, cash and other important documents, were stolen from a car.The incident came to light last evening when Monika Aggarwal, a resident of BRS Nagar, was returning home after visiting Sarabha Nagar Market.

When she sat in the car she was shocked to find her purse missing.

Later, she reported the matter to the police and a case was registered.

Man flees with camera, cellphones

The Sarabha Nagar police has booked a man for fleeing with camera and mobile phones. Balwinder Singh Goldy, a resident of Jawahar Nagar, said that Taranjot Singh Sandhu, a resident of Ahmedgarh, asked him to help him reverse his car.

Goldy kept the bag and mobile phone in Sandhu's car and helped him in reversing the vehicle. Goldy said that once the car was reversed Sandhu sped the scene with the vehicle.

Goldy asked for his camera and mobile phone but he refused to return the gadgets.

5 booked for yarn theft

The Jodhewal police have registered a case against five persons for stealing five gunny bags containing yarns from a factory unit.

The case has been registered on the complaint of Anil Kumar.

He had stated to the police that thieves had trespassed into his factory unit on January 5 and took away gunny bags containing yarns.

The police had conducted the investigation and registered a case.

ATM thief nabbed

The Shimlapuri police nabbed a youth who was trying to break open an ATM. The accused has been identified as Navdeep Singh, a resident of Chimni Road in Shimlapuri.

The incident took place late last night when Navdeep was trying to break open the ATM located in the Shimplapuri area. In the meantime, Navdeep Kumar, a resident, spotted the youth and informed the police. The accused was then arrested.

Five computers, cycle stolen

Thieves struck at the office of an architect at Maharaj Nagar and took away five computers and a bicycle.

The incident came to light yesterday morning when Madan Lal, owner, reached his office and was shocked to find the premises ransacked.

He informed the police and got a theft case registered. 



Graft case: Tehsildar gets four-year jail 
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 31
Additional Sessions Judge Sanjiv Joshi has convicted a tehsildar, Rajesh Verma, in an 11-year-old corruption case. He was sentenced to four years rigorous imprisonment.

Pronouncing the verdict, the court held that the prosecution had successfully proved the charges levelled against the accused. He was also ordered to pay fine of Rs 20,000.

The tehsildar was charged with accepting a bribe of Rs 16,000 for registering a sale deed of Dr Ravinder Singh Sidhu of Sidhu Hospital, Doraha, in November 2003.

He was booked under Sections 7, 13 (2) of the Prevention of Corruption Act by Vigilance Bureau on November 7, 2003.

Dr Ravinder Sidhu had alleged that he had purchased land from one Bhagwant Singh for Rs 7,92,500. He went to the office of the Registrar, Payal, headed by the accused, who started demanding money.

“The tehsildar said the sale deed was under value. So, I will have to pay Rs 16,000 to him otherwise the sale deed will not be registered. At that time, I agreed to do so but was not in favour of greasing the palm of the tehsildar,” said the complainant.

The complainant alleged that he went to the accused thrice but he was not ready to sign the sale deed and threatened to cancel the same, if he was not given Rs 16,000.

Dr Ravinder Singh Sidhu approached the Vigilance Bureau and a trap was laid. The accused was apprehended while accepting Rs 16,000.

At that time Ram Lubhaya, Assistant Labour Commissioner, and Labour Inspector Jugraj Singh had accompanied the Vigilance Bureau team.

In 2005, the Vigilance Bureau had filed cancellation report in a local court with the plea that the department of accused had not given sanction to prosecute him.

The bureau had also pleaded that there was no proper evidence to ensure success of the case. But the then Additional Sessions Judge Sukhdarshan Singh Khaira had declined the request of VB and ordered re-investigation of the case.

Later, the bureau filed a chargesheet against the accused after taking sanction from department concerned.

However, the accused had pleaded innocence, but failed to prove it. 



Bullock cart, motorcycle races, equestrian events mark Day 2
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Kila Raipur , January 31
Enthusiasm and zeal marked the second day of the 78th Chapter of the Kila Raipur Sports Festival at the Grewal Sports Stadium here today.

The mega event was formally inaugurated by PWD Minister Punjab Sharanjit Singh Dhillon. Reiterating the government's commitment toward promotion of rural sports, Dhillon called upon the youths of the area to take to sports. He felicitated the outstanding performers of various events today and announced Rs 2 lakh grant for the organisers besides promising reconstruction and repair of all roads leading to the stadium.

Thousands of sports enthusiasts saw the feats performed by various individuals and teams from across the world.

Heats of bullock cart races and dog races were held from time to time and motorcycle gymnastics, horse pegging and other equestrian events came as fascinating fillers for the spectators on the second day today. In athletics, Fariad of Kilarapur, Ranjit Singh of Hoshiarpur and Manvir of Patiala emerged as the fastest runners by winning 100m in their respective categories followed by of Noor Mohammad of Kilaraipur, Karanjot Singh of Pakhowal and Maninderpal of Jallandhar.

Pushpa from Delhi eclipsed Sharanjit Kaur of Gurdaspur and Sandeep Kaur of Patiala to win 400-meter race.

For the Bhagwant Memorial Hockey Gold Cup, Jarkhar academy beat Government t College, Ludhiana team by 4-2 while Badal Hockey Academy defeated Kairon Hockey Academy by 5-1 in the women hockey group. Grewal Academy, Kilaraipur (U-17) boys beat Bhatinda counterpart by a wide margin of 8-1 in 6-a-side hockey played on the synthetic turf. Adesh scored a hattrick for the winning team. Malwa School, Ludhiana, defeated Ghavadi team by 8-0. Lover Preet of winning team was applauded for scoring three goals for his team. Bullock cart races remained a major attraction of the day in which 95 bullock carts participated in their respective heats. 

Sports enthusiasts have a field day

Thousands of sports enthusiasts saw the feats performed by various individuals and teams from across the world. Heats of bullock cart races and dog races were held from time to time and motorcycle gymnastics, horse pegging and other equestrian events came as fascinating fillers for the spectators on the second day.



Bullock fractures leg while racing, hospitalised
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Kila Raipur, January 31
A bullock was gravely injured, while two others received minor injuries, during the bullock-cart race event at the 78th Edition of the Kila Raipur Sports, here today. The bullock fractured its front leg when the rider lost control over the bullocks.

The bullock was immediately rushed to Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana, in an ambulance and is presently being operated on by the veterinarians there.Two more bullocks received minor injuries when the rider lost control and the bullocks barged directly into the crowd. Thankfully, no expectator was injured but some two-wheelers parked there were damaged.The spectators felt that a majority of the bullocks either slipped or lost direction as there was grass on the ground. “Earlier, there was no grass on the ground and the bullocks got firm grip on the ground while racing. Even the width of the ground is suitable for running of just three bullock carts, whereas four bullock carts participate at one time. This leaves very little space between the carts, resulting in accidents and injuries,” stated one of the organisers, who on condition of anonymity. Dr P S Mavi, head of the veterinary clinic at GADVASU, said the injured bullock had reached the hospital for treatment. 



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