L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Rain, winds disrupt power supply in city
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

A waterlogged area at Bhadaur House after rain on Friday night in Ludhiana; and (right) a view of Ahmedgarh Grain Market. Tribune photographs

Ludhiana, April 19
Last night's rain and high velocity winds, which occurred due to western disturbances, hit life in the city. The rain, which started at around 9:30 pm, lasted for about two hours, disrupting electricity supply to many areas. Though the higher-ups in Punjab State Power Corporation Limited claim almost all feeders were working and there was not major shutdown.

Santokh Singh, a resident from BRS Nagar, said power supply to their area had remained off till 2 am and they had to face difficulty. "Even when we rang up the number for lodging a complaint, the attendant said it would take more than an hour since all linemen had gone to attend to other complaints," said the resident.

A resident of the Model Town area said when he rang up the complaint office, he was categorically told to bear as there was a shortage of staff. "Power supply was restored in the morning at around 4 am," he said.


The Chief Engineer, PSPCL, Rachpal Singh said there was no major shutdown in any area and these complaints were individual instances. "No feeder was stopped last night and power was continuously supplied to all areas. At the same time, I agree it takes time to attend to complaints," said the Chief Engineer. He said the department had prepared itself well to deal with such situations. "Trees have been trimmed in the entire city so there was no tripping. We are in absolute comfortable position," he said.

500 more staff to be recruited

The PSPCL is all set to recruit more than 500 employees to take care of power complaints in the city. Commenting on new recruitment, Rachpal Singh said these employees would be hired from June 1 for the next four months. There will be no staff shortage here. "One motorcycle each will be given to a team of two employees so they reach the spot on time to rectify the problem," he said.



Rain necessitates special arrangements
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 19
While the arrival of wheat is yet to pick up, inclement weather has upset the arrangements made for its procurement at the local grain market and purchase centres falling under Ludhiana and Sangrur districts.

Anticipating a glut of produce in coming days, commission agents have started making arrangements for storage of the crop. PVC sheets, weather-proof bags, and supply of potable water have been identified as the priority areas in the management of mandis.

Almost all commission agents, who reached the grain market shortly after the downpour this morning, said they had hired extra labourers for pumping out the rainwater.

Avtar Krishan Sharam, a local commission agent, said extra arrangements had to be made for minimising loss and inconvenience to farmers.

"We have arranged extra PVC sheets for protecting the heaps of wheat," said Sharma.

Sikandar Singh, a farmer from Chhapar village in Ludhiana district, said the downpour had further delayed the harvesting as combine harvesters could not run in the fields for some days.



Rain delays wheat arrival in grain markets 
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
Yesterday's showers have impacted the standing wheat crop.

Due to the western disturbances and unfavourable conditions, the arrival of the crop in mandis has been delayed.

The rain has increased moisture content in the grain and farmers will have to wait for their produce to be lifted till the moisture level comes down.

The procurement of wheat started in the first week of April. Officials of the district food and supplies department said wheat having moisture content more than 12 per cent could only be lifted. They lamented that inclement weather was stopping them from lifting the crop.

Weather experts at Punjab Agricultural University stated: "The extent of loss will be less as compared to last year when the rainfall had damaged the crop. But there will be a delay in harvesting and the crop will reach mandis late," said Dr LK Dhaliwal, director, School of Climate Change and Agricultural Meteorology, PAU.

She said as per the weather forecast, there are chances of rainfall and thunderstorm in the next 24 hours as well. Weathermen are expecting a clear sky after April 20.


Betting racket thrives in the city
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
Though the city police were patting their back for busting two betting rackets operating in different parts of the city, the fact remains the police are legally ill-equipped to check the menace.

Advocates Dalip Batish and Munish Purang feel the loopholes in the gambling law were to blame for the increasing betting menace.

"Normally, the police impose 420 of the IPC (cheating and thereby dishonestly inducing delivery of property or destruction of a valuable security) but the sections do not stand in the court as the police fail to produce substantiate evidence. At the most, the accused are booked for gambling. For such an offence, the accused get bail easily. In the court, too, bookies are fined a minimal amount on confession or they have to undergo one-month imprisonment," observed Munish Purang and Dalip Batish.

Sources say the betting business in the city runs into several hundred crores. Bookies operating from Delhi, Mumbai and Dubai operate through their agents in the city.

ADCP (crime) MS Dhesi said: "There is a hierarchy among the bookies. The local operators report to the main bookie, who controls the betting business in Ludhiana. The main bookie further reports to his senior, who resides in another city or abroad. This is a huge network. We have busted two gangs of bookies so far and recovered two indigenous exchanges and more than 70 mobiles from the possession of the accused."

Sources said the area near Bhadaur House, Daresi, Division No. 2 and 3, two community clubs, and a few hotels located on Ferozepur Road have become a hub of betting. The betting business is also thriving in farmhouses.

The bookies prefer high-end hotels and community clubs to escape police raids. "Nabbing bookies is not easy as they enjoy political patronage. Some of the officers in our department are also helping the bookies. They get to know about the raid in advance and inform the bookies about it," said an officer, expressing helplessness in curbing the menace.

"The business runs on trust. A person who wants to bet on cricket matches is introduced to a bookie through an agent. In case the person backtracks after losing money on betting, it's the job of the agent to recover it," said a city-based businessman.

The gruesome killing of 23-year-old Rahul Verma in January, which still remains a mystery, was initially linked to the betting mafia. After failing to get substantial evidence, the police changed the line of investigation.

Youngsters, particularly businessmen who want to earn a quick buck, easily fall prey to bookies. Many suffer huge losses.

Spot betting the new trend

Gone are the days when people used to bet on cricket matches and the person, who opted for the winning team, used to get the prize money. Spot betting is a new trend. Now, bets are placed on each ball bowled in an over and each run scored. The rates of the teams also change accordingly. There are various categories. One can opt for his favourite batsman or a bowler, irrespective of the team.



DMCH team breathes life into 500 gm baby
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
Paramjeet Kaur (54), a resident of Jaito, had no words to express her joy when she came to know that experts at the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital had successfully delivered her baby girl weighing only 500 gm on December 6 The baby was delivered after only six months of gestation period. After staying at the hospital for about three months, both the mother and the baby were discharged from the hospital a few days ago. The baby weighed 1.8 kg when she was discharged.

Dr Suman Puri, Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, DMCH. Said: "On December 6, Paramjit Kaur was referred to us by a private hospital with one baby living and one baby already dead in the womb. We immediately took her to the labour room and delivered her baby (girl), who weighed only 520 gm then. Angel (name changed) was one of the twins born through an IVF-conceived twin pregnancy."

Paramjit Kaur, a chronic hypertension patient, conceived with great a difficulty with the help of the latest IVF techniques. Her husbands name is Baldev Singh.

Angel began her life in an incubator at the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) in the DMCH, receiving food through a tube and breathing with the CPAP, a machine which helps in breathing. “The baby can now breathe normally and has been sent home with her parents,” said Dr Kamal Arora, Neonatologist,

DMCH. He said the survival of this highly underweight baby is a tremendous accomplishment on the part of the doctors and nurses, who took care of her.

Her parents were grateful to the DMCH medical team. Everybody had thought she would not survive with birth weight as low as 520 gm. 



Educational institutions to remain closed on April 29
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
District Electoral Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner of Ludhiana Rajat Aggarwal said in view of the Lok Sabha elections on April 30, all educational institutions of Ludhiana district (both private and government) will remain closed on April 29 (local holiday).

Earlier, the district administration, in collaboration with the Indian Society for Technical Education (ISTE), Student's Chapter of the Guru Nanak Institute of Management and Technology (GNIMT), Gujarkhan Campus, organised an election awareness drive. They highlighted the importance of right to vote.

Rajesh K Jha, Director, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, graced the occasion. He has been appointed Awareness Observer for Punjab by the Election Commission of India.

He inaugurated a webpage named "Vote ya Vaat GNIMT Youngistan", launched by the GNIMT on Facebook. He also presided over a pledge ceremony where all students of the GNIMT took a pledge to vote in the Lok Sabha elections on April 30.

Amarjit Singh Sekhon, Joint Commissioner of the Ludhiana Municipal Cooperation, and Dr Kanu Thind, a PCS officer, were also present. Dr Sandhya Mehta, Officiating Director of the institute, welcomed the dignitaries. Kiranjot Kaur, Head of Management Development Centre, GNIMT, coordinated the event.

A street play staged by the students of the GNIMT gave out a strong message for the youth to be a part of the Lok Sabha Elections. Students sang patriotic songs.



ludhiana votes 2014
Bansal gives fillip to Bittu’s campaign 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
Congress candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat Pawan Kumar Bansal campaigned for party candidate from the Ludhiana constituency Ravneet Singh Bittu at ward number 55.

Bansal appreciated the efforts put in by Bittu .

Bittu said in the past seven years, the SAD-BJP alliance has been building castles in the air. Chiding the ruling combine, Bittu said the SAD leaders had been claiming that they would develop the city on the lines of California and would provide all facilities to residents. The leaders don't even know that in California, the condition of roads is pitiable and the people there are deprived of basic facilities.

Bittu listened to the complaints of residents at Ward No. 51. He said his grandfather had launched a number of schemes for industrialists in the city.

He stated that in past seven years, more than 1,800 industrial units have been closed down. He said his priority was to establish a premier institute such as the PGI in the city. With this, not only Ludhiana but people of surrounding areas will be benefited. He has been making plans for water-sewerage.

He also addressed meetings at Manakwal, Mehmoodpura, Alamgir, Chupki, Saiyan Kalan, Saiyan Khurd, Killa Raipur, Kheri Jhameri, Hamayunpura, Thakkarwal, Dad, Ayali Kalan, Bains, Jhammat and Ayali Khurd of Gill constituency. 



People fed up with SAD: Bains
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
Independent candidate for the Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat Simarjit Singh Bains met residents and took out rallies at various places in the city. He inaugurated election offices in the Sidhwan Bet area and Circle Jodha of the Dakha. He also organised a road show.

At Shingar Cinema Chowk, while addressing residents, he said people were fed up with the policies of the ruling government and wanted a change.

During election rallies at Daba and Lohara villages, Bains said Akalis were keen on tearing the posters of Bains. During a rally at Chaura Bazaar, he said rather than taking stock of foundation stones laid earlier and making the projects see light of the day, the SAD was laying more foundation stones to fool people. He said constructing a room had become difficult for the common man because of rising sand prices. He stated that the state government and the Central Government had done thing. "They only blamed each other," he added. 



Will tide over residents' problems: Ayali
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
SAD-BJP candidate from the Ludhiana constituency Manpreet Singh Ayali today assured village residents of tiding over their problems. He rallied at Gill. He said providing basic facilities to the residents was his priority. He also addressed meetings at Himmat Singh Nagar, Karnail Singh Nagar and Basant Vihar.

A road show was also organised by the Active Anti-Corruption Group.



Flag march by Jagraon police personnel
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 19
The Jagraon police took out a flag march in the town today. The march started from the police lines and passed through Tehsil Road, Rani Jhansi Chowk, Kamal Chowk, Lajpat Rai Road and Railway Road.

Police personnel told residents that they could approach them, if they had any complaints.

The officials also sought the residents' cooperation.

"People play an improtant role in the smooth conduct of the elections. It is the duty of every citizen to ensure violence-free poll," said DSP Surinder Kumar. The officials appealed to NGOs to cooperate with them.

On guard

Khanna: The Khanna police took out a flag march today. Led by SP (D) Rajwinder Singh Sohal, 250 police personnel sought residents' cooperation. Sohal said they would keep a chcek on anti-social elements and would not let untoward incidents take place. 



From schools


Activity day: Tagore Public School organised an activity day. The kindergarten students took part in thumb painting. An English group recitation competition was organised for Classes I-V.

World Heritage Day: Spring Dale Public School organised World Heritage Day. Various international monuments and historical sites were shown to students through multimedia. They took a pledge to conserve these monuments for the future generations.

Punjab Heritage Day: Students of Ryan International School participated in collage making on Punjab’s heritage. Teachers explained various facets of Punjabi culture to the children. — TNS



Ludhiana scan

Protest against private schools: Demanding the implementation of the Right to Education Act, students and members of a social organisation, Rashtra Dharma, took out a protest march in the city. Vinod Jain, president of the organisation, said some private schools were not providing 25 per cent reservation to students coming from weaker sections of the society.

Election office inaugurated The election office of CPI (M) candidate from the Ludhiana Lok Sabha constituency Sukhwinder Singh Sekhon was opened on Saturday. CITU leader Bagga Singh inaugurated the office in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar.

Punjabi Sahit Akademi poll: The Punjabi Sahit Akademi has increased the time for filing of nominations for its upcoming elections. Candidates can file their papers with the chief electoral officer, Dr Sarjit Singh Gill, from 11 am to 5 pm on April 21.

Lecture: Sikhs Helping Sikhs, an NGO, organised a lecture at Guru Nanak Khalsa Girls Senior Secondary School, Gujarkhan campus. The organisation members urged the students to tell their parents not to get lured by drugs and money during the Lok Sabha elections.

Meeting: The working committee of the Punjab State Karamchari Dal met at Chatar Singh Park. The members decided to hold a rally at Desh Bhagat Hall, Jalandhar, on May 10. — TNS




Poll duty: Pay heed to genuine problems

An article in your newspaper titled “Employees spin web of excuses to avoid poll duty”, dated April 15, makes a mockery of the government employees who are facing genuine problems due to the election duty. It is true that some people may give false excuses to get an exemption, but some employees may have a real problem. As per the article, only 150 employees of around 15,000 have applied for an exemption. My wife and I have also been entrusted with poll duty. We have small children. How can we manage to perform the duty? I have requested the district administration to exempt my wife, but there has been no positive response from the side of the District Electoral Officer. In fact, the Election Commission of India has directed the officials to avoid putting both spouses on poll duty.

Naresh Tangri, Ludhiana

No check on pressure horns

Despite being banned by the Supreme Court and the District Transport Department under Section 119 (2) of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, pressure horns are freely available in markets. Moreover, the police and the administration have failed to check their excessive use near schools, hospitals and residential areas. City residents, especially youngsters, love to get pressure horns fitted to their vehicles. They must be made aware of the fact that noise created by these pressure horns can be very dangerous. Long-term exposure may lead to high blood pressure and heart disease besides partial deafness and anxiety. Researchers have also found vehicular noise pollution to be a major cause of stress. Stress may lead to an excessive release of various hormones, changes in heart rate and rhythm, rise in blood cholesterol levels and problems with the digestive system.

Ravi Chander Garg, Ludhiana



Criminal attempts suicide in police custody
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 19
Criminal Munna, who was behind two overnight robberies, kidnapping of head constable Rakesh Kumar, attempted suicide by slitting his wrist in custody of the Sahnewal police.

Munna, along with his two accomplices, was nabbed in the Sahnwal area on April 16.

It came to light that Munna had attacked Rakesh to avenge his alleged custodial torture. Munna was nabbed in a drug peddling case in November and was reportedly interrogated by Rakesh Kumar.

According to the police, Munna asked for a glass of water. After consuming water, he slit his wrist with the glass. The policemen spotted him bleeding and rushed him to the Civil Hospital. His condition was stable.

The police have booked Munna in an attempt-to-suicide case under section 309 of the IPC.



Chess: Jalandhar emerge victorious
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 19
Participants from Jalandhar stamped their supremacy in the boys' section clinching titles in the U-9 and U-15 categories during the Punjab State Chess Championship (girls and boys) that concluded at St Thomas Senior Secondary School, Brown Road, today.

In the boys' U-15 category, Dushyant Sharma secured six points while Namitbir Singh in the U-9 category collected five points.

In the girls' section, Raavya Jain from Ludhiana garnered four points to lead the pack in the U-9 category and Garushi of Sangrur accumulated 4.5 points to prove her mettle.

Younis Messy, Bishop of Diocese of CNI, Chandigarh, and chairman of the host school along with Vikas Sharma and Arvinder Preet Singh, president and general secretary, respectively, of the Ludhiana District Chess Association distributed prizes. The first three position holders were given certificates and prizes.

Results: Boys (U-15): Dushyant Sharma (Jalandhar) six points, Gaurav Singla (Barnala) five points, Navdeep Singh (Jalandhar) five points and Pratyoosh Chitkara (Ludhiana) five points.

Boys (U-9): Namitbir Singh (Jalandhar) five points, Samneet Munde (Sangrur) 4.5 points and Jayan Pasricha (Jalandhar) 4.5 points.

Girls (U-15): Garushi (Sangrur) 4.5 points, Arushi Gupta (Bathinda) 4.5 points, Komal (Sangrur) four points and Simarjit Kaur (Sangrur) four points.

Girls (U-9): Raavya Jain (Ludhiana) four points, Samiksha Bhatia (Ludhiana) four points and Samaira Aggarwal (Ludhiana) 3.5 points. 



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