L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Flames flare fear, engulf ill-equipped dept
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
As compared to other big cities such as Amritsar, Jalandhar and Punjab, Ludhiana has witnessed maximum fire incidents in the past two months.

The Fire Department has only 40 firemen to cater to a population of more than 30 lakh in the city. In the past 60 days, the city has witnessed 300 major and minor fire incidents.

Amarjit Sharma, Fire Station Officer, Jalandhar, said 80 minor and major incidents of fire had took place in the past two months (these include agriculture fire incidents too). Sharma said there were industrial units on the ground floors of houses. “Such units were located in densely populated areas with absolutely no fire-safety measures,” said Sharma.

Amritsar has seen 100 fire incidents in the past two months. KL Kakkar, Fire Station Officer, Amritsar, said the situation was far better than Ludhiana.

The fire incidents are being managed by just 40 firemen in Ludhiana out of which around 15 persons perform the duty of drivers as well. A fireman said, ”We work for 12 hours and don’t even get incentives. Despite repeated requests, the state government has not made fresh recruitments. Three firemen take care of files.

“We have got no fire-safety kits (for firemen), there is no facility of drinking water and after 5 pm, there is no generator and inverter at the office here. In case, we have to send fire brigades and firemen at night, we have to rely on candles.” Assistant Fire Officer Rajinder Sharma said Ludhiana witnessed maximum fire incidents during summer. “We have written to the authorities about the staff shortage.”


Fishery students’ hopes get wings
Minister assures them of a dialogue with Punjab CM
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
Fishery students of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) lodged their protest by wearing black badges during a state-level function on drugs at Guru Nanak Dev Bhawan today. The students had gone 
to meet Surjit Kumar Jyani, Health and Family Welfare Minister.

On being stopped by the police, the students started raising slogans against the state government.

Later, officials of the district administration arranged their meeting with the minister.

Jyani told the students that he would make them meet Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Kushwinder Singh, a student, said, “We met the minister and he assured us of doing the needful. He said he would arrange our meeting with the Parkash Singh Badal and Gulzar Singh Ranike, Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Fishery Minister, in Chandigarh on Tuesday. We are hopeful of getting jobs.”

Mamata Sharma, a student, fainted while talking to the minister. She was rushed to the Civil Hospital. The students alleged that the girl was not administered first-aid.

“There was no ambulance. We did not even get medical care. Officials of the state government did not even enquire about the girl’s health. They seemed least concerned,” alleged a student. 



MC looks for ways to generate revenue
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
Revenue collection seems to top the priority list of the cash-starved Municipal Corporation. The civic body is all set to auction the remaining 46 shop-cum-offices (SCOs) at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar.

Buyers (of 56 SCOs), who have failed to deposit their instalments, have been issued notices.

Of 102 SCOs at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, 56 have already been sold by the civic body.

An MC official said the buyers who had bought the SCOs had failed to pay the instalments.

“The SCOs were sold for anything between Rs 1.5 crore and Rs 2.15 crore, but as the buyers failed to deposit instalments on time, the MC could not generate a good revenue. The properties need to be auctioned in order to earn revenue,” said the official.

MC Commissioner Pradeep Aggarwal said for early recovery of instalments, notices were being sent to the buyers.

“We are in the process of auctioning the remaining 46 shop-cum-offices at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar. Pending works will be completed within 15-20 days and then the shop-cum-offices will be auctioned.”



45-year-old’s murder 
Police groping in the dark
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana June 28
A day after a 45-year-old man was found dead at a vacant plot near BCM School in Dugri, Phase II, the police is still groping in the dark.

The deceased was identified as Ajmer Singh, a resident of Phulanwal. He was attacked with sharp-edged weapons.

The police said they were scanning the call details of the victim. SHO, Sadar police station, Bharpur Singh said robbery was not the motive behind the murder, adding that personal enmity could have led to the killing.

Morning walkers spotted the body yesterday.

The victim had suffered several stab wounds and his head was smashed with a brick.

The victim’s purse and mobile phone were also missing.

He was working in a cloth factory unit and used to take Dugri Road to reach home every day.



Frequent power cuts add to farmers’ financial woes
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, June 28
With frequent breakdown of the transmission system, farmers of the area are allegedly being forced to shell out on diesel for watering fields, being prepared for the transplantation of paddy.

Officials at various offices of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited in the region claimed that the problem is due to overload and not due to poor maintenance.

The problem was as a result of residents using high consumption electric gadgets including air conditioners and commercial equipment beyond sanctioned load on their premises.

They called upon leaders of various parties to coordinate with the staff to solve the problem.

Farmers led by Punjab Kissan Sabha, office-bearers Baldev Singh Latala and Sikandar Singh Jartoli, alleged that the frequent breakdown of transmission system and unscheduled cuts have caused extra financial burden on them as they have to shell out heavy amounts for watering their fields with diesel-run appliances.

Farmers of villages, falling under Pakhowal and Kilaraipur segments, urged authorities at the office of PSPCL to do the needful to ensure uninterrupted power supply.

The SDO Bhupinder Singh at Narangwal assured farmers that any fault in transmission systems, supplying power to agricultural connections, would be rectified on priority and no cuts except scheduled by higher authorities would be implied.

Power pangs

Farmers of villages, falling under Pakhowal and Kilaraipur segments, have urged the PSPCL authorities to do the needful in order to ensure uninterrupted power supply. PSPCL officials claimed that the problem was due to overload, and not due to poor maintenance.



Organisations flay property tax, to hold protests
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
The Inqalabi Kendra, Punjab, CPM, Punjab, CPI, Lok Sangram Manch, Punjab, and other organisations held a convention on property tax at Punjabi Bhawan, here today.

The representatives of the political and social parties condemned state government for levying property tax in Punjab, which was an additional financial burden on the residents.

The convention was attended by Kanwaljit Khanna, Master Raghbir Singh, Tarsem Jodhan, Gurkirpal Singh, Paramjit Singh and Rajesh Malhotra. Leaders said from July 15 to 22, the organisations will gherao the state government on this issue and memorandums will be submitted to the ministers throughout the state. Besides protest rallies will be organised against this move of government, said the leaders. They claimed that the public was already passing through the times of inflation and such financial burdens will add more to the miseries.



Congress minister denounces hike in paddy minimum support price
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
The Congress Member of Parliament, Ravneet Singh Bittu, has criticised the Centre’s announcement of hike of Rs 50 per quintal in the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy.

He called the announcement a mockery of the NDA’s “promised commitment” to the farmers’ cause.

Bittu said the Chief Minister of Punjab Parkash Singh Badal, who claims to be a well-wisher of the farmers, has been silent over the issue. Instead of raising the farmers’ issue with the Centre, the CM has chosen to stay silent, said Bittu.

“Earlier, Badal used to allege that the UPA government did not support the state government. Now, that the NDA government is in power at the Centre and the Shiromani Akali Dal is a constituent member of the NDA, why is Badal not raising issues of the farmers of Punjab with the Centre?” asked Bittu.

Demanding a bonus of Rs 150 per quintal for the Punjab farmers, the MP said the state government should announce this bonus at the earliest.

Bittu accused the Centre of betraying the people of India. “Immediately after the NDA formed the government at the Centre, the prices of several essential commodities registered an increase,” he said.



Shiv Sena burns MC Commissioner’s effigy 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
The local unit of Shiv Sena today burnt the Municipal Corporation Commissioner’s effigy at Clock Tower. The members were protesting against the lackadaisical attitude adopted by the MC in the alleged City Bus Service scam.

They accused the civic body of not taking strict action against the company that is allegedly responsible for huge losses incurred by the MC.

Shiv Sena, Punjab, chairman Rajiv Tandon said due to the vested interests and connivance of certain MC officials, public money was being wasted.

“Still, no action was being taken against the company. Why are the authorities tight-lipped? Why cannot they scrap the contract?” asked Tandon.



City hosts state-level programme
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
The government will help addicts free themselves from the clutches of drug menace at every turn of their life.

This was stated by Health and Family Welfare Minister Surjit Kumar Jyani while addressing a state-level seminar on drug awareness here today.

Jyani said after de-addiction, the government would also take up the responsibility of rehabilitating the youth by helping them earn a decent living for themselves and their families.

He said the Punjab government had sent special teams to different districts of the state to find reasons behind the increased drug abuse among youth. The minister said earlier people kept themselves busy by working in fields, did strenuous work and led a healthy life.

“Now, there is not much of a physical work, due to which youth are taking to drugs,” he said.

“Medicines for de-addiction are provided free-of-cost at government hospitals and efforts are on to provide counselling facility at each and every government hospital,” said Jyani.

Khanna OST centre gives lease of life to woman

A woman admitted to Opium Substitute Therapy (OST) Centre, Khanna, has got a new lease of life. Centre in-charge Dr SS Dhir said the women went into depression after the death of her son and husband. In depression, she got addicted to drugs. She started with drug injections and then moved to poppy husk and other contrabands. This continued for more than three years and her health started to deteriorate. Dr Dhir said the woman, on coming to the OST Centre, showed the commitment to get rid herself of the evil of drugs. Today, she has freed herself of addiction, and the medicines she takes will be stopped soon, said the doctor. 



State to open de-addiction OPDs at 17K govt hospitals
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
To tackle the problem of drug addiction, the state government is planning to open special outpatient departments (OPDs) for the purpose in 17,000 hospitals across the state.

“The Punjab government is committed to making the state drug-free, and to accomplish this, the OPD facility for drug de-addiction will be started in 17,000 government hospitals across the state. Besides, the government is also planning to open drug de-addiction centres in the state,” said Health and Family Welfare MinisterSurjit Kumar Jyani.

Commenting on the increased charges at government hospitals, Jayani said it was a nominal hike. The slip charges have been increased from Rs 5 to 10, second hike in 14 months.

Jyani said: “You get nothing for Rs 5. The hike is very small.”

Also, the price of a unit of blood, available at blood banks of government hospitals, has been increased from Rs 300 to Rs 500, while in private hospitals, a unit of blood will cost Rs 1,450 instead of Rs 1,000.

“I will talk to the government and see if these charges can be decreased as blood should be made available to everyone at a reasonable rate,” said the minister.

Rubbishing the media reports that all four ministers of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Punjab government had submitted their resignations to the party to enable a reshuffle, Jyani said neither he was asked to resign nor he submitted his resignation.

“In fact, none of the ministers has submitted resignation. We are working with full commitment and will continue to do so,” he said.



Faculty gets tips on quality teaching
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
Desh Bhagat University is observing the Faculty Development Programme (FDP) month. As part of this programme, the faculty of Engineering and Technology, Department of Aeronautical Engineering, organised a one-day refresher programme. The objective of the programme is to update the knowledge and skills of its faculty and keep them equipped with the latest information in their respective fields.

University Pro Vice-Chancellor Dr Shalini Gupta inaugurated the event in which more than 100 faculty and staff members of the university participated.

Dr Gupta said the aim of these FDP programmes is to prepare teachers for the stupendous task of making the students not only successful managers, administrators, technicians and entrepreneurs but also ideal human beings.

The resource person on this occasion was Col Venudhar Singh who presented a lecture on project management. He stressed that quality teaching is the need of the hour which can promote creativity, analytical thinking and innovative solutions.

Appreciating the initiative, university Chancellor Dr Zora Singh and Pro Chancellor Tejinder Kaur hoped that the FDPs chalked out by the university will go a long way in updating the knowledge and sharpening the skills of the faculty, which will ultimately benefit the students and will help them in their multi-functional growth. 



Making a mark in male bastion
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
Producer-director Shirin Anandita has come up with her first full length Punjabi movie “Ho Javey Je Pyar” which will be released on July 11 in India and abroad.

This Punjabi love story stars debutants Feroza Kaur Heer and Zorawar Singh as the female and male lead, respectively. Set in urban-rural setting, the film attempts to talk of pure untouched love amidst the problems that lovers face.

Shirin Anandita, a woman producer, is trying to make a mark in a male dominated arena. “Writing has always been my first love since teens. My culmination of poems in the form of book “Ratti tere rang jogiya” received rave reviews,” said she.

After her marriage, she kept her writing, acting, producing and directing skills alive by producing plays and small serials for the welfare and recreation troops and even acted in a regional film for Doordarshan.

“This exposure was enough to rekindle my passion for the glamour world and I decided to relocate myself to Mumbai,” she said.

“I felt that I could only realize my dream of making it big in the performing arts by venturing into full length films and thus decided to take the plunge and produce and direct my own film,” she added. 



Hans Raj Hans meets ailing Sufi singer
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
Hans Raj Hans paid a visit to the ailing Sufi singer Barkat Sidhu at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, here today.

“Sidhu is one of the finest singers of our state and has served Punjab with his fine voice. He is the soul of Punjabi Sufi music and the Punjab government is paying for the medical expenses of his treatment,” said Hans.

He further said the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister have especially asked him to enquire about his health. “The Punjab government has always come forward whenever any artiste is in need. The government also provided financial aid to singer Kuldip Manak for this treatment,” said Hans. 



Police trace missing minor girls
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, June 28
The Jodhewal police have traced two minor sisters missing for the past four days from Tibba Road.

Station House Officer Randhir Singh said police parties were dispatched to various religious places in the state and a flash message was also transmitted across Punjab.

“Yesterday, we got information that the girls were seen roaming in Kullu (Himachal Pradesh). Our police party visited the town and brought back the girls,” said the SHO.

Randhir Singh said the girls, both in early adolescence, left the house with some money after being scolded by their parents.

First, they went to Chandigarh and then left for Kullu, said the police. The SHO said the girls had never heard of Kullu before.

The police have handed over the two girls to their parents.



Business news

SanDisk expands reach

The SanDisk Corporation is expanding footprint in the Punjab region with the rollout of its integrated brand and marketing campaign. As a part of its geo-expansion outreach, SanDisk is focusing to capitalise on opportunities in Punjab region.

Builder welcomes govt policy

Vikas Gupta, JMD, Earth Group, has welcomed a decision of the Punjab Government to provide tax relief to builders and developers. Gupta said the state government has decided that the Department of Local Government would now charge the builders on the charge collection pattern of the Housing and Urban Development Department. Gupta said the recent decision would hopefully prove a great help for builders/developers who, at present, are facing an economic slowdown due to manifold reasons.

Golden jubilee celebrations

Metro Cash and Carry launched its golden jubilee anniversary celebrations, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary of operations internationally. To mark its 50 years, Metro’s anniversary offers will run for a total of 50 days, from June 25 to August 13, 2014, and will provide its customers an opportunity to maximise their savings on purchases at Metro. It will be a golden opportunity for Metro’s business customers to make the most of the biggest ever offers on its huge of range of food and non-food products. — TNS



Ludhianan scan

State govt condemned

Members of Belan Brigade have condemned the state government for organising state level function on drug awareness in Ludhiana on Saturday. “No purpose was served by holding this function as the speakers and audiences were the officials who are working in government departments,” said chairperson of Belan Brigade, Aneeta Sharma. She said in Ludhiana district, which has a population of more than 40 lakhs, only 22 persons can be enrolled under de-addiction programme at the Civil Hospital and Red Cross.

Workers’ meet

Former DGP (Jails) Shashi Kant held a meeting with a section of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders and workers. During the meeting, the issue of factionalism within AAP was discussed. Some members accused an AAP leader of creating divisions within the party. .

FM urged to reduce excise duty

The Knitwear Club has written letter to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and has requested to reduce excise duty on knitwear and textile duty. “Knitwear industry is already passing through a very agonising phase because of certain unfavorable circumstances both at the national and international level. China, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are posing a potential threat because of the availability of cheap labour ” said Darshan Dawar, president of the club. — TNS



2 arrested for rape 
Tribune reporters

Ludhiana June 28
The police today arrested two persons in rape cases. A 16-year-old girl was raped by her colleague at a factory on June 24. The accused has been identified as Gobind Singh, alias Babbu of Jodhan village.

When the girl did not return home, her aunt filed a complaint with the Division No. 5 police station.

Balwinder Singh, in-charge, bus stand police post, said, “We are probing the matter. Th accused took the girl to a secluded place and raped her.”

The victim was examined at the Civil Hospital today. A case under Sections 363, 366A and 376 of the IPC has been registered.

In another incident, a 16-year-old girl was allegedly abducted and raped. The accused has been identified as Naseem Mohammad, a resident of Saharanpur.

The police said the accused took the girl to Uttar Pradesh on the pretext of marriage.

The Jodhewal police arrested the accused from Saharanpur and recovered the girl. Randhir Singh, SHO, police station, Jodhewal, said they had slapped two cases on the accused under Sections 366 and 376 of the IPC. The medical examination of the victim was conducted at the Civil Hospital today.

Woman commits suicide

Khamano: A woman allegedly committed suicide at Todarpur village last night. The police have booked her husband and in-laws in a dowry case.

The deceased’s father, Harminder Singh, a resident of Lullo village, told the police that his daughter Ravneet Kaur Neetu had tied the knot with Varinder Singh, a resident of Todarpur village, more than three years ago and the couple had a son out of the wedlock. He alleged that soon after the marriage, his daughter’s in-laws started harassing her for dowry.

Shamsher Singh, in-charge Sanghol, said they had booked the deceased’s husband, Varinder Singh, father-in-law Raghvir Singh, mother-in-law Amarjit Kaur, brother-in-law Jasbir Singh and sister-in-law Surinder Kaur. 



3 drug peddlers held
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, June 28
The police have arrested two alleged drug peddlers and seized 10 kilogram of poppy husk from their possession.

The accused have been identified as Daljit Singh, a resident of Ramghar Bhullar village near Jagraon, and Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Lakha village near Hathur.

As per the information, the accused were arrested during two separate raids conducted by Hathur police in the past 24 hours.

Giving the details of the drug recovery, SSP, Jagraon, Ravcharan Singh Brar said Daljit Singh was arrested near Chakar village following a tip off while, Gurpreet Singh was arrested near Chak Bhaika village.

“The police seized 5-kilogram poppy husk from both the accused. During the preliminary questioning, the accused confessed of being involved in the trade of drug peddling since a long time,” said the SSP.

The police have registered a case against both the accused at Hathur Police Station, under the NDPS Act, and further investigation is on.

The police produced both the accused before a Jagraon court which awarded one day police remand to the accused.

Meanwhile, a police team from Criminal Investigation Agency, Jagraon, arrested another person and seized 5-kilogram poppy husk from him.

The accused have been identified as Gurdeep Singh, a resident of Bagh Kheta Ram, Jagraon.

According to Jagraon CIA Staff In charge inspector Ramaninder Singh, the accused was arrested by a police team lead by ASI Manjit Singh during a routine checking near Kothe village on the outskirts of Jagraon today.

The police have registered a case against the accused under the NDPS Act at Jagraon City Police Station and further investigation is on. 



Ludhiana beat Jalandhar, finish runners-up
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, June 28
Fine batting display by Vaibhav Narang and accurate and consistent bowling by Abhishek Talwar and Anil Sihag helped Ludhiana register seven-wicket win against Jalandhar in the final two-day league match of the Punjab State Inter District Cricket Tournament (U-25) that concluded at Burlton Park, Jalandhar, yesterday.

The win enabled the local outfit finish as runners-up in the six-team tournament.

Ludhiana and Amritsar were tied at 12 points, but on the basis of better average, the latter were declared winners. The other participating districts were Patiala, Mohali and Chandigarh.

Batting first, Jalandhar, led by IPL star and Punjab Ranji team captain Mandeep Singh scored 236 runs. Bhupinder top-scored with 68 runs, while Mandeep Singh contributed 60 and Yogesh 52, respectively.

For Ludhiana, Anil Sihag captured four wickets while Abhishek Talwar claimed two wickets.

Ludhiana, in their first essay, were bowled out for 210 runs, conceding 26 runs. Vaibhav Narang and Anil Sihag chipped in with 54 and 35 runs, respectively.

In their second innings, Jalandhar were restricted to a modest total of 141 runs, in which the main scorers were Yogesh (28) and Pargat Singh (26). Ludhiana’s Abhishek Talwar was the main wicket-taker, grabbing five for 48 runs. Anil Sihag got rid of three batsmen.

Needing168 runs in maximum 28 overs for an outright win, Ludhiana batsmen achieved the target with one over to go.

Ludhiana skipper Geetansh Khera remained unbeaten on 47 while Vaibhav Narang played an anchoring innings of 79 runs.

Punjab State Inter District Cricket Tournament (U-25)

Jalandhar (first innings) 236 all out in 60.1 overs (Mandeep Singh 60, Himanshu Satyawan 22, Bhupinder 68, Yogesh 52; Deepak Bansal three for 30, Abhinav Bhatia one for 11, Anil Sihag four for 78 and Abhishek Talwar two for 63)

Ludhiana (first innings) 210 all out in 62.4 overs (Vaibav Narang 54, Anil Sihag 35, Ankit Pursharthy 23, Geetansh Khera 34, Chirag Maria 20*; Yogesh seven for 54 and Pargat Singh two for 77)

Jalandhar (second innings) 141 all out in 39.5 overs (Pargat Singh 26, Robin 18, Abhishek Gupta 22, Yogesh 28; Anil Sihag three for 65, Abhishek Talwar five for 48 and Vaibhav Narang two for 27)

Ludhiana (second innings) 170 for 3 in 27 overs (Sandeep Singh 39, Vaibhav Narang 79, Geetansh Khera 47*; Yogesh two for 88)



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