L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Man robbed of Rs 2.5 lakh
 Robbers take away his Activa after throwing chilli powder into his eyes
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 10
Three unidentified youngsters allegedly looted Rs 2.5 lakh, a laptop and a Honda Activa from a local money exchanger after throwing chilli powder into his eyes last night. The incident took place on the Tehsil road at around 9 pm last night when the victim was returning home after closing his office.

In his complaint to the police, the victim, Gulshan Kumar Kalra, has stated that he runs the money exchange business from a shop in the Rani Jhansi area of Jagraon. He closed his shop at around 8:45 pm and headed for his home in the Moti Bagh area on his Honda Activa.

“As soon as I entered a street near Government Senior Secondary School on the Tehsil road, three unidentified youngsters, on a motorcycle, signalled me to stop. One of the youngsters threw chilli powder into my eyes and snatched the bag I was carrying. They also took away my Honda Activa before fleeing the place,” alleged the victim.

According to Gulshan Kumar, there was a laptop and Rs 2.5 lakh in the bag.

The victim called up his family and told them about the incident. Soon after the incident, a police team, led by Jagraon Station House Officer (SHO) Bikramjit Singh, reached the spot and launched an investigation.

The police have registered a case against three unidentified persons on a complaint of the victim.

The SHO said the police had sounded an alert in the area immediately after the incident. “We have also obtained the footage of the CCTV cameras installed outside a restaurant located near the crime scene,” the SHO added.

Meanwhile, a feeling of insecurity has gripped the local businessmen. The Tehsil road, where the robbery took place, is one of the busiest areas of the town.


A Raksha Bandhan dedicated to trees
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 10
Different organisations celebrated Raksha Bandhan with enthusiasm in their own way. Volunteers of the Aam Aadmi Party visited the Sarabha Nagar, Fountain Chowk and New Shimlapuri police stations. The women volunteer tied rakhis on the wrists of the policemen present at the stations while the women police personnel were encouraged to tie rakhis on the wrists of the AAP volunteers.

Members of the Gau Vansh Cell of the BJP and children celebrate Raksha Bandhan by tying rakhis on a tree
Members of the Gau Vansh Cell of the BJP and children celebrate Raksha Bandhan by tying rakhis on a tree.

The idea behind the event was that the police personnel on duty should also get a chance to celebrate the festival. The Ludhiana AAP volunteers resolved that they would make every effort to change the perception of the public towards the police and celebrate each festival with them.

As a gift, the volunteers got an assurance from the police personnel that they would continue to perform their duty with the greatest dedication so that each citizen of Ludhiana always felt safe and secure.

Meanwhile, the Vishav Punjabi Sahit Vichar Manch held its monthly meeting at Punjabi Bhawan and dedicated it to the festival of Rakshabandhan. Dalveer Singh Ludhianvi, general secretary of the manch, said the members of the manch recited poems.

Meanwhile, the Bhai Kanhaiyya Ji Jal Bachao, Jal Poorti Sangathan and the Parivartan Shoshan Welfare Scoiety, in collaboration with Shri Guru Ravi Dass Club (Ayali), celebrated the festival by tying rakhis to trees. They have appealed the residents to grow more trees.

Gau Vansh Cell of Bharatiya Janata Party also celebrated the festival by tying rakhis to trees under the leadership of Arun Atri. Atri said they had been tying raakhis to trees since 1996.



Emotions overflow at Central Jail
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 10
It was an emotional occasion for inmates when girls and women from far-flung areas visited the Central Jail to tie rakhi on the wrists of their bothers lodged in the jail on the Tajpur road.

Jail officials made elaborate arrangements for the prisoners’ families. The prisoners were given ample time to interact with their relatives. The jail authorities also made special sweets arrangements at the jail canteen.

The main gate of the jail had started witnessing a huge rush of inmates’ relatives early morning. Women and girls carrying sweets and rakhis anxiously waited for the gate to open. As many as 425 women and girls come to tie rakhis on the wrists of their brothers lodged in the jail. The women inmates were also visited by their brothers.

Emotional moments were witnessed when sisters seek from their brothers promise to not commit any crime in life.

The Superintendent of the Central Jail, SP Khanna, said: “The visiting women were allowed to stay on the premises between 9 am and 5 pm. Special arrangements were made for the occasion and ample time was given to the prisoners and their sisters for interaction”.



crop losses
BKU seeks hike in compensation
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 10
The Bharti Kisan Union (BKU) today made a strong case for hike in compensation to farmers for crop losses caused by drought and other natural calamities. In the wake of increased cost of cultivation, the farmers should be paid a compensation of at least Rs 5000 per acre for crop losses, said the BKU president Ajmer Singh Lakhowal.

Lakhowal was addressing a news conference here after a meeting of the state committee of the BKU. Recalling the poll promises made by BJP leaders in the Lok Sabha elections, he asked the government to ensure a minimum support price (MSP) at 50 per cent higher than the total cost of cultivation of all crops.

According to Lakhowal, the meeting demanded waiver of all agricultural debts while also stressing the need for putting a comprehensive mechanism in place for providing interest-free loans to the farmers. On sharing river waters, the BKU made its stand clear that as per the riparian norms, right of Punjab over its river waters should be restored.



Tiyaan has lost meaning in cities
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 10
Tiyaan Teej Diyan, a festival for Punjabi girls, has witnessed peaks and trough in villages. The festival, which once provided a platform to all married and unmarried girls for sharing their emotions, has lost its traditional sheen with the passage of time. In many villages, it used to be the annual festival before the days of terrorism. A few villages celebrate it now. The festival has seen its revival in cities with a changed meaning. However, it remains a mere “show-off”.

Jagdev Singh Jassowal, an art and cultural activist, said: “Tiyaan is like a huge banyan tree, which starts branching out every time it is cut. Although many villages have stopped celebrating Tiyaan, a few villages, including my native village of Jassowal, never succumb to vagaries of time.”

Going down the memory lane, Jassowal said: “In old days, there used to be the Tiyaan celebrations for two or three weeks in villages. Trees of peepal and banyan were used for making swings. The festival used to be a common platform for young girls, both married and unmarried. Owing to strictness in families, girls were not allowed to go out of home the whole year. Whenever they had to go out of home, they used to wear “ghaghra” and veil. In Saawan, these girls used to go to Tiyaan and even married girls also visited their parents’ place for a few weeks. Tiyaan was an occasion, when young girls and women come dressed in ethnic wear to enjoy swings and “kheer and poode” and to interact with their friends and share their grievances”.

Jassowal agreed to the fact that Tiyaan celebrated in cities was a costly affair. From costumes of girls to eatables, everything is costly. With technology getting better and better day by day, girls now share their grievances on the phone and social media.

Chairmam of the Malwa Sabhyacharak Manch KK Bawa said: “The festival of Tiyaan has disappeared from a majority of villages since the days of terrorism. A large number of villagers have settled in foreign countries or in big cities of India. Though it is celebrated in cities, the celebrations are a mere show-off. It will not be wrong to call these ‘colourful kitty parties’”.

Sumedha, an undergraduate from a college where Tiyaan was celebrated recently, said: “Tiyaan is like a fete where the stalls of eatables and swings are arranged for girls.” Harvinder Kaur, another student of the same college, said: “You can say it is a kitty party of girls wearing traditional dresses.”



This Pakistan family feels at home in industrial city
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 10
The Saleem family from Lahore loves and adores Punjab and feel themselves at home when they visit the city. They have been to the country several times to participate in fashion exhibitions. Dealing with designer suits and kurtis, and all kinds of embroidery, they not only bring designer clothes but the warmth of the Western Punjab as well.

Mohammad Saleem, from Shamas Brothers, says sale of kurtis is secondary but what is important for them is to experience the love of the people of Punjab and the country. He says Punjabis are known for their hospitality and the warmth people get here is amazing.

His son Shamas, studying in Class X, says he is bowled over by the food of India. “Although I am a non-vegetarian, whenever I visit India, I take only vegetarian food. The vegetarian food and the variety here is so amazing. I love coming here for its food and the wonderful hospitality of the local people,” he said. The hospitality of the people is amazing, says his elder son Tayyab. “Whenever people get to know that we are from Pakistan, they just open their hearts and always invite us and show us around the city,” he said.

“I love going to malls. People here are very good and always treat us with love and affection. I have done a lot of shopping,” says young Hania, who studies in Class IV.

Naureen, his wife, says although she visits the exhibitions, the people buy clothes from her not only for their quality, but for the cultural bond as well. “They keep asking me when I would come next,” she smiles.

Saleem says even though relations between the two countries keep on seeing their ups and down at the government level, people of both the countries, particularly of both the Punjabs, want to meet each other. There are no cultural differences and the language is the same on both sides. Enhanced people-to-people contact and exchange is the way to open the door for permanent peace and harmony between the countries, he said.



5 kidnap, thrash vend waiter
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 10
The police booked five persons for thrashing a waiter after kidnapping him from a liquor vend here today. The accused kidnapped the waiter from a liquor vend on the Malhar road in Sarabha Nagar and mercilessly beat him up at Malikpur village last evening.

Of the five accused persons, the police have arrested three. The arrested persons have been identified as Surinder Kumar, alias Goldy, Prince and Gurmeet Singh. Their accomplices are yet to be identified.

According to information, five persons consumed liquor at a vend on the Malhar road late last evening. After taking liquor, they left the vend.

According to the complainant, after 10 minutes, they returned to the same vend and alleged that the waiter had stolen their mobile phone.

According to police sources, the fiver persons created a scene at the vend and then took waiter Lalu Prashad along with them. They pushed Lalu into their car and reached Malikpur village. They thrashed Lalu at the village till he fell unconscious. They dumped him in the fields and fled the spot.

This morning, when Lalu gained consciousness, he complained to the police.



PCCTU on warpath
Our Correspondent

Doraha, August 10
The Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union has decided to start an agitation to press for their long pending demands. The union will hold executive dharnas and rallies from August 11 onwards against the non-payment of salaries for the last twelve months.

Dr Kuldip Singh, President, Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union said, “The presently serving cadre has become a dying cadre because more than 50 per cent vacant posts are lying vacant. We have to restore what is being so cruelly snatched away from the teaching community by the government. The decision of Punjab Government to reduce the grant by 15 per cent to private-aided colleges and make contractual appointments instead of regular ones for the posts to be filled has come as a shock to the entire teaching community.

It has been over one year now but the Punjab government has not given any aid to the aided colleges and the teachers of these colleges are facing acute financial penury. The recent announcement of withdrawal of grants from 95 per cent to 80 per cent and another 5 per cent after three years, has shook the very basis on which the grant in aid scheme was introduced since the year 1978.”

“The first quarterly grant (March to May) was distributed in the month of November. After that no grant has been received to the colleges till date despite the allocation of Rs 200 crores in the annual budget 2013-14 and Rs 38 crores in vote on account 2014-15.

The teachers have been waiting their salary for twelve months. We have been repeatedly requesting the government that the quarterly grant should be sanctioned in the beginning of the first month of every quarter and final adjustments should be made in the last quarter. Under such circumstances the Union is compelled to adopt the path of agitations.

The teachers will hold a protest rally on August 11 for 2 hours. Another protest rally will be organized at Talwandi Sabo on August 13 at 11.30 am. The teachers of nearby districts such as Bathinda, Muktsar, Fazilka, Sangrur and Patiala will participate in the rally. Other districts will cease work on the day,” shared district president of the union Prof Parminder Singh.



Col Ashwani Kumar motivates NCC cadets
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 10
Col Ashwani Kumar, Commanding Officer, 3 Punjab Girls Bn, NCC, Ludhiana, gave a motivational talk to over 500 NCC girl cadets of Ludhiana (covering more than 25 colleges and schools) attending Combined Annual Training Camp at the NCC Academy, Malout.

Addressing the cadets, he emphasised on the need for maximum number of girls to join the NCC, an organisation which provides the most appropriate platform to contribute towards nation building, irrespective of the kind of career these cadets wish to pursue.

He asked the cadets to make the best use of this opportunity and contribute towards society. He told the cadets that gone are the days when girls were considered weak. “Girls, are, in fact, giving a tough competition to their male counterparts in almost all the spheres.”

He asked the cadets to make the best use of the training on subjects like weapon training, drill, map reading, field craft and battle craft, health and hygiene. During the camp, blood donation, rally against drug addiction and tree plantation were also organised.

The talk by the Commanding Officer culminated with the NCC song. 



City gears up for I-Day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 10
District administration is gearing up for the celebration of 68th Independence Day at theGuru Nanak Stadium. Municipal Corporation is giving new look to the city. Footpaths of main roads of the city were being painted black and white. The main roads of the city area were also being cleaned. Different government departments will celebrate Independence Day.

The third rehearsal will be held tomorrow in which police personal of Punjab Police, Home Guards and National Cadet Corps (girls and boys) along with school and college students of different institutes will practice.

The full dress rehearsal will be on August 13. Rajat Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana, said Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, will be the chief guest. He will unfurl the National Flag at the Guru Nanak Stadium and will take salute from the march past.

The district administration will also honour freedom fighters and give tricycles and sewing machines to the poor. Achievers from different fields will also be honoured. 



Stray cattle menace haunts residents
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 10
The stray cattle menace has become a common feature of Jagraon. Despite repeated requests by the local residents, the local Administration is yet to find a suitable solution to the aggravating problem.

There are three gaushalas in Jagraon, but dozen of cows and bulls keep wandering in the region freely.

Beside, inner areas of the town, a large number of stray animals keep wandering on the major roads such as Ludhiana-Ferozepur National Highway and Jalandhar-Bathinda Highway.

The stray animals pose a serious risk to the lives of the commuters travelling on these roads. The risk elevates during night as drivers are unable to spot an animal on the road.

Although many fatal road accidents have taken place due to the menace in the recent past and several lives have also been lost, but the local Administration is yet to do something in this regard.

According to local residents, the stray animals even cause damage to private and public property. They often fight with each other on the road, thus terrifying local residents. Shopkeepers rue that these stray animals also damage goods displayed by them in front of their shops thereby, causing a lot of financial loss to them.

According to the sources, the major reason behind the constant rise in the number of stray animals in the town is the Pashu Mandi (Animal fair), which is organised every month in Jagraon. Usually, participants leave behind animals that are no longer useful to them.

The SDM, Jagraon, Apneet Rayat, said she has received many complaints by the local residents about the menace of stray animals. “The Administration is doing its best to solve the problem. A meeting of the representatives of gaushalas and other NGOs will be held soon,” said the SDM.



Welfare organisation sets up satellite centre for terminally ill patients
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, August 10
Coming to the rescue of terminally ill patients, a Social Welfare Organisation (SWO) has established a satellite centre to help alleviate their suffering through an interventional pain management system.

Besides extending free-of-cost treatment to poor patients, the organisation will organise period camps for diagnosis and further management of chronic pains at the Advanced Pain Care Clinic (APCC) in Ludhiana.

The gesture will contribute towards the preservation of environment and natural resources, claimed the organisers.

Addressing a meeting of office-bearers of various social organisations of the town and surrounding localities, patron of the SWO, Tarsem Garg, said the organisation has coordinated with leading multi-specialty hospitals and health centres of Ludhiana for the treatment of patients at subsidised expenses.

Dr Geeta Mittal, chief organiser of the APCC, said the new superspeciality had emerged a boon for those terminally ill patients who had earlier suffered unbearable pain or had developed complications due to the irrational use of pain killers.

“Although pain is a defense indicator, but certain pain remains for a long time even after the offending disease had been cured or relieved,” continued Dr Mittal, adding that the most common pains arise from the spine, joints, neuralgias and neuropathies, headaches, complications of metabolic disorders such as diabetes, generalised body aches as in fibromyalgias and residual pains from surgical procedures.

The general secretary of the Punjabi Kissan Sabha, Sikandar Singh Jartauli, former president of the Government Teachers’ Union Baldev Singh Latala, president of the Rotary Club Lalit Kaura and former president of the Municipal Council Ravinder Puri have extended their help for the project.



Jagraon stinks as garbage piles up
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, August 10
Residents of Jagraon are living a nightmare with heaps of garbage scattered along the sides of various roads in the city as well as in residential localities. Stagnant water accumulated in several areas of the town speaks volumes about the alleged apathetic approach of the local Municipal Council in maintaining cleanliness in the region.

The Disposal Road, Kacha Malak Road, Raikot Road, Sherpur Road and Old Sabzi Mandi Road are in deplorable state. Similar is the condition at various residential areas such as Shastri Nagar, New Shastri Nagar, Gandhi Nagar, Ajit Nagar, Bagh Kheta Ram, Old Grain Market and New Gaushala Road where heaps of garbage and stagnant water welcome the visitors.

Residents claim that the Municipal Council staff rarely lifts the garbage from the localities. They maintained that the areas are not cleaned on a regular basis.

“The drains of our locality are chocked as they have not been properly cleaned for a long time now,” rues Bheem Ram, a resident of Bagh Kheta Ram.

“Although we have requested the local civic body a number of times to get the localities cleaned but all our requests seem to have fallen on deaf ears and nothing concrete has been done to improve the condition so far,” said Mall Singh, a resident of Gandhi Nagar.

The unhygienic conditions pose serious health hazards to the local residents, besides tainting the serene picture of the city. Due to lack of proper cleanliness, especially, during the rainy season, residents fear outbreak of water-borne diseases. Local residents have urged the local Municipal Council (MC) authorities to pull up MC employees and instruct them to maintain proper cleanliness in the town.

The Municipal Council Executive Officer, Jagraon, Davinder Singh Toor, said the garbage is being lifted and drains are being cleaned on a regular basis. “If the residents of some localities are still complaining about the lack of cleanliness, we will definitely pull up the employees deployed in that area and instruct them to perform their duties sincerely,” added Davinder Singh Toor.

Locals fear outbreak of diseases

The unhygienic conditions pose serious health risk to the local residents. These open garbage dumps are eyesores. Due to lack of proper cleanliness, especially, during the rainy season, residents fear outbreak of water-borne diseases. Local residents have urged the Municipal Council (MC) authorities to pull up its employees and instruct them to maintain proper cleanliness in the town. 



Presence of mind not present in everyone

City markets were overcrowded on the eve of Rakhi. Everyone was trying to come out of the long traffic jams. A young boy on a bicycle with a little boy (must be 8-9 years old) sitting on his bicycle carrier was also cycling very fast. The cyclist was to drop the teenager boy near Ghumar Mandi. As the cyclist reached near Fountain Chowk, suddenly the little boy sitting on carrier got his left foot struck in the wires of the wheel of bicycle, following which he fell down. The little boy started crying for help. Seeing no option the Cyclist started pulling away his foot out of wires but could not. Within no time many passerby stopped there. One of them used his presence of mind and pulled away the wires of bicycle wheel around his foot and brought him relief. The little boy heaved a sigh of relief. Another passerby said, “Presence of mind is not present in everyone.”

Exercise in futility

After initial euphoria, the sangat darshan programme started by the Commissioner of Municipal Corporation, a couple of weeks ago, has lost its sheen. Rather than providing the residents with a platform to present their problems related to civic amenities and related issues; and on the spot redressal, it is becoming a drab and routine affair with more people going back dejected and dissatisfied. At times, there have been some unsavory incidents, also when agitated complainants raised a ruckus or threw away documents at the MC officials, which makes it more than clear that the programme was not serving its intended purpose. Several well meaning residents said the civic officials were meant to receive complaints from the people and solve them as soon as possible. “Rather than holding a weekly sangat darshan programme the MC top brass ought to sensitise the staff and officials to the needs of the people so that they attend to the problems on daily basis,” said a senior citizen.

Equal distribution of anger

Despite the hype about providing a human face to the police force and the claims about politeness of the cops interacting with the public, some of the policemen manning the traffic on the city roads are habituated to hurling abuses at the commuters. On the eve of the Raksha Bandhan, a cop on duty at a chowk was seen venting his ire on a poor cyclist who had failed to grasp the cop’s confusing instructions. The irritated cop also made snide remarks against another commuter driving a car. This prompted a passerby to remark: “At least the cop does not discriminate against cyclists. He has the same level of annoyance for cyclists as well as car owners!”

Contributed by Anupam Bhagria, Kuldip Bhatia, Minna Zutshi



BETTER LUDHIANA—encroachments
Civic body’s tall claims fall short of aim
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 10
Encroachments continue to remain a bane to the city. Despite the tall claims and assurances of the civic body and the anti-encroachment drives carried out, change or improvement remains negligible. While a large part of the population suffers from the problems of encroachments, the other part continues to encroach the land and the public space unabashedly. Even the administration and civic body seems helpless, or rather toothless to deal with the perennial problem.

Vegetable and fruit vendors do business on a roadside.
Vegetable and fruit vendors do business on a roadside. Tribune Photo: Himanshu Mahajan

As the city gasps for road space thanks to swelling vehicle numbers, encroachments on the roads make life even more difficult for commuters. Commuting in the city has become a struggle, laments a commuter. “On the one hand, hours are wasted due to snarl-ups caused by increased numbers of vehicles and increasing pollution, and on the other encroachments are an unnecessary nuisance blocking and choking the roads. These exist just because of laxity of the authorities,” said Raj Sachdeva, a resident.

Just any shop owner can keep their stuff on to the road– that seems to be the rule, for a large number of shopkeepers follow this rule.“Road sides are being used as a private property for shopkeepers and street vendors, considering it their right to extend their wares and boxes in front of the shops,” said Amarbir Singh, a resident. “The MC has to take strict actions to deal with these offending shop owners. The canopies, tents and awnings are extended several feet in front of the shops and stores, and stuff kept beneath them without any fear,” said Rajesh Kumar, another resident.

The condition is equally worse in residential areas, where people have illegally occupied the road and street space extending the ramps of their homes and even the boundary walls of the courtyards on the roads and streets.

The problem is the worst in already congested areas and old city areas such as Chaura Bazaar, Gur Mandi, Field Ganj, Haibowal, etc. “I have my office in the old city area. And visiting the area means wasting several hours. All because of the mess of encroachments,” said Harpreet, a commuter.

Street vendors worsen the problem. Some of the areas such as Field Ganj have street vendors lining up the roads reducing the road width by a large margin, which results in long lines of traffic jams on the road. “Street vendors fearlessly position themselves on the roads as it is their right to do so,” said Amit Gupta, a resident. “It gets difficult even for ambulances to cross the area. But little action is being taken against these encroachers,” he said.

“Not only do these encroachments cause traffic jams, but also cause pollution. The vehicles stuck in the traffic jams keep on revving their engines for long, and emit smoke and harmful chemicals and fumes, apart from continuous and jarring noise pollution which is a threat to health for the dwellers of the areas,” said Vinod, a resident. Roadside cart vendors often create pollution because of the litter they cause around the place they operate. “You can see plastic and paper plates and bowls scattered around the cart vendors selling food,” said another resident. As the city is already struggling with pollution, the littered roadsides and pollution because of encroachments is a constant problem the city is facing, he said.

Accidents because of encroachments and smaller space on the road are a common incidence. “I once banged right into the street cart that was never on the road earlier. I injured my leg and damaged my vehicle,” said Gurpreet Singh, a resident.

Temporary markets on Sundays make it even more difficult to pass through the roads. The area near Clock Tower has roadsides lined up with clothes, shoes, etc. “Some people park their vehicles and place the commodities on the car bonnets to sell. Even bedsheets are sold in any of the busy chowks without fearing any action from the civic body or the administration,” said another irate resident.

Some residents say uniform strict rules must be applied across the city. “You cannot spare road-side vegetable sellers and challan shop owners in markets. There should be a strict policy of no encroachment across the city, be it anyone or anywhere for instilling the fear and discipline against offenders in such cases,” said Rohit, a resident. “The irregular anti-encroachment drives are also to be blamed. One is that these drives are not carried out regularly in all parts of the city. Challans should be handed out so frequently and fine imposed should be so high that the encroachers fear breaking the rules,” he added.

Lack of fear of rules and action is another problem. That coupled with the absence of civic sense and taking responsibility and ownership of looking after the city makes the problems worse, complain many residents. “While for some shopkeepers, keeping things on the road may be a need, but for a large majority, it is a way of creating more visibility. But for their own selfish interests, they don’t see the problems they are causing to their own fellow residents and choking the city roads and decreasing valuable space,” said Vandana, a resident.

Although the MC conducts anti-encroachment drives to remove temporary encroachments, but it is like drawing a line in the water. The MC creates a ruffle in the markets with anti-encroachment drives in the city for a few days, but the temporary encroachments spring up again and nothing changes. Challans and fines are imposed on the offenders, but conditions largely remain the same. Some of areas in the city infested with encroachments have been the same way, despite such anti-encroachment drives. “It seems that MC drives are toothless. What is the point of carrying out the anti-encroachment drives, wasting time and money, if nothing is going to change, and encroachments remain as it is after a few days,” Paramjit, a businessman. Lax attitude of the authorities, breeds more such attitude and culture amongst encroachers as they know that after a challan, they have a license to operate freely for a few months, giving others also a cue to make more encroachments, he added.

The government must develop enough infrastructures so that the road is not encroached by road-side vendors or even vehicles. “In Chandigarh, there used to be a road-side books market outside the university. But it was shifted to a sector and a sheltered permanent place was given to them. So, the administration must devise ways to give proper space to road-side vendors so that they don’t encroach the areas where they shouldn’t,” said Varinder, a student. “There aren’t enough parking spaces in the city for parking of vehicles. Where there are parking spaces, the parking fee is again inordinately high, making parking in the city an ironical problem, just because of the lack of vision and strict implementation of rules by the administration and the civic body,” he said.

Encroachment by land mafia both on government lands and even private property continues to pose a serious problem. Slum-dwellers at various places in the city continue to live in difficult and unhygienic conditions because of the encroached land that lacks civic amenities.


* There are two kinds of encroachments. One being greed-based, where people encroach upon government land. In such cases, the civic body takes strict action.

* The second type of encroachments are need-based. In such cases, no strict action can be taken, particularly in slums. Such encroachments are removed as and when the government comes up with a rehabilitation programme or a housing project for those who have illegally occupied the government land.



Namdharis seeking unity of the sect
Hunger strike enters Day 10
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 10
The hunger strike of the Namdhari Panthak Ekta Action Committee entered Day 10 outside Mini Secretariat here today.

Seven devotees of Namdhari sect have been sitting on chain hunger strike from the last four days. The devotees on hunger strike will be replaced tomorrow.

The devotees of a group of Namdhari sect have been observing hunger strike since August 1. The demonstrators have been demanding fearless entry to the Bhaini Sahib, the headquarter of sect and other shrines of sect.

The demonstrators alleged that the incumbent group of priests at Bhaini Sahib did not allow them to enter in their religious places and denied water from well to follow Maryada.

Today, a meeting of Namdhari Panthak Ekta Action Committee was also held to review the action line of last 10 days and to plan the further steps. The spokesperson of the action committee issued a press statement stating that all the seven devotees sitting on hunger strike were in high spirit despite the physical weakness.

Suba Darshan Singh, president, Namdhari Panthak Ekta Action Committee, stated that they were not protesting for the possession on religious properties. He alleged that the incumbent priests at Bhaini Sahib were land grabber and they were trying to keep a control on Bhiani Sahib with the intention of possession.

Navtej Singh, spokesperson of the action committee, said, “We have submitted several memorandums to District Administration demanding state government to intervene in the matter. None of the members from Bhaini Sahib or from the government have responded to our demands till date. We are now planning to intensify our struggle. We will remain peaceful.”

According to the information, action committee can start the fast till death to press the government and incumbent group at Bhaini Sahib.

A large number of devotees of Namdhari sect and associated with the Namdhari Panthak Ekta Action Committee from across the state and neighboring states have visited to support the protest.



No headway in carjacking case
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 10
There has been no headway in the carjacking case which took place yesterday at Hambran Road. The police are trying to trace the car but still clueless.

Initially, the police got help to search the location of the SUV by tracing the mobile phone of the car owner, which she left on the dashboard of the car. The police traced the mobile number and got the location of car.

According to the sources, the mobile phone which was in the car was showing the location of mobile tower on the Hambran Road.

As per the police officials, it is suspected that the accused have thrown the mobile phone, when they came to know about the mobile in the vehicle.

Surinder Kumar, SHO at PAU police station, said, “We are investigating the case from all the angles. We have alerted all the police posts and sent the police teams to trace the vehicle in various areas. We are also searching the mobile phone. Hopefully, we will trace the vehicle soon.” While, a case under Section 382 of the IPC havs been registered at the PAU police station in this regard.

The case

Four persons looted an SUV outside a sweets shop on Hambran Road on Saturday evening. Complainant Reena Sharma, wife of Bharat Bhushan, a property dealer, said she had gone to the sweets shop in a Toyota Fortuner. She said when the driver alighted from the vehicle, four youths, who were in a Skoda car, came towards the SUV. One of them got into the car and threw her out, the complainant said.



Dr Sudhir Raj takes charge as president of IMA
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 10
In the state council meeting of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) held in Ludhiana today, Dr Sudhir Raj from Muktsar has taken over as the president of the state chapter of the IMA. Outgoing president Dr Ram Nath Bhardwaj handed over the charge and thanked the members for their cooperation.

Senior IMA members Dr Rajender Sharma, Dr RL Taneja, Dr KG Singla, Dr Manoj Sobti, Dr Kulwant Singh and the outgoing president wished good luck to Dr Sudhir Raj.

The new faces in the team are Dr Navjot Dahiya from Jalandhar as the state secretary, Dr Amandeep Aggarwal from Sangrur as the state joint secretary, Dr GS Gill from Jalandhar as the chairman, Biomedical Waste Management Committee.

The next elections of the IMA, Punjab, will be held under the chairmanship of Dr Jaskaran Singh Gill from Jalandhar.

Dr Sudhir Raj said delegation of power, decentralisation of authority and expansion of cadre base would be his main priorities. He said the association would act tough with those who ransack hospitals. No harassment of any doctor will be tolerated, he said.

He added that the association would not allow the government to make innocent doctors as scapegoats for the failure of the PNDT Act. “The IMA is opposed to the government’s recent move of introducing competency test/fresh training for sonologists holding 25-30 years of experience.”



Bittu, Tewari slam SAD-BJP govt

Ludhiana, August 10
Senior Congress leader and former Member Parliament (MP) Manish Tewari today accused the Akali-BJP Government of “discriminating against Ludhiana”.

Tewari said the Akalis keep making tall claims about the development of Punjab, but actually the state government has “miserably failed” to provide even the basic civic amenities to the public. “The pathetic condition of roads in Ludhiana shows the reality of the government’s claims. In rainy season, the roads turn into puddles of rain water,” he said. On the public health front, too, the government has failed, he added.

Tewari claimed the credit for providing regular grants for installation of tube wells in various parts of the city. He also claimed that the Congress-led UPA government had provided a grant of Rs 65 crore for the City Bus Service in Ludhiana. “It is unfortunate that the commuters are still not getting the best City Bus Service.”

Meanwhile, Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu today alleged that the SAD, by ruining the industry in Punjab, is conspiring to weaken the BJP at the grassroots-level. Blaming the Akali Dal supremo Parkash Singh Badal, he accused the Akalis of playing politics on the Haryana Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee issue. “The Akalis want to meet their political ends by using the funds from ‘Guru Ki Golak’ (donations),” Bittu alleged. — TNS



SChool notes
Teej celebrations

Ludhiana: Teej was celebrated with fervour at the Sri Guru Hargobind Public School, Thakkarwal. Students participated in various cultural activities. They performed Punjabi dance (bhangra, giddha), folk songs, fancy dress competition and skit. Miss Teej contest was also organised by senior students. Miss Harpreet Kaur won the Miss Teej title. In fancy dress competition Parneet Kaur, Ekamjot Singh and Jobanpreet Singh bagged prizes.

Green Land Convent School

Teej was celebrated at the Green Land Convent School, Civil City. The students and teachers came attired in colourful Punjabi dresses. The school was decked-up with flowers, buntings and balloons. All the participants were cheered up by the students as they gave heart throbbing performances. The folk dances of Punjab- giddha and bhangra added exuberance to the show. Principal Poonam Sharma blessed all the children.
Schoolchildren rehearse ahead of Independence Day at Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana
Schoolchildren rehearse ahead of Independence Day at Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana. Tribune Photo: Himanshu mahajan

Rangoli competition

SDP Senior Secondary School, Hazuri Road, organised a rangoli making competition. The students exhibited their talent under the guidance of Balraj Kumar Bhasin. Principal Jasveer Singh Chauhan congratulated the participants and winners.

Punjabi declamation

An inter-house Punjabi declamation was organised at Green Grove Public School. In the declamation students from different houses took part and showcased their talent.

Fun activities held

BCM Senior Secondary School, Basant City, held class activities for Nursery and LKG kids. Nursery kids performed with great pomp and show on a Jungle-based theme through which they could regonise the animals. The students also performed on the beautiful song “Jungle Jungle Baat Chali hai Pata Chala Hai”. LKG kids performed on the theme of fruit party. They motivated everyone to eat more and more fruits.

Raksha Bandhan celebrations

The festival of Raksha Bandhan was celebrated at the Spring Dale Senior Secondary Public School. A speech was delivered highlighting the historical importance of the day. The students of Classes I to III brought handmade rakhis and tied them on their classmates’ wrists.

Childhood Kindergarten Playway School

Childhood Kindergarten Playway School, Punjab Mata Nagar, celebrated Raksha Bandhan today. Beautiful rakhis were made by tiny-tots using different material such as cotton, paper and ribbons. Girl students tied rakhis on boy students’ wrists and applied tikka on their foreheads.

GMT Public School

In order to celebrate the pious bond between brothers and sisters, a rakhi making competition for students IV-VIII and thali decoration competition for student of classes IX and X were organised in GMT Public School.

Ryan International School

Students of the Ryan International School celebrated Raksha Bandhan on the school premises today. Children made raakhis in school and were told about the sacred bond between a brother and sister.

Drishti Dr RC Jain School

Raksha Bandhan was celebrated at Drishti Dr R C Jain Innovative Senior Secondary Public School, Narangwal, Ludhiana. Students of Class IX discussed the importance of Raksha Bandhan and its impact on modern thinking. The spotlight of the function was a panel discussion where impersonation of famous personalities like Kiran Bedi, Barkha Dutt, Kiran Kher, Menaka Gandhi, Shabhana Azmi, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Aamir Khan by students discussed the burning issues related to women empowerment and their safety at the hands of men. It left an open question for the audience – Do women only need to change their lifestyle or men and boys need to change their perspective in regard to the respect.—TNS



Ludhiana Scan

Personality development camp

The Nehru Yuva Kender Youth clubs organised a three-day long personality development camp at Lalton Khurd village. Sarpanch of the village Mahinder Singh said such camps should be organised from time to time. While addressing the youngsters, Gaurav Aggarwal, a resource person, told the youngsters about the different courses of the Government of India. Enforcement officer Darshan Singh also addressed the gathering during the concluding day of the camp.

Protest on Aug 17

The Master Cadre Union will hold a state-level protest in Patiala on August 17. Disclosing this, the president of the District Ludhiana for Master Cadre Union, Dharamjit Singh Dhillon, said the government has not been paying any heed to our long-pending demands, so we have decided to resort to agitation.

9D adventure comes up

Super 9D Adventure has come up at Model Town, near Krishna Mandir. Mahinder Pal Bansal and Tarsem Singh Dhiman, managing directors of the Super 9D Adventure, said, there are two auditoriums and each one of them has a 3D screen. One can enjoy new movie here after every five days. Special 3D glasses have also been arranged to enable viewers to get an enriched experience. — TNS



Penalise violators sternly

The traffic chaos and parking problem in the city are on rise and the violators get away through political or other contacts. Strict measures are needed to curb the menace. The towing away of wrongly parked vehicles, issuing challans or on the spot fines should be used to constrain violators of traffic laws and must be strictly implemented. Installing CCTV cameras at various traffic signals can come handy to record the movement of law breakers and may also check the crimes like snatching and robbery. Use of mobile phones while driving must be fined. They often cause traffic hurdles even accidents. Minor drivers must be booked and parents should be heavily fined. Public land encroachments by food vendors, roadside rehris and shopkeepers must be sternly dealt with. One- way traffic and paid parking in congested markets should be strictly implemented. Politicians must act responsibly and stop interfering in the functioning of police.

Dr JS Chugh, Ludhiana

Integrated planning and development

Government must form a board/committee under few leading town planners/architects to look after the past and present problems of public and suggest ways for future master plan of Ludhiana district. The committee must have majority technical/professionals and rest must be leaders from various leading associations of Ludhiana city including architects, engineers, builders, doctors, chartered accountants, advocates, NGO’s, clubs, LMA, hosiery associations, cycle part associations and bureaucrats. We all must seriously discuss on a common platform the problems of water supply, sewerage, rain water harvesting and management, greenery, locations and modernisation of airport, railway station, bus stand, flyovers, metro, buddah nullah, stadiums, wider roads and pollution of all types. If we can’t do much we must at least copy world class, famous and our neighboring city as well as capital of Punjab — Chandigarh.

Sanjay Goel, Ludhiana



One arrested for attempt to rape
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 10
The city police have arrested a person on the charges of attempt to rape on a four-year-old girl at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar area here today.

The accused has been identified as Vimal Kumar, a native of Bihar. According to the information, the victim resides in same ‘vehra’ where Vimal resides with his pregnant wife.

The incident took place today, when the victim came to Vimal’s room to watch television. The accused in an inebriated condition attempted to the rape the girl.

Somehow, the girl escaped and informed her mother.

SHO Motinagar police station informed that the accused was in the police custody and a case of attempt to rape has been registered against him.



Karateka Jasraj hogs limelight
Anil Datt

Jasraj Singh shows his certificate and gold medal he won at the National Karate Championship in Diu.
Jasraj Singh shows his certificate and gold medal he won at the National Karate Championship in Diu. photo: inderjeet verma

Ludhiana, August 10
Jasraj Singh, a student of Bal Bharti Public School, Dugri branch, hogged limelight in the National Karate Championship held at Diu, recently. He surprised everyone by winning a gold medal in this weight group. He is just five years old but has carved a niche for himself at the national level competition.

By taking part in the martial arts since two years ago, Jasraj has proved his class. In the very first outing, Jasraj won a bronze medal in the District Level Karate Tournament. Subsequently, he proved his credentials at the State Karate Championship where he secured a silver medal.

Jasraj continued to give a consistent performance and gave a stupendous performance in the national meet clinching top honours. His coach Shian Ashok Chohan informed that everyone present there during the finals at Diu appreciated Jasraj’s awesome performance.

Besides, Jasraj has won accolades in other sport activities during the annual sports meets at his school during the last couple of years which has made him a ‘favourite’ among all students, the coach said.

Jasraj has been preparing for the forthcoming international karate championships scheduled to be held in the months of November and December this year, Chohan added. 



Bhuvnesh powers KVM into final
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, August 10
Bhuvnesh Rai remained unconquered on 74 runs to enable Kundan Vidya Mandir (KVM), Civil Lines, to register third win in a row and assured themselves a place in the final of the (U-17) Ludhiana Schools Cricket Zonal Tournament being organised by the Punjab Education Department at SDP College ground today.

In the penultimate match against Shifali International School, KVM won the toss and opted to bat first. In the stipulated 10 overs, they hoisted a big score of 146 runs losing just two wickets. Their innings revolved around skipper, Bhuvnesh Rai who smashed 74 runs with the help of five sixes and remained unbeaten.

Chasing the mammoth target, Shifali International School failed to put up any resistance and eventually their reply culminated at 36 runs after eight overs.

For the winners, Keshav Sharma captured 3 for 8. Deepin Chitkara accounted for 1 for 3, Sehaj Beri took 1 for 1, Arjun Puri grabbed one wicket for four runs and Nakul Sood chipped in with one wicket for two runs to complete the rout.

In the final, KVM will take on the winners in the match to be played between Green Land Senior Secondary School and SDP Senior Secondary School. 



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