10112023-LT-01.qxd 11/10/2023 1:06 AM Page 1 c m y b Ludhiana tribune 17 CASES OF STUBBLE BURNING IN DIST BUT AQI REACHES 301 KIM KARDASHIAN TO REMAIN SINGLE FOR ANOTHER YEAR Kim Kardashian spoke about her plans to date again, though it wouldn’t be any time in the next year. P3 MAINLY CLEAR SKY MAX 25°C | MIN 15°C YESTERDAY MAX 28°C | MIN 16°C HAD STAGNATED AS ACTOR BEFORE AARYA: SUSHMITA Average air quality index of Ludhiana was 285 and it reached 301 during the daytime on Thursday. P2 FORECAST Sushmita Sen recently talked about her transformative experience of working in web series Aarya. P4 » » SUNSET FRIDAY 5.32 PM SUNRISE SATURDAY 6:49 AM » FRIDAY | 10 NOVEMBER 2023 | LUDHIANA Two weeks after RTA Secretary’s transfer, 10-yr-old dies of dengue challaning drive stops, pendency piles up Tribune News Service Nitin Jain Tribune News Service Ludhiana, November 9 Two weeks after Dr Poonam Preet Kaur was shifted from the post of Regional Transport Authority (RTA) Secretary here, the challaning of traffic rules’ violators has come to a standstill and the pendency has again started piling up at the Transport Department’s regional office in Ludhiana. In the absence of any enforcement in the field, violations of the traffic rules, including plying of illegal buses without valid permits, oversized and overloaded heavy vehicles, especially trucks and trailers, have become a common sight on busy roads passing through the district, posing a major risk to commuters. Besides, the people have been hassled for the delay in the delivery of service as files pertaining to the issuance of new documents and renewal or revision of old documents has again started piling up here. The new Regional Transport Officer (RTO), Randeep Singh, who had replaced Dr Poonam and had joined here on October 26, admitted that he had not yet begun the challaning drive and the delivery of various services was being streamlined. “Since my ID has not yet been generated, which is required for e-challaning, I’m yet to begin the challans,” Singh reasoned while assuring to clear the pendency, if any, in the delivery of services at the office. According to official information available with The Tribune, over 6,000 files of various services were lying pending for clearance since October 26 when the new RTO had joined here. HIMANSHU MAHAJAN Violations galore in district, public hassled for delay in service delivery With the clearance and issuance of all cases, which were found complete in all respects, no file of driving licence was left pending before Dr Poonam had left the charge. According to the official figures, as many as 66,874 new DLs, including 49,341 learner’s, 15,418 regular, and 2,115 international, were issued here this year till October 24. On the RCs front, a total of 59,179 new vehicles were registered in the district since January 1, of which the RCs were issued to 58,916 applicants. Besides, the RTA office had processed a whopping 2,56,119 transactions for various services pertaining to RCs from which the revenue amounting to Rs 270,94,34,829 was generated this calendar year till October 24. Besides, a total of 1,25,889 applications for DLs of all forms, including learner’s, regular, international, conductor and others were received. PENDENCY PILING SERVICE FILES New RC 1,744 Old RC, other transactions 3,192 Fitness passing 576 Permits 568 Total 6,080 << In the absence of challaning, pying of overloaded heavy vehicles has become a common sight in Ludhiana. The pendency includes 1,744 new RCs, 3,192 old RCs and other transactions, 576 vehicle fitness passing certificates, and 568 permits. Besides, the cases of issuance of learner’s, new regular and renewal of old driving licenses (DLs) have also piled up here. It was in January when the 2016-batch PCS officer Dr Poonam had joined here as the RTA Secretary after her predecessor, Narinder Singh Dhaliwal, was arrested by the Vigilance Bureau (VB) for allegedly running an organised crime racket to collect money as bribes from transporters. She had cracked the whip on violators of the traffic rules and had acted tough against transporters running illegal vehicles, especially buses and trucks/ trailers, without valid permits and tax evasion. She had also cleared the pendency backlog of DLs, vehicle RCs and all other allied services in Ludhiana district. The doctor-turned-bureaucrat was among 50 PCS officers, who were reshuffled in the state. She has been posted as the SDM at Payal in Ludhiana. Though the public had attributed her exit to a tough stance against the violators, which had irked mainly the “all-powerful” transporter lobby, the government had denied any such reason and has termed the transfer as “routine on administrative grounds”. “It was a routine process and has nothing to do with any so-called pull or pressure,” a senior officer had told The Tribune. However, the transporters and those, who had been finding it hard to escape the action for violations and getting their illegal jobs done, were upbeat over the transfer. Setting an example, Dr Poonam had cleared the entire pendency of DLs, RCs and all other allied services at her office till October 24, the day she received her transfer order and relinquished her charge. During her less than ninemonth stint, she had slapped a fine of whopping over Rs 1.64 crore on violators and had challaned almost 681 vehicles, mostly heavy, including illegal buses/ trucks/ trailers and those attached with schools, for various violations and tax evasion. Besides, 364 vehicles, mainly the illegally plying buses and trucks without valid permits and routes, had also been impounded. Besides issuing almost 67,000 DLs of different forms, the RTA Secretary had also issued RCs to around 60,000 new vehicles registered in the state’s biggest and largest district, in terms of area and population, during the past less than nine months. With this, the RTA had collected a whopping revenue amounting to over Rs 271 crore since January. It was done despite staff shortage and other shortcomings in the system. Most of the backlog cleared during this year was lying pending since previous years during the tenure of her predecessors. Dr Poonam, who has herself led the entire office staff to work overtime for clearing the years and months-old backlog, had cleared the pending files pertaining to various services related to DLs, vehicle RCs, and other allied deliveries, which were complete in all respects and were received till October 24. The RTA Secretary had processed the DL and RC applications received till October 24 with the issuance of relevant certificates to applicants while the documents at present lying pending at the scrutiny or verification stage were mostly delayed due to the shortcomings/ deficiencies at the level of applicants. Dubious past The office of the Ludhiana RTA Secretary has a dubious past. The then incumbent Narinder Singh Dhaliwal was arrested by the Vigilance Bureau for allegedly running an organised crime racket to collect money as bribe from transporters. During the probe of a complaint lodged at the CM’s Anti-Corruption Action Line on November 18 last, the Vigilance had found that he was indulged in collecting bribes through some private persons from different transporters on a monthly basis at Ludhiana on the pretext of not issuing challans of their vehicles. Following the arrest, the working of the RTA Secretary’s office had come to a standstill, which had led to the pendency of various services. Ludhiana, November 9 One more death suspected to be caused due to dengue has taken the toll in the district to 18. The deceased was a 10year-old boy, who was admitted to the Dayanand Medical College and Hospital. Besides, 24 persons have tested positive in the district today, of which 18 belong to urban areas and six are from rural areas. On Thursday, there were 112 active cases in the district, of which 86 belong to urban and 26 to rural areas. Meanwhile, Assistant Civil Surgeon Vivek Kataria along with a team of the Health Department, today visited the Salem Tabri area and also met patients suffering from dengue. He asked the people of the Youth killed as speeding SUV hits motorcycle Ludhiana, November 9 A young motorcyclist lost his life in a collision with a speeding Mahindra Bolero on city’ s Metro Road. The deceased has been identified as 18year-old Anoop Kumar. Anoop, hailing from Bihar and residing in the Ramnagar area here, had been working in the region for several years. Eyewitnesses reported that Anoop, riding his motorcycle, was heading towards Jamalpur from Metro Road when a speeding Bolero collided with his bike around 1:30 pm. The impact of the collision was so severe that Anoop succumbed to his injuries on the spot. After the incident, the errant driver fled the spot. The Moti Nagar police shifted the body to the Civil Hospital for autopsy and initiated an investigation to identify the driver. A case has been registered. — TNS YEAR-WISE CASES Year Cases reported 2023 944 (till now) 2022 1,077 2021 1,829 2020 1,355 2019 1,509 2018 489 2017 1,083 2016 755 Symptoms Symptoms of dengue include high fever, severe headache, joint and muscle pain, vomiting, skin rash, and mild bleeding. Precautions ■ Mosquito repellent and creams should be used ■ Anti-mosquito spraying should be done daily, especially behind curtains and below tables. ■ Water from pots kept in drawing rooms should be changed on a weekly basis. ■ Don’t keep uncovered utensil, pots, tyres, etc. on rooftop or in the open. ■ Don’t allow fresh water to get accumulated near houses. area to adopt necessary precautions to protect themselves against dengue. “Never let water get stagnant in your surroundings as it let mosquitoes breed. It takes only 5 ml of water for mosqui- toes to breed,” he said. He also advocated the people to observe Friday as ‘dry day’ and empty water coolers, flower pots, etc. “Never take any medicine without consulting doctor,” he advised. R’sthan youth booked for raping 14-year-old Tribune News Service Ludhiana, November 9 The Meharban police today registered a case of sexual exploitation against a Rajasthan-based youth who had raped a 14-year-old girl, a resident of the city. The suspect has been identified as Suresh, a resident of Ganganagar, Rajasthan. The complainant, the mother of the victim, told the police that on the evening of November 6, she found her daughter missing from home. Afterwards, she, along with family members, searched for her at various places but to no avail. The next day, the girl returned home. “Initially, my daughter was not revealing the reason of her disappearance from home but when she was asked again, she said the suspect had taken her along on November 6 on some pretext. He took her to some isolated place on the Kakka road where he sexually exploited her. After committing the rape, the youth dropped her outside our house and fled,” the victim’s mother alleged. She said his daughter had also protested the move of the suspect but the latter did not budge and raped her. The youth also warned her daughter if she revealed about the act to anyone, she have to face dire consequences. ASI Surjit Singh said a case had been registered against the suspect and raids were being conducted to nab him. Tribune News Service Ludhiana, November 9 The Focal Point police today claimed to have nabbed two persons and recovered four mobile phones which they recently snatched from city residents. The police also seized two sharp weapons and a motorcycle, which were being used in criminal incidents from the duo. The suspects have been identified as Sarabjit, alias Sabba, and Pardeep Singh, alias Honey, residents of Mundian Khurd. Station House Officer (SHO) Focal Point police station Inspector Amandeep Singh Brar said on November 7 the suspects had snatched a mobile phone and other valuables from Rahul Kumar. After the police started a probe in the matter, they were identified. Acting on a tip-off, police officials laid a trap and nabbed them on Thursday. The SHO said now, police remand of the snatchers would be sought from court so that their role in past snatching incidents could be verified and more recovery of looted valuables be made. He hinted that action would be taken against those shopkeepers who had been buying snatched cell phones from the suspects. Ludhiana, November 9 On Thursday, the Vidhan Sabha Committee, led by Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan and Rajya Sabha MP Balbir Singh Seechewal, conducted an inspection of Buddha Dariya (commonly known as Buddha Nullah due to high pollution levels). During the committe’s visit, it was observed that operations at a number of dyeing units were allegedly shut, with no smoke emanating from their chimneys. Notably, the committee had announced the visit schedule last month and also HIMANSHU MAHAJAN 2 snatchers held, 4 mobile Operations in dyeing units remain shut during inspection phones, weapons seized Vidhan Sabha committee members inspect the Buddha Nullah. issued a warning that action would be taken against violators. When committee members inspected the nullah on Thursday, they observed that a number of dyeing units were non-operational. The water lev- el in the nullah was also lower. Ludhiana East MLA Daljeet Singh Grewal, chairman of the committee, said they noticed the closure of a number of dyeing units during their visit. Exact number of such units was still unknown. PPCB officials had been directed to inspect the units and submit a report on the units that remained shut. Action would be taken against those found violating norms. The Irrigation Department was also instructed not to release fresh water into the dariya during the inspection. MLA Daljeet Singh said the PPCB had been directed to take strict action against dyeing units whose chimneys emit ash affecting nearby areas. The committee instructed dairy owners not to dump waste in the dariya dur- ing the meeting held today. The Ludhiana Improvement Trust was asked to make a proposal for the establishment of a common effluent treatment plant for dyeing units near Cheema Chowk. Samples of the nullah water have also been collected for testing. Vidhan Sabha Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan asserted that officials were instructed to take action against those responsible for pollution in the dariya. RS MP Balbir Singh Seechewal said the PPCB holds the responsibility to act against industries violating the norms.— TNS Gold prices soar, residents may prefer utensils, silver on Dhanteras Infant stolen from city railway station Shivani Bhakoo Tribune News Service Ludhiana, November 9 With a whopping increase of about 21 per cent in the rate of gold (10 gram) as compared to last year during Dhanteras, most residents may prefer to go for home appliances, utensils or silver products this Dhanteras, on Friday. Purnima, a senior sales girl at a leading jewellery showroom on College Road, said on the day of Dhanteras last year, the gold rate was Rs 50,062 as compared to around Rs 62,000 this year. “Only those who can afford to buy the yellow metal at the CROCKERY SHOPS FLOODED WITH FRESH STOCKS Leading shops selling crockery items are flooded with fresh stocks as it is the only occasion when people make bulk purchases. “Only those who can afford to buy gold at a high price are approaching us to get gold coins this time,” a sales girl at a jewellery said. high price are approaching us to get gold coins this time, otherwise not too many are coming for purchases for Dhanteras,” she added. Leading shops selling crockery items are flooded with fresh stocks as this is the only occasion when people make bulk purchases. “We hire extra employees during these five-six days to cater to the needs of buyers. The buyers make bulk purchases and purchase products which they need in their homes. We do not even get a break, lunch is provided by the owner and we go for lunch by turn. Every night, we leave the shop not before 10:30 pm during Diwali days,” said Raghav, a worker at a leading crockery showroom in Ghumar Mandi here. On the eve of Dhanteras, buyers make purchases at a store in Ludhiana. HIMANSHU MAHAJAN c m y b Ludhiana, November 9 A three-month-old baby boy was stolen from the railway station on Wednesday night. His family had come to the city from Bihar and had to go to Jandiali here. The child’s parents after reaching the railway station yesterday night decided to take rest during which some miscreants stole their child. His mother Sonam Devi said after they reached the railway station, the child was crying as he was hungry. To feed milk to the child, she laid the baby down near the canteen of the railway station and started feeding him. Afterwards, she and her husband fell asleep as they were already exhausted due to the long journey from Bihar to Ludhiana. They made the child lie down under a bench. When they woke up in the midnight, the baby was missing. Following which, they raised the alarm. Sonam said she and her husband searched but they failed to found him. After getting information, the GRP started a probe. — TNS
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