08052023-LT-01.qxd 5/8/2023 12:35 AM Page 1 c m y b Ludhiana tribune SAD DISTRICT PRESIDENT PASSES AWAY AT 70 STRANGER THINGS ULTIMATE SEASON FACES DELAYS SHAH RUKH ON ARYAN'S EXPENSIVE CLOTHING BRAND Senior leader of Shiromani Akali Dal, Harbhajan Dang was a six-time councillor of Ludhiana MC. P2 Popular series Stranger Things has paused work on its final season, due to due to writers' strike P3 Shah Rukh gave a hilarious reply to a fan, who was complaining his son’s expensive clothing brand. P4 » » FORECAST MAINLY CLEAR SKY MAX 37°C | MIN 20°C YESTERDAY MAX 36°C | MIN 18°C SUNSET MONDAY 7.10 PM SUNRISE TUESDAY 5.36 AM » MONDAY | 8 MAY 2023 | LUDHIANA Three PSPCL employees booked on cheating charge Our Correspondent Raikot, may 7 The Ludhiana (rural) police have booked three PSPCL officials under Sections 409 and 120-B of the IPC for alleged criminal breach of trust and causing loss of equipment worth more than Rs 5,65,37,355 crore belonging to Punjab State Power Corporation Limited, their employer establishment. The suspects have been identified as Junior Engineer Daljit Singh, a resident of Rasulpur village in the Jagraon subdivision, Ajit Pal Singh of Patti Tara Kheri Chelan village and Chhinder Pal Singh of Bank Colony near Biradh Ashram Dhuri, all officials of the PSPCL. They were suspended on March 21 in the case. No arrest has been made so far. The case was registered at the Raikot Sadar police station on the basis of the outcome of an inquiry conducted by Raikot Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Rachhpal Singh Dhindsa after a complaint made by Assistant Executive Engi- Equipment worth ~5.65 cr were issued without adopting standard procedure neer, Raikot, Kulwant Singh. Senior Superintendent of Police, Ludhiana (Rural), Navneet Singh Bains, said the trio was found to have conspired to defraud the PSPCL of equipment and conductors worth Rs 5,65,37,355. Junior Engineer Daljit Singh purportedly got issued the equipment on various occasions. “The inquiry conducted by Raikot DSP Rachhpal Singh Dhindsa found that Daljit Singh had not submitted accounts in connection with the equipment worth Rs 5.65 crore withdrawn by him from stores on various occasions. Lineman Ajit Pal Singh was deployed as his assistant and SDO Chhinder Pal Singh was supposed to have the account of equipment withdrawn by Daljit, utilised for works and returned to stores,” said Bains, maintaining that the trio was found to have committed a criminal breach of trust. Tuition teacher beats Class II student, booked Tribune News Service Ludhiana, May 7 The Ludhiana rural police yesterday registered a case against a private tuition teacher, Pinder, for allegedly beating a Class II student in Jagraon. The incident was reported by child’s mother Paramjit Kaur, a resident of Agwar Rara Chungi. The woman said her daughter, Lovepreet Kaur, started going to Pinder’s Taranvir Tuition Class Centre on May 2. On Saturday when Lovepreet returned home from tuition in the evening, she was crying. Her face and body bore marks of injuries and beatings. On being asked about the rea- son for crying, she said her teacher, Pinder, had beaten her with a stick and slapped her on the face. According to Lovepreet, when she tried to run from the class, the suspect again gave her beatings. After the victim’s mother lodged a police complaint, the Jagraon police launched an investigation. A case under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 341 (wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and under the Juvenile Justice Act was registered against the man. Investigating officer in the case ASI Atma Singh said after registering a case, further investigation had been launched. The suspect is yet to be arrested in the case. The suspects were earlier suspended under Section 4(1) of the PSPCL Employees (Punishments and Appeals) Regulation, 1971, due to negligence/omissions committed by them, on March 21 and AEE Kulwant Singh had lodged a formal complaint with the police later. Illegal and fraudulent activities of the tainted officials had drawn the notice of senior functionaries following an inquiry conducted on the orders of the PSPCL Chairman Baldev Singh Sran regarding fake temporary power connection provided to a complex situated on the Raikot Bassian road prior to the suspension of the suspect. Internal inquiry by the PSPCL executives had revealed that the trio had been involved in fraudulent activities for a long time. The suspects had connived to pilfer materials worth crores from corporation stores. Dhindsa claimed that teams of police officials had been constituted to raid hideouts of the suspects who were absconding. “Hopefully, we will arrest them soon,” he said. Woman booked in fraud case Ludhiana, May 7 The Sadar Khanna police yesterday registered a case against a woman on the charges of fraud, forgery as she got issued a passport on the identity proof of her cousin. She has been identified as Gurjinder Kaur of Lalh Kalan village. Complainant Pritam Singh was posted in the Indian Navy and had been staying in Visakhapatnam with his wife Varinder Kaur since 1999. Varinder had also got her passport issued from the RPO office, Visakhapatnam. Varinder’s cousin Gurjinder in connivance with her grandfather Sant Singh, got issued a passport in the name of Varinder by forging her signatures, other documents and even using her own image. Varinder is the daughter of Gurjinder’s uncle. Pritam said Gurjinder had also obtained US passport, Green Card and even DL on her real identity proof as Gurjinder Kaur but she got issued passport from the RPO, Chandigarh, by posing herself as Varinder Kaur. — TNS 10 more contract Covid in district Tribune News Service Ludhiana, May 7 Today 10 persons tested positive for Covid. The positivity rate was 1.45 per cent and there were 109 active cases in the district on Sunday. Eight patients suffering from Covid are admitted to various hospitals and one patient is on ventilator. Those who tested positive today include six persons who were suffering from influenza-like illness, two diagnosed during OPD visit and one healthcare worker while one person is still being traced by the Health Department. Civil Surgeon Hitinder Kaur said 1,14,480 persons have tested positive and a total of 3,027 patients have lost their lives to the deadly virus since March 2020 in the district. On Sunday, 690 samples were sent for testing which include 498 RT-PCR and 192 antigen samples and one TrueNat sample. The Civil Surgeon has urged the people to follow all Covid preacautions. FIGURES Samples Positive Deaths 41,13,796 1,14,480 3,027 FOR ANY INFORMATION RELATED TO COVID Contact 0161-2444193 0161-4622276 SMART CITY MISSION Third-party audit finds quality control, financial flaws in road Kuldip Bhatia Ludhiana, May 7 The common belief that the much-touted ‘Smart City projects’ being executed in the city were impeccable in all aspects has been belied by the audit report of the Upgrade of ESI Road connecting Link Road and Pakhowal Road via Kochar Market. The road work was executed by Somaya Infrastructure under the Smart City Mission at a cost of 2.83 crore. As per information obtained from the Local Government Department, Punjab, by RTI activist Rohit Sabharwal, a thirdparty techno-financial audit of the road upgrade project, conducted by WAPCOS — a consultancy firm hired by the state government to oversee Smart City Mission projects in the city, has pointed out certain glaring technical, quality-control, financial and procedural lapses. The points raised by the consultants in the technofinancial audit were conveyed to the CEO of Ludhiana Smart City Limited (LSCL) by the Vigilance cell of the Local Government Department, Punjab, vide their letter dated October 12, 2022, for remedial action. The LSCL management has been directed to seek remedial action from the con- A stretch of the recarpeted ESI Road in Ludhiana. ASHWANI DHIMAN MAJOR SHORTCOMINGS As per the audit report, the major shortcomings in the project include work not completed within stipulated time (February 2022) and no record of time extension granted to agency. No insurance cover provided to cover liability period responsibility. Mandatory laboratory not set up on site for quality-control. struction agency as per terms and conditions of the work order and subsequent agreement signed with the construction agency. As per the audit report, the major shortcomings in the project include work not completed within stipulated time (February 2022) and no record of time extension granted to agency. Further, no damages for delay imposed on agency. No insurance cover provided to cover liability period responsibility. Mandatory laboratory not set up on site for quality-control. Performance bank guarantee deficient in amount and does not cover period beyond defect liability. Wet mix as a sub base has been used instead of lean concrete 1:18:16 and no approval sought for change from competent authority. Stone dust was used under the paver block instead of coarse sand and the silt content in bedding sand seemed to be higher than permissible limit. During checking at three points, thickness of bedding sand was found between 20 to 25 mm against stipulated specification of 40 mm. Test 2 juveniles escape from observation home Tribune News Service Ludhiana, May 7 Two boys fled from the Observation Home for Juvenile at Shimlapuri here on Sunday afternoon. After the incident, the Shimlapuri police along with senior police officials reached the spot for investigation. The SHO, Shimlapuri, Inspector Parmod Kumar, said the incident occurred at 1 pm. The two inmates lodged at the observation home in drug and theft cases scaled the wall from the rear side of the premises. The duo had made a ‘rope’ by tying blankets. Initially, an inmate was A case has been registered against two employees of Observation Home The observation home at Shimlapuri in Ludhiana. ASHWANI DHIMAN made to stand on the shoulder of another inmate which helped the former to climb the wall. Later, the ‘rope’ made from blankets was used further to help the oth- er inmate to climb the wall and escape from the place. SHO Parmod said a case was registered against two employees of Observation Home, Varinder Prashad and Vidhya Sagar. One inmate who helped the two inmates to flee was also booked by the police. Raids were being conducted at the suspected whereabouts of the inmates and soon they would be nabbed. results of 80 mm thick interlocking tiles from an NABLaccredited laboratory not provided. Caution boards and display boards of details of project not provided on site. Excess charges paid for malba (debris) carriage. The other flaws include unauthorised change of material used and payment made for the same without approval from the competent authority. Difference in specifications of material used at site and charged in the bill and unauthorised payment for the same. Payment for 57 road gulley (RG) chambers without approval from the competent authority and difference in actual and charged measurement of RG chambers. The LSCL management has been directed by the Vigilance cell of the Local Government Department to withhold payment of questionable item/works and make recovery of excess amount if payment already made in full/part to the agency. Further, directions have been issued to fix responsibility of officials who had allowed change in quality, specification of material, erratic measurement on site and inflated rates allowed for the execution of the project. 19-yr-old raped, youth booked Ludhiana, May 7 A 19-year-old girl was raped by an unidentified youth at Hardev Nagar here. Yesterday, the Jamalpur police registered a case against the suspect. The victim is mentally unstable. The complainant, the victim’s mother, told the police that on May 5 an unidentified person took her daughter to an empty plot where he raped her and later fled the scene. “When my daughter came home, she was crying and bleeding due to the sexual attack, ” she said. She told me that an unidentified youth had lured her with money and later exploited her sexually,” she added. — TNS LIT mulls renting out complex on Maharani Jhansi Road Kaunke Kalan man Kuldip Bhatia Ludhiana, May 7 After many unsuccessful attempts to sell it as a single unit at a reserve price of around Rs 200 crore, followed by many more bids to put it to use by way of selling in parts or giving it on rent, the commercial complex of Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT) on the commercial hub of Ghumar Mandi on Maharani Jhansi Road, is again set to don a new avatar, that of a rented building. Having earned the notoriety as being a ‘white elephant’ of the LIT because for yielding no returns for nearly two decades on prime land of 2.2 acre and over Rs 20 core spent on its construction, the complex would now be offered to multinational companies, institutions or even other government departments on rent, Commercial building was constructed at ~20 cr two decades ago NOT THE FIRST ATTEMPT Interestingly, the issue of renting out the complex has been explored earlier several times, first to Punjab State Power Supply Corporation Limited, then to the state GST Department and later to the Income Tax Department. Each time in the past, however, the proposals did not materialise. LIT's commercial complex on Maharani Jhansi Road in Ludhiana. TRIBUNE PHOTO: HIMANSHU MAHAJAN sources in the Trust said. It was learnt that LIT authorities had already prepared an elaborate plan for the comprehensive renovation of the complex that presently lies in a state of neglect and decay due to a lack of upkeep for the last several years. In the next meeting of Trust, a resolution for its ren- c m y b ovation and refurbishing would be approved and sent to the state government for seeking statutory approval. Confirming that steps had been initiated for the makeover of the complex, LIT officials said once the state government approves the proposal, work would be taken in hand for its renovation. “Negotiations are already on with several government departments, banks/institutions and MNCs to give the complex on rent,” said the officials. Knowledgeable sources claimed the Trust authorities were also thinking in terms of shifting their own office as well to a part of the complex so that the present office building in Feroze Gandhi Market, a financial hub, could be commercially used for better financial gains. Interestingly, the issue of renting out this complex has been explored earlier several times, first to Punjab State Power Supply Corporation Limited (PSPCL), then to the state GST Department and later to the Income Tax Department. Each time in the past, however, the proposals did not materialise. Hopefully, better times are ahead for the ‘jinx’ commercial complex. opens fire at resident over old enmity Tribune News Service Ludhiana, May 7 The Ludhiana rural police yesterday registered an attempt to murder case against a man, identified as Jagdeep Singh, of Kaunke Kalan village. The suspect had fired at another man of the village with his licenced weapon over old enmity. Complainant Balvir Singh said on Saturday he, along with his brother Gurpreet, was loading fodder in the vehicle and while on the way, they were cornered by the suspect. He abused them and pointed a weapon. Afterwards, their father Gurnam also reached the place. “The suspect took us to motor room where he again abused us. He even pelted stones at us which damaged our tractor. We tried to calm him down but he continued to abuse us. Later, he fired a shot at us and a bullet hit the chest of my brother Gurpreet who was rushed to the Civil Hospital, Jagraon, where his condition is stated to be critical,” the complainant said. Jagraon DSP Satvinder Singh Virk said the suspect had a fight with the victim’s family about six months ago in Ferozepur and it was said to be the reason for the asault. However, the suspect is yet to be arrested in the case.
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