L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


City Centre Project
Tax trouble for Improvement Trust
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, June 8
Strange as it may sound, but it is true that even government departments and autonomous bodies are taking the imposition of property tax in the state very lightly.

Till May 31, 2014, the last date for the payment of the tax for the financial year 2013-14 with a rebate of 10 per cent (it has now been extended to June 30, 2014), only a few government departments and institutions had paid the tax through self-assessment and the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) was also among the defaulters.

Information obtained under the Right to Information Act by Arvind Sharma, secretary, Council of RTI Activists, indicated that as per the record of the payment of the tax available with the Municipal Corporation, LIT had not paid the tax on the partially constructed city centre project, covering an area of around 26 acres under the 475 acres Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar Scheme.

Had the Punjab government not extended the last date, LIT would not only have forfeited the 10 per cent rebate, but would have also been liable to pay a penalty (50 per cent) and interest (18 per cent) on the assessed amount of the tax.

Public Information Officer (Zone D) of the MC said when LIT would file the return for the payment of the property tax for the city centre, the penalty and the interest would be charged if the payment would be made after the last date fixed by the state government.

According to the MC, no steps have so far been initiated for the recovery of the tax from the government departments and other property owners as the tax was based on self-assessment. “Any such action (for recovery of tax) will be initiated only after the last date is over,” said MC officials. It was learnt that LIT had not taken any steps for the self-assessment in respect of the city centre project as well as several other unsold chunks of commercial land and buildings in different parts of the city which came under the purview of the property tax.

Without being specific, an official of LIT said necessary action in this regard would be taken.


Summer flares fear of fire
Government offices sans fire-fighting equipment
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
Fire-safety norms are being flouted with impunity in the city. Despite suffering losses running into crores, owners of shops and factories have failed to install fire-safety equipment in their establishments. Information procured under the RTI Act by Rohit Sabharwal, an activist, states that the National Building Code (NBC) is being violated by a number of private and government buildings.

Although no objection certificates have been issued to most of the buildings, the authorities are not bothered to check if the buildings are following the fire-safety norms.

As many as 90 buildings, including government offices, hospitals, hotels and bhawans, are without fire-fighting equipment.

All offices of the Municipal Corporation falling under zones A,B,C and D, are sans hose reel, wet-riser systems, fire alarms, detection systems and automatic sprinklers. The number of fire extinguishers was also less. Ditto was the situation at the Ludhiana Improvement Trust. At the office of the Police Commissioner, there were no fire extinguishers. At the Deputy Commissioner’s office, the equipment were missing while there were more than 55 fire extinguishers. Most of the leading hotels in the city have not installed fire-fighting equipment, though they have adequate fire extinguishers.

The situation is no better at hospitals. As compared to the size of the buildings, not many fire extinguishers have been installed. Most of the equipment were lying defunct.

Official speaks

Additional Divisional Fire Officer (ADFO) Bhupinder Singh admitted that the government had sent a list to their department. “As the elections kept us busy, we could not act against defaulters. We will issue notices to them in a few days,” said the ADFO.


  • Buildings housing offices of the police department, Income Tax, Excise and Taxation, Municipal Corporation and LIT are without fire-fighting equipment.
  • Hospitals do not have adequate fire extinguishers.
  • Hotels lack equipment.



Rehabilitation of beggars
Admn, MC on a thorny path
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
The district administration and the civic body may have succeeded in convincing a few beggars to stay at their shelter home and shun begging, but such efforts often prove futile in the absence of campaign follow-ups.

Pt Mahanand from Dandi Swami Temple said begging was a blot on society and everyone wanted the city to be beggar-free. “There are hundreds of beggars in the 2-80 age-group. Rehabilitating them won’t be as easy as it seems,” said the priest.

He stated that most of the beggars were drug addicts, who by the end of the day were interested in getting their “dose”. “They are so violent that they tear your clothes, use abusive language and can even harm you. They do not want to be rehabilitated. For them, begging is a lucrative business, especially in cities like Ludhiana, where there is no dearth of Samaritans,” said Pt Mahanand.

Saroj Devi, a resident, said most of the beggars were women. “If you tell them to work as domestic helpers, they start abusing you. They are so used to all this that they do not want to work,” she said.

Sukh Ram, who was asking for alms at Bharat Nagar Chowk, said he came to know that the authorities had taken a few beggars for rehabilitation. “How will we earn our living? Will the authorities provide us bread and butter or will they provide us work? Soon, the situation will be back to square one,” said the beggar.



Youth booked for molestation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
The police have booked a youth for molesting an 11-year-old girl. The accused has been identified as Pankaj Kumar, a resident of Gobindgarh village. The victim’s father said the incident took place on May 26 when the victim was standing outside the house.

Pankaj, who runs a grocery store, forcibly took the girl to a secluded place and molested her. When the girl raised the alarm, Pankaj fled. Later, his family tried to strike a compromise, but the victim’s father did not relent and reported the matter to the police yesterday.

Sex trade racket busted

The Division No 2 police today busted a sex trade racket and nabbed eight persons, including two men and a woman, identified as Jassi aunty, in the Miller Gunj area. The racket was being operated from a rented accommodation. The police received a tip-off and conducted a raid at the brothel.

A case under the Immoral Trafficking Act has been registered.



Crime and the city
Stretching their luck too far, snatchers unleash terror
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
Satish Kumar, a businessman who resides in Dugri, had gone on a pilgrimage. On his return journey, he had to go through a harrowing time. His train arrived at 4 am at the Ludhiana railway station. “When I stepped out, I was shocked to see auto-rickshaw drivers literally pulling passengers. I told a driver that I wanted to travel alone and would pay more. To which he agreed. When the auto started, a youth jumped into the vehicle. The driver told me that the youth was his friend. Sensing trouble, I got off the auto and entered an eatery,” said Satish Behal

At 6 am, he called up his son and asked him to pick him up from the railway station.

Snatchers have unleashed terror in the city. Women in Jamalpur and other areas avoid venturing out. In case, they have to go to a market, they make it a point to remove their gold ornaments.

Residents want the police to launch a drive against snatchers.

Satish Behal said earlier women used to roam around without any fear. Couples would often walk to their places after watching late night shows.

Behal said, “It’s not the same city. We are living in a self-imposed prison. I am scared of going out at night. There is always a fear of snatching or a brawl.”Amandeep Singh, president, Swatantra Awaz Welfare Organisation, said, “If action is not taken, the ruling government will be at the receiving end. In order to make the city safe, the police need to shed their vested interests. Instead of nabbing criminals, officials are busy making a quick buck. Nowadays, policemen aim at pocketing money at nakas”

Drive against drugs boomeranged

Police sources said the drive against drug menace had boomeranged. It had led to a rise in drug prices. In order to arrange more money, addicts are committing snatchings.

What is CID doing?

The rising snatching incidents have also exposed the failure of the CID as the department could not share information and help the local police in nabbing snatchers. Instead of keeping a tab on criminals and their activities, the CID is busy collecting information on political groups.

What led to the rise in incidents?

Several snatching incidents were reported in April after new Police Commissioner Sanjiv Kalra replaced PS Gill. Similarly, when RK Jaiswal took the charge in the last week of May, snatching incidents had witnessed a rise, indicating a link between snatchers and lower rung officials, who informed criminals about the change of guard.

Snatchings that triggered panic

March 30: Two motorcycle-borne youths snatched a purse containing a mobile phone and Rs 6,000 in cash from Bhupinder Kaur, wife of noted Punjabi poet and Padma Shri Dr Surjit Patar. Bhupinder had suffered minor injuries on foot.

April 6: Snatchers robbed a couple of gold ornaments and valuables at Madhopuri Chowk. The victims, Sunny, a resident of Balmiki Mohalla, and his wife, were returning home after attending a “jagran” at Amarpura.

April 8: Two youths riding a motorcycle snatched a purse from a woman judge posted at Nawanshahr. She was on a rickshaw at Gurdev Nagar.

April 22: Motorcyclists snatched a purse containing over ~2 lakh in cash from Inderjit Kaur, daughter-in-law of the president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), Avtar Singh Makkar. Snatchers were caught on a CCTV camera.

April 24: Snatchers took away a purse containing ~12, 000 in cash from Paramjit Kaur (55), a resident of Khanpur village, in the BSNL telephone exchange area, BRS Nagar.

April 24: Forty- year-old Parminder Kaur’s purse was snatched by a biker in the Model Gram area. The incident took place while she was returning home after paying obeisance at a gurdwara.

May 7: An elderly couple was attacked by armed snatchers in the Mahopuri area. The victim, identified as Charanjit Lal (65), who was attacked by a sharp-edged weapon, suffered a cut on his left hand. His wife Sudesh Rani was also hurt while trying to rescue him.

June 1: A biker snatched Kamaljit Kaur’s purse near Preet Palace. She was on a rickshaw with her friend Charanjit Kaur. She fell off the rickshaw and suffered head injuries.

June 5: Pankaj Baweja was robbed of his purse and a mobile phone by three youngsters.

June 5: Two unidentified bikers snatched Jaspreet Kaur’s chain.

June 7: Two youths riding a motorcycle snatched a mobile phone from Rakesh Nagpal.



Better Ludhiana: Pollution pangs
City going from bad to worse
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
Buddha Nullah, once called Buddha Dariya, tells the story of the deterioration of the city’s environment. A clean water rivulet with fishes of myriad varieties swimming in it is how the nullah (drain) is remembered as by those who have seen it in 1960s. Today, the erstwhile dariya (river) has turned black with effluents discharged by industries and domestic sewage disposed into it every day. It is lifeless and it stinks.

The pollution of Buddha Nullah, leading to the pollution of Sutlej River, is only one example of the rising pollution in the city—dubbed as the Manchester of India.

City’s air quality, too, has been affected severely. Industrial plants, swelling number of vehicles in absence of effective public transport system and burning of agricultural stubble and garbage are choking the air with harmful gases.

The city has been figuring as one of the most polluted cities in the world on the World Health Organisation list repeatedly.

As per the WHO report this year, the particulate matter (PM) levels of the city are much higher than the safe limit of 25 micrograms.

While PM 10 (particles with diameter of 10 microns) is 207 micrograms per cubic metre, PM 2.5 is 91 micrograms per cubic metre in Ludhiana. Three years back, the city was rated as the fourth most polluted city in the world.

There are more than 15 lakh vehicles in the city according to the District Transport Office. The incessant honking and dangerous emissions continue to contribute to noise and air pollution.

Toxic gases such as sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons emitted by automobiles and industrial plants pose a major health hazard. Cases of respiratory diseases are on the rise, say doctors.

Unregulated flow of traffic in various parts of the city leads to traffic jams. Vehicles, thus stuck, keep emitting gases, making these areas hubs of air pollution. The administration has promised to strengthen the city bus service and plans to introduce CNG auto-rickshaws and bus rapid transport system. Everything, however, remains on papers. Despite the submission of a report to the state government by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation five years back, the project is yet to take off.

The Punjab Pollution Control Board officials say treatment plants were being set up at various places, such as a zero liquid discharge common effluent treatment plant at Baharke Road. The state government, too, announced that existing sewage treatment plants at Bhattian, Jamalpur and Balloke would be upgraded and a new plant would come up at Jamalpur. Results are still to be seen.

“A lot of projects are announced and cleanliness initiatives are taken, but pollution keeps rising,” said Sarabjit Singh, a resident.

Ranjodh Singh, an industrialist, said that although a major stress was being given on air and water pollution, noise pollution was not getting much attention.

He said there was no collective effort on the part of industrialists to make the city pollution-free.



City industrialists pin hope on Union Budget
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
Ludhiana—the industrial hub of Punjab—has pinned high hopes on the upcoming Union Budget. Here are some of the expectations of the industry from the newly formed government at the Centre.

Indirect taxes

  • Revision of reservation list: The items reserved for the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have come down to less than 20 from over 600 in the past. This list needs a thorough revision.
  • Discourage import of items produced by low-cost machinery: Import of items, such as candles, produced by low-cost machinery should be discouraged through effective taxation policy. The move could provide employment to a large section of society.
  • Check on steady inflow of Chinese goods: At present value of imports from China have crossed Rs 2,70,000-crore mark, whereas India’s exports to China stand at only Rs 80,000 crores.
  • Undo adverse impact of SAFTA: All items, mainly those manufactured by MSMEs have started coming through Bangladesh and Sri Lanka under the South Asian Free Trade Agreement. Imports from these countries should be monitored.
  • Address problems of bicycle industry: Duty of two per cent should be abolished, the floor price on an imported bicycle should be fixed at more than Rs 150 per kg to arrest cheap imports and technology upgradation fund scheme should be introduced for the bicycle industry.
  • Give incentive to women enterprises: India has only 4 per cent women enterprises. In order to promote these enterprises, especially in the micro and small enterprises (MSEs) sector, they should be given exemption from taxes, at least for around two years.
  • Special packages to promote tourism: to promote tourism, states should be given special packages such as exemption from service tax in flights and hotels and airport tax.

Direct taxes

  • Tax audit: The limit of tax audit has been marginally enhanced to Rs 60 lakhs from Rs 40 lakhs. The prices, meanwhile, have skyrocketed considerably. Therefore, the limit should go up to Rs 300 lakhs.
  • Refunds: Refunds of taxes are not received by assesses as per the fixed time limit fixed. In many cases, refunds are delayed for more than a year. Refund cases must be cleared within six months of the filing of the IT returns.
  • Scrutiny assessment: Scrutiny is a tedious work for the assessee and also the department. The scrutiny cases of small scale industrial units should be taken up only where necessary.
  • Accept soft copies: Income tax officers usually ask for hard copies of documents in case of scrutiny assessment. Soft copies, too, should be accepted to save time for both the assessee and the department.
  • Exemption limit: The exemption limit of income tax for individuals should be raised to Rs 3 lakhs.
  • Implement code: Direct Tax Code should be implemented at the earliest.

Finance and audit

  • Formation of an authority or a committee, like the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction, with a corpus fund of Rs 1,000 crores for revival of viable sick units.
  • Look into the non-availability of credit to the MSE sector besides different base rates of banks.
  • Work out a mechanism to check whether corporates adhere to their sub-limit for payment against MSME supplies.
  • SIDBI should expand its direct lending branches and concentrate more on micro units.


  • Vigilance departments: Every commissionerate of the Central Excise and Income Tax should have vigilance departments to root out corruption.
  • WTO agreement: India’s stand on the World Trade Organisation agreement should reflect concern for cottage, micro and small enterprises.
  • Procurement policy: According to an order of the Union Government, dated March 23, the Central government ministries and departments besides public sector undertakings will procure 20 per cent of their annual value of goods and services from MSEs. This limit should be increased to 30 per cent and the order should be extended to state governments as well.
  • Subsidies for specific food items: Funds should be allotted to provide subsidies to encourage growth of food items specific to a place, such as apples in Kashmir and onions in Maharashtra.
  • Steel Regulatory Authority: There is a dire need to set up a Steel Regulatory Authority on the lines of the telecom sector to normalise, regularise and standardise the supply of steel to consumers.
  • Skill development: At a time when scientific, technological and management aspects are getting advanced, there is a need to run more skill development courses. Funds should be allocated for such courses.



Good days are here, indeed

A hair stylist gives a haircut to a beggar. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Administration, Health Department and Municipal Corporation yesterday joined hands and picked up beggars to be rehabilitated by them. What followed next was something not expected by the beggars picked by the authorities. A hair stylist from a leading salon was called to trim and style the hair of the beggars. They were seemingly excited to get their hair styled in a Hollywood manner. One of the beggars was heard saying, “It seems as if we are a part of some Hindi movie and I am extremely excited the way we are being treated. Never in my life had I got my hair trimmed with such an élan. I hope these good days are not short lived and we continue to get attention and care.”

Bumpy ride

The fact that roads in the industrial capital of Punjab are in a messy state cannot be denied. With the civic body having no funds to create and maintain reasonably good urban infrastructure, including roads, the people are getting used to broken, potholed roads and bumpy rides. Even as some of the roads, those too in posh localities, are carpeted and recarpeted again as a window dressing, these are again dug up for one reason or the other. If at one site, digging is carried out by a telecom company to lay underground cables, most often than not without taking mandatory permission from the MC, at other places, even newly carpeted roads are dug up either to lay a water or sewerage pipe, or to erect welcome gates for a political rally or a religious congregation. Although digging of public roads and streets without seeking permission and payment of road cutting charges is punishable under the provisions of the Municipal Corporation Act, but the provisions are not invoked for reasons best known to the civic body, and the offenders, almost invariably, get away with it.

Swim to beat the heat!

While the temperature is hovering around 47 degrees Celsius, residents are resorting to coolers/air-conditioners all the time, to beat the heat. But to many, swimming provides a great respite. The swimming pools of Municipal Corporation, Sutlej Club, Lodhi Club, etc are packed to full capacity as starting from children to youngsters to senior citizens, throng there to get the chill. Shruti, a member of the club, said for her two children, swimming was the best sport in summers. “Though they cannot swim perfectly, still they love to remain in water for about two hours. They get freshen-up,” the mother said.

Superstitions supersede

Seeing the ‘nimbu-mirchi’ hanging out of a door was almost shocking. Not that you don’t see these hanging outside traditional shops often, but a resident was flabbergasted seeing it outside the entrance of a swanky hotel. He said that although people grow rich and get money, but cannot rid themselves of the superstitions. “Even though they may be opening a nice hotel at premium location, but inside they remain the same superstitious people,” he said.

Contributed by: Manav Mander, Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo and Gurvinder Singh



Road scam surfaces in Khanna
MC pays contractor Rs 17.43 lakh, issues completion certificate, but no work done on the stretch
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna, June 8
Construction of Railway Road by Municipal Council, Khanna about two years ago, has come under scanner. PD Bansal, president, Lok Sewa Club, Khanna, disclosed this on the basis of RTI information obtained from public information officer, Municipal Council, Khanna. 50 mm thick BM and 25mm thick PC passed road was made using interlocking tiles on the same estimate, which is not possible technically, because there might be a huge difference of cost between the two materials. MC authorities had misused their powers, violated rules and regulations and allegedly misappropriated government money through road renovation, said PD Bansal.

He said, to construct a total 1352x42 feet road stretch in two parts, by laying 50 mm thick BM and 25mm thick PC with a cost of worth Rs 45.76 lakh, two independent estimates were passed by the authorities. First estimate for Rs 29.91 lakh was passed to renovate 1016x 41.3 feet road stretch from Aggarwal Mill Store to Shivaji Complex and a second estimate for Rs. 15.85 lakh was passed to construct 336x42 feet road from Shivaji Complex to Railway Station, within the Nagar Council’s jurisdiction. Whereas, the concerned authorities constructed only first portion of 1016x 41.3 feet road by paving interlocking tiles instead of laying BM and PC and they had not done any work on the 2nd part of 336x42 feet road stretch which is lying in a pathetic condition till date.

As per completion reports and certificates of the said project, full and final payments for both the estimates have been cleared to the contractor in spite of that no work has been done on the second portion of road for an estimate of Rs15.85 lakh form Shivaji Complex to Railway Station. Further, it is again surprising that Rs 17.43 lakh payments have been executed to the contractor for the second portion of road which is Rs1.58 lakh above the estimates.

It was clearly mentioned in the estimates passed by Nagar Council’s technical staff that Railway Road is city’s main road. Heavy traffic passes on it and its surface has been damaged. Therefore, BM is very much needed to construct the road. But the authorities constructed the first portion of road from Aggarwal Mill Store to Shivaji Complex by paving interlocking tiles instead of BM and PC and it was done on the request of a few shopkeepers. Whereas, amended, new estimate was mandatory to change the nature and shape of work as per rules because budget for BM and PC road cannot be same to interlocking tiles for a specified road stretch. It is also clearly mentioned in the amended resolution that estimates of Rs 29.91 for BM and PC road form Aggarwal Mill Store to Shivaji Complex. Now here question arises that for which road stretch amount of 17.43 has been executed as per completion report and completion certificate of 15.85 estimates.

Bansal said, as per map passed for 29.91 estimate, the road stretch from Aggarwal Mill Store to Shivaji Complex was supposed to be constructed and 15.85 estimate map shows that next part of the road from Shivaji Complex to Railway Station was passed to be renovated which has been constructed just only in papers and hence a high level misappropriation cannot be denied.

Interlocking tiles paved to construct the said road are again suspicious because its dimension seems to be lesser than that of 100 mm. thickness which is mentioned in the estimate.

As per rules, it is mandatory to install an information board, side by the road showing dimension, total cost, construction material, name of the contractor, maintenance period which was not installed.

As per information provided by public information officer, Nagar Council, Khanna, 1016 x 41.3 feet road stretch has been constructed on the spot and rest of the stretch within municipal council’s limit to be renovated is 336x42 feet. The work was completed by Ajay Construction Company. As per completion report and completion certificate of Rs. 29.91 lakh estimate, road work from Aggarwal Mill Store to Shivaji Complex, was started on 10-06-11 and it was completed on 08-09-11. And as per completion report and completion certificate of Rs15.85 lakh estimate, work on remaining portion of the said Railway Road was started on 12-03-12 and it was completed on 27-03-12 and for that 17.43 lakh was executed which was 1.58 lakh above the estimate.

Bansal had demanded vigilance enquiry into this regard.

EO, Municipal Council, Khanna, Charanjit Singh said they had completed the construction work as per law and as per specifications and are ready to face any enquiry in this regard.



Traders stage dharna at Chaura Bazaar
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 8
The local police had been facing tough time following death of a Dalit youth in a scuffle between members of a trader family of the Mahavir Road area and youth from Majri village.The police faced ire of activists of local organizations for alleged failure to initiate action against unruly youths from surrounding villages who vandalised some shops and forced traders to close the shops, sympathisers of the deceased family have termed the lawlessness as major factor behind the tragedy.

Office-bearers and activists of organisations led by Member of Parliament Ravneet Bittu, former minister Malkit Dakha and Gurdev Lapran, who attended cremation of the Harpinder Singh, at his native village Majri. They alleged that the deceased become victim of lawlessness prevailing in the region.

“This is not a stray incident in which a precious life has been lost. Such incidents are taking place in the state daily and only a fraction of them are reported. Probably, it is for the first time that even children have started taking law into their hands and are not scared of the law enforcing agencies,” rued Ravneet Bittu demanding that the state government should compensate the family of the deceased.

On the other hand activists and office-bearers of various organisations staged a dharna at Chaura Bazaar today. Accusing the police of shielding a group of youths from surrounding villages who had allegedly vandalised some shops and forced traders to close their establishments.

It was after persistent efforts of legislator Iqbal Singh Jhoondan that the protestors agreed to shift the dharna to a private school and have talks with senior officers of the district police. However, no solution was found till filling of the story.

Refuting the charges of shielding the vandalisers, the police said none of the traders or residents had come forward to identify youths who were rounded up on suspicion of causing disturbance in the town.

Maintaining that the police had taken prompt steps for safety of lives and property, DSP Gurmit Singh said policeman found guilty of dereliction of duty would be spared.



Young or old, summer camps are favourite of all
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
Summer vacations are considered as the best time to learn new skills and cultivate new hobbies. Though, days have gone hotter and the temperature has risen to a great extent, but for some residents and youngsters summer camps are a new way to experience and learn things and hobbies.

Summer camps teaching sports, dance forms, art and craft, painting, cooking, language classes and many more are being organised in the different parts of the city. Simran, a five-year-old learning to make flowers from tissue papers at an art and craft summer camp at Gallery Artmosphere, said she was happy to learn new things.

Deepika, another youngster, said summer camps were the best opportunity to learn something new. “You can learn new things during a month and a half without worrying about school or academics,” she says. “I feel good to learn new things during every summer camp. This time, I am learning to play music,” she said.

Parents are usually keen for making their children be a part of some summer camps. “As many young and talented dancers make everyone awed with their dancing capabilities on television, so we think about two months of dedicated dancing during a summer camp will be good enough for my son to learn those skills,” says Amrita, a parent.

Not only youngsters, but with the increasing trend of summer camps being organised, grown-ups, including middle-aged to elderly people, have also started joining these camps.

Jasdeep Kaur, a schoolteacher, said she was learning to paint. “Learning at summer camps is a good experience. There are a lot of youngsters who are eager to learn new things at summer camps. I am learning to make art and craft and now making Warli painting,” she said. “One should not stop learning and summer camps are a good opportunity to learn a new skill or the other,” she says.



Loudspeakers cause nuisance, students suffer
Lovleen Bains

Sahnewal, June 8
Loudspeakers are proving to be a big distraction for the students preparing for their exams, but the authorities in Sahnewal seem to be least bothered about finding out a solution to this perennial problem.

The Nagar Council of Sahnewal too has failed to come to the rescue of the residents. The high-pitched voices, especially during morning and evening, from one religious place or the other, are giving a tough time to the students. “The loudspeakers simply do not let us concentrate on our study. How can we prepare for the exams in the midst of such distractions? Despite repeated complaints to the Nagar Council, no action has been taken against those flouting the rules,” rued a college student. A teacher who gives evening coaching to the students said, “As I begin with my evening classes, the sound of the loudspeaker from a nearby religious place disrupts our attention. Most of the times the disturbance is to such an extent that we have to discontinue with the classes.”

“There is no time limit adhered to by these so-called religious preachers, who force the townsters to lend an ear to them even if they may have some more urgent matter to attend to at the moment. Sometimes the situation becomes so grave that two voices coming from different directions become louder, as if they are in a religious competition,” shared another student taking the post graduate exams.

“Even if you think of relaxing for sometime after returning from work, they would not allow you to do so. I do not understand why there is no authority to check the authoritative attitude of these so-called religious preachers who do not mind disturbing the aged and the sick?” said a school principal.

ACP, Sahnewal, Lakhvir Singh Tiwana, when contacted, said, “I am well aware of the grave problem. These people have been asked several times to keep the loudspeaker sound within the reasonable limits. Now, it seems that strict action needs to be initiated against them.” “Whenever rules are flouted, action will be taken against the guilty,” the ACP assured.


I am well aware of the grave problem being caused by loudspeakers. Religious preachers and other residents have been asked several times to keep the sound within the reasonable limits. Now, it seems that strict action needs to be initiated against the defaulters. Whenever rules will be flouted, action will be taken against the guilty.

— Lakhvir Singh Tiwana, ACP, Sahnewal



Bank staff promotes alternate channel
Officials suggest customers to minimise use of paper to conserve environment
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 8
With intent to check environmental degradation and preserving natural resources office-bearers of various commercial banks motivated their customers and constituents to minimise use of paper by adopting alternate channels for banking transactions. Those coming to branches for transacting business were motivated to use alternative channels of transaction instead of withdrawing and depositing money through cheques, withdrawal slips and pay-in-slips.

ATMs cards, green remit card, mobile banking and internet banking were among those channels, use of which found to be prompt, easy and environment friendly.

Baljit Singh Taggar, a lecturer and Amandeep Singh said they were motivated by staff at State Bank of India, Dehlon, to avoid use of withdrawal and pay-in-slips for withdrawing, depositing and transferring money up to forty thousand as same could be done by using ATM card at any branch.

“Though we might have been told early we were not aware about the invisible service we could do by avoiding use of paper at the time of transacting business,” said Taggar and Amandeep Singh acknowledging that the alternative system was more prompt and zero mistake.

Staff led by Mohit Jindal, manager, State Bank of India, Annpurna Arora, assistant manager, Dehlon and Ashwani Bansal, manager, SBI, at local branch were among others who explained merits of alternate channels of transacting business at banks.



Activists vow to fight against drugs
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 8
An oath to fight against drug menace was taken by activists of various organisations during the concluding session of a seminar on drug abuse organised jointly by the Rotary Club, Ahmedgarh, and State Bank of India, Dehlon, at Victoria Public Senior Secondary School, Lehra.

Pardeep Sethi, president, Rotary Club, and Mohit Jindal, manager, SBI, presided over the inaugural and concluding sessions of the seminar supervised by Dev Raj Sofat, patron, Victoria Educational Society. Excise and taxation inspector Surinder Pal was the chief guest.

Maintaining that women and girls were worst sufferers at the hands of drug addicts in any society, assistant manager Annapurna Arora and principal Samrat Pal Kaur said lives and esteem of women are not safe in a family, organisation or society where there was no control over reins of drug addicts.

Kaur and Arora claimed that the women and the girls could make addicts shun the drugs by emotionally compelling them as a sister, daughter, wife or mother.

Maintaining that the menace could not be uprooted without active participation of all concerned including the administration and families of the addicts, the office-bearers and activists of various organizations led by Pawan Garg, Inder Pal Walia, president, Lions Clubs and former president, Municipal Council, announced that they will put their best efforts to bring the crusade to a conclusive end.



Education is the key to women empowerment
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 8
Maintaining that offering basic education to girls is one sure way of women empowerment, Dean College Development Council, Punjabi University, Patiala, Dr Jamshed Ali Khan called upon office-bearers of social, religious and business organisations to join hands for ensuring quality education to girls of their respective areas.

Addressing a gathering on the occasion of inauguration of Victoria College for Girl on Dehliz Road here, Dr Khan said educating girls was more important than educating boys, as it only education could help curb social evils, including drug addiction, gender bias, dowry harassment and illiteracy.

Appreciating the initiative taken by the management of the Victoria Group Educational Institutes in providing education to students coming from rural areas, Dr Khan said the primary aim of education was to make students productive human beings to serve the community, society and nation. He said Punjabi University was poised to develop more institutes in rural areas to provide quality education to girls at nominal fee structure.

Surinder Dhand, managing director of the college, assured that enough arrangements would be made to develop multidimensional personality of students besides providing them formal education in respective subjects.



Pending demands
Class IV employees threaten to launch stir

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 8
Accusing the state government of overlooking their long pending demands, office-bearers and activists of the Class IV Government Employees Union have threatened to launch an agitation in case the promises made before the Lok Sabha election were not fulfilled by the government.

Activists led by president Ram Avtar and Surinder Singh, secretary, of the union, alleged that the successive governments had failed to implement reforms for the welfare of Class IV employees of various departments.

Existing facilities provided to the employees were not adequate for leading dignified life, said the speakers who addressed the meeting held at Block Primary Education Office, Dehlon.

Merger of DA in salary, payment of arrears, enhancement of medical allowance and honourable wages for mid-day meal scheme workers were the major demands.

Prior to Lok Sabha elections, senior leaders of the SAD and BJP had promised to accept their demands but noting concrete was done after the elections.

The union has now threatened to launch an agitation in case demands were not fulfilled without further delay. — OC



Mahindra launches XUV500 Sportz

Mahindra & Mahindra Limited today announced the launch of the limited edition ‘XUV500 Sportz’ built on its W8 model. Priced at Rs 13.96 lakh (Ex-showroom, Ludhiana), the ‘XUV500 Sportz’ stands out and comes packed with premium features and plush interiors. Speaking on the launch, Vivek Nayer, chief marketing officer, Automotive Division, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. said, “This new offering of ‘XUV500 Sportz’ aligns with our leadership position in Indian motor sports and rallying. It reflects our sporty DNA very well. The new version aims to target the customers who prefer a sporty look for their vehicles.

Philips launches new range of JMGs

Philips India has launched its latest range of juicer mixer grinders (JMGs) — Philips HL7715 and Philips HL7705. Philips HL7715 claims superior power packed performance along with convenience and durability. Expanding its portfolio and focusing on to provide best services to its modern urban consumer, Philips India has designed this product to meet the requirements of today’s modern kitchens. The company claims superior power packed performance along with convenience and durability. Expanding its portfolio and focusing on to provide best services to its modern urban consumers. — TNS



From schools & colleges
Summer camp concludes

Ludhiana: A 10-day summer camp at Everest Public School, Moti Nagar, concluded on Sunday. Various activities, including yoga, sports, martial arts, cooking classes, English speaking, computer education and cultural programmes were organised during the camp. Students were also given training in dance and music. Naresh Kumar from Vishav Yoga Sansthan also provided training in ‘Yoga Asans’. Rakesh Kumar, Judo coach from Guru Nanak Stadium, Ludhiana, imparted training to the students in judo, karate and kung fu. Dheeraj Sharma, coordinator of the NSS unit, gave intensive training in badminton, volleyball, baseball and kho-kho.

Students excel in BCA-III examination

Students of Mata Ganga Khalsa College for Girls, Manji Sahib, Kottan (under the management of SGPC, Amritsar), have brught laurels to the college by getting excellent results of BCA-III as declared by Panjab University, Chandigarh. Navdeep Kaur and Simran secured the first and second rank among the colleges of the surrounding region by scoring 74.63 per cent (1791/2400) and 74.41 per cent marks (1786/2400), respectively. Principal (Lieut) Dr Jatinder Kaur congratulated the students and their parents for the exceptional results shown by their wards. — TNS



Ludhiana scan
No to bandh call

District Ludhiana Chemist Association has decided not to lend support to the bandh call given by Punjab Chemist Association on June 12. In a release issued to the press, chairman of the association Maan Singh said, “The bandh call is unnecessary and we should continue providing our services as it can be harmful if some patients do not get medicines on time. We also oppose the incidents where innocent chemists were targeted by police”.


Members of New Young Ekta Club and Hindu Sikh Jagriti Sena have gone to pay obeisance at Mata Naina Devi and Shree Anadpur Sahib. Members said they decided to went on a short pilgrimage as in everyday life everybody is so busy and do not get time to visit religious places.

Book released

A book titled ‘Bapu Khush Hai’ on the life of Jagdev Singh Jassowal was released by Prof Mohan Singh Memorial Foundation and Bhagat Singh Yadgari Society was released on Saturday at Circuit House. The book was penned by Nindar Ghgeanvi. MP from Ludhiana Ravneet Singh Bittu apart from other distinguished personalities related to literature and culture were present on the occasion. — TNS

MP Ravneet Bittu releases the book ‘Bapu Khush Hai’ written by Ninder Ghugianvi at the Circuit House in Ludhiana. A tribune photograph



Hockey tournament: Doraha, Dolan clubs enter quarterfinals
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 8
Friends Club of Doraha outplayed Sant Fateh Singh Club of Dolan, Jagraon, 6-3 to take their tally to 13 points. Doing so, the team assured themselves a place in the quarterfinals of the Fifth Olympian Prithipal Singh Hockey Festival being held at Bibi Surjit Kaur AstroTurf Stadium in Jarkhar village near here. Despite the defeat, Sant Fateh Singh Club, with 10 points in their kitty, also advanced to the last-eight stage.

In the last round matches played today, Friends Club proved too good for their opponents. Gurbhej Singh and Sukhjeet Singh accounted for two goals each while Prem Singh and Mandeep Singh contributed one goal each to complete the tally.

For the losing side, Harpreet Singh sounded the board twice and Tarunpreet Singh chipped in with one goal to reduce the margin.

In the second match, Grewal Club of Kila Raipur required to beat Akalgarh XI by a difference of two goals while the latter needed a draw to qualify for the last-eight stage. With the tally reading 8-7, both teams made an exit from the tournament.

The last match was played between Jagtar XI of Jarkhar and Ludhiana Sports Club, in which the former came out triumphant 10-9 in a tie breaker. The result did not make any difference as both sides had already made it to the knockout stage.

Rupinder Singh Ravi, assistant director (sports), Punjab School Education Board, Chandigarh, and Rakhwinder Singh Gabria, councillor, Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, were guests of honour. Balwinder Singh Cheema, an eminent sports promoter, and Hardayal Singh Aman, a social activist, were also present at the stadium.



Amritsar complete 10-wkt win over Ludhiana
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 8
As expected, the proceedings on the fourth and final day of the match between Ludhiana and Amritsar at the ongoing Punjab State Inter-District Cricket Championship (U-19) for the Dhruv Pandove Trophy were of merely an academic interest.

Wanting just one wicket to set themselves an easy second innings target, the visitors wrapped up the issue comfortably with 10 wickets in hand at the Punjab Agricultural University ground here today.

In reply to Amritsar’s first innings score of 519 runs, Ludhiana were bundled out for 211 runs, forced to follow on. Although, Ludhiana managed to avoid an innings defeat, scoring 323 for nine at draw of stumps last night, their fate seemed to be sealed.

Overnight not out batsmen Navendu Sharma and Rahul Khanna negotiated the bowlers to the best of their abilities, before the latter lost his wicket. Ludhiana’s second innings folded at 343 runs, giving Amritsar a paltry target of 36 runs.

Amritsar completed the formalities in eight overs, without losing a wicket. Navnit and Karan remained unconquered on 25 and 11 runs, respectively.

Brief scores

Amritsar (first innings) 519 all out in 120.1 overs (Marshall 84, Abhinav 146, Rahul 51, Pathak 63, Rohit 79; Hertejsawi Kapoor two for 70, Navendu one for 92, Nikhil Chowdhary two2 for 81 and Vishwanath Bala five for 100)

Ludhiana (first innings) 211 all out in 59.4 overs (Nikhil Chowdhary 79, Parul Mehndiratta 61, Rajat Arora 21, Navendu 13; Rohit five for 73 and Rahul four 50)

Ludhiana (second innings) 343 all in 142 overs ( Kashish 63, Rajat Arora 112, Parul Mehndiratta 52, Nikhil Chowdhary 21, Navendu Sharma 33* and Rahul Khanna10; Rohit two for 115, Rahul three for 84, Shivam one for 32 and Karan two for 22)

Amritsar (second innings) 36 for no loss (Karan 11* and Navnit 25*)



CMCH conducts drive in slum areas
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 8
Christian Medical College and Hospital distributed baby beds with mosquito nets to mothers of newborns in slum areas at EWS Colony, Khokha Market, Bihari Colony and Jamalpur. The initiative was a part of the World Health Day 2014 programme. A team of health professionals from the department of community medicine, CMCH, led by the nodal officer of the National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme, Dr Paramita Sengupta, donated beds to 50 mothers. Health education on protection from mosquito bites was also given by medical social workers.

Physiotherapy camp

The department of physiotherapy at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital organised a free physiotherapy camp today. A team of physiotherapists, including Dr Avkash Teotia and Dr Alka Kaul, examined the patients. They were taught relevant exercises by the team of doctors. Dr Kaul said the department would be organising such camps regularly. The physiotherapists said it was important to take care of our general health, especially in case of any injury or any condition that affects muscles and joints. “Strain on your back and neck can be reduced by improving your posture and lifting correctly,” said Dr Teotia.



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