L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


PSPCL leaves consumers in the lurch
Many miss last date for depositing bills as Sarabha Nagar office server develops snag
Tribune News Service

Residents protest against the PSPCL at its Sarabha Nagar office; and (right) a queue at the power bill payment window
Residents protest against the PSPCL at its Sarabha Nagar office; and (right) a queue at the power bill payment window. Tribune Photos: Himanshu Mahajhan

Ludhiana, May 26
Residents held a protest after the staff at the Sarabha Nagar office of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) refused to accept electricity bill payments due to a technical snag in the server of the computer system.

More than 100 consumers reached the office at around 10 am to make payments against their electricity bills. They alleged the employees, who were accepting payments, left the window without informing them. They kept standing in queues for an hour. When nobody turned up to accept payments, the consumers met Sub Divisional Officer (SDO) Sunil Kumar, who informed them that the server was dysfunctional and he had informed the senior officials.

Meanwhile, the consumers started using an ATM for online billing. But the residents, who had more than one power connections, could not deposit the bill amount as the machine didn’t accept more than one bill from the same address.

As it was the last date for paying power bills, a large number of consumers requested the officials to extend the last date but the SDO expressed helplessness.

Sarbjinder Singh, a resident, said: “I reached the office at 10 am and returned after 1:30 pm, without paying the bill. There are two windows. But most of the time only one is functional. Consumers have to wait for more than one and a half hours in queues. Then they got to know there was some snag in the server. The consumers who missed the last date for paying bills should not suffer due to the dysfunctional server. We had struggled to pay our bills for about three and half hours”.

Sunil Kumar, SDO, said: “We have called technical experts. They will reach here soon”.

Despite the several attempts, Rashpal Singh, Chief Engineer, couldn’t be contacted.


Bains, Grewal slug it out
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
The war of words between the Akali Dal general secretary Maheshinder Singh Grewal and Independent legislator Simarjit Singh Bains has intensified.

Firing a fresh salvo today, Bains charged Grewal with harming the interests of Punjabis for his "petty political ends". Bains hit out at Grewal, calling the latter a "sycophant who, in his eagerness to please his political bosses, is ready to ignore the public welfare".

Reacting to Bains' charge, Grewal said Bains was "simply trying to please his prospective masters, the Congress".

Grewal charged Bains with playing the politics of convenience. "A few months ago, Bains was (Bikram Singh) Majithia's yes-man. If he (Bains) had to seek Sukhbir Badal's audience, he would approach Majithia to fix a meeting with Badal," claimed Grewal.

Lashing out at Bains, Grewal said: "If a person is not loyal to a party or the party leadership, it shows that he is a self-seeking opportunist. Such a person has no commitment either to the party or the public. Had Bains been the people's candidate, he would not have fared so badly in the Lok Sabha elections."

Earlier, Bains had demanded the resignation of all the ministers, including Bikram Singh Majithia, whose name had "figured" in the drug racket case. The legislator had also demanded a CBI inquiry into the drug racket case.

In response, Grewal had asked Bains to clean up his act before levelling "baseless" allegations. Grewal said: "Only two forums can hold a leader guilty - the court of law and the court of the public. In Majithia's case, neither has held him guilty."

Bains, who was earlier an associate member of the Akali Dal in the Vidhan Sabha, contested the Lok Sabha elections as an Independent from the Ludhiana Lok Sabha constituency.



14 hurt as bus overturns
Our Correspondent

The bus that overturned near Khanna
The bus that overturned near Khanna. A Tribune photograph

Khanna, May 26
Fourteen devotees were injured when the bus in which they were travelling overturned here. The injured were rushed to the local Civil Hospital with the help of the police. Critically injured were referred to a hospital in Patiala.

The devotees were returning to Patiala. When the bus reached near Green Land Hotel, it hit the divider and overturned. The injured were rescued from the bus with the help of the police. The injured were identified as Baljit Singh (59), Navtej Singh (49), Karminder Kaur (67), Kulvir Singh (60), Mahinder Singh (79), Satnam Kaur (55), Karanpreet Singh (22), Jarnail Singh (38), Raghvir Singh (65), bus driver Mahinder Singh (68), Pritam Singh (80), Satvir Singh, Barjinder Singh (70) and Gurjit Kaur (38), all residents of Patiala.

The bus belongs to Gurdwara Sahib Brahm Bunga Sahib Dodra and the religious tour to Amritsar was organised by the gurdwara.



Quacks thrive on poor health services in city
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
Spread of diseases like diarrhoea and gastroenteritis to the interiors of the city has led to the mushrooming of quacks in these areas.

With the onset of the summer season, the city witnesses the arrival of quacks from UP and Bihar. These quacks come to the city only during the summer season when cases of water-borne diseases register a sharp increase. For the rest of the year, they either keep their shops shut or rent them out. Areas such as Giaspura, Salem Tabri, Fatehgarh Mohalla, Punjabi Bagh and Focal Point have many shops of these self-styled doctors.

General secretary of the Indian Medical Association's Ludhiana wing, Dr Deepak, said many quacks come here from UP and Bihar only during summer, when cases of diarrhoea and dengue were reported the most.

"They administer a lot of glucose to patients on the pretext of cure. Their clients are labourers who live in these colonies.

Chemists in these areas not only prescribe and sell medicines but sometimes administer them I.V fluid on a bench at their shops in unhygienic conditions, he said.

A city resident, NK Bajaj, has made a complaint to the Civil Surgeon and the Director Health in this regard. "These self-styled doctors pose a serious threat to the lives of patients," said Bajaj.

Bajaj said: "A self-styled doctor at Punjabi Bagh Colony prescribes allopathic medicines and injections to illiterate patients. He holds no medical degree. Neither his name nor degree is mentioned on the prescription slip. He prescribes on a plain paper," he said.



Only 30 dispensaries for 17 lakh population
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
The city, with a population of about 17 lakh, has only 30 dispensaries. The Health Department has not improved the medical infrastructure vis-a-vis the increasing population.

A lack of adequate medical facilities and costly treatment is the prime reason behind the mushrooming of self-styled doctors in the areas having a sizable population of migrants.

Most of the patients can’t afford an MBBS doctor’s fee.

“I earn just Rs 2,500 a month. The amount is too meagre to make ends meet. It is not possible for me to consult a qualified doctor due to heavy fees they charge. So I end up visiting a clinic run by an unqualified doctor," said Murad Ali, a resident of the Dhandari Kalan area.

"The number of quacks is increasing due to inadequate government dispensaries and the high cost of certified health care facilities. The quacks’ business is flourishing in the city as there is little check on their activities," said Dr Gaganjeet Singh, who practise in a posh locality.

These quacks charge a nominal fee ranging from Rs 100 to 150 for consultation and medicines.

Dr Subhash Batta, Civil Surgeon, said the Health Department would set up 32 new primary health centres (PHC) in the city. "Some of the existing health centres will be updated to primary health centres," he said.



Gill Chowk flyover mishap
Orbit Transport driver arrested
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
The city police have nabbed the bus driver who was involved in the accident that claimed the life of Ashutosh Singh, son of Assistant Inspector General (Prisons) JP Singh, on the Gill Chowk flyover on May 16. The police have also impounded the bus belonging to Orbit Transport, a company owned by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal.

The police kept on dillydallying the driver’s arrest after registering a case against the unidentified driver of a bus bearing registration number (PB-03-X-1135). The eyewitnesses had claimed that the bus belonged to Orbit Transport.

Sunita Rani, investigation officer, stated the bus driver, identified as Gurpreet Singh of Bathinda, was arrested and the bus, which belonged to Orbit Transport, was impounded.

Ashutosh was married two years ago. He is survived by his six-month-old son and wife. He lived in a rented apartment in the Model Town area and was employed at IOL Company (Trident Group) at Focal Point.

The victim’s father, JP Singh, who is AIG (Prisons) and posted at the Chandigarh Headquarters, said: “We are not in a position to comment on anything right now. Kindly contact the investigation officer.”

The incident took place on May 16 at 8:45 am when Ashutosh, along with his friends (who were also on motorcycles), was going to his workplace.

When Ashutosh and his friends reached a place opposite Rishi Dhaba, near the Gill Chowk flyover, the bus hit his bike from behind.

Ashutosh lost control over the bike and fell on the road. Instead of applying brakes, the bus driver ran him over.



Man found dead, wife, paramour booked

Ludhiana, May 26
A man, who went into depression after learning about the extramarital relations of his wife, died under mysterious circumstances.

The deceased has been identified Lakhvir Singh, a resident of the Daba area. The police have registered a case of abetment to suicide against Lakhvir’s wife and her alleged paramour Soni.

Lakhvir’s brother Jasbir Singh, a resident of Mundian Khurd village, said Lakhvir had separated from his wife six months ago after he came to know about the extramarital affair of his wife.

Jasbir said he got a call from Lakhbir last night. He said Soni was pressing him to consume liquor. Later, Jasbir received a call from Gurmeet Kaur, the landlady of the apartment. She said Lakhvir was lying unconscious. He was rushed to the hospital where he was declared dead on arrival. — TNS



Thieves take away ATM
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
Thieves decamped with an automated teller machine (ATM) containing Rs 1.9 lakh in the Jugiana area. The incident came to early light this morning when the watchman found the ATM of UCO Bank missing. He informed the bank officials about the theft.

Baldev Singh, Bank Manager, said it was not yet clear when the thieves took away the machine. He said they locked the ATM booth on Saturday evening. Today, he was informed about the theft.

It was suspected the thieves struck during the night of Saturday. 



Increasing NPA in Central Bank of India
Punish defaulters or face stir, say staff
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
Responding to the call given by the All India Central Bank of India Employees Federation (AICBEF) and All India Central Bank Officer’s Association (AICBOA), members of Central Bank of India Employees Union (NZ) and Central bank of India Officers’ Union (Chandigarh Zone) affiliated to AICBEF/AICBOA staged a demonstration in front of the regional office in Ludhiana. A chain of agitation programme launched in protest against increasing Non-Performing Asset (NPA) in the Central Bank of India.

The demonstration comprised of the members of local branches of the city. The demonstrators urged upon the management to save the bank from the ever increasing burden of bad loans. “Probe and punish those responsible for the huge bad Loans. Save industrial relation and stop unilateralism,” stated the protestors.

The demonstration raised slogans against the inaction of the management in curtailing the NPA in the Central Bank of India. The leaders while addressing the demonstration explained that how increasing NPA was directly hitting the profitability and interests of the employees of the bank.

Rajesh Verma and Gurmeet Singh, while addressing the gathering, explained that if the Central Bank management did not take any action against the officials who were responsible for mounting NPA in the Central Bank Of India and punish the culprit, union may take the ultimate organisational step of going on a ‘strike’ throughout the country.

Banks’ association stages dharna

Associate Banks’ Officers’ Association today held a dharna in front of the State Bank of Patiala, Zonal Office, Ludhiana, on the issue of framing of unwarranted DPD cases against officers and making these cases as vigilance angle cases without going into the merits of the case.

Rakesh Khanna, secretary and Mahesh Goyal, MCC, Associate Banks’ Officers’ Association, Unit SBOP, Ludhiana zone, along with Naresh Gaur, president, State Bank of Patiala Employees Union (Punjab) and workman director on the board of the State Bank of Patiala addressed the bank officers.

Rakesh Khanna said the management of the State Bank of Patiala was unduly harassing the officers by framing unwarranted DPD cases against the officers and more so involving vigilance angle in more than 95 per cent cases was highly unwarranted. This is being done in contravention of the instructions of CVC regarding vigilance angle cases. The CVC has clearly given the definition of vigilance angle cases whereas the management is calling simple routine matter commissions as vigilance angle cases and harassing the innocent officers of the bank without any malafide on their part. The management is also doing transfers in gross violation of the laid down policies regarding transfer of officers. He further stated that our officers are doing their duty towards the institution with sincerity, dedication, devotion and honesty. We want cordial industrial relations in the bank but not at the cost of self respect and dignity of our officers. 



Experts dwell on taxation of salary, perks and allowances 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
A seminar on taxation of salary, perks and allowances was organised by the Taxation Bar Association (TBA). Advocate Vijay Bansal was the key speaker on the occasion.

Salary as per section 15 of the Income tax Act includes

n Salary from an employer or a former employer whether paid or not.

n Any salary of an employer or a former employer though not due or before it becomes due to him.

n Any arrear of salary paid or allowed if not charged to income tax for any previous year.

Meanwhile, Jatinder Khurana, general secretary of TBA, said the salary person had to file their income tax return in form SAHAJ ITR-1.

The Central Board of Direct Tax (CBDT) has changed the return forms for the financial year 2013-14. Balbir Khanna, president, addressed the grievances of the members and assured the redressal of the same.

BR Kaushal explained the latest important notifications, circulars and judgments which were useful for the members practicing Direct Taxes laws.

The newly elected presidents Vijay Verma of District Bar Association and Arun Kanwal of District Taxation Bar Association (Sales Tax) along with their teams were honoured during the seminar. 



Exemption from stamp duty
Orders yet to be implemented
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
Despite the Punjab Government deciding to end the stamp duty on registration deeds in case of transfer of immovable property in blood relations, the orders have not been implemented so far.

The directions were issued a week ago.

Sanjeev Kumar, a city resident, said he wanted to transfer his property in his brother's name, but when he asked the official concerned about the exemption, the latter told him that they were yet to receive a copy of the notification.

Another resident Surinder Singh said: "I wonder why the state government is taking so long to issue the notification."

Isha Kalia, Additional Deputy Commissioner (Development), Ludhiana, said,"We have received a copy of the notification and will inform all officials and SDMs about it."

She said there was no exemption on 3 per cent of the Social Security Fund.

Baldev Singh, Additional Deputy Commissioner (General), said, "Those who want to transfer their properties to their children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters will be exempted from stamp duty."

Earlier, the stamp duty was 5 per cent (for men) and 3 per cent (for women).



Bittu introspects with Cong workers
 Will focus on tackling divisions within party, ‘disconnect’ with people at grassroots 
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
Newly elected Member of Parliament (MP) from the Ludhiana Lok Sabha constituency Ravneet Singh Bittu today held an “introspective” session with party workers.

The MP and workers reached consensus on two points--the Congress needs to improve its “connect” with the people at the grassroots and it needs to tackle divisions within the party at various levels in the district.

More than 100 party workers from eight Assembly constituencies--Jagraon, Dakha, Ludhiana East, Ludhiana West, Ludhiana Central, Ludhiana North, Atam Nagar and Ludhiana South--attended the meeting.

Talking to The Tribune, Bittu said the Congress has to find why it fared poorly in the Lok Sabha elections. “We have to look into the reasons for the poor performance of our party in the elections,” he said.

The MP said there was a perception in Ludhiana that the Congress leaders were not very forthcoming when it came to supporting public causes.

“The people fail to relate to the leaders as they feel that the latter are aloof and unapproachable. It’s imperative for the Congress to remove this perception by building trust and rapport with the people,” said the MP.

The issue of factionalism was also discussed during the meeting. The party workers reported that “groupism” has cost the party dear.

“According to reports from various quarters, the voters have not taken kindly to divisions within the party,” said Bittu.

Later, Bittu also listened to public grievances on various issues. Among the problems and issues that were brought to the MP’s notice were dowry cases involving NRIs, land dispute and poor civic amenities in rural constituencies.

Ludhiana MP congratulates Harsimrat Badal

Meanwhile, Bittu today congratulated Bathinda MP Harsimrat Badal for her induction into the new Cabinet. He said Harsimrat Badal now had an opportunity to get special packages for Punjab, particularly for the industrial town Ludhiana.

“The Akali Dal had been levelling allegations against the Congress-led UPA government. With her new position at the Centre, Badal surely has all the opportunities to get special rebates and packages for the state,” he said.



Activists, parents demand implementation of RTE Act
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
Rashtra Dharma, a non-governmental organisation, today protested outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office demanding the implementation of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act.

A large number of activists including parents raised slogans for around an hour and a half. As no one from the district administration came out to receive the memorandum, protesters pasted it outside the office.

The NGO chairman, Vinod Jain, demanded a third-party audit of all private schools in the city.

“The district administration did not respond to our long-pending demand to implement the RTE Act in private schools. If the administration fails to change its attitude, we will approach court,” said Jain.

Rashtra Dharma convener Kuwar Ranjan Singh said: “There is not a single child who has got any benefit under the provision of 25 per cent reservation for economically weaker section in all schools. The district administration audits only those schools against which complaints are received from parents.”



Teachers seek meeting with Chief Minister
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
Shaheed Kiranjeet Kaur Action Committee members teaching at government schools under the Education Guarantee Scheme besides Special Trainer Resource and Alternative Innovative Education schemes met Additional Deputy Commissioner Isha Kalia here today.

The teachers requested the district official to set up a meeting with the Chief Minister. Kalia, after discussing the demands with Principal Secretary, School Education, Anjali Bhawra, informed the teachers that their salaries would be released within a week.

Also, the teachers would not have to conduct classes after school hours and the survey of out-of-school students would not be conducted, Kalia told the teachers.

Action committee members said they wanted written orders from the official concerned.

Yesterday, the teachers had protested against the Chief Minister for not fuflfilling the promise made by him after a teacher’s baby had died during a protest.



saving birds
DC’s appeal goes unheard
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal’s appeal to all district-level officers to keep earthen bowls filled with water on rooftops and outside offices for saving birds from dehydration seems to have made no impact.

Despite this humanitarian appeal, it is difficult to find such earthen bowls at district-level government offices.

“Earlier, we were busy with elections. So, I forgot to do the needful. Now, I will place an earthern bowl at my office,” said a government officer

Birds become an easy prey to dehydration and die during summers. Keeping this in mind, the DC had issued these instructions on May 8.

The DC said, "I have kept earthen bowls outside my office. If officers have not followed the instructions, they must do so. By a simple gesture, we can save many birds.”

Appreciating Aggarwal’s move, Pakshi Sewa Samiti founder Vipan Bhatia said: "All officers must follow the DC’s instruction. Many birds, especially smaller ones, such as parrots, pigeons, doves and bulbul, die due to dehydration. Last year, we received many dead eagles found lying on the roadside.”

Dr Sandeep Jain, president, People for Animals, Ludhiana, said: ''Birds play an important role in maintaining the environmental balance by spreading seeds of trees. They must be saved. Keeping earthen bowls filled with water for their consumption does not cost much. So everyone must do it wholeheartedly.” 



Bal Vikas Trust extends financial support to visually impaired children
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
The Bal Vikas Trust, a non-governmental organisation, today handed over a cheque for Rs 4.8 lakh to the Vocational Rehabilitation Training Centre for Blind and Disabled for sponsoring 80 visually impaired students of the centre.

The cheque was presented by managing trustee Rachna Sharma to centre director Sara Johnson and executive director CS Ravindran, in presence of District Taxation Commissioner Amrit Gill, who was the chief guest.

Visually impaired and physically challenged students of the centre captivated the gathering with various performances that included songs and dances.



Multi-storeyed parking lot goes for Rs 64.15 lakh
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
The district administration earned Rs 64.15 lakh from the auction of the multi-storeyed parking complex at Mini-Secretariat today. The reserve price of the lot was Rs 64 lakh.

Bhupinder Singh, Assistant Commissioner (General), Ludhiana, said, "We received applications from five bidders today. A few of them had applied last week as well. The parking lot has been auctioned to Bhola and Company. Till March 2015, the company will take care of the complex." Jagjeet Singh, branch assistant, District Najar Branch, said,"The contractor will pay 12.36 per cent service tax to the district administration every month." He said the terms and conditions for the auction would remain the same, adding that for two-wheelers, Rs 10 would be the parking fee and for four-wheelers, Rs 20 would be charged for six hours.

"The work on the elevator has already begun.The contractor concerned will be charged for using the elevator," said Jagjeet Singh.

Last week, the district administration got a poor response. Fresh orders rescheduling the auction were issued. 



Air India withdraws three flights from Sahnewal airport
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
While PWD Minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon has been making tall claims to "expand" the Sahnewal airport, Air India has announced to withdraw its flights from June 1, 2014.

Three flights, being run by Air India, have been suspended for the time being. Station manager, Air India, Sahnewal airport, said: "We have been told that flights would be withdrawn from June 1. We received the mail today."

Sharanjit Singh Dhillon said now all pending projects would be accomplished as the NDA had taken over at the Centre. Reminding of all promises made by the state government of extending the runway from 1.5 km to 3 km, adding about 330 acres of land to the existing airport and laying of sewerage treatment plants in adjoining areas, Dhillon stated that the works would be done on a "priority" basis. At a press conference, Dhillon said, "More domestic flights will be introduced."

Unhappy with the lackadaisical approach of the state government towards the improvement of the airport, industrialists lamented that they had lost "faith" in the authorities.

"Due to poor facilities at the airport, only 50 per cent of the seats were occupied in three flights (48 seater), which operated on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. The industrialists have no dearth of money and they want to save time," said an industrialist. 



Health officials collect 54 food samples from shops
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
On the directions of Civil Surgeon Dr Subhash Batta, officials of the health department collected 54 food samples.

Thirteen food samples of red chilly powder, chaat masala, meat masala, chana masala, soft drinks (three), salt, noodles, biscuits and ghee were collected from Basant Avenue. Nine samples of moong dal, sugar, chana dal, kabuli chana, cumin seeds, turmeric powder and suji were collected from Dugri.

Ten samples of biscuits, red chilly powder, glucose, namkeen, chana, masala powder and soft drinks (two) were collected from Aggar Nagar.

From Jagraon main market, 13 samples were collected. Samples of moong dal, garam masala, kabuli chana, black gram, rajmah, basmati, black pepper and haldi were collected.

Samples of lemon soda, biscuits, mustard oil and curd were collected from three shops at Samrala, Chandigarh Road.

From shops at Moti Nagar, the officials collected four samples of juice, besan, noodles and biscuits.

Samples have been sent to the food laboratory in Chandigarh for testing.



Civic body seals two illegal mobile towers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
The Municipal Corporation today sealed two illegal mobile towers at the building of the State Bank of India, Treasury Branch, Rani Jhansi Road.

A team of the civic body led by Assistant Town Planner (Zone D) Rajinder Sharma sealed the towers.

A complaint was filed by RTI activist Rohit Sabharwal and information provided by the MC revealed that the towers had been there for the past nine to 10 years and that it had no record pertaining to the permission.

Sharma said as per rules, the MC had to provide one-time permission for installing towers and then every year renewal fee had to be paid to the MC. "But there was no record pertaining to the permission and deposition of fee," said Sharma.

The MC also suffered financial losses all these years. Besides, area residents had also complained that the towers posed a threat to their health.

"The towers emit harmful rays and the civic body's move has come in as a relief. As these were run on generators, the noise irritated the residents," said Sushil Kumar, an area resident. He said they were happy with the MC’s decision to seal the towers.



Is faulty design responsible for mishaps on elevated road? 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
Yet another precious life was lost in the fatal accident which took place on the elevated road yesterday. The "wrong-design" of the elevated road has claimed several lives to date, but the authorities are yet to wake up from their slumber.

Signboards have been put up, iron nets have been installed along the road, speed breakers are in place, still the accidents continue to take place on the particular stretch.

Seeing no other viable solution, the MC feels that the only way to prevent such mishaps is to control the speed limit.

Harcharan Singh Gohalwaria, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, said reckless driving had to be checked to avoid accidents.

"For controlling the speed of vehicles, we are thinking of installing more speed breakers," said the Mayor.

When asked if faulty design of the road was the main reason behind fatal mishaps, the Mayor said there was no flaw in the design.

He said commuters needed to be cautious.

An MC official said the then MC officials made a few "changes" in the "original" design of the elevated road.

"There is a steep turn. Drivers, who do not know about the turn, end up ramming vehicles into the railing. Iron barricades too are of no help. The speed limit of a vehicle should be 40 kilometres per hour, only then accidents can be prevented. There is no other way out, the curve cannot be made straight," said the official.

Area councillor Sushma Mehta said more than 50 heavy iron nets had been put up on the particular stretch.

"Nobody was standing under the bridge at the time of the accident yesterday. The safety grills that fell off could injure passersby as those weighed more than 85 kg. Steps need to be taken by civic officials for the safety of the public," said Mehta. 

Matter of concern

A number of accidents have taken place on the elevated road curve near BL Kapur Hospital in the past. Recently, officials of the district administration and social activists installed safety grills on the road to avoid accidents. The authorities feel that the accidents can be prevented by controlling speed. “The speed limit of a vehicle should be 40 km per hour,” they said.



Laying of interlocking tiles
Contractor accused of using substandard material
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
A complaint has been filed against an MC contractor for using substandard material and delaying works for years.

Kuldeep Singh Khaira, an RTI activist, has asked the Secretary, Department of Local Government, Punjab, as well as Chief Director and Director, Vigilance Bureau, Punjab, to take punitive action against the officials of the civic body for letting the contractor continue with his work.

Khaira said he had sought information about the work of providing and laying of 80 mm thick interlocking tiles of octagonal design and construction of footpaths on the sides of Gill Road from Campa Cola Chowk to Sidhwan Canal. The Municipal Corporation had sent samples to the ‘Testing & Consultancy Cell’ of the GNDEC for testing.

As per the cell's report, the contractor had used 80 mm interlocking tiles in the instant project having 32.50 compressive strength MPa which must not be less than 40.00 compressive strength MPa. The tiles were laid for drainage of rainwater. The material used for laying the tiles was of poor quality and there was no arrangement for the drainage of the rainwater. As the contractor used substandard material, taxpayers' money has gone down the drain.

"Despite this, the contractor has not been told to stop the work. The project, which was to be completed within six months, is incomplete even after three years," said Khaira.

Action sought

Kuldeep Singh Khaira, an RTI activist, has asked the Secretary, Department of Local Government, Punjab, as well as Chief Director and Director, Vigilance Bureau, Punjab, to act against the contractor.



Better Ludhiana—elevated road or death trap?
The killer on four wheels
 Bus driver booked, police to conduct raid to nab culprit; condition of injured stable
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 26
A day after a Haryana resident died and three others suffered injuries in a road mishap that took place at the elevated road near BL Kapur Memorial Hospital, the police today booked the driver, Gurdeep Singh of Bhawanigarh near Sangrur. Om Parkash, SHO, Daresi police station, said the condition of the injured was stable. He added that they would conduct a raid on Tuesday to arrest the driver.

Accidents involving passenger buses have claimed the lives of four persons in the past one week. With most of the buses being run by politicians or their henchmen, the traffic police and the transport department "fail" to act against the drivers.

Kanwar Jatinder Singh Bajwa, vice-president, Ludhiana Football Association, said: "Instead of challaning vehicles, the authorities should adopt a stringent procedure while issuing licences to bus drivers. A majority of the private bus drivers do not have licences to drive heavy vehicles. When trained bus drivers will be hired for the job, then automatically the accidents will go down."

Sunil Vinayak, a businessman, said, "People of the state constantly live under the threat of being killed by overspeeding buses on roads. It seems that the bus drivers and conductors are the licence holders to mow down people. It is the duty and responsibility of the transport department to regulate norms for the buses plying on the roads. Heavy penalties and challans should be issued right on the spot. The transport department should ensure that the drivers undergo a driving test before being issued licences.

Abhay, a hairstylist, said, "It is a matter of concern that four persons have lost their lives in the past one week. The drivers not only claim innocent lives, but also devastate their families."

Gaurav Mehta, a businessman, said, "The buses have turned into killing machines. Due to the lax laws, such instances are occurring repeatedly as no corrective action is being taken by the law enforcing agency. The culprits must be brought to book and stern action must be taken against the drivers and owners of the buses because no one has the right to play with anyone's life."

Anil Garg, District Transport Officer, said: "I have got the opportunity to have a conversation with the bus drivers during awareness seminars. In my opinion, the tight timetable is the main reason behind their eagerness and overspeeding. Due to competition, time slots are squeezing at bus terminus for ferrying the passengers. To match the time, the drivers are often seen indulging in overspeeding."

Vinod Kumar, SHO, traffic, said, "The traffic laws are equal for everyone. We are regularly challaning the bus drivers if they are found violating the rules. I believe that the installation of speed governors in buses can lessen the risk of overspeeding."

Raid at Mvi’s office

A vigilance team raided the office of the motor vehicle inspector (MVI) at the Grain Market, near Arora Cinema, on Monday. The team confiscated 74 files of persons who had applied for licences. It is learnt that the raid was conducted following a report that the place had become a den of agents.



from schools & colleges
Graduation ceremony

Tiny tots in a jubilant mood after receiving their “degrees” at GMT Public School in Ludhiana. Ludhiana: Students being promoted to Class I attended a graduation ceremony at GMT Public School, Jalandhar Bypass. Students, wearing the ceremonial gowns, received their “degrees”. Students also presented a cultural function.

Tiny tots in a jubilant mood after receiving their “degrees” at GMT Public School in Ludhiana. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Fun party

On the last day of school before students leave for the summer vacation, Small Wonders Playway organised a fun party. The Blueberry and Strawberry group students, dressed in blue and pink respectively, competed with each other. The competition consisted of five rounds to test their physical and mental strength besides team work: tug-of-war, quiz, collect the balls, memory game and dance.

The first two rounds were won by the Blueberry children, while the third round got tied. By winning in the final two rounds, the Strawberry group forced a tie.

Karatekas bring laurels

Students of Nankana Sahib Public School, Gill Park, proved their mettle at Fifth Ludhiana District Karate Championship. The school bagged the second position. Karatekas Anil Sharma, Harshit Singh, Husanpreet Singh and Rahulpreet Singh won gold medals in their respective categories, while Lovish Kumar, Gurkirat Singh, Aadit Rai, Harinder Singh, Madhav Sharma, Mandeep Sharma and Dilpreet Singh clinched silver medals. The bronze medal was won by Roop Singh Sandhu, Subeg Singh, Vishal Verma and Kamalpreet Singh.


Blossoms Convent School organised a declamation on the topic “Environment Protection”. Class IX students expressed their views on how to saving the environment. The principal said there was a need to protect the environment from global warming caused by deforestation. She said students must be made aware of such issues as they are the future of our country.

Yoga session

The Health and Wellness Club of Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, Udham Singh Nagar, taught the students of Classes IV to VIII the art of meditation and yoga during the morning assembly. Sports instructor Baljeet Gill emphasised the benefits of various postures.

Summer camp

A weeklong summer camp was organised at Green Land Senior Secondary Public School, Jalandhar Bypass. Over 200 students attended various workshops: painting, art and craft, rangoli making, flower arrangement, embroidery, stitching, knitting, dance, music, cooking, cricket, volleyball, basketball, karate and table tennis.

Rain dance

The Montessori students of Ryan International School, Dugri, had a gala time at a rain dance party organised on the premises. Tiny tots dressed in swimming costumes enjoyed the event.

Students shine in softball

Shifaly International School students won the third position at a softball tournament organised by Bhai Kanhya Ji Mission Society. School prinicipal congratulated the student and encouraged them to take part in such activities.

Placement drive

The training and placement cell of Desh Bhagat University organised a joint campus placement drive with the IT company Live Deftsoft Informatics. The company, which offers services such as web application development, mobile application development, customer relationship management, web design and redesign, online shopping systems and search engine optimisation, interviewed both freshers and experienced students. During the placement drive, students were shortlisted through a written test followed by group discussions and personal interviews. In all, four aspirants were offered the position of management trainee.

Special programme for meritorious students

Mandi Ahmedgarh: The management committee of the Bhutta College of Engineering and Technology has launched a comprehensive programme for arranging education loans, corporate learning and placement of meritorious students of the region. Besides facilitating appraisal and sanction of education loans by nationalised commercial banks, the management would ensure that the job contract is signed at the time of admission. Committee chairman Jagdish Singh Garcha said leading commercial banks of the region had been roped in for convenience of meritorious students from poor families, who otherwise could have fallen prey to agents of private financers. Under the programme, all students will be given regular training by faculty of the hiring agency and the job contract would be signed at the time of admission. Also, staff at the administrative office of the college will be helping the students and their parents in preparing documents required for appraisal and sanction of loans, which would be done on the college campus itself.

— Tribune reporters



Ludhiana Scan

PNDT panel meet

A meeting of the advisory committee of Pre Natal Diagnostic Test (PNDT) was held in Ludhiana on Monday by Civil Surgeon Dr Subhash Batta. During the meeting, the civil surgeon appealed to stop female foeticide. Dr Maninder Singh, district family welfare officer, said there were 270 scan centres in the city out of which the license of 24 was cancelled recently. In the month of April the department checked 78 scan centres. “License to set up scan centres is given only after due verification,” he said.

Cabinet berth for Harsimrat lauded

The Akali Dal general secretary, Maheshinder Singh Grewal, welcomed Harsimrat Badal’s induction into the new Cabinet. “She is an inspiration for the youth. Her induction into the Cabinet proves that hard work and commitment never go unrewarded.”


The monthly meeting of Punjabi Gazal Manch was held in Ludhiana on Monday under the presidentship of Sardar Paanchi. Different poets read their writings on the occasion. — TNS



Builder booked for fraud

Ludhiana, May 26
A builder named Pritpal Singh Bawa of Model Town Extension has been booked for fraud under Section 420 and 468 of the IPC .

Complainant Sanjiv Kumar said Pritpal Singh Bawa had made false representations inducing him to enter into an agreement for purchasing a plot measuring 510 sq yd situated at Haibowal Kalan village in locality known as Naveen Nagar.

Later, he was shocked to know that Bawa had executed two different agreements of sale on same date i.e. July 5, 2013.

After learning about it, Sanjiv had lodged a complaint with the police and following the preliminary probe the case was registered. — TNS



36 drug peddlers arrested in Khanna
Our Correspondent

Khanna, May 26
The Khanna police claimed to have arrested 36 persons by registering 40 cases in different police stations of the police district, Khanna, in a special drive launched from May 20 to 25.

Khanna SSP Harcharan Singh Bhullar informed that the police had recovered 77 kg of poppy husk, 1.5 kg of opium, 109 gm of smack, 10 gm of heroin, 3,300 tablets, 270 capsules, 29 bottles and 835 gm of drug powder from their possession.

He also appealed the social, religious and other organisations to help police in the drive against the drugs by informing them about drug peddlers and suppliers. Bhullar added that the drive would continue in the district with full force without any political pressure.


In order to flush out drug peddlers, ‘Operation Clean’ was started by the police in some villages of Khanna district on Monday. According to Khanna SSP Harcharan Singh Bhullar, police teams from Samrala cordoned off Gharkhna village, Bondal Road area and Ambedkar Colony and carried out a house-to-house search.



Dowry case: Maninder Heera denied bail
Our Legal Correspondent

Ludhiana, May 26
The Court of Additional Sessions Judge, Kamaljit Lamba, today dismissed the anticipatory bail application filed by Maninder Singh Heera, father-in-law of daughter of ex-minister Malkiat Singh Birmi, in a dowry case.

However, the court granted anticipatory bail to Vijayinder Kaur (mother-in-law) and Bikramdeep Singh (brother-in-law). Earlier, the Court Of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Ranjiv Kumar Vashisht, has shown dissatisfaction over the conduct of the investigating officer, who had let off Maninder Heera without producing him before the court concerned despite his arrest.

Taking judicial notice of the facts, the CJM has ordered to issue non-bailable warrants of all the accused in this case for July 5, 2014.

The direction was issued to the SHO, Sarabha Nagar, to submit report about the progress of investigation weekly.

In their bail application, the accused had pleaded false implication but the lawyer of complainant namely Harpreet Sandhu has strongly opposed the bail application.



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