Thursday, February 13, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


1 killed, 20 hurt in bus-truck collision
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
One person was killed and about 20 others injured when a bus and a truck collided head on near Kamal filling station on the Ludhiana-Chandigarh road, about 4 km from Samrala. The truck driver, Badal Singh (23), who hailed from Kathua, died on the spot. The injured were given first-aid at the Civil Hospital, Samrala, and later rushed to the CMC Hospital here.

The incident took place at Chahalan village around 8 a.m. when a bus coming from Mohali rammed into a truck coming from the opposite direction. Eyewitnesses said the bus driver was trying to overtake a sugarcane-laden tractor-trolley, but in the process lost control and rammed into the truck coming from the opposite direction.

The bus was totally damaged in the collision, seriously injuring several passengers in the process. The truck was overloaded. The bus driver, Harbans Singh Barewal, suffered serious injuries and was rushed to the CMC, Ludhiana. The Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Samrala, Mr Jaspal Singh Jassi, and a local MLA, Mr Amrik Singh Dhillon, rushed to the spot and conducted rescue operation. Jathedar Kirpal Singh Kheernian, member SGPC, also helped in sending the injured to the hospital.

The bus (PB-10A 9637) belonged to Gurdev Tourist Company, while the truck (PB-08-6399) belonged to Surjit Goods Carriers. Fog is said to be the cause of the accident. The local police has registered a case.

Harvinder Singh (Bhadhauri), Satish Kumar (Mohali), Lalit Mani (Jodhewal) were seriously injured in the accident, while Dilbag Singh, Roop Chand, Satnam Singh, Harbans Lal, Amar Singh, Jasbir Kaur, Dr Seema, Ravinder Singh, Roshan Lal, Sushil Kumar, Piara Singh, Jaspal Singh, Iqbal Singh, Jagtar SIngh, Onkar Singh, Avtar Singh and Inderjit Singh received minor injuries.

APPOINTMENT HAILED: Students and staff of Master Tara Singh Memorial College for Women have hailed the appointment of Mr Trilochan Singh as the Chairman of the Minority Commission. According to them, his appointment as the Chairman of the Commission is an honour for Sikhs. OC



LPG shortage over after exposé
Jangveer Singh

Tribune News Service

Mandi Gobindgarh, Feb 12
The LPG for domestic use, in short supply since last month, in spite of an increase in supply by petro companies, has suddenly become freely available after the registration of a case against a steel manufacturer for using domestic cooking gas in his steel-cutting unit.

The case, registered recently by an Inspector of the Department of Food Supply and Consumer Affairs, after his dramatic entry into the bolted premises of PG Steels. He scaled the wall of the unit compound and exposed the way steel units here are colluding with gas agencies to use subsidised cooking gas for industrial purposes.

The case was registered following a month of severe shortage of cooking gas. Petroleum companies had increased their supply of the LPG in January in view of the peak demand earlier. In a dramatic turnaround, industrial gas, that was earlier selling at Rs 28 per kg, is, now, selling at Rs 35 per kg. A shortage of industrial gas has also arisen in the township, with domestic-LPG cylinders, that were being freely used for industrial purposes, suddenly going underground.

Sources said about 150 steel units in this township were bulk users of domestic cooking gas, that was sold to the units by either truckers carrying gas on the national highway or rural gas agencies , that had a surfeit of cylinders at their disposal.

According to the police, following the registration of the case, it has come out that middlemen purchased domestic-LPG cylinders and pilfered gas to reduce the weight of each cylinder from 14.2 kg to as low as 12 kg. After this, the cylinders were sold to steel-cutting units at about Rs 400 per cylinder.

Sources said the business had been thriving since long because of huge profit margins, as the price of a cooking-gas cylinder was only Rs 248. They said businessmen selling industrial gas were also involved in the racket, as buying the gas from agencies and selling this to steel units worked out to be cheaper than dealing in industrial gas. Most steel units preferred to use domestic gas because it was cheaper than industrial gas. The industrial LPG was not only expensive in comparison, but also involved paying for the industrial-gas connection.

Meanwhile, the district police chief, Mr B. Chander Shekher, said the case against PG Steels had been registered on the basis of a report by Food and Supply Officer, Mr Charanjit Singh Grover, that the company was purchasing cylinders from government agencies and selling these in the black market.

Domestic gas cylinders had also been seized from the premises of the company, he said, and a probe was on to find out which domestic-LPG cylinders had been passed over to the units. The case has been registered under the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Regulation of Supply and Distribution Order 2000.

This is the second exposé related to the steel unit. Earlier, the Food and Supply Department had found that subsidised kerosene oil was being sold to industrial units. This was being done by changing the colour of the oil from blue to white. White is the colour of oil meant for industrial use.



Gaiety marks Id celebrations
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
Id-ul-Zuha was celebrated here today with great fervour and gaiety. Thousands of Muslims offered prayers in different mosques in the city. The main function was organised at the Jama Masjid, Field Ganj, where about one lakh Muslims offered prayers. The prayer meeting was led by Shahi Imam of the mosque Maulana Habib Ur Rehman Sanvi Ludhianvi.

Leaders from different communities had come to the mosque to offer their greetings to their Muslims brothers. They included Minister for Printing and Stationery Rakesh Pandey, local MP Gurcharan Singh Ghalib, MLA Surinder Dawer, former Speaker Charnajit Singh Atwal, Akali leader Prithipal Singh Pali and councillor Kulwant Singh Dukhia.

Addressing the function, speakers emphasised the need for communal brotherhood and urged people to follow the tenets of Islam in their true spirit. They said all religions, including Islam, preached peace and tolerance and it was unfortunate that people were made to quarrel with each other in the name of religion.

Speaking on the occasion, Punjab unit president of the Indian Muslim Council Maulana Atiq Ur Rehman criticised the attempts of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to grab the disputed site at Ayodhaya. He said the Dharam Sansad had no right to take possession of the land. He said the issue should be resolved amicably either through negotiations between the representatives of two communities or by the Supreme Court verdict.



Crusader prepares for war against drugs
Amarjit Thind
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
Man with a mission, Baba Daljit Singh of the Guru Nanak Sikh Mission of America, has taken it upon himself to spread the message of the Gurus and save the youth from drug and alcohol abuse.

The founder president of the Chicago-based mission and a member of the American chapter of the International Association of Religious Freedom (IARF), he was here on a private visit. The mission is also the nerve centre of the under-construction International Sikh Museum and the International Anti-drug Sikh Mission.

Dressed in spotless white, the Baba said the campaign to fight drugs had been planned in consultation with the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. “I spoke to the SGPC chief, Prof K.S. Badungar, who assured me of all assistance in the endeavour. I have also talked to the Jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib, who will launch the campaign in May.”

He said his team had conducted an extensive survey of the state and identified areas where drug abuse was rampant. “We will hold camps in villages to treat addicts and provide them with medical care. The emphasis will be on providing them with succour through exercise, lectures and the recitation of Gurbani,” he said.

“The personnel at the camps will distribute literature among the visitors, urging them to adopt the Sikh way of life. The youth will be told about the perils of drug abuse and social evils plaguing the community. Family values are eroding rapidly in America and drug abuse is rampant there. The mission is working on this aspect and, so far, more than 500 families have benefitted, many of which have been baptised. “We urge teenagers to respect their parents and look after them, since everyone has to get old one day,” he said.

Another major project was to publish literature in all major languages of the world. The Baba said it was unfortunate that not many persons could distinguish a Sikh from a member of another community.



Cricket in cinema halls!
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 12
World Cup cricket matches are being screened in cinema halls here. Sangeet Cinema has taken the lead. For the first time in the city, cricket fans are getting a chance to catch the fine nuances of googlies, flicks and the wrist-work of mighty batsman and bowlers.

Mr Surinder of Sangeet Cinema said on public demand they had made all preparations for screening World Cup matches in the cinema hall. “Indians are die-hard cricket fans. Small television screens have not been able to satisfy their appetite for watching cricket matches”, he said.

“Watching Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag play on a 70 mm screen enhances the fun manifold,” said some cricket lovers.

They said, “We had a wonderful time watching the match in spite of the fact that India did not do so well. We could never imagine that we would ever get a chance to see a match on the screen of a cinema hall. The whole effect was electrifying.”

From Saturday, cricket fans would be able to watch the remaining matches in the cinema hall at the price of regular tickets.



8 firms booked for Woolmark misuse 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 12
In order to check misuse of Woolmark, the company has launched a rigorous companies and identified 10 cases so far in Ludhiana, Moga and Amritsar. The company has initiated legal action in these cases. Disclosing this here today, the regional director of Woolmark, Dr S.K. Chaudhary, said the company was taking all possible action in order to protest and safeguard its intellectual property right.

He said it was their responsibility to ensure that Woolmark, their company’s trade marks appeared only on licenced products.

The company had recently conducted surveys in Ludhiana, Moga and Amritsar. Eight concerns were booked for the misuse of company’s trade mark. Two persons were booked for unauthorised production of Woolmark lebels. Appropriate legal action would be taken against all these defaulters, he said. “Police has also confiscated stocks of knitwears, shawls and lebels during search operations on the premises of misusers,” he added.

A similar of drive was being conducted all over the world, he said.



Bogus votes: DC told to hold probe
Our Correspondent

Ahmedgarh, February 12
The state Election Commissioner has directed the Deputy Commissioner of Sangrur to inquire into the allegations of bogus voting at Ahmedgarh.
According to Mr Inderjit Sharma, acting state president of the Mulazim Dal Punjab, Mr Happy Verma, organising secretary of the state Sikh Students Federation (Mehta ), and Mr Jagjit Singh Jajjie, president of the Kalgidhar Federation, some councillors had allegedly used their influence to make bogus votes for the municipal council elections. There were around 200 bogus votes in Ward No. 9 and prima facie evidence for 165 was available. Not satisfied with the action taken by the district administration, complainants had approached the state Election Commissioner who directed the Deputy Commissioner to hold an inquiry.

Mr Jatinder Bholla, councillor of the ward concerned, however, denied the charges levelled against him. Mr Suraj Parkash, Executive Officer said a survey had been conducted through teachers and no council employee had been deputed to make votes. Objections received by the local administration were verified and a large number of voters’ names had been deleted but no objections were received for the votes in question.



Born free but in chains

Animals are born free but they are living in chains. Man has been inflicting suffering on them. One can see emaciated animals dragging heavy load. The Society for Prevention of Cruelty Towards Animals (SPCA) is on papers only and has no teeth. Stringent action should be taken to stop this exploitation so that millions of meek and helpless animals do not become victims of cruelty.

Rahul Trehan

Request for ‘Stars’

You are requested to make the column by astrologer P.K. Khurana, ‘Stars’, a regular feature of Ludhiana Tribune and not skip it.

S.S. Bhatia

Operation charges

Leading hospitals like the DMCH and the CMCH should set a precedent and charge only 25 per cent of maternity operation charges on the birth of a female baby.

Post-operative care of the mother and the baby should be free of cost. This can go a long way to help check the instances of female foeticide in the country reeling under the menace. Banks can also do their bit by offering complimentary recurring deposit accounts in the name of a girl child born in below the poverty line families and create a fund for their education.

B.B. Goyal



What's wrong with geri route?


As the countdown for Valentine’s Day begins, lovers have already made plans for celebrating the day that exclusively belongs to them. The two popular geri routes for lovers — one in the Sarabha Nagar market and the other opposite Khalsa College for Women, Ghumar Mandi — are again the places to be watched and looked upon with envy as the youngsters zoom past each other, some with their beloveds and others in search of them.

At the same time, there is a debate going on — whether these geri routes should be left open or closed since there are some unscrupulous elements who spoil the show. While most of the youngsters want the routes to remain opened, albeit with adequate security arrangements, there are others who suggest that the routes should be closed to avoid any untoward incident. Both youths and their parents are invited to email their views not exceeding 150 words at for reproduction in this newspaper.

This question has fobbed me? What is the problem if the young gals and guys want to go on a geri . What else Ludhiana has to offer us, the young people anyways? I never oppose such things because we are entering into Westernisation era, thoughts and customs. We have already moved into new millennium and there should not be any barricades made by grown ups in the ways of girls and boys.

If the boys offer roses on their geri route to the girls and girls are willing to accept where is the problem. If the girls themselves want all the attention from boys , it is just very natural. The grownups should understand the psyche of the young people. Let the young go on their geri route.

Only if any girl complains , the police should intervene otherwise they should supervise and not be on the forefront but be unobtrusive.

Debbye, an anchor

Don't be killjoys

Why have the elders want to be kill joys every time? Let the students go on their limited geri routes. We feel if the boys and girls choose to meet in a market place, and want to exchange notes, people should not view them suspiciously. It is natural for us young people to expend our energies and be attracted towards each other,

The geri routes offers us freedom . Let the young ones express their fondness for each other by exchanging gifts. But we feel that the boys should not hang around schools and colleges as the girls unnecessarily get a bad reputation.

To meet in markets is fine and let their be freedom so long as acts of misdemeanor do not occur. Police should stay away and not interfere if things are going on fine.

Mandeep & Shewta (architects)

Do not block geri route

When an eighteen year old can cast his vote, then why cannot they choose their own girl friends and go out with them on a geri and specially on Valentine Day which is synonymous with love. Moreover, it is totally personal affair. I feel that love knows no language, no barrier, and no boundaries. The geri route offers a great deal of thrill to the youngsters so why bereft them of this happiness.

Moral Police and elders should keep away and let the youngsters enjoy life. One is young once , is n't it? Geri routes are gateways to enjoyment for us, the young people with boundless energy and zest for life. They should not be blocked under any pretext.

Let the elders give freedom to the young guys and gals to have fun. I do not believe that Valentine is a bad concept and we have hi-jacked from the West. Love springs eternal in every breast so do not be harsh and open the flood gates of love and keep the geri route open.

Sanjay ( Sales Manager)

No geri routes, please

I am dead against the geri routes and they should not be allowed to exist. Our children have not enough majority to decide for themselves what is good or bad for them as they live quite sheltered life. Actually, the young people ape all the Western culture blindly without ever pausing to think what is right or wrong. When immature girls and boys meet , it is a lethal combination as they still have not definite ideas and under the wrong influence of bad company can drink and go beserk. How are the girls safe with such kind of boys?

Moreover I live in Model Town. In the area, there are two firls colleges. I often see that girls from rural areas are very simple and are innocent. When boys make passes at them, they are unable to handle such situations.

The geri route is not in our culture and Valentine Day is quite alien to us. Most of the parents suffer pangs of anxiety at the thought that their children are not safe on geri routes as they drive their vehicles carelessly in order to show off.

Manmohan Singh (Businessman)

I say no to geri route

I studied here in Ludhiana and was born and brought up in the city. But after my graduation I went to Sydney for further education. After staying in Sydney, I am back on a vacation. I have noticed a lot of changes in the city.

During my college days, such freedom when the girls and boys could meet openly was taboo. Now I find the scenario has changed. Geri route was not so frequented as of today. No I say no to geri route as only very few young people from affluent societies can buy expensive machines, cars and just show off causing a lot of heart burn amongst those who are too poor to own such things. Can you imagine the boys going on geris on their cycles? I have found the boys out here lack the sophistication and under the veneer of modernism are still not that modern in their outlook. Another thing I have noticed is that boys and to a lesser degree girls too, have started taking alcohol and that is dangerous combination. So no geri routes till they grow up.

Rakshit (Student)

The topic is inane

Have we ever started a debate whether we should have a parade on the Republic Day? I fail to understand why a newspaper of Tribune's reputation has started a debate on the most inane topic-geri route. Definitely more serious problems need to be addressed than geri route. Why this hype and hoopla about Valentine 'Day? How many of us know the antecedents of this day. The people profiting from this event are the card companies as they are the ones who have created a hype.

Hari Singh Kondal



Another theft in gurdwara

Sahnewal, February 12
Another theft in a gurdwara took place between the intervening night of February 11 and 12. According to a report, the theft actually took place in the wee hours in one of the gurdwaras at Jhabewal village, falling under the jurisdiction of the Sahnewal police station. The robbers took out the safe from the gurdwara, broke open the lock and fled with the cash.

Although a loss of Rs 1,200 has been reported by the in charge of the gurdwara to the police, the actual amount could not be accounted for. A case has been registered.

Three similar thefts were reported last month from religious places at Pawa Khagat village. OC


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