L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Diwali rush spells chaos on roads 
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
With four days left for Diwali, the city markets have started witnessing traffic bottlenecks. During the peak hours, one comes across long traffic jams at many busy market places like Ghumar Mandi, Model Town, Fountain Chowk, Bharat Nagar Chowk, Jagraon Bridge, Chaura Bazar, Meena Bazar and Gur Mandi.

However, the traffic police claimed that they had made elaborate arrangements to avoid inconvenience to the commuters during the festive season.

According to information, the traffic helpline number (1073) receives more than 100 calls every day. The majority of calls received by Control Room (Traffic) are from the Ghumar Mandi, Kesar Ganj, Sabhun Bazar, Field Ganj and Chaura Bazar areas. The senior police officials have ordered the traffic police against going on leave during the festival days.

Four policemen have been deployed at the Ghumar Mandi chowk to regulate traffic.

Sana Arora, a resident, said: “Traffic seems to be going out of control in the city. The festive rush has led to chaos in the markets. One can hardly shop around tension-free. The traffic police should be strict with violators”.

Rakesh Arora, a commuter, said: “It took me more than 15 minutes to reach Fountain Chowk from Aarti Chowk last evening. I cursed myself for opting this route. People park their vehicles anywhere they want and there is no check on violators.”

Gurdeep Singh, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic), said: “I have asked the traffic police to be alert during the festive season. We have denied station leave to all cops. Our recovery vans have been stationed at all major markets. We challan violators and tow away wrongly parked vehicles. The major reason for traffic chaos is unavailability of parking lots in markets. We are trying our best”. 

Avoid commuting by cars, appeal police

According to the traffic officials, four-wheelers are a major hurdle in maintaining a free flow of traffic in the congested markets. The increasing number of cars in the city has compounded the problem. The police have appealed to residents to use two-wheelers and public transport to avoid traffic jams these days.


MC prepares data on unapproved buildings 
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
In Patiala district, around 1,500 building plans are approved on an average a year. But in Ludhiana, which happens to be the largest district of Punjab, the average figure of approved building plans is not more than 1,000. According to higher officials, if 20,000 buildings have come up with approved plans in the 
district in the past 20 years, around 1.5 lakh buildings have been raised without getting their plans approved.

Continuing with his drive against illegal buildings, the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation, Pradeep Aggarwal, has asked all Assistant Town Planners (ATPs) and other officials to get the details of each and every building on the six major roads, GT Road, Jalandhar Road, Ferozepur Road, Malhar Road, Gill Road and Chandigarh Road, by November 4.

“I have asked the officials to provide me the details of all buildings on these six major roads. As municipal Commissioner, I have found that most of the buildings have been raised without approved building plans, which is illegal. The officials have started with the job and I hope by November 4, which is the deadline for providing the details of buildings, we will be able to get the exact data,” said Aggarwal.

The commissioner said as mentioned earlier, more than 70 per cent of the complaints pertained to the building branch. “We are trying to crack the whip against illegal buildings and have demolished many such structures in the recent past. The owner has to get his/her building plan approved, or else they should be ready to face the music,” said Aggarwal. 

Notices to owners for not paying CLU charges

Many owners have changed their residential buildings into commercial ones without paying the change of land use charges. The building branch, Zone D, has issued notices to the owners of three leading buildings, which have not paid their CLUs to date. They have been carrying out commercial activities at these buildings for more than a decade.

Seven days’ time has been given to the owners to produce the documents pertaining to the CLU or else action as per law will be taken against them.



Speeding auto claims life 

Ludhiana, October 18
A 28-year-old youth was killed after he was hit by a speeding three-wheeler at Dugri late this evening. The deceased has been identified as Sandeep Bhatia, a resident of Aman Nagar, near Greenland School.

According to information, the victim was on his motorcycle and returning home when a three-wheeler hit him in the Dugri area. Sandeep Bhatia died on the spot.

The three-wheeler driver escaped, leaving behind his vehicle. The police impounded the three-wheeler and registered a case against its driver under section 279 and 304 A of the IPC. — TNS



Gang of looters busted
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
The city police claimed to have busted a gang of looters with the arrest of eight of members here today. The police recovered a large number of weapons from their possession. The accused have been identified as Sudesh Kumar, Tulsi Kumar, Darshanpal, Ashokpal, Jatinder, Saagar, Mann Singh and Pankaj. All accused are natives of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh but have been residing in the city for the past few years.

According to information, following a tip-off, a police team, led by Rajanparminder Singh, in charge of the CIA staff-1, and Surinder Singh, Focal Point SHO, arrested the accused from a vacant plot near the APS factory, Focal Point.

Surinder Singh said they used to run a gang and had been facing several criminal cases at different police stations. Ashok Pal is the kingpin of the gang. According to the police, they used to loot people at factories, petrol stations and other commercial establishments.

The police recovered a truck, three countrymade pistols, one revolver, 18 bullets, two iron roads and sharp weapon from them.

Meanwhile, the police produced them before a local court that remanded them in police custody.

Rajanparminder Singh said: “We have been investigating the case thoroughly. We will be able to solve the cases of loot and robbery with their investigation. They are hardcore looters.”

Theft at house

Thieves struck at a home and decamped with the a licensed revolver and jewellery at Baba Nand Singh Nagar on the night of October 16. Karnail Singh said the thieves stole a revolver , two gold chains, a gold ring, and other valuables. A case has been registered.



Structures razed

Ludhiana, October 18
The building branch officials of Zone A demolished illegal structures today.
At Kailash Nagar, an upcoming structure was demolished. The officials said the owner continued with the construction within a 100-metre radius from the Jalandhar bypass despite warning.

Meanwhile, a boundary wall was razed by the MC staff at Shivpuri, Phase I.

Another boundary wall was razed on Jalandhar Bypass. The owner was raising it despite the fact that the matter was sub judice. — TNS



Residents allege shoddy patch work
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, October 18
The Municipal Corporation authorities are under fire from the local residents for carrying out sub-standard patch work on the stretch from Ferozepur Road to Sunet village on the outskirts of the city.

The residents alleged that the patch work on the road was being carried out without conforming to the technical specifications and laid down procedure. The matter had been brought to the notice of the senior officials of the civic body as well as the Mayor, who said necessary corrective action would be taken, they added.

Sehajpreet Singh Mangat, a local resident and OSD to Punjab Irrigation Minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, said the patches on the road were being laid without properly cleaning up the area of dust and gravel while the tack coat of bitumen, which was a precondition for patch work in the prevailing weather conditions, was also not being applied.

A senior MC official said the technical staff had been asked to look into the matter and strict instructions were issued to the supervisory staff of the buildings and roads branch to carry out patch work on roads as per the laid down procedure and the technical specifications.



Look before you gobble down tempting sweets
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
As demand for sweets goes up during the festive season, chances of adulteration of sweets and milk products remain high. The Health Department has been collecting samples of eatables and seizing adulterated sweets almost daily.

Only yesterday, 1.25 quintals of milk cake from Gopal Sweets and Confectionery located at Khanna was seized. Food Safety Officer Ravinder Garg said the milk cake was being prepared using “soozi”, milk powder, sugar and refined oil.

The common adulterants used in milk during the festive season are water, chalk, urea, caustic soda and skimmed milk. Khoya is prepared using adulterants such as refined oil and skimmed milk powder.

Similarly, contents of potato and vanaspati have been found in adulterated ghee while the silver topping used to garnish sweets is made of aluminium instead of silver.

Many manufacturers put coloured corn hair on sweets to make it appear as saffron, which is a costly product. Combine all this together and you have the perfect recipe for bad stomach aches, if not worse.

Daljit Singh, president of the Progressive Dairy Farmers Association, said: “Adulteration of milk is a huge problem in Punjab. We must take every precaution to safeguard our families and friends from health risks posed by adulterated milk. As per the recent decision, the production and sale of adulterated milk will be an offence punishable with life imprisonment in Punjab. It is a welcome move.”

How to nail adulteration

To check whether khoya is adulterated, rub it with your hands. If it is oily, that means it is pure. Similarly, impurities (aluminium) present in silver foil will stick to your palms when your rub the foil with hands. To check further, burn the foil. If the ash is brownish, then it is aluminium. To test saffron sprinkled on sweets, put it in water. If colour runs, it is adulterated. Genuine saffron releases colour after some time.

To check if milk is adulterated, put a few drops on a smooth plate and tilt it. If it is pure, the milk will run slowly and leave a white trail. You may add a few drops of iodine to a small sample and if it turns blue, then it is adulterated.



Paddy procurement
Fresh instructions issued
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
Punjab Irrigation Minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon today issued instructions to procurement agencies to lift paddy on time.
Dhillon visited grain markets of the district and supervised the process of paddy procurement yesterday. He was accompanied by Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal.

“The state government has made arrangements to ensure hassle-free procurement in the state,” said Dhillon.

Accompanied by officials of the district administration, the minister visited the grain markets at Sahnewal, Koom Kalan, Dhanansu and Khasi Kalan today. Dhillon also interacted with farmers and urged them to bring only the ripened crop to the markets. “I have appealed to the farmers to bring crop with minimal moisture content. This way, they will get goo rates,” said the minister. He also pulled up some erring officials and asked them to speed up the procurement process.

Government and private agencies have procured 1,16,603 tonnes of paddy out of 1,22,997 tonnes till October 16, 2014. The arrival of paddy in Ludhiana grain market is 8,938 tonnes and the procurement is 8,177, in Khanna, 57,975 tonnes have arrived and the procurement is 57,630 tonnes. In Sahnewal, the arrival is 5,950 tonnes and the procurement is 5,504, in Samrala, the arrival is 9,300 tonnes and the procurement is 8,764 tonnes, in Machhiwara arrival is 15,313 tonnes and the procurement is 14,087 tonnes, in Doraha, the arrival is 4,976 tonnes and the procurement is 4,806, in Malaud, the arrival is 2,014 tonnes and the procurement is 1,654 tonnes, in Kila Raipur arrival is 1,426 tonnes and the procurement is 1,060, in Jagraon, the arrival is 4,931 tonnes and the procurement is 4,478 tonnes, in Dakha, the arrival is 7,267 tonnes and the procurement is 6,718 tonnes, in Raikot, the arrival is 3,103 tonnes and the procurement is 2,913 tonnes, in Hathur, the arrival is 78 tonnes and the procurement is 43 tonnes, in Sidhwan Bet, the arrival is 1,726 tonnes and the procurement is 769 tonnes.



Right to education
Schools yet to get their Act together 
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
The implementation of the Right to Education (RTE) Act seems to be a distant dream in schools. The government has failed to implement the first phase of the Act even after three years.  Punjab introduced the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009, in 2011. The first phase was supposed to be enforced by 2015, but nothing of the sort happened. Government schools are still deprived of basic facilities.

The Act says there should be one teacher for 30 students. As per data, 26 per cent posts have been lying vacant in the government schools. As per a report submitted by the Department of Elementary Education of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), 70,000 more students have been admitted to the schools. An NGO said there was a slight change in the drop-out rate. Sukhdir Singh, Nav Chetna Bal Bhali Committee, said, “The RTE Act offers free and compulsory education to students. But the sad part is that the schools do not have adequate infrastructure.” Most of the buildings have been declared unsafe. Gurjot Singh, District Education Officer, said, “The Act aims at imparting free education to students. We are hopeful of getting more and more students to the schools.”



school notes
Diwali celebrated

Ludhiana: BBSB Convent School, Sidhwan Bet, organised a competition. Students took part in diya and candle decoration. Principal Anita Kumari appreciated the efforts of the students and gave them prizes.

Founder’s Day

Kundan Vidya Mandir celebrated the 74th Founder’s Day. Dr Lajpat Rai, an eye surgeon, was the chief guest. Principal Navita Puri extended a warm 
welcome to the chief guest and other dignitaries. A cultural programme was organised. Students 
presented a show focused on the need to strengthen the ethics and values required to bring about a positive change in society. KG students presented a fairy tale ‘Sleeping Beauty’ which left the audience spell-bound.

Heritage exhibition

Heritage Club of DCM Presidency School organised an exhibition in the school. Students came dresses in traditional attire. Principal Nupur Nutan appreciated the efforts put in by the students.

Dental workshop

In order to create awareness about dental hygiene, a workshop was organised at BCM School, Dugri. Dr Gaganpreet Kaur (BDS) told students about the importance of teeth, their care and also demonstrated the right way and right time of brushing them. School principal Dr Vandna Shahi asked students to maintain hygiene. — TNS



Prof Mohan Singh Mela 
A maelstrom of bright colours 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
Prof Mohan Singh Mela kicked off today. SS Channy, Chief Information Commissioner, Punjab, inaugurated the three-day event.

He unveiled the statue of Prof Mohan Singh at Aarti Chowk.

Prof Mohan Singh Memorial International Foundation has been organising the mela for the past 35 years. Tributes were paid to former MP Gurcharan Singh Galib who breathed his last at the DMCH today.

Later, a symposium and a seminar were held at Punjabi Bhawan. The first session of the seminar was presided over by Dr SN Sewak and SS Channy.

While Dr HS Sirsa read out his paper. In the poetic symposium, Punjabi poet Surjit Paatar was the chief guest. Poets Swaranjeet Savi, Noor Muhammad Noor, Harnek Kaler, Jaspreet Kaur Falak, Meet Anmol, Ravinder Diwana, Sardar Panchhi and Hardyal Singh.

Jagdev Singh Jassowal, chairman, Pargat Singh Grewal, president, and Gurbhajan Gill, general secretary of the foundation resolved to respect the State Language Act as in schools affiliated to the CBSE and the ICSE, children were punished for speaking Punjabi.

They said old writers and poets should be given free treatment and that they should be able to avail benefits of various schemes.

He said a Punjabi department might come up at Chaudhary Devi Lal University.




Building bylaw violations rampant 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
Glaxzy Hotel on Ferozepur Road has been served a seven-day notice by the civic body for violating building bylaws.
Dr SS Bindra, Assistant Town Planner, Zone D, said the building lacked adequate parking space and just the ground floor was approved by the MC while all other floors were constructed in the past two years without the Municipal Corporation’s approval.

“We are waiting for the owner’s reply and action will be taken accordingly. If enough parking space is provided by the owner and fee is deposited (if violations are compoundable), we will not seal/demolish the building,” said Bindra.

Harkirat Singh, building owner, said vehicles were being parked in a vacant plot at the rear of the building. “We have got building maps approved. If we have violated the bylaws, we are ready to pay the penalty,” said Singh.

Putting blame on the MC officials, an RTI activist said the High Court had instructed officials to take action against such buildings.



Paddy procurement yet to pick up in Jagraon
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, October 18
Paddy procurement is yet to pick up at Jagraon Grain Market.
Farmers are upset over the slow pace of procurement, especially by government agencies. They said they were made to wait for long. Rice millers are procuring more crop as compared to the government agencies. But the farmers are not happy with the price they are being paid by the rice millers. Most of the farmers expressed disappointment.

“I have been waiting for the agencies to procure my crop for the past three days,” said Surjit Singh, a farmer of Sherpur village.

Commission agents too are not happy with the procurement procedure. “The Union government has not released funds for the procurement. The agencies have not made any payments so far,” said a commission agent.

Sources said of the 6,748 tonnes of the crop, 5,772 tonnes had been procured at Jagraon Grain Market.

The Food Corporation of India has not procured the crop this time while PunGrain has purchased 599 tonnes. Punsup has procured 366 tonnes while Punjab Agro has purchased 113 tonnes. Markfed has purchased 105 tonnes while Wherehouse has purchased 12 tonnes. Private rice millers have purchased 4,557 tonnes. Jagraon Market Committee secretary Jaswinder Singh said the farmers were bringing green crop which contained more moisture as compared to the amount fixed by the government. “It is due to the higher amount of moisture in the crop that the government agencies are not able to procure the crop. However, the procurement is expected to pick up in the coming days,” he added. 



Mélange of cultures blends with talent 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
The Panjab University Zonal Youth and Heritage Festival (Ludhiana Zone A) began at the PU Regional Centre today. More than 1,500 students from 15 colleges affiliated to Panjab University are participating in the four-day event.

The first day is dedicated to Sahir Ludhianvi. PU Vice-Chancellor Arun Grover inaugurated the event. The souvenir was released by Professor Grover, Registrar Col GS Chadha, Dr Nirmal Jaura, director, youth welfare department, Dr HS Gosal, director, PURC, Ludhiana.

Arun Grover highlighted the importance of cultural activities in the overall development of students and appreciated the initiative of Gosal, staff and students of the PU Regional Centre for organising the event for the first time.

He stated that PU emphasised on holistic education. On the central theme of the fest ”Lets Nurture Drug Free Society”, he said skill development of students, along with concurrent forms of education, would result in meaningful employment and was the only way to free the drug-affected youth of the bad habit. He said youngsters should take part in extra-curricular activities. The auditorium of Panjab University Extension Library was rechristened as Annie Besant Hall.

Dr GS Chadha, Registrar, Panjab University, paid his maiden visit to the regional centre. He laid emphasis on communal harmony.

Dr Nirmal Jaura congratulated the director on hosting the event. Dr Shiv Kumar Dogra, organising secretary of the festival, welcomed guests. Dr Deepak Manmohan Singh, director, World Punjabi Centre, Patiala, was the chief guest. Shabad, bhajans, group songs, classical music, vaar, kali, kavishri and creative writing were the highlights of the day.



Sale of crackers banned 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh/ Malerkotla , October 18
The administration has banned the sale and storage of crackers. Wholesalers and retailers have been asked not to display crackers and inflammable products outside their shops. Shops located in narrow streets have also been prohibited to sell crackers.

Those stocking and selling crackers have been advised to make adequate firefighting arrangements.

With intent to implement directions of the apex court regarding prevention of environmental and noise pollution, Additional Deputy Commissioner Sangrur Pritam Singh Johal, while exercising powers under Section 144 of CrPC, has imposed a ban on bursting, storage and sale of crackers producing sound higher than 125 db within 4 metres of radius.

Johal said nobody would be allowed to burst crackers within 100 m radius of silence zones, including hospitals, educational institutes, courts and religious institutes.

The ADC advised Sub-Divisional Magistrates to earmark specific places for display and sale of crackers.

Notified places for displaying crackers are MGMN Senior Secondary School, Ahmedgarh, Dr Zakir Hussain Stadium, Malerkotla, Dushehra Ground near grain market, Amargarh, grounds near Sant Atar Singh College, Sandaur, Khalsa High School, Sangrur, opposite Magnus Palace Sangrur, Banda Bahadur Stadium, Bhawanigarh, and Bhai Mati Dass Senior Secondary School Ground, Longowal. The authorities said the ban would remain in force till November 29. 



Save water for a better future 
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, October 18
Having triggered fights against drug addiction and dirtiness, the Education Department has pulled up socks to sensitise students about the significance of conservation of water.

The department has joined hands with the Central Ground Water Board to launch an awareness movement which aims at involving all students of classes VI, VII and VIII in the water conservation crusade.

The authorities at all government and private-aided schools have been asked to ensure that the students divulge their ideas through paintings during the first phase of the national-level competition.

Director General, School Education (DGSE), GK Singh had directed all district education officials and school heads of the state to persuade and prepare the students of for participating in the first phase of the competition scheduled to take place on November 5.

Teachers have been asked to illustrate elements of “Save Water – Live Better”, the theme of the event.

“Surveys conducted from time to time and reports have pointed out that both availability and the quality of water had been degrading persistently in a majority of the states. Consequently, the Union and state governments are extremely 
worried about the approaching crisis and educating students about conservation of water,” said the DGSE.

The DGSE has directed the authorities to ensure that the teachers organising the competition should guide the students about the elements of the issue so that the target of sensitising them about the conservation of natural resource is achieved.

All participants will be given certification of participation and best three paintings from each class will be sent to nodal officers of their respective regions.

The state-level competition will be held in Chandigarh on November 26 and 50 students exhibiting best performances will take part in the competition.

A national-level competition will be held at the ICAR in New Delhi in January 2015. The winner of the event will be given a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh whereas next four and subsequent eight performers will be awarded Rs 50,000 and Rs 25,000, respectively.



Chinese printers call for mutual cooperation 
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, October 18
A delegation of Chinese corrugated packaging industry visited the city yesterday to discuss the possible areas of cooperation with the Offset Printers Association (OPA).
The print leaders from China are Alex Wang, project director, and Susie Zhang, marketing manager, Reed Exhibitions, China.

OPA general secretary Kamal Chopra said it was a momentous occasion for the city-based printing and packaging industry when leading print professionals from China were here to have an interaction with the local entrepreneurs. The Chinese print leaders, he said, would also be visiting some of the printing and packaging units to have an idea of the Indian standards and environments of working. Alex Wang said India and China could do wonders if they started working jointly in the field of printing and packaging. He said India was strong in software and China in hardware; and if the two nations joined hands, they could achieve greater heights. “We are here to explore the possibilities of mutual cooperation in the field of packaging, printing and corrugation industry,” he added. Susie Zhang, the other member of the delegation, said, the OPA and the North India Printers Association (NIPA) were the supporting associations for the shows conducted by the Reed Exhibition at China.



Docs, students take out ‘Pink Walk’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, October 18
On the last day of the Breast Cancer Awareness Week, Fortis Hospital organised a “Pink Walk”.
The walk started from Hotel Le’ Baron on Ferozepur Road.

Students of DAV Public School, Sarabha Nagar, Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar, DCM School, Jamalpur, and Spring Dale School, Chandigarh Road, spread awareness among residents.

Dr JS Sekhon, director, medical oncology, Fortis Hospital, said, “Early detection can help save a number of lives.” 



Cricket trials today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, October 18
The Ludhiana District Cricket Association (LDCA) will hold trials to select probables in the U-15 and U-18 categories on October 19.
Vinod Chitkara, general secretary, LDCA, said the trials would be held at Arya College on Sunday from 8.30 am. Players born on or after September 1, 1999, are eligible to take part in the U-15 category while those born on or after September 1, 1996, can participate in the trials in the U-18 category.

The selected probables will be given coaching at the regional coaching centre being run by the association.



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