L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


assessed challans
MC yet to recover Rs 22 crore
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 11
The building branch of the Municipal Corporation is yet to make recoveries worth more than Rs 22 crore, which have been pending for the past 14 years. The entire system of assessment of challans was manual till early 2013 but at present, everything has come under the computerised challan management system.

In an attempt to meet the huge targets, which MC Commissioner Pradeep Aggarwal has set to strengthen the financial position of the MC, the building branch officials are in the process of issuing “kal-memos” to the defaulters, who have failed to deposit the actual agreed fee to the civic body. The building branch has to issue more than 9,400 “kal-memos” to defaulters.

The Assistant Town Planner (Headquarters), Kamaljit Kaur, said the Commissioner had set recovery targets for each zone. Zone A has been asked to make recoveries worth Rs 25 lakh per week while Zone B and C have been told to achieve a target of Rs 30 lakh per week. Zone D has been given a maximum target of Rs 40 lakh per week.

“These measures had to be taken by the higher-ups, as the building branch staff have adopted a lackadaisical approach to the pending recoveries. Ever since the targets have been given, we have been working day and night to make recoveries. In the next few days, the ATPs of the respective four zones will complete the task of sending “kal-memos” to the defaulters,” said Kamaljit Kaur.

Though “kal-memos” are issued to defaulters from time to time, they do not bother to deposit the remaining amount, thanks to a lenient approach adopted by the MC. An official said owing to connivance of building branch officials with defaulters and continuous political interference, he MC has failed to achieve the targets.

Fact file

  • More than 9,400 persons in the city are to be issued “kal-memos”
  • Recovery targets given to each zone to be reviewed
  • Connivance of certain MC officials, political interference main hindrances in achieving the recovery targets


Girl escapes from Children’s Home
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 11
The 13-year-old girl, who was kidnapped, married and forced to undergo child labour for repaying the amount spent on her marriage, allegedly fled from Children’s Home under mysterious circumstances today. She was sent to Children’s Home in Jalandhar after she was rescued by an NGO a few days ago.

The girl reached the house of her caretaker Jagdish Kumar in the Old Sabzi Mandi area.

Jaswant Kaur, warden at Children’s Home, Jalandhar, said the girl escaped this morning.

“We immediately informed the police and the authorities concerned about the incident. We knew she would go to Ludhiana as she was insisting to meet her caretaker Jagdish Kumar,” said Jaswant Kaur.

She said Jagdish frequently visited Children’s Home despite objections by the authorities.

“Yesterday, Jagdish visited Children’s Home again. This time, we did not allow him to meet the girl. We asked him to get permission from the authorities concerned if he wanted to meet the girl. Jagdish threatened us and left Children’s Home,” said Jaswant Kaur.

Surinder Mohan, Kotwali SHO, said the girl was with Jagdish and she was safe. He had approached police. The matter was being investigated. Further formalities would be carried out as per the statement of the Children’s Home authorities.



Missing man’s body found in canal 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 11
The body of Lalit Kumar (26), who had been missing for nearly a week, was found in a canal in the Sidhwan Bet area late last night.
A resident of Sham Nagar, Lalit, along with his friend Sahil, from Shimlapuri, had left his house on the pretext of visiting Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Sahil had recently attempted suicide by jumping from the third floor of a shopping mall.

Lalit’s friend Sahil, who is recuperating at a local hospital following his suicide attempt, courted a controversy when he told Lalit’s family that they would not be able to meet their son again.

The devastated family received another shock when they came to know that the body of a youth was found in a canal at Sidhwan Bet.

Deepak Kumar, father of Lalit, along with his relatives, rushed to the spot and identified the body to be that of Lalit.

Deepak claimed someone killed Lalit and dumped the body in the canal. He said Lalit knew how to swim and he could not drown.

Deepak works for a private company that undertakes the licensing work of the District Transport Office (DTO). He has two children. His wife was inconsolable. She said Lalit could not commit suicide. She demanded a probe into the matter.

Meanwhile, a postmortem examination was conducted on the body and it was handed to the family.



Ad tenders floated; panel says not taken into confidence
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 11
The much-awaited tenders for putting up advertisements at designated places in the city have finally been floated by the Municipal Corporation. The tenders assume significance as these can generate much-needed revenue for the cash-strapped Municipal Corporation.

Meanwhile, members of the advertising committee said they were not taken into confidence before taking the decision. At the last meeting of the committee, it was decided that another meeting would be held to decide on these long-term tenders.

One of the members of the committee, Inder Aggarwal, said the MC floated the tenders for long-term advertisements (seven years) in the city. “It is a very good step taken by the MC authorities. But at the same time, we feel cheated as at the last meeting on advertisements, it was decided that another meeting would be held within three or four days to decide on long-term tenders.

“The Senior Deputy Mayor and other members of the committee feel they have been ignored. If the final decision has to be taken by the authorities themselves, then there was no need to form such committees and hold meetings,” said Aggarwal.

Another member of the committee said if they were taken into confidence, they could have suggested various important things, which would be beneficial for the MC. “But we just got to know that the MC had already floated the tenders, which was shocking. Earlier also, the issue had generated controversy with the allegations of favouritism being levelled against the authorities. This time also, only two or three major players will be eligible for making bids. At our last meeting, just the tax rates were discussed while it was decided to hold another meeting within a few days. But that never happened,” said a member.



Install CCTV cameras at gurdwaras: SGPC chief 

Samrala, October 11
The SGPC president, Avtar Singh, has appealed to gurdwara sabhas to install CCTV camers on their premises for the safety and security of devotees.
The SGPC president stated this while inaugurating a CCTV project at Gurdwara Sahib Charan Kanwal Sahib, Machhiwara. He said CCTV cameras were a must in all gurdwaras to check activities of anti-social elements.

The SGPC has taken an initiative to install CCTV cameras in all gurdwaras.

He said gurdwaras affected by floods in Jammu and Kashmir would be repaired soon and ‘kar sewa’ in this regard had already started.

A member of the SGPC, Sarbans Singh Manki, and many local leaders of the Akali Dal were present. — OC



Man booked for posting dera chief’s morphed pictures
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 11
The city police have registered a case against a resident of Raj Guru Nagar, who posted morphed pictures of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and remarks in unparliamentary language on Facebook.

The accused, identified as Harmeet Singh, was booked for hurting the religious sentiment of the dera chief’s followers. The police have also slapped a section of Information and Technology Act in the case against the accused.

The case has been registered on a complaint of Kuldeep Singh Insa of Naveen Nagar in Haibowal.

He has stated in his complaint that on October 2, the accused posted morphed pictures of the dera chief and remarks in unparliamentary language on Facebook. He said the Facebook post had hurt the sentiments of the dera chief’s followers.

The Sarabha Nagar SHO, Amrinder Singh, has initiated a probe into the matter.



Poor sanitation in city exposes the myth of ‘Swachh Bharat’
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 11
The cleanliness drive launched in the city in the course of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan notwithstanding, the overall sanitation level in most of the city localities leaves much to be desired. Residents complain of dereliction of duty by sanitation workers.

Even if the safai workers perform their duty, heaps of the garbage are not lifted from roads and streets, say the residents.

Almost without exception, the residents maintain the safai workers deployed in the respective areas, marked their presence only on papers to draw their salaries whereas only a few of them actually do their duty. The so-called racket of “absentee workers” has been continuing for a long time with the connivance of certain leaders, functionaries of safai workers’ bodies and officials of the Municipal Corporation, claimed sources in the MC.

Peeved about the lack of cleanliness and garbage dumped all across Dugri, Phase I and II, the Anti-Corruption Council of India submitted memoranda to the MC Commissioner, Mayor and the Punjab Minister for Local Bodies.

Shiv Gupta, general secretary of the body, alleged that even though 60-odd safai workers were deployed on full-time duty by the MC in these localities, hardly 10 or 20 of them were found working, that too for just about two hours in the morning. The council said negligence on the part of workers and slack supervision had resulted in the pathetic condition of sanitation in these localities.

Residents of many localities in the Civil Lines, Haibowal, Model Town, Guru Nanak Pura as well as several commercial hubs in the old city had also similar stories to tell about the poor sanitation level. The threat of outbreak of diseases looms large over people in these areas.

Meanwhile, spokesperson for Congress councillors Parminder Mehta has said if the civic body intended to improve the sanitation level and keep the city clean, it will have to bring about structural changes in the set-up and the system. The MC would have to seek cooperation from the people while at the same time paying full wages to sanitation workers who also ought to be properly equipped for the job.

Opposing deployment of contractual workers for sanitation, Mehta said all vacant posts of safai worker be filled with regular staff and cases of recruitment on compassionate grounds should also be settled expeditiously to have adequate work force for sanitation duty.




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Act tough against copying: Front
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 11
Responding to the Education Department’s anti-copying campaign, teacher activists, who work against the practice of copying, said awareness campaign was not enough to curb copying. Teachers want strict action against school managements and teachers who allow copying during examinations.

The district education officer had asked schools to conduct rallies to make students aware about ill-effects of copying.

Sukhdarshan Singh from the Anti-Copying Teachers’ Front said: “We welcome the move of the department to make students aware of the issue. It would help achieve our mission of ‘copying-free examination’. Awareness campaign was not enough against the widely spread practice. We want that the Punjab School Education Board (PSEB) should take initiatives to remove this practice.”

Office-bearers of the Anti-Copying Teachers’ Front said the PSEB had failed to depute required number of superintendents at examination centres. The board should depute the required number of superintendents as per the number of students.

“The board punish students for cheating in the examination but do not take any action against the examination staff involved in the practice. We have written to the PSEB Chairperson to take strict action against teachers who allow copying. Moreover, the board failed to implement its condition and rules regarding examination centre at schools,” said Sukhdarshan.



College Notes
PCTE Fest ends

The PCTE Fest, a week-long event, finally culminated with the live performance of the leading band of country - Indian Ocean. The band has composed various albums and also sang songs for various Bollywood movies like ‘Peepli Live’, ‘Satyagraha’ and ‘Black Friday’. The band has enthralled the audience with their famous composed songs like ‘Bande’, ‘Kandisa’, ‘Jhini’ and ‘Des Mera’ from ‘Peepli Live’. 

In the senior wing, 25 teams fought for the overall trophy. MBA-International Business final year students bagged the overall trophy. In the junior wing where 21 teams participated, BCom 2ndyear students won the overall trophy. KNS Kang, director-general, PCTE Group of institutes, said the festival reached its peak the last day where students showed best of their talent. Students’ zeal and spirit of winning was demonstrated in their performances. Dr Kang said such festival helps the students in developing team spirit, cultural brotherhood and leadership skills. These skills will help them compete in highly competitive environment. He congratulated MBA-IB final year and BCom 2nd year students for winning the overall trophy in the senior and junior wings.

NSS camp

The fifth day of the NSS camp being organised at Gobindgarh Public College, Alour (Khanna), witnessed active participation. The day began with a yoga and meditation session. Later, student volunteers and teachers paid a visit to Deaf and Dumb School, Mandi Gobindgarh. Stationery goods were distributed among the students of the school. Later after returning from Mandi Gobindgarh, NSS volunteers enthusiastically participated in the extra-curricular activities being organised under the guidance of Principal Neena Seth Pajni. The activities include poster-making competition, on drug addiction and traffic awareness. The Principal and teachers appreciated the efforts of NSS volunteers and also encouraged them by conferring prizes. The event concluded with the recitation of the National Anthem. — TNS



‘Ehsaas’ festival: PAU students bring laurels
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 11
Students of College of Basic Sciences and Humanities, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), brought laurels by winning the overall trophy in the inter-college competition, ‘Ehsaas’ festival, organised by the PCTE Group of Institutes here today.

Prabhleen Kaur bagged the first prize in the ‘jam’ competition.

While Sadhika Berry and Jasmeet Kaur got the second prize in ‘picto’ in the competition.

Out of the 10 events, the students of the College of Basic Sciences and Humanities, under the guidance of Dr MS Toor, participated in eight events.

Amarpal, Saminder Kumar, Mandeep Sidhu, Amandeep chhabra, Yugraj Singh, Sana Arora, Jasmeet Kaur, Sarabjeet Singh, Amarpal Singh, Navleet Arora performed well in nukkad natak. Dr RS Sidhu, Dean, College of Basic Sciences and Humanities, congratulated the winners.



Four more test positive for dengue

Ludhiana, October 11
Four persons from the district, all females, have tested positive for dengue raising the number of patients suffering from the disease and admitted to city hospitals to 47.

A 27-year-old woman from Chandan Nagar, a 15-year-old from Punjab Mata Nagar, a 19-year-old from Bhora village and a 20-year-old from Jagan Nath Puram have been diagnosed with dengue at the DMCH, Ludhiana. — TNS



Dept urged to review proposed ward maps
Our Correspondent

Malerkotla/Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 11
Irked over the ‘pick-and-choose’ policy adopted by the administration in the ongoing process of delimitation of wards in the city, office-bearers of various political parties have urged the Punjab Local Bodies Department to review the proposed ward maps.

The nub of the complaints is that the delimitation is being customised so as to suit only certain leaders of the SAD-BJP combine in view of the forthcoming civic body polls.

Leaders of parties in the Opposition have also objected to the constitution of boards for implementation of the delimitation process towards its conclusion. It is alleged that guidelines have not been followed while preparing draft plans of a large number of wards.

Office-bearers and activists of various organisations, led by SAD general council member Kewal Jindal, alleged that the authorities had ignored guidelines and basic principals of continuity, proximity and population strength while preparing proposed maps for new wards. Percentage of voters, as per community, has also been ignored while reserving wards for certain categories, thus making certain genuine social workers ineligible to contest poll from their wards.

Jindal cites some examples wherein criterion of minimum population for delimiting the ward was not adhered to and residents paying house tax were not included in the civic body wards.

Appreciating the stand taken by certain members of the committees to register objections to the proposed plan, Jindal urged the higher authorities to probe the sequence of events leading to preparation of maps.

Perusal of records revealed that at least two members of the committee owing allegiance to the party in power had lodged their objections to the proposed maps presented in the meeting chaired by Ashok Kumar Sikka, deputy director, Urban Local Bodies, Patiala, recently.

Abdul Satar demanded review of certain wards due to inadequate population strength, non-inclusion of old wards, lack of continuity in proposed wards and anti-clockwise direction of wards.

Interestingly, population in the proposed map (131191 ) has been shown much less than the actual population of Malerkotla town (134424).



Festive offer

Pavilion is observing ‘Great Pavilion Diwali Shopping Festival’ till October 26. The mega shopping event offers great deals on top brands to make this Diwali special and visitors can take home an assured gift with shopping of over Rs 3,000.

New range of fashion furniture

Carpenters, a fashion furniture store, on Saturday launched its new range of designer furniture, especially designed around different concepts. Christened as The Keyhole - A journey through the Keys to your Soul, it is a treat for the connoisseurs of classic taste for fashion furniture. Directors Mandeep Singh and Dolly Sidana said the collection was a fusion of traditional and contemporary styles of furniture.

Karva Chauth special

Luckyy Wednesday, a local restaurant, held a special event to mark Karva Chauth. Presence of ‘daadi’ (from Comedy Nights with Kapil) was the major attraction at the event. Her funny antics, gimmicks and trademark ‘Shagun Ki Pappi’ left the audience in splits. She asked ladies, who were dressed in their best outfits, amusing question related to the festival. — TNS



Residents alert MC on encroachment
Inform MC authorities about illegal construction under way at a public park; civic body issues notice to violator
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 11
Residents alerted the Municipal Corporation about an illegal construction at a public park opposite Chand Cinema on Jalandhar bypass.

The residents informed the MC that a room and a washroom were being constructed at the public park, following which the civic body swung into action and issued a notice for its demolition.

A resident of the area said, “The construction activity is under way for the last about 20 days. We informed the area councillor, who maintained that the small room is being constructed to store chairs and other material.”

The residents said the civic body should take a corrective action on time. Already, permanent encroachments are galore in the city that the authorities are finding difficult to remove.

Residents complain that the elected representative from the area was interested in constructing the room, allegedly for his vested interests. Another resident said, “Though the illegal construction on the civic body land was being done right under the nose of the authorities, residents had to make a complaint to the MC to see that their land is being grabbed.”

Assistant Town Planner (Headquarters) Kamaljit Kaur admitted that the construction was going on the land without approval of the Building Branch. “But we have served a three-day notice in this regard. It has been pasted on the illegal structure and stated that either valid documents authorising the construction be produced or the MC would raze down the illegal structure,” she said.



Students visit postal facility

Ludhiana, October 11
The Mail Day was observed today as part of the national postal week celebrations.
About 15 students from Shishu Model School visited the Railway Mail Service facility of the postal department at the railway station.

They were shown how bags of letters from various places are unpacked, letters and parcels sorted and how they are packed again, said SP Pahwa, senior postmaster at the Head Post Office. — TNS



Religious fervour marks Karva Chauth in city
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana October 11
Karva Chauth was celebrated with religious fervour here.

On the occasion, women keep a day-long fast for healthy and long life of their husbands. Women and young girls in the city dressed in their best attire to celebrate the day. To kill the time, they had organised many programmes, including tambola sessions, get-together with friends over cards etc.

The markets too wore a festival look. Women were seen buying festival-related delicacies, including sweets and ‘matthis’. Meetu, a homemaker, said she had been observing Karva Chauth fast for the past 18 years. “To keep myself busy, my friends and I either play tambola or cards for 3-4 hours,” she said.

Skype comes in handy

Women observing fast are all grateful to the advancement in the Information Technology.

Anamika Mehra, whose husband has gone to the United States on a business trip, said it was the first time in 17 years that her husband was not with her on Karva Chauth. “But we have found a solution in a video chat facility. I will break the fast by seeing and talking to him on Skype once I see the moon. Thanks to the IT world for it brought us too close,” said Mehra.



Gang of robbers busted, 5 arrested
Were planning another robbery; stolen Mahindra pick-up and motorcycle recovered
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, October 11
With the arrest of five persons, the Jagraon police claimed to have busted a gang of robbers that was active in the Jagraon area in the recent past. The police have also recovered a stolen Mahindra pick-up vehicle and a motorcycle from the accused.

The accused have been identified as Pargat Singh, Charanjit Singh, Parmanand alias Nandu, Ram Udagar alias Ramu and Balwinder Singh alias Kinnu. They were arrested during a raid conducted by a police team from the Sidhwan Bet police station following a tip-off.

Sidhwan Bet Station House Officer (SHO) Rakesh Kumar said the police had received secret information that some suspected persons were spotted in the Sidhwan Bet area.

“Following this, a police team carried out a raid and arrested the five accused while they were planning for another robbery,” the SHO said. “During the preliminary investigation, the accused have confessed their involvement in over six robbery incidents. The members of the gang had carried out robberies in Ludhiana, Moga and Barnala districts,” Kumar said.

Later, the accused were presented before a local court, which sent them to two-day police remand. The police are expecting some more revelations during the questioning of the accused.



Table tennis meet: Manit corners glory in U-10 event
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 11
Manit Jain, a student of IIIrd standard of Sat Paul Mittal School here, bagged the top honours in the boys U-10 category of the Ludhiana District Table Tennis Tournament being held here today.

An upcoming paddler, Manit (8) recorded an emphatic victory against Parav in straight sets 11-6, 11-7 and 11-3 to clinch the title.

Earlier, in the semi-final match, Manit outplayed Aarav Batta 11-9, 11-8 and 11-6 while Parav got the better of Rusharth 11-6, 11-7 and 11-3.

In the girls section (U-10), Arshvir faced a little resistance from Dhriti around the table. However, she won the match 11-7, 11-6 and 11-8 to lift the title.

In the U-12 category, Gauri Sharma and Tamanpreet defeated their opponents to emerge as champions in the girls and boys sections, respectively. Gauri survived some anxious moments before coming out triumphant against Harleen Kaur 11-6, 11-7, 5-11 and 11-8. Tamanpreet too toiled hard to tame his rival Pranay, whom he beat 11-8, 7-11,11-9 and 11-7.



Chess tourney
Green Land School romp home with U-19 title
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 11
Green Land Senior Secondary School, Jalandhar bypass branch, Ludhiana, bagged the boys U-19 title of the CBSE North Zone-II Chess Championship held in Sangrur from October 8 to 11.

Dilbagh Singh, Samyak Jain, Paras Narang, Madhur and Gaurav Sood from the school won 20 out of 24 points to romp home. On the basis of their performance at Sangrur, Green Land School qualified for the nationals to be held at DAV Public School, Amritsar, next month.

Rajesh Rudhra, chairman-cum-director of the chain of Green Land Schools, and school Principal Baldeep Pandher congratulated the boys and their coach PK Ahmed on the achievement.



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