L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Tide is high, but MC is holding on
Auctions parking lots to cover up losses running into lakhs, mop up revenue 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 14
The Municipal Corporation is trying “hard” to survive the current financial crisis. For earning revenue, it recently auctioned four new parking lots in the heart of the city.

Although the idea had not gone down well with certain residents and shopkeepers, the authorities dealt with the situation saying the auction was the only way to tide over the financial crisis.

As two parking lots are being maintained by the civic body, it is suffering losses running into lakhs.

The parking lot of Ghumar Mandi was auctioned for Rs 30.50 lakh for six months. Shopkeepers and residents complained that they were being charged exorbitantly.

President of the Ghumar Mandi Shopkeepers’ Association Ravinder Singh Syan said the MC could charge fee, if it provided parking space. But how could it charge fee for parking vehicles on a road, that too inside the yellow line?” he asked. “If a person comes to a shop to buy some item that costs Rs 25, why will he or she pay Rs 10 for parking a vehicle for just two minutes? This is unjustified. No customer will pay the parking fee,” said Syan.

At the same time, the multi-storeyed parking of the MC is being taken care of by the MC itself at Zone A. The higher-ups had “cancelled” the contract of Rs 35 lakh to the contractor concerned saying some other person was willing to pay more than Rs 50 lakh. Its maintenance is costing the civic body Rs 20 lakh per year.

An MC official said the multi-storeyed parking was not able to cross the Rs 17 lakh mark last year while the contractor was ready to pay Rs 35 lakh. “How do you justify yourself in such a situation? Why are we bearing losses when contractors are ready to pay more? We are already running short of staff and then officials are asked to issue slips which affects other works,” said the official.

Superintendent speaks

Superintendent, tehbazari, Zone D, JS Sekhon, said: “A parking lot being managed by the MC is bound to suffer losses due to several reasons. The MC is short of staff, but that does not mean that we will let residents park vehicles at will.” 

Convert ‘encroached’ area into parking lot

Residents as well as shopkeepers in Ghumar Mandi said the area which was recently cleared of encroachments should be converted into a parking lot. This way, the residents will have adequate space to park their vehicles and nobody will encroach upon the plot measuring 22 square yards. 


They zoom on nature in black and white
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

(Above): Ranjodh Singh and TPS Sandhu express their love for photography and a group of photographers who are also associated with the Ludhiana Photography Enthusiasts Group say nature photography is all about joy. Photos: Inderjeet Verma

Ludhiana, June 14
Nature photography appeals to both of them, so they have been holding photography exhibitions together for years.

Ranjodh Singh and TPS Sandhu enjoy the passion for nature and photography. Ranjodh Singh, a noted industrialist, said nature had a special appeal for a photographer for all its variety, vividness and colour. Even the pigmentation of each flower is unique. He said he loved to capture the texture of trees and intricate patterns of leaves. “Sometimes life in nature is so conspicuous. I have clicked pictures of trees that resembled faces of a holy man,” he said. As a nature photographer, you are also a discoverer, as you witness facets of nature that are generally ignored, he added.

Sandhu agrees saying every aspect of nature has a meaning and a lesson. “In my collection of photograph titled ‘Barah Maah’ that is based on different months mentioned in Gurbani, the banyan tree is like a sage who stands calm and composed as the weather in all seasons changes around him. He remains in a state of meditation amid cheer of spring and searing heat of summers,” said Sandhu.

City-based amateur photographers and hobbyists also love nature photography. A group of photographers who are also associated with the Ludhiana Photography Enthusiasts Group said nature photography was all about joy. Manveer said wildlife was artistic and aesthetic. The richness and detail offer an endless opportunity for good photography. KP Singh, another member of the group, said although many people did not realise this, there is a good variety of birds here. Ryan Cheema and Jatin from the group said they had clicked some sights of the city that are fascinating. Clouds, skies, flora and fauna in and around the city offered a great deal for passionate photographers, they said.



Two held with 25-gm of heroin
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana June 14
The police today arrested two drug peddlers and recovered 25 gm of heroin worth Rs 12.5 lakh from their possession at the Daba area. The accused has been identified as Sahil Kumar (21), a resident of Sector 32A, Chandigarh Road, and Narinder Kumar, alias Vicky (28), a resident of Azad Nagar.

Harbans Singh, in-charge of the anti-narcotics cell, said Sahil Kumar owned a gas agency at Kalgidhar Road and Vicky had a medical store in the Daba area.

He said the accused were nabbed following a tip-off.

A case has been registered against the accused.



City bus service
Tussle between conductors, officials harrows passengers 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 14
The ongoing tussle between conductors and the authorities of the City Bus Service is giving a tough time to passengers as well as the Municipal Corporation.

With the “suspension” of 135 conductors (outsourced through a Patiala-based private company by the MC), the civic body is suffering losses to the tune of Rs 4 lakh per day.

Although the company is trying to “negotiate” with the suspended conductors, chances of a compromise seem bleak.

The company is reportedly in the process of recruiting more persons. It will take officials 15 days to solve the problem and till then the passengers are bound to suffer.

Additional Commissioner Isha Kalia said the MC was able to run only five city buses every day.

Baljit Singh, manager, City Bus Service, said the “deadlock” still continued. “The company officials had come today. They held a meeting with conductors too. Negotiations are on, but chances of a fruitful outcome are bleak. In that case, the company will give fresh advertisement for appointing new persons, but the process will take at least 15 days’ time,” said Baljit Singh.

The passengers lamented that they were bearing the brunt because of the ongoing problem. Rajwinder Kaur, a bank employee, said it was convenient for her to board a bus from Dugri to reach Ghanta Ghar, but now in the sweltering heat, she had to pay double the amount to hire an auto-rickshaw.

A few days ago, the City Bus Service had amended their software to see that conductors were not fleecing the passengers and the fare was submitted to the authorities by the end of the day.

But the changes were not taken well by the conductors and they objected to it. They went on a strike. But the authorities refused to give in to their pressure and suspended the erring conductors two days ago. 



Woman set afire

Ludhiana, June 14
A woman was set afire by her husband in the Sahnewal area this morning. The accused has been identified as Deepu, a resident of Pakka Darwaja of Sahnewal. It was learnt that he used to thrash the victim, Rekha.

The two tied the knot four years ago and have a one-and-half-year-old daughter. The victim was rushed to the hospital, where her condition is stated to be stable. She has suffered 50 per cent burns. — TNS



Fishery students’ strike enters Day 14
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 14
Strike by fishery students of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) entered Day 14 today. Final year students of the bachelor of fisheries science at Fishery College, along with some pass out students, have been demanding job placements.

The protests are being held outside gate number 5 of the veterinary hospital.

The registrar of GADVASU, Dr PD Jual, yesterday, assured Navjot Kaur and Mamta Sharma, who were on hunger strike for the past three days, that a meeting would be arranged with the Minister for Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries in this regard. It was only after the assurance that the girls ended their hunger strike.

Dr Jual appealed to students to stay in hostel at night.

Few students organisation, associated with political parties, also extended their support to the protesters after member from Ludhiana Ravneet Singh Bittu and leader of Aap Aadmi Party HS Phoolka supported the striking students.

After the support of Ravneet Singh Bittu, member from Ludhiana, and HS Phoolka leader of Aam Adami Party, few students’ organisation associated with political parties also supported the striking students.

“We will not step back till the government does not assure jobs to us. We are not demanding joining letters on the spot. But if the government is concerned with the unemployed degree holders then they have to provide us with jobs,” said a student. 

Deputy Commissioner speaks

Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal said, "We are trying to sort out the issue. We have written to officials of the Fishery Department. Minister for Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fisheries Gulzar Singh Ranike is not available at the moment. He will be coming back on Monday, so I will arrange a meeting of the students with the minister on Tuesday.”



Awareness forum meet: Public welfare topics take a centrestage 
Our Correspondent

Doraha, June 14
The general meeting of People’s Awareness Forum, an NGO, was held under the chairmanship of Prithipal Singh Kapoor, a renowned historian and former pro Vice- Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University.

Vice president KS Chawla and general secretary Inderjit Singh Khurana, along with other members, were present in the meeting.

Members of the forum had a common opinion that the wide scale distribution of drugs in the state has destroyed the youth of Punjab at large and steps must be taken to get rid of the evil practice at the earliest.

Members also condemned the retaliation of VK Singh, Minister of State and External Affairs and former Army Chief, in the appointment of new Army Chief. Members felt that there was no place for politics in the Army and a decision taken to appoint a chief should have been taken by the Defence Ministry with due consideration. Members went on length to discuss the problem of price rise in the commodities of essential nature.

During the meeting, it was suggested that citizens should adhere to traffic laws and keep the public places clean to make the society a better place to live in.



Suvidha Centre launched at Grain Market
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 14
With intent to motivate maximum number of small and petty traders to enroll under recently launched Small Traders Rahat Scheme, office-bearers of local organisations have started Suvidha Center at the local Grain Market.

Besides explaining merits of the simplified process, the volunteers will help businessmen complete formalities.

Officials of the Excise and Taxation office at the local town and district headquarters have already started organising meetings to explain the scheme to the volunteers.

Office-bearers and activists of social and trade organization, led by legislator Iqbal Singh Jhoondan, and former president of the Municipal Council Ravinder Puri announced to organise camps for educating traders about the recently launched scheme. The scheme, besides simplifying accounting process, would also minimise alleged exploitation on part of officials of the various departments.

Officials led by district-level officials Narinder Kaur and in charge at local office Amrik Singh apprised traders of various aspects of the scheme.

Tarsem Garg, patron, Social Welfare Organisation and Surjit Gogan, president, local unit of BJP, said employees of their organisations have been trained for completing formalities for enrollment of traders under the scheme.

Lists of documents and forms required for submission of application for the purpose will be provided to traders.

The volunteers explained that traders with a turnover of up to Rs 25 lakh would have to deposit Rs 5,000 as tax, while those with a turnover between Rs 25 and Rs 50 lakh would have to pay Rs 10,000. Those with a turnover between Rs 50 lakh and Rs 75 lakh will have to pay Rs 15,000 while, traders with a turnover of Rs 1 crore would have to pay Rs 20,000 as tax.



New traffic diversion plan in place
Has been devised to ease traffic congestion at Jagraon Bridge, say traffic cops
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, june 14
The city police today implemented a new traffic diversion plan at the Jagraon Bridge for the smooth flow of vehicular movement.

As per the plan, traffic from the Ferozepur Road (Durga Mata temple) to Vishkarma Chowk will be diverted to the left side from the Jagraon Bridge Chowk towards the local bus stand.

Traffic officials said the plan has been devised to ease traffic congestion at Jagraon Bridge.

Commuters have to take a U-turn from the petrol pump outside Govardhan City Centre and take the ramp towards Vishkarma Chowk.

As per the police, the traffic diversion plan is on a trial basis and if commuters find it convenient, the same will be implemented permanently.

The traffic — going from Jalandhar towards Delhi —also passes through the Jagraon Bridge.

This juncture is the busiest in the city and traffic snarls are rampant.

Long queues of vehicles can be seen on all connecting roads to the bridge throughout the day.

Vinod Kumar, traffic in charge, said, “For the smooth flow of traffic at the ramp from the local bus stand towards Vishkarma Chowk, traffic lights will be non-functional. Traffic from the Jalandhar Bypass to Dholewal will not face snarls at the Jagraon Bridge”.

Meanwhile, to sensitise people about the new traffic plan, the traffic police have uploaded the diversion plan on social networking sites such as Facebook.

Streamlining Vehicular flow

  • As per the plan, traffic from the Ferozepur Road (Durga Mata temple) to Vishkarma Chowk will be diverted to the left side from the Jagraon Bridge Chowk towards the local bus stand.
  • Commuters have to take a U-turn from the petrol pump outside Govardhan City Centre and take the ramp towards Vishkarma Chowk.
  • The traffic — going from Jalandhar towards Delhi —also passes through the Jagraon Bridge. This juncture is the busiest and traffic snarls are rampant.
  • If commuters find it convenient, the plan will be implemented permanently.



Denizens all set to celebrate Father’s Day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, june 14
With Father's Day falling on June 15, city denizens are all set to celebrate the day with zeal and make the day special for their fathers. Residents are buying gifts and greeting cards to express their love.

Shrishti, a student, has also decided to make the day special for her father.

While purchasing a gift for her father in Ghumar Mandi, she said, "I never forget to gift something to my father on this day. I have great love and respect for him."

"Every child should appreciate the painstaking efforts and sacrifices that parents make to raise their children. We can never thank them enough, but on days such as Father's Day and Mother's Day, one can gift them something to cherish the moment," she said.

Not only youngsters but many grown-ups also celebrate the day with zeal.

"I recently became a father. Now I realise how much effort my parents put in to raise me and my siblings. I love and respect my parents all the more now," said Amit Gupta, a manager in a city-based company. Some residents were of the view that due to degrading moral values, children don't respect their parents and even oust them from their homes.

"You cannot repay the debt of what parents do to raise you up. There cannot be a bigger sin than showing disrespect and hurting your parents," said Harneet, another resident.

Though the day is a Western festival, many people feel it should be accepted as a traditional festival.

"Though Father's Day and Mother's Day have become famous due to the western culture, they are now a part of our values and culture. These days should not be treated as Western festivals," said Jaspreetmohan Singh, principal of a government school.



Guidelines issued to industry officials
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, june 14
State Industries & Commerce Minister Madan Mohan Mittal has issued instructions to all district officers and other officials of the department to check illegal mining in the state.

“The government is initiating stern measures to control illegal mining and a comprehensive plan has been made to tighten the noose around offenders,” he said.

Presiding over a high-level meeting of the department at the Circuit House, Mittal said, “I will get a detailed report of illegal mining from each district every month.” The minister said the auction process of mining would be made easy and after creating groups, the department would allot mines through a draw system to successful bidders.

“The Industry Department will also be equipped with sufficient infrastructure to curb illegal mining and the department is also mulling to make a special task force to check the practice,” said Mittal.

He directed the district officers to send a detailed report regarding FIRs registered for illegal mining, unauthorised gravel crushers sealed and other irregularities to the head office on a monthly basis.

He directed that unauthorised gravel crushers should be immediately sealed.

“For Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Ropar and Mohali, separate general managers would be appointed as these areas have a number of mines. More officers will be deputed there,” said Mittal.



Rice expo begins on a positive note
Our Correspondent

Sahnewal, June 14
“The importance of new technology is being largely felt in the otherwise conventional rice trade. Rice millers from Punjab and other states should adopt this to improve their rice production, both quantitatively and qualitatively”.

These words were expressed by Tarsem Saini, president of the Federation of All-Indian Rice Millers Association, while inaugurating the three-day long international trade fair “Rice Pro-Tech Expo” at Jifco Resorts, here on Saturday.

Tarsem Saini said the country is facing shortage of food grains and use of better technology is the only way out to fight the existing crisis. Tarsem Saini will also chair a general house meeting of Punjab Rice Millers’ Association tomorrow here at the Jifco Resorts and discuss pending issues relating to rice industry in Punjab.

Over 100 rice mill manufacturing companies from India and abroad are showcasing their latest rice processing machinery at this rice expo here at Jifco Resorts, Sahnewal. Millers from the region visited the exhibition today.

The exhibition is being jointly organised by Business Empire Exhibitions in association with Punjab Rice Millers Association.

The machineries displayed include colour sorter, dryer plant, modern rice mill plant, boilers, silos, rice whitners, silky plants, rice packaging machines, rice mill building roofing materials etc. The exhibition will remain open till Monday. Besides machinery manufacturers from Delhi, Chennai, Karnataka, manufacturers are participating from Germany, Spain, China and Japan.



City railway station cries for attention

Visitors at the local railway station have to suffer embarrassment due to the indifferent attitude of the authorities. Platforms as well as railways tracks are in unhygienic condition. Heaps of disposable waste lying on the platform have become a common scene.

Moreover, the wall at the entrance is stained with betel-leaf spits. Authorities have allegedly turned a deaf ear to the repeated complaints by the visitors. Further, proposal to higher authorities to hire rag pickers, with the help of contractors, to initiate cleanliness drive at the railway station is yet to see the light of the day. As per the survey report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) team, mechanised cleaning could not be effectively implemented at major stations such as Ludhiana due to the lack of synchronisation between guidelines of railway ministry on maintenance of cleanliness and availability of infrastructure. Considering the CAG report, railway authorities must wake up from their deep slumber and do the needful at the earliest.

Ravi Chander Garg, Ludhiana



Ludhiana Scan
SHO arrested

The Khanna Police have arrested an SHO, posted at Sadar Police Station, Khanna, under corruption charges on Saturday, while an ASI is still on run. Harsh Kumar Bansal, SSP, Khanna, said two persons were rounded up by SHO and ASI on May 21 with smack and were freed the next day after taking a bribe of Rs 3,5000 from the uncle of one of the accused. A case under Sections 7 and 13 of Prevention of Corruption Act and under 342 of the IPC has been registered against the two.


On the occasion of Shab-e-barat, a religious function was organised at Jama Masjid. On the occasion, Shahi Imam Habib-ur-Rehman said every Muslim must seek an apology from Allah for the mistakes he has committed in life.

Date extended

The Municipal Council officials have extended the last date for depositing property tax till June 30. Residents can now get their taxes deposited without any penalty till June 30. For the convinience of the general public, Suvidha Centres have also been established by authorities at different zones and sub-zones. — TNS



Newborn baby girl found abandoned in auto-rickshaw
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 14
An abandoned newborn baby girl was found from an auto-rickshaw outside Arya Samaj Temple, Field Ganj, here today. The infant was taken to the Civil Hospital where doctors said she was only 1-2 day-old.

Swami Ganga Nand Bhuri Ashram, an NGO taking care of abandoned children, will be given the child’s custody tomorrow.

As per information, two students — who were passing by — heard a baby howling. They noticed that the infant was lying in an autorickshaw.

The auto-rickshaw driver, who had gone nearby, said he was not aware who had kept the baby in his auto.

The students took the child to the nearby Civic Hospital where doctors examined her. The child will be handed over to the NGO officials tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the area police also reached the Civic Hospital. A case has been registered against an unidentified woman.



Last round of trials to grade players held
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 14
The last round of trials for grading players for the World Kabaddi League were conducted at Guru Nanak Stadium here today. As many as 275 players competed today. They were selected from a total of 615 players. The trials had commenced on May 18.

The dope tests were also conducted by private laboratories authorised by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

A large number of renowned Kabaddi players, who had played for the World Kabaddi Cup tournaments, stayed away from the trials due to the dope test.

The organisers got Rs 30,000 from each player to conduct the dope test.

Dr Sukhdarshan Singh Khaira, coordinator of the World Kabaddi League, said, "The money will be refunded to the players. If someone is found negative in the test, the money won't be returned". Khaira said as many as 120 players would be selected in the final list. He added that 60 players were being selected from foreign countries for the league.

The organisers will grade the players after the trails and constitute 10 teams. Private participants for the league will sponsor the teams. The sporting event will kick off from August 1 and the first match will be played in London.

No doctors present

No team of doctors was present during the trials on Saturday. Three players, who got injured, had to endure the pain for long as no medical team was available. The players complained that the doctors should have been available in the scorching heat. Some of the players challenged the selection criteria, while others raised their voice against the collection of money for the dope tests.



City to host Junior Punjab Swimming Championship
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 14
The 39th edition of the Junior Punjab State Swimming and Water Polo Championship for boys and girls in the age groups of 15-17 years and 13-14 years — in all the national events — will be held at the Punjab Agricultural University Swimming Pool from June 20-22.

Apinder Singh Grewal, president of the Punjab Swimming Association (PSA), said swimmers born in the years 1997, 1998 and 1999 are eligible for the junior age-groups (15-17 years), and those born in 2000 and 2001 years for junior-age groups (13-14 years).

Players born in the year 1996 and post that are eligible for the water polo competition.

Balraj Sharma, general secretary, PSA, said the entries will close on June 18.

The Punjab State Junior Swimming Teams (boys and girls), in these age groups, will be selected during the three-day meet for the 41st Junior National Aquatic Championship, to be held from July 12-16 at Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, added Sharma.



City lads corner glory in int’l badminton meet
Anil Datt
Tribune News Service

Lakshya Sharma (left) and Arnam Jain pose with their medals; and Lakshya’s father and coach, Mangat Rai Sharma, in Ludhiana on Saturday.
Lakshya Sharma (left) and Arnam Jain pose with their medals; and Lakshya’s father and coach, Mangat Rai Sharma, in Ludhiana on Saturday. A Tribune photograph

Ludhiana, June 14
Three badminton players from Ludhiana have cornered glory in their maiden international tournament to bring fame to their city as well as schools.

Aditya Gupta, Arnam Jain and Lakshya Sharma participated in the International Badminton Youth Tournament for Oliver Junior Cup Hamburg-2014, held in Germany on June 7-8.

As many as 400 shuttlers from various countries such as Denmark, Germany, Switzerland and India, besides 16 county clubs from across the globe, competed in the tournament. More than 1,000 matches were played at 33 courts during the two-day event.

The players from Ludhiana were invited to compete in the tournament on the basis of their performance during the district and state-level championships in the recent past. Lakshya Sharma (8), student of Class IV at Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, emerged as a champion in the under-9 category.

Competing in the A category, Lakshaya gave a stupendous performance.

He exhibited great mobility on the court, accurate judgment of choosing smashes and backhand returns.

In the final, Lakshya overpowered his opponent, Erik Tilich from the host country, Germany. He won 21-11, 21-7 to lay his hands on the winner’s trophy.

In the doubles (u-11), the pair of Lakshya Sharma and Arnam Jain (9), student of Class V of Sat Paul Mittal School, Dugri, played well to reach the fourth stage.

In the quarter final, the duo tamed the Denmark pair of Madxemil Einarffon and Arthur Wraee Silvering 21-18, 21-17 to book a berth in the semi-final where they lost to second seed pair of Jakob Hose Andresen and Christian Faust Kajer from Denmark 12-21, 14-21 and got the silver medal.

In the mixed doubles (u-11), Arnam in association with Emely Marks of Denmark went down fighting against Kiknynoey and Thucpunog of Germany to win the bronze medal.

Besides Aditya Gupta, student of Kundan Vidya Mandir, took part in the under-17 category where he reached the quarter finals in addition to the mixed doubles, in which he secured the fifth position.

Mangat Rai, an NIS qualified coach, who accompanied the boys, said, “The boys got an excellent opportunity to play against the best players. Their achievement in Germany would stand in good stead and they would represent the country in the near future,” added Sharma.



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