07012019-LT-01.qxd 1/6/2019 11:23 PM Page 1 c m y b MONDAY | 7 JANUARY 2019 | LUDHIANA LUDHIANA TRIBUNE Science Congress Chinese string sale picks up National School Games The National Botanical Research Institute has come up with a healthy version of soft drink. P2 Sale of Chinese strings has picked up in city despite ban. Shopkeepers tread cautiously. P4 City skater Chashmeet Singh Sehgal bags two medals in the 64th National School Games in Karnataka. P4 FORECAST MOSTLY SUNNY | MAX 18°C MIN 7°C | SUNSET MONDAY 5:40 PM SUNRISE TUESDAY 7:25 AM SNIPPETS Two held with 95 cases of illicit liquor Ludhiana: The police have nabbed two smugglers and recovered 95 cases of illicit liquor from their possession. They have been identified as Kala and Prabhdeep Singh, both residents of Ambedkar Colony. The investigating officer, ASI Dilbag Singh, said acting on a tip-off, a naka was set up at Sherpur Chowk. The police signalled a pickup truck to stop for checking. They recovered 95 cases of illicit liquor from the truck. A case under the Excise Act was registered and the suspects arrested. TNS 15-year-old girl goes missing Ludhiana: A 15-year-old girl, who worked at a footwear shop, went missing under mysterious circumstances. Her father, Inderjeet Singh, told the police that on January 1, his daughter went to her workplace but did not return home. He suspected that she was kidnapped on the pretext of marriage. The police have registered a kidnapping case against an unknown person. TNS 2 tractor-trailers impounded for illegal mining Ludhiana: The Salem Tabri police have impounded two tractortrailers used for illegal mining. The miners, however, escaped. The police got a tip-off that two persons were taking tractortrailers carrying sand illegally mined from the Sutlej. A naka was set up at Kutbewal village. When the police signalled the drivers to stop, they fled the spot leaving the vehicles behind. A case under the Mining Act has been registered. TNS INSIDE Health Dept 'swine flu ready' P4 The Health Department has geared up to tackle swine flu cases in the district. Necessary kits have been provided to all government and private hospitals and vaccination of the hospital staff, who can come in contact with swine flu patients, has also been done. Isolated wards have been set up by all government and private hospitals in the district. Action likely against ‘absent’ physician P4 Taking serious note of perpetual complaints against a doctor posted at Civil Hospital, Payal, and his absence from workplace during duty hours, the district health authorities have initiated action against him. Action was initiated after legislator of the segment Lakhvir Singh Lakha conducted a surprise check at the hospital at 4.35 pm on Sunday and found the doctor absent. Domestic help found hanging in bathroom Records burnt in factory fire Kin cry foul; board of doctors notices scratches on her neck What employer says Tribune News Service Ludhiana, January 6 A 14-year-old domestic help was found hanging from a bathroom shower at the house of a businessman in Phase I, Dugri, last night. The girl’s family suspected that she was murdered and then hanged from the shower. The body was sent to Civil Hospital for a postmortem examination. However, the board of doctors, namely Dr Milan, Dr Ramandeep Kaur and Dr Anu Priya, refused to conduct post-mortem, saying that there were scratches on the neck of the deceased. Now, a new board of doctors will be formed tomorrow that will conduct the autopsy in the presence of forensic experts. The deceased’s father, Rajesh Kumar, a resident of Choti Jawaddi, said he has five sons and two daughters. About two months ago, a The house owner, Upkar Singh, said around 11.45 pm on Saturday night, his domestic help, Anita, after serving food to the members of his family went to the top floor to answer nature’s call. When she did not return for a long time, he went upstairs and was shocked to see her hanging in the bathroom. Fire officials inspect the gutted factory office at Focal Point on Sunday. PHOTO: ASHWANI DHIMAN The mother of 14-year-old domestic help Anita (inset) shows a photo of her children on Sunday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: HIMANSHU MAHAJAN woman employed her daughter as domestic at the house of a businessman in Dugri. “During the wee hours of Sunday, the man, at whose house my daughter worked, came to my place and told me that she was not well. He took me along to his house. When I reached there, I saw my daughter’s body lying on a cot. The policemen present there told me that the girl committed suicide. But I suspect that she was first sexually harassed and then murdered. The police should investigate the matter and nab the culprit,” he said as tears rolled down his cheeks. The investigating officer, ASI Chaman Singh, said the house owner, Upkar Singh, in a statement to the police stated that he owned a spare Continued on page 2 Tribune News Service Ludhiana, January 6 A major fire broke out at an auto parts factory in Phase VIII, Focal Point, this morning. It took fire brigade almost five hours to completely douse the flames. The fire reportedly broke out in the office area of Highway Industries. There would have been a major loss, had the fire spread to the other units where manufacturing process was going on. The fire did not spread to the other parts of the factory, thanks to the firefighting arrangements in place at the factory. According to the fire officials, the factory owner has an NOC issued by the Fire Department. Fire extinguishers kept in the office area helped a lot in controlling the fire. The fire officials said they received a call on their toll free number around 7.25 am. When they received the call from an employee, the factory’s own rescue team was already on the job. Soon, the fire engines reached the spot and started firefighting operations. Sources said the fire took place in the office area where most of the record of the industry was lying. Apart from the office record, the furniture and other equipment were destroyed by the fire. The fire officials believed that a short-circuit could be the cause of fire. The station fire officer, Srishti Nath Sharma, said the firemen did not let the fire spread to other sections of the factory. Civic body keeps up pressure, Passengers at wits’ end, 10 trains cancelled 3 more illegal colonies razed Our Correspondent Our Correspondent Ludhiana, January 6 As the last date for submission of applications for regularisation of illegal colonies draws near, the Municipal Corporation has swung into action against unscrupulous developers in an apparent bid to build pressure upon them to fall in line and come forward for getting their colonies regularised. Close on the heels of demolition carried out at seven unlicensed colonies in parts of the city on Saturday, the MC building branch acted against three more colonies that fall in Zone A today. Assistant Town Planner (ATP) of Zone A Mohan Singh, who led the demolition team, said roads, streets and sewer lines under construction were dug up, electric poles pulled down and some structures razed in two colonies at Gurnam Nagar on Jassian Road and Flower Valley on Kakowal Road. He said under instructions from the City Mayor and senior MC officials, a list of 78 A machine razes a structure at an illegal colony in Zone A on Sunday. TRIBUNE PHOTO illegal colonies had been sent to the Commissioner of Police for registration of cases for violation of the PUDA Act. At the same time, a formal request had been made to the revenue officials and the district authorities to stop registration of sale deeds in all illegal/unlicensed colonies. It was learnt that the MC had decided to adopt a tough stand against the developers of illegal colonies in the wake of poor response to the new policy for regularisation of colonies notified by the Punjab Government on October 18. The policy is aimed at providing a four months window to the developers for submission of their applications for regularisation till February 17. There were some 150-odd unlicensed colonies identified within the city limits. Of these, the developers of not more than a couple or so had evinced their interest to get their colonies regularised till now. Ludhiana, January 6 As trains continued to run at the mercy of weather gods today, the passengers remained at their wits’ end. Most trains were cancelled at last minute, rescheduled for late departure, partially cancelled or diverted via alternative routes due to the adverse weather conditions. The Railways cancelled 10 trains, rescheduled three for late departure, partially cancelled two and diverted four others. According to information, 12241/42 Chandigarh-Amritsar-Chandigarh, 13151 Jammu Tawi-Kolkata Sealdah Express, 14674 Amritsar-Jaynagar Shaheed Express, 15209/10 Saharsa-AmritsarSaharsa Jansewa Express, 15707/08 Katihar-AmritsarKatihar Amrapali Express, 19614 Amritsar-Ajmer Express and 22424 AmritsarGorakhpur Jansadhadran Express trains were cancelled. The pair of 14613/14 Chandigarh-Ferozepur-Chandigarh Express remained partially cancelled between SAS Nagar (Mohali) and Chandigarh in both directions. Most long-route trains are running full to capacity at Ludhiana railway station. PHOTO: INDERJEET VERMA Trains running late ■ (6 to 8 hrs): 14603 Saharsa-Amritsar Jansadharan Express, 22551 Darbhanga-Jalandhar City Antyodaya Express, 12331 HowrahJammu Tawi Himgiri Express, 01707 Jabalpur-Attari Special Express. ■ (3 to 6 hrs): 12355 Rajendra Nagar (Patna)-Jammu Tawi Archana Express, 18101 Tatanagar-Jammu Tawi Muri Express, 12237 Varanasi-Jammu Tawi Begumpura Express, 13005 Howrah-Amritsar Mail, 22431 Allahabad-Udhampur Superfast Express, 22552 Jalandhar City-Darbhanga Antyodaya Express and 01708 AttariJabalpur Special Express. ■ (1 to 3 hrs): 13049 Howrah-Amritsar Express, 13307 DhanbadFerozepur Ganga Sutlej Express, 11057 CST (Mumbai)-Amritsar Dadar Express and 12357 Kolkata-Amritsar Durgiana Express. Among the rescheduled trains were 12238 Jammu Tawi-Varanasi Begumpura Express (1.30 hrs), 12491 Barauni-Jammu Tawi Maur Dhwaj Express (4 hrs) and 22552 Jalandhar City-Darbhanga Antyodaya Express (2.30 hrs). Further, 12380 AmritsarSealdah Jallianwala Bagh Express, 12752 Jammu TawiNanded Express, 22430 Pathankot-Delhi Express and 22552 Jalandhar City-Darbhanga Antyodaya Express were diverted via alternative routes between Ludhiana and Ambala Cantt. Meanwhile, Northern Railway announced that due to operational reasons, the Continued on page 2 LIT won’t toe digital India line, manual billing system still in use Digitisation of record goes on at snail’s pace for past two years Kuldip Bhatia Ludhiana, January 6 Even though there has been persistent thrust on going digital and making computers a way of life across the nation, the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), it seems, does not think so. The digitisation of record pertaining to residential, commercial and institutional properties – which was taken up a couple of years ago, has still not been completed. The billing system for user charges (water supply and sewerage bills) is still manual and to make the matters worse, the sign boards put up in the Trust office are not updated and the same is the fate of official web site of the Trust. In a complaint lodged with Punjab Local Bodies Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, residents of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar – a colony developed and maintained by LIT – have alleged that while the local Municipal Corporation SBS Nagar residents complain Residents of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar have alleged that the entire record of the Trust remained in physical form rather than being digitised for the simple reason that the employees of the sale branch had their vested interests and were used to manipulating entries in the files for their personal gain. “In many cases of grave irregularities, files are deliberately misplaced to keep the dubious dealings under wraps,” they said. has switched over to the online system for most of the services such as water/sewerage bills, approval of building plans, property tax and payment of various local taxes, the LIT authorities shun digitisation like plague. The residents of the colony, c m y b Arvind Sharma, Amarjit Singh, Balraj Chopra, Pran Bhatia and Surinder Singh Grewal have alleged that the entire record of the Trust remained in physical form rather than being digitised for the simple reason that the employees of the sale branch had their vested interests and were used to manipulate entries in the files for their personal gain. “In many cases of grave irregularities, files are deliberately misplaced to keep the dubious dealings under wraps,” they added. It has been further stated in the complaint that the sign boards put up at the LIT office were not updated which should be a continuous process. “For example, a new Executive Officer has taken over a couple of months ago but the sign board still displays the name of the previous incumbent. Similarly, several officials of the engineering and other branches, who have since been shifted elsewhere, are shown as being posted here,” said the residents. Owing to non-digitisation and shortage of staff, the bills for user charges to residents of most of the LIT colonies have not been sent for the past two years and arrears were accumulating. If at a later date the LIT issued bills in lump sum, it would become difficult for the residents to pay accumulated arrears in one go and many residents would be penalised for default even though the fault lied with the LIT. The complainants have urged the government to issue directions to the LIT authorities to streamline the working, especially of public dealing departments, go for digitisation of records, update all sign boards and the official web site.
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